communication, law, mental health, Police, true crime, YouTube

I’m ORDERING you to RELAX right NOW!!!

It’s Friday, and that means it’s PARTY time! Well… not really. Bill and I aren’t big partiers. But there will be a special fest in our little village this weekend. It starts tonight and will consist of live music, a wine stand, AND a beer stand! There will also be a food truck. Hopefully, it will stop raining, so we can enjoy the fun and stay dry.

This week, I’ve been watching more cop videos on YouTube. The ones that end up on YouTube are usually somewhat interesting on some level. Like, the uploaders aren’t going to just put up a video of someone getting a speeding ticket without complaint. Most of the videos that make it to YouTube involve some misbehavior or attitude of some sort.

I have a few favorite body cam channels. I like the ones where there’s a good narrator, even if the narrator is AI. If the AI isn’t super obvious, I don’t mind it that much. I just like a good story, although some of the stories are tragic. Code Blue Cam usually has good body cam videos and a compelling storyline. Their most recent upload is quite the doozy. Just a warning… this video is definitely NSFW, mainly due to the extremely profane language the woman uses as she’s being busted for DUI. I’d share it here, but it’s age restricted.

One of Code Blue Cams less “adult” videos… I offer it just for the sake of an example.

The below video comes from Real World Police, which is another one of my favorite YouTube body cam channels. As I was watching it, I had to pause and ponder…

This dude is very profane, and it’s clear the cops aren’t on his side. They order him to “calm down”.

In the above video, the older man is very upset as he’s speaking to the police officers. He uses a lot of foul language. One of the cops says, “Calm down!” And it occurred to me, when I’m upset and someone orders me to “calm down”, it usually has the opposite effect. I asked my friends on Facebook if they are ever able to calm down when someone orders them to calm down. Almost everyone responded with a resounding “NO!”, including my former shrink– a psychologist with over 50 years of experience. He said, “It doesn’t work for anyone.”

Please note… I’m not talking about speaking to someone calmly and encouraging them to calm down. I’m talking about ORDERING them to calm down. I see this all the time in the cop videos. The police are wrestling someone to the ground, screaming at them to “stop resisting”, “calm down”, “don’t pull away”, and my personal favorite, “RELAX!” Yeah, I’m gonna relax with guys in uniforms with guns, tasers, pepper spray, and handcuffs are screaming at me and my adrenaline is pumping. Not.

I liken the order to “relax” and “calm down” by police as the same as a gynecologist telling someone to relax while they have their fingers in one of their patients’ orifices. I’m sorry if that’s shocking to some readers, but in all seriousness. One of the main reasons I’ve only had two exams done in my 51 years of life is because when I had my first “female” exam, the doctor was awful and ordered me to relax as she was hurting me. When she hurt me, I cried out, and almost fainted. She basically told me to shut up, or she wouldn’t finish the exam. I needed the exam to join the Peace Corps, so I gritted my teeth.

Then, when the OB-GYN from Hell finished the exam, she said “Well, everything looked okay, but I didn’t get the world’s best exam, because you weren’t relaxed.” Duh… I wasn’t sexually active; it was my first time getting an exam; and she was hurting me in a place where the sun doesn’t shine. And then to add insult to injury, she fat shamed me, too. ๐Ÿ˜‰ How relaxing! NOT. As you can see, that experience really had a traumatic effect on me.

Dang… this one was filmed in Fayetteville, Georgia. Bill and I lived there for about sixteen months after our last Germany stint ended in 2009. I liked that town. The house we lived in was on 8 acres and it was super private! The house in this video is owned by Rick Ross, the rapper. There are many mansions in Fayetteville, Georgia.

The woman in the above video– name of Precious– is completely out of touch with reality. She asks the cops to let her walk “sexy” as she’s wearing handcuffs. She claims she’s pregnant with Rick Ross’s twins and is his wife. She also says she’s a model. This video is pretty funny, too, because as I mentioned in the above caption, I used to live in Fayetteville, Georgia, where this video was taken. This brings back some good memories for me. I did enjoy living in Fayetteville, but that was before Trump fucked up small town America.

Anyway, the woman in the video isn’t relaxed, but I give kudos to the Fayetteville Police for handling her professionally. We only had one interaction with them. It was when we brought my now 14 year old Mini Cooper– then brand new– to be inspected by the police before we could register it with Fayette County and get new tags. The cop who dealt with us was very efficient and pleasant. I can see from the many cop videos on YouTube that they aren’t always that good.

Last night, for instance, I saw a video Ring of Fire did about MAGA supporter and former Obama and Trump White House physician, Ronny Jackson, who is an actual emergency room doctor, being cussed at, thrown to the ground, and cuffed. Why? Because he was trying to help a teenaged girl in medical distress at a rodeo. I’ve seen many videos where cops have seemingly endless patience and compassion. And I’ve seen other videos where they aren’t much better than the people they arrest, and in some cases, they’re even worse! I’m not saying I like Ronny Jackson is the greatest doctor, but he’s certainly qualified to help a teenager with hypoglycemia. He shouldn’t be thrown to the ground and cuffed for helping someone.

