Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Difference between Liberal and Conservative

So I think I may have figured out the difference between "Conservatives" and "Liberals".

Conservatives are adults.

Liberals are people who like to act like adults... sometimes.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Triggered by Broken Glass

I am triggered. It happened this evening while I was washing the dishes.

I am emotionally unraveled and am having some difficulty putting my emotional self back together.
I am experiencing anger but I am experiencing something else as well. Whatever the feelings are, I can't directly seem to identify them, but one is certainly fear of unknown danger. It feels like I am in danger and I don't know what to do about it.

The problem is that my spouse is, in my opinion at least although she has never been diagnosed this way, passive aggressive. That gives her the right to express her grievances secretly and get away with it without confrontation. We have had many discussions about this problem and in fact were separated for a year and a half mainly over this issue but the issue remains unresolved.

The problem is also one-sided meaning that it is a problem for me but for her it's just a way of life. To her it's just normal behavior. To me it's intolerable and at times dangerous, even life threatening.
The amazing thing about being a passive aggressive person is that when you are passive aggressive you don't need to be aware of what you are doing or why you are choosing to do it. You can be too nice of a person to hurt somebody deliberately but if you are passive aggressive you can hurt somebody deliberately but subconsciously.

I have learned to identify her passive aggression when it rears its ugly head this way. She hurts me or endangers me but claims innocence when I point out the danger or the hurt. I ask her why she did what she did. She responds with a lie.

She's normally an honest person. She has a reputation for honesty. She's perceived by the public as a good person. So where does the lie come from?
It comes from the same place her aggression comes from, her subconscious. She isn't even capable of admitting that she just made up a lie and told it to me because her subconscious won't allow her to admit it was a lie, yet to me it was an obvious lie. If I confront her about the lie she just digs her heels in deeper telling as many lies as are needed to hide what her subconscious mind has done.

She has been living this way for so long, actually most likely since early childhood, that the whole process is on autopilot. It's automatic. It's also something she knows by experience she can't do in public. It's manipulative abuse and subconsciously at least she knows it and hides it in public. She only uses it where she can get away with it, with her spouse.
She grew up in an abusive relationship with one or more of her parents, learned to live with manipulative abuse in denial, and accepted it as a normal part of her life and she believes in it because she knows how effectively it works.

The final nail in the coffin is that if she gets caught doing it and I get triggered, she perceives my anger as abuse. She sees herself as completely innocent, a victim.
It's classic textbook passive aggression.

So here I was washing the dishes this evening and she happened to be in the kitchen and she saw me put a few quart canning jars in the dishwater. She saw that I was washing one of the jars and she said is that the broken jar? (or something to that effect)
Instantly I had an emotional reaction.
Broken? One of the jars is broken? I ask.
Well not really broken, she says, but she can see she has to hide what she does know.
Just the top, she says.
So I look at the jar and sure enough there's a chip out of the rim leaving a small razor-sharp edge on the top of the jar.
I throw the jar away. It's just an inexpensive quart canning jar, nothing worth saving, but there's a powerful wave of tension that has washed over the kitchen. In my head I'm beginning to wonder why she would knowingly leave an inexpensive canning jar with a sharp edge left from a chipped rim where it will find its way into the dishwater, especially when she knows I do almost all of the dishes because she's too busy with work to do housework.
So I fume over it for a bit thinking maybe my emotions will settle down, maybe this doesn't deserve a confrontation, maybe there's a good reason. But undeniably it's clear to me that she knew what she was doing. She warned me when she saw that I was in danger.
So eventually I asked her why she didn't throw a broken jar away as soon as she saw that it was broken.
Well I thought maybe I could use it to hold pencils, she explained to me.
The lie.
Why would anyone save a dangerously chipped cheap run-of-the-mill clear-glass quart canning jar worth less than a dollar when brand new to store pencils in?
How do you know, I asked, that you didn't save it just to hurt me?
You wouldn't ask that question of a person you didn't suspect capable of passive aggression but it is the only important question to ask of a person who is.
She didn't have an answer or even a defense. She is familiar now with the possibilities. We have covered this ground many times recently.
So I told her I don't think she saved the jar to store pencils in. I told her I think she just now made that lie up and told it to me.

What I think actually happened was that when she saw the chipped jar she knew she should throw it away but she was just too lazy to do it and she turned the situation over to her subconscious mind which was perfectly content to put me in harms way because there was some unresolved issue with me, some grudge she can't admit to, that she had stored down beneath her conscious mind. I've had the feeling the past few days that she is holding something back that needs to be brought out and talked about so it's not all that far-fetched or paranoid for me to imagine this possibility.
But if I'm right that means she's upset enough about it to want to draw blood.
So I'm triggered.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Triggered

What triggers you?

By "triggered" I mean you have a strong negative emotional response to some sort of provocation. Something provokes you and you react emotionally in ways that often seem out of your control.
Lots of things seem to flip a negative emotional switch in people and trigger fear, anger, or rage or other forms of uncomfortable and many times inappropriate emotions and behavior.
We don't normally do things to ourselves to bring on these emotions. Things are done to us. Other people do things that trigger us. Here we are going about our business the way we always do and someone or some event comes along and upsets us and if we allow it to happen, we have an emotional situation going on inside our head that we believe we can't control until whatever it is that triggered us is no longer there, no longer a concern.
We even expect other people to be careful about what they say or do to us because if they aren't careful they will trigger an unwelcome and unpleasant emotional reaction from us.

If this isn't ringing a bell, here's a YouTube video of a routine traffic stop where the lady who is stopped for going 13 miles an hour over the speed limit works herself into an emotional frenzy over it despite the fact that the police officer is about as unthreatening and polite as he can be.

Ulster NY Legislator Jennifer Schwartz Berky Traffic Stop (FULL)

I have a theory about this woman's behavior.
She seems to be having a hissy fit while at the same time she is preventing this policeman from saying whatever it is that he is trying to say to her. From the start of the conversation, before she is triggered, she is interrupting what the policeman is saying to her. Her emotions seem to build as the policeman attempts over and over to speak to her. What the policeman is saying to her is upsetting her and the longer he tries, the more upset she gets.
This woman seems to want only one thing, for the policeman to stop speaking to her and let her go. If you don't believe me just give it a moment of thought. The one thing anybody who has been stopped by a policeman on the highway wants is for the policeman to stop talking and let them go. Rare is the exception.
This woman wants the policeman to stop talking and let her go.
He doesn't oblige.
She escalates by exhibiting behavior that she knows by experience causes the person triggering her to become uncomfortable and definitely uncertain and usually accommodating to her wishes.

If you think about it, children do this sort of thing to adults all the time. Usually they get away with it. Sometimes they don't get their way and sometimes they are even punished for their behavior but usually they get what they want.

So my perspective is that this woman became triggered as a means of controlling the policeman's behavior. It's hard to imagine any other reason for a rational, civilized, adult human being to behave this way in a situation as unthreatening as this.

My theory is that there is a form of manipulation where one person can control the speech or actions or even thoughts of another person simply by becoming uncomfortably emotional.
Deliberately.

So to be triggered means to choose to exhibit uncomfortable emotions and/or behavior in order to control the person who is not doing what you want them to do.

Happens all the time if you stop and think about it. We all do it. We shouldn't. She shouldn't have acted this way. But we all do it.

It dawned on me yesterday that there is a positive, uplifting word in the English language that expresses the alternative to being triggered. Forgiveness.