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Relationship Checklist
September 18, 2002
4:29 pm
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Ladeska
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RELATIONSHIP CHECKLIST

When entering into a new relationship, it is good to have a checklist available that will enable you to stay tuned into your brain, as well as your feelings. If you allow your feelings to lead you around by the nose, you will end up in a place where your brain will have to work overtime in order to save you - from yourself! In our society of "quick fix" and "quick gratification", we seem to forget that the best things in life - take time. If you make a quick decision about anything without due diligence and examination, you usually end up regretting it down the road. Taking that first step into a relationship without really looking at what you're doing - while you're doing it, won't enable you to build anything - except a paper mache house where everyone plays a nice temporary game of pretend. You're worth more than that. The following checklist might help you if you are interested in being "wise" about this most important step that affects everything else in your life:

Who picked who? If they pursued you and you are just responding to that alone - Beware. A red light is flashing here that indicates - you may be reacting out of low self esteem. Even if they were the one to seek you out, that's fine, but you in turn, need to turn around and go through the process of seeing if this person meets "your" standards for what you want and need in your life. Too often we are so flattered by the flirting and aggressiveness of the other person that we forget to fulfill this responsibility to ourselves. We become what they need and want and screw ourselves in the process.

How long has it been since this person or yourself has been in a committed relationship? Has enough time passed whereby the purging of this other relationship has ran it's course? Are there still strong residual feelings concerning the past significant other? If so, there can be no true blending with the two of you. There will be a third person with you at all times and the relationship that could have been - will be sabotaged right from the beginning. It's best to wait until - this purging is done and the person, whether it's you or them, has had some time to learn how to - just be with themselves and reclaim their own personhood. Big warning - to those who jump right from one relationship into another. You take your problems and mistakes with you, only to share them with someone else, and repeat them in the next relationship.

It should go without saying here, but too many people say they would never end up here and end up doing it anyways.....if they are married or separated - Forget it. Again, a relationship with three people in it, won't work. Not to mention the children that might be involved. There is a reason why we have a moral code. If we go against it - we hurt ourselves and others. People need to truly end one thing - before starting another and if you allow yourself to get caught up in this spiderweb - you will pay for it dearly. If not now, down the road. We do not need to make ourselves the bridge and doormat that "gets them through this process". It wasn't "your" relationship in the first place. It's between them and it needs to stay that way from beginning to end.

We deserve to be No. 1 in someone's life and if we accept second best - we have no one but ourselves to blame for the choice - we made. And there is nothing wonderful about wooing or seducing someone away from someone else. If this competitive game is where we get our power and self-esteem, then we shouldn't be surprised when the tables turn on us. Anyone who can be so easily pulled away from someone else, can be easily snatched from us as well. The issue of trust isn't something to play with. It's something that deserves the utmost respect from us.

Does the physical attraction outweigh all the other things you do or do not have in common? Being physically attracted is a big deal. I'd be lying if I said differently. And if you're willing to pay the price for this decision - you'll get exactly what you sign up for. Something shallow and meaningless in the end. I've never known of any relationship where the physical attraction got anyone through any rough spots in the road. So, why should we allow it to have such value in our initial deciding process? Do you truly have things in common other than in the physical/sexual arena, as in hobbies, sports, spiritual matters, etc.?

In the areas where you are different - is there a real Respect for that differentness on both your parts? Tolerance is a word that is thrown around a lot these days. I seem to prefer the word "respect". If you just "tolerate" someone in their views, it seems to have a different meaning - than if you truly "respect" them. I'd really look at this one intently if I were you. Is there just tolerance and maybe even a little or a lot of patronizing going on, or is it truly and honestly - respect that you are seeing? A person who can truly respect another's differentness is a person that is confident with themselves and well grounded in their own personhood. Your differentness will not be a "threat" to them in any way. If all they want to do is challenge you all the time in how you think or believe about something - take two steps back. This is a strong sign of - lack of respect. It is a bullying characteristic that won't stop rearing it's ugly head. They are basically telling you that they will not allow this differentness and you will be brow beaten until you change your ideas. And yes - passive brow beatings are just as nasty as outright attacks. It's just the "sneaky" or passive way to do it and not get caught.

Are they very insistent on being with you all the time in the beginning? People often mistake this behavior as a flattering thing. And it can be, but more often than not it's a sign of someone's neediness and their attempt to use you to feel a void in their life. Constant phone calls, them just showing up at your door unannounced, or wanting to schedule dates every other day is a tell-tale sign of this. Someone who is really healthy will take their time and allow a relationship to develop - over time. This is especially hazardous if the main reason seems to be about - the physical end of things. Again, making a main course of the physical attraction side of things - will eventually fizzle out and leave you with what you should have paid attention to all along. And if they constantly have to know, even in a seemingly "polite" way - where you are all the time and what you are doing - don't mistake this for a sign of how much they want you or care about you. It's a power play and a very dangerous one. This is a person with control issues and at the very least - someone who struggles with their own self esteem and who will eventually not let you breathe in a relationship or have a personhood of your own at all. See the warning signs early - and act on them, regardless of how well they kiss! (smile) It's much easier to walk away in the beginning than it is to walk away after things have gotten so horribly ugly. You have the right to call it - just like it is - early instead of later. Please trust your right to discern correctly and then trust your own judgement.

Can both of you take the time to "go slow" and allow a courtship dance between the two of you to evolve? Regardless, of what may go on in relationships around you, and on the boob tube and movie screen - please be wiser than all this influence. It's okay to walk to the tune of a different drummer. Most really wise people make up about 10% or less of any group. People will never tell you this when they are wanting what they want from you, but they lose respect for you when you don't make them go through all your gates before they get to the most intimate part of your dwelling. If they are truly interested in you as a person all the way around and a candidate for a long-term relationship - they won't balk at - going slow. If they do pressure you otherwise - they were never truly interested in the total picture of you and a long-term anything in the first place. Sure you may mess up and "go there" before either one of you really needed to, but you can always correct that and lay different boundaries. Pay close attention to their "respect" factor concerning this, too. If they do everything in their power to convince you to go back to where you were - then you know that they are only concerned with what they want - and nothing else. What is true and worth having - waits and respects the other person's wishes without making it hard for them in any way. People have a way of passively punishing you and tempting you to go against what you've already stated is a boundary you need to have. This is a blatant show of disrespect and needs to be looked at by you in no other light.

