Author: Ann Schiebert
Now, you start bargaining with yourself. You have walked away from all the guilt that comes from the RDS but now you say to yourself, "Is this really what I want?" "Can I ignore my family?" "Is it my sister in law’s fault that my brother punched her in the arm?" "It’s just how my family is." And even though you have educated yourself about domestic physical/emotional abuse, the pull back into your family’s RDS is powerful. And we begin that obsessive guilt/bargaining with ourselves! "Maybe just an occasional visit." "Maybe I’m not doing this the right way." "Even though they all refused counseling, what if I plead more?"
Each time we give in to guilting ourselves and to our self bargaining, we are one step closer to being sucked back into the vortex of the family RDS. This is the time we have to call on supports with objective feedback free of guilt and those, "ought to," and, "shoulds," that the RDS will stir up.
In order to make it through this stage to the Acceptance Stage, we have to have done our homework. In the current example we are working with, if one hasn’t gone to groups regarding spousal abuse, like STAND, and if we haven’t seeded some friendships with those in recovery from spousal/emotional abuse, we will be walking the road to recovery from our RDS, alone. The road walked alone is seldom successful. The vortex that sucks us, "home," is strong and it takes a group effort to keep us on course.
Not only do we guilt ourselves, and bargain with ourselves in this stage, others who want us back in the system will try their bargaining lures. "It’s just dinner." "You are being so mean." "What did we ever do to you to have you treat us like this?" Here’s the response – practice it because it will serve you well:
"I know you think that." That is it!!!!! No more discussion. Leave that conversation before you fall into explanation and justification. When on the phone, "Good talking to you but I’ve just got to go. Talk to you later. Bye."
I imagine so many of us may think this sounds very harsh. It’s all in the delivery. It is a boundary – you know, those limits we haven’t had in the past?
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