Sunday, October 15, 2017

Mirror in the Bathroom


The Most Lovable Thing About Each Meyers-Briggs Personality

The Most Lovable Thing About Each Meyers-Briggs Personality

"INFP
The honesty they bring to each encounter. The soft and calming presence of their minds. The virtues they can pull from any vices, and the artwork they can make from any pain. The fierceness they apply to their convictions. The way they live and die by their beliefs. Their ability to weave the chaos and the suffering of humanity into an intricate tapestry of understanding. The shame they alleviate through sharing their own."

I've tested INFP for years though oddly when I was a teen and in my 20s, I tested INFJ, I suppose being a teacher probably brought out the J instead of the P back then. Most people I get on with, have the NF part of their personality--we can explore the intuitive and feeling part of life, the "S"s are the practical people where there is no meeting of the minds with. T's always find me too intense and I find them too unfeeling. INFJ and INFP are supposed to be the 1 percent and 2 percent personalities of the Meyers Briggs world, there's not supposed to be that many of us, and INFP they seem to all be the "tortured artist types". It was weird I joined this INFP board on Facebook and noticed some had traits like me. It was kind of weird. 

Take a Personality Test

Is Trump Insane, Senile or Both?




Does Trump have Dementia? One thing I noticed was reading his Twitter accounts is that his vocabulary level is very low. He didn't use any advanced words. It was all short, fourth-grade reading level writing. Reagan definitely showed a few problems but with Trump it seems far more severe. Check out this guy's other videos showing Trump's confusion and word salad. Trump was called a "moron" by one of his ex-staff members, and some have discussed his levels of intelligent are nowhere near what they expected.

This goes beyond dementia from aging but perhaps delusions from a would be deep seated personality disorder. Some mental health professionals have come together and one has even written a book about Trump not being mentally well enough to hold the office of the Presidency.  

"THE DANGEROUS CASE OF DONALD TRUMP: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President
Bandy X. Lee, M.D., M.Div., Organizer of Yale's "Duty to Warn" Conference
Thomas Dunne Books
The consensus view of two dozen psychiatrists and psychologists that Trump is dangerously mentally ill and that he presents a clear and present danger to the nation and our own mental health.
This is not normal.
Since the start of Donald Trump’s presidential run, one question has quietly but urgently permeated the observations of concerned citizens: What is wrong with him? Constrained by the American Psychiatric Association’s “Goldwater rule,” which inhibits mental health professionals from diagnosing public figures they have not personally examined, many of those qualified to answer this question have shied away from discussing the issue at all. The public has thus been left to wonder whether he is mad, bad, or both.

In THE DANGEROUS CASE OF DONALD TRUMP, twenty-seven psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health experts argue that, in Mr. Trump’s case, their moral and civic “duty to warn” America supersedes professional neutrality. They then explore Trump’s symptoms and potentially relevant diagnoses to find a complex, if also dangerously mad, man.
Philip Zimbardo and Rosemary Sword, for instance, explain Trump’s impulsivity in terms of “unbridled and extreme present hedonism.” Craig Malkin writes on pathological narcissism and politics as a lethal mix. Gail Sheehy, on a lack of trust that exceeds paranoia. Lance Dodes, on sociopathy. Robert Jay Lifton, on the “malignant normality” that can set in everyday life if psychiatrists do not speak up.
His madness is catching, too. From the trauma people have experienced under the Trump administration to the cult-like characteristics of his followers, he has created unprecedented mental health consequences across our nation and beyond.
It’s not all in our heads. It’s in his."

Madhouse of the Universe

We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Friday, October 6, 2017

Friendships and Social Lives



Yeah it's scary, when you clear the decks, and realize almost your entire social life is via the Internet, though twice I have met Internet friends in real life, and it was great so Internet friends ARE  indeed real friends. If I connect to someone online, I will in person, so hopefully one day, I will win the Lotto or get some money to make visiting all my online friends possible. This is a trip I've wanted to take for some time. It would be great fun. These are people who love my weirdness. They do light me up.


I have these discussions with my husband where I tell him, we need to become less locally socially isolated. We do live in our own little cacoon. When you get older, you get too tired to run around like before. We enjoy each other's company a lot, so it's easier, just to hang out with each other and let the world do what it wants to do. We are a fortunate couple that became closer as we aged.  Last night we even got into an interesting conversation about Bob Marley and are reading a new book on him called "So Much Things to Say".  I tell him we should get some local friends outside of book club and other people I know, just people to eat a dinner out with once in a while but it's hard to always pull off. We have met some nice people while protesting at least. Some people would say that is how life is when you get old and hey you have someone to talk to at least!

We have faced some more recent losses. One thing with people in our life that happened to us, is some people here died or moved away. I just lost two people in town, one was a book club member,and a very sweet lady, she gave me one of the walkers that got stolen and another was the old head of my self-help group, a great guy who always had kindness and understanding for everyone. They both died too young and of cancer, and were under the age of 55. It's tough. We all hate losing people. Life is too fleeting and short. I think about all the people from my old town who passed away too. It's just been too many people. I will miss both of them.

I felt a loss over the ex-millionaire friend too, that has gotten to me. Her lack of feeling about the ending of the friendship, really bothered me. Thirty years down the drain, and she can't even show a little emotion beyond "bored social worker"? Even being told to go to hell, would have been easier then that. I don't understand people like this, I really don't. It's troubled me. I wish I didn't miss people who don't care about me, it is a waste of emotion and energy, but then I find myself thinking, "Why did it go that way?" Did she feel any connection to me at all? 

There's part of me that wish I kept quiet, and just went with the flow, and I wouldn't be out from a "friend" but then the disrespect was ripping me down inside.  ACON recovery says no more putting up with people who look down on me.

Being Aspie, relationships are hard. There's so many social rules I mess up. I have the tendency to blame myself when friendships or relationships go down the crapper. It's good, I was spared romantic heart-break, or any break-ups in this life. I am married to the first boyfriend. I sometimes go crazy inside thinking about how my financial problems have affected my relationships and had weird thoughts, like "Well if I had this amount of money or won the Lotto, I could have saved the relationships my mother was able to steal, just by overcoming my lack of being able to be there." A person can drive themselves crazy with this sort of thing. So I have to stop it. A person can only do what they can do.

Sometimes when I am out socializing I totally freeze up. My Aspergers has worsened as I age. Some people I do just fine with like meeting an Internet friend in real life and have fun, but often I am frozen or stuck in small talk and don't know what to say.  My Aspergers has worsened as I have aged in some ways, the deafness is taking an impact, I have to process so much to hear people, which includes lip reading and interpreting words through a fog of sensorineural deafness. The hearing aids help but they don't replace all hearing. It was great to find out both my art teachers at the art center have voices I can hear, but those are the kind of things that impact a life.



But something odd happened, I figured out my social struggles may not be so extreme outside the family issues compared to other people. In fact I may do better then I thought out there in the American landscape of social disconnection. Hearing other people's experiences on this issue have helped me gain perspective.

I was on this reddit board, and people were talking about "adulting" and friendship and saying, they just go to work, sleep and watch TV so maybe I don't live that different from the average person, except my "work" is staying alive, medical phone calls, pills and disabled person stuff. I can blow through 4-5 hours, easy just throwing away some papers, cooking a dinner with cut vegetables in it, which seems to be a necessity for any decent blood sugars, doing some dishes, resting between activities, and just getting through the day. I'm not bored ever.That says something doesn't it?

I have continued with book clubs and protesting as health as allowed, and enjoy all those. I used to think socially I was inept from being so fat, and Aspie, well that affects it but I joined this group that talks about "friendship" on Facebook and was in shock to see so many others facing the same struggles. Often fellow Aspie friends told me their struggles which were like mine, but this group told me these struggles are not rare.



 The group made me feel more sane and like my experience wasn't so extreme. Many of them had toxic friends too they had to get away from, or were very alone or found it hard to connect to people. It does get harder as you get older. I can't say I am lonely, because I have someone to talk to all day and lots of friends online but I noticed friendship had become very difficult for other women who were average weight, thin, healthy, and neurotypical. It kind of blew my mind. They had friendship break-ups or had moved to a new town, or found it very hard to make friends. Many were like me mourning friendships that broke up or where people died, or were toxic or where they got betrayed too. Many got ghosted or had that thing where people just disappear. Others had friends make negative comments about their appearance over weight or ended up as third wheels.

