Gaslighting


Ingrid Berman in Gaslight (with Charles Boyer)
Ingrid Berman in Gaslight (with Charles Boyer)

If you’ve ever had this happen to you then you know what it is to live in abject fear & terror. Gaslight – verb (used with object): to cause (a person) to doubt his or her sanity through the use of psychological manipulation.

Gaslight (1944)

http://youtu.be/0ToLfQU2xmg

The source is a George Cukor-directed thriller starring Ingrid Bergman as a woman whose husband tells her she’s imagining things that she claims to see in a musty old murder house, including the gaslights dimming by themselves.

Unless you’ve gone through this experience there is no understanding what it’s like to not know whether you’re crazy or the other person is playing you for a fool. I know how that feels. Cruelty in any form is a weapon that has the potential to destroy peoples lives. I’m just fortunate to have a Guardian Angel. This past weekend I survived an episode with a so-called professional member of the particular online business group I’d like to get into.  

A certain amount of trust is involved within our interactions with other human beings. School, the job, our House of Worships, entrepreneurial relationships all involved being able to trust the persons we hope to glean information from to build our business and who we trust to provide marketing and promotion information.  However some people in these online business groups are merely stalkers seeking to capitalize on the trusting natures and vulnerabilities of others.  Not just sad but depraved indifference to a fellow human beings feelings and emotions.  They are Social Media Vultures and/or Predators seeking unsuspecting prey.  Masters of Psychological Deception.  Tricks without the Treats. Vipers ready to strike without a moments notice.

Like anyone, I’m always looking to better myself. To this end I join groups on social media.  Having carefully researched the product you then join with like-minded individuals in order to gain strategies on how to succeed in your chosen field.  Skill building is important to ensure the success of any business venture.

So its scary stuff when even one person in the business group turns out to be a stalker who then libels and slanders you without cause all the while making you the victim think you’re at fault.  No compassion whatsoever. A total disregard for the victims emotional state.

It’s an especially cruel type of manipulation as the tormentor gains the innocent person’s trust only to betray them through psychological and emotional means. Once they gain your trust they either gradually or perhaps more aggressively twist their words so you feel like you’re losing your mind.  Ever so slightly they threaten you with police action, incarceration, jail, prison, legal actions, and many other types of evil tricks to make you believe that you’re at fault and deserve punishment. Despite their malevolent actions suddenly you become the criminal and then these sadists try you in their kangaroo court while acting as judge, jury and executioner.

A series of lies, rumors, innuendos, slander, falsehoods, cause you to doubt your ability to reason or make sense of a troubling situation.  The constant question of “What Just Happened Here?” goes through your mind until that Guardian Angel, Rescuer, Redeemer helps you gain perspective.

Then the demonic wickedness of these Master Manipulators is exposed and once again Salvation has been regained.  I was Blessed to have someone step in to help me and give me reassurance.  Also I was connected with a girlfriend who also went through domestic violence and sexual abuse scenarios like me who understand.  A calm, kind, gentle, loving voice who embraced me acceptance.  I was not alone. Somebody threw out the lifeline.  I grabbed hold and climbed out of this monstrous pit.

I am not deterred in my efforts to improve my finances.  One monkey don’t stop no show!  I see God’s Angels all around me.  I feel God’s Love. I now know that I am not at fault and I don’t have to be afraid.  Legions of Angels have been detached by God to protect me.  As for that spiteful, mean nasty person there will be both earthly and God’s Judgement now that he has been exposed.  Purgatory for this individual has only just begun.  Sanctuary for him will only be found in accepting the truth, repentance and restitution.

1 Chronicles 16:22 & Psalm 105:15

 New International Version (NIV)

22 “Do not touch my anointed ones;
    do my prophets no harm.”

Broken Places


Island of the Damned - Bocklin

It’s a risk to admit you’re broken and possibly beaten or just plain tired and hurting inside.

Risky to say you hurt both physically and emotionally because then the Pharisees and Sadducees appear with knives, razors and spears ready to slash you because you’re not the image or the person they want you to be.

Crying and tears are considered character flaws.

Once you fall out of the House of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm in essence you’re Fucked! Already down on your luck scavengers come to pick at your last bits of self-worth beating you down further than you already are.

Let’s be truthfully, Life is a Roller-coaster Ride.  You slowly inch up higher and higher then drop quickly to precipitous lows. But once you get down in that valley here come the Happy Police demanding for you to get out. Comparing you to others who are 25-30 years younger with circumstances unlike my own.  They want you to live lie. Be a fake or a phony.  Being Sensitive is a crime.  For me there is no refuge or sanctuary just rejection. Justice is sentencing to a lifetime in Social Media Wasteland.  A judgement and sentence I refuse to accept.

