Didn’t expect that! The backlash. The name-calling. The shaming. Who knew talking about past abuses was actually “wallowing in victimization”?
Well, I’ll be danged!
If I’m being accused of reveling and wallowing in being a victim, thought I, so are others. If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will. (But I hope it doesn’t.)
Here’s What They Said
“To me, this sounds like wallowing in victimization. Not that what the parents did wasn’t horrible, but why was she still living there in her late teens, never mind her twenties? I think maturity is better reached by looking at the part YOU play in dysfunctional relationships and working to understand and correct that, instead of labeling and blaming others.”
“I had pretty much decided to stop getting these psychcentral newsletters, as many of the articles take this victimized, blaming attitude, and this one drove me over the edge. Bye!”
“No doubt about the emotional abuse, but it’s sad that the author continues to revel in her victimization and blame those awful parents for her behavior. Then, although probably therapeutic to a degree, she creates a platform to inform strangers about her experiences, garnering attention much as a narcissist would. Hmmmmm”
Oy vey, mamma mia and a couple of laadeedaas.
….A Time for Wallowing. It’s called Grief.
If you don’t wallow and acknowledge the abuses that occurred and grieve those abuses, then you’ll never heal. There are no shortcuts. Skip “wallowing” or try to cut your “wallowing” short and you ain’t gonna heal, baby!
…Those who attack victims always have an agenda. Victimizing someone is bad. But revictimizing a victim by shaming them for being a victim. Wow! That’s low!
Except for when my abusers found it, the few comments I’ve gotten here have been supportive. But I see the victim-shaming for sharing our stories, all over other blogs, so I turned off the comments here. Anyone who wants to make comments like the above, can refer to Thompson’s blog post. 😛
Sanctuary Radio is going through a crisis because of U.S. licensing fee hikes. DJ Rob is threatening to say f**k it if it’s too much of a headache. I hope it doesn’t come to that, because that’s the best web stream I’ve found so far.
It’s far better than Pandora, because you have a human driving the playlist, throwing in all sorts of brand-new stuff along with the old, and making sure you don’t get Morrissey/The Cure/Siouxsie/The Smiths every single. other. frickin’. song.
Also, Pandora just plain doesn’t have all sorts of awesome bands. I now find that, even with web streams and Pandora over the years, I still missed all sorts of music, because we don’t have anything like that on the radio or in clubs here in small-town Wisconsin.
But being in a cocoon of industrial, EBM, darkwave and the like, has been driving a furious wave of creativity the past several months, as I work on my rewrite of Unwilling Time-Traveler. Especially the German music, since Madge is stuck in Nazi Germany for most of it.
I’m rewriting the ending, having gotten a new idea for it after watching a German industrial video the other day. This happened once already, when I took the last part of the plot in a totally new direction after watching the castle episode of the latest season of Doctor Who. The subconscious works on this stuff even while I do other things, obviously.
And while researching and rewriting, I came across this video by Die Krupps:
It’s my new favorite, along with a few other German industrial tunes which came out years ago, but I’m just finding them now:
Also this one:
And, of course, this one, which I had to go to the German Amazon to find, but I knew about it thanks to Sanctuary (Pandora doesn’t have Unzucht):
Here’s the original version of “Schweigen,” and its gorgeous video:
By the way, “Unzucht” is German for “fornication.” 😀
This book and all the New German Hardness also have reminded me how I used to be obsessed with all things German back in high school. My old NVLD/Aspie perseveration is back, and I love it!
And this was in today’s paper:
Though the German students visiting Wisconsin are in a new environment, both cultures have a surprising amount in common. Germans and Wisconsinites are said to be practical, hard working, family-oriented, not to mention harboring a love for bratwursts, sauerkraut, Oktoberfest and, for a few, polka dances.
So the German students, most of whom spoke English well, weren’t feeling completely displaced.
In the late 1800s, a huge influx of German immigrants chose to settle in Wisconsin, attracted to the wide availability of farmland and the natural landscape that was strikingly similar to their Central European state….
Today, about 45 percent of Wisconsin residents claim German heritage, while the rest of United States citizens claim about 17 percent of German heritage.
The long English vowels Wisconsinites are known for is said to be a byproduct of the German language.
In towns within Fond du Lac County, like Lomira, Calumet, New Holstein and Eldorado, 60 percent of residents claim German roots, according to the 2000 census — a percentage consistent in many counties across the state, especially in southern Wisconsin.
