My Life, Decluttered. And New-Age Crap.

But that’s not the only standard, of course.  For a long time I just didn’t bother thinking about that whole “your blog is not worth reading” vibe from so-called friends.  I didn’t even bother to wonder why they were being like this, I just decided they weren’t behaving as real friends ought to.

Aside #3: One thing I always told my kids, “If you wouldn’t treat someone that way (i.e., badly), then you don’t deserve to be treated that way, either.”  I find that’s a good way to tell if someone is treating you badly, if you can’t tell by that horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach.

That brings me to other, more recent (within the last 2 years or so) reasons I stopped communicating with so-called friends.

One is what I referenced earlier: If I feel bad after communicating with someone, whether in person or online, I know they’ve treated me badly even if it takes awhile for me to figure out how.

I really agonize over cutting people out of my life, I really do.  I think of all the things I love about them, what makes them unique, and good times we had.  But I decided (after I left my batterer) that I wouldn’t continue to deal with people who hurt my feelings, time and time again, even after I tell them what they did and made it clear that it hurt me.  Once they ignore that, I cannot continue the relationship.

One former friend and I had been through 2 jobs together, had gotten unfairly fired from the same place (by the same people who decided they didn’t like either of us), and shared many good times together.  I enjoyed talking with her because she is an intelligent woman who knows a lot about psychology.  I just enjoyed her company, full-stop.

But something changed one of the last times I went back to Memphis for a visit.  I won’t go into great detail but she didn’t treat me very well – she called me a bad mother, tried to tell me how to dress/look, made passive-aggressive remarks about how I thought and felt about things, and generally made me so uncomfortable and sad that I couldn’t wait to get out of there.

I told her at the time that she was saying hurtful things.  She just looked at me as if I had grown another head.  Soon I just stopped talking at all – all I did was nod and agree.   When I got back to where I was staying I felt relieved but puzzled.  She had never acted that way before, as if nothing I did or said was right.  Certainly she had never ever snapped at me.

I can’t ever let this kind of thing happen to me again, not from anyone.  So I just stopped responding to her emails or calls.  Whenever she made a direct comment to me online, I would thank her for her comment.  That is my default polite response.   Because I still have manners, after all!

The other person I reluctantly stopped talking to was someone I have known for a very long time.  Our contact over the years has been sporadic, but lately it was pretty frequent, via email.

This person was not at all supportive of me starting a blog, and even went so far as to make a sarcastic and hurtful comment when I started writing it.  Something implying that I couldn’t write well.  I told her it hurt me.  She expressed surprise and told me she didn’t mean it that way.

But she kept doing it.  Little barbs and jabs here and there.  Passive-aggressiveness disguised as humor (not very well disguised, though).  A few “you’re wrong” kind of remarks on things I had opinions on – not as legitimate disagreements between friends, but as she was right, period. And that I was somehow a lesser person for holding the views I do.

The last straw was when she decided to come down on me for not eating the kind of diet I “should” eat – in other words, the one she eats.  She is vegan, I am vegetarian.  Not much of a difference, right?  I was a vegetarian long, long before she was, and I never once ever discussed the food she ate.  Because it’s none of my business how anyone eats.

But she is on a moral crusade, and she is an animal rights supporter.  Even when I first began vegetarianism in 1970 (I was 14), I did it because I didn’t believe in killing animals for food.  At my age, at that time, that was a position that prompted much ridicule from nearly everyone I knew.  However, my position was never, and still isn’t, that animals have “rights”.

We are obligated to not be cruel to animals.  I don’t think, however, that milking cows on organic, cruelty-free farms is cruel.  Certainly I pay enough for the milk – since apparently using less equipment and letting cows graze somehow entitles those farmers to bigger profits (wow, how dedicated to animal welfare!).

I do not think that gathering (unfertilized) eggs from free-range chickens is cruel.  And, again, the nice farmers who love their chickens certainly profit a lot from concerned consumers – for cheaper operation costs.

