Jeff Bailey © 2018

As I walk, negative thoughts roll off the production line of my mind. These stories are fictitious but based on real events. On a recent walk, manipulation was the theme. As adults and parents, we are familiar with an assortment of manipulative behaviors but as a child being manipulated in an uncaring way, how does the child then interpret the world.

What intention, what underlying reason does the manipulator have for thinking dishonesty is an acceptable means to an end? My answer, what feels right to me is, manipulation is the result of unmet needs. The question that comes to mind for me is, why do people keep manipulating once they are financially secure?

Another theme is revealed and that is dishonesty. The manipulative person is dishonest. If a person is willing to manipulate someone then being dishonest is a foregone conclusion. Those negative thoughts and fictional stories have roots connected to my past. There isn’t a need to revisit the past in detail, my stories are enough to explore the connections between my feelings and thoughts and what this experience means.

As I walk, I allow the thoughts to flow and I follow the emotions. Each deduction yields an unexpected insight. I realize every root cause of my negative thoughts and angst emotions are not directly related to my story. The conclusion I have drawn from the stories I tell myself are based on false assumptions.

In each case, I assumed I was directly involved and therefore held some accountability, for instance: One morning as I waited for the school bus, an ambulance arrived at our house because my father was having a heart attack. Whoever was home didn’t explain what was going on and allowed me to get on the school bus. I recall some kid saying, “Hey Bailey, that ambulance is at your house!” I do not remember the rest of the day. I was likely scared and confused but also feeling of abandoned and did not process my experience.

Changing the order of events by injected my mature self into the memory, allows me to see that kid looking stunned and disconnected. He needs to be held and allowed to feel vulnerable and safe, and I can be him and be there for him. This process is extremely helpful. As I walk, I feel the damp wind biting at my face as a chill penetrates my layers and I pick up the pace.