Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Another Hiatus

I'm going to take another bit of a hiatus.

I'm very angry lately. I'm very stressed. 

I'm feeling overwhelmed, and I'm scared.

In some ways, writing is therapeutic.  But it's also time-consuming and frustrating. I don't know how many minutes I've wasted this week by beginning a post, trying to get my feelings out, realizing I'm failing, then deleting what I've written.

I think what might be MORE therapeutic than writing is actually doing the work that needs to be done. The problem with that is there's only so much that can fit in the trash and recycling bin.  Oh...I really want to go in a corner and scream and cry.  

Yeah. Yeah. Don't worry. We're also giving a lot to charity.  I've been filling up the car with bags.

Anyway, I'm not going to write any posts for awhile. But I'm likely to still be around—adding stuff to list posts and adding/subtracting stuff on the sidebar. So you won't have to be curious about whether I vanished into the void. 

I hope that I come back someday relatively soon, and that when I do I'll be less angry, less stressed, less overwhelmed,  and less scared. I hope the work will have paid off and some awesome things will be happening in our lives.

I also hope some good things will have happened in the midterm election!!!!  The results of that are either going to bring me further down or lift me up.  

For those of you that have taken the time to read my blog, thank you! I wish you health, safety, security, and happiness.  Sadly, I don't have magic powers. So my wishes are kind of like an empty gesture. Sorry about that.  

The Flowery Journal My Sister Gave Me (Part 27)

There's only a few more things left in the book, so I'm just going to dump them all in this post.

Note: Blue is what was printed in the journal and green is what I wrote.

For me, thinking about having a child meant-Major changes, sacrifices. Sometimes it seemed like something wonderful. Other times the thought was horrifying (December 2001)

I wrote that when Jack was about three months old. But I think I was remembering how I felt before I had him, 

Well, yeah. Rereading the question. It says THINKING about having a child, not having a child.

Joys and anticipations, worries and insecurities-I worried (and still worry) that I'll be one of the mothers who tries so hard to be perfect that she actually ends up being a bad mom. (December 2001).

And guess what.

My worry came true 100%.  

Although it didn't happen until about three years later.

 I was a shit mom from when Jack was about 3-6.

I think PART of the reason is I put a huge amount of pressure on myself to be perfect. Since I had been a preschool teacher, I think I felt that I needed to be perfect at parenting. I was supposed to be good with kids, especially young kids!

Also.  I chose to practice attachment parenting. And no, I definitely don't think attachment parenting itself caused me to have issues. I think, though, since aspects of it are controversial, I felt in order to prove my choice was the right one, I needed to be a perfect mom with a perfect child. I worried that any cracks or blemishes would show the world I had made the wrong decisions.

Anyway, I failed at being a perfect mom.

AND....

I wasn't a not-perfect mom. I was a toxic mom.  

In the time period that I was a toxic mom, there were probably also times that I was a super, awesome, fun mom.

I don't think the super, awesome stuff makes up for the toxic stuff. In some ways, I think the mixture makes things worse.  

What does make me feel sort of okay about things is that I changed.  

I'm not perfect, of course. But I got rid of a lot of the toxicity. 

Now I'd label myself as a moderately cool mom who....

Well, I like who I am as a mom now. Even though I worry I've fucked up in some ways. Not just during my toxic years but in the later years as well.

I hope Jack likes me as a mom too, because his opinion of my mothering is the most important one.

And whatever he thinks now....

His assessment of me might change when he's out of the teen years.  In some ways, he might think worse of me. In other ways, he might appreciate things that pissed him off in the past.  

How my life has changed-Less sleep! No time alone. Greatest feeling of love I have felt felt (Dec 2001). I question mainstream society more (July 2004). I am less shy (2004). I have more of a social life (2004). I know now what true unconditional love feels like. 
The love I felt/feel for Jack.  No other love has come close.

I think when I love other people, there's a need for the love to be reciprocated.

With Jack....

Of course I want him to love me.  But it's more important to me that he be okay.

If I had a choice between him staying nearby, at my side, but having a miserable life vs. him having a super fun, exciting, fulfilling life but never hearing from him again; I'd pick the latter.    

Hopefully I'll be lucky enough to have him in my life AND know he's content. I'm just saying if I had to choose.

Anyway...with other people, if they disappeared and never spoke to me again, I'd either be indifferent or I'd be thinking, in my head, a very loud FUCK YOU.  Because I don't love anyone else unconditionally. 

Well...maybe my sisters to some degree. But my sisterly unconditional love is small compared to my parental one.

Rewards and frustrations-Biggest reward-Jack's smile. Biggest frustration-Lack of help, appreciation, support, and understanding from other people (2001). Rewards-Jack's laugh, watching Jack reach new milestones, being so appreciated by Jack. Frustrations: Trying to control my own anger and trying not to be overcome by death anxieties. (2004).

Yeah. I didn't feel very supported. That was hard on me. And so were those death fears.

New Sense of self-I never thought I could survive and function on less than 5 hours of sleep. But fortunately things are improving. (2001). I am more confident. I am less shy (2004).

I feel sick just thinking about that tired feeling I'd have when Jack was a baby. It's not just exhaustion. It's a hopeless exhaustion.  It's like, when will I be able to sleep? And once I'm asleep, how long will I be allowed to stay asleep?

I hated that pressure to sleep when Jack was sleeping. Should I sleep or get work done?  Okay, I'll sleep. But wait. I can't fall asleep.  

Finally! Now I'm starting to drift off.

And then...

He'd wake up.

Nap time is over.

To a much smaller degree, I'm having that with one of my cats now.

So, here's the difference between my insomnia and Tim's insomnia.

He has trouble sleeping? On most days, he just sleeps through the morning or even through the day.

I have trouble sleeping?  Well, I know that around 6 am, Annie is going to insist our day begin.  It doesn't matter if I was up 1-4 hours in the middle of the night.

The good news is she's quite independent during the day, so I usually can take a nap. 

What I see when I look in the mirror now-Someone who could probably use a little plastic surgery (2004).

I'm even uglier now, but am way too cheap, financially challenged, and lazy to get elective surgery done!

I think I was actually very beautiful in 2004. 

I couldn't see then what I see now.

And if I live to 90, I'm sure my elderly-self will look at pictures of me in my forties and think I was fantastic looking.  

The woman my family sees-"The weird one". I think they see me as  some kind of hippy person (Dec 2001)

Yeah. I think I've always been less mainstream then most of them. 

I think MOST of them find me weird, but lovable. 

The other one seems to have feelings for me ranging from, I'm a curse that has a put a dark shadow on his wonderful existence to I'm a pathetic loser that he "loves" rather than abandons, because he has a huge heart and is up to meeting the challenge.  

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Dead are Online

I've decided to put my novel The Dead are Online up on a website. Well, Blogger...really. I guess that's a website?

There are three reasons I'm doing this, and they might be sort of connected.

1. The desperate hope that I might find more readers.

2. The idea that maybe there are people who would read the novel but they don't have Kindle and aren't interested in using Kindle.  I never took the time to make my novel available outside of Kindle.

3. Issues with Amazon. Because of Amazon's changed household rules, we could have only two people in our home registered as adults. Jack didn't want the teen account, because it made him lose something.  I think his account for some video game thing?  I volunteered to be teen. What I didn't realize is I'd lose my access to my Kindle sales information.

I've been feeling very disconnected from my own novel. So by putting it on a website. I'm feeling reconnected.

Anyway, so far I have chapters one and two up.

I'm kind of going slowly with this.

But in case...there's anyone who wants to read bits at a time?

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Jane's Mom Apologizes

I've been watching the first season of Jane the Virgin.

This evening I watched the 5th episode.

In the episode, Jane (Gina Rodriguez) feels betrayed by her mom (Andrea Navedo), because her mom kept Jane's father's identity a secret for all of Jane's life.

Jane leaves home and stops speaking to her mother.

