Updated: Jul 15, 2020
“It’s as if [you] don’t own your own bodies, but instead rent them from parental landlords who expect ‘their property’ to be maintained to their specification. Because of their delusion of ownership, they misinterpret [your] exercise of bodily autonomy as acts of personal rebellion against them.”
--TheraminTrees (sounds an awful lot like Paul’s Biblical mandate that when you get married, suddenly your bodies belong to the other person. Yikes).
The more you learn about the psychology and methods of abuse, the more you start to realize how prevalent and masked it is, everywhere.
It amazes me that “venerable” institutions like religions, are just macrocosms of the microcosms of the family unit. I have yet to find “you will follow the religion that most closely matches your personality” to be false. And since your upbringing contributes to your personality…
This is how users and abusers get you to keep yourself in an imaginary, self-contributed-to, perma-submission cage.
Hence, I am a panentheist. But this isn’t about that.
“If you are being made to feel crazy for [or too incompetent to understand] what your eyes, ears, and instinct are experiencing in real time, that isn’t true love.”
“Gaslighters do anything they can to get you to question your thought patterns so much, you start to question your reality. You then have to over-rely on them to think for you, make decisions for you, tell you how you are feeling, and diagnose you. They will act like they know what/who is best for you.”
Gaslighting is one of those relationship buzzwords that is going around these days (like “narcissism”), a sort of catch-all for any relationship abuse or even disagreement involving lying or manipulation.
The real definition of gaslighting is a pattern of brainwashing that slowly attempts to trick the target into doubting themselves, and re-writing history that they witnessed, by: tiny, incremental degrees of consistent conveyance of outright false-hoods, in addition to negation of and omission of facts.
“Gaslighting can happen to anyone. It does not discriminate against age, race, wisdom, orientation, or gender. It is obvious cults, some religions, and dictatorships but it occurs in relationships every day… and can be very hard to detect.
ly more prevalent and easier to detect in
And because it’s so gradual, the person being gaslighted not only can’t access the bigger picture of what’s really going on (because they are always in the thick of it), but they also can’t realize that they’ve been brainwashed.”
There is a very special form of gaslighting, almost a component of gaslighting in many cases, that is so gradual, it literally takes a lifetime to complete. It’s called Infantilization. Infantilization is what you get when you have advanced beyond infancy or certain childhood developmental stages and milestones...but you are not only treated like you haven’t...you are consistently trained to believe that your mental and physical capacity isn’t what it really is.
This “dumbing down” is a favorite method of users and abusers to turn you into a pawn for whatever they “need”. The needs are many and fluid, and you become a self-doubting, self-limiting puppet reliant on your puppet-master to approve you to make your next move--whatever that move, determined by *them*, is. The worst part is that since you are convinced of your own incompetence…
...you do all the hard, dirty work of regulating yourself to stay in the lines marked out for you. You become the game warden that keeps you from “poaching” YOU away from your user/abuser, so that you are always available as prey for others.
The problem with realizing that you’ve been or are actively being infantilized is that, since it has taken place for the entirety of your life, you don’t know any different. It’s literally all you know. However, there are tell-tale signs:
*You feel unable to cope. Everything feels like too much; depression and feeling defeated and lost is a way of life. Even when you get up the courage to *want* to do something, you feel like all the air has been sucked out of the room, like all the energy has left your body. This can physically manifest in your body to the point that you start to question if you have chronic fatigue syndrome (when you aren’t being berated or berating yourself for being sinfully “lazy”, “slothful”, “indolent”, “ungenerous”, or “spiteful”).
*You are extremely risk averse. Even when amazing opportunities present themselves, you are so afraid and uncomfortable you literally can’t go for them. This can be something as simple as feeling a vague but very real terror about something as commonplace and “normal” (for other people) as of staying in a hotel room with classmates for a class competition or trip; going somewhere by yourself; etc. Which brings us to…
*You feel like everyone else had a Fairy Godmother that gave them the gift of being “normal” at birth--able to make close friends and hang out with them; do extra-curriculars; not be bound to fanatically practicing a dark-feeling religion by overzealous care-takers; have practical, worldly wisdom (as opposed to status-y but worthless talents that you are coerced into pursuing, such as getting good grades in the worthless curriculum offered by school--if you are even allowed to go to school)...But because you may be verbally encouraged to “make friends and get involved”, you feel like you have only yourself to blame for these shortcomings, although there seems to be a tangible force-field you can’t find a way around, further convincing you that you are pathetic, freakish, and defective. But perhaps, just perhaps, the reason you are reluctant and resistant is because “making friends and getting involved” is always 100% on someone else’s terms: the friends, organizations, and activities are always chosen for you, and always supervised, of course. You always end up feeling humiliated and sabotaged somehow as well.
