Don't Let The Coronavirus Infect Your Relationships

this thread is about domestic violence. But it is also about the power that narcissists have in many settings, using tools such as gaslighting, in places such as forum boards.
It is so insidious, so blatant, yet, so hidden in plain sight, is it true you’ve needed me to point out its violence upon the simple act of conversation here?

Cultural Marxism is used to divide us

Don’t fall for it. Thank you AO.
I would second that. Too many people use words like conservative or socialist not as actual descriptive labels but as "snarl words". You might as well fill the label in with "badly bad badness person". Disagree with the words someone uses and reply to that, instead of inserting overly broad generalities and label them with a term that is heavy with the sugar syrup that no one can agree on.

I am my own person, confident in my values and views, which are sometimes but not always fully expressed on this site. Suffice to say on this topic we are once again facing a disinterested majority. This is nothing new… Pity. We as a society are all the poorer for it.
D Trammel, I find your comment rather rich…

I had my reason. If you go back through the threads, you might be able to figure it out. To reassure you though, anything I’ve ever posted has been accurate to the best of my knowledge. And I’ve posted a lot of valuable information. You might even find the thread, probably more than 10 years ago, where I first recommended elderberry (in the form of Sambucol) for its anti-viral effects which had not been mentioned on this site previously to my knowledge. You might also find Fin thanking me for the recommendation of the book, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (which was pre 2016 so I wouldn’t be surprised if her opinion completely flipped on him). Or conversely, her post denigrating the site on March 31, 2019 which I think she might find to be a bit embarrassing now.
If you are truly interested in finding context, go back and search through all those threads. I think you’ll find context that explains a lot. If you want to judge on the basis of partial knowledge, be my guest but you’ll probably wind being as right as Fin was about Captain Queeg, meaning not at all. For one, you’ll see context of someone who is insecure about their educational level and insecure about their lack of financial success repeatedly ragging on those better educated and more financially successful. Well, that and the frequently incorrect accompanying statements get annoying and I’m only human so I respond.
Yeah, I am the opposite of a diplomat. I was so impressed with how diplomatic Chris was with the virologist. I’m the anti-diplomat. If you want a war started, send me in and I’ll wind up doing it without even intending to, lol. But at least I’m not a self righteous hypocrite. I guess that comes from being the son of a Marine drill sergeant and learning never to back down regardless of the odds (including hypocrites who purportedly oppose bullying, piling on and bullying themselves) and calling them as I see them, political correctness be damned. I was raised as a fighter which perhaps wasn’t the best thing for peace and harmony but if I hadn’t been, to be quite frank, I wouldn’t be alive today. So you can pass judgement on me but to use a quote someone else used here, you haven’t walked in my moccasins.
If you wish to live in an echo chamber and never encounter dissent or debate and you want everything sugar coated, that’s fine. You won’t learn nearly as much and the truth will frequently evade you. That being said, I’m through discussing the issue so the gossipers can enjoy their mutual massages.

"Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man! We shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out. " Hugh Latimer - 1487 - 1555
1. They tell blatant lies.
You know it’s an outright lie. Yet they are telling you this lie with a straight face. Why are they so blatant? Because they’re setting up a precedent. Once they tell you a huge lie, you’re not sure if anything they say is true. Keeping you unsteady and off-kilter is the goal.

