I Remember No. 44 (Videos)

aausefulidiot9“A successful Community Organizer should be an abrasive agent to rub raw the resentments of the people; to fan latent hostilities of many to the point of overt expressions … then steer his group toward confrontation.”

I’ve held my tongue. I thought I’d grown too old and complacent to write about political passions. The fact that they are “passions” is what makes them so difficult. I can hold my peace no more and I suppose that’s in great part because of upcoming Midterm elections in less than two-months.

aausefulidiot3I know up front that nothing I say is going to change a committed mind. I get that. The best I can hope is that it might cause some to rethink what first comes to mind. “Critical thinking,” is what they call it. The ability to ask questions about what we think we know. (If you’ve not seen it yet, “Agenda: Grinding America Down” is an excellent film/source of information. If you have seen it, it is worth watching again.)

Critical thinkers will be interested in the short Yuri Bezmenov interview below. He was an ex-KBG agent. Brainwashing society was his job. It’s easy to follow and discusses how committed a brainwashed mind is when you’re done brainwashing it. When you apply his explanations to some people you know, you begin to gain true understanding.

One of the many excellent points Bezmenov makes is, even if you show proof in printed pictures and words, propagandized minds (“useful idiots”) will not accept anything other than what they’ve been brainwashed to believe.

‘Useful idiot’ is a term for people who’ve been propagandized for a cause, the goals of which they are not fully aware and who are cynically used by the leaders of that cause.

I am so weary of hearing Trump blamed for the country’s divisions. I want to yank whoever says that out of their seat, shake them like my dog’s wobbly-squeak toy, sit them back down and say, eye-to-eye, “Do you Not remember Barrack “Barry” Hussein Obama?

Obama’s sole claim to fame coming into Our presidency was notoriety for being a “Community Organizer.” Most Americans like me said, “Huh, what? What the heck is a ‘Community Organizer?’

“In Rules for Radicals, Alinsky wrote that a successful community organizer should be “an abrasive agent to rub raw the resentments of the people; to fan latent hostilities of many to the point of overt expressions.” Once hostilities were “whipped up to a fighting pitch, the organizer steered his group toward confrontation…” [National Review Abbreviated]

It is a well-established fact today that Obama, his wife and Hillary Clinton are all ardent students of Saul Alinsky as are the majority of Democrats (check out membership rolls in the Socialist Party). Alinksy was a Marxist Communist who developed these class warfare strategies as a means to “fundamentally change” (Obama’s words, not mine) a country’s government. These are deliberate strategies intended to demoralize and to deconstruct a Republic like ours in order to replace it with Socialism.

“The goal of Socialism is Communism.”  [Vladimir Lenin, first leader of the USSR]

Socialism is just as well-known as ‘The’ stepping stone into Communism. That is its purpose. Once you get to Socialism, there’s no turning back. It’s just comfy-sounding filler to get you there. And, Yes, absolutely, the news media is one of the first arsenals Alinsky-Marxists sought to infiltrate (check out “45 Communist Goals”). With all due respect, today’s MSM truly is “fake,” propagandized news (watch the movie).

Following are some of my recollections of this Community Organizer’s past presidency. You tell me who the real Divider is. Just as the Community Organizer is groomed to do by definition, Obama created such gross divisions among Americans that his travesties ARE what made Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan so effective. Obama’s gross incitement of social discord IS what elected President Trump. (Someone needs to tell Hillary.)

classwarThe Obama-years are when Americans saw, for the first time in my over-65 years of life, a foreign country’s immigrants flying their flag above ours on our own taxpaid schoolyard lands … with our American flag upside down beneath for good measure of usefulidiots5insult. At the very same time, American schoolkids who wore a patriotic symbol on their t-shirt were expelled, including those of our flag and of our armed services.

I don’t care where you stand or what country you come from, you do Not dishonor our country and flag nor our citizens (or our schoolchildren or our lands) whose families have paid lifetimes in blood and treasure to make America so great you want to come here in the first place. Then again, I’m just one of those whose generations of ancestors fought American wars and who’s paid taxes my entire adult life.

“America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within.” [Joseph Stalin, USSR]

Below is what immigrants were openly threatening circa 2010. The internet apparently cleansed a considerably more vicious video with a big, burly bully describing how they would kill US with their “axes & shovels.” (Minute 0:13) These protests were rampant and the fact that immigrants felt compelled to so openly threaten American citizens’ lives speaks for itself.

When Obama wasn’t inciting immigrants and faux racism with blacks he was over-regulating businesses out of business, from wholesome ma & pa farms to industries like coal. The ones he didn’t drive out of business he drove overseas, you remember them, those that returned to America in droves when President Trump lifted the burdens.

Obama’s years ARE what inflamed divisions in this country today, just as he set out to do, just as any good Community Organizer would set out to do. There can be no argument about that.

aausefulidiotsdDo you not remember Obama refusing to release his birth certificate? A birth certificate, for crying out loud, the most basic of every Americans’ official record to say nothing of a President’s. Why sow those seeds of discord? Or his countless affronts against American law enforcement, starting with the infamous security guard “Beerfest?” Or his Obamacare signature law with all of its slimey back room deals, denying GOP input, after which we all paid dearly for Democrats-only favorite “bridges to nowhere” type of pet projects.

Obama overtly influenced the Treyvon Martin case among others, more than once sending-in his DOJ to influence and instigate. When black on white voter intimidation openly took place Obama maintained a blatantly bigoted stance, going so far as to rewrite DOJ law to disavow whites from pursuing their legal protections.

Unlike President Trump in Charlottesville, who opted to wait to hear facts before taking sides in racial divide and for which he’s been excoriated ever since, Obama did not hesitate to jump-in prematurely with his infamous statement, “If I had a son he’d look like Treyvon … .” It became very clear very quickly during Obama’s years that deteriorating race relations was not only his deliberate intent it was his expertise.

Obama segregated whites as open targets of hostility and used Our IRS to punish innocent GOP groups while giving favor to himself and left-learning organizations. He used his aausefulidiot5Department of Justice to dismiss billy-club-wielding voter intimidations in front of Philadelphia’s polling station. I’ll never forget walking into my own rural Midwest voting place to see Obama literature sitting out on the tables, a flagrant violation of voting laws. That exemplified Obama’s level of arrogance.

