Happy New Year!

Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

― L.M. Montgomery

I am back after enjoying a bit of a holiday – a break in routine and an opportunity to recharge my batteries.

I’m so pleased to see the outpouring of sharing and supporting that happened in my absence. Each comment really is a gift!

I hope that each of you have found some space through the madness of the holiday season to rest, regroup, laugh and enjoy yourself. I wish the best of all things for each of you in 2012 and look forward to spending another year with you, my readers.

Happy New Year!

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89 Responses to Happy New Year!

  1. pamela says:

    I have been reminded that it is human nature to be selfish, and that I will have an uphill battle if I fight that knowledge.

    It is not a major event but the mowing of the lawn opposite with an racketty old mower this morning at 6.45am is the catalyst for this discovery. I woke up and had to shut the window and put earplugs in, but went back to sleep. But on consideration, I can see that the neighbour got cracking before the heat of the day set in (this is Australia), so self-interest is a better word than selfish.

    I bring this spotlight to the e-strangement considerations we have discussed over Christmas and can see that I am hoping for too much if I expect unselfishness. That is an ‘ideal world’ scenario and not likely to happen. It does allow me to be selfish enough to stay away from problem areas though. Or self-interested enough to avoid potential problems.

    Currently I am on the verge of a friendship with someone who wants to invite me over but who is in many ways. likely to get me running around doing ‘rescue’ things. Self-interest is telling me to stay away, so I will.

    Hoping everyone has a good year with love all around.

    • Fiona says:

      Hi Pamela,

      Thanks so much for your contributions to discussions – I really appreciate it!

      I’d have to say I put a high value on the ability to develop self-interest – to think carefully about what is good for us, and what is not – and use the information as guidance for where we most appropriately can place our time and attention.

      It can be a bit off putting to know the rest of the world is doing the same thing – and that the inevitable consequence of this is a collision of interest. However, managing the collision of interest is preferable to me than following some outdated proscription that we should put others before ourselves, even when it means we subject ourselves to all manner of abuse or neglect.

      Take care!

      • Karen says:

        “However, managing the collision of interest is preferable to me than following some outdated proscription that we should put others before ourselves, even when it means we subject ourselves to all manner of abuse or neglect.”

        I wholeheartedly agree.

        I’ve heard the phrase “enlightened self-interest” and what it means is to take good care of yourself, even putting your needs first at times, while simultaneously considering the needs and welfare of others. Other people benefit (despite fierce opposition and protests) by your taking care of yourself. Enlightened self-interest, unlike true selfishness, precludes making others suffer at your expense.

        For me using distance was a self-protecting strategy–the only one that I knew of that I used to help me cope with aggressive, destructive behaviors, especially when direct communication and being open and upfront about my needs didn’t work. It was a survival strategy, which clearly is motivated by self-interest.

        People understanding, validating or supporting my need and right to take care of myself has been missing, very missing in my life.

    • Karen says:

      ‘I have been reminded that it is human nature to be selfish, and that I will have an uphill battle if I fight that knowledge.”

      I would probably say that it is instinctual (human nature) to be aggressive–the term referring to the forceful energy that we all expend in our daily lives to survive, advance ourselves, secure the things we believe will bring us some kind of pleasure, and remove obstacles to those ends. There is a difference though between when people behave assertively, which is respecting the rights and needs of others, and those people who demonstrate little concern about how others are being affected–behavior labeled as aggressive. I also believe that the “evil” that sometimes arises from a person’s aggressive behavior often stems from their falure to “own” and to discipline this basic instinct.

      I’m not trying to split hairs about meanings either. I know for myself that communication, poor communication, etc., or lack thereof has had an enormous impact on my life. I’ve written about it on this site and others.

      • Sue says:

        I disagree that it is “instinctual” nature to be aggressive. I think we learn at a very early age HOW to communicate through our role models in life (most often our parents, but sometimes not). Even observing toddlers and babies one will see that they have far more empathy for fellow humans and a willingness to help even when there is no “reward” for them (studies have been done to show that this is what sets us apart from other primates, whereas other primates will no longer help each other if there is nothing in it for them).

        We learn via role modeling whether to be passive, assertive, or aggressive, and my therapist went a step further in telling me that no matter what style of communication a person has, it does not necessarily make them a bad person, but it does mean they have poor communication skills. Communication skills CAN be changed.

        That said, you can always change how YOU communicate your feelings and know that no matter how the other party responds you have made your feelings and thoughts clear without being disrespectful.

        Failing to empathize with others does not always arise from malicious intent (the evil that you speak of), but, perhaps, unthoughtfulness and carelessness. I used to fail to see things from the other point of view until it was pointed out to me by my therapist. I didn’t fail to own up to my mistakes or responsibilities because I was being deliberately difficult or mean, but I just frankly hadn’t thought of it.

        That said, what right do any of us have to “demand” people see things only our way? What what right do we have to be angry because somebody else doesn’t buy into our way of thinking? I think it’s perfectly OK to ask for respect and to have our feelings acknowledged as long as we are willing to offer the same.

        I used to get SOOO angry that my in-laws did not “understand” me and did not respect me and did not care about my feelings. But then… after this last year and especially after reading several posts here, I realize they might never understand, respect, or acknowledge me, but that I can do all of those things for myself and never feel the lack from them because I have already filled the “lack” in my life.

        Kind regards, Sue

      • Karen says:


        I don’t disagree with you that we learn how to communicate through our role models in life. An author, who is also a clinical psychologist, who wrote a book called, In Sheep’s Clothing, which is about dealing with manipulative people discussed “instinctual aggression” and he made a good case for it, which I may not have done justice to here. The book has served as an invaluable resource to me and I refer to it often, especially in dealing with manipulative people, specifically in dealing with people who use covert aggression to get what they want.

        I also agree that you can change how you communicate, but that involves the desire to change. I can change myself and try to communicate more effectively and I have, but that hasn’t changed the outcome for me–not with my family and not with my in-laws. All responsibility and blame does not lie with me and I’m quite tired of being blamed and scape-goated.

        “Failing to empathize with others does not always arise from malicious intent (the evil that you speak of), but, perhaps, unthoughtfulness and carelessness.”

        I don’t disagree. It doesn’t make them a bad person either and that isn’t what I’m saying. Lack of empathy though is a red warning flag in my dealings with others. It is not a whisper. It’s a SCREAM, especially if they (the offender) refuse to take responsibility for their behaviors when they know how I feel. Yet I also believe and have encountered people whose behavior is done with malicious intent and I also believe there are people who do perpetrate evil against others. I’ve encountered it and it would not be wise for me to not acknowledge or to ignore what I’ve lived, experienced and know.

        “I used to fail to see things from the other point of view until it was pointed out to me by my therapist. I didn’t fail to own up to my mistakes or responsibilities because I was being deliberately difficult or mean, but I just frankly hadn’t thought of it.”

        That’s probably true in many situations and given that I understand what you are saying. In my situation I do believe they know and are fully aware, but not only have made the choice to ignore the situation, but don’t care for whatever reason.

        I also don’t demand that others see things my way, although I will admit to holding my ground on what I feel is unacceptable behavior and what I will and will not tolerate. That is a healthy choice for me to make. I do get angry when people try to bully me or manipulate me. Thanks for your input…

      • Sue says:

        Sounds like you have a lot of convictions on who they are and where they are coming from, and I’m not altogether sure that is doing YOU any good to hold onto those. Not only is it within your control to change how you want to communicate with them (and you say you have), but how deeply their behavior and attitudes (real or perceived) impacts your life.

        I wish you the best.

      • Sue says:

        Also, it appears I have upset you with some of the things I said. I did not mean to imply that you, personally, have no right to be angry or create your own boundaries on what you will accept and/or tolerate. Most of what I wrote was generalized and not meant to sound accusatory. I’m sorry.

      • Karen says:


        “Sounds like you have a lot of convictions on who they are and where they are coming from, and I’m not altogether sure that is doing YOU any good to hold onto those.”

        With all due respect it isn’t your judgment call to make about whether or not what I feel about their behavior, or as you say “convictions” is doing me any good or not. I do have a therapist who is aware of their behaviors and fully supports my decisions.

        “Not only is it within your control to change how you want to communicate with them (and you say you have), but how deeply their behavior and attitudes (real or perceived) impacts your life.”

        Like I stated above and elsewhere, I’m fully aware of that and yes, their behavior (real) has had an impact on our life.

        What I was hopeful this site was about was offering a safe place where I could reflect about that as needed.

      • Sue says:

        Wow. Like I said, I didn’t mean to upset you. I’m sorry. I’ll stop offering my imput now.

      • Sue says:

        I do have to say one more thing. It’s apparent to me that I was not clear in how I communicated with you what I was feeling and trying to say. I also have to say now that your harsh tone has hurt me. It stung. I did not mean to upset you, I was just trying to help, but now I am the one crying and feeling like I did something wrong. I’m sorry. Again, I will not offer any more comments on your life. You’re right, I have no right to judge or speculate on your life. I am so deeply sorry for upsetting you.

        This site IS a great, safe, place to share our feelings. I hope you continue to find this site helpful.

