The Joys of Drugs

And by drugs, I mean antidepressants. It’s been a while since I last wrote; time enough for my antidepressants to kick in. It takes 2 to 4 weeks for things to start working after a long time without taking them. But, I can say that they’ve made a difference.

527920_499926106703100_362275096_nI am less despondent and less critical. I do not have those horrible cyclical mood swings associated with menopausal women. I can now speak to my husband without crying, which for the last year I could not do. I also think that it has allowed me to feel normal in my newfound take on the marriage. The jealousy that had plagued me is gone. Now that I know that nothing I say or do changes anything in this marriage, I have given up trying to change things. This also means that I have given up investing in it as well.

There are advantages and disadvantages to this arrangement, but I can say that the advantages for me outweigh the negatives. I’ve always run my course of action in life through a list of pros and cons. If they seem balanced, I listen to my gut; my intuition. It has never steered me wrong. I’ve gone against my gut feelings and have lived with the consequences; one of them being this marriage. So I know them to be true. How I wish I listened to myself more. However, if I did that, life would be boring and I wouldn’t learn new things about myself and other people.

I’ve learned SO much in the last five years.  I’ve learned that perhaps I should not have been married. I bought into romance and not into real life. I was ill prepared for life as a wife and partner. Who is prepared really? We either set incredibly unrealistic expectations for married couples or we dispense with all the rules. No wonder people are confused. I also learned that perhaps I’m not suited to having a male partner. I’m not saying I’m suited for any sex or gender at all. All I’m saying is that I plunged headlong into a life that was expected of me and never once thought any of it through seriously.  I gave men what I thought they wanted to get along. I had no real desire for them. I’ve lived my life on automatic pilot; feeling nothing and now, when I actually took a chance on the feelings that I was swept up in, it turned out not to be for the best.

Tough lessons. But they are lessons earned and learned. They are mine and I am no longer going to do what anyone else wants me to do. Anything I do now is because it’s good for me and because I want to. That doesn’t mean I don’t care about others, but caring for others will be because I really care and not because I’m supposed to care.

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Surgery and Updates

cropped-nick-and-nora.jpgMy husband went in for bladder cancer surgery on Thursday and is now home recovering nicely. It all went as well as it could have and they said they got all of it without it having spread elsewhere. During it all, I think he gets reminded of his mortality and perhaps, just a tiny bit, he’s reminded about who’s important? I, too, have had a complete rethink.

We have actually achieved a truce, of sorts. I’ve had to scale back emotionally and he’s living with the idea that he does not have my full attention any longer. Perhaps that’s for the best.  This article is one I came across accidentally, but it does help me understand the ideas behind things and why we are all bent on romanticism and the idea of one person for each of us until death. I have always fallen for the full romantic picture that we are taught as young women; there is one special person, your soul mate, whom you will meet, fall in love, and marry and live happily ever after in perfect bliss. Yeah, not so much.

I think now that people live to a very advanced age and it’s virtually impossible to ask someone to love one single human being throughout your life. It is entirely possible to love more than one person romantically. I’m doing it now. I love my ex-husband and I love my current husband. I see no contradiction. The contradiction only occurs in people’s minds when it comes to sex. Jealousy only really occurs when we think of people having sex with other than us.

I certainly don’t believe anymore that people are monogamous. The majority of evidence that I see around me in the people I know and in the news confirms to me that men especially are incapable of fidelity.  Yes, women too, but it is not as accepted in women as it is in men. I am certain that if two people work at it, non-monogamy can work, however BOTH people have to start at the same place and not try to fit it in afterwards. My problem is that I didn’t sign up for it from the beginning. If I had, I could have dealt with it all better.  If I’d been honest with myself as well, I could have been self-aware enough to know that I am NOT one for fidelity myself. My current relationship proves it! And, just because I have no interest in outside relationships right now, it does not mean I won’t in the future.  I’ve made it clear that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander and the hubby accepts that.

The lesson learned here is to BE HONEST FROM THE BEGINNING. We all spend so much time hiding and lying to ourselves and to others about what we really want and then we try to force ourselves to live by a moral code that we did not create. Someone else said that this was our moral code and we accepted it. I told my husband, it’s not that he’s ACTUALLY seeing anybody else that’s the problem for me, it’s the lying about it that angers me more. The betrayal is making it seem that I’m not worth telling the truth to. True, I’ve made it difficult for him to be truthful by my outbursts, but I’ve learned, through scaling back emotionally, that my outbursts do not encourage honest dialogue. So there are learning curves all around.

Perhaps something can be salvaged after all. I feel better about it now that I give myself time to really think about it and the ramifications of certain choices. It’s not for everyone, but it might be for us.

Available to everyone but Me

My husband cannot say no to anyone, unless it’s me that’s asking.  Despite knowing my pain, despite knowing that I feel like I’m waiting for the axe to fall, despite feeling unwanted and not properly loved, he refuses to give up being what OTHERS want him to be. And what is that? They want him to be a show for their fetishes. He is an entertainer first and last. He gets high on being on show for any and all comers. He’s never refused a gig; musical or sexual.

