Friday, June 15, 2007

To "Janetté Jacques"

Normally, I respond to comments within the same posting they were made. However, as I started to respond to this one, it ended up being so long that I decided to make it a posting in its own right.

On June 12, 2007 8:35:40 PM ADT, "Janetté Jacques" wrote:
[M]y name is not Janet. It is Janette' jacques that is french if you couldn't figure that out.
I live in Canada. Our second official language is French. Indeed, here in Cape Breton, we have a rather large French-speaking community in Cheticamp. Believe me, I am quite used to seeing and recognizing, French names. In fact, I'm so used to seeing French names that fake ones ("Jacques" is such common name in French, much like "Robert" is in English, that the very thought that you'd think I'd believe that's your real name is laughable) jump right out at me.

Look. I'm a fiction writer. I'm used to studying words. There are certain idiosyncrasies in your writing that jump out at me every time you post. Ironically, though I always knew all these posts were from the same person, I probably would never have known who you were had you not posted comments to Riin's blog, which gave me the opportunity to spot the same idiosyncrasies in your posts there.

You are Janet: Riin's aunt on her father's side of the family. I know who you are. Riin told me about you long ago.
I went to school with Riin for many years and i loved her to death.
Riin only had one really close friend and several more casual friends in school, and she's spoken to me about all of them by name. None of them were named "Janetté" or any variation thereof.
My aunt is Annabell Spencer . . .
How convenient.

This is what we fiction writers call a Deus ex machina.
[T]ell me about you and maybe i will understand why you and Riin broke up.
Tell you about me? You're on my blog. Anything I could tell you is all here. Just read. If you have any questions, feel free to ask (maturely and politely) and I'll be happy to respond.
I know she really loved you a lot at one time but i am really thinking you done something wrong to make her hate you so much.
Things in a relationship rarely get as bad as they have between Riin and I without mistakes being made on both sides. Yes, I did make mistakes. I've admitted that already many times. But Riin made mistakes, too. The problem is, Riin cannot abide being proven wrong. She has to prove herself right at all costs. This tends to blind Riin to her part in any bad situation.

Riin calls me abusive and manipulative, but she has been abusive and manipulative, too. Her inability to accept people being angry at her, for example. The moment someone gets angry with her for anything, she cries: "Abuse! Abuse!" Oh, please. We all get yelled at sometimes, and we all deserve it sometimes. We're all cruel, heartless and thoughtless from time to time. Sometimes we need a good "talking to." It's our nature as a species. More's the pity.

There is a lot of history behind why Riin and I broke up. If you want to know more about that, just go back and read this blog. However, the "straw that broke the camel's back" was simply this:

My grandmother died literally less than two months before Riin's planned visit last August. I warned her that I might not be myself this visit. I knew I was going to have a short fuse. In my entire adult life, I'd never lost anyone so close to me before, and I knew I was going to have trouble handling it. So I really wasn't myself the last time she was here. I was short and irritable. I lost my temper a few of times. I was hurting and didn't know how to deal with it.

When she got back, she started thinking about the way I was behaving, and the way I continued to behave on the phone (it took me months to recover) after she returned. I guess she started to believe I had changed into this monster. I hadn't. I just didn't know how to handle the loss I was feeling and I was lashing out at the people who loved me. I tried not to, but I was just in too much pain to keep it in check all the time.

Incidentally, Riin herself went through the same thing. Riin was very close to cyclist Ken Kifer. When he died, Riin used to lash out at people on the Bicycling Advocacy group. People used to get upset with her for being rude and irritable there. It was the exact same thing. Riin was hurting and, without intending to, lashed out and hurt the people around her because she didn't know how to deal with it.

Eventually, I finally started to recover. It was slow going, but bit by bit I was starting to improve. I was trying to quit drinking (I finally succeeded not long after Riin left). I was actively trying to help Riin move to Canada. We were talking through some of the issues that had piled up while I was trying to pull my emotional act together. Things were getting better, and I was working hard to make it work because Riin was so important to me.

Then Riin pulled the rug out from under me when she suddenly announced she didn't want to move to Canada. I was crushed. I'd been building my life around the idea of her, Lisa and I eventually being together and, suddenly, she took it away from me. She tried to explain why she didn't want to move, but I was already emotionally fragile and this shattered me. I was in too much pain to listen. So I lashed out at her again.

