By | July 27, 2012 41 Comments

How our thoughts affect our lives

By Joyce Alexander, RNP (retired)

 “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”  (Proverbs 23:7)

I was watching the movie Iron Lady today and a few lines of the character Margaret Thatcher jumped out at me and made me think of that verse above from the Bible. Here are the lines from Mrs. Thatcher, as she was speaking with her physician.

Watch your thoughts
for they become words,
Watch your words
for they become your actions,
Watch your actions
For they become  your habits
Watch your habits
for they become your character
Watch your character
for it becomes your destiny

What we think we become.

How many times do we prove those words, originally attributed to the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, to be true? How many times do our “self-fulfilling prophecies” become reality because we thought something bad was going to happen. Or we thought we were going to fail, and we failed.

Attitude is so important in how our lives go. How we think is instrumental in what we can accomplish, or fail to accomplish.

The balky mule

I may have told this story before, and if I have, please forgive me, but it bears repeating. My grandfather was very poor during the Depression and he had to buy mules that others either couldn’t handle, because they were dangerous or in some way impaired, but they were cheap to purchase. My grandfather was sort of a “mule whisperer,” and could “psych-out” these mules and get them to work for him.

He bought one mare mule that would “balk,” which was refusing to pull. My grandfather knew why horses or mules would “balk;” it was from poor training. They were hooked up to loads that were too heavy to pull, and then when they tried their best, they couldn’t do it. The trainer would whip them even though they were doing their best, and they would fail to move the load. They were convinced that they could not pull any load, so would not even try. They would “balk” (not try), and then just stand there and take the whipping they knew was coming. It was “trained failure.” They knew in their hearts that they could not pull the load, so they gave up.

This particular mare mule only balked at the foot of a hill, so my grandfather figured that she had been whipped because she was hooked to a load she could pull on the level, but not up a hill. So as they traveled along the first day when they approached the bottom of a hill where he figured she would stop and balk, he said “Whoa!” and stopped her before she stopped herself. Then he got out, whistling and happy, petted her on the neck, adjusted the harness a bit and then got back into the wagon and said, “get up” and she did. She never balked again. He had shown her that she didn’t have to take a whipping and that she could pull the wagon up the hill because he would not over load her. It was his idea to stop, not hers.

If you think you can, or think you can’t

Our own attitudes about what we can pull in the way of a “load” are partly determined (if not fully determined) by our own attitudes.

As the Bible says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” If we think we are weak and unimportant, then we become that. If we think we are strong and can over come obstacles, leap tall buildings with a single bound and be faster than a speeding bullet, then we can be.

We all find ourselves thinking “negative thoughts” once in a while, feeling down, and telling ourselves we are going to fail. When you find yourself thinking those thoughts, scream to yourself, “STOP!” Then reverse that thinking, and think “I CAN overcome this problem. I can succeed. I WILL succeed.” Then go out and do it!

God bless.

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Joyce…..oh, Joyce…..these are words that I needed to read, today, quite literally. Tears are streaming, here, because I can clearly identify with that balking jenny.

I have spent a lifetime of balking from fears and conditioned responses. The worst was always going to happen, the other shoe was going to drop, and any efforts to maintain forward momentum were arrested by me – by me, alone – because of my fears and conditioned responses.

Although I may not be convinced of this, yet, I keep telling myself that that I am going to make it through and out of my current situation. At some point, I think that I’ll begin to actually “feel” that I will. Then, I truly will see that I do.

This is a wonderful, wonderful article that I can clearly identify with – I used to work on a large horse facility, and I worked with several issued animals. They didn’t need a beating – they needed speaking to and reassurances that the paper bag wasn’t going to end their lives. They wanted that reassurance that everything was going to be “okay.” And, they truly, visibly, and in all ways responded to that positive interaction. Perhaps, this is what is bringing me to tears, this morning. Knowing that encouragement can be powerful.

And, what’s WITH these spontaneous crying jags, anyway? UGH….

Brightest blessings, Joyce, and my most sincere gratitude for this article.


I really savor these very positive articles here. I agree 100% with this article. Thoughts are incredibly powerful. I started going to Zumba classes 6 months ago. I felt like I had two left feet. But I was determined, so I kept trudging away. Now it is so effortless I could do it in my sleep. So I took on an even bigger challenge recently. I started studying salsa dance with a male teacher I once danced with a year ago and always dreamed of dancing with again. I was very intimidated to be in his small class. A lot of the beginner guys are quick to criticize me and point out everything I’m doing wrong. It started wearing me down, and I started to feel like I wouldn’t be able to do it. I almost dropped out last week. But I decided that I would and I COULD become a great (not just good) salsa dancer so I stuck with it. Last night I passed my first test and got my white belt in salsa (they give belts like in martial arts). I have never been so proud of myself. Then a few of us went to the salsa club and tore up the dance floor. I danced with guys who have been dancing for years, and it felt great. A year ago, I never would have gone out to the clubs – I was way too intimidated. Salsa has opened up a whole new world to me, just like Zumba. I have salsa friends and dance partners and a whole new wardrobe to go with it.

