Thursday, October 12, 2017

Optimism, Hardship, and Pathways to Peace

Continuing the consideration of cognitive bias of optimism as a coping mechanism, this installment continues from this most recent one, and the whole series of posts can be found HERE. It explores how I am reconsidering optimism to make it my friend as opposed to my foe by finding a healthy balance between too much optimism and a life only half lived. It is a part of a broader discussion of how those in recovery from trauma can make safer choices in their relationships.

The Serenity Prayer encourages us to sort out what we can realistically change from that over which we have no power to change. Critical to serenity, however, is acceptance of those things which we don't really like all that much. It confronts our tendency to create unrealistic fantasies about what we want the world to be – “how I would have it” – and encourages us to focus on those things that are well within our grasp to change for the better. Wasting hope and energy in exercises of futility do no good for anyone, and they drain us of the energy we need for more reasonable, achievable aspirations.

As I noted regarding the use of the cognitive bias of halos (idealization) to cope with horns (objectification/vilification), such a strategy may work in our emotional survival in the short term, but we can find far better alternatives. In revisiting the Serenity Prayer this week, I saw anew the web of toxic thoughts that “the world as I would have it” created for me and the chain of consequences that resulted from a skewed view of life. Standing up for myself is contingent upon my own sense of worth, but the web doesn't stop with just assertiveness which stems from value.

Life Isn't a Bowl of Cherries

Life itself comes with enough hardships, in and of itself, but since I abandoned an unhealthy relationship that I fostered for a few years, I began to seethe consequences of my own naivety more clearly as well. None of us need to shop for opportunities for hardship. They find us and are a part of life. I realized in my process of healing from that toxic relationship that I've written about over the past year, it seemed like I spent far too much time living my life with the whole purpose of avoiding pain. It's true in terms of my physical health because of a chronic injury, but I started to realize that the web created by toxic beliefs left me vulnerable emotionally, too.

A friend of mine fell and broke their hip, and I found myself thinking, “but for grace, there go I.” I thought of the fear of walking that many women struggle with after a hip fracture as well as a bad fall I'd taken during my last winter in Michigan. (I became airborne after slipping on ice, found myself horizontal in the air for a moment, and then I hit the pavement with a thud, wondering if I'd lost consciousness and whether I might have a concussion.) When I considered how fragile we human creatures can be, I thought of just how much of a motivator that the avoidance of emotional pain created for me, too. At the time of the fall, I was spent two sessions a week with a trauma therapist, and I had enough healing to consider that too much of my life centered around the avoidance of pain. When I heard of my friend's misfortune, I decided that I was still engaged in too much surviving and not nearly enough thriving.

The Pain and Effort of Finding Balance

I found myself thinking about powerlessness again and the great emotional pain that I was still carrying with me, even though I'd abandoned that toxic relationship. I'd also thought again of the false idea that balance is a state of ease rather than the result of much effort. Physical pain makes that effort that much more difficult, and I found myself becoming acutely aware of my fantasy idea about the way ballerinas make balance look nearly effortless. When trudging through the grief that came in the wake of moving on from that bad relationship, I started to grasp new insight about the connection between fantasy and optimism.

Healthy optimism takes this world as it is, and it sets realistic expectations based on an accurate view of of reality. As I eased back into an exercise routine during the spring after that terrible fall, I found myself thinking that emotional balance may actually require more work than developing and maintaining physical balance. It is lovely to look at a ballerina and because of their superior skill believe that balance is an effortless, ephemeral mystery. It is entirely another matter to build one's abdominal core and tolerate a ballet stretch. I have a balance beam in my home, and I still struggle to position my leg on it – and I look absolutely nothing like a ballerina.

As I revisited these thoughts recently, I could see how the fibers of my web of thoughts affected one another. If one is without worth, they are not worth the effort of defending that worth. Likewise, making the choice to be healthy and work at physical balance requires effort, but what motivates a person to make that effort if they believe that they are not worth it? In that sense, worth also becomes an anchor for initiative and self-care. It is not easy to negotiate a relationship with optimism following a trauma, and it's that much harder for a person who had no healthy examples of a balanced life as a guide for them. They are learning as they go, just as I am.

