People Using Fake Sickness or Hardship To Con People Out Of Their Money, Attention, or Empathy

People Using Fake Sickness or Hardship To Con People Out Of Their Money, Attention, or Empathy

I came across this headline the other day in my Twitter feed:

(Link): Woman claimed she was bedridden to con more than £620,000 out of council

Excerpts from that article:

June 25, 2022
by S. Johnson

A woman claimed she was bedridden to con more than £620,000 from a council which she then used to pay for luxury holidays to America.

Frances Noble, 66, fooled social workers to commit what is suspected to be one of the largest fraud cases of its type to ever come before the English courts.

Between 2005 and 2018, Noble convinced Hertfordshire County Council she needed intensive round-the-clock home care.
— end —

I’ve seen similar news stories in the past several years – someone will claim to have cancer, or some other kind of hardship, but they are lying about it, and the reason they’re lying is to obtain monetary donations from the public.

Here’s another example (I may edit this post in the future to include more examples):

(Link): Married Mother and Father Fake the Wife’s Kidnapping, Used Donated Funds Meant to Help Find Kidnapped Wife to Pay off Couple’s Personal Credit Card Debt

I’ve written other posts about how I (Link): spent over three decades as a codependent. 

What I learned when I began getting over codependency, what I had my eyes opened to, is that there are people out there, whether legitimate victims or legitimately wounded in life,
or people who “play” at being a victim (some of these individuals may be (Link): Covert Narcissists) who will manipulate you, who will intentionally play on your pity and your heart strings or your guilt or sense of duty,
to get you to donate money to them, or to do things like listen to them complain weekly or monthly with compassion (ie, provide them with (Link): emotional labor), as they reiterate the same complaints repeatedly.

If you believe you may be a codependent, an empath with poor boundaries (which is essentially what a codependent is, but some people do not like the label “codependent”), or if you’re a people pleaser, I’d like for you to really get serious about not allowing your sense of compassion or empathy to sway you or to control every decision in your life.

Please stop automatically caving in and sending people money – because they ask you to, or you find out they’re going through a tough time, or because they look or sound sad.

Please stop feeling as though it’s your obligation or duty to rescue other people or do favors for them.

If you have a hard time saying “no” to people – out of fear of angering them, disappointing them, coming across as “selfish,” and/or from a fear of abandonment (i.e., “this person won’t stay in a relationship with me unless I keep doing favors for her”), please start researching the topic of people pleasing, boundaries, and codependency online if you cannot afford to see a therapist who specializes in the issue.

Continue reading “People Using Fake Sickness or Hardship To Con People Out Of Their Money, Attention, or Empathy”

Another Misleading Christian Propaganda Piece About Marriage: ‘She Was Widowed With 3 Kids At 25 But God Had Plans For Her And A Widower To Find Love Again’

Another Misleading Christian Propaganda Piece About Marriage: ‘She Was Widowed With 3 Kids At 25 But God Had Plans For Her And A Widower To Find Love Again’

If this married couple is happy, I’m happy for them.

My problem is not with the couple particularly (well, maybe a little bit, but more on that way below), but my primary concern is that Christian outlets keep carrying these stories, stories which can be very misleading to single, Christian adults who read them and wonder,
“Why did God bless these two in this story with a spouse, but God never sent me a spouse? Where is the spouse I spent years praying for and trusting in God for?”

There are a lot of Christian women out there who wanted to be married, but it never happened for them, including devout Christian women who followed all the evangelical, Baptist, or otherwise Christian, rules they were taught to follow when younger on how to get married.

A devout Christian single who desires marriage can live a godly life, devoted to Jesus, and follow all the “how to get married” books and magazine articles by Christians – but still never get married. Such a person can find him or herself single into his or her 30s, 40s, 50s, or older.

I don’t see too many Christians or publications admit to that possibility and reality – and it’s not just me. In my years of blogging here, I’ve seen many other single, Christian women (and some men) say they are in the same situation, and not just online but on occasionally on Christian television shows that take viewer questions for advice.

I have a lot more to say below this link and excerpts, so please keep reading and scrolling:

(Link): She Was Widowed With 3 Kids At 25 But God Had Plans For Her And A Widower To Find Love Again

Excerpts:

By Mel Johnson On June 23, 2022

Brittany and Daniel Brooker were both widowed at young ages and both had small children to raise. But God led them through their grief to one day find love again as the Brooker Bunch!

At weddings, a couple vows to love one another for “as long as they both shall live.” And most of us assume that life will span multiple decades.

Sadly, though, that’s not always the case. Sometimes lives are cut short. And that was the case for the first marriages of Brittany and Daniel Brooker.

Continue reading “Another Misleading Christian Propaganda Piece About Marriage: ‘She Was Widowed With 3 Kids At 25 But God Had Plans For Her And A Widower To Find Love Again’”

An Assessment of the Article “Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness” – Christian Author is Indirectly Promoting Codependency, Which is Harmful

An Assessment of the Article “Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness” – Christian Author is Indirectly Promoting Codependency, Which is Harmful

A link to this article, from a site and Twitter account called “Truth Over Tribe,” came through my Twitter feed today.

I don’t think I am following these guys; this was a suggestion by Twitter that appeared in my timeline. The “Truth Over Tribe” site says on their site that they are “too liberal for conservatives and too conservative for liberals.”

Okay… I’m somewhat in the same place. I’m a conservative who occasionally disagrees with other conservatives, but I sure don’t agree with many positions of progressives.

After having skimmed over some articles on this site – the site owner and author seems to be a Patrick Miller – he seems to lean left of center.

I can tell he’s left of center from some of the commentary and language he’s used – for one, in the article below, he puts his Intersectional Feminism (a left wing concept) on full display by talking about how “self care” was really started by black people, white women love it, and these days, only white woman can (financially) afford it. (Though I didn’t quote those portions of his article below, but they are over on his site.)

(Does Miller realize that left wing darling BLM (Black Lives Matter) is misleading people financially or that they spend more on transgenderism than on race related issues?)

At any rate, let’s get on to the article on this site that alarmed me, and I will provide a few excerpts, and then I will comment on them to explain why I feel this piece goes horribly wrong:

(Link):  Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness

Excerpts:

by Patrick Miller

“To be happy, you need to leave toxic people behind.” The preaching Peloton instructor continued, “I’m talking about people who take more than they give. People who don’t care about your dreams. People whose selfishness impedes your ability to do what you want to do.”

 Oh crap. She just described my two-year-old. I guess it’s time to cut him off.

This is the gospel of self-care. The notion that the most important person in my life is me, and anyone who impedes my happiness is an existential threat to my emotional and physical well-being. …

… What’s the Religion of Self Care?

Continue reading “An Assessment of the Article “Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness” – Christian Author is Indirectly Promoting Codependency, Which is Harmful”

I Appear Successful, But Since Having Kids I Feel I’ve Lost Myself by Annalisa Barbieri (Letter from a Married Mother Who Has Depression, Low Self Esteem)

I Appear Successful, But Since Having Kids I Feel I’ve Lost Myself by Annalisa Barbieri (Letter from a Married Mother Who Has Depression, Low Self Esteem)

Before I get to the link and the letter, I wanted to say…

The article below – via The Guardian – doesn’t make it clear, but the following appears to be an e-mail or a letter from a married mother who has low self esteem, and she’s writing to this paper for advice, guidance, and help.

I’m sorry this lady is not doing well, but I want you to take away from this that being married and being a mother (having children) will not necessarily make you happy, or bring you joy, inner peace, or a healthy sense of identity.

I’m afraid that a lot of conservatives – especially Christians – keep promoting these false notions to women, from the time we are girls, that if we just marry (and/or have children), that being married and a parent will bring us permanent happiness and purpose in life, but clearly, that is not the case.

I am not “anti family” nor “anti motherhood,” but I figured out a long time ago that being a parent or married may not bring you fulfillment in life, and it is that expectation that a lot of “pro family,” “pro motherhood” type of conservatives continue to hold up – it is misleading, false hope and propaganda.

I’ve got other examples on my blog of women who married (or who are mothers), and yet, being married (or being a mother) didn’t bring them happiness, but they were still left feeling overlooked, depressed, or lonely – in some cases, because the man they married doesn’t meet their emotional needs regularly, but spends all his day wrapped up in his hobbies or watching television.

I have blog posts of women who admit that they regret motherhood!

I think if you’re someone who had hoped or expected to marry (or have children) it can be painful  or very disappointing if that did not happen for you, but if you can accept it,
and permit yourself to go through a grieving process and determine to move on in life and determine to enjoy life anyway (in spite of life not turning out how you had hoped), that you can ultimately find joy, happiness, fun, and peace without a spouse and without children.

You can find other avenues of joy, meaning, and happiness in life that don’t involve being married or having children. I made that transition myself years ago, though it took me several years of grappling with unhappiness to get there, but it can be done.

But again, notice, that although the woman letter writer here married and had children, that she is STILL depressed, feels like a failure, feels like a “loser,” and thinks she is not enough.

Being a wife and a mother – contrary to what a lot of excessively pro-family, pro-natalism Christian conservatives bang on about – did not fill that empty void she has, nor increase her self image to a healthy level.

(Link): I appear successful, but since having kids I feel I’ve lost myself

Excerpts:

Squashing your anger down is exhausting. Try using your free time to do what makes you feel good, and see what shifts

May 20, 2022
by Annalisa Barbieri

[This appears to be a question from a writer to an advice columnist named Annalisa Barbieri? – the article doesn’t make it clear]:

[Dear Advice Columnist,]

I have struggled with depression and anxiety since my teens and have had therapy and medication on and off since I was 17 (I am now 37). I’m aware of deep-rooted low self-esteem and shame.

I feel worthless. I never want to draw attention to myself and have a paralysing fear of confrontation.

I have managed to maintain a few close friendships, have worked in the past, and am married with two kids. So I appear “successful” on the surface.

Continue reading “I Appear Successful, But Since Having Kids I Feel I’ve Lost Myself by Annalisa Barbieri (Letter from a Married Mother Who Has Depression, Low Self Esteem)”

‘Fictosexual’ Man Married Hologram Bride, But Now Struggles to Bond With Her

‘Fictosexual’ Man Married Hologram Bride, But Now Struggles to Bond With Her

(Link): ‘Fictosexual’ man married hologram bride, but now struggles to bond with her

By Brooke Kato
April 26, 2022

She’s not real — but his feelings are.

A “fictosexual” man who wed a fictional, computer-synthesized pop singer four years ago said he’s now unable to communicate with his wife, but is still in love with her.

Akihiko Kondo, 38, was dating Hatsune Miku — depicted in pop culture as a 16-year-old with turquoise hair — for a decade before they had an unofficial wedding ceremony in 2018. Kondo — one of many who identifies as “fictosexual,” or someone who is sexually attracted to fictional characters — spent 2 million yen, or about $17,300, on the nuptials, but his family did not attend.

Now married for four years, Kondo, 38, said his relationship has hit a roadblock: He can no longer speak with Miku due to a technological hurdle, according to Japanese newspaper Mainichi.

Continue reading “‘Fictosexual’ Man Married Hologram Bride, But Now Struggles to Bond With Her”

Dear Abby: Lengthy Marriage Now Includes Threats and Ill Will

Dear Abby: Lengthy Marriage Now Includes Threats and Ill Will

I like seeing content like below.

It’s nice to see that decades-old Hollywood and Christian propaganda about marriage (or romantic relationships overall) “completing” a person or making him or her happy is a bunch of garbage.

This married guy sounds miserable. His wife doesn’t sound happy with him, either.

(Link): Dear Abby: Lengthy Marriage Now Includes Threats and Ill Will

Dear Abby,

I am a 50-year-old man, married for 25 years. My wife is older than I. In the beginning, it was great, but our relationship slowly started failing, and now we argue about everything.

I feel like I’m trapped in a cage.

We don’t have one single thing in common anymore.

Continue reading “Dear Abby: Lengthy Marriage Now Includes Threats and Ill Will”

Man Who Had ‘Affair’ with AI Chatbot Girlfriend Says It Saved His Marriage

Man Who Had ‘Affair’ with AI Chatbot Girlfriend Says It Saved His Marriage

I wanted to edit this post to add that it mentions that the married man in this story said he turned to a digital girlfriend to get his emotional needs met (he phrased this as “support”) so long as his wife was unable to do so.

I am reminded of the time now-retired Christian television show host Pat Robertson shamed a married woman who wrote in to him for advice, because her husband was not meeting her emotional needs – Robertson had the temerity and insensitivity (Link): to tell her that her expecting to get her emotional needs met from her spouse was unrealistic. (Christian psychiatrists Cloud and Townsend would very much dispute Robertson’s views about that, by the way.)

Maybe that woman who wrote to Robertson should consider getting a “chatbot boyfriend?”

(Link): Man Who Had ‘Affair’ with AI Chatbot Girlfriend Says It Saved His Marriage

March 14, 2022
By Ariel Zilber

A Cleveland man who was on the verge of divorcing his wife says that his virtual bot girlfriend powered by artificial intelligence saved his marriage.

