Whilst undertaking a couple of days of mindfulness, I battled away a few thoughts that persistently came to mind. The ones that stick out the most and stayed with me though were the fleeting memories I have of emotional bait and switch.
Let me explain; as most of us know bait and switch is a term used to describe the situation where a merchant/seller gets your interest with a product but then when you purchase you get something of inferior quality or one which is more expensive.
What I consider emotional bait and switch is when a group of trusted loved ones say, “if you want to smoke go ahead, we’re really relaxed about it.” However, after you take your first puff they tell you off for being disrespectful and smoking in front of your elders. So you were lured in with the promise of understanding and acceptance and then humiliated for faith and trust in what those you’ve known all your life were saying, rather than deciphering what they were thinking. Believe me it ruins the memory of your first ever puff irreparably.
Bait and switch is ultimate emotional betrayal. You think you’re getting acceptance, unconditional understanding/love/support, but the cold reality hits when you realise the ropes attached and perceived underlying love, understanding or whatever it is, was an illusion.
Of course I didn’t see these situations at the time for what they were, I thought and was allowed to believe the fault lay with me for being unacceptably imperfect in the way I trust people, understand the world around me, was curious about smoking and my shocking inability to have children.
Yes, even my endometriosis/infertility wasn’t spared the bait and switch but I don’t want to lower my mood further by going into the specifics of that exchange.
There’s a huge gulf between what those I have trusted in my formative years have led me to believe and what I actually got, but I think most of us have complaints of this nature. I’m just glad I understand it for the cold emotional betrayal it was and maybe in a decade or so I will understand why anyone would bait and switch those they allegedly love.