Narcissism V Empath V Histrionic

I have always considered myself totally in tune with the psyche, so the David Attenborough of the Homo sapiens, if you will. However, I am not trained in the psyche, and I am sure that those who have been, would refer to me as ‘’ill-trained’’. Despite this, I strongly believe that with enough years under your belt, and a combination of common sense, intuition and perception, you will learn a whole lot about the psyche of the Homo sapien!   

So, by living on Planet Earth for 55 years and experiencing Homo sapiens in their natural habitat, one comes to realize, that amongst this species, there are subspecies, classed according to their personality types. In this ‘’documentary’’ of the Human Race, I shall be discussing three such types.

To begin with, there is the narcissist (‘’The Hunter’’) and the empath (‘’The Prey’’).

Within the narcissistic subspecies, there are two varying degrees of narcissism. There is the whole, unequivocal and purebred hunter, as opposed to the ‘’understated hunter’’. But even the ‘’understated hunter’’ is no match for the purebred hunter. The former just teeters on the fence, behaving like the narcissist when in the presence of empaths, and like an empath when in the presence of the narcissist.

I somehow think that a slightly narcissistic element lurks beneath many Homo sapiens. Those that wish to have the control and power on a much smaller scale, who do not wish to move in for the final kill, but just wish to play with their prey. These are the ‘’givers’’ and ‘’doers’’. These are the members who want to always remind their victims what they have ‘’given ’’ to and ‘’done’’ for them. They too lie awake in the shadows, patiently waiting for a victim. However, these bear no relevance to this episode, and might be a topic for a future episode.

Then there is a third, and lesser known subspecies, known as the ”histrionic”. The reason they are lesser known, is because they are often confused with the narcissist, when in fact they are TOTALLY different. The only similarity these two subspecies bear is that they are masters of manipulation. The narcissist is loud, verbose and uses manipulation to attain their ultimate goal of capturing their prey. Once captured he uses his prey to work for him, admire and respect him. The Homo sapiens exposed to the narcissist have a choice of whether or not to fall prey to the narcissist. This is generally dependent on the emotional strength and degree of self esteem of the prey.

The histrionic, on the other hand, is introverted and wants everyone to pity them, also using manipulation to attain their ultimate goal of capturing their prey, and thereafter ultimately draining the blood out of them. Homo sapiens exposed to the histrionic are usually family and friends, who have some kind of emotional tie to the histrionic, and they are easy pickings for the histrionic to be manipulated by the emotion of guilt. The prey do not usually have a choice to escape the clutches of the stealth like manipulative techniques of the histrionic. They are emotionally bound to such subspecies. Even the strongest bear no defense to their cunning manipulation.

In the animal kingdom, the narcissist most certainly holds the high ground. Competition between narcissists is fierce for the capturing of empaths. But numbers are on the side of the narcissists, as most of the human species comprise of empaths or histrionics.

Being a member of the subspecies of narcissists should not necessarily be viewed in a negative light. By the same token, belonging to the subspecies of empaths could well be regarded as such. Empaths are easy targets for narcissists, who lack the very same empathy that the empath typifies. They associate with the species, with the sole goal of draining their energy, sabotaging them, and bringing them down. Ultimately the hunter moves in for the kill.

The positive traits of a narcissist are that they are mentally tough, have an abundance of confidence (which quite often can mask insecurities, which is why they feel they need to control everyone), and are very goal-orientated. So, for the most part, they are a successful subspecies. This is not to say that all successful Homo sapiens are narcissists. But in my experience, all narcissists are successful.

Not surprisingly, the hunters never act against each other. They work together, in search of the abundance of empaths, taking turns to grab their prey. The prey move around in groups, as they feel safer this way, although all they are doing, is aiding the hunter in having an easier hunt. There are more than enough prey for each individual hunter, and once the hunters have scented blood in the air, they each have their opportunity to move in for the kill.

In contrast, the empaths are normally ‘’the workers’’, scurrying around to ultimately allow the narcissists to become successful and powerful. They do however, plod along on our planet, and live a fairly peaceful existence, totally unaware that they are being utilized to such an extent.

The histrionic lives a fairly peaceful existence as well, as they are blissfully unaware (or unaffected by the fact) that they suck the life out of their victims. Those that cannot escape the clutches of the histrionic, are constantly worrying about them, supporting them, trying to ‘’save’’ them. Some never realizing that that the histrionic cannot be ‘’saved’’, as they have absolutely no desire to be. They live their very humble existence by relying on the rest of the species for everything they feel is due to them. They are, unlike the narcissist, not remotely ambitious, but as cunning, and as manipulative, which is where the confusion between narcissists and histrionics comes in.

