Tuesday, February 25, 2014

"Sick Off"

I am not sure how many times I have used the term "sick off" but in case you don't remember here is my definition:  Sick Off a competition between two or more sick people in which they will compare symptoms until someone has a symptom or a collection of symptoms that is far and away "worse" than the others. There is no outside judge, the participants reach a consensus in democratic fashion and winner is declared.  What is more American than that?

I originally coined the term when observing the above mentioned phenomenon in online "support" groups.  I do not believe the people I observed competing in these sick offs were even aware that they were competing but from the outside looking in it was obvious.  When viewed on a message board it is easy to diagram just like a sentence and it is hard to miss. After I first described the phenomenon on a message board I began to notice it in other places.

In person I have witnessed a variation of the sick off I have dubbed sick parity.  I think I can best describe this with some examples.  I was complaining about the brain damage caused by sarcoidosis to my sister.  I began to bemoan the aphasia that has been plaguing me and before my rambling was complete my sister looks at her husband and says I have that too.  At this point sick parity has been achieved.

I believe my sister was operating from a caring place.  My illness has been difficult for her like it would be for anyone.  She operates in denial as much as the situation will allow.  In other words if she has aphasia it is okay if I have aphasia.  When it first happened I was irritated and thought how could she be so selfish but a little time it became obvious that she loves me dearly and thought of me suffering and fading away is too much for her to bear.  Of course she is not really competing in a sick off and in actuality it is a charity match with no winners. 



Monday, February 17, 2014

Its upbeat really! (Not the most cohesive shrug) part 1

Sometimes life is not pleasant.  My last two posts have demonstrated that sometimes friends that you would literally bet your life on are not friends after all.  Those last two posts were definitely cathartic and I think have at least begun the process of healing and moving on but I think they lacked something that is normally present in my posts.  What is that?  Where is the positive spin?  Does this mean I have finally been beaten down by life and illness and people and you can no longer count on me for my positive outlook in the face of adversity?

No it is back!

Beaten down for a couple of weeks by a fellow Christian but I am returning and telling the world how great it is to be home bound with a chronic illness that has taken your old life.  I think the preceding might have been a slight exaggeration.  That being said things are better this week and a lot of that is how you look at it.  Out of the broken friendship of the past my wife and I have discovered that two friends that we thought were fun and entertaining and decent folk where in fact fantastic folk that could be relied on when times are bad.  These people are the salt of the earth and have supported my wife and I during this time of change.  Now onto it!

Does God open a window when he closes a door?  I think that is a load of crap right a long with God will never give you more than you can bear.  People are given more than they can bear all the time and sometimes they break from the load and there is not a door or window in sight for them to escape through.  During the first year after I was diagnosed there was an article in the local Salt Lake City paper about a man with Sarcoidosis who had killed himself.  I remember the article said that his condition was not immediately life threatening at the time and his reasons for suicide were unknown.  I have never met the man but I could guess with 87% certainty why he killed himself.

It is the truth that no doctor and no support group and very few people will ever say; your life did end the day you were diagnosed.  Whatever your life was before you were sick has been lost as surely as you had died and no truer words were ever spoken.  Was the last statement full of hyperbole?  Yes, yes, yes and no, no, no.  Is being alive with a chronic illness better than being dead?  I think so and I live my life to enjoy the fact I am alive and as that continues I also find the need to do the proverbial good so to speak but that is for another post.  There are other times that I think that my life is over and that it is time to kill myself and I am only a burden to those I love and the world around me.

I enjoy my wife waking me at 5:30 am to ask me if I want to get up, the answer is usually no but I enjoy hearing her voice and to know I am loved and that I love her in return.  Later that day when I finally wake to be awake for the day I sit on the bed with pain sitting next to me.  Pain woke me up and unlike my wife will not leave me alone if I need more sleep.  As we sit there together on the bed and I think about how pain has been my constant companion for the last four years and is likely to be a companion that will never desert me I think that my life has been lost and the suicide would just be the final formality.

That last two paragraphs got a little dark and kind of made the same point and they do not sound positive but let us take a step back.  Each day my life is a wonder and joyful beyond description and each day my life is torture and awful beyond description.  This is true for everyone, some days there is a little more wonder than torture and some days there is more torture than wonder.  I have a wonderful friend that comes over and gives me gossip about people I do not know.  I love gossip and I know it is an ugly vice but I love it.  Sometimes during the gossip she might complain about a situation or a person and she will stop herself and say this does not compare with what I am going through and it doesn't but what I am going through does not compare with what she is going through.

