Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Warning: Not a Happy Romp Through The Mens Underwear Department

 Everybody has pet peeves in their relationships.

I have two.  They're minor.  I know they're minor.  But they bug the everlasting shit out of me!

1. If I give the Biker a bit of good advice about something - doesn't matter what, and it's never the same thing, never happens according to a schedule, just out of nowhere - he will talk over me and talk over me until I shut up;  ignore what I said, continue on his merry way, make the mistake that I tried to advise him would in fact happen, and then have the unmitigated nerve to get pissed off at me as though I'd planned it.

2. If I happen to mention that I like a movie or video or a piece of music that he hasn't seen or heard first, he will immediately say "Oh, I don't like that."

"Have you seen it?"

"I just don't like things like that."

"This is just like (other things he likes) though."

"I just said I don't like it.  That's it." And he'll be miffy about it.

Say six months or so go by.  I walk into the room and the Biker is enthusiastically enjoying the very thing I tried to tell him about earlier.  I will advise him of this fact.

"I never said I didn't like it," he'll maintain, and then scramble for a way to re-word what he said on the occasion to make it seem as though I'd simply misunderstood him.

These incidents used to cause huge screaming fights, back when I gave a fuck who won or lost that kind of fight.  Now, I just let it stand.  Just drop the mic. Agree to disagree.

This gets a  little Dickensian now.

Back when I was a kid, I was branded a liar.  And there were certain sadistic members of my family who used to glory in the power they held over me by changing the facts of any matter, big or small, consequential or trivial, from one day to the next.  Make the funny monkey angry!  What an idiot!  What a laugh!  Look at her cry!

There was one person in particular who had several damn good reasons for wanting me silent.  This person had it in for me.  This person was an adult.  This was a person who would go behind my back and tell my friends parents, even my friends, that I couldn't be trusted, and to just, you know, take everything I said with a little ol' grain of salt. Big twinkly "Kids, huh? Whaddya gonna do?" grin. 

First and worst among my imagined sins, I, as an adopted infant, had failed to save this persons marriage or to provide this person with fulfilment.  This adult was a compulsive shoplifter, a slip-and-fall artist, a credit scammer, a bringer of false lawsuits,  had emptied out my trust account as well as my savings account, and...had a few, lets say, favorite little games and private proclivities when it came to exploiting my youth and innocence.

For years, if you wanted to make me instantly enraged, and I mean angry enough to cause property damage, you accused me of lying, or that what I remembered had simply never happened. I used to jack people up against walls and get violent, too.  One glance. Watch out.

It still angers me.  But now I am 61.  I also have Prozac, valium, beer, and my own money.  The power dynamic has shifted.  I have certainty now.  And to forestall those people who like to play fast and loose with my certainly, I keep records here and there.  

Sometimes, I'll say something, and just get that feeling "you know, this is going to get turned around on me..." and I will write that event down.  Nine times out of ten it's nothing, but it makes me feel better to have it recorded, like giving a little kid a hug of reassurance that everything will be OK.  Sometimes, there really IS a monster in the closet.

This sounds paranoid.  It's been played as paranoia too.  And here's what happened when that shit was tried:  I knew what I knew.  As hard as my adversary tried to sneak and slither and slide and twist the facts of the event, I had solid documentation.  (So much for my ex-husbands protestations of innocence, the psychotic little fuck.)

Now oddly enough, I learned this method of being my own advocate and backing myself up from, of all the unlikely places, Scientology.

My ex-husband is a staff member of the "church."  He wrangled me in, yet I was nobody's fool, and just kind of kept my own counsel and stood around in amazement that all these seemingly average people believed in such utter, utter horseshit.  I was there to keep my marriage together, and then realized that the marriage was just as big a steaming pile of shit as the "church" and it's dogma was, and left.  Toodle-oo!  Easiest escape from the "church" ever.  I just walked out the front door and never went back.