Tomorrow at my Zumba club we are taping a Zumba routine for National Dance Day and will send it to the news station, so I might even be on TV! It’s all very exciting.

But I really had to practice a lot of positive self-talk and tell myself that yes, I CAN do it. I almost gave up so many times. It’s hard to believe that I am doing all the dance moves I have always envied in others. I don’t have to watch Dancing with the Stars and secretly pine away for that life. I can go out and live it!

From the first time I saw two advanced salsa dancers in Costa Rica in 2010, I decided, “I am going to learn to do that, or I will die trying.” That thought has stuck and has been my mantra, though it took a few years to really get into it – I gave up so many times. I wish this type of resolve for EVERYONE trying to overcome adversity and do something positive with their lives. Also, I am 51. I thought I’d be too old to start dancing. But I guess you’re never too old to do what you love!

kim frederick

Thanks, Oxy. I so appreciate this, today. These things have been on my mind, because I know my attitude and beliefs are so powerful in influencing the daily monotonies of life, as well as ultimate out-comes.
Even though I’m doing well, I find the daily grind of working for a living, HARD. I’m physically tired and it wears me down to cater, cater, cater, to customers. They can be so demanding, and then ungrateful.
I needed this pep talk about haveing a positive attitude….it was right on time. Thanks, Ox.

Ox Drover

Thanks, guys, glad it has been a help to you, but as usual, I write to myself…much more than I do for anyone else’s benefit.

Ihave to keep reminding myself to keep a positive attitude. When I watched that movie about Margaret Thatcher, I thought how hard it must have been for her to know she was “losing it” mentaly, and yet she stayed strong even in the face of it all (if the movie was true to the story)

Last night we had the badly needed rain which we have not had any rain in months, we are among the first of the 75 counties in the US who have been declared “exceptionally” dry which is ABOVE “severely dry.” I prayed for the rain and it finally came, along with winds that tore the roof off of my studio and flung it acros the hangar and on top of the electric wires that ran from the pole to the hangar…but “sheet happens” is all I can think of and we’ll have to deal with it as we can, first being to get the electric company to shut off the power so we can remove the half of the roof over the wires then reattach it to the hangar…also have company coming this weekend for 3 days and then next wednesday my surgery.

Sheet happens, keep saying “it’s gonna be okay” and you know, it WILL be okay, it wasn’t my house, it wasn’t the barn, it wasn’t the hangar roof, and it’s insured so what the heck.

Sometimes life seems to us like it just keeps on knocking us down. We have a flat tire, then another one, then the engine in our car quits and we have to get a new car…or whatever thing is going on, or as Kim says “catering” to the public when they are so rude and ungrateful…but THAT’S LIFE. It is what life is about, but it is NOT ALL OF LIFE, and we have to kep these things in proportion to what they are.

OK, so your customers are al creeps today…no one promised you that life is always fair. And sure you are tired at the end of a day, that’s why they call it WORK not “fun.” LOL

But, YOU HAVE A JOB..there are others who don’t have a job who would be grateful to have your job. So be grateful for what you have.

You’re sick…but you have access to medical care in this country. I just finished reading a book about malaria and how many people die of it every year because they can’t afford $15 worth of medication. Even if you don’t have insurance in this country you can go to an ER and they have to take you in and treat you. NOt so in many parts of the world.

Be grateful.

I try to be grateful myself, and to keep my chin up and remember the little mare mule. She failed because she thought she would, and my grandfather showed her that she didn’t have to fail, that she could succeed and she believed him and she succeeded.

My grandfather always had confidence in me, and I think that his confidence has helped me through many a “down time” when I thought I couldn’t go on. I knew he thought I could, so I picked myself up and I did it. We all can when we believe we can. ((((hugs))) and as Truthy says, “brighetest blessings”

Oh, BTW Truthy, the crying and crying and cryiong some more is stress being released so don’t wory about it, just get more “snot rags” and keep on wiping your eyes and your nose. Keep the floods off the computer though! LOL (((hugs)))


Oxy….I truly love you with my heart. It’s all going to be okay.

Brightest rainy blessings!

kim frederick

Thanks, Oxy. So sorry to hear about the roof of your studio, and the stress related to entertaining and the upcoming surgery.
At least you got rain….and have freinds and/or family who care to visit…and have access to medical treatment, right?
Yes. At least I have a job, and am independant.
I have had to really watch my money for the last 6 weeks, trying to catch up after buying my portable washer and dryer. I had to pay back 90 dollars at work when my drawer came up short, and my shoes blew out, so had to buy a new pair. Paid a 65 dollar reconnection fee to have my water turned back on….I had the money to pay the bill, but simply spaced it out….won’t do that again….and, I gave my daughter 93.00 to pay cable and internet, and she forgot to do so, then fell upon hard times herself and couldn’t pay it, sooooooo, I’ve been working and working to catch up, and haven’t been doing much of anything else.
Fortunaately, this month I will be able to pay them all on time, and can start saving again. That will be a big relief. Once again, though I am learning the lesson about depending upon someone else.
There were at least 4 incidents at work where my drawer came up short, usually from 5 to 20 dollars, but three different people have been fired and since then it has never been short by even a dime…go figure.

