Alternatives and Choices


Ah yes, today was group therapy, session 9 of 10. Today we talked about personality responsibility. People always get wigged out at being held accountable for their actions. I don’t. If I did it, I will say so. If I did it and I truly don’t remember (disassociation), I will ask for as much in details as possible. My hope is the more detail, that it will trigger something in my head and recall what is being said. 

Our discussion talked about how as a child the alternatives from which we could choose were often quite limited and were restricted by the rules, regulations and actions that the adults around you used to control and you and your behavior. Even as an adult, you may have been unable to exercise the full range of choices which might be available because you still live by the rules and regulations inherited from your parents and caretakers. 

As our discussion grew and changed, we came to discuss self-talk. You know what self-talk is right? Its that talk that goes on inside your head. 

I mentioned that I feel like I am split in half. One side of my head hears the tapes, the negative messages, the recordings from childhood. The other side hears the rationale, the common sense of the moment. Yet, no matter how many times I have cut the tape, burned it, visualized burning it, or putting it in a visual safety deposit box, the moment life becomes stressful, the tape some how finds its way back inside my head! 

This brought one of the therapists to mention about a poem. It goes as follows:

AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN FIVE SHORT CHAPTERS
By Portia Nelson
I
I walk down the street,
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in 
I am lost…. I am helpless
                 it isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
II
I walk down the same street,
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place,
But, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
III
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in….it’s a habit
My eyes are open.
I know where I am
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.
IV
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidwalk.
I walk around it.
V
I walk down another street.

 

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