Category Archives: rant

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.


My Brain On OCD

(Warning: this post talks about nightmarish thoughts and might be triggering to some people. Plus, I ramble on like an idiot. That’s nothing unusual.)

Sometimes I really hate my brain.

Right now you’re probably thinking that that isn’t possible, that you have to actually have a brain in order to hate it. Sometimes I feel the same way. But right now I’m frustrated and upset when I have no reason to be.

My doctor calls these OCD tendencies. I never would have thought of that before now because when most of us think of OCD tendencies, we think of people who constantly wash their hands and insist on rubbing everything down with hand sanitizer or wet wipes for fear of catching the slightest germ. We might also have the tendency to worry about body odor, which I definitely have. At one point as a teenager I had 14 different kinds of deodorant because I couldn’t find the right one. Hey, you have people in school saying you stink both behind your back and to your face, you’d have a complex too.  To this day I still wash my underarms when I want to go out, even if I’ve had a shower that day. Anyway, that’s not why I’m writing.

I’m writing because I can’t seem to get all these scary thoughts out of my head. The thing is, these thoughts don’t come after watching horror movies or extremely violent shows; they come from completely random things that make no sense whatsoever. For instance, something I heard years ago on a TV show about some kids being on trial for animal abuse came up when I looked at my orange cat. I see him being thrown from a car and hear the lady who owned him (or, if he’s a typical cat, *he* owned *her*) talking about how everyone she loved had died and that that cat was her only companion in the entire world. It scares me to death because, while I don’t see that happening to my cats, I can’t get it out of my head. Also, this show was on probably 15-20 years ago. The tiniest things that most people wouldn’t even remember bother me.

I also remember how I had a dream that my husband and I were homeless and so desperate for food that we had to eat one of our cats, but we couldn’t figure out how to cook him so he died for nothing. That was a dream I had years ago that had me waking up crying, but it came back full force when I heard a news story where a little boy and his mom had to eat their cat because they had been left homeless by a war in their area and didn’t have anything else. It was one blurb in one news story I can barely remember, but I remember that. I’ve thoughts of abusing one of my other cats, of cutting myself, of stabbing my husband.  When I hear certain songs I imagine myself telling my husband I’m leaving him or that I am having an affair. None of these are true, none of these are even remotely in my character, and yet they remain in my mind.

Also, some of the thoughts aren’t even actions. I’ll look at my husband and hear the “flatline” noise that comes when someone dies.  This is somewhat relevant: he was in the hospital about 7 years ago because of an infection around his heart. Since he has a misshapen valve it was harder to treat; our doctor told us that if the anti-biotics hadn’t taken when they did, he’d have died. I’d be looking at him and think of him being in the Holocaust despite the fact that neither of us were even thought of when that happened-our parents weren’t even born, let alone us. I’ve had thoughts of us being really poor and using our last dollar on a Chinese buffet. I have thoughts of my husband quitting his job and laughing about it while taking me by the hand and us going to a Mexican restaurant and thinking, what have we done? One of the reasons I make up so many romantic stories is so I can keep those thoughts of out of my head enough to go to sleep. The weird thing is that this happens even when I take my sleep medication, but not when I don’t. If that makes sense.  Either way, it doesn’t matter since they usually come when I’m awake. Creepy.

I’m told that that’s the rub about OCD tendencies-that we *know* we would never do the things we think of doing or that these things would never happening, and yet the thoughts persist and come into our heads at completely random and unpredictable times. When I remind myself that that’s what’s going on, I feel better. Sometimes. Sometimes that either does nothing or gets worse. That’s why my doctor put me back on Prozac-apparently that’s the only thing that helps.

I don’t really have an ending for this, so thanks for listening to me rant. I hope I’m not alone in all this.


A Rather Interesting Video, And An Example Of Ineffective ‘Evangelism’

A friend of mine posted a link to this video on Facebook today. Regardless of what you think about abortion, it’s definitely worth viewing.