Anyone familiar with Jung’s ideas about synchronicity? Dar’s Mom, you might like this. It has a shamnic undertone of meaning, as well.
I went to work, and it was slow. There were only me and the cook in the restaraunt.

I kept hearing a buzzing noise, but it was subtle, so didn’t really pay much attention, until the cook commented that, “that dragonfly is really going nuts….”. I realized that a really huge dragonfly was trapped between the window and the shade. I moved the shade an inch away from the window and the dragonfly flew down to the sill, but was still trying frantically to “head but” the window.

I grabbed a menu off of the table and gently nudged it behind it’s legs till it got on, and then I very slowly and carefully began walking it to the door. Well, it paniced and fflew to land on another shade.

I decided to leave it alone for a while, and maybe try again later. Then it flew to the other side of the restaraunt and was flying against the window, til it decided that that wasn’t working.

I opened all the doors, two sets, thinking the odds were pretty slim that I could rescue the bug, but I was gonna try. At this point it was hanging onto the pullys that lift and lower the shade….I had no idea how intelligent dragonflies are, or how well they can see, but went through the two sets of doors and ouside, so I was standing right on the other-side of it’s window, then I came back inside again. I did that twice, then picked up the menu again, and nudged it under the bugs feet. This time the bug stayed on the menu right up to the time I got it an inch away from the outer door, and off it flew, over the roof of the restaraunt.

Cook and I both hooted and “Yayed”…the bug was free.
About three nights later, I was on line, researching narcissists and how they do damge to us, and I came upon a web-site whose logo is a dragonfly caught in a web. It gave me goose bumps, and I later googled what is the symbolic meaning of a dragonfly, and I learned that it is symbolic of self actualization, and maturity, clear vision, and creativity. I also learned that the dragonfly has excellant vision….so, I know that dragonfly was smart and saw what I was doing when I was showing him the way out.

I know some will think this is crazy, but I took it as an example of synchronicity and a clear message from the universe that I am on the right path, and perhaps one day, I too will fly off over the roof of the restaraunt. 🙂



you know you just have to change your name to dragonfly!!

What an amazing story. Hope life gets better for you.

kim frederick

Strongawoman, oh, I’m okay….life is pretty good in spite of everything. Mostly, I’m just whining that it’s not perfect…yet. 🙂 This little bit of chaos is nothing compared to life with the crack-head, and/or the cheating, abusive, narcissistic husband. Thanks for you well-wishes.

Ox Drover

Kim, we see what we need to see if we look around us, if it is a dragonfly or a balky mule…we can take the lesson that is there if we will but open our eyes and see it.

The power company came and unhooked the power line to the hangar, so my freezers are without power now but son D is going to get it fixed in the morning (or part of the fix) and then the power company guy said to tel them it was an EMERGENCY reconect and he would be back out to turn it back on.

Got a MESS to clean up of tin and broken boards ful of nails, but you know what, that huge roof flew of, up and over the hangar, almost missed my RV shelter (just nicked a corner of it) and landed in a big open place.didn’t hit a car or an animal or even a fence and it could have wrecked a bunch of stuff…so I am SO grateful for small favors.

The studio is a wreck, and there’s no hope of saving it, so will have to have it towed away (it is an older mobile home) so we will just have to figure out what we want to keep and what we want to toss and just go from there.

Kim I am SO proud of how far you have come, and how independent you are now. Look back even 4 years ago and remember where you were and how “down” you were and how you didn’t see a way out of the pit, but look at where you are now and that you have your own place and your own washer and dryer and a job to support it. You should be proud of where you are and how far you have come and you don’t have to depend on anyone else. You are rowing your own boat in the river of life! A big TOWANDA to you!

kim frederick

Thanks, Oxy. I am proud of me, but, sometimes I need a little encouragement.
I’m so glad that no more damage was done to your property…maybe it is the universes way of telling you it’s time to let go of the “stuff” in the studio.

Ox Drover

Kim , I agree with that, I am doing a lot of unloading of “stuff” and not letting it bother me in the least. I am also organizing things better as well.

Son D is going to use the time I have nurse-friends here taking care of me after my surgery to go through some of his “stuff” and get rid of a bunch of it as well. Will fil up the trash trailer and take it to the dump (we have our own dump pit on the back of the farm which we had dug a few years ago)

Keep the faith,, Kimmie, I know that it is difficult making a living and especially waiting tables (I did my share of that!) but don’t take the nasty customers “personally” because if they are rude to you, they would be to anyone! Just be glad YOU are not the kind of person who would act like that. (((hugs)))

Oxy, thanks for the article. It always helps to be reminded.

In my situation, the spath made sure I failed at every opportunity. Like your grand dad, he knew that the more the mule failed, the less she would have a reason to move. except he worked in reverse.