Realistic Hope

That idea of initiative brought me back to the line in the Serenity Prayer about living each moment at a time and enjoying it fully. Somehow by fully embracing joy wherever it happens to show up, our optimism grows. It is that very optimism that gives us the ability to consider that hardships can become a pathway to peace for us. This doesn't emerge from a sick sense of martyrdom, but acceptance of self and love for self enable us to accept the world as it is. In turn, we human beings can avoid the traps created by unrealistic expectations that only result in feelings of disappointment, we waste less energy and find that far more of our hopes are fulfilled.

I've spent so much of my life trying to remain true to this unwritten contract that my family of origin seems to have assigned to me. Some of that had to do with circumstances, and some of it had to do with both illness that affected our family. In addition, with life already given to struggle and hardship, my family had been deeply wounded and changed by trauma. What all of that produced became more about survival than embracing life, and joy primarily came through fantasy. The trauma of the world, in its bitter reality, was just too much. Habits that are hard to break solidified into a script that my parents expected me to read and act. Love became duty. Entitlement made havoc of that duty. And I became weary of it all.

Optimism As Contingent Upon Love

When I first sought counsel for so many wounds, I spent years working on rooting out and hunting down those toxic beliefs about myself and the world and how I fit into it. I had to learn how to love myself, and I suppose like any other love relationship, loving and caring for myself in a healthy way requires some effort. It requires a degree of optimism which love nurtures within me. If I have intrinsic worth that is not dependent on anything else but who I am, I am lovable, and I am worth the effort.

I spent so much of my life and my effort trying desperately to make my family's own crazy way of coping by making me into a scapegoat. I came to the place where I had to continue in the self-destructive abandonment to optimism without credulity or choose to figure out this mystery of serenity. I could do none of that without self-love. And like a spider's web that anchors strands of silk to hold the remarkably strong network together, without love for myself first, I could not begin to approach serenity.

In counseling, my therapist used the analogy of the tensile strength ofa strand of spider's web as an analogy for the negative beliefs that kept me bound to dysfunction. Some of them were loathe to loosen and break away, but she diligently worked with me as I walked through so many toxic beliefs until they no longer held me captive.

What amazes me is that I honestly believed that when I sought therapy, I believed that the primary objective involved “fixing myself” so that I could “fix” the broken relationship with my parents. I could prove that I met that goal when I developed the ability to withstand the abuse that my parents heaped on me. I suddenly saw an image of love for self as the indelible and indispensable element necessary for acceptance, joy, patience, serenity, wisdom, and optimism to exist.

And that frenetic anxiety and fear melted away. I think that it came from some deep knowing that I could not be healthy without loving myself, anything I did would be futile. I ran out of energy and hope in the fantasy for the satisfaction of stable and predictable outcomes. Anxiety comes because I know from experience what “one-up-manship” feels like, even though I don't want to acknowledge it. It's even harder still to accept it, as I don't like to be that pessimistic. But it's not pessimism at all. It's wisdom.

I tell myself that I don't see it coming, but that's what that frenzied anxiety tells me. Out of love for myself, I've come to believe that I would do well to heed that sign and walk away. My heart of hearts knows when I'm dealing with someone who sees my needs and feelings as secondary. And I have to remain true to the love that I have for self by either challenging that kind of treatment or by walking away from those who would treat me as such.

(If I have to put up with such,
they'd better pay me a LOT of money to do so.)

Spiders are amazing creatures, and their webs and skill constitute nothing less than an engineering marvel. I am reminded of the analogy that my counselor drew that day when she likened beliefs to the strength of a strand of a spider's silk. I may continue to find aging cobwebs of toxic beliefs in my mind and heart for the rest of my life. Living is a process of growth and change, and that always requires work. Finding balance is a process of adapting to a host of changes and conditions to find that sweet spot of beautiful stability.

But I'm also reminded of that which Corrie ten Boom stated was the strongest force in the universe – It is love.

May love continue to hold my serenity, my ever-growing ability to accept the world as it is as well as my own limitations, my joy, and sense of piece with a strength that the strongest spider's silk can never rival. Spiders must maintain and repair their webs, so by analogy, maintaining what I've learned in this process will be some work to accomplish. But I am worth it. After all, love doesn't disappoint, and it never fails.

