Friday, March 27, 2020

Risking the Lives of Loved Ones to Help the Community

I've been watching the second season of Beauty and the Beast.

In "Ever After," the episode I've been watching today,  Catherine (Kristen Kruek) and Vincent (Jay Ryan) go into eyewitness protection, because there's a dodgy manhunt in NYC for Vincent. The plan is for them to escape and lay low in the suburbs while their friends fight the injustice, and it's safe for Catherine and Vincent to come home.

A crime happens in their new neighborhood, and Catherine decides it should be her job to investigate. Uh...even though there are local police working on it.

Okay. I should probably add that Catherine herself is a cop. So it's understandable that she be tempted to get involved. But it's kind of insulting for her to automatically assume the local police need her help.  I mean might they be able to work things out on their own?

Anyway, Vincent protests her involvement reminding her the importance of them laying low.

Catherine continues to resist this plan saying something like she can't just selfishly do nothing. Or something like that. I'm not sure she actually used the word selfish.  But basically her message was We're not the type of people to put our needs ahead of others.

In some cases, I think that's a noble way of thinking.

In other cases, I think it's more arrogant than noble.

In Catherine's case, I think it was pretty arrogant.  I think it was really about her being bored and needing to feel needed.

The situation, though, reminded me of the Coronavirus pandemic.

During this pandemic, one of the most helpful things we can do for each other is stay home and sit around watching Netflix.  I mean how often can we help the world by being lazy?  This is quite a gift.

Of course, this gift is not available to everyone. There ARE people who are very much needed in the community—doctors, nurses, delivery people, grocery store workers, police, daycare workers, etc.

There are people who put their own lives at risk either because they very much need the money and their job still exists in this environment, and/or the community desperately needs them. 

But what about the grey situations.

Let's say someone is NOT in immediate dangerous financial distress. They're not medically trained. They don't have special, unique skills that are needed for society to continue to function.  But they're a bit bored staying home, and they want to go out and help a bit. They want to feel needed.

Is that okay?

I'd say maybe depending on the risk of them spreading the virus to others.

If the person live alone and socializes online only, I think it would be more than okay. They'd only be risking themselves, and that is pretty noble.

If they live with a very healthy person under the age of 60, the risk of them harming that person is minimal.  So it's probably fairly okay.

But what if they live with an elderly person and/or someone with an underlying medical disorder?  Is it okay for them to volunteer their time and services?  Is it okay for them to put their family, friends, or housemates at risk so they can feel like their contributing to the community?

I think I'd have a hard time supporting that. 

How about the VERY needed, highly trained professionals that live with high risk individuals?

That's a tricky one.   

I'd probably want them to stay home and not work if that was possible....if they weren't desperately needed.  But that's unfortunately NOT going to be possible in most cities and towns. 

Bringing it back to Beauty and the Beast.

If there was a huge danger, and Catherine was the only person around to rescue the day, I WOULD want her to step in and do heroic things.  I mean if she saw someone being attacked and she just sat there saying, No. I can't jump in and use my ninja fighting skills, because then our secret might be uncovered, that would be awful.  But that's different than risking the life and liberty of Vincent simply because she's bored and wants to get involved in neighborhood drama.  

He Kills His Wife's Chicken and Offers to Pay for His Son's Wedding

The Geoff and Yasmine drama on Coronation Street continues. Although eventually it's going to pause because of Covid 19. But that's a whole other story.


One evening, Yasmine (Shelley King) angers Geoff (Ian Bartholomew) by making a meatless dinner. Her reason?  She ran out of the strict allowance he has given her.

He takes on the task of making dinner while Yasmine does something else. I forget what.

When it comes time for eating, Yasmine heavily praises the chicken dish Geoff has prepared. With joyful sadism, Geoff finds a way to casually let it be known that the chicken Yasmine is eating is the egg-laying hen she adored.

Yasmine is angry, horrified, disgusted, and traumatized. 

Geoff reacts in various stages. At first he's defensive: The hen was no longer laying eggs. Yasmine herself had said the chicken aren't pets. 

