Interact Journal Integrative Ideas for the Process-Oriented Psychotherapist

Categories Just a Little Story...

About Dorothy

While Dorothy was growing up, her father often beat her and her mother never stopped him. Dorothy waited and waited for her mother to step in and protect her. Dorothy was very patient. She waited for 14 years.

After her mother died, her father continued to beat her. Dorothy didn’t know what else to do, so she took it upon herself to do her mother’s job… and never stopped him. And she kept on waiting. Dorothy was so familiar with her family’s particular form of violence that, when she became an adult, she naturally looked to include it into the pattern of her life.

Unfortunately her husband, children, friends, and employers were mostly of the “life is pretty good” persuasion and none of them were disposed to participate in a beating-up triangle. So she had to do all three parts herself: part of her often beat herself up; another part never stopped her, and another part kept on waiting. Many years went by and finally, someone introduced Dorothy to the concept of saying, “No!” So she tried saying, “No” to the part of herself who beat herself up when it went into action. And then, of course, she waited to see if that would work to protect her.

Well, as you know, Dorothy was very patient and very, very good at waiting. So nothing ever changed. She just kept beating herself up and in the end, of course, the part-that-never-stopped-her, never stopped her.

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