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The Journal of Rhyana Fisher

Narcissist?
04/10/2017 07:08 a.m.
It's almost a year since my sister got married again. The wedding was interesting but marred by her descent into bridezilladom. Not that I can blame her overly much, our parents are enough to drive a saint to drink.

You'd think they'd have more sense than to bring up the first wedding at the second. But nope, had to rub it in. Nevermind they didn't get to do all the typical parent of the bride stuff the first time because they were being jerks, per norm.

On worse than usual terms with 'rents at the moment, had an awesome ten-ish months of being disowned that didn't stick. Because we helped our friends who were her tenants move and she thus didn't have an excuse to screw them over their deposit. Plus were on hand to see our friend blow up at her over it when they (parents) tried to screw them (friends) over a propane tank they couldn't refill d/t dad installing the wrong type of furnace for a mobile home that was mostly empty when they moved in to start with. And this after she tried to move the new tenants in on top of them while they were moving. Which is also after she used my sister's bridal shower dinner to expose the huge joke of how she stiffed said friends on using 'rents' trailer (and forced us&them to buy a trailer outright) to help move (borrowing said trailer being a pre-requisite to friends' agreement to be out earlier than planned in time for new tenants to move in) because she thought I left her a nasty note and nevermind my nasty notes (of which there have been maybe three or four in forty years) to her span three pages typed minimum detailing exactly how and why she f'd up and never a mere three lines of 'you just suck'. For some reason she was the only one laughing while talking about her 'mistake'. You'd think that might have tipped her off as to it not being funny.

Helped that those friends moved in with us. Bonus that they made an awesome deterrent. And weirdly enough, it felt like having shackles unlocked. I have no compunctions about treating her like the ass she's being. Of course, life can't be that simple tho. Now the issue is that my nephew loves them to pieces and making waves now impacts him.

Not that this bothers her in the slightest. Last fall, my sister asked me to pick neph up from their place because I had to pick up my husband who was housesitting for them while they went on vacation. It's a two+ hour drive one way and she didn't want to have to drive immediately down to get him after already driving a couple hours to get home from vacation in the first place. Guess who threw a fit, threatened to call the cops, told my sister (not me) that I was officially disowned and wasn't allowed at their place and absolutely refused to give up my neph, essentially forcing my sister to waste the next day on driving?

And guess who pretended none of that happened when she thought she could use me to make herself look good at the local museum a couple months later? Bugger of it is that I wouldn't mind doing some things for the museum. I just don't want to touch anything she's involved with. Nobody believes what they're like when I tell them, they just think I'm making shit up until they get in a position where my parents feel like they have the upper hand (mother particularly). Then the claws come out. Even my friends thought I was exaggerating until they had to deal with them as landlords. Then, per norm, they discovered that I actually under reported how nasty they can get. Not sure what's wrong with people, it's not like I like talking about it. Doesn't matter how carefully it's worded, when you talk bad about somebody, no matter how well deserved, people always look at you funny first. Especially when it's a parent. Because parents are supposed to love their kids. Except when they don't.

So neph was over this week. We had to drive past their place on the way to where we were going and he got it in his head he wanted to go see grandma and grandpa. Being 4, this is something that sticks. Ergo, I'm left having to play nice to set a good example even though I still cheerfully want to ring both their necks because 2 hour trip and sister wasn't supposed to be down to get him for another day. He'll figure them out when he gets older, he's smart about patterns like I was. Still, I wouldn't miss either of them if they dropped off the end of the world and I worry about how that's going to end up going for my neph. Maybe they'll die before he gets old enough to figure it out.

But I did find an interesting site particularly detailing some of the crap narcissists pull. It was eyeopening in an oh-god-this-explains-so-much-of-my-life way. Out of 24 examples given, I could pull up 20 personal examples with her that matched near identically and a couple more that were close. Thinking that's the last missing piece I needed. I probably should've made the connection earlier but she's always doing things for other people and I missed the tie-in that it's usually as a lever to give her power over them or to shore up her own self-image. Too close to the problem.
http://parrishmiller.com/narcissists.html


Oh, right. And just so I don't forget the level of crazy the next time a few years go by, let us not forget her snide comment on women who have low voices. Because a woman who has a low voice has to have "parasites" and it can be magically cured with her latest health fad. /head desk/
I am currently Troubled

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apologies that mean something
09/24/2014 11:08 a.m.
1. Recognize that saying "I'm sorry," means jack squat. It's a good place to start but "I'm sorry"s are not 'Get Out of Jail Free!' cards. Using them as if they were is going to wear thin fast.

