Ex, narcissists, Twitter

The last full day of our brief trip…

It’s been a bit rainy today, although it’s not been as rainy as it was yesterday. We took a walk down the hill to another hotel in town, which has a restaurant with decent food. We also spent more time at the hotel’s fabulous pool area. I will miss it as we make our way home to Wiesbaden tomorrow. On the other hand, I think we’re both ready to go home and see our dogs. We’re both worried about Arran.

I have enjoyed being at the Bareiss Hotel, but I would have enjoyed it more if not for a canine cancer diagnosis in our sweet Arran. He really is a unique soul, and we dearly love him. Unfortunately, this is just a shitty part of loving animals. If you do it right, you go through this.

I probably shouldn’t write this next bit, but I’m going to do it anyway… because it’s about Ex, and y’all know how I feel about her. I’ll keep it brief.

Ex has been tweeting about General Flynn. In her most recent tweet, she made a comment about broken military servicemembers…

I find Ex’s comments about the military very rich indeed.

Ex says, “…the same US military that says, ‘No man left behind.’ but fills the streets with homeless, mentally broken, physically challenged men and women of honor. Broken things CAN be repaired!” (I took the liberty of subtly correcting Ex’s punctuation.)

When I met Bill, he was very damaged due to the years he spent with Ex. He was barely able to survive on the amount of money he was withholding from his paycheck to send to her, as she shacked up with #3. He falsely believed that he was the sole reason for their divorce, when he was actually a victim of domestic violence. It was many years later when he finally told me about some of the worst things that happened to him during their marriage… things that would have landed her in prison if she were a man, and the abuse was reported. And yet, there she is on Twitter, spouting off bullshit about abused, broken, hurting people.

HA!

In Bill’s case, the military was a SAVIOR. It saved him from being stuck with her. Being at WAR was better than being with her. Safer, too.

I know… there’s nothing I can do about the lies she spews. But it makes me feel better to write about it. It helps me keep things from getting too twisted. Bill has literal scars from his years with her. He has emotional and mental scars, too. She doesn’t see it, though. She thinks he hurt her… and that was justification for ostracizing him from his daughters, trying to sabotage his family relations, and leaving him almost destitute, with shitty credit and a foreclosure and bankruptcy on his credit report.

The cognitive dissonance is astounding. She leaves her ex husbands and children damaged and broken and sends them out on their own with nothing. They’re still better off without her in their lives, even as they are left with significant trauma. She has a lot of nerve commenting on the military. But she is right about one thing. Broken things CAN be repaired. I am proud to be part of Bill’s recovery.

Sorry… just sayin’.

Well… I’ll be home tomorrow, so those of you who like my blog will soon see some new entries. I especially look forward to pumping some life into the travel blog. So, I hope you enjoy your Sunday. See you tomorrow, when I can type on my desktop computer again.

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book reviews, mental health, narcissists, politicians, politics, Trump

A review of Trump on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President, by Justin A. Frank, MD…

When Donald Trump was still POTUS, I bought a bunch of books about him. I haven’t managed to finish them all, even though he was voted out of office in 2020. I’m an avid reader, but I can’t read books as fast as I once did, when my eyes weren’t so old and I didn’t need to nap so much. Besides that, I find reading about Trump alternately infuriating and terrifying, even though he’s also a fascinating character. It shocks me that he’s able to get away with what he does, although it now appears that special super power could soon be about to end.

From the beginning of Trump’s “reign”, I have believed very strongly that he is a narcissistic sociopath or a malignant narcissist, or something of that order… I remember hearing back in the 80s what a scumbag he was, but at that time, I didn’t really care too much. I was a kid. Now that I’m middle aged, and see the damage that can be wrought by corrupt leaders who are so power hungry that they completely lose sight of responsibility and decency, I care a lot more about Trump and the many people who emulate and admire him.

In late March 2020, I downloaded Justin A. Frank’s book, Trump on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President. Frank is a psychiatrist with several decades of experience in practicing and teaching psychiatry. According to his page on Amazon.com:

Justin Frank M.D. is a highly regarded psychoanalyst and teacher. A clinician with more than thirty year’s experience, Dr. Frank used the principles of applied psychoanalysis to assemble a comprehensive psychological profile of President George W. Bush in his 2004 New York Times bestselling book Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President (HarperCollins). His newest book, Obama on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President is being published by Free Press/Simon & Schuster on October 18, 2011. 