She returns when she thinks her mom is at dance class. I can't remember why.

Wait. Now I remember.

She wanted her Abuela's (Ivonne Coll) recipe book.

Okay. So she goes home, and her mother shows up.

Jane tells her mother she thought she'd be at dance class.

Her mother says something like, Do you think I could dance while my daughter isn't speaking to me?

Then they have dialogue which includes Jane's mom saying multiple sorries and Jane not being able to forgive her. And miraculously Jane's mom reacts with patience, understanding, and love.

The exchange was so refreshing to me.  I know it's fictional. But I'd like to imagine that there are parents who have this type of exchange with their sons and daughters.

Since I have narcissism and psychological manipulation on my mind even more than usual lately; I found myself imagining how the conversation would go down with a narcissist and/or manipulator.

First of all, some might say that Jane's mother's line about dance class WAS a little manipulative.

Is it?

I'm not sure.

Maybe slightly, but I don't think in a harmful way. And in a way, it's sweet. It's kind of saying, You're important to me, and I'm sad that you're mad at me.

A manipulative person would take it much further. Do you think I can go to dance class when my daughter is hating me? No. I haven't been able to do anything lately. And now I'm probably going to have to drop out of class, because we're not supposed to miss any sessions.  But you know what. That's not a big deal. I'm used to making sacrifices for you. What's one more?  

Here are other things that might be said in the conversation if Jane's mom was a narcissist and/or manipulator.

Okay. What? So you're never going to forgive me? After all I've done for you?  I put you through school. I put a roof over your head. I work so we can have food on the table. And how do you think I felt keeping that secret about your father? Do you think it was easy on me having to carry that burden all these years? No I bet you don't know. Because you only think of yourself. You never think about me. You're selfish.

And...

You know what. Fine. Hate me. You're not perfect. I'm not perfect. The difference is, I just ignore your mistakes. I let it slide. I don't turn it into drama. But you? You can't let anything go. So, you know what. Leave if that's what you want. Go live with your father. Your darling father.  Maybe that's what you need to do so you can see why I kept him a secret from you all these years.  Just don't come running back once he starts treating you like dirt. Because he will. I guarantee it. Well, never mind. You can come back. BECAUSE that's the kind of mother I am. I'm NOT the monster you make me out to be. I am forgiving. One day you'll learn to appreciate that. One day you'll realize how lucky you are. I just hope it's not too late.


Neurologist Fears and Hopes

I have my appointment with the NEW neurologist in November.

I'm a bit nervous.

I imagine the appointment, and in my imagination, it always turns out horribly. I leave feeling angry and hopeless.

So...here are the scenarios I fear will happen.

1-The doctor hasn't looked at the EEG report from DFW Neurology; nor has he looked at the EEG snapshots.  This is because either they never faxed the form to DFW Neurology; DFW Neurology got the fax but never sent in my records; or the new neurology center did get my records, but they never bothered to look at them.

I show the doctor the EEG report and the snapshots. He looks at them for about 3 seconds; then says. You don't have epilepsy.

If I'm feeling brave and assertive, I would say to him, Uh, no. You can't even dismiss epilepsy with a 30-60 minute routine EEG. So you certainly can't rule it out after looking at 90 seconds of my brain wave activity.  

2. Same first paragraph as above.  But in this one, the doctor looks at the EEG report and the EEG snapshots and says something like.  Well, these don't look like seizures to me.  But since the report says they saw seizure activity, we'll put you on medication.

This would not be okay with me, because I don't trust the opinion of DFW Neurology. The only reason I'm going to a new doctor is I want a second opinion.  So I certainly don't want them relying on the DFW Neurology's opinion.

Okay. So that's what I fear WILL happen.

Now I'll talk about what I'd like to happen.

In the best scenario (like fantasy scenario, here). DFW Neurology has actually done something decent. They faxed over much more snapshots than they gave to me.  So the new doctor has something to work with. The doctor has come prepared to these appointments. Not only has he spent a fair amount of time studying the report and the snapshots, he has asked some of his colleagues to have a glance.

Then the neurologist says either,

A) We looked carefully at the report. It does seem like you are having seizures. We need to talk about medication.

B). We looked carefully at the report. The stuff the EEG software found is something that looks like seizures, but it seems to be actually (insert medical jargon here). Why don't we take a wait and see approach. Let's see how you're feeling in six months, and if you're having more symptoms, we can do another EEG.

In the not-so-bad scenario, the doctor hasn't seen the EEG report or snapshots prior to the appointment. But when I hand him the material I've brought, he studies them for enough time to make me feel he actually cares and is interested.

Then he says something similar to A or B above.

BUT....

Since DFW Neurology provided me with only 90 seconds of footage, and only 30 of those seconds are ones where the computer saw spikes; I think with this version of B, the EEG should probably be done sooner rather than later.




Edited to Add 11/6-I had my appointment today. It didn't go wonderfully, but it didn't go as bad as I feared.

First of all, the doctor seemed super nice and very thorough. His neurology exam was so much more longer than Dr. de Jesus's With de Jesus, it really felt like she was just quickly going through the motions. Or like a quarter of the motions. Her test was probably under 2 minutes. His was about 7 minutes. I was pretty impressed.

Once again, DFW Neurology fucked me over. They did NOT send any of the snapshots of my EEG to the new neurologist, even though I requested this.  I absolutely despise DFW Neurology. I hate them so much that I'm tempted to study dark witchcraft just so I can curse them with horrible curses.

Yeah. Don't worry. I'd save some of my evil spells for Trump as well.

The other thing is....I went to the wrong doctor. I'll take the blame for that. 

What happened is we looked at reviews and found this doctor that had really great reviews.  I THOUGHT it said he was an expert at reading EEG's. Then later I went back and saw it said EMG's.  The doctor is an ALS specialist.

At the same clinic, they have a whole epilepsy department. It sounded awesome. I started to write my primary care person to ask if she could switch my referral. Then on a whim, I decided to check the reviews of the epilepsy doctors. Those reviews were not so good. 

I didn't switch. I think then I was in the mode of I'm not going to go. I'm going to stop this whole nightmare process. I'm done. And then it evolved to, I'll go if they call me. 

I was hoping they wouldn't call me.

But they did.

I asked, the person on the phone, if the ALS doctor also dealt with other things, and they said he does.  It just turns out the other things doesn't include epilepsy.

So....

The doctor is going to help me get a referral.  He said they'll try to get more info from DFW Neurology.

We'll see if that happens.

I doubt it.

I think what we WILL see from DFW Neurology is collection notices asking us to pay for the video portion of the ambulatory EEG that I refused and never had. 

DFW Neurology is evil.

Since I don't have witchy powers, I can't make bad things happen to them.  But I can wish and hope.

I doubt my wishes and hopes will work, though. I'm realizing more and more that the shithead bad guys in the world keep winning and winning. 



Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Flowery Journal My Sister Gave Me (Part 26)

This page is about love/commitments.

Out of eight questions, I answered only four.  

I was getting more and more lazy with the book.

Note: The blue is what's printed in the journal. The green is what I wrote. 



I knew I met the right person for me when-we first talked on the phone.

I think I predicted our marriage during that first phone call. 

But though I'd love to be excited about having psychic powers... there were probably other encounters with men that led me to predicting some kind of everlasting romance. 

Maybe Tim was special, though, because I think I wrote the prediction in my diary.

Did I?

I can't remember if I found it when going through my old diaries

How I felt about intimacy-Real intimacy is being able to fart in front of someone and being able to express joy when your constipation is relieved. That's true intimacy. (2001)

Or having poop emergencies.

I think, when it comes down to it, love is more about poop than sex.

How things changed when we were married-Not much changed. It seems as if we were married before-shared a bank account, an apartment, and had sex. Marriage certificate didn't change much (December 2001).

I think our relationship DID have three upheavals.

