Author Archives: theprozacqueen
(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:
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.
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.
I am heart sick tonight.
Not because of the election.
Not because there’s a rumor that Drake and T. Swift are dating.
But because of a piece of news I heard just the other night.
Over the weekend, at my cousin’s university, there was a tragedy. His roommate: a kind, loving, and incredibly smart young man, passed away after being the victim of a hate crime.
For being Muslim.
He was jumped and ended up in a coma. He passed a day later.
How truly tragic.
I did not know this young man, but my cousin was his best friend and roommate. And it just pains my heart to think that someone could act out in hate towards another person like that.
And to be quite honest, I don’t exactly know
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The chicken doesn’t mean anything. I just think it’s funny.
I’m starting to think that perhaps I shouldn’t call my college relationship abusive. After all, it’s not like I was hit or anything. Also, I wasn’t exactly the best girlfriend in the world. I had a jealous streak a mile wide and wasn’t very trustworthy toward the end. Plus, there must have been *something* good to keep me there. If I can think of good things about him that means it wasn’t abusive, right?
Then I remember how he wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. I remember how he once planned a fake suicide threat and panic attack to make me feel guilty for breaking up with him for someone else. I remember how he harassed the other guys who were interested in me (while we were broken up!) behind my back so he could swoop in and play the hero. Granted, I shouldn’t have fallen for his crap about wanting to be friends right after our breakup because he had an agenda. I should have known better.
I remember the surge of fear I felt when I saw a friend request from him on Facebook. I have no idea why I felt that because it’s not like he could still hurt me, but it just felt…I don’t know. I don’t want say it was a flashback because to put myself in the same category as some other people I know but my therapist says I should because “if *I* thought it was abuse, that’s what it was”. Makes sense. Anyway, I wanted to write a post on this for another site, but they thought it was “too serious”. So I’ll do it here. Here are some of the reasons people stay in abusive relationships that you usually don’t hear about. I’m not writing this to “label myself” or play the victim to get attention (as I’ve been accused of before) so much as to give some insight that might help someone else down the line. This doesn’t define who I am but it’s still something all too many people have to deal with.
-We’ve invested a lot of time in the relationship. We have a history with this person that we don’t want to be for nothing. We don’t see that by staying we’d just be wasting more time, losing more time we can’t get back.
A lot of times, I will think back to what things would have been like in college had I either not met him or stayed away from him; who I could have dated, what classes I could have taken, what “drama” and what kind of hurt I could have spared myself and other people. I wouldn’t give up my current husband and relationships for the world, but I wonder if I might be subconsciously trying to get that time back.
–We still love them. As much as you (and perhaps your mom) wish you could, you can’t turn your feelings for someone off like a light switch. It’s possible that you might stop loving someone (or, in my case, realize you weren’t in love with them to begin with), but this has to happen over time if it’s going to happen at all. And it may not. Love can evolve, which makes it really confusing when it comes to plotting your next move. It’s especially hard if you have kids together.
-We don’t know when to quit. According to my father, this is a problem of mine. Granted, he was talking about making fart noises or playing the “I’m not touching you” game in the car, but you get the point.
We don’t want to give up. We tell ourselves, if we stay just a *little* longer, things will work themselves out. We think, maybe if I marry him, he’ll treat me better. Maybe if we have a child, he’ll treat me better. He’d have to, right? Since I’d be the mother of his child. Um, no. If someone has it in them to abuse a partner they claim to love, they probably have it in them to abuse a kid too. Even if they don’t, it’s still a toxic environment to grow up in.
Even if it’s not a matter of behavior, we never know when it’s truly over because the person always tries to find a way to “rejuvenate” things just long enough for you to come back to him. After that, it goes back to the same old thing and the cycle starts all over again. We don’t realize that that this is never going to stop and that it’s time to step off of the carousel. We know when everyone else should quit, but we don’t know that for ourselves. We give advice to our friends with relationship problems, but we don’t take that advice ourselves. Perhaps we’d do well to.
You could also take “not wanting to quit” to mean that we don’t want to admit defeat. Our egos won’t allow us to do anything that could be considered “quitting” or “backing down”. We don’t realize that a relationship ending isn’t a failure on our part; If anything, it would be a victory if we were to stand up for ourselves and leave. We just don’t see that at the time.
-We think it’s normal. I’m not saying that we’re used to mind games or being insulted so much as that we think it’s just the normal “ups and downs” of a relationship-that we have to take the good with the bad, and this is the bad. There’s also the fact that things aren’t always all bad and we think the good things are worth staying for. For instance, my boyfriend’s family was incredible. If I could have dropped him and kept them, I would have. Also, it’s like I said above-he loved me in his own way. Maybe it’s worth staying for, maybe it’s not. That’s up to you.
Then again, I remember the time he told my suitemates that I’d gotten upset after a fight we had and ran off into the dark side of campus. I hadn’t; I was sitting in the parking lot and then downstairs talking to a friend. He was the one who’d stormed off like a child. Apparently this was some sort of “trick” he played on my friends. Very juvenile, but so was he. Even if it’s obvious to everyone else that our partner is abusive, we don’t see it that way. We don’t know to. We think we’re just “going with the flow”, never realizing that said “flow” is about to drag us under.
