Journal Entry #1: Puppet Master

This one is straight from the paper journal, so it’ll be a stream of consciousness type of entry and less polished.

Maybe I’m used to abandonment, pain, and rejection. Frankly, I view it as an understandable and inevitable outcome in all of my relationships. I go into a relationship with the exit strategy in mind.

That isn’t particularly sustainable. Certainly, I need to accept and allow for room to grow within any relationship, but that’s really difficult for me to do. My desire is to have relationships that are carefully cultivated and separated, like a neat row of plants in a garden. I want to keep myself, and them in a safe, easily understood (and therefore, easily controlled) parameter of existence, because the unknown often has yielded very painful results for me. It’s understandable, but ultimately limiting; the capacity and nuance of human emotion is near limitless, and this method I devised in my childhood years is stalling the evolution of my personal growth as a human being.

I don’t want to control people out of malicious or ego-driven/narcissistic intent, but rather, out of self-preservation. Understanding their needs before even they do, and moving the world around them prevents me from berating, beatings, or worse, historically-speaking. Easily predictable people mean easily predictable and managed outcomes. Limited risk, and I can play pretend at being vulnerable and emotional, like other people do.

Thing is, I’ve longsince outgrown this tactic. What worked then, doesn’t work now.

Being able to understand and manipulate (I would rather use, navigate) the adult world was a skill I had to learn quickly. I recall vividly the sharp and painful awakening of how cruel my mother could be, and it was extremely frightening. She became intensely unpredictable with her moods and rages; this was especially frightening to a child, as they need to know that there’s some pillar of safety and steadfastness in their life. Growing up is scary enough, and when you realize that you’re on your own, you turn to whatever means necessary to ensure your safety.

So, I learned how people worked, and how to work people.

Then and even now, I berate myself for it, for I felt it was dishonest, cruel and much like how my mother tried to control me (albeit, she was obtuse about it even to a pre-pre-teen.) It drove my self-esteem even lower, for I felt that I’m already unlikeable enough, and now I’m fake and evil, too?

This was a lot for a 9-14 year old to manage.

Nowadays, I’m trying to be more forgiving and understanding, while not allowing myself to slip back into old habits. I desperately want to placate people, as I fit the fawn archetype in the Complex PTSD structure; keeping myself safe, meant keeping others happy by predicting their needs and moods. Additionally, all children are manipulative to some degree–we come into this world fawned upon endlessly, and growing up means we have to learn that we are not the actual centre of the universe. Currently, I’m working quite diligently on ensuring my needs and boundaries are satisfied, while learning that complete control over outcomes isn’t ever going to be a certainty.

I guess I could get a Nintendog, instead.

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