condescending twatbags

Overbearing people are hard to bear…

Yesterday, I was on RfM and noticed that someone had bumped up an old post of mine from 2011. It was a rant I posted about “overly helpful” people. In those days, I had frequent dealings with a woman I only knew online who rubbed me the wrong way on a regular basis. I knew her from a message board that is now defunct, but the drama followed me to Facebook. Finally, in 2014, I blocked her. That decision wasn’t without drama, either. I remember when I finally made the decision to banish her from my online world, I said to Bill, “You just wait. Sometime today, I’ll get an email from her.”

Sure enough, later that day I did get an email demanding to know why I had blocked her. I don’t know about you, but to me, when someone uses the block button on Facebook, it means they don’t want to talk to you or hear from you. As I recall, I ignored her message. In earlier times, I had patiently responded to her, even though she bugged the shit out of me. I had finally had enough of her passive aggressive digs and obnoxiously overbearing comments, and realized that responding to her would only prolong the pain.

I was kind of amused to read that thread, especially since I remembered how I was feeling that day in 2011. She had pushed me to my wit’s end. At that time, the message board we were on was still active and I hadn’t wanted to abandon it, because I liked most of the women there. We were also both admins on the board, so we kind of had to “work” together. A few sympathetic people commented. I noticed that the person who bumped that thread to 2020 had similar issues as mine, which was why the thread was reactivated. These were the behaviors I had observed from her that were making me nuts:

* Chiming in with a “more informed” opinion whenever I’d try to express an opinion.

* Usually having some kind of unsolicited “helpful advice” or “fake concern” for me.

* Playing “devil’s advocate” or presenting a contrary opinion to any given subject I raise.

* Was rarely just supportive, but instead seemed to feel the need to “one up” everybody else and be the “voice of reason”.

* Doesn’t seem to understand or care how condescending and annoying she is to others.

In 2012, that message board where I had regular dealings with that overbearing woman mercifully went kerfluey, and most everyone moved to Facebook. It wasn’t long before I needed to unfriend the woman who had irritated me so much. I just couldn’t take her shit anymore, especially since I tried very hard not to engage her. Fortunately, that wasn’t a big deal. She didn’t seem to notice that I’d unfriended her, probably because we had so many mutual friends. She did her thing. I did mine. It wasn’t until November 2014, when she went too far with her disrespect that I finally pushed the block button. She’s been blocked ever since, and I don’t miss her at all.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about people like that woman. Overbearing people… especially overbearing women… really and consistently grind my gears. I’m not sure why I react to them the way I do. It could be because some of my family members are overbearing, domineering, and disrespectful to me and treat me like I’m stupid when I know I’m not. It’s gotten to the point at which I can barely stand to be around them. So now, when someone is like that to me, I tend to react negatively. If the behavior doesn’t change very quickly, the negative reaction turns into outright contempt. I may be obnoxious and opinionated, but I try not to dictate to people what they should or should not be doing in their own lives, especially when whatever they’re doing doesn’t affect me personally. I don’t like overbearing behavior in men, either, but they seem to annoy me somewhat less than women do. I find controlling women very offensive.

This morning I was thinking of all of the women who have been in significant conflict with me over my lifetime and I’ve noticed that the vast majority of them were very controlling and dictatorial, and quite a few employ manipulative, passive aggressive methods to get others to do their bidding. When those ploys don’t work, they become openly hostile, aggressive, and rude. And… I tend to respond in kind, because I resent being told what to do by people who aren’t necessarily any more qualified than I am in knowing what to do.

Maybe I’m just as bad as they are, though. It’s no secret that I’m loud and opinionated, and my father used to criticize me a lot for being “arrogant” and “bitchy”. Personally, I don’t think I was that arrogant as much as I was strong-willed and independent. My dad was a control freak, and he passed that trait on to a couple of my sisters. As a child, I put up with it because I had to in order to survive. As an adult, to some extent, I don’t really have to put up with it anymore. But I have found that I now have an unusual sensitivity to it… and if a woman is particularly bossy or intrusive to me, it’s a fair bet we’ll eventually have a conflict. Most of the time, it’s not worth trying to work things out with this type of person, because they think they’re right and refuse to compromise.