It does not matter that I believe it demeans him or that I lose respect for him. He doesn’t care. It’s like he WANTS to be debased. Is there some deep-seated need to be humiliated? Some people are into that. Having been humiliated without my consent I cannot imagine anyone desiring to be willingly.  He makes a game of all the things I had no control over growing up. He’s a fetish tourist; a dilettante. He takes nothing and no one seriously.

I, on the other hand, refuse to treat him lightly, especially now that he may be seriously ill. My conscience won’t let me.

It’s Not Hard to Get My Goat This Morning

Television and radio host Glenn Beck deliverin...

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A couple of things bother me today.

Yesterday, had a lovely lunch with my daughter, my best friend, and my sister. Alcohol and other things were involved and as usual it ends with my sister yelling at the top of her voice at me because she disagrees with me politically. My friend sits there bemused and the exchanges sends my daughter outside to smoke. Meanwhile everyone in the neighborhood can hear the exchange which is embarrassing. Should I have stopped it? Yes. Did I? No, because old habits die hard.  You see, my sister is a Christian fundie racist who listens to Glenn Beck and believes all the apocalyptic things the quasi-Christian/Republican right says on the radio/fox news/etc. I used to be just like her. I believed all the doom and gloom stories that I was fed, was a racist, and wanted everyone to just leave me alone so I could do with my money as I saw fit.

Then I met someone on the other side of the world with a loving, compassion about them who challenged me. I also deconverted from a Christianity like my sister’s that blames people for the circumstances they are in without ever thinking “there but for the grace of God…” I no longer mix my politics and my religion. My personal ethic is based on “been there, done that” to the extent that my sister’s never will. I believe politics has to hit home somehow before the reality of what you are espousing sinks in. She says she’s not a bigot, yet rails on about blacks who come to the ER to get their drug fixes. I challenge her on it, but she says she’s right because she sees it. I said that doesn’t mean the whole world is that way and we had a few white people in our small town blowing themselves up in meth labs. We went round and round. Still, when I left that particular brand of Christianity and began listening to something more hopeful, more helpful, and less rugged “screw everybody else” individualism, I became a better person.

This ideological transformation didn’t happen overnight and I still harbor some of the same awful beliefs from that time, but I fight it and anyone who challenges me on it from a racist, fundie standpoint. They can keep their bigoted religious viewpoint if they want, but trying to get them to see without those tinted eyeglasses on seems a lost cause to me.  What set this off? My suggestion to my sister that we’d all be better off if we had a system of health care that helped everyone not just the extortionist insurance industry. My sister is a nurse, and boy did that hit a nerve. Why? I don’t know. But she’s been “Beck-ified.”  I wish I could say that her ideas aren’t typical, but sadly they are typical in the type of churches we hale from.  These types of christians have not been converted to Jesus, but to a type of christo-facist nationalism that equates personal wealth and individualism with salvation, none of which Jesus personally preached.

She later apologized for yelling but “not for her viewpoints.” Of course not. That would mean changing one’s views, which requires a great deal of introspection and humility and an ability to admit when we are wrong. Pretty much in short supply in America these days.

And the other thing that bothered me today?  …. er…I forgot.

Democratic Whores (and Republican too)

Thank you Reg, for sending me to this absolutely magnificent rant of Hunter’s at The Daily Kos about the whorish U. S. Senators and Legislators who are “debating” the Health Care Reform Bill. Here’s a snippet:

With all due respect — which is to say, next to zero — you have got to be kidding me. After months of knock-down, drag-out bullshit from the most mealymouthed, weak-kneed, PAC-funded, cowardly, out of touch, let-them-eat-cakeish, preemptively-surrendering, fake-bipartisaney corporate-humping voter-dodging cash-grubbing incompetents of the Senate, they’ve left it to the top Democratic Sen. GimmeCash McCorporatePants of all to come up with one more last-ditch effort to make sure nothing, absolutely nothing of substance might remain in this bill that would stand in the way of insurance companies continuing to gouge both Americans and the government for every last penny they’ve got.

While all the while ensuring that the number of uninsured Americans stay high (unless we’re willing to simply funnel government cash, with few strings attached, to the very insurance companies causing the problems), and that heath care costs will continue to be irrational and unsustainable. You know, as long as they don’t reach some future imaginary level of too irrational, or too unsustainable, like most of us think we reached decades ago but which the Senate still can’t quite be persuaded that they should give a shit about.

And that’s just a snippet. The rest of this beautiful, much needed kick in the ass to Democrats (and Republicans) is there for your enjoyment. This is what I want to say but aren’t articulate enough to do so.

Wow, That Was Some Vacation!

No, not really, I just had to think of a title. Where’ve I been? Well, I’ve been addicted to Twitter, but don’t want to inflict my inane Twittering on you folks, so no widget in the sidebar for me. Nosiree.  I’ve been around though. Trying to read more, trying to get my shit together as they say. I’ve kind of gotten fed up with the internet sometimes because the political climate is not conducive to good debate. All I can hear is screaming from both sides and it annoys me. So, I’ve stayed out of it.

