Tuesday, July 23, 2019

What Are You Looking For?

Aca (Adult Children of Alcoholics) talks a lot about recreating childhood chaos. I’ve always known that as the “at home feeling”. It says that many of us are ill-at-ease with the peace that might become a part of our lives and that we subconsciously will find ways to recreate our “at home feeling”.

I hate the idea, and yet, I’m pretty sure I do it on occasion. Life can be going fairly smoothly and my brain will tell me there’s something wrong and that it needs to be fixed. It’s a pretty nasty piece of work made worse by the fact that I am completely unaware that it’s happening.

Luckily, I have a program and support, some tools and my higher power to help me in the process of changing. I want peace to prevail even if my brain is still searching out the chaos of my parental home. 

Monday, July 22, 2019

Wasted Words

The other night, right after a meeting, I got a bite to eat at the bar where the Boy Scout is working. I sat in the corner of the bar and on my left was Carol, a woman in her mid-60s that comes to the bar just to see my guy. She acknowledge me when I took my seat and then proceeded to turn in her chair with her back to me and, to be fair, I think she was enjoying the company of the gentleman next to her. Being an introvert, I was OK with it. Once in a while something was said and she would tilt her head my way and reply or glance but otherwise I was looking at her ponytail. The person on her left finished up and exited.

The Boy Scout came over and engage the two of us in conversation then went on his merry way. Carol now decided that she would talk to me. She turned to me and said, “You know, I told (Boy Scout) that being a bartender is the best way to meet women”.  “Oh really”, I replied. “Oh yes”, she says, “he’s good looking, articulate and the best thing in the room because he’s sober and the other men are not”. I just smiled and she went on, “He acted surprised when he came to me and confirmed that, indeed, women were passing him their information”. “Is that so”, I said. For some reason, I got the distinct feeling she disapproved of me. I didn’t feel the need to let her know I didn’t give a rats ass of whether she approved of me or that women were handing him their information.

It’s very nice to not really care if people are trying to bait, insult or make you feel small. I’m not insulted. She likes my man, she thinks he’s the cat's pajamas. Truthfully, in some ways he is and in other ways.......well, not so much. She only knows the bartender that loves literature, loves to talk and lends out books. I’ve no need to tell her the rest of the story, it belongs to us.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Holding Space

He approached me from the sidewalk. Thin, quite angular, spare in his movements, with a shock of white hair. While his clothes looked well worn, they were clean. He could’ve easily been mistaken for an aging environmentalist and, for all I know, he is.

But he started talking about the lottery first. Told me how one should play Fantasy5 because the others pulled from more numbers. He started spouting off statistics, something about Farmers Insurance and how much money you and 5 of your friends would get if you won the lottery. Then, when you win, you go to Bank of America and put your money in a box and wait until someone who is getting a divorce and is selling a 1965 muscle car. He will need the money so you can pick it up for $6,000 and sell it for $15,000.

I made some assumptions about this man and felt a little nervous but then I tried hard to see him as person and not a label. It kind of worked. I was still being cautious but I stayed and listened. He told me that we women need to stop procreating and take our place to fix this world. He said we are the ones that power the sun.

He said, “Do you know what happens when a gun control law passes? People go crazy buying guns. What did they think would happen when they said they were going to build a wall?”  Then he said he was in Vietnam and that he works with amputees to give back.

He was pretty much done and started to walk away. I told him to have an amazing day. He said he already did and “thank you for listening” then he crossed the street and got into a 15 year old, sea foam green minivan. That was unexpected.

I got in my car and felt a mixture of emotions. An ache for mentally ill and what they must have to encounter day in and day out, and a bit of sadness that I cannot explain. I’m glad I met him, gave him my attention and held space. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Forgive me for...