Update 10/3/14: This poem got praise at the second or third Writer’s Club meeting I attended, in the summer of 2013. One comment: “That’s what it’s like.” More than one person in that meeting had experienced narcissists. It also got praise when I posted it on Facebook.
The unicorn is a metaphor for the love I once felt for my friend Richard. It symbolizes what we all feel when we care about a narcissist in some way, when we try to conquer our feelings with the reality of the situation, but struggle because we still remember the “honeymoon period.”
Killing the pain of loving a narcissist
I must stab the beautiful unicorn which I adored
Must carve, must saw, must impale
Cut out the heart
Because it’s not a unicorn at all
This marble coat of white,
This burnished horn of bronze,
The deep brown eyes with their hypnotic, innocent gaze–
It’s all unseelie fairy glamour
Inside is a black-hearted ghoul
One false move and it will drag you into the water
It will pull you under
The waves over your head
And you stare up at them
As your life drains down to the bottom of the sea
And the sun shines on the top of the water
And you wonder what just happened
I forgot to note this one on the day of the anniversary: March 1. That tells me that the emotional impact is beginning to lessen.
But it was two years ago, as of March 1, that I mailed my letter to Social Services, reporting everything I had witnessed and which Richard had told me of the abuse in their home. It was nerve-wracking, and not done until I had gone through a full year of soul-searching, reflecting and research.
The year started in late winter 2010, when I witnessed Tracy smacking her tiny toddler hard on the back of the head. I was so shocked and appalled that I could hardly believe my eyes–and that she could do it right in front of me.
For many days after, I was in turmoil, wondering how I could justify remaining friends with her after she did that, wondering if I was morally obligated to call CPS, if it was morally bankrupt of me to not call the police right when it happened, or at least stand up for that little girl and say to never EVER do that to her again.
I’ve done some research into slapping small children like that: You can cause brain damage, and children have been seriously hurt or even died when smacked like that, as they banged into furniture.
A short time after, another friend of theirs, Chris, complained that his abusive wife was smacking his son on the back of the head; they said they do this to their kids all the time, and even justified it! I could see in Chris’ eyes that he was shocked by this. I, also, tried to be a voice of reason, saying this is not right.
I hoped that would do the trick, and satisfy my conscience. But there were so many other things going on that not only did I fear for the children’s emotional, psychological and physical well-being, but I also feared that the domestic violence in that household would lead to something horrible.
However, I was still not sure it was my place to say anything to CPS, because they were my friends.
When they proved themselves to not be my friends, I did not want to be vindictive, as I told a friend who used to work in a domestic violence shelter. But he told me not to let friendship stand in the way of doing what’s right.
Still, it took a lot more research, many more months, viewing The Boondock Saints for a second time, and a series of e-mails with another friend (who works in group homes for kids in the system), to finally get the courage to write that letter and send it.
My friend wrote that Richard and Tracy both sounded very abusive, that she grew up in such an environment and her sisters still suffered the effects of it, so she begged me to make the report.
I wrote the letter to the best of my memory, including what I witnessed and what I had heard from Richard/Tracy themselves.
I trembled as I readied the letter and put it in the mailbox.
I was frightened that they would figure out who sent it, and do something awful to me in retaliation, even though I wrote in the letter, “I don’t believe they mean to harm their children (or each other), and they do love them very much, but they seem to desperately need help.”
But it was freeing. At long last, my conscience was clear, knowing that I had done what was right for those children.
And it was also validated when I discovered, months later, that on the very same day, March 1, Richard was officially charged with child abuse, for an event/report which had absolutely nothing to do with mine.
This film opens with mass in a Boston Catholic church, where Irish American fraternal twin brothers Connor McManus (Sean Patrick Flanery) and Murphy McManus (Norman Reedus) pray while a sermon is read, mentioning Kitty Genovese, a real-life crime victim brutally murdered while her neighbors watched without intervening.
As the priest begins his homily, the brothers approach the altar and kiss the feet of a crucifix. They depart as the priest reminds the congregation that they should fear not just evil but also the “indifference of good men”.
So take courage when you witness child abuse. You could save a child’s life.
You will note that the incident which led to Richard’s charges, happened long before I made my report. What if he had killed her, which he could have easily done?
But her angel kept that from happening. And I became a material angel to her and the other children.
I noted with some surprise that I missed the date when it came. I certainly remembered it last year, the one-year anniversary. This tells me that some of the trauma is beginning to fade.
But I still get jumpy when around other parents and children. I hope to not witness more abuse. I keep a sharp eye out when deciding which new acquaintances should become closer, if I’ve seen them get too harsh with their children. I don’t want to go through this again.
