Ex, narcissists, politicians, royals, Uncategorized, YouTube

Speaking the “Queen’s English”, doesn’t make you a Brit, Ex…

Recently, I read and reviewed UK journalist Tom Bower’s book, Revenge, which is all about Meghan Markle. As I read the book, I also followed H.G. Tudor’s YouTube channel, in which Mr. Tudor read the book to his followers and explained what was happening within the lens of a narcissist. H.G. Tudor claims to be a sociopathic narcissist, and he says that gives him special insight to obvious narcissists. Tudor believes that Markle is a narcissist. Frankly, I agree with him, but I obviously don’t know for absolute certain. It’s just a hunch.

Let’s just say I clearly see the signs of narcissism and facade building, and I am fairly convinced that most of what Meghan Markle does publicly is an act. It would stand to reason that she’s playing a role, since she was most recently pursuing an acting career. She is literally an actress, albeit not a very convincing one, in my opinion. I’ve been around a lot of narcissists in my lifetime, as most of us have. Hell, Donald Trump has subjected the entire world to narcissistic abuse, so it’s safe to say that the vast majority of the world’s population have been exposed to the toxicity that comes from narcissism and narcissistic people. In my view, spotting a narcissist or narcissistic behavior is kind of like spotting pornography. You can’t always define it, but you know it when you see it.

H.G. Tudor explains why he thinks Meghan is a narcissist.

H.G. Tudor is not the only person who thinks Meghan Markle is a narcissist. So does The Body Language Guy, Jesus Enrique Rosas, who has done a bunch of YouTube videos analyzing Meghan Markle’s body language and nonverbal behaviors. If you look around YouTube, you will find many people making videos about Markle and her apparently self-serving behaviors, to include a thinly veiled ambition to someday be the President of the United States or some other high ranking political leader. God help us… I hope the country figures out that obvious narcissists don’t make good leaders. Because besides being abusive and lacking in empathy for others, narcissists are FAKE… and they are constantly putting up a facade that is meant to fool people into thinking they are better people than they are.

Jesus Enrique Rosas talks about the speculation about Meghan’s political aspirations.
Lady Colin Campbell says that she thinks Meghan is a narcissist, too. I’m not the only one, obviously.

So why am I writing about this today? I had actually meant to write about an entirely different topic. I changed my mind when I checked out Ex’s latest tweets, most of which give me a good laugh. Lately, she’s been tweeting incessantly about a certain TV show about Scotland, excitedly claiming she is, herself, a member of a famous Highland family. She has also, more than once, expressed a desire to learn “Scots Gaelic”, as she claims that it’s her “native tongue” (even though she was born to US citizens in Texas). Like Meghan Markle, Ex is very narcissistic, and she isn’t satisfied with who she is. So she goes to great lengths to try to convince people that she is someone she’s not. The harder she tries, the more unconvincing she is.

As far as I know, this obsession with Scotland is a somewhat recent development for Ex. According to Bill, when they were still married, Ex didn’t speak incessantly about being a “Scot”. She was then a fan of romantic historical fiction and fantasy, as she apparently is now, but she wasn’t claiming to be from a renowned Scottish family. Given that she was adopted, it would have been a strange claim to be making. But Ex has since apparently met her birth parents, and has openly disparaged them. So why she would want to claim any ancestral ties to them– people who had an extramarital affair, conceived Ex, and then gave her up for adoption, where she landed with abusive and neglectful parents– I don’t know. Obviously, they weren’t great people, even if there’s any truth to her claim that one or both of them came from a famous Scottish clan from the Highlands. What they did is, in fact, very ordinary behavior that had rather tragic consequences on many levels.

Like Ex, I have heavily Scottish roots, and I am proud of them. I have been to Scotland several times, and I used to live in England, which is where my second highest DNA concentration of ancestry comes from. I’ve also visited Ireland, which is where the third highest concentration comes from in my DNA heritage, though by much less than Scotland and England. I do feel a kinship to the UK, not just because I have the DNA from there, but because I have also spent a lot of time there, have friends from there, and it’s just become a really familiar place for me, just as Germany has.

BUT– I am still an AMERICAN. I don’t claim to be British, in spite of having a huge amount of British DNA. Most of my family came to the United States in the 1600s and eventually made their way to the western side of Virginia. That’s more like my home, even though I have never officially lived in Rockbridge County or its environs. I was born and mostly raised in the Tidewater area of Virginia, and even though I have no family living there, aside from my mother, that is also my home. Not Britain… in spite of my very British heritage, and in spite of the fact that I feel at ease there and obviously look like the natives, especially when I’m in Scotland.

I have lived in Germany now for ten years of my life, but I don’t have a lot of German heritage. I know I have some, because I’ve found obvious Germans in my family tree, and I doubt the Germans I found were actually Brits who were adopted by German families. The DNA tests don’t seem to recognize my German ancestors, even though they recognize the Native American woman who got pregnant by one of my ancestors in the 1600s. I guess this just proves that the DNA tests aren’t necessarily the clearest picture of where a person’s origins are. I’ve been in Germany for a long time, but I’m not German. I’m still American. Living here, learning the language, and appropriating the culture would not make me German, no matter how long my stay is. If I became a German citizen, I guess that would make me more of a German, at least by means of a passport. But really, at least culturally speaking, I’d still be an American.