Let us not forget the “Occupy” movement, where Democrats brought in aristocrats and paid others to stir income tensions over “1%” high earners. Hoards of people threw tents on taxpayer land and publicly defecated on city streets across our nation, further making slums of residential neighborhoods to say nothing of the escalating crime. Obama encouraged the mayhem with flamboyant rhetoric and did nothing to restore taxpaying Americans’ city or home fronts to them. The chaos was left to simmer until, by pure choice and the passing of time, most of the crowds finally went home.

From the floor of Congress, Obama used threatening street rhetoric with pompous bullying and blatant lies to fan the flames of festering social upheaval rather than making any attempt to calm it. He did nothing for the blacks or for the whites and what little he did ‘for’ immigrants was purely self-interested in garnering a future voting block.

aausefulidiot6Under Obama’s economic policies, not only were unemployment and welfare rolls bursting at the seams while numbers accounting for them were routinely manipulated, consumer prices skyrocketed across the board.

The only thing Obama was good at was throwing Our tax dollar money at an issue, economic collapse being a just as important Community Organizer strategy (watch the “Agenda” movie linked above). It was the first time in lifetimes that many Americans moved-in with family members to make ends meet and that included elderly parents moving-in with their grown kids, as well as their college kids, who’d typically be out on their own by then.

While fanning the fires of these wide-ranging social and economic divides, every time he opened his mouth Obama blamed his predecessor, Bush, for the failings and it’s no surprise that Obama attempts to take credit for this president’s turn around today. We’re to believe it wasn’t Obama’s fault while he was in office and two-later after, when things are booming, our successes all go to his glory. How convenient. In essence Obama is admitting he wasn’t “there” for any of it. He was worse than ‘not being there.’

I, for one, remember the in-between years. Many of US do.

Put on your memory helmets. Don’t forget what most of us would love to forget and understandably so, but do not dare. IMHO there can be no worst president, in thought or deed nor in my lifetime, than was Barrack “Barry” Hussein Obama.

VOTE this November. Give President Donald J. Trump the tools he needs to finish Our job before any more Community Organizing Trainees-In-The-Making take Our country’s reigns and they are looming. God forbid please, but it’s just a matter of time unless this evil (yes, evil, watch the movie) is knocked out of the ring. It only takes one then we’re right back where we started ten-years ago.

Obama’s years were not just a blip on the screen. Those were the very deliberate tactics of Democrat Socialists and what they want to return to. Any critical thinker among us ought to be able to see why (watch the movie).

We aren’t ignorant anymore. What we face going forward couldn’t be more dangerous or more clear.

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Letters … ~ Ch 6: Finding a Way Back

6bIf we look we can find blessings in what feels like overwhelming dire straits. They’re little oasis’ in a desert, four leaf clovers in a briar patch. If you’re reared in a life of faith they will show themselves. It’s up to us to look, find and appreciate them.

PreviousLetters… ~ Ch 5: The Pile On

Dear Grandchild,

The events of this “Letters” series began roughly five years ago when health insurance costs were rising and mine was no exception. “You cost more than you’re worth to me,” he stated flatly, determinedly, matter-of-factly, like every resource we had was 6ehis and my being alive needlessly drained them.

As bizarre as I find anyone saying such a thing (I trust you do, too), that is how he really thought (Narcissistic Personality Disorder). Every article on the subject defines narcissists as keenly adept actors who pretend emotions that they witness in others because they are incapable of their own. Most bystanders find them very endearing on the face. A narcissist is never so vicious as when you leave them (stop giving “narcissistic supply“). That’s when you see what their character really is. (Refer to video in Chapter 3.)

I’d identified his narcissism, but I hadn’t studied it at length and being married for so long I didn’t know what to do with that knowledge anyway. Unknowingly, I had stopped feeding his ‘narcissistic supply’ by standing up for myself more, which I now know triggered this revelation. When I suggested we amicably part he immediately turned as vile in demanding I ‘get out.’ There was no reasoning and there wasn’t going to be any sharing. He wanted it all and in his mind it was all his. The pompousness of that attitude makes you want to barf before you slap them silly.

It was such a blatant revelation of truly despicable character that I found it pathetically mind-numbing. What do you say to something like that? Argue it? “Oh yes I am worth something,” like that? And that would get you …. where?

There were many things he needed to hear and there actually were things I could’ve said, though those would not have been the least bit decent. That was a critical time to stand up for me whether he listened or not, but I blew the opportunity and I live with that serious regret.

Thinking there was nothing more to drain from me, he justified stealing it all and putting me aside with less remorse than those who put-down an old dog. By nature of being a narcissist it took far, far less than words like his to “hurt” his feelings. Just forget to praise his cooking or yard work and see what that got you. (Unadulterated rage.)

6fThe good thing was, at his age he didn’t have another 20-years to bleed other women dry. Out of all of his prior relationships I was the longest running so I must’ve had a heck of a lot more ‘usefulness’ than he could ever find in any of them.

As he drug out the divorce tying to hang onto all of the money, making it considerably more tedious and ugly than need be, months of life trudged on as described in these chapters. By the time I was free of his narcissist hook everyone in my family but you and Dad were gone. The day of divorce Dad was ecstatic, the most gleefully excited I’d seen him in a very, very long time. It felt good to share that with Dad. God bless Dad.

A merry heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries the bones. [Proverbs 17:22]

From my packing to leave the marital home through all of the stages of suffering divorce one-and-a-half years later, I’d disciplined myself to make only “good and right” decisions. I left much more on the table than I took. I fought bitterness and anger, simply wanting to live without his angst. I didn’t want to give him my soul, too. I believed that’s how God would have me do it and that God would take care of me if I kept myself walking the honest, straight and narrow.

When divorce wrapped up I was pretty raked over the coals and didn’t benefit much from it other than freedom from him. By then I was willing to pay him to go away. Relying on the good principles I’d set for myself, I refused to counter his personal affronts in court as he lambasted me with grossly maligning lies. Apparently his approach worked better than mine.

With such a horrid divorce and all of the family losses on top of it, I kept asking myself where God was and why He wasn’t helping me. It felt like God wasn’t there at all. To keep bitterness from setting-in I concentrated on counting blessings, like how freeing it was not to be battered by someone every day. That mattered.

