Constant Jabs

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vonmoot

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Constant Jabs
« on: October 04, 2018, 10:59:58 AM »
I posted earlier about "Peace in Our Time".  Judging by how ucovertNPD wife is, I think that is ending.

How does everyone deal with constant negativity and criticism?  The jabs keep coming with nothing positive ever said.  Everything my fault.  It is so exhausting.  I wonder if I am being baited to react.  Sadly, I do find myself frustrated and angry, and I do express it (don't yell or anything but she can tell).  I have told her that I'm tired of the constant criticism.  Naturally, she denies it in one breath and the next one points out how I failed in something.
The demand of the loveless and the self-imprisoned that they should be allowed to blackmail the universe: that till they consent to be happy (on their own terms) no one else shall taste joy: that theirs should be the final power; that Hell should be able to veto Heaven.
The Great Divorce. C.S. Lewis

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SonofThunder

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Re: Constant Jabs
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2018, 11:56:40 AM »
I posted earlier about "Peace in Our Time".  Judging by how ucovertNPD wife is, I think that is ending.

How does everyone deal with constant negativity and criticism?  The jabs keep coming with nothing positive ever said.  Everything my fault.  It is so exhausting.  I wonder if I am being baited to react.  Sadly, I do find myself frustrated and angry, and I do express it (don't yell or anything but she can tell).  I have told her that I'm tired of the constant criticism.  Naturally, she denies it in one breath and the next one points out how I failed in something.

Sorry brother. I also know well what you describe.  You wrote; “I wonder if I am being baited to react.” 

My opinion from my own uPDw experiences is that 1. It is baiting, as PD’s thrill in baiting and catching a fish that fights back.  2. It can also at the same time be projection, as the PD is actually internally self-criticizing his/her own failures but criticizing you openly in similar areas to hide the self-criticism and blame shift the issues to you. 

You also wrote; “Sadly, I do find myself frustrated and angry, and I do express it (don't yell or anything but she can tell).  I have told her that I'm tired of the constant criticism.”

That, in my opinion, is the bait taken and PD’s get that thrill of a fish on the hook.  Telling her you are tired of it let’s her know the constant jabs each have landed for the blow and your expressing it to her in that way let’s her know it is working and to continue. 

I want to suggest that a boundary to protect/remove yourself from it will bring you some space/peace and the boundary wall she will run into when you deploy yours for yourself will be a negative for her. 

Think of it again from the fishing analogy.  She casts her well designed lure of criticism in the water, lurking around your favorite spot to catch the lunker she knows is there, and you don’t take the bait. She continually casts that lurid lure right on the money, but as the smart fish has learned, having been caught before with that same bait, he now moves behind the boundary cover of branches and rocks for peace and safety and when he does, she gets that well designed lure snagged in the boundary branches or under a rock and it becomes frustrating for the bait-lady as the fish is outsmarting her. 

Does she pack it in and go home or elsewhere?  Maybe for that day, but she has her mind now set harder on catching that trophy and she will be back to cast again.  The fish has always got to be smart and use the boundaries well in their design, as she will cast from many angles.  The fish will learn to come out and eat when the casting stops, but he’s always got to be on guard. 

I feel for you Vonmoot.  It’s a tough life to be a bait-dodging fish, but many of us are right there in the lake with you, in the same circumstance just around the bend. 

SoT
Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

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coyote

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Re: Constant Jabs
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2018, 12:29:46 PM »
vonmoot,
Here is my take on this. Anything said that is intended to belittle, demean, make me feel less than, incompetent, etc. I term as verbal/emotional abuse. My moral code does not allow me to be subjected to abuse of any kind. So I set strong boundaries enforced with logical consequences when boundaries are violated.

With my boundaries set I no longer feel frustrated and angry. I feel empowered and in control of my emotions. You say, " I do express it (don't yell or anything but she can tell)." To me this is where the baiting comes in. She is getting what she wants, you to be frustrated and angry. With boundaries you don't have to feel like that. When she does not get what she wants, (at least in my situation with my uPPDw) the baiting stops.

