Ex, narcissists, Twitter

Now she wants a “Funko”… I’m almost afraid to ask.

This is another inappropriate post. You probably won’t be interested.

Okay, if I’m honest, I couldn’t resist finding out what a Funko is. I will reveal it further downpost. First, I want to issue a report.

I need to write something kind of funny today, because I had a pretty rough night last night. Arran had his latest chemo treatment and seemed to suffer from side effects. I wrote about it here, for those who are interested. Now I’m suffering a bit. I’d make a terrible nurse. I’m glad Bill is coming home tomorrow.

I’m almost ready to write a new book review. I might even get to it today. First, I want to write about Funkos and other fuckery found on Ex’s Twitter. When last I posted about her, I wrote about how she’s convinced she’s a Scot by blood. Now, she’s back to hinting for stuff. One of Ex’s Twitter buddies posted a GIF from Outlander. Ex added her giddy response beneath it.

This isn’t too cringey, I guess. I mean, it’s definitely icky, but it’s not too bad, as Ex goes. What gives me a fright is the suggested post beneath it. This isn’t one that Ex posted on, but it is related to Outlander. I’m surprised Ex didn’t respond to this, to be honest. She’s into this kind of stuff, according to Bill.

Yikes! I know… some people enjoy this kind of attention. I think I’d probably reflexively kick the guy in the face. I’m very relieved that Ex didn’t reply to this post. I’ve already had one dry heaving session this morning.

The next post is a familiar one. Ex reveals a little about herself, and says she’d “kill” for a pool. Actually, she’d kill for a lot less than a pool. I know this for a fact.

I’d kill for a pool. I love to swim and can go for hours!! Alas, it is not anywhere in my near future!! Sigh but then, neither is a new Peaker subscription. Which is killing me!!

I already knew about Ex’s love of swimming. Bill told me all about it. Ex is also a Pisces, which is the sign of the fish. Hmm… that seems to go hand in hand with the above pic, doesn’t it? I know… that was mean. I’m usually only mean to people who ask for it. As far as I’m concerned, Ex’s conduct over the past 33 years or so have made her someone toward whom I don’t feel guilty about being mean. Anyway, she makes my head swim, so why wouldn’t she be a fan of swimming?

Bill and I had a pool at our last US based rental house. It was nice. I think if I ever have to live in Texas again, I will insist on having another pool. However, I know there is a drawback to that. In our last US neighborhood, one of the neighbors wanted us to let his kids use the pool That was a big, fat, awkward NO, for so many reasons, starting with liability and ending with the fact that I don’t like sharing and feel no obligation to, especially with a total stranger who has the nerve to ask for access to our backyard. The pool was kind of a pain, too, because a pipe broke, and it took the landlord forever to get it fixed.

The next part of her Tweet is a lament that she can’t afford a “Peaker” subscription. This is a reference to Sam Heughan’s “My Peak Challenge”, which I looked up because of Ex. Apparently, it’s a wellness thing. For $149 a year, you get videos, recipes, and a t-shirt. I can’t help but think about how I just ordered a new computer for a couple thousand euros, which I have the money to pay in full for, when the charge posts on my credit card. It wasn’t always like that. For a good portion of our marriage, Bill and I were strapped for money, too. We worked hard to get to where we are now, and we also know that but by the grace of God, we could easily wind up broke again.

For over ten years, Bill sent Ex $2550 a month for three kids, one of which wasn’t even his child. He also spent a long time climbing out of the financial hellhole Ex left him in, due to her outrageous spending habits. For that, she denied him any access whatsoever to his kids, and she tried to ruin his relationship with his own parents. And, she also had the nerve to shame Bill for buying a cheap palm pilot type device, back when they first split up, and she was still trying so hard to control him. Of course, now that the child support gravy train is long ended, Ex can’t satisfy her desires so easily. I’m sure she’ll find a way to buy her subscription for Sam Heughan’s “Peaker” club, though. She always does.