*You feel neurotic, depressed, obsessive, anxious, and terrified of exploding with tears or rage that, once released, you fear you will never get under control again.
*You compulsively overshare. The world is your confessional. Because you feel inherently bad, wrong, one sneeze away from a smiting, terrified, and unable to trust your own “always-flawed” conclusions, you constantly appeal to some or any authority (even superstitious signs and omens) to validate you, especially when it comes to conflict. You constantly look for an ally or a judge that will side with you and protect you, dragging people who have no business knowing your business into your own self-published personal cheap-rag tabloid expose….against yourself and those closest to you.
*You feel exposed, dirty, broken, and small for “no reason”.
*You feel like you have no future, no hope, like life is pointless, and that your purpose is to suffer. Life is one big chore. You wish you could find a different purpose, but no matter how many times you read, “What Color Is My Parachute?” you come up blank. You’re free-falling and the ripcord won’t work.
You feel like you don’t really exist, or that you are already dead. Or you want to die ALOT.
*You feel a constant, nagging sense of injustice and something being “off”--that you try to silence to the point of exhaustion.
You feel trapped even though it seems as if every opportunity is provided for you.
*You feel drawn to things that you know you don’t want, as if they are your destiny, despite being your worst nightmare. You feel like you see signs that you are meant to do things that repulse you in every way. For example, at one point, even though all I wanted was a life of freedom and adventure, I felt convinced "God" was telling me to become a Poor Clare nun (the ones who leave the most severe, deprived lives). I even looked to the Bible for answers and (this is true) flipped randomly to the page talking about the man named "Nun" (remember "appealing to any authority, even superstitious signs and omens" to make sense of powerlessness in chaos?). It felt dark, wrong, and misery-making, but I was somehow absolutely convinced this was what I had to do despite every gut instinct pulling me away (after all, all these mystical signs were there!). Not long after this, someone spent a year carefully showing me how Catholicism contradicts the Bible, proving once again that intuition and the fact that you feel miserable is always spot on guidance, and compulsive force into things unwanted is always wrong, even if you can't see the "how".
*You don’t question contradictions, or much of anything that is told to you by your caretaker or partner. You shut off your critical thinking and reasoning, and therefore initiative, out of fear. Even William Shakespeare in the 1600s got it:
"Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something [else],
The undiscovered country...puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action." --Hamlet
*Daydreaming about your future is always hijacked by an authority figure with their own plans for you, from the career you will choose, the place you will live, and who you will live with (for example, it is made explicitly clear that you WILL take care of your caretaker). When you are the subject of their daydreams, you are always vulnerable and often in some doomed scenario.
You always feel inferior and subordinate, like everyone is in on something, and knows something about you, that you can't and won't ever be swift enough to figure out.
*You can’t bring yourself to look forward to things, and you feel the need to hide that which you hold closest to your heart. You’re always waiting for “the other shoe to drop”; you are so used to losing on *everything*, and you find that if people know something is really important to you, it becomes a weapon of blackmail, the subject of jealousy (for your favor and attention), or otherwise inexplicably sabotaged and supplanted by what other people want. You feel jinxed as far as manifesting goes--your theme song is “If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.”
*You also are afraid to say anything because they might “try to be helpful”...which rarely leads to anything good, and instead causes a mess, or convinces you out of acting on whatever you had planned before it can even start,
*You don’t really realize that histrionics are not a valid, convincing, legitimate argument.
*You don’t feel like you are allowed to try or explore.
Failure is ridiculed and punished.
*Success (in unapproved activities) is dismissed, vilified, and punished.