Dr. Frank currently writes a biweekly column for Time.com. He also contributes to HuffingtonPost.com, DailyBeast.com and Salon.com, and is a frequent writer and speaker on topics as diverse as politics, film, and theater. He is Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at George Washington University Medical Center, and the co-director of the Metropolitan Center for Object Relations in New York.

Dr. Frank did his psychiatric residency at Harvard Medical School and was chief resident at the Cambridge Hospital. He was also awarded the DuPont-Warren Fellowship by Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Frank lives in Washington DC.

As you can see, Dr. Frank has written several “on the couch” books about presidents. I haven’t read the other books, as before Trump came along, I didn’t care very much about politics. It’s been said that no person is 100 percent “bad”. I suppose that if I could say one thing good about Donald Trump, it’s that he has motivated people like me to care about who is leading the country, and whether or not they are fit to be in such a position. I have never thought Trump was “fit” to be president, although I do remember thinking he’d do better than Ted Cruz. At this point, though, I think I was mistaken about that.

After I finished Mary Trump’s book about what led the people of the United States to elect her corrupt uncle, I decided to read Dr. Frank’s book. I thought it would be a good follow up. I was right, even though Trump on the Couch was published in 2018, when Trump was still parking his fat ass in the White House. Even though Trump lost the election in 2020, he’s still very much in the news, still affecting our lives with his blustery rhetoric and uncanny ability to stimulate people with the worst of values to act in destroying our democracy. Trump will never change and, in fact, I think he’s gotten even worse. Dr. Frank explains why that is, as he introduces readers to Trump’s psyche, and what caused him to turn into the unhinged orange nightmare that he is today.

Trump on the Couch starts with Trump’s story, from the very beginning. Frank writes about Trump’s family history and the dynamics that shaped Donald Trump. I noticed that Frank seems to place a lot of emphasis on Trump’s Scottish mother, Mary, who left her homeland at age 18, fleeing the poverty she was raised in during the early 20th century. Mary Trump (Trump’s mom, not his niece) came to New York and found work as a housekeeper and nanny, until she met up and coming real estate magnate Fred Trump, Sr. They married, and had five children: Maryanne, Fred Jr., Elizabeth, Donald, and Robert.

Frank explains that Mary Trump was quite reserved under normal circumstances, and she had servants to do most of the housework. Consequently, she wasn’t a very “hands on mother”, even when she was healthy. But, when Mary gave birth to Donald’s younger brother, Robert, she almost died due to severe hemorrhaging. She had to spend many months resting, and afterwards, was left in fragile health. According to Dr. Frank, this less than devoted mothering had a profound effect on Donald, who was a child who needed a lot of attention. I found myself copying and sharing some of the passages from Frank’s book explaining this:

He was also kind of mean to his little brother, as Frank notes:

He was a creep, even when he was a child.

Because Trump was such a bratty little bastard, his father, who was quite strict, but mostly absent, decided to send Trump to a military boarding school. Trump went to New York Military Academy, where he ended up doing somewhat well, because it was a place where being ruthless and competitive was celebrated. But being at boarding school further separated Trump from his mother, and exacerbated his anxiety about maintaining control in every situation. Frank also writes that he thinks Trump may have a form of dyslexia, which makes it hard for him to comprehend language the way that most people do and causes more anxiety, which makes him less empathic to other people.

I noticed that Frank focused a lot on the psychodynamic aspects of mental health evaluation. His theories came across as very Freudian to me, with a lot of emphasis on Trump’s childhood and parents– particularly his mother. I found his observations to be interesting and mostly accurate, although I’m not sure the Freudian approach is always the best one when analyzing people today. But then, I know I don’t have Frank’s expertise or experience. Frank also frequently mentions the Austrian-British psychoanalyst and author, Melanie Klein, who was also very much influenced by Sigmund Freud. I wondered what approach Carl Jung would have taken toward Trump.

Frank follows Trump’s life to his time as POTUS, where he notes a lot of the antisocial and, frankly, unacceptable attitudes Trump brazenly displays toward women, people of color, or anyone else whom he doesn’t consider a “winner” of some sort. I enjoyed the analysis of Trump’s childhood the most interesting part of the book, as Frank explains how Trump’s upbringing helped make him in to who he is today. Once again, I found myself sharing astute quotes from the book:

There were a few times when I found Frank’s observations rather alarming, even though Trump left office. A lot of people would like to see Trump re-elected in 2024. I fear that outcome, because Trump can’t be controlled, and if he has nothing to lose, he will stop at nothing to get what he wants. He can’t legally run for a third time as president, but he made it very plain during his first term, that he’d like to change the laws so that he can stay in power for the rest of his life. And Frank makes it plain that Trump is the type of person who absolutely hates to lose, and can’t tolerate playing fairly. He has no sense of honor or decorum.