      • Karen says:


        I just read this and thank you for clarifying–I appreciate it. Few people offer that or apologize like you have, so thank you again. I’m glad that you are being honest with me and I can see that you are being sincere. I certainly didn’t mean to sound harsh or upset you either. I don’t want you to cry and I certainly don’t bear you any ill will.

        I’ve been on the receiving end of some pretty mean, emotionally abusive behaviors. I don’t tend to expound on it here. I’ve had to really learn how to fight back just to survive, otherwise they’d be stampeding all over me.

        I realize that our situations are unique to us–our circumstances and difficult for all of us…We are all just trying to work through our own issues and do our best.

        “I do have to say one more thing. It’s apparent to me that I was not clear in how I communicated with you what I was feeling and trying to say.”

        Thank you….I appreciate hearing this. Everyone can always improve their communication, including me. I’m not judging you either…well except in a good way now. I’m not perfect. I can see you didn’t mean any harm. It’s late where I’m at, so I will close and hope that you are doing okay.

  2. edward says:

    Oh yeah FIona, I will be here for the year ahead and I m sure that I can say we all love you too.

    Always Edward

  3. Colleen (PenningtonBlue) says:

    Thank you Fiona for all you interesting thoughts throughout 2011 and I look forward them happening again in 2011. I hope you had a lovely break, a great Christmas and a Happy New Year. This year is going to be a year of positiveness and new beginnings for me after 9 deaths last year. One new beginning began one minute past midnight on New Year’s Eve.The second is due in a couple of days in the form of a new grandchild. Im happy and thats the main thing.

    Take care my friend and I love you too for all you have helped me to see.


    • Fiona says:

      Hi Colleen,

      Thank you for your kind words! You have had such a difficult year! 2012 looks like it is rolling in with two new bundles of joy – may this year ahead bring peace and happiness to you and yours!

      Take care,

  4. Sue says:

    I have been amazed at how helpful the other readers have been with me and others. It is refreshing.

    • edward says:

      The way it is Sue is that many of us feel that nobody else has similar situations/problems as we do and that feeling makes us adopt a “nobody understands me” posture that leads to a feeling of loneliness. It does not help if ignorant people impose their silly and without foundation judgments on us, and demand we follow their counsel to do what they THINK will sort things out but in essence, only make things worse for us.

      FInding others who we can identify with dispels that feeling of aloneness that comes from being msunderstood and judged by imbeciles, and all the time we are here, there is Fiona observing what is going on, ready to smooth the waters and apply wound dressings.

      Always Edward

      • Sue says:

        I’ve certainly encountered the crowd of people who have their own ideas, Edward. I was thinking about the last “incident” (all of us being completely ignored by my in-laws on Christmas) from an outsider’s point of view. If I was a friend of me and heard this story, what would I suggest? And why? I’m not angry at my in-laws for ignoring ME (that, I can understand). I am most upset that my kids were deliberately hurt by this action. They, after all, reached out to their grandparents. The last year has been hard on everybody, but to have it end on such a sore note for them was where I realized that I NEED to step away and let them come to us. it’s painfully obvious they do not wish to have a relationship with the children at this point, for whatever reason, and if I was a friend I would tell myself to stop setting them up for disappointment. What am I teaching my children by allowing them to be hurt repeatedly?

        These situations are not all alike, and the best I can do for anybody is to make sure I better myself first.

  5. edward says:

    Hello Sue

    It is not you, it is them who are hurting your children and I tell you true they wil regret they ever hurt their grandchildren. I am a grandfather and it hurts me to even see one of them hurt by anything. There comes a time when one of the few things they are able to enjoy is their grandchidren and they are setting themselves up to be ignored by the very ones they themselves ignored. Fools.

    I regret the situation in front of you and deplore the stupid games the other side is playing.

    Always Edward

    • Sue says:

      I am still … what’s the word I’m looking for? Uh… likely, to blame myself for the outcome, but unlike the times of the past I cannot take all of the blame, because although I know my choice to stay home on Christmas Day of 2010 was hurtful, it was not done with that sole intention in mind, and I know this deep down. What happened afterward, however, I cannot take the blame for beyond my own actions and choices. I did not make the choice for my husband to step away from her, nor did I make the choice for her to stop speaking to my husband. When there was a misunderstanding about being invited to my daughter’s birthday, my husband and I wrote her a letter to clear things up. It was a kind and gentle letter. But she responded to that letter by emailing my DAUGHTER instead of directing it at us. Something I quickly and directly (and yes, harshly) scolded her for. I did NOT appreciate her including my daughter in a matter that she wasn’t even aware of! And what really got my goat about it was that it was not the first time, nor was my daughter the first child, she had done this!!

      I shield my children from a LOT, but she has no problem discussing the issues in front of her adopted daughter (also a child, who happens to be the same age as my daughter), and allowing her to write my daughter about the issues. I don’t think they need to know all of the details. And I especially didn’t like how she fought with me in front of my children in my home.

      I’m sorry, Edward, I apologize for I am getting angry about it. Sometimes anger does come out when it comes to my kids. They sent her cards, photos, and gifts for Christmas, and she didn’t have the decency to even thank them for it. And I’m most angry that I just don’t know what I can do at this point.

      I hope your situation eases up. I hope your grandchildren do not keep distant for long. Grandparents are such a blessing in a child’s life. And irreplaceable.

      • Fiona says:

        Hi Sue,

        Thanks for sharing some of your story and difficulties with us, estrangements with grandparents carry all sorts of tricky baggage – not the least being that somehow by virtue of age, and family position that they are any different than any other people – or any better behaved.

        Some time ago I wrote a post, What Does it Mean, that discusses this. In short, my view is that … “in some families, grandparents are a great and positive support system for grown children and grandchildren. In some families they are not. In some families, grandparents are welcomed members, in others they are not.”

        You might find it an interesting read!

        Take care,

      • Sue says:

        Fiona, I went to Dr. Coleman’s website forums and was quite surprised by the posts there. I know estrangement can be difficult, but it was painful to read how many people had drawn an conclusion and stuck to it despite protests from their family that they were wrong, and at the cost of further estrangement (for example: “my child was brainwashed by their spouse!”). So sad, but definitely an eye-opener for me to realize that I may speculate all I want about my in-laws, but only they know their own truth. I know MY truth, and that’s about all.

      • edward says:

        Sue, do not apologize for being angry, you have the right to be that way, and actually, the whole thing is making me angry as well. I love children and it hurts me to think of their tender feelings being hurt. Those children are part you, and you are part them. They do not deserve to be hurt and oyu certainly as well do not merit that indirect but cruel abuse as well. Do not blame yourself for things that are not your fault, I can see you are a responsible and caring mother.

        As to what to do, I have found when I am in that mode of not being sure what to do, it is best to be still, that is, do nothing but ponder things until I am sure the course of action I have in mind is the right one. The test of whether it is right or wrong will be first and foremost, is what I am going to do in the best interests of my children…and me?

        I regret the situation, and remind you that any decisions you make about your children are just that, YOURS to make. You, as their mother, have the ultimate right to make decisions as you as their mother will always make decisions in their best interests.

        Your children are your first concern.

        Always Edward

  6. pamela says:

    Thanks, Fiona, the clash of my self-interest with someone else’s is something to be wary of, but important. I,like many women, have tended to adopt the ‘man first’ attitude in life and the men involved have naturally felt the same! Being on my own nowadays is better for me. My neighbour has said the same thing after two marriages: when there is a man around, we women tend to watch our for anything he might want! She also prefers the freedom of being single now. Nobody to ask us “Why do you wash up like that?” or “What you should do, is…”

    Grandparenting is not going to happen for me now, but I will read your article with interest. THanks for giving us this forum for discussion and support.

    • Fiona says:

      Hi Pamela – you know I was thinking today, there is always a ready excuse, rationalization, justification when we do not take care of ourselves. There’s almost always a “good reason” for why we can’t take care of ourselves. The problem with all these good reasons, is they rob us of any quality of life.

      The great thing about all those excuses is as soon as we are ready for a better quality of life – we will damn well make it happen! This I know to be true.

      Thank you for making good use of this space – I hope it continues to inspire you!

      Take care,

  7. Sue says:

    Thank you so much Edward for your patience, understanding, and support. It means a lot to me. :-)

    • edward says:

      You are welcome Sue, as a father, I have a qualifiable understanding of your situation, although I do confess it is my opinion that mothers, having a more personal contact with children, (carrying them to birth), than fathers, and as well, women, haivng possession of the more nobler character traits than my gender, have a closer bond than fathers to their children,

      I have noticed though that some single women who are childless do possess a great understanding and love of children as well, without having had any themselves.

      It does bother me to see the trouble people have from imposed cruelty that causes so much emotional hurt, which is not necessary.

