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  #151  
Old March 16th, 2012, 12:38 PM
DarkStar DarkStar is offline
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So last night I fell off the plan of 2-3 nights drinking by having some wine. I started off with a glass with dinner and by the end of the night, the bottle was done. I came home from grocery shopping very hungry so maybe I caved to that first glass in part due to the crankiness or emotional weak-mindedness I get when I'm hungry.

The bright side though is that I was fairly productive throughout the evening. I got laundry done, ordered some camping gear and a couple of books for the next steps in the plan (Safe People and Superior Man), copied down the questions for the next couple of chapters of Anderson, and packaged up an item I sold on eBay.

Instead of 2-3 nights of drinking, I think this week will be wrapped up with 2 nights of NOT drinking. Not exactly super impressive but at least it's progress. I initially wanted to abstain tonight and only drink tomorrow on St. Patty's.

However, one of my good friends who I rarely see now that he's married has been granted a guy's night this evening. Rather than pass it up or go and martyr myself by being the only one not drinking while I drool over other people's beers, I'm just going to go and enjoy myself with the guys.

But just because I didn't reach the goal of 2-3 nights drinking this week, doesn't mean I shouldn't set a goal for next week too. It may take a bit of practice to find my groove with this.
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  #152  
Old March 17th, 2012, 12:45 PM
DarkStar DarkStar is offline
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Happy St. Patty's Day, everyone. Last night was pretty fun. Went to happy hour and then dinner and then out to the bar for drinking and pool.

I had about 9 drinks over the course of the evening if I remember correctly. Looking back, I'd prefer to keep it at less than that, so I tried a Big/Little Dialogue on it.

I'm not sure if I'm doing the exercise right. It was a bit of a struggle and took quite a while. It's also a bit long but I'm going to post it anyway.

DarkStar: OK you guys, time to talk about stuff. Big, would you like to start?

Big: Sure. How are you feeling this morning, Little?

Little: Slightly hung over.

Big: Are you happy we had those 9 drinks last night?

Little: Well today I'm feeling a bit drained, physically and emotionally. I'm not necessarily depressed, I can't put my finger on it.

Big: Hmm. Can you try?

Little: Sort of brain dead a little. A little less sharp and less energetic. Less motivated to get up and start the day.

Big: OK. Well, last night it seemed like you wanted those drinks. How were you feeling at the time? How would you have felt if we had paced ourselves better?

Little: Well, it feels good to have a drink in my hand. And when I have a drink in my hand, I'm going to drink it. It's just a process that sort of goes naturally.

Big: So it's not the buzz you're craving necessarily?

Little: Well that's part of it.

Big: So you do want the buzz?

Little: I don't know. I'm confused.

Big: OK, let's back up. So you said you basically want a drink in your hand and you want to drink it. Tell me more about that.

Little: I guess it gives me security in a way. Or it cures boredom.

Big: What about a non-alcoholic drink. Can we mix some water in there between drinks?

Little: I might like that. But people will laugh at me. No one else is drinking water.

Big: F*ck them. Do you really give a sh*t what anyone else thinks about what we're drinking? We could drink water all night long or fricken apple juice for that matter and if anyone judges us for it, that says more about them than it does about us.

Little: OK.

Big: So one drink and then one water alternating. Can we try that?

Little: I don't know. I want to get buzzed too.

Big: Why do you want to get buzzed? And do you want to get sh*t-faced or just a little buzzed?

Little: I think I just want to get a little buzzed. But then when I'm buzzed, I reach beyond to get drunk.

Big: So you're chasing a high in a sense. There's really nothing out there to catch. You just get more detached from me when we get drunk.

Little: Maybe that's it. I quiet down. I'm less needy so the drinks satisfy my needs.

Big: What needs are those? What need does being drunk satisfy when you're in a social situation?

Little: The need for approval. People approve of me when I'm drunk.

Big: Why do you think people approve of you when you're drunk? Maybe it's just that you approve of yourself more when we're drunk and people naturally follow suit or you just imagine that they do.

Little: Maybe that's it.

Big: Well, you know we're just fine sober too, right? There's nothing wrong with you sober. You're fine just as you are.

Little: So it's OK to be me? To say stupid things, or say nothing at all?

Big: Yes, everyone says stupid things sometimes. Especially drunk people. They actually say things that are even more stupid than sober people. The difference is they just tend not to care. But we don't need to care either, even when we're sober.

Little: So what should I do? I'm confused.

