Empathy and Irony

 

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Many people state that my kind and me lack empathy. I don’t like that attitude. First of all it amounts to a criticism and I am not to be criticised. Secondly, empathy is regarded by some as the ability of blurring the line between self and other. The handy dose of empathy pictured above underlines this. In fact I am amongst the best at blurring the line between self and other. I am a champion at it. One of my killer lines of seduction is to declare

“I don’t where you end and where I begin we are merged into one.”

If that is not a blurring of the line between self and other I do not know what is. I repeatedly explain that I see people as extensions of myself, they are objects that become subsumed within what I am as I swallow up their identity and use their traits as my own. Blurring of lines? I would argue that that is an obliteration. By that definition I am absolutely oozing empathy aren’t I?

The third reason that I do not like the suggestion that I lack empathy is that empathy is the ability to understand the feelings of others. Again, I understand the feelings of others to a high degree. How can I manipulate those feelings if I do not understand them? Some of our kind instinctively behave in a manner which causes manipulation. They do not have much thought behind the process but they act in this fashion because it is all they know. It is all they have been conditioned and programmed to do. They do not need to consider what they are doing because it just happens and then the manipulation unfolds. Those of us at the greater end of the scale of narcissists do consider what to do in terms of our manipulation. We are always plotting and scheming as we reflect on the best way of manipulating you to do what we want and provide us with our precious fuel. I sit and consider the most effective ways of wielding my devilish toolkit in order to provoke and engender the most rewarding emotional reactions from you.  I work through the schemes and machinations as I dream up new ways of provoking you. I analyse your life, what you do and what you say and then work out how I can then use that material to make you react.If I did not understand how certain things would make you feel, how can I know how best to manipulate you? I understand all about your feelings because I watch you and I observe and I remember. I have done this many times to your type and therefore I have built up an acquired knowledge of the ways that people such as you will react. I sit and consider what I can do to make you hurt, make you cry and make you frustrated. I know you so well I know exactly which buttons to press. I know which emotions to coax from you and because I understand this I know precisely what to do to achieve this. For some of you a cold front of silent treatment will make you pour forth that fuel as you frantically call and cry, worried as to why we have stopped speaking to you. With others a prolonged period of triangulation brings out the emotional response required because you always compete with someone or something that you perceive as a threat.

The fact you show your feelings so readily is joyously received by us. You provide us with a manual from which we can learn. We can mimic your emotions so our fakery continues to draw you in, make you feel sorry for us and have you focussed on us. Your exhibitionism in this regard allows us to understand which emotions run deepest in you and also the ways in which these emotions can be brought to the surface. We have to know how you feel so we can then influence how you will feel. I understand your emotions. That is demonstrating empathy is it not? Would you now say that we lack empathy?

You cannot say that we do not care about your feelings either. We care about them because we need those feelings because they provide us with fuel. We need to know that you will feel and show those feelings to us. We care very much about your feelings as without them we would be denied our fuel and that is fatal to us. We care about your manifestation of those feelings and that they are directed towards us. What we do not care about is their effect on you. That is of no interest to us because it serves no purpose to us. If you are left anxious, unable to eat or sleep then all we care about is that your anxiety is shown to us. The impact on your health and well being is of no concern to us because that does not provide us with fuel. It is not our role because of the way we are to make you feel better (unless of course that is required in order to obtain further fuel) but it is our role to make you feel so you give us fuel. We have no interest in the day-to-day or long-term effects of how you are feeling just so long as you can keep showing your emotions to us and giving us fuel. We have nothing to gain in alleviating your sadness. We have no interest in offering solutions to make your pain and misery go away. That is the brutal truth.

Don’t say however we do not understand how you feel. We most certainly do because we have to know this in order to exploit your feelings further. Indeed we often make you feel that way on purpose so we know exactly how you feel. We need to know the best way to pull on your strings and this means understanding how you will feel and react. So that is empathy for you indeed. Who would have thought it? Empathy from the devil. How ironic.

69 thoughts on “Empathy and Irony

  1. Rebecca says:

    AV,
    Thanks for the comment link and it makes sense now how the lovebombing effected me and why it hurt so much during devaluing period.

    1. A Victor says:

      You’re welcome Rebecca.

  2. Rebecca says:

    AV,
    I got away from him but, I still got my feelings hurt and still had to work my way out of the trauma bond, my attachment to him, the anticipation of his texts and calls…the whole nine yards of delight and merriment. Joy, happy, joy. *sarcastic humour there* lol I’m one of those people,who even get attached to platonic relationships, real friend,friends..you know…my friends know I love them, that’s me. Tight hugs and there if you need a shovel or a bat. Lol

    1. A Victor says:

      Rebecca, I have a daughter that you remind me of very much. I am so glad that you have had success in overcoming these things and not lost your joy and your spirit!