Scientology is big on collecting and maintaining personal records and then grinding those records into the faces of people who try to fuck with them.  There is a huge segment of the "church" dedicated to drawing the most personal information out of their 'parishioners,' tabulating it, backing it up, and saving it in different locations.  I saw this method work on members of the public who had gone in, ostensibly for counselling, but when they had grown skeptical and began to question, had all the information they had divulged in private sessions brought out and laid in front of them, with attorneys present.  After all, it was a 'church'.  There was never any promise of confidentiality made.  And that was your voice on tape, your words on paper, your image and your voice on the film they'd taken of you; timestamped, with witnesses.

It worked. Oh holy God did it work.

It's one of the reasons that I started blogging.  I wanted the stories that I remembered about my past in a place where they weren't secret any more, in a place where I could go back and read about a particular event and know that I'd remembered that event correctly.  It's been a Godsend on a number of occasions.  One of them recent.

If I am wrong about any particular thing, then I apologize.  No skin off me.  I learned something. I was wrong, and I got straightened out for free.  Life isn't always that merciful.  I accept it with gratitude.

The hardest thing to let go of is gloating.  

Man, gloating is (actually a really sucky thing to do and improves nothing) a blast and I love it.  It's a personality flaw.  I try not to give in. So what I do is go into the bathroom, close the door, and then quietly jump up and down and celebrate and do my victory dance in front of the mirror until the feeling passes.  Then I flush the toilet, wash my hands, and emerge radiating decorum and maturity.

This is on a good day, understand.  On a bad day?  Oh man, it's stupid.  I'm really hoping I'll outgrow this shit eventually.

But I WAS right!


Ms Scarlet said...

I keep a private journal, I'm very keen to remember dates of when things happened - I'm a little obsessed with time.
Anyhow, I'm pleased your methods worked for you, and you were proved right!

Jon said...

I love this post.

"There are some good people. But a good chunk of them will lie for no reason at all - it'll be ten o'clock and they'll tell you it's nine. You're looking at the clock and you can't even fathom why they're lying. They just lie because that's what they do." - John Cusack


dinahmow said...

Sing it, sister! I have never "belonged to " "been a member of" any church.
I walk my own chosen road. And, yeah, I can tell time.

Steve. Because 'Steve' is almost as nice a name as 'Paul'. said...

Ms. Scarlet: Good for you! Journaling can be heartwrenching. It can take a lot of effort, too. It can also be a literal lifesaver. I first started when I was in a battered womens shelter and happened across a book of excerpts from different womens' journals, and realized that this could be an outlet - my testimony, with no interruptions. I don't keep a regular journal, unless my goofy-ass blog here could be termed a journal. Do you ever go back and read over what you've written years before? Or do you even keep your old journals? Some people burn them at New Years.

Steve. Because 'Steve' is almost as nice a name as 'Paul'. said...

Jon: Thank you! And thank you for the quote from one of my favorite actors, too. He's right. That took me years to fathom - that there are people in the world who are made in such a way that they must lie. They say forgiveness consists of no longer holding people responsible for what they could not do. There's a lot of harsh wisdom in that saying. We're all taught as children that there is a right and wrong and that you as a human being can choose which road to take, the high road or the low road. The fact of the matter is that some people are simply 'set' to cause chaos. XXOO

Steve. Because 'Steve' is almost as nice a name as 'Paul'. said...

Dinahmow: You lucky, lucky woman you. I had Catholicism rammed down my throat from the very beginning and it's still something that I consider an obstacle to my communion with the rest of society - you can take the girls out of the Church; you can't take the Church out of the girl. It's the biggest obstacle to my becoming a Pagan, in fact; Catholicism is so very Pagan in it's traditions and has co-opted so many different belief systems that you just feel like you can't escape the shit. Not that this is something I agonize about daily or shit like that, but just for the purposes of this post. Um, yeah. "Mama, don't let your babies grow up to be Catholics..." to paraphrase the C/W song.

Ms Scarlet said...

I do occasionally flick through old journals - and I might cringe a bit. They often remind me of things I'd completely forgotten about. I may burn them one day!