Updated: 2 days ago
Fist clenching to the rage that stormed within, I at the first twelve years of my life sat in stone cold silence as my parental figures berated me for what felt like hours. Perhaps hours had gone by, but I had mentally tapped out of the conversation to distract me from the defamation of my character disguised as parental guidance. To this day, I can't remember what was said, as I simply repressed the words and converted them into motivation. However, snippets of the attacks on my person still remains. Accusations of intentions that one would only find in the vilest of villains, coupled with the sheer devaluation of my outward appearance, were the main things I can remember.
"No man will want you." I remember. "You have low self esteem so all you'll be good for is sex." Was the advice given to me by someone who felt entitled to the title of step father, despite there being no evidence of fatherly love within him. My mother, stood in silent solidarity with her partner as they continued to tear my sense of self to ribbons. I had undergone years of this slow erosion of my sense of self. Told the many ways I was unworthy, ugly, and should take my own life when I required the bare minimum in human empathy.
Being raised by Narcissists within a culture that cultivates the disorder is no easy task. I often find myself looking back on my childhood and wondering how on Earth did I survive it? How did I survive the triangulation. Even more so, how did I survive the devaluation when I literally had next to nothing and no one to counter the abusive rhetoric that led to twenty plus years of self loathing and suicidal ideation. Yet, somehow, I managed to not only survive it; not only thrive despite it, but also gain the intuitive skill to spot and combat the manipulative behaviors of those who engage in that behavior as a means to get what they wanted out of me.
My spouse and I have been kink friendly for our entire relationship. We met in our youth and spent those years, bonding, connecting and building a relationship on the foundation of trust and understanding. Sometime in our later years we've decided to engage with the worlds outside of us. We opened ourselves up to exploring other beautiful couples and some unattached individuals looking to embrace the world at large. The journey started out well for a moment. Until the movement lost its momentum and both of us became disheartened by the state of world outside of us. My spouse found it difficult to simply engage wherein I found that narcissism and the manipulative tactics that exists within the disorder is being repackaged as courtship.
So let us begin.
PUA tactics is nothing more than narcissistic abuse rebranded as courtship. For those of us who have had malignant narcissist's for parental figures you know all too well the kind of deep seated rage these people plant within their targets. We also know that narcissists target the best of us because their fragile egos cannot stomach the idea that anyone can have something they feel they lack. If you happen to be a person whom they look down upon, in my case being a darker skin female, who posses something they lack, you are in for a world of hurt. Anyone who obtains or posses anything that triggers their insecurities will be offered as sacrifice on the alter of their brittle ego. Let's face it ladies and Gents, anything can poke holes in that pathetic little ego of theirs. I spent the first twenty-five years of my life being held accountable for the insecurities of my mother, her husband and the surrounding cretins within my community. Consistently knocked down and made to be the recepticle for the shame they were too cowardly to address, own and heal from. Scapegoated children of narcissists are often the child who sees the truth behind the deflection and lies. We are often creative and different from the cult that is the narcissist family and community. This puts a target on our backs and thus the systemic breakdown of our sense of self begins. This is called devaluation.
At every turn my family would make my appearance the focal point of their abuse. They knew they couldn't attack my intellect as that was something I received too much reassurance on. Sure they tried. But hard to convince a child whose intellect is validated on the regular, that they are less than intelligent. But I digress. There were no lows they wouldn't go if it meant my holding my head low in submission. The breakdown of my self esteem was the key to controlling my behavior. By attempting to control my behavior, they would get the supply and emotional response from me that they sought to receive. This could be a myriad of things. Attention. Feeble attempts at proving myself to my abusers. Emotional distress. Or best of all, they could force me to see myself as a disfigured monster. Through instilling the thoughts of worthlessness and not being beautiful enough to feel deserving of love and respect, my family and surrounding community would from a distance, effect the ways I would carry myself and even worse, effect my ability to act within my best interest. After all, if I am made to feel ugly and worthless, then I would not advocate for myself to receive anything more than what an ugly and worthless person is assumed to receive.
All of this is no different from negging. Negging is just another form of devaluation. Narcissists cannot feel like winners, nor can they maintain relationships with their fellow humans unless someone is there to prop them up. That means someone has to bare the weight of a full grown adult person with the mental fortitude of a toddler standing on their back. Negging is made to dim the light of the target and place them in a position where they feel they either have to prove themselves to the manipulator and/or assume the manipulator got more going on than previously assumed.