2. Explain why what you did was wrong. Because if you haven't figured out what you did wrong that hurt the other person, the other person can't trust you to stop hurting them.
-- A. Do NOT defend your position. Your position means jack squat. This is not an explanation of why you were right, it's an explanation of what you did wrong. Starting a fight about why you really actually were right just means you still don't understand what you did was wrong and your apology is null and void. You're just using it as a Get Out of Jail Free!' card to escape the consequences of your actions. "I'm sorry I hurt you but..." generally will make the person much less inclined to believe you really are sorry since ... usually translates into "but you totally deserved it (usually for pissing me off)!"

3. Change. Apologies are not for the person you hurt. They are for you, to make restitution to the person you hurt so they don't kick you out of their life for being too damaging to be around. They don't magically heal damage, that only happens if you STOP repeating that hurtful action and create a track record of being kinder, more considerate, and nicer to be around.

4. Recognize there are consequences to your hurtful actions that apologies do not erase. If you call your daughter a slut, she is not going to want her son to spend time with you; that is nothing he needs to hear. If you lie and manipulate, people will check what you tell them with every one involved. If you bully someone, your victims will not want to visit. Apologies do not erase the inherent need to protect one's self from Machiavellian schemings and/or drama queen tendencies.

An apology does not mean all is forgiven nor is forgiveness for your benefit; it's for the person you hurt so they don't eat themselves alive with anger and rage. If you want to help the person you hurt, change. Just don't expect forgiveness on your timetable. It isn't yours to dictate any more than they can dictate that you be serious about apologizing in the first place. You started this by hurting that person in the first place. Being better for a day, a week, a month, or year or more does not mean you get free rein to backside later nor does it give you a handle on forcing forgiveness. If you've been truly working on your issues, the person will have seen it. If you haven't, chances are pretty damn good they already know that too. Likely you have people in common and those people are also telling the crap you're trying to pull on them. Will they seriously believe you're sorry for calling them a slut when you've moved on to calling your next daughter one?

...

Because my mother still can't understand why we don't accept her apologies. Usually they're poisoned with justifications like "We weren't good parents but we we could've been worse", "I'm just trying to teach them", "Why can't you remember anything good?", and best of all "Why can't you let go of the past?" Sorry sweetheart, this is long past a forgiveness issue, you make it damn hard to let go of the past when you keep recycling the same lying, manipulative jackassery over and over. And for the record, walking out before I punch you in your lying lips is called anger management. It is the socially acceptable way of managing blinding rage so one does not end up in jail. It is not having a "meltdown", you've been pretty damn lucky that my one genuine meltdown courtesy of brotherly harassment scared me badly enough that I did learn to walk away when I feel it building to explosion. You forced me to practice a cold, logical rage, but push hard enough and I will boil.

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Between rocks and idiots
09/21/2014 10:51 p.m.
It should be a no brainer. It really should.

Calling someone a slut does not promote positive feelings. It doesn't matter if you outright call that person a slut or you state they're dressing like a slut, either way the person accused is going to be unhappy with you.

When that person is your daughter, they are understandably not going to want their child hanging around you, particularly when said accusation is false and says more about your own issues with being female than it does about your daughter's taste in clothing. Contact with your grandchild is going to be limited thereafter because no parent wants their kids calling them a slut or learning bad habits like lying just to hurt and/or manipulate other people even if or especially if that teacher is grandma.

Does. NOT. Take Rocket Science.

...

Renting to your daughter's established babysitter and then asking them to stop babysitting so she "has" to ask you for help does not endear you to either party. It is a misuse of power. If you feel hurt because your kids visit their friends in practically your front yard but don't come see you, maybe...just maybe, you should rethink pulling crap like calling them sluts, trying to control and manipulate them, and outright lying about them.

Cornering a third party you don't even know who the friend also babysits for to "tell" your daughter her son is being exposed to ant poison because they sprayed the kitchen once and the smell didn't dissipate immediately (even tho said child spent the majority of the day outside or in the back bedroom playing) will not garner you more favorable treatment from any of the parties involved either. Third party who is not a health nut will think you're a fruit loop and tell their friend exactly what you just did while wondering wth you were thinking and rightly so since third party has met that daughter exactly once.

...

I love my nephew to pieces, he's awesome. But he's also high energy and without my friends' help I wouldn't have been able to do 8-12 hour babysitting days even if it is only once or twice a week. We are building an eBay business, so I spend a lot of time here. Location would be ideal, if not for my parents' being their landlords and pulling crap like this. Nephew would love to go visit grandma more often, I'd like to be able to send him occasionally. But because of crap like this, his visitations have to be supervised per my sister's justified request. Now that my parents have figured out our friends won't be used to manipulate us, they want them to leave because "it's too hurtful to see us (their daughters) here all the time." Warned my business partner before they signed the lease they'd make problems, but I'd hoped that since they were outsiders it would be less of an issue than it has become.

