Saturday, June 11, 2011

Confrontation - Manipulation

After dinner last night my friends and I were discussion our alcoholic relationships that got us into the program. All the stories were similar from the standpoint of the slow erosion of our own self-worth to the eventual total domination.

One person said that she thought she had lost her mind because her husband told her regularly that she never said that. Finally she started writing things down and reading them to him just to prove to herself that she wasn't crazy. Only an Al-Anon would do that.

I know now this a two way street that you give away your power as much as it is taken but when you live with alcoholism or a sociopath even the most self-confident person can be manipulated. When something is said with such conviction you tend to question yourself and what you remember. My ex would regular tell me, "don't be ridiculous" when things didn't add up and I became suspicious of his drinking an cheating.

It is tricky because in a new relationship you are so in love and eager to please so you give in and then it becomes expected. My experience is with sick relationships that you become isolated with only one person for feedback and everything is distorted. The program helped me to become more whole and less dependant on validation from other people. Every one's opinion has equal weight and we can agree to disagree. Not thinking if I don't agree with you you wont like me. This might be true but now I am willing to take that chance.

Today I had a confrontation with a man that came in with his wife. She and his mother came in yesterday to look at counter tops and she said she would bring him back in today. He was very abrupt and said he wanted the cheapest possible because they were not going to live much longer.

When I gave him the price he said he wasn't going to pay for it until it was installed and he was happy with the product. I said we required a deposit and once I paid for the slab and it was cut for his kitchen it could not be used for anything else. He said he was good for his word and I said we have been here for 35 years and are also good for out word.

I felt bad for his wife I could see she was embarrassed by him and said she would call me later or not. He was angry at the world and she seemed use to managing him I did that with my ex and it is exhausting. Today I am comfortable in my own skin and can remain calm even when faced when facing a bully.

We need the business but sometimes it is better to not take on someone you know will be a problem. Life is too short. He was going to show me that he was in charge. I felt sorry for him living with so much anger.

It did shake me up for a couple of hours. I handled myself well even though my heart was pounding.


  1. I have this experience all the time while dealing blackjack. Other players want to tell me how to run the game but there are legalities in line to keep everything honest and above board, plus rules protect the game. I try to let them know with loving kindness that this is how we have to do it, and then I wait for them to comply. When they see that I mean business and their obstinate attitude is holding up the game, they will either come around or quit. Some people are angry at the world, it's not me.

  2. That sounds like a difficult situation. Sadly, not everyone has the benefit of a recovery program. There are lots of sick people out there. Take care. His anger is not about you.