“You have to deal with it at some point. Numbing it does nothing. It’s always going to be there.” -Kera Armendariz
Fiction. Based on a True Revelation after Reading 12 Rules For Life.
This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
So there it is. I read it straight from Dr. Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules For Life, An Antidote to Chaos.
Toxic people. People whom I have attracted because I am that at certain points in time. I attract so I can rescue them, or perhaps it’s projection so I can avoid the self-work. Perhaps I think that I don’t deserve to be around anybody better who can support and inspire me. Perhaps the shitty feeling feels familiar.
Perhaps, it’s D, all of the above.
Regardless, I put up with a lot of other people’s bullshit, and it’s time to stop. I have recruited people into the organization who are putting in half-ass willy nilly work. I still give them credit and praise. Why? So I can feel less alone? Some people turn away at just the slightest negative comment. People don’t know how to take the truth or anything negative.
People like myself.
And so I enable bad behavior as a reaction to the avoidance of uncovering the truth. I can rationalize that it is because I don’t set expectation, clear guidelines, directions, and measurable goals, and sure it is partially this way, but mainly, it is because I enable and excuse to avoid responsibility for myself and lower the bar for everybody else.
“What but willful blindness could possibly shelter people from such withering criticism?”
-Dr. Jordan Peterson, 12 Rules for Life, An Anecdote to Chaos.
The Inside Job
“It seems like you’re self-sabotaging your own organization,” Junie, The Love Story Advisor, had once pointed out to her.
Hey, how about you put in some real work instead of just giving advice all the time?
I wanted to snap back. All people do here is talk. Los Angeles is a city full of talkers. The doers are far and few between. I think they probably outsource it to poorer countries or take advantage of the illegal immigration. The same rich that advocate for open borders and enable people to break the rules of the system are the same people who wouldn’t mind taking advantage of illegal immigrants by underpaying and overworking them, treating them like indentured servants while virtue signaling that they are helping out the poor. At least that’s how I picture it… I may be wrong, but right now, I don’t think so.
The truth is: I don’t like working with people. People are fickle, double-minded, double-tongued, and many cast blame and play the political game to gain leverage and power within an organization. I don’t like big organizations. It gets bloated, and the higher I climb the socio-economic status, the less I can vent, and say what’s really on my mind.
“Why should your right to freedom of speech trump a trans person’s right not to be offended?” Kathy Newman had asked Dr. Jordan Peterson.
“Because in order to be able to think, I have to risk being offensive,” was his reply.
Thank God I bought his book.
I think that perhaps Junie may have some points about the org, even though pointing it out still doesn’t make a damn difference in the organization unless she owns up to her shit and puts in the work as well. Then I think about the resentment I have with the negative feminine.
A person who criticizes and projects rather than takes responsibility and takes action for their individual inauthenticity is toxic. I have been toxic for quite some time.
A negative feminine is someone who is infected by the Jezebel spirit and the truth is that it infects all Eves, even the Christian ones, or perhaps, especially the Christian ones.
The building up, and then the tearing down of through criticisms, making wrong, and avoidance.
That is just resentment festering.
The hurt is ever present in the shadow unconscious, and when we tap into that, we are like Katie Bates in the movie Misery: We just want to keep breaking the writer’s legs so we can be the one glorified for taking care of him.
That’s the negative feminine that I grew up in. It’s the more insidious of the two, negatives (negative masculine and negative feminine) because the negative feminine operates subtly like a serpent.
It’s a whisper, a slander, a false accusation, a fake smile, a fake compliment, and that is why most of my life, I tend to stay away from large groups of women, despite being a woman myself. I can’t stand the fakeness. And when I show up like that, I can’t stand myself. Then, I want to drink, fuck, or stuff. I just can’t stand being fake.
Especially, if they’re fake happy, fake polite, fake sincere, fake concerned. It’s just fake. I’d rather be with a woman who just tells it like it is. But then she’ll have to trust that I don’t go around spreading her secrets to other people because when I get insecure around people, I want to gossip about others to avoid my own problems.
Perhaps, that is why it has been hard maintaining friendships. The minute they complain, I want to run the other way. Because in a lot of ways, I’ve been running away from myself. I’m annoyed because I see myself as sometimes being that negative feminine–petty, insecure, and hard on myself.
The snake man tells me about sounds.
“Certain words can often cut a person down, whittle them to feeling so small.”
Snake man is right because snake man is good with seeing right through to the sin.
Snake man, snake man sheds his skin.
Snake man, snake man sees people’s sins.
Snake man, snake man desires illumination.
Shedding his own skin for world domination.
“How can I differentiate between gaslighting and a friend’s well-intentioned criticism?” I had asked my attorney friend, “like if a friend sees his buddy’s girl cheating on him, wouldn’t he tell his buddy? It’s the hard truth, but it needs to be told.”
“That’s not gaslighting–that’s just telling the truth,” Julien said.
“But didn’t you just say earlier that truth is relative?”
“No, in your example, it’s a fact.”
We both walked in silence the rest of the way from Redondo Beach Pier to his hotel. The truth has a way of bringing silence in the space. Despite what I perceived as misaligned definitions of truth and facts for business convenience and courtroom wins, I could feel his intentions.
