Complete Annotated Lozenge Transcript (from Metaphors in Mind pp. 273-281. Session took place November 1997. Comments in this colour. )
I started a relationship recently but there’s insecurity about the relationship. It’s “too good to be true.” I find it difficult to enjoy the relationship as I get very anxious when I am not with her. I overwhelm her. I have to hold back. I’m waiting for her to say “I can’t take it any more.” I was last in a relationship three years ago which I managed to sustain for 2 weeks. When I fall in love I get the feeling of anxiety – I feel almost ill – so maybe I engineer the collapse of the relationship so I can manage the anxiety. It gets worse because I’m aware of the effect. I’ve had to pull back from the brink a couple of times.
How many layers are there to this binding pattern? Two at least. A secondary bind is apparent because his awareness that the primary bind – it is difficult for him to enjoy being with her and he gets anxious when he is not – causes more anxiety.
T1: And what would you like to have happen?
C2: I’ve got to give her room to love me back.
A desired outcome.
And you’ve got to give her room to love you back. And when you’ve got to give her room to love you back, is there any-thing else?
A feeling that I’ve got to love her as much as I can because she’s not going to be around for that long. It’s like I’ve got to eat all the sweets today even though there will be plenty more to-morrow. “It’s too good to be true.” I don’t believe it will be there tomorrow. I’m not meant to be happy, it’s not for me. Love brings me happiness but I can’t handle happiness and joy. It’s as if I have to live my life in the darkness.
Further description of the tangled web of cause-effect relationships reveals the pervasiveness of this binding pattern – it extends to ‘my life’.
Penny and James are supervising neurolinguistic psychotherapists – registered with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy since 1993 – coaches in business, certified NLP trainers, and founders of The Developing Company. They have provided
consultancy to organisations as diverse as GlaxoSmithKline, Yale
University Child Study Center, NASA Goddard Space Center and the
Findhorn Spiritual Community in Northern Scotland.