Life

Taking The Blair Challenge

That would be Blair, the creative force behind the highly entertaining blog known as The Shameful Sheep. I’d provide the link here if  I knew  how, but I think that would also require a WordPress upgrade and frankly, I just don’t wanna.  You see, WordPress and I seem to be drifting apart lately.    Commitment issues.   But Google TheShamefulSheep.com and enjoy the literary ride.

While I’ve never actually communed with Blair one-on-one, I think we’re somewhat alike.   It appears we view the world lit from a lightbulb  of similar wattage.   We’ve followed each others blogs, liked each others’posts and based on her writing style, I’d say we’d probably laugh at the same dick jokes.

While reading one of her posts recently, I noticed she was posed some questions to answer, so she then challenged her readers to do the same. Yeah, I know, it’s an old blogging chestnut, but to quote Poco, “When it’s all you’ve got– call it love” and frankly, I’m bored with politics and I’ve scorned whiney millenials and third wave campus feminists enough—this week—so, I thought what the hell, I’ll answer her questions and then some.

They are as follows, in no particular order:

1.  Think of the person you dislike the most in this world. If you had the ability to force them to eat a full plate of anything you wanted, what would it be?

I strongly dislike poseurs with extremely vague pedigreees.  Don’t claim privacy when refusing to answer probing questions on a blog in which you use your real name.   That said,  I would invite those on thatbparticular shit list to a banquet facility  where a meal of braised ocelot rectum and capers would be served on a bed of lice pilaf.    That would be followed by much needed vinegar and water boarding.

NEXT!!!!!!!

2.  What do you have an irrational fear of?

I have become more claustrophobic in my later years.  MRIs require total sedation but my most irrrational fear of all would be sitting in front of an open windows at night.

It was 1976 and my boyfriend at the time, got me into horror flicks.   Not so much the ones about ghosts and monsters, but about the ultimate thematic conflict, man  vs. man.   We saw this particular movie entitled, The Town That Freaded Sundown.    It’s based on a true story about the still unsolved post WWII “Phantom Murders” in Texarkana.    A hooded figure would attack high school kids “parking” as we used to say, on darkened backroads and in the woods late at night.    It was rather formulaic:  he’d kill the guy first, then rape the woman, then kill her in brutal fashion.  This had to happen a few times until the kids In Texarkana realized that going out and necking could be fatal.  A curfew was imposed, so let’s just say a lot of palms grew hairy that fateful spring in Texarkana.

Speaking of, this moratorium forces the killer’s hand.    He has to sate to his murderous appetite by moving  from the boonies into Texarkana proper.  So, he walks up to a house and the killer shoots Pa through the open window, then Ma gets shot in the face  through an open kitchen window.  And for some reason, those scenes have  bothered me ever since.  I’ve visited people who lived in in hi-rises and I’m talking upper floors ya’ll,  and I couldn’t sit or stand in front of an open window after dark.

3.   You’re going out to dinner tonight – what type of restaurant are you going to? Mexican? Chinese? American? Italian?

I like food from the many countries up and down the Mediterranean.  I also like  good Chinese and Vietnamese food.   But if specifics are required for tonight’s fare, since I’ve been trying to diet, I’d probably choose Chinese.  But on a good bulemic night, rife with self loathing, I’d choose all four restaurants.  Seriously.   I would….and I have.

4.  If you’re a blogger – do you have aspirations of writing a book at some point?

Yes, of course.   I’be been writing two separate screenplays in my head  for a decade now.   One is loosely based on my capicious three decade career  in Broadcasting (the “other” magical misery tour”) and the second book or screenplay would focus on  my gregarious maternal grandmother who loved fire engine red fingernails and wearing diamonds during the daytime.    ”Twas absokutely scandalous in small town South Texas circa 1963.

5.   You’re given an unlimited amount of money by Daddy Warbucks. The only stipulation is it must be spent on a dream you’ve had. What is that dream?

Hhhhhmmmmm…..if it was the slumber induced nightmare I had about Dennis Cucinic and Marla Maples’ uvula during horah in Minsk, then I’ll pass, but if you mean the dream in which I’ve had since childhood about encapsulating  the first giddy months of love in pill form, then yeah, I’d shove a shit ton of dough in front of some Big Pharma CEO and say make it happen,  Papi!

