stepping up to sticks and stones

there are a few phrases used on “the big bang theory” that ring a painful bell.

“don’t be like that!”
“i’m sorry you feel that way.”

i think the problem or reason so hurtful for me, is these phrases are saying i don’t have a right to my reactive process. particularly “i’m sorry you feel that way.” — that would always come at the end of a conversation, a way of being dismissed as unimportant or to indicate scorn.

then part of my frustration, was the premise is wrong. i wasn’t “feeling” about anything, was drawing conclusions of wrong-doing or trying to make a point as pragmatically as possible. “i’m sorry you think that” – ok, that is just as hurtful. and why?

well, for one thing it is not calling just the issue at hand bad or a controversy — it’s calling your thinking incorrect for determining something or taking a stand. “i’m sorry” part of that, then — is not really a ‘sorry’ at all. it’s shutting a door or determining that somebody is incorrect, no matter what facts they bring to the table.

and these are phrases i NEVER use or say to others. if you tell someone, “don’t be like that!” – then how ARE they supposed to be? something just to make YOU happy? that’s pretty crazy. “i’m sorry you feel that way” — really? you don’t act sorry, you act like you can’t deal with reality, and therefore are shutting me down.

so i’ve heard these phrases aimed at me a lot in life. i don’t think they knew how badly they hurt me. because part of being a person who uses phrases like that, is to not really be aware of the other person as a human being with rights to determine their own reactions. and i would test. of course i would test, to see what kind of boundaries brought on the dreadful phrases. i would note right where their insecurities resided, and determine better ways.

when we experience pain, we work to go in other directions away from pain. that’s manipulation 101. so what can work against it is not a flow against pain, but an inconsistent reaction. i have let those phrases roll off me with no visible impact — and at other times have blown up like a fireball shooting from a volcano that has been boiling for 2000 years.

of course, they decide that inconsistent reaction makes me mentally ill. but it also makes me a person that WILL NOT ALLOW HERSELF TO BE MANIPULATED.

“don’t do this to me!” — when i was doing absolutely nothing TO anyone, in fact was simply not talking to someone. only reacting the way that i determined to be best for that situation. reacting in a way that was true to ME, and my insight and ability to conclude the severity of the interaction. you would think, that after all the years of being hit by hurtful phrases, that i would be unconsciously using them myself.

but i understand that these are words of manipulation. not only that, the phrases that dismiss the rights of others, also trap the person saying them them. they trap that person AS a continual manipulator. that person is locked into their own reactive process, using those phrases over and over again. a last resort is a last resort. and so the manipulators can then become the manipulated.

and i get old — i hear the phrases on a TV show, and they still make me wince. more than anything now, are a reminder that we are products of our environments. it is a reminder of the fundamental truth that human beings are not born crazy, they are driven crazy.

but how can there be any regrets? i have survived when the odds were often not in my favor. i have held on to my rights to react in the way that i see fit. because what was the alternative? to not have my own opinions at all? not have my own insights …i could not do that to myself or to others.

so phooey on that. we all pave paths that might be followed. one thing i do say a lot, is “life is too short.” if i had more time, would have been able to save them from their phrases. but i had to let it go. had to leave the trapped ones in their corner, alone. because am not going to fall into line with anything that denies the rights of others, and myself– to react according to our own God-given inner principle.

i had to let it be, and here it is thrown at me from a TV show.

the environment where these phrases arose, is obviously a strong environmental factor for “mental illness.” kind of about rebellion. but more about avoiding manipulative forces by being less predictable yourself. when you have people highly bent on controlling you, not because you were out of control, but because they crave to OWN your personal power. then you either cave, or you don’t.

there isn’t a lot of choice, but to develop a highly specialized anti-manipulation sort of personality. anyway … life is too short. there is no way to have things come out the way you want all the time. best that can be hoped-for, is that things go in the right direction. that they move away from this type of environment.

yelling … remember yelling. it was like a game, to see who would break first and start yelling as a reaction to hurtful words. you wonder why i like living alone? it’s because i might talk to myself, but at least i do not YELL at myself. and what is worse than having someone yell at you, is the shame that you let someone push your buttons so much that you started yelling at them. and they stay calm, and all happy inside that they “got” you.

