Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Needles and Pins

I'm using the title as a pun for so so existence. I know that I hurt my friend when I said that I kind of wish my ex had hit me. That would have been a clear sign that things were terrible. Instead, we had this wishy washy, so so relationship that I kept going because I didn't know there could be something so different.

I apologize. Just because I couldn't get out of hum drum without dramatics, doesn't mean anyone else should wait for abuse.

You're probably way more interesting than your ho hum job or your Mr. Right Now relationship.

Go DRAMATIC on your own self. Take your big dream and set it up. I don't know how or where to direct you. I mean, sure, there's Barbara Sher with her Wishcraft, how to get what you really want book or Martha Beck and her Finding Your Own North Star book, but have they lead me to my ultimate dream?

Well, yes and no. They're great books and great women. I highly recommend them both.

I'm just wondering about the settling gene. What makes us stay in something when we feel so meh about it. Shouldn't a relationship make us rush home to be with that other person? Shouldn't a job make us love Mondays?

Can one have both? Both a wonderful relationship and a passionate vocation? How about an amazing parenting experience? I don't want kids, but I have never understood the people who feel obligated to create human beings and then resent them. Isn't anything worth doing, worth doing the best you can?

People seem to even settle for lack luster pets, or houses or stuff. Why are we settlers? I saw the neatest dress in the Avon catalog the other day. Apparently, someone designed a dress that you can reconfigure its strapping to have so many different looks. Brilliant. Now I have to rethink my pant only fashion sense! I wonder if that designer makes blouses or coats? That would be awesome. A coat you could configure different ways for different outfits.

What wild ideas tick inside your heart while you tock away at your dead end job or put up with your boring spouse? Might your significant others perk up if you showed them the way? Explained to them that you want a shiny life.

*I* want a shiny life. Where's my shiny life, dammit!

Kind comments encouraged.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Time after Time

Been thinking about all this domestic violence stuff going on. As I've said many many many times, I watched my mother get abused, mostly by step dads.

What I've been told starts with my own father. He broke my mother's wrist just as they were divorcing. Mom said that she "couldn't work" so she let dad take custody of my sister and I.

I don't remember "confronting" dad about this, but I do remember him telling me that they were fighting and mom pulled away and banged her wrist against a car door.

I do think it matters which story is true. I wish I knew. I was only four and there's no way to tell honesty. Both my parents failed to give proper care to me.

It's a mixed up thing. I love my dad. I don't give him a pass for any of this. It's a simple scale, mom physically and emotionally hurt me more. And, if dad's that much of an ogre, why on earth would you leave your CHILDREN with him??

Okay, so mom hooked up with husband number three. I don't know anything about husband numero uno, he left her. I do know mom got kind of shot gunned into that one.

Anyway Dick the third (or turd depends how yous see it) beat mom so bad he ruptured her spleen. She told me later, she didn't want us living with him because "she knew he was an animal." Um, yeah. It's okay for him to be an animal around her, but not her kids. Way to teach your kids how to love and value themselves.

I don't know what broke them up. She told me a story but they were still together after it happened. She said that she broke up with him after a trip to Florida where she caught him in bed with another man. Never mind that he had sex with her daughter, age seven, but GAY??? GOD NO!

The truth is, I don't remember any of his violence against her. I remember them arguing loudly when they were drunk. Usually after getting home from the bar.

I did see step dad number four kick the door as she was leaving a room. This cut the tip off her finger. I saw them get into slap fights and he lived his life in a state of pickled, bleary eyed, slurring stuporhood.

One night, he decided mom was cheating and I lay in bed listening as he got out his guns and sat there grilling my mother about her cheating ways. The idea of a super drunk guy with loaded guns, he was a security guard, scares the shit out of me. I am deeply sorry that my mother had to go through that.

That guy, Art, confused me as deeply as my dad. He loved me nearly as much as dad. Even came to visit me after they divorced. Though he was never sexually inappropriate. He just liked kids and thought I was special.

Abusive jackass number five lasted only a few months. No big knock out drag out physical fights, but that jealous slap around jealous drunk phase started pretty quick. He was a bit happy go lucky when they weren't fighting. Though with that  troubled drunk stuff lurking just below the surface.

Before husband number five, she did have a long time boyfriend who could have been the poster child for alcoholics anonymous failures. I have no idea if any of them went, he just drank so much he could barely function. He knocked her around too. I didn't see it though. I heard them once in a while and it was all very low key. Not hidden so much as, he probably passed out before he could get too violent.

The boyfriend taught me to play chess and was generally nice to me. His intelligence could have rivaled a genius, if he could have found sobriety. Same with mom's last husband.

Dennis died last year in hospice care. My mother is now in poor physical health so it's unlikely she'll marry another guy.

She married Dennis for his GI bill. I suppose they got on okay. She abandoned me after she hooked up with him, though that improved my life a lot. My older sister and I lived together in our own stable apartment. I was 15.

Wow, she stuck it out with Dennis 35 years. His abuse involved more of a slapping and never quite keeping steady and responsible work. He got fired for being drunk at work and mom defended him. Then, he hit her and she called the cops. They made him go to anger management. This just made him angrier.

I suppose a lot of my mom's story is about her picking the devil she knew. She couldn't seem to ever find someone nice, so she found someone who didn't put her in the hospital. How sad that she couldn't decide different.

OKAY, now here's the simple reality that I learned from all that. Pick your mates from a place that meets YOUR VALUES. I would never go to a bar to meet a guy.

Decide before anyone ever hits, that you will not tolerate that even once. If you want to help someone, go to college and get a counseling degree. You don't bring home a sick person and try to learn amateur doctoring in your spare time, so why do that with the mentally sick?

Caring people ask you what you want, abusive people tell you what you want. Passive aggression is aggression. Even trained counselors cannot "fix" another person. They only guide those who want help.

They say NEVER take meth, not even once. I say, never try abuse. Not even once.

Long post, I felt it needed all the details to know where I came from. Kind comments encouraged.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Oedipus Rex

Dunno if you've noticed but my titles are all song titles. This one comes from Tom Lerher. It's about the Greek tragedy, told with amusing lyrics.

I wanted to talk about family and how we learn to relate to other people. We learn from example. It's no wonder my mother hooked up with violent men, that's what her father taught her.

I'm grateful to my dad. He might have had many problems, but he showed me love. I picked men more like him than other examples.

I started to wonder, lately, about my mother's mother. She always seemed quiet and calm. Maybe with a little pep here and there. When my sister asked her if birds have a penis, without skipping a beat, grandma said "No, they eat with their peckers. "

What was she like as a mom I wonder? What was she like as the wife of a violent father? I bet she was stuck in a troubled life. Mormons marry for life. My violent grandfather died just a few months after my mother gave birth to my oldest sister.

The man I called grandfather married grandma after her children were grown and didn't appear to be violent. At least I didn't hear it spoken of if he was.

If I had pigment, I'd probably look like my mother. We have similar features. Murry looks like his mother, with her thick lips and oval face. I saw a picture of her and mistook it for him. He laughed at me, but he really does look like her.

I think Freud was on to something, but I think he took the correlation a bit far. I think we use the examples we see when we choose a mate. I also think we move away from those examples if we don't like them.

I saw a study on monkeys where they had replaced their mother with two replacements. One was made of metal that had the bottle of milk. One was furry. The monkey preferred the company of the fuzzy mother. Researchers would scare the poor little thing and it would ALWAYS run to furry mom.

Sometimes I feel like I've been experimented on. It's been a challenge to find the furry mom. It's been a bit easier to find the furry dad.

Even the man who molested me didn't cause me a huge amount of physical harm. His sexual abuse left me with a greater confusion as he made a point to make it pleasant.

Years later, another man tried to touch me. He said "you want to feel good, don't you?" I told him not like that and never went near him again.

I watch people and how they relate. How they interact with their spouses. Just recently I saw George Takei's documentary Being Takei and saw how he and his husband loved each other. They bickered and chided at the same time as they cooed and flirted with each other. I saw my own marriage in theirs.

Love is love. I wonder which parent gay couples model? Both maybe? I guess we all model both.

But we all run to fuzzy mom or fuzzy spouse.

Thoughts? Kind comments welcome.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Joy to the World

Updated August 31, 2020
A friend on Facebook asked for the "keys to happiness." Funny expression. Like we can get into it and drive off and all will be happy. I did reply because I think I have found my way to happy.

Sure, I fall off into "why bother" land more than I like. And I still think happy is still the base from which I lift off.

I'll comment and expand on what I told him. Here's what I said: Embracing learning from mistakes. Not only yours, but those mistakes you see around you. Make choices that fill your soul. Courage means having the fear and pain and going on anyway. Take a moment to celebrate when you recognize you're in an amazing experience. Be around like minded people who buoy your spirit. Let go of those who for whatever reason drain your energy. Find serenity to accept what you cannot change, courage to change what you can and dig deep for the wisdom to know the difference.

Everyone I interact with teaches me something. I often speak of watching my mother be brutalized by her spouses and how that taught me to pick something different. That lead me to learning from my own mistaken assumptions about the character of men. I see now that they come in a lot of flavors and it takes luck AND skill to detect the one that fit your taste.

Choose how you are going to be in the world. At first, I didn't know how to do this. I had to choose okay for a couple of years. I think I started before I got that advice but I became aware of it after I heard Iyanla Van Zant suggest it for someone. "Where are you NOW?" she begged of the women she was trying to help. That was me. Where was I, were people beating or molesting me? If not, why live as if that was happening inside my head?

Pain and memory need expression and resolution. Life requires examination to improve it. Once improved, life must be CELEBRATED.

After my divorce, a friend suggested a fabulous trip. Though it was some years later, I did that and climbed, explored and ate my way around Europe. Though I had fears and moments of desperate doubts about traveling alone, I went on anyway. I live those days over and over, reinforcing the pleasures I first experienced so many years ago.

I found people who think as I do and who share my values. I move away from and try and think kindly of those who think different. I will state my point of view so people know I have one and if it's not well received, I go somewhere where it will be.

I love what some call the serenity prayer. Because I am a person without faith, I think of it as more of a philosophy. I love science because it looks at the world as it is, not as we wish it to be. Sometimes, one has to DIG, exploring every aspect of life, to find courage, serenity and wisdom.

I know that I cannot change my past. I cannot erase the memories of it either. I can look at those events and the people involved as they truly were. Including myself. Warts and all. I changed much of my drama and distress into surviving and gratitude.

Now I try and share my lessons with others.

Kind comments encouraged.

Additional Resources:

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Drama filled my first marriage. Drama ended it too. I brought it in, but he kept it going long after I decided to give up the sound and fury signifying nothing.

I did the best I knew how. He never hit me and never drank. He did betray me and he had little respect for my things. 

My ex slept with my best friend on our anniversary. He might argue that I told him because I did say the words. Though if I'd told him to go away and die, I don't think he would have done that. 

I needed the drama to wake me up from my fantasy. I held myself accountable for every problem. It didn't occur to me that he could be in the wrong,. His had sane parents who stayed together. I thought that gave him the relationship edge. It doesn't work that way.  

Once we were apart, I could see clearly he liked for me to be sad. He felt like a hero comforting me. He learned this from his mother that he could be confidant and comforter. He learned from his dad that anger equals crazy.

He didn't like when I was angry about anything. I don't blame anyone for our troubles. We both did the best we knew how. 

He told stories to my friend implying that I struggled with sanity. It seems a very common theme for cheaters. "My wife has a problem with...."  

Looking from the outside, I realized that I began to grow and change. I had a good therapy gal and attended regular meetings of Survivors of Incest Anonymous. I also had another friend who liked to spend time with me separate from my ex. 

He didn't understand any of that. He wanted to stay the only hero in my life. It confused him when I started to calm down and feel confident. 

The "she's crazy" lies spread to our mutual friends. It hurt some that many believed him. Though I guess in a way it held some truth. Growing up crazy leaves a mark. 

I'm glad for the two great therapy people and the survivors group. Those people let me get the crazy out into the open. They supported me through my separation and divorce and lead me to amazing emotional breakthroughs. 

I wish my ex husband and ex best friend peace and happiness. I know I've found such things for myself. I don't have to live in so much drama anymore. 

Kind comments encouraged.

PS this post has some similar themes to a previous post seen here: Do that to me one more time

Saturday, August 16, 2014

So Happy Together

Not to brag or nothin but I picked a way better second husband. Was just watching a movie with a bunch of different romantic interests and each of the couples had a thing keeping them from coming together.

As these were movies and not real life, eventually all of them worked it out. It was all a kind of "love abides" pile of hokum. Don't get me wrong, I'm a deeply emotional romantic. My problem with this film comes from it's over complicating something that's almost an equation.

I do love math and science, but I don't mean that kind of exercise. Making a romance work requires both parties to have mutual goals and dreams, a willingness to adjust to the other person's "bends" and a lot of being in the here and now.

In my opinion if those things are "work" then you're fundamentally with the wrong match. My marriage requires attention to how we connect and that means understanding. Care and adjustment move things along nice.

Murry and I discuss what we want to do often. Sometimes this involves a list we each draw up and then share and make a joint goal. Though sometimes we just say out loud what we want. I find things become more concrete, more "real" when they're committed to paper.

Once we've got a road map to where and what we want, it's time to sort who will do what parts. This is usually very informal. He drives, I pick the restaurant. He builds the counter from my design.

I guess SOME of our compatibility comes from happenstance, but I know big parts of it comes from intending to have someone who is handy. You get what you ask for from people.

When we fight, and we do occasionally, we both try and stick to the one topic at hand. We also try and keep everything about now. That isn't to say that "then" never comes up. The whole point of this blog is to explore a lot of "then" so I can live a better now. My emotions are mine, his are his.

If the present brings up a past pain, we deal with that in there now. Early on, we had a gripe about feeling let down. I thought he promised we would go out and he thought the plans were more fluid. Now, if I want to go somewhere, I just tell him where and when.

It's not my job to worry over if he doesn't want to do something. If he doesn't want to go where I want to go, when I want to go there, he can make a case for a different activity.

I expect to be treated with dignity and respect. I get that, because I would tolerate nothing less. We give each other space to be individuals AND a couple. Both AND. We are 100 percent whole people choosing to come together.

See? I knew numbers would come into this somewhere.

Kind comments encouraged.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Shop Around

A friend of mine decided to start a feminist dating page because she doesn't want to have to explain and train a man to respect her. I totally get that.

Though I saw violence and every kind of relationship trouble in my mom's marriages, I wanted a calm love life. I wanted a guy who wouldn't think of hitting as a relationship tactic.

I did manage that. No man has even tried to hit me. Though I didn't know about the more subtle relationship abuses. Maybe abuse is too strong a word. Lets save that word for people who do more intentional harm. Lets call it manipulative romance.

My first man friend wanted me to have his baby. He bugged me and told me things like birth control pills were creating forgetfulness as a survival characteristic. Coming from the family I had, I have no idea why I didn't buy into his pressure. Maybe I didn't want a baby stronger than his attempts at manipulation.

When I broke up with him, he threatened to kill himself. Yet another tactic that I saw through. Though I do feel for people who feel great pain and consider suicide, I knew to him it wasn't real.

With every man I dated, I expected to be treated with a a certain level of respect. Maybe the type of man who would date someone like me tended more toward grateful over controlling. That may be a fair possibility. As they said in Revenge of the Nerds, "Jocks think about sports, all nerds think about is sex."

Yes, it's a generalization and therefore slightly inaccurate. I cannot speak to and or advise average people. I mean I can, but my "tribe" consists more of the quirky personality.

You wanna date a man who's a feminist? Look in places that type of man hangs out. For me, that turned out to be science fiction conventions, computer clubs and chatting. Sure, there are aggressive "jock" types in these places. Though I'd argue there are more nerdy quirky grateful for human contact types.

As with any dating pool. one must have clear set of standards and stick to them until one finds the right fit. Some will tell you to never settle. Some items on your standard list need to be must haves and must nots, but some are more flexible.

Anyone I would have dated must have a car and be able to drive. I can't, so that was important to me. I preferred a man who put the toilet seat down. I could deal with being without that characteristic, but I'm glad I got it.

I feel life consists of a combination of luck and skill. I'm lucky I met a great example of the type of man I wanted. I had the skill to know when I found one for myself and to hold on through the figuring that out.

Swim in the pool that most meets your requirements, be selective and patient within that pool and be who you are. Have confidence that people respond to the energy you put forth.

Be open to the personality that fits what you want, but that may not "look" the way you want. I like red hair. I have dated and had fine romances with non red heads. Know the difference between a preference and a must have. Adjust.

I would never tolerate physical and mental abuse. Though I do know that some people have a sexual fetish for physical pain. I wouldn't presume to tell someone their desires are wrong. That's not my thing and I don't want it. Neither do I like avocados.  So? More for you who do like them.

When I first started dating, I had a better handle on what I didn't want than on what I did. I think that's OKAY. How did I know what kind of relationship would enliven my spirit? I had little experience with anything but the violent drunks my mother married.

I say use whatever place you are at as a jump point. Build your standards from there. Make new and interesting mistakes.

I hope my friend looking for a feminist man finds him. I hope that she can help others find the kind of relationship that live up to each individual desires.

As always, kind comments encouraged.

