We *seem* to have things sorted out–and they *seem* to finally take responsibility for causing drama (but there’s more to come later)–Tracy’s Reign of Terror: True Story of Narcissism, Bullying, Domestic Violence and Child Abuse, Part 45

Tracy’s Reign of Terror: True Story of Narcissism, Bullying, Domestic Violence and Child Abuse

Part 45: We *seem* to have things sorted out–and they *seem* to finally take responsibility for causing drama (but there’s more to come later)

But then an hour after the last draft I wrote of the above e-mail, I wrote to Jeff,

I *finally* got to finish that talk with Richard.  I had things all written down to say, then when I got the chance to say them, realized I was sick of the whole thing and just said maybe one or two things and that “nobody meant any harm.”  He noted that our two families just do a lot of things differently.

From what he says, it sounds like there’s been a LOT of miscommunication going on that has fueled everything, things that would have made a difference if I knew about them at the time.  Like, I was being protective of him at times, thought he was being mistreated, and had no idea he agreed with Tracy.

I told him that what Tracy overheard was not the whole story; I reminded him how he scolded me later, how I told you about it and we both relented on some things.  He says that things are now coming out in the open that should make a huge difference in how everybody interacts.

I told him I’m often clueless on social matters and to PLEASE let me know when I screw something up, that I might get upset but I’ll be better for the hearing.

He also says they’re going to go look at a duplex.  Here’s hoping!

Then I sent this to Richard on June 13:

(By e-mail since it’s probably far too busy this weekend for you to be taking another phone call.) I can’t help feeling this enormously icky feeling over some of the things we did that you guys were offended by….

I start thinking, “And all this time he felt this way and I had no clue. I hope he didn’t think less of me because of it, or that I was any less dear to him.”

It makes me feel like a huge heel even though we never, ever, ever meant anything the way that these things apparently came across. I guess we just were blinded by our emotions (I was feeling mistreated and pushed aside, Jeff was upset that his wife was upset) and didn’t think things through.

So I’m sending an apology to you as well. Oh, and you also have my permission to launch something soft and fuzzy at me (pillow, stuffed animal) if I miss a conversational cue.

In response Richard wrote,

There is nothing to fret about. No need for an apology and nothing to worry over. Both you and Jeff are Godsends who extended arms of love and support for a family down in the dumps.

If anything we apologize for causing drama. Our only excuses for any drama is that we lived in [old region] far too long to get it out of our systems before coming out here. 😛

So have no worries, luv.  Stop dwelling! No more worrying!

I wrote,

[happy cry]

I will try to stop dwelling/worrying.  It’s hard for me to do.  😛  One of the introverted traits: We ruminate.

One of the NVLD traits: We tend to latch onto something, like an interest or a hobby or a situation, and it won’t leave our heads for days no matter what we do.  (If you doubt it, just look at the size of my “Orthodox Theology” file.  Now it’s broken; I think I need a box….)

So I get hit with a double-whammy.

But knowing that we are *OKAY* will be a tremendous help.  Hopefully I will be able to latch onto something else soon–say, trying to get through Sho-Gun at last.  Less than 300 pages left!

I do have a problem, though: I can’t go to confession, at least with my own priest, for weeks.  He’s gone for two weeks, and when he comes back, the first Divine Liturgy will be at the site of Greek Fest.  No confessions there, not in the Rec Center with no Jesus icon and people already banging down the doors and milling in for the good eats.

Now I see why confession is so important: Even with the best of intentions, you can still hurt people.  I long to hie myself there ASAP.

It seemed like all our problems were now resolved, like they had FINALLY taken responsibility for causing this drama, instead of always putting it on my shoulders.  Now that I finally got my apology, I felt I could move on.

You also see that I took much of the responsibility on myself.

At some point, I told him I hoped it wasn’t the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning.  I thought it was the end of the beginning.

You’d think that was the end of it.  I had also sent an apology to Tracy, despite Richard telling me I didn’t need to.  I decided not to listen to him anymore, and just do it anyway.  I asked if we could start over, and we did.  Next time I saw her, I felt the wall was gone, and chatted with her easily.

But a year later–after I had been led to believe for some months that Tracy’s restrictions on me were all dropped again (more on this later)–I discovered this “apology” was a lie.  That it *was* the beginning of the end. 

I discovered that Tracy refused to drop her grudges no matter what I said, no matter what I did, that nothing I did ever satisfied her. 

That this was all a big con game she played to screw with my head and drive me insane.

It made me wonder if, when he said “we apologize for bringing drama into your house,” by “we” he meant “I.”  If she even knew he had written this.  If I could consider it to be an apology from her, or just from him.

But I was dealing with a woman who probably has borderline personality disorder and/or is a narcissist.

Richard himself said that she goes in cycles, fine for a while, then abuse starting up again.

I did my darndest to fight off bad memories and bad feeling, and forgive.  And for a while it worked.

But then at some point–I believe during the following winter (2009/2010)–she started cycling again, abusing the kids in front of me, snarking at me, sniping at Richard.  And it all went downhill from there.  But more on that to come.

originally written 2010-2012

Table of Contents 

1. Introduction

2. We share a house 

3. Tracy’s abuse turns on me 

4. More details about Tracy’s abuse of her husband and children 

5. My frustrations mount 

6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends

7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build

 
8. The Incident

9. The fallout; a second chance?

10. Grief 

11. Struggle to regain normalcy

12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other

13. Conclusion 

Reading The Brothers Karamazov

archivesOn December 26, I wrote to a friend that I had just started reading The Brothers Karamazov.  I was on page 60 and I loved it so far.  The writing style, the humor–and all the Orthodox stuff! Icons, a monastery, even a starets (the elder, Father Zossima).  I already identified with Alexei Karamazov.

