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.

Progress.

Session three of therapy today.  It’s getting a little easier as far as talking to a complete stranger about my problems goes.  I find it hard to sleep on therapy nights; so much crap from my past gets dredged up and keeps my mind too busy to sleep.  I have a lot of nightmares since starting therapy, as well.  My subconscious is trying to work through it all, but is showing signs of progress as it turns out.

I dreamed that I went to see my mom for the first time in years.  And it took guts.  But I went for it.  Things immediately went downhill.  There was no “Hi, how are you?”  She went straight into trying to destroy my marriage.  She reported domestic abuse that didn’t even happen to the cops.  She hadn’t seen me or my husband in years, she knew NOTHING about us and then pulls this stunt.  She took my phone and tried to cut me off from my own husband.  Now me and my kid were under her roof, under her control and manipulation, just like she wanted.  I let it happen before in real life, but this dream had a different ending.  I saw through her manipulation this time.  And I fought back.  I let her have it.  In a blind rage, I screamed at her and blamed her for divorcing my dad, amongst many other things.  I then took my phone back and called my husband to pick us up and leave immediately.

My subconscious is taking my past, and mixing it with my present.  It’s telling me that I don’t have to take shit from anyone, not even my own family.  I have a mind of my own, now.  Something I’m just discovering, sadly.  I have been manipulated and controlled my whole life.  But it ends here and now. 

I have a lot of work ahead of me, though.  I also learned today that I am really mean to myself.  I was instructed to try positive affirmations and to be more aware of my inner dialogue and thought process.  I need to change the channel when those self-hating thoughts rear their ugly heads.  I have always been a perfectionist and really hard on myself, so this will be a huge undertaking to say the least.  My INFJ personality type is kind of notorious for being their own worst critic, so I’m actually rewiring my brain here.  It’s overwhelming.   I need to take this one step at a time, which presents another challenge: INFJs are forward thinkers, but this requires me to be in the moment…hmmm.