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Monkey metaphor

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kg201 posted 8/14/2014 06:55 AM

I read this short piece this morning. The monkey metaphor it starts with is perfect.


In India, there are a lot of monkeys. To catch one, residents anchor a bottle to the ground. The neck of the bottle is just large enough for a monkey's hand to fit through. Then, they put a small banana in the bottle, sit back and wait.

Pretty soon a monkey comes by and sees the banana. She reaches her hand into the bottle and grabs it. But then, she discovers she can't get her hand out of the bottle while holding onto the banana. The monkey chatters and squeals as the person who set the trap walks up to the monkey and places a burlap sack over him. Caught!

The monkey could, of course, could escape by letting go of the banana and running. Some do. But most of the monkeys hang on to the banana until a sack goes over their head. Why? Because the banana has value to the monkey and the monkey is unwilling to let go of that value--so unwilling that she'll willing to be captured and possibly lose her life.

People—including those in high conflict relationships (often with people who have borderline or narcissistic personality disorder) do the same thing (metaphorically, of course), even as they end the relationship. While they may have learned all about their partner's distorted thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, they have little insight into themselves and the "bananas" they're holding onto. This can get them into big trouble.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stop-walking-eggshells/201205/dont-be-passive-when-divorcing-high-conflict-partners

[This message edited by kg201 at 6:55 AM, August 14th (Thursday)]

ChangeMaker posted 8/14/2014 07:37 AM

I told you my STBXWW was bananas!

SBB posted 8/14/2014 08:06 AM

Ah fuck. I was definitely that monkey. I couldn't accept being so wrong. So wrong. It's still hard to accept to this day. I pretended for far longer than he bothered to keep up the act.


cantaccept posted 8/14/2014 08:23 AM

Wow, I could really relate to that story.

The problem was what I valued was just an illusion. I gave him credit for much more than he ever deserved.

Gemini71 posted 8/14/2014 09:42 AM

I've heard the same thing about Racoons and shiny objects.

HurtingandLost posted 8/14/2014 13:54 PM

I read that same article a few weeks ago. I'll second ChangeMakers comment!

I told you my STBXWW was bananas!

Hurtingnnc posted 8/14/2014 14:09 PM

I'm feeling like that monkey these days. But damn I want that banana.

Softcentre posted 8/14/2014 14:09 PM

Ugh, right now I'm one of the monkeys that walked away, but REALLY wants to get back to that banana in a bottle, even though I can see it's a trap...need to read more of "Codependent No More" I think

justme1264 posted 8/14/2014 16:38 PM

Yup that's me...I couldn't accept my stbxww was such a horrible shell of a woman. I couldn't accept everyone was right about her and I was the one who was wrong. I just couldn't accept this woman I loved, adored, and cherished was such a parasite. I believed the beauty I saw in her (and there was real beauty in this woman) was going to come out eventually and mature her selfishness and self contentedness. I was wrong - dead wrong.

Hopeful74 posted 8/14/2014 17:35 PM

Omg! I'm a freaking monkey!!!! This is perfect for me today. My sorry sack of s$&t H treated me like crap the night I caught him. Yes, I went straight to a lawyer the next day and he was served 3 weeks later and I began to move forward into acceptance. But, as soon as he came back with that banana, I so wanted to believe it was almost ripe and good for me! And then BAM! The damn sack got me!! And here I sit, feeling sorry for myself because I initiated NC (which was not hard on his part because he has obviously found someone else to occupy his time, something he is still denying because he is 'waiting on me'!) and wondering what is wrong with me that 1- my husband would do this to me in the first place and 2- why is it so easy for him to forget 18 years of history, 3 kids and the family we built together!!!
Sorry, I know this is a lighthearted thread. Just feeling a little bit blue this evening.

kg201 posted 8/14/2014 20:20 PM

(((Hopeful74))). It's easy for him to forget because he is more a Neanderthal than you are a monkey.

No more bananas for you.

Hopeful74 posted 8/14/2014 21:19 PM

Nope. No more bananas for me! Thanks kg!!!

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