Sunday, September 2, 2018

From Zero to 60: The Major Hoover Attempt

My brother wrote back to his no contact letter.

They recently tried to hoover me. I know 5 years in, they are still popping up like poisonous pennies. Maybe I erred engaging. In his case, there had never been a no contact letter. I decided to send one for legal reasons--I wanted a documentation that I wanted nothing more to do with him, and to put closure on it all.  I told him off 2 and half year  on the phone, the day he told me Aunt Scapegoat had died. That had been our last contact.

A few months ago, I ignored a card my mother sent and threw it away, that came a few days before my 20th anniversary. In this she said, her husband was dying. This is the husband she married around 10 years ago. He's a nice guy but fully under her control. I wasn't even invited to their wedding which was held on January 10th. I feel bad he's dying. People drop like flies around Queen Spider but no relationship with him is possible while no contact.

 Because the guilt game did not work to slide back into scapegoat place and because my mother's husband was dying, my brother only a few months later was called out as a flying monkey. He told me he wanted to come and visit me. I refused. I have not seen him in almost 9 years. I don't think he has even been in my state in all those years either but have no way for knowing for sure. He went to visit my mother. I had messages blocked, but a few came in.  I have to lock down my social media more. He had others emailing and messaging me too. He told me he wanted to visit, another nephew was used as a pawn.

"We want to see you", well you all know the game. The "forgive and forget" side step. I told him off on the phone, 2 and half years ago but he came back, like nothing had happened. This time he was acting nice, saying he wanted to do lunch and bring the nephews. I ignored the messages for weeks, but then felt afraid, that he'd show up at the door uninvited. I probably erred engaging at all, but for me having final closure works better.

 Some people have recommended legal means to be left alone. Well I have to put my barriers up higher.  I erred letting the messages come through and seeing them. There was one block that actually failed, I have to figure out what happened still. I cannot underestimate my mother's total control of people now.

Here is what I wrote him:

 I tried to talk things out with you for years, and it was a waste of time, you did nothing but make excuses, invalidate me, deny my abuse, tell me you were busy over and over, and defended their abuses and cruelty, telling me I was always in the wrong or had to put up with it. I have given up on any of you changing. You are what you are, and so am I, a person that doesn't want to deal with it anymore.

 Earlier he had written me this, notice the minimization and rest. I fixed the grammar and spelling mistakes. My husband agrees he is in deep denial.

Never did I deny anything you said about our childhood. But unlike you I decided NOT to allow it to define me.

So totally removing me and *********** and your nephews from your life makes absolutely no sense. I'm willing to agree to disagree on this issue. I wish the same could be said about you. I've forgiven Mom and Dad for all the shit they put me and you through. I guess you have not.
And as far as choosing Mom over you? This makes no sense. This is our first trip to {my state} since the last time I saw you and **********. So seeing you guys is as much a priority if not more as seeing Mom. And i want to see {mother's husband} he is not doing well and wish to spend some time with him. He's a great guy whatever you think and deserves respect regardless of your feelings about Mom.

As far as being busy? I run a business and have for 26 years. And as any self-employed person will tell you is not a five day a week, 9-5 job. I still put in 10-12 hour days. Even when I'm not out selling I'm still doing something business related. But after 26 years most days I still enjoy it very much. But I am taking 3 days off this weekend and with all that free time, which i get very rarely, I've choose to spend some of it with you. Unfortunately I guess ...... you don't forgive people right? I always believe people deserve second chances and sometimes third or fourths as we are human and none of us are perfect. 

I guess if you feel this strongly that I have treated you so bad there is nothing i can do to change your mind. Sad really. There's a lot I've wanted to talk to about but guess that not going to happen. All I asked was we could come see you which we don't very often. I know it's impossible for you to visit us but understand it's not something I'm able to do frequently either so I hope you change your mind and take advantage of this opportunity to see each other. Neither one of us is getting any younger.

