Year: 2016

Response to a story of sexual trauma found online

(These are excerpts from a post I wrote in April.)

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

Now We Are Free by Lauren Shifflett

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more here.

 

Is that long-feared war with Russia on the horizon?

I grew up in the days when the Soviet Union and America still had nukes pointed at each other, when Russkies were the bad guys in all the action and James Bond movies.  We weren’t as freaked out as in the 50s/60s, but it was still part of our consciousness.  I wonder if Millennials have the same underlying dread as the older generations, since the USSR has been defunct about as long as they’ve been alive, and Russia was–for some time–our friend.  Until Putin came into power, anyway.

But now this:

White House announces retaliation against Russia: Sanctions, ejecting diplomats

–and, for more information:

Obama Announces Sanctions Against Russia In Response To Cyberattacks

I got the impression from these articles that even the diplomats were spying on us.  Wordfence also recently posted that the Russians were behind a botnet, though they were accused of politicizing the issue on flimsy evidence.

The thing is, Trump is acting like our intelligence is also giving flimsy evidence–and, with cracks about “moving on,” sounds like an abuser who tells you, “Why don’t you just move on?”

This is the guy who will be–excuse me while I throw up a little in my mouth–taking over the reins in a few weeks, and he doesn’t even take seriously all the evidence of Russian espionage on us?

I mean, come on, Congress–and that’s both Republicans and Democrats actually agreeing on something for once–is furious with Russia and supports the sanctions.  Paul Ryan even says that Obama has not done enough.  Yet Trump’s and Russian tweets sound much alike lately.  (For an example, see the Russian Embassy UK’s duck tweet in the CNN article.  It looks like something Trump would tweet.)

I don’t know if Trump is really that stupid, or if he’s in on it.

People say we’ve been in WWIII ever since 9/11.  Yeah, but much of it has either been centered in Iraq or Afghanistan, or been carried out by authorities rooting out terrorists.  Now we’ve got a whole Middle East in turmoil, with ISIS and Syria; Russia spying on and cyberhacking other countries, Russia interfering with our elections and invading other countries, the recent assassination of the Russian ambassador; Europe experiencing terror attacks; Samantha Powers calling out Russia for helping with the civilian bloodbath in Aleppo; ISIS telling “lone wolves” to carry out more attacks all over the world–

 

“Finding out people you love have a dark side”: My post from March 2012

Finding out someone you loved (romantically, or friendship, or family member) is not what you thought they were, brings a unique pain…..

Then there was my former best friend Richard.  I just got an e-mail today from a forum we used to go on together to defend Orthodoxy.  I couldn’t stand getting these reminders anymore from a forum we haven’t been on for nearly three years, so I went to try to delete my account.  However, there is no way to do that.

It reminded me of how religious and righteous he always seemed to be, and how the truth was that he’s showing traits of narcissism, that he’s a violent man who did an evil, evil deed, nearly killing his 9-year-old daughter by choking her to unconsciousness.

Then there was finding out what my former boss did.  I thought he was a good person, despite his temper, and I liked him.  But no, he’s so violently abusive that he went to jail for 9 months, drove away the wife he loved, and lost custody of all his children….

I’m still mourning for him and for Richard, as if they had died, because the person I thought I knew, is dead–or never existed….

This is a repost of one of my old posts.  Read more of it here.

 

Now my blog shows up in the Wordpress Reader!

For some time, my blog has not shown up in the Wordpress.com Reader, even though it used to.  I thought maybe I had disconnected something or turned off a plugin while fiddling with my site a while back, trying to get it to work.  I had no idea what happened.  I thought maybe self-hosted blogs were now disconnected from the Reader.

If you have e-mail notifications turned off, this explains why you weren’t getting my updates in your Reader.

Today, after some Googling, I discovered a little button was switched off in my Jetpack settings.  I switched it on, and–

All fixed!  Now you can get updates from my blog in your Reader.  😀

 

I have set up a Twitter account

I have set up a Twitter account for my subscribers: https://twitter.com/NyssaTheHobbit

If you want notifications of new Hobbit Hole blog posts that way (since they don’t show up in the Wordpress Reader), ask to follow me.  I have it set to private for now, since this blog often delves into controversial topics.  I do this as a courtesy to my readers, not to get into flame wars with some random dude on the Web.  😉

The Twitter for my new Author Page, on the other hand, is set to public.  I have set up a writing blog on the Author Page.  If you want notifications for new posts, go to https://twitter.com/NyssaMcCanmore/

 

One way that NVLD affects marriage

An argument today demonstrated vividly for Hubby and me both that NVLD can affect marital harmony.

But this time we experienced a breakthrough that shined light on a problem we didn’t realize was there.

Basically, without getting into boring personal detail, Hubby made a comment that he thought would give me all sorts of information which he did not actually say out loud.  In other words, “subtext.”

I totally missed the subtext because of, well, NVLD or some related disorder (such as Aspergers; I don’t have thousands of $$$$ to get formally diagnosed).

So I made a request which seemed perfectly normal and reasonable to me.  He infused it with all sorts of offensive motivations on my part, because he assumed I caught the subtext.

