Monday, December 17, 2018

Lipedema Warrior Promotes Body-Positivity

"A BOLD lymphedema sufferer is embracing her jiggle after years of being ashamed of her condition. Cara Cruz, 36, from New Brighton, Pennsylvania, developed lipoedema and lymphedema as a teenager and the growing problem had a devastating impact on her confidence. But after starting an Instagram on a dare from her boyfriend, Cara burst out of her shell and into the body positive community and now she is determined to flaunt her curves. Through her 25,000 Instagram following and meet ups with Yinz’s Bopo group, the curvaceous beauty hopes to inspire more people to start their own journey to self love."

I have had new thoughts about self love and the body positive movement since my deconversion. I have kind of mellowed out about a few things including the burden fundamentalist Christianity put on my back about "modesty" and one's body. I have noticed myself opening up more towards body-positivity activists. It is hard to explain, but I am glad Cara Cruz has a group for support of like-minded women and is coming out to refuse the shame that is put on the back of too many fat women. It also makes me feel better that the news about Lipedema [spelled Lipoedema in the UK] is getting out there. She seems to be a stage three, and looks like she tries to live as active of a life as possible. 


John Cleese gets it too.

Calling People SnowFlakes

Grief and Trauma

The day does come when the grief ebbs away. I promise you that. I had times I never thought I'd get to that point but I did.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

You Can Only Change Yourself

A Narcissistic Family Can Spread the Smoke of Disrespect Until A Scapegoat Walks

I had a commenter post on one of the Tiffany Sedaris posts.

Someone who Agrees About Tiffany Sedaris

Here is what they said to me:

AnonymousNovember 26, 2018 at 10:50 PM
I personally knew and loved Tiffany. Met her when I was 21 in Raleigh, she was living at home and had a fun sarcastic relationship with her brother Paul and her parents. At the time Amy still lived at home and was waiting tables. 
Tiffany was hilarious but she was also very difficult. She would turn on a dime. Love you and feed you, compliment you and bend over backwards for you, and then you were dead to her because she misinterpreted something.
Years later I ended up in Boston and tracked her down. I was excited at the thought of catching up. We hung [sic] out a couple if times and then she called me accusing me of something I still don't quite understand. I was seated next to an old boyfriend of hers at a Christmas party, I didn't know,I didn't know he was her old boyfriend, she had been the one who did the breaking up so I was a little thrown by the accusation. I tried to talk to her, but she never spoke to me again. Year's later when I was in Raleigh I heard she was in town and called her dad Lou. He was very nice and wanted she and I to see one another but she wouldn't consider talking to me.
I loved Tiffany and only wished her well but she lived a life of distrust and clung to past grievances I know her stint at Elan left scars but if you are unwilling to move forward and let go that cant be blamed on her family.
Nobody knows you like family, and yes there's another side of us all that differentiates us from our family but invalidate what they ecperienced. Tiffany had some genuine problems, she would walk into burger king and talk to everyone, not individually but like she was in stage as an entertainer, and the she could just as easily start a fight. 
Maybe you should just consider that Lisa, David, Gretchen ,Amy and Paul all knew Tiffany in a way we never did. They loved her but when she was reckless it affected them, her death has left a mark on them that you clearly don't understand.
Btw, I appreciated David's New Yorker story. I'm from a family of 7, actually I'm one of those family's David refers to as 'every other' house. I grew up down the street. We went to a beach cottage one week a summer and I gave a sister who is a disrupter. She's beautiful and loving but she's exhausting and I think I understand. Maybe you should all try to also understand.

 Here was my response:

Imagine being scapegoated all the time, which includes smear campaigns, trust and spontaneity end at that door. I've had a few people [cousins and others] in the family tell me, "you gave us false accusations" but when I got down to the core of things, there was real disrespect I was reacting against.

Here is where the smoke and fog and mirrors labels the scapegoat as "difficult" where if a person was to bring up a person's ex among a normal person, they could say "Don't go there." and that would be respected, but a scapegoat, they are "paranoid", "over-reacting" and always WRONG no matter what they do or say. Maybe she erred truly and she came too quick to judgment in your case, but understand this is the back story. A scapegoat is always put in the place of having to defend themselves. 

I had to cut everyone off who chose my family and saw me as only they did. Notice here in this article how my cousin calls me "paranoid", that is the whirlwind the scapegoat gets caught in, and honestly the only way to fix it is to walk.