I just wanted to be left alone. I didn't want any more of his games, bragging, shaming or guilt inducements, so I decided to write back and make that his official no contact letter. Maybe this was an error and I should have kept to the last phone call it, but since I had just been informed of Aunt Scapegoat's death that day, I didn't have time to say even more I wanted to. At least now the door is closed as far as he is concerned for good.

Here is some of what I wrote him:

You had two and half years to apologize or stand up for me. You actually helped enable the over-all abuse. You are denying what I said about our childhood here. Also telling me I have let it define me is bullshit. I am defining myself outside of a family that never had any respect for me, that is the road to recovery not denial like yours.

I am not talking about childhood all the time but how I was treated as an adult into my 40s. Maybe you think it's okay to keep people in your life who rip you down--they did all the time behind your back, you know, and who refuse to invite you, ignore your health needs or drive by your apt without stopping by and teach many others to treat you with disrespect. Your response here has only proven that I have made the right decision.

The whole family spoke to me the same way you did in private messages and emails, telling me they were "too busy" even when they drove right by my house, ignoring my private messages, even some I wrote only a couple times a year, coming to visit your mother and making sure "not to tell me" because they were busy. People chose their priorities. Busy is an excuse. This relationship was long ago over, because you were "too busy" as you told me every time I tried to write you a private message only once every few months. The fact you are doing it yet again is disgusting.

 I am tired of the put-downs. Even here your first response is to minimize things and tell me how the kids you worked with were more abused. Hmm, you probably will tell them all to "forgive" their unrepentant abusers and take it, instead of going no contact and bettering their lives, and finding people to uplift their lives.

So here, you showed the usual disrespect which backs up my decision.

At times you would appear shocked at what I told you like what she said about wishing [Aunt Scapegoat] would die that time but you would always revert to your brainwashing. So I am wasting my time.

It's almost been 9 years. Do you remember when I asked you to visit me, and you told me to send you 1,000 dollars? That was funny because the very next month I saw a picture of your Christmas tree with thousands of dollars of presents under it.

How do you forgive someone who keeps repeating the same behavior? Forgiveness is for those who repent. It is not for those incapable of feeling guilt. That is false forgiveness. When behavior is repeated over and over, then you are just a sucker. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

 Also when you go on about the business, it's to brag, I'm not stupid. Just like you bragged to me constantly about your new cars, computers and furniture with pictures included. How do you think that made me feel?

Sure people deserve second chances, but there's a point where people are toxic and harmful to a person and that applies here. With the family, I gave multiple chances. How long did you all expect me to hang around being treated so badly? I mean are any of you truly surprised I walked?

Even your first message here was an insult, acting like nothing had happened since our last phone call in 2016. You never acknowledged anything I discussed and your constant dismissive messages of "get over it", "leave the past in the past" and "let it go" BS was just said to silence me and here you repeat all of it. Playing "forgive and forget" games where I am supposed to get back in line while nothing is resolved is a waste of time.

So yes I do feel you have treated me badly, you are treating me badly in this response. You are invalidating me same like before, it just has helped cement my decision. It's the same old thing over and over.

Really what do we have to talk about, you don't respect anything I have to say. ........I believe the only reason you are contacting me now is because Mom told you too, since I ignored a card she sent three months ago.

As I said, maybe one day you will wake up but I am not counting on it.

I was doing a lot better, "forgetting" about them. I'm even kind of embarrassed to be writing about being drawn into the spiral again, and almost made the choice not to post about this. I still plan to continue with my life as before. The final door is shut on him. 

Maybe for two steps forward there can be one back. I was happier and becoming more calm. Focusing on trying to enjoy life and moving forward with it. I need to put some higher barriers, control on the mail, and more social media blocking. They are always trying to control me via emotions since they have none. There's always all these people dying around her. She sucks their energy like a sponge.

