That Ugly Power and Control Gene

I shared a post on FB of the cover of the latest New Yorker mag. It’s a very unflattering caricature of the Cheetoman, hitting golf balls at the White House, breaking windows. It’s pretty funny. Someone commented that he is such an “unqualified” public servant. I replied, “he’s not a public servant, he’s a public nuisance.” Seriously……he only serves himself. Jimmy Kimmel had a video up from his show where he shows how the tweeter-in-chief has a habit of moving things when he sits down. At dinner, at his desk, or coffee table, at a conference…what ever. I think my ex used to do that a lot, especially when he was trying to show that he was working. Control issues, both of them. Gotta re-arrange the table setting to show it’s never right.

Then I saw a video, on FB, of Cheetoman in a ceremony to sign a bill, with everyone there, and then he walked out of the room without signing it. He thanked everyone, said we’d see some immediate changes, and then left the room. Pence tried to get him to come back, and DJT told him to bring the bill with him. He’s starting to lose his shit, really. It’s wild, but kind of scary to see someone in that position who is seriously losinig it.

Every day, there is more stuff about this mans inability to deal with his job. After dealing with my ex last week so much, I can’t really watch him much because I swear, he even looks like my ex. Same facial expressions, when I know he was trying to fool everyone that he actually had a clue what was going on, but didn’t. I really hate to listen to him. So most of the videos I just watch and shut the sound off.

It’s scary really, when someone is so hell-bent on power and control that they will lose everything, like my ex did. But to see that same personality type….with their fingers on the nuclear codes….and randomly tweeting in the middle of the night, constantly disrespecting our allies. Crazy scary shit.

I learned a lot about power and control when I left my marriage. I had no idea what had happened to me until I was in an online community for abuser survivors. Then, I found Brene Brown, among others, but it was her TED talk on vulnerability that really broke it down for me. I wonder if the orange one’s father berated and belittled him his whole life, like my ex did my son. Like my father-in-law did to my ex. And all of tRumps wealth and running for a job for which he is clearly unqualified, to say the least, was to prove to his father he was worthy. And I bet he’s still not. This is just random musing on my part, but he sure fits the bill.

What I’ve learned is that these people never can change. They will go down with the ship. You can’t save someone hell bent for terror. I tried, I kept thinking that one day he’d snap out of it, one day he’d see what he was doing. but he just consistently became more deeply imbedded in it. My ex would rather have lost everything than admit being abusive. The stories he makes up now, I just have to pick my jaw up off the floor. I gave up a long time ago setting his record straight. It only creates an argument to tell him, for example, that he had 16 years with our son, not just 6 or 7. He made up this outlandish statement to try to explain why his son wouldn’t talk to him, rather than face that fact that he was horribly abusive to him. Just made up a story, that he can tell people, so he’s not at fault, so he doesn’t have to face the shame.  I am so glad I had my moment of realization that he was never going to be able to change, and was never going to allow my family to live a normal life, and moved on.  Because, look at the life I have now.  It was worth 4 years in court, to salvage the rest of my life.  It was even more worthwhile, to see how well my son is doing, because I gave him a chance to see a different way of living.  Not in fear but in love.

DJT too, just tries to cover one lie with another. He’s a bully, to hide his own fear rather than face it.

Well, it’s whatever. I guess I’m a little retrospective today. That power and control gene is a tough one.

I have a nice day planned. Going out to the “Frankie and Johnny” show tonight to hear my good friend sing. Might even put a dress on for it, lol. It’s a beautiful day today, 80° and sunny. I probably need to do some baking for my son in the next day or two. And maybe for our new writer’s group. That should be fun. Think I’ll take a nap this afternoon too. I was up in the middle of the night again last night, and finally took an Ambien. I guess I got some sleep. You know those nights when you wake up and you don’t think you’ve been asleep, but the clock shows the passage of hours….That was me. I don’t want to be falling asleep at the show tonight.