Now a lot of people assume that the successful person became narcissistic after achieving a measure of success. I have witnessed that the inherently narcissistic personality ensures that they become successful. I say this, as from my untrained observations, one of the most important tools for the narcissist is CONTROL.  Control is only really achievable by some sort of power. Hence, one has to be successful to get the power to control.

You will find narcissists lurking in the shadows, in search of their weak and naive pray, who are earmarked by the narcissist to fulfill their selfish needs in every way. They wield their power over the empath, so as to make themselves feel even more important than they already assume that they are. They belittle them, emotionally abuse them and all generally treat them in a manner only an empath would tolerate!!

Now, I am not canvassing for pity for the empath. No, in fact, that is me……I am the empath. I am totally aware of the fact that I am, and am even more aware of the fact that I always have the choice to remove myself from the clutches of my hunters. But that requires bravery, guts, courage and a STRONG self worth. So essentially…..none of the behavioral traits afforded to this subspecies!!

But David Attenborough aside, the question I have not found the answer to, is whether the narcissists and histrionics are conscious of how they behave? Are they aware of the fact that they are required to behave like they do to achieve their desired result? Do they have their ‘’Narcissim for Dummies’’ and ‘’Histrionics for Dummies’’ reference books by their sides at all times? But undoubtedly, what they are not aware of, or, alternatively are not concerned about, is how their behavior affects their prey. They are unsympathetic to the far reaching effects of their behavior, and how it snowballs, from the first victim to the end victim.

Once the first prey has endured the behavior of one of these subspecies, the former will then naturally vent their anger and frustration on the very next member of the species that they come into contact with. Not only that, every victim that has had the unfortunate experience of being the receiver of this anger and frustration starts an entire new chain of victims that behave in the same manner. Considering all this, it is surprising that our very angry species of Homo sapiens is not even more incensed???

So how does one ‘’cure’’ narcissistic or histrionic behavior? Well, with a tranquilized dart I would imagine, as they do not know how to function without manipulation, power and control.

Is It Nagging Or Repeatedly Requesting?

All those memes that we are flooded with about how mothers do not nag their children, they just REPEATEDLY ask them to do what they asked them to do in the first place, are 1000% FACT!! 

So I have just one word……”Pepper”……well actually two words….. Salt and Pepper, but for the purposes of this blog, we’ll just be dealing with that good for nothing Pepper!! So Pepper just became a working man, and yes………a Chartered Accountant Degree, doing his three years of Articles, and yet…..I still have to REPEATEDLY ask this child to do things that, in actual fact, are for HIS OWN BENEFIT!!

Now I love my Land, but we live in a Country which does not provide, what some pieces of paradise do, free healthcare. Nope, only the privileged are entitled to decent healthcare this side of the world, and we pay dearly for it. So essentially, the majority of my fellow countrymen are slaving away to afford health insurance and school fees. Yes…….very few households have one member earning an income from only one job or profession, and are still able to afford such (apparently) unnecessary basic human needs!!

So when my Pepper became ”an adult” with a job, I was informed by said Pepper, that included in his work package, was medical insurance. I was also informed that I would need to take him off my medical plan, before they would register him. So with him starting to adult and all, I had decided to back off a little, as he needed to learn how to navigate his 23 year old educated life without his mommy!!

However, I had no choice but to dip my toe into his life, when he requested that I get my medical insurance to send proof of his removal from my plan. This I did……..I mean, this was not ”getting involved” in his life, this was merely carrying out a reasonable request. So faster than you could say ”he’s out”, I received the proof of his removal, and forwarded it to him. Job done, and now my grown up man was going to finally fend for himself.

This all took place in the first week of January, and a week or so later, I merely mentioned that I hoped he had received confirmation that he was on the new plan from the beginning of February. Just double checking, as surely this adult would have sorted this out on his own??

”Mom, there is a lot of admin that I need to sort out, and I just have not had the time yet,” my allegedly adult son mentioned in an irritated tone.

”It is very important that you sort it out, otherwise you will not be covered by either the old or the new scheme, and you never know what is around the corner” I (as un-naggingly as possible) mentioned.

”Oh mom….you are always so negative…don’t worry, I will get it done….R-E-L-A-X”. 

