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Just a synopsis of the recent structure debacle.

About three weeks ago, Simon called me up and informed me that I would be doing the structural design for the superstructure of the residential project that I was working on, and Hassan would be designing the foundation. I dug my heels in, and the issue ultimately culminated into an argument. 

I dug my heels in because structural design is complex. If you're working on a typical house, with typical spans, and a typical foundation, it's not so complex. They're all pretty much built the same way and you can pick your structural elements form a table.

But the house that we are doing is being built on a steep slope with a high water table, and it has open, unsupported spans of 30'. So, we need a massive retaining wall, and steel beams or glulams for the open span of the superstructure. 

The retaining wall must be engineered. But it is possible for me to size the beams for the superstructure. HOWEVER, as I explained to Simon, I haven't done it in 10+ years, and I need someone to help me. Simon gave me one extra day to get the design done, which is absolutely absurd given the complexity of the process.

The formulas are not terribly complex in and of themselves. But the order in which you apply the formulas is important, and you have to go through several calculation iterations to optimize your selection. On top of that, you have to be very knowledgeable about the structural properties of each material (concrete, steel, wood, engineered wood)--which applications are best for them, which aren't so good, etc.

I didn't even remember which formulas I need to use, let alone the order. I was pretty sure I need formulas for strength, deflection, shear.... But even if these were the only formulas that I needed, there were still nuances to the evaluation process that I didn't remember. Like, where to test for shear failure. Plus, I haven't really thought about structural materials in a long time--I could use a refresher course. A course, not an hour.

So, the first thing I did was scan a couple pages of formulas and email them to Alan. I asked him if he could help me: 

Quote

 

Hi Alan,

Simon asked me to do the above-foundation structure for this home. Is this something that you can give me guidance for? I have not done structure outside of school, and that class was at least 12 years ago.... But I did get an A in that class, which is a good start. I just need guidance. For example, How do I begin?

I dug up these formulas. But I'm not sure which are the best to use, what order to use them, and what to do about the openings in the walls..... I guess start with the openings? Then there's the issue of connections...

 

Alan's response, during our morning meeting, was to ask me to do some framing plans and send them to him. So, that's what I did.

At the next day's morning meeting, Alan presented his solution: A W10 (steel beam) of some sort at the basement level and the first floor. Hassan (structural engineer) was on the call too, and practically had a conniption fit, saying that it would deflect 6" and that nobody would be able to walk across the house without feeling like they were walking across a trampoline. After the call, Hassan called me up and vented to me for about an hour.

Hassan and I came up with another solution that used two W10 beams at both levels, and sent it to Alan and Kasey. No response (no surprise). At the next morning meeting, Alan instructed us to use two beams at the basement level and a W18 (deeper beam) at the first floor level. After the meeting, Hassan called me up in a state of near-apoplexy over the inadequacy of Alan's new 'solution.' According to Hassan, the eccentric placement of the first floor beam would create torsion in the structure.

Finally, Alan presented a new solution: Parallams. Two parallams at the first floor, one at the basement level. He eliminated the wide footing at the retaining wall and changed the retaining wall from 14" concrete to 12" cmu. At the next morning meeting, both Kasey and Simon were in attendance. Alan said, "I have 35 years doing this and you guys should trust me."

Kasey and Simon somehow failed to notice Alan's two absurdly failed solutions, and both expressed their agreement with Alan. Simon even expressed his approval of Alan's foolhardy modification of the retaining wall. So, Hassan and I stopped arguing, and I made the changes that Alan stipulated. 

It's interesting to note that through this entire period of time, Alan never provided calculations for anything he came up with. Furthermore, he never responded with any direction about which formulas I should use, and in fact didn't provide any actual guidance to me at any point.

After seeing all three of his 'solutions,' I realize that Alan had no idea what to do, either. What I think eventually happened is that Alan struggled through the problem himself, in private, and, after two failed solutions, realized he was not up to the task. So, he contacted an engineer-friend to help him out. I have no proof for this, but based on the sequence of events and the timing, I think this is what likely happened. Also, Alan's parallam solution was completely unlike his other solutions--which didn't even include columns, now that I think about it!!

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Me too. I put up with crap that I shouldn't put up with. It just makes me work harder, which is not the solution. I think that I need to learn to stay the course. Meaning (in my case) not try to work

Wow! Thankful you didn’t take the bait. 

