Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Joel. Michawn. {Part 72 - November on Facebook, 1; Friends List Purge}

Some elaborations on some of the things I've posted on Facebook...

Nov. 3rd - I posted this meme with the below words...

men in patriarchal societies, and specifically patriarchal religious systems, usually deny this 'til the cows come home. but... 
*patriarchy (a system in which males hold primary power; complementarianism is an example)
*narcissism (extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one's own talents and a craving for admiration; having an inflated sense of one's own importance, a deep need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others) 
that is just truth. 
and while my husband (Joel) probably isn't, on the surface, what one would call an outright narcissist, when a husband is being told over and over that he needs to gain control over his uppity ('non-submissive') wife, what do you think that does to that husband? as a byproduct, he becomes selfish (although that husband would religiously say that he just wants to follow the Bible and bring the wife back into God's will), he craves admiration from those saying such things (and wants to gain that admiration by 'gaining control over his wife and family'), and has zero empathy for the one who is 'uppity' (he no longer cares about her needs...he is focused on the task at hand...gaining control). 
when this behavior backfires, he and his cohorts will definitely try to control how others see that wife. 
i lived this constantly from jan. 2012 - aug. 2015. it destroyed my marriage and my family and my life in *many* ways. 
it has to be stopped. it is a detriment to society and the church. patriarchy of any kind needs to be abolished. 
"Patriarchy is a strange animal. It generally does the opposite of whatever its proponents claim it does. They claim it creates harmonious relationships when, in fact, it introduces artificial strain. They claim it helps people serve God better when, in fact, it can hinder the use of gifts. They claim it keeps women safer when, in fact, it makes abuse more likely." 
it has to stop.
This ended up being a very 'interesting' comment thread.  If you are friends with me on Facebook, you can see it yourself here.  The bottom line is that when I warn people about complementarianism, which is a form of patriarchy and hierarchy and truly is very dangerous, several thoughts and emotions have come forth, from heresy to not allowing others to choose for themselves.  That is the most common thing that was said to me pre-November when others didn't agree with what I had to say...they said that I was the one who got irritated when people didn't agree.  :)  No matter how many times I said it, and how much I showed it in my actions and comments, that I was just presenting information and they could make their own choices...someone always ended up accusing me of not allowing differing opinions.  The truth is actually that I just always had an answer for their differing opinions...which they didn't appreciate.

Anyway, so after this particular post and comment run, I knew it was just time.  Time to purge my friends list on Facebook.  I had never done that before, except to get rid of a particular group of people who had mistreated me sufficiently in real life and bullied me on social media.  I had done that over the summer.

To go through my friends list and delete people though...that was new to me.  But, if something is needed, even if I've never had to do it before or it's never been something I ever imagined I'd need to do...if the need is there and it is time, I will do it.

The need was there.  And it was time.

Nov. 5th - I sent this out to everyone on my friends list.

