Own It

I was thinking of a conversation I had the other day.

I’ve found that one of the best (and sometimes only) ways to keep people from using certain negative traits against you is to own them yourself. Obviously no one *wants* to be thought of as crazy/a bitch/air-headed/having “issues” etc. I’ve been called these things and they can be pretty hurtful at times. Even so, I’ve found that trying for a joking or “Yeah…and???” attitude-even if I have to fake it-forces people trying to insult me to do one of two things-they either have to shut their mouth or come up with something more interesting to say. People usually pick A.

This doesn’t always work, but I wish I’d thought of this earlier in life. I’m definitely going to temper how I refer to myself out of care for those who love me, but hopefully one day I won’t have anything *to* own. Until then…


Done

I am *done*.

Done with people who are mean just for the sake of being mean.

Done with having to push and shove my way through the line and scream to be heard. Sometimes I get claustrophobic when I am in a very tight, loud space.

Done with misreading people’s motives and getting upset when I don’t need to.

Done with having Slater get on my lap at the most inopportune times and, when I want to pet him, he runs away. Typical man, can’t make up his mind. 🙂

Done with projecting my bullshit onto other people.

Done with history repeating itself, if only in my head.

Done with having to bactrack and think of things to say to attempt to fix the problems that wouldn’t be problems had I not said anything to begin with. People say they’re not hurt or that they can ignore the things I say when they can see I’m cycling*. I’m not so sure.

Sometimes I think I’d love to go away somewhere-a hospital, the beach, some random place where I can’t hurt anyone and they’d be safe from my “whatever”. Problem is, I’m extroverted, so that would probably just make things worse. I should probably settle for a sign on my back saying, “Warning, prone to anxiety attacks, sudden crying and talking about my cats.” Maybe if I can pick a cute enough cat picture it will distract from the rest of it and people won’t be creeped out. Not that they are now, but things change.

Done with starting drama when I don’t mean to and having it go in the same vicious cycle over and over again. Most people know I can’t control it, but I want to find a way to control it. \The first step would probably be to duct-tape my mouth shut, but that stuff really hurts to take off. In fact, I think I still have some left over from last year’s New Year’s Eve party when I couldn’t wear a bra with my dress and had to tape my boobs. Don’t ask. 

I need to find a therapist. I have a doctor for medications, but not as much talk therapy as I need. I thought of going the online-therapy route, which would be easy for me to afford. Trouble is, I don’t have a set schedule so I wouldn’t be able to commit. I’m afraid I will lose focus and end up playing games on my phone instead of, ahem, finishing posts I started months ago. It will soon be a new year, with a fresh Health Savings Account from my husband’s job. That will make it easier. I hate having to ask about things that cost money-especially expensive things like talk therapy on top of my other doctors-but I’m not sure I have a choice.

 

 

 

 

*Bipolar-speak for change of state-manic, depressive, mixed etc.


Something I Can’t Quite Explain-Some Late-Night Drivel…

I was talking with someone the other day who describes herself as an atheist. I say “describes” because it sounded as though she wasn’t sure *what* she believed. She’d been exposed to religion all her life but, for some reason, it didn’t ring true to her. She just went through all the motions while people around her talked of things that made no sense. She was frustrated and challenging me to “prove” to her that there was a God. I knew where this was going.

When I asked her why it bothered her so much that I believed she said that it didn’t offend her so much as that she had a hard time believing that such a smart person could believe in something that can’t be proven true. She didn’t want words-she needed hard evidence. She’s a “science” person, which I guess goes with the territory.

I understand how difficult and dissatisfying it can be to believe in something you cannot see or touch, but I have felt what is without a doubt God’s presence in a way I cannot explain to someone who is not already inclined to believe in such things. Some people are more spiritually-minded than others, and that’s fine. It’s just like how some people like art while others don’t. Like how my sister is into sci-fi but I’m not a fan. Like how some people like math while others would rather drink a bottle of Pine-Sol than sit through a calculus class.

It’s not that bad, by the way. The original and lavender flavors are pretty odd, but the lemon’s okay.

I know I can’t explain my beliefs and feelings away by science, but there are a lot of things-love, friendship, compassion-that are not quantifiable and are yet some of the most important things on which we base our lives. If someone truly cannot see this-or at least, see the value of it-well, I feel sorry for them. I’ve gotten a lot of solace from the idea that there’s something else “out there”, even if I didn’t know what it was. For me, coming to know Jesus was finally putting a name to something I knew was there all along.

I guess I’m more of a “heart-led” person than a “head-lead” one. That doesn’t mean I don’t think things through so much as I understand that there are some things I just won’t know in this life, and that’s okay. The fun isn’t in knowing the answers so much as asking the questions to begin with. As long as I’m able to do that, I’ll be fine.