Dr. Frank’s book, Trump on the Couch, is very comprehensive, with detailed chapters on what he thinks makes Trump tick. He includes an extensive bibliography, as well as a glossary, that includes some Trump specific terms that explain certain traits and behaviors specific to Trump. One reviewer on Amazon.com recommended reading the glossary before reading the book. I don’t think that’s a bad idea. The reviewer also included this comment from Frank about Trump’s behavior and other people’s reactions to it:

“Idealization is the product of extreme splitting, beyond the simple internal world of good and bad, and into one that is ideal and awful. It transforms the perception of reality into something better; it may lay dormant in the unconscious and emerge when one falls in love or has a baby. Just as lovers see themselves – their best selves – in another, the electorate usually idealizes their candidate for higher office. Thus, Ann Coulter sounded like a betrayed lover when Trump signed a budget that didn’t include funding for the wall he promised her. When people feel understood by a leader – or by a therapist – they idealize that person. Trump’s base felt that he understood their frustration and pent-up rage, so they idealized him more than any American president in decades. He promised to ‘drain the swamp’ and destroy the self-centered elites. They [Trump’s supporters, not the self-centered elites] idealized him so much that he said he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose a vote, and no one corrected or contradicted him. They loved him: never have there been such long lines at campaign rallies as there were at Trump’s. He tapped into unconscious recall of the infant’s love for the parent, who can magically understand the child even before he has words” (pages 245-246).

However, because this book is hostile toward Trump’s image, I feel quite certain that Dr. Frank’s analysis comes only from books, interviews with people who know or have been exposed to Trump, and watching the way Trump behaves in public. He clearly didn’t interview Trump himself, which I think would make it difficult for his “diagnosis” to be taken as seriously as it might. And some people will read this book and think it’s “unfair”, because it’s biased against Trump. It’s quite obvious that Justin A. Frank is not a Trump admirer. But he does have to sell books to make the endeavor worthwhile, so my guess is that he sort of pandered to the “base” who would be interested in reading this book.

Overall, I found Dr. Frank’s analysis of Donald Trump to be accurate and interesting. Trump on the Couch is a quick and easy read, and will probably offer “confirmation bias” to those who are concerned about Trump’s influence on people. I do think it’s worth reading in 2022, even though it was written when Trump was still in office. Trump has made it clear that he’s not giving up on another run at the White House, even though he’s currently plagued with serious legal and financial issues. Dr. Frank makes it plain that people like Trump don’t change, and tend to get worse instead of better. Trump himself has said that he’s basically the same person he was when he was about eight years old. Let that sink in… and vote accordingly.

As an Amazon Associate, I get a small commission from Amazon on sales made through my site.

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book reviews, mental health, narcissists, psychology

A review of Fullness: A Memoir, by Azure Moyna…

This morning, I did something I haven’t been able to do in a long time. I read an entire book in one sitting. Amazon.com tells me I downloaded Azure Moyna’s 2020 book, Fullness: A Memoir, in April of this year. But I only just got around to reading it. I started reading it a few days ago, but fell asleep before I got through the first chapter. That’s not because of the writing, but more because, lately, I tend to fall asleep when I try to read.

I woke up at about 3:30am this morning, partly because I needed to use the bathroom, and partly because I’ve been upset about a few things. I tried to go back to sleep, but couldn’t. So I started reading Moyna’s story about her issues with compulsive overeating disorder. I soon realized it was one I could relate to on many levels. I kept reading and, six and a half hours later, I was finished with the book. I found it very compelling and well-written.

Who is Azure Moyna?

Azure Moyna grew up in the 1990s in the Bay Area of California. She has a younger brother named Jake, and until she was twelve years old, Azure’s parents were unhappily married. In descriptive, engaging prose, Azure describes the hell of being raised by her parents. Azure’s mother is described as manipulative and neglectful, the victim of domestic violence perpetrated by Azure’s father. Azure’s father is described as super intelligent, the recipient of dual doctorates in engineering. He was also the worst kind of bastard– an alcoholic, malignant narcissist who treated his ex wife and children with utter contempt. As a child, Azure and Jake were sent to “watch TV” while Azure’s father beat the shit out of her mother. Meanwhile, Azure’s father would say the most vulgar, demeaning, insulting things to his family members, especially Azure, who struggled with her weight from an early age.

