Life | Social Media

Drama Queens & Tricoteuses

By on March 9, 2018
Drama Queens

Drama QueenThe Drama Queen

Let’s be honest, we’ve all been there and done the whole Drama Queen thing.  We all have events happen in life that we don’t like or we can’t control and we all have a need to vent.  We want the world to know!  We want tea and sympathy!  And people to agree with us!

In real life, this is usually self-limiting in terms of both behaviour and reward.  We tell our nearest and dearest, they say ‘there-there’, make tea and serve it with cake and platitudes.  We feel better, we move on.  On social media, however, the role can become rather more problematic both for the Queen and the others around them.

On social media, there are vast numbers of people we can reach out to and although we call them ‘friends’, in reality for most of us they are little more than acquaintances at best, strangers at worst.  By posting on social media we get a huge reward for our dramatic behaviour in terms of quantity – and also sometimes – quality of response.

Sadly, if we already have attention seeking issues and we allow the  Drama Queen to become our default go-to persona every time we go online we can spend our whole life in a state of heightened angst which is perpetuated and encouraged by our so-called ‘friends’.

The other side of this is, of course, the age-old Boy Who Cried Wolf – if our every other post is some catastrophe, offence, or suicide threat, on that one day when we actually need someone everyone is going to roll their eyes and think, ‘more of the same’.

When we are in full Drama Queen mode we are in desperate need of attention; we want people to notice our plight, empathise and be on our side.  At this stage, we are particularly vulnerable to the Tricoteuse.

The Tricoteuse

This person thrives on drama – especially other people’s.  They will be more than happy to give the Drama Queen every ounce of attention he or she may feel they are lacking and keep on coming back for more.  They are often happy to take the moral high ground on just about anything and tell us how right we are and how awful the other person/people is/are.    Sadly, however, they

Les Tricoteuses – women who knitted at the guillotine whilst heads rolled

really need some drama in their own life so they will not exactly be giving us the chance to move on.  Instead, expect all sorts of moral indignation and bosom shelving.  They are also more than happy to exacerbate the situation by making ‘helpful’ suggestions of what one should do next, or how they would do this that or the other ‘if that happened to me’.  Of course, they would do no such thing but are quite happy to watch others do so.

Often this may stop short of actually encouraging someone to engage in criminal activity, although I have seen people suggest that someone smashes up a house as an act of revenge, or trash someone’s car.  Whilst revenge may be fun to fantasise over and it might make one feel better in the short term it can also end up in all sorts of trouble that will make the original issue pale by comparison.

Of course, at this stage, the Tricoteuse who is always on our side, will be conspicuous by their absence having moved on to the next, much safer, drama.

Naming and Shaming is one of the key phrases of a Tricoteuse.  Again, we’ve probably all been there, I know I have told people to do this in the past and I do believe that there are circumstances where this could be appropriate (bullying springs to mind).  However, if this is just an act of revenge on our part we should maybe consider how that makes us look, what benefit anyone will gain, will it end up with a visit from the police, and ultimately are we just being guilty of bullying and harassment online?  Remember also that however bad we think someone’s actions are, people have actually killed themselves as a result of being publicly shamed.

This is a strange relationship – the Tricoteuse is not being supportive for altruistic reasons or because they are our friend. He or she is not encouraging us to help us although they might actually believe this to be the case.  In reality, they feel important and involved in something because guess what?  Either they have an empty life or they crave attention almost as much as the Drama Queen.  On top of this for some people, there is an element of schadenfreude:  They are actually getting off on watching you explode.  If they can spread the anger, hate and angst further afield they will and if they can big themselves up in the process and make themselves look good, all the better.  If you believe in vampires, look no further than the habitual tricoteuse.  They will literally feed off your anger and upset until you are sucked dry.


A friend, online or in real life, may well comment on our drama.  They may well empathise and say how awful something is.  In fact, they may do all of the things we will see in The Tricoteuse.  The difference is that a real friend will not encourage us to break the law or continue to wind us up in order to perpetuate a situation. Often they are attacked by the Tricoteuse for not being supportive enough or perhaps suggesting that they are ‘taking sides’ against us.   A real friend, or even actually a half decent human being, will try their best to calm the waters, and will not offer advice that will land other people in the poop.


And finally, if our lives are always filled with unpleasant dramas we should consider that maybe we are the ones bringing it to the table.




