I am heart sick tonight.
Not because of the election.
Not because there’s a rumor that Drake and T. Swift are dating.
But because of a piece of news I heard just the other night.
Over the weekend, at my cousin’s university, there was a tragedy. His roommate: a kind, loving, and incredibly smart young man, passed away after being the victim of a hate crime.
For being Muslim.
He was jumped and ended up in a coma. He passed a day later.
How truly tragic.
I did not know this young man, but my cousin was his best friend and roommate. And it just pains my heart to think that someone could act out in hate towards another person like that.
And to be quite honest, I don’t exactly know
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The chicken doesn’t mean anything. I just think it’s funny.
I’m starting to think that perhaps I shouldn’t call my college relationship abusive. After all, it’s not like I was hit or anything. Also, I wasn’t exactly the best girlfriend in the world. I had a jealous streak a mile wide and wasn’t very trustworthy toward the end. Plus, there must have been *something* good to keep me there. If I can think of good things about him that means it wasn’t abusive, right?
Then I remember how he wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. I remember how he once planned a fake suicide threat and panic attack to make me feel guilty for breaking up with him for someone else. I remember how he harassed the other guys who were interested in me (while we were broken up!) behind my back so he could swoop in and play the hero. Granted, I shouldn’t have fallen for his crap about wanting to be friends right after our breakup because he had an agenda. I should have known better.
I remember the surge of fear I felt when I saw a friend request from him on Facebook. I have no idea why I felt that because it’s not like he could still hurt me, but it just felt…I don’t know. I don’t want say it was a flashback because to put myself in the same category as some other people I know but my therapist says I should because “if *I* thought it was abuse, that’s what it was”. Makes sense. Anyway, I wanted to write a post on this for another site, but they thought it was “too serious”. So I’ll do it here. Here are some of the reasons people stay in abusive relationships that you usually don’t hear about. I’m not writing this to “label myself” or play the victim to get attention (as I’ve been accused of before) so much as to give some insight that might help someone else down the line.
-We’ve invested a lot of time in the relationship. We have a history with this person that we don’t want to be for nothing. We don’t see that by staying we’d just be wasting more time, losing more time we can’t get back.
A lot of times, I will think back to what things would have been like in college had I either not met him or stayed away from him; who I could have dated, what classes I could have taken, what “drama” and what kind of hurt I could have spared myself and other people. I wouldn’t give up my current husband and relationships for the world, but I wonder if I might be subconsciously trying to get that time back.
–We still love them. As much as you (and perhaps your mom) wish you could, you can’t turn your feelings for someone off like a light switch. It’s possible that you might stop loving someone (or, in my case, realize you weren’t in love with them to begin with), but this has to happen over time if it’s going to happen at all. And it may not. Love can evolve, which makes it really confusing when it comes to plotting your next move. It’s especially hard if you have kids together.
-We don’t know when to quit. According to my father, this is a problem of mine. Granted, he was talking about making fart noises or playing the “I’m not touching you” game in the car, but you get the point.
We don’t want to give up. We tell ourselves, if we stay just a *little* longer, things will work themselves out. We think, maybe if I marry him, he’ll treat me better. Maybe if we have a child, he’ll treat me better. He’d have to, right? Since I’d be the mother of his child. Um, no. If someone has it in them to abuse a partner they claim to love, they probably have it in them to abuse a kid too. Even if they don’t, it’s still a toxic environment to grow up in.
Even if it’s not a matter of behavior, we never know when it’s truly over because the person always tries to find a way to “rejuvenate” things just long enough for you to come back to him. After that, it goes back to the same old thing and the cycle starts all over again. We don’t realize that that this is never going to stop and that it’s time to step off of the carousel. We know when everyone else should quit, but we don’t know that for ourselves. We give advice to our friends with relationship problems, but we don’t take that advice ourselves. Perhaps we’d do well to.
