Psychology # 50 : Control Me Syndrome

Don’t know if it’s common or not, but I do find some of the people feel trapped in toxic relationship, not because they love that person but scare of leaving the comfort zone.

 

This is true that as long as we get used to the environment, we feel it’s more safe and secure to stay in the same old situation, even though it hurts, rather than jump the cliff to explore another chance.

 

It’s scary, i knew it.

 

What do you think? Are you one of them? or you know someone like this?

Psychology # 20 – Emotional Blackmail

 

 

This is a tricky and high-level mental manipulative technique.

 

Common found in abusive / toxic relationship in destructive system, such as family and workplace.

 

Are you familiar with this?  Please share your experience.

Psychology # 19 – Guilt Trip

 

 

 

I know this term very well, and guess it’s very familiar to abused survivor.

 

In toxic / abusive family, family members love to use this skill to trap the victims.  Reasons why many survivors struggling a lot in healing because they are not only dealing with the abuse, but also the guilt and shame within.

 

As a human, we born to feel guilty for doing bad things, or treat others badly especially if they are our blood-related family members.  We were raged for the abuse but at the same time abusers will use “guilt” to fool us, lead us to think this is our fault for not forgiving or “moving on” etc.

 

That’s why it’s takes lots of time and energy for any healing journey.

 

 

Love or Control? Can you tell the difference

 

Love is about give freedom and power, not gaining control or possession.

 

 

Love vs. Control.

 

I noted and always amazed by how many people not able to distinguish these two terms.

 

 

What is True Love?

 

In my philosophy, if you love and care a person, you should let them think and do whatever that fits and align to their core value.  If you really love a person, you don’t force them to agree or follow your path.

 

Many abused survivors learned unhealthy / toxic relationship from dysfunctional / abusive family.  We don’t know how to identify what’s right / wrong and the best for us. It took me years to understand the truth of love.

 

Previously, I watched TV / movies or reading inspiring books, I can’t stop to take a deep breath for myself….wow…..that’s what normal people do in a healthy relationship? It’s so different from what I learned from home.  Kind of like living in another planet and hard to find people understand me.

 

 

The Mask of Control

 

Many abusers / toxic parents / abusive relationship tend to trap targets by using an incredible word “love”.  They brainwashed you this is a form of “love” but in fact it’s masking their hidden insecure / intention – to control / manipulate.

 

Many moms LOVE their kids so much so they take care everything for them, e.g. cooking, dressing and arranging everything for them.  People think this is Love, but it’s not, instead, it’s a control in a subtle way.

 

Manipulative people usually make you become dependent on them until you lost your independence, you can’t think and feel in your own way, or survive according to your own wish, rely on manipulative people’s existence completely.  That’s what we found common from co-dependent relationship.

 

No joking, my ex-boss rely on her husband unreasonably, though she’s the boss but we all know who’s controlling everything behind in the company.  She’s so dependent at many aspect, can’t manage even a small task at work or her personal life.  Messy, disorganized and called her husband for help almost every hour, 20+ times daily.

 

Her husband kept all passwords and operation procedures in his hand.  Although he’s not physically at the office but he checked every email we sent, watched us via CCTV frequently.

 

 

Seriously, this is not Love

 

 

My ex-boss’s claim “this is love” while we all feel sick for those manipulative behaviors, she is so happy because she thinks her husband doing all these because he’s really love her.  Wow! That’s a delusion.

 

Many abuse survivors may assume the person who control us, plan everything and direct us to do things according to instructions is LOVE.   Many of us learned from toxic family that there’s no point to stand up for ourselves.  It seems easy and more peaceful if we just follow what we were asked.

 

Very soon, we lost the control of ourselves and hand all the power to others’ hands, at worst, many of them tend to attract abusers / narcissists / controllers to manager their lives because at the end, this is what we get used to.

 

We thought this is normal!  This is Love, right?

 

 

Wrapping Up

 

Hope more people can bring this topic for discussion.  So many times I want to scream when I found out someone trapped or being naive for their so-called loving relationship.

 

Frustrated to see when people don’t realize the truth behind.

 

How about you? Are you loving others or controlling someone? Or  you are “loving” by someone?