Still a little dark but the point is coming.

I hate to break it to people but life is not a contest to see who is the happiest and it is not a contest to see who is the most miserable.  Everyone's life is a snowflake and is unique but that is as far as the simile goes because some people have some ugly lives and snowflakes are not ugly.  I digress.  My life did end when I was diagnosed but there was another life there to be lived and I choose to live that life. I do not judge anyone that does not want the new life and decides to kill themselves.  The new life can be hard and awful and foreign but I hope that if your life has just ended that you try living your new life.  You reach out and ask for help and remember you can not know how much wonder and joy will be in the new life but there will be some wonder and joy and I submit that it is worth it to live the new life and look for that wonder and joy everyday.

First point made and I will tie up some intellectual lose ends in the next post also there will be a Part 3 to Does Jesus Hate Me and Homosexuals but I could not bear to write it this week.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Does Jesus Hate Me and Homosexuals? Part 2

What follows below is another exchange that occurred in the private messaging system of Facebook.  I am not sure what sparked the first message from my Former Friend in May but this exchange in December of 2013 I do know where it originated.  I had made a public comment on Facebook about Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty and how his first amendment rights were not being abridged by A&E.  My Former Friend responded to that comment and a public argument ensued.

Two things happened during this public argument that I think provide important context for the private message below.  First thing is the topic quickly shifted to LGBT rights in general, not just gay marriage this time and secondly I believe most objective observers would say that my Former Friend lost the public debate pretty badly.

Last but not least before the private message exchange is presented this time I will occasionally be inserting comments either to add context or just things that I think are important.  You will know the comments because they will be preceded by the word COMMENTS in capital and bold lettering.  Also like the previous post I hope you forgive the spelling and grammar errors because I am just posting the exchange as is except for removing all the names.  First comment is right here though, I do not think the speaker can define the meaning but I am parroting back something that my Former Friend said during the public debate.  Thanks everyone for reading my blog and I hope the new year is treating you well.


12/20, 10:39 am
Former Friend

Excuse me? So now I'm being accused of ineffective arguments, parsing words, and not taking responsibility? I was very clear in what I said, and I do not appreciate the barrage of personal attacks after respectfully answering your questions, acknowledging your points, and kindly bowing out - when you did not have the courtesy to do *any* of these. You seem far more interested in winning than the advancement of truth, which is why I was hesitant - and wrong - to try to exchange ideas with you in a friendly manner. Regardless of how passionate my ideas are, I insist on treating my friends with respect. Disagreeing I can handle, but public attack from a friend? Beneath you.

12/20, 10:50 am
Fat Rasputin

I do not see that as a barrage of personal attacks, that is how I see it.  If you took my comments as attacks that is your prerogative as the listener but the speaker defines meaning and they were not meant as attacks that is literally how I saw it. Also I there are several of your comments that I thought were condescening and dismissive.  I do not think that was beneath me and you are questioning my morals which is far worse than me claiming that you are not an effective arguer.  Which I still stand by, when we were having a Levitcal argument I also saw some techniques that I do not think were very good.

12/20, 10:59 am
Former Friend

When you switch from the argument to a speaker's character as a person, I'm sure you know it's an ad hominem attack; it's a logical fallacy; not a perception which you can easily Google. You lashed out pretty viciously when you had not been treated that way, and I'm sad you can't see that. Again, clearly I was wrong about you; lesson learned.

12/20, 11:07 am
Former Friend

"If I have all these things and have not LOVE, I am NOTHING." Not everyone's guiding principle, but it's mine.

