Manipulative Memes

I love memes.  In fact, I saved many over the years.  Some inspire me with quoting Scripture.  Others inspire because of the beautiful pictures.  And then there are ones like this one that was popular on Facebook for a while.  It said, “It is very sad when members of the same family do not talk to each other.  The children suffer for the adult ego.  Cousins miss the wonderful opportunity to be together, & all due to a bruised adult ego.  Stop getting offended.  Reunite with your family members.  One day your imaginary conflict will all come to an end…with or without you.  Don’t wait until it’s too late.  Type yes if you agree.”

That one about made me gag.

I will admit, there are families where someone is being a petty jerk & not speaking to other family members.  It does happen, but I don’t believe it’s all that common.

What is much more common is when someone in a family is abusive, & their victim gets fed up.  They sever ties with that abuser to protect themselves & sometimes also their spouse &  children.  The abuser & their devoted flying monkeys harass the victim, drag their name through the mud & blindly support the abuser.   Meanwhile the victim is left behind in a state of shock & deeply hurt by the betrayal of not only the abuser but the family members who once said they loved the victim.  I guess that truth doesn’t make such a “nice”, wholesome sounding meme though, does it?

If I sound angry about this, it’s because I am.  Not only for myself since I have been in this position but for the countless others who have been as well.

It’s not right to abuse someone in the first place.  There is no reason to abuse anyone.  The only thing that makes this even worse is when people know about the abuse, but treat the abuser with kindness & the victim with disdain.  Treating someone who has the courage to open up about being abused is one of the cruelest things a person can do to another in my opinion.  It takes a lot of courage to go against the abuser’s wishes in any way, especially their desire to keep their acts secret, because once it’s out, you can’t take it back.  To treat someone in this position as if they’re lying, making a big deal about nothing, acting like a spoiled brat, trivialize their feelings or experiences or claim they want to hear nothing about it is absolutely disgraceful & disgusting.  Anyone who does this should be utterly ashamed of their actions, but sadly that is rare.

People who act this way are people who are fans of the meme I mentioned at the beginning of this post.  Those people obviously have issues.  Since I’m related to many of that type of person & have seen their sick behavior first hand, I think I can say that without any doubt.  Thanks to these people, I have learned a few things about this kind of person.

People who treat victims as they do often have abuse in their past.  They don’t have the guts to face that fact, so they deny it.  They put on a fake happy face & tell stories of their happy family.  Their denial runs deep so they don’t have to face the pain.  Any perceived threat to it & they attack.  This includes silencing other victims who are willing to speak out, even when those victims are their own family.

There are others who know the narcissist & refuse to believe the truth.  They believe the “nice guy/girl” act & will also attack any threat to their denial of the truth.

People like this are just as toxic as the narcissist who abused you in the first place.  And sadly, they’re out there creating memes like this & hurting & manipulating God only knows how many people who see it.  It’s utterly disgusting!  You really can’t believe everything you read, because sometimes it’s nothing more than garbage written by toxic people.


Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

16 responses to “Manipulative Memes

  1. It’s not always the flying monkeys.

    Years ago while doing a college internship, I spent a summer with an out of town aunt who had been a scapegoated child. She had been treated poorly by grandmother and siblings, and talked about it constantly. She and my mother hate each other to this day.

    However, when I reached out to her recently, trying to understand what might have happened in their childhood that made my mother a narcissist, she no longer wanted to talk about it. I was confused.

    It’s dawned on me that she has used the same abuse tactics with her own children, and it is now working for her in her old age. She has an enabling Christian daughter who built a nice life and family of her own. This daughter now tends to my aunt and her “health issues”.

    My aunt no longer wants to talk about childhood abuse because she doesn’t want to face that she did the same thing. She now tells me she hopes she and mother can work things out, even though she still hates my mother.

    All this to say, I agree with you. People that post memes like this are doing so for selfish reasons. They want family members to overlook their bad deeds and pretend everything is okay. They want forgiveness without having to acknowledge their side.

    Liked by 1 person

    • How very sad! Some folks just can’t face the ugly truth. Or they refuse to for whatever reason. Guessing shame is at the root of your aunt’s behavior. Maybe her daughter believes the faulty Christian teaching that honoring your parent means catering to whatever whims they have & forgiveness means pretending something never even happened. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  2. *She now tells me she hopes ME and MY mother can work things out, even though she still hates my mother.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Psycho Free Zone

    I had not seen that particular meme prior to today, but I agree with you – it’s highly manipulative and disgusting.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Psycho Free Zone

    Reblogged this on Psycho-Free Zone and commented:
    This post by Cynthia Bailey Rug is relatable, and I just wanted to share it. I think anyone who has lived through this type of manipulation can understand her anger.


  5. Oh gosh….I saw that one floating around too. My ex was using Facebook for a while, to post that type of meme. I tried to keep a check to make sure that our friend lists weren’t crossing. He tried for a while, to reach out to my friends and family via Facebook- luckily they ignored, and he moved on to other tricks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ugh… your ex proves my the theory I’ve had, that narcissists are the only ones who like those kinds of memes.

      You have good friends, ignoring him! My narcissistic family members did the same & some of my friends accepted their friends’ requests. Once I enlightened them, they immediately deleted the narcissists.

      Liked by 2 people

      • They are just unbelievable with their deceptive tricks! I would see the memes used by the ex, and just shake my head…


      • Psycho-Free Zone

        When my husband was divorcing his narcissistic ex, he started trying to explain to his family what it had been like living with her. Instead of being supportive, one of his siblings listed the NPD-ex as a family member on social media, and some of them would still talk to her on the phone (even when there was no reason to do so), and they had no problem with her tagging along for overnight stays (in order to visit with the grandkids). She didn’t have a close relationship with any of my husband’s family prior to the divorce; this was a smear campaign, and it worked.


  6. Lifelessonswithlynny

    Your articles are always on point. They have been a big blessing to me. Thank you


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