Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pondering The Possibilities

I've been thinking quite a bit recently about EFIL and L, most likely because Easter is one of their big holidays and since it's right around the corner, I've been wondering whether they're going to use it to contact us again in spite of the NC order we sent them in the mail a few months ago. I just have no fucking clue. Last year they didn't send us anything for Easter, which I had mistakenly taken as a sign that they were maybe finally "getting" that we fucking wanted nothing to do with them and that they were going to stop with the constant shenanigans. I was wrong. But given that they decided to suddenly make a big deal about DD's birthday in November (by showing up, unwelcome, on our doorstep) and then sending our kids a plethora of unwanted mail over the holidays, I just have no fucking clue whether they'll be sending anything over the next couple of days. My best guess, seriously: Not a fucking clue.

So anyway, DH and I have been discussing what we'll do if they do end up sending some form of bullshit in the mail to our kids. I called our local police station today and got some reassuring news: that we can in fact call the police if anything shows up at our house and a police officer will come to our house and file a harassment report. So anyway, that's the plan if any shit goes down. That way, we can start getting this legal shit rolling for when EFIL and L decide to ramp up their efforts all over again.

So with EFIL and L in mind, I was perusing the interweb today and I came across this gem from Rev. Renee Pitelli's site, Luke173ministries.org. I think one of the things I love most about Rev. Renee is that she sees this whole mess from a Christian perspective, but sounds nothing like EFIL and L, who are about as ignorant, bigoted, and hypocritical as any other ignorant, bigoted, and hypocritical bible-thumpers out there. I think it's awesome that there can be such opposition in the religious community: that there are both intelligent, kind, and empathetic religious people as well as the asshole kind. Anywho, this article reminded me of EFIL and L, as it highlights most of their very apparent modus operandi:

After All I've Done For You:
Trotting Out The 'You Owe Me' Excuse
 by Rev. Renee

We’ve all heard it in one way or another. “After all I’ve Done For You…….,” it begins.  And then, “This is the thanks I get”, “How could you do this to me?’, “How can you say that to me?”,  “How dare you speak to me like that?”, “Have you no gratitude?”, “You should be ashamed of yourself”, “How could you even think such a thing?”, etc.,etc. 

Another version of this is the one they won’t say to our faces, but will use to badmouth us behind our backs.  It goes like this:  “After all I’ve done for her….” , followed by, “How could she think that about me?”,  “How could she be so ungrateful?”, “Doesn’t she know I only have her best interests at heart?”,  yada, yada, yada. 

Many times the topper will  be one of the two ultimate cry-me-a-river lines,   “What have I ever done to deserve this?” and “Where did I go wrong?”,  which occasionally, to add to the aura of sincerity, will be accompanied  by, “No, really tell me!  Was I wrong to do so much for her?  Did I spoil her?  Was I really such a bad parent?” 

Aaah, the  guilt.  So thick you could cut it with a knife.  Along with denial, and blaming someone or something else for their own bad behavior, trying to lay on a guilt trip is probably one of the most common responses an abuser will have when he is rebuked.   Guilt tactics are many and varied.  There are dozens, if not hundreds, of possibilities,  and abusive or controlling relatives usually have quite a repertoire. 

In this article, we will talk about one of the most popular- the “After All I’ve Done For You Excuse” for why an abuser thinks he should be allowed to continue unchallenged in his efforts to control, manipulate, interfere, or abuse.  The idea is to make you seem like an ingrate for even suggesting that something he’s doing is unrighteous and  hurtful, because, of course, he has nothing but the best of intentions, which he’s proven to you already because of All He’s Done For You.   You are supposed to feel ashamed of yourself and never bring up the subject again.  This defense , in itself, is a common  type of manipulation.

DOING YOU A FAVOR ENTITLES ME TO PRY, MAKE DEMANDS, AND RUN YOUR LIFE

Although any relative could be guilty of manipulating you and keeping score for the sole purpose of obligating you to them, the relative who uses this tactic the most is commonly a parent. No surprise there.  Parents are just so good at it.  I remember when I was a kid hearing one woman tell her child that the child owed her because of all she had done for him.  The child innocently asked his mother what she had done, and she replied that if it wasn’t for her, he wouldn’t have even been born.  I’m not sure if she was joking or serious.  It seems a strange response now, but since I was a child myself at the time, I couldn’t get a read on it.  But the boy had the perfect comeback.  He shrugged and replied, “I didn’t ask to be born!” 

As family members we ALL do favors for each other.  You don’t even have to be related to someone- even in friendships, we do favors for each other.  That’s what families are for, and that’s what friends are for.  Many kind folks do favors for strangers, as well.   BUT THAT DOES NOT ENTITLE ANY OF US TO HAVE A SAY IN THE OTHER PERSON’S LIFE. 

Many times, favors are unasked for by the adult child.  A parent offers, and the child accepts, not knowing that there are strings attached.  The price to pay may be allowing the parent control over the child’s choices, decisions, life, etc., giving the parent personal information, having to answer questions that the child may prefer to keep private or would rather not discuss, etc. 

Some parents feel that if they help their child out, that obligates the child to them.  Such favors are not out of love, but done for an ulterior motive- to allow the parent to remain in a controlling position. And parents can often be very pushy about insisting their child accept their help, whether she asked for it or not. 

THE BUSINESS DEAL WITH THE HIDDEN CLAUSES 

Such a situation is really not a loving  or caring thing, it is a business deal.  But it is a business deal in which one party has not been informed of the price she will have to pay, which is giving up her independence.  If this was laid out on the table openly and the parent was honest about the payback he expected, then the child would have the opportunity to turn down the deal.  She would be able to choose not to accept the favor from her parent and not to owe something in return.  But the parent wants to deprive the child of this opportunity to refuse the favor, so he does not let her know that there are strings attached.  He misrepresents his intentions.   What the parent leaves unsaid is the most important part of the bargain. He sets a trap, so to speak, which she will fall into without understanding what the consequences will be. By his deception, he takes away his adult child’s freedom of choice.

In some parents’ minds, if you accept their help, it just goes to prove what they have known about you all along- that you can’t really make it without them.  In their minds, if you need help from them, you are still a dependent child.  They will lose respect for you, assuming they ever had any to lose in the first place.  They will not see you as an equal.  Some families will help out and then feel they have the “right to protect their investment” in you by prying, making demands, or being controlling. 

Sometimes we innocently accept an offer of help, never thinking of it as something that will obligate us.  It never enters our heads that our relative expects something from us in return, because many of us are used to our families helping us out.  Still others of us are always helping out our families, or doing plenty of favors for our families in return.  We figure, well, we always do for them, how nice, now they’re doing something for us as well- one hand washes the other.  What we don’t realize is that somehow all of the nice things we’ve done for them will either be conveniently forgotten or just not count once they’ve done something for us.  The only way they will see it is that now WE OWE THEM.

This is not to say that all relatives consciously keep score, although some do.  But our willingness to accept help from a relative often subconsciously puts us in a one-down position of inferiority, in their minds and sometimes even in our own, keeps us dependent on them, and makes it imperative that we stay in their good graces, even if that means accepting abuse, control, or interference. 

FINANCIAL HELP- THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING (AGGRAVATION, THAT IS) 

Monetary help in making large purchases is often misrepresented by the giver as a “gift”, and the recipient foolishly believes that and fails to realize that there are strings attached.  Parents who help foot the bill for their adult child’s wedding often expect to run the show, and the bride and groom suddenly find their wishes taking a back seat to those of a parent who now considers it to be “MY wedding”.

Many young adults have accepted parental financial help for the down payment on their first home, only to find that their parents then thought they had the right to tell them where to live or how to decorate, to supervise a remodeling, etc. etc.

I was a realtor for many years.  Many times, “helpful” parents came along to look at houses with their adult children, often dictating what town, school district, type of house, or even which exact house to buy.  They believed that contributing money gave them the right to choose the house FOR their child, or to nix the one their child liked but which they didn’t.  They believed they had bought the right to make this decision for their child, in the name of “protecting their investment”, and because, if the child wasn’t grown up enough to pay for it, then she obviously was too immature and incompetent to make a good choice for herself. Contributing to such a purchase gives some parents a sense of ownership or entitlement.  They view their child’s house as really being THEIRS, or at least partly theirs, because they helped buy it.