Don't misunderstand boundaries though. They are not meant to change the other person's behavior; although this can happen as an offshoot. Boundaries are meant to protect us and help us change our responses, I hope this helps as I know the frustration I felt with this.
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
 Wayne Dyer

“The only person educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.”  Carl Rogers

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?
Capt. Jack Sparrow

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11JB68

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Re: Constant Jabs
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2018, 12:58:31 PM »
Right there with you on this one, and though I am still not doing a good job on setting/enforcing boundaries, I am trying SO hard to use Medium Chill and find it works quite well. I can't say I'm 'happy' in my marriage, but the drama has been reduced drastically, for which I am thankful.

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vonmoot

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Re: Constant Jabs
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2018, 10:09:36 AM »
SoT-
I like the fishing analogy.  I am learning to emotionally detach myself from her statements.  Very hard to do as she is very, very persistent.  I will keep in mind the fishing analogy because that is something I can mentally picture.

Coyote-
Again, boundaries are being put into place.  What I am finding is that I have to leave the room.  I knew this on a rational level, but we don't live with a rational being.  Anyway, I have to leave the room and clear my mind and regain my emotional composure.  That seems to be helping.

11JB68-
I guess we are in the same boat.  For instance the wife and son got into an argument (wife was yelling at son, son reacted), I told son to use Medium Chill and Grey Rock.  Not fire with fire.  Wife wants me to mediate their dispute.  Told her that if she has problem with son, then she should confront son.  I cannot/will not be in the middle of it.  Later she mentioned that son has not approached her.  I told her that I had a conversation with him.  To which she said, "That did not work so well."  I replied then she should talk to him...not me.  Then I left the room.  My boundary is not mediate their arguments anymore.  Tiring.
The demand of the loveless and the self-imprisoned that they should be allowed to blackmail the universe: that till they consent to be happy (on their own terms) no one else shall taste joy: that theirs should be the final power; that Hell should be able to veto Heaven.
The Great Divorce. C.S. Lewis

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11JB68

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Re: Constant Jabs
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2018, 11:37:42 AM »
Vonmoot, how old is your son? Mine is 21. I've found that uPDh has tried to use me as his proxy e.g. tell ds to do x. He knows I don't agree with him. When I've tried to have h and ds speak directly with each other h escalates. In fact I feel like he then is more mean to ds as a way of trying to punish me! It never seems to go well. Also I'm realizing that ds (unconsciously I'm sure) has been practicing the art of mc long before I even knew about it.

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vonmoot

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Re: Constant Jabs
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2018, 11:18:30 AM »
11JB68-
Son is 24.  I get the reacting to be yelled at.  It affects the lizard brain, so his "fight or flight" response is activated.  I've spoken with him that meeting his mother head on is not going to end in his favor.  Instead, MC and Grey Rock.  Our kids (24, 21, 19) are at college but they have learned to make themselves busy so as not to come home.
Ironically, as I was coming Out of the FOG, I became kind of despondent.  After I got through this period, he remarked how bitter I seemed.
The demand of the loveless and the self-imprisoned that they should be allowed to blackmail the universe: that till they consent to be happy (on their own terms) no one else shall taste joy: that theirs should be the final power; that Hell should be able to veto Heaven.
The Great Divorce. C.S. Lewis

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LeeJane

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Re: Constant Jabs
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2018, 08:13:41 AM »
Thank you for the shares in this thread.  I strongly relate to the constant baiting. 

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RipplesClear

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Re: Constant Jabs
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2018, 04:41:47 PM »
I get this too.  Yesterday I took the bait and told him his little jabs are immature.  He responded with further jabs about how he's now too "immature" for me, at which point I stopped responding.  I wonder which is worse, to speak up and escalate the situation, or to keep your mouth shut and internalize all that stress and anger.  I don't often take the bait, but I've become an angry person inside and wonder if I'm going to eventually regret the fact that I never spoke my mind.

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vonmoot

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Re: Constant Jabs
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2018, 10:36:26 AM »
Quote
I wonder which is worse, to speak up and escalate the situation, or to keep your mouth shut and internalize all that stress and anger.
Good question.  I just make a one or two word comment.  Whenever she makes a negative comment, I'll say, "Thanks."  Sarcastically.  Last night she, actually, told me that she felt upset.  Since she's upset, she can say anything she wants to me.  :roll:  That's love, amiright?!?

