Emotional manipulation really chaps my ass. To me it’s just half a notch down from the tie for loser slot number one of physical or verbal/emotional abuse of one human being to another.
It’s such a hard boundary for me now that for a while I was over zealous about not allowing anyone to know how I felt or when I was struggling. I was so horrified by my own experiences that I couldn’t let my people be my people when I needed them.
I have since learned the difference between allowing love and using love for gain.
To be fair, (and I struggle mightily with this topic) it is a sometimes subconscious skill learned when a person gets what they want by crying, or whining, or weaving a sorrowful tale of childhood, or mommy or daddy weren’t what I needed, life’s been hard on me…
blah, blah, blah.
You don’t know my story and I don’t know yours, but I do know this. There comes a point in every life where you are old enough to choose who you are going to be. You had a bad childhood? Decide to be the parent you always wanted. Belittled and bullied growing up? Make the decision to uplift and protect those weaker than you.
You decide whether to perpetuate or change your family legacy. You. Decide.
Here’s the hard thing, the thing I personally struggle with every damn day. I can’t save you. Nobody can save you but you. You may not know you’re being played the first time, but after that baby, you are a supporting character in the show of their sob story.
I know these things because I’ve done them myself.
You’ll despise yourself for it while you keep the game in motion. You’ll rationalize how they just need a little more love, a little more time, a little more understanding. You’ll keep giving them what gratifies them and feed the monster that feeds their weakness and your own.
You’ll tell yourself that you gave everything, you understood, you were supportive, you were loving and gracious and forgiving. You will say you deserved better than the stomping you took from this person. Originally, yes you did. Yes, I did. But did I deserve the injuries I sustained? The damage I had to repair? The ass-kicking I took emotionally?
You bet I did, and nobody is taking that lesson away from me.
My only hope in writing this is that someone, somewhere will stop and wonder for just long enough, if they are allowing themselves to be manipulated instead of loved. To ask themselves honestly if they are actively helping in the injuries to their own hearts. To consider that maybe they are worth more than the life of involuntary servitude that they have given themselves over to.
We each have such heart, beauty, love and courage inside of us. Please see it. Feel it.
Pull yourself free and give who you truly are to us.
We need you.