Freedom from Richard’s Political Stranglehold

There is an unexpected blessing inside all of the trauma and ugliness of the friendship breakup with Richard (and Chris, as well, who had been posting some really weird stuff on Facebook before he unfriended me): I’m no longer dominated by his crazy Libertarian (anarcho-capitalist) politics.

I was so tolerant, and so afraid of offending my bestest friend, that I didn’t tell him how I really felt about his politics, and I let him go on about how he hated Democrats, they were the enemy, they vote for killing babies, etc. etc., even though I tried to gently tell him that good, Christian people also vote Democrat.

Some of the most religious people I know (including a very conservative, anti-abortion Christian from college, and a preacher) are Democrats.

But inwardly I hated the way he railed against Democrats, even though I was an Independent myself, sometimes voting for Democrats, sometimes voting for Republicans.

I hated how he talked about Obama, how he talked as if the people who voted for him in 2008 were just mindless dupes–as if they couldn’t have honestly voted Democrat because they felt he was the best candidate with the best ideas and values.  (And McCain’s running mate sure didn’t help.)

Then he went into that Tea Party and Anarchy, and really went off the deep end in wacko politics.  I was afraid to tell him what I really felt about these things, because he started scolding me for disagreeing with him.

Like during a citywide controversy in 2009, when we were about to lose Mercury Marine, a company which is extremely important to our local economy.

But he pooh-poohed that, even though I had already seen my engineer husband lose his job at another company because sales at Merc had gone down, and even though other cities in our state had already gone into the crapper because of big companies moving out.

I “liked” the Facebook status update of the city council president because he helped keep the company in town.  Then Richard actually scolded me for liking it!

When he started spouting off on Facebook about nutty things like how we don’t need the police, I disagreed with him, so got chewed out and basically told that my opinion didn’t matter and that I didn’t care about liberty etc. etc.

He even scolded me for posting on Facebook one day (after seeing on Hotel Rwanda how political hatred led to so much violence) that we need to not hate our political enemies!  I really began to feel like I was the heretic to his orthodoxy, in his own mind.  [Update and disclaimer: When I went back into my Facebook timeline in 2014 to review this post and its responses, I saw that I may have confused his reply with those of some other people.]

In 2000, when the candidates were first being nominated, I looked at Al Gore as a possibility, though later on I did not vote for or like him.  But around 2000 I noticed, whenever I took an online political quiz, that I kept leaning more toward the middle, or even toward liberalism.  I had been a lifelong Republican, so this surprised me.

When I became Presbyterian (USA, the liberal one) in 2005, I found myself agreeing with the more Democratic leanings of their denomination’s monthly magazine.  It was actually refreshing to find liberal instead of Republican politics in a Christian magazine.  Which, of course, was surprising for a lifelong Republican.

But in 1998 I was so disgusted with the Republican crusade against Clinton (even though I did not like Clinton, thought he was slimey) that I told my Irish penpal I no longer considered myself Republican.  So by 2005 I believe I was a moderate Independent, neither one nor the other.  [Wait: I also began thinking more Democratically after reading Cornerstone Magazine.]

I voted for McCain, but that was only because Richard told me about a video (which I found online) in which Obama, doing a stump speech, said he was going to make states pay for abortions, something to that effect.  Well, he never actually did that.

I always liked McCain, especially since he kept partnering with the Democrat Feingold (whom I also liked), so I didn’t mind voting for him.  But I was still happy to see Obama win.  But try to tell Richard that, and oh, you get told how wrong you are….

In the past few years, especially with the rise of the Tea Party, its eventual connection to the Republican Party, and the maddening denials of science and reason and human rights and rights of the poor, which I’m seeing come out of the GOP lately–I cannot in good conscience have anything to do with the Republican Party anymore.

My opinion of the Tea Party did not come from the media, but straight from what Richard and Chris kept posting on their Facebook walls.

I believe in global warming.  I love Obama and will vote for him, think he’s a good person/president, he’s just being stymied by Republicans who don’t believe in compromise.  I believe compromise is a virtue and essential for good government.  I can’t stand Ron Paul, think he’s a kook whose policies would destroy the country.