I remember back in 2011, when I was having regular dealings with the woman who had prompted that thread on RfM, she was pushing me close to the end of my patience. After she’d left me a shaming, demeaning comment on some topic we were discussing, I wrote something along the lines of, “I’m sorry, but whether or not you realize it, some of your responses to me are very offensive and condescending. It’s upsetting to me, and I feel like you’ve provoked me to respond in kind.”

The thing is, I had really thought about this response before I posted it. I tried hard to be assertive rather than aggressive. I wanted to enforce my boundaries without making things worse. I hoped she could see my side. But she was offended anyway, and didn’t see where she’d done anything wrong. Sure enough, I got a nasty private message in which she spat, “What was the point of apologizing if you were just going to insult me?!”

I remember taking a deep breath and trying, once again, to respond in a way that would not offend her, yet make her realize that I didn’t appreciate her condescending tone toward me. It didn’t work, and the bullshit continued apace for a few more years, with her continuing to feel free to send me private messages and unsolicited emails. The funny thing is, I don’t remember ever inviting her to correspond with me in such a way. She simply felt emboldened to do so.

Finally, about three years later, we reached the straw that broke the camel’s back. She’d left a nasty little passive aggressive dig in a Facebook comment to me. A mutual friend had posted about legalizing marijuana and asked her friends what we thought of it. The conversation was going well until I mentioned that Bill had lived with “pot head roommates” in college and hadn’t liked the way marijuana had affected them. He doesn’t like smoke, and as someone who works with the government, he’s not allowed to use recreational drugs, anyway.

So the passive aggressive bitch writes, “He’s never lived with alcoholics? πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ “

It’s possible that her comment was completely innocuous, but usually winking smilies imply a hidden meaning… and I had a feeling she was, once again, subtly insulting me, while trying to appear friendly and innocent. And truthfully, by that point, I had become very sensitive to her communications. Like… it was at the point that almost anything she posted irritated me, no matter how inconsequential. But I got the impression that my “frenemy” was trying to imply that Bill is currently married to an alcoholic, and that’s worse than dealing with potheads.

You see, it’s not a secret that I come from a long line of drunks. I drink, too. Maybe I’m even an alcoholic by some people’s standards. However, I have never met this woman in person and we have certainly never hung out over alcoholic drinks. Maybe my personality is because I drink. Maybe it’s simply the way I am. I don’t see how she’d know, since we never met offline. She seemed to be making an assumption or even a declaration that I have a drinking problem, even though we’ve not met and she’s not a mental health professional.

This wasn’t the first time she’d commented on my drinking habits– alcoholic or not. For some reason, she was unusually concerned about what I drink, even when the beverages weren’t boozy. This same woman often used to lecture me because I used to drink a lot of Diet Pepsi. She said that wasn’t healthy, and would frequently offer me an unsolicited laundry list of why it wasn’t something I should be doing. She’s right that diet sodas are bad for one’s health. I have since given up diet sodas, though not because of her “advice”… and I actually rarely drink non-diet sodas now. I mostly stick to bubbly water, if anyone’s curious. But yes, I do enjoy alcohol, and I admit it. Seems like that’s my business and Bill’s, unless I do something that affects other people negatively.

In any case, I’m certain that she knew her comment was shitty, demeaning, and insulting. It might have been one thing if we were friends and she was legitimately concerned. We weren’t really friends, and she was being rude, yet cowardly, as she was trying not to appear like she was insulting me. I didn’t appreciate it, and decided it was finally time for me to drop kick her off my social media once and for all. Even if she hadn’t meant it as a dig, that’s still the way it came across, and I was so tired of fielding those kinds of comments from her. And then predictably sending me an email demanding to know why I’d blocked her– as if that was some kind of serious affront because, according to her, she never does anything wrong— pretty much made me decide that we don’t need to speak again. I might have reacted differently if her approach had been more respectful, but demanding to know why she’s not allowed to harass me in my space is not cool. Taken alone, that comment was easy to ignore. Taken with all of her other little barbs and subtle insults over the years, it was just too much.

The funny thing is, that happened about five years ago, and I have found that I have even less patience and tolerance for overbearing women. I just feel like I don’t have to take orders from people to whom I am not somehow beholden. In other words, if you’re not paying me to work, someone I live with or love, or someone who has the power to arrest me or do something else life altering, I don’t have to do what you tell me to do. I don’t have to accept abusive criticism, insults, or covert hostility. And if you feel entitled enough to issue orders, act holier-than-thou, be hostile, or otherwise act like a passive aggressive creep, you can just fuck right off. Life is too short to deal with people who can’t be straightforward and civilized.

