Introvert shaming

I was just reading an article about introversion posted to Facebook by an introverted friend: So Apparently There Are Four Kinds of Introversion

(I was split about equal across all four kinds, by the way)

…And then, of course, in the comments to this article you find mean stuff accusing introverts who post on Facebook about introversion, of looking for pity and attention-seeking.

Sigh….

Once again, people really don’t understand introverts.

No, it’s people posting articles they find meaningful and helpful, the same as everybody else does on Facebook.  My husband’s Aspie cousin also posts lots of things about airplanes.

No, it’s about trying to understand yourself and explain it to others, after spending a lifetime of dealing with people who accuse you of being stuck up, or rude, or all sorts of other things, simply because you are quiet and introverted.

Who have abused you for it, or rejected you for it, or teased you for it, causing deep scars.

Who have scolded you out of the blue, when you were simply being yourself.

And it happens quite often.  It starts in childhood, when you have no idea why the other kids keep rejecting you and bullying you, or why you can’t please your teachers and other adults.

Most people want the approval of others, so telling us to just “shrug it off” won’t work.  No, stuff like this works deep in your psyche, a kind of introvert-shaming.

It causes you to feel like a freak, because not only can you not behave the ways that everybody keeps telling you, you “should,”–

but oftentimes you don’t want to.

Heck, I’ve just come through YEARS of fighting to recover from the emotional damage of being traumatized by Richard and Tracy for being introverted.  The whole story, the extent of how they abused me, starts here.  I recently realized that I finally made it through the darkness and have rebuilt my life again.

Another person in college, Shawn, also psychologically damaged me by criticizing all my introverted and NVLD traits.  I was in love with him, but he rejected me because of my introversion, while also sexually using me.  You can read about him here.  I had to go to counseling to untangle myself from him.  Yet years later, things he did and told me sometimes ring in my head.

If these things happen to me, then they happen to others.  I post my experiences to help other introverts and abuse victims get through the jungle of depression and self-pity, and to the point of accepting themselves–and not accepting abuse from others.

I had no such resource to help me, so I felt all alone.  but I can provide it for others so they don’t go through what I did, so they don’t feel alone.

Finally, we introverts have found a way, through Facebook, to quickly explain to all our friends that our behavior is actually normal and common.  We hope that finally, the judgment and criticism will STOP so we can relax more in social gatherings.

This is also a way to say, “We’re here, we’re introverted, get used to it!”

A way to reverse decades of emotional trauma by realizing we are OKAY.

To begin to empower ourselves.

To rebuild our confidence and become comfortable in our own skin.

To finally have the words we need and the gumption we need to tell people the next time they criticize us, “I’m an introvert, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

To STOP taking the criticism to heart and crying the rest of the day, or however each individual introvert deals with rejection and criticism.

To STOP apologizing for how we are.

To STOP trying to change ourselves and failing, destroying our confidence in ourselves.

To realize that we do indeed have something to offer, making us more attractive to employers, mates and friends.

To have a happy life of taking care of our own needs, rather than fighting against the grain of our own natures.  And that gives us the energy to take care of others’ needs as well.

…And we get accused of “attention-seeking” or looking for “pity.”

Or, another one I’ve seen, of trying to show that we’re “better,” or smarter or whatever, than extroverts.

Um, no.  This is just more introvert-shaming.  Quit it already!

(A Psychology Today article on reversing the effects of “introvert shaming,” on feeling self-worth instead of victimized, is here.  Another blog post from a kindred spirit on introvert-shaming is here.)

 

My Priest has retired–and realizing my church no longer connects to my narcissist

It was sudden, even to the parish council.  And nobody has yet been found to take his place.

We hope we do not go the way of Richard and Tracy‘s church, which shuttered some time ago because of the lack of a priest.  (Note: Richard and Tracy do NOT come to mine, and I have no idea where they go, if anywhere.)

I hear and read the comments from various people, and know it’s not just me jumping to the worst possible conclusion, but that many of us worry.  Over the years, people have also grumbled about lack of support from the archdiocese.

You can’t blame our priest: The guy’s in his 80s, and lives in the next county.  He also had two near-misses with deer when driving the long way to our church, two and four months ago.  I’m sure that had something to do with it.  And he says he’s traveled 500,000 miles over the past 23 years, dealing with our church, the church in the next county, scattered parishioners, and various small Orthodox communities around the state.  You can’t expect to work your priest to death.

We could, and hopefully will, still get a new priest.  But this concern has me seriously thinking about what to do if we don’t.

The nearest Orthodox church is our sister parish in the next county.  It’s right across the street from an old and dear college friend, so we could visit.  But my husband goes to a Lutheran church, my son is going into confirmation with that church, and there is just no way I could get there more than once a month, unless I bum a ride with somebody.

I thought about going back to Protestantism, into a liberal church which, these days, would probably suit me quite well.  Even the PCUSA allows gay preachers now.  In a liberal church, there would be no talk of submissive wives, head scarves, or arguments over whether women should read the Epistle in church.  Hell would diminish into nothing.  Gay would be Okay.

But a great deal of thought reminded me of how much trouble I’ve gone to, to become Orthodox.  The many books, the study, the changing of my thinking from Protestant to Orthodox–even kissing icons.  Even praying to saints and Mary.  As a Protestant, I thought that was idolatry.

I’ve even been studying Greek so I can start understanding my fellow parishioners!  I can now pick up words here and there.

As I revise my website, I see Orthodoxy all through the theological sections and the reviews of Left Behind.

It’s gotten into my blood.

Five years ago, after breaking off relations with Richard and Tracy, I was so distraught–so constantly driven to tears–because my very religion reminded me of my former BFF, Richard.  His friendship had been so dear to me that I could no longer even go on Orthodox forums.  You see, his influence led me to become Orthodox, as I describe here.  And I had deeply philia-loved him.

I struggled just to remain Orthodox.  I could barely hold back the tears during Divine Liturgy each Sunday.  Every aspect of Orthodoxy, was about Richard.  And when I saw him at church once in a blue moon, I trembled, and feared just looking at him would send me into a sobbing fit.

Then when he and his wife refused to repent of abusing me, and proved to be so callous as to threaten to come every week, because they knew it upset me, church became a battleground.

So you see, I have gone through a LOT to be and remain Orthodox, more than the typical convert, probably.

It would be SO easy, if no priest is found, to just give up on Orthodoxy.  Maybe become Methodist or UCC or return to the Presbyterian church just down the road.  I even thought about doing so, back when I feared just going to church because Richard might be there.

But I can’t.

Fortunately, God and time seem to have done a blessed miracle: I also just realized that Richard is no longer Orthodoxy to me.  Going to church no longer makes me think of him.

I don’t go on Orthodox forums, but that’s because Net ‘doxy is full of constant rehashing of the same old threads, legalism, and political conservatism that I just don’t see in my local church.  It has nothing to do with being reminded of Richard anymore.

I have a good friend at my church now, someone other than Richard, who understands what it’s like to be a convert.  (Most of the people there are born into the faith.)  I realized he is a close friend now, that I care about him and he seems to care about me as well.  (Don’t worry, there’s nothing improper: I’m much older than he is and don’t need to invite Graduate jokes.  Richard, who reads my blog, will understand what I mean.)