Seems these people never remember the times they were down and out.  When someone reached out to them with kindness and compassion instead of criticism and judgement. But for me the prescribed remedy is to rip the scabs off my scars yet still expect healing. I’m a Stigma, a failure because I’m not running through fields of tall grass and flowers singing tunes from the Sound of Music.

Even Jesus had to get away from clinging needy people with their hands out always wanting his miracles but not his teaching.  Jesus went up to a mountain or to a desert place all the while knowing his disciples, his friends would desert and betray him. Yup they threw the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords under the bus. In these Techie days folks just label you a Social Media Loser.

Broken Angel
Broken Angel

But he embraced his broken places but not their false expectations and I will do the same.  If you only accept me in my happy up times but not in my broken sad times why say you’re my friend at all?  Unfortunate to say, But there exists no Love or Respect for Broken Angels.

The Workers Leave No Footprints


Dreams Never Die

Misty Foggy Morn

Youth said “Dreams Never Die.” Twenty years passed then Recession kicked in. New Realities were born. Twelve hour workdays became the norm.

Like a drowning man Dreams surfaced again and again only to plummet down to the watery deep. All the while knocking at 1% door watching them through one-sided window laugh, play, drink and party with no thought for the ‘Morrow’. We the unseen only imagining free time for our dreams.

Dreams that must wait until Social Security beckons if death does not reach us first. Fore bread, water, warm clothes and a place to live cry louder. Goodnight Sweet Dreams. May you one day resurrect to a New Dawn.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

The Working Poor Leave No Footprints

Surrounded by a plethora of people who seemed to surface like bloated corpses after spring thaw.  Worker bees we are all meaningless specks of dust being recklessly scattered by blustery winds.  Modern day Robber Barons throw battle weary soldiers back into the battle while they sit sipping tea in Ivory Towers.  Thirty-seven years a professional, now placating rot breath Sabbath suits long in tooth, visions of Mammy dancing in their heads.  Limestone Liver spotted wrinkled bone bags befoul the air with endless demands.  Dontcha know Miz Daisy learned to drive herself and the Help all went to the French Rivera.

Foggy Misty Morn

I am Hagar cast out of my prosperous household, denied by the Master and Mistress I once served.  Thrown out of my protectors’ house my Dream-child and I await Our Avenging Angel of Salvation.

My Dreams now dead buried under work obligations, mountains of rules and regulations that I seem to constantly violate just by being. No miracles exist for me. Only years of mindless drudgery ahead.  Millennial Overseers govern my every move with their remote control mind games.  Freedom lies dormant within my imagination.  My brain has been put out to pasture because intelligence is not needed or wanted and creativity has become a sin.  Automaton Me clad in nondescript dull uniform easily replaceable by the next set of hungry hands yearning for the pence dispensed from the rich mans table.  Hey!! Who’s next up on the Auction Block?!!  Come lock step into the Plantation Mausoleum filled with objects which are valued more than drones who guard them.  We be Aliens in our own Land.  Serfs never reaping a hard earned Harvest.

Yet soon a New Day will Dawn, Dreams will bear fruit and Visions be reborn.

In Praise of Darker Hues


Lupita Nyong'o
Lupita Nyong’o

I’m very glad that Lupita Nyong’o was voted World’s Most Beautiful Woman! So proud to see a Dark Skinned Sister Honored in this Fashion.

I read her Oscar Acceptance speech reprinted in Essence Magazine. It certainly resonated with me. Even though I’m 25 years older than her and was raised in New York City I can still hear the taunts of “Tar Baby”, monkey, Black African (Black was not Beautiful in the 1960s) from my school-mates on the playground. Watu Wasuri Use Afro Sheen came much later in late 1970s. Still light skin was in. There was a saying I heard many times growing up, “If you’re light, you’re alright. If you’re brown still around. If you’re black get back.” From straightening combs to weaves the Self-hatred becomes internalized.

Weaves looking like Davy Crockett hats perched atop uneasy heads marching LocKstep with conformity. Multi-hued raccoons skipping across Jungle Fever Brows missing nesting material in which to snuggle Eurocentric brainwashing.

Even when I went into the U.S. Army my always thick, kinky and Knappy was called a Brillo pad. I was always made to feel so ugly usually by my own Black people. I expected whites to call me the “N” Word after all this was the 1960s and my parents who knew Jim Crow by heart prepared me for rejection as a Black girl in a white dominated society. In a way I was very surprised to hear that in a Black dominated/ruled society/country such as Kenya young Lupita experienced similar taunts, jibes and insults.

