Editor’s note: The following article was submitted by the Lovefraud reader Aloha Traveler.
Who are you calling BLEEP!?
I have always been a person that is hard-wired for honesty. If you are into astrology, I am an Aries and my Chinese sign is Rooster. This doesn’t mean much to me but a friend once wanted to know my birth sign and the year and then responded “Oh. Now I see.” According to my friend, Aries born in the year of the Rooster have a double scoop of honesty.
What does this have to do with a being the victim of a disordered person? I’ll tell you. When they are attacking you, they never say anything true about you. The Bad Man was always insisting that I was a very dishonest woman. How odd. No one had ever called me this, ever. He also insisted I was “rude” and “selfish.” This was early in the relationship while I still had some spunk left in me to fight back. I countered, “I am 35 years old. I have never heard this about myself before. Don’t you think that if it were true, I would have heard this about myself by now?” I was sure of this. I thought I had him. I was unsure of this—his response, “That is why your ex left you. Because you can’t see how you are.”
This was brilliant on his part. I was unsure as to why the ex, a Good Man, decided I wasn’t “The One.” Of course, I had already shared this information with the Bad Man in those early, deep, soul-baring conversations that are part of the Sociopathic Relationship Package. True to his nature, the Bad Man had already dug into my psyche like an archeologist and carefully uncovered every vulnerability within me. My logic, I was sure of. Why the man I loved for five years left me, I wasn’t so sure.
SCORE 1 for the Bad Man.
The Bad Man claimed that I communicated in “cunning and tricky ways.” If you have ever read anything I have written in the blogs or my other essays, what do you think? Is there anyone in Lovefraud land that experiences me as cunning and tricky? I have been told all of my life that I am very direct. This was so confusing. The Bad Man seemed to be operating in some other dimension… the dimension where I was cunning, rude, tricky, BLEEP, feisty, testy, BLEEP, BLEEP, BLEEPITY- BLEEP-BLEEP, sleazy-cheesy, dishonest, ornery, blah, blah, blah and on and on.
In the essay Romeo’s Bleeding, Part 5, the author, Roger Melton, puts it this way:
“Just keep one simple fact always in mind, regardless of whether a Controller is borderline, narcissistic, sociopathic or sadistic: Whenever any of them are criticizing characteristics in you, they are making autobiographical statements about themselves.
Blame is their way of unloading their character defects onto you. Listen closely to the hateful things they say to you about you. You are listening to verbatim descriptions of their character defects. This is extremely important to remember, especially in the midst of verbal attack. These are the only moments when you will hear the truth about the man who lies concealed behind the steel wall of his personality disorder.”
The Romeo’s Bleeding series explains a great deal about the methods, whether consciously, unconsciously, or instinctively, that disordered people use on their unsuspecting victims. I have found that accepting the Bad Man’s behavior as just part of the formula for an abusive disorder has helped me to let go of the horrible things he said to me. Honestly (there I go again), his attacks on my character no longer hold any sting for me. Letting go of all the horrible things that part of you absorbed is like performing a detox on your psyche and I believe it is a very important part of healing for all of us.
Never in my life have I encountered such a damaging human being. If I were to continue to carry his words with me, I wouldn’t want to get up each day and go on. There was a short period of time when I was with Bad Man where I remember looking in the mirror and feeling like I was the most worthless human being to ever walk the earth. This was when my sense of self was so weakened that he had nearly total buy-in from me about all the horrible things he said about me, to me. I believe that is part of the hook of carrying on with these disordered people; we want to prove that we aren’t the way they said we are. I know this was true for me. I would get so close to the proverbial door in my mind and then he would say something so outrageous that I couldn’t stand to walk away without defending my character and proving him wrong.
Ask your friends
In the blogs, I have advised a reader or two to ask friends or loved ones, people who have known you all your life, to describe you, to you. This is much more likely to be an accurate picture of you. You will be surprised at the generosity you may find among your true friends and loved ones. Some of the things people said to me when I was first out of this nightmare struck me so deeply in my wounded heart. I had been through such cruelty and the words of true friends were like a salve that reduced me to tears and reminded me that goodness does exist in me and outside of me.
Here’s a fun way to deal with healing that wound in you. Just to be silly, you can take the worst things your Bad Man or Bad Woman said to you and make your own game of MadLibs. Remember those? Write out one of the classics (one you feel you could never forget) that has been ruminating in your head for however long and delete all the icky parts and then read it to a friend and have them fill in the blanks for you like this:
Elise, you are such a ____________________woman!
Positive adjective here
Let’s close today with a little musical therapy. You are going to BLEEPING LOVE this!
Links to Romeo’s Bleeding
I highly recommend the Romeo’s Bleeding series of articles sent to me by PeggyPseu. Thanks Peggy!
Romeo’s Bleeding: When Mr. Right Turns Out to Be Mr. Wrong
By Roger Melton
Part 1: Control
Part 2: The Malice Artists
Part 3: The Mirror Men
Part 4: When Love is a 4-Letter Word
Part 6: Conclusion: Counter-control