By Mickie Zada
Have you ever been engaged in a One-sided Power Game? You don’t have to wonder if you have played this game: you know it!
Here are the rules:
1) He controls decisions
2) He twists your words
3) His convoluted conclusions trump your clear memory
4) You are always wrong; he is always right
5) In spite of damage to you, he does things his way
6) You may not voice your opinion or disagree with him
7) He makes all the Rules and they change at his whim
8) At all costs, you aren’t supposed to win
Sound familiar to you?
The One-sided Power Game is a symptom of abuse. And that’s why you aren’t supposed to win. It’s his game.
1 in 4 women in the U.S. has lived or will live in domestic abuse at some time in her life. If you are included in the 1 in 4 statistic, you have lived the game.
Being physically bruised and injured are not the only symptoms of abuse. Emotional abuse counts, too…those of us who have experienced both types agree: emotional abuse is worse than physical abuse!
The Rules of the game become engrained in our psyche, they govern the way we think and re-act. To survive, we learn to live on high alert, to guard our thoughts and words, we change our behavior and limit our life experiences.
Am I looking right through you?
Guess what? You have the power to change the rules. When we change our in-side thoughts and beliefs, our emotions and our actions change. No one controls our minds except us. No one can see what you are thinking. We have the power to change our lives.
Here is the key:
To change our situation, we have to change ourselves.
Even if you get out of an abusive relationship, without changing your mind-set and your in-side beliefs, you’ll either go back to the abuser or choose another partner with the same abusive behavior.
We have to change ourselves. That is the key.
And, he loses!
Change is rarely easy. It is always worth the effort.
Think about learning to walk. You fell down all the time, right? Did you decide it would be easier to crawl through life? No, you got back up and tried to walk…and you fell down, and you got back up. Pretty soon your legs were strong enough that you were running all over the place.
When you decide it’s time to stop playing the one-sided power game, there is help available. One book that empowered me was “Stop Walking on Eggshells” by Paul Mason. Two of my other favorites are “Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting” by Lynn Grabhorn and “Why Does He Do That” by Lundy Bancroft.
As adults, it’s easier to decide to just keep crawling. Learning to walk is frightening and could totally rock our world. As adults, our friends and family are not as supportive of our learning to walk. “How bad can it be?” they ask. “Are you sure you want to rock this boat? … you have a beautiful home and security.”
The choice is yours, of course. Continue crawling along in the hell that has become your home-life reality, or step out and start climbing stairs, running marathons, creating the life you were meant to live.
Yes, it’s frightening. Yes, you will fall down, feel lonely, make mistakes. You’ll wonder if you’ve done the right thing.
Stay the course! Don’t decide to go back to crawling! There is support. There is help…from people you know and people you don’t know. Ralph Waldo Emerson said: Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.
Keep your eyes and your heart open. When you are ready, you are able to stop playing by his rules and win the game!