For Further Reading:

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Getting Back to Biases (Self-Worth's Role in Optimism)

When I started this series of posts, I knew that it would be a deeply personal journey. I aspire to live up to and be accountable for what I learn, and I didn't think that I could take much more thought about optimism specifically, though I apparently think about it more often than not. For months, I've been ruminating on just how often I use a too glowing view of people and the world as a means of coping with the unpleasant aspects of life. I took some time off from the subject to do some soul searching, and I started to see many themes come together.
This post discusses the use of the cognitive bias of optimism as a coping mechanism, continued from Part I here. A whole series of posts continues HERE, exploring how I've aspired to make optimism my friend and not my foe. It is a part of a broader discussion of how those in recovery from trauma can make safer choices in their relationships.

Finding Serenity

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Many people are familiar with the first line of the Serenity Prayer, but fewer go on to read and consider the whole passage that the author wrote. It addresses the difficulties of figuring out personal responsibility, things that fall outside of one's sphere of control, and how to make peace with what is as opposed to the often fruitless effort of trying to control that which we cannot. I memorized it in my early twenties, and I found the latter elements of it to be just as helpful as the more commonly known, shorter version.

Why was too much optimism a problem for me? I grew up with the belief that my parents demanded: that I was somehow at fault for whatever it was that went wrong. That required me to be just a little less capable, honest, and aware than every other creature on the planet. My parents reduced all of my mistakes or allegedly “bad” outcomes into a moral failing on my part. I was so blind and “proud” and self-seeking in their estimation that if I couldn't remedy a relationship or mitigate an outcome, it had to be due to a moral moral failure.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Driving through the Gateways of the Mental Burqa

A few years ago, I wrote a post about the surreptitiously misogynistic film, Courageous. It was popular and hated, depending on whether you know anything about the Evangelical Christian subculture's cultic fringe movement that prompted it. The Baptist church that produced the film had an earlier success with a film called Fireproof, and a now defunct 'ministry to families' called Vision Forum tried to cash in and ride along with them. They used these and other films to sell a lifestyle – primarily to Christians who wanted to homeschool. Homeschooling became a gateway for this evolving, anachronistic belief system to introduce a host of other beliefs which weren't quite as wholesome as they appeared on screen. (Read more HERE.)

Most Christians who knew nothing about the subculture found the film to be encouraging and read into it their own interpretation of what seemed like a message of self-sacrifice. (Who would dream that the producers of such a heartwarming film actually promoted men as demigods and women as their ontological lessers, created for birthing and domestic support?) That film became a gateway for the acceptance of this subculture and film genre – and luckily, most people will remain free of its burdens and abuses. To me, it just feeds the monster of the ideology that tries to pass itself off as a healthy approach to family and faith. I have seen the dark side – and it's more akin to the kinder, kuche, and kirche. It was that then unrecognized dark side that prompted the establishment of this blog ten years ago.

Gary Demar, My Confirmation Bias, and the Learning Curve

Below is a post that I wrote in January 2010. At the time, I was chewing on my own questions about whether I only saw what I wanted to see in some of the religious oriented organizations that we supported. Finding these discrepancies in the mission of Gary DeMar's American Vision published in the early 1990s and what it claimed in 2010 helped me put much of that into perspective. It wasn't just me.

Some say that this subculture fringe went berserk when Y2K didn't result in a shut down of society. (Many who followed Theonomy – the idea that God's laws should be our civil law – believed that if they stored enough gold, guns, and preserved food, they'd get to take over the country when computers failed.) It was about that time that they became more open about their more questionable teachings and behaviors, and some say that it resulted from their angst of frustration. If Y2K was a factor, it's all the more ironic that Demar became caught up in the aftermath. He wrote a very good book about Last Days Madness. For all his effort, he may have fallen into millennial madness anyway.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Don't Let Nashville Tell You Who You Are

(Disclaimer: I am already an outspoken critic of CBMW and the Danvers Statement. I wish that there had been this much of a response to this as there has been to the new Nashville Statement. Please visit the FreeCWC Channel on Vimeo or YouTube for more. CBMW sows the ideological seeds that foster domestic abuse of women. What will the Nashville Statement foster?)

There's a great phrase in the first Matrix film when the protagonist ponders his life before he figured out what the real world looked like. He asks what it means if he liked the noodles at a restaurant that was only computer code in a program that created a dream. His companion says that it means that he still had a unique identity, and even the deception of a dream could not tell him or make him who he really was. It was the part of himself that was wholly his own.