6.  What are you really good at?

I have failing at LOVE down to a science.   If one can fail well than I’ve been felled very well by failing.     On an up note, I do know which wine goes best with Xanax and chateaubriand.

7.   What have you never learned to do?

I know nothing about auto mechanics, I don’t how to play a trombone, figure out how the role lift and thrust play in flight and I’ve never taken the time to find out if Nero ever took violin lessons.

And gravity.    I’ve never understood how that works.   Or why Bruce Willis still is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Toothache Can Be An Allegory

The second presidential debate is now history.   I refused to watch it, because had I done so, my death would have been imminent.   You see, I have no patience and intense short-fuse rage issues these days.  The culprit is an abscessed “wisdom” tooth which has to be treated with antibiotics before the wretched thing  can be pulled.  Proximity to the brain, dontcha know.

Pain above the neck is acknowledged through a short,  very direct route to the brain.    Below the neck, it all has to go through the spinal chord.   Make no mistake, if I stepped on a nail. I’d feel it immediately, but feeling the intensity can be slightly muted by distance, mere inches in some scenarios.   As my layperson’s mind perceives it, it could be compared to booking a non stop flight versus one with a lengthy layover in Denver.   There’s always a layover in Denver.

I finally got tired of burping up insane amounts of oral pain gels and faced my fears and  went to my dentist, an occupation that has scared me since seeing The Marathon Man as a kid.    The  kindly dentist took X-rays which revealed I had  a rather odd wisdom tooth that was quite infected.     He knew it was painful.   I confirmed that it was.  I was quietly praying for a script of Fentanyl; he suggested Naproxen.

I have to wait three more days for it to be pulled.     I’ve had a migraine, an earache, a sore throat and as mentioned, rage issues for the past week and a half.   Chronic pain, which I’ve lived with daily since a car accident on 1991, can wear on your heart and soul.   I was precribed an antibiotic which began working, but I only felt its defense forces for the first time this afternoon.  It was only then that I had an appetite, could chew and be civil.   It was the first time in a long time, I didn’t want to yell at those  pesky kids to get off my lawn, even though I have no lawn and I live in a gated community.  I’m the youngest homeowner here and I’m still south of 60.    I can remember “Let’s Make A Deal” while my mostly senior  neighbors can barely recall Roosevelt’s New Deal.

Age schism.   And many of my neighbors are of the nosey, gossipy variety, who hate my dog’s entire elimination system.    I responsible in that I pick up where he leaves off, but I’ve  been written up in the past and for another pet owner’s lack of duty regarding dog doodie.

Pets are barely tolerated, but I’m afraid children aren’t allowed here.  Of course,  no where is that mentioned anywhere in the contract with the builder or in  the HOA by-laws because well, it’s completely Illegal, but here, I get the sense it’s unspoken.  If there are any local kids missing,  authorities might want to check out some of my neighbors.   I walked by one house recently and got a strong whif of gingerbread.

I’ll move soon, and rebuild  and do as the late John Denver once warbled, come home to a place I’ve never been before.  Like an old Etch-A-Sketch from my childhood, I’ll erase a good part of my past.    Well, maybe not erase,  but I’ll make the bad stuff of memories far less retrievable.

Here’s a tip for you:  when God…the Universe….Putin tells you over and over again,  your life and everything in it isn’t working, acknowledge it don’t ignore as I did, cut your losses and run, don’t walk to the nearest exit.    Don’t sit there hoping things will change as you maintain the same currupted mindset that only served a purpose when climbing the ladder, not while stowing it away.   Minding these no so subtle cues often means leaving what’s familiar, but not necessarily healthy.    Taking it further, it also means excising certain people from your past, not because they’re bad, but because one or both of you have changed to the point nothing in the relationship is salvageable.   These are people I once knew from my childhood, a million years ago, from cities large and small,  a million miles away.    Depending on perception, we were victims and/or the fortunate ones to be where we were, when we were.    But nothing lasts, nothing is static.    Many people remain loyal to things which they have every right to do, but these are things I can no longer believe in, creating  a schism of a different kind.

