Thursday, December 27, 2007

Rejection & Failure

It’s a message that’s been haunting me for some time now. People keep bringing it up: they didn’t get the part, their work was turned down for publishing, they didn’t get the job they wanted or the person their heart was after. Who’s a stranger to rejection? Rejection stems from a fear of failure. I’ve been speaking to a friend about this who is also a writer and struggles with rejection as well. I’ve been rejected many times. My music and songwriting has been rejected along with my photography, writing, painting and commercial art. I’ve submitted my writing to a slew of publishing houses, agents and even magazines. “Not my cup of tea”, or “this isn’t our thing”. Discouragement and fear set in, but for some reason, I didn’t give up. It not only has to do with successors in life- it holds many facets of trials in life, especially relationships with people.

So I pray that God, who gives you hope, will keep you happy and full of peace as you believe in him. May you overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. ~Romans 15:13

I read Word For The Day for Thursday’s Dec. 27th's issue:

Get Over it!

“Consider Moses, the lawgiver and liberator to whom God gave the Ten Commandments. His name is still known all over the earth 4,000 years after his death. But remember, this same Moses was a murderer. He was listed in Egypt as a public enemy number one. He was a fugitive from justice who fled to the wilderness where he lived for 40 years as a shepherd. Yet with the chisel of adversity God was shaping Moses to stand in Pharaoh’s majestic palace and announce, “Let my people go!” A nation was born because this man refused to stop struggling to achieve his divine destiny.
Don’t be paralyzed by your past. If God used Moses, He’ll use you. Everyone goes through adversity. The phrase to remember when things go wrong is, “Get over it!” Have you been hurt? Get over it! Have you been betrayed? Get over it! Have you failed? Get over it! Paul writes, “In every thing give thanks.” In reversal, give thanks. In heartache, give thanks. In poverty and in prosperity, give thanks. God is greater than the criticism you’re getting. He’s greater than the giants you’re facing. He’s greater than the mountain you’re climbing. He’s greater than the burdens you’re carrying. Look at the Bible record of men and women who chose to focus on the silver lining, not the dark cloud. These people didn’t curse the darkness, they shone a light and scattered it. They chose the right attitude, an attitude of faith. Come on, stop hiding from success because you’re afraid to fail. Failure means you’re a learner, not a loser. Stop fearing risk! Take God’s hand, step out and fulfill His purpose for your life.”

This message struck me odd, as I was trying to find answers to all my frustrations and failures. I prayed and meditated on my problems: my struggles with life’s circumstances, heartaches and failed attempts to get where I wanted to be. I kept asking God to take my fear away and miraculously, little by little, I’m doing things that I thought I’d never do. My anxiety seems to be subsiding and I feel like a completely different person because of this changed attitude of mine toward life itself. With the lack of fear, I’m not afraid to “fail” anymore. It’s more of a challenge to go get it, or at least try to. It’s more of working harder to get from point A. to point B. It’s a matter of faith and not luck. It’s exactly where God wants you to be: in faith and love and to know that God is with you every step of the way. He’ll never let you down. Even in our darkest times, there’s always a glimmer of hope; a rainbow after the storm. When we think things can’t get any worse---think of how worse off we can really be.

My sister Dawn once told me what her pastor said when I was really discouraged, “If we change the way we look at things – the world changes around us.”

I’m putting my rose colored glasses on and stepping out in faith. I hope you’ll join me!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Dysfuntional Christmas

(Actual photo of dad's lobsters.)
Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled to be spending time with the family this Christmas, however, there are a few quirks that need adjusting on many levels when it comes to the whole “Christmas festivities”, which happens to fall on Christmas Eve for us. The entire family rounds up at my parents’ house at 7pm. Every single year, my father makes the feast of 7 fishes, because it’s basically the Italian tradition. During the course of a decade, one by one, each family member has begun to start the process of developing some type of allergy to shellfish. My father, being the retired owner of a fish market down on South Street Seaport in New York---he wouldn’t have Christmas any other way. Fish was it. That was the permanent menu from now on. We don’t know any other way.

The first sister to develop a shellfish allergy had the worst reaction of all. She literally blew up like a tick and her throat closed up. She had to be sent to the emergency room. Now, because of my father’s demands, she brings a backpack full of Benedryl for the occasion. Then, another sister of mine started to get an all over body rash from eating lobster. She insists it’s not the shellfish and keeps on eating as she turns a bright shade of red- much like a lobster. Then I have another sister who is in the clear----she can eat any fish, shell or no shell. Me? I used to eat shellfish, however, I’m limited to only clams and mussels. If I eat shrimp or lobster, I develop these huge blood blisters inside my mouth. Nobody believed me, especially my mother.

“Ohhhh it’s all in your head!” she said, as she kept piling my plate with more shrimp.
“Ma! I can hardly even talk because they’re so many of them!”
“You’ve been eating this all your life Debbie! You’re not allergic to shellfish.”
she insisted.

Then, without hesitation, in front of my family, I opened my mouth and showed them what was brewing. One of my sisters looked and then almost vomited and passed out from the sight. She couldn’t believe what was happening. Mom feared the look on my father’s face, as this meant that Christmas Eve might include a turkey or roasted duck of some sort from now on. How can their daughters be breaking the Italian tradition? The whole ‘it’s all in your head’ bit was a ploy to keep the feast of 7 fishes going.

Madelene, my partner, had an experience of her own. While sitting on the couch trying to dissect her huge monstrosity of a lobster, my sister Cathy looks up at her and says, “You do know that’s a huge sea roach, right?” Madelene looked at her—gazed at her in shock, then slowly, placed her overflowing plate of…sea roach onto my mother's gigantic coffee table. Even though Madelene’s not allergic to any shellfish, she no longer touches it.

So now, 4 people are pegged with being allergic to shellfish. This of course, being 4 out of 6 in my family—not including their boyfriends or husbands. My parents, being adamant about serving shellfish every year still goes on, because there are other people besides our family that attend our dysfunctional function. Cathy, my sister started bringing pans of penne ala vodka thank God. The appetizers beforehand usually include an antipasto, some pigs in a blanket for the kids (and me), as well as tons of chips and cheeses. We fill up on that junk and guzzle plenty of martinis. God bless my friend Tamar, who celebrates Hanukah and brings over the gefilte fish! That stuff I can eat! She prepares it so nicely and I end up eating everything that she brings. I just might convert to Judaism. (That reminds me Tamar, are you coming this year?)
The picture from left to right: Madelene, Tamar and my mother.

And yet, there’s another problem I have always witnessed when I was still living at home upstairs from my parents’ house: the timing and preparation of their Christmas festivities. Now not for nothing, but if you’re going cook dinner for a bunch of Italian vultures, I understand if you need to cook the bulk of it a day before. My parents? They start cooking----well, I think today is the day they started! Nobody in my family believed me when I said I smelled shrimp being boiled, lobster being thrown into the pot and clams being baked at 2am----4 days before Christmas Eve!