I know now that he sabotaged my efforts for that very reason. He sabotaged my health, my finances, my car, my efforts, my sanity.

I’ve now been programmed to not want to make an effort because I FEEL (caps for emphasis) that I’ll fail. But I know differently. After 25 years of sabotage, I realized he was the cause. But feeling and knowing are very different. The only thing I can do is keep trying and keep succeeding so that I can incorporate the efforts into the successes without failures. It’s hard. Failures are part of life. But not so much when the spath is gone.

Thanks for reminding me.



Great article and so very true! the only thing I can add is to say positive things in the present moment, as they are already a part of your reality….”I AM SUCCEDING, I AM OVERCOMING, I AM HEALED”……

I have been practicing this myself, and find that it works.

Ox, I LOVE this story about the mule and your grandfather. What a great man he was! Being able to help animals and communicate with them is something of a talent or grace. I don’t think everyone can do something like that, to just intuitively understand.

Also, I’ve been away from LF for ages, and I dropped in today and was soooo happy to see this article. Ox you are so dead on with the advice and this is EXACTLY where I was at right now anyways. Why does that always seem to happen? I stumble across the BAM article just when I’m searching for it.

I had my EUREKA moment last week. I’ve been seeing some specialist and attending therapy to deal with my C-PTSD and actually accepted trying medication to help with my flashbacks/panic attacks. Well, the meds didn’t change much, but then the doctor told me he thinks I will need to take them for life. That floored me. I felt like someone had somehow removed the earth from beneath my feet. The timing was odd, though, because just before this I was in “work therapy” which is to learn how to do basic tasks and be aware of how you feel trying to do things that you have a hard time doing because of whatever your issues may be. I accidentally broke something in the therapy, and instantly I felt the need to throw myself on the floor at the feet of the therapist and beg her to forgive me and please not punish me. It was this crazy moment where I actually SAW my emotions, realized what is REALLY going on in that crazy land. Eureka went off all over the place. Ever since my father did his “surprise, I’m back! Time to leave your mom and live with me even though I have been MIA for years!” I have walked around thinking I am a walking PROBLEM. My father told me that I have his blood, his genes, and that his genes are strong, so I am just like him. He said I am a little female him. Since I was terrified of him and disgusted by the way he lied, hurt, manipulated, and toyed with other people, I instantly hated MYSELF because apparently I was like that too. When I went to therapy, he told the therapists I was a devil child. Here I am years later thinking how silly he was….but it never occurred to me that ALL THIS TIME I had believed this was true, even if I hadn’t done a damn thing wrong. Everything was wrong for him. If I woke up at a certain time, it’s cause I was the devil child. If I cried after my sister died, he would get angry and accuse me of wallowing. Anyways he projected his sickness on to me so much as a child, I have been walking about for 15 years now thinking I really am like him, trying to find some way to REDEEM myself. Like I need to be punished. The spath that I was with used that as my weakness. DING DING DING. That’s why I didn’t protest. He told me I deserved to be hit and I agreed with him. He said any other man would kill me and I thought he’s probably right….I’m a horrible person.

For the first time since I was 12 years old, I am having to repeat aloud to myself: I am not a horrible person who deserves to be punished. It’s not my fault when bad situations happen in my life. My outlook let me into those bad situations, thinking I deserved to be abused. But it wasn’t my fault. I was victim blaming myself all these years. Holy crap. Eureka. And this was just on Friday. Then I come on LF today for the first time in ages and this article is up. Thank you Ox. I will be thinking about that mare now every time I want to lay down and wait for the whip and never try. It’s time for me to REALLY start fighting to get past this old, messed up system running a loop in my head….

And we need to start using that word for people who have learned to give up and just wait for the punishment. I’d like to say once and for all that I was not lazy, too depressed, incapable, or bad. I was balking all the damn time.

Who else in here still balks? Knock it the heck off!!!!

I bet I’m not the only one. Any other balkers in here?

Truthspeak we both had the same reaction to this article! Hello fellow balker. Let’s stop now, okay?


(Raises hand with sheepish look on my face)…

I have been a ‘closet balker’ in this experience with ppath.
I kept KNOWING what I needed to do but didn’t for a long
time because I thought I was being cold and cruel flicking
that ugly person off me, all the while knowing that what I
was seeing was an ILLNESS or an EVILNESS; whatever it
was, it was not ‘normalcy’ nor something I wish or would
choose to have in my life. But I felt a certain ‘responsi-
bility’ in some strange way. I wanted to ‘save’ “IT” and
I have learned (the hard way) you can’t ‘save’ anyone
who doesn’t WANT TO BE SAVED. Save yourself.

It took me a long time to get off the fence and to stand
up and make a decision FOR MYSELF and based upon what
was good for MYSELF and nobody else. There was a whole
lot of cog/dis going on but the ugly actions have spoken for
themselves. I have made MY choices and decisions based
upon MY REALITIES and nobody else s.

I put my foot down and made a conscious decision to
STOP BALKING because MY LIFE was on the line. If I
hadn’t of been ‘threatened’, I would have been swooned
right straight into oblivion and I know that for a fact.

