I read a review of FREAK on Amazon yesterday that really amazed me. The reviewer was a man who had not been abused but had a friend who had been. He wrote that FREAK helped him understand her nutty mindset a lot better. That made me think that I should spell out exactly how a dumb ass insecurity addict thinks. So here it is, the Ten Commandments of the Insecurity Addict. Hold onto your horses.
1. THOU SHALT NOT BAN SCUMBALLS FROM THY LIFE
When you grow up with scumballs who abuse you, you instinctively seek out scumballs in your relationships. They're familiar territory, like pulling on a comfy old glove that isn't really comfy because it's full of nails and broken glass dipped in shit. But it's comfy to us.
2. THOU SHALT SAVE THE SCUMBALLS IN YOUR LIFE
This is the nurturer in the insecurity addict coming out. We know and recognize scumball behavior in others and we think we can smooth it all out. Our parents or whoever abused us as kids were scumballs and we loved them because they raised us. It's a sort of Stockholm Syndrome; we grew to love our abusers because in return for letting them abuse us, we had food and shelter. Plus, the poor, poor things were so unhappy, we pitied them subconsciously. So, scumballs we choose as adults are just like who we grew up with, or they're sad cases who never had a chance to grow because they were abused. Poor, poor Sufferer, as he beats his kids and wife unconscious. Only a person who's truly unhappy could possibly do such a thing. Thus the aggressor becomes the victim in our eyes. If torturing us is the only thing that gives them relief, it's a small price to pay. We can handle it because we handled it before. They need it. They need us. Good or bad, it feels wonderful to be needed.
3. THOU SHALT BE LOYAL TO THE WRONG PEOPLE
Insecurity addicts are closet ego maniacs. That's the long and the short of it. We become convinced, usually by our torturer, that we are absolutely necessary to their happiness; even to their ability to keep living. If we left, they'd die. If we left, they'd kill us. That's how unbelievably important we are. Holy shit, I'm a life saver. It's an abusive sack of shit scumball I'm saving, at the expense of me and often our children, but this is a heavy responsibility and I'm not going to let it go. I can't. Scumball will die if I leave. I'll die if I leave. Our kids'll die if I leave. I'm the only one who can prevent this catastrophe from happening. The only person on earth. That's an amazing feeling. So I'll stay. I'm terrified of this scumball, but I feel pity for him/her. Nobody was there for Scumball as a kid, everybody left them. I'm not going to be one of the crowd. I'm not going to leave them. I can't. My loyalty is the only thing of worth I have. Doesn't matter that I'm loyal to the wrong person and I know it. It's all I have.
4. THOU SHALT NOT SUCCEED AT ANY DREAM
Since we insecurity addicts are usually in some ghastly relationship, be it love or friendship or both, we can't succeed at any dream we have because subconsciously, we know success would only come at the expense of our ghastly relationship. Whether we're wealthy, poor, whatever; it doesn't matter. An insecurity addict can be at the top of their field in business, entertainment, politics, what have you, but if they lose their sycophantic base or abusive relationships, there's nothing worse. Our egos are so fragile and damaged, we can't fill the hole ourselves. We need to look outside to find someone to feed us because we're always emotionally starving and have little to no idea how to feed ourselves. The true dream is to be at the top of our field AND have a loving, fulfilling relationship. But we'll often sacrifice all of that to keep the abusive relationship or ass-kissing emptiness, just so we're not alone with our terrible, terrible selves.
5. THOU SHALT LIVE IN FEAR AT ALL TIMES
This is a biggie. Fear plays a major role in pretty much all of our thought processes. If I do this, they'll leave me. If I do that, they'll fire me, beat me, kick me, abuse me. If I open my mouth, it'll be worse. If I do anything at all, it'll be ten times worse. Fear paralyzes us. When coming from an abused background, as so many insecurity addicts do, that fear kept us safe as children. A little kid can't punch an adult parent back. We take the beating, we take the abuse, or we don't have a home. That's the reality. We bring that fear with us into adulthood and we guard it with our lives, even as it eats us alive.
