Friday, January 31, 2014

CTNAHM-Contrasting the Types Part 5 (The Wives!)

p 133-134

Today we are comparing how the different types of men treat their wives, and what they expect of them.

Compared
Mr. Command needs a lady to serve him. Mr. Visionary needs a lady to talk with him. Both Command and Visionary need their ladies to admire them. A Steady man needs a lady to walk beside him, a counterpart. She needs to know that is her role. She needs to know how she can become his colleague in life. Mr. Steady will need to find ways she can become his functioning help meet. As his help meet she really NEEDS to be getting things done.
   Alright. Let me be very clear. People do not deserve to be served by others. People don't automatically deserve respect or honor, just because they want it. Also, comparing expecting servitude and expecting wives to talk to their husbands is not an equal comparison! It should go without saying that if you're in a relationship, you're talking to each other. And I don't think it's fair that Michael assumes it's OK that certain types of men have an actual need to be admired, but no directives as to how to earn that admiration.
   Oh, and I really, really love that Mrs. Steady NEEDS to be getting things done. And the very, very clear implication that by "getting things done" really means "getting things Mr. Steady wants done".
Mr. Steady needs to learn to stand up to his bossy wife, while Mr. Visionary needs to get his head out of the clouds of dreams and go to work. Mr. Command needs to come home and tell his wife he loves her.
   While some of these things are good starts, honestly, it is going to take more than telling one's wife that they are loved is enough to fix a marriage. It's a good start, but love is shown in more than words, and if your words say "I love you", and your actions say "I deserve your respect and honor regardless of what I do", then you may need to rethink your tactics!

Mr. Command Man might be jealous of his wife's success and take it as a put-down. He wants her full attention, to be the only game in town. The immature Command Man who doesn't accomplish much on his own may be jealous of any success she might achieve apart from him. I have watched men publicly roll their eyes when someone happens to compliment the little lady on an achievement. In his insecurity he refuses to allow her to do something that would be helpful to him because he doesn't want her to perform better than he. When a man treats his help meet in that manner he is cutting off the one God provided to assist him in becoming more successful. Don't maintain your height by making your wife stay seated.
   Ugh. Decent advice is playing "Where's Waldo" with toxic poison. "Don't maintain your height by making your wife stay seated." should be cross-stitched into a plaque and given to every couple who buys the Pearl's books. However when it's surrounded by jealous Command Men not wanting their wife to have success, and "immature" men rolling their eyes when their ladies get compliments-good lines kind of get lost.
   And part of me is wondering if Michael is the type that rolls his eyes, or if he attributes everything Debi does to him...yeah. I think the second one is the best option. After all, he "approved every word" of her book.
   Oh, and just to be clear. It is perfectly OK for both parties in a relationship to have successes independent of each other. If you find yourself upset when your partner succeeds, the problem is you-not her success.

Mr. Visionary gets excited and even frantic when he is suddenly possessed of a vision. The last thing he wants at that point is for someone to tell him his idea is crazy. In the morning he may see that it's crazy, but if his wife tells him that it's unworkable before he discovers it for himself, he will take it as a rejection of him rather than an objective analysis by an unbiased party.
   I deal with Bipolar Disorder, and even medicated, there are times when I am possessed of a vision. Like writing a musical, or running for city council. What I appreciate is when my husband says "That sounds interesting. Let's talk about it in the morning." Or "That's not going to work. What's next on your list?" I'm trying to say, it is possible to tell your partner that they are drinking their own Kool-Aid without it being seen as a rejection. What is with the super-sensitive men that Michael writes about? They can't handle their wives success, they can't handle being told that their ideas are fanciful...Who would want someone like that?
Visionaries live on the mountain peaks of adrenaline-laced joy. They slide off into the valley of depression often enough so when they are peaking out on good feelings, they want their wives to dance and share their exhilaration. If she doesn't go up and down with him, he too may just cut her off emotionally.
   Wow. So Mr. Visionary wants Mrs. Visionary to ride the roller coaster of his mood swings with him? Where is the sentence on understanding Mrs. Visionary's feelings? What happened to the idea that women are supposed to regulate their husband's emotions of a few chapters back? Why is Mr. Visionary's moods and feelings the only ones that matter? And why is cutting off the wife emotionally always the fallback?
Of all the men, Mr. Visionary needs to learn to incorporate his wife into his life, for BOTH their sakes. And he must not take it personally when she has a mind and emotions of her own. Mister, since it is not her nature to be a Visionary, she may just be a whole lot more objective than you are. You look at the details through a microscope while she sees the whole picture. Don't cut her off for being more objective than you. It is her nature to be what she is. You are the immature one.
   Yes, it's important to incorporate one's wife into one's life. But why act surprised when she has a mind or emotions of her own? WOMEN ARE PEOPLE, TOO! Head/wall.
   Oh, and how does Michael know that every Mrs. Visionary isn't a Visionary herself? And isn't Mr. Command the only one that sees the whole picture? Because women can't  be trusted to make decisions because of dem hormonez.

Mr. Steady is short-sighted in regard to his role as head of the family. He will take the lead if everybody is willing to follow, but if his wife balks, he will chose peace over power any day and all night, "Hen-pecked" and Steady Men are synonymous. A Command Man is never hen-pecked. His hen follows or gets left behind. The Visionary is too controlled by his drives to sit in one spot long enough to get pecked, but Mr. Steady will tend to sit on the nest and let the hen do as she pleases if she just lets him fertilize her eggs from time to time.
   Ah, yes. Mr. Steady is a hen-picked coward who lets his dominate wife dictate his life in exchange for some nookie every now and again. Command Men and Visionaries who threaten to "cut off" their wives emotionally if she disagrees are SOOO much more preferred.
   Speaking as a hen-pecker, my husband lets me make most of the decisions because I care more about things than he does. It's not that I'm usurping his authority because of his lack of a backbone. I'm just more emotionally invested in more things than he is. And there's nothing wrong with that! There's nothing wrong with both parties making equal decisions, either!  I still can't believe that Michael thinks there are three types of men, but only one type of successful relationship-the kind where the man leads all the time.

Dumb Things Husbands Say
Now, I didn't create this list, but some of these things sound rather intelligent to me. It's the little lady's perspective that matters.

