thickening skin

Well, the stalker will probably have orgasms of cray cray delight about this, but I went and took a look at his latest blog offering. I have a friend who monitors his Twitter and blog right now to make sure he doesn’t step back into psycho anymore. (Yes yes yes, I know I said I was going to process privately and not here, but I have a writerly-related point – wait for it.)

On the one hand, I feel keeping tabs on him is really justifiable after what he did, kind of like abnormal psychology studies. I talked to a woman who knows a lot about internet harassment and has been through it, and her advice was to monitor him because he’s not playing with a full deck and continues to prove it. But about 99% of my friends are like: Amy, noooo!!! It’s what he wants!!!! It’s hard to know what to do. So I’ve asked a friend to monitor. And if I’m told he’s showing his cray cray again a little, sometimes I look. I’m not too proud to admit it: I’m a rubbernecker.

The latest is he appears to be calling me Theodora. I’m a Glinda who turned out to be Theodora. (This is from a James Franco movie called Oz, The Great and Powerful, which was just okay. In this version of the Wizard of Oz, Glinda is kind and beautiful and good. Theodora is beautiful but evil and cruel.) What is making me laugh and laugh about that is clearly he never even bothered to get to know me the whole time he was love bombing the crap out of me telling me what a freaking amazing and adorable woman I am, how we had such a connection, we were so compatible, like no one he’s ever known before. Had he taken a break from the grooming crap and actually bothered to really be interested in me instead of just being nice enough so he could tell himself he was entitled to expect sexual favors and forever friendship from me, he’d know I’ve never once identified with any of the witch characters from that story. Since age 5, I’ve only ever wanted to be Dorothy. I’ve spent almost all my life trying to harness the power of red (or silver, if you prefer the book), sparkly shoes. I mean, my  mom will tell you stories about Rylo Ken-like meltdowns from me when she didn’t have time to braid my hair so I could skip around in my bedroom and “play Dorothy.” (Things little introvert children do with their spare time.) He used to pull this kind of shit with me when we were friends – make comparisons or statements about me that were very off base. It was strange then, now it just brings out my mirth. And if that makes me Theodora, I embrace it. Plus, she’s played by Mila Kunis and I’m totally okay with that.

Furthermore, had he actually ever truly gotten to know me, he’d also know there are lots of takes on this story, in book and film and they’re all amazingly different. And if he’d done his homework, he’d know in all the versions of this story, there’s always a humbug. A fake, deceptive little man who specializes in tricking other people. A skilled practitioner in lies, distortions, and sometimes outright evil.

Oh, y’all. I swear I really don’t hate him. I find him excruciatingly exhausting just like when I was still talking to him. I’m not even really that mad any more, he just pulls shit like this to get a reaction out of me (dying relatives, attacking my passion, off base insults, illogical fallacies) so much so it’s become sadly predictable. The reason I’m reacting this time is because he wrote about something I actually know quite a bit about and he clearly does not.  The sideshow bit for your entertainment is the fact he still doesn’t appear to get why I literally would puke my guts up if I ever had to talk to him again either in email or on the phone…holy shit. If I bumped into him on the street, I would call the police, even if the bumping into was accidental. I’m not being a vicious, vindictive bitch when I say that. I was subjected to months of unstable behavior and abuse from him; that’s real, tangible fear of him doing it again. I mean, he’s still doing it – he’s just not as erratic as he was, and he’s way more cowardly about it. He may not physically hurt me, but he psychologically raped and traumatized me repeatedly. He says he’s cured, but that’s exactly what he told me after he was abusive toward me in August when I asked for a break, and he continues to be such an asshole. He’s tried honey and vinegar, and now he’s just pouring acid over everything, so forgive me if I’m reluctant to believe in miracle cures from him. Plus all he seems to be able think about is how I refuse to understand his rationale and logic. (What???) I can totally see him locked in a dank basement with a wall of pictures of me and a ton of candles as he rocks back and forth muttering about what a bitch I am and how he’ll make sure I get what’s coming to me. He needs help, and if you’re reading this and you know exactly who I’m talking about and he’s convinced you I’m a mean woman and a liar? You need help, too.

