Category Archives: ramblings

I Feel Like a F*ing Freak Sometimes

(I started this a couple of years ago, but I just now decided to publish it. Sad, I know. 😊)

Warning: This is a very raw, emotional post that contains a lot of bad language. If you’re offended by such things-especially from a Christian-you might want to look away.

I’m so fucking upset and embarrassed right now that I didn’t want to go to bed without at least writing some of this down. If I don’t get it out here, it will probably come out in some place I really don’t want it to and will just make me feel worse.

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve talked to myself. A lot of people do this, I’m told, but I’ve been given a lot of grief about it because apparently the things that I think I’m keeping to myself are coming out in mutterings I’m not aware of. I have no idea how to not do this because, as I said, I don’t realize it’s happening to begin with. It was brought to my attention that every little negative emotion I have, every little frustration or annoyance is being made public because I don’t know how to keep my mouth shut even if I try to. It’s really weird but I don’t know what to do about it. Everybody-my coworkers, the manager-hell, even the owner notices and I have no idea how to stop. Like I said, I never knew I was doing it at all. I was told about this tonight after having had such a good time talking and was so embarrassed that all I wanted to do was leave so I could get into my car and cry.

I’m so scared that I will be-

A) The crazy bitch who talks to herself that no one likes;

B) The completely incompetent bitch no one likes;

C) The person who can’t keep her mouth shut to save her life and embarrasses herself . People say that they like me and that I’m entertaining, which I definitely like…I’m glad I can make people laugh but sometimes I wish I could just keep my mouth shut around certain people…damned near everyone, really. If I can figure out how to stop muttering to myself audibly, then perhaps I can get a handle on the whole “diarrhea of the mouth” thing.

It’s the same thing anywhere I work-I make stupid mistakes and am so insecure about it that if my mistakes don’t bother people, the insecurity does. When you’re in a situation where it feels like someone is looking for things to fuss at you about like I was before one of the trainers quit-she was upset she didn’t get a certain job and took her shit out on me-, you end up so afraid to do something wrong that you end up doing even worse than you did before. Even if I’m not being dumped on, I expect to be because that’s what’s happened in the past and it sort of becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  The fear, the being “scary” (meaning, being scared) gets to people but I don’t know how to stop it.

I make the dumbest mistakes (turning in an order late, bringing out things in the wrong order) that I’m informed should be behind someone who has been there as long as I have. I know that. I got yelled at today and got into a fussing match with a couple of trainers because of the fact that I don’t listen and get defensive when someone tries to correct me…excuse me, I *do* listen. I know it’s frustrating that I don’t remember things that were told to me, but that’s why I get disability to begin with. Why I have to have Klonopin to work (although I don’t take it much) or why I keep having people lose patience with me because they think I’m a total idiot when…well, actually I think that last part is true. At least sometimes. Imagine how frustrating it is to have to ask the same questions because you don’t remember. People sometimes treat me as though I have early-onset Alzheimer’s because of it-in fact, that condition was mentioned by name once.

And yes, I took it personally and do so naturally, but I don’t know how not to take it personally when someone is telling you how frustrating it is to deal with you because they have to repeat things over and over again. And ironically, that point-that they have to cover things over and over again-is belabored more than anything else. Yes, I feel like I’m being picked on by certain people, and I’m not the only one.  I don’t think I’m being bullied or whatever-I know that all too well-, but I seem to think the worst or feel like things are more intense emotionally than they really are.

I’ve never been able to take criticism well, especially when it comes in certain forms and from certain people. I’ve always taken things personally, I guess because I care so much about what other people think and I want relationships with those around me. I don’t want people to think badly of me, I don’t want things to be uncomfortable and I don’t want to do things that bother people. I don’t remember how this started, but I’ve always felt that “people getting bothered with me=doing something wrong=bad person”. And holy crap did some people take advantage of that. I don’t think it was a matter of anyone actively telling me that so much as seeing my parents fight with my sister…she did things that bothered my parents so they sent her away for a year to live with my aunt in California. Turns out she went to rehab out there and asked to go, but all I saw was that she misbehaved (got bad grades, got into trouble, etc), made my parents mad and then got sent away because they didn’t want her anymore. Ah, the mind of a ten-year-old.