Ah, this phrase.... it brings back a memory that still cracks me up to this day. When I was in my late 20s, my ex boyfriend and I were interested in paintball. Our interest started while we were

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I honestly don't know. Alan hasn't provided his rationale. I could at least follow the calculations if he had. Hassan has begged off of the matter altogether.

I think the beams are probably ok--although I don't understand why Alan is using the heavier support at the upper level.

My real worry is the retaining wall. I forgot to mention--Alan actually had me change it back to concrete after I did the whole detail for CMU (big time waster there). But he had me reduce the thickness from 14" to 12"--so arbitrary! He also had me fudge some dimensions for it, which is Stupid with a capital S. 

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I had a dream a couple of days ago. I had come to the last page in the notebook that I keep for work. There were other pages after the one that I was on, but I could see through the current page that the text on them was upside down--meaning, they had already been used (sometimes, I keep two notebooks in one by using it upside down from the back. If that makes any sense).

The same night, I also had an uneasy dream about going from house to house talking to people. Friends. And eventually, at some point, handling a gun in my own house. I was trying to load a bullet into it, not because I wanted to, but because it was necessary. However, the bullet kept falling out into my hand. I finally took the gun apart and discovered that it had no real barrel, and no place for a bullet to fully fit. I felt relieved that it wouldn't be deadly.

Last night, I dreamt that someone shot Arnold. And while I sobbed hysterically over him, Arnold (yes, same Arnold--although he did look different) came down from a nearby stairwell, took my hand, and led me up the stairs, out onto the roof of the building we were in. He comforted me, and told me to stop crying. Then, he gestured to the buildings and landscape around us and said, "Look at all of this. It's yours." "I don't want it," I said. "I hate this fricking place." But it was still a peaceful feeling. And there was still hope, for some reason. I just don't like that they killed Arnold. 

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A lady from my last job passed away. One of the people who had been laid off with COVID.

She was battling cancer for years. She had a rough bout with it in 2019.

I really liked her. She was great to work with. Really down to earth, really kind. 

When she heard that I was laid off, her response was, "Know that they laid me off twice." 

I thought that was such an odd response! But very positive! 

Anyway, I'm sad that she's gone now.

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I'm really enjoying Clan of the Cave Bear. It's so interesting. And even though Jean M. Auel has a heavy narrative hand, it somehow avoids being dry or boring.

I got to a part where some of the clan were acting out against the main protagonist in an effort to ingratiate themselves with one of the leaders, and it fired me up a little. I think it reminded me of my last job lol.

That reminds me of another time, probably 7 years ago (jesus!), when I was frustrated at my job. I was watching Spaceballs, which I usually think is hilarious. But this time, Dark Helmet was reminding me of my boss, and the Spaceballs were reminding me of some of my coworkers.... suddenly the movie seemed like more of a true story than a comedy!!

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My chiropractor sends out a monthly newsletter. In this month's issue, he included a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln:

“If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I would spend the first four hours sharpening the ax”

I have a similar philosophy, which is why I'm so dead set on getting good mentorship in my career. I don't want it to be a harrowing struggle when I go into business for myself. I want it to fall into place with as little nonsense as possible. 

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1 hour ago, Jibralta said:

It's not rocket science, all it requires is leaving your ego at the door. 

A few years back, I figured that ego and results don't go together. There are limitations of what you can do alone. Nobody knows everything and nobody can know everything. Knowing all is about control, nothing more. This is a fallacy too because you can never be 100% in control, not even 50%. 

So there is a conscious choice you have to make: leave your ego at the door and ask questions to learn and get better or stay trapped in your own limitations. We would all like to know everything and never ask for help but reality does not work this way. And I get it's difficult to listen to opinions that you don't like and are different than yours, however, with the right filtering it works wonders. 

By you I mean the general you, mostly your boss.

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The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle, is one of my favorite books of all time. I haven't read it in probably eight years, but I always seem to keep it within reach. It's a wonderful, allegorical work of art, and I often think back to moments in that book when I'm going through things in my own life.