I’ve recently spoken with some people in the psychiatric world about the changes I feel within and around me.   I wanted to know if this need to separate who I am with who and what I was is normal, given all my circumstances.   They each replied in their own ways, assuring me that shedding is perfectly normal and natural.   Dogs do, it; as evidenced by the fur on everything in my house, cats do it and people do it.  We shed dead skin cells to make way for newer, healthier ones.  The White Coats say what really matters is what’s really about the intention behind the mental aspects  of shedding.    Makes sense, so I’ve thought about, lost sleep over it, allowed guilt to eat at my being and arrived at this point.   It’s time to remove  things, leave things, and think differently about things because for me, it was and continues to be in in my best interests to move forward and stop looking back.    I had to remove myself from the things that hurt; which had become painful; which to due to impulse, neediness and bad choices, I allowed to become painful.

Not unlike my abscessed wisdom tooth.

9/12/16

I still think a lot about 9/11, the  day that changed the world.     Some would say evil showed its ugly face on that day in the form of four hijacked 757s;.  less patriotic types might say America had it coming, especially on her own soil.  Others don’t care–it didn’t happen to them personally and still others mourn the loss of humanity.

Fifteen years has flown by.  Since that time, so many people have been born, so many have died.    What happened on 9/11 to some kids born since then might have the same affect on them as the anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination has  on my generation.   It happened at Ford’s Theater, I know…in April, I think.

I was four when John Kennedy was killed.    I didn’t exactly understand the politics involved or the motives, but I knew a bad man didn’t like him enough to kill him and didn’t care how Caroline or John John  felt about it.    That’s how I saw it, I related to my fellow children.    That’s how my  four year old mind grasped that November day.

Fifty-three years later and I’m not sure I understand anything better than I did back in 1963 or in 2001.    It was hate that bought the planes down, three took buildings with it.  It was hate that killed JFK and hate that killed that black kid or that white kid or that murdered Asian doctor, the Palestinian college student or the Jewish merchant who’d been stabbed in the streets of Jerusalem..     Hell, if you want to be specific, hate even killed Osama bin Laden.

Or does it make a difference because ‘we’ hated bin Laden; united by a very strong emotion?

Well, September 11th, the marine barracks bombing in Lebanon, the USS Cole all happened because somebody hated Western ideals.   Were we attacked by the same united hatred , but in this case, it was hatred for us   For America.

I could recall terroristic tragedies that happened even longer ago, but admittedly, things get a little hazy after anything relative to Archduke Ferdinand’s murder.

I had a thought recently….the kind that would enter our gray matter after smoking some great weed.   What if God as we know it was really this massive alien or aliens and we were all put here for their amusement like Ceasar, the lions, and  the Christians in the colosseum????.    Violence being more sport than horror.

Sun Tzu (I think) believed that everything comes down to war. It’s the basic organizing factor of every society.   Well yeah, how can you know peace without knowing war?   Just think about it, somewhere at any given time on this planet, there are warring factors.     From an organized militia,  to ragtag guerrillas fighting in rain forests to football rivals facing each other every weekend in the fall.  Defense.  Offense.  Its the strategy of everything.

Is life just one big power play?

It feels like it is sometimes.     Who has the gold?    Who’s the king of the mountain?.   You hear stories about Wall Street tycoons or the star makers in  Hollywood who get the biggest thrills of their lives simply by fucking someone over a deal.

And don’t get me started on free will.    I think about the passengers on board the hijacked planes or the people who went to work at the Pentagon or either WTC tower that Tuesday morning.   They didn’t believe they’d  wake up that morning to die.    But 19 radical America hating Muslim zealots had different plans for them.    And then on United Flight 93, The Free Will of Man that existed on that plane became a tug of war.  Everyone on  board knew they were going to die and like the jumpers on the burning floors of the towers,  they received the ultimate Sophie’s Choice—-they got to chose how they’d die.  Again, I shake my head.

I don’t know.   I’m told that to try to understand God is feeble.   We’re not meant to understand God.   Well frankly, that sounds just a little too convenient for me.  Tolerance is more relevant than love and I can’t and won’t judge who or what you believe.  we must tolerate each others others different beliefs and yrs, even our doubts.    I know this;  a power far bigger than me exists, I’ve felt it; I’ve seen it in action minus the angelic choir in the background  and while I’d admit an existence, exactly how and why this entity operates as it does confuses the hell out of me.