  • You need to lose weight
  • Why don't you call my mom and ask her how to cook it?
  • Your family is weird.
  • You can't really be that dumb.
  • You didn't used to think like that!
  • You will feel differently when you are off your cycle.
  • All the other guys' wives are cool with it.
  • Who put that dumb idea in your head, your mother?
  • You are not being logical.
  • You are totally missing the point.
  • I'll do it this weekend.
  • Hurry up with the kids and clean up, because I've got plans for you.
  • Not now! I'm trying to watch the news!
  • Shut the kids up before I come and shut them up myself! I can't even hear this show!
   Funny thing is, if Debi ever said ANY of these to Michael, he would probably flip out. And I am totally freaked out by the "Hurry up" one. Does it sound foreboding to anyone else?  One more thing, if you find yourself saying these things to your partner often, please stop and think about what you say before you say it. Because this could be considered emotional abuse-calling people stupid, fat, dumb, weird...not nice at all, but especially for one's partner!

Next time, we learn how to heal marriages. I know you're excited.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Medicine, Medicine, As Far As The Eye Can See

I know my regular posting schedule has been off. I do apologise for being inconsistent. But there's a good reason for it.

   Since my sister died in September, I have had a hard time finding energy. My sister passed Sept 12, and since Sept 30, we've had foster kids. So it has been stress after stress after stress. For the past 4,5 months, whenever I get downtime, I sleep. Or else I watch Netflix in bed all day and don't change out of my jammies for 2-3 days. My house has been a mess for the past few months, and the kids are getting used to eating boxed or canned foods, because I only cook once or twice a week. I get next to nothing accomplished, unless I have external motivation (like a social worker visit).
   My therapist suggested that I might be dealing with depression. I told her that was stupid, because I have Bipolar disorder, and usually depression is just a phase for a few hours/days.  I talked to my husband about it, and he agreed with my therapist.
   So I got more medicine, this time antidepressants. And things are starting to change. I want to get up, I want to...I don't know...be productive again. But some days it's still so hard to find the willpower to function. So, I apologise for my scattered postings.
   In a lot of ways, parts of me died with my sister, and I'm just trying to figure out how to live again.

Monday, January 27, 2014

CTNAHM-Contrasting The Types Part 4 (Every Man Will Lose His Wife-Unless He Follows Michael's Advice)

p 131-132

We are still contrasting the three types of men. Today, though, we're going into depth about the weaknesses and strengths of Mr. Command, the Visionary, and Mr. Steady. Michael even makes some decent points.
Text is in purple

Contrasting the Three Types
Each type has extremes in how he relates to his wife. Good advice to one type would be inappropriate for a man of a different nature. It is important that you come to know yourself so you will understand your natural strengths and weaknesses.
   It's true that advice for some is not OK for others. It's also true that it is important to know yourself. What Michael doesn't add is that it's important to know your strengths/weaknesses so you can work on making your weaknesses less weak (the phrase "turning weakness into strength", while it comes to mind, seems a bit too ideal. For most people, making their weaknesses not as debilitating or harmful is as good as it gets.), and make sure that your strengths aren't so out of control they turn into stumbling blocks.

Strengths
  Mr. Command will see men as sheep without a shepherd and organize them into a working body, helping them make use of their talents to their full potential. He is the overseer and commander where one is needed.
   Ah, yes. People are sheep. And Mr. Command is just the one to organise them-into whatever HE sees fit. I have re-read the chapter on Command Men, and strangely enough, nowhere in there does it talk about helping people make use of their talents. The chapter talks about the importance of Command Men, descriptions of Mr. C, warnings about pride, vague generalities and threats, how to "mold" one's wife into the proper help meet, and Michael's boasts. Nothing that I could find backs up his idea that Mr. C's help people use their talents. Actually, the way I understand it, Mr. C doesn't care what you're good at-unless it directly effects him-he just wants people that do what he says, when he says! (If you think I've misunderstood, please do let me know)
Mr. Visionary will be focused. He will see things other people don't notice. He is a fountain of ideas; nothing is impossible. He makes himself the conscience of society, judging and attempting to change things for the better. He is often radical and ready to march to his own drum. Women are rarely so focused unless they are sharing a dream with their man.
   Those darn unfocused wimmin, it's pry their lady hormonez gettin' in the way.  I am holding back the tide of sarcastic/snarky things I want to say. Except this. I decorate cakes, and let me tell you, it takes INSANE focus to spend 15+hours on a 500 serving cake that has to be perfect for a wedding. And no, cake decorating isn't my husband's dream-it's my own. He doesn't share my dream, but he supports me in it. That's because we're a team, not just 2 people that live together and agree that only the ideas and needs of the man matter.
Mr. Steady is the man everybody likes. He is agreeable and not outwardly judgmental. He is the last to change and the first to decline getting in the public eye-appearing humble. He is the priest ready to show compassion and care for the wounded. He is the muscle and the patience that builds a house, a city, or a nation. Without him the world would have many visions, few leaders, and no one to materialize the dreams.
   It's interesting that Michael added "appearing humble" and "not outwardly judgmental" to Mr. Steady's lists of strengths. Apparently Steadies are secretly arrogant, proud, judging jerks in private, but play the nice guy in public. Which really seems to go against comparing Mr. Steadies to Jesus (the priest).

