Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

So you want to keep your lover or your employee close. Bound to you, even. You have a few options. You could be the best lover they've ever had, kind, charming, thoughtful, competent, witty, and a tiger in bed. You could be the best workplace they've ever had, with challenging work, rewards for talent, initiative, and professional development, an excellent work/life balance, and good pay. But both of those options demand a lot from you. Besides, your lover (or employee) will stay only as long as she wants to under those systems, and you want to keep her even when she doesn't want to stay. How do you pin her to your side, irrevocably, permanently, and perfectly legally?

You create a sick system.Collapse )


( 315 comments — Leave a comment )
Page 2 of 11
<<[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] >>
Jun. 11th, 2010 04:37 pm (UTC)
It's like you're describing my current job to a T.

I've been in jobs like this before, so I've recognized that it's time to get out before I go crazy, but... man, it's so hard when it was such a good job to start with.
Jun. 11th, 2010 04:39 pm (UTC)
This is brilliant. Unfortunately, I believe that the majority of people that read this will see themselves in it somewhere. That's not to say that this is a bad thing, but rather that NO ONE should EVER have to be in this situation. The fact that so many DO... well, I know the world is broken, and can only be fixed little bits at a time, but that doesn't make it hurt any less.

I fear new relationships for this reason. I never want to be in a position like this ever again, so therefore I won't even try. That might be just as sick, in some ways, but in my current head-space, it's probably the best I can do.

Also joining in on the signal boosting. FTW.
Jun. 13th, 2010 11:30 pm (UTC)
I fear new relationships for this reason. I never want to be in a position like this ever again, so therefore I won't even try. That might be just as sick, in some ways, but in my current head-space, it's probably the best I can do.

I am sorry you feel so hurt that you cannot reach out.
I have found out, through painful experience, that reaching out and getting a No can hurt, but not reaching out is an automatic No by default. It is still kinda tough for me to reach out.
Learning to walk away from something bad is a different skill and, well, tricky; learning how to do it while minimizing hurt feelings is hellaciously tricky (and no, I have not yet learned it).
(no subject) - terrible_t - Jun. 14th, 2010 12:20 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teddywolf - Jun. 14th, 2010 12:41 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 11th, 2010 05:11 pm (UTC)
Here via thnidu

This is scary accurate, scary good.

May I have permission to copy and repost and send links?

I will add just one more observation: the beauty is that many people not intelligent enough to design a sick system from scratch are geniuses at creating them because the sick system rewards them and fulfills their needs.

This is important because many people believe that only bad people design sick systems. So if you start by liking the lover/boss/whoever, or even just giving them the benefit of the doubt, you end up staying long enough to get trapped. If you do this as a system analysis (this system is sick, must leave and find new system) rather than a moral analysis ("she doesn't mean to be mean . . .") you will identify and leave much sooner.
Jun. 11th, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you! You may relink to your heart's content and take an excerpt, but please don't copy the whole thing.

I agree. Most of the sick systems I've seen were unconscious creations, so arguing that the sick people in charge meant to do what they did rarely goes far. The bottom line is, believe what you need to believe to get yourself out of the system.

(The exception is systems set up by narcissists and other people on the sociopathic end of the personality spectrum. Some of them are detached enough to calmly and consciously set up sick systems, and will happily tell you how they did it if they think you'll admire them for it. One I know thinks of it as party conversation. The important thing is to remember that there's no behavior so crazy or destructive that certain perfectly ordinary-seeming people won't try it if they think it will get them what they want.)
One other thing - osewalrus - Jun. 11th, 2010 08:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 11th, 2010 08:39 pm (UTC)
Good post.

Another addendum-- people with a strong sense of personal responsibility or misplaced empathy can back themselves into this sort of corner without even having the malicious intent on the part of a partner or employer who's just not quite the right fit. Because, you know, you *chose* that person, and maybe you're not as happy as you could be, but you know he'll be miserable if you leave. Or they keep telling you what a fabulous job you're doing and how much they appreciate your effort, and you feel horribly guilty because you know you're not putting that much effort into it and possibly you also know that you're competent in ways that would make it very hard for them to find a replacement for you, and they need this job done.