The first was when we went from a long distance relationship to living in the same city.

The second was when we moved to Fort Worth from NYC.

The third was becoming parents. And I'd say the parenting began with the pregnancy.

There have been many times in my life that I've regretted leaving New York to come to Fort Worth. And I'm especially regretting it now.

Regrets are confusing, though. It's hard to distinguish between what's meant to be and what has been a gigantic mistake.  

And it's not like I was super happy and well-adjusted before moving to Fort Worth. 

BUT...I do think moving here has caused me more harm than good.  

Right now I'm trying to imagine what our life would be if we stayed.

I have lots of questions.

1. Would we have had enough financial good fortune that we could have stayed in Manhattan? Would we have eventually bought an apartment instead of renting?

Or would we have moved out to one of the other boroughs. Or maybe New Jersey?  Or maybe we would have gotten transferred to somewhere completely different.  

2. Would I have gone back to teaching after Jack was old enough?

3. Would we still homeschool Jack, or would he have gone to a NYC school?

4. Would I get along better with my parents?  

I can't imagine that I'd be any less close to my sisters.  I think we'd text and email a lot.  

The Flowery Journal My Sister Gave Me (Part 25)

This page is about parents, which for me, is very timely.

Or untimely.

I'm not sure.

Well, I tend to believe things happen for a reason.

I actually read the page a few days ago. Then I took the journal and stuffed it in a drawer, planning to quit the whole flowery journal project.

But I took it out of the drawer because I feel obligated to finish what I've started.

Why?

Maybe because I'm anal.

Or maybe because I need to come to terms with my past self and contradictions.

Anyway as I've said before...the blue is what's printed in the journal and the green is how I responded to the questions.



Leaving home made me realize-I missed my family.

I think this here might be the key for understanding why I end up writing the stuff below.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. And it can make you homesick.

My own responsibilities now permit me to see that-Being a mom is a lot of work and that almost all mothers and daughters hate each other at some point. It's a wonderful relationship but there is a lot of friction (2001)

Jack was born in 2001. I'm wondering if I wrote the above as a mother or as a mother-to-be.

I don't remember, after Jack was born, having that feeling of, Now I get it! Now I understand what my parents had to endure. I should have cut them more slack.  

Part of that lack of feeling might have been because I was dealing with a baby, and I don't have many memories of my parents taking care of a baby. I have no memories of them taking care of me. I was four when my (flowery journal) sister was born. I have vague memories of that time period, but not many memories of my parents doing their parenting.

I do remember my sister having to be tube-fed. Or I think I remember because I've seen photographs. Maybe having Jack did give me more sympathy about that?

Back to what I wrote, though. A part of me is thinking I wrote it before Jack was born and before the gender-revealing ultrasound. Because my answer was very daughter-oriented. I think if I had already been the mother of a boy or was anticipating a boy, my answer might have been different.

Things I understand now about my parents-They're very rich...very rich. But they don't fit the stereotype of being cold and money hungry. They are very loving and very generous. (2001)

I understand things VERY differently now than I did then.

This morning I was thinking about the point system in The Good Place—the one that determines whether you're going to be sent to the good place or bad place.

If I was in charge, I'd give everyone five points whenever they do someone a favor, donate to charity, give someone a gift, shows kindness to someone in need, or participates in community service.

I would give five EXRA points if the giving was a sacrifice.  And by sacrifice, I mean you're losing something substantial. So if you have a hundred dollars in your pocket; give three dollars to a homeless person; then go eat a nice dinner; that would be five points.  BUT if you had ten dollars in your pocket, give a homeless person three dollars and now have to eat a much cheaper dinner than you planned; that would get you ten points.

Or if you pause your favorite TV show to talk to a sad friend, that would be five points. But If you walk out on a theater performance that your career might depend on so you can go and give comfort to your brother who is having a panic attack; that would be ten points.

So you do something good and you get five points or ten points.

But every time you tell someone about the good deed, you lose a point. The exception would be if your partner, or other very relevant person, needs to know. For example, let's say you let your cousin borrow a thousand dollars. If you have a relationship where you share finances with someone, they probably should be told.  So I wouldn't take away points for that.

Just casually mentioning your good deed to someone will only cost you a point.

If you mention it to the person who received your good deed; that loses you all the points. And you lose double the points if you mention it to the person during a fight or when they're feeling low.

If you post about your good deed on social media; that loses you....

Well, let's say half the points.

You would not lose points for mentioning a good deed on a resume or application.  Because if there's one place that bragging is needed, it's there.

BUT there's an exception to the exception. If the only reason you did the good deed was so you could have something to put on your resume or application, you get zero points for that. 

What I have come to understand about my family-From meeting parents through being a preschool teacher and seeing how my coworker raises her kids, I am so thankful for the parents that I had (99)

Had?  My parents were/are still alive.

I don't remember having a problem with my coworker's parenting styles.

I did think one of them was annoyingly judgey when it came to the parents of the children in our classroom.  It's funny I remember that and not her parenting style.

Or was I referring to another teacher?

Seeing my mother with adult eyes-She's one of the smartest people I know. She's very passionate. She is not always the best listener, but has improved through the years. (2001) 

That's one of the few things on this page in which I agree with my younger self.

Seeing my father with adult eyes-He's sensitive and vulnerable. He is very generous. At times, he does not have enough faith in people.

Well, I guess I actually agree with that too. But in a dark way.  He's sensitive and vulnerable in the sense that if I call him out on something he's done to hurt me, he reacts with gaslighting and/or other manipulation techniques.


Friday, October 12, 2018

How to Have Drama with Your Narcissist

Hi!

Are you feeling feeling moderately comfortable in your life?

Are you sleeping fairly well?

Are you getting the feeling that your life might be a bit too...okay?

Well, if you have a narcissist in your life, you're in luck!  Follow these few steps, and I can get you feeling that there's a persistent dark cloud hanging over your head. You'll lose a ton of sleep! I guarantee it. You might even start feeling like the world is ending.

So...here we go.

1. Open up that vulnerable part of you that loves your narcissist and believes they can change.

2. Interact with your narcissist. This can be done via telephone, text, video chat, email, or even face to face. But very important! You MUST drop the gray rock act! You need to open up to your narcissist. Tell them something personal. Maybe tell them about a struggle you're having. Share a video that means something to you. Tell them about a worry you have. Tell them about something you're excited about.

3. Wait for a response. Now there's a very small chance that your attempt will fail. Your narcissist might say something supportive. They might actually seem to be listening. They might even seem to care. But don't worry. All hope is not lost. BECAUSE this will make it even easier for you to return to step 1 or step 2 at a later date.

If things go as expected, though, you're on your way to stress and despair. Your narcissist will likely say something that makes you feel they don't care about you and/or they don't listen to you. Your narcissist will make you feel you're not interesting enough; that your accomplishments aren't enough; or your problems and worries are trivial. Basically, they'll make you feel small.

4. Very important. Do NOT ignore what the narcissist says, and do not try to change the subject. Let the narcissist know that they have hurt you and that you're angry at them. Not only that, but try to point out to the narcissist that they're a narcissist. You can just directly say, You're such a narcissist. Or you can just use keywords and phrases like "playing victim", "bragging", "manipulation", "dark triad" "sadistic" etc.

You can even go as far as comparing them to Donald Trump. Although this would probably work better if they're a Democrat (or other similar creature)

5. Now sit back and experience the fruits of your labor. At least half of the following is almost guaranteed to happen.

A) Your narcissist will remind you of how much they've given you.

B) Your narcissist will remind you how much they've done for you.

C) Your narcissist will tell you that they have many fans...so yeah, there must be something wrong with YOU.

D) Your narcissist will bring up some charitable work they have done or a large charitable contribution they have made.

E) Your narcissist will label you as abusive.

F) Your narcissist will give you a fauxpology

G) Your narcissist will throw other people under the bus...if desperate enough.

