19 Women and A Guy Had a Chat In 27 Sentences and 50 Shades of Black & White…

19 suckers 4

A couple of years ago I wrote about a voracious online predator who tracked vulnerable blogging women and the aftermath of his being found out.  I cautioned then about the need to use extra care when interacting with people we really do not know.

A group I encountered recently schooled me in how easy it can be for people of any openness to be used by someone online.  It doesn’t matter how street-savvy or educated one is, if someone is trawling for someone to fill whatever needs, they will find a way to the heart of your matters.

They will find the route to your trust. They work only to find the one(s) who will say yes to their invitations in trust that will further win your heart and other supplemental prizes like boob pics or even Skype sex. Not every friend of this friend went so far, but the fact of the matter is, betrayal on any level, as these women experienced is bitterly painful.

The methods and motives of these people vary, but I believe the one for the man I write about here, while a person of many sides & talents, was simply that he was unable to build a real life of any meaning.

They couldn’t have found a more sincere and kind supporter.  Why would they think otherwise?  His words were so soft, so deeply kind, and so well designed to flatter and draw in comradery as quickly as possible.

He spoke to their vulnerabilities and oh, how vulnerabilities long for understanding and care. Without a doubt, you’ll never find a more tender and understanding soul.

They’d all heard them…those loving words of admiration he’d wrapped their hearts in; verbal ribbons of plush velvet, colored with 50 light hues of shady.  27 interchangeable lines for each woman of the hour:

I am in love with your mind.
I  love your heart.
Love yer shit!
I just fell in love with you.
You really are a talented funny intelligent inspirational bugga, arentcha!
Oooh, you’ve got them legs eyes smiles.
Do you have an email address?
Do you Skype?
Would you like to chat privately sometime?

Of course, he told them it was just to share ideas and thoughts about life in general… not anything inappropriate… after all, he is a married man.

Still, it won’t be long before he initiates chat about the sad state of affairs in his relationship(s), and then soon after he will seek commiseration along with their sympathy and most certainly, will want details of any distress within their own worlds. He’d say, as a former counselor, he’d be happy to work through that with you.

If I could do anything, I’d be there.
I’d do anything to save you.
*wipes away a tear*
Six feet whatever & blah blah pounds of protective love & hugs comin’ to you.
What’s his name?  Send me his address, I’ll have a word with him for you.
You deserve so much more…
You’re so strong, I so admire that …
You seem to know me so well…
You’re a hottie! Spunk rat!

Oh, how he does seek and then loves the protective sympathy that he so easily sweet-talks out of his followers. He only has to mirror it back and the game is sealed for this made-to-order knight.

You are a ‘chooser of the slain’,  the long awaited savior of we depleted warriors,
You are beautiful…an artist,  a muse…
You are so wise & sweet…I love that.
You’re not a blogger! You are a writer!
I love you, < insert 19 or more women’s names >

I miss you, < insert 19 or more women’s names >
You’re such a special lady. Such brilliance.
You ‘have to’ come visit me; we’ll show you the time of your life, & I’ll even pay for your ticket.

The Universe is changing me into who you deserve“. Say yes to that line and you’re in for an absolute full-time obsession – unless you question it. Then that charm blows up at nuke level and you’re yesterday’s news before it’s even printed.

Interestingly, no man received the same level of support or invitations.  No variation of those statements was made to any male writer he followed.  Just a lot of, “Hey man, good stuff”.

I suppose one mind can come up with only so many lines for the same sorts of honeyed support, hence the repetition. That’s the least these women could concede, when they learned how, out in the real world, they weren’t so special after all.

Oh sure, he could say in his defense, which he did, that it was their own replies that gave him permission to carry on to where they went. That he did mean those things, just to different degrees.  Of course, one has to wonder who got which degree, and they did.

Well, he had to play it safe. It’s a delicate balancing act isn’t it?  Even if his hands were currently full with one or more, he’d still have to endeavor to hold onto the others at a safe distance. Just in case any of those in hand should drop off.

The feminine power he relies on to exist isn’t much different from how a car needs petrol to run, so a re-filling station is necessity. Note that he didn’t approve of his closest also having their own male variety servicing centres. Wonder what that was about?