6. THOU SHALT OVERREACT TO ALL WELL-MEANING PEOPLE AND THEIR INTENTIONS
An insecurity addict is loyal to usually one person, like a dog wagging its tail at the master. We recognize the loyalty is misguided but we stick to it like glue anyway. That's how we are, and that helps feed our self-loathing. But it makes us super sensitive to any outsiders' humor or good intentions. I GET ENOUGH OF THAT SHIT AT HOME DON'T LAUGH AT ME!!! Arr. Teasing is like lemon juice and paper cuts to us. We also despise any attempt at good advice from others. We feed off the concern for our well-being but sneer at the thought of actually taking the advice. They don't know what we're going through. They don't understand our abuser. Only we do. So shut up. That's how we think.
7. THOU SHALT TEACH THY CHILDREN THY OWN MENTALITY
Kids are sponges. They notice and absorb everything. Every time we accept a blow, or a sneer, or any kind of abuse from our scumballs, the kids are watching. Mammalian imprinting guarantees that, as adults, they will repeat our patterns. Every excuse we give them for why Daddy did this, or Mommy said that, to explain away scumball behavior, is absorbed for future use. We so often desperately want our kids to have a better life, a better relationship than we had, because our kids aren't us. We don't hate them. We want what's best for them, all the while teaching them the worst. Statistics show this. Boys who grow up with wife beater daddys grow up to become wife beaters. Daughters who see their moms become hollow shells become hollowed out themselves.
8. THOU SHALT QUESTION EVERY POSITIVE THOUGHT THOU HAST
Insecurity addicts are always questioning themselves. Since the bitch in the mirror is public enemy number one, we hold in contempt any good idea, thought or deed we ever do. So we don't do them. That makes us even more contemtible and leaves us with very limited choices: either become an abuser or an abused. Door Number One or Door Number Two. Both are full of sewage. That's why thoughts of suicide become so seductive.
9. THOU SHALT BECOME OBSESSED WITH HYGIENE
We're a weird mixed bag about hygiene; we either obsessively groom or obsessively desist from it. Abused kids often stink to high heaven to keep people away. Maybe he won't want to stick it in me if my scent is gag-inducing. The only thing gnarly stink keeps away is potential friends. Scumballs don't care if you stink. They often like it because...it keeps potential friends away. What they're doing needs to be secret. On the flip side, we become obsessed with being super clean. Abuse is a mess we can't control. My perfect hair, clothes, weight and scent can be controlled. Aha. I'm in control. In the midst of this firestorm of hell, I'm in control. Take that, World.
10. THOU SHALT RESIST ALL ATTEMPTS AT SELF-IMPROVEMENT
We're weird about this too. Insecurity addicts are very often work-a-holics. When it comes to the outside world, we go at it full force, be it home life, business or physical shape. But we do little to nothing about working on self-love. Insecurity is an imp that sits on our shoulders and roots its tail into our spine. That's how it controls us. Every whisper of pride in anything we do is attacked from within. Yeah, I saved that drowning kid but if I'd been quicker, they wouldn't have gone through that stress at all. It was my slow ass reaction that made them go through it in the first place. Thanks for thinking I'm pretty but look at my ass. I could firm it up a little better; it looks like a dried up ball of cottage cheese. Humor is an excellent way of torturing ourselves. People laugh at our self depreciation and we feed off that positive reinforcement. And keep torturing ourselves to get a giggle.
So, those are the ten commandments I lived by religiously for over thirty years. They're tough, they're ingrained, they're very, very clever at keeping us down. But they're not insurmountable. It takes a lot of work, every day, to combat them, because they go for my throat every day. Sometimes they're successful, sometimes they're not. I've been doing this self-love thing for almost eight years now and the good news is, the little fuckers are nowhere near as noisy as they were. I've got a lot of lovely quiet in my mind now; a cool soft place to retreat and heal. Good luck in spinning your own straw into gold, my dear fucked up friends, and good luck to all you non-basketcases and your infinite patience with us all.