Tuesday, 27 April 2010

friendship, solidarity and reality checks

a friend of mine is dealing with a controlling person at the moment and they have asked me if it's ok to keep in touch with me about their attempts to challenge this person's problematic behaviour.

i leapt at the chance (partly because i'm such a geek and am always keen to try and analyse new examples of control in my quest to articulate the universal elements! but mainly - ) because i remembered how sanity-saving it was for me when i was dealing with accusations from a manipulative person, to forward our emails to two friends who could vouch that i was not the one being unreasonable and who were able to be objective when the person wrote things that they knew would strike a chord and made me want to rescue the friendship by allowing them to set the terms. replies from my real friends reminding me "omg they're such a nutjob!!" were the reality checks that got me through.  

we cannot deal with control / manipulation / abuse alone, in isolation. anyone who suggests we should is, in my opinion, dodge. because isolation silences us, and is therefore a key ingredient of abuse.

obviously, the controlling people concerned would entirely freak out (and be likely to whip out the big guns, manipulation-wise) if they knew their actions were being witnessed, shared and analysed in this way, as this completely undermines their methods: isolation, as a tool for silencing, is central to the operation of any control. this is because if someone shares with their community the methods someone used to manipulate them, and the community believes them and decides that such behaviour is unacceptable, then the controlling person will have to either:
1) stop being controlling
2) leave the community
3) develop less detectable methods of control
and the more adept we all get in all our communities at identifying controlling behaviours, the more that 1) will be the only option left for everyone.

sorted. how hard can it be? :)

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