Of the known 19, only a small few will stick around, insistent that they can heal his twisted heart because their own hearts are just that much deeper than the others.  They really are the real saviors of this poor, beleaguered, wannabe Norse seafarer.

After all… he said so.

True story.

RL

Here’s a great guide to supplement your gut checks on whether or not your online convos are appropriate:  When Does Flirting Become Cheating? 9 Red Flags

Posted in Abuse, Bloggers, Life, Non-Fiction, Secrets!, Storytelling, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Warrior Woman – Power Haikus

Valkryie on Bear - 2The Valkyrie wears
My scar from top to bottom
She was always me

She consciously waits
For warriors worthy of
Her heart and Her light…

There’s no need to pose
To look fierce – you either are
Or simply, are not

RL

RE: Keep It Simple : dailypost.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/keep-it-simple/
Jamie Mitchell, Bear Art, Design – Valkyrie by Jamie Mitchell

 

His strength is only
Stolen feminine power
Their skirts are his shields

Honor nearly earned
So much lost for so little
So close to home, gone

Save your honor and
Our light, grow, choose to heal now
For true love, come home

RL

And just for the hell of it, a great KISS / AC/DC mix on the bagpipes: https://www.facebook.com/newstalkzb/videos/861885090521374/

Posted in Haiku, Life, love, Micro Poetry, Poetry | 2 Comments

Anchor-age, Not the Alaskan Kind

Grounders

Sooo, did I hear you type the word, cookie?

No matter what kind of curve ball life throws, even those 359 degree ones, there are two things that demand focus in any way they can get it – cookies and bacon.

Okay yes, I’m kidding… it’s whatever requires you to be relevant.  In my case, those anchors just happen to be fairly typical – children and animals, not necessarily in that order… and thank you sweet, Geezus for typical anchors.

They see me at my best, and my worst – which they generally run away from – fast, usually to retain the emergency services of a stylist or a good martini mixer, but even so, they will love me again within minutes. If only that were true of the rest of the world…

They do see me cry and rail at times because I don’t often try to shield them from those moments because life is also an awful lot about ‘shite happens’.

My last few posts have reflected some recent hard knocks and I expect I will write in and around those events for a little while too.  Writing  is a critical component of healing for me, as much as talking things out with my son is needed to help his understandings.

We’ll go over what’s happening to whatever appropriate extent and then, what it’s going to take to  cope and keep moving. My Jack seems to understand that, so he pretty much behaves accordingly – he’ll lick my face, then throw a paw at it for priorities – which incidentally are the same as my son’s – cookies and bacon.

My son, on the other hand, seems to have grown some pretty thoughtful insight for his age, which he occasionally jolts me with. He reminds that a laugh is good medicine or that I am forgetting to see my own value, regardless of anyone else’s assessment, and that he’s willing to stand up for me to anyone. It’s those moments that remind me that no matter how hard I’ve been hit by the challenges of life,  underneath and overall, I have done some things right.

I’d like to think that I’ve mostly lived for the greater good.  I’d like to know that I didn’t live in my own head as much as, or more than, contributing meaningfully to community. I hope that no matter what happens, most will remember me for living, giving, and seeing the worthwhile.

At the end of the day, no matter what kind of day, I hope I will have earned the right to my own share of cookies and bacon.  And poutine. God, I really love that stuff, way too much.

RL

Posted in Achievements, Coping, Grief, Life, Lighter Side | Tagged , | 12 Comments

Monday Blues and Champagne

Monday Blues 1-1
…And so I got a little bit drunk on a Monday afternoon….
It was just a little bit too much to deal with, all the bad news of the fall…
It was just a little bit too much.
No, I don’t do this often… I don’t do it often at all actually,
But today, I did
Because the sound of silence was not a comfort today.
Today the silence threatened to silence, even me.
A little champagne with the omelette,
To dampen despondency … to throw a block at that insidious intrusion sneaking in …
The judge that reminds me of my failures, blames me for my losses, wants to decline my sense of safe esteem.
I did get a little bit drunk
To evade the judgement that sentences me to self-recriminating hell for losing to the merely inane.
I got a little bit drunk this afternoon,
When all the meditation in the world wasn’t enough.
So I could instead turn to only the encouragement of lovely, thinking people.
So I could feel the comfort of gorgeous words that were written to assuage my fears.
So, I could remember that these people matter, and to know that the insidious, more than anything,  especially on Mondays, could use … a little champagne.

