There is something missing on the inside of Cain that prevents him from feeling. “They don’t feel much in their relationships unless something intense is going on,” points out Dr. Gina Simmons Ph.D. co-director of Schneider Family Services and a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for twenty-five years, currently located in San Diego county.
The Enabler wants the relationship to stay calm and stable while Cain itches to stir things up so he can feel something, anything. Says Simmons, “They have to keep raising the bar of intensity to feel. What is more intense than anger?”
Other times they simply don’t like the way their day is going so they stir the emotional pot to shake things up. They might be bored or uncomfortable but lacking introspection, they aren’t motivated to think about what problem is inside them. Instead, they push others’ hot buttons to relieve the monotony. People, then, are merely objects to release their agitation or emotional discomfort. They push an emotional button and stand back to watch another person become hysterical.
No doubt that is the reason rules of performance changed frequently at the cainistic church. I called it the “Church of Drama” because just when you thought you could breath and relax, something changed. Cain loved to mix things up, keeping everything certain off-balance which gave him power and influence. I’ll never forget how he clung doggedly to his ruling about how ushers had to remain standing until after the first song was sung on Sunday morning. This required us to stand throughout the introduction, announcements, a prayer and a song, all of which lasted no less than ten minutes.
I suffered severe back and nerve pain due to degenerative arthritis of which Cain was aware. Standing for long periods provoked intense throbbing and numbness in my back, feet and legs. I don’t know if he even remembered this fact about me (cainists are often offensive simply because they don’t remember much about anyone except themselves), or if this new rule was yet another sneaky way to punish me for a crime I didn’t know I had committed.
Whatever was going on, I was hearing lots of complaints from congregants that they couldn’t see around the ushers who stood in front of them for so long. I shared this information which meant I was speaking against his rules. Cain abruptly called a mandatory volunteer meeting scheduled for nine the following Saturday morning. There would be no sleeping in for volunteers that weekend.
After much discussion at the meeting, the majority decided to drop the new decree and let the ushers sit after the service began. But within three months, the rule to have ushers stand for a lengthy period was reinstated. This is typical. Cain might go along at the moment but he always returns to his old ways as soon as possible. No one will tell him what to do.
Something more happened at that mandatory meeting that revealed the lengths to which Cain would go to punish and control. When we moved into our new church, personnel provided coffee and baked goods at volunteer meetings. That was thoughtful; it reflected gratitude for our service. During the mandatory Saturday morning meeting, I chose coffee and a big muffin. As Cain led the meeting, he kept staring at my muffin, watching me eat every bite. It was spooky and uncomfortable. By then I had learned how to predict some of his behavior and guessed that there would never be big muffins at volunteer meetings again. That’s precisely what happened. He was scrutinizing what I liked so he could eliminate it. It was punishment for speaking against one of his dictates.
Every time someone turns against Cain, even if it is in the best interest of the majority—in this case church attendees who were complaining they couldn’t see around ushers—punishment will follow. Can you imagine wasting that much time watching people just to control them in petty ways? But that is exactly what a cainist does. It was one more way to push emotional buttons and show me who was in charge. One more way to stir things up so he could feel something. I had wised up by then. I never said a word about big muffins. It’s wise to pick your battles with a cainist, and I wanted to stop the drama. Cain often gets what he wants simply because Enablers get worn down and stop fighting to have their needs met.
Not only does he grow bored with himself but others grow bored with him, too. He regales people with the same stories again and again, especially if he doesn’t like something. For example, one Enabler had moved on months ago when a restaurant shut down, but her cainistic husband was still carping that the food in the contemporary restaurant wasn’t as good as the former one. He won’t let anything go. In most instances, you can learn everything you need to know about a cainist in less than a month. After that, he’s dull, repetitive and tedious.