You could also take “not wanting to quit” to mean that we don’t want to admit defeat. Our egos won’t allow us to do anything that could be considered “quitting” or “backing down”. We don’t realize that a relationship ending isn’t a failure on our part; If anything, it would be a victory if we were to stand up for ourselves and leave. We just don’t see that at the time.
-We think it’s normal. I’m not saying that we’re used to mind games or being insulted so much as that we think it’s just the normal “ups and downs” of a relationship-that we have to take the good with the bad, and this is the bad. There’s also the fact that things aren’t always all bad and we think the good things are worth staying for. For instance, my boyfriend’s family was incredible. If I could have dropped him and kept them, I would have. Also, it’s like I said above-he loved me in his own way. Maybe it’s worth staying for, maybe it’s not. That’s up to you.
Then again, I remember the time he told my suitemates that I’d gotten upset after a fight we had and ran off into the dark side of campus. I hadn’t; I was sitting in the parking lot and then downstairs talking to a friend. He was the one who’d stormed off like a child. Apparently this was some sort of “trick” he played on my friends. Very juvenile, but so was he. Even if it’s obvious to everyone else that our partner is abusive, we don’t see it that way. We don’t know to. We think we’re just “going with the flow”, never realizing that said “flow” is about to drag us under.
-We’re easily led and under his “spell”.
If you have a submissive personality and they have a strong one-which is almost always the case-they will take advantage of you and justify pretty much any behavior by saying that you didn’t say “no”. The truth is that you usually did say no, just not in a way he’d recognize. I sure as hell did, even if it wasn’t in those words. However, I’d said “yes” too. That’s the problem-those are the only words they’ll hear and will use it against you. It might not be intercourse (it wasn’t with me), but he’ll do things the law doesn’t allow thinking it’s okay because you’ve done these things before and that gives him a “right” to ignore anything else you might say. No, it doesn’t. I don’t care how much you liked it before-you can say no any time you want. If he doesn’t listen…well, there are words for that. You know what they are.
Like a lot of phishing scammers these days, it’s not that you’re stupid or weak; they just know what to say and how to say it. For this reason, I don’t think there is a such thing as someone who “accidentally” emotionally or psychologically mistreats someone. They will often claim they didn’t know what they were doing, but I don’t believe it. I don’t see how.
-We don’t know what it means to forgive. This sounds weird, but bear with me. It’s not that we don’t forgive enough, but that we forgive too much. Like I said above, we think that what we’re dealing with is just the bad along with the good and that we’re being “hasty” in leaving. We have this idea that forgiving someone means forgetting what they did-in other words, thinking we have to put ourselves in a position to get hurt again. We have to go back to them, we have to behave as though nothing ever happened because anything else is tantamount to holding a grudge, and we all know what God thinks of that. I thought this, and boy was it my undoing. I still don’t know what Jesus meant by forgiving someone “seventy times seven” times, but I don’t see why we should put ourselves in a position to need to forgive someone that many times. I know, I know, He wasn’t giving us a literal number of times, but you get the point. We think we’re doing wrong by holding their bad behavior against them, even if it’s for our own protection. We think that “doing unto others” is more important than doing unto ourselves. As admirable as it is, this kind of selflessness can go bad really quickly if it’s wasted on the wrong people. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t try to treat others with the grace that Jesus showed us, but sometimes you have to do this from a distance.
To quote a friend of mine: “Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself; That means that you have to love yourself. Otherwise, your neighbor is screwed.” Makes sense to me.
-We don’t want to be mean. In my mother’s generation, women were often taught to be “people pleasers”-meaning that their primary purpose in life is to make other people happy. We think we’re not “allowed” to do something that upsets someone, that hurting someone’s feelings means that we’ve done something wrong and that somehow that makes us a bad person. As you can probably tell, this idea didn’t die with them. We might not be taught to be as submissive as they were, but sometimes we still get that impression, especially if our mothers are as selfless as mine was. Even if we know we should stand up for ourselves, we don’t always know how. Not without feeling mean, anyway. We have a twisted notion of what being mean is, and an abuser will eat that up. My ex certainly did. Otherwise, why would he fake a suicide threat and panic attack so bad that I had to call a couple of his friends at 5am to drag him out of my room? He made it out as though I was the one who made him have to get counseling, even though he told me he’d done that to someone else. He also had this habit of “spontaneous repentance”-he’d start rambling on about way he’d done wrong by me and other people and how sorry he is and how he’ll change his ways. Of course, I fell for it. Stupid me. *Pointing at myself* Don’t be That Girl.