I don’t believe in a New World Order or Illuminati conspiracy.  I think the John Birch Society is also kooky.  I don’t believe the government is going to round us up into concentration camps, take our guns away, or force martial law.

I don’t believe there is a “liberal media,” but I do believe Fox News has a deliberate and deceitful bias trying to make people vote Republican.  I love the Daily Show and Colbert Report because finally, I found there some sanity!

I believe in teaching science and not religion in a science classroom.  I believe God created using evolution, that evolution has been proven, is no longer just a theory.  I believe unions are absolutely necessary to keep businesses from exploiting their workers.

I’m even beginning to believe–contrary to what I’m “supposed” to believe as an Orthodox Christian–that homosexuality is often something gays/lesbians are born with, not something they choose, so God must have made them that way, and that they should be allowed to settle down with whomever they love, and legally marry.  I believe that people should be allowed to make whatever marital arrangements they wish (such as plural) as long as they’re consenting adults.

I believe the poor and old should have help from the government.  I like Obamacare, though what I really want to see is something more like Canada.

I despise what Walker did to the state of Wisconsin, believe he cut or tried to cut everything that’s wonderful about that state’s government, and the Republicans steamrolled over the Democrats to get there.

I don’t believe in abortion, but I do fear the unexpected ramifications of changing the laws on that (such as making the birth control pill illegal in some states).  I believe in Social Services being allowed to help the ones who can’t help themselves, i.e. abused children.

I believe in having the police, a fire department, etc.  I believe in helping illegal immigrants instead of abusing them.  I believe in renewable power, and regulations on banking and business.  I believe in supporting public schools and that we can pray any time we like in our heads.

I believe that Islam is not the enemy, that there are many wonderful, pious Muslims.  I don’t think political systems are inherently evil; it’s what is done with them that makes them evil.  I don’t think Socialism is the enemy, nor do I believe our president is a Socialist.  Or a Muslim.  Or a Kenyan.

And even though I am Orthodox, I keep finding Democrats in my local church.  One of the elderly men is Democrat, for example.  My new friend in the church is not just pious, but Democrat.

I have finally come out of the closet and said I am a Democrat, and proud of it!

–Can you imagine the fallout if I told this to Richard (and Tracy) and was still friends with him?  Especially when I noted how his other friends tend to be Republicans or Libertarians like him?  I can, and it isn’t pretty.

I can be friends with people of other parties; my friends have always been a mix of Democrat and Republican.  So I can change from one to the other and still keep the same friends; I just avoid political discussions with them.

For the past two years, I have finally felt free to post what I like on my Facebook about politics!

And about pretty much anything else, since with Richard and Tracy no longer on it, I was no longer derided for not liking gory movies, or treated like I needed to be “pampered” when I don’t, or punished for being too quiet, or scolded for saying that pesticide is bad for the environment and our health, or made fun of for posting about new raffle rules for Greek Fest, or had my comments deleted all the time, or got yelled at for saying “I’ll miss you dearly on your trip, but have fun!”

I can gently flirt with my friends without an angry Tracy on my back, or a hypocritical Richard acting like it was wrong, while he did far more blatant flirting with others all the time!

No more scolding for being too “liberal” in my religious beliefs about marriage, or lectures on how I should be submissive!  No longer told that everything I do is wrong, that my childrearing is “spoiling” my kid, while they defend their own abusive behaviors!  No more bullying both on Facebook and in real life!

I’m free to be myself again!  It felt like a noose had suddenly been taken from my neck.

[Update: Unfortunately, it seems like whenever I get rid of one extremist, another one replaces him.  Especially after Scott Walker turned Republicans and Democrats against each other, nobody listens to each other anymore, and I’m afraid to post anything political at all.  I always seem to get at least one snarky comment no matter what the subject.  😛  ]

 

The Pain of Being In/Watching Destructive Marriages, Domestic Violence and Stockholm Syndrome

I’ve seen far too much of the evil of the world:

An old middle school classmate and his wife have been married maybe a year and a half, but ever since they got married, their drama has been playing out on my Facebook news feed.

