Thursday, December 24, 2015

Tundra Woman's Guest Post on Mulderfan's Blog

Tundra Woman's Guest Post

Always love Tundra Woman's posts and this one won't disappoint. She talks about life with her narcissist family members visiting them during the holidays from years ago. Crazy-making, silent treatments and more are in action. Acons will definitely relate. We all remember dragging ourselves to visit the "family" during the holidays no matter what. It usually was some of the worse days of our lives. Hooray for her getting away from those insane people! Happy Holidays to all my readers. I hope if you are an ACON who has gone NC, you will relish the relief you deserve and make some happy memories instead.

Mind Control for Autistics

This may shock a few of you but Aspie me actually worked in autism special ed rooms as a substitute teacher. The children would be drawn to me but I became horrified by the "programs" these rooms had in place and actually started avoided substitute teaching in those settings and just taking mainstream assignments.

I once got in trouble because an aide put one of the autistic students in a bodily restraint, and I told them they were going overboard, the child was not doing anything "dangerous" or hurting anyone else. She got me written up for interfering and "ruining discipline". The whole mess was traumatizing. I saw three classroom settings where they literally LOCKED up the kids. No, I am not kidding. Remember in my case, I was locked in my room over and over as a child for hours. So to say this was triggering to me, is probably an understatement of the century.

One looked like a large giant cage for dogs with a desk in it. This was over 20 years ago, but I remember this one being "too small" for the child to stand in but hope that is my memory playing tricks on me because the other thought is kind of horrific. One was a school where they seemed to mix sociopaths and Aspies willy-nilly, I had one of my hardest days as a substitute teacher there ever. One fat and Aspie girl was preyed on by at least two classmates with severe personality disorders and history of violence. I was used to tough kids, but those two raised the hair on the back of my neck.

Their solution at that school for behaviors there, was to lock up the kids in a wooden closet with holes in it. I would have been screaming and misbehaving too. I never locked up any kids or ordered it while running the classrooms. Even though I had worked in a juvenile home setting where the kids were literally locked up, one day at this place was enough and I never returned.

We were forced to use some mind control program at the residential home I worked at. It was a behaviorism program. Our clients were not locked up in any "seclusion rooms" or areas there, but they were awarded points and privileges in a system that seemed designed to encourage teaching teens to manipulate. They couldn't even go to the bathroom without permission.  I was supposed to give positive points for them eating a meal and not throwing the food or tearing the dining room apart. It combined control freak mandates with lowered expectations.  It brought out the worse in the personality disordered. My entire day was spent threatening to take off points or add them on for the smallest behaviors. I hated this system and even our interactions with the clients were scripted, leading to a sense of unrealness and inability to form a "real" relationship with them.

 I felt the program got in the way of teaching the teens a true sense of morality or self development. I learned something about myself at this job, that I am not a good enforcer of rules I find "stupid", and I was often deemed a trouble maker. I refused to do any physical take-downs or physical restraints unless a teen was trying to hurt themselves or hurt others, and I was constant berated for this and told this is why I had "no control". Some of my co-workers were insane future wannabe TSA workers, and one strong-arm woman, would knock one of the girls to the ground and put her in a lock-hold simply for mouthing off, or refusing to wash the dishes fast enough.

I knew this mother of an autistic who was into the "token" programs and the rest for her severely autistic daughter. She was a high school classmate and we had Facebook contact. She would put pictures up of the constant behavior programs and rest and her daughter who was verbal and could read some, would have to earn every privilege in the world. Her daughter was having more and more physical outbursts and it seemed to me these programs were causing a lot of the problems.  Thinking about programs for autistic kids where they call for "Quiet hands and quiet feet", I would flunk and be punished. Stimming calls down autistics, so I always find that one weird. I can understand asking a child to sit at a desk to try and be quiet to that point but telling them they must be still like a statue seems insane. Even as an adult, I learned to sit far away from people so my moving around would not bother them.

I was a high functioning Aspie with a high IQ and could "cloak". "Cloaking" got harder for me as I got older.  I had to pretend to be an NT, to keep employed. This wasn't perfect but it meant following a lot of social scripts I had memorized. Teaching for subjects I was truly enthused and enjoyment of many of the students came naturally but I always had a degree of extreme social and other anxieties.  I got very worn out and it helped to ruin my health having to second guess so many social and other interactions. The hardest was with co-workers. Even at this age, I am learning social rules that never occurred to me, of course some of these overlap with learning self protective boundaries and other matters, coming up from being no contact and finally escaping my abusers.

I freely stim in front of my husband and best friends, but can keep it together to "act normal" while out in public. While at times I wonder how life could have gone with help for my Aspergers, maybe there were advantages to sliding through the cracks because of the higher IQ and good grades and quiet meek demeanor I had when young. I avoided the crazy behaviorism programs they seem to be instilling on autistics like crazy. I lived under a strict and crazy narc induced "program" at home but at least school was more normal.

 I've referred to the school to prison pipeline before but let's just say they aren't just applying the growing American focus on CONTROL of young to the juvenile delinquent set but the autistics, developmentally disabled and other "troubled" teens. The book "Jesus Land" talks about these teens sent for normal teen behaviors to schools that seek to control them, with mind control and extreme rules.

It seems everything in this culture has become about enforcing power and compliance. I suppose in police state America, the focus now is to keep the autistics in line at any cost too. Sure teaching a severely or even more mildly autistic child not to hurt others, and to keep from self harming behaviors and how to bathroom and eat and other life skills is not wrong, but these programs just are evil.

"I’m sorry, but that’s not earning your token…"

I have been working with the autistic demographic for the better part of the last decade. When I first started in this field, I was a “behavioral tutor” at a popular treatment center. Their programs were based in Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA.

 ABA is regarded as THE autism intervention. It is often the only thing covered by insurance, state-man...dated therapy programs, and other service providers. But what does it consist of?
The drawing above is what my work looked like for several years. Children were supposed to sit for thirty minute sessions, up to six a day, and work on a specific program, such as color identification or event sequencing. Children were rewarded when they worked… with tokens, tickles, stickers, candy, etc. Kids on “higher levels” had to wait longer for this “positive reinforcement.” Children were given a “discrete trial” and were expected to not only perform the task in a timely manner, but “sit with hands and feet down and a quiet voice” for three seconds. Children who failed to perform to these precise standards did not earn reinforcement… no exceptions. When children consistently failed to perform or acted out, they were often punished. Punishments, or “aversive consequences” as they are called in the industry, could get creative. At this treatment center, we screamed “NO!” at children, sprayed water in their face, made them stand up and sit down repeatedly, put them in time outs, and used what are euphemistically called “taste aversions.”

A taste aversion is what is pictured here. Vinegar was the most common, though we also used wasabi, cayenne pepper, and whatever else was found to be effective.

 I was told this was the only evidence based intervention available, and without it children would suffer more. I was told the brutality was necessary. Not until finding the adult autistic community did I learn this was not true.

 Sometimes when I talk to others in the field about this, I’m told it’s “not real ABA" or "that's not how it's done anymore." That is a bold pack of outrageous lies. Don’t believe people who tell you this. It’s real. I participated in it. People have trauma because of it. Please stand up against these types of compliance-based interventions.

 Learn more about applied behavior analysis here…


Dress for the Job You Want


Those motivational posters get sillier and sillier, and well I've seen that one before. I don't want to know what job the guy in the mask wants but the lady dressed just like the boss is hilarious.


