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Monday, June 27, 2005 - 12:30amSanction this postReply
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As I said to Michael privately, this story should be required reading the world over. A horror story that has the classic ingredients of a soap opera: generosity & goodness captured by scheming, treacherous she-spiders. Near self-destruction by the good, wronged party. Then (better than a soap opera) a happy ending. A triumph of reclaimed self-responsibility & basic decency. Capped off by real love, found on SOLO.

Inspiring, NEM Michael. Thank you.

Linz



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Post 1

Monday, June 27, 2005 - 1:18amSanction this postReply
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Michael, I am as close to speechless as I ever get. I am so moved by your article, in more ways than I yet understand, that I can only say that although I have liked you a great deal because of your posts to Solo and your loyalty to me, the man I met in this article "who dealt with [his] heart’s own bewildering demands is so much more appealing and sounds so much truer – one who fought the world and fought [him]self to reach for the stars – one who overcame the emotional devastation of a broken heart from loving one person and getting another in the end."

Barbara




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Post 2

Monday, June 27, 2005 - 1:30amSanction this postReply
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Great that you have overcome your demons and found happiness. Maybe you should read "Once I was a Princess" by Jacqueline Pascarl Gillespie - a similar story where a fairytale romance begun in Australia turned into an Islamic nightmare.

Ultimately we are responsible for choosing to accept the behaviour of our partner. You remained with the woman for 5 years by choice. You are not a victim.  
 




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Post 3

Monday, June 27, 2005 - 2:27amSanction this postReply
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Michael,

Simply stunning. Thanks for sharing this. It's fantastic that you were able to work through your problems.

MH




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Post 4

Monday, June 27, 2005 - 5:47amSanction this postReply
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Michael this was worth the wait. Beautiful and moving. It touched me personally in many ways. I see great heroism in the story. The lamb may have been led to slaughter but I have the sense that he/you have been transformed and have become a lion.



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Post 5

Monday, June 27, 2005 - 6:06amSanction this postReply
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Michael, you are my highest value as well. I love those amazing stories you tell. This one was especially well-done. *Bonk* (and a sanction too)    ;-)

You have led an incredibly amazing life and I am looking forward to many adventures with you, My Hero.  Maybe I am just a silly hero-worshipper, but as I said in our article, you are like all the heroes in Atlas Shrugged rolled into one helluva an exciting man.  I love you dearly, and I'm so proud to be Your Kitten.  purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Kat




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Post 6

Monday, June 27, 2005 - 6:06amSanction this postReply
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Wonderful article, Michael.  Your membership in SOLO Florida provides us a great asset.



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Post 7

Monday, June 27, 2005 - 6:07amSanction this postReply
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Michael,

I can hear your massive sighs of relief, as you finally leave all that behind; and embrace your new life. "the best is yet to be".

Fond Regards
Sharon 



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Post 8

Monday, June 27, 2005 - 6:44amSanction this postReply
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Michael: You are magnificent. I don't think I've ever read a piece on SOLO that evoked so many different emotions from me. Thank you for your astonishing honesty, and for your wisdom. We're all the richer for your presence here.

And if Linz was referring to this essay when he told us earlier that something quite remarkable was on its way to SOLO, then no one could ever accuse him of hyperbole. For in one fell swoop, Michael has singlehandedly shown all of SOLO's snivelling critics why this site is worth not only defending, but indeed cherishing.




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Post 9

Monday, June 27, 2005 - 6:51amSanction this postReply
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Sanctioned.




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Post 10

Monday, June 27, 2005 - 7:31amSanction this postReply
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Simply beautiful. :)



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Post 11

Monday, June 27, 2005 - 7:58amSanction this postReply
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Thanks for your article Michael.

A truly sad story, but you came through it all for the better :-)

Bravo!

(Edited by Marcus Bachler on 6/27, 7:58am)




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Post 12

Monday, June 27, 2005 - 7:59amSanction this postReply
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To have stumbled and fallen so badly, then pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start anew. That is truely heroic and awe inspiring. Your's is a shining example of what Winston Churchill meant with a speech he delivered to the school children of Harrow in 1941:

"Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."
 
