My Site is Having Hiccups.

Availability will be sporadic until I sort out what to do with it.  For the past three days, I have struggled with a sudden and unexplained crash.  Hopefully I can keep my site here in its customary spot.  I’m also contemplating going back to Blogger or a .com WordPress, where the techs can make sure everything stays put.  (Both would allow me to track stats, though I wouldn’t be able to block anyone.)  But if so, I plan to at least keep my domain name.

 

On the Katrina Kennedy-Flores Video

Yes, screaming IS abuse. 

It’s not the cuss words themselves that make it abuse–especially for a toddler who probably doesn’t know the difference between a cuss word and a “regular” word–but the anger behind it.  The kid recognizes the anger.  And yes, physical abuse followed, but the screaming alone was verbal and emotional abuse.  You can hear the terror in that poor kid’s voice.  He’s just a baby!

A few links with good information on this case:

Child abuse video posted on Facebook: Katrina Kennedy-Flores arrested, child in protective custody

Mother arrested for child abuse; bystander cited for recording, not intervening

Mother, 27, arrested after sickening video of her punching and threatening to KILL her two-year-old son for losing her phone charger was posted online

The links also discuss the bystander who filmed the abuse, Sue.  People are saying nasty things about her and making death threats, but the story is that she can barely walk or move, and made the video to prove her allegations.  That she had spoken to the mother before, and was frustrated at no results from CPS in the past.  She said she and her son, also in the video, were frightened for their own lives.

I also got the impression, while watching, that they were trying to find the charger to try to pacify the mother and stop the tirade.  I’m not quite sure what someone who can barely move is supposed to do.  As for her son, I see comments that he’s mentally disabled; I don’t know what that means in his case.

She has been charged for not intervening, so she’ll get her day in court to have a jury decide if she was able to intervene or not.  Let them do it, not Facebook lynch mobs.  I know for myself how you can be terrified by a wild woman, and afraid to do anything but watch in disbelief and horror as she smacks a kid around.

In any case, she says herself that she didn’t do enough.  But she made the video to get evidence so something would finally be done about the abuse.  And something has finally been done.  Let’s not make it even harder for people to get the courage to report abuse.  It’s already scary enough; I was terrified when I reported Tracy.

I detest the Youtube etc. comments on Sue’s weight, even saying her weight is probably her disability.  Excuse me, but do you know anything at all about her medical history?  Maybe her weight came from her disability, not the other way around.  Maybe she has a tumor or glandular problem.  Maybe her legs are paralyzed or arthritic.  You don’t know, so don’t presume to know, and don’t fat-shame her over it.

I’ve seen comments on this video–as you typically do every time one of these videos comes out–that screaming is not abuse.  But I was glad to see responses that yes, it is, screaming is very harmful to a young child, and people should learn about child development before making statements like that.

I’ve written about the abuses I witnessed from Tracy here; this not only traumatized me, but drove me to post here and on Facebook so adamantly against child abuse.  It’s my way to work out the trauma.

I’ve heard her scream at her children in decibels like in the video.  And yes, I was frightened of her, too.  The abusive episodes didn’t last long enough for me to do anything about it, probably tempered because of my presence.  But her husband told me about more intense episodes, especially when she lived with her parents and away from his influence.

I reported Tracy for it, but I have no idea if Social Services did anything about it, or just dropped the ball as often happens in these cases–including the Kennedy-Flores case before this video was made.

Keep in mind cell phones didn’t have videotaping abilities back then, so I couldn’t have made a record; I can only hope Tracy’s children had the courage to speak up and substantiate what I reported.  But children can often be too terrified to do so.

This is what made me want nothing to do with Tracy.  And while sometimes her husband would tell me she was abusive toward their children, sometimes he defended her and even said screaming is not abuse.

So it encourages me greatly to see people step up and say, No, this IS abuse, and it causes serious harm to children even without bruises or broken bones.  It gives me hope that one day, child abuse of all kinds will diminish.

It also encourages me greatly to see that something was done in this case, and the mother is up on charges.

Though many appear to share my frustration that other crimes often seem to get tougher charges and sentences than ones for child abuse, such as Tracy’s husband–also an abuser–only getting probation for choking his kid.

This is another reason why I post about these things: because the system so badly failed in prosecuting Tracy’s husband, giving him a misdemeanor and probation, when he originally was charged with felonies and should’ve gotten prison time.

So obviously, while our country has made many good changes, it still has a long way to go to stamp out child abuse.  The laws need more teeth–and not for people who simply let their kids walk to the park alone, but for people who emotionally, verbally and physically abuse their kids.

Hopefully Kennedy-Flores won’t simply walk with a plea deal for probation as well.

