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Reading List For Anyone Dealing With “Toxic” People

A few readers have emailed me asking for my personal recommendations for a reading list for dealing with the narcissists & other people who have toxic effects on those around them, so I thought I would do a post.

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Image: Pixabay: congerdesign: Creative Commons CC0

Please note that ALL of these disclaimers still apply.

1). Will I Ever Be Good Enough? by Karyl McBride (for daughters of narcissistic mothers)

2).  Will I Ever Be Free of You? by Karyl McBride (for those going through a break-up with a narcissist, particularly a high-conflict divorce)

3). If You Had Controlling Parents by Dan Neuharth (for those whose parents were controlling)

4). The Gaslight Effect: How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulation Others Use to Control Your Life by Robin Stern (for anyone being gaslighted or interested in knowing more about gaslighting)

5). Positive Energy by Judith Orloff (for those who want to protect themselves from negative energy)

6). Emotional Freedom by Judith Orloff (for those who want to protect themselves from negative energy)

7). How To Stubbornly Refuse To Make Yourself Miserable About Anything by Albert Ellis (the title says it all)

8). How To Keep People From Pushing Your Buttons by Albert Ellis (the title says it all)

9). In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People by George K. Simon (the title says it all)

10). Psychopath Free: Expanded Edition by Jackson MacKenzie (the title is somewhat of a misnomer due to the word “psychopath”, but still a good book for dealing with narcissists, sociopaths, and other toxic people)

This list is not intended to be comprehensive by any means, but rather just an overview of a few of my favorites that I would personally recommend.

Please let me know if you have any other recommendations, either by commenting below or emailing me at sayebennett@gmail.com.

08/02/2017: Edited to Add: 

11). Children of the Self-Absorbed by Nina W. Brown

12). Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life by Susan Forward and Craig Buck

13). The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner

14). Why Is It Always About You?: The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism by Sandy Hotchkiss

15). Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder by Paul Mason and Randi Kreger

“Sexuality is Fluid”: The Great Big Hoax

NOTE: This is a follow-up to Dirt’s post, With Lesbians Like Sue Perkins, Who Needs Enemies?!

Lately, it seems that you can’t swing a cat (Public Service Announcement: PLEASE DON’T SWING CATS, PEOPLE!) without hitting an article or interview where somebody or other is saying that “Sexuality is fluid.”

You’ll notice, however, that it is always FEMALE sexuality to which these articles/interviews are referring; it’s quite unlikely that Men’s Health magazine will ever come out with an article about the best techniques for sucking dick.

Hmmmm…why is that? There are likely many reasons, but I believe that the main one is that females/Lesbians are routinely hypersexualized, and the idea of watching so-called “Lesbian” sex often appeals to straight men. However, the very same men would quite likely be freaked out by the thought of having sex with a man. Therefore, the myth that female sexuality is “fluid” is appealing and persists, while male sexuality remains “static” in the public’s mind.

It is especially disappointing to me when a famous Lesbian makes such a erroneous and damaging claim. Dirt wrote about such a situation here, in which one of my favorite comedians, Sue Perkins, who starred in the hilariously quirky Lesbian-trying-to-come-out-of-the-closet sitcom Heading Out, said in an interview that “sexuality is fluid”.

In Sue P‘s case, I think a combination of internalized homophobia and a desire to fit in with the currently in-vogue “queer” crowd, along with parroting the nonsensical storylines of Straightbians, are major driving factors in such a spurious claim. However, I don’t know her, so I can only guess as to her motivation(s).

Well, let’s all just think about the whole “sexuality is fluid” claim for a moment, shall we?

First of all, the correct term is ORIENTATION, NOT SEXUALITY. Being a Lesbian is NOT all about sex, and to reduce our entire lives, our very being, to “having sex” is both incorrect and insulting. We are always Lesbian, regardless of whether we even ever have sex.