As time went on I couldn’t believe God would let me flounder in the intense pain of losing so many people; why He’d let me be so maligned by and among them; and why He wasn’t rewarding me with some reprieve of goodness from all of the goodness I’d tried to lay as a foundation. I had worked so hard to make only “good and right” decisions. Didn’t that count for anything?

As bouts of ill health came and went and I shoved handfuls of pills in my mouth every morning and night to stay alive, I began to tell myself that I do cost more than I’m worth. Why would God let me contemplate such a thing? Didn’t I matter to Him? Wasn’t He supposed to turn good works into some goodness of life? Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work?

6hI fought doubt, asking those questions over and over and clinging to my faith by bare threads. I came to believe God had abandoned me or, worse, maybe it was true that God wasn’t real at all. (I am ashamed to admit that.) Then I reminded myself of all that He had saved me from over so many years and how many prayers He’d answered so perfectly they could only come from Him. I knew He was still there. I just had to find my way back.

There is a verse in the Bible to the effect,

“As the twig is bent so goes the tree.”

That entrenched pilot light of faith was my tether to God. Being reared in His word was the undying belief that flickered inside of me waiting to be ignited again, waiting to be useful again. If I hadn’t had the believing upbringing Dad provided I would not have been able to cling to that when all of life felt so hopelessly against me that nothing felt right, nothing relieved the pain.

I try to never take God’s good graces and mercies for granted no matter how hard life gets. You cannot imagine how much I prayed and yearned and sought peace of mind in traversing the experiences described in these chapters. Some things only God can handle, even when it feels like we haven’t time to wait; even when it seems no one is up there listening; even when we think we’ve given up and don’t know how to get it back.

You’re aware how I’ve encountered health issues of late. I call their medication “chemo light” because it leaves me feeling so very badly. I spend my days doing nothing but giving comfort to myself, remembering chemo and reminding myself it could always be worse. This isn’t as degenerating as chemo and that’s something to be very grateful for.

In weird ways I’m relieved to have a reason to do nothing but pamper myself. It’s like I’ve needed that for years so I deserve to do it without guilt. Just having the time and resources in retirement to do that is a blessing. I can’t imagine being a younger person trying to balance work and family while feeling this way. I am very blessed.

I recall one of my chapters mentioning how we expect to have “caring people” around us at this juncture of old age. Having settled here only a few years ago and hibernating from society since, I didn’t try to get out to meet people and, as anyone reading this series is aware, now I have very little family.

6iIt’s scary to be so alone in this time of life, but when I strip away the self pity I realize that I’m actually living a self-fulfilling prophecy least expected. Just because it’s not expected doesn’t make it bad — just different.

Now, when I think about people coming and going as used to be, that feels uncomfortable. Just as I was left alone when younger to figure things out for myself, that’s the same way I am today and aptly so. Just let me admire life from a distance. That’s about all the energy I have for it anymore anyway. And that’s okay.

Then I thought about the new people who do come and go in my life now. They are good and caring and so thoughtful. As are those tending to the home. I don’t have many needs that aren’t being met. Wants, maybe, but not needs (smiling). Given how I tend to be such a private homebody, I’m not sure I’d even want more people than this in my daily life.

I was surprised to realize just how “full” my life is given the limited desire I have to be active in it. God blessed me with newbie ‘loved ones’ and I’m so comfortable with them I almost forgot how much I do appreciate them. They are all considerably better to me than my own family (save Dad and you all of course).

God is good to me. He’s carried me and He’s let me walk alone. He’s led me to understandings and He’s walked silently to keep me company as I figured them out. He’s woven caring people into the moments of my living when I feared there could never be more.

The cleaning lady and I laugh a lot, she’s more like a daughter or lifelong friend than a paid helper. I buy household gadgets to give us new toys for play when she does her work. When she arrives at the door CeeCee scampers with the enthusiasm of a child seeing grandma bearing goodies. In many ways, I do have family. They’re just a very different one than what I’d envisioned.

6bLike that undying flicker of faith, I never lose hope, either, that God will make it possible for our broken family to mend itself. I don’t expect that, but I know He can if He wants and I keep praying He’s working on it. Maybe by then we’ll all have our hearts in a better place, be better aware of our own failings and less critical of one another, thus better prepared to receive each other in a brand new light. With God, all things are possible.

If we look we can find blessings in what feels like overwhelming dire straits. They’re little oasis’ in a desert, four leaf clovers in a briar patch. If you’re reared in a life of faith they will show themselves. It’s up to us to look, find and appreciate them.

Ever since a small child Dad would stop to peruse a clover patch for four leaf clovers. We’d do it together, even as I was older, and he always found at least one. Recently I opened a book he’d given me just before he died. Tucked inside its pages is the “I love you” of a four leaf clover he’d secreted there. Its plucked but still-green color feels like a bridge between where the two of us are now, he on the other side of life and me, still here, trying to find my own.

I cannot imagine living the struggles of life without faith that Dad instilled in me to do just that. It may be a long while before your young life experiences serious troubles, but some sort comes to all of us at one time or another. When you do, I hope you’ll reflect on these words.

Lesson Six:  No matter how bad life may feel in tribulation, take a moment to look for a good inside each bad you’re suffering. You’ll be surprised. God is so good. ♥

 

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Letters … ~ Ch 1: When I’m Gone (Video)

burialFamily are a lot like goldfish. Their affections grow to endure only what fits comfortably within their own environments. I watched what felt like helplessly as the family I thought I knew mutated into something wholly unrecognizable.

PreviousLetters to A Grandchild ~ Preface

Dear Grandchild,

As a grandmother, there are life-wisdoms I wanted to leave … those things that we only see clearly through a grandparent’s age and experience. There is one ‘wisdom’ in particular to which I hope you will give special caution.

Leaving this in my burial planning records, it started as a simple paragraph or two when it dawned on me that this really is my last chance to “chat” with you. No pressure or anything. There are so many things I wish I’d been better equipped to speak to over the years, when it might’ve made a difference. And no one wants to be forgotten or, worse, remembered in a poorly shed light of the less loving.

I kept believing the opportunity would come when our family would want to set differences right, but the time for that has passed; and it is clear by now, ‘setting things right’ defeats the purpose of all their years’ hard work. “It takes two to Tango” and here I am with the bulk of a productive life behind me. It is important you know what others don’t speak, else a life of unspoken truths die with me.