WHAT?!! Those cops need firing, now!
“You pull away from me, you’re gonna hit the tub!” How relaxing. Then the cops yells at her, while she’s hysterical. Not saying she isn’t deserving of being arrested, but the cop shouldn’t be screaming and cursing at her. It’s understandable, but not helpful.

The above video is also a good example of why our mental health system in the United States needs a complete overhaul. That woman is in need of psychiatric care. It sounds like another cop is being more gentle with her. I can understand that dealing with someone like that is very frustrating, but screaming at people doesn’t calm them down. When they arrive at the police station, you can hear the one cop screaming at her to “calm the fuck down”… but it’s really not effective at all. People who are that “amped up” are not in the frame of mind to calm down. The best you can do is put them in a safe, quiet place and wait for them to simmer down. Barring that, Ativan works pretty well… but again, you kinda need a medical person for that.

It always fascinates me to see people ordering people to relax and calm down. That sort of defies logic, doesn’t it? When people yell at me, it makes me want to respond in kind. I never calm down when someone demands it of me. All that does is piss me off anew. When I was younger, I used to get really upset and hysterical, even to the point of hyperventilating. I haven’t had a good, full-blown anxiety attack in years, though… thank God. It’s not a nice feeling. The woman in the above video, especially, needs some compassion, even though she’s clearly broken the law and needs to answer for that. I suspect she’s mentally ill, and needs care.

One of the cops in this video says she used to be a mental health counselor. I can tell. She handles panicky Ellie very compassionately (at around the 11 minutes mark), although in her case, it didn’t work out too well. She had to get “wrapped” like a burrito.

But I also know that the police, especially in the United States, have a difficult and dangerous, yet very necessary, job. It’s not work that always attracts the best and brightest, nor is the training that great, especially in some areas. It seems like cops are trained to be very authoritative, instead of de-escalating situations. One thing I have noticed over here in Europe is that cops are more interested in non-violent interactions, and they work hard to keep things peaceful, as they also keep the peace. It helps that there aren’t so many guns, here.

I’ll leave you with this old video by Beau (Justin), of Beau of the Fifth Column, who used to train law enforcement. He makes a lot of sense, and the video isn’t distressing or violent. If you watch any of the videos in this post, I highly suggest watching this one, simply because he brings up the state of mind of the person being arrested, which is an important key point that I think a lot of people miss.

Beau (aka Justin King), once again, making a lot of sense.

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true crime, videos, YouTube

YouTube introduces me to another compelling prison v-logger…

The unaltered featured photo comes courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

I have always loved reading and hearing true stories. When I was growing up, I also loved reading fiction. I think I lost my love for reading most fiction when I was an English major in college. It was further eradicated when I lived in Armenia and most of the only reading material available in English was of the trashy romance novel type. I was so desperate to read something in English that I read the bodice rippers, anyway. I found a lot of the romance novels kind of depressing, probably because I didn’t have a love life to speak of in those days.

Nowadays most of my reading is all about biographies, autobiographies, current events, and the like… I like documentaries, too. There are still a couple of fiction authors I enjoy, but I have so many non-fiction books that I stay pretty busy… especially since I tend to fall asleep pretty quickly when I read these days. I need to buy a chair for reading, because I usually try to read in bed and it’s not long before I’m dead to the world.

I think my tendency to fall asleep when I read has also led to me watching more YouTube videos. YouTube has caused me to discover other true stories… many of which would have never been told in days past. YouTube can also offer a new beginning to people who otherwise might not have ever had one.

Take, for instance, Jessica Kent. She’s a popular YouTuber who has a channel all about her experiences in prison. I discovered her via Mama Doctor Jones, an OB-GYN who makes really excellent videos about women’s health issues. Someone asked Dr. Jones to react to Jessica’s video about giving birth when she was incarcerated in an Arkansas prison. I was so impressed by Jessica’s heartbreaking story that I checked out her channel and subscribed. In the old days, Jessica might not have been able to carve out a successful career after being in prison. But now, she has a thriving channel with 992k subscribers. She creates original content that people find compelling. I assume that’s allowed her to live a more law abiding life.

Jessica Kent has carved quite a career out of YouTube…

I write that “I assume”, because I really don’t know. She did make a few videos recently indicating that she’d had some issues lately with her (apparently former) significant other. I don’t want to speculate too much on the details, except to state that I think it’s pretty hard to go straight after an experience like prison. Jessica has a lot of empathy for prisoners, which is totally understandable. She was one herself. But a lot of people who have been incarcerated were incarcerated for good reason.

