PREVIOUS: Double Binds (Part 9)
MORE RECOVERY from DBs
Many of the previous posts have tools you can apply to this issue.
In addition, since change is so scary & difficult, working on shifting out of DBs can bring up quite a bit of anxiety (a fancy word for fear / terror).
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 the changes we decide to make in dealing with DB-ers, we can take some preemptive actions to help ourselves. Before talking to / spending time with – difficult people, it’s important to take care of yourself & reinforce your ADULT and PARENT ego states, so that your WIC doesn’t take over.
Plan ahead BY:
— getting enough sleep the night before, & eat healthily
— taking more time to get ready, leave enough time to travel, wear something comfortable
— talking to you Inner Child before the ‘event’ to prepare him / her. Do the first half of book-ending
— doing some rage work, if at all possible, so you go with less pent-up rage & frustration
— calling a safe person for support. Take a friend with you, if possible
— knowing that you cannot be perfect, because humans aren’t!
— remembering – you are NOT the crazy one
— praying for guidance & inner peace
It’s not you: You are not stupid or crazy – the DB is crazy-making, the way you’ve been set up in a no-win situation by a damaged /abusive person or system
Trust your gut: If you ‘feel’ something is wrong, believe in perceptions, & 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 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 & is not to be honored
Threat of punishment: Be sure the person can actually do you any actual harm. You may already have experienced how they react when you don’t fall in line with the craziness, & you survived. 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 still have some control over your life, you can use the suggestions in many 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 are not actually harmful. To a child, all forms of abandonment on any PMES level feels intolerable (‘death’) – but you are no longer a child. Punishment is not just physical abuse, but includes disapproval, verbal abuse, being ignored & deprived….
Meet your own standards: Since all choices lead to punishment, pick the side of the bind that fits your personality & circumstances. Give yourself permission, 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 3, #3)
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 4) 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 & let you be creative & have fun – let you breathe!
Keep searching until you find outside witnesses or authorities who will believe you & understand the problem
Walk away: It’s a big world AND you’re not a child anymore. Teach your WIC that you can get your needs met in abuse-free ways. Keep looking for them using your Healthy Adult.