Maybe friendship is in trouble in the United States in general. The man who wrote Bowling Alone spoke of mere proximity being an important factor in friendship for many years but this has changed with transitory modern life. Many articles attest to a crisis in America in making friends especially for those who are older.

People today are also pushed to the wall. I and my husband don't work traditional jobs and we get 'busy' all the time. It seems unimaginable for people with families and commutes to deal with. I saw my doctor this morning which takes about an hour or so.  He has worked all night and after I write this, I am going to make us both lunch and then I have to wrap and clean a few things. Many are working so much there is no time to socialize. Domestic tasks take up a lot of time. I realized with me, the shortage of energy does affect me socially. I have grown more understanding realizing how busy people are now. Here we have to be careful realizing that people who are always "busy" are making us a low priority and it's best to move on and realizing on the other end people just to survive now are under the gun, they are either being worked like dogs, or unemployed with no money to do anything, or facing health problems. Light activities for me like book clubs, and art class and the rest have been good things to fit into my own life.

I made a would be friend here in an art class last year, and I really wanted to be friends with her, she was eccentric, and funny, and an independent thinker, but she got angry at me, when I told her I could not sign up for a summer art class, due to being housebound too much from heat. I called her once, and she never talked to me again, so the friendship died before it started. Those things will happen. You think see the potential and it fizzles out. Many talked about those type of moments too.


There's a lot of complexity to social lives, and friendships. I am changing from my ACON recovery, looking for certain qualities in friends and also not accepting what I once did.  The people I am hanging around more now are KIND. I don't want Judgers, fixers and the rest I wanted to escape.  I am trying to fix some of my errors, like laying on way too many problems on friends and being more immediately upfront about the health problems so I don't offend or lose people simply from my limited energy or the way I have to live. I also have become more laid back, realizing being disabled, there's only so much energy and "spoons" and I can only do what I can. Sometimes I think Facebook has turned lives and social lives into contests, and people get caught up in the "dancing or socializing as fast as I can" kind of scheme, and it brings a superficiality into relationships. I am glad I joined the Friendship page on Facebook, because it gave me a bigger perspective on life and that others have faced social troubles too not just supersized Aspies. 



Feelings



Thursday, October 5, 2017

Puerto Rico



America is literally fraying at the edges. I hope some help is coming now for the Puerto Rican people. This is the worse time to have someone like Trump in charge. Many will be have to evacuate, in some of the photos it looks like the whole infrastructure has been destroyed. Living in a hurricane zone is very dangerous for anyone with health problems where one needs power for dialysis or a CPAP machine. I always wonder why no one has worked to invent affordable in house or apartment power generators, so our weather isn't so immediately life-threatening. Humanity needs this far more then video games and more screens. Texas is still dealing with the aftermath of Harvey and Florida with Maria.

One thing with gas, that struck me as incredibly dumb once even for my own American state, is the power went out, which means no pumps worked at the gas station. No one thought that one out very well. Food goes off fast after that initial day. I am worried for the people there and others that have been hit by severe hurricanes.

Things are getting scary in Puerto Rico

Bill Maher Makes Fun of Fat People



Bill Maher the elitist doesn't get it. They question why fat people can't get good clothes, because stupidity and prejudice outweighs profit when it comes to extreme hatred of fat people? Tim Gunn at least speaks out for some diversity. The chemical diet with low nutrition are many factors behind obesity, instead Maher shows the typical blame towards fat people.

The Mission UK Wasteland

Monday, October 2, 2017

Advice From a Good Mother



Mom's List of Don'ts

"To my daughter,
Don't apologize when someone else bumps into you.
Don't say "sorry to be such a pain." You're not a pain. You're a person with thoughts and feelings who deserves respect.
Don't make up reasons as to why you can't go out with a guy you don't wanna go out with. You don't owe anyone an explanation. A simple "no thanks" should be acceptable.
Don't overthink what you eat in front of people. If you're hungry, eat, and eat what you want. If you want pizza, don't get a salad just because other people are around. Order the damn pizza.
Don't keep your hair long to make someone else happy.
Don't wear a dress if you don't want to.
Don't stay home because you don't have anyone to go out with. Take yourself out. Have experiences by yourself and for yourself.
Don't hold back your tears. Crying means you're feeling something that needs to get out. It's not a weakness. It's being human.
Don't smile because someone told you to.
Don't be afraid to laugh at your own jokes.
Don't say "yes" to be polite. Say "no" because it's your life.
Don't hide your opinions. Speak up and speak loudly. You should be heard.
Don't apologize for being who you are. Be brave and bold and beautiful. Be unapologetically you."


Queen Spider told me the opposite of everything on this list. With the first one, she would drag me out of the way of strangers who were 10 feet away. Just grab me and push so they always had the right of way, this told me, that strangers meant far more to her then I did.  Many ACONs it was their destiny to spend their lives making excuses for their existence. This is a mother who cares about her daughter and wants her to be happy. Dresses are cool though, the same would apply for those who want you to wear jeans every minute and who demand you wear short hair when you do not want to.

Elder Goths


The reality of Elder Goths

Since I left fundamentalism, I've been listening to more music again. I realized I still dressed "goth" to an extent, people used to ask me why I dressed like it was 1890. Because it was cooler? LOL When I get a new dress, it will be black.

I was a fat goth

I see my MLD therapist this week

I am planning to talk to my MLD therapist about going into short term rehab. I would have to see if insurance would pay for it. When the therapists wrapped me, they got my legs very thin, I just manage to keep them from growing bigger. My body is getting more swollen and in pain. The Flexitouch helps but the litany of wrapping and swelling is wearing me out. She probably is going to tell me all my bandages have worn out, but I will be able to get them all replaced when I see her. A kind friend gave me some Tubigrip, she saved my ability to keep wrapping. All this stuff wears out. It is insane.

I have concerns about my mobility. I got my sugars in good control cooking like crazy, and having more food money for vegetables this week, under 120 daily for fasting, but weight loss obviously I am getting no where outside of taking a teeny bit off and working not to gain. My concerns about my mobility are growing, my legs hurt a lot, and it seems I am getting injuries a lot just from walking around normally.

I don't want to go into long term rehab or end up in a nursing home. One fact people don't know, is because of how insurance works for disabled people, this means losing your apartment, and becoming homeless. I just wonder if they can get my legs down really small in a rehab situation but then there's this issue, of how would I "keep" them that way, when I do the best I can now? It is complicated. Weight loss has gotten weird, as all my clothes are falling off the top of me, and don't fit right, but it's not showing up on the scale with the swollen lower body that grows and swells the more I do.  So I need new clothes too.

Taking Another Art Class


recent painting, sorry it's tilted. This painting actually looks better in life. I was doing some painting layers on it that succeeded. I may sell it but have to get a better picture of it. I may keep it too for an art show. One painting I recently donated to a charity auction.

I'm taking another art class. I plan to start two paintings today and we will have some free working time in class tomorrow.. One is a fall scene, and another of a giant flower. I may paint a political painting too, that has war protesters in it. Lately, I want to try and break out of the traditional subjects in painting and talked to my new art teachers about that. Years ago I would paint some weird and goth stuff but then I went more traditional.

One was a college art professor for thirty years, I am eager to see what he says about art. I did reveal my art past in this class during introductions of when I used to be an art teacher for such a short time. Some other older retired art teachers who had far longer careers got the same idea. One thing that troubles me, is I never have been able to break into the traditional art world. When I saw the "Members Show" at the local art center, I thought, "How did they manage to get in?" Some of my work I hope would be good enough to get in. I have always wanted to get into a regular art show but outside of school ones when young and my own several "Do it yourself" affairs, I have not managed it. Yes, the fees and framing and other financial concerns were a major barrier.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

If You are Disabled: The Republican Party is Your Enemy

                                     [one of my latest protest posters]

Well I know they are trying to repeal ACA again, and along with it, trying to make massive cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. The jerks don't want to give up! I don't know how anyone can support the Republican party anymore unless they have a serious lack of empathy. It would be different if the Republican party offered any other options but "Go die". Trump was pissed at McCain today. The big baby narcissist is ranting and raving on his low IQ and vocabulary tweets. It seems brain cancer has given McCain a little bit of empathy that Trump lacks. I am hoping Trumpcare fails again.


