Tuesday, December 11, 2007


It's interesting. When Riin was actually around, yammering on about yarn and knitting, I used to find it dreadfully boring (of course, poor Riin used to be subjected to my yammering about Titanic from time to time, so I guess I earned that :P). Now that she's gone, to my surprise, I actually miss it. I didn't realize how much I missed it, however, until today.

I was at work, walking through the cafeteria. There was someone sitting there knitting. I glanced at the fiber they were working with. When I saw the distinctive loops in the fiber, I muttered to myself, "Bouclé."

A few steps further, I realized what I'd said. My next thought was, "I can't believe I actually know that..."

Yeah, OK, I admit it; I miss the knitting. :(

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Victims of Victims

I've created a new Yahoo! Group called "Victims of Victims."

Throughout the past century, physical and emotional abuse have been a serious problem in our society. Traditionally, abusiveness in the household was kept secret. This secretiveness, in turn, allowed the abuse to flourish because no one wanted to acknowledge it. By the mid to late 20th Century, you could find abuse in some form in virtually every household.

Fortunately, towards the end of the 20th Century, people in abusive situations started coming forward. As more and more people told their stories, the problem became a bigger and bigger part of the social consciousness. By the dawn of the 21st Century, people finally recognized it as the societal cancer it is, and always was.

Unfortunately, our awareness of it did not become a cure any more than chemotherapy did for cancer. Our awareness of abuse has helped stem the tide and stop some of the worst of it, but has also caused considerable collateral damage; in the same way chemotherapy makes the patient sick, so too does our awareness of abuse sometimes harm the innocent.

Nobody is perfect; we all do "abusive" things we regret later. The problem is, society has become so paranoid of abuse in all forms that often just being accused of abuse carries a stigma. For all intents and purposes, a person accused of abuse becomes guilty until proven innocent.

A police officer I spoke to once put it quite eloquently: "We have to take every complaint, no matter how small, seriously because there have been one too many dead wives found on their kitchen floors."

Victims of Victims is a support group for people who have been victims, not of traditional abuse, but of "abuse victims" who use society's paranoia with abuse as a tool to abuse their "abuser." This group is for anyone who's ever had someone call the police on them when they didn't deserve it or been unfairly slandered by "victims."

Maybe some of us have made genuine mistakes in the past... but none of us deserve this.

Click here to join Victims of Victims
Click to join Victims of Victims

Sunday, November 11, 2007

To Protect and Serve?

This is a Letter to the Editor I just submitted to my local newspaper, The Cape Breton Post:
From: John A. Ardelli
Subject: Misguided Law Enforcement
Date: November 11, 2007 1:35:33 PM AST
To: Cape Breton Post Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

"Bicyclists may occupy as much of a traffic lane as their safety warrants." This is a direct quote from the Bicycle Safety brochure published by Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. It means, if there’s no room to share, cyclists have the right to take as much lane space as they need. Unfortunately, this fact does not appear to be a part of the training given to officers of the Cape Breton Regional Police.

Several weeks ago, a police constable in an unmarked cruiser squeezed by me within centimeters as I traveled east on Kings Road just past Kenwood Drive. When I honked my horn and yelled after him, he pulled me over and accused me of "impeding traffic" (all the while his cruiser, stopped on the road, was doing just that) and that I should be riding at the extreme right.

This past Friday, a police officer honked at me as I traveled west towards Kenwood Drive. I pointed to the lane next to me to signal him to go around me; he did. However, when I got to work, he caught up with me and told me the same fallacy about "impeding traffic" (and accused me of making a "left hand turn signal" when I pointed to the adjacent lane) and said I need to move over more. This officer, unlike the other, was at least polite about it and didn’t impede traffic himself.

In both cases, the officers claimed they were doing this for my "safety."

I've only ever had one collision on Kings Road, with a cyclist riding on the sidewalk at the Kimberly Drive intersection.

If these police officers truly want to increase the safety of cyclists, it's the cyclists on the sidewalks, not the law-abiding ones on the road, that they need to address.
That was as much as I could say within the Post's 300 word limit. I did, however, publish a bit more detail on the story on Cyclelicious; click the title of this entry to go directly to the article there.

Friday, October 19, 2007


Unbelievable; her "new" blog wasn't even 10 days old and already she's managed to slide in a reference to having been in "an emotionally abusive relationship with [a] cyclist . . ."

For somebody who wants nothing to do with me, Riin sure talks about me enough...

On October 18, 2007 1:03:19 AM ADT, Anonymous wrote:
Aw, you got mentioned in the paper -- er, I mean, a blog -- aren't you proud...
No; shocked.
If you think that having been in, and then extracted oneself from, an emotionally abusive relationship isn't . . . a big part of someone's life at that time, then you're obviously unclear on the concept. Of COURSE it gets mentioned when one is describing . . . "why I now avoid stuff I used to love."
I am perfectly clear on the concept. If you think that Riin was the only one who was "emotionally abused," think again; this sword is double-edged.
A reference indicates the level of trauma she experienced, yet you seem to think it's a sign that she's pining away for you.
No. Talking to her friends about it privately would indicate the level of trauma she's experienced; talking about it publicly is a whole other ball o' yarn. Sue, a past commenter here, actually took me to task for discussing things about Riin publicly that I shouldn't have; I've since taken those down when I realized she was right.

"But you mention Riin all the time on your blog," some might say. Quite true but, then again, I have been forthright from the outset that I am trying to get Riin's attention. If I didn't want her attention, I wouldn't be broadcasting my pain across the globe; I'd be talking about it only with my close friends in private.

In my opinion, there are only four possible motivations Riin could possibly have for mentioning her trauma publicly:
  1. She's playing for sympathy.
  2. She's trying to get back at me.
  3. She's trying to get my attention.
  4. She's "pining away for [me]."
Honestly, I seriously doubt it's 4 (don't put words in my mouth). Even if she still has feelings for me (and, according to my personal beliefs on the dynamics of love she must), "pining" was never Riin's way even when we were together, much less now. No, I think her actions are motivated, not by love, but by anger and self-righteousness; this, she is prone to.

I think it's a combination of options 1-3 in descending order.

First and foremost, I think she's playing for sympathy. Even when we were together, she had a strong tendency to play the victim, even with me. She used to tell me all the ways people had wronged her and how angry and powerless she was to prevent it all. Hell, until recently that was pretty much all she ever did on her blog, for that matter (now pretty much all she talks about is knitting which, I think, is a distinct improvement).

Second, she definitely wants to get back at me; no question of that. She was forced to take down the libelous comment about me (of course, she did it under the guise of "starting over" so she wouldn't have to admit she was wrong) so, the first opportunity she had she put up something she knew would annoy me but that I can't say anything about because, unfortunately, I can't deny the truth in it.

