Double BINDS – Origins (Part 2)

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I NEED TO LEAVE
but I have to stay……”

PREVIOUS: DMs, Part 3

SITE: Double Bind Theory: Still crazy-making
after all these years”

 

In PSYCHOANALYTIC Terms 
The ego’s unconscious intentional structure has the “logical form” of a double bind.  
Everyone’s original DB is the un-resolvable early childhood conflict between staying connected to or leaving the protection of the mother. It starts out psychologically, but later also becomes physical.
It’s a pull between attachment & safety vs separation & independence. Whichever the young child wishes for at any given moment, it will experience fear & a sense of loss.
It’s the need TO:
a. develop one’s own identity, which requires ‘leaving’ – but not too early in life! Total separation causes traumatic anxiety – the terror of facing a vast alien world alone, unprepared & helpless. The outcome would be ‘death’
AND:
b. stay under the mother-hen’s wings, for safety & warmth. But if the child stays too long, it can’t develop the crucial S & I of maturity. Symbiotic clinging will also result in anxiety. By betraying a legitimate need for autonomy there’s a constant fear of completely losing one’s identity & freedom. The outcome would be ‘death’

In healthy families, this dilemma gets (more-or-less) resolved for the child by being given a balance of loving availability & personal freedom.

CHART: Great info, like how injury blocks consciousness….
Consc -Unconsc

RESULTS of the attachment-separation dilemma start in infancy. Once set in motion, they continue underground into adulthood, until brought to consciousness & resolved. If not, we’re available via the WIC – to be manipulated by unscrupulous or unaware people who tap into the original DB.

PROCESS in Childhood
1. Not able to decide on either unbearable alternative (be free vs. to stay), the infant’s MIND develops the Super-ego (SE), a judgmental voice of the Ego-Self that’s been captured by the BIND.
>> It then creates a second layer of psychic binds (bondage) – the demand to always ‘be good’.  If the child gives in to the ‘voice’, it’ll feel weak & enslaved, but if it rebels, it’s stung by guilt

2. To counter the power of the Judge (SE’s too-ethical perfectionism), the subliminal censor creates yet another voice, the ‘evil SE’ Rager, demanding the Ego-Self throw off all social conventions & appropriate behavior.

In adults Rager might say: “Tell the boss to stuff it, have another drink, don’t pay your bills, cheat on your spouse….”. It viscious cycleenjoys the delicious feeling of power that comes from sticking it to the overbearing Judge…..  so the Rager scores.

3. BUT defiance scares the child’s id, worried about losing its connection to the only internal caretaker (SE) it knows, which would cause a collapse (death).
This leads to self-punishment, dictated by the Judge, such as isolation (from shame), sabotaging daily functioning & plans, physical suffering or injury, in trouble with authority…. so the Judge scores

4. The vicious cycle continues. To keep from crumbling, the Rager takes over again, & in adults revels in antisocial / immature behavior, like missing work or avoiding other unwanted obligations (even sexual) – but also causes depression, migraines, being fired….
score points go to the Judge, who gets double points, as it enjoys punishing the Rager with the pain it caused

🦠 But the Rager rescues / ‘soothes’ the Self with remedies, such as drugs that otherwise would not be allowed by the Judge…..
— so the Ego-Self finally gets to score a point too – by numbing out.
Everyonmental gamese ‘wins’, right??
BUT:“What does it benefit a man if he gains the whole world but looses his own soul?” Mark 8:36

COMMENT: This unconscious game is how most people function, wondering why they haven’t fulfilled their dreams or found happiness.  Unresolved, It can turn us into damaged Senders or Receivers, limiting our True Self, which is mostly free of internal or external coercion
• We may say “I never play games, I like to be direct.” Unfortunately most of us DO (4 outlined on acoarecovery.com), but they’re so incorporated into our daily relationships & spread over a lifetime, we don’t recognize them.