A Shift to Block Grants is a Threat to People with Disabilities

When You are Starting From Scratch

                   [picture by me]

  Part II: Never Get Involved in Abusive Relationships Again

"I think many survivors feel as if they have lived in a war zone, and after it is all over, they feel as though they are thrown into a cold desert as well. It is not an easy ride, and is quite painful for most of us."

Lise posted a good article, on dealing with the "cold desert" after leaving all your abusers and avoiding new ones. This is great advice. We must look for people who have feelings, and are not Cluster B. Sometimes it scares me how I had to go "scorched earth" to remove abusers from my life. Every relationship that I held in common with my mother was tainted beyond repair. There was so many people. I do have relief being away from them all. As I meet new people, I do ponder many things. I want nice people with emotions, not people out to fix me. I have met many new great friends online, and met one and her husband in real life that lives long distance. I also met someone who lives closer online as well. My body keeps getting in the way of social things locally but I have met some new nice acquaintances and kept contact with other friends who are kind.

It can hurt when you suspect "friends" see you the same way as your family did, and even as you remove yourself from the relationships, you do think of the "sunk costs" into friends who never cared. Even then the only solution is to walk. You are never going to get emotion from a stone. You are fixing the training of decades that set you up with toxic people. 

At least now, I am getting smarter about what to look for in people. Since leaving fundamentalism, I do feel more open to other people and not stuck with such a rigid world view, that only served to freeze people out. I never was a prig, but the whole religious wall thing was always there. I have been able to examine myself more too. I want "empaths" and people who have feelings, love, care and compassion.  I have found some, and what a world of difference there is.

Lise links to an article, where it points out the main two qualities of toxic people, "They lack empathy and they are manipulative". It serves as a guide to help people to know what to look for when they are back out in the world trying to rebuild their lives after abuse recovery. We have to be cautious not to let any new narcissists, sociopaths or Cluster Bs back into our lives.


The Heat That Never Ends


I'm housebound and it is Sept 24th. It is supposed to be very humid and hot and in the mid-80s. Something is very wrong with that picture. I am going to miss an annual stamp show today which I always go to. I live in the "north", not the south, and I have been at one of these stamp shows before where a few snow flurries have shown up. I hope as the stamp show people roast today in their un-air conditioned segment of the rural senior center, they move things back to October for next year. I hope none of those mostly elderly people get sick from the heat. This weather is dangerous.

My mind has changed about global warming and climate change. I am realizing in my past IFB/fundamentalist Christian circles, the taint of anti-science, and disbelief even when it came to evidence. How are people believing it is all a lie, and refusing to explain to themselves what they see first hand?

I am worried about making it to an art class next week. The high that day will be 82/83 degrees. I'll go early and probably wheeze and throw up to get there or home, but it is important I make it.  Yes I will push, because I got a scholarship and it was supposed to be one of my main activities this fall. At least it is air conditioned. The weather has become so punishing. My life is being destroyed by bad weather. I've been stuck indoors for an entire week. The housebound thing gets frustrating. Heat never relents. I told my husband we need to move more north, maybe 6 months of severe winter and having 6 months being able to live, is better then this. We don't have money to move. Go much further north in my state, you are entering wilderness. This weather makes me angry.

There's been so many hurricanes this year, the USA is becoming a constant disaster zone. When I was young weather wasn't always so horrible or a nightmare every second. Fall came with it's multiple colors and leaves fell. Last year, my state in the north didn't even have fall. I usually take pictures of some leaves and last year it was not possible. When the leaves were green in mid to late October, I felt a very ominous feeling. It didn't feel right. There was one moment I was crying over the loss of fall. No one around me seemed to notice or care, and that bothered me. I feel like crying now because fall hasn't shown up. Fall used to be my favorite season, and now it doesn't exist.

Friday, September 15, 2017

When Did Happiness Become a Contest?


That's a weird thought I had. It's like today you have to prove how happy you are and say things like "I love my life". I do think this is a place where the "think positive" movement went too far. Why not be balanced. I love egg sandwiches, old movies, the beach, art, books, and hate hot weather, leg infections, being broke and oatmeal.

It's another way they want us all to "prove" ourselves. If I am a more melancholic, goth person, isn't that who I am? I am an Aspie for heaven's sake, we analyze everything. Why do I have to change who I am to please someone else? Aren't artists supposed to be emotional?

Anyhow narcissists love to send sarcastic cards. I got this one from one the ex-millionaire friend. It's strange to me. They won't ever apologize or try to patch things up but will focus on how you have to "fix yourself". Why did you bother me in the first place if I never was "good" enough for you or didn't have a terrific enough life? The irony with her, is I shared many things I loved with her from art museums to coloring books to thrift store shopping.

It's a strange card to send to a very disabled woman. I don't believe in "The Secret" philosophies where I can think things into being. Anyhow as far as happiness goes, life becomes far happier with narcissists outside of it. I don't have to listen to endless put downs, or betrayals where I am never defended. There's no more of that cold,  dark, icky eggshelly feeling. One thing I hate the most about narcissists, is their never ending message that a person is not "good enough". They always focus on how you have to "change" to please them too.

I wrote on a friendship blog that has some interesting people on it that I want to meet people who are REAL. Don't give me the think positive contingent, give me the real ones, who maybe had a few failures and admit to them too. I meet great people online all the time and have great friends I met online and some I have met in real life too. If I won the Lotto the first thing I would do is take a trip to visit all my online and long distant friends. It is a strange message given in sarcasm, "Create a Life You Love". How is that even defined?

I am realizing around the good friends, they don't make me feel bad this way. They truly care. When an ACON comes out of the fog, you realize the attributes of the good people and how much they mean to you. I can have weaknesses, or unhappy moments and be poor even, and be this overweight and still be valued as a person. I don't have to constantly prove success [didn't I have some success in life becoming an art teacher earlier on?] or happiness.  If someone makes me feel like the family did, they have to be gone.

I'll never own an Amazon Alexa or Device Like It



I saw this episode. It was raunchy as usual. It is weird they got the TV to integrate with viewers devices but a cynical part of me thinks, "Ah yes a PR marketing campaign!" The topic of the latest South Park was annoying as they put down unemployed poor people, in general to make some confusing point about Charlottesville. Of course they showed some who were racists with Confederate flags, but it was kind of alarming to see the part where Randy Marsh tells one of the unemployed men, "Coal mining and truck driving are not exactly jobs of the future". You're stuck in another time, afraid to change."

That said, I know a tech gap is opening between me and many people of better means. It's happening in general almost forming a cultural divide. I know my refusal to get a smart phone all these years puts me aside, my refusal is from real economic realities and also wanting the freedom to be left alone when I am away from home. How do people afford all the fees for these different devices? Isn't this another 30 or 40 bucks a month?

I do not understand putting a device in your house, where it can listen to and record everything you say. That's nuts to me. Also how do you get the shopping list when you are away from home and need it, from the smart phone? When people say the word APP to me, I do not even barely know what an app is, I am very behind on all this stuff. Maybe that is a good thing. Why do people need to ask some round blob in their house or apartment what time is it? Go take a look at a clock. I write this blog on laptops in bed. I don't own a Kindle, a smart phone or an Alexa or an Echo and don't plan on it.

It is interesting most of the show's ire was for blue collars workers out of a job and not the racists. I know South Park has some annoying political rhetoric, and has for years. I think they helped to fuel some of the alt-right extremes, but what was the point of this show? To sell more Alexa's and Echoes? It wasn't very funny either.

On the Beach


A recent picture. I do hang out on the beach a lot. I love those days too with the poofy clouds in the sky.

Beatnik Birds


My husband made me a great birthday card. It had multiple panels, on good cardstock. I always laugh at the Beatnik Birds. Here is one, he has his beret, and his cup of coffee--you know at the coffee shop, where he or she does all his angst filled poetry to music. Oh the icon on his chest is a crossed out "L7". It means "No to Squares!".