Love and light everyone.

Recognition, Remorse, Repair = Resolution

I woke up at 1 AM last night, on the nose. And as so often happens, my mind tried to resolve unresolved issues. Like my ex, who I will have to deal with until he signs the quitclaim he has to sign. The thing is, with him, that I’m sickest of, is him trying to use me to manipulate my son into talking with him. I don’t do it, won’t do it, but I’m so tired of him going around and around in long, ridiculous circular conversations about it. I’ve said I was going to block him, when this last legal thing is done. I hope I can follow through on that.

The reason I say “hope” is because I don’t know if I have the heart to cut him off from his only access to even know how his son’s doing. However…..his actions have been, and probably always will be, about control. My problem is that I know his need to control things come from the shame he feels that he’s not worthy of unconditional love. He was brought up in a household where love was earned, and could be taken away, and often was, on top of being extremely abusive both physically and verbally. This was an upper middle-class family, he grew up in material wealth, and was taught that it was what was important. To understand that, is to feel sorry for him, because it so messed up his own life.

However, he was so abusive to both my son and I, I have to eliminate him from our lives. Just have to. My son has, for all intents and purposes. And I will too. My idea in the middle of the night was that I would send him a letter, so that he couldn’t talk over me, or pretend he didn’t hear me. And tell him that he is cut out of my life because of he has never acknowledged, owned, or apologized for what he did to us. I will list some of the things he did, so he has to look at them.  He apparently does not know that I know he physically abused my son as well as emotionally and verbally abused him. My son told me, when he came to live with me. I will tell him that I know. Then I will tell him that until he is able to accept responsibility for what he did, he needs to stay away from me. And I will suggest, that until he can do it for his son, he won’t be welcome in his life either.

This way, I can eliminate him but also give him a path back. I cannot deal with his absolute insanity. His re-writing of history. His tales he weaves to manipulate and draw me back in. The lies. So many lies. I am grateful my son has been able to just eliminate him, because he knows that’s all his dad will try to do to him. I’ve kept that door open out of compassion for my ex, but I think I need to put it in proper perspective, and hold him responsible for his behavior in a much stronger way.

I’m going to prepare the letter to him, and send it as soon as the sale of my slip is completed. I just have to do something to keep the dogs from barking on my phone (his ringer is dogs barking), blind-siding me, filling me with dread, triggering PTSD from all the years of abuse I suffered from him. I need to take my power back, and put the truth out on the table with him, again. It’s not the first time I’ve done it, but with the passage of time, he seems to think that the slate is wiped clean. I want to make it clear that until he can recognize, feel remorse, and attempt to repair the damage he did to our lives, and even moreso to his own, that the slate will remain engraved.

Once I figured out what I would do, I almost got up and wrote him the letter. Then, decided it didn’t need doing at that moment, and that I needed sleep more immediately, since a friend is coming over this morning, and because I have open mic night tonight, and I have to get to Walmart today too. I have probably a week until this sale is completed. Instead of getting up, I relaxed and fell back to sleep.

Resolution to issues is always a good thing. You can’t always get it with the other person, as in this case. But you can get it with yourself, and decide on a pathway that will give you peace of mind. You can eliminate toxic people from your life. It seems I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. All of them have a way back if they want to take it. Recognition, remorse, and repair. Real change. And if they don’t want to take it….well, love and light to them. I hope they are able to find peace with themselves and their actions but they are not welcome in my life, until they can do those three things. Recognition of what they did, real remorse for what they did, the kind of remorse that causes real change in behavior, and then, repair of the damage.

Resolution is a good thing. Love and light everyone.

Pizza, and Other Tidbits

I’m sure some of you have iPhones. The newer ones, and maybe even older ones, now will translate a voice mail into text. It can get pretty funny as all voice to text can, although I will say it’s surprisingly accurate at most times.