I love that phrase, because I grew up thinking that I had to live out a life script written by another. Though shaped by the script in both positive and negative ways, what others expected of me or how others defined me didn't make me who I am. “The Matrix cannot tell you who you are.”

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Love's Labors Lamented and Reclaimed

Twenty years ago, I was preparing for a visit from my quite critical mother-in-law (MIL). I was nearing the end of my tour in my Shepherding Discipleship Church, and my head was really full of ridiculous expectations – at least six impossible ones before breakfast every day. Before I started on cleaning the kitchen, I went out to tend my tomato garden.

I was on my hands and knees in the dirt, praying as I panicked in the mud. I thought of the Biblical characters of Ruth and Naomi – the greatest ideal of mother and daughter-in-law. Ruth was a convert to Judaism, but after her husband dies, Ruth pledges to continue to follow God and to stay with her MIL, Naomi, as they both struggle to survive. I started weeping as I worked in the garden. My brain washed over with the many memories of the many cruelties inflicted by my own MIL in the five or so years that we'd been married.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

School Supplies and Shoes for Short Creek

Please note the previous post for information about who administrates this effort and links to what the Operation Short Creek is all about. (

I wrote this to make it easy to cut and paste into facebook, so I did not embed the links.

Who is Responsible for Short Creek Outreach?

Note that I formatted this to be Facebook friendly so that people can copy and paste and preserve the links.

In several previous posts, I've described why I feel so moved to help with the Fundamentalist Mormons who have been evicted from their homes in Short Creek.  ( 

Today I'd like to clarify the details about who is administrating the project. Right now, I hope to help motivate people to take advantage of Back to School Clearance deals and shoes that the children and young people desperately need. More details about items that would be helpful for care packages for children can be read here (, and the greater, more comprehensive needs at ( and on the Short Creek Outreach page on Facebook (

Short Creek, The Now, The Not Yet (and me)

Check out the Crazy Coupon Lady site.

(Warning: It's one of those Christian posts.)

I'm still procrastinating about writing up my official Mother's Day post, so in the meanwhile, I'll help to contribute tangibly by planting some ideas. As noted in previous posts, without condemning or condoning anyone, too many children are still in need of pragmatic help after more than 1000 people were evicted from their homes.

Amazon Prime?  Target? A Salvation Army Raid?

It is my opinion also that there are many sides to the debate, and the children in the families who are currently faithful to Fundamentalist Mormon beliefs have little to no voice in the political and religious debates. So before I make my pitch to give to the needy, I'd like to tell you why I'm braking tradition to talk about where to get good deals on shoes and school supplies.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Support the Children Without Condemning or Condoning

As specified by those who are helping those among the estimated total of1000 evictees who have been displaced from their residences over the past six weeks, those who could afford to move who could find other housing solutions have already done so.

For those who remain (the majority of whom are children), a handful of people in the area and others across the country who are not part of the sect have joined to assist them with basic survival needs and small, practical gifts to comfort and encourage them.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Hollaring for Help on Mother's Day

A Collection of Posts About My Most Precious Mother's Day Ever

Well, HOLLAR is just about all that I have left for ideas for retail therapy if you don't have items to send in a care package for a child or you'd like to save on shipping. There are some fantastic deals available, and their bulk items have sold out since I ordered over the weekend.

According to their FAQ page, “Hollar is your destination for the coolest gifts and goods starting at just $1. With a gazillion categories to shop, there’s always something new to score each and every day. We’re all about making shopping insanely fun—and keeping wallets extra happy. ☺”

Mother's Day Joy with Walgreens and Ebates

A Collection of Posts About My Most Precious Mother's Day Ever

I'd made the most out of my Ebates rebates and the JC Penney items that I could reasonably afford, and I recalled that I had procured many points with Walgreens. I get many of my prescriptions there, and with bad allergies and a bunch of other chronic problems, I make use of savvy shopping offers online. I generally by store brand unless some instant rebate or special bonus point offers on name brand items that I use works out to be about the same. Sometimes those name brand items end up paying for themselves, especially if they bump my purchase up into the free shipping zone. Walgreens' Balance Rewards program also helps me plan ahead for consumables that I use, too.

How Discover Card, Amazon and EBATES Helped the Homeless on Mother's Day

A Collection of Posts About My Most Precious Mother's Day Ever

Continuing my quest to get the best deals on items needed by kids and their moms who found themselves homeless on Mother's Day weekend, I was disappointed that I couldn't find better deals on blankets at JC Penney. As I noted in the previous post, I felt very strongly about getting pillows and blankets. Then didn't have deals that were as good as the pillows and other items.