      1. Rebecca says:

        Thanks AV, it’s been a long, crazy road. Now if I can just keep my ET in check, I’ll be good lol

      2. Rebecca says:

        AV,

        I got my results! I’m a triple hybrid. Strong Savior, strong Carrier and strong Geyser.

        1. Rebecca says:

          HG,

          Aren’t I the triple layer cake? Lol

          1. Rebecca says:

            With a side order of Contagion and Co-dependent….yum…lol

          2. A Victor says:

            Oh, haha, thank you! I knew you reminded me of my daughter!!! Wow, thank you! How fun for you to know this about yourself now!

  3. Savoy Truffle says:

    There are different sorts of empathy, aren’t there? I asked my ex if he experiences empathy, and he said he did. I think he meant it in the way HG does here, ie, understanding what someone is feeling. But what I think narcissists miss is the kind of empathy that makes you cry at sad movies, or feel bad when you know someone else feels bad. A kind of emotional connection.

    When one of my pets suddenly died, I got kind of hysterical. My ex was really sweet then, he said the right things and was very supportive. By contrast, when I questioned him about the circumstantial evidence for his affair, he went completely blank and emotionless, like a character from an Ayn Rand novel. At the time it kind of freaked me out, because I had never seen a person act so callous before. He even said something like “I don’t know why this isn’t affecting me.”

    I was pretty upset in that second instance. But this time it was because of something he had done. I guess he was too busy coming up with his alibi.

    1. A Victor says:

      Hi Savoy Truffle, there are two kinds of empathy that HG deals with, from what I understand. Cognitive empathy and emotional empathy. The first is where they pretend to be feeling what they think people with empathy will feel, ie looking sad when another person is sad. The second is emotional empathy. This is thought by many to be a feeling, and there are feelings associated with it. But more importantly it is that which is in us which causes us to do something for another to help them or not do something to another that might hurt them. This is an extremely simplified definition but sometimes for me those work well, Hope it is helpful.

        1. A Victor says:

          Thank you Z! Very much!

        2. Savoy Truffle says:

          Thanks, that is just what I needed. HG really does cover everything, doesn’t he?

      1. Rebecca says:

        AV,

        I have an example of my own experience, it happened back in April last year. I was walking my dog with my husband and this pit bull mix comes running up from behind. The bigger dog was heading straight for my little dog that weights 20lbs. I just reacted! I was on the back of that other dog, pulling on it to keep it from getting to my dog. I was screaming at it, Get off my dog! I kept getting tossed off and I would quickly jump back on its back, like an idiot, I didn’t stop to think about me getting mauled, I just kept picturing this dog tearing up my dog and I was like, Nooooo! NOT TODAY! My dog wasn’t helping matters by standing there barking at the dog,while I’m wrestling with it. The owner came out and somehow my husband got the dog by the collar and managed to pull it away from me. I then grab my dog and check him for injuries. The owner of the other dog asked me if I got bit and that’s when I thought, oh, me? I look down at my arms and nope, no bites and I had my hands around that dogs muzzle too. My only thought was my dog getting killed and I just did everything I could to keep him from harm, and it was all over within minutes. I was told it was my emotional empathy for my dog that had me reacting so fast and fierce. No dog was hurt and I’m sure the other dog was probably trying to figure out what I was doing on it’s back, I know the owner sure was wondering. Lol

        1. A Victor says:

          Wow, Rebecca, this is a very brave story! I would’ve run away! But I would probably have grabbed my little dog and run with it, been chased and untimately taken out by the bigger dog! You were very brave and your little dog was lucky to have you! Thanks for sharing!

          1. Rebecca says:

            AV,
            I wish I could say it was brave of me,but there was no brave thought at all. It was all instinct and a knee jerk response to my dog being threatened. I just reacted to the thought of my dog being torn up and killed. Louie knows to come to me for protection, I’m his mama bear lol

          2. A Victor says:

            Oh yes, that knee jerk protection instinct is real!

          3. A Victor says:

            Ohh no, ultimately**”!

      2. Rebecca says:

        AV,
        Don’t forget contagion empathy. I just listened to the Three Strands of Empathy last night. The third is Contagion Empathy.

        1. A Victor says:

          I had forgotten that one! Thank you!

    2. Asp Emp says:

      Savoy Truffle, it was good to read your different examples of empathy. RE: your pet, yes, there is sympathy ‘galore’, negative fuel tends to be more ‘powerful’ for the narcissist. On this occasion, they did not have to do ‘anything’ to make you act the way you did = somewhat ‘effortless’ fuel obtained and no threat to their control. RE: the ‘affair’, you challenged him, they were “wounded” and the self-defense mechanism ‘responded’ (the ‘wall’ went up). In my case, that MRN deflected by telling me they were just good friends. Yeah right! (LOL). It was more instinctive in my part at that time before I ‘thought’ it.

