abuse

Do you know what it feels like?

I wonder if you still step out

on your lovers like you did me

I wonder if you still have your friends lie for you.

I wonder if they know you lie to them too.

I wonder if there is a girl betraying you right now

just as you have done to us so many times before.

 

If I’m honest, I hope so.

 

-May 2019

Documentary Recommendation Recap!

I just wanted to recap all the documentary recommendation articles in case you missed any! I think the ones listed below are the most interesting documentaries of each series but you should definitely click on series 5 because there were many many good documentaries in the crime category!

 

Series 1 Fraud & Cover Ups

The Devil We Know (Netflix) – Would Recommend

Devil dives into DuPont’s responsibility in the health risks of their teflon products. The doc touches on specific people affected and their stories as well as widening the scope to see how far it’s deadly consequences have reached. It’s terrifying and tragic how harmful and deadly telfon is and how companies like DuPont would rather death over profit loss.

 

Series 2 Abductions & Abuse

Behind Closed Doors (Netflix) – Would Recommend

Behind Closed Doors is a british film following the story of 3 women fighting domestic violence. It is incredible interesting to see all the complicated emotions that they go through and just how deep these wounds go. From an outside perspective, domestic abuse seems so straightforward – if they hit you, you leave. But love is irrational and there is no reasoning with that primitive emotion. These women are all incredibly strong for fighting these men through the court system and for battling with their own complex feelings daily.

 

Series 3 Documentaries to Skip

Children of God (Netflix) – Would Not Recommend

This documentary follows the memories of a family that lived in a Cult for many years. The first interesting thing about this cult was that the leader wasn’t with the rest of the cult, he just sent letters from a secret location. It’s interesting that the leader had such a presence without even being present. It focused heavily on child abuse and sexual abuse with interviews from the one family that has since left the cult. The cult even featured promotional videos that were essentially children undressing to song.

The other focus was on the sexual activities the wives were essentially forced to do such as sleeping with other husbands and members of the cult as well as sleeping with men in the outside community in order to entice them to join the cult (flirty fishing). It’s a sad documentary as the grown children recount their stories of sexual harassment and rape and dealing with the complicated resentment they have with their mother for putting them in such an environment. It’s disturbing and heartbreaking, and not at the top of my list of recommendations.

 

Series 4 Animals

Dogs (series – Netflix) – Would Not Recommend

There are 6 episodes in this docuseries following a different dog(s) in each episode. I only watched the first two and the fifth episode because those stories seemed most interesting to me. The first was a young teen girl still struggling through getting a hold on her epilepsy. She will be receiving a service dog who will help to recognize when she’s about to go into a seizure and help bring her out of it. You learn a bit more about service dogs, different jobs they can do, and the initial training they have with their new owner. The episode unfortunately ends shortly after the dog goes home with the family so you don’t know exactly how it all turns out.

The second episode is a dog named Zeus who is stuck in Syria while his owner was able to escape on a work visa to Germany (or somewhere). Zeus has been staying with a friend who is also in hiding and it’s not safe for any of them in that warzone. Zeus traveling through borders by car and plane. There are a few hurdles along the way and you’re not sure if Zeus will be reunited with his owner. Everyone loves Zeus and you feel for the friends that are now losing that piece of light in that terrifying war.

The fifth episode is about Territorio De Zaguates in Costa Rico. It’s very possible you’ve heard about it as it’s a bit of a tourist attraction that you can run with hundreds of dogs on the multi acre shelter. This shelter never turns away a dog and it warms your heart to see them get taken off the streets. As the episode unfolds though, you being to question if they’re taking on more dogs than they can handle. Food, money, water, shelter, staff, and vet visits is a lot for any shelter to take on but at this size you wonder if more is always better.

 

Series 5 Crime

I am Innocent (series – Netflix) Would Recommend

This New Zealand crime docuseries is 6 episodes following 6 different cases ranging from murders, juvenile criminals, and family cases. Based on the title you can assume that all criminals telling their story are innocent and have been wrongly convicted. You find out the details of the crime, where things went wrong, and how things were later resolved for the unjustly convicted criminals. After each episode I wanted to go tell my friends and family about this insane, unjust, and true story.

Documentary Recommendations – Series 5 Crime

This is the final series of my documentary recommendations! If you’ve seen Jinx and Making a Murderer then these documentaries might be your next fix!