Secondly, if orientation were really “fluid”, there would be no reason to “come out of the closet”, would there, Sue P.? Everyone would just “flow” back and forth, willy-nilly, including the very parents that you had to “come out” to, Sue! Why would anyone have to “come out” if there were no true orientation to begin with, since everyone would be “fluid”? Why are there heterosexuals and homosexuals in the world?

Think, Sue, THINK!

The (incredibly obvious!) answer here lies in the difference between Behavior Versus Orientation.

As an example of behavior versus orientation:

Anybody could have sex with anybody (Behavior), but a female having sex (or even a long-term relationship) with another female does NOT magically make her a Lesbian.

You either are a Lesbian (Orientation), or you are not.

Later-in-life Lesbians (those who initially date/marry men, before coming out later) were never straight to begin with; so their orientation is NOT “fluid”; they just did not act upon their true orientation for a variety of possible reasons (family, society, religion, internalized homophobia, peer pressure, etc.).

Here’s the thing:

Behavior is changeable. Orientation is NOT changeable.

BehaviorVsOrientation

So, whenever you see the claim that “sexuality is fluid”, I beg you to remember this formula:

Behavior ≠ Orientation

Behavior ≠ Orientation

Behavior ≠ Orientation

Behavior ≠ Orientation

Behavior ≠ Orientation

Behavior ≠ Orientation

Behavior ≠ Orientation

Behavior ≠ Orientation

Behavior ≠ Orientation

Behavior ≠ Orientation!!!!!!!!!!!

As for Sue Perkins, I still believe that she is hilarious and talented and I truly wish her all the best, but she really needs to stop towing the “queer” party line and start telling the truth…not just for the sake of her Lesbian fans, but, ultimately, for her own sake.

Social Media: The New Playground For Pyros-When Gaslighting Goes Viral

 

Have you ever had a friend, partner, family member, coworker, or even an acquaintance do/say something stunningly mean, but when confronted about it, the person suddenly completely denies, minimizes, redirects, distracts, deletes the evidence, calls you a liar, tries to make you feel like you are “crazy”, and/or otherwise attempts to invalidate your perfectly legitimate outrage?

If so, welcome to the dark, twisted, manipulative, maddening, bizarre world of gaslighting.

The effects of being gaslighted can range the gamut from simple, but utter, puzzlement if it is a unexpected situation by a Twitter acquaintance all the way to devastating, destabilizing self-doubt if it is done on an ongoing basis by a loved one.

The term gaslighting was named for the 1944 Ingrid Bergman/Charles Boyer movie, Gaslight, in which a diabolical man manipulates his wife into doubting her own sanity.

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The term now is used to refer to an insiduous form of psychological manipulation in which the gaslighter attempts to confuse and disorient by twisting facts and clouding reality.

As evidenced by the movie, gaslighters have been around since the “good old days”, but now social media has exponentially increased their visibility and reach, allowing gaslighting to even happen on a hit-and-run basis from internet acquaintances.

Gaslighting examples might include:

**Your partner makes a derogatory comment about you while you are present. When you confront her about it, she denies that it ever happened, says you misunderstood, says you are always “too sensitive”, and/or blames you for the situation. As a result, you begin to doubt your own perception, and you may even end up apologizing when there is nothing to apologize for.

**You can never do anything right, according to your mother. She belittles your weight, your hair, your clothes, your books, your choice of career or partner, even the color of your shoes. When you tell her how a specific demeaning comment makes you feel, she denies ever saying anything of the sort (even though you heard her say it yourself). She starts crying, saying that you are ungrateful and selfish and always “misunderstand”.  You end up feeling guilty that you could have possibly blamed your poor little old mother and vow to keep your mouth shut next time.

**A Twitter acquaintance suddenly attacks you (or an ally)…seemingly out-of-the-blue. Horrid name-calling and complete rudeness ensues from the gaslighter. When confronted, however, the gaslighter vehemently (and very treacly-sweetly) denies ever saying anything nasty at all, and, in the meantime, the gaslighter has deleted all of the offending tweets. The gaslighter then garners sympathy from unwitting outsiders (who never saw the offending deleted tweets) by saying: 1). that you are inexplicably lying about her; 2). that she would never-ever-EVER do such a thing, because she is such a nice person and everyone should know that; and 3). that she often deletes her tweets (although you can’t help but notice that she did not delete any of her tweets…except for the ones in which she looks bad).

