In my previous few blog posts I described a negative self and life experience. One of isolation, abandonment, aloneness, sadness, inability to communicate, being closed off and essentially being ‘cut-off’ from the world and those close to me. I looked at the internal and external factors that contributed to this reality, found solutions and mapped out a road to change.
One important factor that I will go into now is how one is able to create such a reality for self. This means, acknowledging the fact that I am not a victim, but a creator. If we are victims and believe ourselves to be victims, then we are powerless to change the situation. The victim mindset is an addictive one, and lulls one into a state of passivity and complacency.
This creates what feels like a ‘safe space’, where one is not responsible and so does not have to do much of anything to change Self or one’s reality. One must simply wait for external circumstances to change, and hope that they change for the better. If and when they don’t, bad internal and external habits can freely run, and blame, spite and manipulation can take root, eventually accumulating to a form of hatred and repulsion towards self and others. If you look at how these emotions can play out in one’s life, you see one thing: the creation and perpetuation of the very problem that caused them in the first place.
In digging down through the layers of my own personal experience, which is no doubt similar to many others, I can finally see the cause and reason of why I created this for and by myself. Not to blame or judge myself with this information, but to correct myself so that I do not continue it. I will take a memory I have been working with to use as an example here.
The memory takes place when I was two or three years old and I was playing in the alleyway behind my house. My father was busy working near by, and appeared to be very busy. In that moment, I had a longing experience, wanting my father to come to me and play, as I was feeling quite alone there in the alley, with him a distance away.
Instead of calling to my father to ask him to come over to me, or to express that I wanted some time with him, I instead just watched him and hoped that he would notice me, notice how I was feeling, and come over. When he did not, I took it personally, as if he did not want to come, or that it meant I was insignificant, or he did not care, or whatever other hurtful story I could tell myself in that moment. And this is where the manipulation tactics kicked in.
I was hurt, I wanted attention and I didn’t know how to communicate it or understand that this is what was going on. So I took the emotions, the sadness, the longing, the aloneness, and simply made them ‘louder’, so that people could see and realize: I am suffering, I need help. Over time. I made myself even more sad, I pulled away even more, now living out my emotions physically so that anyone could see. I became quieter in a try and attempt to communicate to “hey, look at me, I want and need attention right now”.
As I amplified the reactions in hopes they would be heard, I also went into them more, believed them more, made them more real for myself. When people still did not adequately notice, as these things can be imperceptible and an unexpected form of communication, I took it even more personally.
The logic being: now I am suffering more, I am more unhappy and miserable, and people still choose to ignore me. I must be very invisible, bad, unworthy, useless, unwanted etc etc… and the cycle repeats and becomes more integrated over time.
What is this cycle doing but creating self into one that self-isolates, does not speak up and voice self, puts up defensive walls due to the hurt, closes up more, pulls away, and at the same time, starts to judge self, bully self, punish self and verbally abuse self. Over the years, this becomes so convincing, that it is believed and perceived to be very very real. And because how this functions is not seen or understood, one feels as though one is the victim in this scenario, instead of seeing and realizing how one created it.
It was a manipulation tactic from the get-go. Much like a child whining, screaming, acting out – it is the same thing in a different expression. Like the polarity of the more recognizable cries for attention.
Now looking over the years as one grows from a child, to a teen then an adult – the same pattern, if not recognized and corrected, persists. It is the same pattern, but it morphs, grows and evolves over time along with the person, so now it looks like an adult problem, when in reality it is an un-dealt with, undefined and un-directed problem from childhood.
For me personally, the pattern emerged towards whoever I thought or believed was apparently responsible to make me feel better – parents, friends, relationship partners. In relationships, for example, I would think that now this person must make me happy through hearing, seeing and understanding me, giving me certain attention that makes me feel valued and worthy, accepted and loved, and all the things I had slowly given away over time.
These things were given away as the above-mentioned pattern was busy playing out and evolving – where I believed I had to go deeper into my suffering and misery in order to ‘make it louder’ to be noticed, seen and heard. Then of course the self-judgment, self-bullying, self-punishment and abusive self-talk that came through when I continued to not always be noticed in my misery. There is not always a saviour, and even when there is, it becomes tiring for them to constantly pull another out of their inner hell. It becomes a self-sacrifice for them.
I would of course balance this out with happy times and a positive self-presentation, cyclically descending into the self-misery point with and through the ups and downs of life and relationships. Like a constant accumulation and release, without realizing the layering and integration happening, where the manipulation slowly becomes Who You Are as one that is, for example, lost, isolated, unwanted, unworthy, and all the ways one can judge self and make self unhappy as a cry for attention from the outside world.
The real ugly part of this is the blame that takes place when and as the ‘outside world’ does not respond as is desired by the one manipulating/crying for help or attention. It is taken personally and so blame is then used, from here it can go into spite, ‘punishing’ others, aggressiveness, demanding, where unmet expectations and disappointment can break down others in the eyes of the manipulator. All very nasty stuff that is maybe not so nice to look at and see, but is the truth and reality of ourselves.
We all present nice and pretty pictures to the outside world, deceiving those around us, and most often also deceiving ourselves about who we really are inside ourselves. If you look at the world, society and how groups of people interact… look at relationships, conflict, abuse, and all of these things that are rampant in our societies – this in itself is revealing the real truth of people. It’s just that some can contain it more or express it differently in more subtle ways that go unnoticed, or that are so accepted now by people within themselves that they either don’t see it, see it as normal, or don’t question it due to thinking and believing that ‘this is just the way it is’. We can also get used to being treated poorly by others, with poor treatment becoming the ‘new normal’ over time.
But there is a silver lining here: if the patterns are defined, identified and understood, and one moves from victimhood to empowerment, then a change can be made. For me personally, what this looks like is me stopping creating my own inner misery when I feel like I need something from someone. Instead I can simply express it an ask. Unfortunately, I also have to face all the consequences as the self-judgments and essential self-abuse that I have imposed upon myself over time as cries for attention or reactions to my own self-talk and self-beliefs. But here again is the silver lining, where I tell myself I will stop all of this now, I will take back my responsibility to myself, and I will change.
Now is the process of developing one’s communication, one’s self-worth and value. This is where one has given self the opportunity to step up and learn how to honour and respect self, develop the integrity and trust within oneself that enables one to complete Self instead of thinking and believing this is required from an outside source.
This way, one can now enter into relationships as a Whole – not as a partial and incomplete person that needs another to complete self – but one that loves and values self so much that the cup spills over into the lives of others who share one’s reality.