Today’s article is submitted by an author who wishes to remain anonymous. Thanks, A. Non!
It is perhaps my unique (though not as unique as it ought to be) experience as a survivor of insidious, subtle mental abuse that allows me to recognize President Trump’s behavior for what it is: an abuse tactic. Let me unpack this for you.
President Trump doesn’t…”lie”…
President Trump doesn’t actively lie. As in, he does not tell a lie knowing that it is a lie. He says whatever he thinks might be true, what he could convince others might be true, or what he could make true afterwards – his sole aim in the present moment is to get the reaction he wants from people. Getting the right reaction is proof enough for him that he was right to say it. Whether what he said has any relation to reality is not of any concern to him.
President Trump doesn’t truth
Which makes it extremely hard to pin him down to any kind of truth. He has ready made excuses, things like “lots people said that, I was just repeating what I heard.” It would do no good to say “Those people were wrong too” because President Trump has already gotten what he wants – the momentary control of people by distorting their reality to his own. He doesn’t remember his own lies, because he is making it up as he goes. He says whatever sounds like it could be true, ought to be true, according to the narrative that makes him the hero. It all sounds hauntingly familiar.
I listen to him badmouthing immigrants, refugees, the impoverished, Mexicans, Muslims – every vulnerable population he can get in his sights. And I remember my ex-husband telling people lies about me, to get them on his side, to make himself look like the victim, the good guy. No amount of actual, measurable truth mattered after he’d swayed someone to look upon me with suspicion, just like some people are not interested in the actual data on immigrants. I remember him sabotaging my relationships with lies to isolate me, the same way President Trump is dividing us against each other with lies. The truth does not fit the narrative, so it is dismissed.
Hope lies in objective reality
There IS hope. I see other parties, especially the judicial branch, putting the pieces together, holding President Trump and his administration accountable to fact and data, not to their own narrative. Abusers and liars do not like having their words and deeds from the past brought up again. They do not like being required to show consistency, or for people to maintain that they be held responsible for past actions. They want to focus on the present because that is where they are in control. I was relieved to see the language of the freeze on the travel ban quote President Trump’s words and actions back at him, and to use his own words as evidence in freezing the ban, saying that he demonstrated, himself, his intent to harm.
Consistency, keeping good records, demanding solid proof of new allegations, solidifying boundaries, communicating with each other, bringing suspicion to every new conversation with him, and refusing to let him control the narrative are the best ways to combat America’s new abusive husband. Good luck, America. I’m on your side when you decide you’ve had enough, and you throw him out, and I’ll help you pile his shit on the driveway and set it on fire.