**Your best friend flirts in an obvious and inappropriate manner with your partner. When you confront her about it, she says that you imagined it, that you are always so unreasonable and possessive, and that you are always so insecure and needy. You end up apologizing for the “misunderstanding” because, after all, you tell yourself, friends are forever. Right? (Then why do you feel like you just got run over by a Mack truck)?

This kind of dynamic can play out in endless scenarios; the above examples are just a few of the possibilities.

Regardless of the players or the topic, however, the underlying factors are always the same and involve some or all of the following:

1). The gaslighter will not take responsibility for her own actions nor admit any fault.

2). Instead of taking responsibility for her own actions, the gaslighter manipulates the gaslightee and the situation in order to destabilize the gaslightee’s sense of reality and to twist the facts.

3). Gaslighting techniques might include (but are not limited to) denying, minimizing, lying, insulting, demeaning, destroying evidence, twisting facts, bringing others in for support, and/or manipulating people, the situation, and/or the physical environment to support their contorted version of events.

4). The end result is typically the gaslightee feeling guilty, bad, confused, self-doubting, and/or unsettled. The gaslightee often questions herself and her perceptions of events. The gaslightee will often end up apologizing, even when she did nothing wrong. The gaslightee’s feelings after such an incident are somewhat akin to a bad hangover, although much more long-lasting and damaging.

5). Often, others who are naive to gaslighting tactics will jump on the bandwagon in support of the gaslighter, rather than understanding that they are only pawns in an intricate game of deception. Some may be intentionally brought into the situation by the gaslighter, for the dual purposes of gaining support as well as to further make the gaslightee doubt her own perceptions.

6). Gaslighters are typically charming and well-liked by acquaintances and the general public who have not had the misfortune of being their target, yet. They are usually articulate and friendly to strangers/acquaintances, which also helps them succeed in looking credible and gaining support, contributing further to the gaslightee questioning herself.

So, what can you do when faced with gaslighting? Here are a few suggestions:

1). Read The Gaslight Effect by Robin Stern, Ph.D. (and read it immediately if you are in a romantic relationship where gaslighting is happening). Dr. Stern’s book thoroughly covers the topic and gives many practical and insightful suggestions. As Dr. Stern says here in regard to the gaslight effect in long-term relationships:

“Gaslighting is the systematic attempt by one person to erode another’s reality, by telling them that what they are experiencing isn’t so – and, the gradual giving up on the part of the other person. Gaslighting takes two – one person who needs to be in control to maintain his sense of self, and the other, who needs the relationship to maintain her sense of self and is willing to acquiesce. The Gaslight Effect happens when you find yourself second guessing your own reality, confused and uncertain of what you think, because you have allowed another to define reality and tell you what you think — and who you are. Gaslighting can be maddening in the early stages and soul destroying when it fully takes hold.”

2). Trust your own intuition and observations. If you have seen something with your own eyes or heard it with your own ears, and someone is telling you that you are wrong, realize that you are not the “crazy” one in this situation.

3). State your truth, then disengage from the gaslighter as quickly as possible. You aren’t going to “win” a battle with a gaslighter, because she will never admit she is wrong nor acknowledge your legitimate concerns. Stick up for yourself, assertively but briefly, then move on.

4). Be aware of this behavior, so you will know how to recognize it quickly in the future and act before becoming close to a gaslighter.

5). If you see this behavior in someone you do not HAVE to interact with, avoid that person at all costs, no matter how “sweet” and “friendly” she may seem. A good analogy is a cobra in a bunny suit; the bunny suit looks fluffy and happy and safe, but make no mistake, the cobra inside is coiled and waiting to strike.

6). If you see the behavior in someone who you do currently still have to interact with, stay on guard. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of well-being.

