Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ready to Raze Ruth

Curious how cowardly bitches like to hide behind fake names while they complain.

Just stumbled across something that would have made me pull down Razing Ruth's story from NLQ even if I had not become convinced that she was likely plagiarizing elements of her story or just plain old vanilla lying about it. It's this posting from right around the time Vyckie Garrison and her daughter Angel were having their disagreements (which I'm not going to comment on. Their business, not mine. Recovery is hard on everyone in the family.) But did you see that Angel wrote a wonderful ode to her mother's courage that I posted this evening at NLQ? Love the photos of her and her husband!)

It's from a Ruth posting titled Ambivalent Egoist and it makes me sort of disgusted. Why? Because of what it claims about Razing Ruth's popularity and how Vyckie and NLQ had nothing to do with that, in fact, Ruth claims that NLQ might have been diverting/stealing her web traffic numbers. I think she likely does owe a majority of her blog traffic back then to NLQ. To say otherwise is simply disingenuous.
 Misconception number one - I owe all of my blog traffic to Vyckie and therefore have some sort of obligation to her. This is not true. I owe *some* of my blog traffic to Vyckie. Mostly, however, my blog has traffic has increased by word of mouth and a few other means. I don't promote my blog, really. If anything, and this is no slight on Vyckie or NLQ, NLQ takes traffic from my blog because my stories are reposted there - no one has to come here to read them. I'm fine with this. I don't really care about the numbers. The thought that I "owe" Vyckie suggests that she's done something for me that wouldn't have happened without NLQ or Vyckie herself. This gets tricky. In some respects, NLQ has meant a lot to me because it's a gathering place for people who have lived in this system and decided not to continue. It's been great having Vyckie to turn to when I had questions about why my mom might have made the choices she did. However, and I have said this to Vyckie, given the accusation that she suggested Princess Jo start a "doubters thread" about me on QF - I have also had my feelings hurt. Because, whether she did or didn't do that, it makes me feel manipulated. Either a woman I trusted enough to disclose my identity to, after the fact, started the stressor that resulted in me giving up information I wasn't totally comfortable giving - OR- I am now being put in the position I was in most of my life ("Who can I trust?", "Am I trusting the RIGHT person?", "Is there anyone trustworthy out there?") by someone (Princess Jo) who has walked this road, too, and knows what an issue trust is. Neither of those is good. 
There is nothing I despise more than when someone that has benefited from the help of another, help given without cost or strings attached, then decides to display flagrant ingratitude. Flippant dismissal of the aid rendered. Or deciding whatever help you received is negated by rather flimsy reasons.

Sadly Ruth is not the only one out there like this, lacking all gratitude, graciousness or .memory of what they came from.

The internet seems to breed one upmanship to toxic levels, everyone seeking to be the alpha in whatever large or small internet pond they live in. It's unhealthy and unrealistic. The worst disgraceful aspect of this is when various people who are survivors of the same sorts of things end up in direct conflict. Survivor Wars. Really, let's all survive various toxic cults and then snipe at each other. Whatever happened to putting aside personal junk to achieve unity of purpose?

Ruth claims she doesn't care about her numbers. Clearly that's a lie or she never would have brought up the issue in the first place. She cared greatly about hit numbers. Which, of course, is what informed the subjects and lines of thought on her blog. I don't know if she started the Ruth blog to try and scam people, or if it was a concerted effort to try and win approval from strangers.

Another internet truth. You cannot write for an audience merely to achieve numbers and/or popularity. Eventually faking it is going to be too much the gargantuan task and you'll mix up the post it notes on the wall that you store your fakery on, your character guide you've developed. It will come out.

Be grateful, be honest, don't write about things you know nothing about. Numbers don't matter really in the long run.

I've had time to ponder all of these things as I've been mostly offline for the better part of several weeks with a particularly nasty case of the flu. But I'm back, at least until I leave for a fall vacation at the end of the week. And I don't give a rats ass about hit numbers. It's too petty.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Shake It Off

One of the things I'm realizing in this month of triggers is that I don't have to allow things to affect me so deeply. To shake them off.

On Sunday I nearly decided to stop going to my big mainstream church because the actions of some of those around me were triggering me mightily, causing me to go into almost a panic attack. Sunday had it's roots in Tuesday of the week I spent at the retirement seminar.

When I got home late on Tuesday I had a Facebook private message waiting for me from one of the guys in church leadership I'm very friendly with. Young guy, Sam, mid 30s, married to a very shy, sensitive lady name Stacey.

I'd known Sam was having a rough time because he's shared with the entire church that he was having issues pertaining things that happened in his childhood. I don't know the details, nor do I care to. He asked for prayer, that was good enough for me.