Update 5/21/16: From this page:

The home owner claims she uploaded the video to the internet because police were not acting fast enough to take the child away after her son allegedly handed the footage into police.

Sue’s sister said she and her family are receiving death threats from Flores-Kennedy.

Sue has been charged for not intervening but claims she couldn’t because she is disabled and was scared for her teenage son’s welfare who was in the house at the time, ABC 7 News reports.

Women like this child’s mother frighten not just small children, but adults as well.  Keep that in mind, and how scared the child was just by screams, before she even touched him.  The above link also includes a video of an interview with Sue.

Woman Who Called Police

 

According to the study, researchers analyzed 75 studies that involve more than 160,000 children in a span of 50 years.

They found spanking a child leads to bad behaviors, not better manners.

Researchers said spanked kids are more likely to be aggressive and antisocial. They said their findings are incredibly consistent, and show no correlation between spanking and positive outcomes.

“Our analysis focuses on what most Americans would recognize as spanking and not on potentially abusive behaviors,” said Elizabeth Gershoff, an associate professor of human development and family sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. “We found that spanking was associated with unintended detrimental outcomes and was not associated with more immediate or long-term compliance, which are parents’ intended outcomes when they discipline their children.”

Spanking and physical abuse results had the same detrimental child outcomes in the same direction and nearly the same strength.

“We as a society think of spanking and physical abuse as distinct behaviors,” Gershoff said. “Yet our research shows that spanking is linked with the same negative child outcomes as abuse, just to a slightly lesser degree.” —Study: Spanking leads to bad behaviors, not better manners

 

Twitter Campaign on Emotional Abuse

A friend shared this on Facebook on Thursday:

These 17 Tweets will completely change how you think about emotional abuse

A few of the Tweets sounded familiar:

but he won’t let you go home or see your friends very often or at all.

but instead he isolates you and destroys all of you platonic relationships so he’s all you have

, but he tells you what friends you’re “allowed” to have.

Also this one from #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou Highlights the Reality of Emotional Abuse:

but he tries to control who you talk to, where you go, what friends you can have, and acts like it’s out of love.

And from Women Are Using A Powerful Hashtag To Talk About Emotional Domestic Abuse:

but he’d convince you to hate your parents & friends and to push them away completely because they didn’t like him.

(There are lots more tweets on this theme.  Every page I read on this, people tweet about the emotional abuser telling you whom you’re allowed to be friends with, when you can see them, making you ask permission before seeing opposite-sex friends, etc.)

The above tweets remind me of two people:

First, Tracy, wife of Richard, who had strict rules on who could be his friends and what he could do with them (other than the obvious of don’t cheat).  She had to meet them, had to be their friend too, had to approve them.  Until you got her approval, you had to jump through her hoops, which were constantly changing and which you never knew existed half the time.

It’s so good to see other people confirming what I already knew, but which Richard and Tracy tried to convince me was wrong: that controlling your spouse’s friendships is abuse.  This helps heal my mind, which is still recovering from all their gaslighting.  I want to make a note every time I see something confirming that I was correct, because it helps break down the gaslighting.

Second, Phil, my ex, who tried to separate me from my friends in various ways: He shamed me for not sticking up for him for supposed slights, slights which never even happened.  He told me they hated him, and got upset with me if I wanted to spend some time with them after dinner in the cafeteria.  (He and I spent lots of time together, so that wasn’t the reason.)  Then after the breakup, he even convinced his best friend that my friends were terrible to him.  The friend then came to me and lectured me on how “badly” I treated Phil and that I should distance myself from these horrible friends.

but he compares you to other women, criticizes your body and constantly tells you, you aren’t doing enough for him.

but he screams at you even if you did nothing wrong.

but he criticised you everyday, he compared you to “better” women & told you you will never be/look good enough.

Yep, that was Phil, too.

Another webpage on this campaign: Daily Share: #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou Highlights the Pain of Emotional Abuse

More on abuse, isolation and ditching friendships because of a jealous spouse

I came across a discussion last night on a verbally abusive marriage.  Somebody commented that maybe the husband’s anger was partially caused by a friend, Grant, he was jealous of, that the wife could help the situation by re-evaluating her friendship with the guy her husband, Jodie, sees as a rival.

But the response to this was unanimous: Jodie’s abusive behavior was all his own fault, and ditching Grant would actually be a very bad idea.  They said this would help make the wife believe his anger was actually her fault, that she can do anything at all about it.  For one thing, they note that a functioning adult who’s jealous of a friend would talk to her about it, not engage in various soul-killing abusive behaviors.  One person wrote,

I agree that Jamie .. er .. Jodie is probably modeling Grant as a threat. And you know what? Grant doesn’t sound like a hysterical abusive monster so I bet at some level Grant is a threat. The threat of a reasonable person it’s nice to spend time with, eat with, not pander to for 8 hour long tantrums on unrelated topics.