A Rambling Realization

I keep thinking of how I’ve screwed up my life. I’d say I’m having a midlife crisis, but people who have those have actually done something with their lives when I can’t think of anything. I do not have children, I don’t really have a career unless you count waiting tables, and I don’t write as much as I could because I can’t focus. I have a billion unfinished stories in my head because I have a hard time finishing what I start.

I feel like I totally missed my calling. I remember a good friend of mine felt similarly but went back to school for nursing. I don’t know how she did it, but I’ve asked myself if I would do the same thing and go back for psychology if given the chance. Today I came to the realization that I don’t know that going back to school would help when what I *really* want to do is go back to that time of my life. Back when I felt normal, excited.

I’d love to have dated a guy like C in college, my workplace crush from several years ago. He’s a lot younger than I am but I felt so drawn to him that it was almost as though we would have been a couple had we met when we were in the same stage in our lives. I’m told he liked me too.

Now, I want to make it abundantly clear that nothing happened between us, and nothing was ever going to. Truth be told, I wouldn’t have wanted it to. He was a lot like my husband, so in a sense maybe it was a way to have been with my husband a lot earlier. I think a part of that was how, around the time C was working there, I worked an obscene amount of hours and didn’t spend much time with my husband. I had more and better conversations with coworkers because most people aren’t good conversationalists when they’re asleep and that’s the state I saw him in the most.

A lot of the frustration I have is about sex, which is probably why so many of the stories I make up involve it. Oddly enough, the partners I have in my head all look like him-who I easily could have loved-and did. That’s not to say I want to sleep with him, just that my mind holds certain images and puts them wherever it wants to. He is a good bit like my husband, except for some reason I don’t get the butterflies with my husband. Not always, anyway. He loves me more than anything and I think I have the type of marriage my parents had-where they were each other’s best friends. That’s what I always wanted, and that’s what I have. But I still think about sex all the time.

Now, about that. Sometimes I think that the issue is that I’m not as physically attracted to my husband as to other people. Meaning, I thought that having an issue with having sex *meant* I wasn’t as attracted. I’m just a lot more, um, demonstrative in my mind than in real life. I’ve had boyfriends I had a lot of passion with, but looking back I’m not sure I’d still have that today. I was a lot younger and more fit, just like I am in my stories. But I also wasn’t on five million meds (okay, not that many, but a lot) that have side effects in that area. And no, not taking them is not an option.

You hear so many things about what a healthy marriage looks like in that way. I had a lot of anticipation when I got married because then I could *finally* share that aspect of myself, even though I don’t know what that would mean. I thought the sexual side effects of the medication would go away now that I didn’t have that psychological “block”.

I’d thought I’d learn more. I have no idea how to do anything because most of my experience before was allowing things to be done to me. The time when most couples would be finding their way was cut short by an F-150.

You know what? It’s probably not about C or my husband or anyone else-it’s probably the fact that having a crush and knowing that the person crushed on me too makes me feel attractive again. I also realized that all those magazine articles about what a relationship “should” be like are not talking about people who spent years not being able to do much because they got in a wreck. They’re not talking about people and/or their spouses who have other health problems that affect every aspect of their lives. They’re talking about…well, not me. I’m trying to remind myself that my life is my life-meaning, I’m not everyone else, my husband isn’t everybody else’s husband, my friends aren’t everyone else’s friends. It doesn’t matter what everyone else has because I’m not them and they’re not me. Plus the grass might not actually be greener. Like I said, my husband is my best friend and I wouldn’t give him up for anything.

I know I can’t go back but until now I’ve never said these things out loud…it’s amazing how much that helps. Now if I can only finish this post…


Spitballs From Heaven

(Since 12/12/18 was last week and the 20-year anniversary of my mom’s death, I thought this warranted being republished.-PQ)

I apologize in advance if this post depresses you. It’s about the death of someone very dear to me and, while it is meant as a tribute, it’s…well, about death. You’ve been warned.

Every May you can’t help but see it-‘Happy Mothers’ Day’. Flowers. Cards. Mugs. Ads for the latest kitchen gadget. They’re everywhere. I suppose that’s all well and good for those who are trying to find presents for their moms, but it doesn’t do much for me. I know she’d hate this, but I can’t stop thinking about how I don’t have a mother. Not in this plane of existence. Not anymore. I don’t normally sit around feeling sorry for myself (well…), but sometimes it just comes.

I remember the day she died. It was December 12, 1998, approx 11:45 pm. Yes, I remember the time. I always will. She had breast cancer…she lived for about a year or so after she first got the diagnosis. For a while, she did relatively well. But then, she didn’t. I saw how the chemo changed this once active and vital woman I loved into someone who didn’t even want to move or eat. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain she was in.