Sorry. At any rate, back to the point of this blog entry: I was told that the cray cray stalker dude wrote an article about writing, but it was actually all about me. So I rubbernecked and got a tremendously cathartic chuckle. In his article, he boasts about all the acclaim and adoration he was getting when he was writing reviews, which is showing his cards because it reveals the reasons behind why he even wanted to write in the first place. The problem with his straw man bitching about me is that he just doesn’t get it. When he’s not using writing to gain fans and the attention of people he believes are glitzy and glam, then he’s using it to play the victim. And if those two things are why you’re writing – for ego and revenge? You’re doing it wrong. Any successful person in any creative industry will tell you this.

So in his blog (which half the time he just keeps proving over and over that he actually did set up the blog to be an asshole about me and continue to abuse and stalk me), he claims some professional authors have come to this here blog and that they’ve declared me undignified and lacking focus. They have said I am not their cup of tea. Well, howdy doody fine and dandy. Good for them for being able to recognize when someone’s not their cup of tea. God, if only I’d had the ability to recognize it myself a year ago. I’m pretty confident I’ve never made any assertions to being anything that’s even remotely dignified or focused, certainly not here or at my old location. This is a goddamned blog, not a Pulitzer prize submission. Clearly, he and his minions are confused.

Ad nauseum: when I write here, I don’t write for anyone but me. I have always said this. I lay my cards all out on the table and put things that are going on within and around me out there publicly because somebody may identify and/or be highly entertained. You don’t like it, that’s perfectly fine. Again, further ad nauseum: this is what abusers do. They twist, they lash out, they are the very cruelty they claim you are. They complain about how much you hurt them as they viciously lash out to hurt you. THAT’S exactly what abuse is, you guys. If he’d actually gotten the therapy he told me he did, he’d know all of this by now, and he’d still be in therapy working on it instead of just talking out of his ass on the internet writing up illogical fallacies about a woman who’s clearly indicated she wants him to go away. Which is why I do wish I could figure out who these professional authors he’s referring here are, where they’ve been published as well as what their NY Times Bestseller rankings are. I’d love to read what they’ve written so I can feel really put in my place by the James Joyce-like tomes and ideas they’re gifting to the world.

Listen: in writing, everyone is different. And writing is a craft. You are never ever done honing it, you are never ever “the best” in your field. Sublimely, ridiculously talented and widely read authors like Anne Lamott, Neil Gaiman, Liz Gilbert, JK Rowling, Toni Morrison, Stephen King, on and on and on will ALL tell you that. There will always be someone better and more adept than you at plot devices or voice or character development.

So again: LOL. For real. Because IF what he’s claiming is true (and he’s a pathological liar, so I have my doubts…or he’s twisted what was said to him), then these “writers” are neither professional nor truly knowledgeable about the world of publishing. Professional publishing is brutal, yo.  JK Rowling just published some rejections she got writing as crime fiction author Robert Galbraith, post-Harry Potter. One publisher told her she needed to take a writing class because her skills were lacking. All real and professional writers are all aware of this issue in the writing and publishing world. And I’ve been through enough writers’ groups and workshops and had my writing critiqued and slashed to pieces enough to be aware that what works for one person in a piece isn’t going to work for someone else. All real and professional writers know that as well. I also know people who are mean about someone else’s writing are typically amateurs who don’t know what they’re doing. I may not be published professionally yet, but I know other writers who actually have been published professionally and none of them behave like this, and they certainly don’t go around undermining other writers. Bullshit I smell, said Yoda.

Again (more ad nauseum): I don’t give a flipping rat’s ass who reads this blog or what they think of it or of me or my writing, particularly if I don’t personally know them and/or they’re friends with someone I’ve got cold, hard evidence is mentally unwell. Furthermore, I follow Roxane Gay on Twitter, because Roxane Gay is one of my writer heroes. She’s constantly being malicious and sarcastic towards people on Social Media, and the people she ass whips with her cat o’nine tails of words always deserve it. Compared to Roxane, trust: I’m a fucking sweetheart. So if Roxane Gay remains a darling of the publishing world right now, then awesome sauce, think I’m in pretty good company – me and Roxane (and all the other bitches who don’t say sweet and sugary things to insecure people to make them feel better about their own bad behavior) are juuuust fine. Because I have great confidence that any decent writer worth their words will tell you if you’re writing and constantly worried about staying dignified, then  you’re not really writing. A writer’s job is to write the truth and do it in a way that resonates – positively and negatively – with other human beings. If you’re not writing the truth which is sometimes hard and malicious and dark and painful and sarcastic and peppered with cuss words, then why the hell are you even writing.

if you don’t understand this about writing, then you don’t understand writing.

