Loss of Creative Passion (Real Support vs Self-Serving)

Written by on April 13, 2012 in Conversations on the Healing Journey with 21 Comments

Covert abusers can say the right things and they can be encouraging. That’s what’s so confusing. But when saying the right things and being encouraging is not followed through with action, then it’s just not real.

To some people, saying something is as good as doing it. It doesn’t matter if they hadn’t actually done it. It doesn’t matter that they don’t take any steps to actually support you. That they say they do is all that matters. They take credit for it as if it were real.

In fact, their words of support go to making them feel good about themselves. Not to actually support you. Their verbal support is only self-serving.

But to a person who takes what people say on face value, especially those we love, it can be confusing. Being with a covert abuser means mixed messages. There are plenty of them. For whatever reason, whether because of our own issues or our propensity to believe in the best in others, giving others the benefit of the doubt, mixed messages and our selective vision or rationalization or even goodwill can be a dangerous combination for our own health and peace of mind — and certainly to our passion.

Those who are threatened by someone’s passion can be supportive of it if it serves their purpose. For instance, it’s probably in their best interest to be supportive when they first meet an individual and want to make a good impression. Another time would be when they benefit either directly or indirectly from the success your passion might bring.

People who derive their self worth from riding on someone else’s coattails often do not have the discipline or commitment to get there on their own. They are, in fact, often threatened by the very discipline and commitment of others who do have what it takes. However, if their jealousy cannot sabotage your success, they’re only too happy to hijack it or bask in your success when it happens as if it were their own.

As incredulous as it seems, they may expect (or demand) you to thank them for making your success possible. It’s crazy-making, especially if your creativity has been a source of friction and arguments, and you succeeded only through your own tenacity. But good luck if you refuse or show even the slightest hesitation to sing their praises for making this all possible.

Such people may enjoy you having written or having performed or having shown your completed work. They like the attention you get when they think it reflects well on them. But often, especially in covert abuse, the one who likes to bask in the light of the other person’s success, never seems to appreciate or respect the process for getting there. They just like the laurels, of which they expect you to share with them.

When it comes to the actual creative process, the work, when real support — not just lip service – but real support matters, those who are involved with covert abusers know how long and difficult it can be, how much time is spent justifying your need to work on your craft, how many arguments are made, how much guilt is heaped upon you — and covert abusers know how to do guilt. They have it down to an art form.

Sometimes family members and loved ones do have legitimate complaints or concerns you are spending too much time on your creativity. They may assert you are neglecting them or the children. And sometimes you are. Passion can be all consuming at times, especially when you’re really into the flow of it.

The difference is people who are truly supportive of you seek a compromise, a resolution that includes your passion as well as them. They desire a balance between the passion for your art and the love you have for them. They truly accept your passion is a part of you, and if they feel it’s becoming all of you, then out of respect for themselves and the relationship, they address their concerns to work something out.

It’s part of being in a healthy relationship where people grow with bonds that breath and stretch and come back, always returning to the core of the love you share.

People who need to manipulate to get what they want, have a hard time understanding these qualities of love.

Manipulation, of which covert abuse is largely about, comes from the belief of lack. It arises from not trusting you will be loved for who you are, and confusing need and control for love.

The complaints a covert abuser might have about the time you spend with your passion isn’t so much about the time as much as the love they perceive you giving to your passion…and not them.

Unlike someone who truly loves you, a covert abuser can never be satisfied with compromise or creating space for your creative life and them. Nothing short of giving up your passion entirely or relegating it to the diminished capacity of a hobby, which would be like keeping a pond koi in a goldfish bowl, will satisfy them.

But you can try to make it work. At least that’s what you tell yourself. So you try to find a solution on your own.

You wake up predawn for your creativity so that you will be available during the day, but you are criticized for not being able to stay up late. So you get up at night, but you are criticized for sneaking out of bed after they fall asleep and not being there to cuddle if they should wake up, or being tired in the morning. So you ask for specific time during the day, in which you promise to start and stop on time. But anything more than a couple times a week, if that, is asking too much.

Perhaps you decide to devote an entire day just to them, to show them how much you love them, to cultivate happy memories together, to support and nourish your love. But the next day you find it’s not enough. They want that same undivided attention again, and the day after that, and the day after that. And it begins to dawn on you that there really is no room in your relationship for your passion.

In time you will find yourself spending more and more time protecting, defending and fighting for the right to your creativity than actually creating. And that’s a kind of sabotage, a covert attack upon your passion, burning up your passion with anger and frustration and depression, rather than using it to write, sing, dance, paint or whatever form your passion takes.