I have friends.  My faith is deeply ingrained in me.  I feel at peace.  I am no longer fighting the darkness.

Now, hopefully this will not be disrupted by the lack of a priest….Our church was in this predicament 23 years ago, too, and then somebody stepped up.

 

Just a quick note celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision

The legalization of gay marriage for all 50 states is a triumph for religious freedom–since, after all, not everybody is of a religion that is against gay marriage.  Now, hopefully, one day polygamy between consenting adults will also be legal.  What business is it of the government’s to tell people whom to love or how to form their families?

 

 

Just saw “Wall Street”: Oh, how familiar Gekko is

I just saw “Wall Street” for the first time last week.  Listening to Gekko talk, with his sociopathic concern only for money, I realized nothing has changed in the past 30 years.  Wall Street narcissists are still out for more money, still unconcerned about the human collateral damage to what they do.

I heard Gekko complain that he didn’t want the Bluestar airline because it had a powerful union–Ah, so THAT’S why Republicans keep trying to break unions, so they can come in and do whatever they want and make more money.  Stuff like that.  And hey, change his name to “Koch” and it still fits.

Then I read in the morning newspaper that Governor Walker is courting conservative Christians.  While they’re falling for his social positions, they miss the fact that his policies are causing more and more hardship for not just people in this state, but necessary institutions (schools, cities) as well.

Even Republicans in the Wisconsin House and Senate are bickering now, dissension within the ranks.

Wasn’t it already proven, several years ago, that the Republican Party was only courting Evangelical voters because they were a huge voting bloc, and NOT because they really believe that way?  Yet people still fall for this?

I have examined Republican policies, especially in the past decade or so, compared to the wants of fat cat sociopaths such as Gekko, and well, they match.  THIS is why I don’t vote Republican anymore.  Because my job is NOT to help the rich get richer, at the expense of the lower classes, but to HELP THE LOWER CLASSES.

Christians have been so deceived by the Republican Party.  It is NOT out for Christian interests!  While they lure in Christians through promises of making the US into a theocracy instead of a bastion of religious freedom, their true aim is to get rid of anything that hinders capitalism, so they can make obscene amounts of money while others suffer.

Just like I recall my ex-friend Richard being so capitalistic that, eventually, he seemed to lose interest in religion, and instead his new religion was Capitalism.  Even though unchecked capitalism would only make him (and untold numbers of others) even poorer than he already was.  Meanwhile, he hated Democrats for being pro-choice–and for fighting unchecked capitalism.

Even the Pope is targeted by Christians for saying this is wrong!  For saying we need to stop hurting the environment because that, too, is hurting the poor.

But the trouble with environmental policies is that they cost the fat cats money and make it more difficult for them to make more money.  So they must be fought, and fake “studies” done showing that global warming does not exist.

Well, I haven’t fallen for it.  I did once, but I finally broke free of Pat Robertson’s brainwashing years ago.

 

Part Two: Tracy enjoys verbally abusing me, then tries to silence me–so I tell everyone–Tracy’s Reign of Terror: True Story of Narcissism, Bullying, Domestic Violence and Child Abuse, Part 59

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

Part 59: The Incident Part Two: Tracy enjoys verbally abusing me, then tries to silence me–so I tell everyone

Warning: The following contains venting of anger, to get it out of my heart and onto the page, to make the story authentic, and to show other victims of abuse that I feel your rage.

Tracy vilified, demeaned, cussed at, humiliated, and belittled me for something I had not said, had never said–and then blamed me for her behavior.

(A month later, she even accused me of needing to “grow up” and get over hurt feelings for actions [her verbal abuse] caused by my behavior.  This is classic victim blaming!  She has only herself and her temper to blame for the end of the friendship, but of course she blames me.)

Then she turned it around on me when Jeff said that throwing around F-bombs was not helpful, saying that I somehow had been “hurting” her for “the past two and a half years.”

Hurting her???  All I had done was be myself and go about my usual routines and live day by day and try to be polite and nice to her and try to maintain a friendship with my BFF!

Maybe it was because I didn’t just shut up and pretend that her behavior was perfectly normal and justified.

But I have never been one to sit and be quiet while my friends are being bullied: I keep putting myself into the fray, setting myself up for fire to come at me, by sticking up for my friends/husband.

I didn’t talk directly to her about her abuse, which would be dangerous, but I was honest with Richard about it, and she overheard me telling Jeff about it.

It was extremely insulting: I am not and have never been the type to go messing around on my husband.  I had never, ever propositioned Richard or touched him in anything like a sexual manner.

Yet I was being treated not only as if I had done so, but as if I had always been doing so.  It was a strange reality shift that made me feel like I was in an alternate universe.

All I did was remind Richard of something he himself had done to express his thanks and platonic caring, something that was completely innocent and perfectly fine for platonic friends to do–

At least, that was how I perceived it, since this was what he told me after he found out I first thought he was making the moves on me.

No, hands never went to where they shouldn’t.  These hugs were completely nonsexual, no kissing, nothing.  Just things that you could do with a sister.  I saw him give this very same kind of hug to one of his daughters.

He never said these hugs were somehow verboten now.  In fact, he had said more than once that while it was no longer okay to use each other’s shoulders as pillows, hugs were fine.

Through these hugs, he expressed the thanks that I never got from Tracy for taking her in despite having this sprung on us, for not kicking her out despite all the crap she pulled, for feeding and sheltering her family for six weeks of strained resources, dwindling money, no room, messes and noise all over the house, constant work and the stress of having a hostile person living in your house.

She never thanked me for any of this, and got furious with Richard and/or me for the way he thanked me.

These hugs reassured me of his friendship after all the crap that had gone on, all the drama that Tracy had brought into my house for six weeks.  This reassurance of his friendship was badly needed after the six weeks Tracy had lived with us.

And it was badly needed now in July 2010 after all the crap that had been going on, all the ways he had cut me down and made me feel like a whiner when I complained about how he was treating me lately.

I reminded him of the hugs, describing them so he would remember them, so that I could find out why he had stopped doing them after he moved out.  Had he just forgotten?  Was his friendship for me declining?  What was it?  I didn’t express these things, but they were questions I had.

I had brought up the hugs once before; not only did he not freak out as if I had propositioned him, but he remembered them and said that he was holding off (same as I was at that time) because in those days Tracy had been acting very jealous.

But those days had long since passed, and we had been hugging freely in front of her and others for a long time.  They just hadn’t been like the ones I now reminded him of, the ones he gave me to express our friendship and thank me for all I did for his family, the ones I also saw him give one of his daughters.

At least, that was how I understood them at the time.  As I explained them to Jeff that evening, I said, “At least, that’s what he told me,” because I began to realize that maybe Richard had meant more with those hugs than he’d let on.  

Why else would he let Tracy treat me like this instead of explaining to her the truth, that it was much ado over nothing?  

I began to feel tricked, lied to, used, manipulated, exploited because of my naivete and a gullibility which I had unwisely brought up in our conversations once.  

I began to feel angry not just with Tracy for her insults, but with him for his duplicity.

But anyway, let’s back up to the time before Jeff got home from work.  Tracy had told me, “Don’t go crying to Jeff because we don’t need the headache.”