Two Abortion Protesters Decided To Yell At This Guy’s Wife. They Probably Shouldn’t Have Done That.

http://www.upworthy.com/two-abortion-protesters-decided-to-yell-at-this-guys-wife-they-probably-shouldnt?c=bl3

I have to applaud this man for having the guts to call the protestors onto the carpet. I don’t like the idea of an abortion-I don’t know anyone who does-,but I understand that there might be situations like this man’s wife’s where it’s really ‘the lesser of the two evils’. I can’t imagine that these parents would do this if they didn’t feel they absolutely had to. I certainly wouldn’t. I’ve never been in this situation, and that is this man’s point-you just don’t *know*. There’s nothing wrong with demonstrating your beliefs in public, but it stands to show that we should be careful as to how we do so. Some people would liken tempering our methods to being ‘ashamed’ of the Gospel or not ‘standing up for God’, but it’s not a matter of trying to please others so much as trying to communicate in a way people are willing and likely to listen to.

I’ve seen protesters like this in front of Walmart ranting about gay people and abortion. They bore signs that said things like ‘I chose Jesus, you chose to be gay’ and waved a fishing pole with a red-painted baby doll tied to it. I suppose this was to represent an aborted fetus, but it was unnecessarily graphic and probably grossed more people out than it ‘reached’.

I assume that the ‘I chose Jesus’ sign was supposed to get people to come to Jesus, but what does it tell the person about Him? Nothing. What does it say about the person holding the sign? A lot. It says that that person thinks they are better than others, that they are somehow ‘more saved’, ‘more loved’ by God than someone else. They say they want people to be ‘saved’, but they’ve pretty much ensured that anyone who sees those signs or hears what they’re saying is going to keep on walking. In addition, some of the people they are supposedly trying to ‘help’ by their protests will probably run screaming from the very *mention* of Christianity, even if they would otherwise embrace it. I’ve seen it a million times.

Several of my non-Christian friends tell me that they see me as ‘the exception’ because I *don’t* get in people’s faces and act like I’m better than they are, I *don’t* preach hate as opposed to love and I *don’t* try to shove things down their throats. The fact is that I’m *not* the exception-it’s just that we’re not as loud as the screamers and ‘judges’. Maybe we *should* be. Maybe we *should* be like this man sometimes. Even if he didn’t mention Jesus outright, he makes the point that there are a lot more effective ways to help people than screaming at them and making them want to ignore you. To me, working to make sure our message is effective and shows the love we claim to preach *is* standing up for God-Hopefully I can figure out a way to be brave enough to do it.

 


The Man On The Street-literally

I met a man this evening. A very interesting man, with a remarkably positive attitude, especially given his circumstances. I had occasion to meet him as my husband and came out of one of our favorite pizza restaurants downtown and he stopped to ask us if we knew where he could find work. He didn’t start out asking for money like a lot of people do, although that did happen later on. No, he told us that he had been looking for work for ages upon ages, to no avail. It wasn’t that he wasn’t intelligent or a good person to be around, because he seemed to be both. No, it was because the economy has hit so many people upside the head that no one could afford to hire him (or anyone else) to do much of anything. He had a place to live, which was one positive point. We gave him what was left of one of our pizzas, since we couldn’t do a whole lot else. It wasn’t this part of the story that struck me and inspired me to write, though. That came later.

He told us he had terminal cancer. Brain cancer, and was trying to get the money to pay for one of his anti-seizure medications. God knows I know how expensive meds can be, and how unpleasant life can be without them. And let’s not even mention that cancer made my once-vibrant and active mother practically waste away. I’m sorry I had to put it like that, Mama, but cancer just has to be one of the worst things ever created. That wasn’t what bothered me the most, though.