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  5. A Victor says:

    Listened to Understanding Emotional Empathy again yesterday. It is finally beginning to sink in, this concept of empathy, that which directs our behavior to do or not do something. It has taken a long time for me to come to understand it, I thought for decades that it was a feeling, and that I must be a narcissist since I didn’t feel it. But now I see that many decisions I have made have been informed by empathy. Probably most. Not always correctly so, of course. But I’m learning. And I’m glad to understand it now and be able to see its effects on my life. I think part of the journey, for me, is learning about the narcissist, what the red flags are, how to GOSO early enough etc, and also, how to lasso my empathy to use it for good and not waste it on those who deserve GOSO. It means “blurring the line between self and other”, which is a little bit nerve wracking, it means actually letting someone close enough to learn if they’re safe while not so close I can’t get away if it turns out they’re not. Really glad for the understanding though, it gives me more value, in my own mind, which in itself is protection against those who would abuse me.

    1. Asp Emp says:

      Interesting thoughts here. Where you talk about letting others close enough yet have a ‘tentative’ “should I open the door further, or slam it” with regard to that person. I think (in my case anyhow) I ‘sensed’ it more than cognitively ‘recognised’ that. Someone can only take so much abuse from the same person, ie with that MRN, then I think I more or less “slammed that door” and went ‘supanova’ with full-on rage. He did not ‘support’ me, when I needed it. I would suggest that if you recognise that someone is not providing ‘unconditional support’ then that is probably a ‘red flag’. Someone’s empathy should be abused, in any way. I am aware that I tend to switch off my ‘compassion’, or dial it down, not necessarily because for ‘protection’ reasons, it could be a ‘response’ to, say, that MRN’s selfishness. Reading your comment more or less “confirmed” my way of being ‘me’ and ‘justifying’ why I do it. So, thank you for sharing your words.

      1. A Victor says:

        Asp Emp, I was talking about spotting the early warning signs before my empathy is abused at all. The only way to know is to test it by allowing that person to tell you enough to make a determination. I am currently in the process of memorizing the The Early Warning Detector and rereading Red Flag, among other things. And this is with both men and women, though women are easier to pick it up in as well as to walk away from, but they’re good practice.

        1. Rebecca says:

          AV and Asp Emp,

          I usually sense when someone has bad intention, my problem was I was ignoring what my senses were telling me in a subconscience level,but part of me was keeping record of his odd behaviors, to be analyzed later….things started adding up and when I realized what he was all about, I started studying him more and let him dig his own hole. When he started getting nasty, I gave him back his own medicine. His passive aggressive self couldn’t run fast enough. He was a lower mid range somatic asshole/narcissist whichever you want to call him. The big clue for me is when he started acting like my narcissist mother, that was the end of our friendship for me, he didn’t realize it. He kept coming around me, all the way up to his last day in my building. I guess he wanted more of my fuel and he didn’t get much because I purposely held back from him. I knew what he was and kept him in the dark about my knowledge. I don’t even think he noticed I was holding back because of the Geyser in me, I’m usually bursting out fuel often.

          1. A Victor says:

            Rebecca, you’re in a better place than I was then, at your stage. I always thought the normals and Empaths were suspect, either too unconcerned about things, or too overly concerned about things. Narcs just come in and take control of things, and I let them! They are good at digging their own holes though.

            My mom is LMR, they totally suck. Good thing you got away from him.

          2. Asp Emp says:

            Rebecca, thank you for your response.

            I really started “questioning” muvver’s behaviour towards me after I started boarding school (had thought it was “normal” life for everyone but it was not). In the later years, I was able to make decisions ie spending less (far less!) weekends home and also, where possible, arranged to stay at a friend’s (ie during holidays) as a ‘means’ of avoiding the continuance of the abuse. My friends knew about the abuse at home. None of the teachers, matrons etc did. Because they did not ask me. I think the Head Master knew, I would suggest he was empath too. He was such a lovely man (I can’t remember if we had a “conversation”). He met muvver a couple of times and her ‘facade’ dropped one time, she revealed herself. Simply because I had dyed my hair red (had shared the hair dye with other friends) (LOL, the red-haired feisty ‘brigade’). Her ‘facade’ dropped because she was made to wait (thus increasing her anger) until he was available to see her, I was present but not in the room when she had her ‘tirade’. She over-reacted then. As soon as we got home (summer hols), she made me wash my hair several times with shampoo (LOL, fkg useless on permanent dye LOL). The other parents were ok about their daughters. I was just 16. Old enough. Hair dye? WTF. My friends pierced my ears too (around 8 weeks before school holidays – planned ‘defiance’ LOL). So I was reacting like the lass in HG’s ‘Who’s The Daddy?’ article.

            I don’t behave like muvver did, it was only a result of what she did to me. Yet, I have always been ‘me’ as an individual – now, deprogrammed and reprogrammed as how HG would term it.

            I look at those that are my ‘past’ (narcissists) and can see more clearly the ‘machinations’ they used, so I have no need to ‘practice’ in my future because of the learning I have done on KTN and can apply that.