The witch's stagnant eyes blazed up so savagely bright that a ragged company of luna moths, off to a night's revel, fluttered straight into them and sizzled into snowy ashes. "I'd quit show business first," she snarled. "Trudging through eternity, hauling my homemade horrors – do you think that was my dream when I was young and evil? Do you think I chose this meager magic, sprung of stupidity, because I never knew the true witchery? I play tricks with dogs and monkeys because I cannot touch the grass, but I know the difference. And now you ask me to give up the sight of you, the presence of your power. I told Rukh I'd feed his liver to the harpy if I had to, and so I would. And to keep you I'd take your friend Schmendrick, and I'd -" She raged herself to gibberish, and at last to silence.

"Speaking of livers," the unicorn said. "Real magic can never be made by offering up someone else's liver. You must tear out your own, and not expect to get it back. The true witches know that."

A few grains of sand rustled down Mommy Fortuna's cheek as she stared at the unicorn. All witches weep like that. She turned and walked swiftly toward her wagon, but suddenly she turned again and grinned her rubbly grin. "But I tricked you twice, anyway," she said. "Did you really think that those gogglers knew you for yourself without any help from me? No, I had to give you an aspect they could understand, and a horn they could see. These days, it takes a cheap carnival witch to make folk recognize a real unicorn. You'd do much better to stay with me and be false, for in this whole world only the Red Bull will know you when he sees you." She disappeared into her wagon, and the harpy let the moon come out again.

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A year or two ago, I caught a show on TV called Windy City Rehab. I was working for my previous employer at the time, and in a state of almost constant frustration and anxiety over the terrible output that the office produced. Mistakes everywhere. And for the last six months that I worked there, I was the one stuck cleaning up the messes that ensued with permitting and code enforcement.

In this generally annoyed state of mind, I see this Windy City Rehab show. I watch in mounting aggravation as yet another designer fails to take into account the reality of the building she is renovating.

I can't remember the exact specifics, but the designer had designed an impossible window (or maybe it was a doorway?). It couldn't be built because of physical constraints. Like, it was taller than the floor-to-floor height, or it was wider than the space actually allowed. Something like that--basically, the typical BS that would come out of the office that I worked for at the time.

The contractor, meanwhile, had plodded ahead and built the opening anyway. But in order to get the opening to fit into the space, he changed the dimensions of the opening. That, of course, changed the look that the designer wanted--a look that was actually impossible to get in the first place, but which was sold to unsuspecting clients by someone who should have known better (the designer). 

So, the designer made the contractor tear out the opening--a masonry opening, by the way, which required bricks and mortar and masons, not just some lumber and nails. The demo and rebuild cost like $15,000. Or maybe it cost $50,000. I don't remember. Whatever it cost, it was unconscionable.

I couldn't believe this show was treating this disaster like it was just oopssssyyyy! Looky what we did. Uh-oh. Sillllyyyy. Between this show and my own job, it felt like the world had gone mad. Like, is this how things really are?? Am I doomed to be a complete asshle as well??

Then, over the summer, the show popped into my head for some reason and I googled it. Turns out the City of Chicago has been slapping these numbnuts with stop-work orders since the show's first season. Homeowners started suing them for shoddy work. I think the contractor might be suing the designer now, too.

That made me feel a little more like all was right in the world. People like this can't be allowed to hide from the chaos and destruction they cause with their negligence and arrogance.

But interestingly, it looks like HGTV is ordering more episodes of this disaster series. You would think the network would fire the incompetents. But no, it makes them money! TV is the devil, I'll tell you. 

 

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I've been observing my mental state for the last month, as it relates to work.

When I first ran afoul of Simon, my anxiety spiked. It remained like that for a week or two. I thought I couldn't survive here another day, or even another hour.

But then the anxiety gradually lessened--possibly because the one project I was working on finally went out. Or maybe (hopefully), it's because I've reached a point where I've accepted the situation for what it is. 

I think it's stupid and unfair, and truly incomprehensible. But it's separate from me. I don't have to understand it. I don't have to care about it. All I have to do is worry about myself. I am working to get out of here.

I've been thinking about the interview that I had last week. It caught me a little by surprise. I think it was the first 'serious' interview I've had since joining this industry. The interviewer had actually read my resume, and he asked pertinent questions. I really had to think on my feet.

The interviewer asked me about the best leaders that I've had, and what made them good. What came to mind immediately was that they knew how to handle a crisis, they knew how to handle a schedule and a budget, they trusted me to do my job, and they knew how to manage the various personalities within the teams. If they saw people weren't getting along, they made a simple adjustment so that the right personalities worked together. I usually got paired with the nuts-and-bolts guys whose feelings never got hurt. 