Big Lots also had a special 15% Cash Back award through Ebates for Mother's Day, but I just couldn't find anything good there, either. They're gearing up for summer, and I'm looking for what are more like back to school bargains. Where else could I look? I looked at Dollar Tree as well and was not that impressed.

Making the Most of Mother's Day Gifts (JC Penney)

A Collection of Posts About My Most Precious Mother's Day Ever

Well, after I'd devoted some time to the possibility for non-profit fundraising, I moved on to do what I could with what I had to give to help get kids blankets, pillows, and toiletries with something to carry them in. Also needed were craft items to keep kids busy while they were going through such a stressful time. I have a car payment and rent an apartment, and like everyone else, I've got limited funds. But not everything seems so bleak. It was the Saturday before Mother's Day, and I realized that I had more going for me than I thought.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Respecting Vulnerability on Mother's Day

Art by David Hayward
Read the previous post HERE.

One of the most painful things that I've seen in the Quiverfull Movement and in Shepherding has been the way each group dispenses resource to help those in need. To be given aid, you have to be a source of gain and you have to have followed all of the right rules to merit receiving anything.
I found a similar pattern when doing foreign missionary work with a large denomination. While I have no problem with explaining to people why we were doing what we were doing (to show a tangible element of God's love for them), when I was assigned to “keep statistics” near the end of one trip, I developed a whole different perspective. We kept records for local churches to follow up with people, but I was also counting the heads of numbers of people who allegedly “got saved” when they prayed with volunteers. I knew that many people were politely compliant to reciprocate us for the care we offered to them. They weren't converting to Evangelical Protestantism, and I think that everyone knew that.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

An Unexpected Mother's Day Experience: Understanding Need

Much has transpired for me over the past week. I'd known for a couple of weeks that a group of religious families were being evicted from their homes. They were primarily comprised of many children and their mothers who have nowhere to go. Women in the Quiverfull Patriarchy Movement are often faced with the same problems. What transpired became a very healing experience for me on a couple of levels.

I'll unfold the experience over the next days through several posts.

Roughing It” with a Big Family

About a decade ago, my best friends with their seven children found themselves debt free, with excellent credit, and with a good chunk of money in the bank – but their living situation changed. They looked into renting homes and apartments, but basically no one wanted to rent to them. Mom was a stay at home, good GOOD mom, and dad was gainfully employed. The kids were all good. (I have on occasion borrowed a few of the here and there to help me and to do some interesting homeschooling ventures with them.) I love them all dearly.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

More on Mother's Day

Well, so much for the best plans...

I've had the best and most meaningful Mother's Day EVER, and it's blended into a whole week of busy work that has spanned a whole week.  Not quite rested well enough to write about it and have so much to say.

Wish me productive sleep and help to get caught up on domestic stuff while busy helping moms and kids through a rough crisis that continues.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

How to I Respond to the Mother's Day Merging of Nationalism and Christian Cheese?

I have no idea how I ended up on this list or what happened, but I received this invitation to donate to this Mother's Day fund drive. I'm on enough mailing lists that I know are bought and sold among Christian ministries, so I'm not a bit surprised. 

Mother's Day Outside of the Cruel Quiver

Thursday, April 27, 2017

How “Marriage Minutes” Helped Me Let Go of the Hunger Artist
Allegedly a book review of Gerald Ford's Marriage Minutes
it ended up becoming a celebration of my egalitarian marriage
and the unexpected the effect that the book has had on my life.

The first time that I ever heard anyone use the term “egalitarian” in a conversation was my husband, just after we'd first started to date. I seemed to prefer the patriarchal approach, even though I grew up in a church that ordained women. My church had more female elders than male ones, but as a daughter of sock hop era parents, I was quite comfortable with patriarchy. 

As a child, I also watched some of those women elders inappropriately reject and strongly criticize pastors in conversations to which I never should have been privy. When the spiritually abusive church that my husband and I would one day join preached that women were meant to be reigned in and ruled over, I was willing to play along. I thought of the errors in judgement made by two women – events that were filtered through my poor understanding as a child. Patriarchy provided a very simple answer to a terribly complex situation.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Bursting Bubbles and Feeling FUBAR

It always amazes me when my brain tunes into something, and suddenly, I start seeing examples the same message everywhere I look and in the most unlikely of places. My last few blog posts considered optimism as a coping mechanism. It was part of a series of posts about cognitive biases – the errors of thought that people make when interpreting the meaning of what happens to them or what they observe.