Is there an overwhelming compulsion on your part or both of your parts - to immediately "tell all" regarding yourself and your life? It's one thing to want to share with this person things about yourself. But, if you feel like you need to do it the first night or even during the first week - not good. Sometimes - less is more. A person who does this probably feels like they need to have themselves validated by the other person - immediately. This comes from a place of low self-esteem and puts the other person in a position they don't need to be in quite yet. It's a very premature action and will unbalance the relationship right from the beginning. Most things that we would even want to share - would probably be heavy duty things, like hurts, betrayals, involved issues we have with other people/family - and just generally negatively charged things in our lives. Why do we need to have someone validate us concerning these things, when in all reality - none of it had anything to do - with "them"? And who - you are or they are - has nothing to do with them or you - either! You are who you are - with or without anyone else's consent or input. You can't go through life changing for every person you meet. And that's exactly what you'd be putting yourself in the position of doing - if you basically wanted someone to pass approval on all you right in the beginning. That's too much of a load to put on anyone in the first place. Sometimes it takes people a while to really be "able to understand" another person and where they are coming from. So if you're truly looking for understanding - don't shoot yourself in the foot. In the beginning, they'd much rather know about your "sunshine" and the positive parts of your life. They probably weren't drawn to you because of all your pain. If they were - then run like Hell! (That's another disaster altogether.) Allow "time" to develop a foundation that will support - the heavy duty things and also provide the understanding and validation that you truly need. No microwave or push button anything here, okay?

Also - be very careful about "what you share" with someone - you don't really know yet. We oftentimes give people way too much information about ourselves in the beginning and later we wonder why - these same people know exactly where and how to hurt us. The courting time of a relationship should be about - finding out who someone is - over time - by watching their actions........not........just listening to their words. Read that line until it becomes written in stone. Words are cheap and easy. Actions - really tell the story. Remember that. Anyone that has to keep telling you over and over again how wonderful they are - are usually telling you - they are quite the opposite. Someone who really is wonderful - doesn't have to toot their own horn all the time. And neither do they need to go back over all their past relationships with you and tell you how wrong the other person was and how right they were. People contribute equally to a break-up, just like they contribute equally to a successful relationship.

I've found that people who constantly profess their irritation about something - are nine times out of ten - the very people who are doing whatever. They just cry foul about it all the time because of their own guilt and try hard to throw people - off track about themselves. To state something now and then is one thing, but to constantly harp on it - is another. There are either some very disturbing issues here or the person is hiding something. So, when someone is constantly talking about something like - how much they hate unfaithfulness and how they would never, never do that and how every person in their lives has been unfaithful to them, etc., etc. - Be very wary...... They are most likely talking about - their own unfaithfulness. It's just like the man or the woman who is constantly accusing his faithful marriage partner of going out on him and is horribly jealous all the time, when in all reality - they've been having an affair for years. The guilty dog - always barks the loudest. Food for thought.

Do they keep their word to you and are they considerate of you? Do they call you when they say they will? Do they show up for dates on time? Do they constantly change plans in mid-stream without talking to you much, or at all about it? Do they just "assume" what you'd like to do, where you'd like to go, what you'd like to eat, etc.? If you are disrespected in this fashion and not "considered" in the making of plans - it more than likely - won't get better. If we start out making excuses for someone in this area - we can only hope to - continue in this exercise. Except, once the courtship is over and they have landed you, so to speak - even the "nice-nice" attached to it will fade away and they probably won't even bother to give you any excuses. They showed you who they were in the beginning - and you accepted it, so in their minds - what's your problem? Be very careful what you are signing up for in the foundation of a relationship. It's all there in the beginning - if we will see it and not think - oh, they'll grow out of it or I'll change them or they'll change because they love me so much or whatever! Hogwash. Relieve yourself of that pipe dream and save yourself a Ton of heartache! Ain't gonna be happening. People are - who they are. And the significant other - will very seldom be the reason - anyone changes.

Do you find yourself constantly "letting things go" that are said and done - which fall into the category - in your book - of being inappropriate for whatever reason? If you are holding back because you don't want to lose this person - please step back and check yourself really hard. This issues - won't go away. Whether something is done or said that is not acceptable by you in general, or is just something that you really disagree with in nature - you can and should find a way to - say something that very respectfully shares - that you are of another opinion on the matter. This gives room for both parties to know where the other one stands on the subject and should open the door for discussion and respect to be shown. I think great care needs to be taken in expressing whatever to them, not to challenge them per say, but to not keep your real feelings hidden either. That's not fair to them or to you. And it's an opportunity for you to see how you guys can come to the table with conflict or different views. Might as well learn that as early as possible.

What you are looking for here - is "processes". What are people's processes for things? Do they already have in place a system for processing other people's ideas, feelings, beliefs and opinions? And can anything different from what they feel and believe truly exist in a relationship with them? And can you tolerate their differentness on some issues - into a relationship with you?

I find it very refreshing when a person will listen to what I have to say and not immediately jump in with both feet in a counterattack of opinion. I just feel really - listened to and considered. The "open door" feeling is there. Then, if they do have a different view or belief on whatever - they might not necessarily share it there, but will later and not do so in a way that does not challenge me or put me down. It just comes across as simply "sharing" another point of view for - my consideration. This.......is respect.