I’m sure this is much less relevant to others than to me, but it might mean something when you find yourself confronted with similar dynamics. I always took a back seat, never standing up for myself; convincing myself another’s feelings were more important; that I had bigger shoulders; that some day when it was most critical someone would do that for me. It’s been a long wait. So it seemed especially important now.

Knowing your spouse’s appreciation for genealogy, I began this by adding simple bits & pieces of personal history. The next thing I knew it had morphed into a book rather than a ‘few last words.’ In perfect hindsight now, how these tragedies unfolded speaks to surviving this family’s dysfunction more than it does the ill-equipped child turned matriarch who still struggles to navigate that terrain.

Stepping Back in Time

Not so long ago generations of family lived in one home, so learning from one another was an effortless occurrence. Oh, the richness of that life. I wish you & I could’ve had that, I’d like to know you better as the full-grown adult you are: What weighs on your mind and heart; your spiritual and worldly convictions; your ambitions and memories and regrets. What you think, why you think it and how you reach your conclusions. I very much cherish the intermittent blurps we do occasionally share. Those are very special to me, especially when we find laughter in them.

While trying to put cautions in written word, it occurred to me how much I don’t know about the whole person you’ve become and, given likely differences between our generations, maybe my ‘grandmotherly’ vantage would seem to underestimate you. The 40-some years between us allows you to be generally better-informed about the world than I was at your age; and your upbringing was considerably less sheltered than mine. I’ve always regretted that, for you, but being overly protected in formative years isn’t the blessing it’s intended to be, either. I speak from experience.

I can’t know where the potential overlap of ‘underestimating you’ starts & my naivete stops. School records reflected an IQ of 150, but I was emotionally stunted by an overly-protective authoritarian that demanded compassionate blind-faith in the face of everyone and everything that confronted me. Being reared to believe those principles were an integral part of being a good person, I lived them, they became who I was. I accepted everyone at face value and that staunch principle misguided me for countless years.  beaver2

A normal day of my formative childhood is no keener visualized than an episode of the old “Leave It To Beaver” TV series. That is a perfect snapshot: Living in a quaint safe town, the child of upstanding parents; the expansive sterile home with a father always in a suit or ironed khakis, a mother homemaking in flowing skirts and the only problems to solve being ironing out wrinkles of idealism. The stark difference in mine was a brother bearing intense resentment that I ever came along in the first place, but nothing’s perfect.

In the end, I also know that your age cannot possibly afford the knowledge it took a lifetime of experiences to gain, so I trudge forward with my ‘wisdom’ quest. Somewhere in between the differences of our personal histories are the twains where youthful inexperience and elderly wisdom intersect.

Ahh, To Be Young Again

When we’re young life is full & busy as we try to realize all of the dreams built into our eager hearts. Over time life can come to feel so endlessly mundane many of them fall-away or we find ourselves blindly following their crumbs wherever they lead us. Old age seems so off of our radars we don’t concern ourselves. It comes so much sooner than any of us envision, despite how we convince ourselves we’ll conquer that, too.

When that part of life happens all that’s left are memory snapshots of the journeys undertaken with people we loved dotting their landscape. We always think of ourselves as the vibrant person we were in our youth, defying the ‘old person’ we inevitably do morph into and even after we already have. No one who lives long enough escapes that. That is when we need family’s affections more than ever. It’s natural to expect that the loved ones of today will be there then.

Maybe someday your generation will restart family reunions and you’ll find yourself gathered around a table with loved ones you all-too-rarely see, catching up with memories of old times like Family-Reunion.pngwe used to do. Dad loved our family reunions and God bless him for keeping them going as long as he did. They stopped (in terms of inviting me) when he died and that speaks better to my reasons for leaving this than any other could.

You’ll be the only one of your generation knowing this side of our family history. Others have invested themselves in rewriting it and, to great regrettable degree, they’ve accomplished that in trying to shed themselves in better light. When someone seeks to pull themselves above the rest, there’s always another who pays the price. For reasons you may innately understand, I was this family’s easy target.

We never know other people as well as we think we do and family is at the top of that list. If you don’t appreciate the ‘wisdom’ in this now, save it for when you find loved ones inexplicably disappointing. That day will come. In one form or another, the ‘wisdom’ interwoven here is at the core of all we find perplexing about humanity. Entire industries prosper from the subject, attesting to just how real and captivating those mysteries are. We never truly appreciate the evil within them until we’re forced to live it.

During my productive years, which are the bulk of everyone’s lifetime, I routinely denied myself to give to those around me, even when I had very little to give materially or emotionally. Your mother is the prime beneficiary. Dad’s second family and you boys rank right up there at the top. The list goes on … siblings, in-laws, husbands, coworkers, friends, and acquaintances.

A few stories that never get told because, in accordance with the values I was taught, I’m not prone to talking about my good-doings. I hoped by adding them here they’d better demonstrate my heart. (Doing this makes more sense when you read further):

As a young, struggling single mother, at Christmas I waited to pay on a layaway. A very old man ahead was placing a few dollars on an $8 pair of slippers he’d laid away as a gift for his wife. It was his second payment. The love he showed with what little he had was so absolutely touching, after he left I paid off the balance.

faithhopelove2In a grocery line a few months ago a mother ahead of me with her three boys spent $30 more than she had. She began removing all of the boys’ favorite items. I put the balance on my card and the lady had tears in her eyes in hugging me. I hoped it gave the people behind thought for the day, too. “Pay it forward.”

Then there was the young woman with a baby stranded at an interstate rest area to whom I gave $50 for gas and food. As soon as the money exchanged hands she ran to her boyfriend hiding in a nearby car and with a day’s bounty in hand they zoomed away (I can only hope not to buy drugs). We can’t get them all right.

I do love giving, of feeling love, of being able to make someone’s life a little happier or less burdensome. Praise God for the opportunities. That is the real me and with the same humility I was taught to love I’m not prone to tooting my horn. I give because I love giving, including emotional sacrifices when someone else needs those and which are often the hardest for any of us to give. I am confident in the goodness I am. I certainly am saddened by ‘my family’s’ efforts to pose me otherwise. But God & I know better.

Chapters that follow are written from the emotional angle of those endearing endeavors, whether anyone ever acknowledges them or not. That coming so naturally to me is what made it so easy for those less generous to take advantage.

