One Way to Stay Stuck in Secondary Gain


One way for us to remain stuck at a certain level of awareness is to not recognize the firm side of the Good Mother. Every time the wound and pain is activated it becomes easy to form an inner dynamic of soothing, comfort, gentleness and embrace of the pain. However, the good mother also knows that the pain has already happened, that this is a memory state and that the pain is now replaying itself because of something unrealistic and untrue, namely the beliefs of the child that it was to blame, was bad and worthless, and had no agency. The good mother will have a script after the acknowledgement of the feelings and original wound that corrects the inner script. She will very gently, and very firmly say to the younger version of self what the truth is. “This is memory and it is not the same as then. You can very clearly now see the truth and live it. You do not have to act out, or wallow in repetitious self-pity, which is what the recycling of the old wound and collapsing into the old wound is.  If one keeps repeating this pattern of recycling old pain, then one has to ask oneself what one is not yet seeing and of what you are not aware of in the memory.

One line of inquiry that is very often accurate is that you do not see the secondary gain of staying in pain. Ask yourself, “Do I get someone else to be the good mother to me instead of accepting my grown up responsibility? Do I get others to tell me the truth, which feels good, and then negate it so they have to do it again and again. Am I like a hurt kid that keeps running to Mom to tell tales on all the other kids who hurt me so I can feel righteous and good for a while. Am I addicted to external soothing? Do I get attention, reward, sympathy, connection etc. from others? Do I get to feel special for my trauma, abuse, dysfunction, because we don’t know how else to feel special? This was necessary in a childhood of deprivation, but it is really rather inflated as adults to keep using our childhoods to feel special. I recently heard someone talk about “being a parasite to our suffering,” which means feeding off of it and exploiting it for ego gains. Consider how very disrespectful and dishonoring this is of our suffering as children. Our minds can be very tricky to keep us in a place of comfortable suffering. But consciousness expressed in compassion (suffering with) AND wisdom (truth telling), always takes us on the right path. And in that order.