“Oh you’re crazy Deb!” my sisters will say. Crazy? I live here! Are you kidding? I’m witnessing this with my very own nose, eyes and ears and for the love of God, no one believes me! So, with amusement, I sit on the couch and watch my sisters consume some of the fermented goodies going down their intestinal tracks, expecting a call a day later saying, “I don’t know why I’m so sick!" But, I’m a good sister, because I make sure that the martinis are strong enough to handle any bacteria that they gorged themselves with.

I hope you and your family enjoy this Christmas holiday. As we say, it’s not the present giving, the food or the spirits---it’s the celebration of Jesus, even if most of us are spending it in the ER.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Love: Is It Based On Race, Gender Or Religion?

Lately, I’ve been rummaging around in message boards and tinkering with the minds of many people. I brought up the whole homosexuality vs. religion debate of course, and bumped into the same wall about the interpretation of the bible. Why do many people equate homosexuality with sex only? When speaking about a heterosexual couple, people tend to think, oh well isn’t that lovely, these two will get married eventually, have kids and live a happy life. But, when speaking about a gay couple, people usually gravitate to the concepts of a sexual nature only.

I had a discussion with one woman on this message board who asked me what I thought about the passages in Romans, where it speaks about how people burned with passion and lust towards each other of the same sex. She gave me these scriptures:

Romans 1:26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural.

Romans 1:27 And in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

Romans 1:28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.

I explained my views about how this doesn’t say anything about a loving relationship between two people of the same sex; it speaks volumes about sex only. I wanted her to point out where the bible says, other than Leviticus (the old law), that homosexuality between two people of the same sex in a loving relationship/union is a sin. All she could pull out of her hat were the scriptures listed in Romans. These were days of orgies and people having various and numerous sex partners. Lust is not love. This speaks about promiscuity.

I’ll admit, there are perverted homosexuals out there, but there are also perverted heterosexuals out there. Why are gays and lesbians all categorized up into this bulk package of perversion? Why don’t they view heterosexuals as “perverts” when having numerous sex partners? Some do of course, but I speak about those who live by the rule of “religion” and cast down judgments on every single person.

Ironically enough, a gentleman (who will remain anonymous), who is half black and half white (mixed cultures), explained to me the best he could that it would be very difficult if my partner and I had children, due to other people not approving of it. I asked him with all due respect, was it easy for his kids to grow up in school, being that they were half black and half white? The difficulty shouldn’t be in shame-----it stems from the intolerance, small-mindedness of people who live shallow and empty lives. Kids are cruel. They say things that they eventually regret when they’re older. They’ll pick on you if you’re wearing something they don’t like. It never ends. It’s just the process of growing up and seeing different people. It’s called “life”. Some people never change. They continue on with their prejudices and hatred towards one another.

I bet everyone has a story of their own when they were younger. How many of you can say you were made fun of while being in grade school? Were you picked on about something? Did someone tell you negative things about yourself? Did you ever run home crying because some kid made fun of you?
It's a shame when children are brought up in a hateful mindset and intolerance for one another. Love has no knowledge of color, race, gender or religion in my opinion.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Should Fundamentalist Christians Have Children?

The other night while watching television with my girlfriend, I saw a documentary on the Yates massacre that happened back in 2002. Andrea Yates killed all 5 of her small children. Yates had the perfect life, until her husband Rusty got her more into a cult-like state and told her that they didn’t need so many materialistic things. So, they moved from a house into a trailer, and from a trailer into a bus. Andrea never said anything. She obeyed her husband, because that’s what the bible tells us to do. She became a complete zombie diagnosed with a mental problem, but, it wasn’t so much as a mental problem as it was her being brainwashed by her radical religious husband.

Andrea was a normal woman when she married Rusty. She took care of her children and was a fun-loving mother who had a head on her shoulders. Little by little, the process of her husband’s brainwashing took effect and she started to literally deteriorate before everyone’s eyes, including her family.

In an article on the CNN website, it tells more…

HOUSTON, Texas (CourtTV) -- Shortly after Andrea Yates methodically drowned her five children in the bathtub, she told an investigator that she did it because she was such a bad mother she had doomed her young to eternal damnation.

“The only way to save them, she said, was to kill them.

Yates' attorneys are now trying to save the former nurse and Texas housewife from a life in prison. (Watch opening statements -- 1:50)

For a second time to a new jury, they are putting forth a case that Yates is not guilty of murdering her children because she was insane on June 20, 2001, the day she drowned them.

"There was no question she was psychotic, not depressed, but absolutely psychotic," defense attorney George Parnham told jurors Monday during his opening statement. Yates had a history of mental illness, Parnham said.

Records show Yates had twice attempted suicide, was diagnosed with recurrent postpartum depression, and had been hospitalized several times for psychiatric care.

When first asked by detectives why she killed her children, Parnham told jurors Yates was unable to "connect the dots" and she had no answer.

But she was put on medication for 24 hours, Parnham said, and she began to tell a doctor -- who is expected to testify for the defense -- the reasons for her unspeakable actions.

Mark of the beast

"She talks about a prophecy," Parnham said.

"These children of hers needed to die in order to be saved," he added, "because Andrea Yates was such a bad mother that she was causing these children to deteriorate and be doomed to the fires of eternal damnation."

Parnham said that Yates believed she had the sign of the devil, 666, burned on her scalp, and she begged therapists to look at her head. What they found, Parnham said, was not the sign of the beast, but scabbing from where Yates had tried to pick away the numbers she thought were there.

Defense experts are expected to testify that "knowing that something is illegal does not mean that you know something is wrong," Parham said.

But prosecutors say Yates understood what she was doing when she pinned each child to the bottom of the tub until they were dead. She knew what she was doing when she laid their lifeless bodies side by side in the bed she shared with her husband and called 911.

"It was wrong," Assistant District Attorney Kaylynn Williford said during opening statements.

Yates knew right from wrong that morning, prosecutors say, and therefore, by Texas law, should not be found legally insane.

Yates calm in court

Yates, 41, sat quietly at the defense table staring at her hands as Williford described how she called her children one by one into the bathroom to kill them.

She started with Paul, 3, then Luke, 2, John, 5, Mary, 6 months, and ended with Noah, 7. She later told investigators the boy asked, "What's wrong with Mary?" when he saw his baby sister floating face-down in water tainted by urine and feces.

Williford told jurors that all the children showed bruises and signs that they had struggled, even the infant girl.

Yates' ex-husband Russell "Rusty" Yates appeared in court Monday with his mother.

Andrea Yates' own mother was also in court, but sat at the other end of the row and did not speak to her former son-in law. As witnesses for the defense, they were ordered by the judge to leave the courtroom and will not be allowed back until they testify.