Big: If you have a thought or a comment on your mind, just say it. Who cares if it's not interesting to someone else. We are there for our own entertainment. Our life is ours to have fun with. You don't need to get drunk to be yourself.

Little: What about drunk people? It's so annoying to be around drunk people when you're not drunk.

Big: That's no reason to do something that ultimately hurts you. Maybe we just haven't found the right environment with the right people to interact with. We don't have to follow anyone's lead. We can lead ourselves in whatever direction we want.

Little: OK.

Big: So try alternating one beer with one water. Try to feel the difference about how it feels to be drinking a water vs. a beer. Is it less satisfying to you? And then when we're as buzzed as we want to be, slow way down on the beer and just drink more water. Can we try that?

Little: I'll try it.

Big: Just try it and we'll see how it makes you feel.

Little: OK.
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  #153  
Old March 17th, 2012, 01:12 PM
HustleAndFlow HustleAndFlow is offline
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definitely good work on the dialogue. I like the idea of mixing some water in between drinks.
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  #154  
Old March 18th, 2012, 10:14 PM
DarkStar DarkStar is offline
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Originally Posted by HustleAndFlow View Post
definitely good work on the dialogue. I like the idea of mixing some water in between drinks.
Thanks man! Unfortunately my water plan didn't quite come to fruition last night. It's quite a challenge to pull that off in a busy bar, so maybe my best bet is to avoid the bar scene. On the other hand I suppose if I just keep leaving the same tip on a water as if it were an alcoholic beverage, I shouldn't have any trouble. LOL
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  #155  
Old March 18th, 2012, 10:22 PM
HustleAndFlow HustleAndFlow is offline
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Thanks man! Unfortunately my water plan didn't quite come to fruition last night. It's quite a challenge to pull that off in a busy bar, so maybe my best bet is to avoid the bar scene. On the other hand I suppose if I just keep leaving the same tip on a water as if it were an alcoholic beverage, I shouldn't have any trouble. LOL
Trust me, I am a bartender, and we remember big tippers, or at least good tippers. When you order a beer, just order a water with it. It just sucks if you're gonna be walking around and mingling, double fisting a beer and a water, hah.
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  #156  
Old March 19th, 2012, 12:14 AM
DarkStar DarkStar is offline
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Well, St. Patty's Day was fun but there was binge drinking involved. I'm still having a bit of an internal struggle with how I want the drinking to go. I may have to just take another month off to simplify things, or put up a firm 2 drink maximum. I guess the most important question is "why" do I drink so much when I drink. Yesterday I mainly drank beer and when it comes to beer, part of it that I can't escape is just that I love the taste of beer. But I'm sure I need to look deeper than that.

So anyway, there were a couple of wins yesterday and a couple of losses. I went over to my buddy's place in the afternoon and we decided to BBQ. He enlisted the help of our other friend to hang his flat screen on the wall, so he asked if I'd do the grilling while they worked on that project. I was a little reluctant at first, and then I thought about why. It dawned on me that I'm really never the one to be in charge of the BBQ. For some reason it makes me nervous that I'll screw it up. I think this is some NG issue for me, that I won't "do it right". It's not like it's hard or that I don't know how to do it, it's just a responsibility I don't tend to want on my shoulders. So it's good that he volunteered me and I accepted. Of course there was nothing to be afraid of and everything turned out fine.

Then we got dropped off at the bar. Had some cool male bonding stuff at the bar. Tried to write a post to go into that but it ended up taking forever so I'm going to skip over that. Also ran into an old flame early on when we got there. This was someone who I haven't mentioned yet on here other than her first initial in one of my Anderson exercises. But basically we were FWB's last summer. She is like 6 or 7 years older than me, has had two divorces and 3 kids but she's still very hot for 40 and has an incredibly cool personality. But she's not a match for me due to the kids and just sort of her flaky, social butterfly personality and other reasons. And yet, last year I ended up driving her away by getting clingy even though I didn't want a relationship with her. Her flakiness basically triggered abandonment stuff in me. Unfortunately I didn't learn my lesson with her and I repeated the mistake with Bertha who could have potentially been an actual match for me.

Anyway, I ran into this chick last night at the bar. We had run into each other before a couple of times since last year and I guess she had gotten past the damage I had done because back in January the last time I ran into her she told me she wanted to hang out again sometime. This was right after the Bertha thing so I was psyched to potentially have a rebound fling. I wasn't willing to put in any effort to go see her though due to the past flakiness so I just figured when it worked out it would work out.