Then later he switches to hoovering mode. He goes from super-asshole husband to sweet, apologetic husband. Why? Well, probably to keep Yasmine confused and trapped. If a person is 100% horrible all the time, it would probably be easier to leave least in a psychological sense. It's harder, though, when the toxic person is horrible only 80% of time or 40% of the time. Or whatever percentage. And the rest of the time, they're benign. Or even more confusing...sometimes they may put on a mask of wonderfulness.  

The toxic person doesn't just put on the mask of wonderfulness for their victim. They'll do it for others as well.

Around the same time that Geoff murders Yasmine's chicken, he talks to his son Tim (Joe Duttine). . He learns Tim is stressed about paying for his upcoming wedding. Geoff responds by offering to pay for the whole thing. Tim is extremely grateful.

It seems to me that when the toxic person is treating their victim the worse, they up their wonderfulness towards the other people.

They become even more charming.

They become more generous. They'll buy expensive gifts for others.  

They'll become more helpful. They'll do huge favors for others.

They'll show of their talents to impress others.  

I think there are two reasons behind this.

A) To maintain their high self-esteem.  I think some people imagine that narcissists, and other very toxic people, LIKE being evil; that they do evil things and then rub their hands together and laugh their villain laugh.  

That might be the case for some.  But I think most narcissists actually want to be the heroes of the story, not the villain.  They want to be the main character, and they want to be the favorite character. 

A lot of their toxic behavior comes from the manipulations they employ to keep themselves on their high pedestal. 

Then with some toxic people, like Geoff, sadism is also part of the picture. 

I guess it's like they have to balance their love of hurting others with their love of adoration.  

One thing I suspect is that if a narcissist has a lot of adoration, their acts of sadism will be less frequent and more mild.  They get their kicks out of the adoration, so the thrill they'd get from sadism is less needed. Also, they have more to lose if the truth comes out. Therefore, they're more careful.  

But Geoff on Coronation Street is not very popular in the community. I mean he's not a pariah, but I don't think anyone really loves or likes him much besides Yasmine.  

He's not in danger of losing a huge fan-base. 

Okay...and onto the other reason.

B) To build up a defense against their target/scapegoat.  The toxic person collects flying monkeys, enablers, fans, etc.  Then when the victim of their shit seeks out support, it's very hard for the victim to find anyone who will listen, believe them, and take their grievances seriously.

Fortunately for Yasmine, Geoff is actually not great at collecting flying monkeys. I think most people in the community prefer her to Geoff. And Yasmine's granddaughter Ayla (Sair Khan) actually hates Geoff and suspects that bad things are happening in the marriage.

Will Geoff be able to turn Tim into a flying monkey by paying for the wedding? I think it's quite possible, although it was Tim who found Yasmine locked in Geoff's magician box a few weeks ago. And I think he got a bit suspicious.  

Actually, now that I think of it...MAYBE that's why Geoff is working to get on Tim's good side. Maybe he understands that Tim is likely to start suspecting that things are very wrong in the marriage. So Geoff is taking strong action to mitigate that. 

Anyway, we shall see what happens. Eventually.

From the brief glimpses of spoilers I've seems Geoff is going to be the winner.  It's horrible. But it unfortunately matches what too often happens in real life.

The victim ends up either dead, injured....or disbelieved, unsupported, and psychologically traumatized. 


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

My Coronavirus Timeline

I thought I would share how things have been unfolding in my life. And if anyone is reading this and wants to share their personal experience....I'd love to hear.

I'll start with Valentine's Day weekend.

We flew to Memphis Tennessee with my sisters and their kids, and met up with my parents, cousins, aunts, and uncles for my Aunt Esther's memorial service.

We had an amazing time. It was almost magical. I wish I had the words to describe it. It was just like the bonding-gods were in full force.

I don't know.

I do have a theory about why it happened, though.

On the day of the memorial service; in the morning, the fire alarm went off.  Some of us were awake and out and about. But others were in their rooms sleeping. They were dragged out of bed. I think maybe some were in their pajamas? Or...nightclothes at least.