That potential cause doesn’t change much about the toxicity of the environment or Jodie’s total inability to be civilized and loving in response. Threats to a relationship happen! Here is how a healthy conversation on The Grant Matter might go:

“Huh, I sure got upset there. That’s odd.”
“Yes, you seem really mad about something. Surely not just some TV show.”
“Yeah. I felt particularly angry at Grant. Why does he have to spend so much time here?”
“I like him! Don’t you? Wait, is this about him?”
“Maybe I’m worried you feel more than just ‘like’ for him.”

(Aha light follows, insight, healthy exchange of insecurities and needs, box of tissues, attempts to adjust thoughts, feelings and behaviors, gestures of good faith, reconciliation, ending in “I love you and let’s try to work this out”, etc. etc.) —Comment

Another poster pointed out that giving up Grant would actually be a very bad idea, because it would cost her a connection to someone who can help her, and make her think that Jodie’s anger is somehow HER fault:

A couple of people up thread expressed concern that your relationship with Jodie may be losing you friends. This can happen in subtle ways, but it can also happen in extraordinarily straight-forward ways. Like, you can become isolated and friendless because you stop seeing a best friend because that best friend makes your husband feel threatened. Imagine how your husband would understand the problem, if you could get him to admit he’s jealous. I bet it would sound something like this: “I need you to stop hanging out with Grant so much, because he makes me jealous.” Or maybe like this: “Yeah, your friendship with Grant is what makes me so upset.” Or maybe like this: “I wouldn’t be so angry all the time if you weren’t such great friends with Grant.” No matter how it’s worded, however, the sentiment is the same. And, to spell it out, the sentiment is this: “My anger is actually your fault, and you can solve it by getting rid of your friend.”

That’s not a good attitude. If you stopped hanging around with Grant, or even just dialed your friendship back a bit, in order to help Jodie stop feeling so jealous, what you are doing is falling yet again into the trap of taking responsibility for Jodie’s emotions and bending backwards to assuage him. And you’d lose a friend. You’d lose something that matters to you, because he has a problem.

Is that fair?

…Please, if at any point you find yourself with this choice, “Either I give up a friendship/connection to another, or my husband will be angry,” don’t give up that connection. Because we need human contact, and being in contact with normal, healthy people is a good way to keep sane, yourself. Does that make sense? Let that be a defining point: whatever your husband’s anger issues, you don’t have to sacrifice friends. —Comment

The commenters also noted that isolating a spouse is how abusers cut them off from people who can help them.

My ex Phil tried to isolate me from my friends, because they saw him for what he was.  I was also horribly abused by someone who saw me as a threat and tried to cut me off from friendship with her husband.  She’s also extremely abusive.

This is a huge red-flag warning of abuse, so I’m glad to see people realizing this, instead of the typical “ditch the friend if your husband/wife is jealous” or blaming the friendship for the abuse.  And yeah, Grant became very important when Jodie’s wife finally decided to leave, because he helped her get out.  I saw nothing in there about a budding romance, just somebody who helped.

 

A few thoughts on Trump getting the nomination

There isn’t much to be said that the late-night comedians (Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, Larry Wilmore) haven’t already said.  It’s ridiculous, ludicrous, and frightening.

But I’m not sure what concerns the Republican establishment more:

1) that a narcissistic, sociopathic, bully, entitled buffoon who wants to put his name on everything and bang his daughter (thanks Trevor Noah), and could send us into nuclear WWIII with the entire world (even our allies) through his quick insults, is their nominee,

2) that he has said things which make many of us–even the ones who recognize that labeling everything “Hitler” or “Nazi” is a weak argument–think of Hitler and the Nazis,

3) that he’s most likely going to lose in a landslide to Hillary Clinton, leading to another four years of a Democratic president (a great thing, yeah, but they’d hate it because they want to dismantle all the good things Obama accomplished, like the AHC Act),

4) or that he’s thumbing his nose at much of the Republican platform.  It was really weird recently to realize that Clown Prince Trump is more moderate than, say, Cruz, whose very name makes me }}}shudder{{{ .

It was amusing watching the clips on TV of how my birth state received Cruz }}}shudder{{{ .  No, I don’t believe Indiana has the Wisconsin reputation for being uber-nice, which is probably where my acerbic sense of humor came from, even though I have to keep it in check around the hubby.