2. They deny they ever said something, even though you have proof. You know they said they would do something; you know you heard it. But they out and out deny it. It makes you start questioning your reality—maybe they never said that thing. And the more they do this, the more you question your reality and start accepting theirs.
3. They use what is near and dear to you as ammunition. They know how important your kids are to you, and they know how important your identity is to you. So those may be one of the first things they attack. If you have kids, they tell you that you should not have had those children. They will tell you'd be a worthy person if only you didn't have a long list of negative traits. They attack the foundation of your being.
4. They wear you down over time. This is one of the insidious things about gaslighting—it is done gradually, over time. A lie here, a lie there, a snide comment every so often...and then it starts ramping up. Even the brightest, most self-aware people can be sucked into gaslighting—it is that effective. It's the "frog in the frying pan" analogy: The heat is turned up slowly, so the frog never realizes what's happening to it. 5. Their actions do not match their words. When dealing with a person or entity that gaslights, look at what they are doing rather than what they are saying. What they are saying means nothing; it is just talk. What they are doing is the issue. 6. They throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you. This person or entity that is cutting you down, telling you that you don't have value, is now praising you for something you did. This adds an additional sense of uneasiness. You think, "Well maybe they aren't so bad." Yes, they are. This is a calculated attempt to keep you off-kilter—and again, to question your reality. Also look at what you were praised for; it is probably something that served the gaslighter.
7. They know confusion weakens people. Gaslighters know that people like having a sense of stability and normalcy. Their goal is to uproot this and make you constantly question everything. And humans' natural tendency is to look to the person or entity that will help you feel more stable—and that happens to be the gaslighter.
8. They project. They are a drug user or a cheater, yet they are constantly accusing you of that. This is done so often that you start trying to defend yourself, and are distracted from the gaslighter's own behavior. 9. They try to align people against you. Gaslighters are masters at manipulating and finding the people they know will stand by them no matter what—and they use these people against you. They will make comments such as, "This person knows that you're not right," or "This person knows you're useless too." Keep in mind it does not mean that these people actually said these things. A gaslighter is a constant liar. When the gaslighter uses this tactic it makes you feel like you don't know who to trust or turn to—and that leads you right back to the gaslighter. And that's exactly what they want: Isolation gives them more control. 10. They tell you or others that you are crazy. This is one of the most effective tools of the gaslighter, because it's dismissive. The gaslighter knows if they question your sanity, people will not believe you when you tell them the gaslighter is abusive or out-of-control. It's a master technique. 11. They tell you everyone else is a liar.
By telling you that everyone else (your family, the media) is a liar, it again makes you question your reality. You've never known someone with the audacity to do this, so they must be telling the truth, right? No. It's a manipulation technique. It makes people turn to the gaslighter for the "correct" information—which isn't correct information at all. The more you are aware of these techniques, the quicker you can identify them and avoid falling into the gaslighter's trap.
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D Trammel, I find your comment rather rich…Jan
Why Jan? Clearly you meant your comment as a put down, but didn't bother to justify why you felt my points weren't valid. Please elaborate? One of the things I don't care for in internet forum discussions is too few people actually can have an disagreement over an issue without resulting in going for emotional button pushing, rather than a calm back and forth over the facts. People want to score points with their tribe, not change minds. Care to prove me wrong?  
Can a Gaslighter Justify Their Gaslighting Fraud? Answer Truthfully ... dtrammel
I know what "gaslighting" is Fionnbarr. I'm unclear what your list has to do with me? Are you somehow implying I'm trying to gaslight people here? ADDED: Fionnbarr has contacted me via PM, and we've cleared their point up. Disregard my question then.

Adam’s blog post is about how relationships can be damaged during these trying times, and the comments thread devolves into spiteful sniping and outright character assassination… I mean, not that I haven’t seen that here before, but did any of you read the original blog post by Adam? Do you consider yourselves to be in relationships with each other, at all? I mean, what the actual f**k are we all doing here, anyway?! Maybe we should reduce heat and simmer for just a little while.

Adam’s blog post is about how relationships can be damaged during these trying times, and the comments thread devolves into spiteful sniping and outright character assassination.
That bucket of cold water thrown is well timed, Alan. I heard today a segment on NPR. The reporter was speaking on this same topic and told that her own family situation had gotten rather tense. She had all of her family, husband and kids go out and sit in the car together, with some kicking rock and roll playing. They ended up singing to the music together and getting rid of a lot of stress. Perhaps we should go back to posting Youtube music videos here.

Jan, you ask the “men” to step up and engage in a conversation you want to have. Why do you think the participation or lack thereof is divided by gender ? Most people on this site do not have a gendered nickname nor a photo. I for one do not know or care of the gender of someone I am talking to here, and I realy do not know. Ao, Sparky, fionnbarh, durable, captain queg, robie – I have no idea of gender from those nicknames and do not see any reason to know or care about gender. Sand Puppy and Dtrammel included a photo, so if that is realy their photo, then they look male ( and please excuse me if I was presumptious in assuming that !)
I do not get your preoccupation with wanting to divide along gender lines. Why cant we just have our opinions and interests because those happen to be our opinions and interests ?

They are ALL closed captioned for the D/deaf and hard of hearing to enjoy as well!

Sand Puppy and Dtrammel included a photo, so if that is really their photo, then they look male.
No that's me.
Jan, you ask the “men” to step up and engage in a conversation you want to have.
I'm trying to make the point that not all of us have the foundation to address the subject some of you want to discuss. Unless you want us to just repost your preferred opinion or view point. That I won't do.