“Fellow Balkers Anonymous”.


I am out of the closet now.
Thank you Joyce for a very inspiring article.
I wish you peace and joy inside.

“Watch your thoughts
for they become words,
Watch your words
for they become your actions,
Watch your actions
For they become your habits
Watch your habits
for they become your character
Watch your character
for it becomes your destiny

What we think we become.”


Thank you for sharing this very important lesson to all of us. In May I went into PTS that lasted more than 2 months. Usually I can “think” my way out as I have learned the coping skills that go along with PTSD. However, this time was different. The event that put me into a spin was going on and on and on and I could not stop the forces around me.

Anyway, it is when I am NOT in PTSD mode that counts…this is when I do my most reading, meditating, thought control, etc. I’ve decided to become a Registered Clinical Hypnotherapist and I am excited that the education alone will help my mind…the part of me that needs the most help in times of trouble.

And the best part of all is that once I am done I will open my own practice and hopefully help many other women (and men) by specializing in abuse issues, PTSD, etc. and I believe that while I am helping others I will be helping myself.

Hypnotherapy is great for controlling the mind and boy do I ever need that tool for when I leave my senses.

Thanks again for a great article and the comments that followed!




Speaking Up,

I wish you lots of success in your studies and healing. And it’s great that you want to help others with your own experience in mind.

That said, I also hope you will be able to help yourself with you healing before you can help others on a professional level. Not that there’s anything wrong with learning from those you’re trying to heal, but there’s a difference between incidental learning because of the interaction and healing yourself by healing others. In my experience, whenever someone was still in high need of help regarding emotional issues and they wanted to help me they basically went overboard, crossed my boundaries and meddled. It was as if they felt obligated out of gratitude to save me if I had a difficult time, as if saving me would save them in some way. And it both backfired on me, and them (because I had to cut them out of my life).

So, aside from that cautioning, I wish you nothing but success!


Hey guys, I don’t know if this link will come out but I wanted to share with you the video my Zumba class made for National Dance Day. I was on the far right, and the camera cut me out for all except one part at the very beginning and toward the end. I’m in all purple, next to the girl in the teal shirt. (You have to watch closely). Considering I practiced for a month, it’s pretty funny that I only have a brief cameo appearance in the video. But it’s probably for the best because I was so tired after we rehearsed about 8 times. This video was sent to “So you think you can dance” and may be selected to be aired on TV. I’ll let you know.

Anyway, it’s what I do 5 days a week, and it has changed my life (the other 2 nights a week are salsa dancing). I recommend Zumba not only for weight loss, but to bring joy into anyone’s life. You cannot NOT be joyful when you’re doing Zumba. I have now gotten several of my friends involved in this Zumba club, and they’re more addicted than I am!


Hey Star, Hey that look’s like fun,, and you are rockin the house ~! I am so happy your motivated and making yourself get out and try new things. I wish I had that much ambition and drive..So staying in tune with the thread topic ( great article Ox ) I tend to hide from everybody but the people I work for. this latest episode with the lady and the marine has me really thinking about what you said. ”why am i there?”
well I am comfortable with the lady and my position, but really dont like having to pretend her marine boyfriend isnt a threat to me. and then there was her drunkin son that called me a cocksucker onenite when he was drunk on his ass in front of everyone and she and everyone pretended like it didnt happen..
This really has me in a funk. The lady has been a generous and loyal employer close to 20 years, but why am I there, why do I allow it..I have lived with this kind of agression from people that dont like me or who I am my whole what is it I need to do…and at my age secure job’s are not easy to find. Yes i have other client’s and could find more, but she has always been nothing but the kindest lady…I am in a funk..
Kim, do you just love your new washer and dryer? I am so relating to you and what you said above, about feeling unappreciated, i have painted myself into a corner.. I look back at life the past 7-8 years, I am still better off than I was..small steps I guess, at least we dont have the alien’s living with us and dragging us down..I guess any situation is better than living with an alien.


Hi hens, I see your dilemma if she has been a client for 20 years. I can’t even pretend to know what it’s like to get abused by people in the way you have for your sexual orientation. And to make it clear, I do believe you have been abused by these people. It really makes me angry. I know it’s happened to you a lot, and you’ve learned to live with it, but that doesn’t make it right. The fact that the incident brought you down and still brings you down is a sign to me that maybe the job has become too toxic. Even if abuse happens once, it is still abuse, and it has a traumatizing effect. Personally, I don’t tolerate it any more. If it happens once to me, I’m done. I walk away from situations for much less than what happened to you. However, it’s not always been that way for me. If you remember, I was a private exotic dancer once, and I took a fair amount of verbal abuse. Guys would abuse me frequently when I refused to have sex with them. One of them called me a whore one time. This bothered me so much, I no longer could justify the money. That was the night I hung up my g-string so to speak. And I never went back. It was the last straw. No amount of money is worth being abused. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve also fired a few massage clients and refused new ones if I didn’t like their energy. I don’t worry about the money. If I’m feeling happy and creative, the money will just come. My good clients will refer other people. I never worry about my business – it’s self sustaining through referrals.