Um….EXCUSE me?  And you are WHAT authority over me?  Talk about violating boundaries!  Talk about a control freak, trying to control even what I tell my own husband about her abuse!

This, by the way, is yet another thing that abusers do, try to silence their victims.

Then they will pull your face close to theirs and through snarling lips and gritted teeth tell you that if you try to expose their bad deed they will destroy you. This person knows what they are doing is wrong. –Anna Valerious, Narcissist or Psychopath, Narcissists Suck

Right after she wrote me this, I saw a message in the corner of the computer screen that Jeff had a new e-mail–from Tracy.  So I copied it to Jeff:

She sent him an e-mail labeled “sigh” that said–as if I were this whiny little tattletale–

–that I probably already told him what was going on,

–that they “valued our friendship” (HA–You value our money!),

–that we were going to have a “conference” after she got home from work where she would tell me things I wouldn’t like but supposedly “needed to hear.”

Notice she didn’t bother to ask about our own plans before making this decision: Our son had a T-ball game that evening.

Since I never intentionally harmed her, since I tried to be polite and nice to her at all times, this was ridiculous. 

Whatever she was going to say, I’m certain that I did NOT “need to hear” ANY of it.  

I won’t let an abuser who probably has borderline personality disorder and/or is a clinical narcissist tell me how to behave “properly.”  She doesn’t even know how, herself.

So: Tracy raged at me, demeaned, cussed at and humiliated me, insulted me again and again, treated me like a naughty child who needed to sit and take whatever she threw at me, accused me of needing to “grow up” (August 1) for standing up for my dignity.

Then she told me not to go “crying” to my husband about what she was saying “because we don’t need the headache.”

And then to top it all off, she posted on Facebook to all her friends and family that she was having “a GREAT day” because she no longer had to “sit back and be quiet and nice.”

(If she thinks that she was being “quiet and nice” before, then she’s not just Borderline Personality Disorder, she’s Delusional Disorder as well!)

To an abuser like Tracy, raging is basically the equivalent of a satisfying bowel movement: Once it’s over, you feel much better, and forget the pain you went through getting it out.

And the abuser expects you to just “grow up” and “get over” being crapped all over, thinks there’s something wrong with you if you don’t.

But don’t believe this lie of the abuser, either: The responsibility belongs to the abuser that you got hurt, not to you!  You are not responsible for someone abusing you!

So they attack just because this is a golden opportunity to dump a load of projection and projective identification on someone. It’s a golden opportunity to feel powerful by having a powerful effect on someone.

They feel great afterwards. They not only relieve their moral constipation by dumping their load on you, they get high off the power rush in trampling you or tearing you to pieces.

And what’s to restrain those urges? Any morals? Any conscience?

So, if this has ever happened to you, you probably just had a close encounter with a malignant narcissist. Be glad that you had to serve as her toilet only once in your life. –Kathy Krajco, The Rewards of Befriending a Narcissist

It was all I could do to hold myself back, not respond in kind, since I knew that it would just make things worse, yet she just kept getting worse anyway.

I did say a few angry words, because she had pushed me too far this time, but still held back on what I could have said.  But of course, I was not allowed to defend myself.

Then she e-mailed my husband in calmer, “adult” words and talked about discussing this like adults–

Yeah, lady, all you have to do is ACT like an adult and then we can discuss it like adults.

I was certainly not the one acting like a child–that was all on her.  I barely said a word to her.

I saw her do the exact same thing to Todd, speaking to the general forum in “adult” words after having raged on him like a screaming banshee, while he tried to respond in a more adult fashion.

Because of the distorted perceptions that the abuser has of rights and responsibilities in relationships, he considers himself to be the victim.

Acts of self-defense on the part of the battered woman or the children, or efforts they make to stand up for their rights, he defines as aggression against him.

He is often highly skilled at twisting his descriptions of events to create the convincing impression that he has been victimized. The Mind of the Abuser, Sam Vaknin

 

The sociopath does not accept the blame for any of the harm and hurt they cause other people.

In fact the sociopath is convinced that the blame for what happened belongs with someone other than themselves, even when this clearly is not the case.

They don’t care that they damage and destroy other people’s lives. Their only concerns are winning the game and getting what they want. —How to Recognize a Sociopath

 

A sociopath can do hideously cruel and immoral things to other people without feeling any guilt. —How to Recognize a Sociopath

 

The victim of a sociopath may feel physical and/or emotional pain as a result of what has been done to them. The sociopath cannot identify with the misery they are causing for the other person.

Instead they are derisive of the pain of their victims, and they may use the upset they cause to their own advantage. —How to Recognize a Sociopath

And all this after we had done all sorts of things to help them out and be there for them until they could get back on their feet, even went way out of our way to help them, even begging friends for money for them so they wouldn’t be evicted, out of a simple generosity that wanted nothing back but friendship.

It was all quite disgraceful.

They inflict pain on others and actually enjoy doing it. —Joyful Alive Woman, Behaviors and Attitudes of the Narcissist

 

Narcissists are addicted to the high they get from harming others. Yes, they DO act out of malice, because they will to hurt you.

That’s no accident: they hurt you on purpose and as much as they can. But only because hurting you makes them feel good. –Kathy Krajco, Malignant Narcissism and Evil

She also called me too stupid to understand, just because I said “I don’t understand” to Richard and tried to find out what the heck this was all about, rather than just rolling over and saying, Oh hey, I deserve all this you’re giving me.

When I saw what Tracy posted about me, it disgusted me that she would actually ENJOY hurting somebody.  That’s sociopathic.  So I blocked Tracy.

“Evil Is Taking Pleasure From Causing Pain or Harm” (Michele Moore, Happiness and Evil).

“He thrived on intimidating me.  He derived pleasure from causing me pain” (Tina Swithin, Taking Pleasure From Pain).

Allow yourself to really think about the selfishly evil use of empathy of the narcissist. They use it to know (and enjoy) exactly how they are making you feel as they use and abuse you. That is what we call sadistic.
They pervert their ability to empathize and use it to selfishly exploit others to their own ends, to find pleasure in the pain they inflict, as well as to grant themselves pity when they least deserve it. –Anna Valerious, They DO Have Empathy–Just Not For You

I posted on Facebook, publicly for all to read (since I might as well if Tracy was going to post nasty crap about me for all our mutual friends to read), a few posts about losing my best friend because of jealousy, how they were telling me the friendship wasn’t over but it was, because “I’m SICK of being bullied, sick of it, sick of it!”–and how this was the thanks I got for being there for his every need, emotional and financial.

No, I didn’t say who I meant.  Yes, this was visible to Richard, who I saw go online around this time, leaving the usual “scat” on my newsfeed from his Facebook games.

But he said nothing, too beaten down and emasculated by Tracy to do anything not okayed by her.  And because playing stupid games was more important to him than salvaging a friendship.

Posting on my news feed was the only way to get any messages to him at all, now that Tracy had taken everything over.  So during that afternoon/evening I posted messages about being gravely misunderstood, about jealousy destroying a dear friendship, things like that.