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Life | Relationships

The Forgiveness Delusion

By on December 30, 2017

To Err is Human, to forgive Divine


I thought I was pretty good on forgiveness. Even my brother who was pretty savvy with people once said to me (regarding a decade-long argument with a family member), ‘I wish I could forgive it but I can’t, I haven’t got the grace to do it. I wish I had your grace, you manage to forgive people, even for the most awful things’. At the time I would have agreed – now I am not so sure.

I would say that I am mostly pretty good on forgiveness. If someone gives me an apology for something I usually take it and mean it. I also believe I can recognise flaws in my own interactions with others and will apologise readily and mean it.

But what if someone has done something so bad, so terrible, with such long-lasting effects that you simply cannot find it within you to forgive?

“To err is human, to forgive divine”, said Pope in his poem An Essay on Criticism. On one hand, I would agree – we all make mistakes and we could all use a little forgiveness. Sometimes our behaviour is understandable, there are real and valid reasons why someone acts in a certain way. It could be upbringing, it could be mental illness, a traumatic event, it could be a lack of social skills. Oftentimes the knowledge of these things does indeed allow us to forgive because we can understand the reasons why something happened.

On the other hand, a reason is not the same as an excuse. Repeating the same behaviour over and over again when one could have dealt with it the first, second or even third time, pretty much negates the reason as an excuse in my book. Systematic abuses of people over decades, being repeatedly left as a result of this and still not looking at oneself, still blaming someone else, anyone else, again removes any possibility of using any reason to excuse yourself.

ForgivenessSo I repeat:  Yes, there are reasons, but having a reason is not an excuse, it does not excuse it or exempt one from the responsibility for or the consequences of that action, and we still need to atone or make good for what we have done, if indeed that option is still open to us.

I’ve tried, I really have. I actually believed for a long time I had succeeded. I maintained polite relations with this person. I accepted a half-hearted apology. ‘I must have really hurt you and if I did I am sorry’, all the time looking confused about what one could possibly have done that was so bad, despite having been told probably hundreds of times over a decade.  This is a half-arsed apology in my book and merely becomes self-seeking and irrelevant when used to precede an attempt at reconciliation. But that said, I thought I’d accepted the apology and moved on. I was wrong. I’m still angry and the fact that they thought I was so stupid that I was going to give them another go at destroying me just makes it worse.

Some things I can remember as clear as day (mostly things I don’t really want to) and others I cannot recall at all. This is distressing because my children will remind me of things and I genuinely have no clue what they are talking about. It isn’t that they can expand and I go ‘oh yeah, I remember now’. It simply isn’t there in a place I can get to it.

I know I could go and see someone, get these memories back but if I have repressed good memories I have obviously repressed them alongside something not so good. What if the stuff I can’t remember is actually worse than the stuff I can? Do I want to deal with those and the inevitable fall-out that would occur?

What makes it worse is watching them come out of every situation smelling of roses, twisting the truth so they are the perpetual victim. So I cut the ties as far as I can and I try to remove them, expunge them from my psyche.

I’m not even sure why this is all coming up at a point where I have been away from the situation almost as long as I was in it. I want to cry as I write this but tears just will not come.

And so, forgiveness is just not in me for this particular person.

I hope it comes soon, I’ve had enough of them.


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Poetry | Writing/Creativity

The Uninvited Guest – A Poem by someone who doesn’t write poems.

By on September 11, 2017

You come creeping  on slow, silent feet.

You enter my life unbidden and unwelcome spreading shadows in your wake.

Your tiny whispers poison me; sucking the life from my soul.

You come as a friend, a mother, a lover,

A confidante with gestures of concern to disguise your malevolence.

Your tiny voice slips in under the radar, quiet at first until it booms

in my brain.

Your demands to be heard will not be denied.

Slowly your critique undermines, gently, sweetly at first.

A question here, a comment there.

Time  passes and you grow strong.

My Will, My Self is eroded away.

I  diminish as you grow, fading softly and imperceptibly into the void.

Now there is no ‘me’, there is only you, my uninvited guest.

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Life | Uncategorized

Getting Over Myself ….Slowly!