I yelled at Jan a few days ago and I should not have… I get carried away sometimes. Jan is one of my old friends here.
Anyway, I was going to post a music video as per DT, but then realized this would not be amenable for Jan. I do though have another form of escape that I have discovered recently that, although it has some simple soundtrack, is at least 95% eye candy. In these times of angst it’s just nice to escape… for me I have been watching and listening to old Carpenters and Glenn Campbell songs… not sure why but they are comforting to me.
Anyway, here is a few minutes of escape in rural China that show the beauty of a simpler, more self-sufficient kind of life;

I think people sometimes conflate nations with races. For instance, “Mexican” isn’t a race - or even a culture, really. Its a people in a country. Or a food. As in, “I practically grew up eating mexican food.” Is that racist? Well, not to me.
Likewise, “Chinese” isn’t a race either, it’s a country. Saying, as I did, that the virus came from Wuhan, China isn’t racist. Wuhan isn’t a race, its a city. Saying the CCP tried to cover it up - not racist either. CCP is a government, not a race. Saying this government committed a crime against humanity - that’s not racist either. They are a government, not a race. I’m a huge fan of Taiwan, and how they handled things. Taiwan isn’t a race either, its a country.
From my perspective, Trump went through a phase of calling it “Chinese” coronavirus because the CCP was trying to put the word out that the US actually planted it on Chinese territory, in order to blame-shift. I experienced this campaign first hand. Friends of mine in Asia were asking me, “hey, did the US really plant the virus?” Trump was just responding to that. He stopped doing it once the Chinese stopped pushing that theory.
Of course you still might persist in seeing things through a “race” lens, but to me it has little explanatory power in terms of what concepts are primary drivers of people’s actions. Certainly it didn’t explain my actions, Trump’s actions, or the CCP’s actions. Nobody was focused on race.
I did find it interesting that the CCP loves to use our own culture’s considerable focus on racism against us. They are fantastic at manipulation. Again, since the CCP isn’t a race, they’re a government/oligarchy, that’s not a racist comment.

Apropos of the ostensible topic at hand - stress during lockdown - I will totally go along with that. The whole feeling in my neighborhood has a strong undercurrent of fear to it. Even inside my home, I can feel it. I suspect that’s true worldwide.
What’s more, everyone has their own situation to deal with. For instance, if I were married to a healthcare worker, do you think that might add to the stress of my situation? Maybe a little. And let’s imagine that my wife had several friends at work who just recently tested positive for COVID. More stress.
So the tension and choice is, retaining togetherness and mutual support during this time of fear vs increased risk of exposure.
Nobody here really knows what the other guy (or gal) is actually going through.

Ao/troof, you gave a lengthy response but failed to answer the fundamental questions I asked about your PP alternative persona deception. I’ll restate my questions for clarity:

  1. For what purpose [did you create and continue to post under the alternative personal “troof”]?
  2. Why did you think that was ok?
  3. Were you playing or baiting people for more “thought exercises” [or for other purposes, i.e., what was your intent]?
  4. Are there any other alt personalities you’ve “adopted” here on PP that we should be aware of?
    This isn’t about being “accurate” or providing “valuable information”; or whether Fin thanked you, flipped her opinion on Ben Carson, denigrated you in the past and maybe is embarrassed today; or if Fin is, in your opinion, “…insecure about [his/her] educational level and insecure about [his/her] lack of financial success repeatedly ragging on those better educated and more financially successful,” or made frequently annoying “incorrect accompanying statements”, or allegedly bullied you while posturing opposition against bullying.
    Nor is this about political correctness, or your self-image of being the undiplomatic son of a Marine, a fighter who learned never to back down. (Somehow creating an alternative persona, and deflecting and evading explanations for doing so seem incongruent with your self-description of being a fighter and not backing down.)
    You said, “I had my reason,” but never state what that reason(s) was/is. Instead, you suggest several times with some intrigue that I “…go back through the threads, you might be able to figure it out, “ and, “If you are truly interested in finding context, go back and search through all those threads. I think you’ll find context that explains a lot.”
    No thanks, I seriously don’t have the time or inclination. (The one thread I waded through had more than 50 comments, short by today’s PP standards; but how many/which threads to wade through?) In doing so, I would be left to surmise whether correctly or incorrectly, your “reason” for creating and promulgating this alternative persona “troof”. Better for me to ask (again) and you answer rather than create any misunderstandings.
    Lastly, you’ve implied that I’m unfairly passing judgement upon you, “So you can pass judgement on me but to use a quote someone else used here, you haven’t walked in my moccasins.” I’ve stated my personal dismay at learning via your admission that you created an alternative PP persona, and my concern that this was misleading, duplicit and (frankly) a bit weird. (Did you up-vote your own comments and/or provide shadow statements/double team other PP commenters in support of your alt persona’s arguments? “Ao/troof, I couldn’t agree with you more!”)
    I asked you what IMO are valid questions regarding your reasons for doing so. You have not answered those questions.
    You also suggest, incorrectly and disjointedly, that my questioning your alternative persona deception is somehow an expression of my ”…wish to live in an echo chamber and never encounter dissent or debate and you want everything sugar coated…” I never said that or in any way implied that. That is simply, literally, non-sense–non sequitur.
    You also conclude (incorrectly) that somehow as a result of my raising these concerns that I “…won’t learn nearly as much and the truth will frequently evade [me]” and state in retreat, “I’m through discussing the issue so the gossipers can enjoy their mutual massages.” Note the classic Ao closing thinly veiled insulting punch-line zinger, “gossipers” and “mutual massages.”
    Ao/troof, it is you who is failing to provide truthful answers and evading the legitimate questions I posed regarding your alternative PP persona deception.
    Your history of creating and promulgating an alternative persona at the very least creates confusion, misleads and raises serious questions in my mind about your reasons and intentions for doing so; and whether or not you have recently or are continuing to do so. Beyond that, it makes me wonder about the many PP discussions where, IMO, you are often at the center of and/or perhaps fomenting dissent, discord and non-productive debate sometimes devolving into personal attacks.
    This is about integrity, authenticity and credibility. I’ll try to keep an open mind awaiting some plausible explanation about your reason(s) for doing so. In the absence of you providing some really compelling reasons, I personally will view your comments hereafter as those provided by one with very questionable integrity, credibility and motives.
    As you’ve been known to state: I await your response.

