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Eleventh set of Boundary Stomps
2019.10.15 15:13 ForwardPlentyEleventh set of Boundary Stomps
Well, it appears that we have embarked on a never ending ocean voyage. The voyage across all the seven seas of boundary stomps. Some are little things, like BEC comments, CBF and minor annoyances in an effort to provide reactive abuse. Then there are some Unforgivable ActsTM that cause us to pull our hair and go screaming into the unknown dark. These are their stories.
It is truly amazing that these boundary stomps never end. I am thinking that there an infinite number of ways to boundary stomp.
Googled Guilt Trip
So if you are going to send me a love bomb, please make it original. If you are going to send me a guilt trip, please just tailor it to my specific guilt buttons and control levers, there is no need to send me an internet meme that you try to pass off as original material. If you are going to send me an apology, don't google apologies and then send those to me. If you are such a lizard person that you don't have original thoughts and feelings, maybe that is an issue. If you have to look on line to come up with something suitable, then maybe you should have some level of self-awareness that it is inappropriate to pass off someone else's material to make your point.
Honestly, that hurt worse than the insincere non apologies. To know that my mother doesn't give a shit about me enough to even come up with her own apologies, or her own words, and has to COPY AND PASTE from INTERNET sites to try and get me to do what she wants me to do HURT. I wasn't even worth reading a book, I was a googled apology site and a viral book of faces post. Link
Emotional Withholding (Silent Treatment)
In Emotional Withholding a person uses their affection, praise, and presence as a weapon against you. They do this as a way to maintain control, save face, or even just actively hurt you. Simply put, avoidant abuse is someone willingly withdrawing affection with the specific goal to hurt your feelings or control you. It's a form of psychological abuse that's particularly cutting, since humans need love and affection in order to feel happy in a relationship. In general, when you choose to limit your interactions with a JustNO, it is to eliminate toxicity in your life. When a JustNO decides to limit contact, it is to control and punish.
The inlaws got a hotel room big enough for us to share, we tried to get out of it, we lost. Our baby was having trouble napping in new surroundings so I stayed with them for nap. My inlaws come back with groceries and proceed to slam cabinets whilst putting things away. My husband asks if MIL can close the cabinets quietly since baby is sleeping and she lost her fucking mind. She proceeded to cuss him out, in front of oldest child btw, and then didn't speak to my husband the rest of the trip. I was fucking floored. Had BIL not been graduating the next day, we would have left. I was furious. In an attempt to not make shit more awkward, I just avoided her and kept it together until we left. This was 4 months ago and we haven't heard from her since. My husband has attempted to call her several times because this is stupid and he's over it. She's holding him hostage emotionally by not answering or returning his calls. He can't have peace because he doesn't know why they're fighting. Our oldest child's birthday was 2 months ago and she didn't even text them. No call. No card. Nothing. FIL called and sent a gift card. I was absolutely beside myself. Oldest child is a teenager and is definitely old enough to have noticed. I cannot describe how much watching them be hurt over this upsets me. Link
whenever Geppetto didn’t want us to do something, or she was mad that we didn’t agree with what she said or wanted, or whatever delusional fight she had in her head that none of us knew about - she would shut down completely. Won’t look at you, speak to you, feed you, acknowledge you at all. For days. Weeks even if she was that pissed. But part of this silent treatment was a game - a game that she almost always won with her kids because by then we would have to make some sort of acknowledgement bc we need her for something or our dad told us to make peace with her - and then she’d win the game and she’d be nice to us for a little bit before she had another fit. That is the best way to summarize a manipulation tactic she’s perfected over 20 years. Link
The "Innocent" texts
You ask for space. Instead, your JustNO sends you "innocent" texts having to do with routine things like a cable bill or some other nonsense. It is clear what they are doing, yet they want you to fly off the handle so that they can paint you as the bad guy. This may be part of a campaign of reactive abuse or just an overall JustNO behavior.
I told her the only person destroying our relationship was her and that if she ever mentions cousins name to be again, I will cut her out of my life. I went on to say I'm tired of her victim blaming a sexual assault victim and supporting her abuser, even if it's indirectly. I then said I was done with this drama and would be taking my space. She sent two more texts to say goodnight and that she loved me immediately after that. The next morning I woke up with a text from her saying the payment for Netflix came through (we share several streaming services - that's the only one she pays for) and the amount. I barely glanced at it, at the time, and didn't respond. I spent the entire day, aside from the moment of annoyance when I woke up, free from the drama - everyone else had respected my request.
Emotional Vampirism - Holiday Edition
So some people light up the room when they come in, some light it up when they leave. Many JustNO's really know how to suck all the emotional energy of a holiday from each and every participant. Example:
we had been looking forward to a winterval of peace, and goodwill to all not-MIL. now we’re going to have to put up with her emotional vampirism all through the season. she’ll attempt to crash Xmas Eve. she’ll want to take kiddo to see ‘Santa’ (father fucking christmas in this house, thank you). she’ll buy a wildly inappropriate amount of entirely unwanted gifts, then complain that we have too much stuff and that she’s running out of money. she’ll compliment whatever veggie food we make to our faces, then do the phone rounds of the few people who still put up with her nonsense to whine about never having a Traditional Christmaaaaaaas. Link
Stalking your Social Media
Some JustNOs will love to dig up any kind of dirt about you, especially if they can use it for abuse later on. Whether they comment on your posts, or look at your likes and dislikes to determine how horrible you are, it is invasive, and worthy of being called a boundary stomp. This could be a subset of an overall stalking campaign, or something they just can't help when seeing a post on someone else's page and they just have to see who liked. This may in fact happen a lot, but most people don't file the information away to attack someone later.
MIL sent DH a screenshot of where you can see friends who “like” a page and there was DH and I - y’all she had a come-apart. Going on and on about “how could you support this” “people are talking” “it looks bad that you like this” “what does God think?!”. Link
For those who think that things will get better
Sometimes with a lot of work, and having a strong partnership with your SO, you can reach some level of homeostasis with your JustNO where you are not constantly on the brink of an emotional precipice all the time. Sometimes though, even though you think things are okay, it is just because you aren't being faced with the daily insanity. That is until they move in with you or some other event happens that upsets the carefully crafted balance.
It still galls me that after everything she put me and my marriage AND hubs through, after all the manipulations, guilt trips, martyr complex, playing the victim, trash talking, gossiping and all over justNO behavior, she ends up having to live with us and isn't even grateful or appreciative of anything! She's an attention seeking asshole. But here she is, in my home after trying to destroy my life for over 12 years... Link
And what is really going through their minds when they send you notes begging for you to get back in touch and then they post something like this on social media:
"Familys don't set boundarys only people who are trying to do bad things and hide their bad ways from their familys is who set boundarys. I gave birth to 2 kids with the expectitations that those 2 kids will be my kids for life. I didn't give birth to 2 kids to be told what i could and could not do and I refuse to do so. I have rights as a parent and rights as a grand parent and I will be damned if one of my kids try and tell me what I can and cant do. They're gonna learn; I am the mom and what i say goes. They won't be talking about boundarys anymore anytime soon."Link
Sometimes when you have strong opinions about things, you feel the need to proselytize those things. Now obviously there are adult things that you don't really discuss with children, like Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. There are also things that you don't discuss unless you are their parent, like where babies come from. Sometimes a JustNO might just want to go overboard and show the little tykes where milk, butter and meat come from. With graphic pictures.
Today, my vegan sister told my kids where meat and dairy products come from, in a very detailed way. They now refuse to eat meat, and want to, "rescue all the poor animals."
Ignoring your boundaries: The "I can't remember all your silly rules" defense.
By way of example, you have some simple rules for visiting your child. The child has specific health concerns because of being born prematurely. You ask visitors to remove shoes so they don't track in the outside dirt, and to wash their hands before grabbing baby. Seems really reasonable, right? You only ask that people who purport to love and cherish your child would bend over backward and walk on glass to protect this child. What do they do? Each visit they "forget" to take off their shoes, they keep walking when you and everyone else in the room reminds them. They go directly to grabby-grabby mode with the child, forgetting of course, that they have neglected to wash their hands. Then they make the excuse that they already picked them up, so whats the additional harm. They basically have ignored your rules, and use the excuse, "I forgot." Say they run over someone in the crosswalk, is "I Forgot," a valid excuse? If they kill your child because they picked up some salmonella on the grocery cart and then passed it along to the child, is "I forgot," a valid excuse. Yeah, I think not. This applies to a lot of boundary stomps. Call you at 3:00AM to chat, "I forgot," that you have to get up in two hours and it takes you an hour to get back to sleep from the panic mode. Drop off old, dirty and broken toys to the kids, "I forgot," that you asked me specifically not to do this. Let your animals out, so they run away and are never found again, "I forgot," that they are indoor animals, and are not trained to be outside without people present. The list goes on, but it is clearly a sign of disrespect and a power and control issues, since who are you to tell them what to do, so better to avoid conflict and ignore the request than to acknowledge it and change their behavior.
Alright I've officially had enough. We forgave you when you got drunk and crashed the care we were buying, when you fell asleep watching the kids and they both had kitchen knives, when you gave the 9 month old a bottle of prescription pills to play with, when you came to place we lived, ate our food lived at the pool and didn't help at all, when you stuck me with $5k of debt as a "gift"... the list goes on and on. You have never apologized nor accepted responsibility for any of it. Link
My ILs arrive and my DH is like hey can you all take off your shoes and I swear it's like pulling teeth. They aren't up in arms just act sort of oblivious. And everything is "oh haha okie dokie"-mil. Take off your damn flip flops how hard is it? Anyways this went on over and over throughout the visit. They'd come over and one of them would "forget" and walk onto our home. Like my DH would meet them at the door and mil would be walking into the kitchen with shoes on so I'd say hey can you take off your shoes and I swear I'm like ignored and DH is calling from behind to take off her shoes also. So same with washing hands. My DH has to remind mil over and over. Like hey Mom wash your hands...no, wash your hands, please wash your hands before it like registers or she would do it. And she like auto grabbed at the baby without washing first. Then fil will wash his hands, grab a dog toy, rough house the dog, and touch my toddlers face. Link
I’m beginning to notice that my MIL does not listen to things we’ve requested for her to do. I.E. touch base with me once or twice a day, follow a feeding schedule, certain exercises our physical therapist wants done (son might need a helmet). She has an excuse for everything and a rebuttal to everything I ask of her. She’s read an article or doesn’t agree with our doctors or when she raised her kids she did this.. (30+ yrs ago). It’s getting to the point that it’s coming across as rude and disrespectful. When I ask for clarification because there’s hardly any communication on her end from what happened during the day, I get an attitude. Link
Missing Missing Reasons
This isn't a boundary stomp in and of itself, but is a major aspect of why people end up going no contact. You set a simple boundary butt the JustNO feels it is their duty to watch out for your health and wellbeing, so they feel free to ignore your pleas to stop, because you need to hear what they have to say. If you would just listen to them (bend to their will), everything would be fine. Missing Missing Reason article They hear what you have to say, they just can't fathom that you could feel any different than them. They hear you and your reasons, they hear you tell them exactly what you need from them and how they are hurting you. But because THEY don't feel that way and are narcs who cannot understand that other people have different feelings than them that means you can't feel that way. It doesn't make sense to them and they can't take your word for it because that would mean stepping outside what they think and how they feel and what THEY want. And JustNO’s can't do that. They can't just do something out of consideration for another person because that concept doesn't exist for them.
I think I spoke for about half an hour, laying out all the ways she'd hurt us in the past year, all her inappropriate behavior. ... And then - she said this: "OK that's all fine and well, but what do you want me to apologize for...?" Seriously! I'd just explained that as well as I was able to without putting the actual words in her mouth! She kept pretending she didn't understand. Link
The JustNO hears that you went to visit the doctor, or you had some minor medical procedure or god forbid you have some tests run. The JustNO blows up your phone. She visited the doctor once, and now she is an expert in the medical field and wants to know everything about everything. What did the doctor say? What are your symptoms, of course it is not as bad as when she had completely different thing, which she will tell you all about at length, but you still need to spill all the beans so she can tell all her friends how supportive she is and what a poor pitiful soul you are.
My phone starts to buzz around 1ish. It's Heartburn. I ignore the call, put the phone on silent and put it face down. I'm in to mood to socialize since I've just had a nurse play xylophone on my ribs. I mention it to DFH and it turns out she tried him first. Then his phone rings again. I tell him if he has to answer, tell her I'm fine and nothing else. Easy right? Nope. She probes him so hard that he ends up telling her I have a consultant and that my test results will go back there. (This is after she whined that she was sooooo woooorieeeed because no one told her anythiiiing. There's literally nothing to tell.) I asked him why he told her those things and he said "Well she asked." We had a row and he literally told me "Since I've done it wrong apparently, you can deal with her in future. She only cares." She doesn't care. She wants the sympathy card because FDIL is poooorly. She literally makes it feel like she wants me to be ill. Also no, I'm not dealing with her. I won't speak to her for this reason. She's not my mother. It's not my problem you can't keep your mouth shut. Also this is none of her damn fucking business. My health isn't a spectator sport. It's for me to decide who I tell about it and who I don't. I want to deal with it my own damn way.
This comes up a lot. The JustNO wants to remain in the prime, number one spot in your SO's life. She wants to come in first for everything. The SO may be 30, married to you, has four kids, a house and job, but JustNO still has to be first in his life. He has to visit everyday and text ten times a day. The JustNO is getting upset constantly because you have changed SO and he no longer wants to spend every minute with her. Obviously it is your fault, and he just needs to send you on your way so they can be together. Ugh
After dinner is when the blow-up happens. MIL pulls my SO aside and is crying and very upset and tells him that he needs to choose between her and I and she is upset with him as a son. This seems to come out of nowhere, since nothing has been discussed (at least to my knowledge) up to this point. She made it clear she didn't like me, thought her son could do better, and that she was so sad her baby son moved away from home. Nothing about how her son joined the military and that's why he moved... I should mention that my SO handled this well. He flat out told her that she should never ask him to choose because she wouldn't like his answer and he came back to me right after dropping her off that night.Link
A JustNO will sometimes impersonate you for a variety of reasons. They may use this for fraud, to get money out of your bank, to get access to medical, school or employment records, to access you house or to derail your wedding or shower, or other event. This stems from a sense of entitlement that you and they are really the same person so it really isn't doing anything wrong.
Over the course of my pregnancy MIL has crossed just about every line imaginable, from impersonating me (to access medial files, be rude to my friends and cancel baby shops) to making copies of our door keys and letting herself into our flat to sending out invites to a baby shower we didn't want with a name we weren't using. Link
Flowers after days of the silent treatment. Crocodile tears after weeks of brutal insults. An unexpected extravagant gift after a rage attack. A sudden moment of tenderness after hours of critical remarks. What do these all have in common? In the context of an abusive relationship, they are all demonstrations of intermittent reinforcement – a dangerous manipulation tactic used to keep you bonded to your abuser. There is almost always intermittent reinforcement at work in a relationship with a malignant narcissist or manipulator because abuse is usually mixed in with periodic affection at unpredictable moments. Intermittent reinforcement works precisely because our “rewards” (which could be anything from the fleeting normalcy of affection to a display of the abuser’s remorse) are given to us sporadically throughout the abuse cycle. This causes us to work harder to sustain the toxic relationship because we desperately want to go back to the “honeymoon phase” of the abuse cycle. Intermittent reinforcement along with the effects of trauma ensure that we become “addicted” to the hope of reaping our “reward” despite evidence that we’re risking our own safety and well-being. Thought Catalog: Intermittent Reinforcement
Some JustNO's just love to override parental authority. Decisions on what the child wears, what the child eats and what the children are exposed to and at what ages. Stepping on the parental alienation boundary, they plant ideas in their grandchildren's heads and set the child up for opposition. Gramma says Maybe they don't like what you are feeding the kids. They don't like what religion you are raising them in, or what languages they speak. They don't like what you dress them in, either. You really can't do anything right.
Basically, I gave my 7yo son a sip of wine, because he asked for it and I thought it could be a teachable moment about alcohol (I knew he wouldn't like the taste, and was hoping that would keep him away from it/quell his curiosity). MIL found out, as my son told her on a facetime, and was very upset. She thinks its going to cause my son to be an alcoholic, I'm a terrible parent, I drink too much, all that jazz... call. Looking back, I made a huge mistake in telling her that, but hindsight is 20/20 unfortunately. Fast-forward, I'm done shopping, get back in the car, and open my phone to a string of texts from DH. MIL was AT THE HOUSE. during all this, with our son around?? I swear all I saw was red while I was driving home. I'm getting angry even typing this out now. I got home while she was still there and tried to keep my composure while demanding why she was at our house, to which she told me that she "needed to see what was going on around here." link
Just No wants you to be a surrogate for her
When a relative asks you to be a surrogate, it is not like Phoebe from "Friends" it can impact your relationships for life. Imagine having a little brother or siste in-Law that you have carried as your own kid. Imaging the boundary stomping that that would entail, and the amount of interaction that you would need with the In-law as you had to go through each and every doctor's appointment and eventual labor of someone else's baby. Familial surrogacy is strongly discouraged.
my 50 year old MIL has asked me to be her surrogate! Husband and I have been married for 3 months, we have spoken about having a child of our own but have put it off since we’re only 23. MIL has asked me to be her surrogate and idk how to react Link
It could be someone else, like your ex-so's brother and his wife that can't have children. After a long history of manipulation and awful behavior, you should do this for him. Yeah, Right. How are you doing? We heard that you an ex bf are back together and the family is so happy. Me and my wife are so very happy for you guys too. (long rant about the personal struggles he and his wife were going through) And we are trying to have a child for over a year and just discovered neither of us can have children so when we heard you guys were back together we thought you both could be our surrogates, together. Isn't that awesome? He is my brother, you already have experience with it and we have already discussed everything with ex bf and he agreed, you guys will give us the ultimate gift. Let's facetime to settle everything this evening what do you think?' Link
"Can I ask you something without you getting angry?"