NEXT: DMs (Part 5)

CDs & the Unconscious (Part 2)

cds & thoughts


LIKE THE BIRTH OF NEW STARS
I can give birth to new thinking

PREVIOUS: CDs & the Unconscious (#1)


AA saying
: “Alcoholics dig themselves into a rut, & then decorate it!”

1. THINKING (cont)

The UNCONSCIOUS mind is ‘just’ the result of patterning, conditioning & habit – therefore it’s basic – very B & W, not thinking, intelligent or creative, totally literal with no sense of humor! From our birth it absorbs info & experience without insight or good judgment.  So our early years provide the basis for all other learning, as the mind filters out inconsistencies.

NOTE: ‘Unconscious’ is the part of mind holding information we’ve gathered – which isn’t available just by wanting to access it, & can only be retrieved by special techniques or triggering events.

Subconscious’ is the level where unconscious memories drive our emotional reactions & behavior, without realizing it, like:
— seeing food suddenly making us hungry
— a deep-seated but untreated childhood trauma distorting our ability to make safe, rational decisions…..

• In the Cognitive Therapy model, distorted information-processing results in anxiety symptoms : catastrophizing, excessive focus on negative outcomes, false alarms, hyper-vigilance, loss of objectivity, no tolerance for uncertainty, & ‘lack of habituation’ (not desensitized to a stressor even with repeated exposure).

• This are familiar to ACoAs, who grew up in emotionally tense & physically dangerous environments, at home & outside, & resort to “fight, flight, freeze or appease” reactions.
Fight would have been with siblings, neighborhood kids, school peers, hurting animals or possessions, & sometimes self-harm
Flight was more common. As long as we were too young to leave home we escaped into books, friends, school work, sports & of course fantasy. And for some – attempted suicide.
Freeze was & still can be when our mind blanks out from fear, & we can’t think at all
Appease was / is people-pleasing, agreeing with anyone who scared us, being over-solicitous, over-giving….. anything to ‘placate the monster’

MODIFYING the Unconscious

• While there are people & situations we DO need to get away from – it’s always self Qsgood to check our point of view first. This is not a blame or a judgement. There’s a big difference between what the WIC ‘feels’ or that the PP is telling us about ourselves & others – vs – how the Healthy Adult / Loving Parent sees things.

• So in terms of CDs, if we assume our pain is ONLY caused by something outside of ourselves, we waste a lot of energy trying to change the wrong things – another person, a job, a location…. rather than our frame of reference & inner beliefs. This endless wild-goose-chase leaves us feeling frustrated, out of control & hopeless. It reinforces our Victim role, keeping us convinced we can’t take care of ourselves

• A major purpose of some therapy styles is to bring up from the unconscious as much accumulated pain & distorted thinking as possible, so we can actively process emotions (Es) & correct False beliefs (Ts), which then gradually changes our behavior! (As) When we consistently, deliberately think in new ways, we add a 10-fold power to our conscious mind

FYI: • Counseling, Coaching & some Therapies focus on current actions & thinking, NOT on the past & childhood programming – when most of our ACoA damage was formed!

Psychiatry & Psychoanalysis is deliberately structured so psychiatrythere’s almost NO feedback from the therapist. This has proven harmful for many ACoAs, because:
i. it’s a repeat of – no one responding to us as kids – leaving us yet again terribly alone with someone who’s supposed to be helpful!
ii. it doesn’t interfere with or correct our S-H & other distorted thinking, which we desperately need

iii. it ignores positive mirroring, also desperately needed – a healthy voice feeding back to us what we’re denying AND all of our wonderful native characteristics & accomplishments
iv. it doesn’t provide good role-model to emulate – caring, sensitivity & kindness, good boundaries….

✶ The best kind of one-to-one therapy for most ACoAs is ‘family of origin’ work (FoO), based on a good understanding of family systems & addiction. It works best when including lots of well-boundaried interaction – and humor!

NEXT: CDs & The Unconscious (Part 3) Making changes