Anyone who speaks very quickly and harshly when someone is sharing something very strongly attached to their inner fiber - isn't showing anything even close to - respect for the other person. And profits them nothing to jump at you and be quick to put you down for anything. If whatever - is a strong opinion of yours and so very close to your heart, then they need to at least respect for just that. They may not decide to be in a relationship with you, but you don't slam dunk what a person holds near and dear to
them - whatever it is. IF - over time, respect and trust is gained, they might allow you......to share with them another concept or reality, but again - it's the "over time" issue that's involved here. Just because you don't slam dunk someone when you don't agree with them, doesn't mean that you are weak in your opinions or that you are condoning anything. It means that you are honoring and respecting another person's feelings and what their reality is. It actually means that you are a very strong person and don't have the need to beat someone up in order to make yourself feel superior.

We have so much to learn by allowing an "open door" policy. There are some things that we are set in and that we are not going to change our minds on, true enough. And that's fine and can be very good. Some things need to be immovable. But, what harm is there in at least showing respect for another person by truly "listening" to them and showing them respect? If we are truly confident in where we stand, we shouldn't feel threatened at all - by doing this. We have nothing to lose, only gain. At the very least, it really makes the other person feel valued and comfortable. Compromise in the end may not be attainable for a long term relationship on some things, but at least you came to that point with dignity and mutual respect for one another. And even though one or the other might not fully sway over to the other one's position, at least room could be given for insight and growth, even if you walk away from one another. People think about things down the road, but only if it was presented in a kind and respectful fashion. And we have to realize that we don't always have the "whole truth" on any given subject. Living life on a scale of being willing to receive and consider new information and critically thinking about it - should never be threatening to anyone that truly wants to learn and grow in this life. Rigidity - shows a great amount of fear operating in someone's life and quite the opposite of - confidence.

Are you hearing a non-stop onslaught of flattery? Well.....it certainly sounds good. Too good to be true......and it usually is! Sincere people say things they really "mean" and they usually don't say it "a lot". They want to make sure they know you take them seriously when they do - arrive there. To say it a lot after that point is no big deal. That's very sweet actually. But to do that before the pot has boiled here - is not a good sign - at all. What has "real meaning" to it - isn't said in haste or early on over and over again. To say "I think you are very beautiful or handsome" in the beginning is acceptable. It shows interest and that you are very appealing to them, but to restate that and similar things relentlessly - begins to sound a bit like a salesman in operation. And, that's usually - exactly what's going on. A person worth their salt, won't think that you'd be blown over by a lot of flattery and would rather you'd be impressed with they way they treat you - instead of what they said to you. If you lower your standards - you'll get what you settle for.

I've often found it to be true - that if a woman flatters another woman with compliments all the time - look out! And that has proven true in my life - every time. Woman to woman it - usually means great envy clothed in flattering statements to throw the other woman off guard. Man to a woman - it means - let me shine you on and get what I want because I won't be in your life long enough to do the "action" part of it.

Needy women fall for this - hook, line and sinker. If they knew they were truly a beautiful person - they wouldn't need to be told this over and over again like it was some new fact in the universe. In fact, it would really annoy a healthy person. They'd wonder what was really up here? And having a person tell you they really "love you" after they've spent the time getting there is worth all the world and it's gold - compared to someone who tells you a million times they love you and they don't even really know you yet. That's a person - with an "agenda" and you can bet good money - it has nothing to do with who you are, your interests, needs and desires about anything. It's all about "them" and you'd better run like your butt was on fire!

Is there a general feel of "well being" when you are with the person? Now, what I'm not talking about here is that feeling of "butterflies" and you just can't wait until the next time you're with them. What I mean is - do you feel a sense of comfort? Are you truly able to relax and just be yourself without holding back certain aspects of yourself? And, do you sense that in them as well? First impressions in this realm are very important. Sometimes, we might override a signal that goes off in us and we might re-arrange ourselves in some way to just - get through some situation. Also pay attention to why you feel comfortable. Is it largely comprised of, as I mentioned before, a lot of compliments, followed by a lot of attention and physical activity? Or is it about other things regarding your personhood? Do they pay attention to what is really important to you? Or, are they just pacifying you in order to charm you? What is important to you - will always be important to you and vice versa. Being able to just - be yourself - should be visible right off the bat. If you have to work at it - whaz up?

And how does it go for you - if you have children? For example, a man dates a woman who has children and just bombards them with all this attention and maybe even gifts, and "oh how cute and wonderful they cute", but has little patience with them or ignores serious issues like your need to be with them, or attend to whatever concerns them and places "his own need to be with you" as a higher priority. A man who doesn't respect the parent/child relationship - doesn't respect - you. Criticism over the way you raise them and strong emphasis on you doing it - his way - is another warning sign that he doesn't respect you, nor does he have genuine feelings toward your children. He only wants to use them to get to you and will probably be very abusive to them later on. It takes time for a person to "earn the right" to share anything of a critical nature when it comes to how you parent your children. And it is our responsibility to accept nothing less - for us and for the welfare of our children. Pay close attention to the man that wants the child - out of the picture, by either being babysat a lot (because you're with him) or by driving a wedge between you and your children. If this is the picture you're getting - then here's "another child" - you're going to have to raise. Be very aware of this. It is a rare man or woman that can truly learn to love and care for another person's children. Know this going in, so that you can really "appreciate" the man that - arrives there by taking the time to develop his own relationship with them, just because - "he cares".

Is this person willing to meet your friends and your family or is it all the other way around? Again, we are talking about a one-way relationship and this kind of thing is usually very visible in the beginning. You're always with their friends and family and excuses are always made as to not being available to be with yours. That's definitely someone who wants you to come over to his side of everything and deny what is "you". If someone is sincerely interested in you and values you - they will be very open and eager to meet anyone that has importance in your life. At some point if they just don't feel comfortable around whoever, that's understandable and should be received by you as their right to express this and act accordingly. No one is going to mesh or get along with everybody. But, if they just don't ever want to be around your friends and family at all for the most part and are constantly putting them down in some way - do you really want to put up with this forever? You will, if you allow it in the beginning. A lot of people assume that whatever they have for you in the way of friends or family is just to be "adopted" by you and I think that shows extreme arrogance on their part. Even a bit of snobbery to say the least. Be sure to guard your friendships if you are involved with a person like this and (continue in it) because they will do their best to cut you off from all friends and family. Sometimes people will even superficially be around whoever in order to - put a wedge between them and you. Control freaks are a pain in the rearend. Kick them to the curb and do it like - yesterday.