I’m not sure where this image originated, but I found it on the BGBC Defamation Lawsuit Archive on Julie Anne Smith’s blog. I also found it on some Tea Party site, but I am so NOT linking there. 😛
This is for anybody who’s a whistleblower. On Smith’s blog, it was used to illustrate spiritual abuse, and how the congregation can turn on the one who realizes they’re being led astray.
Julie Anne Smith is going through this right now, since her former pastor sued her for defamation (and lost) because of her blog, and she still gets attacked through online comments from her former fellow congregants.
Heck, Chuck O’Neal himself (the former pastor) has even started his own counter-blog from outrage over losing both in court and in public opinion. He and his wife have escalated their campaign to vindicate themselves, taking it to ridiculous levels.
He even used the URL of Julie Anne’s original blog (before she switched from Blogger to WordPress), changing it from blogspot.com to .org, obviously to fool people into finding his blog instead.
I’ve seen the counter-blog, and it convinced me that Julie Anne is telling the truth! He’s so blinded by his own megalomania and abuse that he doesn’t even recognize how it shows through everything he posted! From the above linked archive:
As I have noted elsewhere in this Archive, one wonders if anything would actually have satisfied Mr. O’Neal in his craving and quest for “protecting and defending” his family and his church.
Wherever that urge and urgency comes from, it seems to have driven him to great lengths to refute the alleged lies of his nemeses – Julie Anne Smith and Meaghan Varela – with everything he can.
In addition to his church-related duties, he spent time with press releases and documents and other tasks related to preparing for the lawsuit.
He was already required to pay over $60,000 in the defendants’ court costs and attorneys’ fees, along with his own courts costs and fees for the services of at least three lawyers. But what could have been next – once the lawsuit had been dismissed?
It turns out that he is continuing the battle that he believes he has been called to engage in. His ongoing campaign deeply involves his family and his church in further activities. Some of these have been relatively predictable, while others have been quite unexpected….
According to the O’Neal’s website, Mrs. O’Neal created business cards that label Meaghan Varela and Julie Anne Smith as liars. These cards were designed to be handed out, used in public, perhaps even slipped under car windshield wipers.
The BGBC “Mothers Who Will Not Be Silenced!” campaign also now features magnetic van-vertisements for display on vehicles, with the all-caps slogans: “LEAVE MY CHILDREN ALONE!” and “I AM A TRUE SURVIVOR” plus the O’Neals’ website address.
From Julie Anne’s blog:
The story of spiritual abuse needs to be told. People are being hurt emotionally and spiritually by pastors who use bully tactics and we need a place to learn, to talk freely, and to heal. I will not be silenced. (source)
I started it in October, and it’s already finished, roughly 87,000 words. That’s about three months. It usually takes me longer to write a draft that size, but the inspiration hit and would not let go till it was done.
I’ve heard that passion like that can translate to the reader passionately reading it, while if the story bores the writer, it’ll bore the reader. So I hope this novel will turn out well.
Heck, now I feel like I’m addicted to the story and have to wean myself off writing it. But maybe not: The research should be exciting as well, since WWII was one of my obsessions in high school, and the reason why I took German. And then there’s tweaks, adding scenes that come to me, and the many revisions.
I’m very pleased with it, though now I have to let it sit while I do some more research into WWII Germany, make sure the background is sound. I have some websites and books which I can’t wait to delve into more deeply, especially this one about POW camps in Germany.
This is the revision of Unwilling Time-Traveler, transformed from my high school novella into a story of obsessive and narcissistic love. I took everything I learned about narcissism after my experience with my narc ex-friend Richard, and after revisiting abusive relationships from college.
A patriotic, young American girl from 1992 meets a time-traveling mad scientist, her Svengali. He’s also a wealthy German Junker from 1943, used to getting what he wants by any means necessary. They become obsessed with each other, but then she discovers he’s a Nazi sympathizer, who’s also obsessed with building a weapon to change the course of the War–and history. But he will not let her go, and she’s not so sure she wants him to.
This e-booklet takes the common perception of abuse victims–as passive, not assertive enough, even passive-aggressive–and turns it on its ear. It shows how the apparent “passiveness” of victims is actually a form of resistance, especially after the abuser has shown that blatant resistance brings on more abuse.
It also tears apart the idea that if you’re a true victim, you don’t recognize the abuse, unless you’re a narcissist or the abuser yourself.