I found that parents who accompanied their adult children on real estate excursions often did all the talking, interrupted their children, spoke for their children, and wouldn’t even give the younger adult(s) a chance to have all of their questions answered.  Sometimes, the younger person caught on before the process went any further, and left mom and dad at home the next time she (or he, or they) went househunting.  But if she didn’t, the situation often deteriorated from there.

Other parents who have given their children a “gift” to help buy a house want even more control.  They insist on attending meetings with realtors, mortgage companies, attorneys, etc. and prying into their child’s and his or her spouses’  private financial situation until they have found out every personal detail.  Some have even gone so far as to attend the closing.  Their presence is awkward and intrusive and makes everyone else feel uncomfortable.

The personal information they manage to find out about their child and his or her spouse by intruding on these meetings is incredibly detailed, and includes exactly how much money their adult child and his or her spouse makes, how much they owe, how much they have saved (and- do the math- how much they must be spending, foolishly, of course), what the younger couple’s credit rating is, and other personal information that is none of their business.  One set of parents caused a scene at the closing after finding out about their son-in-law’s previous marriage, which their daughter had chosen not to reveal to them previously, precisely because she knew how they would react.

Another couple I know who accepted a financial “gift” for their down payment were devastated when the parents “withdrew” their gift because they would not use it to buy a house two doors down from the parents.  Apparently the gift only applied to that particular house, so that the parents could keep the kids under their thumbs and only two doors away, but this was not a requirement that had been mentioned up front.  The younger couple had to back out of a deal on the house they really wanted because they suddenly found themselves without the anticipated funds.

“HELPING WITH THE GRANDKIDS”

Another “favor” that often comes with an expected payback is “helping” with the grandkids.  Many grandparents think that babysitting their grandchildren automatically gives them the right to interfere in the grandchildren’s upbringing.  They think they have the right to feed the grandkids what they want them to eat, instead of what the parent says.  Or that they have the right to discipline, or spoil, their grandkids contrary to the parents’ wishes.  Some grandparents think that “helping out with the grandkids” entitles them to a say in who their child (the grandkids’ parent) dates, or where their child lives.

I know one set of grandparents who, without being asked to by their adult child, sold their house and moved to the same town where their child and her family lived, much to the horror of the child, who had moved away to escape her controlling parents.  To hear them tell it, these parents had “previously discussed” their move with their daughter, so they “couldn’t understand” why she now wasn’t happy about it.  But in reality, there was no “discussion”.  They had simply informed her of a decision they had already made.  This unasked for and totally unwelcome gesture was done under the guise of “being able to help out more with the grandchildren”.  But their REAL motive was being able to continue to interfere in their DAUGHTER”S life and exert inappropriate control, which the previous long distance had made difficult.

These grandparents continued to force themselves on their adult child, criticizing her decisions, disapproving of the men she dated, etc., and when the inevitable conflict occurred, the first thing they said was, “After all we’ve done for her…..helping her out, watching her kids…..why, we even moved so we could be closer to her in case she needed us….”

But the thing is, she didn’t need them.  She, and her children, were doing just fine and were perfectly happy without them.  Knowing their adult child was independent and competent was a blow to the egos of these controlling parents.  They went to the extreme of selling their house and MOVING to their daughter’s new town because they had to get themselves back in the picture.  Then they needed to make up an excuse to cover their true motives, so they USED their grandchildren for their own selfish purposes.

Grandparents like these are not interested in, or grateful for, the opportunity to develop a nice relationship with their grandchildren, which in itself is a great pay-off for truly loving and  considerate grandparents.  They do not genuinely care about what is best for the grandkids they pretend to love so much.  Instead, they are USING THEIR GRANDCHILDREN FOR THEIR OWN BENEFIT and for their own selfish motivations- to maintain a toxic connection to their DAUGHTER, so they will be able to continue to control her and to interfere in her life.  The grandkids are just pawns in their game.

MALEVOLENT CONTROL IN A BENEVOLENT DISGUISE

Normal families rarely have these situations, but those of us from abusive families deal with them all the time.  Abusive people keep score and manipulate situations to their advantage.  They don’t do favors out of love.  They do favors because there is a benefit to THEM, and they expect a payback.  They don’t do things out of the goodness of their hearts- there is always an ulterior motive.  The challenge to us is figuring out what it is and what is really going on.