            Rebecca, you wrote a very well written comment. Thank you, it was good to read it. 🙂

          3. Rebecca says:

            AV,

            I realize now from reading HGs articles, the blog and his videos that I’ve had narcissists in my life from the beginning. My mother was a complete tyrant LMR Victim Narcissist, she acted like Mother Theresa in public and was like Medusa at home. She lived to get sympathy from others and I would get so furious watching her plays for sympathy, to this day, because of her, I don’t like it when someone accuses me of playing for sympathy. I am not my mother, I don’t do that. If I tell someone about a bad part in my childhood I’m either telling them that because I’m relating to them for what they went through, is similar to what I went through, or I’m telling them because I’m explaining to them my behavior when something causes a trigger in me. She was the first narcissist in my life. I agree with you LMR narcissist do suck,they’re the worse. The torment she put me through as a child, was inexcusable. Why even have a kid,if you’re going to abuse him or her? She was an asshole and I know now her treatment of me is where my rage comes from. I should have kicked her ass good one time,it probably would have helped me in the long run,but no, I’d feel worse about myself and feel guilty. I never did do to her,as she did to me. I just stood up to her at 20, when she hit me for the last time. I grabbed her arms, pushed her against the wall,got in her face and told her, “You ever hit me again and I will break both of your f***ing arms!” She never hit me again and that was one of my super novas. The empath rage storm, prime example.

          4. A Victor says:

            Rebecca, I had the exact same experience. I arrived here over a short interaction with an online narc. His behaviors were so disturbing and I was so shaken when it ended that I was looking for what had just hit me. Thankfully I never met that guy. But then within a short while I knew this was what I’d been dealing with my entire life with my mother also. She was no surprise, it was a relief to finally have a name for it. Then it was my dad and my ex finally. I was 50/50 with my dad, but my ex I actually didn’t believe was a narc. Come to find out, he’s one of those extremely difficult to identify middle mid rangers, so then it made more sense, and helped me understand another type of narc. All 4 are different schools and with 3 different cadres between them. Such an education!

            I am sorry you had a mother like this, none of us deserve that kind of treatment. I am glad you’re here now.

          5. Asp Emp says:

            Rebecca, when you are describing how you would get furious because you witnessing how other people ‘viewed’ your parent differently to how you experienced it behind closed doors – exactly.

            I’d feel my ‘anger / hurt’ coming to the surface, say within a family gathering, having a meal in a public place, at how ‘fake’ muvver was. I am having a moment of ET as I write this but it will go, it passes. I’d sit there in silence, feeling my sadness and anger and not being able to say exactly what I wanted to say. There were so many of those particular ‘moments’. Someone would say “what is wrong?”, my response “nothing” with some annoyance and upset because I was not in a position to speak up and out. So many years living like that. So soul-destroying, destructive, ‘trapped’, ‘isolated’. I was right to hate muvver then, as a child, with no ‘voice’. I never had the strength to speak up and out back then, I know my life would have been so different if I had. Not something that is worth dwelling on. So, no, I will never forgive her, to my dying day, I will not give, or grant her that “right”. I can live with knowing that ‘decision’ I have made and have no regrets about it.

            Thank you for sharing more of your experiences.

    2. Asp Emp says:

      **correction – “Someone’s empathy should NOT be abused….”*

      1. Rebecca says:

        Asp Emp,
        My brother and I used to talk about my mother’s behaviors after we were grown. It was a relief that he recalled the same patterns and traits she was showing,of course then we didn’t have a name for it. We just called it manipulating behaviors and a vicious attitude. I remember her facade,though we called it her other personality. We knew she lied and put on a front for people. We would just find comfort in knowing it wasn’t in our heads,her behavior was real, we both had the same recalled memories of her sometimes disturbing behaviors. She was an awful mother, pretending to be caring in front of others. I’ll give you an example…our neighbor found these kittens and his back yard and he gave them to us to take care of. They were no older than two days old. We got kitten bottles and kitten formula at Walmart and started bottle feeding them every three to four hours. We took turns staying up to feed them. Mom decided to help, we both were wary about her helping,but we did need the help,since it was a large litter,probably more than one litter. 15 kittens to be exact,most of been sister cats…anyway, mother helped feeding, burping, washing the kittens. It wasn’t until they got older and got some strength that she started getting mad. They were ripping the nipples on the bottles and mother was getting furious. She yelled and forcefully dropped one of the kittens in their bed. The kitten cried out. I reacted! What the f&^%$ is wrong with you?! What the f%$#! Get the f#^%$ away from them and you’re done helping! You wanna hurt them?! F&^%$ off! I got in her face and pushed her away from them and followed her out of the living room into the kitchen. I yelled at her some more and I was so furious with her that I felt like striking her. I kept myself from hitting her, but barely. I went back to the living room and checked on the kitten she dropped. He was ok, just a bit shocked. I never let her help again and I wouldn’t let her near them. If she got near them, I would give her a warning look and she would walk away mad. I didn’t care, I wasn’t going to let her hurt one of them. I was 21 and I kept one of the kittens. I had him for 14 yrs. He was a black cat with black stripes, you could see them in the sunlight. He imprinted on me, the Vet said and he acted more like a dog,than a cat. He’d play fetch, roll over, give you his paw, followed me,slept on my pillow and would answer to his name. I named him after Cleopatras family name because I admire Egyptian art , culture and their worship of cats.

