#950 Why Does he do That by Lundy Bancroft

Why Does he do That by Lundy BancroftWhy Does he do That by Lundy Bancroft

Simply put, if you suspect, even a little, that you might be a relationship, or that you’ve been in a relationship, with an emotionally abusive person, you should read this book.

In my own research, trying to figure out why certain things in life have happened to me when I did nothing to deserve those things, I came across recommendations for this book. I was pleased with the subject content.

Lundy runs a program that attempts to reform men who have been abusive, both physically and mentally. This program was really one of the first programs of its kind.

This book describes behavior of the abusive person, why they do it, and what you can do. Unfortunately, the what you can do part is most often getting away rather than reforming because reforming is incredibly rare.

If you’re looking for a text-book explanation of what mental abuse is or can be, this book has you covered.

What I liked

Although this book is full of a terrible subject matter, it is highly useful. I read this book and feelings I had about relationships in the past were confirmed. I was right to trust my gut and err on the side of caution in many cases. I dealt with a “Mr. Right,” as in, someone who is always right, no matter what, you’re always to blame, you’re not as smart as they are, and they seem to have an opinion about everything. I didn’t really have a description for this before I read this book, but it fits.

This book confirmed that my actions were correct, or mostly correct, in dealing with this person. I would have liked to have known more of this when I was in the situation. I would have made different decisions, that got me out of the situation faster.

What I didn’t like

Despite having all of this explained, no one has a right to do any of this behavior, whether they be man or woman, but it still happens. These people don’t think they’re doing anything wrong because of their sense of entitlement, so they’re not just going to wake up one day and realize what they’re doing is awful. They don’t think they’re bad people, and in truth, they may not be all bad, but they’re abusive and it’s pretty much impossible to deal with them.

Everyone else just has to deal with it or escape it. There isn’t really the option of reforming this person, because it’s like many other things–they have to make the choice on their own to change and if they don’t realize they’re doing anything wrong, they can’t admit they’re doing anything wrong, and therefore cannot start the process of change.

In my experience, you have to get away from the person–cut them out of your life. No phone calls. No emails. No addresses exchange. The less they know about you, the better. The less you know about them, the better. This person, or persons, whatever the case may be, doesn’t have a right to your life. End of story.

Overall

You should read this; no matter where you’re coming from this book will help you recognize abuse whether it’s your own life, or a friend’s. This book will point you in a direction that’s productive.

Weigh In

If you’ve had a toxic person in your life, what did you ultimately end up doing in regards to that person?

If you have been in an abusive relationship, spouse-spouse, parent-child, whatever, do you find that it negatively affected your life views from that point forward?

#937 Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown

Adulting by Kelly Williams BrownAdulting by Kelly Williams Brown

Being an adult is not easy sometimes, but never fear, Kelly has written a book that you can follow to become an adult in 468 easy(ish) steps. Kelly really tries to cover all the grounds for being an adult. These include renting an apartment, paying your bills, saving for retirement, taking the higher road in some situations, and generally keeping yourself alive and off of the street.

What I liked

I thought this book was fun, but it certainly wasn’t something I needed. I practically raised my three younger brothers, I worked full-time and went to school full-time when I was getting my first degree. I’ve been married, divorced, bought a house, sold a house, and bought several cars. I’ve paid plenty of bills. I save for retirement and do responsible adult things and I’ve been doing those responsible adult things for quite a while.

Now, that isn’t to say that this book doesn’t have a place, because it totally does. I know of plenty of people who wouldn’t be able to do half of the things in this book without some guidance. There are people who need this. There are twenty-somethings who don’t know how to write checks or have any idea how much it actually costs to live on your own. Newsflash– you have to be making around $40K a year to live comfortably on your own, and that’s not a great comfortable. If some of those twenty-somethings read this book, they might learn a few things and it would be to their benefit.

What I didn’t like

Kelly has a lot of great advice, but there’s some of it that is so-so on the advice scale. Kelly states that buying a used car from a car lot is not a good idea. Yeah, maybe buying a used car from a backwoods car lot, out at a four-way intersection, run out of a single-wide trailer isn’t the greatest idea, but buying a used car from a car lot that also sells new cars, or has certified pre-owned programs isn’t a bad idea. Sometimes, people trade in their cars at the car lot and there’s nothing wrong with them.

Some of Kelly’s social advice seems very superficial. Look, I get that people generally don’t go around talking about their digestive issues, or whatever, upon first meeting, but, you know what, sometimes friendships happen that way. Sometimes you find a person who is in your tribe by talking about something weird and if you hadn’t talked about that weird thing you might have never seen them again.

I also think Kelly has a lot to learn in some aspects, which is fine. We all mature and reach certain mile stones at different points in our lives.

Overall

Being an adult means eating zucchini is a choice you made happily.

Weigh In

When did you realize that you were an adult?

Was there some advice someone gave you about being an adult that really helped you out?

#929 The Private History of a Campaign that Failed by Mark Twain

The Private History of a Campaign that Failed by Mark TwainThe Private History of a Campaign that Failed by Mark Twain

Mark Twain was in the military for a short time, about two weeks or so and it did not go well. At the very least, according to him it didn’t go well. This story is his side of what happened during his two weeks in the military. As you can imagine, there were some interesting happenings.

What I liked

Mark Twain was a funny guy. He even made himself up a silly pseudonym to go with his writing.

Mark made his was experience seem funny, no doubt he exaggerated quite a bit. War isn’t funny, but Mark was able to make it a bit funny. There’s some not-so-great moments, of course, but overall, this was pretty entertaining.