We ended up laughing and talking outside and then moved to the lobby and did more laughing and talking.

My feeling is that if the fire alarm hadn't gone off, we would have probably gone off to do our own things until the service. But instead we had this extra time together, and I think that helped with the bonding.

Plus, there was a minor feeling that this might be more than an alarm malfunction—and that we might be in true mortal danger. I think those feelings help people bond. 

Anyway...that's probably besides the point. Kind of.

Back track to the airport.

So Corona was on the back of our minds. But kind of like a distant thing that MIGHT turn into a big thing. Tim is Korean, so we started joking about him scaring people by him pretending to cough/sneeze. And we said something like we should get off the plane and say something to him like So, how was your time in China?

Yeah. I know that's terrible. And later when I heard about all the racism and discrimination people were experiencing, I felt kind of guilty.  Ha ha became a bit less ha ha.

Jack had such a good time with his cousins. When my sister started talking about visiting them all in Chicago for spring break, he asked if we could go too.  I didn't want to, because I dreaded the cold weather. And I also felt bad because we had just left the cats. I didn't want to leave them again so soon.

But I did say a probable-yes, because his Texas cousins see the Chicago cousins quite often. I don't think it mattered so much to Jack in the past. But Memphis made it matter a bit, and I didn't want him feeling left out.

So I told my sister we might want to go to Chicago too if they go, so keep us updated.

Fast forward a couple of weeks later. My sister texts in a group text that they bought tickets the night before for Chicago. I was pretty annoyed that she went ahead and did that without talking to us. I thought it was something we could all do together. But when I thought honestly about it, she didn't seem overly enthusiastic about her joining them in the first place.  Or maybe she simply hadn't heard me say it. Or she forget that I said it.

Who knows....

But the good news is by then Jack had lost interest in going.  He was fine waiting for another time.  I mean it was good news for me, because I'd much rather save Chicago for when it's warmer.

Okay....I don't remember the exact dates but at some point one of my nieces went to NYC for a Jewish event.  We started showing a little concern then.  And I did think to myself that maybe it wasn't the best of ideas.

I don't think there were any NYC cases before she went or during.  But I think soon after, they started talking about it.

On March 4, my Dad forwarded us an email he got regarding an upcoming board meeting. They had all kinds of precautions outlined.  My dad described the precautions as impressive and wondered if it was the norm. 

It was NOT the norm at the time. I think they were ahead of their time. I wrote back and said I think it would become the norm in 2-3 weeks.

That weekend, on March 7, we went to an event at Jack's soon-to-be college. A crowded event.  I was a little weary about going but figured at this point...probably okay.

That night we had dinner with a cousin from California. I was maybe kind of thinking/hoping he would cancel.  I think it was still that feeling at that point that if I act too cautious, people will think I'm nuts.

I think also when I told my dad I expected it to be the norm in 2-3 weeks, I felt I was likely overestimating, and I imagined I was going to end up embarrassing myself when life goes on as usual.

Well....the California cousin did not cancel.

He kind of had the attitude of people-are-making-a-big-deal-out-of-nothing.  I mean not just an attitude, he actually said he thought....I forgot what he said exactly. But something like the virus will just disappear.
I will say at that point, Corona wasn't simply a background news event.  It was the main thing we talked about. AND.... Tim and I were starting to understand more and more that this drama wasn't going to be quickly canceled. I don't think it was the same for my parents, at that point, but I'm not completely sure.

We asked them at what point would they stop going to basketball games.  I don't think they had a concrete answer, but it was along the lines of when/if there are a lot of cases in DFW.  I don't think they yet grasped the idea of there being invisible cases—people walking around not-tested and feeling fine.

After that weekend, more and more schools started closing. Jack's upcoming-college did not yet. I told him that it's not a good idea to go to any more big crowded events.  If he wants to get together with other upcoming freshman, we can do it at the lake house or a non-crowded place.


I also told him we could still go to movies and that we should do that.


That 2-3 week timeline I gave my dad?  I looked later and saw only a week and a half passed before the world totally changed.