Well, when I ran into her last night I thought, hmm, I'm on this dating moratorium so this could potentially be a good test of my will power if she makes a move. She disappeared last night and texted me to apologize for not saying good bye. I texted back a simple reply to acknowledge that it's cool and left it at that. So much for getting to test myself.

This morning, however, she texted me again to see if I was up yet. I ignored her text for a little bit, but then decided well screw it I'll just reply. After all she's sort of in my social circle to a point, she's still close with my friend who introduced us. I just replied back something simple and after a little while she called. This time I ignored it and took off to go visit my dad for the afternoon and didn't bother to call her back. Anyway, not the best story-telling here but all that to say, I probably could have attempted to work something there and I was proud of myself for the willpower of not shooting for the ultimate toxic shame medicator of sex.

Part of me wanted to see what she wanted just so I could turn down a meeting. On the other hand, if I had answered her call or called her back, this in itself could have been a toxic shame medicator. No need to let things play out just to go out of my way to prove something. I think I allowed myself just the right amount of interaction to be healthy in the context of where I am right now. It's not like I want to burn the bridge and completely avoid her. I'll run into her at the bar again sometime. I don't want to avoid that bar for the sake of avoiding her.

On the other hand, I don't feel that I should have to answer her call just to make excuses like "I'm busy" and there's no need to "end it" because there's nothing going on to end.

The good thing is that seeing her doesn't trigger any neediness or abandonment feelings. I'm sure seeing Bertha right now would be a different story though.

Anyway, I considered this a win because part of me was afraid that given the chance I'd cave to the natural desire to try for some sex and the way I see it, she's the path of least resistance (to sex that I'd actually enjoy LOL) right now. So in my eyes, my strength in the sex moratorium was tested and I passed.
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  #157  
Old March 19th, 2012, 12:15 AM
DarkStar DarkStar is offline
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Originally Posted by HustleAndFlow View Post
Trust me, I am a bartender, and we remember big tippers, or at least good tippers. When you order a beer, just order a water with it. It just sucks if you're gonna be walking around and mingling, double fisting a beer and a water, hah.
Haha, very true. I suppose I can just pound the water so I don't have to carry around a second drink, and then if nothing else it will fill me up and make me take longer to drink the beer.
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  #158  
Old March 19th, 2012, 07:35 AM
DarkStar DarkStar is offline
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I was considering another 30 day drinking moratorium but I decided to try something different this time and make a drinking log / accountability thread in the Addicts on the Mend section:

http://www.nomoremrniceguy.com/forum...ad.php?t=25500
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  #159  
Old March 20th, 2012, 05:29 PM
DarkStar DarkStar is offline
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Journey From Heartbreak to Connection

Chapter 9: Reaching Out

Reach out? There's nobody there! Doesn't anybody get it?

p238

What Is Rage Energy All About?

Are you currently in touch with your anger?


A little bit. I'm not that angry currently. When the abandonment process started (and I didn't know anything about abandonment), I had a great amount of sadness and I wanted desperately to turn that into anger because because it would be at least better than sadness. After a couple of weeks I finally found it when I hit rock bottom and got angry at myself for self-medicating with pot and alcohol. I channeled that into anger AT the pot and alcohol, quit pot that night and poured the last third of a bottle of tequila down the drain, and began my 30 day drinking moratorium. The anger helped motivate me to work my way out of the hole I was in.

Does your anger or frustration have anything to do with feeling deprived of love? Explain.


Yes, the anger did. I blamed alcohol and pot as something that kept me stuck in life, self-medicating instead of deal with the actual issues I have that keep me deprived of love.

Use a Truth Nugget to identify the situation causing your rage.

Truth Nugget: I feel
frustrated because I have not worked hard enough to get my needs met in life.

Do you feel good about the way you cope with your anger?

In this case, when I get pissed motivated to do something about the problem, I do feel good about it. However there are times when I don't come with it well, if it leads me to do something impulsive or aggressive. I don't typically have much everyday agitation these days, thankfully. When I do get agitated or frustrated about things occasionally (annoying drivers, etc.) I'm pretty good at sort of stepping back, taking a breath and letting it go as something that I can't control.

I had a problem with that in the past and I think it was something passed down to me from my father. He also had a problem with getting agitated at drivers, or for example if he gets frustrated by every day annoyances, he can get into a cursing fit. This is something I neglected to come up with in BFE #3 so I may want to add it when I get back to my BFE's. As a kid, witnessing that behavior felt very frightening, and I probably internalized it in some way.