I’ll admit that this is a subject I only know a little about, if anything at all. But then, since when has that ever stopped me? 🙂

What bothered me the most was that he told us he was a Vietnam veteran and had finally gotten an award letter for money and benefits from the VA (Veterans’ Administration). That war ended on April 30th, 1975. This is October 25, 2010. Thirty-five years, and they were just now getting to him. This disgusts me, but unfortunately does not surprise me. I’m not sure if the cancer was a result of something from the war or if it came on its own later, but it pisses me off royally that someone who took the time and effort to serve our country-who literally put his life on the line-has to beg on the street for money for his medications. Granted, he was going to get a decent sum as the ‘back pay’ for the time it took them to get their stuff together, but that’s not really the point. The point is that here was yet another person who did their part in serving their country (and the draft was around in Vietnam, so it might not have been by choice), and what did he have to show for it? What was his thanks? A lot of red tape, and that’s better than a lot of other people get. At least he had a home; so many others don’t.

It was just so beautiful to me to see his positive demeanor. I think he mentioned being blessed and trying to trust in God about five times in that short, maybe 10-minute conversation. I’ve completely lost faith over much smaller things. Whether he actually wrote it or not, he shared with us a beautiful poem about a rose-about how God takes such good care of small things like that, so how much more must He love us? That’s reminds me of one of my favorite parts of the Bible-Matthew 6:25-34. –

25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

I say that this is one of my favorite parts of the Bible, but it’s one that I constantly seem to forget about when dealing with everyday things. Granted, I have had a lot of trouble with money and other things lately, but nothing even close to what so many other people have. Meeting this man tonight was a good reminder of that, of how I should be thankful for what I have and trust in God to take care of me. That is one of the hardest things for me to do, to stop worrying and trust. I don’t know why.

Now, I know you’re probably thinking, how do you know he was telling the truth? I don’t. He could have been feeding us a line of bull that would make Nixon look honest, and I’d be none the wiser. That happens. However, I’ve heard enough similar stories to know that it’s very possible for someone to fall through the cracks like this. On the other side of the coin, my uncle gets very nice care from the VA in his area for his cancer. He has late-stage lymphoma and has been able to get a good bit of help from the VA in terms of medicine. He, however, is one of the lucky ones. Blessed ones, rather. He was in the Navy for 26 years-a person is considered ‘career’ and eligible for a pension and all that after 20 years. My father gets a pension, and he was in for 21 years. I certainly don’t begrudge my father and uncle their benefits; God knows they need and deserve it. I just wish that the man I met on the street this evening had been that fortunate. Granted, the man I talked to probably wasn’t in for that long, but It takes a special breed of person to do that kind of job for such a long time, especially after having been to war. God knows, I couldn’t do it. Even so, surely a country that claims to be the richest and most powerful in the world would be able to at least take care of people who had to go to war and come back the worse for it. Again, I’m not sure that this man’s cancer was caused by something in the war, but so many other people have lifelong disabilities as a result of military service. It’s not only the physical disabilities I’m thinking of, although those are no small potatoes. However, mental disorders like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that often occurs in veterans is nothing to sneeze at. In a sense, that could be more debilitating than some of the physical problems, because there isn’t really a one-size-fits-all treatment for it. I’ve known people who are simply not the same as they were when they left; they don’t regret serving, but they can’t help but see that they were changed by their experiences in ways that they don’t always understand.

I am all for the military, but I am also all for people who give up as much as they do being at least given what they need to live and have their illnesses cared for. I know cancer treatment is extraordinarily expensive, but I would hope that people with less serious medical problems than terminal cancer would have what they need to live and work in ‘the civilian life’. A lot of them do, but a lot more of them don’t. I think that is disgustingly maddening and sad at the same time. With all the money this country has spent on wars that are based on lies and getting involved where perhaps they shouldn’t, you’d think they’d be able to afford this man’s anti-seizure medication. But then, maybe they just don’t want to.


Bitchfest post #1

I’ve been in rare bitch form lately. I guess it could be because of being bored, tired and that it’s obscenely hot outside, but I’m not sure. Maybe I just need to take a break from Beliefnet, since that’s where some of it comes from. Oh well. I’ve gotta get some stuff off my chest.