In fact, in the very next post, Ex posts this:

So… she doesn’t have money for a My Peak Challenge subscription, but she DOES have money for TWO signed copies of Waypoints, a book by her beloved ideal man, Sam Heughan. That’s not such a big deal, as I see that the books retail for less than $20. But two of those cost between $30 and $40, which is a significant chunk of the $149 she would need for her subscription. And a Jamie Fraser Funko Pop, which she says she wants for her birthday next month, is not so cheap, depending on who’s selling it.

What can a Funko Pop do, anyway? At least a subscription to the My Peak Challenge might contribute to Ex’s health and well being. This is just a fucking toy… and not even the FUN kind she can use between her legs. I’ve got nothing against buying “toys” to make one feel better about life. But we have it on good authority that Ex doesn’t cover her own needs before she buys this kind of stuff.

Of course, it’s none of my business or concern… except for the fact that all of this stuff is publicly posted. I am reminded of certain other women I’ve known who had serious problems with shopping addictions. They are people who must have what they want when they want it, no matter what. And a lot of them wind up with pretty dreadful credit ratings. Sadly, they often brazenly financially abuse their loved ones, too.

And finally, the last of her latest tweets are about Alexa “wake up” calls by Sam Heughan. I guess #3 isn’t doing it for her anymore… and obviously, based on her newfound interest in Scotch whisky, neither is Mormonism…

Well… that about does it for my latest Ex inspired snarkfest. I feel slightly cheerier now. It’s a dreaded Thursday, which means I get to vacuum. And then I expect I’ll finish my latest book, so I can write something more people will want to read. Have a happy Thursday.

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Ex, narcissists

Sometimes, I think my name should have been Cassandra…

Which is funny, because when my sister was pregnant with my niece, she was considering calling her Cassandra. She ended up choosing a different name. My niece was sort of named after my mom, whose name is Elsie Lee (she goes by Else… my mom is the only “Else” I’ve ever known, although I know the name “Ilse” is popular in Germany). My sister named her daughter Elise, because that’s a more modern name. She probably figured my niece would get teased if she was called Elsie, even though my niece grew up in North Carolina and Elsie is a nice southern name. 😉

Ex named one of her daughters Cassandra, but that’s not the name she goes by. And I’m not sure if Ex knows the origin of the name, Cassandra. I realize Wikipedia isn’t necessarily the best source of accurate information, but for the sake of expediency, here’s a link… For those who don’t want to read the long tale of the name Cassandra, here’s a short take. Cassandra was, in Greek mythology, a prophetess who had a gift for accurately predicting impending disasters. However, people didn’t believe her predictions, which was part of a curse bestowed on her by the Greek God, Apollo.

Apollo had fallen in love with Cassandra, and tried to win her affections by giving her the ability to see the future. Initially she “promised him her favors”, but then went back on her word and rejected Apollo. When Cassandra rejected his advances, it enraged Apollo so much that he added a curse to her gift of foresight– that her accurate predictions of doom and tragedy would not be heeded. She would try to warn people of calamities; they wouldn’t take her seriously, and she would see them suffer.

I’m pretty good at predicting good and bad things. People don’t always take me seriously, probably because I’m the youngest in my family. Fortunately, Bill does listen to me, and he’s often said that he’s grateful that he does. So maybe I’m not so much like Cassandra, after all, since I don’t care too much if other people don’t listen to me. In any case, those of you who follow my blog might remember that back in the spring, I noticed that Ex was doing some “weird” stuff that raised my suspicions about her intentions toward my husband’s family. For instance, she visited my husband’s stepmother with Bill’s older daughter and her youngest daughter. While she was there, she asked SMIL for money, which she, thankfully, declined to give her. She also gave her boxes with postage paid, in case she wanted to hand down any family “heirlooms”, since Bill’s father died.

Keep in mind, Ex forced Bill’s daughters to change their last names. She refused to let Bill have any contact whatsoever with them when they were minors. Older daughter, age 31, still lives with Ex, and is the de facto mom to Ex’s youngest child with #3. So, one would think that my husband’s family would want nothing to do with Ex, right? But no… Ex is a very manipulative person, and she’s very good at using people. She’s used Bill’s daughters to maintain contact with Bill’s family, even though she has treated them horribly.