Rusty Yates, a NASA engineer, told Courttvnews.com that he remarried earlier this year but says he still speaks with his wife and is very supportive of her defense.

Andrea Yates was found guilty on March 12, 2002, of the capital murder of three of her five children by a jury that deliberated just under four hours. Prosecutors did not bring charges for the deaths of Paul and Luke. (Full coverageexternal link)

Conviction overturned

But Yates' conviction was overturned by an appeals court because a prosecution witness, forensic psychiatrist Park Dietz, testified about an episode of "Law and Order" in which a woman is acquitted of drowning her children by reason of insanity.

Prosecutors suggested to the first jury that the episode gave Yates the idea of how to get away with murder. After the verdict was reached, attorneys discovered that no such episode existed.

Her conviction was overturned in January 2005. Jurors in Yates' first trial rejected the death penalty, saving her from a potential death sentence in the second trial.

If she is found guilty, she faces life in prison. If jurors find her not guilty by reason of insanity, Yates will be sent to a psychiatric hospital and her case will be monitored by the court, which will determine when she could be released.

Jurors also listened Monday to Yates' 911 phone call, placed minutes after she drowned her last child. During the brief recorded conversation, Yates sounds calm, asks for an officer to come to the house, and tells the dispatcher that, no, her husband is not home.

But Yates' breathing is heavy, and she sounds disoriented when the operator repeatedly asks her why she needs police. "I just need them to be here," Yates finally replies. "You sure you're alone?" the operator asks. "No, my kids are here," Yates replies.”

So in order for Andrea Yates to “save her children”, she had to kill them---breaking one of the Ten Commandments. This is why I truly believe that a lot of organized religions, such as being a fundamental Christian is harmful, not only to society, but to themselves as well. How far will they go? How far did Andrea go? She killed her own 5 children, which tells me if she can kill those beautiful kids, she can kill anyone for the sake of anything in the name of religion. She claimed that they weren't developing correctly, due to her absence of being in the mental hospital and that they were destined to spend eternity in hell if she let them live.

How scary is that? And most fundamentalists believe that homosexuals shouldn't have kids. Something to think about...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Repent of Your Sins!

It made sense for a long time: love the sinner, but hate the sin. I understand it and I know what it means, but sometimes, something just doesn’t settle right within my heart about that statement. It’s like me saying, ‘love the preacher, but hate his/her sermon.’ It means you just don’t believe in what the preacher is preaching. Is it simply not liking their character? Doesn’t the preach go hand-in-hand with the person’s character? Or are we listening to something that’s been told over and over like a broken record?

There are two categories I’m going to put “sin” in: human nature type of sin and evil sin. There’s a distinct difference between the two. Human nature sin is where all of our weaknesses fail to make us perfect, ie: Christ. We keep making the same mistakes over and over and over again. We can correct them of course, just like quitting smoking, but there are other sins waiting around the corner for us. It’s called “life”. Life happens and we fall into the pit of human nature sin. Just because we gave up one doesn’t mean we’re no longer sinners.

Evil sin: a desire to hurt, harm or injure someone or something. It’s the type of sin that you would see in a horror flick---an intentional desire to destroy. The over analyzing typical hypocritical fundamentalist will never understand the difference between the two. To them, we’re rotten to the core. We’re disgusting human beings with no soul; no purpose other than to sin and wait for Satan to open up the fiery pits of hell for us. Who are they fooling? If they can’t admit to their own shortcomings, are they denying that they’re even human at all? To be perfect is to be Jesus Himself. We can strive to be more like Jesus, however, we’re burdened with sin---whichever type(s) fall upon us. Human nature sin is what we were born with; a cross or two or three to bear.

The one awful thing that follows behind human nature sin and the battle between debates of the fundamentalist Christian types is the guilt. Guilt can destroy anybody if they let it. Who seeks to destroy and kill? …Satan. Who seeks to take all of our joy away? …Satan. And who’s the one fallen angel that seems to know all of our weaknesses? …Satan. The weakness of listening to a judgmental Christian can put us under the spell of the devil’s evil deed. If you feel constant guilt: the devil has won. There’s two types of guilt associated with the struggling Christian though: the guilt that derives from Satan and the guilt that convicts us. Big difference. The conviction type of guilt shows us the right thing to do. For example: you hurt somebody’s feeling or said something awful to them. Guilt strikes you and the conviction that follows is apologizing. Simple. The guilt that the devil tries to torture you with is the guilt that’s associated with human nature sin---not evil sin.

“Throw the first stone”, almost sounds like a cliché now. How true is that statement though? How many people can sit there and accuse you of sin, when in fact, they’re paddling in the same boat with you? What makes another sin worse than another? If you think about it, fundamentalists and hardcore bible thumping intolerant Christians seem to focus on one particular sin and run with it. They never lose focus on that one sin. I wonder why? Is it that they’re struggling with the very sin themselves? Or is it that they need to feel superior over other people in order to feel important? Whenever I come across one of these judgmental Christians, it’s not done out of love. I have been advised by certain Christians where as they told me what they believed and then gave me the “choice” to do what I will with it. Jesus gave us “choice”---and we’re supposed to be more like Him. So why can’t people give us the choice? Why are they choosing to slam us with ugly words and make us feel awful about ourselves? There’s an underlying reason for it all. In my opinion, it’s repressed feelings for living a life of “perfection”---to what they think they have. The truth is, they don’t have it at all. After the day is done, they’re the same people just like you and me.

Take for instance somebody telling another person to repent of their sins. They repent. Then what happens? They sin again and again and again and again. Repenting continuously is a good thing: it means to admit to your shortcomings. We all have our shortcomings and weaknesses. Why not fess up to it? Isn’t this why Jesus died on the cross for us?

Repent!

I sin again and again and again…

Repent of all your sins!

Repression comes into play and I sin again and again and again and again and even more.

When will it stop?

It does stop once we realize that Jesus' death happened for a reason... Will they ever be convinced?

Friday, December 14, 2007

People Suck

Have you ever been used by somebody you cared about--not even necessarily relationship-wise, but used in the terms of them taking advantage of your good nature? We’re supposed to give without expectations and expect nothing more than a ‘thank you’ or some sort of appreciation. But what if that appreciation isn’t reciprocated or acknowledged? It shouldn’t matter, right? But, deep down inside, we feel this horrible twinge of sadness, because we've done so much for this person and we didn’t even get an acknowledgment. What’s an acknowledgement? Maybe it’s just a “thank you”. Or maybe, it’s some sort of gesture to indicate that it was needed; a sigh of relief.

I was really hurt by a friend today. I feel bitter. I feel used. I feel all these negative things that I want to get out of my system. I hate feeling this way. I want to understand “why”, but sometimes, there are people out there that are brought up differently, or they don’t have it in their hearts to realize what they’re doing to others.

