"Why didn't I see it?"
~Because, it seemed normal, familiar, comfortable, and safe. The red
flags looked like victory flags; this person GETS me, this person
understands me, this person SEES me.
Take bunny rabbits. There are only two kinds of creatures who SEE bunny rabbits and pay attention to them; other bunny rabbits, and predators.
Other bunny rabbits see each other as individual "persons", and are
interested in genuinely listening to one another and getting to know one
another; playing, running, and building lives with one another.
Bunny rabbits are also surrounded by other creatures who don't really care about who
they are or what they think. These creatures don't care much about
playing with bunny rabbits, listening to them, or doing anything
constructive or productive with them. They don't care about the
thoughts, motivations, or inner worlds of bunny rabbits. They know they
exist, but they aren't really interested in being their friend; they
won't do much to help them when they need help, and they won't give them
credit or recognition for the wonderful things they do. These
creatures' lack of care and interest can make a bunny rabbit feel very
Predators, however, ARE genuinely interested in
listening to bunny rabbits, and getting to know them, and building
connections with them. They pay lots of attention to them, and seem to
care very much about what they're doing and why they're doing it. They
look bunny rabbits in the eye and watch what bunny rabbits do, and
happily follow them around... Just... not for the same reasons.