My Awakening - The Painting

My conscious awakening to this pattern began 30 years after my 1950 marriage. It happened during my divorce. As has been seen in previous posts on this site, an awakening usually begins with a crisis of some kind, created by questioning values which were previously taken for granted. The act of questioning usually begins when the danger of questioning is no longer a threat, when one has time, or is forced by a crisis to think. In my case, I left my husband, and the church, each because of a crisis; I was dying emotionally and intellectually. I didn't know the exact cause of my deep depression; it was felt, rather than known, as a dark cloud over my mind, which was causing a general emotional/intellectual numbness which would send me spiraling down into a deep depression, into what I called my "Black Hole." At one such time, I had thoughts of suicide.

My dilemma was, that I knew I would continue to "die" if I stayed with my husband and within the church; they had become one as far as my depression was concerned. But, at the same time, I felt I would "die" if I left (a double-bind). I decided that I could do more for my 6 children, and myself, if I left, than I could if I stayed in my living-death situation; I would be doing more harm by staying. At least, I thought, I had a chance to survive if I left.

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The Painting

This awakening experience contained many stages of The Pattern. However, at that time, I had no knowledge of the double-bind, or any kind of a pattern. Hence, there were no stages for me to recognize. I am, in retrospect, showing the stages now, as they occurred in this one awakening experience.

Stage 1. The Problem - Anxiety
I had filed for a divorce. It was a painful process for both my husband and myself, causing great anxiety.

Stage 2. Agreement -- Solution
In California law there is an equal division of property and assets. Each party has a lawyer, and each party is required to supply information needed to the lawyers. There was an agreement to supply the information each of us had.

Stage 3. "Yes, but..." -- Ambiguity -- Identity Crisis
We had a valuable painting that was being stored. Since it had not been purchased for personal use, we needed to sell it in order to divide the assets. Arrangements needed to be made. It had been some time since the purchase of the painting, and essential details needed to be reviewed. My husband had been involved in the paper work and the details concerning it; he had these means at his office. I called him on the telephone to get feedback on how we should proceed. "Yes" (he knew it had to be done), "But,"... he was "just too busy to deal with it."

Stage 4. Double-Bind -- Reversal
I had no experience in the marketing of valuable antiques, which applied to this painting, but I offered to try to sell it just the same. I questioned him in regards to the essential information he had that I needed in order to get started. I asked, "Where is it?" "What is its value?" ... basic questions. Suddenly, he became very angry and exploded with, "How should I know? I don't care about things!"

I was stunned. It was as if a knife had pierced my heart, and simultaneously, there was an explosion inside my brain ... literally. These are not poetic statements; both were physical effects from the double-bind shock I had just received. I felt as if a short-circuit of some kind had occurrred, and/or that a fully charged mental connection of some kind had been made; this erupted into a question, "What do you care about, ... people?" I felt I had been violated ... mentally and emotionally raped ... and, at the same time, I felt an unearned sense of "guilt," for some an unknown "crime."

Gradually, as I tried to figure out what was wrong with the "reasoning" in that experience, I discovered that no matter what I would choose, I would be "guilty." I didn't know, at that time, that there was any such thing as a double-bind. But, I recognized the feelings that were attached to this experience ... feelings that I had felt before, but, from which I could find no escape ... feelings that belonged in my "Black Hole" of depression. This time it was different; this was the beginning of making connections between my perceptions and my thinking brain.

The Double-Bind -- Reversal of Roles
If I didn't take the full responsibility of selling the painting, I would be "guilty" of keeping him away from his clients, and I would be "selfish." ("Others" needed him more than I did.)

If I did take full responsibility, I would be "guilty" of being "mercenary," because I "cared for things." (Again, I would be labeled "selfish.")

(I was damned if I didn't sell the painting, and I was damned if I did.)

This, as I later found out, was a way of "justifying" a situation by attacking a person's character instead of facing the facts ... the agreement. This double-bind denied the main issue by reversing his guilt of reneging on an agreement into my being "selfish." He was washed "white," and I was painted "black."