H) Your narcissist will reach out to someone close to you and tell them how you're incredibly awful.

I) Your narcissist will allude to the fact that they're going to die someday and how you'll regret how you treated them.

J)  The narcissist will compare themselves to rapists, deadbeat dads, serial killers, kidnappers, or torturers to prove to you that you're lucky to have them.

K) Your narcissist will tell you that they love you, and they're very worried for your mental health.

If you get at least one of these, congratulations.  I'm sure you'll be biting your nails, doing a little binge-eating, pulling out a few strands of your hair, etc.

If you get even more...awesome. Good job! Mission accomplished. I bet you're no longer feeling okay with yourself and the world.

Now take a step back and bask in your feelings of disappointment, insecurity, stress, low self-esteem, and hopelessness.

The problem is, I can't guarantee these feelings will last. In a few days, weeks, or months you might start to feel okay again. This is especially true if you have an outlet for your feelings—a journal or a friend you can vent to. Or.... if you have access to reading material that makes you see that your feelings and reactions are typical for people in your situation. Well if you read that kind of stuff, you're likely to feel that though you're damaged, you're not a totally shitty person. And you'll feel less alone.

So if you do that kind of stuff...or you just let time do it's healing, don't worry.  When you're ready to feel awful again, just start over at step 1.



Thursday, October 11, 2018

A Man Who Loves Women

You couldn't be a misogynist. You have daughters.

You couldn't be a misogynist. You had a mother.

You couldn't be a misogynist. You have a wife.

You couldn't be a misogynist. You have sisters.

You couldn't be a misogynist. You have worked with women.

You couldn't be a misogynist. You're a huge fan of Taylor Swift.

You couldn't be a misogynist. You have granddaughters.

You couldn't be a misogynist. You have nieces.

But when prompted to name underrated people in history, your list included only WHITE MEN.

Yes. I can believe that you do love women. In your own way.

However if the first people that come to mind, when thinking about those who are undervalued, is white males, I think you have a fairly long journey to enlightenment.  

A Vampire Visits Portwenn

I've been watching season 3 of Doc Marten.

I was very pleased and very surprised to suddenly see the vampire Niklaus in Doc Marten's clinic.

I understand why I was pleased.

I'm not sure why I was so surprised.

And for a split second, I had this thought of why is an American on a British TV show? Because they usually are not.

Except Joseph Morgan is NOT American. And why I should think that is beyond me, because his character on The Originals actually has a British accent.

Plus, most of the main characters on The Originals are not played by Americans.

One thing I'm thinking is that, besides Stephanie Cole, who I knew from Coronation Street, and Katherine Parkinson, who I know from The IT Crowd, most of the actors are new to me.  I know them only from Doc Marten. So I think when that happens, the town and characters feel more...real?

I don't know.

I probably can't excuse my feelings of surprise.

But it felt like....

Maybe it's like going to your neighborhood grocery store and seeing your favorite cousin, who lives in Morocco, walking down the aisle. 

What are you doing here!?

Words and Phrases Used by Powerful Men When Called Out for Their Behavior

I'm going to create a list of words and phrases used by powerful, narcissistic, machiavellian men when called out on their behavior.

Of course powerful women and/or narcissistic women might use these phrases as well!

I'll probably keep adding to the list as I witness, learn of,  remember, or think of more.

One note about these phrases, though. They're very much secondary to the main components which are gaslighting and other forms of dishonesty.  Heck, most of these phrases would actually be valid and warranted if it weren't for the dishonesty and manipulation behind them.


1. This is a witch hunt.

2. I'm tired of your relentless abuse.

3. Unwarranted rejection

4. Everyone but you knows I'm a good person.

5. I've done so much for you.

6. I'm sorry you feel that way.

7. You're crazy.

8. You're unstable.

9. That never happened.

10. How dare you accuse me of that.

11. Your disgusting accusations.

12. I don't have time for this.

13. I can't tolerate this.

14. It's unfair.

15.  Stop giving me grief.

16. You're vicious.

17. Tirade against me

18. Ganging up on me

19. Turning people against me

20. I can no longer fight this battle.

21. So and So knows what's going on and is on my side

22. I love you.

23. I am worried about your mental health.

24. I would go to the end of the earth for you.

25. I only want what's best for you.

26. All my hard work was for you.

27. I've sacrificed so much for you.

28. I dropped what I was doing to meet with you.

29. I'm a very busy person.

30. I'm not going to be your punching bag.

31. Fake news

32. I don't expect you to be perfect. Why do you expect me to?

33. I'm being attacked

34. I am sorry for whatever I have done for this rejection.

35. I am the one willing to do this for you.

36. I am the one who is willing to help you.

37. I hope and pray you get the care you need.

38. Your accusation hurts me to the core.

39. Do you treat everyone like this?

40. My selflessness

41. Why am I being attacked?

42. I've given you so much with no strings attached.

43. I was only trying to help.

44. I was only joking.

45. Where's your sense of humor?

46. I have worked very hard

47. You would be nothing without me.

48. You're ungrateful.

49. Maybe you'll appreciate me more when I'm dead.

50. Come on!

51. Give me a break.

52. Everyone knows that's not true.

53. Don't be ridiculous.

54. This is for you (as they hand you a very expensive gift)

55. Just forget about me.

56. That was very hurtful. Well done.

57. I have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to get other people to like you.

58.  I keep this family together.

59. I keep this office together.

60. I keep things running.

61. I know of bad men. I'm not one of them.

62. Why you're bringing this up now is a mystery to me.

63. That is a false and hurtful accusation.

64. Whenever I try to help you, I get attacked.

65. I have countless business associates that respect me.

66. I'm sorry you feel that way about me.

67. I feel sorry for you.

68. I don't remember saying that.

69. I should be able to express my opinion.

70. I am utterly perplexed by the way you're treating me.

71. I will take any crumbs you throw at me.

72. It's just my sense of humor.

73. I was just trying to be funny.

74. Don't be so sensitive.

75. Lighten up.

76. I was only trying to teach you how to be stronger.

77. I want what's best for you.

78. Hopefully one day you'll appreciate me.

79. I would never do something like that.

80. It's not in my diary so it didn't happen.

81. No one loves you more than I do.

82. No one respects women more than I do.

83. If I did that, I'm sorry.

84. Do you not have anything better to do than harass me?

85. I am puzzled by the way you're treating me.

86. Unlike you, I am busy.

87. I wish you all the best.

88. I don't want to waste my time with this.

89. There is no one less racist than I am.

90. We've spent a lot of money on you. But that's fine.

91. I wish you knew how lucky you are.

92. I'm the most bullied person in the world.

93. Can we please concern ourselves with real problems?

94. Are you going to ever let that go?

95. I'm not like that.

96. I'm very compassionate.

97. I'm very empathetic.

98. I give a lot of money to charity.

99. I've helped so many people.

100. If you only knew what I do for you behind the scenes.

101. I hope we can take this down a notch.

102. Don't get your knickers in a bunch.

103. My fault. I shouldn't have listened to his advice (AKA-It's his fault).

104. Instead of expressing appreciation, you make us feel rotten.

105. To blame me for that is too much.

106. You're being over the top.

107. I'm tired of being your punching bag when things don't work out perfectly.

108. I risk my relationship with other people by telling them how to treat you better.

109. There are things you did that disturbed ME, but I just let it go.

110. I do almost all the work around here.

111. Grow up.

112. I feel sorry for you.

113. Ow! My chest! It hurts!

114. I feel really sick.

115. I think I might faint.

116. That's enough!

117. You know. I've tried to be nice.

118. Maybe things got a little out of hand.

119. I'm sorry if you feel I did something a little over the top

120. Is getting angry at me helping you?







Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Response From Sai Duvvuri

I sort of expected to get an immediate response from Sai Duvvuri, the office manager of DFW Neurology regarding falsely charging us for a video EEG.