Eggshells


Don't walk on eggshells, it's always a waste of time!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Did they warn about climate change in 1912?



I saw this on Facebook....I used to doubt climate change, but our weather is changing more drastically even within my own lifetime. Hope everyone is okay from all those hurricanes. I had friends who had to go through Irma, but they are okay.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Leaving Fundamentalism Related to ACON Recovery?





This was my one of my favorite songs when I was in my early 20s: Funnily enough, I was revisiting this song the other day. A lot of people are outraged with God.  I used to watch this video even as a Christian before I had my present doubts and used to think "How do I reach people like that?"

Recovering from Bad Religion is an earlier article that goes with this one.

I am still in a time of spiritual exploration but I know I am done with fundamentalism. I don't know if my final resting spot will be in some more liberal version of Christianity or not. I am looking into more liberal circles now.  Right now I have to see if finding a God of love is even possible. Obviously many have diverted from the teachings of Jesus Christ in loving their neighbors. Many human beings yearn for a loving God. Some of us question what kind of God we even believe in.  Can I love a fundamentalist God where almost everyone burns in hell? These are some really intense questions.

Some other odd questions about God have occurred to me. I always heard Christianity was a relationship. Why were so many fundamentalist Christians so plastic and fake? Why did so many support oppression and hate the poor? Didn't want God want actual "friends" and not just worshiping sycophants that told Him what He wanted to hear? Why would God want a bunch of Yes-men around? Wouldn't that make God like the narcissists I have warned about on this blog for years? ACON recovery can influence your spiritual viewpoints, of this I have no doubt.

There's good Christians who warn about narcissism out there, Smakintosh even warned about the disconnections in the churches, and the support of oppression and abusers, but I worried about the view of God I was given. In fundamentalist Christianity, I definitely was introduced to a God where nothing was ever good enough and legalism ruled. God was exposed as this perfectionist like my parents who always had to be right, and who punished people severely for not measuring up, even though they had been created with inbuilt faults not of their choosing.

Things with me and God have always been complicated. Abuse doesn't help when it comes to picturing a loving God. When I picture a "Father", it is someone raging not hugging me. As I have written when I was young, I was an atheist, after leaving my family's Catholic church. I explored comparative religions, humanism and other pagan religions for many years, and attended various Unitarian-Universalist churches depending on where I lived over a 12-13 year period. That included one large urban congregation, a college town one and a small start up fellowship that later closed.

Some ask why the world is unfair. I don't see me going back to full atheism, in my spiritual exploration. Someone made all of this but I know with certainty, I no longer consider myself a fundamentalist. Bible teachings and the good teachings of Jesus are still in my head, but there is a lot I have to reconcile and work through now.  Obviously due to my past, I am familiar with those who are not religious but spiritual.

I wrote about that already but later I was pondering ideas about what pulled me into independent fundamentalist baptist churches in the first place? Why did I become a fundamentalist? Did it have something to do with my abuse history? For those who are new to this blog, I was in the IFB church, independent fundamentalist baptist, this includes a short stint in Calvary Chapel and some bible studies in mainstream evangelical churches too. The IFB is one of the most conservative and fundamentalist branches of Christianity out there.

Inside there was always cognitive dissonance between liberal values, being an artist and married to someone who loved punk rock. It's like I had my feet in two different worlds. One friend told me she always thought I had liberal values. This is true. The worsening dismissal of social justice in conservative religious circles has bothered me for years. The election and unthinking evangelical support of Trump is gasoline that has been poured on the religious questioning fire. Yes I had cognitive dissonance with a foot in each world. I would write things on Christian message boards, questioning Republican politics even years ago. Politically I never fit in. The lack of compassion I see towards the disabled, the poor and those who want to believe that God will keep them from all suffering in this world because they are "better" people separated me from from fundamentalism. Other disabled people have shared with me their experiences in the fundamentalist and evangelical world. They have told me they were blamed for their disabilities too, and constantly patronized, told they were in need of fixing or mentoring. They have faced much of the same pain I have.

My ACON recovery has changed me spiritually. It is changing the religious terrain. I can't do the fundamentalist thing anymore. Because of my abuse, I was stuck in the bowing, scraping and begging, saying "please love me" and "seeking approval". I ditched all the abusers I was "never good enough for" and is this spilling out God? It definitely spilled out on to the independent fundamentalist baptist church.

In fundamentalism, one is told they are  a worm, some Calvinists take the depraved "worm" thing a bit further, but I can't even count how many times, we were taught that every human being is deserving of hell or how narrow the path to heaven was while I was in fundamentalism. One's religious beliefs can be a reflection of one's self esteem. There are Christians who warn against this negative side of Christianity like Dr. Donald Sloat, a Christian psychologist who has written books, warning Christians that a degree of self-assertion is not a sin and is imperative to forming one's own identity. He definitely warns of a harmful tie between abuse as a young person and toxic religious beliefs.

Did all the high expectations and being trained to beg for approval, take me into fundamentalism to begin with? My family was not IFB but in the Catholic church where leaving meant you were hellbound. By age 10, I was the family "heretic and apostate", being in a different branch of Christianity did not change this decades later. I had decades of spiritual abuse accompanying the other, simply because I refused to follow my family's religion.

How about life being all about performance, and following rules? Certainly life under Queen Spider was all about rules and being perfect by her definition of it. Her religion was all about following the right rituals, and rites and looking good to others.  Religious rules outlining a certainty, trying to obtain a "proper life", and finding a place to fit in? Did my own weaknesses from abuse attract so many religious people who were out to "fix me"? Even the card-making ex-narcissist friend did with me, was the religious woman [conservative Lutheran] in her case trying to reform the way-ward disabled "sinner".

The fundamentalist god is a perfectionist where nothing is ever good enough. Even if you think about the gospel via grace, okay Jesus gets us into heaven but how many churches make this about being perfectly saved and perfectly obedient? The IFB definitely did. I was taught in one church only 5 percent of professing Christians were even saved, add in all the non-Christians and most of humanity was then destined for hell.

Fundamentalism preys upon a self-loathing in humanity. There is no elevation but this view of humans as just being chaff to be burned in God's furnace. If one's God acts just like the narcissists you escaped, how are you going to form a loving relationship with someone like that? This is a spiritual wall I massively hit. Wouldn't a loving God take the built-in flaws of people and their imperfections into consideration? The whole set up was abusive.

In fundamentalism, I was taught nothing was ever good enough for God. More and more I was reminded of the abusive perfectionistic parents. Preachers who concentrate on hell and all of us going there, did any of us ask to be born on this earth? I am supposed to believe their version of God is loving when He does nothing but make demands and threatens me and others with punishment beyond the horrors this world gives to many people?

I am struggling still with the concept of hell. Some people have joked to me, "We will be with all the cool people in hell then having a party"but really when I got down to brass tacks, I got severely depressed thinking of a loved and agnostic aunt who probably committed suicide in the 80s being in hell, and all my non-Christian friends. One close and very loving friend was an anti war activist who had very New Age beliefs, she was an ex-Catholic and she died of cancer. Is she in hell too? My cognitive dissonance in fundamentalism started years ago with these matters needling at my mind.

I and my husband got in weird conversations--he is agnostic, where he asked me to rescue him from hell, I would say "get saved" of course, but then I found myself saying if I end up there by some chance you come and get me. We have seen the movie "When Dreams May Come" maybe a few too many times. Like Robin Williams, I know the degree of love in this world that had him chose his wife in hell.

There is a cruelty to hell that is beyond the pale. I had bad thoughts starting that only a psychopath would create a place like hell, it's one reason I became troubled regarding God. Imagine Him sitting back and there are millions there, all burning for eternity. Outside of some sociopaths like Ted Bundy, 99.9% of humanity would free people like that from their pain. I am scared to write this thought by the way, not wanting to upset my Christian friends but it's an honest one I have. Here I need to rethink the fundamentalist teachings that just about everyone goes to hell. I was given a very cold and cruel version of God.