*You are a near-complete push-over because you never win anyway, so why bother to stand up for yourself? You’ll only regret it later when your “rebelliousness and impudence” is brought back up and punished retroactively if not immediately.
*You feel like a burden on your caretaker or partner, who is a saintly martyr.
*Your default factory setting seems to have been "Expect abandonment". You exhaust the good people in your life by testing them until they confirm your abandonment bias, then you become inconsolable that you lost your "one chance at happiness". Knowing that you would be abandoned makes it worse, not better. The people who disapproved from the start never pass up an opportunity to say, "I told you so". You trust them even more (and yourself ever less).
*You obsess over every interaction you have with other people; every word you spoke, every letter you wrote or typed. You feel shaky, sweaty, and humiliated, even when there is nothing to be doubtful about ("Hi"). You have to ask if you did or said something wrong. You need constant reassurance. You’d rather stay silent, alone, and safely invisible.
*You don’t (or aren’t allowed to): sing, dance, enjoy music, read novels, watch television, use the internet, socialize with people who have other beliefs, consider and question other points of view, self-pleasure, or laugh and be silly. People who do are looked down on as unacceptable, sinful, wrong, and DOOMED, while those abstaining are made to seem superior and slightly-less-doomed (a reward for refusing to do something that feels good, freeing, and mature that isn't reliant on the abuser/cult). You feel like an old person in a young body.
*You have no peace.
*You feel crazy for feeling any of these ways because you have happy memories, words of encouragement, praise, and personal accomplishments (like good grades or proficiency at an authority-approved activity) to point to that seem to contradict and negate it all. All the “distasteful” things you don’t like or that don’t feel good are things you just *know* are justified and “really for my own good” (real love makes sure you have eternal salvation, right?). Because you see your caretaker/partner/cult as saintly/infallible (pedestalled) and yourself as a depedestalled, deeply flawed no-hoper who will never be enough (although sometimes these roles chaotically reverse, like when you are upset, hungry, in a bad mood…), you feel even more ashamed and guilty for being so ungrateful, ridiculous, obstinate, fickle, "sinful", inconsistent, and “crazy”.
WHY WOULD YOU BE INFANTILIZED?
You might be used as:
**A source of unconditional and completely reliant ego-fellation (love, admiration, attention), giving the user a constant source of narcissistic supply for the fragile self-esteem they can never adequately give themselves; Physical proof they are powerful, effective, persuasive, "holy", "doing the Lord's work", helpful, "a good shepherd", trustworthy, etc.
**A free, unlimited, willing-hostage source of physical labor (whether expected to “donate” the income from your job; “volunteering” wherever needed to make the family look good and gain reciprocity benefits; housework; sex; on-call healthcare and living assistance; etc.)
**A body, adding to the number of the user’s lackeys or followers, which adds to their prestige and gives them more protection, since each additional member of the entourage dilutes the power of the other individual followers by making them replaceable (the law of declining utility--the more you have of something, the less each one is worth). Your body may even be used in an attempt to make MORE bodies to add to the flock, whether as a recruiter or as an incubator.
**A source of control; a 7-course meal for a power-hungry manipulator who *needs* you to stave off their own crippling internal sense of powerlessness.
**A role to fill. For some reason, you always feel like a child. Somehow, without even saying a word, in every social situation you end up in the proverbial kid’s table and car seat. You find yourself having to sit silently on the sidelines “while the adults are talking”, waiting eagerly to be called upon to be so-and-so’s “little helper”. You would try to be the adult that your state I.D. claims you are, but every attempt ends in emotional-diapered disaster. Listened to? You manage to cause a mess or disappoint people; your legendary reputation for self-sabotage and impulsivity precedes you. Not listened to? You attempt to whine, childishly demand, and then throw fits to be heard before lashing out passively-aggressively. You always feel pathetic, small, and end up ultimately looking to, or having to let, someone else to call the shots or give permission. Being the group infant is your way of life, and everyone can smell it a mile away because even if you never met someone in your life, you instantly “assume the position” of a helpless pet or pest (regardless of how capable/useful you are).