The third ties into the second; she can't get back at me without getting my attention, and I know she knows I'm reading her blog. So I have no doubt that she is playing for my attention, not to get me back, but to twist the proverbial knife.
In fact, not mentioning the relationship at all would be rather unhealthy of her; it would seem to indicate some ongoing state of denial or not having come to grips with the situation.
I agree, but none of that changes the fact that she could choose to talk about it privately as opposed to in a public forum; she chooses to speak publicly. There is absolutely no reason to do so outside of the aforementioned four motivations.
I for one am very glad to see that she seems to be moving on in a healthy manner.
"Healthy?" Hardly. All she ever talks about is how I was "emotionally abusive." Not once has she ever admitted to being at fault herself. "Healthy" would be a balanced admission that we were both at fault. She's always had trouble facing her own faults; this has destroyed every emotionally significant relationship Riin has ever been in:
  1. Her father.
  2. Her mother.
  3. M (best friend 27 years).
  4. Peter Alway (ex-husband 14 years).
  5. Ken Kifer.
  6. Me.
All you have to do to see the swath of emotional destruction in her wake is do a search of the archives of Bicycling Advocacy and CarFree and do a Wayback Machine search on her former blog; she talks about them all.

The only one of these relationships that didn't technically self destruct is Ken Kifer, and then only because he didn't live long enough to be subjected to Riin's abuses; in that sense, he was the lucky one of the six of us. Still, Riin's abusive side is a fairly creative one; eventually, she found a way to betray even him.

Following his death, she took over care of his Yahoo! Group, the aforementioned Bicycling Advocacy. She told me on countless occasions how important that group was to Ken. So what does she ultimately do with it? She abandons it to me, a man she considers so reprehensible that she can't even bring herself to face me and talk through our issues like adults. She could have turned the group over to the other co-moderator, but she didn't; she just turned her back.

She didn't even have the decency to say goodbye to the members when she left. I mean, if you're just a member of a group, OK you don't owe anyone anything, but when it's your group, you owe it to the members to at least let them know you're leaving and let them know who will be in charge when you're gone; you don't just leave.

On her old blog, Riin once said that she felt like a traitor; she just didn't know to who or what. I think a part of her, deep down, knows the answer to that: Ken Kifer. If Ken's memory meant anything to her at all, she would never have turned her back on a piece of him so callously.

Riin is just as abusive as I am; she just won't admit it to herself. If she doesn't admit it soon so she can do something about it, she probably always will be abusive and her relationships will continue to fail, one by one, leaving a string of shattered hearts.

Right now, what she's doing is avoiding. She wants to pretend she hasn't done anything wrong so she doesn't have to feel guilty. Now, I don't advocate living a life of guilt, as I've seen so many people do, but there are times when one should feel guilty. I do. I feel guilty for everything I've done to hurt Riin. She, on the other hand, apparently feels no remorse whatsoever for the pain she's caused me, or any of the other five she's turned her back on.

I guess she's not ready to face her darker half; until she is, she is not "healthy."

Of course, in my experience, no one truly is...

On October 19, 2007 1:32:12 AM ADT, Anonymous wrote:
Well, I totally agree that it's inappropriate for you to give her personal details without her explicit permission -- such as, oh, for example, a list of people you claim she's hurt (whether you're right or wrong about that is not the issue, but I don't accept it as fact, I accept it as something you claim). Including naming names in some cases! You should be ashamed!
Then so should she. I haven't revealed any names she hasn't already; see the above links.
You will note that she did not mention you by name.
The trick all libelers use to avoid legal issues; morally, it's still the same.
My whole point in my comment was that she was giving an overview of her life of late and of some major changes and the reasons behind them.
All of which she had no reason, aside from the ones I gave earlier, to do in public.
Take note, please, that I never said that you weren't also emotionally abused.
Not directly, but you claimed I "wasn't clear on" what it is to be in or get out of an abusive relationship. That implies I haven't had any experience with it; that further implies that I've not been abused.
In fact, I never said that she was.
Again, by telling me the "trauma" of the abuse was probably the motivation behind her actions, you implied it very clearly; if she wasn't abused, your argument means nothing.
She is probably NEVER going to be able to leave out that part when describing big changes in her life.
Sure she can. Just as she did in her personal info page: "For a long time I rode a bike everywhere, but that really wasn't making me happy anymore." That's all that really needs to be said, unless somebody actually asks why it "doesn't make [her] happy."
[S]he is doing well . . .
Too well. She's suffered no consequences for the people she's crushed in her wake; not just me.

My opinion? Sure, but I'm entitled to it.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Case Closed

Well, the man who's been trying to reach me since Friday finally caught up to me last night.

He was simply the detective that I was told would visit. He just wanted to make sure I got the letter from the University of Michigan Department of Public Safety. The reason he hasn't been identifying himself was because he didn't know how much Lisa knew about my situation and didn't want to tell her he was police lest he embarrass me. I'm not so sure it's a wise policy not to identify yourself when you come to someone's door, but I understand why he did it.

At least now it's over. Now I know he wasn't some wingnut trying to hurt Lisa or myself. Finally, I can relax.

My greatest relief, however, is that he was not here to serve me papers; I don't have to file any complaints. Riin took down the libelous comment about me. She respected my feelings; I will respect hers. Finally, I can put this situation to rest. I still hope Riin will decide to contact me to bury the hatchet some day but, until, or if, that day comes, I will respect her feelings and not contact her as long as she continues to respect mine and not vilify me in public.

Now all I have to do is figure out what to do about the troll who posted a comment here a few days ago claiming to be Riin and daring me to call her. Whoever you are, be advised that being flawed (as we all are) does not make me stupid. Even when we were together, Riin only ever commented on this blog once in all the time it's been here. She doesn't comment here; she never has. If you were really Riin, you would E-mail me or call me, not comment here.

Since I knew the comment could not be from Riin, I brought it up with the police officers while they were here. They told me that, if I filed a complaint, it would be investigated. They have computer experts that handle this kind of thing. So, I kept a record of the comment but did not publish it (that's why there's a "deleted comment" listed in the comments on the previous post). The police can get the IP address from Blogger if I choose to pursue it.

Up to now, I was willing to let the childishness in the comments here slide, but writing here, pretending to be Riin? That crosses the line. If you'd been successful and had tricked me into calling her, that could've hurt her. The fact that you failed in your attempt is irrelevant; I cannot discount the intent to cause her harm. Whatever else has happened, I still love her and I will not tolerate anyone deliberately setting out to cause her harm.

Be advised a complaint will be filed, and the IP traced, if I ever see another comment from "Riin" in this blog.

Now that that's been said, I wish Riin all the love and luck in the world; my door will always be open to her.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

An Acceptable Compromise... I Hope...

It would seem that Riin has, perhaps unwittingly, offered me an acceptable compromise I can live with.