Many times this dynamic is able to occur because our eyes are veiled and we are blinded to the true nature of our relative.  In our lifelong quest for a family who really loves us, we are often in denial about these traits when they are present in someone we love.  We don’t want to think that our parent or sibling really isn’t trying to help us, but is actually setting us up.  It seems completely contradictory that a kindness, in actuality, has its roots in dishonesty and selfishness instead of love.

Unfortunately, our wishful thinking doesn’t change what is, and we need to take off the rose-colored glasses and see our relative as he is before we put ourselves in the position of being obligated to him.  If we think back, we will often recognize many past instances in our relative’s dealings with us, or with others, where this behavior was present.  The key is to learn from the past and not keep repeating history.

We may not care much about money, but we make a grave error in underestimating its importance to an abuser.  Money is ALWAYS a very significant commodity to a control-freak.  It is a very important issue to him, because he believes he can use it to “buy” you or others.  Especially if he has spent years mistreating you, he knows he has precious little else to offer that might get you to do what he wants.  Once you are grown, you are free from his direct control, so manipulation is now the order of the day.  As an adult, you are not likely to feel kindly and cooperative toward someone who has always behaved hatefully towards you.  He will need to “sweeten the pot” to buy your cooperation.  Money will often be all he can think of.  He will either use it directly, as a bribe, or indirectly, as in threatening to cut you out of the will.

My birth-father occasionally offered me token amounts of money in return for “doing something his way”.  Sometimes, he offered a small sum for no apparent reason, or tried to insist that I accept some other “favor” which I didn’t want and had never asked for.  But I knew his nature and I knew he never did anything for anyone without expecting something in return.  I didn’t want to be obligated to him.  I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of being able to say I “owed him” something.  I didn’t want to give him any control or rights over my life.  So, no matter how much I might have needed it, I never took a dime.

When I was a young adult, first out on my own, money was very tight, to say the least.  I could not afford health insurance, dentist or doctor’s visits, a reliable car, clothes, or even food,  sometimes.   But I would have slept in the streets before I would have taken anything from him.  It wouldn’t have been worth it- the price would have been just too high.

The interesting thing was, when I was really poverty-stricken, he never offered anything, and I was bound and determined not to ask.  Sadistic and self-righteous as he was, he liked seeing me suffer.  To him, I deserved it for trying to be independent.  He was just itching to see me “come crawling” to him, to prove to all that I couldn’t make it without him.  But there was no way that was going to happen.   I knew I would have never heard the end of it.   I refused to ask, and he didn’t offer.

But he did start offering his “bribes” after I had gotten on my feet, was doing well financially, and didn’t need them anymore.  His previous manipulations and attempts to control hadn’t worked, so he now figured he might as well bring out what he considered to be “the big guns”, and give money a try.  I have heard him say that “every man has his price”.  But the only thing he learned from his scheming is that I couldn’t be bought.  Every man might have his price, but I didn’t.  He wound up right back where he had started- with nothing to hold over my head.  I wound up with independence, self-respect, and dignity.  I was able to spend my adult life always being able to look him in the eye as an equal.  He knew he couldn’t get the better of me.  He resented it, but he also respected it.

CLARIFY THE TERMS OF THE DEAL BEFORE YOU SIGN ON THE DOTTED LINE

When you accept a favor from a controller, you are “signing” an UNWRITTEN CONTRACT.  To an abuser, his “generosity” is his half of The Deal.  Now the question is, what is YOUR half of The Deal?  The best way to handle an offer of help is to ask right up front what will be expected of you in return.  Most manipulative relatives will deny that they expect any payback, and insist there are no strings attached and that they are doing it “because they love you” and “are only trying to help.”  They will act insulted and offended that you could even think such a thing.  At which point, you can apologize and accept their “kind” offer, “knowing” that it is free and clear.

Of course, in reality it probably isn’t, but then at least in the future, when they throw it in your face to make you feel guilty, you can remind them that you clarified what the deal was before accepting it, and they told you there were no strings attached.  If those are the circumstances under which you agreed to accept their offer, then you are free to choose whether to agree to or deny their future demands for “payback”, and your conscience can be perfectly clear.