So, right now, I feel like I’m done trying to give give give to this one person who needed help. I’m tapped out. I’m tapped out of sympathy, compassion and understanding right now. I really feel bad and it leaves a sour taste in my mouth. It’s going to be hard to let somebody “in” again.

Have you ever experienced being used before? Even if it was just for your time and patience---just listening to them when they cried over the phone about their debts, their heartaches or other problems they may have been having. Did you ever find yourself giving them gifts just to cheer them up or writing them a little friendly note just to let them know how special they are and then get slapped right back in the face again?

I don’t understand people sometimes. Maybe you can enlighten me… I feel like I’m being intolerant. Yes---intolerant to other people’s behaviors. Is it me?

Maybe you can help me see it differently...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

She's Gay! Throw Her Out of Church!

Is it called “promoting sin” or reassuring everyone that our sins have been taken away by Christ? You decide. If everything were out in the open while being inside a church, how many people would hide their heads? When the light falls upon those who sin…everyone gets the spotlight---everyone. Not one person is exempt.

“Throw him out of our church! He’s gay! He’s a sinner!”
“Throw her out of the church! She’s a divorcee remarried to her new husband while her ex is still alive! She’s a sinner!”
“Throw that family out of church! They had a seafood dinner last night and that’s detestable in God’s eyes!” They’re sinners!
“Throw that kid out of our church! He had an impure thought about the girl he walks to school with! He’s a sinner!”
“Throw that man out of our church! He shaved his beard! He’s a sinner!”
“Throw her out of church! She’s told a white lie! She told her friend that her hair looked great, when in fact, it was just awful! She’s a sinner!
“Throw her out! She’s a gossip! She told her friend about the lady in church who had an affair with her co-worker! She’s a sinner! Wait---they’re all sinners!”

If we all focused on what’s thought to be a sin, then everybody would be kicked out of the church (proverbially speaking of course).

“You and I are Jews by birth, not ‘sinners’ like the Gentiles. And yet we Jewish Christians know that we become right with God, not by doing what the law commands, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be accepted by God because of our faith in Christ-and not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be saved by obeying the law.” ~Galatians 2:15-16

“Accept Christians who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it is all right to eat anything. But another believer who has a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who think it is all right to eat anything must not look down on those who won’t. And those who won’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. Who are you to condemn God’s servants? They are responsible to the Lord, so let him tell them whether they are right or wrong. The Lord’s power will help them do as they should. In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. Each person should have a personal conviction about this matter.” ~Romans 14:1-5
I wonder, who has the right to really judge somebody else?
This is a post dedicated to Gary. He's been back and forth debating with me over on this post...

Friday, December 07, 2007

Homosexuality: The Common Denominator?

A lot of people say it doesn’t matter. They say they don’t care and ‘to each their own’, but the truth is, they do care, or at least they’re curious about it. There seems to be a major fascination with the unknown, and sometimes, there’s a bigger fascination with something that’s known all to well to them. When hit between the eyes with the question that tugs on their own sexuality, they pull away and say it doesn’t matter, or deny anything that has any involvement with them. There’s a saying that whenever somebody hates something about a particular person, it usually has a lot to do with whatever they hate about themselves. Do you find this to be true? I hate stubbornness in a person. The reason for that is because I’m stubborn myself. I don’t want to be beaten at my own game. (Probably a bad example), but you get my idea.

Repressed feelings can only be washed up ashore in a negative light. It comes off as defensive, combative and usually holds a sword of pain. Instead of avoiding what they hate, they draw towards it more; they focus on the very thing they detest. They mock and degrade whoever holds the one thing that the offender possesses: homosexuality. There are some people who are very comfortable in their own skin who aren’t afraid to touch upon issues regarding homosexuality. That’s another story. But when people who bash gays and lesbians for their orientation, it goes beyond the normal type of mocking. It hits upon the very issue that they struggle with themselves.

Religion. People brought up in certain faiths are sometimes raised with the mindset that homosexuality is a bad thing – it’s detestable to God. Even if a believer does hold this as truth, if he/she is not gay, they won’t focus totally on the issue. There are many other “issues” to tend to other than homosexuality. But, when you get somebody of religious standards bashing and mocking the homosexual community, it most likely has everything to do with their insecurity with their own sexuality. They’re not ‘trying to be more like Jesus’----they’re literally judging one another and throwing stones at everyone who seems to possess their similar qualities.

I had a person email me and ask me which church she should go to, since she’s gay and is also a believer in the trinity. I gave her a few options for the New York City area, and advised her to focus on God only while worshipping, and focus less on the people who are in there. She was scared of being judged by others. I suggested that she didn’t resort to other “lenient” religions, (which will remain nameless for now), and start with new age or other beliefs that may lead her astray from Christ. These “Christians” that she dealt with in the past judged her, ridiculed her and made her feel like less of a person. Reminder: Jesus would have never done that to someone.

Do you think religious homophobes, the ones who focus so much on homosexuality, are the ones that are repressing their own ‘cross to bear’?

Or, do you think that these people are genuinely trying to help homosexuals from a future of fire and brimstone?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Hell On Earth?

Sometimes I wonder if I’m living it: hell on earth. Other times, I feel like God’s on my side. Some say that hell is a compilation of depression, anxiety, anger, pride, lust and pain. Doesn’t that fit the description of life here on earth? We all go through depressive states, anxiety of different forms, and other things that we can all relate to. There are people who believe that life here on earth is hell. Of course this goes against what I believe in, however, I feel that evil is much more prominent than 'good' here on earth. There are many people who insist that there can’t possibly be a God with all these bad things happening in our world. I can see their why they think that, but I also know what I feel to be true.

Enslavement to sin: human nature and human desires. How do we manage to be perfect? Perfection is only seen in Christ, Jesus. We can’t possibly live up to His perfection, however they do tell us that we can try to be more like him the best we can. How do we know when we’re doing “enough”? Whose idea on “enough”…is enough? Who can judge what is “enough”? Each person holds their own cross to bear; their own favorite deadly sin. Pick one, pick two, pick all seven of them if you want. Aren’t there more sins then just the seven deadly ones? The Ten Commandments are to be kept and followed too. Then you have all of the ‘in between’ types of sins. The 'gray area' sins. So many sins, so little time here on earth.

If we were baptized from the original sin and believe that Christ died for all of our past and present sins, then aren’t we forgiven for everything? If we don’t have “evil intentions” with an evil heart, then are we even sinning at all if it’s all out of human nature? I sometimes write about how some people take for granted the death of Jesus and what it stood for. For instance, if we fully believe that Jesus died up on the cross, then why do some Christians feel that the old law still exists? It was abolished when Christ died up on the cross, as it says so in the bible.

