Animal farms · Animal protection · Animals in Nature · Blogs · Environmental Concerns · Human behavior · Uncategorized · Why be vegan

In the inferno – thoughts about selective empathy

There's an Elephant in the Room blog

As Australia burns, the media shows harrowing scenes of indigenous species like koalas and kangaroos, injured, burned and dying. We see so many human interest stories, individual koala mothers with infants clutching at their fur being rescued and cared for; we are invited to feel the personal tragedy of a single kangaroo joey tangled in the fence where he was incinerated.  Whether mourned or rescued, they are viewed as individuals, and we are united in hope for their survival, watching with bated breath as we are shown desperate creatures under an orange sky, fleeing through the smoke with the inferno roaring at their heels. The estimated number of 500,000,000 (half a BILLION) deaths has remained static for well over a week and has no doubt been wildly exceeded by now* – possibly by several orders of magnitude – and will continue to climb.

I see occasional comments that wonder why…

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Human behavior · Personal memoirs · Psychology · Things I love · Uncategorized

It’s Only a Walkway, or so They’d Have You Believe

I discovered a new phobia yesterday that I don’t think has ever been known before. Naturally it’s my exclusive, weird phobia, as anything of mine usually is the only one in the universe (seems that way at times).

Gephyrophobia is a general fear of bridges. But no, that’s not quite what I’m talking about here. I have no problem with walking or driving over bridges, as long as they’re well built. Although with the potential for earthquakes in Southern California I do get extremely anxious when stuck in a car on a freeway overpass or cloverleaf, way the heck up there, where a good strong quake could send you and the bridge crumbling down. But I’ll still do that (without actually feeling faint or having a panic attack) on the rare occasions when it’s unavoidable in order to get somewhere.

However…

Yesterday I was on a walk with my precious little dog Tyler in Buena Park, CA, after visiting my bank out there, and came to the end of a street which ended at the intersecting 91 freeway. Saw a strange construct there and went to check it out. Turned out to be the entrance to the walkup to a pedestrian bridge that would take us to the neighborhood on the other side of the freeway. Bridge is pictured here, courtesy of Google Maps:

Copyright Google Maps August 2011 (Fair Use)
Copyright Google Maps April 2019 (Fair Use)

“That looks interesting.”

I said to myself and Tyler, let’s do this! I’d never walked a freeway pedestrian bridge before. Had heard stories of deranged people tossing bricks or other heavy items (sometimes themselves as in suicide) off of them, causing car wrecks and injuring or killing people in the days before these bridges were enclosed by chain link fencing, but never thought about walking across one myself. The thought of being up there and watching the cars streak past down below from both directions seemed intriguing, since a favorite walk has always been to the end of beach piers, totally enjoying the crashing waves below (if only the piers were minus the fishermen). Well well, was I wrong about this new experience.

I understand others’ “irrational” phobias now, when I didn’t before.

I have one known phobia that seems pretty rational…I tried to be like a mechanic once and laid down on my back to slide underneath a car to look at something or other down there. After just a few seconds I started panicking, couldn’t sit up, felt trapped, had to get out immediately and realized I’d never do that again. It’s a form of claustrophobia I guess, and I’d never had occasion to experience it before then. Strange, because I don’t fear elevators or other enclosed spaces, when standing anyways.

My mom had claustrophobia due to being locked in closets as punishment as a child, and I’d never understood her intense fear of being shut in somewhere. Thought all she needed was to do it, safely, repeatedly, and realize it wasn’t going to kill her, and just “get over it.” Well, I began to change my mind when I experienced my own phobia(s). Unless you have the chance to do the things that will make you dizzy and weak-kneed with anxiety and panic, you don’t realize you have any phobias.

So I and Tyler happily trekked up the bridge on-ramp…

Little Tyler the boss-man chihuahua usually leads the way (but safely), so I watched to see if he’d be fearful when he reached the actual bridge, as he doesn’t care for high foot bridges or anything unusual like that. He was a little cautious, checking out the noisy traffic down below, a bit nervous, but nothing he was going to refuse to get across. He  felt safe with me. So I said, “great,” and started across myself with brave little Tyler as my guide.

Traffic was pretty heavy and the whooshing noise was intense, the cars hurtling by underneath from both directions. I started gasping a bit and thought, “just relax.” But no, there was no relaxing to be done. I kept going, thinking it was just excitement due to a new experience. But no, aside from the hyperventilating and heart pounding that kicked in, I started trembling, feeling dizzy, like I’d pass out if I didn’t turn around quickly and get the hell off that crazy death trap. We were about a third of the way across. Visions like the one below may have flitted through my head, a ped bridge knocked down by a garbage truck bucket that hadn’t been lowered…

Southfield Bridge, Detroit, 2014 – photo credit Mike Campbell WWJ Newsradio 950

I did quickly turn back and got the hell off that horrific thing.

As soon as we headed down the on-ramp I calmed down almost completely; was totally cool when back on the sidewalk, but vowing never again! Poor little brave Tyler had been looking forward to getting across that strange passageway and seeing (sniffing) more stuff on some new turf on the other side. But if I’d actually managed to get over there (by running like a terrified jackrabbit), getting back over again would have been nearly impossible if not totally so. Would probably have had to call for help, which would have been pretty embarrassing.