And then when you finally get out of it (in the case of relationships often because you've maneuvered your partner into doing the breaking up for you because everything is so obviously not working) you get the same cycle of guilt/responsibility and then "why in the world did I ever do this in the first place?" but without the ability to blame it on someone else's brainwashing.
Jun. 13th, 2010 12:26 am (UTC)
Oh, ouch. Good point -- I did just that with a job (which WAS a sick system, although I don't think intentionally so) that I literally ran my health into the ground for, and then voluntarily quit rather than taking the layoff/unemployment benefits that I deserved, because I had trained my replacement and "didn't want to screw over the people who I'd spent so much time and energy helping by putting them in an awkward position." What was I THINKING??!? D:

Signal boosted -- thank you for writing this, issendai.

-- Andi <3
(no subject) - emberleo - Jun. 17th, 2010 04:31 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 11th, 2010 09:02 pm (UTC)
This phenomena is also described in The Satanic Bible (Levay, Anton Szandor, 1969) in the chapter "Not All Vampires Suck Blood". I was fortunate to come across his description some years ago, which helped me out of a broken relationship and has kept me wary since. But your description is much more modern-day, and you've described very lucidly a number of specific traits I've encountered that I think will be very helpful to those encountering this problem. Great work, and I hope this helps many good people that are being ground under by a sick person.
Jun. 11th, 2010 09:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Ooh, good reference. Here it is for people who want to read it: Not All Vampires Suck Blood.
Jun. 11th, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC)
Here via my f-list, and I'm about to link here. This is a great post (and I can think of at least one friend who really needs to read this about ten years ago, so I hope I can get her to take a look).
Jun. 11th, 2010 10:25 pm (UTC)
Wow. This should be a checklist for people hitting the job market or going out to find a partner. Do they do any of these things? RUN AWAY.

Also, this sounds an awful lot like a lot of fundamentalist-leaning churches/cults.

Thanks, awesome post. Propagating.

Edited at 2010-06-11 10:30 pm (UTC)
Jun. 11th, 2010 11:16 pm (UTC)
Wow. Just, wow. Yes, this describes perfectly the "friendship" I had with another woman, or at least the last 5 years of our 13 year relationship. I kept excusing her behavior because she used to be so *nice*, like a sister to me, for 8 years, but there were always good excuses for her being, well, kinda mean -- but that would change as soon as X, Y, or Z happened. She was just under stress!

I'm sorry to say it took her installation of a new on-site BFF (she got a roomie who hated me) for me to realize that both she and I were insane and in a sick relationship. She started leaving me alone & lonely for weeks at a time because she had her new BFF to hang out with, but made it very clear that I was supposed to wait by the phone and jump to her side when called. I suddenly had my epiphany and cut off all ties. It hurt like hell, but mostly because I was mourning the person she was for the first 8 years of our friendship. I don't miss who she turned into at all.

Thank you so much for helping me put this into perspective. Seriously, I literally found myself taking deep, cleansing breaths when I read this!
Jun. 11th, 2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
Amazing post, just brilliant. I'm linking to it.
Jun. 12th, 2010 12:41 am (UTC)
I'm linking to this, and having mild flashbacks.

Literally, one of the things that convinced me that I not only had to leave my first husband but actually COULD, was the friend who became my second husband telling me that it was ok for me to take a nap and that he would take care of my son.
Jun. 12th, 2010 12:45 am (UTC)
Maybe I shouldn't admit this in the journal of a total stranger, but for me, the experience of parenting a small child was not unlike what you describe here. There are some significant differences, of course. For one, the kid really *can't* help but behave that way... but that just makes you feel more guilty about feeling angry! And the big positive difference is that that "house in the country" really is guaranteed to happen -- in about three years. You just need to hang on till then.

I know this probably sounds horrible of me. Believe me, I love my children intensely, but those first three years of parenthood (when my oldest had some very demanding special needs and I had untreated depression) felt like that *a lot*.
Jun. 12th, 2010 01:06 am (UTC)
I felt like that a lot as well in the first couple of years of stay-at-home parenthood, even though I had a hugely supportive partner and a kid with no particular special needs - I think it's fairly normal.