Oh, and if you're a feminist oriented, or even feminist curious male, write to me. I got some people for you to meet.

Monday, July 28, 2014


Doh! While working on the fiction piece I cut and pasted the whole thing, then I cleared the page. Before I pasted back, I forgot I had the story cut and pasted and copied something else.

It's gone, but it's okay I remember what I did and how. I just need to redo it.

Slap my forehead and sigh. It really is okay. I read where Garrison Keeler lost the first draft to Prairie home Companion and had to start all over. At least I have part of it saved. in a draft.

I had hoped to post the fiction today, it's going to be delayed. I bet I'll be happier with it too. I do so love writing it. It's a neat little universe that wandered into my brain.

Thanks for your patience.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

You Oughtta Know

I want to do something exciting with the fiction story here on this blog. Nothing comes when I sit to write it out. I have another slow bit, where my main character transitions from street rat to citizen, but it's quiet and boring. 

I just had an idea. Not SUPER exciting but I think it'll be cool. 

What is that about my mind, that I go to complain about something and I solve my own problem. It's way cool. Funny ole noggin I got. 

I'll write it up and post later.

Maybe complaint has a value in life too. People tell you not to complain about stuff and I think maybe the rightness of that depends on who you are complaining to about what. "Waiter, please take away this cup it has lipstick on it and I am not wearing any," would be completely appropriate. Please, involving the manager if said waiter says something rude to you. 

Complaining to your dinner guest, probably doesn't help anything. And it might spoil the mood. 

So much of life is like that. Martha Beck writes that we can't expect the person who hurt us to help us solve the pain. They have their own problems and asking them to fix something they broke, is like expecting them to change personalities on our schedule. Ask someone else for help. 

People do change, but in their own time and for their own reasons. Our influence on those changes has much more to do with them than us. 

My best therapy person told me to use "When you.. I feel.. I would prefer..." As example of me to my husband; "When you went to the store I felt abandoned. I would prefer you let me know when you are leaving." I try and use it as much as I can. 

Start thinking when you are complaining to effect change and when you are just making noises. Start asking yourself if nothing is changing, who would be a more appropriate person to talk to about it. 

What do you have to complain about? What steps do you take to change what's going on? Do you ask yourself what benefit you get out of what is happening? Can you get the benefit in ways you like better? 

Keep kind comments coming.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Do You Know

Woke up early to see my man off to training for his new job. We spend a lot of time together  and though it will be a shock to be apart for a few days, it'll give me a chance to sort out what's going on inside my head.

I've been bugging my chat friends about what I should do with myself. It's not that I expect them to have a solution, but I find often the conversation sparks something and helps out. There's also this thing about getting a different perspective.

It seems I have to do a lot of thinking and talking in the gap between acting on my goals. A whole bunch of "hurry up and wait," permeates my life right now.

Murry had to jump through a bunch of hoops for his new job. A lot of driving to a town about 90 minutes away. He's driving a truck so they needed him to pass a medical check. Had to see a specialist about an issue, but it was nothing to worry over. Just delays, delays.

With him working, I'll be on my own a lot more. That's okay, I enjoy my own company. I might get a job too. I could do something to fill my time. It's not as easy for me to find work as it is for a person with closer to 20/20 vision.

I heard a lecture on working for the disabled. We don't often get "starter" jobs like other people. We can't just walk into a fast food joint and start flipping burgers.

The closest I came to that starter job was when I answered the switchboard in high school. I did like it. I got a couple of babysitting jobs from doing that. I liked school, but I liked working more. It was easier and less stress.

As an adult, I've mostly worked for myself. Not on my own, but with a husband/partner. Now I write, which is a self employment thing too.

I guess I want to be creative with words and pictures. Writing, frustratingly has a lot of rejection associated with it. I spoke to a "life coach" a couple of years ago. She said that I don't have to be a "rejection handler." Get Murry to deal with the rejection. I could just be the writer. That hasn't worked out as yet.

Yesterday, I showed the fiction on this blog to someone and they were begging me to write more. She told me it was frustrating to want to know more and not have it available. That's a huge motivational ego boost.

I got an idea what to do with the story, so I think next post will be another installment. Writing fiction draws me into that universe. I start seeing scenes play out between the text. Same thing happens when I read other people's good fiction.

Yeah, I am in a writer place. Now to work on profiting from my talents.

Kind comments encouraged.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Someone made a joke about dying from cancer and someone else found that offensive. I let it slide because I think we need to confront big scary things with humor.

When I had cancer last year, I asked people to make me laugh. The big scary procedures deeply freaked me out. I sat and shook and cried myself to sleep. Real, raw deep emotions welled up and I let them roam free. I find it helps me.

My way may not be for everyone. Whatever works for you, do it that way.

I wonder if people thought I was mentally challenged when I went to my CAT scan in kitty ears and a kitty tshirt? Or maybe they thought that when I was wearing pajamas and a robe standing outside the pharmacy? I care that they think I'm not smart, but not enough to take off the kitty ears.

Some things I feel deeper about than others. I want to be thought of as smart, knowledgeable and kind. I have given up wishing to be thought beautiful, fashionable or like other people.

Maybe given up is wrong. I care less about beauty, fashion or "fitting in." I try and live my values.

What things do you care most about when being judged by other people?  Do you respond in ways that are consistent with your views or do you bow to social pressure to conform? I totally get that urge. I conform sometimes. Just to avoid the hassle.

I wonder if one should do the hassle more and more? Get yourself used to it so that the world doesn't run you over and challenge you quite so much. Maybe that's why I keep confronting issues. Maybe it teaches me how to live my values and keep myself mentally fit.

Kind comments encouraged.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Beautiful Day

A friend posted on Facebook about how she felt injured by troll comments. I wrote about being called ugly in Hall of Ugliness. This got me to thinking about how we feel about insults.