On Wednesday, October 3, 2007, I received a following letter, Registered Mail, from the Department of Public Safety, University of Michigan:
Mr. Ardelli:

My name is **** *****, and I am a Detective with the University of Michigan Department of Public Safety. On 9/4/2007 Riin Gill filed a report with our Department [sic] alleging that she has asked you on more than one occasion to cease all contact with her. She further stated that you have continued to e-mail her, call her, send post mail to her and to write entries on her blog. I am hereby ordering you to cease all contact with Riin Gill including, but not limited to:
Phone calls
Electronic Mail
Postal Mail
Electronic Bulleting [sic] Boards
Web Logs
Personal Contact at Home, Work or a Public Place
Appearing Within Sight of Riin Gill
Third Party Contacts

The act of making any of the previous contacts is in violation of Michigan Penal Code 750.411h- Stalking, a misdemeanor. Furthermore, and as a warning to avoid any future behavior that may escalate the situation, you should be informed that posting an unauthorized message through the use of any medium of communication with intent to terrorize, intimidate, harass or molest is a Felony in the State of Michigan (Michigan Penal Code 750.411s)

At this point in the investigation, after consulting with Riin Gill, the report was filed as an Information Report. However, if any new attempts to contact Riin Gill are made by you, be advised that criminal charges may result.
Likewise, Riin Gill was advised not to make any contacts with you or to visit any of your sites. If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach me at (***)***-****.

I thank you in advance for your prompt attention and cooperation in this matter.

**** *****
University of Michigan
Department of Public Safety
Criminal Investigations Unit
**** ***** *****
*** *****, ** *****
So I called the Detective to explain my side of the story. I talked to him for a few minutes, but he wasn't able to talk long as the calls were forwarded to his cell phone; he had a family emergency. So, we didn't have much time to talk, but I was able to gather that Riin's complaint was prompted by my recent repeated attempts to post comments on her blog. The Detective seemed like a nice, reasonable guy. He offered to talk to me at greater length the next day.

When I spoke to him the following day, this is, in a nutshell, what I told him:

After doing some research, I found the full text of Michigan Penal Code 750.411s. A Felony charge under that section can only be brought if all conditions in 750.411s (1a-d) are met.

(1a) definitely applies, and the very fact Riin made her complaint implies that (1d) applies, but (1b) and (1c) do not apply. My messages were not intended to cause harassing conduct (1b), and no conduct arising from my messages would cause a reasonable person to feel threatened (1c) (I do not feel Riin is being reasonable so, if she does feel threatened, it is without cause, and (1c) is apparently there to protect people in my situation from being wrongfully charged).

Furthermore, as regards section 750.411h, "stalking" and "unconsented contact" are defined separately under subsections (d) and (e).

"Stalking" is defined under 750.411h (d) as "a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested."

"Unconsented contact" is defined under 750.411h (e) as: "any contact with another individual that is initiated or continued without that individual's consent or in disregard of that individual's expressed desire that the contact be avoided or discontinued."

As I've said, the messages I sent would not make any reasonable person "feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested." Therefore, though I freely acknowledge engaging in unconsented contact as outlined in 750.411h (e), that contact was not "stalking" as defined under 750.411h (d). I therefore submit that Ms. Gill's accusation of "stalking" is a blatantly false charge.

Furthermore , from March 7 (the day after the breakup) through June 2, 2007, I respected her wishes. I even stopped sending her postal mail, at her request in a letter I received May 20. I had no contact with her whatsoever following that date and had no intention to contact her. Her request not to contact her in her letter was unambiguous, so I intended to honor it, and did up to June 2; that's when she decided to make libelous comments about me on her blog.

At that point, realizing I had to take action to stop the libel and preferring to do so between her and I rather than bringing in the police or a lawyer, I contacted her and gave her clear caveat that I would not tolerate the libel and that, if it was not removed, my promise not to contact her would be null and void. This has been the justification for my actions from then until now: so long as that libel stayed on her blog, I would not respect her wishes on principle.

However, this past October 6, Lisa informed me that Riin had taken her entire blog down and started over. Now, I'm somewhat dismayed that she discarded all that history she'd built up, but I do understand why she did it. She needs to start over from scratch. I respect that. Further, with the dissolution of her original blog, the libelous comments of June 2 disappeared along with it.

Therefore since Riin has showing a willingness, however tacit, to respect my wishes, I hereby formally state my intentions to respect hers. As of this date, Monday, October 8, 2007, I will willingly cease all contact in all forms with Riin, as per her request with the understanding that this embargo is not two ways. Should Riin ever wish to contact me, she is welcome to, but she will not hear from me again unless she contacts me.

Now, I'm hoping that will be the end of it... but there's a wrinkle.

This past Friday, October 5 around 2:00 PM ADT, a unknown male, overweight, gray haired balding, wearing a blue tench coat and carrying a manila folder, came to my door. Lisa was the only one here; I was at work. The man asked where I was and requested my cell phone number. Unfortunately Lisa, not thinking, gave him this information without even asking the man who he was; shortly thereafter, I received a hang-up call on my cell phone voice mail.

Now, the Detective from the University of Michigan Department of Public Safety did tell me, during our conversation, that a Cape Breton Regional Police Detective might pay me a visit just to make sure I got his letter, so I assumed that that's who the man was, so I didn't give it any further thought. I did, however, ask Lisa not go give out any further information about me the next time without getting the identity of the man first.

Well, today (Monday, October 8), around the same time as on Friday, the same man showed up again. As I has asked, Lisa asked him who he was, twice. He refused to identify himself; he would only say that he needed to talk to me. Even more troubling, he knew Lisa's name. Lisa immediately called my cell phone and left a voice mail explaining what happened.

I immediately called the Cape Breton Regional Police from work to ask them if it was one of their people. Though they were not absolutely certain, they did say one thing that concerned me: because of the Thanksgiving holiday, none of their "plain clothes" operatives were on patrol at the time, only uniformed officers. So I have to assume, whoever this guy was, he was not with the Cape Breton Regional Police.

I met with a couple of Cape Breton Regional Police officers following the end of my shift at 4:30 (fortunately, there is a "satellite" police station right in front of our building). I explained my entire situation, just as I've explained it here. Now, given my situation with Riin, it's quite possible that this guy has some legitimate business with me. However, I do not appreciate how he's frightening both myself and particularly Lisa by refusing to identify himself.

The police officers advised me not to contact Riin any further (which was already my intention anyway). In turn, they instructed me to have Lisa call the police immediately should this guy show up again.

It occurs to me that this guy could be trying to serve me some papers from Riin. I sincerely hope not. The Detective in Michigan was very clear: Riin is willing not to press this further if I agree not to contact her. I did agree to that in the conversation, pending Riin's willingness to remove the libel against me on her blog. Since she has done that, and as I have agreed to stand down, I would view any further action from Riin at this point as nothing more than malicious.