On December 31, as I wrote, I spent part of the afternoon reading The Brothers Karamazov, the first 100 pages of which are so wonderful I want to savor every word:

The rich characterizations, the humor of the narrator, the character Alyoshev (Alexey)–whom I identify with….

The father, Fyodor Karamazov, is a narcissistic sociopath….

The brothers and the people who visit the starets (elder), Father Zossima, have the same questions and concerns I do–the same overriding question, How can we prove immortality does or does not exist?  And the scenes from Russian Orthodoxy are very appealing to this convert….

On January 28, I wrote that my very same doubts and questions about God and immortality, are expressed in The Brothers Karamazov.  Though Dostoyevsky was a Christian and loved his Orthodox faith, he, too, suffered from doubts.  In the foreword of my copy of the book, written by Manuel Komroff, page xv reads,

The theme and philosophy of The Brothers Karamazov occupied Dostoyevsky’s mind for many years.  In a letter to a friend he writes:

“The chief problem dealt with throughout this particular work is the very one which has, my whole life long, tormented my conscious and subconscious being: The question of the existence of God.”

What if God does not exist?  Then for Dostoyevsky the world is nothing but a “vaudeville of devils” and “all things are lawful,” even crime.

I also found a lovely quote on jealousy: “One might wonder what there is in a love that has to be so watched over, what a love can be worth that needs such strenuous guarding.  But this the jealous will never understand” (p. 440).

As I wrote here,

In The Brothers Karamazov, the character Grushenka had been mourning for years for the love of her life, after he married someone else.  But the wife died, and he came back, wanting to marry Grushenka.

However, in the course of one evening, Grushenka discovered that this guy was actually a scoundrel and a con man, who only wanted to marry her because she had done fairly well for herself financially.

That evening was sufficient to break her of her grief, and make her wonder how she could have spent all those years mourning this guy who clearly did not deserve her love.  Then she was free to pursue her passion for Dmitri Karamazov.

It is the same when we mourn a narcissist.  I have grieved and waited for exes to come back to me, exes who lied to me, who abused me, then dumped me.  When it finally hit me just what I was grieving and waiting for, the grief began to go away.

I have grieved and waited for Richard to come wanting to restore a friendship with us.  Two and a half years I’ve waited for this!  But when the character of the narcissist becomes clear to us, we can finally stop grieving and move on with our lives.

I am now finished with the book.  I especially love how Orthodoxy is woven into the book.  So many things I understood instantly because of their connection to the faith.  Things that, ten years ago, before my conversion, I would have missed.

Such as, understanding why they were so devastated when the starets immediately began stinking after he died: They expected him to be incorrupt, because in Orthodoxy, many dead saints are discovered to be incorrupt long after burial, with healing myrrh streaming from their bodies.  Yet a little child who died did not decay after 3 days.

It was a huge crisis of faith for the town after the starets died and this happened.  Those who loved him, questioned their belief in God and miracles; those who hated him, were smug.

Alyosha is the mystic of the family, and very close to the starets.  Yet he does not seem to abandon his beliefs.

As I read in the foreword, Dostoyevsky was called by Turgeniev the most “evil Christian” he had ever met.  And yet I had felt such a kinship to him when I read the religious sections.  He wrote Alyosha so well for an “evil Christian.”

I sense from what I read here of his biography that if I knew him, I would not like him, because of his bad fruit: He was wicked, vicious, unfaithful to his wife, abusive to servants….

If only he had repented of these things and done as his faith required, the faith he loved so fervently.  If only he had been more like the righteous characters he created.

But fortunately, I only have to deal with his writings.  So far, I loved Crime and Punishment, and I love The Brothers Karamazov.

Converts to Orthodoxy also love Karamazov, mentioning it often on online forums, which is how I heard about it in the first place.  No, wait, I did read part of it in a college class, but did not remember where it came from.

In short, I recommend it.

The Care and Feeding of Shy People

This was originally a Usenet post, posted to a large SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism, medieval hobbyists) newsgroup back in the spring of 1998.  The newsgroup was called the Rialto.

This was before the explosion of Internet articles and blogs about how introverts need respect, too, for the way they socialize (or not) and the way their brains work.

I expected a lot of criticism for going against what I kept hearing from the extroverts all around me.  Instead, I got an amazing response from all sorts of other shy people who agreed with me, and suggestions such as carrying around M&Ms to offer to people as icebreakers.

I also got a helpful critique from someone who was not shy, which helped me revise it into a better form.

The chronicler (newsletter writer, guy named Folo) for one shire (SCA group belonging to a city/region) saw it and asked to publish it in his shire newsletter.  So this has actually been published before.

Unfortunately, I don’t know what happened to my copy of the newsletter, so can’t reference it.  But I do have an e-mail with the updated version which I agreed to have published.  It was specifically addressed to SCA readers, but applies to everyone.  Here it is:

Sometimes comments are made to shy people, especially to scared newbies or recent newbies who still don’t know many people very well, that are thought to be helpful but are really not.  For example, “Well, if you’re bored / If you don’t know many people, then you should talk to people.”  Or, “Do you talk?”  Or greeting a person not with a hello, but with a, “Don’t talk so much today!”

Such comments may be well-intentioned, even considered humor.  To the speaker, they may seem reasonable and easy to act upon.

But they sound rude to the recipient, and can actually be counter-productive.  Instead of talking or smiling more or starting conversations, the shy person may grow increasingly resentful, talk less, and, instead of doing the things he naturally does to start friendships, ends up not even doing that.

He grows more uncomfortable and self-conscious than he would have been.  In effect, an outgoing person telling a shy person to talk more is like a well person telling a sick person to get better, or a cat telling a dog to be a cat.

Instead, be more understanding of the shy person’s natural manner of making friends.  Some are not sure how to make friends, but some have already developed strategies that work for them.

Maybe a particular person is quiet at first, but more talkative after getting to know you. I  have found myself going from quiet to talkative in a matter of minutes with a person I’ve only just met, because we seemed to “click.”

