Archive | toxic people RSS feed for this section

Skeleton from the Closet on Kindle

14 Oct

My magical realism novel Skeleton from the Closet is now available on Kindle!

The trade paperback edition will be coming soon.

 

Bohemian and feminist Kezia moves into the charming Craftsman house her uncle left her…in Kansas, where she moves and finds herself surrounded by conservatives, including toxic relatives. Aunt Edith seemed so kind and loving when she was a kid, but now she’s scathingly contemptuous toward Kezia, who begins redecorating and meets a walking and talking Skeleton, more than willing to tell her dark family secrets.

Advertisements

Victim-Blaming Politicians

8 Aug

I received my first packet from Hand-Written Revolution, and after filling out postcards based on the writing prompts (including writing to that psycho Betsy DeVos and that other psycho, Steve King–not the horror writer), I wrote the following letters to my Senators:

Dear Senator,

The Secretary of Miseducation, Betsy DeVos, is such an extreme victim-blaming misogynist that she has consulted with so-called “Men’s Rights activists” (translation: men’s “rights” to oppress and rape women) about pretending that victims of campus rape falsely accuse their rapists. She wouldn’t have been nominated by Donald Dump if she were a real woman rather than a power-tripping, stupid white male trapped in a woman’s body. On-campus rape is a very real and nightmarish epidemic, as is rape in general. Only a psychopath would pretend otherwise. Being the victim of rape is horrific enough without additionally being put on trial and insanely accused of making it up. In this country, one out of every six women has been raped, and so have some men.

If this monster were a competent Secretary of Education, she would be addressing the real problem: the epidemic of campus rape and rape culture. If she were competent, she would do all she can to prevent campus rape and help the victims, not make their life more hellish. This monster needs to either wake up or resign, as do all the incompetent monsters Donald Dump nominated.

And here’s the other letter:

Dear Senator,

Representative Steve King is more frightening than a horror novel. He wants to cut funding for food stamps and Planned Parenthood to cover the costs of an overtly racist and xenophobic wall between Dumplandia and Mexico. His claims are erroneous, sadistic, sociopathic, and idiotic, as is his using fatphobia against poor people.

Defunding food stamps and Planned Parenthood is class and gender warfare. Defunding them for the sake of building that wall is nothing less than class, gender, race, and international warfare.

 

Bad Mood, Hot Weather, and Housepainting

23 Jul

BM-VG7-_irIlGLd2j1QiflMsDwy7NOrb16Tsvie-OFgpX92IB

Bad mood. Not sure why. Heatwave? Thanks to climate change, this summer is nonstop heatwaves.

It seemed to start when I was masking the stairs (to paint the tops of the steps dark brown), and my forehead was sweating. Halfway down the stairs, my forehead was sweating profusely, and I took a break, even though this brought up memories of The Worst Frenemy in the Galaxy harassing me for having unfinished projects and I could hear her voice in my head judging me because I didn’t go ahead and get the whole stairway masked in one fell swoop (since of course the way she does things is the only way to do them, and the way I do things is wrong because everything about me is wrong and bad). I haven’t seen that parasite in a year, but she’s still in my head.

While I took a break, I had a frozen fruit bar and read a portion of a book on empaths, and I felt really sad while reading it and nearly started crying while reading and taking notes. According to this book, empaths sometimes unconsciously resort to depression because depression reduces empathy. Reading this made me feel depressed.

I briefly looked back over the latest chapter I’m sharing with my novel critique group (and got annoyed at my computer, which claimed that someone else was working on the document and that I could only open it in read-only, so I created a new document). My bad mood includes irritation at sweating and at my uncooperative computer; depression in response to reading about depression; indecision and a feeling of being overwhelmed because I’ve been painting and masking and think I should also be putting up curtain rods, which involves standing on something to reach up and use the electric drill and hope it goes smoothly. Such mechanical tasks are only likely to put me in a worse mood or bring back the bad mood.