No, I know very well when someone is abusing me, and I don’t like it. I recognize it’s unfair. Whether I try to fight back or just turn it around in my own head, I am resisting the abuser’s picture of me. That does NOT make me a narcissist or an abuser or a liar about being abused.
More recently, Richard and Tracy did this to me. I resisted, sometimes in my head, sometimes in other ways. I resisted by telling my husband all about it, so Richard and Tracy accused me yet again of doing something wrong by telling him.
When Tracy posted about me on her Facebook wall, I resisted by posting the truth on mine.
I resisted by telling the truth about the abuse to everyone I knew, and also by writing about it on my website. Yes, I wanted them to find it and see that I was resisting their abuse rather than blaming myself. Then when they found the website and threatened to sue me, I resisted by keeping the site up and telling all my friends and family about their threats.
When they went to my priest and told him lies about me, I resisted by telling my priest the truth.
According to this booklet, rather than feel ashamed of my actions, I should see them as strength, as preserving my dignity.
Some people will try to make the abuse victim either 1) feel she/he wasn’t assertive enough, or 2) feel she was too aggressive, shouldn’t have told because that’s “gossip.”
But this booklet tears that to shreds and says NO, this is how victims resist abuse, and it is a GOOD thing that helps them keep their dignity:
At the moment, the prognosis is not good: one or two years. No change, good or bad, in the last scan.
Because we are two states away and have to go through heavy traffic and tolls in between, along with paying for a hotel room, it has become much harder to make the trip than it used to be. So the last time we saw my family was two years ago. Back then, there was no known cancer. My dad has changed significantly in that time, his vigor gone, his body wasting. He still has hair, at least.
My mom is tired. My brother who lives with them, was always a pesky bully, but Mom says he’s mellowed quite a bit because of dad’s illness. He even stuck around to socialize with us instead of vanishing into his upper suite.
It is difficult to hear them speak of funeral plans and realize that I could see my dad in one in a short time.
I recently dreamed that I was at college still, and he came to visit for a father-and-daughter day.
Over the weekend, hubby, son and I drove through the streets of my hometown, and I showed my son the sights: the big buildings downtown, the artwork and East Race of the river outside the Century Center, the sidewalk where I believe I got lost at age 2, my childhood church and the stained glass window-wall. Only the red-brick road by the church, with its familiar hum, has been paved over long since.
And I remembered my youthful dad taking me to church sometimes when it was just the two of us, all sorts of memories of the old days. Youthful meaning, the same age I am now. He and Mom were the same ages at my birth, as my husband and I were at our son’s.
Then last night, my MP3 player, hooked up to the car stereo, played this song about losing a loved one:
And while this strain takes hold, I see my stalkers return to my site and then check out the church website on Christmas Eve. (I run it, and saw their IP visit both my and the church’s sites. No one at my church knows about my personal website.) I wonder if they’re planning to annoy me again or, by some slight chance, make peace.
If you have any mercy at all, my stalkers, make peace or leave me in peace. This is difficult enough.
I just looked at a calendar and figured that in about a month’s time (not sure of the exact start date), I’ve written about 30,000 words of my Unwilling Time-Traveler massive rewrite. That’s half a standard-size novel.
It’s turning into a story of obsession. I changed the ages of Madge and Bismarck to entirely change the nature of their relationship. It’s turned into one of those abusive narc-controller relationships, as Madge discovers her love is a Nazi, and fights to get away–and also rather Gothic as he locks her up. Sort of a Gothic/Sci-Fi/WWII story.
And meanwhile, I’m obsessed with my story of obsession.
I won’t reveal more, because saying too much about a story before it’s finished, could lead to never finishing it. I also don’t like to show my writing to anyone before it’s done.
It’s filling my brain constantly. It’s exhilarating, having all these creative thoughts flooding my mind at all times.
Also a bit inconvenient, because I’m still trying to keep up with household responsibilities and my reading. (For years, along with novels, I’ve been feeding my brain every night with historical or theological works, news, the Bible, and learning four different languages. It prevents brain drain.)
And in only a month, half of the novel is done. I’m still working on the plot, which was already in my head (the original story) but has morphed quite a bit over the past month. Filling in characterization and showing (not telling) should take care of the word count once the basic plot is finished.
And while I work, I’ve discovered that Industrial Goth/EBM is wonderful for keeping the inspiration going. It’s all I want to listen to these days. Shout-Out to Sanctuary Goth Industrial Radio, which gives me what I crave. Also these tracks, which are full of the energy and passion this work needs: