One thing that I have learned in writing this blog is that I am not alone. That being said, there are times when I feel like no one understands and I am all alone…
There are times when you probably feel that way as well. Perhaps you feel like no one has gone through what you have, but others have. Yes, your actual story is unique, but others have been there as well.
With this is mind I have decided to share a recent story.
*added note* This post is not about the partnership, it is about the words and phraseology, however leaving out the background story it doesn’t make sense, in the story format that I chose to share it as. *
The very weekend that this all came to a head I was thinking of writing a book discussing abusive relationships and writing stories of abusive relationships, sort of a back to back story and discussion. Sadly that weekend then gave me a story, and even the words written via multiple messages. But then how could I write this?
Someone may know this person (we’ll call the person Pat)? What if someone tells Pat? What if the Pat finds out? What if Pat sends additional comments?
If someone can figure out who I am talking about from the comments then they already know Pat’s character, elsewise how would they id the person? If Pat comments on this post then Pat will be claiming this behavior. And anything Pat does, verifies that what I was accused of was actually a reflection of Pat’s own behaviors.
But the story needs to be told not only to help me work through this, but to help others who are fighting the same battles or will. Sadly others will. The hope is that this story will help the fight.
There is back story, but I don’t want it to biased, yet some of it is necessary for this to make sense. Many people don’t know what happened this year as so much of this year has been spent deep in planning, working and growing my business Media Guard Group. I started my company MGG in February, announced it in May. My plan was to build MGG so that I could leave SN in September which I did.
I designed Media Guard Group to complement the skills and offers of the Mountain (Changed name) company Pat was partners in. When that company dissolved in July, my desire to “help the family” overruled my nervous “gut” feeling. But I shouldn’t have worried Pat started company Scratch (Changed name) the same week . People had advised me, and I had seen, that Pat was into taking sudden massive actions, then disappearing (sometimes even before the plan was complete) for periods of time, then tons of ideas, then disappearing. But honestly I thought our skills would match and grow. The other problem was that Pat was used to being a leader.
After a month and a half, Pat left the Train (Changed name) company Pat was managing (yes, Pat was in 3 companies) and in two weeks, I would suddenly see all the advice become incredibly evident, and things I didn’t know as well.
I was at a seminar, during the second day of the seminar, after getting questions about a client, about printing a flyer they sent the day before I left, questions about a process, (to which I asked did anyone test it, if they had, they would have been able to answer their questions, because there was no email telling people where to take the test) I sent the following message:
“Ok, as of now, my focus is on this event and being present here. I’m sorry, but I have spent all of 2012 obsessing over every detail of this business. No, I never got to print the flyers. In the future we will have a process down to have flyers and whatever necessary days if not a week in advance.
This is a break for me. This is about being with others who have the same interests and loves that I do (which is why I have so few friends in real life) so I will be here and in this moment.”
This was my standing up for my rights, something that I hadn’t really done much of before.
The next day I get this message
“And this isn’t supposed to be a “break” it’s supposed to be about helping MGG grow and getting leads/clients… not sure where this shifted from a work trip to a “break” or maybe I misunderstood from the beginning, or maybe the night before when you said “I’m not going” I dunno but there seems to be a disconnect someplace
Not trying to be harsh BUT “I have spent all of 2012 obsessing over every detail of this business. No, I never got to print the flyers” — doesn’t seem like my idea of “obsessing over the business” to not even bother to get the flyers printed… jus sayin”
Over the next two days my skype was full of discussion over how dare I say I was on a break when I was there for the company, of which I was majority owner (100% now) on a trip that I paid for out of my own budget, in fact with the last funds I had in my personal account. Getting the flyers in document the day before was no excuse because “hotel has free printing,” I had never been to a hotel with free printing and this one charged for using the computer, the printer or the copier.
Explaining did nothing, after getting home Sunday night I checked the business. In two months Pat had not accepted the client document files, the customer service email was never accepted. The question asked of Pat on Facebook was not answered, even though Pat was told when it happened. The month old contract papers were not mailed, nor accounts were joined. On Monday this was confirmed, although on Tuesday the Facebook question was answered with a reply saying Pat hadn’t been told about the question.
And when once again I was lectured about taking a break on company time, I said “this is done.” I stood up for myself again. According to Pat, Pat had already left because I “couldn’t answer a simple question.”
See you can change this story to be your business partner, romantic partner or other type person… because these next comments are common among people who are emotionally abusive:
“I truly love you as a person but you have some issues in yourself to work out before you can ever partner with anyone for more than a weekend at a time… for business or personal or otherwise…”
This translates into the “you have issues” or “you aren’t good enough” or “you need to change if anyone is to ever love you” or even “you don’t deserve anyone!” Yes I’ve heard the others before, and yes they hurt. Actually that’s the whole reason they use these statements.
