Eye of the Optimist-shedding toxic ties

Posted on April 26, 2015 at 6:50 AM
Today I found the courage and resolve to let go of a toxic relationship. I made the decision that it is a positive step to dissolve such a soured relationship.

I have discussed this sort of problem before when I decided it was healthier for me to back out of associations in some cases, while generally looking to build positive relationships in my life, and consequently the community around me. I dealt with this while writing "A Year of Living Positively" as I went through a couple of episodes with people who breed negativity in my life. I never felt comfortable with them. They were people who made me feel smaller. Back then I asked myself, "Why stay attached to people who cause me to feel lousy, and invoke behaviour I do not like in myself?" Best to remind myself of my own self-worth and know when it is worth it to leave, stepping back defeats negative factors and strengthening the positive.

It seems like departures take place far too often in life. I guess only a few people are fortunate to have a more secure grounding and live genuinely in nurturing social environments. I believe that kind of situation to be rare.

It is always painful at one level or another to break away. It is also a mental adjustment. You know when it is healthy to do so when your body relaxes and you can breathe better once the step is taken. Nagging thoughts as well as feelings dissipate. It is harder to accept in certain circumstances, though, like when a purely social association is involved, or, worse, when it revolves around a social cause or community service. When the object is to assist others or provide a friendly occasion, why are some people fearful enough to let their anxieties or resentments or desire to dominate get in the way and rupture what could and should be a positive experience? I don't know, but I know I don't want to be around them, even though it may interfere with one of my set goals, desire for company or ideological or political aims. If it is a destructive situation and the fight is not a life or death matter, then leaving may be a solution.

At the heart of the matter in my story today is a spiteful woman who does not like hearing "no" when she wants something. She is vengeful. She caused some wrecking of a non-profit association last year, which I was able to repair. She had spread gossip and negativity because a conference turned down her application to present. She retreated into the background but she got extremely busy on the internet, particularly in social media promoting herself, and self-publishing this and that to construct a facade of an expert. Just when things with this organization got back into the upswing this year to the point where I thought things had stabilized because we had organized successful public events, she is at it again. Her demands to make a presentation to members was rejected by a leading figure (me)and she again resorted to personal attacks and gossip through her circle of friends to thereby inflame a situation and distort information.  She has too much influence socially and she is able to manipulate those volunteers still active at meetings, and they have too little experience and insight to see through it and appreciate the larger picture. This person is never concerned about others or the state of the organization; rather, she talks about herself and her views, trying to build herself up by knocking others down, and can see little else. By her indirect interference, she has practically destroyed the Chapter this time around. I was the target of her vengeance and spite. I could no longer endure and threw in the towel. I cannot function in such an atmosphere any more.

I do not know how my accusers will be able to rescue the organization. As things stand, there is not much skill or will left to do it. I tried. There is nothing more I can do anymore. I was very uncomfortable and endured put-downs, hostility and coldness all along for the sake of the larger cause, safeguarding an important service to the community here, but I can no longer endure.

To the main protagonist in the drama to beat me down, I suggest she get psychological counseling. For me, I can now fulfill a 2015 New Year's pledge to withdraw from volunteer work by allowing myself to drop this last standing volunteer commitment and set myself free from the possibility of any such wrangle occurring in my presence in the midst of altruistic benevolent activities again. Sad, but that's the reality.

Categories: communication and living, relationships, social justice and change

Post a Comment


Oops, you forgot something.


The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.


Reply reflexology in london
1:28 PM on May 15, 2015 
your writing skill is really very appreciative. my partner and i love Whenever anyone share your own views with the Best articles.Keep sharing AND ALSO posting articles like these.
Reply test
6:03 AM on October 2, 2018 
Reply best resume writing service 2018
4:25 AM on October 3, 2018 
Thanks for sharing your experience with us! I believe that the withdrawal you did was right. Generally, the work per se is not hard, but in some instance, it's the environment that is making everything toxic. I won't trade a healthy work environment over a high paying yet toxic company. If the employees are not working in a healthy environment, chances are their wellbeing, productivity and outlook declines. In return, this will affect the success, efficiency and growth of the company.
Reply q
6:05 AM on May 30, 2019 
Reply how many people play roblox
9:29 AM on September 23, 2019 
children can play it safe and comfortable with a little control and understanding.
Reply David
10:55 AM on November 15, 2019 
What a good post here.You have done a very good work to share a very good post with us taking out your time to explain in detail.Thanks. rubber roofing
Reply Jacob
11:39 AM on November 15, 2019 
I have visited this blog and really enjoyed to visit this blog.I am so happy to read this blog. Thanks. rubber roofing
Reply Norah
10:20 PM on November 15, 2019 
I am glad to read your blog is really great and cool post.its really great and cool.its really great and cool post.its really great and cool post. keep it up

