Dealing with Emotional Blackmail – Phase 2
TRAINING FOR YOUR CHALLENGE. Setting the Scene – Things you can do:
We need to get smart to outwit the Emotional Blackmail Spider. Breaking our habit of co-dependent running around, giving the addict money and solving his problems for him, will need some preparation and planning. We’re up against the cunning and baffling foe of Addiction – so we’ve gotta think.
- First base – remind yourself of why this situation is in your life. It’s Step 1 situation from the 12 Steps – “Our lives have become unmanageable”. Revise Help – my Life is in Chaos (Parts 1 and 2) if you’ve read them already. Read them if you haven’t yet done so.
- Resolve that from now on you will practise STANDING IN YOUR POWER..
- What we will be trying to do when we get to Phase 3, is to switch off the ‘Fight or Flight’ response when your son starts with his nonsense. That response fills you with adrenaline and then transports you in a Drone-delivery sort of way, to that same old place of GIVING IN.
- So remember the trick of buying time. “I can’t talk to you right now”. Revise the posts; Boundaries in Plan of Action – the Basics; then Boundaries – Part 1 and Boundaries – part 2 in Parent’s Journey/ How to Cope and How to Grow
- Stick ‘post it’ notes above your desk, in the kitchen and by the house phone: EG: ‘Be Alert’ ‘Just Say No’ ‘Stand in My Power’ and maybe ‘Easy Does It’.
- Read Al-Anon literature (look in the index for ‘boundaries’ emotional black mail etc
- Read Melody Beattie’s books – Co-dependent No More etc
- Remember that your son’s feelings are his feelings; the time is coming now when you will no longer save him from his feelings; you are going to take care of yourself. The process you are embarking on is one in which he has to learn that he needs to take responsibility for his own actions and feelings. That’s what adults do.(You can add another post it note to your collection – something like: “I am not responsible only for anyone else’s feelings.”
- Learn to listen to your intuition in prioritising your own sanity and walk away or put the phone down when a ‘blackmail’ attack starts.
All these tools are going to help us move towards:Phase 3 – in which we change the rules of engagement. See Emotional Blackmail – Part 4