If it does turn out that this guy is trying to serve me anything from Riin, given that the charge of "stalking" is clearly unfounded under the Michigan Penal Code, I will file a formal charge against Riin under Section 750.370 of the MPC: "Falsely and maliciously accusing another." It's one thing for her to come after me, but this guy is scaring Lisa. That I will not tolerate. If this is Riin's doing, this is the last thing she should have done if she wanted this truly over.

However, until I find out what this guy wants, I'm going to give Riin the benefit of the doubt and assume that either this guy wants to talk to me about an unrelated matter (I am in the process of filing a formal complaint against a police officer regarding an unrelated traffic incident, so it could be about that) or that it's a complaint filed by someone else I've contacted in connection with the Riin mess (unlikely as whoever it is apparently knows my address).

I'll leave a letter for "John Doe" on my door tomorrow warning him that, if he does not identify himself when he knocks, the police will immediately be called. I'll also leave Lisa instructions to do so should he come back.

I hope it's not Riin's doing. Now that the libel is off her blog, I'd much rather just let this drop once and for all. I'm pretty battle-weary, and I think I've proven my point. At least Riin will never be able to say "he didn't even care enough to fight for me."

One thing I must say. Riin's "new" blog is apparently called "A Happy Fuzzy Blog." I like that. It's very "her." However, one of the three statements that appears below that title strikes me as singularly ironic: "Practice compassion towards all living things." An interesting statement coming from her, particularly given how much "compassion" she's shown me these past seven months...

Riin has always reacted very badly to being called a hypocrite. It occurs to me that most people tend to react most strongly to criticisms about themselves they know to be true but which they don't like about themselves. The compassion statement is hypocritical because Riin knows compassion but practices it only when it is easy to do so. If being compassionate means even the slightest discomfort to her personally, she'd rather disregard the feelings of others.

Either way, as strange as it may sound, I still love Riin as much now as I did when this all started, hypocrisy and all (she shouldn't be ashamed of hypocrisy... I've found that everyone is hypocritical about something somewhere in their lives, myself included... all we can do is try not to let it rule us).

However... I guess sometimes love just isn't enough. At least I have some good memories to fall back on... and at least Riin stayed in my life long enough to have a lasting, positive impression on it.

For that, I thank her.
In that book which is my memory,
On the first page of the chapter that is the day when I first met you,
Appear the words: "Here begins a new life.'"

Dante, "La Vita Nuova"

October 9, 2007 12:36:54 AM ADT, Anonymous wrote:
I . . . enjoy[ed] the irony of you deigning to rule that there was no way a reasonable person would have been intimidated, harassed, molested, etc by your behavior, and then promptly stating how threatening you/Lisa found a guy knocking at your door who won't identify himself.
I'm 2500 km away from her. Riin would have to be seriously paranoid to feel threatened by me at such a distance (honestly, I don't think she actually feels threatened... she's just trying to "make a point..." she does that...). Plus, at least I had enough respect not to be sneaky about my intentions. I didn't send anonymous messages. I identified myself up-front.
Just like the guy at your door, you did nothing explicitly threatening.
Refusing to identify himself, particularly when directly asked, is explicitly threatening.

I did identify myself. IMHO, respect demands that you identify yourself if you're going to address a person.
[T]he very act of behaving in certain ways becomes, by virtue of the determinedness or the inexplicableness of the actions, threatening or spooky to the other person.
My actions are not inexplicable. I've stated my intentions from day one.
[W]ho needs TV when there's Ardelli's drama to follow?
I'm glad you're finding my life so amusing.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Response to Blavid

On July 23, 2007 1:23:00 PM ADT, Blavid wrote:
So.. is this a matter of retaliation, as you have hinted at many times? Or, is this a matter of fighting for someone you love? I really don't think there can be both.
That's not quite true. One can't pursue both goals, but one can have elements of both feelings in one's heart.

Have I ever wanted to retaliate against Riin? Of course I have. I'm Human. I've been hurt. It's perfectly natural to feel an urge to strike back. Vengeance is one of our most primal instincts as a species. Even Riin has fantasized of hurting me. Some of her feelings and fantasies are actually darker and more violent than my own. This is normal, provided one has the emotional control not to act on these impulses.

Do I intend to retaliate? No. If I was going to retaliate, I would have done so by now. It's not in my nature to willfully hurt people any more than it's in Riin's nature. I'm just as non-violent as she is, in both the physical and emotional sense. I see no benefit in "retaliation." Sure, making the other person "feel your pain" might make you feel good in the moment, but it solves nothing and, unless you have no conscience, it won't make you feel good in the end.

Riin would undoubtedly doubt my motives. She'd probably use my fascination with fist fights in movies, my interest in WWE wrestling, my fascination with space battles and my never back down attitude as examples to demonstrate how "violent" and "abusive" I am.

Then again, Riin mentions quite a few comics she likes in a recent blog posting. If you follow the links to them, you'll find that she seems to have a rather strong predilection for comics about cute, fuzzy creatures who commit acts of extreme violence. She also wrote a short screenplay which ends in the brutal murder of a character based, in part, on me, by a character based on her (not on things she's done, but on feelings she's had...).

Does this make Riin a violent person? Not at all. These things are simply Riin's way of dealing with the violence she carries in her heart. It's the same violence we all carry in our hearts as Human beings. My interests serve the same purpose for me. We must have a way to express the violent parts of our nature creatively. If we don't, they eventually overwhelm us and we end up acting on them. This is probably why the violent tend to be the unimaginative.

Never have I committed any violence that harmed anyone seriously, and what little violence I have committed has been the result of physical provocation. In other words, I've never ever struck anyone unless they struck me first. Riin doesn't think she'd ever strike anyone. Then again, she's never had anyone punch her in the face. I hope she never has to experience that. I submit, though, if she's never experienced it, how does she know how she'd react?

Based on what I know of her deeper psyche, I'd be willing to bet she'd go totally ballistic on someone if they ever struck her. Then she'd regret it later and wonder what the hell had gotten into her...

However, like myself, no way Riin would ever strike anyone unprovoked. Given that, her belief that "[my] abuse would have eventually become physical if [she] had moved [here] as [she] had planned" makes no sense. Unless she planned to try to turn the end of her screenplay into a reality, I would never have hurt her any more than I would ever hurt anyone.

That being said, I honestly can't blame anyone for not believing that. There have been far too many stories about jilted men hurting their "loved" ones. Just recently in The Cape Breton Post there was an article about a man who set his ex-girlfriend on fire. How can someone do something like that to someone they ostensibly "love?"

It's men like that that make things all the more difficult for men like me who are merely trying to make a legitimate attempt to solve a problem peacefully. In fact, just being the man in a relationship problem is automatically a strike against you. If our gender roles had been reversed and I had broken up with Riin, I probably still would be seen as the "bad guy" just by virtue of being male.

Is it fair? Absolutely not. Even the police I spoke to admitted that (she called them on me once only to have them tell us both that our situation "isn't a police matter" since there are no violence or threats of violence on either side). Unfortunately, this prejudice against the man in relationships gone bad is a fact of life. One too many psychos leaving their wives dead on their kitchen floors have pretty much made all men look like the bad guys in these situations.