But often, the thought of talking with a complete stranger can make a shy person freeze up.  Let him ask for help, and don’t just assume he needs it.

Another thing to do is, if he appears bored or uncomfortable, you could invite him to join your group at a meal or whatever your group is doing.  Then don’t persecute him if he doesn’t open up right away.

(Our reasons for keeping quiet in a group discussion are varied: we don’t know the subject at all, we don’t have anything to say, all our points are already made by others, or we just can’t get a word in edgewise until the subject has already changed!)

If he thinks he would like to get to know you better, he might, after this icebreaker, seek you out.  Or need to be invited once or twice more.  That would help a lot.  Ask him for his opinions on conversation topics, too–make him a part of discussion.  Remember, you have the power here, in the shy person’s eyes.

Crowds can also be intimidating.  A relaxed setting (meaning, no one’s pressured to talk), such as a game of pente or watching TV, with a handful of people is an excellent way to get a shy person to “open up.”

Those are my observations after years (inside and outside the SCA) of seeing what works and what doesn’t.  What works is to accept the shy person as shy and/or quiet; what doesn’t work is to try to change this without being asked.

Nyssa of Iona

 

A Conversation with Oscar Wilde–College Memoirs: Life At Roanoke–March 1995, Part 11

As part of my Lit mid-term, I was to write a dinner dialogue between myself and one of the twelve authors we studied.  I wrote,

I have invited over Oscar Wilde, have sent my time machine to him and brought him to my house.  We go to Country Kitchen, not because it’s the best food (not), but because it’s the “local hangout” and he can see bits of local society.

“I loved ‘Importance of Being Earnest,'” I say.  “It was so funny and so ridiculous.”

“Well, in my day, society is ridiculous,” Wilde says.  “Marriage based on how much money you have, your worth determined by what you do and what your connections are–I wanted people to see how silly they were being with these attitudes.”

We go on discussing the play for a while, not any others since that’s the only one by him that I know.  Then we begin to talk about contemporary issues–starting with marriage.

“Marriage these days is supposed to be based on love,” I say, “but we now have a 50% divorce rate.”

“We base it partly on love,” Wilde says, “or, rather, infatuation–and partly on economics.  Our divorce rate is low because people just don’t divorce.  But so many people are unhappy because they didn’t know their spouse well enough before marrying them, and now they’re no longer ‘in love,’ if they ever were in the first place.”

Somehow we end up on the subject of homosexuality; I admit I don’t agree with it, but I say that I think it was wrong for Wilde to be jailed for it.  “You shouldn’t be put in jail just because of the way you are, when you can’t always help it,” I say.

“I was put there for ‘corrupting a young person’ with it,” he says.  “I wish I’d never fought the Marquess; when he said I was homosexual, it was true.  Maybe people would’ve forgotten about it if I hadn’t sued, but now I’m in prison for a drive I have.  A drive I don’t know how to control.”

“You must admit, you were pretty–promiscuous there, and you do have a wife,” I say, which leads to AIDS–which leads to a discussion of the prevalence of syphilis in Wilde’s day.  Interesting, but not something I’d want to record here.

People look at us and wonder why Wilde talks the way he does and why he dresses the way he does.  But he notices that they seem less shocked at our topics of conversation than they are about him.

“It seems like you’re so much freer to talk, really talk, in your day,” he says.  We eventually leave, and I take him back to my house to spend the rest of the evening–wishing all the while that such a handsome man weren’t gay!

Actually, I’ve since discovered that he swung both ways.  And changed my mind about homosexual love being wrong.  But anyway, finding this test paper especially interested me after reading De Profundis (my commentary here) and a new biography of his wife.  There are details in the above conversation which, over nearly 20 years, I forgot I ever even knew.

Index 
Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

 

Should we criticize our brethren’s artistic or evangelistic attempts? Or, how *should* we evangelize, then?

An amusing and scathing take on the value of criticism in the church–as opposed to saying, “You shouldn’t criticize praise music/popular writers/mega-churches/people doing the Lord’s work”: “Talk Hard” by the late Internet Monk

Moving New Religions from the Fringes to Mainstream shows that we must critique these things, since many trends damaging to the witness of the Church have been allowed to go on, unchecked.

For example, says the writer, Philip Johnson,

Laity and pastors alike seem to be enamoured with Christian fiction, particularly novels that cast new religions and alternate spiritualities in the role of an identifiable social and spiritual enemy.

This observation is supported by the massive sales for Frank Peretti’s novels This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness, and the Left Behind series of novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.

He refers to the plots of such works as propaganda, morality tales, McCarthyism.  He says that depicting new religions as “the source of Antichristic power” leads readers to not respect the followers of those religions, which damages our witness to them.

He also is disturbed that the attitudes of readers toward these religions are being “powerfully influenced by pop novels.”

This page also addresses courses you find in evangelical churches these days on how to evangelize, discipleship, etc.

For example, he complains that many of these courses have apparently not been “road-tested” with non-Christians who are not influenced by churches.  The courses give answers to questions that are important to Christians, but often have little in common with questions people are actually asking.

He also says that Rick Warren’s Purpose-Driven Life program is a product of “Southern California Christian culture,” and does not work so well in other cultures.

I know what he means, because I have experienced a few of these courses.  For example, one course gave a lot of pat answers to a list of stock questions a non-Christian might ask, but these answers may not always work in the real world.

One stock question was, “But what about people who sincerely believe in their religion?”  The pat answer was, “You can be sincere, but sincerely wrong.”

This might work on some people.  But there are many people in this day of cynicism and alternative religions who would say to that, “Well, how do you know that you’re not sincerely wrong?”

Or, “That’s arrogant!”

Or, “My religion calls that attitude, morally reprehensible.”

