Posted by: innerpilgrimage | June 8, 2011

Wall Scrawl

      I have a love-hate relationship with blog comments. I love when people read and respond to something I wrote, and I hate getting the SPAM comments which gush insincere and generic praise. And I have a very non-recovered reaction to the SPAM comments, including the desire to write back to the spammer and say, “Leave me the F*** alone.”

      In reality, if I ever did respond, I’d end up in a worse situation, having given in to the phishing for any means to contact me and make my SPAM problem worse. So, all of these insincere gushings of how my blog deserves more traffic, or how great I wrote that entry (and would I like to buy some deep-discount medication or learn about some new bullshit fad therapy or some new bullshit fad diet or some new bullshit fad life-changing exercise program?) get e-binned before they reach the entry. Needless to say, the comments I post are ones that may not agree with me but are definitely from people who took the time to react to what they read instead of what keywords a bot spider gleaned from my subject line.
      Which, ironically, sometimes has zero to do with the content, so the SPAM looks even more pathetic. So, if anyone ever wants to run through my comments? They’re from real people. Well, most of them seem to be. And the comments which make me question the purpose of what was sent often get analyzed in a following post.
      Take, for example, two authors on the metaphysical. One, Thomas Moore, and the other Allison DuBois. I wrote about books I read from them. The person who represented Thomas Moore’s interests cross-posted and quoted from my blog. The person who represented Allison DuBois promised she’d read my journal then wanted people to follow her on Facebook. I am *this close* to deleting the Allison DuBois comment, simply because it has turned out to be a SPAM, to empower her career and following. I am annoyed I was used in this way by her representative. I have no doubt she hasn’t read a damned thing I wrote, and I question if her representative did more than skim what I wrote.
      I also am getting a lot of traffic from Michael Prager’s web log, which I appreciate a lot. I did read his book, which I need to re-read in order to give a decent review of his honest journey out of addiction and into life. With more time in recovery, I will have a new perspective when I reread his autobiography, Fat Boy, Thin Man. Compulsive eating is not a woman’s disease (or dis-ease with life, expectations, etc.), and every foray into the male perspective is always welcome. Yes, even for women to read, because it crosses genders and we who cannot glean an answer to our compulsive eating can find empathy and inspiration in his brutally honest story. I definitely remember that from my first read of Fat Boy, Thin Man–how truly impressed and inspired I was by the brutal honesty of his journey in prose. It made my shares in OA meetings stronger, and I thank Michael for writing his book and hope that anyone seeking inspiration and hope in the midst of being mired in the muck of the malady of compulsive eating will accept the gift of hope from his own story.
      I keep thinking about how loaded “deserve” is, how I used it so often in addiction. I deserved to be loved. I deserved to be thin and loved and appreciated and desired for it. Deserve is a message from my inflated ego; it works well for the suffering martyr who tries to earn acceptance and approval by denying myself so others can have more than me (for now). It works well for the grandiose authority, who demands acceptance and approval because I believe I did what was required to earn acceptance and authority. It is an expectation that I can perform actions, that I can DO and receive something that can only be given freely. Anything given freely doesn’t require action to earn it. Therefore, there is nothing I can DO to get these things; I have to just BE myself and gratefully and humbly accept the gift of acceptance from those who give it freely and accept that not everyone gives acceptance–probably from their own obsession with earning what they “deserve”.
      None of us “deserves” to be thin or loved or not-rejected or not-abandoned. This is a reality, just like people not leaving comments is a reality. I have to accept that people may just want to read what I wrote, or may read a line and leave in disgust, or may not even be a person but a computer program–a digital golem gleaning words for its master in order to send out offers of crap I don’t want.
     
      This triggers that hatred of hard-salespeople in the worst way, because hard-salespeople are so easy to see through. The flattery is insincere, and it triggers my intuition that I am in a danger situation. They are constantly trying to initiate a power-struggle (conflict, and I hate conflict), where they manipulate me into giving them what they want. Salespeople who are effective with me and who not only get what they need but receive abundance work on an honest, open-minded, and willingness principle. I accept that we’re not going to be hanging out afterward, that we’re not going to become BFFs and party together and eventually marry into each other’s families and go on trips together. That honest relationship, of trying to find out more about me in a lighter manner, in order to connect to me as a human being, is part of the process. When a salesperson works toward a dual-benefit solution (cooperatively) as opposed to an “I win, you . . . oh, I don’t care about your needs, ’cause I gotta win” solution (competitively), that salesperson receives my appreciation. The fake interest is obvious to me. Generally it looks like this:
     
