31 January 2009

Sidebar: Will this Accomplish Anything?

I want to stop for a second and thank everyone who has commented here. And folks who have emailed too.

There is much kind concern, and I mean that, about my emotional well-being; concern that I'll end up going too far with this and hating myself undeservedly, or leave myself open to unwarranted criticism from others who might not have my best interest at heart.


I'm far, far more likely to end up hating myself if I don't address this. It's time, and I feel that. It's like being led to speak in Quaker Meeting. [No, I'm not a Quaker, but yes, I speak from experience.] You don't do it, it does you; the pressure becomes unbearable otherwise.

Like giving birth.

It's time.

I'm also no novice where unwarranted criticism is concerned - Lord no! And there have been scads of people in my life, and the lives of people dear to me, who didn't have my, or my dear ones', best interest at heart. Many of them have ultimately provided rich sources of blogging inspiration - a fitting fate: lo, they are become anonymous mental compost.

Never underestimate the power of writing as exorcism; and never for a moment think I'm being flippant about that.

But the real question is, will this accomplish anything? Am I wasting my time on nothing more than a bit of personal drama?

Yes, and no.

This will indeed accomplish something, and the reason I can state that with confidence is because the same process, applied to other dynamics, already has.

I am now extremely aware of my own Karpman Rescue tendencies. Of the upwelling of pity within me, and my own tendency to confuse that with love. And of the way in which that makes me vulnerable to exploitation...

This has not stifled my feelings. Quite the contrary. To my great surprise. I actually seem to have a broader range of feelings in this area than ever before, because I am now aware of shading, of varying intensities, and of admixtures of feelings - whereas what I felt before was primarily a driving discomfort, a sense that something had to be done, by me, immediately.

I can now say to myself, 'wait a second, look at this more closely, it feels like you're being gamed into a rescue...' or 'wow I'm ambivalent about this. Let's back off and figure out where the mixed signals are coming from'.

And I've avoided many Karpman traps, at work and elsewhere, by sitting quietly on my hands when someone waves a dilemma at me - especially at work, after 3 PM, on Fridays, in hopes I'll ride to the rescue [and they can go to the movies].

I have, in other words, 'surfaced' my Karpman Rescue Dynamics to the point where I genuinely do have opportunities to 'choose' my response.

What is happening now is that I am 'surfacing' the recalcitrant bits of my Karpman Persecutor Dynamics.

All of my previous blog posts here are the product of similar exercises in thinking, and grasping, and putting together the pieces. But this time, that process is happening right here, in real time.

And I can say, with absolute truthfulness, that I am already beginning to see the shadings, variations, and admixtures in the feelings that drive my Persecutor tendencies. Already.

Twelve-Step veterans know exactly what comes next:

"4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings."

This is what that process looks like, live; at least, for me. It is my devout hope that somehow, working through this live, I'll not only find a way out of this particular Karpman quagmire, but also provide useful escape tips for others floundering alongside.

Thank you, bless you, for being here with me.


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