Or, “I’m a Pagan, and you’re focusing on the path rather than the ultimate goal of religion.  The kind of person your religion makes you, is more important than which religion.”

The problem is getting into a logical argument over religion, which cannot be proved scientifically.  If you want an effective witness, then your life must be your most important tool.  Show that Christianity is different; don’t just use theological arguments, because a determined person can always find some way to disagree with them.

Here’s a more useful tool for witnessing to Pagans: “How to Share the Gospel with Pagans,” written by a Pagan.

DON’T use Chick Tracts.  The ignorance and paranoia in these tracts is appalling, as is the intolerance (see how Roman Catholics are treated).

They seem to have gotten their information about witches, Satanists, Dungeons & Dragons, etc.–

–from 700 Club episodes, Bob Larson, medieval propaganda, and various other questionable sources–

–rather than asking real, honest-to-goodness Wiccans etc.

If any of that depraved stuff described in the tracts does happen, it’s probably done by serial killers and rebellious teenagers who want to shock their parents.

It is not the practice of actual Wiccans to drink blood, sacrifice animals or babies, pledge allegiance to Satan, or any of that stuff.  For the truth, go here and here.

Also, some of the other tracts are, frankly, appalling: In the “Happy Halloween” tract, a child gets hit by a car and goes to Hell.  The tract about gays portrays ridiculous, stereotypical caricatures, and celebrates a child’s use of the word “queer.”  Various tracts about Roman Catholics say that they are going to Hell, too.

Any D&D gamer can tell you that “Dark Dungeons” has nothing to do with actual Dungeons and Dragons games.  They are not a “gateway drug” into real witchcraft.

How can you make an honest convert through fear and misinformation?

I was shocked one day to discover that we had one of these tracts in our house, the “Who, Me?” tract.  It seemed innocent enough, but its identity as a Chick Tract makes it worthy of Gehenna (the burning trash heap).  It was given to us by an evangelical minister as a tool.  I can only hope he was not aware of the more ridiculous Chick Tracts.

The Religious Tolerance site also has articles on practically any other religion you might think of, such as Satanism.  Articles on Satanic Ritual Abuse are here.  You can research the truth so that you can witness with knowledge and respect, such as the Apostle Paul did.

Evangelicals have gotten a bad name among the followers of alternative religions because many have tried to convert without knowledge or respect, trying to scare with Hell rather than appealing to one’s desire to connect with deity.  This hinders the work of Christ.

Here is an Orthodox perspective on the absolute necessity of religious tolerance, despite our belief that Orthodoxy is true.  The reason: We must not bring injustice on others.

My own feelings: We must be tolerant of and respect other people and their religious beliefs.  Tolerance does not mean that you must adopt other beliefs or say that they are correct.  It just means respecting that other people have the right to think differently than you, even if you believe they’re wrong.

Written between probably 2005 and 2006

Index to my theology/church opinion pages:

Page 1:

Tithing 
End Times and Christian Zionism 
God’s Purpose/Supremacy of God Doctrine 
Cat and Dog Theology 
Raising One’s Hands in Worship 
Christian Music 
On the “still, small voice” and Charismatic sign gifts
On church buildings 
The Message Bible 
The Purpose-Driven Life 
The Relevance Doctrine, i.e. Marketing Churches to Seekers 
Republican Party 
Abortion Protests 
Creation 
The idea that God has someone in mind for you 
Literalism in Biblical interpretation
Miscellaneous 

Page 2:

Name it and Claim It Doctrine, Prosperity Doctrine, Faith-Formula Theology, Word-Faith Theology,  Positive Confession Theology, Health and Wealth Gospel, and whatever else they call it
More about Pat Robertson
Dr. Richard Eby and others who claim to have been to Heaven
Women in Marriage/the Church
Spiritual Abuse 
Other Resources 

Page 3:

Why do bad things happen?
Should we criticize our brethren’s artistic or evangelistic attempts?  Or, how should we evangelize, then?
Angels: Is “This Present Darkness” by Frank Peretti a divine revelation or fiction?
Halloween: Not the Devil’s Holiday!
Hell and the Nature of God 
Is Christmas/Easter a Pagan Holiday? 
Is everybody going to Hell except Christians?
How could a loving God who prohibits murder, command the genocide of the Canaanite peoples? 
What about predestination?
Musings on Sin, Salvation and Discipleship 
An Ancient View which is in the Bible, yet new to the west–Uncreated Energies of God

Page 4:

Dialogues
The Didache 
Technical Virginity–i.e., how far should a Christian single go? 
Are Spiritual Marriages “real”?  (also in “Life” section, where it’s more likely to be updated) 
Does the Pill cause abortions, or is that just another weird Internet or extremist right-wing rumor?
What about Missional Churches, Simple Churches, Fluid Churches, Organic Churches, House Churches or Neighborhood Churches?
Is Wine from the Devil–or a Gift from God?
What is Worship? 
Evangelistic Trips to Already Christianized Countries
Fraternities, Sororities, Masonic Lodge 
Was Cassie Bernall a Martyr?
Some Awesome Things heard in the Lamentations Service (Good Friday evening) during Holy Week

Conversion Story

Phariseeism in the Church

 

Some thoughts on my sociopathic stalkers as I revise an old post….

I’ve been revising old posts and putting them on my front page for a time, so more people can see them–and so I can take care of formatting issues in an orderly manner.  This website has nearly 1000 posts and pages.  😮

While revising this one to sticky-post last night, I found a note:

[Update 10/22/14: About six months ago, at least one of my stalkers began using a new device and connection.  I thought it was a new fan, until they gave themselves away, probably Richard.  He seemed particularly interested in this post for some reason.]

As I revised the post and thought about that weeks-long obsessive stalking campaign a year ago, I began adding the following as an update–which seems like it should also be a new post as well, about how to deal with blog stalking sociopaths:

Since the time described in this post, when I moved to WordPress.org and could now block them effectively, Richard and Tracy switched Internet Service Providers and began stalking my blog with different IPs.

