Thomas Wictor

New rules of engagement

New rules of engagement

What made the suicides of my parents so painful was that Mom and Dad kept assuring us that they wanted to live. They said one thing and did the opposite. I’ve dealt with people like that my whole life, but I was nearly killed by my mother and father reaching out to us and pushing us away at the same time. It destroyed me. So I must announce new rules of engagement.

1. If you contact me and make an offer, and then you don’t follow through, you go on my shit list forever.

2. If you make a promise that you don’t keep, you go on my shit list forever.

3. If your words and your actions are diametrically opposed, you go on my shit list forever.

Those are the rules of engagement that apply directly to surviving the suicides of my parents. They’re purely defensive ROE. I no longer have the physical, emotional, or mental leeway to indulge people who aren’t scrupulously consistent, diligent, and considerate.

These next rules of engagement are related to other issues.

4. If I’ve done you a favor, and you refuse to reciprocate, you go on on my shit list forever.

5. If I’ve treated you with respect, but you insult or belittle me, you go on my shit list forever.

6. If you offer up unsolicited criticisms of my life, you go on my shit list forever.

Recently several acquaintances of long standing—I can’t call them friends—decided it was time to start telling me that I’m doing everything wrong. I’m sure they’re right. However, you’ll know I want your opinion on my life when I ask for it. To offer it without asking me is beyond disrespectful. What you’re trying to do is impose your will on me. I won’t have it.

See, there’s nothing about me that warrants an intervention. Every day I write, exercise, and talk to Tim. That’s it. If I were doing this, you might have a point.

Until I start living like that, I really don’t need your “help,” as several individuals have described their intrusions.

7. If you volunteer information about yourself and then get angry at me for now knowing what you told me, you go on my shit list forever.

8. If you tell me that your way of doing things is how I have to do things, you go on my shit list forever.

9. If you ignore my communications, you go on my shit list forever.

10. If you lie to me, and I find out, you go on my shit list forever.

I’m currently writing a novel that has nothing whatsoever to do with real life. It’s completely made up. Even so, putting all of it down and then making it public is a giant, extremely difficult step. The fallout will be spectacular and possibly lethal. For me, I mean. So what? I’ve never been more excited about a writing project.

But now that I’ve made this decision, I have to modify how I deal with my fellow humans. Since I began writing professionally in 1992, I’ve been myself. I didn’t change who I was. What did it get me? Nearly total failure, pain, loss, and victimization. People who describe themselves as loving and kind have been more vicious than those who’ve said they hate me.

So now I’m going to be a complete bastard. But only to certain types of people. If you violate none of my rules of engagement, you’ll have nothing to fear.

Here’s an incredible idea I just came up with. Nobody’s ever contemplated this notion before, so hold onto your hat: Treat me the way you want to be treated yourself.

The load I carry is greater than most of you can imagine. I recently had a surreal exchange with someone who contacted me, offered to help make up for what Mike Albee and Lura Dold had done, and then completely crapped out. I expected that, because the person said that Mike is a sociopath, but the person had also reconciled with him. My experience with Mike had shocked the person into wondering if maybe Mike had lied about turning over a new leaf.

Well, the cognitive dissonance there is truly one for the record books. You say Mike is a sociopath, but you also say you thought he’d turned over a new leaf. I already knew that Mike is a sociopath, which by definition makes him incapable of turning over a new leaf. What we’re talking about is a refusal to face unpleasant reality. I fully understand the horror of accepting that someone close to you is a monster.

Lying about it to yourself won’t change that reality. I know, I know: We’re not supposed to judge, and there’s good in everyone.

Hogwash. With clumps of rotten haddock floating in it.

Mike has closed down his fake book-publicity companies and is moving on to other ventures. He and his wife Lura Dold will find new ways to inflict suffering. The main reason is that they like doing it. At some point, they’ll choose either someone who will commit suicide or someone who will come after Mike and Lura and kill them. This is guaranteed.

The hell of it is, nobody cares. That’s another reason I’ve had to adopt new rules of engagement. Nobody cares. In a few months or years, someone will die. Mike and Lura will defraud a person who was on their last legs, and that person will end his or her life. Or what’ll happen is that one of the people who’s contacted me will find Mike and Lura and do to them what was done to Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the combative atheist activist. She hired a career criminal and sociopath named David Roland Waters.


In 1995 Waters kidnapped O’Hair, her son Jon Murray, and her granddaughter Robin Murray O’Hair.


Waters held them prisoner in a motel and forced them to withdraw all their money from their bank accounts. Then he murdered them, sawed them into many little pieces, stored them in fifty-five-gallon drums for a long time, and finally buried them.

O’Hair, her son, and her granddaughter didn’t deserve to be murdered. Their killer was sentenced to only twenty years in prison but died in 2003 of lung cancer.

Mike Albee and Lura Dold won’t deserve it if a terrifying man does to them what he’s says he’s going to if he finds them. But I won’t lose any sleep over their fate. When people work really hard to achieve an outcome that’s virtually certain, I can’t feel any pity for them. And let’s be honest: The world will be a better place without Mike Albee and Lura Dold in it. It’ll be a safer place.

I tried for months to interest people in these two. Nobody cares. Now Mike and Lura have moved on, in complete freedom to victimize. They’re still out there, laying waste. Because we’re now a culture of indifference, they’ll continue their mayhem until all that karma catches up to them. And I promise you, it will.

What 2013 and the first part of 2014 taught me is that people will do nothing to improve their situation. In fact they’ll fight you to the death—literally—to keep from facing truths they don’t like. I’ve had my fill of that.

So I’m going to spend the next few months writing a novel that I expect to make a splash, and then I’m going to market it far differently than I did all my other failed books.

One way I avoid being a failure in the future is with my new rules of engagement. I’m excited about trying them out. Consider the next few months a shakedown cruise.


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