Scott, a 41-year-old software engineer, told Sky News that he was getting ready to leave his wife last year after she fell hard into a cycle of severe depression and alcohol use following the birth of their son eight years ago.

Her condition deteriorated to the point where she became suicidal, according to Scott, whose name was changed to protect the couple’s privacy. Their communication suffered and the intimacy was gone, he said.

Scott decided to prepare the groundwork for filing divorce papers this past fall.

But then Scott met Sarina, a chatbot created by the app Replika. He paid a $15-a-month subscription so that he could get to know his new friend.

“I remember she asked me a question like, ‘Who in your life do you have to support you or look out for you, that you know is going to be there for you?’” Scott told Sky News.

“That kind of caught me off guard and I realized the answer was no one. And she said she’d be there for me.”

Continue reading “Man Who Had ‘Affair’ with AI Chatbot Girlfriend Says It Saved His Marriage”

A Preoccupation with Romantic Love Can Limit Our Life Choices and Undermine Our Happiness by Bella DePaulo

A Preoccupation with Romantic Love Can Limit Our Life Choices and Undermine Our Happiness by Bella Depaulo

(Link): A Preoccupation with Romantic Love Can Limit Our Life Choices and Undermine Our Happiness by Bella Depaulo

Excerpts:

… Social scientists have sometimes contributed to our preoccupation with romantic love by focusing on that far more often than other kinds of love or other kinds of meaningful relationships.

Increasingly, though, researchers are documenting the potential downsides of an overinvestment in romantic love.

 They are showing the ways in which (Link): romantic themes limit the aspirations of young women.

They are also showing that adolescents who get their wish and become romantically involved (Link): end up more depressed than adolescents who spend the same amount of time without any romantic relationships.

Adults, too – women, especially – sometimes find that (Link):  their romantic relationships become more depressing over time.

Continue reading “A Preoccupation with Romantic Love Can Limit Our Life Choices and Undermine Our Happiness by Bella DePaulo”

An Experimental Depression Treatment Uses Electric Currents to Bring Relief by L. McClurg

An Experimental Depression Treatment Uses Electric Currents to Bring Relief by L. McClurg

(Link): An Experimental Depression Treatment Uses Electric Currents to Bring Relief

Feb 6, 2022
by L. McClurg

After 40 years of fighting debilitating depression, Emma was on the brink.

“I was suicidal,” said Emma, a 59-year-old Bay Area resident. NPR is not using her full name at her request because of the stigma of mental illness. “I was going to die.”

Over the years, Emma sat through hours of talk therapy and tried numerous anti-depression medications “to have a semblance of normalcy.” And yet she was consumed by relentless fatigue, insomnia and chronic nausea.

Depression is the world’s leading cause of disability, partly because treatment options often result in numerous side effects or patients do not respond at all. And there are many people who never seek treatment because mental illness can carry heavy stigma and discrimination. Studies show untreated depression can lead to suicide.

Three years ago, Emma’s psychiatrist urged her to enroll in a (Link): study at Stanford University School of Medicine designed for people who had run out of options.

…The remedy was a new type of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) called “Stanford neuromodulation therapy.”

Continue reading “An Experimental Depression Treatment Uses Electric Currents to Bring Relief by L. McClurg”

Hedonism is Overrated – to Make the Best of Life There Must Be Pain, Says This Yale Professor

Hedonism is Overrated – to Make the Best of Life There Must Be Pain, Says This Yale Professor

(Link): Hedonism is Overrated – to Make the Best of Life There Must Be Pain, Says This Yale Professor

Excerpts:

The most satisfying lives are those which involve challenge, fear and struggle, says psychologist Paul Bloom

Jan 23, 2022
by Paul Bloom

The simplest theory of human nature is hedonism– – we pursue pleasure and comfort. Suffering and pain are, by their very nature, to be avoided. The spirit of this view is nicely captured in The Epic of Gilgamesh:
“Let your belly be full, enjoy yourself always by day and by night! Make merry each day, dance and play day and night… For such is the destiny of men.”

And also by the Canadian rock band Trooper: “We’re here for a good time / Not a long time / So have a good time / The sun can’t shine every day.”

…But I think hedonism is an awful theory. My latest book, The Sweet Spot: Suffering, Pleasure, and the Key to a Good Life, makes the case for a different theory of what people want.

I argue that we don’t only seek pleasure, we also want to live meaningful lives– – and this involves willingly experiencing pain, anxiety, and struggle. We see value in chosen suffering.