We don’t see it for what it is. If it were happening to someone we love, we’d pick it out in a minute. Maybe there are positive things about your partner that people outside a relationship don’t see, but they’re usually not distracted or taken in by those things the same way we are. It’s much easier to see something for what it is when it’s not happening to you.
You could say that all these things boil down to not thinking we deserve any better, and you’d be right. I’m just talking about it this way because a lot of times people have a hard time putting their feelings into words. I do, anyway. For more information, check out http://www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/.
Even though I don’t have the same issues the author does, I can definitely relate. Self-help books never did anything for me. I have to remember to seek God…I might get so wrapped up in my own BS that I forget to pray or ask, but ultimately I know that everything good comes from Him…the meds I take, the talent of the doctors I visit, the counsel of my friends…I might not recognize it or acknowledge it-frankly I’ve been more inclined to hit the doctors up because I know I have a medical problem, not a spiritual one-, but all good things come from Him in the end.
One of my favorite things to do in NYC is justwander around.
Especially now that it’s warm out, I like to just put on my sun hat and get lost for a few hours on a Saturday.
There’s nevera lack of things to do or explore.
Like just the other day, I happened upon a person playing the didgeridoo.
On the street corner. Busking.
Like, you were able to smugglethat thing all the way from Australia, and yet here you are busking for money? How’d ya swing that?
But on those exploration afternoons,somehow, I always seem to end up at my favorite frozen yogurt shop. Which just so happens to be next to a big bookstore.
It hurts my heart to think that actualbookstores are becoming extinct.
Seriously. Enough of thisE-Reader crap. Let’s get back to real, hard bound, turn-the-page books!
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My husband and I were talking about this earlier today. I know the definition of four-syllable German words I’ve beaten to death might seem like an odd topic to discuss over spaghetti, but it was something I was thinking about in regards to the kingdom of God. I wanted to settle a debate, if only in my own head.
Exactly what constitutes Schadenfreude? I’m not sure it’s always capitalized, but I’ve seen it a lot when talking about revenge and forgiveness.
One question was is it an active or passive term? The idea is that you didn’t cause the misfortune, but you like the results of it. Exactly what does that mean, though?
I’ll admit to having indulged in this a bit. Actually, more than a bit. In some cases, a lot. I know it’s wrong, but sometimes it can’t be helped.
Is it poetic justice? For instance, I had a boyfriend in college who was a Class A jerk. Not all the time, mind you-there were some good things-but generally he’s not someone I’d associate with today and only stayed with because I got sucked into his dirty black hole. To be fair, there were a lot of good things, mostly his family and the way he’d say I was beautiful-I was shy and awkward growing up, so I did *not* hear this very often. I wasn’t always an angel either. He was in the Air Force and, one summer, had to go to ROTC field training-basically officer-training boot camp. Being a total sexist pig, he made some comments that were directed at and heard by a female superior. It was one of those cases where you only hear half of what was said, but apparently it was the wrong half because he was called in front of her and two (male) superiors and had to explain himself. This is probably bad of me, but I was glad he “finally got what was coming to him”…he’d made very sexually-tilted comments to me and about other female cadets and, thus far, had gotten away with it because they weren’t heard by anyone in charge.
I know that “qualifies”-in fact, it’s textbook. But what about pleasure taken at something you could have done, but didn’t? The knowledge that you could have caused a lot of harm to someone who hurt you, but never really would?