So did she misinterpret things? Maybe, Maybe not, but the overall abuse and disrespect that forms a scapegoat's existence is horrible. There's a few on the outer ring who may not have malicious intent. I don't think my cousin had malicious intentions, but you see he had been programmed to see me a certain way as paranoid and difficult.

This is one way a scapegoat's life can be destroyed even in subtle ways by the narcissistic smear campaigns. My rule never to live in a town as an adult that any relatives lived in I believe saved me from a lot more grief.  I couldn't trust anyone who was friendly with my mother and family for you see they infused that poison. I wasn't imagining it. I had no other choice.

Some may consider that draconian, but what else could be done? You see for I was WRONG, no matter what I said or did or in any attempts to fix the situation.
The fact you knew the rest of her family and gained a negative picture of her via them does not surprise me. You remind me of my cousin, you aren't a malicious guy or gal, you seemed to have real fond feelings for Tiffany--I believe my cousin had some for me, but the overall picture is there. You were programmed to see her as "the problem", just like what happened to me.

I do not agree with your statement, "No one knows you like family". My family does not know me and I am a stranger to them and vice versa. Did Tiffany have genuine problems? Most likely. I have problems, but those don't arise in a vacuum. It's interesting to me how the problems of others are deemed acceptable in these family systems while for others it is used as an excuse for how they are disrespected.

Her entire family were all entertainers, so she copied that example. It looked like a free-for all from what David writes with everyone competing with who can be SEEN. As for love, since I don't personally know these people, who knows, I had David's words to go on and other pieces of the puzzle, but I don't believe many scapegoats are loved. Love means respect you see, and I can tell that was lacking very much so. My family does not love me and it was something I had to face.

I was considered "exhausting" even being a quiet bookworm Aspie. Some people on first glance consider me dull and boring until they find out I have a mind. I'm no drama queen, I'm a retreater to the background if anything and an extreme introvert. But the scapegoaters labeled me a certain way. Same with Tiffany.

While the world applauds the extroversion of her siblings, her own extroversion is seen as "difficulty". No one that ever knew my family or mother ever saw me in any decent way.

 I dare say the same happened to Tiffany. Even normal human personality traits when one is scapegoated are seen as "bad" and dysfunctional. Even if she had mental illness, I can tell she was seen "at fault". Even in my own anxiety disorders and depression, I was a "bad" person even though they instigated all that to begin with. One giant cost of being a scapegoat is how disrespect becomes the smoke they walk in sometimes for life until they manage to get out. This is why so many of us end up going no contact with the entire family and even all those who knew them.

I cleaned out my own life from everyone who disrespected me because of my narcissistic family. This as many of you who are long time readers of this blog knows this included dozens of people including family friends and even two college friends. I live in a far different space now in my head and in my life, because there's no one left whose disrespecting me. I don't put up with people who put me down anymore. It has made my life far happier. There's times on this blog however when I do want to discuss some deep issues from my past. This is one where even my own horror at how badly my own reputation had been damaged from my family was a great part of my own pain years ago. This is one of the worse aspects of being scapegoated. Your name is MALIGNED and there's no fixing it no matter what you try to do. The only decision is to walk. I have warned people don't stay attached to the system thinking you can change things. Save yourself and get out.

Part of the being maligned is being told that "you won't let go" or are distrustful. How could anyone have an open and trusting nature after being abused as a scapegoat? If someone was talking to an ex, wouldn't most people be wary? Maybe a few innocents do get caught up in the walls a scapegoat has to raise to protect themselves, but then the over-all negative views of a scapegoat are poison to begin with.

 The decision that I would rather be alone, then take abuse or disrespect was a decision that changed my life. Some good friendships did survive and I have my husband, but honestly as I have written before it was shocking how far the poison had infused and how long it took me to clean it all out. This is something I think people need to be warned of in this process.

What is scary is how narcissists can program people even on outer rings to see the scapegoat in a negative fashion. This happened to me. Narcissists have a talent for programming people to always see the scapegoat as the problem. Well that's what the definition of the scapegoat, the carrier of all the family dysfunction. Many an ACON blog talks about the harm done within a family to a scapegoat's life but it often goes far further to all the family friends and even to the view of a person within a community. The smoke of disrespect leaves the narcissistic household and literally blows down the street.

This commenter claims to be a family friend of the Sedaris family and if they are being truthful on this, the fact that a family friend sees Tiffany as the "problem" too, does not surprise me. I saw this happen with many others. It is a part of the soul murder that is inconceivable  to others, but also ensures there will be no allies even in a community. I tell other ACONs avoid living in any same towns as your relatives. I believe I was saved a lot of grief by living long distance on that one alone.