**Big change below...keep reading until the end.** 
It is said that you teach others how to treat you.  
I think that my life up until the last year has ‘taught’ people to expect certain things of me and have a certain perception of me.  But, my life changed drastically a few years ago.  And so those things that are expected of me and that perception of me…these things are required to change too.  With life, things change.  And without the ability to adapt and grow and change, including the ability to watch and support someone else doing those things and adapting your expectations and perceptions of them…you will always be disappointed. 
Expectations and perceptions can be dangerous things anyway.  But, if you are going to have them, you canNOT hang on to them tightly.  They have to be allowed to be ever-changing. 
Someone said to me recently, "You have changed so much as a person.  You used to be one of my favorite people on the face of this earth. You were someone I looked up to and someone for which I had the utmost respect.” 
I get really great, supportive texts and messages regularly.  But, I also get these kinds of messages regularly. 
Have I changed?  Yes.  That happens to people.  Especially when they go through a time of suffering and trial.  That’s the way it’s meant to be.  It is *supposed* to happen that way.   
I’ve also been accused of being mad and bitter.  One person's specific words were, "I don't understand why you're so damn mad!” 
I answered, 
~there will always be those people who only see that part of me...the part who *is* so damn mad about certain things about the church, about our world (and should be...it's called righteous indignation).  Jesus had that serious, so damn mad part too.  there's nothing wrong with that.  there were people who, in His day, only saw that as 'attacks' too.  who saw that as wrong and bitterness and 'who is He to come in here and get all mad and talk against such things?'   
there was nothing He could do about it.  there's nothing i can do about it.  
i post things that are happy and carefree. that is the majority of what i post.  i also post things that are more serious and point out crappy things about the church/world. posting about important issues doesn't = 'not happy' or 'so damn mad all the time' or 'bitter' or 'attacking.’~ 
As I've said, "there are parts of me that have changed.  and there's a whole other layer there that wasn't there before.  but, those other layers that were always there are still there and are still the same.  and...they are evident in what i say and do, on Facebook or off.  true friends are able to see me as a whole person and not just that one righteously indignant layer.  even if they don't like that layer, that's not all they see.” 
I get the feeling that there are many people who are waiting for this to go away.  For me to go back to the way I was.  For me to only post about kids and recipes and rosy things.
Here’s the deal...   
I won’t be changing back. 
This isn’t a phase.  
This is it.  This is me. 
Just like I posted very honestly and openly all of these years, I continue to do so.  That has not changed.  Fortunately for me, my ‘open and honest’ did include controversial, but it didn’t include crappy things before.  Now it does.  I will be open and honest…in the good times and the bad.  Just like I spoke out against wrong things and sin before…I will continue to do so…even when it’s in my own house.  
Listen to this very closely... 
The things I write about now were going on for a few *years* before I started writing about them…I remained silent for a long time.  So what I write about now has been thought about and thought through…for *years.*  These aren’t just some ‘reactionary’ ramblings.  No…in that silent time, all I did was pray and think and reason and research. 
That is all I did!!  That, and try to survive. 
And that is why I talk about them.  These things are important.  The information I share helps many people.  And it helps even more when I use my own experiences to relay these things. 
So, again… 
I won’t be changing back.  This is it.  This is me. 
Many of you seem to not like this.  Most of you were all smiles when I was open and honest all of these years in the good times.  But in the hard times?  Not so much.  
So…change is needed.  Why?  Because honestly…I can’t keep answering correspondence that constantly blatantly shows this kind of disapproval and disappointment with who I am.  It’s not because ‘it hurts me’ (although, it’s the absolute opposite of uplifting to get this kind of language sent to you along with false accusations about things, which are almost always included as well).  And, it’s not because I don’t like it when people disagree with me…that is a ludicrous lie that people tell when they’ve been caught in bad behavior.  But…I just don’t have time and energy to keep defending myself and giving my rationale.  I have other things to do.  Like heal and recover and be a good mama and try to stay married.   
And no to “Well, you should just stop talking about it publicly if you don’t have time and need to focus on other things.”   
:)  Again…I’m going to talk about it because that actually *does* help me to heal.  But, what I will no longer do is allow people to bombard me with this type of dialogue that requires my defending myself and providing rationale that has already been provided many times over.   
So, here’s what we’re going to do.  We’re going to start over.   
Facebook is how I keep in contact with most of you.  Facebook is where I post most of this information that some people don’t like (whether what those people don’t like is the information itself, or how I do it, or the examples I use).   
In the next few days, I will be emptying my friends list.  Over 1500 Facebook friends…”goodbye."  
I’m giving you an out. 
So, in about a week, I will no longer be friends with you on Facebook.  When you notice that I’m not around anymore in your friends list, feel free to friend request me.  
Just know that in the future, I will not tolerate this kind of behavior any longer.  
Don’t lie to yourself right now.  Don’t get it wrong here.  
**I’m not starting over because there are people who don’t agree with me.**  I’m starting over because 1) some of the people who don’t agree with me treat me disrespectfully, and 2) some of the people who don’t agree with me will not let it go and will not stop trying to get me to change back even after we’ve talked extensively about how these changes are not temporary.  
And those things will no longer be tolerated. 
So…now it’s up to you.  I love keeping up with every one of you.  I love knowing about your lives and keeping in touch.  But…it’s up to you.  
I’ve now stated very clearly the situation.  I'll be posting this a few more times throughout the week to try to make sure everyone sees it.   
I look forward to getting friend requests again from some of you.  To you others who choose to not send me a friend request…I wish you the best. 
Michawn <><
I got so many comments on that and messages from people saying they were so glad I was going to do that.  They were all tired of the drama too...and tired of seeing people being nasty and accusatory with me.  People said over and over that they were so proud of me for (finally) standing up for myself in this way.  Apparently I should have done this much sooner instead of trying to 'be nice' (i.e. be a doormat for others to come and crap on).

