Why do people read (and comment on) blogs they don’t like?

Originally posted on November 19, 2017

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This is going to be a pretty short post.   Someone who I won’t name had been commenting frequently on my political posts, and their views are almost the polar opposite of mine.   I can’t say this person is exactly a troll, because their comments weren’t offensive or abusive enough to qualify as troll comments, but their views were certainly at odds with mine and he/she wasn’t always very nice about it either.

I asked this person why they were reading my blog since what I have to say seemed to anger them so much, but got no reply.    He/she would be silent for a few days, and then make another negative comment.

Now I get that not everyone is going to agree with me, and I don’t expect them to.   I wouldn’t even want everyone to agree with me 100% of the time, because that’s boring.   Healthy debate is good.   Different points of view can make you think in different ways and consider other points of view.  But this person wasn’t open to civilized debate and seemed to disagree with me about just about everything I said.

Today this individual said they were unsubscribing.  It didn’t hurt my feelings; my only reaction was, what made you wait so long?  It wasn’t as if there was any doubt about where I stand on certain issues.

I really wonder why some people waste their time reading blogs they disagree with or don’t like.  If they just HAVE to read blogs that make them angry (like the pleasure you get picking at a scab), why do they bother commenting?    I really don’t get that.   If I don’t like a blog, I don’t bother reading it.  There are so many other things I can do with my time that are more productive and give me more pleasure than making myself angry or upset reading a blog I hate.    There are so many good blogs out there that give me great pleasure to read, so why would I read one I dislike?

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How Our Cultural Ignorance of Mental Health Helped Elect Donald Trump

This author has some interesting thoughts about our ignorance about mental health, and narcissistic personality disorder in particular. A short, but important read.

Please leave comments on the original post.

mentallyspeaking

mentally speaking trump flag

Leading up to the 2016 presidential election, I repeatedly heard politicians, pundits and voters predict or at least express hope that, if elected, Donald Trump would “rise to the occasion” or “surround himself with good people.” It infuriated me. As a mental health practitioner, I knew this would not happen. More than his policy or populist rhetoric, it was Donald Trump’s instability I feared. Most disturbing to me was few people did.

People assume that psychiatric diagnosis is a subjective science open to interpretation, but this is far from the case. Human behavior operates on a continuum. In many cases (but certainly not all) it’s a matter of degree and frequency that separates abnormal from normal. When taking Abnormal Psychology in college, we were warned of psychiatry’s own version of “medical student syndrome.”

Perhaps this is why it’s easy to justify Trump’s deviances. It’s when you take into account the…

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Why is depression more tolerable than anxiety?

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I haven’t been at my best.   My anxiety has really been acting up.   I’m finding it hard to stay mindful and have a positive outlook.   All the tools I learned to stay mindful and avoid the worst of Complex PTSD are almost useless.

I can never relax.  I’ve been filled with a free floating sense of awful, black dread.  I can’t take naps in the middle of the day like I used to, or even sleep in late because at some point I feel like my heart is slamming in my throat and I’m jumping out of my skin.    Often I wake up early in the morning with a jolt, all that oppressive black anxiety weighing down on me like a lead blanket, and I almost feel like I can’t breathe.   Sometimes it’s so intense it borders on full blown panic.

Some of my anxiety is very specific:

  • Worry about the future of our country under the current president;
  • Worry about my personal freedom and rights as I get older, especially since I’m what most would consider poor and under this horrific regime, I will be VERY vulnerable to exploitation or early death from lack of social security, Medicare or other old age benefits that older generations took for granted;
  • Worry about what will happen to my children (or any children they have) should we become a real dictatorship;
  • Worry that the payout from my insurance company won’t be enough to allow me to buy any kind of decent vehicle, which I need for work;
  • Worry about my daughter’s new husband not being capable of providing sufficiently for her or any children they have.
  • Worry about a likely move in the future: will I be able to afford it?
  • Worry that one of my adult children will be in a terrible accident and possibly die;
  • Worry that my own family is using me financially and talking badly about me behind my back (this is probably the most irrational fear I have).    I know this is due to my past as a victim of narcissistic abuse.  When I’m very anxious and triggered, I have a hard time trusting people, even people I know aren’t out to hurt me.

There’s also the free floating, nameless anxiety I’ve lived with all my life, magnified by my specific (and possibly even rational) fears.   It’s this overwhelming feeling that something awful is about to happen, though I have no idea what.