Yes think of all the victims of the Holocaust burning not only in life but eternity.  I see all these Indian people around me, they are moving to my town and many are Hindu all going to hell. I would see little children,smiling parents and others. They are nice people. It is an horror to the senses. I had to take another look at what I had been taught in fundamentalist churches and it wasn't lining up with my conscience.

When people say Christians are haters, how much of that is centered in these views of hell, and the fact Christians preach so many are going there. Many Christians who are more liberal then fundamentalists do not believe this way.  There are churches that teach those of good conscience who even are of other beliefs do not go to hell. There are Christian Universalists who say hades means sheol or "the grave" and not literal burning fire and those who believe in Universal Reconciliation.

I have noticed since leaving fundamentalism, I feel more open to other people. I don't have to worry about "being corrupted" as constantly warned by my churches anymore or the pressure to "witness", which in my case, I am polite and shy and would do it once and then leave someone in peace but it is torture on our end too to think people we love and care about are going to hell.

I asked myself how much brutality now in our society today with the prison industry,  love for police state and war, hatred for disabled, coldness of Republicans, and punishment politics is related to the core teachings of fundamentalist and evangelical Christianity especially regarding hell?

I am kind of scared of uber-religious people now. I was one of them and question myself hoping I didn't hurt anyone myself. In my case I broke all the rules which some of them definitely would tell me is one reason my faith has "faltered". I got rebuked once at IFB church for hanging out with non-believers and "pagans". I listened and smiled and didn't fight but didn't follow their instructions. They didn't know at that church I had close non-Christian friends online and other places too. I just couldn't form the little Christian bubble in my life that most of them had been born into.  I cared about people, dumping for them for disagreeing about religious beliefs seemed cruel and evil after all my own family had already done the same to me.

Did the PTSD left over from the abuse and other tragic events, spill into the paranoia and fear that rules the fundamentalist world? We were taught to be afraid of everyone. Honestly I got burned out on all the horrors promised me and others in the Tribulation. In my religious world while pre-trib predominated there was lots of post-tribbers around. Pre-Trib people believe the Rapture will take them up before the bad stuff happened and Post-Trib people believe they will be here for it. Revelation had locusts and the fear of nuclear war wrapped up into it. Many evangelical websites are full of endless doom porn. I still believe there is a lot of corruption in higher echelons and uber-rich jerks planning for wars and profit, but lately I realize how the Alex Jones contingent got Trump elected. Some of the powers that be love using fear for control. If one's religion has become all about punishment, fear and control what good is it? Those three things RULE in fundamentalist Christianity.

Was this fear taught me in the PTSD horror house I grew up in and taken with me into adulthood? If you want to know the main emotion floating the alt-right Trump boat where they have taught people to hate and fear other people, it is FEAR and fear works well to control people. Hell definitely is used to scare people.

When I converted, after my hard days in Chicago witnessing stabbings, robberies, and other horrors including my own medical ones, I was in a very vulnerable place. When I moved to a small very rural town, it was like escaping to heaven. It was as if I had been rescued out of the gaping maw of hell itself. I was still young and only had been married a few years and imagined I and my husband too having the ideal lives I saw around me. It was a naive and idealistic view but it was my thinking at the time.

My family is uber Catholic.  As I have written here before, my mother and sister put on the ultimate religious parade.  When I left the Catholic church at 17, and "came out" as an atheist. My scapegoat position in my family became even more cemented. I was actually called EVIL to my face and told I would go to hell multiple times. Even my own grandmother called me an "evil girl" and how dare you not believe in God. I was told I could not be in my sister's wedding because I was not a good Catholic girl besides being "too fat" for the pictures.

My mother chased me through the house hitting me and calling me heathen when she found an Unitarian Universalist church pamphlet in my bookbag during college. I have noticed on deconversion boards, they tell young budding atheists to make sure only to tell families they are atheists only over dinners they have paid for in houses or apartments that are theirs as well. In other words, keep your mouth shut until you are on your own! I agree with this advice! Religion can be quite the minefield.

All relatives and family friends were turned against me. The smartest ones were the ones who kept their mouths shut and just stopped going to church. Some relatives didn't even show up at my wedding due to religious differences. It was a spiritually abusive environment. My golden child sister before I went no contact would plaster endless Facebook photos of her children getting awards from bishops, her daughter kneeling in front of statues of Mary with a priest blessing her, etc. My mother's cousin was a creepy priest who slapped me once when we were alone and ran one of those abusive Indian schools, and her best friend this high power nun who worked with bishops and Cardinals. Holy people loved by God were those who had been given children, proper lives and good jobs.  I know not all Catholics are like my family but this served as an different backdrop.

The freewill thing was used as a battering ram. In fundamentalism, there is definitely the message that your life is the result of your own choices. My family from their end held those views too.  If anything goes wrong, it's your fault. Some nods are made to Job as a "good man" but for most who end up on the losing end financially or otherwise, there is the message that you put yourself there. Human beings are a product of genetics, culture, society, family and early childhood environment and experiences. These things are ignored in fundamentalism.

Narcissists make life all about punishment and about toeing the line. So do fundamentalists. Could this translate into one's chosen religious beliefs? Fundamentalist religion is all about obedience, and fear including fear of punishment. My churches taught me that every time I suffered God was "chastising me."  I was told God had a "plan" for my life and that all my sufferings were a result of my choices. My disabilities were from something I did wrong or a curse. God was not blessing me because I had not obeyed him. I was wicked because I never had children etc. These things were concentrated in the deliverance ministry abuse.

There was a point where I felt like life itself was punishing enough without the promises of punishment in religion. On top of these sufferings, the threat of hell was always present for the smallest infraction. Is it too much of a reach to suspect, that my upbringing influenced my religious choices? I feel more free lately knowing I don't have to live in religious oppression, shame and endless guilt anymore either. More happiness has come in freeing myself from religious oppression.

Leaving the Fold

IFB Exposed

Mean Christians Want People to Die in the Gutter

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Koch Brothers Against Libraries



A library levee failed in my old town, with all these conservative Republican types railing against it. I love libraries, so remember my red hot anger at those who didn't want people to have free access to books and information. If a town doesn't have a library, I refuse to live there. The town I live in now has a very nice library with tons of new books, I'm there every week. It doesn't surprise me that Trump's people hate libraries. Why should that surprise us? Republicans want all our tax dollars to go for wars not reading or learning!

Koch Brothers Gun for Small Town Library

Boogie's Recovery From Weight Loss Surgery



Hopefully, he will lose weight. I think he got the "sleeve" surgery, that is worrisome because there is no take-down from that one. He complains about nausea, feeling tired and weak. One question I had when I explored weight loss surgery years ago, was "What will they do about low blood sugar?"  If I "forget" to eat or a meal time is delayed even in pre-diabetic times, I got so sick. It made dieting harder then hell. Boogie concerns me because his symptoms of sleeping all day, and lethargy sounds like he is not getting enough nutrition to keep his brain humming properly. In my case, this has been a problem with the severe insulin resistance and nutritional problems. There are effects even if I don't eat enough vegetables and fruits for a day.

Illness in my case, did reduce my eating massively a few times, so I know what he means when he talks about being so cold. It has always troubled me all these years that the best they can come up with is weight loss surgery, and it is purposefully making someone sick, so they can lose weight. When I lost good digestion over the dozens of kidney stones in 2013 and spent days throwing up, sometimes 2-3 days dry heaving, because I could not eat at all, I knew then I never wanted weight loss surgery.  Decades of IBS which I got in control two or three years ago from avoiding all GMO and certain kind of foods, also gave me enough stomach cramps and hell-bound moments on the toilet.

I'd rather die then go through the digestion checking out. There's a point where a person has had enough pain and suffering in their life. That was the decision I made about weight loss surgery. It's also the decision I've made about dieting. Enough involuntary food reduction and eating according to hunger and sugars is all I can do now. This month we got a little more money and I was able to get some of my sugars down to the 110s and 100s. Eat too late after 9, I can still hit a 130, but my eating has to be so controlled for diabetes as it is.

Boogie had the right to make his decision to take a spin of that wheel, but I still am troubled by what they consider the main treatment for fat. To me the fact that the surgery focuses on the stomach is based on bigotry and "what they think makes people fat". Yes this is a Faustian bargain, there's been times when I have wondered if I should have taken that spin of the roulette wheel, but with my respiratory disorders and Lipedema, it would have not have been good. Nutritionally I barely can keep enough vitamins in me now and go anemic.