7). Keep a private journal in a safe place, and/or talk to a trusted friend or therapist, in order to maintain your own sense of reality and self-esteem. Write down exactly what happens, as specifically and in as much details as possible. Refer back to your notes frequently. Look for patterns of behavior.

8). If the altercation occurs via email, letter, or online, consider keeping physical evidence of the event ~ for your own sense of reality ~ not as a way to argue or engage with the gaslighter. (Keep the email or letter, or screencap the nastiness if it happens on social media, and email yourself a copy).

9). Minimize your contact with the gaslighter, and keep interactions neutral whenever possible.

10). Consider your part in the interactions. As Dr. Stern says, it takes two to engage in the dance of gaslighting. If there are ways you can protect yourself or change the outcome of feeling disempowered, do so.

11). Seek mental health or legal or other professional advice if needed (please see **Notes**, below).

12). Above all, take care of yourself and don’t let anyone’s manipulations crush your sense of self or confuse your sense of reality.

In summary, I wanted to bring up a well-known Maya Angelou quote:

“When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.”

When you see serious gaslighting behavior, please don’t just write it off as “a fluke” or excuse it by saying “She was just having a bad day”.

Of course, everyone can be grumpy and say things we don’t mean, but the critical difference to consider is that most people are capable of analyzing our own actions, taking responsibility, respecting the other person’s feelings, apologizing when necessary, and learning important lessons when altercations happen.

Note that a gaslighter does none of these healthy behaviors, but rather, a gaslighter makes the situation even worse by engaging in the gaslighting behaviors listed above.

You cannot get blood from a turnip, and you cannot get reason nor empathy from a gaslighter.

So, when a gaslighter shows you who she is…please believe her…the first time.

**Notes**:

1). I am using “she” for this post for simplicity’s sake, but please note that gaslighters and gaslightees can either be male or female.

2). As always, please be aware of this standard disclaimer: Nothing I write is ever intended to be professional advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute for the advice of a professional. Please take appropriate precautions, and always seek professional help regarding any/all mental health issues/needs.

Home

Woods

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I grew up in a small town.  Well, you really couldn’t even call it a small town, I guess, unless deer and bobcats and crickets can be counted as neighbors. More country than town. Where I grew up made Mayberry seem like a bustling metropolis.

Our nearest neighbors were my grandparents on my father’s side.  When I was about 3, I learned a shortcut through the woods to get there. Even with the shortcut, it was still a 20 minute walk through fairly dense woods, and I had to jump over logs and climb over barbed wire fences to get there, but the trip was always well worth it, because all the magic of my childhood lived at my grandparents’ farm house: warm cookies and milk; books everywhere; creaking floorboards; ghost stories; a dusty attic full of mysterious treasures; hand-churned strawberry ice cream; fried chicken cooked in bacon grease; the overpowering smell of wisteria; fireflies on summer nights; rocking gently on the front porch swing, drinking sweet iced tea and feeling the summer breeze on my face.

But, when I became a teenager, I suddenly couldn’t wait to leave home. I wanted to get out into the real world, where I was convinced that excitement and enlightenment waited.  I skipped 9th grade to hasten the process and made sure to obtain academic scholarships so that my ticket out of the boonies was guaranteed.  I’d just turned 17 when I left home forever, convinced that there was much more to life than could be found in the rural South.

And I never went back home…at least not to stay. In the many years I have been gone, I have only returned for holidays and family events, only to quickly hightail it out of there as soon as possible to get back to my “real life” in whatever city I was living in at the time.

The simple truth that I have realized over the years is: the main reason I avoid going home is because it makes me sad.  When I go back, I feel a yearning for something I cannot put into words; a nostalgia for the simple, pure happiness I knew as a child.

When my father died, my mother moved to an apartment to be near me. I began renting my childhood home to provide a bit of income for her.  After a few rental horror stories, we finally found the perfect renter, who has been there for the last decade.