Don't be an ass and we'd be over to see you more often, Ma. This is the consequence of your own screwed up thinking. You have no say over who, how often, or when your tenants have their friends over. Nor do you have a say over who they choose to babysit as long as they aren't making a business out of it.

And use your brain. We've been dealing with you for 30-40 years, we know how you are. We double check what you tell us to get both sides of the story. It doesn't get you what you want, unless what you want is your kids pissed off at you and further avoiding spending time in your company.

...

I don't hang out with you because it's high stress. I don't know what you're going to repeat to someone else, intentionally mangled, in order to create problems. You may be my mother, but you don't have my back or best interests at heart. You like to make problems. And I'm really re-thinking my stance on talking my sister into allowing my nephew supervised visits. Yes, he loves you and that matters to me. But you obviously don't love him as well if you aren't willing to put up your mind games, come to grips with the fact that your own behavior earned you supervised visits, and stop in to see him when he's here. He is here every Thursday in what amounts to your own front yard.


Not that any of us want you here, you use the time to look for things to complain about. But some people are also aware that some things, like your grandson's feelings, actually do matter. /end rant/

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memorable event
07/21/2014 10:10 p.m.
oh blistering day!
vehicle engine ignites
extinguisher wins

...in a nutshell shaped like haiku.

fortunately, there is insurance.

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...
05/17/2014 04:11 a.m.
so the path book was published. while i am quietly amused that it did go through despite the naysayers, i am quite horribly ambivalent about my work being scribed in stone, so to speak, and rather scared of actually looking at the end product. the only thing that remains the same consistently is being able to feel the rough areas that need more work every time i re-read my own stuff.

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2007 to 2008, 2009,10,11,12...yep, five years
03/29/2012 09:48 a.m.
i know, i know. it's a bad idea to pick the scabs off open wounds when it's obvious they aren't anywhere near healed. and it's 5:42am here, which makes pretty damn close to the minute. maybe now i can sleep. it's not like dead can get any deader, no matter how much time you give it. or less dead either.

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introspection, ugh
10/19/2011 04:21 a.m.
ah, melodrama
you hurt and sting
probably why i've never been a fan

all the same
there's not much else to call it
when i keep dwelling on
how much nicer it would be
if only i had kitty claws
to dig and rend across
thinning stomach flesh
in order to tie silly bows
with my own intestines

logic may say nobody deserves that
and i can't really think of a real reason i should
but logic doesn't really matter
when it feels like i do

yes melodrama
you really do suck

while i'm complaining
please realize i'm rather tired
of those invisible walls
(don't give me that look, i know better)
you've been bricking me in with
those really are NOT nice mental pix
they make it rather difficult
to make friends who ask
'whatcha thinkin?'

waving hands beyond nose
gets frustrating fast
just to make sure you
aren't lurking
waiting for me to bash my skull open
on your annoying booby traps

people give odd looks
and although there is novelty
in being a mime
it has long worn off and
i'm horribly tired of
not being heard through
those damning bricks
'help, i'm stuck'
should not be translated as
'ack! crazy lady! run!'

then again when put that way
it's not exactly normal either.
likely they should run at that

in short, if you'd be so kind as to let me be
i'd be more than happy to avoid you in the future
melodrama, dear

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regarding being stuck in ruts
06/27/2011 07:06 p.m.
in the bell jar, i posted in a thread regarding how personally useful folks found therapy. my reply (in part):

From what I've seen, there are two general types of people who need therapy, those who blindly repeat dysfunctional patterns because going deep inside their thought processes is too painful/scary for them to deal with (frequently because extremely awful things did happen to them) and those who've gotten past that, recognize their issues but don't know how to change their negative defense mechanisms.

Talk therapy can be very useful for the first type...the first step to healing is recognizing you are part of the problem and a skillful therapist should be able to ask the right questions to make you think about why you keep repeating the same dynamics over and over again. Awareness does help.

