The Explanation/Manipulation Trap

I am realizing that I don’t owe anyone any kind of explanation for the way I live my life.  That is between me and God.  I am a grown woman who does NOT have to answer to mommy and daddy anymore.  I will not let anyone trap me into explaining every move.  I have a family, and my husband and son come first.  This realization is so unbelievably freeing.  I can live my life, without the stress of “what will other people think” and “how am I going to explain this?”   My decision making process just got a lot easier:  Is it congruent with my faith/morals/ values?  Is it the best thing for me and my family?  End of story.  I don’t require approval from anyone.  I am letting go of that.

Manipulative people demand explanations as a way of-you guessed it-manipulating.  It’s a trap.  They demand an explanation, making you feel guilty and like you owe them, “after everything they’ve done for you.”  Then, you unknowingly take the bait; you explain yourself and defend your decisions/actions.  You talk in circles in a desperate attempt to make them understand.  If they understand, they won’t be upset and see you as a disappointment.   All will be well in the world again; after all, you hate conflict.  Once you’ve made your case, the manipulator swoops in like a vulture to a wounded animal.  Before you know it, your words have been twisted around to fit the manipulator’s agenda.  They use your explanation to argue why THEIR way is better, why yours is flawed.  They turn the whole situation around until the finger of blame is pointed at you.  They know just what buttons to push and just what to say to get to you.  And oh, are they convincing!  The more they talk, the more you start feeling guilty, and wrong.  You think to yourself, “Hmm, they make a good point.  I never thought of it like that before.”  You immediately second-guess your original decision, which felt so right before.  There was no doubt in your mind, until your friendly neighborhood manipulating vulture swooped in to eat you alive.  Just like that, the shady smooth-talking salesman is laughing all the way to the bank and you have officially been mind-fucked and sold a piece of shit car.

Just like vultures, manipulators sense weakness and prey on it.  Do they see a wounded animal and rush to it’s aid?  No.  They devour it, because they have an emptiness inside that they’re driven to fill by whatever means necessary.  And that shady car salesman doesn’t care about you either; He pretends to be your best friend, until he rips you off and has your life savings lining his pockets.

The common denominator here is this: manipulation is not about you, it’s about THEM.  It’s what can THEY get, it’s what THEY want, and you are just a means to THEIR end.  But you don’t have to be.  Stand up to the vultures, and don’t give all your money to that greedy salesman.  Take control of your life, your choices and your mind.  If you don’t, they will.  You do not owe anyone an explanation.  Don’t give mental and emotional abusers that kind of foothold in your life.   You should never have to give up who you are to complete someone else.  Their incompleteness and insecurities are NOT your responsibility.  I am responsible for my own happiness.

My Fascination with Dreams and the Subconcious

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I’ve had very vivid dreams for as long as I can remember.  My imagination goes crazy at night, and this dark, twisted side of my subconscious emerges. I have had nightmares that would put Stephen King to shame.  I’ve dreamed about my own funeral, finding bodies under my bed, nightmares about mental hospitals, butcher shops and people I love dying; I dreamed that my son was dropped on his head on a sidewalk when he was a newborn (I was utterly devastated, and had to go check on him before I could even think about going back to bed)!  I’ve had countless dreams of tornados and plane crashes (all of which I’ve survived), dreams where I am in murky water surrounded by snakes & alligators, or that I’m in an ocean with huge waves where I am desperately trying to save my son, or I’m watching a horrible accident unfold right in front of me and I am helpless to stop it.   It is so real when I dream, I actually believe it’s happening.  It can be quite terrifying; I sometimes wake up hyperventilating, crying, sweating, and so very confused. Sometimes I almost scream in my sleep and wake my husband up (which says a lot, since he sleeps through anything)!

I have experienced a strange state of deep sleep/consciousness where I literally couldn’t take a breath-my brain told my body to breathe, but my body refused.  I was completely paralyzed-I couldn’t move a single muscle, breathe or even make a sound.  I  started suffocating; as if my mind, body and soul had completely disconnected. I was wide awake on the inside, but my body felt almost dead.  I remember laying there in my bed, only a teenager, honestly thinking, “this is it..I’m dying in my sleep right here, right now.”  No matter how loud my mind screamed at my lungs to breathe, they just wouldn’t do it.  I reached a point where I wasn’t even scared anymore-I just accepted what was happening.  Suddenly, my lungs gasped for breath!  I was so relieved.  It’s happened a few times since, and its always horrifying.

I still have a lot of nightmares, but not always.  I have had a handful of amazing dreams where I can fly, or talk to loved ones that have passed.  Most of the time my dreams are kind of dark, but it doesn’t bother me so much anymore. Maybe I have learned to embrace them instead of fear them, I don’t know.  I have dreams that predict the future, dreams that are so spiritual that I can’t shake the feeling they were more than just a dream, and some that are an entertaining mish-mash of my waking life.

I have been greatly intrigued by dreams since childhood…always seeking their meaning.  It is like tapping into a part of myself that I cannot access while awake.  It is so fascinating!  It’s a whole different side of me that I can’t access at will-I have to wait until it feels like revealing itself.  I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to have full access to my subconscious, to unearth everything hidden away in there, see the repressed memories, and experience it’s uninhibited, limitless imagination while awake.  Does it hold the key to who I really am?  What could my subconscious teach me?  Would I have a greater understanding of myself and the world? Or would it be too overwhelming, too dark, and much more than I can handle?  I may never know.

I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this.  INFJs, do you all have vivid dreams as well?