 

 

 

The Icing Man Commeth

As in a man icing a birthday cake.

Yes, the old Laur will have traipsed Ms. Buck’s ‘Good Earth’ for 57 years.   Hard to believe.   It’s been an interesting  57 jam  packed years filled with amazing life experiences so incredibly groovy and so horrible, they could reanimate  Buddy Ebsen.

And some years could’ve inspired Dante.

Good and bad were and are always present,  just at different times for different  purple.

I keep getting asked what I want this year.      My answer is nothing.    Im  reminded  that everyday I spend  above ground is a treat and I am grateful.     And I want other things like global  love, world peace , equality,  no more profiteering from war and all the other typical Miss America Q&A response shit.    But my passion for al these things are waning.   Im hardly as passionate about any of it as I used to be.   I mean, I’m not willing to burn the flag, my haggard bra  or my AARP card in protest.     I protest with my wallet now.   For example, If I don’t like how little Dole pays its pickers, I don’t buy their pineapples.

And I used to think college protestors who burned the ROTC building or overtook the dean’s office were cool.  Today, I think they’re criminals.    To have youthful idealism is womderful, but keep it within a reality  based perspective.   Everything must change.    Like elongated boobs that were once taught and perky but  now hold a tray of canapes. They’ve changed.    Everything changes.    Life is about change and how we changed with the changes forced upon us.is

My whole family consists of pre-Clinton Democrats.      They aren’t now.     I used to be a blond.   The every increasing streaks of grey  amid the dark roots prove I’m not that not that much of a liar..     My tolerance has changed.     And I’m now far more confrontational.     If I see an ininjustice, I’ll say something.   If one is perpetuated against me, God help the perpetrator.  If warranted, I’ll use what few good bones I have left left in my leg aim directly at the crotch.    Any crotch..      A grocery cart rolled into my car recently.   You know that  plastic sign in the side insisting that all children be” carefully strapped” in  seats??

The cart now has a huge ding between the reo ‘Ps’.

As for turning 57, my brain is now taking orders from my body more than my brain,     I had a nasty car accident 27 years ago and broke 11 bones, so my brain gets overridden quite a bit.    Moving really isn’t all that easy and the accompanying chronic pain is no picnic  but if strong enough, you learn to live with your newfound abilities..

So….I guess what I’ll do my BD do is wake up that morning, take a post wake up nap, scratch whatever  itches—-bathing will  be based on a coin flip, check FOX News to see who blew what up, then go my almost 86 year old  mother’s house and stare at her third and final caesarean  section scar for 57 seconds as she reminds me how painful my birth was.    Her memory wanes.   I keep telling her she did not have me vaginally.  She insists she did and seems to recall the spinal block  injection that numbed everything below her waist was just a mosquito bite.

I’ll just sit there and agree with her, then make an apology for my painful birth she never felt,  but that’ll fall  on deaf ears.     As in literal deaf ears.

Then I hope I go back to my house sans people trying to hide behind furniture to surprise me, then I’ll light a votive candle and make the same 51 year old birthday wish  I always make.   It won’t come true, but after 57 years  it’s become a habit.   I can always hope.

Look, I know this makes me out  you be a cynic,  pessimistic and  jaded.   Don’t get me wrong.   Life is okay.    I go out early on clear Central Texas morning and see stars that I just know are looking back at me and only me.     I’l be thankful that while my boobs a do look WWII issue German hand grenades, they’re both healthy.   Ill smile because I’m NOT a mother of five in Mexico who struggles to feed her children.    Then I’ll smile even bigger becsuse I can  write a check to a charity that can help her her get all the food  she needs.

So  yeah, , I’ll 57 in a less than week.    Sure I’ve hardened;  gotten older, colder and in the process of being happy to be bored, perfectly ok with being alone, even being more intolerant of certain things, I’ll,be okay,   All those things, as unpleasant as they might be, means I’m alive.

But you know what?   On second thought, I do want something, but good damn luck trying to wrap it in a box, because all I want is some time back.     I want the time….just enough time to express my gratitude for all the things and people in my life.

