Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I Knew I Should Have Majored in Psychology

Life sucks. I hurt. I am in pain. I am in pain and struggling to find my way out of it, and right now I’ll be damned if I could find my way out of a wet paper bag. I hate that life just keeps on moving, and I have no time to stop and work on me. There exists no time for myself, just to work on getting better, on being a better, healthier human being. I have to keep working. I have to keep parenting. I have to keep plodding along. When I come to my breaking point I break away, break free, sneak off and do something naughty with someone else who has reached their breaking point. My mind races. My body plods. My heart aches. I am not in a good place. And yet there is no time for me to take for myself. I need a sabbatical. I have no way of getting or funding such a thing. And so I write during the breaks, while reports run, when waiting for others to get back to me, whenever I can eek out a few minutes here or there.

But that first paragraph wasn’t the point of this post. That was merely an aside. What follows is the meat of the post, the entrée if you will.

I am a concrete person. I like tasks that can be handled by following steps one through ten to accomplish the outcome. This may be why I like math so much. All you have to do to solve a quadratic equation is follow the steps and voila there’s the answer. How frustrating that life isn’t like a quadratic equation. How frustrating that relationship problems aren’t solved like geometry problems. I can do Πr2 to get the area of a circle or 2Πr to get the circumference. I can find the length of any side of a right triangle if you give me the length of the other two sides simple as a2+b2=c2. I can do all those nifty math things! (I can even do much more complicated math things, but I don’t want to scare the non-mathematical among you so I stuck to the basics.) But of course to do all those nifty math things you just have to know the rules and follow the rules and it always works.

Life is not like math. You can follow all the rules and have things be anything from a complete disaster to a total success. You can follow none of the rules and have things be anything from a complete disaster to a total success. You can follow some of the rules some of the time and, whaddya know, have things be anything from a complete disaster to a total success. Or maybe I just don’t understand the rules, but I don’t think that’s it. I think there are just too many variables and too many random things and too much ambiguity to pin down a set of steps to follow to get to the end goal of a successful life. Shoot, I’ll bet you can’t find a dozen people who could give you the exact same definition of a successful life so there isn’t even really a clear result to shoot for!

Life is too messy. Life is ugly and doesn’t follow the rules, too much random shit.

You know how people always say about math, “Why do I have to learn this? I’ll never use it in the real world!” Well, they’re right. Real life doesn’t work anything like math. Why am I always an expert at the wrong thing?!?!?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Here's Part of My Problem

Another piece to the puzzle -- I can't stand to be without somebody, anybody, at all times. I can't stand the thought of being by myself for a while, taking some down time, even though many have suggested just such a thing. I have to keep looking, always on the prowl, always with someone standing by in case another falls by the wayside.

This is just a thought that popped into my head just now and therefore had to make its way onto the blog.

Good News/Bad News

Good News
To those of you counseling me to not hook up with J this Saturday, you will be happy to know that we will not be getting together this Saturday or anytime soon.

Bad News
The reason we are not getting together is because J's wife read a text message from me before he did which referenced this Saturday's plans.

Good News
M, the new FWB, is turning out to be a really good FWB. Lunchtimes have never been so fun (and no he absolutely does not work where I do, but lives close by).

Bad News
M is also married, just like most of my outside interests.

Good News
I have the opportunity to make new friends and have a good time this Friday night which I didn't think I could attend because of my plans with J on Saturday but can now attend.

Bad News
It is a get together of bi men and bi women to do whatever comes to mind at a local hotel. This is bad news only if I decide that I really want to behave myself and not participate in such things.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Good Thing About Blogging

I write. I get responses. I think. That’s a good thing, that thinking part. I’ve spent the better part of the weekend, when not watching N play in a soccer tournament (his team came in second BTW, thank you very much), thinking about the current state of me and moving from the phase where I go all out self-destructive-running-on-adrenaline to the phase where I start to step back and look at what I’m doing and evaluate. Now generally at this stage I would put the blinders on and defend myself to myself and keep right on going. This time I’m really thinking a few things through although it hasn’t quite thrown the brakes on just yet. (Who knows, though, maybe after my visit with Freud tomorrow, maybe the brakes will engage, or maybe even just downshift me into low gear or something.)

As I added the new FWB (who shall henceforth go by M on the blog) to the post where I have my list of all the men I’ve had sex (as defined by intercourse, as in oral only doesn't get you on the list) with I looked over that list. It has been a very long time since I have had sex with a bona fide single person. Over and over I have chosen to be with married men. Now, I suppose I knew this, and yet just seeing it listed that way made me realize it in a way I hadn’t before. There is clearly something fucked up in my psyche that would cause me to follow such a pattern because it is a definite pattern, not a coincidence.

I’m just starting to piece things together, but the following are some of the pieces in random order as they pop into my brain:
  1. I feel inferior and unworthy of a truly high quality partner.
  2. At least part of that feeling of inferiority comes from my parents telling me over and over that if I didn’t change certain things about myself (such as my weight and my mile wide independent/rebellious streak) that I would never find a man who wanted me.
  3. I have spent my life being grateful for any attention men would pay to me and tend to grab hold and hang on as if I am lucky to have anyone at all.
  4. At this point, I feel like I am too far gone to be able to turn around and make things different, that even if I did change how I feel about myself it wouldn’t change how others see me and I would always be “damaged goods” and untrustworthy.
  5. I am appalled by how pathetic all this sounds and realize that most of the time I do my best not to acknowledge the existence of these thoughts and feelings because they feel too daunting to challenge/tame/conquer.
  6. As long as I settle for sex with married men, there is no chance of them judging me harshly (glass houses you know).
  7. Every time someone (and there have been many) says to me, “You are worth more. You deserve more.” I think to myself that they are absolutely 100% wrong, and that I don’t even deserve as much as I have.
  8. I fear that if I hold myself to a higher standard I will never have sex again and never have another chance to have a marriage or relationship of any kind.
That’s as far into my psyche as I can dig right now. Too much pain. Too many tears. Lots to discuss with Freud tomorrow.
Late Update:
I totally and completely forgot K when I was saying I hadn't been with a single man in a very long time.  For some reason I failed to add K to the list (have fixed that now though).  However, I do believe this is just the exception that proves the rule.  If you don't remember K, you can find some of my posts about him here, here, and here.  Now, let me warn you that last one is pretty sexually graphic.  If that's not your cup of tea don't go there, 'kay?  Just sayin'.  Anyway, it feels a little better to know that there was at least one single man out there who spent a little time with me.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Final Words on Infidelity --- For Now

No woman can steal your man unless your man allows it to happen. To that end I have never and would never place blame on any woman for my husband or boyfriend straying. I put the blame squarely on his shoulders. Yes I accept blame for my actions: cheating, treating my man in such a way as to encourage him to cheat (e.g. refusing to compromise, ignoring him, etc.). I don’t, however, accept blame on myself for another man’s decision to cheat. It is his decision and his responsibility. My refusal to sleep with him will not cause him to remain faithful to his wife but simply to find someone else who is willing to sleep with him.

In other words, talk to me all you want about how my actions are wrong. I agree! They are. I’ve said so and will continue to say so and will continue to work on bringing my actions in line with my beliefs. I know that there is some need being filled by my behavior, and that it is imperative to ferret out what that need is and to find more wholesome and healthy ways of meeting that need in order to get me back on the right track.

