The US election campaign is winding down and there’s not much left to do except the counting. There’s been an absolute, batshit-crazy amount of talk, writing, crying, and gnashing of te…
There is a surprisingly large number of pro-life displays in my county, mostly on the side of the highway, for all to see.
I find them offensive for the following reasons, among others:
– They target women only, which conveniently ignores men’s shared responsibility for an unplanned pregnancy
– They attempt to use shame and guilt to motivate women to a certain narrow agenda, women who are already in a very vulnerable position
– They ignore the many larger societal issues that contribute to women considering abortion
– They ignore that there may be extenuating circumstances that, if known, would make abortion the only viable option
And my #1 reason:
– These displays fail to provide any useful, practical information that can help people faced with an unplanned pregnancy. Telling women that adoption is a good thing is nothing more than hot air when there are no website addresses, toll-free numbers, or other concrete information they can use to access help and support.
The organizations and landowners organizing the erection of this signage are also spending thousands of dollars on old truck trailers, sign production services, fencing materials, and other items to promote their agenda, money that, in my opinion, could be better used if donated towards services that actually help women facing unplanned pregnancies.
I’m not arguing this from a pro-life versus pro-choice point of view, I’m just saying these pro-life organizations need to step up to the plate and help these people in need instead of just telling people how live. I’m cool with them offering help that aligns with their values, but they’re not doing that with these campaigns. They are paying for expensive soap boxes.
I’ve decided what I’m going to do. Until those signs change, I will be donating $5 every time I pass one of these signs to a local pro-choice organization that offers services that help people dealing with unplanned pregnancies determine what the best decision is for them, and lines them up with the services and agencies they need. Maybe it’s keeping the baby (with the establishment of proper support systems), maybe it’s adoption, maybe it is an abortion, but the point is, these people need practical support in a difficult time, not condemnation and shame.
The anxiety you are feeling about your boss’s email is because of how you were raised.
You were raised under the lunacy of perfectionism. This perfectionism was put upon you by your parents, bolstered by generations of Catholicism. You were taught that you had to be perfect – or at least “the best”, better than the others around you – in order to be loved or worthy. In many cases it was to avoid being punished as well, in this world, or even in the next. You went through this brainwashing for decades. And though you intellectually understand that perfection is impossible, emotionally you still struggle.
This bad programming won’t go away overnight. It may never totally go away. The psychopaths in your life were the embodiment of this imprisoning mindset. Your upbringing shaped you into something your parents could control, and something the church could have power over, as it did over your parents and the generations before them. You sought out the familiar, and ended up with more people and situations in your life under which you were subject to some form of control, mostly covert in nature. You still sought to please in situations in which measuring up was impossible. People with a desperate need for control, out of their own woundedness, found you as unconsciously as you found them. Though seemingly a match made in hell, their imbalances in function complemented yours and vice versa.
When you went out into the world, you unconsciously sought out what was familiar, because your internal sense of self was, in effect, crippled. Growing up, you weren’t really allowed to feel your emotions fully, or question authority except in your own head. While a degree of self doubt is healthy, as in a sense of humility that you do not have all the answers, and a realistic and loving sense of your own quirks and limitations, what you learned is that you had to erase your doubts and questions and live according to how you were told to live, without consideration for your own wants, talents and dreams. You were not taught that mistakes were a part of life, you were taught that mistakes were something totally in your power to avoid, and thus that making mistakes meant that YOU were a mistake, a failure, not good enough.
So when your boss called you out on an inadvertent mistake, you felt stupid. You felt like a failure. He was kind about it, but you reacted internally out of your woundedness. You took something out on yourself, punishing yourself in ways that he chose not to punish you. You treated yourself, in the way of your thoughts, as you had grown up being treated, with meanness, condescension, and guilt-tripping.
But this time there was a difference. You saw this happening within, and though you felt it hit you, you caught it quickly. You looked at the situation with new eyes, eyes that have been searching and reading and learning, especially these last four years, about the dysfunctional people and patterns in your life, and your own history of dysfunction. And then you wrote yourself this love letter, instead of stewing.
You identified the root of how you were feeling about the situation and spelled out the parallel with your history. You called out the problem as it arose, instead of later, in hindsight. This is something you’ve never done before today. Naming the problem is probably the biggest step to solving it. Now that you’ve done this once, you will do it again. This is a big deal, because this act of “defiance” against your past holds the keys to your future, to a brighter future. This isn’t perfection, which does not and can not actually exist, but it IS progress, which is a real thing. And a good thing.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, really needs to step up. If she is authoring books encouraging women in business to “lean in” and close the gender gap, she needs to use her supposed influence to clean up her own house.
PLEASE SEE VERY IMPORTANT UPDATE, HERE.
I am famously Not On Facebook (well, “famously” among you folks, anyway), but not being on Facebook doesn’t mean that I’m entirely unaware of the phenomenon. And it strikes me that, much like Twitter, there are probably nearly as many “Facebooks” as there are users, all the various different little cultures that have been created and propagated on that platform, most users largely unaware of most of the other cultures that exist right along beside them (kind of like, you know: in the Real World).
Which is why I’ll bet most Facebook users have no idea how much vile, violent anti-woman hate speech is posted there daily, under the guise of free speech and/or “humor.”
This week, Soraya Chemaly, Jaclyn Friedman and Laura Bates posted an open letter to Facebook on HuffPo that reads in part:
We are calling on Facebook users to contact advertisers whose…
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Stuff your unwritten rules where the sun don’t shine – they may have worked once, but I’m on to you now.