buy mobile on installments
Reply Korish
10:45 PM on November 15, 2019 
Today i have visited so many post but according to my point of view this post is one of the best post. Thanks

Vaza Jato
Reply Flintoff
11:32 PM on November 15, 2019 
What a wonderful post is it, i am very happy and i appreciate your effort. You are doing great job. Thanks

Social media marketing online training
Reply Flintoff
12:17 AM on November 16, 2019 
I am glad to read your blog is really great and cool post.its really great and cool.its really great and cool post.its really great and cool post. keep it up.

Social media marketing online training
Reply Ross Taylor
5:08 AM on November 16, 2019 
This is very nice and helpful post. I like it so much and appreciate your work. You have done really very great job.Thanks for it. Defrosting Thawing Tray
Reply Massy
6:03 AM on November 16, 2019 
Your blog is really great and cool.its really awesome and cool.its really great and good.thanks for sharing the nice and cool post.thanks for it.
kids telescope
Reply Harry
6:16 AM on November 18, 2019 
I am glad to read your blog. its really great and cool post. your way of working is great and good. its awesome and good.thanks for sharing.keep it up.
Playground Tiles UK
Reply Robert
8:48 AM on November 18, 2019 
I am glad to read your blog.its really great and cool post. it's really great and cool post. its really awesome and good.thanks for sharing the nice and cool post.
rubber roofing supplies in UK
Reply Noah
8:56 AM on November 21, 2019 
What a wonderful post is it, i am very happy and i appreciate your effort. You are doing great job. Thanks a href="http://rubberflooringuk.uk/rubber-sheet-sub.html">rubber
sheet for sale in uk
Reply Tyson
10:12 PM on November 22, 2019 
What a good post here.You have done a very good work to share a very good post with us taking out your time to explain in detail.Thanks

colored lenses near me
Reply William
5:31 AM on November 23, 2019 
I have visited this blog and really enjoyed to visit this blog.I am so happy to read this blog. Thanks shop beginner telescope for kids
Reply Shawn Bernard
5:48 AM on November 23, 2019 
This blog is written perfectly, after reading it i have come to the conclusion that you have chosen the words very professionally. I will surely visit again.
we offer phlebotomy training
Reply Harvard
6:29 PM on December 7, 2019 
Great Post with amazing stuff! I am glad to read your blog is really awesome and cool post.its really cool and great. Thanks

deemak control near me

Thinking and Doing It Positively

Household Treasures

11 January 2021

I heard an interviewee speaking over the radio talk about cherishing items in the home. It is one way to explore and enjoy surroundings without traveling, he said​I'll try it.

A lot of objects on display in my apartment are artifacts from my travels, ironically. They refresh my most poignant memories of precious and mind-opening explorations.

Sitting atop the filing cabinet next to my desk are to souvenirs from South Korea, where I worked and resided for 10 years. After such a lengthy stay, I have loads of memories prompted by numerous artifacts of my experiences in that country. These two are among the best reflections of cultural and historical particularities of South Korea. They are a framed photo of a hero central to the labour and national democratic struggles and an ornament from folk culture in the countryside of the southern part of South Korea.

Jun Tae-Il was a courageous student activist leading actions against the last dictatorship in his country. He represents the heart of the movement and the victory for democracy. He became a martyr when the police fatally shot him while he was demonstrating in the street in Seoul, the capitol. The ornament is an ceramic fertility fetish, an image of a penis from one of several such parks in the southern region where I used to live. This part of the country remained tribal longer than other parts, so folk traditions such as shamanism and superstitions have endured. Fertility monuments were erected (pun intended), of course, bring about more healthy children. The foreigner exploring such parks giggle at the sights. 