This one made me laugh.

What if…lipedema can be stopped with early diagnosis and treatment?

This is a lady with severe lipedema in stage IV. I am stage IV too. My stomach is shaped a bit different but we are close in how we are shaped. I often have wondered how my life could have gone with earlier treatment for my lipedema. It can be maddening that the more I move around, the more I swell up. My hands even will swell up more if I have been "more busy" along with the rest of me. The other day from doing some housework, my whole body bloated and my hands were like giant mittens. It feels kind of counterproductive in terms of what they tell you to do to "lose weight". I never miss wrapping or a Flexitouch sessions to take water off, it keeps the pain away. I am laying down today to take fluids off. Yes I worry about the expenditure of calories, but this means LESS PAIN.

Sometimes I do wonder what would have been if this illness had been caught in my teens and I was at stage 1. It would have changed my life. Aunt Confused told me during one of my last conversations with her that she told my mother to take me to a doctor when I had my 100lb weight gain, and was not eating for it, at the age of 14. She didn't of course.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Grand Clean-Out

When you start drawing boundaries against narcissistic and abusive family members, they start being applied to the rest of your life. You will find yourself ending other relationships.  This means some will end. In changing the patterns a narcissistic family set upon your life, you will be changing your pattern with other people and places.

It's like someone wrote me on a support board, using the empty room metaphor, because you have gotten rid of the "junk" you can now "furnish" the room with excellent quality furniture, people who are true friends and who won't treat you like how your family did. When I went NC two and half years ago, it has given me time to see the life-long patterns I have fallen into with other people.

While some relationships are intact, and working out, many were not. I realized I had people in my life who treated me the same way my family did, who took me for granted, broke my boundaries, and disrespected me. We don't need to diagnose everyone with narcissism that may not be good for us, even if some you walk away from other would be narcissists, enablers and flying monkeys. One thing you will do is wake up and realize YOU WANT SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

 Deciding it is better to be "alone" then put up with narcissist abuse is scary.  This is at least 30 people now I have walked away from.  One now ex-friend who lived long distance actually told me when I went no contact from the family, "There won't be anyone left and you will be all alone". There was no support there. In a way I knew things were doomed at that point, I was walking down a very different road and had to do what was best for me. And yes this world will scare many ACONS, telling them...YOU WILL BE ALONE, so they hang in with abusers for years because of this fear.  Many in society will back up that message. This message of fear keeps many subservient on their knees before narcissists.

In fact this is one reason I stuck by my family so long, I didn't want to go without a family. I didn't want to be alone, but I was already alone! Its a reason I put up with many toxic relationships in my life going back to my 20s. My loneliness and desperation put me in the position to take all "comers" and anyone who would have me. It made me sad thinking about what I put up with because I was so desperate for love and acceptance.

Being an Aspie compounded this. ACONs can be prone to this. Our family has rejected us and inside we yearn, and yes I know I still have it, for a new "family" who will accept and love us. I have had some "found families" over the years but many of those end when people move away or other things happen. I have to learn healthier ways to deal with this.

One thing I had to teach myself, was to say "It is okay to be alone", "you are not a bad person if you do not have masses of people around you". When I was young I had a hard time being alone and couldn't bear it while the me of today has been able to accept it. The worse thing in life isn't always actually being alone, sometimes it can be wishing you were alone because of those you are around. Being in the position where you can't be yourself around people is more lonely then sitting in a room alone. While seeking connections is part of the human condition and it's grown more difficult, the stronger we grow in ourselves, the more we can be "alone" and bear it, and find new and healthier relationships.

Here is one thing too, once you get away from the toxics, your truly loving and good relationships will grow stronger. I and my husband after I went no contact from most of the family especially grew closer and stronger in our marriage. We always had been close but it was like a monkey was thrown off both our backs. I saw him for the kind, loyal and truly giving man he is who stuck by me in thick and thin instead of the constant negative messages from my family who put him down along with me. He stuck by his ideals too and never wavered. I stop blaming him for things, they told me I should blame him for. My other friendships have increased in closeness. I can tell people I love them now and share more vulnerable feelings because those "good" or what some would see as the "softer" parts of my personality are in a more safe place.

This can happen to ACON scapegoats too where they have the numbers game played on them:

Some would say "How could you not see yourself as the problem if you are being treated so badly by so many?" Well that can be a line that will fool ACONS especially scapegoats. There is another trap that can happen lifelong. Your narcissistic mother sneers, "No one likes you" for decades and decades and such a thing infuses into your mind. Your life is then spent trying to get people to like you which brings abusers and toxic social death. Of course you end up in a pit with some abusers in it that you must dig yourself out of.

I was lucky, because in the mix I had a loving and loyal husband and some real friends but for many scapegoats, our families set us up to be involved with other narcissists, toxic people, abusers and those seeking after narcissistic supply.

So you go No contact and then start thinking, "Who do I like?", "What do I value?" and start wondering why you are begging for crumbs.

It's like I woke up out of a second fog, and thought...

1. I don't have to take this crap anymore either. I don't have to put up with anyone who treats me with the same superiority and dismissive attitude of the narcissists I walked away from. I don't have to put up with people who use guilt and always put me last or as a low priority or who want to drain me dry.

2. I don't feel like begging for crumbs or begging to be liked, I just don't want to work that hard at it anymore. That one was quite a revelation. I'm done beating my head against that damn wall.

3. Why be deal with people who spit on the things you value, or who are workaholics or who have sold their souls to the system?  As a Christian, I had to question some of my involvements. People who love the system and are part of the evil machinations of this world without any thoughts of right and wrong, society's weak and vulnerable, or true justice, well, they have no reason to be in my life.

4. Why hang around people that make you feel on edge and like you are not enough?

I want to ask other ACONs here, after going no contact did you see your social circles massively change? Did you do a grand clean-out too? It's altering relationships in general. When a person starts drawing boundaries, asserting themselves and refusing all forms of abuse, it changes them. This can be a scary step as you ask yourself what's next.  However I am realizing too I am happier even in a more simplified life, being okay and more content at a slower pace.

"Art is Pointless"

. "Art is Pointless" by Jasmine Kay Uy for her University of Texas at Austin Department of Art and Art History Digital Foundations class

Seen on Facebook. Many artists get a lot of grief even entering the field, it's not an easy place to go since society can give one the negative messages and you see those negative messages above, but if you read each sentence from the right to left side, you can see what it really means to people. Yesterday I and my husband were driving by some giant new office building where you can see the lines of cubicles through the big windows. I said to him, "You know I had to be an art teacher, when I was young, I would have wilted being chained to one of those everyday". It was like my version of hell. Even when it comes to my husband, he never left writing behind. even now. I suppose that is a shared thing the both of us have.

I'm still working on different art projects, haven't given up on them. Need some real photography "training", wouldn't mind a class in that with a good teacher to explain things like shutter speed and the rest. My art education degree contained every art but photography in my classes and no one where I taught or subbed did the dark room thing.  Husband even has old camera I could use if I find an old school class, but think everyone has switched to digital.

How to Make Chicken With Broccoli

Stir fries are usually healthy to make. Wow he shows how they make the chicken much more tender at Chinese restaurants! I would skip the potato starch. Being allergic to seafood, I skip the oyster sauce too and use a vegetarian mushroom stir fry sauce and dark soy sauce from the Asian grocery store.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Things You Don't Realize Are Options When Raised by Abusive Parents!