Anyway, I got an angry voice mail yesterday, from the nameless one. I have had a few voicemails from him in the last few days, all saying he just wanted to talk to me, he wasn’t angry, etc. Instead of calling him, which would only lead to an angry exchange, (because I was still angry, even if he wasn’t, at the audacious things he said and the lies) I sent him an email asking him to just let it go, and also told him and posted on here that I was seeing L last night. The voicemail that I received after that went from “please call me.” to calling me a “piece of shit” for ruining his relationship with B. (I did email him and ask him to consider that it was the lies he told both of us that did him in with her, particularly telling me that he was not “with” her, that they were just friends who had coffee together occasionally. Seriously, he’s out shopping for women, and I’m the cause of his demise? Hmmm. I think not. Narcissist….)

The iPhone however, didn’t comprehend “piece of shit” and changed it into his calling me a “pizza”. It really made me laugh. Pizza. Don’t think I’ve ever been called pizza before! LOL. Really took that anger and kind of made me laugh at it.

So ends the last act in that ridiculous drama. Pizza. With pepperoni, please….

My dinner with L was wonderful. He’s going to cook for me early next week. We talked and laughed and just enjoyed each other’s company. Respectful, and kind, and and funny, and a little shy, which is very endearing on a big, good-looking, football player type! Can’t wait to see him again.

I thought my cough was gone, since I didn’t cough all day yesterday. Until he got here, and kept making me laugh, deep belly laughs that made me cough….I was a little embarrassed! But it didn’t seem to put a damper on us, so that was good.

Early next week is a good time to see him again, because I will be very busy with the grand opening for the Veterans Art Center for the next few days. I think the actual event will be a lot of fun. I’m hoping that a lot of vets artwork is sold and that they make a lot of money, as well as the center raises a lot. It’s such a wonderful project. Today I’ll go over and help my bestie who’s the curator to get all the galleries organized. She said we’ve gotten in 100’s of pieces of amazing artwork for it.

And I have open mic tonight.  Won’t be home too much today!

Exciting things happening here. The shift I felt a week or so ago is well underway, and life is amazing. Love and light, everyone.

Liar Liar Pants on Fire

I am going to write a fairly cryptic blog this morning, and for that I apologize. But I just want to say….I found out I was lied to again by someone close to me. Even though the lie was way in the past, it cut like a knife, a fresh wound. I don’t understand anyone’s ability to do this to another person. Nor do I want to.

I am so sick of liars in my life. Pathological, calculated, hurtful narcissistic liars. There have been many. tRump is another…as is his stupid bunch of zombie followers. It’s really difficult to watch Sean Spicer back him up when he knows everything that man says is bullshit. I laughed the other day when someone asked Jeff Sessions about some particular lie (and forgive me, I don’t remember which lie it was, there are so many) and he said, “Let me tell you something….” And hesitated, and then agreed with a Yes, that whatever it was was not true. He stammered, and shook and looked very uncomfortable, shifty eyed and everything, but he just couldn’t do the lie thing again. The guy is trying to build his credibility, since he’s AG, I’m guessing, and that’s gonna be an arduous, if not impossible task as it is.

My ex so enjoyed manipulating others thoughts, that he lied for the sheer joy of watching himself manipulate people. He could make up entire scenarios, that went on for days and weeks until you realized that the whole thing was based on a lie he made up to get you to behave in a certain way. Just for the sheer joy he got from controlling other people’s minds. He could not talk to anyone without lying. It was incredible to watch. And of course, as he lied himself into a corner, was his complete undoing. Massively sociopathic. S lied as a cover-up to his devious and devastating-to-me lifestyle. It wasn’t so well planned out, not so sytematic. He just lied. He wonders why I call him a narcissist. Geezus. Look in the damn mirror. To hurt people for your own gain, to refuse to be accountable, to continue this behavior after a meaningless apology, to think you are the only one whose feelings matter in a relationship to the point of doing this crap over and over? With both men, the total inability to feel empathy?