“there is no right, wrong, good, bad, nice, mean, hateful, positive, negative except as YOU define it in your mind. I am just trying to get things done and having to constantly nurture and tiptoe on eggshells is starting to get in the way of progressing MGG forward”
Change business into marriage or relationship… and you may have heard this before as well. Basically again, this is all “your fault” this person is your savior, don’t you see? Let me show how I have to act around you because of you… In physical abuse this is “I’m sorry I had to hit you, but if you weren’t so _____ I wouldn’t have to…”
Next is the email
“This ended when you could not be bothered to answer a simple question to your partners who are sitting here handling business simply waiting on a decent update from our CEO, who was supposed to be on the trip for gaining more MGG business. And enjoying New Orleans at the same time of course, but no matter how you try to re-spin the story it was supposed to be a business trip.
That said, I hope the trip met your personal goals. You are truly an amazing and talented person as I have have always believed and said all along, and I truly wish you the best of luck in all that you do.
PS: In the MGG documentation I signed and mailed I included a $500 check for my contribution to the trip on behalf of MGG. Was doing my part ya know… Oh well… Guess none of that matters now.”
Remember the mail I mentioned earlier? I had already checked with USPS on the priority envelopes and knew they had not been sent. In fact USPS had refunded me at this point because the envelopes were already a month old! The paperwork had not been signed. Perhaps Pat sent it via another way? But no, no check ever came in the mail.
This is the guilt game. See I bought you roses, chocolates, whatever your favorite thing is, if you are still in the relationship. If you got out, then “I scheduled off work next week so we could visit your family like you asked” or I had just saved up to buy you that thing you wanted. This is when you are supposed to come back. “oh you are right”
And then days later, another skype discussion… because I made a mistake, posting on Facebook something about how I had a wonderful night with friends, even if people didn’t think I could be friends with people for long.” This was regarding Pat and previous people. The second mistake was not just walking away from my computer and letting Pat rant. Note earlier when Pat said ” there is no right, wrong, good, bad, nice, mean, hateful, positive, negative except as YOU define it in your mind.”
must be nice to re-write reality to suit your distortions
I have done nothing but give you loving support for YEARS… even gave you opportunity to grow, which you did… but if you expect me to coddle you then I an’t do that
MJ Schrader: I don’t need you to coddle me
you need everyone to coddle you
i think how youre behaving is light years more hateful than anything I did
youre being way more hateful than I ever imagined you could be, especially after all I have done for you
MJ Schrader: I am sorry you feel that way
no youre not
youre being pompous and arrogant
MJ Schrader: Thank you.
but thats ok
thank you for showing me who you truly are
MJ Schrader: Thank you
(at this point I stepped away from the computer realizing that I was simply making things worse)
i came up wiith the whole security thing (not just the marketing effort/book, I am the one who got you access to the training which got it all started in this path the first place)
I PUSHED you to go to New Orleans when the night before you were saying you werent going
(I also PUSHED You to raise your prices when you were losing money at $250 a pop for a site transition)
i BELIEVED in you that the trip would be for MGG business
i FIXED the issues with the linking, no questions asked just took care of it as quickly as possible so YOU could be successful for US (/go/tagp vs /tagp)
so no, I did not leave the company over a month ago when I was actively involved this weekend
I’ve been going to events LONG before you were, so I know how it goes… I know there’s time for fun too… but even when I was in Boston and could only tell you the great connections I was making I at least gave you SOMETHING, and said I would fill you in on everything when I got back — I NEVER ONCE disregarded you or ___ by ignoring a simple quesiton and proclaiming “I am taking a break”
I’ve been in touch with CLIENT ever since, nurturing him and pushing toward that end goal of owning 20% of his online business – FOR MGG, MJ… not for me… for MGG was the objective… yes, he’s being slow that is outside my control but I never left MGG over a month ago
and if for some reson you think that I have NO idea where it came from, but I am so sorry you feel that way… especially ince it 1000% is not true at all!
you can’t re-write the truth to fit your made-up version of what is really happening
I pushed you to create MGG, knowing we would grow it together
and thank YOU
Because I am so resistant to asking for help (from fear of asking, to not wanting people to know my budget situation), and think I am being strong by not saying personal issues, yet this pushes people away. This is the opposite of coddling. But the same as saying that you are the person who defines things as negative, this gives the person permission to be negative and use abusive words or actions. They aren’t the one who assigned that value, you are…
They are the ones who do everything for you. You wouldn’t have this or that without them. You OWE THEM!
Let me clarify, yes, Pat sent the training course after taking it, asking me to secure Pat’s sites. Possibly I could do that for the Mountain Company clients. Yet I researched the training, and found it extremely inadequate and could break a number of sites. I spent 3 weeks testing various techniques to secure sites under extreme conditions, but that doesn’t matter. If someone pays for your education, unless they tell you to pay for it, you are not obligated to the person for life.
Again, I wasn’t going to New Orleans because it was the last money in my personal account. So basically I should feel obligated for spending my money. Changing a link is part of working in a company, like taking out the garbage is part of living together, and bringing your significant other medicine when they are sick. And like on Pat’s trip to Boston I planned to talk to them about the trip on Monday. But what is good for one is not good for the other.
