The Life You Save May Be Your Own

DID, knitting, sci-fi, and strong opinions

The Rules September 28, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 1:34 am

1. You are not allowed to need anything from anyone.

2. You are not allowed to tell anyone you want anything from them.

3. You are not allowed to ask for anything from anyone.

4. You must never show anyone that they have/can hurt you.

5. You are not allowed to ask anyone for more than what they’ve already given you.

6. You must always do whatever anyone asks you to do, no matter the cost.

7. You must figure out what people want/need/expect from you and give it to them before they ask for it.

8. You are not allowed to initiate relationships or social interactions.

9. Everyone else’s needs and desires come before yours.

10. You are not allowed to tell anyone anything bad unless they ask you directly and specifically.

11. You are not allowed to try to get people to like you.

12. You are not allowed to accept/believe compliments.

13. If anyone gets too close, you must push them away.

14. You are not allowed to listen to yourself.

15. You are not allowed to trust yourself.

16. You are not allowed to take care of yourself or be kind to yourself.

17. You aren’t allowed to have good things or people in your life.

18. You must punish yourself.

19. You’re not allowed to be believed.

20. You’re not allowed to be loved.

21. You’re not allowed to hope.

There are probably more rattling around up in my head, too.


16 Responses to “The Rules”

  1. Bourbon Says:

    Where do these rules come from, can I ask? As in, is it a mix of all of your inputs or one particular alter? To be frank, it all comes together like a rule book from an abuser to their victim. I am sorry you have to live that way at the moment. I can only imagine how hard it must be xx

  2. I hope that one day you can find it in you to rebel against some of these rules and eventually eradicate them completely from your life because they’re so unfair on you and you deserve so much more.

  3. Jaen Wirefly Says:

    I don’t agree with some of the rules but most of them seem worthwhile.

  4. Jaen Wirefly Says:

    Actually, I think this is a good list to make people revisit some faulty thinking: Your not allowed to be loved and you must punish yourself is something borderlines feel.

    You’ve inspired a post.

    • weordmyndum Says:

      I don’t actually have the borderline diagnosis anymore, though I do still identify with some of the symptoms. (In the words of a former therapist, “Look, you and I both know you’re not borderline, but you’re doing a great job of impersonating one.”) My current diagnoses are complex PTSD, DID, major depressive disorder, and PMDD.

      Also, for me The Rules are far more than just faulty thinking. They’re rules that were taught to me by people inflicting terrible abuse on me, and The Rules were reinforced by the pain and terror of the abuse. When you get hurt every time you break a rule, your arm. The Rules are embedded so deeply in your soul, wrapped around your heart and lungs like a tumor, that it takes someone with a hell of a lot of skill to dig it out without killing you.

      Calling it “faulty thinking” makes it seem trivial and easy to fix. Like a faulty lightbulb: just take out the bad one and screw in a new one.

      It is nowhere close to that easy.

      • Jaen Wirefly Says:

        I’m so sorry you were abused. I do refer to it as “faulty thinking” because it is faulty thinking. You were taught lies and now they are ingrained in your thought patterns. The abuse you experienced was unfair, cruel and terrifying and has brain washed you.

        But you’ve wrote them down and now you can read them and reflex on them and heal, it might take years to heal but you are on your way.

      • weordmyndum Says:

        In my opinion, the term “faulty thinking” blames the thinker. You’re being told there’s something WRONG with the way you think–and, by extension, with you. I mean, the word fault is right there in it.

        Faulty…that’s what you call an engine that won’t run because some used car salesman sold you a junker. Not people. After a certain point, there’s no use putting more money and effort into fixing a broken car. I don’t think that’s the case with people.

        My brain is not faulty. It works pretty damn well most of the time. In fact, my neurosurgeon told me I have “a perfect brain.” Occasionally my thoughts are faulty, mostly when I’m trying to do math and failing horrifically. But mostly, my thoughts are not faulty.

        The thing about these Rules…they’re not mine, not really. It’s a belief system that was forced upon me from a very young age. My thoughts are exactly what lets me see that these Rules are fucked up and not something I want to have to follow for the rest of my life. The reason these Rules still have so much power over me is the associations: breaking the rules means getting hurt in ways that tear your soul apart. That’s not faulty; that’s survival.

