Abusers want their life to look wonderful. They are Hollywood personified. Their lives are cardboard facades and lots of computer generated imagery. And even though the bill boards and trailers may seem great, when you go see the movie you soon discover how flimsy the script is.
The drive for perceived perfection means that the toxic person has focused all their attention and effort on the exterior, but they are people of little emotional substance. And because they are just trying to seem a certain way, but the underlying emotion is not there, you may find yourself very confused.
Like when my sister became pregnant with my mother’s first grandchild, and she just did not seem that happy about it.
You have to understand, she had been nagging us for grandchildren for years, my sister was in a long-term committed relationship with a great guy, the pregnancy was planned… There was no reason for my mother to be anything less than ecstatic. But she just wasn’t…
My sister was so hurt by her mother’s seeming rejection of her unborn grandchild. Until that is, it all turned around with the sharing of the first ultrasound.
When the photo arrived in her mailbox, my mother promptly printed it out. But rather than attaching the print to the fridge, she had on of my other sisters take a photo of her holding the ultrasound. She then printed that photo and taped it to the fridge door.
Somehow the fact that my mother had printed a photo of herself holding up the ultrasound was proof to my sister that she was happy about the pregnancy. The day was saved!
All I could think was: she had to make herself part of that picture. She had to paint that image of her as the grandmother, rather than simply celebrating the unborn child.
But, even if my sister’s relief was genuine, there is a greater issue here. Because let’s face it, my sister should never have had to doubt her own mother’s happiness at the news of the pregnancy.
She shouldn’t have needed evidence, it should have been evident.
*The above is a stock image and not the picture described.