Sunday, February 22, 2009

The drama has become her life

Hello Iris,
Your email brought up a lot of emotions. The reason I set you out of the house is that I suspected that you were collaborating with the enemy (the stalker).
The reason that I decided to be in touch with you again is that, in the last two years, I have only been able to sit and I had lots of time to think. The work of the stalker goes on and on. Even the people working in the healthcare services are not to be trusted.
People love to torment me. I am targeted by tradesman, bank employees, and police. I do not feel safe in my home or on the street.
The big question: were you collaborating with the enemy and are you still doing that? That’s what I would like to know.

This is part of the email from my mom that I wanted to respond to this week.
With this on my plate and Winden’s feedback that I was motivated by “not wanting” instead of being clear about what I was wanting, I had a lot to think about!

I believe that people who don’t feel comfortable making choices/decisions, regularly do the “I don’t want” version of their lives. In this case, my thoughts were focused on not wanting the relationship my mom and I had in the past, instead of designing a new relationship that I would want. Although, I did make a short-term decision to gather more information, I had no idea what I wanted after I got that information.

Then Mark pointed out, not as a comment online but while drinking a cup of coffee next to me on the couch, that it’s not that I created a drama-free life, there is plenty of drama everywhere, but that I actively avoid self-inflicted drama in my life (personally and through others). And I agree with him, drama is not high on my priority list.

So what is drama? Let’s say for now that drama is responding to a situation by firing up emotions like fear, anxiety, worry, and then unleashing them on yourself or those around you.

The beliefs that create the drama are different for every person. What causes one person to respond with drama is different from what causes another person to respond with drama, even in the same situation. For example, in the case of a car accident, one person might get dramatic because of a cut or a bruise, and another because of the potential increase to insurance premiums.

Drama tends to build upon itself. Drama attracts drama. If I walk into a room upset and angry, most people tend to respond by feeling at least tense, if not upset themselves. If I complain actively and vehemently, I’ll tend to accumulate people around me who also want to complain. If I’m frequently emotional, I will often attract others who are frequently emotional.

Drama can sometimes build on the absence of drama—filling a drama gap. I have friend whose girlfriend would get upset, angry and argumentative because he wouldn’t get jealous when she went out with other friends who were men. In the absence of his drama, she built a whole world of drama to fill the gap.

I believe my mom has built a dramatic life for herself including stalkers and tormentors as a way to take care of herself, filling the gaps of loneliness and isolation. After I moved 3500 miles from where she lives, she decided that I now became part of the group of people from whom she believes they mean her harm, who listen to her thoughts and plant hairs in her house. The drama has become here life.

In my day-to-day life, I find drama, well, annoying. It keeps us from doing the things we say we want to do. It allows us to cycle on irrelevant topics for hours and never really address the core issues in a situation. It causes teams not to function well. It’s seems inefficient and unproductive.

On the other hand, there are times when drama can be very useful. Drama can be an effective way to surface emotions and thoughts that we normally keep hidden. As our drama increases, we tend to give ourselves permission to say things that we might not otherwise say. In the context of a heated argument, this might not be very effective. However, in the context of a dialogue where someone is openly listening without agenda or judgment, drama can lead to great personal insights and breakthroughs. It can help us work through our “not wants” and clarify in words the wants that we expressed with our emotions during our drama.

After thinking through the above, I realized that the next step for me would be writing a clear, loving and specific email back to my mom. However, after re-writing the email for the tenth time, I realized that stepped into yet another think pattern, “care-taking!” This seems to be totally new subject that I could say a lot about, so I will save that for another time!

Today, let me leave you with the following questions:

How much drama do you do in your life? How much drama do you see around you in your life? Do you enable drama in your life? Is the drama based on “wants” or a “not wants”? How do you respond to drama? Do you use your drama as a place to start and explore your beliefs, or as a way to avoid exploring your beliefs? Do you have friends with whom you can explore?

Please know that there are trained mentors (like me!) that can help you transform drama into insight and clarity!

Have a great Sunday!


  1. Hi Iris,
    I'm interested to know why you are calling your mothers actions 'drama'. She does what she does,as you said for whatever reason, in order to best take care of herself. I don't suppose we will ever find out why she does these things unless she is prepared to explain herself, but at the moment it doesn't look like she can. But I am wondering first whether the word drama carries some kind of value judgement in it as to the usefullness or otherwise of what she is doing? Just suppose for a minute that your mother were a special child - could her stalker/tormentor issues be seen through Son Rise eyes as being repetitious activities or isms or button pushes, if it were possible to view them this way then it would give you guidance as to how to proceed. If they were isms and you found a way to join her and demonstrate your acceptance of her and them as a way to take care of herself then her actvities suddenly have value. I have seen this as a Son Rise parent in some of the things my son does - like endless discussions of washing machines, elephants and classical music or flooding the house on Boxing day.
    Thanks for more thought provoking stuff, I am cheering you on from England as you face this challenge.
    Love hugs and smiles
    Alison Taylor

  2. The Oscars are on tonight. Is your Mom up for one? ;)

  3. Hi Iris!

    I am a drama-addict in recovery and my process is the Option Process. My "relapses" are fewer and farther between and in recognizing that I am seeing how the drama served me before and how it is serving me not to live relatively drama-free. It's funny... in choosing to move away from the drama... or toward peace, rather.... my issues/stones to overturn have suddenly become very obvious. I think this has happened because I am spending less and less time focusing on other people and now taking that same energy and turning it inward. Such a gift!

    Thank you for another great blog!



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