  5. […] I read a post titled :The Rules which comprised an odd collection of thoughts. Some of them seemed kind: You are not allowed to […]

  6. Grainne Says:

    Good job!! Writing then down is a good idea. Most of them make me so sad but I share quite a few of these with you. Xx

  7. Ellen Says:

    Great idea to write these ‘rules’ out where you can examine them in black and white. Unfortunately I have some of these in my head as well. I know what hard work it takes to change these ‘rules’ that were entrenched by abuse.

  8. Thank you for articulating this. I share every one of these rules.

  9. aynetal3 Says:

    I agree it was good to get the rules out of you head and onto paper. It seems intellectually you can know the rules are abusive, but feeling still under the wheel. It happens that way for a lot of us (older parts) where we can see there is a logical problem, but we aren’t yet at a point of having lived through the harsher feelings the younger parts have been exposed to through indoctrination. It seems being conscious is like a first step forward in helping out the system. Just it seems to happen slowly at its own pace. When you are in the middle it seems that it is so overwhelming that it is just enough to handle one small section at a time. For us, our suicidal feelings come strongest from the core. We know if the system puts too much out there even in trying to help ourselves, the core (our Annemarie) will take a nose-dive which affects us all – and then we are back to the beginning looking for safety within the system because the effect of giving-up can spread like wild-fire.

    We agree on your politics – and thoughts on Mittens. You surely won’t lose us with his muckery! Sometimes things just have to be said – or called-out.

    We’re sorry about the missed appointment part. Trust is so hard to come by. Maybe because the pain it projects (abandonment issues) is so close to the top – the system can take it on without acting out? It was a careless mistake made by NT. I’m glad there was some apparent follow-up with the team leader. Seems like supervision is necessary and that your system might have to add additional rules stating the NT can be trusted here and here, but time-wise take her down a few pegs? It’s unfortunate that some of the valuable session real-estate must be given to discussing her problems and the results of her affect on you. It should be ALL about you, because it is YOUR session. Hopefully, she will understand her mistake and own up to the failing. I know NT’s and other T and P-Docs are people who make mistakes too, but they have responsibilities in being hired as our psychological safeties.

    Hope the session showed forward progress regardless of “care-points” missed AND that the internship is something that you’ll enjoy without being too overwhelmed. Thinking here limited hours would be nice to start?

    Always our best,

  10. That’s a lot of hard rules for anyone to live by. You need to be kind to yourself and let others be if they want to. I dont find those offers come from others often, if ever. Dont be so hard on yourself, let yourself be number one for a change, you deserve it. Kat

  11. ligeandcrew Says:

    those first three made me cry.
    and i;m nt allowed to cry.
    but fuck it. i did anyway.

    i’m so sorry you ended up with those twisted rules. [[[hugs]]] – dodge

  12. ligeandcrew Says:

    re/faulty thinking –

    by the way, this is Forest.

    I say the rules are faulty; the thinking is perfectly natural. I say this because if you teach a horse that every time he steps near a certain tree, he will be shocked by a tripwire. After a while you can remove the tripwire, and that horse will never go near that tree. Because the horse has learned that it can hurt to go near the tree.
    The horse’s thinking is sound and healthy – it simply lacks the rest of the information as to *why* it can hurt to go near that tree. And it probably doesn’t care why – all it wants is to not be shocked again.
    It might go on to fear that tree, or all trees, depending on the temperament of the horse. Do you set out to convince it that it is mistaken, that it’s been tricked ? Not unless you want a horse who is completely shellshocked by now. No, what you do is to gently begin to work with the horse, teaching it to watch for trip wires (because they do exist, just as some people who have nothing to give exist) – and with enough time and consistency and rewards to outweigh the punishments, most horses overcome their fear of trees. Much of the time, they even overcome their fear of *that* tree.

    I hope that was not too rambling and nonsensical, but do you see what I am saying ? We are not so different from horses. Underneath, we’re all just creatures. And the way we think, is the way we were created to think.
    Even when we don’t have access to the whole story, we try to survive.

    Sending good energy your way, and wishing you the best.

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