Many times I would come home from school crying. I hated my skin color and my hair texture. My father tried to soothe my broken spirit and build my self confidence by telling me, “The Blacker the Berry the sweeter the juice. If the berry’s too light it has no use.” I did feel better for a while but it was not until I was well past age 40 that I began to really appreciate being dark-skinned with coarse thick hair. For one thing now that I’m well past 50 all this wonderful melanin truly means, “Black Don’t Crack”. As for my hair menopause has removed the thick & coarse texture but I’m proud to wear my hair natural since age 36.  Over the years there were times when I battled a Eurocentric mindset but as I journey through middle-age and beyond I embrace and am one with my African heritage.

Yes Ladies, “Say it Loud! I’m Black and I’m Proud!”

I’m Still Here


I’m Still Here…………

http://youtu.be/BbhEo-4_ETc

Mable Elizabeth Palmer
Mable Elizabeth Palmer

Today I am 55 years old.  It is a Blessing to be this age.  I have depression, anxiety and panic attacks. I’m also a domestic violence and sexual abuse survivor.  I’m the person sitting next to you on the bus, subway, at work and in church. No I don’t want pity just acceptance. Recently I had a conversation on my Facebook page regarding mental illness. It was good sharing with my FB buddy who works in the mental illness field about the obstacles and hurdles faced not only by the mentally ill but their families.  The government just seems to put more roadblocks in our way so we wind up taking many detours towards a place called Wellness.   My mother Mable Elizabeth Palmer lived most of adult life as a functioning schizophrenic. There is a serious lack of support services for the mentally ill thus we read of all these horror stories in the newspapers but for the most part many mentally ill folks carry on with their daily lives.  Despite all that I’ve been through as a child and again as an adult I’m happy to be alive.

Sometimes when I tell my story people who have these “happy lives” meaning a satisfying long term marriage, house in New Burbia, kids, grand-kids, successful careers feel sorry for me, pity or think I’m a walking tragedy living a substandard life. Not true!  I live in full life in spite of my numerous desert and valley experiences.  Perhaps an even fuller more substantive life than those who eat from silver platters.  Mine is not a half-life of only the sunny side of the street but a full life that includes the alleys, back-roads, ghettos, and dimly lit streets populated with voices yearning to be head.  I like it that way.

Nothing to be sorry about. Despite all the things my parents went through, especially my Mom’s battles with her demons, she was also an alcoholic, overall I had a good childhood. We have a choice to dwell on the sad past or the fond happy times of the past. I think about the good things.  The fun stuff our family did when I was growing up. Of course now being an adult I have a different perspective. I was not so accepting myself when I was younger but age, maturity, experience and time changed my viewpoints.

It’s the government and people’s approach to mental illness that needs to be healed. It should not be a stigma. I readily admit to my struggles with depression, anxiety and panic attacks. That’s my life. It is not a tragedy.The tragedy is other peoples reactions and perceptions of mental illness. My Mom was a good wife and mother. I served my country in the Army, earned my BA in English, held down jobs all my life, went to church, now a full participant in Shinnyo-en Buddhism etc… It would be good if people with mental illness were more accepted. If there was more help for those of us suffering. If people would stop trying to impose their expectations on me of what happiness means. Everybody has a past. Everyone has a story. Life goes on. I’m just happy to be alive.  Pitiful prayers, slapping oil on my head, telling me the latest New Age positive thinking strategy 12 Steps to Happiness, and sad sack face looks going tsk, tsk, tsk are an insult to my intelligence as a human being.  It is what it is. Raw, exposed and uncut.

I have health insurance so I do have the option of returning to those mind-numbing anti-depressant drugs I took after my mother’s death but I choose not too.  I choose the full gamut and range of my emotions and feelings as opposed to being a drug induced zombie.  During the high points in life I love my odd slightly off center sense of humor. The times when I’m at my lowest are the times when I’m most creative.  I’m a better writer, a better photographer because I know what it is like to live life in the margins, the outskirts of society, to be a misfit and an outcast.  I’m drawn to people living alternative lives.  That’s why I love Street Photography.  I don’t want what’s staged, posed or set-up. I want real. The nitty gritty. The down and dirty. The quirky and unusual.  If life was meant to be perfect happiness or total sadness the books of Job and the Song of Solomon would not be in the Holy Bible.

What would the world look like if gave a helping hand to the Mentally Ill by supporting organizations like NAMI, prosecuting men who abuse their wives and girlfriends and pulling the collars off ministers who are rapists.  What if we weren’t treated like modern day lepers?  Instead of further victimizing people living with mental illness write to your Congresspersons and Senators to create laws that will enable us to receive the treatment and support systems we so desperately need.

No I don’t need to be “healed” but our society does.

Me in 1961
1961- A Very Good Year