I saw this elsewhere online on an ACON support board. I don't think they would mind me reposting it here. 

"Here are some things I've learned are actually, for real, okay to do, that most survivors of abusive households I know have trouble with:
  1. Hang up the phone when someone is disrespecting you. This is the lesson that has been the most useful in day to day encounters. My Nmom would scream at me for hours on end on the phone. Never once did it occur to me, until someone else said it, to hang up. It's not wrong, it's not selfish, it's not disrespectful, and they can't magically pop out of the phone and terrorize you. Respect yourself, and when others don't, walk away.
  2. You don't have to accept 'guilt gifts' My Nmom periodically sends a box full of dollar store junk and expired candy in the mail. You know what I do with it now? I throw it away without opening it. Narcs. can and will use any gifts you accept from them against you.
  3. Say no. Say it again. Enforce it. It's so, so hard. You're hard wired into thinking your parents deeply love you, and have your best interest at heart. You know who really has your best interest at heart? You do, dear reader. You. If you're uncomfortable, say it. Don't let them use you. I believe in you.
  4. When you have boundaries, there are no exceptions. No, she can't come over unexpected. She tries to, and guess what? Tell her to leave. Tell her to call and ask when you are available. No, he can't have $50. It doesn't matter what he chose to spend money on. It doesn't matter what his need is. He is a grown ass adult, as are you. No, they can't take the kids for the weekend. You have family plans, and you will not reschedule your life for someone else's whim.
  5. You don't have to accept responsibility for something another person blames you for. Nmom blames you for growing up poor, because you had the audacity to require more minerals? Guess what. All Zerg require minerals. You are normal, and you are not the cause of your childhood situation.
  6. You can be whoever the f*** you want to be. You can do whatever the f*** you want to do. You can make whatever decision (within the boundaries of the law) that you want to. You want to study ballet and work at a library? Do it. You want to start a loving family and have no ties to your natural kin? Do it. You decide what path you'll go down. No matter what 'warnings' or opinions others force on you, just know that in the end it is YOUR call.
  7. It's good to be happy. It's okay to not struggle. You are worth it. You deserve happiness. If you manage to get away from stress and make a life where the biggest struggle you have is 'What coffee should I buy today?', then good job. You did it. You fought, and you won. And you deserve some god damn peace and quiet.
You is kind. You is special. You is important."


I thought this was great, it actually has themes in it, I am telling myself to find a new happier life. "I can do what I want", within limits is one of those things. All of the above are to be applied.

That is something that has changed for me. I did a lot of things I thought I SHOULD DO.

Judging myself every minute with their shrill voices in my head had to be stopped. I don't have to hang out with people who ignore me because I "should" improve my social life. I can be in bed to deal with my pain and fatigue instead of suffering under the "should" that tells me "Oh it's lazy to stay in bed too long".

One nurse years ago actually told me to rest when tired and eat when hungry. She knew I was pushing myself. The realities of Lipedema IV mean living different from other people. The people who don't get this, don't matter. They aren't here feeling what I am or knowing what I am going through.

 I'm tired of the "should, should, should" lash on my back. I can choose who to talk to and what to do, and should not feel like I "have" to do things within reasons. My being an art teacher was a real goal they almost destroyed. Some of my happier memories are of art projects I taught, and glad I kept a hold of that.

 Ah the guilt gifts, until I figured out how guilt gifts worked, many toxics used those on me. I get real gifts from friends that are true but guilt gifts come when toxic treat you like garbage and throw some bait out. I love the last one. I get stress free days by plan now. Why should I beat myself up anymore?

 Realizing these things can be freeing!

Other options of my own include:

1. I can talk to whoever I want to talk to.

2. I don't have to say I am sorry to or people please.

3. I don't have to laugh at jokes that aren't funny. 

4. If someone is arguing with me or a store is giving me poor service, I can walk away and go elsewhere.

5. Staying alive for me means doing what I feel like doing or what I can handle and want to do and not what others tell me to do. 

6. I don't have to work for acceptance and love, those should come naturally and once you are working for it, it's not already there. 

7. I am allowed to have fun.

The Daily Table

Why are things so hard socially?

Why is it so hard to make friends as an adult?

"As external conditions change, it becomes tougher to meet the three conditions that sociologists since the 1950s have considered crucial to making close friends: proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other"

American society is breaking down socially. Even the opportunity to build friendships or maintain other close relationships is getting harder.

The Lonely American

Socially we know we have to try and change things. I worry about I and my husband becoming too socially isolated in real life. It's strange online I meet endless cool people who relate to me and vice versa while the real world seems to be a social wasteland. I talk with friends on the phone at least several times a week. So I can't say I am LONELY but socially things just seem weird. I did not expect just about everyone to be far away.  Perhaps that is the new reality for many.

There's things I'm facing on the personal level too. I tried too hard to force myself as a round peg into a square hole trying to adapt to people who did not relate to me nor cared to. The only solution is to put an end to all that nonsense. I don't want to replay the dynamics I have with my cold rejecting narcissistic upper class family for the rest of my life. I'm rethinking SOLUTIONS and hope to find them. I have pondered what has brought me my successful and close friendships and acceptance, shared values and openness have been some of those positive attributes. They are people I can be me around without judgment.  Real kindness. That is what I value.

I have said to my husband, we may have to adjust or change things so we do not end up like this guy George Bell.  I get scared in such a community, what would become of him all alone? I read this story about a man who died alone in an apartment without anyone noticing him dying and was freaked out. This was NYC and you know in big cities especially there are people who have absolutely no one.

"A much tinier number die alone in unwatched struggles. No one collects their bodies. No one mourns the conclusion of a life. They are just a name added to the death tables. In the year 2014, George Bell, age 72, was among those names.

George Bell — a simple name, two syllables, the minimum. There were no obvious answers as to who he was or what shape his life had taken. What worries weighed on him. Whom he loved and who loved him".

Poor George Bell, I wanted to cry for him.

 I see a lot of would be George Bell's in this community. Were these other ACONs? Some people simply have everyone die off as they age. There are people here who have told me they have absolutely no friends not even far away ones.  It scares me that this is "normal" for them. I don't think people trust each other as much as they used to and that with all the forced moving, the social fabric is being ripped to shreds. One close friend and I have discussed this, she says most people are turning to their families for social connection and less to friends but if you have no family or had to depart from a dysfunctional one, this is where things get tougher. Then add in work and "being busy" for many.

I think my small rural town ruined me for life for what is reality in most places.  but even there, one could see the social fabric starting to massively fray.  Here, I see this woman walking around my apartment building in circles, she looks like she has no one as she is out there everyday without fail. I say hello but have been stuck at that polite point for years. I see others that look like shell-shocked lonely survivors having been widowed or laid off from jobs where their co-workers formed their social networks. Disabled people can enter a social isolated world especially if they live alone.  There seems to be a lot of disconnected people out there.

The holiday season can be rough for all of them. This idealized life is presented to them where they are supposed to have an endless round of parties to go too and loving relatives with hugs, love and tasty food. I worry about those people sitting totally alone. I make it a point to call anyone I know who is alone on various holidays so they know someone cares about them. Sometimes I can't figure out why some people end up with this vast array of people around them and then you see the people worse off then you who have NO ONE. There is a difference between the actually lonely people with 2,000 friends on their Facebook account and someone who has several dear friends they can open their heart to without worrying about censure. It seems quantity counts more to some then quality relationships. I fear Facebook has made "social lives" into appearance and numbers games more.