The answer is "NO! Absolutely not. You know that whatever you are about to say would make me angry and I probably have told you a thousand times that whatever you have to say on this subject is off limits and a boundary stomp." Sure it sound innocuous, and you are really supposed to say (in that crazy world that the squirrels in her brain have constructed) "But of course, why yes you can dump all the shit in the world on my shoulders and I will just smile, because I agreed that I wouldn't get upset." Normally when this question is asked they know full well that it is normally something that would make you angry and they want to avoid the brunt of your justifiable anger, while still seeing you get upset and getting their Narc Feed off your recognition of their betrayal. In fact, they are probably going to tell you something that you know already, like you have gained a few pounds and you are now overweight, but they just have to point it out because then you will eat less and be a much more healthy person, you should in fact thank them for their love and support. Maybe they will ask you about when they are getting grandchildren, after you have just put them on time out for two weeks because they have baby rabies and won't shut up about it because you need to have babies to fulfil your life and she is just innocently pointing this out and you get irrationally upset every time she points it out. Except it doesn't work that way. They don't get to dictate your reaction before the fact, knowing full well what a normal reaction should be. This won't stop them from telling you anyway, but at least then you can justifiably be angry at them without breaking some worthless agreement. Drama Mama
Finding you a replacement spouse, fiance or SO.
Sometimes the JustNO hates you so much that they actively search for a replacement. Then to top it off they will point it out in front of you, while laughing about it.
The "funny story" turns into MIL telling DH that her and biddies were talking about how they wish they could match DH with the daughter and how perfect it would be. Don't you think it would have been perfect DH ??? At this point, DH gets pissed and says I already have a perfect wife and this is weird and walks away. I get home a few hours later and have no idea about this when MIL starts chatting and also tells me the "funny story" but more in a "isn't it so funny this girl has a crush on DH". Link
Maybe they don't actively search for a replacement spouse, but they will take the opportunity to introduce someone they like and hope that you will throw away your current one and like the one they present. Link And JNMIL Tried to set me up on a date And here's one where MIL tried to set up husband with a female co-worker, because she wanted an Hispanic DIL Link.
Finding someone to seduce spouse while you are away
When all else fails to split up your child with their horrible spouse, what else can you possibly do to drive a wedge between them?
Current move was to have a female try to seduce DH while I was back in my hometown taking care of my sick mother. Link
Then there are those JustNO's who will actually pay someone to seduce your spouse.
Shortly after this, JNMIL encouraged him to become friends with the daughter of a family friend. JNMIL then literally paid this girl to get DH to cheat on me with her, and was successful. I found out when I was 8.5 months along. JNMIL continued to encourage him to leave me, cheat on me, deny the baby, everything. He wavered A LOT, and definitely made some bad choices. Link
Encouraging your spouse to date other people
Sometimes a JustNO will really overstep. They may not like you, but there is a whole level of crazy where they suggest that your spouse go date someone else. They may actually set you up with blind dates without your knowledge.
At this point, MIL steps in and counsels BIL to start dating and seeing other women. She says things like, "the era of SIL is over," and "SIL will have to get a job now to support herself and those kids". She has also said "SIL hides behind her kids" just because SIL has better things to do than travel 2 states to be insulted to her face by her in-laws. MIL to this day (years later) encourages BIL to date other people and tells everyone else in the family he should date others as well. I have heard her state this as recently as a month ago. As a reminder, BIL and SIL are still very much married. Link
Telling you to break up with your SO
It is obvious to your JustNO that if you break up with your spouse/fiancé/SO that they will then bend over backwards to try to win you back. Of course, who will they run to in order to get the sage advise they need to get their life back on track, well, the JustNO of course. It only makes sense, they aren't following the life script that the JustNO has laid out, so get the SO out of the picture, they go running back and then once back on track the JustNO will allow them to get back with you, maybe, or someone else, it doesn't really matter to them. In fact it doesn't matter that their progeny is happy, may have children with you, they have a good paying job, a house, a dog, and two chickens in the pot.
She invited me out to lunch to try to convince me to BREAK UP after 5 YEARS with FDH thinking that would motivate him to get a better job in order to “win me back” When I told her I love her son, and that he seems very happy at the job he is at although he may not make as much money she doubled down. “But what if you break up with him? He might be more motivated to get a better job and make more money” Link
Paying you to leave your SO
Some JustNO's have the idea that you will just turn on your heel and leave their precious babies if they give you a sum of money, "to help you move out and get your own place." In reality it is just a bribe and really low and disgusting. There are two strategies, one is to take the money and go on vacation with your SO, and the other is to ignore, and tell everyone you know what a low down disgusting sewer rat your JustNO is.
On my lunch break, I went for my daily walk, when a car pulls up to me. It’s JNMIL, leaning out the window. She’s all smiles. She asks how I am, isn’t the weather great, it’s so amazing to see me up and about, I’m such an inspiration to her! (Note: I have one leg.) I don’t have much of a chance to reply. She says it must be hard for me to be nearing 40 and still live with a “roommate.” I’m used to her BS, but I stopped dead, seeing red. She offered me a gift of 10k for “being such a good friend to her daughter” and to “help me move into my own place.” Guys. It’s been seven years, and I thought she couldn’t do anything to surprise me, but she keeps out-doing herself. Link
Fake Break Up Letters
Maybe you just have to break into your Son's house when he is away on a business trip, and leave a neatly typed up break up letter for his wife or SO to read when she wakes up. I would guess that oversteps some boundaries somewhere.
He left very early in the morning for the trip. I slept and woke up to find a letter in the kitchen that, to summarize, read -I’m not really on a business trip. I’m breaking off the engagement because I cannot be attracted to you at this weight. I love you as a friend but don’t want to commit to living an unfulfilling life. I thought I could love who were enough to get past what you look like but I’m not strong enough. Please forgive me. To make this as easy as possibly on both of us, I think it would be best if we don’t see each other for a while. Take these next couple days to pack your things and make living arrangements. Please respect my wishes and be gone before I return. *The really odd thing is he capped it all off with “I’ll always have a special place in my heart for our time together [distinct pet name].” It was not his writing style at all. Even though he didn’t write this letter or have anything to do with it at all it’s stirred up a lot of dormant insecurities and fears that I am now having to experience and fiancé is having to help cope with while busy on a job site and recovering from emergency surgery. I can’t believe the nerve of this woman. Fiancé called the cops so there’s a record of her breaking and entering at least but no neighboring cameras got her and we can’t prove she was inside the house so the police can’t charger her or anything. Link
2019.06.27 23:03 chubbybunnybeanI gambled going on the first date because of all the red flags, and I ended up winning big time!
This is just a fun and cutesy story where I wanted to gush about my now wife. If it doesn't belong here I have no problem taking it down. Just over seven years ago I had recently lost a significant amount of weight. I truly believed that was the reason I had been alone the last six years. So now that I felt dateable again I put myself out there on dating websites as much as I could. I talked with a few women but those went no where and I was feeling really bad and honestly thought I would be alone for the rest of my life. I was talking to several women at once, doing my best to cast as many reels as I could. One day I got a message from one of the dating sites. This was a rarity, I was almost never the one to get contacted first. I looked at her profile. It was blank with the exception of three sentences. I quote, "I don't do drama. If you do, fuck off. If you don't, let's grab a drink and sing karaoke." Red flag number one. All of her pictures were of either two girls, or multiple people. So I didn't even know which one she was. Red flag number two. I was honestly so desperate and so alone I was willing to give anyone a chance no matter how much foresight was telling me to walk away. For about six weeks Anna and I got to know each other via text and phone calls. She lived about an hour and a half away from me. We were the same age, interested in the same hobbies and had similar life styles, both on our own, drank and smoke rarely ect. I wanted to meet up. We kept making plans and she kept canceling them last minute due to "my roommate is sick, I have to take her to the hospital" and lots of other excuses. Red flag number three. I didn't want to keep wasting my time on someone who wasn't interested in me. So finally I said, "You're free tomorrow, I'm free tomorrow. This is your last chance. If you stand me up again I'm done." So, she agreed. I drove up to see her (she didn't have a car) and we met at a McDonalds. She was a drop dead gorgeous red head with stunning blue eyes. I became stupid and instead of saying "hello, nice to meet you" whatever, I ended up stammering something along the lines of how nice her teeth were. Once we knew neither of us were getting catfished we decided to walk along the way to a wine bar. We got there, and had a few glasses each. However there were loooooong breaks in the conversation because she wouldn't. get. off. her. damn. phone. Red flag number four. Afterwards with each of us having a little buzz from the wine we decided to end the night by taking a little stroll as well as some star gazing. She lived out in the country so the stars were much more viewable then where I lived. We walked, and decided to sit down on the grass in front of a glowing Best Buy sign. We began to talk, have an actual conversation for the first time that night. I noticed a scar near her eyebrow and I asked her about it. Anna said an old ex had gotten violent and ripped her eyebrow piercing out during a fight. It was now or never. I leaned up and kissed the scar. If it was too much, I could pass it off as an innocent gesture. If she liked it, my lips were now close enough to hers to start a smooch fest. And a smooch fest turned into one that lasted about four hours. As we were saying our goodbyes I offered to drive her home but she explained her roommate was coming, they had to do their grocery shopping anyways. Our second date was a few days later, it was impulsive as I was dropping off a friend who lived close enough that I could stop by and see her. She met up with me high off her ass, red flag number five. So we ended up just talking in my car till dawn. I offered to drive her home again. That's when she confessed something to me. She still lived with her parents, red flag number six. She gave me an out as she had lied and this was a little bit of a deal breaker for me. I had spent my teenage hood awkwardly meeting my girlfriend's parents because I had no other choice. As a woman closer to thirty then I was twenty, this wasn't something I wanted to revisit. But I was honestly falling really hard for her and decided to stick it out. Meeting her parents after the third date was awkward and when they knocked on her door to ask when I was leaving because I wasn't allowed to spent the night was even more awkward. We had a LOT of bumps in the first six months of dating. She was smoking weed every single minute she wasn't at work, which she had lied about, red flag number seven. I don't care about other people, do what you want to do. It just wasn't my life style, at that point I could count on one hand how many times I had smoked. Her friends were insane. Red flag number eight. I not only witnessed them feeding her drugs and booze, but every time we got into an argument. Little disagreements, nothing big that involved screaming or yelling. My phone would blow up with her "friends" threatening my life. One of them posted on my facebook, "You made A cry! I am going to hit you in the head with a shovel and then use that shovel to bury you alive!" I wish I was exaggerating, I'm not. After those first six months we moved in together. Once she was away from them we both realized how toxic they were. They were keeping her in an off state to steal from her. She discovered a lot of items and cash was missing when she was packing. I myself had "lost" several items and money when we would hang out with them. They weren't the only ones taking advantage of her. Her parents kept her at home to cook and clean for them by taking nearly her entire paycheck to pay 'rent'. All the smoking was just her way of escaping as best she could. It's been seven years, and we've been married for the last few. She is the best person in the world. She has the biggest heart out of anyone I've ever met. I guess other then this being a cute story, it's my way of saying to give people a chance and to never give up hope. EDIT: Thank you everyone for your upvotes and lovely comments. I didn't think anyone would see this or care to read something this long. So, since I focused mostly on our early struggles and not on the million wonderful things in our relationship, here's a bonus. About tenish years since I first ever even met Anna, I was listening to a morning talk show on the radio. They hosts were commenting on an article one had read. The article stated that if you were looking for "the one" something you should do is make a list of a hundred things you see in a partner. I thought, "what the hell, why not?" so I did that. I wrote out a hundred things, struggling to find a hundred, because that's a lot. I finished it, put it away somewhere and forgot all about it. Shortly after meeting Anna and falling in love with her I realized/remembered that she met every single of the one hundred things I had been looking for. So I told her, and still do to this day "I made a hundred wishes, and they all came true when I met you."
Previously on Extant "...And so your bright idea was to feed it?" Teddy expressed his exasperation from his desk chair while Selah perched on the kitchen counter and Isaac sat on the floor with his back to the couch. They'd just filled Teddy in on the goings on of the last few days. It was getting dark out. The apartment slowly immersed in shadows as no one had decided to get up and flip the light switches. "Hey, it was working out fine until you pulled a knife on it. Which proves my theory that The Cloud is non-violent unless threatened." Selah said with satisfaction. The Cloud popped back up to pulse blue twice in ascent. "Just because it isn't attacking doesn't mean whatever comes out of that sack isn't going to," Teddy argued. How could she be so sure of herself. There's a... something in the apartment making something else and she's perfectly calm. "Plan B is still burning the building down," Isaac piped up from the floor. He flipped the box of matches around in his fingers like it was a fidget spinner. "Let's just watch and see what happens." Selah said, hopping off the counter to get a better look at the couch. "I can't deal with this right now. You two are on your own. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a date with my bed." Teddy rose to his feet, stretched and stormed off to his room. Before he slammed the door, he added, "And if something happens, and you're in the process of being turned into feedstock for that thing's nightmare project, please remember to scream loudly so I can jump out a window." Marcus: Isaac! Dude I need your opinion on something. Isaac: ? Marcus: You remember those super hot girls from the Daily Grind? Did you think anything strange about them? Isaac: Just that they looked like they were way too high class to be wasting their time talking to you, lol. Marcus: Dude, serious. I don't think they're normal. They have infinite clothes and no luggage and they've basically moved into my apartment. Isaac: Congrats! What do you mean infinite clothes? Marcus: They go in my bathroom and come out wearing different clothes than when they went in. I've seen them each in 5 different outfits now and they have no way to be carrying these clothes. It's seriously weirding me out. Isaac: I know what you mean. Things have been weird here too man. Like 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers'. Marcus: Damn it man. I told you your girl dragged us into a horror movie. Remember, the most dangerous thing you can do is snu-snu. Shit, they're coming. Stay alive. Welcome to the Museum of Natural History! We hope you'll enjoy your stay. We have many exhibits covering 500 million years of Earth's history. Be sure to check out the Cretaceous Experience on loan for a limited time in Hall D. Museums. Marcus loved museums as a kid, but going to one really wasn't how he wanted to spend his Saturday. Unfortunately for him, his persistent guests pulled him along. Literally. [Harmony] and [Mercy] each claimed ownership of one of his hands and dragged him from display to display. [Vivian] seemed similarly interested, if not as excited. She took the lead, walking in front by a half dozen paces. "Humans really put a lot of effort into learning about the history of this planet didn't they?" [Mercy] asked with awe as she examined a 450 million year old trilobite fossil. [Harmony] agreed, and they both examined the fossil for a few seconds, read the blurb on the placard next to it. Then they were off to another display to repeat the same actions. Humans Marcus thought to himself. It's as if she thinks of people as separate from herself. Plus one for the these girls ain't normal column. He'd really started paying more attention since the day before when the realization of how they materialized clothes had hit him like a ton of bricks. That was evidence numero uno as far as he was concerned. They called each other Sister despite not looking like siblings at all. Numero dos. And their relationship... It definitely seemed like [Vivian] was the top dog. Like employer - employee or leader - follower. He'd even go so far as to say master - servant despite the negative connotations. Numero tres was their jewelry. They wore plain, silver bracelets at all times, even during the vanishing acts their clothes went through. And their earrings, while pretty and stylish, bore a resemblance to sleek wireless headsets. He thought back to when they first met. [Harmony] had said [Vivian] would be well on her way to being a Lady if Marcus had been one of them. Is she royalty or something? And the other two are servants or retainers of some sort? And the clothing thing. Either they're magic, they're from a futuristic society hidden someplace on Earth like Wakanda, or they're friggin' alien space-babes... Leaning towards alien space-babes. He was jogged from his thoughts by a light slapping on his cheek. "[Vivian] to Marcus. Come in Marcus." She snapped her fingers in front of his face. "Yeah, what?" He asked realizing that they'd navigated a long way from the trilobite fossil while he was lost in thought. In fact, they'd made it back to the atrium near the entrance and information desk. "[Mercy] said she wants to see the 'Cretaceous Experience' next. I wanted to see the 'Early Man Around The Globe' exhibit. [Harmony] has no opinion, so you're the tie breaker." "Well, dinosaurs are always fun..." Marcus said with hesitation. Mercy cheered and started tugging him across the atrium to Hall D. [Vivian] and [Harmony] trailed behind for the moment talking amongst themselves. "He's been staring, you know." [Harmony] whispered in [Vivian]'s ear. It was loud in the museum. Little human children were running too and fro while their parents either fussed over them or ignored them. "I'm aware. I believe we made an error and gave ourselves away. I consulted SLP2427 42 via text on the way over here for clarification as to what we may have done wrong, and it suggested, it may be our clothes. I gave it some thought and realized humans don't seem to have extra dimensional storage." "Oh, you're right. They're probably too primitive for that yet. It's something so trivial to us that we didn't even think." "Now the question is - do we let his suspicions fester, or do we 'come clean', as they say, on our own." "I think he'd be more amenable and accepting if we offered the information ourselves. He's already suspicious. We shouldn't let suspicion breed more negative emotions. You saw for yourself how human media portrays extra terrestrial organisms." "Violent, mindless or evil," [Vivian] sighed deeply. It was the right thing to do for better or worse. "We'll tell him tonight in his apartment." Chinese takeout was good. Chinese takeout while watching HBO was better. Chinese takeout while watching HBO after convincing three women to try Chinese takeout instead of Taco Bell again, priceless. At least that's what Marcus told himself as he savored his sweet and sour pork and fried rice. Yum. The women were sprawled out like cats after practically inhaling their takeout. The movie was engrossing to them, something about a woman being forced into being the face of a revolution against her will. Real 'young adult' stuff. As the credits rolled, [Vivian] got up and stood in front of the TV. Marcus looked up from his food after biting into another piece of pork and gave her a quizzical look. "Marcus, we haven't been 100% honest with you," She began. She looked nervous, afraid. It was odd to Marcus. In the short time he'd known her, [Vivian] had never showed anything but the utmost confidence. [Mercy], who had been lying with her legs draped over Marcus' lap, sat up and shot [Harmony] a look. [Harmony] simply nodded. They both got up to stand next to [Vivian]. Marcus started to speak, but stopped when [Vivian] shook her head no. "I don't know how to say this, but we believe you've already figured it out," [Vivian] continued then paused. "Sister, maybe we should show him. Together," [Mercy] offered. The three of them shared a moment, like a wordless conversation. Then all the tension left their bodies and Marcus saw them as they truly were. He only had one thing to say as he fist pumped. "I fucking knew it!" Selah had spent the night twice in a row. As Isaac put it, 'You decided to feed it, so you get to watch it.' She was fine with that. Staying with Isaac gave her the opportunity to watch the cloud work, a refuge from her drunken roommate's weekend shenanigans, and Isaac's warm body to cuddle with through the night. She was an early riser though, and Isaac had a tenuous relationship with mornings, so she was up taking a shower alone on Sunday morning. It was still dark in the apartment. The windows were on the Western and Northern sides. Even if they hadn't been, the Sun had only barely risen above the horizon. Enough to not trip over anything, but not much else. Wrapped in a towel for her modesty and another for her hair, Selah padded out of the surprisingly clean bathroom and into the kitchen to make coffee. She didn't make it that far though. As her hand touched the cabinet containing the off brand k-cups, she realized that she could not hear the faint buzz that accompanied The Cloud's activities. Turning around, she confirmed that she couldn't even see The Cloud. For the past day and a half, it had worked tirelessly at the pod. And now it and the pod were not there. Her face paled and she immediately went back into Isaac's bedroom. Her hand on his shoulder, she shook him until he woke up. With a groan, his eyes opened, and Selah went to put on some clothes. "The heck, Selah? I was having a good dream," Isaac claimed as he sat up and rubbed his eyes with his left hand. Though, I'll gladly trade my dream for this view... "No time for dreams. The cloud's gone. The pod's gone," Selah picked through her overnight bag for a pair of yoga pants and a tank top. Isaac bolted out of bed and threw on shorts and a t-shirt. "Teddy. Wake the Hell up, man. We have a code red emergency," Isaac barged into Teddy's room to images he couldn't extract from his short term memory and shouts of 'Woah, dude! Knocking would've been nice!'. "What the Hell, man? This better be a real big emergency after barging in on me like that." Teddy had made himself more presentable and joined Isaac and Selah in the short hall outside the bedrooms "The cloud's gone." Selah said pointing at the empty couch, "So's the pod. That's a pretty big emergency." "What are you talking about? The Cloud's right there in the corner." Indeed, following his finger to the corner revealed an overlooked shape in the dimly lit corner at the far end of the common room. "...That's not The Cloud." Restoration process 99% complete... Charge level 42%. Due to damage, completion will require system reset. Restoration 100% complete. Initializing host in... 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Happy Birthday! System reset... On the next episode of Extant