Raising my prices was something I was told by multiple people, not just Pat. But this is like raising your personal view and worth, they are the only ones who can do that for you, and should you step into that role with them, then it’s their responsibility to slap you down. Basically they create the view of everyone else treats you bad, I am the only one who doesn’t… and don’t you dare question me.
And finally, pushing me to create MGG… this is my personal blog. Anyone here can read the steps I took. What pushed me into it was that I knew I needed more security for my future. But the point is for the abuser to take credit for something that you are proud of doing.
On one of the days Pat said that the same stuff follows me around. Funny thing is Pat goes from one relationship to the next, one business to the next. And I have gone from user/abuser to user/abuser, but they are going away faster and faster. This one left in 2 months, but once again it makes me question am I trusting the right people. Yet I see more and more people I love in my life and even better I am able to tell them, I love you… thank you for being part of my life.
And I question writing this post, yet changing the words and the story a bit, it would read the same for the last boyfriend (over two years ago). “If you don’t have a boyfriend then we should keep dating.” “I bought you a Cowboys jersey and paid for your airline tickets!” “All you do is want stuff!!!” This was a long distance relationship with no future, and he bought one ticket. I still don’t have a cowboys jersey, and stuff I wanted was respect, honor and occasional gifts.
The story would be the same for the AWOL friend (almost 3 years ago). I invited you to the Fair to spend time with my children when your grandmother died. Because following children on fair rides is exactly what you want to do.
Another thing is that people like this either threaten to leave, or do leave over things that are minor but they make them major and make them your fault. They also keep yes-men around. Pat has yes women. The ex-boyfriend has beer. The AWOL friend… well unfortunately I was her yes woman. The ex-husband had his dad. This helps them rule over you.
You aren’t at fault. Yes, you may have played a part. (I was warned prior, I already knew things weren’t done.) Yet they will make it all your fault, and if you don’t believe them, they’ll have their yes-people agree or make certain you have no one defend you. Nothing can make you feel as big as kicking a man when he’s down and defenseless.
But see the feeling is temporary, so they’ll do it again later, with you or someone else who isn’t ready to fight. Your job is to see these people for who they are. It’s not easy, they can be charming, and know how to get you to open up to them, and then start slow on the use or abuse of you. You may have your suspicions, you may even get upset, but don’t worry they’ll step in with the right actions so you’ll be ok again so they can step up the game again.
What can you do?
Since these people have various ways of charming you (even by playing the victim), it’s hard to see them for who they are. But if someone seems appealing yet makes you nervous, notice that. If someone pushes you for involvement, then back away.
The biggest warning sign are inappropriate hostility over things. Yes, we all have the day when the car door shutting on your grocery bag is the last straw and becomes a huge deal. These people will have sudden anger and hostility typically not in proportion to the situation. They keep yes people close (or drugs or alcohol).
But even if you can’t identify them before, they’ll start making promises that they never keep. “I’ll take you on vacation after…” “Babysit this week, and I’ll babysit for you next time.” The goal is to keep you around by promising things that you want with a later that seldom comes. Right when you start to walk away, they’ll produce one of those promises or something that’ll get you to stay. They will make you into a villain for asking for respect or standing up for yourself.
This is someone who makes you (or others) into villains and themselves into the mostly blameless person who has to resort to abusive behaviors (name calling, negative terms even if claiming they aren’t negative, abusive of things or animals related to the “villain” or abuse towards you) then you need to start walking away. Depending on the situation they may make it hard, they will threaten you or something or someone valuable to you. Or make implications like saying “I know where your parents live…” “Sad about your dog being alone while you are work” you need to plan your exit. Things won’t get better. They aren’t going to change.
Protect yourself. You can’t change others, but you can change you. You deserve respect, if someone is not willing to treat you with respect, you accept it. See that you are a beautiful person. You deserve good things. Learn to recognize the people who are not good for you, and learn to limit your exposure to them. Change your world by surrounding yourself with those who love you and nurture you.
Some of you are going to read this and think, hey I know this is happening to someone. The person that is using or abusing them didn’t start overnight, they worked up to it, you can’t drop a bombshell on your friend of “Hey, this person is using you!!” and they’re going to say… “OMG you are right.” You can however be their friend, encourage them, tell them things aren’t quite right, respect them, love them and offer them a positive environment . Show them an alternative. And while their abuser will tell them how things repeat, your friend will be spiraling up out of abuse where they are in it less and less.
As for me, more and more beautiful people are in my world that love and support me. I am not to the point that I trust them or allow them in my world as much as I should, but I think I’ve improved. But those who have known me for as short as a year have seen my change and be more open and more accepting. Last month in fact, I sent multiple texts to over 20 friends! Last year I may have sent text to 3 people. It’s not easy learning who to trust, but it’s worth it …