Now, I need not mention the obvious, about when you tell a totally non relaxed person to relax, and despite what you think, yes, he did actually get it done. Obviously only after a few more requests, but it was done. Well…..pheeeeeeeuw…..he was an adult after all!!

Aaaaaaaanyhoooooo……nope…apparently not so much. In February he informed me that some of his colleagues had mentioned that this scheme his employers were using, was ”not so great hey”. 

”What do you mean not so great??” I asked. ”Do you have to go with that scheme?”

”Well yes, it is specifically for Accountants….but I don’t think it’s the scheme, I think it’s the package I chose.” he nonchalantly mumbled.

”What do you mean?”  I asked, all confuzzled and interfering like. ”Do you have a choice?”

”Well yes, we pay half, so it depends how much of our salary we want to contribute, and I chose to go with the package that is going to be the cheapest for me,” the idiot man child mentioned.

So here we are, living in a country where the majority of the middle class are busting their butts to afford FIRST AND FOREMOST a DECENT medical insurance, and my blithering ignoramus Pepper, has decided that he would rather have more money at the end of the month to spend on take outs!!!!!!!

After I (fractionally) calmed down, and realised that he really wouldn’t have known any better, and that this would be one of those life lessons I had anticipated, I explained the importance of having a decent medical insurance.

”So you had better phone the scheme and find out exactly what, where and how you are covered, and perhaps you will have to upgrade your plan,” I explained in adult.

”Yes, I will, just not right now, I am very busy with work,” he replied.

So, of course, there were repeated ”requests”, which fell on his deaf juvenile ears, and I chose ON THIS *&#@^$ OCCASION, to leave it up to him to sort out. I will not interfere…….the child……adult…..whatever he bloody was….needs to do this on his own. I will NOT be phoning the scheme on his behalf, I thought to myself…every day….at least once a day…..

So, yes…..cut to him playing indoor soccer a couple of weeks back. You know…the one where I mentioned that there are almost weekly injuries…….the one where I waited with baited breath each week for him to return with full use of his limbs………that one. Well, his turn happened, and he came into my room (just need to mention that I had just bathed, got into bed and was about to do some therapeutic Netflix binging), with his left hand holding his right arm up!!!

In case you had even an inkling of a suspicion that I was one of those warm, fuzzy and comforting mothers when my children were sick or sore………you are WRONG!! I gave him an absolute death stare……like a “I knew this was going to eventually happen” stare. Actually no, I seem to remember that there was the death stare first, followed by the ”I KNEW THIS WAS GOING TO EVENTUALLY HAPPEN” screech, while he stood there looking dazed and confused.

Once he had composed himself, he told me that it was no wonder that it happened, what with me having such negative thoughts. So it was at that moment that he chose to believe in the law of attraction, something that he had always ridiculed me for believing in….

Anyway, all the while, left arm holding up dangling right wrist, I quietly reminded him the lengths I had gone to in order to keep our family away from doctors, dentists, healthcare workers OF ANY SORT, in the year of COVID, and now we would have to go to the *&^$ CASUALTY WARD at a HOSPITAL in our area IN THE MIDDLE OF A (*&^$ PANDEMIC!!!!!!!!!!

”Should we wait for tomorrow and see how it is,” he meekly suggested.

Now, before you think I suddenly felt guilty or had a weak moment….full disclosure….the wrist swelling before my eyes got me out of bed and dressed for this &%#@$ field trip.
Oh, and in case you were not feeling sorry enough for Pepper yet….side note….Salt, who had also played the match, was highly irritated with Pepper, as Pepper had asked him to go to the shop to get ice for him to put on his wrist. Salt had obviously decided that Pepper was being a drama queen (which he is so not btw), and was sending him on an errand unnecessarily. So all in all…no sympathy was had for Pepper at that point.

So we ventured forth to casualty, me spitting and farting fireballs the whole way there, filling out forms…….sitting in chairs……..exchanging proof of ID and medical insurance documents…….MID COVIDDDDDDDD……and poor Pepper left arm holding up dangling right wrist, too terrified to utter a word to his insanely frenzied nutjob of a grumpy mummy.

And just as a nanoscopic sense of compassion started to surface from within me, the receptionist advised us that Pepper’s medical plan was not covered by their clinic.

Moved to team Grumpy Mummy yet??

Peace, Harmony and Tranquility…..WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN??

In attempting to ”have it all”, we deprive ourselves of what is truly important, which is peace, tranquillity and harmony, and the opportunity to be present in our lives. This then begs the question, do we actually have ANYTHING?