Redpilled I don’t feel safe talking about this with anyone I know, except for my boyfriend who leans conservative, but I want to put it out there. This is the chronological mental journey of why I’m no longer a leftist or a feminist. Part 1: The hypocrisy of the left I live in a leftist city. The only person I know who voted for Trump is my boyfriend (BF), who I’ve known for 3 months. My facebook feed is completely and exclusively leftist opinions (ranging from liberal to communist and anarchist, which for the sake of distinguishing from conservative, centrist, and alt-right views, I’m categorizing as left). The night Trump was elected, people near my house were literally running out of their houses to scream in the streets. The next day at the cafe I work at, every single customer was in mourning. I get the impression that most people I know actually think Trump being president negatively affects their mental health. This is the bubble I live in. I found out BF is a Trump supporter after we started dating. I thought something like this would be a deal breaker for me, but since I had already started to respect and trust him, I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. But I was horrified when I found out. And when I told a select few of my friends, here’s a summary of their reactions: They don’t feel safe around him and if/when he started to abuse/sexually assault me, they’ll be there to support me. One friend “hates all Trump supporters and even third-party voters” and has lost respect for me because I’m dating one. One friend said she hates him without even having to meet him, because of some of his views on race (I’ll get to that later). And he’s not allowed at any of their houses. I found these reactions ridiculous, but I understood where these women are coming from. I have been tempted to think the same way. This temptation to prejudice has never sat well with me though - I’ve hated Trump as much as the next person, but it felt morally lacking to extend that hate to his supporters. I could not in any way understand why someone would vote for Trump, and I had the sneaking suspicion that that was a problem. That perhaps by seeking to understand the other side, I could develop empathy for these humans in the same way I so easily had empathy for people who I, as a good leftist, believed I was oppressing, like black and trans folks. I hated that I automatically judged conservatives and wanted to discourage this in myself. So when I found out BF voted for Trump, I was actually pretty excited. Here was an opportunity to learn about his perspective. And as I increasingly saw the rationality of his beliefs as he explained to me that Trump, not Hillary, was the lesser of two evils, I became increasingly disgusted with my friends’ bigotry, intolerance, and irrationality. They started treating me differently, distancing themselves, and purposely excluding me from things. Mind you - this has nothing to do with anything BF has done, but merely because of the way he thinks. Or rather, the way they think he thinks - because none of these people have had a conversation with him, or even me, about where he’s coming from. They don’t care. He’s dismissed out of hand. What’s the word for people who think this way? Bigot. But bigotry is okay, as long as you’re bigoted towards the right people. [Insert Blaire White Video here]
Part 2: Pizzagate Stay with me here!! I’m not saying I believe in pizzagate and that’s not the point of this part. When BF told me that NPR is biased, I thought he was being paranoid. Everyone knows that although MSNBC, Fox News, and maybe even CNN might be biased, NPR is perfectly neutral and factual. Same with the BBC, New York Times, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, etc. I could see how a person who is racist/transphobic/misogynist would think these news sources are biased, because they are starting to catch on to and report on cis white male privilege. When BF told me he saw compelling evidence for pizzagate, I looked into it. I listened to a podcast in which a staunch critic of this conspiracy theory conceded that certain aspects of it, like Alifantis’s instagram, were highly suspect. I then went through this thoroughly researched and well-sourced post about pizzagate, and found the conspiracy theory to be quite compelling. I can see why people believe in it. Mainstream media paints it as merely ludicrous. When I searched for articles debunking pizzagate, I found ones like this (the NY TIMES!!!) that don’t even bring up the most compelling facts, but only the most outlandish ones to make it seem like there is nothing credible about this theory. This opened me up to seeing that any news source, even (and probably especially) popular ones that are considered neutral, can be biased. And not only news sources, but Google, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Reddit are all left-leaning, and this shows up in their how they filter and alter their search results, algorithms, front pages, recommendations, and of course, they tend to ban right-wing information more than left. And the arguments that these things are being banned not because of a bias, but because of harassment and incitements to violence, don’t fly in the face of the fact that left-wing incitements to violence or harassment of right-wing people are not being censored as much.
Part 3: Free speech! I’m not talking about the first amendment because I don’t clearly understand the definition or legal implications of it. I’m just talking about my own opinion on how important I think the free exchange of ideas is, and how it seems like the left stifles this more than the right. I’m a member of the main queer facebook group in my city. For years I have watched the very same oppressive dynamics that minorities claim they experience in everyday life be acted out in this hellscape of a group (the justification seemingly being that it isn’t quite the same thing because it’s just a response to actual oppression, a putting-things-back-in-balance, if you will). The nonwhite and trans people, and good leftist allies that run this group consistently harass, abuse, censor, ban, and oppress anyone who not only disagrees with the mainline ideology of the group, but asks a question or says something that is received as offensive, whether intentional or not. And anytime anyone speaks out about this dynamic, they are attacked and banned. The justification for this behavior from the people in power? “Keeping it a safe space.” Safe for some queer people of color, maybe, but certainly not safe for anyone who has an opinion that isn’t allowed. This group is where I learned what “thought police” are before I ever even heard that term. They have the right to kick out anyone they want, of course. But when there is no room for dialogue, discussion, dissent, exchange of ideas, and where everyone who is genuinely interested in learning and tries to thoughtfully engage is SILENCED and accused of triggering others, hate speech, tone policing, cissplaining, taking up space, white supremacy, and a myriad of other academic terms used to stifle free speech, how can any real progress or change happen? “Learning” is now defined by the despots in this group as: shutting up, listening, and thinking the way you’re told to think by the people in charge. What words do these behaviors conjure up? Totalitarian, tyrannical, autocratic, etc etc etc. This is just one stupid group, but I think it is a good analog for what is happening in the leftist world at large, online, on campuses, and wherever left-wing views are becoming or are the norm. And it terrifies me. This is political correctness gone absolutely fucking crazy. Leftists are trying to criminalize thought. These people are mentally ill. How they even function in the real world is mystifying to me, given that they’re constantly triggered and need to be consistently catered to and infantilized in “safe spaces.” They’re desperate for control and outside validation, and it’s painfully obvious to me that the whole charade is one big fucking ego-oriented pride-fueled power trip. These people don’t want progress and change. They want control. “The difference of opinion is not a difference in interpretation, in source data, in reasoning good or bad; it is GOOD VS. EVIL. To disagree with me is evil. It is so weird to me that the largely secular and atheist left is manifesting some of the worst and most deplorable habits of extreme fundamentalist religiosity while all the time claiming to be rational and secular.” Nigel Farage “Being offended doesn’t mean you’re right.” Steven Crowder Micro-agressions: [Insert Christina Hoff Sommer video here] Part 3: Free speech! I’m not talking about the first amendment because I don’t clearly understand the definition or legal implications of it. I’m just talking about my own opinion on how important I think the free exchange of ideas is, and how it seems like the left stifles this more than the right. I’m a member of the main queer facebook group in my city. For years I have watched the very same oppressive dynamics that minorities claim they experience in everyday life be acted out in this hellscape of a group (the justification seemingly being that it isn’t quite the same thing because it’s just a response to actual oppression, a putting-things-back-in-balance, if you will). The nonwhite and trans people, and good leftist allies that run this group consistently harass, abuse, censor, ban, and oppress anyone who not only disagrees with the mainline ideology of the group, but asks a question or says something that is received as offensive, whether intentional or not. And anytime anyone speaks out about this dynamic, they are attacked and banned. The justification for this behavior from the people in power? “Keeping it a safe space.” Safe for some queer people of color, maybe, but certainly not safe for anyone who has an opinion that isn’t allowed. This group is where I learned what “thought police” are before I ever even heard that term. They have the right to kick out anyone they want, of course. But when there is no room for dialogue, discussion, dissent, exchange of ideas, and where everyone who is genuinely interested in learning and tries to thoughtfully engage is SILENCED and accused of triggering others, hate speech, tone policing, cissplaining, taking up space, white supremacy, and a myriad of other academic terms used to stifle free speech, how can any real progress or change happen? “Learning” is now defined by the despots in this group as: shutting up, listening, and thinking the way you’re told to think by the people in charge. What words do these behaviors conjure up? Totalitarian, tyrannical, autocratic, etc etc etc. This is just one stupid group, but I think it is a good analog for what is happening in the leftist world at large, online, on campuses, and wherever left-wing views are becoming or are the norm. And it terrifies me. This is political correctness gone absolutely fucking crazy. Leftists are trying to criminalize thought. These people are mentally ill. How they even function in the real world is mystifying to me, given that they’re constantly triggered and need to be consistently catered to and infantilized in “safe spaces.” They’re desperate for control and outside validation, and it’s painfully obvious to me that the whole charade is one big fucking ego-oriented pride-fueled power trip. These people don’t want progress and change. They want control. “The difference of opinion is not a difference in interpretation, in source data, in reasoning good or bad; it is GOOD VS. EVIL. To disagree with me is evil. It is so weird to me that the largely secular and atheist left is manifesting some of the worst and most deplorable habits of extreme fundamentalist religiosity while all the time claiming to be rational and secular.” Nigel Farage “Being offended doesn’t mean you’re right.” Steven Crowder Micro-agressions: [Insert Christina Hoff Sommer video here] Fainting couch feminism: [Insert Christina Hoff Sommer video here] Trigger warnings and safe spaces: [Insert Christina Hoff Sommer video here] “I’m a liberal professor, and my liberal students terrify me” Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber (James Damore was fired from Google for writing this) (Disagree with me? Awesome! Let’s talk about it!)
Part 4: Milo Yiannopoulos, Steven Crowder, et al All I’d heard about Milo was that he’s alt-right and a white supremacist nazi who shouldn’t be given a voice because he incites violence. He came to speak at UW recently and I remember lots of people talking about protesting his right to be there. I didn’t know anything about the guy, I just assumed he was evil because that’s what I was told. I decided to watch one of his speeches. And that’s when I started to get really pissed. The reality of who this guy is and what I was told about him could not be further apart. He’s a funny, reasonable, and at times mildly offensive guy. He’s absolutely not a nazi for fuck’s sake, and the alt-right hates him. I think he’s a fascinating and complex person, and I agreed with a lot of what he said, which was shocking and disorienting for me. So, at this point, realizing how mislead I’ve been and how much I’ve been the victim of herd mentality by trusting my liberal comrades instead of doing my own research (which, admittedly, isn’t anyone’s fault but my own), I decided to leap headfirst in the rabbit hole and look into all these people I’ve heard over the years who shouldn’t be given a “platform.” If a liberal has protested them, I’m going to hear what they have to say. I listened to Richard Spencer, Tommy Robinson, Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson, Alex Jones, Blaire White, Steven Crowder, Karen Straughan, Christina Hoff Sommers, Lauren Southern, Candace Owens. None of them were as bad as I thought. Steven Crowder was a huge turning point for me. I find his “change my mind” videos to be thought provoking and refreshing. He changed my mind about a lot of stuff and influenced me to look deeper into things I’ve accepted without evidence or even much thought, quite frankly. I love that he sits down with people and has an actual conversation. He’s not perfect - I don’t think he’s truly open to having his mind changed, and he can be a bit petty sometimes, but he inspires me to think critically and find more of a balance in being both rational and emotive in my opinions and decisions. On the left, those who disagree are disregarded as evil and too dangerous to even listen to, and there’s so much automatic hatred for people who refuse to think the way “they’re supposed to.” And in these right-leaning spaces, these peoples’ speeches and interviews and talk shows (specifically Milo, Steven, shoe0nhead, Sommers), and even in the comments sections of these videos and articles, I see something I don’t see much with the left: unity and civility among people who disagree. An ability to see the other person and their worldview as complex and nuanced and to search for common ground. I see real efforts to listen and understand, and a promotion of peace. While the social justice warriors eat each other alive.
Part 5: The lies of feminism Milo Yiannopoulos said in the first speech I listened to by him that the gender wage gap is a myth. I’d never heard that before. So I looked into it, and he’s right. At that point I thought, what else have I been told by feminists that’s not true? Steven Crowder spent an hour trying to get an explanation as to why male privilege exists with no success, and in this video brings up the mind-blowing fact that there are no rights that men have that women don’t have in the US! This is so obvious, but it never occurred to me. After listening to Christina Hoff Sommers, shoe0nhead (who are both feminists), Candace Owens, and Blaire White, I have realized that feminism is pointless. Rape culture doesn’t exist, male privilege doesn’t exist. At best feminism has outlived its usefulness, although Karen Straughan, a Men’s Rights Activist, has some compelling arguments for why feminism was never necessary in the first place. The way I see it, there are advantages and disadvantages to being a man, and to being a woman, and that’s not inequality, it’s just differences. There are inherent, biological differences between the sexes, and that’s okay. I have literally imagined my own oppression because that’s I’ve been told by feminists. As I’ve been seeing with new eyes the way misandrist women treat men, especially men who are trying to be good people, I am horrified and feel so much compassion for them to the point of my heart breaking. We are a broken people. If we really cared about women and feminism, we’d be talking about things like this. It’s almost like most of these countries have something in common…oh, that’s right, we can’t talk about that because it’s “racist.” The most ironic thing of all of this is after discovering Milo and Steven Crowder, I felt something completely foreign that I had to reflect on for a long time before I could put a word to it: Empowered. I feel empowered as a woman. Encouraged to think for myself, not just believe anything I hear, do my own investigation. To stick to my own principles and character values by attempting to be open-minded, logical, and compassionate, which makes me feel really good about myself. To be feminine, smart, strong, responsible, to love the men in my life, to support them, which makes me feel good as a woman. To stop being so damn oversensitive, easily offended, taking everything so damn seriously, and to stop encouraging weakness and helplessness and victimhood in myself, all of which the queefeminist/SJW ideologies encouraged me to be and do. I am not perfect. I have not been very compassionate towards the left in these posts. I have probably been irrational. I’m angry and in shock. I’m learning how to think critically, and I’m going to make errors. And that’s okay. What I do, I want to do with love. I want to be better. I want to learn and engage with others, and listen and get uncomfortable. That’s what progress is all about. Male privilege doesn’t exist: [Insert Christina Hoff Sommer video here] Wage gap isn’t real: [Insert Christina Hoff Sommer video here] Rape culture panic: [Insert Christina Hoff Sommer video here] Candace Owens censored from Youtube, Facebook, Twitter for criticizing Black Lives Matter: [Insert Candace Owens video here] Rape culture does not exist: [Insert Blaire White Video here] Fragile femininity: [Insert Shoe0nhead Video here] Discrediting Anita Sarkeesian: [Insert NateTalksToYou Video here] Why I’m not a Feminist: [Insert Roaming Millennial Video here] Karen Straughan (this one is logical GOLD): [Insert Karen Straughan Video here]
Part 6: Trump I have to admit that I went out of my way to avoid being exposed to Trump during the election - I was just so disgusted by the man based on the few misconceived notions I had about the guy from listening to people I know talk about him. A couple of these notions were that he is a rapist, and that he is a racist who wants to deport immigrants, ban Muslims, and build a wall. Based on this dreadfully inadequate information, I believed there were only two reasons why someone would vote for Trump (and from conversations with my friends and customers, it seems that most people I know believe this too): 1. Poor people, mainly in the South, are stupid and ignorant and think that Trump gives a shit about them. 2. People are racist trolls devoid of compassion and don’t care about women or POC. Over the past three months, as I have listened to various Trump voters explain their reasons in their own words and in their own way, it’s all become a lot more clear to me. First of all, a lot of Trump’s statements and opinions make sense now that I’ve given them 2 seconds of actual thought, and some research. While a pro-immigration stance can be noble, it needs to be scrutinized in the light of how the world actually works, not how we wish it would work. An open borders policy is just asinine. And while so many lefties cry about Trump being anti-immigrant, the truth is that he’s just anti illegal immigration. Pretty reasonable. Second: his “grab ‘em by the pussy” statement. I didn’t know the context of it up until recently. I thought it was something he said about raping women in an official election speech, and I didn’t realize it’s what the fucking WOMEN’S MARCHES WERE COMPLETELY BASED UPON. Turns out!!! It was from a taped discussion on Access Hollywood from YEARS ago. I listened to it, and it honestly just sounds like two dudes talking to each other in a way that’s perfectly normal. This is how I assumed guys talk to each other and it doesn’t bother me at all. Third, there’s the whole Hillary and WikiLeaks thing where people discovered that she’s literally a criminal who rigged the election, committed treason, helped get Laura Silsby a reduced sentence for child-trafficking, smuggled weapons to Isis, etc. The lesser of two evils indeed. And fourth, I’m starting to realize how much Trump’s victory was a reaction to the left. The way I saw it, Trump had exposed people’s racism. Now I’m starting to see that the left is practically making everyone racist. With the victim culture, the lack of respect for and understanding of the First Amendment, the demonizing of men and western culture, and the naive idealism of the left, it’s no wonder that this erratic, gloriously politically incorrect troll got voted into office. If I could go back in time, I’d vote for him too. Why Trump won: [Insert Blaire White video here]
2018.03.12 20:31 ItsBriceIdkMy Personal Recommendations after Listening to 666 Hours of Podcasts!