Fight ensues.  I feel like I’m living with a timebomb.  He thinks I keep saying things and using tones which, well, I’m not at all.  I’m not the kind of person who would.

Somehow during the course of discussion afterwards, he explained the subtext, and he learned that it went completely over my head.  Also that I do much better with literal speech.

I may be a writer, may understand idioms I’m familiar with, but as a child, I took idioms more literally.  Even now I’ll occasionally discover that some concept I take literally, is supposed to be metaphorical.

Education has made me familiar with the concept of metaphor, but unless you tell me a book has it, I’ll usually miss that there’s any metaphor in there at all.  I read the book plainly without inferring; I don’t guess how it will end; I would never have seen the eyeglasses in Great Gatsby as a metaphor for God if the teacher had not said they were.  I often have to back up movies and TV shows and play scenes again, because I have no idea how Sasha ended up dead in the kitchen, for example.

So now Hubby understands that he needs to speak more plainly, verbalize things he thinks can be inferred.  And I wonder how many past arguments are based on me totally missing his subtext, and him thinking I understood it.

I’ve also noted that he keeps putting far more into what I mean by my tone, than what I actually do.  Or being particular about the words I use.  I’ve also noted that people keep taking me seriously when I’m making a joke.

I explained that misunderstanding of, and trouble using, tone are NVLD problems as well.  And that I’m an introvert forced to speak on the fly, so I don’t have time to come up with the perfect words.

(Introverts have to think before they speak.  This makes it almost impossible for me to think of the perfect words.  And he discovered that I don’t see the difference between using one particular word or another, while he does.)

(This is why I prefer writing to discuss things with people.  In person I say the wrong thing and sound awkward and can’t get my meaning across, especially when interrupted.)

I explained that it’s a lot easier to understand expressions on actors on TV, because I can back up the tape, and stare at them fully, unlike in real life, where if you stare they’ll think you’re creepazoid.

(Unless you’re German.  Apparently Germans keep super-steady eye contact, unlike Americans, who flick our eyes every few seconds.)

It also doesn’t help to be uncomfortable with eye contact.  Even after 22 years, I don’t even feel comfortable having prolonged eye contact with the hubby.  Even when we were dating, the concept of “staring into each other’s eyes” made me uneasy.

And then I start wondering about past relationships and–I start wondering if it’s too much navel-gazing 20 years after those relationships ended, considering that I already explored those relationships in-depth here, and much of the necessary context is lost in the mist of memory.  And, well, those guys also ended up annoying other people or treating other girls the same, so maybe my NVLD wasn’t the only reason for arguments.

But in this case, it sure didn’t help.  Hopefully things will go more smoothly after this, more understanding on both sides.

 

 

 

Repost: Whether and when to forgive an abuser

I originally posted this nearly five years ago now!  Read full post here.  Excerpts:

I don’t intend to go forever without forgiving.  But I have also come across blogs and blog commenters who have been abused, and say that forgiveness is impossible until you’ve healed; otherwise, it’s premature and false forgiveness.  But I do want to come to forgiveness eventually.

This monk’s blog says that if I forgive the abuser, I will be justified before God, and I am only responsible for my own response, not the abuser’s.  It also says that forgiveness is only possible through Christ: It’s not something humans just naturally do.

Reconciliation is a different thing from forgiveness, and is only possible if Richard and Tracy apologize and end their abusive and violent ways–not just to me, but to each other, the children and other people as well.

…I keep going back and forth about whether or not to blog about these things publicly.  But I see all sorts of other blogs on the Net about personal abuse stories.  It’s one way people are using these days to deal with it.  It’s part of that “if you’re silent, the abusers will get away with it” way of thinking.

I do like reading such blogs and finding I’m not alone, whether it’s reading a story of a narcissistic friend, or a note about how hard it is to forgive any kind of abuser, or forum posts about seeing the abuser again at a restaurant or in family get-togethers.  It’s far more real than, say, reading some magazine article about what you’re supposed to do to forgive/get over abuse.

And if such a writer can talk about some horrible abuse story and how she was able to get through the pain and forgive her abuser, then I know it’s possible for anyone.

Because while the anger is necessary for a time, if you hold onto it for too long, it can begin to twist you into an abuser yourself.

As you can see from reading my posts on Richard and Tracy, I have a lot of crap to get out of my system and deal with.

It’s a lot harder when the perpetrators act like their treatment of you was somehow deserved by you, that you just need to “GROW UP” and “stop feeling hurt over the consequences of YOUR behavior.”

When one of the perpetrators even posted on her Facebook wall that she was having a “GREAT day” because she was yelling and screaming at you.

When these perpetrators occasionally show up at your church and, instead of trying to make peace with you and apologize as you had hoped, they freeze you out as if you were scum who still needs to “GROW UP” and apologize to them, and then leave without saying a word of kindness or apology to you.

When one of them was a very close, very dear friend whom you trusted with your darkest secrets.

It doesn’t just go away, and I fear the pain that would grip me if I let go of the anger too soon.

Read more of post here.