“Gaslighting is if the cheating wife then continued to have the affair while making it seem like her man is just imagining all of it. She would try and make him feel ashamed, paranoid, and guilty for feeling angry, suspicious or hurt. A person who is gaslighting may also try and isolate him from his friends, convincing him that his friends are jealous liars, unreliable assholes, something of that nature.”
It hits me like a funny bone to a table edge.
A tingling sensation spread across my body.
The next evening, I was reading Peterson again. Peterson mentions the “underground man” and it occurred to me that I had married one and had nearly fallen for a replica last year if it were not for God’s providence in having that silence sink in between so the spell can be broken.
The line reads from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s bitter classic, Notes from Underground, “I am a sick man…I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man. I believe my liver is diseased.” Which sums up the trajectory of both the men I had fallen for minus the physically “unattractive” part. This “underground man commits the worst transgression of the lot…” He has taken upon himself through self-righteous morality to bring up another person, a woman named Liza, who is on her way to prostitution, only to break her spirit later through harsh criticism.
The Selfish, Self-Absorbed Narcissistic
He is fully selfish, self-absorbed and narcissistic, fantasizing about how his heroism will call for her utmost gratitude and indebtedness. However, the reality is that “The salvation he offers to her demands far more in the way of commitment and maturity than the underground man is willing to offer. He simply does not have the character to see it through–something he quickly realizes, and equally quickly rationalizes.” He later tells her that the reason why he propped her up only to tear her down is so he could feel superior to her and gloat at the opportunity to humiliate her. He wanted to treat her “like a rag” since earlier he had been treated like a rag by his superior. He needed an emotional punching bag and she was so convenient for it.
“The inflated self-importance, carelessness and sheer malevolence of the underground man dashes Liza’s last hopes. He understands this well. Worse: something in him was aiming at this all along. And he knows that too.”
And there it was. It hits me again–a true revelation. It is the ex-husband that I so glamorized and romanticized, this “cowboy,” was all along a coward. I was in perpetual denial because I didn’t want to believe that I married someone who had that kind of malice in his heart.
He was malicious.
And the resentment against what he was and who I had accepted him as he was had been the poison I was drinking transmuting me into this female version of the underground man myself. I remember hearing Dr. Jordan Peterson say somewhere sometime ago that I can oftentimes discover what the other person’s intent was just by observing what the results were.
My ex-was gaslighting me for the last year of our marriage. He was taking big sums of money knowing that he was already plotting to siphon it away, then pretend that I was crazy, violent, and irrational so he can put me in disrepute among his network of people to save his own face for having the affair, lying to me, and manipulating the one who cares about him the most. He never owned up nor apologized but rather made me feel guilty that it was somehow my fault.
The truth is he wasn’t all that great a boyfriend, a husband, and a man of integrity. The man had sold drugs, drank his way through everything throughout his life, and then during the last year had committed one of the most egregious acts like a man-fatale: suck the life energy, financial resources, and manipulated me through the manipulative craft of the gaslight.
The red flags were there when I first met him. He had bragged that the girls he had dated he would ignore them on purpose after wooing them to a point where the girls began falling for him. Then, he would cut her off without notice. He delighted in her suffering…the voicemails of her crying, pleading and asking why only to be met with stone cold silence… The women who needed an explanation. He delighted in giving them nothing. It was the power he desires– the illusory power of self-righteous importance. He also delighted in misleading his first love into thinking that they could start all over again. She flew from Seattle to LA to visit him and he had stood her up on their date that evening that he was with me. His face was one of pride, but it was also one of malice.
I was complicit in all this.
I was willfully blind.
But now I see.
And who was I to feel special that he would find me exempt from the mental torture and gaslight? I thought I could change him. I thought that I could take on the challenge. I thought that God had somehow divined it so that our bitterness could transform to betterness. For a while, it did seem that way, but people will be people, and I am one of those people… If anything, I was his wife because I am the mirror battling the same vices.
A self-centered conceit,
I had the impetus to share this revelation with him in the form of a voicemail that was recorded on my iPhone as an attachment to the email I had sent him titled, “Year of the Dog.”
But now I see.
Cause I was also a self-loathing narcissist.
Dogs are loyal. B is not. By that same token of revelation, it also hit me that B would never have been loyal… and it hits you again.
He enjoys ignoring you.
I remember Sonny’s story about the women who cried and felt dismissed, and I realized at that moment that that was B’s intent all along.
It was pure malice.
It had manifested in both of them.
It was pure malice when his gaslighting had almost driven me to suicide. It was a spiritual stronghold that may have taken over their psyches–perhaps the negative feminine spirit had planted that seed into them by their narcissistic mothers when they were once upon a time ago young boys.
The Underground Men
The underground men.
I had married an underground man. And the reason why I was so drawn to B was exactly the same pathology that lingered. It was familiar spirits. That malice. The kind that enjoys other people’s suffering of those who love them the most–insidious of the most cowardly sort, raised by narcissistic mothers. Narcissistic mothers whom now I have witnessed in my friends.
*Peterson, Jordan B. 12 Rules for Life: an Antidote to Chaos. Random House Canada, 2017. p. 76-77