Monday, June 16, 2008

Twilight Zone

I can be having a normal conversation with him when suddenly a door opens into another dimension. A dimension which exists only in his mind. He's moved into a land of only shadow, no substance, where you exist only as a thing, an idea, a projection. You've just crossed over into . . . The Twilight Zone.

It's difficult to describe the sensation. I feel a jolt, then dizzy and confused. It is as if a small earthquake hits and when I reach out for something to hold on to, I grab hold of one of those electric horse fences which delivers a mild shock, and then a tree branch falls on my head.

In his twilight zone:

  • He knows what I think, what I feel, and even what I am going to do.If I attempt to correct his misperceptions, he says he realizes that I truly believe what I am saying but he knows what I am really doing, albeit unconsciously.
  • I cause his behavior. He has no choice about how to behave when he has angry feelings. Angry feelings necessarily result in abusive behavior.
  • Only the victim has freedom of choice, and if she chooses to engage in behavior which provokes the perpetrator, what he does next is her fault. (What constitutes provocative behavior is determined by the perpetrator's twisted interpretation rather than intent or knowledge of the victim.)
  • If you are with the right person, the relationship will automatically work out. What you do, or don't do, has no effect on the outcome.

Does any of this make sense to you? I hope not. If it doesn't, congratulations, you are in touch with reality.

If you are in touch with reality, you know that each person's feelings and thoughts are located in
their own body. You know that while you may be able to imagine what another might be feeling or thinking, you also realize that it is tentative, a possibility which can only be verified by the other.

If you are in touch with reality you know that no one else
causes another's behavior. You recognize that no one else moves your arms and legs and mouth.

You realize that while initial attraction and common interests with another either exist or not, how you interact with that person over time determines whether the relationship will thrive or die.

It's normal to feel disoriented when you encounter someone who is living in a world of make believe, and they don't even know it.

He grew up in the twilight zone, blamed for his parent's abuse of him. Because he was a child, he believed it. The parents who abused him were regarded by the rest of the world as well functioning, highly successful, pillars of the community. No one was there to tell him it wasn't his fault. He had no way of knowing that even though nothing he could do would change the way they treated him, that how he behaves in adult relationships with normal people does make a difference.



CZBZ said...

"I grab hold of one of those electric horse fences which delivers a mild shock, and then a tree branch falls on my head."

That's a pretty darn good description, jennie! Everything starts spinning backwards and before we realize it, we're in another dimeNsioN. It's not the future's more like going back to the past and doing childhood all over again. Problem is: the person who has regressed to the Twilight Zone doesn't realize it. (and doesn't want directions back to real-time/reality either!)

What you've written makes a lot of sense to me. I visited the Twilight Zone numerous times though my X was the one with the lifetime passport. I only had a temporary visa, thank goodness.

I didn't mind the 'fusion' when we were first married and love meant not knowing who was feeling what. ha! It seems that verbal abusers get stuck in the enmeshment stage and make the false assumption that whatever they're thinking, we're thinking too. That THEY know more about us than we do. If we become fairly strong in ourselves and refute their allegations, then we usually get a truckload of psychbabble bulloney, twisting and turning our heads around as we try to make sense of what they're saying.

"Only the victim has freedom of choice, and if she chooses to engage in behavior which provokes the perpetrator, what he does next is her fault."


That's all I have to say about abusers blaming other people.

And as far as YOU are the only one who has the freedom to choose, well that's a crock of balloney, too.

Since he seems to be fairly educated in psychological theory, has he taken Anger Management courses??


jennie said...

It really is mind boggling isn't it? It's like he is trying to use my body as an external hard drive for his psyche.

Unfortunately, I didn't get much of the good fusion once we got married. Once married, I don't think he saw me as "Jennie"anymore; only as the "wife object".

Anger management courses? Nah. Since he thinks he has no choice about his behavior when angry, he tries to not feel angry, rather than learning better ways to handle those feelings.

He has followed a series of various 'new age' teachers who promise quick, effortless, freedom from all so called "negative" emotions. I think this has only improved his ability to dissociate from his feelings.

CZBZ said...

My X never attended anger management classes nor did he follow the marriage counselor's advice and seek long-term therapy. Of course he didn't. His only problem was a wife who didn't like being told to "Fluck Off."

I also didn't like his new soulmate---the one who walked into his life right when she was spiritually destined to show up. He was working his azz off in a company cubicle when she suddenly appeared: His Teacher.

Yea, he really did say that. But only after he read a library full of new age books, like Deepok Chopra and that insipid book,
'The Celestine Prophecy'. If a person isn't grounded in reality, pseudo-spiritual bullshite like that cuts the fragile cord tying their feet to the ground. Next thing we know, they are speaking about the nondual reality, unconditional love and unconditional forgiveness which actually means, "I'll do whatever the helk I want to do and if you disagree, you're a lower-life being making neanderthal judgments about my behavior."

A lot of this New Age Stuff appeals to the narcissistic personality because their ego remains in complete control, refusing to submit to anyone. Especially not qualified psychologists or authority figures of any kind. This includes God as a higher power than themselves.

They pervert the idea of God being Within by taking it LITERALLY. ha!

You wrote: "It's like he is trying to use my body as an external hard drive for his psyche."

ROFL...that's PERFECT. It's exactly what narcissistic people do: they use the object of their affection like an extension of themselves. It's inconceivable to them that we are separate beings.


jennie said...

I agree that a lot of "new age" pseudo-spirituality is like crack cocaine for narcissists.

Ah yes, non-dual reality - there is no right or wrong. Unconditional love = boundary-less relationships.

Call me crazy, (or unenlightened) but I think love is disciplined, keeps commitments, and makes the well being of another as important as one's own.

Once when my husband was waxing eloquent about how well he had transcended the ego, I called him "Captain Enlightenment". To his credit, he laughed and said, "That's right. No one is more humble than me".

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