I think the constant negativity would be A LOT easier to handle, if there was a positive comment made at some point.  The problem with reacting and starting down the rabbit hole of escalation is that there will not be any resolution.  Only more Circular Arguments and JADEing.  The fights are like crack to an addict.  I really believe she gets a dopamine rush from it.  Instead, I am working on training myself to shrug and move on.  It is a complete waste of time and energy.
The demand of the loveless and the self-imprisoned that they should be allowed to blackmail the universe: that till they consent to be happy (on their own terms) no one else shall taste joy: that theirs should be the final power; that Hell should be able to veto Heaven.
The Great Divorce. C.S. Lewis

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11JB68

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Re: Constant Jabs
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2018, 01:16:16 AM »
The problem with reacting and starting down the rabbit hole of escalation is that there will not be any resolution.  Only more Circular Arguments and JADEing.  The fights are like crack to an addict.  I really believe she gets a dopamine rush from it.  Instead, I am working on training myself to shrug and move on.  It is a complete waste of time and energy.
 :yeahthat:
Vonmoot, YES! Exactly that.
I feel the energy leave him when I don't react. One day recently he was starting an argument about how I had to agree with him about some criticism of ds and also to work on ds to fix this, my response was a very calm 'I'll put some thought into that'. Stopped him in his tracks.

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Alwaystoblame

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Re: Constant Jabs
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2018, 11:14:22 AM »
I get this too.  Yesterday I took the bait and told him his little jabs are immature.  He responded with further jabs about how he's now too "immature" for me, at which point I stopped responding.  I wonder which is worse, to speak up and escalate the situation, or to keep your mouth shut and internalize all that stress and anger.  I don't often take the bait, but I've become an angry person inside and wonder if I'm going to eventually regret the fact that I never spoke my mind.

I question the same thing. Go MC or GR and smooth things over at the expense of myself. When I do MC or GR i am often seething inside and i can physically feel my teeth clench and chest tighten. This cant be good for anyone to constantly be under this stress.

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SonofThunder

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Re: Constant J
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2018, 11:58:42 AM »
I get this too.  Yesterday I took the bait and told him his little jabs are immature.  He responded with further jabs about how he's now too "immature" for me, at which point I stopped responding.  I wonder which is worse, to speak up and escalate the situation, or to keep your mouth shut and internalize all that stress and anger.  I don't often take the bait, but I've become an angry person inside and wonder if I'm going to eventually regret the fact that I never spoke my mind.

Hello RipplesClear,

You wrote;  “I wonder which is worse, to speak up and escalate the situation, or to keep your mouth shut and internalize all that stress and anger.”  In my opinion, speaking up (JADEing) is not the best solution, but rather, to use the toolbox to your advantage and protection.  I have found over the years, that ‘internalized stress and anger’ can be reduced by creating a different mindset toward PD behavior.  In fact, i have actually found that successfully deploying the toolbox to reduce my exposure to PD behavior can actually be converted an internalized victory as i study, practice and implement the tools. 

Similar behavior coming from an adolescent child of mine would not be tolerated and i would not internalize stress and anger, as i expect it from a child and deal with it in a more proper parental way.  But when similar behaviors come from an adult spouse or family member, it can be internalized as stress and anger because it is not expected from an adult loved one.   Therefore my recommendation is that we do three things when dealing with PD adults;  1. Study, practice and implement the toolbox for our own protection and minimized exposure.  2. Mentally expect the behavior from a PD adult and therefore prepare using #1 above.  3. Consider it (and internalize) a victory when we successfully protect ourselves using the toolbox. 

With non-PD children, they typically end up learning as they are in training to be an adult, but PD’s typically do not learn, so therefore we must not consider our actions of 1-3 above to be directed toward the PD (like you would in training up a child), but rather solely in protection of ourselves and others under our care.   Its a mental shift to a protective  ‘boundary’ mentality, where with a child, it is a parental training mentality.  Although very similar behaviors are experienced between the two groups, the behaviors and actions of the PD adults are amplified because they are have adult rights, adult abilities and adult assets to use to exert control.  Therefore, it takes a special set of skills and mentality to deal with them, and therefore the potential victory can be internalized as we train ourselves (not others) in our skills. 