What I take umbrage with is the notion that somehow it is on my shoulders to not only work on myself to make myself better but also to somehow work on making the world better. Sorry. Not gonna happen here. I’m struggling enough to make myself better. I’m in therapy and am for the first time probably ever, diligently working on making myself better rather than trying to find justification for myself. My focus is on me, making myself better, changing my own behaviors because of what they will do to make me a better person. I’m so very sorry (oops, was that a bit of sarcasm slipping in there?) that I can’t be bothered to go out and be a great example to the world for better marriages everywhere. Sheesh! Maybe someday, in a healthier place, that might be a goal (although I doubt it because honestly I would rather see the end of people going without necessary medical care or enough food to eat than the end of people having affairs and would rather focus my attentions there, not just through voting but through actions such as working with local groups to improve access to health care for all and to donate to and work for local food pantries), but for now I have to just work on me.

If I am having sex outside of a committed relationship (and I am) then I am doing wrong, and I need to work on myself to bring my behavior into line with what is right.

If someone else is having sex outside of a committed relationship then I feel it is my place only to help them stop if they want me to help them stop. I can give them my opinion, that it is wrong to be doing it, but I will not now nor ever try to actively prevent them from infidelity. It is their choice, one they have every right to make for themselves as long as they understand the risks and possible consequences of their actions.

I place no blame whatsoever on J for my infidelity. I’m a big girl. I make my decisions. If J refused to have sex with me would that make me more faithful? Absolutely not. If one is going to cheat they are going to cheat and will find someone willing to participate.

I just draw the line differently than most of you seem to, and that’s okay. I draw the line differently on a lot of things than mainstream society does. Not once have I ever said that I think I’m doing the right or good thing by having sex with J (or any other man not my husband), and I don’t. I don’t believe it was or is right or good for me to have sex with J or BJ or K or the new possible FWB in the picture. But it isn’t good because it isn’t good for me and isn’t good for my marriage. As far as whether it is right or good for J, BJ, K, the new FWB, well that’s their deal, not mine. They need to deal with their own issues with that, and let me deal with my issues. (BTW yes it is a dog eat dog world, so quit wearing milk bone underwear.)

The way I hear our difference is that I don’t expect any of you or anybody else to help make me be a faithful spouse. I don’t expect any of you or anybody else but my spouse to help make my spouse be a faithful spouse. In the same way, if you expect me to help you keep you or your spouse faithful you are looking in the wrong direction. Only you and your spouse can do that. And c’mon, do you really want to be married to someone who is faithful only because they don’t have the chance to be unfaithful? As far as I’m concerned they are just as guilty whether or not the physical act occurs if the intention is there and would occur except for the lack of a willing partner. It isn’t the physical act that makes the cheater in my opinion. A player is a player whether he has anyone to play with or not.

Period. End of story. I’ve said over and over what I believe in as many ways as I can think to say it. If you don’t understand my point by now, then it is never going to get through to you, and I’m through talking about it here. . . at least until my next Thursday Therapy post where I’m sure it will be the topic since it will be the main topic discussed on Tuesday with Freud.

Until then, I’m off to another soccer tournament this weekend with N. (Yes two tournaments on back to back weekends, and yes I am very tired and will be glad when the weekend ends.) TTFN

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday Therapy: Inolvement with Married Men

One of my readers, one whom I consider a friend, occasionally engages in email conversations with me when public commentary seems less than desirable for the conversation. Recently, regarding my post on Monday, this reader sent me a couple of emails that I thought were worthy of serving as the basis for this week’s Thursday Therapy session and after being granted permission to do so I share them here. I have not reproduced the entire emails below, but only the parts that addressed the pertinent issues. For ease of reading, and to keep from getting too confused as you go through this, my reader’s email comments will appear in blue while my writing will remain in the normal black. Hopefully, this will help you keep straight who is saying what.

"As far as J’s marriage is concerned, I feel that it is up to him as an adult to make his own choices." {Here, of course, the reader was quoting from my blog post}

I think, if you step back from that, just a bit, and take your own self off to one side of the question, you'll see what a dodge that is. Even if it is J's 3rd marriage, and he has clearly established his own, shall we say 'lack of punctilious respect' for the institution of marriage. Marriage doesn't just exist between the two spouses, to do with as they please; it is, in its essence, woven into the larger social fabric, and there is an implied mutual support between the marriage and the society. Marriages/families are the fundamental building blocks of a society/culture. When marriages and families are strong, the society is strong; when marriages and families fail, the society is in trouble. . . (OK, end of the sociology lecture. . .)
In my opinion, that is a simplistic way of looking at things. I think that J has, rather than a lack of respect for the institution of marriage, a habit of choosing unwisely whom to marry. I won’t begin to go through all the pathos behind that but just to point out that while marriage may well be a fundamental building block of a society, ill-conceived marriages make staying within them extremely difficult and, dare I suggest, not even truly plausible.

My point is, we owe each other, even if only as fellow-citizens (although there is certainly much more to it than just that), respect for each other's marriages. And if J doesn't respect his own marriage, you owe him the encouragement and exhortation to do so, not collaboration in undermining it.
Here I just flat out disagree. If J chooses not to respect his own marriage then there is something wrong within the marriage, whether it be J, his wife, or a combination of both of them. If he chooses to undermine his marriage that is his choice, not mine. I hold at least as much respect for his marriage as he does. I have turned down many more offers to be with him than I have accepted. I have tried to talk about putting his marriage first. He does not wish to do so. I am done trying to convince him. I suppose I could, and probably should, just walk away from him at that point, but I don’t. I bow to my weakness and give in to my own desires of wanting him. Yes, I hold myself responsible for my actions and what I do to undermine my own relationships but not to what J does to undermine his.

I'm frankly a little surprised and dismayed that someone who is as solicitous of her neighbors' well-being as you are (and I do sincerely respect that about you) would so seemingly casually wave off responsibility to honor and respect and support her friend's marriage.
Again I will just say that although it may appear through the blog that I have casually waved off responsibility I really have not. J and I have many conversations about the situation, and I do try to encourage him to do the right thing. The problem is that he tries to encourage me to do the wrong thing and is either more persuasive, or I’m more swayable, or both.

Plus, there's The Golden Rule, if nothing else. . . (as Kimba pointed out, you didn't much like it when it was done to you; altho not, I suppose, to your marriage. . .)
This is the part that I really want to address because it seems to me that many people have misunderstood my feelings or read into my feelings something that was not there or something. In any case, I really want to set the record straight on the whole BJ/Serenity issue. While I think that some see Serenity as the villain in that whole scenario I never did. I always saw BJ as the villain in that scenario. BJ was the one who betrayed me. BJ was the one who went behind my back. BJ was the one whom I always held responsible for his decision and his actions. Had BJ truly loved me he would not have been swayed by Serenity or any other woman. As it was, he was always ripe for the taking. There was not one day in our relationship when I could have honestly said that I trusted that he wouldn’t find someone else who, for whatever reason, was better. With regard to The Golden Rule, would I have wanted Serenity to act differently? Not really. She went after a man she wanted to pursue. That’s fine. I have no problem with that. There are two things I do have a problem with:
(1) The way BJ tried to blow me off with a “Goodbye Jane” email. I definitely think that showed cowardice and a lack of respect for The Golden Rule.
(2) The way that Serenity bashed me on her blog afterwards, particularly since I counted her as one of my internet friends. I would have been perfectly happy to stay friends with her, even had she and BJ stayed together, had she not turned on me and kicked me when I was down.  I have wondered if perhaps she did that anticipating that I would be angry with her for stealing my man and went with the "a strong offense is the best defense" theory. I don't know. For that I struggled to forgive her, but for luring BJ away I have never held her responsible for that. BJ did that all on his own. BJ could have said “No” but he didn’t.