On another front, I’ve tried to keep up with wonderful blogs like Kittywampus (now on WordPress) and Figleaf, who’re both excellent sources of thoughtful thorough posts about gender issues. I’ve been thinking a lot about these things and finding some new sources through Twitter. But just today, I got a whopper of a comment to one of my posts about patriarchy over at De-conversion blog.  Somebody didn’t get their cave man Wheaties this morning! Check out EK’s comment here. He’s comment #15. I had taken a break from the internet precisely because there were Neanderthals out there just waiting to pounce. Now, I know that I don’t do my research as thoroughly as the aforementioned blogs because I’m not a professional academic, but I do have an opinion and I express my opinion whenever I have a strong one. And I usually think I’m pretty respectful of another’s opinion if they are making attempts to be fair and listen. However, this guy’s (and I assume it’s a guy with the reference to women as objects, i.e. “accompaniment” as he puts it) comments were so way out of line that I wondered if perhaps he wasn’t one of those who like to drive by and stir the pot a bit just to make people angry. Still, I’ve come to expect this type of thing.  It’s not a surprise. The level of hatred is sometimes a surprise, but the sentiment he expresses is not. It proves just what my point is in the post.

So, I realize that there will always be people out there who hate your viewpoint. There will always be people who refuse to grow up, refuse to take responsibility for their words and actions, and who refuse to be civil. They aren’t my problem. And this type of behavior isn’t just for so-called “right wingers.” I’ve seen the same hate spewing from the left and the middle and from anyone who claims to be speaking from a “cause” they feel deeply wedded to. Such anger and hatred though is not worthy of any cause. No one should be so associated with a cause that attacks on it will shred their self esteem.  I think I’ve finally come to the realization that there will always be jerks out there like EK and that we can do nothing about it. We can politely inform, we can plitely give our opinions (as EK does and has every right to do), and we can politely respond. We should expect responses from the “drive by commenters” because there are always those who won’t do the hard work of research, reading, and thinking for themselves. Like children, they are just mad because someone took their playthings (women?) away. They throw tantrums and get angry and even threaten violence, because that’s what it usually comes to with the self absorbed.

So, hopefully, freshly invigorated from lightly ‘wraslin’ a snake such as EK, I can steer you to some great posts like this, and this, and this. If the commenters can’t play nicely, then I’m sure they can find a hole to crawl back into somewhere. All this thinking surely must hurt their brains. (and don’t call me Shirley) 😀

Can we be rationalists in fact?

After a recent post of mine on here called Where Does The Buck Stop?, someone who reads this blog suggested that I might think about removing my own final comment on it.  This comment was made at a time of turbulence, and the suggestion was that I had exposed my evident disturbance too much to public scrutiny. Since I am a contributor to this blog, I can delete my own posts and comments.  I’m grateful to this person, who had my best interests at heart, but the fact that I have decided not to delete that comment started me thinking about the internal forces which influence our actions, and what governs our choices.

That un-deleted comment shows that we are often not as in control of ourselves as we would like to be.  My internal demons could prompt me to fly in the face of my own advice, and start blaming anyone else but me for something going wrong in my life.  However, the hopeful part is that it’s clear that I knew that, and said so. I’m definitely not trying to present myself as being some kind of self-aware authority, but simply to say that, as well as plunging us into despair, our internal dialogue can drag us back from the abyss as well as prompting us to hurl ourselves into it.  We have choices, and making the right choice can be redemptive and re-invigorating.

The processes which bring us to these points are of course obscure because they are subjective.  We can only judge the outcome by results – by the “fruits” as Christians are wont to say.  That comment shows me feeling I’ve got myself into a bad place, desperately trying to claw my way back.  I now feel I have done that.  Whether I’m right or wrong is of course impossible to say for sure until the game’s over, if we know anything at that point.  So the woolly business of “feeling right” is about all that’s left to those of us who don’t run our lives on external absolutes gathered from the Bible, the Koran ETC. So how we account to ourselves for our actions, when faced with difficult choices, inhabits the same subjective world of experience in which any “faith” or “religious” experiences live.  Crucial choices may be made by standards which won’t be apparent to anyone outside ourselves;  actions which may appear plain crazy to others. At those times, like Martin Luther, we have nothing on which to stand but conviction.

In a recent post, MOI said: “I will say that faith is not the final answer to anything and that science can better explain the actual world of our senses far better than faith can, so trying to make societal rules from such an experiential medium is not a good idea.”  The other starting point for this post was a feeling that I needed to respond to that quote, without disagreeing with it. As MOI says, we can’t start telling others what to do on the basis of individual or group conviction.  As a side note however, having established that principle, I wonder how evils such as slavery might have been eradicated if left to the free market, were it not for the convictions of people like Wilberforce and Lincoln. But I do agree with MOI in principle about the dangers of applying our internal drivers to the choices of others.

To go back to our internal world, it’s clear to me from my own recent experience that we can’t look to rational quantification for answers. As someone who has lived much of his life in head mode, I have recently been driven to the realization that our inner feelings, what we describe as “heart”, will often be the arbiter of our actions and our sense of responsibility for them, as it is for faith as one possible determinant of the human conscience.

I wish U.S. readers a peaceful public holiday today, and the rest of us a productive Monday.

BritishReg