I completely agree with you. In response to the fear and stress, I think I’m starting to see more and more people acting out in my area, as well as the news on TV (my roommate’s) and online. I was at the laundromat yesterday, and as I was pulling dry clothes out and leaving wet ones in for more time, this younger woman kept getting closer and closer to me. Each time I backed up (I was wearing gloves and a mask the whole time), and she would put something into the nearby garbage can. Few moments later, same thing, I would back up, and she would take something different out of the garbage. No mask or gloves on her. Finally, as she’s leaving and going out the door, she says to me with lots of snark “I’m not contagious!”. I immediately leaned out the door and said “it’s about social distancing.” Then, she said “fuck you” and flipped me off. I didn’t bother responding because I thought it could get ugly. People on buses are getting weirder and weirder too…
Oh, one of my roommates’ coworkers refused to wear masks and gloves so he was fired yesterday since 2 or 3 co-workers were ready to walk off because of him. He had been very belligerent the last couple of weeks, kept insisting Jesus would protect him and everybody else, refused to acknowledge or be concerned if he happened to be asymptomatic and infect anybody they could die. She works at a food bank. For the last 2 or 3 weeks now, they have had people stand outside the building, ask what do you want, and then they have to back up when they open the door to place a box on the ground…

Linda, I haven’t yet had anyone give me attitude about me wearing a mask, nor keeping a safe distance when I’m out. Though as a crusty old fart who will speak his mind, I have thought what I would do if they did.
One part of me wants to print a small sign that says “I have lung cancer, please give me space”. I don’t but most people would understand the concern and step back.
The other part of me wants to print a sign that says “I will punch you in the fraking face!” and on the back side “Understand A$$hole?”
Of course I recently began conceal carry again with all the released prison inmates, which is legal in Missouri. Though maybe I should just buy some pepper spray. Or a can of Lysol? Lysol probably. Just turn and start spraying all around you. They would get the message. Though Lysol is hard to get. Maybe just air freshener, in a really bad smell.
ADDED: Maybe a sign that says “God says to pee on the Unbelievers!” Then just reach for your pants zipper.

Suggested by a friend: he recommended a discreet cough. Maybe a second, if the first one didn’t work. A fit of coughing if that second cough still didn’t work. That should help clear out the riff-raff out of near proximity. :slight_smile:
The whole “Jesus will protect me” thing is a tough one. This time really brings all these “different life approaches” right to the surface.
I remain torn. I know my immune system works better when I am at peace - that’s just biochemistry. The trick is, how to remain in that state of peace with a viral gun to my head!
Maybe - watch less news that seems to sell fear 24/7?
I also know that hugging is really helpful, emotionally, for many people - including me! It causes the brain to release oxytocin, which itself triggers reactions in the body that encourages immune and regeneration functions vs. muscles & fight/flight responses that the fear/stress response generates.
Is blocking out time in the schedule for a good 20 minute hugging session too much engineering-managment approach to life? :slight_smile:
The whole thing is a balancing act between common sense risk minimization, while still allowing space for emotional support - which translates directly into immune system support.
Ultimately my prescription is: be prudent, but not fearful.

Well, “how to remain in that state of peace with a viral gun to my head!” is definitely a balancing act. Some days I spend less time on websites than other days, and when I need to I will watch music videos of rock 'n roll usually from the 80’s-90’s.
I’ll be going to my garden in the next day or two to start planting and do prep work, and later this week shop for more veggie starts too.
Sometimes I watch some of the Corona parodies on YouTube, and some of them are very funny and some well done.
I’ve seen 3 or 4 Bohemian Rhapsody parodies. This one “My Name is Corona” I watched four times laughing hysterically, and then I bookmarked it for future reference.
I agree with your prescription too.