SoT

Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

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RipplesClear

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Re: Constant Jabs
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2018, 02:34:31 PM »
I just find myself going through arguments in my head, trying to figure out what I could say that would make any difference at all, and then inevitably coming to the conclusion that there is nothing you can say.  The pd will never entertain another person's point of view if it differs from their own.  As a result, I feel emotionally deflated most of the time, and have less and less to say to my SO these days because most of what I say, even something positive, is met with a largely negative response, designed to make me feel inadequate. 
Some nights, after a particularly trying day, I will wake up and, unable to go back to sleep, I will go through all the arguments in my head and mentally give him a marathon lecture, saying all the things I wish I could say, more eloquently than I could ever be in person, without fear of consequences, because he never actually gets to hear it.  This may be a practical way of venting, without hurting another person or rocking the family boat, but I wonder what effect it's having on my own health?  My blood pressure is on the rise (and it used to be on the low side) and I really need to find a way to reduce the stress.
Talking on this forum helps.  Thanks for the advice and sharing your experiences! And thanks SoT for the advice on internalizing victories, rather than stressful, defeatist thoughts.   I'll review the toolbox once more and try to retain that information for when I need it.

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rubixcube

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Re: Constant Jabs
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2018, 10:07:39 AM »
2. It can also at the same time be projection, as the PD is actually internally self-criticizing his/her own failures but criticizing you openly in similar areas to hide the self-criticism and blame shift the issues to you. 

This is entirely how my wife plays her game (It's basically gaslighting), and the criticisms aren't always expressed either. They come out later. Sometimes there are unnecessary little jabs when we're out in public.

It wasn't until I started to put up boundaries about how I wanted to be treated that I saw real wrath. It's like stirring the pot. As long as they can manipulate and abuse you and you don't fight back, they can live in their fantasy; once boundaries go up they hit a wall.  Good luck to you, it's so worth the journey!

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RipplesClear

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Re: Constant Jabs
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2018, 03:40:26 PM »

It wasn't until I started to put up boundaries about how I wanted to be treated that I saw real wrath. It's like stirring the pot. As long as they can manipulate and abuse you and you don't fight back, they can live in their fantasy; once boundaries go up they hit a wall.  Good luck to you, it's so worth the journey!

How do you deal with the wrath?  It's been my experience that when I try to define a boundary, I get lots of push-back, with h telling me I am arrogant, self-indulgent, and several other nasty things.  And I think I only define my boundaries with minimal "force", such as saying, "that's enough" when he's been excessive with his criticism, or by simply not taking the bait (jabs, criticisms, and other argument-openers) when he dangles it in front of me.  I don't think I am being argumentative or nasty in any way, but his words to me suggest I'm a huge bee-with-an-itch towards him and he tells me he's fed up with it.  Could be gaslighting or projection on his part.   Or there is just something wrong with the way I relate to him, that he's not seeing it the way I'm seeing it.   But it means any discussion I have with him leaves me questioning myself and my behaviour, while he just flat out refuses to see how destructive and hurtful his own behaviour is.   It seems that he feels threatened whenever I have any respect for myself. 
How do you maintain boundaries when the going gets tough?  How do you keep your self-respect up when you are constantly being taken down a notch?  And how do you keep your relationship with this person together when your own sense of self-worth is somehow seen as a threat to them?

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SonofThunder

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Re: Constant Jabs
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2018, 06:13:51 PM »
RipplesClear and Rubixcube,

What you are briefly describing as boundaries are not actually boundaries, they are JADEing.  Im not going to hijack this thread on this subject, but boundaries and not JADEing are key tools used in protecting yourself and others under your care.  In short, boundaries are not desires and attempts to control the actions or words of another person, but the protective actions YOU take (designed by you, for you, in advance) when confronted with hurtful and disrespective words and actions from another person. Boundaries should not include JADEing.   Proper boundaries and no JADEing can protect oneself from the jabs the op Vonmoot is describing. 