You wouldn’t enter into any other business agreement without knowing what you were agreeing to, so don’t be shy about this one.  Be direct and clarify the terms.  Ask what conditions are on this offer.  Know what you’re getting into.  If the controller still chooses to be dishonest about his true motives and mislead you  by telling you that he wants nothing in return, then you have absolutely no reason to feel guilty in the future.  One party doesn’t have the unilateral right to change the terms weeks, months, or years after it’s a done deal.

EXPLODING THE MYTH OF THE LOVING ABUSER

Abusers and control-freaks NEVER do anything out of love.  There is simply no such thing.  This is because they do not love anyone but themselves.   They do not have love in their hearts to begin with, so they cannot act out of love.

Sometimes we confuse other traits, such as possessiveness, ownership, dominance, entitlement, enmeshment, etc., with love.  We may take such traits as a sign that an abuser really cares about us, but she does not.  We are misinterpreting what is really going on.           Abusers, controllers, and manipulators are accomplished liars.  They are not persons of honor or integrity, so it would be very foolish to take whatever they might say at face value.  They can be very convincing when they try to steamroll us into accepting their “offer of help”.  But no matter what she says, we are deluding ourselves if we think that an abusive, controlling relative really wants to help us because she loves us.

Abusers do not serve the Lord, and they do not live to help others.  The only person they are interested in helping is themselves.  They never do anything for anybody else without first calculating what is in it for them.  Those are the sorry facts, plain and simple.  Forewarned is forearmed. 

Although it is sad that we need to think first before accepting a favor from a loved one, unfortunately that is the case for many of us.  With some people, we do need to think first.  We need to avoid asking for favors.  We need to buy time if an offer is made and not give a quick answer.  We need to consider our relative’s personality and true nature.  We need to recall if this person has a history of trying to obligate others to him or putting them in the position of “owing him one”.  We need to think carefully about what strings are attached and whether accepting a favor from certain people is worth the price we are going to have to pay.

Steinbeck

Can you honestly love 
a dishonest thing?
- John Steinbeck

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

All Part Of The Plan

The latest flying monkey to have wandered into our camp recently was none other than EFIL; an event which was neither surprising nor unforeseen. After seeing him show up in our stats a few weeks ago, DH and I decided not to sound any alarms in case it turned out that EFIL was planning any sort of direct attack in the days that followed his "discovery" of our blogs. Now, I will say that I see it as a good sign that he chose not to reach out to us in any way following his (rather short) perusal of a few of our posts, though I do not believe his silence immediately afterwards is any sort of indication that he and his fellow monkeys have opted to back down from their occasional attacks. When I examine the data I have gathered over the last few years, EFIL's lack of communication in this case is nothing more than a repetition of the behavioral patterns I have been observing since day one. This man (and his wife) directly broke our NC decree just weeks after we sent it to them in the mail, so that they could intentionally and vehemently deny our right to having any boundaries; and they accomplished this task by exploiting their biological relationship to our children over the holidays - something they have done in the past and will probably do again in the future.

But, what's a "little thing" like our blogs, where both DH and I have spilled nearly every secret they've tried to maintain, every delusion they've fed to the masses, every truth we have lived, every thought and emotion we have experienced throughout our relationships with them? Why would that not instill in them the burning desire to communicate with us, when something as simple as a child's birthday or a holiday or an upcoming vacation, or any number of trivial daily events have triggered their bullshitting motor mouths? The irony of it seems just too contrived to be real; the contradictions too tangible. It's all part of the master plan for them; all part of the strict codes that they adhere to without question. They'll talk, but only on their terms, they'll maintain a facade to outsiders by using seemingly innocuous events to make constant and subtle plays for power that won't harm their public images. They'll feign interest in DH's well-being whenever they think it will win them brownie points from their Masters - be it their spiritual gods, or their earthly one. But they will not have a genuine dialog. They will not offer any truths. They will not attempt to comprehend anything we have to say. They will not respect our needs, thoughts, opinions, beliefs, or feelings. They will not weigh our truths against their blind faith or ignorant philosophies.

But what I sense most of all, is not an unwillingness on their parts to participate in meaningful conversation but an inability. I believe that these truths we have documented and studied and presented have shaken my husband's FOO at their very core. I believe there is more to their silence than just sheer will: I believe that they can not fight us; that they are ALL far too physically, intellectually, and emotionally stunted to go head-to-head with us. Since they are out to win and they recognize that they can not, they don't even bother trying. They would have to exert far too much energy, of which they simply do not possess. All of their energy goes to maintaining their illusions and various facades and daily fabrications.

