THEY’RE DRIVING ME CRAZY
but I can’t figure out what’s wrong
PREVIOUS: DMs Part 4
REVIEW: Double Messages (DMs) are manipulative forms of verbal & emotional abuse – always about control rather than love, no matter what someone tells you. DMs are not usually blatant or presented directly, but often come in the form of seduction or as accusation. They’re structured so that the Receiver is deliberately conned into believe there’s no solution, & so no escape from the trap. We can also play this game with ourselves, & ACoAs often do.
✦ In most cases, Receivers who are vulnerable to Senders’ DMs are not likely to know a way to side-step or challenge the game, because they are:
• children, who are -of course- dependent on their caretakers & don’t stand a chance when subjected to a manipulative parent
• oblivious: any adult raised by such a parent, therefore pre-conditioned
•‘normal’ people who are too idealistic & naive, assuming no one would wish them harm (like themselves), especially if the S starts out by being ‘so nice & helpful’
• adults conditioned by their society, religion &/or family to accept whatever an ‘authority’ tells them, without question — not allowed to think for themselves, or to think clearly, no matter how natively intelligent
SPEAKING OF GAMES (in Part 3), these 2 posts is a slight digression from the topic of DMs & DBs, but so striking that it’s worth including. The following examples may or may not be a part of some DBs, but they’re cruel, the same way DBs are. This is by no means complete, so add your own family’s dysfunctional games as you become aware of them.
DEF of GAMES, from Eric Berne’s “Games People Play“:
“A pre-set, structured series of social transactions, superficially plausible but with (selfish or destructive) hidden motives, leading to a well-defined predictable outcome.”
Games are usually dysfunctional, subconscious programs created by the Little Professor ego state (& scroll down), to gather ‘strokes’ not allowed directly – negative ways to emotionally feed the Self. As far as the WIC is concerned, even negative strokes are better than none at all
NOTE: Some games are for fun & generally harmless, like a flirting ritual used to cajole someone into bed – as long as both people understand the rules & agree to the outcome.
HARMFUL mind GAMES – from an article by Brenda Nelson, 2008.
These are abusive emotional TRICKS played by parents on their children, and on each other! They insure not being able to form strong family bonds, generating lack of trust in the children, who will NOT look back on them fondly.
🦨 When You’re Older / Maybe for Your Birthday / Wait ‘til Christmas
This game starts any time a child asks for something (a doll, a bike, a trip, a car…. ) which the parent has no intention of providing. While sometimes asking a child to wait is legitimate, most often it’s just a cowardly & dishonest way for a parent to avoid saying ‘NO’ outright.
What unhealthy adults don’t realize is that a child will always hear these phrases as a promise : “Yes, but later”. What’s really going on is that the parent hopes the child will forget, but of course they don’t – they just wait. What children also never forget is the broken promise, but which is in fact being lied to & conned
🦨 Your Mother / Father Said
When parent A tells parent B to get the child to do something, t& makes B themselves be the messenger: “Your mother said you have to clean your room pronto / Your father wants you to mow the lawn, right now……”. This is chickening out by both adults, a triangulation (A should have told the child him/herself) and B making A seem like a bully so B can be the ‘nice’ one
NEXT: Styles of DMs, Part 4b