The things mentioned here - do not make a loving relationship of any kind. They spell disaster. I hope you heed the warnings and keep the paper handy to refer to often. Sometimes we just get blinded by that swarm of "butterflies". Keep your butterfly net handy, catch those suckers, put them in a jar for awhile and "think" through what you are really doing. Then your feelings aren't ruling you. Your mind is. Your heart will follow what your mind has rationally decided, even if you have some dysfunctions going on. We all have our dysfunctions, we just don't have to be led around by them. If we've made mistakes in our relationships, then we need to learn by them, and not keep repeating history. Right? Oh..... and do remember to eventually let the butterflies out. They are important little creatures. (Smile) So very beautiful and they absolutely - have their place. But, so does common sense and wisdom.... Keep that balance and you'll reward yourself with - a good relationship. It may take time to find, but settling for a frog will just plop you right in the middle of the swamp - time after time. If you think you're worth more than that - then DO something about it.

September 18, 2002
6:33 pm
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tracylyn
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Ladeska~

Oh god, started reading....this is long, I'm scared to read the rest and really ask myself these questions.

Will do though...promise to self.

Thank you for sharing.

Be Well.

September 18, 2002
6:44 pm
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Ladeska
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Oh go ahead! Grab an herbal tea, beer, cig, the cat, a pillow (but no don't choke the cat as you read...'kay?) Just some thoughts that used to hit me bet. the eyes and still do. Figured I'd throw them out there and see if they help anyone else. Sorry it's so long....i'm known for writing books. ;~D

September 19, 2002
9:48 pm
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karoline
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Ladeska, Interested in more info on the part about a woman frequently flattering another woman-this being a disguise for envy.

One thing about my life that I regret is that since I've been out of highschool, over 10years ago, I have the damnest time making and keeping female friends. I have some theories on this but it still is a sore spot for me.

September 20, 2002
11:14 am
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Ladeska
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Hey Karoline...well, I'm sure there are alot of reasons for this....the ones that pop out front and center to me are - women having a low self esteem to begin with and the old thing of women competing for men by thinning out the competition. Those are the obvious ones.

The other more illusive reasons might have something to do with a woman never getting what she needed from her own mother and if things were very poisonous there and yet never resolved, either between the two of them - or with the daughter in her own mind and heart - then she takes it with her. She draws women to her that are alot like "mom" and she basically tries to solve what I call "the old war". To somehow fix it, alot like we do with the father image and the men in our lives.

If our mother has betrayed us in some way or had issues of her own that kept her from really being a mom - whereby she became threatened by a flowering female in her own home - reminded of her own crippled femaleness - which could manifest itself into a myriad of toxic things for that daughter. Not every mom - is a mom. Some are just another woman to a daughter. Therefore that daughter could grow up with alot of hurt, resentment and maybe patterns of like manner from what mom taught and mirrored to her.

We look to our mothers for "who we are as females" and what we find is what we carry with us to a large degree.

Sometimes we are just drawn to the wrong women who have familiar traits of our mother and we try to get that good, healthy, loving bond going and the thing is - it was whacked from the beginning! But we don't see that. We compulsively, blindly try to make the square peg fit - no matter what.

And women who might not be the best for us, somehow knowing in an intuitive way that we are less than aware of their wiles because we have a place in us that isn't healed yet - they are able to get in close to us and it's not always a good thing... But we just aren't able to perceive what kind of toxic stuff they are able to unleash on us because we are still trying unconciously to get a woman like them - to love us, to approve of us, to bond with us. It's kind of an interconnecting web.

The other thing is - in our society where women are really trying to get out there and do everything that men do and do it just as well or better - we often leave something, part of us behind - accomplishing all of that.... We may not want to admit it, but alot of women have a problem deep in their being with that part of them that really needs to be able to be home with their children, to watch them grow, change, to really parent them instead of someone else that is paid to be in that position. It gnaws at us. And I think there are other things that really bug us about being in that environment of dog eat dog...

Then we go to work and we find symbolic husbands in the workplace to attach to and we fight ferociously against any woman who might take that man from us. Because when you look at it - alot of women seek approval from one man at work, seek to bond with him, to assist him in some way and those things are an awful lot like what you'd think a woman would be doing toward the man in her life, as in a mate and yet she is married or committed to another....

It's a misplaced need that is manifesting itself. I never could understand, early on, in the work place why so many women would come at me with fangs beared when I did absolutely nothing to them but show up to work at their establishment. Talk about nasty!!!!??? Geeshhh. And as I studied the whole picture - I saw it....one woman here - protecting her spot with her man, one woman over there doing the same thing, so on and so on. And I being seeing what all that meant - I would probably be entering one of those women's territory at some point and she was quite worried that I would either steal her spot or compete for it. So they came at me hard and heavy from the very start. They'd do the odd man out thing, exclude me, start rumors, shun me, lay traps for me, etc. I have not had an easy road in that way and I'm sure I'm not alone... It took some sunshine away from me for awhile and still can at times but - that's the aim of some people - for that very thing - to happen. Sad, isn't it? A rude awakening for me, esp. after having two very cruel women in my life early on. But, over the years I have found some very healthy women, who have a fine spirit about them and don't seek to pull my heart out of my belly button and eat it raw!! LOL!

But, in the beginning, I just sat back and went whhhooooaaaaa. These woman and their disdain had nothing to do with "who I was". They were not interested in finding that out - at all. They were intensely jealous and that was just the end of it and the nicer I was to them - the more vicious they became. But, hey, go to Africa and watch the animals there, or go in your own back yard and watch your male and female dog when a new female is brought into the space!

And if you are intelligent, a leader, a rather original piece of work in who you are - all the worse for how you will be treated by women....especially women who have low self esteem themselves. They basically hate you on sight and with some of these women - there is no getting over it or convincing them either. I guess you remind them of what they don't have "inside" and they just want to hurt you because of it. That's all I ever saw.