It was not just to get emotional help from my real friends who would never do these things to me, but to send messages to Richard that this was not right, not right at all, that I was SICK of Tracy’s bullying, that it was indeed bullying, and that I wasn’t going to take it anymore.  

This was what I got for believing all his stories of abuse, even though society finds it laughable that a woman can abuse a man?

One of my friends responded,

I have known you, although admittedly not well, for quite some time, and I’ve never known you to get this upset. Truly, this doesn’t seem to be within your character. Something really serious must have happened.

My brother sent me a message, asking who I’m not friends with anymore.  I said, “My friend Richard.  His wife has gone into a jealous frenzy.”

My brother’s wife said, “be careful, keep your distance let them cool off for awhile.”

I said, “They can have all the time in the world to cool off.  I’m sick of the crap I’ve had to put up with from her over the years.

Sometime around this time, I also blocked Tracy on Facebook, disgusted by her posts about having such a wonderful day because she was abusing me.

These posts came before mine, making me feel like–since we shared several friends on Facebook–I had to do damage control, show that there’s another side to the story, that Tracy wasn’t as justified or in the right or reasonable as she wanted to seem.

No, I didn’t reply to her posts directly, because that would’ve told everybody she knew–including her family and complete strangers to me–whom she was referring to.

And, of course, responding with something like, “The fact that you’re having so much obviously orgasmic pleasure from ripping me to pieces for NOTHING is proof that you are a nasty, horrid, abusive person who I don’t want in my life anyway”–would have only led to a Facebook flame war.

So even though Tracy was telling me the friendship wasn’t over, even though her words sure made it sound like it was–I was saying that yes indeed, it was over.

I never wanted to be her friend in the first place after seeing how she treated Richard and the children, wanted nothing to do with her after the way she treated me while living with us, only tolerated her for Richard’s sake,

and now even Richard wasn’t worth the price I had to pay to have her in my life.  He was proving to be a very bad friend, disloyal and deceitful, willing to throw even dear and loyal friends under the bus for the sake of peace in his house.  (I was hardly the first one.)

I wanted nothing more to do with this drama queen Tracy.

I was sick to death of every move I made, everything I said, everything I wrote, being interpreted by her through green-colored glasses.

I was sick to death of her histrionics, of having to explain myself, of having to apologize to her, but her not apologizing to me.

I was sick to death of being told I was somehow offending and hurting her again and again, just by being my natural introverted self, or by wanting to spend time with my BFF,

while she didn’t seem to care one bit that she was hurting and offending me constantly and deliberately.

What I initially thought was her decision to end the friendship, became my own.  But I was e-mailing Jeff at work about what was going on; he told me, “Ok: stay low, stay out of sight, and don’t rile her.  Let Richard &  I deal with it.”  He said we had no time to be doing some “conference.”

I wrote to him just before 2pm,

She’s screaming at me in messages about inappropriate behavior and crap.

After all the crap going on the past few weeks, I just felt the need to remember the hugs Richard and I used to have. Just to make him go “aww.” Somehow she saw it and went ballistic….

I’ve been trying to deal directly with him, but she keeps intercepting and yelling at me for it….

I’m so stunned by it all that I can’t even cry. I just don’t understand. I don’t know what’s going through Richard’s head because I’m not allowed to talk to him.

She’s talking about “inappropriate behavior” over the years.

What? I told him to tell me if something makes him uncomfortable. And I see how he jokes around with other people, male and female, and feel that must be in the bounds of “okay” for him.

I just don’t get it. And she calls me stupid for not getting it. And crows on her FB page about how happy she is right now.

She talks about preserving the friendship, but screw this. I’m not going to be friends with either of them anymore. They’ve both caused me so much freaking drama over the past few years that I’m sick and tired of it.

If you saw the way she’s been abusing me in her messages….

She’s talking about some sort of conference tonight.  We’re supposed to have a [T-ball] game tonight.

I don’t want to sit in some sort of conference with the one who you know has been so mean to me over the years.

She ripped on everything I ever did or said, and I don’t want to listen to more of it just because she thinks I “need to hear it.” 

I’m disgusted with Richard for letting her treat me like this.

Todd saw my posts and guessed who it was about, having been through this himself.

At first, I wasn’t going to tell him.  But then I realized that he and I had this in common, and he was the best person for me to talk to.

He knew what it was like, what Richard and Tracy were really like, and how it felt to be Richard’s close friend but suddenly jilted because Tracy went all psycho-b**ch on you.

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 

 

Part Three: Jeff’s WTF moment: Judas (Richard) knows I’m innocent, but psychotically rages at Jeff–Tracy’s Reign of Terror: True Story of Narcissism, Bullying, Domestic Violence and Child Abuse, Part 60

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

Part 60: The Incident Part Three: Jeff’s WTF moment: Judas (Richard) knows I’m innocent, but psychotically rages at Jeff

Warning: The following contains venting of anger, to get it out of my heart and onto the page, to make the story authentic, and to show other victims of abuse that I feel your rage.

When Jeff went over to talk to Richard alone after work, Richard claimed that Jeff didn’t know the half of how he and Tracy had been “bending over backward” for me–and Jeff considered this a load of BS.

If that’s what Richard and Tracy consider to be “bending over backward” to be nice to somebody, then I hate to see what they’re like when they’re not trying to be nice.  (Oh, wait, I did.  Dang, these people are evil.)

What happened to Richard reading the Philokalia? the Ladder of Divine Ascent? books which describe the Orthodox way of treating people kindly and with respect?  I’m sure those books don’t describe what Richard and Tracy were actually doing: demanding respect and kindness from others while showing no respect or kindness to them!

Is it really so hard to be kind and decent that you find it such an imposition? 

Is it so awful to accept that some people are naturally quiet and introverted, and that it has nothing to do with trying to tick you off? 

Is it so horrible to let your friends have their own ideas of what is proper behavior?  Yet another sign of sociopathy! 

Everyone else has to be nice to you, Richard and Tracy, but we’re supposed to let you treat us like crap!  Because treating others with respect is so frickin’ hard for you that you call it “bending over backward”!

Richard also acted in such a manner during the face-to-face conversation with Jeff–repeatedly getting up and into his face, raging, using his much larger height and girth–that Jeff felt very physically intimidated. 

This infuriated Jeff, especially after the threats he received from Richard in that e-mail several days earlier.

And why did Richard rage at him?  Because Jeff told him that there are two sides to this issue, that they kept putting all the burden and blame on me when there was plenty to go on Tracy’s shoulders.

So–No side is worthy of a hearing but Tracy’s?  No side is legitimate but Tracy’s?  I had been listening to her side and Richard’s side all these years, but they wouldn’t do the common decency of listening to MINE?

As for intimidating Jeff–It’s bad enough for schoolyard bullies to make you afraid, but for someone who’s supposed to be your friend–that’s unconscionable.  

Jeff finally yelled at him to STOP intimidating him and SIT DOWN.

Also, Jeff says that he tried to say things like, we needed to get into a circle and listen to each other, that all that swearing and verbal abuse was making things worse, but Richard would start hissing and getting angry.

Jeff left with a very bad taste in his mouth.  As for Richard, what a jackass.  And he wants to be a priest or a psychologist with an attitude like that?

