Breaking the code

25 Nov 2007


Recently I’ve been making
lots of mistakes not, happily, mistakes that inconvenience
other people, but still mistakes that have led to ‘Plan B’ on more than one


Now, everyone has different
learning styles, and I am one of those people who need to repeat an experience
several times (at least) before I learn from them.  I also believe that the
Universe will keep presenting you with the same lesson as many times as it takes
until you finally get it.


So what were all the recent
mistakes about?


There is never just one
explanation; there are always a number of equally valid explanations.  You
get to choose which one seems most accurate and constructive.


I spent some time puzzling over
the situation, words like ‘disorganized’ and ‘chaotic’ came to mind and faded
gently away.  Finally I understood.  The big lesson in there for me was that,
finally, it was ok to make mistakes.  I have the freedom to make mistakes.  That
was all they were; not catastrophes, just mistakes.  There was nobody
to answer to, least of all myself.


Making mistakes did not undermine
my human value, they did not make me reach for the hair shirt.  They were simply
mistakes which led to a change of plan.  As it happened I rather enjoyed Plan B
(and Plan C).


You learn very quickly in an
abusive relationship that your mistakes are not to be tolerated.  In fact, where
you are concerned there is no such thing as a small mistake. 


Abusive men express themselves in
a code that is actually blindingly simple. 


That being the case why does it
take their women so long to crack it? Because and we look for the answer in
entirely the wrong place.  You’re hardly likely to recognize the sheer baseness
of the motives for as long as you idealize the man.  And, boy, do abused women
idealize their man. 


You also fail to crack the code
because you have been programmed to interpret incorrectly.  Your partner points
you firmly in the direction of focusing on your perceived shortcomings, rather
than his enormous clay feet.


"You’ll never find anyone as
wonderful as me", means "making you feel small is the best way I know to feel
less bad about myself".  "You’re stupid", "You’re lazy", "You never do anything
right" etc. means "you surely can’t imagine that I could bear to settle for less
than 100% instant gratification all the time, regardless of your needs,
feelings, stress levels etc".  "You’re fat" means "I’m attractive"…


In that topsy-turvy world there is
no such thing as a ‘small mistake’.  In the outside world there is.  All your
alleged shortcomings serve to anaesthetize him to his own faults, to make him
feel a little better about himself. 


Now that you have the key to the
code in your hand you will, I’m sure, use it wisely.


Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.

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