I've been preparing this post for a while and I hope it can help some people find some new podcasts that they never knew existed! I've organized my recommendations into 5 categories, Completely Finished Shows (includes shows that I've listened to completely, and that have ended (if a show is labelled with a "(?)" than it means I'm not sure if it's ended). The second category is Caught Up with, this includes shows that I've listened to all the episodes for, and are still putting out new material! Third category is "Rarely Listen to, this includes shows that I sometimes listened to, Often this means that I've burn't out on them, or I have to be in a particular mood to listen to them. Fourth category is *Recently Started Listening to, and I think that's pretty self-explanatory. And the last category is Plan to Listen to, these are most likely shows that caught my eye, but I haven't yet taken the time to check out. And at the end of the post I will also highlight my favourite shows! Please forgive me if I screw up on grammar or spelling, as I didn't have time to proof read. Also bare with me as I try to figure out how to format. And please up-vote this, so others can see this :)
**1) COMPLETELY FINISHED : [(?) = might have ended]**
A Life Well Wasted (?): This podcast is amazing and I wish it comes back to life one day. This podcast discusses the video game industry as well as why we play video games. -fav episode: B-Side: Why Game: listeners tell stories about why they play video games A Piece of Work: Made by WNYC Studios and the Museum of Modern Art, focuses on different types of art and how we perceive them. Everything from Andy Warhol, to Naked dancers rolling around while rubbing raw chicken on themselves is discussed. -fav episode: Andy Warhol’s Art of Self Promotion Cosby Unraveled (?): 8 episode series that goes through the Bill Cosby Trial and details of his sexual assault allegations. Do Listen Twice: Made by the creators of This American Life to celebrate the release of their movie “Don’t Think Twice”. Most episodes are comedic and all but 2 episodes are shorter than 12 minutes. -fav episode: 02 - D-U-Why?! DTR: The Official Tinder Podcast (?): Made by Tinder, talks about dating in the modern age, and for the second season the hosts control their guests tinder accounts and set up dates that are sometimes quite awkward and funny. -fav episode: Right Swipes Big City (Part 1) The Grift (?) : Really hopes this podcast isn’t over! The Grift is a short series “about con artists and the lives they ruin.” Fav episode: The Religion of the Black Dog: about a small cult, survivors tell their stories that contain stories of abuse and manipulation. Heavyweight (?): I don’t remember much about this show but i think it was meh. The host basically brings people together that once had a connection but were then separated. Guests mainly include distanced family members if i remember correctly. -fav episode: Dina: the host has a conversation with his mother which causes him to question his past. How Do You Sleep at Night (?): Super short podcast “about people who live their lives in the face of judgement”. Guests include murderers, big game hunters, stock market manipulators and tobacco lobbyists -fav episode: 05 Abortion Clinic Protesters Lorde: Behind the Melodrama: Track by Track podcast that discusses the inspiration and creation of Lorde’s latest album , Melodrama. Love Me (?) : Listened to this one a long time ago. It’s mostly about relationships, and each episode is a reflection/story that is around 20 minutes in length. The Mystery Show: Awesome show by Gimlet media that was cancelled! The host solves mysteries in a quirky and easy to follow way. All the episodes are fantastic! -fav episode: Vanity Plate: covers a license plate with “9/11”, the reason why the driver has this plate will leave you in shock! (You’re welcome for the clickbait ;) [Polygon Backstory][Polygon Cutscene][Polygon Newsworthy] (?): I’m not really sure if Polygon is just in a hiatus for some shows or what’s up, but these 3 podcasts are good and short, but haven’t had new episodes in quite a while. They all discuss the video game industry. Quiet: The Power of Introverts: 9 episode series with stories from introverts about dealing with a loud and outspoken society that prefers extroverts. -fav episode: Episode 3: How One School Learned to Hear Quiet Kids Roofless Podcast: definitely a favourite show! The audio quality could be better but it's so worth listening to if you have any interest in learning about the homeless population and what it’s like to be without a home. Not as depressing as I thought it would be, most of the people are surprisingly optimistic that they will be able to become a functional member of society in the future. Not sure why this show ended, but it’s just so good! The Sauce: super short podcast about the McDonald'S szechuan sauce crisis lol and its impact. Takes like 30 minutes to listen to the whole series and I think it’s pretty decent. Sincerely, X: show by TED that presents some personal stories, as well as struggles that they have faced. One of the first series I ever listened to and I think it was alright, but boring at some points. -fav episode: Episode 4: Sad in Silicon Valley TLDR: Show by the guys behind Reply All. If you like Reply All, then definitely give this a listen! Episodes are super short but also super informative. In my opinion, it’s like a reply all minisode series if that makes sense, but it was made before Reply All. UnDone (?): Show by Gimlet Media that covers what happens after a story is forgotten by the news. Not sure if this show is coming back or not, hasn’t been updated since October -_- -fav episode: Disco Demolition Night Venturing Out: Made by Arlene from the show Dragon’s Den. Short interview series about investing, business and marketing. What The Crime?!: Just found this show, and binged listened to it. Talks about funny crimes and why people commit them. Examples include hiding stuff in female genitalia, seniors robbing banks and criminals with strange names. -fav episode: When Suspects Turn Themselves in On Facebook Why We Eat What We Eat (?): Show by Gimlet Creative and Blue Apron about food and why we eat certain foods. Listened to this a while ago, and it was decent, I honestly only listened because Gimlet made it to be honest. MISSING: Super well done and well produced show. At times it gets a little repetitive, but it’s a great show if you’re into true crime, personal dilemmas that lead to people going missing and psychology. -fav episodes: On the Run Pt 1 and 2, the hosts everything he’s learned to the test and tries going missing without leaving a trace.
**2) CAUGHT UP WITH:**
A Very Fatal Murder: Parody true-crime podcast by Onion Public Radio. Does anyone know if there’s going to be a season two btw? The Anthropocene Review: Host reviews certain things on earth and rates them on a scale of 1-10. Only 2 episodes out so far. The Basement Yard: YouTube Personality Joe Santagato sits down with his friends, and they discuss drinking, entertainment, nsfw material, the death of vine and working out. Joe is super funny and he gets so angry sometimes. I restricted myself to only listening to this one when I’m alone, just so I don’t awkwardly burst out laughing during class. -fav episode: What Is Happening To The World?: they discuss the logan paul controversy as well as a school that wants to ban people from becoming best friends so that kids don’t feel left out. By The Book: Love this show! 2 female hosts discuss and (sometimes) laugh about self-help books. They try living “By The Book” for 2 weeks and report back on their experience. In some ways it’s like a higher quality version of “Oh No Ross and Carrie”. -fav episode: Class With The Countess Choiceology with Dan Heath: New podcast that talks about the impact of our choices. Code Breaker: Tech podcast that goes in depth with specific issues and explains them in an easy to follow way. First season attempts to ask whether or not certain technologies are evil. -fav episode: Is It Evil? Ep 7: Data Tracking Conversations with People Who Hate Me: first ever podcast series I listened to. The host calls up people that left negative comments on his videos and they have a raw and sometimes emotional conversation. -fav episode: Sissies and Flaming Queens: he calls someone that called him a “flaming homo” and “sissy” and they talk about why he left that comment. Darknet Diaries: Found this one on this subreddit and it’s a great listen. Super similar to Reply All, except this podcast doesn’t go off topic. New episode popped up in my feed a while ago and I was super excited to listen to it! It “explores true stories from the dark side of the internet” and is a must-listen in my opinion. -fav episode: Ep 6: The Beirut Bank Job Depression Stream: Pretty relatable and super short podcast. Not sure how to explain it, so if you’re interested, than just listen to an episode (typical episodes are around 1 minute long). Do You Know Who Jason Segel Is?: Favourite podcast that it ever listened to. It’s pure comedy and it’s brilliant. Two comedians call up random businesses and ask if they know who Jason Segel is. If you’re interested, than start at episode 1, as there are quite a few ongoing and inside jokes and it might be hard to follow if you just jump in at the latest episode. Don’t Get Mad: Host talks about 1-2 news stories that didn’t get the exposure that they deserved. Pretty sure the host is on this subreddit, but I could be wrong. -fav episodes = Starbucks Cups & The Ranch: covers the controversy over the Christmas Starbucks cup and how dumb it is. Also talks about sexual assault allegations and how people sometimes forget that they are innocent until proven guilty. Down the Reddit Hole: Comes out only once a month but it’s pretty good. The 2 hosts discuss popular things on reddit, and each episode is based around a central theme. Some themes include Memes, Religion and Cults, Russians and Gamers. Ear Hustle: goes into detail about life in a maximum security prison and certain aspects of life as a prisoner. Each episode is super well done and a new season is coming out this month. -fav episode: Bonus: Songs from S1 Endless Thread: pretty good show that also discusses Reddit. At one point I just searched up “Reddit” on Pocket Casts and a bunch of these shows came up, so yeah that's why i have listened to like 5 reddit shows. Show only has a few episodes out, but most of them are good. -fav episode: Getting Home Every Little Thing: from Gimlet Media, short-ish episodes that usually answer fan submitted questions about stuff that people don’t usually think about. -fav episode: How Old is Winnie the Pooh? Fortune Favors the Bold: By Gimlet Creative and Microsoft, talks about working in this technology driven age, as well as the gig economy. Hackable?: Really well produced show. Each episode focuses on a certain aspect of technology and whether or not it is Hackable. Favourites include “Camera Creepers”, “Keyless Entry”, and “Locked Out”! Hannahlyze This: from YouTuber Hannah Hart and her pal, whom is also named Hannah. Only a few episodes out, they discuss dating, mental health and isolation tanks. The History of Fun: From polygon! Each episode focuses on a piece of history that relates to technology/entertainment. It explains how each episode was created, marketed and how it was perceived. Some of my fav’s include “Street Fighter (The Movie)”, “Duke Nukem Forever: A Brief History” and “Dodgeball”. InBox: another favourite! 2 hosts take over their guests online accounts and “mine them for comedy gold”. Each episode also includes the hosts writing an awkward or embarrassing email, which the guests would have to send if they answer a trivia question incorrectly -fav episode: ALL CAPS with Caroline Cotter Intriguing Conversations: From the guy behind “Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonalds”. Only one super short episode out and I’m not sure how to explain it. Basically, a comedian calls people. Lex: The Craigslist Whisperer: The host recounts their experiences using Craigslists and how sometimes it just gets awkward. Making Oprah: Talks about Oprah’s rise to fame and her impact. Second season focuses on Obama. Nancy: Show about LGBT culture. Really well produced and pretty funny at points. Other People’s Lives: Hosted by Joe Santagato, host of “The Basement Yard”, and his friend. They have conversations with people that often have weird fetishes, or shocking stories. This show is absolutely incredible in that each episode you immediately assume that these people are just insane, but by the end of the show, I’m always able to understand why we they what they did. -fav episodes: “I Act Like a 4 Year Old With My Partner”, “I Grew Up in A Cult”, “I’m A Cam Girl & Sugar Baby”, “The Earth is Flat”, basically all of them are amazing! Personal Best: Show from CBC Radio, about personal accomplishments and advice. Only a couple shows out, but each one includes an inspiring story, that sometimes includes a comedic twist. -fav episode: Nine Fiver The Pitch: By Gimlet Media, like an audio version of Dragons Den. Show covers 4 investors receiving a pitch from a startup and deciding whether or not they would like to invest. Definitely listen to this if you like Dragons Den, Business or Marketing. Pizza Podcast: Host delivers pizza and talks about pizza delivery, fly fishing and animals. Host is really nice, and I also designed the art (which for some reason shows up on ITunes, but not Pocket Casts lol. I love how the host is not afraid to rant and get angry and just tell us how he really feels. Probably True Podcast: Short comedy podcast. Episode subjects include Death, Dating, and other NSFW material. -fav episode: Death Red Lips, Orange Car: Show talks about the missed connections part of Craigslist. Basically, it’s about people that are trying to find people. Super funny listen - but sometimes they get a little off topic. Reply All: I don’t even know what to say about this show! It’s the first show I ever binged listened to and it’s amazing. -fav episode: “112: The Prophet”, “105: At World’s End”, also episode 102 and 103 cover Indian Tech Scams and it’s incredible. If you liked those scam episodes, I would also suggest watching “Kitboga” on Twitch.TV, as he scambaits those peoples and prank calls them. Retropod: Short daily show that contains a story from history. Not sure how to explain this one. The Science of Happiness: In each episode, a person serves as a “Happiness Guinea Pig” as they test different ways to better yourself. StartUp Podcast: First season is about Gimlet Media starting up and becoming a more recognized podcast network. Other seasons are about business mistakes, other startups, the rise and fall of American Apparel and “StartUpBus” - where people come up with business ideas on a bus trip to a conference. -fav episode: “Gaming The System (Season 3, Episode 2)”: about the rise of a a gaming live-streaming site, Subnet: New daily show from Relay FM. Each episode covers the 3 biggest tech stories of the day in only 2 minutes. Swipe Left Swipe Left: Show about relationships, dating, and sometimes awkward situations. -fav episode: “The Trilogy of Ella” and its follow-up “Ella’s Reply” Tape Club: New podcast suggestions. Not sure if it’s over or not, hasn’t been a new episode for a little over a month. This is Love: New show about “stories of sacrifice, obsession and the ways in which we bet everything on one another”. Took a couple tries for me to get interested in episode 1, but eventually I discovered that it was pretty well done. -fav episode: "Episode 4: Eight Thousand Miles" Today, Explained: You’ve probably heard about this one. Covers the biggest stories in the news in a detailed and easy to understand way. -fav episode: “The Deep Fake” Trump, Inc.: Sometimes i question why I even care about this odd man, but ya know it’s just funny how stupid he is and how dumb it is that he was elected. I’m Canadian, so I guess this is like a little reality show, if you know what I mean. Anyways, this covers the business side of Trump’s Presidency. Weird Work: Really good podcast about strange occupations. -fav episodes: “I make ASMR videos”, “I’m the New York Times crossword puzzle editor”, “I make props for Hollywood” Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonalds? Just funny. Listen to episode 1, definitely don’t start on a random episode or you will be beyond confused! I think if I try to explain it, than it might be hard to understand, so just try it out. Why’d You Push That Button?: Another technology show, this one usually focuses more on dating in the modern age and how we use social media. Their most recent episode is a love episode, and I’m not really into those, so I just skipped it ;) -fav episode: Why do you like celebrity photos on Instagram? Everything Instagram: A social media guru talks about Instagram news and updates, as well as techniques for advertising on Instagram and the ‘Instagram v. Snapchat battle’. Self Made Hundredaires: One of those buddy hangout and chill shows. They discuss personal stories and all that stuff. If you’re into people just hanging out, than try this one out. You’re Doing It Wrong: Episodes are about one specific topic and how we”re doing it wrong. Focus on lifestyle stuff (parenting, being healthy…).
**3)RARELY LISTEN TO**
Anna Faris is Unqualified: Hosted by comedian and actress Anna Faris. Sometimes the interviews get a bit sexual, but it’s a great listen if you need a laugh or want to learn more about the guests. They also take viewers calls and give them advice, so that’s cool. -fav episode: ep 05: Aubrey Plaza Armchair Expert by Dax Shepard: Usually listen to this one to fall asleep. Only a few episodes out, but I like how Dax gets personal with the guests. Chris Gethard’s Beautiful Anonymous: At one point I was binging this. But for some reason I just don’t fit in funny or interesting anymore, I think maybe I’m annoyed by the host and how he’s always interrupting the guests. Premise is that an anonymous caller gets 60 mins of his time, and Chris can’t hang up. Business Wars: The first season was well done, and focused on Netflix vs Blockbuster (vs HBO). The new season that just started is based on Nike vs Adidas. Buzzfeed’s Internet Explorer: Love this show! Super similar to Reply All and Exploit, but I like the hosts chemistry a bit better on this one. They basically talk about parts of the internet. -fav episode: “A Very Serious Conversation About Minions”, “Who the Hell is Jacob Sartorius?” Cool Games Inc: Hosts take in viewers ideas for a video game, and comedically expand on their ideas to create a full idea for a game. Death, Sex & Money: stories about things that we don’t usually talk about. I’ve only listened to a couple of episodes but they were pretty decent. Planning on listening more to this one eventually. But for now there are better shows to spend my time on :) -fav episode: “Finding Love, And A Kidney, On Tinder” Game Industry Career Guide: If you’re at all interested in working in the games industry than this is a great listen. Each episode is short, and the host answers 1 listeners question. Happier with Gretchen Rubin: It’s a great show that I plan to listen to more later. I mainly only listen to the “little” episodes as they are 2-ish minutes and cover 1 tip to better your life. Hidden Brain: If you’re into science/psychology than listen to this one for sure. -fav episode: ‘Episode 4: Students and Teachers” The Hilarious World of Depression: With this show, I binged a bunch of episodes and then kind of burnt out and don’t really feel like listening to it anymore. It’s an interview show with famous people who have depression. If you’re triggered by people talking about depression, or you don’t think you want to hear about stuff like this than skip this one. Personally, I like the show - it’s just that I listened to too much of it and burnt out. Invasion of Privacy: Starring Joe Santagato, host of ‘Other People’s Lives’ and ‘The Basement Yard’, accompanied by female comedian Kate Wolff. Sidenote: this show is NSFW so just be warned lol Oh No Ross and Carrie: I’ve listened to a few episodes of this show and it’s great. 2 hosts test out different religious and spiritual practices and report back on their findings. One Trick Pony: A Bojack Horseman Podcast: A couple buddies review each episode of the Netflix show ‘Bojack Horseman’ in detail. RuPaul: What’s The Tee: If you like RuPaul, fashion, drag culture, than listen to this. It’s also pretty funny at times. Sickboy: Each episode focuses on a person with a disease, or disorder, or impairment and goes over what life is like for them. When I first found this, I listened to 15 episodes in a row, but now, I’m beyond burnt out... Sleep With Me: If you have insomnia, or any troubles falling asleep than try this podcast. I used to use it everynight, but I felt that the host is now going too fast and is focused too much on the ads. WTF: with Marc Maron: Marc Maron is a genius. He’s angry, straight-forward and just genuinely funny. All of the interviews are personal and extremely in-depth. And I know some people skip over the intro’s, but I love when he’s telling personal stories and going through fan emails.