Side note: People who genuinely lead interesting lives filled with joy, loved ones and passions do not have to build the illusion of such through such tactless manipulation, but I digress.
I remember the first time I was negged after giving this whole exploration thing a go....
It went right over my head. I didn't even notice it. The individuals engaging in the behavior were nothing I normally go for and to be frank I didn't even know they were interested. Some time passed and after numerous attempts at negging me into submission, I went home filled with rage. All I could think to myself was,
"Why does this happens to me? I did nothing to deserve this treatment."
I later had flashbacks of my childhood and remembered the smug grins on my parents face when they too "negged" me into self loathing as means to get me to react in the ways that they wanted. Being the warrior type I did nothing of the sort. But it didn't stop it from hurting. I blinked back the tears wondering how can I protect myself from this? Numerous times I ruminated on the experience wondering what I did wrong. Why couldn't I just be talked to like a human being and why was I seemingly reliving my childhood abuse all over again. I started to question my own existence. Wondering what is it about me that triggers people to knock me down, torment me with attacks on my appearance. Was I really that ugly? Did I say something wrong? Why does this keep happening to me? How can I fucking STOP THIS?! Then it dawned on me,
When my mother began to take it upon herself to destroy my self esteem, I peered into the heart of her intent. That's when I realized her goal was to distort how I see myself so I never see the extent of my full potential. She saw the truth of who I am and did everything she could to keep me ignorant of it as means to keep me from surpassing her. It wasn't that my dark skin made me appear filthy as she once put it. But because her husband had an inappropriate attraction to someone he was suppose to receive as a daughter. She, my mother, in her own self loathing cared more for the validation of the man she was stuck in a loveless marriage with. This led her to look at me as competition instead of her own flesh and blood. She took advantage of the power of motherhood to blind me from the woman I am in order to keep me in line. Devaluing me at every turn, until I eventually became totally ignorant of my truest and most divine self. I, being a little smarter than the average kid, had to ask the question, if I am so repulsive, why work so tirelessly to communicate this to me? The desperate attempts at keeping me in my ugly duckling lane came across as forced. That's when it dawned on me,
I am being targeted because my presence is a threat. She couldn't shine unless my flame was extinguished. This is no different from the demonic pathology of those who seek to crush your spirit in order to obtain you. A person who is already worth something allows their inner light to speak for itself. If someone has to destroy you to get you, then they are only worthy of broken things.
And let's be honest, a person of means has no need for something that is broken. In order for someone to knock you off a supposed pedestal they would have had to be looking up at you to begin with.
Next in line is triangulation. This is actually quite comical as I was pinned against a woman I would not consider my equal. I'm a bit snobbish, but rightfully so. I have crawled out of the belly of a hellish beast and emerge purified in many ways. I am willing to wager that if any so called "bad bitch" or "alpha male" was forced to live through a fraction of my experience, wouldn't have survived it by any means. I have seen people destroyed over far less. So if there is anything I can be arrogant about, it is my resilience in the face of fuckery. I have more than earned my snobbish demeanor. That aside, I was later triangulated against a woman who in a sense was my polar opposite. Everything I was told was better than me, physically anyways, she embodied that. Again the triangulation went over my head as I tend to not notice these things. You go most of your life being told you're ugly, worthless, not what men want or desire, you learn to not care what men as a whole want. If there are good men who give me the time of day with respect and genuine interest, then I will invest my caring nature into them. But that is neither here nor there. I later put the pieces together and realized,
"Oh my! I was triangulated against.... Again."