Last night I finished reading Neil Gaiman’s novel Neverwhere (for the eighth time, but this time it was the “author’s preferred text). I had decided to read it because my period was just ending and I wanted to read something fun rather than something that might provoke a bad mood, such as a book on boundaries or a book on empathy. And I just felt like reading it (something that The Worst Frenemy in the Galaxy disapproved of—how dare I read books I feel like reading rather than bore myself with books she prefers!

Anytime I meet someone who says they’re an INTP, I shall as politely as possible inform them that I want to never see them again, because INTPs are arrogant pieces of shit, based on that one…of course, she’s also a sociopath and a narcissist with BPD, which has more than anything else to do with her being an arrogant piece of shit, but still, someone who’s dismissive of my emotions and thinks that thinking and intellectual snobbery is more important than emotions is clearly toxic and unfit company for me or any other empath).

During that little break, when I was about to send the critique group the chapter I just revised, I had the irksome experience of receiving a text message from Lawnmower Man. I’ve reached the point that I am acutely aware of feeling annoyed with him and practically dreading his visits; he does not have good vibes, and recently he attempted to manipulate me into renting the apartment to him. I refused to let him come over today; I’m starting to take my boundaries seriously.

I’ve been a recluse at home all weekend—just don’t want to be around people. I wasn’t a recluse on Friday evening, just all day Saturday and Sunday (today).

Two days ago, I finally realized that when I first meet people who don’t have good vibes, I assume I’m nervous just because I’m talking to a stranger. Now that I’m aware of this bad habit, hopefully I’ll stop doing it.

What a pity I didn’t read up on empaths when I was, say, twenty years old. I would have realized beforehand that working in retail would be a terrible idea, and I would have made a point of going straight to grad school out of undergrad. I’d probably have a PhD in Creative Writing (which may sound strange, but such a degree does exist). Sure, I can write without degrees and without college debt, but that would have spared me all those years of soulless jobs only for money, in which I was surrounded by toxic perpetual playground bullies. All that energy, all those bad moods constantly around me: no wonder I just became more and more angry.

-4s6HuyYuptaeBJNedBbRPYsyOpnWLHu9tIZvVY3j3wpX92IB

Oh, yes, I should mention: the break was brief, and I have since finished going all the way down the stairs. I just haven’t cleared off and masked the landing, which of course will also require sweeping and painting. I might go ahead and paint the rest of the stairs and hold off on the landing. Then at least it looks more like I’ve gotten quite a bit accomplished. At about midnight last night, I painted the front of the steps burgundy; or maybe I just did the masking then and painted the steps this morning. That’s weird that I’m blanking out on that. That’s right—the second version. Anyway, I had to do additional masking (and a bit of unmasking) for the sake of painting the dark brown tops of the steps and the whatever-that-is-like-a-baseboard-along the inner side of the stairs. Oh, I guess it’s a big baseboard.

I also need to save the paint sample card for when I have a banister, which I suspect will be a couple years. The color is Benjamin Moore…oh, I don’t remember what it’s called. It’s odd that I bought a house that no longer has a banister.

I only got far enough along with curtain rods to take a long curtain rod out of its package and place the library stool by the window…well, but the shoe rack is in the way, between the stool and the wall.

Also, I did most of the masking in the apartment bathroom but didn’t finish it and of course didn’t start painting that room.

It will still be daylight for a few more hours; it’s 6 pm now. I’ll read something other than the empath book and possibly fall to sleep—but at least do some reading before I resume painting the stairs (after the temperature has gone down a bit).

Creepy Couple

7 Jul

Aside from the Creepy Vibes couple sitting to my left, The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival was beautiful. The costumes! The Elizabethan stage! (Yes, it was different from the New Globe, particularly the modern seating, but the stage itself was quite elaborate and half-timbered).

I’m finally reading up on empaths and have confirmed that I definitely am one and that it certainly explains a great deal about me (and about the toxic people drawn to me). I do wonder if it’s common for empaths to have a lot of relatives who have Cluster B personality disorders (sociopathy, narcissism, and borderline personality), or if that was just bad luck and/or terrible karma. If it was karma, then perhaps I was a serial killer in a previous life. The people I most need to have No Contact with are the ones who are most drawn to me and the ones who are extremely easy to find.

