Guest Author - Kathie LoMonaco
Has someone close to you fallen victim to an unscrupulous individual? Are you tolerating an intolerable situation? I empathize with your pain - it strikes a familiar chord.
Tough times call for tough measures. The title of my article I know is kind of broad. But, the main crux of my message today is about someone/anyone in your family, or close to you who has fallen under the manipulations and machinations of someone who does not have THEIR best interests at heart. This person's subtle brainwashing of the person who is close to you only serves to suit their own selfish agenda.
Do you know someone who has fallen prey to this type of negative influence? I sympathize with you as no one wants to see someone they care about being deceived and controlled. This is a very complex situation. They are unfortunately laboring under the misguided notion that the person they rely on to be honest with them is not at all a trustworthy person with any integrity or character. While this person may be transparent to some, your loved one may refuse to see them for what they are. Common sense tells me that besides fearing being alone (Dependent personality disorder?) - they are also extremely intimidated by this toxic person. Fear is a big motivator - even if that motivation means avoiding the obvious.
Remember Patty Hearst? I think she fell under the 'Stockholm Syndrome'. That is where the person who is the victim over time starts to identify with, if not sympathize with, their 'captor' and is methodically and slowly brainwashed and manipulated to the point that they fall under their control, as if they have been hypnotized.
One wonders why the toxic person's true colors aren't revealed at times - then again, maybe they are - enabling the loved one to catch a glimpse of the real person lurking underneath - yet they still believe -or CHOOSE to believe - that the choice they have made is a worthy one. Does ego possibly play a role in this? As in, they cannot bring themselves to admit they made a mistake, so they live with the situation, unsavory and intolerable as it may be.
The reason I say 'ego' is because many years ago I was hooked on a guy who I thought really cared for me - after all, we had dated for over eight years - that had to mean something? yes, it did - but only to me, apparently. I was so blind. My sister, who was already married many years with three grown children, had said to me at the time - "I keep waiting for you to get over this guy - I think it's an 'ego' thing". I thought about that for a while - digested it - and over the years sometimes her words pop up in my head and it took me a while to come to a conclusion but I do think she was on the right track.
Our false pride may just preclude us from admitting to ourselves that we've been wrong about a person - therefore, we (in this case, your loved one) chooses not to believe the obvious - they go into 'avoidance' mode - maybe because it would devastate them to admit the truth to themselves. Just as in a household where there is an alcoholic ruling the roost - you walk on egg shells and ignore the elephant in the room. The simple truth may be that no one knows how to deal with it, so they look the other way.
You keep wondering - and hoping - that at some point this vulnerable person will 'see the light' and realize the situation that they have gotten themselves into. Only they can do that. And, only IF they want to be honest with themselves - that is key. It cannot be done for them. This negative person very methodically is able to plants seeds that undermine anyone who is close to the loved one - as that manipulative person sees people close to the loved one as a threat.
This negatively influential person who has somehow managed in an unscrupulous way to weedle their way into your loved one's heart is insecure, after all, and therefore, looks to cause strife and upheavals in your loved one's relationships. That is the whole idea. That becomes their sole mission. Domination, manipulation, possession -- all which have nothing to do with love. They just NEED the CONTROL. They thrive on 'control'. They love to intimidate. Do not be fooled - this person is not capable of loving. They are too shallow. Once they feel in control of the relationship, they start to undermine any and all of your loved ones relationships that they view as a potential problem or threat to them.
Your (unfortunate) loved one might even 'confess' or acknowledge at some point to you that this person is moody and browbeats them at times but yet they stay submissive to the ego maniac possibly out of intimidation. Please see URL's below - in particular, 'Dependent Personality Disorder' where a person with this personality disorder will even tolerate abuse by a person close to them (who has been controlling their life) - because they fear losing this person (fear of abandonment) a person who, by the way, they would be well rid of as that person prevents them from feeling independent and also from growing and 'coming into their own'.
The Controller wants them 'dependent' as in 'under their thumb' and they will use whatever means is available to them to carry this out. Better to control. They only feel secure when THEY are in control. Thus the need for them to make your loved one THINK that whatever they tell them is FACT, is TRUTH - the seeds are planted so cleverly; this is the subtle brainwashing.
It almost reminds me of the Stockholm Syndrome where the captives start to empathize with their captors - in order to survive. Your loved ones starts to think or feel that they need this person - that they can't live/survive without them - or, the 'battered wife syndrome', without the physicality. The manipulator has accomplished what he intended - to establish full domination and control over YOUR loved one. This wreaks havoc also on anyone close to the victim in this scenario - while the manipulator's fun has just begun. Intimidation tactics are one of their greatest weapons. They begin to have too much power over your loved one which they then use to their best advantage.
I've seen firsthand where someone who is in this situation with a Controller living with them - more often than not will not reveal the secret hell that they go through with this person, possibly even on a daily basis. They make excuses to themself about this emotionally and mentally abusive person in their life. They pretend - even to themself - that everything is rosy. That in itself is scary. Can you live a lie? Some people can - I, for one, cannot.
I refuse to believe that no matter how blindsided because of caring for this other unworthy person, the victim does not deep down realize what a destructive alliance they have forged with such a toxic person - that at some (miraculous) point - they don't finally have enough of being manipulated and deceived to get disgusted enough to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and give the loser they have chosen their walking papers.
That is, of course, unless they cannot - because they suffer from bipolar, borderline personality disorder or some other mental disorder which makes them more impressionable, vulnerable and susceptible to falling victim to this type of unscrupulous person who is able to get a foothold into their life - and wreak havoc on everyone involved. They thrive on this person's weakness and vulnerability.
However, I still believe that where there is a will, there is a way. When you want something badly enough, you CAN make it happen.
Please email me with your thoughts, comments. I welcome your feedback.