What I didn’t like

I can’t really say that I didn’t like it.

Overall

I wonder if he wore that suit to war.

Weigh In

If you went through a terrible time, would you find a humorous way to tell it to others?

Were you ever a part of something that was supposed to be great, but ended up pretty sad?

#928 A Life that Matters by Mary and Robert Schindler

A Life that Matters by Mary and Robert SchindlerA Life that Matters by Mary and Robert Schindler

For fifteen years Terri Schiavo lived between hospitals, nursing homes, and being taken care of her family. Her husband, Michael, had complete legal right to make all medical decisions for Terri, but those decisions weren’t always the best.

The whole thing started when Michael called his in-laws one night saying that Terri had collapsed. No one knew what happened or why. The family soon learned that Terri was never going to be the same again. The doctors didn’t think she would ever recover, but there was some hope. Terri could do small things and was getting rehabilitation at some point, but there was no money. Michael went to court to try to get money for Terri’s rehabilitation saying that all the money would go towards Terri’s care, but that didn’t happen. The money seemed to disappear. Michael got a girlfriend.

Terri was moved from facility to facility. Sometimes her parents and family would be barred from seeing her. There were multiple times that her feeding tube was taken out. Ultimately, there were several trials where the family argued against Michael about whether or not Terri should continue receiving food and water. Meanwhile, Terry could respond to some things. The family sought the help of the Florida governor, Jeb Bush, and got the support of many celebrities, but ultimately, Terri’s feeding tube was removed and she did die. The family has worked since then to help people in similar situations.

What I liked

The name Terri Schiavo is a name I’ve heard before, but I didn’t know the full extent of what happened, so I found this whole book very interesting and enriching, even if it is quite sad.

There is definitely a huge ethical argument in Terri’s story that people do need to think about.

What I didn’t like

There are two sides to this story and this is only one side. As is, I lean towards Terri’s parents’ side. If there was any response from Terri, that she could respond and interact, then she shouldn’t have been taken off of her feeding tube, especially, if her parents wanted her alive.

I used to work in a nursing home. I took care of several people on feeding tubes. None of them were entirely unresponsive. I even took care of several people who never spoke, but were definitely still in there somewhere. They had to be fed and cared for in all ways, but they still had responses to things–facial expressions and so forth. Would I have ever said that any of them deserved to be starved to death just because they didn’t respond like everyone else? No. They were people, someone’s mother, grandmother, whatever.

On the other hand, if I had had a patient that didn’t move, ever, and did nothing, and just existed on a feeding tube and catheter, I would feel very sorry for that person. There’s obviously nothing there.

On the one hand, I would never want to be in a state anywhere near Terri’s state. I wouldn’t want to live. I kind of think that if you have some incurable condition and you don’t want to live, it’s your choice. That’s why people have DNRs. For example, let’s say you have a living will stating that if your brain is without oxygen for five minutes, or whatever, that you don’t want to be resuscitated because of all the brain damage you would have, that’s a legitimate thing. Some brain damage is ok, but who wants to live in a state where their brain has been so severely damaged that they’re not remotely who they were before? Or they can’t walk? Or talk? Or eat? Or whatever?

On the other hand, if what Terri’s parents’ say about her being responsive to some things is true, then her parents should have been able to have kept Terri around. Terri should have lived. If Michael didn’t want to be the guardian over Terri, then her parents should have been able to do it.

Part of this whole thing really sounds like Michael just wanted to be rid of his wife. He didn’t want the responsibility for her–that’s really what it sounds like. Fine, let her parents do it. Don’t be a jerk about it. He even had Terri buried without her parents even knowing, which is a terrible jerk move.

On the other, other hand–if Terri had really expressed a desire to die if something like this ever happened to her, then that should have been written down somewhere. If you feel so strongly about something like this–write it down. Get it notarized, or whatever. That way, if it does happen, your choice is already made and people know it.

This whole thing is very sad.

Overall

This whole thing would have been solved with a living will.

Weigh In

What would you do if you were in Terri’s place?

Who do you think was in the right? If anybody? Maybe they were all wrong.

#922 The World’s Worst Backpacker by Ken La Salle

The World's Worst Backpacker by Ken Le SalleThe World’s Worst Backpacker by Ken La Salle

Ken has always wanted to hike the PST trail. It doesn’t stand for Pacific Standard Time, but it’s pretty close. Why doesn’t Ken just do this? Well, several things— he’s a little out of shape, he buys the wrong hiking supplies, his friends and girlfriend don’t want to hike and several other things.

Ken thinks his girlfriend won’t be supportive of his hiking plans, but she is. She even offers to buy him bear boxes to keep his stuff in.

There’s no getting out of it, Ken has to go hiking. He starts practicing by hiking smaller hikes. Some are ok and some are awful. Some things are funny. There are aches and pains and accidents galore. Despite not having everything, Ken still enjoys his backpacking experiences.

What I liked

I like hiking so I liked this book, for the most part. Ken is funny, but he does talk about sex a whole lot.

I haven’t been backpacking, but I do know that it’s not as simple as throwing a water bottle and granola bars in a backpack and walking into the woods. It takes preparation. Ken’s story is a good lesson in taking the correct things and making adequate preparations for a long hiking trip.

What I didn’t like

While Ken is funny, sometimes it seems like a bit much.

There were times Ken was poorly prepared. Maybe he should have known better, but I don’t have enough experience to say whether or not he should have known better.

Overall

Pack your pack well.

Weigh in

Would you go backpacking?

If so, what is something frivolous you would take with you?