The main core beliefs are focused around:
Abandonment—I’m all alone-I don’t matter
Arrogance—I’m right and you are wrong
Damaged—Something is wrong with me.
Inferiority—I’m stupid-I’m not good enough.
Rejection—I’m unwanted-I’m a burden.
Shame—I’m bad-I’m a mistake.
ACOA Core Issues—
Ignore our own needs
You can heal these only when you are feeling them. That is why I believe that a notebook to gather your thoughts and feelings is essential. First write down what you are thinking when you feel uncomfortable.
Our core issues in recovery for those of us who lived in a family of “don’t ask–don’t tell” include the following:
1. From Want to Know.Info: “Transform Fear Through Core Issue Work”:
“Most of us have one or more core issues or challenges which surface repeatedly over the course of our lives. These issues are usually rooted in deep unexpressed fears. Depending on your perspective, core issues either cause all sorts of problems, or present many opportunities for transformation. When you choose to look at core issues as an opportunity, you are much more likely to transform your fears into learning tools which lead to a better life. Below are the most common core issues, their related fears, and suggestions for dealing with them.”
“Examples of Common Core Issues and Associated Fears”
Abandonment – Nobody cares about me. I’m all alone. I don’t matter.
Arrogance – I’m better than all of you. I’m too much. I’m right and you’re wrong.
Damaged – Something is wrong with me. I’m a failure. I’m damaged.
Inferiority – I’m not good enough. I’m stupid. I’m worthless. I’m boring. I’m hopeless.
Rejection – I’m a burden. I’m unwanted. Nobody wants to spend time with me.
Shame – I’m bad. I’m evil. I’m a mistake. I’m a monster. I’m disgusting. I’m possessed.
“Our core issues often originate from childhood family scenarios. They can be a result of negative messages that were repeated many times to us by our parents or other significant people in our lives. Or one of these beliefs may have been driven deep into us during one or more traumatic experiences. Was one of the above statements drilled into you in your early years?”
2. In a post on The L.I.S.T ACA Group, a reprint from ACA WSO Webster, lists the “Effects of Abuse and How to Get Past them”, the following suggestions for overcoming abuse are given:
“RECOVERY FROM ABUSE”
1. Share your story – you don’t need to deal with pain alone
2. Believe your story – you have a tendency to discount
3. Establish perpetrator responsibility – recognize it isn’t about you
4. Address the addictions used to numb the pain
5. Realize you can deal with the pain without mood altering substances
6. Learn to recognize, then accept, and then communicate feelings
7. Learn to nurture yourself
8. Build self-esteem and positive body image (affirmations)
9. Deal with family of origin – break the code of secrecy – by writing and talking with other people
10. Learn to be playful
11. Learn that now you do have a chance to live, you do have choices – YOU NEED NOT BE A VICTIM
12. Take back your power – act responsibly, set boundaries that feel comfortable, control sexual
behavior – you can control who enters your life
13. Remind yourself of your strengths
14. Learn you can say “No”
15. Learn to give and receive criticism
16. Stop abusing others
3. From wellbeingalignment: “Emotional Pain–To Heal It We Need to Acknowledge It”:
Get curious about your feelings. Ask yourself questions.
Remember to first ask Source for a cushion of love and courage to face areas that have been protected by denial. Take one question at a time and let the energy of the question sink in and do its work in helping you become aware of emotional pain.
What am I feeling?Why am I angry / upset / sad?Why am I feeling the need to defend myself?What am I afraid of?What do I feel guilty about?What part of me most needs my compassion, love and attention right now?Why have I denied what I feel?What have I not been willing to see?Photo credit.
“Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a catalyst, a spark that creates extraordinary results.” Anon.
The easiest change to make is changing your thoughts. Think of the negative thoughts as being stuck in arut or circle. Round and round they go but no change occurs. Reframe your thoughts by rewording them. Go from I can’t to I can. All it takes is changing your thoughts.
“In a surprising way, mindfulness and the investigation of emotions begin to deepen our understanding of selflessness; we see that the emotions themselves arise out of conditions and pass away as the conditions change, like clouds forming and dissolving in the clear open sky. As the Buddha said to his son, Rahula, “You should consider all phenomena with proper wisdom: ‘This is not mine, this is not I, this is not myself.'”
On the subtlest level, we learn not to identify with consciousness itself, cutting through any sense of this knowing faculty as being “I” or “mine.” As a way of cultivating this radical transformation of understanding, I have found it useful to reframe meditation experience in the passive voice; for example, the breath being known, sensations being known, thoughtsbeing known. This language construction takes the “I” out of the picture and opens us to the question, “Known by what?” And rather than jumping in with a conceptual response, the question can lead us to experience directly the unfolding mystery of awareness, moment after moment.”
ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) really helped me.
“ACT uses three broad categories of techniques: mindfulness, including being present in the moment and defusion techniques; acceptance; and commitment to values-based living.”
Everyone has anxiety but by learning to accept it and defuse it, we can live a calmer life. “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” Notice when you attempt to avoid anxiety. Don’t struggle to change or fight your feelings. It will pass.
In defusing anxiety or negative thoughts, defusion helps you learn how to step back from the thought or feeling and to learn to observe it only. Defusion doesn’t lessen feelings because this would be fighting them again. Rather it is teaching you to disconnect from them by observing them.
ACT teaches us to: STOP—STEP BACK—OBSERVE
From ACA Red Book–
We awaken the Loving Parent inside by actively listening to what we tell ourselves about ourselves. We stop in mid-sentence if we are putting ourselves down or criticizing our thoughts or behaviors. We identify the source of the negativity which is the inner critic with affirmations that state who we truly are. Through reparenting ourselves, we reframe our mistakes as chances to learn or grow emotionally. This is a sign of becoming our own Loving Parent.