On some level, I suspect Ex is engaging in some fantasy, building a story that makes her feel better about herself. What I find interesting, and potentially problematic, is that she is presenting her bullshit to the masses on Twitter. There are people who actually know her, and know the realities of who she is. People who know her real story probably laugh at her claims of being descended from a famous Scottish family, as if that somehow makes her special. Nevertheless, Ex still tries to put out this false image– the same thing Meghan Markle does– as if she hopes to convince strangers to accept her for what she’s not.

If you do some digging into Meghan Markle’s life, you quickly realize that her false “Diana-esque” humanitarian facade is not real. She knows how to act like a nice person when people are watching, but based on multiple accounts by credible people, it’s not genuine. Furthermore, Meghan has lied about a lot of things, like, for instance, her assertion that she didn’t know much about Prince Harry before they dated. That is obviously a whopper of a lie, and it has been debunked by people who actually know her. And yet, in spite of people who know her reporting the truth of what they know to others, Meghan has still tried to convince us of the veracity of her obvious lie.

Same thing with Donald Trump. There are many examples of his egregiously bad behavior… but people will still swear up and down that he was sent here by Jesus Christ to save America, and that the media is “persecuting” him. I won’t say that the media can’t be brutal, and certainly there has been “fake news” put out there. But… where there’s smoke, there’s almost always fire. Lots of credible people have spoken and written about what a vile person Trump is, and the proof is becoming more evident every day, especially right now. So, even though Trump knows how to charm people, that charm is superficial. It’s not real. And people who are clued into narcissism obviously clue in to it quickly and don’t accept Trump’s alternative version of “truth”.

Narcissists love to revise history. Listen to H.G. Tudor, and you will hear him talk about how Meghan Markle has done it many times. Meghan has, just like Trump, also used DARVO. Remember when she claimed that Kate made her cry during a dress fitting? I don’t believe Meghan’s story. I have not seen Kate Middleton make a false step yet. Although she’s clearly human, and like all people, she makes mistakes, I have not heard of Kate Middleton bullying anyone. When she smiles, it’s believable. She’s the epitome of charm and grace. If anyone were going to do the impossible and step into Diana’s shoes, it would be her, not Meghan Markle.

I remember hearing that when Princess Diana died, Ex was reportedly devastated. Bill has told me that she idolized Diana, as many people have. People like to emulate those they admire– and take on some of their traits. Obviously Meghan wants to be like Diana, or at least get people to see her as “Diana-esque”. She’s a poor substitute, because she doesn’t have what Diana had… and Diana, by the way, was no perfect saint herself! But, she was clearly much more genuine in terms of her feelings than most Royals are. Ex would probably very much like to be like Diana, just as Meghan obviously wants to be, but that’s impossible. All she can be is herself, which is all any of us can be.

Now… just for those who have managed to wade through the bulk of this post, I’m going to show everyone what has inspired today’s rantings. Before I do that, let me explain that there was a time when Ex was decidedly NOT liberal in her political leanings. But like many, in the age of Trump, she has apparently chosen a different path. I don’t fault her for that at all. In fact, I am delighted that she’s voting blue, because today’s Republican Party is a total shitshow, and every vote is a push for getting rid of this very destructive political trend. However, some of Ex’s “woke” platitudes are very hypocritical, especially given that I know firsthand about the horrific and obvious physical, mental, verbal, and emotional abuse she has delivered to her supposed loved ones and former spouses.

Someone on Twitter posted this:

This is a funny song that Trump adversaries sang at some rally. It uses the word “cunt”, which Americans recognize as an extremely misogynistic, offensive, nasty word that is often hurled at women. Sadly, most people who use the word “cunt” don’t even save it for the end of an argument anymore. Ex… showing everyone that she is, in fact, an American, and not a Brit, posted this response.

Ex… you are quite clearly NOT a Brit. You are an American, and you think like an American. Time to embrace that, and stop trying to be someone you’re not.

As to Ex’s contention that no one has the right to use the word “cunt”, I would say that she’s wrong. That word, like all words, has a use, and sometimes the use is appropriate. There are times when it’s not even offensive to use the word “cunt”. It’s all about context, right? Like, people in Ex’s precious Scotland don’t get upset when Brits say the word “cunt”. Why? Because it doesn’t have the same meaning there that it does in the United States. Same thing with the word “fag”. In the US, “fag” and “faggot” are very offensive slurs that refer to male homosexuals. But in Britain they are, respectively, a cigarette and a type of sausage, or even a bundle of sticks.

If Ex really wants to be “woke”, she might want to consider that the US perspective is not the perspective for everyone else in the world. Like, for instance,– I have seen the Confederate battle flag flown in countries all over Europe. People don’t care much here, because that flag doesn’t have the same meaning to Europeans as it does to Americans, and many people here don’t feel like they should have to avoid offending Americans. Likewise, a Nazi era swastika is offensive to many people, including Americans. Hanging one up here, outside the house, would likely merit a visit from the police. But Nazi symbolism will likely be much more offensive to certain groups– specifically Jewish people and Germans, who have been taught that it’s very taboo– than it is to, say, your garden variety American redneck who is also proud to display a Confederate battle flag.