Having said that, I would like to offer my brief analysis of the following, which represents some of the relevant data collected from EFIL's visits: On February 21, 2013 at 10:34 AM, EFIL showed up on DH's blog from his own work IP address with no referring link, where he appeared to stay for roughly two hours (though it could have been several visits of varying lengths broken up by a larger span of time in between; which I think the more likely scenario given his profession). He read through several posts of DH's, seeming to focus most intently on this one, which contains both his own rather lengthy letter to DH from 2011 and DH's response to it. During what appeared to be his initial visit to DH's blog (appearing to come from "out of nowhere," though we all know for sure that is NOT the fucking case) he spent no longer than a minute on the main page of the blog, after which there was no further logged activity until about an hour later, where he then spent another hour tentatively exploring. While at work, he visited my own blog only once after following a link from one of DH's posts to mine. He showed up again later in the evening, around 7:00 PM from an IP address in the town in which he lives; this time spending an indeterminate amount of time on DH's blog and roughly fifteen minutes on mine. In total, EFIL spent somewhere between one to two hours on our blogs (a figure which represents the combined time between both DH's blog and mine); spending what I would consider a pathetically short amount of time reading his son's and even less time bothering with mine. Since that time, there is no evidence that he's come back to either of our blogs.

The following theories are based on my observations of the above collected data:

1. That NMIL (as EFIL and L are most clearly linked directly to her and it is unlikely that it was someone weaker in the chain of command who acted as informant) contacted EFIL while he was at work that day, prompting him to immediately check out our blogs; an observation which is significant because it not only confirms the fact that NMIL is and has been one of our trolls for some time now, but that something happened that caused her to initiate that phase of her plan at that particular moment in time.

2. EFIL's apparent lack of interest in our blogs astounds me, while at the same time I've grown accustomed to the indifference he has expressed (through both action and lack of action) towards myself and my family. I have acknowledged many times thoughout this process, that although my blog has a journalistic feel to it, I am fully aware that it is open to the public and that the public includes my husband's entire FOO. The same goes for DH, who has posted thoughts and feelings over these past few years about his biological family and their recent as well as past behaviors. I, in particular, have been preparing for the possibility that, with all the connections NMIL has set up in her vast web of Flying Monkeys in the world, someone would eventually track us down on the internet as they have so often done in the offline world. And not only are we resigned to having Undesirables as part of our audience, but at times, we have even invited it. And so I see these blogs as a gift to them, for it is as close to discovering the secret to unlocking the doors of NC as they will ever get. And still, the informed discovery of our blogs yielded no more than a few measly hours of examination out of one measly day for EFIL. His very apparent disinclination towards even reading what we have to say, let alone his lack of interest in responding to it, is perhaps the saddest aspect of all of this.

Nearly a month has passed since EFIL showed up on our blogs. I have no doubts that he will continue his efforts to stalk and harass my husband and our family while continuing to ignore any aspects of his son's personhood that distinguishes him from being a doormat. Instead, EFIL will maintain the status-quo by upholding the stale laws that govern him, he'll live his life hiding behind the foul-stench of hypocrisy, and he'll never know the wonderful man my husband is becoming, or the beautiful life we have created together. As always, that is EFIL's loss. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Makes Me Think - Post Removed

Sheep follow.
Black sheep think.

[Post removed]- Comments still available (see below)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Triangulation Explained

Pandoris Viltis came across this most excellent post about triangulation that I thought was spot-on. I attempted to contact the original author of the piece a few days ago to ask for permission to re-post the majority of the article here but as of yet I've not heard back from her about it. I don't usually do re-posts without the permission of the author, but I've made an exception in this case because I feel it's too good not to share. I have taken the liberty of changing the pronouns in the original post from masculine to feminine for sake of clarity and because I felt I was reading NMIL in the description therein. Bolding for emphasis, mine. (**note - If the original author, whose blog I have linked to in this post, happens upon this re-post and wishes me to remove it, I will do so. I wanted to share the information directly with my readers because it's probably one of the best and most well-researched documents on triangulation that I have come across yet. I take no credit for the information written in the following article):

Triangulation - The Devil's Triangle
by Sea of Glass

Triangulation can occur in any relationship but it is very common in a relationship with a narcissist. It may happen at home, at work, with friends, or within [a] family of origin. [An abuser/narcissist] may pit you against...any other person she can get to engage in her "victim-playing," who is willing to serve the role she assigns. She may also [temporarily] adopt the role of Persecutor to assign blame or Rescuer to maintain control of her image. In the end, this travel around the triangle is how she dumps shame and finds someone to blame for her misery. If there is always a role to play there is always a way to escape responsibility by shifting the position on the triangle.

