The Private Pilot of this Ship

The private pilot of this ship.

I have no idea from where the title of this post comes, nor what it means.

I saw those words scribbled on a notepad beside my computer in my handwriting. They obviously meant something to the me who wrote them a few days ago. I know it was a recent note to self as it is underneath a brain-numbing To-Do reminder to print dull documents out – I remember writing that on Thursday (or on a day I thought and still think was Thursday) and exactly what it means.

I wonder what this note is about, and where past me found those words.

I’m sure I found them somewhere else before I found them here because this isn’t something which I would come up with myself. The word ‘Pilot’ is not something I’d associate with a ship, unless it was a spaceship, but I don’t think this is about a galactic gallivanting.

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vidi, vici awkward

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What was it about that sentence which struck a chord enough to make me write it down in an effort not to forget, and which I felt was clear enough to not add anything else because I trusted future me to know WTF past me was saying, thinking, feeling… she should know me better than that.

I did see a shooting star the night before bloodmoon rising…

Some people think seeing a shooting star is lucky.

Some think it is an omen of impending doom.

I just thought it was beautiful to experience as it jolted me out of a heavy pondering of a decision made and the chance still available to unmake it, of the pending possible consequences either way and the paranoia those induced, of a moment hope was lost… perhaps… of changes and wobbles… doubts causing a camera to shake as it tries to capture a moment.

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Bloodmoonblur

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This morning, before I saw those words, I woke up with an unpleasant memory. It was a condensed version of an entire lifetime of one experience – a bit like those films where someone dies and gets to see their life in review in a few clips – a summary of my life under the influence of mommie dearest who had to sprinkle her special sauce over everything and everyone.

My mother started calling me ‘Mama’ when I was about 3 years old, she claims it was earlier… she claims a lot… it was supposed to be an amusing nickname which bonded us, I didn’t realise that this was bondage of an adult kind not really appropriate for kids, S & M for tots and parents without tot consent.

Anyway…

You know that jesting semi-truth about there being two types of people in this world. The glass half-full / the glass half-empty. The optimist / the pessimist. The dreamer / the nightmarer.

The one who sees life being born in every moment… the one who finds death and doom everywhere.

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romantic bloodstains

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There are those who feel compelled to tell you when they find beauty in you, they feel good about sharing how much they love you even if it is only for a moment, and then there are those who only speak to you when they must dutifully point out your flaws because you need to know their ugly truth, they feel good about making you feel bad, even though they don’t really give a shit about how you feel it’s all about how this makes them feel and it will perk them up, give them a hard on, for a moment… before they have to do it again.

It’s the latter that came with the memory.

Of growing up with a mother who felt it was her duty to constantly criticise and critique, not just me, but everyone and everything at all times. She painted the world in black and white, with emphasis on the darkness, the dreary shades of grey, then demanded that I look at her as though she was the only rainbow full of colour.

Of never once being allowed to enjoy something as it was because it could be better, and the fact that it wasn’t as good as it could be was more important than that it was good, all the things which didn’t make it good enough had to be listed in detail until there was nothing right with it. Nothing could ever be accepted, not even a flower… that’s a weed! And someone neglected to tend to the garden until it was a sterile environment.

I once met my soul mate, and that meeting transported me to a place I’d never been, where everything and everyone was right, lovely, beautiful, fun, especially me, that was truly-madly-deeply-weird and different… nothing could possibly make this wrong…even if I was wrong about what felt oh so right…

My mother had another take on this.

She had warned me repeatedly of how terrified she was about me ever falling in love, because I would get so dreadfully hurt by it… and that would break her heart because she cared so much about me (never falling in love or being loved).

No one was allowed to love me except her. And I was not allowed to love anyone except her.

Ain’t love sweet!

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obsessionNo… no… no… you really don’t want this kind of love! That’s what stalkers, murderers, and destroyers of love and of you are made of… this kind of love only works in fiction, in RL this kind of love hates you.

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For once in my life I refused to let my mother ruin beauty by making it ugly. Truth does not have to be awful!

So, faced with that, she gave up on me… I had been brainwashed by someone else. This was not acceptable, only she was allowed to control my mind, heart, soul! She decided to try and sprinkle her special sauce on him, the one who had stolen my affection and had somehow out-Mach-ed her.

