OK, this post has been percolating for a long time…. not intensely, but in various forms in my head, little bits brought on a piece at a time by one small incident after another. Or not so small incidents. :0)
I may need to revise it for clarity.
I posted a teasing response on my cousin’s FB page, in response to a post where she was talking about funny errors on things posted on real walls. She responded publicly with: Oh, I guess I need to proofread what I put up on my “wall”; and privately sent me 20 minutes of scathing text messages. SCATHING. BITTER. It offends her that I could post on her page, but she can’t comment on mine. I told her no one can post on my page right now. If you want to talk to me, you have to message or chat. She cited that as a reason she had every right to take it so hard and respond so brutally. TWENTY minutes of biting sarcasm and personal attacks. Then the next day she came with her daughter (for me to watch for the day) and a nice card with a gift certificate as a form of thanks. Which I appreciated. But when she found out I had my other niece and nephew too, and would be maybe taking them to the park, she literally called every person she knew so that her daughter wouldn’t be driving around with me. It seems I am only worthy if I’m safely ensconced in her own house, and not anyplace else.
My mother tells me she loves me. She sends cute text messages and I love yous. She whines that I don’t call her enough or that she hasn’t been invited to come to my new house yet. But when I do call her it’s Russian Roulette which mom I’ll get, depending on how much she’s had to drink and her mood that day. And I feel safe, finally, in my own house. I don’t want her here. I want to keep enough distance that we can talk, but that I can retreat if she gets abusive. She’s never hit my sister, but I still have the scars on my chest from the last time she freaked out on me.
My aunt loves me. I know this. I really do. In college, she was about the only relative to send me a card or letter every few months, and I still have them…in my scrapbook…which I can’t find. :0) BUT. She’s also untrustworthy and explosive. When I borrowed the van, she freaked out for half an hour over not being sure if I was going to return it…even though I returned it exactly when we agreed. And then chastised me over the fact that they wanted to pack it for a trip and I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN that they don’t have a light in the garage, and brought it back earlier. My thought is that you can CALL MY CELL PHONE! Communicate, people! This happens time and time again. Recently, she’s been going through a major illness. I love her. I wanted to help. I wanted to be there for her. I called every week and offered myself, and she always said she was fine and refused. Her daughter says I should just go over and force myself on her, but I was r*ped by a guy who was CERTAIN that he was doing the right thing for me, and I just …. she’s an adult, and has the right to say, thanks, I’d love some help with raking this week; she also has the right to say, I want to be alone.
My ex-roommate and I did not part very happily. I still owe her money, but when I moved in it was established that I didn’t have to pay ON TIME (since I was between jobs at the moment) and that I could make it up whenever, just let her know. I told her both before and after I moved out that I wouldn’t be able to start paying her back until taxes came back, and the deposits for the new place were all taken care of. She did not dispute that arrangement. I hear from another friend that she is going around telling everyone I haven’t paid her. This isn’t fair. I’m abiding by the agreement, and I told her not until taxes, at least. Doesn’t that give me until April? Now everyone thinks I’m an ungrateful cheat and a flake. She’s taken me off her friend list.
A new friend from church left the country for several weeks, and I didn’t know. So while she was gone I was trying to follow through on a new friendship, and I left about 4 messages. After 4 messages I figure it’s just plain stalking. The next time I saw her, she gave me an enthusiastic Hello! I told her, I don’t get it. You haven’t answered any of my calls. Oh, she said, I was out of the country. Oh, I said, I figured you didn’t want to be friends. She turned to the person next to her and said, (I am NOT joking!) “THIS is what we were studying about in Bible Study this week, how you shouldn’t have expectations of people.” No I’m sorry. No Did you want something? No Sorry I forgot to mention it. No. In our church “sorry” is anathema. Jesus wants you to be happy and you do that through the power of positive thinking and through taking care of your rights. “Sorry” is almost considered blasphemy, I think. We aren’t friends. Why would I be friends with someone who uses me as a visual aid for improper expectations?
My best friend here left her husband. I hadn’t known them very long, but love, love, love her a lot. I helped her get out. I do believe in staying and working it out. I also believe in a person’s right to make themselves safe. Once I offered to get an apartment for a friend who was fighting with her husband, so they could have separate corners while they negotiated. She never spoke to me again. Seriously. I’d known her for 10 years.
Anyway, my friend who I love left her husband and left town. He comes across to everyone as a fine, upstanding, son-of-missionaries True Christian (with apologies). It’s a long story, but basically, when they split, I was a part of their friend-group, and I made an effort to call him once a week or so, ask him how he was, hey, let’s go meet for a sandwich or at the park. Have you showered and dressed yet this week?
It seems I’m the only one who did.