It's too bad I wasn't female...
You're a man already dead, John. You're caught in a world of stasis and anti-stasis. Time is chronologically confused for you.
Interesting. A similar theme was explored in the pilot episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, "Emissary."

In the story, Commander Sisko is trying to teach these aliens, who have no concept of linear time, how we as Humans perceive time as a linear progression with a present and a past and a future. He uses the example of playing a game of baseball (Teleplay by Michael Piller, Story by Michael Piller & Rick Berman):
The rules aren't important...
what's important is--it's linear.
Every time you throw this ball a
hundred different things can
happen in the game... he might
swing and miss, he might hit it...
the point is you never know... you
try to anticipate, set a strategy
for all the possibilities as best
you can... but in the end it all
comes down to throwing one pitch
after another... and seeing what
happens. With each new
consequence, the game begins to
take shape...

(grasping the meaning)
And you have no idea what that
shape is until it is completed...

That's right. In fact, the game
wouldn't be worth playing if we
knew what was going to happen.

You value your ignorance of what
is to come?

(acknowledges, driving
home his point)
That might be the most important
thing to understand about humans.
It is the unknown that defines our
existence. We are constantly
searching... not just for answers
to our questions... but for new
questions. We are explorers... we
explore or lives day by day... and
we explore the galaxy, trying to
expand the boundaries of our
knowledge. And that is why I'm
here. Not to conquer you either
with weapons or with ideas. but
to co-exist and learn.


studies him curiously for a beat...


waits hopefully for a response... reacts as he looks
down at...


bloody and burned as they were at the Saratoga.


and he's back on the Saratoga... his quarters in
flames... his wife dead... his son unconscious...
standing with the Tactical Officer...

If all you say is true... why do
you exist here?
That was the problem he kept running into. Every time he'd try to explain the idea of linear time to the aliens, they'd keep dragging him back to the memory of his wife's death and, every time they did, they'd tell him, "you exist here."

Eventually, he figures out what it is they've been trying to tell him:
               During the above, Sisko is beginning to make a

I've never left this ship...

You exist here.

I... exist here.

The Tactical Officer leads Sisko #2 out... Sisko steps
slowly forward and moves to his dead wife taking the
place of his double... picks up her hand...

(to the aliens)
I don't know if you can
understand. I see her like this
every time I close my eyes... in
the darkness in the blink of an
eye, she's there... like this...

None of your past experiences
helped prepare you for this

Sisko shakes his head sadly.

And I've never figured out how to
live without her.

So you choose to exist here.

He nods, unable to speak... she moves closer...

It is not linear.

And of course it is so simple in its truth...

No. It's not... linear.
That's what you're trying to say, isn't it? "You exist here."

Yes. I exist here.

There is one big difference between Sisko's situation and mine, however. Sisko's wife was dead. Riin is not. In the absence of profound betrayal, and there was none on either side here, there is always a way to fix a broken relationship if there is a will to do so.

So long as Riin and I both live, I'll never give up trying. She means too much to me.
She needs not to be sucked into your obsession with collecting the opposite sex.
I have no such obsession. If I had, I would have probably formed quite a few more relationships during the time Riin and I were together. I did not. I simply believe that romantic love and friendship are the same feeling, the only difference being that romantic love is expressed sexually while friendship is not.

Basically, I'm open to the possibility that any friendship I have with a woman might some day blossom into something romantic. That is, in fact, exactly what happened with Riin and I. We started out as friends and is blossomed into more. However, I do not seek for that to happen. It either does or it doesn't. I simply follow my heart where it leads me.

Right now, there are four women in my life I'm in love with. Only one is romantic right now. Riin was romantic, but is no more. The others have always loved me but I don't see any romantic possibilities in those relationships. I'm content with that, so long as I always have their love as friends. I've never tried to change those relationships, but should either of those women ever fall for me, neither would I discourage it if it happened.

This is the heart of my relationship philosophy.
Roads end, sometimes.
Yes and, when they do, you have three choices:
  1. Turn around and go back.
  2. Build more road.
  3. Trek on into the underbrush hoping to find a new road.
This journey is too important for me to turn back, and Riin thus far has been unwilling to help me to build on the road. So for now, until I find a way to build more road, I choose Option 3.

In situations like this, what I usually do is go to someone both myself and the person I love trusts and get them to help me build more road. The problem is, I really mean it when I say that Riin has pushed everyone who loves her out of her life. There's literally no one left I can go to for help that Riin hasn't already driven out of her life. So my only choice, short of giving up, is to blaze the trail alone.

As Jen in The Dark Crystal said as he set out in his quest to find the Crystal Shard: "All right: alone, then."
Now you're just wandering through the sparse woods down by brook just beyond the dead-end street looking for a single strand of her hair that has long washed down through the viaduct and into the pipes-like-veins of the city.
True. Fortunately, I've always loved walking in the woods...

And who knows what treasures I may find there... ;)

On September 7, 2007 2:15:31 AM ADT, Sue wrote:
Excuse me, but it is neither narcissistic NOR juvenile to ignore someone AFTER YOU HAVE BROKEN OFF YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM.
Ignoring a person completely is always juvenile. Breaking off a romantic relationship does not mean it's right to completely ignore the person, particularly when they did nothing to warrant the treatment. Also, as I pointed out, blogging is a narcissistic act in and of itself. Riin had a "blog" before there were blogs (her old web page served the same purpose: to get her opinions out into the world). By that measure, she's far more narcissistic than I.
Your choosing "persistence" toward your petulant and childish goals, over choosing to accept the breakup in a dignified and respectful way (regardless of whether you feel that you've been treated in such a way yourself) is in my opinion the very epitome of "narcissistic."
I disagree. However, even if you're right, it's irrelevant. After all this time, my depression is finally lifting. I've let go of my anger. All I want now is a peaceful solution that Riin and I can both live with. I know what I have to do for the first time since this mess started.

I'm sorry that you do not understand. I'd like you to but, ultimately, it doesn't matter if you understand, or Blavid understands, or Jan understands, or anyone understands. I simply must do what I have to do regardless what anyone else thinks.

That's why I'm taking away comment ability on this blog. This blog was a way to sort out my thoughts. Allowing comments, whether I liked them or not, helped me organize my thoughts. I should actually thank you personally because your comments, though often unpleasant, really helped me sort out my thoughts and feelings.

Now I know how I feel. Now I know what I need to do. I no longer need a "sounding board." So, there's no longer any need to accept comments here.

Thanks for coming, though, and thanks for everything.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Worried about Riin

Recently, I saw the following article in the advice column "Annie's Mailbox:"
Dear Annie: I have a problem with my husband. He goes to the garage to work on things from sunup to sundown. He builds one thing and as soon as he is finished, he immediately starts another project. He says it's what he likes to do.