**4) RECENTLY STARTED LISTENING TO**
Alice Isn’t Dead, Change Agent, Exploit, The Indicator: from Planet Money, The Outline World Dispatch, Welcome to Nightvale
**5) Plan to Listen to**
Actual Innocence, Conspiracy Theories, Criminal, Cults, The Daily 202’s Big Idea, Decrypted, Dressed: the History of Fashion, Embedded, Found, Hector vs The Future, Invisibilia, It Makes A Sound, Launch , Lexicon Valley, Majority 54, On Drugs, Planet Money, Radiolab, Radiolab Presents: More Perfect, Safe Space, Sayer, Serial, Snap Judgement, Surf Memphis, Surprisingly Awesome, Ted Talks Daily, This American Life, The Truth, Unexplained, What Were You Thinking, What’s In A Podcast, Wolf 359, Wooden Overcoats, WorkLife with Adam Grant, Within the Wires, Arranged Marriage for the Modern Indian Man, The Odd Ones Podcast, TDMR, The Student Side Hustle, Inside the Junos, 2050: Degrees of Change, Other People’s Problems, Young, Dumb & 21, Bunny Ears, Time Well Wasted with Jay and Derek, The Big Loop, Lesser Gods, Limetown, Tangentially Speaking with Christopher Ryan, Positions Vacant , Dear Franklin Jones, This Won’t Hurt a Bit, Everyday Bravery, The Growth Show, Shane And Friends, Psychobabble with Tyler Oakley and Korey Kuhl, Not Too Deep: With Grace Helbig, Love + Radio, Straight Talk with Ross Matthews, Twenty Thousand Hertz, Welcome to Macintosh, Modern Love, Science Vs., Song Exploder, This is Actually Happening, Upvoted by Reddit, Side Hustle School BONUS Category: My Favourites (all are already listed, but I wanted to seperate them aswell!) The Grift, The Mystery Show, Roofless Podcast, The Basement Yard, By The Book, Darknet Diaries, Do You Know Who Jason Segel Is?, Ear Hustle, InBox, Other People's Lives, Pizza Podcast, Reply All, Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonalds?, Exploit, Welcome to Nightvale
As a kid, you never really realize when your parents tend to be different. To you, they’re just you’re parents. But eventually, the whispers start, the ongoing murmurs, and you can’t help but think about your parents in a different light. That moment tends to be unforgettable, even if regrettable. I was seven when the whispers got to me. I’m from a small town, very small, very closed off, very religious. The type of town that seems ten years behind the rest of the world around it. The kind of town where you call everyone by their first name, even at seven. We lived outside of town, on a small farmstead that had been in my family for a few generations. Though we had sold most of the land and no longer farmed, we kept enough for ourselves to live off of. A few cows for milk, a few chickens for meat, nothing special. Just small time country life. You’d think that we would have this grand sense of space, being out in the country, no other home for two miles in any direction. The Great Big Empty, as my now-fiance refers to it. But it wasn’t empty to me, nor my family. No, my family’s property was filled with everything, scrap and junk and garbage, because my mother kept everything. Back then, “hoarding” wasn’t a known compulsion by any metric. But a medical diagnosis wasn’t really a necessity when it came to Coffee Row, the rumour mill every small town is at least familiar with. “I’ve heard she goes to the dump and steals all the old mattresses.” “It’s such an eyesore.” “I’m surprised none of her kids have caught some sort of disease from playing in that yard.” “Well, they aren’t the brightest of kids. Probably get that from her.” “Bruce isn’t the brightest man in the world either. Look who he married.” These phrases, repeatedly spoken by the crotchety retirees at the local coffee house, would then trickle down to mouths of their kids, and their kids, until a punch of third graders couldn’t help but think of me and my family as dirty. And, well, you tend to internalize those things after awhile. I didn’t think too highly of myself in my childhood. And, I mean, they weren’t necessarily wrong. No, my mom never went to the town dump to steal old mattresses or broken down equipment. Actually, I don’t think she ever went to the dump once in her life. To her, everything would eventually have it’s purpose. “It’s better to have something and not need it then to need something and not have it” was a common wisdom she imparted on us kids. Though after a few years, I can’t help but see it as a defensive posturing than anything else. By the time I became aware that my mother’s “collection” wasn’t as common as I suspected, my father had given up on trying to curb her ways. The strong and silent type, barrel-chested and heavy-hearted, he thought it best just to let things be. He didn’t care of the whispers and the murmurs and of Coffee Row. He just wanted a simple life with his family. And if having to live in what others considered a condemned area was what stood in the way of his loving happiness, then that’s what he would do. My mother seemed normal, to me at least. I know I was just a kid, but you’d think any sort of compulsion would have more signs, more symptoms. But no, not really. My mom was just…a mom. She made me packed lunches. She baked things for the school bake sale. She made me Halloween costumes. From the inside, everything was normal, everyday, life. But that was until the rumours got to me. I didn’t confront my mom. I mean, what’s a seven year old going to say? Stop being weird? Throw some of this shit out? No, I never told her how I felt. But my resentment was something that became obvious to the rest of the family. “Never you mind what the other kids say,” my father told me, sitting in the near darkness of my room one night after a bedside story. “They’re just bitter people with nothing more to talk about then that they don’t understand.” “But I don’t understand it, Dad!” In that near dark, only half illuminated by my bedside lamp and the nightlight plugged in beside the door (used as a guide when midnight nature called) my father took a moment before saying, “I don’t either. But I don’t think it’s our place to understand.” After that, I tried my best to push it all away. But parents tend to forget to pressures of the classroom, and the resentment still tended to boil up from time to time. It was the approach of my eighth birthday that really made things clear to me that I wasn’t dealing with the family farm situation properly. “How did it go today, hunny?” my mother asked with her usual brightness. She was almost always cheery when me and my little brother got of the bus, espicially on days she didn’t work a shift at the county hospital. I didn’t reply, choosing instead to have some classic childhood seething. But she wasn’t going to give up that easily. “Did you remember to hand out the invites?” “Nobody wants to come, Mom!” I was louder than I had wanted to be, on the verge of tears, but not backing down. “What do you mean?” “What do I mean? I handed out all the invites to everyone in the class, but nobody wants to come to a birthday party in a junkyard, Mom!” I turned to storm off to my room in an overly dramatic way that would have been suited in a melodrama than from an almost eight year old. My mom didn’t stop me. I glanced back and she was just standing at the other end of the hall, watching me walk away. After that outburst, my mother wasn’t as cheery when I came home, but she didn’t throw anything out. She didn’t clean the yard or the barn or the three abandoned sheds that dotted our grazing field like rat infested infections. Those sheds, which me and Shaun, my younger brother, called the Junks, was the worst of it. We rarely ventured out to them ourselves. To me at least, the insides of the Junks were what I imagined my mother’s mind to be like. Decades old newspapers piled high, broken equipment, rusted tools, all of our school projects and hand drawings and childhood activities, labelled and stored and stacked and stacked and stacked. Organized is a polite word to use when describing having to actually carve a pathway from one side of the room to the other. Every once in a blue moon something would come up and my mother would need something from on of the Junks. An old certificate. A decoration for a rare occasion. A newspaper article about a study from years gone by (this was before the advent of Google made such discoveries simpler). And off to the Junks she would go to find her well kept gold. “It’s better to have something and not need it” as her saying goes. Sometimes she’d come back, item well in hand. Many times she didn’t. I never liked going to the Junks myself. I didn’t like the idea of lifting up some boxes to find a rats nest, or something long ago dead. It never happened, but imagination is a powerful thing. And after a few years of quiet resentment following my eighth birthday outburst, and the growing distance between myself and my mother, I was never sent out to get anything anyways. School life, of course, never helped either. The birthday shut out was one of many that I would experience in my small school. The friendship pool tends to be small when you have less people in your entire school then most city classes. And every class needs an outcast. That’s tradition at this point, right? It wasn’t until grade ten that I made a friend. A girlfriend, in fact. She moved to our small town after her dad became the doctor at the county hospital. She wasn’t a big fan of country life, I could tell, but the pay for being the only doctor for miles around was too much to pass up, and the man himself came from a neighbouring community. So I started dating my mom’s boss’ daughter. Some might think that might make things complicated, but much like the friendship pool, The dating pool isn’t something small towns are known for. Not to disparage those who end up marrying their high school sweethearts, but in these situations it’s more beggars can’t be choosers than anything else. I was worried when I first started dating her. The other kids teased relentlessly. “You’re gonna catch something from him. The plague is somewhere in his yard.” “His mom’s fucking crazy. You must be too if you’re dating him.” “Don’t go to his place unless you have your tetanus shot.” She didn’t really give them mind, but after awhile (in teenage days, “awhile” is a month at most) it did start bothering her. I never invited her over to my place either. I was embarrassed, and I think that bothered her too. She thought we were sneaking around, that I didn’t want her to meet my family. Again, she was only half correct. Three months into the relationship, though, a situation arose where avoiding having her over was really not going to work: a long weekend with the house all to myself. Every horny teenager’s dream, and it was happening to me. Mom, Dad, and Shaun were all going to the Grand Canyon for a fun family vacation. Me, being the brooding teenager that all fifteen year olds aspire for, asked to be left home. While my Mom protested, my father talked her into letting me get my way. “He’s becoming a man, and if he wants to stay home and work, I don’t see a reason to stop him,” I overheard him saying to her one night, long after I was meant to be sleeping, sneaking out for a cold glass of water. “You know that’s not why he’s wanting to stay home as much as I know it,” she retorted. “He’s a teenager, Maggie. I know you two have had your problems, and you think that this is just another step of distance, but he’ll come around. Trust me on that. In the mean time, let’s just give him some space.” She didn’t reply, and I snuck off without making a sound. The next morning, it was settled. I was a man, as my father said, and could make this decision myself. Though, as he reminded me thoroughly, this meant I wasn’t get a vacation, period. My chores would still be well in affect throughout the weekend, he said, but the smirk told me that if things slid, the punishment wouldn’t be the harshest. They left early in the morning on the Saturday. I was planning on sleeping in myself, as every fifteen year old plans, but was groggily, gently shaken awake early, by my mother, sitting beside my bed (something of a rare site, her being in my room). “Mom? What’s going on?” “Just wanted to talk to you before we left.” She looked around my room,, as if seeing it for the first time. I was groggy and annoyed at being disturbed, but I noticed the sadness that seemed to blend into her usually sturdy eyes. “Everything okay, mom?” She looked back at me, that sadness even sharper, “Yes, yes, everything is…fine,” she sighed, “you know I wasn’t a fan of having you stay home alone this weekend, but here we are. You’re father can be rather convincing, as you know. I just wanted to say…you’re a man almost, but not yet. But almost. And I guess that’s harder to accept than I would like to admit.” The grogginess abandoned me. A sobering conversation like this was a rarity from my mother, and it deserved my full attention. Yet, she just sighed, this sigh seeming to be an apology of sorts as she slipped off my bed to stand. “I didn’t want to leave while we were both angry at each other. I guess we’ve been angry for a long time, longer than we should be,” I could see it, that sadness was not a new thing but something that was always there, just deeper, maybe smaller, but always, always, “I hope that when we get back, we could maybe try not to be. How does that sound?” “That sounds…that sounds good, ma.” She smiled at that. She always enjoyed being called “ma”. But the smile seemed to curdle, turn in a second, as another thought drifted into view. The true purpose of this early morning reconciliation. “I know that you’re planning on having the Somner girl over while we’re away. Don’t, don’t get upset or indignant. I don’t much care to argue about teenage love at the moment. I only have one request from you.” She looked at me, the sadness gone, replaced by an affirmation, a forcefulness which surprised me after such tenderness. “Don’t take her out to the sheds. I know that it wasn’t on your mind, and that you’d probably be preoccupied otherwise, but it needs to be said. Don’t take her out there.” I didn’t know what to say. I was just confused, very confused. I would almost have laughed if not for that harshness in her eyes, and that tone, that don’t-mess-with-it tone. I just nodded, which was enough for her. Her features softened once more, and left my room without another word. Saturday afternoon, Morgan came over, and that’s when things changed for me. I had tried to make it as perfect as a fifteen year-old could. I cleaned the house as much as I figured I should and then some, I washed up nice and clean, I made a true presentation of what we were all taught romance was. Even with the scrapyard front yard and the closets burdened with random assortments of just stuff, I thought the day would go off without a hitch. Morgan was a year older than me and got a car for her sweet sixteen. Nothing to flashy, but enough to make her squeal with delight when it first arrived, and enough to get her to pull into my yard early that afternoon. I had wanted her to come early, make a day of it, you know? Go for a hike, take her through the garden, show her the points of my family life that didn’t embarrass me to no end. Hopefully offset her initial reactions from pulling into the yard. That all changed the moment she arrived. “Imagine seeing you here,” she said playfully as she stepped out of her car. “Yeah, imagine that,” I walked up and kissed her, quick deep and all too excited. She laughed at this see-through nervousness and looked around. “So, I guess this is why you never invited me out before.” I looked around, ashamed of it all, “Yeah…yeah I guess.” She looked at me, saw it all, all that guilt I apparently had, and couldn’t help but laugh a little, “Come on, it’s not that bad. So you’ve got a few junkers and clunkers and stuff. What’s the big deal?” I looked at her, and smiled, “Wish I knew.” She rolled her eyes and started towards the house, “Don’t be so dramatic. Come on, you going to show me around or what?” “Depends what ‘or what’ might mean?” (I always thought I was more creative with words than I actually am) She looked back at me, smiling, God what a smile, “Don’t be an idiot, please. I don’t like idiots.” I smiled, too. Until…until I saw her eyes wander from me, and her smile fade, as those eyes locked onto something off in the distance. “What are those over there?” She pointed off behind me, and I turned to see she was pointing out, across the field, through the junkers and the clunkers, straight across to The Junks. “Oh, those? Those are just The Junks. That’s what me and Shaun call them, at least. They’re just…just more of all this, I guess.” (There’s that shame again) “Can we go out there?” she asked as she already turned and took steps away from the house. “What? Why?” “I...I just want to, I guess? Can we go out there now?” She was now walking for them, seemingly not caring what I had to say on the matter. “Morgan, you don’t want to go out there, they’re just full of garbage. Come on, let’s go inside.” She just continued. She didn’t look back. “Morgan, come on!” Nothing. I went after her and grabbed her wrist. “Morgan, stop!” She did, and looked back at me, but not like she ever had before. There was a moment, just a moment, a flash, of hate on her face as she pulled free of my grip. If she hadn’t pulled free, I would have dropped it out of shock. “Don’t touch me!” “Jesus Christ, what’s gotten into you?” “Nothing! I just…I want to go out there, okay? Why the hell can’t we? Why are you being a jerk about it?” “I’m not being a jerk, I just don’t want to take my girlfriend out to the shitty junk buildings where my mom stores all her useless shit! Okay?” She looked at me, just looked and nothing more, for a few seconds before turning and continuing towards The Junks. I didn’t run up and grab her wrist this time. I just followed behind, confusion clouding my mind, anger choking my throat, and a chill, a coldness, crossing my body. She stalked her way through the field, stomping down the long wild grass which prevailed throughout the field, weaving her way around the destitute machinery and piles of rubbish which littered the field. I simply followed, nothing else I could seem to do, no protests to be made. She stopped dead centre of the three leaning and over-sunned buildings. Any paint that had once existed on their rotting exteriors had since given way to the unforgiving gift of time. The windows were empty, gaping holes, robbed of their glass by wailing winds and weak installations. The doors barely existed, a courtesy extended to the interiors more than actual protection from the elements. Standing there, actually taking them in instead of taking them for granted, they didn’t really seem like buildings as much as memories long since abandoned. I walked up behind Morgan, almost tentative, worried I’d send her off on another rage tangent. She didn’t react to me, simply staring up across the buildings which fascinated her so much. “There you go. Three eyesores, just like I said. Happy?” “What’s in them?” I shrugged. “Junk, like I said. Newspapers, old toys, family projects that never took off, antiques that aren’t worth shit, I don’t know. Nothing worth salt, really.” “But, what’s really in them?” This question sent chills down my back. The way she said it, eyes wide and body slack, like a child, it was unnerving. Her voice no longer sounded like her own, like the voice that liked to whisper things privately into my ears. She sounded and looked like a complete stranger in that moment. She was moving again, cascading forward towards the door which only ever held back layers of old, forgotten junk and the shame I felt for it all. A door that, to me, was nothing but rotting boards and rusty nails. A door to nothing. But to her, to my teenage heart-breaker, it was a door to all she seemed to want and more. I wanted to not move, not from my place in front of the three Junks, but my mind was gone, blank, as those chills that shot throughout me went from creeps to fear to terror in giant leaps and bounds. I marched, steps behind her, but I watched it all like I wasn’t there at all. Like a security camera watches the murder of a late-night service attendant. She reached out and pulled the door open. The hinges screeched, cried out, not from rust, but from some sort of…of satistaction. A moan of disgusting approval. And those doors revealed...nothing. Pure nothing. A blackness that is unknowable, unexplainable, stood in that doorway. Inky , thick, tangible blackness. This was not simply the absence of light, this was the death of it. Light touched this and simply stopped existing. In fact, the blackness seemed to feed off the light, to grow and pulse with each moment of exposure to life outside it. Morgan stood outside the throbbing, living blackness, not taken aback, not shocked or confused or even afraid. She stood there and breathed it in, watched it with a fascination, a love that was almost as dreadful as the blackness itself. I wanted to scream, to do anything. And I almost did it, almost pulled myself together enough to run over and grab Morgan and slam that door shut and never, ever come back to these horrible ruins again in my life. I almost did it. But then the sounds reached me, and overpowered every ounce of will I had gathered to that point. The screams. The blackness was screaming, wailing, rasping. It was like listening to a thousand deaths. It was the sound a soul makes when it is wrenched unceremoniously from it’s unwilling host. It was a sound that came with a stench. It made my blood curdle in my veins. It made my heart stop beating. But Morgan…that smile, that whimsy simply grew on her face as the orchestra of hell reached her. In the ecstasy of evil, she seemed to love the song it sung. For her, it wasn’t horror she heard, but a siren call, a lullaby. An acceptance. She didn’t look back. Didn’t say anything. Didn’t make a noise. She simply took a step forward, and was gone. And worth her, in a blip, in the blink of an eye, the nothing was gone. In a blink of an eye, I stood there, alone, looking at a rotten building filled with rotting things, but things nonetheless. The blackness, the horror, the screaming, was gone. And with it went Morgan, forever. I was found by a neighbour, crying, screaming, running but almost collapsing. I don’t know how long had passed, I don’t remember anything else from that weekend, from the rest of that year really. Everything I’ve heard about it is second hand, whispered amongst the townsfolk and told to me by my brother on his less than sober nights. The police. The investigation. The allegations. None of them I can recall. Any time I think of that day, the sucking, feeding screams return, and I just start to shake all over. Therapy doesn’t help. They want you to talk through it, to write it out in a private journal, to make it real, and I refuse to do that. Drugs don’t help either. If I slip into something less, something relaxed, something even one step away from this heightened fear that I have forever resting in my heart, then it returns. That hunger. That screaming black hunger. My family, already burdened with the strange looks my mother had always gathered, were now outcasts. We weren’t formally dejected, but we were never welcome anywhere again. Both my mom and dad lost their jobs, my brother and I were basically ostricisized at school. We weren’t welcome here, not in this small town, or any of the neighbouring ones. Wouldn’t be surprised if the whispers of our names reached coast to coast. I know that’s the paranoia talking, but I still wouldn’t be surprised. But we never moved. It wasn’t even discussed, wasn’t even a consideration within the family. It wasn’t an option. Years later, after both my brother and I had gotten as far away from that middle of nowhere, middle of nothing town, I went home to visit. I didn’t do it very often. Though I had grown up to both look more and act more like my father than my younger years would have initially suggested, the buzz that my visits generated at Coffee Row still caused my skin to crawl. It was my final night of a four day visit. My father had gone to bed at that premature time that older men who have known little else besides work seem to need. It was me and my mother sitting in their living room, both reading quietly, enjoying just being together but not needing to say it. The sitting area was towered over by books, wall to wall, books stacked to the ceiling, and doubled-up in other areas. It made the room both comfortable and suffocating, with a sudden jolt of Earth undoubtedly ending our lives under the hard covers of Holmes and Hemingway. I sat reading only to stop and look up. My mother, hair tinged grey, face lined with years of secrets. “What’s up?” I asked. She just continued looking at me for a moment more, seeming to decide something. “I know what happened to her.” “What happened to who, ma?” “The girl. That Somner girl from years ago. The one that you try and pretend you’ve forgotten about, and that you’ve gotten over. I know what happened.” My mouth immediately went dry, my heart raced. Simply hearing that name, remembering, remembering all that darkness. That empty. “Mom, I never told you what happened.” “You never said what happened because you couldn’t. No man could.” Her face, her lines, they seemed to age before me, to by weighed down, tortured by what she was thinking about. She took her time, but I waited. “You don’t see what I see. Neither does your brother, or your father, or any man. You can’t see what we can. I don’t know why, so don’t bother asking. All I know is that this land, our family’s land, my family’s land, has belonged to us, has been our burden for much longer than I think we can really know. This land has been our responsibly. The men are to protect the women, and the women are to…to stop it.” She looks at me, deep and hard and knowing, and that’s all she feels she needs to say to describe everything in that nothing. “There’s no need to ask me questions about what it is or what it does. You saw it. You know that no matter what, it’s not a good thing. No, no, it’s where goodness goes to die, that’s for certain. And it’s our family job to keep it back. To keep it contained. To keep it hidden.” She stops now. Getting this little bit of information out seems to have drained her from any remaining energy she had. Much more and she would simply fall asleep where she sat. “Mom, why are you telling me this? Why now?” Her eyes became harder, her mouth set in place. “Don’t you understand? It’s our family’s duty to keep the darkness at bay.” My heart beat so hard, but my blood ran cold, sluggish, as what she was saying was dawning on me. “It’s our duty…but I can’t see it. And dad can’t see it. And Shaun can’t see it.” She nodded. That was it. That was the end of the conversation. It was our duty to keep it out, to keep it locked up in the Junks or whatever the fuck those buildings actually were. It was our job…and I can’t even see it. The Great Big Empty. That’s what my fiance calls it. That’s what most anyone would call it. Any man, at least. I wish it was empty. I wish it was that simple. I wish that it was the empty we actually know, a quantifiable empty. But it’s not. It’s a hungry empty. An empty that will rob you of everything you are. An empty that is now my fiances’ responsibility.