She doesn’t agree.  But she commented on this blog and blasted me for it.  It was a condescending rant in which she attempted to educate me on issues I was pondering long before we even met, and long before she made her own dietary choices.  The implication was that I am ignorant of animal welfare issues and that my diet encourages cruelty like milking cows and using it to make cheese and so on.

I didn’t delete her comments because she didn’t swear or do anything outrageous – oh, it was rude, alright, but not intolerably so.  I thanked her for her comment.  Because I have manners, as I mentioned before.

But it was the last straw.  I don’t need people in my life who insult my intelligence and criticize me for how I live and what I think – especially about issues that are important to me.  Friends don’t do that.

There are issues she and I will never agree on, and up until now I was ok with that.  Certainly I never chastised her for ignoring issues I felt were important, or for holding views that I considered non-issues (first-world problems, so to speak).

If I interacted with people on a shallow level, I wouldn’t have these heart-wrenching decisions to make.  I don’t have 2000 “friends” on Facebook.  I have a few close friends on whom I can rely, who I respect and who respect me in turn.   So when I choose to cut one loose, it hurts.  Most likely it hurts me far more than it hurts them.

Today’s weirdness comes from Snopes.  It’s weird and sad at the same time.  A boy was filmed kicking a woman in the face, at the behest of his mother – in Walmart:

“Video of Little Boy in Walmart Brawl”, Kim LaCapria, Snopes, 6/19/2015.

http://m.snopes.com/2015/06/09/little-boy-walmart-fight/

Recommendation for this week is Hulu’s series “The Wrong Mans” (yes, that’s how it’s spelt).  If you like bumbling humour ala Ricky Gervais, this is for you.  If you think British humour begins and ends with Monty Python, maybe not so much (I love Monty Python, btw).

Watch “The Wrong Mans” on Hulu here.

Be good.  Be kind.  Don’t hurt your friends.

 

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8 thoughts on “My Life, Decluttered. And New-Age Crap.

  1. charlies5169

    Everyone has disagreements… It’s part of being human. And it’s normal that you have major disagreements, even heated ones. I have them all the time, as you know. But that doesn’t mean you should stop treating each other with respect.

    I’ve had to cut people loose too. It’s not pleasant, and I felt bad about it for years. But sometimes it gets to a point where it has to be done. Twenty plus years later, and I still think about the good times.

    Personally, I think life is too short to spend a lot of time with anyone who can’t return in kind what you offer them. Which is why people I consider my friends are real friends… Even those I disagree with.

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  2. Victoria Post author

    I agree. I’m not sure why some people have to get so personal when they argue with others. I guess it reminds me of something I used to ask couples in marriage counseling sessions: “Do you want to fix the relationship, or do you want to ‘be right’?” So many times people see arguments as win/lose situations, and they have to win at all costs, and the other person has to lose. They win the argument but at the cost of their friend’s/spouse’s feelings and trust.

    Had either of these women shown any respect for me, I wouldn’t have had to make these decisions. I really don’t understand why some people think they have to right to make over another person in any way they see fit – that tells me they didn’t like me so much, after all.

    You didn’t comment but I guess you know who the ‘great friend’ is lol.