But I digress, perhaps because I don’t want to write about those people and would rather write about anything else. But the book on empathy I’m currently reading emphasizes journal writing and such.

The seats are assigned (no groundlings in that theater), and as soon as I got to my seat and sat down, the woman seated on my left gave off hostile and judgmental energy. I didn’t hear her exact words, or I don’t remember her exact words, but she asked her husband if they could sit in the two empty seats to their left, despite the little detail that this was about half an hour before curtain and she knew, or should have known, perfectly well the seats were assigned. I clearly sensed that she didn’t like my sitting next to her. I didn’t do anything to her, and I took a shower and shampoo and put on deodorant before driving downtown from the hotel that afternoon. I had a creepy sense that she was judging me because I’m fat, and that she’s a fatphobic misogynist. Just because this narcissist is shaped like a twig doesn’t mean that all women should be shaped like twigs. Her husband did tell her that they were assigned seats. But that wasn’t the end of it.

 

Who knows, it’s possible that because of how I was dressed, she assumed I was a dirty hippie, despite my lack of stench or cannabis aroma. And maybe, especially with all my exposure to sun lately, she was hostile toward me because she’s overtly racist and/or anti-Semitic. However, I sensed that she was just overtly fatphobic, and life has taught me that I should take my instincts and impressions seriously. If I had done so while I associated with The Worst Frenemy in the Galaxy, I would have dumped her years earlier than I did. (For that matter, one of these books on empaths says that empaths can almost seem to read minds. It’s not literal mind reading, and it doesn’t involve understanding the words going through someone’s head, but it’s more like a basic sense of what they’re thinking.)

 

As though the creepy narcissist beside me thought I was deaf, she said “her” a few times and made it openly clear that she disliked me for no valid reason whatsoever. She even switched seats with her husband at one point. Meanwhile, the last two people in our row were the ones whose assigned seats were to the left of the Bad Vibes couple; to make it easier for them to pass me, I sat up stiffly and pushed my Nepalese bag beneath my seat and generally made myself as small as possible. While her husband sat beside me, the cunt said something like, “She doesn’t seem to be in the way, after all,” (again, I didn’t catch the exact words), and so—to my dismay—they switched seats back.

 

The reason I call them the Bad Vibes couple rather than only describe her that way was because they both came off as negative, bitchy humanoids who complain about this and that, and they both struck me as misogynistic. Reading the program, he learned that, horrors, a woman would be playing the role of Falstaff, so he had a fit and ranted about it. She joined in. They both seemed to think that because it’s been a long time since women weren’t allowed to perform on the English stage, and this is the twenty-first century, that casting cisgender women in male roles is inappropriate. They clearly had an extreme belief in gender binary. They both kept going on and on about it, and she barked in her raspy, jarring voice, “We should file a complaint! We should file a complaint!” (Yeah, I’m sure the people who work at the theater wouldn’t think you’re close-minded assholes if you complained about such a thing.) If they had seen the all-female cast of Much Ado about Nothing that I saw at the New Globe in, they would have pissed their pants.

 

The narcissist wouldn’t leave me alone, either. While her husband was gone for a few minutes, she gave me a creepy look and didn’t say anything to me. She had no problem talking about me insultingly and in the third person right in front of me, as though she assumed I was deaf or hard of hearing, but she couldn’t talk to me while we were the only two people sitting in the row. I had my program open in front of me and found it difficult to focus on it, especially while the two of them were bitching. (Their harsh, hostile, negative voices drove me crazy.) While it was only the two of us, the tension made me very nervous, but I was not about to start a conversation with this toxic human. As long as her husband was there, she had no problem with talking to him about me and giving me nasty looks and giving off toxic vibes.

 

I sensed that she didn’t consider me a real human being, but something subhuman.