That's when Riin finally decided to give up and push me away.

Since then, Riin has had a lot of time to think and, based on what she's said on her blog, she's drawn a lot of unfair conclusions based in part on the way I'd been behaving and in part on pieces of my history taken out of context. If only she'd listen to me then maybe we could sort this out.

I don't think we'll ever have our original relationship back. She'll never move to Canada. But that doesn't matter to me. If she's only ever a voice on the phone to me, I can accept that. She has such a beautiful, soothing voice, anyway. It used to be such a comfort to me. I miss it. :(

Even if we can never be together in the flesh, I still want the love and the friendship our relationship was built on back. If we could only just sit down and talk this out, I think it could still be saved.

But she won't face me. Now that she's made her choice, she doesn't want to face me and risk being proven wrong.

That's as much as I can say here without invading Riin's privacy. Anything else, I'd have to say in private.
That is why i have been so evil to you.
What did you hope to accomplish by being evil to me? Vengeance? Nothing good ever comes from vengeance.

Look. I understand that Riin means a lot to you. She's your niece. Of course she does. But she means a lot to me, too. Try to understand that.

Let me invite you to E-mail me privately so we can talk about this. I already know who you are, anyway. I already have your E-mail address (I got it off Riin's blog). All I'm asking is that you give my side a fair hearing. If, after talking things through with me, you still think I'm an asshole, not worthy to lick Riin's sandals, then I'll accept your judgment. All I ask is that you give me the chance first to talk to you about my side of the story.

Remember, no one is perfect. We all make mistakes. Just because Riin believes I'm an asshole doesn't necessarily mean I am.

Riin has pushed people who genuinely loved her out of her life before. You of all people should know that. In fact, she's done it to everyone who's loved her so far. She's going to end up alone in life if someone doesn't take a stand and fight for her. I love her deeply, even after all that's happened. I refuse to give up on her. So I am taking a stand.

You have a simple choice now: take a stand with me, or take a stand against me. All I'm asking is that you talk to me yourself before making that choice. Make your own judgments about me. Decide for yourself if Riin is right about me or not instead of just blindly taking her word for it. Remember, if Riin is wrong about me, then taking a stand against me will only help her drive one more person who loves her out of her life forever.

Riin deserves to be loved. Be sure you're helping her to find love... not helping her drive it away all over again.

On June 14, 2007 8:36:22 PM ADT, "Janetté Jacques" wrote:
Sorry to say i am not Riins aunt.
As Judge Judy would no doubt say at this juncture: Baloney! :P
Never met her or any of her relatives, but that is quite a compliment.
No, it's not. Believe me.
After friends and family read your last blog they warned me to STOP blogging you. They all say the same thing you are very dangerous and need some professional help very badly.
Why do they think I'm dangerous?
I believe Riin that you are a stalker.
I would, too, in your place. Riin is your niece. If my niece told me someone was stalking her, I'd probably tend to take her side over a stranger I never met, too. Of course, that's probably not fair to the other person whose life I know nothing about who may, in fact, be a perfectly sane person who's been wronged and is just trying to make a bad situation better, but then life is rarely fair.

If life was fair, Riin wouldn't have turned her back on me (and everyone else who ever loved her) in the first place...
This is the last blog from me.
Under this name...
Forget all about me and stop making up stories who you think i am.
I'm making up nothing. It's obvious. I'd tell you how I know, but I don't want to give you any more ideas how to hide your identity. Just suffice it to say that, now that you've posted to both my blog and Riin's, I've seen the patterns. I have you cold.

On June 15, 2007 12:12:57 AM ADT, Lisa Brewer wrote:
[I]n any number of the fights, and there have been many, that John and I have had that became physical, I was the one that threw the first blow to John. Riin, herself, has witnessed alot of these fights in the last few years, either by phone or in person. So, if Riin was to be scared of anybody, it would most certainly be me, NOT John.
Actually, in Lisa's defense, it is actually pretty rare that she actually strikes me, particularly since Riin and I were together (I'm not sure why, but Riin's presence in our lives made Lisa a lot calmer and more reasonable than she'd ever been). However, when Lisa does decide to strike, she frequently does it full force with closed fists. She's a manual wheelchair user. Her arms are strong. If she's sitting next to me, she can hit me several times before I can get away.