1. Why the fuck is there supposed to be a ‘Christian’ opinion on everything? I’m seeing threads about what the ‘Christian’ opinion is on how many kids someone should have, what the ‘Christian’ opinion is about working on Sunday, etc. Normally I wouldn’t care much (well, the first one might be annoying), but the people who start threads like this and who do the most bloviating about what a ‘Christian’ family should look like usually have no children, are not married, perhaps never even had a boyfriend, and sometimes has never even lived on their own. Not to say that this makes them bad people, but it does make them people who don’t know shit about what it means to be married or have kids, and are in no position to preach to those of us who do. I don’t have kids now, which is why you will only see me on threads like that saying that I’m not going to tell anyone else what to do in that area because it’s between them and God, not me. I also don’t want to hear Canadians going on about people having kids they can’t afford and being a ‘drain on the American welfare system’ or that people shouldn’t ‘be allowed’ to have kids if they can’t afford them (yes, that was the question I saw asked, should people be allowed to have kids if they can’t afford them). Maybe they have the same setup in Canada that we do here with welfare, I don’t know, but someone really shouldn’t pretend to know first-hand about things when they don’t. Although I do that too sometimes, so maybe my irritation here is karma for irritating others with my bloviating. 😦 I know one person as a friend and she doesn’t mean harm. I know where she’s coming from, which might be part of my irritation. She’s a member of a conservative Christian denomination that I used to be part of as well (sort of), and that particular denomination does seem to venture an opinion about everything from your entertainment choices to politics to what kind of clothes you buy at the store. Not all are like this, certainly, but I am much more comfortable in a church that doesn’t have a problem with ambiguity sometimes and views the Bible as authoritative on matters of faith and life but not on science or, well, anything else. IINM (If I’m Not Mistaken), the Bible never even claims to be any of those other things. I’m just not really comfortable with the legalistic sort of viewpoint I hear in the posts, and I would probably feel the same way if it were anyone else posting. Which leads me to…

2) I hate it when people post long strings of Scripture out of context and expect us to take it as authoritative for their opinion. By this, I’m thinking of some people who will just slap up a few verses in answer to another post, but not give a whole lot of their own words. When we take the posts in a way the person didn’t intend, it’s even more frustrating because, well, how can we tell what you mean when you don’t say it? Either that, or they’ll say, ‘hey, you’re disagreeing with God, not me’ or ‘you’d know what I was talking about if you really took Scripture seriously/knew anything/were a Real Christian ™/etc’. Honestly, I don’t even read half of what some people post because this type of ‘talking down’ is all they do. I might not be doing my job as a host because I might miss stuff in my ‘scrolling’, but something tells me I’m not missing anything. I guess the same thing goes about people who post ‘lectures’ without really wanting to talk about them…I respect that they have an opinion, but Beliefnet boards are discussion boards, not lectures or blogs. LOL I’m glad I don’t have to share here, but discussion boards aren’t like that. We go to them to talk about things with others…IOW, discuss or debate. I know where to go if I want to be preached at.

3) Slater, get off the counter.

4) I hate how I sometimes trust people too much and get hurt. Or feel sorry for myself over stupid shit when I have so much to be thankful for. Luckily the former hasn’t happened too much lately. I also hate how I can be so damned self-absorbed that I miss so much of what is going on around me. I didn’t know about my sister’s health issues, for one thing. But then, neither did my dad, but I might have just gotten upset because I rarely get to see my family and yet they get to see each other pretty often. Granted, a lot of them live in one place, but I wish I had the money or time to visit. That’s not anyone’s fault, just something I have to live with. I live a really long way away from everyone, and while I’ve always been kind of ‘distant’, I hope no one thinks that means I don’t care. My life has been kind of boring lately, so there’s not really much in the way of ‘news’ to tell.