RL

There are no words worthy of the gratitude I feel toward the people who champion me in the hard times as much as during the laughs. I raise my glass to the ones who prod me to carry on, and carry on with my words even within my fears that I will give away too much.
To the ones whose own words speak so directly to my heart that they give me a strength they can’t possibly imagine – thank you… thank you… thank you…
To the women who worked so efficiently to enlighten me about what is, thank you.

Photo Credit: Darren Quarin, Quarin Photography, “A Glimmer of Hope”

Posted in Coping, Life, Photos, Poetry, Prose, Reflection, Storytelling | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

When I Set Fire To The Pain

crow and umbrellas

What’s sorrow really, mom?  …  It’s  hurt, sweetie.  It’s this really deep grief, usually  from losing love in some way, mostly suddenly…   and I won’t say it, but it breaks my heart to know that it will happen someday for even my sweet, sweet baby.  And another tear falls…

God… how many times have I heard it said, “It’s better to have loved & lost than to never have loved at all”?  Well, that may be true, probably it’s true… like the old Garth Brooks song that said, “I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance”.   Except when you first feel the pain…. you just think, oh God, I really don’t want this dance… I really can’t do this; this is way too much to ask… Why isn’t it too wrong to ask that I feel this?

This pain… the pain of losing soul deep love… Seemingly snatched so quickly that you struggle to remember that they were real… that you held them,  that you saw them, that you heard them… and you think how… how is it possible that they could actually have been here?

How is it possible that they weren’t just a figment of your imagination when you finally realize, when you truly, honestly, completely know … that you will never, ever touch them again… that you will never, ever hear their voice again… that you will never, ever hear them say to you again, I love you… I love you… I love you…

I’m really not sure what the worst of it all is. I can’t quite tell if it’s during the immediate shock of the event that swells my heart into a pillow that suffocates breath or that new quiet of the day that emerges later… the lack of talking about nothing… the no laughing over just dumb or asking, sweetie – what do you think?  Maybe that’s the most searing – those new quiet holes… those utterly empty extra minutes.

The fall, when sorrow called again, I switched on the autopilot. Only creativity was exceptional.  The anger of pain has always been the most fruitful muse for me.  Anger… once again my friend, made words fly through my fingertips faster than I could speak…through the struggle to breathe…and the primal desire to hit things and hurl them and hurt anything…

Grief, like fear, transmutes my normal fire into an inferno, a – set fire to the rain – fury.  My inner warrior surges fiercely from me to fight and slash recklessly at the brutal fates; to slay the enemy of dreams, hopes and plans.  To demand back what was mine, even while feeling within those pitiable new spaces of my broken heart, that it is only futility I battle.

He knew me… He knew me. Whenever I was rattled, he’d often say, poor bunny, you feel so much, so deeply….And just the sound of his voice saying those words was a comforting balm, a soothing hug.  And he was right… I so do and I wonder how do I get myself through this too… Can I?

And then, eventually, reluctantly, I will admit yes, I suppose I will. I always have. It’s not even a choice, I just will. I know all of this; I’ve been on this ride awhile. I know I will slump soon… into a mix of muted warrior inertia.

I’ve lost before.  I will breathe… I’ll walk through the motions of normal… in between the bouts of sobs and fury…and repeat, until I get to somewhere around the new normal.  My spirit will once again console my heart.

Losses…to accidents or illnesses, those brutally tragic events, or to mental health issues, addiction issues, betrayals and even a great love gone wrong, this pain is the same sorrow.  I know it is – I’ve lost people to all of these circumstances.  When someone is gone, they’re gone and if you love them, it doesn’t hurt any less.

They’re gone… and that’s all we can feel – for as long as it takes to find our new steps in a changed song, until hopefully one day, we’ll also vaguely realize we’re humming the new melody under our breath.

