In this section you will find stories or examples that are meant to illustrate the ideas of the theory. Sometimes it is very hard to explain verbally what moves the psyche, and a story can work as an image. An image often times is worth a thousand words, and will definitely help in ‘getting’ the message.
Here are a few words about the gist of each of the items:
This parable is meant to convey the inexpressible tension and exhaustion of a person who is dependent on a Substitute Sense of Self for his Self-experience. Having to live up to the conditions of ‘the Queen of Mod’ (parent) who lives in her Castle high on the mountain, at the cost of having to live virtually without clothing, brings across the agony to please Her, (see Enmeshment) and the isolation that accompanies this way of living. There is no way out until there is a breakthrough toward a Restored Sense of Self!
This short story illustrates the discrepancy betweeen the amount of stress a person experiences, and the apparent cause of it: what is consciously perceived as a Quality-of-Life action or event isn’t recognized as a Substitute Sense of Self-oriented issue. The Indirect Relationship with the Self causes dependencies all sorts of actions or behavior that need to be brought to successful endings, at all cost.
Not knowing that ‘Annihilation’ is subconsciously perceived to be at stake, a person will simply not understand her own stress. As a consequence, she won’t be able to do anything to decrease or alleviate her stress. Only when we are able to have a (Natural or Restored) Sense of Self can the amount of stress be reduced to (or kept at) normal (Quality-of-Life-) proportions.
In this cute little story, the concepts that form the Substitute-Sense–of-Self-oriented System are turned into the metaphors of an activity with an objective and with the tool to pursue the objective: catching butterflies with a butterfly net. From the outside, it looks like a fun and happy outing, almost a game, but the game is based on a never-ending gnawing compulsion: the person must go out every day over and over again to catch butterflies as if her life depends on it (Fear of Annihilation). The story sheds a light on the cause that may lie at the root of many cases of severe insomnia.
I wrote this song for an assignment in one of my ALDAC classes (Relapse Prevention by Cathy Speelmon (Bellevue Community College-2010).) The course was meant to encourage counselors to be creative in their practice, and to use many fun activities to reinforce new knowledge and awareness in their clients.
Here it is meant as an example of how you can re-condition yourself in the process of weaning yourself from being dependent on a Substitute Sense of Self and gaining a Restored Sense of Self.