False Advertising . . .

Lately I’ve been watching a lot of shows on a Playstation app called tubi. There is one advertiser on tubi that I have a very hard time watching commercials for.

The name of the advertiser is ” eHarmony ” and the reason I have trouble watching their ads is that they claim to “get to know you better, to match you better.”

From actual experience it isn’t true. My first wife turned to eHarmony to meet her 2nd husband. Since I am still friends with my first wife, and we have a daughter together, I knew her while she was married to her 2nd husband.

He was a major, abusive, bastard. He physically abused my first wife, and emotionally abused our daughter. If he is an example of getting “to know you better, to match you better” then NOBODY should ever use eHarmony to search for love.

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Personal Integrity… update

Last week I posted a blog where I questioned what the difference was between personal integrity and trying to get along with my family when I knew things they wouldn’t or couldn’t acknowledge. I continued to question that for several days after posting that blog.

Last Friday evening I had a light-bulb moment, which was quickly confirmed by an email I found that Anita had sent shortly after my blog posted.

Basically, there isn’t just one truth. There are different truths for every person walking the planet. Personal integrity is all about YOU remaining true to your own view of the truth. But, it does not mean that everyone else isn’t also doing their own best to do the same thing – remaining true to THEIR own view of the truth. Every person on the planet wants nothing more than to be right – which is why peer pressure is such an effective means of social control. How many times in your life have you done something you thought was crazy or silly just because “everyone else is doing it”?

Where we venture into the realm of social peace and global stability is when we acknowledge these truths and grant others their own point of view without trying to force ours on them. We can all be right, even when we disagree.

The Price of Personal Integrity . . .

After my post yesterday, Anita sent me an email with a graphic she valued as almost a personal mantra. What she shared was that a two word phrase was the key to defusing conflicts. That phrase was “You’re Right”. Supposedly, my saying that to my family would be the end to our troubles, but only if I not only said it to them, but actually mean it when I say it.

The problem is, I have done the research, and in the cases of trouble within our family I have lived through the incidents. I know that historical evidence proves they are NOT right. To say “you’re right” to any member of my family, and actually mean it, is to deny FACTS. I fully understand why it is important to acknowledge another person’s point of view, but to deny documented facts goes against everything I’ve ever been taught to believe – even what my parents taught me.

So, the question becomes, “at what point is family harmony worth more than the truth?”

As it is right now, I can’t sacrifice my own integrity to restore harmony in my biological family. It would kill me as a spiritual being who is striving to reach the next level of enlightenment. I feel that I must honor what my own experience says is true, even if it leaves them behind.

Saturday Posts . . .

I have been feeling very disingenuous about my relationship with my parents. Ever since I reached out to my mother to try to rebuild the relationship that was broken more than 20 years ago, I’ve been questioning myself as to why.

The last couple of times I talked to each of them, it has become CRYSTAL CLEAR.

I have the highest IQ in my family. My dad’s IQ is only 1 point lower than mine, but I have specialized training in areas none of them have ever studied, like the fact that I was a US Army basic field medic who was being fast-tracked to Physician Assistant school. In addition to that, when I took the exam at the Armed Forces Entrance Examination Center back in 1979, I was offered the chance to choose whatever job I wanted by ALL 5 branches of the US military. I have the learning capacity to be fully capable in ANY skill I choose to study.

Despite those facts, NOBODY in my family respects my opinion about anything. I vividly remember a confrontation between my mother and myself more than 30 years ago that occurred in HER HOME where I tried to tell her the truth about the origin of the Christian Bible. She called me a liar – so I pulled her own Encyclopedia Britannica off of her shelf and opened it to the article that discussed the exact event I was telling her about. I showed her how HER OWN ENCYCLOPEDIA confirmed in black and white that I was telling the truth. Rather than admit I was right, she said the encyclopedia was lying!

Every blood relative I have has always responded to everything out of my mouth exactly the same way mom handled that event. They are all STILL doing it.

I can’t fake this anymore. I’d rather live honestly without them than grin through my hat at them. We’re done. My relationship with that family can’t be saved unless they are willing to bend. Pretending they don’t remember the events of the past isn’t enough.

Happy Valentine’s Day. . .

And a Happy Anniversary to my wife – we’ve been together for 23 years now!