As an adult, when I see him do it, it is still very annoying but I've gotten better at ignoring it and not letting it affect me. But I recognized it as a behavior that could be passed down to me and that I don't want to have. So when the urge strikes me to act like that, I have learned to take a step back and chill out. The buck stops here.

How would you like to handle it?

I would like to embrace the philosophy that there are things in life that you can control, and things you can't control. I think the rage comes from feeling the need for things that are beyond your control to change. I would like to recognize the things that are beyond my control, and accept them as they are. I can only control my own choices and actions and which environments I put myself in. Raging over the uncontrollable is just needless suffering, and wasted energy. That energy is infinitely better spent working on things that I can control.

Outer Child

The key to disarming Outer Child's defenses is to acknowledge the anger fueling them. Anger can be a constructive force, but not when it is in Outer's hands. Outer bungles anger. not only by overreacting, but by under-reacting as well.

Abandonment survivors tend to have trouble with anger. Some feel too needy and insecure to get in touch with healthy anger. The reason: Their fear of abandonment is so pervasive that they can't tolerate any break in their connections. They're afraid that expressing anger will cause others to pull away. Outer takes advantage of this fear and lack of assertiveness and gets you to take your anger out on yourself. It often manifests in convoluted ways.

p242

The Critic Versus the Heedless

Name a friend whose heedlessness brings out The Critic in you.


My brother.

What about his or her behavior bothers you most?

When he over-eats it reminds me of childhood days when we would get a pizza and I'd want to save some for leftovers but if I ate less he'd just eat more to make up for it and I got the feeling that I needed to compete for food. But I recognize this now as a behavior that realistically doesn't affect me, so it doesn't bother me so much. However, I do see it happen sometimes and it bothers me a little because I know he would like to lose weight. But this is problem and not something I can be critical of him for. We all have our own struggles.

I had a better example of something that does bother me the most, but I decided not to post the details. Even though I am anonymous on here and therefore his identity is anonymous, I am afraid I'd feel guilty for posting up the details of this as if it would violate his privacy. I'll just say that this example led to a big argument we had during Christmas vacation. I attempted to be The Critic in a constructive way but it backfired and the resulting backlash on me was pretty damaging.

How does being The Critic make you feel about yourself?

It made me feel shitty about myself. For one, it made me feel bad because I made the problem worse for him. It also made me feel bad because of the backlash against me. I internalized some of the things that were said, and that led me to self-destructive behavior later.

How does it affect your behavior toward others?

It made me act dysfunctionally towards others, namely Bertha. I think this was a strong contributor to my internal state of neediness that destroyed our relationship.

How would you like to handle The Critic within?

The Critic can just STFU. Yeah the criticism may be valid and The Critic may be trying to be constructively critical to help. However, it's not worth trying to help someone who isn't asking for help. It sets back my own progress. If someone is open to asking for help, that's one thing but if they aren't ready for it, the best I can do is lead by example. Being the Critic without having fixed my own issues is playing with fire because if someone takes the critique the wrong way, I am vulnerable to sustaining serious damage from their wrath.

p244

Think about The Heedless friend you named earlier. What alternative behavior would you like to see him perform?


Omitting the answer I wrote to this one too, with the same reasoning as explained above.
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  #160  
Old March 20th, 2012, 05:30 PM
DarkStar DarkStar is offline
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Journey From Heartbreak to Connection

Chapter 9: Reaching Out (cont'd)

What self-defeating behavior of yours is currently plaguing you?


Having expectations of other people. Letting the actions of others affect my internal state. Drinking too much.

What alternative behaviors would you like to see in yourself?

Letting outside events roll off my back. Doing courageous things to face my fears. Putting in more work to get the life I want.

What insights and strengths can you use to accomplish this feat?

The knowledge that my choices are what will shape my future. Knowing that I am in charge of my own self-esteem. I can say no to the stress that others dump on me. My strength is the will to keep working on this stuff until it becomes automatic.

p247

How Did Outer Child Develop?


Think of yourself during late elementary school and middle school. Do you remember what your personality was like? What traits stand out most?

In late elementary school, I was moved around a few times by mom who couldn't seem to decide where she wanted to live. Right before 4th grade, she moved us back to our dad's. They were going to give it another shot at getting back together. 5th grade, moved to a new area, about 2 hours away. Supposedly he was supposed to come too after the old house sold?