Making matters worse was the fact that Azure’s mom and brother were able to eat whatever they wanted and stay thin naturally. But Azure took after her father, a man who had once been fat, but somehow lost the extra weight. Azure was never able to get thin enough, in spite of dieting and exercising. She had an addiction to food, and would eat to soothe herself after witnessing the horrific abuse her father perpetrated toward her brother and mother, or experiencing it herself. She was constantly shamed, belittled, and humiliated by her father, who would buttress his abuse with threats against her life. Once, when she was a child, police officers came to Azure’s school to ask her about her homelife, as Jake had told a mandated reporter that he was being abused. When the cops asked Azure about her experiences at home, she lied to them. They knew she was lying, but she wouldn’t crack and tell on her father. The risks were too great.

Because of her weight– and probably because she lived in California– Azure experienced a number of truly mortifying incidents due to being “fat”. As someone who has also struggled with my weight, I could relate to her pain, although mercifully, I was never treated nearly as badly as she was. What made things especially bad was that she would get horrifying comments from total strangers or people she was paying for services. She never mentions what her highest weight was, although she does mention a few sizes. Again, I’m sure that because she was living in California, where people seem to be especially concerned about their body images, it was probably much worse than it might have been somewhere else.

In spite of being fat, Azure managed to marry a nice man named Sean. Sean is cute, of Filipino heritage, and Azure says people couldn’t believe she was married to him, because he was good looking. I relate to that commentary, as a couple of my relatives told me that they were surprised by how cute Bill is. Pro tip– that is a really shitty thing to say to someone. Although he’s straightened out by the time Azure connects with him, Sean has a history of abusing drugs and was once in a car accident that almost took his life. He had been driving under the influence. Apparently, that brush with death prompted Sean to ditch drugs, although he does continue to drink alcohol.

The book’s format

Azure Moyna titles each chapter of Fullness with a food that has caused her significant angst in one way or another. The chapters are short and engaging, with a story involving the chapters food title. The stories are set at different times in Azure’s life, childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood, with some vignettes flashing back to earlier times. For example, in a chapter titled “Mr. Goodbar”, Azure relates the heartbreaking story of visiting her grandmother’s house and not being allowed to enjoy the treats freely offered to her brother. Grandma, who is petite, tells Azure that she doesn’t take after her side of the family, and she should stop complaining and enjoy a piece of grapefruit while Jake eats donuts.

The family then goes to Sizzler, where Azure’s cousins and uncle make fun of a morbidly obese woman they see carrying a full plate of food. They warn Azure that she will suffer the same fate if she doesn’t lose weight. After the humiliating dinner, which Azure wasn’t able to eat, they visit a dollar store. Azure impulsively steals a Mr. Goodbar, stuffing it into her pants and sneaking it out of the store. She eats the candy in the bathroom, hiding the wrapper in the trash. She thought she’d gotten away with it, but then her mother demands to see her clothes, where she discovers the telltale melted chocolate stains. Soon, Azure is marched back to the store to confess her crime and pay the cashier, who then lectures her about stealing in front of other customers.

Other chapters are similar, with stories that left me furious for Azure, and the many adults in her life who failed her when she was a child. She doesn’t shy away from using the language she probably heard, especially from her father, who was truly a vicious, vile, contemptible man who was good at charming people. Behind closed doors, he terrorized his daughter and abused her in so many ways. Food was the one substance that comforted her, as everyone around her treated her like she was defective and totally undesirable.

Recovery

One day, Azure learns about compulsive overeating disorder and sees herself in the symptoms. She seeks out a therapist and finds one online, a licensed counselor named Sylvie who specializes in eating disorders. Sylvie actually seems pretty competent to me, and I was surprised to read about how successful their work was, at least at first. Sylvie pushes Azure to stand up for herself and recommends antidepressants and Overeaters Anonymous (OA) meetings. Azure doesn’t agree with either of those treatment modalities.

I was a little surprised by Azure’s attitude regarding antidepressants. When I was in my 20s, I took antidepressants for several years, and once I found the right one, it was life changing for me. But according to Fullness, Azure tried one dose of Prozac and quit. I can speak from personal experience that Prozac isn’t a wonder drug for everyone. In my case, Wellbutrin was the right medicine. I’m surprised she wasn’t encouraged to try other antidepressants. I was also a little dismayed to read that she got a prescription from a family doctor instead of a psychiatrist. I think a psychiatrist would have been a lot more helpful in this instance.