Or maybe you just give up. Perhaps you tell yourself that love is about sacrifice, after all. But is it about suicide? Because passion really isn’t something you do. It’s what you are. It’s a part of what makes you you.

It doesn’t matter how supportive your covert abuser claims to be. What matters is the reality of the situation. Look to the health of your passion and the state of your creative life. It will tell you more than any words.


In what ways have you been supported in your creative life? Do you receive the support you need in terms of space, time or in other ways specific to your passion?

Loss of Passion Series:
Loss of Sexual Passion (Hypo-Sexuality)
Loss of Sexual Passion (Hyper-Sexuality)
Loss of Creative Passion (Deliberate Intention)
Loss of Creative Passion (Covert Attacks)

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About the Author

About the Author: Demian Yumei, author, singer/songwriter and artist activist, uses spoken, written word and original songs in her human rights activism. She's a long time traveler on the healing journey and has a lifelong love affair with the creative process. .


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  • Where There's Smoke: Covert Bullying and Abuse says:

    How have you dealt with the lack of support for your creative life or the actual sabotage of it?

  • Covert Bullying (Abuse) says:

    How have you dealt with the lack of support for your creative life or the actual sabotage of it?

  • Empathy 2012: wake up - change yourself - change t says:

    Past partners – got rid. Parents – stopped talking to them about it 🙂 I now only share my creativity with people who value and appreciate it and I’m lucky enough now to have a wonderful partner, an amazing daughter and fabulous friends who support me 100%.

  • Covert Bullying (Abuse) says:

    I love how you created your world. Thanks for the inspiration. Maybe it’s possible for me too, though it’s hard for me to conceive of being with anyone again. Bad track record, but I don’t want to define myself by the past. And it’s good to be reminded there are other realities out there. I believe that…but haven’t been able to believe for myself. That’s okay though. I am very grateful for the love I do have through my family, friends and the wonderful people I have met online. 🙂

    I am not impoverished.

  • The Path To Peace-Recovery From Psychopathic Manip says:

    ((Cb))) thank you.

  • Demian Yumei says:

    LOL, thank you! I need to have somone light a match under me from time to time to get me going. I always face resistence everytime I sit down to write about this, which translates into getting distracted or procrastinating. Keep a hold of that match box!

  • Demian Yumei says:

    So just wondering…has anyone ever dealt with this kind of pseudo support/self-serving support?

  • The Path To Peace-Recovery From Psychopathic Manip says:

    Demian, you know I will. Your writing HEALS.

  • Jill Eisnaugle says:

    I remember a time when my emotional abuser/psychotic acted friendly and supportive of my writing passion. After he initially stalked the web to locate me after we met, he said “I’ve never known a writer before — it’s cool.” He would tell me that he would mention my name on the air for recognition/benefit to my career if I would research things to help his broadcasts. This went on from 2008 until late 2011. Every holiday show, I’d look up “factoids” that he could share with the radio listeners. His heightened flirtation/pursuance of sexing up the friendship with harassment, stalking, etc. worsened after he used me to get what he wanted for his program. It got to the point where he began saying “Hello” with a shout out to me on air every time he worked. EVERY time. And every time, he would follow it with some sappy or stalkerish song. He began calling and texting to ensure I had no time to be creative and his support, obviously, wasn’t real. By constantly, saying “Hot Poet” etc., he wasn’t flattering me; he was using the “build up” as a way to manipulate and steal my time for creativity. His support of me was only to serve his ulterior motive to get what he wanted.

  • The Path To Peace-Recovery From Psychopathic Manip says:

    Demian, mine was a sabotager of everything. It wasn’t just the things I was passionate about, per se, as I could be “passionately ” happy and he’d COMPETE with me. But with regards to your post, mine sabotaged my schooling. He knew how important it was to me. “come over, I’ll make dinner and you can study”. It was clear when I got there and pulled out my books and computer that this was NOT what he wanted. He never said anything, but he didn’t have too, I could FEEL it. He would act BORED, or try to kiss me or distract me with conversation, but mainly he would make sure I knew he was BORED because I was not paying attention to HIM. So I never got work done when I was there. I also got my emotional ass kicked when I wanted to stay home and study because I knew I wouldn’t get work done with him. One night, he wanted me to stay the night. I had a ton of homework and didn’t feel comfortable being there in the first place, but he wanted me there, so I went. My work NOT being done, bothered me most of the evening. After mind blowing sex (for him and all about him) I told him I had to get home and get work done, “Do you realize how hot you are? You’re a challenge” **GAG**. It wasn’t until I was on my way home that I really thought about what he said and what he really meant. MORE of a challenge to destroy. My GOD he was so “needy” (controlling). So glad to be free of that crap. I told him when we broke up that he needed someone who could be with him and do everything for him twenty four seven. I was SPARED!!