see, whenever i have been pushed into yelling, i have felt nothing but shame. so living WITHOUT any yelling, helps me to feel better about myself. i am a calm person. i am not forced to react to others in a way that is like a gorilla beating their chest. those days are now gone and done.

and it’s a good feeling, to have a calm and settled life. it’s good to be away from all those hurtful phrases. words can hurt. but it’s not the name calling, it’s the manipulation and the battling to determine who is right and wrong.

we were three women in a house. by the time i was 15, i was the alpha. i didn’t want to be the alpha, so mostly stepped down. got to do whatever i wanted anyway. all of the power and none of the responsibility.

i do look at that. though i guess ‘none of the responsibility’ is false. i had to fix things around the house constantly. i had to find ways out of jambs. wasn’t easy, but when the three of us were stranded on the highway with a broken-down car, i was the one who had to find a way out for us. i was the one that scouted until discovered a payphone. in new york — when we had been dropped off by the ferry, and it was getting dark and we had no way to get back to the hotel. i was the one, that had to run into the night, on new york streets — and get a cab when those streets were empty. i had to do it. i had to make things right.

i know the day i became alpha. grandma was trying to discipline my sister, but sister was getting big and hit back. so i watched an elderly woman fall to the floor at my sister’s hand — and i erupted. i made it so clear that would never happen again, as to enforce complete dominance. had to. there are times i would not be there. could not have her going off on grandma. so from that point forward, keeping her in line was my job, because she was too much for my grandma to handle alone.

i was the one that had to step up. i couldn’t let her hurt grandmother. and i don’t know why, except i spent time with grandma when i was very young. like a whole summer i spent away from home and at grandma’s house. she was my instructor, she was my teacher above all else. i either did as i was told, or i expressed why i believed what i was told to do was wrong. now my sister only believes to this day, how “unjustly” she was treated by grandmother. but she would not do as she was told. she was continually disruptive, in classrooms and in about every situation. i watched that behavior, it wasn’t something i did not see.

my sister would steal from me, so i gave freely to try to eliminate that behavior. but the day when i had to step in to rescue grandmother from sister– i inadvertently stepped into the position of alpha. but i didn’t want to leave my position of student behind. therefore part of me split. i took care of things, but i also followed grandma’s advice even more closely. i listened to her. i consulted with her. i didn’t always do as i was told — would have welcomed being told to do. but i was alpha now. i had to make my own path.

what’s more important? life is too short. fact is, we are not solitary creatures responsible for every single direction taken. it is the interaction that molds lives. it is the working together. but i am SO glad there is no yelling in my life now. nobody on this earth knows how much that took from me. and if someone asks for my help, i will give it. it’s about being allowed to draw your own conclusions.

the answer is to avoid fights. but that in itself is predictable. so you can’t avoid them all the time. pick and choose.

the world has failed. it doesn’t even see how strange and wrong it is to punish someone for doing nothing wrong. for punishing someone for someone else’s fears, when they cannot change other people’s fears. to imprison a human being because you are afraid they might do something wrong. it’s not just innocent before proven guilty. it’s being guilty of holding a cause that created no effect.

the norms are so ridged, and everyone knows they are so ridged — that the biggest fear now is that people will start imploding. but it is the fear that makes the norms even tighter. you have to be able to let people laugh at you, because that is their fear coming out.

so you have the phrase, “make others afraid” — but that is not my doing, that is their fear and their fear that they own. ALL of this, the entire fight of most of my life — has been against a society that has become so rutted and so complacent, that their fear is off the charts if anything unusual happens. it’s so easy. and it shouldn’t be that easy.

but i get fed up. i get angry. i get tired about how everybody thinks they’re so smart. and they’re dumber than dirt. running in circles because the circle is easy. trump tweets that the DNC is “stupid” for getting hacked. but he doesn’t see how stupid HE is for getting in bed with the enemy, and then admitting it. i don’t know what to do with that level of rock bottom dumb as a bag of rocks.