Problem was, I did a ton of research on dysfunctionism before I got to the point of seeing a therapist and had a fairly good grasp on how I got my underlying issues (which she did verify). But I didn't and still don't know how to change, it feels like I keep getting stuck in the same ruts and it's driving me nuts. (By same ruts, I mean more than just me repeating the same problem behavior, it also feels like I'm echoing some of my parents' garbage as well.)


on a third thought, there's a third set who could use therapy: the abusive jerks who don't want to give up the power trip they get off being abusive, but they usually won't get therapy because there are too many perks that come with thinking that way. but that's neither here nor there as pertains to this entry. i was going to look at ruts.

one of the useful things my parents gifted us with was knowledge of the skeletons hanging in the family tree. while this was generally used to "prove" how much better off we had it than they did, it has served several other useful functions. for one, it has given me several warning sign posts to avoid certain paths that don't end well. more importantly, i have a working knowledge of the types of dysfunctional ruts my family tends to fall into.

some of them would seem to be no-brainers: molestation, rape, alcoholism/drug abuse, domestic violence, marrying too young, having kids too young &/or before getting married, having too many kids (for a short list of examples)...problem being they aren't always that obvious if that's what you've always seen around you. i avoided these, some of my sibs didn't and have paid the price.

some of them can be more difficult and/or subtle...and can be very specific to each individual. as a kid i was the victim of my mother and aunt's feuding...now i find myself in a place similar to my aunt's. the circumstances are slightly different but the similarities make it too obvious to just be coincidence. while i flatter myself that i've handled it better than my aunt did, there's a voice in the back of my head wondering why it had to happen that way at all. had i done it differently would i be on better terms with my friend who was the parent? i didn't leave her kids with the scars my aunt left on me, but it definitely created scarring on their relationship with her.

then again, her own inability to see the patterns she was re-living was already damaging her relationship with them and with me. she was trying to shape me into someone who would fit the pattern she was familiar d/t having an ex and bff who sexed each other: unfaithful friend who her (then) husband stole...because i gave her the counsel i wanted from her when it came to dealing with issues with my own husband. this she took to mean he turned me against her and i was on -his- side. because ten years of friendship can be trumped by three conversations...in her world.

which brings me square back to my own ruts: why am i beating my head against brick walls who don't want to hear? it's the same thing i went through with my mother all my life, who also didn't want to hear about how the way she was treating us was hurting us. yes, i've been set up to live out a kassandra complex, i suspect i'm attracted to friending people with severe emotional trauma who won't look at it. yes, i'm also hiding from my own that way.

and yes, my own patterns are stressing my relationship with my husband as well. similar situation as with my aunt - the past is being recycled. when i was a kid, we were dirt poor, dad couldn't find a job, parents' fought like cats and dogs over the lack of money...the only major difference at this point is we have no kids to impact, just our relationship with each other. nor is he entirely blameless in this dance - his mother divorced his dad over the lack of money. altho he does love me, i can still feel him pushing to repeat that pattern as well. neither of us want it, but the fear and the pattern are familiar.

knowing IS half the battle, it does help to be aware of one's patterns. but it's only half. if you can't break free of them, simply knowing does no good.








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hrm
06/02/2011 06:25 p.m.
after several years, it surprises me to actually like some of my stuff.

yes, i did a few touch ups. all the same, there are a few pieces that i consider decent.

not enough, it's still mostly wincing. the melodrama in some is pure pain to re-read. but enough time has allowed me to put my finger on a solution to a few glaring irritants in several.

most of the time i know where the glaring flaws are, but being too close can make it difficult to figure out how to improve it. like with ghostwood.

'i see a place within my head' sucked as an intro line. knew that when i penned it but that particular one is somat lyrical and i couldn't cram what wanted for saying in one line without killing the lyricism in the rest. then there was the clear blue cliche in the first stanza that wanted for beating. much much much improved now.

good is a subjective term. i won't even say it's good. it is, however, much better than it was. which, being one of the ones i like better, is good. i can wince less if i decide to point it out as an example of my better work. still much to be done on the rest tho.

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angel bears ain't
04/12/2011 07:59 p.m.
aka dandelion fluff revisited

some woman some where
lost her child
and we got one of many boxes
she made to fill her emptiness.

a blue box...
the anonymous nurse handed it over
rather briskly,
awesome compensation
for arms that should've held
someone else entirely.

not her fault,
i remember what it was like:
ten million things needing to get done,
no time to do it in,
people calling for help unceasingly...

besides, if you ain't been there
you don't have the words anyway,
silence is far better alternative
than sandpaper words...but they
have their practiced speeches that have to be said
so they can feel like they did something.

