My goal is one million awake, aware, adult human beings. Some ask what this means. I can point out a growing phenomenon that evidences the presence of a large number of sleeping, unaware children in adult bodies. And remember: if adults don’t take adult responsibility, the REAL children are in peril.
If someone stands on the railroad track, you yell “get off, asshole” and they say “I’m not getting off because you said mean things” you know you’re dealing with a child. And one whose emotions have short-circuited logic.
If an abusive spouse says: “you made me hit you” you know you are dealing with a child. And one who sees you as an object, not a subject.
If a drug user says “the world makes me stick this needle in my arm/drink this booze” you are dealing with a child. And one who has never grasped the fact that we are neither the center of the universe, nor the target of its wrath. The universe doesn’t care. Deal with it.
If a criminal says “he said X, therefore I had to shoot him” you are dealing with a sleeping child, and one who has absorbed a phenomenally toxic set of beliefs about human interactions.
If a child is in “brain fart” mode, he might say: “YOU are making me behave this way (scream, throw things, knock a hole in the wall, refuse to keep his promises, etc.). We understand that if this recurs, the kid has emotional issues that might require therapy and/or medication.
Now. Let me relate this to something I’ve been watching, relating to our recent election. My candidate lost. I am very concerned with the attitudes and apparent values of the winner. Fair enough–that isn’t an uncommon thing, for the loser to complain about the winner.
Nor would it be uncommon to be unhappy with one’s own candidate (there are certainly Democrats who disliked our candidate. Even some who refused to vote, or voted for a third-party candidate. I may not be thrilled with that, but again, it is not singular.)
It is rarer to be unhappy with your candidate if your candidate wins. The thrill of victory often makes people forget they didn’t approve of the ticket in the beginning. But…it happens. The adult reaction is: “wow. We really screwed up, had a weak field, made bad decisions. We can do better, and should.”
But what I have NEVER seen is people unhappy with their WINNING candidate, and blaming the other side. I’ve literally heard: “I don’t like our guy. He won because of what YOU did, and if you don’t stop your nasty behavior, we’ll elect him again!” What? Excuse me? The adult reaction is: “our field was weak. We need to do better.” That is taking adult responsibility for your actions. The other response is childish, oblivious, denialistic crazy-making. The projection of your flaws onto others. I’ve seen this behavior on the level of individuals frequently. And probably on larger levels in ways I can’t remember at the time. But not like this.
On an individual level, it speaks to real sickness, inability to own your emotions and behaviors. To be, in other words, adult and aware. UNLESS IT IS A TACTIC: in other words, unless they DO own their behaviors, and are saying these things just to manipulate you. “Gaslighting” derives from a film in which a man knew precisely what he was doing to drive his wife crazy, but continued to do it while denying, denying, denying. He was awake, adult…and evil. A smiling monster.
Frankly, I see only these choices: people saying this are either sleeping children…or smiling monsters. There is no self-reflection here, no ability to own your own bullshit. It is “I can’t believe I did something this stupid, who can I get to share the blame” behavior, or “I don’t care about you at all. Only I exist. You are only here as a repository of my negative emotions, to serve me, to define myself as superior by blaming you for my mistakes.”
Don’t accept this kind of behavior on the personal level, and don’t believe it just because a larger group babbles this nonsense. And please, please, please…don’t do it yourself. Either be proud of your behavior, or take responsibility, and change it. But blaming others for your mistakes is off the table if you want to call yourself an adult.
Or wish to avoid monstrosity.