While many prisoners are basically decent people, the truth is, the majority of them did something that put them behind bars. They don’t always learn their lessons when they’re behind bars, which can make consorting with them risky, even if they seemed to have turned over a new leaf. See my book review on Shannon Moroneyโ€™s book about her ex husband, sex offender Jason Staples, for more on that.

Christina Randall is also a popular prison v-logger. She has 1.38 million subscribers, and covers true crime topics as well as her own experiences being incarcerated in Florida. I don’t watch her channel as much, but it looks like lately, she’s been focusing on recent true crime cases in the media, rather than telling her own stories. I know she and Jessica Kent have also collaborated. Personally, I prefer hearing the true stories from the people themselves, which is why I don’t follow Christina’s channel. But obviously, she’s compelling, and she has a lot of dedicated followers. If that keeps her out of prison, I say “more power to her”.

One of Christina’s videos about her own experiences.

Lately, I’ve been watching another channel, this time by a guy named “jumpsuitpablo”, who spent ten years in prison in South Carolina. He’s an up and coming YouTube talent, with 27.1k subscribers, at this writing. I find his content very compelling for a few reasons. First, I think he has a really nice speaking voice. It’s pleasant to listen to. He’s intelligent, and a good storyteller. Secondly, I lived in South Carolina for three years, so I’m interested in his experiences doing time in that state. And thirdly, he covers Alex Murdaugh. I don’t actually care that much about Murdaugh’s case, but that was what initially hooked me to jumpsuitpablo’s channel. I kept getting YouTube suggestions for the channel, based on Murdaugh’s case.

Alex Murdaugh’s case is a reminder that the mighty can fall pretty rapidly. Murdaugh was once a very successful attorney living the high life in South Carolina. Now, he’s a convict, being evaluated before he gets shuffled off to do his time. It so happens that jumpsuitpablo has actual experience being incarcerated in the same prison where Murdaugh is, and he knows people who are still there. So that gives him access to some very interesting content. But jumpsuitpablo also shares his own stories from his days as a prisoner. It’s fascinating stuff.

This is quite a harrowing story.
Yikes!
Then, when you get out, become a v-logger…

I guess in the old days, before we had YouTube, these folks might have written books about their experiences. But it takes a lot of time to write a book, and back before the Internet, it wasn’t so easy to get published… even if you self-published. Nowadays, anyone can write a book, or become a video star, or even a music star. I know some people lament this form of progress, because it makes it harder for people who do things the “old-fashioned” way. But frankly, I’m glad to see people who were once incarcerated making money in a legal way. I also think their experiences matter, and they have stories that ought to be told, and HEARD, by regular folks.

Like many people, I used to assume that the incarcerated were all dangerous, bad people who deserved what they were getting and more. That was an opinion based in ignorance, and perhaps on what I had seen and heard on television or read in books. YouTube videos that star actual convicts put human faces on the prison experience. No, I don’t condone what prisoners have done to get locked up, but I also realize that there but by the grace of God go I. It’s very easy to get arrested and/or locked up in the United States. All you have to do to realize that is to watch one of the many cop videos on YouTube.

I’m sure this guy never thought he’d get busted…

When I watch the cop videos, I tend to vacillate between feeling sorry for the police (because the public can be incredibly disrespectful), to feeling really sorry for the arrestees (because cops can also be incredibly disrespectful). I often yell at the cops, too, because a lot of them genuinely appear to be on power trips and blatantly deny people their civil rights. On the other hand, a lot of people are total assholes and have no respect for the law, or other people’s safety or property. I probably shouldn’t watch as many videos as I do, for the sake of my blood pressure… but they are so compelling! And I have a pretty boring lifestyle, so I tune in and enhance my knowledge of true crime. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I definitely don’t think I could stand to go to prison, but obviously, I probably would adapt. It appears that most people do. Some people adapt better than others do. Some people even become institutionalized, and can’t function outside of prison. We’ll never see any videos from those people.

I’ve seen other prison v-loggers, too, but to me, their content isn’t as interesting or professionally done. Which just goes to show you that it takes talent and skill to make good content. It’s too bad prison is what led some of these folks to their YouTube careers. Maybe under different circumstances, they would have been able to avoid those unfortunate experiences. Obviously, they survived, but there are lingering costs associated with going to prison. I sure wouldn’t do it to boost my own very modest and tiny YouTube channel (with 130 subscribers).

Anyway, if you find prison content interesting, I’d especially recommend watching jumpsuitpablo’s channel. His content is very interesting, and I’d like to see him stay out of prison. I also recommend Jessica Kent and Christina Randall, although I haven’t been keeping up with their channels as much lately. If anything, these folks remind me to stay on the straight and narrow path.

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ethics, narcissists, Police

Look out, guys… she’s looking for a rich sponsor.