His wife Stacey and I had been talking about meditation lately. I knew she was doing yoga and attracted to aspects of the more Eastern religions, but, hey, everyone has to walk their own spiritual journey. I listened to her, tried to encourage her to hang in there to find out what her path is.

So the Facebook message had to do with Sam asking for prayer for Stacey, then sharing a big big big load of stuff about Stacey, blaming her for many things including saying she was walking away from Christ to chase "insert church name here" and Buddhism and it was wrecking their marriage.

I didn't want to know all of that, I've only recently started to establish a tentative friendship with Stacey and didn't think the searching she was doing was necessarily a bad thing. It's hard for me to lower my interior guard to let people in close enough to be friends after what I went through at the hands of 'friends' at my old fundigelical church. Between that and my childhood I have problems establishing healthy emotional boundaries.

My reply to Sam was that Stacey was searching and needed to have the freedom to search, but I'd certainly pray for them.

I hit send and realized that Sam had sent this whiny request of his that didn't honor his wife to twenty one other women in the church, all of which I know and aren't much more than surface cordial with. I hadn't realized it was a group message.

After that boy did the disapproval towards me and the fawning all over Sam start by the other women on the list. The more it continued, the more irked I got. The things that Sam shared or complained about in that message, and there were quite a few, weren't really things you should be sharing with someone that isn't your best friend/counselor/pastor. The entire thing was inappropriate.

The more I thought about his message, the more I was sent into a shame/panic PTSD type funk. I posted again on the list saying that I thought it was inappropriate for him to wholesale share this amount of marriage dysfunction to a group, how badly hurt his shy sensitive prone to depression wife would be if she ever found out, and that the nature of prayer list gossip being what it was it was almost certain she'd find out.

After a few minutes the ladies started to go off on me for being negative, etc, etc, etc.. and I removed myself from the prayer message. I've seen this stuff go haywire and hurt innocent people too many times in my old church, I wasn't about to partake of it now.

I lost a great deal of respect for Sam plus many of those ladies and wasn't looking forward to church. Sure enough, when I got there Sunday and said, 'Hiya' to the ladies on the list I was semi-friendly to I was either snubbed, treated like I was invisible or chewed out. I nearly walked out on church forever because this is exactly the type of happening prayer list goat rodeo that had too much poisonous explosion potential.

Jim said, like he always does, 'Shake it off!'

I cannot tell you how many years I've hate, hate, HATED that phrase of his... but... on Monday it hit me that he's right. Shake it off. What can they do to you and why are you letting someone elses ideas impact you at all!

For me this was a huge breakthrough. It's helped me be able to talk to those this week I had to talk to about some not so pleasant subjects and I'm forcing myself to listen to this song, which is silly but profound at the same time.


The video is kind of silly and insensitive but the message is a good one to remember.. I don't have to allow everything said about me or to me to bruise me or effect me at all. Good to remember on a week when I have had to do things that I know will cause others to criticize me.

Those ladies at church? Heck with them, let them gossip and babble. I said my piece and they don't have to like it and I don't have to listen to them either.

Also, I wish to correct a false statement someone pointed out that was on Free Jinger board - All postings by Razing Ruth have been put into 'unpublished private' status, meaning there is nothing by her on No Longer Quivering at all. It's all down. She's been completely erased off NLQ a long time ago.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Gullible

It's been a full couple of weeks, I've been busy with going into the city every day with Jim to go to a retirement class followed by my friend Joe Sands coming to town. We met up for Mexican food and Air & Space museum. To quote 'Pride and Prejudice's Elizabeth Bennett,  I dearly love to laugh and Joe seems to be on a similar humor wave as I. We talked and talked and laughed. He's such a cutey too in his own way.

The thing about the retirement class is that I learned we have put aside enough money for retirement now. Jim will be retiring within about a year. I also learned that Jim has a death wish/thrill seeker side that involves waiting to go to the train at the very last second and flat out RUNNING!

Good, because I'd foolishly listened to the media and their tales that no one has near enough retirement in our baby boomer generation. But I've noticed I'm not the only really gullible person out there this week. A not-so-funny satire site announced that the Duggar family show was being cancelled and before you could shout, 'Sin in the camp!' Duggar fans were busy believing it.

Sort of reminds me of the time that one of my high school pals posted a photo of a McDonald's meal with photos of a scowling Michelle Obama on the wrappers as fact. I had to point out to him that the photos were straight out of The Onion, a funnier parody/satire site. He was relieved.

If I was Michelle Obama I'd scowl a lot too. Imagine being constantly under the scrutiny of the media and the Republicans? She's a better woman than me, I'd hide in my White House bedroom.