Who knows what the real drama was but there we were in a new place but now without dad again. A month into 6th grade we moved back 2 hours to another city near the first area but also still not with dad. I guess it didn't work out. (Maybe he should have talked to Dr. Glover.) I remember receiving no warning of this move. I basically came home to things being packed up one day. So I imagine this created some abandonment wounds.

I have a hard time saying what my personality was. At the time, I didn't really know who I was I don't think. I just kind of went with the flow. I played video games and watched a lot of TV. 6th grade was good at the new school. The girls were excited to have a mysterious new guy appear in the middle of a school year and I was welcomed into the new class. I met a good guy friend who I'm still close to today.

In middle school I discovered pot and got more into my music and skateboarding. Personality wise... nice guy, sort of loner but friendly, shy with girls but lucky enough to attract a few who were willing to approach me, but the girlfriend I ended up with really wanted the bad boy who I just wasn't and the whole thing messed with my head since I was strung along as her spare tire.

Do you remember your usual mood or temperament at that time? Were you usually happy? Worried? Isolated? Angry? Bored? Anxious? Describe.

I think depressed. I was lonely and shy I think. I made friends but never due to my taking initiative. I was friendly when approached but was not a man of action so I didn't feel in control of my own life. I still see that in myself to this day, decades later, although I've gotten better and at least learned a lot about what my problems are and where they came from.

What family situation contributed to this mood? Put your answer in a Truth Nugget.

Well, probably the moving around. Although some kids would have actually learned to make friends better, unfortunately maybe I learned to withdraw. I'm sure that goes back further. Unfortunately no one seemed to recognize this shyness in me or if they did, they didn't figure out how to show me the way out of it. My problem now but that's the family situation that contributed I guess.

Truth Nugget: I felt withdrawn because my family was crazy.

Or,

I felt
isolated because that's all I knew and my family let me remain socially isolated.

Do you remember things that bothered you within your peer group that made you sad, disappointed, angry, or hurt back then? Again, use a Truth Nugget.

I'm struggling with this one and the next few questions. I can't think of the answers. Will skip it for now.

Truth Nugget: I felt ____ when others ____.

Who provided you with support when you were hurt or angry?


Who provoked your anger and frustration?


How did you act out your anger?


Check all that apply.

_____I became hyperactive to avoid feeling sad or angry.
_____I picked on a younger sibling or smaller friend.
__X__I overate, overslept, or watched too much television.
_____I sought negative attention from my parents or teachers.
_____I over-focused on schoolwork or projects.
__X__I became a control freak.

Add your own behaviors:

I got into pot and wanted to be stoned all the time.

Think about who you are today. Is this defensive, needy, busybody from your childhood still within you?

Yes, I still over-eat, over-consume (alcohol), only relatively recently found my way out of the pot cloud, and still get the urge to get defensive or take things too seriously. I'm getting a lot better with those however. I am also still sort of a control freak, although I don't always express it, when I feel that I'm not in control, it can cause me stress.

If so, do you think you may have just identified a facet of your Outer Child?

Yes, I think that would be fair to say.

How might gaining Outer Child awareness help your recovery?

It could help me identify how my Outer Child acts out and discover more healthy ways of dealing with the inner issues that are causing these behaviors.
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Old March 20th, 2012, 05:31 PM
DarkStar DarkStar is offline
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Journey From Heartbreak to Connection

Chapter 9: Reaching Out (cont'd)


p250

AKERU EXERCISE IV: Discovering Your Outer Child

This Akeru exercise - Outer Child awareness - works with Rage's out-bound energy to empower you with life-changing insight. Rather than squelch your rage, empowered by Outer Child awareness, you work with it to change your life. To help you recognize your Outer Child behaviors along with its many expressions and personalities, I present an excerpt from the 100 Item Outer Child Inventory. The partial list includes recognizable truisms, encapsulated awareness, and little telegrams of insight associated with your Outer Child.

Please check those items that hold some truth for you. Go back and put a double circle over those that interfere in your relationships. And while you're at it, you can also draw a box around the ones that describe someone you know - your abandoner perhaps?