  8. edward says:

    Sue and Karen

    The interaction I have noted between you two has one common thread in tow, you have both been hurt and are both women of a high degree of sensitivety. That word is generally construed by others, as being a negative, but that is a damned lie. Sensitivety is a desirable character trait that softly whispers an inner quality of precious worth, as it is the embodiment of a kaleidoscopic mix of the dynamically sublime traits of empathy, understanding, softness of spirit, love, unselfishness, consideration, and a super human awareness of the feelings of others. Karen is senstive in every manner of application of this definition, and Sue possesses such as evidenced by her loving response to Karen when she “senses” not only the clearly communicated feelings of Karen and responds with her instant and penitent communication of regret. Both of you have been hurt deeply, and sensing this in my spirit troubles me as well as I move into my own emotional fellowshipping of each of your sufferings. I feel hurt and sad over what has befallen either of you and I am sorry you are unable to see a grown man cry as the synergistic effect of the consideration of the hurt you both evidence easily pervades my rough exterior and filters into my very being to soften and move me in a way that encourages me towards a deeper embrace of empathy in my own existence.

    What I clearly see Sue, in you, is an entity that is precious to behold. I am sure that Karen is quite aware you are different in a rare way from others who, after upsetting people, use their tagline of “I did not intend to hurt or offend you” in a manner of not only justification of same, but as an excuse to not offer regrets and genuine penitence. Dearest Sue, by this act on your part you have elevated yourself to a place that few occupy in my mind. You know you have hurt Karen, but the fact is the hurt has been done, and exists, whether it was intentional or not. (I FULLY SEE YOU ARE OF THE SWEET CHARACTER THAT TO HURT ANYONE IS TOTALLY UNINTENTIONAL IN YOUR MIND AND BY HER RESPONSE, I AM POSITIVE KAREN IS LIKE MINDED) Sue, take it to heart that I see clearly that even though it was not your intent to hurt, you took responsibility because regardless, the hurt had been done, but you did not push any excuse but moved quickly and without pride to mitigate the damage. You are one special gal, damn, for sure!

    Dearest Karen, the hurt you have suffered from callous people in your existence is evident here, and also evident is that those who have hurt you have done so in a manner that I feel they do not, in their pride, want to take responsibility for. Your sensitivity demonstrates the depth and sublimity of character that separates you from the status quo, and elevates you to the heights of excellence. Damn, two priceless gems in proximity to each the other and the contact of one with the other has removed the dust, each has polished the other and the radiance of each shines through and touches one’s face as the sun in warmth caresses, and filters through to warm the very soul.

    You are both women that are precious, so easy to cherish and even love. Such displays of so sublime character slays me, for in the mix I see not just that beloved and priceless sensitivity you each possess, but also a willingness to humility and offered emotional restitution and reconciliation that if all possessed, would make the world a much better place to exist within. You are both models in your own right of propriety, principle, and depth/sublimity of character. Your husbands if you both are married, should be thankful they have the pleasure and joys of interaction and lives with women as you are.

    The honesty, integrity and sincerity in the whole situation here you have both glided through, has restored my faith in humanity…damn, you gals made my day, my week, my month and my whole life as this event like others I hold dear, locked into my very being, has etched itself on my heart, to be carried to my end, but like a worn book that is lovingly caressed as one peruses the pages for encouragement and comfort, this occurence will be most treasured.

    On another topic, FIona wished that there were a “like” button to be applied to comments that she thought were excellent, and I did up the ante, suggesting that it be a “love” button. What I have seen here between you two, even a “love” button would not suffice or give credit to.

    The best policy is openess and honesty, as that allows understanding to flow and be absorbed much as a parched waterbed absorbs the new fallen rain. I have seen more than that here, I have witnessed how women of worth, both hurt in their existences, respond to one the other in a way that causes me to file them under the heading of Gods highest creation and validates my commments relative on another thread. There is little that warms and lightens the spirit than such a display of character sublimity…damn!!!

    I am sorry but……NO I AM NOT for were you both standing in front of me, I would feel compelled to take each of you in one arm, and draw/hold you tenderly and softly close to me if you would permit such an act. I would then be willing to suffer the consquences from husbands, if there are in fact two men who have the distinction of being married to two super women. It would be well worth it. Hmmmmmm You are both so beautiful in mind, soul and spirit…

    I do love you both and would encourage each to continue here for the support/encouragement that exists in this place. I hold you both high in value. If you do, I will try to be less effusive and affected by such exquisite and exceptional displays of sublime character. Damn, you gals about beat all I ever saw.

    Always Edward

  9. Sue says:

    Edward, this interaction hit me hard and I realized a few things about myself in it. I am far too ashamed to continue commenting openly on this site, although I did want to offer my gratitude at your reply. Thank you so much. I am even so ashamed that I have not yet read Karen’s last response, for fear that I have hurt her even more. I know my words seemed trite given what she’s been through, but for lack of better words they just came out. Most of what I was writing I was trying to share what I had learned, I was not trying to accuse her of anything. This definitely teaches me what I need to work on. I mean, no wonder my mother-in-law takes issue with what I write online. I never realized how I came across to people. I’m sorry, I’m just still upset and … sensitive. Emotionally fragile, I suppose, but that’s my problem and I will work on it.

    I wish you all the best. And Thank you Fiona for sharing your insights on this blog, they have helped me tremendously.


    • Sue says:

      And I want to thank you, Karen, for opening my eyes to who I really am. If what I thought was the best, most loving words to help you could be perceived in such a way that it caused you pain, then, in hindsight, I must be a long ways from where I want to be and no wonder my husband’s family doesn’t like me. I never realized I came across this way, ever.

      • Fiona says:

        Hi Sue,

        I normally try to stay out of communication exchanges between readers, and allow them to work things through on their own. In this case, I am going to put my oar in and say that it seems unfortunate that there is not a natural evolution toward resolving the misunderstanding that has occurred between Karen and yourself, particularly as Edward has rightly pointed out,you both are well intentioned, sensitive and kind people – and I am certain you both who would like to see things understood.

        I cannot help but wonder if this is how some estrangements happen. Communication is initiated, possibly misunderstood, feelings and sensibilities are wounded, apologies may be made, things may be taken personally … people may decide all sorts of things about other people (and about themselves) … in the heat of reaction and emotion, connections are frayed, and sometimes snap.

        If it is true that we are on a learning journey, and each person who comes into our lives brings us an opportunity ( a mutual opportunity) to learn about self and other and of course learn more about estrangement … then perhaps this a chance to reflect not on what went wrong … but on how to make it right?

        What do we bring to the table that allows us to evaluate our communication and relationships and make life and relationship enhancing choices? What do we bring to the table that gets in the way?

        I have every confidence that this communication hiccough can be put into perspective and that all parties can move forward in their growth and healing; understanding of self and other.

        Take care,

      • pamela says:

        “Put things into words, and there’s no telling when you will get them out again” Carrie Fisher.

        I have just read that on someone’s blog and it sums up what I sometimes feel!

  10. pamela says:

    Well put Fiona. In my experience of using ‘words’ I am aware that any words can have different connotations in other peoples’ lives. It is like saying ‘pink’…how many ‘pinks’ are there out there?!

    Every word I use in a discussion has my precise meaning but that is not enough to avoid problems. The other person has their own history. Many times in life I have found that someone has misunderstood me because they have a different understanding about one simple word’s meaning.

    If I told you one of those incidents, it would be amusing and sad, but might start another discussion!!

    I have a wish that my daughter would ask a question about “what did you mean when you said that?” before jumping in with a judgement. Not likely to happen but I can put it into practice in my communication cant I?

  11. edward says:

    Dearest Sue and Karen

    I will be short and sweet about this for once. Sue, you have NO reason to be ashamed, if anything, you should be proud. You have demonstrated what is sadly lacking in the world today, a propensity to be open, honest, and humble, and we all know that humility is a sure indicator of a person of high worth. The addressing of the situation as you have done, has drawn you close to me in terms of admiration and cherishment, something I was not looking to find, or expect here or anywhere. I am proud of you, for there is nothing greater you or anyone could have said, or done, to draw from me such feelings of cherishment towards a woman who being hurt, has the rare capacity to be penitent and sincere, and you dear gal, put not only society as a whole, but me also to great shame. I am not one to dare try to impose on you my wishes or direction, but I am saddened that you would leave here. I do understand and empathize with your decision to leave here, and support whatever you so will, but I will ask why would anyone feel ashamed, in doing and acting in a way that demonstrates character, is noble, and elevates you in terms of worth high, very high on the scale of measure that the most strictest weighmaster would oversee. If you need to take a breather, so be it, but I hope you return. If you are set on leaving, hold your head up high, as you well should. I wish you would not beat up on yourself because you do not now, never have, or ever will in my mind deserve that mistreatment from yourself and certainly not from others.

    Now Karen, you have been clear and communicative, in a way that nobody should fail to understand and comprehend what you have said. You have clearly forgiven Sue and there is also nothing more or better quailifed that you could or should have done. As I cherish Sue, also I cherish you, You have interacted with her in a picture perfect manner and I am proud of you as well. You have demonstrated an ability to be empathetic, understanding, forgiving and like Sue, have set a very high standard and also made me ashamed comparatively. I see Karen, that you responded quickly in a loving, caring, and compassionate way to the hurt that Sue felt and that is par for the course with a woman of acute perception which is but one of the noble character traits that you possess. This reaction on your part to mitigate hurt tells me that you must have suffered the same in your existence at some point in time. I also note that you tried to soothe and reassure her that she was forgiven, which tells me also a lot more about who and what you are. I know you also have a high opinion of Sue as I have given her in her quality handling of things and I am sure that from your comments you did not want her to so harshly criticize herself. In the immortal words of the only perfect person who ever lived I know you feel, “It is Finished” and I would hope that Sue can take that truth and drive out any and all shards of hurt that this whole situaiton has caused her. I am confident in my feelings on this because I have seen the care and focus Karen has exercised here before and there is no way I can or would mistake what she has so clearly stated. Trust me Sue.