I know I come off as defensive and smart-assed when I say stuff like “okay, I know, I know, I screwed up, I’m stupid…” stuff like that. I know it sounds like I’m blowing off what they said to me, but I’m not. What I’m doing is saying I know what you’re going to say, so can we move on. I didn’t realize how snotty that sounded. But now a couple of people are probably not going to want to talk to me again-in fact, one told me not to and that it wasn’t worth it trying to tell me anything. Now I know that that sort of talk says nothing about me and everything about her. I’m just afraid no one is going to want to talk to me and, like I said before, I’ll be the incompetent, crazy bitch everyone hates.

What sucks is that I was having such a rock-star day before that. And people were saying as much.

Looking back, I can see a marked difference in the way that I think and understand things now than I did before the bipolar/ADHD/whatever set on. I was the smart kid in class and now I’m the airhead. I don’t remember things I need to but hold onto things I don’t…I don’t understand things and sometimes people get frustrated with me, saying that I should ask for clarification if I need it. The problem is, I don’t think to ask because I think I *am* getting it-that I *do* understand things. People think I don’t listen when I do, I just don’t remember well. That’s the thing about ADHD-a lot of the times you can’t really learn anything because there is so much else going on in your head that new information can’t find any room. It’s not that you don’t pay attention to anything so much as that you pay attention to *everything* whether you want to or not-you can’t tune things out and focus the way other people can because your mind is literally so crowded you can’t cram in a single new thing. It’s like that closet everyone has in their house where they put whatever doesn’t go anywhere else-so much random stuff gets put in there that, whenever you have something you really *do* need to find a place for, it won’t fit. I know I might talk about the ADHD/bipolar/whatever too much and sound like I’m making excuses. However, this isn’t an excuse-it’s the truth.

I might be misinterpreting things…I have a really bad habit of assuming that other people’s thoughtless or rude behavior has something to do with me. I think I’m justified in this, though, because it’s happened in other jobs I’ve had-I didn’t do a good job for whatever reason and people who used to talk to me decided I didn’t have any other good qualities and I became the pariah. What’s really bad is that I don’t understand why this happens-maybe it’s because I’ve always been the slow one, but I’ve been the one to come to the defense of someone who’s being dumped on unnecessarily. A good friend of mine at work used to have people talk shit behind her back about how stupid she was and make fun of her the way you’d expect from a schoolyard bully. Now that she’s gone, I worry that I’m going to be That Person again. I may not have been that person here at all, but it’s hard to let go of that dread when it’s happened to you so many times before. I know I have some friends but I’m just incredibly embarrassed and feel I will always be that social outcast, the one nobody likes.

Thing is, I make really good tips. I seem to always screw up at least one order a day, but I make good tips so it must not be too bad…it’s not the customers I’m concerned about so much as being embarrassed that so much of my feelings are being put on display for my coworkers. Yes, I’m airing all my crap out in public here too, but the difference is that I *chose* to write this…I don’t *choose* to mutter angry things to myself where everyone can hear.

It doesn’t matter what the fuck I do because I either can’t afford therapy or don’t have time…hey, maybe since I’m making a bit more money I’ll be able to afford it. I haven’t been able to go to church or do much of anything because on the rare days I get off I’m so exhausted that I can’t get off the couch. The thing is, I love my job. I’m just so embarrassed to be around anyone that I just want to crawl into my bed and die. Or, at least never show my face again.

Also…oh fuck it. He already knows. He knows, and I’m not sure he minds.

I used to have a pathetic little geek-crush on the busboy who’s literally nearly half my age. His mom came to pick him up once and she’s probably only a few years older than me. Shit. It’s not like I’d ever take it anywhere, but I couldn’t keep my mouth shut about it and now it’s all out there, how fucking sad this is. I told someone that it had “fuck-all to do with him personally and everything to do with the pretty girl hoping she’s still pretty”. Now, I’m not so sure that’s true. He’s like the younger version of my husband, so perhaps it’s some sort of pathetic mid-life-crisis bullshit where I want to have my cake and eat it too.  He’s gone now, but I really miss having a guy to hang around with.

