YOU’RE DRIVING ME CRAZY!
Make up your mind – which do you want??
PREVIOUS: Rebuilding Trust (Part 2)
SITEs: Types of ambiguity
“The Double Bind: Intimate Tie Between Behavior & Communication”
Let’s start by looking at the basic way we process information.
CHART 1 is the Input-outgo loop everyone has. Our heredity, plus the type of beliefs, experiences, rules & personal preferences in each component part of us – determines how we understand & process incoming experiences, which then indicates our responses.
CHART 2 is the Normal communication process with others. Here each person is doing what is shown in Chart #1.
DOUBLE MESSAGES, on the other hand, are not-normal (unhealthy /sadistic) ways to transmit ideas, which always end badly for the one trying to decode the message being sent.
(‘How it works’ in Part 3).
● Double Messages (DM) are used by a controlling Sender (S) <—> to enslave a vulnerable Receiver (R), who is then caught in a Double Bind (DB). Enslaved?? Yes, whether deliberate or not!
BTW: a DM is not just repeating something twice!!, nor….getting differing opinions or answers from the same source…. nor trying to figure out what someone wants or means when they don’t know themselves
EXP of Double Message
A: Damaged parent to child “(Of course) I love you”.
Implied: “See how much I do for you, aren’t I a good mother/ father? I need you, so don’t ever leave me, or be mad, or expect me to…. right? (child has to agree)” – AND
B: Same Parent “(I’m trying to hide that) I don’t love you in a healthy way”. (child has to ignore)
Implied by being continually judgmental & dissatisfied with child = “Don’t bother me, I’m always annoyed by you & your needs, you never do anything right / what I want / the way I want, you’re such a pain, get away from me!”)
C. ALSO – implied on the meta-level:
“If you point out or object to part B I’ll deny it, say you’re crazy or ungrateful & expect you to carry on as if you didn’t notice the contradiction.
Keep trying to please me even though I’ll never be satisfied, because you’ll sink (die) without me!” OUCH!!
✤ Many ACoAs grew up in an atmosphere of this DM – & others – created by our family (DMs Part 2 – Form 3), which left us with a deep sense of futility & powerlessness about most things, especially of ever getting our needs met.
Now we live in a world of DBs, finding others who also do that to us, but even worse – it’s what we do to ourselves (most common one in DMs Part 5).
🦠 Double Messages create Double Binds, a ruthless way of forging invisible bondage based on fear of abandonment, which can only be completely effective when used against the immature or the already wounded.
DBs ultimately cause paralysis by trapping someone between the natural human wish to get away from bad things – like punishment, & go towards good things – like approval (aversion & desire).
• As shown in DMs Part 4 – Style 3, a threat delivered with a smile is still a threat, causing confusion. When confronted with a threat, we want to run away, but – if the threat is combined with a smile, even a mock-smile, we may not know what to do. Deer in the headlights?
• The KEY to figuring out DMs is that the same subject matter is being presented from opposite sides, AS IF both are true, at the same time!
EXP: I love you when you sing (show off) / I hate you when you show off (sing)
NOTE: The main difference between DMs (from speaker / sender) & DBs (in listener / receiver) is = who holds all the power in this kind of relationship, which is always the Sender.
Otherwise the descriptions & procedures are the same – it’s only a matter of perspective. Also – it’s not correct to say “A DB is a mixed message that….”. Instead, a DB is the result of a mixed message that puts someone in a no-win situation.
NEXT: Double Binds (Part 2)
5 thoughts on “Double MESSAGES – Basics (Part 1)”
Interesting post, like so many others! 🙂 “Gas lighting” is troubling for me. It resonates in an all too familiar way and the phenomenon is frightening despite my age.
On the bright side, my dislike of secretive/indirect behaviors have led me to live the opposite to the best of my ability.
Happy Holidays!! Kira
Thanks Kira. Happy Holidays to you too. It’s always a testament to our True Self when we respond to our damage by living better than we were trained!
Reblogged this on Loving Adult Children of Alcoholics.
Help, my step daughter age 16 with ASD is being enslaved by her mother through double bonds. Where do I start to help her?
Thank you for writing. It’s wonderful that you care about helping your step-daughter,
but I can’t answer your Q in a sentence or even a paragraph – I simply don’t have the info needed.
Naturally the ASD has to be dealt with first, but just being there to listen any time the girl wants to talk is a start.