  • Jill Eisnaugle says:

    I just recalled a moment with a man I briefly dated. I was talked into dating him; I had MAJOR doubts and had family say “You can’t tell a book by its cover.” When I was in school, sometimes having to work on assignments on Sundays, he was very much against this and would purposefully come over to ensure I didn’t complete my assignment. That made more work to be completed Monday or required lessened sleep for all night study session. He was also guilty of telling me how “I’m the kind of person that makes others want to better themselves” and then he’d do the opposite.

  • Demian Yumei says:

    @Jill Eisnaugle: This sounds so characteristic of covert abusers. There’s an agenda behind EVERYTHING. It’s hard to see when it’s covered with flattery or kind words, but as you described in your comment the actions don’t support it.

  • Demian Yumei says:

    The Path To Peace-Recovery From Psychopathic Manipulation and Abuse “I could be passionately happy and he’d COMPETE with me.” That reminds me of their need to compete with or control emotions, your emotions…that might be a good topic for another article.

    “Try to kiss me or distract me with conversation”
    You know, this just gets me. It makes me wonder if ANYTHING is ever offered on face value. A kiss is not a kiss, but an attempt to distract. It’s so convoluted. It’s like needing a cultural dictionary, you know? Because an action or a comment in your world has a totally different meaning in their world. And I’m not talking Venus vs Mars. I’m talking Mandela meeting Machiavelli.

  • The Path To Peace-Recovery From Psychopathic Manip says:

    Demian, “I’m talking Mandela meeting Machiavelli”. BINGO! They speak an entirely different language. If we were to be referencing about only semantics the brain issue becomes MAJOR in this disorder. The studies of the brain in psychopaths is fascinating with regards to the reasons that language and meaning is so abstract and thus, for us complicated. we are speaking English, THEY are speaking Japanese!

  • Jill Eisnaugle says:

    This is why I love this group. Everyone here validates what I always knew deep inside but had to let time, pain, and tears bring to the surface. I still have trouble wrapping my head around the mutual friends that now delete every e-mail I send, unread, and I still want to believe it’s because they’re in busy jobs (after all, they’d block me if they REALLY didn’t want to hear from me) but it is what it is. With time, I’ll accept it more, I’m sure.

  • The Path To Peace-Recovery From Psychopathic Manip says:

    Jill, I understand what you mean. I think losing the friendships is just as hard as losing the loser in some situations. I felt that pain with the coworker of my ex who threw me under the bus. Initially, with her explanation I understood, but as time wore on, it became clear that it wasn’t about seeing that he was abusing me and she felt bad about it, it was to cover HER ass in case I outed him. It is what it is and truthfully, people who don’t stand with you, aren’t with emailing or talking to anyway. Why try to make them believe you or like you when they just don’t? It’s a waste of energy, just like the loser is

  • Jill Eisnaugle says:

    That is so very true. I have a feeling — and I really cannot confirm it — that the one “friend” that is deleting all of the messages unread now (the guy’s boss) may fear that I’ll sue the company and because of that, he’s trying to protect his own job by ignoring me. Hard to believe when the boss is the one that initially asked me if he could help with the situation and later told my boss that everything was fine. The minute I let it be known that the internal hell that didn’t surface until after the creep was gone had indeed surfaced, BAM…. deleted e-mails, unread. I would have expected more from this person, but that said, it really is what it is.

  • The Path To Peace-Recovery From Psychopathic Manip says:

    Jill, we live in a place that is about CYA and not genuine ethics. Ethics are laughable anymore. If you have them, you can bet that those you may have to deal with in business, do not. Not anymore. It’s almost safer to assume that than any genuineness at all.

  • Jill Eisnaugle says:

    Oh I know that all too well too. My problem has always been wanting to believe the good in everything and everyone, even knowing some people are chronic corporate kiss-asses. Changing that 31 year pattern of behavior takes time.

  • The Path To Peace-Recovery From Psychopathic Manip says:


  • Jill Eisnaugle says:

    The “friend” in question is usually only seen by me, once a year, anymore anyhow; I’m not losing sleep, let’s say that much.

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