There has been a theme lately with one particular friend about paybacks. This has been a lesson hard learned for me, but one I have a complete grasp.
Yes, I would love to punch that bitch in the face. What I wouldn’t give to tell that asshole to go fuck himself. Oooohhhh, yes there are people and moments that take me to a place of total hate.
What I have learned, the most hard and unpleasant of ways, is that when dealing with people that think you are crazy, for lack of a better word, then there is nothing in this world that pleases them more than for you to go crazy. If you don’t already know, I am fluent in the ways of the narcissist. Yes, it’s a gift that has been bestowed upon me more often that I care to admit. The two most prevalent examples of this are my mother and my ex-husband. Let me give you an example with each that demonstrates exactly the type of behavior they love to elicit from me.
This story was laid out in detail on the blog many many (OMG like YEARS ago) years ago. For those who may have missed it here is the cliff notes version of the incident.
I was freshly divorced, maybe a year. It was Christmas, and she had made it abundantly clear that if I didn’t want to join her for Christmas, she wasn’t interested in joining me. I had decided to make a care package of gifts to give her, one of which was a picture of me and her when I was little playing around with a toy Santa sleigh. I wanted to remind her of our bond, in hopes to help mend things. This setting boundaries thing was still pretty new to me (us) and I was just getting the hang of standing by them, while she tried to butcher them to pieces. So, I was still trying to “bring her around” without actually setting foot in the lions’ den. Plus, I think it merits mentioning that the first Christmas after my divorce (or actually during) her gift to me was a donation to a local charity…in her name…but presented to me. (???)
Before I had a chance to mail it she showed up on my doorstep, uninvited…unannounced. As I said, I was still learning how to hold my own and keep my boundaries firmly in place at this time, and it didn’t take long for this visit to turn ugly. She started out pretty cool, offering me a check (sizeable I might add) and telling me she missed me. I can’t remember everything verbatim, but it was quickly followed by her saying I was a jerk (that is NOT the word she used, but it encompasses the feeling of her intent), to which I replied “but look, I have a box all ready for you filled with gifts!!” Awww, I was so naive at that time. That gesture catapulted the conversation up a few dozen notches, she got in my face, I told her to back up, she wouldn’t, I told her to leave, more ugly words… As she was leaving I remember asking her “What do you want???” Her reply “For you to apologize.” Ok…so I said “I’m sorry if my actions hurt you.” To which she slapped back with…”It doesn’t count if I have to ask for it.”
There were a few other choice words, I was trying to get her to see that the block between us was her…but she wasn’t having it (see what I mean about my being naïve) and then I snapped. I grabbed the box, ripped it open, pulled out the framed picture and said “SEE!!! SEE WHAT I HAVE HER FOR YOU!! THIS IS HOW MUCH I CARE!!” I do not remember what she said after that but I took that frame, smashed in on the sidewalk told her to fuck off and never come back.
The look on her face was all I needed to see to know…she won. Yep, I gave her exactly what she wanted. Me, losing my shit. I just gave her the confirmation (in her own head) that I am so full of hate and anger that I cannot let go and I am the reason we cannot have a relationship. Let me tell you, in the moment of seeing the look on her face I knew that I had fucked up. I went in the house and instead of being mad at her, I was completely and totally pissed at myself. I know this scenario. This is what I have been working on, preparing for, and I fucked it up. Dammit, dammit dammit.
That was the last time I was ever going to lose my shit in front of her, no matter how dirty she got. She pokes, she tries, but no matter what, all I have to do is look at her face and I can see her trying to get me and I won’t let her. She will NEVER win that battle again.
Yes…that was the long cliff notes version. On to the next scenario….
Just after the divorce, the ex and I were getting along fairly well. I was doing what most new divorcee’s do, going out with friends and having a good time (on the weekends the kids were with him anyway). One day I was at his place and he mentioned a picture someone told him about me on Facebook (he doesn’t have FB he thinks it’s the devil). It was a pretty innocent picture, some guy pretending to grab my boob and me looking all surprised. There was not touching, my boob was not hanging out…and I was not dressed like a $2 whore. Picture was just that… HE did not see the picture. HE was only told about the picture and apparently it gave the impression that I was nothing but a 2 bit whore and I should keep that shit to myself.
I started off pretty calm about it…I mean, I knew the picture and I would not have been embarrassed to show anyone, my kids included who would have more than likely just rolled their eyes. As I laughed it off, he got more agitated…that’s when the whore (that is not exactly how he put it) and watching my self comment came up. Guess who snapped??? Well, I started to go off and as he stood in front of me I could see this calm look of satisfaction come over his face. That mutherfucker….
I didn’t even finish my sentence…at that moment I turned and walked out. You almost won that one asshole…but I’m getting quicker. I knew then, he would never win that fight with me again. That is, as a matter of fact, one of the reasons I asked for the divorce. He has given me a few chances to lose my shit since then, but, thankfully I’ve learned to stay firm and remember what his end game is…and I will not fall for it.
So when this friend tells me stories of people treating him poorly, attacking his credibility or just disrespecting him in general (and trust me these are minor infractions) he adds how much he wants to take them down. My response to him…never let them win. They want to paint you as the asshole, then they poke you and piss on you until you get all huffy and become and asshole…they win. If you throw the first punch, they win. If you tell them they are and always have been a liar…they win.
Anytime some jackass pokes you to the point that you lose your shit…they win. That is their end game. That is their drug of choice….to poke you till you explode, then sit back and say “See…I told you he was an asshole.”
Is it hard to sit back while they call you names, make up lies, threaten you…yes it is. Do they deserve to get put in their place either physically or verbally…hell the fuck yes. If you do that, will they finally stop making up lies about you? Threatening you? Nope…they will probably never stop. It may lessen, but they will never stop trying to make you into something ugly because that’s just who they are. Ugly, sad people, lacking in confidence or even human decency. That’s them, and it has not a god damn thing to do with you…unless you fall for the shit. If you can take a moment and remember who you are dealing with, remember that they have nothing better to do than to see how far they can go before you lose your shit, then maybe you can step back and let them try, without a single fucking response from you.
Here’s the picture I want you to see. This crazy fucker is trying desperately to get the world to believe that you are the biggest asshole that has ever walked the earth. They will bring up ugly parts of your past, they will pull shit out of their ass, they will do anything and everything they can till you snap and lose your shit. Then, they will sit back with the most calm look on their face and point….See, I told you so. You might as well just throw those fuckers a parade because if you give them that…they win, and that’s all they want.
BUT…same scene, with you just standing there laughing lightly, maybe chuckle, look them in the face with not one negative thought word or expression. You just let them go until they are blue in the face…suddenly they look like the crazy one. You win that one hot stuff. You win.
So please…please when dealing with nut-jobs, remember who you’re dealing with and
Never Let Them Win