I've learned, the hard way, that it is really best to be extremely picky about the women I draw in close to me. Because I have been the victim of some nasty that would make some real tough men - shake in their boots. It was undeserved, very calculated and extremely cruel.

I've had to sit down and ask myself - what kind of woman will I "allow" to really be my friend. And I have a list of things to be quite honest. And they have to meet those requirements or they Do Not get close to me.

I may reach out to them for some reason, to maybe help if I can - if I feel that is possible, but in those cases that I consider "iffy" - I don't open the door for them to come get that close to me either. Been bitten way too many times. Now I let my radar flash on the screen and I "read it" when before - I didn't or would just dismiss it.

I've done some work in my own heart and realized that by my having two very nasty mothers (step and biological) - I had some open wounds that really set me up as far as some calculating women was concerned. I was rather drawn to them and them to me. Thus, I kept getting it, time and time again until I realized - it was just me trying to fix what was originally very broken inside me. I changed that image of what I really wanted my mothers to be, realized that was never going to happen and somehow that changed my radar...made it clearer. Didn't need have that compulsion anymore and didn't have the degree of blindness I used to have.

Funny thing about that was - I started noticing women that I would have been drawn to before all this and not only did I see them - but they got close and saw me, too and steered very far away from me, spitting and hissing alot of times - but they saw - I may have a scar - but my eyes work rather well....

It's all very, very sad to me....so many broken women. And I'm a damned good friend and sister. I'm not the least bit prissy or pretentious and I soooo want women to find their beauty and not the kind we see all over the media, movies and billboards either - but that graceful, deep beauty kind of thing. It's not in a jar, it can't be purchased at any dress store and it can't be mimicked. When I can and when someone lets me - I try my dardest to share that with them, even if they can't stay with me for very long - I want them to know that - some women are not out for blood from another woman. I don't want their man and I definitely don't want to hurt their heart. Just my thoughts here, hope it helps and would love to hear what you think on the subject!! (dang this was longg....such a chabberbox)

September 20, 2002
11:18 am
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sally-anne
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Ladeska,

This is fantastic stuff. You have such insight. More!!

September 20, 2002
11:31 am
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Ladeska
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Hi Miss Sally-Anne! Good to see you here and welcome! I'm just a blabbermouth, that's all. And I either figured some things out in life or became like what tried to step on my head, so....I opted for trying to figure out the innerworkings of things. I think we all have quite a bit to say - if we'd just open up. But, hey - ask away and me and whoever else is here will try our best to just share from our own little trunk of whatever. (smile)

September 20, 2002
2:16 pm
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karoline
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Ladeska, WOW! This certainly deserves a re-read. You have touched on many of my "theories". As, with co-dependece, unhealty, unhappy, low self-esteem people rarely gravitate towards healthy people. So the more together one appears the more likely the unhealthy, envious, personally disatified would rip at you, gossip about you, fault find you and reject you.

Unhealthy people especially don't like new folks on the scene, especially if the new kid has something that is threating to them an their self-concept i.e. positive self-esteem, intelligence, talent, beauty, inner and outer, material resources, respect of peers and the overall appearence of happiness and contentment.

Before I understood this, I spent years blaming myself. I'm too shy, I'm too serious, I'm not friendly enough. I'm weird and I don't share common interests. This stuff can be applied to family members, in-laws, romantic interests and so forth.

September 20, 2002
3:25 pm
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Ladeska
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Took me a good long time to really understand the many dymanics here, too. Was quite brutal - the process. But, it really, really helped me once alot of things clicked and helped equip me - not to entangled in some webs. I don't have too many close friends. I'm extremely picky. Have had too many knives in my back and all with a smile on the face. I don't take compliments very well because when I'm flattered alot - I usually get poison in my tea. So, I don't always buy into the fact that someone wants to siddle up beside me and be my quick best friend and sings my praises to the rooftop. I tend to be very wary of that one actually. Alot of people don't seem to realize "just how wary" I can be about that. I think alot of people think they play me when in all reality - I know what they are up to.

And there's always the thing of a woman wanting to find credibility by trying to mimick what you are. You have to really watch that one...can bite you right in the butt. They either want to be known as your friend so that their illicitness is under cover - or they want to learn the ropes from you in some way - in order that they may effectively mimick those attributes that they themselves - do not possess.

Hate to talk about my gender this way but I've been through the way in this respect and have been quite blown away by the cunning and ruthlessness and the need to play with people's lives in such a way. I've been real attacked for having this mindset and I'm like - what? Did you want me to go through all this and not figure things out, have a mind that thinks? Did your really think I'd just become of clone of what hurt me? Think again. And when someone like you asks me - I am more than willing to spill the beans. Just like men can be extremely ruthless - women can do the same thing and sometimes be better at it or so it seems because they are supposed to nurture life.

September 20, 2002
4:04 pm
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karoline
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Ladeska,

This is quite fascinating, coming from you because, here you are so kind, reliable and caring. I would have imagined you to be rather trusting of the nature of most folks and to have a bevy of friends, particulary females.

Despite all of this, you like me are wary. I guess my theories are not that far off and I'm not the only one to have experienced this.

September 20, 2002
4:24 pm
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I work in IT, a very male-dominated field. We have a few females who I used to avoid, and tended to surround myself by my male coworkers who I was just plain more comfortable with. But as I've gone through some of my own stuff, I would rather hang out with the girls now! I think I'm more afraid of the men, thinking that maybe they are listening to my ideas either just to humor me or because I wore perfume today that they happen to like. Ugh.

