I never used to think that people could get talked into things. I never believed in brainwashing or coercion, not if you were an adult and were of adequate I.Q. How do cult leaders get people to follow them, abandon their whole livelihoods, without threatening, without force? With the power of words and the power of the mind.
I never thought that I was weak or that I could be talked into anything. I was stubborn and knew my own mind. But now, I bend. I am pliant, I twist whichever way the wind is blowing. When I am mad at Him and have had enough, when he has disappointed me so greatly that I do not think that I can go on with him, I lose all of my strength before I can even begin to fight. I try to take a stand, I even try to take a day to think things out, and He will not let me. There are veiled threats, but in the end they are just words. He would not hurt me, right?
He tells me that I cannot be alone. He tells me that I must be under his care, that he cannot abandon his Kitten in the cold. He tells me that he knows what is best for me and that I cannot decide for myself. I protest, I whine that I can do whatever I want, I stomp my foot. I could change my locks and spend Christmas alone, tell everyone that we are through and that I am done with Him. But in the end I fall defeated. I am just a petulant child who cannot take care of herself and cannot be without Him. He is right.
Sometimes giving up is easier than fighting. His words and his tone, the gentle lull of his voice...they deflate me and I cannot stand up for what I thought I wanted. Sometimes it is easier to give in than to be overpowered. Maybe there is strength there too? Maybe if I look hard enough, I can find it. Knowing that this is all I am, that I cannot be alone, is a form of submission. It is a final acceptance. It is the ultimate surrender.
So while last week I thought that I would be a strong woman and walk away from Him for doing something that so upset me, I did not. I admitted that I am just a little girl playing a woman at work and that I cannot be free. I resumed my Christmas shopping for Him, I fell soft into the bliss of making cookies and sending out holiday cards. I pretended like nothing had happened because there was nothing I could do about it. I could not be alone, stand by myself, endure all of those dark nights with all of that pain. He convinced me.