Online, it's social butterfly world, in real life, I feel like the cartoon character Ziggy returning to his apartment, ready to talk to his goldfish except in my case, there's two of us to talk to one another so it could be far worse. We are a closely bonded couple. We have to be careful of depending on each other though for all our social needs though. We have discussed this issue between ourselves. I have talked about it with my close online and long distance friends.

A society that is growing more narcissistic, is also a society that is growing more lonely. Vulnerability in such a society does not bring empathy, sharing or closeness, it brings the knife in your back.  It seems harder to get close to people. This could be a reality of aging, I am not sure. Years ago I read a report that 1 out of 4 every Americans don't even have someone they can confide in. I can't imagine that.

I don't have all the answers but would like other people's input on this. Do you feel like society has grown more lonely and distant? Is this a natural outcome of aging? Do you feel you are on your own? Did you face any time in life where you had no one? I did for this period of years right before I met my husband.  I remember when I was young, how different things were, people talked and visited with each other more. [one caveat to this article, I think it's better to be alone then to deal with the abuse of narcissists]

The story of George Bell haunts me. I think it is happening to people way too much. 

Lucy and Queendom

In the book, Schulz and Peanutsthe author theorized that the character "Lucy" was based on Schulz's first wife and was your classic narcissist. In the strips where Schroeder is playing the piano and ignoring Lucy, the author theorized this was Charles Schultz at his drawing desk and his outraged first wife, who demanded his time and attention. It's an interesting theory and one I found entertaining as I noticed Lucy became a lot nicer in the strip into the late 80s and 90s to the point that Lucy was an entirely different character.

Schulz had married his "nicer" wife by then, and divorced the first who seemed always to be "pushing" for more. Here Lucy's "narcissism" is in full swing in this funny cartoon where she talks about becoming QUEEN.

Here is Lucy in her nicer, softer latter days:

Don't Take Life So Seriously

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Fat and Malnutritioned: Honey Boo and My Diet When Young

Deep fried Oreos? Those sound gross to me. I feel sorry for this girl, because I think what chance does she have with the average American diet?   Why are they eating cheap macaroni and cheese on a reality show salary? Of course they lost the show when the mother decided to date a child molester. 

There's many thin Americans eating the processed foods too and not getting as fat as Honey-Boo and Boo and her mother. Honey Boo-Boo is basically eating the diet of mal-nutrition that is creating more obesity. Potatoes, and eggs and macaroni and cheese and way too much sugar.  The typical American diet especially for the working class and poorer.

They eat processed foods to the hilt. I get unhappy with my food choices when we are lower on money. Food pantries give you the worse foods too. Some of the worse weeks, I have more intense feelings of hunger. I've seen rich people eat, they have side dishes, salads, pickles, and good breads on the side. Those things are wiped away when you are broke.

Eating frustrates me. I joked the other day, I wish I could go back to college just to have the pantheon of available food in your average dorm cafeteria. I lost 80lbs one year of college without even trying just because I had plenty of good food to eat like an open salad bar at every lunch and dinner. It's hard to describe the type of hunger I get when poor. It's like the body is hunting for food, it doesn't have. There's been times, where I have said "Screw it!", and gone and bought a SALAD with my last five dollars on earth because I have felt so desperately hungry for nutritious food.

I am actually DIAGNOSED with mal-nutrition. It's on my medical records. The doctors think I have some kind of mal-absorption problem but never having had weight loss surgery, my body is anemic--severely low on B-12, and severely low on Vit D and others. I eat vegetables and fruits. I reintroduced eggs back to my diet slowly--still on fence with that, and yesterday vegetables and fruits in the mix included an apple, a soup that had zucchini, pablano peppers, tomatoes and tomatillos in it. Dinner had more of the peppers and tomatoes in it too. So I try to include what fruits and vegetables I can.

Many are not educated on nutrition. I am and constantly frustrated. The good foods always DISAPPEAR FIRST because they are what I want to eat. I hoarded zucchini all week to put in tonight's dinner and a package of frozen spinach. I'm making  ground turkey lasagna with it and putting grated carrot and cottage cheese in the concoction. I casserole things to death to spread the food out.

 My poor diet as a child and later impacted me. It set me up for a lifetime of obesity. My mother controlled the refrigerator with an iron fist, even putting locks on the freezer because my brother loved to steal ice cream. She counted every slice of lunch meat and cheese and crouton in the kitchen. While my mother could cook she was not educated in nutrition.

Ironically as a fat child, I had severe hunger pangs all the time. Examining what I ate for breakfast and lunch for years, so wonder I was not doing well and grew fat.  It was the worse diet ever for a future woman with PCOS and severe insulin resistance. 

Here is what I had to eat everyday literally for YEARS:

Breakfast was two slices of toast with margarine, and a bowl of sugary cereal like Life cereal or Honey Nut Cheerios. I was not allowed to cook an egg, or make a sandwich for breakfast and trust me I tried to ask over and over. This breakfast was worthless for a pre-diabetic teen and actually brought severe hunger pains, by 10:30 in the morning.

Lunch was always a bologna sandwich with mayo and a leaf of lettuce on Italian white bread, the kind with the sesame seeds on the outside. With this came potato chips and three Oreo or Chips Ahoy cookies in small plastic baggies. My GC sister would get gold fish crackers with her lunch but those were "hers" and the rest of us were not allowed to touch them.

During Lent, remember my family was Catholic, the sandwich would be a tuna or egg salad sandwich.

When my mother decided I was too fat, the sandwich would be cut to a half and a few carrot and celery sticks would get thrown in the baggie instead of the three cookies.  Then the hunger really rolled in.

The numbers and amount of the food always stayed exact. I remember being so hungry in high school from the carb rich breakfast, I would eat some of the sandwich on the bus. When I had my own money, I was so tired of the same lunch for years, I would throw it away and buy some hot meal at my high school. Sometimes there would be salad bar. I went to Catholic school with no school cafeteria so outside of an occasional hot dog day, there was no hot lunch or other offerings. In high school, my parents refused to pay for any hot lunches demanding we take food from home, so unless I had my own money I was stuck with the repetitive lunch.

Dinners were better and would be some type of red meat --lots of steaks, roast beef, fried pork chops or chicken and mashed potatoes. There would be glass of milk or diet Pop.  My family would eat spaghetti on occasion with meat sauce and shakes of parm cheese out of the green can. Rice a Roni would pop up from time to time. We would have turkey and ham on holidays and home made deep dish pizza with Italian sausage, green peppers, onions and mushrooms every Saturday night.  Sunday morning she would make breakfasts with scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, Bob Evan sausages, bacon and those orange frosted cinnamon rolls out of a can. The vegetables were usually green beans or corn out of a can. In high school my mother's cooking talents expanded so at times I would get these fancy party salads of a taco salad with sour cream and , and a layered salad with bacon and cheese and peas every once in a while. She would make chocolate including almond bark and tons of chocolate sheet cakes during various holidays. Much of the cooking was done for company and not us.  It was a high carb, high meat, high fat, high sugar diet.