2017.08.04 16:28 organozerglingSomething weird is going on at an industrial complex in Southern Nevada
I apologize that this isn't very well-written or formatted, but I'm running on two hours of sleep and had a really unusual afternoon. I'm banged up a good amount too, so cut me some slack. Here's what happened, starting with some background and what lead up to it: I’ve always enjoyed watching the videos on YouTube that people post showing them doing semi-dangerous things that they aren’t supposed to; things like sneaking around construction sites at night, hiding somewhere until a store or mall locked up for the night and then evading security till morning, or hopping from rooftop to rooftop in the middle of an office complex, that sort of stuff. I’ve always wanted to do something like that at least once but figured I was getting a little old for immature shit like that and the police wouldn’t give a near thirty-year-old man a break for trespassing just for the thrill of sneaking around like a moron. In addition to that, living in Las Vegas, there were tons of great places to explore, like construction sites and shuttered casinos, but the security around them was so prevalent the chances of being caught were unacceptably high. One day, however, as fate would have it, the perfect target presented itself. Looking back, though, I wished it hadn’t. I’m afraid to go back but simultaneously drawn by curiosity that will probably lead to a second visit. I noticed this place on a long commute for work, driving on a two-lane highway out in the middle of the desert. I was about an hour outside Las Vegas, Nevada, where I live. At one point in my commute, I saw a gray, boxy, industrial structure, just a couple of miles off of the road in the desert. Hills obscured all but the top of the building, so from that perspective, it appeared to be a solitary factory or warehouse that had sprouted from the ground one day. Throughout my drive, I kept an eye out for the street that would lead to the building, but I couldn’t find it. The highway was just one long section stretching for twenty miles in either direction. I filed the building away in my mind and went on my little business trip, which was uneventful. A month or so later, back at home, I saw an urban exploration video in my YouTube feed that brought up the memory of that building. It was perfect. That would be the site of my exploration! I began doing my research. I couldn’t find the building on Google maps initially, but in the satellite view, I was able to spot a big, concrete square plopped down in the desert, not far from the highway. The strangeness of this place being an hour from anywhere didn’t concern me, in fact, I saw it as a desirable quality: any security called on me would take a long time to get there, giving me the opportunity to escape. On my computer, I zoomed in on the structure and spotted a little unobtrusive road that broke off from the highway. The portion of the road closest to the highway was dirt or gravel, but further down it was paved. I couldn’t find an address to plug into my GPS, and the dirt road seemed easy to miss; in fact, I missed it the first time I passed it. So, I did my best approximating how many miles down the highway the dirt road was, and then mulled over a few rough infiltration plans and set a date. A couple of weeks later, the day arrived. I proceeded on my little adventure, excited and nervous with my backpack in the passenger seat. I may sound sheltered or boring or whatever, but doing this was a big deal to me. My heart was pounding the whole two hour or so drive out of the city. It was an hour and a half until I arrived at the approximate location of the road I was looking for, and it took me another half hour of turning around, then turning back again, then turning around yet again, to find the damn thing. When I finally spotted it, I flipped a u-turn and pulled off onto the dirt road and proceeded slowly. I wasn’t doing anything wrong by driving on the dirt road, I knew, but knowing I was about to carry out a little unauthorized exploration had me a tiny bit paranoid. I kept my speed down to avoid kicking up dust; you can see the dust cloud thrown into the air by a vehicle for a pretty fair distance, and I didn’t want that. The road sank into a depression that was flanked on both sides by hills, almost like a little canyon. Not long after rounding a bend I came to a sign, staked into a concrete block that was buried in the earth right off of the roadside. The sign was shield shaped and looked like a pointy interstate sign. It was divided into three horizontal sections of color: the top red, middle white, bottom blue. The text read ‘U.S. Gov’t Property. No Trespassing.’ I was busy reconsidering my adventure soon after reading that, so although I noticed the colors on the sign were really bright and vibrant, I didn’t think about what that meant. Looking back, however, it suggested the sign was pretty fresh. It was likely placed somewhat recently, and was much newer than my destination. It doesn’t take very long for the sun and dust to start bleaching street signs. The warning concerned me; trespassing on government property was bad. But I wasn’t going to steal or break anything, and I imagined I could always say “I didn’t see any sign, officer,” or make up an excuse if something happened. Able to thus convince myself I’d be okay, I proceeded. I transitioned from bumpy gravel on to the smooth pavement, and a few turns from there the defilade-like depression opened and spilled into a wide, bowl-like valley surrounded by hills. I saw the whole of the warehouse from here for the first time. The building was maybe fifty feet high with air conditioning units jutting from the roof. What I hadn’t noticed from the satellite view, or seen from the road, was that the warehouse was just one of several buildings that made up some sort of industrial compound. The entire compound was surrounded by a heavy chain link fence topped with barbed wire. Inside, there were some generic, squat, gray buildings, and a three-story office structure. I saw some big propane tanks with pipes leading into the ground, a big stack of wooden pallets covered up with a blue plastic tarp, and other random stuff not worth describing. A good portion of the compound was taken up by a parking area, but that was empty save for some white maintenance trucks parked in one corner and a few 18 wheeler trailers. The lack of vehicles made me think it was empty, and in my excited, paranoid state all I thought was that this was a good thing because no one was there to spot me. An empty guard shack up ahead with its lowered boom barrier arm blocked the road ahead, but it was comically easy to just maneuver onto the dirt to get around it, which I did. As I rolled nearer to the fence, I noticed something and tapped the breaks. There was a gate there, keyword being was. It was a rolling chain link type, and it had been smashed off its tracks. A length of chain, wrapped around one end of the gate and to the anchor point of the corresponding side of the fence, was twisted and snapped like the gate had been chained shut when it was rammed by a fast-moving vehicle from the inside. At the time I knew this was weird, but remember my main concern was not getting caught, so this just reinforced the idea that no one was around. The gate would have been fixed otherwise. I maneuvered around the twisted gate and onto an access road. From there I drove to the parking lot, cut across it, and parked between two of the maintenance trucks so my vehicle wouldn’t be visible from the road. I couldn’t see any signs of activity, and although the nearby office building was a tempting target for exploration, I elected to stick to the plan and go to the warehouse first. It was about a quarter of a mile away from where I parked, and although I considered moving my vehicle closer, I ultimately decided to keep it hidden among the trucks. I shouldered my backpack, got out, and headed for the warehouse. I jogged my way over there, and clearly remember giggling to myself along the way. The feeling of breaking the rules reminded me of a time when I was a teenager running away from the cops with my friends after getting caught drinking in the park. I was having a lot of fun so far. The warehouse ended up being larger than I expected and I lamented not coming earlier, when I would have had more daylight to look around. But I couldn’t have planned for the place to be unoccupied, and you don’t sneak around occupied places at noon. But I was here now, so I started walking the perimeter of the building. The bulk of the structure was mostly bland gray in color, but it also had a decorative darker gray horizontal line running along the wall, from the ground to about three feet high, to save it from total monotony. I started moving around the structure, coming first to four loading docks. I climbed up onto the small overhang that extended beneath each and tried my best to grip the doors and pull on them. They were, of course, locked, so I continued. There were other potential entrances on the next side of the building: a big metal door with mechanical keypad (locked), a red steel fire escape door (locked), a big ass sliding garage-like door (locked or way too heavy to lift). On my way, I took a few pictures of the building and its potential entrances, just for fun. During my search for a way in, I found something interesting. Four industrial electrical breakers within a steel security box bolted to the exterior wall. The door on the security box was flung wide open with its shiny silver lock dangling from the corner. The levers on each box were lowered with the black side of the black and red rubber handles facing me. Without really thinking about it, I grabbed a lever in each hand and threw the breakers. DA-DOOSH! There was a loud, bass-heavy noise from inside the warehouse, followed by the buzz of high voltage current surging nearby. I threw the other two levers. DO-DOOSH! Bzzzz. Overhead, floodlights flickered and then illuminated. Now I don’t want to sound like a pussy, but the noise and lights made me feel like every eye on the world was on me and I felt extremely exposed. The side of the building I was on faced a good half of the complex, so I high-tailed it to the back, which faced some empty desert and the mountains. I was starting to question what I was doing as I rounded the illuminated building, intermittently passing beneath wells of light projected onto the ground. I’m a little old for this shit. I’m on government property. I’m probably going to get caught and arrested, I thought. I remember muttering “This is stupid,” aloud as I hit the next door and gave it a tug. Locked. I hurried on ahead to the next door in the distance, looking around as I moved. There was this door, then one more on this side of the building to go. I was losing my nerve and decided not to check the rest of the building after this; I’d just cut my losses and go. I had some fun dicking around, so it wasn’t even too bad. I basically screeched to a halt when I noticed a thin sliver of light cutting through an inch-wide gap between two large double doors ahead. They were situated atop what looked like an oversized handicap ramp that was probably used for smaller cargo. One of the pair of doors was ajar, held open by part of the frame of a metal shelving unit jammed between them. I remember pacing back and forth hesitantly, saying “Fuck it” aloud, and then hauling ass up the ramp. I peered inside. The walls were lined with mostly empty shelves, the big kind like you’d see at Costco or something. Some of them held large cardboard boxes wrapped in cellophane, and others had some crates stacked on them, but I’d say a good 90% of them were empty. Some more rows of shelving were in the center, and some blocked my view of the opposite side of the building. Halogen lamps hung down from the ceiling, and most of them worked. There was a mass of darkness obscuring the far corner, opposite of where I stood, but I could make out a stairway leading up onto a catwalk disappearing into shadow, and a wall projecting from that corner. I figured that darker area contained the foreman or supervisor's office and that the lights were on a separate breaker or just turned off. Sliding past the gap in the door and climbing over the section of shelf that had apparently fallen against the door, I slunk inside and started looking around. There was nothing out of the ordinary at first. I just saw things you'd expect to find in the interior of a stereotypical warehouse that had fallen into disuse. I did find a forklift with a key in it, but decided that I’d probably crash if I tried to drive it. The shelves were too close together in this section to leave much of a margin of error. I snapped a picture of it for fun. The first subtle sign I discovered that something was out of the ordinary here was related to the shelves: one of them appeared to have collapsed and fallen over onto another, which had tumbled onto a second, which rested precariously on a third. It appeared like they all may come tumbling down if I breathed on them too hard, so I turned around and moved down a different shelf corridor towards the nearest end of the building. I saw an industrial air compressor and workbench stocked with tools pushed up against far wall and decided to go that way. Nearly there, I stepped on something, which rolled beneath my foot and flung me flat on my back onto the hard concrete floor. It fucking hurt, but besides getting the wind knocked out of me I was no worse for wear. After catching my breath I sat up straight to see what made me fall. It was brass. Like, brass brass. Empty shell casings from a rifle, strewn about the floor and beneath the nearest shelf like someone tossed a couple handfuls out. I imagine most people would be kind of freaked out at this discovery. A gun was likely discharged, multiple times, and that means something bad has happened, right? Crime scene, CSI shit. Well, that didn’t cross my mind at the time. I’ve been shooting recreationally, every month when I can afford it, for almost twelve years. I don’t associate guns with killing, or crime, or even hunting. I associate it with sport, with target shooting. So my first thought was “Okay, some guys come out here to shoot.” It is the desert, people do that, and that’s as far as I thought it through. I picked up a handful of brass, looked it over, stuffed it in my pocket for whatever reason, and continued toward the bench. There was a bit of a gap between the strewn rifle brass and another collection of empty cartridges on the floor nearer to the bench. These were from a larger caliber pistol, and there were only a few of them, but I kept my eye on the ground to avoid falling on my ass again. Eyes low as I picked my way along the floor, I caught a shape out of the corner of my eye, a silver glint among an L-shaped matte black object. I looked over to find a pistol, a model 1911. Those usually aren’t cheap handguns: a decent modern one is north of $1,000, so I didn’t think someone would simply leave an expensive handgun just lying here. More disconcerting was it looked like it had just been tossed on the floor. Moving closer, I saw its slide was held back with an empty cartridge wedged between the slide and the barrel. That indicated the firearm had failed. It’s called a stovepipe malfunction. I considered that the owner’s gun was defective and he threw it out, but that didn’t seem reasonable. A lot of semi-automatics, especially ones patterned after older models, will stovepipe occasionally and it's not the end of the world. But the discarding theory is the one to come to me at the time. I foolishly considered picking the weapon up, but I didn’t end up doing that. The owner may come back for it, and that was only one of many other reasons not to take it. I did take a picture of it lying on the floor, though. (Update: Picture of the pistol and cartridges are HERE. ) There were some very nice cordless drills and other tools on the workbench, expensive stuff. I peeked at them but didn’t touch anything. A sense of unease fell over me temporarily. If this place was no longer used, I thought, the employees would have taken the tools. So this place must be operational. But if it’s operational, why are sportsmen practicing their shooting around here and even leaving their guns laying around where someone could find them? I couldn’t come up with an innocent answer. It felt wrong. I decided, firmly this time, I would spend a few more minutes looking around. I planned to check that foreman’s office I saw from the door, and then go home. Enough excitement for one day. On my way toward the dark corner of the warehouse, I noticed a big gouge ripped out of one of the wooden pallets about eye-level with me on a shelf. There was something round, about as big around as a dime, embedded a centimer deep in the wood. I used my pocket knife to pry it out. The little metallic object popped out into my hand. It was cold and heavier than expected. It was a bullet, pistol caliber. It had torn into the wood, started to penetrate the pallet, and then struck a nail and got stuck. There was a dent dead center in the bullet where it hit the nail. I didn’t think a nail in wood would stop a bullet like that, but it sure as hell did. I kept the dented bullet, thinking it'd be a neat little souvenir. Down toward the corner with the office it was getting darker and harder to see. Yes, I had a flashlight, but it was out of batteries. Okay, it was in my backpack and I forgot I had it like a dumbass, but I've never done this urban exploration shit before. You can also probably tell by now I may lack intelligence sometimes and do not always possess much common sense. Anyway, I couldn’t see the floor very well in this darker area, and it wasn’t very tidy in this section. There were pallets to step over, boxes to dodge, shelves to slip between. I nearly tripped a few times but managed to reach the office without dying. It was much darker over here and what little illumination made it to this corner was largely obstructed. Thankfully, there was a faint glow visible between the sides of the double doors leading into the office, so I could make out the outline of the entrance. I pushed open the doors to find myself inside a small, brightly illuminated hallway of some sort. It’s a little hard to describe what this area was for, but it was like a partition, a rectangular area between the double doors I just stepped through and a big steel door on the opposite side. I could hear a deep mechanical thrum from the other side of the steel. I went inside, moving through the big door and then underneath a set of heavy clear plastic strip curtains. The first thing that struck me about that next room was how damn humid it was. It was really hot, as well, and water dripped down from pipes overhead. Light came from a hanging fixture in one corner of the room that did an okay job at keeping the darkness at bay, but I couldn’t see very well and looked for a way to turn on the rest of the lights. A cool blast of air from an overhead vent hit me square in the face when I moved deeper in, squinting to see. I realized then that this room obviously wasn’t anything like an office, and was in fact probably refrigerated or even a big freezer. It was so warm because the power had been out long enough for everything to completely thaw. Throwing the breaker earlier had started up the AC again. I stopped to take a picture. The walls here were clinically white, and the floor was made up of flat white tiles interspersed with drains. Four big shiny yellow drums sat in one corner of the room. The center held a stack of polymer crates, about seven feet long, two feet high, and three and a half feet wide. Thinking back, they were stacked maybe four high, two long ways, and five short ways, so there were about forty of them. I could make out a little shine cast by reflected light onto a glossy label or sticker plastered on one of the crates, and I moved closer to see what it said. I had to squint, but once I was close enough I could read part of it. Emblazoned against the white background of the sticker was a bright red biohazard symbol. Below that read “BIOSAFETY LEVEL 3”, and at the bottom was more text within a four columned, six or seven rowed table. I tried to take a picture the label to study later, but it was too dark and the picture didn’t come out with any detail. At that point, I was thoroughly unnerved at the possibility of accidentally touching something infectious and decided I needed to leave. As I hurried toward the first door I heard the familiar DOOSH noise from earlier, when I had flipped the breakers. I froze mid-step, and heard the loud thrumming of the cooling unit die down into a low whine and ultimately fall silent. Then, DOOSH, DOOSH, DOOSH! One after the other after the other. Shit. In an instant the light died and I was in pitch blackness, like someone had thrown a black curtain over me. I panicked and ran forward, face first, into the door. I fumbled around for the latch and opened it. I couldn’t see anything, but managed to feel my way through and get out through the set of double doors and into the warehouse proper. All the lamps were out here, too, but I could just barely make out the thin sliver of waning evening light from the wedged-open door I had first came through. That was on the opposite side of the building, in the farthest corner. Closer, but still far away in the corner parallel to the one nearest to me, was a dimly glowing EXIT sign. At first, I decided I’d get out the same way I came in, because I