So anyway, we learned that Ex called up SMIL last spring and proposed letting older daughter visit her. SMIL, overjoyed at the thought of seeing her long lost step-granddaughter, said “You would let her get on a plane and come see me?” (again, this is a 31 year old woman we’re referring to– and yes, she is supposedly “on the spectrum”, but she’s certainly capable of flying on a plane by herself. She isn’t intellectually disabled.)

But Ex reportedly said, “Well, I was thinking I could come, too, although I’m sure you don’t want to see me.” And Ex was probably right about that, although SMIL wasn’t going to deny her with the prospect of seeing older daughter. And then Ex proposed bringing along #3’s daughter, who is NOT at all related to Bill’s family. Younger daughter, who has little kids to tend to, was not involved, but later heard all about it.

When I heard about this a few months ago, I figured Ex was trying to get money again, because she had been running a crowdfunding campaign. And I had a feeling she would be trying to separate SMIL from her money. I also had a bad feeling, especially in the weeks following that visit, that Ex was going to propose either moving in with SMIL, or SMIL moving in with her. I noticed her referring to SMIL on social media as her “mum”. I could see that this was Ex cozying up to my husband’s vulnerable stepmother, trying to slither in and take advantage of someone who probably reeks of prey to her.

Ex has already had her mother living with her, and her husband’s mother, a la Cousin Eddie and Aunt Edna in National Lampoon’s Vacation. In both cases, she used their Social Security payments to pay for her mortgage on her house and other bills. Ex’s mother died, and she disposed of her in the cheapest way possible, even keeping her ashes in a box in a closet. Her husband’s mother, who resisted Ex’s efforts to get her to move in for some time before relenting, is living there now. And now, we know that she asked Bill’s stepmother to move in with her.

What makes this development super fucked up is that this is Ex’s ex husband’s stepmother— not his mom, whom Ex hates. SMIL has no blood relation to Ex or even older daughter. But Ex has her eye on her… and would love for her to move in. Why? Because she has money, and she owns a house with lots of equity. I’m sure Ex would consider moving in with SMIL, if she thought she could get away with it. But my husband’s sister and other family members know about Ex… and if she moved in, she’d be moving into SMIL’s house. If SMIL moved into her house, she would be isolated, far from her family, friends, and familiar surroundings. And Ex would convince her to liquidate her assets and give her the money.

And this makes even more sense now, because recently, Ex has been posting about her marriage possibly being on the skids. If she’s planning to split from #3, or vice versa, that would mean that her MIL would be leaving the house, probably significantly poorer than she was. Ex needs to replace her, so enter SMIL… and SMIL has more money to suck away. Fortunately, SMIL has a daughter who is wise to Ex and won’t stand for her bullshit. However, I honestly believe it might be time to get a restraining order. I have told Bill as much, although since it’s not his mother who is at risk, it’s probably not his call. But if it was my mom, or even my stepmom, I would be taking legal steps to prevent Ex from contacting SMIL. I hope that’s what happens, because it’s pretty obvious that Ex is still up to no good. She hasn’t been publicly clamoring for money lately, but she HAS been posting about her marriage possibly falling apart. If and when that happens, she will be looking for support. But then, given that she doesn’t work and #3 does, she obviously assumes she would be keeping their home. Maybe that won’t be the case. Hopefully, #3 has been watching and knows to hire a lawyer, rather than letting Ex settle everything.

I actually hope I’m wrong… but I don’t think I am. I suspect that Ex will keep asking and pressuring SMIL until someone stops her by making it clear that there will be legal issues to deal with if she doesn’t back off and crawl back under her rock.

Yesterday, I wrote this:

Leaving Twitter might make it harder to watch Ex, but you know what? That may not be a bad thing, either. I’m always going to be getting updates about her, regardless, whether or not I want them. As long as younger daughter is talking to us and her mother, we’ll continue to hear about her antics. And most of what she posts just makes me cringe and causes anxiety.

Aha… once again, I predicted correctly. I quit Twitter, and promptly got an Ex update, which prompted a prophecy that I predict could easily come true.