        1. Asp Emp says:

          Rebecca, interesting to read your comment in relation to discussions with your brother. Reading your words reminded me of why my sister and I were ‘protective’ of each other outside the house we lived in ie if someone said something about me, or my sister, they received a verbal ‘attack’. I suppose it was more unconsciously aware yet ‘primal’ “response” to the fact we are / were abused at home and no way was it going to be “permitted” outside the house. Certainly not by some pissant ignorant little shit.

          Yes, the Egyptians ‘worshipped’ cats. Unusual for a cat to have the black stripes as you described. Thank you for sharing your experiences 🙂

          1. Rebecca says:

            Asp Emp,

            I just naturally tend to be the one protecting people and animals,even if I don’t know them, I can’t sit by and watch someone get hurt. I’ve been a fighter as long as I can remember,maybe it’s because my mother was abusive,so it just put that injustice feeling in me at a young age and the anger that comes with it,unfortunately. I’m never happy with my angry outburst, they’re never pretty. My therapist told me recently that I wasn’t a bad kid, I just had no outlet for my anger and so it would build in me. I almost cried when he told me that,but I held it back. My mother use to fell me I was bad and rotten to my core. She did so much damage to my self image and self worth. At the end of her life,she went through hell. Her diabetes really did a number on her,despite everything I still felt bad for her. I’m like a beaten dog that will still love their abuser, no truer words have been spoken before.

          2. Asp Emp says:

            Hi Rebecca, I’ll write a response soon 🙂

          3. Asp Emp says:

            Rebecca, thank you for your response. Your words “I just had no outlet for my anger and so it would build in me” – I think this may be something that can be found within quite a number of abuse victims. I have found that my ‘anger’ has reduced significantly since coming to this blog, yet it can ‘flare’ up upon triggers, which is understandable, acceptable but it is how it is managed (directed appropriately).

            (combining your earlier comment to this one)

            That is interesting RE: “being mature for your age” – I was told similar “wise” was the word used. Maybe it is a bit of both – the ‘fine-tuning’ by ‘learning’ and also inherited in regard to the Contagion element? For years, I’d ‘sense’ something is ‘off’ but not actually knowing what it is until it happens and it is a bugger! I have never learned to ‘read’ into this when I was younger. I haven’t had a drink in well over a year now. I no longer feel I need to because of the state of my mental health having dramatically improved. I now understand why I ‘self-medicated’ in various periods of my life (it was never continuous).

        2. Violetta says:

          How do you burp kittens? Pat them on the back just like humans? If so, do you use over-the-shoulder or sitting on lap leaning forward?

          1. Asp Emp says:

            Hold it by the tail and proceed to use a lassoing action?

          2. Rebecca says:

            Like you burp a premature baby, with your one hand holding the front of their body up and with the other hand you gently hit between the shoulder blades. They need to burp like a human baby, the mother cat does this by licking them. Ask a Vet or read a book on it, or look it up. It’s easy to burp them.

          3. Rebecca says:

            Violetta, You also have to bathe them in warm water after each feeding to get them to go to the bathroom,much like the mother cat does when she licks them. You have to get their fur dry afterwards because they can get sick quickly when they’re so tiny, newborn kittens are really tiny and frail. Around the clock care. I enjoyed it because I like taking care of and interacting with animals. The kitten I kept was big, he weighed 24 lbs, black tabby is what the Vet called him. They’re more common on the east coast of America, at least that’s what the Vet said in Colorado,when I moved there with my cat. The Vet said he was a little fat, I told him he’s not fat,he’s fluffy lol Yeah, he was fat, I spoiled him. Lol

          4. Violetta says:

            Thanks. Want a fluffy flatmate someday.
            Saw what I think is a feral kitten (older than newborn) the other day, but will bring it food rather than adopting for the moment–my circumstances are not stable enough.

        3. WhoCares says:

          Rebecca,

          Thank-you for sharing this story. It’s great to read that you and your brother could recognize your mother’s poor behaviour – even if you didn’t have a label for it.
          And I really enjoyed the story of you defending the kittens. They were lucky to have you, especially the striped one.

          1. Rebecca says:

            Thank you, WhoCares. My childhood antics are more fun to tell and you wouldn’t believe all the critters I would bring home in one week. Lol

          2. WhoCares says:

            Rebecca,

            I bet you do have stories!

            “you wouldn’t believe all the critters I would bring home in one week.”