Now there is one woman in particular that none of the ladies really hangs out with. She's a loner, and by far the most top notch Program Manager I have ever worked with, male or female. She does things right, and she's not afraid to get in people's faces when things aren't getting done. Her projects always succeed. She's not exactly friendly, she's very aggressive, and although she smiles a lot, she's what I would consider pushy. But it works for her in the workplace. I used to be really intimidated by her, afraid of her, jealous of her, and really felt very threatened by her. I think the other women did too and still do. I'm not sure what changed, but I started going to her staff meetings, and I was so impressed, I started looking deeper to see how she succeeds so much. I'm stopping by her office now probably 3 or 4 times a week to ask advice, look for templates, etc, really trying to use her as a mentor. I hope she doesn't see it as sucking up. But I still hear the sniggers and snide remarks from my other female coworkers about her. So much jealousy there too. I think I cast aside my jealousy of her when I realized that with some work and training on my part, I could do what she's doing too. I had a goal and a plan for myself, and gee, no reason to be jealous now, is there?

Just some interesting thoughts, thanks for the perspective.

September 20, 2002
6:20 pm
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mossrose
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absolute;y BRILLIANT stuff ladeska
I thought u were IT Giner, what im into - new biz, perhaps we can e mail?:)

September 20, 2002
6:30 pm
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Ladeska
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It's hard for women and like I said - it's sad and I'm so proud of you, Ginger for having this insight and following it. This woman has probably always been kicked because of many things. And it does make you tough. My daughter often says to me - Holy Cow, Mom - sometimes you give people the nastiest looks and can walk like a wrestler!! I said to her - yea, but you know why I do that, don't you? I grew up where alot of males and females were out to cut my throat and I had no family either - they wanted to do the same thing and then I had you and had to be mom and dad to you - in this world. So yea, I learned how to not only act like a wrestler but to be one if I had to.

And you'd never really think that about me if you just sat down and talked all nice with me. I don't always display that side of myself. But, it's there and she knows it's that protector part of me that says - don't even think about it, Bozo...

Anymore though Karoline - I just look for those priceless people and don't always look to get something back from them - but just like to encourage them, fly beside them for awhile and appreciate who they are, help if I can. And hey, if I get something back from that - fine, good for me and if I don't - that's okay, too. Just don't want people taking from me anymore. Had enough of that.

With you guys I just try and press your little noses to the mirror long enough that you get my drift here - that soooo many hurts in your life - are and are not because of who you are... You just have to get that straight - what that is all about. People of worth - get the absolute crap kicked out of them. And if you happen to be visually appealling - oh heck - add a mack truck broadsiding you, too!!! But, when you "know who you are" and you know what's up in these realms - you start to get a handle on it that makes you bungie jump right over the tops of their heads while saying - not today folks....I'd play chess with you, but "yawn" just not into it. Have a good one!

And you go home knowing - their arrows and darts aren't about "you" at all - therefore you don't receive them and you avoid their webs if possible...thus the reason for my writings and me sharing them with you guys. *smile*

September 20, 2002
6:31 pm
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Ladeska
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Mossbaby.......you are going to be okay....please know that. Our little flowers are still growing outside, btw. Saw them just a few minutes ago. Two little white ones, growing side by side straight up out of the concrete! Sassy little things, aren't they?

September 20, 2002
6:34 pm
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Ladeska
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Some people love nothing better than sticking their foot out and making you trip on it. They like the feeling of being able to - one more time - pull you back into their web. They get off on it. It's like - "look what I can do!" And then they disrespect the heck out of you for it and you get it ten times worse the next go round.

September 20, 2002
6:59 pm
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gingerleigh
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I'm probably the last person in the world you would want to talk to about getting pumped up about IT these days. Between layoffs and scarcity of jobs and a department that is infighting, inbreeding, and "incompeting", I've about had it with computers and want to bury mine in the woods and pee on it.

But I'd be more than happy to share thoughts and be a sounding board for ideas. I promise I won't steal any. I'm a little too comfy in my professional misery these days to really do anything creative, so no worries there. [email protected].

September 25, 2002
11:03 pm
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Kalliope
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Interesting theories, Ladeska.... I liked the part about how you learned about yourself through "poisonous relationships" and that you could draw from your past difficulties with mother figures. I do have a hard time, though, when I read your ideas about assigning others responsibility for our own misery.

Maybe some women do have a man they like to "own" in their job...but I would not generalize that to the entire gender. The idea makes men central to women's self-esteem.

Men are not central to my self-worth.

I really think that we cannot truly know how another thinks or feels without them telling us. When we look to them for reasons why we feel bad, we are assigning blame outside of ourselves...and my understanding is that this is a hallmark of low esteem in and of itself.

I think that it is interesting that some women can flow simply through daily tasks and some complicate things with their issues...and any man can be this way, too!

My best remedy for myself was to own my own issues for myself so I can begin to transcend them. As I have done this, some of those "complicated" women are less attracted to me (and I to them) because we have less in common. I am not invested in what they think of me...nor they I. I do not even engage them...whatever the tangle was before has vanished for me. It isn't personal...it is just far removed from me.

I am a full time job all to myself without trying to project my own issues onto others. I succeed the most when I look to myself for the answers to the conflicts in my life that cause me pain.

September 26, 2002
2:09 pm
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Ladeska
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I think you missed a large part of what I said here. I don't always explain things well. But, as far as women in the workplace, I don't see ALL women like that. I just see it as something that - some people do.

I also think it's not as simple as saying that "it's just you" or "it's just them doing whatever". It's a bit of both. We all affect each other and yes, we are responsible for what we do with that as well. But, we do have a brain and we can read people and see something for what it probably is alot of times. I spent a great part of my life thinking it was always "just me" and that I needed to examine my own navel 24/7 because - I can't possibly know what someone else is about, or thinking or motivated by. Well, no.......may name isn't Claire or Madam whatever her name is. No, no, I don't read minds and don't purport to. But, I do read patterns in behavior and I do connect dots when I see a connection. It's not about excusing my own behavior or about finding justification for "my bad feelings". And me connecting these dots in human behavior isn't about me having low self esteem either. I think it's called - intelligence.

I absolutely believe people should "own their stuff" and spend more time looking at their own garden and tending to it than they are running around pointing fingers at everyone else in town for them having a bad hair day.