But since that conversation, I've thought of other things I wish that I had said. For example, the best managers I've had set a good example. I remember one time, we hosted an expert elicitation for a planning project. We provided lunch to the experts. After the lunch, nobody came to clear the food trays. So, my boss, Matt, did it. Matt, the director and VP of the whole department, the man who won million dollar contracts for the company, cleared all the trays himself.

Another thing that I admire in a leader: integrity. When I worked for that company, I started out in the architecture department and transferred to the civil works planning department. After I transferred, I occasionally did still did work for the architecture department. One day, the manager of the architecture department, Tony, told me that I was being transferred back to his department because Matt no longer had work for me. Tony also told me that I would be given a project that involved Revit, and he made some allusion to me being made project manager. 

I was both flattered and alarmed by this. Flattered because it seemed like a great opportunity, and alarmed because 1) something seemed to be happening with my career behind my back, and 2) I didn't trust Tony based on past experience with the man. So, I went back to Matt and asked him, "Are you trading me back?" He said, "Not if you don't want to go. I have work for you." I told him that Tony had presented me with an enticing opportunity, and that I almost felt like I should take it. Matt said, "I would tell you to stay, because I have work that needs to be done. But go talk to Gary. He doesn't have a dog in this race."*

I did talk to Gary, and I did stay with Matt. But I stayed mainly because I appreciated that Matt referred me to a neutral party, and not because Gary suggested that I stay.

The final quality that came to mind about good leadership is support. If I was having trouble getting someone to perform, I just had to talk to my boss and they would step in and put pressure on from their end. It didn't take a lot. Just a nudge. They didn't cut me loose and watch me flail around. That's a big deal.

__________________________________________

*Gary was the office manager. The company had recently developed a mentoring program. I had asked Gary to be my mentor, and he accepted. So, it made sense for me to talk to Gary about this.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Jibralta said:

I've reached a point where I've accepted the situation for what it is. 

I think it's stupid and unfair, and truly incomprehensible. But it's separate from me.

I think Perspective comes to me a lot faster than it used to. That's from experience. You can theorize about what might happen and why it might happen, but until you actually experience the mechanics of a situation and have time to reflect upon them, it's all just guesswork. 

I don't understand the value systems of some people, but I do recognize (a lot faster) when my value system does not align with someone else's value system. In this situation at work, my value system actually opposes Simon's value system. The obstruction this creates is insurmountable. Interestingly, Simon's value system is very flexible, and doesn't really oppose anything--except a perceived attack on his ego.

I was watching a documentary about Dirty John this weekend. A criminal behavioral analyst said something interesting, which reminded me of Simon's incredible reaction to me questioning the QC process at his company. She said, "Psychopaths and narcissists have this understanding that you either dominate or be dominated. If you challenge them or their sense of self, or this image that they're projecting, they will go after you. They will take revenge and they will do it in the unholiest of ways."

Now, I don't think Simon is a murderer or anything like that. I don't know if he's a narcissist, histrionic, antisocial, borderline personality, or whatever. But I do know that his scorched-earth reaction to my comments is easily the most absurd reaction I've ever seen in my life, and I do know that something is wrong with that guy. Someone who changes the truth from moment to moment--to the point where they're actually contradicting themselves--is not a fully functioning member of society.

I just want to put as much space between me and this guy as possible. I hope that I can!

Maybe one day, I'll be able to recognize value misalignments during the interview process, and avoid taking the job. During my interview on Thursday, I did make sure to get a lot of information about the company's QC process. It's not everything that can go wrong, it doesn't necessarily tell me about the person that I will be working for, but it's a start.

Maybe these frustrating employment experiences will help me to weed out crappy clients and crappy business partners in the future.

I just googled "scorched earth reaction" and found this interesting essay from a mediation website. It's Simon to a T. Jeez, it must be hell trying to mediate with someone like Simon!

Quote

You have met them if you have been mediating for any length of time. They enter the room with a blazing smile and gush about how amazed and privileged they are to have someone of your experience and reputation as their mediator. They are certain that you will be able to bring about a settlement. They really want very little, but the other person is just unreasonable and inflexible. They know that you can break the impasse.