All that anxiety is debilitating, and yes, it’s painful.   It’s hard to function properly or maintain healthy relationships when you’re constantly fretting or ruminating about something that might happen in the future — or might not.    I irritate my family because of my constant need for reassurance that I’m not being used or they are not going to be doing something dangerous that will get them hurt or killed.   I get annoyed easily at work and just in general.   I snap at others, not because I’m angry, but because I’m so anxious all the time.

There have even been days I’ve contemplated suicide (though I know I won’t actually do it) just to escape from the oppressiveness of all this anxiety and dread.

Every so often though, my anxiety gives way to depression.    I know that depression is actually worse than anxiety because it means you have given up.   You’re no longer fighting (anxiety definitely feels like you’re fighting for your life sometimes).  Oddly enough it feels almost…comforting.    When I’m depressed, I can just lie in bed or in front of the TV and not feel like my heart’s about to slam right out of my chest.   I feel no guilt about being so slothful.   When I’m depressed, I can actually sleep and escape my emotional hell through dreams, or just the oblivion of featureless slumber.   I can find food comforting even though I can barely taste it.    Though tears come rarely, when they do, it feels cathartic.

But mostly, when I’m depressed, it’s like boredom turned up to 11.    Depression is very, very boring.   There are elements of sadness and sometimes grief, but more than anything else, depression is boring.   Yet, I have no urge to do anything to relieve the boredom, except maybe sleep or eat.   The boredom is there, and while it’s intense, it isn’t painful or intolerable the way normal boredom is, the kind of boredom that makes you have to go DO something about it immediately.   It’s just there, like gray wallpaper.

When I’m depressed, I don’t suffer much (or any) anxiety or dread, because in my mind, the bad thing has already happened.  Even though my belief it already happened may be irrational, I’ve emotionally succumbed and accepted it.

It’s like that moment you know you are going to die.   You go through your whole life fearing death, but when you’re finally face to face with it, staring into its infinite maw, knowing there’s nothing you can do, your fear disappears and you just accept you’re going to die at this moment, right here and now.  I know this is true because when I was 18 I got raped.  The man had a knife, and I thought he was going to kill me.   At one point, I was sure I was a goner, and at that moment a strange calm took over and I just accepted this was how I was going to leave this earth.  Obviously it didn’t happen, but I remember that sense of peaceful calm and acceptance.

That’s what happens when I’m depressed.  It’s like I’ve already accepted something that might not even have happened and may never happen.    No, of course it isn’t healthy, but it’s oddly comforting and far more tolerable to me than the almost constant high level of anxiety I’m forever doing battle with.

 

Kindness over cruelty.

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Why narcissists are more hated than psychopaths.

Please leave comments here, since comments under the original post are closed.

Lucky Otters Haven

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All four Cluster B disorders are vilified, especially on the Internet, but for a long time I wondered why NPD seemed to be even more demonized than ASPD (antisocial personality disorder) and psychopathy and seemed to be regarded as the most “evil” disorder to have.   After all, most narcissists are not going around breaking the law, murdering people (not physically, anyway), and most at least pretend to be nice to you, at least if your relationship is only casual.  They make a good impression and most have families and respectable jobs.  They go to church, teach second grade, and volunteer at the food pantry. If you’re just acquaintances or casual friends with a narcissist, they can even be a lot of fun.    They also provide a lot of our entertainment, as narcissism (including NPD) is over-represented  among celebrities, and what would we do without our movie, sports, and pop…

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Never, never, never drive distracted!

itcanwait

On Tuesday morning, on my way to work, I was in a car wreck.

Thank God I’m okay (I have no injuries at all), but my car is totaled.

Here’s how it happened.

We’ve had a lot of rain, and I like to take the long way to work, which is a pretty drive because the road meanders along the side of the river.   Because we’ve had so much rain, the river is very high, almost at the same level as the road.  If it got much higher, they’d probably have to close the road.

So I was staring at the water to my left instead of the road, and the next thing I knew I was veering off the road heading straight toward a ditch on my right side.   I frantically tried to correct myself, turning the steering wheel back toward the road, but it was too late, because I was already in the ditch.  The ditch wasn’t very deep, but it was filled with large rocks.  I couldn’t stop where I was and the car bumped over the rocks and I heard loud grinding noises beneath me as the car scraped over the rocks, and finally came to a stop in about six inches of sticky mud.

