28 January 2010
(Photograph copyright 2010, all rights reserved.)
WOW. That's some set of letters this week. Where does one start? This just goes to show the levels of fucked up pathology that lurks beneath the surface of the blandest countenances.... Ok. That's a load of crap. There's some serious nonsense around here this week, by gum and I'm going to smack it around a little!
I think I'll just dive in. As always, the letters can be found at Dear Prudence
1. Ooh...you're good. Very, very slick. I LOVE the "I'm a monster, what can I do?" thing. It almost smacks of.......sincerity.
I'm loving that confessional style. Pretty sophisticated for a kid. So, how long have you been a sociopath? Really, you can tell Aunt Messy. Did your parents fall for it, too? When the cat went missing or the shih tsu across the street got barbecued when you started the grill without looking inside, or the neighbor's kid went screaming home with all his teeth missing, what did you do? Nothing, I'll bet. And if you ever got caught, I can just see you crying your crocodile tears and promising to "do better Mommy, I will...".
When you went off to college I suspect that everyone in your neighborhood AND your family breathed a sigh of relief. It's not easy to live with a little con artist/narcissist/asshole. I don't imagine the welcome mat is just popping on to any doorways near you, either.
Pay attention, little boy. You're about to get a lesson in who you can and cannot sling the shit to.
(Naturally this is all dependent on the letter being from a real LW. It could go either way.)
You confess to Prudie all about how mean you are to women. It's like you lifted your story right out of a book labelled "abuser" and scribbled it all down for the Internet lady...who bit. Verbal abuse, check. Unreasonable jealousy, check. Isolating your girlfriend, check. Bringing up her sexual past in order to hurt her, check. Getting a new relationship before the other one even picked up her toothbrush, check. "I thought I was a good guy", check. "I know I'll eventually slip...", check. From there you segue right into the good old self-help/"how do I stop myself" schtick.... Really, it's a thing of beauty. Don't get too excited though, slick. You've fallen all the way into cliche territory with it, too.
This is why I think your letter just might be fake because most abusers aren't that self-aware. Then again, this is EXACTLY the sort of behavior I'd expect from a relatively smart person who IS a serial abuser of women.
So, your last girlfriend took your bullshit abuse for a year or so, then kicked your skinny ass out of her life for good. No doubt her friends got tired of listening to her complain and helped her wise up and see you for the scum you are. Good for her. But that left you with just a teensy problem, am I right? See, people like you can't survive for long without someone to kick around. You NEED to have someone around to validate your sick little world view and if you can make them miserable, all the better. The yelling (yours), crying (hers), the manipulation (yours), it's how you get off! It's the only power you have, isn't it, little boy?
But here's your problem. You're in college. I'm guessing it's not an especially big college, either. In small, and even medium-sized schools, people talk to each other, don't they? This has GOT to cramp your style a little bit. After all, your former girlfriend has probably told the entire world about your scum-sucking-rotten-slimeball ways by now. You only have a couple of alternatives. You have to find some chick who doesn't know about you, or.......
You have to find someone with both low self-esteem and the utter conviction that she can "fix" you, if only you'll "let her in". There are a lot of girls your age that really go for the broken losers like you. A dime a dozen. Most of them wise up over time, and you have to keep on hunting for a few years to get the one girl that meets all of your needs.
I have no doubt you'll find one eventually. Sadly, my gender seems to have an overabundance of people who will spend DECADES taking crap from people like you and then get sucked in by the insincere apologies and promises to do better. You just have to find the right balance of agony and repentance, and you could have one on the hook for the rest of your miserable, misbegotten life.
And this is where the letter to Prudie comes in, isn't it? Your present girlfriend, who you've been love-bombing like a Moonie with a quota, has heard all about your rampant manipulative assholism. She's not quite the idiot you thought she was at first, but not as smart as the last one, either. You have to somehow convince her not only that you CAN be helped, but that you WANT to be and that you've been trying real hard to curb your "baser instincts", which in your case amounts to who you really are.
It's a fine line, isn't it? You have to be the "man" she wants, but in need of just a little nudge in the right direction. I'm guessing that you're busy convincing her right now that the other girlfriends just didn't know how to "reach you", and all you need is your "soul-mate", so you can be the perfect person you already think you are. You're convinced that you can show her the letter to Prudie and she'll be all over you because of hard you're "trying" to "get help". After all, if you're willing to brave the criticism you're taking on The Fray, then you MUST be serious, is that how it goes?
You're a little ham-handed about it right now. I'm guessing you probably need a little practice getting the schtick right. Better hurry up and get one on the hook, though. After most women finish college, the pickings will thin. Grown-up women tend to have a lower bullshit tolerance than the ones you're after now.
2. Are you your mother, girl? You've watched your brother manipulate your parents for your entire life. You've worked your backside off making ends meet while he sat on his because he knew that Mom and Dad would come through because they couldn't stand to see his kids go hungry.
How can you even consider giving your ill-tempered layabout of a brother even a NICKEL of your money? In fact, (and I owe this question to a Frayster) how did he even find out that you were getting this money? Did you tell him? Why on Earth would you do that? After all, this is an insurance policy - it could have stayed between you and the company and no one would have been the wiser!