The featured photo is pretty much a description of how I feel today…

Greetings, blog fans. Happy hump day to you. Today’s big project was originally going to be taking Arran to the vet. I made a morning appointment last week, because I was the one who took him in for his chemo. Because his lymph nodes are swelling again, the vet wants to see him today. I hate going to the vet in the late afternoon. I feel like it spoils the whole day.

Bill was going to drive my Mini to work today, because it’s hard to get Arran in the backseat of the Mini, now that he’s an old man. The car definitely needs to be driven more than it is. Unfortunately, the Mini has been sitting in the garage for too long. The battery died. So now he has to come home later this morning, and I guess that means he’ll be taking Arran to the vet. That suits me fine. I hate going to the vet. I’ll do it, because I love my dogs, but it’s not one of my favorite chores. Especially when the dog has cancer. I guess Arran will get chemo today. Hopefully, it won’t affect him like it did last week.

SIGH…

It’s just as well, anyway, since it means I’ll be home to collect any deliveries that show up today. We are expecting a lightbulb for the oven, new contact lenses for me, and I have also ordered cheese from The Netherlands and my new computer, which is supposed to arrive Friday, but could realistically get here whenever. I look forward to having the new machine.

Yesterday’s music post was surprisingly successful. I probably should do more music instead of writing, but again, my computer is giving me some pretty big issues lately. Sometimes, I think big companies like Apple make their products so they fall apart after a specific period of time. My computers tend to die after four years. I’ve now owned three Mac desktops, not including the one on its way to me. All three basically turned to barely usable crap after four years. And all three are sitting in my office, because we need to dispose of them legally.

My current computer is now at a point at which it really can’t handle multiple tasks. I just spent several idle minutes waiting for the colorful spinning ball to quit spinning. Yesterday, I couldn’t make a decent video to go with my vocal track, because Photo Booth refused to work properly. It appeared to be videoing me, but then there was no video at the end of the song. So I had to use my newer laptop to get the job done, and then I couldn’t get the video to sync properly with the audio.

Anyway… it will be good to have a new computer. This one I’ve been using hasn’t been beaten as hard as my others have been. I actually use my iPad for a lot of things. But when it comes to writing blog posts or anything else, I much prefer to use a desktop computer. I also like to do my recordings on the big computer. So my new “blue” machine needs to get here, pronto. I see it’s just departed Hong Kong, where Apple has a big factory.

Lately, I’ve been hooked on the Audit the Audit videos on YouTube. Unlike Code Blue Cam, which seems to focus on good cops, the Audit the Audit videos seem more geared toward bad ones. They do, on occasion, feature good police officers, but it seems like the videos I’ve seen lately have shown cops who are on power trips.

I think it’s scary how easy it is to get in trouble with the police in the United States. Yesterday, I watched a video involving a 19 year old man who was harassed by the cops for suspected truancy because he had a backpack and was near a school. The guy didn’t want to show the police his identification, so they eventually transported him against his will to a local school, where it was determined that he wasn’t a student there.

Seems like a big waste of time.

Here’s another video I just discovered as I’m writing this… The cops arrested this young man for walking in the street, but then had to let him go.

Yikes! This is insane.
The cop in this case is a real jerk. He trespassed on this fellow’s property, acted like the landowner was being rude, when he was intruding, and then wouldn’t leave.

And now, I’m going to segue into an inappropriate discussion about Ex…

As I watch these crazy ass videos of cops who go too far or just far enough, I wonder how it is that Ex is still on the loose. She’s always looking for “help”, especially of the financial kind. A few days ago, she was back to swooning over Outlander, and she posted this…

Ordinarily, I might just have a giggle at Ex’s assertion that she “needs” to learn to speak Gaelic to her “ancestral relatives”. I’ve been to Scotland several times now, and I have yet to encounter a single Scot who speaks Gaelic exclusively. I did notice, when we were in Ireland, that there were parts of Ireland where some signs were in Gaelic. But I never saw that in Scotland. Maybe she might encounter a Gaelic speaker in the hinterlands of Scotland, where very few people live. I doubt she would ever get to those places, though.

I’m not saying Ex shouldn’t try to learn Gaelic if she wants to do that. Scotland is apparently officially trying to preserve the language. As Ex’s Twitter friend points out, she could even learn some Gaelic for free on Duolingo. Bill uses that app every day for German practice. However, I do think learning Gaelic just so she can “speak to the natives”, is kind of stupid and pretentious. And it’s also something she’s just throwing out there for show, because I highly doubt that even if she ever became fluent in Gaelic, she’d ever use it, even in Scotland.

I probably wouldn’t have posted about this interaction today, save for the last bit of Ex’s second comment. Note where she writes, “Now all I need is a rich sponsor to pay for my trip; I have to bring my three autistic children!!!”