Next to the filing cabinet is a bookshelf. One of the most noticeable objects near the top of this piece of furniture is a tacky, plastic, white alarm clock. It is significant because I bought it to ensure I woke up on time on my last morning living in South Korea. I had an early flight. As a small travel alarm clock had recently failed, and I was not sure my phone alarm would wake me fully, I picked up a cheap clock at a local general store. I don't use it as its ticking is noisy, but I have not thought to give it away. It remains perched on the shelf, deprived of a battery, as a reminder of my departure from the ex-pat life and return to Canada. 

I also have items saved from two trips to Cuba, one in 2003 and one in 2019. Both trips were organized political events. The first took me there with a political choral group to meet Cuban choirs, learn some of their songs, perform with Cubans, attend the May 1st rally, meet labour associations and tour the island for two weeks. I am looking at a typical replication of a sketch of Che Gevarra which one can find easily in street markets. Our choir, supportive of the Cuban revolution, valued the Cuban revolutionary democracy, social arrangements and political principals which that image, the most famous in all the world, represents to millions of people. It inspires and gives hope. I remember strolling through the streets, visiting markets and restaurants, chatting with locals and attending all the meetings on our hectic schedule. I have other little treasures such as a ceramic, hand painted ashtray, photos of our Cuban comrades, and an African-Cuban, wooden statuette.

Above my desk hang a pair of water colour paintings in wood frames. They portray sites in southern Manitoba in the general area where my grandparents met, married and bore my mother. They feature two views of the banks of the Red River, a river highly important to Canadian history. There were battles against invading Americans launched there and a key struggle of the Métis nation. The city of Winnipeg lies nearby, which used to be the industrial hub of Canada until the Panama Canal opened up and undermined the Canadian railway system. I have only passed through Winnipeg by car. This area is not one I remember, for I have never visited it. 

On the floor near my desk lies a wicker hamper. I have mixed feelings about it, but it has been very useful, so I have kept it. You see, it belonged to my father's second wife. My father remarried this odd, older person rather quickly after my mother passed, which denied her children necessary time to adjust. I carried resentment about her, but chose to avoid them rather than say anything or show my negative feelings. As I said, it is a practical item for it holds linens and Christmas stuff and allows aeration through the woven stems.

I originally bought the filing cabinet to organize research, not academic information but information found in the course of activism and stabs at political journalism. It therefore stores records of several international and regional conferences. Though I purge it once in awhile, there are still clippings, leaflets and pamphlets. They cover issues such as Canadian mining firms abroad, human rights cases, privacy rights, student concerns and transportation. I have been replacing old articles and folders with my own writing pieces. Among them are also old, self-published newsletters addressing local and international issues, some of my published articles and unpublished poems. 

Conversational News

10 January 2021

It is so good to be able to express myself and have contact with readers through this blog again. The loss of the access to my blog along with other aspects of confinement and restrictions really affected me. There were added unsettling restrictions due to circumstances, even including access to my games when Adobe Flash Player was removed. I was feeling the mounting stress of rising COVID cases and the awareness of the damages inflicted by this disease as well as the damage inflicted by states that remain focused on helping profitable enterprises more than addressing the disease and health care and financial interventions fully and equitably. Most such as Canada are handing the responsibility of pandemic management to individuals. Very unjust!

I had been handling the conditions of the pandemic fairly well, but emotions were catching up to me in December as I personally began to feel tired and stressed. I started to feel irritable and alarmed. I looked forward to two weekends at home over Christmas and New Years, but the employer wanted me to work on the Saturdays. Saturday being the heaviest work day for me with five hours straight teaching and two hours travel, I had been wanting relief to get a chance to rest and calm down. I ended up taking the Saturday following NY Day off, which certainly helped. I am much better now.

I did not carry through with my usual practice of personal assessment and planning in December as is my habit. I was too agitated. I did not want to reflect on this past year, actually. Not then.