And for all the things and people I’ve lost and will soon be losing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

is,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

grateful

Walls

Laura Kaeppler, Miss America 2012

This past Saturday night, I wrote a post about the excessive cringing I’ve been doing in my life lately. It’s the visceral response that I have when I think back on all the idiotic and in some cases, dangerous things I’ve done. We’re talking careless, reckless behavior. I alternate between feeling intense embarrassment, then shame…sometimes I feel both simultaneously. That’s enough to get to me think a bit about pulling a Lupe Velez…not that I ever could OR would do that. But I will admit, I am still appalled at my own  behavior.   Immobilized by my own audacity. 

Well, a post about all of that somehow degraded to  the subject of  Miss Texas, Kendall Morris making it to the Top Ten of the last Saturday night’s 2012 Miss America pageant, but not going beyond the top ten,  despite demonstrating what I thought to be the most talent of the nine other young women.   She was/is tall, young, and pretty. Beyond that she was/is this wonderfully fit specimen of womanhood. As handsome as she was/is, I suppose the woman who went all the way to be crowned and  then subsequently crooned by a CD of the late Bert Parks singing to her that as Miss America, she’s everyone’s ‘ideal”, was even prettier, talented and more fit.

Her name is Laura Kaeppeler.

For her talent, she sang opera, which I remember and to be honest, the performance made me cringe as much as reflecting back on that one particular Saturday night I spent drinking a lot of tequila in Nuevo Laredo. You can imagine the rollicking, frolicking evening I had. If you can, then please tell me. I don’t remember a thing. And something tells me I’m better off NOT remembering anything.

Anyway, see the pic above.  Pretty, right?

In the defining Q&A portion of the pageant, in which a question is selected randomly, she was queried via a slip of paper about the relevance whether ,  “a beauty queen should declare her political viewpoints or not’ . To that she answered…

 “Miss America represents everyone, so I think the message to political candidates is that they represent everyone as well. And so in these economic times, we need to be looking forward to what America needs, and I think Miss America needs to represent all.”

Not bad. ‘Twas a nice demonstration of thinking on her feet in a calm, cool and intelligible way.

Hardly this ridiculous mental prolapse:

The platform she’ll support for her one-year reign is supporting and mentoring children of incarcerated parents. She should know–her father served 18 months in prison for mail fraud. In fact, her dad was sentenced when she was 18, just as she was graduating from high school. That was five years ago and her views about having a jail-bird for a pappy are very reasoned and obviously, honed through experience. In her words,, “I know there are many of you out there and I was one of you, but it doesn’t have to define you.”

We are the products of so many things; genetic coding, environment, religion, birth order, gender,  social status  and of course, choices. The one we make and the ones others make that affect us.

I like what I think Laura Kaeppler stands for, though I don’t know her from Adam. And it’s because I didn’t know her that for a few moments Saturday night after donning that rhinestone crown, I thought her only problem in life was getting a zit. Being lovely, pretty and publicly “showing well” were her only concerns. While in  her line of work as a pageant contestant, that understandably, would be the case– having a father serve time in prison for a felony outweighs an acne outbreak anytime.

Laura Kaeppler is a bright, shining example of the Big Get Even that sometimes life bestows on us. No one has it all. I don’t care who you are. If you’re pretty and smart and decent, you’ve got a father who bent the rules to get ahead fiscally and was sentenced to prison for it. The family shame. If you’re smart and funny, invariably you’re built like a Rubik’s cube and that physical limitation only exacerbates your rampant carb addiction and lack of willpower. If you’re pretty and smart, you have the personality of a Ticonderoga No. 2 pencil eraser. If you’re a man who’s handsome and rich, you’re a self-centered rectal fissure.

Now, this isn’t to say that there are some who actually defy this and have it all, but these are rare finds, indeed. The truth is, no one experiences pure joy, elation and balance all the time. By our very nature as fallible mortals, we must endure the yin and yang of existence. The ups and downs; the highs and lows. Nature…God…the Universe (insert your belief system here), I swear, puts governors on our lives.   Whenever things are going well, something has to happen to temper it.  As if a law of nature.  George Harrison once warbled, “all things must pass”.   Joy comes as goes as fast as the violent thunderstorm.   