I guess one thing is good, though; she gained a completely new outlook on life. She stopped coloring her prematurely-gray hair. She would laugh and smile more. She stopped feeling depressed about things like her weight…yes, she lost a lot of it, but that’s not the point. The point is that she seemed to see each new day as a gift-a much more positive “lease on life”. I remember she would say that she didn’t want to color her hair anymore and if other people didn’t like it then, tough, because this was her. She did her best to instill confidence in my sister and me, even though she didn’t have much herself. I remember some of my friends were surprised to see me back at school for the semester after she died, but I didn’t know what else to do. It was my last semester of college, so I guess it would have been stupid for me to stay out when I was so close to finishing. But the thing is, she wouldn’t have wanted me to. She would have shot spitballs at me from heaven if I hadn’t gone back. To this day, that’s what I call hail-spitballs from heaven.

Come to think of it, that’s a good thing to do. Remember. I remember the Snickers bars. I remember that it was she who gave me my first Dr. Pepper, and I’m still addicted. 🙂 Dr. Pepper from a can, the drink of the gods. I remember telling her when I got my period. I remember that she had depression issues, and thus was a very good help to my sister and me when we had our problems. I remember how she didn’t want people to put themselves out for her, but would do anything for anyone else. I remember our ‘agreement’ that Pierce Brosnan was gorgeous…I’ve seen some unflattering pictures since, but there’s something about a man with an accent…:)

I remember the stuffed cows she gave me. We both loved cows. I remember how she once saw a stuffed cow in Walmart and bought it for me. What made it special was that she only had the money with her to go to lunch, but instead she used that to buy me the cow. She didn’t eat lunch that day. I’m tearing up a bit…I know It seems small, but it reminds me of what I *don’t* remember. I don’t remember a single selfish act on her part in all of the 21 years I’d had with her. Not one. She devoted her life to our family in a way we may not have noticed growing up, but that made a huge difference in our lives. We truly are better for having known her. If I’m lucky, maybe one day I’ll be *half* the mother and person she was. One can only hope.

Before I forget, here’s the cow:

20150216-201455.jpg

18 years later, I still have it.
I miss you, Mama. I hope I’ve done you proud.

Oh, and, one more memory-I remember how upset I was when I was told that she died rather than being healed on this planet because she didn’t believe God could heal her. That opens up so many other doors for discussion I’m not going to go through here, but I have one word for that-bullshit. She asked us to pray for her on a number of occasions, and prayed herself. Still, despite her treatment, she died. But if you think about it, she was healed. She suffered a number of things on this planet, and now she is somewhere where she will never want for anything ever again. Her depression is gone, her pain is gone, and she is with God. If that isn’t healing, what is?

Goodnight, everyone. Goodnight, Mama.


The Drama Inside The Drama Outside

Maybe this is just because I don’t have a life, but I tend to get sucked into other people’s drama. I’m not talking about all the gossip that goes on at my job; I’m talking about random stupid crap that I hear on the radio or see on TV. I can’t turn it off, no matter how much I’d like to.

One of the local radio stations (https://www.facebook.com/JeffandJennShow/) ran a segment this week about a woman whose fiancé was a huge UGA fan and wanted to go to the national championship game. Trouble is, the ticket would come from his ex-girlfriend from college, who he “bonded” with over football. They’d made a “deal” that if UGA ever made it to the national championship they would go together, dating or not. She said she trusted him and wanted him to go because it would mean a lot to him, but her friends and pretty much half of the Atlanta area said hell no, no way should he be hanging out with an ex-girlfriend alone at an event where alcohol and high emotion were involved. Oh, and, she’s gorgeous and recently divorced. Red flags. I think it’s pretty crappy of him to even *consider* doing something that would give his future wife pause because her feelings should be a hell of a lot more important to him than a damned football game, but no one asked me. He went to the game and came home really late and drunk. Something must have happened because her friend came back on to say she went through his phone and doesn’t want to talk about it.  Like I said, it’s crappy of him to even consider this. The whole thing screams “cheater” to me; draw your own conclusion.

One thing I don’t understand is-why does stuff like this bother me so much? I remember when I was about to get married I was extremely distressed by the idea of S cheating on me, so much that I would get freaked out every time I heard or saw anything-a magazine cover, a snippet from a TV show, *anything*-that I literally lost sleep over it. I couldn’t even hear or read about a TV show I came to really like because of one line in a radio preview-“Why did he have to sleep with the secretary? I had that woman over for brunch.” The months before my wedding were an extremely stressful time for me-I was diagnosed and had begun treatment for bipolar, I was going through a bankruptcy and coming out of the other side of a major crisis in my faith. Any *one* of those things-especially the first and third-could have caused it, but all of them together made me a type of person and have the type of thoughts I never thought I’d have and never want to have again. I’d been cheated on before.