Oh, well. Maybe I just need sleep. If anyone has any ideas on how to stop talking to myself where others can hear-or at least make myself aware of it-that don’t involve sectioning me. I’m all ears. Ditto taking shit personally…I think I need to work on that last one more than anything else.


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.


Christmas list?

This post was originally published in December 2010, but I thought it could use an update. Even though I am working now, I still can’t help but feel like crap because half the time I forget things that are easy for everyone else to remember and I seem to always be doing something wrong. I’m not saying that because I get constant criticism, although it feels like that sometimes. I’m saying that because I’m oversensitive and tend to respond to things like the tones people use when sometimes it’s better to remember that that’s just how someone talks or that this isn’t a good time of the year for me in general. It’s better this year than it has been because I’m working and making money, although I do wish I could see my family and friends more often. Anyway, back to your regularly-scheduled whine-fest.

My husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas. The first things I thought of were a Bible with the Apocrypha in it and/or one of my favorite party games. Of course, we’d actually have to *have* parties in order to play said game, but that’s something else entirely. I can think of a few things I’d like, but I don’t think they would be something he could give me. For instance:

-He can’t give me my brain back. One thing I hate to no end is that I feel like I am ‘slipping’…everyone else ‘gets’ things that I don’t, and I keep missing and forgetting things. I don’t want to immediately say it’s because of my bipolar and/or ADHD, but that’s probably the most likely scenario. My doctors have told me that it affects the way I think; I test lower on IQ tests than I did before because my brain works differently (well, assuming it works at all 😛 ). Seriously. I’ve been told over and over again that I ‘don’t think’ or whatnot, but that’s not true at all. I *do* think, I just tend to think so fast that nothing really ‘sticks’. My last few employers-you know, the two jobs I was fired from in two weeks-can attest to that. It’s just so frustrating, because I feel like everyone else is smarter than me and understands everything much better. Maybe this is true, but maybe I’m just *different*, not any less or any more. I don’t know.

-He can’t help me lose weight. Maybe he can in terms of eating more vegetables and less fatty stuff, but he can’t exercise for me or stop me from liking things like soda and cookies. I feel like I’ve nagged him enough about that in terms of getting him to buy veggies and fruit for produce, although truth be told I really don’t push anywhere near as much as I could. Still, I know that money has been really tight for us and that he feels like the stuff we can afford is often the stuff that’s really the worst for us. He doesn’t say it like that, but that’s what it comes out to. We *do* get canned veggies but It’s up to me to actually *eat* them, or to choose them over other stuff when I have a choice.

-He can’t help me get motivated to do, well, anything. I have so many projects I’ve started that I haven’t finished and don’t really know if I will. A children’s book, a novel of sorts, a few other writing projects…at least I’ve had some stories published, although they haven’t sold yet and *ahem* aren’t the type of stories you let your dad read. I have a couple of tabs open in my browser right now for things I keep meaning to read, but somehow never get around to it because I’m so easily distracted. Maybe at some point I’ll stop playing Facebook games long enough to read the stuff I’m supposed to read on Beliefnet for my job, and Slater, get off the counter,then do some writing I get paid for and Dr Phil’s head looks particularly shiny today….oops, got distracted again.

-He can’t get me to stand up for myself the way I need to.

-He can’t ward off my depression or make other people do stuff with us. They have their own lives and I totally appreciate that, but sometimes I just get bored with the same old thing. Boredom often leads to depression with me and, since I don’t work outside of the home, I get bored quite a bit. It’s gotten better now that we’ve paid the car off and I’ve been doing more stuff at church. Just to get out among other people-especially more women since most of my friends here are men-really helps. Even so, sometimes I still feel really “meh”. Which leads me to my next point:

-He can’t make me feel like less of a piece of crap because I get disability even though a lot of the time I feel as though I can work. I know from experience that my mental issues cause major problems and my physical issues aren’t much better, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling as though I’m one of those “sponges” or “cheats” some people rant about. I would never, ever say that to someone else, but I’ll say that to myself. Hmm.

He can’t change the past, which is ultimately what it would take to ward this off.