Every strong marriage strengthens my marriage, even if only by example - 'look, there's a strong marriage; this marriage stuff really is doable, and worth persevering for'. And conversely, every marriage that fails has an analogously deleterious effect - 'wow; X & Y broke up; maybe it IS better to just cut our losses, when it gets hard. . .' Of course, none of this is determinative; but every marriage has an effect on every other marriage, either encouraging or corrosive. And that touches on what I was saying about the 'social dimension' of marriage. . .
Here I agree that every marriage has an effect on every other marriage. Both the good and the bad marriages have an effect on every other marriage. J’s marriage is not a strong marriage, nor is it an example you would want to show your kids and say to them to follow his example. He married a woman because she needed rescuing. He is the classic save the damsel in distress guy. It is much more of a relationship where he takes care of her and her son because nobody else will than it is a strong marriage. He does not love her. I would hope that others would see his marriage and use it as a cautionary tale not as an example of what marriage should be. If anything, I think we need to encourage people before they marry to make really damned sure they are marrying someone who they really want to be with for a lifetime. It is way too easy to jump into a marriage without really understanding what you are getting into. I would hope that people seeing J’s marriages would look on that not as an endorsement for bolting when times get tough but for being more careful who they choose to marry in the first place.

To wrap things up I want to say that while I carry many burdens of guilt around with me one that I do not carry is one for not working harder to support J’s faithfulness to his marriage. That’s his deal, not mine. It is his choice to continue to step outside his marriage to get the intimacy that is lacking in his marriage. While I respect the opinions of others who see things differently, I must say that this is one issue on which we will just have to respectfully disagree.

Also, one last point of clarification, if I were to implement a “no married men” rule for myself it would be just that – for myself, for reasons of my own well being, and yes I will admit there are many good reasons in my own best interests not to be involved with married men (and something which I am working on in therapy with Freud). It would not be because I felt I owed it to society in general or fellow womankind to ride herd on married men and keep them from cheating.  The men need to buck up and deal with that end of the issue.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Where's the Dust Pan?

FYI, I’m working on a post for Thursday Therapy that is a nice meaty thing. (Hmm, why did my mind go straight to the gutter after typing that? Hmm. . . ) This post, however, is fluff, just stuff floating around in my head the way gnats swarm rotten apples. This post is clearing my mind the way I need to sweep the floor under my bed.

Bit of fluff #1: I am sick and tired of the hoards and swarms of aphids flying around. According to local news sources the aphids live on soybeans during the summer and are now moving to their winter quarters on some other kind of plant. Would y’all just find a place and settle please? Thank you.

Dust bunny #2: I dreamed last night someone came in and cleaned my entire house for me – for free! – without any expectation of me doing anything in return! Alas, some dreams are just too good to be true, as I found when I woke up and opened my eyes to the same pig sty as always.

Cobweb #3: I missed Talk Like a Pirate Day again this year. Hmmph. I am bummed over that. I so want to have a party celebrating that day one of these years.

Scrap of thread #4: I’ve been trying to pursue a relationship with a woman (via the internet, natch) instead of a man since the breakup. You know, just trying to set men (idiots that they are) aside for a while other than caretaking W. Alas, one woman IRL on whom I have a major crush is absolutely 100% straight with no desire to explore otherwise. I know this because we talked about it long before I developed my crush during a casual conversation about men, women, dating, etc. Therefore, I will, of course, not even approach her. Damn her for looking so hot every time I see her though.

Piece of lint #5: Of course, as soon as I turn my focus on women a man pops up with major potential as a FWB. We spent an interesting evening a few nights ago sparring via text message and an even more interesting lunch yesterday. So, does an 11 year age difference make me a cougar?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Updates of the Various and Sundry Variety

You might want to look over to the right at my new profile picture. I think it is a particularly good one, and shows all of my best physical features. I changed pictures because I really got tired of looking at the old one with the old (two or three shades ago) hair color. This one is more a reflection of what I look like now. At least what you can see of me. . .

When I arrived home last Friday after work I came upon the following scene as I turned the corner by my house: W, N, a police officer, and another woman were all standing in the driveway. A police car and another car were parked along the curb. My heart did a little jumpy fluttery stoppy kind of thing. My first thought was, "OMG did W get in another accident?" Turns out it wasn't W the police were after; it was N. N!! My baby! My sweet son was being interrogated by the police. I pulled into the driveway, rolled down my window, looked N straight in the eye with that look only a parent can give a child, and asked "You want to tell me what's going on here?" It seems N and a friend of his had been throwing rocks trying to hit a tree across the street. Instead, one of the rocks hit a car and pitted the window on the driver's side. The officer was just finishing up and talking to N (his friend's mother came and got him before the police ever arrived, the refused to stay and talk to the police) about how important it is to pick friends carefully and not pick the type friends who get in trouble a lot. The upshot of the whole thing is that no one is quite sure who threw the rock that hit the car, but the fact of the matter is that it could have been either one because they were both throwing them. They both have to take responsibility for it and share in the cost of replacing the window. The other boy's parents are insistent that their little angel would never be involved in such things even once the police officer went to their house to speak with them. W and I have grounded N for two weeks. His friend, we hear through the grapevine, has suffered a similar fate. I told N I don't ever, ever, ever want him to do anything that will bring a police officer to my house again. I got N to 'fess up to me more than anyone else had been able to. When I arrived his story was that while his friend had thrown rocks he hadn't. I know N too well to believe that. N has a history of lying to cover his tracks. I have a history of lying to cover my tracks so I'm pretty savvy to stories that ring true and those that don't. N also has a history of following whatever fool scheme any of his buddies concocts. He won't start anything bad, but if someone else starts it he will be right there in the thick of it. I stared him down. After he walked away and had a little temper tantrum over how unfair it was not to believe him, he finally came clean and I do believe told the actual truth which was that both boys threw rocks and N lucked out because only his friend's did any damage to anything. Not the way I would have preferred to start the weekend. . .

Once the weekend started, however, it was busy. N had a soccer tournament up north. His team lost two games and tied one. The team is struggling this year. I'm not exactly sure why other than they are playing tougher teams this year as they got moved up to the premier bracket because they were so good last year. On both Saturday and Sunday they played at an unholy hour in the morning, a time when the only things I ought to be seeing are the backs of my eyelids. Next weekend is another tournament. The only good things about are that it is closer to home and his games aren't quite so early. . .

Due to my travels I was able to get away for a few hours' visit with Drama on Saturday. I love her! I absolutely without a doubt think that she freakin' rocks the world. We didn't do anything but stay at her house, have dinner, and talk. We talked about lots of things, but a lot about men and how awful they are. What?!? Everybody needs a little bitchfest now and then. Drama and I both have plenty to bitch about when it comes to men. Oh how I wish she lived closer than three hours away. Of course, it could be worse. She could live on the freakin' other side of the country like jeniangel does. It's much harder to make it to the West Coast than three hours. Then there's Val way down in the heart of Texas. Why are all my friends so freakin' far away? Oh yeah, I met 'em on the internet. . .

For a short little update this turned kind of long, not that anyone should expect any less from me. I apparently have quite the plethora of words stored up waiting to get out at any opportunity. . .