    I do so love the two of you, and would like this all to be put to rest as if it had never happened as that is how i see the end result in my mind. Yet I do not pretend to know the feelings either of you feel, so I will leave things as I should in a non critical way, but I perhaps have to admit I have judged you both and find you to be not wanting in any way, and not deficient in how you both have acqitted yourselves.

    You are examples of two fine women that society needs more of, and I leave this whole situation more than satisfied that if I placed it under a microscope, I could find no fault with either of you in how you have resolved it in a respectful, intelligent, logical and appropriate manner.

    Either of you are welcome to park your shoes under my kitchen table anytime and I again say you both about beat all I have ever seen. In a diffferent time and place, I would have been proud to have had either of you on my arm.

    One more thing gals,in my pertinent situation, I have come to distrust the fairer gender…no I am not inclined to homsexuality, yet the element of trust I once had I am trying to regain. What I have seen here between you two has gone a long way in helping to move me towards the restoration of that trust, and I thank you. Perhaps Fiona is aware of that, in the start of a re-assertion of my once playful manner that has started to surface once again, manifested in good natured teasing of our host here from time to time. Neither of you gals had any idea of the beneficial effect on seeing such noble women address a difficult situation, I can honestly say I cherish you both more than you may never know, even could I write with gilded pen, with ink of liquid gold, usiing the clear summer sky as a parchment for my thoughts.

    Well I confess I lied to you at the start, when I said I will be short and sweet about this. The only thing short is my ability to fully express myself to the point I touch you both in your spirits, and the only thing sweet are the two of you.

    Now see what you have done, are you pleased with yourselves? You both should be. You both have drawn out my miserable carcass, and cold spirit, warmth, love compassion and empathy.

    Love and cherishment always,


    • Sue says:

      Thank you Edward for so eloquently and gently helping me and for your kind words to myself and Karen. Oh I wish I could meet you all in person!!!

      It’s not just the insightful posts that Fiona shares but the people who contribute their own feelings and thoughts as well that make this site feel welcoming and warm.

      • edward says:

        Hello Sue

        Before I address your other response, I am sure Fiona meant this to be a refuge, an oasis of sorts in the midst of a large inhospitable desert, and that is what is forming here. I am watching all here and I see that all are in silent agreement with the atmosphere. It is rare, in fact, I have never met two women as you and Karen at one time who demonstrate character the the extent I see in you both, I hope you are back to stay and never leave again…I am watching for Karen also. This site would suffer a big loss without either/both of you.

        Always Edward

      • Sue says:

        I’m already estranged from one family. I’m not letting go of this one!!!

  12. Sue says:

    After a few days letting this all sink in, I want to offer Karen a (((((HUG))))).

    This has certainly taught me a LOT about how I come across via written word, and how important it is for me to remember that some words mean different things to others.

    Karen, my husband’s mother always took issue with what I wrote to her via email and otherwise online. I see how why. It wasn’t that I was being deliberately mean, but that for her own reasons she read them in a completely different tone and was hurt by my words.

    And I realized that I tend to run away (too much) from my opinions. I hated, hated, hated how my mother-in-law told me to my face that I had no right to be upset by her writing about my absence at Christmas (2010), then she CHASED me through the house yelling that I needed to “Face this.” I hated it, but on some level she was RIGHT. I just don’t think that THAT situation was a healthy opportunity to face the issues. And I don’t see how I was supposed to sit around and face that kind of abuse.

    Karen, I do understand where you are coming from. For a period of my life I was very combative with people because I thought that “everybody” would hurt me, “nobody” would understand me or even try to see things from my point of view. All because of the relationships I’ve had growing up and after I got married. I grew to distrust others and always saw words that hurt me as a deliberate attack.

    Those are my feelings. I just wanted to share. I am NOT saying you are like that. I share because I don’t want to come across that way anymore because in my heart I care for you. I’ve never met you but I want to draw you into my arms and give you a big hug and tell you that you are worthy of love and worthy of trust and worthy of acceptance. Some people may never give you those things, but that does not mean that you are not worthy.

    I’m sorry for all of this misunderstanding, and I promise to work on my communication skills.

    I love, love, love this group of people here. I feel as if I have a family HERE.

    Thank you all for being patient with me and for sharing your feelings and thoughts. I do appreciate them. So very much.

    Karen, thank you so much for sharing. I hope we can be friends. :-) I do not ever wish to hurt you.

    • Karen says:

      Hello Sue,

      Thank you. When you apologized to me–the very fact that you did that meant a lot to me. The people in my life just do not do that. I can only think of one person who ever has and he didn’t “intend” to create harm or hurt either. His recognizing he did, despite not meaning too and the steps he took to let me know that allowed our relationship to grow and to deepen. Essentially he let me know through both words and actions how much I did/do matter to him.

      In contrast I have an older sister, who would get angry and rageful and slapped me in the face many times, would make the most hurtful comments and then blame me for her behaviors. The last time I ever spoke to her, she spewed in a fit of anger that I wanted her to apologize to me and then she SCREAMED the apology over the phone and hung up. My life has been filled with people who run or try to run roughshod all over me, and who then never take any responsibility for it. These are people who not only are always dismissing me as “too sensitive”, but are always giving me advice and trying to “fix” me.

      Sue you did the right thing by me and that is why I wrote to you and tried to let you know how much I appreciated that you apologized as that is what no one ever does. That is why I tried to soothe and comfort you and did what I felt I could to let you know that I was okay. I recognized the sincerity in your words/actions–the depth in you. I would never bear you any ill will. I didn’t want you to hurt either and I felt that you were being so very hard on yourself and that hurt too, but I can fully empathize with that feeling because I can also be very hard on myself–I’ve learned this little trick too and so it seems we’ve got more than a little bit in common (ha!). I’ve also made a lot of self-improvement strides too.

      Thank you Sue for sharing and I want you to continue to feel free to share. When people come from an “I feel” place it’s a whole lot easier in the communication process and we all can improve on that score.

      I feel like giving you a hug too, but I can’t so we will have to settle with “word hugs” from across the miles. If I could find those smiley faces (?) I would have filled up the page with it and it would be nice if they had little arms too–that way you would know.

      ” I’ve never met you but I want to draw you into my arms and give you a big hug and tell you that you are worthy of love and worthy of trust and worthy of acceptance. Some people may never give you those things, but that does not mean that you are not worthy.”

      Oh Sue…thank you. You’ve really touched my spirit here…and now I’m crying. I’m not going anyway…I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed right now…You’ve really touched my spirit in a good way…Thank you.

      • pamela says:

        I have been reading my facebook today and there is something from the POW Movement that gives me food for thought.

        If I surrender, I can go through right to the end and find I am still standing after all the troubles. Only mentally surrendering of course. But when I come out the other side, I could have a new idea or new perspective from the Divine, to assist me.

        That is a summary of the quote but it is opening up new hope for me. Very metaphysical so it might not suit everyone.

        This just an offering to you Karen, and others too.

      • Karen says:


        “I have been reading my facebook today and there is something from the POW Movement that gives me food for thought…….This just an offering to you Karen, and others too.”

        Just returning to this and thank you. I’m not on Facebook for a variety of reasons–some mentioned here as I think it’s used as another medium for all sorts of mean-spirited and toxic communications and also ways of excluding people–I don’t mean everyone of course.

        I’m also of like-mind with Edward when it comes to religion and philosophy–I’m cautious and analyatical and tend to examine them closely. I’ve had some very unpleasant experiences in this regard too. I was always very interested in Zen, but didn’t pursue it as other people I knew did. This discussion triggers those experiences and memories.

        The book I mentioned above, in one of my responses to Sue was actually on a site called Rick Ross which deals with destructive cults, controversial groups and their movements and activity.

        I’m open, yet at the same time cautious and wary. I think this is a very healthy way for me to be.I’ve had too few people in my life who have demonstrated respect for that right or who have offered emotional support either. I know to some I may appear close-minded, but then I do have the right to take care of myself and I know that you would agree.

        Thank you again for your offering.

      • pamela says:

        Thank you for your reply Karen, I was very pleased to learn of the Rick Ross website and went straight there. Of course, the list of organisations included some that I had heard of and had doubts about, but reading the details of a couple of them was interesting. There have been programs on TV exposing the financial gain that comes with some faith ministries, but they do not surprise me. Not at all. There is a Hillsong church in Australia that has large congregations and also some people with complaints about it. Those things go together usually, I find. I do not attend any church any more. That is something I will stay silent about because I do not want to attract those who would tell me what is good for me!