Back to my main question: are we choosing to live in a temporary hell, just because some Christians make other people feel guilty about being human? Or do you feel that our human nature- our animalistic instincts, even if we love God, will still validate our ticket into eternal damnation?

Monday, December 03, 2007

One of the Seven Deadly Sins: Pride

Have you ever wondered if you’ve changed over the years? Have you ever looked back on your life and realized you’ve made some major adjustments? Even in relationships, sometimes the two people change. Sometimes, only one person changes. Or, can we even say that any one of them have changed at all? Whether you prefer to call it growth or you prefer to call it a few steps back, if the two people aren’t looking in the same direction in life, the relationship usually falls apart. How can two people stay together if they take different paths? That one fork in the road can totally devastate the relationship. Maybe later, the two roads join together, and you can continue holding hands again, and other times, those two roads never meet again.


In my opinion, “pride” is one of the biggest things that destroys relationships of any kind. When pride gets in the way of forgiveness and compassion, it becomes cold, almost spiritless and indifferent. They say it takes a big person to say they’re sorry, however, I think it takes a bigger person to actually forgive—but to forgive genuinely. Complete forgiveness has no room for pride. Its ingredients consists of this: love, compassion, warmth, forgetting offenses and wrongdoings, overcoming anger and the ability to seek out the benefit of the doubt in people.


Pride, being one of the seven deadly sins, seems to hold a positive word in many cases. To be proud – in any circumstance, always stems from “you”…or better yet, “me”. “I’m so proud of my son! Look at his grades!” To be proud means the parent is proud, due to his possible upbringing because of “the parent”---not the son. Pride looks inside the person who’s speaking. “I’m so happy for my son! Look at his grades!” That implies to me, that the parent is genuinely happy for their son, instead of looking at their own selves, giving them a pat on the back. Again, as I’ve said in another post, I detest the word pride when it’s used for the gay and lesbian community. “Gay Pride!” It just doesn’t sit well with me, because it’s as though they’re putting it in everyone’s faces . “Straight Pride!” If heterosexuals ran around with picket signs saying this, I’m sure the gay community would be upset.

Getting back to relationships: pride hurts the union. Having self-respect is much different than pride. Now here’s a twist: I’m thinking about ridding all the people in my life who have way too much pride. Does that mean that my own pride has surfaced? Or does it mean that I want a simple life where I only invite humble people into my world? Does this make me a bad person to draw away from those who feel that they’re pride isn’t a bad thing- that they view as ‘self-respect’? I always give people second chances, but when those second chances become 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 chances, and then I give up, will God still say to me, forgive him 77 times! It says so in the bible.
"Jesus, I have a question for you. How many times should I forgive someone when he sins against me? Up to seven times?
Jesus: "Peter, I tell you, not seven times, but 77 times."

So, I’m questioning my own ability to forgive pride. It’s complicated, because I see pride being cold and unforgiving. I don’t feel I’m cold and unforgiving, but I have come to a breaking point where my body, soul and spirit are telling me, enough is enough!

When you give up on a person because of their pride, have you simply gained pride yourself in return?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Congratulations Tamar!

Yesterday brought good news. My friend Tamar, who is a talented writer, finished her first book. She was so kind to send me an excerpt of it. As all of my close friends and family know, I write, but it takes a lot for me to read a book—or should I say finish one. I get disinterested really fast. This excerpt that she sent over to me was so interesting, that I couldn’t stop reading it. When it finished, I craved more. It stopped there? Then what? What happened? Wait! You can’t leave me hanging! When you can’t put a book down, you know it’s good. I’m so happy for her and thrilled that her passion for writing (among many other talents she has), came to fruition. After writing a book, even before it hits the publishers---it’s a huge accomplishment. You can visit her blog here.

So, first of all, I’d like to say happy belated birthday, Tamar! I’ll be first in line waiting to get my book signed! Now get your butt over to my place and let's celebrate!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I'm So Sorry

…that I’ve been neglecting my blog for so long and not updating you with what’s going on, (as though you’ve been sitting in the same spot waiting for me to return like some weird crazy stalker). I’ve been so caught up with moving and adjusting my belongings to its new home and finally…just breathing.

I do have a list of things I’ve learned throughout this whole moving ordeal. It’s a new community with new people and well, new growing pains here…

My top ten list...

10. Recycling. Apparently, there’s a huge “save the earth” cult making its way to the area. Any can, bottle, or any metal or glass object in the wrong place will have you paying high fines or force you to give away your firstborn child. Cardboard has to be cut up and folded neatly. I’m sitting there stabbing the cardboard like a freaky homicidal lunatic screaming, “Bleed already! Bleed!!!”

9. My landlord. He’s a little funny gay Jewish man. He reminds me of an older Isaac Mizrahi. His voice is raspy and mannerisms are flamboyant rushed and sashays around the condo waving the lease in his hand as if it were the gay pride flag. That’s not the problem. The thing I found out is, he keeps the second bathroom’s tub leaking purposely, just in case the pipes freeze--as though I’m going to leave the house and make sure it’s below zero in there. (At least it’ll keep the vodka chilled.)

8. Mom calls more than ever. When I lived upstairs from her, she would call me everyday to remind me of my father’s perfect hygiene. “Deeeebbbbbbb? Don’t use the water. Daddy’s taking a shower.” Yes, she still calls him “daddy” to me. So, this morning as I’m elevating my feet from running up and down a million flights of stairs to get to my car to my apartment unloading the heaviest boxes, and she calls up and says, “Deeeeeeeebbbbbb? Don’t use the water.” In a punch-drunk delirium, I said, “Ok ma.” She laughed. Then I figured out, “I’m outa’ there!”

7. Smoking. I gave up secondhand smoke. Thanks… It’s been 2 whole days. I feel like a new person. I had to rewash all my clothes, because apparently smoke tends to travel and open up my closets to rub itself all over my best duds. I had some ex’s do that as well. (Whole other can of beans. Another day…another post.)

6. Nice people? There’s a weird corner of the world in New York where people are actually nice. In fact, if you don’t say hello back, they run after you, tackle you down to the floor and say, “I SAID HELLO!” It’s a very passive-aggressive neighborhood. I have to read that lease again.

5. Exhibitionists. I never thought. I never did. But, apparently, the complex across the way from me has a couple who don’t pull down their shades. I don’t have to buy pay per view anymore. Those good ol’ binoculars come in handy dad! Thanks!

4. The moving guys. I figured out why the moving guys gave me their number so that we can ‘hang out’ sometime. Apparently, from years ago, I had a provocative…ok, ok, ok, a dirty CD cover lying underneath one of my cushions of my love seat. The guy picked it up, raised one eyebrow and asked, “This yours?” Oh yeah, like I’m going to deny it or take the fifth. I’m a reformed dirty movie watcher. (I wonder where that damn CD is!)

