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or, across the ferny brae with the evil voodoo celt

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Sick Systems
via rigel:

Sick systems. Warning: not a happy read.

I once was caught in just such a relationship*; to make matters worse, my workplace (and most especially the contract I was on) had many aspects of a sick system, as well.

I barely escaped with my life. I am not exaggerating.

The experience burned a lot of bad s*** out of me, and I became a better person for it. The other person in the relationship was damaged and not entirely responsible for what they did. This does not, in any way, excuse them.

I still have scars; I think I'm still healing some of the damage.

And it's nearly 25 years in my past.

* Yes, this is where that occasional Tarantino reference comes in. In a spirit of compassion and forgiveness (though not, as I said above, excusing the conduct), I'm probably never going to go into detail about it, unless it becomes necessary.

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I'm glad you escaped before your workplace did more damage.

I'm still feeling the effects of mine (from the assisted living place I was working in), but then again I've been out of there for just over a year. I still question my culinary abilities and confidence more than ever before, though a very good Veg Cuisine prof helped me overcome that a bit (without even realizing it).

One thing that really sucks is telling people, in a legal context, that while such workplaces may be horrible? They're not illegal. I know that the legal system can't fix everything, but that's a really hard pill to swallow.

Thank you. The workplace was bad, but was eclipsed by the horrificness of the relationship. ETA: I don't think the workplace did any real damage to me, but it was a good object lesson...

Edited at 2013-07-29 10:14 pm (UTC)

Also, sometimes compassion and forgiveness are more about YOU and less about them. ;-)

Exactly. There's some really good musings about forgiveness in the linked post by Harriet, in one of her comment replies... the reply to Yvonne from June 23, 2010.

I was in three sick dysfunctional relationships. all learning experiences.

The first was with my first wife, now 45 years ago. She left a really bad scar on my life and, although she was mentally ill, I have no forgiveness.

The second was with my long-term employer, via "golden handcuffs". While I'm comfortable financially as a result, I lost my moral compass bearing more than once. It took some good psychotherapy to put it all in perspective and help me stop being an asshole.

The third was my final employer, the one that bought-out the long-term one. They provided comfort, but ultimately proved to be the Devil in a Tarot-like way. I took early retirement as soon as it was offered.

Edited at 2013-07-29 09:28 pm (UTC)

This is kinda my life. I get a new job, find a new relationship and it just turns out to be the same old thing, different setting. I really think I'm cursed or really pissed someone off in a former life or my role in life is to help everyone else out. I dunno and nothing I do every seems to change things.

That sucks. I don't know what else to say.



Figured this out about work places a long while back. Have gotten much better at spotting toxic workplaces before I go in, but in the recent job market it wasn't always possible to forgo the contract. I can survive most anything for a finite duration, and I understand the process enough to not get sucked in even as the firestorm rages around me.

If it's bad enough I admit I contribute to the horror. The people I deem responsible sometimes suddenly find themselves in front of the big boss at the big meeting with pie on their face and a fish in their pants trying to explain to the big boss why this seemed like a good idea. And when they look at me I pull out the printouts of the memos and emails they sent out when they first came up with the 'brilliant' idea. "It's your fish, it's your pants, it's your laugh". Oh, they hate me for it, but if someone is _already_ treating me that badly I don't care if they hate me more, the increment won't make that much of a difference - especially since at that point they have also learned they need to fear me.

As far as relationships go, it's not a game anyone allows me to play, so I'm designated observer.

And you know what, an awful lot of relationships are just like that. Not sure if it actually crosses 50%, but I think it is close.

Some while back, someone posted a PSA about domestic abuse "Not all damage is physical" or some such, and had a woman done up in bruise make-up, with lines from each of the bruises leading to text blocks surrounding her: "You're nothing without me", etc.

The thing is I hear people saying things on that that to their SO all the time.[1] But you see, the people in my social circles generally didn't come from the "trailer park", so nobody uses _those_ words. They use whole paragraphs. They use hyperbole, allegory, syllogisms, sarcasm, and a perverted form of the Socratic method in which they lead the witness into being the one to announce, "OMG, I'm worthless without you"!

And of course because it has been so carefully camouflaged, nobody bats an eye, or raises an objection. Certainly not the person being abused, who will more than likely hold forth on how evil someone must be to do that to their partner, and end up with a proud boast "I'm glad my Johnnie isn't like that". All I can do is gawk slack jawed and stunned, because I listened to Johnnie doing exactly that not 10 minutes before. Worse it will do no good to point it out, because I've learned the hard way, they won't believe it and will ascribe the most nefarious of motives to you for trying to point it out.

And so these "Stockholm syndrome" relationships go on, because anyone that can see what is happening can't convince
victims of the problem, and most people can't see it at all because if they saw it in that relationship, they'd have to admit how much it applied to their relationship.

"What fools these mortals be."

[1] And when I don't hear it in person I hear it when the women that have rejected me call me up cry on my shoulder/complain about their boyfriend. Either they're upset and don't know why because they can't see that he's doing this to them, or sometimes they're upset because he made his saving throw vs. their most recent to do it to him.

I could not get all the way through the article, it reminds me too strongly of my past. I am uncomfortable in some small geographic areas because i do not want to see or encounter the person who wrought such pain in my life. It that was a different lifetime now. It been 4 years and I hope there has been healing for that person but I don't want to know,I don't want any contact.

I am glad you got free. I am glad you are healing.</p>

Love from Me

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