One thing many ACONs need to be warned of is often no contact must be maintained. I am sure I have made my errors. Some ACONS online told me it seems odd that my family is tracking me down so much and it seems extreme. They told me they were just discarded and that was that.

One thing is I don't want to drive people around me crazy talking about the horrible family when finally I had stopped for months, and felt good. The light at end of the tunnel was getting far brighter.  My only way to deal now is consider this a blip on the map and keep moving forward.

 I don't think I ever will understand how she got them all in her back pocket so easily but there's nothing I can do about it.  It is hard to describe my emotions of disappointment and grief here. I had my deconversion but it's scary to watch the universe, or whatever force runs this place, always choosing her.  One apology, one nice word outside of bragging, or showing off or being Mommy's flying monkey and I may have relented. The same goes for all the other cold narcissists I walked away from. They are INCAPABLE of it.

He was abused too, some of my most horrible memories are watching him being beaten in front of me. He could have been an ally but was not. Internalized Oppression has him worshipping his sociopathic mistress: "Mom". Understand this is some of why I took so long to let him go. I certainly gave it enough time. I had to face facts too about what kind of person he had become too.

It is kind of creepy that someone can go from 0-60 in asking for a visit nicely to "Go Fuck Yourself" so quickly but that's life with narcissists.

One thing with the narcs, if there's any milestones or birthdays or anniversaries coming by your way, realize these are some of the moments they will strike.  This can happen years later as my example illustrates. I hit a 20 year marriage anniversary and 50th birthday, all within a short period of time. My father died on Labor Day weekend 20 years ago, so I am not surprised this weekend was chosen either for the attempted hoovering. You are not paranoid if you sniff the subtle manipulations.

With my brother, I gave him far too long and too much patience. He is a disappointment. He always talked to me in a very negative fashion. The grand business is selling candy bars from a van with teenagers. Some states have outlawed these "candyman scams" but not in the one he lives in. He calls it a charity, taking them on a few youth trips a year but having them sell candy bars door to door, and he lives off the proceeds. He does work and make money, he is on a far higher socioeconomic level then me but it's just more of the bragging and family-wide materialism.

The candy business may not last long. He has very poor health too telling me that he still has problems from his quadruple bypass of three years ago.  Illness has spread through the family even to the sociopath's willing victims and sycophants.  There is no relationship left, and even then I consider him in the category of another narcissist I had to get out of my life.

I spent a lot of my childhood having to defend myself from him fighting like a boy, never protected as a girl. He always spoke to me like a thug, learning from his parent's examples.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

When You Refuse to be Meg Any Longer

These two videos are from Scapegoated Daughter. Meg has been mentioned on this blog before, watching Family Guy can be uncomfortable, because of this character.  She is the scapegoat of the family, and is ignored and put down all the time. While they expose the scapegoating ,at the same time, the show advances it, because they always have HER GIVE IN or COP OUT.

There's one episode where Meg goes to prison, and comes home hardened and she starts beating up her family, and she "owns" them for once, but backs down hating what she has become. Sadly instead of no contact, she gives in to them.

That episode really bothered me, because there were times when in reaction to my abuse, I would go off, and while I did not get violent enough to have cops called or hit anyone, it's like I was becoming THEM, and it was the only time there was ever a glimmer of respect. That sums up how many people become narcissists when raised by narcissistic parents.

 This one was definitely a disturbing episode. I only see Family Guy very rarely, but Meg has been kept a scapegoat. I have a bad memory about Family Guy,  it was on in the background at a family gathering and my brother joked that I was like Meg. I know he said it once on the phone as a "joke" too.