            I believe you.
            And, you made me laugh – as sweet as that sounds (and I love animals). I am glad you were not my child!
            I can get myself into plenty of enough trouble with animals — heaven help me if my child started bringing some home!

          3. A Victor says:

            WC, this is true for me also, I can get myself into more trouble with bringing animals home than any of my children have.

          4. WhoCares says:

            AV,

            At least we know our weaknesses!

            Animals have got the best of me without my even trying. True story (this happened while I was still in the formal relationship)…

            I was working in my studio, with my son there that at the time as well. My studio was located in a huge repurposed building that was the full length of a city block (and it had a common hallway the same length – which really appealed to my son, as he could ride a bicycle or scooter along it.) I was working on a contract and my son was playing in the hallway, when I heard a strange noise – like a high pitched squawk, but I couldn’t even determine if it was human or more animal like. I put my head out into the hallway to check on my son. He seemed fine, so I asked him if he had heard that strange sound and he answered ‘no’.
            With regard to the sound, my curiosity was peaked – and unsatisfied. So, I went to look outside through the windows of the back entrance door (the unit that contained my studio was the second to last one near the building’s exit.)

            To my surprise, sitting calmly on the chain link fence – and maybe about 25 feet from the doorway – was a peregrine falcon. Which was very strange…not strange to see one in my area, but to have landed and chosen to perch there was odd. My brain thought, maybe the weird squawk had been emitted by the falcon. But it was still weird that it was just staying there. And it could see me quite clearly as I gazed at it.

            I thought I would slowly open the door to attempt a picture with my phone (the glass was not super clean). As I did so, I looked down and in front of the doors (inside the alcove over the steps up to the door) sat a brown bird of some kind. It just looked up at me and didn’t move. I was piecing stuff together quickly now…the brown bird probably hit the glass of the doors in escaping the falcon or perhaps had narrowly missed being grasped by it and was now sheltering just in front of the doors. (Perhaps the weird squawk had come from the brown bird – which made more sense.) And, now the falcon had hunkered down on the fence waiting for it’s prey to decide to leave or fly away.

            Well, while my brain was absorbing all this – the brown bird seized the moment, it ducked under the door, passed my legs and ran INTO the building.

            Now it’s really too bad I couldn’t leave nature well enough alone – out of my curiosity – and it founds it’s way into my building!!

            Then I realize, I have to get this bird out – or at least capture it and see if it’s okay. So, I recruit my son, make him hold a big recycling bin on the floor with the open side facing the bird while I attempt to herd/shoo the bird into the bin! There we were are, in the this long hallway chasing a bird, who is running, but can halfway fly (it turns out), only just not with any great altitude. And each time I am almost certain that I will corral him into the bin, he manages to duck or scoot past it, or just past my son’s foot and head to the opposite end of that fabulously long hallway.

            Finally, the bird runs into the common kitchen area at the end of the hall. He manages to fly high enough to perch on an air conditioning unit installed in the kitchen window. After my 5 year old son, has had his fill of laughing fits watching me trying to approach this flapping, scared bird, I tell him that we are going to close the door to the kitchen and let the bird calm down. (At least he was sort of contained.)

            A few minutes later I go back into the kitchen, spy a tea towel, and very slowly and gently, kinda ‘toss’ it over the bird and then gather him up and put him in a cardboard box I had in my studio.

            Success! The bird was housed. Now that he was calm too, I could try to figure what kind he was, as I had never seen this type of bird before. It resembled a Brown Thrush but it’s beak shape was not quite right for that to be accurate.

            Anyway – long story short, (haha, well maybe not at this point now) I ended up asking everyone in the building if they knew what kind of bird it was – and not one person knew. I also had to figure out what to do with the bird. (I didn’t know if it had residual injuries from its altercation with the peregrine falcon – or as a consequence of my chasing it, etc. And I could not keep it in my studio.) I ended up calling a local wildlife rescue, which said they would take it but I had no vehicle to get it to them and they could send someone, but not right away (or at weird hours).

            After my fiasco of trying to catch the bird , I ended up bringing it to someone, in the neighborhood, who used to work with wildlife at a science/learning facility (she was trained, just had chosen to be a stay-at-home parent). She took one look at the bird and could identify (by pointing out a small injury on one side of its beak) that it had likely hit the glass and stunned itself and it probably just needed rest. Which was exactly the case. She kept it in her garage for a day or two, fed and watered it (she also identified it as a Brown Thrasher – and NOT a thrush) and then, one day, in her backyard it just took off in full flight.

            So, nature impinged upon me and I saved nature (sort of). And I learned that you, for the most part, should really just leave nature the hell alone.

            Also, after telling the owners of the building what happened and my “successful” saving of the thrasher and getting it some help…AND its subsequent healing and freedom….the main owner looks at me and says “But just think of that poor peregrine falcon – you deprived it of a decent meal.”

            Fuck you Dan, fuck you.

