Adult-Children of alcoholics & other narcissists


  One person (X) complains that another (Y) is 
  stopping them from doing or being something they 
  want (wife to husband, adult-child to parent....

   (X) doesn’t have internal permission to meet their 
  own need or dreams, so they hold another person 
  responsible for their happiness. BUT because they
  don’t have the right to provide for themselves, as 
  as adults, they stay attached to a job or person 
  who will insure that (X) always remains deprived

 That way they can blame the other for for their lack 
  of freedom or options, AND never face their own 
  Toxic Rules & fear of risking something unknown

  (Y) is usually cold, withholding, controlling & rigid. 
  They overtly or covertly discourage (X) from doing 
  anything new - anything that will take him/her away 
  from them. This ensures that (X) stays isolated & 
  ‘small’ / childish & therefore dependent.  This 
  accommodated (X)’s fear of dealing with the world 
  on their own.
 The benefit to (Y) is to never feel alone, since they don’t believe anyone else will have them OR, maybe to have a ‘servant’ to take care of their needs


  (A) & (B) are adults who have a symbiotic   
  attachment - it doesn’t have to be close or of   
  long standing - in which (A) is the caretaker / 
  parent substitute, & (B) is the victim / child

  Neither have genuine self-esteem  - even tho’ 
  the Rescuer may seem to  because they’re ‘in
  charge’ - nor a True Self. They play this
  enmeshment game as a way to get strokes
  (A) needs an overtly insecure, immature person 
  to take care of, to feel needed, important, 
  The Rescue Role is an attempt to compensate for 
  self-hate & fear of abandonment which they’re 
  usually not aware of. It’s also a disguise for their 
  own need to be taken care of, which they missed 
  out on as  kids (often from having the Hero Role). 
• Rescuers hate feeling vulnerable, needy or 
  (B) needs a decisive, competent, take-charge 
  person (usually controlling) to rescue them 
  from having to take care of themselves. They 
  believe they can’t do that, BUT they also don’t 
  want to - it’s not fair they should have to.  After 
  all, they’ve been thru enough! It makes them feel 
  loved, protected & safe. 
 •  Sometimes called Learned Helplessness.

  In the end, both are left unsatisfied & frustrated, 
  resentful & stuck!
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People who play the P=A game have a lot of accumulated anger & rage (from childhood & since then) -- which they’re NOT allowed to admit or feel (so they can be the ‘good boy or girl’)

They’ll always be able to find another person who is overtly volatile (V.) to play the P-A game with them (no fun being stuck with all that un-expressed rage alone!)

Some ways they’ll act:
  • forget / delay doing what they said they would 
   • buy inappropriate gifts (or only the things they like)
   • make promises they rarely keep, don’t say want they need 
   • ‘suffer in silence’, pretend everything is ‘fine’
   • won’t make easy choices / decisions in relationships - much less hard ones    
   •  never say when they’re upset or don’t 
like something  
  • make sideways snide comments, while acting innocent ....

Then, when the V inevitably gets angry / rageful / nasty at the P-A, out of legitimate intense long-standing frustration!
• the P-A gets to make the V. the ‘bad one’ 
   or crazy one, accuses the V. of being 
   abusive & unfair, of ‘reacting’ to nothing!
• while the P-A gets to keep the ‘good guy‘   
   status, feel victimized AND deny they did 
   or said anything wrong. After all, they are 
   easy-going, never raise their voice or let 
   out that ‘nasty’ anger. Right?!

  BUT that’s the point - they don’t express 
  they needs / wants, then accuse the V. of
  being controlling, even thought the V. was 
  set up to express the P-A’s anger for them!
            In most relationships it’s rare that a 
   P-A is willing to change their pattern - it 
   makes them feel safe. So it’s up to the V. 
   to stop reaction / expecting things to be 
   different - maybe even have to leave.
  For more info, see blog posts :
  “Passive-Aggressive ACoAs”

COGNITIVE DISTORTIONSCognitive_Distortions.html