Passive-Aggressive

Wikipedia references several sources on PA behavior, I’ve included three that seem to really hit home when I think of MindlessCraft.

In conflict theory, passive-aggressive behavior can resemble a behavior better described as catty, as it consists of deliberate, active, but carefully veiled hostile acts which are distinctively different in character from the non-assertive style of passive resistance (Simon, 2010).

Passive-aggressive disorder may stem from a specific childhood stimulus (e.g., alcohol/drug addicted parents, bullying, abuse) in an environment where it was not safe to express frustration or anger. Families in which the honest expression of feelings is forbidden tend to teach children to repress and deny their feelings and to use other channels to express their frustration. For example, if physical and psychological punishment were to be dealt to children who express anger, they would be inclined to be passive aggressive (Johnson,1999).

Children who sugarcoat hostility may have difficulties being assertive, never developing better coping strategies or skills for self-expression. They can become adults who, beneath a “seductive veneer,” harbor “vindictive intent,” in the words of US congressman/psychologist Timothy F. Murphy, and writer/practicing therapist Loriann Oberlin (2005).

Murphy and Oberlin (2005) also see passive aggression as part of a larger umbrella of hidden anger stemming from ten traits of the angry child or adult. These traits include making one’s own misery, the inability to analyze problems, blaming others, turning bad feelings into angry ones, attacking people, lacking empathy, using anger to gain power, confusing anger with self-esteem, and indulging in negative self-talk. Lastly, the authors point out that those who hide their anger can be nice when they wish to be.

Besides the fact that Mindless is discussing this topic recently, I bring this up for another reason. I think I have known for a long time, deep inside, that part of MindlessCraft’s acting out was meant to get back at me, at women in general, without those in his real life knowing anything about it. PA really explains it well, really clicks in a way nothing else has. It also explains to me why I am stuck in moving ahead. On some level, possibly (maybe even probably) subconsciously, he wanted to cause me this pain, he wanted to break me. Now that it has happened, he wishes he had not done it, had not held onto to so much anger and angst about the opposite sex for so long. But, I paid the price for him having to learn what he should have learned years ago.

And, I’m broken and I don’t know how to pick-up those pieces. And, now I see a man where a scared, angry boy once stood. And, now I see a man, a husband, a father who wants to heal the damage he has caused. And, now I see a woman who is a scared little girl who just wants to hide away in her cocoon. And, now I see a woman who so wants to be strong and lift herself up yet again, be the mom her children need, be the woman she needs, but who is just too tired to make it happen.

References:

Johnson, JG; Cohen, P; Brown, J; Smailes, EM; Bernstein, DP (July 1999), “Childhood maltreatment increases risk for personality disorders during early adulthood”, Arch. Gen. Psychiatry, 56 (7): 600–6, doi:10.1001/archpsyc.56.7.600, PMID 10401504

Murphy, T. and Hoff Oberlin, L., (2005), Overcoming passive aggression: how to stop hidden anger from spoiling your relationships, career and happiness, New York: Marlowe & Company, p. 48, ISBN 1-56924-361-1, retrieved April 27, 2010

Simon, George (2010), In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People, Parkhurst

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Passive-Aggressive

  1. TL, my attacks on you were not conscious decisions.

    But, they did clearly come from my anger, jealousy, and feelings of inferiority. In any case, they were unforgivable. Please forgive me. But, I know my actions were unforgivable.

    I know you’re tired. It’s understandable. It’s okay. I hope I can help, in some small way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Falling Ash and E, you know I don’t “like” that we are all broken, just letting you know I understand.

    The questions I keep asking myself is how did I pick myself up in the past and why am I having such trouble doing so now? I think part of the answer is I told myself all the pain of my childhood brought me to who I am and where I am now and it was awful, horrible, difficult, but ultimately worth it. Perhaps even thinking the hardest stuff, the really really bad stuff, was finally behind me. But, it wasn’t. And, I cannot bring myself to think that any of this was worth it, will ever be worth it. So, I find myself needing a new path to picking myself up because the old way of doing it just seems naive, stupid and setting myself up for failure.

    Liked by 1 person

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