at least knew that door was open and I also had a (very) vague idea how the shelves were laid out to avoid running into shit. After spending a little time picking my way through the boxes and other shit on the floor, something passed in front of the thin sliver of light, causing the light to blink out for an instant. Oh. My. God. Someone was in here with me. I, again, panicked, and started forward, quickly, and promptly tripped over something, knocking over more somethings as I flailed about for anything to grab onto. I fell to the ground, boxes and who knows what else raining down around me among a hail of clamorous bangs. I heard the footsteps soon after the noise died down. They were pounding against the floor, quickly, like a dead sprint. They started in the direction of the door I entered through, and were coming toward me. I want to stress this sounded like a very fast run on open ground, but it was pitch black inside with hazards everywhere. Not being able to see, it shouldn’t be possible to run like that without killing yourself. That being said, in reply, I ran too. I tried, anyway, to book it for EXIT sign I saw a moment earlier. I fell several more times, clotheslined myself on a shelf, and even ended up running into something jagged which tore through my pant leg and left an inch-deep gash in my calf. I tripped and fell and climbed and clawed toward that door, all the while hearing that impossibly fast PATPATPATPATPAT behind me and getting closer. I thought I was going to die there. My heart was pounding erratically and felt like it was going to literally burst. I have a heart condition, and it was starting to act up big time, but instinct kept me going full speed. Full-on fight or flight with everything dedicated to the latter option. After what seemed like an eternity, I slammed into the exit door and pushed it open to be greeted by the last ebbing light as the sun sank behind the hills. I didn’t stop running after getting outside. Upon stumbling out the door, this horribly loud siren began blaring from different angles all around me. At first, I thought it might be the cops, but it turned out I tripped the emergency exit alarm. I didn’t care, and I didn't look back as I sprinted the quarter mile to my truck. I got in and hauled ass out of there. I didn’t see whoever chased me through the warehouse during the run to my vehicle or my escape. But I suspect if I would have looked behind me I may have. Well, that’s basically the end of it. I don’t know if this was a coincidence or not, but on my way back home, after traveling for about a half hour, I began seeing a lot of cop cars booking it at about ninety heading back the way I came. I ended up counting a dozen unmarked police SUVs, one convoy of 3 black SUVs with lights blaring, and one highway patrol car, but not a single fire truck like I would expect if it was related to an emergency exit alarm. About ten minutes after I saw the last cop, a highway patrol vehicle came tearing up the highway behind me. It got right on my ass and stuck there like glue. I looked like I had been seriously beaten up from my run through the warehouse; black eye, bloody nose, bleeding leg, torn clothes, scratches everywhere, et cetera, so if he pulled me over he’d know I wasn’t just enjoying an evening drive. I pulled my phone onto my lap and started deleting pictures from my phone, trying to be inconspicuous about it. But, thankfully, after tailgating me for a couple of minutes, he slowed down and did a u-turn. I don’t know what that was about, but I'm thankful it wasn't related. I think my leg is a bit more fucked up than I thought at first. I can stop the bleeding, but it seems a little too wide to heal right and will open up soon after removing the bandaging. I may need stitches. I’m concerned about seeking medical attention, though, because I look like I was jumped by half a dozen dudes and the doctor may call the police. I’m probably going to wait until at least the bruises on my face fade. What do you guys think about this? I have a bad feeling something bizarre happened there. I want to know what was in the crates, and what those labels said. And then the yellow drums? The gun? The fact that someone had been shooting inside? And that’s just what was in one building. And who the fuck was that guy (I assume guy) sprinting at me from the darkness? I don’t think it was security, but I have no idea. I really don’t want to go back and meet that man in the warehouse again, but at the same time I have an urge to return and figure some shit out. Also, I know some of this makes me seem like a clutz and a wimp, scaredy cat, pussy, etc, but I'm really not. Please don't think that I am. UPDATE 1, 08/04/17, morning: It turns out I didn't delete every single picture. The picture of the pistol on the floor is still on my phone. I'm going to sleep for now, but if anyone can tell me how to remove the metadata from the photo I'll post it. Later. UPDATE 2, 08/04/17 11:30pm: Here are the pictures I promised. The only one taken at the facility was the pistol. One shows the bag I put the casings in. I didn't realize how dirty they were when I picked them up, but they were nasty with oil or something on them. There are a few rifle cartridges (one looked like it blew up) and a few from a pistol. Update 3, 08/06/2017, 9:01 AM: I did some research, and without going into details here, something illegal is going on there. I can't call the police, because I saw it while trepassing. But, I am going to go back to get proof I can forward to them anonymously. My work schedule is strange, so I may end up going very soon or in a week or two. Either way, if I find anything, I'll keep you posted. Update 4, 08/11/2017, 3:30am: I went back. My second visit to the complex can be read HERE
2016.11.08 05:59 TBabb711Another attempt at a novel about my pile of crap forever alone life
Sorry for the massive post. The last few weeks of my life and frankly my whole life has been hard and I need somewhere to express all of this. I sent this to a friend a couple weeks back and needed another safe place to share it. I've been talking with a couple people about it. The TLDR is I've been lonely as hell my whole life. I've never had any friends really. Nobody has ever found me attractive at all. I'm a 26 year old man who has never gotten anywhere with a girl. I've never even kissed anyone. I finally met someone and thought things were getting better. We had coffee 5 weeks ago and that's legitimately the first time I've even gotten that far with someone. It looked like I really had a chance this time. I don't think anything is going to happen now and I just feel awful about it all. Anyways, here's the long story with lots of details. Also, before I start I want everyone to know that I'm okay. I'm not suicidal or going to hurt anyone. I'm not even depressed right now. I'm just not happy anymore. I'm doing my best to cut down the personal details and only use first name initials and stuff like that. Nobody has any obligation to read this. I just would rather talk about it than sit here feeling like crap about it and I figured this was another safe place to express all of this. Anyways here's what I sent my friend So yeah A and I had coffee 3 weeks ago. She's amazing. There are some different things about us, but for the most part it was all good. Things I REALLY appreciate about her: She really appreciates music and there's a lot we share there. I grew up in a super musical family and have a higher appreciation for music and I love that about her. She enjoys playing games like bridge that I really enjoy. She's just a genuinely really kind and happy person. She's always smiling and laughing and it's genuine. Her smile and laughter is cute as hell. She plays sports with me and I love playing with her. She is doing a PhD in a technical field. Okay, I have a lot of appreciation for that to start. It's also so incredibly nice to talk to someone who's going through a lot of the dissertation struggles that I'm going through. Even the things that are different didn't seem to be bad. Like, I know she's a super outdoors person and I'm more of a gamer, but if she asked me to go hiking with her on a Saturday it's not like I hate hiking. I don't really do it on my own, but I would 100% go hiking with her. I enjoy playing games, but I would rather hang out with her hiking than playing games just about any day. I mean, there are a lot of days where I would much rather hang out with friends that I care about than play games. She also didn't laugh at me for being a gamer like some people have. Anyways, it seemed good. I sent her a message a couple days later asking if she would be interested in doing something else. No response. She doesn't seem to check her school email much so I didn't think too much of it. I mean, she said she never even received my initial message and it took 5 days for her to respond to the second one and even then while we were coordinating coffee she took super long to respond to each message. I picked up with her the following week at our sports league and we seemed to be having a good time together. Not like she was clearly flirting with me or anything, but I overthrew her by A TON once and said "OH SORRY A THAT WAS AWFUL!" "Oh no I could have gotten to that I just ran into someone." "Uh I mean I think you're absolutely amazing and I don't think I even have that much faith in you." We seemed to be having a good time. Had a bit of a laugh later when she sort of under threw me on one and I almost overran it and then had to basically fall on my face to grab it. I was on the sideline for one point just smiling at her and she looked over at one point and I swear she made eye contact and got a big smile on her face like she was really happy with me. Maybe she was just smiling at the baby on the sideline. I don't know for sure. We seemed to be having a good time. I'd love to just talk to her in person, but it's hard in the team setting as there's not any alone time. League is over now anyways so that's not happening. So I shot her another email and a friend request on facebook. No response either place. I suppose she hasn't rejected my friend request, but I haven't gotten a response. We actually had 2 mutual friends when I sent it and then I noticed one day it was down to one and the person she removed was someone she had told me she was kind of bitter and frustrated with. I don't want to read too much into any detail, but it seems like she saw the request. I don't think the other person would have removed her. The last thing I want to do is to start bothering her or to make her think "oh goodness this guy is clueless and not picking up on my obvious hints that I'm not interested. He just emailed me AGAIN." I did try her one more time at her gmail account. I don't want her to feel like I'm harassing her or anything like that, but it seemed like we were having a good time together and it didn't feel unreasonable to think there's a nonzero probability of something more happening. I could easily see this not working long term for 100 reasons, but we seem to have enough in common and there's a TON that I really appreciate about her and I'm 100% interested in giving it a shot and finding out. Here's what I sent her Hey A, I really enjoyed seeing you for coffee the other week and I sent you another message and never heard back. I don't know what happened, but I thought I would try you here. I don't want you to feel pressured or anything and if you're not interested that is okay. We are both adults and I would respect your decision either way. You can tell me if you're not interested. That said, I have really enjoyed spending time with you and there is a lot that I appreciate about you. I would love to see you again if you are interested. I would be more than happy to grab coffee again or go hiking with you or go to dinner with you or go hang out and play games like bridge (I know that doesn't work with 2 people, but something like that) and listen to all the music we both appreciate or anything else you would enjoy. It sounds like you really enjoy jazz and I really enjoy listening to good music and I would be happy to just hang out with you playing games and listening to music. I know we don't know each other that well. I'm not asking to jump into a serious relationship. We may find we are completely different people and this might not work anyways. However, there's a lot that I like about you and I would definitely be interested in giving it a try. If you are not interested I would appreciate a response. My Name Like none of that seems too pushy or harassing or anything like that to me. I'm straight up telling her that it's okay if she's not interested, but I would appreciate a response. You know I'm the super nerdy type. I mean, I was outstanding graduate of the college of engineering. If you google me you can see I basically won two international math competitions in undergrad. I mean, it's a somewhat open ended problem each year with 6 first place named prizes, but regardless, I won it twice. I was the kid who basically walked into all my engineering exams without studying and got the highest grade. I play games in a lot of my spare time and enjoy things like all the Marvel movies and shows. I'm just saying all of that to say I was always the super nerdy type and never interacted well with people socially. I was REALLY bad growing up. I seriously didn't develop my social skills quite right growing up. I just say all of that to say I've never really had any friends at all as the super nerdy kid. I had never even gotten as far as coffee with a girl before this. Nobody has ever been interested in me. I never had a date to any of the high school dances. I was the kind of kid who had his yearbook stolen and "You're a fa****" or something stupid like that written in it. I don't even remember what it was. It's not like that one event traumatized me. It's just another example of how I've always sort of been the awkward kid who was always picked on and never had any friends. People being assholes never really bothered me, but not having any friends did. A couple years back this girl from undergrad was telling me that I was an attention seeking wh*** for posting something on facebook to the effect of "I don't think we should be dumping buckets of ice water on our heads to validate our self worth with facebook likes." Don't get me wrong, I'm all for donating to good causes. I have donated a lot over the years. I just don't believe in publicizing it on Facebook. Give from the heart. It certainly raised a lot of money, but for so many people it just became the cool thing to do and they didn't actually care about ALS. Anyways, that's another discussion. I told her she had never been kind to me in undergrad and to just leave me alone and she responded with this nasty message explaining all these reasons about how she was justified in all of her actions in undergrad. Let me be clear here, I was socially awkward and there was absolutely some truth in some things she said about how I made people feel uncomfortable with my social interactions, but these people were assholes to a lot of people. I mean, I remember once when I was kind of friends with this group of people and this guy E who was even more socially awkward than me sat down to have dinner with us and this guy J was so angry that E just wanted to eat dinner with other people and when E stepped away J said something like "I'M GOING TO KILL THE FU****!" They were just horrible to everyone they decided they didn't like. I'm not pretending that I was perfect in my social interactions and can't improve anything, but they were just awful to people just for being socially awkward. I think for many reasons when I find someone I like I tend to get more emotionally attached than is natural and I probably made a girl or two feel uncomfortable in undergrad, but there is only like maybe 2 girls from undergrad that you can say that about. It's not like I was doing anything actively malicious or significant unwanted advances, I was just kind of socially awkward around people. I suppose they decided everyone needed to be protected from me since I was such an awful person and I was basically treated like an outcast by them and they sort of spread this I think to a good chunk of the whole honors program. I sit alone almost every night playing games. I don't go out partying with the other grad students and stuff like that. There's one person from high school and one person from undergrad that I still talk to. There's basically one person in the grad department that I'm actually friends with and hang out with outside of work, and even that is rare these days since he has other things going on. All 3 of those people I hardly ever talk to because I'm not close with anyone. I'm nobody's best friend. I don't even talk to my brother anymore because he refuses to make any compromises with me. "Oh guardians of the Galaxy is available for free on demand let's watch that!" "No that Sci fi fantasy stuff is stupid were watching this." "I don't have any interest in that." "Tough." I'm not saying he always needs to do what I want to do, but that is literally every interaction with him and he refuses to compromise. I still kind of remember this one time in undergrad when my one group of friends were going out for one of their birthdays and I wanted to go celebrate this person and even that was like "Do we really have to bring him?" Sophomore year I was a 19 year old trying to take capstone classes in the department because again I was just way far ahead in school. It was such an incredibly stressful year of school and probably one of the most stressful schedules anyone has ever taken on in the history of schooling. I'm legitimately serious about that. That was crazy and only superseded by MH, who is even crazier than me, and the schedule I took on as a graduate student. I got really stressed and sometimes just broke down and couldn't get the work done and my friends got frustrated with that. Next semester they basically told me "We'll still be friends with you, but sorry we won't work with you anymore you have to struggle through all of this alone." I even remember one night getting stuck on something and going to their room to just ask for help with it and they basically opened the door and said "Here's some goldfish crackers hope you have a good night!" They wouldn't even acknowledge why I was there. I still remember this time a year or so back when I was grabbing dinner or lunch with my good friend in the department and I had already bought him dinnelunch a couple times and I did it again and he said "WHY ARE YOU BUYING ME THINGS?" I said "Well you've always been good to me and I appreciate that and I want to do something for you." He said "You don't have to buy me things. I appreciate friendship too." I was so completely taken back by that. I mean, I was legitimately surprised that someone actually considered me a friend. I honestly wondered if I was buying him lunch/dinner because I appreciated him and wanted to do something nice or if it was because I felt what I had to offer a friend wasn't sufficient and I had to buy him food to be good enough for him. I don't even advertise my birthday at all. Birthdays are stupid. I guess because so few people have ever cared about me I care far more about the few people who are actually going to be there for me whether or not it's my birthday. My birthday isn't listed on Facebook and I've even convinced my family to not write on my wall on that stupid day so everyone else sees it and writes on it. "Yay I saw Facebook said the earth happened to be in the random position around the sun that it was also in the day you were born! Such an important day!" I would so much rather do something for someone not on their birthday and say "No I actually care about you I don't even care when your birthday is I'm doing it because I actually care about you not because Facebook says I'm supposed to write on your wall." I just don't want random people who don't care about me to write on my wall because facebook says so. I want the people who actually care about me to be there regardless of what day of the year it is, which they are since they care about me. I do have a few friends, but I'm just such an extremely introverted person who hardly even interacts with others. I sit alone at home most nights playing games. I really do appreciate the few people like you and L who have always been good to me. Just everywhere you look in my life I hardly have any friends. Seriously, even the fact that you guys invited me to that event was like "WHAT THE FUCK HOLY SHIT SOMEONE ACTUALLY WANTS TO SPEND TIME WITH ME?" I mean, there's a reason why I've never had baggage for league unless it makes the difference in me getting in or not. I have a couple friends on Xbox, but that even seems to be disappearing to an extent. My friend J seems to spend more and more time with his wife these days and he's in a more serious job now so he doesn't hang out until midnight anymore and now his wife is pregnant and so that's going to be even less time. My friend P has always been good to me, but again I'm just nobody's real first priority. I think "Oh cool P and I will play this together!" "Oh no sorry I'm going to play it with W." Also, screw W. We were all one really close group and then that guy also started being a complete ass to me. That wasn't even just me or anything. Every night I hung out with them P would just be like "Why is W so awful to you? He doesn't treat ANYONE like that." We were actually a good group of friends and then W just started being an ass to me and