5) The Georgia Department of Labor has got to be one of the most incompetent agencies I’ve ever worked with. Long, aggravating story short, this is the second time I’ve had to deal with them on the same issue and also the second time I’ve had to appeal to someone higher in our state government to deal with the same issue. Hopefully it will be sorted out this week or so, or else I’ll be out 200 bucks I don’t have that I really don’t owe the DOL, but they say I do.

My bitchiness is winding down, so I think I’ll stop while I’m ahead. Thanks for listening, and feel free to add your own bitchfests. Let’s make this an ‘event’!


Civility a lost art?

Website Editors Aspire to Rein In Nasty Comments

Well, somebody had to say it.

For the past seven years or so, I’ve been a volunteer moderator on a site called Beliefnet. Generally I like the job, but I’ve noticed this same thing lately too. I thought it was just the fact that the boards I work with are about religion (debating Christianity and Judaism), and thus are naturally going to be more ‘highly charged’, although some things I’ve seen are just ridiculous. If I see one more person come on and say they know more than anyone else about God/Jesus/whatever and that everyone else is going to hell (outright or implied), I’m going to scream. I’m sure you probably expected me to say that I was going to shoot myself, but I won’t say that because I fear I’ll see it the moment I click over to the sites and then I’ll have to make good on it. Um, no.

Like I said, mostly I like my job, and Beliefnet isn’t the only forum I’ve used. However, I’ve seen the quality or civility of discussion about certain things take a nosedive in recent months. It seems that anything regarding President Obama-for or against, mostly against-should be marked with a ‘hazardous’ sign because it’s only a matter of posts before someone starts fussing about him and his healthcare reform ideas, regardless of what the discussion started off about. I’ll be honest, I voted for him and am hopeful, but even if I weren’t, there’s no excuse for calling people names if they simply disagree with you. The same goes for subjects like the Iraq War and Islam (to a degree). I think a big part of it is the fact that you’re typing to a computer screen and thus can sort of ‘hide behind’ it…anonymity makes a lot of people much more brave and willing to say insulting things online than they would to someone’s face. I’ll admit I’m guilty too. Also, some subjects like religion are things a lot of people don’t talk about except on those boards and thus you’ll see a side of them you wouldn’t otherwise see. I’ve spoken with and met some people ‘in person’ that I’ve known from various forums and, while I try to be roughly the same person in both situations, there are always going to be some who are completely different in person than online.

Of course, some topics are more volatile than others. On Beliefnet, we have had to relegate all discussions of abortion and homosexuality-religiously based or not-to specific boards set aside for it. I’ve had people complain about this, particularly the latter, sometimes seeming like they expect me to make exceptions. I’m not going to, because I think I’m partly responsible for the policy being made to begin with. I say this because I am a moderator of a Christian debate board (Christians debating each other) and, when discussion of homosexuality was allowed on religious debate boards, the subject would completely dominate the board. It was usually the same two or three posters, but sometimes the conflict spread from thread to thread in a completely off-topic, disruptive fashion.. One thing Beliefnet specifically rules against are ‘ad hominem attacks’-personal attacks against other members. I get that it’s a highly charged subject, especially in the previous administration with a more conservative president, and especially in some parts of this country. There was some pretty hateful stuff posted, enough for me to have trouble keeping up with it, but it was hard to get another moderator to come and put their hands into the mess. This came from both sides of the debate. It ended up turning away members who enjoyed discussing issues related to Christianity in a civil manner because who would want to be around stuff like that? If I weren’t the moderator and weren’t there to try to make things better, I wouldn’t. We ended up suspending the worst offenders but over time it was determined that the subject could not be discussed on our boards without having an overall negative effect on the community. I would say I constantly lobbied my supervisors for the change, but the truth is, I didn’t have to because others had done that for me. At first there was only debate board for sexual orientation, but the need came for several other, faith-specific boards to be created to keep up with the ‘demand’. I found the whole thing rather sad because a lot of the posters were people who had other things in common and would probably have been able to be friendly if not for the arguments about that one particular subject.