3. Phone service. The telephone company gave me a phone number that some in debt chicky used to have. Now, believe me, I sympathize with everyone who’s in debt---I’m no stranger to it, however, when you get a phone call every 10 minutes from rude collection agencies asking for somebody else, that’s enough to drive you up a wall! In the past two days, I have had over 50 phone calls for a Barbara Rivera. (Sorry Barbara, but pay your damn bills!) The 50th call, I decided to tell them that poor Barbara had passed away. The response: well can you please tell us when and how she passed away ma’am? I called the phone company. They told me to file a police complaint. Oh yeah, this’ll be great. Debra Pasquella vs. Rude Collection Agency with an outdated phone number list. That’ll go over real well. Change my fricken number you nimrods! They did after I barked at them for 20 minutes.

2. Heavy footed. My mom said to me on many occasions that I have a very aggressive and heavy foot. When I walk, (usually with heels), I tend to make it known that I’m coming. No, I don’t gallop or trot like a horse, but it’s loud and obvious I’m in the same building as you. My two other sisters have this same problem. I’m on the top floor, so lately, I’ve been noticing that I’ve been galloping-----eh-hem-----walking a bit too loudly when I make my way for my midnight glass of water. Poor neighbors. They must hate me.

1. HD is fraudulent. Please. You really have to be kidding me if you notice the difference between HD and the regular picture if you have a plasma TV. The cable guy came over this afternoon and was flicking from HD to normal. He was like my eye doctor when he makes me wear that freakish looking alien mask full of lenses. “This better…orrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr is this better?” I couldn’t make out the difference, other than HD cuts out half your picture on your TV. I said the non-HD was better. He laughed and asked if I had vision problems. No. 20/20 thank you. Now get out and stop ripping me off.

If you don’t see me popping around online lately, it’s just that I am so tired. I’m worn out. I need a week to sleep. I will be back soon blogging about my depressing suicidal dilemmas again.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Waiting For the Train

There are two things in life to which I borderline loathing: gray areas (not knowing where I stand in life) and the in between process from depression to extreme happiness. I call it the “eh” stage. Some would call it the mediocre or content stage of your life. In the process of being caught in that gray area, it’s almost as if there’s no feeling at all. You can either take it or leave it. It’s just “eh”. Whatever. Things could be worse, but things could be much better. I’ve always fluctuated from being severely depressed, then rose up to that middle stage only to climb the stairs of extreme happiness. Doc says I don’t have bi-polar disorder, that I’m normal and that these stages are perfectly fine. I disagree, but I’m not sure if I prefer it this way. I don’t think being bi-polar or manic-depressive is a bad thing. Let me explain…

In a depressive state-of-mind, I become analytical, more spiritual, extremely creative to where I write a helluva’ lot more and create new and different songs on my guitar. I delve into my artistic and music side and usually do my best work when I’m in my most depressive state. I feel like my IQ goes up a notch and I become this eccentric, cynical, artistic wacko with a touch of sarcasm. Sadly, the sarcasm never leaves me on either stage. That’s something that others will have to deal with.

In the mediocre stage, I become numb. I’m not creative, nor is my thinking process running properly. I literally don’t give a rat’s ass about anything. I’m just ‘there’. I merely exist; hoping something better will come along. I’m just here for the ride and there is nothing on this earth for me. It sounds depressing, but it’s worse. I know that the in between stage should be better than depression—but it’s not! It drains me of all my creative juices and takes away my spirituality to where I nearly have forgotten about it. I hate this stage more than the others.

In the ‘happy stage’, terrific things are preoccupying my mind, where as I don’t think about anything negative. I can do anything! Everything’s possible! Everything is ‘joy joy joy’, and nothing seems to affect me. I almost become numb to things that should affect me, yet I have these blinders up to where I don’t see the train coming my way. I’m standing right on the tracks, dancing out of pure bliss and being “happy”, when I’m not seeing the bigger picture, or the reality of things. This means, that at any given moment, that train can hit me faster than I thought. This usually leaves me crashing down into my deepest depressive state-of-mind, bypassing the mediocre stage.

What was I happy about?

Here’s an interesting twist that I’ve come across lately: I’ve found a stage where both depression and happiness reside. They live together peacefully…or erratically. With my new circumstances, I’m very excited about my new home- my new life. I’m thrilled to be making such a huge change for myself. I feel there is something better out there for me- instead of just feeling as though ‘I just exist’. It’s a healthy move for me, both metaphorically and in the physical sense. I’m happy, because I know this is the best thing for me.

The sadness comes in, because I have to leave the old life behind. Old being my former life here, again, both metaphorically and in the physical sense. There are people, places and things that will be left behind. I can always come back to visit, but it will never be the same again. I am no longer a resident. I also speak in terms of being in people’s lives. Believe me, my parents will always be in my lif--they can’t get rid of me that quick--or vise/versa. I’m speaking of those who knew me and who were with me throughout somewhat years on a personal level, which I must leave behind. There are some people who cannot mix well together- like oil and water. No matter how hard you try to mesh them together, they will always fall apart. It’s unhealthy for the two to be in one another’s lives, leaving both to separate and go their own ways.

I guess, in a sense, it’s like being a born again. You have to leave your old former life to become a new Christian. Things, thoughts, desires, sins and past behaviors have to be left behind. (Not to say they can’t resurface in the future.) The old life crumbles and a new life begins. It’s the struggle to combine the pure joy and happiness to the depressing ending of the old life; a touch of the “bittersweet” with a heaping spoonful of knowledge that this is the right direction.

Do you find you do your best work while being in a depressive state-of-mind?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Social Morality

There are so many things that have evolved regarding social morality. Some even believe that it derives from religion itself, when in fact, man has been using the ‘evolving social morality’ to change certain things that they feel to be inappropriate, and/or to make “new laws”. People want ‘what’s best’ for their children and family. They want to stop human nature and become more reserved, self-disciplined and robotic. The stigma on “human nature” seems to correlate with “animalistic behaviors”. But, what was man really like 2,000 years ago?

People back then, with various cultures practiced rituals on their children to become “men” or “women”, when hitting puberty. At the age of 13 years old, a lot of cultures would cast their children off after their rituals to become men- to provide for their new wives. Isn’t that sort of young? To us, it seems very young and senseless to put a child out there to provide for his wife and produce babies. But if you really think about it, God made our bodies in such a way, that at the age of 12 or 13, we hit “puberty”, which means we can reproduce, therefore, marrying and having children. It was sociably acceptable. They started very early.

Now, we call it, “babies having babies”, and people aren’t allowed to get married unless they are 18 and over. Kids aren’t allowed to even vote until after the age of 18—and there are highly intelligent kids out there who know their political b/s. Then again, most kids would probably vote for whoever’s the “coolest” candidate or who had a nicer cleavage… You get my drift.