And I could care less anymore what "those kind of women" I described think about me. I just don't care. I get the poisonous darts quite a bit and I know what's up. I spend a great deal of my time actually - being nice to them anyways. Sometimes it makes some headway but most of the time it just makes them nastier to me. But, since I have some healing under my belt in my own heart and life - the darts don't find their mark - like they used to.

As far as me looking to someone so I have a reason for my feeling bad or assigning blame....um no....I wouldn't be doing that. I assign blame very well - right where it deserves to fall and the rest - I take back with me to my own cave and examine my own heart and motives so that - I don't become - like - what I despise. I know exactly why I feel bad when someone else has been directly responsible. If they threw the rock that crashed into my world - then how am I responsible for what caused my pain after that rock hits my world? I am responsible for my feelings afterwards but I will definitely study what hit me and if it's an ongoing thing - I will study it harder as to how I'm susceptible and why they are so driven to this. I think that's just being smart. And how I work through it and how I don't abuse other people because of my pain.

All I try to do with a writing like the above is try to give people a bit of an inside peak to what I call predatory behavior among humans. If we all just study our navel and never try to understand the innerworkings of things then you can go to the plains of Africa and see it all very well played out. The herd gets attacked, one gets dragged off and eaten, the rest of the herd look at them for a second and they all take off - only to go concentrate on where the next field with good grass is at.

That being said - I very much understand the position of "spending more time worrying about yourself" and not projecting your stuff outward onto the world. I get that one, more than you realize. But, I also think if you can see into the mechanics of some things as to how they work, why not let people in on it? It's not a license to kill but rather a tool to understand some human nature better upon utilization. There's always so much to the picture, it is very seldom flat in perspective.

September 26, 2002
2:25 pm
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gingerleigh
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I find that having a better understanding of my own motives (even when admitting them causes me a lot of internal shame) helps me to understand and react to other people better. It protects me, in that I am not hurt as easily (i.e. I would hurt more thinking that someone set out intentionally to hurt my feelings than if they really were just speaking out of ignorance or thoughtlessness).

It's not a binary thing, on/off, look within/assigning blame to others. You can't fix the world's problem by just fixing yourself. But... you can't start to make the world a better place without starting on yourself first. Know what I mean?

September 26, 2002
3:58 pm
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Ladeska
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Oh I agree with you Ginger. I do. But again, when we have done that with ourselves and when we still get drawn into the same web, by the same kind of people, then it does help to "also" say to yourself - what motivates them to treat me this way and what motivates me to be vulnerable to them. In that way - it's more of a complete circle of looking at everything. Sure you can't 100% read people's motives, or read their thoughts, etc. But, you can get a clearer understanding of what's up all the way around if you delve into some of these things - which is "part" of the soul searching thing that you are doing with yourself. It's not an all or nothing thing here, that you either just turn the guns inward or you blame it all on someone else. That's not what I'm saying here at all.

It's like if I keep getting bit by the same snake, I'm going to figure out why I can't take another path, or figure out why that snake only bites me in particular or and why I'm so vulnerable to that particular kind of venom. It all kind of works together like threads of a fabric. But I'm not going to go on and on about this. Some people get what I'm saying and others don't and that's okay. Just trying to make it more clear and I probably still screwed up. All I know is - the women in my life that I have been drawn to in a bad way and the women I have been vulnerable to - were just like both of my mothers. And it helped me to study "me" and to study "them". With all that knowledge together in a package - I was able to walk freer of it. I came to know me and my hurts better and my vulnerable places and I learned how to recognize certain things in other people and how to side step them as well. And of course, as time goes on - you become less vulnerable because you're working on "you" and you're also not putting yourself blinding into the cage with the snakes either. It's a blend of things..

September 26, 2002
4:12 pm
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beenthruthat
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Ladeska~

I'm just curious if you think you have classic codependant issues, or feel that you get 'snake bites' for other reasons. I'm not really sure of your history or symptoms caused by all the trauma you have had in your life.

I DO know you are one of the most articulate writers I have seen! Keep posting. I'm learning a lot!

Jenny

September 26, 2002
5:11 pm
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Ladeska
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Oh who the hell knows what "label" I should wear!! And like I said - it's just a myriad of alot of things. Yes, there's codependent stuff in the mix, but that's not even all of it. I think we are all codependent to some degree. Do we ever ascend to where that's not so? What an amusing question. Of course we don't! We get better, but none of us ever really "arrive". We just make better and better wine if we put our mind to it. I think it's just all about being "aware" of the whole ball of wax around us and not always try and put everything in a box, but at the same time - try an define it! LOL! Now there is an impossible task! But, the trick is - that you never shut the book. You never say - AH HA - I've got the answer because the answer is an everblooming flower.......and our journey - is ongoing.... Therefore - there should be "no box". That's what science gets in trouble doing sometimes is letting man's ego get in the way which ends up putting us behind the eightball of the real truth because so and so doesn't agree with so and so and a grant is involved and who are THEY anyways? blah, blah, blah... So we do cut our own nose off to spite our face. I don't even have a nose anymore. Just a blow hole! But that's the way I learn by running into granite mts. and seeing if I can hit it hard enough that it will move. (ouch...)

We just have to appreciate the fact that this is "the human experience" and dust our little fannies right back off and hit the dusty trail. Little notebook in backback and off we go. If we can avoid some snakes along the way - that would be very cool. Mainly we just need to take responsibility for where we put our feet based on the knowledge we have and then how to act responsibly when actions are required.

Articulate? You so funny. But thank you. I blab way too much on here, was actually thinking I should stop writing as much or altogether. I'm sure people get real sick of my yap. But, if I do fade out, you can always write me in email if you'd like to. [email protected]

September 26, 2002
11:15 pm
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Kalliope
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Ladeska: You are thought provoking. "Yap" is what differentiates us humans from those jungle creatures you mention. Our stories and ideas...and what we make things mean to us.