The shifting sands of your being show how pathetic you are; your power is an illusion to yourself, more than anyone, but I see you for the heap of dirt you are.
You need your masks to hide your ugliness, your weakness, your impotence, your lies. Sooner or later each and every one will fall and shatter into slivers of who you pretended to be.
“It wasn’t anything personal,” you said. But you see, that’s the problem. You are too much of a coward to live your life authentically, and you take what you want on the sly, so you don’t have to show your face and ask for it directly. Behold the way of the rodent.
I still feel sorry for you, but I have changed – no, I have rediscovered who I always was.
I’m not your momma. Wipe your own ass.
I’ve dropped the god complex; I accept that you’re broken and I refuse to soil my hands trying to reassemble the shell of you that is missing the critical pieces – namely your heart, your balls, and most of your brain.
I’ve discovered my instincts are a powerful weapon against the likes of you; you were quick to discount my perceptions of what was going on, in an attempt to disarm me, but I know now I had you pegged, and from now on, where you are concerned, my phasers won’t just be on “stun”. Run, motherfucker, run.
My life, my love, and my sanity are worth too much to waste on you again. Too bad you needed me on the chain to prove your existence – because that chain goes both ways. And now that I’m back on solid ground, you’re hanging from that chain, and I’m letting go, dropping you back into the dark pit you slithered out of. Enjoy the heat.
A brilliant post from Paula’s Pontifications. (So true – sociopaths are all about controlling others, so as long as you are behaving the way they want you to, and they’re getting away with their shit, you’re in their good books.) Enjoy!
A sociopath will tell you that all he desires is a lasting and loving relationship. The reality and truth behind this desire lies in the sociopath’s definition and concept of love and relationships.
Love to the sociopath = total domination.
From what you eat to when you go to bed, you are controlled by the whims of the sociopath. It could be oatmeal today or eggs tomorrow. If he likes oatmeal today, you should like oatmeal today. If he likes eggs tomorrow, you should like eggs tomorrow.
You can choose not to like oatmeal today. Of course you can. But be prepared to be called stupid, idiotic and hateful for choosing not to like something that the sociopath likes.
“Absurd!” you say.
Well, this is the reality of being with a selfish, vindictive and controlling sociopath.
“Then why stay?” you ask.
We stay, because we were raised to ignore the…
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I stumbled on this the other day…
I admit I was “internet stalking” Psychopath #1’s widow when his pic turned up on the internet (he has been dead for four years now)… Sounds bad, but I often wonder how she’s doing, and hope that she has been able to rise above the tragedy that befell her in getting entangled with him. I wish I could reach out to her to mend the fences Psycho #1 broke by pitting us two ladies against each other, but rumour has it that despite the ample evidence of his dark side that turned up after his death, she still blamed everyone else in his life for the way things turned out. She still held him high on a pedestal, despite proof to the contrary, but so would many who had lost their spouses within a week of the wedding. Denial is a powerful coping mechanism for a reason.
This guy was really good at figuring out your vulnerabilities, and what was important to you, and tailoring his image accordingly to reel you in. He was like an oasis in the desert… Whatever you needed, he would mold himself into and ostensibly meet that need, but what he was really doing was tapping into a resource. He traded currency of lies and empty promises while you, out of gratefulness for his generosity of spirit, would hand over whatever he seemed to need. The love he gave was but a mirage.
I posted his pic, partly because he is deceased and cannot retaliate, and because I want to show that personality-disordered folks can look totally normal. People like this actually exist, and like him, most fly under the radar.
They can go to great lengths to embed themselves in your life. If you are quite socially isolated, as I was, even better – the more people like you he can “schedule” into his life because each can only have limited presence (compartmentalization). The more people are compartmentalized, the more he can groom for whatever purposes he wants, because there is little chance they will know about each other. Technology makes it easier and easier to develop and maintain a social network to exploit, which is exactly what he did. He befriended and seduced both women and men (yes, sexually), a fact he deliberately concealed from the woman he groomed to become his wife. I believe that abusers often isolate their victims in order to wield similar control.
Image was everything to this chap. The picture you see is from a photo shoot he asked a photographer friend to do for him. (Interestingly, on the website I pulled it from, he claims it was a self-portrait.) On the same site he claims to be semi-retired, which he also claimed when we first met, and generally spent money like there was no tomorrow, which I think was an attempt to build credibility… To plant the notion that he was a savvy investor, an excellent businessman, affluent, none of which was actually true.
He name-dropped like nobody’s business, and would use anyone who either had a name and good reputation, or even who just came across as trustworthy, to aggrandize his own image or to get people to trust him by extension. He kept an ex-girlfriend on “the chain”, for example, by making her believe that they were still technically together but “taking an extended break”, all the while internet dating like a madman and running his schemes… Turns out her father was a high ranking police officer, and I saw Psychopath #1 use her to get her father to vouch for him once when he was reported to the police for taking photographs of children in a public park. (At the time I thought it was innocent, but the aftermath of his death suggests otherwise.)
Seems stranger than fiction, but what I am relating is only the tip of the iceberg. Because I was so isolated from the rest of the goings-on in his life, as was probably everyone else he was in contact with, he was able to continue his games for about a year and a half with me before I pieced enough together to know I needed to terminate all contact. Many were in his grip for considerably longer than that. I came to understand more about what he had been doing and how he was doing it, only years later, years after his death, even.
“And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”
1 Corinthians 11:14