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50 Shades of Crazy-Staying Sane with Grey In Your Life

I think I can say in confidence that we all have wild-cards in our life.

Sometimes those wild cards present themselves in the form of an unexpected situation or a sudden change – One case in my life, it had emerged as a particularly thorny affiliation with an ex-friend (we’ll call her ‘M’ for the purposes of this post).

The influence of managing this particularly volatile circumstance in my life has undoubtedly filtered into some of my posts over the last few years -for example, my position on bullying (although this particular relationship definitely transcended that). All the same, I never thought publicly addressing the situation with ‘M’ would be a remarkably sound idea – although that never hindered her vocalization.

She had openly admitted on being violent toward herself (physically) and I knew that she was already aggressive to, not just me, but others as well (psychologically and emotionally). I didn’t want to make an already precarious situation worse – not to mention, she knew where I lived, where my children slept, what car I drove, where I worked…

So why mention this now – maybe because I feel like it can positively impact others going through something similar…

In retrospect, I did publicly touch upon the circumstance once, in a comment I posted (under the name ‘Amanda’) on a thread which was an seemingly failed attempt to explain and apologize for ‘M’s erratic behavior toward other young lady (apparently ‘M’ and another woman told a young mother who lost a child during birth that she murdered her own baby, although I do gather it would be quite challenging to absolve anyone of such remarks). However, this attempt at clarification ended up biting me in the ass nearly a year later when someone used the comment to gather information on ‘M’ for a random troll list which she now mistakenly insists I had a part it writing.

The individuals that wrote the material in this particular list think they are fighting the ‘good’ fight and I do grasp their perspective. However, I would like to make a case that if someone really wanted to help the victims of internet aggression, then it might be vastly more productive to foster places or online-spaces where there is acceptance and support – not, making a public list describing how horrible a person is or taking screen shots of someone’s conversation to illustrate their atrocities.

I understand the need to protect yourself when lines are crossed and you feel that real damage has been done – a person’s immediate response might be to retaliate even more maliciously. However, a wise person knows this is not how to cope with conflict in your life.

I’m not saying these people are, or are not, ‘trolls’.

What I am saying is I choose not to place effort into aggravating those matters. If I did have to collect a thought regarding this list, I would say it should be taken down – in fact, I did ask this and it was at the moderator’s discretion to remove the comment from the page.

I did what I could at the time and I move on.

Now onward forth.

Thriving Through the Fanatical

Managing people or events in your life that are dysfunctional has the ability to drain you, to fuel fear and implant anxiety…which, admittedly at one point in my life, I allowed it to negatively effect me. However, it also imparts the opportunity for personal development and growth.

I hope the following helps facilitate great progress in the conflict and struggles in your life (I know it did mine):

Release your burden.

Hate is restrictive and constricting, while the act of love and forgiveness is the ultimate release. 

From trivial upsets to significant loss, it is essential for a person’s own sanity to place effort (physically, emotionally, socially, mentally, and spiritually) into accepting situations in their life for what they are and to release any harmful and unconstructive connection we have to it.

Everything cannot go according to plan at all times and acceptance does not mean you approve of what is happening – it merely liberates a person from the constraints of a particular event that happened in the past (whether 5 minutes ago or 5 years ago). Because let’s face it, if it happened in the past then it cannot be changed no matter how much pain, fear or hate it produced.       

Acceptance is a person's assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a situation without attempting to change it.

It is foreseeable that there will be people in our life that are addicted to acting in an insufferable manner, refusing to accept anything in their life that is not what they believe their life should look like.

While we can continue to the best of our ability to provide support and encouragement for people in our life, fortunately each one of us has the authority to make the choice not to participate in hatefulness and dysfunction. 

To quote Martin Luther King, “Hate is too big a burden to bear”.

Positive actions start with you.

Focusing on what a person hates does not resolve it – rather, it multiplies.

Try to appreciate that personal responsibility is a strength, not a weakness. Take ownership of your actions and recognize the impressive power of positive, compassionate acts.

Each person and situation in your life presents value – honor the importance of that even through the misery it/they may cause you.

Ask for help.

Ninety-five percent of the time, conflict is about feelings-not facts.

If there is a person in your life or a situation that is causing real distress, sometimes it is best to take the time and talk to someone who is not emotionally involved. This can be a touchstone to the pulse of something outside the insanity that this person/event is causing.

In my experience, this always places things in perspective. Many times, other people are going through bigger obstacles in their life and it makes the dysfunction occurring in my life seem insignificant.


No doubt, becoming fully aware of what is important in your life is paramount in dealing with difficult people and events.

"Our lives are not determined by what happens to us
but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings to us,
but by the attitude we bring to life.

A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes.
It is a catalyst, a spark that creates extraordinary results."


  1. Anonymous5/26/2013

    This is extremely disappointing.

    You can choose whatever works best for you and your family, but your way is not the only right way of dealing with things. Sometimes there are other answers for the situation which work best for people. I sympathize with your quest to use compassion but you and I both know the level of private frustration we have felt. People who felt you were involved were irrational as it was. I now feel a sense of trust being violated between you and I, myself. I've seen how you feel publicly and privately and you are more willing to publicly say you're against me. Maybe it's because you know you are actually safer to speak out against *me*, who's not into harming people, and would never come after you. I read you loud and clear.

    Offenders go on lists. They are not random lists. Chances are, you've viewed a sex offender list for your local region to keep your kids safe. They might even describe the crime and physical appearance. I bet they think it's unfair, too.

    Innocent people have been hurt, and while I know I personally do have concern and compassion for the trolls, my compassion for myself and other innocents overwhelms their need to be babied while they continue harming people. Nothing done is done with malice.

    I'm really confused by this and confused why you would even link to these things if you disagree with them so much. You've done a great job of publicly separating yourself from the situation, but I can't help but feel that what is publicly and privately shared are apples and oranges. VERY disappointed.

    1. Elizabeth, thank you for taking the time to respond.

      I appreciate your honesty and your perspective. I agree that my way of ‘dealing with’ conflict in my life is absolutely NOT THE ONLY WAY to address it in an effective manner.

      My intention here was not to target you in anyway – if you interpret it that way, I am sorry.

      I want to make very clear that a few women on your (is it your list??) list have been extremely malicious and hateful to me personally -however, I will NOT WAIVER in my compassion and forgiveness for them.

      Please know, I do NOT want to convey that the actions they have chosen are acceptable – hurting people is NOT okay.

      Causing hurt for hurt magnifies pain, it does not eliminate it.

      For me to be healthy, I have to let it go and focus on the SOLUTION rather than the PROBLEM. I personally can not hold the anger in my heart and be a healthy mother, wife, and friend.

      I actively choose restraint. I choose to love myself and value myself more than retribution. Sometimes this does not come easily – but I know, for me, this is what must be done.

      My purpose is clear to me – and that is simply to do my best to treat others respectfully.

      Elizabeth, I want to thank you for your inspiration to other woman and for the support you offer in your book. Please consider that you have much more to offer this world then placing your time and effort into battling these women who are obviously dealing with major issues.

      With love, always – Amanda


Please be respectful. If you are about to say something that you would not let your child hear, then please refrain from saying it.