And we wait, hopeful…

RL

Thank you DQ, so much, for your generous support.
Posted in Grief, Life, Life & Death, love, Storytelling | Tagged , , , , | 31 Comments

Pick a Hero, Any Hero, Even if it Turns Out To Be You

I thought I’d speak to another level of resolutions, as the idea of new beginnings for a new year gels for many. I’d originally posted this last spring, but I can’t help thinking the winds of change in progress means looking at the world and our place in it a little more – and that maybe helping people is in itself a full enough belief system…

It would be crushing to write another Dejah story.  Despite the privilege of being able to write about it, I wish there’d never been a Dejah Milne story in the first place.  At least not the way it had to be written because otherwise the right story would say that his mother, father, and sister are still able to hold him and hug him whenever they want.

They’d be able to laugh with him, instead of at videos of his silly fun from days not so long gone by.  They would be able to hear his ‘I love you too’s with his voice.  They’d get to be angry with him for messing up the house, or coming home too late, or maybe denting the car’s bumper.   I know they’d rather that kind of everyday eye-rolling frustration instead of coping with the anguish of his absence now, because at age 13 years, he wasn’t able to overcome the tumour that he’d carried for 10 years.

I don’t want to write those stories if it can be helped at all. I don’t know anyone who does. The problem is, that the problems that end with those stories aren’t finished yet.  There are so many issues that need someone to stand up for them and in support of the cavalcade of teams who work tirelessly to end them once, and honestly for all.

These are the teams of people who have been called, or sometimes brutally and harshly forced, at a spirit level, to take charge in the parts of life that are painful, agonizing, hideous, and terrifying.  That’s heroics.

They are thrown toward the front lines to take on the darkness for us.  They stand and push as far as they can to get answers to the challenges that debilitate or outright steal loved ones from us.  They strive to make our world better, easier, more livable.

They need little from anyone else when it’s all put into perspective.  They’ve already taken on the heavy end of the fight.  They’re slogging, sweating, bleeding, and crying so that the rest of us get to hang back and throw out what we are able, when we can even as, just like us, they still have to navigate the trials of everyday life.

They ask for our help, but not for things like go earn a science degree or a doctorate, or to put our lives on the line, or to organize any kind of effort beyond our ability.

Those calls are usually only pleas to be heard, for us to see what is happening, and they ask us to spend the least of what we wish to.  Then they call us ‘their heroes’ for giving that bit.

Let’s get real please; they aren’t really asking for our heroics.  They are asking us to share only a little of our resources to sustain their herculean efforts for our sake.

Charity Capture distorted 3It doesn’t matter how we acknowledge that they’ve been heard.  Spend your hour of time.  Send your $2, $20, or your $20,000,000 if you can. Send your willingness to walk, run, dance, fast, drive, stand, or create, but whatever you do, please do not ignore these direct calls to your own soul. This is the least we can do, literally.

Look, whatever we choose to support today is directly connected to whatever is to be resolved tomorrow and in the issues in the days after that.  Start by choosing one, any one cause that made you turn your face toward it for even a minute.   We can all help another mother, father, son, brother, daughter and sister not have to spend another day in fear and grief.  That’s kind of heroic, right?

RL

Posted in Gratitude, Inspiration, Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Happy New Year & Thank You….

Mom & Son GlamourSo, I got a new camera for Christmas, and I played a little with selfies and timers, and a little fun… So this is me and my favorite son saying Happy Holidays! Yes, he is my only son, but as far as parents are concerned, that’s beside the point…

I extend that to Happy New Year  and thank you all so, so very much, for being such wonderful supporters of my various efforts this year in expanding what I write.  It has been a blast to try new things from haikus to expanding the details on Indigenous issues, to pouring out my soul.  I really can’t thank you enough for that support, for all the encouragement, and for standing behind me in some of the challenges.

Happy 2016 -2      Happy 2016 -1

I can’t wait to see what you all have for 2016.  Cheers, to you all!

RL

Posted in Christmas, family, Life, Uncategorized | Tagged | 20 Comments

Tom and Me, The Huron Carol- Merry Christmas!

Ha ha ha.... dad says he's a keeper... ;)

Merry Christmas, all
And to better beginnings
Cheers, 2016….