If you don’t listen to any side but your own, not even when it’s your own friends,

if you defend your wife using swearing and ad hominems against your own friend, against someone you say is very dear to you and whom you know to be sweet, nice and sensitive–

–then you have no business counseling others on how to deal with relational problems or how to exorcise your own passions.

I gave him the Ladder of Divine Ascent; he said he read it; but did he really comprehend it?  Did he really comprehend why monks in the Divine Ascent icon are falling into Hell?

Jeff says Richard is like the Pharisees, that he doesn’t listen to anyone but himself, has a superiority complex (that both Richard and Tracy do), thinks the world revolves around him, is indeed a narcissist.

Note how Richard’s reaction to Jeff’s remarks, match exactly the following about telling an evil narcissist the truth:

So today’s dose of truth and reality is this: Evil must mask itself with good in order for it to make a living. Evil must hide itself by hiding the truth of who and what they are.

Therefore, full truth (light) is anathema to evil.  You know this is true. You’ve tried to bring just a smidgen of truth to the table with the narcissist and you saw the hissing, spitting and reviling it invoked.

The extreme reaction is the narcissist’s attempt to get you to drop the holy water before he gets burned.

That is not the moment to fumble or drop the truth. Thrust that stake deep into his heart and then put him in the ground. Metaphorically speaking, of course. –Anna Valerious, They Hide from Truth Because Their Deeds Are Evil

Also, Jeff is offended that they treated me as they did, saying “don’t go crying to Jeff because we don’t need the headache,” for confiding problems in my own husband.  He says it’s his job to listen to my problems and be there for me.

It sounds very much like the schoolyard bully saying don’t tell the teacher or we’ll beat you even worse.

Or the sexual molester saying, don’t tell your parents about our little secret.

Or the spouse saying don’t tell anyone I beat you or I’ll kill your sister.

But then, after the bizarrely jealous and possessive rant Tracy made publicly against me on Facebook a few weeks before this, after I posted a simple “I’ll miss you dearly, have a nice trip” on one of her posts about a possible family trip out of state–

–can I really expect any less than such an overblown and verbally abusive reaction from her to that misunderstood e-mail?

I have made many comments to people in the past which were not meant as offenses, but were received that way (i.e. foot-in-mouth disease), yet in their angriest reactions, they never, ever spoke to me the way she did.

There were so many things she did that day and in the following month that were just bizarre, over-the-top, ridiculous, incredibly insulting.

All because of what she thought the e-mail was about, but it really wasn’t.

And Richard just sat back and let her do it, while she crowed on Facebook that she was finally allowed to.  She seemed to think she was entitled to do this because she’s the wife of Richard.

Yet based on what I’ve seen him do in other situations with other people, if someone did the same thing to her, Richard would be all over them for it, want to beat them up.

And just because you’re married to a person doesn’t mean you “own” them like some piece of property.  They’re not a dog or a couch or a house.  They’re a human being with their own rights to think for themselves and decide for themselves what is right and who they should be friends with.

Jeff and I were both disgusted with Richard’s behavior.  When I heard of it later that evening, I began to sob and said, “That makes me never want to see him again!”

Tracy judged and sentenced me without a trial, without giving me a chance to defend myself.

And Richard knew full well the truth behind my e-mail, but pretended to Jeff and Tracy that he didn’t, that I was making a pass at him, when he knew full well that I wasn’t–probably to avoid a beating from Tracy.

For all his claims that I was very dear to him and he loved me like a sister, he showed me then just how much his friendship was worth.

I find it rather telling that Richard–

–when he showed Jeff the e-mail in question, along with Tracy’s e-mails–

–rather than telling Jeff what he told me when I questioned the gestures he made while he lived alone with us,

that they were done in friendship only,

and explaining how the hugs had been meant in friendship and brotherly love rather than romance,

he said he’d been distancing himself from me lately.

(Distancing himself?  As of when?  And–WHY?  Was he ever going to tell me?  What kind of a BFF does that without a word?  Yet more lack of communication from him to me!)

Why didn’t he tell Jeff they were innocent gestures and that my e-mail was equally innocent?

Was it because he was lying to me when he said we were doing nothing wrong?

This makes it sound as if they were not innocent, that he had more in his head than he’d admitted to me, and had been backing off for that reason.

While I had put my full faith and trust in him for more than two years that he had meant the gestures solely in friendship and would do this with any of his closest friends and relatives.

I feel manipulated by him, betrayed, used, played for a naïve and gullible fool, toyed with.  I’m furious with him for all of this.

Richard’s allowing Tracy to go off on me like this, and then defending it, made him into Judas, so that I can never trust him again–

–and it also appalled and disgusted Jeff, who is used to true friends laughing off gaffes or waiting to get more information before blowing up.

Then a month later I caught Richard in an outright lie (more on this later).

As for the gaffe–Richard himself had made at least two gaffes of his own, just like this:

One was an issue with someone close to him, which I won’t get into because it’s private.

The other was when he was living with us and put his head on my lap and shoulder, called it “flirting” when he did it, and gave me some very affectionate hugs, making me think he was making the moves on me.

But according to him, both times, he was innocent of the charges, hadn’t been “flirting,” had been acting with me as he would act with relatives such as sister, mother, cousins, sisters-in-law, had been misunderstood, and these were things which platonic friends could safely and innocently do with each other.

Yet when I made a gaffe, when I was innocent and misunderstood, instead of explaining to Tracy what it was really all about (which he knew very well), or giving me a chance to explain first, he allowed his wife to tear me apart over it.

Hypocrisy!  I bet he’d looove to find out what Jeff thinks of Richard’s “gaffe” with me after how he treated me over mine: Basically, he believes that Richard’s actions during the Incident reflected a guilty conscience.

Another time in the mid-90’s, you cried publicly on M.B.’s shoulder when you thought I had revealed something personal about your marriage in public (something about the possibility of your marriage breaking up).

It was stated offhandedly in a vague way, and no one had overheard it. You made sure that everyone–especially M.B.–knew I had committed a horrible gaffe against you, and you humiliated me in front of him and others at dinner.

(More traits of the Narcissist: payback for perceived slights; public humiliation for perceived slights; hanging on to excuses for committing character assassination.)–http://joyfulalivewoman.wordpress.com/2009/11/02/abusive-female-friend/

 

I’d like to insert at this point that abusers will act like they care about your feelings. This is strategic, intermittent, and shallow.

Whenever the rubber hits the road, for all the times the abuser has acted concerned about how you feel, you find yourself once again treated like crap on his or her shoe when you most need a kind word or some concern.

They will sometimes, maybe even often, mouth words of caring and concern about you and your feelings, but it never seems to translate into something real when you most need them to give a damn.

Remember my maxim: when the words stand in contradiction to the behaviors you must believe the behaviors!  What we do (or refuse to do when action is called for) is the measurement of our character and our intentions.

Our words don’t mean jack if they are not followed through with and supported by our action. –Anna Valerious, Do They Have Feelings?

I’ve told Jeff the things that happened, how Richard kept pushing the boundaries, how I told him he was freaking me out,

then Richard said, Don’t worry, it’s all done in friendship, I do this with relatives, it’s not romantic, we didn’t “do anything,” we can keep doing it.  

I told him how persuasive Richard was.  

