Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don`t
Society and people need rules. The requirement for regulation looms large in everyone’s life. Pay your taxes, don’t park in that place, don’t drop litter, say please and thank you and so on. From laws to rules to codes of conduct, through to convention to procedures to etiquette we are bound up in rules wherever we go and whatever we do. People grumble and complain about them but ultimately they prefer the world to have these rules.
People like to know where they stand. You know what you can and cannot do. You may not agree with it, but you at least have some certainty. Those that found themselves in the horror of concentration camps complained that there was never any certainty to the day. You could be subjected to punishment for walking too slowly one day and too fast the next. It was random and awful, yet such a system is horrendously effective at undermining someone’s will and paradoxically causing them to try harder in order to avoid a sanction.
Our behaviour is much the same. There is no rhyme or logic to it. Last week I said I liked sugar in my tea and this week I do not. I deny that I said I liked sugar in my tea and moreover this triviality causes me to erupt in rage when you put sugar in my drink this week. You are confused and anxious by this random control that I exert over you. It is all intentional. Do not make the mistake of thinking that we cannot recall what we said or did the previous day, that we are somehow blind to our previous likes and dislikes as if affected by some form of amnesia. This disorientating tactic is deliberate. You may as well ascribe outcomes to the numbers two through to twelve and roll two dice.
That gives you just as good a chance of determining how I will behave. One week I sleep with the bedroom window open, the next it must be closed. Yesterday I want silence in the kitchen in the morning, today I want the radio on. Each day you are put on parade and then awaiting the inevitable criticism as I will find some fault in order to control you, demean you and provoke a reaction. I am like an insane regimental sergeant major who deems the buttons on your uniform to not shine enough despite the hours you spent polishing each one.
Like his parade ground bark, I will unleash my haphazard criticism of you with a barrage of abuse, raising my voice and making you wince with each syllable. We understand the effect of repeatedly being shouted at and it causes you to submit to our demands Invariably I will see what you are doing and pick the opposite as being what I want. I am a natural contrarian. All of this is done to maintain your heightened sense of anxiety, forcing you to second guess and thus become conditioned to our will. Periodically we will approve of what you have done and your sense of relief is so overwhelming you receive a natural high. This in turn causes you to want to repeat it and therefore each and every day you are walking on those eggshells as you try to please us and avoid our erratic and groundless rage.
There is no system you can depend on, no method of working out what is safe to do and what should be avoided, yet still you will try. As ever, you want to make matters right and keep the peace.
4 thoughts on “Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don`t”
HG. Interesting points. Especially about the camps. Do you think that the guards knew what they were doing or was it instinct or learned from those above them?
Also reminds me of the current state of the world, lock down on – off. Masks work, don’t work, double mask’s, no vacine passport – we need a vacine passport. It’s like the whole world is being subjected to this abuse, and so few people see it. And the gaslighting in the media too…
Perhaps the rulers learned these things from previous experience, as mentioned above.
I would see it as being a combination.
I listen very carefully to “my” narcissist and follow his instructions carefully.
I adapt to his changing needs.
When he threatened to block the communicator, I blocked it for 2 months.
He had to have a stroke to get me back 🙂
When she says I’m a cheat, I admit to that nasty trait of mine.
When he alleges that I got a raise, but I do not want to admit it, I reply that he is right, what amount will satisfy him, I will tell him about it.
When he accuses me of going on a foreign holiday with my daughter and I am hiding it from him, I say yes, the Caribbean, Zimbabwe and Greenland are our goals.
When he complains that I keep lying and think he is a naïve, I sadly admit he is right and say that I am a master of the twisted mind.
When he claims that I just want sex with him, I don’t deny it 🙂
When he says to shove my thanks for baby money up my ass, I take my thanks back.
When he wants to hurt, that he regrets meeting me and does not remember anything from our relationship, because he forgets unimportant things, I accept this information with understanding. I absolutely do not deny my old feelings.
When he says I smell musty, I don’t grow up to his mother’s heels, I block him from contacting a child (who he hasn’t seen in almost 15 years!), Or he makes me go to work in pajama bottoms + thousands of other ideas, accusations and insults. I ignore or joke. I move smoothly to the next topic.
I am like a duck from which everything flows.
I am like a shield against which it reflects.
Sometimes he himself ricochets off his weapon.
But … when he wants to talk to me normally, say what’s going on with him, throw out bad emotions about someone other than me – I am and will be happy to listen to him.
Even if he talks about dark things and confesses his sins, scams, aggressive behavior. It is terrible, unimaginable. Sometimes he says it with a rebuke and sometimes with pride (more often). I will listen.
Keeping the peace is my #1 priority. I’ve heard every tiny thing that’s wrong with me a million times. I really don’t want to hear those things, and more, yet again. Narcissists are the worst to have any meaningful debates with. It’s like they really do enjoy the empath react to wtf phrase and fury over a mere word. They revel in that fuel no matter how twisted it feels to the empath. They are an exhausting bunch of mofo’s I tell ya. They need an island all to themselves, that may save the world heehee 🤪