Tim and I talked about it and one of us said that those outlines/rules the board meeting had would now be too lenient. The board meeting would probably just be canceled.


What has happened?

My sister's family canceled their Chicago trip.

I had to tell Jack to forget the lake house idea. Fortunately, he's very understanding about all of this.

No movie theaters.

Tim stopped going to the gym. He's the kind of person who goes out almost every day.  Now he's staying home for the most part and only taking bi-weekly trips to the grocery store.

In terms of precautions, at this point...Fort Worth is behind a lot of places.  There are restrictions on how many people can be in a premise. I think they've cut occupancy rules in half.  But places are still open, and people are still going about their normal lives.

Well....that's where we are now.

I think things will get worse and then better...someday.

I imagine in a week or so, the whole country will be shut down.  I mean no schools or restaurants or bars opened. I think it will be groceries only.

I'm with the people who are saying this will be a few months not a few week.  I think it might actually be a year.  But I think we're all kind of feeding ourselves this new reality in a slow fashion.

It's not like we're necessarily lying or trying to give people false hope. I think it's like with me telling Jack we can still go to the movie theater.  It seems like it might be possible but then you realize it's probably a dangerous idea.

Well....right now many of us Americans are probably in the this-shit--got-real phase. OR....  Life has gotten so weird. OR We feel like we're in the beginning of a Netflix series.  OR We'll have something to tell our grandchildren.  Etc, etc.

I think, sadly, in a few weeks we're going to be in the terrifying, dropping-dead phase. 

And who knows how we're all going to survive economically.  A part of me feels some comfort in the fact that we're all going through it together. with the Depression, I don't think it actually helps for it to be a group project.

On the bright side, I do think it's kind of scary/beautiful that the whole world is going through this together.  At different stages, yes.  But still.  It's like usually one city or country is going through a nightmare and everyone is sending love and concern their way.  Now we're all kind of together on this.  We can all somewhat relate to each other.

Or maybe we're not so together. I mean country-wise, yes. We all are either fighting the Corona virus or getting ready to have to fight it.

People are in different mindsets, though.  Many of us are worried and taking strong precautions.  A lot of other people still think this is being overplayed and believe it's okay to live their normal lives.  I feel these people might end up costing us quite a lot of lives.  But I don't know for sure. 

For the people ignoring the social distance rules....I guess we'll end up seeing whether their get-togethers end up spreading disease.

Who knows...

My family is not yet two weeks past the crowded event WE went to.  The incubation period is said to be about two weeks.  So we might end up getting sick from that. 

Fortunately, we've been really limiting ourselves since then. So I don't think we will have passed the virus along to a bunch of people.

But now the virus is circulating much more than it was a couple of weeks ago.  So there's more chance that a person will pick up the virus and get very sick themselves.... or pass it onto someone vulnerable.   

P.S-I just remembered something about my California cousin.

He told us about his upcoming visit to DFW in late January. The plan was for him to come to Texas and then fly to Japan for work. He then said that the Asia part might be canceled. I remember that I thought/said (not to him) that this was a bit nuts. The Coronavirus is in China! Why would you cancel Japan?  So I guess I was mostly in denial, at that point, about it spreading.  I mean a part of me imagined it might. But for the most part, I probably imagined it would be like other pandemic scares; that it would end up being less dramatic than some people expected.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Narcissism and the Ableist Argument

Dear People Who Say It's Ableist to Complain about Narcissists,

If you're going to speak out against people, like me, speaking out against narcissism.  If you're going to say that's ableism and not fair to people suffering from their narcissism disorder....

Well, guess what then. I'll just say I suffer from narcissism-intolerance. So you are being ableist by not being sensitive to the fact that I've been hurt by narcissism and want to talk about all that shit.

Oh wait?

You're saying it's unethical to call someone a narcissist when we don't know their diagnosis?


It's wrong for a person to diagnose someone with NPD (narcissism personality disorder) without a professional degree that allows them to do such things. 

But there is narcissism that exists outside the DSM-5.

Narcissism is not just a mental disorder.