Those symbols, which obviously mean something to some people, don’t mean the same thing to every person, because not every person has the same perspectives. And people can’t and shouldn’t automatically be expected to follow the perspectives of everyone else. We shouldn’t, for instance, get angry at someone who lives in the bush country of Africa for admiring the Confederate battle flag after seeing it for the first time. They wouldn’t automatically assume the flag is “bad”, because they lack context or a concept of what that flag represents– just like any young child does when seeing or hearing something for the first time. In fact, I would argue that the flag isn’t actually “bad”, in and of itself; it’s actually a neutral thing. It’s the racist and hateful attitudes from the people behind what the flag symbolizes that makes it “bad”. But it’s much easier to ban a flag than it is to confront the people behind what it symbolizes.

I could go on and on about this, as it’s a pet topic of mine. I get annoyed by people who want to aggressively cram their agendas down other people’s throats, as they claim to value freedom of expression and opinion. The left is just as bad as the right when it comes to this, especially when it’s clear that the person who claims his or her opinion is “correct”, hasn’t actually thought much about the issue at all, and is really just parroting what other people have said.

Father Nathan Monk has had a couple of recent contentious Facebook threads about so-called “spelling and grammar police” that has clearly demonstrated that as open minded and tolerant as some left wing folks want to seem to be, they really share some characteristics with some of the most militant right wingers. The behavior is the same, even if the ideology isn’t. But… this is already a long and convoluted post, and I’m thinking about doing a music video. So I’m going to close this post and get on with the day.

Personally, I think Father Nathan Monk, as well as a lot of his followers, are doing what they accuse other people of doing. Any time some responds to a disagreement with rudeness, anger, and derision, rather than patience, forbearance, and tolerance, they are guilty of the same toxic behavior as what they’re criticizing. And before anyone calls me out, I will admit that I am guilty of this myself, sometimes. Telling that guy I posted about yesterday to “fuck off” wasn’t constructive. But then, I doubt he wanted to hear me out, anyway.

Well… if you’ve managed to get through this and actually read it to the end, I thank you. I continue to write about this topic because it’s fascinating to me, but it also helps me maintain perspective. Anyone who has had direct ties to a narcissist knows that things will get confusing quickly, if you let them call all of the shots. So I write this stuff down to keep my head straight. If anyone else finds it helpful, informative, or interesting, so much the better.

Standard
Ex, mental health, narcissists, psychology, relationships

“To have good friends, you must BE a good friend…”

When I was a junior at Longwood College (now Longwood University), I had a really nice roommate named Angie. I went through many roommates when I was in college– I think seven, in all. Angie and I got along the best; she was a very considerate person. I remember telling her I was really glad we were such good friends. And I remember that Angie said, “To have good friends, you must BE a good friend.” I was honored that she ever thought of me in that way, although I think that a lot of bad people wind up with good people in their lives.

I wish I could report that Angie and I are still in touch, but she sort of dropped off the face of the earth at some point around 2007. I don’t think she ever bothered with social media, which makes her smarter than a lot of people, including yours truly. I sometimes think about her and wonder how she is. I hope she’s doing well. I’m thinking of Angie this morning as I ponder something I saw on Ex’s Twitter feed this morning.

Although I think that in a perfect world, Angie’s quote would work well, I know for a fact that a lot of good people are super attractive to narcissists. Because many good people are more empathic than other people are, a lot of really selfish, mean-spirited, exploitative people do end up with good people in their spheres. Since empathic people are so concerned about the welfare of others, they wind up trapped in toxic relationships with narcissists. Even when a good person recognizes that they are being victimized by someone with nefarious intentions, they often still get trapped in situations in which no one can win.

Narcissists are experts at DARVO– that is Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender. When they get called out for doing something shitty, they frequently gaslight their victims. Most narcissists, especially ones as old as Ex is, are very practiced at turning around an accusation so that the person being wronged and having the courage to speak up, ends up being the one who is demonized.

A couple of days ago, I posted about how narcissists will take revenge on those who hold them accountable. I wrote about how I think that the Sussexes may try to get even with the British Royal Family by becoming estranged and withholding access to the young Sussex children. That may or may not happen– as the British Royal Family is pretty powerful. However, I have also seen this dynamic happen in less famous and powerful families. One parent in a narcissistic family system feels entitled to weaponize the children and keep them from the other parent, or the opposing parent’s extended family. This is a means of temporarily maintaining control.