Then when Tracy found out, guess who got blamed?  Me.  Guess who got accused of not understanding boundaries?  Me.

But back to 7/1/10.  Jeff had earlier instructed me to say nothing more to Tracy for the time being, to lie low and let him deal with things.

After Jeff spoke with Richard, he sent Tracy an e-mail trying to calm her down and say that I was sorry for having done something stupid and didn’t mean to hurt her feelings, that apparently Richard had been very unclear on what was and wasn’t okay over the years.  He also said that “f-bombs” are not helpful.

In response, she sent him an e-mail full of the worst barrage of verbal abuse of me yet.

Richard once told Jeff that we shouldn’t mention the NVLD to Tracy, that it could actually be dangerous for me.

But now here she was, somehow knowing about it, and saying horrible things about me in the e-mail to Jeff,

because I believed that it

(and, though Jeff didn’t say this, a lot of doublespeak from Richard and double standards from them both)

was the reason I had trouble figuring out her social requirements, rather than me just being childish and deliberately hurtful and hateful.

It was humiliating, demeaning, belittling.  She even said that Richard told me things that a 5-year-old child could understand, basically making me into some stupid idiot.  

But I knew myself and I knew that I never deliberately hurt her, that when I was upset with her it was because of her own hateful behavior toward me, Richard and/or her children.

Tracy pounced on NVLD as yet another reason to vilify me and falsely accuse me.  She went on about a “self-diagnosed learning disorder” and how I needed to “grow up and TALK.”

To quote Klank, “You don’t know what it is to be me.”

Tracy doesn’t know what it’s like to have a brain that makes most social situations extremely difficult, if she thinks I can just change because she wants me to.

She also has no idea what it’s like to be an introvert, that we’re born this way, born being quiet and eschewing small talk.

This shows the huge bias against introverts among extroverts, thinking our lack of speech has anything at all whatsoever to do with our maturity level,

and also shows Tracy’s unwillingness to understand anything at all about me, that there are other ways of being than hers.

Also, Jeff complained to me during this time about Richard’s doublespeak, because Jeff also dealt with it all the time.  It frustrated him just as much as it did me.

The narcissist’s sense of self, which has not progressed past that of a very young child, they cannot deal with the reality of a mirror being held up before them.

Unlike the alcoholic who may in due course “see the light”, a narcissist simply does not have the emotional skills to step outside of themselves and glimpse the truth in the mirror.

The essence of NPD is that the sufferer lives in a bubble that can only accommodate themselves. Self-reflection is definitely not in the narcissist’s bag of skills and expecting them to be capable of doing so can court disaster.

Be prepared for rage and aggression to be aimed at you. Be prepared to not be heard.. Be prepared to have everything that you claim about them, to be reassigned to you. When and if you are strong enough to cope with this treatment, then you may decide to go ahead.

If you are hoping for recognition and a change for the better, more pain is in store. –Beth McHugh, Should You Confront a Narcissist About His Narcissism

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 

Examples of Child Abuse

The web is full of a lot of crap about child abuse; people still follow outdated ideas that we need to use physical pain to punish.  But this page has clear guidance on what is child abuse.  For example:

Injury from abuse is most often located on the following areas:

Head and neck area (This area is vulnerable to injury because of a child’s small stature…it may be the closest body part to an adult’s hand or fist. Also, it is often targeted as it is where the crying, back talk, sass, bad language, etc. is emanating from.

The area of the head covered by hair may be targeted as the hair covers any bruising or lumps).

…….Examples of Physical Neglect

Lack of adequate shelter: Unsanitary conditions (garbage, spoiled food, excrement)

Failure to Protect

  • Failure of parent or caretaker to protect child from known situations of child abuse in any of its forms

 

Behavioral Indicators of Physical Neglect:

–Hoards food

……Emotional Abuse—California Penal Code Section 11166&b;

Emotional abuse is defined as when a person causes or permits a child to suffer unjustifiable or significant mental suffering.

Emotional Abuse—Federal Guidelines

  • Acts or omissions by parents or caretakers that have caused, or could cause, serious behavioral, cognitive, emotional or mental disorders.
  • Some acts, do not leave evident harm to the child but warrant reporting, such as extreme or bizarre forms of punishment, such as locking a child in a closet.
  • Emotional abuse is almost always present when other forms of abuse are identified

Emotional Abuse

  • Belittling
  • Blaming
  • Sarcasm
  • Screaming
  • Humiliation
  • Threatening
  • Unpredictable responses
  • Child exposed to domestic violence
  • Child placed in restraints, caged or severe confinement [the parent told me he put them in a closet]

Indicators of Emotional Abuse in the Parent

  • Has unrealistic expectations of the child – developmentally, educationally or emotionally
  • Enforces unusual penalties or vaguely sinister punishment – it is one thing to place a child in time-out in their room for five minutes, and another to place a child in time-out in a locked closet for five minutes

Trust your instincts.  Make that report!

Also:

Even forms of physical punishment that do not result in physical injury are considered physical abuse and are outlawed in some states.

For example, in Arkansas, Minnesota, and the District of Columbia, hitting a child with a closed fist is considered physical abuse. In Arkansas, hitting a child on the face or head is also called physical abuse. –The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, Child Physical Abuse Fact Sheet

Help prevent shaken baby syndrome

  • Never shake a baby. Also, do not slap or hit a child of any age on the face or head. A child’s brain is very delicate.  Shaking, slapping, or hitting a child can cause serious harm, even though it may not leave any obvious sign of injury. –Healthwise staff, Shaken Baby Syndrome: Home Treatment

 

Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect (state-by-state)

 

Also see Child AbuseHitting Kids Upside the Head is ABUSE, …Because slapping kids on the head is ABUSE!  STOP THE VIOLENCE! and Slapping Kids Upside the Head Causes Traumatic Brain Injury.

 

Verbal Abuse

I’ve noticed quite a bit of hits from keywords referring to abuse.  This is, unfortunately, a common problem, and people need to find help.

There are also many hits from keywords referring to narcissistic or borderline personality disorders, disorders which often lead to abusive behaviors.

So I will make a series of posts from my webpage on abuse, which gathers together links I have found most helpful.  I have them arranged by category. 

The first part is on the general topic of abuse.  The last section of the webpage, my own personal abuse stories, has already been posted here.

From my page Abuse in all its forms: My Thoughts, Quotes and Links to help:

Verbal Abuse

Verbal Abuse Checklist

What is Verbal Abuse?

Dr. Irene’s Verbal Abuse Site

Verbal/Emotional Abuse

The Verbal Abuse Site

Identify & Respond to Verbal Abuse

10 Myths About Verbal Abuse

How to React to Verbal Abuse

Getting Verbal Abuse Out of My Life (personal blog)

Verbal Abuse: Wikipedia

Verbal-Abuse: Article Snatch

Verbal Abuse Healing

Verbal Abuse FAQ

Controlling Abuse

Verbal Abuse

Verbal Abuse in Relationships

Invisible Scars: Verbal Abuse

Women as Verbal Abusers

There are harsh tones, there’s yelling, and one little girl (correctly) pointed out that there is a difference between yelling and screaming. Which do you think is worse? Why? See what I mean?–You do know the intricacies of body language.

