I will start off with press releases and info I received this past week.
From Bob: Hey everyone, Just a reminder that Children Of Pain, a meeting place for survivors of childhood abuse, has a free Zoom event this Sunday, April 24th, 2022, from 1pm to 3pm EST. We’ll be watching the entire 35 minute, 2018 press conference by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro when he released the findings of a two-year grand jury investigation into clergy abuse at six of the state’s Roman Catholic Dioceses, with time for Q&A after. More info is at our website: https://childrenofpain.com
Zoom login info:
meeting ID: 85656905202
passcode: 147237 Or you can use this direct link:
This one from David Clohessy:
CHILD USA STATEMENT ON NEW YORK CITY’S NEW LOOKBACK WINDOW FOR GENDER-MOTIVATED CRIME CHILD USA commends New York City for passing a provision which will revive claims under the Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law into law earlier this year. This new provision will open a two-year revival window for gender-motivated violence against children and adults in New York City, including claims for sexual assault. It will open on March 1, 2023 and close on February 28, 2025.
And this: TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey Catholic diocese has agreed to pay $87.5 million to settle claims involving clergy sex abuse with some 300 alleged victims in one of the largest cash settlements involving the Catholic church in the United States.
Last week, the poll question asked how many times people have been in love. That is kind of a tough question for many of us. Because we question what love is exactly and if we happened to have feelings for someone who was abusive and perhaps gaslighting us, what may have felt like intense love at the time we later realized was more likely the result of brain chemicals being manipulated by a narcissist. But does that mean that what we felt was not love?
When I was 14 years old and dating my brother’s friend, I wrote the following words about love: “Love is lollipops and stuffed dogs, and long rides in a car. Just being together…” Well, at 14 years old, I had never had a boyfriend before. He took me home. I met his mother. She gave me root beer in a frosted mug. She put on movies from when Frank was a little boy. I figured Frank and I were going to get married one day. I didn’t know that boys sometimes made promises they didn’t intend to keep and that one day Frank would walk out of my house and without one clue, I would never hear from him again.
I cried about it. Does that make it love for a 14-year-old? Or does that mean it is not really love because I had no frame of reference, and I couldn’t see at the time that one day I would walk into a nightclub with my husband and I would see Frank on my way in, casually say, “Hello”, and have him follow us to our seats because he hadn’t noticed I was with someone? Does the fact that I no longer cared about him at the time mean that I didn’t really love him when I was 14? I did feel a slight sense of satisfaction that he felt stupid. My crushed 14-year-old self felt a slight sense of victory that our last meeting ended up with him having the disadvantage.
It’s a strange thing to think about. Our idea of love changes as we go through different experiences, and yet does it mean that because our feelings or perceptions change that what we were feeling at the time was not love?
I often felt that I never really knew what love meant until I had children. To me, that was pure love. Unconditional. A spiritual connection. I love their father. But I love him from a distance. It took me a long time to realize that was the best way. I care about his well-being and that he talks to our kids and that we share that part of our life, while he has a woman who cares about him and is there if he passes out in the bathroom and needs to go to the E.R.
There are people who can’t get the concept of wanting the best for someone and caring about someone you used to love but now love in a different way. Do I love him more now than I did back then? Or is it a different kind of love? Are we only capable of certain kinds of love? This is where I stand back and say…”I just don’t know.” I’ve been romantically involved with a couple of people since we split up, but it did not last. And the only person involved in all those relationships was me.
When I look back at the time before I was married, I see that I was attracted to people I used to call “phantoms”. That is, they sounded like they were real, but they had no substance. I usually met up with them when they were drunk, but there was nothing outside of that. They were emotionally vacant. But I see that they mirrored me at the time. I too, was afraid of emotion.
The men I have known since my husband have been more emotionally present, I guess you would say. We have had conversations. We have eaten meals together. Spent time together. They were functioning members of society. One was a doctor. One was an addiction therapist. I can’t say that I was in love with either one of them. But I was comfortable. They seemed like decent people.
I can say what was “wrong” with each of them that I discovered over time, but the factor that involved me was that in one way or another, I took care of them. And when you take care of someone, unconsciously or consciously, there is some expectation of receiving something in return. I think for me, that “something” has always been either appreciation or respect. And that I did not find in either one of these people.
And I was able to end the relationships. Because I was not out of my head in love. It was what it was. Until it wasn’t. There was dysfunction, but not Narcissistic abuse and trauma bonding.