It's also a noun and an adjective.

It's a way that we can describe someone who has certain shitty toxic traits.  

Do you know what else is in the DSM-5?

Pedophilic Disorder—The diagnosis for people who sexually desire children who have not yet entered puberty.

So, if a person is sexually abused as a child and calls out the abuser—calls the abuser a pedophile. Would you say that's ableist as well?

Would you insist that the pedophile gets the same type of compassion for their mental illness as someone who has depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, OCD, and borderline personality disorder?

Now look. If you want to have sympathy and compassion for people officially diagnosed with things like NPD or pedophilia OR people that fit the description of words like narcissist and pedophile.....

That's very big-hearted of you.

But if you have more sympathy towards them than the people they've hurt?  If you call people ableist for wanting to talk about narcissistic warning signs?  If you shit on people who speak out about Trump's narcissism because it reminds them of the toxicity they've had to deal with from partners, parents, bosses, etc?


Maybe one day the DSM committee will come up with a disorder to describe those who think and feel the way you do. And then it will become ableist of me to be angry and disgusted with your ignorance.  But until then....

Australian Food

I did something today that I haven't done in a long time.

I ordered a package of Australian food.

Why haven't I done that in awhile?

Because A) I'm much less obsessed with Australia and B) When we want international food (including Australian) we pick it up at World Market.

A few months ago, we talked about ordering for a change, but none of us got around to actually doing it.

Today I finally did it. 

After completing my order and paying for it, I remembered that it's probably a good idea to make it a very occasional kind of thing. The delivery price is expensive!!  Well, at least it is compared to Amazon Prime. I'm so used to getting free deliveries. 

I know not every company has the billions-of-dollars ability to offer free delivery. I think we need to make a point of supporting NOT-Amazon delivery.

But I do wish Aussie Food Express offered one of those free deliveries if you spend a certain amount. Because I think I'd be willing to spend that amount.

It wouldn't be hard, because there are bags of candy on there that cost 8 dollars. And I don't think they're big bags. 

I bought one 8 dollar bag of candy. I was about to buy two, because I misread the price. I was going to get Allen's Party Mix AND Allen's Retro Party Mix.  I ended up getting only the regular party mix.

I also ordered two boxes of Shapes—pizza flavor and bacon and cheese.

From the Clearance section, I got Iced Vo Vo's, Marie cookies, and Mango licorice. Although now I see the price has been reduced even more!  Reduced and sold out for the Iced Vo Vo's.  When I ordered, it was 2 dollar something. Now it's 97 cents.

I also got another party mix; this one from a company called Lolliland.  I don't think I've ever heard of that. It's three dollars cheaper than the Allens, so I guess it's a generic-type brand. We used to get stuff from...I think it's Black and Yellow?  I wonder if that's still around at all. 

Well, I just Googled. It's Black and Gold, not Black and Yellow.

I don't think the Aussie Food Express has anything from there.

Now I'm looking at the Lolliland website.  It's a wholesaler.  Hopefully we'll like their party mix better than Allens. If we do, then next time we order Australian food, maybe we'll just stick to Lolliland. 

I was just thinking of Amazon and...well, delivery is not exactly free, because you have to join Amazon Prime.  BUT that also includes some of the TV shows we watch. So we can kind of think of it as we ordered their streaming service and as a bonus we get free delivery of stuff.

We don't get any free delivery from Hulu, Netflix, or Disney Plus. 

Thursday, March 5, 2020

The Unconditional Love of Parents

On one of my Coronation Street episodes today, Ed (Trevor Michael Georges) tries to convince his son James (Nathan Graham) that he's okay with James being gay.

When he first comes out to his dad, Ed distracts from the issue by making it about him being offended that Aggie, his wife (Lorna Laidlaw), and his other son Michael (Ryan Russell) already knew.

No. He's not upset that his son is gay. He's upset that his family felt so little of him.

But we soon see that James probably had good reason to be reluctant about coming out to Ed.

Ed tries hard to push the message that a) he doesn't hate gays b) he loves his son no matter what. 