As for OA, I can understand why the 12 step modality wasn’t necessarily helpful for Azure. I used to attend ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) meetings, and they were only a little bit helpful for me. I also had the unfortunate experience of meeting an abusive creep in those meetings. I’ve written about that situation in this blog, so I won’t describe it again here. Suffice to say, that situation kind of turned me off of 12 step meetings.

The therapist also recommended an inpatient program, which Azure didn’t think she could do because of her job. I can understand that, as well, as the program that therapist suggested was three months in duration. However, because Azure wasn’t willing to take any of Sylvie’s recommendations, she basically got “fired” as a client. I’m sure that was very disappointing for Azure.

Overall

I found Fullness very compelling reading. Azure Moyna writes well, and her story is very relatable to a lot of Americans– especially the parts about what it’s like to be overweight in a culture that reveres thinness and encourages people to see being thin as the only measure of a person’s worth or beauty. Azure is clearly younger than I am, so she hasn’t reached that stage of life at which people stop judging her “hotness”. What seemed to really help Azure was becoming a mother and losing her father. She had spent her whole life trying to satisfy a man who would never be satisfied. It’s a shame that apparently no one told her to simply go no contact with him, because he had absolutely nothing positive to offer her. Like all narcissists, he used her and targeted her for abuse, gaining fuel by targeting his ugliness at her.

I think this book would have been stronger if Azure had written more about how she managed to overcome her problems. Most of the book is about the horrific abuse and humiliating situations she found herself in due to her dysfunctional family and her problems with food. I think a couple, or even a few, more chapters would have been useful in explaining how she got better. She is now working as a “coach” herself, but she doesn’t really offer any insight as to how she got to that place.

I just checked Amazon’s reviews. At this writing, there is a single one star review, supposedly written by her brother, who claims his real name is Ryan. He says she has maliciously maligned their family, and unfairly painted their father in a bad light. His writing is pretty poor, but if there’s any truth to what he wrote, there is obviously more to the story. I also raised my eyebrows when Azure describes herself as “HUGE” because she needs a size 16. That is not a small size, but it’s certainly not huge. But again, she lives in California, where maybe a lot of people do see size 16 as huge. I would invite Azure to go spend some time in Missouri or Mississippi, though… because the cultures there are very different.

I do think this is a very interesting book. It’s basically well-written, and some of the stories are jaw dropping. Quite a few of them pissed me off and reminded me of similar experiences I’ve had. I think a lot of readers will like this book. However, as I’m sitting here thinking about it, I think she should have written a few more chapters and included more about how she got better… and how that serves her today. It seems like a lopsided, incomplete book, even though I found it hard to put down.

On the positive side, I think it’s great that Azure Moyna has written about compulsive overeating disorder. It IS a real eating disorder that affects many people. It doesn’t get enough press. And I do think there will be a lot of people who will feel recognized by reading this book. But I also think this book could be better. On a scale of one to five stars, I think I would award four– because it was so hard to put down, and because it’s a memoir on an eating disorder that needs more coverage. I will warn that this book could be pretty triggering for some readers, especially those who can’t handle vile language and descriptions of abuse.

As an Amazon Associate, I get a small commission from Amazon on sales made through my site.

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controversies, politicians, politics, Trump

Sarah Palin lost her election, so now Republicans are crying foul… AGAIN!

I was amused this morning when I read a news article about how Republicans are bitching that Sarah Palin lost her bid to re-enter politics in Alaska because of Alaska’s “ranked voting” system. Sarah Palin and fellow Republican, Nick Begich III, faced off against Democrat Mary Peltola, in a congressional special election. Alaska is a famously Republican state, so the GOP apparently felt that one of their candidates would be a “shoo-in” to win. Mary Peltola faced long odds in her efforts to claim the seat of Don Young, who died in March of this year. But Mary did win, and she will be the very first Alaska Native member of Congress, and the very FIRST Democrat to represent Alaska in the House since 1972!

