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SITEs: Double Bind: Escaping Contradictory Demands of Manhood Rodney L. Cooper, Ph.D.,
PURPOSE of D.Messages is to D.BIND another
1. From Manipulation to ‘evil‘
a. to keep you symbiotically tied to the Sender, unable to escape – preventing your autonomy & personal growth (S & I), because of their unconscious Fear of Abandonment (FoA)
b. for power & from greed – to sell products, ideology or a way of life
c. for total control, a compulsion to always be ‘one-up’, forcing others into a weaker position
d. to mess with someone’s head out of resentment, jealousy, revenge….
2. Not malicious, but just as controlling:
a. to not hurt someone’s feelings, by not saying what you really feel or think (‘I act like I want to be with you, but I really don’t, but I can’t say it’)
b. cowardice – fear of setting boundaries or having confrontations
c. social or religious training – must always be polite or ‘spiritual’
DMs are disorienting by design so you can’t prove what the S is really doing. That way they never have to admit culpability – nor change!
So, we must understand that the problem is not you, only the Sender’s twisted ‘frame’ – how info is presented. (see Part 3)
If you got caught up in this game, whichever side you try to ‘obey’ – you’ll always pay a painful price for ‘winning’ the WRONG one.
FORM 1, a ➖ with a ➖: Presented by the S as 2 negative injunctions (warnings or commands) that always cancel each other out.
BOTH must be obeyed, AND whichever one is ignored is punished :
A: Do NOT do ___ or you’ll really ”get it” (not allowed), AND
B: You HAVE TO do ___, or I’ll punish you (you must)
A: I’ll hurt you badly if you stay = so leave & save yourself – AND
B: Everyone always hurts me, I’m used to it = so stay & save me
FORM 2, a ➕ with a ➖ : More often, Message A can sound like a positive about something, while Message B is a negative about the same thing.
A: I love it when you play the piano (so I can brag/show you off) – AND
B: I hate it when you play the piano (you get too much attention)
A: I want to be with you because of you’re so wonderful (perfect) – AND
B: I’m angry at you for not being everything I want/need (not perfect)
FORM 3, a ➖ with a ➕ : In reverse – Message A is hostile & B is ‘friendly’.
ACoAs: A familiar set-up for us by an abusive, drunk &/or mentally ill parent, who needed to:
A. keep you insecure, scared, feeling stupid & confused, even crazy, by constantly belittling & disapproving: “You’ll never amount to anything, you never do anything right, no one will ever love you, you’re lazy, ugly, stupid…”
These were said to INSURE you would never feel good enough about yourself to leave the symbiotic connection, to always be available to take care of them, one way or another
While at the SAME TIME they:
B. manipulate you (demand, cajole, whine, complement, attack) into being highly capable for them: figuring out how to do all kinds of complicated, intelligent, creative things to solve their problems, (and not just when they’re old!)
– their nurse, therapist, lawyer, accountant, companion, manager, cook, housekeeper…..
– as long as you never used any of it for your own benefit. And so you didn’t, & still don’t!
☻ Talk about crazy-making! In other words – the parent says:
A = “You’re stupid & incompetent – for yourself, and
B = “You’re clever & capable – for me”
ACoAs are addicted to this cruel DM which put us in a D. Bind, & now we perpetuate it in self-destructive ways, finding many other relationships to play it out. The problem isn’t just that we run into Ss, like our family – it’s that we stay.
NEXT: DMs – Part 7, Re. ACoAs