 

Please share your thoughts.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit : Pixabay – NatKar26

 

Psychology # 5 – Narcissism

 

The more I educated myself, the more I realized I actually attract many narcissists into my life.  Guess it’s because I used to have a very low self-esteem and no ideas about healthy boundaries.

 

Hope many people will understand this personality disorder as early as possible.  It took me years to figure things out and start my healing journey.

 

How about you? Have you ever meet someone consist of this character?  How do you deal with them?

Fathers day – a day licking wounds

Anyone can have a child and call themselves “a parent”.  

A real parent is someone who puts that child above their own selfish needs / wants.

Father’s day, same as other big festivals that used to drive me crazy and in emotional roller coaster.  Numerous banners / advertisements / slogans are displayed over the places – TV, newspaper, magazine, shopping malls.  It’s impossible to ignore and suppose it’s a big day to celebrate family heroes, right? Sadly, all those so-called meaning words / expressions used to hurt me like using a knife cut my heart/soul into pieces.

I used to dive into self-sabotaged / destructive habits for days (before and after).   Glad in recent years, my emotional management skills are increasing though still have bumps from time to time, at least the ratio of indulging binge eat, non-stopped tears, or lay in bed for days without energy / motivation are inclined.

Dine together? No-No

As the scapegoat in the family, name-calling, manipulated, treated with disrespect, verbally, emotionally, psychologically and sexually abused constantly are usual.  I was not welcomed to dine together at routine family’s meals or eat out, at the beginning, my abusive dad will pull all his favorite dishes to his side so I only pick those non-fresh/unfavorable dishes in front of me sheepishly.

He delivered a clear message to me that I’m not worthy enough to share foods with the family.   I was so shamed / humiliated and eventually only go to dinning table after everyone finished their meals.   I was the one who cook, clean dishes so I can’t stop my tears when I see there’s nothing left on the table for me.

Besides, there were times I was not allowed to turn on the light so need to eat barely leftovers alone in dark.  Remember the night I let my tears run widely on my cheeks and swear to myself that “this was the last time I “dine” with my family”, it’s just doesn’t worth it.”.  Especially when I noticed he took pleasure with smiles on my misfortune.

Thereafter, I started to prepare my own food and eat separately with my so-called family.  It’s weird and strange to tell anyone that I used to stay in room by myself, while all happy noises running outside in the dinning room.  I feel like a roommate more than a family member.  It’s extremely hurtful whenever these memories flash back to my mind.

Festivals / Celebrations? Another no-no  

My birthdays were not celebrated, needless to say, I was never invited for any family gatherings, e.g. birthdays, reunions, etc. I was invisible and excluded from all celebrations / reunion.   It was devastated and hurtful to see everyone is dressing nicely, ready to go and chat happily afterwards about what happened, while I’m left alone and felt miserable about myself.  My dad spread rumors around relatives indicated that I was the bad /worst and misbehaved.

My dad made sure I understand that he’s controlling my life/reputation, if I don’t do what he wants then I will be treated like in hell, he has all the power to control my happiness in family.   That’s why I despise him and reject his rules constantly, until reaching the point that I didn’t care whether he treated me his daughter or not.

I felt the day he start to abuse me, he’s already lost his right being my father.   I used to wander around at streets for hours during holidays because I was so shamed to let anyone know how my family treated me.  I witness how other family members happily celebrate at public and felt miserable about myself.

Sometimes I just sat in a corner of the park to cry myself off.   It’s unfair and what’s wrong with me?

No one care about my existence, I was betrayed by every family members.  Such unspeakable wounds took me a very long time to heal and re-build my self-worth/confidence.  Now I understand it’s commonly found in dysfunctional family system, all family members will identified with toxic parents, join together like a community to enhance the abusive relationship, to projet problems on others’ shoulders can help to ignore individuals’ flaws and issues.

No expectation is good expectation

No longer have unrealistic desire / expectation of a warm and welcoming biological family.  This family is sick.  Over years, I learned to accept the truth that there are families or parents not toxic but people afraid to admit because it’s out of the norm.

I started to educated myself more about dysfunctional / toxic / narcissistic / abusive family / parents to understanding my situation, so I feel less trapped by the confusion / misconception.