Bravo Michael!

(Edited by Robert Winefield on 6/27, 2:35pm)




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Post 13

Monday, June 27, 2005 - 8:01amSanction this postReply
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Michael,

Wow. I think you've helped me to finally put my first marriage to rest. You're awesome. Can't use 'bonk' anymore, but you're sanctioned! : )



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Post 14

Monday, June 27, 2005 - 12:07pmSanction this postReply
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Wow!

Look at all the bonks all at once! Sort of like winning the jackpot on a one-armed-bandit.   //;-)

Thank you all so very much for your praise. I will say more in a bit...

I just want all of you to know how deeply grateful I am that my story touched you.

Kat, you already know that you're the one...

Michael



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Post 15

Monday, June 27, 2005 - 12:48pmSanction this postReply
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Thank you for sharing. JML



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Post 16

Monday, June 27, 2005 - 9:44amSanction this postReply
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Michael,

It could be worse... you could be me. 

Seven, almost eight years ago, I had a Pygmalion type relationship just like you did which had lasted for almost four years.  My life had been an unbearably lonely one, from a loveless and treacherous family, and all I had ever been able to take solace in were my books and other distractionary hobbies.

All that changed when I finally decided that I was entitled to the same sort of normal happiness as everyone else I had ever seen, and so at the tender age of 24 (sarcasm), I was more than receptive to a lively little beauty from the wrong side of the tracks, who latched onto me with a radiant, impish smile.

It lasted for four years, and she was an incredible drain on me... I was never enough for her, and that grand day that I had so long sought after, where she would finally be able to reciprocate my strength and caring, never came. 

After bringing her into my family and rebuilding her life, as she so desperately indicated she needed, she secretly began playing Messalina behind my back, shunning me completely, and finally left me for dead... with no explanations as to why, and a court order to prevent me from ever having answers. 

My physical and mental health were instantly destroyed; I made a distraught and insincere suicidal gesture.  I spent the next few years in and out hospitals, with apathetic doctors and counselors going through the mandatory motions with me... my weight ballooned, my hair fell out, and as all my so-called "friends" and "family" left me for dead as well, only then did I come to realize that my entire life had been a lie, because up until all this, I had been brainwashed into believing all the lies that I'd ever been fed, that I had always been cared for, and that the problem lay in me.

Whereas before I had always functioned pretty amazingly well, I now had a horrifically unseemly period in the official record of my life, complete with all the official-sounding, stigmatizing diagnoses to go with it.  

So when you talk of mental screw-jobs, I know whereof you speak.

And so, here I sit, seven years later, at 35 years old... With only a bachelor's degree under my belt, and several failed attempts at different graduate programs under my belt, and a miserably spotty work history over the past seven years... My trust in the world, all its people, and my own ability to ever thrive in it has never really recovered... And to top it off, I have yet to be able to get my life together enough to move out of my parents' house.

You have no idea what shame and devastation are, until you have lived as me.

The only thing that has brought me a sense of understanding as to why this all happened, was Ayn Rand and her writings.  She opened my eyes to the most insidious and influential evils in the world.  I came to realize that both my parents, beneath their showy veneers of love, had always been in truth, envious, hateful closet communists who twistedly fear and loathe achievement and real happiness, and constantly work to sabotage anything that strives to live beyond a grey mediocrity.

I also realized that this long-term girlfriend had been this sort of person, too, and thus her treatment of me.  The constant envy and resentment of everyone around her, including both me and her friends, was revealed through never-ending red flags throughout our relationship... but I always assumed that they were anomalous noise which would disappear as her life righted itself.

I began to see that she had always secretly hated me, too, and that everything she ever did was an attempt to sabotage me... including the most malicious wound of all, the withholding of the all-important explanations of who she really was, and why she did what she did.