I was pretty shaken up, but I wasn’t hurt at all and the inside of the car looked fine and was still running.  I opened the door and got out on shaking legs to survey any damage to the body.   Other than part of the right passenger side bumper having been peeled off, the car looked intact.  Even the tires looked okay (other than the front two being partly submerged in mud).

Two pickup trucks containing about eight Mexican guys got out and within minutes had my car freed.  I thanked them for their kindness and then got back in the car, thinking I might be able to make it to work after all.  I managed to get it back on the road and drove about 500 feet, but the car wasn’t handling right and the steering wasn’t working right either.  I also heard grinding noises when I tried to shift gears.  I put it back in Park but it was hard to do.  The stick wasn’t moving right either.   I tried to start it again, but this time it wouldn’t move at all, either forwards or backwards.  It was as if it were stuck in Neutral.

I realized I wasn’t going to work that day.   I was an emotional wreck, not really thinking straight.   After calling the insurance company and getting a claim number, I called work and told them I would be out for about three days.   Since there was no police involvement, I realized I would be having to do a lot of the legwork on my own:  getting the car towed, arranging for a rental (my insurance covers rentals), and all the rest.   I told them I’d be back on Friday.

I had the car taken to a transmission place since that’s what seemed to be wrong with it.  The guys there said that it looked like when I went over the big rocks in the ditch, I basically tore up the axle.   They also said that based on the age (’99 Toyota Corolla) and high miles on the car, they doubted my insurance company would cover repairs and would just total it out.  The adjuster hasn’t seen the car yet, but pretty much confirmed what they told me.

I was able to get a great rental: a 2018 KIA Soul.  I want to buy it but I’m almost sure I wouldn’t be able to afford the payments.   But I can enjoy it for now until I get my insurance money.   Then I’ll be facing the stress of having to find another cheap car and all that goes with that.   I won’t worry about that yet though.   I’m just glad I’m alive and not hurt.

I feel like this was a lesson learned the hard way.  NEVER DRIVE DISTRACTED!  And please NEVER text and drive.

I definitely will be more careful in the future.  It could have been worse.

 

My thoughts about Elijah Cummings’ emotional closing speech and the Cohen testimony.

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Credit: CNN.com

I stayed glued to my television during the Michael Cohen testimony today.   I honestly think that although Cohen made some bad choices and became the shady “fixer” for Trump (and ruined his own life in making the choices he did), he is essentially a good guy who was seduced by Trump’s fake glitter and false promises of wealth.

I believe Cohen redeemed himself today.  He showed deep remorse for his past actions and a sincere willingness to change, especially for the sake of his family, who he acknowledges have been hurt by his past actions.

The broken, sad faced Cohen having a chance at redemption and handling himself so well under the intense questioning (and sometimes bullying) he had to endure today was moving enough, but Chairman Elijah Cummings’ emotional closing speech made me lose it completely (Cohen was wiping away tears himself).

Watch and share this video (contained in the linked article).   This is destined to become a historic speech and today will prove to be a historic day.  Cummings’ powerful words give me hope that not just Cohen, but America too, can be redeemed and we can return to our former greatness.   (He’s wrong that there can be a “better Donald Trump” though — malignant narcissists like him can’t change).

https://thehill.com/homenews/house/431911-dem-chairman-closes-cohen-hearing-with-emotional-speech

If your pet could text.

This is SO true!

dogandcat

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Healthy boundaries.

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Guest Post #8 : Abusers break you–and then HATE you for being broken.

Linda Lee’s wonderful guest post about Complex PTSD is definitely worth another day in the sun.

Lucky Otters Haven

My dear friend and active participant on this site, Linda Lee, has written a wonderful and OMG SO TRUE post, which describes a lifetime of abuse, including incarceration in a state mental hospital, and being faced with unethical doctors and caregivers, including one who raped her. She was sent back home to a rejecting family–who had put her there in the first place! Linda Lee has Complex PTSD, a form of PTSD that’s often the result of chronic abuse during childhood, rather than an isolated traumatic incident later on in life. After describing the insane house of mirrors she had been thrusted into that seemed to have no way out, Linda lifts the reader out of the darkness with an uplifting message about Easter and the resurrection.

Linda Lee also has a blog about her Complex PTSD caused by prolonged, severe trauma called Surviving Trauma (formerly Heal My Complex PTSD)

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