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dissonance Between Beliefs and Actions

I want to address some of the comments I got on my last post when I talked about continuing to hook up with J. The questions raised are good ones, and I completely understand why people would be curious to understand what goes on in the mind of a person who cheats with a married person. That said, I will tell you that from my experience and conversations with others that there are many different reasons that people are willing to sleep with a married person and that not all people get the same thing from the situation. All I’m going to share here is my experience, my feelings, and my opinions of my particular situation and acknowledge that there are plenty other people and situations out there that are very different from mine.

First I want to share a bit of the particular time frame of what occurred. Then I’ll get more into the feelings, emotions, etc. around the occurrences. What I will not do is try to convince you that I’m right or justified in doing the things I’ve done/continue to do because I truly don’t feel that I’m right. I am more about trying to provide an understanding of where one woman (me) is coming from when choosing to be involved with a married man.

I got together with J both in mid-January and late May. In mid-January I felt pretty guilty about it – a little for having sex with another woman’s husband but mostly for cheating on BJ. I didn’t (and still don’t) like what it says about me as a person that I would go behind the back of the person to whom I am supposed to be faithful. I struggled mightily with that one and consequently it took a few months before I succumbed to temptation again in May.

In May, I felt less guilt about going behind BJ’s back because of his little STD scare. This was when I felt like I was getting a bit of revenge, even though I’m not real sure how it was revenge when BJ didn’t even know about it. Or maybe it was just a way of justifying my actions to myself. Anyway, May’s tryst evoked very little guilt in me, and I really enjoyed myself with J. My only regret that time was having less time together than we would have liked.

In order to understand my thinking on the matter it is probably helpful to understand my perspective on certain things. I find there is often dissonance between what I believe and what I do, perhaps because I let my emotions rule over my intellect. I often choose to do things that I know with every fiber of my being are destructive, and yet I continue to choose to do them. Now, at the point, if ever, that I figure out how to match my behavior to my beliefs I will be a much better person. Because honestly, I think it is wrong to have sex outside of a loving committed relationship. I think it is wrong to lie. I think it is wrong to cheat on a significant other with whom you’ve agreed to be faithful. Yet I have done each of these things that I believe to be wrong. Believing it is wrong has not, so far, been enough to change my choices.

As far as J’s marriage is concerned, I feel that it is up to him as an adult to make his own choices. I have not, since learning of his engagement to Wife 3, ever pursued him. As a matter of fact, I completely left him alone after that to the point of not knowing when, or even if, they got married until he contacted me asking to spend time together. I have never asked for us to get together. He does plenty of that. I turn him down much more than I agree to see him, for various reasons – mostly scheduling conflicts and the desire to live my life as I believe a good life should be lived. However, on that second issue I’m weak and occasionally give in to temptation. The whole BJ break up, W moving in, me feeling like I am again losing control of my life triggered me to accept J’s offer of a weekend in October, and I chose October 3 for two reasons: it is soon, and it is the day BJ and I should have been at a football game together. Twisted? Maybe, since I often lash out in ways that mean something to me yet would only be hurtful to the one(s) to whom I mean the lashing to be directed if they actually knew about it, which they don’t. And if you think BJ will now know about it through this blog I will tell you that he rarely read in detail anything on my blog when we were together (yet another blow to my fragile ego) and little to nothing when he suffered his period of Insanity two winters ago, and so I have no reason to believe he is reading it at all now. If he does, he does, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t.
The whole secret rebelliousness thing is something I’ve done for as long as I can remember. I was the “good girl” growing up, at least that was my reputation with my parents. They thought I did no wrong. I knew better. I knew I was just sneaky and duplicitous. It worked for me. It worked for me too well apparently since I have continued to be that way through my entire life. I even struggle not to be that way here on my blog. I have committed to myself to sharing only my truth here on this blog, and sometimes I want to sugar coat things or make things sound not quite so bad as they are. I don’t do it though because I really want this blog to be a journal of my truths, even when they are ugly as sin.

It’s complicated yet simple really. I want what I want when I want it, and I pursue it to the fullest of my abilities. I lie, manipulate, twist things around, all the while playing the martyr. It is ugly. This blog helps me in recognizing the plank in my eye, and it helps keep me from pointing out specks in the eyes of others.

I hope this gives a little insight into this. Please don’t hesitate to ask more questions if you have any. It actually helps me to step back and really think about things for myself when prompted by your questions. I will never be offended by any question asked in sincerity looking for honest answers.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Because I Can't Stay Away

Apparently any time I do something good and self-sacrificing (like taking W in during his time of need) I feel compelled to do a bad and selfish thing to make up for it.

J and I will be together again on October 3, and no we will not be chatting over dinner and a movie.  It will be the third time we've been together since he married his third wife.  Yes, I realize that means that I was just as unfaithful in my relationship with BJ as I was (and continue to be) in my marriage and that now you know that too.  Part of the way I justified it to myself when going behind BJ's back was revenge for some of the things he did (and no I don't think that is adequate justification, and yes I understand it isn't really revenge when he knew nothing about it), but another part of it is that somehow I just can't bring myself to stay away from J.  There is a connection there that just keeps us coming back to each other, whether it's good, bad or otherwise.

Of course, the fact that I had tickets for BJ and me to attend an Illini football game together on October 3 that we will no longer be attending (and that I sold the tickets to a coworker and now have the $$ for a hotel room) has absolutely no bearing at all on me choosing that date to get together with J.  (C'mon, if you didn't read snarky sarcasm in that you don't know me well enough.  Go back and reread it with sarcasm dripping from each word.  There, now you have the proper message.)

Sometimes I feel like I can't keep myself out of self-destruct mode.  (Note to self:  This should be Topic #1 at next therapy session with Freud and makes for something to write about in next week's Thursday Therapy post.)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday Therapy: Inaugural Edition

I’m starting a new feature here. Given that I see my therapist on every other Tuesday, and given that I often end up blogging something about what was discussed during therapy, I thought I would start a weekly feature here called Thursday Therapy. I’ll use it to review what I worked on in therapy the Tuesday before and then on the off weeks I’ll use it to think through things I need to discuss on the next Tuesday. It may get a wee bit repetitious as I tend to wallow in the same issues for a while before moving on so feel free to skip these TT posts and wait for more scintillating posts from me. (Not that you’ll ever get that here, so I’m not quite sure why you’re still hanging around, but thanks for hanging around anyway.)

This Tuesday’s Post Mortem
We had talked last session about the break up with BJ. That’s old news, over and done, and I’m tired of expending energy where it is futile to do so. Therefore we (or I) moved on.

Freud’s (for lack of a better name and since I’ll be able to remember it from one time to the next I’m going to call my therapist Freud although he looks nothing like Freud; he really rather resembles the psychiatrist played by Richard Dreyfuss in the movie What About Bob?) office is a plain basic functional office just like many plain basic functional offices in a medical clinic. His office is so unremarkable I can’t even tell you the color of the walls or what may occupy the room other than a few things such as his desk and chair, the relatively comfortable sofa upon which I sit when there, and the digital clock on the table across the room that stares (the clock, not the table or the room) at me incessantly while I am there. Freud is totally unlike the counselor W and I saw back during the adoption debacle a few years back. Where she said nothing more than “and how do you feel about that?” a few times through a session, Freud carries on an actual conversation with me. He inquires, I respond, he feeds back what he understands me to be saying, I clarify if necessary, he gives input or asks for further clarification, I respond. You know, just like real people talking to each other. Can you guess that I like Freud better than the other counselor? Well, if you did you are right. I do.