Closing thoughts

Don’t mean I’m expert now but my coping skill is getting more healthy and less harmful to myself.  I no longer willing to waste my life on something I can’t control.  Be responsible to myself to learn how to nurture / comfort my inner child,  more conscious to chose people and environment I’m engaged, etc.

I used to feel extremely confused and jealous for my sisters, who were treated completely different from me.  They laugh / tease whenever I was humiliated or mistreated.  But now when I observed their lives, that’s not what I want to become – especially the one who used to be praised as the WELL-BEHAVED sister is becoming the loneliest, insecure person because she put 200% energy / time to please my dad, which proves the old saying “You are who your are hanging around with”.

How about you? Do you have good and supporting parents and family ? That’s good and I am happy for you.   If not, how do you deal with your ambivalent feelings during stereotype festivals?

Photo credit :  Pixabay – PublicDomainPictures

Secrets of Dysfunctional Family (4) – More than 1 dirty laundry in basket

Silence empowers the abuser and imprisons the survivor.  Shatter the silence, take back your life!

Things happening in toxic families like dirty laundries that shamed to be aired, and there usually have more than one person can be handled simultaneously.  Anyone who never experience to grow up in dysfunctional family will have difficulty to image how chaos the door behind.

Physical abuse

Victims will be punished physically whether it’s their fault or not, but simply a “punching bag” to take over all anger / frustration projected from abusers.

It took me a long time to understand not every child in world are beaten as like as me.  I was beat, hair pulled, slapped without any warnings, sometimes it’s my mistakes but other times I didn’t even know what’s the problem.  My mom lost control and temper easily and used to tie me up with strings to windows, to stop me running around when beaten.  She was very creative, made use of any tools can be found from tiny house, I tried stick, belt, feather duster, plastic pipe, chairs, etc. Occasionally she simply throw my forehead to the wall.

At that young age, without any exposure to outside world, I really thought to be beaten is a normal life for kid.  My tiny body was always covered with bruises / scars so I usually wear long sleeves even in hot weather to cover my arms and legs, I was extremely shamed!

Tactfully, my dad never hurt me physically but loves to report my behaviors to mom so eventually I was beaten furiously. Until now, I still remember his sinister smile, while I bite my lips tightly to avoid any screaming.  I hate to show my weakness to them.  I was stubborn even at that young age – I can’t control my body, but I can control my reaction.  It’s my dignity!

Verbally Abuse

My toxic parents are professionals.  I was name-calling, yelled, teased, humiliated sarcastically / hurtfully or foul language.   At that early age, I was totally naive with the term of “verbally abuse”, but I was deeply hurt, for many nights I cried to sleep and don’t understood why my parents treat me like a person without feelings.  At first, I thought they just in bad mood, or I should do better to make them satisfied / happy; or giving them excuses such as they didn’t mean to hurt me, it’s just their way of talking / acting because they never go to school.

But later I found that my classmate’s parents also without any education but they treat their kids with respect, love and care.  And I start to realize the huge difference when they communicated with outsiders or other family members.

My Dad is very kind, nice to people outside the house.  Sometimes I confused if it’s the same person I know at home. He thanks to people who help, work with him, at shop, management office and his company.

I still can’t control my emotions whenever flashbacks knock my head nowadays, remembered all hurtful comments he made to me can lead me to tears, depressed for days or weeks.  Bruises can be healed, but hurtful words are imprinted in my heart and soul.  This is the reason I seldom vilify / insult people by words,even though I am very angry, as I was there and totally understand how it feel.  Words can never be taken back.

Emotional / Psychological Abuse

My dad cares a lot about his reputation and how people think about him.  The image he creates are : generous, kind, responsible, i.e. a “fine person”.  Thus he never put hands on me since scars / bruises can be seen.

However, he neglect me since early childhood to …..I should say, most of the time.  I was not allowed to call my parents as “dad” or “mom” at early age, but need to call them “aunt” or “uncle” as they didn’t want people know I’m their kids.  Then later he loves taking opportunities to slander me, in front or behind my back.  He positioned himself as “saint” who can judge me as “the worst kid” and shame to him.  I was not welcomed to join family dinners, and if there are relative involved, I was either be left at house alone, or listened his comments about me in front of other relatives, e.g. how bad, how useless I am at family etc…aims to shame me in front of everyone without showing any embarrassment / remorse.