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  3. unclemunkle

    Manners are important, indeed…
    Currently dwelling withIn the clarified moments of my temporal reprieve from an assault by an extremely aggressive and wide-spread Stage 4, Non-Hodgkins lymphoma cancer, some sage words spoken to me by my mother, many many years ago, come to mind when reading of encounters between those who have always understood, and those who never will…
    “Never have a battle of wits against an unarmed opponent, that just represents rude behavior on YOUR part.”
    Due to my father’s prolonged battle with, and early death from, Multiple Sclerosis, I learned at the age of 9 that declarations of both faith and reason signify nothing without the speaker embracing the consequences of the words they use, which is why my every encounter with human beings is always predicated on their deeds. When someone claims to be a vegetarian as they chomp down on a pork chop, they reveal either their ignorance of what the word means, a brain so defective as to not understand what the word means, or a soul so depraved as to know the difference, but willingly ignoring truth as they find profit and delight in deception and exploitation…the once-human and empathy-free creatures known as sociopaths.
    Hence, my choice to never waste a moment of whatever remains of my life talking to, interacting with, and/or caring about the lives of these depraved and metastasized tumors that inflict, and revel in, massive suffering and pain upon sentient life-forms and human beings, a plague of diseased organisms that self-identify themselves as “Republicans”, “Christians”, “Conservatives” or “Patriots”.
    It comes as no surprise, then, that my life-long “heros”, such as they are, have always included Cassandra of Troy, Prometheus, the smart-mouthed kid from the Emperor’s New Clothes, Helen Keller, Dr. Albert Schweitzer, Albert Camus and poor ol’ Sisyphus, to whom I dedicate my newly-launched blog…Sisyphus on a Möbius Trip.
    Whatever it takes, in the words of Camus, to “bear the absurd”.
    Pax vobiscum!
    https://mjdunkley.wordpress.com/

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    1. Victoria Post author

      What a well-thought-out comment! I look forward to reading your blog.

      A lot of thoughts and feelings ran through me as I read your words, and a lot of memories as well. I won’t go into them here; they need sorting first, at the very least. I am honored that you read my blog, and commented on it. But that completely fits with my memories of you – a kind and gentle person who was always nice to “the little sister”.

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      1. folsomfugitive

        This is my second try to leave you a comment. Your site doesn’t seem to like me. My first try was very sincere about the fact I read your blog to keep up with how you are doing and how distressed I get hearing about the hardships, health issues, and deaths that have been afflicting those I care about from FC. I was reading about the 45th reunion of FC coming up and got to thinking about those who have passed from this life like Carol R and Ginny and others who have passed through my life like spectral images and the choices I have made. So I keep in touch by reading your blog and it is like a life preserver that keeps me connected to you, Michael, and Charlie. So I may not comment often but do enjoy keeping in touch when I’m able. Life seems to be a bit oppressive at times and I don’t want my negativity to effect you so I rely on sarcasm or stupid quips to relieve some of the pressure that builds up internally. Keep up the work on your blog and I want you to know what a sweet person I have always thought you are and know that I enjoy your monologues. Peace, love, and understanding.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Gray Ammons

    I don’t comment regularly on your blog but I do like to keep up with how you are doing. I have been distressed at the number of Falls Church folks that are dealing with hardships and severe illnesses, and deaths recently in my life. I get morose and don’t really like to communicate when I feel that way with people I care about (like you) because I don’t want to bring negativity into the mix so I try to stay positive. It is an effort sometimes. I tend to use sarcasm and stupid quips to give myself an outlet for what builds up inside. Reading about the 45th FC reunion got me thinking about Carol R. and others who have passed through my life like ethereal images and think about choices I have made in life. I do think fondly of you, Michael, and Charlie and I like to read the comments made on your page. I guess what I’m trying to say is keep up the good messages as I use this as a life preserver to grasp onto when my spirit is sinking. Peace, love, and understanding.

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    1. Victoria Post author

      I just got both your comments for approval, just now. Not sure why WordPress is being so weird.

      I understand about not communicating when you feel down – I am that way with the few friends I have in Northern Ireland, which I’m sure doesn’t sit well with them. Since I have been back in the states (2003), it’s been pretty much one heartache after another, with the exception of my kids and grandson, who were definitely worth coming back for. But, yeah, I hate to send them an email that starts out with a string of bad news. So, I do get what you’re saying.

      I appreciate you telling me that you read my blog. It helps to know that others care. You, Charlie, and Michael all hold a special place in my heart, because you all have always treated me so kindly and with respect. I really regret not keeping up with you guys over the years, and there is no good excuse but just know I had my own reasons that had nothing to do with how terrific you all are.

      I will always keep in mind that, even when you don’t comment, you do read my blog. Thank you so much for letting me know, brother.

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