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complaints, healthcare, law, money, politicians, politics, religion, social media, social welfare

Something I hadn’t thought about here on the “Road to Hell”…

I meant to write about today’s topic yesterday. It was inspired by a New York Times opinion piece I read the other day that pointed out some unintended consequences of our new post Roe v. Wade reality. But I got mired in a contentious Twitter conversation that led me astray and got me so pissed off that I donated money to the pro choice cause. Yesterday, I decided to write about that decision, instead of the new insight I gleaned from that very wise opinion piece, written by Tressie McMillam Cottom, a Black woman who is an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science, the author of “Thick: And Other Essays” and a 2020 MacArthur fellow. The piece she wrote, titled “Citizens No More”, really drove home some of the ways life for women in the United States could change if we don’t nip this anti-abortion nonsense in the bud.

For a long time, I have been writing about the potential negative health consequences that could arise in the wake of making abortion illegal. What I hadn’t considered, though, is that criminalizing abortion will likely also affect women in the workplace. Tressie McMillam Cottom spelled it all out in her opinion piece. She writes:

I grew up choosing where and how I work because Roe v. Wade gave me many of the same basic rights of personhood as men, for example. Millions of women have, to different degrees, been able to do the same.

I agree. It was the same for me, my entire life. I was born months before abortion became available to all women in the United States. My whole existence, I’ve known that if I ever needed or wanted to have an abortion, I could get one. In fact, I grew up in southeastern Virginia, and I distinctly remember that Hillcrest Clinic, an abortion clinic that opened in Norfolk, Virginia the year after I was born, used to run radio ads on the station I listened to before school every day. I remember hearing the commercials about how a woman could access safe, compassionate care if she wanted to terminate a pregnancy. It was not a big deal to me, because I heard those ads all the time. I never thought twice about them.

Here’s a news clip about the Hillcrest Clinic, an abortion clinic that used to operate in Virginia when I was a young woman.

Then came the 1990s, and I remember reading in the news that abortion clinics were being bombed and doctors who performed abortions were being targeted, harassed, and in at least a couple of instances, murdered. Dr. Barnett Slepian was one abortion provider who was executed in 1998 by a gun toting anti abortion zealot. Another was Kansas physician Dr. George Tiller, who was shot in both arms years before he was finally murdered in 2009. On December 31, 1994, 22 year old John Salvi came into Hillcrest Clinic and opened fire, shattering the doors, but not injuring or killing anyone. The day prior, Salvi had stormed into two abortion clinics in Massachusetts and opened fire, killing two receptionists and wounding multiple clinic employees and volunteers. In many of the violent cases involving abortion providers being assassinated, pro-life zealots justified the killings, claiming they were “saving the unborn babies”. It seems ridiculous to me that highly trained physicians who simply wanted to help women were killed by people claiming to be “pro-life”. But life in the United States is often kind of confusing and odd, isn’t it?

I was a young woman in the 90s. Fortunately, I was not sexually active at the time, and I never had any gynecological issues, so I never needed to consider taking birth control, let alone having an abortion. But I knew that if I ever did need abortion services, and I was still living in Virginia, I could go to the Hillcrest Clinic in Norfolk.

The years went on, and lawmakers did more and more to restrict abortion access and discourage women from ending their pregnancies. They passed new laws, forcing clinics to upgrade their facilities to the point at which they were almost like hospitals. Hillcrest Clinic finally got to a point at which they could no longer operate. Ironically, it was because fewer women needed or wanted to have abortions, probably because they were getting educated about sex and had access to effective contraception. Hillcrest Clinic closed its doors in 2012, after serving the community for about 40 years.

Along came 2002. I finished graduate school and got married. Getting pregnant at a bad time was never an issue for me. But the same could not be said for my peers. I do know some women who did seek abortion care, and none of them have regretted their decision. I know they are living productive lives now, with families they formed when they were ready to be parents.

Now, with this new reality of conservatives trying desperately to force women to give birth, those choices are in jeopardy, even for women who never get pregnant. Tressie McMillam Cottom explains:

With Roe v. Wade toppled, we do not have the same rights in all labor markets. In a global market, an empowered worker is one who can migrate. With Dobbs, women cannot assume that we can safely work in Idaho the same way that we can in Oregon or Washington. I cannot negotiate wages or time off with an employer with the same risk profile as those who cannot become pregnant. An employer who offers lower pay in a state with abortion care indirectly benefits from women’s inability to take our labor on the open market across the nation. Thanks to a rogue court, women’s lives are now more determined by the accidents of our birth than they were a week ago.