….If you think about it, yelling has got to be one of the most self-defeating behaviors ever tried. Check out this scene: He yells. Now she’s mad, so she yells. Well, he is really mad, so now he really yells. Where, oh where is this going? No where. Of course. –DrDeb, Yelling does NOT get what you want

 

You may be asking, why does this person treat me this way.  Patricia Evans describes in her books that as a result of a traumatic experience the person does not develop emotionally into what we see as normal….

A person that has truly been born again and filled with the Holy Spirit cannot deliver anger to another….

Emotions, in this case anger, are not something that just happens.  We are accountable for our emotions.  Anger is a choice.  We can choose to be angry or choose understanding and love.

Without understanding that we are fully responsible for our actions to each other, that our emotions are not a result of our past, we cannot step out of the chains that bind us.

We cannot blame the things of our past for our current behavior, or use the things from our past as a crutch to justify inappropriate behavior.  —Verbal Abuse Healing, Denise Zink  (Also see this page for tips on standing up for yourself against verbal abuse.  For example, say “Stop” and nothing else.)

 

ONCE AGAIN: IF YOU FEEL SCARED OF YOUR SPOUSE/FRIEND/FAMILY MEMBER, SOMETHING IS WRONG.  YOU SHOULD NOT FEEL YOU MUST LIE FOR THEM, OR DO ANYTHING UNDERHANDED OR MANIPULATIVE OR ILLEGAL.  YOU SHOULD NOT FEAR THEIR TEMPER.

The Topic of Abuse (General)

Abuse Specifically Against Husbands/Boyfriends 

Borderline Personality Disorder 

Bullying 

Child Abuse

Domestic Abuse (anyone who lives together or is in a romantic relationship, including roommates or family members)

Emotional Abuse

Gaslighting

Getting into the Psyche of the Abuser

If You’ve Been Reported to CPS 

Narcissists

Personal Stories

Physical Abuse

Recovery

Stopping Abuse/ Helping Abused Friend, Family Member, Co-worker, Child 

Toxic Friendships/Relationships

Understanding the Abused

Verbal Abuse

What about Missional Churches, Simple Churches, Fluid Churches, Organic Churches, House Churches or Neighborhood Churches?

In mid- to late-2007, I first came across this term in mailings from my former church’s youth pastor, who had gone into new ministries.  He was starting this kind of church, so I wondered what it was and began researching.

It’s basically rebuilding Christianity from the ground up, not relying on denominations or doctrines or preachers or anything but the Bible, not even needing a pastor.

You have tiny groups doing worship, prayer, communion and Bible study with a leader.  This can be your church, or alongside your regular church.

It is very easy to get into all sorts of heresy in this kind of setup.

It derides practices which are good and right, such as imitating Jewish worship (which was prescribed by God himself) and paying a priest/pastor a salary.

I have looked into the practices of the Early Church, including writings from that time; I find the claims of the Simple Church founders regarding the Early Church to be inaccurate and misleading.

Frank Viola is a big part of the Simple Church movement, and he’s the one who wrote Pagan Christianity, charging that paganism infused the Church shortly after its inception.

I am extremely concerned because Viola rips apart everything about the historic Church which makes it the One Holy, Apostolic Catholic Church.

Some quotes from this page:

Does a house church need a leader or pastor?

Although all house churches are different, and they decide individually how they want to do things, in general there are no “pastors.” At least there doesn’t need to be.

We believe that the Holy Spirit can use any believer to teach or encourage the group. In a house church, everyone is expected to participate and be looking for ways to use the gifts the Holy Spirit provides (see 1 Cor. 14:26).

Certainly there is usually a facilitator of the group (although it doesn’t need to be the same person that faciliatates from meeting to meeting).

We believe that even a new believer could start a church in their home without feeling like they need a trained professional to come and lead it, or needing money to support such a person.

We find that the lack of a specified pastor encourages every person in the group to look for answers by searching the Scriptures and looking to the Holy Spirit, rather than depending on the pastor to interpret.

….What do you do when you get together?

Again, this will vary from church to church . . . but here are some of the basic elements that tend to be present in every house church:

FOOD – When you get together, eat! It provides a great atmosphere for people to have honest open communication with each other.

OPEN PARTICIPATION – 1 Corinthians 14:26 is the basis for what we do when we get together. The key is “Each one has…” Everybody should be able to take part.

BIBLE STUDY – Keep it simple and interactive. A great technique is to look over a few verses together and then share with each other what each person gets out of the verses.

PRAYER – Find out what is happening in each other’s lives and take the time to pray for each other. Expect God to move powerfully and to speak to the group as you pray.

SIMPLICITY – Make sure that whatever you do can be duplicated. If the church is going to multiply rapidly it must be kept simple.

How do you handle ceremonial events?

This is yet another area where many house churches differ, but here are some suggestions:

WEDDINGS – We usually encourage couples to have a civil wedding (in front of a Justice of the Peace) on a Friday to deal with the legal issues, and then have anything that they and their house church want for the real wedding that weekend.

BAPTISMS – Be creative! We have had (or heard of) baptisms in jacuzzis, bathtubs, swimming pools, and lakes.

LORD’S SUPPER – Again, the way that people in different house churches handle the Lord’s Supper varies widely. If you are interested, Steve Atkerson wrote an interesting article on the Lord’s Supper called “The Last Snack“(printed in issue 1 of House2House magazine).

In a group like this, how do you prevent the spread of heresies?  A group which doesn’t even have a real pastor?  No seminary degree, nothing, unless he happened to get one through his former denomination?

Some articles about it:

Simple Church

SimpleChurchUK

House Church Basics

Frank Viola’s Blog/Website

Books by Frank Viola

Interview with Frank Viola in which he claims the Church is full of paganism

What do we mean by “Simple Church”?

Beware of it and do not fall for it!  It could do a great deal of damage to the Church.

A blog critiquing Viola’s Pagan Christianity: Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Postlude.

A blog criticizing this sort of church from the Orthodox perspective: Where the West is headed now, and how the Eastern Church might play a role

Written between 2007 and 2009

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

Or should I move back in with my parents?–College Memoirs: Life At Roanoke–April 1995, Part 6

I kept thinking how much better it would be if I would just live with my parents and get a job in South Bend, but I didn’t want to leave S–.

I hoped Catherine would ask me to live with her, but I wouldn’t ask her because it didn’t feel right.  I thought it would be imposing.

Somehow, I don’t know how, Carrie got the idea I was going to live with Catherine.  It’s strange not just because I wanted to but never spoke of it to anyone, but because our Bulgarian friend ended up living with her until she started grad school.

You can read about my confusion in my last entry in the Journal, for May 18.  I began to realize that I really wanted to go home to figure my life out and what kind of job I wanted.  You can also see I wasn’t the only one going through this:

I know what you mean, Tara–the thought of everything being final and the thought of having to leave the safety of Roanoke is frightening.

I could go back home, I guess, and live in my parents’ house and have food and utilities and everything, and maybe they’d let me get by for a while without paying them rent–but I don’t wanna.

I want to stay around here and see you guys and Catherine and be near Cugan and stay in the local SCA shire. They’re nice people and Cugan says they’re one of the best shires around here. I also love going up to W– shire for English-country dance group.

