PREVIOUS: Verbalizing (Part 8b)
2. SAY WHAT’S HIDDEN
DB-ing OURSELVES: We started out trapped by family experiences, then continue trapping ourselves because of the pain we don’t want to admit to or confront. (See DMs – Part 8 b).
👩🏽 Remember – we’re human, with many of the same emotions & beliefs. When we speak our worries out loud, even if we think they’re trivial, it gives people around us a chance to say “Me too!”, which they may never have been able to do before. Now there’s 2 – or more – who understand, can commiserate & be supportive!
Start by identifying what you need & give yourself permission to do, to have or to feel it, even if others around you don’t agree. List all the things you want & don’t want. The contradictions will point out the DMs you’re telling yourself.
It’s also a way to sort out what has more weight.
• Do you want to go somewhere or stay home?
• Would you rather hang out or work on a project?
• See your family or go to a show?…..
Our personal DBs are about internal conflict – health vs disease, obedience vs disobedience to Toxic Rules, resentment vs letting go….
ADMITTING what we’re hiding from ourselves LETS us:
• talk to people as peers, rather than below or above them, or trying to go it alone
• be with reasonably clear-minded people who can help us face our underlying fears & confusion
• be more accessible (instead of invisible) to others, especially if we’ve been indirect or distant a long time
Saying what’s confusing will help them understand a little more about how us think & what we need.
RECOVERY EXP: In therapy Maria tackled the issue of feeling suicidal since early childhood, but never overtly acted on. She learned that the impulse partly came from her mother’s DMs:
A. “You’ll be the death of me – yet” (you’re a potential murderer, it’s only a matter of time, you terrible child) – AND
B. “Of course I love you – you’re my baby!” (as long as you’re just like me – perfect! So don’t be yourself, ie. the Real You has to die.)
• Young Maria could never be ‘perfect’ (please mom), no matter how hard she tried. She was always doing/being something her mother couldn’t stand – because the child was not like her! By the time Maria was 10 she wished she were dead, but suicide was against her religious training.
• As a young woman she ‘chose’ to date men who were not only emotionally abusive, but also physically dangerous. Maybe they would do it for her! But that never ‘worked out’ & she was left having to face the underlying problem
In terms of the DB, it came down to siding with her mother’s messages or her own sanity.
“Either she dies or I die”. Maria chose herself. Even so – her mother lived another 25 yrs, to age 90. No matter what – Maria didn’t have the power to kill her mother, and her mother had not succeeded in destroying her!
Trust your natural Resilience & Resourcefulness. Depending on how much S-H you have & how much you’ve been shamed for not ‘doing it right’, this may be really hard. BUT it’s important for your Adult to believe “I know what I know” until the WIC can catch up.
These are not qualities we have to learn or work for. It’s something we’re born with as humans – & proof is that we’ve survived many traumatic events.
Self-trust will always demand courage, but that’s OK – we have a lot of that too.
NEXT : DBs – Escaping (#9)