 

At the beginning of the performance, actors were on the stage and addressing the audience. They referred to audience members in certain parts of the audience. In response, I turned toward that part of the audience, as did many people, and I chuckled. The harpy next to me looked me up and down, from head to toe, in a very openly rude and creepy manner.

 

By then, the two of them had succeeded in putting me in a bad mood, since as an empath I am an emotional sponge. But that last bit creeped me out the most. I get nervous if someone just looks at me with a neutral facial expression rather than a smile. In contrast with this rude cunt, I never looked at her directly; though in hindsight, maybe it would have been satisfying if, while she was giving me this creepy and insolent look-over, I had suddenly turned and stared right back at her. I did see her well enough to know that in addition to being skin and bones, she had very plain features and obviously dyed too-bright titian hair, so I know for a fact that she’s no beauty queen herself.

She wouldn’t shut the hell up and frequently talked to her husband throughout the performance, as though to make absolutely sure she reminded me that her creepy and distasteful presence was right beside me. She even exclaimed aloud, as though she were a teenager, “This is so cool!” Indeed, she and her husband seemed like perpetual junior high brats.

 

If only I were in a position that I could, like Mad King Ludwig of Bavaria, arrange to be the only audience member watching plays! (The closest I’ve experienced is being in the sparse audience during dress rehearsals.)

 

Respect is a very important need, not a luxury. Just because a pile of excrement sits beside me doesn’t mean I don’t deserve respect. Maybe if the parasite had any empathy at all, she’d know that treating an empath in such a hateful and rude manner means that the empath knows that you’re hateful and rude toward him or her.

 

I tried not to let this ruin my enjoyment of the play. I paid as much for my ticket as that narcissist did. Probably more, if her husband paid for it. And yes, I intellectually know I shouldn’t take things personally and that it doesn’t matter what toxic, arrogant, and judgmental humanoids think. But intellect and emotions don’t always match up.

 

I have decided that I need to not be around many people tomorrow. I’ll just check out of the hotel and head home to my cats, who will be happy to see me. Well, okay, three of them will be happy to see me. This is about taking in the energy and moods of other people and having a hard time in crowds and in public. I guess the real reason I need so much solitude is less about being introverted and more about being an empath. I had meant to take advantage of the hotel pool one more time before checking out and afterwards going downtown and having lunch at a pub, but now that doesn’t sound as appealing as being alone and heading home to my cats. Cats and dogs give you unconditional love.

 

Especially after all those years with The Worst Frenemy in the Galaxy, I have had more than my share of soulless monsters projecting their soulless monsterhood onto me.  It may seem like the fate of empaths, but now that I’ve started reading up on empaths, I surmise that’s mostly if you don’t understand boundaries and know how to psychically protect yourself from toxic humans. I’d better keep studying up on empaths and learn quickly. That is more practical and wholesome than becoming a total hermit, with no contact with other humans, never mind how tempting that can be.

A Nightmare, Toxic Relatives, and a House

17 Apr

I had a disturbing dream in which I owned what appeared to be a large old house that was sparsely furnished, and I was planning on living there, but a woman who was present in the front room with me informed me that the reason my mother and aunts went out was because they were planning on…I forget the terminology used, but it was something to the effect of pretending that the house wasn’t mine and claiming it as theirs by requesting some sort of ticket or token.

I think in the reality of the dream, this was a house I bought and had nothing to do with these evil relatives. I felt utterly horrified and knew I had to act fast, but I didn’t know how.

These relatives returned and were having amiable, cheerful conversation among themselves while not acknowledging my existence. I was panicking. For the sake of someone else who may have been present, I started scratching a message in a rubber rug (like in a car, but larger and partially rolled up), but the message was not showing up well enough for someone else to read it.

In this reality, toxic relatives stole a house from me (after years of their talking down to me, verbally abusing me, and slandering me), a house that an uncle left me. I was in the room when he was talking with my mother about who should he leave the house to, and she suggested me because of my passion for old architecture. So he did.