A conversation with my dad-a career Navy man-over ten years later told me that I could have really screwed my ex over because his ex-wife-not my mother-caused a lot of trouble for him by telling his superior officers all these lies about things he did to her (cheating and verbal abuse come to mind) for no reason other than to hurt him. She was a civilian, by the way. My ex never cheated, but he did do a lot of other things that I did not realize were actionable at the time-harassing my friends and other potential suitors behind my back, begging off coaching PT the next morning so he could fake a suicide threat that night, turning in one of my English papers as his own etc. Some of it illegal, but all against the rules of his program. I got confirmation from some former cadets and officers I spoke with when doing research for other projects, although that wasn’t what I was looking for. Most importantly, all of it true. If I had known about this and were vindictive enough, I could have effed-up his career big time. Sometimes I wish I had.
Nothing happened with my dad, by the way. His supervisor knew she was nuttier than a Snickers bar and basically ignored her.
I *did* manage to let superior cadets know about things he did or said regarding them, but that was only because I called their attention to it while it was happening. Don’t ask.
My point is, what level of schadenfreude-if any-was acceptable in this situation? Was my being glad he got into trouble for running his mouth? Were the “I could have gotten even” thoughts I had after talking to my dad? Would it have been sinful if I *had* gone to his superiors-I wouldn’t be lying, after all. I’d have been believed, too, since I’d have witnesses. But would my intent be at issue?
When does it become sinful, or does it? The impression I got was anything beyond laughing at Chevy Chase fall on Saturday Night Live or saying, “I told you so” was wading into that territory. Perhaps it’s referring to a spiteful kind of glee, the kind you might have if someone “gets what they deserve”. The kind of smug satisfaction I see in the eyes of some Christians when things like the earthquake in Haiti or the 2004 tsunami happen in places with “pagan” beliefs (voodoo and Islam come to mind)? I know a lot of people are excited about the End Times, where all of God’s children will be saved while the rest of the world suffers. Exactly when and in what order these things happen varies by doctrine, but the idea is that 1/3 of the world’s population will be ravaged by disease while another 1/3 dies in some kind of conflict. As happy as I’m glad for my Savior to come back, I just can’t get past all the suffering. Maybe something’s wrong with me. I don’t know.
I don’t really have an ending for this, so I’ll leave it here. My fingers are tired anyway. Later on!
This post was originally published in December 2010, but I thought it could use an update. Even though I am working now, I still can’t help but feel like crap because half the time I forget things that are easy for everyone else to remember and I seem to always be doing something wrong. I’m not saying that because I get constant criticism, although it feels like that sometimes. I’m saying that because I’m oversensitive and tend to respond to things like the tones people use when sometimes it’s better to remember that that’s just how someone talks or that this isn’t a good time of the year for me in general. It’s better this year than it has been because I’m working and making money, although I do wish I could see my family and friends more often. Anyway, back to your regularly-scheduled whine-fest.
My husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas. The first things I thought of were a Bible with the Apocrypha in it and/or one of my favorite party games. Of course, we’d actually have to *have* parties in order to play said game, but that’s something else entirely. I can think of a few things I’d like, but I don’t think they would be something he could give me. For instance:
-He can’t give me my brain back. One thing I hate to no end is that I feel like I am ‘slipping’…everyone else ‘gets’ things that I don’t, and I keep missing and forgetting things. I don’t want to immediately say it’s because of my bipolar and/or ADHD, but that’s probably the most likely scenario. My doctors have told me that it affects the way I think; I test lower on IQ tests than I did before because my brain works differently (well, assuming it works at all 😛 ). Seriously. I’ve been told over and over again that I ‘don’t think’ or whatnot, but that’s not true at all. I *do* think, I just tend to think so fast that nothing really ‘sticks’. My last few employers-you know, the two jobs I was fired from in two weeks-can attest to that. It’s just so frustrating, because I feel like everyone else is smarter than me and understands everything much better. Maybe this is true, but maybe I’m just *different*, not any less or any more. I don’t know.