We’re given enough, never too much.

We are born free, but bound.

A million years ago, I grew up in a small South Texas town with small people who defined me by where I lived and the family I was born into. As I child and teen, I’d always heard others thought me lucky.   My family lived and played in what I suppose could be construed as small town opulence,  but lucky because of that????   Why is luck to some, defined by what one has? The people who thought I was lucky couldn’t have been more wrong. The home I grew up in had six bedrooms. It was big and that’s what people first noticed. Eventually, that would become all that they could see; just the outside walls and their dimensions. 

To me, that always exemplified perceptions and how different they can be depending on the eyes that’s doing the looking— the have nots vs. the reality of those who have, whether real or imagined.

In a way, that was the only thing I saw in Laura Kaeppler on  Saturday night. What she looked like..the fleshy walls that show the world a very lovely face and body.   I know she’s pretty, but that’s all I know.    I don’t know what her hurts are; what her needs are….her wants.   I don’t know what makes her cry…or cringe…in the privacy of a darkened room at 3:26 AM on any given Tuesday.

I don’t know her.    I just know what I see, which allows me to see her as one who has…so I can grieve as one who has not.

All of this is just fine, really.   This common distortion means the walls are doing their job.

They’re made to keep the roof on and the elements out.

Walls also help keep secrets hidden.

The Sad Art of Gaslighting

gaslighting.jpeg

Yesterday, was “one of those days”.

All was going fine—until I stumbled upon something that shook my core: I was going through my voluminous Inbox in an attempt to make room for my life and I found an e-mail from my best friend who died a year ago. For some reason–never opened it. I guess it got lost in the shuffle.

Anyway, I read it and was flooded with emotion.

I didn’t sleep.

I tried watching TV but “The Giant Ladder System” was on 269 of my 280 channels so, that was a wash. I thought I’d try reading, so I went looking through my books trying to find something that would either take my mind off things or one that could help me better understand and deal with my grief.

I found just what I was looking for, but it wasn’t a book that dealt with the loss of my best friend; it was more like a book that would help me cope losing myself. It’s entitled, The Gaslight Effect: Don’t Be Afraid To Speak Your Truth by Robin Stern.

“Gaslighting is the systematic attempt by one person to erode another’s reality. This is done by telling them that what they are experiencing isn’t so – and, the gradual giving up on the part of the other person.”

Stern goes on to say that gaslighting generally takes two to tango: one person who needs to be in control to maintain his sense of self; the other, who needs the relationship to maintain his/her sense of self and because of this, he/she acquiesces—constantly.

The victim ends up giving far, far more than he/she gets. This process invariably erodes the soul.

You know you’re in a full blown Gaslight Effect when you find yourself second guessing your own reality; when you’re unsure of what you really think and feel. Why? Because you’ve allowed someone else to define your reality for you. Invariably, this leads to being told what to think and how to think. And then in turn, you’re told who you are. You’re molded into an entity that someone else deems worthy of his or her love, affection; attention.

And because of the constant whittling away at your psyche, you believe you’re a better person as he or she sees you; as he/she needs you to be.

As the kids used to say….”word”.

Having been “gaslit” in the past, I’d like to share my thoughts with you.

Gaslighting I think, is all that I just mention, with refined manipulation added. And this is maniplation that’s defined by greed and selfishness. It creates cognitive dissonance and it’s this “in between state of cognizance” that women–people, find themselves most vulnerable.

It’s being forced to color inside the lines that others have drawn for us. If we don’t, we’ll be alone and that to some people, is a fate worse than death. Knowing that isolation and lonliness are the dreaded alternatives, we allow gaslighting. It’s not compromise. Hardly–it’s utter relinquishing of the self.

The authentic self.

Then, you find yourself in a horrifically bad relationship but you stay because of that INSIDIOUS goddamn mindset that a bad relationship beats no relationship.

,.
Make no mistake: this IS emotional abuse in every sense and women are almost always the victims. Don’t misunderstand the premise: women can be the culprits too. But women bear the brunt of more negative genetic coding–or so it seems. We’ve been subjugated by primordial design to believe relationships, love….and men, define us.

