The Love Caveat

th (13)Love. It is the most powerful emotion. It is the emotion that virtually everybody wants to receive. Love from your parents, love from your best friend and love from your other half. In fact, that desire goes further. Companies want people to love their products. An artist wants the public to love his creations. A chef wants diners to love his meals. It is interesting how widely used the word love is. Come to this theme park, you will love it. Have you seen the latest Tom Cruise movie? You will love watching it. It is used over and over again. This noble and most powerful emotion is applied to such triviality as “I love the colour red” or “I love my new shoes”. Yet, notwithstanding its clear overuse it loses none of its potency.

I seize on the power of this emotion in my works by utilising the phrase “I love you,but”. As soon as you hear those magical three words at the start, your ears prick up and you feel a surge of delight. He has told me again that he loves me, I feel wanted and special. The soaring sensation only lasts momentarily because attached to it comes a dual pronged attack the purpose of which is to control you.

When I say ” I love you but I wish you wouldn’t wear that dress,” I am criticising you for appearing like a slut. By linking my criticism in a sentence professing my love for you I am demonstrating just how much you are disappointing me by going out in such attire. I am figuratively punching you with a sugar-coated knuckleduster. It wounds and it is meant to do so.  Furthermore, it contains a threat. If you do not do what I want, I will remove my love from you. Used repeatedly, this will feel like a boxer landing repeated jabs on you as it whittles away your confidence. I keep this potential loss hanging over you. It is a method of control. You will now change the dress because you do not want to lose my love. You will also tell yourself, because of the way I have conditioned you, that he is only saying it because he loves me, how good is that? He really cares about me so much he takes note of what I am wearing and is sufficiently interested to point out when I am wearing something he doesn’t approve of. You con yourself, for fear of losing my love, that my motivation is predicated on a real interest in caring about you. That is completely wrong. It is a tool of control. Listen out for it and you will soon notice how often it is used against you.

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19 thoughts on “The Love Caveat”

  1. Hmmm…after reading Love is a Taught Construct the other day, I have a completely different perspective on this now. Our parents behavior plays like a record in our brains giving the first demo on how to interact with intimate family, friends, public etc.
    Let’s pretend your mom’s name is Nancy.
    Now, HG says to ML, “I love you but I really wish you would not wear that dress.”
    ML’s answer “Oh hi Nancy! Can you go back into the hole you crawled out of now and send H.G. back out to play? I do love him so.”
    ML wears said dress and looks smokin’ hot for HG.

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      1. In retrospect over the last several months reading your works, I had a semi-close friendship with a gal who had also gone thru a breakup right as I finalized my divorce. I’ve lost touch over the last year 1/2. She got married to the ex and moved away. However I realize she was very narcissistic. During a 2-year span we hung out, she shared having had a very strained relationship with her mother who was a cold, austere person. No warmth. No tenderness. It affected my friend to the point she never wanted to have a child for fear the part of her she knew was her mother speaking inside of her would come out and cause damage to another generation in the family. She seemed to have an internal struggle realizing she had this side of her (driven by rage) that could whip up in an instance.
        She was successful, driven, beautiful, but also highly emotional and hyper sensitive to criticism. If someone provoked her however and she got snappish, she would say things like “Jodie snapped”, “I had to do everything I could to keep Jodie from coming out” or “letting Jodie rear her ugly head”; or if she felt under attack and a strong rebuttal was necessary she would say things like “I got all Jodie (insert last name) over their ass”. You see Jodie was her mother’s name. And enveloping the spirit of Jodie, she used to her advantage when appropriate to be assertive but would try to curtail if she was cognitive of it being hurtful to someone.
        For instance, waiting for a valet to bring my car around at a hotel upon checking out, she thought they were goofing around and taking too long and just snapped harshly at them pretty condescending. I was taken aback, and just joked “hey, can you tell Jodie to go park it on the bench. They’re working on it.” It seemed to diffuse the situation and gave her pause to hit the reset button.
        Nobody wants to behave in a manner that typically caused torment and grief as a child by the caretaker dishing it out.
        Possibly someone working with you gently with behavior modification, could intercept a devaluing remark from you and turn it and say, “HG what’s bothering you? I want HG not Mum talking.” Your job would be not to interpret that as another criticism but that someone is truly trying to reach your heart and understand you better.

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      2. Thank you for that Clarece I understand the point you are making. I could also see a further use for this technique. Whenever I do something which meets with disapproval I can just say ” That wasn’t me, it was Abigail,” and I remain unaccountable. Brilliant !
        How do I deal with the fact that the criticism (real or perceived) automatically ignites my fury before I have chance to affect the interpretation? The criticism wounds me immediately and thus my fury is ignited. I may be able to keep the fury under control but I still have to deal with the wound. I am not given the chance to interpret the remark or action.

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      3. How to deal with igniting the fury and processing the wound would best be asked for Dr. E and Dr. O.
        My apologies to Kim for giving you a new tool for the kit.
        Try to keep Abigail at bay.

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      4. Maybe if you rename the Creature, “Abigail”, you will humanize it. It won’t seem as ominous and your fury could be redirected to combat it rather than the people in your surroundings.

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      5. “Jodi snapped”.
        “That wasn’t me, it was Abigail”.

        Wrong way. That’s how people become bipolar. “I” is substituted by “We”.

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      6. I know, Clarece. I know.
        But it is a fatal mistake to accept them, to “legalize” them. “Mothers” has to be beaten, eradicated from our heads, not hugged and kissed instead. They are the enemies, not friends.

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      7. I understand your point. Another perspective is it is an issue. In order to conquer it, you have to divide and isolate it out. Make the person aware they are mimicking the very person they hated because of what was done to them.

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      1. Mine got so large he actually had trouble breathing. He took my concern as criticism and launched an all out war on me. It was crazy.

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  2. Yes I know. The worst is that you dont notice thAt this is not caring and that its a tool.. And not love at all. Manipulative people are experts presenting many other things as love and you really believe them. Unless you find blogs like yours. Then you get out of the fog and into understanding but even this takes time

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  3. He paid £6000 for 18kg to be cut off his stomach (called it a “tummy tuck”) but would self injure if one mentioned the more appropriate gastric bypass. “Fat people need that, what are you talking about? Are you saying i’m a worthless weightie?” Over time I became the scapegoat everytime someone treated him poorly because of it. For all the hate he had for himself.

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