There is no doubt that Donald Trump is seriously unhinged. It’s obvious by the way he thinks, speaks, looks, conducts himself. Yet, frustratingly, none of his supporters notice – or do they just not see it as a deal breaker? What’s in a Trump presidency for them? Why, I wonder, would they accept, condone, hell, VOTE FOR someone like that? Well, I think I may know the reason, sad as it may be…
If there’s one thing life experience and a disastrous 10-year marriage to a similarly narcissistic, patriarchal, non-empathetic, emotionally-stunted person of the male persuasion who is not as bright as he thinks he is, grandiose, tactless and base taught me is that it is a toxic person we presently have at the helm of our great nation. People like this desecrate everything they touch. They use people to their own devices. They have NO appreciation for others’ talents, expertise or opinion. And they will stab you in the back at the slightest sign of disloyalty. Sound familiar?
Oh, they have a passable line of bullshit and if you’re their prey, they know just what to say and do to snare you. They will stroke you and pat you and pet you (like Lennie’s rabbits) – so long as you’re doing their bidding – or if you have something they value (like my formerly doe-eyed allegiance). They have BIG personalities and charisma (a word I despise because of its manipulative connotation). It’s easy enough to be swept up into their worldview. It seems plausible, even righteous, as they spout their self-serving propaganda. They spring the trap when they convince you that they’re “special,” “unique” and “not like those others who don’t appreciate you…” Yeah, that’s what got me. I thought I’d found someone who understood the “real” me, my struggles and concerns. I believed that, together, we’d right the wrongs of the world. I felt empowered. It never occurred to me to doubt what he said or did, as unconventional and aggressive as it appeared. There seemed no doubt that he had “right” on his side. You know why I had no doubt? Because inside the bubble he kept me in, I only saw and heard his reality.
Dissenting opinions were deemed to be challenges to his ego and a cue to barrage all who dared disagree with counter attacks. Totally ridiculous! Absurd! They don’t know what they’re talking about! Ignorant idiots! Liars! He was convinced he was the only one who saw things correctly. Everyone had a suspicious agenda – except him. When things didn’t break his way, it never crossed his mind that it could be on him. When I see a pattern of behavior like this – “It” must be rigged against me… we are waist-deep in Delusions of Persecution Land, folks. And it’s crazy-making!
How’d he keep me down? Drama. Gaslighting. Stirring every pot. It didn’t take long to become so disoriented that the only way I could see was to follow him – unquestionably. Little did I realize that it was him orchestrating all the drama in the first place. Taking a baseball bat to perfectly fine wasp’s nests. Kicking awake peacefully sleeping guard dogs. Just for the rise, the thrill, the surge of a power trip.
The more you fall under their spell, their dominant ways give you a false sense of security. The world becomes factionalized into “us” and “them.” And, of course, we are the ones who are right. The “outsiders” want to take away what is rightfully ours. It becomes a mindset of survival; one that colors every aspect of the way you think. LIke you’re brainwashed; or indoctrinated into a cult. You don’t realize the all-consuming power they exercise over you.
Until you do. One day (hopefully) you, like I did, wake up and realize it was not your reality you were living in. It was theirs. And you begin to regain your sovereignty. You see the distortions of reality for what they are. You begin to understand that you were under their spell and that you must escape if you are to ever breathe your own breath again. Once that window opens, the fog clears and you comprehend the game they ran on you.
People like this are as fucking predictable as a sunrise – and once you realize they have exactly ONE way of interacting with the world, you’ve got their number. They are the exemplification of, “When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” They have no capacity for diplomacy, nuance or propriety. Getting their own way is their driving force and they can’t conceive of a world in which all their needs are not consistently met. That’s why they act like bullies – convinced that they deserve to always get their way, because in their minds, they’re entitled (read: they paid their dues, worked hard, did *that thing* or *are* who they are…)
The most telling thing about a person like this is that they are incapable of change. Partly because it’s impossible for them to see that there’s anything conceivably wrong with the way they conduct themselves. And partly because they are trapped in a prison of their own creation that prohibits them from thinking from any box but their own. It’s like their personality runs in a well-worn groove in their mind, unable to pivot, even when it would be reasonable and rational. This person should NOT be in charge of an-y-thing because he – literally – only does/thinks/acts in his own interests. He’s capable of nothing else.
And that, boys and girls, is what has triggered flashbacks of living with an emotionally and physically abusive husband since the day this guy was elected as president. I felt forced to swallow a doctrine that was not my own – by both my ex and Trump – because of their, “My way or the highway,” approach to everything. And those flashbacks will continue until the day he is no longer in power. An abuser is an abuser is an abuser. It’s who they are, what they are, all they are.