She forced him to go out to dinner alone with her (he did this for me), and she spent the entire evening telling him about all that was horribly wrong with me…

I know this because he related their interaction to me, while fuming because he had been polite with her for my sake…

I know this because I know my mother…

I know this because he wasn’t the first person to report back to me on the things she has said about me when she thought I wouldn’t find out.

I know that she has always hated me, she’s told me that in so many ways I’d have to get a lobotomy to forget it and even that isn’t a guarantee. I ruined her life by being born and not living up to her expectations of what a baby was supposed to do for the relationship of its parents (even when the father has categorically stated that they don’t want children), it’s only fair that she ruin mine.

She is still immensely pissed off about the fact that somehow her blessing wasn’t one we needed then… and we don’t need now… how annoying is it that we’re still together after all these years, and how can she take credit for that without it making her confront her own lies.

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shakespeare on love

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She was an idealist, a perfectionist, a finder of flaws, faults, and ugliness, who thought she was making the world a better place by permanently picking on it.

She often used backhanded compliments, as this made her feel that she was kind for complimenting you, but, above all, she was an honest person, unable to lie. She would tell you how beautiful she thought your smile was, what a pity about your crooked tooth which ruined it. That drawing you’ve made is great, what a shame that your horse looks like a dinosaur otherwise it would be brilliant.

My mother is the sort of person who would say about my blog – She occasionally writes some interesting stuff, it’s a pity her posts are too long.

The genius of this is that if you call someone out on their criticism, they will point out how they gave you a compliment, it’s just a pitiful shame that you’re such a negative person otherwise you would be okay.

She wasn’t being mean, she was being kind. She saw your potential and cared enough to let you know what you were doing wrong so that you could be a better person thanks to her. You could be so much more intelligent if you’d just stop being so incredibly stupid. She could fix you if you’d only let her take control and pilot your ship.

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figure it all out

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I think I woke up with this because I was contemplating before sleep how others often see us as one-dimensional compared to them. Even if they are aware that there is more to you… that awareness is fleeting.

Tell them that you’re stressed out, and they’ll acknowledge it… seconds later they’re adding to your stress with some drama of theirs, and they get annoyed with you because you didn’t handle it well. Mention that you told them you were stressed and they’ll… maybe acknowledge that, but most likely they’ll ignore this detail.

Tell them you’re sad, they’ll commiserate… seconds later they’re whining about something personal to them, they’ll expect you to be understanding, and yet they can’t understand why you’re being so insensitive and unempathic.

Tell them you’re angry, and they’ll back away… then come back at you with a bug of a frustration they need you to deal with right now, and they’ll look hurt when you snap at them.Why would you do that!?! Gee, I don’t know… I guess I’m a rather selfish human being who didn’t put my anger on a shelf to make your frustration my only concern.

Tell them you’re busy, and they can see that you are… and suddenly they need you to do something for them, and if you can’t they get huffy about it. This proves you don’t care!!! You care more about yourself than you do about them!!!

Tell them that you’re in a rare good mood… and suddenly that means all you want to do with your good mood is listen to what a bad mood they’re in.

Tell them that you’ve just had some good news after a long spell of having nothing but bad news… and they’ll resent you for it if things don’t happen to be going well for them, just as they resented you for your bad news when they wanted you to be happy for them which you were, but you weren’t happy enough for them. They haven’t forgotten that slight and they’ve chosen to let it inspire them… to piss on your parade.

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Two types of drinking

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Of course they were very drunk at the time… either on alcohol or on some other emotion, pain, drama which was all about them and you somehow got caught up in their spin cycle.

They knocked on your door, you had to invite them in because you couldn’t refuse their plea of help in that state… or it’s your fault for leaving the door open, anyone could walk in and luckily they did.

They need love, someone has to do it, might as well be you…

They were rude to your friends, kicked your cat because it got underfoot and they hate obstacles in their path of destruction, pissed in your closet as your toilet is not where they needed it to be for them when they had to go, puked on your favourite rug as that’s what it’s there for you materialistic schmuck, and were horrible to you, but… you have to hurry up and be patient with them, cut them slack when they pull on your reins, let them do this without ever holding it against them or asking them not to do it again… don’t be such a tightass dickheaded twat!