The Huron Carol

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6IG6F6E5Ac&feature=share

RL

Posted in Haiku, Life, Micro Poetry, Poetry, The Huron Carol | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

Party Prep is Not For the Weak, And Friends Lie

 

maxine tip 2Hell hath no fury like the eyes of a host expecting guests.  They see EVER-Y-THING EVER-Y-WHERE.  They flood the entire house with the damning light of the unclean.  Condemned is the rosy glow of procrastination that normally allows one to see cobwebs as merely billowing indoor clouds – just a step closer to communing with nature really.

I am acutely struck by these evil eyes mostly on an annual basis, when I host a gathering at year’s end.  I love finally being able to get together with many friends and bask in their good humor and kinship. They are wonderful, wonderful people, but they LIE.  They LIE like my (dog hair-covered) front door rug.

maxine dusting hintNormally, my day-to-day entails apologizing for the clutter and other landfill-sized mounds strewn over floors.  In reply, my friends say things like, “Oh we never have time to clean either, or who cares about a clean house, there’s so much more to life that is far more important”.  A credo I actually believe in; a credo that I know I honestly uphold – alone.

All these able members of the Liars Club have homes ready for a photo shoot in BH & G at the drop of a paper towel.   Pop in on them, regardless of the time of day or day of the week, and you’ll be invited in to have a chat and sit on pristine seats atop the shiniest floors in the universe. These are the real shining lights reflected in the sky at night.

Maxine Super Bowl tipI cringe at every realization that I could rarely, to never, reciprocate that invitation.  I am the queen of doorstep conversation.  “Hey, how’d you like to have a seat on that outside chair right there, on the outside of the house, and I’ll get us a drink for here, outside”.  I wonder if they notice?   Of course they do.  Then they go home and re-shine their floors just to spite me.

So, while the thought floats gently through my screams mind that it really could be interesting to hold a front yard party in early January Canada, I grudgingly accept that I‘d never get the grass raked in time.  Thus, I rush to appease these eyes of damnation.  I fly from one end of the house to the other with cleanser and polish to head off any possible ugh! moment for a guest.

As I work through all that anticipatory contact, I spy something odd, even for me. Wait…is that… plum pudding on the blinds??!!  But, but we didn’t have plum pudding this year.  Oh my God.  OK kids, new goal:  Clean all the dirt that guests might recognize from last year!

While we’re scrambling to meet new achievements, I picture my friends discussing their impending visit to my mess O’ horrors:

  • “Um, so, Robyn’s invitation has arrived again…. And?  Well, she is our friend so let’s try our best to enjoy this as much as possible while looking only directly into each other’s eyes”.
  •  “Well, this year I’m putting the hazmat suit on under my clothes.  There’s no way I’ll be able to smile through feeling a glob of plum pudding stuck to my thigh”.
  • “OK, let’s re-do our plan from last year to drink as much as possible to get through the mess evening and maybe even to…. forget”.
  • “Hey, maybe we can invite her out next year”.

Hey!  I’ve been invited out three times this year.  Was that…. ?  Stop it! Go test the martini potency and then get back to work!

Somehow, in the midst of these mental meanderings and the frantic efforts of Thing 1 and Thing 2 (me and child), the house started to resemble something like the original intentions of the architect.

Maxine-On-CleaningEventually we got to an understanding.  Actually, more like simple resignation – what will be, will be. Whatever else we may spy gets a quick kick under the couch.  The rest of the prep plan is fairly simple – take off the apron, smooth down the hair, quick check via socks for dog hair on the baseboards. Last, but not least, turn down the lights and light up the candles.  Nothing says, what spot on the wall? like mood lighting.

Then I will deploy the ultimate mood lightener  – martinis.  I’ll take their coats with one hand, and plop a glass in their hand in one efficient motion.  I’ll keep the pitcher handy and refill often. Non-drinkers will get over-stuffed with plenty of fresh plum pudding. Even if they do notice a spot on the wall at some point, the odds are pretty good that they won’t care.  At least not until next year’s invitation arrives.

RL

Originally Posted on by
Posted in Christmas, Humor, Life, Lighter Side, Storytelling, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

That Time I Saved Me From Him

RED sky

Sometimes life has you re-visit the worst experiences of your existence. Maybe there’s something in them that needs refining or a new understanding. A friend’s post about a near-miss with a likely abuser found me in commiseration of that place, a truly surreal, soul-sucking misery.