One of the things Zumba and salsa have done for me is they’ve given me a backdrop of joy, so when bad things happen, I still have stuff to look forward to. It helps minimize the impact of the bad stuff. However, there is a difference between normal bad stuff and abuse like what you went through. For example, my wallet was stolen tonight with a bag of groceries. It was very stressful and I had to cancel my bankcards. It was eventually returned (with everything but $10 in it). Though it was a pretty stressful event, I didn’t catastrophize about it because I have a salsa class to look forward to tomorrow night. So I just strategized how to get to the bank and get a new account and take care of business without missing too much work, so I could make it to salsa and pay for it. The joy of having something to look forward to helps me forget about the insults and injuries in my life.

Getting back to your situation, I think having something joyful to look forward to will really help take your mind off the bad stuff.

Just know that you have choices, hens. You can take a break from that job and chill out for a while. You can talk with the lady and tell her how you feel torn. You can even tell her if it happens again, you’re done. Or you can quit. You really don’t deserve to be treated like that. If it were me, I would not keep quiet about it. You must be very angry and I wouldn’t blame you. You don’t have to put up with bullshit. You are better than that. This lady may be nice, but if she hangs out with abusive people, she’s toxic. Period.

kim frederick

yes, Hens. I love my new washer and dryer. 🙂
I’m sorry this ass has sent you into a tail spin, Hens.
It’s hard to keep your spirits up when someone is trying very hard to extinguish them. It chips away and chips away, until your strength to withstand it, is depleted.
Hens, you don’t deserve that treatment. I know keeping steady accounts is important, but is it worth having your spirit broken?

I know you are loyal, and don’t blame the lady, but she is playing a part in all this….shame on her!!! She is letting him call the shots, and is actively participating in the “keeping you under wraps”, which to me, is a little dishonest.

You are far to good a person to let this situation hurt your feelings.

The moon is beautiful, tonight. Are you up for a moon-dance?

that is one of the things that I’ve been torn about for the last 3 years. I see that abusers are everywhere. Even those who are not abusers, like my good sister, can be a disappointment because they don’t always choose to do the “right” thing and thereby enable the abusers. It is my opinion that my good sister should do the “right” thing and refuse to have any contact with the spath sister and spath brother, who have tried to put each other and me in jail. They would willingly see us both dead for the inheritance, but she doesn’t “get it”.

There isn’t any easy answer. I’m not absolutely sure that my opinion is the correct one. What I do know, is that we cannot control how others behave. We can only control our own behavior. This is a surprisingly powerful thing, believe it or not. I’ve found that NC has made my parents re-think their positions. It is because I’ve set an example, that has made them re-consider their actions. We aren’t done yet. I have to be strong.

I’m not perfect. I’m not sure that my choices are always right. All I can do is be dedicated to reality. Maybe there is no “right” choice. Maybe it’s just a matter of how dedicated to reality you are willing and ABLE to be.

You may remember my article, “Hate the sin, but not the sinner”.
Jesus was persecuted for eating with prostitutes and tax collectors because that behavior was considered contagious. And it is. Bad behavior is contagious. But it wasn’t for Jesus. He didn’t emulate them. He asked them to emulate Him. And they did.

Just behave with the dignity that is in you. Some will envy you and others will be inspired to be like you. That’s just humanity.


You know hens, your situation reminds me of something I learned a long time ago in (of all places) a Scientology class. I only took one or two classes through the institute before I quit. But those classes were very powerful. The first one was called The Ups and Downs in Life. Know what they said caused those? Toxic, abusive people. They talked about how you can’t be happy in your life until you rid yourself of people who belittle you and make you feel bad. Then they went on to talk about the types of people who do that – may be a parent or a boss, etc. They were teaching us how to recognize the bad behavior. They even had workbooks with little cartoon drawings of abusive bosses and co-workers. I was very young at the time and didn’t even know when someone was bad for me because of the pathetic crap I grew up with. But the class helped me, and I recognized a few people in my life who were hurting me. They did exercises with us called “bullbaiting” we would tell them what our negative thoughts were about ourselves (I am a phony, I am rotten, I don’t deserve…….etc.) Then they would shout those things at us and encourage us to stand up to them. Basically, it was like doing therapy.

Sometimes when you get the toxic people out of your life, you still feel bad because you have internalized the toxic people’s critical voices, especially if they were your parents. Now you don’t need someone to put you down because you do it to yourself. If this is happening, bullbaiting works, and you can do it with yourself. Challenge what they are telling you about yourself.

A lot of people put down Scientology because of Tom Cruise et al. But I read the L. Ron Hubbard book years ago and found it to be technologically sound, knowing now what I know about the healing process. And the classes were useful to me. This is coming from someone who is mainly Buddhist. 🙂 I think any religion or group can get corrupted with ego, but that doesn’t degrade the original message.