**A source of entertainment, because abusers are perpetually bored people.
**And so on.
Usually, infantilization starts the moment you naturally try to progress past infancy and start to individuate as your personality begins to form--usually beginning at age 2 or 3--when you are consistently thwarted by the caretakers (confinement-makers) in your life. As soon as your brain can be molded by indoctrination, it is. With infantilization, that indoctrination is about your own inescapable helplessness, dependency, and ineptitude.
This is done in a many-part program that includes:
***Creating fallacious definitions to words so that even basic concepts mean something completely different than what they should mean:
This is how “care and concern” becomes synonymous with being smothered and dominated;
how “love” (from you) becomes synonymous with unquestionable compliance;
how healthy, normal human expressions of individuality, anger, sadness, or other “undesireable” emotions become synonymous with being defective, a bad person, a sign that you need a handler (since you are “unstable”, “hysterical”, and “emotional, not rational”);
how time for yourself or saying no is punished as “laziness, selfishness, foolishness, rebellion”;
***Because most humans have a built-in safeguard to keep them alive, where negative events have a much greater impact psychologically than positive ones (especially in childhood), failures or less-than-perfect attempts are highlighted to such a degree by abusers that failure becomes expected and a source of terror and shame. This creates a cruel and impossible cycle:
If you are going to fail anyways, why try, only to cause yourself and your caretakers trouble and embarassment?
Being prevented from trying
You are prevented from *learning*
Which means that:
Is used to justify you from being prevented from trying because:
Failure is expected and persecuted
Repeat from beginning.
Which brings us to…
***Using fear, especially psychological fear: Because we live in a society where obvious physical abuse is likely to be reported and lead to harsh adverse consequences for the abuser, psychological threats are a very effective substitute, especially on someone very young who has little to no frame of reference or experience of how the world really works. This has been successful as far back as humanity was a thing, which is why kings were considered gods and the Afterlife is purported to contain eternal, unimaginably horrific punishment for transgressors of any kind (even thought “crimes”!).
Because most humans are highly motivated to avoid negatives (as opposed to gain positives) and to remain safe, fear is a perfect tool. Implanted in a naive, still-forming brain, not only will you have a creature that self-checks for its own perceived self-preservation, but it will continue to do so long after they experience external contradictions that would otherwise make the manipulative programming obvious and laughable.
***Using authority and confidence, which most people instinctively (even in spite of themselves) respect and are consciously and unconsciously influenced by.
When you are guileless, the idea that someone could speak, act, and direct others with absolute certainty and unwavering entitlement about something, without making sure they are beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt correct is unthinkable.
***“Rules for thee and not for me”: You are set up from the start to expect and excuse hypocrisy and double-standards. The excuses range from so transparent that you think there is something wrong with you for not seeing it (“Who would dare make such a bold-faced lie? There must be something here I just can’t see”) to reasonable and convincing (despite your intuition insisting, from the back-of-the-bus section of your mind that you’ve had to relegate it to, that something is very wrong).
You can see this just about everywhere that “authority” exists. For example, a government that allows police to maim, kill, rape, and steal with no real, lasting negative repercussions; allows judges to order death at the system’s leisure; and enforces the collection of taxes (theft) for the “common good” as determined by strangers who are bought and paid for by special interests. You and I are not allowed to do these things as individuals, but if someone has enough of a gang with deadly firepower behind them calling themselves the special word “government”, and does it under the illusion that you got somewhat of a say in the fact that they have the power to do these things, we don’t think twice and even accept their message that it is “for your own good”.
***Deliberate lies, neglect, misinformation, especially for use in ritual humiliation/weaponizing:
I’m going to give a personal story here in the hopes that it helps you to identify parallel occurrences in your own life. As a child, I had chronic, horrible acne. Although my caretaker could easily have taken me to a dermatologist, bought me effective treatment (NOT just a sad cheap tube of Clearasil, which was only useful AFTER my face was already covered in blemishes and actually irritated and inflamed my poor skin MORE), and helped me become healthier (drink more water, take flax seed oil, eat better foods, exercise more)...I was ignored or told that “It’s because you put the cat on your face. The cat is dirty, that’s why you have skin problems.”
Not only was having chronic, unrelenting acne deeply humiliating and shameful to experience, but worse, something that was precious to me (that my caretaker deeply disapproved of--in this case, my pet cat that lived in my bedroom) was weaponized as allegedly being the source of my pain.