If we go somewhere, he talks only about his projects to me and everyone else. There isn't one day he doesn't open up the garage to do something. I feel like he's forgotten about me. Maybe he's lost his mind. He doesn't believe in counseling, so I don't know what to do. What do you suggest? -- Garage Widow

Dear Garage Widow: It's possible, if your husband has always been like this, that he has an obsessive disorder. But it's more likely that such complete devotion to his projects, to the exclusion of everything else, indicates avoidance. There's something your husband doesn't want to deal with and burying his head in the garage allows him to pretend everything is OK. You can ask, gently how to help with what is troubling him, or you can leave him be. Either he will come to a decision about the situation -- or you will. If you think counseling will help you work through it, by all means, go without him and get some help.
This reminded me so much of Riin lately only, in her case, instead of burying her head in a garage full of projects, she buries her head in spinning and dyeing. Like the husband in the article, I think she's trying desperately to avoid something she doesn't want to face. Unfortunately, since she won't talk to me, I have no way of finding out out what, nor can I do anything to help her.

I'm really worried about her. Going by what she's saying on her blog, this obsessive compulsive work often keeps her up way past her 10:30 bedtime (based on the time stamps on some entries) and, when she goes on vacation, it takes her three or four days to recover from the stress and fatigue. All this, coupled with her recent uncharacteristic behavior (particularly giving up cycling), says to me that there is something wrong. Desperately wrong. :(

Somebody has to reach her before she makes herself sick or hurts anyone else. So far, I've been the only one who's been willing to try. Unfortunately, as she flatly refuses to talk to me, my efforts have thus far been futile and I'm worried that, by the time I do manage to reach her, it may be too late. :(

I don't know for sure, but I have to assume that at least some people who are really close to Riin are reading this blog. I also know that Riin tends to hurt the people who love her. Those who love her are probably just as worried about her as I am, but having been burned by her, they're afraid to try to approach her. Honestly, I can't say I blame them. When you love her, whether she means to or not, she can really hurt you.

If anyone who does love Riin is reading this, I implore you: talk to her. Try to reach her. Find out what's wrong. Help her.

I can't reach her right now. I'm hoping someone else can.

On July 19, 2007 2:41:50 AM ADT, Anonymous wrote:
[H]ere's a suggestion about how to make it so you don't have to be so worried about her: stop paying attention to what she's doing. Then you'll have no information with which to conclude anything's wrong. Voila, nothing to worry about!
Too late for that now. I already know.

On July 22, 2007 3:37:45 PM ADT, Pete wrote:
I lived with Riin for 17 years. She was always her happiest . . . when she was knitting and spinning and dyeing, or doing whatever craft suited her--and geeking about whatever craft it was . . . Her going on about it until your eyes glaze over is what we call enthusiasm.

She does not need an intervention against was brings her joy in life.
Ordinarily, I would agree, but it's not what she's doing that worries me. It's the amount and intensity.

For example, I love cycling. However, if I was to start cycling 200 km every single day, it probably wouldn't be very good for me. Even Tour de France competitors get rest days, and the Tour de France itself is a three week, once a year phenomenon. If professional cyclists had to do the Tour de France year-round most of them would probably be dead before 40.

This is also in large part why so many WWE performers have cracked over the years. What they do is way too emotionally intense and draining, literally working sometimes 300 days a year doing crazy things to themselves. WWE wrestlers love what they do, but no matter how much you love something, if you do it to a level of intensity your body and mind can't take, it's going to break you sooner or later...

Yes, working with her hands makes her happy. What worries me is she's spending so much time doing the spinning, knitting and dyeing that she's not even getting to bed on time some nights. I know, as I'm sure you do, that missing sleep does a serious number on Riin's energy and emotional well being, more than most people. It also increases her risk of developing migraines as well.

I am not saying, nor would I ever say, that Riin should stop doing her spinning, dyeing and knitting. Far from it. I merely think she has a dial it down a notch before she harms her health...

Besides, something must be wrong if she's giving up cycling and, particularly, turning her back on Ken Kifer's Bicycling Advocacy group. Despite her attempts to blame me for these things, ultimately she is strong enough to continue cycling if she wants to. The very stubbornness that she's using to shut me out could instead be channelled into not letting the yelling drivers get to her, but she prefers to play the victim.

I believe there's some part of herself that this whole mess has brought out that she doesn't like and doesn't want to deal with. I think all this intensive craft work is intended to avoid dealing with that something, whatever it is. She'd probably also deny that if asked. She probably knows she has a problem inside, but she's denying it to herself. I've done the same thing, denying my addiction to alcohol for example.

Riin and I share those flaws: we're both self-delusional and profoundly stubborn... :P

I also don't think it's a coincidence that this obsessive compulsive binge of creative work started pretty much right after she broke up with me. I therefore bear at least some of the responsibility for her current state. That also makes it my responsibility to help, if I can.

As Riin herself is fond of saying, everything is connected...

On July 23, 2007 4:39:01 AM ADT, Anonymous wrote:
You say you're self-delusional. I believe that. But you are also aware of your self-delusionality, and therefore able to be responsible for it.
Never said I wasn't. Neither is she. She knows her capacity for self-delusion, too. She recently, for example, made reference to "harboring the delusion" she'd be moving to Canada.
This going on and on about her, and analyzing what's going on in her life and whether it involves you and whether it's healthy for her -- it's inappropriate.
Both Canada and the United States are free countries. I can go on and on about anyone, or anything, I like, and if Riin doesn't want me (or, for that matter, anyone) analyzing her life, then she shouldn't be writing a blog. I'm sometimes fairly insulted by the fact that people tend to judge me (as you are) without knowing anything about me but I deal with it because, by writing a blog, I asked for it, as all blog writers do, in effect.
Dumpees *often* think the dumping was a mistake and that the dumper will come to regret it.
Of course I believe it's a mistake. I've already mentioned that. As for whether she'll come to regret it, maybe but not likely. If she ever does, she'll probably never admit it.
Dumpees *often* think that they ought to have some continued role in the dumper's life. But they don't.
True... but that doesn't mean I can't fight for it. She can continue to resist. That's her right, but I'm not giving up. That's my right.

Besides. Dumping me is one thing. Cutting me off completely is another. I have made mistakes, but I have not done anything that justifies cutting me off completely at the knees. Even she herself said that we could probably be friends eventually though "not for a while" (her exact words). I don't know how long "a while" is, but I'd like to think almost five months is enough of "a while" that she could at least talk to me now...

The situation simply isn't fair. Riin are very much alike in a vast majority of ways, but big difference between Riin and I are how we deal with the unfair. Riin folds and plays the victim. I fight.

Riin has used a lot of people in her life. Put simply, she used the wrong person this time...

I have a friend now with whom I had a fight almost identical to this one, right down to the childish threats of police involvement and flat refusal to say word one to me. Today, that person is one of my closest friends in the world because, like I'm fighting for Riin now, I fought for her and her friendship... for eight months. I never gave up and, eventually, given enough time, patience and understanding I finally reached her.

