saata VOL: 2, ISSUE: 2 - APRIL 2018 facebook

SAATA ITAA Conference-2016 team
From Playing Games to becoming Sportive - Kiran Katawa home
Kousalya-Karthikeyan I am Kiran Katawa, working as a Project Manager with an MNC in Bangalore, India. I am from Hospet, in Karnataka, near Hampi. I have been self-studying psychology for a few years and learnt that TA can help me study this structurally and hence, got into it. I also wanted to take my 15+ years of IT experience along with my studies and hence, chose the Organization theme for studying TA. I love teaching, Kannada literature and reading books.

I had an argument with the daily garbage collector over the money which he was collecting from us regularly. It was a gamey conversation. I felt like a victim for much of the time and a persecutor for a while in it. After a few minutes of futile argument with him, I thought - "It is always like this with him" and returned. It was the start of the day and I went to the puja (prayer) room and commenced the puja rituals. Now, it is all me here, as I am the only one who would have a say and God would just listen. Within 1-2 minutes, my time structuring moved from 'games' to 'rituals'. I could feel the reduced risk of being in a ritual than being in a game. I often enjoyed the rituals and hated conversations with people. On the contrary, I am also a talkative and witty person! This was very confusing for me! I kept wondering what ticks me to talk and what stops me? Very importantly, what was I doing when I wasn't talking? (while I wanted to talk).

My TA journey started around 2 years ago with self study. I gradually started getting a glimpse of my personality structure and patterns of behaviour / events in my lifestyle. I became aware of the patterns of getting mouth ulcers and headaches. I also got 'abnormal heart beats'. This is a common medical issue. For me, the beats vary once in a while, based on circumstances. Very soon, it was clear to me that these repeated patterns (headache, mouth ulcers, and abnormal heart beats) were my payoffs of the many games that I was playing.

Going by the formula of a game:

Game = C (Con) + G (Gimmick) -> R (Response) -> S (Switch) -> Collect stamps and redeem as payoffs (mouth ulcers, headache, abnormal heart beats).

With this awareness, I wanted to break the game pattern. Of the various options available, I chose to break it by stopping the stamp collection and refusing the payoff, as I was very clear of the payoffs. But, my whole issue was - what stamps was I collecting and how was I collecting? Also, how, where and when was I redeeming them as the above payoffs? Of course, I didn't want to miss the yummy food that my wife prepares, by having mouth ulcers for weeks!! The link was missing.

Now, the formula of the Game appeared as below:
Game = C + G --> R -> S -> Collect stamps (What, How, Where and When?) and redeem as payoffs (mouth ulcers, headache, abnormal heart beats).

During my work with my therapist (non-TA), I realized that as a child I often sulked, when my needs weren't met or things didn't work. I kept all the anger, pain, sadness within myself. When I reflected, I realized that I was still doing this as a grown up and during therapy at times, I did this with the therapist as well :). I also had 'bursting out' and 'breaking the relationship' patterns, after collecting enough anger stamps. This was the way I was engaging my environment and people around me, in responding to my needs. If this didn't work, I convinced myself that the world is a dominating place and I am helpless.

Predominantly, I did this in conversations. I sulked instead of talking out my opinions, differences and views. I sulked and took away the stamps of sadness, anger, frustration, helplessness, sorrow and so-on. And later redeemed them as pay-offs once in 3-4 weeks. So, I realized, where, when and how I was collecting these stamps.

The formula looked as below:
Game = C + G --> R -> S -> Collect stamps (What, How, Where and When = Sadness, Anger, Frustration, Helplessness, Sorrow and Sulking during conversations) and redeem as payoffs (mouth ulcers, headache, abnormal heart beatings).

With that realization, the whole formula became meaningful to me. Now, I was equipped to dismantle this pattern. I brought in the following changes in myself. During/After every conversation, I started checking if I am holding onto anything - either emotions or thoughts. If I was holding onto something, there were 2 possibilities:

  • There is something that I want to convey or get clarified from the other person.
    If yes, I'll talk it out or get it clarified or note it down for next conversation with the other person.
  • The communication is over and I am disagreeing with the other person's views or feeling something, which I'm not acknowledging to myself. Or indeed, I was troubled and not acknowledging to myself - my 'Be Strong' driver behaviour.
    If yes, I'll acknowledge it to myself and update my Adult as follows:
    • If I was in a losing position/hurt, I'll check the impact of it and take measures for reducing the impact in the present and take that as a learning for use in future.
    • If there are differences in opinions, I'll accept that the other person is differing in opinion from mine. Since I am becoming consciously aware of thoughts and the feelings (mine and the other's), I am learning to accommodate the world.

In addition, for the headache, the moment I started getting its symptoms, I check my thoughts and emotions and see where I am withholding/avoiding them. I'll open it up and address - either by talking to self, arranging the required things, taking a break, attending the needed tasks and so-on.

Now, the formula appeared as:

Game = C + G --> R -> S -> Collect stamps (Stop collecting Sadness, Anger, Frustration, Helplessness, Sorrow and Sulking during conversations and talk OR update Adult) and redeem as payoffs (mouth ulcers, headache, abnormal heart beatings).

Since, I didn't have any stamps to collect, what can I redeem? In this way, I dismantled the game formula by stopping the collection of stamps and started being sportive rather than playing games. Without mouth ulcers now, I have been savouring myself with yummy food.

Berne, E. (1964). Games people play: The psychology of human relationships. New York: Grove Press

Creative Corner

arr TA Proper, Stroking & Time-Structuring
- Ambika
arr Feelings
- Aruna Kalahastri
arr From Playing Games to becoming Sportive
- Kiran Katawa
arr Personal Growth through TA
- Neena Bijoy
arr Autism
- Sapna Sajan
arr TA in South Africa
- Karen Pratt
arr Force or Source
- I.A. Mohanraj
arr A Ranty Soliloquy on Writing!
- C. Suriyaprakash
arr A Teenage Contract
- Lakshmi Prabha
arr Book: From Anxiety to CTA
- Aruna Gopakumar

Creative Corner
Depression Healing
- Jayashree Swaminathan

Art Addiction
- Vasudha Sridhar

Poem: Hope - A Prayer
- Vikrant Goyal



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