Anxiety Over Idiots

Anyone else have anxiety about other people? Probably. That’s like a huge part of it, right? And I’m probably not special in how mine seems to reach so much further than seems normal, but in standard anxiety form I *feel* like I am special because anxiety *chose* me. #swoon

Anyway, I just wanted to talk about this teensy little thing that causes my heart rate to go 30 miles over the limit: other people and their problems. I know, it says it right there, it’s their problem. I know this but my anxious side is like, “Ok BUT, what if it IS your problem? PLUS, you have all the answers, so it seems a little selfish to not share them with those who need it most???” And that makes sense to me.

I talked to my therapist about it and read a self-help book about it and both said to focus on myself and my problems and not those of others. It will be uncomfortable, but let it be. It will get easier. (And then eventually I’ll know how to set boundaries?! Incredible.) This all sounds logical too.

BUT THEN. Then some idiot is acting so dumb I’m just sitting here fidgeting and ready to pounce like, “Oh you need my unsolicited advice????? HERE IT IS!” They do need it, but they don’t want it. I’m right, I mean of course I am, but they aren’t ready for my profound wisdom. They will even look me in the eye and act like they are listening and then go right back to acting like a jackass. And I know that people can’t help it. They need to make mistakes and changes all in their own time. They have to want it. I have read all the books and inspirational quotes, I KNOW THIS. That doesn’t make it any easier for me to sit by and let them act like feral meat sacks.

I’ll sometimes notice how much progress I’ve made in focusing on myself and prioritizing my mental health and think, “Ya. This was the right decision. People are idiots and I should just let them be idiots and stay out of it.” And I swear it’s like the person knows. “Oh my god, she hasn’t tried to help me in a while! I need to do something drastic to get her attention.” And they will. And then I have to hear about it and try to still keep my mouth shut. Sometimes it’s a physical effort. I have to put my phone down and literally work off the urge in the gym or something. I have to clench my jaw so tight it needs a chiropractor to put it back in place. (These are actual things that have happened to me.)

This is why people talk shit about each other I swear lol. “Oh, so-and-so is being a real so-and-so but I can’t say anything because they don’t fkn listen so I’m going to vent.” I SWEAR this is how gossip came to be; idiots causing people with all the answers to have to resort to talking behind said idiots’ backs because…they’re idiots. Is that harsh? It might be but it’s also smart. It’s kind of better for everyone if instead of giving advice to people who clearly aren’t trying to change you just tell someone else the whole situation and then forget about it immediately. The idiots don’t have to pretend to listen and probably get resentful for getting advice they didn’t ask for and the rest of us geniuses get to keep our mentals slightly healthier.

Alas. I hope you enjoyed my little rant about idiots. If not, I can’t say that I’m too sad about it because venting about it here helped me which is what I’m really all about.

Gloria Pritchett of Modern Family


The Two Lila Bennetts by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke


Lila Bennett is a big-time criminal defense attorney whose bad choices have split her life in two – literally. In one reality she is kidnapped and held captive to be tortured with her past mistakes and come to terms with the wrongs she’s committed and lives she’s ruined. In the other reality, she is free. She escaped her captor and is living in fear as she watches the choices she’s made come crashing down around her.


The Two Lila Bennetts is the story of what happens when you make certain choices. In one instance, Lila can choose whether she goes out and “celebrates” after winning a big case. She can go, which will lead her down one road. Or she can pass on the outing and head home, which will lead to consequences of its own. This is the story of the series of events followed by each choice. One choice leads to Lila’s capture. She is held captive in a small cement room, starved and tortured by her past. She does not know the man who is keeping her (alive, for now) but he sure does know all about Lila. He is making her relive her worst moments and watch from her cell as the world investigates her disappearance, alternately blaming the people closest to her, victims from her past cases, and even herself.

