Psychodrama starts when you pick your double... someone to play you. I took over mine at this point, from the very beginning.
"Can I have three doubles? I have these faces I put on but I'm trying to find the real me..."
"It's your drama... do it your way."
I turned to the room. "Have you all seen Braveheart?"
"That's how I view myself, the Scottish Warrior Poet. 'I never tell lies... but I am a savage!' So, I need three people to represent the three different mes. First, I need the Warrior." I chose a guy who had just retired from the Dallas Fire Department and who was famous in the department for responding to domestic violence calls by showing up and beating the hell out of the guy before the police could get there. He was a victim of domestic violence himself, letting his ex-wife three times hospitalize him with a baseball bat because he refused to defend himself from her. He had also defied his chief to go to the aid of the FDNY on Sept 12, 2001. I gave him a toy sword.
"Positives: You are fiercely loyal and fight selflessly for any cause you believe in. You are strong and capable. You have an amazing variety of talents and can handle almost any situation. You fear little and are never paralyzed by it. You are competent, confident and in charge. You don't care what others think. You don't quit. You are a Marine. Semper Fidelis: Always Faithful.
Negatives: you are bloody-mindedly stubborn and will not quit things until you hurt yourself beyond the capacity to do anyone any good. Sometimes you will take a beating just because you can-- you are strong enough to bear the brunt or the burden so you feel obliged to do it."
Katrena interjected,"you're a martyr. In fact, lie down. Put your arms out... that's it... just lie down on that cross." she made the other guy lie down. Then she said "Jim, you lie down here now, just like him" and she got him up and had him stand on my chest like a conquering hero. "Ok", she said after a minute, "let's find something to represent that body on the ground." She got a mannequin and let him stand on it.
"Now the poet," I said. I chose a young lady and handed her a rain stick. "You are taken with beauty. It's your mission to find beauty and truth and meaning and share it. You also don't really care what anyone else thinks, you just want to express the truth and the beauty that you see. You are compassionate and concerned and loving, highly intelligent and capable of articulating profound things. You can be a warrior, too, and argue passionately and well on points of honor, truth, or what you find beautiful.
"Negatives: You are interested in harmony. You don't want to make waves or inconvenience anyone. You want to be nice-- the good guy at all times."
"A speed bump" Katrena stated.
"No", I said, " a speed bump might hurt someone's suspension." I grabbed a cloak that was shimmering gold on one side and black on the other and laid it on the ground. "That won't hurt anyone, and look how pretty it is." I had a prop that I had brought, a piece of carpet that represented me lying down and getting walked on. "I guess this goes underneath." It made a little pillow in the sheet, where someone might put their head if they were laying on it. I hadn't done it intentionally but...
"What's it look like?" Katrena had picked up on it right away.
"A place where you might display a body." I said.
"A grave," Katrena confirmed, "Let's get a body for it." She got another mannequin and had the woman stand on it, mimicking the "warrior".
The similarity between the two was immediately apparent, even before the woman realized that she could brandish the rain stick the same way he was brandishing his plastic sword.
"Now the third?" she asked. I chose another young woman, who had identified herself as a victim of sexual abuse.
"You are way back here... " I set her well back from the other two," and you have the reins." I fashioned some makeshift reins out of rope-like props laying around. "All you care about is what other people think. In fact, the reason those two don't is that you believe other people want you to not care what other people think. You play those two to try to find someone who will value you for being those two over there... those two tragic heroes... "
I didn't realize I had said the word "tragic" yet.
"Repeat that back to him,"said Katrena.
"I want to find people who will admire and worship me for being a tragic hero and then I feel wanted," said the girl.
"Did I say 'Tragic'?" I asked. She nodded. "Wow, I can't believe I said that." I stood and stared at the tableau I had created.
"Who are the bodies?" Katrena asked.
"That's me isn't it?"
She nodded, "that's you... and interestingly, isn't that what you said were the negative parts of these personas?"