But gaslighting isn’t limited to love relationships. We also fall victim to it on the job; co-workers and bosses are often perpetrators and it also happens within the family dynamic.

Gaslighting is very real. As I stated, I’ve lived it. I just didn’t know it had a name. Or a book that defined it. Ordinarily, I try my best to avoid partaking from the sump pump of pop psychology. In other words, if Dr. Phil mentions it, I run in the opposite direction. But this book makes sense.

And here’s my two cents.

Integrity (something sorely lacking in the world today) applies to behavior that consistently matches principles. You can’t be a person of integrity if selfishness and self centered behavior are what fuels every motivation. Gaslighters almost always lack integrity; as distorted as this sounds, they thrive on their own selfishness. They are always self-centered. They are consummate liars. Invariably, they will never fail to fail you.

One must then ask, how can a gaslighter expect to be loved if he or she doesn’t know how to love? How can he or she venture into a real, equitable partnership without knowing how to play fair?

The answer? Manipulation passed off as love or affection…or concern

  • No one will love ever love you like I love you
  • You’re nothing without me
  • I ONLY want to take care of you
  • I only want what’s best for you and only I know what that is
  • You have changed and grown so much since knowing me. I make you think and you are better because of it

Furthermore, what these people demand of themselves will rarely work with others. Once again, we touch on “coloring inside the lines” we draw for others. And when someone refuses, that’s how gaslighting starts. I think foisting this on someone else, is the quintessence of neurotic narcissism.

What this book reveals isn’t earth shattering. If you’ve lived it, then you know exactly what gaslighting is all about. For me, it merely gave a name to what I’d experienced.

In remedying the gaslight malady, it goes on to state the obvious:

Women (especially) must be more assertive. We must be fearless about defining who we are, what we are and what we really think. We must empower ourselves to move forward and find real contentment in a relationship as opposed to sanctuary, no matter how fleeting.

I’ll take it one step further:

Some of us, by virtue of childhood experience, seek emotional replicas of our fathers and mothers. If we had a controlling parent, very often we’ll seek controlling partners. We’re most fortunate if we can break that cycle. And just because we find ourselves in abject co-dependence with someone cruel and controlling, well…that doesn’t mean we have to stay. Gather your courage and leave Simon Legree. As the James Gang so aptly sang, walk away.

But remember this: walking away is sometimes much easier than garnering the strength required to take that first step.

And keep this in mind as well: you’ll never gather courage by allowing fear to keep you in a one-sided relationship that’s devoid of romance, passion and real emotion. To do so is a sign of weakness. It’s giving your power away. We should be empowering ourselves. When we relinquish control, we hand over the reigns of our lives, willingly.

Frequently.

Tragically.

But for some, this is the perfect scenario. We’re absolved of all blame if we have no control of a situation. If we believe we’re not responsible, we can’t be held accountable. Especially when it comes to our own actions. Victimhood is extraordinarily convenienct. It all boils down to neglect. We’re being neglected and we’re neglecting ourselves. Well then– here’s your wake up call: neglect kills as often as a bullet to the head.

It kills relationships just as efficiently. And if you sit by and allow it to happen, you’re just as guilty.

In closing, I’ll just say this: Caruso loved the sound of his own voice…some people love the sound of their own opinions being expressed.

This should come as no surprise.

The typical gaslighter defies Copernican theory. They think THEY are, in fact, the center of the universe. In reality, this blustery bravado masks rampant insecurity. Inside, they’re just scared little boys and girls , very much afraid to be hurt, yet they think they’re too smart, too superior to actually feel the pain they’ve so deeply buried.

Sadly, this fear-based arrogance means they themselves have been “gaslit”…made victims by their own actions.

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More about me

As if wallowing in self-pity and my refusal to operate within an iota of appropriate self-regulating psycho/social boundaries hasn’t been enough, I’m now going to force you to read more self-indulgent drivel. Not that you’d necessarily want to know more about me, but I needed to post something fast and easy for the weekend and well, a few lesser known facts about La Kendrick and what irks her just seemed fitting.

As if any of this shit is true. Well, loosely based on truth anyway.