-He can’t help me lose weight. Maybe he can in terms of eating more vegetables and less fatty stuff, but he can’t exercise for me or stop me from liking things like soda and cookies. I feel like I’ve nagged him enough about that in terms of getting him to buy veggies and fruit for produce, although truth be told I really don’t push anywhere near as much as I could. Still, I know that money has been really tight for us and that he feels like the stuff we can afford is often the stuff that’s really the worst for us. He doesn’t say it like that, but that’s what it comes out to. We *do* get canned veggies but It’s up to me to actually *eat* them, or to choose them over other stuff when I have a choice.
-He can’t help me get motivated to do, well, anything. I have so many projects I’ve started that I haven’t finished and don’t really know if I will. A children’s book, a novel of sorts, a few other writing projects…at least I’ve had some stories published, although they haven’t sold yet and *ahem* aren’t the type of stories you let your dad read. I have a couple of tabs open in my browser right now for things I keep meaning to read, but somehow never get around to it because I’m so easily distracted. Maybe at some point I’ll stop playing Facebook games long enough to read the stuff I’m supposed to read on Beliefnet for my job, and Slater, get off the counter,then do some writing I get paid for and Dr Phil’s head looks particularly shiny today….oops, got distracted again.
-He can’t get me to stand up for myself the way I need to.
-He can’t ward off my depression or make other people do stuff with us. They have their own lives and I totally appreciate that, but sometimes I just get bored with the same old thing. Boredom often leads to depression with me and, since I don’t work outside of the home, I get bored quite a bit. It’s gotten better now that we’ve paid the car off and I’ve been doing more stuff at church. Just to get out among other people-especially more women since most of my friends here are men-really helps. Even so, sometimes I still feel really “meh”. Which leads me to my next point:
-He can’t make me feel like less of a piece of crap because I get disability even though a lot of the time I feel as though I can work. I know from experience that my mental issues cause major problems and my physical issues aren’t much better, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling as though I’m one of those “sponges” or “cheats” some people rant about. I would never, ever say that to someone else, but I’ll say that to myself. Hmm.
He can’t change the past, which is ultimately what it would take to ward this off.
That’s just it. He can’t change the past. I know he would if he could, though. The only thing that can be done is to get to be more comfortable and content with the way things are and to try and improve things from there, but that’s something I have to do for myself. I have to ask God to help me with that every day, if I remember. That’s really sad, ‘if I remember’, but the point is that he can’t do it for me because it’s not *for* him to do. It’s for me, with God’s help. And I need all the help I can get.
Maybe I should just stick with new jeans and some bras to replace the ones I can’t wear anymore. That would require a lot less explanation.
(Disclaimer: Let me say that this is just my opinion-I wasn’t there. If you saw what I’m wearing right now-pajama shorts and an old T-shirt-, you’d see I have no business talking about fashion. Even so, I have a keyboard, which apparently makes me qualified to comment in some circles. I’m just writing this for fun anyway.)
I have to admit, I kind of hated this episode. It’s not the challenge I didn’t like or the clothes that came out of it, but that it was waaaaaaaay too much like high school for my comfort.
The premise was kind of strange-they broke into two teams and played a game of Capture the Flag, only the flag was rolls of fabric and the tagging was done with paintball guns. After the game was over, they were told that the material they’d be using for this challenges was what they were wearing, paint-splattered and all. The fabrics they “captured” were supplemental, but the bulk of what they used had to be the jumpsuits. O-kay. At least they got to paint what was left over.
Instead of using the button bag to pick the teams like they’d done before, the judges let Candice and Blake pick first. For some weird reason, Ashley was picked last. I know Candice picked Amanda first because she wanted to make her feel better and couldn’t have helped who the other people chose, but the girls were doing the exact same thing we would have seen in junior high-picking their friends as opposed to who would actually be good for their team. That’s not to say that the guys were any better; they could have picked her too. But both Blake and John pointed out that they were acting like the high school “popular crowd” asserting their “dominance” over the class nerd. That is not to say that Ashley is the “class nerd”-she most certainly is not-, but that’s how they made her feel. As “that girl” in high school, I feel for her.