As a cook at dinners,  she was very good at it. So a lot of the food would be tasty at dinner time but it definitely was not the best for my body. The daily grind of cereal and bologna sandwiches did me no favors either. When I was away at college I would eat more soup,  salad, and hard boiled eggs. This was my best time of eating in my whole life. Even at the sandwich bar, I would pile on the veggies like an early version of Subway. My time in college was the time of my lowest adult weight. I never went to totally normal was down in the lower 200s for a time at nearly 6 feet of height. I had no inkling of what would happen to me later but knew then, I grew more tired and swollen from walking for miles--I had no car, then my friends did. I loved to walk for years and even as late as 1994-1995, could walk for a few miles and think nothing of it, before the weight took over.

When I got poor in my twenties, and had no money for groceries, my diet hit a rock bottom for years. Ironically during my weight gain of 400lbs I had the least money for food. My diet was ramen noodles, commandeered school lunches while substitute teaching in child portions, often some mystery meat buried under gravy and some limp peas or white meat chicken nuggets. It also included some eggs, and cheap pasta. I bought food at a discount store, and did not know how to cook. One dinner I remember getting is paying 2 dollars for these cheap fried Chicken wings at a Chinese restaurant about a block from my house apartment and paying 50 cents for a little carton of rice to go with it. My diet worsened when I moved to Chicago. My job had long long hours and I remember eating only once a day on many days or twice, and literally having to scrounge. We were allowed to eat some food at the group home, but it was low quality cheap food. There were no salads or vegetables. Just fried chicken, sausages, bacon and rice, turkey ham and fried egg sandwiches and more sugary cereal. I don't know how some of those girls managed to stay thin on that food. Later on the way to disability came dumpster diving. I remember days of eating nothing but a package of cheap ramen noodles and some green onions, I had managed to save. How sad.

 Money was so extremely tight. Sometimes I would get a decent meal out once in a while, a salad or a stir fry like on Payday, but the rest of the time it was grind of cheap carbs. Working stoves were rare in the slums and for two years I had to eat whatever could be made in a microwave or on a hot plate. Let's just say that is not the healthiest food.

I look at Honey-Boo Boo's diet and know that is the mal-nutrition diet many poor people in America are getting fatter on. What chance does she have? You know they pour endless chemicals into the food. My diet now frustrates me. I fear weight gain because of the money being low. Its far better then it was years ago though. My eating has to be so controlled even for the sake of the diabetes. There's too many cheap turkey bologna sandwiches and cottage cheese even now. I would rather have more salad and hot cooked vegetables. There is a lot of soup made in this house. I do what I can.

This is the unspoken reality of obesity in America. Cheap food makes you fat. Lack of nutrition makes you fat. Some act like changing the diet is so easy, but there is a real financial edge to all this, like it or not.

Middle Class No Longer in the Majority

Middle Class No Longer in the Majority

For years people warned the middle class was dying and the chasm between the haves and have nots was growing. Well the middle has already now disappeared. There's rich and there's poor to simplify things. When decent jobs disappeared so did possibilities to enter the middle class. Seven dollars an hour isn't going to cut it anymore. Years ago, people who worked in my husband's field were comfortably middle class, now things are far lower. It's hard to even tell a young person what they should study so many things are failing to provide a decent standard of living. Yes America is becoming more like Brazil everyday with a thin sliver of oligarchy over the suffering poor multitudes. Jobs are more dead end then ever, leading to an endless poverty window. Now if only the prices matched all the low pay.

1 in 2 Working Americans Make Less Than $30,000 a year. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

A Calorie is Not a Calorie

In Africa, Obesity is the New Starvation

In Africa, Obesity is the New Starvation.

This goes along with those in the USA who have warned that obesity is a disease of the mal-nutritioned. With the processed food that has all the nutrients taken out and the obvious higher obesity rates in poorer people, it's obvious and looks like it is spreading around the world. It's interesting how children who starve or go without food in their youth are more likely to be obese adults as well.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Poor and Disabled in the Churches

[As I write this, some churches are exceptions to the below. Some area churches have helped me and offered the community charity.  Some have done so with a good spirit as well. These are trends I am seeing out there otherwise in the church world]

Some time ago I noticed the pastor's wife of the church I had just left posted this meme on her Facebook wall. It was otherwise full of gung-ho anti-welfare Republicanism. You know I can understand those who argue for limited government to a point but one thing never escaped my notice. They never offered any other real options for the poor or disabled outside of plucking their new middle class level job off the rainbows and unicorn Fox News job-tree. Their lives have been so different from my own.

Sometimes it got very tough being in that church. The pastor would rant and rave about how those who don't work, won't eat. Yes, it's in the Bible but there's a lot of verses that are ignored too, about fair day's wages for a fair days work and not oppressing the poor.

Psalm 12:5King James Version (KJV)
For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.

We both would cringe inside as the pastor lectured about those who took advantage of welfare or people who "didn't want to work" over and over.  Fox news ruled his mind. He never took the bankers to task. I tried to tell him different but failed. He would say nice words to me but not really listen.

As I wrote before I walked from that church the day it raised it's praise of war to the zenith. The pastor's son had taken to the pulpit to discuss his times in combat, unlike his thousand yard stare brother who had been there too, this guy seemed gleeful as if military combat was like summer camp. That was straw that broke the camel's back and I knew we didn't belong there anymore.

Class-wise we were the only poor people in that church, from what I could tell the lowest level above us was lower middle class. Everyone owned a home and had large intact families. Four families in the church were related to the pastor. There wasn't one single person outside of one widow, or child-less person in that church either out of 100 people which always gave me a strange feeling. I've seen that in churches I've visited, Single over a certain age? Childless? Those people just were not there.  It was like only nuclear families were allowed. It seemed a given that the people in that church, expect certain lifestyles and incomes. Sadly this was the outlook of the entire church. To be poor in many of today's evangelical churches means you are considered a "bum" who did not work hard enough. You didn't do what was "right" to get ahead. You don't fit in. It's like the white picket fence life is mandated.

Sadly classism is a growing problem in the churches. I am sure there are exceptions to this rule but when Rick Warren got a hold of Drucker a business executive to write Purpose Driven Life, there is a reason that churches were affected by the change of churches into a business model. Some churches of course reject Rick Warren but some of his work has had a cultural impact that has infiltrated society as a whole.  Churches are more focused on solving global poverty rather then dealing with the poverty right across the street or the train tracks. Pastors are more like business men then ministers and the most successful "sell" and get as many butts in seats as possible. Years ago the whole "seeker sensitive phenomenon was more about sales. Churches became more like 'consumer" organizations where salesmen or pastors were told to get in there and "hustle".

Poor church members don't work well in that model. If you are poor enough and groceries are negotiable and you can barely keep a 12-13 year old car running, there is not going to be any money for tithing. I don't believe in the 10 percent tithe but that is a whole other article and subject. In my old town I had people telling me, they didn't go to church because the pastors were always demanding money. Some told me point blank, "We are too poor to go to church.". I'm in that boat now.  In my case, I have strong beliefs that have taken me out of the churches, I'm not interested in things that range from Patriarchy/Quiverful to the Prosperity gospel, but yes, being poor influences church membership.  