One odd phenomenon that has happened to me lately is why I lost a teeny amount of weight on the scale, none of my clothes fit on top, it's a major problem, but I believe Lipedema and lipo-lymphedema is keeping tons of weight on my bottom. My clothes keep falling off me on top. I even found myself sewing one dress to close the neckhole, and it turned out okay but wasn't very professional. Wearing too loose clothes is annoying. So there's been weight loss on me that isn't showing so much on the scale.

I hope Boogie loses a lot of weight and has a good outcome with his weight loss surgery and some of the symptoms get under control. It does sound concerning.

Nazis, Trump and the Alt-Right



Trump had no problem shilly-shalling about Nazis. It took him two days to revise his statement as outrage grew. Why do people still support the sociopathic Cheeto? Are they that brainwashed? It's Obama's fault right? Something has really changed in America for the worse. One can tell who listens to right wing radio, and Fox news, they defended Trump when it came to Charlottesville. Even on Facebook, I had a conservative friend complaining about Antifa, ever heard of agent provocateurs? Of course many of them believe anyone who protests or stands against the system is a "violent terrorist." They will cheer one day for all protesting and free speech to be outlawed.

They had no qualms at putting themselves on the side of the pointy hood set. It looks like it didn't escape some people's attention that a bunch of racists doing a torchlight parade should have flunked history class. What do these people want? The same formula is being used today which was used in the post Civil War South, get the poor whites to rally against the blacks [add in other groups for today], and they will submit to the uber-wealthy. Jim Crow kept the plantation owners in power. It's a dog kick the underdog world. The name of the game is divide and conquer and the idiots are all falling for it.  So now when poor whites ask where all the jobs have gone? Instead of questioning an economic system where technology has erased jobs, globalism and the uber wealthy who have suppressed wages and hogged all the wealth for themselves, they follow the "blame the other races" script. It's been used time and time again. The powers that be use race so no one looks at class.

 This is why we have Republicans now who are by default are defending the Neo-Nazis, skin-heads, and white power people who have crawled out of their mother's basements, and from under rocks. Pepe the Frog people marching alongside Hitler worshipers. On Facebook all my ex-church friends still love Trump. My disgust has grown. I am still protesting myself. If you still support Trump after all this, WHY?

A Skeleton Key to the Alt-Right



Sunday, August 27, 2017

Life Lately

I've been feeling better lately. I think getting away from some final toxic relationships has helped me a lot more then I expected to.  I felt sad over the millionaire friend, but just like my mother, there was no love for me there, no apologies, no trying to patch things up. Sometimes when us ACONs do walk, we realize how one sided things really were. Living life realizing I don't have to put up with this kind of thing anymore has been far better.  I am more relaxed.

This week, I was able to meet some out of town new friends and visit with them and it went great. It was great conversation and my husband enjoyed our time visiting a lot too.  I have still been protesting Trump and have decided to become more politically involved but guess I always have been with the earlier war protesting. I fit in the protesting around my health and can't make it every week but I am glad local groups have been sticking to the plan and have not given up.

Later I plan to write about Charlottesville and some other issues when I get more time. How did things get so bad we have a president shilly-shallying about Nazis? The fact that Trump pardoned the sheriff who used to abuse inmates, put them outside in 120 degree heat and forced men to wear pink underwear, says it all to me. Someone has to stand against the growing evil.

I did get another art center scholarship and am taking another painting and drawing class, that will be an enjoyable thing I look forward to for this fall. I have one landscape painting I may put up for sale soon on here and a house painting to complete.

I went to the doctor, and found out I lost 13lbs since last year not much weight but it is still better then gaining. Oddly my dresses have become so loose on top, I have to get out the sewing machine and work on at least 4-5 of them. Trying to function while your dresses are falling off on top is not easy. I was googling today how to do this sewing. It's a bit risky. I probably need to get some more new clothes. It is possible with Lipedema, I have lost more weight on top, then the weight numbers show. All I know is my clothes up top are way too loose. They always have been bigger on top, so my clothes fit in the hips, but it's gotten more extreme.

One kidney could have a giant kidney stone, but they are waiting things out until March to see if it's really there or if my medication can shrink it. Health stuff does take a lot of time. I am slowing down a bit with age. This week I went to a meeting for a program called PACE I may join, it is for disabled elderly people. I have 6 years until I can be in it, and of course will judge where I am at by then. My ankle has recovered to my relief. It is still a little bit weak but nothing like it was.

Still Working on the Zines



Some reason I've been writing less here, is I have been writing for the zines I hope to put out, this will include text with the comics I've been working on forever. I work slow on things but hopefully when I do finally get these zines together, they will be enjoyed.

Here is a scene some of you may remember from this blog. All names of the "guilty" have been changed.

The deceased trucker's family members came out to say hello, from neighboring trailers and Midge with a furrowed brow sunk inside the car. “Ignore them”, she said. Maybelline came to the door giving a shell-shocked wary smile to the Spyder family. “Hi-ya!” The trailer was in horrible shape and had become a possible site for the future show Hoarders, with piles of trash piled up. Bottles, piles of dirt, rags and newspapers laid scattered all over the floor.  Obviously her grief and new loneliness had pushed Peep's aunt over a new edge. Peep walked gingerly in behind my father and her mother was there too.  The two adult Spyders yelled at her, "What in the hell happened here?". She didn't respond.


Maybelline then laughed and said, "I made youse lunch!, it's in the oven!" Mr Spyder handed Peep an oven mitt, and said "Go see what roadkill she made for us!", Peep was scared but went over to the oven, and opened it, and in it was a ROTTEN PIG'S HEAD! It had been cooked, but was at least 3-4 days old and left unattended. It's eyes bugged out, it's ears flopped. Flies poured out of the oven. "It's still good!" Peep's aunt cried. Peep in horror, this was worse then the baby pigs, literally swooned across the table and almost passed out. Mr. Spyder yelled at her, "What in the hell is your problem?" but took a few steps closer and looked into the oven.

Pro-Union All the Way


Yesterday I went to a local political meeting, it was for a group that is pro-union. I told the leader America needs a new labor movement and he agreed. People forget the benefits that were won via the labor movement. The worse thing the Republican party ever did was ruin the unions and destroy worker's rights.

10 Reasons Why Asians Don't Get Fat


The cold water slows down digestion theory is interesting. There is also something to be said for gut health and all the fermented foods. I want to introduce more fermented foods to my own diet.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Goodbye to My Millionaire Friend



                                                    a very old painting from college I gave her

Yeah I know some of you are asking, "How come Peep is getting rid of everyone?" Yes sometimes I get scared. This is a lot of people, I have walked away from. They all held two things in common, they treated me like my mother and family and they all looked down on me.

 I have examined myself, that I was far too compliant, too weak, too accepting of bad behavior for too long. Why on earth did I end up with all these friends who even socioeconomically looked down on me from the clouds while I was in the basement?

 All I can say is that my upbringing definitely hurt my ability to choose the right kind of people. I also have had the crappiest luck. Some kind and decent friends died, and I moved away from other good people who weren't like this or lost touch. Yeah I know for the last ten years I have mourned moving from my old town. Even people left here, I miss like the art center folks and the people who ran my self help group. Online I do have great friends of course too. I have lost too many people. It has affected the faith crisis too. Finding out one of your "best friends" doesn't care about you either, can be hell on earth.

I found myself getting creeped out when this friend started reminding me more of my mother. You know the other abusers are out of my life, so you are looking at others, and things are reminding you. You get the big gun narcissists out of your life, and then you see the smaller gun ones, but who can just be as damaging. Sometimes when she spoke it would trigger me back to my mother. The coldness, the lack of emotion, the imperviousness about life and lack of fear, also stood out to me. She even would say odd things to me, when I spoke of vulnerability in life, "I know I will live as long as my grandparents did into their 90s."

