politicians, politics, true crime, Trump

Today’s politics are scarier and more violent than ever…

Yesterday, I heard about how yesterday, Paul Pelosi, the 82 year old husband of Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, was attacked by an unhinged intruder in their San Francisco home. The intruder, allegedly 42 year old David DePape, reportedly screamed “Where is Nancy?” repeatedly before he struck a man almost twice his age in the head with a hammer.

While it’s not lucky that Mr. Pelosi was attacked by a psychopath in his own home, it is fortunate that he was able to call for help before the violent attack began. Police arrived at the Pelosi home at about 2:30am and witnessed Paul Pelosi and DePape both holding a hammer. The attacker was able to get the hammer away from Mr. Pelosi and began savagely hitting him with it. The police immediately tackled the barbarian home intruder, disarmed him, and arrested his ass. While the police have not said what the motive for the attack was, I think it’s pretty clear that it was an intentional attack, rather than random. That guy meant to murder Nancy Pelosi, who was in Washington, DC. Instead, he beat her husband– an 82 year old man– with a hammer.

The suspect had entered the house and attempted to tie up Mr. Pelosi until Nancy Pelosi got home. Mr. Pelosi told the intruder that he needed to use the restroom. That was when he called 911 and left the line open so the dispatcher could hear what was happening. The dispatcher was able to think quickly enough to figure out what was happening and sent the police.

This story is chilling. Donald Trump has blood on his hands.

It’s hard to imagine any decent person responding to this story with anything but disgust and outrage. Unfortunately, the Republican Governor of my home state of Virginia, the disgraceful Glenn Youngkin, had this to say about the attack on Paul Pelosi:

“Speaker Pelosi’s husband had a break-in last night in their house, and he was assaulted. There’s no room for violence anywhere, but we’re gonna send her back to be with him in California. That’s what we’re going to go do.”

I wonder what Youngkin would say if someone broke into his house and beat the hell out of his wife with a hammer, looking for him. His response should have been one of empathy and disgust, and nothing else. What’s very sad about Youngkin’s inappropriate comment is that some people are no doubt cheering him on. He won’t pay a price for making such a tasteless, unkind remark. The Republican Party, egged on by the vile Donald Trump, who literally ordered his followers to “fight like hell” on January 6, 2021, has become a gross distortion of what it once was.

While it’s true that many people on either side of the political spectrum believe that the other side is going to destroy the country, there are quite a few of us who are moderates that would like to see things get back to normalcy. I hate to read about crazy, politically motivated criminals plotting to kidnap governors who are just trying to do their jobs. I hate reading about police officers abusing their power because of politics. I hate reading about family members of political leaders being viciously attacked in their own homes. That’s the kind of thing that happens in what Trump would call “shithole countries”.

As for Paul Pelosi, he is now recovering from a fractured skull. He also has injuries to his right arm and both hands. He is, fortunately, expected to make a full recovery in spite of the scary, violent attack… physically, anyway. I’m sure psychologically getting over this attack is going to take more time. Maybe more time than he has left in his lifetime. Mr. DePape, who is also currently hospitalized, is now facing charges of attempted murder of Mr. Pelosi, as well as charges of assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and several other felonies, according to San Francisco Police Chief William Scott. I hope they throw the fucking book at that guy. He doesn’t belong in a free society.

Naturally, in the wake of the attack, the press has been looking into DePape’s online activities. Sure enough, they’ve found lots of evidence that Mr. DePape is a right wing, QAnon nut, with plenty of anti-semitic posts on social media in which he denies the Holocaust and makes false allegations of election fraud. He refers to far-right Web sites, conspiracy theories, and right wing blogs. He’s well known to the police, as he was also a nudist activist who promoted quartz crystals and hemp, and once declared himself a member of the Green Party.

The funny thing is, DePape is a Canadian who grew up in British Columbia before invading the United States. He’s estranged from his family. I suspect he probably has a mental illness, which means maybe I should show compassion. But his crime makes me very angry. I think of my own father, who died at age 81, and was very frail and suffered from dementia. I didn’t always get along with my dad. In fact, I had a disturbing dream about him this morning in which he had morphed into a young Chinese man and was berating me for writing a blog. Still, senseless violence, particularly when it’s directed at children, pets, or the elderly, really pisses me off.

This isn’t the first time Nancy Pelosi has been targeted by criminal right wing zealots due to her work in politics. On January 6, 2021, her office was one that was ransacked by the lunatics who attacked the Capitol building. This isn’t to say that people on the left haven’t sometimes gone unhinged. On the other hand, I remember the actress and comedian Kathy Griffin got canceled simply for holding up a picture of Donald Trump’s bloody head. I don’t condone what Griffin did. Violence isn’t cool. But no one actually got hurt by that stunt. I see she was also condemned by Democrats for doing that. The same right wing idiots who sent Griffin, and her mother, death threats about a mere picture of Trump are now actually hurting real people. I find it depressing and scary… and it really makes me ashamed of my country.

