Breaking Dysfunctional routines

(I'm posting my last comment up here, to start a new thread and limit the length of the last)

Okay, IO, but you see, she can't ditch M. It's impossible for her.I decided this warranted a google search: "unable to leave a dysfunctional relationship."

First hit: Many people hope that once they leave home, they will leave their family and childhood problems behind. However, many find that they experience similar problems, as well as similar feelings and relationship patterns, long after they have left the family environment. Ideally, children grow up in family environments which help them feel worthwhile and valuable. They learn that their feelings and needs are important and can be expressed. Children growing up in such supportive environments are likely to form healthy, open relationships in adulthood. (truncated here . . .if they grew up in a poor family environment . . ) they may form unsatisfying relationships as adults. OKAY. So, how can 5M break this pattern of unhappiness given her magnetic attraction to M?

I think she needs to spend a bit of time in North Bay, tending to her roots, and making amends with the father she doesn't speak to and the sister she's dumped:

Making Changes
"Sometimes we continue in our roles because we are waiting for our parents to give us "permission"; to change. But that permission can come only from you. Like most people, parents in dysfunctional families often feel threatened by changes in their children. As a result, they may thwart your efforts to change and insist that you "change back." That's why it's so important for you to trust your own perceptions and feelings. Change begins with you. Some specific things you can do include:

Make a list of your behaviors, beliefs, etc. that you would like to change. Next to each item on the list, write down the behavior, belief, etc. that you would like to do/have instead. Pick one item on your list and begin practicing the alternate behavior or belief. Choose the easiest item first. Once you are able to do the alternate behavior more often than the original, pick another item on the list and practice changing it, too."

I wonder, perhaps we should make the list for her.


6th Apostle said...

Taking the recent poll results and Conchie's analysis together, it is clear to me that 5M needs to figure out how to change from being Rhoda to becoming Mary.

4th Dwarf said...

Conchie, this is an interesting idea to explore. The behaviour/belief changing method is similar to the method advocated in a little book I was given by a dear friend called On Resolve

From Part 1: How to Make a Resolution

Choose resolutions that are meaningful to you. Resolutions should arise from your own desires, not from external forces.

This to me means that 5M will have to come up with her own list. But being one who likes to help, I've gone through her blog and found places where she wrote "I should". Here is a list of possible resolutions that came from this exercise.

September 26, 2004: "be working and not dating"..."just meditate and forget about [dating]"

December 30,2004: "declare 2005 M-free"

January 27, 2005: "let it go" [the M thing]

June 27, 2004: "have a sitcom" [because "All I ever do is hang out at coffee shops"]

February 11, 2005: not "be bored";... "be excited";... not "complain". I love my freedom. I love my friends. I love this city. I appreciate that I get to spend all day thinking about things that interest me and writing about them.

November 12, 2004: "avoid him entirely" [him = M]

November 09, 2004: "be looking at" "the concept of performative gender in my thesis research"

May 06, 2004: "be careful" ["of getting involved with the wrong person" and "being hurt by someone who doesn't appreciate me"]

4th Dwarf said...

And 6A, On Resolve also says:

Make your resolutions definable, measurable, and attainable rather than vague, relative and unrealistic.

Do you have any defined and measurable steps 5M could take?

6th Apostle said...

I would like to put it to the floor as to what specific characteristics of Mary, the 5M needs to adopt, and what characteristics of Rhoda, she needs to drop.

I'll start with the easy one, which from your archive search, 4D, is quite evident. DROP M. Like Rhoda did in season three of her own spin-off show, she dumped Joe. He never came back. She moved on. Sure, she never found anyone to settle down with before her show got cancelled, but she was definitely in a better zone than hanging out with Joe.

As for the Mary characteristic, she should learn to get along better with other women. Be less jealous and competitive. Mary had the uncanny ability of befriending all kinds of women. She was even the buffer between Rhoda and Phyllis. That kind of personality change could open up a whole new set of realities and opportunities for the 5M.

Corrie said...

For a religious/apostolic/flagelating-type weirdo, you sure do know lots about old Mary Tyler Moore shows. And I mean weirdo in the kindest sense. Here I thought the acrid smell of burning flesh was more your style! Just goes to show, never judge an apostate by his scripture-quoting...

As for the morphing of 5M into Mary, my biggest recommendation would be to adopt Mary's love-of-life attitude. She always seemed eager to face the day, make new friends, do well at her job, try new things, etc, etc, etc. A positive attitude about life can't but help make life seem marvy, yes, no?

6th Apostle said...

Exactly, Wag.

She could turn a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile.

coyote said...

Conch, we are observers only. She must make her own list -- and, as the Dwarf suggests very strongly, arguably she has. She just hasn't realised it, yet.

Which leads directly to another point: self awareness. We coyotes have never gotten much in the way of cable service out here in the sagebrush, but I think one may argue that MTM's alter ego was more self aware than any of the other characters listed in our poll this week. Is that not why so many self-consciously-ironic university students watched the show every week, back in the day? To smirk knowingly as they watched Mary Richard's innocent-seeming eyebrow flirt with her hairline, whilst characters around her went off the rails?