PREVIOUS: Double Binds (Part 9)
RECOVERING from DBs
😓 Remember the old Gershwin song “Someone To Watch Over Me”? Maybe no one ever did truly watch over you, so you didn’t learn to do it for yourself. It’s a good time to start – by learning to be the Loving Parent you never had.
While we can’t stop being afraid of making changes in dealing with DB-ers, we can take some preemptive actions. Before talking to / spending time with a difficult person, you can plan ahead to reinforce your ADULT & PARENT ego states, so that your WIC doesn’t take over when around them :
• get enough sleep the night before, & eat healthily
• take more time to get ready, leave enough time to travel, wear something comfortable
• call a safe person for support. Take a friend with you, if possible
• talk to you Inner Child before the ‘event’ to prepare him / her. Do the first half of book-ending
• remember – you are NOT the crazy one
• know that you cannot be perfect, because humans aren’t!
EMOTIONAL / SPIRITAUAL
• do some rage work, if possible, to go with less pent-up rage & frustration
• pray for guidance & inner peace (see Part 12)
It’s not you: You are not stupid or crazy. DBs are crazy-making, setting you up in a no-win situation by a damaged /abusive person or system
Trust your gut: If you ‘feel’ something’s wrong, believe it! & if necessary – check it out with someone you trust
Believe in yourself: Be aware of your own power to break free & the intelligence to get out of the dilemma, so you don’t slide into one of the co-dependent roles – Victim, Rescuing the S, or become a Perpetrator
Question the statements: If what you’re being told is self-contradictory, AND you’re supposed to act on both, you know the whole communication is flawed & not to be honored
Threat of punishment: Be sure the person can do any actual harm. You may already have experienced how they react when you don’t fall in line with the craziness, & you survived.
INVENTORY: What form did it take? How did you cope? What was the outcome? What kind of actual power do they have over you in the present? Do they pay your bills, are they in charge of your employment ……?
If not then you definitely have the freedom to ignore the mental games they’re playing. If they do still have some control over your life, you can use suggestions in other posts
Redefine punishment: Yes – the S may get angry & say mean things – but once you believe you’re a good person & you “know what I know” they’re not dangerous to your spirit.
To a child, all forms of abandonment on any PMES level feels intolerable (‘death’) – besides physical abuse, it includes disapproval, verbal abuse, being ignored & deprived…. But you are no longer a child.
Meet your own standards: Since all DB choices lead to punishment, give yourself permission to pick the side of the bind that fits your personality & circumstances, even if others around you don’t agree
Change the focus: In some cases, you can successfully shift attention
outside the double bind (DBs – Part 5b)
Look for allies within the situation: Adults need to go elsewhere for approval, respect, kindness… since the S is not willing or able to provide these. In the medical example (DMs, Part 4b) maybe some one in the doctor’s office can encourage & validate you. Don’t let your fear & shame isolate you.
Get external support: Look for people, groups & activities that help you feel strong, resilient & creative – so you can breathe!
Keep searching until you find outside witnesses or authorities who will believe you & understand the problem
NEXT: DBs (#11) – Uses