I spent most of my life being easily manipulated. As a codependent, I did not see it, understand it or really even care. My mission was to make you a happy. How easy it is to take advantage of someone who has no self-worth. But the truth of the matter is that in being codependent, I was a master manipulator myself, I just did not realize what I was doing. However, today I know what it is, I understand how it’s used and I can immediately recognize it whether it’s myself or someone else using it, and I HATE it! Off the top of my head, I believe it is one of my biggest pet peeves.
I do not want to manipulate anyone into anything or for anything. It is just not worth it, and, I HATE when someone tries to manipulate me! That’s what happens when you understand and recognize manipulation for what it is. Unfortunately, I have an extreme reaction to it when it happens. After years of manipulation and realizing how weak I was, I tend to over-react to it now. Well, not that it’s apparent to most but a rage just boils up inside of me to the point I cause something in myself like an anxiety attack. I feel my heart pounding like it’s going to beat right out of my chest and my mood just tanks into silent rage. Don’t worry, I try to get over it and move on quickly.
Today I experienced this rage. I was supposed to meet someone to pick up something he wanted me to start working on for him yesterday and he could not make it in time because he woke up late. So, the plan was I would drive out to where they were staying today and pick it up. Unfortunately, my 5-year-old granddaughter had to go to the surgery center to be put under to have some dental work done and she was pretty sick and out of it when my daughter dropped her off here so she could go to work. I did not want to take her out in this heat on a drive that would take us about 30 minutes each way. When children don’t feel well, let them rest!
I text him to let them know I would not make it and asked if we could meet tomorrow or even Sunday on his way back through Sacramento, as he would have to pass by the exit near my house on his way home. Now keep in mind, this is not something that is so extremely important in life that the earth would fall off its axis if not done immediately. Hell, it’s been something that could have been done years ago or years from now or not at all. I guess it’s all in the perspective and mine, well let’s just say is different.
The response I received blew me away. It angered me to the point that my stomach grew nauseous. His words to me were: “I’ll think about it and let you know. This was important to me.” There it is; that tiny little piece of manipulation.
So here I go…if it was so damn important to you, why didn’t you make it here on time yesterday? Why didn’t you just put it in the mail like I asked you to in the first place? What makes you and what you want so much more important than my granddaughter who is not feeling well? If you couldn’t manage to get it to me any other time, why the hell is it so f’ing important now? Oh, I’m getting all riled up just thinking about it again.
Well, as some of us do, I got pretty angry and shot back with, “Emily is important to me.”
Then came the kicker…“If you wanted to be here you could make it happen.”
REALLY??? Oh, now I was furious! Of course I said a lot more out loud to myself and still am. However, at that point, I decided I better “get off the dance floor” as things would surly not go well if I responded, especially with so much anger, because there was no way it would come out in any semblance of being polite and respectful. So I didn’t respond at all. He has asked if I can come at certain times tomorrow and I still have not responded. I will eventually respond but it will not be for a couple of hours when I can be civil and not let him feel my rage through my words.
If you’re a codependent and looking for the lesson in this rant, here it is:
You do not have to react to your emotions. Allow yourself to have them, it’s ok. It is not ok to respond or react to them in an unhealthy way. Get off the dance floor! Allow yourself time to deal with them and work through them. It may only take a few moments…it may take much, much longer. You do not have to engage in unhealthy behavior.
Know that you are worth more love and respect than most people will give you so make sure you give it to yourself!