Each family is different but I’ve heard of a lot more who share the traits about which I write than those who don’t. I assure you, in your generation of our immediate family the dilemma I caution is also thriving, alive and well. This identifies those danger zones. I write of a family dynamic, but the same principles apply to work and social situations.

We think ‘who we are’ is defined by the principles we live, but it is not that simple. That is not necessarily so. To others and especially those within a family, ‘who we are’ is a lot more about them than it is about us. After giving all of my productive years so loyally to so many and for so long, their abandonment of me in the end was an unfathomable outcome. In my overly-naïve state, I could never have foreseen that coming.

This is my true story of how that life trauma evolved and, I hope, how to not let it happen to you. I attribute my ludicrous naivete’ to being taught unrealistic ideals as a small child but when I came of age to practically apply them to life I was left grossly deficient of any parental guidance. My idealism never merged with application. Those unadulterated values lived in my soul, blindly guiding me from one life tragedy into another and none were more tragic than those of the last four-years.

Please peruse embedded videos, identified by “Video” in chapter titles. A couple are critical in understanding the psychology at play.

‘The Wisdom’ Within this Wisdom Quest

Family are a lot like goldfish. Their affections grow to endure only what fits comfortably within their own environments. I watched what felt like helplessly, with new spouses and newborn children growing into adulthood, as the family I thought I knew mutated into something wholly unrecognizable.

wisdom2‘The wisdom’ I leave for you is rooted in manipulation. Don’t think you know enough about this already — you do not. Manipulation is, by its very nature, secreted deep within the bowels of each generation’s search for importance within their family hierarchy.

Manipulation stems from insecurities and within a family unit requires crafty, deceptive rumormongering of more than one to make it work. Willing gamers are always the least secure. A more independent, concentrated form of manipulation is within the marriage itself and the gamer is always the spouse. Those types of spouses are, however, always on the prowl for a hierarchy weaker link, drawing in others to give their prowess strength of numbers.

The larger a family the more insecure personalities there are in it and the more dangerous their game. My biggest failing was – I was not insecure. I ignorantly loved and trusted, forcing myself to do that even when I sensed otherwise … because that pure grain of idealism is what was so staunchly etched into guiding me. That over-trusting unawareness, the confidence it mustered and the successes it achieved made me the natural, easiest family target of scapegoating.

Manipulation and rumormongering work to erode all we thought we knew about our family’s fishbowl. If we are secure in ourselves and especially when we’re young, it’s too easy to dismiss red-flag behaviors as mere glitches when they are anything but. When you sense a ref flag, it is a red flag. Pay attention to it. Never ignore your gut instincts – never.

My family being fragmented at an early age brought all the insecurities of a second stepfamily. Even natural families have their over-indulged favorites or diabolical gamers. It may be too early for you to see this in your immediate family, but it is lurking. Trust me on that. You may already have a sense of the red flags you’ve ignored because you don’t know how to commit to handling them yet. Trust your gut. Gut instincts are always reliable. Never ignore a red flag. Explore it. That’s your instincts telling you “wait a minute, you really need to look at this.”

A late-comer in our family had a keen knack for charismatic persuasion and that was the sustenance for all that was to go bad in the years that followed. Those less secure found The Persuader a keen means to filling their emotional needs. It could be equated to a football game, with the more-experienced coach directing cunning plays while youthful offense & defense on the field carried them out. A couple could only observe from the bench trying to figure out red flags and what the score was.

With these tactics always employed clandestinely and, by that, uncontested, over time it develops into a dizzying, whimsical beehive of plotting and counter-plotting that had no scoreboard and no end. The game itself became ‘who’ the family was. Those less-secure tirelessly schemed to unseat those naturally born into the hierarchy in trying to gain an elusive place they perceived as more self-important. A seat they perceived as being self-entitled. They had to have it. They had to be it. The only way to get there was to unseat the subject of their insecurities’ disdain.

To people of so little self-esteem, it is of no consequence when their goals damage others’ lives. There is no “for the good of the whole” mindset. Damaging others is a deliberate intent. Scheming and plotting is a reflex like breathing. They’ve learned it innately and perfected it all of their lives. It’s second nature. In family it becomes a giggling whimsy of self-aggrandizing in who can impose the most cunning. Moral conscience does not apply. Those of moral conscience are the “weaker” prey. Depriving another of moral conscience is essential to reaching their goals.

The underlying dilemma is that people trying to fill an internal void this way cannot possibly accomplish what they seek, precisely because the hole they try to fill is innate insecurity that’s permanently built into their psyche. It’s like trying to fill a pitcher with a hole in the bottom. No amount of gamesmanship can fill their sense of void and unease about themselves, making it all the more necessary for them to try.

Just like trying to fill that pitcher with a hole, when the water coming in is greater than the water going out the pitcher begins to refill. Similarly, gamesmanship replenishes the manipulator in feeling good about themselves again. But because of the hole (their insecurity) that sensation cannot last, so they keep taking their psyche back to the well to replenish that feel-good feeling. The process continues never ending else the pitcher becomes a useless vessel.

Much like an addiction, manipulation offers a temporary satisfaction in sensing power, relief and feeling-good. Like an addiction, the more successful manipulation is and the more people they can bring into it the more they need those highs and the more practiced they become at attaining them.

Lesson One: Do not be a silent player observing from the bench. Your gut instincts are always telling you something important.

 

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Next: Letters… ~ Ch 2: Leveling & Scapegoating (Video)

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‘Moving Forward with Clarity of Intent’ ~ Overcoming Personality Disorder (PD) Abuse

Because this is such a profound discovery, my immediate reflex is to give credit where credit is due, to Crystal Empath of WordPress, who led me to this source. Ultimate credit persondis2goes to someone I’ve come to find as an amazingly relatable, intelligent, well-informed and often humorous YouTube character, Richard Grannon. If you find casual profanity offensive you may not want to visit. I find his friend-to-friend professional advice well worth watching.

Grannon’s explanations travel a clear path for those who’ve suffered from a spouse or family’s Personality Disorder (PD) abuses, for healing, for getting better and for staying better. He helps identify, in plain terms, what we really persondis3face(d) versus what we thought we face(d) – how to react to that behavior when we are faced with it and simple methods for not being a victim of those behaviors again. Better yet, he offers easily understood healing mechanisms for how we might keep falling into harsh judgments of ourselves – and of others – that we don’t even realize we are carrying into other aspects of our lives.