        I think most people on this site have already had their eyes opened to the nasty side of ‘good’ people who have fooled the rest of the world. I have had plenty of experience of that. It is up to me to put it behind me and go forward with a handful of trusted friends doing the things that add quality to my life. When I get to the end, I want a heap of happy memories. I just bought myself a small easel for going out and sketching nature. Now I will have to do it, no excuses. I also shouted myself a little picture of waterfalls that makes water and bird noises, as I do not live where I can see water everyday. It is a bit cheap and tacky but it fills my need for water and the sound of water.

        I hope you are able to add to the quality of your life Karen, as it makes me feel so lucky to be able to do that. Thanks again, Pamela

      • Karen says:

        Hello pamela,

        “I was very pleased to learn of the Rick Ross website and went straight there.”……I’m glad it was of interest/help. I’ve experienced the problems with cults in both Western and Eastern religions. Quite frankly, I tend to feel that people are prone to cult-like behaviors just in general. I tend to stay away from “church” too. I grew up attending chruch, but so many of my experiences have been negative and most people tend to always push me, which I find is disrespectful. Why is their need so great that they cannot accept how I feel now and leave it at that and that is why I tend to shy away from any kind of discussions around my spirituality. One has to come to their own conclusions and it is a process. I once had a woman, who was an ordained minister, tell me that I was much more of a spiritual person than most so-called Christians and most of the people she dealt with and that included those in the ministry. She also turned out to be someone who abused my trust and she was very toxic. I wished that I had never had met her or had any dealings with her. I have learned from those interactions, but what I find uncomfortable is placing a positive spin on those types of situations, especially given the complex nature. I recognize that some people have a great need for me to do so, which I tend to analyze. I have “moved on” so to speak and I only occasionally feel a desire to talk about it because it was my experience–not because I can’t move forward or are “holding on to the past” simply because I believe that religions or any philosophy merits my examination.

        “That is something I will stay silent about because I do not want to attract those who would tell me what is good for me! I think most people on this site have already had their eyes opened to the nasty side of ‘good’ people who have fooled the rest of the world.”……….That’s good to know and I agree as I tend to stay silent on such matters too. Sketching nature sounds like a nice activity. It’s funny that you mentioned it as I’ve been thinking about drawing again too. I do try to add quality to my life wherever I can. I would like to find and add more people as well–one’s that I can trust. I’ve just had difficulty in that area as so many people seem so extreme and “needy” and as a result I start to feel very “emotionally unsafe”. I used to live close to an ocean and miss that, but there is also plenty to love where I currently live and I enjoy it–winter, not as much. I tend to really perk up with more sunlight, longer days and access to the outdoors!

        “It is a bit cheap and tacky but it fills my need for water and the sound of water.” Sounds nice to me! I’m hoping to start playing with mosaics and I’m going to start small with a bird bath for my garden and that thought makes me happy.

      • pamela says:

        What a lovely letter for me to open as I start Sunday with my cup of coffee in my hand. There is the warmth of a real friend there even though we have never met. Our experiences have moulded us into cautious people although we started out as innocent trusting souls, so the opportunity to be open and trusting with someone comes as a refreshing promise of good conversation in the future. In fact I do not need to go into any depth of explanation now, but just enjoy the knowledge that you have the ability to read and understand anything I might say in future. Karen is there and is an understanding woman. That’s enough.

      • Karen says:

        Hi Pamela,

        “Our experiences have moulded us into cautious people although we started out as innocent trusting souls, so the opportunity to be open and trusting with someone comes as a refreshing promise of good conversation in the future.”…..This is so true…and I liked and enjoyed your response. I don’t know about your experiences, but my caution tends to be very misunderstood by others. I also get people trying to “fix me” and that increases the distance I feel. What I have often hoped for is a strong desire that others could just open themselves to another person’s experience outside of their own and accept that for what it is.

        “I have requested a book from the library called “In sheep’s clothing” by George K Simon, and Professor who has studied manipulative people for many years. It is going to be very useful I am sure.”

        I’ve read the book and I recommend it to others. It’s in my personal library and I often re-read it and refer to it often. It’s been very helpful to me. In fact, in one of my earlier comments on this thread I mentioned the book. I tend to read a lot.

        “Back to you, Edward, I have opened a can of worms even by saying as little as possible! My can as well as your can! I do think we would all be in agreement if we all sat down and shared our experiences, so I will settle for saying ‘thank you’ for telling me how you feel.”

        I think it’s a can worth opening…for many people. It feels good for me to just speak my own personal truth–the little I’ve shared. Thank you for opening up that can!

      • edward says:

        Hello Lori

        Lots of times when people hear you say the “I love you” sentence to them it melts them and moves them closer. I heard a song once that stated in the lyrics it does not matter what you say, think or feel, you can never stop me loving you, I hope it works here for you, if not we can go another angle…never give up.

        You will note that our Karen and our Sue responded empathetically and the love there epitomized by thta buried the whole site deeply in the warmth of their feelings, their understanding/connecting to each other.

        That makes me feel so warm and happpy.

        Always Edward

      • edward says:

        Karen precious, I am happy to see you back and I am enthralled to see the interaction between you and Sue. I regret the cruel physical and emotional abuse you suffered from your sister, I expect that was when you were a child?

        You did not deserve that, as sweet and sensitive as you were/are.

        Well I would like to, as I said ,take the two of you, one in each arm, and hold you both close to me.

        You Karen have depth that I can see, and you and Sue have a kindred of emotion that is rare.

        You are now aware of, and have the trust that honesty brings to the point that you have an almost ESP of the feelings of the other and this will stand you each in good stead to be supportive of each the other as the empathy you share of how the other feels will allow you to comprehend any issues either of you suffer with relatives and any who trouble either of you.

        Thank you Karen for coming back, I am sure you know it would have hurt Sue had you not but you opened yourself to her and that moved her closer to you as her actions moved you closer to Sue. I know that if Sue had not come back the same effect would have saddened you as well.

        I thnk you both, precious women as you are, understand and realize that if you love, you will be loved. But that is not all you demonstrate to me in watching you interact, and Shakespeare said it best, “Love sought is good, but given unsought is better” and I saw each of you burying the other in the sweet flow of love as it flowed like a river.

        I will not wax on and on, but will close with the theme spoken of here, I love you both, you each deserve happiness and the security of affection, you will always be able to find it here. I promise.

        Always Edward

      • Karen says:

        Hello Edward,

        “I regret the cruel physical and emotional abuse you suffered from your sister, I expect that was when you were a child?”

        It was as a child and a young teenager. Whenever she would try to bully me she would haul off and slap me in the face, even small things such as telling me to load the dishwasher and if I would respond and tell her that I was doing something else and would do so later, she would haul off and smack me across the face. I know I didn’t deserve that, but that was their constant message and they would minimize how it would feel to be on the receiving end of that type of behavior. She did very hurtful things with her anger. It is a huge reason why I estranged from her, and her inability to look at her behaviors or to take responsibility.

        Thank you for the supportive and nice comments you make. I appreciate them. I would agree that respectful honesty is essential to building trusting relationships. Seems pretty basic, but then people tend to get it all wrong for a variety of reasons. It’s very nice to hear “sensitivity” responded to in a positive way–the way you do, recognizing it as awareness and depth.

        I’ve learned that many people say that they want honesty, but they do everything to kill that. Keeping and maintaining the status quo is seldom about honesty.

        “Thank you Karen for coming back, I am sure you know it would have hurt Sue had you not but you opened yourself to her and that moved her closer to you as her actions moved you closer to Sue.”

        I wasn’t even considering leaving. If I started to feel emotionally unsafe, then I would. Self-protection and not feeling emotionally safe is generally my reason for estranging. Sue apologized and that is why I communicated with her and sought to soothe her. When someone seeks to sincerely make amends, how could I walk away? It just isn’t in my nature to do so.

        “I thnk you both, precious women as you are, understand and realize that if you love, you will be loved.”

        Thank you again. That’s a lovely sentiment and I almost think that I shouldn’t disagree, but I haven’t learned that if I love, that I will loved. Somehow I get the feeling that you wouldn’t mind me disagreeing with you and in fact, it might make for a lively debate. Well, that’s probably a discussion best suited elsewhere, and maybe Fiona has already covered it….Thanks again Edward…..

  13. edward says:

    Hello Sue

    In order for effective communication to occur, there has to be an effective sender and an effective receiver, and we can communicate in a visual, auditory, or sensory manner. Adding to this, even if that is accomplished, there is always the different perceptions we may have that get in the way.

    Thus there is always the possibility of MIScommunication which can and often does cause problems.

    Saying what we mean and meaning what we say, is easy, but we cannot control the perceptions of the receiver.

    I am not going to analyze what happened, really it is not the problem one has but what one does about it that matters. What I have said this far may or may not be applicable to the situation, because you both acted in a manner that was picture perfect and now it is resolved.

    What is also of significance to me is that I saw demonstrated an acute sensitivety of two women that is much
    lacking or suppressed in society in that it is generally seen as a negative when in fact it is one of the most desirable and sublime traits in either gender, but in the fairer gender, usually exists with strong empathy and sympathy as well as intelligence in the mix. Sensitive people are kind, caring, and very warm.