During the mediation the same person is impossible to please, makes unreasonable and unbending demands, does their best to manipulate you and everyone else in the room, lies for no reason, threatens to walk out, believes that their way is the only way, is rigid in their thinking, reacts to criticism with intense anger or even rage

https://www.mediate.com/articles/puls-scorched-earth.cfm

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59 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

But I do know that his scorched-earth reaction to my comments is easily the most absurd reaction I've ever seen in my life, and I do know that something is wrong with that guy. Someone who changes the truth from moment to moment--to the point where they're actually contradicting themselves--is not a fully functioning member of society.

Yea... not able to function correctly in society... wow and that quote is scary, but it makes sense.  

I also do. not. get. the scorched-earth reactions from people like this.  It just doesn't make sense to me!  I mean it only makes their own lives harder!

My FIL is like that... and the first time I saw the reaction, it was just because he and my husband were having a sweet conversation about my husband's childhood and what kind of milk he'd liked.  It was when my husband contradicted his father, that all of a sudden the tone changed and he exploded in anger that he wasn't agreeing with him.

Over milk... !!!!

I remember thinking that I'd never seen an adult have some kind of tantrum like that.  And it did look like a tantrum.

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1 hour ago, maritalbliss86 said:

It just doesn't make sense to me!  I mean it only makes their own lives harder!

Yeah. It's really weird. They cut off their own nose to spite their face, as the saying goes.

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On 3/7/2021 at 3:29 PM, Jibralta said:

A year or two ago, I caught a show on TV called Windy City Rehab. I was working for my previous employer at the time, and in a state of almost constant frustration and anxiety over the terrible output that the office produced. Mistakes everywhere. And for the last six months that I worked there, I was the one stuck cleaning up the messes that ensued with permitting and code enforcement.

In this generally annoyed state of mind, I see this Windy City Rehab show. I watch in mounting aggravation as yet another designer fails to take into account the reality of the building she is renovating.

I can't remember the exact specifics, but the designer had designed an impossible window (or maybe it was a doorway?). It couldn't be built because of physical constraints. Like, it was taller than the floor-to-floor height, or it was wider than the space actually allowed. Something like that--basically, the typical BS that would come out of the office that I worked for at the time.

The contractor, meanwhile, had plodded ahead and built the opening anyway. But in order to get the opening to fit into the space, he changed the dimensions of the opening. That, of course, changed the look that the designer wanted--a look that was actually impossible to get in the first place, but which was sold to unsuspecting clients by someone who should have known better (the designer). 

So, the designer made the contractor tear out the opening--a masonry opening, by the way, which required bricks and mortar and masons, not just some lumber and nails. The demo and rebuild cost like $15,000. Or maybe it cost $50,000. I don't remember. Whatever it cost, it was unconscionable.

I couldn't believe this show was treating this disaster like it was just oopssssyyyy! Looky what we did. Uh-oh. Sillllyyyy. Between this show and my own job, it felt like the world had gone mad. Like, is this how things really are?? Am I doomed to be a complete asshle as well??

Then, over the summer, the show popped into my head for some reason and I googled it. Turns out the City of Chicago has been slapping these numbnuts with stop-work orders since the show's first season. Homeowners started suing them for shoddy work. I think the contractor might be suing the designer now, too.

That made me feel a little more like all was right in the world. People like this can't be allowed to hide from the chaos and destruction they cause with their negligence and arrogance.

But interestingly, it looks like HGTV is ordering more episodes of this disaster series. You would think the network would fire the incompetents. But no, it makes them money! TV is the devil, I'll tell you. 

 

For some reason I was thinking it was a show about addiction rehab. As I continued reading through your post, I was so confused. I kept waiting for the lesson on enabling someone...

And then, DUH! Facepalm here... I think I left my brains at work. Lol.

 

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I work a lot with this girl Dinah. She is awesome, but very inexperienced. So, she has tons of questions. Because of her inexperience, I find that she gets "stuck" on things that really aren't an issue.

My frustration rises as I find myself clarifying things over and over again. Sometimes I feel bad, because I have to be very firm about what I'm saying, and what she needs to ignore.

Fortunately, she seems to be as hardnosed as Hassan (or me!) and doesn't seem to get her feelings hurt when I am abrupt or harsh. I still worry about it a little, though.

I could brush her off and spare myself the aggravation of answering every tedious question. That's what happened to me when I first started out. But frankly, I think that was rotten of my 'superiors,' and I don't want to do it to someone else now that I am in their position.

