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« There's a post in me somewhere ... | Main | May flights of angels sing you to your rest »

July 12, 2006



This is such a difficult, mine-strewn, painful area of relationships, yet crucial to explore with honesty. I have been the recipient of emotional 'double bind' and I'm not sure if it's the active result of an underlying maliciousness (doesn't that sound terrible to say? I want to take such a word back, and yet it's also the right one) or simply the deep unhappiness of the person creating seemingly deliberate 'double binds.' I especially dislike it when I am boxed into a corner where it looks like I've done something that causes anger and yet the perpetrator set me up. How to perceive the bewildering emotional complexities of 'double bind' situations without judging, blaming, turning on, is a challenge. When it's too intense I think Confucius' advice is good: just walk away, give it no thought, no hooks on which to grab. If you don't participate in someone's 'double bind' then you can't be caught in the drama they're attempting to set up. Simply ignoring them is the last thing they want, and yet sometimes it's the most effective.

How to undo the internalizing of it all, ah, the quest of a lifetime, no? And how to ensure that we, ourselves, do not unconsciously set up 'double bind' situations for others, oh, that's equally hard, taking a clear look at ourselves, uncompromising honesty with ourselves, deep meditation on who we are and who we want to be.

I think you've uncovered a pandora box! Much food for thought here... thank you for this post.


The first sentence of the penultimate paragraph is powerful - well all of it is - but this particularly speaks to me.

I would just add that even if one cannot sometimes move on "unmoved", one can still move on .... . Learning to laugh definitely helps as well.

Thank you, Tamar.


Have we always been kindred spirits?

It is only recently that I am understanding about holding still and focusing on my feelings about this, and to find that I am simply confused from the absurdity - am not crazy or bad etc. More importantly. it is about the other person's insecurities, or desperate need for control for fear their world will fall apart.

It is not even about me!


Oh my. Have we always been on parallel journeys?

Here you mention both the place I began mine, reading in R D Laing's The Divided Self about the 'double bind', and the place I think I have reached now, learning to "hold still and allow myself to focus on what I start to feel".

So glad you're there, Tamar, with your passionate eloquence, lucid determination and formidable honesty about all of this.

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