      Salesmonkey: So, what do you do?
      Me: I farm worms.
      Salesmonkey: That is so cool. Worm-farming. I always wanted to be a worm-farmer; I even took a correspondence course in it, learned all about the wonders of worm-farming. You know, product X is great for worm-farmers.
      Me (interested): Oh? Say, I’ve had a few issues with keeping the soil moist recently. Any suggestions?
      Salesmonkey: Product X is great for worm farmers who are having droughts. It is definitely what you need.
      Me: Um . . . I don’t see how a small bottle of your product can moisten an acre of worm farm. And it has drying compounds in it. It really isn’t worm-friendly, if you think about it.
      Salesmonkey: We-heh-hell,I can see how you’d think that. But I swear that Product X can make your life perfect, as a worm farmer.
      Me (dubious): Perfect, hunh. You know what I could really use? Some way to moisten an acre of worm-filled soil so I don’t end up with little leather shoelace bits which once were living worms.
      Salesmonkey: I totally hear you. And Product X makes your life perfect. It made my life perfect.
      Me: Do you even know anything about worm farming? At all?
      Salesmonkey: Oh, yes. I took a correspondence course on it and got my worm-farming certificate, until I found Product X. And it’s awesome.
      Me: A certificate. Really. (sigh) So, how is your life perfect? I mean, now that you found Product X? How did it make your life perfect, personally?
      Salesmonkey: Product X can blah, blah, blah . . .
      Me: I don’t think Product X is right for–
      Salesmonkey (interrupting, huge no-no): Oh, no. You’re mistaken. It’s right for you. Let me tell you how. (And Salesmonkey goes on with schpiel which usually convinces me why I don’t need it and why this person is wasting my precious time.) So, I’ll just get the order for a case going for you, and–
      Me: A case? Are you serious? I have been trying for fifteen minutes to tell you that I cannot use it, that even having it around my worm farm will bankrupt me!
      Salesmonkey (not looking up from ordering form): So, a pallet then.
      Me (walking off angry): I hate you and hope you die in a freak worm-related accident! You jerk!
     
      While that is a HUGE exaggeration I just put there, since Salesmonkeys tend to be a little more subtle, the unsaid interaction goes a lot like that. And the expectation of that conflict (for them to take my money and leave me with something I neither need nor want) actually puts me on the defensive because I can feel the salesmonkey vibe all over me, like thick lukewarm sewage slicking down my skin. A salesmonkey may have what I need, but I won’t buy it on principle. I will even reject a whole business based on one salesmonkey getting within six feet of me. And I do engage them, to strike with the inflated ego and get the sneak-attack win by putting them totally off-balance–in resentment-motivated vengeance for the years I was suckered into the lie that someone cared for me when all they wanted to do was manipulate me into getting their needs met without concern if mine were.
      It’s not a recovered behavior. I admit it. And it’s a process to smile politely and say, “No thank you,” then keep walking as they actually sometimes try to keep me engaged. Yes, I feel their need. Trust me, I have that gnawing desire to help them intuitively. But to engage them even to help them means (to me) I am choosing to enter battle–where someone has to win and someone has to lose.
      When I meet a “person in sales” (big difference in my mind), my questions get answered and my differences get respected. I am encouraged to make an intelligent choice for myself, and I walk away either with the product or with a list of people I know to recommend the product to, with the name of the “person in sales” as the go-to person for their best buying experience. I want to get the needs of that “person in sales” met, and I will work to get their needs (and others’ needs) met–so everyone is happy with the interaction.
     
      On my journal, I appreciate and respond to the people whose own journeys were affected by mine, who were so moved to say something. I don’t want people to “follow” me as much as join me for as long as they wish. Take what they need, let the rest go. I give it freely, and they can choose to accept it or leave it where it lies. And I am not offended when people leave stuff behind. Hell, a lot of it is stuff I need to leave behind! But I still work to give a snapshot of what’s going on today, that there is no perfection to be had in the real world, that I am grateful when people give me the gift of their own insights in exchange for mine.
      I am not right any of the time, nor am I wrong. To be right means someone is inferior; to be wrong means someone is superior. But I am gaining insight, and the gift of insightful commentary is always welcome.
     
      Even if I don’t personally agree with it. Well, for now. 🙂 Some messages I’m not ready for yet, and I accept that.
     
      My name is Jess and I am a food and approval addict. I would love to hear from people who read this, who have been helped or who think I am full of crap with what I write. My writing is a reflection of my evolving state, and any new ideas which expand my thought or which allow me to practice infinite patience are welcomed and wanted.

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