So, I now have two phobias that I know of: the under the car (or anything similar) thing, and the pedestrian overpass thing. Bottom line: No more scoffing at other people’s phobias for me. I have seen the light (or rather, the near blacking out).

Animal and Child Abuse · Child Abuse · Dealing with Bullies · Dealing with problem people · Human behavior · Morality · Psychology · Sadism · Uncategorized

The “Kill Yourself” Squad (a.k.a. KYS Trolls Unleashed)

There are certain people in life who’ve taken it upon themselves, as their overriding goal in life, to do everything in their power to cause people they perceive as superior to themselves (as in jealousy) to suffer extreme depression, so much so as to commit suicide. “Think you’re better than me, eh? Well, I’ll kill you by your own hand (or at least drive you to debilitating mental illness)…then see who’s better.”

Jealousy is a particularly nasty root of evil.

These “suicide makers” obsess over targeted “goody two-shoes” types to figure out just how deep they must go to cause profound grief in someone with a conscience. They find these endeavors and successes a whole lot of fun, a way to feel “high.” They probably tingle all over when they feel they’ve hit pay dirt, such as seeing tears well up in someone’s eyes. A target’s hysterical sobbing may even elicit sexual arousal, even climax. They probably moan in ecstasy and do a happy dance for quite some time when one of their targets actually commits suicide.

These people are sadists of the mind and emotions.

They would murder those they envy if not for the potential of going to prison or being killed by the state. They’re too smart for that.

A target’s death by suicide isn’t their primary goal, it’s just the ultimate in satisfaction. The rest of it in its entirety is a close second in gratification and with the extra benefit of being done over and over and over, against new and old targets. There’s the thrill of someone new, yet re-traumatizing an old target is thrilling too.

When not engaged in such gleeful hijinks, the mental sadist is quite miserable and bored, overflowing with venom and restless as all hell. If he/she has internet access (which they all of course manage to do), it’s easy to pop online and hunt down and find people to torture. We see it all the time. These are the unfunny “trolls” (as opposed to the funny or entertaining ones). They’re not the other nasty variety trying only to piss people off and get attention, but are instead intent on deeply upsetting obviously sensitive people.

Possible inner thought: “I don’t have any emotions except for hatred, so I’ll expertly torture those who feel other emotions.” That doesn’t make sense? Well, these people don’t think they need to make sense, to you. Again, jealousy comes to mind.

Why are they like this?

Unloved by those who should have loved them. Rejected by those who should have proudly held them. Abused and even tortured when innocent and helpless, even by those who should have cared for and protected them. Usually…probably.

Jealousy plays a big role there too, of course, as in siblings who got treated better, both real and imagined, and other kids whose parents properly loved and protected them. Happy families can appear to them as either totally phony or absurdly virtuous.

Then there are the rare individuals who had none of the above childhood traumas, only the opposite, and still became evil. Then there are the other unusual people who suffered terribly in childhood, even at the hands of those who should have protected them, who become pretty much the opposite of their abusers. With great strength they can transcend it all and are able to forgive and thereby even heal their abusers, to have a loving and much healthier relationship after all. But back to the former type…

A typical example of “kill yourself please and make me high”:

Someone whose beloved brother had died by drug overdose in front of him was told scathingly in some public comment section, by someone who knew and hated the good, successful man: “You could have saved your brother if only you’d have acted faster instead of pacing around wailing like an idiot. Everyone knows you delayed calling for help because you knew your brother was better than you. You purposely let him die.” Let that sink in, and realize the depth of the hatred, the horrid intent.

Vegans and animal activists have this sort of written or spoken assault blasted at them time and time again, so much so that we become impervious to it. But that imperviousness is only personal…we still suffer extreme sadness for the animals and other innocent victims, and these suicide makers know that, and continually get thrills by sticking that “knife” in again and again and again, never ending.

One thing they apparently haven’t realized though…

Surviving our extreme sadness only makes us stronger, our having become “hardened” to the emotion, able to turn it off and be pretty happy in life much of the time, compartmentalizing these parts of ourselves and holding them together with as little as a modicum of valid self-respect or self-love, in order to not fall to pieces. Our falling apart would be a great source of pride and joy for the “kill yourself” squad, naturally. But we’re armored against falling apart, despite unbelievable grief and worry for the innocent victims of this world. Our own non-participation in the absolute worst habits of “humanity” brings a sense of personal peace that cannot be broken by people who’ve made being poisonous and causing ever more grief in others their purpose in life. Let your inner peace be your suit of armor.

Basically good people: You know who you are and what the truth is…from the terrible and ugly to the wonderful and beautiful in you. You’ve no need to let some sick person invade you as these people so desire, to disturb your life and your personal growth and cause great harm. Don’t let them in, ever. Let them implode. Let them self-poison, even more than they already have. Many of them are unforgivable.

Let them self-exterminate.

[Images free from pixabay.com]