Head Games

This blog was written by Adults Sexually Abused by Priests (ASAP)

Well, last week we found out that most people are somewhat happy. That’s good. This week we are polling people about their sense of paranoia.

We discussed this a bit in our weekly meeting and one person suggested using a site called “Delete Me” which is supposed to track and delete your information that is collected on-line. He said there is a fee of $129.00 a year for this service. I’m not recommending this site. As with any site, use caution. I just wanted to pass that information along to anyone who may be uncomfortable with the stuff that people can find on them.

Along the way, I have heard from people who have had to pull up roots because of their abuse by the church. And they don’t just fear the clergy. Some people have been harassed by fine church-going people in their neighborhood.

“Do it in the name of Heaven….you’ll be justified in the end” That’s a quote from a song from a long time ago called “One Tin Soldier”. Righteous people can be damn scary.

So….”Head Games”. Has anyone ever head of the term “negging”? It seems to play into a Narcissist’s handbook. It’s a way to devalue someone. It is a head game and you probably are familiar with it. Do you know how that person once loved you unconditionally and just made your whole being relax because you thought you found someone kind hearted? Do you remember how open and safe you felt? Then all of a sudden, you didn’t please them anymore. Right?

What was it that happened? I’m guessing that it was something said by this wonderful person that made you think you were less than worthy of their adoration. Here are some examples of “negging”. And make no mistake, it is done deliberately with the intent to manipulate.

“You look wonderful! Have you had work done?”

“Wow, that’s some haircut. Were you going for a younger look?”

“That’s great that you won that award. How many awards does your sister have now?”

“Lovely earrings. How smart to direct people’s attention away from your nose”

“I like that shirt but I gotta tell you that the color makes you look sickly”

Negging is a popular manipulative device used in bars to undercut someone’s self-esteem in order to create self-doubt and vulnerability. It’s also used when someone wants to put you down but doesn’t want to be direct about it. We’ve all probably done it. I’ve known passive aggressive people who do it. But where one person may be trying to find a way to say something tactfully or to be kind, there usually isn’t that kick in the gut at the end. That kick in the gut is what they really wanted to say. Because the intent is to undermine someone or to feel more powerful by bringing someone else down.

Negging is a form of emotional abuse. It’s first cousins with gaslighting. It’s intent is to create doubt in your self-esteem and decisions. When used by someone who you admire or love, or whose approval you crave….well, you see where I am going with this. It can be damaging.

Negging is destructive and abusive. There may be people who you talk with like that. Perhaps you just kid around. If it does not hurt you or anyone else, fine. But if someone plays word games like this…recognize that they have an issue. It is not your self-perceived imperfections sabotaging your happiness. It is someone being a jerk and you deserve to be treated better. That isn’t always easy to recognize for people struggling with low self-esteem. But be aware if it seems that your self-esteem seems dependent upon someone else’s words and opinions. (I say this to myself as well).

One of the things that is so scary about letting go of an abusive relationship or situation is that many times, there is not a reward for doing so. When you walk out on your parents, or your spouse or when you walk away from a child who treats you poorly, there is often a feeling of loss.

You have to start all over again. There is no guarantee that you won’t end up all alone. You’ve probably been told that nobody else would ever love you. You may have felt unlovable all of your life. You most likely aren’t starting from a place of strength. Whether you were financially dependent or emotionally dependent or terrified of being alone and feeling vulnerable and unprotected, tearing yourself away from someone who you may believe to be your strength or your source of love, can be terribly hard.

It’s so tempting to keep fighting. To keep trying. To not let go. It may seem wrong on such a deep level to be the one to terminate a marriage or a parent/child relationship. But sometimes the more you try, the more you just find you cannot win no matter what you do.

I went to a seminar once where we were given the example of giving someone money from your wallet and having that person ignore you and walk away. And the more they walk away, the more you chase them and try to give them the money. You throw the money at them. Money you will never get back. But you never get a response. They never turn around or acknowledge you. What then is the purpose of continuing to hand over money? You can keep trying to give them everything you have of value and it’s never going to change anything or change that person’s reaction or behavior. You can chase and yell and cry until you collapse, but why?

Does it matter who that person is? A son, a daughter, a mother, a father, a sibling…or someone who in your mind will bring you the happiness you need….

Letting go….letting them go….does not feel good at all. Walking away from something hopeless or abusive does not feel good although it really should because that would only be fair. But it doesn’t work like that. You can’t walk away just to try to get a reaction either. That’s not really walking away. But you know that. Truth is it hurts, and it’s scary and a lot of the time, it’s just not right and….just not fair. Because I’m willing to bet you’ve been chasing people and throwing everything you have at them many times to get that reaction that you want and that you need.

But it’s not just that, is it? If you let go, you have to face the pain, but mainly you have to face the emptiness that the illusion filled. The void that is left that you have to begin to fill on your own.

Read more and take the poll at Adults Abused By Priests.

 


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  • Alexandra White
    published this page in Blog 2021-04-01 09:35:28 -0500

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