  • wanting you to fix the discomfort I am feeling
  • vomiting out my truth, in the hopes that you might have words of wisdom to take these feelings away, never once considering that you would now carry a burden that is not yours to carry
  • not owning and dealing like the emotionally healthy person I so desire to be
  • throwing my anxiety on anyone who might be close by, guilt by proximity
  • having an inner child that needed more than the inner parent had to give, so she looked outside

Monday, July 15, 2019

A Word To The Wise

“We don’t become our wisest selves without effort. Our growth requires us to become skilled in perspective taking, in managing our emotions, in crafting positive narratives, and in forming intimate relationships. We develop the skills of building joy, gratitude, and meaning into every day. By learning these lessons, we cultivate emotional resilience.
~Mary Pipher, Women Rowing North

I love the idea of being able to grow and change still at 55. So many people hit adulthood and then go on cruise control, and while they still take in facts, perhaps know more about the world, in the important areas like emotional resilience, gratitude and intimacy, they remain stagnant. As if the act of becoming an adult, turning 18 or 21, formed who you essentially are and there is nothing more to be done in the arena. I am very interested in the positive narrative. Looking at situations that anger, confound or frustrate, then trying to see them from a different point of view. Not making ugly assumptions or, at least, trying to see the broken person beneath the action.

I plan on growing until the day I die, there's always room for improvement.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Do You Stand?

Megan Rapinoe said, "I'm not going to the fucking White House".

Some took that as the ultimate offense but did they look at why she said what she did? We have a president who has repeatedly made comments that objectify women in the worst ways (*see below). In a time where we had been moving forward in our society, becoming more accepting, even if slowly, we are now taking great strides backwards on many levels.

Megan is gay woman. Please tell me why in the world anybody thinks this lady should pay her respects to this president? What has this man done to deserve it? Just holding an office is not enough. We have had and still have world leaders that deserve not ONE IOTA of respect. 

Over and over again, he has made it clear how the most valuable aspect of a woman is her looks. He would date his own daughter because..."Yeah, she's really something, and what a beauty, that one. If I weren't happily married and, ya know, her father... ,"  In addition to that we have his record on LGBTQ issues such as the ban on transgender soldiers in the military that went into effect in April...and go here for more More Discriminatory Actions. taken. Plus one should never forget that, "There were good and bad people on both sides."

While it may or may not have been my choice in language, she is taking a stand and taking a lot of crap while doing it. History tells us that there is no such thing as social change without the people who are willing to push back and take the crap. Just open any Facebook feed and see how many times she is being referred to as a "CUNT". 

As for me, I stand with her. I am not well educated, not incredibly articulate, but I know right from wrong. This is wrong. On equal pay for women, being outspoken that objectification of women is unacceptable especially from the highest office, on LGBTQ rights, on supporting the people who are daring to push back in a very open and public way....I stand with them.

*On Hillary Clinton
"If Hillary Clinton can't satisfy her husband, what makes her think she can satisfy America?” [April 16, 2015]

On Clinton taking a bathroom break at a Democratic debate: "I know where she went, it's disgusting, I don't want to talk about it … No, it's too disgusting. Don't say it, it's disgusting." [Dec. 21, 2015]

"Does she look presidential, fellas? Give me a break." [Sept. 6, 2016]

On Steffi Graf
"You never get to the face because the body's so good." [Sept. 23, 2004]

On Megyn Kelly
"She gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions. You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever." [Aug. 7, 2015]

"Bimbo." [Aug. 7, 2015]

On Bette Midler
"While @BetteMidler is an extremely unattractive woman, I refuse to say that because I always insist on being politically correct." [Oct. 28, 2012]

On Melania Trump, his wife
When asked if he would stay with her if she was disfigured in a car crash: "How do the breasts look?" [April 11, 2005]

On the women of The Apprentice
“It's certainly not groundbreaking news that the early victories by the women on The Apprentice were, to a very large extent, dependent on their sex appeal." [2004]

On Carly Fiorina
"Look at that face. Would anybody vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president? I mean, she's a woman, and I'm not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?" [Sept. 9, 2015]

On women, generally
"Women have one of the great acts of all time. The smart ones act very feminine and needy, but inside they are real killers. The person who came up with the expression 'the weaker sex' was either very naive or had to be kidding. I have seen women manipulate men with just a twitch of their eye — or perhaps another body part." [1997]

"26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military — only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?" [May 7, 2013]

To a female reporter: "We could say, politically correct, that look doesn't matter, but the look obviously matters. Like you wouldn't have your job if you weren't beautiful." [2014]

"I've got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything ... Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything." [2005]