Narcissism being tightly intertwined in PD “psychological warfare” and myself being three-years out of 20-years under it, I can personally attest that Grannon’s initial steps are absolutely necessary. He presents them with such simple, lighthearted clarity that his mere affirmations of what we already instinctively know, if only subliminally, are healing.

The more videos I watched the more I began to clearly understand – to literally see – how I’d reacted in the exact unhealthy ways Grannon described. Many are laid out right here on this blog in black & white, before ever knowing anything of him … e.g., becoming reclusive; seeking protective solitude; unrecognizable forces and hidden comforts in childhood guilt; and on and on and on. Posts here don’t scratch the surface. It doesn’t take a post named ‘PD Abuse’ to recognize how far reaching its tentacles are in one’s life.

Grannon’s methods for overcoming what can seem unending, haunting pain even yearspersondis later is a revelation that I very much need. Identifying why I react so angrily when seemingly unrelated circumstances – and quickly finding my way back from those – is remarkably practical.

One of my favorite Grannon videos (so far) is “How To Take Revenge On A Narcissist[chuckling], though not for quite so obvious reasons. I was indulging something I’d forbidden myself for years and he told me why. Oh, how I wish I knew this then. If you are still living in a narcissistically abusive relationship, I highly recommend that one. Regardless of the nature of your PD abuse, the video entitled “Don’t Run From Pain” (hence the title of this post) is absolutely critical – essential – to healing.

My WordPress Plan doesn’t allow for videos so I have to settle for Grannon’s links. I hope you will search him & watch the videos you find most relevant, from how to identify the personality disorder to how to deal with it; how to face the pain and, through that, how to make yourself whole again … and those are just the few I’ve watched so far.

 

Narcissism In Situ (Support Links)

Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultraconfidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism. [Mayo Clinic]

The term narcissism is German, derived from Greek Mythology where young Narcissus, a narc4hunter known for his beauty, fell in love with his image reflected in a pool of water. As if self-preservation in its purest form, narcissists strive to prevent any ripples in the perfect reflection of themselves they think they see.

Most important to say, the term “narcissist” is so over-used today as petty insult it does a grave injustice to victims who suffer under it in the spouses or family members who are. Know that. Understand it. In physical abuse you see marks. With narcissistic abuse, unless you know the abused intimately you’ll not suspect anything unsavory of their narcissist spouse. In fact, you’ll find any accusation of the narcissist hard to believe. (See professional comments beneath.)

In all sincerity, I am so sick of thinking about this subject the last thing I want is to write about it. I want to forget it, wipe it out of my head like the plague it is, but apparently that’s not how recovering from this abuse works. As I do with most troublesome things, I write to purge it. Here we go again. Maybe only those who’ve suffered the abuse know its difficulties, for surely I have lived a long life not remiss of sufferings yet this sort of prolonged haunting is highly-irregular for me.

Convincing myself that by not giving the narcissist’s abuse free rent in my head, I believed I had finally taken its power, was finally back operating under my own power. In many ways I have and am. But the suffering seems to have an afterlife … or I just narc6haven’t dealt with it in the right way yet. I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced this ineptness before, at least not so much that something felt so in-my-face like this does right now, even after a few years.

Once I come to terms with a difficulty – and I have indeed come to terms with this – it will subside into the shadows of optional recall. I was well on my way to climbing out of this dismal hole so it seemed any moment of any day I could think of it only in passing, when summoned, when reflection served a purpose. I’m angry more than hurt by its second life now, which might be a good thing, though clearly one goes in hand with the other.

Sometimes I fear the mistake I made was not addressing it, never verbalizing it, never giving it any sense of closing a door … never saying much of anything at all, really. I just silently walked off into the sunset as if it was another ho-hum-hiccup in life when, in narc1fact, it was the most unconscionable thing I’ve ever allowed to happen. And that’s the real clincher: I did ‘allow’ it for twenty damned years and I am so angry about that.

Narcissism was such an integral part of my everyday routine that, by the time I left, whatever words could be said of it felt too empty and meaningless to bother saying. Maybe that is part of its poison. By then I was painfully aware of just how purposeless words of your pain are to a narcissist.

I was not one who could intentionally hurt others, even when seemingly justified. But the one thing I probably should’ve indulged was hurling words back, in undermining his own self-worth, as that is a narcissist’s Achilles Heel. I don’t even know that would’ve mattered or only made things worse if there is a ‘better or worse’ in living with one. Maybe I’m better having a clean conscience even if I am the only one who knows about it, given all of the pathetic lies he weaves to justify himself. Maybe by not doing that I’ve somehow made the lies harder to come by or less convincing.

At the time of living under a narcissist I rationalized all of these common sense reasons why ‘allowing’ the abuse was the best alternative. At the time I’d underestimated its power. At the time, even in leaving, I hadn’t truly identified what narcissism is. I only knew it was everything that is wrong in the world and that I wasn’t going to live in its ugliness anymore. At the time I thought being the “bigger person” was the right thing to do, that that would have some illusive payoff in the end, that all things good would prevail and I was on the right side of good so that meant I would prevail, too.

Maybe I have prevailed and only the inability to see into another’s life so removed, in affirming some victory over it, is all that’s really missing. Why seeing that outcome for myself is so important I’m not really sure, but, sadly, witnessing his misery would comfort me. Since when someone else’s discomfort became something I wanted to see for myself, I don’t narc3know either. That’s not my nature. Maybe that’s part of narcissism’s poison, too. Maybe he’s gutted the goodness within me right down to its last mutating cell.

I am not proud to admit that, but part of healing is admitting what we don’t want to confront about ourselves so I will. I want to see some sign of remorse, some vindication, some indication that “what goes around comes around” really does happen … some Godly recompense … some will of the universe for all that’s good & right to finally set things back in order.

Before this I’d never referred to myself as a ‘victim’ of anything. Even now, here writing this, I have trouble saying it. If there is anything that can make someone a victim – even those who are strong, independent, self-reliant people (if not especially those people) – narcissism does. Perhaps that’s how narcissists choose their prey. It takes strong, independent people to be willing to give of themselves to a fault; and their self-reliance is what the narcissist wants for themselves. It’s a natural attraction when you think narc5about it. Maybe those slight-of-hand compliments of character should be enough to satisfy me.