There’s abuse, cheating, all sorts of nasty stuff going on; somebody leaves, their Facebook walls are full of complaints, they get back together and they’re all lovey-dovey posting cutesy things that I really don’t care to read (too much like being a voyeur, and I’ve never felt comfortable with other people’s PDAs).

It’s probably driving everybody crazy who reads their posts.  [Update: It’s been less than two years since I posted this–and they’re divorced, have been for a little while now.  So at least that drama is over with.]

Today, the wife posted this song by Rihanna, “Love the Way You Lie (Part 2).”  I don’t know this song, not having listened to pop music for about 10 years now.  But the lyrics are full of Stockholm Syndrome; read them at RIHANNA – LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE PART II LYRICS.

Video:

I tracked down Part 1 as well:

Lyrics are at Eminem-lyrics-love-the-way-you-lie-feat-rihanna.

I was once in an emotionally abusive relationship (Phil) that had the elements of physical violence being very likely in the future.  My friends and family all grew to hate him, but I didn’t know why.

Yet I kept trying to hold it together, even debased myself by begging him to come back when he–disgusted with my refusal to just sit back and take his abuse without protest–left me.

When he came back again two weeks later, it was to a broken, submissive person who was desperate to do whatever he wanted, just to keep him from leaving again.  But I did one thing wrong in his eyes, and off he went again.

It lasted nine months, but the baggage lasted for years.

One of my cousins is in a physically abusive marriage.

My friend Catherine married a guy who, with his controlling ways and desire for a subservient wife, reminded me of Phil, but she divorced him.

Another friend married her college sweetheart, but he began doing drugs, began cheating, they got divorced, and she discovered bruises on their son (from the guy’s new girlfriend).

I saw firsthand an abusive relationship (Richard and Tracy) because it was in my house, saw her slap his arm in anger, saw her control and intimidate him, saw her decide who his friends could be, heard her scream at the kids all day long, heard her pick fights, pick on him with put-downs disguised as jokes, order him around and accuse him of things, then heard from him after they moved out that she was punching him at home and spanking the kids too hard.

He told me he put the children in the closet once and may have to do it again.  He told me that if his wife hit his face, he’d hit her back.  I saw her slap a tiny toddler hard in the back of the head.  I saw her go nuts on two of the kids one day, with no clue what they’d done wrong.

The things I heard and the things I saw made me fear that one day, I would hear about them on the 6:00 news, unless I reported them to Social Services (only to find that Richard had already been charged with child abuse before I reported).

But he kept telling me these things were happening, then denying the truth of it when I told him I saw it, too.  He kept excusing her abusive actions, not just to him but to his friends, because her abuse was not just contained at home.

Then I heard that he himself was an abuser, had choked one of his kids to unconsciousness (a few seconds more would mean death), had once beaten the same child mercilessly when she was little.

But he’s so entrenched in Stockholm Syndrome that not only does he stay, but he lets her abuse his friends, and blames the friends for it, as her abuser-by-proxy.

Both are now stalking me for trying to get the story out–of what she did to him and what she did to me–to try to get the abuse to stop, accusing me of defamation, even though I am telling the truth, am using fake names online, and I have in my possession an e-mail and record of a phone conversation which prove I’m telling the truth.

(I held onto them just in case Richard would need an ally in court.)

My other proofs are listed in Now I’m Being Stalked, which also includes the narcissistic and DARVO e-mail they sent me a few months ago.

They’ve traumatized me severely, so severely I had to take to blogging to deal with it, and are now re-traumatizing me, on purpose!  The lengths an abused person can go to, to defend their abuser, is just mind-boggling.

And this when all I wanted was to be there for Richard, to help him see the truth of what was going on.  But who knows, maybe one day he will finally come out of the FOG (Fear, Obligation, Guilt) and come to us.

Another friend told me his wife was abusing him, trying to keep him from seeing his best friend (who happened to be Richard), would slap his kid on the back of the head, and he would leave, but he kept going back to her.

Now I advocate online through my blog and website, and on Facebook as well, to spread awareness of abuse, to let people know that women also abuse, to provide links to help for people in these situations.

