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.

Finding My Voice

You are blind to yourself,
You see what you want to see.
All my life you’ve dug your claws in,
Refusing to set me free.

You’ve tried so hard to mold me
Into your perfect, little clone.
But there’s one thing you’ve forgotten:
I’ve got a mind of my own.

You put your voice in my thoughts,
And made your beliefs mine, too.
Have you ever thought for a second,
That I want to be ME, not you?

Now the question remains:
Who the hell am I?
What do I believe?
What do I want, and why?

The road to making you happy
Has taken me nowhere.
I am merely an empty shell,
Damaged beyond repair.

So here’s what’s going to happen;
This is how it will be:
I’ve got to have some space,
So I can finally just be me.

I need to find my voice,
To separate it from yours.
I am clawing my way out
Of these sheltering, closed doors.

This town is like a bubble,
Or even a black hole.
It makes me claustrophobic
And it stifles my soul.

My life can only be lived
By me, and me alone.
My decisions are mine to make,
My mistakes are mine to own.

I’m taking this hold you’ve had on me,
And I am finally letting it go.
Your happiness shouldn’t depend on me;
It is all up to you, you know.

I’ve got my own family,
And they deserve my best.
I just can’t give them that
With your weight upon my chest.

You’re going to push me and protest,
You’ll get angry and ice me out.
You might talk behind my back,
And for awhile, you will even pout.

But if there is one thing you’ve taught me,
It’s that life goes on.
Not one of us is perfect,
And someday we’ll all be gone.

So let’s agree to disagree;
Tomorrow is a brand new day.
Time may not heal all wounds,
But it can take the sting away.

There are so many things I’ll do differently,
Now that I am a mother, too.
But there is much that I can teach him,
Because I learned so much from you.