It wasn’t until I started hormonal birthcontrol at age 25, eating more plants and drinking lots more water that my skin *finally* calmed down--despite continuing to snuggle my cat and letting her sleep on my pillow.
Far from wanting to improve my quality of life, my caretaker seemed to secretly enjoy how my appearance made me feel isolated and undesirable; they sent the message that looking my best was “vanity” (sinful, evil) and a waste of money. (The truth is, looking your best is just plain good manners).
There was also the implication that I was hopelessly defective because not only was there nothing any medical professional could do for me, I was choosing my own disfigurement by having affection for something other than my abuser.
This taught me an important lesson: whether you like it or not, YOU MUST and will always be the greatest educator and advocate for YOU.
***Punishment for successful autonomy, self-sufficiency, actualization, and individuation: If you manage to successfully complete an attempt at something (especially something that they attempted to dissuade you from, or you didn’t ask permission for), or if you manage to maintain an age-appropriate boundary, you experience backlash in one or many forms, including but not limited to:
disapproval and brow-beating;
jealousy and the brunt of other negative feelings aimed at you from someone who is obviously taking it personally/making it into a personal insult;
withdrawal, or threats of withdrawal of future love, protection, or help;
the silent treatment/getting iced out;
“the wrath of God” (making a normal, human need (the need for self-actualization) into a “deviant” moral/ethical/spiritual issue with hellish, unsubstantiated but no less terrifying theoretical punishments--the underlying psychological message being that to offend your abuser is to offend God, unconsciously putting them on an analogous level of super-authority and putting you in a permanent state of inescapable, cosmic dis-ease);
tattle-taling (repeating the story to others in an attempt to embarrass, isolate you, make you regret what you did, and question your worth/rights/normalcy). Usually the story will be spun in such a way that exaggerates or outright lies about you, making you question reality, and smearing your reputation to others while making your abuser look like the good guy--just trying to protect you...from yourself;
weaponizing your care for them with emotional blackmail (for example, getting you to believe that they are helpless and if you grow or individuate in any way they will: get hurt or sick, die, go crazy, become suicidal or self-harm, become inconsolably and irreparably lost and lonely, and on and on)--You are told in subtle or not-so-subtle terms that you are the emotion-parent and perpetual mental ward for an emotional infant, upon whom the entirety of their whole well-being relies (which, of course, is only true on Opposite Day).
Users and abusers are very creative and love adding variety to their complete predictability, looking for something, anything that will stick your good-hearted conscience and get them what they want: a babified slave.
***Permanent sense of debt and obligation: From spinning “family” with an unlimited, vague, and amorphous definition to suit them, to insisting you sold them your soul (and the rest of your life) for basic levels of care and human decency, you will be demanded to fulfill ever-increasing and ever-changing stipulations of a contract you never saw or agreed to. Don’t buy it.
As That1Janitor put it so well, “You’re supposed to be nice to people, you don’t get a cookie for doing stuff you should be doing anyways...they want everyone to pity them...”
You don’t owe a user or abuser your undying fealty with no limits because they didn’t go to jail for gross child neglect; loaned you money when you needed it; let you call them up at 2:00 a.m. and cry; call themselves your significant other; or bought you a present.
TheraminTrees explains it perfectly,
“In healthy relationships, people don’t try to trap each other with obligations, guilt, or debt. They stay because they like each other.”
Esther Hicks echoes this:
“If someone looks deep into your eyes and says ‘You fulfill me’...run fast.
If someone says to you, ‘I cannot live without you’...run like the wind.
If someone says to you, ‘Before you I was nothing’... go running and screaming into the woods.
If someone says to you, ‘I like you pretty good, let’s see how it goes’, say ‘Alright’. If someone says, ‘I am having a really wonderful day and you keep coming into my mind’, then say, ‘Hmmm, we might be meant to be together’...
Our marriage vows would go exactly like this: ‘I like you pretty good, let's see how it goes.’
Instead, what you say is, ‘I hope that you will be able to live up to all of the impossible things that I have written down that you need to be. And I will hold you hostage every day of your life because my happiness depends on your being able to second-guess everything that I will ever want. Sign here.’