Those accidents of birth include circumscribing women’s lives by making them dependent upon corporate beneficence. Some companies, including Dick’s Sporting Goods, immediately issued statements that they would offer reimbursements to employees for traveling for abortion services. The largess of Dick’s and other companies is noteworthy. But it requires women to disclose their health status to a boss they have to hope is well meaning. That says nothing of also hoping that corporate management or leadership does not change. Well-meaning employers can come and go. They also vary in how well meaning they are in terms of pledges of their employee support.

Those two paragraphs made me stop in my tracks. All along, I’d been focusing on health and happiness. It never occurred to me to consider how not being able to access abortion could affect women in the workplace, even in states where abortion access is guaranteed (for now). I also hadn’t considered that the companies who offer women help in getting abortions would also be requiring those women to discuss their private healthcare decisions with their employers. And, as the article also points out, some companies, such as Starbucks, have placed conditions on their offers of assistance. From the article:

 [Starbucks noted that] it cannot guarantee that benefit to workers in unionized stores. Union drives at Starbucks have increased worker power. Many of those workers are women and people who can become pregnant. Potentially attaching support for abortion care to non-unionized labor is a perfect example of why corporations should not be arbiters of human rights.

So basically, people who can get pregnant will have to decide what’s more important to them– access to abortion services, or worker’s rights.

I noticed in the comment section that most people were arguing about the morality of abortions. It seemed that very few had bothered to read Tressie McMillam Cottom’s opinion piece, which I thought was very sobering and kind of scary. I decided to leave a comment that people really should read her piece. If you click the link in this post, you should have free access to the link, as I am a New York Times subscriber and allowed to gift ten articles per month. If you are a person of childbearing age and can get pregnant, you might want to consider what is at stake. It will affect all women who work, unless it’s obvious that you’re beyond childbearing. Then, you’ll just experience age discrimination. 😉

I want to also bring up another alarming news article I read yesterday that complements Tressie McMillam Cottom’s piece. According to the Washington Post, some Republican lawmakers are trying to draft legislation that could block pregnant people from crossing state lines. Again, I’m gifting the link to this article, since I am also a Washington Post subscriber. From the article:

The National Association of Christian Lawmakers, an anti abortion organization led by Republican state legislators, has begun working with the authors of the Texas abortion ban to explore model legislation that would restrict people from crossing state lines for abortions, said Texas state representative Tom Oliverson (R), the charter chair of the group’s national legislative council.

“Just because you jump across a state line doesn’t mean your home state doesn’t have jurisdiction,” said Peter Breen, vice president and senior counsel for the Thomas More Society. “It’s not a free abortion card when you drive across the state line.” (Figures it’s a MAN who said this. I hope he goes straight to Hell.)

I read about this development yesterday, after having yet another fruitless discussion with two older pro-life people on Twitter– a man and a woman, both of whom were conservative, and both of whom clearly never really stopped and thought about what eliminating abortion will mean to women, and American society as a whole. The first person who took me on was an obviously conservative man, who basically said that people who get pregnant by accident should be forced to gestate. He was kind enough to allow abortion for rape and incest cases. For everyone else it was, “she made her bed and now she needs to lie in it.”

I noted that he seemed to think pregnancy should be a punishment. He disagreed, arguing that birth control can prevent pregnancies, and “personal responsibility” should trump a gestating person’s right to make healthcare decisions about their own body. I tweeted to him that I didn’t think he’d really thought very long or hard about the abortion issue at all. I could have come up with a laundry list of my concerns, to include healthcare privacy and the fact that women in many states will have to prove their need for certain obstetrical procedures. Instead, I wrote that it doesn’t seem wise to me to force people to be pregnant when they don’t want to be, because it could mean that they won’t take care of their prenatal health. And fetuses would be developing in someone who might be very depressed and unwilling to seek medical care. That could then lead to babies being born with medical conditions that might have been prevented if the pregnant person had simply been more “responsible”.