OUTER CHILD INVENTORY


__O__Outer Child acts out Little's anger over being left up on the rock. Outer encompasses all of the outward signs of Little's vulnerability - the scars, the warts, the defenses that show on the outside.
__O__Outer Child is the selfish, controlling, self-centered part of all of us.
__[O]__Outer Child is developmentally between eight and twelve. Self-centeredness is age appropriate for Outer Child.
__[X]__Outer Child wears many disguises,especially in public. Since other people's Outer Child is usually well hidden, we may think we're the only one with an Outer Child.
__[O]__Outer Child is the hidden "Chuckie"of the personality. Even the nicest people I know can act like a seven-year-old with a full-blown conduct disorder when they feel rejected, dismissed - abandoned.
__[ ]_Outer Child has a favorite feeling - anger. In fact, Outer Child's only feeling is anger.

Aren't sadness and anger basically the same thing? Sadness is just the passive expression of it, and anger is the aggressive expression. I think my Outer Child's favorite feeling is sadness, which explains the more passive ways that he expresses himself. That's my take anyway. But my Outer does sometimes feel anger too.

__O__Outer Child is developmentally old enough to have its own little executive ego. It is old enough to forcefully exercise its will, but it is not old enough to understand consequences, let alone the rights and feelings of others. (Little isn't old enough to have its own ego, so Little has to appropriate ours. That's why Little needs Big.)
__[O]__Outer Child steps right in and takes over. Even if we had every intention of handling a particular situation in a mature, adult manner, Outer Child handles things its own way, leaving us holding the bag.
__O__Outer Child can really dominate our personalities, especially if we've had a history of repeated abandonments. Many abandonment survivors of childhood are mostly Outer Child.
__O__Outer Child throws temper tantrums and goes off in tirades if it feels criticized, rejected, or abandoned. If Outer Child seems emotionally disturbed, it is because of what Little has been through. l don't dare blame Outer - Outer doesn't react well to criticism, even my own.
__O__Outer Child blames its faults on my mate. It tries to get me to imagine that my unacceptable traits belong to my mate.
__X__Outer Child talks about my friends behind their back.

This has happened, I admit it. Not out of vindictiveness but frustration I guess the NG in me had to qualify that :/

__O__Outer Child thrives on chaos, loves crises, drama.

and yet Big hates it. WTF?

__[O]__Outer Child is a world-class procrastinator.

This is one of the biggest ones for me.

__X__Outer Child loses things and blames it on others. Outer Child can find an excuse for anything.

The latter yes, but the former I'm not so sure about.

__O__Outer Child is the "yes - but" of the personality.
__O__Outer Child can never be wrong. Outer Child hates asking for help-becomes stubborn, ornery, blind, and pigheaded.
__O__Outer Child acts like a tyrant but is secretly a coward, unable to appropriately assert its needs in the outside world.
__O__Outer Child says,"It's okay,"when a friend slights me and then holds on to the anger for the next twenty years.
__O__Outer Child specializes in blame; if it has an uncomfortable feeling, somebody else must be at fault.
_____Outer Child uses crying as a manipulation.

Well, thankfully I don't remember doing this to someone else, although I've done plenty of crying alone. Although this could probably be checked for Victim Pukes which are close enough to crying.

_____Outer Child criticizes others to keep the heat off of itself.
__[O]__Outer Child can't stand waiting, especially when a significant other is expected to call.

Another one probably tied for the biggest truth. LOL.

__O__Outer Child doesn't form relationships - it takes lovers as emotional hostages.
__O__Outer Child will demand, defy, deceive, ignore, balk, manipulate, seduce, pout, whine, and retaliate to get its needs for acceptance and approval met. It doesn't see this as a contradiction.
__O__Outer Child gets right in the middle of things when I try to start a new relationship - it becomes more reactive, more demanding, more needy than ever before.
__O__Outer Child strives for its own self-interest while pretending to protect Little. But Outer wants one thing only - control.
__O__Outer Child is not old enough to care about others (despite its considerable acting skills). Only the adult self can do that.
__O__Outer Child tests new significant others with emotional games. Its favorite is playing hard to get. Outer child thinks when others are hard to get, it's sexy.
_____Outer Child can be seductive, funny, charming, full of life, pretending to be interested in the other person's life.Then when Outer succeeds in catching its prey, it suddenly becomes cold, critical, unloving, and sexually withholding. Outer makes me pity the person willing to love me.
__O__Outer Child is the addict, the alcoholic, the one who runs up my credit cards and breaks my diet.
__O__Outer Child seeks all the wrong people - can't resist a lover who won't commit.
__O__Outer Child becomes most powerful when Big and Little are out of alignment.
_____Outer Child believes laws and ethics are for everybody else.
__O__Outer Child can dish it out but can't take it. Outer Child can be holier than thou.
_____Outer Child beats up on other people's Little - especially the Little You of a significant other.
__O__Outer Child bullies its own Little.
__O__Outer Child tries to get self-esteem by proxy - that is, by going after someone who has higher social value.
__X__Outer Child can't hide from our closest family members. They get to see it in action. That is what intimacy is all about: The exposure of our Outer Children.
__O__Outer Child can express anger by becoming passive. One of Outer's favorite disguises is compliance. Outer Child uses compliance to confuse others into thinking that it doesn't want to take control. But don't be fooled - Outer Child is a control freak.
__X__Outer Child finds someone to take for granted and treats him badly because it doesn't have to worry about abandonment for a change.
__X__Outer Child refuses to stay on the rock, unlike Little. Outer climbs down and picks up a hatchet and goes on the warpath.
__O__Outer Child doesn't obey the Golden Rule. Outer Child obeys its own"Outer Child rule": Get others to treat you as you want to be treated, and treat others as you feel like treating them.
__O__Outer Child provokes anger in subtle ways, then accuses the other person of being abusive. Outer loves to play the indignant injured party. Outer Child is master at making the other person look like the bad guy.