Narcissists engage in triangulation all the fucking time. This is where you get the Scapegoated Child VS the Golden Child dynamic. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy as it not only aids in the destruction of the children's self esteem(yes even the golden child is negatively effected). But it destroys the relationship between the two siblings. In our household, my sister was revered as the beautiful one with her features resembling the white people my family complained about on the regular when they needed to pretend to be "pro-black". Despite this performative sense of "black pride", my family didn't seem very proud to have me, an unambiguous black woman, for a daughter. I was often pinned against my more "exotic looking" sister. When I invited my husband, then boyfriend to our home for the first time, he was taken aback by the fact that no where in our home were there pictures of me. He didn't bring it up. But he noticed it. The absence of my presence as though it were my family's greatest shame to even have me spoke volumes. However, there were photos of my sister and her parents at every turn. It was almost as though I did not exist. Those walls, with their lack of depictions of me spoke to my earlier years as a little girl. I was often left out. Ignored. Beaten for things I did not do. Accused. Made to carry the title of anything bad and harmful to the harmony of the household. I was hardly even noticed unless I achieved something for my family to take credit for. I had to watch as my mother paraded my sister around while I was kept hidden away like a dirty secret. I had to watch as my mother and her husband praised my sister for her beauty, only for them to give me side eyes as I watched uncomfortably because no one had anything nice to say about me. Ever. Years dragged by with this being the norm. I went most of my twenties feeling numb and invisible. I didn't just experience this in my family, but out in everyday life. Being given the cold shoulder by men who didn't like my tomboyish nature, my features, my hair, my everything. Shoved to the side for girls they would later in life complain about(perhaps that will be a different blog topic). I had grown accustom to being treated this way.
At some point in life, I accepted that I will never be truly seen and I was alright with that. As the people who got preferential treatment were not people I idolize in anyway. Rejection comes with a kind of freedom that I do not possess the literary skills to describe. So I won't bother. I started going to therapy, went no contact with my narcissistic family and focused on the things that matters(ie my mental health, my spouse, the family I built etc). Then it happened. I was thrown into the lions den at a temporary job I was beyond excited to work at. I started noticing men dangling their access to "exotic" women in my face in attempts to elicit an emotional reaction. Males whom, unbeknownst to me, were flaunting and flirting with other women in hopes it'll manipulate me into chasing them. Kind of hard to get that reaction out of person who learned to establish a sense of self worth beyond her looks because everyone around her was conditioning her to see herself as repulsive.
Again when this occurred, it went over my head. I didn't understand what was going on. My friends accompanying me did and were ready to act on their violent tendencies. I instead, didn't piece it all together until much later. That's when I cried about it. I just couldn't understand for the life of me why they couldn't just leave me alone. I sat there in my Livingroom asking, why me? Why couldn't they just be nice to me? Why couldn't it just be as simple as a genuine smile, pleasant engagement and light hearted fun? Why do I have to keep experiencing people taking jab, after jab, after jab after FUCKING JAB at me. Like seriously man, what the fuck am I doing wrong?! If it wasn't my mother it was her husband, if it wasn't her husband it was extended family, if it wasn't extended family it's people in my neighborhood and if it wasn't them it was others. Countless others. If kindness is not an option, I am fine with being left alone. In fact, I prefer my own company to most people to be perfectly honest.
The other manipulative tactics are self explanatory. Those tactics being the push & pull tactic. Also very common with narcissistic abuse, next to breadcrumbing. These two tactics are not as triggering as the first two but are still infuriating in their own right.
Despite my shitty upbringing, it has given me the gift of intuition. Sure it takes me a minute to see what's being done. But once I do. I move accordingly. I have since removed myself from the company of aforementioned former coworkers despite me enjoying them on other levels. It is an unfortunate thing but we simply do not mix and that's alright. I do not belong everywhere and not everyone belong in my world. Most people do not deserve my company nor the company of my spouse. Fewer people deserve to be held in my arms and encapsulated in the warmth of my feminine energy. Especially those who emits the same destructive energy that only hollowed shells made of darkness, envy, and resentment can give.
It is not all bad, though! I've met enough wonderful men who I am happy to give my time to. I am still very vigilant and extremely discriminatory when it comes to who I give myself to, or invite into my spouse and I's lives. And rightfully so. Sex is not only a beautiful part of the human experience, but it is also very vulnerable. The pleasure of such a thing is as powerful as it is ancient and shouldn't be shared with those too weak to obtain its power without weaponizing the wounds(real or imagined) of others. I genuinely believe that all that we do takes energy and how we do it greatly effects that energy. Sex is a powerful force. If you're acting on it through trickery, falsehood, cruelty, emotional manipulation and ego then you're bound to sully the experience all together. Me? I much rather enjoy pleasure in its purest form. Absent the filth of an unconscious fool.