i don’t know how to stop people from being afraid of the person that i really am. which i see through everything in an instant. i don’t map it in my head to explain because it’s too much to map, it’s too much to communicate. i just see everything and stay in low gear most the time. the only time i come out of low gear is when my life is in danger. and that includes, if everybody’s life is in danger. so if i start having problems, you might want to look up at the sky instead of looking to lock me up.

when i get afraid, i don’t pause to consider consequences. chart the destination — go there. in a mental hospital, they love it when you fight. even though it’s harmful to me, i tested several times to be sure. they love it– they want the excuse to hurt someone. if you want to make the workers happy, just hold back and make them force you. they become ecstatic.

it radiates off them. i can sense things like that. i don’t know how many others are aware, they must not be because they don’t seem to realize i know exactly how they are feeling. the very worst thing for me, for ME to experience — is barbarism in others. to sense cruelty is particularly painful. it’s like i have to carry their sin. it really, really hurts.

i bleed inside for every person that performs cruel actions in my sight. are words cruel actions? they can be.

mental health workers become ecstatic if they get to be physical with you, if they get to use force. now there is something wrong with that. my spirit loves to see the good in life. but with what i’ve been shown, it’s very difficult. i have to remind myself that most people don’t even know what they are doing. most are stuck in modes programmed to limit freedom in as many ways as possible. most are asleep. it’s sleep-walking. it’s sleep non-freedom. it’s sleep-cruelty. they don’t register the impact of their actions.

“i’m sorry you feel that way.” well … you know what, i’m sorry too. because feeling this way sucks. but it’s not about how i feel. it’s about a reaction that i have a RIGHT to own. it’s about a thought that i have a right to express. it’s about BEING the person i am despite you, not because of you.

i don’t hate that i have mental problems. i hate that it gives others the excuse to hurt me.

this blog was inspired by a post on facebook, an article on hurtful things couples say to each other. and my thought is that it is not just couples, it is manipulations that take place across all levels of life. it’s important to make your own path, find something that is not attached to the manipulations by others.

the whole thing i’m talking about here is manipulation. it is never words themselves that are hurtful. it is the manipulations caused by the words that screw people over. it’s the loss of freedom, because you’re getting driven down a path you didn’t choose yourself. you are being manipulated in having to respond to something hurtful. forced to a decision, when not deciding is a decision.

if somebody wants to cut into you with harsh words, it usually doesn’t help to stand up to them. they just note your reaction, and then anytime they want that reaction, throw the same type of harsh words at you. there is absolutely no way to win. but you don’t want to win out over people that live to abuse others. because that just makes you a worse abuser.

you don’t want to win at that kind of game. i know i don’t. because both lose as integrity goes flying out the window. i am so happy to be in a position now where i don’t have to yell at others. to be in a position where i am not attacked day after day. it is a good thing, to not be saying terrible things to each other. to not find yourself in a battle that you can’t win, because the goal is to be loved. and somebody wants to hurt you instead.

that is why i like being alone. i love it. it is so much better than all those struggles over the years to be in a relationship. all those hurtful words, trying to manipulate me into being something i was not meant to be. a place i did not want to go. i am at peace, and almost never feel lonely. always have a book to read, or a show to watch. text with friends, or go for a walk in the sunshine. it’s not the appearance of a better life, it is a better life than dealing with hurtful words from somebody that just wants to tear you down.

i became alpha at 15. but maybe it was age 7. maybe it was age 3. i found out very early that it was not hard to get what i wanted. so i looked at that. and i decided to live my life without creating a destination that was supposed to make me happy.

and i decided that it was important to not hurt others. not with words, and not with actions.

i understood the difference between clever and smart. i never had to prove my intelligence.

i always knew what i was thinking. but i can’t know what others think unless i put myself in their shoes. sometimes you can’t do that. it’s a very helpless feeling, but important to recognize when that’s what’s going on.

at some point i decided that i would have to let people not understand me.

people can’t put themselves in my shoes, and get it wrong all the time. i had faith, and that faith has put me through so many things i can’t begin to say. and i don’t even know if there is a God or if there is a heaven. i’m pretty sure every single religion is a made up thing and engineered to be what it is.