Well, I’m beating a dead horse. I’ll stop. Just saying, those two men….and their lies just blow my mind. I’m lucky to be well away from it all.

Today I’ll be getting things ready for my bestie from CT to arrive tomorrow. It will be so much fun. The weather is supposed to be perfect this weekend. I’ll forget about the liars, hang out with my lovely friend and my peeps down here and my sister. Get some good beachtime in, go out and eat some really good food, and relax…..Sounds like heaven to me, lol.

So, at the end of the day, or night, as it is, I am still so blessed with wonderful people in my life, and to have manifested the life I want. Sans the liars.

Love and light to everyone.

A Final (for now) Word on Lies

I lay awake last night remembering so many lies I’ve been told. From about 2:30 til 4, the parade of them was constant. From my ex, from S. I wanted to turn them off, stop remembering. I kept asking myself, “Why are you dredging this up now? Again?”

I suppose because I saw the post from Liz Gilbert and it so touched me. But it also, apparently, triggered me.

Finally, I remembered to begin my gratitude list. And repeated over and over the list of things I’m grateful for, until I finally fell asleep again.

Odd thing is, that some of the things for which I’m most grateful had to do with the men who so betrayed me. I’m grateful for my son, always first, most. And the man who couldn’t, can’t, stop lying gave him to me. I’m grateful to know I can love so much, so passionately, still, and the man who broke my heart into a million pieces gave me that.

So…..there’s always a place for forgiveness, because in all the loss, there was gain. And the things I gained, I would not give back for anything.

‘Tis they who pay the price for their lies and deceit and betrayal. Not me. My life goes on, richer, and fuller than ever before. Their lives…..well, I expect they will remain closed to the things they are closed to. That their default setting of lies to people will continue to keep them alone. Even if they think they are not alone, the lies about the lies about the lies continue to dig a deep hole in their soul.

I fell asleep with only love in my heart for all the people in my life. To waste a life telling lies, manipulating people, never knowing the joy of love unimpeded by ego, is sad. It’s not my life, it’s theirs and their choices.

I guess the hours awake thinking of it helped me to reconcile it. As a wise woman once said to me, “I guess it was something you needed to be awake for.” I apparently needed to dredge up a little more, and deal with it. Since there are no coincidences, there’s a reason I had to see that post just before I went to bed. I had more work to do, I did it. I’m better for it.

Love and light, all.

Liz Gilbert on Truth and Kindness (and lies….)

I just saw this on Facebook.  It’s a post by my hero, Elizabeth Gilbert, on Truth, Lies and Kindness.  BOY, does she nail it.  Just nails it.  As someone who has had my life turned upside down by the lies of others, and who has been attacked for my passion to have the truth out on the table, this was amazing to read. I was accused of wanting to play God, because I insisted that the truth be told.  When, in reality, it was the liar that played God, manipulating me and others lives for their own benefit, with the most enormous pile of painful lies imaginable.  Liz Gilbert explains my need, and my pain, and my truth better than I have ever been able to.  Read on…..
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Dear Ones –

The biggest emotional trouble I’ve ever gotten into in my life always stemmed from the same dilemma — when I was torn between telling the truth, and being kind.

Both matter immensely to me.

Both of these virtues (truth and kindness) are top-notch, A-grade, golden-ticket qualities, recognized by every human society in history as being essential for basic goodness.

I want to be unfailingly honest, but I want to be a REALLY NICE PERSON.

But here’s the thing: I’ve traditionally had trouble figuring out how to be both. Because sometimes the truth really hurts people, and I never want to hurt anybody. So — for most of my life — when I had to choose between truth and kindness, I always went with kindness. Because my need to not hurt people was bigger than my need to be truthful.

