Rupture and Repair

Curious about people’s thoughts about repair. Is it that rare? In terms of skills for this, one thing that I’d like to build is deciphering what is on my side of the net. I have a tendency to take on blame and not see the co-created part well. Calming and confidencing absolutely helps me be able to listen to the impact I’ve had on others and to be present with their experience, see what I can do to address it. But then what? I am looking forward to the upcoming boundaries sessions because I hope to apply it to these dynamics.


I’m just kinda thinking out loud here Dru and going with how your above statement resonates in me. I wonder if that’s the most useful lens to view a ‘rupture’ through…at least in terms of ‘repairing’ it. The metaphor you use “on my side of the net” is one that has a clear winner and a loser…(tennis/badminton etc) …there is a points system to determine that very clearly. To me the term ‘co-created’ has implications beyond the idea of lobbing shots (words, accusations,) back and forth…beyond ideas of winner and loser. Within that metaphor/frame there is the opportunity to arrive at the feeling of “I win because you have more ‘things’ on your side of the net…so I’m clearly the victim here.” I just wonder if there is a more co-creative metaphor to frame the entire ‘rupture & repair’ experience in.

I don’t know if this is useful in any way to you but it’s where my thoughts went. Peace.


The “my side of the net” came into my lexicon from Susan Campbell, and she uses it to reflect on our own feelings, our own experience, what we are noticing… rather than saying “you always” or “you did this to me” or…

You know the drill.

It was her description for making sure we can speak from our own lived experience rather than assuming or projecting or asserting how it was or what someone else was thinking (or not).


Thanks Rick…I wasn’t aware of that usage although I did understand what Dru was conveying with it. I think it’s interesting that the metaphor relates something a quite different (at least the way I have unpacked it) from what it’s intention is. As you know I’m someone who is attuned to the importance and the usage of metaphor so it’s hard for me not to be alert to it…carry on! :slight_smile:

EDIT: @Rick - I don’t mean to derail your thread Dru …BUT!!.. I’m now curious about something and this seems to be the moment to pose the question…at least I hope it is. What has more influence over our behaviour…what a metaphor literally depicts or the meaning we assign to it? For example: I might choose to say that ‘carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders’ as a metaphor means I’m VERY ‘grounded’…‘down to earth’ etc. However, if we give that metaphor it’s literal representation that’s certainly not what it depicts. A person would be immensely ‘weighed down’…‘crushed’…‘depressed’ (literally)…these are very different experiences than being ‘grounded’ or ‘down to earth’. Which takes precedence? The meaning we choose to assign or the literal depiction of the metaphor?

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In my own experience, I believe repair can happen quite regularly, especially around small stuff. If we are not holding a grudge, if there is acceptance, compassion, and awareness of the me-spaces (my side of the net) and we-spaces (the experience we’re sharing), then repair is pretty normal in a healthy relationship.

But what about unhealthy relationships… or when there is a rare but significant RUPTURE, like a ruptured achilles tendon? Ouch!

It would be really… unwise… to try and repair a ruptured achilles tendon on our own or with our running partner only. Skilled surgery is often required, and then rehab.

How easy is it to find someone who is skilled not only personally in the chart above but in facilitating such repair between 2+ people?

Restorative practices is a field of study. You can even get a masters degree in it. My sense is, though, that in terms of emotional technology used by those practices, we’re still about where we were with computers in the early 1960’s – a long way to go before everyone has “the tool” in their pocket!

For me I’ve proven to myself that I cannot “hold the space” AND be in the restorative/repair journey over anything one might consider a “rupture” – of trust, of connection, of safety/respect. Even the presence of someone who is capable of grounding themselves and calling a powerful pause has made a huge difference.

I’ll also assert that repair is different from therapy.

Therapy is the treatment of disease or disorders, as by some remedial, rehabilitating, or curative process.

Repair is to restore to a good or sound condition after decay or damage; mend.

Meaning to me that repair is most compatible with relationships that were indeed at one point in good and sound condition and there’s been some decay or damage.

And… we as humans seem to have a long way to go towards recalibrating relationships, restoring, repairing, therapeutically healing me-spaces and we-spaces, shifting from dominance/hierarchy to community/circling.

I’m grateful that more and more hearty beings are paying attention, exploring, trying, and – even if rarely – finding repair that leads to closeness and both restored and fresh intimacy.


@Glenn I’m agreeing that the metaphor about staying on your own side of the net doesn’t REALLY work for me, and you’ve articulated why I sense.

That said, I think when most people are arguing – fighting for rightness and to be understood – there is a primitive brain competition that arises, and if a “ground rule” is that if you are going to toss back and forth and try to score points, AT LEAST stay on your side of the net!

For me if it feels like that kind of whack-whack, competition… I need to pause.

The language and structure Susan has offered has helped, I believe, in navigating in ways that have minimized that kind of competitive defensiveness-offensiveness dynamic by speaking from what I feel, what I actually notice, and using language like “I imagine…” or “I’m guess you…” rather than asserting I know what’s true “on their side of the net.”

We can do better, I believe, in coming up with a concept that captures this. I am not quite sure what that is yet. Interesting!


@Glenn I’m curious what you might suggest.

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Right! I hadn’t included that as a possible aspect of my interpretation…good point (unintended pun!!) Thanks.

Yes, this will be a interesting challenge. I’ll give it some thought but I have a feeling you’ll find the right words for it. :slight_smile:

I’m not sure. I’ll let that roll around in my brain for a bit.

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