 Here's the weirdest thing for FIVE YEARS, I asked her to read my blog. She has computers, smart phones and full access to the internet, and she refused to come over here. What was that deal? I thought okay maybe she got busy, or distracted and one day recently I suggested it again, told her the name and everything, and she comes over here.... and the reaction is horrific... She hates this blog! Oh it's not the fat articles, she understands my metabolism and Lipedema, it's the ACON ones. She insulted it. It's the reaction like the relatives.

Basically the attitude is how dare you say you say you are abused and she tells me all my perceptions are wrong. Now this really floors me. Why? She SAW some of the verbal abuse. My mother used to call her a lesbian. Read the story of my first going no contact, she was there, and they insulted her too.

Where we ever really friends? She wrote this to me and invalidated my entire blog and me with this statement: "I will likely never know what financial challenges are, so I can’t put myself in your position, in reality nobody has had exactly the same life experiences, even children growing up in the same house will remember things differently. Everything that parents do while raising a child can be defined as abuse. Just because my mother had a temper and there was lots of arguing doesn’t mean I was verbally abused."

I got the  "you need to let go". speeches too. What gets me, is she could see on this blog, my writing about them had diminished. Time alone has shrunk any talking about them. I don't know what is going on. Outside the weird house crap in the last year and resultant email, I am out of the loop. What gets me is I was supportive to her, when she talked about how her own mother engulfed her, and then went into dementia, but I guess when it comes to my problems, there is no equal billing.

She wrote me, "I have nothing to apologize for. I had a conversation about two houses, one that I actually went and looked at. As of now, that is all I have done. It has actually helped make some progress in getting my house organized; because when/if I do move this house will be packed ujp to be shown and a fair amount of maintenance work done before being listed. In my discussions with **** on this issue, she was in or above my position once and had friends in yours or similar to yours. At no time did they have a falling out, these people, some of whom I've met were always happy for her good fortune."

During our email fight, as she just came back with very cold narcissistic answers and talked down to me like an uncaring social worker, I decided I was done. I ended the friendship. I am sure I will be deemed the "jealous" loser. At one point she even blamed me for my husband's career problems. Like I chose any of that?

What is creepy is I didn't even talk about my family that much with her especially in the last few years. In the last year, they are ebbing away fast in my mind so it was even far less. I got the feeling it "bothered" her so I kept my mouth shut. Her family left her 2-4 million dollars, so maybe she's got a little more love for hers but what I noticed was empathy missing. When we met in college she was already 6 figures wealthy with money left direct to her from an uncle, but got more inheritances later in life, including the final in 2011 when her mother died. While I worked at the various jobs, she went through college in ease. She didn't have have to hold a job during graduate school when we both shared an apartment.

The very few times I brought my family up, she was defending them. It started weirding me out. I told her, "I think my mother got the house foreclosed on," It never went on the market after that one email. And she piped up basically saying "Oh your mother is still financially viable". It was weird stuff like that. She was against my adoption search, and to her, I did admit, I could have a genetic tie to ANOTHER relative, so why the anger, why the lack of support? Her and the Army friend exactly matched on these stances. These things all weighed on me for years.

 In fact one reason things lasted as long as they did is because she came out to visit me, unlike the family. She would come out twice a year and spend a couple days with me. I really thought this was because she cared about me. You know letting actions speaking for themselves. I discussed coming out her way but she said, "That wouldn't work, there's no place for you to sleep."  The logistics for me would have been very difficult. I put up with a lot thinking, "Well she cares enough to come visit a couple times a year" and thinking this way, I would set some increasing worries aside.

Sometimes when one is on the lonely end of life, and doesn't have very many real world friends they see, you can get stuck in the mode of thinking, "Well I am not going to challenge this friend, I got so few friends right now". ACON recovery changed that about me. I started being more aware of things. It brought a lot into question. I plan to write about this more later, but I realized from a Facebook group, even normal, thin, healthy and not clinically depressed women, are having problems making, keeping and finding close friends.

We did have an intellectual compatibility. I made the error here too of mistaking her shyness and remove from other people for being a possible fellow Aspie. She never was diagnosed and rejected the label herself but I could talk to her about art, and politics and other subjects other people did not get.        

We could have fun touring museums, going to restaurants, and watching movies, though I noticed more and more we could talk about everything in her life, but many subjects on my end, were "unacceptable". I enjoyed time with her and focused on the positive, I liked going to the places we did and many of our activities.  We had a long history together. Maybe that is limited in keeping a friendship going too as people can change with time. We roomed together for two years in college, and then had an apartment together while I was working at the juvenile home and she was in graduate school.

There was problems though even years ago. A lot of times she did hurt me. One time she visited with this other mutual college friend who was a bridesmaid in my wedding too, and they kept making fun of me together and ganging up on me. I stopped having that mutual college friend visit me, but that remained inside my mind. I thought of the treatment when we were living together and she got with a young man, I had noted interest in first. I had missed a bullet and a half as he moved in with her while cheating on her, and would go on to meet my husband a few years later but that first betrayal was there.  In 1995, she had come to visit me in Chicago, and she was horrified by my poverty, and she something like "Why don't you have a trash can in your bathroom?" it was something stupid, and thoughtless, and we got in a giant argument, and I made her get out of my car dropping her off near the bus station and we would not talk for more then a year and half. So trouble was brewing even years ago. No relationship is perfect, but even then as I look back on our history, I realized she looked down on me and had little respect. 

 Religiously she had introduced me to the UU when I left my family's church. She grew up in it but later left it. She did not like it when I became a Christian and sometimes would make joking references to God being "my invisible best friend". I never told her of the recent faith problems because I didn't want to be told, "I told you so.

However especially in the last few years I felt everything was not safe to talk about there were also other issues as you will see. The conversations from my end felt more strained. She would happily chat about her friends, and life, and I was interested but she took very little interest in mine.   I know I changed with time too.  She would tell me at times she was lonely and I told her, I faced loneliness as well, and sometimes it seemed to me we were connecting then but maybe not given what happened later.  I sought more closeness with her, since the friendship had survived for so long but in many ways she just kept slamming the door in my face and that reminded me of my mother and other relatives too.

One thing affecting the visits, is as I aged, my health has declined, the shopping got more restricted, I couldn't go to as many stores without facing serious fatigue. Our visits were planned during non-housebound times, but I was slowing down.

Recently during our last conversation, she noted irritation even with someone else she knew for talking about abuse as a child and adult and their resultant depression. This gave me immediate flashbacks to how my mother would talk to people, anyone relaying troubles was a problem. Sometimes I feel like warning this person, but I've been down that road long enough to know I could be buying trouble and would not be believed. One statement in an email deeply troubled me where she wrote that an ACON threatening suicide on a message board only wanted "attention". Here we see out and out disdain and lack of empathy for abuse victims. When she came out against so ardently against ACONs, that crossed a line.  She must have found me on an ACON message board I go to, googling the term "fivehundredpoundpeep". I used to post the same things on there I do here, sometimes trying out topics before blogging on them. She wrote me this:

 "Let’s discuss that whole narcissist concept/diagnosis. Just because you spend a lot of time on that board, doesn’t make you an expert on the topic. And from my perspective, you seem to have become one yourself, having to be right about everything and be the center of attention; accusing me pf being loyal to people I have had no contact with in more than 2 decades. **********has a friend who is on your ACON board and has been threatening suicide for the last 6 months just to get attention from anyone who will listen. Message boards are a good outlet, but they are not a sole form of therapy that makes anyone into an expert on any topic."

Anyhow, during my recovery process, and I am finally moving into the "What Next?" phase, and trying to figure out what to do with my life free of abusive people, she did not offer me much support. She was always defensive of my family to the point, I limited bringing them up even during the more painful early NC days. Around here now, I tell people I have no family and infer except for my husband that they are all dead. It is easier that way. Some online FB friends and others who read this blog know the true story but for new people who are local, it is something I want to shut the door on. There was one point where I even said to her straight on, on the phone, "You knew I was abused why do you keep defending my mother?" "Don't you even remember how she treated you?" 

 Remember the Army friend, the one who hoovered me? Millionaire now ex-Friend and Army ex-Friend went to the same high school together. Millionaire friend introduced me to Army friend. We had mutual visits with each other for years. The Army friend comes from a multi-million dollar family too. When her parents die, she will be as wealthy as the other friend too if not more.Both of them grew up in one of the wealthiest suburbs in my state.