Instead, it should be: ‘I do not take your life as my responsibility, I take my life as my responsibility and I am looking forward to a very good time here.
I am anticipating that as we move forward in this life together that we will have the ultimate of all positive experiences, because that is what I intend to look for.
As long as we’re having a good time, let’s stay together. And if we should stop having a good time, let us separate - either in thought or in physicalness ...until negative do us part’...So delicious!!!
I'd call it Responsible Union: I manage my vibration. you manage your vibration, and we'll come together to play in our individually aligned wholeness!”
***Created image/label to live up to:
“As soon as you’re born you are given a name, a religion, a nationality, and a race. You spend the rest of your life defending a fictional identity.”
The hardest things to change about ourselves are identity-based values and habits. This is why religions, cults of personality, sports teams, and nationalism work so well, are so popular, and make so much money. Without an identity...what are you, and what does it matter?
For people who have difficulty knowing their own worth and lack enough self-understanding and confidence to self-direct, it’s much easier to B.I.R.G.--Bask In Reflected Glory--and take direction from duties assigned to them, as their identity.
As soon as you can understand words, you will be assigned an identity, anything from “Crybaby” to “they never cry, they are so brave”--creating a self-fulfilling prophecy by pressuring you into following the implied order to not contradict that assigned identity, as explained by those in authority (who always seem to know more about you than you know about yourself).
You also may be told reducing stories full of longing for the “good old days” when you were a helpless infant, as if your life should have stopped then. My caretaker frequently would tell me their literal dreams of me being a tiny toddler, with them taking care of me or rescuing me from something. Or I would be older, but always ruining my life/in dire straits/helpless/endangered/being taken advantage of/ kidnapped and assaulted/surrounded by devils.
Never once did they ever tell me they had a pleasant dream where I was successful, empowered, healthy, or having a good time.
Worst of all, they would try to use these dreams as messages from the Supernatural that I needed to “amend the errors of my ways”. This may sound ridiculous, but when you have been groomed not to trust anything or anyone else, and you are desperate for something to look up to and give you guidance (because you can’t give those things to yourself), every change of the breeze becomes An Omen From Above(™).
Paranoia, neuroticism, and obsessive-compulsion are the inevitable result to trying to find meaningful patterns in, and to control: randomness, chaos, and unrelated co-incidences that can be interpreted in literally any which way. This creates an almost unbreakable downward spiral, leaving you vulnerable to further exploitation.
***Being physically trapped, usually coupled with financial abuse (“controlling a victim's ability to acquire, use, and maintain financial resources”) and restrictions on communication with the outside world:
Swathed in noble-sounding excuses, this can include restrictions on the internet (to maintain your purity, of course...the fact that this keeps you ignorant and isolated is just a...side effect...lulz). Or it might be about your ability or even desire to earn a living or keep your money (for example, extolling the virtues of poverty and “giving all you have to the poor”).
Taken even further, sexual abuse can leave the victim feeling so broken and depressed, they don’t have the heart to even try to escape.
Sexual abuse taken even further can include (1.) the forbidding of birth control and/or (2.) attempted, forced, coerced, or misguided impregnation that adds another victim to the mix--a victim completely dependent on the primary victim that will also eventually grow up indoctrinated to feed the abuse machine.
This completely transparent tactic is pawned off on victims with nonsensical, weasel justifications like, “It’s what God wants”, “You’ll get a better place in Heaven for being a mother”, and “If you defy reproduction, you will suffer eternal punishment.”
Before this can happen to you, trust your intuition and life-preserving instinct to escape, or do whatever it takes to protect yourself until you can escape as soon as possible.
I love the way Nadia Holliday, MsSoSick put it in her excellent book, Are You Fierce, Focused & Fabulous, Or Just Another Dumb B!tch?:
"I don't give a f*ck if you have no money or no place to go! I don't give a f*ck if you have no plan because you DON'T NEED a plan to get the f*ck away from someone who is causing you bodily harm! You don't need an excuse, plan, or money to get away from some deranged f*cktard!...HE WILL NEVER EVER CHANGE! HE WILL NEVER EVER STOP BEATING ON YOU! HE DOESN'T MEAN IT WHEN HE SAYS HE'S SORRY! TRUE CHANGE COMES FROM WITHIN...