I started out with 1575 friends the day I started.  My plan was to make sure everyone got this memo by messaging it to them personally, and then delete literally everyone.  Then whoever wanted to could add me back.  Did you know that you can't do that?  What?  Here was my update after I had tackled this major feat.

Nov. 8th -

it. is. finished!! 
i started this project just deleting everyone from my friends list after i knew they had seen the note about what i was doing (after sending them a message). i wanted to delete *everyone* (barring all Brazilian, portuguese-speaking friends), but Facebook won’t let you send the same message to all your friends (who knew?). and it won’t let you tag all your friends either. i kept being blocked from doing so (annoying). so, as time went on, i started to be more picky about who i unfriended (instead of just unfriending literally everyone) so as to make it a process that would only take a few days as opposed to a few weeks, ha. ;) ain’t nobody got time for that. truly. 
in the 600 people i deleted, surely i got rid of all the drama-makers and all the people who truly do not want to be here. i hope so!! 
**i can't stress this enough...please know that if i didn’t unfriend you and you kind of wish i had…just unfriend me. :) no hard feelings and i wish you the best. go with God. 
if you are still here, it’s because you fit into at least one of the following categories:
1. i never even see you or hear from you or have interactions with you on here…either you aren’t on here much at all or you don’t ever even see anything i post or you are just the type who looks but never comments…either way, no drama
2. i know that you could *care less* what i have to say, hahaha…therefore, no drama
3. you usually see things basically the way i see them anyway…therefore, no drama
4. i’ve discussed/debated hard topics with you before and you were firm, but completely respectful and kind, even though we had very different opinions…therefore, no drama 
obviously, i just want people who aren’t going to cause me any drama…and i know that you friends remaining appreciate the same. and in the future, i WILL NOT HESITATE to delete someone who is causing continuous drama, just fyi. 
of course there were a few people that fit into the #2, #3, or #4 categories in the people i deleted in the beginning, for sure. but since they were people that i interact with a lot, i knew that they knew what was going on here and the need for this. so…they are all adding me back, and hopefully we can all live happily ever after here, whether we have completely different viewpoints or not.  :)  
and now…over and out. my mission is complete. from 1575 down to 975 friends. thank you all and welcome to my new and improved Friends List. ;) 
‪#‎tired‬ ‪#‎soworththework‬ ‪#‎timetoveg‬
When I posted the notice that I was going to be purging my friends list, I did have one person who encouraged me not to do it...a dear friend who I graduated high school with (we were all really tight, having only 15 in my graduating class) who is now a pastor himself.  Part of what he said was this...
Use this platform as a pulpit...I think you are most effective and it would be a shame to see you lose the audience that God has put before you. I know it's hard to be so transparent before your enemy but there is a question that I beg you to ponder...what good is the light if it's not placed in darkness? You are the very symbol of what a woman a mother a wife should be. It would be a shame that people would no longer have this example to follow. You are a symbol of greatness and I think both the light and the dark should bear witness to this. Your patience and your love and your character may be what is needed. I have enjoyed your posts these few years and I'm sure many others have as well. My advice would be not to take your hand from the plow. I can't see how people would be so rude and objecting if you were not somehow affecting them? God bless your endeavors old friend! 
And...that is the very reason I had waited so long to do this.  I want to be able to share information with people...even if it's new and there might be some pushback.  I don't shy away from that.  I still lament sometimes the fact that most of the people that really need to hear and see what I share are no longer seeing and hearing those things...and no longer being exposed to those ideas at all (on Facebook anyway).  But, at the same time...sometimes you just know that a change is needed.  And peace comes from that change.  Here was my reply to my high school buddy...
shon, i love what you say here. i actually agree completely. that is why i've waited so so long to do this. i think, though, that sometimes things just have to change. and, sometimes the people who are hearing our words 1) truly don't want to hear them in the first place (that's their prerogative...why i'm giving them an out), or 2) they aren't the type who can hear what you have to say and learn from it (even if the lesson learned is simply how to be friends with someone you really disagree with)...it's kind of in the 'throwing pearls to swine' category. and so, you have to just wipe the slate clean and have a restart. i saw this video just a little bit ago and thought, this! this is why it's time. it happens to apply to my LIFE right now, not just my DAY. :) it's titled '4 Steps to Restart a Bad Day'...so change the title to '4 Steps to Restart a Bad Life,' lol. but, it very much applies and speaks to why i'm doing this now. THANK YOU for your words, shon...so encouraging and kind and full of truth. at this time, a purging is needed because like this video says...i don't have time for the drama and distractions. moving onward and upward. can't be bogged down anymore. i have to focus on the important things...and have some time to rest and heal and recover...and do what i'm called to do without drama and distractions. love you, my classmate...love keeping up with you and all you're called to do. you're awesome.