12/20, 11:25 am
Fat Rasputin

I did not lash out viciously and I stand by that as objective facts.  First an ad hominem attack would be you can not be a good arguer because you are Christian, stating that I believe the arguments you are using are wrong and not effective is not an ad hominem attack.  Being told that you are wrong is not an ad hominem attack it comes pretty naturally in debate since we are now using debate terminology I think you are guilty of changing the subject and using a false premise.  I feel bullied by your love, you have come after me several times on this subject and not in a nice or respectful way, you are very dismissive and condescending when arguing with we on this topic, I let that go because I know you are passionate.  I do not believe you were respectful to me today and when you come in here and accuse me of viscous attacks that just did not happen, being told you are wrong is not a viscous attack.  I know our opinions differ greatly on this subject so I choose to not bring it up you out of your love for me have chosen to argue extensively about it twice with me and again I do think you were dismissive and condescending both times.  If you choose to start an argument with someone and let me define argument it is a discussion where two people disagree there is a good chance the other side might say you are wrong.  I really feel like you are trying to push me around here and I do not like.  I am glad you have learned your lesson, I learned it long ago don't antagonize people with different opinions than yourself and get mad when they say you are wrong.  I did not choose to have a public debate you did.  Each debate has ended just as I paint you into a corner, could it be a coincidence yes it could now if said you abandon your debates every time you are about to lose still not an ad hominem attack but would be a personal attack which the other would not.  If I use LOVE in capital letters does that prove it is my motivation and it is my motivation and again you insult me with a viscous personal attack.  I have love and it does guide me and I why I choose to argue with you when you choose to argue with me  because I know I could just walk away is that I love you and each time I hope you are ready to stop seeing homosexuality through the lens you do.

I feel like you are bullying me and I do not respond well to that.

"If I have all these things and have not LOVE, I am NOTHING." Not everyone's guiding principle, but it's mine.

Do you really think I do not have love as my guiding principle?  Are you trying to bully me with bible quotes? I do not like being bullied, I do not like being bulled.

Each time you have instigated these debates and despite what you think there have been no viscous personal attacks.  I am not persecuting you, you started the debates every time.  Do you think all my posts are put out there to bait you into debates?  If you do you are wrong.

12/20, 12:45 pm
Former Friend

Holy crap, Fat; reality just left the building in style! Do you even know what bullying means? On top of everything else you throw in the victim card and accuse 120 lb me of somehow threatening you with - what kind of harm? Beating you up? My scary words about valuing friendships? Sure. Actually I'm certain this is all me, and you clearly do not have any issues with empathy, graciousness, or having to be right all the time; I rely on your patient forgiveness. Please do write back so you may have the last word.

12/20, 12:52 pm
Fat Rasputin

Passive aggressiveness can be used to bully, I am fully aware of what the word bully means and does not necessarily have anything to do with physical violence.  I was bullied for most of my childhood and I was the largest and toughest kid at my schools.  You can use words to bully.  Thank you for letting me have the last word, funny you did not answer any of my other points and it was a long message I will take that as you agree to everything else I said except the bullying and that me can agree to disagree on so you need not wait patiently for forgiveness it is freely given now, as long as you do agree with everything else I said besides the bullying.

PS With my neurological and muscle damage it would not be hard for you to physically beat me up but I know you are not aware of that but you could bully me physically but that is not what I was talking about.

12/20, 1:47 pm
Fat Rasputin

Just so there is no confusion about words or meanings, when you say don't you know what bully means that is condescending and is a tool of passive aggressive people.

This is the definition of bully from Miriam-Webster

blustering browbeating person; especially :  one habitually cruel to others who are weaker

Does not mention violence you are wrong about the definition of bully do you consider that an attack?  When someone says you are wrong it is not an attack.  Below is the link in case you think I am lying because of my low morale character which I have demonstrated in word and deed over the time I have known you.  I don't think I have demonstrated that I have low character but I guess you must have seen it this whole time not to give me the benefit of the doubt.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bully

COMMENTS:
At this point my Former Friend had gone through the public debate on Facebook and had edited some comments and then eventually deleted some comments. Below I say I think she was trying to make me look bad but with hindsight I think she was deleting just the comments that made her look bad.  I have had people lose public arguments with me badly and they have deleted all of their comments but I had never had anyone just delete their comments that made them look foolish and leave the ones that did not up.

12/20, 2:02 pm
Fat Rasputin

Some reason you deleted some of your comments and not others?  I have them all delivered in email so I still have them, I am trying to give you the benefit of the doubt now but it looks like you are just trying to make me look bad.  First some edits and the deletion of comments?  Are you trying to make me look bad?  That what it seems to me.  If I am correct that deed does have me question your morals, it is sad that it seems it is coming to an end because you don't like to be told you are wrong.  So be it.  Can I trust you with my wife's power of attorney?  Can I trust you to do right by us if we are both in an accident?  These are not rhetorical questions, can I trust you?  You have escalated this at every turn, why have you deleted comments?

12/20, 2:03 pm
Former Friend

Please leave me alone now.
Please leave me alone now.

