I’m Your Friend

Warning: abuse, violence, manipulation

“No!” There was a shudder, a violent twitch, before Anti took over, his black eyes glaring furiously at Dark. “I told you to stay away from him!”

“Calm down Anti, I wasn’t even doing anything,” Dark said, lifting his eyebrow at Anti’s behavior. “Just look at yourself. Do you see any injuries?”

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Your mixed feelings about your parents are valid.

Shout out to people like me who have parents who are loving but are black holes of emotional labor… It took me a long time to realize that it’s okay to have mixed feelings about your parents, about your relationship with them.

Sometimes parents can love you but be somewhat toxic to you and your growth, and that’s a very hard realization to come to if you, like me, grew up extremely close to them.

Sometimes parents can love you genuinely but lack emotional maturity, forcing you to perform disproportionate amounts of emotional labor. Some parents manifest symptoms of their mental illness in ways that are toxic to your mental illness.

Some parents, like mine, try so hard to be good parents but fall back on habits of emotional manipulation because they haven’t processed their own traumas and are modeling behavior they grew up with. That doesn’t make their behavior acceptable, and it’s okay to feel exhausted and hurt when they betray you. You don’t have to forgive every mistake.

I want you to know that it’s okay to protect yourself, to need some space apart from them. The love you have for your parents is still valid, and you are making the right decision.

Placing a safe emotional distance between myself and my parents has been one of the most difficult, heartbreaking processes I’ve ever gone through… it hurts to try to curb the strength of your own natural empathy around people you love. It feels disingenuous to your heart’s natural state.

But I promise you, you are not hard-hearted or ungrateful, and you are not abandoning them. You are making a decision about your own emotional, mental, and spiritual health.

I know what it’s like in that confusing grey area of love mixed with guilt and anxiety, of exhaustion and quasi-manipulation and unreciprocated emotional labor, and I promise you, you are not alone.

Your mixed feelings about your parents are valid.

Listen.

It’s not okay to have your child be scared of you. That isn’t respect. That’s control. 

It’s not okay to have your child obey you at all times in order for you to love them. That isn’t high standards. That’s manipulation.

It’s not okay to force your child become what you wanted to become. That isn’t wanting the best for them. That’s living vicariously through them.

It’s not okay to take away your child’s basic needs as a punishment. That isn’t teaching them. That’s hindering them. 

It’s not okay to dictate your child’s sexuality or gender. That isn’t normalizing them. That’s repressing them.

It’s not okay to berate your child’s appearance or intelligence for being what you think is sub-par. That isn’t toughening them. That’s bullying them.

It’s not okay to take out your stress on your child. That isn’t parenting. That is abusing.

It’s completely okay to distance yourself from your parents. That’s not unloving. That, sometimes, is self care.

10 Types of Emotional Manipulator

1. The Constant Victim - This kind of individual will always finds a way to end up as a victim in their relationships.

. One-Upmanship Expert – This person uses put downs, snide remarks and criticisms, to show that they’re superior, and know much more than you.

3. Powerful Dependents – They hide behind the mask of being weak and powerless – then use their helplessness to dominate relationships. That is, they send the subtle message “you must not let me down.”

4. Triangulators – This person tries to get other people on their side. They’re quick to put you down, and to say some nasty things. They separate good friends or drive a wedge in families.

5. The Blasters – They blast you with their anger or they blow up suddenly. That stops you asking questions - in case there’s a showdown.

6. The Projector – This person thinks they’re perfect and others have the flaws. They take no ownership – because they’re never, ever wrong.

7. The Deliberate Mis-Interpreter – They seem like a nice person – but they twist and use your words. They spread misinformation and misinterpret you. Thus, they deliberately present you in a false, negative way.

8. The Flirt – This person uses flirting to get their way in life. They want to be admired and to have an audience. However, your feelings and your needs are of no concern to them.

9. The Iron Fist – They use intimidation and throw their weight around, to use you for their ends, and to get their way in life.

10. The Multiple Offender – This person uses several of the techniques we’ve described – and they’ll often switch between them if it suits their purposes.

Charm: Venusian Manipulation

Charming is just a pretty version of manipulation. Charm is primarily found in Venus, and due to that, Taurus and Libra are quite charming. People tend to forget that they’re manipulative in an aesthetically pleasing sense. Neptune is also seen as the higher octave of Venus. Pisces is a mysteriously attractive sign with the ability to mesmerize and hypnotize others.

People usually criticize Scorpio first for being the manipulative sign, but Taurus, Libra, and Pisces both have manipulative connections that can be harder to see.

Taurus and Scorpio are sister signs and manipulation is a common theme for them even though the two signs do it in different ways. Scorpio is manipulative on an emotional aspect on abstract matters. Taurus is manipulative on a physical aspect on practical matters. The thing that ties these two signs together is the need for control.

Libra and Scorpio are neighboring signs and they both share a manipulating quality. The difference is that Libra will manipulate gently and superficially while Scorpio will take on a more aggressive, “uglier” approach in comparison to Libra.

Pisces and Scorpio are both water signs and are skilled in emotional manipulation. However, the difference lies in how they exactly do it. Due to Scorpio being ruled by Mars and Pluto, there is a combative, pessimistic feel to how they manipulate. However, with Pisces being ruled by Jupiter and Neptune, there is a free, optimistic feel to how they manipulate.

no more apology texts. no more reckless highway speeding. no more scribbled poetry in the back of spanish class. there is nothing left to lose. there is nothing left for you.

you haven’t seen me since i dyed my hair and it’s nice to have something you didn’t get to ruin. i’m dressing different too and lipsticking my way out of the girl you tore apart. i can finally breathe easy. i can finally be grateful that i never really meant it when i kissed you.

look, it’s me without you. look, i’m doing just fine. look, goddamn it, i’m lighter than i’ve been in months. there are seven billion people on the planet. i don’t think you matter so much anymore.

—  I MET SOMEONE WITH YOUR NAME AND DIDNT FLINCH // s. osborn