Until now.  I just learned that the perfect renter will be moving out at the end of August, and now I have to decide what to do with my childhood home and the 80 wooded acres it sits on.

Of course, I could rent it again and I have already had inquiries, but being a landlord long distance is often a lot of trouble, because things break and I am not there to fix them.  Not to mention the considerable headache of finding a good renter.

The obvious solution is to sell it. It makes a lot of sense to do so, both logistically and financially. I am living 700 miles away now and, of course, the money would certainly come in handy.

So: why do I feel like crying at the very thought of selling a house which I have not lived in for many more years than I did live in it?  Why do I find myself dilly-dallying about; procrastinating whenever I even think of making the necessary arrangements to go prepare the house for sale?  Why do I get tears in my eyes just thinking about someone cutting down even one of my Dad’s precious trees which he cared for so diligently? Why do I still dream of being in the cool, dark woods, the silence only broken by the leaves crunching beneath my feet and the occasional bird call?

My spouse, partner, and all-around sweetiepie, Dirt, says that the decision is mine: she says we can move back there if I want.  She is willing to uproot herself from her work, friends, and family to support me if I decide I want to move back there. Her unconditional love and willingness to do whatever makes me happy means more to me than I can possibly ever fully express.

So now I am torn, stuck between wanting to hold on to a place that made me happy and staying in a place that makes me happy now.

I don’t know the answer yet, but I will. And whatever happens, I know everything will work out, because my true home is not a place…my true home is a person.

Truth & “Later-In-Life” Lesbians

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All of us probably know, or at least likely know of, a lesbian who initially married a man, had children (or not), and later (sometimes even much later), finally came out of the closet.  I have known a few myself, and I have heard many other such lesbian-coming-out stories over the years.

Some of the objections to recent posts regarding the question of “Can any woman become a lesbian?” have used this scenario to suggest that it is possible.

Many people also apparently mistook our posts to exclude these women in these scenarios from the category of lesbian, when that is not the case at all.

Although we previously addressed the topic of “behavior versus orientation” a few times in various posts, we neglected to do a entire post focusing on this specific subject.  I belatedly realized, thanks to a commenter, Shine Brightly, that we needed to clarify this aspect of the topic a bit more, because it seems to be a major points of confusion.

So I will attempt to answer this question in this post by using an explanation based on a compilation of all the stories I have heard over the years of various lesbians who came out later-in-life.

So: what is the difference between a lesbian in this scenario mentioned above, versus a “Straightbian“?

The difference is actually quite simple, but the explanation is more complicated.

The key factor is the difference between behavior versus orientation.

In the scenario mentioned above, the woman in question is indeed a lesbian, and she always was.

This woman grew up internalizing all the messages that everyone gets from family, friends, school, church, community, and society in general that being straight is the only acceptable route.

She is likely, although not necessarily, an over-achiever, a “good girl”, an extrovert, and/or a people-pleaser, and she likely received a lot of reinforcement while growing up for meeting other people’s expectations.

She likely felt “different” while growing up, but maybe could not pinpoint why.  She probably had close friendships and attachments with other girls, and likely preferred their company to that of boys.

She likely married young, perhaps to her high school or college boyfriend; and she married him not because she was passionately, head-over-heels in love/lust with him, but because he felt safe, and because marriage was the expected next step in life.

She may or may not have children, but regardless, she really tries to be straight. She tries to be everything that society expects, she tries to be a “good wife”, and she tries very hard to be happy with the life she has chosen.

She ignores feelings of emptiness, boredom, and ennui and sublimates her energy into work, family, volunteering, crafts, church, home projects, etc.

She may stay in this holding pattern for a relatively short time, or she may stay there for a very long time.

She may have some conscious awareness of  her attraction to women, or she may be so practiced in shoving her own feelings down so deep that even she has difficulty excavating them.

Then, at some point, for some reason (and the reasons will vary), she wakes up and she just cannot do it anymore.

She cannot continue to pretend to be something she is not.

She realizes (or has always known on some level, but is just now admitting it for the first time) that her true romantic/sexual orientation is to women.