So, as hard as it is to believe, I have not always had this not so sunny disposition! No, I was always a placid person who wanted and needed very little, other than peace, harmony and tranquillity. In my early days, and more especially the days where major life decisions and my future had to be considered, I was just a shy and humble girl, who had absolutely no ambitious aspirations AT ALL!! I just wanted to live in a state of mental and emotional balance and calm. Perhaps this is everyone’s life story, bar a few, who have the desire to be rich and successful from the time that they have been nappy trained, making this their goal, which ultimately they achieve. Me….nope….just moseyed along trying to stay peaceful and harmonious and all.

Then I was presented with the world that we live in, where peace, harmony and tranquillity were not totally enough. But subconsciously, I did just enough that I needed to in order to survive, in order to maintain the desired peace and harmony. Just like those people that I have called….well…idle, lazy, irresponsible, unmotivated, unambitious ……need I go on….for the last hmmmph years. This is NOT to be confused with those who I have called (and still call) ‘’the spongers’’….you know, people who feel they are entitled to freeload off others to get the things that they want, but are not prepared to work for them. They quite happily sponge off anyone falling within their sponge meter’s radius. There is a major difference between these two, which took me many years to realise.

Then I had children!!!!! As with most parents, we want to give our children everything of the best. We want to give them everything their friends have. We want to give them everything we did not have at their age. Not sure if you have just realized, as I have, why we are surrounded by such a self entitled and spoilt younger generation. Nevertheless, we pretty much all fall into that trap.

So slowly but surely, the ratio of manic need to be a gazillionaire to the need for peace and harmony…..well changed!! This mindset slowly rears its ugly head without any warning, until one day, you realize you have been sucked in. So there you are, creating a lifestyle for your children, that in order to sustain, necessitates that you become a raving intense lunatic, who works harder, plays harder and lives harder.

It is undoubtedly true, that some people thrive on this type of lifestyle, but inherently I am totally not that person. That just destroys my soul, my nerves, my entire health and well being. But there I was……..

Once my husband died, this life that we had worked towards became unsustainable, and decisions had to made, things had to be prioritized, sacrifices had to take place, but all I wanted, was for my children to feel they were as ‘’normal’’ as possible. This ‘’normal’’ I speak of, is, I am ashamed to say, ‘’privileged normal’’. To some, ‘’normal’’ is living on the streets, not knowing where their next meal is coming from. So, please, do not feel sorry for us, as our ‘’normal’’ is something some children will never have in their lifetimes.

In order to do this as best as I could, I have had at least 2 different sources of income at any given time, sometimes even more. But the bottom line is, that I promised myself that I would do everything that I needed to do, in order to ensure that my children, who had tragically lost their father, would not lose anything else.

A little over ambitious I realized in retrospect, when years later your expenses have quadrupled, and you are not quite able to keep up with the life you are trying to achieve. However, the good news is, that as your children get older, you realize…..well to be fair…. they tell you……because you have eventually become a run down, unhealthy, angry, frazzled and grumpy old witch…..that certain things are not as important to them as you thought they were. Actually, only your health and well being are what they care about. Special hey? Well, it would have been waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more *&^%$ special if they had told me that all those years where they wanted this and wanted that!! Does not help me much 16 years down the line, when they are now on their way to starting their lives….that I made possible……. BY BECOMING A RUN DOWN, ANGRY AND A GRUMPY OLD WITCH in the process!!!!!! But hey….at least they finally see what is important in life!!

Anyway, besides the fact that the choices I made were entirely on me, and I really cannot go blaming my children for them (out loud), I have slowly begun the journey of desperately craving peace and harmony again.

The City in which I live, is where I was born, is where I grew up and is where I remained. It is the hub of the Country….a rat race, fast paced and mental existence. If you live here, chances are slim that you will be able to lead a calm and peaceful existence. Many years ago, when I was having a ‘’running around like a chicken without a head’’ day, due to work, kids and everything else, I was in the car with my two sprogs, and I said out loud, ‘’guys, don’t you wish we could just pack our bags, get into the car, and go live somewhere calmer?”. To be honest, it was more me thinking out loud than a legitimate question, but their horrified response put an end to whatever thoughts I had in that moment. But I do remember that day vividly, which leads me to believe that, perhaps I wanted that more than I realized.