I had many others tell me, your mother loves you, your family loves you, etc, but if there is no respect there is no love. That applies to all relationships.

My Mother's Second Daughter

Family Friends

Monday, November 26, 2018

Peep's Rules of Happiness for Ex-Scapegoats

1. Stay away from assholes. That one is self explanatory. If someone makes you feel bad run. I know now if I get that creepy feeling inside of feeling like I am treated like I am "nothing" or being pushed aside, it's time to wake up. Avoid criticizers, mean people, and one's who try to nit pick you or put you down.

2. Find the nice people. Contrary to your narcissist's opinions, they are out there. There are people who will care, who will help you, who will treat you like a human being and who will love you. With Aspies, this may be harder due to social challenges, but there's people out there who have renounced ableism and do not see differences as something to reject people over. "Look for the helpers"--a la Fred Rogers, and look for the kind people.

3. Realize that you aren't at fault for everything that happened. In American culture we are told that we have chosen everything that has happened to us and control [often even via our own thoughts] the outcomes of our life. Some things we did or did not choose but many things we did not. Stop taking responsibility for things that aren't your fault.

4. Give up trying to impress or win people's favors. Once you feel like you need to PROVE to someone that you are "good enough". The game is already lost. You never will be. You could have an amazing art show, lost tons of weight, get advanced degrees, it's not going to happen. This is a trap. You want people in your life who assume a dignity and worth for all human beings, not ones who beat you over the head with their measuring sticks.

5. Learn to just "be", not do. Native and other cultures, were connected to the spirit of life, and didn't have to prove themselves via constant competition like American culture. Busyness is a curse in this society. Take time out to think, or even to just rest and meditate. Live in the "present" as much as is possible. This is where reading about mindfulness and such things can happen.

6. "Enough is a feast"--Buddhist proverb. In American society they have us run around, always trying to do and acquire more. I understand poverty can be horrible, but here, sometimes being able to be content with "enough" can help a life. It helps one focus too on more of what is important.

7. Develop your self esteem and kindness to yourself. This was one of my greatest challenges. Scapegoats can infuse the darkness of the soul murder, even if they escape. The scapegoaters taught self hatred and loathing, and a happy life cannot be found stuck in that pit. When people aren't loved and told they aren't good enough by their brainwashed families, undoing this, I know can be hard. It is possible to love yourself too. Don't give up even if you have a bad day.

8. Acceptance. I had my own battles of banging my head on the proverbial brick wall. What if I did this, Why did things turn out to be this way? One can ruminate until the cows come home but unless we all get "time-turners" like Hermione had in the Harry Potter movies, we are stuck. There's no changing what already happened. Follow the rule of changing what you can and knowing there are things we cannot change. So you are a scapegoat that lost the entire family? You didn't chose it. They did. The day I thought, "I don't have to run anymore like a chicken with it's head cut off trying to change everything" is a day I found more peace.

9. Do what you choose to do.  Obey the law, treat others decently, etc, but this is your life, you can decide what to do with it. Going no contact, you have escaped the demands and expectations of others, who have tried to shove you into a narrow box. You don't have to worry about having your hobbies, interests or causes made fun of.  You don't have to worry anymore about becoming someone else to be loved. This is a gift no contact gave me in spades. I could be my weird self and ENJOY it. I could enjoy the mind that my narcissists hated so much and I have. Ex-scapegoats can find freedom in this that expands their lives. Here one can ask themselves what do they really want in life. Ask yourself questions like "What do I want to do?"

10. Try to avoid mean Gods. Here while I had my deconversion and desconstruction, if you are a Christian, look to a loving God not one of cruelty, who replicates the cruel deeds of your narcissists. Try and analyze your religion, is it bringing happiness or is it bringing fear? How is it leading you to treat others? If you are an atheist, or agnostic, seek after the good in life that can be had.

11. Realize that you can become an ex-scapegoat if you are new to the process of no contact and learning about narcissism.  One can get a life where all narcissistic abusers are removed. I got to the point while I still have some annoyances with paperwork and daily life, no one's abusing me. I don't have anyone nit picking me, or putting me down. I was able to stop the abuse that was the core of my life. You can too.

12. Explore the arts. Art kept me alive. It was a lifeline. It is still a major part of my life.

Do you have rules you want to add?