  "Three months later, Meg returns home with the mind and attitude of a hardened criminal, complete with a new thuggish and rebellious look. She immediately begins abusing her family, retaliating to the many years of abuse she had endured under them, such as rapidly beating up and curb-stomping Peter, raping him in the shower with a loofah, and using Lois’ shirts as toilet paper (while also keeping a "poop bucket" next to her bed and refusing to empty it until it gets full). In addition, she continues habits she picked up in prison, and beats up the kids who make fun of her at school, specifically Connie D'Amico and her friends, whom she hits with a sack full of unopened sodas, cracking three of the popular bullies' skulls open in the process, and tongue-kissing Connie afterwards, for which she is suspended. Wanting to start a new life away from home, Meg ambushes Brian in his car and threatens him with a gun to drive to Mort's Pharmacy so she can rob him. Brian, however, shows her the article he wrote, in which he describes her "far sweeter and kinder" than the typical American girl. Touched by the fact that Brian actually cares for her just as she was, Meg changes her mind and returns home with Brian; having changed back her normal personality in the process. Back at home, she makes a bad joke involving Wesley Snipes, and Peter, presumably not amused at this, ends the episode by saying "Always end on a strong joke".

In that episode while I do not condone the violence shown, the message was creepy near the end, where she backed down and said it was her lot in life to be abused. Where was the humor in that? I know it's a cartoon show but it made me wonder if there were any narcissistic writer's on staff, justifying the position of past scapegoats in their lives.

I had people tell me that it was my lot in life to maintain the role within my family, we probably all did, hearing...."but they are your family".  It is only in our modern more enlightened times, that people have heard about no contact and acted on it. Societal acceptance of leaving one's family except for the few boys who ran away to join the circus or the military was even less accepted. We are talking generations of people who believed this is the way things had to be.

Scapegoats who do stand up for themselves are programmed to feel guilty and apologize. I think of the times I apologized and cringe. To even do no contact most of us had to shut down all the "normal emotions" to make it stick, including false guilt. Emotions when it comes to malignant narcissists, are only tools for their manipulation since they do not have any except anger.

 Brian, the dog, is the only one with compassion, though Brian probably would remind some of us ACONs, as the standby enabler who behind the scenes tells us we are right about our "crazy parents" but who does what they want anyway. I had a few of those types who while they admitted behind the scenes I was a "nicer person" or they actually agreed with my stance on something would toss me under the bus post haste.

 Some years into no contact, I realized the depth of what was done. I got smart about how people argue or show one up, seeing the "game" from the outside definitely schooled me on how to avoid narcissists or being their target. Life got a lot easier for me as I was able to escape new narcissists. In fact one giant positive for me is having a life that is now narc-free.

This episode that was posted, where Meg argues with her entire family, well many of us past scapegoats have lived that. In part two she asks an interesting question, "Can this family survive without a lightening rod?" That's a good point about scapegoats being the emotional trash can. The answer is no, they would choose someone else to serve that role. She continues on the second video, "Maybe when I feel bad that means they don't have to" That sums up scapegoating quite well. It's also interesting, Stewie ,the baby, is basically a sociopath.  Some theorize malignant narcissism and sociopathy run in families. Perhaps Peter Griffin is on the histrionic wing of narcissism as he goes running to cry in the closet.

That also explains why people who treated us like they didn't want us around for years, when we finally walk, try hoovering us. I had recent hoovering attempts, they are desperate for their "forgive and forget" schemes and to get the scapegoat back in line. This many years down the road, it's kind of worrying, but other ACONs have faced this too. Since my new found happiness has been hard won, I am not going to turn my back and still plan on going forward.

 I worry about this cartoon though over all in it's treatment of a scapegoat. What messages is it giving society about scapegoats?  I know it's just a cartoon and obviously they get a lot of the toxic family dynamics right, but is there are a reason they always have her "give in"? Well I guess if she went no contact, the character would no longer be "there" to take any more abuse.

I think about how in many a family sitcom, there are scapegoats all over and this is almost seen as a natural way things SHOULD BE. That goes hand in hand with the dominator society values. They got to sell them on our programs where to treat people this way is seen as natural and normal. Where  in family systems, there's competition and "winners and losers" I like humor too, but sometimes the messages aren't so good. Years ago, it bugged me that every sitcom seemed to have a character that was the butt of everyone's jokes.  As a kid I hated how Rerun was treated on "What's Happening?" 