That’s just it. He can’t change the past. I know he would if he could, though. The only thing that can be done is to get to be more comfortable and content with the way things are and to try and improve things from there, but that’s something I have to do for myself. I have to ask God to help me with that every day, if I remember. That’s really sad, ‘if I remember’, but the point is that he can’t do it for me because it’s not *for* him to do. It’s for me, with God’s help. And I need all the help I can get.

*sigh*

Maybe I should just stick with new jeans and some bras to replace the ones I can’t wear anymore. That would require a lot less explanation.


Project Runway, S14 E5-Who Left, Who Didn’t, Who Should Have

(Disclaimer: Let me say that this is just my opinion-I wasn’t there. If you saw what I’m wearing right now-pajama shorts and an old T-shirt-, you’d see I have no business talking about fashion. Even so, I have a keyboard, which apparently makes me qualified to comment in some circles. I’m just writing this for fun anyway.)

I have to admit, I kind of hated this episode. It’s not the challenge I didn’t like or the clothes that came out of it, but that it was waaaaaaaay too much like high school for my comfort.

The premise was kind of strange-they broke into two teams and played a game of Capture the Flag, only the flag was rolls of fabric and the tagging was done with paintball guns. After the game was over, they were told that the material they’d be using for this challenges was what they were wearing, paint-splattered and all. The fabrics they “captured” were supplemental, but the bulk of what they used had to be the jumpsuits. O-kay. At least they got to paint what was left over.

Instead of using the button bag to pick the teams like they’d done before, the judges let Candice and Blake pick first. For some weird reason, Ashley was picked last. I know Candice picked Amanda first because she wanted to make her feel better and couldn’t have helped who the other people chose, but the girls were doing the exact same thing we would have seen in junior high-picking their friends as opposed to who would actually be good for their team. That’s not to say that the guys were any better; they could have picked her too. But both Blake and John pointed out that they were acting like the high school “popular crowd” asserting their “dominance” over the class nerd. That is not to say that Ashley is the “class nerd”-she most certainly is not-, but that’s how they made her feel. As “that girl” in high school, I feel for her.

Even Heidi called them out on this-Ashley had won *two* challenges out of the five they’ve had, so it was absolutely insane that she would be the last picked. Like I said before, I get what Candice was trying to do. Her heart was in a good place, and I don’t see her as being nasty at all. But the others-including the guys…I know a lot of the impressions we get is editing and things could have gone down completely differently, but I think this was part of why the girls’ team had so many problems communicating at first. When you have somebody with good ideas feeling as though she can’t express them without being shouted down-whether she actually was or not-, you can’t help but have a problem coming up with good group project. I didn’t see anyone shooting her down so much as her confidence being so damaged from being picked last that she wasn’t as upfront as she would have been otherwise. Again, I don’t know. Editing.

I can’t say I’d do any better. Hell, I can barely sew a button on correctly, much less an actual garment. But it was obvious to me that the guys (and Merlene) were communicating so much better because they focused on the task at hand and truly worked together on every piece of their collection;  Swapnil the Gorgeous (middle, leather jacket) even tells the judges this, and you could tell they appreciated it.

I just wish we could have seen his eyes. Blue. Maybe contact lenses, maybe not, but blue. Nice.

Here’s a slideshow of the completed looks: http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/project-runway/photos/season-14-episode-5-final-looks#id=1

By the way, Edmond won.

Regardless of which lady made which look, you could tell that something bad was going to happen. Closer to the runway show, we see Laurie telling Ashley that the others planned on throwing her under the bus for their collection. Ashley, obviously upset, starts talking about how she can’t trust anyone and doesn’t really know what to think. I wanted to give her a hug and tell her that she could trust me. Yes, it’s a competition, but I don’t play games with people. I don’t know-Laurie doesn’t, and maybe the others don’t either-but I don’t because I know what it’s like to be That Person.