She starts the process of making the changes needed to move toward an authentic lesbian life.

And even though it is the right path for her, the journey will almost certainly not be easy.  Often the process will be fraught with pain and difficulty.  Many people that she cares about will likely feel hurt, confused, or betrayed.  She will likely lose people she thought she could always count on.

There will likely be much resistance, anger, heartbreak, and angst along the way, but her need to live an authentic lesbian is a more powerful force than the backlash she encounters.

So, yes, the woman in this scenario is indeed a lesbian, despite whether she was married to a man for a couple of months or for 30+ years (or anywhere in between).

There will obviously be variations between lesbians’ individual unique stories, because of each lesbian’s unique circumstances, temperament, background, and situation.

But the general story is universal in such scenarios: genuinely trying to “do the right thing” (that is, what is deemed “right” by society’s standards) by initially attempting to live a heterosexual life before eventually deciding to be true to herself and coming out as a lesbian.

Also, the coming-out process itself will be different for each lesbian, and will be based on individual circumstances and personality characteristics.  Some lesbians come out right away and relatively easily, while others may take months or even years to complete the coming-out process. Some may need therapy to help them sort out a variety of issues like guilt about not meeting expectations, dealing with internalized homophobia, learning self-acceptance, etc.

Again, the key factor to always consider is the difference between behavior and orientation.

In this scenario discussed above, the woman’s behavior (initially) appears to suggest that she is straight (after all, she married a man!).  But: this woman’s true romantic/sexual orientation is really toward women. This woman found intimacy, closeness, love, and “rightness” with a woman that they never even remotely felt with a man, and she moved toward her true lesbian orientation when she was ready to come to terms with it. She did not marry a man for true love, attraction, or lust, but rather for such reasons as familial demands, societal expectations, security, a desire for approval, convenience, religious convictions, companionship, etc.

In contrast, a “Straightbian” is someone who is actually heterosexual but she has chosen to partner with females due to a variety of potential reasons, including, but not limited to: political reasons, being sick of dating men, curiosity, thinking “the grass is greener on the other side”, trauma, mistaking friendship for love, rebelliousness, etc.  The “Straightbian’s” behavior appears to suggest that she is a lesbian (after all, she is dating a woman!).  But:  The “Straightbian’s” true romantic/sexual orientation is toward males, regardless of her behavior.

I hope this post helped to explain the difference between lesbians who come out later in life, after experience with men, versus “Straightbians”.  I realize that it is a complicated topic because no two stories are exactly alike, but the underlying answer is actually quite simple: it’s not what you do, it is who you are.

Getting Old(er)

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Aging has been a topic on my mind a lot recently, because…well…it’s happening, even as I type.

It’s happening to all of us, all the time, albeit in such incremental steps that it tends to creep up on us, unnoticed, until one day we catch a glimpse of ourselves reflected in a storefront window, and think “Who the heck is that?”

When I was younger, I naively thought I might be (at least partially) immune to being sensitive about the changes aging brings on in our looks.  I rationalized all the crap that popular culture tries to sell us: “Age is just a number”, “40 is the new 30”, “50 is the new 40”, etc. Mind over matter and all that.

And, since I have always primarily lived in my mind, rather than solely focused on my body, I thought maybe I would be spared some of the insecurity about appearance that aging often brings.

I was wrong.

Lately, I find myself bothered by the inevitable march of time.  Just this morning, I wasted an hour searching Amazon for “best anti-wrinkle cream”; a precious hour of my life that I can never recover.

Although there is some truth that we perhaps have (at least partial) control over our looks through diet, exercise, clothes, hairstyles, and the myriad anti-aging and beauty products filling the shelves vying for our money and our hope, I fully realize that the bottom line is: I am never going to look the same now as I did in my 30’s.

I could slather 10,000 ounces of the finest anti-wrinkle cream on myself, and guess what? I would still not look 30. Or ~ who am I kidding? ~ not even 40! I would look like a well-moisturized version of my current age.