COMMENTS:

I did leave her alone for over a month since my Former Friend told me to leave her alone.  I thought I would let things settle and hopefully we could remain friends but things had changed for me.  The friendship would be different but I truly hoped it would be there.

1/27, 5:23 pm
Fat Rasputin

I wanted to thank you for everything you have done for my wife and I over the years.  That being said I wanted to let you know that there is a new trustee of our trust, new power of attorneys for both my wife and I, and new executors for our wills.  This was my decision.  Thank you again.

1/27, 7:43 pm
Former Friend

No problem. Remember we're available to help in any way you need. If this is the result of anything I've done to offend, please let me know so I may apologize; I love and value the two of you.

1/27, 8:20 pm
Fat Rasputin

I had asked some questions that you did not answer and after that I no longer felt comfortable with you being the trustee, executor, or having power of attorney for my wife or I.

1/27, 11:17 pm
Former Friend

OK that's fine. Your responses and questions did not make sense or seem particularly friendly, so as I mentioned I let you have the last word and bowed out as graciously as I could. I wish you the very best.

1/28, 2:30 am
Fat Rasputin

I fell asleep and just woke up now. Again I did want to thank you for everything you have done for my wife and I.  I did not send you the message to hurt you or to start a another exchange.  I just wanted to let you know that those things had changed in case something happened to my wife or I.  I also just realized that I had asked many questions there at the end and I think you should know that my decision was only based on the last question as to why you had deleted some of your comments and not others. I think that after our years of friendship that you deserve to know exactly why I did what I did. Sincerely thank you again for everything you have done for my wife and I also wish you the best.

1/28, 9:18 am
Former Friend

I'm fully aware of what you said 'there at the end' as I did read it the first time, though you have once again ignored that I have 1. made it clear I was finished with the discussion and finally 2. pointedly asked you to leave me alone in that regard when you STILL would not let it go. I don't want to know why you do things if it means that you keep pestering me about a closed subject, Fat. Please consider me soundly informed, and the topic finally, completely, eternally CLOSED. If you continue to harass me on this for any reason after my many requests for peace, I will block you.

COMMENTS:

At this point I did not know what to make of this.  I called my wife at work and cried and begged and hoped that she had some solution that would allow us all to stay friends.  The Former Friend had asked me to leave her alone and I had no contact with her for over a month and then she asks me if she has done anything to offend, at least that is what I thought when my Former Friend says this "If this is the result of anything I've done to offend, please let me know so I may apologize; I love and value the two of you."  At that point I really thought we were going to reconcile, I thought it was an opening and I was wrong.

After speaking with my wife and trying to understand her last message it became apparent to me I needed to unfriend and block my Former Friend not just on Facebook but in life.  She said she was going to block me for harassing her.  Just to clarify I had no other contact with her other than these Facebook exchanges.  When she asked me to leave her alone I did so for over a month, I only brought up the deleting of comments because I sincerely thought she was asking why I had been offended.  I know I am repeating myself but this was a shock to my system.  I was also scared because her last response just made no sense to me and I did not know what to expect next and it was frightening.

My Former Friend had been a rock in me and my wife's lives for over a long time.  She had been more generous than any friend had the right to ask.  She gave of her time, her family, and her love and maybe I was more frightened about not having her in my life than of anything she would do.  Even writing this now I am still tearing up a bit, I really have no idea what happened.

I occasionally complain about dying but if we could strip back the hyperbole for a moment my wife and I had concrete plans for the likely event that I would die long before my wife.  There are various practical financial things that are part of the plan but there were emotional plans as well.  My wife loves me a great deal and when I die both of us think she will be very upset, more so than the regular grieving spouse.  Now before any gets up in arms she will be more upset not because she loves me more than any one else loves their spouse but because she is also so sensitive and does not have much family left outside of me.  When I died my wife was going to live with my Former Friend until she would be able to be on her own again. At this point I am crying because our rock is gone and I still do not know why.


Monday, February 10, 2014

All Blog Posts Going Forward Will Be Moving From Monday To Tuesday! Every Tuesday! Come On Now What Else Do You Have To Look Forward To On Tuesdays?