Anyway, getting back to the meat of Tuesday’s discussion, we addressed the whole issue of reconciliation with W. I told him about my conversation last Sunday with my pastor. He helped me refocus from being concerned about others reacting as though the reconciliation was happy news to focusing on taking care of me and my needs. Now that’s one thing I really like about Freud. He is always bringing the discussion back to me and my needs and acts as though my needs are important. He’s trying to help me to see my needs as important. He has a tough row to hoe there I’m afraid, but God bless him for trying.

We discussed my need to assert myself, to make sure that the relationship is not all about me giving up myself to take care of W. He didn’t try to persuade me, as I’m sure some would, to let him fend for himself. He acknowledged my desire to not turn my back completely on my son’s father. . . which was good because I can’t. I can’t turn my back on W and say “Tough shit; fend for yourself.” I just can’t be that hard hearted. However, I do understand that I need to make sure that my needs are filled as well for if I don’t we’ll be right back to the place we were before – a place so bad that I felt giving W the boot was the only thing I could do. So Freud pointed out some areas that where I needed to be clear on boundaries – like finances, intimacy, parenting, and so forth – so that I can carve out a little comfort zone for myself.

Also, Freud seems to think that my frame of mind is better than it has been the last couple of times I’ve seen him. I believe he’s right. I believe that so much of my depression comes on me when I feel I have no choices and no control in my life. It helps a great deal when I can come around to a place where I do have some say and a bit of control over situations, where I’m doing things by my choice rather than going along because I have no choice.

And our time is up for this week’s therapy session. Until next time. . .

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Why I Cried in Church Last Sunday

Nope, it wasn’t the sermon even though I thought the sermon was quite good, right on target (although in most mainstream Christian churches I imagine it would’ve been met with pure hatred), but it wasn’t the kind of sermon that makes one cry. No, the children didn’t sing in their cherubic voices so no tears over their extreme cuteness. It wasn’t even the list of prayer concerns that were read before the pastoral prayer even though there were several that touched me. Nope, the reason I cried in church last Sunday was because when I arrived early to prepare for my stint as liturgist the pastor asked me, “How are you doing?”

The conversation went something like this:
Pastor: TS! Good to see you! Let’s go sit and talk about this morning’s service.
TS: Good to see you too.
(Pastor and TS walk into the sanctuary and sit down in the very back. The choir is practicing up front.)
Pastor: (concerned look on face) How are you doing?
TS: Okay, I guess. (Tears start to well up in eyes.)
Pastor: You know BJ emailed me about you a couple of weeks ago. I hope you don’t mind.
TS: No, I told him it was okay. BJ and I are no longer together by the way.
Pastor: W shared with me that he is moving back into the house. Is that a good thing, or a bad thing? Oh, I can see by the look on your face it’s a bad thing.
TS: (A tear or two escapes the lower eyelids to trickle down TS’s cheek) It’s a good thing for W, but it’s not a good thing for me. W needs somebody to take care of him, and since BJ and I aren’t seeing each other anymore. . . (TS shrugs her shoulders and wipes the tears from her face.)
Pastor: Oh TS, I’m so sorry.
TS: You know what my worst fear is? (Fighting hard, unsuccessfully, to keep the tears from rolling) My worst fear is. . . is that. . . (choking back tears) is that when people hear that we’re back together they’ll say “Oh isn’t that wonderful!” But it isn’t wonderful at all.
Pastor: (Giving TS a big hug) I understand. I really do.
TS: It’s okay. Let’s just focus on the service for now. It’ll get my mind off my troubles.
(Pastor and TS put their heads together and go over details for the service.)

So there it is, W is moving back into the house. Why, you ask?

Well, there are a number of reasons:
(1) he is being evicted from his current residence because Q wasn’t paying her share of the rent and he can’t afford to pay her share in addition to his own so she’s moving back to where she came from,
(2) he had surgery last week to insert rods in his arm where this summer’s breaks are not healing (Did I mention here before that he broke his arm this summer? If not, he did, from walking on a sidewalk and stepping off the edge. He broke his upper arm in three places, fortunately not his dominant arm.) so he needs assistance for a while until it heals and he is stronger (In addition to surgery, they gave him two pints of blood and started him on an iron supplement because his CBC was so low.),
(3) I currently have no one else in the picture so I have no excuse not to,
(4) N is getting along with W better and begged me to let him move back in, and
(5) it assuages some of the guilt I feel for breaking my marriage vows and not taking seriously “in good times and in bad, until death you do part.”

Actions have consequences. The consequences for me marrying the wrong person are taking care of him until he dies so that I can then move on with my life.  It feels awful, and I hate it, but this is what I have chosen to do, and I will stand by my decision. As bad as it sounds, I will simply wait and hope that W dies sooner rather than later so that I don’t have to put off the start of a new life for too long.

Things are a bit different now though. The power has shifted. W is pretty much at my mercy so I am asserting myself and insisting we leave things where I put them after he moved out rather than moving them back to where he had them. I know that is a small victory but an important one for me so that I can enjoy my kitchen instead of using his kitchen. W and I won’t ever be sleeping in the same bed together again. I have grown to have as little desire for intimacy with him as he has for me. I have not put my wedding ring back on and have no intention of doing so. All of these are just little defiances, no big deal, but they mean the world to me. If I must have him in my house it will be under my rules. We are no longer life partners, haven’t been for a long time, and moving back under the same roof changes that not at all. We will no longer comingle funds. He will pay me what he can towards the household bills, and I will handle the household bills as well as my personal ones. He will handle his personal debts.

And once again, Trueself proves what a big fat loser she really is. . .

Monday, September 14, 2009

Oh, the Melodrama

I am nothing if not melodramatic. I know this about myself. I don’t much like this about myself, and yet I continue to be this way. With me, it’s all the biggest, smallest, best, worst, most, least, superlative after superlative. Things are always or never. Moderation is unknown when it comes to me expressing my emotions. They are what they are, and they are right out there for everyone to see. At least they used to be.

Now, throughout my life I tried to moderate myself somewhat just because that’s how society in general and close family and friends in particular seemed to prefer me. I tone down the highest highs and lowest lows to the best of my ability. I try not to cry copious tears in front of others, and I also try not to get too giddy in celebration in front of others. I try (I don’t always succeed) to “maintain my composure” because that’s what polite society does. Yet I am still seen by others as melodramatic. Obviously, my efforts at toning down are not all they’ve cracked up to be.

Interestingly enough, I find that scare people off almost as much with my highs as with my lows. Somehow, people almost seem more willing (in general, with a few notable exceptions) to deal with the lowest of the low me than the highest of the high me. I guess when I’m curled up in a corner it’s just easier to put an arm around me and “there, there” me than to tolerate me when I’m jumping up and down shouting for joy. People almost seem to have a “yeah, yeah, whatever, get over it” kind of attitude when I’m all excited about something. I guess “why yes, I did pass the CPA exam in one try” (yawn) is easier to take than “OMG! OMG! OMG! I passed!” (jumping up and down, waving arms) as just one example.

