I spent most of last night and some of today engaged with my young adult, attachment-challenged daughter who once again is in a terrible crisis situation that I see is of her making but on the face of it has the appearance of unfairness or injustice by the social system that is there to support her family. She feels like she is in a double bind. The expression of which is something like this: If I do this, then I will get punished by the system. If I don’t do this same thing, then I will get punished by the system. I can’t win. I am a victim.
She has been struggling in this crisis for quite a while now and my heart breaks for her. It literally aches right now. I have offered her any number of ways to get out of this mess, though it involves following my rules. Since she came home to me at 3-years-old, she has been 100% unwilling to follow any rules of mine.
Today my daughter is caught in a perceived double bind and she shares the experience with me by setting up a situation where I am now in a double bind with her. If I do xyz I am making it easy for her to be a victim of the system. If I don’t do xyz I am making it easy for her to be a victim of the system.
FYI: Now I am the bad mother. This happens on a regular basis, but hasn’t for a few months so I thought it was over. Well, under stress it is back. This time, however, I am stepping out of the double bind by holding my ground, which is this: My daughter is a victim of her own choices. Make better choices (that are right here in front of you, but you would need to abide by a few ordinary rules.)
I know she was a victim in her early years, so she comes by her behavior honestly, but I can’t live in this double bind anymore. If I do, eventually, I will be jobless, homeless, and destitute, too. I have to let go of her hand and she needs to walk on her own.
This may be the most painful thing I have experienced in quite some time. I love her so much. Sometimes love means letting go of helping because helping is hurting.
Double binds are staring me down like a pack of rabid dogs.