The above song is especially painful because it’s full of Stockholm Syndrome, keeping the persona in a relationship with someone she knows is bad for her, because she’s addicted to him and the drama.

It’s painful not just to be in this, but to watch it, the shock waves extending not just to the couple, but to children, family and friends.

Abuse Tears Families Apart: A Sister Mourns the Loss of Her Brother

 

From Emerging From Broken: How Victim Mentality works in Relation to Family Secrets

Some quotes from Darlene Ouimet’s How Victim Mentality works in Relation to Family Secrets:

Victim mentality taught me to FEAR the consequences of honoring my choice to reveal those secrets. Victim mentality tells me that I am safer to keep the secrets and protect the perpetrator.

Victim mentality taught me to protect the person who covered up for the perpetrator, believing that I am less deserving than the perpetrator, BECAUSE that is what I was taught about myself through the actions of those who were in charge of me.

When I first started this website I would have a fear related adrenaline rush when I clicked the publish button on certain articles especially if they revealed anything about toxic and dysfunctional family relationships. That was my childhood fear of going public with my past.

It was not fear for what others would then know about me but fear of what the consequences would be if I “told” on the abusers and those that didn’t protect me or if I revealed the family secrets.

I didn’t understand that fear based adrenaline rush then as well as I do now. I had to reassure myself that the consequences for talking would not kill me that I was no longer that helpless child anymore. I had to remind myself that hundreds of times.

I no longer care if the truth hurts someone else’s feelings. When I decided to heal and move forward with MY life, I had to stop taking care of other people’s feelings and finally validate MY feelings.

When I finally put my own healing first, I began to see the dysfunction more clearly. I finally saw that I was contributing to the sick dysfunctional cycle by going along with it.

Links to My Favorite Single Dad Laughing blog posts about abuse and bullying

Why do I write about abuse so much?  Because I was emotionally abused by an ex who, if we had stayed together longer, probably would have turned physical as well.

Because I witnessed it happening to a close friend of mine (male), but when I tried to help, it was turned on me.

Because when I was overheard telling my husband the truth about what was going on, there was hell to pay.

Because another friend told me his wife was abusing him, too.

Because I want to help the kids who are being abused, not just the ones I know about but the ones I don’t.

Because I was bullied repeatedly for being who I am, first verbally in school, then again very recently, and feel for those who are being bullied and sometimes even kill themselves over it.

The blog posts of Single Dad Laughing on this subject especially resonate with me, so I’m posting them here for the benefit of others who have not yet found them:

Worthless Men and the Women Who Make Them–on women abusing men

A wife can bash on her husband all she wants. She can make fun of him, ridicule him, belittle him, and make him feel like a giant turd. But, the moment the man does it back, he’s a douche bag… and all of her friends, sisters, and even her mother are going to hear about it.

A woman can hit a man. She can physically assault him. She can push him. She can slap him. If he doesn’t take it “like a man”, he’s called a… woman. A girl. A sissy. How ironic. Yet, the moment a man so much as lays a finger on a female, he’s labeled as abusive.

Worthless Women and the Men Who Make Them–on men expecting women to be some impossible perfect standard of beauty/womanhood

We’ve replaced that beauty with a standard that is, and always will be, impossible for them to hit. We’ve decided what the perfect legs are. We’ve decided what the perfect body is.

We’ve decided what the perfect breasts are to be shaped like. We’ve decided what the perfect face, skin, butt, and neck should be. And we’ve made no hesitations to boldly let it be known.

We declare it, and we do so with little care for the tender women standing beside us.

And, of course, with each declaration, women hate themselves more. With each declaration, women get further and further from beautiful.

With each declaration, more and more of our women willingly place themselves beneath the scalpels of so-called “doctors” who cut apart and reshape their already gorgeous bodies into something different.

You Just Broke Your Child. Congratulations.–on child abuse

Dads. Stop breaking your children. Please.

I feel a need to write this post after what I witnessed at Costco yesterday. Forgive me for another post written in desperation and anger.