Every election cycle, I hope for the best candidates to be put up so that even if the other guy wins–which is usually the case–I won’t feel like the city/state/country is going to go down in flames.  The GOP had some decent candidates, many of which I would’ve greatly preferred, such as Kasich.  Instead, it’s turning out to be Trump vs. Hillary, even though Bernie is still fighting on (Go Bernie!  Feel the Bern!).

Yeah, I know Bernie’s policies could put us hugely in debt, but remember, President is NOT King.  We have a huge Congress to keep the President in check (which is why Obama has, sadly, been unable to do much of what he’s wanted to do, especially closing the notorious Guantanamo).  Also, character matters a great deal, which is why so many of us don’t want Trump–and, by the way, why so many don’t want Hillary.  At least Bernie has character.

On the one hand, seeing Trump clinch the nomination isn’t so terrible when I realize that the Democrats are now almost certain to win the Presidency in November, so there’s little chance of him becoming the President anyway.

Except–Well, that’s what people said about him becoming the nominee.  :{  :O  Better read up on how they used to escape from WWII POW camps, because we might need some escape ideas when they start rounding up the Muslims for concentration camps.  😛

BerlinCarnivalTrump

CthulhuMeme

Which one will eat fewer of your children?

Germans know fascism when they see it.

While Americans can joke about “Soup Nazis” and Hitler mustaches, Germans know firsthand what it means when a failed businessman moves from a fringe candidate to a leader who takes over your democracy and burns everything to hell.

I learned this, repeatedly, while I was in Germany for a weeklong lecture on the 2016 U.S. presidential election hosted by the State Department and German officials.

As I hopped from one beautiful, Old World city to another, from Hamburg to Frankfurt to Munich to Berlin, every person I spoke to said that the rise of business mogul-turned-reality-TV star-turned-GOP front-runner Donald Trump reminded them of the early stages of Adolf Hitler’s rise to power.

…At a reporter’s roundtable in Frankfurt with Germany’s version of NPR, someone asked me for the hundredth time, “Can Donald Trump actually win the American election?” I gave my boilerplate answer regarding the numbers, his behavior, the nation’s temperament; that a Trump presidential win in 2016 just doesn’t seem that likely.

Then an older woman, maybe in her 60s, who’d been anxiously listening, started talking.

“I guess I’m the oldest here, so I’ll just come out and say it,” she said, looking around the room. “You say he can’t win, you say not enough people take him seriously, you say not in your democracy. We were saying the same thing in 1933.”
 –Jason Johnson, To Germans, There’s Something Familiar About Donald Trump

 

Response to Lauren Shifflett’s story of sexual trauma by church leader

I came across the following post through a WordPress plugin which brings up supposedly similar blog posts to link to in your own posts:

Now We Are Free by Lauren Shifflett

She writes of her sexual abuse and harassment by a youth leader in her church, but prefaces this with how she was bullied as a kid.  I saw similarities with my own experiences, but her comments are turned off (probably because people get mean), so I’m writing this blog response instead.

She, like me, was rejected as a girlfriend, but was a target of sexual harassment by her male peers.  This put all sorts of negative opinions of herself into her head.  She

couldn’t understand why ninety percent of boys found me repulsive and the remaining ten percent felt this strange need to expose themselves to me in some sexual way.

Same thing with me.  My first memory of sexual harassment was from Kindergarten.  I loved to wear dresses.  Every day I wore a dress, preferred them to pants.  Then one day on the way home from school, a couple of boys, smaller than I was, cornered me and kept lifting up my skirt and laughing.

My mother never understood why, all of a sudden, I insisted on wearing pants instead of dresses, because I never told her.

There was the guy who pulled up next to me as I walked to school, and opened the passenger door for me to get in, but I was too smart for him and walked on.

There was the middle-aged man who kept wanting to hug me at church.  It may have been perfectly innocent, but I didn’t know him and it made me feel weird, so I didn’t like him.  I didn’t trust him at all.  I don’t recall him doing this to other girls, just me.

In elementary and junior high, I got a lot of bullying in general because I was different from the other kids.  I couldn’t figure out what it was about me that set them off, because to myself I seemed normal.

No matter what I did in public, I began to feel very awkward about it.  For example, I preferred to always carry something or have my hands in my pockets as I walked, because just walking made me self-conscious.

In junior high, once some kid put a sign on my back during a fire drill.  I never knew what it said because I finally knocked it off, having felt it go on.  But everyone around me was laughing–even my teacher!

The teacher, who struck me as being a classic stereotypical nerd complete with pocket protector, should have known better, but he laughed anyway.

My freshman year in high school, I was also sexually harassed by three guys, two of them together.