Weaknesses
Mr. Command, if he doesn't succeed, can become an obnoxious tyrant in a very small circle that may be no larger than his family. Dictators are Command Men gone awry. He expects to be honored and to hold a place of prominence, even when he doesn't deserve it. He is arrogant and proud. He will boss his wife like he bosses his yardmen and expect her to jump to attention.
   I have known a few "Command Men" in my life, and success really had very little impact on their obnoxious tyranny. Michael makes it sound like the only reason Mr.C's go bad is because they don't get their way. He doesn't mention anything about ultimate authority. I mean, in this culture, men are taught that they are basically God in their family. They only answer to God (and speak for him), or the authority of Elders in the church. Considering home-churching is something that's encouraged, it makes potential oversight almost impossible. Dictators aren't Command Men gone awry. They are people who answer to no one, and can do what they like to whomever they like. Until a rebellion or death stops them, at least.
Mr. Visionary will jump from one fantastic plan to another, succeed wildly, and then fail miserably, blaming someone else for it, possibly becoming radical, even violent, maybe a revolutionary. He does not always give his best energies to his family, sometimes sacrificing their comfort and security in pursuit of his vision. He reaches for the stars while she mops the floors.
   The weaknesses of a Visionary are all over the board, aren't they? And it sounds like being Mrs. Visionary would be truly awful. And still, I'm reminded of the story that Michael moved his family far away from their home, with no job, and they ate cabbage and animal-grade corn for a winter. It seems that Michael should heed his own advice about knowing his weaknesses.
Mr. Steady can waste away in mediocrity if he does not stir himself to creativity, and he can become a shadow to his wife's dominance if he doesn't take the reins and lead the family. He will talk when he should be working and work when he should be at home ministering to his wife and children. He will sacrifice truth for peace, and will lie to keep from hurting someone's feelings.
   Some people just aren't creative. My husband, for example. He is sweet, hard working, patient, and gentle. But a butter knife is only a butter knife, never a screwdriver or crowbar. There is no outside of the box for him. Yet he is not mediocre. Mediocrity and creativity are not opposite ends of the spectrum. That's like comparing apples to napkins! They are two completely different traits, and really shouldn't be compared. And again, I feel the need to stress, it's OK for the woman to lead. Or the couple to lead together. Every family is different, has a different dynamic, and different things work for them. It's not a bad thing! I think it's funny that Michael says "good advice for one type would be inappropriate for another" at the beginning of this section, and yet is fine with pigeonholing every marital relationship into "Man lead, women follow."
   I wish Michael would explain what he means by "ministering".

Road to Ruin
Mr. Command can ruin his marriage by not showing love and compassion toward his wife. If he gets irritated and shows his disdain by refusing to talk or just fails to appreciate her, he is shutting the door to his marriage. No woman can continue being shut out. She will break or leave; either way it is a lose-lose marriage for both. The Command Man will think he can do better without her, but he is establishing a pattern that will follow him all the days of his life.
   Hallelujah! Women (or anyone) need love and compassion and appreciation. I will even throw in an amen, because I am quite happy that Michael included this line. Though I have a feeling what Michael sees as appreciation and what I see it as are very different. And I have to wonder, how many times has Michael told Debi he could do better without her.
Mr. Visionary can ruin his marriage by being focused on his own dreams, thus not responsible. If he fails to put her needs before his visions he is proving he loves himself more than he loves his wife. A woman's natural drive is to have a safe haven for her children. If she feels too swamped she will leave for safer ground. He will not do well losing his family.
   Um...Isn't it possible for a wife to say "Honey, I am feeling overwhelmed by all of your ideas and decisions. I am feeling unsafe and a bit scared. Could you please focus on the family for a bit, and maybe we can help you with your ideas?" Why is communication never an option? Just "You'll lose your wife/kingdom if you don't do this!" Also, what is "safer ground" if a wife (with no work experience, money, job prospects, and a passel of children) leaves her Visionary husband? Moving back in with her parents? Mooching off of a friend? Because it sure seems, to a wife in that situation, the devil she knows would be better than the devil she doesn't.
Mr. Steady probably will not ruin his marriage; instead he will just make it miserable for himself and his wife, as well as the community and the church. If he feels too uncomfortable to talk, teach, or share his feelings he will just retreat to a place he feels safe, leaving his family miserably unfulfilled. Their lives will be unexceptional.
   I'm unsure how Mr. Steady's social awkwardness (isn't that what it sounds like it is?) would make the church miserable. My husband felt too uncomfortable to talk, teach, or share his feelings in church-and you know what happened? People pretty much ignored him. Nobody was hurt, nobody felt awkward. It is possible to have happy mediums in life, but I guess not in PearlWorld.
   And I would like to say, again, Mrs. Steady should be able to say "Honey, it really bothers me that you don't stand up for yourself or for me. I need to feel like I'm important enough to you that you will defend me when your mother makes snide comments." Or something. Though living with someone who constantly retreats to a "safe place" would probably be unhealthy.
  Oh, one more thing. Who is Michael to judge what is exceptional and not?

Throughout this book, I am consistently amazed how Michael can take good advice and surround it by toxic teachings, and his lack of introspection.
   

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

CTNAHM-Contrasting the Types Part 3 (Psychic Michael Knows All)

p 130-131

Last time we read a story about Debi going to a doctor's office, and applying the "foolproof" techniques of identifying type to relate to two different doctors. Today, we're continuing this story. Well, I say continuing this story, but really, Michael starts extrapolating about the docs. This has to be the most blatant use of his prophetic powers yet. In fact, I would say this rivals some of Debi's famous knowing-everything-about-everyone judgments. I hope you're excited. I know I am!
Text is in purple.

