Healing a  Relationship

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My own repeated pattern of self defeating or self-destructive
behaviour (RSDP)

My self- induced trance state

Several e-mails I've received this week have reminded me that I have been intending to write a page about my own experiences with RSDP.  It is so common. It ‘s been a part of my own life for most of my life.

For a general explanation of RSDP ( a regularly repeated pattern of self defeating or self-destructive behaviour.) you may want to go to the main RSDP page on my flagship Voice Dialogue site.


OK for a start it looked as though it is other people who are doing all these destructive things to me, but it kept happening to me over and over again. It couldn’t  just  be "bad luck" or "the universe" deciding to pick on me over and over again just to ensure that I had a particularly unpleasant ride through life.

The first clue is that these repeated and unpleasant things that we experience seem to follow a remarkably similar pattern, On the other hand, that repeated pattern can be totally unique for each of us who suffer them. So it's important not to generalise.

Ask yourself whether over many years you have continued to experience the same kind of pain or discomfort or unpleasantness from many (and many different kinds of) people or in many different situations?. Or, alternatively are you experiencing the same kind of shame, fear, pain, guilt, devastation or discomfort over and over again from the same person?

If so, it's important to face the fact that somehow, something, even though it looks as though they're doing it to us, is perhaps actually set up by what we're doing again and again. Are we  attracting or even helping to recreate our unique pattern.  It may seem crazy but it starts to look as though it is in part at least self-induced.

If you can accept that possibility here's the next question

What am I doing (unconsciously of course) that keeps bringing these same unpleasant (shame, fear, pain, guilt, devastation or discomfort ) experiences to me?

Once you can answer this the good news is that you have discovered something inside you, and because it's inside you there's so much more you can do to change compared with the situation if it was outside of you.

Start looking for something inside you.

In my own case I have discovered that part of the pattern was one particular characteristic I noticed was common to all the people who kept doing  the same very unpleasant things to me. Every one of them had an extremely traumatic and abusive childhood!!   And  so did I. Ah Ha!

I have only come to see just how much this had to do with my way of creating my repetitive pattern.

The next thing was learning to accept and appreciate that there was absolutely nothing I could do to fix their childhood, or change mine.

The self induced trance state

Slowly, with the help of some extremely good self-awareness therapists here in Australia I have began to understand that each time somebody repeated these abusive patterns towards me I actually went into a kind of self induced trance ....... That trance blocked my understanding of what was really going on because it threw me back into my own childhood trauma.

I was remembering my childhood abuse And once I was in that place again my behaviour was again in some ways like an abused child.

Let me explain little bit further. Because I was in a self-induced trance I couldn't deal with it as a grown up. Instead I went into a particular response pattern, which was verbally to express my objection to the abuse very quietly and very logically and above all with a mask of cold very controlled emotion (because as a child I would probably have been killed if I had come out and had expressed my anger too loudly)

Meanwhile what you think my body language was saying?

Of course, it is screaming at them "You are abusing me. It's not fair and I am angry!"

Whenever people get mixed messages like that (the body language saying one thing and the words saying the opposite ) they get very uncomfortable and don't trust the person.

So all my attempts to sort things out went nowhere.

Looking back today I can see just how many times I totally failed to get fair or just treatment from people even though I knew I was on the right. I don't think that was because they were determined to rip me off, some might have been, but I think the majority simply felt so uncomfortable as they had no idea how to respond to me.


Of course your partner may also have his or her own repetitive patterns of self-destructive behaviour as well. And sometimes these interlock with yours!

Site map

This is such a significant  problem in many relationships that I have now devoted several pages to the issue of RSDP and what to do about it

Rather than repeat these pages on this site can I ask you to go to my main website


I think you will be amazed at what you will discover