Friday, November 25, 2016

Pork on turkey day... and intellectual blinders...

We had a rather low key Thanksgiving.  Bill and I meant to go out to dinner last night, but I was too worried about the dogs.  I was especially worried about Arran, after his little "spell" (which probably was some kind of seizure), but Zane was also concerning me.  Neither of them should have worried me too much, though.  Bill took them for a walk and they had a great time.  They even played for awhile afterwards.  Zane even rolled in some kind of shit and needed a bath.

While it distresses me that both of my dogs have gotten mast cell tumors, I do think that being clued in to the benefits of Tagamet and Benadryl is a good thing.  The Tagamet, in particular, seems to be making Zane feel better than he has in months.  Not that he was ever really "sick", per se, it was more like he didn't feel as well as he used to.  I think the histamine from the tumor was giving him stomach troubles.  Now he's playing again.  So that's a good thing, even if I'm now a nervous wreck looking for new bumps.

Anyway, because we hadn't planned to stay in last night, Bill had to go buy something for dinner.  We ended up having slow cooked pork with mashed potatoes, green beans, and French bread.  He paired it with Rioja.  For dessert, we had a little cake he got at a bakery.

I spent the day doing chores-- laundry and vacuuming-- and watching Albert Brooks' movies.  I also watched several hideous episodes of Wonder Woman.  Egad!  The third season was terrible!

A couple of my cousins in Virginia posted hilarious videos of another cousin who lost a football bet.  This cousin, in his early 50s and sporting a beer gut, dressed as a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, complete with blonde wig.  He didn't have a bare midriff or wear the diaper like shorts, but the costume was authentic enough for everyone to get the point of what he was doing.  I have to admit, even though most of my relatives are politically conservative Christians, they are very funny people!

This morning, I'm feeling somewhat okay, even if last week's revelation about Bill's ex kid, Catherine, caused more discussion last night.  I wish I could genuinely wish Catherine well, since that's the "Christian" way to be.  Unfortunately, I'm still very angry with her, even if logically I realize that not having Bill's kids in our lives may have been a true blessing.  I say that, not because I didn't want to have a relationship with Bill's kids.  It's just that I've realized that any relationship we have with Bill's kids will include their very toxic and controlling mother.  Also, while I barely know Bill's two daughters, I've seen enough of Catherine's writings to know that she is apparently a reincarnated version of Bill's ex wife who happens to have Bill's face.  The other daughter, Brigid, seems to have Bill's personality and her mother's (unfortunate) looks.  I am a lot less angry with Brigid than I am Catherine.

Interestingly enough, this morning, I came across a letter written by a very controlling true believing Mormon father (TBM) who apparently shares parenting skills with JimBoob Duggar.  I'm including it in today's blog post because I think it kind of dovetails on the dynamic that tends to exist in hyper religious families with narcissistic heads.  In Bill's case, his ex wife is very controlling and narcissistic.  In the case of the person who received the letter below, it's the father-- a patriarch-- who is controlling.  This is the mindset that children of narcissists must fight against.

This is the letter in its entirety.  I read that the six children who received this letter are 9, 12, 14, 14, 17, and 19.  At least one of the children refused to sign the letter.  I have to wonder what makes certain parents think they have the right to dictate what their children's religious beliefs should be.

And this is the part of the letter that threatens the children with withholding their inheritances if they don't stay Mormon.  While I don't have a problem, per se, with people deciding who should get their money and property when they die, I do think that trying to force someone into believing in a specific religion is pointless and stupid.

Here's a "charming" video put out by LDS Philanthropies that specifically encourages parents to make inheritances contingent on their allegiance to the church.  It got a lot of negative attention, so it has since been removed from the LDS Philanthropies Web site.

A couple of years ago, I posted a letter I found on Reddit that was written to a young man who no longer wanted to be Mormon.  It was basically the same kind of letter expressing the same sentiment.  Believe as I say you must or you'll be disowned and disinherited.  When you're a young person, the threat of being cast out from family is very scary.  So initially, these kinds of manipulative threats and scare tactics will often work, at least in the short term.  I'd like to think that most people, as they get older, gain the wisdom to see that trading their soul and free agency for money and property is a losing proposition.  You can't take money and property with you when you die.  Moreover, it's unnatural for adults to be governed by their parents.  But when you're young, you don't always have perspective or wisdom.

While I'm not sure how Mormon Bill's ex is these days, I do know that she exerts the same kind of "my way or the highway" pressure to everyone in her sphere.  She forces everyone to accept her viewpoint or be cast out.  And the people in her sphere lack the wisdom and perspective to see that it's much better outside of the ex's sphere of influence.  It's better to be able to make your own decisions, seek truth on your own, use your own brain.  The one time I met Bill's kids, I noticed they were very programmed and employed black and white thinking.  What a shame that is.  They otherwise seemed to have normal intelligence, but they were wearing intellectual blinders forced on them by their crazy mother.

I suppose, for this reason, I should excuse Catherine on some level.  I'm sure it isn't easy being the daughter of a raging narcissist.  At the same time, I see a lot of the same controlling, narcissistic tendencies in Catherine.  On the other hand, I didn't get a good look at her wedding dress, but what I did see indicated that she got a gown that was off the shoulder.  Maybe she's finding her way out of the stupidity of Mormonism.  But then again, why should I care?

I dread Catherine potentially linking up with Bill again because I fear she'll do what her mother did.  I don't want to see her using her future offspring as currency to control other people.  Bill's father and stepmother, being the blind idiots that they are, are setting themselves up to be exploited.   If Catherine has babies, will she use them as a means of manipulating people?  Her mother did it.  Apparently, her mother's mother also did it.  Catherine would have learned from the very best.  But then, maybe she is more decent than she seems.  Somehow, I doubt it, though.  She doesn't want to mend the rift with Bill, but she does want to be connected with Bill's father and stepmother.  And they are letting her do it.  This will make the inevitable future funerals awkward for everyone.

I was doing so well lately, not thinking about ex and her spawn and what they were doing.  Every time I go some time without thinking about them, I get hit upside the head with another revelation and it spins me into orbit.  I really shouldn't care about any of them.  I should not let them take up residence in my head.  I do it anyway.

I'm sure it was hard on Catherine, trying to adjust when Bill left.  She was very young at the time and her mother filled her head with a lot of half truths.  For whatever reason, Catherine lacks the curiosity to find out what really happened.  She doesn't want to know the whole truth.  So she stays faithful to Mormonism and her mother's perspective rather than developing her own.  I think that's very sad and, frankly, disappointing.  But it's her life.  As long as she stays out of my life, it shouldn't matter...  Except she isn't really staying out of our lives because despite her decision to change her name/get adopted/disown her father, she's continuing to engage Bill's family.  And they are letting her do it, rather than holding her accountable.

So... I guess the best thing for me to do is focus on my marriage.  Catherine can have Bill's dad and stepmother.  They obviously want to play her game.  It matters more to them to have a relationship with a granddaughter who has treated them with nothing but contempt than their very loving and decent son.  More power to them.

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