Some of us were raised by family that thought nothing of "teasing" with words. It hurt deeply to be called a "brat" as an adult. And I've written before that my sisters and mom called me and my brother black sheep. He wasn't there to hear it, but I'm sure he got similar things when he was around.

These kinds of experiences install trigger buttons in our psyche. People will tell you that you're giving your power away by reacting to people who push these buttons. Though I do want you to be aware there is some truth in that, it's only a small part of what's going on.

I'm angry that I have to work so hard to overcome what was done to me. It's not fair. People like my mom should be suffering and sensitive and in pain for the problems they caused.

No, I don't really think that. I think that unkind people need MORE kindness. Accident or intentional, I'm the one with the broken psyche and I am the one that has to go through a process to recover.

I am on the constant hunt for the trigger buttons and their connection. I challenge those thoughts and put the "more facts" along side the trigger.

For me, I cannot seem to erase the buttons entirely, but I try and change the reaction. Instead of feeling bad for being ugly, I flash past feeling like I am ugly to thinking about the times when people have said I was pretty. I pump up the weight and balance the argument.

Murry's comments get more weight than any other. I trust him to be a positive influence on me. In our 14 years, we've spent no more than a couple weeks apart. He's never said a thing to assault my character.

My daddy admired my smarts and valued my ability to sort through my problems. Again, he never used words as weapons.

Neither Murry nor my dad act perfect. They have flaws that I am aware of and sometimes irritated me. I live in a real world with real people around me. Here's the thing; if ya can't say somethin nice, then ya aint supposed to say nothin at all. - Thumper.

We are all an imperfect creation made up of our experiences. Learn how to turn those buttons and triggers into armor and draw bridges. Deflect arbitrary insults into the designer thought sections of your mind. Pull up the bridge whenever the insults get to be too much.

You don't have to end friendships if someone has a bad day and says something rude. Just let them stew in their pain for a while. When YOU can handle it, try and sort it. Turn off the internet for a day. Screen your calls.

Sometimes friendships DO need to end and give yourself time to grieve over that. I give people lots of chances and ask them outright to stop doing things that hurt me. If they can't or wont, I know I gave them lots of chances.

I work very hard at not doing what I learned. I work very hard at deciding to have peace in my heart for everyone who caused me harm. I believe deeply in what John Bradshaw says, "Your parents are either sick or doing the best that they can." I believe this of everyone.

Notice when an insult hurts deeply. Set about finding the wires to that trigger and paralleling them with wires to good thoughts. Let yourself know it's okay to be offended and insulted but turn it into a powerful force for good. Make lemonade.

Kind comments encouraged.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Side By Side

The ability to think fills me with such joy. It's a rare occasion when I cannot entertain or at least comfort myself with a casual stroll along the back roads of my brain. My brain sparks with a blinding brightness.

I first came across the theory of right and left brain differentiation in an art book. "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" suggested that our thinking gets in the way of rendering art. If we view the world as merely shapes, shadows and hues, we can draw anything. If we truly look at the world, and then put that on paper or canvas, this opens our creative right side to the possibilities around us. 

Some studies of stutterers suggest that speaking comes from the left brain, but singing emanates from the right hemisphere. Often one person's speaking trouble goes away with learning to speak in a sing song way. I suspect that doing so makes new brain connections. This makes the speaking more stable. 

As I have expressed with my "mental house" self awareness, I became conscious of very strong different parts of my brain. I realized I am both creative (right brain) and logical (left brain). I feel they equalize to roughly the same amount of influence over my life. 

Though I'm not sure if it's nature or intention, my left brain has control most of the time. I'm very creative, musical and emotional, but I do try and push those things to an "appropriate" time. This control sometimes gets out of hand. 

Left brain views his way as the "better, safer" way to be. Yes, I think of my brain as male. I love my female self and have no interest in being any other gender. My brain simply seems "male" to me. Lefty being in control works well until he becomes a tyrant. Righty sometimes has to throw a tantrum in order to remind Lefty to let him have his turn. 

My right side is all about fun, play, creativity and emotional expression. Lefty believes that I cannot sing all that well. He seems to keep track of the rejection in my life. Righty thinks that singing's purpose isn't based on the quality of the song, but on the quality of the expression. 

Both sides add amazing value to make all of me shine. Lefty keeps calm in a crisis, makes sure the bills are paid, loves doing math and understanding chemistry. Righty has a connection to everyone and everything. My right side comes up with the ideas and the left puts them in practice. 

After Righty throws his fit, Lefty gets a clue and grudgingly gives up his hand on my life rudder. Righty doesn't want to be in control ALL the time. He readily gives it back when he has had his fun. 

As I integrate these two friends, the emotional upheavals reduce. They're both beloved aspects. They reside in my mental house too. 

What kinds of connections do you make between your different selves? 

Kind and informative comments welcome!

Saturday, May 10, 2014


Sometimes life throws us so much shit that we have little choice but to retreat into our heads. We keep people away, at arms length in the vain hope that they can't reach us.

I do this. I crave understanding and interaction, but I do not want to be put down or used. I remain aloof and even hostile to the idea of being around others.

A friend of mine told me that in his younger years, he retreated into such a logical being that people thought he was Mr. Spock. He learned to protect himself from painful memories by denying the pain entirely. Though no one can keep such a defense up forever, it''s a very valid strategy for survival.

Later, after he regained an emotional life, he experienced the Supertramp song "Logical" at a talent show. The words made him cry at the memory of his experiences.

Questions run so deep, for such a simple man. I know it sounds absurd  but please tell me who I am. These deep questions inspire a deep longing for connection. Both to others and to one's own inner self.

Though I have never met my friend, I feel he's a kindred spirit on the path to self awareness.

Did you have a logical phase? How did it help you get over pain? What songs make you break down into puddles just thinking about them?

Kind comments encouraged.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Talk Too Much

I love to talk about what's on my mind. For a lot of my young life that involved sorting through what was happening to me. Though I have no memory of threats related to not telling about abuse, I can only guess that something was said.