The following is the video I talked about.  Literally everywhere he says 'day' you can replace it with 'life' in my case.  :/  Sad, but true.  My life went to hell.  Because of the sin of one person, the lives of my children and I have been drastically altered.  The trajectory of our lives...forever changed.  But, we move on from here.  Here's the video...

"People who are on the path of purpose...they don't have time for drama.  Or distraction.  That stuff gets pushed to the side because they are busy crushing it every day.  They're high performers. They've gotten past the drama and the distractions in life, and they're contributing, they're creating, they're being proactive...they're becoming the leaders, the artists, the people who are the influencers and the thought-leaders of the day."

Sometimes you just truly need a reset.  This was a reset for me.  If it's "gone to crap"...don't stay, don't keep doing the same things you are doing.  I found that I was spending so much time interacting with the same people over and over, saying the same things over and over...people who only wanted to take offense or to try to refute the information I was sharing.  And that's good to engage in a dialogue at first when new information is shared.  But, 1) disrespect was the common trap they always fell into, and 2) after being asked the same things over and over, and giving the same answers over and over, and being accused of the same things over and over...it's just time to move on.  Time to reset. Time to leave that behind so that you can focus on what your true purpose is and move forward.

I enjoy much more peace now.  And instead of filling my time with those people on social media, I have been introduced to some new people...some really great groups of people who are like-minded and super supportive.  These groups have been a lifeline for me and I've met some really great people who are becoming my new friends.

How I made it all alone the past few years I will never know.  God was with me.  I had a couple of mainstay friends who were always there (even from afar) and I knew it.  98% of the people I thought were my friends were not.  But...I am now finding a new niche, a new place.

What has always been a life verse for me now has very, very different meaning.  What was always about missions before, is now about just moving on for the sake of what God has called me to through this mess.  What God has literally done in our lives.  God has sifted away the chaff in our lives...and is pulling us up out of the mess.  I have lost all of that, literally, that is listed in that verse. But, God is bringing about new things...healthier things...and we will receive a hundred times as much in return.  Thank God.

Matthew 19:29New Living Translation (NLT)

29 And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life.

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