Having made significant progress I was trekking along quite nicely, believing narcissism’s abuse was finally fading into some fabric of the past. By sheer happenstance I stumbled across an article on the subject. The words were so indelibly poignant in coining my twenty years of living in its thieving tortures that all of those sufferings came right back in the lap of my today, right back into my living world, as if I’d never fought to leave them in the first place. Narcissistic abuse was a part of the living breathing me all over again as if I’d not escaped at all.

All of the sudden I felt just as helpless as when living in it. All of the sudden I was more angry than ever before, more frustrated than ever before. All of the sudden what were only stale understandings had reinvented themselves as if put under a magnifyingnarc2 glass – every spec of narcissism’s granular ugliness jumped out at me with crystal clarity. Suddenly I grasped exactly what was only subliminally experienced back when I simply knew it had a name.

I could no longer ignore the infinite glaring truth of just how despicable a narcissist’s incomprehensible greed for self-serving absorption is and, along with it, how morbidly abusive all of the goodness that they take for themselves is. Everything that was ever good about me or that I’d ever given to anyone else out of that goodness was run up some flagpole of ridicule of me for all to enjoy. I had to admit how starkly I’d laid myself open as the most dimwitted pawn in the most vicious and bizarre games of psychological warfare.

Something is very wrong with being forced to relive that after you’ve gone to painstakingly great measures to eradicate it. Can there ever be peace? I pray this is only one of the many phases to healing. This is such a sick feeling of self.

The article I happened across is so pristine in describing exactly what I lived that I hope it is helpful in recognizing narcissism’s indicators. I should’ve left my narcissist at its very first signs and there were so many of those. Shoulda, coulda, woulda … .

 

Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Gaslighting,” excerpted below, in part citing Sam Vaknin, author of Malignant Self-love – Narcissism Revisited on gaslighting, or ambient abuse.

According to Sam Vaknin, there are five categories of ambient abuse and many times, they are a combination of these components in play by the abuser:

  • Inducing Disorientation: The abuser causes the victim to lose faith in her ability to manage and to cope with the world and its demands. She no longer trusts her senses, her skills, her strengths, her friends, her family, and the predictability and benevolence of her environment. The abuser subverts the target’s focus by disagreeing with her way of perceiving the world, her judgment, the facts of her existence, by criticizing her incessantly – and by offering plausible but specious alternatives. By constantly lying, he blurs the line between reality and nightmare. By recurrently disapproving of her choices and actions – the abuser shreds the victim’s self-confidence and shatters her self-esteem. By reacting disproportionately to the slightest “mistake” – he intimidates her to the point of paralysis.
  • Incapacitating: The abuser gradually and surreptitiously takes over functions and chores previously adequately and skillfully performed by the victim. The prey finds herself isolated from the outer world, a hostage to the goodwill – or, more often, ill-will – of her captor. She is crippled by his encroachment and by the inexorable dissolution of her boundaries and ends up totally dependent on her tormentor’s whims and desires, plans and stratagems.
  • Shared Psychosis: The abuser creates a fantasy world, inhabited by the victim and himself, and besieged by imaginary enemies. He allocates to the abused the role of defending this invented and unreal Universe. She must swear to secrecy, stand by her abuser no matter what, lie, fight, pretend, obfuscate and do whatever else it takes to preserve this oasis of inanity. Her membership in the abuser’s “kingdom” is cast as a privilege and a prize. It is not to be taken for granted. She has to work hard to earn her continued affiliation. She is constantly being tested and evaluated. Inevitably, this interminable stress reduces the victim’s resistance and her ability to “see straight”.
  • Abuse of Information: From the first moments of an encounter with another person, the abuser is on the prowl. He collects information. The more he knows about his potential victim – the better able he is to coerce, manipulate, charm, extort or convert it “to the cause”. The abuser does not hesitate to misuse the information he gleans, regardless of its intimate nature or the circumstances in which he obtained it. This is a powerful tool in his armory.
  • Control by Proxy: If all else fails, the abuser recruits friends, colleagues, mates, family members, the authorities, institutions, neighbors, the media, teachers – in short, third parties – to do his bidding. He uses them to cajole, coerce, threaten, stalk, offer, retreat, tempt, convince, harass, communicate and otherwise manipulate his target. He controls these unaware instruments exactly as he plans to control his ultimate prey. He employs the same mechanisms and devices. And he dumps his props unceremoniously when the job is done.

If you feel that you are the victim of gaslighting … at the hands of a narcissist, you have the power to make changes and to leave the toxic relationship. Before ending a relationship with someone who suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder … the only thing worse than being married to these individuals is to divorce someone with [it]. I encourage you … join in-person support groups or online support groups such as My Emotional Vampire, Respite from Sociopathic Behavior, After Narcissistic Abuse or One Mom’s Battle

 

Suicide Row

No, No, No, No …

Those were the only words I could speak. She was a vibrant and passionate 28. It’s as if by saying the words, by defying life forcefully enough, by sheer will, you could change what had happened in it. It doesn’t take long before your mind unveils what a fool you must be, crying aloud such empty words at a time of total loss, but your first instinct is to try, you don’t even think about trying you just do it.

I’ve come to know those are common words when you unexpectedly lose a loved one – if there can be anything ‘common’ about that. Her death, just as she, was not in the least ‘common.’ She was my baby sister.

She’d transplanted herself from authoritarian over-protections of traditional Midwest upbringing into the 1970’s free spirited heart of San Francisco, California. That’s a long way to go to try to make yourself fit inside of who you are. Perhaps it mirrors how desperate she was. Though she sought freedoms with every fragment of her soul, ten-years later her new world of life-answers wasn’t gleaning any better clarity. Maybe displacing herself so far from what and who she knew contributed to an ultimate sense of overwhelming destitution.

We can run from a lot of things but we cannot run from what’s been etched into our souls.

Her hanging was an unusual, however a deliberate form of suicide: Autoerotic Asphyxia. That’s attributed mostly to men for reasons of name. Fully clothed, she’d placed books open to the technique in front of her, kneeling on a pile of others as she poised the loose noose around her neck. They say she lost consciousness right away and when she did her weight shifted. Within seconds the robust life that was her was gone.