What is especially gross are the people who are laughing about this. When I did a search for David DePape on Facebook, the first result that came up was from some shithead who was making a joke about this event. I honestly can’t understand the mindset of someone who would laugh about an 82 year old man being violently and viciously attacked in his own home, simply due to his wife’s politics. It’s disgusting and abhorrent. Do these people really think their actions make America better? Because as an American living abroad, watching this unfold makes me think I don’t ever want to go back there.

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condescending twatbags, controversies, narcissists, politicians, politics, social media, YouTube

It was fun while it lasted… and pointless political conversations…

Yesterday, I noticed that someone hit one of my recent posts about H.G. Tudor and his YouTube channel about narcissism. H.G. Tudor is a British guy who says he is a narcissistic sociopath, and claims to provide a service to the world by explaining narcissistic behavior. Last month, he posted many videos of himself, reading Tom Bower’s book, Revenge, about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. I enjoyed listening to the videos, as H.G. Tudor mostly uses static images, rather than slideshows or video. He read aloud from the book, then explained his interpretations of (mostly) Meghan’s behaviors in an often delightfully saucy way.

Anyway, I often visit the posts that people click on, and when I did so yesterday, I discovered that all of H.G. Tudor’s videos were taken down. When I clicked on one of the absent videos, I noticed that H.G. Tudor had posted an explanatory video on one of his other channels. It seems that CBS Viacom, or whomever holds the copyright for Revenge, had issued a copyright claim. H.G. Tudor says he and CBS Viacom worked it out amicably, and he agreed to take down all of the videos regarding the book. However, in spite of having worked it out, and both parties having notified YouTube, they didn’t remove the automated mechanism that shut down his Ultra Narcissism channel. So, that’s why the videos on that post no longer work.

So this is what happened.

When videos go dark, and I am aware of them going dark, I usually take them down. I don’t know if I’ll do that this time, since I wrote a few posts about H.G. Tudor and I’m pretty sure I always included videos. And sometimes, the text doesn’t make sense without the videos. If I leave up the “ghosts”, at least those who read the posts will know that there used to be more there. I don’t know if I have the time or inclination to go back and edit a bunch of posts that aren’t particularly popular and might only get a few hits henceforth.

I do think H.G. Tudor puts out good content. It’s interesting, entertaining, and informative. And I agree with him that he probably is a narcissist, although he’s remarkably introspective for a narcissist. He may claim to have a severe diagnosis of narcissism, because as a narcissist, he no doubt wants to be the “best”… or the “worst”, as the case might be. It’s not unlike someone with an eating disorder wanting to be the sickest. If you’re healthy, you might think that sounds crazy. But, some people with certain eating disorders take pride in the behavior. Many of them see it as a badge of honor– a testament to their will power and level of control. I would imagine narcissists have similar issues, because part of being a narcissist means wanting to be above everyone else. I can see how the ones who know what they are would want to “worsen” their diagnoses, even if they don’t actually warrant a worse diagnosis. But personally, I have a hard time believing that he’s as severe as he claims to be, simply because he genuinely seems to care more than the worst narcissists would.

I am grateful to YouTube content creators who put out content about narcissism. I do think that listening to an actual narcissist is educational. However, I think I appreciate the therapeutic takes on narcissism more, simply because the people who make those videos understand the behavior and empathize. A lot of people who come into contact with a narcissist are left wounded and bewildered. The non-narcissistic therapeutic approach is edifying and uplifting, a reminder that it’s not the victim’s fault that the narcissist does what they do. It’s part of their nature. I still shake my head when I think of some of the narcissistic people I’ve encountered in my life, wondering what I did to deserve that kind of treatment. And now I know, at least intellectually, that I didn’t do anything to deserve that shit. That’s just how narcissistic people are. It’s their nature– just like the frog and the scorpion, or Lucy Van Pelt pulling the football away from Charlie Brown before he can kick it.

I’ve also learned that when you know someone is a narcissist, you don’t want to get close to them. You won’t be an exception. They WILL eventually do something hurtful or hateful, and deep down, they won’t care that you were injured by them. In their mind, it’ll be your fault, because it’s NEVER their fault. It can’t be. Narcissists believe they are above all reproach.

I’m not surprised there were copyright issues with H.G. Tudor reading the book on YouTube. As compelling as the videos were, the bottom line is, he was still reading a book to thousands of viewers who might not have decided to buy the book themselves. I did buy the book and read it on my own, which I’m glad I did, since Tudor didn’t read the whole thing. And now that I’ve read it, I’m reading to move on to the next topic.

Edited to add: I am now watching a video H.G. Tudor just put up, saying that his channel has now been reinstated. Glad to hear it!