THEY’RE SUFFERING!!! So you must suffer too… what’s that? Oh, yes, they remember you wittering on about going through some suffering of your own… THAT’S what triggered their latest bout of agony! It’s all your fault for sharing your pain with them! You knew how vulnerable and delicate they were and yet you shared your shit with them!

Their pain trumps yours and… well, since you’re suffering then you have the correct ingredients for understanding how much more in pain they are than you are, and you’re well positioned to be compassionate to the point of completely ignoring yourself for their needs, wants and… off they go again…

I know, I know, most people aren’t like that… thank goodness!

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pain - understanding

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But that was life with mamma… and with pappa… but my father was adept at doing a disappearing act, and letting everyone else deal with the mess he left in his wake (recently that has been literal).

If I had a problem, she had an even bigger one to trump mine! If I had a sad, she was suicidal and it was the fault of my sad! If I had a mad, she had a frigging tantrum which lasted an eternity… followed by a lecture on the correct way to be for others!

If I had a happy… don’t be happy as that could lead to unhappiness! So… just be unhappy all the time, yeah? No, stop twisting my words just because I twisted yours!

If I had some good news, she grabbed it with greed and tried to take it for herself, my precious… if that was not possible, then I couldn’t have it either.

If I had bad news… oh, stop being such a misery guts! Things could be worse… think of the starving people of this world who aren’t as lucky as you to be fed with anything I effing put on your frigging plate!

Once she sprinkled her special sauce on them… things were always worse. But it was all for my own good, for the benefit of all… Mother Theresa, only better. She was being wonderfully selfless by destroying everything and everyone for me, and for others (never forget the others as that makes you a saint of empathy).

I was too naive… but don’t be such a cynic!

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She’s getting what she wants now… thanks to my recent decision… but she’ll not take it as good news worth being thankful for, a cause for celebrating a victory over a foe whom she gave birth to and nurtured to be her favourite game… she’ll wonder about how it could be better, about what’s missing, what she’s not getting… and that will corrosively eat away at her until she can find another way to cause a problem, rather than just accept a solution.

Move on… ha! Let go… ha!

She has nothing else to do… it’s what she always does.

Please be patient with her as she pisses all over anything which matters to you… it’s not her fault, it’s yours… you’ve got too many things which make you smile in your life… nice smile, but ugh about the teeth! You… what a shameful pity that you’re you and that she’s not you instead.

She would be you so much better than you are… you’re doing you all wrong…

You suck at being the private pilot of this ship… and she’ll be the iceberg which proves it to you. It’s for your own good, she’s generous and selfless that way, you’ll thank her one day for killing you, destroying everyone and everything you love. Love hurts… she told you so. If only you’d believed her before you went and made that mistake…

She had to prove you wrong… to be right!

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narcissistic happy place

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It amazes me sometimes that… I still have anything left.

But… shhh… don’t tell her, or anyone who is like her, that I have something… some people don’t handle that kind of news well at all, and because they don’t… you can’t either.

This is mine, you think with a gentle smile… NO! It’s mine, they say, with a boot kicking your ass out of your territory!

I wonder if I meant any of this with those words….

The private pilot of this ship…

I’m guessing… probably not… it seems more peaceful a sea than this one.

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too peopley

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21 thoughts on “The Private Pilot of this Ship

  1. Take care, Ursula. I hope you are able to pry her out of your life soon. Maybe, like a tick, you will have to burn her butt with a little fire. (I’m not sure where that came from but I felt that it was the right thing to say. πŸ™‚ )

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    1. Thank you πŸ™‚

      Burn it, burn it with fire… is a funny meme. Apparently a lot of people use this as a cure for spider phobia.

      Having had to remove an actual tick from my leg recently (or at least ask my partner to do it because I turned into a squeamish mess, especially as its legs wriggled when tweezers were applied), I looked up the instructions and almost everything you do to remove a tick makes it bury itself deeper into and hang on tighter to you. Ticks are hyper sensitive souls who will get very anxious when you try to remove them… poor things, all they were trying to do was get a little food as they were hungry. They’re not the bad guy, you are for objecting to them and wanting to kill them. They were just doing what came naturally to them, why do you hate nature so much (tick pouting, having a sad).