Of course, that happened to Bill, and when he tried to confront Ex about it, she accused him of being a terrible person who horribly abused her and their children. The reality is, he simply couldn’t take Ex’s abuse anymore. He didn’t want to live in poverty, do low-paid, second and third shift assembly line work in factories, and have his life completely controlled by a woman whose personality seemed to change by the hour. He didn’t want to deal with a woman who treated him like a sexual predator, when he couldn’t be further from being an abuser. In fact, the opposite was true. Most of all, he didn’t want to be married to someone who didn’t love and accept him for who he is. Ex wanted someone else, and she was constantly trying to get Bill to change who he was to suit her whims. Even when he did something different, Ex wasn’t satisfied. She would accuse him of trying to be cool, or something like that. Above all, her shit never stinks. It’s always someone else’s fault when something isn’t right.

My old friend, Ken Turetzky, has a great song about the “her shit don’t stink” phenomenon.

So, as you can see, Ex isn’t a good friend. And, it appears that she doesn’t have any good friends, either. This was what she lamented about on Twitter today.

It IS sad… and she’s right that she doesn’t trust people. But aside from that, in order to have good friends, you have to BE a good friend.

To be a good friend, you have to have good intentions. You can’t look at people and determine their worth only in terms of what they can do for you, or how they might influence other people. A quality friendship is based on mutual respect and admiration, honesty, and genuine regard and concern. There must be give and take, fairness, and consideration for the other person. I know for a fact, Ex isn’t a good friend. She doesn’t have consideration for other people. She is good enough at FAKING concern, but only toward people who don’t know her. Those who do get into her “inner circle” are eventually abused. And when they’ve had enough abuse and try to back away from the relationship, she accuses THEM of being abusive.

Unfortunately, if a person has been trapped in an abusive system like that long enough, their thinking can get distorted and they can experience “trauma bonding”. That is, the victim can attach to their abuser, not because the abuser is good to them, but because they are chasing the “high” of the good times, and they think they either “deserve” the abuse, or they can’t live without the abuser. Narcissistic abusers can be very charismatic and charming, and they can be convincing as they make the case that they’re victims. They are also very good at being threatening and foreboding. A narcissist won’t hesitate to tell a victim that if they leave the relationship, they’ll be left with nothing.

When I first met Bill, he made many alarming statements about his relationship with Ex. She had him believing that he was dangerous, and that he’d profoundly harmed her. He believed that the divorce was his fault, and he was sure that I would see the situation in the same way Ex presented it. But the more I got to know him, the more I realized that he is not an abuser at all. He’s an empath, and a very good friend to those who will allow him to be a friend. Although we do have occasional spats, they’re usually caused because he doesn’t want to be assertive and explicitly define his needs, not because he’s a mean, abusive person. And now that Bill talks to his daughter, we can see that he never was the whole problem. Ex treats her children– who are in her inner circle, at least for a time– just as badly as she treats her husbands. And I’m sure that if she ever has had a friend who got close, that friend was treated similarly badly. Ex keeps her relationships superficial for good reason. Because beneath the surface, it’s really ugly.

Hell, I have even experienced trauma bonding myself. A few years ago, I actually was against moving out of the house we rented from a very high-conflict landlady, because I worried that the next landlord could be even worse than she was. At least I knew what to expect from her, right? Of course, now I know that my thinking was skewed by four years of psychofuckery, and dealing with this very intrusive, manipulative, and controlling person whose dealings with us were dishonest and exploitative. Our current landlord is nowhere near as disrespectful and unfair as she was. Yes, we pay much more rent, but it’s totally worth it, because it’s a much nicer house, and we get to maintain our dignity and privacy. But I still marvel at how I had initially balked at moving because I was scared. That’s a form of trauma bonding.

The same “trauma bonding” dynamic happens in abusive friendships, marriages, employment, and romantic relationships. Narcissistic abusers can’t risk letting anyone get close, because then they will see the mess that lurks under the facade. It would be one thing if Ex was open to allowing someone to help her clean up the mess, but she can’t do that. She doesn’t trust anyone, and is fixated on a false reality that she’s created, because reality, to her, is simply too painful to acknowledge.

Likewise, now, when I look back on the four year period in which we rented a home from a high-conflict landlady, I realize that just like Ex, our former landlady was very focused on the external. Every project she undertook was about curb appeal and surface image. She never did anything, at least while we were living there, that would improve the actual experience of living in that house. We weren’t important, because we were already in the “inner circle”, and ripe for abuse. She wanted to attract new victims for when we were discarded. So all upgrading projects that were done while we were living in that house were done for cosmetic appeal or the landlady’s convenience. Moreover, it didn’t matter to her if we were inconvenienced as she completed these projects. I did read that after we left, and before she got new tenants, she updated a few things in the house– probably using the money that she illegally tried to rip off from us. But I’m sure those upgrades were minimal and mostly cosmetic. I doubt, for instance, that she bothered to put in a modern toilet that didn’t backup all the time. Instead, she got a new dishwasher. Dishwashers are great, but toilets are essential, and I think that having a toilet that doesn’t take two or three flushes to clear would be better than having a spiffy new dishwasher.