Now I expected the email to probably be rude and very likely to be full of lies and excuses. But I did think maybe he'd at least be prompt about it all.

Well, no response last night.

And no response this morning.

But it does seem like Sai Duvvuri was rather busy with work stuff.

This morning I checked Google Reviews and there was one new 5 star review, posted 11 hours ago and THREE 5 star reviews, posted 10 hours ago.  That would be about an hour or two after we sent the email about fraud.

And now their rating has gone from a 2.6 (or 2.8?) to a 3.

I can believe Duvvuri pressured patients to write positive reviews.

I can believe Duvvuri had people write fake reviews.

I have a very hard time believing  that around 9:00-10:00 pm last night, four people suddenly decided to give DFW a super positive rating.

DFW Neurology has 34 reviews on Google ranging from 11 hours (time has passed since I first saw) and 4 years.  That means approximately 12% of their ratings happened last night...after we pointed out their fraudulent billing.

I'm looking at the reviews now.  I have to give DFW Neurology credit on their slyness here. Right now it's obvious that reviews were quickly spurned out. But later?  In a month, it will look like the four reviews were written sometime in the same month. In a year or more, it will simply look like the reviews were written in the same year.  It won't look suspicious at all.

It will look suspicious for only a few days.

But let me put it on record here.  Edgar Cervantes, Sandra Villagomez, Yecenia Conchas, and Maira Delangel all wrote their reviews in the same evening, around the same hour.

Three of them got a friendly reply back from Sai Duvvuri, only about an hour after they had posted the review.

He didn't have time to respond to our complaint, but he did have time to respond to praise.

I am so sick of men who can't handle criticism so they find or create fans to run and hide behind.

I decided it would be nice to include some visual aids in this post.  So here is a screenshots from an email exchange I had with Sai Duvvuri.

Email I sent to Duvvuri in August



Duvvuri's reply



Note: If and when Duvvuri responds, I will update this post.


Edited to Add 8:56 10/10/18- I didn't receive an email back. But Tim did.

Duvvuri responded....

Well, never mind about posting it.  I feel weird enough posting emails I've received. I really don't feel right posting an email someone else received. I'll just say it was sickeningly fake and nice.

I guess that's better than his old way of being rude and evasive.

Anyway, I responded by telling them I had reported them to the Texas Medical Board. Which I did....just before reading his email.


And it turns out that although Sai Duvvuri didn't respond to my email, he did respond to a question I posted on Google Reviews about the sudden 4 positive reviews.

He said:
Ms. Roberts, it appears that you do not have any thing else to do than to bug us and keep posting reviews/questions that we do not agree with. I am really puzzled at the extant that you going to harass us. Unlike you, we are busy and do not have the time to keep responding to frivolous posts. But just to get the facts out -- YES, it was a coincidence and we did not solicit them. We are happy....

He was cut off, I guess.

Yes. I actually do feel kind of like a stalker. But what is someone supposed to do after they've been misdiagnosed, lied to, and then fraudulently charged?  Am I supposed to just let this go? Am I supposed to roll with the punches?  Should I just let it be water under the bridge?

Fuck no.

Even though I DO have tons of other stuff to do. I'd much rather be doing something else.

What is Sai Duvvuri, Maria de Jesus, and Victor Remmers doing with all THEIR time? What's keeping them so busy?  Lying on consultant reports? Fraudulently charging patients and insurance companies? Misdiagnosing patients?

All of the above?

Edited to add 10/20/18- On Friday morning (yesterday) Tim and I had another fight with Sai Duvvuri. Since then, three more 5 star reviews have popped up.  It's like magic!!!

Edited to add 10/22/18-After our fight with Sai Duvvuri, Tim wrote a review on Google. Last night I was checking DFW Neurology's reviews....cause I'm obsessed like that. I saw that his review had disappeared. My guess is Mr. Duvvuri had it removed. Now the question is, how did he manage to do that? Was there something questionable in Tim's review? I don't think so. My only idea was that Tim hadn't used his name. Or..well...I think he used the initials of his Korean name. Most other reviewers use a full first name and last name. So maybe un-names look suspicious?

Well, he reposted his review and posted it as Tim. I'll be interested to know if the review stays up.  

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

DFW Neurology Continues with their Wicked Ways

Here is the not-so-friendly letter I sent to Sai Duvvuri, the office manager of DFW Neurology.

Why did I write him a letter, you ask?

Well, because Tim received our medical bill, and after calling our insurance company, we learned I was charged for a video EEG.  

That's quite funny because my EEG report is titled "Extended EEG Without Video".

Anyway....here's the email.


My husband is currently on the phone with our insurance company reporting your company for fraud. We got the bill for your video EEG. 

DFW neurology is so incompetent that they refuse to diagnose a patient based on what is shown on EEG and what the patient has reported. The report explicitly says "Patient refused video monitoring so it is difficult to clinically correlate this EEG finding" 

 That annoyed me because it made me sound like a difficult patient. But I'm so glad you guys wrote it, because it provided us with documentation to send to the fraud specialist. Plus I have emails and phone messages. Since you guys obviously just bought yourself a big fancy toy without doing research first, let me educate you. A video EEG is mostly used to rule out psychogenic seizures. The patient has a dramatic episode and the EEG is compared with the video to check if anything is happening with the brain. Video EEG is NOT used to prove that a patient has symptoms. You're supposed to do this thing called talking to a patient. You know...listen to them. 

 And another thing. I went to my primary care physician. At the first visit she told me she never received consultant notes. So I pushed you on that. Second visit: she received the consultant notes and read a portion to me. She told me the report noted that Dr de Jesus recommended that I see a epileptologist. This is a blatant lie. No one at your office ever suggested I see another doctor. I was the first one to bring up a second opinion. 


 And if you guys were going to lie, maybe pick something a little less humiliating. Seriously. Do you really want other doctors in the DFW area knowing that you're unable to diagnose a patient after a 72 hour EEG? An extended EEG has a very high accuracy rate. The only way it can fail is if the patient was unlucky enough to not have symptoms. I had many symptoms. You can hire as much new staff as you want. That doesn't change the fact that you guys are greedy, incompetent, dishonest, and fraudulent. 

For more information about my drama with DFW Neurology, click here.


Edited to add-11/5/18- Tim told me he got a notice from Blue Cross Blue Shield, our insurance company. They said they PAID their part for the video EEG and that we need to work out the bill with the provider. Or something like that.

I stupidly, completely believed that Blue Cross Blue Shield would be on our side. How dumb was I? 

I thought they would be my advocate. I thought they would protect me against DFW Neurology and I thought they would punish DFW Neurology so that DFW Neurology couldn't do the same to other people.

I also thought they would be grateful to me that we had stopped them from being conned.

But no.  

So...what is DFW neurology going to do now? 

Will they return the money to the insurance company and tell them a mistake was made? And on that note, we were told by Sai Duvvuri and DFW Neurology's billing department that a correction was sent to Blue Cross Blue Shield. Should I believe this is true?  Did Blue Cross Blue Shield simply ignore the correction?  

Will DFW Neurology keep quiet and keep the money? 

OR

Will DFW Neurology not only keep the money, but will they also begin to harass us about paying our portion of the bill....which is about 2 thousand dollars.  My prediction is we're going to start seeing notices from a collection company.  I told Tim, and he assured me it wouldn't happen. And if it happens, we'll fight. 

I HAVE been fighting, and it's not working. 

The thing about life is that there is no justice. People get stepped on all the time...and squashed.  It doesn't matter if they fight, and it rarely matters if people fight on their behalf. They still get stepped on. They still get squashed.  

I feel very squashed—angry, depressed, helpless, and hopeless.

Edited to add 11/30-After some of my nagging on Twitter, Blue Cross Blue Shield stepped up to the plate and took our side.  THANK YOU.