Poor people don't make the pastors rich. I hope that doesn't sound too cynical, but think about the pastor who wants a good salary, a church full of very poor people who can barely throw a fiver in the basket weekly isn't going to pay his bills. His attention is going to go more towards the established and wealthier families handing over 10 percent of their entire income. More and more I'm with the people who start discussing how Paul was a tent-maker and provided for himself.

 Some of these people were going without medical care and necessities so I understood even as I was in a church myself back then. One thing that always got me, is I noticed some pastors living far higher socioeconomic levels then some of their church members. It seemed odd to be trying to dig out money I didn't have for some guy to have a newer car and huge home. We see the super-wealthy televangelists and others who live like millionaires but this happens on the lower level a lot. There's still a few humble folks out there, but there's many pastors living large who are out of touch with realities of the USA economy.

I became a Christian as an adult, and well, having recently left the church world for good, I'm mulling over a lot of stuff. I'm in a "wrestle" with God moment, arguing night and day. The best I can say is "I am still talking to God." I already had my atheist years so throwing down and walking away from the Christian faith is not an option but I do fear my own falling away. Maybe my faith is growing more real and this is some kind of "growth" process. A lot of what I saw in the Christian world while I had much to enjoy in my first good church, bothers me now, it seems appearing good there is actually more important then being good.  The fakeness doesn't appeal to me nor false displays of righteousness. I have discussed before in other articles along with a guest blogger, how people are told God will solve all their problems and guarantee them a great life, which in my mind is ensuring there are lots more atheists and others against God out there.  It is concerning how  "No" seems to be the answer to so many prayers lately.

The "Christian" world is troubling me on many levels. "Christians" seem "meaner" to me. Not all. I have good Christian friends and others who have a kind faith I meet all the time, but around a lot of Christians, I felt "judged". Hey I was a non-Christian long enough to know how that can go down, how I was screamed at for going to hell and told I was no good. It affected even the way I witnessed the gospel to others. Today I will witness once or twice but don't harangue people.

Among the church set for so many years, I noticed a lot of the same attitudes about the poor, that bothered me. Many loved the politicians that told people to "pull themselves up by their bootstraps" and went on and on about self reliance. They believed poor people had become poor via sin. That laziness, sloth, and drug and alcohol use were a given among the poor. In my case, they saw us as "lazy". My first church was rural and poor and more friendly, but I encountered more of this later as our own fortunes fell.

No one would imagine that my husband worked 14 hour days at the newspapers for years. Even now as poor as we are, he can spend the whole night hunched over the computer doing work. I was looking for more freelance work for him today and checking out job listings for him. The jobs are jokes, many jobs he can't physically do because they are manual, but all part time, temp and paying 8 dollars an hour. I swear wages have not advanced since the 1990s. I even checked out some newspaper jobs for him, we don't have money to move, but they are very few in number, and the pay for one was $25,000 a year which is what was offered in 1999 for reporter jobs. We know he is not in good enough health with caretaking duties to go back to the long days required in newspapers, it's troubling figuring out what to do.

 Of course many "Christians" have told me disability and welfare are evil, and to be frank, it was hard to be on social security disability and have a bunch of smug people tell me social security was a "slave system" and that only the wicked depended on the government. Roosevelt was still discussed as evil incarnate for the likes of Ronald Reagan who seemed to destroy the economic system that worked far better before. I noticed the Tea Party and Libertarian types who sought to shame me, always owned their own homes, had land and extensive families networks and safety nets I never could dream of. Their jobs and businesses were secure. Life for them had an easier path. To me the dogging out the poor and disabled made no sense. Why not have the attitude of "By the grace of God, go I?".

Here too, with Christian Republican set, they never offer any real options in place of social security and other helps. Some would sneer at me saying I hadn't overcome my liberalism of my UU days. Lets get real.  What church, charity or family is going to cover thousands of dollars in medical costs? A medicine I need to breathe daily and I have to use a nebulizer to take costs $1,066 retail PER MONTH. This med changed my life by the way, in terms of functionality, it helped my walking.

That's just one of my medicines, at least 2 others cost $700 bucks a monthly pop and I'm on more. I manage to keep myself out of the hospital via lots of maintenance medical care and nursing care when needed, but lets just say to me none of these people are realistic. They also scream about people "sucking off the government tit" at the behest of their brainwashers on radio stations and news programs. I have said to a few, "Ok so your answer to me is to go to the gutter?"

They thought they were special. I got the feeling many believed their blessings came to them because God had specially blessed them and they believed people lacking those things, did not obey God or did something to deserve their lot. Even if a church was not immersed into Word of Faith teachings that taught that prosperity came via closeness to God, I feel like this was a belief in many churches nonetheless. Really even in your non-Word of Faith churches, even "conservative-evangelical" the prosperity gospel has filtered through, like when the pastor at the last one taught, that if "you do right: God will bless you for it". What's that say about all the good people killed in wars and concentration camps and martyrs. My brain feels confused. Good home lives meant you were a good person. Identifying with the poor was identifying with the wicked and those God had not blessed.

 One guy who has influenced the churches greatly is a man named Dave Ramsey who had had financial seminars in the churches for years. That fellow had advanced "hate the poor" philosophies in the churches. His books seem to think expendable income is a given and that frugal living will save us all and anyone can afford a house and good cars if they are just practical and don't make budgetary mistakes. Many of the financially struggling were assured that Dave Ramsey would show them the way out.

 His prejudices are plain to see on his own website. Supposedly rich people are more moral and read a lot more. What would he think of my apartment with it's literally thousands of books. I never buy books, books can be gotten for very cheap. We used to sell books on ebay years ago for a little bit of money. This man's prejudices against the poor are sickening.  You mean poor people don't make to-do lists? I have right now detailing what car repairs need done. What is the deal with #11? What's wrong with speaking your mind? The idea that the poor sitting around eating junk food is also pure prejudice. Many poor people cook beans and pre-plan meals to the extreme.

When poor in the "Christian" community one is literally pounded with the "self reliant" gospel. Ayn Rand who was a Theosphist by the way and anti-Christian to the core is more adhered to then anything Jesus Christ said about the poor. Her gospel of selfishness has definitely taken root in some of the churches over the gospel of Jesus Christ. I read Fountainhead and her books in my 20s. She definitely seemed to advance self-service and a sociopathic attitude towards life. One pundit wrote of Ayn Rand I read years ago saying there were no children, old or disabled people in her books. Well children need care and giving, so wonder her fictional world was a child-free one.! Her philosophies today is one reason that so much of the "evangelical" right wing pairs themselves up with the most heartless bastards. It's one reason that Trump who has been divorced several times and who has lived by the gospel of "me" for decades--by the way he was born rich with a business owner father, is being endorsed by the Republican party.

There is a cold cruelty in much of the church world and it is showing in their politics. Some here may tell me why don't you go into more liberal churches, but I don't agree with their teachings either, so I will remain an outsider for life. There are Christians leaving the church system.

One of my husband's said to me, "Well the best Christians don't go to church" and I got what he meant.  Religion is used to shame the poor, time and time again, and they teach totally against what Jesus taught in this. I get the feeling that if Jesus broke out the loaves and fishes for the poor around these right wing evangelists types, most would get angry and say he was making the poor ,more dependent who wanted to suck off the system. Hey when their politicians say this stuff, they give them more votes. They don't care about billions being handed over for wars and bankers, the poor are easy scapegoats, they want to toss overboard. I believe many will find Jesus saying to them, "I never knew you". The war praisers I left in that last church definitely are in a precarious spiritual position.