Good Doctor's Wives
Dr. Steady is married. He probably married a nice Go-to girl that is busy doing her own thing. She will like the fact that he works for Dr. Command because she likes to get things done. For more information on the three types of women, read Debi's book "Preparing to Be a Help Meet".
   The title of this section makes me feel uncomfortable. Is he implying that these and only these options would be good for the doctors? Is he saying that the doctors are good? (Remember, he never met with the docs-Debi did) Or is he making a point with the phrase "the good doctor"?
   Now onto the paragraph. The obvious first thing that pops into my head is: how does Michael know what kind of woman Dr. Steady's wife is? Yes, he says probably, but then he goes on talking about how happy Mrs. Steady (that's really a Go-to) is that her hubby works for Dr. Command. Maybe Dr. Steady married a steady woman that works hard at her accounting job? Maybe he married a Visionary woman who has a messy garden and paints in the garage? Just because someone is Steady doesn't mean they will want someone opposite. Birds of a feather and all that.
   Oh, and I like how he threw in about Debi's new book. I'm thinking of reviewing that when I get done...That book is geared towards unmarried women and teenage girls. I'm curious how Debi deals with people she can't browbeat for not properly reverencing their husband/God.
Dr. Visionary/Command Man would like to be married, but he rushes around too busy to take the time to get acquainted with prospective brides. He also knows there are women who would marry him for his clout or for his money. The ladies who push themselves forward will be Go-to girls, not the best match for him. Hopefully, Dr. Command will find a wife that will help him mature into the man God wants him to be.
   My first thought was: wouldn't it be amusing if Dr. Command were gay? Or was quite happy single? Or was a knave and had a different lady over every night? Because here's Michael talking about the proper wife for him, not even considering any other options. Heck, Dr. Command could very well already be married, and just doesn't wear his ring. Dr. Command could be seriously dating someone, or "living in sin". There are a zillion reasons for Dr. Command not to be married, yet Michael chooses to only focus on the one that aligns with his 3 types of men.  Interestingly enough, Michael uses the phrase "get acquainted with prospective brides" in place of saying "dating". I wonder why?
   Yes, it is true, some women are attracted to things like money or power. Some guys like that. I've known plenty of men who married beneath them in intellect or money because they liked being superior.
   It's interesting that Michael thinks that the ladies that push themselves toward Dr. C are Go-to girls. These women (not girls!) could be succumbing to pressure from their families to settle down. They could have come in for an appointment, and thought the doctor was good looking and nice. Again, it's so easy to find a bunch of different reasons for people doing the things they do, aside from Michael's "I know everything-this is how it is".
   Also, nowhere in Debi's conversation with the doctors did God come up. Who says the Dr is religious, or Christian, or really cares what Michael's God wants him to be?
And I do hope he will uses his brains instead of his eyes when he makes his choice, because the kind of lady he needs will not be dashing or daring. She will need to be a steady servant. He will need a right-hand lady for his wife, but, more importantly, he will need a woman who is there to serve him and be his cheering squad.
   Ah, yes. Only homely, plain women are good matches for Command/Visionaries. What does that say about how Michael views Debi, considering he claims to be the same type? We've seen the same philosophy echoed in Debi's book. Basically, the plainer a woman is, the more grateful she'll be that a man loves her, and be a better servant.
   Wouldn't that be an absolutely heart-breaking union? The man's point of view is: She's plain, but she adores me, and she'll make a good servant. And the woman thinks: Well, I know that I'm ugly, but if I reverence him enough, maybe he'll love me.  Actually, this sounds kind of like Debi and Michael's marriage...Don't believe me? Re-read the some of the earlier posts in this book, or nearly any chapter of Debi's.
   Frankly, if all my husband wanted out of me was to serve him and build him up, he picked the wrong woman. I've actually told him that on occasion, and he looks at me like I'm crazy. Once, he told me "Oh, trust me, if that was the type of woman I wanted, I wouldn't have even talked to you."
Remember, women are moldable; the younger they are, the more moldable they are; and the less experience they have in the world, the easier it is for them to conform to their husband's needs. Most men get married expecting their wives to know just how to please them.
   Good gracious! Isn't this frightening? Not surprising, considering the number of times prominent men in this culture extol the virtues of younger girls. I'm remembering the story of Marantha, where she was...what? 16 and her husband was 26? Because nothing says true love like romancing a girl (yes, a girl) still in high school. But, I suppose, if the point is to marry them young and train 'em up yourself (which is a terrible concept), then this is good advice.
   And of course women are moldable. How silly to think that women have talents and expectations and wishes and dreams of their own. How odd that some people believe women can make their own decisions and be perfectly OK living alone (or-heavens to Betsey-with other women!) /snark
But now you know that if you want a good woman you must take the responsibility to love her and to mold her into being that woman. That is more easily accomplished when you know yourself and your needs, your strengths and your weaknesses. It is also easier if your wife-to-be has studied and knows what God says to her as a help meet. I would advise and discuss at great length my wife's books, "Created to Be His Help Meet", and especially the one for unmarried girls, "Preparing to Be a Help Meet". This is not an ad; it's just good advice.
   Because the only point of marriage is to turn women into what the man wants! Ugh. I can't get over how toxic this type of thinking is. It ensures that women are viewed (not just by men, either!) as less. They can't think for themselves, can't take care of themselves, can't be anything without a MAN telling her how. I just want to shake the people that believe this!
   For awhile, when we first got married, I fell into this trap. My husband's friend's wife gave me a copy of Debi's book as a wedding present. I tried to do what it said, because I thought this was what my husband wanted. I made myself miserable for weeks trying to "reverence" him while pushing down the parts of myself that I had cultivated in college. I tried to stamp down my creativity, my initiative, my drive, my ideas, my wants, my thoughts, my dreams. I told him I was happy to stay home and keep house (well, apartment), when I was dying of boredom inside. I said that it was my job to cook whatever he wanted, when we had two different ideas of what was tasty. I let him handle the money, even though it made me twitchy not to know how much we had in the account. Long story short: I was lying to both of us. And believe me, that's not a marriage. It's slavery. I felt like, since he had the job and made the money, he deserved to make all the decisions. I felt like I owed him devotion, because I was fat and ugly, and he chose me.
   I cannot tell you how long I've struggled with these thoughts.  It's a hard rut to get out of. But I am slowly figuring out that I am worth loving, simply because of who I am. And my heart aches for those women who tell themselves every day that they are lucky to have a man-any man, because they aren't pretty enough, or smart enough, or talented enough to be by themselves.  Ladies, you don't need a man to define you. You are talented and capable and wonderful. And if someone tries to tell you different, run-don't walk!
 

Anyway, my main takeaway from this section (besides how wrong certain types of thinking is), is that Michael is amazingly psychic. He never even met these Doctors, but knows what kind of wives are best for them, and what these men will need to be happy.  I mean, if he can do that with doctors, imagine how much he knows about YOU, the reader!
   Next time, we talk about how all 3 types relate to their wives. It's going to be a blast, I'm sure.
   