So now you know the secret. Riin would tell you that I've struck Lisa, but she would leave the part about her striking me out. She'd also leave out the part that I have never, ever, punched anyone in the face. Ever.

Actually, come to think of it, I've only ever been in one fist fight in my entire life where I actually threw any punch. It was when I was a teenager (ironically, I was trying to break up a fight and one of them turned on me), and even though that guy did punch me in the face, I couldn't make myself punch him back. I wanted to, but I just couldn't. I can't hurt people, even when I probably should be defending myself.

I ended up punching him in the midsection, and I didn't even use enough force to hurt him. It's a good thing he decided to break off the fight at that point because I probably would have gotten my ass kicked. :( That, BTW, is the only punch I've ever thrown at anybody. The worst I've ever done to Lisa when she'd punch me is slaps on the arm. The intent was to get her to back off.

I eventually realized that wasn't working. So now, if Lisa hits me, I either try to get away from her or, failing in that, grab her wrists and hold her arms until she calms down. I generally have to do the latter because, if I don't, she'll assault the most expensive thing she can find (she recently punched the screen of this computer, for example).

I don't blame Riin for being afraid of this situation. I never would have assaulted her, but Lisa probably would have at some point. :( That's one of the reasons I don't want Riin to move to Canada anymore. I want her love and friendship, but I think it would be better for everyone if she stays where she is. I've chosen to accept this life with Lisa. I don't want Riin to be dragged into it.
John doesn't even like to hurt bugs, bees, things of that nature. He would rather catch them in something and put them outside, alive, then to kill them.
Hm. It's been so long since I've had to remove a bug from my apartment, I'd forgotten about that. But Lisa is quite correct. I don't even like to kill bugs. Even when somebody asks me to, I won't, and I literally cry sometimes when I see someone else kill one. I can't help it. I can't help thinking how I'd feel if some enormous creature came along and crushed one of my friends. :(

Monday, June 11, 2007

A Letter from Riin

I received a letter from Riin today. Normally, I wouldn't mention it (I really am tired of talking about Riin) but, after reading it, I decided to remove my March 27th posting, "Falling in Love." Since this obviously affects the blog, I thought I should offer some explanation.

When Riin threatened me with police action, I immediately agreed to abide by her wishes. That was a mistake. Riin was overreacting. I should have just ignored her request altogether and contacted her again in a month or two. Unfortunately, I panicked and agreed to abide by her wishes without thinking the situation through. Unfortunately, as a man of my word, this has tied my hands ever since.

However, recently I went back to her E-mail and examined in detail the exact wording of her request. Her exact words were:
I don't want you to contact me anymore. Don't call me. Don't email me. Don't put comments on my blog.
So. The only things here that she specifically forbids are calling, E-mailing and blog comments. Since these demands are unambiguous, and since I did give my word, I have no choice but to abide by those wishes. However, her E-mail does not specifically forbid any other form of contact...

Yes, I realize that she also states she doesn't "want" me to contact her but, then again, I don't "want" her to throw me away like a worn out tire, either. Still, she's doing it. So, as far as what she "wants" goes, I will only respect her wish not to contact her in those three specific ways, since I've already given my word on those. However, any other form of contact, as far as I'm concerned, is fair game.

With that in mind, I decided to send Riin snail mail. I've sent her two letters so far. One on April 27th, and one on May 14th. Actually, that makes the arrival of her letter a weird coincidence insofar as the postmark was May 14th. That means she probably got my second letter the same day I got hers.

Anyway, based on what she said, not much has changed, except that she says she's not angry anymore (though she was very careful to point out at that juncture that I shouldn't look upon that as a sign of hope).

At one point in her letter, Riin pointed out that it wasn't my publishing her threatening letter that she was angry at (which is why I didn't take down that posting). She was angry at the publishing of the snippets of her personal E-mails from earlier on in our relationship in "Falling in Love."

Until I got her letter today, it never even occurred to me that she'd object to that, (despite Sue's comments). They were just snippets, and they contained nothing that wasn't already a matter of public record (it's not like everyone didn't already know she was in love with me). If I had known that this bothered her, if she had just told me, I would have removed that posting immediately, but I honestly had no idea (if I'd been in her place, it wouldn't have bothered me).