Plus, it helps me a lot. She is a workhorse. And if I can teach her to do something right the first time, I'm not going to have to put out a million little fires down the road.

Knowing this place, I'll be vilified no matter what I do 😂😂😂 But I can't let that stop me. 

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I had a pretty sleepless night last night, and a bad headache for the better part of this morning. 

I think the lack of sleep was due to stress. Last night, I stupidly checked my email after work hours and saw an email about adding sprinklers and utility closets to the townhouses we are doing.

It really set me off because this is the tar pit that I keep getting stuck in at this place. There's absolutely nothing I can do to avoid it. The owners let the clients keep redesigning, and then they expect me to somehow keep the deadline.

Impossible.

And I hate that I still somehow care about getting this stuff done.

Anyway, I did get to sleep last night, but then I woke up for no reason and the anxiety started. Then I was wired and had to get up. It finally occurred to that I am probably having panic attacks. That's what these agitating hyperactive episodes are, where I can't focus on anything but what is stressing me out.

I have them during the day, too, the moment I start working. My boyfriend and I use the archaic term "high dudgeon" to describe them. We refer to me as the Dudgeon Master. It's incredible how fast I go there when I sit down at my desk (a.k.a kitchen table). 

Panic attacks.

So last night, after I realized what was probably happening, I tried refocusing my attention. I focused on the ceiling lamp in the center of the bedroom. Then I took a breath, in and out.

It was amazing how much the sound of my own girly-breath helped. I could actually feel the stress leave my body, and the calm of sleep come over me.

But then the anxiety would poke through again, and a whole new cycle would begin.

Even so, I'm glad I've finally started to become aware of it.

 

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2 hours ago, maritalbliss86 said:

Evil takes advantage of the people who think others will do what's right naturally, and evil does not play fair, it doesn't agree to disagree, and it will use your own rules against you to make you accept it as, "right."

I'm not a religious person, but I am convinced that evil exists. 

I was just watching a documentary about Ed Kemper, a serial killer who committed a series of grisly murders in the early 70s. He's done a ton of interviews, which I also watched.

When you see him speak, you can understand why people thought of him as a "gentle giant." He comes off as very intelligent and self-aware, and he seems to have a thoughtful, introspective, and benign demeanor. But all of that is a perfectly rehearsed act.

Actually, he is intelligent and self-aware, but he is thoughtful and introspective only in the sense that he is extremely calculating. And he is not at all gentle or benign. 

Like many serial killers, he seems to take full responsibility for his actions while simultaneously blaming other people. While I was watching the documentary, I was reminded of a campfire.

People like Ed want you to believe that a campfire has gone out of control. They will try to get you to think, "This fire spread to other things and became a conflagration. If this fire had not been burning so intensely, and if it had not been so uncontrollable to begin with, it would not have spread to the objects around it and burned everything down."

The "fire" in Ed's case, was his domineering, abusive mother,* his absentee father, and his sexual and social frustrations. Ed would have you believe that this out of control "fire" leapt into the otherwise inert "objects" around it (one of them being his tendency towards violence), and caused a massive inferno (his murderous rampage). 

But I think the opposite is actually true. This seemingly plausible story of a circumstantial fire spreading is designed to distract away from the fact that Ed, and others similar to him, already have this massive evil inferno burning inside them when they are born.

Most people who are abused, abandoned, and/or frustrated do not turn to violence. But people like Ed feast on those things. They draw on the pain and chaos around them to fuel the flames of their own fire. They don't want to control their fire or extinguish it. They want their fire to destroy. They are driven by it.

I think one of the most interesting things he said was in one of his earliest interviews, which took place in 1981. In his later interviews, he became more adept at that sleight of hand trick that sociopaths use to deceive the rest of us into thinking they're just wounded birds; that trick where they seem to take full responsibility for their actions while simultaneously blaming other people.

But in his 1981 interview, he hadn't quite learned that level of sophistication. He said,

"I've wanted to kill my mother since I was eight years old.... It started with surrogates at a non-human level, physical objects, my possessions, other people's [possessions], destruction of things that one cared about. And then it's destruction of things that are living at a lower level, small animals, insects, animals, and then finally people."