So anyway, I don’t think that Ex is a good friend, even on a casual basis. She isn’t capable of being a good friend, because she is much too fixated on herself. She’s not a good partner or a good parent, either, for the same reason. She was never able to psychologically mature beyond early adolescence. It’s really sad, actually. I would almost feel sorry for her, except that I know she has hurt people I love. Aside from that, I actually think that it’s rare to have a lot of extremely true friends who are very loyal. Those types of relationships are very special, and they have to be nurtured. That’s why I tend to hang out with dogs. 😉

Noyzi is a pretty good friend.
Standard
Bill, Ex, family, Trump

Things are getting pretty surreal…

I’m not surprised that things are surreal… Trump is doing all he can to hold on to his power and people in his base are talking about taking extreme measures to keep him in power. And yet it’s very clear that Trump has lost the election and will be forced to leave the White House. Biden is projecting calmness and maturity and other world leaders are looking to him. News sources are showing less Trump more Biden as Trump continues to whine about non-existent fraud and refuses to cooperate with the transition. It feels a lot like breaking up with a narcissist.

To be clear, I never dated or married a narcissist. Bill did, and she employed similarly “nuclear” tactics on a much smaller scale. The damage was pretty extensive and extraordinary and the bitterness lasted for many years. It’s really only been in the last few years that things have started healing.

My husband spoke to his daughter the other night, just before we knew his dad had passed away. She wisely brought up the logistics of going to Ray’s funeral and how it won’t be possible for a lot of people who otherwise would have gone, mainly due to the raging global pandemic. This is a scenario we never could have foreseen even a year ago. I have been wondering how the inevitable funeral for Bill’s dad would happen. Now, it appears it will happen without Bill due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control.

Last night, Bill got an email from his daughter and she made it clear that she could now see how the explosion of her parents’ marriage had affected so many people. It didn’t have to be this way. I think younger daughter now sees more of the truth, which often happens as people grow up and their perspectives broaden.

The same is going on as Trump is forced to reckon with the realization that he has lost. I have read articles about how he’s now talking about a run in 2024. God help us! But I think it won’t happen because there are other people who want to run… people who hitched themselves to Trump’s star in a bid to further their own careers. And once Trump is cast out of power, he’s only going to find allies in true right wing nutjobs who continue to worship him despite his tantrums. This is what tends to happen to narcissistic types in the long run. They typically don’t have a pleasant end.

I am hoping the garden variety conservatives who supported Trump have had their eyes opened. I’ve seen a lot of people commenting on how “dirty” the Democrats are. I won’t argue with that point. Pretty much all politicians lie and make deals. It comes with the territory. But there are definitely degrees of depravity. I never saw Obama stoop to the levels that Trump has. I never even saw either of the Bushes doing that… or Bill Clinton. Trump is truly in a class by himself, and it’s alarming how much he has divided the people. It’s not unlike a really nasty divorce, complete with false accusations, DARVO, and gnashing of the teeth. It’s embarrassing and horrifying to watch, even from abroad.

Last night, I read a rather poignant opinion piece on CNN written by Richard L. Eldridge, a journalist whose family pretty much disowned him over his negative views of Donald Trump. I could really relate to what Mr. Eldridge wrote, especially these parts:

“Over our love-filled 50-year bond, you chose a hate-filled New York millionaire who has never spent a moment with you, cried with one of you when your dad died, hugged another of you at your mom’s funeral or otherwise cared about you.

I know his supporters, you included, see the version of Trump he claims to be. Here is who I see. A man under seemingly constant investigation while in office. A man who brags about grabbing women by their genitals. A man who — though he denies it — others say calls members of our military “losers” and “suckers.” A morally bankrupt, impeached and now lame duck President.

A man who refers to members of the press — my chosen profession for the past three decades — as “enemies of the people.” A man who mocks the disabled, who basks in the adoration of a crowd chanting his name as he engages in cruelty.”

This is what divorcing a malignant narcissist looks like. When you break up with one, they become very nasty. That’s stressful enough when it happens in a one on one relationship. It’s especially horrifying when the malignant narcissist happens to be a world leader who doesn’t care about anyone but himself. I suspect the coming days will be very scary and surreal, and I pray that people with decency and integrity do what is necessary to contain Trump and his minions before much more damage is done and we become a nation that is literally divided, much like my husband’s family was. If that happens, we most likely won’t be reuniting after fifteen years of silence.

As for my father-in-law… I really wish there was a way we could have been there for him and his wife. I am hoping the funeral can somehow be Zoomed or at least recorded for Bill. He truly adored his father, who was a man worth adoring. It’s breaking his heart that he can’t be at the funeral. At the same time, this morning he told me that he was glad he was with me instead of his ex wife, who would be making the whole thing about her and forcing Bill to calm her hysterics rather than giving him the support he needs and deserves.

I think America needs calmness, love, and support, too… It’s nice to see leaders of more sensible nations offering it to Biden in the hopes that we can all come together and live peacefully. I’m going to try not to be distracted by Trump’s tantrums or disturbed by the delusions of his base… but I can’t help but be very concerned about what’s going to happen before January.

Mary Trump talks frankly with Katie Couric about her uncle’s loss.
Standard
Ex, psychology

D.A.R.V.O.