One of them kept making sexual comments to me at lunch, and once even put his penis on the table next to me.  I refused to look, but know he did it, because of the reactions of the guys around him.

I couldn’t stand the school’s chicken sandwiches after that because that’s what I was eating at the time, so it reminded me of it.

Now I know that I could’ve switched tables to get away from them, but at the time I felt trapped into sitting at that one table because that’s where I sat at the beginning of the year.  I didn’t realize that I could sit at a different table with other kids.

I’m not sure why I felt that I had to sit at that table, but it could have been an NVLD thing: “You can’t change the pattern you’ve already set!”

After lunch we would all stand by the door and wait for the bell; I can remember this guy doing or saying something while we stood in line, so much that I crouched down as if to protect myself.  But I just don’t remember what exactly he was doing.

The two other guys, who sat at the table behind mine in Biology class second semester, would spend the class period making sexual comments to me.  Once, one spoke so loudly to me during the lecture that the teacher stopped and scolded them.

I don’t know why I didn’t tell the teachers what was happening; a friend told me to do so about the lunch period bully, but something kept me quiet.  In fact, in general I was a passive recipient of bullying.  I just didn’t fight back.

Meanwhile, my Photography teacher made at least one such comment as well.  (I don’t know why all this happened the same year.)

All first semester he’d been harassing me for being a Christian and having conservative values, even though I don’t recall saying a whole lot about them in class or much of anything, really, unless spoken to.

Other kids in Photography class joined in on the religious harassment, including a witch who told me her coven killed my cat (all I said was he went missing on Halloween and never came back), and one day started yelling at me that maybe God is the liar and the Devil is telling the truth–until a Jewish girl told her to quit it and leave me alone.

Then one day, during a work period, the teacher was sitting on a stool at a large table when I had to get around an obstruction of some type.  I don’t remember the details now, what the obstruction was, or anything.  But I didn’t want to go behind him to get around, because there wasn’t enough room and I’d run into his butt.

Rather than leave me alone like any decent man would do, he ridiculed me and told me to go behind him.

I don’t know why on earth I did this like an idiot–probably because I had grown up with the mindset that you do whatever a teacher tells you–but I started going the other way to go behind him, like an obedient student.

He started humming or moaning, and a girl said to me with wide eyes, “Better not do that.”

The following semester, I ditched that class and switched to a class on life skills.  He was a major reason why, both from this and from his religious harassment.

(We learned about such things as teen pregnancy, whether you should marry the teen father, domestic abuse, and watched movies about tough lives like one about teen runaways and The Burning Bed.)

That year or the next, a letter to the editor of the school newspaper complained about an unnamed teacher who would sexually harass students.  I always wondered if the girl who “rescued” me was the writer and if she meant my Photography teacher.  (I must have forgotten her name already.)

All these things happened freshman year, and that year I began to get an ulcer from the stress.  After every lunch period, my stomach was in a lot of pain.

My junior year, I developed headaches from TMJ in my jaw, another stress-related condition, even though the freshman year bullies had either graduated or were no longer in my classes.

Meanwhile, freshman year I had a couple of guys want to date me, but my mom wouldn’t let me until I turned 16.  After that, nobody seemed interested.  I now know that one guy was in love with me senior year, but never worked up the courage to say so, so I had no clue.  Even when I thought for sure a guy liked me, he’d insist that he didn’t.  Or date another girl.  But I was a target for harassment.

In college, a similar problem arose.  Outright sexual harassment didn’t happen so much, but once again, few guys wanted to date me, but even Christian ones preferred to use my body.  One claimed to love me, but turned out to be an abusive narcissist who sexually abused and kept trying to assault me because I did not want to do anal or oral sex.

The one who used me, ripped me apart constantly, then criticized me for being too “negative” and reserved.  How could I feel more confident and open when he kept essentially telling me I was unloveable?

And yes, you internalize this.  I felt much as Lauren did.  I didn’t have a boyfriend at 15 like she did, so there was no sexual activity back then, but I do know how this makes you feel like you’re just a weirdo who no one will actually love, and ugly.  My mom got upset with me for not thinking I was pretty, but how could I think so when this is how I got treated?  I felt ugly.

This is part of the reason why Richard found me so malleable, when he started paying all sorts of attention to me, calling me constantly right before he moved into my house, and then, while here, spending all his time with me.

He basically groomed me, through all this love-bombing and slowly but steadily making me think that his in-secret physical affection was appropriate for friends.  (None of it sexual, but it was way too much.)  When I got concerned about what he was doing, thought we had started an affair, and felt like absolute sh** over it, he said, no, no, no, this was all perfectly innocent FRIENDly behavior.