Which means he developed a huge fixation with me.
And denied it all, of course, because he was DEVOTED to his girl.
It went from posting picture albums full of my pictures (taken behind my back or in social groups, but mostly just with me [8 out of 11]) on FB. He denied it for 3 months, while I asked him to put a clarifying note on there that we were NOT a couple. Eventually he said he denied it because he didn’t think I could see them. He would have porn on his computer when I came over. So I stopped going inside. I wasn’t allowed to have my dog, and he said I could use his yard. I went to pick her up, let him know I had her. Then when I came back: here’s this naked guy wandering around inside, the windows wide open. You would think I’d learn. But his excuses: I was doing laundry. I argued. He denied. Fine. I stopped going over at all. The last straw was asking me to video his band, and handing me his phone. HE HAD A VIDEO OF HIMSELF AND MINI_ME ifyouknowwhatimean as the last video recorded, and I stumbled across it because I didn’t know how to use the phone. So I quit going to his concerts and pretty much only contacted or spoke to him in our public group (where he saved my seat, and pre-ordered for me, and basically pissed on me and all four tires). A couple weeks ago, he posted nekkid pictures of his ex on picasa. The album clearly states, “OPEN TO PUBLIC” so I don’t really think he can claim ignorance again. She’s sleeping in some, turned away in others. It reminds me of the pictures he’s taken of me by sneaking up from behind, even after SPECIFICALLY asked not to. So if you google her, guess what comes up?
All of which is to say, I have pretty much blocked him from my life.
But I gave him several warnings. And most of these things could be considered sexual assaults, MAJOR violations of personhood.
Another friend blocked me from her fb page this week because I put a long response, probably kinda snippy, to a post she had up. Which was a question I’d asked at dinner the night before. Which someone popped of: Direct her to this bible verse.
I have a degree in Biblical Studies. I know that verse.
So I posted back the history of that verse, my freebased thoughts on the origin of the proposed question, and a link to the wiki article about it.
Again, probably kinda snippy. But she KNOWS I have a degree in Bible, so it’s kinda rude too, to dismissively point me to a single verse and assume that’s the answer.
So. I am blocked.
People tell me I wouldn’t be abused if I didn’t want it.
People tell me that, “People treat you the way you ALLOW them to treat you.”
People have drilled into my head for the past several years that the obedience I learned as a Christian is LEGALISM. I say that loving America and showing it by following her laws doesn’t make me legalistic. Loving my grandparents and showing it by following their house rules was legitimate obedience for love, not legalism. Having faith in god and showing it through obedience does NOT mean you felt that you think it was your obedience was the thing that saved you. Loving where I work and trying very hard to follow their rules and laws and procedures is not LEGALISM. Being willing to conform for love IS NOT LEGALISM.
And it’s been drilled into my head that (“Let your gentleness be evident to all; the Lord is near.”) my only right is to fight for myself, the same right everyone else has. That I was raped (my doctor actually said this) because I was “very loving, but just not assertive ENOUGH, so no one is going to take your NO seriously.”
So I am repeatedly taught not to be gentle, NEVER say you’re sorry, don’t ask for what you need, don’t tell me what you think, if you’re disappointed, it’s your fault, don’t ever expect a Sorry from me, I can do what I want to you unless you fight hard enough, if you fight hard enough, you’re a jerk, jesus loves….
In the middle of distress, I asked my friend, Why does god hate me? She answered, God doesn’t hate you, why do you hate yourself?
I think that was one of the major points when I stopped believing in God. When GOD became me. My expectations. My WRONG expectations. When it was pointed out to me that everything I believed about god was UNREASONABLE. I heard time and time again, But what did you really expect?
So my obedience turns into retroactive regret. I don’t deserve the things I wanted because I didn’t want them enough to rebel (on the one hand) and I don’t deserve them because I wasn’t fine enough quality to tolerate anything better than THIS.
I keep thinking of an episode of Grey’s Anatomy I saw recently, where a man who had lost his wife at the hospital came back with a gun. He kept asking people for directions, and no one would really help him. Finally, he just up and shot one.
This does not mean I’m going to shoot anyone. Once upon a time I would have been afraid of that, but thanks to the local counseling center, I can look at these thoughts as just thoughts, and see what they have to tell me, without being afraid that the thought is equal to the action (as in Christianity).
I get it. I’m supposed to be tough enough to force myself through this world. But once you accept that you have not only the right, but the responsibility to be active in your relationships, communicate, and participate in establishing rules: once you get to that point, and start speaking up, you’re in danger of being counter-attacked so others don’t lose their “power”; or completely turned off. Blocked. Put in a safe corner, tied up and resilenced.
Like I said, I’ll probably have to edit this later for clarity, but. Tell me what you think.