Let me get into this a bit further. Personally, when I was younger, I dated people 10 years or older, above my age. I never, ever dated anyone that was younger than me. Back then, I was still “in the closet” as a homosexual and dated guys who were more mature than myself…or on the same level. My mother was sick of the 'heavy metal head bangers' that were closer to my age knocking on my door. I dated a couple of them, but they were more like my ‘buddies’ than anything else. I went for the more mature man----I’m talking being 15 years old with a 25 year old. I had so many relationships with that similar age range. Let me first explain this: I was not your average “15 years old”. I had the mentality of a 25 year old and carried myself in a mature manner. (Don’t ask that happened to me in my later years—that’s a whole other story in itself!) I had a lot of friends, but very few close ones, because the ones that were in my grade didn’t intellectually stimulate me. Of course, they stimulated me in other ways, but we won’t get into that now. They were just “crushes”. My close friends were also mature and well mannered, beyond what a 15 year old could manage.

A lot has to do with the fact that I am 7 years younger from my next sibling. I have 3 older sisters who I basically “mimicked” all my life. (In the sense of growing up.) So, when they got older, so did I, unwillingly. At the age of 15, my friends became the same circle as my next older sister’s friends. She didn’t take too well with that, and I began dating someone who was even older than her. He was 25 years old. This actually brought my sister and I closer together as friends- because most of the time we were busy fighting and wrestling over the Nintendo. Now, instead, we were hanging out and smoking up in her room gossiping…

Here’s the kicker that most people gasp at. My mother wanted what was best for me. When my mother and I would go shopping or just go out somewhere, she would stop at this local gas station & mechanic’s shop. My dad was friends with this guy named Nick who owned this shop. He was also an aspiring musician for a famous orchestra in New York City. He had light blonde hair, gorgeous blue eyes and seemed to take pretty good care of himself. He must have been in his mid-twenties- so I thought... He always glanced over at me while I sat in the passenger’s seat of my mother's car. I gawked at him, because he was so cute and friendly. He didn’t know my age either. It was very hard to tell with me. When he went to grab the cash from my mom’s hand for the gas, he looked over and asked my mother if he could take ‘her beautiful daughter out to dinner’. My mother, knowing Nick, said, “That’s up to my Debs. That sounds nice, doesn’t it?” I looked over, smiled, and he gave me his card.

My mother informed me Nick was 30 years old. I was given the ‘maturity advice’ and told not to do anything but to go out to dinner with him only. Again, I am guessing my mother was frightened of the boys around my own age. They were reckless and only wanted one thing. That evening, Nick arrived at my door to pick me up. He sat down, spoke to my family before whisking me away to some fancy schmancy expensive French restaurant. I remember him going on about the taste of good cognac being swirled, as it warmed the glass by his hand.

I’m thinking Bud Light. I’m thinking, which pub can we play pool at?

I was able to get into bars, but if I were to get into a place, it surely wasn’t a French restaurant with a wine list. There we were, eating duck cherry with a bottle of Boudreaux that tasted like dry grape acid from God knows where. Our conversation consisted of how much cholesterol was in the buttery appetizers he ordered and what politician was doing what with who. I was already deciding if I was going to buy the Guns & Roses cassette tape. He already purchased the complete Bach collection. The owner of the restaurant came to our table and asked Nick if he could be so kind to play a piece on their grand piano for their customers, since he was ‘well known’. He played some classical piece along with…”Feelings”. Enough. Obviously this guy wasn’t “it” for me.

Soon after, I dated a 25 year old that lasted for a few years. It was a great match, except for the culture difference that tore us apart due to his mother wanting him to be set up with a woman of his own culture for marriage, since in their eyes, he was getting “old”.

At the age of 20 years old, I started dating a woman who was 30 years old. (This being my current girlfriend now.) And no, these people had nothing wrong with them, other than not knowing my real age at first, because my maturity level was equal to theirs. The people I dated who were either close to my age or just a bit older never, ever worked out worked out for me. But who’s to say who matches up and who doesn’t, basing it upon the age factor?

I want to delve into the issue of “hebephilia”. The term is used to describe adult sexual attractions to adolescents who have reached or gone beyond puberty. Due to various maturity levels, how can we ever determine who’s right and who’s wrong for them in terms of marriages and unions? Naturally “hebephilia” still exists, but it’s muffled down due to social morality. Even if actions aren’t taken, these people are looked at as “sick” or “perverted” if thought to be attracted to an adolescent that seemed to have matured faster than the rest. Personally, if I had a daughter, I wouldn’t want her to date anyone 5 years or older than her. I’d be scared, naturally. Why does this guy take such interest in her? Will she get pregnant? Will he hurt her? If I had a son, it wouldn’t be so alarming, other than, “protect yourself so she doesn’t get pregnant!!!”

What is it to be “perverted”? That’s a whole concept that’s been twisted around as social morality has evolved into this major conservative tight box. If you think about it, people can pervert food: those who eat flowers, cow’s tongue, head cheese and chicken feet. Of course, these “extra goodies” were used for when people didn’t have enough money to buy food many years ago. They went for anything---including lobster and crab (which is now too expensive). They were repressed. Now, some of us ‘desire’ these types of delicacies. God knows I don’t want to eat a flower that tastes much like my grandmother’s cheap perfume, or gnaw on a chicken's foot, but people are willing to try new things. Who am I to judge what someone else eats?

Nowadays, “perverted” means “kinky”, or used for anything that’s desired sexually in a strange way---or not the way “man and woman” produce babies missionary style. Anything beyond that is just plain perversion to some people with strict religions. Age has become one of them. I’m not advocating pedophilia or hebephilia, however, I do ask this: what if a mature 17 year old woman wants to date somebody who is 21 years old? Now, believe me, there’s more of that happening now than ever. What are your thoughts? Does this guy need to be put in jail, because he’s dating a beautiful 17 year old woman who looks and acts as if she’s 25 years old (and probably more mature than he is), or are people making a huge fuss over something that has been socially evolved? The “law” says it’s bad…but is it? It's consdered "statutory rape".

I wonder why people even bother to have a bar/bat mitzvah for their child.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Facts About Homosexuality & Pedophilia

Why are so many Christians confused? They don’t understand that homosexuality is just an orientation. I’m speaking of those types of judgmental Christians; the radical ones who love to slander people. They confused homosexuality with pedophilia, rape, murder, and promiscuity in general and love slandering the gay community any way they can.

Let me just make one thing clear: homosexuality has nothing to do with pedophilia. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. These ‘so called Christians” ramble on over the statistics that there are more gay men that are pedophiles than there are straight men. They’re wrong. I’m not slandering heterosexuals – I’m just stating a statistical fact. Pedophilia is in a whole different category all together.

Pedophilia: sexual desire in an adult for a child.