We were informed from Blue Cross Blue Shield and later DFW Neurology that Maria de Jesus is no longer at the practice. The form letter from DFW Neurology says that she left for personal reasons. That might be true?  I don't know. 







What is a Great Leader?

I've been reading the memoirs of a female television writer—Just the Funny Parts by Nell Scovell.

She has a list of what she sees as being a good leader.

And guess what?

I agree with her list.

You know what else? The list really resonates with me right now.

So here it is.

1. Understands the mission better than anyone in the room and can communicate it.

Okay, this one doesn't personally resonate with me. I can't really think of a time that I was in the hands of a leader who didn't understand the mission. If anything...I'm probably the person who'd be most guilty of failing on this one. If I had a leadership position. And I'd definitely fail at the communication part.  My followers would be like, Huh? What the hell do you want from us? What are you saying? Are you high?

2. Is the hardest working person in the room.

Personally I don't care if the leader is the hardest worker in the room. As long as they're not the braggiest person in the room about what they've contributed.

3. Is the most generous person in the room, not just with compensation, but also with praise and credit.

AMEN, AMEN, AMEN, AMEN.

Fucking Amen!!!!

4. Allows dissent and even invites it.

AMEN, AMEN, AMEN, AMEN.

Fucking Amen!!!!

5. Listens and learns

And this should involve more than just asking a question and allowing the person to answer while you think about something that's much more interesting to you. 

Learning too is key.  It hurts quite a bit when you open up to someone; then they show you that they weren't paying attention; that they're none the wiser. 

Is it  because they have memory issues? Maybe. 

Is it because they have a low level of intelligence? Maybe.

But most probably it's because they never truly cared in the first place. They simply don't give a shit. 

Okay. I'm exaggerating and being overdramatic. They DO give a shit. It's just they don't give enough of a shit.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Flowery Journal My Sister Gave Me (Part 25)

More journal stuff.

Okay, here I think I was getting a bit disturbed...and a bit silly.

Note: The blue is what was printed in the journal. The green is what I wrote.



I felt I had control of my life when I was able to go without eating for over forty hours.  

Yeah. And a few years later I would have an eating disorder that started mostly as a need for control. I think it was about 40% pressure to lose weight for my sister's wedding and 60% feeling that I didn't have enough control of my life.  

Counting calories, steps, pounds, etc. helped me feel like I had some control.  

Important decisions I made-to start eating again (2001)

That was in 2001. So when did I write the thing about not eating for 40 hours?

Before the eating disorder, I did have some periods of disordered eating. 

There were also times where I would get very hurt—very upset. Then I'd deal with it by not eating for awhile.  Emotional fasting, I guess.

Things I learned from disappointments-From the Darlene F. incident I learned not to trust job offers until they are in writing. Also don't accept a job unless you truly want it. (or are broke and starving).

What was my deal with reminiscing over the lost job? 

The story?

I was volunteering at a NYC private school to get experience. The teacher there got me in touch with a teacher at a prestigious public school.  I had my interview.  I didn't really click with the teacher, and I didn't feel really capable of being what she needed. But she gave me the job anyway.

I'm guessing I felt a mixture of relief and fear.  Yay! I have a job! Shit! I'm going to fail at it miserably! 

Then soon after I got the job, she called and said her old assistant was returning, and she didn't need me after all.

Now at the time I took it as a huge insult.

And she probably was NOT overly excited to have me there. Maybe she just felt obligated because of my connection to her teaching friend.  But perhaps she really was sort of okay with me, and then her beloved assistant changed her mind about leaving.

On the other hand, maybe she thought I was so awful that she simply pretended the old assistant was returning. Maybe she was just trying to let me down easy.  

It wasn't that easy.

But I survived.

And I got a teaching job eventually.  

The Flowery Journal My Sister Gave Me (Part 24)

More Journal Stuff!

With this page and after, I became less rigid about filling everything out.

I left a lot of blanks.  

And this stuff was filled out years after my sister gave me the journal—some in 1999 and some in 2001.

Note: The blue is what's printed in the journal book, and the green is what I filled in.




The most formative personal experiences of my early childhood-Finding Tim, the Internet, teaching preschool, deal with real estate in New York (1999) 

New York real estate. Yeah. NOT fun.  It's a shame, because it's such a fun place to live.

I guess that's kind of like saying, Disney World is so expensive, which is a shame, because it's such a fun place to visit.  

Important events-Meeting Tim, moving to New York, getting fired from a job I hadn't even started yet (2001) 

I'm not sure why I put getting fired as one of the top three events. Why would that be more important than finally finding a job and working at that job?

How my work fit into my life-To me, teaching is a job I like, but it is not the center of my life. I don't think people should be labeled by their occupation. I see myself as having many labels. I'm a teacher, a wife, a writer, a sister, a daughter, a friend, etc.  

I like that.

Although I'd also say that we don't need to define ourselves by our relationships.  

Or maybe it's okay.

Maybe it's okay to label ourselves as long as we realize we each have many labels.  

Abusive Parents, Toxic Parents, and Not-Perfect Parents

Not-Perfect Parents don't notice their daughter has an eating disorder. Once they find out, they feel terrible, and give her the support she needs.

Toxic Parents don't notice their daughter has an eating disorder, and when she tells them this, they scoff at her. They tell her she was just doing some yo-yo dieting. They tell her people with eating disorders weigh like 40 pounds, have tubes in them, and are hospitalized.

Abusive Parents force their daughter to be on a diet, to the point that she's malnourished.





Not-Perfect Parents unintentionally expose their daughter to something that frightens her. Once they see her looking terrified, they feel horrible and immediately remove the scare. They comfort their daughter. They help her avoid the scare until she is old enough and brave enough to face it.

Toxic Parents purposely expose the child to something that is terrifying and age-inappropriate. They ignore the child's cries and refuse to remove the scare.  Months later, they continue the game by re-exposing the child to the scare, so they can see her reaction and have a good laugh. Later when the child is older and tries to talk about this, they play a new game: Gaslighting.

Abusive Parents tie their child to a chair and force her to see scary things.





Not Perfect Parents don't know that their daughter has a health issue. Because in not-perfect families, communication is not 100%,  and sometimes there are secrets—temporary or permanent. Once their daughter tells her parents about her health issue, they show a lot of interest and a lot of concern.

Toxic Parents show very little interest or concern when their daughter finally tells them about her health issue. After a lot of pressure, they finally show interest. But it's in the form of, we don't really think there is anything seriously wrong with you, but we will use our power to help you anyway. So don't forget how caring, generous, and helpful we are.

Abusive Parents cause their daughter to be ill by poisoning her...via Munchausen by Proxy





Not Perfect Parents don't notice that their daughter is in emotional turmoil. When she tells them, they give her a lot of extra TLC.  They help her in various ways, but most importantly they listen.

Toxic Parents-don't notice when their daughter is in emotional turmoil. When she outright tells them, they give no response. They completely ignore it. They go about their business. When she gets angry about this, they remind her once again how much they have given her throughout life and how much they have sacrificed.  They are not concerned for her sadness. They are concerned for the lack of appreciation that she gives them. (Even though she has said thank you many times)

Abusive Parents-Lock their daughter in the attic. They starve her, scream at her, and kill bunny rabbits in front of her.





Not Perfect Parents-Forget their daughter's birthday. Or they remember and give her a present she already has. Oops.

Toxic Parents-Cancel birthday dinner plans with their daughter because of illness, and instead leave a large check in the mailbox so she can go out to dinner without them. Even though she has let them know many times in the past that she doesn't want financial birthday gifts from them.She wants more love and attention. Toxic parents have never heard of a thing called a rain check.

Abusive Parents-Sell their daughter for sex so they can MAKE money from her.





Not Perfect Parents-Are busy and not always there for their daughter. But when she does very much need them, they do what they can to put her as a priority. They feel and act like doing things for her, and with her, is a deep pleasure.