(For people who don’t know what that is, IPs are your computer’s “address.”  Some are temporary, some are fixed.  They are easily obtained by many website hit trackers, and can also be blocked when you have access to your website’s root files.)

They occasionally use somebody else’s IP, whether belonging to a business wi-fi or to a friend.  Once, the IP belonged to a hotel.  They hook up their smartphone(s) to an Internet connection, or use their wireless plan.

But their usual IP has been the same since September 2013, so I could block them at any time: I just choose not to.  Well, except now and then, when I want to mess with them.

Nowadays, instead of bothering me, I find their antics on my blog highly amusing.  Such as in the above note from October 2014, describing when they came on from an unexpected place in April 2014, began obsessively and hilariously stalking my blog and probably raised its Google ranking, and then sent a little “guess who” in my blog stats.

They knew I would catch their little message.  When I called out these obsessive little buggers, they made a PDF copy of that post.  This stalking campaign went on for hours a day for weeks, making me wonder where they found the time.

They searched my blog for posts on stalking, for hours at a time.  I even took their search terms and made new post categories out of them.  :)  (You can see a few of them at the bottom of this post.)

I describe this all here.  And in that post, I also wrote,

Ah, Richard or Tracy, I will block and unblock you at will, because it’s fun.

But don’t think I fear you anymore.

On the contrary, this is highly entertaining.  Bring it on.

That particular stalking campaign stopped abruptly after they read that.  I guess they wanted me to be scared by it, not amused.  LOL

These antics also make me almost certain that they deliberately drove by me a second time back in January 2013 because they wanted to spook me.  (I know they know it was me, because I heard their little girl call my name when she first saw me.)  Because if they can do this, they can do that.  It fits their modus operandi.

These antics prove that they’re sociopaths beyond any lingering doubt.  “Normal” people don’t behave like that: They’d either try to make things right or go away eventually, not carry out a campaign of intimidation and obsessive blog-checking.  “Normal” people have better ways to spend their time than trying to terrorize people.

(Well, okay, Richie on The Slap did that to Hector.  But he’s a teenager who mistakenly thought Hector raped his BFF, and it only went on for a short time, leading to Richie’s repentance.  Oh, yeah, and he’s also a fictional character.  😉  He’s not a real-life 42-year-old with a family, who claims to be a Christian.)

This really is a terrible example to set for one’s children.

I’ve also encountered other sociopaths before them.  One, the webmaster of a group we belonged to, e-mailbombed and carried out a smear campaign against my husband for daring to say, “Hey, you need to make some changes to the website.”

Another, a girl who constantly carried out smear campaigns against other people on a computer bulletin board system back in 1994.

And no, neither of these sociopaths ever admitted to wrongdoing, as they terrorized others.  I don’t know what ever happened to the Avenger, but the old webmaster eventually ended up in jail at least two or three times–and on the sex offender registry.

These antics prove Richard and Tracy are sociopaths, and they do this because I’m one of several people who have seen through their masks and know what they really are.  I’ve seen before how Tracy can go after perceived enemies, how ruthless she is, even as the target protests his or her innocence–especially if the target tries to tell.

But they’re amusing sociopaths at least.  If you can laugh at sociopaths, their power over you is gone.

 

A little thing about health insurance debates….

I was just reading some Internet comments and somebody wrote, Health care was already universally available before the Universal Health Care Act.

I also recently read that some Republicans want retirees to get stipends instead of Medicare.

Um….After hubby lost a decent-paying job and health insurance during the Great Recession, he had to take a string of contract jobs and then a low-paying job which only gave an insurance stipend.  Group insurance rates through employers are fairly standard; individual insurance plans required higher rates for our health issues.

So we could not afford health insurance at all.

For several years, NO INSURANCE because it wasn’t offered/we could not afford it.  Ridiculous rates for our health issues made it impossible even to buy it with a stipend.  At least, not if we still wanted to EAT and pay our mortgage/bills/condo association fees.  (We moved there before hubby lost his job, and selling a condo/moving was not an option.  Ever try to sell a condo–not easy–and have two mortgages or mortgage+rent until it sells?)

I’ve also worked for an insurance agent, and seen what kind of premiums come in for retirees.  As far back as 2000, I wondered how the heck retirees could afford those premiums, and how the people deciding those rates could live with themselves.  (Not the raters, because they’re just clerks doing what Corporate told them to.  I had that job once, too.)

And when you can’t get insurance–Ever try to get health care without insurance?  Hubby had high blood pressure yet struggled just to find a doctor after his own doctor switched practices.  He’d get the runaround whenever he tried to find one.

When he finally found a good job and we had insurance again, all of a sudden, it was easy to find doctors.

We began discovering problems which required surgery.  There’s no way we could afford that without insurance!

I just hear so much BS coming from the Republicans about this, and then they talk about repealing “Obamacare.”  I say, amend the problems in Obamacare (or go to a single-payer system), but don’t get rid of the whole thing!  Then we’re back to where we were before!

And, oh yeah, Obamacare was actually based on REPUBLICAN ideas until Obama went along with it as a compromise.  Then, all of a sudden, it became Evil.  So Republicans are basically saying their OWN PLAN is Evil and must be repealed…

My head hurts.  😛

 

 

To my subscribers:

The focus of this blog has changed to more diverse subjects, rather than narcissism/abuse.  I feel I’ve already written on that enough, and want to turn to other things.  But feel free to dig through the archives, or check the front page now and then: I’ve been reposting old posts.  :)

 

Welcome to visitors from–what, three reblogs now?