"But why would I do that...? Wait! I know! ... it's the hero definition. Greek gods weren't heroes-- they were too powerful. Norse gods knew they were going to lose in the end, but they fought anyhow. That's heroic. You can't be a hero without danger, without hurt, without..."
"Suffering," Katrena finished my thought.
"Suffering," I said. "I made myself suffer to be a hero. And I killed myself off... that's why those bodies are mannequins-- they're golems.... unformed... that's why I can't get in touch with myself. That's why I don't know what I want to be."
It went on from there, but this was the part with power. I'll let you draw your own conclusions. I already have mine.
Disturbingly accurate. Kudos. I wonder if everyone, under those circumstances, feels the same way. I mean, the portion that doesn't become the monster. Is it really a choice between becoming what you hate or becoming that? Isn't there something else?
(Fantastic landmark, by the way. Probably one of the most revealing we've had so far. So, tell me, is it breezy Emperor?)
Posts: 9871 | Registered: Aug 2001
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quote:"No", I said, " a speed bump might hurt someone's suspension."
This sentence was hilarious.
I loved the landmark. It was intriguing, intellectual and most importantly, entirely internal. It was your view of yourself, without the inconsequential daily trivialities, as opposed to the traditional landmark which is more of an outside narrative with occasional internal voiceovers. This internal view is entirely consistent with the fact that we can only know the internet persona you present to us; it's what comes to us through the filter of your posts, the 'puter, this BB medium. The external is unimportant. You could easily present us with a picture of your three doubles to post on Foobonic instead of one of yourself in RL, and the three doubles might be more representative of who you are.
Wow. When I first read it, I was like, "Is he making this up? Like writing a scene in a book that is close to an autobiography?"
Utterly original. You just raised the bar for landmarks, TAK. I would expect no less of a "Thinking Man's" band fan.
Posts: 1416 | Registered: Sep 2003
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While I don't disregard "classical" landmarks as useless for understanding a person, I like yours very much too. Indeed, it's another form of opening yourself to the world, and you obviously have the talent for it. Keep up the quality posting
Posts: 4519 | Registered: Sep 2003
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I was trying to avoid posting in my own landmark this time, but a couple of questions bear answering.
First, however, thanks to everyone for your support and praise. As you can see from the original post, affirmation means a lot to me.
Kayla, yes, there are more options than this. The original focus of my therapy was to save my marriage... it has become about reclaiming my life and, in the process, I have managed to save my marriage as a side effect.
It sure brings all kinds of new meanings to the oracle's words in "Reloaded"-- "you've already made the choice, now you have to understand it." That's what I'm doing: trying to understand choices I've made, some of which I didn't even realize were choices, so that I can make better ones.
JNSB, yes, this was real. This weekend was my second psychodrama workshop and this post was a condensed description of the first 30-45 minutes of my 2 hour drama. From there I chose a couple of people to play my parents and examined some of the messages that I got growing up which led me to enact these things and then I acted out, symbolically, healthier choices to make with the egos that I had created for myself.
The word "Psychodrama" is funny. Some people think that's exactly what it is: a pyscho drama-- a nut job's way of getting attention. But, if you have any of that imagination left from when you used to play "cowboys and indians" or "cops and robbers" or "house" growing up, it becomes a powerful tool to help you *see* yourself as you really are. For those of us that have a bunch of filters between us and our selves, it's truly sublime and profound in it's ability to foster change.
This is such a cool idea for a landmark! But I had so much trouble following it. It is only now after people's comments that I can read over it again and make some sense out of it. It didn't help that I didn't know what "psycodrama" means. But also, who is Katrena? Is she the therapist? Your wife? I often can't follow who is saying what. I feel like an idiot for not being able to follow what others seem to have picked up on easily.
But anyway, now that I understand it better, I can finally appreciate it. I still find it a bit confusing to follow and I am probably still missing important aspects of it (I have trouble visualizing things described in writing. It makes reading books very difficult for me sometimes.) But what I do understand is pretty cool.
Posts: 7050 | Registered: Feb 2004
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