Then a few of his friends sexually harassed me in an IRC chatroom.  Just yet more of what I’d experienced in high school, only now online.  The whole story is here, too long for this post.  They began making comments about my genitals, totally unprovoked by me, and while Richard saw it all.  His wife even came online and talked about inviting these guys to their house!

But later on, when I asked Richard to not talk about the harassers around me because I was still traumatized by what they did, he said I was being “ridiculous” and that he thought I realized that online “isn’t real.”

I thought he was safe.  He planned to become an Orthodox priest, and had actually been a Foursquare preacher in his youth.  He manipulated my emotions and tore me apart, over a period of a few years.  He eventually even admitted to having hypnotized me without my knowing it.  He said it was to make me open up to him; I have often wondered if it was also to make me more open to his grooming.

Because he was convicted of choking one of his children, he can no longer become a priest, but I fear him still becoming a psychologist.  I hope the conviction will prevent that as well.  Todd says that Richard used his supposed superior knowledge of psychology to bully him; Richard did a similar thing to me.

I believe that Richard is a narcissist who zeroed in quickly on my vulnerability.  I had been married for years, so the lack of a boyfriend was a long-gone problem.  But I still felt the insecurities of those growing-up years, and was incredibly lonely for friendship.

(This is one major reason why I don’t want this man in my church or anywhere even touching my life.  I fear my own vulnerability, along with knowing that he is also capable of physical violence, having served probation for choking his kid.  He was once a mob thug, and has even threatened violence to my husband.  He is able to con people into thinking he’s a pious man with a big heart, so they end up doing his dirty work, as I did some of his when he screwed over his friend Todd.  I also don’t want his wife in my church, because she’s just as bad: She can pretend to be a decent person, but is extremely abusive, emotionally, verbally and physically–and when you recognize it, she smears you, as she did to Todd.  Both she and Richard have also mocked and tried to intimidate me, and have demonstrated stalker tendencies.)

Richard zeroed in, just as the youth leader, Luke, zeroed in on Lauren’s vulnerability.  Luke began an affair with Lauren, and when she tried to end it, began stalking her.  Then she suffered because of the lax response of her church, some apparently taking his side over hers, as her sister describes here.  She does not feel safe at that church anymore.

Just as I feel not at all safe when I think of Richard and his wife just casually showing up at my church again, as they’ve done from time to time, or even becoming part of it now that their church has merged with mine.

Church needs to be a safe place.

 

3 Reblogs on narcissist traits

All three of these posts, which I recently read, have been helpful because they explain some things that my most recent bullies did, which puzzled me:

First, two blogs just posted on Grace for My Heart:

Territoriality:

One of the most common ways for the narcissist to control the world is to be protective about his/her stuff.  I use the word “stuff” to describe just about anything you want to put in its place.  Whatever the narcissist decides belongs to him.  His house, his workspace, his chair, his car, his sports equipment, his seat at church, his parking spot, his computer, his camera, and on and on and on.  You recognize this territoriality when he makes it clear that no one should ever touch his stuff.

I saw this in both of my recent bullies: Richard, yelling and screaming at my husband and me for things like trying to move stuff off the table so we can start a game, or wiping a little honey off the table before setting my books down on it.  Yet he and his wife kept that place in such horrific conditions that it was not just dirty, but unsanitary, the kind of place that makes you ill.  So they didn’t keep it up, but nobody else was allowed to touch it, either–not even to clean a little honey off the table.

Then there was also Tracy, who was so territorial about her husband that she made everybody–male AND female–follow strict, extremely controlling rules if they wanted to be friends with him.

It fits, yet another piece of the narcissist puzzle.

The second blog by Grace, posted yesterday:

Personal Space:

At the same time, most of these narcissists (not all) are very generous with their own touching. They will put their hands on someone’s shoulders to give a phony back rub. They will put their arms around someone’s shoulders. They will shake hands and hold on too long. They will hug people of the opposite gender when it might seem unnecessary. Some are even willing to risk harassment charges with their touch.

…And we can also see why the narcissist would want to touch others. If touch is a way of controlling, breaking through personal barriers or boundaries, then the narcissist must at least try. Putting his arm around the young lady is a way to see if she will be receptive to his influence. Putting his hands on a co-worker’s shoulders is a way of exerting his superiority. Stepping in or sitting too close might be a way of threatening. Whenever others are uncomfortable, the narcissist sees an opportunity.

This explains Richard: breaking through my reserved boundaries, getting me used to the idea of opposite-sex friends being affectionate, not sexually but still in a manner I was not used to.  This post explains that this is about control, seeing how much influence a narc can have over a person.  And yeah, he did manipulate me quite a bit.  Nowadays, I know people who are affectionate like him, but IN FRONT of significant others, not secretly.  And everybody laughs and knows it’s harmless.  Not like Richard did it.  I get upset with myself at times, remembering how gullible I was with him.