Today, she tells me she's glad I never gave up on her and that she appreciates the fact that I've always been there for her, no matter what.

This situation is no different.

On July 24, 2007 7:12:49 PM ADT, Anonymous wrote:
I think she really loves you and she is just afraid to admit it. That seems clear from reading her blog.
I agree with the assessment that she still loves me, but not because of anything she's said in her blog. I believe it simply because of my belief that love never dies; it just gets buried under a bunch of resentment sometimes.

That being said, I'm curious: what exactly do you see in Riin's blog that implies that she loves me and is trying to hide it?

On July 26, 2007 7:45:43 PM ADT, Sue wrote:
If she makes herself sick, that will show her that she's pushed herself too far, and she'll know that it's time to ease off.
You pointed out earlier that you don't know Riin. I do. I assure you, she will not "know that it's time to ease off." She just keeps pushing herself until she drops. She always has, and probably always will. Part of the whole OCD thing.

I'm OCD about some things, too (particularly anything to do with numbers). I know what I'm talking about.
I presume you're not talking about physical injury when you say 'hurting someone else' . . .
You presume correctly.
. . . that's also not for you to intervene on -- if someone gets hurt due to her actions (what, are you suggesting that her working too hard while she works things out emotionally somehow puts others at some kind of risk?) that is between her and them.
You're partially correct. Once she has hurt someone, that's not my concern (there are five other people in her wake that were hurt before me and, as much as I'd like to help them, I cannot and it is not my place to). I'm just hoping that someone can reach her before she hurts someone in the first place.

No, I'm not suggesting that "working too hard" is putting people at risk in and of itself. What's putting the people who love her at risk is the underlying issues behind those actions.
You note that she's unwilling to talk to you. That's a good hint that she doesn't want whatever kind of salvation you are offering her. Adults are allowed to engage in self-harming actions. Other adults are not allowed to interfere with this in an involuntary manner.
What involuntary manner? I haven't forced her to do anything. Even if I could, I wouldn't. Forcing someone to do something only breeds resentment. Besides, even if I wanted to force her to do anything, I couldn't. She's just as stubborn as I am. All I can do is keep trying to reach her and hope that, eventually, she'll let me in on her own.

Until then, I'm just hoping that someone else who cares about her might be able to reach her in the meantime. Of course I'd like to help her myself but, in the end, I don't really care who helps her, so long as someone does.
You fear it might be too late? Too late for what?
To explain that would require me going into areas of Riin's personal history that would be appropriate territory only for those who are intimately involved with her. It's not my place to tell you those stories, publicly or privately.
Too late for you to manipulate or intimidate her back into your world?
You say that as if returning to my world would be a fate worse than death. You don't know me. How do you know what my "world" is like? Granted, I've made mistakes, but how do you know how much I've learned from this incident?

Look. If I thought that coming back to me would truly make her unhappy, I would back off. That's why I don't want her to move to Canada anymore. I've recognized that that part of our relationship would make her miserable.

However, I think a permanent relationship, with her living there and me living here, maybe with the occasional visit, might allow us to salvage some of the happiness that we both once shared. I think that's part of what she's afraid of. She's afraid I want to drag her back into the relationship as it was. I don't. I want a new relationship. Friendship, long distance relationship, phone lovers, whatever you want to call it, or whatever it becomes.

I do not want to intimidate Riin. If that was my intention, I wouldn't have canceled my plans to travel to see her.

I had originally planned to leave this past Saturday morning, taking a plane to Toronto and a bus from there to Ann Arbor (until the end of this year, Canadians can still cross the Canada/US border without a passport provided the crossing is over land). I had the whole trip planned out. I was consulting with Framework Cycle and Fitness about getting a travel bag for my bike. I was negotiating the appropriate vacation time with my supervisor.

Literally two days before I submitted my vacation request, Riin made her posting about me becoming physically abusive if she had moved here. The moment I read that, I canceled my trip immediately. Whether her belief was true or not was irrelevant. The fact was, she did believe it and, if she believes that, my arrival would have done nothing but frighten her. I didn't wish to do that, so I didn't go.

If I had wanted to intimidate her, I would not have canceled the trip.
Gee, dontcha just love open-comment blogs? :)
They can be frustrating sometimes but, as I pointed out to Anonymous July 23, 2007 4:39:01 AM ADT above, all bloggers ask for this by the very nature of what they do. So I deal with it. ;)

On July 29, 2007 1:10:36 PM ADT, Sue wrote:
It is not your place to assess that she 'won't know that it's time to ease off.' If she does, as you say, keep pushing herself until she drops, that is her prerogative.
I'm aware of that. I'm aware that I'm probably not going to be able to do anything to stop her but, according to my belief system, I can't sit here and say I love the woman if I don't even try to stop her.

Now, as far as that's concerned, I've done everything I can. My conscience is clear knowing that.
If you think that she is not capable of living properly without your oversight, that is nothing short of delusional.
Whoa. Hold it. I never said that. I merely said she has a self-destructive habit that she needs help with. Most of us do. That doesn't mean she can't "live right." It simply means she's going to cause herself unnecessary pain and, as I said before, I don't feel I can very well sit here and say I love her if I don't even try to stop her from hurting herself.

Remember, Riin did the exact same thing to me when it came to my drinking habit. She would not back off even through I made it very clear that I wanted her to. Yes, we were still together when she did this but her help was uninvited nevertheless. Now I understand where she was coming from, and I'm glad she fought for me until she won. I'm simply returning the favor.
Don't you think resentment would be her reaction to the things you are posting and doing here?
Perhaps... but resentment was also my reaction when Riin kept pushing about my drinking problem.

I got over it.

Removing a splinter is painful, but once done you feel a whole lot better.
Yes, you have the right to post whatever you please -- but presumably you are trying to cause something to happen; something that involves her deciding she's willing to interact with you in some way. You really think being so disrespectful of her wishes will accomplish that?
No, but that's not the purpose of the blog. This blog is for me to work out my thoughts and feelings. A place to vent. Riin uses hers for the same purpose. That's why she calls it "Riin's Rants."

To accomplish the goal of getting her to interact with me, I'll do that through E-mail and, possibly, phone calls. Depends on what works.

Incidentally, once I've made contact, I'm expecting Riin will ask me to take certain things down off this blog. The day that happens, so long as she's willing to respect my wishes, I'll be happy to respect hers as well and take down anything she doesn't like. Like I said, writing it has served its purpose at this point. If she wants it down, I have no objection.
What I was suggesting was that, rather than thinking about her rights to make her own choices, you seemed to be focused more on what YOU wanted from her.
Maybe. If I am, I learned it from Riin. It's the way she treated me. The drinking thing is an example. It's not the only example, but it is the best one.