It has gotten so that I no longer dare get excited in a happy way over anything because there is always someone nearby to bring me back down to earth, to break my spirit, to try and convince me that things aren’t all that great. I even decided that perhaps I was bipolar because it seemed that if I wasn’t in the black hole I was so lightheartedly happy that I seemed to scare people. It was only through therapy that I’ve come to accept that bipolar in no way describes what I am. It turns out my therapist even assured me that it was quite normal and okay to feel really really happy sometimes, particularly when things are going well.

So what am I trying to say here? I don’t know. I thought I had a point somewhere in here, but as I write it just seems to be getting all muddled. I think one point is that I am trying to break free of the shackles that keep me from feeling and expressing “too much” and moving to a place in my psyche where I can experience emotions, both negative and positive, at whatever level I feel them, even when they are melodramatic, and to embrace them and move through them and not get so caught up on whether it’s okay to feel this good or this bad. There is no okay or not okay. It just is, and the sooner I accept that it just is what it is and that I cannot squelch it without hurting myself a little each time I do, the better off I’ll be.


And on another note, I had the most interesting (another superlative folks!) dream last night. I went to see BJ because I thought I knew the answer to our problems. I explained to him that he may have erroneously gotten the wrong impression because of some of my less than assertive behavior regarding a certain something so that he thought I was all talk and no action. He agreed that is how he perceived the situation. I explained to him how I really felt about the subject and what was holding me back and how we could remedy it. He looked at me skeptically but agreed to try what I suggested. We then went to a party with some other people, and I showed him that I was quite happy to participate, just shy about initiating and getting started even to the point of kind of standing off to one side until someone specifically invited me to join in. As it turned out in the dream, however, I was completely wrong, and he just didn’t want to be with me anymore no matter whether I overcame my shyness or not so I just turned my attention to the other people there and ignored him for the rest of the evening. The feelings I had in the dream were of sadness at losing him but very proud of myself for sticking around and getting to know the other people with the thought that I was even making some new friends.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Piece of My Heart

When I love someone I have a really hard time letting go, and what I've come to realize is that I never really do let go. Once I love you, I really do love you forever, and a piece of my heart forever belongs to you. I have loved multiple times in my life (and here I'm talking romantic love, not family love or Christian love but romantic stay-with-me-forever love), and each one of the men who I love hold a piece of my heart whether they know it or not. I've been thinking a lot about this lately, and have concluded that although I've tried at various times in my life to convince myself otherwise the fact remains that each and every one of these men has a hold on me -- a hold that I'm not sure is good or bad or just is -- and unless something big changes that, or me, I guess they always will.

There are four "loves of my life." No, I don't believe you'd know that from reading this blog. I'll bet if you've read long enough you could name three, but not four. There is one I don't believe I've ever mentioned here, at least not my love for him although he has made his way into a blog post or two.

So let's start with that mystery man, the one not mentioned before here, the very first love of my life. We attended high school together and dated for a long time (before J). He was the best, most wonderful, down to earth, smart, witty boy I had ever had the pleasure to know. I loved him as much as a teen girl can love her boyfriend. He said he loved me, but I don't know now if that was really so. We still have contact with one another on an occasional basis, but there has never been anything other than friendly banter between us via email. There never will be because he is married, presumably happily, and I will not step in where problems don't already exist. However, if he were to contact me tomorrow, tell me his marriage was over and that he missed me horribly and wanted to try again I would not hesitate since I am once again free. I have never shared this with anyone and couldn't even admit it to myself for a long, long time. I was so hurt by how he broke up with me in high school that I swore for years that he was nothing to me, nothing at all. What he really was was my very first love, the one I spent hours daydreaming about spending my life with, the one I hoped would be mine as much as I was his, the one who made a true success of his life, running his own business and living life on his terms. I am jealous of his wife, and I've never even met her.

The second man I love is, of course, J. J and I love each other in a way that I don't know others would understand. He drives me crazy when we're together too much, but on the other hand he is another imperfect human just trying to get through life the best he can. He and I both tend to need a partner whether or not it is the right one. Since he finally got to the point of wanting to get married he has spent little time single, jumping into marriage quickly after each divorce. I tend to be a bit like that myself, feeling the need to have someone at my side no matter what. I do think that our love for each other is real. I know mine is. I think his is too, but I could be wrong. Maybe he really is in it just for the occasional fuck when my resolve weakens, and we hook up (yes, more than has been mentioned previously on this blog).

The third man is W. It is my genuine love for him that has made splitting with him so terribly difficult. I do love the man even though he drives me absolutely batty with his crude ways and poor parenting skills and denial over having any faults at all. It is hard not to love a man who loves you unconditionally, who will stick by you even when you go absolutely bonkers, who will tolerate your worst behavior. It is hard to turn your back on him when he needs help, and goodness knows he needs help. He's being evicted where he's renting and is right now in the hospital following surgery earlier this week. My resolve to not let him back in the house is weakening, particularly since there is no other man in my life currently, with the exception of J, sort of, on occasion.

The fourth man, of course, is BJ. I love BJ. I wanted for BJ and me to work. I wanted it to be the relationship that would be for keeps, but it isn't. I know it isn't because it was too easy for him to let me go. It was too easy for him to say goodbye without tears, without remorse, without looking back. If he loved me as much as I love him it would tear him up to let me go the way it is tearing me up to let him go. As it is, he is just another man with a piece of my heart.

I wonder just how many pieces there are and if there are any left for anyone else. I think for the next couple of years the answer is that I can't give away another piece of my heart. For at least the next couple of years I can only watch out for #1 -- me and keep the rest of my heart safe from the perils of love.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Eight Years Ago. . . And Now

So I guess I’m supposed to write some sort of 9/11 tribute today, at least that’s how it seems based on other blogs I regularly read. Hmm. . . what to say, what to say. . .

At the time I lived in Northern CA, all the way on the other side of the country from where the action was. It was a normal work day. I got up. While I dressed I watched an ER rerun on TV as was my habit at the time. By 7:15 (remember this was Pacific time so it was three hours later in NYC, DC, and PA) I was driving to work and listening to the radio. I was confused by the talk on the radio about a plane hitting the WTC or something or other. It didn’t register with me what they were saying until I was on the ramp from one highway to another. I remember rounding the curve as the news sunk in, and I began to understand that this was something really big and really bad.

I remember the heaviness of feeling that covered the office that day. I remember that little to no work was completed that day. I remember that I was glad N was too young (not quite three yet) to understand its significance or even know that it happened. I remember that I thought it was ridiculous that the local mall closed for the day for fear of an attack as though it would be a target high on the list: World Trade Center, Pentagon, White House, Small Town Shopping Mall. I remember how eerily quiet it was for days after when air traffic was suspended (we lived in the flight path of a small regional airport and would often hear private planes overhead) and how comforting it was to start hearing planes overhead again, returning just a bit of normalcy to our lives. I remember my mom and dad canceling plans to come out for N’s birthday that October and understanding their fear of flying in that very uncertain time. I remember wondering if I would ever fly again (and the answer is yes, many times since then, but not for almost a year after the incident). I remember fearing that Bush would start WW III, being relieved that he didn’t immediately make a kneejerk reaction, and later being disgusted that he used it as an excuse to avenge his daddy’s honor with Saddam Hussein.