          5. A Victor says:

            WC,

            What a great story! Thank you for sharing that! My son is a bird person, since birth, he will love that story!

            One time in my previous yard, which was very tiny, we’d put a bird feeder outside the glass patio doors so we could see the birds coming to it, and keep it easily stocked in the winter. One day there was a peregrine falcon in the yard, looking at us from the far side! It had not occurred to me that I was feeding him as well as the other birds! Then about two days later, I’d left for a short while and my son, about 11 at the time had the coolest experience. He’d seen the falcon again and carefully went to the glass door, the falcon walked right up to the glass and looked in at him! When I got home, my son was so excited! He showed me the bird’s footprints in the snow, it had literally come right up to the glass! It was so cool, such a treat for him. We never saw the peregrine again but we did feel pretty lucky that he stopped by. No birds were at our feeder for a while though, he must’ve scared them all off.

          6. WhoCares says:

            AV,

            I am happy that your son may enjoy that story. I didn’t find it amusing that day (I had to finish a contract!), but it’s funny now.

            “He’d seen the falcon again and carefully went to the glass door, the falcon walked right up to the glass and looked in at him!”

            Well, that’s unusual. Lucky for him though!

          7. A Victor says:

            Yes, at the nature center we volunteered at they called him the eagle whisperer, he is very good with birds! So it was a real treat for this to happen!

          8. WhoCares says:

            AV,

            “the eagle whisperer” – that’s awesome.

          9. WhoCares says:

            AV, “the eagle whisperer” – Love it!

            (My earlier response resulted in a “error”, according to WP – apologies for the redundancy.)

          10. A Victor says:

            No problem, this has happened to me a couple of times also.

          11. Rebecca says:

            WC,
            My dad would look at the critters I had in the living room and he said, “You’re not keeping all these animals, this is not a zoo. Pick one to keep and release the others.” As I went out the door with the animals, with my head down, he also said, “Don’t be bringing anymore home tomorrow either.” Party pooper. Yeah, I drove dad nuts with my fascination with animals. Lol And I would bring home more animals the next day. Lol He would repeat to me again….he was so patient with me and I was so strong willed and stubborn. Lol How I loved him….

          12. WhoCares says:

            Rebecca – awesome! You had your own little wildlife refuge when you were young!
            Yeah, I can see why your dad had to put a cap on that. Lol.

      2. Rebecca says:

        Asp Emp,

        I know what you mean about keeping your mother’s behavior to yourself. I often wonder now why I didn’t just tell Dad about her behavior and her lies. I just never told him or any teachers. Maybe because she had me so convinced no one would believe me as a kid,that I never dared tell another adult. Its kinda strange because I always had a bit of a sassy mouth on me,it’s what got me in trouble from my Dad. Talking back, I just couldn’t stop myself from saying something sassy right back to mom. I’d get slapped, hit, pinched, punched, kicked, hit with a belt, switches and locked in the closet. I’d still talk back, I was stupidly stubborn. I still am, the only change now is, I hit back.

        1. Asp Emp says:

          Rebecca, thank you for sharing more. When I read what you said, it reminded me of a “conversation” I had with muvver. I have talked about this on this blog. She was drunk (as usual) and started blithering on about if she had called the police (on me), I’d replied to the effect of “I wish you had done (called the police) then me and my sister would have been taken into care and we would have had better lives”. She looked as if I had slapped her. She left the room at that point too. She had wrongly assumed that I would have “accepted” blame for MY ‘behaviour’. In that one moment, I had ‘changed’ the ‘dynamics’. It was never repeated, the physical abuse stopped from then. She had far less ‘control’ of me. Still the manipulations continued but had a lot less effect. I was 30. I am now truly ‘free’ of her.

          From reading what you have said on this blog, it does come across to me that you also had experienced a high level of extreme physical abuse. I can also relate to your ‘responses’ from when you were younger, especially when you say that you answered back.

          I’d read your sharing your EDC results. It made me wonder in regard to the Contagion element, is that something we all have within ourselves but ‘results’ in a higher ‘measurement’ as a ‘response’ to the type of abuse we endured? Effectively becoming more ‘fine-tuned’ (practised), because we knew ‘what’ was coming?

          I disagree that you were / are stupidly stubborn. I’d suggest it is part of your survival ‘mode’ that you developed. I can be like that, I’ll defend against being accused of something I have not done, simply because I ‘learned’ to do so. One thing I have learned to understand about me, is that it is now far less to do with “A lack of control now returns us to the lack of control then”, it is more to do with “I will not stand for it and will not accept it”.