I had no reason to think S would cheat on me but I knew that I wouldn’t be all that good at sex (being a virgin at 27) and kept hearing about how men absolutely *must* have it all the time and that it was the most important thing in the world to them that I was scared to death that I wouldn’t be “enough” for him and that he’d cheat and I’d be blamed for it. As much as he loved me, at some point I wouldn’t be pretty enough or thin enough anymore, or good enough in bed or something and he’d trade me in for a thinner, younger model like so many other men did. If I didn’t look perfect all the time, gained weight (as I did with my meds) or simply didn’t want to have sex as much as he did-as much as I had felt pressured to in other relationships-, that he’d be gone and I’d die alone. Okay, maybe that’s too much. If you think I’m exaggerating, though, walk past a rack of women’s magazines sometime. “Is He Cheating? How To Tell.” “How To Affair-Proof Your Marriage.” “Sex Tips To Keep Him Coming Back.” It was everywhere. Like most teenage girls, I’d spent hours upon hours reading this stuff. Celebrity magazines were even worse, although we could write those off as just being Hollywood. Again, everywhere. What’s worse is, it’s women who write this stuff. It’s very telling that you don’t see things like this in men’s magazines-at least not in any I’ve heard of.  I think men can be horrible, but so can we.

Having been in a relationship where I did a lot of things because I felt like I had to, I was not about to sign up for that again. That’s not to say that I never wanted to do anything sexual (because sometimes I definitely did), but the fact that I said yes (or didn’t speak at all) when I wanted to say no so many times made me feel very “less-than”. The only consolation I had was that I wasn’t being pushed to have intercourse because that was clearly set aside for marriage-in other words, I had a “reprieve”, a limit I could set for what was done in the relationship. If I were married, I wouldn’t have that anymore. Just to clarify, I was every bit as excited as any guy to have sex. I had this side to myself (in thought) that I was really anxious to let flow. I imagined we’d be making love all night like I’d done before but, instead of stopping, we’d be able to go all the way. I just knew that I would not always be pretty or sexy, that I’d gain weight and might not want to do anything as a result. Or, I wouldn’t be what *he* wanted and he’d trade me in for a newer model. Again, I had no reason to think this. Then again, the other cheated-on women probably didn’t think their man would either. And yet, he did.  I’ve always had an all-or-nothing way of seeing things so even if something (like marital infidelity) wasn’t as widespread as it seemed, it was huge to me. My mind tends to make things out to be worse than they are. The fact that I’m a huge talk-show fan doesn’t help. My husband is nothing like these men, so I don’t know why I care.

You’d think that being in conservative evangelical circles with a high view of “family values” would help. Nope. In fact, you could say that made it worse. See, a huge deal was made out of submission-the verses most commonly used refer to mutual submission-basically, putting your spouse’s needs ahead of your own. Maybe it was because the husband’s role wasn’t as relevant to us as women, but the admonitions to submit seemed pretty one-sided. If our primary purpose/role in marriage was to please our husband (which was what I heard, but I could be wrong), then it makes sense to think that meeting our husband’s sexual needs was part of it.  Sure, it would be wrong of the man to cheat or leave, but it would still come back to me not taking care of him. Sex wasn’t the only thing, obviously, but it was something I wasn’t familiar with. I could work on everything else. Getting out of those circles was a big help, even if I was imagining things. None of this came to pass, thank God.

It says a lot about him that he’d even think of this, but it occurred to me that they had planned to cheat, or at least put themselves in a position to. It just upsets me to think about stuff like that…like, why do men cheat like that, why are they so selfish that they’d put their desires (as he clearly did) before the people they claim to love? And why do women do this to other women? I couldn’t work things out with a man who cheated because he’s clearly chosen what’s important to him-and it’s not me. Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh. I might be able to work things out but it would take a lot of time, work and prayer to get things back to where I could trust him again. Luckily I have a husband who would never do this. I had no reason to fear, and yet I did. I don’t understand it. Sometimes I love men and hate them at the same time. And there’s really no reason to.

I guess one place I’m going with this is that I’m glad I’m married to a good man and won’t have to worry about this, but it’s sad how many women do. That, and I need to get out more.

I just feel like there’s a lot of pressure put on girls and women to look and act a certain way that really needs to go. We might put some of it on ourselves, which is why we need to bring each other up than tear each other down. We need to put the people we love ahead of other things and consider how our actions and words affect them. If this guy had put his lady’s feelings before the game and said “no” once he saw how it affected her, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. It’s none of my business and I have no reason to judge, but things like this trigger me and I don’t know why. Maybe because of my past, but sometimes I can’t let things go. I hate my mind sometimes.

This woman’s friend said they were going to work it out. Like I said, I couldn’t do it. Not right away, anyway. I have friends (male *and* female) who’ve been in this situation, and I tip my hat to all of them. They are better than me. I wish them luck.


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