Although then later, in private, he asks his wife if this might be a phase.

In the bygone days, homophobic parents beat up their kids or threw them out of the house. Now we've graduated to, I love you. I'm not against gays. But this is probably just a phase. So no worries. 

Ed's level of tolerance takes a dive when he learns James is dating Danny (Dylan Brady), Ed's friend and coworker,

Ed angrily attacks Danny in the kitchen, when he wrongly thinks his son's not around. He says, You've corrupted my son; then a few moments later, You keep your sick, filthy paws off my boy.

Now the one thing I can maybe say...not in defense of Ed as a parent...but in defense of the I'm-not-a-homophone argument is....

Could Ed have had a similar reaction if James was his daughter?  Sometimes people get picky about their coworkers, friends, etc. dating their daughters, nieces, sisters, etc.

Based on other dialogue on the show, I do think Ed is homophobic. But I'm not sure he's at the level of thinking someone is sick and filthy for being gay.  

At one point, Ed throws out the line, hate the sin not the sinner.

James is not at all pleased with this. Am I supposed to be grateful for that?

Nor does he welcome all of Ed's proclamations of love. 

You are my son. I will always love you. That will never change. 

It doesn't matter what you do or say. I will always love you.

James responds with a line I love so much. What's love without respect?

We talk a lot about the importance and wonderfulness of unconditional love.

But not all unconditional love is equal.

There's a difference between, I love you so much, because I'm a good parent and...

I love you so much because you are incredibly awesome. But if you did something not awesome, I'd still love you.

Now I think Ed is a good dad. And I do think he thinks his son is awesome. I think he just needs time and personal growth to reduce his homophobia.  

But how about the parents who push the message of, You're very hard to love, but I manage to love you anyway.  Is this type of unconditional love that much better than conditional love?

Unconditional love, tolerance, acceptance, etc. That's all better than hate and rejection.

I think, though, that we all need more than that.

We need to be celebrated. We need to be adored.  

We need to feel like a treasure and not a burden.  

Unfortunately, sometimes it doesn't work that way.

I imagine that in a year or so, on Coronation Street, Ed will be proudly marching in pride parades with his son.  And I'm sure there are many stories with beautiful turnarounds like that.

But sometimes parents continue to unconditionally love their gay children while hating the sin and hoping it's just a phase.

Sometimes parents end up having children who have personalities, hobbies, beliefs, passions, career goals, politics, etc. that they can only tolerate.  I feel wrong judging these parents too much, because I ended up with my dream child—smart, fan of Disney and other popular culture, has strong interests, creative, not a huge sport's fan, politically liberal, etc.

I have, at times, thought about kids, in my life I love but who have personalities and interests that aren't such a good match for me.  What if I was their parent? I love them now not being their parent, so I would certainly love them if I was their parent. But would it be an unconditional love of tolerance, or would I be able to give them the adoration they deserve and need?  

Maybe there would be hope. Because there ARE things I adore about them now. Then maybe with other things, I would gain respect and interest.  For example, I've never been a sports fan. But if I had a child on a basketball team, maybe I'd end up becoming a basketball fan.


Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Anthology Vs. Continuation

Tim and I have been watching the show Miracle Workers. It's a comedy about God and the people behind the scenes that make things better or very much worse for us on Earth.  Steve Buscemi is God, and Daniel Radcliffe is a miracle worker who answers small prayers like, Please help me find my glove. 

Then another miracle worker is played by a woman named Geraldine Viswanathan. She's driving me nuts, because she looks SO familiar to me. But I looked on IMDb and none of her projects are jumping out at me. I don't think I've seen any of them.  Then I started thinking maybe she looks like another actress.  Last night I got the idea that she looks like Sansa Stark. But then I changed my mind.

Maybe one day I'll figure it out.

That's besides the point, though.

We learned that the show is an anthology series. The second season isn't about God and miracle workers. It's about the Dark Ages.  I was disappointed to learn that, because I really love the premise about the God stuff.