Moving on…

A couple of days ago, a childhood acquaintance who happens to share my liberal proclivities posted about Jared Kushner. I try not to comment too much on his posts, since he has some pretty obnoxious Trump supporting friends. It doesn’t surprise me, either, since he lives in Roanoke, Virginia, and that’s close to where a lot of my relatives live… and they’re all Republicans. I’m sure it’s not easy watching Trump go down in flames, especially since they all believed in him, voted for him, and assumed that they were right to do so. For some reason, when it comes to voting for politicians, some people are willing to overlook a lot of stuff they would never accept in someone they know in person. Many people will simply vote for parties, and they trust that whomever their party has chosen to run for office is going to be the better choice for them than their opponent will be.

Of course, having studied narcissism and having been around for a few decades, I knew what Trump was when I saw him. I didn’t think he was as bad as he turned out to be, but I knew that when he proudly spoke about grabbing women by the pussy, and being ALLOWED to do it, because he’s a “star”, that he would NOT be a good leader. It had nothing to do with his political party. It was all about him. I knew he wasn’t a good husband, father, or boss, and that meant he would be a terrible president. So I didn’t vote for him.

Then I saw Trump’s acolytes coming out in the form of loudmouthed, ignorant, obnoxious, extremists, both in terms of politicians, and rank and file citizens. I knew I couldn’t vote for Republicans again. At least not until this current crop of miscreants is driven out of politics. I don’t agree with all liberal agenda. I’m more of a moderate. But, I do think the Democrats, for now, have put out candidates who are more acceptable to me. You’d think this would be my right to come to this conclusion, as a “free” American, right?

Well, I left my old childhood friend a comment, and sure enough, one of his Trump friends came at me. I could tell this guy was sucking hard on the Q Anon teat, as he kept trying to tell me what a pervert Biden is, and how his family is “sick”. I told him I wasn’t interested in his conspiracy theories. He kept coming at me, so I asked him if he thought it was “effective” to try to engage in arguments with people he doesn’t know. How many people does he know who have changed their political beliefs because of anything he’s posted?

Do you really think it’s effective to argue with people you don’t know in comment sections? I get that you don’t like Biden. I don’t really care. 

As far as I’m concerned, Trump is the worst president we have ever had. He never should have been allowed to run, in my opinion. I have a lot of reasons for feeling the way I do, just like you have your reasons for not liking Biden.

Let’s just leave it at that. H and I are politically on the same page, so my comment was mainly for him, anyway.

He kept trying to goad me into a debate. He even wrote that he wouldn’t argue with me if I would just tell him why I prefer Biden to Trump. It was a request, or even a demand, to explain myself– which I didn’t feel inclined to do. I knew that explaining it would not change his mind, because he is already very convinced of all of the things he’s read and heard from far right sources. He strongly believes that his views are the correct ones, and all other perspectives are 100% wrong.

I finally posted this:

No, because if I do that, you will just tell me I’m wrong, and that will inevitably lead to an argument. I have a right to my opinions, just like you have a right to yours. Moreover, it’s a beautiful Saturday here in Germany, and I want to spend it with my sweet husband.

I would rather frost my pubic hair than get into a political conversation with someone whose mind is as made up as yours obviously is. It’s an exercise in futility, and liable to be more painful and pointless than chemical burns would be on my private parts. 

So I am going to fuck off of this conversation and go have a beer. Have a good one. 

It used to be that people could have different opinions. It used to be that politics and religion were taboo topics for polite company. Social media has changed that, of course, and now people seem to think it’s incumbent on them to change hearts and minds to whatever their political persuasion is. Like I said, I know that people have their reasons for their beliefs. I might agree or disagree with them. But, if we live in a free society, people should be allowed to vote their consciences. I wish that the parties who put forth politicians would put forth humane, ethical, decent people to lead. But those people are often seen as “weak” by a significant number of voters. So then we get charismatic, but cruel and incompetent, people like Trump to run. He has proven to be as corrupt as they come. Some people will never believe it, though. They can’t believe they chose someone who is so fundamentally awful… or they just don’t want to admit it. That’s okay… and it’s understandable, until they try to deny the rest of us the rights to come to our own conclusions.

I have a pretty good brain. I’m logical, reasonable, and sometimes even insightful. Some people don’t like me, or what I have to say, but few of them who actually know me would call me “stupid”. Those who would call me “stupid” are not exactly good judges of intelligence. I know some intelligent people who prefer conservatism. I’ve got no problem with that. I just wish they would champion conservatives who aren’t total narcissists. Because I know that real narcissists don’t care at all about anything or anyone but themselves, and that inherently makes them awful leaders. I won’t willingly vote for that, no matter how high gas prices and inflation get… and, by the way, those problems are global– they aren’t Joe Biden’s doing.

I don’t know if my friend’s right wing, Trump supporting, Biden hating friend is “smart”. I don’t know him at all. But I’ve had a couple of run ins with him, and he’s always beating the same fucking pro Trump/pro Republican drum. I suspect he does it to me because he has a penis, and I don’t. It’s like talking to my cousin, who thinks that his dick and his experience selling life insurance overrules my education and experience in public health/healthcare management. If I were a man, I doubt he’d be so insistent about correcting my “silliness”. For the record, I’m not in need of “special help” from a man who thinks his mind/viewpoint is superior to mine. Most of them quickly prove that’s not the case at all. And anyone who still thinks Trump is innocent and deserves another chance to be a good president is probably in need of some IQ testing themselves… or maybe a psych evaluation.