Then this one by Lucky Otter:

5 weird things you may see a narcissist do:

In fact, their personal hygiene and grooming is sometimes downright disgusting. It’s almost as if they think they’re too smart to be bothered with trying to look decent….But some cerebral narcissists live in squalor, wallowing in their filthy surroundings like a pig wallowing in mud.

So that’s what that was: yet another aspect of narcissism. 😛

My abusive ex was this way as well, refusing to shower for weeks on end, rarely brushing his teeth.

These posts explain a lot, that no, it’s not unique to my experiences, but common.  All are worth checking out.

 

Okay, maybe not finished with 1st draft yet: Getting into narc’s head

Regarding an earlier post, Finished with the first draft of my novel about obsession: I guess it’s nowhere near finished after all.

After doing some more research, more ideas have popped into my head of what to do with the book.  The ideas keep going back and forth, and I had to rewrite an entire section because research declared it totally implausible.

And because I had to rewrite that, I have to include more scenes developing a relationship between two characters which now has been altered, so they haven’t spent as much time together as they did before.

But now I’m also adding a second Point Of View character: the narc himself.  The thought of getting into his head is exhilarating, but I need to do much more research into his social class and how it related to the rise/fall of Naziism.  I have a book sitting beside my laptop which promises to explain it all.

There’s another thing: While writing the story, I found myself falling for him, just as the protagonist does.  Which is what you want, an appealing villain who captures the imagination of readers.  But he’s become less of a villain and more someone convinced he’s doing the right thing, even as he manipulates the protagonist.  Because my reading into narcissism shows a spectrum of narcissism, not just the malignant ones who enjoy screwing with you, but the ones who do it because they think they’re in the right.

And then over time, he starts to repent, because he’s not so far gone that he can’t.  The repentant villain seems to be a popular theme lately, at least in Once Upon a Time, and pops up occasionally in fiction, so I can go that route.  The repentant vampire comes up a lot, for example.  Remember how intriguing Spike became when he tried to do better without having a soul forcing the issue, unlike Angel?

I’ve noted that it seems to provide for more interesting villains, especially if they waver now and then.  Such as, for example, Gold/Rumpel, who keeps going back and forth between good and evil, first deceiving Belle, but now coming right out and laying it all on the table for her to know what kind of man he really is.  And well, Hubby and I LOVE his character.

And just the thought of needing to delve into my characters more, and write new sections of the book, fills me with glee.  Because I love this book and it constantly runs through my head.  🙂

 

Tracy Sighting….

Hubby came home today and told me he saw Tracy at the store.  They said nothing to each other.

He’s certain that after all this time, they’re not going to come to my church.  I don’t know about that, since they did check the service schedule on Christmas Eve.  (I run the website.  I didn’t go to the Christmas service.)  But then again, that was months ago, and the merger with their old church is common knowledge by now.

So maybe things will be fine.  In any case, I have friends who can rally around me if necessary.  They care and know my character, in case of attacks.  But maybe it won’t be a thing.  Or maybe R/T won’t come often enough to cause trouble.

What amazes me, though, is that anyone can go so many years knowing they’ve hurt another person, see that person or her husband around town on occasion, and never, ever once say, “I’m sorry.”  Or “I’m sorry I hurt your wife.  Please tell her so.”  Or “I’m sorry for causing drama in your life.”

Never once.  Ever.

And, in fact, defend their nastiness and refuse to admit they ever did anything wrong.

Which explains why they have a string of lost friendships.  I’m hardly the first, and there probably have been others after me.

Heck, I tried apologizing to her for hurting her when this all happened, even though I was the victim of her abuse.

Even my abusive or narcissistic exes have apologized to me.  Even people who bullied me in school have apologized to and/or made peace with me.

I don’t understand this.  I also don’t understand people treating others like this in the first place, the way she and her husband treated me.

People are making a big deal in the news lately about “Wisconsin Nice.”  Well, I can tell you that R/T aren’t from around here, or even the Midwest, for that matter.  Not that Wisconsin people can’t be rats: Even Canadians have some bad apples.  Narcissists, abusers and plain ol’ nasty people are everywhere.  But yeah, don’t let this crap I got from these people, make you think badly of Wisconsin people.  😛  Most people I know, don’t act like this.

But prayers/good wishes, please, for my continued healing and growing strength.