By on September 9, 2017

I’ve been in two minds about posting this one because it is essentially about the long term effects of bullying and abuse and how that leads to feelings of insecurity.  However, in the end I just thought, ‘what the hell’, and wrote it anyway.  No names are mentioned and they probably wouldn’t bother reading it anyway!  However, I am aware that the subject  matter of this blog may cause a reaction in some people so be warned.

I’ve been considering of late my long-standing battle with insecurity, something I feel from time to time and something I have experienced to a greater or lesser extent for most of my adult life. Thankfully it seems to happen less and has become less protracted and severe as I get older.


Uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; lack of confidence:


The state of being open to danger or threat; lack of protection.

It has various synonyms including: lack of confidence · lack of self-confidence · self-doubt


My own insecurity is most often expressed through my personal relationships – with both friends and partners and although as I said before that now I have reached ‘a certain age’ the problem has lessened, I still find these old feelings surfacing from time to time for a myriad of (usually) fairly idiotic reasons.

I’ve sat down many times to ponder this and I am well aware that the root cause of most of my insecurity is bullying in one way, shape or form which is why I feel very strongly against any form of bullying, particularly for things people cannot change ie, their looks, gender, sexuality, race, colour and so on.

At school I was extensively bullied due to my looks – even the teachers thought it was OK to have the occasional crack – and OK, unless Picasso is suddenly resurrected I am never going to be an oil painting, but I would have thought I’d be over that by now.  My looks have never seemed to hold me back in my professional or personal life so objectively I have no evidence to support the fact that most of the time I think I look like the back end of a bus.  After a crash.  With a Rhino.  However, that scar in ones psyche never goes away and it drifts to the surface from time to time.

Along with this goes the feeling of not being good enough. Good enough for what? Usually other people – good enough friend, good enough mother, good enough wife, good enough lover, the list goes on and on even when it is again not supported by objective evidence.

Yes, I have made myriad mistakes in the course of my 50+ years on the planet.  I am only human so of course I have had my moments when for whatever reason I have failed others and myself.  I do however, have enough self knowledge to recognise this and will make amends when I am allowed to do so but I still tend to beat myself up to extreme levels once I get dragged down into the fog of insecurity.

Of course the fact that the bullying continued in one form or another into my early adult years when my personality was still forming and I should have been coming into my own has not helped. At this time I became subjected to what would eventually amount to almost 2 decades of abusive treatment which took myriad forms and which I am not going to go into detail here. This is not because I am seeking to protect the perpetrator(s) but because the details would a) potentially upset too many people who are close to me and who I actually do care about and b) I honestly do not think I would be believed by those same people and I just don’t want to put myself or them through it.

It is a sad fact that a narcissistic abuser can come out of any situation with a distorted sense of reality coupled with an almost supernatural ability to convince others of the veracity of the reality they have created in which – of course – they are the victim.

Suffice it to say that a couple of decades of being told you are too fat, too stupid, insane, frigid, generally compared unfavourably to ‘the one that got away’ and essentially being told that you really should spend your entire life trying to transform into this perfect being that was loved and lost,  is bound to take its toll. When almost every meaningful intimate/sexual relationship you have had for the majority of your adult life is characterised by abuse – sexual, emotional and financial – or by cheating, lying and general arseholism there is bound to be a long term knock on effect.

I shall add here that my husband does not fall into any of these categories and is (mostly!) wonderful hence I married him!

And of course on top of this is the unresolved anger at these people and with myself for putting up with it for so long and allowing people to treat me badly. Who can blame my brain for having a hypersensitive warning system?  Self preservation demanded that this developed in order to prevent my ever being in a similar situation from which I then have to extricate myself and go through all the associated crap all over again.

Sadly, this is often expressed by emotional if not physical withdrawal from the person who is either the ‘source’ or more accurately, the target of my feelings of insecurity. I have learnt not to react at the time the actual emotion happens, I will avoid mentioning anything at all where possible because I know from experience that after a few hours or a nights sleep I no longer feel the same way.  I have singularly failed however to develop the ability to stop reacting on an energetic level and to have that picked up on by other people. But I continue to try my best.

So I strive to sustain the process of getting over myself and as I do I shall continue to remind myself  from time to time how much better my life is now, how I have risen above all of this, how much stronger I am as a result of the events of my past and how much I have got going for me in terms of my marriage,  family, personal relationships, friendships and the overall amount of love and good things in my life.

I am truly blessed.

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