Most Manipulation is Unconscious

When you make your emotional stability, mental development, psychological well-being, sexual satisfaction, or sense of identity contingent upon the acceptance, approval, affection, or support of a particular person or persons you are practicing a form of emotional blackmail. Even if you aren’t consciously trying to manipulate people, all actions have intent. Some part of you is choosing to make your stability dependent on the other person as a way to coerce intimacy out of them. This is very unhealthy behavior, everyone needs people in their lives but no one needs any specific person and requiring a specific person to meet your needs isn’t a healthy thing for either of you. The only person ultimately responsible for your mental well-being is you, and further, by making your mental well-being dependent upon someone else, you are practicing learned helplessness and failing to use your own power to improve yourself.

Your Morals Aren’t Objective

Morality always feels objective from the inside, that’s how it works, but it also always takes a value judgement by a person about how they want the world to be to determine the ethical course of action in a given situation. Utilitarianism is no more objective as a moral system than the categorical imperative, and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is presupposing the value of lives or QALYs or happiness or not!misery or some other abstract number they pulled from thin air. Regardless, of how much math is attached to it, you can’t reason someone out of believing something they didn’t reason their way into in the first place. There is no objectively right thing to do, if someone doesn’t use your moral system, you’re not going to be able to convince them to start using your moral system by arguing for it using your moral system. Your ethical systems aren’t just a given and you can’t treat them as such. Importantly, it will hurt you if you try because it will skew your ability to predict how other people behave and make you miserable when you inevitably overcorrect and just see most humans as evil instead.

Rebranding Yourself isn’t Healing Trauma

If you completely rebuild your identity as a way of coping with and recovering from trauma, but you don’t change any of the fundamental assumptions, beliefs, values, goals, morals, or principles on which that identity is based, then you aren’t actually changing anything, you’re just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Be Kind to Yourself

Just because they live rent free in your head doesn’t mean the relationship isn’t abusive. If you wouldn’t tolerate something from a partner who lives outside your head, you shouldn’t tolerate it from someone who lives inside your head either, even when that someone is you.