Now that Labor Day is over, it’s time to get back down to business. Labor Day is, after all, sort of the symbolic end of summer, even if technically summer ends the third week of September. I love this time of year for a lot of reasons, but I especially love it for the weather. Although it’s typically still really hot where I come from, September means that cooler temperatures are coming. In Germany, that means cool, crisp days, sometimes with sunshine, and sometimes without. And since COVID-19 has made traveling and going out such a pain in the ass, I look forward to weather that makes me want to be a hermit. Home is where I do my best thinking and ruminating.

This morning, I’m thinking about a neat little trick abusive people do whenever people call them out for being the assholes that they are. This toxic technique is super common, although if you’re not expecting it, it can take you by surprise. I’m writing about DARVO, which I have written about before. It’s one of those “chestnut” topics that is always useful. The term was coined in 1997 by Dr. Jennifer Freyd at the University of Oregon. It was traditionally used in situations involving sex offenders, but it works quite nicely in other situations, too. In fact, in my other article about DARVO, I pointed out that Donald Trump regularly engages in DARVO. South Park even made a plot about it. Bill Clinton also engaged in a bit of DARVO back in the 1990s, when he was called out for his sexual dalliances with Monica Lewinsky and Paula Jones. Remember? He famously said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman!” regarding 21 year old Lewinsky, who was later painted as a whore and became the butt of many horrible jokes for years.

Um… yes, you did, Bill.

So what is DARVO? It’s an acronym that stands for DENY, ATTACK, REVERSE VICTIM and OFFENDER. Say you’re in an abusive relationship. You’ve been on the receiving end of verbal harassment for years and you’re just about at the point of accepting that you “deserve” the harassment somehow. Your abuser is quite certain that he or she has you under control. But then a little spark of self-preservation sneaks in. You listen to your abuser’s latest rantings and think, “Wait a minute! This isn’t really all my fault! The abuser did this, not me.”

So you raise an objection. You can raise it in a quiet, non-confrontational way, or you can be more assertive or even aggressive about it. The abuser suddenly realizes that a light is being shined on their bad behavior. Their lightning fast reflexes at deflection cause them to come back at you.

They can’t risk having you call them out on their bad behavior, and they are neither mature enough nor responsible enough to take ownership of their actions, so they vehemently deny your claims. Then they start attacking you, often with whatever accusations you have made toward them. That’s where the REVERSE VICTIM and OFFENDER part comes in. Suddenly, just as you were starting to take some control of your life, you’re back in the role of defending yourself against the abusive person.

Bill Cosby denies being a rapist.

This scenario has happened to me a lot over the years. Fortunately, I’m not as attractive to abusers as some people are, but I’ve still had to deal with it. I think a lot of us have, on some level. Many people have even engaged in this technique themselves at one time or another, but the decent among us try not to make a habit out of it. It really is a dirty trick– completely unfair and demoralizing– and those who are weak and don’t stand up for themselves soon stop having the courage to speak up when they are being mistreated, for fear that they’ll be the ones blamed.

When I met my husband, he was convinced that the failure of his first marriage was mostly his fault. As I got to know him, he started telling me the stories about what happened. The longer we knew each other, and the more I saw his good nature and extremely responsible character, I realized that he had been lied to and lied about to MANY people, even including people related to him. Unfortunately, his ex wife can be a convincing liar to those who don’t know her. She had people turning their backs on Bill, convinced that he is an abusive monster, even though most of them had never heard his side of the story. For a split second, she even had Bill’s own mother wondering if there was a grain of truth to her lies. Fortunately, Bill’s mom is very smart, compassionate, and kind, like her son is. She was the first to be on Bill’s side, advising him to divorce Ex.

Here’s what I know about Bill. Since we’ve been married– almost 18 years now– he has almost never raised his voice to me. He’s never even come close to raising a hand to me. He comes home every night when he’s not on a business trip. When he is on a business trip, he calls or emails and, in fact, he was faithful to his ex wife until the day their divorce was official. He has not missed paying a bill since we have been married, and when he has been responsible for doing or paying for something, he’s been quick to accept responsibility and do the right– and fair– thing.

Bill is widely known and well-respected in at least three military communities in Germany and one in Italy. When he had to change companies in 2017, he was the first one interviewed and hired for the company he works for now, and he would have been welcome to go work at any of the places he’s known in Europe. When we had to move in 2018 because his contractor job turned into a government position, Bill was specifically recruited by his current boss. He was also asked to become a government employee and stay on where he was working, but it would have meant accepting a lot less money for the work he was doing. He’s a valuable asset to his employer and is regarded as an excellent employee. He’s extremely easy to work with, hardworking, honest, and very well-liked.

However, just like Ex, someone has spread a different narrative about Bill. This person has falsely accused him (or really us) of all sorts of nefarious bullshit. Some of their claims are flat out ridiculous and easily debunked. This came about when Bill objected to being ripped off of a substantial amount of money. Their first approach was shaming us, with a little pinch of trying to make us feel sorry for them. When that didn’t work, there was denial, attacking, and bald faced lies. Somehow, my super responsible, kind, honest, fair-minded husband was being portrayed as an actual thief and vandal because this person felt entitled to rip him off and assumed that he wouldn’t object. Apparently, they forgot that war is literally Bill’s business. It’s how he makes a living.

