Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Last of the Roses

It is Lovely October, friends, and the rose bush has produced a decent proliferation, despite setback by squirrel. Since it is now too chilly to keep the fire-escape window open, Pretty Lady brought her roses in.

Pretty Lady posts thus blandly and prettily today, as a sort of antidote to the fact that she is feeling sick at her stomach. Ordinarily, she brushes aside spiteful and malicious innuendoes from strangers; she knows, from long and weary experience, that the vast majority of this is merely Projection.

But Pretty Lady, despite her averseness to Conflict and Confrontation of any kind, feels compelled today to state that malicious gossip, lies, slander, passive-aggressive innuendo, distortion of purported motives, and violation of the sacred trust of friendship are vile. Vile, vile, vile, vile, vile.


Anonymous said...

Well, I certainly don't know who's violating your trust, but it's a bad business for sure and I hope you're feeling better and safe all the way around soon.

Pretty Lady said...

Good heavens, Bane, I pretty much got it out of my system by writing the word 'vile.' But feel free to go out and do a bunch of pushups.

I am contemplating a theory of creativity which allows for contraction time; it strikes me that perhaps you require a break. I know I do.

Anonymous said...

He's only kidding... for the most part. But should you be in need...

Pretty Lady said...

I find this deeply comforting. By and large I take everybody quite seriously, which may be a large part of my problem.

Anonymous said...

Writing can be a catharsis, of sorts. (Wow - a 64 cent word!) Still, I'm with Bane and En - just let us know....

Anonymous said...

And I'm within striking distance of NYC, I can offer up two vicious wiener dogs to assist.

k said...

Taking people seriously is not such a bad thing. Not at all.

But it doesn't mean we should give them an unlimited benefit of the doubt.

Character can be logically analyzed just as an investment can. We don't always like to do that: somehow, it makes us feel like bad people. Ungenerous and distrustful.

If you're drawn to Bad Boys, as you described in a previous post, it can happen with females too, with anyone where the relationship is friend or associate rather than a love relationship. Even if your BS detector is going off, you may still wish to engage in healing behavior with that person.

In the case I'm thinking about, the poisonousness of the person's character is obvious. It takes little time to discern this from her writing. She violates boundaries and uses inappropriate control tactics that she attempts to disguise. The disguise works surprisingly well. It surprises me, anyway.

See, the disguise is not all that good. So why does it work?

Probably because we want to believe the best of people. We don't want to say to ourselves, Oh, this person's pulling a con! To acknowledge that someone else is Not Good makes us feel like WE are Not Good. Not being Christian, if you will.

That's why even untalented cons are often still successful. Even in financial games, the con job is not really about money at all. Sick people with a need to deceive others aren't usually in it for the money; their payoff is getting into that controlling relationship.

Me, I don't think there's one thing wrong with recognizing that common poisonousness in others. Quite the opposite. I believe we're meant to be responsible with our hearts, with our trust, and that means actively guarding our boundaries. In this case, the poisonousness is far more pronounced; it's at a higher level than the ordinary form. Unfortunately, that means the damage she can cause is also greater than usual.

Maybe this episode will be instructive for some of the other observers. Believe me, I don't attach blame to anyone who gets deceived by a person like this; I'm just hoping to give some food for thought here.

I really feel for you. This thing was awful to see, though I don't even know you. In trying to do the good thing in friendship, you got conned and tricked and stabbed in the back. FWIW, I'm really sorry it happened. You don't deserve it, not for one minute.

Pretty Lady said...

Thank you, k, it was very, very kind of you to take the time out to write this.

A lot of the reason I get myself into situations like the one you describe is not that I am blind to poisonousness of character, but that I choose to overlook it in favor of seeing the beautiful, perfect soul underneath. When you can see all that light shining through, it's easy to dismiss the bile as simply a by-product of misunderstanding, past hurt and confusion.

But it becomes a different thing when, over time, you see that the misunderstanding is wilful, that the commitment to hurting and humiliating others is stronger than the commitment to loving them.

Having a knee-jerk healing response is easier, in some ways, over the Internet than in person. Unfortunately, having a vicious 'attack' response is also easier over the Internet; thus the potential damage, at times, is nearly equal.

Anonymous said...

I still love you, Pretty Lady :)

I think I may know what this is about, and I am pretty freaking astounded at my own capacity to still be astounded at how juvenile some purported "grownups" can get.

One of the reasons I love your blog is that it's a spot of positivity in a really, really nasty electronic realm (and I'm more than a little responsible for contributing my own share of nastiness, I'll admit). I like that there aren't petty flame wars on here, and that you post about things that make you feel happy or think hard, instead of what somebody else said about something somewhere I don't care about.

I don't give a shit if it *is* a persona. If it is, then it's one more people need to adopt, dammit.

And I'm done.

Pretty Lady said...

Thank you, Mitzibel. I love you too.

Anonymous said...

I'd offer you a drink, but I'm away's away.

Beautiful roses.

k said...

Now I'll take some time to contemplate whether that pure soul is separable from the bad behavior committed by the self-same owner of that soul. Is it still a perfect one? Or is it true, sometimes, that the damage is incorporated within it? If so - irreparably?

For practical purposes, though, I'd say that instead of choosing to overlook any part of a person, I may choose instead to set it aside for a bit. I'm always still conscious that it's there.

And in the interest of limiting my losses, I dismiss not the person, but my involvement with that person, as soon as I determine she's one of several personality types. In this case, she's a sadist.