Now, eight years later, do I feel safer or less safe than I did before it happened? I feel less safe. Why? It’s because I no longer trust that people are, above all, self-preservationists. When there are people who strongly believe that their lives on earth are not worth preserving, who are willing to sacrifice themselves in suicide bombings and willing to murder without regard for who it is they are murdering, I cannot feel safe. I keep an eye on everyone in public places. I suspect those who look the least suspicious because I believe they could be trying to blend into the crowd. I suspect those who look the most suspicious because I believe they aren’t bright enough to blend into the crowd. I suspect everyone except those I know well, and sometimes I even suspect them. On the other hand, I hold a bit of a fatalistic view. If it is time for me to go, then it will happen whether or not I am careful, whether or not I change course, whether or not I recognize a bomb just prior to detonation. Most of the time, when the depression doesn’t have its icy grip on my heart and mind, I am comfortable with my lot in life and with the possibility that I could move on to the next realm in whatever form it holds. That doesn’t mean I feel safe, though. I don’t, not one bit. I never cross a major bridge without hoping it doesn’t collapse. I never fly without expecting one of the passengers to be a terrorist. I never attend events in large venues without wondering if this is the place where the next bomb will detonate.

And life continues on unabated.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Sometimes That's How These Things Go

Apparently, BJ and I are no longer together.

The only appropriate comments to leave on this post are:
(A) I’m so sorry to hear that.
(B) I know it hurts now, but it will get better.
(C) Sending you lots of hugs.
(D) All of the above.

Comments including anything more than that will be deleted.

Not That Anyone Cares But

Had he lived my grandfather would've been 99 years old today, on 9/9/09.

Just sayin'. . .

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Sunday Stealing: The Random Dozen Meme

I've skipped these the last couple of weeks. Just wasn't feelin' it. Today I am so here you go. Enjoy.

1. When you go to Wowmart, what one thing do you get every single time, besides a funky-wheeled squeaking cart full of frustration? Disgust at myself for going there at all.

2. What is something that people are currently “into” that you just don’t get or appreciate? iPods

3. What is something that really hoists your sail that other people might feel “ho-hum” about? College basketball

4. Favorite song to sing in the shower or car? Amazing Grace

5. A really great salad must have this ingredient: Greens other than iceberg lettuce

6. What advice in a nutshell would you give to new bloggers? Determine your purpose for writing a blog and then follow your heart. Don’t let others tell you how it “should be” done.

7. What was the alternate name that your parents almost named you? They swear they didn’t have an alternate.
Do you wish they had chosen it instead of the one they gave you? I wish they had chosen darned near any name instead of the one they gave me.

8. What in your life are you waiting for? The time when I really can get on with my life.

9. You get a package in the mail. What is it, and who is it from? It is the chair I ordered from Living XL.

10. Today–what song represents you? Love Sick Stomach Ache

11. What is one thing that blogging has taught you about yourself? That I really can write and that I really do have my own opinions about things.

12. How are you going to (or how did you) choose the clothes you’re wearing today? Whatever is clean, comfy, and generally presentable for work.
What do they say about you in general or specifically how you’re feeling today? I am a lazy ass who likes comfy clothes and doesn’t much care what I look like.

Hoping the Moon Overrides Venus & Pluto

Although the Moon's return to your sign often helps you simplify your life, today can be more intense than usual. Your key planet Venus forms a disturbing aspect with shadowy Pluto, putting you in touch with complex feelings such as possessiveness, jealousy or anger. Processing your negativity may take courage, but can also lead to intimacy.
I have no idea how today’s horoscope might apply to my life today so I think I’ll just ignore it. Oh wait, that’s pretty much what I do with the ones I think do apply to my life too so I guess today will just be like any other day.

Friday, September 04, 2009

It's True, and Sometimes It Bites Me in the Ass

You Would Do Anything For Love

Anyone who stands between you and love better watch out!

You'll do almost anything for your true love - even if it puts your life at risk.

You are an old fashioned romantic and believe in unconditional love.

Once you love someone, you'll always love them... no matter what.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Health Care Thoughts

I have wanted to address this topic for some time but have struggled to really put my thoughts together in a good coherent fashion (no surprise there!) so I haven't. However, I recently ran across the following at the Sojourners' website:

A Christian Creed on Health-Care Reform

In the face of negative ads, partisan rhetoric, and a news cycle filled with fear and half-truths about health-care reform, Christians must affirm that we believe in: quality, affordable access to life-giving services for all people.

As one of God's children, I believe that protecting the health of each human being is a profoundly important personal and communal responsibility for people of faith.

I believe God created each person in the divine image to be spiritually and physically healthy. I feel the pain of sickness and disease in our broken world (Genesis 1:27, Romans 8:22).

I believe life and healing are core tenets of the Christian life. Christ's ministry included physical healing, and we are called to participate in God's new creation as instruments of healing and redemption (Matthew 4:23, Luke 9:1-6; Mark 7:32-35, Acts 10:38). Our nation should strive to ensure all people have access to life-giving treatments and care.

I believe, as taught by the Hebrew prophets and Jesus, that the measure of a society is seen in how it treats the most vulnerable. The current discussion about health-care reform is important for the United States to move toward a more just system of providing care to all people (Isaiah 1:16-17, Jeremiah 7:5-7, Matthew 25:31-45).

I believe that all people have a moral obligation to tell the truth. To serve the common good of our entire nation, all parties debating reform should tell the truth and refrain from distorting facts or using fear-based messaging (Leviticus 19:11; Ephesians 4:14-15, 25; Proverbs 6:16-19).

I believe that Christians should seek to bring health and well-being (shalom) to the society into which God has placed us, for a healthy society benefits all members (Jeremiah 29:7).

I believe in a time when all will live long and healthy lives, from infancy to old age (Isaiah 65:20), and "mourning and crying and pain will be no more" (Revelation 21:4). My heart breaks for my brothers and sisters who watch their loved ones suffer, or who suffer themselves, because they cannot afford a trip to the doctor. I stand with them in their suffering.

I believe health-care reform must rest on a foundation of values that affirm each and every life as a sacred gift from the Creator (Genesis 2:7).


Yeah, that pretty well somes up how I feel about it.  If you feel similarly and would like to sign this creed and send it to your legislators then click here.
In addition they have published a good health care discussion guide in case you'd like to read it.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


With a little sleuthing on my own plus assistance from the medical community I have discovered one key in the whole depression thing I have going on.


That’s right, monosodium glutamate, contributed to my latest downward spiral.

About a month ago (you know, shortly before descending into the depths of the black hole of depression) I found a Chinese restaurant near my workplace. They are basically a fast food place, everything already made and waiting to be ladled up for you, with a very convenient drive thru window. I began patronizing this place, not so much for the quality of the food but because I could get vegetables – actual vegetables not cooked to mush – quickly and cheaply. So I ate there a couple of times a week for about three weeks, and as you know, I suffered greatly from depression. Without a clue about a connection (yes I know MSG isn’t great for you but just wasn’t thinking about it being linked to depression of all things), I stopped eating there and started going home for lunch for economy’s sake. And the depression faded.

So I did some research, both on the internet, and by speaking to my therapist and a very friendly and helpful nurse at the adult medicine office where my doctor is located. It turns out there can be some neurological side effects, including depression, from eating MSG. While my therapist and I also identified situational causes for the bout of depression, he did not discount that a reaction to MSG may well have played a part in it. He also assured me it was fine to be feeling as good as I’m feeling now (I’m feeling loads better! Thanks for asking.) and relieved my anxieties that perhaps I am suffering from bipolar disorder rather than depression. Oh, and another thing the MSG (and overall sodium content) of my little Chinese fast food extravaganza contributed to was excessive bloating and water retention. Even as fat as I am, I can tell a significant difference when I’m bloated, and for a couple of weeks there I was extremely bloated. Of course getting rid of the bloat didn’t hurt my frame of mind either.