Well, it’s time to close this post and play some guitar. Hope y’all have a good Monday. Catch you later.

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disasters, Duggars, modern problems, politics, YouTube

Careful, guy… your “Q” is showing.

It’s quite understandable that a lot of people are still expressing outrage and grief over the most recent school shootings in Uvalde, Texas. I have a lot of friends who are teachers, and every day, they face the reality of school shootings in the United States. I also come from Gloucester, Virginia, a rural, southern, down home kind of town, which means that I’m affiliated with a lot of southern, conservative, White people. Some of them are still my friends, even though I departed the Republican mindset a long time ago. Some are my relatives. And some are friends of friends.

A couple of years ago, a woman with whom I went to high school died. Her death was during the thick of the pandemic, although she did not die because of COVID. The way I understand it, a few years ago, she had been in a car accident that caused significant injuries. Infection somehow set in as she was healing, and it never completely went away. The infection eventually got out of control, and she went septic, which caused her death.

I remember this woman in high school, as we ran in peripheral circles. The last thing I remember of her when I knew her, was when she sang a song called “Love Will Be Our Home” at a talent show. At the time, I wasn’t a singer myself. I remember her telling everyone that she was nervous, just before she sang her song in what I thought was a pretty soprano voice. Years later, I was surprised when I heard of her death. Then I noticed where she was living. Her husband, who also went to our high school, evidently was originally from Lexington, Virginia, which is about ten miles from where my parents grew up. It’s also the town where Bill and I got married in 2002.

My high school classmate and her husband, also apparently a classmate, though I don’t remember him, were making their home in tiny Natural Bridge, Virginia, which was where my dad grew up, and where I still have lots of relatives. I never knew we had this connection. I remember that when my classmate died, there wasn’t enough money for her funeral. I donated a couple hundred bucks to her family’s GoFundMe to help bury her, even though we weren’t really friends. No one ever said “Thanks” or anything, which is no big deal, I guess. I’m sure they were overwhelmed by the sudden and tragic loss, and the fact that they weren’t able to be with her when she died, thanks to COVID precautions.

And what has this got to do with my opening paragraph? Bear with me.

One of my friends from my hometown, now a schoolteacher in North Carolina, is absolutely devastated by the school shootings in Uvalde. Even as someone who isn’t a teacher, and doesn’t have children, I am sickened and horrified by the details coming out about this terrifying event. What makes an 18 year old teenager so consumed with rage, hatred, and contempt for others that he storms into a school and kills innocent children and teachers? The colossal mistakes, made by law enforcement who failed to act decisively, are especially egregious. The more I hear about what went wrong, the angrier I feel for the victims, and the sadder I feel for the people who were left behind. This shit has been going on for over 20 years! When is it going to stop? When are we going to learn from these dreadful events and do something that STOPS angry boys from getting access to weapons and killing innocent people?

My friend, the teacher, posted the photo below.

No kidding!

A couple of her like minded friends added their agreement to the above sentiment. I’ve been saying this myself. How can our government presume to force people to have babies when they don’t want to be pregnant? But then, we do NOTHING to make sure those babies grow up into functioning adults? It makes no sense. And then I saw this beaut of a comment, made by the husband of our classmate, who died a couple of years ago… this guy, living in my father’s hometown, who needed GoFundMe to pay for his wife’s burial. This is the exchange they had:

Careful, guy… your Q is showing.

Wow… First off, what he wrote is kind of hard to decipher. I think what he’s saying is that he thinks having access to weapons keeps people “free”. But how free are you, if you constantly have to worry about your child being blown up by a crazed, angry, 18 year old kid with a semiautomatic rifle? How free are you, if you only feel safe when you’re packing heat, even if you’re at church or shopping for groceries?

He also seems to think that we should just accept that people are going to be violently killed, because “people have been killing people forever”. So, he thinks that we should all be able to arm ourselves, so that when some nut with a gun comes at us, which is, according to him, “the way of the world”, we might have a prayer of killing them before they kill us. Next, he seems to think that the fact that more people are realizing that violent discipline methods, such as “whopping ass” (as he puts it), aren’t very effective and cause children to suffer psychological damage, is actually making people more violent. Because what we really need, when we’re much younger and smaller than the adults in our lives, is someone to knock the hell out of us. That, according to this mental giant, is the way to “instill respect”. Jesus Christ.

I really felt like responding to him. I wanted to say, “Careful, guy… your ‘Q’ is showing…” But I didn’t want to get into an argument on my friend’s page. I also didn’t think it would accomplish anything, other than make a few people laugh. As we have all found out with heartbreaking clarity this week, life is SHORT. It’s a lot shorter for some people, than it is for others of us. And I don’t have time to argue with idiots who can’t or won’t be convinced that their logic is seriously flawed.