And yet, now Republicans are bitterly COMPLAINING that Alaska’s voting system is a scam! It couldn’t be their candidates lost because people are sick of Republicans’ relentless attacks on freedom, could it? It couldn’t be that the people of Alaska remembered that Sarah Palin, the former governor of the state, QUIT halfway through her term to be a political pundit, could it? It couldn’t be that there are people in Alaska who respect the Constitution enough not to elect a Trump endorsed candidate? And some people have realized that Republicans have ruined their party by affiliating with treasonous, money-grubbing, dictator wannabes like Donald Trump and his criminal gang? No… couldn’t be. Poor Sarah Palin was ROBBED. Not.

All of a sudden, a system that worked FOR Republicans for fifty years, is now a scam, because a DEMOCRAT finally won? What kind of bullshit is that? Sounds like sour grapes, to me.

What an idiot.

It seems like that’s the new mantra for the GOP. When your candidate loses, for good reason, by the way, it must be because the election was rigged. It can’t be because your policies suck for being cruel, anti-freedom, sexist, and ultimately not for the good of ALL people. Alaska’s system worked exactly the way it was supposed to work. Trump backed Palin won against the less famous Begich, who might have been more acceptable to all voters than Palin was. The MAGA assholes voted for Sarah, because they like Trump. But a lot of people, as a whole, do not like Trump. So some people voted for the Democrat candidate instead of flakey Sarah Palin, who abandoned her post as governor and aligned with Trump.

I’ll tell you what. People are going to find out too late that they are on the wrong side of history. If Trump gets back into power, he’s going to ruin the United States. He’s more unhinged now than he ever was, and he’s only getting older and more desperate. Republicans in the know realize how much he’s fucked up their party, and they wish he’d shut up. But he won’t do that, because he’s a grandiose malignant narcissist, and he can’t accept being the loser that he obviously is. So he’ll keep trying to get back in power, and he will not stop until he’s dead or in a coma or something. Meanwhile, the people who cheer him on will refuse to see reality, and when Trump forms his own party, they’ll vote with him. And the Republicans, as a whole, will lose.

I never had an issue with conservatives, per se. I’m actually a centrist, myself. I can see why people on the right get irritated by liberals. I find certain liberal beliefs pretty annoying. And they also have their share of obvious narcissists, who push agendas that restrict freedom and scare people. They push agendas that people see as government overreach and restricting their freedoms (although I think abortion bans are about as overreaching as a government can get).

Take, for instance, “cancel culture”. A few years ago, there was a trend of people videoing people behaving badly and putting it on social media, in an attempt to ruin lives. They would get called out for being sexist, racist, etc… or just appearing to be that way. Then their behavior would go viral, and they’d lose their jobs and get death threats and what not. Well, I can see why people on the right side of the spectrum would not like that trend. I don’t like it, either. Not every bad encounter is motivated by racism, and no matter what, it’s not cool to ruin someone’s livelihood simply because of a disagreement. It’s NEVER okay to send someone death threats or invitations to commit suicide. But some folks on the left were doing that, supposedly for the “common good” of stamping out racism or whatever other “ism” was popular for the day. Those tactics are divisive and do more harm than good, in my opinion.

I think Trump appeals to people who respond to charisma and the attitude that they don’t have to take any “woke shit” from the left. They are also people who are motivated by money, and the appearance of having more of it to spend in the way they like. That’s understandable, of course. What some of these folks fail to realize, though, is that Donald Trump, as a narcissist, does not care about them, and ultimately will not do anything for them. And far right candidates who stump for Trump also don’t care about their constituents.

Not all Republicans are MAGAs. Some of them have a sense of decency and functioning brains. So yes, they will vote for a Democrat if it means this MAGA nonsense might someday stop and we can go back to being a more “normal” country, where women aren’t relegated to second class citizenship and denied privacy. It used to be that right wingers would compare liberalism to socialism and communism. But their policies, which are proving to be extremely unpopular to those of us who don’t want politicians regulating things like whether or not to continue a pregnancy, and would rather not have to worry about being shot, are proving to be less appealing than voting blue. Unfortunately, the United States has a lot of folks in it who don’t read or travel, and aren’t big on critical thinking. So they get taken in by Trump’s promises. Sooner or later, they will find out that he’s on the wrong side of history. He’s not a good man.

But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t bad people on the left. I have seen some murmurings about Meghan Markle wanting to become a politician, and if she did, it would no doubt be as a blue candidate. I think that would be a disaster. Fortunately, I also think a lot of people see right through her, even though she keeps trying to play the race card. She doesn’t have Trump’s charisma, either. But she’s an example of someone who is an obvious narcissist and just wants to be on top, as Tyra Banks put it in the theme song for ANTM (America’s Next Top Model). Tyra Banks is another obvious narcissist.