Anyway… I rarely think about her anymore, which is a good thing. I just thought it was funny that thread from 2011 was revived and so many people seemed to relate to it in 2020. I’m surprised it didn’t get more attention when it was a current concern. Clearly, I’m not the only one who feels this way.

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divorce

A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall, part two…

I wrote a very long, convoluted post to the man who asked for help on RfM yesterday. It was basically a condensed version of the last twenty years I’ve spent with Bill regarding his situation with his ex wife and daughters. I had posted it describing it as a “hopeful” story… but having re-read it and gotten his response, I realize it doesn’t sound like a hopeful story to the average person. Let’s face it. My husband, who is normally a super responsible, kind, decent, hardworking man, allowed his ex wife to push him out of his children’s lives. Many people either assume he’s a total wimp or completely irresponsible and uncaring. Neither of these conclusions are true.

Bill makes his living in the business of war. He’s actually been to war. He’s definitely not a wimp, and he’s neither irresponsible nor uncaring. He works hard every day to support both of us, and when his children were growing up, he paid generous child support without fail for over eleven years. To pay child support, he had to go to work. He didn’t have the time for lengthy court battles in states far away from where we were living. Thanks to the financial havoc wreaked on him during his first marriage, there was no money for lawyers or court fees or the travel that would have been involved in fighting his ex wife in court, not to mention the time off of work all of that would have required. Abused women have a lot of resources available to them, but abused men don’t. They had even fewer resources in the 90s and 00s, when Bill’s children were coming of age. Besides, many people erroneously assume that men can’t be abused by women, which is a patently false notion.

Most people think they would fight tooth and nail to stay involved with their children, especially when they’re very young. The reality is that life happens, and situations intervene that can make the goal of staying totally involved much harder or even impossible for non custodial parents, especially when a highly controlling religion like Mormonism is in the picture. If you’re a financially strapped man in a job that requires as much as the Army does– with all the moves, job changes, and demands that come from deployments to war zones, it’s harder to fight crazy exes in court. The Army is Bill’s profession, even post retirement. He tried giving it up for a few years and wound up working for a pittance in factories. The Army provided him with a living that made it possible for him to support his family. Staying in was the responsible choice, even though he could have stayed a civilian. As a civilian, he either would not have been as successful, or it would have taken him too much time to become adequately successful and potentially would have driven him further into financial ruin.

I still think of our story as “hopeful” and “positive”, because for many years, I had assumed that Bill would never see or talk to his daughters again. They had seemed so brainwashed and alienated to me, and I saw absolutely no indication that they weren’t as crazy as their mother is. Believe me, I am delighted and relieved to know that my husband’s younger daughter hasn’t turned out like her mother. I don’t know about his older daughter, although according to younger daughter, she does have a clue that her mom is crazy. Hopefully, someday she’ll be able to get out of the situation she’s in and launch her own life. I think she’ll be much happier on her own. But ultimately, that’s a choice she has to make for herself.

The man I wrote to is obviously concerned about his ex wife’s decision to become LDS. He said outright that he’s afraid he’ll be ostracized because he’s not Mormon. The truth is, parental alienation happens all the time in all kinds of families. There is a special risk in the LDS church, though, because of the strong emphasis Mormons put on traditional families. His ex wife will not be treated as well as a divorced, single mom. She will be pressured to remarry and possibly have more children, and it’s likely that her pickings will be slim.

In Ex’s case, she found a non-Mormon man and convinced him to convert. This happened in the days before there was as much information about Mormonism on the Internet, not that her husband is necessarily a “reader”, per se. Aside from that, Ex has an overwhelming personality and can be very persuasive, particularly to the unaware. She’s the type of person who can talk people into things they would ordinarily never agree to, either by overwhelming them with her flattering bullshit or by flat out bullying them. I liken the experience of being with her like being in a can of soda that has been shaken violently and not given the chance to settle. Things are always on the brink of exploding. To be fair, I have never met Ex in person, but I have seen and heard enough about her from people who have spent a lot of time with her to understand what she’s like.