Here goes:

1. I have learned in recent weeks that I really dislike the so-called “blogosphere”. I’ll be the first to admit that blogging itself is addictive, but I hate it when people lapse into a far gone state of Blogomania. These are the ones who are so into their blogs that they have meetings, form blogging clubs and refer to each other by nicknames which are derived from their blogging pseudonyms. For example: let’s say someone has a blog entitled, “Crankshaft’s Mike Good Time Mechanic Spot”. Hardcore members of the bloggeratti would refer to that blogger as “Cranky”.

As in, “Hey did you read Cranky’s post today?”

Or some Bloggeteers might say:

“Yeah, Cranky posted a good one on catalytic converters.”

Sorry, but to me, this is all so incredibly silly. It’s like bad method acting or Madonna when she refers to herself as “an artist”.    It–that– grates on my nerves; like fingernails on a chalkboard. In fact, anything taken too seriously or taken to ridiculous extremes irritates me.

Have we really become that needy? To the point that we have to belong to this “club”?

And as for the blogger names…seriously, why write under the guise of a nom d’plúm ?   Why? I suppose you have your reasons, aspects of privacy and all, but really, just how evil/malevolent/damming IS your life?   And if it’s THAT bad, why write about in an oh so public forum?  

Let’s be honest–unless you’re stuff includes jihading on someone relevant, blackmailing someone’s baby daddy, bilking Nabisco out of millions, living a completely “other life” with sexual implications or you’ve plans to blow up the capital, does the content in your blog really merit a fake name?

If you’re blog has a title, but you use your real name (first, last or both) in correspondence and in the body of your posts, that’s fine. I have no problem with that. You’re not who I am ragging on here.

A few days ago, I had lunch with esteemed Houston attorney, Murphy Klasing, who when not litigating, is blogging AND under his real name, too. We were discussing this phenomenon and he told me that when he’s pressed other bloggers about using pseudonyms, they responded “because I can be the real me on my blog”.

The real you??? My God!!! What heinous, deviantly mocked-up version of “you” is the real world getting then?

2. I once had aspirations of being a country singer. Yes, it’s true. It still hasn’t left me completely. When I’m not waxing obnoxious on this blog, I’m singing. That’s how I know I’m happy; content. And many years ago, I wanted to carry on in the tradition of country music legend, Miss Tammy Wynette. I idolized her. I wanted to emulate her. Remember her late 60’s twangy classic, “D-I-V-O-R-C-E”?

Well, I dabbled in songwriting myself, but “L-E-G-A-L. .S-E-P-A-R-A-T-I-O-N” just didn’t have the same flow.

Besides, I think that song would’ve only made sense to petitioners in North Carolina.

3. I was once censured at work for an innocent conversation with my General Manager. He told me that it had been a good day and that he was “feeling happy”.

I asked him to remind me which dwarf that was.

4. I used to date a man who was overweight. Needless to say, he had major self esteem issues, though I loved the guy in spite of his girth. Even so, he was hesitant about going anywhere, so we rarely traveled anywhere, much less took a vacation. But year after year of never going anywhere was making me crazy, so one winter, I decided that we needed to get out…go abroad..see the world. I wanted to go some place sunny and warm. But he was still obsessed with food, so I had to take that into consideration. I did this by lying a wee bit about our destination.

I told him we were going to spend a week in Malta, but only after a brief layover in Milka-Shaka.

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And now for something completely different….

Tay Zonday is, for lack of a better description, a black Rick Astley.

He’s this little runt of a guy with a voice that’s deep and almost sounds as if he might have been classically trained–for about five minutes. He has a very distinct diction, too. Anyway, last year, he put this video up on You Tube called “Chocolate Rain”, which he wrote, produced and sang. It is quite possibly, the MOST annoying and monotonous song in the history of man. A lyricist, he ain’t, plus his breathing style is just strange. It’s this weird waist-bend away from the mike.

But I have to hand it to him; Tay is laughing all the way to the bank He’s already made the rounds on the chat shows circuit; Oprah, Jimmy Kimmel, et. al and now has professionally produced videos out; probably a record deal, too. He’s doing well, but as you all know, success breeds contempt.

And HILARIOUS mimicry.

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Here are your moments of Zen:

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But wait!! There’s more.