Even in the Simpsons, you can tell the parents genuinely care about the kids, but that's not true of the Griffins. One saving grace is that Meg says she will not see any of them once she turns 18, so she knows about no contact.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Punk Rock

“Punk rock is just another word for freedom.”
Patti Smith

I'm a goth before a punk. Goth music itself was an out-growth of post-punk but I was into punk music too when I was young. I still like to hear some of it too. My husband is really into punk music. I guess when we met, some of these mutual interests coincided. We always talked about "do it yourself" which impacted my idea to do my own art shows years ago and the "ethos" of punk. Yes, we are different couple. There was politics in punk too, like when the Clash stood up for striking miners and advanced political and social justice.

The worse thing in punk was "selling out".  We are now in an era, where we need some more music that stands up instead of corporate manufactured music. The music made what some called "ugly" beautiful. You didn't even have to be able to sing to play punk music. You could do your own thing. Some connect punk rock to rebellion, but is rebellion a bad thing? It made for some damn good music.

Punk bands I used to listen to and still listen to at times now,  included The Clash, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Minute Men, Buzzcocks, Lard with Jello Biafra, Husker Du, Dead Milkmen, Public Image Limited, Violent Femmes, and L7. My husband introduced me to the Ramones and many others.

Gym Notes

I've had two people come up to me at the gym and give me encouragement. One woman told me she was "proud" of me. For daring to even be there? Hey I will take all the positive messages I can take. Why not? Other fat people should not be scared off from the gym. You may not fit on all the equipment but some will work for you.

 I hope I can make it back soon, I am housebound tomorrow. We have been averaging twice a week. I check the weather to see when is the next time I can go. I'm continuing with the weights, and the stepper, it's slow going but some exercise is better then none.

Exercise seems to affect my problems with depression, in that, if I exercised one day, there is less depression. There's no miracles, I am still in bed too much at home controlling swelling, fighting thrush, but I have been able to add on the weights so some stamina is growing. :)

The Least


This cartoon is supposed to represent religion or Christianity.  Religion definitely had that affect on me. My deconversion brought me freedom from false guilt and shame. Even the endless patrolling of one's own thoughts for "evil" or "thinking off God's holy reservation" got old. 

One could translate this even to the ACON world, when we were in the fog we were in a cage we refused to or could not see.  I think about that issue how so many in this world are "programming for self-imposed cages". Many live their entire lives never getting the saw out or dare thinking of escaping.

The fear of eternal torture for many keeps the bars locked down tight in the religion world, and the fear of being alone or "having no family keeps the bars locked down tight in the ACON world until one escapes. I know what's it's like to be standing on the threshold of the door, like the bird so trained for the birdcage, it is scared to fly out.

In this world, there's a lot of mind control, and the best mind control is when they get you to form your own bars and keep them locked down for them. Self-policing at it's best.  Getting free will change your life.

Turning 50

My 50th birthday is this week. 49 sounds a lot better then 50. It's strange, I never prepared to grow this old, and in some ways that threw me off. I struggled so long to stay alive, I figured whatever time I have would be short. Remember I was disabled in my late 20s. People who weigh over 400lbs are told the Grim Reaper is about to take them out at any second. Yeah Lipedema changes that equation. However I almost did die far younger.  Every birthday is better then the alternative.

Being old is weird to me. I feel like I am 25 years old inside and need at least 25 years rolled back. Time got away from me somewhere around the year 2000, it's like it accelerated, and that worsened around 10 years ago. Even the years sound funny to me, 2020? What the hell, in my head it's 1987. In some ways, for me being 50 is far more troubling. I got behind and never caught up, though surely there's lots of people in my boat. I did get to be happily married even though there were no kids. However many of us all think we will have "made it" by 50 and that didn't happen.