    Take that golden mantle and drape it over your shoulders. It fits you both well. Welcome back Sue, and I am confident Karen will also be here. I adore the both of you, but I have to stop wearing my heart on my sleeve; I can be and am at times quite effusive.

    Love you both…and Fiona, even when she disagrees with me….

    Always Edward

    • Sue says:

      I know I overreacted and got too emotional over my own perceptions. But I’m so glad I’ve met you all. I hope Karen comes back too.

  14. edward says:

    “Sue said, on January 11, 2012 at 6:46 am I’m already estranged from one family. I’m not letting go of this one!!!”

    I am pleased you are staying, and you will see that was the right decision. There are always bumps in even the smoothest roads and besides, you need to be here to see Fiona spank me…at some point…hahahaha

    Stay close, I may need someone to tend to my cuts and bruises…guffaw I would need Karen as well, one of you would have to hold me down while the other pours iodine on them…no pain no gain? hmmmm

    We are still waiting for Karen but I am confident she will return. I am sure you as well as others have noted her articulated words on specific topics and she appears to be someone who puts lots of thought into what she says and is clear in stating her perspectives…more so at least than I.

    I also note her and Fiona are interacting very smoothly, and perhaps plotting to get me…hahahaha

    That is all I need, two gals like that ragging/raging at me. For what sin?

    Perhaps for posting a hilarious song by George Jones making light of the human (and inhuman, or subhuman) race. Both Karen and Fiona are serious women but I know there is a streak of michievousness in them as there is in most of your gender….hmmmm hahaha

    But I just love that…

    That will raise their eyebrows and get them thinking…

    Always Edward

  15. silvia says:

    Happy new year to everyone from me too… I’m back after some vacation, which I spent quietly with my husband and friends. I stayed away from my family of origin even if, I received a rather unpleasant letter from my brother stating that basically, he thinks that I am alone and isolated and probably manipulated by my husband, and even if there is something true in my motives (regarding the fact that my parents hugely favour him and his wife , emotionally and economically),I have no right behaving like I do (that is, telling them that I am no longer buying their “we love you just the same” tale) and basically, the conclusion he reached is “tough it up and get over it, stop being unreasonable, you’re just jealous”.
    the fact I am happy about is that my first reaction was not, as usual “I am a bad girl, I am misbehaving, I should do as they please so I can have their love” but it was rather “I deserve to be treated so much better that this!”
    so yes, I think this year has been positive and I hope the new one will be even better!

  16. edward says:

    pamela said, on January 12, 2012 at 6:40 am I have been reading my facebook today and there is something from the POW Movement that gives me food for thought.

    If I surrender, I can go through right to the end and find I am still standing after all the troubles. Only mentally surrendering of course. But when I come out the other side, I could have a new idea or new perspective from the Divine, to assist me.

    That is a summary of the quote but it is opening up new hope for me. Very metaphysical so it might not suit everyone.

    This just an offering to you Karen, and others too.


    Thank you Pamela, I will investigate this.

    Always Edward

    • pamela says:

      you’re welcome edward. I have been on a long walk today so have not practiced this yet!

      • edward says:

        Hello Pamela

        I am always inclined to look closely into anything I know nothing about, and especially what I consider potential “religions” masquerading as philosophies and I always look at the roots of movements to consider whether they are helpful or destructive… honest or deceptive. I will get back to you when I am finished and always welcome anything to enter my laboratory and sit under the lens of my miscroscope.

        I heard a minister of a church I once attended give a sermon decades ago in which he said that the “biggest problem out there is deception. From that, and correlating with my own personal experience, I adopted into my creed, ALL IS NOT AS IT MEETS THE EYE” and IF IN DOUBT DO NOT DO IT. These have stood me in good stead and I use both in application ot people who I meet on the journey..

        Be aware, and guard yourself well.

        I met a woman over a decade ago online on a BB board, and loved her cautious approach to me, After interacting verbally with me, it all culminated in my seeking her platonic friendship, and to reassure her I forwarded to her an RCMP fingerprint check, and an associated OPP criminal record check verifying I was clear. This established my identity, address, and provided proof and she had the option at any time of dialing the numbers of the enofrcement agencies to more reassure her…that was the purpose of that action on my part. I did not expect that of her, I wa always at a given point judgementally positive about her, and II was correct. Conversation does give vent to character and she was and is a veritable “daughter of Eve”. SInce then we have moved very close and we have become an integral part of each other’s existence. She is much younger and also acutely more inteiligent, and has principles that stand us in good stead to observe the lines of propriety established by each. I have met her a few times and the rules I have set for myself to facilitate/enable her safety, security and peace of mind are NO TOUCHING unless she desires a parting hug or embrace. When we meet, less than once a year on average, we inteeract in hotel lobbies and when I ake her out to eat, I let her choose the venue for her comfort. She is a rare girl, a typeset I would have thought was extinct, desiring what I desired, a member of the fairer gender to offer counsel to me from a woman’s perspective…that was exactly what she wanted as well, with NO STRINGS ATTACHED. We preserved our individual freedoms in the mix and this made an easy, relaxed friendship. The point is we are still platonic and the tragedy is that she had to discard many males who quickly wanted to go physical. She rejected many until she found me and I would have lost her had I been in the least way, inappropriate. After a few short years she said that, “I love you Edward because you do not try to put your hands down the front of my pants”. hmmmmm
        I do love her as well, in the proper context. Knowing the dangers of opposite gender friendships, we are both on guard and our familiarity with each other allows us to openly confront such if we note same.

        I was examining her carefuly as well, and in process of looking for her typeset to enrich my life, I had to discard good women who wanted to move towards what I was not in the market for, a physical side to things. More than a few of the women in this scenario, and in the ones I have met after my relationship failure, were very attractive and sharp but did not fit the bill as to embracing “platonicity”.

        The point is that she, and I, both were on the same page in who and what we were looking for and the sheet had to include the main demand of asexuality in the mix. We both got what we wanted, and want, but both looked for years and searched carefully for the “product” that would fit the bill.

        I would sate that htis type of arrangement should be satisfied with one’s own husband ir wife and in that context, of course, the physical is a part of things, which cannot be or should not be in people who are friends.

        LOOK AT THINGS CAREFULLY AND ESPECIALLY SO WITH PHILOSOPHIES THAT ADVERTISE AS BENEFICIAL because as i said, often, all is not as meets the eye. I found that to be true in people as well.

        I offer that to you, and all here as I continue my perusal of the “POW”. Remember that most want something from you, be they people or movements and always count the cost before stepping into the sphere where one can be taken advantage of or deceived.

        Always Edward

      • pamela says:

        Thank you edward, for your honesty and helpfulness. I am a cautious person too, and cannot allow myself to take up a new idea or group without close examination. There are many evangelistic people out there trying to tell the world about their discoveries, and the underlying negatives usually become obvious in time.

        KISS, is the Keep it Simple Stupid motto that i follow. A truth is usually simple, and anything that starts getting complicated (I am thinking of talking in tongues right now), can be rejected, well thats my guideline. I do not wish to offend anyone with that statement, but I offer that as an example of something my neighbours have put in my way, and which I have not take-up.

        I digress. The relationship that you describe is unusual and I fully understand the desire for respectful friendship with no touching. It is something tht sets a person apart, I find. A long time ago i said to a man that I would be friends for at least a year before anything intimate would happen. He thought that was shocking and I thought it showed how right I was to say that. It sorts the men from the boys. All the protestations of admiration and sincerity mean nothing if a man cannot wait for just one year.

        Now I am talking on two fronts at once. Sorry. I believe I have shown you that I do have my feet on the ground and am not likely to rush into any “new” organisations . I do not follow any ‘old’ ones either but am a maverick, following my own path and taking gems of wisdom where I find them. Prayer is my solution to problems and that is a reliable source of strength.

        I am enjoying the sharing that everyone offers and feel that I can broach a few subjects here without being judged and told I am wrong! It takes a lifetime to discover the best way to live my own life, so I believe other people have to move towards their own discoveries in their own time. This site is useful for sharing without judging, supporting without directing. Happy New Year to you.

  17. Sue says:

    Awwwwhhh… YOU GUYS!!! GROUP HUG!!! :-D

    • edward says:

      Sue, there is always love, empathy and understanding here for you and anyone who is emotionally battered and torn from their journey through life…we are, after all, members of the human and at times, “inhuman” race.

      Always Edward

  18. edward says:

    Hello Pamela

    You have demonstrated to me that you have things in hand and are wary.

    I will focus on relationships…I have one friend of my gender and two of the fairer gender that I interact closely with and who help me sort things out if I am looking for validaiton or criticism, whatever applies in the situation.
    Women not looking for romance matched with men of a similar mind make great friends.

    The mind, soul and spirit connection are far stronger than any physical relationship can even approach unto making strongly bonded friendships that are without equal as each the other validates they are friends with each other because of who and what they are. Many relationships built on the physical are superficial and
    inadequate in the emotional to be strong.
    Society today has focused on the sexual element and that has been to the detriment of women really.

