On the Emo Defense

I am writing this fully & well aware that there may indeed be a proper term for this deflections mechanism in interpersonal relations. Much as I am sure there are other words, proper words to describe my feelings & labeling of "Schrödinger's relationship" hit the link if you needs a refresher, I think I revisit it every year for one reason or another.

First I will describe it then my epiphany regarding it.

The Emo Defense: in the course of an argument or discussion refusing to acknowledge the content of the things being communicated to you and instead simply deflecting them away constantly claiming that hearing or reading them hurts too much and you are too emotionally unstable or incapable of handling them. Then turning on the other person still ignoring the things being communicated to begin piling guilt on them based on their inability to say the things you don't want to hear in a manner which doesn't hurt you.

In the course of a relationship with someone who used this technique I was completely blindsided. I didn't realize until very recently that he did many things that hurt me on a monthly if not weekly basis during the best parts of our time together and every time I brought it up I was hamstrung by this technique. Instead of discussing things that were going on with our relationship, with me, with him, or even things going on with the outside world - we spent our time with me learning what his triggers were & trying to respect them or word things nicer or in some way communicate in a manner that did not send him flying off the handle. It never really dawned on the front of my brain that when things were complicated they were never actually dealt with, the tears and the violent outbursts all covered up the fact that my issues/emotions that he didn't like were completely pushed to the side. All so that he could lay another guilt trip on me for choosing words that tore him to pieces because he is too emotionally unstable to handle me being upset with him.

WTF my friends, WTF?

So the Emo Defense is acknowledged.


Rebecca said...

I love this post. I'm sorry you've experienced this but you put it to words perfectly. I've run into it too and it's maddening.

Jezcabelle said...

I wish I would have seen it as it was happening - it wasn't until long after that it really hit me how much of the dissonance between us was never actually addressed.

I'm grateful for it all - If he hadn't persisted w/ the usery, w/ the behavior I never would have realized it. I hate being used I hate watching my friends be used.

You've met me, I'm ready to start new relationships w/ blank books, detail out the issues, the resolves...

AND new folks are vetted for months before accessing my networks of friends and loved ones.