I believe you treat others the way you would want to be treated. Riin treated me this way, so I assume this is the way she would want to be treated.

Seems logical to me...

On July 29, 2007 9:55:01 PM ADT, Jan wrote:
blah, blah blah my god you are a boring piece of sh--.How about geting on with your life, such as it is and let Riin do the same. She is doing nicely with out you and that must kill you.
"The cat came back the very next day.
"The cat came back, they thought she was a goner,
"But the cat came back,
"She just couldn't stay away...

"M-e-o-w-w-w . . ." :P

Wow... this next one gave me an uneasy feeling, not so much from what it said as the tone of the language used:

On July 30, 2007 7:29:41 PM ADT, "Anonymous" wrote:
Message to all commentors on this blog:

We should all stop validating John's narcissism. It's painfully clear that he is the prototypical narcissist. Ignore him, and he with wither. Go forth into other internetness!
If I didn't know better, I'd swear that was Riin herself. It feels like the kind of thing she'd say, right down to the proper grammar, punctuation and the funny word "internetness." She likes to make up cute words like that (that's not sarcasm... I really do think her made up words are cute). You can see examples of this peppered throughout her blog...

However, I can't imagine Riin would post here anonymously. People who post anonymously are cowards, and Riin is not, nor has she ever been, a coward.

Still... it sounds so much like her it's actually giving me the creeps... :o

Anyway, Riin or whoever you are. I don't really care if anyone (other than people who actually know me) reads this. I've said it before, I'll say it again, and I'll keep saying it until the day they lay me in the cold, cold ground. I just write here to sort out my thoughts and feelings. If you want to read it or comment on it, that's fine. If you don't, that's fine, too. No skin off my onion.

Besides. A narcissist, by definition, is someone who is in love with themselves. To be honest with you, since all this happened, my self confidence isn't anywhere near that level. If it was, I wouldn't be writing all this crap here. I'd be writing E-mails to Riin telling her all this stuff. I'm ashamed to admit, though, that I simply don't have the confidence right now to push that hard.

Fiercely loyal? Absolutely. Obsessive compulsive? Most definitely. Narcissistic? Not bloody likely.

I almost wish I was narcissistic... at least I'd feel good about myself... :(

On Thursday, September 6, 2007 1:34 PM, Sue wrote:

I'm sure there are alternative techno-blogical explanations to the situation
that I just can't imagine, but it sure LOOKS like you're behaving like a
narcissistic 3-year-old over yonder on another blog...

"Techno-blogical." Cute.

Ignoring someone completely, as Riin has been these past months, is also behaving like a "narcissistic 3-year-old." I don't feel the fact that I am persistent makes me narcissistic but, if that's your perception, so be it. The opinions of others are irrelevant to this situation.

For what it's worth, though, what I'm trying to do is the electronic equivalent of Ghandi's "passive resistance." If you imagine Riin's blog as a building, then you could imagine me as "occupying" the building and refusing to leave. Ghandi used this tactic successfully.

It's the only peaceful way I can see to resolve this situation. I have to do something to break the stalemate.

As for my needing "help," Riin herself has been getting "help" for many years and she is, evidently, still just as screwed up as everyone else. I seriously don't see the value in it. Not for me, not for her, not for anyone. That's just IMHO, of course. YMMV.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Blogs and Narcissism

Over the last week or so, I've been thinking a lot about things that have been said here about me. Mostly, I've been thinking about the accusation that I'm, as a recent commenter called me, the "prototypical narcissist."

The whole idea behind egoism and narcissism is, at it's most basic level, an inflated idea of ones own importance. Narcissism is defined, literally, as "extreme self-love." The problem with blogs is that they make everyone who has one appear narcissistic. The very act of putting your words out there for the world to see as if to say, "Look at me! See what I have to say!" seems, on the surface, to be a profound act of narcissism.

However, I have since discovered that this is simply an illusion created by the nature of the blog itself. In fact, I have found quite the opposite: many people who have blogs actually have a lower sense of self esteem than the average.

That's not a blanket condemnation of bloggers, by any means. Not at all. Doubt is Human. We're all filled with doubts. The thing about blogs, though, is that we have a tendency to hide these doubts about ourselves from the public eye. As a result, blogs tend to have this seemingly narcissistic bias simply because, on our blogs, we hide our doubts which, in turn, makes us seem like we believe we're right all the time and never doubt a thing we do.

That's probably why so many self-doubting people have blogs. A blog creates the illusion that one is more important than they really are, and that can be a profoundly comforting illusion for those who have no love for, or confidence in, themselves. These people want, even need, to create that illusion of unwavering certainty.

In fact, that is what blogs are for a lot of people. People use them to crystallize their thoughts and solidify their choices in life. By definition, the act of writing on a blog will eliminate all the uncertainties because one is using the blog for the very purpose of eliminating doubt. But it's all illusion, of course. The doubt always remains in one's soul.

A blog is not a mirror of one's soul. It's a painting. A mirror can only reflect back exactly what's in front of it. In a painting, one can eliminate imperfections and blemishes, leaving only the best, most beautiful parts on the canvas for everyone to see. That's what a blog is. It's your best, most certain thoughts with all the doubt removed. That's why blogs can make even the most self-doubting person seem confident to the point of egoism.

So, I submit a rather strange idea: the more one blogs, the more uncertain about oneself, and therefore the less narcissistic, one truly is.

I guess that's why I didn't blog much before. I was much more certain of myself back then. I didn't feel the need to blog. I knew who I was. I knew I mattered. I didn't need a blog to tell me that. Now, I'm lost in confusion. Narcissistic? Not even close. The very foundations of my beliefs about love and loyalty have been shaken. I'm not certain about anything anymore. Not about myself. Not about my worth. Not about love. Not about friendship.

Not about life.

Lately, I've just felt like I'm just going through the motions of life without any real passion or spark. The only thing that's brought my ANY happiness recently is finally being able to go for bike rides with Lisa, thanks to the Wike Special Needs Trailer. It's nice to have her with me when I'm riding, and it makes me feel good to make her happy... but, at the end of the day, I still have to wonder: what does it all mean?

I used to believe we must have a higher purpose. That our reality now is part, an important part, of a reality beyond what we perceive now as reality. I'm no longer so certain. The more I think about it, the more I wonder: do any of us really mean anything, or is it all just futile? Does anything we do in life really matter in the grand scheme of the universe?

I'm not the first person to have these thoughts, and I won't be the last... but I used to have enough confidence in myself to at least maintain the faith that there must be more to life than what I perceive around me. The faith that we matter. The faith that I matter.

Now... I just don't know.

Narcissistic? Right now, I'm not sure I even like myself, much less love myself.

On September 2, 2007 9:14:33 PM ADT, Jan wrote:
[N]o i [sic] do not read the ramblings of an idiot . . .
Obviously, you do. You're still commenting, even after nearly a month of inactivity here.

And you call me the idiot... :P

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