I didn't tell my mother the babysitter lady beat on me. I only told my mother abut the sexual abuse when she separated from him. She did deny that he could do that. When I was an adult she told me she did that to protect me. That's total bullshit.

When I was a kid, we didn't have all those talk shows like Oprah, but we did have daytime shows sort of like The Talk or The View. Only usually hosted by men or a couple. Guests would sit down and talk about their lives on particular topics.

Because these daytime shows were mostly on while I was at school, I only saw them on rare occasions  This one called "Hour Magazine," hosted by an actor named Gary Collins was one of my favorites. They had segments kind of set up like the night time talk shows where they'd interview a celebrity, have a cooking segment and possibly a new product demonstration.

One day, I remember I was about 12. They had a dark haired lady talking about being an alcoholic. How once she quit drinking that all these memories of her difficult childhood started to come up. She had been molested and started to drink to suppress all the confusing feelings that comes from surviving that kind of childhood trauma.

She said that in order to recover, she had to talk about and deal with those feelings. I watched my mother and her husbands drink and realized they must be covering something up as well.

I never wanted to drink and this made me realize that I had to talk about and deal with my own experiences. I see that I bet I drove people, especially my mother, crazy with my talking.

Mom and my sister Kathey constantly told me to "stop dwelling on the past." I wouldn't, couldn't stop. I wanted to be happy. I didn't see how being silent helped make anyone happy.

So I sought out every chance for guidance. I went to counseling and support groups. I count myself lucky to have found a couple of good therapy people who helped me sort through major and minor traumas and to realize that I can be okay.

Because my family and my ex husband all gave me the message that I talked too much, I felt somewhat guilty about talking about my past. I still did it, I still do it, but that guilt was a bit of a sting.

Meeting my Murry changed that guilt during a drive one day. I noticed I was talking a lot and I said "I'm babbling too much, I'd better shut up. " Murry casually says "Talk as much as you want, when you're done, you'll stop."

The acceptance in that simple statement still blows me away. I don't even think my therapy people gave me the permission to talk as much as I needed to.

I sort things out by talking. Repeating the same story, reduces its emotional impact. It hurts less. It becomes a historical account rather than a painful memory.

Pain unexpressed, festers in dark shadows that lead to emotional breakdowns. Murry said, I see your pain and because I didn't cause it, I can hear it. It's weird that as an atheist I discovered the value of confession. Only I'm not expressing the burden of my sin, but letting go of the weight of my personal suffering.

I'm a gonna lay down, this heavy load.

Kind comments encouraged.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Papa, can you see me?

I woke up a couple days ago realizing I have a very simple dream that I cannot find any reason to be afraid of. I want to be seen and understood.

Not everyone will understand the crazy scheme mind I live with, and that's fine. I ask that people ask me to clarify myself. I don't expect anyone to do anything beyond those two things.

How do I want to be seen? I want the world to be aware of my existence. I want to participate in social customary greetings and be included in social activities.

When I was a kid, my differences separated me from others. Though this did lead me to find my own posse of buddies, it's time to e part of the general goings on within the world.

As for being understood, I'd like to know that what I am saying here in this blog, on Twitter or Facebook, gets read. I don't even care of other's disagree with me. If people did, and they had a better argument than mine, I can and will change my mind.

Sometimes I take a point of view to explore the ideas related to that topic. For instance, I heard a joke recently that struck me as totally true. Hitler did one excellent thing, he killed Hitler. That made me think, after I stopped laughing.

I like to think strange thoughts and sometimes opposing thoughts. I like peanuts and chocolate but not peanut butter and chocolate. That seems weird to me but it's my truth.  Though I love peanut butter separate from chocolate.

So, see me and understand me. If you don't understand, ask me to explain in a way you can understand. There's a chance you'll still not "get" me and that's okay. I know that I'm odd with what I ponder.

Kind comments encouraged.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Scared of Flying

I lived near Los Angeles in the late '80s when we had a serial killer called the "Nightstalker" prowling the streets. This guy found open windows and crept in and murdered people while they slept.

To anyone who didn't have air conditioning this made for fretful nights. I found a way to keep my windows slightly ajar and yet still safe from a break in. Then I did a reality check.

Out of 11 million people in the Los Angeles basin, how likely was it that this guy would find and kill me? Not very. Plus I didn't live in the area he committed these crimes. Though he was moving around a bit.

I reasoned out, it was not very likely and I started to relax myself. Then the news put a shrink on to say the same thing I had worked out on my own.

Fear exists as a great legitimate tool to prevent us from doing something totally stupid. It keeps us from poking bears and kicking sleeping tigers. Sometimes those instincts get in the way of modern life.

Getting on an airplane I feel a sense of apprehension. I ignore it because I know that I am safer in the aircraft than I was riding in the car to the airport. This knowledge doesn't prevent the fretting, it just lets me keep going with confidence. Most people think nothing of getting in a car.

I'm not asking you to feel stress on the roads. Though some attentive care may save you from crashing into that motorcycle that cuts you off.

I've seen several desensitizing techniques for overcoming fear that I feel are worthy of sharing. First, don't deny that you have dark thoughts. Let them be real, write them down so you can see what you're really thinking. You might be surprised what your subconscious thinks.

Judging your fear at this point may just push them deeper. Let them be okay so long as they are not directly creating problems for you right now. In that case, think of ways that you can do what you need, the minimum amount, with the least amount of fear. For instance, if you fear flying and have to take a trip for business, is it close enough to drive or take other transportation? Can you telecommute or ask someone else to go instead?

If you have no alternative but to do what you fear, start by treating yourself with the most kindness. Tell the people involved that you are fearful of what is about to happen. You may hear things like "Don't be afraid, " but most likely you'll hear someone else say that they understand and have a similar fear. Let the fear deniers know that you expect them to be kind, even if they do not share your concerns.