I already annoy enough people on Facebook, particularly when I disagree with them or point out logic failures. One lady named Miriam got annoyed with me last night, because I disagreed with her comparison of ultra pious people, like the Duggars, to kids in high school who take harder classes. She wrote that she gets a kick out of seeing religious people get knocked off their high horses. I can see that. It is kind of satisfying when people like Josh Duggar, who presume to try to tell other people how to live, and preach to them about family values and so-called “high Christian lifestyle standards”, turn out to be lying hypocrites.

But I disagreed with the analogy she made– and she specifically stated that this was her analogy. She likened upstanding Christian types, like Josh Duggar, holding themselves out to be above reproach as needing to adhere to higher standards. Like high school students taking AP courses. The work is harder, so smarmy religious people who think their shit doesn’t stink need to “step up”. When they fail, it’s kind of satisfying to see. But do we like to see brave high school students fail when they try something harder? I hope not.

That comparison struck me as nonsensical. Hardworking high school students should be encouraged to take harder classes. They should be commended for challenging themselves, and trying to get a better education, especially if they are blessed with a fine intellect. Yes, the work is more difficult, and the expectations are higher, but there are rewards for that kind of hard work.

Besides, most people I know with keen intellects are not ultra religious or pious; that is the opposite of being logical, right? On the other hand, it doesn’t take a great brain to accept some of the batshit religious dogma peddled by fundie Christians and their ilk. A lot of weak people, looking for a blueprint to Heaven, will swallow all kinds of ridiculous bullshit to achieve what they think will be that end. So to me, comparing ultra pious people to high school students taking harder classes is a poor analogy, and I dared to say so.

Her snippy reply to me was, “It was an analogy, Jenny.”

To which I responded, “Okay, Miriam.” Because I didn’t feel the need to argue with her. I thought her analogy made little sense. Maybe I could have couched my comment in some nice, flabby language to comfort her ego more, but as I just wrote a few paragraphs ago, LIFE IS SHORT. It’s much too short for that mess.

In light of that exchange with Miriam, and knowing how I tend to get carried away with overthinking when I engage in those kinds of discussions, I decided to exercise some self-discipline. I didn’t engage the Q guy from my hometown, who now lives in my dad’s hometown, and is pretty much EXACTLY like the people I know from both places… including people in my own family. I know, by this point, that trying to discuss these things with them is pointless, and will only lead to pain and frustration.

I can understand why a lot of conservative people don’t like liberals. Liberals can be condescending and rude, and some of them lack any understanding for what the “salt of the earth” types live with on a daily basis. Unfortunately, a lot of conservative people, who are also sometimes lacking tact, have poor or absent critical thinking skills. They mostly just think about what affects them. They don’t often consider how thinking about all people can make things better, and safer, for everyone.

Like, for instance, the “Q” guy quoted above, who needed a GoFundMe campaign to pay for his wife’s burial, and didn’t even think to say “Thank you” to those who donated. That guy is probably against welfare. He probably doesn’t like the idea of universal healthcare. He’s probably pro-life, and he’s definitely pro-gun. He sees these ideas as just and moral… we should all be responsible for ourselves. The government needs to stay out of it. Except public safety is certainly within the domain of the government. Especially if the government expects to force women to stay pregnant and birth babies. I wonder if the government is going to force women to take care of themselves while they’re pregnant… or even capable of being pregnant. It makes little sense to me that some people will do ANYTHING to stop women from accessing abortion services, but once that baby is born, they don’t want to do ANYTHING to make sure the baby turns into a beloved child, a happy teenager, and a healthy adult, who is ready to have a career and a family.

Nope… I think a lot of these Q types are interested mostly in controlling women, and making more babies for fundies to indoctrinate into religion and conservatism. It’s disgusting, and it’s quite frankly, deadly. I will end today’s post by encouraging everybody to have a look at the video below, posted by Fundie Fridays.

She pretty much says what I think… and also offers some interesting backstory on Roe v. Wade.

I wanted to also include an excellent video made by Dr. Les Carter of Surviving Narcissism. I watched it yesterday, and I thought it was very insightful. He talked about his frustration as a mental health professional, watching how our system emboldens people like Salvador Ramos. Unfortunately, Dr. Carter made the video private. I guess he got some heated comments, or maybe YouTube flagged it. It’s a shame. I really appreciated his thoughts on this crisis we’re all experiencing. Maybe he’ll repost it at some point. Or maybe not. I’m glad I watched it, though. Since that video isn’t available anymore, here’s one Mr. Atheist did. I think he did a good job with his video about the school shootings.

I wish I knew.

Other than that, I wish you a pleasant and safe Saturday… may God protect you and yours from the likes of gun toting whack jobs and perverts.