The guy I wrote to yesterday is not familiar with Mormonism. He writes that his ex is in her mid 30s and may be too old to consider having more children. But if she gets involved with another man and he’s LDS, they will be pressured to present as a “family unit”. Her potential husband will be pressured to be the head of the family and treat her children as if they were his, which could include pushing out their real father. And since real dad isn’t LDS, an LDS husband will likely want to be “sealed” to his ex wife, and there will be pressure to have the children “sealed” to him. What that would mean is that in the eyes of the LDS church, the children would belong to their stepfather in the afterlife. They will also be be pressured to have more children, since Mormons believe that there are “spirit babies” waiting to be given bodies on Earth.

Of course, sealings are pretty much bullshit. There’s no need to really get upset about what they’ll mean after everyone is dead, since they aren’t real. However, while everyone is still living, sealing can have a dire effect on the relationships between LDS children and their non-Mormon parents. Bill was sealed to his ex wife, their daughters, and Ex’s son from her first marriage. I’m not sure if she ever got sealed to her third husband, since the church usually lets the ex husband know when this happens, even if he’s resigned. Temple divorces/sealing cancellations aren’t easy to get, even when someone has resigned, since the person could come back to the church. But in the case of the guy posting on RfM, he’s not LDS at all and can’t be sealed to his ex. So if she remarries to a guy in the church, she could be sealed to him… and if he’s not very careful, the church could seal his kids to the new husband. It really means nothing in terms of the afterlife, but here on Earth, it can mean a big change in the attitudes between children raised as Mormons and their parents.

Sometimes there can be tragic consequences when LDS couples split and one quits the church. A few years, I posted the sad story of a Mormon woman who killed herself and her two young children. Her ex husband, who shared custody with her, had left the church and she was upset that he was leading them away from the Mormon religion. I posted that story in my old blog, and I will repost it on this one for the curious.

Obviously, the guy knows that he has a reason to be concerned about this situation. He wouldn’t have come on RfM if he didn’t realize that his ex is involved in a highly controlling religion that could damage his relationship with his children. His response to me seemed a little defensive and naive, but it was totally understandable. I was with Bill from the beginning of his journey after divorce. He used to say the same things to me that the guy on RfM said… there would be “hell to pay” if anyone ever came between him and his daughters… he would fight his ex wife for his daughters no matter what. I’m sure he believed it wholeheartedly at the time. But, as I pointed out earlier in this post, life happens. Things get complicated. Good intentions turn into the road to hell, or they end up being completely unfeasible.

Most of us would like to think that people are generally reasonable. When it comes to religion, particularly in culty religions like Mormonism, reason can sometimes go out the window. The guy on RfM has already fought his ex in court, which is a good thing. He has a lawyer and is obviously willing and able to assert his rights. He has enough money and time to go to court. Not everyone has that luxury. And even those who do go to court may find that it’s futile, because it’s very difficult to get people to comply with every legal stipulation when they live in a separate household and have equal access to the children.

It would have been much better for Bill’s children if he’d had joint or even sole custody of his children, but given his job, that would have been very difficult. Bill is the more stable parent by far, and if he had had custody of the children, they would have had an easier start into adulthood. I admire that two of Ex’s children were able to break free of their mother early. Bill’s older daughter is still at home with Ex, but she has a lot going for her. She has a college degree and is a talented artist, despite having learning disabilities and possibly autism. But if Bill’s daughters had grown up with him, they would have had very different lives, whether or not he had also married me.

The guy on RfM obviously isn’t military and hasn’t been financially destroyed. He’s obviously young, healthy, and determined. Hopefully his ex wife isn’t as crazy and cruel as Bill’s ex is. Hopefully she doesn’t have narcissistic personality disorder, as Bill’s ex probably does. Hopefully, she’s smart enough to see what she’s gotten herself into and removes herself before any lasting damage is done. Or maybe the guy can get sole custody of his daughters… although that seems unlikely. I truly wish him luck. He’s smart to find out about Mormonism. I hope he sticks around and learns more.

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divorce

A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall…

Yesterday, I received a copy of the soundtrack for the film, Born on the Fourth of July. I’ve never actually seen that film, which starred Tom Cruise and came out about 30 years ago. I am very familiar with the soundtrack, though, because a college friend of mine had a copy of it. It featured Edie Brickell & New Bohemians covering Bob Dylan’s song, “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”. I’ve always liked her version of that song, but the soundtrack for Born of the Fourth of July is out of print and I couldn’t find it available digitally (as of today, I have found an MP3 version of it on Amazon). I do have a bootleg cassette of the soundtrack, but it’s in storage in Texas. So a couple of weeks ago, I decided to order a used copy of the CD. I just got it yesterday, and have already listened to that song a couple of times. It still sounds awesome after 30 years.

