Double MESSAGES – ACoAs (Part 8b)

acoa DBs

If I let go, I’ll be all alone! Wa-a-a-a

PREVIOUS: ACoAs & DM (#8a)



1. DM from Family

2. How WE D.Bind ourselves, 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).  EXP:
Belief A – I’m good when I flirt (sexy, desirable, successful…) – AND
Belief B – I’m bad when I 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!)flirt or not
> miss opportunities to get legitimate favors, help & considerations by being charming….

• 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 will 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, but most often – we are addicted to being unhappy (the 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….” psychological Game
ALSO – See post: People should treat me better, but I won’t let them

BUT the most common Double Bind we put OURSELVES in
is the familiar 3-part hamster-wheel-thinking, often by those of us in some form of ‘growth’ process:
A: I’m stuck & in a lot of pain. I’m trying really hard to recover from my childhood, which I -sort of- know wasn’t so great. I read books, go to Meetings & therapy, Couple’s Counseling, seek out alternative & spiritual healing …..AND/BUT,

B. No matter how hard I try I’ll never get any better. I’m always going to mess up, & get abandonacoa DB wheeled. 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 or escape my self-imposed trap!!

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 futile – a waste of time & money
b. However –  If you are in fact wounded – by your upbringing AND not your fault! – then you can slowly outgrow / repair the damage. repairing
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)


2 thoughts on “Double MESSAGES – ACoAs (Part 8b)

  1. OMG – This is an amazing post. Thank you. It’s true – the hamster wheel thinking. Whoa – I’m taken back by this – it’s so right on. It’s scary though because healing comes through the facilitation of a GOOD therapist. All I can do is thank God for mine.


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