So he sent some of his henchwomen (and I guarantee they’re almost all women, because that’s where he likes to throw his fishing net first) over here to give their opinion of me and my writing, and then he took their brainwashed opinions or twisted what they came back to him with and announced “I used to think she was such a great writer but now these other writers are telling me she’s not so I think that makes them better writers than her.” I mean, really? Really. THAT’S supposed to hurt me. After being called an ice pick, a monster, a witch, a fake, a liar, a vicious and cruel woman; after being told I have no integrity and I’m a narcissist and a user and a horrible awful human being…this crazy guy actually thinks calling me a crappy writer is going to hurt me. THAT is making me laugh and laugh. And oh god, I needed to.

Dear Stalker dude: how about this. Instead of relying on other people’s opinions and thoughts, why don’t you do some groundwork and go to the public library or a bookstore and buy books. I mean, if you’re really serious about being a fucking writer. Buy books by Anton Chekhov, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Franz Kafka, Alice Munroe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sylvia Plath, Joyce Carol Oates, Neil Gaiman, Virginia Woolf, Leo Tolstoy, Roxane Gay, Margaret Atwood, etc etc etc. Start reading these books like a writer – make notes in the margins about things that work for you, things that don’t. Start looking for where they’ve developed character, where they’re using mood and sensory, think about why they wrote a sentence that way or a paragraph or used that particular word. Next, stop going to other people and asking them to define you. Figure out who the fuck you are and stop whining about how you keep getting victimized. Stop trying to be like the melty guy in Terminator and forming yourself into whatever you think other people want you to be so they’ll acknowledge and adore you and you’ll have fans. Go take your life experiences, including the one you had with me, learn from them, and write down the bones. Stop being such a prick on the Internet and go be a writer and write to write, if that’s really what you want. And write the truth, and stop with the useless and judgmental and time wasting opinionated bullshit whining. Nobody’s interested in reading that shit.

Jesus Christ. I’m a writer. I’m a lot of things, actually (mother, daughter, sister, friend, reader, daydream believer, bitchy witch in disguise…), but more than anything I’m a writer. I’ve been writing a loooong long time, ever since Miss Tippy in 2nd grade raved about my story about the owl family and it sunk into me that not only could I read stories, I could create my own. All of my life I have written off and on, never professionally published and always haphazard, but I have always written. The fact I’ve not been actually published beyond the little bit I put here is totally all on me. I know my own shortcomings and I’ve always been open and honest about them. You have no power here. Be gone! Before someone drops a house on you.

In addition to all that, I also don’t write for the acclaim and popularity. I did start being active on Twitter to promote my writing (which I provide in weekly long ramble-y samples here), not because I’m a pathetic person desperate for blog hits or Twitter followers but because it just seemed like that’s what people do on that place when they’re writers. I’ve been in a bad writing mode for years; well before I let that troglodyte into my world, and I keep my writing skills warm on this place. The End. I’m really not that complicated – I nap, drink wine, complain about the weather, and I write ramble-y blog entries to keep my writing skills warm and also because I am simply not okay when not writing.

I’ve been dealing with this crap since October, and now find it’s amazing how thick your skin gets after enough of it. I’m just really happy and thankful I’m laughing and making sarcastic, irreverent jokes again. He definitely sussed out what and where my insecurities are. Not calling him a psychopath, because I’m not a mental health professional. But I am noting that’s one of their tactics. No matter, I got my big girl panties on (at least publicly now), and he can take his immature opinions and stick those where the sun don’t shine.

All right, dear cuties. I got it out of my system. I hope you weren’t busy or anything. And I hope he had enough lube and kleenex and was able to masturbate with enough satisfaction at my acknowledgement of his continued obsession, because I’m movin’ on to funner crap later. Miss M and I are heading to Disney World, where all my crowd rage issues will be on full display so be on the lookout for fun posts about THAT. Also, my mom and I are going to be in close quarters for two 9 hour drives to and from Florida, during which she will have plenty of time to try to convince me why Donald Trump is not insane (he’s insane, Mom, but I still love you) (also, which Republican candidate is the sweaty one? I know there’s one who eats boogers or something on live national TV…don’t worry, we’ll talk and seriously love you!)

…my mom and stepfather are paying for EVERYTHING on this trip. I may have to vote for at least one Republican in November (NOT TRUMP, MOM). Love, your favorite daughter.