We don’t actually miss the money, but we can’t, in good conscience, let them get away with stealing from us. Letting them take that money doesn’t just affect us; it affects other people, too. So we reported them and called in the law, which led to the DARVO attack. I’m now patiently waiting for justice, because I know we are in the right. But that doesn’t mean that the DARVO attack hasn’t left me stung and very angry.

I am angry on many levels, and at several people who were involved in this situation. I am angry with myself for tolerating the abuse for as long as we did and for not going with my gut instinct, which told me to avoid these people in the first place. Trust me, I have learned a lesson. And I am angry at things beyond my control that are delaying our ability to move on from this fiasco and reclaim our lives.

I’d like to be able to write about this topic freely, but I can’t. Not yet. But there will come a day when I can.

Standard
narcissists, politicians, Trump

“Life is just one damned thing after another…”

A little mood music for this post… it seems kind of trite today, but I like the attitude.

Years ago, my older sister Becky played the above song for me. It’s called “Excuse Me”, and it was written and performed by Amy Arena, whose personality seems to be a lot like Becky’s. Much like Amy Arena, Becky is physically very small (much smaller than me), but she has a big personality… and an artistic temperament that people seem to love or hate. She has issues with authority figures. So do I, for that matter, but my authority issues aren’t as acute as hers are. I remember I was newly home from Armenia, and Becky told me she had this CD, which came out in 1995. We shared a hearty laugh over “Excuse Me”, which was enough of a hit that it actually has an official video. I was going to share the video, but only one person on YouTube uploaded it and it’s not of very good quality. But if you want to see it, you can search YouTube and there it is… and Amy Arena is there in all of her brash, bitter glory.

I liked “Excuse Me” enough that I went on Amazon and searched for Amy Arena’s album, which someone was selling used. I bought it and listened to the whole thing, which Becky had played for me when she first exposed me to “Excuse Me”. There’s another song on there called “Cheeseburger”. It reveals Amy Arena’s lack of singing prowess… although the lyrics are clever and funny. Becky doesn’t eat a lot of meat, so I know she relates to this song as it describes a vulgar cheeseburger in nauseating detail. Amy Arena is making a statement about how gross and out of control some people are… and how gross meat is if you don’t like meat. And frankly, I wish I weren’t a meat eater, because it is pretty gross. Maybe I’ll be a vegan in the next life. This bit doesn’t have anything to do with the theme of this post, other than to get the musically inclined to listen to Amy Arena’s cynical wit.

My sister is very petite and, if you don’t know her, you might think she’s cute, quiet, and shy. But get her going, and you’ll soon find out that there is a lot more than pussy in those “tight fittin’ jeans”. Bwahahahha… I’m kidding. Quoting my pervy friend, Weird Wilbur, whom I “met” on YouTube. Wilbur remade Conway Twitty’s song, “Tight Fittin’ Jeans” and turned it into a song about a man who gets more than he bargained for when he had casual sex with a woman he met at a bar. Becky doesn’t have any diseases that I know of, but she does have a quick wit and sharp mind, and she can be fierce if you tangle with her. I know this from experience. She’s tiny, but mighty, and you don’t want to fuck with her.

No, Becky isn’t like the “gal” in this song, except that she’s not what she seems… I can relate. I’m not what I seem to be, either. I’m sharing this song because I think it’s funny… but the truth is, there is always more than pussy in those tight fittin’ jeans. Not that I wear tight fittin’ jeans these days…

I suspect yesterday’s blog post, which I titled “We wish you would just leave”, might be considered “click bait” for some people. I can see by the stats that some people clicked it just because they wanted to know why I titled the post, “We wish you would just leave”. It’s a title that sounds dramatic, and I know I have some readers out there who imagine that I’m the type of person who gets asked to leave a lot of places. I suspect I have some readers who were even salivating at the idea, because some of them seem to think that I’m always the source of trouble. Some of them might even be hoping I’ll be asked to leave Germany. And here’s a hint… if that ever does happen, I’m probably not going to be telling you about it. Here’s another hint. You clearly don’t know me as well as you think you do, but I probably know you better than you realize.

The only time I remember specifically being asked to leave somewhere was back in the early 1990s, when I was about to be interviewed for a job with United Consumers Club. I was newly graduated from college and had no idea what UCC, as it was called back then, actually was. I watched the presentation given by the proprietor and was kind of shocked and horrified by it. Basically, the job entailed cozying up to people at events and trying to talk them into joining an incredibly overpriced building materials and furniture “club” under the guise of saving money by being allowed to buy things “wholesale”.

UCC might have been an okay deal if you’re doing many thousands of dollars worth of remodeling and buying a lot of furniture. For most people, though, it was a complete waste of money that came with a contract that was extremely expensive and difficult to get out of. If I had successfully gotten hired for this job, it would have been my duty to convince people to join up and waste their money. I think I’d rather clean up roadkill.

