I am guilt free.
I am soaring.
I do not feel guilt even when he plays the sad boy, lonely boy, why don’t you see how hard I am trying, scared boy, voiceless boy. I am not guilty. I am not at fault. I didn’t cause this. I bear no guilt.
What did I see? I saw someone who had mild woman issues, someone with a few stereotypes about women, but nothing that I found unmanageable within myself. A level I could live with, could accept. Someone with a few self esteem issues, but who had found a place for themselves, a sense of self worth beyond their childhood. After all, the overall package, the big picture, the person, was worth a few disagreements and disappointments. In total sum, a relationship with him, opening my life to include him, seemed worth the risk.
Because he lied, of course.
I saw some darkness. I saw some issues. I saw some disconnects. I saw some areas which he slid away from accountability. I saw some areas where we would disagree, potential for arguments, things which would never, ever be resolved. Some negatives that concerned me, some things I wished were better. But they were livable. They were within reason. They were minor in comparison.
I was mistaken.
Because he lied. And he is a skilled, practiced liar.
Because he lied, he got what he wanted. Because he got what he wanted, he was rewarded for lying. When he wasn’t getting what he wanted, he knew that deception and lies and manipulation could get him what he wanted. So he lied more and more, and wanted more and more. Set point raising every time, never enough, more power, more lies, more lust, more lies, more memememememememe, more lies.
Depression doesn’t cause someone to lie. Depression doesn’t cause someone to fuck whores. Shame doesn’t cause someone to cheat and steal. Fear doesn’t cause someone to go strip clubs. Low self esteem doesn’t cause someone to betray others. Mean daddy doesn’t cause someone to hurt other people. Sad mommy doesn’t push someone into pornography.
That is the BIG LIE. All those books, all those ways of hiding and covering up and trying to make sense of something so obvious, it hurts to admit.
Abuse and addiction are one and the same. All about feeling powerful, getting away with having whatever they want to make themselves feel bigger, badder, better than someone else, no matter the cost to anyone else. Entitlement. ‘I am entitled to fuck whores if I want. You just want to take my power away!’ ‘I paid you whore, I own you for this hour, do what I tell you, or else!’ ‘I am entitled to shoot heroine if I want. It’s my body, I’ll do whatever I feel like. It makes me feel soo good, so powerful!’ ‘I am entitled to have another drink. It’s my life. I feel on top of the world!’ ‘I am entitled to lie to you to get what I want. I deserve whatever I want whenever I want it. Don’t you dare tell me I can’t do that!’
And to cover up the obvious lie in the BIG LIE? Blame other people. Make up stories about how it is the other people who are causing the problems that make me want to do these things. Not the true reason which is that ‘I want whatever I want whenever I want and I am damn well going to get it’, because that isn’t ‘nice’, that isn’t ‘proper’, that isn’t this upstanding citizen I am pretending to be, stroking my ego, everyone telling me how good I am, so powerful! I need that power of that image just as much to keep my power to get over on other people, one and the same, aren’t I clever, aren’t I the special one. I now even have power over those other people that I don’t have enough power over, and they think I am so good that they don’t see a need to exercise power over me. No one can control me because I AM THE POWERFUL ONE! So, ‘I deserve to fuck whores because my wife is such a bitch.’ ‘I deserve to shoot up because my life sucks so bad and no one cares so I can beat myself up all I want.’ ‘I deserve to lie to you because you are all mean to me anyway and wouldn’t give me everything I want whenever I want and that is all I want.’ “I deserve anything I want and no one can stop me!’
The feel good, the sense of power, THAT is what is addictive. The brain pathway of king of the hill. The reinforcing loop of getting away with it, of repeating that sense of power. The rituals which ingrain in the brain, the obsessive objects used to feel powerful, the rehearsing and practicing of how it will feel to be powerful, how to get it, how to keep it, how to justify the means. And it is, ultimately, always a CHOICE.
ADDICTION, POWER, ABUSE, IS JUST ANOTHER CHOICE!
Because every addict, whether to a substance, or a behavior, or abusing someone, every addict CAN STOP IF THEY DISCOVER SOMETHING THEY VALUE MORE THAN THE SENSATION OF POWER. Only when they come to the realization there is something they want more, value more, than just power, only then do they CHOOSE to make the changes in their behavior to STOP THE ABUSE. And only if they make the changes in their thinking, their blaming, their need to lord over others, their entitlement to abuse themself and other people, only then do they stay stopped. Only when connection at some level other than who gets to fuck who is more desirable than fucking the world all alone. And whenever they slide, go backwards, allow themselves to desire that sense of power, however they end up feeling powerless, loss of job, loss of family member, lack of sense of safety, then they fall right back into all those ‘addict’ behaviors again.