PD’s feed on drama and JADEing and when good and proper boundaries are put in place, the PD person may eventually conclude that they are not getting responses from their jabs and other more lengthy and harsh attacks, and stop making so many efforts in those ways.   Good boundaries and no JADEing may also though lead to silent treatments and extreme emotional distance from the PD, but thats just life with a PD.   

There are plenty of other threads on boundaries so again, I point you to the toolbox first and then suggest you look at some of the proactive threads on boundaries and not JADEing.   They will assist you with PD jabs. 

SoT
« Last Edit: December 07, 2018, 06:17:14 PM by SonofThunder »
Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

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vonmoot

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Re: Constant Jabs
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2018, 11:02:47 AM »
I appreciate everyone's comments.  We are all struggling to lie with these folks.

Not to go into great detail because it really needs another thread, the PD will learn that the jabs no longer work.  However, they are continuously probing to find that weakness.  In my case it is the strong belief (I know it is debatable), that two parents in a household are necessary for the upbringing of a child.  The wife has figured out that my very strong sense of obligation will keep me dangling on a string.

It really gets down to how much one can take; what is the breaking point.  Realizing that it really doesn't get better...just quiets down.
The demand of the loveless and the self-imprisoned that they should be allowed to blackmail the universe: that till they consent to be happy (on their own terms) no one else shall taste joy: that theirs should be the final power; that Hell should be able to veto Heaven.
The Great Divorce. C.S. Lewis

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SonofThunder

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Re: Constant Jabs
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2018, 08:00:00 PM »
Vonmoot, you wrote

“.... Realizing that it really doesn't get better...just quiets down.”

That is an accurate statement imo and add to the quietness is emotional detachment/distance.  In my case i had to come to grips with the fact that my uPDw and I will never have the kind of relationship i would desire from a spouse.  I walked out on my wife on July 13th (i have a second home to live in) and I agreed to live apart for a  60 day period ‘healing separation’ just to provide ME some healing space.  (Im empty nested so no kids to make life hard by my actions).

It was a wonderful period of greatly reduced anxiety and my GI problems went away very quickly and i slept much better.  At the 60 day mark, I started spending evening/nights at the main home, but all my possessions still remain at my 2nd home and i also work from that 2nd home daily.  For the first 30 days of our reuniting for evenings/nights, things were very different and at first, she stated that she was aware that she had a lot of work to do to be a better spouse and she was enthusiastic toward my presence (fear of abandonment issues resolving).   

But now, things are beginning to return to her normal PD ways as the newness of my return has worn off.  In fact, she has begun to do a full 360 on her opinions and has begun making jab comments that I am the reason that our relationship suffers and that i need to work on my issues which caused the problem between us. 

I just ignore her comments and medium chill.  It is a bit fascinating to me to have experienced her full throttle fear of abandonment, remorse, begging for my return, love bombing upon my return and then her slowly sliding into neutral and now, moving into reverse. 

Ive surely read much (both here and in books) about PD’s never changing and now have been able to experience it for myself.  So again yes, imo it is about how much you can take, how well you minimize the damage using the toolbox, and for how long. Now in my extra experiences, seen the PD behaviors come right back after she had to make an effort for a while to help assure my coming back in would happen.  Not sure what my future holds, but im fully invested in the toolbox and definately enjoyed that 60-90 day hiatus!!  I wish you the best in you figuring out your future as well.  :cool2:

SoT
« Last Edit: December 10, 2018, 08:16:28 PM by SonofThunder »
Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

*

rubixcube

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Re: Constant Jabs
« Reply #19 on: Yesterday at 10:41:55 AM »
love bombing

Excellent term! When my wife goes slightly manic, I get love bombed. Then she looks at me funny if I didn't ride the roller coaster up with her. She seems to feel validated: "look. He's in a bad mood".

Thanks SoT for clarifying the JADEing thing. I need to look it up. So, Vonmoot, don't listen to me ;) I have no clue what I'm talking about. I'm still one foot in the fog myself. I'm really grateful you all are here.