Back to being fooled. I've fallen for a number of dumb things over the years, like that time in high school when a date told me he was taking me to the submarine races out at the LSU lakes. When we arrived I jumped out of his car, raced to the edge of the lake and asked where the submarines are.

Several years ago people tried to warn me that one of NLQ's writers, Ruth, was a fake and I chose to ignore some of the more obvious signs and gullibly believe she was who she said she was. Turned out I was very wrong.

It was with some hesitation, because of the outcry over Razing Ruth, that I set up a fundraiser last night for Vyckie Garrison.People like Razing Ruth give everyone that tries to raise money a bad name. I'd like to see her prosecuted at some point for the money she's gotten by false pretenses from others.  But this time I know I'm not being hornswoggled or lied to. Vyckie is about to lose her house because of credit card debt. We've been discussing her situation for about a month now and I felt it was time to try and help her avoid filing for bankruptcy or losing her home to foreclosure.

The thing that made me hesitate is that I knew the ladies of Free Jinger message board would jump all over the fact that Vyckie was in need. Vyckie has history with FJ, and sure enough, they're already discussing the fundraiser for Vyckie. Good for them. I hope at least a few will consider donating towards the total.

I may be gullible, I may be pig headed and sometimes really really wrong on issues but I know I want nothing more than to help out a friend.

A pile of questions has arrived in my email box about the fundraiser and I'm going to answer them on the fundraising site. Let me just say that every penny raised will go to Vyckie and her debts. I get nothing out of this beyond the headache and carpal tunnel syndrome I was dicing with last night trying to get the fundraiser up on the site. No, Vyckie will not be riding around on a gold plated llama or using the money to do anything foolish, it's strictly to save her home.

I hope people give. I hope there are some non-cynical people out there that love Vyckie enough to donate.


Sunday, September 07, 2014

Changes

My son Andy came down for the day Friday. He's been having car trouble and the mechanics of Fairfax were trying to charge him nearly a thousand dollars for the work. Our mechanic here in Podunksburg charged five hundred and fifty dollars for the same thing.

So he was hanging around the house while they sorted out his car problems. We had a blast, went to lunch, dropped off a donation at the children's mental health facility I last worked at and laughed ourselves silly over the opening of the first ever traffic circle in this small southern town.

I'd been laughing and saying that the day of the traffic circle opening I was going to bring a lawn chair plus a thermos filled with refreshing adult beverages and sit in the parking lot of the McDonalds just to watch the driver confusion when confronted with this circle. "Big Ben, Parliament, guys!" straight out of "National Lampoon's European Vacation"

But I was busy with Andy, so we had to confine our traffic circle giggling to when we had to travel through it several times to run errands.

Huge signs before the circle read "Yield to traffic in the circle" What did most of the people driving in the circle do? Stop and let other cars in at each entrance to the circle. Slowed it down considerably.

Seems to be running smoothly now, but that first day there was a great deal of confusion. Just like there is for any change in life.

I changed the layout of my blog because of the changes I've been going through internally for quite some time now. I no longer believe that the Bible is the literal word of God. I also stopped keeping any sorts of secrets some time ago, what you see is what you get. Don't like what you're reading? Too bad. Leave. I'm not writing for an audience, I write to deal with the things going on inside of me. It's cheaper than therapy and I'm not forced to sit on that uncomfortable couch. My life is an open book, including my thoughts on the doings of others. Too many years I've repressed my thoughts.

If I was writing here to please others I'd write up comedic takes on life on inoffensive subjects daily. Life is messy, nasty, gross, weird and not so perfect. At least mine is. This blog reflects that.

Also, I have a hard time sitting through things at church like committee meetings, planning sessions, pot lucks, etc, and most especially sermons. I think I've heard enough sermons to last a lifetime, but mostly I've concluded I'm sick to death of hearing someone else's take on scriptures. My bullshit tolerance has ended. Which is why I'm now only involved in one thing at church, instead of being a five percenter.

Mostly I'm sick of others trying to stuff me in a box of their own expectations. That's over too.

As a result I fired my pulmonologist of the last 9 months for being very unhelpful by telling me I shouldn't feel frustrated by the lack of improvement in my lung problems. It's not her place to insist I control my feelings to line up with what she thinks I should feel. In the past 9 months she has only had two useful suggestions a) join the research projects at Johns Hopkins and b) join a chronic illness support group. That's it.

In the past I'd keep my mouth shut, my feelings to myself and play nice. That's ended. I own my feelings even when they piss off others.