The key to understanding it all, lay in Ayn Rand's epiphanous insights on envy and arrogance... There are people out there who will resent you for being or having something that they cannot be, or do not have.  In their subjectivist, autistic arrogance, they believe that it's a travesty for them to be anywhere but on top, automatically and without effort. 

They will secretly harbor the want for your destruction for years if not decades, and you will only know one day that somehow, they have destroyed you.  And you will wonder why, and they won't want you to know, because that would end your lowered appraisal of yourself, which they most definitely do not want.

This was the sort of person my ex was... and if I had to guess, I would suspect that it's the sort of person your ex-wife was, too.  Conceited, manipulative, callous, and vindictive... unto the very grave.

So, Michael, take heart.  It could be worse.  You could be worse... You could be me:  labeled as crazy, trudging through life bereft of all real hope, and struggling from day to day for reasons to keep on going.

(Edited by Vernon Redwine on 6/27, 2:32pm)




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Post 17

Monday, June 27, 2005 - 2:12pmSanction this postReply
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More bonks!

These accounts from you and Vernon are raising my antennae. Any article on the works on how to detect subtle malice?



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Post 18

Monday, June 27, 2005 - 2:27pmSanction this postReply
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Incredible story Michael, thanks for sharing it.  It is terrible that people go through such things.  

Ruth responded to Michael suggesting that he was not a victim, that ultimately we put up with the behavior our partners deal us.  And then I read Vernon's post, also emotionally wrenching.  How can one not say these men were victims?  Ultimately, we only have two ways of acquiring knowledge, through other sources or through our own intellect.  I see this issue as the same question in judging how I, as an objectivist, feel about our fellow mankind.  I am not angry and ferocious, I feel sad for them, that they are only half alive. They are victim's, just as Michael and Vernon are, at least to some degree.  I will not let these people touch the sanctity of my beautiful life, but I will not hold it against them that they were broken by the evils of society before I was, or that thier life experiences never allowed them to come across Rand's teachings, or they were bludgeoned into not thinking for themselves.  For the mere price of a paperback book Rand granted many of us our very life and our full comprehension of it.  I have no doubt that absent of all those other deeply ingrained cultural influences and and exploitative philosophers espousing sacrifice and Nietzschean power mongering, that most people would be persuaded by Rand's philosophy, that they would come to accept objective reality, man's right to live on a material world, and to respect individuals.  But we are fighting an idealogical war for the lives of our fellow men with every second, and since Objectivists do not feel morally obliged (rightfully so) to fight this war with all thier might, and our enemies acquire power by doing so, there are bound to be many many victims in this war.  Some, like Michael's DAMSEL, might not have been a victim herself and might have acted just the same in a world of objectivists.  And others, like Vernon's,  parents sounded evil (choosing to hurt other with full knowledge).

One should always take responsibility for ones own actions, and I do not mean to let these villians off the hook.  But we have to realize what world we are raised in and how profound the influence of a million or billion people are on you, especially when you are never taught and never fortunate enough to discover fallacies of logic and develop an instrinsically special respect for yourself.  Aristotle suggested that all of our actions are either by chance, influenced by nature, by habit, or a completely free fully informed choice of the will.  I believe each can superscede the one before it, but the vast majority of people's behavior is mostly habitual and somewhat influenced thier genes with 1 or 2 choices thrown in.  And the societal influence is strong and one of sacrifice, collectivism, moral relativism, non-absolutism, etc. etc. It is a truly rare individual, the Voltaire's and Bacon's and Rand's that completely rise above all that prevailing mainstream crap and live a fully informed life of choice. 

I dont know what my full point is, I am still developing this line of reasoning.  I am always hesistant to be truly angry at my parents and brother or parasitic friends, But whether one holds them fully accountable for every action or forgives them somewhat for having being raised in a culture that glorifies all those evils, one must never let them attack your life. 

Michael F Dickey 




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Post 19

Monday, June 27, 2005 - 3:12pmSanction this postReply
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I must confess I skip some articles and skim others. Not this one though. Every word. And with someone here waiting for me. A very moving article. SANCTION!!!



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