But POWER, BEING TOP OF THE HEAP, LEAD DOG, KING OF THE PECKING ORDER, that is the true addiction. Feeling like they own the world and that they are in complete control of everything and everyone, that their brains and hormones and bodies are fooled into the deep social sensation of top dog, that is what they are really addicted to. And when the set point goes up, they become despots, tyrants, desperate for more and more and more sense of power. It is never enough. They never go on a vacation from power, they never reset their norm.
I am working to see how that ties in to brain pathways and patterns, but this makes the ultimate sense. Power. Power, being top dog, changes the brain, higher and physical, in social animals. In humans, it becomes ‘Whatever I want whenever I want it.’ Shame only feeds into the anger and the blaming of someone, not the addiction to that sense of power. Upbringing only determines the values the person holds and how they act out their power plays. Do they beat their children, or just their wife? Do they abuse whores, or their daughters? Do they lie to their parents, or just their intimate partners? Do they physically abuse, or just emotionally and psychologically?
As long as they continue to get away with it, they feel more and more powerful.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
He is corrupt.
He defiled this relationship.
He’s the only one with rights in his own power tripping universe. No one dare tell him what to do, how to behave, where to draw the line. Even when it hurts himself, because no one is the boss of him. Rules only apply to the plebes, never himself. Everyone else’s rights are merely subject to his whim, and he treats them like the worthless objects they are to him. THAT is the true core person, the real belief, the value by which all other values are merely words to placate the masses.
Power at all costs.
He still thinks like a power addict, a jealous ruler, just one who is in jeopardy of being dethroned and has been strong armed in to agreeing to a Magna Carta to keep his crown. But like any deposed despot, he will resent it. He will quietly plot against it. He will find every way to get around it, undermine it, render it impotent. He will gather his followers and his believers and create his base from which to attack. Thus, he does not view this time of change between us as building something valuable together, rather I am still the enemy trying to control his ultimate power, take away his freedom of thrills, take away his brain feel good, usurp his little kingdom and leave him to face his flaws, his personhood, without anyone to bully.
I know something is missing, very much missing, in the things he says. I haven’t been able to put my finger on it. When I view his reactions and words and promises in view of someone just trying to hold on to power, I begin to hear what is missing. Fear is the excuse. Shame is a cover up. Intimacy disorder is a joke. Addict is a self serving label. Slick cover over the entitled thinking, gloss over the real issues they don’t want to face, because they cannot bear losing that oh so special sensation of power.
Selfish. I am sooo special. Entitled. You owe me. Me me me me me me me. King Infant. Stealing when he cannot command, manipulating when he cannot force. PR to make it all squeaky clean, not me, didn’t do, you didn’t see that, you’re just crazy.
I am not his subject. I am not his slave. I am not his peasant. He fears saying something because he fears losing his subject, his power over me. I might leave. I might become angry and force him to face the lie. I might say something as simple as no. I might deny him what he wants whenever he wants it. So he lies to get his way, and he says he deserves it because he needs to feel powerful, and he manipulates so he never has to face the consequences of his abuse of his power. That hasn’t changed. The way he talks to me. The way he says he has fear about having no voice, but he has chosen to have no voice because that way no one knows what he is plotting and no one can choose for themselves. He still gets to run the show, never share the power, never let anyone else have rights of their own in his kingdom of one. Maybe, once upon a time, long ago, he had no voice. But he is not a victim. He is not a child. He is not subject to his parent’s whim. He makes these choices to use and abuse others because he LIKES it.
I would like to see MRI of addicts, men who abuse their wives, and dictators. I bet when they justify their cruelty, their thefts, their destruction of other people in pursuit of their own shit, their scans would be identical.
‘Little Hitlers’ all, ruling over their own tiny piece of the world. And just like Hitler, destroying it in order to maintain that power. The ultimate trip isn’t about drugs, or sex. It’s just power and the choice to abuse it.