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Ex, mental health, politics

When QAnon brings estranged family members together…

Yesterday, I read a sad article in The Washington Post about how people have lost family members to QAnon. It began with a compelling description about how 24 year old Tyler watched as his mom stocked up for an imagined armageddon. She brought home ammunition, a water purifier, camping gear, and shelf stable food. She started wearing a holstered pistol just walking around her house, believing that there would be days of power outages and civil unrest.

Tyler’s mom told him that on March 4, 2021, there would be massive chaos. That would be when Donald Trump would return to power. March 4, for your edification, is the original Inauguration Day prior to the passage of the 20th Amendment in 1932.

Tyler had been living with his mother since he graduated college in 2019. They were located about an hour north of Minneapolis. As the 2020 elections approached, Tyler watched as his mom became more and more entrenched in baseless conspiracy theories and outright lies. Based on the WaPo’s article, I can assume that she turned into someone he no longer knew. Complicating matters was the presence of Tyler’s stepfather, who is apparently just as entrenched in QAnon.

The confusion in the household and worry Tyler experienced prompted him to seek help online. Last month, Tyler found the Reddit group, QAnonCasualties, which was founded by people who had watched their families fracture over the political climate in the United States. He explained to the moderators of the group that his mother and stepfather have a lot of weapons and are convinced that World War III is about to commence.

Making matters worse is the fact that Tyler hasn’t been working. Diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, which is a mild form of autism, Tyler had graduated from a local university with a degree in manufacturing engineering. He quit his job in early January because he hoped to find work that would make use of his newly minted degree. As of yet, he hasn’t found new work. As Inauguration Day approached, he watched his mom grow ever more unhinged.

An old friend had stopped by with a wedding present, since Tyler’s mom had just remarried. Noticing the pistol, the friend asked Tyler’s mom if she planned to shoot anyone that day. And Tyler’s mom reportedly replied, “You never know what’s going to happen with the Democrats. They stole the election.” The friend told WaPo reporters that Tyler’s mom had once been a “wonderful” person who had invited her over for tea and gone kayaking with her. But now, it seems she’s gone completely off the deep end. According to the article:

To protect his family’s anonymity, The Washington Post is only using Tyler’s first name. In an email, his mother blamed her son for the tension in the house, writing that he was disrespectful and refused to look for work after leaving his job earlier this year. She added that she “never even heard of Qanon until very recently” and doesn’t “follow it,” but declined to discuss why she had begun purchasing survival gear and whether she believed Trump would return to the White House in March. “My beliefs about Trump are actually none of your business,” she wrote.

Tyler said he and his mother discussed QAnon one time; a bizarre conversation in which his mother insisted that QAnon prophecies were the product of artificial intelligence. He described an atmosphere of growing conspiracy and fear that pervaded his home. “It started a month before the election,” Tyler said in an interview, “and it kept growing until it felt like she was preaching the Bible to me.”

At first she insisted that Trump, not Biden, would be inaugurated on Jan. 20, and for a while Tyler held out hope that Biden’s swearing-in would jolt his mother back into reality. She would put away her gun and life would return to normal. But, the ceremony in Washington seemed to make little difference at his house in Minnesota.

Tyler truly hoped his mom would be more normal once Biden was inaugurated. He even posted online that she had seemed more “normal” on January 21st. But very soon, she went back to her old ways, insisting that Trump would be back in the White House. So Tyler decided to confront his mom, and that confrontation ultimately led to his being ejected from her home. She even threatened to have her new husband “hurt” Tyler.

Which brings me to the title of today’s post… up until this point, it sounds like Tyler’s family fell apart due to QAnon. But he found help from his other parent– his biological father and stepmother. Tyler had lost contact with his dad when he was a child and they had only recently reconnected. And Tyler’s dad and stepmother were willing to take him in, once Tyler’s unhinged mom tossed him and his belongings out of her house. On February 3, 2021, Tyler texted his stepmother, Heather, and told her that he’d confronted his mom, telling her that he didn’t believe in QAnon or any of his mom’s whackadoodle theories.

Half an hour later, Heather picked up Tyler, who was waiting in the front yard. When he got into Heather’s car, Tyler started to cry. Tyler is now sleeping in his 7 year old half sister’s bedroom. She sleeps in her parents’ room. Not long after the confrontation with Tyler’s mom, Tyler was contacted by his new stepfather, who wrote “When your daddy gets sick of you living there (and he will) don’t bother calling us.”

Those of you who regularly follow my blog might already know that my husband lost contact with his daughters after he and his ex wife divorced. A few years ago, one of Bill’s daughters finally reconnected with him. The other one remains estranged, and is apparently hopelessly entrenched in her mother’s sick, culty world. Last year, just before COVID-19 shut everything down, Bill visited his younger daughter for the first time since Christmas 2004. When she opened the door, Bill said the two of them stood there and shared a long overdue hug. And then they spent the whole two days of Bill’s visit debriefing each other about the events of the fifteen years they had spent apart.