    True friends are not looking to take, but to create an easy and warm shelter one for the other. Many of my gender would not agree but my close friend of my gender understands what I speak of. He tried the same thing with 4 women and in the space of 31/2 months they were all angry at his because they wanted romance. We laughed at that deal and I told him there are special women out there who he could interact with but he would have to be patient and use discretion to find them.

    Life is exciting for sure, and I am sure you will agree..

    Always Edward

  19. pamela says:

    How good it is to hear that there are quite a few intelligent thoughtful people out there. I am friends with one male who has those thoughts too, and we can discuss the world’s problems on our walking expeditions and come home feeling we have all the answers! (Till next time)

  20. edward says:

    In consideration of the sexes, it has been said that the only difference is that eithe rhave different body parts and the fairer gender is easier to look at. However there are areas of emotional and specific character trait differences that equate to us having distinct weaknesses and strengths. We were not emant to compete, but to cooperate allowing the weaknesses of one to be covered by the strengths of the other.

    I said all that to say this, a well defined friendship between opposite genders can be and is a much stronger entity than same gender friendships. I have found this to be true judging by my own real life experiences.
    In fact, in discussing this topic with my best friend of my gender, he agrees and recognizes the propensity of opposite gender friendships to be stronger and more empathetic. He thus validates my opinions on same.


  21. edward says:

    ” I do not attend any church any more.” Said by Pamela.


    Bad move Pamela, you have succeeded in making me angry, not at what you said but by the accompanying thought of the big picture that includes people criticizing and trying to control me, telling me I should attend and asking why I do not come anymore. So it was not you that made me angry and in fact, I am happy you mentioned that…please put the soap box over there and I will climb up on it now.

    I have gone through churches like shite through a calf with scours. Some of the ones I left, the leaders were happy to see the end of me as I questioned their dogmas that violated scriptural precepts and to which they had NO answer except to recite their mantras and imposed beliefs also unscriptural.

    My best friend of my gender has also had such experiences with disorganized and MANIPULATIVE religions…he also rejects them in favor of scriptural realities, that kick the dickens out of religious theological nonsense.

    Disorganized religion has become a series of organizations led by “wolves in sheeps clothing” and cowards afraid to rock the boat instead of telling it like it is. I am not trying to rock the boat, I am trying to tip the damned thing over. Most churches function as businesses, with their strawberry socials, fish dinners, junk sales and the odd service that embodies “tiptoe through the tulips” offerings of drivel of monumental proportions.

    HOWEVER, I have met the odd GOOD AND TRUE MINISTER so there are always exceptions to the rule.

    Gotta stop, nuff said.

    • Sue says:

      I’m going to jump in here, although religion and politics are normally topics I shy away from.

      Religion is a very personal thing. That is, no matter what dogma is shoved in our faces, or lovingly laid out for us to choose, our relationship with a higher power is something we choose in our own hearts regardless of what we confess with our mouths. No matter who we have around us, no matter how “good and true” a leader may be, we must make that choice within. We should surround ourselves with like-minded individuals and churches such groups that if you don’t fit, you should move on rather than trying to convince the group to see things your way.

      I’m not saying any of this to upset you, Edward. I have a VERY open mind. I, too, have suffered unnecessary hurt by churches. Yes, I’ve sinned, but I’ve been forgiven.

      I’m also a very independent spiritualist. I guess. That’s the best description I can come up with. Gahndi once said that he loved our Jesus, but not our Christians, and i’m inclined to agree with him.

      It is so sad to see others judge and strike out and hate and spew at the brothers and sisters we are commanded to love, and then have the gall to say they are doing the Lord’s work. The Lord Himself has said that only He can judge others, and we must focus on our own paths in following Jesus.

      Growing up, I was raised Christian. I never ever knew a rotten Christian soul as a young child. I was shocked and dismayed to find out when I was pregnant at 17 (out of wedlock) the entire church turned their backs on me. And so did a great deal of my “friends” at school. When I switched churches I was accepted with open arms.

      As an adult, I have waded through atheism, agnosticism, buddhism, various sects of Christianity, and studied Hindu and Islam. Above all I learned that all views cherish loving one another, and so I chose to adopt my own personal (very personal) beliefs. And I do not nit-pick with others about theirs.

      My mother-in-law’s take on Christianity is a bold contrast to my own. Some of the things she does and the way she says “a true Christian would… [fill in the blank]” has led me to feel the chasm between her and I widen and deepen. Do all things in love and what is good will follow and what is not good should be left alone.

      I hope I have not upset anybody, especially you Edward. I hesitated on sharing my personal beliefs (well, a small taste of them). I would like to continue this conversation privately too if you would like. I’d love to learn more about your experiences and share some of my own.

      I hope you are not still angry, Edward. I don’t think Pamela was aiming to upset you.

      • edward says:

        Hello Sue

        I hope you are doing fine and do not ever worry about upsetting me, you and Karen both have distinguished yourselves as special gals, and I also realize it was not in the least Pamela’s intent to upset me, I wish I had been more clear in communicating that because I accept and consider by way of learning what others say. I quickly discard the garbage and keep the gems and i have yet to see any garbage here from anyone.

        I am not angry Sue, it is momentary with me, but my experential perspectives on religion possess me with strong opinions on same. I am careful in my profession as I have many interactive sessions with your gender and am careful to not in the least be of a bullying demeanor, women have complained to me about my competitors. If there is any disagreement, and there are very few, I always insist on talking to or having present their husbands or other male components of their existence.

        What you say is illuminating and I thank you for your offering. Sue, even if I did disagree I would not be harsh and I would be so careful to not hurt you, in the doing if I ever hurt you it would hurt me. I guess I am similar to Karen in this, in fact, I do not want to ever hurt innocent people, but i also have an alter ego in that I tend to be hard with people who I see clearly demonstrate they are cruel and abusive towards others.

        I do so want to express my appreciation of your adressation of such a delicate topic, and cherish that. I see a very balanced and intelligent gal in the conversation that always gives vent to character and I confess that I have a very soft spot for you and Karen due to the demonstration of your sensitiveties, and humility, that so much slays me, you are both such women of character that embody the sadly missing natural affections of the fairer gender today. You both exude warmth so strong and passion so deep it moves me within my very being…within the proper context that I say this to married women, it would be a lie to say I merely like you both, I need to say I love you both. That word has been so misused…it embodies the deep cherishment, recognition, respect, and affection towards others who one sees as being special in specific aspects of their character and existences. I also feel hurt by what has and is happened to Karen and you, neither of you deserve being treated as you were/are but merit love, cherishment, respect and empathy..

        I want you and Karen to both accept that as validation. Note I have said that I love Fiona as well, and I offer that as recognition of her as compellingly seeking to take what is wrong by way of remedying the hurt that lives in all people in different ways. I was once told by a woman named Madison that I wore my heart on my sleeve and to be careful I do not get hurt. I disagreed strongly with her choice of a destructive leifestyle, that I see more than a few women embrace, and it did bother me. I am different from other males in that I do tend to be open and passionate in my epxressions and dealings…many women I deal with appreciate that and I have come to be close to some of them who have been very good to me. Many here are special and I note I am perhaps the only man on this site.

        I cannot say that it is anything but a challenging, enjoyable, enlightening, and warming experience.

        Thank you again Sue. Really gal.

        Always Edward

      • pamela says:

        Hey Sue, Edward was not angry with me, it was just a resurrected anger. Its all cool. I hope you have read our correspondences. It seems we have similar preferences for leisure time…..getting ‘away’. I am very sagittarian there. Being ‘out’ or ‘away’ is the desirable thing, rather than any single place! Yes, I think you have read our words as you talk about your backyard as your getaway place.

        I saw the US briefly and met some interesting people. Americans are rather more reserved than TV programs would have us think. I met some lovely ones, anyway. I must go and read up Pennsylvania now so that I can ‘get’ you. Right now I am picturing a Katherine Hepburn person complete with her accent!

        Regards, Pamela

    • pamela says:

      Hi, Edward, there was a brief moment when I was concerned but you clarified that the anger you felt was the old anger from past experiences and that I had just caused it to be resurrected! Whew!! Yes, there are some sad people who need to cling to dogmatic ‘laws’ and castigate the rest of their church members if they are not toeing the line. There were others in my youth who were supportive of each other in troubles so I know both sorts exist. I read Sue’s story too, and I feel that the people in the little church I attended when I was a teenager would have been supportive, but most of the ones I have met in recent years might not have been.

      I fully understand your position Edward and admire your determination to follow the narrow path. The Pilgrim’s Progress is a book I read at school and which often comes to mind in later years because it describes all the places and experiences we can end up in on our journey. I cannot find it in any local libraries or I would read it again. It is very pertinent.

      I am amazed when I read that a local church is putting on a Carols in the Park, and then I find they have ‘prosperity meetings’. Doh! I am astonished and disappointed in that sort of attitude. But they obviously have a need to achieve ‘prosperity’. I am not on the same wavelength as them though, so I never go near them, not even to their Carols in the Park. It is not my business to get prosperous or to organise other peoples’ lives. If they want advice I try to stay out of ‘advice’ and leave them with the consideration of where they want the situation to end up in the future. It is something the individual has to live with and is none of my business.