Yes I know it's weird that poor me ended up with such wealthy friends from a state college but remember my family had money too though my immediate family was more in the 6 figure range and outer relatives were more wealthy like them.

What is strange is remember when I talked about looking up things and trying to get the truth, I looked up my Army friend and found out she lied to me for (30 years!) about where her father worked. He worked for at a company that had massive  multimillion dollar supply contacts with the US Army, and then I found out this company where he was vice president had major and multiple contacts with the specific branch, office and government agency my parents worked for. It kind of explains to me why she skyrocketed in promotions.  Her father is retired now, but I found myself wondering, "Were my friends chosen for me?" I know this sounds VERY strange, and I wonder if it is just a coincidence and don't want to become a conspiracy theorist about my own life, but it bothered me greatly. Their defenses of my family grew so strident, and it made no sense even from their end. This is why I wondered about things even if I am wrong.  The Army friend betrayed me in some serious ways. The other webs I had discovered my mother weaving certainly were vast enough.

Both friends seemed to act like they still had contact with my family. They defended my family, they were AGAINST my going no contact, and they stood against my adoption search. This means these friendships were doomed at that conjecture. Yes all of these felt like betrayals, built up and then I knew I had to walk. With the Army friend, she hid the reality of one famous uncle from me, which was odd and told me one brother was a drinker, and poor when he was another uber- wealthy financier. The endless lies were exposed. I couldn't trust any of them anymore. Some of the direct treatment was enough to walk too.

The last fight with the millionaire friend began this way.  She told me her 1200-1800 square foot house in a nice suburb was not big enough especially for her growing glass collection, and that she wanted to buy a house worth more then half a million with 4-5 bedrooms. I live in a poorer fly-over state so these houses would be around 3 million alone in California or maybe around 1 million in cost in Chicago. The houses she chose to look at ranged around the 5,000 square feet mark. I went online to look at her potential houses on Zillow.  They were huge mansions.

When she raised this topic, I wanted to ignore this and dropped some major hints but she pressed on but she told me to look them up and I did. She has no children or partner and wants to live in one of these giant houses alone which creeped me out. I also did not fail to notice she selected houses with giant staircases even on the outside, I probably would not even be able to get inside due to disabilities if I ever was able to visit. The week she was telling me about her real estate plans, we were very low on groceries, and had no money. I was stressed out to the hilt. Our food co-op had encountered supply issues that week so even that source for groceries had been diminished. The last thing I was in the mood for was hearing about a woman who had been given everything in life bragging about her new real estate plans.

One thing, while she would get me used estate sale items such as some used Tupperware or some pots and pans,  bought me health food store shampoo and gave me gift cards for my birthday, she was the type that did not like to mix money and friendship which is a boundary I adhered to. On my end I would make her paintings for gifts. I gave her one last Christmas.

I don't want to be begging to people myself.  That's enough to bring on loads of shame. People have helped me unasked many times in life, but I am not the type to go begging and well, sometimes inside, I would wonder, "Why isn't she helping me?" especially when things got dire. Her real estate bragging and my personal circumstances that week did not mesh. Some of you may even be in shock reading this entry, if you are a long-time reader of this blog, to realize Peep had two millionaire "friends" from college during all the severe poverty.

It did get painful during her visits while she paid for the very rare lunch maybe once every 6 visits, she could easily drop 500 dollars in front of me buying jewelry and house items , at the various local antique shops we went to. From my end, I had saved very carefully around 40 dollars to go out to lunch, and to have entry fees to the museums or art center for the few days she was here. I could not afford any jewelry or antiques. It got depressing. I never recovered in some ways from the lost of my husband's career  and that move 10 years ago. Sometimes I still want to double over in grief where my life has ended up. No one seems to care about the pain supposedly "its all my fault". Now I know hanging out with Lenora Helmsley was a bit extreme and hard on my pysche.


                                                       two other college era paintings  I gave her.

 I never feel like I could depend on her in a pinch, or that she was really there for me. Does that make sense? One doesn't want to mix friendship and money but I started wondering how she could watch me flounder even with the groceries with no help. I had too much pride to ask direct but she knew what was going on. We got money that week, and chances are I never would have had to ask, because my husband got another new transcription job, that paid a bit more but it got to me.

Maybe a friendship with such vast socioeconomic differences is doomed to failure anyway. She never even attempted to understand my life or even how I lived. It triggered me too, as my blog readers here know, my self esteem has taken a battering because of my better off family that put me down for poverty and it's not easy living in an upper middle class area I have stayed in for better medical and other resources. All these issues mixed together.

I realized with horror, she did look down on me and it wasn't going to get better. Chances were, I was not going to win a big money Lotto to be an equal. Someone on here commented once, that the only friendships that truly work out are ones of equals. I believe people of different socioeconomic groups can be friends, I have even had homeless friends myself, and known friends in the six figure category, but there, the people have to see themselves as equal human beings, not with one seeing themselves as superior and the other as an underling.
 
She treated me like a burden, like she could see sitting on her stoop one day. Her mother by the way 20 years ago told her to dump me as a friend because I was "too poor". A few years ago, she told me once if I ever became homeless she would never take me in. I don't even remember how the topic came up.  I know my feelings about her changed. She knew I'd always move into a disabled apartment first as an adult before living under someone else's domain, but that bothered me. My mother held that same attitude. They looked at me like I didn't deserve anything.

Some months earlier she had let the bomb drop, that she spent more then I live on every year on accupuncture alone, at her local holistic health clinic. That kind of floored me. She gets other treatments too, so this told me how vast things were between us. It bothered me. 

She has the right to spend her money on whatever she wants, and to live her own life, but I knew a rupture in values was occurring. I started seeing her as very materialistic and self absorbed. Not all rich people live that way either. It drove me crazy instead that even with just 1/10th of her money the goals, dreams and opportunities I would have far more access too. I got angry about the lack of imagination. Maybe this was judgmental on my part but she was always focused on STUFF. I remember odd conversations with her, where I would ask her, "How come you don't travel?" "Why not explore that avenue of life?"  I wondered why she had no greater yearnings. I hope this makes sense.I had bad thoughts that she was just like my mother, where stuff meant everything to her and that she had become shallow. One day on the phone, I got angry and asked "Where is your imagination?" And why on earth do you just want to buy a giant mausoleum and fill it up with stuff?"

It is sad to end a 30 year old friendship and now I have ended two of them. The main reason I ended it was her lack of empathy. I also realized with horror she had no emotional investment in me. Why did she even visit me?   I can't spend my life being around people who see me as inferior to them. My ACON recovery has changed what I will put up with in people, and I know my ice queen mother led me to far too many ice queen friends. One day watching the show Hoarders, I saw this woman who even had serious problems, being hugged and shown love by a friend. It made me burst out in tears seeing that. My friend didn't even care enough to get upset enough over the demise of a 30 year friendship.

I do think when psychologists warn abused people they will re-enact the abuse in other relationships this is true. Like my mother, she took no interest in who I was. I was a reflection for her. Reading my blog, would have meant seeing me as an actual individual, so that is why she refused for some many years.

When I did end the friendship, it did hurt, that she never broke out of social worker mode and never showed one emotion about it. She never attempted to apologize or to patch things up. I told her in my last letter if she had, and showed any care for me, that would have stopped me ending the friendship in my tracks. 

Here is what I wrote:

"I can tell from the tone of these letters your emotional investment in me is very little.  You don't want to be close and do not see me as a person of any worth. You defend my abusers and use cold social worker language on me instead of the responses one would expect a friend of 30 years to make. Maybe my expectations were too high and you just saw me as an activity buddy. Our expectations of friendships do not match. Right now I know I can't even talk to you about anything deep and meaningful anymore because I am judged as "not letting go" and being "too emotional" and always the one in the "wrong". Because you are treating me the same as my family did as a person of no worth and someone you do not love or care about, I am walking away for good. I doubt you will feel much pain over this as I will,but I made the decision, that I would give you one last chance to give me in these emails ONE KIND WORD or degree of sympathy and empathy, before I walked away and you failed and failed miserably."