Tag Archives: relationships

A Good-And Long Overdue-Change Of Mind

It’s not *my* change of mind I’m talking about here, although I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. Don’t worry, I’ve got the fire extinguishers handy in case anything starts burning. 🙂

My friend J posted this on Facebook today, and I just felt the need to share it. It’s “old”, but it’s an interesting viewpoint on an issue that has been breaking my heart.

http://www.salon.com/2011/03/27/presbyterian_minister_changes_mind_about_gays/

I for one am glad to see someone change their stance on Christianity and homosexuality. It breaks my heart how hateful I’ve heard some of my ‘co-religionists’ being. Actually, I should probably say, ‘former co-religionists’, because I no longer belong to a church or denomination that would condemn someone for something they can’t control. To be honest, I’m kind of embarrassed to ‘claim’ some of the people this pastor says he used to be and that he mentioned being in his church. I’m including myself here too, since I used to be one of them.  There are even some people I used to know who I simply *can’t* claim. Here is a quote from the article that says a lot of what I feel:

The truth is, I was put out that this was an issue. Feeding the hungry, preaching the gospel, comforting the afflicted, standing up to racial intolerance — these were the struggles I signed up for, not determining the morality of what adults did in their bedrooms.

I don’t really understand why it’s an issue either. Aren’t there a lot more important things we should be thinking about as Christians trying to figure out how to best live our lives in service to Christ? I’m not saying that sexual sins shouldn’t be thought of because a lot of them should-things like adultery that can destroy marriages, pedophilia, etc. I just don’t see why this *particular* issue-the issue of which gender a person sleeps with-is really all that important, or even interesting. I’m not saying that all people who hold to the “traditional” view that homosexuality is a sin are somehow knuckle-dragging bigots; if I did that, I’d have to include some people very dear to me. It just bothers me that so much more attention is paid to this issue at the expense of others.

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Abusive Relationships-A Closer Look

This is another one I wrote a while back that I’m posting here. I feel a bit odd about sharing this because the situation I’ve described in this and other posts (like this one) is nowhere near as bad as what other people I’ve known have been through, but I don’t want anyone else to feel the way I did if I can help it. Anyway, here it goes.

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I wish I wasn’t able to write this article.

I don’t say this to imply that I hate that I’m a good writer or using the internet to research. It’s actually fun…too much fun, considering how easily I get distracted. 🙂 No, I hate that I don’t *need* to do research to write this article. Instead, all I have to do is look at my past.

The funny thing is that I had no idea that the relationship was abusive at the time; we never do. I knew I didn’t like what was happening, but I thought abuse only looked one way (hitting) and that it was easy to tell what “fits the definition” and what doesn’t. Nope. Since I didn’t have the luxury of this knowledge when I was coming along, I’m going to give you a few ways to tell if your relationship is abusive before you get in too deep to get out.

1) He ‘swept you off your feet’. Declaring his love immediately to get you in a relationship is a big clue. Abusers look for vulnerable people-for instance, people who just got out of relationship the way I had. Getting you to commit to him quickly doesn’t give you a chance to see him for what he is, which is yet another reason being “on the rebound” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Besides, you don’t want to let yourself get swept into a relationship if you’re not ready to be in one.

2) Your partner is excessively jealous and controlling. He has to know where you are, who you’re with, what you’re wearing, when you’re going to be back, etc.

Come to think of it, this sounds like how a parent would act. Difference is, he’s not. He has no ‘right’ or ‘position’ over you the way your parents did as a kid. You’re not a kid anymore.

3) He attempts to isolate you from your friends and family, mostly by ‘requiring’ that you be with him at all times and/or behaving in such a way that your friends will not want to be around you. I can tell a few stories about this, but I won’t. Let’s just say that a lot of this goes on behind your back as well as to your face.

4) He makes you feel bad about yourself. This is the biggest reason people stay in these relationships-they think they can’t get or don’t deserve any better.

5) Threatening to hurt or kill himself if or when you try to leave. This might sound romantic in a ‘Romeo and Juliet’ way, but it’s not. It’s coercive and controlling. That, and he’s probably not as hot as Leonardo DiCaprio. 🙂

6) He never takes responsibility for anything. His family, you, his boss, the kids…everything that goes wrong is someone else’s fault. That way, he doesn’t have to stop what he’s doing because ‘…made me do it.’

I remember saying stuff like this when I was six and broke the cookie jar. At least a six-year-old has an excuse to be childish!

7) He tries to change your looks. ‘You know, you’d be really hot if…’ ‘Maybe you need to…’ comparing you to other women, etc. This sort of criticism does not come from a person who really cares about you, even if it is framed as a joke. Besides, you’re beautiful just the way you are.

8) He pushes and pressures you into things-sex, drinking, drugs, etc-that he knows you don’t want to do. He then criticizes or makes fun of you for your reluctance-you don’t want to have sex because you’re a ‘prude’. You don’t want to drink because you’re ‘no fun’, you won’t ‘play hooky’ from work because you’re a ‘goody-goody’…you get the idea.

