Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Illusion of No Choice

When my daughter suffered from anorexia, I was startled one evening to realize the existence of two minds. It became very apparent that who was my daughter, was trying, unobtrusively, to let me in on a secret without the other part of her mind realizing she was doing so. Quietly, covertly, she was attempting to teach me how to help her—how to fight the ‘Negative Mind’. So, she whispered; she wrote so small that I could hardly read it; she hid these messages in containers that she knew I would dust; she would never allow a normal-sized plate to be put in front of her, instead, she ate small bits from mine. In this way, the ‘Negative Mind’ could never accuse her of having had a meal. For instance, she could not make even simple choices because she was not allowed to—such as if she would like to go for a walk, to a coffee shop, to a movie, what clothes to wear—it would always have to be my choice. Yes, she is a kind, sensitive person who always wanted to please other people, but this was more intense. She was so small mentally—so fragile in her mind, she needed someone who understood, to guide her, to help her develop to a place of strength. She was not allowed to expose what her mind was telling her. I understand now that she was not even permitted to participate in normal events for fear of recrimination from her internal, mental enemy. It became obvious that she had to inform me, instruct me, without actually saying the words.

In order to be onside, to be a team player with the sufferer of ‘CNC’, I had to be aware of every nuance she or he was trying to deliver to me. An example of this is of a twelve-year old boy who did not have the courage to eat until he called me. Though he was with someone twenty-four hours a day, he needed extra permission from me to eat so that he could not be accused by his mind of deciding this for himself.

This is what he said, “Peggy, will I have to go back into the state psychiatric ward if I do not eat?” My answer was always the same, “Well--so they tell me, honey.” Being with us was, to him, the preferable option. He then said, “Thank you! Thank you, Peggy! Alright then, I will have my lunch.” The relief in his voice was unmistakable.

He was creating the ‘illusion of no choice’ for himself as a means of fooling the ‘Negative Mind’. In this way, he was able to enlist me to help him help himself. This is a very good indication and example of people wanting to be well, but not thinking they deserve it. If what they are going through is appropriately understood, a sufferer is very willing to form a liason with therapy for their betterment. Understand that this is a exceptionally brave move on the part of the host person because it does not go completely unpunished by the ‘Negative Mind.’

Big hugs to everyone--peace and love.


Anonymous said...

Hey Peg,
Do I ever know what that is all about! You've explained it well, not just about eating but about particpating and getting out there. We tend to hold ourselves hostage in many ways, for which I so much appreciated George Kohlrieser's book. I am left wondering if in the mind of the CNC condition, there is a child that needs permission to accept a positive mind. That being the key to opening self-improvement such as better access to the learning brain's processes, to thinking positively of one's self, and actualizing positivity in one's world by helping self and others via kindness and compassion and noble deeds. Intuitively I've always known that in helping one improve, it works well to build on any strength they have; like the trunk of a tree then when it is stronger it will accept increasing weight of the branches, flowers, and leaves and then develop to it's potential.
Love, T

Peggy Claude-Pierre said...

Dear T,

Thank you so much for your wisdom and comments. Everything we do is about teaching a new way of thinking about oneself--about reversing the 'Negative Mind'--'Confirmed Negativity Condition'. Unfortunately, the majority do not understand the pain that this entails. It takes time to 'actualize positivity' --much nurturing of the 'Emotional Mind'. The problem began with these beautiful souls extending themselves for everybody else's benefit, so, when a person becomes realized, we insist that they take time for themselves before they again lend part of themselves to others.

Thank you. Much love.

Anonymous said...

Dear Peggy,
Every time we read your blog we feel grateful because that’s how people get to understand what’s really behind ED, the negative mind and its manifestations, how unconditional love and positive reinforcement are so important in this healing process.
The examples you just gave here show us that there is hope, that no matter how powerless someone can feel over the negative mind, there are people like you in this world to help in this fight taking all the responsibility in order to reverse that mind set bringing light where there was darkness.
Much Love

Anonymous said...

i just inadvertently gave another part of me away again, thinking it was for the best. a decision was to be made regarding a celebration for me, and instead of being able to choose what i wanted, i could not. i chose instead, the easiest thing for the rest of my family, obviously, knowing they'll never have a clue or know the difference. the NM is so cruel sometimes and having caught it i'm certain by the time this pseudocelebration happens i'll be unaware (by then) that i gave myself away only to satisfy the VOICE, the intruder, the cause of so much heartbreak. by then i'll be convinced it was utterly and without question the perfect thing to do. because of my integrity, i won't go back now on my word to my family. the illusion of control you speak of may apply to the NM as well or at least i can hope it's not actual confinement.
such simple things should be easy. i mustn't tell for to tell would be failure. does this count???

Anonymous said...

Well, I like this post!
Take care,

With love