 

I am Innocent (series – Netflix) Would Recommend

This New Zealand crime docuseries is 6 episodes following 6 different cases ranging from murders, juvenile criminals, and family cases. Based on the title you can assume that all criminals telling their story are innocent and have been wrongly convicted. You find out the details of the crime, where things went wrong, and how things were later resolved for the unjustly convicted criminals. After each episode I wanted to go tell my friends and family about this insane, unjust, and true story.

 

The Staircase (series – Netflix) – Would Not Recommend

I put this documentary as do not recommend because I DNF but I’ve heard from good sources that I should try it again so I’ll give you that same advice. The story follows widow Michael Peterson through his murder trial. The victim? Kathleen Peterson, his wife. You see all the preparation his legal team does, discovering new details and secrets along the way. The documentary is titled The Staircase since Michael finds Kathleen at the bottom of a staircase in their home. In a big twist, you find out that this is not the first time he’s found someone at the bottom of a staircase.

 

In this doc you’re able to see how Michael and his family handle the trial and you also hear his 911 call after finding Kathleen. It’s natural for viewers to judge a family’s emotions as they go through a trauma like this. You would if you would act the same way? You wonder if there even is a normal way to react from something so far from your everyday life. There are 13 episodes and the verdict is revealed in the 8th so the story does not end at that first trial.

 

The Seven Five (Netflix) Would Recommend

This documentary follows the corrupt Brooklyn cop Mike Dowd in the 1980s and his last partner Ken Eurell. You learn about the crimes he committed, how he committed them, and who he committed them with. They stole money, drugs, protected and informed criminals, and started their own drug distribution business. I’d say it was rather well known that NYC cops in the 80s were not always on the right side of the law and it’s very interesting to see some of the details first hand. Mike is eventually arrested and I’d say it’s worth watching just to find out how that all happens.

 

Mommy Dead and Dearest (HBO) Would Recommend

This is an extremely well known documentary and a must watch. You follow the story of Dee Dee Blanchard and her daughter Gypsy. Gypsy is sadly very ill suffering from leukemia, muscular dystrophy, and brain damage. She’s wheelchair bound, takes a truck load of medications, has undergone too many surgeries to count, and has a feeding tube. Her mother was a devoted caretaker – switching doctors when they started to question Gypsy’s illnesses, moving away from relatives when they became suspicious, and altering her daughter’s birth certificates by 4 years.

 

After learning about all this young girl has suffered through, you sympathize with her desperate need to escape her mother. So desperate that she might just plot her own mother’s murder.

 

There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane (HBO) Would Not Recommend

This doc was local to me so that was the main interest of why I watched it. It’s about a mom driving 5 kids the wrong way on a parkway and kills herself, 4 of the children, and the 3 passengers of the car she hit. That’s a lot of tragedy in just one car accident so you really want to know how something like this happened. The doc takes you through the events that day between her strange call and the frantic call the kids briefly made to their dad (as they were Diane’s nieces).

 

You have recounts from other witnesses dodging her car as she drives through oncoming traffic and the background of who she was as a person from her supporters, her husband and sister in law. One decreased child was Diane’s and the other 3 were her brother’s, her brother and his wife did not participant in this doc. Fortunately or perhaps not, the one living child is not really able to give much insight aside from ‘there was something wrong’.

 

The reason I didn’t like this doc I believe all had to do with the directors storytelling choice. It’s suggested that Diane was a drug addict and miscalculated a dose that lead to this erratic driving behavior. The husband adamantly denies this and it’s mostly dropped by the directors, becoming much more subtle. It wasn’t until I searched discussion boards afterwards that theories about her drug abuse offered some explanation for what happened that day. The husband and sister in law talk about what a great mother and businesswoman she was and how she could have never had such a problem or they would have known about it. The ironic moment I have to mention here is the sister in law smoking a cigarette after hearing some bad news and saying “no one in my family knows about this.”

 

Documentary Recommendations – Series 3 Documentaries to Skip

Unfortunately, not every documentary you watch will be a good one. Or sometimes you’ll watch a movie that you kind of enjoyed but you know you wouldn’t recommend anyone else to watch it (for me that Christmas lifetime movies hahah). These four documentaries don’t have any common themes aside from the fact that I don’t think you should watch them lol.