I think that, today, people are generally toxic even if they aren’t sociopathic. I base this belief on what I see on a daily basis. People have become so wrapped up in NEGATIVITY (caps for emphasis, of course) that they have become almost disdainful of positive momentum.

In my current situation, I’ve mentioned that my colleague’s girlfriend is addicted (literally) to extremely negative reality shows and actually records them and re-watches hours and hours of this continuous screaming, backstabbing, passive/aggressive actions, sociopathic behaviors, and every negative aspect of the human condition. This translates, directly, into her own behaviors, and it’s inexcusable. Whether she’s “good at heart,” or not, it’s impossible to determine. What she does that appears “good, kind, or generous” is completely overshadowed by her passive/aggressive behaviors, self-serving decisions, and malicious actions.

So….I don’t know what the answer to human toxicity is, but I realize that I need to learn how to identify it as quickly as possible, and to prevent entanglements with toxic people, on every level.

Brightest blessings


Yep, I absorb that negative energy from toxic assholes and it brings me down. Not everybody is going to like us (me), I get that..but when their toxic vibes become outright aggresion or rage, it’s time to do something.. But the low class marine is just jealous of my relationship with his high class gf ( my boss )..I am just going to wait untill the right opportunity to tell her that his covert abuse has become more than I will tolerate and that when he is in town I will not be able to work for her..and when she ask’s me what is wrong I wil just tell her ‘ you wouldnt believe me anyway, but I have boundaries and he has crossed them…”


Hens, I keep going back to the original article of this thread, and I feel that I don’t “need” to have everyone “like” me, anymore.

Yeah, the marine is not only jealous, but probably FEARFUL of you, Hens! I mean, from what I gather from your posts, you’re an empathetic person and he cannot tolerate that, especially if there’s nothing that he can “gain” from exploiting that empathy.

I almost agree with what you have planned to say to the boss Lady. I almost feel compelled to tell the REAL owner of the house that I’m renting a room in about what I’ve seen, but I’m really wavering on that. I’m sure that she has an idea of what the g/f is like, but I don’t believe that she knows of the phsyical/emotional/verbal abuse that this woman delivers. If she knew, I think she’d go batshit.

You do what you need to do to get through each day, Hens. If you need to find another job for your own safety and sanity, then it’s a GOOD decision. YOU come first. Anymore, “loyalty” holds about as much water as a sieve (SP?).

Brightest blessings


Do we know Oxy’s status?? Anyone? Donna? I hope she’s recovering smoothly…..

you are right that he is jealous of your relationship with her. That is the bottom line with all spaths. They envy relationships because they can’t have them (they only have relationshits! thanks for coining that word.)

More than they envy the shiny things we have or even who we are, they envy who we are in relation to others –the fact that we belong, because they have a feeling of not belonging.

That’s why they try to isolate us. And I believe that he is trying to isolate her from you. It’s not about you, (though I will not put it past him to make you feel that it is) it’s about isolating his prey from all her relationships. That’s spath 101.

Considered in that way, I’d be very careful on two counts:
1. He may smear you to get what he wants. They have no limits.
2. You don’t want to play into his hands and give him what he wants.

I think your intuition has been telling you that there is more at stake here than just an asshole you’re dealing with. I think that’s why it has been weighing on your thoughts.

I’m not sure what to tell you exactly to do, but I would lean toward some kind of action that makes him think he is impacting your relationship with her, while not actually allowing it. Back away slowly, no sudden moves, fade to gray when he is around.


Skylar…..I triple “like” your response.

Hens, the fact that this guy is a Marine would give me pause, on every level. This is NOT to say that “all Marines are nuts,” because that simply isn’t true. But, it’s a known fact that this branch of the military dehumanizes the recruits and rebuilds them into cannon fodder. Commissioned Officers are often so much swagger that I can’t really abide them for more than a few minutes.

Caution, Hens…….caution…….


yes I have to be cautious, but as I said he is only here a few weeks out of the year…
the lady’s sister agree’s with me that he’s an asshole.
if he was mistreating the lady in anyway I wouldnt hesitate to bring him down, job or no job..
I have never seen any sign of that.
thanx to all of you for listening to my drama..hugs

Thanks Truthspeak, for triple “liking” my response. 🙂

Hens, what I have learned about disordered people is that even though they may deserve “punishment” sometimes, it hurts us more than it hurts them to do the punishing. They want violence because it brings us to their level. They want drama.

The only way to truly punish them is to not give them any drama, instead, give them rope and let them hang themselves.

If he is a spath, he will predictably try to isolate the victim. When he thinks she is done for, he will drop the mask. That’s when you can ride to the rescue. Until then, he holds the cards because she WANTS to believe in what he tells her.

It makes me sick to know there are so many people who use these tactics and manipulations as part of their lifestyle. They are heartless.

My spath did that to me. I was lucky that, even though he had isolated me, there were still people – even strangers – who came to my rescue. But only people he had no knowledge of. EVERYONE who knew both of us, abandoned me. He had that much power to persuade. I have no idea what he persuaded them of. All I know is that if he couldn’t persuade them to hate me, they were removed from my life somehow.


