Blog: Floating the Abyss
by SoulfulSurvivor

"Crazymaking"

What "crazymaking" actually is, and how it further disables a victim.

Date:   4/11/2011 7:58:15 AM   ( 11 y ) ... viewed 15308 times

I have made mention of this tactic, often, and it's a very difficult concept to convey to human beings who are unfamiliar with it. Another reminder: my use of CAPS is not intended to convey screaming or shouting.

In my case, the crazymaking was constant, even during the "good times." Of course, the "good times" were those days, hours, or minutes when it seemed that abuse or violence wasn't active. This tactic also reiterated and intensified the former abuser's campaigns of fear and suspicion.

An actual example of the abuser's crazymaking went like this:
Me: I think I want to go back to college and finish out my degree.
Abuser: that's a good idea. You'll be able to get a good job, finally.
Me: I don't know how "good" the pay is for artists, these days, but I sure miss it.
Abuser: going back just for an art degree is a waste of time and money. You need to do something in the medical field.
Me: but, I don't want to do nursing or medical. I want to study art.
Abuser: like I said, you can go back to college if you enroll in a medical program and get the tuition from your parents. make sure you get extra money from them for a babysitter. I'm not babysitting while you go off to "play student."
This is an actual example of dialogue that occurred quite often. Another example is:
Abuser: you need to call the gas company to tell them that you can't pay the bill, this month.
Me: didn't you just get paid?
Abuser: yeah, and that all went to pay for your medical bills and cigarettes.
Me: neither of those combined could take your entire paycheck. What bills are outstanding, and how much do we owe?
Abuser: I earn the money around here, and I have everything under control.
Me: but, you just said that I needed to beg money from my parents! Now, what's our situation?
Abuser: you don't have any income! You only generate more bills! I'm only ONE MAN WORKING and my paycheck is MY money!
Me: it's OUR money! We're a family for crissakes!
Abuser: you need to get a goddammed job and start pulling your weight in this family!
Me: I could get a job with morning hours, maybe.
Abuser: I am NOT babysitting these kids. I work from three to eleven, and I am NOT going to interrupt my sleep to take these kids to school!
Me: so, what do you suggest, then?
Abuser: you'd better get a good paying job because you'll need to pay a babysitter.
Me: but, we're a FAMILY! We should SHARE in the expenses!
Abuser: the only thing we share is YOUR medical bills and the money you spend on cigarettes!
Me: so, what's the point of me working, then? I'd be working just to say I had a paying job! My pay would go straight to daycare!
Abuser: there IS no point, so you had better call your parents becauswe I'm not paying this gas bill, and you'd better get it straight!

The 2 examples are recollections of actual "discussions" that we had. The crazymaking results when a victim does (or, agrees to do) what the abuser demands, and cannot win EVEN if they try to do the abuser's bidding. There is NO positive result, and the humiliation is complete. Another example was my need to paint, again, after having abandoned my creative expressions at the proddings of the abuser. He once purchased 4 tubes of oil paints, some brushes, and a couple of canvases and said, "Okay, you have the stuff. Now, paint something." I tried to explain that I needed time to set up a still life and to be able to work without distractions - could he, PLEASE, watch the kids for a couple of hours? His answer was, "I'm NOT babysitting these kids while you 'play artist!'"

Crazymaking isn't5 confined to spousal or romantic relationships. Parents can cause unspeakable crazymaking for their children by setting forth mandates that can NEVER be satisfied. Friends, family, and coworkers/supervisors can also create crazymaking that not only confounds the victim, but drives home the victim's sense of being powerless and useless. For children, there ARE no safeguards for crazymaking - they absorb the abuse and are groomed into victims.

For adults, strict emotional and physical boundaries may help to manage crazymaking, but an abuser will do whatever they can to circumvent boundaries to gain power and control.

Brightest blessings!!

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