      And even after you remove it you have to wait for weeks in case it gave you an infection or a disease (the symptoms of which are vague, vary from person to person, and you may not find out about it for years).

      Burning it with fire is a bad idea as you’ll end up with burns and when fire is applied a tick vomits into the incision they’ve made, filling your wound with their gut toxins.

      I know where that came from πŸ˜‰

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      1. I didn’t know that about ticks. When I lived in Germany – where Lyme disease is also around – (an aside – I’ve been to Lyme. Really pretty and too bad a disease is named after it.) I was told that you were supposed to poke them with heated needles. I only ever used tweezers as the whole needle thing gave me the jitters. Now that I know they can throw up in there, I really won’t be trying that!

        Okay. So no butt burning with some fire. How about a cattle prod? πŸ˜‰

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  2. Oh my. Well said.
    Also, I relate a lot to the last bits about how they prove you wrong so they can be right. ALL THE TIME, it is not a good feeling to be made a fool of that way. Over and over somehow. I still wonder if these people notice and understand just how cruel they are? A conscious way of being to others. Or an unconscious normality of a way of being. //shrugs. Your blogs are always so long, but I love it all. Each word. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you very much. You’re very generous and kind πŸ™‚

      My posts are long because I just open a page and start writing, letting the words flow. I write for myself to bring to the surface things which are going on inside, and it takes that long for me to get to the point in a conversation with myself. I tend to talk in a spiral which gradually circles inwards. One of the later paragraphs of this post revealed something to me which I hadn’t realised was at the heart of a problem. I didn’t know it until I wrote it down, and had I made this shorter I would have missed it. I’d like to do shorter posts, though πŸ™‚

      The question of how conscious they are keeps coming up. I think it depends on the individual (and on our interpretation of what being conscious or unconscious is).

      For instance, my father was aware of his cruelty and actually took pride in it. He would deliberately hit you where it hurt, and he was adept at finding your soft spots, then he’d wait to see how you would react. It was a game to him. If you confronted him about it, his excuse was that he was a scorpion – like in the tale of the Frog and the Scorpion – so of course he’s going to sting you, expecting him not to do what a scorpion does shows how stupid/deluded you are. His version of an apology was admitting that he’d done what he had done, but he wasn’t sorry about it so he wasn’t going to say sorry.

      He was only nice to people when he wanted something from them. If you didn’t give him what he wanted, he’d be angry that he’d made the effort to be nice to you without getting a reward for it.

      My mother also expected to be rewarded for making the effort to be nice.

      She is mostly oblivious about how cruel she is. It doesn’t fit into her story about herself, about who she is and how she behaves, so she can’t become conscious of it. Once in a while she’d realise that she’d been horrible, but she always had a justification for it, an excuse, a reason why it was someone else’s fault for making her be that way because normally she was the epitome of nice, or it was because she was in pain – The Lion with a thorn in its Paw – so it was okay and others had to forgive and forget. She never forgave or forgot when she thought others were cruel to her because she could use that as a ‘get out of personal responsibility’ excuse.

      On rare occasions she’d apologise, but it was always a fauxpology – an apology that isn’t an apology at all. It’s just more of the usual, and because they hate getting caught ever being in the wrong and, worse still, being forced to face it, it is usually very dismissive of your pain. So they’ll say something like – Sorry I shouted at you, but you need to lighten up and stop taking things so seriously.

      My mother once spent a couple of hours screaming at me, then lecturing me over some missing spoons which weren’t missing at all because they never existed. She was furious at me for throwing them away. When I finally got through to her that those spoons didn’t exist, she laughed and told me that shit happens and I needed to get over it. Everyone makes mistakes, and I had to forgive her immediately otherwise I was being childish and petty.

      Everything they do is for themselves, we’re just props in their story. They’re so caught up in their own epic drama that they don’t have time to be conscious of their effect on us unless that is a relevant part of their story and their identity.

      I think a lot of what they do is instinct – they’re in pain, so they lash out. Whether they’re conscious of that, depends on whether it fits into their story of them. And even when they’re conscious, how deep does it go?