A woman beater [or sexual predator] is a LIAR and therefore you CAN NOT trust anything he says! Get it?? Got it?? Good! I know you are scared, and my heart breaks for you, truly it does in fact I pity you because your fear is what has you in that situation and it is what's keeping you there! You have to STOP being afraid and get ready to fight! Get ready to take your f*cking life back! The bullsh!t STOPS right here and right now!
This is what I want you to do tonight before you do to bed, I want you to pray that God...**whatever you call your one, true God to deliver you from this situation and this is the prayer I want you to say;
Dear God, I am sick and tired of this F*CKTARD whipping on my @ss (its okay to curse because God knows your heart and he knows you're sick and tired of this F*CKTARD'S bullsh*t), and I'm scared out of my f*cking mind! I don't have any money, and I have no place to go, BUT I have to get the f*ck out of here! This burden is too much for heart and soul to carry, so I'm placing it in Your hands. Tomorrow when I wake up I'm getting the F*CK out of here and placing my life and destiny on Your shoulders so that You may carry this weight for me! I have nothing left and nothing to lose, I pray that I make it out safely but if something should go terribly wrong, I pray that my life and death will be an inspiration for others to get out before it is too late...I pray that if I die, my death may save the life of another. Dear GOD, I hope that you have heard my prayer this evening, because today is the day I've decided to take my life back! I pray that you give me strength, courage, and wisdom to make it through! Yo are MY rock, MY everything, MY shelter in the storm, and in YOU ALONE I TRUST! Amen!
The next day, all you have to do is fulfill your end of the bargain and GET THE F*CK OUT! God did NOT bless you with life to watch that DUMB F*CKTARD beat you down! He wants more and better for you, but you have to want it for yourself! When you walk out of that house, apartment, situation the next day, RUN LIKE HELL AND DON'T stop until you can't run anymore!...
When you reach somewhere safe...tell them your situation. THEY WILL GET YOU THE F*CK AWAY FROM THAT MONSTER!! **I will say this.. if it is possible for you to document your abuse, do so.. "
Fate is real, and you are *always* invited to co-create yours:
“At the moment of commitment the entire universe conspires to assist you.”
―Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.
I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!”
―William Hutchison Murray
People who don’t want you to trust your own intuition are not your friends.
“Intuition is the only means destiny has of communicating with you.”
It’s also the last voice you ever get the chance to ignore. If you are miserable, you are doing something wrong.
“Nothing defines humans better than their willingness to do irrational things in the pursuit of phenomenally unlikely payoffs. This is the principle behind lotteries, looking for love, and religion.”
--Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert comic strip.
Anything that robs you of self-awareness and self-esteem, rewards dependency, teaches helplessness, punishes attempts at discovery (especially self-discovery and empowerment) is NOT a mystical, “mandate from Heaven” path to Paradise (that is conveniently completely unverifiable and has no qualms about feeding off of you at your gross expense while making you a loser in life).
It IS, however, a guaranteed ticket to Hell on Earth, as you likely already know if you have read this far.
This is why so many systems worship innocence--the bastardized definition of which always seems to include:
ignorance of the way the world really works (leaving you open for exploitation and to “suffer the [unnecessary] ‘punishment of your sins’” (like unwanted or unwise pregnancy);
isolation (from “non-believers” or non-family members, who might expose you to the high quality of life that healthy normalcy provides;
convincing you that your body is not your own;
and your identity, traits, and values are pre-determined and set in stone, subjecting you to micromanagement in every aspect of life.
SO WHAT CAN WE DO TO ESCAPE THIS SYSTEM AND RE-CONFIGURE OUR CONDITIONING?
First, understand that in a healthy dynamic, while bonds of love are supposed to continue, parenting is understood to be temporary, benevolent, and un-self-centered. The end goal is to create a safe environment and stable foundation of respect for the uniqueness of the young child as a separate and inherently valuable entity, regardless of the value they provide to the parent. This is unconditional love.
The healthy care-taker also actively and passively nurtures the desire for independence and privacy as the child develops, and enables, encourages, and supports growth, discovery, and self-actualization.
Ultimately the relationship resolves in equality between Adults--in mindset, word, and deed.