9) He has a bad temper and blows up over little things. This makes you afraid to do or say anything he doesn’t like, including standing up for yourself.

I have no end for this except to say that if these things seem familiar to you (or you see them in a friend), get out. Don’t walk-run, and never look back. You deserve much better than this.


Fact, Fiction and Frustration

I’m a housewife (I guess that’s what you’d call me) and generally like my life, but sometimes I get a bit bored. I know that boredom isn’t necessarily a *bad* thing-hey, if nothing’s happening, that means nothing *bad* is happening, right? Either way, I’ve always been the kind of person to make up stories in my head to entertain myself. Sometimes I have a really hard time getting to sleep and, creative person that I am, these things just come out. I’ve written a few into screenplays (or scenes that I will expand on later), but I don’t really think they’ll go anywhere other than my hard drive.

It’s strange, but the vast majority are romantic comedies of some kind, with the lead character either being me or based on me. Sometimes it involves being a character in one of my favorite TV shows and screwing the guy I’m drooling over, but sometimes it’s just about my life. Or, what could have been my life.

That is not meant to be any reflection on my marriage because I have the best husband in the world, but for some reason I find myself thinking about past ‘missed opportunities’. I wouldn’t want to change the way things are now, but lately I’ve been fantasizing about what it might have been like had I taken a chance with a guy I knew and liked while I was in college. This guy was someone I met during the summer break, we really liked each other and said so in no uncertain terms, but nothing happened because I was dating someone at the time.He found me and we spoke on the phone a few months after all of that, but by that point we both knew that ship had sailed. One of the stories I’m working on is a fictionalized version of what might have happened if I had broken up with my then-boyfriend and dated this guy. It probably wouldn’t have worked anyway for a number of reasons and I love the one I’m with. I don’t regret losing my virginity to my husband, and that’s probably something I couldn’t have done if I’d dated this guy. Even so, I’ve wondered, what if? Turning into a writing project is a good way to make something positive out of it, but sometimes I feel troubled for thinking of it at all. It’s almost as though I *want* to be that confused, naive person I was when I was 20. Instead, I feel old.

Another story I’ve thought of is about someone completely fictional meeting ‘me’ and us having a nice date and great sex. There’s no ‘what if’ here because, like I said, it’s not about anyone real. My question to myself is, why do I even *think* of stuff like this? If I have a happy marriage, why are sex and romance on my mind so much? Why does my heart still sometimes lrace when I think of it? Am I a terrible person?

I just thought of something. The common denominator in both of these stories is that I’m 20, and that I’m single. When I was that age, I was dating someone who turned out to be a really bad influence. I’m not talking about him getting me to drink or do drugs or anything, but he was very manipulative and emotionally/psychologically/sexually abusive. Of course, I didn’t see this at the time, but damned near everyone else around me did. There were guys who wanted to date me but didn’t because of him, people who probably would have treated me much better in the long run. I know I would have been a much happier person had I not been being jerked around and treated like crap by someone who didn’t seem to have much respect for me-or women in general, for that matter. I knew that it wasn’t a good relationship, but I felt like I was in too deep to get out and that I just had to ‘take the good with the bad’. I *did* actually break up with him once for a few months but ultimately came back because I was afraid to be alone and the other guys I had been dating all backed off. And, of course, he swooped in to play the hero and be all sweet…as it turns out, he had been harassing the other guys behind my back. This is *definitely* more than the usual ‘ups and downs’, but I didn’t know exactly how bad things were. I hadn’t had much experience in relationships and frankly never thought what I wanted was very important.

The fact that he used my religion against me sometimes by telling me that I had to forgive him and take him back because the Bible says that we have to forgive others or else our own sins won’t be forgiven. That should have also been a clue but, like I said, I didn’t see it for what it was at the time. The truth is, we never do. That’s the whole problem-people in abusive relationships stay because they don’t feel like they deserve/can get any better and, even if we don’t like what is happening, we think it’s something we just have to deal with. If I’d seen it for what it was, stuck by my decision to break up with him the few times I tried it and/or stayed away from him entirely, I could have spared myself and a lot of other people a world of hurt. That, and I wouldn’t have written so many run-on sentences talking about him. 🙂

I’m wondering if these fantasies are my mind’s way of trying to get that time back-time that was wasted with the wrong person and could have been much more productive had I known then what I know now. I’m 35 now and sometimes just want to be young again, but am very happy to be with the man I am with now. If I had dated the guy I met one summer or anyone else, I might not be with my husband, which would be tragic in and of itself. We’re not meant to live in the past, and I guess there really *is* a reason for everything that happens. I just wish sometimes that I had a clue what those reasons were.

Oh well. At least I have good fodder for ‘villains’ in my stories.


Sweet Revenge?