None of their garments was very good, but that wasn’t any one person’s fault. Considering that a) they’d only grabbed orange and purple fabric, and b) they color-bombed all of their white fabric before deciding what to do with it, they did the best the could with what they had. I wonder if it might have been better to make the garments first and *then* use the colored paint, but whatever. Like I said, I can barely sew. After their stuff went down the runway (you can see it above), each one was asked who they thought was responsible for it-in short, who should go home. Sure enough, three of them picked Ashley. What’s bad was she had absolutely nothing to do with it-she kept telling everyone, no, don’t splatter the paint yet; no don’t cut the fabric yet; no, don’t [fill in the blank], but no one listened to her. Even so, three of the others threw her under the bus. I give her props for keeping it together-hell, I would have been bawling, at least somewhere backstage. Even Kelly Osbourne, who was judging, suggested it was a “bitchfest”, and I think that had at least something to do with their decision. Don’t get me wrong-Ashley *was* in the bottom, but hers wasn’t the worst outfit out there. The person they *did* send home-Amanda-was one of the “bus-throwers”, as well as having been in the bottom in the past few challenges.

I’ve said over and over again that I would be the most boring contestant ever because I wouldn’t want to talk crap about the other designers or their work on camera. That, and I’d be so bad that I wouldn’t be in a *position* to criticize anyone else. I think that last part might have been in the back of the judges’ minds as they decided who to send home and who to keep. It makes sense.

So:

Who left: Amanda.

Who didn’t: Ashley. Kelly was also in the bottom, with an outfit that reminded me of an action figure. Edmond won.

Who should have: They picked the right person. I didn’t hate her dress so much as understood why the judges felt the way they did. She *had* been in the bottom two times before.

Anyway, I’ll stop my rambling now. Like I said above, I have no business talking about fashion when my usual outfit consists of gray flannel shorts and an aging T-shirt. I just like the show and figured my opinion was worth as much as anyone else’s. Okay, maybe not, but at least it’s interesting. I thought so, anyway.

 

 


My Thoughts On Life and a Plug For a Friend

I was reading a devotional book this morning from a pastor friend of mine who has bipolar disorder when something really caught my eye.

The book was Delight In Disorder-Ministry, Madness, Mission by Tony Roberts. Here’s a really cool website about the book and its author: http://awaywithwordsforyou.com/#

Here are some other quotes from his book: http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/40808173-delight-in-disorder-ministry-madness-mission.

Anyway, I was reading one of the devotionals where he talks about his experiences with suicide attempts. In one of them, he says that he felt a strange blend of “both shame and gratitude”-gratitude that his attempt to kill himself didn’t work, but shame that he’d tried it to begin with.

Although I am doing well now, I can relate to him. I myself have never actually tried to commit suicide, but there were times in my life-both as a teenager and as an adult-where I wondered if my life was really worth living. At one point I thought that it would be easier on everyone else if I had died in the accident I got into in 2005-my husband wouldn’t had to go through all of our savings to pay for my medical bills and equipment; we wouldn’t have had to struggle so much financially because of the loss of my (meager) income; I had a lot of other medical bills later on down the line because of some health conditions the doctors couldn’t figure out…do you see a theme here? Yes, I know it’s not about the money, but as someone who’s struggled to the point of having to file bankruptcy because of credit card debt, I know how stressful money problems can be and how it can infect every other area of your life.

I remember saying something about these feelings in 2007 and got a very bad reaction-I was accused of being an attention whore because I was mad that someone else was the center of attention in the group instead of me. Let me pause by telling you one thing: Probably the worst thing you can do to a suicidal friend is accuse them of something like this. They already feel worthless and unwanted; screaming at them and calling them names will only confirm this. It’s one thing if it’s a boyfriend threatening to hurt himself if you break up with him, but another thing altogether when your friend has a known problem that has a tendency to flare up. The people who said this knew I was having problems and, while something much more serious than this had just happened to one of our friends, anyone who knows me at all knows that I would never threaten suicide to get attention. Never. Plus, if I really wanted attention, I’m sure I could find a much more interesting way to get it. Damn, at least give me some credit.

