I realize that for much of my life, I’ve drawn manipulative people into my life. Friendships, boyfriends/girlfriends, and now – I’m realizing – bosses.
My last post was about the upset I felt as a result of letting someone down who I had made a commitment to. I got dates mixed up, and it was an honest mistake, but still I was roasting myself over the fire because of it. I even went so far as to call my actions “unforgivable.”
The thing I’ve come to realize is, this woman is volatile, unpredictable, and, although it is done in extremely passive aggressive ways, manipulative. The reason I turned on myself last night and called my actions unforgivable was because I knew – or I sensed anyway – that she will probably not forgive me. I am not saying this to be overly dramatic. That’s truly the way she is. Or I at least won’t hear from her for a good number of months. The thing is… and here’s the difficult part… I took care of her daughter, who I was very close to. And the thing that she had asked me to do was to help out at her daughter’s birthday party. She’s a bit distrusting of people, so when she asked me to do it, she said that there are few people she feels she can trust to be there and help her in that way. That’s something she’s always told me. How I’m the only one she feels she could trust with her daughter. But I’m now seeing this as a means to get me to do what she wants. She can use the excuse that she doesn’t have anyone else (since she “can’t trust anyone else”) and therefore “needs” me. Every time I’ve ever been unavailable in the past, she’s made me feel bad about it. So I would bend over backwards trying to accommodate her every need. And now that I’ve gone ahead and cancelled on her on a commitment we discussed several weeks ago, I know she probably is hating me right now, and I won’t hear back from her.
I’m starting to recognize the signs of manipulation. I never saw her as a manipulative person before, but after my own response upon having to cancel on her, and how strongly I feared her reaction, I think I’m starting to see things for what they are: she is an unstable and (perhaps unconsciously) manipulative person.
I’m sad because I wanted to see her daughter before they moved away. And I fear that I am not going to be able to do so. A part of me has to let this go, because I haven’t actually seen them (or heard from this woman) in almost a year, and then she calls me out of the blue to ask me to help her on that day. I was happy to do so, since it seemed it would be the last time I got to see her little daughter. But there are some things that you can’t control. What I can control are my own boundaries and my own dignity. There is no reason I should continue punishing myself for something that – which people on here have kindly reminded me of – was an honest mistake. Now it’s just letting go of what this person thinks of me that will be the hardest part.