Anyway, there is not any change in my goals. I generally carried through with financial, livelihood, social, family, health and growth goals. However, the social and family goals were frustrated by Covid-19 rules. However, there are elder relatives with multiple health problems whose mental health was being upset by the situation, so I have been visiting with them in cafes and such. They are better now. I have also been aiding an elderly neighbour whose health, already in decline this year, was getting worse partially because of Covid-related restraints. (Her degrading sight and hearing, as well as shaking and loss of balance, caused her to stop driving permanently, and skeletal issues caused her to stop regular exercise. She is worried she will be forced to consider entering a facility while many care homes are in crisis!) My exercise regime was also compromised. The local fitness center remains open but I perceive it as risky, so I do not go there. Aside from some hiking and walking to accomplish transit and errands, I haven't been exercising much until recently. Now I do some yoga, lunging, stretching and weighted arm raises sometimes. I am prevented this week because of an inflammation (hemorrhoid caused by lengthy sitting!).

 One big factor affecting stress and anxiety levels is news reportage. State and private corporate news services, like most enterprises today, try to streamline by relying more on tech and web browsing to find news topics. There are fewer reporters and there is less extended, investigative reporting. For the past decade at least, such services have resorted to "conversational journalism." It is an adjustment to distrust of news and official authorities during a trend of democratization, I feel. However, it tends to keep popularity and viewer or reader stats in mind. Topics can be sensationalized by rehashing events and speculation. Commentators are brought in to discuss as are senior reporters, but the discussion is not very productive in that it does not lead to increased knowledge. Rather, it keeps generating more questions. Conversations often entertain unanswerable questions, particularly because there can be no resolution. They just push the topic and stimulate possible answers to stir up controversy and alarm in order to improve ratings. Pertinent information might be omitted if it actually answers a question. Once audiences abandon a thread, they turn to some other topic and start over. It is really unconscionable because of the innuendo, speculation, rumour, omission, lack of investigation, assumptions and biases.

The COVID coverage is a clear case in point. Partial information is supplied, such as a medical official's announcement that is partly based in some truth. The announcement is questioned. Opponents are recruited to present the false arguments. Sideline topics are raised to create more friction. Proper sources are ignored. Questions are recycled and spin round and round with no conclusion. The affect is understandable: alarm, anxiety, fear, stress, accusations, complaints, etc.

I follow a couple of doctors who produce daily videos to update viewers on scientific developments and explore reasoning behind government and medical decisions regarding the pandemic. I rely on Dr. John Campble and Doctor Moran. Find them on Youtube. Campbell is the most digestable, for he uses plain English, which Moran is more technical. The latter seems to be addressing people in the medical field. By following Campbell, in particular, I can see the gaps in the regional and national news reporting. I can see that they are lagging behind the news by ignoring or failing to search for reliable information.

We're Back

07 January 2021

Apologies to my followers and viewers. You have been very supportive and encouraging for many years. I might have disappointed some of you who were looking for new entries from me. 

Let me explain. VISTAPRINT changed its platform last year. When they did that, the method for making blog entries changed. I had no information from them about what to do. It simply appeared that I know longer had any blogging service. 

However, I just spoke to a VISTAPRINT rep who guided me. I can now write blog entries, as you can see.

It was a strange year all the way around. Things seemed kind of more chaotic than usual. I felt agitated and stressed last month for no definite reason. I had trouble sleeping. I felt exhausted.

My general astrology reading asserted that the pulling away of Jupiter, one of my planets and a very powerful one, from Saturn would make Sagitarians feel exhausted by the end of December. Despite the restrictions imposed because of the pandemic, it does indeed feel like I worked and accomplished a lot (activism, teaching, writing). Things are supposed to get easier for us Sagges. 

There was added stress because of the effects of the pandemic. Not only that but worse, state aggression seemed to increased around the world, causing civilian mass responses. Though I had handled it pretty well until the end of 2020, I guess it finally got to me and I started soaking up some of the stress and anxiety emitting from my region and beyond.

2021 is starting out a bit weird, too. Just look at yesterday's events. U.S. Whitehouse invasion. Solar flare sending rays that caused several storms, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. More lockdowns. 

I wish all my readers well. I will resume entering focused pieces when I have more time. Please stick with me. Thank you for your comments to date.

Ed Wise


15 January 2020