Toxic Parents-Are busy and not always there for their daughter. But when they are there, oh is she going to hear about it. They let her know that doing things for her or spending time with her is a sacrifice. Any assistance whether wanted, unwanted, or unsolicited is presented as martyrdom.

Abusive Parents-Drive their daughter out to the forest of grizzly bears and leaves her there. They never even return to look for her body.





Not Perfect Parents-Compare themselves to the fathers on This is Us and feel they come up a little short. They strive to be more supportive, more gentle, more fun, and more passionate.

Toxic Parents-Compare themselves to parents who have abandoned their children, raped their children, starved their children, or caused gross bodily harm to their children. Then they think and say, I'm a great parent. It's terrible that you don't appreciate how wonderful I am.

Abusive Parents-Well, they're the ones who rape their children, starve their children, and cause great bodily harm to their children.





Not Perfect Parents-Miss their daughter's graduation because they have an event they feel they can't cancel. They feel very guilty about this and spend the rest of their lives trying to compensate for it.

Toxic Parents-Miss their daughter's graduation because they have an event they feel they can't cancel. Then they lay a guilt trip on the daughter, because her graduation caused the rest of the family to miss their event.

Abusive Parents-Lock their daughter in a closet on graduation day.





Not Perfect Parents-Are sometimes tormented by their daughters fighting among themselves. They struggle to decide whether it's best to intervene or stay out of it.

Toxic Parents-Complain that a sibling drama is causing them to lose money. Ugh, they say. Even though they are very wealthy and the financial loss would actually be quite minimal (in the scheme of things).

Abusive Parents-Force one sibling to poke out the eyeballs of the other sibling. They film it and upload it to YouTube.





Not Perfect Parents-Sometimes secretly intervene in the background. For example they might know that one daughter is depressed. So they suggest to another daughter that it might be a good idea for her to email her depressed sister.  Or if one daughter is being irrationally angry, they might privately write an email to the family asking people to be patient with this daughter, because she's going through a difficult time.

Toxic Parents-Sometimes intervene in the background. But they make very sure it doesn't stay secret. They let their family know that they orchestrate the kindness and good deeds that are done within the family.

Abusive Parents-Force one sibling to tear off the fingernails of another sibling.





Not Perfect Parents-Wonder if a man or woman is good enough for their daughter. They're a bit overprotective at times.  And on other occasions, to their shame, they sometimes worry that their daughter might be pushing above her weight.

Toxic Parents-Write an email to the daughter's husband describing the awfulness of their daughter.  He proclaims that he is the victims of relentless abuse from his daughter. But let's be fair. The daughter HAS done horrible things....like repeatedly bringing up a father-caused trauma during her childhood; complaining that the father brags too much, complaining that the father wasn't there for her during difficult times, daring to remind the father that he is not actually the heroic victim he imagine imagines himself to be.  And worst of all, this horrible, horrible daughter refuses to believe in her father's gaslighting attempts. The shame! The poor father! 

Abusive Parents-Murder their daughter's husband and hide his body in the wall of their trophy room.





Not Perfect Parents-Sometimes say things to their grandchildren that their children feel is unkind or inappropriate. They listen to their child; then either express understanding that they made a mistake or argue their point.

Toxic Parents-Scoff at the parent for interfering; then turn directly to their grandchild to say, Your mother has no sense of humor.  

Abusive Parents-Feed their grandchildren apples with razor blades inside.



Not Perfect Parents-Are terrified by the thought of their children dying and try not to think of it. If the subject comes up, they might try to change the subject. But if attempts at the conversation are persistent, they assure the child they will be horribly sad yet willing to help in the aftermath.

Toxic Parents-Blurt out that they heard something about grandparents having to raise their grandchildren because the parents have died. The toxic parent complains that this would interfere with his golf hobby. When the daughter expresses a problem with this attitude, the toxic father acts annoyed. He dismisses the daughter's concern, assuring her that he'll most likely die first. Because the toxic parents live in a la la land where only the elderly die.

Abusive Parents-Take their children and grandchildren on a boat ride in shark infested waters. Then the parent throws their grandchildren and children off the boat. He sails back to shore, singing a happy song. Then he goes to the country club and plays some golf.





Not Perfect Parents-Have some moments of insanity during a traumatic time. They say cruel things to their children; then feel awful about it. They forever feel ashamed for what they said. They feel sad, conflicted, and undeserving whenever someone compliments them as parents.

Toxic Parents-Have many moments of insanity during a traumatic time. In a public place, they say cruel things to their teenage daughter, including that they hate her. Years later they happily, proudly, and hungrily accept a community father-of-the-year award.

Abusive Parents-Write a text to their daughter everyday saying "I hate you. I wish you were never born".







Not Perfect Parents-End up having a child with cancer. Because they have the wrong genes. Or they drank the wrong water. Or they have bad luck. These parents are devastated. But they deal with it.

Toxic Parents-Pretend their child has cancer, because this blatant lie gives them an excuse to bother a very famous celebrity at a restaurant. They use emotional blackmail to get an autograph.

Abusive Parents-Purposely give their child SYMPTOMS of cancer by feeding them poison so they can get attention from doctors, nurses, celebrities, etc.





Not Perfect Parents-Sometimes have huge fights with their children. They end the fights and fix the relationship by either apologizing if they're the ones mostly in the wrong or GRACIOUSLY accepting their child's apology if their child is the one mostly in the wrong. 

Toxic Parents-Sometimes have huge fights with their children. But it is never, never, never their fault. How could anything ever be their fault?  They use a family drama...such as a biopsy to try to illicit feelings of fear, sympathy, and guilt. This, to them, is the way to win someone over.  This is their way of trying to end a fight.

Abusive Parents-Sometimes have huge fights with their children. They end things by chopping off their kids head and sticking it into a fish tank. Now they're kids can't talk back to them anymore. Problem. Solved.





Not Perfect Parents-Feel sad when their children remind them of their imperfections. Sometimes they might even get a little defensive. But then they take the time to think about their mistakes, face their mistakes, and grow from their mistakes.

Toxic Parents-Become furious and disgusted when their children remind them of their imperfections. They say things like I feel sorry for you and/or all you see is the negative.

Abusive Parents-Do not hear about their perfections from their children because they have stapled the mouths of their children shut 

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Exaggerating and Twisting

I've been thinking about some other manipulation techniques.

I think the main goal of someone, who often manipulates, is to turn themselves into the victim of the situation. 

Two of the ways they can do this is by exaggerating or twisting the situation.

And I'll say admit right now that I've at least done the former—maybe mostly in my head.

I'm not sure I do it as a manipulation strategy. I think it's more about being in a temporary state of delusion.

Something happens and it brings me to the point of

No one likes me.

I am boring to everyone.

It would be better if I didn't exist.

Everyone hates my writing.

I'm a bad mom.

I'm a bad wife.

All that fun self-esteem stuff.

I think the difference between exaggeration in delusional self-esteem issues and exaggeration in manipulative strategy is that, in the latter, the statements come as a response to confrontation. 

Ashley-You bought the wrong pads. I've told you I need the ones with wings.

Beth-What the hell, Ashley. I can't do anything right, can I?  I'm so sick of your nonstop criticism. I do things for you, and what's your response? You hate me. It's NOT fair!

Of course, Beth's response would have merit if Ashley did continuously criticize her. Then: Go Beth!

But let's pretend the majority of Ashley's interactions with Beth are neutral or positive rather than negative.  What is Beth's deal then? Why can't she simply say, Oh shit. Sorry. I totally forgot. 

The manipulator makes themselves the victim by pretending all interactions have been negative. They paint themselves as being a target of unrelenting abuse. 

Rachel-That's not funny. I think it's really offensive, actually.

Michele-You have absolutely no sense of humor. I can't say ANYTHING without offending you. I guess I'll just stop talking so I don't accidentally say the wrong thing. 

As for twisting.

Here the manipulator can become the victim by twisting the request or complaint of the person confronting them.