Optimism proves to be a bit of a paradox in that it is a hard bias to reduce, but it also fosters hope which becomes a powerful motivator for positive change. People who lean towards optimism tend to be happier, and the belief that an effort will be met with success can literally and dramatically improve a person's chance of success. The tricky part involves striking a safe balance between an optimism that fosters positive change while avoiding the pitfall of recklessness through risk-taking. We need some buffer to help us cope with the fact that life is not fair and that we are flawed creatures with limited power. And in life, sometimes the bubbles we create wear out their usefulness as we change and grow.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

When Bubbles Outlive their Usefulness: Cognitive Bias Coping Bubbles Part IV

This post discusses the use of the cognitive bias of optimism as a coping mechanism, continued from Part I here, Part II here, and Part III here. It is a part of a broader discussion of how those in recovery from trauma can make safer choices in their relationships.

Sometimes, I think that life is a process of bursting our bubbles of illusion as we grow to see reality more clearly. The world can be a chaotic and terrifying place, but we creative humans have a remarkable ability to construct an understanding of the world and themselves that gives them the opportunity to make the most of their resources while constructing a meaningful and rewarding life. This bubble might be considered a worldview. And from our culture and our nature, we develop our own style of communicating and our own style of learning. We're also faced with a paradox of human need between a healthy individualism (staying just far enough away from others) and healthy interdependence (establishing connection, rapport, and solidarity with others).

Monday, April 3, 2017

Caged with Kafka: Cognitive Bias Coping Bubbles Part III

This post discusses the use of the cognitive bias of optimism as a coping mechanism, continued from Part I here and Part II here. It is a part of a broader discussion of how those in recovery from trauma can make safer choices in their relationships.

As I prepared to conclude my thoughts about the musical Gypsy to explain how optimism helped me to cope with less than optimistic circumstances, I found myself thinking of another reference. I spent a whole week in awe at the artful ability to humorously disguise one of the most painful of subject so that it bypassed my conscious attention twenty five years ago. My brain tucked its language away for later consideration when I would be better able to face what I wasn't able to deal with then.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Mature Optimism's Gift of Insight: Cognitive Bias Coping Bubbles Part II

This post which discusses optimism as a cognitive bias continues from PART I which can be read HERE. It references examples of ideas that I drew from the musical Gypsy to explain how optimism helped me to cope with less than optimistic circumstances. 

It is a part of a broader discussion of how those in recovery from trauma can make safer choices in their relationships. (I'm clearly learning as I go.)

Little did I realize until last week that I'd lifted my “Mama's little circus freak” moniker directly out a scene from Gyspy. Mama Rose Hovick who becomes jealous of the public attention garnered by her daughter whom she viewed as the least talented tells her that she is little more than a circus freak. Gypsy Rose Lee, the new stage name of her daughter [Rose] Louise, found great success in the Burlesque venue as their family's Vaudeville career evaporated along with Vaudeville itself. To tame the sting that she feels as she transitions out of stage mother mode and as her other loved ones leave her behind, she wields her iron will to force those left in her world to give her that to which she feels entitled. She tries to seize her own worth from the ostrich feathers of her daughter's new, successful career.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Curse of Optimism: Cognitive Bias Coping Bubbles Part I

Just a reminder that the purpose of this discussion aims at stimulating thought and self awareness as tools to help those in recovery from trauma learn how to make safer choices. To make the discussion more jocular, we've defined Cognitive Biases as “CranioRectal Inversions” (CRI).

As the previous post postulated, in an unbalanced relationship, objectification on each side of that relationship can serve as a means of coping. One person becomes obligated to give if the other party always feels entitled to take from the other without reciprocating support. 

The less powerful party might trade their personal losses for the benefits that remaining entrenched in dysfunction yields for them. This 'secondary gain' essentially rewards a person for maintaining an unhealthy status quo. The illusions created by the party in pain help to preserve the dynamic which finds a stable point amidst its imbalance. By lessening the pain, by making secondary gain the focus of the relationship, motivation to change or exit the relationship drops and makes life more livable.