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Relationship Transformation - Bhavani Shankar home
Bhavani Shankar I worked in automotive industry in chennai for 29  yrs upgarding myself to Graduation  in engineering and industrial safety  conducted by Government. I worked in engineering and administration the plant and also in safety. Later joined in construction company as one of function  head in  various airport projects in Hyderabad  and Delhi. Also gaining 11 years experience in various high raise buildings in Mumbai, then on having personnel interest in Psychology i studied & Got MA psychology as i was working.

Relationship with my spouse transformed with TA

I was suffering with marital issues, being stuck, unable to divorce and continued  to be in the relationship which was not working for a long period of time. I had issues with my spouse but I was living together due to social pressure and cultural binding. I got into TA as a matter of upgrading my knowledge to do service to society post my retirement in my profession.

As I was learning TA , I got an “Aha” moment when I understood that “if a person approaches the other person during a calm situation and gives a stroke, the relationship will improve between the two”. I utilised the same to experiment.  As I practised, I also understood  many of my injunctions and took therapy to address those. For e.g., I had the injunction of don’t enjoy. During therapy I understood that the instruction was given to the child in me, who was shocked and not ready to receive such a huge penalty, i.e., when I was aged below eight, playing with children and understanding  gender difference, I got strongly given an injunction as not to enjoy, which continued till thirty plus years of marriage. Therapy allowed me to re-decide that I am allowed to enjoy the pleasures of life.

Also, in my childhood, when I happened to see my father  and elder brother (who is elder to me by 14 years ), they were often  involved in a verbal fight. I inherently developed a fear against verbal fight. As a child I made a decision to get away from such a scene. The same continued as I grew up,  I used to avoid confrontation at any cost on any issue against anyone. At work as a team to accomplish the goal set, I developed my own winning formulas with work group managed to be successful, but at home nothing worked as there is no one to review and monitor  the result, and give feedback. I also remain calm with these negative feelings.  I used act to accumulate my negative feelings to collecting stamps and once in a while burst out in anger with my spouse as per my script. The same continued as a pattern in our relationship. By understanding the game pattern and bringing my awareness to the various ego states I was behaving from, I made conscious changes in my behaviours. For e.g., instead of behaving from the Adapted Child ego state (being reactive, flight in case of confrontation), I stood my ground and communicated what I felt in the moment, thus behaving according to the context (Adult). Journaling all these on record through TA’s Egogram chart helped me reduce the practice of playing games resulting with negative feeling, and gradually within a short span of time, they were totally put off.

My elder brother used to physically and emotionally abuse me, dominating me to act on his requirement. As a child I made the decision to react and reject those who dominate me to serve their own interest. As a grown up, I used to put my brother’s face onto my spouse’s whenever she raised an issue which was not acceptable to me. This also created a huge gap in my relationship with my spouse. The same was also corrected with my understanding of life script and personal therapy, disconnecting the rubber bands I used to practice.  I also improved my here-and-now response to such situations. For e.g., whenever I am communicated to do anything, I get angry. I now stop for a moment, think what I can do best in a calm, polite way without hurting myself and others. I reply in a firm yet soft voice “do you mean this, now? I’m interested in doing that activity. Let me do that which is naturally interesting to me.” Gradually I took responsibility to do certain tasks myself without anyone's interference.

Now having understood and correcting my mistake I started practicing time structuring. I practised myself how to communicate without getting angry and also in an adult position. Also whenever an opportunity comes I started to give stroke to my spouse. Though the efforts failed initially, and my ego raised questions like “why should I do these, undergoing so much stressful situations?”, the Ethics grid came to guide me to move in the right direction in our relationship. Thus I could continually progress inspite of having both positive and negative results of mine during practice. I could make changes and clear distinction of change in my pattern of behaviours. Thus as I correct my side of behaviours appropriately, I could communicate  my feelings and desires correctly in an appropriate way, making the relationship with my spouse spouse grow. I was earlier not available for relationship with her due to my “flight away in case of confrontation” script. I used to hide myself in activities like reading books, journaling or doing some activity that isolated me from her. After understanding that any relationship becomes strong only with either positive or negative strokes I involved myself to mix with her,  irrespective of positive or negative feeling . I witnessed my father hitting my mother when I was aged below five, and I decided that women should not be hurt. So I was taking care that I don’t share any of my hurt feelings with my spouse, keeping all negative feelings within me and this was causing our relationship to be ill. The awareness of “it is ok to have and communicate negative feeling and it will enhance relationship“ made me to act and bind thicker relationship.

During discussion of my transformation in the TA class room with support group I realised as a part of motivating myself I used to journal the happenings about the relationship from “you are not ok position”. As I had my driver please others, I used to give strokes to my spouse for every little thing I felt whole-heartedly, and do activities of her interest; the moment my spouse did not accept or criticised any of my activity, I would react for a while from “ I am ok you are not ok position”, then immediately I go to blamer mode as in mini-script, finding faults in her criticising part and started reacting to her. Through this awareness, I brought myself to look at and practice more and more from “I am ok - you are ok position”  enhancing my relationship further. During the moments when I was criticised, I started thinking “it is ok, the other person has the right to think in their own way”. I did not let it get to my head, I neglected the criticising words focused on the task I was involved in and moved on. Later on, during a calm time, I told my spouse how her words made me feel. Thus now I realise my entry into  TA helped me to travel my life journey in joy and peace.

 
Head or Tail
TAzzle - The TA Crossword

Solutions & Winners of Previous Issue
EXPERIENCES
arr Attitude Change – Understanding Life Positions to Make the Difference
- Ragini Rao
arr Overthinking, Thinking or Underthinking?
- Kiran Katawa
arr Child is the Father of the Man
- Ravikumar Ramanathan
arr Japan Nalla Japan
- Mathangi Ramprasad
arr Love is Online
- Dr. Rizwana Nulwala
arr Relationship Transformation
- Bhavani Shankar

Creative Corner
Poem: Here and Now
- Pragnesh Patel
Journey of a TA Practitioner
- Prasad Naveen
Poem: TA,TA Where Will You Take Me Today
- Rachana Mittal

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