Monday, January 20, 2014

CTNAHM- Contrasting the Types Part 2 (A Tale of Two Doctors)

p 128-130

Today we get a lovely little anecdote about how members of various types of men appear in real life. Just a disclaimer, this is Debi's story, through Michael's words, so things get a bit...murky sometimes. Are you ready?
Text is in purple

The Good Doctors
Yesterday my wife went to a new medical clinic run by two chiropractors. The clinic is more like a fitness center with many people in a large room, some participating in individual therapeutic exercises and others in group exercises. The doctors pass from person to person, occasionally stepping behind semi public enclosures to adjust people.
   Two things stand out to me. First, it's a bit odd that they would go to a chiropractor. If you browse their website, it's all about natural healing. Yes, there are occasions where they discuss doctors, but chiropractors seem way out of the realm of "country living folk". The other thing that I found odd, was there was no scathing rebukes about the "semi-private public enclosures." I would think that people from a culture that stresses modesty would be more...scandalised by the set-up.
Yet even in the midst of this controlled chaos she guessed the two doctors' types as soon as she walked in the door. The one doctor looked like he would be more at home with a football in his hand than holding a clipboard and studying x-rays. He was slow, kind, and was standing behind the counter looking earnestly at the other doctor for a final decision. The second doctor, whom I will call Dr. Command, was keyed up, very aware of what was happening all over the clinic. He walked with a laid back authority that oozed confidence. A Command Man, but the bold and busy setting suggested a Visionary had been here. Where was he?
   I've said this before, but knowing just by looking someone's type is so, so, so judgmental. "Oh, this doctor is looking at the other doctor for a decision-he must not be a Command Man!" What if the patient was the Dr. Command's, and the other doctor wanted to make sure it was right? What if Dr. Football was new? Or was a fill-in doctor? What if the patient had a weird injury, and Dr. Football wanted to make sure he was explaining it correctly? My point is, seeing a person for 10 seconds, and deciding what "type" they are is ridiculous. Because there are things called circumstances, that can make people act in different ways. This is never taken into account, nor is the idea that their judgement could be wrong.
When she was taken into the small consultation room, the first doctor came in. He was a gentle giant and clearly a Dr. Steady. She told him "You look like you had rather be playing football than fixing backs." He smiled, shook her hand with his huge mitt, and began to tell her how he was accepted into professional football but Hurricane Katrina changed his plans, since that was where the team was located. This doctor was nearly 100% Priestly, so he sure was not the man who was responsible for the structure of the clinic. She didn't ask, but I bet he played defense rather than offense on his football team.
   Interesting. I was curious how Hurricane Katrina effected the New Orleans Saints football team. Apparently after Katrina, the stadium was used as temporary housing. While the team couldn't play any home games there, they practiced in San Jose California,  and then set up temporary headquarters in San Antonio Texas. They even played a few games that season at the Louisana Tiger Stadium (a college team). So it really seems odd that Hurricane Katrina would change the plans of the doctor, because, apparently, the team kept playing-just in different places.
   I'm still trying to figure out how Debi knew he was nearly 100% Priestly. Because Michael has made it clear that Steadies are "hardhat workers" and "taxpayers" and work in factories. From what he's said about Mr. Steady, he wouldn't be at home making the life-or-death decisions that doctors sometimes have to make. And, call me crazy, but being a doctor takes at least some kind of leadership. Either you work at a hospital, or in a clinic, or open your own practice. Who would trust a doctor that has to look to another doctor for every decision? "Oh, sorry Mrs. Jones. I think you have the flu, but let me go ask Dr. Command down the hall...While I'm there, I'll ask him what meds to give you and he can plan out your course of treatment. It won't take more than half an hour."  Yeah...that sounds like it'd work out well.
Dr. Command Man entered the small room and the congenial atmosphere was instantly gone. After a quick introduction he immediately began teaching Debi how the human body reacted to certain problems and how it could be corrected. Clearly there was no need to be friendly or conversational when there was serious business to attend to. If I had been there I would have concurred totally.
   Stop the ponies. Debi went into this medical center alone? She was in a room with 2 male doctors by herself? And Michael let her? Michael, who wrote:  A good husband will not want his wife out at night in compromising or risky situations, like shopping alone. So shopping alone is risky, but being alone in a small room with two male doctors is completely harmless? Riiiiight.
   Not to take Michael's side, but from the sound of it, Debi was in the room with Dr. Steady for quite awhile before Dr. Command came in. If time is money (and if one makes their money by the number of patients seen), then why wouldn't Dr.C be brusque? Not to mention the busy schedules Doctors have, especially if the clinic had "many people" in it.
When he stopped talking, she changed the subject. "So you obviously love to communicate?" He visibly relaxed. His voice reflected his earnestness. "Yes, I have a worthy message and I like to pass it on." It was then clear that he really was a Command Man but with enough Visionary in him to dream and bring it to pass.
   I don't get this paragraph. If I was Dr. Command, and I just explained the body and what was going on, and the patient looked at me and said "You love talking, eh?" I wouldn't relax. I'd get snarky and say something like "Well, considering my job is to make people feel better, and I can't follow them around all the time making sure they do the right thing, then I guess I have to talk a lot!" I wouldn't bother with that "worthy message" nonsense-I'd be mad!
   Also, I am struggling to figure out how saying "I have a worthy message and I like to pass it on." equals Command plus a bit of Visionary. That sounds more Steady to me. Command would be "You need to hear this, so pay attention!" and Visonary would say "How cool would it be if you did this? I designed a pamphlet with all this info in it! Look at the font!" But maybe I'm confused somewhere.
When she hesitated making a long-term commitment for treatment, his countenance again visibly changed and this time it was not positive. He was ticked. His Command image spoke, and without actually saying these words his message was clear, "I am the doctor here. If you want to do the right thing you will do what I say, the way I say to do it." His drive to be in charge (King) and his vision (Prophet) will help him succeed. It will make him a better doctor and cause the practice to excel. He will not be satisfied with what the doctors before him have said is the best way of doing things. He will search until he finds his own answers.
   OK. I can see a Mr. Command saying this more than I could the whole 'worthy message' bit from above. 
Dr. Command/Visionary's choice of a secondary doctor was excellent. Dr. Steady will make everyone feel cared for, special, and safe. No one will feel rushed with his slow patience, kind regard and willingness to speak of his own personal life. The patient will not get lost in the rush of making Mr. Command/Visioanry's dreams come true as long as Dr. Steady plays a role in their recovery. It was a good working team. I told Deb to decline the program since it was obviously set up for more youthful bodies.
   I agree. This sounds like a good team. Maybe I'm biased, because this is the dynamic of my husband and I. I am the Command/Visionary that is more efficient than personal. And he is the Mr. Steady that makes people feel cared for. Though I am wondering what kind of doctor's office doesn't have different levels of programs that cater to differing ages and levels of treatment.
Dr. Command Man is almost like a superhero character. He likes to save people from harm. He is into dramatics. At this time in his life he is not married, but when he does marry he would do well not to marry another superhero type. He would take her success as competition. His ladylove needs to be the same type as his partner, Dr. Steady. But chances are he will marry a superhero lady because those people around him that he listens to and appreciates will assume he needs a counterpart as a wife. He will listen and choose to please them.
   Interesting. Dr. Command refuses to be "satisfied with what doctors before him have said is the best way of doing things", but will listen and heed others' advice about whom to marry. Is it just me, or does Michael seem to not have a very good grasp of what his types actually are/do.
   Oh, and it is completely possible to have two motivated, "superhero" people in a successful relationship. Just because someone else succeeds, doesn't automatically mean the other one fails. In fact, a sign of a healthy relationship is being able to be happy when your partner succeeds. Those who want their partner to never excel more than themselves are usually not mature enough to be in a healthy relationship. It's a companionship-not a competition!
And so will begin the struggle of supremacy. If he is a wise man, or seeks wise counsel, he will choose someone who has one purpose in life: to help her man shine brighter, climb higher, and become better at everything he does. He needs a steady, hardworking servant who will not bring attention to herself in any area of life. She will knock off the brittle edges, and he does have brittle edges. People will wonder what he sees in her and why he would choose such a nondescript lady. But if he loves her and puts her at the head of his team, she will soon lose the retiring image and become a leading lady made in his image.
   This section chills me. Michael is commanding men to find ladies that will serve them, not outshine them, and do nothing but help their man attain glory. This is not a marriage-this is servitude. A healthy marriage is between equals who want what's best for each other, and help the other one get there. Not an "unequally yoked" pair, where one of the couple's job is to do nothing but "help" the other. 
   I'm also a bit creeped out, because the sections about the three types of men were called "In His Image". As in the image of God. And now Michael is saying that a proper marriage is one where the wife becomes a leading lady made in the image of her husband?? Talk about idolatry! Not only is Debi's book promoting equating one's husband with one's God, Michael's book is saying that men have the right-nay, the duty-to mold their wives into their image.
   Nowhere does it talk about what the wife wants. Only picking a wife that is nondescript enough to not attract attention for anything other than being the wife of such a great man. And that makes me sad.