-We’re easily led and under his “spell”.
If you have a submissive personality and they have a strong one-which is almost always the case-they will take advantage of you and justify pretty much any behavior by saying that you didn’t say “no”. The truth is that you usually did say no, just not in a way he’d recognize. I sure as hell did, even if it wasn’t in those words. However, I’d said “yes” too. That’s the problem-those are the only words they’ll hear and will use it against you. It might not be intercourse (it wasn’t with me), but he’ll do things the law doesn’t allow thinking it’s okay because you’ve done these things before and that gives him a “right” to ignore anything else you might say. No, it doesn’t. I don’t care how much you liked it before-you can say no any time you want. If he doesn’t listen…well, there are words for that. You know what they are.
Like a lot of phishing scammers these days, it’s not that you’re stupid or weak; they just know what to say and how to say it. For this reason, I don’t think there is a such thing as someone who “accidentally” emotionally or psychologically mistreats someone. They will often claim they didn’t know what they were doing, but I don’t believe it. I don’t see how.
-We don’t know what it means to forgive. This sounds weird, but bear with me. It’s not that we don’t forgive enough, but that we forgive too much. Like I said above, we think that what we’re dealing with is just the bad along with the good and that we’re being “hasty” in leaving. We have this idea that forgiving someone means forgetting what they did-in other words, thinking we have to put ourselves in a position to get hurt again. We have to go back to them, we have to behave as though nothing ever happened because anything else is tantamount to holding a grudge, and we all know what God thinks of that. I thought this, and boy was it my undoing. I still don’t know what Jesus meant by forgiving someone “seventy times seven” times, but I don’t see why we should put ourselves in a position to need to forgive someone that many times. I know, I know, He wasn’t giving us a literal number of times, but you get the point. We think we’re doing wrong by holding their bad behavior against them, even if it’s for our own protection. We think that “doing unto others” is more important than doing unto ourselves. As admirable as it is, this kind of selflessness can go bad really quickly if it’s wasted on the wrong people. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t try to treat others with the grace that Jesus showed us, but sometimes you have to do this from a distance.
To quote a friend of mine: “Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself; That means that you have to love yourself. Otherwise, your neighbor is screwed.” Makes sense to me.
-We don’t want to be mean. In my mother’s generation, women were often taught to be “people pleasers”-meaning that their primary purpose in life is to make other people happy. We think we’re not “allowed” to do something that upsets someone, that hurting someone’s feelings means that we’ve done something wrong and that somehow that makes us a bad person. As you can probably tell, this idea didn’t die with them. We might not be taught to be as submissive as they were, but sometimes we still get that impression, especially if our mothers are as selfless as mine was. Even if we know we should stand up for ourselves, we don’t always know how. Not without feeling mean, anyway. We have a twisted notion of what being mean is, and an abuser will eat that up. My ex certainly did. Otherwise, why would he fake a suicide threat and panic attack so bad that I had to call a couple of his friends at 5am to drag him out of my room? He made it out as though I was the one who made him have to get counseling, even though he told me he’d done that to someone else. He also had this habit of “spontaneous repentance”-he’d start rambling on about way he’d done wrong by me and other people and how sorry he is and how he’ll change his ways. Of course, I fell for it. Stupid me. *Pointing at myself* Don’t be That Girl.
We don’t see it for what it is. If it were happening to someone we love, we’d pick it out in a minute. Maybe there are positive things about your partner that people outside a relationship don’t see, but they’re usually not distracted or taken in by those things the same way we are. It’s much easier to see something for what it is when it’s not happening to you.
You could say that all these things boil down to not thinking we deserve any better, and you’d be right. I’m just talking about it this way because a lot of times people have a hard time putting their feelings into words. I do, anyway. For more information, check out http://www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/.
Even though I don’t have the same issues the author does, I can definitely relate. Self-help books never did anything for me. I have to remember to seek God…I might get so wrapped up in my own BS that I forget to pray or ask, but ultimately I know that everything good comes from Him…the meds I take, the talent of the doctors I visit, the counsel of my friends…I might not recognize it or acknowledge it-frankly I’ve been more inclined to hit the doctors up because I know I have a medical problem, not a spiritual one-, but all good things come from Him in the end.
One of my favorite things to do in NYC is justwander around.
Especially now that it’s warm out, I like to just put on my sun hat and get lost for a few hours on a Saturday.
There’s nevera lack of things to do or explore.
Like just the other day, I happened upon a person playing the didgeridoo.
On the street corner. Busking.
Like, you were able to smugglethat thing all the way from Australia, and yet here you are busking for money? How’d ya swing that?
But on those exploration afternoons,somehow, I always seem to end up at my favorite frozen yogurt shop. Which just so happens to be next to a big bookstore.
It hurts my heart to think that actualbookstores are becoming extinct.
Seriously. Enough of thisE-Reader crap. Let’s get back to real, hard bound, turn-the-page books!
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