I know it does not seem possible for a disabled man with no job, no friends, and no family to have scheduling problems but alas I have run into some scheduling problems.  Going forward the weekly blog post will be on Tuesday, not Monday.  I love my fans and my fellow sickies and if you have anything to recommend or complain about please let me know.  Thanks again for the support, it surprises me every week that so many people read the words that spill out of my brain.  I hope this blog has helped other people but even if it has not it has helped me beyond my words to describe.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Does Jesus Hate Me And Homosexuals? Part 1

The conversation below was an exchange between myself and a friend of mine on Facebook.  The conversation started in May of 2013.  She was a friend of both myself and my wife.  It is hard to rank your friends and I will not use superlatives like she was our best friend but my wife and I considered her family.  She had power of attorney for both my wife and myself and was to inherit the bulk of our estate if both my wife and I died at the same time.  She was well trusted and well loved.  She is longer trusted but certainly is still well loved.  This is the beginning of the end of our friendship and it is over a difference in theological opinions about gay marriage, at least that is where it began.  You will find in part 2 that a difference over gay marriage can destroy trust as well as a friendship.  The following is unedited except for the names being changed so please forgive any mistakes in grammar or spelling.


5/29, 9:10am
Former Friend

Hey Fat,

I'm curious about something, and wonder if you would mind helping me understand where you're coming from. How do you reconcile following the God of the Bible and calling homosexuality good when the Bible plainly calls it wrong? You've told me that the most important thing is a relationship with Jesus, and I agree. But Jesus has an opinion on this: He said if we love Him we'll obey His commands, and whoever says he follows Jesus but doesn't do what He says as a lifestyle is a liar. Could you share your thoughts on this?

5/29, 12:21pm
Fat Rasputin

Homosexuality is only mentioned once in the new testament and if you take that comment in context it is not much about homosexuality and if you want to discuss that we can but putting that aside if you go to where it is mentioned we should not have tattoos or eat shelf fish and I know I have not directly answered your question but can I ask if Leviticus is important about homosexuality how come we don't protest Red Lobster or barbers that cut the hair by your temple? Either all of the Leviticus is important or none of it is important in relation to the new covenant. That is how I reconcile it. Not in an angry way, sometimes it is hard to tell that in writing. I understand your point of view but find it does not hold up to logical scrutiny.

5/29, 3:13pm
Former Friend

Oh you don't sound angry at all; me either. You are my dear friend whom I love enough to humbly try to protect from making a mistake. I could be wrong, but I wouldn't go through the trouble (I hate arguments/conflict!) if I weren't nuts about you.

Have you read the context of scriptures on homosexuality for yourself, placing God's opinion higher than man's? In Leviticus *ceremonial* law was made obsolete with Christ's sacrifice, but the *moral* law stands. Homosexuality is further condemned as "detestable" to God, which is a lot to ignore while claiming we follow Him. We can't throw it all out because Rom 15:4 also says what was written in earlier times is for our instruction, and Jesus quoted Leviticus as authoritative several times.

In the NT, Jesus proactively taught male-female marriage as God's plan (quoting Genesis) in Matthew 19, and there's I Cor. 6:9-10 and Romans 1 with a boatload of other lifestyle sins listed - ironically - as consequence of deeming God irrelevant. Would you re-read those and tell me how this doesn't hold up to logical scrutiny?

All of this is to encourage you that the whole Bible is truth for today, even when popular opinion disagrees. Let me know your thoughts, and thanks for the listen!

5/29, 3:33pm
Former Friend

PS: I've done a 180 on this one - I have two same-sex attracted sibs, so it's especially near and dear to my heart.

5/29, 3:44pm
Fat Rasputin

I appreciate your legitimate love and concern for me and that we can talk about this without being angry. You are more knowledgeable than most. There are three divisions in Leviticus, Jewish Government law, Jewish ceremonial Law, and Jewish Moral Law. The first two are of course gone but the third we should still strive to follow. Before I continue I must tell you I do not take the bible literally but that will not stop me from debating. If we leave out the ceremonial and governmental and only address the moral one of things mentioned is not have sex with a woman during her period, this mentioned right along with the homosexual forbidding. People do not seem to be really engaged about that. I will have to read the other stuff and get back with you this will be just a start. My mind can be changed I am not intransient on this issue but that is my current thought process.

5/29, 4:05pm
Former Friend

I love your guts, you know. I also have to wonder why the heck we're hearing about hair cuts and joining dissimilar fabric?! Gotta look into a few things. And make dinner! Thanks for the lively and friendly exchange of ideas.

Oh, and can you give me a sarcoidosis update? Planning to do some serious praying there.

BIG hugs & love!