‘How DARE you touch my power! How DARE you DEFY ME! How DARE you tell me what to do! You are NOTHING! I am better than you, and I can, and will, FUCK YOU OVER TO PROVE IT. I’ll keep you confused so you’ll NEVER KNOW WHAT HIT YOU! I’ll have you totally obsessed about what I am going to do next, mired in FEAR and PAIN, the fastest way to SHOW that I am POWERFUL! I sooo POWNed you! Ha! So fucking there! POWERFUL FEELS SO GOD DAMNED GOOOOOOD!!!’
That explains so much about the 12 steps, but they dance around the subject. ‘A power greater than yourself.’ ‘Admitting you are powerless.’ Looking deeply into your actions, uncovering the excuses. Therapy, to see how someone go to that point. How being brought up created the value system which allowed the lies and the cruelty and the need for more and more and more. But they don’t readily acknowledge that the final analysis is about POWER, and being willing to give it up. Making a choice to let go. Maybe Buddhism gets closest, but still misses the point of addiction, that being better than someone else is addictive, addiction, abusive because someone always ends up being put down, ground under, devalued, in the process.
POWER. Our language is filled with references just like he did to me. Coming out on top. Fuck you! Up yours! I’ll fuck you up!
Not addictive. Not a rush. Not power at any cost. Not power through fear, intimidation, manipulation, destruction. Not gimme gimme gimme i want i want i want mine mine mine memememememe.
Stepping gladly away from the throne. Freeing the slaves, ALL of them. Humbly accepting past failings, reclaiming the pain caused to others in pursuit of power. Making reparations with an open heart and open hand, without resentment or pretense or expecting a pat on the head.
Standing alone on the mountain before everyone, not on someone else’s broken back.
Finding a sense of safety, even when stepping out into the emptiness of sky.
Finding personal power, simply by being, and honesty, and kindness.
Sex as sharing bodies rather than a power play.
Standing and walking and living.
Am I beating him up to feel better about myself? Or because he dumped his shit on me, and I want him to take it back? He defiled the landscape of this relationship with his lust for power. He injected me with the despair of all those, including me, that he was willing to destroy in order to have his pound of flesh. I can feel the blackness, the oily sickness sliding around beneath my skin, vile and disgusting. Because I want to scream and call him horrible things and hurt him back, him, not someone else, just the person who was willing to be so cruel to me. To push this horrible thorn, this sword, this needle of anguish back out of my body that he forced into me while he enjoyed his handiwork from the safe distance, always a deception away.
Feeling angry that he took the power I offered him, and treated it like shit? That he values nothing beyond his need? That I was fooled and duped and taken advantage of? That there are things I wanted, too, and now I will never feel free enough to have them? That by abusing me he has stolen a piece I may never have time enough in this life to regain? That he will always have that power over me because my scars will hurt forever? It was so much easier to destroy than to share power, and build a monument to loving someone was to much work compared to laying waste to everything, all in the name of power?
How can I accept that I took a risk, and lost? How can I accept that I gave him power freely, and that, being his to do with as he chose, a gift, he corrupted it? Went to war against me with it? How can I accept that I am supposed to keep giving gifts to someone that I do not believe is capable of valuing them, of treating them with care, because they really aren’t what he truly wants anyway? How can I give of myself to someone who only wants to take, and shit on, and look down upon, and sneer at? How can I look forward to walking through what should have been fertile fields, but are now filled with the garbage and trash and toxic waste of their massive consumption to fill that never ending need for power?
I said I would, walk among this devastation, hand in hand with King Infant. Dance among the broken glass, bleeding feet and wincing. Breath deep the putrid air and and try not to vomit.
Am I so different from that?
Gods, I hope so.
I want, too. I want lots of things, for me. I want to enjoy sex with someone who loves me. I want to look forward to hearing someone’s footsteps walking down the hall. I want to smile at the sound of someone’s voice. I want someone to feel the same about me. I want to wake up smiling. I want sweet, friendly surprises, and to leave my own little reminders that I care. I want to think good thoughts about someone. I want to feel safe with my name on someone’s lips. I want to feel held in someone’s heart. I want to share my life, my love, my friendship. I want to look in someone’s eyes, and know they want me there.
And if I can’t have these things that I want, I want to live alone, where no one is around to betray me, but me.
I did not betray me. I thought I was doing what was best. I thought the risks were worth the chance I was taking. I really did.
But he only wanted power, and whatever he wants whenever he wanted it, no matter the cost.
He is trying to make me pay.
I am guilt free in this.
I didn’t do it.