The answer to the exhaustive push and pull of a triangulated dynamic in a relationship with a narcissist is to simply step off the triangle and refuse to play. It's a game you cannot win.

Control by Triangulation:

If all else fails, the abuser recruits friends, colleagues, family members, the authorities, institutions, neighbors, any third party to do her bidding. She uses them to cajole, coerce, threaten, stalk, offer retreat, tempt, convince, harass, communicate and otherwise manipulate her target. She controls these unaware instruments exactly as she plans to control her ultimate victim. She employs the same mechanisms and devices, and she always dumps her props unceremoniously when the job is done.

Another form of control by triangulation is to engineer situations in which abuse is inflicted upon another person. Such carefully crafted scenarios of embarrassment and humiliation provoke social sanctions (condemnation, opprobrium, social exclusion and shame) against the victim. In this instance, society becomes the instrument of the abuser. By clever seduction, through words and posturing, she entices her pawns to do her dirty work for her. Unaware... [and] being persuaded by [the narcissist's] rendition of truth, they take up her cause and her right and align themselves against the one she controls.

The malignant narcissist creates perpetual triangles around the one she desires to control. She sees through these eyes- eyes with no empathy - that perpetuate constant, residual torment, for her [victim]. Claiming that she is being tormented by her victim, she creates rescuers who then torment her victim, thinking they are protecting her from the "bully." Doing this through her friendships, family members, associates and whoever she can entice, she remotely views her operation like a director of a movie. In other words, she will frame a picture and put her secondary supply in that frame - the borders always being the shape of a triangle and the picture within being a distorted truth she propagates. Usually, the claims she makes of her victim are the truth [about herself] and while hiding behind her victim, she will spin, doctor, and gaslight until she gets her desired result. Defamation of character and destroying the credibility of [her victim] is her goal. She convinces her pawns that her victim is the persecutor and she is the victim. The naked eye cannot see this game of illusions and that is why she [is able to engage] others in her web. They do for her what she orchestrates in secret.


You may notice that both the Persecutor and Rescuer are on the upper end of the triangle. These roles assume a “one-up” position over others, meaning they relate as though they are better, stronger, smarter, or more-together than the victim. Sooner or later the victim, who is in the one-down position at the bottom of the triangle, develops a metaphorical "crick in the neck" from always looking up. Feeling “looked down upon” or “worth-less than” the others, the Victim usually rebels.

Starting Gate Persecutors (SGP's), on the other hand, do see themselves as victims in need of protection. This is how they can so easily justify their vengeful behavior: “They asked for it and they got what they deserved for questioning me," [is] the way they see it. Their core belief might go something like this: “Hhe can't be trusted so I need to get him before he hurts me.” This attitude sets them up to think that they must strike out in order to defend against inevitable attack, even when there is no attack  Arguing with the malignant narcissist is, in her self absorbed eyes, a threat.  She sees the victim as a threat to [herself], [and believes that the victim will] possibly expose [her hidden true self to her rescuers]. The victim may or may not have threatened the SGP, but the chance of being 'found out,' by those looking from the outside...the picture projected is the SGP's denial ploy. She is afraid that the real picture will seen by all. [She] cannot face [exposure] or the reality of what she is doing and must project what she perpetrates. Ultimately there is no regard for anyone here, for all player's involved are her pawns. Therefore, the victim stands no chance of recovering in this triangulation. Convincing her rescuer(s) that her victim is persecuting him, [the narcissist is able to trap the] rescuer(s) [in her] web. [And the rescuers all] become persecutors for her...while believing they [are rescuing her]. [And the narcissist] actually believes what she creates to be the truth.