My post Catching FLEAS from Narcissists and Abusers is sort of going viral: Three blogs have now re-blogged it, bringing more traffic here.  It is also inspiring many favorable and grateful comments on Lucky Otter’s blog.  Welcome to visitors from those blogs!  :)

Here they are so far:

Lucky Otter

Galesmind

MarilynMunrow111

I am reassured and gratified to see the reblogs and the conversations they have inspired.  It makes this blogging business worthwhile.  :)

 

Make my story of narc abuse into a novel?

With Holy Week next week, I don’t plan to post my usual new posts or do much updating to the blog.  There simply won’t be time, and I’ll need to focus on the many church services (one to two PER DAY!).

The blog takes up much of my writing time, but over time I hope to complete two projects:

1) Turning my solar system story-game into a children’s book.  Then, later on, my other childhood story-games.

2) Turning the Richard/Tracy story into a book.  Whether a novel or creative nonfiction, I’m not sure yet.  Both forms would turn the autobiographical material into scenes, which automatically fictionalizes it.  So I would have more room to play with the story, turn it into some kind of literary work far beyond the limited scope of an abuse blog.

But “creative nonfiction” has to all be basically true; you are turning the vagueness of memory into dialogue and scene.  With a novel, I could add or delete characters, change things, maybe even add a vampire or two.  😉  At this point, it’s just a few paragraphs in a file, roughing it out, no clear direction yet.

I’m not entirely sure what to do with it; I don’t want it to languish in the glut of abuse memoirs.  It has to be something which could sell, not the same old hackneyed theme.  (Abuse memoirs are useful and popular for blogs, but putting them into marketable books becomes far more challenging.)

I don’t want it to be some abuse memoir sitting next to ten other abuse memoirs, when instead it could be, say, examining the emotional fallout when one’s idol and religious mentor falls, based on fact but with a fictional setting.  In other words, in movie terms, more Sundance than Lifetime.

As I revise my blog, I see so many potential themes in my story which could be put to good use: betrayal by a religious mentor, and struggling to find belief in God again afterwards, for one.  I could make a shining jewel out of this darkness.

Also, the more I see people subscribing to my blog and connecting with the posts that skewer my abusers’ sociopathic e-mail to me (see here), the less and less power that sociopathic e-mail retains over me.  I realize that my abusers have not been back at my church for two and a half years.

I realize that I feel mostly content these days, because I’m busy at church and Writer’s Club, and people in both places call me Friend.  This helps remove any residual emotional attachment to Richard.

My abusers do not have the ability to sue, no legal leg to stand on, so their e-mail had only an emotional power to hurt me.  Once I remove the emotional power, all their power to hurt me is gone.

So I have a happy ending to give this book, power to give to others.

In any case, my creative juices need to flow again, not be restricted to blogging.  Especially since I need some new material to bring into Writer’s Club workshops.  :)

The trouble is, I still have to revise such a large portion of this website/blog: December’s theme update screwed up the quotes.  Also, I need to check each post for grammar, readability and outdated links.  And it takes at least an hour a night just to fix these things.  Argh!

And I have no clear direction yet, just a germ of an idea.  So it will be slow-going to begin with.

But hey, after watching Being John Malkovich last night, I read that it started simply as, Married man falls in unrequited love with another woman.  And look what that turned into!

[Update 4/5/15:]  I first got this idea while reading Pioneer Girl, the introduction of which describes Rose Wilder Lane’s “creative nonfiction.”

I think I have sorted it out: Write a rough draft which is totally, brutally true, including even the details I’ve never told anyone, things which I’m sure Richard doesn’t want me to write.  Yes, Richard, I still remember it all.

[Update 4/7/15: This exercise just brought back memories I long since forgot, and it troubled me….Basically, simply by putting into scenes the times he pushed the boundaries, I remembered how close we once were, how comfortable with each other, which for me is rare. 

It brought back why his betrayal and true character were so astounding and devastating.  Yet another reason to just rough a draft and then set it all aside for many years.  This story is full of the stuff of drama, the stuff that people want to read, but it is still too raw to bring out in a novel just yet.]

Go into detail about things I only hinted at here, what he did, how he worked me over until I believed all his justifications and lies and thought he did nothing at all improper.  For my own peace of mind, my own purging.

Fudging only as needed to fill out missing parts of my memory or things which I should’ve said but probably didn’t, for dramatic purposes or to complete a scene.

Then let it sit for ten years.  Gain perspective.  See if anybody ever repents in that time, or if anything else happens, if more becomes clear.

During that time, turn my college memoirs and childhood memories into a series of marketable books and stories, and my childhood stories into children’s books.  My college memoirs now depict 20-year-old happenings, so I am emotionally distant from them and can be more objective.

They’re also full of the stuff of drama: sex, lies, abuse, and of course, humor.  Finally begin my writing career in earnest, not just some half-heartedly-promoted self-published books.

Then turn back to the story.  Cut, add, change, do whatever it requires to be marketable.  Make it art and NOT a revenge piece.  See how much I want to be made public and how much needs to go to my grave with me.

Then retire my blogs about it here, and submit it for publication under a new pseudonym.  Whether my abusers ever find it, or forget all about it, who knows.

They already appear to finally be losing interest in my blog, which was the last connection they still had to me after they abandoned their church stalking campaign.

 

The Romance of the Rosebud (Dream Vision Parody)–College Memoirs: Life At Roanoke–March 1995, Part 10

This story was referenced in Part 9.

This was a dream vision in the style of Chaucer, written for a class studying–well, Chaucer–in college.  The title parodies The Romance of the Rose, which Chaucer partially translated.  (Also see here for more about dream visions.)  Please click on the links not just to understand terms such as “bliaut,” but to understand the in-jokes in this story:

One morning in the month of May, as I lay on my bed between waking and sleeping, I fell into a dream.

I found myself in a hilly meadow, which surrounded a small lake.  The birds sang and chirped, morning doves cooing and crows cawing and some unidentified bird [cardinal] saying “BIRD-ie!  BIRD-ie!”

