Those of us with creative demons do get a lot of patterned relationships. My most common distorter? The wannabe authority figure. Someone, male or female, wants to convince me that they know so much better than I, that there judgment is so much more solid. They do their damnedest to make me doubt myself, to convince me I’m a really terrible person with nothing but nefarioius plots in all my relationships, that I’m the most harmful creature ever to unleash my words on the planet.
The reality is, of course, very much the opposite, unless you’re one of those so-called authorities that wind up undermined when I bring people out of their emotional states back to grounding logic.
The Doughboy stands out as the icon of these so-called authority bastards. After an abusive boyfriend pulled a lot of crap that got me vilified by both my family and a good chunk of my college campus, Doughboy took me aside and “gently” (using Mental Patient Voice) explained how my boyfriend’s behavior was “all my fault” and how “everyone on campus” thought I was a “total bitch.”
The reality is that almost no one on campus knew much about me because my boyfriend, in true abusive form, found a way to isolate me from everyone for extended periods of time. Whenever people got to know me, they found me intense but likable, unless they identified me as competition.
I was actually the quintessential nice girl. Which meant I was set up to make look bad in the quintessential way. (Edgmont High, a Canadian teen show, shows how this happens in its pilot episode.)
Doughboy would often try to order me to do things – like hand over gambling winnings, once (we were not in a relationship) and he often tried to pick fights with me in situations where I had been silent. The creepiest was when his grandfather died – a man I never met and with whom I had zero relationship – and he asked me for ideas for the eulogy. When I suggested he look through fond memories of his grandfather, he managed to twist into me saying something insulting about him and his grandfather. There was no logical reason for such a twist and I had made absolutely no such comment. I had never met his family, had absolutely no history and no feelings whatsoever about his family. But he was determined to distort what I said and his girlfriend, in the car with his, went along with him, turning my saying nothing into a personal attack on a man I never knew.
This was typical behavior in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
Over the years, the Doughboy authority figure has followed me. It crops up in strange places. Doughboy, in his other forms, has gotten more subtle and been more adept at seducing me into the twisted logic necessary for me to blame myself for his madness.
Sooner or later, I always break out of it. It’s like I’ve been leveling up through a psychologically complex video game. I think the game ended two years ago – when I could not be manipulated into agreeing to the madness, I was made out to be the madwoman.
This time, the community rolled their eyes and quietly accepted me into our folds. We all saw what happened. But we just don’t talk about it.
So now Doughboy has shrunken to a blog troll. I have gotten more training in spotting Doughboys. I am working on the best way to lure these characters into a metaphorical oven where they will be baked quiet.
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