Many of them are fearful of identifying with the poor and this is one way the politicians get laws passed for people's own demise. Even the anti-union movements had a lot to do with this. Why do right wing Christians hate unions? Even if some went corrupt, I don't get that one. It worries me how America is growing to be a more hateful place, and the 1% are laughing and running to the bank as more is handed to them from all the "temporarily embarrassed millionaires" Steinbeck style.  Many of them call themselves "Christians" as their love of money and propriety takes precedent. They are choosing denial rather then truth and throwing all ideas of Christian charity under the bus. They scream and shout about the socialists, as the "threat" while advancing the powerful and corrupt themselves.

More and more their wolves in the pulpit are united with the powerbrokers of our society and they have gotten their congregations to do likewise too. Forgotten is that Jesus was sent to the cross via the religious and state system married together. Today religion and state are unifying in a muddle-mess of power and sociopathy worship, this is why the poor are being disenfranchised from the false Babylonian churches.

I think the cloaks of denial is bring more coldness and cruelty to the poor and disabled too. They are afraid of seeing us and want us hidden away. They don't want to know what all the empty store fronts and full soup kitchens and food pantries mean for their future too. Many disabled and other people have learned to be careful of do-gooders who will beat us down with a present in one hand and a boatload of criticism and false judgment in another. Philanthropy can be  used for sadism. Many poor get tired of in some religious circles of being the "pitied" and of being the "other".

There are good people out there who let you keep your humanity, there is one Lutheran woman in my town, who I believe has a true love for the poor but there are many who do not. They want to take it away. They see the poor as less then "human". You literally are not a human being to them. I know this feeling all too well.  Their own fears lead them to deny that they could be in your boat. When I see someone worse off then me, I don't think "Oh look at that old drunk, or what did he do to end up behind that shopping cart?" I think "What happened to him?" He is a person to me. Compassion is an emotion getting in shorter supply.

I had a discussion with an older man at a church food pantry on this. One thing I had said during that course of the conversation was, "How come poor people who are Christians don't have our own church families taking care of them?" This poor old man told me three churches had treated him like he was invisible. I said if Jesus showed up wearing his robe and sandals with some dust of the road on him, they'd throw him out and yell "Get a job you bum!" He told me about his last pastor who drove a Cadillac.

Yeah some of the liberal world isn't much different either. It's not any easier on the poor. The New Age went into that book "The Secret" think and grow rich and money will come to you!  This became a new Social Darwinism of it's own. Strange how there is an overlap with Ayn Rand there too.  Rich New Agers told me "I lacked good karma" and have directly told me I must have been a very wicked person in my last life to have these severe disfiguring health problems and money problems." One psychic--medical intuitive to be exact,  I visited during my UU days, told me, that I had been a very wicked woman in my past life. He gave me details of these lives which seemed very made up and was now equalizing my karmic position via suffering.

This oddly happened to me with some of the "Christians" too.  It is an overlap that I was sure to notice. By the way I am learning to keep my mouth more shut about any problems outside of this blog. I think it will help me. One person I dealt with basically became a spiritual abuser using my abuse, and troubles to tell me that in a Christian context, I was "wicked" and "paying the price" for it.

[this verse is supposed to be spiritual healing not, you will never have any health problems in your life]

 The spiritual abuser told me because of my abuse and severe health problems I needed freed via "deliverance". She told me God wanted to heal me. She told me I did not have a natural disease--well the one I took 17 years to get diagnosed but at that time it wasn't diagnosed yet. If disabled be very careful of any Christians that promise "deliverance" or "healing" via prayer. I even faced this in the Catholic church where some charismatic Catholics told me, that if I had enough faith God would heal me. Problem is if you are still sick 5 years later, they see you as not having done what you were "supposed to".  I can see many people already having lost their faith under some pressures I've been under. Here the message too was, same as the karma New Agers, if you suffer, it's your fault. If I had not read the book of Job, they would have destroyed me with their false teachings.

 It is a place where many abuses and false theology and doctrines can abound. Even if one is questioning, and keeps an open mind that examines what they have to offer, these religious types can wiggle into your mind in an insidious fashion. Deeming themselves always the supreme experts, being a deferential scapegoat here, is not a good position.  I thought surely something is spiritually awry being so poor and sick. Isn't God supposed to be blessing me? It only troubled my mind. Thankfully I broke away from the person in question, but one question I still ponder in that context, why are the suffering always the ones who are deemed wicked and the prosperous are the good? The Bible actually says the exact opposite.

Psalm 73:12
Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.

What does that say about Jesus Christ who ended up suffering the most on the cross? I never attended any Pentecostal or Charismatic churches in my case, but they are notorious for this. I've met ill people who took a pounding from those who told them they need their demons and curses of illness and financial problems drummed out of them.  Those are dangerous places to admit you have any life challenges. My spiritual abuse came via an online "friendship", but in those churches, a disabled person will be told they have been "cursed" by the demon if illness or told that once delivered God will heal all their health problems. They are not seen as human either. They are seen as a problem to be reckoned with. The only answer is to be healed. If you failed to do that, you are a spiritual failure.

I never judged poor people myself this way but I figured out even in the churches I was in, that the main message was "Bad Things happen to Bad People" so what does that say about Jesus Christ on the cross?

There seems to be an open war on the disabled, suffering and poor in many of these churches. Their bad politics speak to their dark hearts.  I believe that false teachings have taken over, and they are not preaching the comfort and goodness of God but drawing a net around people giving false hopes and dreams and answers for this life they focus on instead of eternal life. It ties into the sheer hatred shown many groups of people too. I can't go hate everyone like one certain party seems to want me to do. I'm not politically correct but I figure that is a path of evil too many of them are going down. The whole "Lets blow up the Islamic world"  following the Plan for a New American Century "Christian response", gets on my nerves, and yes I care about the Jewish people too.  By the way Iran is next on the list for the war mongers. The churches seem like they will be cheering to the day mushroom clouds are on the horizon.

The day I sat there, watching the pastor's ex-soldier son gleefully speak of killing people of another religion made me sick to my stomach. It's even hard to explain. A dark spirit has taken over many churches and I was feeling it that day. That very moment I knew I would be walking for good. Really they have become religious sock puppets to the elites who want their globalist wars and wars of civilizations. Evangelical churches almost seem to lust for Armageddon and can't wait until it gets here.

So why should I expect the treatment of the poor and disabled to be any better? All I know is I am done with the lot of them.  I will see where God takes me now.

Update: I deconverted from Christianity in 2017 and no longer consider myself a Christian. I have returned to the Unitarian Universalist Association. I see Christianity especially in it's fundamentalist and evangelical flavors as a religion of oppression. Please see my deconversion articles..

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Honor the Caregivers

This one is to thank my husband for being there for me during my wisdom teeth removal and other health problems. I wish caregivers were given more credit for what they do. He's out doing my laundry right now with a bum gout knee. My husband has stuck by me with the utmost of loyalty and love. I love him more then words can say.  He faces his own health problems too, which can be scary for a caregiver as well. For those with a chronically ill spouse, many do not understand what the more "healthy spouse" has gone through, they face the fear, the hardships and pain too, that severe health problems can bring. More need informed on what it is like.

18 Secrets of People Who Became Their Spouse’s Caregiver
Read more:

Mr. Rogers: Helping People

Good advice. This one resonated with me. Find the "helpers" and those who "care". They are out there.