Right now I'm in the middle of writing up a new comment policy to post on any Duggar-related posting at No Longer Quivering. I hate it, because telling others, strange others, how to behave is something I'd just rather not do. But a high percentage of commenters on the Duggar postings that scream out they are Christian either use obscenities or go right into personal insults to other commenters. 99% of them never make it through the comments to be posted. I police that.

Look for more changes than just the layout.

For the sake of clarity: When I am ranting about friends/foes/family here I do not use real names or even complete circumstances because I feel the need to vent but not to do any genuine harm to them in real life.

Friday, September 05, 2014

What Was It?

I've calmed down a great deal over the ruckus over my eldest daughter's chosen lifestyle. I still haven't spoken to her about it, but I will eventually. It's her life. But she cannot flaunt it like that and not expect me to say something about it.

But I have to admit I've been willingly distracted by the decline and death of Joan Rivers this week.

First, a confession. I'm not a huge Joan Rivers fan. She has said some funny and wise things occasionally, but her humor wasn't my cup of tea. With Robin Williams there seemed to be genuine love and sweetness behind most of his humor. With Joan Rivers, not so much, her humor was more grounded in putting others down. I cringed every single time I heard her use her husband Edgar as the butt of her jokes. Recent statements about Michelle Obama and her lack of any compassion for Palestinian women and children combined with her status as a Republican didn't help my opinion of her.

That's not to say I didn't sometimes enjoy her. I liked her on "Celebrity Apprentice" and she appeared very nice and low key on an episode of "Celebrity Ghost Stories". Her autobiography "Enter Talking" was a fascinating book.

Mostly I felt sorry for her, even when she was saying horrid things about others. No one that has chopped up and surgically changed their face that much could possibly have been a happy person satisfied with their life. Other comics would joke about her plastic surgery, saying things like if she had a face lift one more time she'd have a beard.

I don't know why we as women tend to be our own harshest critics, never accepting ourselves as 'good enough', suffering through dieting, hair torturing, over exercise, a constant hunt for the 'right' clothes, slathering ourselves with makeup and sometimes plastic surgery. I wish, oh how I wish, Joan would have been able to accept the her in the mirror. When you look at early photos of her you see that sharp long face with angular planes, eyes that looked so different, a bigger nose, a different lipline. I thought she was beautiful with her natural face before all the surgery. By the time she died there wasn't much left of that original perfectly fine face.

How could one love oneself and inflict such severe surgery on yourself? Is it possible?

Today I read that the state of New York is investigating the clinic, Yorkville Endoscopy, because of what happened to Joan Rivers. Good. Very good. Why?

When the news came out that she'd stopped breathing during minor surgery and had to be rushed to a hospital I sighed and thought she'd had another cosmetic procedure. I'd always figured her frequent cosmetic surgeries would be her undoing and ultimately lead to her death.

But once it came out that she was having vocal cord surgery at a clinic that does mostly endoscopies it suddenly started to make sense. Here's what I'm thinking will eventually come out in the media based upon the years I worked at a big clinic and the fact that I see a vocal cord doctor on a very regular basis.

She had a surgery that should have been performed by an ENT who specializes in vocal cords at a legitimate hospital where there would have been a crash cart right in the OR. So why didn't she? I suspect she did go to an ENT/Vocal Cord specialist who likely told her because of her age and the fact that the procedure was elective, not necessary, that he would not do it. Too many risks.

There are some great ENT/Vocal Cord doctors here on the East Coast, she could have taken her pick. I feel fairly certain she was rejected because of the risks involved.

What do you do when you're famous and wealthy and doctors A, B, and C say that they won't do it? You find someone who will, someone only interested in your pocketbook who has no qualms about doing something other doctors will not.

An endoscopy is a very different thing than vocal cord surgery. You know what they use to put you under for an endoscopy? Propofol, the same drug Michael Jackson paid another doctor willing to do what you should not do to administer to him, that lead to his death by respiratory and cardiac arrest. The same two things that killed Joan Rivers.

The autopsy was inconclusive as to cause of death, so... I'm thinking that once this investigation is done we're going to find that Joan Rivers died at the hands of doctors/clinic that wasn't really the right place to have that type of surgery, that she'd been advised against it by other doctors and that the improper usage of Propofol played a part in her initial medical crisis.

I hope I'm wrong, as I know this would just add to her daughter's pain. Only time and investigation will tell.

At some point doctors are going to have to start saying 'no' to their famous patients when they are asked to do something not medically ethical. I'd like to see those physicians and facilities that enable celebrities to do things that they shouldn't pay the price for what they've done. Not just financial. They should be barred from the practice of medicine or just not allowed to profit wildly from it. This isn't medicine, it's greed and madness.

Rest in peace, Joan. May you find happiness you lacked here on the other side.