   Next time, following this train of thought, we get to hear what Michael thinks the wives of the two doctors should be/are. You should feel privileged that Michael would share his Prophet skills with us lowly readers.
   

Friday, January 17, 2014

:[

Since it's been awhile since I've posted anything other than sporadic reviews, I think it's time to give an update.
   Everything has been so crazy here this past month! On the 18th of December, we accepted 2 new kids into the house. They were a sibling set, both girls, 13 and 12. This was their first time in care, so the social workers didn't know their...quriks.
   The first week was fine, because they were new and scared. The second week was tough because it was Christmas, and everyone was away from their family. The Friday after Christmas, the new girls and I had a case planning meeting with their social workers. The girls were told that they would be in care for a lot longer than they though. After that meeting, the younger girl started being truly awful to the set of kids we've had since October.
   Let me give you some examples of awful. First, she hid some of her sister's Justin Bieber stuff under the other girl's bed. The sister was freaking out because she couldn't find her stuff. Then the younger one "found" the items and claimed that the 10 year-old stole them. My husband and I knew this wasn't true because: we've never had problems with the girl stealing before, she hates Justin Bieber, and she hates books. We called the 12yo out on lying and stealing.
   The next bit of drama came that night. The 10 year old came sobbing downstairs a few hours after bedtime. She was clutching her favourite shirt, which was ripped. By ripped, I mean there were 4 tears from hem to nearly collar. I had just washed it, so I knew it was OK when it went upstairs. The 10yo had put it away recently, and knew it was fine then. I called the 12yo down and asked her why she ripped it. "I didn't!" She yelled. Since there was no proof, we couldn't do anything.
   The next day, was more excitement. The 12 yo came downstairs holding index cards. On these index cards were notes. "I hate my brother [name]." "I think [12 yo's sister] is ugly." "[My husband] is mean and Ashley is a bitch." and "[12 yo] is a fucking whore." All of these were "signed" with the 10 year old's name. It was obvious the 10yo didn't do it. She was hysterical. "I would never say things like that about Ashley. She knows I love her, right? I wouldn't say it!" (Plus who would sign something like that??)   We took handwriting samples from everyone, and surprise. It was the 12yo. So I called her downstairs and talked to her. I said "I know you wrote those cards." "I would never say those things!" I stared at her. "Well, you didn't say them. You wrote them. Clearly you have no qualms about writing those things." She protested again that she didn't do it. I showed her her paper and the notecards. I pointed out the w's, t's, s's, and y's. I told her that I wasn't stupid, and whatever tricks she did at home would not fly here.

   After that, we asked their worker to find them a new home. We had to give a 14 day notice. Honestly, I was ready to drive them to the foster office and drop them off.
   In those two weeks, there was lying, more stealing, punching, crying, arguing, screaming, and everything else you can imagine. Every night there was some new drama; some new torture; some new fight. Every day, my husband and I counted down until the 2 weeks were up.

    During that time, I started school. I was taking an automotive technology class. I had the idea that I would become a mechanic and fix cars on the side to make pocket money. I know nothing about cars, and I had no idea what anything was. I would come home with hours worth of homework and studying, just to get on base level. However, it was still my responsibility to cook, clean, and help with homework. Plus, once the kids got home, I was in charge of dealing with them until my husband got home from work, and then a good deal after as well. (He doesn't make a very good bad cop...I'm the one that has to enforce). In the first week of class, I failed a test, and the program director asked me if I was sure this was what I wanted to do.
   I thought about it. I have no idea anything about cars, anything mechanical. I don't have the time or energy (emotional or otherwise) to study the way I need to. So I could either stress myself out and maybe pass, or drop my course load and take a few months to re-evaluate. I chose the latter, but feel like I've failed again.

   On a high note, we are starting to get the ball rolling with a sibling set we are interested in adopting! I just wish things would go faster and that social workers could communicate better.