The other choice leads to Lila escaping her captor and being free to roam while her world comes crashing down. In both realities her choices are coming back to confront her. Past relationships, cases gone wrong, her marriage. Every choice she has ever made has led her to this point, and what she chooses to do now is life or death.

I really enjoyed this book which is obvious in that I was reading it on work breaks and doctor’s appointments to see what happens next. I was slightly disappointed in the ending(s) though. While they were satisfactory enough, I would have liked to know why or how her life was split into two, literally. I think a couple of things were left out that would have made the book a five-star book for me. Those things are spoilers so do not read the spoilers if you do not want me to spoil the story. Also, please don’t take this to mean the book isn’t worth reading because it is definitely worth it. It will likely be even more enjoyable to people that don’t poke holes in sci-fi theories such as the alternate realty aspect of this book.


Please stop reading if you do not want spoilers.

Spoilers below.

Last chance to avoid spoilers.

Okay here we go with the spoilers.

At the end of the book, Lila is fighting off her captor in one reality and fighting for her marriage and relationships in the other. She sees what happens in the “free” reality, where she gets to make the choices she always knew she should be making: not defending guilty murderers, not cheating on her husband, etc. The captive reality is what happened when she made one last bad choice that landed her directly in the path of her kidnapper.

What I would have liked to know (since she lives in both versions of her realities) is why she gets to live in both? If her one good choice that led to her being free while her life was torn apart which in turn makes her start making good decisions and thus live, why not kill her off in the other? If she is literally two people in the book, why not kill off her bad side? That’s it. That’s the sci-fi of it that is driving me crazy. If she was literally two people, it seems that one of her should have been killed because how can there really be two Lila Bennetts? How are people not going to notice that? Especially because in the end of both situations Lila does make the same decision: to right her wrongs and be a better person. (Which is why I think it may only be “literally” two lives until Lila takes off her virtual reality goggles.) And yes, alternate realities/universes – I know, I know. Like I said, I poke holes in sci-fi.

When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica

Mary Kubica is an expert at twists, as you know if you’ve read Pretty Baby or Don’t You Cry. The twists you expect are the breadcrumb clues she lays out for you to follow, only to make a 180 at the last minute. However, what I loved the most about this book was not the plot twists (the last of which was kind of genius), but rather the genre twist. What starts out as a mystery/psychological thriller does not end in the same way. Mary sets you on one path only to realize you were never really going in the right direction.

Another aspect of Mary’s writing that is appealing to me is how much detail she uses. Personally, I have never had an issue going to sleep. It may not be great sleep, but falling asleep in and of itself is not a problem I can say that I have had. Insomnia as a major theme in the book is something that drew me to it. I knew that I would be able to experience it (if only in my imagination) if Mary was the one describing it – and I was not disappointed. My point here is not that I want to have insomnia, but rather that an author that can use details like Mary does is an amazing thing in helping you really be transported into the story. Nevertheless, due to the detail-oriented writer that she is, there were no doubt sometimes that I wanted the descriptions to just “Hurry up already!” so that I could get to the good stuff – what did she find in the closet crawl space? Who was the man in the garden? Did the clues lead where I thought they would? (Almost never.) Instead I found mini-cliffhangers and then I would be hooked again, reading for hours at a time as I followed a new lead.As an avid reader, I rarely don’t finish a book. I always try to push my way through to give every book a chance. Of course, this has been a waste of time on many books; not this one. Even though I did find myself at certain points begging to know whose social security number it really was, I know that if it weren’t for all the scenic descriptions I wouldn’t be as invested in the story. So, instead of judging a book solely based on what I feel while reading it (this time: frustration, anxiety, determination to guess the twists), what I rely on is the feeling I get after I am finished reading. Is it easily forgettable or am I still constantly thinking about it days later? In this case, and this is my mini-cliffhanger gift to you, the ending was in no way what I expected and I am still heartbroken for Eden’s story even days later. I urge you to give this book a chance to play with your mind a little. I challenge you to get ahead of Mary and figure out her ending.