Over the years, I have had these thoughts, pushed them aside, and argued that, of course EVERYONE has those thoughts, but they are not realistic. I vividly remember another day, after waiting at the school exit having dropped my children off, running late for work, feeling anxious and manic. I looked around at all the other anxious and manic people in their cars. People angry, rushing to get to work, hooting, impatient….thinking it just is not meant to be that way, surely????? So, over the years, these thoughts have resurfaced, and I have pushed them right back under the surface, arguing that, of course EVERYONE has those thoughts, but they are not realistic.

Then….COVID!!!!!! It made me realize what I had done to myself for the last 20 years. When you are living that life, day in and day out, you do not even see the madness. You just wake up each day and swim to avoid sinking. You think it is ”normal”’…..sadly it is ”normal”. For some, it is acceptable. For me, it is not.

So with what I will hereafter refer to as ‘’COVIDisation’’, which is yet another COVID realisation, I am now consumed by these thoughts of finding my peace and harmony again. I have always been a strong believer that we cannot run away from ourselves. When I hear that people are going ‘’to find themselves’’, I want to throw up! If you cannot find yourself where you are, you will not find yourself where you are going either! For me that is just a way out of dealing with life.

This is different. I do not want to find myself. I was never lost. In fact, if anything, I have found my original self through this experience. And indeed we have to find ”inner peace and harmony”, but we need the right environment to do so, surely???

So for me, I want to be the person you always hear about. That person who packed up everything, moved to a smaller, calmer and more peaceful location, and never looked back. Live where you can breathe, know your neighbours, see the blue skies and sunsets. The slight glitch in my plan, is that I have become an anxious, A type, over thinking OCD person, who does not have an impulsive bone in her body. I do not think ‘’those’’ people we hear about had all that to deal with as well? Or maybe they did.

Be that as it may, for the first time since my husband passed away, my future has a picture. Perhaps this will suffice for the moment.

A Blog About A Postponed Blog.

So, one (me…I am one) blogs as a form of therapy. Well there are many reasons to blog, but in my mind, you are either fortunate enough to blog on content that can make you the moola, or you blog because it is therapeutic. Well, I certainly find it therapeutic, so I assume it is one or the other!! And as my day to day life experiences, thoughts and processes do not make the moola, therapy it will be!

However, I do not want my blogs to ever be personally directed towards a specific individual ….well other than my nuggets, Salt and Pepper of course, as they would have blamed me for everything that went wrong in their lives anyway. So always safer to have my side of the story in black and white for any future child services, future daughter in laws, psychologists or adoption agencies. Also….as long as they live under my roof…… know the rest. I also do not want to cause any individual person to be hurt or offended

Of course I have no problem with directing my thoughts and opinions towards a multitude of people, and if they figure that I am talking about them specifically….well….I cannot be blamed for that, and they can be commended for being honest with themselves.

No, if I had any desire to attack specific individuals, I would, of course, become a Tweeter, and I think we all know that I would last all of two minutes on that platform, before I was booted out on my twatter!!

When I started blogging again, I had a lot more free time on my hands due to COVID (aaaaaah…the good old days), and my creative juices and pent up thoughts and experiences from when I had last blogged, came flowing forth like a river to the sea!! So I decided that due to the abundance of genius writings that I had at my disposal, I would post a bi-weekly blog. I was scheduling the posts for future dates….as one does…..when one is OCD….and yes, again, I am ”one”!!

It actually proves to be quite entertaining for me, as when my (totally love him for it) big bruv and supporter, posts the link of the latest blog on the family group, I re-read the posts, as I have often already forgotten the content of my works of art, being that they could sometimes have been written ten blogs previous.

But, again, being who I am, I started putting immense pressure on myself to ensure I had enough content to post twice a week. What with not having as much time, and having less time to have debates with myself, this started proving to be a tad stressful. Then I realised, that only I could take something that is supposed to be therapeutic and leisurely, and cause it to transform me into a pressurised and anxiety riddled ”need to meet the deadlines” mess!! I mean…what bloody ”deadlines” was I even on about…seriously!!

That is when I decided that it was time for a change. All my millions of followers, supporters and fans, would have to be content with weekly blogs!! And to the collective ”aaaaaaaah nooooo’s” I hear……this too you shall overcome!

There are times where I discuss something very topical and relevant in my life, which posted 3 weeks later tends to have lost its relevance (well to me anyway). Then there are times when I just have random discussions and debates with myself, and then hope that by blogging about them, I will get some clarity on my dilemma by the end of the blog. What has sometimes happened with the latter, is that while I am in the process of drafting the blog, a-la Law of Attraction strikes, and I will either hear it being discussed amongst people, or something will happen that so closely relates to the content of my draft, that I am sure Siri has let the proverbial cat out the bag!!

So I often find myself saying to people, “actually that is what I am busy blogging about at the moment”. They then look at me either like…. you blog? Or…. you telling me this, why? Be that as it may, this does reinforce my absolute belief in the Laws of Attraction. As I have mentioned before, for someone who believes so strongly in this principle, you would think I would have the sense to STOP HAVING SUCH NEGATIVE THOUGHTS!! I have tried people….truly!

Just as a side note, when I was initially drafting this blog, my nuggets, Salt and Pepper were out playing indoor soccer. They generally play once a week, sometimes twice a week. Fabulous….young men keeping fit and healthy….….socializing and bonding with other young men over a healthy pastime!! What could go wrong?? Well lots apparently, as after each match, my children saunter in with news of a different player that has been injured during the match. And by injured, I mean broken, cracked and shattered body parts, sometimes pins and surgery are the order of the day.

So, while I was writing about these irrational negative thoughts that I always allow to consume me, I was being consumed by the thoughts of hoping this day was not going to be the one when one of my kids were injured. Needless to say……..

I am not going to elaborate, as in all probability this will be a topic to which I will be compelled to devote an entire blog. I mean… could I not???

Anyhoo, where I am actually going with this (what seems to be grabbing at straws for content) blog, is that I was in the midst of drafting a blog, and then something happened which led to this topic suddenly becoming a real issue in my life. I suddenly realised that, if I posted the blog so close to the event, it might be considered to be a passive aggressive message. Now don’t misunderstand me….I am the master of passive aggression, but I just thought that it might be tasteless under the circumstances.

So that is where using a blog as therapy can prove difficult, as with counselling, there is a privileged relationship between doctor and patient. No such relationship exists between pen and paper….well keyboard and screen, if you are going to be pedantic. Now, it might surprise you that a cold, heartless, unfiltered and intolerant individual such as me would actually give a damn about such things, but I tend to give way more damns than I am given credit for…..something only those that truly know me are aware of.

So here is me blogging about a blog that has been put on hold for a minute, so as not to hurt, offend or insult anyone. Bizaar coming from someone who has no filter or tolerance…but hey, sometimes one has to pause and consider the consequences.

COVID – Learning To Unlearn

So this little known (and hardly ever discussed) virus known as ‘’CORONA’’, has certainly rocked the world to its core!! No one person has lived through this untouched. No one person has had the same experience as the next. There must be so many traumatic and, conversely uplifting stories to tell. Would we even be able to quantify how much money is going to be spent and made by Hollywood on this little virus, or how many lifetimes it will be milked ad nauseam?? As we speak, I have no doubt that there are screenwriters furiously pounding away on their keyboards, producers, directors, agents and actors in heated and fervent negotiations.

For some, they have used the opportunity to improve their health and lifestyle, for others it has caused irreparable harm to their health and lifestyle. For many, overdue life changing and brave decisions have been made. Others were not given the freedom to choose. So much has been lost and so much has been gained.  It has given many of us the opportunity to breathe and reflect. Conversely others have lost their ability to breath. Some by necessity learnt how to make more money. Others were not so fortunate, and lost family members, jobs, homes and lives. Some have managed to adapt their lives to the circumstances, and continue on. Others have not.

In the beginning stages of this crazy situation, I had reasoned that this was our long awaited test. I saw this almost as an equalizer. Those that had might not have so much at the end of this. Those who did not have, might be able feel less like they did not have. Perceptions would change, attitudes would change. A bit dramatic perhaps, but I have always been waiting for our equalizer to arrive. I have just always never understood how it is possible for some to have so much, and others to have so little. Never made any sense to me. 

So, I thought that this was the big lesson!! The world would have to go back to basics.Well ….not so much. For the most part, those that had, still have, and those that did not have, now have even less. We saw employers, landlords, financial institutions, and people in general, show what they are made of. Some have passed with flying colours. Some have failed….dismally!! This was no equalizer!! If anything, there are now more unemployed, hungry, homeless and starving people. Was this a cruel joke??

Just listening to the discussions taking place amongst people makes you realize how few lessons have been learnt. Most especially when it comes to the thoughtless and unmindful people, who unfortunately are still a thing….. who would have thought?? COVID did nothing to transform these people into thoughtful or mindful. No….it is as if nothing has been learnt. The majority of their grievances are that they have not been able to have their holidays, go shopping, throw parties or have any other first world luxury they have been accustomed to in the past. The conversation is not how mindful they are of the starvation, homelessness and unemployment that our little friend Rona has caused. No, their concern is the crime that is bound to increase as a result of it… and only insofar as this is going to affect their lives.

Ironically these people now have lots of extra money to spend on holidays, shopping and partying, as they have been forced to spend less during lock downs, shut downs and all other downs!!

I need to mention something someone said to me recently, which is why I INITIALLY sat down to write this blog.

In the course of the ever present ‘’what this virus has only done to the world’’ conversations, the culprit of, literally the most tone deaf and ignorant comment I have EVER heard, said that she felt very sorry for those people who had financed luxury homes pre – Rona, and were not managing to make their repayments post – Rona. I was so gob smacked, that I assumed she could only be saying that to ridicule the uber privileged. So, once I had lifted my shattered jaw off the ground, I tried to establish if she was being serious!!! She then, unashamedly confirmed she was indeed serious.

HOW IN ALL THE PITS OF HELL, could she feel sorry for those people, when there were people out there with NO HOMES….is how I would have liked to have posed the question…. but I pulled myself towards myself, and through gritted teeth, asked the this question as politely as possible. Her answer was that ‘’those people were used to being homeless, so it was not such a big change.’’ Never one to smile and nod,  I then tried to explain to her, that she was a blithering imbecile bordering on a half-witted ass… the nicest possible way of course, and she still was unable to hear what she had said. It was then that I realized, if a virus that effected the entire world, turned it upside down and inside out, could not change stupid…who was I to think I could?????

Now, I do not stand here as ‘’She of all who is bighearted, socially conscious, selfless, giving and generous’’. Nope….on the contrary. I am always fully aware of the fact that I am none of the aforementioned, and could always do more!! But I would like to believe that I am also not mean, ignorant, selfish or indifferent!!

So when the initial COVID hysteria emerged, I immediately realised how fortunate our family was compared to so many millions of others. I constantly had this discussion with my children….you know…as good mothers do….creating social awareness. I became that person who never went grocery shopping without getting extra groceries…. for my staff that had worked in my business, which due to COVID could not trade……for the car guard in the parking….for the person I knew was way less fortunate than me. I just felt that it was the time for every person to step up. Believing either the situation was going to last a few months, or the world was ending, I just felt everyone had a duty to help keep their fellow man afloat through the little Universal glitch.

Then, after a few months, I realized…well naturally the world had not ended, but more importantly, my life was not going to ”get back to normal” for many months (or years) to come (if ever).

This ”new normal” that we are currently living through, has affected my mindset in two ways. Well way more than two, but for the purposes of this topic, I will stick to just two. I am not proud to say this out loud, but, hey….self reflection means self improvement … and we can all do with some of that!!

So my mindset went from….. for the next few months, the world just needs to hold each other up to…… OMG, this might last more than a minute!! Suddenly, I stopped buying extra food for the people who have humungously less than I do. Suddenly, I have started thinking selfishly again. Suddenly I am anxious about how I am going to navigate the financial effects of this crazy situation, if things don’t actually return to  ‘the old normal”. Suddenly, I sit here, on my totally privileged chair, in my totally privileged house, on my totally privileged keyboard, having just eaten my totally privileged breakfast AND WONDER WHETHER MY LIFE WILL EVER GET BACK TO WHAT IT WAS IN MARCH 2020???? Wow……how dare I????????

Does Ageism Even Apply To Men??

Why is it that men always get the better end of the deal?? I was never one of those “women need to be treated equal to men” kind of gals. Nope…. men and women are SOOOOO not equal. We are cut from a totally different cloth. This is not dependent on colour, race, culture, religion etc. Once upon a time, there were men….and there were women….the end!! 

The obvious difference is in their physical strength. Now emotional strength is a whole different ballgame……but let us just leave that there for now. For the rest of it, women are as capable as any man to do the same thing (and generally better). Yet still…..we are not ‘’the same’’…..far from it!

Men and women have had different roles in the past. Women were always the caregivers, homemakers and all around doers of all that was required. Men were the ones that were given the task of being the breadwinners…..period!! For me personally, I came from the era where I accepted this….. it was just the way of the world. Unfortunately (or fortunately), due to changing societal demands and socio economic conditions more women have been pressured to move into the workplace. Some do this by choice, but there are many that do this out of necessity. So, it has fallen on these women to do everything that was expected of them previously, together with what used to be expected of a man. There are numerous advantages to this for women, all of which ultimately lead to women being given the choice.