 

The Woman with Seven Personalities (Netflix) – Would Not Recommend

This is a woman in her mid 30s with 6 other personalities that range from about the age of 5 to 15. This documentary didn’t really end up answering any of the questions it proposed throughout the segment. That doesn’t really make for a good documentary… It was interesting hearing from the main woman about the debate of if she would really want to be cured and lose her other personalities.

It also brought in the question if multiple personality disorder is even a real disease or if she’s just faking it. Although Helen has 6 personalities to keep her company in her head, she sadly lives a rather only life. She also unfortunately struggles with two personalities that are self destructive to her such as self harm and alcoholism. Overall, interesting topic but the story doesn’t really end up anywhere.

 

Look at Us now, Mother! (Netflix) – Would Not Recommend

I got bored with this one and stopped. Eventually started again to watch some more but still have not finished. The documentary follows the relationship between the filmmaker and her mother. It’s been a rough relationship since childhood and decades later Gayle is still battling against her disapproving mother. Her brothers make it so obvious how manipulative and emotionally abuse their mother was to Gayle, it’s difficult to hear about a mother being a bully to her own daughter.

The two had just started therapy together when I stopped watching for a second time. Even in her old age, the mother is completely ignorant to how she mistreated her daughter. Young ladies have it hard enough measuring up to society’s ideals without their mother pushing for them to get a nose job. It’s not worth the watch. And of course, I have not finished the film but from my understanding its more so the daughter accepting the mother’s hard ways rather than the mother becoming kind and compassionate, but I could be wrong. 

And just for the little background I did learn about why the mother might treat her daughter like this – The mother saw her husband grow up being the forgotten child compared to his sisters so the mother vowed she would never let her sons feel left out or wouldn’t put her daughter on a pedestal. She unfortunately, took that to the extremely and consistently belittled her daughter instead.

 

Children of God (Netflix) – Would Not Recommend

This documentary follows the memories of a family that lived in a Cult for many years. The first interesting thing about this cult was that the leader wasn’t with the rest of the cult, he just sent letters from a secret location. It’s interesting that the leader had such a presence without even being present. It focused heavily on child abuse and sexual abuse with interviews from the one family that has since left the cult. The cult even featured promotional videos that were essentially children undressing to song.

The other focus was on the sexual activities the wives were essentially forced to do such as sleeping with other husbands and members of the cult as well as sleeping with men in the outside community in order to entice them to join the cult (flirty fishing). It’s a sad documentary as the grown children recount their stories of sexual harassment and rape and dealing with the complicated resentment they have with their mother for putting them in such an environment. It’s disturbing and heartbreaking, and not at the top of my list of recommendations.

 

End Game (Netflix) – Would Not Recommend

This documentary takes place at a hospice- like center. You encounter a handful of people as they face the last few weeks or months of their lives. Death is hard to face but a documentary like this talking about death and the options that come with hospice care is helpful in opening up the conversation. You see patients dealing with their fate differently and the hardships families face as well.

The documentary spent a lot of time on Mitra’s family, a young mother with an end of life cancer diagnosis, weak and rarely lucid. The parents struggled to face that their daughter would not be getting any better and also struggled to decide if they could allow their daughter’s body to help doctors and scientists after death. A documentary shot in hospital setting was very honest about keeping the patients human. The short documentary sits heavy on the soul and I don’t see a reason any of you readers should sit through that.

 

Documentary Recommendations – Series 2 Abductions & Abuse

The recommendations continue! These topics can be triggering so please leave this page as soon as you feel the need to. Hopefully I don’t give too much away for the ones I am recommending.

 

Abducted in Plain Sight (Netflix) – Would Not Recommend

Plain Sight is the story of a girl who gets taken by her neighbor, not once but TWICE. This doc will just make you angry. Angry at Jan’s parents for continuously putting her in danger. Angry at B for taking advantage of this young girl for so so many years. Just when you think people in this doc can’t get any dumber, they do. All of Jan’s suffering and abuse could have been prevented but people just kept putting their own needs above her safety. I honestly don’t know how she is able to forgive her parents.

 

Natascha Kampusch: The Whole Story (Netflix) – Would Not Recommend.