I do fear, though, that if one partner in the relationship is unscrupulous or ignorant or uncaring, they can exploit those 'sick system' feelings in their partner (the constant busy work, the exhaustion, the emotional investment) without even having had to put in the work of creating the system themselves.
(no subject) - mightydoll - Jun. 13th, 2010 06:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - velvetpage - Jun. 12th, 2010 02:01 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - loligo - Jun. 12th, 2010 02:12 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - velvetpage - Jun. 12th, 2010 02:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lady_ganesh - Jun. 12th, 2010 07:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cameoflage - Nov. 4th, 2010 12:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - issendai - Jun. 12th, 2010 02:59 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - loligo - Jun. 12th, 2010 01:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - little_e_ - Jun. 17th, 2010 04:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mercyorbemoaned - Jul. 14th, 2010 07:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - issendai - Jul. 14th, 2010 07:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mercyorbemoaned - Jul. 14th, 2010 08:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - little_e_ - Jul. 14th, 2010 11:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mercyorbemoaned - Jul. 14th, 2010 11:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - little_e_ - Jul. 15th, 2010 01:55 am (UTC) - Expand
SHENANIGANS - mercyorbemoaned - Jul. 15th, 2010 03:28 am (UTC) - Expand
That's enough. - issendai - Jul. 15th, 2010 10:49 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mercyorbemoaned - Jul. 14th, 2010 07:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lady_ganesh - Jun. 12th, 2010 07:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - curtana - Jun. 12th, 2010 10:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lady_ganesh - Jun. 13th, 2010 02:22 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mercyorbemoaned - Jul. 14th, 2010 07:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mercyorbemoaned - Jul. 14th, 2010 07:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 12th, 2010 01:02 am (UTC)
One of my friends linked this to her lj...WOW. I left an abusive husband four months ago - sounds about right! Though one thing you mentioned I'd never understood - he was SO bad with money. To the point of taking friends out to eat because "I don't want them to know we're struggling", and buying me gifts I didn't want and didn't ask for when we couldn't afford bills and refusing to take them back...never understood why. NOW I GET IT!

Oh, man.
Jun. 12th, 2010 01:04 am (UTC)
I should also mention, his abuse wasn't physical - it was almost all solely based on this list. Keeping me tired (he totally sabotaged school, I eventually had to drop out. Waking me up at 2 a.m. and starting fights because "we need to talk about our problems!" etc.)

People don't realize how awful that emotional/psychological stuff can be!
(no subject) - issendai - Jun. 12th, 2010 03:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - holly_go_noor - Jun. 12th, 2010 06:20 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dornbeast - Jun. 12th, 2010 04:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tacky_tramp - Jun. 13th, 2010 03:03 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - holly_go_noor - Jun. 13th, 2010 05:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tacky_tramp - Jun. 13th, 2010 05:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teddywolf - Jun. 13th, 2010 11:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - holly_go_noor - Jun. 14th, 2010 12:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teddywolf - Jun. 14th, 2010 01:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - miss_madb - Jul. 15th, 2010 04:03 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - miss_madb - Jul. 15th, 2010 04:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teddywolf - Jul. 16th, 2010 06:01 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - 3fgburner - Jun. 16th, 2010 06:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - green_knight - Jun. 12th, 2010 07:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - genmaicha - Jun. 12th, 2010 08:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - holly_go_noor - Jun. 12th, 2010 08:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - shoiryu - Jun. 15th, 2010 11:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - issendai - Jun. 16th, 2010 02:02 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 12th, 2010 01:13 am (UTC)
Thanks for this; it's great. I found it through a convoluted lj route and have signal-boosted it in turn.
Jun. 12th, 2010 01:58 am (UTC)
I've had this happen. It happened with a former principal, though he added a segment: he created a sick system for the people he wanted to have stay, and used me and a few others as examples of how to drive someone away and nearly destroy them in the process.

Now that I've got a principal with too much integrity to create this type of system, I'm sticking with her.

Meanwhile, I'm spreading this far and wide.
Jun. 12th, 2010 03:43 am (UTC)
Thank you for writing this.
Thank you for writing this. It speaks the truth. Signal boosted, because lots of people need to read this.

Page 2 of 11
<<[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] >>
( 315 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

June 2015


Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by yoksel