I also owe an apology to the Biden Administration for my post about our taxes. My wife spent a good chunk of her free time this weekend going back over all of our tax paperwork, and found a small item that was listed wrong in the paperwork. It made a huge difference in our return – and it was the tax prep person who classed it wrong. We just got back from filing an amended return – and between Federal and State we’re getting a bit over $1200 BACK. Much more like normal.

Family . . .

Based on what I’ve been learning from the book “From Here to Here” – the book that my dear friend and spiritual sister Anita recommended for me – I’ve reached out to both my father and my mother in the hope that our differences might be reconciled.

The effort has been initially worth the effort. Based on my reach, both mom and dad have acknowledged that mistakes were made on both sides, and the door is open for future dialogue. I can’t say that every concern I had has been completely dealt with, but the animosity does seem to be less.

My wife did caution me not to let my mom run over me, but I told her that I never had any intention of allowing that to happen. Right now, I am just grateful that we can talk civilly to each other.

I’m a mess . . .

Once upon a time, I was so in tune with my body that I could continue to function while I had injuries that required stitches. One example of this was something that happened when I was about 10 years old, when I was asked to deliver something from my aunt and uncle’s home to my grandpa’s home, a distance of a few hundred yards at most. During the travel, I accidentally encountered the edge of a rusty shovel, and needed a dozen stitches to repair the injury, despite the fact that until my relatives pointed it out I had not been aware of the damage. I still have a scar on my left calf to remind me of the incident.

That is no longer true.

I just realized that I missed posting my usual “Saturday Posts” blog for this past week. I’ve been dropping a lot of “balls” lately, and that is only the most recent one. I’ve been having trouble keeping track of what day of the month it is, or even what day of the week it is. The closest thing I have to a schedule is by following a regimen of starting a laundry cycle each week based on when my wife’s last workday of the week is. That is the day I start my cycle by doing the white’s of our laundry, usually followed by her work slacks the next day, then the light weight colored clothes the next day, and concluding with the heavy colored clothes the next night (if there are enough of them to need it – in the Summer that isn’t always needed).

I don’t know what I’m doing anymore. It’s likely more due to what I’m doing for pain management than whatever else is going on, but it is still a concern to me. Admittedly, some of the pain I’m trying to cope with is emotional – I am still reeling from the pain of my dad’s betrayal when I asked for his support to end the religious feud between me and the rest of my family. It doesn’t help that my dad’s birthday is only a few days away.

Family Drama . . .

Is there anything that can throw you off of your game as much as conflict within your own family? That is hard to say.

Still, I’ve realized that I missed the last 2 “Saturday Posts” – and the only reason I did was because of familial drama.

A few months ago I wrote a blog about a letter I sent to my father, hoping to find a path to a neutral resolution to the strain between me and my family. I sent it to my father because he is the person (aside from the fictional character Mr. Spock from Star Trek) who taught me the most about logic and fairness. He is also the oldest living member of my family, so if I could persuade him, it seemed to me that the rest of the family would accept his judgement.

In that letter, I told my dad that I had not supported the Church of Scientology since about a year before my wife and I moved to this area – now 16 years ago. We have no interest in converting anyone to what we believe – yes, my wife believes as I do, and with good reason.

All we wanted from my family was a simple acknowledgement of one thing – that our beliefs were just as valid as theirs. Please stop treating us as pariahs for following a different path. It was based on a comparison of the definitions of 2 words – faith, and opinion. The only realistic difference between the words is that one carries a definite religious overtone.

Well, after I sent the letter to my dad, I waited a month before calling him. He said “I’m still processing it,” about my inquiry of the letter. I told him I felt that it was fair to allow him more time. Three weeks ago I called him again for his response.

He actually begged me not to force a decision. I begged him to realize that, as the family patriarch, he was the only person who could make the decision. He refused to take a stand for neutrality, and by the end of our phone call, I’d been disinherited AND disowned.

I’m a man with no family other than my wife and our cats.

I’m still not sure what this means for my future, but I’m slowly starting to come to grips with my current situation. One thing I’m wondering is if – because of all of this – I need to do a legal name change. Part of me feels that if I’m not part of that family any more, it isn’t ethical to continue to use that family name.

I feel so emotionally screwed up. I can’t sleep the way I should. My stomach is acting like I have an ulcer – which I’ve never had before. I can’t fall asleep without getting drunk on whiskey first, and even when I do sleep, it isn’t restful.

My wife is my anchor, and as much as I lean on her, she’s not big enough to stabilize a passenger cruise ship during a hurricane. I don’t know what I’m doing anymore.