Katydids [actually, cicadas, but I had been told katydids] shook their wings, or whatever they do, in their characteristic humming.

It was quite warm, but not too hot; an occasional breeze blew.  The sky was deep blue, with white, puffy clouds in it here and there to keep the skygazer from boredom.

Butterflies of various colors–yellow, blue, red, monarch–flitted here and there and bumped into me a few times.

I wore a white bliaut with long, flowing sleeves and a cord wrapped around the waist; my long hair fell in crimps as if it had been braided.  I wandered along the lake and over the hills, wondering where I was and what I was doing there.

I bent down to smell a flower, a blue carnation, and when I looked up I saw a young woman standing before me, looking down at me [based on my friend Catherine].

Her blonde hair fell in long curls, her lips were thick and she had a gap in her teeth.  She wore a long, scarlet gown with tippets and a white sash.  A star sapphire hung on a gold cord around her neck, and a crown of wildflowers was on her head.  She said to me,

“Hello, traveler.  I am Anastasia, goddess of Pleasure and Salt, and I’m here to show you around this meadow.”

“Goddess of Pleasure and Salt?” I said.  “Do those two things go together?”

“They do if you throw salt all over your body and have your man lick it off.  Of course, you’d better keep plenty of water on hand for him.  Now, come on.”  She grinned, hugged me and took my hand.  “There’s a group I want you to meet: the Society for Creative Abstinence.  They’re like you: innocent, always late–”

“How do you know I’m innocent and always late?”

“I know everything about you, dear.  As for your innocence–well, I’ll pervert you soon enough [Catherine often said this].  Now, there’s a lot of hot guys in this group, and they like to flirt with you.”

“Really, now?”  I smiled.  “And what does this group do?”

“Thinks up how far you can go and still abstain.  And alternatives to not abstaining.”

“Abstaining from what?”

“Hehehe–You’ll find out.  Really, it’s many things: drugs, alcohol, so on.  For example, you won’t find anyone saying,

Mistress, sleep with me right now,
Or I will die, God save me!”  [Miller’s Tale]

Here she began to laugh, for some reason I couldn’t figure out.  I shook my head, and we continued walking.

We passed by a red-haired, pigtailed girl, probably about twelve, and a tall, blonde-haired woman with a rosy complexion and lovely features.  The girl wore a frock and straw hat, in contrast to the woman’s heel-length hair and flowing robes.  The girl was saying,

“Call me Anne with an E: It looks so much nicer with an E.  It makes me sound like a romantic heroine, despite the fact that my hair is this horrid red.  I wish it weren’t red.  Sometimes I close my eyes and imagine that I’m blindingly beautiful, with long, raven hair.  Do you ever do that, ever close your eyes and imagine that you’re blindingly beautiful, with long, raven hair?–Oh, of course not, how silly of me!–You’re Beauty, you don’t need to imagine it!  Though I think that might be boring, not having to imagine you’re blindingly beautiful….”

The woman just sat there, smiling and nodding at the appropriate times, with never a chance to get a word in edgewise.  [Dream visions personified human virtues, vices and traits.]

Anastasia and I went on, and walked up and downhill till we reached a gathering of maybe twenty people, all sitting on the grass of the meadow.  Anastasia said to them,

“Ho, guys!  I have here a potential new member–a goodly wench–

There is no man so wise that could imagine
So gay a doll or such a wench.

Haha, I love that tale!”

The group gave me a warm, friendly welcome, and they were all attractive–how could it be otherwise in a dream vision?

But one in particular caught my eye: a man named Lord Cu’gan.  He appeared to be in his mid-or late-twenties; such a good-looking man he was, with dark hair and brown eyes.

He wore a long, black tunic, a black cap, and a silver medallion with knotwork designs carved into it.  On his arm he carried a wooden harp decorated with knotwork.  A tiny gargoyle flew about his head.  [These characteristics all fit my husband when I first met him.  See here and here.]

Once, I noticed Cupid–a little baby with cute, tiny wings, just like the pictures–fluttering around by some rosebushes.  He pulled his bow-string and let an arrow fly, and the force of the snap of the bowstring flung him backwards into a rosebush.

“Ow!” he cried (of course), at the same time that I felt the arrow pierce between my eyes.  It went to my heart–just worked its way down there.  I knew I was stricken with this Lord Cu’gan.

“I was right, wasn’t I?” Anastasia said.  “There are a bunch of hot guys here in the Society.  And they’re like me: They all love to hug.”  She smiled, and nudged me with her elbow.

I wouldn’t mind if Lord Cu’gan hugged me,” I said.

“Ah, yes, Cu’gan.  He is attractive, isn’t he?”

“Yeah–a real cutie.”

She grinned.  “You should talk to him.  He’s a Society guy; he won’t treat you wrong.”  She practically pushed me in his direction.  “Make sure you sit by him as I tell today’s story.”

“Today’s story?”

“Yes.  A different person tells a different story every day in the Society.”  She went off to announce to everyone that she had a story to tell.

I sidled closer to Cu’gan, which got easier to do, when he moved from where he was standing and wandered nearer to me.  I sidled over a little more, and thought up some pretense for standing by him: a question about his harp.

I finally got to him, and tugged on his sleeve.  [This refers to my writing him a letter with questions about the SCA.]

Here Anastasia bade us all to sit down, and began her story.  “This is a fabliau–inspired by the French fabliaux,” she said.  “It’s really a very…sophisticated tale.”

Here she laughed, and started telling a demented, perverted story.  I especially reddened when she got to the following part–not a good one to hear when you’re sitting next to a guy:

She groped always further with her hand,
And found the bed, and thought nothing but good,
Because the cradle stood by it,
And didn’t know where she was, for it was dark,
But duly she crept in to the clerk,
And lay quite still, and would’ve gone to sleep.
Within a while this John the clerk leaped up,
And made violent love to this good wife.
So merry a bout she’d not had since long ago;
He pri–

And here the manuscript breaks off, the rest of it lost to history.