I’ve been aware of all forms of abuse since growing up in a home built on them. Unfortunately, as an adult, I re-lived them in a couple of relationships.  Even if you’re lucky enough to apply what you learned from those experiences, you can never really be certain that you won’t meet up with an even greater insidious player at any time in your life.

My last encounter came up against a well-practised talent for speaking to the heart of one’s fears, desires, and beliefs – a red-hot champion of all those things. In hindsight, despite his delight and proficiency in the game, I do believe he truly wanted to be those things for me then.  I think he truly wanted an ‘honest us’, at least for a little while.

I think he wanted that not only because I came to him unexpectedly and from out of left field, but because I came from a place of the real deal, a genuinely open heart. I’d not shared in any of the usual repartee he indulged in where he normally scouted.

The world he had built for himself before meeting me was a cadre of women who were at various levels of need and were also quite willing to rationalize betrayals or were so lonely that any word of kindness was seized with the same frantic grasp for water in a parched desert.

However, by his standards they weren’t ‘true heart material’. One of the kinder things he said about them and given the history he detailed, I agreed readily and then some. It’s a numbers game for him, more than quality.

Still, regardless of how much he may have wanted it, it’s hard to maintain a wishful façade for any length of time and his began to crack within months. An ingrained habit of lying is impossible to hide from someone close over time. His resentment at being found out was too difficult to check indefinitely and so when it surfaced, it was cruel and of course, my fault. Our last month together was a stunning whirlwind of shock – from exceedingly gentle charm to baffling nightmare.

He wasn’t physically violent, but he became utterly ruthless in emotional and mental turmoil that included brutal name calling, ridiculing those same fears, desires and beliefs that he’d originally treasured, and complete dismissal of my every thought.

Because there wasn’t anything physical, it permitted him to wallow in complete denial of abuses. He said his lies, broken promises & lurid pursuits were cause for merely, “some hurt feelings”.  To his mind, my angry responses were the real crime. He was the one really suffering in this and I was just so “wrong” about him, except for the fact every wrong was in plain and copyable typeset. He was thorough with his online chronicles.

I know this is about an ugly sickness as is, but there was more to come. Even as I strove to get away, concerned friends asked me to try to persuade him to seek help.  I did try, because even when you should run like hell, when someone says help, most of us will try, especially for someone you’ve loved.

He only responded with more derision, blaming me for other distresses in his life that I had no part in: his financial situation, an illness, an apparent lack of concern for threats to his life. He continued by furiously and jealously insisting every man I had contact with only wanted to sleep with me, including professional counselors. Nearly every talk ended with him calling me vile names.

More vengeance included OK-ing one of his deceptive divas to taunt me, then he descended further, claiming my dead father was responsible for trying to kill him.

By this point, I knew I should’ve stayed gone the first time.  On the other hand, I did act when I began to see the truth.  I did pull away and stood up for myself without the self-doubt & castigation I would have once indulged to justify attempts to ‘save him’.  This time I put me first.

Sometimes, the only way you can save yourself is to expose the rot and that was his only true Achilles heel. I swallowed my humiliation & spoke out – including to his cadre, and that was the one legitimate & unforgivable sin in his mind.  That was when he declared himself, brokenhearted. “Strange kind of love you’ve got”, he said.

Cowardice hides its image in the dark; it needs to ooze its poison undercover. When this insanity was revealed, it opened the door to light, back to sane.  I was freed, and he took nothing from me that I can’t get back.

He gutted me and broke my heart, but he didn’t close it. He may have discarded any value for me, but that love was real to me and it didn’t die the minute our life went off the rails. I will always hope that someday he’ll be helped toward the man I believed I was with. Maybe someday, all the stories he tells about himself will  actually be true.

Mostly I wonder, if it will ever occur to him or them, that the only way to really protect your image is simply by living the way you want to be seen.

RL

If you need a place to read or talk about these issues in warm environments, try these lovely spaces: Deliberate Donkey or Better Not Broken

Posted in Abuse, Bloggers, Life, Mental Health, Non-Fiction, Relationships, Storytelling | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments