Oriana, Olodumare

Oriana Fallaci was the first person I heard say you cannot negotiate with terrorists, and as we know, the question there is who is a terrorist.

But it is a fact you cannot negotiate with abusers. If you remember this, you can safely extricate yourself from an abusive situation — if you have somewhere else to go, of course.

You can require things of abusers. You can even work with them. But you cannot expect good faith negotiation or collaborative communication of any kind.

It is important to remember that when your attempts to make your position known to an abuser are met with hostility or ridicule, it is not poor communication on your part.

It is also important to remember that if you have abusive people around you it is not necessarily due to some failing on your part — you could be living in an abusive culture.

Finally, it is important to remember that abusers have allies. They may be very nice to your friends, feed the poor, be good at their jobs, and volunteer all over town. They may constantly do favors for other people.

This is part of their cover, their game. So when someone tells you, “but ze did do a nice thing for someone,” it does not mean that ze is not abusing you.

My birthday has now morphed into Christmas Eve, as it tends to do each year. But where I was born the evening is younger. That gives me the time to confer, once again, this knowledge upon myself.

I tend to lament the fact that these kinds of relationships, with Reeducation being the main one, have limited my life to some degree.

Yet from the point of view of Olodumare whom we celebrate tomorrow and every Friday, becoming free at last is the great project and adventure of my life.


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4 responses to “Oriana, Olodumare

  1. I should edit to add: abusers will CULTIVATE a “Mr. Nice Guy” image, primarily so they can feel good about themselves. And they are like Teflon — nothing you can say to them will get through.

  2. CHRIST ALMIGHTY, EUREKA! I understand something now!

    Here in Salvador, where I am, I spent a horrid semester in 1985, and left for points south. I had not named the horridness I fled yet but: its name is abuse; it had to do with that CL family and those Hs and their whole environment; my friend D reminded me the other day that C had appropriated money from L, and that’s abusive; the atmosphere in both houses was abusive as was L herself, as I came to find out.

    There are more fascinating connections; but I remember being in this crazed and desperate state all the time, just like today and yesterday dealing with my car issue back home. It was a reaction to abuse and that is why I was like that and knew I had to leave … even though I later kept coming back, but avoiding those wicked people. I remember running up enormous telephone bills which I normally never did. I told the Emeritus Professor that the place was making me neurotic and I had to leave. He said neurosis was a choice and I could make another choice and I said yes, my choice is to leave this Inferno because the moment and milieu require it.

    So I was right even then — you have to leave.

  3. Abusers also tend to be clannish. It’s not just that they sometimes cultivate an image of niceness to protect themselves, it’s that there are several subtle clues about behaviour, about the way that language is used, which clues the abusers in regarding who is an insider in a particular community and who is an outsider. So that is why they often have people on their sides, when it comes to the crunch, and why outsiders are rarely believed.

    Intellectuals, anyway, are almost always outsiders. That is because few people aspire to put in the hard work to attain an intellectual standing.

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