When I was doing housework this afternoon (yes, it *does* happen :P), I had my iTunes going on in the background. For some reason, lately I always have to have something going on in the background, even if it’s only in my own mind. 🙂 Anyway, the song, “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood came on. I *love* that song, and I’m not normally into country. The chorus got me thinking:

“I dug my key into the side of his pretty little souped-up four-wheel drive/ Carved my name into his leather seat/ Took a Louisville Slugger to both headlights/ Slashed a hole in all four tires/ Maybe next time he’ll think before he cheats!”

To anyone who hasn’t heard it, it’s basically the anthem to all jilted or ‘scorned’ women anywhere. I’ve certainly found myself in that category on a number of occasions, but I never really found myself wanting to do anything quite *that* severe to get back at any of my exes (or false girl friends, for that matter). Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had plenty of angst that just *had* to come out. In fact, some of my best poetry was inspired by such incidents and relationships, some of which is on this blog (I think…). You can *definitely* tell that Alanis Morrisette and Melissa Etheridge are some of my strongest artistic influences. 🙂 Even so, I’ve never really gone out of my way to get back at someone who hurt me.

Actually, scratch that. There *was* the time when I called up an ex’s mother and told her all of the awful stuff he did to me, but that wasn’t my finest half hour and I certainly had plenty of fodder. There were also many late nights with my girlfriends making fun of the guy and burning him in effigy (I’m joking; we weren’t allowed candles in the dorm 😛 ).

I never did anything as severe as screwing with anyone’s car, but I *did* once have to hide mine to keep it from happening to me.

The ex I mention above, whose mom I called, was in a class by himself. When I say ‘class’, I really mean ‘circle of Hell’. 🙂 This is a guy who would harass any guy who showed interest in me (when we were broken up!) and then swooped in to play the hero when the other guys left me. Anyway, he was in ROTC and had these two guys, I and F, hanging around who were a year behind him and sort of his ‘subordinates’. That’s how he made it sound, anyway-I don’t know how it works in ROTC. The day before I was going to break up with him, I remembered some of the stupid ‘pledge’ or ‘hazing’ things the guys had to do, some of which were pretty destructive. I moved my car all the way across campus because I was afraid that, once I broke up with my ex, he’d have his ‘goons’ key my car and slash my tires. I’m not at all sorry for thinking this.

Actually, scratch that. I *am* sorry. Not for thinking that about my ex, because neither I nor any of my friends had a problem believing he would be capable of something like that. No, I’m sorry for thinking that I and F would for one minute *consider* pulling a stunt like that. These are two decent guys who didn’t deserve to be painted as mindless drones who would do such a thing, ‘ordered to’ or not. I’m sure they turned out well. Guys, I’m sorry I called you “goons”, even though you’ll probably never hear of it.

Either way, we’ve all moved on to bigger and better things. I’ve had quite a few more boyfriends, some of whom I still talk to sometimes. Sometimes things just don’t work out, however good the guys are. There’s only *one* more boyfriend who inspired more nasty poetry, but I brought the pain on myself for getting involved with him to begin with. I knew the relationship never should have happened, and I did it anyway. Trust me, I’ve learned my lesson.

Speaking of which, I wonder if Carrie would like any help writing her next hit ‘men are scum’ song? Because I’ve got sheets and sheets of the stuff. I’m not an angry person, but I really enjoyed writing about it all. At least that way, I can put the annoying angsty stuff to good use. 🙂


Six years

I know this will probably sound sickeningly sweet to a lot of people, but oh well. It’s my and my husband’s sixth anniversary on Saturday.

Six years since we had the reception in a room that looked like a 50’s diner. It had working jukeboxes and everything.

Six years since our friends ‘decorated’ our car to tell everyone we were ‘Future Porn Stars’.

Six years since we drove through the car wash four times to remove all the ‘decoration’, and still didn’t get it all off. I think there was still a bit of red stuff on the wipers when I totaled that car ten months later. 🙂

Six years since my sister called up our hotel room around 9pm the wedding night just to annoy us, because she said ‘we did that to her on her wedding night’.

Six years since we had our bridesmaids’ lunch at Taco Bell.

Six years since I danced with my uncle, which was sadly the last time I danced with him before he died.

And before that was the planning…

Six years since I felt like throwing something wet and squishy at my friend P because she kept bugging me about stupid things like what color all of the food was going to be or why my stepmother was serving alcohol outside the party room. I’d previously not wanted alcohol but decided that I didn’t care.

Six years since I went into such a stress-induced fit during the planning that I went off on P. I apologized the next day.

Six years since I holed myself up in my room for a whole weekend because I was so worried about what everyone would think about all the little ‘frou-frou’ stuff I was *supposed* to do and have.

Six years since I decided that I didn’t give a shit whether the food at the reception didn’t match the room, what my bridesmaids did with their hair or whether or not Amanda’s tattoos were showing.

Six years since I decided that this day was about me and my husband and not how good of a party the director could throw, whether the tablecloths were straight or who signed the guestbook.

Six years since I said ‘I do’, and I still do. So does he.

Hopefully we’ll have six more years of this…or sixty.


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