Saturday, October 10, 2009

Grace, What do you make of this? I can make a hat, or a brooch, or a flying pterodactyl

Yesterday, when The Therapist handed me her latest and greatest NO SUI/SI contract, she said to me, "Grace, take some time and think about what you would like to do with this." So I did....

First, I thought, hey - I could make a hat, or a brooch, or a flying pterodactyl...but then I questioned whether that would be helpful or not. So I decided to make a Behavior Corrective Chinese Fortune Teller with “this”....don't you just LOVE origami?

Here’s how it works:
FIRST: You pick your “feeling” ~ choose from: Anxiety Anger Fear Sadness

NEXT: choose what “maladaptive” behavior you might use to “deal” with your feeling I realize that you may want to do more than one of the bxs - so just choose the one you will do first:
1. Cut yourself
2. Puke
3. Starve
4. Hide in closet
5. Call a hot line
6. Borderline email your therapist
7. Booze it up baby
8. Break out the benzos

Now, this is the part where you can trade in your maladaptive behavior for a Mindful Marsha one! When you lift the tab of your maladaptive behavior, you will be presented with the “appropriate” behavior modification practice that should be utilized to ‘correct’ your ‘maladaptive', socially unacceptable one.

Mindfully peel an orange (I mean do it MINDFULLY!) Smell it, feel the texture of the orange, feel the disgusting peel under your fingernails…make sure you get close enough to the orange so the juice from the orange gets in your eye – this is important because when you feel the sting you may forget that you’re sad, angry, anxious, etc...

Distract yourself from the "feeling" and/or Contain it! Any container with a lid will do. Be proactive and get this now. You can decorate it however you want...make it "your" and keep it handy!

Breathe deeply 100 times- if that doesn't work, go to bed.
If you KNOW that your behavior will 'amp' up and get out of control, you need to be proactive! Even if that means sleeping 24/7 to 'avoid' it. (this is especially important for survivors who have therapists that are insensitive and unavailable - you know, the ones who used to be there but then found the fossil - surely that's not just me).

Label your “feeling” do not ‘amp’ it up, or attach to it ~ and throw it in the appropriate ‘feeling’ bucket and fo-get about it... If you are a "survivor" of long term abuse you should already know how to do this. I realize that many of you may say, Grace, why do I have to do that. I shut up and behaved for so many years and my 'trusted' mhp told me it was okay to feel. And I will empathize with you and tell you that I did the same thing, and I heard the same thing...and eventually, when you can't just "feel" for that hour a week, and it begins to spill over and you need help at night, or on a weekend...then better to "make a different choice" and puke it all into your bucket, honey, because the other option is "abandonment" and "invalidation".

So that's what Grace "made" out of the SUI/SI contract.
The Feeling Fortune Teller is patent pending, of course - I'm sure once the flying nun hears about this she will want to cash in on my idea.


  1. I wonder how long it will take for therapists to notice that DBT is damaging for many survivors.

  2. Sadly, I don't think they ever will...I really don't....