Aging is hard to deal with. You ponder appearance issues, wrinkles, grey hair, and now the health problems that come automatically like needing glasses which I got last year. The passage of time seems so ignored by people. Inside of me there's a little voice, that yells, "Hurry up, Hurry up, there's only so much time before it's all over!". One ponders how much time is left with strange algebraic equations in my case about how long someone with COPD could live and could I be the world's fattest woman to live the longest ever?

It's strange when I was in my 30s, I wanted to hang around older people, and I did. This is one reason I lost so many friends, that's one draw back of befriending people older then you. People don't live forever. I have some older friends still and this is an inner worry.  Now I want to hang around people who are younger then me too. That's been a transition. I won't be ageist but inside I still feel young.

 I don't want to cut my hair short in tight curls, and don't want to wear white sneakers, and old people "uniforms". I still want to dress goth, listen to rock, and read comics.  Will the nursing homes in the 2040s and 2050s, have Gen X listening to Depeche Mode and U2? It's always funny to me how nursing homes, seem to hold on to the swing music and big band junk when the people who are old in there probably would rather be listening to Jimi Hendrix and The Doors.  In the 1990s, the red hat society ladies who were growing old were all in vogue, many have probably died off now. They tried to make growing older fun.

Some older women talk about a certain invisibility that takes over them with age. I'm not sure if I have felt that. Marriage has spared me from having to look "sexy" to attract a man though he likes a lot of my outfits and dresses.  Being Aspie already sets you aside. I feel for women who probably enjoyed life, being active and healthy, I wonder if aging is different for someone like that then me, who was in such bad shape early on. 

Some people never marry and stay single for life. That is probably very rough. There's the Elder Orphans out there who have no one. Only my spouse keeps me from fulfilling that criteria. Elder Orphan, what a sad name, it gives me pictures of little old people on canes or walkers left out in a street somewhere, with begging bowls at their feet.
Some of us never have kids. Society pictures every older woman sitting at her long dining room table with their giant families gathered around them. There's people I went to high school with that have a dozen grandchildren already. I just don't relate to them. What of those who don't have families? I could barely take care of myself. Probably if you have kids, its easier to age, you feel like you are leaving something behind in the world and it's people.  The only way I could have had kids in my case is if I had gotten pregnant as a teen, and in my case the family support would not have been there.

That's a rough part for us people who never had children. I sometimes post on child free boards, telling them to know what they are getting into especially when they get to my age. For me, being childfree was less of a "choice", but this is something to be concerned about. Some of us wonder who will take care of us when we are old. I and my husband sometimes have gotten sick at the same time, and that's one of the times when I've had those thoughts.

Some people when they age worry about getting ill, or incapacitated. I already crossed that Rubicon. Still others worry about ending up alone, and or ending up as bag ladies. This can be a society that is rough on the old.

At UU fellowship one lady read a poem about aging. That lady is probably 25-30 years older then me. She said they had a "croning" ceremony for those who hit their 50th birthday at her far larger UU church years ago. I found that interesting. They did it for mothers as well as non-mothers. In native cultures, there is more respect for the elders, and for their wisdom. This is something we have lost in society, isn't it. I had many older ladies lead me when I was a young woman, who were "mentors". We definitely need that. Allow women who have lifetimes of experience to share those experiences.

As one's life progresses, old age can be a time of regrets. That's a rough thing being an older person who has regrets. Maybe all people do.  I was sitting in the living room with my husband talking about this week and turning 50 and saying,"Where did the time go?". I said at least I found love in this life, that was a great thing not everyone managed but told him I felt sad about the struggles and that we had such a hard life. It is strange, I said, "But we tried our best didn't we, and we had some good times along the way!"  Right now, it will be time to make use of the time we got left, the best we can.

Aging is inevitable, so I will try not to cry over this birthday like I did when I turned 40. Turning 50 feels strange though like I had arrived at a point I never expected.