My Prince Who Rode in On The Horse with No Name

Blue_and_Red_Horse_by_MightySquirrelThe line “cause there ain’t no one to give you no pain,” from the song, A Horse With No Name certainly captures the relationship I had with a man who possessed cainistic traits. He would disappear for days, weeks, sometimes months after we enjoyed good times, returning only after the warm, positive embers died down.

Deep affection terrified him, and he eclipsed his fear with physical unavailability. If I expressed my own needs and feelings, he tossed out the title of a popular song by Mac Davis, Baby, Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me. My relationship with this cainist was the yin and the yang of interpersonal closeness and emotional distance. It was the up and down bouncy movement of horseback riding from start to finish.

When he returned later, it was on his terms only. Whenever I confronted him about these long absences, he grew upset–“I don’t want to be tied down,” he would spat. He always had a disclaimer—“Maybe some day but not now”—which reserved my hope. He used threats of abandonment to have his relationship or no relationship.

People who engage healthy relationships would have walked out of that relationship quicker than corn can pop, but I capitulated which is typical of the Cain and Enabler Complex. Conditioned to become invisible and selfless, the Enabler ignores her own needs and feelings to prevent criticism, rejection, confrontation and abandonment from a cainist who is in it for himself.

For instance, I was taught in childhood that my invisibility during Cain’s presence might buy me attention and some conditional love after he was gone; I was repeating that dysfunction in my adult relationships to reduce Cain’s negative reaction and to keep my man. I lived on hope.

Enablers don’t make waves. They sacrifice their boundaries and apologize for being too much trouble or for creating an atmosphere of negativity when Cain is displeased. They become selfless and re-frame it into a virtue. They choose a lonely, empty life of self-sacrifice and wistful thinking in exchange for a hopeful five minutes of love.


Who Is This Masked Man?

The word personality is derived from Latin, meaning “a theatrical mask used by actors.” First and foremost, Cain is an actor. You might think you have found the most perfect person in the whole world because in the beginning he is overly attentive to your every word and need. But in reality you are looking at a mask that he wears in public. His attentiveness is manipulation designed to hook you so that you become the attentive one to his needs.

Everything Cain says or does is carefully orchestrated. He lives in a world of appearances; how it looks to others is far more important than the actual truth. He comes on as charming, witty, intelligent, helpful and caring. You fall in love with him easily. But behind the mask are excessive feelings of self importance and vanity mixed with deep feelings of rage, jealousy, and indifference. What you see is not what you get. He wears a mask to hide his dark side. It might be difficult to believe, but he cares about himself only.

In reality, he is on a hunt 24/7 to get adoration, attention, affirmation of which he needs a constant supply. He constantly fears losing this supply of adoration. IIn his disordered thinking, adoration and attention are love. Yet, he is badly equipped to love or return love.n fact, he is terrified of intimacy. Often when emotions become too intense for whatever reason, he brings about abandonment to “get it over with” and end the emotional discomfort. Of course, he ditched you, he didn’t do anything that made you want to leave. Cain takes responsibility for nothing.

His mask hides his dark side
His mask hides his dark side