they are a manipulation of the masses. not that there’s anything wrong with that. (seinfeld reference). but faith in God, is not faith in religion. God is something outside of that. i don’t believe in sins. i believe in action and reaction. we are either all guilty, or we are all free.

if we believe in freedom, then the freedom to say mean things has to be there. there is absolutely no way to win an argument if the goal of one or both parties, is to hurt another rather than coming to an understanding. they want to hurt you because they have decided you deserve to be hurt. you are not helping anything then, if you let the mean words manipulate you into being something you don’t want to be.

you don’t have to continue a pattern forward. can break it. can say that’s not me. i don’t know who you hate, but i’m not the person you think i am. but when you are hated just because you are alpha, then you ARE the person they think you are. but that doesn’t mean you have to hate yourself, too.

you can go for walks in the sunshine. read books, watch tv … text friends or go to lunch. a lot of things that don’t involve being necessary. they only involve being yourself.

sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me. it’s still true. but only if you’re not afraid to forgive someone. see, forgiveness is the opposite of psychiatry. in psychiatry, people are judged of guilty actions before they do them, even if they never do them. and forgiveness is pardoning someone before they do something, even if they never do it.

manipulation is how we balance suspicion(psychiatry) and forgiveness. it’s paving a path between the landmines. when i was little, i realized it was easy to get what i wanted. it was too easy. then i realized i was being fed the ideas of what i should want. and i was being fed the ideas of how to manipulate to get what i wanted. then i realized that what i actually wanted was something i already HAD. a way to smile.

and then at some point fairly recently, i realized that the whole idea of making someone proud, and BEING something for the sake of another to feel good about you (rather than having mean words and trying to hurt you) … i realized that all didn’t make sense, because i know as a parent myself, that what i want for my offspring is for them to be happy. i don’t want them to make me proud. if i can’t be proud on my own, i’m not worth jack squat anyway. no… what i want for those i love, is for them to want what they already have. which is a way to smile.

so if somebody wants you to make them proud, that isn’t love. that’s ownership. and you trying to make them proud, won’t create love, it will only cement the ownership. manipulation is off the charts in both directions. the child who needs to excel and make a parent proud, is also manipulating that parent into the need of pride for an offspring. it’s both ways.

but if you really THINK about what you want your kids to be, you realize that you don’t want them to be rich if they aren’t happy. and you don’t want them to be the track star if they aren’t happy. and you don’t want them to be in the army if they aren’t happy. (and that’s a tough one). you realize you don’t want them to be a teacher, if they aren’t happy. you don’t want them to be a doctor, if they aren’t happy. so the actual thing that you want your kid to be, is happy. it’s not a role created by a reactionary society that barters mostly in cruelty. what you want is for them to go beyond that, for joy in life.

and so i realized that that’s probably how my grandmother felt about me. she really didn’t care what i DID. only wanted me to be happy. it was my discontent that had her searching for something that could fulfill my need to be necessary. and it was her hunting for something to fulfill my need to be necessary, that contributed to my discontent in whatever i was doing at the moment. they fed on each other. nothing was ever good enough. it’s a cycle.

and the starting point was within manipulation, and believing the bigger things are more important than the little things. you know what makes me happy???? NOT sitting and writing for hours and hours. so i don’t know why i do it, almost feverishly tied to the keyboard to beat out an understanding that barely makes sense to ME. i have no idea how it might seem to others. i have no idea what drives me, other than the fact that if i write my thoughts down, then i can leave them there. get them sorted so i can tuck them away.

but the more i go along with this, the more i start thinking that it really doesn’t matter if someone says something hurtful or not. it really doesn’t matter if people yell at each other all day long. that’s their life. that’s what freedom is. i wanted to be free from a life of yelling, and i am. it would be nice to have a partner to depend upon, but one doesn’t come without the other. so that’s my decision.

the peace is worth it. so if grandma was here today, i’d be able to tell her i’m happy. i’m actually happy, but it’s because i can smile at the little things. i’m happy because those mean words and phrases over the years never caused me to lose sight, they just meant i needed to be kinder. if someone hates, you return that with love. if someone hurts you, you return that with understanding. if someone cries, you cry with them.



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