Now is the time for people to vote for people over parties. While I believe that some level of narcissism is necessary to run for public office, and all people have narcissistic traits to some extent, it’s NOT a good thing to elect full blown narcissists to public office. Public office is supposed to be about SERVICE, not getting rich, gaining control of others, or being in power. So we should vote for people who want to serve, not people who are charismatic, well-known, wealthy, or loudmouthed. Politicians should CARE about the people, not having power, money, and control.

Unfortunately, our culture has been trained to give people a chance… even people who obviously don’t merit one. We don’t pay attention to the “gift of fear” and judgment, which are both innate survival tools. We’ve been taught to suppress judgment to our detriment. Bill and I both knew, several years ago when Trump burst onto the political scene, that he was going to fuck up the country. For us, it was like seeing a sign in bright, neon, flashing letters. Why? Because we have been exposed to less powerful narcissists who have wreaked havoc on our lives. Once you’ve had that inoculation, you are mostly immune to narcissistic bullshit. Or, at least you can spot it at a hundred paces. It doesn’t matter what side of the political spectrum they’re on. Narcissists SUCK as leaders. And that is what Trump and a lot of his political minions are. They care more about themselves– money, power, and control– than doing things that make life better for everyone.

Anyway… no, I don’t think Alaska’s election was rigged. That’s nonsense. Republicans need to wake up and realize that MAGA is going out of style. And if something isn’t done about Donald Trump, our country is going to be fucked… and their party will be a shell of what it was. Oh… and Democrats will win… as long as we continue to have free, fair elections, the likes of which I’m feeling less and less optimistic about. But we’ll see. I’m glad I’m 50, and my life is likely at least half over, so I can stop caring about this shit.

By the way… I LIKE Alaska’s voting system. I think it makes a lot of sense. People should be allowed to rank their choices. Maybe if we could do that, we could avoid voting in more terrible people like Trump. Oh, and it’s also high time to allow us all more choices in elections, so we don’t have political contests with two shitty candidates.

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Ex, narcissists, politicians, politics, Twitter

Talking a good game again…

Another Labor Day has come and gone… and we didn’t do much of anything. Historically, Bill and I would go on a short trip for the last official summer weekend. But in 2019, we lost our Zane over Labor Day weekend and were in mourning. In 2020 and 2021, we had the damned pandemic to deal with. In 2022, we still have the pandemic, and were too late to book accommodations for our dogs so we could go see the dentist in Stuttgart. So our next trip is scheduled for the end of the month. Hopefully nothing will screw up our plans, but just in case, I purchased “cancel for any reason” travel insurance, because the hotel I booked in the Black Forest is kind of a special, and expensive, place. It will soften the blow of visiting the dentist, who is very good at his job, but sometimes winds me up.

Bill had to go out of town this morning, and he will be gone until Friday. On Friday, he will take our Arran to the vet, because I suspect he may need some help with his hormones. Or, at least I hope that’s what’s causing him to act kind of weird lately. Recently, Arran seems to be kind of lethargic… sleeping a lot, slow to eat his food in the mornings, and just kind of “off”. I don’t think he’s really sick, but he’s about 13 or 14 years old, which makes him an old guy, and it may be time to see if he has hypothyroidism or something like that. He’s gained significant weight over the past year or so, and I don’t think they’re just pandemic pounds. I once had a dog with hypothyroidism, and a little daily medication fixed her right up. I also correctly diagnosed it in a former friend’s dog. We’ll see what happens. The boys are both getting dentals this month, too, which will be a good thing, especially for Noyzi. It will be his first time, and he really needs it.

Yesterday, Bill was talking to me about how some Republicans think we should rewrite the Constitution, no doubt to suit their agendas. Just hearing about that made me feel depressed. I’ve about had it with the constant upset the country has been going through over the past few years. I’m especially tired of so-called “Christians” claiming that no one who believes in Jesus would vote for Democrats. From what I learned about Jesus as a churchgoer, Jesus would have been a total blue voter.