 

 

 

 

Reblog: The Adoration of the Konvertsky

From Second Terrace’s The Adoration of the Konvertsky:

I will deal more ethically with the reflexive irony. How go the konvertsky — that famous (or infamous) influx of unlikely American Anglicans and distraught establishment Protestants, and even more unlikely mishmash of “free church” Evangelicals and Charismatics — that immigrated into that patently odd jurisdictional ambiguity of the American Orthodox Church?

I hope that the majority of those who have left their own heterodox “Ur” and entered the Orthodox nave of Canaan have stayed. I hope that they and their families have continued along the eternal path of becoming, and have tasted the first fruits of theosis. I hope they have learned of the Church’s tradition and “theoria,” and have become wise in responding to the foolhardiness of this contemporaneity. I hope they have become adept at fighting the passions, and fending off the feints and wiles of the loathsome powers.

…There are, as you might expect, anecdotes, as far as data is concerned. I am aware of several narratives of ex-protestants who tell stories of disillusionment after five to ten years in Orthodoxy. The first apprehensions of beauty have worn off, and the frustration of relationships and disappointments have set in.

Other, more extreme, narratives include the exposure to egregious ecclesiastical misbehaviors. Some converts have seen Bad Things — and some of these converts have had Bad Things done to them. Some of them have seen persons in the Church not only ape the patterns of the world (“world” in its negative, not John 3.16, sense) — but have seen churchmen actually surpass the world in worldly behavior. Some converts have seen the Church replicate the marketplace DNA, having given religious preference to the term “entrepreneur” and have adopted the management-by-objective procedure and newspeak of corporate America.

…You take Communion differently now, and Chrismation is a one-way seal. You never experienced those things before — but the other part of deification is a providentially-ordered sequence of burden-bearing and grace-sharing. The disappointments from other people are such that God has elected you to bear that particular burden, and to bear His Grace to those particular people.

Yes, they hurt your feelings, but in our hurt feelings is His strength made manifest, and through our hurt feelings do we find the sufficiency of His Grace.

The entire blog post is here; it goes into the various kinds of converts–from the former Evangelicals and fundies, such as me, to former mainline Protestants–and various reasons why we can get disenchanted with Orthodoxy.  It includes the political right-wingers and left-wingers.  It goes into reasons why we should stay put and work on our own judgmentalism (wherever we fit on the spectrum of converts).

 

I made this meme about the GOP primaries….

CthulhuMeme

Which one will eat fewer of your children?

[I used http://memegenerator.net/Cthulhu/caption to make this.]

I’ve also used this as my cover photo on Facebook.  The Germans recognize fascism:

BerlinCarnivalTrump

Not that Cruz is any better.  I shudder whenever I think of him, too.  Not sure which is Nyar, which Cthulhu.

For the source of the Berlin Carnival picture: Donald Trump mocked at Carnival: Make fascism great again  (Though the Wehrmacht tank disturbed me, for obvious reasons.)

Also, from an Anglican priest: This Isn’t Funny Anymore: Why I’m Voting Against Donald Trump

4/6/16: Congrats to Bernie for winning Wisconsin.  I feel the Bern!  😀

Since after getting those “I voted” stickers I don’t normally go anyplace but back home, I’ve started putting them on my bicycle.  Hubby says it’s like fighter planes keeping tallies of how many planes they’ve shot down.  🙂

 

 

 

Reblog: “I May Have Been Wrong About Obama”/Possible New Third Party?

In fact, the top priority for Republicans wasn’t to help the nation recover from the disastrous recession created under President George W. Bush. As crudely articulated by Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, the top Republican priority was to make sure Obama wasn’t re-elected to a second term.

The Republican calculation was simple. If American economic misery continued for four more years, voters would be so enraged they’d throw out Obama and vote Republican.

That’s why Republicans began their cynical, anti-American program of voting against every Obama effort to create jobs and eviscerating the government’s economic safety net when it was needed most, making it even harder for struggling families to survive.

It’s difficult to say how much of the Republican opposition to Obama was rooted in racism. But the sheer contempt shown the first African American president was furious and unrelenting.

It led directly to 2010’s tea party backlash election that elected Gov. Scott Walker and other hard-core, right-wing politicians across America….

Republicans claim it’s not Obama’s race they hate. It’s his extreme left-wing policies. Except that President Obama doesn’t really have any radical left-wing policies. He’s a moderate Democrat, which is still a mainstream political philosophy in this country….

It’s Republicans who have left the mainstream. Now intelligent Republicans are watching in horror as racists destroy their party by nominating an unelectable, know-nothing demagogue.

To survive in a racially diverse America, decent Republicans are beginning to talk about creating a new third party based on legitimate conservative principles without any of the racial hatred. That’s how Lincoln’s abolitionist Republicans began. –Joel McNally, I May Have Been Wrong About Obama