Let's say Shelly is getting married in a few months. She's obsessed with the wedding, and one of the manifestations of this obsession is that she repeatedly asks her sister Wendy when Wendy is going to get married.

This bothers Wendy, because though she's in a relationship, they are no where close to getting engaged. And Wendy is not even sure she even wants to get married.

Wendy tries to tolerate her sister's pestering. She tries to let it slide. But then she decides maybe she can just be upfront. So she emails her sister a heartfelt letter, asks her sister to stop asking her when she's going to get married and explains why this bothers her.

Instead of saying something like, Oh sorry. I didn't realize this was bothering you. I'll stop! Shelly twist's Wendy's complaint into Wendy being sick of marriage talk, period.

She writes back. Sorry. I was talking so much about my wedding. I'm just really excited. I didn't realize it was boring you.

So Wendy goes from someone who is sick of being pestered about her own personal life into someone who doesn't want to hear about someone else's upcoming big day. 

Shelly refused to accept her role of pest and twisted things to make herself look like a victim.

Now I'm wondering if I've behaved like Shelly before?

I hope not.

And if I have, I hope it was way in the past.

I hope I haven't done anything like that recently. 

I'm thinking if we want to be reasonable rather than delusional or manipulative, we need to cut out the words "never" and "always", both in our conversations and inner dialogues.  I know a lot of self-help gurus have said this kind of thing. It's probably good advice.

If we are FEELING that there's been never or always, we should probably stop and ask ourselves, what is it really?  Maybe often? Maybe just sometimes? Maybe rarely?

Maybe Ashley is SOMETIMES critical of Beth's shopping results, but other times she is neutral. And other times she acts excited and grateful. 

Friday, October 5, 2018

How Weird Is This?

I have this dream thing.

I'm wondering if it happens to a lot of other people?

Does it happen to ANYONE else?

I guess it would.

It seems impossible that I'm the only one in the whole world.

What happens is when I do certain actions-sometimes mundane-it brings up a memory of a particular dream.

It's like I have a memory flash.

And each action has a certain dream attached to it.

When I deal with my dandruff issue, I have flashes of a Harry Potter related dream.

When I cut my toenails, I have flashes of dream that involved The Exorcist.

When I do certain types of algebra, I have flashes of a dream that involved Bates Motel. I think it's when fractions are involved? Maybe. 

And sometimes when I do my French lessons on Duelingo, I have flashes of a certain dream. I'm not sure what, though.  

It might involve Neighbours.  

And I think the French lesson involves talking about shaving. Well, that's what flashed in my mind when I was writing this down.

I'm not sure why this happens, or why I have those particular associations.  

Did my dream self clip her toenails in The Exorcist dream?

Or maybe the day after the dream, I clipped my toenails, and while doing that, I suddenly remembered the dream. Maybe the association got stuck in my brain?  

If it ends up that I DO have epilepsy, I'll probably try to credit that for the phenomena. 

Well...anyway.

It's strange. But I don't mind it.

I like remembering my past dreams...even if it's only in flashes.  



 




Exaggerated Concern

Once upon a time you weren't feeling well.

He was pleased by the results because it made you thin again.

He praised you for looking good.

Then he was told that you're having health issues.

He offered to help.

Because

He has power.

He can get things done.

He wrote a letter

Using his power.

He warned you about the letter.

He told you not to be alarmed by his exaggerated concern.

You weren't anymore alarmed than you had already been.

You were sad.

You were hurt.

You were angry.

You wished he had real concern.

Real concern instead of exaggerated concern.

Real concern versus thinness admiration.

And the letter lies.

There are invented symptoms

Because your symptoms weren't enough for him.

He thought the lies would help.

But they embarrassed you.

You told the doctor the truth about the lies.

You wonder now if he partly blamed you.

Did he know that you hated those lies?

You hope he did.

The health problem faded away on its own

After an invasive medical test.

You do your research

You learn the test was probably unnecessary.

You feel conned.

You feel violated.

You feel wronged.

Years pass.

New Symptoms appear.

It takes you 3 months to tell him.

Because the last time brought you only grief.

You bring it up in a light tone

Because you don't want to be thought of as

A drama queen

A hypochondriac

But you don't want him to be light.

You want him to be concerned.

Real concern

Not exaggerated concern

He shows no concern.

Not real.

Not exaggerated.

He doesn't mention it.

Not the next day when he sees you.

Not the next week.

Not the next month.

Not until a fight leads to a temporary estrangement.

Then he shows concern.

Not to you.

But to others.

The others tell you about this concern.

He cares! He cares! He's so worried! He's so worried!

You learn he wants to use his power again to help you.

You feel a lot of pressure.

But...

You're not eager for the help.

Because

It didn't turn out so helpful last time.

You're afraid that once again the concern is exaggerated.

You don't like how he brags about helping people.

And you remember

That time

When he told you everything you've gotten in life comes from him and his power.

His words let you know that he believes

It was never your hard work.

It was never your natural talent.

It was never your passion or desire.

It was all him.

He apologized for that.

But no sorry could erase what he said.

You hate to accept his help again.

You hate to give him the idea

That you can't help yourself.

You give a thanks but no thanks.

At least for now.

Maybe in the future if your way doesn't work out.

And your way works out quite horribly.

You accept his help.

He uses his power.

He writes another letter.

You start to have doubts.

His way will be expensive.

He would pay.

You know that.

But he has already given you too much money.

You have been reminded of this when you were sad and and angry.

The reminder made you more sad and angry.

You start to back away.

You decide to try again on your own. 

You know your way might fail again.

But you know his way isn't a guaranteed success.

So better to take the path where less strings are attached.

He stops pressuring you to accept his help.

He expresses support for your path.

Then later you share a video

And he comments on the video.

His comments reveal

that it's very likely once again his concern has been exaggerated concern.

And despite all you eventually told him about your condition.

He didn't listen.

Or he didn't understand.

He trivialized what's big to you.

And you get angry.

You try to hide the anger.

You don't want drama.

You don't want to explain.

You know he won't understand.

You know he'll just end up reminding you

Of how much he has done for you.

How much he has given you.

How much he has sacrificed for you.

It's best to stay quiet.

But then he wants to go to lunch.

You don't want to go.

You're too angry.

And what's the point of having a conversation with him?

What's the point of answering his questions

If you know he's not listening or understanding?

Should you lie and make up an excuse?

Probably.

But you don't.

You hate lying.

You tell him the truth.

You tell him why you're angry.

This leads to a fight.

And of course you are right.

He reminds you that he has done so much for you.

Because he cares so much.

He's very concerned for you.

Is that real concern or is it exaggerated concern?

The concern isn't for your health, though.

It's for your estrangement from your family.

Funny.

You talk to them often.

There was an estrangement in the past.

It ended 9 months ago.

But still he's concerned.

Real concern?

Maybe.

But no.

It's probably exaggerated.

Instead of going to lunch on a lovely afternoon

Or lying.

You fight.

He reminds you that he is the one.

He is the one who is willing to find you help.

He is the one who is willing to pay for that help.

If you

You and not him.

If you

Think it's more than that minor problem in the video.

The video that addresses a condition you have been already diagnosed with.

A condition that you have not been concerned about.

A condition that you did not get an EEG for.

A condition that you did not get an MRI for.

He should know all this.

He should understand all this.

But he doesn't.

And he doesn't try.

He's too busy

Telling you all he's done for you

And all he's willing to do for you.

He lists things.

He brings up the letter you hadn't even wanted him to write.

The one he kept gently pressuring you to accept. 

He tells you he dropped what he was doing to write that letter.

It hurts you

It angers you

That he sees helping you as a sacrifice.

It bemuses you that he would say this

After you had repeatedly rejected his help.

And with his fighting words

He confirms

That you had every reason to reject that help.

You had every reason to turn away from his concern

That was very likely exaggerated.