Desensitize yourself with information. For me, I feel percentages help. If I know that there's a bigger chance to get hurt in a car, I feel less afraid of airplanes. Then, expose yourself to some of the item that gives you trepidation. Have a friend place a photo of an airplane on a wall as far from you as possible. Then every few minutes, look that direction. Get used to the idea of seeing what you most fear. this can take as little as a few minutes to calm yourself.

Remember to breath and be kind. Concentrate on breathing in on the count of four, holding for a count of two, then out on four. Once you're calmer start moving closer to the picture of the plane.

Move on to a video of planes. Nothing scary, just average plane sights and sounds. Notice that most people smile when they ride in airplanes. Notice that they get on and get off  calmly and some even relax enough to sleep.

Remember, it's perfectly okay to still say that you are afraid. Be kind to yourself.

Now go near the airport and watch some planes from a distance. Remember to breath. It's not always possible to find airplane seats, but you could put a couple chairs close together and get some airplane sounds and pretend.

Finally, if easing up to the fearful activity doesn't work strong enough for you, consider asking your doctor about a sedative. There are lots of calming things that are over the counter, they might suggest one of them or they might write you a prescription. Some people use alcohol to alleviate fears, but I find that makes me more stressed. Find the least action that gives you the best handle on the fear.

As I said, I'm still afraid when flying. All I need is the breathing and the awareness of the safety. When I had my day surgery, I cried until the nurse reminded me to breath. The crying lessened but didn't stop completely. I am proud that I had a way to handle the fear.

I'd like to hear if you have your own fear reducing activities. Kind comments always welcome!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Someone Left the Cake Out in the Rain

I don't begrudge anyone their piece of cake. I celebrate the mom who takes care of herself and provides a loving stable guiding life for her kids. No one can get anywhere on an empty tank.

Where did some people get the notion that it's selfish to take care of one's own needs? Realize the difference between a sense of healthy self interest and the very real selfish tendencies of some, but let go of the idea that taking a fair slice makes you bad.

We all build on our past. We learn to add and subtract so that we can understand how to multiply and divide. One builds on the ground of the other.

Remember that fuel comes in many forms. I'm excited by new and interesting ideas. When I don't get the chance to talk with people about some crazy idea I've had, I start to feel empty. It almost doesn't matter if the idea has any merit, it's just important to express and explore it.

To put gas in my own tank, I found a group of like minded people and I go and meet them twice a month. To rev up my engine, I go and exercise. These things build my foundation platform so that I can build myself into the architectural dream I see inside my head.

So now it's your turn. What ways to you fuel up? How can you learn to take care of your own needs so that you have the capacity to care for others?

Kind comments welcome!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

We Are Family

I went to Survivors of Incest Anonymous meetings for just over a year. After a few months, I separated from my ex husband and then moved out of the area. They helped keep me sane through all that. I loved those gals and the fellowship we developed over that time.

In 12-step programs we talk about two kinds of relationship ties:  family of origin, the one you're born into and family of affiliation, the one you form from friendships. I've always been closer to people outside my family of origin, mainly because I felt unwanted by the people who were supposed to care for me.

Since my father died last year, I've been quite wary of contact with my sister and niece. I don't say this to hurt them. I wish all people peace. I say it to explain my point of view.

My sister told me that my mother made her take care of me and I bonded to my sister as if she were my mother. I have no memories of it, but my she told me that I wouldn't let my her new husband sleep in bed with her. I do remember when she had a baby and I didn't want to hold him. I wanted to push him off my lap and step on him. I didn't. I was four. Sounds like sibling rivalry to me.

I am closer in age to my sister's oldest children than I am to my own siblings. Though I didn't bond that close with them. Mainly because my sister's family moved far away not long after she had her first baby.

My parents divorced and my other sister and I went to live with dad for less than two years. Then we moved in with a babysitter. That lasted about the same amount of time as living with dad. My mother took custody back and I lived with her and her new husband for just over a year.

My older sister had her own family difficulties and after she moved back to my home town, I ended up living with her and her now two children. At some point her first born went back to live with his dad. My sister started dating a man and they decided to live together.

I'm sure my sister didn't want to be taking care of me. Though I know I was never her child to raise, I felt rejected again. I deeply resented my sister's now husband. As I got older, he never made any effort to understand me.

While the rest of the family praised my brother in law's high powered job and monied background, I felt he put me back into a terrible family. I have no memories of further abuse, but I had to live with my mother and the man who molested me.

To be fair to my sister's husband, he might have had zero knowledge of what had happened to me. It's also possible that my sister didn't know. I hope that if they had, they would have take care of me.

My brother in law always treated me like the outsider "bad seed" child. Well, no, they all treated me that way. In light of life threatening abuse and sexual molestation, the rest of my family's action seem almost mild.

No one ever spanked or did time out punishment. It seems they all had either crazy over reaction or ignore as their parenting tools. Mom once pulled me around the house by the hair because she was upset I didn't answer the phone. She left me home alone at night and I went next door to be around the neighbor kids.

I happened to be at my sister's house when her husband returned from an out of town trip. He brought trinkets for the little ones and I asked if he brought something for me. He replied, "You're not my kid." I didn't think about it at the time, but neither was my sister's daughter. He didn't have to be an asshole about it. I so desperately just wanted to be part of a family.

I remember being quite a needy little girl. For years, I felt guilty for being molested because I liked the attention. I learned that guilt runs deep and springs from a common river in children who survived sexual abuse. Kids take on a lot of family problems.

I don't feel guilt or shame about what other people have done to me anymore. At least not for the really bad stuff. I do feel some guilt, a little naggy bit, about all the rejection. Knowing that it isn't about me helps. Not always enough.

I have some small talent for finding a family of affiliation. Though, I do see that I don't bond too close to people. I put Murry off four years before I would even meet him in person.