Also, isn’t it a fact that most people — no matter what they may claim — actually don’t really want you to tell them the truth? (Or so my reasoning went, anyhow.) As a Ethics Professor of mine taught me back in college: “Most of us grew up in families where our parents DEMANDED the truth, but they couldn’t DEAL WITH IT…and so we all learn how to lie.”

Didn’t the world teach you how to lie, too, in order to keep things peaceful and smooth? So aren’t you doing people a favor, when you them what they want to hear? Isn’t that nice of you?

No.

Here’s the thing I have finally learned, after years of struggling and suffering over this subject:

White lies are OK. Other lies are not.

There is such a thing as a harmless little white lie. The best anecdote I know about this came from President Jimmy Carter’s mother, who — when her son was running for president — was visited down in Georgia by a pushy New York journalist, who demanded to know, “Is it true that your son has never told a lie? Seriously? NEVER?” Mrs. Carter thought about it, and said “Well, Jimmy has told some white lies….” The journalist thought she had Mrs. Carter in trap and said, “Aha! But isn’t a white lie just a lie, all the same?” Mrs. Carter said, “No, white lies are harmless.” The journalist said, “Give me an example of a harmless white lie.” Mrs. Carter said, “Well…remember when you came into my house today, and I told you that it was very nice to meet you? THAT was a white lie…”

Mrs. Carter was correct: If you can’t tell little white lies sometimes in order to be polite to people, than you’re a sociopath and a jerk — so don’t worry about it. It’s not a big deal. Tell your neighbor that her cake was delicious — who cares? The world does not hinge upon such things, but it’s fine to be polite.

But this is not what we are talking about here.

We are talking about bigger moments, bigger lies, bigger truths.

There will be times in your life when people need to hear the truth from you — real truth, that will have real impact on their real existence — and when you decide “protect” that person with lies, then you are actually not protecting them at all. What you are doing is demeaning both them and you.

As that same Ethics Professor taught me, twenty-five years ago, “Whenever you lie to somebody about something that affects their life, you are manipulating that person and infantilizing them. By denying somebody essential information that they need in order to make intelligent decisions about their own future, you are effectively making all their decisions for them. There is no greater act of disrespect you could offer to an adult human than to make their choices for them, by lying to them, or by withholding essential information.”

Or, as my friend Martha Beck has taught me: “The truth is always an act of kindness, even when it seems like it will hurt. And a lie is always an act of unkindness, even when you believe you are being protective.”

For years, I told lies to people because I didn’t want to hurt them. Some of this was because I am “a nice person”, sure. But some of it was because I was “a scared person.” And some if it was because I was “a controlling person”. (Which isn’t very nice, when you really think about it.)

It took years of terrible consequences and suffering for me to realize that I wasn’t doing anybody any favors by hiding the truth from them, again and again. By lying to people out of kindness, I was being neither honest NOR kind. What I was practicing, in fact, is what the Buddhist call “Idiot Compassion” — which is when your cowardliness and your weak-heartedness makes you pity people instead of respecting them. Idiot compassion is what keeps people in relationships with abusers. (“Oh, he can’t help it! He had a hard childhood!”) Idiot compassion is what makes people engage in “pity sex”. Idiot compassion makes you cover for people, instead of challenging them. Idiot compassion is at the basis of all codependency. Idiot compassion makes you say yes when you need to say NO. Idiot compassion makes you easy to manipulate, but also makes you a serial manipulator — because you are always controlling people when you lie to them. Idiot compassion is called “idiot compassion” because it makes an idiot out of you, but it also makes an idiot out of your victim, because what you are offering is not protection, but patronization. By building a house of lies — no matter how pretty it may look from the outside — you are keeping everyone trapped.

As my friend Iyanla Vanzant says, “Respect people enough to tell them the truth.”

Respect yourself enough for that, too.

If there is one lesson I have FINALLY learned that has actually transformed my life, it is this: Whenever you are called to choose between truth and kindness, choose truth.

Trust me, in that moment you will actually be choosing both.

ONWARD,
LG