Three lessons learned:
  1. Avoid MSG.  No more Chinese food unless I can order it without MSG or, in the case of buffet style make sure no MSG is used. Also, I’m on the lookout for it in other foods. You’d be surprised how many packaged foods have it.
  2. When the depression starts to creep up I need to think about what kinds of changes I've made in my habits, my diet, etc. to see if there is a connection.
  3. When you hit rock bottom you find out who really cares about you and who only cares when you're not nuts.
Anyway, there’s another piece placed into the puzzle, and I continue on my quest to eventually become a fully functional adult.

(And yes, I know this is my second post today.  What of it?  You wanted to wait until tomorrow to have me share this with you?  No, I didn't think so.)

Are You Lookin' For Me?

Today I thought I'd share with you some of the internet searches that have led people to my illustrious blog in the last couple of days. It's been an interesting mix.

Someone in Altrincham, Cheshire was searching for “single ladies wanting sex.” I doubt they found what they were looking for here. However, if I’m ever headed to Cheshire I’ll be sure to post about it so perhaps we can meet and look one another in the eye before saying to one another, “It really doesn’t matter how badly you want sex. You won’t be getting it from me.”

A reader from Málaga, Andalucia searched for “poem closed doors darkest nights deepesr thoughts.” I’m not sure if it would have helped their search had they not misspelled deeper, and I’m not even sure exactly what they were looking for with that particular search. I’m pretty sure they didn’t find it here, but if you are this searcher and you did find what you were looking for here let me know!

Another person from the United Kingdom searched for “single women in blackpool wantin sex.” Well, to you I say just look up top at my response to the person from Cheshire and apply it to you as well.

Someone in Faridabad, Haryana searched for “perverted middle aged women.” Alas, I probably have to cop to that one. However, do you really suppose they found what they were looking for here? Me neither.

This next one comes from Mesa, Arizona and asks “im a felon now how bad is my life going to suck.” Although you probably didn’t find what you were looking for when you first arrived, here’s my take on the thing. As a felon you’ve just made getting through life a whole lot harder. It isn’t impossible, but it isn’t going to be a piece of cake either. My best advice to you is rather than focusing on how bad your life will suck is to work to make it the best life you can. Turn yourself around and prove to those around you that you are indeed serious about getting your act together. Go back and make reparations as best you can to those against whom you committed felonies and apologize to them – face to face, eye to eye if possible. You’ll earn some respect that way. Don’t sit around and whine about the mess you are in or who may have contributed to it. You are responsible. Own it.

And finally, someone in St. Paul, Minnesota wants to know “how to get your girlfriend to read wikihow.” I know you didn’t find that advice here. However, I will share my thoughts. Think about the reasons behind why you want her to read Wikihow (the entire thing, one particular topic, what?) and the reasons that she has for not wanting to read it. Also, how have you approached her so far? I’m having a hard time fathoming why she would have refused to read a Wikihow article if you asked nicely, unless perhaps it was on a topic that has been a constant source of argument between the two of you. Also, if your biggest problem in your relationship is her desire not to read Wikihow then count your blessings, or if you’re the type that can’t respect that then for her sake cut her loose now. Then go get therapy to figure out why you are an overbearing bully.

And just for laughs let’s see what the ole’ horoscope has in store for me today:

Your key planet Venus is at odds with stern Saturn today, cautioning you against sharing your feelings. It's exceptionally problematic if you see nothing but the good in a situation because you could easily miss the warning signals. If you go ahead and bring your unresolved emotional issues to work, you may be embarrassed when you realize that it was inappropriate. A little self-restraint can save you from a big headache later on.
Oh yeah, sure glad I read that. I’ll be looking out for those warning signals, and I’ll try to employ a little self-restraint to prevent embarrassing myself. Heh. That would be a first.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


I knew we had a nasty thunderstorm last Thursday night. I knew that some of the lightning hit darned close to my house because I saw a huge flash and heard booming thunder simultaneously as I watched from my bed through the bedroom window while trying to fall asleep. I also knew the power went out for a while shortly after that. I fell asleep prior to the power returning. Upon waking on Friday morning I discovered the TV in my bedroom no longer worked. It just wouldn’t turn on at all. Downstairs as I prepared breakfast N discovered the power was still off in the family room. Other than my bedroom TV and everything in the family room power seemed normal. I suspected a breaker had been thrown but didn’t have time to check as it was our usual hurry to get to school and work on time.

Later on Friday I discovered that yes, a breaker had been tripped. After flipping it back to its normal position power was restored to the family room. However, much to N’s horror the satellite TV receiver would not work. Further, the cordless phones throughout the house also wouldn’t work. Life looked bleak for the tween boy, mighty bleak indeed, for how could he survive without TV and telephones?!? Tragedy! Much wailing and complaining ensued, and N was not the least bit mollified when I announced that I was able to use the corded telephone and had arranged for a satellite TV technician to come out on a service call on Monday. Monday?!? A whole weekend without TV?!? I think N would’ve been happier had we lost the roof over the house than to lose the TV. He was convinced he would die an agonizingly slow death through the course of the weekend without access to iCarly, Phineas & Ferb, and 6Teen, not to mention Mythbusters and The Colony.

Fast forward to Monday. First off, N survived. (I know you’re shocked. So was I.) I’m not sure how, but he actually found things to do other than watching TV and talking on the phone (since the corded phone had been relocated to the kitchen for household convenience but afforded him no privacy whatsoever).

By the end of Monday, I learned that the following items were fried by the lightning/power outage/surge:
The TV in the bedroom (which was on its last legs anyway, had cost less than $100, and was about seven years old)
The main base for the cordless telephone/intercom system
The satellite receiver in the family room (although the two upstairs are fine)

Now the first two I could understand, but the satellite receiver was on a surge protector so I’m not sure what happened there.

Satellite TV is restored but the home phone is down to one corded phone. The cordless ones are useless until I replace the base. One phone in a two story house. Oh yeah. It’s fun times as we get our exercise running for the phone when it rings hoping we can sprint faster than it can go to voicemail. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I don’t. And honestly? Sometimes I don’t try all that hard particularly since 78% of all calls are for N and another 19.4% are telemarketers. (Did you know that 76.3% of all statistics you read are made up on the spot? Really! It’s true! I read it somewhere.)

I feel lucky that more didn’t go wrong. I’m wondering if I shouldn’t have taken the whole thing so lightly last week, or if I was right to trust that all systems are in place and working as they should. After all, the breaker flipped protecting most things from damage and/or fire. We have smoke alarms in every room of the house which would have alerted us if a fire had started. Besides, I can’t go through life sitting up through every thunderstorm, trolling the house for problems. Although my tendency is to worry too much about such things, my counteraction to that is to just let it go and hand my fate to my creator, and that’s what I’ve done about this. I can’t worry all the time about the house burning down, and things are just things that can be replaced anyway.

And even with Big Brother 11 alliances and backstabbing reaching fever pitch, we are able to survive without TV – at least for a weekend.

Also? You might very well point out that if the two satellite receivers upstairs worked that we could have (1) connected the working receiver from my bedroom to the working TV in the family room or (2) just watched TV in N’s room by disconnecting the video game system and hooking up the satellite receiver. Umm, yes I did happen to think of those options. N didn’t. So I didn’t mention them. ;-)