This is such a fabulous cover!

I remember the college friend who owned this soundtrack used to play it and sing along with Edie. Regrettably, he didn’t have a very good singing voice, and because he was about 18 when he was playing this CD a lot, he had a propensity toward being raunchy. He changed the chorus from “It’s a hard, it’s a hard…” to “I’m hard, I’m hard…” I’ve found myself unable to forget that particular version of the song. Today, maybe I’ll be able to divorce my mind from my college buddy’s drunken, off key version of Edie’s masterful remake of Bob Dylan’s classic.

These are the lyrics:

Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, where have you been, my darling young one?
I’ve stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains
I’ve walked and I’ve crawled on six crooked highways
I’ve stepped in the middle of seven sad forests
I’ve been out in front of a dozen dead oceans
I’ve been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard
And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin’
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin’
I saw a white ladder all covered with water
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children
And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son?
And what did you hear, my darling young one?
I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin’
Heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world
Heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin’
Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter
Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley
And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

Oh, who did you meet, my blue-eyed son?
Who did you meet, my darling young one?
I met a young child beside a dead pony
I met a white man who walked a black dog
I met a young woman whose body was burning
I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow
I met one man who was wounded in love
I met another man who was wounded with hatred
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

Oh, what’ll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what’ll you do now, my darling young one?
I’m a-goin’ back out ‘fore the rain starts a-fallin’
I’ll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison
Where the executioner’s face is always well-hidden
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten
Where black is the color, where none is the number
And I’ll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it
Then I’ll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin’
But I’ll know my song well before I start singin’
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

This song is basically about an oncoming struggle. It was written in the summer of 1962, and Dylan has said he was inspired by reading news articles on microfiche at the New York Public Library. Dylan wrote in his memoir, Chronicles: Volume One, “After a while you become aware of nothing but a culture of feeling, of black days, of schism, evil for evil, the common destiny of the human being getting thrown off course. It’s all one long funeral song.” I can relate to feeling hopeless in the face of what seems like oncoming doom.

This morning, I was reading the Recovery from Mormonism board, and there was a plea for help from a man who has never been LDS. He wrote this:

I am a divorced man with 2 daughters aged 4 and 8. I just found out that my ex secretly converted to Mormon a few months ago and has been taking the girls to church.

Looking for basic info on the church, particularly adult female converts, and ultimately ideas and strategies for protecting my daughters from becoming indoctrinated.

I am terrified of many things, not least of which the church being used to convince the girls to ostracize me since I am not LDS.

Based on what I read in the thread, it appears that this man is newly divorced and the split was very acrimonious. He shares custody with his ex wife, and claims that she is a “weak” person who, despite being highly educated, isn’t interested in having a lot of responsibility. I really don’t blame this guy for being concerned. After all, Bill and I have lived this scenario. Bill’s daughters were slightly older when he and his ex wife split. But his ex decided to join the LDS church when she and Bill were still married, and the kids were very young. They’ve grown up LDS and, sure enough, it was used as a parental alienation tool.

Fortunately, things eventually turned around between Bill and one of his daughters. A few years ago, despite seeming to be the most estranged from Bill, his younger daughter started speaking to him again. They Skype and email regularly, and I’m hoping Bill can visit her and her two children in Utah when he goes to Las Vegas in the spring. It will have been fifteen years since their last “in person” meeting. I don’t think they are connected on Facebook, although that probably doesn’t matter, since Bill doesn’t post much anyway.

As for the older daughter, who is now 28 years old and used to be very attached to Bill… she remains estranged and mired in her mother’s toxic influence. We’ve heard it’s mainly because she is the main caregiver to Ex’s youngest child, a boy with autism.

