I NEED TO LEAVE
but I have to stay……
PREVIOUS: DMs, Part 3
SITE: CHART below, with explanations of each part
To understand DMs / DBs better it’s useful to start at the beginning of our mental / psychological development. This makes it easier to understand why humans are vulnerable to getting caught in this relationship trap. You see, we start out with an internal D.Bind based on an inevitable D.Message from the infant’s mind.
In PSYCHOANALYTIC Terms – the False Self & its D.Binds
“The ego’s unconscious intentional structure has the logical form of a double bind.” Shunyamurti at SAT YOGA, Costa Rica. (+ suggested escape, from an Eastern perspective)
• Everyone’s original DB is the un-resolvable early childhood conflict between staying connected to or leaving the protection of the mother. This is mainly psychological, & later also becomes physical. The dilemma comes from the need to develop one’s own identity, which requires ‘leaving’ – but not too early in life! At the very same time there is the need to stay under the mother-hen’s wings, for safety & warmth. But if the child stays too long, it will be prevented from developing the crucial S & I of maturity.
SO – It’s the 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.
— Total separation would cause traumatic anxiety – the terror of facing a vast alien world alone, unprepared & helpless. The outcome would be ‘death’.
— 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.
RESULTS of the attachment-separation dilemma starts in infancy, and once set in motion, continues into adulthood – as long as the conflict is not brought to consciousness & resolved. It makes us available to be manipulated by others who are unscrupulous – or unaware – as long as we’re run by the False Self (WIC).
1. Not being able to fully decide on either unbearable alternative, (“I need to be free but I want 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.
Once in place, this Superego (in the form of the PP?) creates a second layer of psychic binds, with their demand to always ‘be good’. If the child rebels, it is stung by guilt. OR – if it gives in, will feel weak & enslaved, adding to its S-H.
2. To counter the power of the Judge (this too-ethical SE with its impossible perfectionism) the subliminal censor creates yet another voice, the ‘evil SE’ Rager, demanding that the Ego-Self throw off all social conventions & appropriate behavior. In adults it can sound like: “Tell the boss to stuff it, have another drink, don’t pay your bills, cheat on your spouse….”. The Rager enjoys the delicious feeling of power that comes with sticking it to the overbearing Judge, & so scores.
3. BUT this defiance scares the ID-child, afraid of losing it’s connection to the only internal caretaker it knows, which would cause it to collapse (die). This leads to some form of self-punishment, dictated by the Judge, such as isolation (from shame), sabotaging plans & daily functioning, physical suffering or injury, in trouble with authority…. so the Judge scores
4. The vicious cycle continues. To keep from crumbling, the Rager aspect of the mind takes over again, & in adults revels in its antisocial / immature behaviors , like missing work or avoiding other unwanted (perhaps sexual) obligations, but which cause depression, migraines, being fired (from the Judge) ….thus scoring another point
— while at the same time the Judge gets double points, as it enjoys punishing the Rager with the pain it has caused,
— but the Rages rescues / ‘soothes’ the Self with remedies that make it high, such as drugs that otherwise would not be allowed by the Judge….
— AND so the Ego-Self finally gets to score a point too – by numbing out.
Everyone ‘wins’, right?? BUT: “What does it benefit a man if he gain the whole world but looses his soul?”
COMMENT: This internal game is how most people live their lives, wondering why they haven’t fulfilled their dreams or found happiness. It can turn us into damaged Senders or Receivers, insuring that we do not develop our True Self, which would be free of internal or external coercion.
• We may say “I never play games*, I like to be direct.” Unfortunately most of us do play unhealthy psychological games, (4 outlined on acoarecovery.com) but they’re so incorporated into our daily relationships & spread out over a lifetime, we don’t even recognize them.
— Eric Berne’s student Claude Steiner showed how that happens in his book “Scripts People Live.” Senders and Receivers play an interactive game, each person unconsciously gaining Negative Benefits (points) – the S gets to always be in charge, while the R gets to always stay a victim & dependent (no S & I).
*GAMES – List of cruel games parents play on kids – next
NEXT: DMs (Part 5)