I am quite obviously not at the acceptance phase of aging yet, and I strongly suspect that it will be an ongoing process with newly discovered issues cropping up on a regular basis.

But: I am in the process of accepting some facts about my age. I have accepted, for instance, that I now have to work out twice as long to get half the results. I have (almost) accepted that I will need to work my ass off (pun intended) for the rest of my life to maintain a healthy weight, particularly since I battle with hypothyroidism. I have not yet accepted the fact that I will need to eat less and drink less than everyone else at the table to maintain a healthy weight; but I now can at least acknowledge the truth in that statement, which is the first step to acceptance.

It helps me to have a supportive partner, who loves me unconditionally and who likes to eat healthy and to also work out herself.  It helps to have a partner who helps me cognitively process that everyone is bound, in varying degrees, by the societal “gender straitjacket” which, among other things, dictates our subconscious opinions of attractive/unattractive, and my partner helps me to always question and challenge all underlying beliefs.

It also helps to constantly realize that aging is certainly better than the alternative.  My friend Debra died when we were only 32 ~ long before it was time to worry about wrinkles. From many conversations with her in the couple years of her illness prior to her death, I know for a fact that if fate had given her the choice, she would have chosen wrinkles over death.

So, I am now trying to focus on the benefits of aging, while simultaneously trying to accept and make the best of the drawbacks.

The best benefit of aging, so far, is my ever-increasing willingness to say what I actually think, rather than walking on eggshells all the time, trying to mollycoddle people’s feelings.

And that is one Hell of a benefit ~ one that I would not trade for the dewy skin of youth.

What Comments Reveal

Denial

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Dear Rude Recent Wannabe-Commenter(s?),

You may be wondering why your comments did not get published, or perhaps you’d already guessed that your inane, snide comments would never make it through moderation. You may be one person making multiple attempts to comment, or you may be many people sending similar messages of juvenile name-calling and attempted insults. You may be truly functionally illiterate, or you may be attempting to disguise your true identity by pretending to be.

While there are obviously many things I do not know about you, I can discern enough from your now-deleted comments to make a number of educated guesses about you and your motivations.

You hate my partner Dirt, and therefore you also hate me. You delude yourself into thinking you are happy, but underneath your brittle bravado, you are empty, lost, and sad. You feel that anyone who even questions your strongly-held beliefs is inherently evil and therefore must be intimidated, punished, and silenced. You mistake critical thinking and genuine concern for “hate speech”.

And, you are under the very mistaken impression that you can hurt my feelings, silence me, or scare me.

You, and those like you, think that if you can just silence all dissension, pass myriad laws, and strong-arm everyone into accepting the impossible, then finally you will feel validated, complete, real.

But you won’t.

Because it is all just a house of cards, bound to be toppled eventually by reality.

You can call me a c*nt and a bitch and tell me that I am stupid and guilty (or “guiltie” as you spelled it in one comment), but spewing all the venom in the world still won’t change reality.

Here’s the thing with life: Wherever you go, there you are.

You likely already know this on some level.  Every time others don’t see you as you want to be seen, a part of you knows why. Every time your body tries to fight it’s way back to normal, despite the repeated damage you are doing to it, a part of you knows why.  And that “why” is because, deep down, you are still the same person you were when you made the unfortunate and illogical decision to try to “become your true self” by changing everything true about yourself.

People who are truly balanced and content do not need to make trolling comments. People who are genuinely happy with their life decisions are too busy actually living their lives.

So, next time you decide to make disparaging comments to me (or, for that matter, to anyone else), you really need to realize that your comments always say a lot more about you than they do about the intended recipient.

When the bottom drops out, and it will, you will see that Dirt was right all along.  If you need help, let us know and we will try to help you pick up the pieces.

Until then, if you ever want to actually have a coherent, respectful, intelligent discussion, please let me know.

Otherwise, don’t even bother leaving comments like your recent ones, because not only will they never be published, you are only making yourself look pitiful.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Dirt