I don’t know anything about Tyler’s mom, but although Tyler’s mom’s friend describes her as a “wonderful” person, I have a feeling that she’s another one of those people who hates her exes more than she loves her children. I come to that conclusion, not just because she fell into the QAnon cult, but because of a comment Tyler made to his stepmother. When he texted Heather that his mom had threatened to have his new stepfather “hurt” him, he also explained that he wasn’t actually worried about his safety. He wrote, “I’ve been dealing with this for years. It’s normal for me.

When Bill and his daughter met last year, Bill heard in more detail what it was like to grow up with Ex. There were many threats and promises made. There was a lot of “culty” thinking, not just in terms of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which Ex had insisted on joining a few years before she and Bill split, but also in terms of her own mini narcissistic cult. The girls were forced to write Bill letters disowning him and demanding that he allow their stepfather, Ex’s third husband, to adopt them. Ex had reportedly stood over them and made them write the letters, which she sent Bill just in time for his 42nd birthday.

Something tells me that Tyler’s current stepfather is not his first, since he wrote to Heather that this was not a new thing. Tyler’s mom evidently has a history of coming unglued, and probably sees Tyler as an extension of herself. And when Tyler didn’t want to fall in with her QAnon fantasy, she cast him out… the same way Ex does to anyone who won’t play along with her fantasies. I don’t know enough about Tyler’s mom to say I think she’s a narcissist, but my guess is that she has a “high conflict personality”. And as Bill and I have observed with his ex wife, who also has a high conflict personality, these types of people often get sucked into things as they blame everyone else for their issues. With Ex, it was everything from multi-level marketing scams to the LDS church. Granted, the Mormons didn’t turn out to be all bad. They did help Bill’s daughter escape her mother. But the church doesn’t give things without strings attached.

Younger daughter no doubt feels indebted to the church, and believe me, it’s not unlike the leadership to capitalize on that human need for reciprocity— that is, feeling obligated to reciprocate “kind actions”. There’s nothing wrong with that on its surface. Sometimes, however, “reciprocity” can be abused, and people wind up trapped by the need to pay back a solid, even long after the “emotional debt” has been repaid. This is how groups get control over people and stop them from living their own lives and thinking for themselves. Pretty soon, the lovebombing that occurs at the beginning of the relationship can turn into something sinister and toxic.

I have long believed that my husband’s ex wife runs her life like a mini cult. Anyone in her sphere has to accept whatever her conditions are, no matter how nutty or destructive they are. She’s allowed to do anything she wants, even if it’s criminal, because she had a shitty childhood and no one recognized how “special” she is. She’s allowed to abuse her husbands and her children because she was abused, and she’s allowed to take that abuse as far as she wants with no repercussions, whatsoever. Meanwhile, those of us who have been affected by her behavior and dare to speak out about it get raked over the coals and smeared. She went as far as to alienate Bill’s children, but she also did her best to try to destroy his relationships with his own parents!

Like Tyler, Ex has at least a couple of children who are on the autism spectrum, which makes them more vulnerable to her toxicity. Bill’s older daughter supposedly has Asperger’s Syndrome, and younger daughter has said that Ex’s youngest child, a fourteen year old son, is non-verbal due to autism. Bill’s older daughter, who will turn 30 this summer, still lives with Ex and has supposedly devoted her life to caring for her brother, who will likely never be able to live on his own. Meanwhile, whenever Ex gets pissed off at older daughter, she threatens to throw her out of the house, even though older daughter does the heavy lifting involved with caring for Ex’s son. Sounds a lot like what Tyler went through with his mom.

Incidentally, Tyler went back to his mom’s house about a week after he moved out to pick up his stuff. All of his belongings were thrown out on the front lawn, where they soon became covered with snow. He still hopes that his mother’s Trump fervor will fade and he will eventually be able to reconcile with her. He said, “I just don’t see the humanity in this. I wanted my family back, not this hatred.”

For Tyler’s sake, I truly hope he can reconnect with his mom. I hope she is, deep down, a reasonable and decent person who can grow up and wise up, and see what she stands to lose by continuing to submit to the QAnon bullshit. I don’t know what made her fall down the rabbit hole, but it would not surprise me if Tyler’s mom had some trauma in her life that somehow made her feel ostracized and persecuted. And the siren call of QAnon, which is full of butthurt delusional people must have been much too hard to resist– so hard that she’s willing to kick her own son out of her life.

It’s not that I don’t empathize with the abused. I have no doubt in my mind that my husband’s ex wife was severely abused by many people when she was a child. I can understand why she’s so traumatized. What I can’t abide is her habit of throwing away family members and forcing her children and husbands to disconnect with those of whom she doesn’t approve. It’s possible, or even probable, that Tyler’s new stepfather is partly to blame for Tyler’s mother’s actions. However, reading that he has only now reconnected with his father and his father and stepmother, who have apparently been together long enough to have a seven year old daughter, have welcomed him into their home, gives me a feeling that Tyler’s mom has some serious issues. And those issues, like Ex’s, make her vulnerable to falling into cults from which they never escape.