Ok. I'll analyze for you. I'm guessing your brother is bloody terrified right now. He's spent his entire life acting like a child - skating through crap jobs knowing that if he got bored and quit, he could hit your mom up for money. He's never had to face a consequence in his entire life, because he was perpetually being bailed out. Why should he go to school? All he had to do was play the "woe is me" card and the money just flowed in. His wife has been sitting on her tush for years, all because she knew that your mother would always come through. Beginning to see?
Now that the bank of Mom is closed permanently, your brother is soiling his armor and with good reason. But wait, there's more! I'm guessing (and I'm a good guesser of these things) that there was no actual inheritance left, either. After all, your mother spent all kinds of HER money on your brother and probably had no savings left by the time she died. If she owned her house, you probably saw part of that, but that's about all there was, right?
So no. You have no reason to feel guilty about this. Your brother is pitching fits because of plain old naked fear, and for the first time in his life, HE's the one that has to deal with it. Your mother - a smarter woman than you probably thought she was sometimes - found a way to give you money that your brother has no claim to. He will never be able to get a nickel out of you UNLESS YOU ALLOW IT. It wasn't in her will, so he can't contest it.
Prudie says you should throw him a couple thousand bucks to shut him up, but you know the truth, dont you? He will NEVER shut up. He will ALWAYS need cash. He doesn't care about your family, he doesn't care about you, and he would take away your last pennies and let you starve without a pang of conscience.
So what should you do? The next time he calls and whines say this, "It looks like you have a problem. Good luck with that." Then say nothing else. There's nothing to argue about and let's face it - in the long haul $20 000.00 isn't that much money.
3. Ok. I have to restrain myself from banging my head on my desk. Really? You need to ask what you should do?
Pay attention. You are dealing with a grown-up adult woman who spreads rumors like she's in Grade Four, tells the neighbors you have cooties, won't talk to you, and sends nastygrams to your husband when you try and reason with her.
Got a clue yet? No? Why the hell did you go around talking to people about the rumors? What were you thinking? Did you consider, even for a second, that by running around trying to do damage control you were giving her all the power? It must have been absolute CANDY to this woman when she found out about it. You played directly into her hands and gave her the reinforcement she needed to step it up a little.
Got it now? Yeesh.
So. You started with the Big Ignore and finally you found something that ticked her off. That should have been the end of it, right? I mean, most people, even the nastiest would eventually move on to another target once they realize that the fun is gone. Ah, but no. She's upping the ante. Her latest game - following you around in her car is starting to veer into Dangerous Person that Can Hurt Me territory.
See, you aren't dealing with most people. I can't believe you haven't figured this out, but you are dealing with a Crazy Person and there are different rules to dealing with Crazy People. I have to say that I don't often say that Prudie is full of crap, but in this case, she's full of crap. If you wave to this Crazy Person, you will be giving her EXACTLY WHAT SHE WANTS.
Is any of this sinking in? Am I wasting my time here? Ok. See, this Crazy Person wants to control your actions. She LIKES it when you get upset. She LIKES getting a rise out of you. If you wave at her, in her mind, you are obeying her and she is controlling you and making you do what SHE wants you to. Hey, I didn't say any of this made sense. This is a Crazy Person, remember?
Now, you can hope that she'll finally take both hands off the wheel and wrap her car around a tree or post. That would probably injure her enough that she'd be out of your hair for awhile. What's MORE likely to happen is that she'll decide one day that waving and yelling isn't enough and she'll aim that car at you....just to see if you'll jump. Do you REALLY want to go that far? What if she decides to go after your husband with the car? Do you have any children? Crazy People will do anything to hurt the object of their current Crazy, you know.
Are you in physical danger? Probably not right now. Maybe never. Crazy People are, after all, Crazy. They aren't especially logical or predictable. You may get away clean until she finds someone else to obsess about. Here's my advice.
WAKE THE HELL UP, LADY. You are being stalked. It doesn't matter that the Crazy Person isn't an ex and hasn't held an actual gun to your head. Go to the police, report it. Write down every instance when she pulls her crazy bullshit. If your husband saved her Crazy e-mail, give it to the police. Duh. You need to get a restraining order, NOT a way to make up for the rumors on Bridge Night.
Geez, you just have to hammer a point in to some people.
4. SHADDAP! SHADDAP! SHADDAP! Again. Repeat as necessary.
Kid, if you don't know what to do about unwanted Facebook contacts, then you are too young to be allowed to use a computer. Now show YOUR Mommy all of the messages, "unfriend" the idiot and shut down your Facebook account.
Gawd, I hope no one ever tries a Bad Touch on you. You'd be doomed.
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Oops. Sorry. I hit post and then forgot to tell everyone that I'm not ignoring any comments you might make, I'm going away for the weekend and the computer is staying home. In fact, I'm hoping to come back on Monday (maybe even Tuesday!) and find a whole bunch of messages explaining to me how I'm full of crap. This is one thing I miss about the Fray. Tonto could ALWAYS be counted on to give me a negative rating.....