The most telling line to me was "destruction of things that one cared about." It reminded me of how uncomfortable I used to feel as a little kid, when I was around other little kids who enjoyed destroying their toys, or other people's toys.

The destruction of things that people care about... That's the flame that Ed Kemper meticulously, secretly, deliberately, and methodically found a way to fuel throughout his life, until he could destroy and desecrate the MOST cared about things: human beings.

He'll tell you all about it, and you'll think he's the nicest guy as you watch him speak. 

____________________

* When Ed Kemper was a teenager, his mom locked him in the basement at night when the household went to sleep. But in her defense, he had been mutilating his sisters' dolls for years, he had decapitated the family pet with a bayonet (imagine the effort), killed other neighborhood animals (buried one cat alive), and he'd pointed a loaded gun at his sister's head and pulled the trigger (the bullet whizzed past her head). His mom was afraid that he'd rape his sisters. I can't really blame her. I can't imagine what I would resort to if I had to contend with a kid like that, especially when he was a giant. Ed ended up going to live with his paternal grandparents when he was 15. He killed both of them.

Edited by Jibralta
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Evil exists in two form, primary and secondary. Serial killers would be secondary in responding to the influence of primary. 
 

My Uncle, while not a murderer, well that I know of showed very definite signs of being a sociopath from a very early age. He attempted to sexually abuse and drown a 6 year old when he was 11. He had many crimes in between that and raping and planning my murder. It was foiled by my not co-operating. 

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If you sometimes look into the eyes of people like this you can see the glint of what could be primary evil. It is like their eyes change ever so slightly. You could see it in my uncle and my dad. Not something I have seen in other people . Scary as shyte. 

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37 minutes ago, Seraphim said:

He had many crimes in between that and raping and planning my murder. It was foiled by my not co-operating. 

That reminds me of something else Ed Kemper said in that 1981 interview:

"When someone abandons himself to being a victim, he's gonna have to be one."

Very glad you didn't abandon yourself!!

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Back when I was a kid, V.C. Andrews books were popular among some of my friends. I read Flowers in the Attic and at least some of that series, and (at least) part of another series based around a character called "Heaven." I'm not sure how we got ahold of those books at such a young age--they were pretty racy and morally questionable. But we did, and they were fun to read.

V.C. Andrews died at age 63, only seven years into her very successful writing career. Her family hired a ghost writer to write the rest of her books (and more). By the time I was 13 or 14, I started moving away from that genre, but apparently there are just tons of these books out there.

I just googled V.C. Andrews and found her commentary highly entertaining. About her writing, she said, "I think I tell a whopping good story. And I don't drift away from it a great deal into descriptive material. When I read, if a book doesn't hold my interest in what's going to happen next, I put it down and don't finish it. So I'm not going to let anybody put one of my books down and not finish it. My stuff is a very fast read."

I like her brass. My favorite is what she said about critics: "I don't care what the critics say. I used to, until I found out that most critics are would-be writers who are just jealous because I'm getting published and they aren't. I also don't think that anybody cares about what they say. Nor should they care."

LOL. I love it.

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On 3/21/2021 at 2:28 PM, Jibralta said:

the fact that Ed, and others similar to him, already have this massive evil inferno burning inside them when they are born.

Most people who are abused, abandoned, and/or frustrated do not turn to violence. But people like Ed feast on those things. They draw on the pain and chaos around them to fuel the flames of their own fire. They don't want to control their fire or extinguish it. They want their fire to destroy. They are driven by it

Actually I think a lot of kids who are abused, have absent fathers etc. turn to crime and violence as a way of, "venting," their deep anger and rage at what was allowed to happen to them.  

It's so tragic!!  And there's no answer, as it's only increasing at a rapid speed, at least in our country.

But that's the normal for kids who are abused, it really is.  It may not be crime or violence, but they'll turn to other things to help... drugs, different sexual preferences that harm their bodies, self-harm in various ways... that's all fairly normal, even from verbal abuse.

And abuse mysteriously causes health problems, due to the people who don't act out, internalizing all of that anger, rage, etc. at what happened to them... they explode in a myriad of health issues around middle age.  

They never really get away from the effects unless they heal from them spiritually (in my opinion).

But all that abuse goes into their bodies and has to find a way out like a vent.  When it doesn't, science knows it then goes through that person's organs and literally destroys them at a chemical level.

Edited by maritalbliss86
typos
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