When we had to ask a customer to leave because he was rude to one of our employees, he asked, "What? Are they like your kids or something?" I thought, YEAH, they're FAMILY! Now get out of my store and stop being a jackass.

Either stop being a JACKASS or get out of my life. I know that sounds harsh, but I put up with and felt guilty for..  too many already. No more. Kind people are part of my family. Unkind people  are sick and I hope they find their happy place, it's not near me.

As always, kind comments welcome!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Time for letting go

Love means security and comfort to me. If that sense of security gets threatened in some manner, love seems to wither and dry out like unkempt plants.

Growing up with an erratic mother and a loving but absent father, I learned to be practical with my heart. I've watched parents put their children's needs ahead of their own and wondered what that was like. I often think, my mother neglecting me didn't seem to benefit herself. So why did she do it? What was the goal?

Looking at it in as detached a manner as I can, I came to the realization that she has an emotional trouble spot on her brain. She probably survived a similar childhood as mine and reacted a bit different from me. As a fellow human being, I can have compassion for her. As her daughter, I try and let go of the resentment I feel over being so neglected.

Almost every day, I work on letting go of the fantasy that my life could have been different. Each of the people who abandoned me to the whims of another erratic guardian, did so for reasons that had little if anything to do with me.

It's no wonder I have some difficulties  In psychological experiments with rats, random food delivery drives the poor little rodents crazy. Random houses, random rules and random levels of affection drove me into occasional bouts of madness too.

Thankfully, my rat brain has a human center of reason attached and can work out resolutions to feelings. I choose to be in the now. No one is abandoning, neglecting or moving me from my stable place. I choose okay. When I am fully comfortable with that okayness, I can choose happy, courageous or loving.

I can also choose my family by choosing my friends. Sometimes I keep someone around for too long because angry broken people are familiar, both when I look in the mirror and when I think about the past. As often as I can, I am learning to let that go. Wish them peace and say goodbye with kindness.

So how often to you examine your life for pasts and presents to let go?  If you are keeping something that doesn't feel that great, maybe you haven't gotten what you think you need from that experience. What would it be that you need and want? Have you gotten it and just haven't realized it?  Have a look and see.

Share something of your experiences and what this post made you think. Kind and gentle comments welcome.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Kung Fu Fighting

During a casual chat, I mentioned that I didn't understand the people on Dr. Phil who screamed at their spouse. Murry and I don't fight like that. I wouldn't like to live with all the screaming, name calling or slapping.

But why not? That's what I saw as a kid. Though what many of the men my mom married beat her. One ruptured her spleen and nearly killed her.

What is it about me that I wouldn't live like that? My causal friend said that it was because I didn't work out of the house or have kids. As if that excuses intimidating your spouse? "It's okay officer, I can slap my wife, we have children together."

That was my first major relationship decision. NO HITTING. Assuming the hitter survived after his first blow, he would be single in seconds.

Over the years I've learned to try and stay on topic of I disagree with anyone. I choose to fight only when I am sure my position will be best for all parties.

I guess that's what switched. I'm dominant, it's my nature. I can choose to not domineer.

Lots of things aggravate me with my spouse. So? Unless it will cause me harm (putting the knives up in the dishwasher or in the sink for example) I let it slide. Even then, I ask for things to be done differently. I ask that mistakes be corrected. It's so much more effective than fighting over trivia.

My mom felt a familiarity to the abuse. So much so that she let it continue. There's a line from a song, "Who taught you to live like that?" Someone, probably her own parents, taught my mother that hitting was okay.

I found better teachers.

If you find yourself fighting with anyone, maybe it's time to examine what role you play in repeating patterns. Change it up. Fight only when the reason for the disagreement TRULY threatens your way of life. Otherwise, let it go, walk away.

If your children refuse to clean up their room, what good does it do for you to be angry about it? Take things away until they comply. Not out of anger, but out of love. Prepare them for a life. Love is free flowing and everyone has to work for things.

It really amazes me how people don't examine the effectiveness of what they do. Is this method working? Can I try something else? Am *I* doing *my* best to make this work?

Agree to disagree over the topics that it doesn't matter on. Let the other person save face. If they still want to fight, keep telling them you care for them, but that you aren't fighting anymore.

How do you live a peaceful life? Kind comments welcome

Monday, January 27, 2014

Helter Skelter

I had the flu and am still getting over the lingering cough. I think it's minor and I doubt contagious. This meant I couldn't go to my exercise and after about a week, I started feeling deeply depressed. I  didn't figure out what was going on until I went back and my mood improved.

In my youth, I felt suicidal. That lasted into my 30's. I know that Iyanla Van Zant had a lot to do with deciding that wasn't working for me. She was on the reality show Starting Over, talking to a lady who kept talking about how much trouble her father's infidelity caused her. Iyanla said what about now? She didn't say "get over it." or "stop dwelling, she asked what about now?

Then she said the most life changing thing to me: choose okay. That's it. CHOOSE OKAY. Make a choice to be okay, for as long as you can and then keep choosing.

So I sometimes forget to make that choice. A week and a half ago, I crawled in a hole and wanted to die. I have never ACTED on my thoughts. I have a weird kind of self pity that whispers in my ear. It says, "you're too much of a fuckup, If you try, you'll only make things worse." I do need a better life affirming strategy. One that doesn't add to my self doubts. Until that happens, I'll keep the one that keeps me alive.

After I started feeling better from the flu and went back to exercising, I crawled out of the emotional hole. I think I need physical activity now. Not just for health reasons, but to keep my emotions even.

I've always been a moody person. I didn't realize how much exercise did for me. I get to chat with some people too. They're kind. That's a big thing for me. I want kindness.

Even though the emotional me hid for a few days, I found the path back. There will be dips again. I am learning to ask for help sooner. Maybe I'll get a flu shot next year. I'm gonna be "officially" old next month.

What about you? How do you find your way out?

Choose okay when you can.