5/29, 4:16pm
Fat Rasputin

Thanks!
6/6, 11:30am
Former Friend
Interesting article on old testament laws - part of my Levitical research here and there. http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2013/05/06/christians-follow-old-testament-laws

6/6, 2:29pm
Fat Rasputin

That is some good reading I have an article I need to show you but I can not find it right now.

6/6, 2:51pm
Fat Rasputin

As I read and research it further, it does seem like people are picking and choosing even from the moral law that is put forth in Leviticus. I have to bring it up again after reading up, how come people are not going after men who have sex with women when they are on their period. It is listed with the moral laws, most of which are good things to live by. Do not have sex with animals, relatives, but you do not see Christians talking about sex with women why they are on their period. I would put forth the same argument I had initially but slightly refined. If the moral law from leviticus is still valid even with the new covenant how come no one mentions sex with women on their period?

6/6, 3:00pm
Former Friend

Hmm I wonder about that; I don't know. It's a big jump between a restriction on wife and husband to same-sex, though. I think that's particularly insulting to God because it tells Him, "You designed it wrong" and removes the connection of sex to building a family for children instead of just gratification for two partners. But that's a really good point; let me know what you find on it!

6/6, 3:08pm
Fat Rasputin

On the other hand if I would say Leviticus does not say that homosexuality is a greater offense than sex with a woman during her period. The text does not say one is worse or more important that the other that would just be fallible human interpretation. I would say it might be insulting to God to say that you discount what he put in the bible because it does not seem as bad to you. I am not a literalist but if you are I do not think you can put your own interpretations to things that are not in the text.

6/6, 4:24pm
Former Friend

True, there was some interpretation in there, though the main point is literally textual: God sets up human relationships in Genesis 1:1 with a man and a woman, and calls sexual relations between same sex "detestable." This is not the case with the menstruation issue.

6/6, 4:28pm
Former Friend

That seems pretty clearly greater offense, because it departs from what God set up and the language against is especially strong throughout. Also, there's cleanliness and purification language (priestly law) made moot by Christ's sacrifice that's different from the moral law. I still don't get a bunch of it and it does seem weird in light of current culture sometimes.

6/6, 4:33pm
Fat Rasputin

I would say that all sins are equal in the eyes of God which is why the new covenant was necessary. I would argue that if homosexuality is important why isn't the menstruation important. Do we get to ignore the menstruation issue because it is less important. Do we only have to live by the important moral laws from the bible? I would also argue that is still an interpretation that homosexuality is a great sin, under those same arguments birth control of any kind could also be considered a more despicable sin. I would still argue that all the moral laws are important to follow or all of them need to be reevaluated under the new covenant.

6/6, 5:29pm
Former Friend

I'm curious where you get the idea that all sins are equal to God? You seem kind of argumentive today - remember I don't have to be right here; presenting a perspective for you to keep or toss. Let me re-read this later and get back to you. Hugs!

6/6, 6:38pm
Fat Rasputin

Sorry for the delay I was playing a video game. I am not sure what to make of that statement and I know sometimes it is hard to read on paper what exactly is meant. This conversation started because you asked me how I justified being a Christian and supporting gay marriage. I would say from the beginning it was an argument. Not in the we are mad way but in the we disagree way. You knew we disagreed beforehand and you solicited the discussion (in my mind argument). I am explaining how I justify it because you asked, you are right you do not have to be there presenting your position to me you choose to unsolicited. If you would now like to not argue the point that is okay. I am not mad and do not take this personally but I think you are wrong and I have not come to my opinions lightly.

6/6, 6:53pm
Fat Rasputin

I think you are a great person and I hope you realize I am attacking the ideas that I think you are wrong on and not you as a person, but if you are taking them as personal attacks we definitely should not continue.

6/7, 7:51am
Former Friend

Oh goodness; I should definitely clarify. I do not feel personally attacked. The last email seemed especially argumentive to me, so I was checking in on you. By all means help me understand where you're coming from, and stop any time you like, but I will check in to make sure we're staying amicable, because being your friend/extended family comes first, yes?

6/7, 3:05pm
Fat Rasputin

YES, definitely. I should warn you I am a trained debater, I took a forensics in college during one of my phases and I think I argue well it is never personal unless it is and that would not be subtle. You would not need to ask if it was personal. So no worries, I thought you were getting upset I was not upset.

6/7, 4:46pm
Former Friend

Nice!