In the “Dependent in Charge” Manipulation Game someone who depends on you plays the role of authority and commands you with the “in charge” attitude
When I moved to my Grandfather’s house who I loved dearly, we had some rocky years. He and his second wife were in their late years. Their health declined and they needed more and more help just for everyday life. They expected me to supply them with food – warm lunch as it is traditional in Hungary – they needed an occasional escort to the doctor’s office, they needed shopping and cleaner’s service. Basically they needed help for everything that required more than a 100 step walk. A car was not an option at that time and place.
More than anything else, they needed company and entertainment for their more and more sedentary life. Should I mention that their hearing was impaired as well so the entertainment went by shouting to Grandpa, and reading from mouth for Grandma.
At the same time, Grandpa, traditionally positioned himself into the patriarch position and held absolute control in that everybody follows his commands. One of his first statements when I arrived to his house with my soon to be husband: “I don’t chip in to the youngster’s life, but this cupboard stays in this place.” I mean: the cupboard was in our room.
Incidents became regular as he found it ordinary to lift a bottle of rum from the small wedding party (possibly to prevent our health hazard) and show up in our room the next morning.
I was rather emancipated at that time and I already fought my independence with my own parents, but that was more than I could handle. I tried my best to convince them that I have rights and interest too. However, they seemed absolute blind to those concepts. Naturally, when I begun to close the doors and establish some boundaries, it caused strong resentments.
The situation was so hard to handle. Years later when I was on a vacation, I realized with surprise ,that although I am far away from them, I still intensely argue with them inside my head.
I knew I was not alone. Thousands and thousands of people are struggling with the “powerful dependent” whose attendance is their assignment. Instead of acknowledgement they’ve got critique, belittling and further demands.
The known-unknown pattern of these games: “You’re not good enough: you should compensate it with making more for me!” Or “This is not good enough for me: you should do better.”
There are people among “Powerful Dependents” who are really disabled in some way, others only fell to the “learned helplessness” category and abuse the injured.The manipulative side of this behavior is that they apply belittling, shame and anxiety to motivate their “servants”, and they are hiding behind the weak and helpless mask while acting powerfully to direct them.
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