Observing the interactions of the beings around me is one of my great passions – and probably also an innate behavior. I find that through quiet, silent observation, with no expectation of results and no cookie-cutter judgment, I gather a myriad of interesting information.
I so observed and learned many years ago, and at my own expense, that the manipulator was seldom the one who boasted about it. Conversely, the manipulator often tends to position himself in the role of the victim, he never assumes responsibility for what happens to him.
I had been thrown into the bath with my spawner (what a nice metaphor, wasn’t it?) who had understood that I was a sensitive child, potentially impressionable and therefore manipulable at will. She had taught me to be wary of everyone except herself. Of course! Naive, I believed in fairy tales in which all mothers acted in the interest of their children, loved them and protected them against everything/all. But life – and my taste for observation and analysis – forced me to see that one of my mother’s favorite behaviors was to do everything in her power to isolate me from the Others and I still remember that sentence how murderous she had one day pronounced: 'You don’t need other people, you have your mom, and that’s good enough for you.' I also remember how she used to denigrate me when we were alone and tell me how mean, lazy and incapable I was, how she made me feel guilty and told me that I was selfish because I thought of myself rather than her, how she sowed in me the fear of the Other to prevent me from going towards him because she would have felt abandoned.
When the time came to build my life, like everyone else, I unconsciously repeated the pattern of the home I had grown up in, and so I – always very unconsciously – chose to couple myself with a man who was acting like my mother. He also tried to cut me off from any personal friendships while he stacked them up. From the very beginning of our relationship, this partner had almost made me believe that I had a psychiatric problem, a mental illness, that I was crazy and that I had to be put on medication. I still remember his little mocking smiles when I came out of my hinges, proving to him – as he said – that he was right: I was completely insane. I also remember his innocent look and the victim’s position he took when we were in public. Then one day, quite early, I was barely in my 20s, I remember that the behaviour of this man had pushed me to make the decision to consult a psychologist. Then another one. Then another one. Again and again... It was a great deal of good for me, because these numerous meetings allowed me to deepen my knowledge of myself, of my way of working, and of human nature.
I have since and over time developed a very special reserve for people who complain all the time and claim to be victims of others or events. As I mentioned earlier, the manipulator is rarely the one who recognizes being one. However, profoundly human or completely naive, I have always found and still find excuses for the manipulators and I claim that they are more to complain than to blame, I want to believe that they don't know what they are doing since for them, in their reality, their behavior is a natural defensive behavior. But even though I'm able to understand, that does not mean that I must accept to undergo these manipulations.
For more than a year now, such a manipulator has been part of my physical environment. By that I mean that this person is not connected to me remotely, through a computer. I had the opportunity to approach this person closely and begin a friendly relationship with him. But one day, under the effect of intense stress, this individual revealed his true face and I immediately cut short any link with him. Today, far, I am watching this person’s manipulative behaviour on his entourage. I admit that I find this fascinating. Incomprehensible, but still fascinating. Fortunately, taking a distance allows us to move away from a danger and thus take another look at it. And when we change our perspective on a person or situation, we then become able to change our behaviour by taking actions that are more suited to our basic security needs.
As difficult as the beginning of my life journey may have been, I am nevertheless grateful to have experienced it. So I thank all the manipulators I met, because thanks to them, I questioned myself and human relations. I also thank all the therapists I met, because thanks to them, I have opened my eyes to myself and to human relationships. Taking a step back from the external events that mark our life and delving into our emotions, wounds and belief system is the only way to stop undergoing your life and become a full actor/actress of it.
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