Anyway, about the feelings…a lot of them probably came because my bipolar medication wasn’t working along with/because of the other health problems I’d been having, but a lot of it was feeling worthless because I couldn’t *be* anything-I couldn’t be a mom because of some, um, physical problems the accident caused, nor could I be a career woman like I wanted to be. I’d tried to be several times, but the mental stuff always got in the way. I did not always have these problems; bipolar often sets on in early adulthood, so it’s possible to go through school and set all these goals early on and then not be able to reach them. Ditto my ADHD. I know I talk about this a lot-probably too much. It’s not who I am. It may not run my life, but it definitely has had effects other bloggers can relate to. That’s how I found most of my follow list; they wrote a post I came across on another site and vice versa. They have it much rougher than I do, so my stuff is small potatoes.

A lot of the time you don’t feel depressed so much as numb. You want to reach out to others, but you just can’t find the energy. That’s how it’s been with me for a while now.  Like a friend once said, you’re not depressed so much as bored. That’s one reason you stay in your hidey-hole and don’t talk to people-nothing interesting is going on and you don’t want to drag your friends down. You don’t speak because you don’t have anything to say. It’s not hard to get confused.

You know what’s interesting? I think I always knew I wouldn’t do it…that I always knew that there was always life, that there was a light at the end of the tunnel-I just hadn’t seen it yet. I think I knew that Jesus was still there, I just couldn’t feel Him. It’s weird how I have to remind myself that His existence and care for us is not contingent on our ability to feel Him. I’m happy for people who feel His presence a lot and I certainly have too, but I don’t want to base my entire belief or spiritual “system” on this kind of emotion the way I did before. Sometimes it feels as though I don’t seek Him because I don’t think to the way other people do, but it doesn’t matter because I know He’s always there.

My brain and I are both doing very well now, so there’s no need to be alarmed. All of this happened a long time ago, but reading the devotional made me think about it. Thanks for listening to me ramble on like a freak. Have a good day!


Why I’m *Really* Going to Hell (Or So I’m Told)

(I’m re-publishing this because I added an item. Hope you like it.)

Last year, I wrote a post joking about going to Hell based on a discussion thread I posted on Beliefnet.com. It was meant to lighten the mood on a normally-heavy debate board. It was mostly successful, but there were several people who didn’t appreciate my sense of humor and implied that God wouldn’t either; I *am* in the Bible Belt, after all. After reading a few responses, I figured I’d better write a something a bit more serious. According to some people, here are the reasons I’m going to Hell.

Having the wrong political views.

But Here’s 5 Reasons Why American Evangelicalism Completely Lost Me

I’m citing this post by Benjamin Corey because item #1 speaks directly to what I’ve experienced. The person I dated before my husband was a deeply conservative Christian. It ended for a lot of reasons, but I’m mentioning this because being with him got me sucked into the Evangelical culture and politics Corey mentions. It’s very disturbing how some people would judge your faith by whether or not you supported the Bush administration and/or the Republican party. It wasn’t as creepy as the movie Jesus Camp, but it still felt weird. As a then-Democrat, I learned very quickly to keep my mouth shut lest I be accused of “helping the Devil” or something like that. I can’t explain it any better than Corey does, but what got to me the most was that there really was a time when I thought God had abandoned me because of my beliefs. Before you scoff, consider that few things make you feel farther from God than the depression that comes along with untreated bipolar disorder. Why was it untreated, you ask? Well….

Seeing secular medical treatment. It wasn’t getting medical treatment that was the problem so much as the “lack of faith” that prompted me to seek said treatment instead of relying on God to heal me. In “Prosperity Gospel” circles (more on why it’s BS in another post), that can mean anything from having somehow lost my way to (gasp!) not being a Real Christian at all. The fact that I had gone back on medication after having tried the “supernatural healing” approach made it even worse because it was thought that I got sick again because I lost faith and God had taken away the healing. How this made sense to anyone I’ll never know, but it’s thoughts like this that can make someone already suffering from depression or something like it feel even worse. If even God doesn’t love you, you must be a piece of crap, right? I actually began to wonder if the “diagnoses” of me having an unclean spirit that needed to be cast out were true after all. Again, scoff all you want; When you feel like something else is inside of you controlling your thoughts and actions the way you would in “mixed state”, you’d believe it too.

Strangely enough, I never *did* lose faith. I still believed and sought God throughout all of this. Take that!

Blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Despite the fact that it comes right from the source , I haven’t heard this one as often as the others. The only reason I’m mentioning it is because no one can tell me what this actually *means*. Was it laughing when I saw, “I found Jesus-He was behind the couch” on a T-shirt? Was it playing Cards Against Humanity and giggling at some of the less-disrespectful cards? Some of them *do* mention God or Jesus. When I see a really rude one I’ll say “that’s just wrong” or “that’s sacrilegious”, but I don’t bow out of the game. Was it when I used to play with Ouija boards as a teenager? I won’t touch the damned things now; they creep me out. Was it when a boyfriend started exploring Paganism in college? When a Catholic one stopped going to confession? He said he’d been made to do the “church thing” growing up and was enjoying the freedom. Was it when my friend told God to “shove it” when her husband died shortly after their son was born?

The definition that makes the most sense to me is, strangely again, not the one I hear most often. The way my former Southern Baptist church explained it to me was that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is an ongoing, willful rejection of God. It’s not something you do out of anger or youthful ignorance, nor is it related to your choice of entertainment; that’s another matter altogether. It was also said that it’s not something a Christian can do because, if someone is willing to completely deny Jesus, they probably weren’t saved to begin with. If you’re asking this question, you probably haven’t committed this sin because if you had, you wouldn’t care.

As for the aforementioned Catholic, he never left the church; as much as he liked sleeping in on Sunday, he realized pretty quickly that nothing can take the place of Jesus. I wonder if this minor “straying” was a way of showing him that.

I’m happy for my brother. Before you say “huh?”, let me explain. My brother and his now-husband live in a state (Hawaii) that, after years of debate, finally allows same-sex marriage. They have been together for nearly 35 years but, because of their genders, somehow their relationship is less “real” and worthy of celebration than celebrities who ask for divorce via text message or leave after six months because the “honeymoon phase” is over and it’s not fun anymore.

Some in the more conservative circles would say that homosexuality is an “abomination” and that, by being happy for my brother, I’m somehow “condoning sin” or, worse, participating in it. I think this is ridiculous because even if I did believe homosexuality was a “choice”-and the hell my gay friends went through in trying to “make themselves straight” tells me it’s not-, I’m happy that someone I care about is happy. Period. It would be one thing if this happiness hurt someone else, but it doesn’t. It’s just there for him, his husband and everyone they love to share in. I don’t see anything wrong with that.

I’m a feminist of sorts. I think women are equal to men and should be treated as such. I don’t see why this is a big deal.

Not trying to convert everyone I meet. I’ve had friends of other faiths (or none at all) for a long time. This isn’t a problem for most Evangelicals, but I heard some pretty nasty comments about how I needed to “convert” certain people so they won’t go to Hell. I see two things wrong with this view: 1) I was under the impression that it was the Holy Spirit who converted people, I was just the messenger, and b) I know from experience that the harder you push something on someone, the more likely they are to push back. Harder. That doesn’t mean you can’t talk about your faith; in fact, I do it all the time. I’m not aggressive about it or bring it up in every conversation, but I love learning and talking about Jesus and religion in general. I wasn’t raised a Christian, so this is a big change. I just don’t know why I would need to be aggressive about it when the people who showed me to Jesus were anything but. They didn’t just talk about the Gospel-they lived it. Even if they didn’t say word one about God, you could see Him written all over their faces and in their lives. That is how I want to be. I want to bring people to God the way they did for me. Like I said, though, He’s the one who does the “saving”. I just want to lead people to the door. I suck at that, but that’s another post.

These are just a few of the reasons I’ve been told I’m going to Hell. I’m not saying that doing the right things isn’t important because it is, but I’m not sure if that’s really the “point” of Christianity. I don’t know; I just want to be like Jesus. Perhaps I need to be thinking more about *that* than what other people say. One day at a time.


Do we ever really grow up?

my-little-pony-468916_640 I had about 40-50 of these growing up. They didn’t look quite this “anime”, but whatever.

I guess I’m thinking about this because a lot of my friends with anxiety or mood disorders of some kind still have a lot of the same fears and frustrations from childhood that everybody else seems to have gotten past. It might just be me, but I think it’s a lot more difficult to let go of things when you have a mind that holds onto absolutely everything and won’t shut up for five seconds.