Even Heidi called them out on this-Ashley had won *two* challenges out of the five they’ve had, so it was absolutely insane that she would be the last picked. Like I said before, I get what Candice was trying to do. Her heart was in a good place, and I don’t see her as being nasty at all. But the others-including the guys…I know a lot of the impressions we get is editing and things could have gone down completely differently, but I think this was part of why the girls’ team had so many problems communicating at first. When you have somebody with good ideas feeling as though she can’t express them without being shouted down-whether she actually was or not-, you can’t help but have a problem coming up with good group project. I didn’t see anyone shooting her down so much as her confidence being so damaged from being picked last that she wasn’t as upfront as she would have been otherwise. Again, I don’t know. Editing.
I can’t say I’d do any better. Hell, I can barely sew a button on correctly, much less an actual garment. But it was obvious to me that the guys (and Merlene) were communicating so much better because they focused on the task at hand and truly worked together on every piece of their collection; Swapnil the Gorgeous (middle, leather jacket) even tells the judges this, and you could tell they appreciated it.
I just wish we could have seen his eyes. Blue. Maybe contact lenses, maybe not, but blue. Nice.
Here’s a slideshow of the completed looks: http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/project-runway/photos/season-14-episode-5-final-looks#id=1
By the way, Edmond won.
Regardless of which lady made which look, you could tell that something bad was going to happen. Closer to the runway show, we see Laurie telling Ashley that the others planned on throwing her under the bus for their collection. Ashley, obviously upset, starts talking about how she can’t trust anyone and doesn’t really know what to think. I wanted to give her a hug and tell her that she could trust me. Yes, it’s a competition, but I don’t play games with people. I don’t know-Laurie doesn’t, and maybe the others don’t either-but I don’t because I know what it’s like to be That Person.
None of their garments was very good, but that wasn’t any one person’s fault. Considering that a) they’d only grabbed orange and purple fabric, and b) they color-bombed all of their white fabric before deciding what to do with it, they did the best the could with what they had. I wonder if it might have been better to make the garments first and *then* use the colored paint, but whatever. Like I said, I can barely sew. After their stuff went down the runway (you can see it above), each one was asked who they thought was responsible for it-in short, who should go home. Sure enough, three of them picked Ashley. What’s bad was she had absolutely nothing to do with it-she kept telling everyone, no, don’t splatter the paint yet; no don’t cut the fabric yet; no, don’t [fill in the blank], but no one listened to her. Even so, three of the others threw her under the bus. I give her props for keeping it together-hell, I would have been bawling, at least somewhere backstage. Even Kelly Osbourne, who was judging, suggested it was a “bitchfest”, and I think that had at least something to do with their decision. Don’t get me wrong-Ashley *was* in the bottom, but hers wasn’t the worst outfit out there. The person they *did* send home-Amanda-was one of the “bus-throwers”, as well as having been in the bottom in the past few challenges.
I’ve said over and over again that I would be the most boring contestant ever because I wouldn’t want to talk crap about the other designers or their work on camera. That, and I’d be so bad that I wouldn’t be in a *position* to criticize anyone else. I think that last part might have been in the back of the judges’ minds as they decided who to send home and who to keep. It makes sense.
Who left: Amanda.
Who didn’t: Ashley. Kelly was also in the bottom, with an outfit that reminded me of an action figure. Edmond won.
Who should have: They picked the right person. I didn’t hate her dress so much as understood why the judges felt the way they did. She *had* been in the bottom two times before.
Anyway, I’ll stop my rambling now. Like I said above, I have no business talking about fashion when my usual outfit consists of gray flannel shorts and an aging T-shirt. I just like the show and figured my opinion was worth as much as anyone else’s. Okay, maybe not, but at least it’s interesting. I thought so, anyway.