The contrast is the dictatorial, self-serving madhouse in which everything is a misery-making contradiction:
you feel smothered, then disposable;
faceless from a lack of interest in you as a person and of your achievements being dismissed, then the center of unwanted attention;
told to spread a message/go to college and get a job/get out more while being convinced to be fearful of unknown terrors and unseen threats called "the world" and "outsiders/nonbelievers";
told how much of a condemned “sinner” you are, then reminded how you are among the Elect who have the Truth;
and so on.
One hand gives while the other hand simultaneously takes it away, leaving you never able to rely on anything or relax, even in your own head.
With this in mind, coupled with an awareness of users’ and abusers’ motivations and tactics, it is possible to start trusting your intuition, making your behavior benefit you, and taking your power back (even if you have to do it in secret).
“DO NOT VALIDATE YOUR OWN INVALIDATION. DO NOT VALIDATE POWER PLAYS. STOP OVER-VALUING YOUR ABUSERS’ RESPECT.”
“Don’t ever give people who dishonored you a reaction. They don’t have anything new to say and neither do you.”
See selfish manipulation for what it is. When something feels wrong, it *is* wrong.
No more of that “lean not on your understanding” bullcrap that makes you the prey of a pedestalled “sage” with their own agenda (that turns you into a self-policing non-entity tool).
When dealing with people who can’t keep their narrative of you straight and want to force you to do things that feel unnatural, ask yourself, “What does this person/organization stand to gain off of my surrendering my autonomy?”
Start discovering and *acting* on the vision you have for your life. If you don’t know exactly what you want, at least you know for sure exactly what you DON’T want.
Find a way to educate yourself (no, I don’t mean pay thousands of dollars and spend years of your life in college--creating a blog like this one doesn’t take anything beyond the basics of reading and writing...and honestly, you don’t even need to do that. You could listen to books on tape and then record your thoughts on a recorder for someone to transcribe for you, or post as is on a podcast).
There are resources out there to help you.
Take your body back; protect yourself from unwanted pregnancy. Report sexual abuse if you can and wish to.
The more you join in on and participate in things that you enjoy (even if it is just an online forum), the more you will find accepting people who also do those things (and who may be willing and able to help you out).
As soon as possible, physically flee abusers like your life depends on it: it does.
Even if you aren’t physically threatened, your life is slipping away because time is something you never get back...
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing.
A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time.
A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order—willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living.”
Create goals and a schedule. It doesn’t matter if they work out perfectly or not--as Winston Churchill found, “Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.”
General Eisenhower further said “…the very definition of ‘emergency’ is that it is unexpected, therefore it is not going to happen the way you are planning.”
But even so, 1% preparedness, compounded by 365 days in a year, is 3,800% closer to where you want to be (thanks, James Altucher, who has also pointed out that airplanes are only on course 1-5% of the time).
Cut off toxic joy-sucking, blessing-blocking manipulators who seek to reduce you to a body with no right to a mind of its own, or “cursed” with a will that needs to be “mortified and tamed” into doormatted, dehumanized, patronized conformist zombie-hood.
This includes putting a stop to the crazy-making that is endless and fruitless arguing, explaining, bargaining, and bluffing--for basics like understanding, acceptance, equality, and simple consideration with your users and abusers.
If it fell on deaf ears, or led to retribution in the past, it’s time to use something louder than words: ACTION. Living well is THE BEST revenge. It is the ULTIMATE CONFLICT RESOLUTION, no appeal for the intervening of some external “authority” (surrendering your empowerment) needed.
Being the self-sufficient bad-ass that I know you can and will learn to be is the ultimate game of Playing For Keeps (you get to keep the ultimate prize: Y.O.U.).
Ask for no quarter, and give none. When you ask for no quarter, you no longer have to give any, ending the fictional, eternal, imagined, guilt-inducing debt of “filial piety” or coerced/blackmailed (inauthentic) loyalty.
When you stop treating yourself like an infant, other people will either have to rise and meet you where you are at, or eventually fall away.
Look at you, all growed up.
You got this. We’re here for you.
All My Love,
A million thank yous to TheraminTrees, whose video on Infantilization inspired this post. One of the most enlightening videos on covert childhood abuse out there.