Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Character Defects

Have been activated.

My largest?  Do you really want to know?

"The chief activator of our defects has been self-centered fear -- primarily fear that we would lose something we already possessed or would fail to get something we demanded.  Living upon a basis of unsatisfied demands, we were in a state of continual disturbance and frustration.  Therefore, no peace was to be had unless we could find a means of reducing these demands.  The difference between a demand and a simple request is plain to anyone."  -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 76

In the "work" I have done over the years, the steps have revealed to me that I have a tremendous fear of rejection.  I could tell you what that was based in, the history of my life, etc., and therefore tell you why it is legitimate for me to have this fear.  But that is not what sobriety is about.  We are in the business of getting well, not making excuses.  

In the DSM-IV (be grateful if you don't know what this is), in one of the descriptions of one of the personality disorders, is this unintentional acronym for fear:  Frantic Efforts to Avoid Rejection.  

I no longer indulge in frantic efforts, but when I sniff rejection on the wind, I sure can do some strange stuff.  I wish this were not the case, but it is.  

Yesterday was a day when I behaved more like a 16 year old girl than a 56 year old woman who has been sober for 24 years.  

But today is a day where I have a chance to behave the way I believe I should.  And tonight in my 10th step, I hope I don't need to write about the stupid crap I have done today. 

With the help of God I can do this.


Lou said...

I'm starting the 4th step, and I seem to be going from "I don't think I need this" to "will I ever finish this". I see it is an ongoing process.

Pam said...

I say 16 is pretty mature when we are in our "stuff".
Normal people have this stuff too, but I think they sit in it longer. We, on the other hand at least take action fairly quickly.
It will be OK, little green onion.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this. I did some things yesterday that I wish I hadnt also. Today is a new day, I am not perfect. I can't hit rewind, but I can write a new chapter today. Thanks again.

Scott W said...

The good thing about day when we act out a bit, the next day comes along and we don't have to do that same thing again.

I like that acronym for FEAR.

dAAve said...

One person at a time.

indistinct said...

Thank you for writing about this, you've held up a mirror for me.

Princess Powerless said...

Hi Sweetie. I love the beginning of your post. Character defects... have been activated.

Reminds me of "Wonder twin powers...activate! Form of: iceberg! Shape of: block of tofu!"

Gah, I can relate to frantic efforts to avoid rejection. I've done a bit of that in the past few days, and when I experienced the rejection anyway, it was awful. I find myself repeating the conversation over and over in my head and responding bitchily to each thing..."Oh yeah? Well listen to this, beeyotch!"

I'm a 39 year old who is 5 years old inside.

Big hugs from one kid to another.

Mary LA said...

Oh Mary-Christine, me too. I try so hard to keep it in adult and mature mode and risk blowing it in any unguarded moment.

Adrienne Rich once wrote that when we feel betrayed, we find ourselves standing all alone on a ledge over a precipice with nothing but the abyss all around.

That is how rejection/betrayal/abandonment feels and I want to howl into that abyss.


AlkySeltzer said...

Hey, I'd sure like "credit" for starting this character-defect stuff several days ago! But I guess Y'all will twist it around somehow -grin- now that mine are "history"!

Yeah--right! From
Mr. F E A R.

Syd said...

Fear is my biggest defect as well. Everything seems to stem from my fear of rejection, of not being good enough, of not being "acceptable". Yet, I often did everything I could to be rejected. Funny how that works.

Gwen R said...

I have frantic efforts to avoid confrontation ~ my sponsor calls it peace at all costs. I am working on it... s-l-o-w-l-y

Miss ya woman!
Love Gwen~

Not God said...

Drop the Rock....6&7!