Natascha is abducted on her walk to school one more and subsequently spends the next 8 and a half years captive. This one has subtitles as Natascha is Viennese and it’s short (50 minutes) which is why I finished it. I’m not sure if it was the subtitles or the lack of specific details because I didn’t become intensely invested. ALSO, she could have been home within 5 days, watch the first half to find out why.

 

Behind Closed Doors (Netflix) – Would Recommend

Behind Closed Doors is a british film following the story of 3 women fighting domestic violence. It is incredible interesting to see all the complicated emotions that they go through and just how deep these wounds go. From an outside perspective, domestic abuse seems so straightforward – if they hit you, you leave. But love is irrational and there is no reasoning with that primitive emotion. These women are all incredibly strong for fighting these men through the court system and for battling with their own complex feelings daily.

 

I am Jane Doe (Netflix) – Would Recommend

Jane Doe follows 3 young teenage girls who were abducted and sold into sex trafficking. These stories are told by the girls that have been able to return home and their mothers. Viewers see how this tragic abuse has affected their lives, relationships, and all around household attitude. The documentary spends a lot of time on the court cases the girls are fighting for, all centered against the company, Backpages. This is not the first documentary on sex work I’ve seen to involve Backpages. For this particular documentary, the focus was on Backpages’ regulations for users to write personal ads, suggesting that Backpages helps pimps to run their business through this site. Watch Jane Doe to see some of the verdicts.

 

Am I Bitter?

I read so many poems on almost relationships and half baked ones. Ones where there’s only one person fighting for this relationship. When looking at these ‘relationships’ from the outside it’s so easy to judge and wonder WHY IS SHE PUTTING UP WITH THIS?!

Unfortunately, things are never so easily black and white. We come up with all these reasons for why he can’t commit, and of course he has to love me otherwise he would be able to let me go, otherwise he wouldn’t keep taking me out on dates, otherwise we wouldn’t be intimate, the list goes on and on.

We really can’t make ourselves see the truth that he only likes the attention and we’re convient.

I had a friend in college and we bonded over the guys that were half in and half out in our lives. There were different ways in which they did this and for what ended up being different reasons. Eventually, her Stubborn became fully committed and they’re now in a long term, loving relationship.

Sometimes you break things off with your Stubborn and spend time apart. Months or years later you may reconnect and he realized who and what’s important in his life. And you two also end up in a long term, loving relationship.

Its stories like these that keep us running along to each precious breadcrumb they feel like dropping. I’ve been preaching that the answer is to always ditch the guy and find someone who knows how special you are from the start.

I preach that answer because the last option is that you got my Stubborn and you broke things off and finally found a partner who would do anything to show how much they love you and want you in their lives. A partner who is the complete opposite of what you’ve been putting up with in the past and one who makes you realize just how delusional you were for ever thinking that your Stubborn ever really liked/loved you.

But as I think about success stories, is it time I realize that maybe I’m just bitter? That my story didn’t work out the same way and I got burned in the end. Am I preventing others from their happy ends by telling them to call it quits? Or am I giving them a warning against an unhealthy relationship?

I always warned my friend against her Stubborn just like she did with me. And I think I would do it all over again even though it never stopped either of us.

You want the best for your friends and you know they’re so great so you automatically dislike anyone who doesn’t see exactly what you see. And that makes me bitter.

So yes I am bitter. Bitter against all Stubborns for not appreciating what they have when they have it. Bitter that there was ever someone in my friend’s life that had her doubting her self worth. 

 

10 Ticking Time Bombs in a Relationship

Keeping a relationship going is hard work and there are a number of traps you and your significant other can slip into. CEO from 1 Code Hub asked me what are some issues that could cause future break ups and I’m here with some answers!

Lack of communication  

I’ve answered before that communication is the most important part of a successful relationship. Even with how much you’re communicating now, you could probably always do some more. Communicating can be very tough; there are many different communication styles and it’s easy to read into words and become defensive. You may also be approaching a tough topic and that will make things tense and you’ll be nervous about how vulnerable you feel. Keeping your thoughts and feelings to yourself though will only allow them to fester and can make an issue bigger than it needs to be. This also doesn’t give your partner a chance to give their side and perhaps ease your worries.

Past Issues

There’s a good chance this isn’t your first relationship but even if it is, you’ve experienced hurt through non romantic relationships. You’ve been abandoned, lied to, betrayed, and criticized. In order to protect yourself from getting hurt again, you’ll assume your partner will do these things to you as well until you’ve built up enough trust to let your guard down. This isn’t really fair to your partner to be treated like a criminal from the start. And it doesn’t start your relationship on a good foot either.