The more he acted like this, the more I disrespect and hate him.  What a decent man will gossip like a woman? Who the hell a Dad will badmouth their kids in front of strangers and relatives? What’s his motive? Is it that exciting to just shame me?

He’s a short temper person, any small stuff that doesn’t meet his expectation / requirement – he will punch and throw things up, bang the doors, yelling, scolding etc.   I walked on eggshell everyday – heart bumping fast, muscle tensed, hands sweating whenever he’s home.

Sexual Abuse

I learned that it’s another common behavior for abusers to gain and manifest power.  Remembered there were times my dad came to my room and touched me even at very young age, but since my mom still in family (later she ran away and never show up again), things seem under certain control.

But started from the 1st day my mom disappeared, my dad started to touch me inappropriately.  He seems no longer need to fake about about his desire.  He first created rumors / gossips about me to ruin my relationship with siblings and relatives, while I was not allowed to have friends or any social activities outside school or work.  In such,  I was completely manage everything on my own since there’s no support system.  Nobody will judge or doubt him since I had already being viewed as “the trouble one”.

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I was totally naive without any knowledge about sexual assault, abuse or incest at that age.  He took advantage for my innocent and lack of supporting system.  I didn’t feel comfortable for what he did to me, doubt and confused : whether it’s love or normal for dad to kiss daughter in mouth? is it really OK to sit on the lap of dad? Every morning / night, it became a routine for him to come to my bed, touch me for 10-30 mins while my younger sister (around 8-10 years old) sleep next to me.  Now I know it’s “molestation”.

He brought me to swim but I found he’s the only one who had fun every time.  I didn’t enjoy at all,  I was hugged, kissed, asked to cross my legs on his tummy (like usual days I was asked to sit face to face to him on his lap, or touched me under sea water, while my sisters played on sand.  Once I found him comforted himself under sheet in front of us in hotel room.  I felt disgusted for his behaviors and refused to spend lonely time with him.  Or when he’s around, I covered myself up carefully to avoid his following eyes on my body.  He did it openly without remorse.  Disgusting!

I started to feel depressed / lost track of life when I received more information / knowledge about my situation.  There were a long period of time I gave myself up completely.  I made myself getting fatter and fatter, no longer care about my appearance or how I dress, don’t care job or life anymore.  I don’t know how to manage my never-ended flashbacks.  There are days I am doing good with peace, but when emotions overwhelmed I just can’t handle it.  Now I knew I kind of caught up by PTSD, common for victims after long-time trauma.

Manipulation

My life was controlled completely.  There’s nothing much I can do besides of school, work and housework.  I was not encouraged to have friends, restricted to social life or even healthy relationship with siblings and relatives.  I was commented as “not putting family at first place” by wanting going out with friends during weekends.  I used to feel extremely guilty for having life outside home, but later, I started to get more and more rebellious, I had more wisdom to judge whether his so-called rules are non-sense / bull-shits or not.  I started to stop doing what he ordered and my life at home was getting more miserable since then.

He insulted me when I read, so I read more;  he blamed me for travel and frame me up as “bad girl” to relatives and his friends.  But who knows I was hungry for self-education because I want to step out of the dysfunctional system, I wanted to re-learn everything that I was taught.  And to leave for travel, even for a short period of time, can give me chance to breath, to be myself without being controlled.  I don’t know what will happened if I lost these two things from my life as these actually save my life.

Final thoughts

If I can start over again, I hope I had more courage and wisdom to speak up, to protect myself and ask for help / support.  I learned these during healing journey in a hard way – wasted a lot of life figuring things out by myself.

Until lately, I finally reach the point : sick of keeping secrets and carrying all baggage, thus screw it! If what I had done over years not serving me well, what’s the point to keep on doing the same but expect different results.  I got to head up and turn my life upside down by starting this blog.

Hope nobody will go through the same path as like as mine.

Photo credit :  Pixabay – Gellinger