Skylar, the more attention I’m paying to the people around me, the more I find that I’m detaching from them, completely.

I don’t want a confrontation with anyone, not even the exspath. I just want to put my life back together.

Pfffffffffffffffffffffffft………(waving left hand)… will go as it goes.


sky, your right, give em enuff rope…
the lady did say something tho ” I just love J but if we were married we wouldnt like each other at all ”
I am not the least bit jealous of him, I am glad she has a BF and I am glad he has her.
but he messed with me – his mistake..

Truth and Hens,
last night I watched “Batman, The Dark Knight”.

I don’t know if I had watched it before, I’ve found that most movies I watched with the spath, are completely erased from my mind, for some reason.

Anyway, that wasn’t the point. The point was how much the Joker reminded me of my spath. Even some of the ways he would talk, when he was explaining WHY he was doing things.

It was particularly interesting how the Joker wanted to make the “good” characters do bad things. He placed bombs on 2 ferries filled with people. The detonators for those bombs, he placed on the ferries too, but he placed each detonator on the OTHER ferry. Then he told them the people that they could only save themselves by blowing up the other ferry.

There were various other instances of him goading people to BECOME LIKE HIM. He says good people are only good as long as the world allows them to be good, but when push comes to shove, they will turn on each other.

I disagree. I think bad people only behave “good” as long as there is someone watching them. Good people are good regardless. Good people will sacrifice themselves so that others don’t need to suffer.

I no longer think that’s a good thing –necessarily– to sacrifice for others, but I do think it’s good to WANT to.

Anyway, I think that the movie did a pretty good job with the character and motivations of a spath. The joker even said that he didn’t want money, he only wanted chaos. After he got all the money he burned a 40 foot pile of it. My spath threw a $1000 out the window (or so he told me) just to see the look on my face.

The joker (and my spath) wanted randomness so that people would feel that life wasn’t fair. Then people would have no motive to behave fairly towards others.

Once you get how they think, it’s pretty clear what we need to do. Spaths do serve a purpose: as an example of how not to be.
Use the 180 rule and do exactly the opposite of what they want us to do.


the dark knight, dark night..they do have a darkness about them. no contact is the exact opposite of what they want from us. I remember batman and robin movies when I was a kid. look how violent and sadistic they have become now. I wanted to take my grandson’s to see the latest spiderman movie and my dil said ” they dont need to see that” I always thot she was a little to rigid about what the boys could watch but I respect her more all the time…

yes hens, dil understands, I think. good job raising a son with good intuition.

The movie was much too dark for me, but I rented it expressly so I could analyze the Joker. I had heard that his spath performance was spot on.



Yup, Heath Ledger was spot on in that role of his as the Joker. What I found incredibly interesting was his spiel on how he got to be who he is… a different story each time, depending on who he’s talking to. Sometimes to evoke pity, sometimes to instill fear, always a different mask, and by showing that the script goes beyond this trap of ‘explaining why the villain is a villain’.

Usually, superhero movies and comics involve some explanation why the villain becomes a villain: fell into a bath of acid and his or her face is deformed (Nicholson’s Joker in the batman of the 90s); wife was killed in some science freak experiment (2nd spiderman movie?)… But these explanations has the premisse that everyone is good and will go stark crazy with revenge and off massacring people in devious planned ways. Now those ‘rational explanations’ for the most unreasonable and senseless behaviour don’t make any sense to me anymore.

Heath Ledger’s Joker tries to play that spiel, but since we as viewers see him give a different talk every time, you know it’s HIM, not some pitiful misfortune. That is one of the strong points about the movie, which for me is an adult movie.

Out of curiosity I decided to read something that was posted before I started coming to lovefraud.Amazingly I came upon your article about “How Our Thoughts Affect Our Lives.” EXCELLENT as are all of your articles!This one was “Spot-on” with what my counselor and I were talking about today!We were actually discussing what I’ve learned from what I’ve read thus far in the book “Self-Compassion” by Kristin Neff PH.D.Because we do learn the ways to live and make decisions from childhood,it becomes necessary to talk to ourselves(atleast mentally!)to change some things.Just as your grandfather “whispered” to mules.As for balking-it could have cost me my life!

The book I mentioned above shows that we need to be kind to ourselves.Everyone needs hugs,consoling touch.Hopefully we have lots of supportive friends.But if not,we can still (in private) talk kindly and consolingly to ourselves,stroke our face or arm gently;even hug ourselves.

Ox Drover

Blssom4t, thanks for bringing this artcle back up. Actually I NEEDED TO READ IT AGAIN. I write articles as much (or moreso) for myself as for anyone else. I need to remind myself to be GENTLE with myself, and to give myself compassion and grace.

Glad you enjoyed the article. I have read about every article here on LF…I set out to read them all, by going to the Author’s category and starting and reading all of them from start to finiish. I occassionally come across one now and then from 2006 or 7 that I missed but I ave read most of them at least once and many twice or more.

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