Assumptions

A lack of communication and trust issues can lead to a lot of assumptions. Your thoughts and fears will get the best of you. You’ll imagine the worst and your fear will shut you down. This will feed into your self doubt and seeps into the relationship. You’re dooming your relationship before giving it a real chance.  

Social media

There have been a few studies on how Social media has affected the mental health of today’s society and that leaks into your relationships with others. Social media can be detrimental to a relationship due to the comparison it allows. You see other relationships on social media, in love and having fun just after another fight with your boo. You become insecure about your own relationship and wonder why you are both struggling so much right now.

What you don’t see in those smiling photos are all the fights and tears those couples have gone through. I’m always surprised when I learn about disagreements in relationships close to me. How did I not know about the issues they had been facing? They seem so happy and healthy together. Social media makes it difficult to remember that every couple, especially happy ones, still have their issues and face hard times.

Social media also allows you to keep track of your SO and learn a history of things about them early on. A lack of independence and privacy isn’t healthy for even the closest of couples. If you’re stalking your SO to see all the photos they like and become jealous when you find someone attractive. This is something you didn’t really need to learn about as long as there’s no direct contact. There’s a certain about of autopilot when on social media and I’m sure you still find strangers attractive as well. Doesn’t mean you want a relationship with them and the same should be said for your partner.

Involving too many people in your relationship

Every single relationship will have issues arise at some point. It’s at these times that you’ll want to turn to others for emotional support and guidance. Sometimes talking to someone can talk you down from an issue and help you be more understanding when going back to your significant other to talk things out.

The issue is that you’re looking for guidance to make a relationship work but you’re also giving reasons for your friends and family to dislike your significant other. This can make things difficult down the road so try to think of the future even when having current issues. You’re also letting other people’s opinions steer your relationship which doesn’t really involve them. In the end, it’s your relationship, treat it as such. Of course, there will be times when your family needs to step up when your emotions are clouding your judgment too much to take proper care of yourself.

Lack of Support

Ignoring the concerns and struggles of your partner is a recipe for ending up alone. By doing so you’re teaching them that they can’t rely on you for support and you invalidate their feelings. It’s very important to operate as a unit when out with others. You won’t agree with your partner on a number of topics and should voice that if it’s important but you also don’t want your partner to start feeling like it’s them against you and your friends/family. You’re the one who’s close to your family and it’s up to you to stand up to them and defend your partner. This show of support will carry you through some tough times in the relationship.  

No One Cries for the Sinners (An Abecedarian)

Arizona is the place for a funeral, if there ever could be such a place

because believe me when I say, Life

can’t take root in dry soil. No Botanist or Investigator

dares to try and stop her. She is contacted by the weak, the helpless, the hopeless,

each in dying need of her services. I think of her often today, while at my husband’s

funeral. She was careful; killing him slower than the fading pale

green bruises on my God- given body. If I was religious, any God of mine would be in

Hell right along with the criminals and devils she sends there. Hotter there than the

injected poison that inflames their bodies. Hotter than Arizona. Is it

Justice for the lives these men have already stolen? Depends on whom you ask.

 

Killers like Penelope are hard to find unless they want to be found. She never

lets people in too close, only the wicked

moths, like my abusive drunk husband, deserving of her fiery temper. She collects

newspaper clippings like coin collectors treasure Civil War nickels.

Obituaries like trophies line her walls. It was my life or his. I choose mine.

Proudly, I’d do it again. My body wasn’t his property to use or abuse as he wished.

 

Queen of murder, Penelope alone carries the weight of death and demons

rotting inside her. She straddles a line between serial killer and

superhero. Or are they just different sides of the same coin? I could not be more

thankful that she slayed the dragon that I couldn’t save my kids from. It’s not easily

understood, I know. Only those who survived a certain kind of darkness will.

 

Vigilantes like Penelope are clever, venomous, calculating, beautiful,

worst of all, deadly. A cold- blooded killer living in the dry grass,

xeric climate. A climate like fucking Arizona.

You won’t find life taking root, no tears to water its growth. It’s dead space, ground

zero for the ghosts and hellish creatures like Penelope and the sinners she kills.

 

-November 2015

 

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