I’ve become disenchanted with modern dancing these past couple of years. At the one dance I went to last year, the most fun I had was dancing an Irish jig with Astrid. The rest of the time, I feel like I’m an oddball because I don’t just sway around. [Dancing in the early 90s meant swaying.]  That’s why English country is so appealing to me.

I may not quite have the hang of it yet, but they know I’m a “newbie” and help me out, and I have fun. You swing around and actually dance with your partner and move around the dance floor. It looks something like their dances on “Much Ado About Nothing.”

I like that they don’t hate newbies. They’ve even said it’s more fun with people who don’t know what they’re doing, because otherwise it gets boring.

One guy, Jakob, a major flirt (even flirts with Cugan), likes to grab newbies for dance partners. My life is so interesting nowadays… :)

…Out of school…hmm…What a prospect. No more homework again. The real world.

If I decide to move into the building I’m considering, which I probably will, I’ll only have to pay $250 a month for rent and utilities, and it sounds like a little boarding-house- type thing. Or a larger form of this apartment. Eight people sharing bathrooms and probably a kitchen, in a nice remodeled building. It sounds like fun.

Hopefully the temp service will have enough jobs for me, too, because I really don’t know what I want to do, and I’d like to sample different things before I decide.

See, what I really am is a fiction writer, but I need something to pay the bills.

I don’t want that other thing to take over, though; I don’t want to be saying, “I’m a clerk” or “I’m a factory worker” or “I’m a proofreader” when asked what my career is. I’d rather say, “I’m a writer, but I do such-and-such to pay the bills.”

It really sucks that writing doesn’t pay the bills unless you’re a Tom Clancy. And I don’t want to put out just popular fluff; I want to end up in anthologies. It’s okay if it’s popular and makes me a millionaire, but I want it to be new and different, not fluff.

What should I save up for first? Car or computer? Maybe I’ll get a computer first. That’s what I want more than a car. Who knows, maybe I could find a job where you can work at home on your computer. :) Though I wouldn’t mind working at Krafter’s workplace in some position, and to get out there I’d probably need a car.

Oh, gosh–second thoughts–like all my senses are telling me to go home for the summer, at least–I keep getting sooo homesick, this rooming place hasn’t called me, I have no idea what I want to do to pay the bills, I don’t have a car…

Maybe I’ll transfer my SEEK records down to South Bend, save up what money I get, figure out what I wanna do, and come back here during the school year. The problems this would solve! I don’t think my parents would mind, especially my mom.

It’s like the principle of if God closes a door–lately I’ve started wondering if I was quite ready for the real world yet. Maybe I could get a car and I’d be able to work at Krafter’s workplace after all. :)

I know my friend Josh (back home) will be happy if I go home for a while. It is the summer, after all; most of you guys wouldn’t be around, anyway.

What a relief. Plus I wouldn’t have college stresses pressing on me; my time could be more focused on figuring my life out.

Index 
Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Table of Contents

Freshman Year

September 1991:

 October 1991:

November 1991:

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound

January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD

 February 1992:

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

May 1992:

Sophomore Year 

Summer 1992:

September 1992:

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

November 1992:

December 1992:

January 1993:

February 1993:

March 1993:

April 1993:

May 1993:

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

September 1993:

October 1993:

November 1993:

December 1993:

January 1994:

February 1994:

March 1994:

April 1994:

Senior Year 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:

July & August 1994:

January 1995:

February 1995:

March 1995:

April 1995:

May 1995:

 

My Depression after Abuse

(Post on depression after abuse, originally published February 8, 2011.)


 

Times have gotten so dark lately…..

I used to be obsessed with studying my faith.

Now I don’t even have that anymore because the person who led me into the truth I’d been searching for, my spiritual mentor, the source of spiritual knowledge, wisdom and help–

turned around and betrayed me, and their spouse bullied and then verbally abused me (such horrid, horrid words) over misunderstandings–

and they both just kept excusing and justifying it, making me wonder what kind of people can excuse such things…….

Then it all fell apart, they don’t seem to care if I’m alive anymore, my faith is in shatters, and I have these terrible headaches that just won’t–go–away!

How can God give me this friend in answer to prayer and use this friend to lead me into truth and then take the friend away again in such horrible circumstances?  How can this have happened?

Or is there no God to have done any of it?  Or does he just not care?  It’s hard to even get myself to pray or read my Bible……………Continue Reading “Fighting the Darkness”

 

Does the Pill cause abortions, or is that just another weird Internet or extremist right-wing rumor?

No, the Pill and the Morning-After Pill do NOT cause abortions by anyone’s standards, not even the conservative Christian standard.

They do not work by preventing implantation, but by preventing ovulation/fertilization.  Without fertilization, there can be no conception.

The notion that morning-after pills prevent eggs from implanting stems from the Food and Drug Administration’s decision during the drug-approval process to mention that possibility on the label–despite lack of scientific proof, scientists say, and objections by the manufacturer of Plan B, the pill on the market the longest.

Leading scientists say studies since then provide strong evidence that Plan B does not prevent implantation, and no proof that a newer type of pill, Ella, does. Some abortion opponents said they remain unconvinced….

Experts say implantation was likely placed on the label partly because daily birth control pills, some of which contain Plan B’s active ingredient, appear to alter the endometrium, the lining of the uterus into which fertilized eggs implant. Altering the endometrium has not been proven to interfere with implantation.

But in any case, scientists say that unlike the accumulating doses of daily birth control pills, the one-shot dose in morning-after pills does not have time to affect the uterine lining….

Dr. Trussell of Princeton said that if morning-after pills worked after eggs were fertilized, they would prevent pregnancy better than they do. The pregnancy prevention rates are probably lower than scientists and pill makers originally thought, he said–in some studies as low as 52 percent for Plan B and 62 percent for Ella.

By contrast, scientists say, research suggests that the only other officially approved form of emergency contraception, the copper intrauterine device (also a daily birth control method), can work to prevent pregnancy after an egg has been fertilized. –Pam Belluck, Abortion Qualms on Morning-After Pill May Be Unfounded

Wikipedia (has many additional links, some of which are below)

A page from a text by doctors who promote birth control, describing how the Pill works

From the Archives of Family Medicine

Religious Tolerance site article (formerly titled “Do Contraceptives Induce Abortions?”)

PBS article

Webpage written for teens’ questions on sex and other issues–NOT from Christian point-of-view.  Note that if you don’t take the Pill regularly, it won’t protect you from pregnancy.  Which also does not support the idea that it’s an abortifacient.

Fact sheet which shows that implantation can be prevented if prevention of ovulation and then fertilization fails

Here’s a Lutheran paper on the subject: Birth Control Pills: Contraceptive or Abortifacient?

Blog on the subject

The following article, from a Catholic health journal, argues that Plan B emergency contraception does not cause abortions, as the Church would understand them, that it does not abort fertilized eggs: Plan B: How it Works: Science shows it is not an abortifacient

Why can’t the FDA fix outdated birth control labels?

What Media Should Know About Hobby Lobby and the Fight for Contraceptive Access

Written probably in 2006; completely rewritten between 2012 and 2014

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