I have only met Bill’s daughters once. It was back in June 2003, when we’d been married for only six months. We spent barely 48 hours with them before we had to bring them back to their mother. After that visit, she made it virtually impossible for Bill to have normal and meaningful contact with his daughters. However, Bill’s situation is different from that of the guy who posted on RfM. He and his ex didn’t use lawyers, and Bill agreed to allow her to have sole custody. At the time he made the agreement, he felt like he was “over a barrel”. There was no money. He couldn’t pay for lawyers or court, nor did he have time to go to court. Bill had just come back into the Army full-time and needed to prove himself. He needed to make money so he could recover from their marriage, pay child support and alimony, and get on with his life.

I met Bill online about twenty years ago. At the time, he and his ex wife were separated. He was in Kansas and she was in Arkansas. She had a boyfriend whom she eventually moved into Bill’s house. Boyfriend immediately took over “daddy” duties to Bill’s daughters, who were at that time 8 and 6 years old. Boyfriend converted to Mormonism and the girls started calling him “Dad” once Ex married him. Bill was pushed out of their lives and the church was one of the reasons given as to why he wasn’t suitable to be their dad anymore. Ex seemed less interested in pushing Bill out of his former stepson’s life. He was older and wiser than his sisters, and Bill had been his “dad” since he was a toddler. But later, when Ex decided to punish Bill again, she reconnected her son with his bio dad, whom she’d once claimed was violent and abusive.

I don’t know what the RfM poster’s ex wife is like. She may not be as cruel as Bill’s ex wife is. I hope she’s not. He describes her as “weak”, whereas Bill never seemed to think of Ex as “weak”. It’s possible that she’ll put her kids first, particularly when she learns more about how the church operates and what the beliefs actually are. I really don’t think Ex put stock in every aspect of Mormonism. For her, it seemed to be more about having another parental alienation tool. She used the church’s teachings to convince Bill that he was a horrible person who fell short of being good enough to be a dad to his children. It sounds like the guy on RfM has an ex who is simply looking for a church to support her during a tough time. However, if his ex really is “weak”, I would be concerned that she’ll get linked up with a single Mormon man who will really cause some problems. Unfortunately, church leaders can be manipulative and single-minded when it comes to pushing their beliefs. And small children are easily indoctrinated and swept up into the church. They make it palatable and easy.

It’s good that this guy has found RfM. It’s good that he sees the church as a potential threat to his relationship with his children. There are a lot of people who can help him, to include his lawyer. A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall… it fell for us for a good long while. I’m happy to report that after twenty years, the sun has come out and there’s hope of reconciliation. Along the way, we’ve learned a lot and met some incredible people who used to be Mormons. Some of them didn’t believe our story at first… probably because people automatically like to give women more of a break. As the years passed, they realized we were telling the truth and became allies.

Bill’s daughter has made it clear that all three of Ex’s eldest children– including Bill’s older daughter– know that their mother is crazy. Younger daughter has seen the toxic, destructive patterns of her mother and grandmother and doesn’t want to repeat them with her family. Older daughter, whom we have heard is also on the autism spectrum, has said that she has no guarantee that her mother won’t toss her out on the street someday. Former stepson moved far away from his mother and supposedly doesn’t speak to her much. He doesn’t talk to Bill, and we don’t know if he’s still in touch with his dad. Ex still has a teenaged daughter and an adolescent son at home, and we’ve heard her husband isn’t in the greatest of health. He probably hangs on, though, because he knows that if he leaves the Ex, he will be leaving his kids in the hands of a madwoman who will use any means to smear him and ruin his relationship with his kids.

I don’t know if anyone, other than younger daughter, is still LDS. I suspect older daughter might be. It sounds like the rest of them may have gone inactive. But it would not surprise me if Ex used aspects of the church as a means to manipulate and control. She stops at nothing. I hope the guy on RfM, new to this church bullshit, will stick around and absorb information. That board is tremendously helpful and they will help him weather the hard rain that’s about to fall.

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family

The holidays are coming…

I expect ours will be drama free this year, since we’re celebrating Thanksgiving in Germany and it’s not a German holiday. Christmas will be spent in France, with my friend from high school and college. She’s married to a Frenchman, so we’ll have the chance to experience a French Christmas. That should be fun, too.

I have had my fill of dramatic holiday seasons. Bill and I have talked about this a lot, especially since he’s also been through quite a lot of dramas over the years. We both treasure “heavenly peace” at this time of year. However, I must admit that it’s kind of fun to read about family dramas on www.exmormon.org. Who needs the Hallmark Channel when you can read about all of the control issues and high expectations that come from religious families?