Stage 5. Denial -- Dehumanization -- Humiliation
In addition, the reversal in Stage 4 erased all previous history and facts. He had all the necessary information I would need if I were to take over his portion of the responsibility, and he effectively refused me the means of accomplishing what he was forcing me to do. Whichever choice I would make, I would be "guilty" ... plus, he was denying me the means of doing it (doubly punishing me).

The question, "How should I know?" was an explicit denial that he knew anything about the painting; he was saying, "What painting?"

I was also dehumanized, in that he insinuated that I cared for "things" and myself, more than I cared for other people. He had put me in the category with "things;" I was "inhuman" and "non-caring" (a projection).

If he really had cared for people, he would have cared enough to act on that implied claim; he would have done his share in selling the painting. As the "Shepherd," he claims the label "human;"... as the "Wolf," in real life, he destroys the human aspect of others, then projects and accuses the Bound of not being "human." Again, the "Shepherd" and the "Wolf" stand back to back, neither of them "recognizing" the other. What the "Shepherd" says is the opposite of what the "Wolf" does.

Stage 6. "Not I, but, you ..." are "guilty." -- Demonization
The above event also included an accusation through his "Wolf" projection. He was saying, "This is your problem, not mine," or " It was your idea to sell the painting, not mine." "You chose to sell it." This is an extension of Stage 3, the "Yes, but." The "Yes" of the "Shepherd" having been dropped, I was forced to accept the "But," and then was accused by the "Wolf" of having originally "chosen," for "selfish" reasons, to sell the painting. This was a reversal of my identity, from being an equal partner in the sale of the painting, to a demonized "bitch" ... a projection of his "Wolf" personality ... because I had asked questions, for a solely "selfish" reason.

Stage 7. Abandonment -- Punished for Being Punished
I had been completely abandoned, and the joint agreement (Stage 2) was "as if it had never been." He was doubly punishing me for choosing to leave him, for not accepting more of his punishment ... for not being "obedient" to his double-binds, as I had been in the past. I was becoming "uncontrollable."

This is the same treatment members of the church receive when they wake up to see the mental and emotional violence hidden within its doctrine and decide to question, or to leave it. They are punished for seeing that they are being punished unjustly.

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This Pattern in Mormonism began with Joseph Smith's personal mind-set, which he used in his own marriage. He then put this Pattern into writing, as "scripture" ... as "commandments." It became church "doctrine." Today, this church "doctrine" trickles down into the personal marriage relationships of members of his church.

Mormonism is kept in a circular Closed System by the church, in prescribing Joseph Smith's "Holy (double-bind) scriptures" as a cure-all. Again, the cause is used as the "holy" cure for all human questions and problems. However, problems can't be solved, or cured, until they can be seen. That is why Mormonism fears the rational mind and uses this Pattern of Denial ... of the mind. You can't fight what you can't see or hear. For the Pattern to work, human perceptions must be psychologically destroyed, gradually ... by fear and guilt, so that the brain can be short-circuited and prevented from functioning ... from reasoning.

Again, True Believing Mormons are programmed to act as Binder, or the Bound, in a life that repeats continuously, so that essentially, nothing is ever new, causing apathy, if not atrophy of the brain. As with actors and actresses on a stage, the script and the actions have all been prescribed in Mormonism ... and memorized, but without the underlying meanings of the plot really understood. We are told that the meanings in the "doctrine," the "meat" (the "unofficial" that is ever changing), are mysteries we cannot know ... in this life ... because as "little children" we are not ready for them; we must live only on the "official milk," the "official" doctrine (that never changes) of obedience and sacrifice ... of Self ... and following, unquestioningly, our official leaders.

The tragedy of my marriage was that neither one of us was really there. Reality had been hidden so deeply, as to be only felt as an unknown longing, which could not be seen, nor identified, and therefore, never satisfied. This is the basis of the low to high grade depressions from which Mormons suffer ... the loss of personal Identity.

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Next: My Journey Through The Pattern (continued). See: "Parallels"

Next Page: Parallels - Part l My Marriage - Emma's and Joseph's

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