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Cautious optimism

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Jul. 12th, 2011 | 09:05 pm

Regarding some of the things I wrote recently, it has occurred to me that, unlike the people that I feel have set me up--probably as a misguided and destructive attempt to gain mastery over their own vulnerability--I don't seem to have been so damaged by the circumstances of my life that treating other people that way would seem like a viable option to me. People who are drawn to that kind of strategy seem to find it nearly impossible to resist, and sometimes I've even seen their faces radiate a barely suppressed sadistic glee when they're in the process of sticking it to me. Again, I'm too clumsy, too slow, too hesitant to engage actively in that kind of dynamic. That seems to indicate that I'm just not a sufficiently accomplished sadist, and I regard that in general as a good thing.

Where I think I have lagged sorely behind where I need to be is in exercising--and that means enforcing--appropriate discernment. I'm not without discernment: it's just that I have wasted far too many opportunities mulling over my uneasy feelings because I've been so hesitant to lay negative trips on people. It may be that my current re-reading of the Qur'an is partly in response to a felt need to toughen up my boundaries. I feel as if I'm preparing myself to lay down some stricter policies in the classroom and to give myself more options for cutting off communications with manipulative people sharply and uncompromisingly. There are times when there are conversations that need to be over--now!! And when I need to leave--now!! Communication about substantive issues can be handled later under non-threatening circumstances. But manipulation seems to thrive on chaos and agitation. Once I fall into the trap of struggling to make myself understood to someone who is being obstinate, it's all over. If the volume of my voice increases even the slightest bit, I'm accused of "yelling," or even of "abusing" my manipulator. But again, playing the victim is a favorite strategy of manipulators.

So, I don't think I'm so fucked up that I could even begin to imagine setting people up the way I've been set up, nor of rationalizing it the way I've seen some of them do. And when "spiritual" principles are twisted into the bargain--well, this seems to be the meaning of wolves in sheep's clothing.

Peace,

vk

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