Well, the United Consumers Club proposal sounded a lot like bullshit to me, even though I was only 22 years old. So, being kind of blunt and feeling legitimately aghast, I asked the interviewer, who was also the owner of the franchise, if this was a “hard sell” operation. He immediately became offended and asked me to leave the interview. That reaction, of course, told me all I needed to know… I didn’t need his piss ant $22,000 a year job, anyway. 😉 It was clear he was expecting his prospective employee to kiss his ass and accept any abuse he threw at them as he swindled decent people out of their hard earned money. The fact that I boldly asked him if he was running a hard sell operation made him realize that I probably wouldn’t take his crap. He moved on to the next person, knowing that someone in the group would eagerly accept his shit for a few crumbs.

Yeah… bunch of bullshit, this is…

Years later, I was watching TV at home in northern Virginia, and an ad came on for an outfit called DirectBuy. I had never heard of DirectBuy, but the concept sounded familiar. I did some digging and discovered that DirectBuy was, in fact, the old UCC… and that until about 2007, UCC had prided itself on never advertising and only picking up members entirely by word of mouth. A lot of people fell for the hype and wound up locked in iron clad contracts that ripped them off for years. I began writing a bunch of articles about DirectBuy and got some nasty comments from people who didn’t want me to expose their business for what it really is.

Notice on the actual video at YouTube, a franchise owner tries to do damage control. He doesn’t like the light being shined on his sleazy business.
“It’s a hard sell pitch…” That was exactly what I asked the franchise owner in Richmond. His response was not to answer me, but to ask me to leave. I was “bad” for recognizing what he was up to and calling him on it.

There are a lot of bullies in the world who think they can get away with shit by being threatening, confrontational, accusatory, and shaming. In fact, there’s even an acronym for this type of behavior. It’s called DARVO. DARVO stands for deny, attack, reverse victim, and offender. I’ve seen it in action a lot of times. I suspect most of us have. When you run into a certain type of person and it becomes clear that you’re catching on to who they are and what they’re really about, they vehemently try to thwart your attempts to reveal them. They deny that they’re the problem, start attacking you, claim victim status, and suddenly you’re the bad guy. Most people are left bewildered and shocked after such a vicious reversal. Decent people will start to question themselves, wondering if they really did get it so wrong. But after awhile, it becomes even clearer that you’re not the asshole stinking things up here…

Even South Park has addressed DARVO.

If you want to see DARVO on a global scale, just watch the way Donald Trump behaves. He gets called on his egregious shit all the time. Not once have I ever heard him take responsibility for what was legitimately his mess to clean up. Instead, he blames someone else. Right now, according to Trump, it seems to be Barack Obama’s fault that the coronavirus crisis is so out of control in the United States. Trump is just a “victim” who inherited Obama’s mess. Yeah, right. Unfortunately, a lot of very stupid people believe wholeheartedly in Donald Trump and will defend him until their last gasps of breath… unaided by the ventilator that isn’t available to them because they listened to Donald Trump and conspiracy theorists instead of scientists and people who know something about medicine.

I guess this is still a thing… or at least it was before the coronavirus struck.

I’m suddenly reminded of something else that happened in college. A hypnotist came to campus to entertain everyone. Sure enough, he was very good at his job. He called up people to the stage and proceeded to put them under… but not everyone fell under his hypnotic spell. A few students were stage assistants to the hypnotist and if they noticed someone wasn’t falling for the act, the unmoved students were escorted off stage. That was done so that they didn’t ruin the show. In fact, the hypnotist did get one guy I knew to dance like a crazy person in front of all of his classmates. It was hysterical, and he was completely unaware of what he was doing at the time. Later, when people kidded him about it, he was pissed off and annoyed. But he’d volunteered to be hypnotized and he fell under the spell… and put on a hell of a show for his friends.

I think bullies of all kinds are sort of like hypnotists. They use their overbearing personalities and willingness to throw people under the bus to get what they want. They “hypnotize” people into thinking they’re stronger and more powerful than they really are. They rewrite history, and try to inflict guilt on decent people who attempt to hold them accountable, and reveal what and who they truly are by simply being themselves.

I make for a convenient scapegoat for some bullies, because a lot of people find me too outspoken and obnoxious. On my old blog, it was usually because I wrote frankly about my husband’s ex wife. On this one, it’s because I write about Donald Trump… and other bullies and abusers. Because I’m not a fan of “call out culture”, I don’t usually name names. But the guilty among us still don’t like it when I write about my honest impressions of things. I figure, the guiltier they are, the more vociferously they object and protest… and the more obsessively they stalk, rewrite history, and cover things up to make sure the narrative is to their liking.

Well… as Amy Arena sings, “Just excuse me. Excuse ME!” for being someone that not everyone likes. And excuse me for disappointing some of you because no one actually has justifiably asked me to “just leave”. You know why? Because I’m not the enemy. The people that Donald Trump blames for his daily failures and moral shortcomings aren’t the enemies, either. A lot of them are very decent people just trying to do the right thing. It’s not good to let greedy, arrogant, dishonest people get away with ripping off others. It’s easy to let things slide and not upset the apple cart. It’s a lot harder to call bullshit… and sometimes people act badly not because someone else deserves it, but because they’re greedy bullies who throw tantrums when they get held accountable.

Standard