Blog: Floating the Abyss
by SoulfulSurvivor

Cognitive Dissonance

...Denial is NOT a river in Egypt

Date:   8/2/2013 10:12:45 AM   ( 8 y ) ... viewed 7831 times

When we are faced with an association that is toxic, we often fall into what is clinically termed as, "Cognitive Dissonance." This is a recognized and crippling response to trauma that creates a barrier of healing and recovery.

Cog/diss is what occurs when Person #1's behaviors do not fit into Person #2's systems of beliefs and Person #2 attempts to force them to fit because the truths and facts are too painful to process.

Some composers use various blends of notes to develop an physically uncomfortable response to a listener. Dissonance - it doesn't fit together, comfortably. Cognitive refers to that process of thinking. Cog/diss can be physically painful and emotionally traumatic. We feel obligated to wrap our beliefs around the actions, choices, and behaviors of someone else.

An example of this might involve a disordered family member or spouse who emotionally abuses others. Because it's too painful to process the fact that the abuser simply does not, and can not care, we make excuses for their behaviors.

* He/she didn't MEAN that (but, he/she continues using words and/or actions to inflict emotional or physical pain)

* I would never take like that from someone that I love (yet, the taking continues without any sense of remorse)

* I must have done something wrong (when, in fact, the only thing done "wrong" was having been manipulated by another person)

The only "cure" for cog/diss is "acceptance." "Acceptance" is that event when the truths and facts of an event or situation cannot be refuted, ignored, explained away, and/or negotiated/bargained into a more comfortable set of truths and facts. No matter how much we WANT something to be different, it simply cannot (and, WILL not) ever be so.

Cog/diss is a barrier to healing and recovery because it takes away our own control and power over our personal perceptions and instincts. We "know" that our child's behaviors are inappropriate, wrong, and vicious, but we cannot process the facts that their behaviors are indicative of a lack of empathy.....so, we ignore the indisputable facts and make excuses because it is simply too painful to accept the facts. At this point, the child can continue manipulating, cajoling, wheedling, and coercing us to comply to THEIR demands, and we continue allowing ourselves to be manipulated and harmed. "But, this is my CHILD!" is a frequent response to the facts as they stand.

Recognizing, acknowledging, and accepting the facts for what they are is challenging, absolutely. But, it takes back control over our own perceptions and instincts from others.


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Comments (15 of 18):
Re: I stayed becau… msavo… 8 y
Re: Non-romantic N… Soulf… 10 y
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ACK! Double post… Soulf… 10 y
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