Sadly, more often than not, the best thing to do in such a situation is go no contact and cut all ties. I don’t think younger daughter has gone completely no contact yet, but she has definitely come out of the F.O.G. since she moved away from Ex. As hard as that is, and as sad as it initially was, in the long run, it’s the only way to find peace, autonomy, and freedom from chaos and drama.

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modern problems, politicians, politics, Trump

Impeachment trial #2…

There are many advantages to living in Europe. One of the biggest advantages is that I can watch things affecting the United States from afar. A lot of what I’ve seen regarding the past few years has been pretty heartbreaking. Like, right now, I’m listening to a video of a woman who spoke to CNN about how she “escaped” QAnon when Joe Biden was inaugurated.

This lady was “devastated” when Biden was inaugurated… but now knows she fell into a conspiracy theory.

South Carolina mom, Ashley Vanderbilt, explains that she was raised to do as everyone else said and did. She was told she was a Republican when she was growing up, so she’s always voted “red” without a second thought. I know how she feels. I grew up similarly. My whole family was Republican and I grew up in a Republican community. I didn’t care about politics, so I didn’t follow the news much. It wasn’t until I was older and left the United States that I started changing my political views.

I suspect that Ashley Vanderbilt is a perfectly nice person who was complacent about who was leading the country. But now that Trump is out of office and Biden’s inauguration hasn’t immediately led to a dystopian socialist nightmare, she realizes she was duped. She says she feels “foolish”. I’d say she’s one of the lucky ones. So many people are still mired in Trump foolishness, and they don’t understand that QAnon is a bunch of bullshit. And they see the attack on the Capitol last month as perfectly fine… it’s akin to the Boston Tea Party to them.

I haven’t been following the impeachment trial religiously. It’s hard to do that when you’re six hours ahead. I did, however, watch a video this morning that was shown to Congress as the second impeachment trial against Trump commenced. I don’t understand how any sane, rational person can support what happened. It’s just horrific.

This is just insane.

The sad thing is, many lawmakers will ignore this footage. They will vote against convicting Trump because they don’t want to break away from Republican Party lines. What exactly does Trump have to do before people realize how incredibly toxic he is? How do otherwise decent people excuse this? If you manage to watch this video, you will see and hear people calling police officers “faggots” as they repeatedly say, “Fuck you!” to them and use American flags to break the glass windows of the Capitol building. You will see Ashli Babbitt trying to penetrate the Capitol through a broken window and get shot for her efforts. Is this the kind of future we want? If Trump is excused– and he probably WILL be– we will send a message that a lame duck president can pull this kind of shit and get away with it.

It depresses me that we have so many people in leadership positions who literally don’t care about anything more than their “job security” as politicians. It’s sad to me that Donald Trump can have two bumbling attorneys represent him– two lawyers that Trump is said to be deeply unhappy with, by the way— and they can do a mediocre job of making their points and still win. Why? Because nothing said or shown to some of the people charged with protecting the country is going to sway them from “protecting” Donald Trump for the sake of the hijacked Republican Party (which is nothing like my father’s Republican Party was). I find it deeply disturbing and very sad that he probably won’t be held accountable.

There is a chance I’m wrong. I hope I am wrong. It’s hard to let myself think positively, even though Biden won last year when I didn’t know for sure that he would. You’d think that more people in the United States would see how bad Trump is. But no… I think a lot of them are like Ashley Vanderbilt. Perfectly nice, but uneducated, uninformed, and uninterested… and voting red because that’s what everyone in their families and communities does. If you don’t go with the crowd, they will turn on you.

This isn’t to say that this kind of thing isn’t also a problem on the blue side, either. I’ve seen it and ranted about it more than once. We talk a lot about freedom of speech and freedom of expression, but when it comes down to it, there’s great pressure not to say or think the “wrong” thing. And precious few of us are listening to anyone, anyway.

Sometimes, I wonder if the many people who have died over the past year are the lucky ones. They no longer have to think about this, or worry about what will come in the future. Even the heady news of new COVID-19 vaccines has been more sobering lately, as new mutations of the virus resist the vaccine. I’m wondering what the future holds, and if it’s even worth hanging around for it. Germany is probably going to stay locked down until March 1… and I won’t be the least bit surprised if the lockdown continues through the spring. And even when things open again, will I even care about going out or doing anything? Is this living?

Well… I’m sure more news will come out about the impeachment trial. I do hope it will be successful. Trump’s successor is bound to be more refined and cunning. You can bet he or she is waiting in the wings. We have to do something to set a precedent against his kind being allowed back into power. And we have to focus on making the world a place we want to stay in.

I do find a glimmer of hope when I hear people like Ashley Vanderbilt speak, though. She managed to find her way out of the rabbit hole and join us in reality. There must be more people like her. I sure hope there are.

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