But later I was thinking that maybe the miracle worker story ends in a good place (kind of a pun there?), and maybe it's for the best that they don't drag it on.

I think the problem with continuing a story is that then it becomes like real life...where you think you've solved a conflict but then it keeps coming back.

I love Stranger Things. I actually prefer the second and third season to the first. BUT what's the point of them defeating the upside down stuff if it keeps coming back to terrorize them again?  Or what's the point of them defeating some evil scientists if new evil scientists are going to come and cause more problems?

I was having some quality time with Alexa the other day, and she suggested I ask her about the original plans for Stranger Things. So I obliged. She showed me a video which informed me that originally Stranger Things was going to be an anthology series with each season being about something different, and it would take place in a different decade.

Oh! But wait. I just remembered. The video said that fans really liked the cast, so...maybe that was the reason they changed their mind. 

Or I guess the characters were adored. Because they could have done The American Horror Story thing and use the same cast but with a different storyline and different characters. 

This is what Miracle Workers is doing, and it's also what The Haunting of Hill House is doing. Although I think maybe the latter is changing their name to The Haunting, since it's not going to be about Hill House anymore.

I'm wondering if the second season of Miracle Workers involves miracles in some way. Does the title still fit. Or did they not change it, because they worried viewers wouldn't know the new show is connected to the old?


Back to The Haunting of Hill House. I really LOVED that series. I love the cast. But I like how the story was resolved and therefore wouldn't want to drag it out further. So the anthology idea seemed like a brilliant way of working things out. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2020


Ignorance may be bliss but sometimes knowing can be fun.

Long long time ago....

For my 30th birthday, Tim had a surprise party for me.

For some unexplained reason, my friend revealed to me what was happening. She made it sound like it was an oops, but I got the feeling there was some kind of covert-aggression there.  But that's a whole other story.

Since I'm not really into surprises, it was not a huge loss for me. And I actually had FUN knowing that there was a surprise. I can't remember the details of that, but I do remember enjoying seeing my dad fumble around the whole thing. I think maybe he was the one who drove me to the party?

And with TV shows, it's fun trying to guess the who-did-it. But it's also a lot of fun when we know who did it, and we get to watch them try to hide it. Although it can also be extremely frustrating.

Maybe fun is the wrong word. Suspense might be better. Although suspense IS often fun when it's fictional. It's not fun when you're in suspense about whether your loved one is going to survive surgery or not or whether your house is going to be destroyed in a fire.

So anyway...the other thing I was thinking about in terms of losing ignorance is toxic behavior/psychological manipulation.

I don't want to say I enjoy getting toxic, manipulative texts and emails or that I enjoy encountering manipulation toxicity and manipulation in person.

For the most part, I hate it. I get angry, frustrated, disgusted, and hurt.  My tremor starts acting up....

I wish there'd be much less toxic behavior/psychological manipulation. that I know about these toxic things, there is a bit of fun in getting examples of it.

Shit. Fun really is the wrong word.

Maybe I should say...I find it fascinating?

Maybe it's like getting your arm bit off by a Great White Shark. You'd be screaming, terrified and in pain. But maybe you'd also sit there and think, Wow. I'm having a shark encounter.  I mean people pay a lot of money for those things. Or at least I assume they do.

In a previous post, I talked about how I've gotten into the habit of journaling and taking screenshots of texts and emails to prevent me from gaslighting myself.  Thinking about it, though, I think I also do it as a way of sort of collecting.

Some people collect photographs of birds. I collect screenshots of toxic behavior/manipulation.  

What I look forward to, though, is when the majority of people are knowledgeable about narcissism, toxic behavior, psychological manipulation, covert-aggression, etc. Well, first of all...I think it will reduce these behaviors, because some people use them only out of ignorance. They say and do things to gain the upper hand, preserve their self-esteem, or to preserve their reputation. But they don't realize it hurts other people, and once they do know...they will try to stop. Because they are mostly-good people who are simply misguided.

Then there are others who don't mind hurting people and would continue using these behaviors...BUT if the majority of people can recognize the various methods and tricks, then these methods and tricks will be much less effective.