PREVIOUS: ACoAs & DM (#7a)
1. DM from Family
2. OUR inner D. Bind as a result
Once we have a working knowledge of this ‘game’ we can take a serious look at the D. Messages we give ourselves & how the repercussions permeate our whole life.
★ We rarely realize what we’re ‘saying’ to ourselves, or that it comes from the WIC (R = receiver) via the PP (S = sender).
Belief A – It’s good to flirt (sexy, desirable, successful…) – AND
Belief B – It’s bad to flirt (slutty, superficial, manipulative…)
— If I DO flirt I’m inundated with Self-hate (ACoAs’ main form of self-punishment, courtesy of the PP). Flirting expresses my natural sexuality, but I can’t enjoy being seen as sexual because it shows that I’m ‘dirty’.
— If I DON’T flirt, I may: > ‘put off’ potentially positive relationships
> miss out on -safe- attention, compliments, sex… (my right to have)
> be considered frigid, unfriendly, a snob…. (even tho’ I’m just scared!)
> miss opportunities to get legitimate favors, help & considerations by being charming (with boundaries)…
★ Another way we trap ourselves & frustrate others is being stuck in the ‘Complain —> Help offered —> Reject —> Complain’ syndrome.
• we go on & on about a problem to anyone who’ll listen, implying that we need help. (Of course we would never ask for it outright!) BUT
• when people offer possible solutions, we reject them all & continue complaining!
WHY: The suggestions may not fit our specific need, which is legitimate, but most often – we’re addicted to being unhappy (Victim), don’t feel worthy of being helped, or think there is no solution – for us.
Eric Berne calls it the “Why don’t you – Yes, But….” Game
See post: “People should treat me better, but I won’t let them”
★ Most common Double Message we give OURSELVES
The 3-part hamster-wheel-thinking, even ACoAs in Recovery:
A: I’m stuck & in a lot of pain. I’m trying really hard to heal from my childhood, which I -sort of- know wasn’t so great. I read books, go to Meetings & therapy, Couple’s Counseling, seek alternative & spiritual healing …..
AND / BUT,
B. No matter how hard I try I’ll just never get any better. I’m always going to mess up, & get abandoned. I’ll never get the relationship I want, I don’t know how to love, I wouldn’t know a healthy person if they bit me!…..
It’s my fault because I’m just too slow, too dense, too stubborn, too damaged.
C. I can’t notice or object to or escape my self-imposed trap (WIC obeying the PP) !
Can you hear the D.Message, creating the D.Bind?
• Position A. implies that you’ve been wounded AND can heal from it. You believe it’s actually possible to Recover because you did not start out defective – you were damaged by your early environment, so you’re willing to do the work at healing – as unfair as that is!
At the same time:
• Position B. blatantly asserts that your ‘f—ed-up-ness’ was not caused by anyone other than yourself. Didn’t your family love you, mean well & do the best they could? It was you who were born defective & therefore it’s hopeless to improve or outgrow your flaws & weaknesses. It’s just the way it is – everything is your own fault & it’s never going to change. You cause your own misery, but it’s what you deserve, so “why bother”.
You can’t have it both ways! Either you’re wounded & can heal, or you’re defective & therefore intrinsically, irrevocably worthless.
a. If you were truly defective you’d be un-repairable. So why would you even try to work on yourself? Why go into Recovery? It would be dumb = futile, a waste of time & money
b. However – If you are in fact wounded – by your upbringing – which you did cause! – then you can slowly outgrow / repair the damage.
BUT to do that you must give up the belief that there’s something fundamentally wrong with your personality. It cannot be both A & B! With this conflict UNresolved, is it any wonder why we’re stuck?
BTW – some ACoAs try to cover up this dilemma by always being angry, distant & blaming everyone else for their problems, but the original DM (Form #3) is always running in the background, like a computer virus.
NEXT: DMs – Results (Part 9)