How many characteristics did you check?

38

How many did you double circle?

32

How many did you box?

7

What does this tell you about the personality of your own Outer Child?

He has a lot more anger than I realized. Also, Big needs to get him under control.
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  #162  
Old March 20th, 2012, 05:32 PM
DarkStar DarkStar is offline
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Journey From Heartbreak to Connection

Chapter 9: Reaching Out (cont'd)


Rage Is Redeemable As Love

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p255

What is your idea of love?


Having chemistry, but also being compatible and treating each other well.

Is this idea changing? How?

There was a time when I was confused into only looking for the chemistry and forgot about the others.

How would you like it to change?

I would like to make sure I only go for healthy love and not try to manipulate women into getting the love I want from them.

How does the way you handle love affect the way you feel about yourself?

If I accept less than healthy love and call it love, I won't end up feeling good about myself. If I accept poor treatment, I'll think I deserve it.

How can increasing love within your current relationships help you in your everyday life?

Treating others better and by not being attached to the outcome will give me more satisfaction in my everyday life.

p256

THE PARADOX OF RAGE AND LOVE

Check all you agree with.

__X__Love converts anger and frustration into connection.
__X__Love is a tool for rage - it meets it head on and overpowers it.
__X__Love is a way to heal the source of my anger.
__X__Love transcends anger. It uses its thrusting energy to connect to others in a powerful way.
__X__Instead of rage, love.
__X__I should let love become my way of being with people, and I will find love.


More Food for Thought

What is the worst thing your Outer Child ever did (at least what you're willing to admit here)?


Sending out needy text messages to my future abandoners or leaving a needy voicemail. This was one that ultimately hurt myself very badly.

Self-medicating on the pot and alcohol can be pretty bad.

The procrastination also hurts me a lot.

Getting in arguments with family is pretty bad although my Outer has been very much under control with this lately.

My outer is mainly self-destructive.

What has Outer been doing this week?

Outer may have been drinking a bit, but I'm not sure sometimes if that is Outer or if it's habit. Some of it may be approval-seeking, which I guess would be Outer.

What's it been up to today?

Outer has been OK today.

When you visit your parents, what is Outer doing?

It's rare that I hang out with my parents without cracking a beer, so perhaps Outer is self-medicating. Other than that, he is fairly in control because I don't want to treat my parents poorly. However, I am still learning to be assertive with my father so Outer is sometimes passive-aggressive, mostly passive.

With my mother, I do vocalize my impatience more, probably because I lived with her growing up so I got comfortable expressing my feelings, but I still find her pushing my buttons and me not setting boundaries in more healthy ways.

When someone cancels a date, what does Outer do?

It depends on how they cancel it but in the past Outer has responded in various ways that could possibly be good including being too understanding, trying set a boundary next time about flaky people, but since it ultimately coming from an emotionally needy Inner who I was trying to mask by doing what I thought was right, it may not have been as effective as if it came from a truly content Inner. Bad ways Outer has responded was by ultimately acting needy or victimy to the woman in some way.

When you're afraid of getting caught making a mistake, what does Outer do?

Sometimes by trying to hide it in some way, although usually I don't think I let Outer do that. However he does try to correct them. I think I like to own up to my un-correctable mistakes but now that I'm aware that this is something to watch out for, I will definitely be on the lookout. I guess correcting it can be the same as hiding it, depending on the situation. Did I say that to correct my mistaken answer to this question?