There are some forums I used to frequent but that I don’t anymore because some people seem to be rude just for the sake of being rude. I don’t understand people like that. I figure, life is full of enough stress and bitterness, why add to it? But then, I think some people are just miserable and want to spread it around. That seems to be the case with some of the most nasty posters I’ve come across.

This has been said so many times it’s ridiculous, but ‘where is the love??” Whatever happened to being civil to people, even if you disagree? Whatever happened to agreeing to disagree? Like I said, I understand some subjects are very highly-charged, but the principle your mom taught you about dealing with the school bully could probably be put to work here too…just ignore it and walk away. The scroll button is our friend. Although I’ll admit I’m guilty of letting some jerk ‘have it’ on occasion, it’s not something I enjoy doing. Sometimes we all need to just turn off the computer and watch some Mystery Science Theater 3000 to calm down.

Speaking of which….see you later!


What would you call this? Possibly triggering and annoying babble…

The part below-above the asterisk row-was written a long time ago, but I got the idea to post it here because I’ve read several stories from my friends about similar issues and thought I’d add my ‘me too’ and let them know they’re not alone.- PQ

Okay, many of you who know me have heard me talk about this. I had an idea of what to call it, but some conversations with a friend made me wonder. What would the name be for this situation:

I was in a relationship in college. It lasted about 3.5-4 years. We did not have intercourse. But there were many things of a sexual nature that I did that I did not want to do. Stuff like fondling, oral sex, ‘dry humping’, using his fingers on me, etc. There were times when I did want to do things, but there were many times when I didn’t. Sometimes he would do something like touch me sexually and I would say no, but he would continue. Sometimes I would end up enjoying it, but not always. He would make sexual comments about me and other women, and some of his friends did too. When I would say something about it, he would make me feel as though I was wrong, too ‘prudish’ (I had been told before by other friends that I was too judgemental about sex), that I needed to ‘loosen up’. Toward the end, I would get quite angry and would not want to show any part of my body to him, would be very ashamed that anyone knew we did stuff, etc. He would make comments about it to argue with me and seem/get angry, knowing that I didn’t want to hurt or make people mad. Basically he was playing on my good nature.

He would manipulate me into doing many things. He’d use tactics like lying/pretending to be sad that I didn’t want to fool around, arguing with me, giving guilt trips, etc. If I were talking to anyone else I’d call it “coercion”, but for some reason I draw a blank when it comes to myself. We got along well sometimes, so I basically did things because I felt like I had to. I thought that that was just what you do, that I had to have a ‘tradeoff’ and give sexual favors to get the good things like support, etc. There were several times when I would wake up and he would be touching me sexually.

He would occasionally say something like an apology and that he was doing wrong, and stop for about a week or so. But he would shortly go right back to the same old thing. I stayed mainly because (as I see it now) he manipulated me and got me to where I felt dependent on him or didn’t feel strong enough to leave. Once, when I did break up with him, he would come up and try to be my friend. He would give advice to me about guys I was interested in, tell me how I deserved better and swoop right in when they left me alone. Come to find out, they mainly did that because he was harassing them and interfering.

I know the emotional and psychological stuff would be abuse, but what about the sexual stuff? At the time I didn’t know it had a name or that anyone would believe me or think it was wrong because he was my boyfriend. Also, there were times when I did want to do things, or ended up enjoying it.

Would that be a separate type of abuse? I thought that ‘rape’ had to be forced intercourse, and there wasn’t any of that.  I was talking with a friend, and she said something that make me reconsider that perhaps it really *was* rape because of the use of fingers. She also said that my eventual enjoyment of it was irrelevant, that it was the fact that he did not take no for an answer and that he did this consistently over a long period of time that was problematic. That prompted me to start reading on the internet about the subject, but I got different ideas and definitions from different sources.

What do you think? What would the name be for this, if any? I was using ‘sexual abuse’, but my friend’s comments made me wonder.

