Cognitive Dissonance - The Battle Of The Two Selves

 Red Light Runners

Cognitive Dissonance – The Battle Of The Two Selves

It’s early in the morning when everything and everyone is quiet.  You can hear a knocking, a little rat-tat-tat at the door of your heart.  Yawning,  you roll over and peep through a little crack to see who it is. It’s your LSS (Little Secret Self), she’s speaking very quietly, she wants to talk to you.  She’s always been softly spoken, but these days her whisper is so quiet you can barely hear it.  Her voice sounds almost shaky, nervous. Her eyes are always wide too, they dart around a lot, as if expecting someone to suddenly pounce unexpectedly out of nowhere and silence her. You give her your full attention while your mind is clear for a moment, you still love her, and you miss her too. You even feel bad about everything and the way she has been pushed to the side. Somewhere in the depths of your sub-consciousness you are aware that you’re neglecting her, you secretly hate it, but it’s for the better good of everyone, it’s what you have to do right now in order to survive.  For some unknown reason you are not willing or ready to give to her her rightful place.  You are not ready to look in the mirror and see her precious face staring back at you, you don’t know why. It’s possibly because you are a little mixed up about it all…. Her (LSS), Him (Mr Incredible)  and your Shadow Self, the one who lives your life for you these days.
Your Shadow Self  seems to be doing such a good job of running your life.  Seeming strong and definite, presenting so well to the outside world.  It’s your SS that can keep up appearances and fend off any doubts by playing the necessary games and working really hard… (you know, those games that Mr Incredible wants to play with you, and all the work he gives you to do).   You can’t see your LSS doing as good a job as your SS. Maybe this is the influence of Mr Incredible, or maybe it’s another hidden fear of some kind. Maybe you never really got to know your LSS the way you think you did.  Perhaps, when you were growing up, you didn’t have any true or healthy mirrors around you, ones that weren’t full of cracks themselves, to show you how great your LSS really is.  You just can’t imagine, that she would be any good in the lead. It’s a frightful thought for some reason, maybe because she appears so soft and gentle, you can’t imagine her showing firm resolve, courage and strength in the face of danger.  Your SS seems the better candidate for this kind of living.
You listen as your feeble LSS is talking to you…. “I know he says he loves you so much, I can see he really admires you, needs you and wants to spend all of his spare time with you. He can be reliable, he’s successful and everybody else seems to think he’s great too, (mainly because you tell them he is).”  Her voice builds slightly as she gains confidence.
“But you’re tired all the time, you have knots in your stomach,  you feel insecure and you don’t really know what goes on when you are not around because has lied so many times about so many things.  He subtly puts you down and then builds you up again. He changes moods so quickly and when you are feeling especially happy, he shuts you down. He makes you cry at least three times a week and he never says sorry, because it’s your fault that  he hurts you.   And you know this is the very least of it, he’s called you awful names for no reason, he points out other people’s attributes and compares them with your own short-comings, he’s snuck up behind you and kicked you in the back of your legs behind your knees, so your legs would go out from under you and shoved things in your face, he’s had secrets with other girls, loaning them money and taking days off to help them without your knowing,  and yet you keep all these things a secret from your friends,  protecting him, why?”

“Uggh!”  You put your hand up to stop your LSS from going any further, you know there’s a lot more and it gets worst but it’s making you tired just hearing it... (CLICK ANYWHERE TO CONTINUE READING ON RED LIGHT RUNNER'S WEBLOG) 

Fetch Me My Jacket

One of the results of having injured or weakened boundaries, especially if one is not aware of it or self-aware, can be perceiving anyone who doesn't give them what they want as a bully or a control freak.

So if a bank teller or a sales person, for example, doesn't treat the person with extreme pandering, sweetness, or over the top "respect", the person can feel DISRESPECTED. The teller or sales... person could have been COMPLETELY courteous and professional toward them, but "failed" to flirt with them or display "extra" interest in them, or even "failed" to jump to demands and rude complaints. To them, this feels similar to when someone else who has healthier boundaries is treated with ACTUAL rude behavior.

Some people with weak boundaries expect to be treated with "kid gloves", like royalty, or like a movie star, or like a GQ model, or like the CEO of a Powerful Corporation (the way they IMAGINE those people are treated). They expect others to hang on their every word, to cater to their moods and whims. They don't think they "should HAVE TO" maintain respect for others themselves, or try to understand where another person is coming from, or CONTRIBUTE to resolving a problem. They "shouldn't HAVE TO" do anything, everything is someone else's responsibility to fix. If they can find a way to blame someone else for any problem, then whoever's "fault" it is (in their mind) "deserves" to be completely alone in fixing it.

Real life example: Casino workers, especially dealers, literally run into this every single day. The dealer's job is to "deal" the game properly and "run" it, which just means communicating with customers, communicating with the supervisor, and making sure everything is done properly to procedure. That's it, dealers have literally nothing to do with whether players win or lose, and in fact make more money only when players WIN (because winning players TIP), so if a dealer is biased in any direction, it's for the players, not the "house". But every day, players lose, and blame the dealer. They will criticize anything and everything about the dealer, from the way they look to the way they talk, the way they place the cards, spin the wheel, move the dice, the way they pick up chips, how fast or slow they are, how much they talk or don't talk, what they talk about, and will even try to scam them with payouts. A HUGE number of players blame the DEALER for their losses. They actually accuse the dealer of rigging the cards, rigging the Roulette wheel, spinning too fast or too slow, shuffling "wrong", even being an "unlucky person". ANYTHING to blame the DEALER for their losses, and NOT THEMSELVES. "How can you sleep at night 'taking' my money?..." (Oh I'm sorry, Sir or Miss, I forgot you are the Special Player who wins every hand no matter what, because you deserve it for being so Special... unlike every other person who has ever played, and you are not responsible for your own money, also unlike every other person.)

Not all players do this, lots of players have normal and decent manners, who enjoy gaming like they enjoy movies, sports, concerts and good dinners, and are completely responsible for their own money and their own behavior. But there are plenty of the other kind, enough to make the dealer's job pretty stressful on a daily basis. After a while they come to expect it, and learn ways to deal with it, but as anyone who has been in a narc. relationship knows, it still has an effect no matter how much you learn about dealing with it.