That took all of a couple of hours to figure out and verify to my own satisfaction. A person who hurts others not only willfully, but for the sake of pleasure, of enjoyment, is not a person I'll invest any time in.

Do I realize that a combination of nature and nurture developed those unlovely qualities, and that sometimes these were beyond that person's control?

Of course.

I also realize that sometimes that person actually can be healed.

But not by me. Not in the way most people mean, at least.

My own course of action in such cases is to protect myself. I display and defend my boundaries. I remain cognizant of their interest in inflicting damage upon others. That way, whatever interaction I may have with them, it becomes very difficult for them to hurt me.

Sometimes, I get the happy feedback that the person in question has learned some good *healing* lessons from my own approach to them. By saying, --It's not acceptable for you to cross this line-- they may learn that they've been accepting inappropriate violations from others - and, that they have a right to say *No* to it. They have a right to be respected, and defending their own boundaries doesn't mean they're bitches or assholes; just assertive as opposed to aggressive.

In this case, of course, that person is way beyond the pale, and perhaps unreachable by anyone. Me, I've no interest in people like that, beyond an initial curiosity.

You, I suspect, are a far better person than I am.

Better for me to spend my time growing beautiful flowers.

Pretty Lady said...

You, I suspect, are a far better person than I am.

No. That's not a useful paradigm at all. Say, rather, that I'm constitutionally structured to have an interest in the mechanics of evil, and the possible healing thereof. I think you are, too--you're just a little wiser than I am.

I've also tried to let go of the idea that *I* can 'heal' anyone--it's whatever Voice speaks through me that does that. In this instance, I made a mistake. I wasn't paying close enough attention--I really assumed it was just a misunderstanding.

Also, evil people can be quite clever in pretending to understand you, then twisting your words to their negative motives. That's why I am newly wary of anyone who calls me a 'good' person. ;-)

I will now break my own rule and say that you are an awesome person, k, and that I'm growing as many flowers as my small apartment will hold, as well.

I am not a 'bad boy'? I am a bad man. Why does everybody think I'm 'kidding'?

I never called YOU a 'bad boy,' Bane, and I have never thought you were kidding. Fortunately, you're Not My Type, which is possibly why we (occasionally) get along.

You are a bad man, but not an evil one. There is an infinite qualitative difference. And by the way, you were right, and I was wrong.

Pretty Lady said...

Hi, Thims! Thanks for the offer; perhaps another year.

Anonymous said...

Misty filled me in, somewhat, about what has been transpiring. You sound way way way too much like me (and that's good and bad)! I'm very literal - and sometimes cannot detect sarcasm. Perhaps it's because I think like a male in some ways; so social nuances sometimes escape my notice. But all my life I have risen to the bait of people who are mean to others (or me), not understanding them or their motives, but wishing to make peace, explain differences, understand motives, and in short live life the way I believe is right; in a way that promotes goodness and not evil. This approach has made me more vulnerable to spiteful and snide attacks - often from the petty jealous folk who cannot stand to see someone who is usually happy despite no good cause. For some reason there are those people who like attacking puppies and kicking down sand castles meant to please.

Shake the dust off your sandles and move along. It is always sad and regretable to find that someone who might have been a friend, of sorts, is not able or willing. It is always unsettling to realize that in rejecting the paths of "normal" some counter-culture folks embrace a life-style of attacking and undermining any and all who are not just like them (that is to say, eventually they reject all). This misathropic and short-sighted way of dealing with people will eventually lead them to a sad and lonely end. Which, given their pursuit of petty goals is about what one could expect.

I'm betting you did not play these games in highschool (me either). So don't start now. You are above it (and them if you want to really think that way)!


Pretty Lady said...

I'm betting you did not play these games in highschool

Didn't even understand them. I do now, however.

No, Terrymum, we are much alike in many ways, but I'm afraid my sin in this instance was one of arrogance. I assumed I knew what was driving another person, and I didn't think to look deeper than that. Just didn't want to see it.

So, are you saying that there are no Bad People in Kansas? What on earth do y'all talk about, then?

Anonymous said...

It is not arrogant to fail to see the flaws in another person; it is perhaps innocence or naivete. Unless of course you knew something was up but refused to open your eyes to the sight. If that is the case (and I confess to that conduct all too often), you may benefit from reading a book that I think literally changed my life "Awareness; The Promise and Perils of Reality" by Anthony DeMello (Fr. Anthony was a Jesuit, phychologist, and smart man!). He helped me - a bit - learn to see things as they are (without judgment) not as I wished or wanted.

As for Kansas being free of bad people; hahahahahahahahaha. Just read our news papers sometimes to see all the stone throwing going on. No, we are not an oasis of civility, by a long shot. But we do have a tendency to protect "our own" and to seek a more laid back approach to life. That's why when people bash our state I like to sit back and say/do nothing: Yes, that's right, it's awful here, you'd hate it, bunch of hicks etc. We don't need/want more people then we already have cluttering up the beauty and good vibes! How truly great some of it's towns are (as a home place) is a well kept secret! E.g. Lawrence.

Pretty Lady said...

Have put the book on my list. Took me a minute to find it, because it's actually called "Awareness; the Perils and Opportunities of Reality." Oh, the wonders of search engines! In a card catalog situation, there would have been no hope.

Anonymous said...

Sorry; It has been quite awhile since I last had/read a copy (1998 to be exact). But I continue to encourage people to read it! It depresses some, but I found it very helpful!