******************************************

The above was posted on Beliefnet.com a while back in the form of a thread on the Sexual Ethics board:

http://community.beliefnet.com/go/thread/view/43931/13270689/What_is_the_name_for_this

As  you can see here, I got some good responses and some nasty responses. They all told me things I’d already thought of: that it was my fault because I stayed with him and because I had done things in the past; that it didn’t matter what happened in the past, that it was still wrong for him not to take ‘no’ for an answer; that I didn’t set clear enough boundaries and gave him mixed messages, and so I was just as wrong; the whole ‘why didn’t you leave him?’…same old same old.

I don’t want to go on about how I’m a victim…I *hate* that word! I’ve managed to have good relationships with men since then, even if my view of sex might have changed a bit. What’s strange is that this whole thing still effects me, 10+ years later…probably affects me more now than it did around when it actually happened. I’m told that is fairly common.  I just hate how, even now, even seeing his *name* or someone who looks like him shakes me up.  In fact, I was working on a project about abuse in relationships a while back, but had to table it for a while because thinking of it all started weighing on me and I would find myself thinking or talking about it so much that it got in the way of other, very important things- things like taking Facebook quizzes and drooling over blonde male Aussies on TV. 🙂  Can’t have that, now, can we? 🙂

I tend to make jokes to try to deal with things, even if some don’t think I should.  I refer to this ex as Psycho Rapist because I think it sounds funny but I also don’t want to say his name. There are just *so many levels* to this relationship.  I had low self-esteem, didn’t think what I wanted was very important, thought I had to please people or else I was a bad person, thought it was a matter of taking the good with the bad, etc…typical thought patterns of a person in an abusive relationship. However, sometimes it still hits me. Not at this moment, but sometimes it takes very little to bring thoughts back up.  Now, there were some decent things and some fun things, and I keep trying to tell myself that, but I still keep going back to the negative, especially when I read about a friend having a bad situation. I hate that my friends have had these sorts of things happen to them.

Seriously, though-a few months ago he sent a friend request to me on Facebook. He sent and I ignored them three different times (he even sent them two days apart from each other), and ended up blocking him.

I’ve asked myself, friends and spiritual advisers about forgiving him about three or four times in the past few years, but for some reason I can’t seem to drill anything through my head. I’ve wrestled with that sort of thing many times, although lately I haven’t really.  It comes and goes. I just feel so weird because I know he can’t hurt me, probably doesn’t want to, he’s married, it’s been about ten years since I last saw him, etc…but still seeing his name kind of ‘kicked me’. This is what sometimes goes through my head: I keep going back and forth in my head remembering how I thought I had forgiven him a long time ago…actually, more than once…but every now and then I’m reminded of things, and back to square one. I feel bad because he didn’t hit me or anything…besides, it’s Facebook, what could it hurt? But I don’t like looking at another friend’s picture because that picture resembles PR…I still use that name…but it was so long ago and I should be past this by now…Round and round and round it goes…

But anyway, my question is if there something wrong with me spiritually that I keep thinking I forgave him but still feel shaken up by seeing his name.  I know forgiving doesn’t always mean that you have to have a relationship with that person and I don’t necessarily want bad things to happen to him, but shouldn’t I be at the point where I don’t feel nervous when I see him? Isn’t that kind of holding everything against him all over again? The verses about God not forgiving us if we don’t forgive others keep coming to mind.

As you see, I’ve become an expert in self-flagellation. I would *never* suggest to anyone else that they weren’t going to be forgiven if they didn’t forgive, or that they had to have a relationship with someone who hurt them. He just brought me back in so many times by using that, by manipulating me and appealing to my good nature. Appealing to my faith, basically anything really he could find a foothold.

I’ll stop babbling now; I’m probably not making sense anyway.  As you can tell, I’ve copied and pasted from other things I’ve written before, but I’ve thought I might as well because I keep going over the same things in my head over and over again. Most of it has never been published before, so it’s kind of like writing it for the first time.


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