I have had two competing responses to the idea of getting back to normality, since Boris Johnson announced the roadmap plans to ease lockdown.
Part of me is desperate to have freedom and choice, to be able to see the people I love and to hug them again. More surprisingly perhaps, part of me doesn’t want to return to “normal” life.
I am really shocked by this second response and I am aware that it is what we call “Impasse” in Transactional Analysis.
What is an impasse?
An impasse is a stuck place – a place where we have two competing thoughts, needs, wants.
An example is “I want to be close to people” and “I don’t want to be close to people” or “I want to develop myself” and “I want to stay as I am”.
We all experience impasses in our lives. They can be confusing and challenging and we often shut them away and get on with whatever we feel needs to be done or is expected of us.
My current impasse is “I want to get back to normal life” and “I want things to stay as they are now”.
I think part of my impasse is due to the fact I feel slightly institutionalised in my own home.
Although there have been times when I have felt frustrated, confined and bored, there is also comfort in familiarity and not having to face the big wide world.
May of us will have resorted back to our inner child and regressed to earlier stages of our lives, after being told what we can and can’t do for nearly a year.
As a result, we may be experiencing thoughts and feelings from our childhood. In TA we call this our Child Ego State and all humans regress back to this state at some point.
When we are at an impasse it’s important for us to acknowledge both parts of ourselves and our desires. We should sit with the impasse while we decide from our Adult Ego state what we want and want makes sense.
It’s important for us to listen to our inner child and to offer comfort to that part of us (as we would do if there was an actual child in distress).
Change is not always easy for human beings, but we will all come through this challenging time, and one day it will just be a memory.
Going into lockdown was mentally challenging for many of us and coming out of it will be no different.
Take care, look after yourselves and know that whatever you feel is okay.
Leilani Mitchell – The Link Centre
Interested in learning more about Impasse, Ego States and other TA Theory?
The Link Centre offers everything from a two-day Introduction to Transactional Analysis (TA101) to an accredited Diploma in Counselling.
We are also running a series of by-donation online workshops on different topics bi-weekly (Mondays 10am-12pm and Tuesdays 6pm-8pm).
Our workshops are now being translated LIVE into Russian, Hindi, Romanian, Italian, Croatian, Bengali, German & Dutch. We are striving to make TA (and some other topics) accessible to all.
If you’re interested to learn more about this particular topic, Mark Head will be running a workshop on Impasse on 8th of March.
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