with Kai Greenway
The Locus of Control
Where do Controllers, Manipulators, and Abusers come from psychologically and ultimately who are they in our lives?
First, let’s look at what psychologists call the Locus of Control. People who have an Internal Locus see their life events as primarily controlled by their own actions. External Locus people believe their life events, for good or bad, are controlled by external factors. Bi-locals, a mixture of the two, take responsibility for their life events but still have faith in outside influences. (Bi-locals, comparatively, have the capability to handle stresses of life more efficiently.) Your Locus of Control is one of the core concepts of how you see yourself and is formed by both Nurture (family) and Nature (society).
Controllers, Manipulators and Abusers (CMA's for the rest of this article) usually have a history of problems with their personality, behavior, emotions, and relationships in different degrees. They can belong to the Antisocial, Borderline, Histrionic and/or Narcissistic Personality groups and most abuse victims have one (or more) of these people in their lives. CMA's rarely recognize and/or admit that they may need psychological help, refuse the help, and live their lives continuing negative behavior. Locus of Control is a factor that influences how and to what degree CMA's handle (or mishandle) situations in their lives. Keep in mind that not all CMA's are dangerous abusers and not all abusers have personality disorders. We may not like CMA's but we should acknowledge the fact that they can be highly troubled individuals. Acknowledge it and move on, you are neither capable nor responsible for helping them. Leave that to the professional!
Abuse is defined as detrimental use of someone or something. CMA's use abusive methods on their victims to achieve their goals. These can include: physical, sexual, mental, emotional, neglect, financial, and self-abuse (yes, they can be their own victims). They can be male or female; young or old. They can be a partner in heterosexual and LGBT relationships eroding self-esteem, reputations and finances. They can be a parent that is abusing, ignoring, neglecting, or damaging a child psychologically. They can be a relative stealing, intimidating, and abusing an elder. They can be friends that create problems by being unreliable, selfish, using, and irresponsible. Bullying and intimidating siblings; the neighbor who spreads vicious rumors; the dishonest and unethical co-worker; the con-artist; and the criminal. Showing no remorse, they are not classified as insane by society’s standards, but do more damage to others than the labeled insane.
Victims of abuse should remember these key points:
Is there anyone with whom you can have a healthy relationship? Of course there is. Look for those characteristics and qualities that you admire: Honesty, respect, cooperation, caring, ethical, reliable, truthful, harmonious, and loving.
- You did not create the abusive situation; you are what the title implies-a victim.
- You cannot change the CMA's behavior by changing your own.
- CMA's behavior is a consistent one and cannot change over time.
- Building the relationship with a CMA, increases stressors to the relationship. Cohabitating, marriage, children only makes things worse.
- Find a way to protect yourself physically, emotionally and mentally. Protect your children. Protect your existing friendships and family relationships. Safeguard your finances and personal information.