Of course, the women that don’t have a choice are on the increase, but that too is the way of the world.

But in my mind, a man and a woman doing the same job, still does not make them equal. Our makeup is different. We have different strengths and weaknesses, different ways of viewing things, different methods of reasoning. I do not think that women and men can or will ever be equal. I do not think that this is a bad thing either. I do not expect to be treated like a man, but I do not appreciate being treated as less than a man either! And no, this is not me wanting the best of both worlds!

One thing that cannot be argued, is that it is harder for women out there, as they try and juggle all that is required of them, and of course the sacrifices that have to be made. They also have to prove themselves more in the workplace, but hey….we women are tough cookies….we can handle it!!

Now, because the man that treats a woman like she is inferior, is normally a coward with a chip on his shoulder, it is understandable that when I still had a husband by my side, I was never treated ‘’like a woman’’. I would definitely have been viewed as inferior by many a male, but a coward would have been too scared to treat me as ‘’less than’’. 

However, since my husband passed away, men seem to have been given the ”courage” to treat me like I am less capable or inferior. Previously, I did not process what was happening, as I would never have thought my worth would have been diminished as a single female. But, in retrospect, I am so infuriated by all the times I now realize that this was the way I was being treated. You know that feeling of wanting to start an argument over again, so that you can say all those things you only thought of after the argument had ended? Well, that is where I am at the moment. If I could just have those moments back, knowing then what I know now, I would be stronger, more assertive and stand up for myself more. Anyway…..only in my dreams.

However what really irks me, is the world of ageism that we live in. It is so unfair that the concept of ageism negatively impacts females so much more than males. Sure, men are also affected by ageism, but there are also certain advantages for men, which counteracts the negative effects. For their female counterparts….no advantages…nada…none!

The marked difference between men and women when it comes to aging is in our appearances. The minute a woman starts showing her age, her worth seems to diminish. Men get older, they get more rugged and distinguished. Women get older, they look tired, dried up, dehydrated and haggard. Men get older, they are regarded as more enlightened and experienced. Women get older, they are regarded as less enlightened and more harebrained. Men lose their hair, they are perceived as attractive and masculine. Women lose their hair….they regarded as unattractive and old.  Men gain weight……their ‘’dad bods’’ are even more appealing than their younger bods. Women gain weight……they old…….and fat. The list just goes on for excruciatingly EVER!!! 

All older people still feel younger than they are. How old they feel depends on each individual. But to all you young úns out there, just know that you too, will never feel ‘’old’’. You totally will feel old mentally and physically mind you. Those things age accordingly dammit, but the age you will emotionally feel will always be younger than you are…..oh, by the way, I don’t mean this in a good, ‘’you are only as old as you feel’’ way!! Nope……I mean it in a ‘’why are all the people I grew up with looking so bloody old” way!!

My husband passed away when I was 39. So perhaps my life ever so poetically ended there. In reality though, it is probably just where my life as I knew it ended. This is probably why, in my mind I still feel 39 years old.

Besides becoming aware of the horrifying chauvinism out there, it has struck me how society thinks that women over a certain age need not care about their appearances…and by society, I mean anyone under the age of 50, even females!

After 40, there is a gradual process of the degeneration of the female appearance. After 50, one looks in the mirror every day, and notices some new age related problem that one can obsess about. Of course, I have no doubt that over 60, we will look back and realize these were nothing to worry about, as we wish we still had our over 50 “problems”.

After 50, I have found that concerns expressed, and assistance requested, from anyone in the beauty and cosmetic industry are not taken seriously. You would think we are the target market. We are here……..hear us ROAR!! Of course you do find a gazillion over the counter miracle creams etc. But there is a gap between the consumer who, quite honestly, wastes their money on those products, and between the rich and famous who apparently come from Krypton, and look ten to fifteen years younger because they ‘’drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day’’……. miracle water they have on Krypton……….just saying!! I am not knocking those who have had nips and tucks, and other types of non invasive procedures. Believe you me, if I had the guts and the money, I would be totally ready to consider it! Nope, I am talking about a regular 50+ female, who just wants to look the best she can as a 50 plusser. The ones who were taken seriously when they were looking for beauty or cosmetic assistance when they were under 40, and did not really need the assistance anyway!! The ones who feel ignored and overlooked, unnoticed and disregarded.

Find me a male over 50 who even has to care about such things. So unfair……damn males!!!