I am a very slow reader, so I am still reading the same book. This past week, I read about William James. William James was called the father of psychology. Yet, he was a failure in life. He was such a failure, that he considered ending it all. His health was horrible. At the age of 30, he had no career, no wife, no future plans…he was a terrible disappointment to his father. But, he did something that would change his life. What was that?
He gave himself one year to turn his life around. He made a bargain with himself that if things had not changed in one year after attempting to change his life, then he would give up and die. How did he do it? He decided that for the next year of his life, he would take total responsibility for whatever happened to him. In doing so, he turned his life around.
That really seems like a difficult thing to do when you feel like you have no control in your life. I’ve been there. Feeling bounced around between being responsible for kids and a house and bills and a job and feeling like you have absolutely no power in this world at all. And the anger and resentment that can build like a thick fog all around you. It’s hard to see anything let alone yourself clearly.
So, he did it. William James. He once said that he related more to the psych patients he was treating when he was a medical resident, than he did to being a doctor. I guess he used that feeling to his advantage. He is considered one of the leading philosophers of the United States.
I was recently telling someone how I was talking to my mom and how she said she had no food in her house. It’s really something how simple words can stir up so much emotion. My brother lives next door. I got angry listening to her. “He goes out every morning and buys himself beer”, she lamented. What an ass, I thought, as I listened to what she needed and placed an on-line order to be delivered to her.
And then I thought…wait, this is the same woman that had my brother drop her off at a tax place last week because she didn’t want/trust me to do her taxes on-line. The same woman who told me not to take her shopping for food because she would go early some morning by herself. The same woman who I was talking to my brother about just days before as to whether he or I would be picking her up from the tax place. The same woman who did something she is not quite sure of with her money at the bank, when I was sick and unable to help her.
I stopped being angry. Buttons get pushed that have been pushed a thousand times and we go right into the mode we have been assigned in our families. We don’t even think. We react. I got my mom food. She complained about some of it. Didn’t want some of it. Happy to get it but upset at needing someone to get it for her. I think when our parents get older, our buttons get pushed randomly, like a remote on a tv set. Just keep pushing until something ends up working. We react but need to realize that we don’t always have to react.
It‘s just that the person pushing the buttons is a bit confused and maybe a bit scared, lonely, or facing physical issues that are limiting or uncomfortable.
This past week, I also watched “The Thing About Pam”, and the Dateline show about Pam Hupp and how she murdered her friend who was on chemo after she manipulated her into signing her life insurance over to her three days prior. Pam was/is a psychopath. She is spending her life behind bars. But not for murdering her friend. For that murder, she tried to frame her friend’s husband, who ended up spending three years in prison before he was released. But that was not the scary part. Not the murder. Not even the way she tried to pin the murder on the husband by lying about violent behavior that never happened and staging the crime scene to look like he did it. What was the scariest part?
For me, it was her “flying monkeys. Anyone who has read about Narcissistic abuse has probably heard the term, “flying monkeys”. Those are the people who, without which, the Narcissist most likely could not get away with their crimes. The monkey in this case was a D.A. who was trying her first case. Ego was involved. She needed to solve a case, no matter what. She was duped and charmed by a Narcissist as well. So much so, that she began to manufacture evidence in order for it to fit her story that the husband was guilty.
It would have been funny. If it weren’t so real and so very terrifying. And relatable.
The husband had an iron clad alibi. He was at a weekly game night with friends when his wife was murdered. He was there until 9pm. He stopped at Arby’s on his way home. He had the receipt. They know how long it took him to get home. They know when he called 911.
In order to make the story stick, the D.A. actually accused the four or five people at game night of covering for him. Holding onto his cell phone so he couldn’t be tracked. He must have been having an affair, the D.A. said, and the friends were lying for him. No proof of any of this.
No proof. Nothing that tied him to the crime. No motive. And the D.A. to this day maintains that he is guilty. Because she cannot or will not admit that she was wrong. She is still twisting the truth into her version. Two other people were murdered by Pam, the person who actually got away with the crime…and the life insurance money…before she was caught. It’s terrifying that this happened to these innocent people. The victim, her husband, and their two kids, whose family was ripped apart and who never got the money that was due to them.
It is terrifying because we know that it can happen all too easily. A crime is committed. People are charmed by the Narcissistic psychopath. Coverups happen. The wrong people are hurt. And then more coverups to cover the coverups because nobody wants to admit that maybe they were wrong.
Have a good week, all.