      Back to you, Edward, I have opened a can of worms even by saying as little as possible! My can as well as your can! I do think we would all be in agreement if we all sat down and shared our experiences, so I will settle for saying ‘thank you’ for telling me how you feel. Sue and Karen too.

      I have requested a book from the library called “In sheep’s clothing” by George K Simon, and Professor who has studied manipulative people for many years. It is going to be very useful I am sure. Maybe you have already read it as you used those words in your letter?

      Regards, Pamela

      • edward says:

        Hello Pamela

        “In Sheeps Clothing” is a book I have read which was recommended to me by a close friend and it helps one “identify and deal with manipulative people. That friend also recommended several other books, most i have read but one I am still on.

        I have also read “Pilgrim’s Progress”. Following the narrow path leads to security and happiness…

        I find that we all need to get away once in awhile and my getaway approaches in a few days…I head for the USA and mountain areas, this year it will be the Rockies of Colorado. I am loading already…installed my studded iwnter tires and am outfitting my camper shell with supplies..after just one day away I feel like this.

        Always Edward

      • pamela says:

        Hi Edward, I am glad you have followed similar paths to peacefulness. I imagine most responders are in USA but I am in Australia (Oz for short), so the times I can expect to see a response will be different. You do the get-away thing too. I have a tent and equipment in a spare wardrobe and am proud to say I can be ‘gone’ inside two hours. I have a PO box number to give me the freedom to up-and-go as I please, too. For me, the Top End is appealing, but anywhere that can be called ‘outback’ is OK with me.

        In Oz, the Top End has wet and dry seasons which means the southern winter can be avoided by driving north into the dry season. Unfortunately more and more people are invading that area and caravan parks end up full of loud-mouthed urbanites with huge caravans full of all the ‘necessities’. Instead of peacefully sleeping in my tent amongst other tenters, there are men standing outside their mansions-on-wheels talking on their mobiles about their trip. Why they have to stand outside and shout is beyond me. Next time I will get away earlier and avoid them.

        Also, I am pleased you are reading the same material as me. Maybe I can go all elitist and say the “best” people read those books??!! Joke!

        Pleasant Sunday to you. Regards, Pamela

      • Karen says:

        Hi again Pamela,

        “I imagine most responders are in USA but I am in Australia (Oz for short), so the times I can expect to see a response will be different.” I’m in the US and I’m drinking my coffee this morning as I respond. I love getting away too, although as of late I haven’t been doing that as much as I would like.

        When you mentioned water in one of your other comments–I can so understand that. I grew-up in California along the coast and now live in Colorado close to the mountains. When I lived along the coast I used to escape to the mountains, “usually” as the “big ones” were farther away. Now, that I’m landlocked I yearn for the sea, and so I find my longer escapes usually have me returning somewhere nearer to the ocean–it’s funny how that goes.

        I find myself feeling more centered, spiritual, peaceful and joyous when I’m in nature–it’s a very big part of me….It’s nice to see that others feel the same.

        I see there are a lot of comments that I have to catch up on today…pleasant Sunday to everyone!

    • pamela says:

      PS. I have read Taoism which is very good for finding peace in the midst of chaos and sad emotions. Highly recommended.

  22. edward says:

    Hello Pamela

    I live in “canuckistan” in the province of “onterrible” and take off to the USA mountain areas south of me. My truck is a 4WD Dodge 2500 I bought in 2008 new and outfitted with a camper shell, that is, a regular double shelled top. My bed is a piece of plywood across the front with 6 inches of foam rubber. I have lots of supplies in case of emergency and use this vehicle ot get me far from the maddening crowd. I know of the urban herd, but do have an evasive tact to get away from them.

    I live out of a cooler filled with grapefruit juice, fruits, milk, and Ensure. I sleep at rest areas packed with truck drivers and all i pay for is gas aside from food. I get a hotel once in awhile to really get clean but I enjoy living on the road.

    Susan Forward wrote “Emotional Blackmail”, another book I was told to buy by a close friend…learning is, after all, a voyage, not a harbor. I always liked Australia, but not their gun banning laws. Thjey tried that garbage here and the elected majority federal government killed the draconian leftist law that was being used to ban guns.

    I see FIona is also from Australia and I expect I may be the only one from “canuckistan” here.

    It is Saturday here around close to ten pm and i am hitting the bed soon.

    Good talking to you.

    Always Edward

    • Sue says:

      No wonder your vernacular sounded so familiar to me, Edward! I have a few Canadian friends, one of which lives in Toronto (Oh, I love the big city for quick visits!). However, I live in Pennsylvania. I get away to my own back yard. Depending on the time of year it’s peepers or crickets as background music. No neighbors in sight (but withing walking distance).

      • edward says:

        Sue, I love the USA and my closest friend of your gender resides there. I know people all across that nation. I love the USA and it is the greatest nation in the whole world, I travel yearly there when things slow in my profession. I was at Harrisburg two years ago to visit the National Civil War Museum and that whole trip I spent in Civil War states where I nourished my love of the Confederate cause which was not slavery but more aptly, STATES RIGHTS which “obummer” now violates at will.

        What eerie feelings I experienced walking on holy ground battlefields where good men died.

      • Sue says:

        Yeah, it amazes me how I was taught WRONG in school about the reason for the confederate cause and the real reason Lincoln went to war with them (to preserve the union). It doesn’t surprise me one bit that you know more about it than an average US citizen. I don’t *hate* Obama, but I’m appalled, saddened, and scared of my future. I feel it so strongly… something’s not right.

    • pamela says:

      I guessed as much, Edward. Luckily you did not get offended at being lumped in with the USA. My daughter spent time in Canada when she did the world trip, backpacking all over the place. In Europe, all the nationalities end up making friends, mainly in Paris from what I gather. So, my daughter had someone to visit when her girlfriend decided to stay on in Greece, and go back to her origins. In fact she has the distinction of flying from London to London.

      Canada has the migrant background similarity to Oz: that is, half the population is from elsewhere or has family elsewhere. I started out in England where nearly everyone had family living in UK. Nowadays there are more migrants of course.

      Pity the gun laws put you off as the place is amazing and unspoilt to a large extent.

      Happy hunting! I can say that and be accurate now!

      • edward says:

        Pamela, I love the USA with a passion and especially the people of the CIvil War states. I never felt safer in my whole life walking in states where “concealed carry” or “open carry” laws are in force.

        Immigration trends aka “multicultism” are destroying Western nations and so it is here. When the system imports cultures where innocent girl/women dishonor murders are part and parcel of the dogma, insanity has to be the best word to describe that policy that is inherently morally bankrupt.

        I do not get offended at all and will not with anyone here or with peoiple who are suffering emotional pain, I save my “offensiveness” for people who merit it and there are lots of those around.

        Always Edward

    • Fiona says:

      I’m Canadian as well Edward :) I have been in Australia for the past 4 years or so.

      • pamela says:

        Small world! This is a great place for camping and big open spaces. And cricket!

      • edward says:

        Yes Fiona, I knew but thank you for verifying and I know that you are in Australia, and expect you are enjoying it there.

        Always Edward

    • Karen says:

      Hello Edward and everyone else,

      “Susan Forward wrote “Emotional Blackmail”, another book I was told to buy by a close friend…learning is, after all, a voyage, not a harbor.”

      This is an excellent book that I refer to often as well. Another good one that I have in my personal library…I’ve found it so very helpful.

      • Sue says:

        Isn’t she the one who wrote the “toxic” books too?

      • Karen says:

        Hi Sue,

        “Isn’t she the one who wrote the “toxic” books too?”

        Yes…she’s the same author. I’ve read most of her books, more than a few times. Most of the time I try to order books from the library, but the one on manipulation I kept. I stopped underlining all the pertinent points, because it just started to seem like I was highlighting everything–another good reason why some books I keep as they are pretty worn (ha!). I just returned from seeing a movie and I’m emotionally spent. It was a good movie, but I feel so worn out emotionally from it–animal stories tend to have that impact on me. I don’t think I can write anything else today. I guess I really need to get a grip!

  23. edward says:

    Pamela said, on January 15, 2012 at 5:02 pm Small world! This is a great place for camping and big open spaces. And cricket!


    The best places for camping and introspection are anywhere one can get away from the mindless grazing herd.


    Always Edward

    • Sue says:

      Well, then I’m good to go. I live in VERY Small Town USA (pop. 800) We know everybody, know each other’s parents and kids and neighbors, too. But my yard is big enough and surrounded by trees that I don’t have to travel to get some peace and quiet.

  24. Sue says:

    And I’m a stone’s throw from the Allegheny National Forest as well.

    • edward says:

      Sounds like you have a great location and I do not think that Pennsylvania is one of those states where people shoot themselves with unloaded guns or speak out of the left corners of their mouths about what they see while they are squinting out of their left eye. hmmmm

  25. edward says:

    Sue said, on January 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm You’d be quite entertained in my county. hahaha. It’s northern redneck ’round here.


    I am sure I would. Some of my enjoyable getaways were to abandoned silver towns in Colorado….the people there riding trails and hanging around are regular grass roots people and enjoyable to interact with,

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