What is especially distressing, though, is watching the comments from poseurs, like my husband’s former spouse. I have mentioned before that, on the surface, we are in political agreement. However, I know something about her and how she actually behaves when she’s offline. So it’s kind of jarring when she tweets things like this:

To be clear… what she says regarding MAGA politics makes plenty of sense to me. I actually agree with her 100 percent. BUT… I also know that her behavior toward my husband and his family has been anything but Christlike. I know that for all of her “pretty words”, she is actually a very cruel and hateful person. She talks a good game, but when it comes down to it, what she says and types is complete bullshit. And, I guess, knowing this about her, and seeing what other people put out there, makes me wonder about other people. How many people are full of shit? I’d like to think her level of delusion is rare. But is it?

This is a woman who denied my perfectly decent husband access to his own children, simply because he stopped letting her control his life. She denied her children access to things they needed for success in life. She raised her kids to think they owe her, which I suspect, has led to my husband’s daughter being overly concerned about “burdening” people. In fairness, younger daughter might come by this tendency honestly, since Bill is kind of the same way. However, I know that both Bill and his daughters were “parentified”, in that when they were growing up, they were expected to be much more mature and responsible than their years, and be a “parent” instead of a developing child.

According to Psychology Today, there are fourteen signs that a person was “parentified” when they were growing up. Here they are:

Signs that you were parentified as a child

  1. Grew up feeling like you had to be responsible
  2. Trouble with play or “letting loose”
  3. Like to feel in control
  4. Pulled into arguments or issues between caregivers
  5. Felt like you were given responsibilities that were not appropriate for someone your age
  6. Often compliments for being “so good” and “so responsible”
  7. May feel that being self-reliant is better than trying to trust others
  8. Don’t really remember “being a kid”
  9. Parents had trouble caring for themselves or others and placed the responsibility on you
  10. Often find yourself becoming a caregiver for others
  11. Being a caretaker feels good, even when you are sacrificing parts of yourself
  12. Heightened sense of empathy and an ability to more closely connect with others
  13. Feel like you need to be the peacemaker
  14. Feel like your efforts aren’t appreciated

I haven’t spent much time with younger daughter myself, but I have spent the past twenty years with Bill. And to me, this list is pretty much spot on about how he behaves. He’s told me that younger daughter has expressed concern that she’s “burdening” Bill. While a little of that is understandable, given that they’re having to rebuild their relationship, he’s still her father. He wants to help her, and he knows a lot about what she’s experienced, because he’s experienced it, too.

I was there to see my husband try to reason with his ex wife. I saw him cry many times, because he was so distraught over the loss of his children. I was there when he told me about the scars a doctor noticed on a private part of his body, put there by Ex. Bill was much too embarrassed to explain how he got the scars. He didn’t even tell me about them until we’d been married for many years. I watched as he recovered from years of abuse at her hands. Now we’re hearing about what happened after the divorce, and a lot of it is very disturbing.

I was there when Bill was a Mormon, having adopted the faith at Ex’s behest, then watching it being used to alienate him from his children. Now, it seems that Ex has mostly abandoned Mormonism, except for when she wants or needs something. Being LDS ended up blowing up in Ex’s face on many different levels. First, she wasn’t able to get her sealing canceled so she could be sealed to #3. And then, her daughter got help from church members when she decided to escape her mother’s clutches.

And yet, there Ex is on Twitter, acting like she’s the voice of reason, telling off some stranger and claiming to be a “devout Christian”, preaching about Christ’s love. She’s not wrong in what she types, but those comments don’t match up to her actions as a human being in real life. Offline, she’s a monster, who doesn’t hesitate to lie, manipulate, and exert control over anyone unfortunate enough to be in her sphere. And then she accuses them of doing things that she does.

Last night, Bill told me that his life didn’t start to get “good” until he was in his mid 30s. That was around the time we met online. I remember, he was 35 years old then, and his email address even had the number 35 in it. He’s 58 now. I have to admit, my life improved a lot when I turned 30, except it sometimes feels like I’ve kind of wasted a lot of time. But then I realize that maybe my time hasn’t actually been wasted… I just haven’t spent it working in a cubicle. I never thought I had the “right” to such a life, though.

Sometimes, I feel like my life’s mission changed when I met my husband, who is truly a remarkable man. I thought I would embark in a rewarding career, but it just went a completely different way. It’s been my pleasure to help Bill get things back on track and enjoy his life. But it’s tragic that there are people he has to watch out for, simply because he’s a kind, empathic person, and he’s quick to take people at their words, rather than observe the way they behave.

Well… I’m going to miss having Bill around the next three nights, but at least it will give my liver a chance to rest. Maybe I can catch up on my beauty sleep. As it is, I’ve been up since about 4:30am. I’m probably going to need a nap today.

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