   The girl's worker told them on their family visit Sunday that they would be leaving our house on Friday. Totally unprofessional! Because, of course, they burned every bridge. The 12yo said on numerous occasions "I don't care what I do, because I'm leaving in X days." Her behaviour also got way worse, because she knew there was a countdown.
   The day before they were going to leave, I tried to cement a time frame with their case worker. Remember, she's had the past 2 weeks to find a new place. She acted super surprised that the girls were leaving! And Friday, the day they were told they would be gone? By 2 o'clock, there were no placements. She called to ask if we could keep them over the weekend. I said she's had her 2 weeks, and that I didn't want to deal with the behaviours that would occur if they didn't leave when their worker said they would.
   Their worker called back 2 hours later asking if we could please, please, please keep the 12 yo. She found placement for the older girl, but nobody wanted the younger because of her behaviour. I refused again. Eventually, my husband wound up taking the older one to her new placement, and the younger one was to stay there for a few hours until the worker could find a home for her.
   I don't know if she found a place. I don't care, either.

  This experience has taught me that I will not let people push me around. Even if I yell, threaten, sometimes mock, and sometimes swear at the kids, I will do everything in my power to protect them. I will not tolerate abuse, mind games, or unhealthy environments. It is my job to keep the kids in my custody safe, and I do a pretty good job of that.
  I just wish sometimes that keeping kids safe didn't require so much energy!

Monday, January 13, 2014

CTNAHM-Chapter 9 Contrasting the Types Part 1 (Michael's Take on Politics)

p 127-128

   Just when I thought Michael's talking about the 3 types of men was over, we get another chapter about them. This time, Michael is explaining about the secondary type that a man has. Here we go!
Text is in purple

Apples, Oranges, Apricots
As we said earlier, most men are not exclusively one type, but I have never known a man to be a balance of all three. Upon meeting a young man it is readily apparent which of the three types he is, but when you get to know him you can usually see shades of one of the other types as well.
   I'm curious who this "we" is. Nobody else was given authorship credit. And I'm sure he doesn't mean Debi, because this is a book ABOUT men FOR men FROM men. (Manly men!) Also, Michael's assurance that he can tell what type of man a person is at first meeting just smacks of being judgmental. Seriously. Especially since Michael feels like this 3-type system is foolproof and perfect. I'm not even going to get into the fact that some people aren't what they appear, or can be dishonest.
A Visionary/Prophet type may have just enough Priest (Mr. Steady) in him to keep his feet on the ground, or he may have a little of the Command Man in him and be a rather bossy reformer or inventor.
   Well, at least this time, Michael expects the man to keep his own feet on the ground. Usually, that job is reserved for the wife of the Visionary. So props for that. I have to say, though, that Michael doesn't make Visionary/Command men sound very pleasant at all.
Mr. Command may have a little Priest in him and be a very compassionate ruler or dictator, as may be. Or he may have a touch of the Prophet in him and be a creative and innovative King-for good or ill.
   While it's nice that we are reminded that any type of man can be good or evil, Michael seems to forget that there are shades of gray that people can occupy. Or that people can change. Just because a man started out as a benevolent King/Prophet doesn't mean that he won't get corrupted by power and turn into a dictator. If we're assuming Michael is correct that no man ever changes type, there is still a TON of places for him to change inside his category.
The Steady Man may have a little Command Man in him and make the perfect shift supervisor in a factory or a successful construction contractor or a good senator.Or he may have a little of the Visionary in him and become a Henry Ford, inventing the assembling line and manufacturing automobiles. Or, being a steady worker, he may develop new methods or tools to accomplish his trade. A small blend gives a man balance.
   Ugh. Even if Mr. Steady has a bit of Command or Visionary, he is still stuck inside his factory. Apparently the only people that work in factories are Steadies. From top to bottom, just steadies everywhere! Oh wait...there's a Senator. I'm curious how Michael made the leap from construction contractor to senator. That's a pretty big difference...
Men that are purely of one nature alone stand out like comic book characters. I can walk into a room and spot them standing, seated, or with their backs turned. I can hear a man's voice over the phone and usually tell you what sort he is.
   I've already touched on the idea that Michael seems to fancy himself a Prophet. Clearly he is a seer, too. Yes, it is possible to cold read someone and be right. But what if the man whose back is to Michael is reading a text that his dog died? He may be a Command Man, but surely his posture would change? And the bit about being able to tell type based on a phone call seems absurd. My husband's voice is different when he takes a call for work, then when he takes a call from his mom, or a call from me, or makes a call to the pizza place. The only way I can see Michael's judgment system being perfect is if each type were boiled down to nothing but vague generalities that can be applied to any person in any situation.
   I'm curious to know if Michael has ever revised his opinion on a man after he got to know him.
Older men are more guarded and less apparent than are the younger men, perhaps because they have developed a balance over the years. Their life's work will reveal their natures, but their manner may be rounded off by years of experience or by their willingness to listen to their help meets.
   This is interesting to me. I wonder why older men are more guarded. Perhaps it is like their rough edges have been smoothed by time and by those female creatures. Maybe it's that they were trained not to do/say/think a certain way, regardless of their "nature". Maybe the younger guys are more obvious because they were raised in a culture that worships the Pearls, and so have been taught from birth that they are a specific type.  I don't have an answer to this. But it's fun to think about!

Martin Luther, the reformer, was a Visionary with a little Command Man in him. Martin Luther King Jr, the civil rights campaigner was a Priest/Steady type with a little Visionary in him, but he pressed himself to function as a Command Man-not his natural bent. Benjamin Franklin was a complete Visionary. George Bush is a Steady/Priest type with a good bit of the Command Man and no Visionary. Barack Obama is a Visionary with a touch of the Command Man.

My estimation could be of base in some cases, and if you think so, then I have been successful in communicating to you the three types.
   I'm not going to analyze Michael's take on these famous people's types. If you want to in the comments, then I look forward to reading them. What interests me is that MLK Jr is given the leeway to "press himself to function" outside of his normal nature. What makes Michael sure that he wasn't a Command Man to begin with? Because Michael had said in previous chapters that Steady men don't lead, don't make waves, don't make institute change...ugh. Here we go again. It seems like every couple of pages, there's a place or two where Michael completely contradicts what he said earlier.
   Also, what is Michael basing his analysis off of? Wikipedia articles? History book snippets?
 