The rescuer(s), unbeknownst to the narcissist scheme, become persecutors of the [true] victim as well. Believing [the perpetrator's] deception, they do her bidding and become an extension of her. [Rarely?] meaning to do any harm, they have become her right hand, and very likely, the hand(s) that strangulate her victim. The smugness of the narcissist becomes more intoxicating to herself , in her superiority to manipulate all. How brilliant she feels in the evil she has masterminded. Feeling disdain, for even her rescuers, she is loyal to none. She feeds on her own view of being above all those she puppeteers.

Inevitably, the victim will do one of four things:

1. Strike back, in defense and self preservation.
2. Further submit to the abuse,thinking it must be their fault.
3. Try to negotiate and convince the rescuer(s) that the narcissist is the persecutor.
4. Flee the triangle(s) and leave the relationship.

Another Term for Triangulation is Proxy Recruitment:

Definition: Proxy Recruitment is a way of controlling or abusing another person or establishment by manipulating other people into unwittingly 'backing up,' the abuser or "doing their dirty work" for them.

Description: The goal in proxy recruitment is to gain the upper hand in a relationship or in a conflict by getting other people involved. This often takes the form of the perpetrator engaging others to" help" through innuendos, false accusations, smear campaigns or distortion campaigns in which the victim is portrayed as an abuser.

Proxy recruitment can be an extremely powerful way of establishing control over another person. It forces the victim into a defensive posture - justifying or denying their own behaviors to friends, family, neighbors, acquaintances and authority figures. It often attempts to reverse roles in the eyes of others - casting the abuser as the victim and portraying the victim as the real abuser. It deflects attention away from the abuser and provides cover or justification for further abuse to occur.

Proxy Recruitment is much easier if the abuser assumes a position of authority. The infamous narcissist will project herself as the authority figure, speaking as though the victim is incompetent or inferior in judgement. In 1961 and 1962, Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram performed a famous series of experiments which demonstrated that about 2 out of 3 people will perform a cruel action towards another person if instructed to do so by someone whom they regard as an authority figure. This demonstrated that most people are prone to doing something they do not want to do, even something they would normally regard as "wrong," just because they are told to do it by an assertive or authoritative person or persuaded by them in a form or mind control.

Proxy recruitment isn't just the domain of people with personality disorders. It is a universal reaction to recruit allies when engaged in a conflict situation. However, it becomes abusive when the truth is misrepresented or the recipient is being hurt. Those recruited will partake of the abuser's plan, thinking they are doing the right thing. The narcissist abuser undermines the recruited to demise the one she objectifies. Objectification is when the narcissist reduces the one she controls to an object, having no feeling or empathy for the one she degrades. She influences those around her to objectify [the victim as well]. Presenting herself as though she is the one whose perception is the only credible one, she masterminds the demising of her victim [by] using whoever she constitutes [will] execute her purpose. Proxy recruitment or triangulation is a form of gas-lighting, otherwise known as covert abuse...It is so covert that unless your eye is trained to recognize this mode of operation it [can] go unnoticed. This is extreme malignant narcissism - the kind of narcissism that has the ambiance of a murderer per say. I call it "the narcissist web of triangulation by strangulation." She strangles her victims through the hands of the rescuer(s).

Likening it unto murder, the narcissist's "cover up" is so discreet and subtle [that] even upon investigation and thorough discovery, sociopathic intelligence and lack of remorse seem to indicate innocence along with lack of association to the crime at hand...The [narcissist's denial] is what makes her the monster...The victim may be screaming out in pain, yet somehow these persecutors twist a whole series of events to flatter themselves in the eyes of their rescuers. The victim being left no defense and no one who understands what literally is transpiring is murdered, hypothetically speaking. There is a slow killing of the mind and soul in progress. Picking up the pieces of their lives is difficult after this conditioning and most times, in these cases, the persecutor will have taken away all their credibility.

If they cannot paint them as a liar because the victim's character does not lie, [then the narcissist] will paint their victims as unstable, lacking in judgement, mentally delusional or "damaged goods." The unseen goal, even many times to the narcissist is death to the victim's individualization. Hence, no matter what the victim does to be heard or believed, the very people who could have intervened don't simply because they have become persecutor(s) themselves. The reality here is [that] the outsiders join in the narcissist's parade of [neutralization/traumatization] of her chosen sufferer.