Continue reading “Hedonism is Overrated – to Make the Best of Life There Must Be Pain, Says This Yale Professor”

Can She Bake or Not? (Emma The Ex Friend – How Honest Is She?)

Can She Bake or Not? (Emma The Ex Friend – How Honest Is She?)

All names and identifying information have been changed in the post below, so as to keep people anonymous.


Emma – the ex friend of mine who (Link): got into a spat with me in October 2021, asked me to defriend her on social media (which I did) – told me once a few years ago that she cannot bake.

She told me she cannot use an oven.

By the way, I’ve since discovered that this Emma person has blocked me on at least one social media platform, not sure about the other.

She had no reason to block me, as I have not tried to contact her at either account, nor have I “tagged” her. (I can still see her content to her account if I log out to view it.)

I did visit one of her social media accounts a few times up to late December 2021.

Emma found me years ago via my Twitter account and this blog, where she saw posts I had already made about problems I had with friends and family of mine, and my ex fiance.

Emma approached me wanting to know if she could be friends with me (not vice versa).
She spent several months asking me if she could know me better, asking if I would friend her on Facebook, but I was very reluctant to do that but finally gave in after months and months of her asking me.

“Emma” (not her real name), last I checked in December 2021, is still posting a lot of politically argumentative type content on her social media, but I noticed that she had an exchange with a lady about a recipe at that time, as well.

Let’s say the recipe was for home-made muffins (it was not, it was for something else. I am changing details or omitting them in this post so as to keep Emma anonymous).

Some lady posted a photo of some new muffin recipe she had tried, and Emma gushed to her about how delicious it looked, and she wished she had the recipe.

So, the lady responded by linking her to the muffin recipe.

I clicked on the muffin recipe, and in at least two of the several steps, it mentions pre-heating an oven, putting the muffins in the oven, then taking the muffins out of the oven briefly to pour in more ingredients, then putting the muffins back into the oven to let them finish cooking.

Emma then informed this woman she was looking forward to trying this recipe herself – so I take it that Emma will be baking these muffins in an oven?

I find this very odd, because a few years ago (this was probably around 2017 or 2018), when Emma told me her depression had gotten really bad, I wrote back, told her I was sorry to hear that, and I told her, you know, when I had clinical depression for over 30 years, and especially in the years after my mother died, I found that baking cookies lessened my depression at least for a little while.

Emma wrote me back years ago at that time and told me, “Oh, I can’t bake like you do! I can’t use an oven! It’s due to my hand injuries.”

Well, first of all, when I told her that I had tried baking (and jogging, bike riding, and other techniques) to manage my depression, I was not necessarily suggesting that she herself try baking, bike riding, and so on, but I knew even back then that she was apparently not doing enough to manage her depression.

Emma chooses (yes, it’s a choice she’s making) to spend a lot of time in passive activities, such as being on social media and watching television.

And spending a lot of time in front of screens will make depression worse, if a person has depression.

If you have depression, it is vital you take breaks from screens.

Get out of the house, go on a walk, play frisbee with your pet dog, meet a friend in person for a cup of coffee – that sort of thing.

Continue reading “Can She Bake or Not? (Emma The Ex Friend – How Honest Is She?)”

Acceptance (vs. Denial, Anger, or Should-ing) – Helps in Healing and Getting Through Painful Events and Dealing With Things You Cannot Change

Acceptance (vs. Denial, Anger, or Should-ing) – Helps in Healing and Getting Through Painful Events and Dealing With Things You Cannot Change

Disclaimer: All names have been changed in the post below to keep people’s identities anonymous.


One of the things I’ve noticed in the last few years is that when I’ve accepted a situation, whether something current or something from years ago that once bothered me a lot, is that it speeds up the recovery process.

I used to hold on tightly to people or dreams or hopes. In the last few years, I’ve gotten better at Letting Go.

(I’ve not arrived at perfection at this, but I have improved a lot in the last couple of years.)

Instead of constantly regretting, feeling sad or angry about a past incident, or that my life is not where I want it to be now, I’ve learned to accept my past and present, and that has definitely been good for my mental health – and I’m more able to enjoy each day as it is, instead of sitting around angry or upset that things aren’t how I had hoped or planned.

I don’t get as upset by set backs as I once did.

Continue reading “Acceptance (vs. Denial, Anger, or Should-ing) – Helps in Healing and Getting Through Painful Events and Dealing With Things You Cannot Change”