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  3. Dear Ursula,
    iknow what you talking about but before you take any final decision, are you sure you feel comfortable with it? Are you sure you respect yourself? i used to say yes all the time to my mother just to be leaft in peace but i do regret it, each time she won was a sort of right on me, an evidence for the following occasion. I bet this has got to do with the legacy (she is also jealous of you as your father chose you instead of her). Are you really sure she will disappear after that? That she will be full as after a banquet and her thirst for sucking your lymph and your person will be extinguished? is it Worth to give in and give up your rights just because she is entitled? of course she will never learn but.And also a will, it’s a will, the will of someone who left it before dying.By no means i wish to peep into your own business, but this touches me deeply as i have been the object of the same kind of “attention”.
    Wishing you to have the opportunity to choose the best for yourself freely. Take care dear xxx

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    1. Thank you very much πŸ™‚

      I am indeed considering everything which you have drawn attention to. I very much appreciate the insightful reminder.

      You know up close and personal the kind of legal system and cultural customs with which I’m dealing, so you know what a bureaucratic mess it is. Add to that dealing with the mess of narcissists both alive and dead,and how they can eff up even the simplest of things. Things can be too tricky to ever make a decision about it.

      No, I’m not at all sure she’s going to disappear, in fact my main concern is that it will make her even more of an reappearing problem due to increased greed and thirst on her part. Narcissists never accept a victory – a win is a loss to them. I’m stressing this point with my legal team.

      It’s just that, at the moment, the other options are just as problematic, and I can’t afford this shit! It costs more than it is worth.

      So I have to decide what price I’m willing to pay, how much more flesh I’m willing to cut off of myself to appease the hunger of my parents which will never be satiated… but perhaps I can end my feeding them. NC did that for awhile… this time I want more than NC offers a child of narcissists.

      We’ll see. I’ve decided for now, but nothing has been finalised.

      Thank you for caring and for knowing the inside of what others never see on the outside because such things… no one should have to see them. ❀

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  4. I am so glad you have found a way to express the pain of what you endured which must have been so deep. And someone sane outside the madness. What the hell was she thinking trying to poison your partner against you? The blindness :(….A few years ago my sister tried to tell my then partner how difficult I was….it wasnt as horrendous as this but still…I just dont get it…..strange world full of people who look to enlighten you “for your own good”. If i want your freaking opinion i’ll ask for it. Taken me a while to not take it on board though…

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    1. Thank you πŸ™‚

      Usually I try not to dwell too much on what has been when it comes to RL because I’m living in the here and now, and although the past is an influence, it is up to me to not let it rule my present life.

      This situation is tricky because I need to recall the past vividly as my mother is living in the past rather vividly, she always has lived vividly in the past, and her state affects things in the here and now.

      I’ve never been able to make her be here and now. No one can. And many have tried. Even my father who had the greatest influence on her – she preferred her fantasy version of him to his real self, and is dogmatic about that!

      What she did with my partner was what she always did. She did it with anyone who might take me away from her, she did that when I was a small child and continued this practice for ever.

      My partner is the first person I’ve ever met who didn’t get bamboozled by my mother or by my father. If I hadn’t been madly in love with him before he had to deal with my parents… after he faced their fantastical shit… it was impressive, most people couldn’t keep their heads after that. I’d have been an incredible idiot not to love him!!!

      The first thing my father told him when they were introduced was – I’m immortal. Yep… that’s my daddy, believing he’s immortal and sharing that shit! If and when I tell people about this, most think I’m exaggerating because they didn’t grow up in a soap opera… they grew up perhaps watching soap operas and thinking that kind of thing is total bollocks. My parents thought that kind of bollocks was reality.

      Family is always complicated, and anyone we bring into our complicated family… either adjusts due to their own history with their family or runs away because – shit be crazy!

      Shit may be crazy, but we can be sane… to some extent which may be even more confusing.