One time there were these two black men in a downtown metropolitan inner city that were trying to get into a Ford Escort in a dark parking lot. This little old white woman called security to report that there were two black men breaking into her car on her cell phone as she hid in the parking lot. Soon cops were surrounding the two men in the Ford Escort and they were about to leave in the allegedly stolen vehicle. The driver stopped and started to get out. A cop saw a shiney object in the man's hand and started to fire gun shots at him. The man hit the ground and bled like crazy. The other man saw what was happening, and being only 16 and not very mature, he ran out of the car. Three police fired on and killed him instantly. After the men were "subdued," the cops approached the car to investigate. The captain was sure of his promotion. He got his fresh catch for the day. Investigators found that the men owned that car...a Ford Escort the exact same year and color that the little old white woman owned...and she forgot where she parked her car, so she was just combing the lot until she thought she saw her car...which she honestly thought was being stolen right before her eyes. The shiney object? It was his wallet. He was trying to get out his driver's license...he had his keys to the Ford Escort attached to it.

Another story: Once upon a time there was this woman physician who reached down to a lowly waitress to help her make her life better. The waitress was a single parent with a small child...no one to help her raise the kid. The MD saw her struggling and wanted to help her and decided that she would pay her to attend the local college to become a nurse...a MUCH better job than a waitress! She fantasized how she would be responsible for making this woman's life so much better than it was now. She even imagined that she loved her like a daughter. Days went by and she took the waitress under her wing...and the waitress, having been raised in an orphanage and never having had mothering, just lapped this all up. The MD offered her to let her live in her ranch house with her ducks and horses...to save her rent money. Besides, the MD needed someone to live in the house during the week so that the house wouldn't remain vacant and vandals wouldn't try to break into it. Before long, though, the waitress was VERY attached to the MD and began to call her often at her office. It was SOOOOoo wonderful to have the love of an older woman...something she always dreamed of but never had before. The MD began getting annoyed with these calls and stopped returning them. (She should KNOW about boundaries! She is an adult! And favors have been done for her beyond measure!!) The waitress decided to start writing to the MD....and really needed to tell her about her love for her. The MD was really scared this time. She was NOT a lesbian! And no one was going to be lead to think this. She was going to have to break off this relationship. The break off was done with ultimatums delivered: get out by such-and-such a time or be hauled out by the law. NO ONE was going to think that SHE was a lesbian! The waitress was confused. How did using the word "love" turn into sex...and why was she afraid of her? She had to know. She decided to call her. All calls were refused. She decided to go to her house in the city. The door was slammed in her face and soon a restraining order was filed. The waitress moved out. She no longer had her waitress job and she was in the middle of a semester of nursing school. Final exams were the next month. Because she had to move, she had no time to study and she failed them. She had to go to a shelter with her child...much worse off than she had started before she met the MD. In the shelter, her small child developed a cold as her 30 days there expired. All the other shelters were full. She would have to spend her first night on the street with her child. Meanwhile, the MD, surrounded by all of her affluent-professional women friends at a party, is being consoled about how hard it is to be stalked by these low-self-esteem losers. They all have their stories about how these lower class women claw at them because they are so special.... They talk about how they can learn from their mistakes...spot the stalker-type early on and avoid her. They know all about her type. They see the patterns. They see this on their jobs everyday.

Twelve years go by.... An MD speaks to a group of professional women about the realities of homelessness. She employs the women in the shelter to run the services for the community. She has "fun-raisers" to raise money for grants that these homeless women have to apply for to improve their lives...and they have to give something back when they are finished. Her story is one that all the women MD community pillers flock to hear about. They identify with her! They want to make the world a better place, too...! As the MD in front begins to speak, the formerly-stalked MD recognizes her stalker...she is the speaker! She starts crying when the woman in front tells the group of her personal experience...and how her child was hit by a car on the road and killed when her time in the shelter ran out. How she nearly took her own life when her child died. How she turned her life around and wanted to make a difference...and how she became inspired to study medicine from this woman she once knew.... She talked about the mother-figure with fondness and readily owned her scarey neediness...having not understood it very well at all "way back then." She also offered insight as to how women could help each other to build each other up...and take the strugglers with them as they soar....

September 27, 2002
12:37 pm
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Ladeska
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Well I'm glad I could provide some amusement for you, Kalliope. I do try my best. Thought provoking stories.... And I understand their meaning very well. Thanks for sharing them with me, with us. What would you like for me to "personally" derive from these particular stories, since you addressed to me. I feel a certain "tone" from you to me and just wonder - what that's about exactly...

September 27, 2002
8:27 pm
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Kalliope
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I don't think I used to the term "amusement" anywhere in my missive. "Thought provoking" were the words I used. I also do not think that these stories were personal. They were just stories.

The first story is a common tale told in different variations...to test people's percetions/assumptions....kind of like the riddle (longer convoluted story than I will write here) of a boy and his father being in a car accident and the trauma surgeon stating, "I cannot operate on the patient because the boy is my son." The question is asked, "who is the doctor to the boy." Most people say that it is his father. The doc was his MOTHER! I used to catch EVERYONE on that one about 10-15 years ago.

The second story is a shortened fable that is based on a true story. You will see this story line repeat itself over millenia...missionaries presume to understand the needs of a tribe of indigenous peoples and they feed/clothe them and "save them" from their backward ways...the people lose their hunter/gatherer skills and become dependent on the church for their livelihood and their membership booms...the church later leaves due to civil war and starvation ensues. The people were actually fine and in better harmony with their land until the church stepped in...now they can't feed themselves b/c they have lost their ages-passed down knowledge about how to find food locally without someone giving it to them.

I addressed my letter to you b/c you started the thread and b/c you seem to have the most to say about it all. Usually the other letters have been some form of agreement with you.

You state that you feel a "certain tone" from my letter. Since these are your feelings about a "tone" that you say you feel from me, could you elaborate more about this tone you perceive and your feelings about it? I do not know you and I will not make any assumptions about your perceptions of me...positive or negative.

You state that you try to amuse me. Why do you try to amuse me? I do not need amusing. I amuse myself! My attraction to this thread is the thought-provoking challenge/the debate...getting information from another intelligent mind about something that interests me. Having my own thoughts and perceptions challenged.

This is what I am about....

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