None of her “children” could be described as actual children. She has one son who is now 16 years old and evidently has severe autism. The other four are all legal adults, aged 35, 31, 29, and almost 20. Moreover, while older daughter supposedly has been diagnosed with being “on the spectrum”, it’s not like Ex did anything at all about that until older daughter was herself an adult. The first we heard of her supposed autism/Asperger’s Syndrome was when she was 20 years old. Prior to that, Ex basically described her as “dumb” or “weird”.

I am not kidding. When older daughter was a child, Ex once sent Bill an email that read something along the lines of, “I don’t know what we’re going to do with that girl. She’s just dumb.” Now, she’s acting like her very reason for being is championing all of her children’s hopes and dreams. Her actions don’t match what she says.

I’m not sure who she’s claiming as the third “child” with autism. Maybe it’s her daughter with #3. Who knows? I get the sense that she sees mothering a child with autism as some kind of special badge of honor. If one is “good”, three must be better, right? But even if she has two other adult “children” with autism, they are highly functional. She doesn’t need to label them in a way that implies that they are abnormal, even if technically, they are. One of them is apparently attending graduate school, and the other is reportedly a college student.

As for Ex going anywhere with her “three autistic children”, I don’t see it happening. A year ago, she was moaning about how her youngest child runs away and needs a securely fenced in area so he can be outside without constant supervision. She was trying to crowdfund that project. And she has a habit of buying stuff when she can’t pay her bills. So, I doubt she will ever manage to take this “dream trip” of hers. But she still dreams of finding that “rich uncle” to help her achieve her elusive dreams.

I’d like to know why a “rich sponsor” would give Ex money for a trip to Scotland. What would be the purpose? No one should feel sorry for Ex. She makes it sound like she has her hands full with “three autistic children”, but two of the children aren’t actually kids anymore. The other is an older teenager whom, she says, runs away. If that’s the case, then maybe traveling with him isn’t a great idea. Or, perhaps she is exaggerating his condition. At this point, who knows?

I think what is most interesting about Ex’s latest tweets is that, once again, she’s outwardly and openly asking strangers for money. Sure, she does it in sort of a joking, dreaming way, but there’s truth in jest, right? And she has a history of getting people to feel sorry for her, or acting like she’s helping them, when she’s really just trying to make them feel like they have to reciprocate her “kindness”… which isn’t actually kindness at all. She likes it when people “owe” her, even though she isn’t very good about repaying the debts she owes.

So where are the overreaching police where Ex is? I don’t like to see the cops abusing their power, but Ex has been getting away with her shit for so many years. Isn’t it time she got busted for her obvious deceit? Well, I can dream, can’t I?

Anyway… I suppose it’s time to wrap up this post and practice guitar. This slow computer is bringing me down. Hopefully, Arran will have a good vet check. He’s not any worse off this week than he was last week. He just has bigger lymph nodes. I hate canine cancer.

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divorce, lessons learned, mental health, psychology, YouTube

“Kicking the cat…” What happens when anger is displaced…

Many years ago, when I was a college student at what is now Longwood University, I took a course called Interpersonal Communication. I took it because I was pursuing minors in both speech and communications, and the course counted for both minors. I don’t remember being particularly excited about the class when I signed up for it, but it turned out to be an interesting field of study. I remember it to be an examination of how people communicate in different settings, and while it was not a psychology class, certain psychological terms and concepts were covered. In fact, even though I took Psychology 101 during my freshman year, I distinctly remember learning about the concept of psychological projection for the first time in my Interpersonal Communication course. It was also in that class that I first learned about “displaced anger”.

Although Dr. Nancy Anderson Haga, the professor who taught that class, has long since retired, I remember that she was among the very first professors I met at Longwood when I was a fresh high school graduate attending orientation. I was struck by how energetic, caring, and positive she was. Then a couple of years later, when I was about 20 years old, I was in her class, and she was teaching us about how we communicate with each other. I didn’t know then that one of her lessons would come back to me in bold relief, two weeks before my 50th birthday.

Last night, Bill watched a video his younger daughter sent to him. She was thanking him for a box of goodies he sent to her, with stuff we picked up on recent trips to France and Italy, as well as some very superior German chocolate. In the course of the video, younger daughter talked about how much she loves to cook. Bill also loves to cook. So do I… or, at least I did before Bill took over the job. I used to be a great cook, and always enjoyed it because it was a creative activity. There’s an art to making something taste good, look appetizing, and be nurturing. Actually, I’m not that good at making “pretty food”, but I am pretty good at making food that is comforting. Bill is also good at that, and he’s also a fan of good presentation. He’s been known to plate our dinners with flair.

Younger daughter talked about how one of her in-laws really loves fresh bread, and he likes to have it at every meal. She likes to bake, so she was thinking she might like to make some bread to take over to her husband’s family’s house. I like to bake bread too, especially when I’m in a bad mood and need to pound the shit out of something. Bread baking is great for that.

As she was talking about baking rolls from scratch, younger daughter stated that she wasn’t always sure if people appreciated her efforts. Then her face got very serious and pained, and she said, “The only person who has ever complained about my cooking is my mother.”