I won’t even go into the huge list of reasons why this mindset isn’t fair to women. Men seem to forget that their health is never affected by pregnancy. It’s just their livelihoods that are potentially affected. What I was really thinking of, though, is that pregnant folks might soon find themselves in a different class of people, with fewer civil rights. This guy on Twitter was insisting that he didn’t think pregnancy should be a punishment, as he was also clearly pointing out that people should be forced to gestate. And, I’ll bet if I pressed him, asking him what he thought should happen to pregnant women who don’t seek appropriate medical care (which, of course, they would have to pay for), he would say the women should go to jail. Sounds pretty punishing to me. Now, granted, he didn’t actually say that during our discussion– which went on for much too long– but I’ll bet money that he would get there. Americans seem to LOVE to see people go to prison.

This isn’t an empty threat. I looked up forced prenatal care yesterday. It has happened. The link leads to one case from 2000, but there are others, and that Washington Post link I provided is about how some extremists would like to make it illegal for pregnant people to cross state lines. That sounds very punitive to me, and it would likely discourage people from seeking medical care. Another unintended consequence is that there will be some women who will stop having sex with people– particularly men– who can get them pregnant. I’ve already seen at least one Reddit thread from a man who is upset that his girlfriend is on a sex strike because of the overturn of Roe v. Wade.

In an earlier blog post, I shared Jessica Kent’s very distressing video about her experience giving birth while she was incarcerated in Arkansas. If we don’t do something about these wackos who are trying to criminalize abortion, there will be more women who experience the hell of being pregnant behind bars. It won’t be good for women OR those precious babies. And, things are already getting shitty in Texas. Yesterday, I watched this woman’s heartbreaking video about the horrible trauma she experienced, trying to take care of her miscarriage in Texas last year.

This video is absolutely horrifying. My heart breaks for her. She had a lot of trouble accessing prenatal care, too.
Sharing this again for those who missed it. This could be a reality for many more women if the pro-life zealots get their way.

The other person who engaged me yesterday was an older woman who had many of the same arguments the man did. She was very condescending to me, and kept preaching about personal responsibility. I didn’t tell her that I was SUPER responsible when I was younger. I was a virgin until two weeks after my wedding day, and was 30 years old when I finally had sex for the first time… with a man who’d had a vasectomy. I also didn’t tell her about my background.

But toward the end of our chat, she wrote that she has a four year old granddaughter who was conceived accidentally. Her granddaughter is the light of her life. And you know, that’s really lovely. I’m happy for her. I wrote that I hoped her granddaughter never needed to have an abortion, which is sometimes necessary for health reasons. And I hoped that her granddaughter wouldn’t lose some of her healthcare privacy rights, due to her sex. The woman wrote back that my concerns about healthcare privacy were “ridiculous”. All I can do is shake my head… as Randy Newman sings, “I’m dead, but I don’t know it…” I think that observation would apply to this woman’s brain.

Clever song. I think this could be the state of women’s healthcare privacy and freedom very soon.

But instead of sharing the link to Randy Newman’s song, I wrote that my concerns about privacy are NOT ridiculous, and a lot of us are very concerned about it, and with good reason. Then I bid her a good night, because I was tired of tweeting in circles and felt my time would be more productively spent cleaning the lint out of my belly button or something.

Well… I could go on. I am kind of rueing exploring Twitter, because now I get exposed to some real twits besides Bill’s ex wife. But at least it gives me another source for my blog, right? And since I mentioned Ex… here are a couple of her most recent comments. I could start a blog that focuses on the inanity of Ex’s Twitter feed. For your amusement…

My daughter is 19, a HUGE fan of yours(read your book), along with TMNT; she wants to be a voice actress more that ANYTHING! Rob, how can I encourage her? I can’t afford acting school in NY, though she was accepted! Please, any advice for a mom who just wants to support a dream?!

Omg … my eyes…. My ears… make it stop! It’s like reliving the day I sang “If” by Bread in 1981 at a school talent show with, literally, the sweetest and kindest guy in the world! Except, alas, it was never to be… still love him with all my heart!!

She once sang “The Sweetest Thing” by Juice Newton to Bill. To this day, he can’t abide that song.

So ends today’s rantings. Hope it provides food for thought.

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