The Art of War

I’ve gotten so many warnings on my Facebook account that I’m now banned for seven days, after a serious escalation in how long the bans last. It has cut me off from posting, sharing, or liking anything. Why did I get banned? Well, the last time was that a black girl called me “Raisin Potato Salad” and I took exception to that. I said, “if you’re going to talk to me about food and use it as an insult, FYI I’m from the South and a professional cook. We’re gonna throw down, and I’m going to kick your ass sideways.” Every single infraction is exactly like this one… empty threats and half-kidding. It is totally the former President’s fault. Facebook has turned on these industrial-sized content management machines that scan text for violence, and they’ve shut down every single way to get a real person to look at your account. Most of the periods you have to wait to get your case looked at last 30 days, so the ban expires before real eyeballs will sit down with you.

Once you are on their radar for “inciting violence,” you can’t get back off. The noose tightens, and there’s no recourse. Facebook doesn’t give a damn anymore. Instead of working on solving the problem, they simply tell everyone there aren’t enough people to review content, like they’ve just given up and you can die mad about it.

I’m letting everyone know about this so they can avoid saying things like “kick your ass,” because if I have any friends that don’t say it, I’m not close enough to them to know that.

At last count we were talking about Theresa. That relationship didn’t work out, and I’m sad about it. But for the first time, I’m glad that I called it early and didn’t run toward total bullshit like I normally do. She just didn’t get me, and that’s fine. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, and I needed to escape before I fell in love with her and I was completely screwed up inside. I’ve spent too many years alone to spend time thinking about a relationship that’s too hard, too early.

So, I waited about a week and then asked someone else out. I finally got mad (not at Theresa, I’m not like that). I yelled at myself. I said, “Leslie, LOSING YOUR MOTHER WAS HARD. GETTING A DIVORCE WAS HARD. ASKING A WOMAN OUT IS NOT HARD.” It was especially easy because I blocked Theresa immediately and deleted our entire conversation history.

It was not because I didn’t absolutely love her pictures and artistic flair to bits, it was that I knew seeing her face in my feed would hurt. I wanted to save myself from every single bit of it. When have I done that before? It was like learning music could change my mood from the inside out. I moved on so much easier because I didn’t give myself the opportunity to get more upset than I needed to be.

I made sure to let Theresa know that I didn’t block her because she did something bad, and I didn’t block her from using my phone number or my e-mail address. I haven’t heard anything, so I assume she’s protecting herself, too. There’s no way either of us said anything to really be angry about. In fact, I can write the experience off as a few weeks where I felt sublimely happy that only half belonged to “new relationship” dopamine. The rest was feeling myself come alive. Resurrection after “the long dark night of the soul.” In that way, there is much to encourage taking the win even though I technically lost.

She was a doll and it made me happy to blush and flirt. That’s enough, and I said as much in the last entry- that if it was only the last text of the day that belonged to her, I was satisfied.

But how did I win?

I really took care of this relationship in a way that I haven’t before. I never once used a statement that included the words “you made me.” I never once directly said or implied that anything she did caused my reactions. I think that’s the hardest part to learn in any relationship. Dana helped me learn that lesson, and I helped me expand on it.

It’s comforting and settling to remember Dana that way because it shows that we were a good team, and always will be, in a way. Especially when I’m asleep, we have coffee in my dreams or I take her to lunch… but we’re not dating. That thought literally made me cackle out loud and now the dogs are barking incessantly…. it’s a double entendre… both the idea that we’d ever start dating again AND the fact that in my dreams, I am still an Idealist and I’ve gamed all this out. I am going to die of asphyxiation. Send help.

However, in the end, I trusted my love for my friends more than I trusted Theresa. It wasn’t anything that they said. It was that I knew they loved me for me because they’d been around long enough to understand me at least as much as they were capable. I am not easy. I am a magical being, a sort of unicorn. At 45, I am finally coming into my power.

Let me explain. I am not living in a fantasy world. The dragons are only metaphorical, and Winter is Not Coming.

The reason why I am magic is that I am an INFJ. It is the rarest of all the personality types, ranging from 9-15% of the world’s population. Therefore, it is so rare that there are people out there who have never met one. I can directly compare myself to Jesus, who is historically thought of as INFJ, and Martin Luther King, JR., who actually was.

If there is a Biblical story I can relate to you so that you understand who I am, it is Moses… and to be clear this is not evangelism. I don’t care if you believe in God or not. Bible imagery is just a little more universal than other books.

Back to Moses. We’re not talking about Moses at the end of his life….. Charleton Heston and all that….. We’re talking about the teenager who killed the dude in the desert, the one that was approached by God to lead the Jews and his first reaction was “you really want my brother.”

Moses had to work through everything to claim who he was, and by the end of his life he had really owned himself. I hope to do the same, but right now being an Idealist is frightening and overwhelming. What happens is that I have the equivalent of an iCloud account in which there are like, seven billion phones backing up. The stream of images is relentless. Then, I get into a crowd, and the emotions of every person in the room are on full display, as well as past history because I can see trauma and trauma bonds.

If you’ve seen the movie MiBIII, you know what I mean because you’ve seen it in action….. Griffin does what I do.

The problem with personal relationships is that beginning them can be a right disaster. You can game out all the possibilities in front of you, they can’t and think you care about them a lot more than you do…. not that you won’t (you’ve gamed that out), but that you are trying to be prepared for all eventual outcomes and that doesn’t stop, ever, because Erik Erickson posits that the core personality is set by six years old.

So, you walk the line in terms of presenting yourself because you know if you impart everything you know, the other person will run like hell. They think you’ve gone from mildly interested to stalker in an afternoon.

….and only for the simple reason that they’ve never met an INFJ before. You know, if I’m the Idealist I claim, I probably should have seen those Facebook bans coming…. it’s comforting to know I didn’t see Donald Trump coming, either.

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