One time, she asked Bill if her mother (Ex) had ever complained about his cooking. Bill had replied, “Of course. All the time!” As he was telling me about talking to his daughter about this, he laughed. But I can imagine that when Ex criticized his cooking, it probably really hurt his feelings. Here he had taken the time and expended the effort to make something nourishing for his ex wife, and her only thought was to disdain it in a mean way. Younger daughter then related a story that, frankly, I found heartbreaking. I could also see that telling us the story was making her feel bad anew, even though the incident had happened years ago.

Younger daughter and her older sister were tasked to cook for the whole family. If they didn’t cook, food wouldn’t be made, and someone would probably get into trouble. She explained that Ex and #3 were going through a particularly lean financial period. Consequently, there was very little food in the house. And yet, it was younger daughter’s implied duty to make dinner every night. There she was, faced with the task of making dinner for seven people, but there simply wasn’t much food in the house to accomplish that goal.

Younger daughter looked around to see what there was on hand to make dinner. She found frozen pie crust, instant mashed potatoes, some frozen vegetables, and a single chicken breast. Perfect! She could make a shepherd’s pie, of sorts. That would have been what both Bill and I would have done in that situation. It was quite genius, and she was able to make something edible and probably even tasty.

Younger daughter put together the pie, and was feeling pretty good and accomplished. Then Ex came home from wherever she’d been during the day. Younger daughter proudly presented the pie she had created out of the few ingredients in the house. Ex’s response was to declare it disgusting, refuse to eat, and lock herself in her bedroom for the rest of the evening.

I could tell that relating that story was very painful for younger daughter. But then she brightened and said she was grateful for where she is now. Ex no longer has the power over her that she once had. Like Bill, younger daughter was able to escape the FOG (fear, obligation, guilt). But the scars remain, and I know how that feels. Sometimes, old memories still come up that bring on the pain from the past.

Of course, Bill was pretty angry when he heard that story. I don’t know exactly when the incident happened, but it sounds like it might have occurred when Ex was still being paid child support. I believe younger daughter got the hell out of her mother’s house as soon as she could after turning 18. Either way, it was Ex’s responsibility to see that there was food in the house, and to make sure her children had enough to eat. Complicating matters was the fact that she wouldn’t allow Bill to help his daughters. She was too angry with him for that. We didn’t know this was going on, because they couldn’t and wouldn’t talk to Bill during that time. If Bill had known about this, he would have taken action. In retrospect, we should have taken action when she refused to let him communicate with his kids, but it seemed like it would have been a waste of time, since they were teenagers.

And that’s where the lesson about “displaced anger” comes into play. I remember learning about the concept in that college class at Longwood, and thatโ€™s why I titled this post “kicking the cat”. Displaced anger– otherwise known as “misplaced anger”– is when a person deals with their anger by directing it at a less threatening cause. It can take different forms. For instance, a person who was raised in an abusive home, with a parent who beat them, might try to soothe themselves by saying that it was okay that their parent hit them, since “that was how things were back in the day”. Or they might say, “he or she was just trying to make me tougher.” Meanwhile, the righteous anger is boiling under the surface, and it comes out against someone or something that is less able to fight back.

I remember in my Interpersonal Communication class, as she was explaining “displaced anger”, Dr. Haga talked about a man who comes home from work, angry with his boss for acting like a jerk. Instead of addressing the jerk boss, since that doesn’t feel like a safe thing to do, the man kicks his cat. Or he gets drunk and verbally abusive, and beats on his wife. Or he snaps at his daughter that the dinner she made looks and tastes like shit. Or maybe, if he’s a really sick and violent person, he takes the family dog out to the desert and shoots it (sadly, I do remember hearing and writing about a man who did this when he was angry with his wife).

It doesn’t matter that expressing anger in this way is harmful to innocent people or animals. The anger feels like it has to come out, and it doesn’t feel possible for the man to direct it toward the appropriate person, so the man directs it at individuals who seem weaker and less threatening. I grew up in a home where I often got abused by angry people– especially my dad and one of my sisters. They would often take their anger out on me, because I was the youngest and, at least for a long time, the weakest. Usually, the anger doesn’t really dissipate, though, especially when there are consequences for expressing anger in such a way. I will also admit that I have expressed anger inappropriately by directing it toward the wrong source. I now try to do better, as much as I’m able. Therapy is a good thing.

Last week, I wrote a post about how I’ve gotten hooked on Code Blue Cam, a YouTube channel devoted to police work. In a lot of the videos, the perpetrators who get busted are clearly mentally ill or under the influence of something. A lot of times, they are also very angry and agitated. I watched a video this morning that featured a man who was extremely belligerent and defiant. The police were trying to be kind and helpful, but this man was consumed with rage. He was extremely abusive toward the police, as well as the civilians who were involved in the altercation which caused the police to be summoned in the first place.