While you are waiting for your date to call you back, what does Outer do?

Obsesses and turns it into a problem. If it seems like the woman isn't going to call back, Outer might start self-medicating.
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Old March 20th, 2012, 08:28 PM
DarkStar DarkStar is offline
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I can't believe I'm almost done with Journey. I know I'll need to continue to work on my abandonment issues after completing the workbook but at least it will free up time to also focus on the rest of Step 2. I also ordered Anderson's book on "Outer Child", but I may not read it right away, or at least not as quickly as Journey.

I'm going to post up now what I've done on the plan so far, with completed steps in green, stuff I'm working on in orange (yellow was too hard to read) and stuff I haven't done yet in red:

If you're hurting from the loss of an ex, go to the audio version of It's Called a Breakup Cause Its Broken; otherwise, skip it.

Read No More Mr. Nice Guy 1 time

1. Stop sexual fantasy, porn, sex, and dating (the last two only temporary) if you want good sex in the future

I put sexual fantasy in orange because it sometimes creeps in during MB. For this reason though, I have been keeping MB to a minimum, maybe once a week on average I'll give it another try. If fantasy pops into my head at other times, I'm pretty good at letting the thought pass, so for that reason I don't wear a rubber band.

- My thread on sex addiction and your sexual future, and use the rubber band technique for fantasies, K-9 blocker for porn
- Dr. Glover's thread on Nice guys and Religion, which focus on sexual compulsion and hiding it
- No dating, pursuing women, sex, or Dr. Glover's dating class until the right step in this plan. - if you are not convinced, read my post on why sex messes up recovery. If still not convinced, look at my stronger message here, with a link to "NG horror stories" - links to threads of people who didn't listen, and links to their later threads about the disasters in their life.
- If you're still not convinced, read the Parable of the Man with No Spine
- Regarding all the things SHE said, before posting them here, see what I think of what she said


All in all, I think I am getting at least a passing grade on Step 1 but I still need practice on Healthy MB.

2. Toxic shame and fear of abandonment
- Post on other people's threads. I especially think you should read Xeeker's Breaking Free thread:
and read Eden's entire breaking free thread. Be inspired by reading the end of Belief10's breaking free,
and then start from the beginning.

Posting on other people's threads is in green, but obviously this will be an ongoing activity, not completed.

- Make more guy friends, which it sounds like you are starting to do. If you have trouble making friends, consider reading these tips and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. If you have an issue with not seeing the importance of having safe people, or feeling everyone around you is untrustworth, read Safe People by Cloud and Townsend.

I'm still working on making more guy friends. I see the importance of safe people but I think I could benefit from the book if it helps me evaluate character and find safe people.

- If you want, preview what this plan is about (that book later)
- Read this article on abandoholics (from Susan Anderson Chapter 2, skip if you've already read it) and post your reaction to it:
- Perhaps read my post on why the emotional brain is important to deal with first (much of what I write comes from Bradshaw and Anderson)
- Listen to the abrgd audio version of from John Bradshaw's Homecoming and see how you react
OR

- work on Journey from Heartbreak to Connection at your own pace.
- Perhaps read my post on avoiders, just to be aware of it
- Taking an active role in Toastmasters.

I'm getting excited for Toastmasters! Although it will scare the crap out of me.

Looks like after I complete the Journey workbook, I'll need to wrap up these items to finish Step 2:

- get back to reading Belief's thread. I think I stopped on page 6-8 somewhere
- really work on making more guy friends by reading the tips and maybe do some Meetup.com activities
- read Safe People, and of course...
- join Toastmasters
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  #164  
Old March 20th, 2012, 08:53 PM
RufWarrior RufWarrior is offline
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Safe People is optional, but it is a very good book. Whatever bank account I created online for, when I had to create the questions, "What is your favorite book?" I wrote Safe People.
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I am not trained in mental health. I just found resources to understand the natural laws about the problem, and solutions one would then understand.

Suggested reading on Networking and Doing Well in Your Career
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  #165  
Old March 20th, 2012, 10:44 PM
VikingFromDk VikingFromDk is offline
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Great progress!

It is great to read about all your efforts. It is encouraging to see other people who struggle put in such an effort to break through the barriers that stand in their way of a more full life. I myself feel very committed to seeing it through, it is my overwhelming goal and will be my main focus for at least the next year - or longer if needed.

Keep it up!
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