          Thank you for listening 🙂

          1. Rebecca says:

            Asp Emp and AV,

            I think my ability to feel emotions does come from having to be more alert to my mothers moods, or it could be I was born with it,not sure. I’ve often thought that too, wondering how I am able to feel emotions of others and experience their emotions as my own. I’ve done that since I can remember and I was also mature for a kid. I had more common sense that was naturally there. When I was a teenager it was even more apparent because my peers wanted to get drunk and screw, and I had no interest in being that risky with myself. To this day, I won’t get drunk,never been drunk,not going to get drunk, getting drunk makes you vulnerable to others, no thanks. Not going to be defenseless and drunk for anyone. I had no defense as a child, never again. The same goes for sex with strangers or doing the hook up thing, no thanks, not doing the vulnerable thing there either. If I had it my way, I’d walk around with a baseball bat,just in case anyone got any ideas. I won’t tolerate abuse now,wouldn’t from my last narcissist and I won’t sit by and watch it either. Even when my mother got sick and she called me crying about how mean the nurses were being to her at the hospital. I called the hospital administrator and the nurses straightened up. Later my mother complained to my dad that I went over the top with what I did to make the nurses come correct. My dad said to her, “You should have known she would react strongly to them abusing you, you know how she comes in guns blazing.” My mother was mad because I called the administrator of the hospital and embarrassed her. I went to see her afterwards and the nurses on her floor were like, “Is that your daughter?” In front of me and I told them, “Yes, I’m the one who called the administrator and I’ll do it again,if you refuse my mother help to the bathroom or water to drink. She’s not here to get abused, do your job!” I guess because I’m short and small, they thought they could walk on me. No, I become a bitch when someone I care about is being abused, even my mother.

        2. A Victor says:

          Hi Rebecca, my siblings and I were too terrified of the consequences if we were to tell, we were afraid of our mom and also our dad because of what she told us about him. It never crossed my mind to go outside of my family for help, until I was a teen anyway, maybe then. It was way too scary to cross her. I was just waiting until I was an adult to get away from her. These people are truly horrible.

          1. Rebecca says:

            AV,

            I don’t know why, but eventhough my mother was abusive towards me, I still loved her. I didn’t trust her,but I loved her. She was abused by her father and so she abused me….passed down abuse from generation to generation. It’s one of the reasons why I never had kids of my own. I was afraid I’d be abusive to my own kids,so decided not to have them. Now I realize, I wouldn’t have been abusive to my kids because I was never abusive to my step kids. Even when they made me mad, I would walk away before I lost my control. I didn’t know if I could do that,turns out I can. I learned that much from childhood about myself. I learned self control over my temper. When I was a kid,my temper controlled me. Now, I control my temper….well, most of the time. Lol

          2. A Victor says:

            Rebecca, I still loved my mother too, I was just terrified of her. I was not planning to have children, my brother did not have them, for there same reason you did not. Thankfully I found out that I did not abuse them, I had no desire to I suppose because I am an empath, my mother is a narcissist. I used to have anger but not a temper really, I kept it more internalized. If someone saw it, it wasn’t coming at them. I mean, my children knew when they’d pushed me too far but they also knew it just meant stop, they did not have fear as I did with my mom. My oldest daughter was here on Tues and we were talking about this very thing. She’d had an incident with her kids, 4 & 1, that had frustrated her and she dealt with it, appropriately, and cried and cried afterward. I was like, yeah, haha, it’s hard work sometimes. She now understands those few times she pushed me too far, and I remember all of them! She ended up sitting on her bed those times. Haha, I was so strict! Not! But my ex would get mad at me and say, “Why are you doing that to the kid? Stop it, that’s wrong!”. My kids remember that too and now understand how bad that was. He did it right in front of them without getting the story. It only happened a small handful of times, thankfully, he wasn’t home much. He never disciplined the kids except once, which did border on abuse. He mostly ignored them and when there was upset, the quickest way to control it was to deal with me rather than them.

          3. Rebecca says:

            AV,

            I wonder if our ability or willingness to still love our abusive mothers is the bases of why we put up with abuse from others for so long before we reach our breaking point. It’s an almost built in thing for us to put love and abuse together, as if it’s not fulfilling or satisfying without love coming with abuse. We were conditioned to feel that way from our abusive childhoods? I think I got something here….

          4. A Victor says:

            Rebecca, I believe I was trained from the start to allow abuse to happen to me, to be a perfect victim. Love is one of the many things that I was given wrong information about. We were absolutely conditioned. Love is satisfying without coming with abuse, I love my children, there is no abuse either direction and it is immensely satisfying. Romantic love is something I have not experienced without abuse. I may at some point, I would like that, but only if it’s going to be healthy. You are definitely onto something, I have cried many tears over this very revelation in the last year or so. It may be the most difficult thing that I have had to accept about my parents and my childhood.

          5. A Victor says:

            Rebecca, I came upon this older comment tonight and thought of your comment here. You may find it helpful.
            https://wp.me/p6FuAt-dJK%23comment-404561

    3. jasmin says:

      I love this post.❤
      I’m looking forward the day a meet someone – looking for red flag – but find none!

      1. A Victor says:

        Oh yes, Jasmin! Me also!

      2. A Victor says:

        And thank you!

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