This video begins with a drunk woman who gets hauled off to jail, but it ends with the belligerent man, whose tone goes from extremely rude and defiant, to desperate and pleading.

I found the above video kind of hard to watch… but it was also kind of fascinating, because before the guy was put in handcuffs, he was a complete asshole. I sat there wondering what in the world had happened to him that had caused him to seethe with so much rage. But then, when he was finally arrested and placed in handcuffs, his tone became pathetic. He openly said on more than one occasion that he hoped the police would just shoot him. This is a miserable person with deep problems and a lot of unprocessed anger, which was coming out inappropriately. It wasn’t that different than Ex being nasty to younger daughter for making something she didn’t want to eat for dinner.

Another video, this time involving young men who were in deep trouble and expressing negativity in a destructive way. One of the young men openly expresses disappointment in himself and how his life has turned out… and says he wishes the cops would kill him. He obviously needs help.

Maybe the teens in the above video were trying to be manipulative. I think the guy in the first video was very manipulative, and if these two young guys in the above video don’t get some real help, they will wind up like him and either spend a lot of time in prison or get themselves killed. But I could hear real anguish in their voices. Bad things happened to them that led them to where they are now, and unfortunately, they weren’t able to find the kind of help they needed to avoid ending up on the wrong side of the law.

I have no doubt in my mind that Ex has experienced some really terrible things in her life. I know that she suffered horrific abuse when she was growing up. I’m pretty certain that she’s an extremely angry person, and that anger stems from the people in her life who failed her when she was a child. I think she’s also angry with Bill. He probably had her thinking he could heal her and solve her problems. Bill is a very kind, nurturing, loving and gentle person. I know this for a fact, because I’m his second wife. He doesn’t have a mean or violent bone in his body. However, like most people, he does have a red line, and if you cross it, he’ll be done with you. I think Ex thought she would never reach that red line, because he is such a kind and patient man. But she did reach it, and he decided he was done. So, when she presented divorce papers to him in a very dramatic and manipulative drama held over Easter at Bill’s dad’s house, she never expected that he would agree that their marriage was over and offer to sign the papers. He went off script.

Ex was expecting Bill to say, “No, we won’t have any of that…” and try even harder to please her. That was what he’d done in the past. But, after almost ten years, he was just done. He had gotten away from her toxic influence while they were separated, and realized that there’s life beyond divorce. He found out that he didn’t have to live the way he’d been living. He knew he wouldn’t be alone, and that being broke was temporary. So he called her bluff, and fucked up her vision of what was supposed to happen. She had to adjust, and I think wound up with someone who was even less suitable for her. But she’s smart enough not to threaten divorce with #3, because it’s doubtful she’d find a #4. Or, at least she won’t be able to hook someone by having kids with them.

But she was still left with two tangible remnants from their marriage– their two daughters. So she decided to keep the girls away from Bill, as a means of punishing him for “abandoning” her. At the same time, she treated them particularly badly, because they probably remind her of Bill. As younger daughter got older, she started to develop the same kind of self-preservation skills that Bill has. She started to go off script, and she rebelled. Ex responded by being inappropriately angry. She “kicked the cat”– in this case, younger daughter– instead of finding a healthier and more appropriate outlet for her rage. Instead of being grateful that younger daughter had managed to cobble together dinner with very few ingredients, which were ultimately Ex’s responsibility to provide, Ex was angry and mean. And now, I think she’s paying a price, since it’s obvious that younger daughter is now alienated from her mom.

Younger daughter ended her video call on a happy note. She said she was so grateful to the other people in her life who are kind and considerate. She even said she was grateful to me, of all people. That made me feel really good. For years, I was angry with her and her sister, because I know their dad, and I know he was “kicked” by Ex for years. Now I have empathy for them, because I know they’ve felt the pain from Ex’s proverbial shoe, too. They have been on the receiving end of her misplaced anger. Thankfully for younger daughter, she’s managed to develop the skills to get out of the strike zone. Unfortunately, I’m afraid the people who have chosen to stay around Ex are paying for the independence of those who have left. I can only hope that someday, older daughter will get out of the strike zone, too.

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true crime, videos, YouTube

I found a new “true crime” time drain on YouTube…

A few days ago, I was watching YouTube, and I noticed that I got a new channel suggestion. I often try to ignore new channel suggestions, because sometimes they turn out to be really lame AI generated videos that aren’t very interesting and basically exist just to generate ad revenue. A lot of channels dedicated to covering reality TV D-list celebrities like the Duggars, for instance, are obviously made by bots. Or, at least they’re narrated by bots, who can’t even properly pronounce names.

I also try to avoid finding new channels, because if they’re good, they turn into obligatory rabbit holes that I fall down and get hooked on. I end up wasting a lot of time watching stuff when I could be doing something more constructive. Or, I end up inadvertently getting sucked into dramas generated by YouTube creators. Like, for instance, this morning, I watched a video by Katie Joy from Without A Crystal Ball that was about how her “stalker”, a British woman named Natalie Kennett, finally got arrested.