Please read all the way to the end. I know it’s long, but this is something that needs to be said. It’s something that needs to be heard. It’s something that needs to be shared.

As Noah and I stood in line to make a return, I watched as a little boy (he couldn’t have been older than six) looked up at his dad and asked very timidly if they could buy some ice cream when they were done.

The father glared him down, and through clenched teeth, growled at the boy to ”leave him alone and be quiet”. The boy quickly cowered to the wall where he stood motionless and hurt for some time.

The line slowly progressed and the child eventually shuffled back to his father as he quietly hummed a childish tune, seemingly having forgotten the anger his father had just shown.

The father again turned and scolded the boy for making too much noise. The boy again shrunk back and cowered against the wall, wilted.

I was agitated. I was confused. How could this man not see what I see? How could this man not see what a beautiful spirit stood in his shadow?

How could this man be so quick to stub out all happiness in his own boy? How could this man not cherish the only time he’ll ever have to be everything to this boy? To be the person that matters most to this boy?

We were three from the front now, and the boy started to come towards his dad yet again. His dad immediately stepped out of the line, jammed his fingers into his son’s collar bones until he winced in pain, and threatened him.

“If you so much as make a sound or come off of that wall again, I promise you’re going to get it when we get home.”

The boy again cowered against the wall. This time, he didn’t move. He didn’t make a sound. His beautiful face pointed down, locked to the floor and expressionless.

He had been broken. And that’s how his father wanted it. He didn’t want to deal with him, and breaking him was the easiest way.

And we wonder why so many of our kids grow up to be screwed up.

I’m going to be blunt. People see my relationship with Noah, and quite often put me up on a pedestal or sing my praises for loving him more than most dads love their own kids.

Damn it. I don’t understand that, and I’ll never understand that. Loving my son, building my son, touching my son, playing with my son, being with my son… these aren’t tasks that only super dads can perform. These are tasks that every dad should perform. Always. Without fail.

There is nothing special about me. I am a dad who loves his son and would literally do anything for his well-being, safety, and health. I would gladly take a rake in the face or a jackhammer to my feet before I cut my own son down or make him feel small.

Memoirs of a Bullied Kid and Bullied. The Forgotten Memoirs–The author’s own bullying experiences, in painful detail, which also inspired me to tell my own story to the world, despite putting it up and then taking it down again in fear of it being found by the bullies (which it was).

And just think, the author has signed his own name to his posts.  Many bloggers do as well, but many are too afraid of their abusers to do so, or want to protect everyone’s identity.

That Moment When….:

That moment when you realize she doesn’t want you because the fear of you hurting her outweighs any good part of you.

That moment when realizing this makes you feel like a small, terrible human being because you understand just how badly you’ve hurt her.

That moment when suddenly feeling this way makes you care for her for the first time the way you always should have.

That moment when your heart shatters as you realize that even though it’s now beautifully different for you, it’s no different for her.

That moment when you just know that it’s too late. Permanent damage has been done.

I’m Christian, Unless You’re Gay.–On bullying people for being gay.

“You don’t know what it’s like, man. You don’t know what it’s like to live here and be gay. You don’t know what it’s like to have freaking nobody.

“You don’t know what it’s like to have your own parents hate you and try and cover up your existence. I didn’t choose this. I didn’t want this. And I’m so tired of people hating me for it. I can’t take it anymore. I just can’t.”

In some circles, it’s hard to admit this.  In others, it brings cheering.  But here I can say this in anonymity:

I may be an Orthodox Christian, but I just have a hard time believing any longer that being “gay” is a sin.

Promiscuity, making people into sex objects, yes.  Straight people do that, too.  But just being gay?

Science keeps telling us that some people truly are born gay.  So–that means God made them that way.  Is it one of those things (like that women have to be subjected to men, or that sperm is little men whom it would be murder to block) that we should reject as a product of a scientifically ignorant past?

Gays can’t just change because other people want them to.  If a person wants to settle down for his entire life with another man he loves, is that really so terrible?

As I read about Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment and early death a few years later, I feel for him, being put in prison for something that isn’t even considered a crime in the Western world anymore.

 

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