Breaking My Enslavement to a Manipulative Habit – Part 1

June 4, 2013


I cannot seem to get his words out of my head for very long, before some new circumstance or discussion drags the bones from the grave and I repeat the process all over again; optimism, criticism, avoidance, pain, anger, sorrow, apologetic, guilt, and forgiveness, as well as denial thrown in to cause more confusion.

The first thing that hit me very hard was an emotional night around each other, discussing things that were painful, and I asked about his potential new love interest that had been a topic of discussion off and on for the previous year or so.  I thought his facial expression belied a profession of nothing had gone on other than “hanging out”, though the possibility of an intimate encounter had been offered, yet I let it pass without pressing further.  I just had a feeling that he wasn’t being totally honest with me, which is something I have emphatically stated as something I needed in my life multiple times over the years, but especially within the last 2 or 3, certainly.

Then there wasn’t much said until I sent a joke to lighten the mood that had been brewing horribly for a while, and it ended up actually being a reality, when it wasn’t intended to be. That might have been my manipulative tactic back due to some statements I had felt were guilt inducing and manipulative he stated previously within the previous weeks that I did not deal with at the time, including asking about me taking our children on his custody time in a way that, if I said no, would possibly come across or used in a way to state that I was saying no because I didn’t care about our children or some other form of twisting reality, and I wasn’t going to continue that game. I’m not sure if that was really the reason, though due to the emotions I had openly shared to him in one way or another, I can see how it was, even though it was not meant to be anything other than sharing my honest thoughts about the current situation.

Then there was the next day where my brain had seemed to soften it’s bitterly cold grip of my heart, feeling that maybe some of his resentment towards me had begun to melt just a little bit and just a bit safer to be who I really am as a person towards him.  Another joke to lighten an emotional statement of appreciation for something other than his icy demeanor, as of late, and the door seemed to open just a little bit more, even if only a centimeter or two.  I made the mistake of grabbing onto that just enough to let other things affect me just a bit too much.

I then received an unexpected message when he knew I was finally out socializing for the first time in weeks, taking a break from working non-stop on things around me that seemed to be reminders of the ghost I seemed to be surrounded by, even though the presence wasn’t of someone dead.  I did not do it to hurt him, as far as changing things and cleaning things that had been neglected for many years, though it was for other reasons, one of which included purging some resentment I had that was originally brought about by the guilt he laid on me for so long.  His message was one that seemed sincere and he genuinely was reaching out to me.  Then his jealousy came through, yet again, and I received another manipulative message that he wished he had such a large social circle to engage with and flirted suggestively that I could return home to get attention from him.  I should have ignored it, though I didn’t, and commented that having a large social circle really wasn’t what it seemed like it would be cracked up to be.  I used an analogy that I’d rather run around with 4 quarters in my pocket, rather than 100 pennies, as if these represented the number of friends that give me, metaphorically speaking, the same amount of attention in the end.

The next day he contacted me again, asking a question that baited me into answering whether or not I made it home at all the night before, or whether I had stayed somewhere else and couldn’t answer his question honestly.  I admitted that I had not gotten home yet when I answered him, and he sounded dejected and said he didn’t figure on the fact that I might not be back home the previous night. I know his reactions of disappointment hit me when, a few hours later, I found myself sending him a picture of a neat picture of a flaming skull, the background was red, the skull faded with the background so all you really see are the black voids of a skull, and yellow hued flames dancing on it.  His statement, after an admission of the picture being very cool, was one which he would consider, if I said it now as he did, as manipulative and guilt inducing.

“It’s too bad that’s how you see me sometimes…”

I knew it was manipulation, though I thought I would play along in a way, just to keep some peace even though I knew I was enabling and playing the codependent part again. He fails to remember, or doesn’t accept as the case may be, the reality that he is just as manipulative as me, and we have this abusive habit that I am desperately trying to break free from.  I’m tired of the habit…

I am ready to change this part of me, because it is too unhealthy for not only me, but our children as well, and I cannot teach them how to be healthy if I continue down a path of holding onto such unhealthy habits, which will be passed down to them.  I choose to learn how to do things differently, because I will not be a slave to any label, when I know that I don’t like how I am as a person because of that label.  I do not have to be “too independent” or “too set in my ways” or “too codependent” or “too emotional” or “too serious” or “too anything” if I choose to not be one extreme or the other and strive for balance and maintaining health, instead of throwing it away because I would rather live in the comfort of not trying, because of the fear of failure or not doing something perfectly.

 

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