Often times I hear said,
“What is wrong with me?”
“What is wrong with her? What is wrong with him?”
“She has everything going for her—good background, excellent marks, awards, money, talents—she is the most amazing artist, he is a gifted musician, she is the top player on her volleyball team, he is the fastest runner, skater, we’ve ever seen—she is the best at anything she does. She could have a brilliant future. We have given him everything. What more can we do? We just don’t understand what has happened to our son—our daughter.”
“She never fails at anything--except the programs she has been in and THOSE she fails at EVERYTIME.”
“She was the nicest kid; he was the most considerate of all of our children—BEFORE these OCD and eating problems arose. We just don’t get it. We don’t know our child anymore.”
I hear these remarks so often with overwhelming sadness at the misunderstanding involved, both for the parents and therapists—also for the disapproval I know the people suffering from ‘CNC’ will undoubtedly sense and feel—again confirming their negative condition.
The reality is, that accolades are acutrements to the external world of a person’s being. People assay to attain their perceived expectations of themselves and their assumed expectation from others.
“You are wonderful!”
“Bravo for what you have done.”
“Imagine what you could do if you really tried.”
‘Congratulations,’ so well intended by the giver, to these sensitive minds can sometimes have the opposite effect of what is meant. In their efforts to be unselfishly, forever pleasing, they strive beyond the norm—beyond, sometimes, what is humanly possible. Therein, begins the downward spiral of self-disapproval and the seeds of ‘Confirmed Negativity Condition.’
Remember, accolades are external. Finally, what the rest of the world sees as ‘attributes’ or ‘characteristics’ of a person, become relatively meaningless to the sufferer of ‘CNC’. What is important to understand, is that, the ‘Emotional Mind’ has unwittingly suffered insufficiency of love and unintentional neglect from its host person in the unchecked, insatiable quest to feel whole—ultimately, to please others, to right the world of all its malaise. “The world is on my shoulders.” The inadvertent message to the ‘Emotional Mind’—you are less than successful—finally,—you are a loser—has finally, become a self-fulfilling prophecy in their minds. Also, parents, and other people, in the particular circumstance of the growing child, have innocently participated in its dissolution by taking the child at its word:
“I can do it!”
“I can fix it!”
“I will look after her.”
“Here, let me.”
“No, I don’t mind babysitting.”
“Doesn’t matter if it is not my turn, I’ll do it anyway.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll make the lunches. You sleep in.”
“No, no, it’s ok. You can be later than one. I am not tired. There is nothing important happening at school tomorrow anyway.”
The child, in many cases, becomes involved in co-parenting.
The parents, in many cases, in their own moments of emotional insecurity, come to lean on the kindness extended by their sensitive child—and come to expect it (“You can count on me”).
In reality, the child—then, as years go on—remains the ‘Emotional Child’—unnurtured, expected to cope in an adult body—so capable externally, while withering internally.
You are all so special and so cherished—and so understood.