For instance, my husband has a lot of anxiety about money. There’s a good reason for this-I’ve had so many problems working, which is why I feel like a sorry sack of bipolar scum most of the time. We also went through all of our savings within nine months because I had an accident that rendered me unable to work much for seven months and racked up obscene amounts of bills and stress. But that’s not the point; the point is that any time I mention wanting or needing something, he gets nervous. I know he has anxiety issues, which I guess is one thing that makes him so understanding of the problems I’ve had. He tells me he loves me all the time, that I’m really good for him. I believe it. He’s a lot more than I deserve. Even so, it makes me feel the same way I did when my parents would balk when I needed or wanted anything that cost a lot of money. They didn’t say anything, but they really didn’t have to. The “look” they got on their faces when I mentioned needing $25 for a field trip or $70 to have a new color guard uniform made was enough to make me feel like I did something wrong.

As it turns out, they were having money issues because the treatments my sister got earlier on (doctors, rehab etc) were expensive to the point where they thought they’d have to go bankrupt. At least, this is what my dad told my brother about five years ago. I did not know any of this-I thought that they sent her away because she was bad and they didn’t want her anymore. I feared that, if I wasn’t perfect, I’d be sent away too. If I upset them too much the way she did…and money seemed to be the main thing they got upset about. I used to think that I would probably have turned out less sensitive or whatever had I known some of these things, but whatever. They did the best they could. I know nobody is going to send me away now, just like nobody would have then. Even so, the looks and demeanor my husband sometimes takes when I mention money makes me feel like that ten-year-old kid worried that she did something wrong or the 17-year-old who ran to her room crying when she told her dad how much the “senior stuff” (cap, gown, yearbooks, etc) would cost.

But I’m not a kid anymore. My husband has gotten a lot better about getting nervous and ranting for the same reason-my dad used to do that and it scared the living crap out of me. He didn’t mean to; it just did. To this day, it scares me when a man screams at me in anger. But I’m not a kid anymore. So why should it? Why do I still worry or think I’ve done something wrong anytime someone seems the slightest bit less than happy with me? Or when they seem miffed, period? I know that most people aren’t aware of how their words or non-verbal cues (tone of voice, body language etc) come across. So why do I still pay so much attention to it?

I know I’m not alone in this. It’s just that I think there’s something about the minds of myself and other friends with similar issues (I have a friend with OCD in mind) that holds onto things others would ignore and, in doing so, misses the primary stuff. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; in fact, it can actually be quite helpful when you’re studying things like philosophy or religion where there are multiple layers you have to sift through. I didn’t realize this before, but one symptom of OCD is unwanted and distressing thoughts. I thought it was just about germs or whatever since that’s what all the movies show, but I learned that my obsession with body odor* and the scary thoughts I’d had about hurting my cats or wondering what would happen if I pushed my Spanish professor off a balcony (no, I didn’t do it) can point back to that too. I don’t want to say I have PTSD because I haven’t had anything traumatic happen that bothers me, but I wonder if people who *do* have even more problems because of the way our minds won’t let anything go.

I think I might have gotten off track here, but my question still stands. Do we ever really forget the things we learned about ourselves when we were growing up? Even if the “lessons” were false, do we ever forget about the bad things we learned enough to focus on the good things? Do we ever get past the memories and the feelings that they bring to light? Or are we destined to mentally become our ten-year-old selves when something goes wrong?

I was going to a great therapist last year, but I had to stop because we couldn’t afford it. I’ve joined a ladies’ depression support group that I think is helping, if only because I get to get out of the house and talk with people outside of our social circle. In fact, that’s what we talked about last week-how simply seeing friends in a different setting that usual can be very helpful.

I don’t know. Maybe I’ll be able to motivate myself enough to write more paid articles rather than playing Pet Rescue Saga and randomly babbling here. If anyone else is in the same “hold onto everything”, tell me in the comments. Maybe then we can figure out how to keep it from sinking.

* Don’t laugh. If you had enough people from high school saying you stink both behind your back and to your face, you’d have a complex too.


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