Scary stuff!

And Katie Joy’s spawned another video by a different content creator whose channel I discovered a few months ago…

I’m sure there are other videos, too.

If I wanted to, I could spend all day watching this stuff, and while I am definitely a bored housewife with too much time on my hands, I don’t need to spend all day wasting time on this crap. I’ve still got some semblance of a life, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰ On the other hand, I can sympathize with Katie Joy, since I had an issue of my own with a “stalker” (of sorts) a few years ago, who was making offline trouble for me. Some people don’t like content creators, and I’ll admit, I don’t always shy away from controversy. I wish I could be a really pleasant person, like v-logger Katie Wenger of Meet the Wengers, who has a great channel on YouTube. Her videos are almost always upbeat, uplifting, and positive. But I suspect that even Katie has haters, somewhere out there, and I know that I have some, too.

I have seen a lot of people on YouTube posting negative stuff about Katie Joy. I don’t pay attention to most of it, because that drama is not something I want to be involved with, nor do I have an opinion about Katie Joy as a person. I’ve got enough of my own problems, and my own dramas. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Still, it was interesting and scary to hear about how this random woman in Britain has been stalking Katie Joy and causing her some real life, offline issues that even involved the police! Crazy!

The other day, I noticed that I had a new channel suggestion on YouTube, and against my better judgment, I ended up watching the first video… Sure enough, I got hooked. I spent a couple of hours on Wednesday, and most of yesterday afternoon, watching Code Blue Cam, which is a channel that features body cam videos from police officers in La Crosse, Wisconsin. I have to admit, this channel has some very compelling content, and while I wouldn’t have expected it, I’ve actually come away with a very positive impression of the police officers in La Crosse. At least on the videos featured on Code Blue Cam, they’ve all seemed to be kind, easy going, and professional, even treating the most egregiously badly behaved suspects with decency and fairness. Have a look at the videos below to see what I mean.

They’re actually really nice to this girl, even though she’s “absolutely nuts”.
And this officer is actually pretty kind to this lady, even though she was doing 137 MPH. Yes, she was arrested, but the cops were surprisingly polite as they put her in cuffs. In fact, they even seemed concerned about her.
Here’s a lady who clearly has mental health issues and she screams at the cops, calling them filthy names… and yet, they stay calm and collected. They even offer to crack the window down for her.
Cody, in his Garfield sweatshirt, told his girlfriend “I got this, babe” before he totaled his car.

These are just a few of the more entertaining videos I’ve watched on Code Blue Cam. I will warn that they don’t censor the language on these videos, and some of the people who get arrested use filthy words– like, the worst words you can think of, to include the n-bomb, the f-bomb, and the c-bomb. Personally, I don’t mind that they don’t censor, since I think censoring words is a stupid practice. And I mean that for ALL words… especially when we know what the word is, anyway. What’s the point of bleeping? You might as well just let it out, so we all know what was actually said. I’m surprised that YouTube doesn’t bust Code Blue Cam, though, since I notice that Katie Joy and other content creators don’t use certain words. Like, for instance, instead of saying words like rape, porn, or even “stalker”, they’ll use the first letter, or spell it out. What’s the difference? We know what they mean, right? How is it better not to say the word?

Code Blue Cam does occasionally mute what people say, probably for legal reasons, and they do sometimes censor video to prevent getting strikes on YouTube. That makes sense. But, if you choose to watch this channel, be advised that you might hear language that is highly objectionable, or see people doing things that are outrageous. Below are a few videos that show what I mean about that…

Kudos to the cops for not knocking the shit out of this woman. Seriously!
Is she wearing men’s underwear?
And this woman acts like she’s going to put the cops in time out, or something. What the hell? Glad she can count to three, at least.

I’m not a huge fan of cops who act like bullies, but by and large, the police in these videos are very patient and decent. They are a credit to their community. And, honestly, it’s unbelievable what they have to tolerate. People don’t seem to have any respect for anyone anymore.

I don’t know if the videos on Code Blue Cam are representative of all of the police dealings in La Crosse, but I think they are a good public relations tool. It’s nice to see videos that depict police officers acting very professionally. Even when they get to the jail, the cops are decent. Sometimes, they even show up with wheelchairs for the less cooperative folks. Kudos to these cops… and thank God I don’t do police work for a living.

Anyway, it’s a nice Friday today, so I think I’ll end this post and take the boys for a walk… and practice guitar, and read a book… and maybe take a nap. My own YouTube channel got a new video yesterday, which is not controversial or offensive in the least…

Yes, that’s me… and since I was drinking wine, I’m a bit flushed.

Hope everyone has a great weekend… See you tomorrow, unless I get arrested.

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