   Oh, and I like that last little blurb. "Even if you disagree, you're just admitting how right I am!" I think that should be my new tagline in life. One of my foster kids starts arguing? "Every word you say against me just proves that I am always right!" I imagine that will go over swimmingly.

  Tune in next time for what I'm calling "A Tale of Two Doctors". I'll just leave you hanging here, because I'm feeling mischievous.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Ugh

Apologies for the major lack of posting. We picked up 2 extra foster kids the week before Christmas. The past week and a half, things have been just dreadful. I'm talking fist fights, insults, lies, mind games, setting people up, screaming, crying. Every day. For hours. Even with school, the 2 groups of siblings find ways to conflict with each other.

Anyway, I've been super stressed; whenever I get downtime, I usually sleep or do something to calm down. We're talking with social workers to try and help the situation, but everything takes SOOO long. I promise I will get back to posting as soon as things calm down around here.

Ugh.

Friday, January 3, 2014

CTNAHM-Mr Command Part 11 (What Command Wives Want)

p 125

Today we finish up the chapter on Command Men. Like the previous 2 chapters, Michael ends this chapter with a wish list from the wives of Mr. C's. It's a short little section,
Text is in purple

Ladies' Wish List
Julie writes: "You ask for a wish list. Here's mine:

  • I wish my husband would be more patient, less irritable, and more gentle with me and the children.
This is a logical wish. Honestly, I'm sure sometimes my husband wishes that I were more patient and gentle, and less irritable with everyone. In fact, he's told me that on many occasions. How do we deal with that? By coming up with plans to de-escalate me when I'm overreacting. Or encouraging me to tell the foster kids when I am close to blowing up-kind of giving them warning before I go off. Or learning to count to 10 before I answer...what I'm saying is there are tons of ways for a person to learn to be less temperamental, and Michael doesn't go into a one of them. Just "Julie" wishes husbands would do that. But you know what? I doubt very many men would believe that Julie is their wife.
  • I really wish he would not speak to me in a tone that makes me feel like I'm an idiot.
Julie, you really need to talk to your husband; tell him how you're feeling. Because Michael sure isn't going to give him (or you) any good advice. In fact, Michael has said previously that men should "pretend" to listen to their wife because they are emotional creatures that don't make good decisions. Honestly, Julie? This book is probably part of the reason your husband treats you like you're brainless.
  • I wish he would give me as many compliments as he does criticisms, or thank me for what I have done instead of telling me what I should be doing.
This one is one I can imagine working both ways. Especially because Michael likes to talk about "hen pecked" husbands whose bitter wives nag non-stop. I'm sure anyone in any relationship could use a reminder about this. Because it's easy to point out the things you don't like, while taking for granted the things you do.
  • I wish he would not treat me like I am on the same level as the children.
I'm sure this is a BIG one in this culture. In fact, the husband of the woman who first gave me Debi's book often talked to her like she was a child. "Now Tabitha, you know that when you bring me cookies that I like 3 with a glass of milk. How many did you bring me?" "Two." "What should you do to fix it?"  (Tabitha's not her real name). But this is how I deal with my foster kids sometimes. I ask them questions about what they should be doing, instead of just telling them what I want. I use this tactic because, hopefully, it stays in their minds longer. It would be terrible, though, to be an adult on the receiving end of this treatment. 
  • I wish he would not fuss at me in front of the children, and that he would treat me with respect.
Again, I'm sure this goes both ways. Still a good reminder, though.
  • I wish I could hold my head up and tell him I am finished with his mistreatment. Maybe someday I will be, but most likely I will sneak out while he is at work and just be gone. I often think about it."
And then Julie is struck by the realisation that she has no marketable skills, no work experience outside the home, no money, and no prospects for living on her own with her children. So she sighs sadly, hangs her head, and takes what Mr. Julie dishes out, each time believing a little more that she deserves it. That's the real tragedy in this culture-is that women are left with little resources outside of their husband, so they have no recourse but staying if things go bad.
-Julie

  I feel kind of bad, because I'm gulity of many of these towards my husband. I really need to change a lot of how I deal with him.

 My heart is breaking. Because all it sounds like Julie wants is to be treated like an equal. Seriously. It sounds like Mr. Julie is condescending, insulting, belittling, and disrespectful.  He treats Julie like a child, and disrespects her in front of their children. What is horribly sad, is that Julie can't tell her husband how she feels. I mean, this is an adult woman who is being horribly mistreated by her husband, and can tell literally no one about her pain except for a letter to the Michael Pearl.
   Although I am glad to see that Julie knows what she wants. I'm glad Julie is honest with herself to be able to say "This is what I wish were different." It would be really disturbing if Mr. Julie treated his wife in the aforementioned way, and she felt like she deserved that treatment. So I have to say, I'm glad that Michael allows women to have opinions-it's more than Debi ever does.
   
   As I've been saying everytime this section comes around, I'm annoyed by the way Michael handles women's requests. He just types 'em up and washes his hands of the situation. Instead of explaining what mistreating a wife looks like, he just leaves it up to the man's discretion. The awful part is that a man who treats his wife like a child isn't really the type of man to say "Oh...This is me. I need to change something." Michael has spent the last 30 pages telling us that Command Men don't like criticism, doesn't listen to other opinions, and can arrogantly rely on only his judgment. And yet Michael doesn't fell the need to caution Command men again to be humble.
   Plus, how many men will read this list and think "Well, my wife doesn't feel that way. I'd know!", not knowing Debi's book teaches 100% submission all of the time or blasphemy against God. For some people, self-regulation or being self-aware is difficult, if not impossible. Breaking habits is tricky, too. These are all reasons why just throwing out "Your wife probably wants this!" is a horrid tactic to attempt to change a man's behaviour.

   So, the chapter on Command Men is over. What have we learned? That Mr. C is a selfish, tyrannical jerk that expects his wife to always be on call. According to Michael, those qualities are A-OK as long as the man isn't abusing his wife. And by abusing, he means physically hitting. Not, like, you know, treating one's wife like a non-human. 
   Please excuse me. I feel icky now and want a shower.