      Imagine a character from a soap opera deciding to live in the real world… that’s us πŸ˜‰

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      1. Yes its a real gift to have found someone who saw it so clearly. I am so interested by what you say of your mother living so much in the past. I know we must understand the past in order to move forward and not have it unconsciously repeat all the time. That’s another journey.
        We can visit the past but we don’t have to be trapped by it. This is the understanding I am coming to.
        And yep often when we have to leave the family system its too hard to do and we may get told we are crazy by others. Better that kind of crazy freedom than psychic enmeshment which can take years to untangle.

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        1. One of the problems with trying to leave the family system is that they can’t allow you to do that as you’re a cog in their machine, and it’s also difficult because you’ve been trained to be that cog, so can you exist out of the machine?

          I think mining the past for information pertinent to the present is necessary for understanding. The past can unlock doors which are closed to us in the here and now. It can tell us why we do something, feel a certain way, think certain thoughts, believe this over that and so on. I love transactional analysis for the way it finds your programming from the past.

          What my mother did was more similar to nostalgia for a past that never actually was. Her version of the past was this fantasyland where everything had been wonderful, and she used it to find the present always lacking. The present was constantly being compared to her idealistic fantasy of the past. Nothing in the here and now could compare, and so the present was a terrible place.

          She also used the past to excuse everything she did in the present, and she used it as emotional blackmail material, to manipulate others, to lord it over others, and to box everyone in. You couldn’t do or say anything because of her past.

          Her past smothered the present like a heavy pea-souper fog, blackening smiles and losing people in it.

          Many of us get stuck in parts of our past, reliving it, going over it, until we understand it and why we’re stuck there – getting stuck often is because we need a piece of information from that place, but this wasn’t that, she wasn’t searching to understand the past, or figure out how a past experience influenced her present. I actually tried to get her to do that, I made the mistake of sharing my exploration of past lives with her, and it worked only to give her even more fantasyland past in which to live and with which to avoid the present. More blackmail material, to make her life more tragic than anyone elses and therefore keep the cog in the machine. Her favourite literary genre was historical romance/fiction (Jean Plaidy) so it was easy for her to turn the concept of past lives into just another drama to add to her repertoire of living in the past.

          But she thought she was the most here and now person ever.

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        1. I tend to use the past as a guide, a reference point. To kind of not repeat the same mistakes and patterns, and to appreciate the here and now more. If something upsetting happens in the here and now, it can help with adjusting perspective, a reminder from the past may help me deal with it more constructively than I have before.

          It’s hit and miss.

          And I have to admit that for much of the time in the present I can’t remember what happened in the past. Things have to poke me to remember and then it opens a screen in the mind to a recollection.

          I find Agatha Christie’s advice rather useful – if someone in the present reminds you of someone in the past, investigate the connection. – however keep in mind that the connection may be inside you rather than with them. πŸ™‚

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  5. Damn girl, I think our Mums were spawned from the same place in Hades! Oh, and remember this old chestnut when you got 95% on that paper/test/exam…”Where’s the other 5%???” Gotta love a free mind, right?!

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    1. Thank you very much πŸ™‚

      There seems to be a factory which has been producing this kind of mother… hopefully the production line has ended its run, and that factory has ceased to produce this line, but you never know with that kind of thing.

      My mother wasn’t that interested in my grades unless she took them personally, unless they reflected on her in some way which bothered her, then, yes, it was all about the missing percentage rather than what had been achieved. She did not want me to make her look stupid because she was perfect… so… yeah!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Cripes, what a freak nightmare! I’m sorry about my last post, “I was left unsupervised” ..And with a bottle of vodka. I was stupidly trying to fight your “battles” for you. It’s a mistake I’ve repeatedly made with those I care for, and still trying to learn from. I sense your anger and frustration. You’re a good person with a good heart, Ursula. Please know this in moving forward. Sending you hugs and love from across the lake.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚

      I figured as much re: your last post.

      There wasn’t an actual battle to fight on my behalf, you were tilting at windmills, but I appreciate the Don Quixote gesture even though it made things rather awkward for me on my blog with someone who is a good guy because another good guy was being overprotective.

      We all have our moments… water under the bridge.

      Sometimes it can be hard to discern the good from the bad. I’m prone to making that mistake so I recognise it when others do it, and realise that a good heart can sometimes go astray.

      Moving forward is where we’re all going, in whatever condition we are in πŸ™‚

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