kind of killed the group. Seriously, thank you both to you and L for always being good to me. I'm just frustrated at this point with the whole thing. I think partly because I've never really had friends or for some other reason I tend to get a little more emotionally attached to these kinds of things than what would be natural. If she's really not interested in me I get it and it's totally okay. At this point I am mostly convinced that's the case. I understand. However, at this point I just wish she would give me a response. If she's afraid of hurting me by saying no or whatever that's not really helping. I would understand if she wasn't interested. Not responding is only really feeding into all my insecurities about being a complete loser with no friends and it just has me sitting here wondering why I'm not even worth a response. Am I really just such a loser who harasses women to the point where they need to be protected from me like that girl in undergrad said and I'm not even worth the 30 seconds to type "I'm sorry but I'm not interested." Again, I could see reasons why this wouldn't work long term with her being more of an outdoors person and I'm more of a gamer. I think there's a lot in common and again I would be more than happy to go hiking with her or any of that, but if she's not interested I would totally understand. But this past weekend the fact that she won't even respond has just been feeding into all my insecurities and totally fucking with my head and been making me feel like shit about everything and bringing back all the moments like that message from that girl in undergrad. I know it's also way early into my life to freak out about this, but again A is the only girl who's even agreed to have coffee with me. I'm perfectly willing to be realistic here and admit there are things about me that could use a lot of work and I'm not putting the blame on the girls who haven't been interested, but I'm starting to think my mom is right that there's a very strong possibility that I end up 10 years down the road and I'm some lonely 36 year old sitting at home with no friends or girlfriend or wife or anything alone each night playing games every night. I like playing games, but I really don't want that to be my life. Hell, especially recently I just don't even care about games anymore. I look through this huge backlog of incredible games and I just don't care. I would rather spend time with a best friend (Hopefully A someday? Doesn't seem like it) than play games alone every night. I don't know. I mean, I was talking to my sister about it and she agrees that I probably wouldn't enjoy being in a serious relationship with someone who isn't deep in a technical field. There aren't a lot of women in technical fields. My office is an 11 to 1 ratio men to women. I don't expect anyone to perfectly align with me, but it would also be nice if they enjoyed things like music. If they didn't laugh at me for playing games. If they also played the same sports as me and we could share that together. I just don't think there are a lot of women who align with me very well and even if I really work on improving the things about my character that could use some work I still very likely may not find anyone and that's really fucking with my head as well. I mean, I am only 26, but I'm also not in undergrad anymore and I'm not that far away from being 30 and still single. I mean, I don't mean to be super pessimistic about the whole thing. I used to be that way about it, but every time it doesn't work out with someone I've eventually found "Oh cool there's this other awesome person over here." Maybe it takes a year to find someone else, but there are others. Sure, there are a lot of fish in the sea. That said, I just don't think I would work with a LOT of them. I guess I'm realizing that no matter what I do there are some people who just never find someone that it works with. There's no guarantee that anything works. I'm sort of in this vicious cycle right now where I get my hopes up and start to believe that it might work out. Then she doesn't respond to my most recent email or something like that and I just feel like shit about everything again. Then a couple days later I just think "I care about her so much and I just don't want to give up on this. I'm not giving up until she actually tells me no." Then I start thinking about how much I care about her and how much I want to try this and I get happy about the thought of it and start to get my hopes up. I am kind of mad at K right now. I don't know if I told you this, but K was a big part of the reason this whole thing started. I met A and thought she was super cool. I'm always the kind of introverted person who is harder to break through to and all the girls I've ever been interested in it's been friends first and then I eventually find I really care for them. The first night I met A I legitimately almost asked her out before she left. I wasn't even looking for anybody that night or at the time, but she just really impressed me. It just wasn't even on my mind until we chatted for a while. I think I told you the conversation ended with her saying "By the way I'm A." I was so socially awkward that I just said "Yeah I hope I see you around" without giving her my name. That weekend I told K that I had met someone and left it socially awkward like that. K just said "OH MY GOSH I LOVE A!" She started pushing me into this so extremely hard. I told her A wouldn't find me interesting or care about me and she kept telling me I should give it a try. Eventually I decided she seemed really cool and I had to try with someone eventually so I decided to give it a try, but that was at the end of summer league and now K won't talk to me about it for some reason. I mean, I told K "I've just never been in any relationship before. I've never even had coffee with someone. I never even had a date to any of the high school dances. Literally nothing ever. A seems great, though. I would like to try." Then as soon as I decided I was in K refused to ever talk to me about it. I didn't do anything to K. I know I can be hard to deal with since I'm so insecure, but for some reason she just kind of abandoned me. Now I'm just sitting here thinking I was right all along that A would never be interested in a guy like me. I dunno, I knew nobody could ever actually care about me and I told that to K, but she pushed me to try this anyways and then as soon as I said okay she abandoned me. Again, if she's really not interested I understand, but I thought we were having a nice time together and I want to try this more than I have wanted with any other girl I've ever met. We get along well and have a lot in common and I think if we actually tried we would find we really like hanging out. Like, this isn't some "O M G THIS GIRL IS SO HOT I WANT TO GET LAID!" I mean, A is an absolutely beautiful woman, but I just appreciate her so much and I really enjoy spending time with her. I just want to hang out and go hiking with her or go share game of thrones with her if she would like that. Hell, even though she seems to have no interest in video games she's an intelligent person who enjoys interesting card games and I honestly think we could have a really good time just hanging out together playing one of my puzzle games like The Witness or this goofy Overcooked game I have (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OxNXP3-wcU). It's just a fun goofy coop game that is super easy in terms of gameplay, but it's 100% about just teamwork. Gotta make sure the dishes get washed. Gotta make sure you get the right ingredients out of storage for each dish and chop them up and get the meal in the oven or whatever. Make sure the dish doesn't get overcooked. There's a lot of variety, but it's just good fun and easy for anyone to play since the controls are so simple. Like I think if we became close she would enjoy the goofiness with me. I love good food and I would love to take her to the restaurant C. I LOVE C and I love good food and I would love to go hang out there with her and just try things. Also the restaurant BCB is amazing. I had the chef's tasting menu once and it was just the best food I have ever had. I don't care about the money. I care about having a best friend who cares about me. I would love to go eat that food with her and just enjoy our time together. I mean, don't worry if she agreed to do something I would start slow. I wouldn't say "HEY I'M TAKING YOU TO THIS PLACE IT'S REALLY GOOD DON'T BE FREAKED OUT BY THE FACT THAT I'M TAKING YOU SOMEWHERE WHERE I'M PAYING FOR A $600 BILL! IT'S ONLY ONE OF THE NICEST RESTAURANTS IN THE COUNTRY!" Hell, that's moving way too fast even for me, although I legitimately wouldn't care about the bill and I'd love to spend time with her, but I would think "Wait we're that serious?" I know I said this the other night, but I was playing piano again for the first time in a while and just thinking about how much we both appreciate music. I guess I'm just saying I really appreciate her for who she is. Sure, she's a beautiful woman and I'm sure it would be fun to sex her at some point way out there, but while I am attracted to her I just appreciate her for who she is and I just want to hang out with her and be best friends with her. I'm just not the kind of guy who's always looking to have as much sex as possible. Even if we were to start dating I wouldn't want to sex her right away. I'd much rather have it be something meaningful where we care deeply about each other and are completely in love than to just have casual sex. I just want her to be my best friend if that could happen. I don't think I've ever been interested in someone like this. I mean, I've been attracted to people and liked them for who they are, but I don't think I've ever just legitimately appreciated the person for who they are this much. On that note that was also one small thing that we didn't really share over coffee. Almost everything was in common or "Okay I don't really hike, but I would do that with you." When I expressed frustration over the undergrad sports team guys because for them it was a contest to see who had slept with the most and youngest women she just said "Yeah but that's undergrad." I was just thinking "REALLY? For you? That wasn't undergrad for me. Sure I'm sure it would be fun to get laid, but I'm looking for something meaningful where we really truly care about each other, not just meaningless sex left and right." If something did happen I don't think me not wanting to move super fast and just get into a casual sex fest would be a deal breaker for her, though. I know I haven't spent that much time with her and maybe we would find we just don't have enough in common or she wants to go hiking every weekend and gets frustrated if I ask her to just hang out and watch tv and play games some Saturday. Maybe it doesn't work out. I don't know. And I know I can't force anything. If she just has no interest in me then there's nothing I can do there unless I can rewind time and be more intentional with her while we had coffee. I listened to a lot about her, but I was so worried that she wouldn't like me for who I am that I just didn't know what to talk about with myself. When she asked me things I didn't want her to not like me for playing games and I said something about how "Oh I don't really do much." I did tell her I play a lot of games, but I just know I wasn't that interesting to talk to. I mean, I think you know that once I'm comfortable around someone I'm very open and I will share anything with A, but I was so nervous. I didn't know how to put this when I started typing this, but I think because I've always been so alone without any friends I partly just get so incredibly emotionally attached to every girl I have feelings for because I don't have anyone to share my life with and I guess I'm just hoping for a best friend like I just talked about. I mean, maybe I just get way more emotionally connected because there is nobody else so even the smallest connection feels 1000 times better than it would for most people. I was just driving home from league tonight thinking "Why can't this just work out for me just this once? I actually believed this one might finally work out. I hate my whole piece of shit life. I've always been alone and nobody has ever given a shit about me." I mean, I just don't want to live the rest of my life going to work, coming home, playing games until I go to bed, and waking up alone again. The fact that A not showing up to the mixer thing tonight triggered that strong of an emotional reaction is kind of fucked. To be fair this was my last chance for a long time to see her and talk to her about it in person and I felt like I had just lost my last chance to make this work. Maybe there's still a chance. I dunno. I could still see her in the other fall league that's not over yet, even though she's not in that league she has picked up there before. I could also get her phone number fairly easily, but I don't want it to end with "OH MY GOSH YOU CREEP HOW DID YOU GET MY NUMBER I'M NOT INTERESTED LEAVE ME ALONE ALREADY!" I was starting to make some actual life changes because I wanted this to work so badly. I don't know if you ever noticed, but I always just buzzed my hair every couple months because well it's cheaper and quicker than going to get an actual hair cut. After a couple months it always started to look really bad. I actually paid $20 for an actual hair cut the other week because I didn't want her to not like me because my hair looked doofy. I also know A won't solve all the problems in my life. I was actually super depressed about 5 and a half years ago over a lot of the same things. I didn't feel like anyone loved me or cared about me. I felt like I had no friends. The girl I knew at the time wasn't interested. Feeling like shit a lot of the time has just sort of been a life cycle independent of A or any female. Most of the time I'm fine. I mean, you've spent time with me and seen me as a happy person. There are some times though when I realize I'm just going home and playing games alone all night again and I just feel so incredibly lonely. So many of my problems are centered around friendship and relationship, and I feel like if A had said yes and she became my best friend then 90% of that is solved. Hell, I'm a super introverted person and I'm not even saying she has to be by my side 24/7. Some nights I might just want alone time to play The Witcher 3 or Divinity or something like that. I don't need 1852523 friends. I care about having one person who really cares about me. Again at this point I think we had a nice time having coffee together. She didn't make some excuse to run off 30 minutes in. We hung out for 2 hours. We seemed to have a really nice time playing together. I probably threw to her way more than I should have when there were better options. I mean, you said you were laughing at me at one point when I tried to throw to A. At this point I don't think she's interested, but I wish she would just give me an honest response because her not responding isn't helping me feel better it's just feeding into all my insecurities about being a loser with no friends and making me feel like I'm not even worthy of a response. Maybe she's sitting there undecided thinking "do I really want to date a guy who plays video games?" I don't know. I would understand that and wouldn't be mad at her or anything. She could say "I just wasn't sure and could never make up my mind." I would understand almost anything. If she has any concerns or questions I'd discuss anything with her. I just wish this silly girl would give me the courtesy of a response at this point. At this point if she doesn't respond soon I don't know know what to do. Half of me thinks she's just not interested and I should let it go, but half of me knows we have at least had a nice time together and I don't want to give up until she at least gives me the courtesy of a response. I actually sent an abbreviated version of this to R earlier this week. I guess I was partly feeling like shit about my piece of shit life and was looking for a friend to talk to. He's always been good to me and I trusted him with all of this. I think I was even just still hoping so much for things to work with A that I was thinking "Hey maybe since R and A are friends R will talk to A about it and say 'No I know him well I really think you should give him a legitimate chance. You two would get along super well.'" I feel shitty hoping someone else would do that for me. It's not R's responsibility to do that for me. I just wish I was at least worth a response. I want her to give it a chance so badly, but again I know I can't force that if she doesn't want to, but at least give me a response. I guess back to the note of being accused in undergrad that I made girls feel completely uncomfortable. I absolutely don't want to give up on this, but I'm afraid if I send her another email it will get to "HOLY SHIT I THOUGHT I MADE IT CLEAR THAT I WASN'T INTERESTED LEAVE ME ALONE YOU CREEP!" I don't want to give up, but I'm not sure what to do at this point. Maybe it's time to just let it go. I know I'm going to wake up in the next couple days unwilling to let it go, though. Given that we've had a good time together I don't think it's unreasonable for me to think there's a nonzero probability that this could work. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for a simple response either. I would just hate to be wrong and just completely push her away from me. I mean, the last thing I want to do is make her feel uncomfortable or harassed. Don't worry. I'm not super depressed anymore. I was legitimately depressed 5 and a half years ago like I said. I'm not depressed anymore. I would just say I'm not a very happy person a lot of the time now, but there's a fundamental difference between the two. I know one person put it as depression just completely lowers your neutral state. You just don't want to do anything so much of the time. I'm still happy in general, I just am not very happy more often than I should be. That's what I sent to my friend. In the time since that I emailed A again and still haven't gotten a response. Today I just woke up wanting honest answers and sent K a short message saying "Hey I don't think it's unreasonable for me to just want some honest answers here. I've hardly messaged you about this at all and you were the one campaigning for me to pursue this. Will you just talk to me about this today?" K won't respond. At this point my friend made a good point that in the best case scenario you can argue that A isn't getting my messages or something like that, but even still if she was actually interested she probably would have reached out or something. I don't know. I can't stop thinking about it. I've never felt this good about a woman before. I could legitimately see this working out well. I'm mostly resigned to the fact that she isn't interested, but if there's any chance at all that MAYBE this might work I absolutely don't want to give up on it. I just wish I could have some honest answers so I could have some peace of mind at this point. The answer can be "I'm sorry I have no interest in you." That's okay, but I don't understand what the point of just not responding is. It's just dragging it out for both of us. Like I said, we had already had coffee and I even told her at league "I think you're amazing" and I felt like I made myself clear and she was still smiling and laughing with me that night, which makes me think that MAYBE there is still something here and she's just on the fence or something. If she had zero interest she probably wouldn't have responded well. I can hardly focus on anything. I can hardly get my work done. I don't want to play my games. I just want her to be my friend. I don't know what else to say about it. Thank you for giving me a safe place to express all of this and just be sad about it. I just want an honest response and some peace of mind and I don't know what to do.
26 Dating Deal-Breakers That Might Make You ... - BuzzFeed
Ages 0-100 Talk About Their Dating Deal Breakers - YouTube
21 Dating Deal-Breakers People Wish They Could Say - YouTube
I M DATING TWO GUYS
Buzzfeed - YouTube
YOU'RE DATING A LOSER -- Deal Breakers -- Bad Dates -- What girls hate about men
Dating Deal Breakers
What Are Your Dating Deal-Breakers?
We brought in people ages 0-100 to answer some of life’s big questions. In this episode, we asked people 'what are your dating deal breakers?' Tell us what y... “A vegan! I don’t know If I’m ready to be that open-minded!” Check out more awesome videos at BuzzFeedVideo! http://bit.ly/YTbuzzfeedvideo MUSIC Easy Street ... He's Just NOT: Dating Deal Breakers - Duration: 9:32. Kim Samuels Recommended for you. ... BuzzFeed Multiplayer Recommended for you. 21:57. Language: English Location: United States BUZZFEED STRIKES AGAIN: the Cringiest Video Yet! ... Guys Talk About Dating Deal Breakers - Duration: 3:05. As/Is 5,665,082 views. ... WHAT IT'S LIKE DATING A TWIN - ft Nina and Randa - Duration: ... The ladies of “The Real” and special co-host Vivica A. Fox share their personal lists of dating deal-breakers during this Girl Chat. Tune in to find out what's Adrienne's biggest turnoff. YOU'RE DATING A LOSER -- Deal Breakers -- Bad Dates -- What girls hate about men. This is my personal appeal of a few dating deal-breakers in relationships. It is intertwined with the Buzzfeed ... by BuzzFeed Multiplayer. 4:25. Play next; Play now; ... Girls Talk About Dating Deal Breakers by As/Is. 3:00. Play next; Play now; Guys Talk About Dating Deal Breakers by As/Is. 3:05.