Our Father went to his grave adamantly dismissing suicide, for what I assume were essential reasons of conscience. If a mishap, it was a knowledgeable one. She was well aware of the risks. Receiving some of her personal belongings months later I found a card to her lover adhered to the back of an earlier tender one, signed by her hand, “I hope you hurt as much as you have hurt.” As if to say, ‘here’s how much I loved you and here’s how much I hurt because of you.’ That was as close to a suicide note as I knew, be it one or not. Apparently he bore some guilt because within months he’d killed himself.

A most tragic ‘love’ story.

They say a tendency for suicide runs in families, or, maybe better said, that a family history makes it more likely. I presume that goes hand in hand with inherited genes and brain chemistries if not environmental similarities.

Mother made an attempt when we were kids and by her thirties had indulged a life of self-destruction, going downhill from there. Dad seemed to cope with his darkness, overcoming it with a strength of determination for control as he did in so many things. He’d relayed the story of his mother attempting suicide by shooting herself in the head, missing, the bullet going through a window and narrowly missing his brother. Knowing my grandmother well, she was the personification of drama so I’ve questioned logistics of the event (how do you miss your own head), but so goes the story and well it may be.

I suppose, based on a blend of those dynamics, my sister and I were destined to at least think about suicide at some point in our lives. I first attempted it at 15 with a light dose of pills. Typically, it wasn’t a serious gesture but it was definitely a cry for help. In those days the act was seen as a plea for attention with an attitude of “get over it.” I did – for a while. I tried more seriously at 19, but couldn’t bring myself to follow through. My wrist still bears the razor scars. If anyone knew about that the reaction was so slight I don’t recall there being any. About 25 I tried again with pills and was hospitalized, where I received harsh reprimand from an attending doctor. Some counseling followed to no real avail.

With my sister gone, in my late thirties I fashioned a noose in the closet thinking her method must surely be easier. By then I was rearing the remnants of grossly ingrate teenager who, until then, had seemed some reason to live. What I did know was that I never wanted to leave others with the loss and grief my sister’s death had left in me. Especially so if not solely for a Father who’d already lost one daughter that way. Better judgment prevailed.

I’d been in and out of counseling so much that I knew no one else had my answers. If I was to find them it was going to come from within me. That’s all counselors did anyway. I exercised objective self-analysis and I battled serious bouts of sincere desires to die. I’d learned to fight against it, to hang on one more day when things might look better. They usually did before I fell into another darkness, over time each seeming worse, more intolerable, more hopeless, than the one before. The development of better diagnosis and medication helped sustain me.

I don’t think of suicide so much anymore.

Suicide row. Somehow I’d gained reprieve.

Now I am consumed with thoughts of death through an aging mortality. I guess that’s a natural transition [laughing]. I live in this perpetual world of unawareness, so accustomed to the hopelessness that it’s my home, it’s what feels normal. It’s a comfortable place to be where even the discomfort of it is somehow comforting. Familiar. What I know best. Now enough life has passed that the broken spirit I live is preferable to living unpredictable disasters, which I’ve come to know with vivid recall can be so much worse.

Through all of this, on most days I manage to cling to a flicker of hope. It’s an inextinguishable pilot light deep inside my heart. The flame isn’t enough to change raw life into a fully cooked meal or to thaw a room from a dead winter’s freeze, but it flickers in the potential of me none the less. That flicker is my faith in God. He never fails me – He’s always there. He blesses me abundantly in spite of myself.

I wake each morning knowing that nothing about the condition of my life is likely to change, but I get out of bed anyway. My fragile, flickering flame burns with the leaking fuel of mere possibility that I could know the exuberance of happiness again, if I ever really did know it before. I go about my days in the same routines of solitude, only mildly disappointed each night when another day has passed and nothing has changed and, inexplicably, I wake up again the next morning with that glimmer of hope for a new day still twinkling.

Maybe I expect too much from life. I’ve learned to concentrate on moments of aloneness, absorbing sunshine or the cleansing calm of a rainstorm; tuning my ears to hear each bird song among many chirping at the same time outside my window; the sight of a squirrel or deer foraging nearby or a new season’s blooming of a dogwood tree; the mere pleasure of reasonably good health or solace taken from financial security or, simply, my vehicle starting without incident. It could surely be much worse. That I know.

Any change in my daily routine is in what order or whether or not I do it and, more and more lately, I realize I don’t have to do any so why do it at all. That frightens me. I envision being some cluttered life of a disheveled old woman who gave up a long time ago. I struggle against it, for I can’t imagine anything worse than living while not living at all, yet I am so drawn to it. It’s the last frontier of suicidal tendencies, when you’re finally too old for suicide to even make sense. All you have to do now is wait it out and it’ll happen on its own, any time, any day.

Just walking out the front door has become a masked ritual of over-preparedness for fear someone recognizes my darkness. It’s my life’s obligation to hide it. I go to bed at night pulling my gown down around my knees just in case that’s when I die, so I’m presentable, unashamed, if I do go in my sleep. At least when it does come let it be with dignity.

Every morning I take medication that keeps me alive, often contemplating how not taking it could be the best natural way to die. The prospect of living maimed in a care home, should dying from it not be the result, is an unbearable alternative. So I keep taking it while thinking about not taking it, not even brave enough anymore to risk changing my circumstances. Sometimes the preprinted pill boxes are the only indication I have of what day of the week it is. I watch myself empty them day after day, week after week, then refill them month after month … waiting aimlessly for the axis of my life to correct itself.

It would be easy for this flicker inside of me to gust into a robust roaring flame. I can’t find the bellow that would surge to ignite it and the longer this goes on the less I try. Maybe I need to stop trying. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve learned to be afraid of it. Sometimes I am ashamed of being so weak and, at others, afraid of being so strong. When did I commit to a life so undriven; at what moment did unmotivated withdrawal begin? Or is that melancholy calm the state of being I should’ve given into from the beginning, only now taking time – having time – being alone enough – to know the wisdom of it?

I wonder why God keeps these internal embers of hope radiating but surely there is a reason. There has to be a reason else its meager heartbeat would surely have ceased pumping by now. I have fought so hard to live. I am so tired. It’s okay to be tired. It’s not okay to give up.

This is the newest battlefield in the same old war that is me.