Kind of a Nightmare

19 Feb

I had a very uncomfortable dream in which I was sitting at one end of a white couch with new friends and petting a large dog–a white poodle–in front of me. The Worst Frenemy in the Galaxy was sitting at the other end, the left, of the couch, and sternly criticized how I was petting the dog (much as she criticized me for every little thing). “She wants you to pet her lower back.”

So I moved my legs further down. “Here?”

“No, lower!”

The friend to my right was a very tall and stout young woman, calm energy, and dressed in white; she was reminiscent of a friend I’ve known since the mid 90s. The friend on my left was petite and had long reddish-gold hair and a sort of round face. The one on the right was very quiet, in addition to being calm. We three were squeezed close together. The one on the left wiggled and whispered, “Is she the ho you can’t stand?” I thought she was referring to the big and quiet woman, so I shook my head slightly. I felt nervous because I didn’t want the Worst Frenemy in the Galaxy to find out that I told a new friend about her, and here was a new friend whispering about the subject in the monster’s presence. She didn’t give up and added something like, “I mean the ho who gaslighted you?” I was really getting nervous and subtlety gestured in the Frenemy’s direction by slightly tipping my head to the left and maybe raising my eyebrows.

Creepy Dream

17 Feb

I had a dream in which I was in a small, ugly, brown-paneled room with a frenemy–we were sitting at a long counter, and I was listening to her monolog. Actually, a bit before that, she saw me putting something in my bag, and she said in an annoyed voice, “Oh, no, I have to call my sister.”

I wondered about the way she said that in such an annoyed voice. First she was an old friend who was about fifty percent friend and fifty percent frenemy; then she became the Worst Frenemy in the Galaxy. As though she read my mind, she decided to explain to me why she didn’t want to call her sister/disliked her sister. After she started talking, she turned into someone else, a pasty-faced white girl with shoulder-length, straight-ish brown hair. She wasn’t pretty.

She started to explain how it all started with her sister, who, as it turned out, was adopted (at least, that was the story she was telling me). She said that at the orphanage (which I pictured like an animal shelter, with her sister and lots of other children behind bars). She claimed that her sister was a brat from the start, and that at the orphanage her sister reached out and grabbed her parents.

While she was speaking, she wrinkled up her nose in disgust at this memory of her sister. Even though she didn’t look like Audrey, in the dream she pretty much was Audrey. That is, by now I knew she was extremely manipulative and unpredictable and volatile and that she was a pathological liar.

As she spoke, I wondered if she was lying about her sister and if she really was an orphan–this was the first time she claimed that her sister was adopted. I found myself wondering if everything she ever said about her sister described herself instead. This came to mind, since not only was she a pathological liar who demonized people, but she also projected her own traits to such an extreme on her scapegoats–I had been the butt of that too many times to, at this point, believe anything she said.

While she was talking, I watched with interest the scene before me. Over the counter was a long glass window through which we saw a small room, perhaps a storage room, with lots of stuff on shelves and a small number of people interacting. To the right was a black utility shelf with stuff on it, and the bottom shelf included a revolving fan with fuzzy strings tied to it. A woman in her 50s, maybe 60, wore a long, blue-grey dress, and the fan blew at her skirt sometimes. She was with a little kid who had a doll that looked like a middle-aged woman in a mostly light brown outfit. There may have been a cat on a halter or a dog on a leash with them. I noticed that beyond them was a similar window, into one of those drab supermarkets like Safeway. Frenemy may have started maliciously talking about the woman in the tiny room, or maybe I was just anticipating it, since it seemed like something she would do.

While she was talking I remembered that red flag in the book Psychopath Free: they have lots of sob stories. So I remembered that and looked at the frenemy and thought that her ordeals of putting up with this sibling was a sob story, twisted or made up.

I just remembered how the dream really ended.

Later, the woman and the little kid were inside the supermarket or some such place, coming close to the end of what was very much like a wide and long hallway, with lots of white tile—floor and ceiling. Behind them was produce the way it’s displayed at grocery stores. Now instead of a doll, the woman in light brown (a coat from the 70s?) was a person instead of a doll, perhaps a nanny, who was keeping the child company while the other woman had her mind on grocery shopping.