Trump the Narcissist Mocks the Disabled

You know it's scary when many in your country want to elect a guy for president that reminds you of every mean school-yard bully you ever saw!

Japanese Artist Creates Realistic Dioramas

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Sinead O'Connor Attempts Suicide: Was She a Victim of Narcissists Too?

It is very sad to hear that Sinead O' Connor made a suicide attempt. I saw Sinead O'Connor sing in concert in 1990 at her peak. I never had heard such beautiful singing in my entire life and still remember this concert in detail. I have listened to her music for years.

She posted a new message yesterday:

"Her post on Monday was somewhat disjointed however it was clear she wanted to publicly rip her family members. O’Connor’s message implied she was still hospitalized.  
“Jake, Roisin, Jr., frank, Donal, Eimear, I never wanna see you again. You stole my sons from me. Then you had hypocrisy to come to hospital and then not be here when I wake and not pick up phone? I'm s--t to you. You're dead to me. You killed your mother. You stole my sons. You left me alone for twelve weeks! Why did I have to hear it was your hypocritical asses here while I was unconscious?? And now you're Gone and not picking up phone? You are child stealing murderers, I never want to see or hear from any of you again. Why were you here when you're the ones who put me here???? And where the f--k are you now??? Murderers. Liars. Hypocrites. All of you. You caused this.”"
 If you have been a fan of her music, you know something happened with her children where they were taken away.

One song Fire on Babylon speaks of her son being left with her abusive mother.

"She took my father from my life Took my sister and brothers oh I watched her torturing my child"

 This song is pretty obvious in speaking of early abuse.

 Sinead O'Connor for years talked about her "messed up" family. In this Spin article from 1991, she discusses how her family didn't like that she had become famous. Often that is one attribute for the scapegoat, get rich, get famous and you still aren't good enough. That says something scary about them right there.

In this other article where she responds to her brother in 1993 [stick with the cache on this one because a virus has been put on the normal link] she talks about her abusive mother, "My mother was very terrifying" while saying her father was "lovely" but failed to protect her.

Her brother backed her up in another statement in 1993:

"A few weeks later, O'Connor's brother gave a lengthy response, defending his father but echoing her about their mother, who died in 1985, and subjected her children to "extreme and violent abuse, both emotional and physical," he wrote. The next week, the singer responded: "Our family is very messed up. We can't communicate with each other. We are all in agony. I for one am in agony."

 It's been reported for years that Sinead had an abusive and violent mother, she ran away from home so much, that she was put in a Catholic reform school where the nuns gave her a guitar and got her into music.

  "O'Connor's mother – who would die in a car crash when Sinead was 19 – was a troubled, violent woman, and was also, the singer says now, a kleptomaniac herself who required her children to behave similarly. "

What kind of mother would force her own children to steal?

  She was definitely separated from her children.

Sinead O' Connor has been diagnosed with bipolar in the past though she has questioned this herself. The endless marriages including one that lasted only 18 days does point to some serious mental health problems. We know severe mental problems are rife among the famous for various reasons. This is a world most of us can't even imagine.

There definitely have been problems with depression and anxiety in her life and possibly other problems,  despite her world fame. I find myself wondering if the family is narcissistic, despite her mental troubles, there are people who become ill because of what they have faced. Something is really wrong when a world famous musician can't even get any breaks from a family.  Abuse does break people.  As I have written on here multiple times sometimes the soul murderers succeed.  I have seen supportive families even when someone has faced severe mental illness, her family does not seem among their number. What happened with her own children? Her mental problems could have driven them away but what else happened?

 ACONs who were scapegoats who stay relatively mentally intact, are the fortunate ones in the crucible of severe abuse. Sometimes I have said to close friends, "Aspergers saved me and kept my identity intact. It gave me an intellectual refuge so they could not break me down and disintegrate my personality." Even if Aspergers caused me major problems, that was on big positive. Other ACONs may find other places of refuge, including friends and finding someone who loves them outside of their family.

One thing that happens to singers is when they age, their voices can deteriorate. This happened with Sinead and you can hear the changes even 10 years ago as her voice went deeper. She also recently had a hysterectomy. Mid-life for the abused ACON and someone who has faced emotional problems their entire life can be a crisis point. For those of who have escaped and admitted there is no chance of change among our families. I know my own mid-life crisis point of facing my own possible early death from my disabilities and health problems necessitated my breaking away and going no contact. In my case, it had as much to do with saving my emotional life as well as my physical life.

I find myself thinking..."If only someone could tell Sinead about no contact and not investing time in people who have no love to give you".  Her message to her family is even more sad today:

"A distressing post written today says: 'You came to the hospital to see me on life support. You left before I woke and you haven't been back. Please why are you doing these things to me?? I need you. I need your love.'
It goes on: 'Come and tell me why this is all happening. Come and tell me I'm loved. Come and tell me I'm wanted and cherished.
'Been missing you all for weeks. To hear that you were here and left was agony. Now I am utterly alone. Please. Please love me. Please come to the hospital and spend time with me and help Fix all this. Please. I'm. Begging you. Don't leave me so frightened and alone.' 
The singer was found by police on Sunday afternoon after claiming she had taken an overdose."

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It's sad to me watching her beg her family for love.  It's enough to bring one to tears. Many of us ACONs have been in that boat. I even asked my narcissists before I walked, "Why don't you love me?" and "Why do you hate me so much?" This is a trap an ACON can fall into, seeking love where there is none. It is a trap that almost destroyed me before I escaped. I don't seek the love of the narcissists anymore and don't want it. I realized they are incapable of any love. My own love and wishes for what could be are done.  Just showing up to the hospital when someone is unconscious and not even attempting another visit after they have woken up is pretty cold. I had my own times where no one but my loving husband was there for me in the hospital when I almost died of leg and other infections. So her pain is more then believable.

Many ACONs face having children taken away or influenced by narcissists and others to have nothing to do with them. If there are mental problems in the mix, these definitely can be used for smear campaigns and to teach the children and adult children not to have compassion but only shame and dismissal.

Remember when Sinead O'Connor had her debates with Miley Cyrus, and she told her, how the mentally ill are treated like dirt?  She stated "When you admit to mental illness, you are treated like dirt". This is very true. This is absolutely correct. Her family's reaction to her mental illness seems to be the absolute same as narcissists. Narcissists are cold and cruel when it comes to ALL medical problems and mental problems even more so.

One thing I am reading comments on the articles, and most people don't have sympathy or compassion for her. One commenter even wrote if your whole family has turned it's back on you, it's your fault! They are mocking her displays of emotion instead of having any understanding for what she has gone through. ACONs are more then familiar with how that works too. I do fear for her, I am praying that someone intervenes who knows the truth about narcissism and what the solutions are. Losing her children too had to be horrendous. Why didn't her cold family and exes even allow for supervised contact? We may not know the whole story there, but something is very wrong.

One thing I always respected Sinead O'Connor for is she has spoken out against child abuse. When she shredded the Pope's picture in 1992, she was right about the child sexual abuse that was being hidden at the Vatican. In the song lyrics she changed the word "WAR" to "CHILD ABUSE" and then ripped up the Pope's pictures. When the sex scandals in the Catholic church broke in 2002, it vindicated her warnings. The world didn't want to hear the truth.