***

i've never been particularly normal...
maybe that's why that generic box pissed me off so.

what need does a 24 minute old dead baby have for clothes and toys?
clothes and toys picked by a random bloody stranger who knew nothing about us?
not that i'd anything in particular picked out myself

hope had dictated not jinxing myself by planning
and i'm too practical...
no ugly expensive reminders we couldn't afford
left to dispose of if the unthinkable happened
...wise as it turned out...
even if it was really a backwards way to tempt fate into letting him live
(see? we already expect the worst - surprise us!)

that woman probably was pissed off herself
when her baby died and she had nothing...
so she did something about it.

god save me from people who have to do something about it.

i do appreciate the thought.
it's mostly the generic-ness that still irks me

...epitomized by that damned angel bear.

it could've been worse i suppose
they could've added that doubly damned garden poem
(i know, i know, some people are comforted by the notion
god stole their child for his garden. my god doesn't do that
which makes it hard for me to wrap my mind around why that's
supposed to be comforting. more power to you, if it worked for you
...as for me, i loathe that poem with all the loathing in my soul.)

the bear was bad enough.

chalk part of it up to religion. my beliefs do not include me going to heaven.
the ones going to heaven are supposed to become rulers and priests...
not my calling. i like earth a little too well, and i'd just as soon NOT be in charge.

so what do you do with a gift representing someone else's foreign beliefs?
they mean well but wherever it was it'd be...THERE, yes in capital letters...looming.

but it's not like he had any other toys.
nor is it respectful to throw somebody else's religious representation into the trash,
doubly so when it's their ...penance? offering? memorial?...to their own child's death.

...they meant well...

so we cremated it with him.


***

admittedly, we probably weren't in our right minds at the time.

it's hard to be in your right mind when your dead son is lying on a cold metal cart in front of you at the mortuary, but we did fairly well. even if it's likely nobody else would've done it the same way.

we weren't hampered by family members' expectations since we didn't tell them. the problem with coming from a large dysfunctional family is that: 1) nobody can keep anything quiet and 2) somebody always has to start a bloody drunken brawl at family ructions. Can't tell one person something without somebody else getting angry and jealous...then there's having to deal with the stupid idiots who have to talk even when it's the equivalent of verbal diarrhea.

[like the aunt who told my sister 'there were other fish in the sea and you don't have to buy the whole pig to get a little slice of sausage' when my sister broke down telling us her husband was divorcing her. yeah...my immediate fam isn't that bad (mostly) but my extended fam sucks.]

so we were there alone, thankfully.

the clothes from the box didn't fit right, of course...way too big. he wore them for exactly one photo shoot at the hospital. (that's one of those things i'm extraordinarily ambivalent about even now. i seriously wanted to hurt the photographer that day...i was just too bloody worn to haul myself off the gurney to do it.)

so it does make a backwards sort of sense that we wrapped up the one pic the CNA took of us as a "family" (what a travesty that was, it still burns thinking about it. family pictures shouldn't include actual dead bodies. they just...shouldn't.) but that's getting ahead of myself.

had i known better, i'd've taken his body home with us. since i didn't, we not only ended up paying the undertaker for the trip but we found his naked body lying on that metal cart when we arrived the first time. grief isn't very rational and guilt is always in abundant supply but that...first sight of that was...awful. awful isn't nearly a strong enough word for it but everything else is cliche'd to death. it was more like somebody took a serrated knife made of guilt and was using it to stir my guts but since i haven't had anybody actually do that to me physically maybe i shouldn't be using the comparison. it was pretty rough, however you write it.

so we went home and brought back some things. aside from being poor and anti-consumerism, this is a situation where meaning is vital. that's probably half the issue i had with that damned box they gave us for that matter.

anyway, we wrapped him in the bloodied nightgown i wore when he was born. the blood was never going to come out and even if it had i'd never be able to wear it anyways...too painful. burning the blood of his birth with him fit.

as did burning that "family" picture. we placed it picture side to his back before folding him up in the nightgown...burning it was recognition of the family we wouldn't be. that also was right.

to which we added a handful of rose petals from the arrangement my husband's father sent us, in recognition of what other family members lost. even if i didn't want them there (my fam) or they couldn't be there d/t distance (husband's fam), they too had lost some one even if they couldn't know him.

and lastly, that damned bear. looking back now, that too fit...in recognition of the people he might have influenced but would never get a chance to know him. in recognition of the circle we had unwilling joined as well...of those who had also lost their children. which is likely the real reason i hated that bear so passionately even if i didn't recognize it until writing this. (gotta love my subconscious...it's always trying to do things like that to keep me sane in this crazy world.) this is probably why it felt right to add it, despite my loathing.

***

another anniversary has come and gone, this one the worst yet. the others i was busy distracting myself with work and/or travel. this time i was home. it was rough.

the problem when two people have the same hurt is that one triggers the other's grieving. two grieving people are hard to live with, there is no one to lift the other up because both have fallen. but we've gotten through it. having done so, i am hopeful next year will go somewhat better. i hope.

hope is pretty much all we have to hold on to.



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