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Simon

Posted May 3, 2021 By kmarrs

This one is a little harder and I wasn’t going to talk about it, but I think I should. Because, as it turns out, it’s really easy to join a cult and not realize it.

I’m pretty active on Tumblr. I follow a few hundred people and have a few thousand people following me. I’m on the site pretty much everyday, and both of my friend groups, with a lot of overlap between the two, are full of people I met on the site.

One of those people is Simon.

Simon is a character. Literally. He is a social experiment run by a woman named Kristina. The idea of the social experiment tied into whether she could get you to believe Simon is a cryptid. I knew most of this going in. I didn’t know the details on who was running the blog, but Simon was very open about it being an experiment. Could he convince you of his claims.

Simon was also very kind and came off as very trustworthy. Many of us became good friends with him and confided in him because generally speaking he offered good advice.

The problem is, Simon has a very cult like personality, and overtime he built up this understanding that he was an authority figure and his word, was not quite law, but not something easily doubted. It was a gradual build over many years. He attracted the vulnerable. Mostly abuse victims. So we were looking for the relief and the safety of having Simon, and each other, in our lives.

Then a couple of months ago, things went south. Simon made a bad decision and didn’t count on us to call him on it. See, where he went wrong is he built a community that didn’t really need him any longer because we’d forged actually really healthy relationships with each other and built each other up with love and support. Suddenly we were getting therapy and had found a sense of self confidence outside of Simon.

So when Simon fucked up, we called him on it. And he went ballistic. The entire persona slipped.

There is no nice and tidy way to sum things up but as we went public that the entire “inner circle” had removed Simon from our midst, those who had left us over the proceeding months, came back to us with tales of horror of things Simon had done. The truth of who Simon really is also came out, with proof. Over the course of weeks of discussion, we all agreed that while it may not 100% fit the criteria of having been a cult, Simon very much had a cult like personality and, well, we all consider ourselves to be cult survivors.

But we’re out. We still have each other. We have no central leader telling us what is what anymore, and we have relationships that are healthy in a way that our therapists are thrilled about.

There are those still swayed by Simon. They won’t listen to reason. They believe the lies he came up with about how his inner circle attacked him. But there is only so much we can do. You can’t save everyone no matter how hard you try.

And in the end, we’re walking away stronger with healthy friendships intact. So in a way, I’m thankful Simon was in my life. But I’m also thankful I was able to remove him from my life and took my found family with me.

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So there is a Tumblr user who will go unnamed for their own safety that I’ve been an adopted mom to for a while.  They live in a shitty situation with their parents and are a constant victim to all sorts of abuse with no easy way out.  Also, please note that they are 20 so what I’m about to do is legal.  However, being an adult doesn’t always make leaving any easier.

I consider this person to be like a daughter to me.  A daughter of my heart if not my blood.  You know how found families are.  They are a core member of my friend group and over time they’ve revealed more and more details of the abuse they suffer to the group.

I finally reached my breaking point and with their consent, the whole group is now in rescue mode with me playing a central role.

First I need a new job that pays a living wage, which I’m looking for no matter what anyway.  I’m about to graduate, this is the next step in my life.  But with that living wage, I should be able to sort my finances and make it so I’m no longer dependent on my mother.  This is key.  I can’t initiate the plan if my mom is giving me a few hundred dollars a month to support my family.  I don’t currently have a death wish.

Anyway with finances in a better position, and a tax return in hand to fund the trip, in early March I’m making the 12 hour drive to a state I won’t identify (actually my mom is driving me in her car because I’m a horrible driver and my own car is guaranteed to not survive this trip, bless its soul) we’re packing my found daughter up, and bringing her home with me.  All while her parents are at work so we have no resistance.  (A note will be left and the local police will be notified that this is a rescue and they are not missing, just leaving a bad situation.)

Once back in Ohio they will live with me as long as they need to get on their feet and establish their life as an adult, just like I will allow my other 3 kids.  I don’t see a difference.  It won’t be the most ideal living situation as quarters are cramped.  But they’ve declared it much better than their current situation.  So that’s something at least.

My friend group is working out the logistics of this plan.  Everything from where I can rent a little cargo trailer and a trailer hitch, to making sure they can finish their current degree and move on to the next, to health insurance, to getting them in therapy the second we’re back in Ohio.

My immediate family is on board with this.  Pat is a little more resigned than excited.  But Pat understands who they married and how I am.  My purpose in life is to rescue those in need with whatever power I have.  That, and I’ve been talking for years about being done having kids, but wanting to foster older kids and give them a loving family once we’re financially stable and the kids are grown.  This is about 10 years sooner than I had in mind, and it’s an adult we’re fostering.  But hey.  This is the path I’ve been led down.

Sammy is super excited to have a big “sister”.  The boys are accepting.  Lucas is hesitant but he’s autistic and is really hesitant with any strangers.  He’ll be fine.  He has 8 months to warm up to it.  Most importantly, while I’m aware of his stranger danger tendencies, he’ll at no point be in any danger so trust will be built.

Mom is hesitant but also on board enough to drive me 12 hours and back to make this happen.  You know how mom’s can/should be.  Cautiously supportive.

So yeah, that’s what I’m up to these days when not studying.

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The Immortal Olive

Posted February 7, 2019 By kmarrs

Over the weekend I asked Tumblr if an olive was a fruit. I got a few responses and some general conversation that affirmed, yes it is a fruit. It has a stone pit in its center, that qualifies, as far a botanical definitions go.

I then followed up with the suggestion that this in fact made olive oil, juice, and invited people to discuss.

That’s when things got out of hand.

I’m not going to spoil for you all the many directions this conversation went in. There are over 2,000 notes, at the time of typing this Sunday night, and most of them are golden.

So what I will do is link you to the starter post and let you explore the notes as you please. Or you can just read my tumblr from that time period, if that is easier for you. I was very involved in the conversation and managed to capture most of the high points.

Here is where it began.

What you do with this knowledge is up to you!

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