Shunning, threatening, fighting, forced church attendance, forced praying, underwear checks, and leading questions abound, and people write about this stuff all the time on that site. I sympathize with them, even though I have never been LDS myself. I think stress during the holidays among family members is a given for many people. Christmas, especially, is a day that a lot of folks fill with great expectations and hopes for magic. It pretty much never works out that way, because Christmas is just another day. In some parts of the world, it’s not even a holiday!

Peter’s home for Christmas. Break out the Folger’s! Only the best for family, right? It’s all just a fantasy.
“O Holy Night”… that’s a challenge to sing even when you’re not emotional, missing your brother!

Should Christmas be a little “magical”? Well, sure… if you can manage to make it that way. Everybody likes it when friends and family can come together and be happy as a unit. But if you can’t make it magical, there’s no need to go nuts. It really is just a day.

Thanksgiving doesn’t tend to be quite as crazy as Christmas is. That’s why it’s my favorite holiday. Historically, I’d spend it with my extended family in Virginia, which has a reunion every year. There’s a lot of music, dancing, drinking, singing, game playing, football watching, and visiting. The best part about it is that everyone stays in the hotel, so there’s little fighting. And if a fight does erupt, there are plenty of other people to talk to and places to go to get away from the squabbling. Our Christmas celebrations were usually a lot more stressful, since most of us would stay in the house and spend too much time together. Inevitably, there would be a fight– as there was the last time we celebrated with my family, back in 2003. I swore them off after that year!

Last time we went to my family’s Thanksgiving party was in 2014, and we flew all the way from Germany to attend. We were mainly there to honor my father, who had died a few months prior. To be honest, as much as I had always loved those gatherings, they had become very crowded and chaotic. And now, even though I’ve always loved the family shindig, I kind of appreciate staying home and having a quiet time with my husband. This year, it’ll just be him, me, and our dog, Arran, since we lost Zane a few months ago. Maybe we’ll just go out to dinner… or we’ll cook something at home. Our oven is kind of too small for a whole turkey, though, and even if it were big enough, there are only two of us.

I’m always grateful to have a spouse who not only respects my preferences, but enjoys peace as much as I do. He doesn’t pressure me to hang out with his family during the holidays, and I don’t pressure him to hang out with mine. I miss some of my relatives, but I don’t enjoy fights. So I’m for staying home… and reading up on RfM for all of the inevitably outrageous stories that occur at this time of year. More people need to realize that they have the right to say “no” to drama, especially when the holidays are afoot.

Here’s a little mood music for this post! πŸ˜‰

God bless Paul Thorn… he gets it!

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modern problems

Guy wants to know, “How do I get laid?”

A little mood music for this post.

I woke up at 3:00am. Actually, my body thought it was 4:00am, because Germany changed the clocks to standard time over the course of the night. Also, Auntie Flow has finally shown up and, as is her annoying habit, she kept me going to the bathroom all night. Sorry… TMI I know, but that’s how I roll.

An oldie but a goodie… and exactly how I feel right now.
Actually, my “monthly visitor” behaves more like this one.

Anyway, because I was wide awake at 3:00/4:00am, I decided to go check out RfM, and that’s where I found this thread “How do I get laid? (Asperger)”. A guy calling himself Lafayette writes:

He’s horny, but doesn’t know how to get his needs met…

I don’t have a lot of experience with people who are neurodivergent or neuroatypical. Although I’m sure autism and Asperger Syndrome both existed when I was growing up, the first time I heard about them was about twenty years ago. Bill’s older daughter is supposedly on the autism spectrum, but I have only met her once, and to be honest, I have my doubts that she truly has autism. Her mother is not known for being particularly honest, and she has a habit of turning health conditions into causes. The point is, regardless of whether or not Bill’s daughter actually has autism, I don’t know her anyway, so she was not in a position to teach me. What little I know about autism and Asperger Syndrome comes from what some of my friends who have children on the spectrum have told me.

I do know that people with Asperger Syndrome tend to be very literal. They often don’t get sarcasm, and have trouble picking up on social cues. I can see why a man with Asperger Syndrome might have trouble “getting laid”, because he doesn’t understand how to play the courtship game, for lack of a better term. I’m sure that is very frustrating, although based on the way he posed his query, I wonder if he’s interested in anything beyond sex. Because most women I know aren’t interested in simply being made the object of someone’s sexual release, particularly for free. I also don’t know what it’s like to be a man, nor do I know what a man’s sex drive is like.