However, now that I do know, I cannot, in all good conscience, leave that posting up. So I've taken it down. It was a case of bad judgment on my part. I apologize.

On May 21, 2007 6:53:51 PM ADT, Anonymous wrote:
You could call the people at Planters, they work with nuts all day.
I'm allergic to peanuts. :P

On May 24, 2007 1:52:43 PM ADT, Anonymous wrote:
Take this message and run with it! All the way to the loony tune bin! Don't take it as hope or anything short of a miracle.
Is it just me, or does this comment make absolutely no sense whatsoever...?

On May 25, 2007 11:00:20 PM ADT, Anonymous wrote:
Personally, I find that endless drop-adding of comments and posts makes comprehending a blog difficult and frustrating.
Then stop reading it.

On June 4, 2007 8:01:49 PM ADT, Sue Ellen wrote:
Do you work? It seems like you have a lot of time on your hands.
I do. I also type at 95 WPM, so this doesn't take nearly as much time as it looks. :P

On June 9, 2007 9:09:24 PM ADT, "Annabell Spencer" wrote:
[A]fter reading some of your blog and going to Riins blog who i do not know either of you . . .
No, you don't, Janet. You don't know Riin, either. If you did, you'd know that you're not going to endear yourself to her by lying (with all these fake identities) and threatening people with violence (the latter of which Riin herself chastised you for on her blog). Given the way you've been behaving lately, both on this blog and on Riin's, I can understand perfectly why Riin doesn't get along very well with your side of her family...
I don't know all the details of the problem . . .
Then I submit that you're not qualified to advise me on the problem. It's not easy to understand other people's problems, but it's very easy to think you do...
I will pray for you tonight in church for you to have some peace. God bless you.
I appreciate the thought, but neither myself nor Riin are Christian. Riin doesn't believe in God at all. I do, but I don't believe in the Christian interpretation of "God." I believe there is a force out there that created us, and I choose to call that force "God." However, that is where my beliefs stop because I believe it is the height of Human arrogance to presume anyone could know anything about a being so advanced that it could create this whole Universe.

I view the spirit world as a kind of "chain of command" with "God" at the top. The way I see it my problems, or the problems of any one Human being on this one tiny planet in this virtually infinite Universe of ours, are virtually insignificant in the cosmic scheme of things. To pray to God to help me with a personal problem like this would be like asking Prime Minister Stephen Harper to fix the bad gutter pan in the road in front of my building.

Basically, the Prime Minster of Canada isn't going to bother himself with something so trivial as a small flaw in one street in one town in one province in this big, wide country. It's simply not reasonable to expect any one person to take care of every little detail in something so large as a country. In the case of road damage, what the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Public Works is for. To take care of repairing the roads in my particular province.

I think of God in the same way. I'm not going to go to Him for something so small as a personal dispute, no matter how painful the dispute may be. He's got a whole Universe to run. He doesn't have time to deal with every little personal problem of every single one of the 6.6 billion people on this planet, not to mention the billions and billions of people on the billions of billions of planets with sapient life throughout the Universe...

That's why, when I "pray," I don't talk to God. I talk to my grandmother. She passed away almost a year ago today. Now, while God Himself might have more important things to think about than my fight with Riin, Nana's primary concern, in contrast, is the happiness of those she loved in life, of which I am one. So she can help me with Riin, and help me protect anyone else I love, too, without having to burden God with what are, to Him, trivial matters.

So, if you really mean it about praying for me, do me a favor and direct your prayers to my grandmother, Frances Annie Raine-Archibald, not God. He's probably too busy trying to keep our perennially battered planet from self destructing from all our environmental problems to worry about who Riin is or isn't talking to and why.

BTW, if you're looking to endear yourself with Riin, I'd drop the Christian references, if I were you. She hates Christianity. Don't believe me? Check it out yourself on Riin's old website. She has a whole section on there about society's woes, including a section titled "Christianity's damage and Puritanism" where she goes on, at length, about her views on Christianity (and there are not complimentary).

"God" is not Riin's friend.

Oh, and don't bother to try and tell me you're not Janet. There's something you keep doing that gives you away every time. I know you're the troll. I know you're most of the "people" who've been trying to post to my blog lately, too. If you actually want to get posted, you don't need to post Anonymously or under fake names. All you have to do is be mature and refrain from name calling. That's the reason a vast majority of your postings were rejected.