Index 
Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

The Goddess of Pleasure and Salt–College Memoirs: Life At Roanoke–March 1995, Part 9

Catherine and I wrote dream visions for Chaucer class, based on Romance of the Rose, which Chaucer translated.

Mine was “Romance of the Rosebud,” including a character named Lord Cugan.  Catherine loved being the “goddess of pleasure and salt” in my story, especially the following:

“Goddess of Pleasure and Salt?” I said.  “Do those two things go together?”

[Catherine said,] “They do if you throw salt all over your body and have your man lick it off.  Of course, you’d better keep plenty of water on hand for him.”

She often proudly told people that I made up that title myself.  It was based on her always telling people at lunch that she was the goddess of salt so they must ask her permission to use it, or at other times that she was Venus.

Her character’s humor was raunchy, just like the real Catherine.  Then it cut off right in the middle of the Reeve’s perverted Canterbury Tale, which Catherine began to tell, and said, “And here the manuscript breaks off, the rest of it lost to history.”  Read The Romance of the Rosebud here.

Catherine’s dream vision included both Sir Stimp-a-lot and Lord Cugan.  Sir Stimp-a-lot (based on my casual boyfriend Stimpy) was a bungler vying with Lord Cugan for the attentions of a fair maiden, and Cugan won.

She also included a wall, such as in Romance of the Rose.  She used real teachers, putting virtuous ones inside the wall and “bad” ones outside or on the wall.

I forget where she put Counselor Dude, but he was included.  Our Chaucer teacher Christina was probably included, and put inside.

Christina apparently read my story first, because she wrote on Catherine’s paper, “I’ve seen this name ‘Lord Cugan’ before; it seems to be a popular name.”

****

Brad wrote on Monday, March 20,

You said you are perverted at times [when joking].  That is a great trait.  It confused the ones around you.  Make people wonder what you mean.  Add a little of vagueness [sic] so people wonder if you are perverted or just misunderstood.

On probably that same day, Cugan and I saw Pulp Fiction.  I was surprised to find it still playing, since it came out months before, when I read a bad review of it.

Cugan and I and another young couple were the only ones in the theater, so Cugan and I lounged in the seats with our feet on the backs of the seats in front of us.  I thought the movie had bombed.  I couldn’t figure out why as it played.

I sat there laughing and enjoying the whole movie (though parts were gross and I didn’t like what happened to John Travolta’s character).

Despite my laughter, with the cussing and references to sex, Cugan kept saying, “I’m sorry!  I’m sorry!  I didn’t know it would be this way.”  And I kept saying to him, “Don’t worry about it!”

We both loved it, and thought it, not Forrest Gump, should have won the Oscar the two contended for that year.  Cugan figured Forrest Gump won because it was about values and such and not a bunch of people cussing and shooting, but Pulp Fiction was more fun.

Index 
Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

 

Why do bad things happen?

Here is an excellent article on this subject, with several contributors: Why do the Righteous Suffer?–Sermons from Presbyterian (USA) Pastors

Also see question 14 from the Presbyterian Study Catechism of 1998.

Since I converted to Orthodoxy after writing this webpage, now for an Orthodox point of view:

Why Does Evil Exist? by a guy named Jeremiah who includes a pic from Boondock Saints on his blog post.  😀

Talking to Children when bad things happen by Rev. Deacon Nicholas Jannakos

Greek Orthodox Church of America’s brochure, Why do bad things happen to good people?

Written between probably 2005 and 2006

Index to my theology/church opinion pages:

Page 1:

Tithing 
End Times and Christian Zionism 
God’s Purpose/Supremacy of God Doctrine 
Cat and Dog Theology 
Raising One’s Hands in Worship 
Christian Music 
On the “still, small voice” and Charismatic sign gifts
On church buildings 
The Message Bible 
The Purpose-Driven Life 
The Relevance Doctrine, i.e. Marketing Churches to Seekers 
Republican Party 
Abortion Protests 
Creation 
The idea that God has someone in mind for you 
Literalism in Biblical interpretation
Miscellaneous 

Page 2:

Name it and Claim It Doctrine, Prosperity Doctrine, Faith-Formula Theology, Word-Faith Theology,  Positive Confession Theology, Health and Wealth Gospel, and whatever else they call it
More about Pat Robertson
Dr. Richard Eby and others who claim to have been to Heaven
Women in Marriage/the Church
Spiritual Abuse 
Other Resources 

Page 3:

Why do bad things happen?
Should we criticize our brethren’s artistic or evangelistic attempts?  Or, how should we evangelize, then?
Angels: Is “This Present Darkness” by Frank Peretti a divine revelation or fiction?
Halloween: Not the Devil’s Holiday!
Hell and the Nature of God 
Is Christmas/Easter a Pagan Holiday? 
Is everybody going to Hell except Christians?
How could a loving God who prohibits murder, command the genocide of the Canaanite peoples? 
What about predestination?
Musings on Sin, Salvation and Discipleship 
An Ancient View which is in the Bible, yet new to the west–Uncreated Energies of God

Page 4:

Dialogues
The Didache 
Technical Virginity–i.e., how far should a Christian single go? 
Are Spiritual Marriages “real”?  (also in “Life” section, where it’s more likely to be updated) 
Does the Pill cause abortions, or is that just another weird Internet or extremist right-wing rumor?
What about Missional Churches, Simple Churches, Fluid Churches, Organic Churches, House Churches or Neighborhood Churches?
Is Wine from the Devil–or a Gift from God?
What is Worship? 
Evangelistic Trips to Already Christianized Countries
Fraternities, Sororities, Masonic Lodge 
Was Cassie Bernall a Martyr?
Some Awesome Things heard in the Lamentations Service (Good Friday evening) during Holy Week

Conversion Story

Phariseeism in the Church