I enjoyed reading the thread about this guy’s problem, though. Ex Mormons are pretty good at coming up with witty responses. One person suggested starting a religion. Another suggested going to Brigham Young University after successfully completing a two year mission in an exotic place, majoring in business, pre-law, or pre-med, dating “homely” girls, and telling the girls that God has “directed” him to them. Alas, this advice sounds like it might be too “smooth” for a guy like the original poster. I don’t think he’s good at making up lies or stories to get himself in the sack. The one piece of bad advice given came from someone who suggested the guy look for a man. But why would someone suggest gay sex to someone who is heterosexual? Can’t follow the logic on that one.

Another guy provided a link to a list of brothels in Nevada, where prostitution is legal (it’s legal in Germany, too). I suppose if the need for sex is great enough, the guy can take a road trip to Nevada and find a willing professional to satisfy his urges. There are also licensed sex therapists out there who can help, although this guy doesn’t sound like he has a problem with having sex, per se. Sounds to me like he needs a willing partner and doesn’t know how to go about making the request without getting clocked in the face.

Still another person suggested opening a Tinder account. I have never used Tinder, but I have heard about it. I guess that’s sort of the latest “meet/meat” market for people interested in having sex.

This is not the way to do it, either.

One woman suggested that the guy find a female coach, willing to give him pointers on how to dress and what to say to make a woman take interest. That idea might be a good one, although I don’t know a lot of women who are interested in coaching random men on the art of getting laid… especially for free. Another female suggested finding a club with females who also have Asperger Syndrome and might understand the socially awkward gentleman’s plight.

There were some other tips given, too, including one very good piece of advice. A woman said, “I just want to add that men who are looking “to get laid” is very unattractive.” Another woman seconded that, and advised the man not to refer to having sex as “getting laid”. That seems to be a rather old school term for having sex, anyway. I remember the first time I heard it was back in 1985 or ’86. I was in the eighth grade, and one of my more “experienced” classmates with white blonde hair and a prematurely curvaceous figure told me that her boyfriend was going to “lay” her that night. At age thirteen, I had no idea what that meant, and I wouldn’t find out until a couple of years later. But by then, people were referring to “knocking boots”, “scromping”, or “shagging”, which now seem just as passe as “getting laid” does. I suppose it’s better than simply referring to it as fucking, though. I can just imagine the prelude to hooking up in that situation.

“Hey babe, I’d really like to fuck you.” he says.

She hauls off and smacks him across the face or hits him with pepper spray.

Or, “I really feel like getting laid.” he says.

She advises him to book at room at a Holiday Inn… ALONE.

In all seriousness, though, a man flatly asking a woman to “lay” him has all the romance, mystery, and charm of this pregnancy announcement…

Some things shouldn’t be all about business.

I will admit that I was amused by this guy’s thread on the Recovery from Mormonism site. Although people can get kind of angry there, I have found that the exMos on Rfm are mostly a good natured, intelligent, and helpful bunch. And they did give this dude some good advice without ribbing him too much about asking for help with such a delicate matter. Not knowing much about Asperger Syndrome or autism, it would not have occurred to me that people who have these conditions might have trouble finding suitable romantic partners. As someone who waited until I was 30 years old before I had sex for the first time, I can attest that finding someone to love is difficult. I’m sure I could have easily found someone to fuck me, but that would not have been very satisfying for me. I’m glad I waited for Bill, but I know not everyone is like me. Some people seem to have a physical need to have sex, even if that’s all they want. People are different, and that’s what makes them so interesting.

I dunno about this. I would ban this guy from my bedroom just because of his voice.

Well, I wish this guy luck. I’m not sure if he’s looking for love, or just wants to “get laid”, as he put it. Although simply getting laid isn’t for me personally, I suppose there is nothing wrong with it, as long as everyone is consenting and thinks it’s a good use of their time. I’m assuming this man is also ex or current LDS, which probably makes his quest for poon all the more difficult. It’s likely that he lives in an area where there are a lot of Mormons who don’t put out, or he’s in an area where people will shy away because they don’t want to be proselytized. He may have his work cut out for him… although it’s been my experience that every old sock has an old shoe.

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