Homosexuality: sexual desire or behavior directed toward a person or persons of one's own sex.

It’s pure ignorance to think that homosexuality stems for the desire for pedophilia. A write up about pedophilia and hebephilia is written here:

Pedophilia and child molestation are used in different ways, even by professionals. Pedophilia usually refers to an adult psychological disorder characterized by a preference for prepubescent children as sexual partners; this preference may or may not be acted upon. The term hebephilia is sometimes used to describe adult sexual attractions to adolescents or children who have reached puberty. Whereas pedophilia and hebephilia refer to psychological propensities, child molestation and child sexual abuse are used to describe actual sexual contact between an adult and someone who has not reached the legal age of consent. In this context, the latter individual is referred to as a child, even though he or she may be a teenager.

Although the terms are not always applied consistently, it is useful to distinguish between pedophiles/hebephiles and child molesters/abusers. Pedophilia and hebephilia are diagnostic labels that refer to psychological attractions. Not all pedophiles and hebephiles actually molest children; an adult can be attracted to children or adolescents without ever actually engaging in sexual contact with them.

Child molestation and child sexual abuse refer to actions, and don't imply a particular psychological makeup or motive on the part of the perpetrator. Not all incidents of child sexual abuse are perpetrated by pedophiles or hebephiles; in some cases, the perpetrator has other motives for his or her actions and does not manifest an ongoing pattern of sexual attraction to children.

Thus, not all child sexual abuse is perpetrated by pedophiles (or hebephiles) and not all pedophiles and hebephiles actually commit abuse. Consequently, it is important to use terminology carefully.

Another problem related to terminology arises because sexual abuse of male children by adult men
2 is often referred to as "homosexual molestation." The adjective "homosexual" (or "heterosexual" when a man abuses a female child) refers to the victim's gender in relation to that of the perpetrator. Unfortunately, people sometimes mistakenly interpret it as referring to the perpetrator's sexual orientation.

To avoid this confusion, it is preferable to refer to men's sexual abuse of boys with the more accurate label of male-male molestation. Similarly, it is preferable to refer to men's abuse of girls as male-female molestation. These labels are more accurate because they describe the sex of the individuals involved but don't implicitly convey unwarranted assumptions about the perpetrator's sexual orientation.

Typologies of Offenders

The distinction between a victim's gender and a perpetrator's sexual orientation is important because many child molesters don't really have an adult sexual orientation. They have never developed the capacity for mature sexual relationships with other adults, either men or women. Instead, their sexual attractions focus on children – boys, girls, or children of both sexes.


Over the years, this fact has been incorporated into various systems for categorizing child molesters. For example, Finkelhor and Araji (1986) proposed that perpetrators' sexual attractions should be conceptualized as ranging along a continuum – from exclusive interest in children at one extreme, to exclusive interest in adult partners at the other end.

Typologies of offenders have often included a distinction between those with an enduring primary preference for children as sexual partners and those who have established age-appropriate relationships but become sexually involved with children under unusual circumstances of extreme stress. Perpetrators in the first category – those with a more or less exclusive interest in children – have been labeled fixated. Fixation means "a temporary or permanent arrestment of psychological maturation resulting from unresolved formative issues which persist and underlie the organization of subsequent phases of development" (Groth & Birnbaum, 1978, p. 176). Many clinicians view fixated offenders as being "stuck" at an early stage of psychological development.

Q: "Are homosexual adults in general sexually attracted to children and are preadolescent children at greater risk of molestation from homosexual adults than from heterosexual adults?"

A: "There is no reason to believe so. The research to date all points to there being no significant relationship between a homosexual lifestyle and child molestation. There appears to be practically no reportage of sexual molestation of girls by lesbian adults, and the adult male who sexually molests young boys is not likely to be homosexual."
-Department of Psychology,University of California

Let's get it "straight" people.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Faith

When we put our trust in God, what are we really doing? To some people, it means that we’re leaving all our responsibilities to something of the unknown. To others, it means that we trust in God- we let God work within us and help us with our life’s struggles. It depends on where your faith lies. It’s difficult to just say, “Oh here God, take my problems and let me be rid of them!” Then you look down, and see that they’re still there. What does it take to have God handle it all? Does God actually take full reign and tackle each problem at hand? Or is it just a ‘good feeling’ to say, “God take away all my problems!”

I’ve tried giving all my problems to God. Sometimes, I found myself frustrated, because the problem still stood right in front of me, staring at me straight in the face. It’s still there. God didn’t take it away. As I delved deeper into the meaning of “take away my problems God”, I realized that it was more than just saying, “take away my problems”, it’s a matter of helping yourself so God could help you further along your path. It means to put work into your faith. Somebody can say, “Oh I believe”, but actions speak louder than words. Just like a relationship between two people. Love is good, but there needs to be work involved in order to make it successful.

In my book, I’ve used this analogy: if I hand you a plate of spaghetti and I say, “Here, take this plate of spaghetti,” and you try to pull it from my grip, yet I don’t let go, what happens? If I don’t let go of the plate of spaghetti, then how does it transfer from my hand to yours? It doesn’t. I have to “let go”. I have to set my mind and trust that this person (you) is going to have a full grip and take the plate from my hand. More often, we find ourselves trusting more in humans than we do in God. It’s normal, because we see, therefore we believe. But, what does it take to have incredible faith to the point of “knowledge”. You “know” God is there. You “know” God will take your problems away. It’s quite a huge step to take if your faith isn’t enough.

Faith: to believe without seeing.

Jesus said, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who haven’t seen me and believe anyway.” ~John 20:29

Faith takes a lot of vulnerability. There are many intellectuals who don’t have faith, due to all their knowledge. Science has become their ‘faith’ in all things. What they don’t see isn’t there. What they see, is the absolute truth. So what does it take for a strong intellectual to have complete faith in God? Does it take a miracle? Would it take Jesus to come down from His thrown in order to prove Himself? ...No. It’s simply softening the heart; making the heart vulnerable and humble. It’s taking away all pride and letting or allowing God direct you. God has already picked you. It’s up to you – it’s your choice to decide whether or not you choose to believe. Faith is the hardest thing; yet the easiest way to handle life’s trials.

Some people feel as though Christian faith is another way to get out of life’s sticky situations. They feel it’s a comfort zone due to the fear of dying. Many people feel that “religion” or “spirituality” was made up in order to protect us from the anxieties of death; that it would make our life here easier if we held onto some sort of fairytale. I would have assumed that as well, if it weren’t for the proof I, myself have seen through my own faith. This is why I feel so strongly about my faith in God and why I want to share it all with you. I don’t want to convert anyone or push my beliefs upon you, however, I just wish people knew how much pride hurts us. It makes our hearts awfully hard to penetrate and it leaves us with a feeling of emptiness---because God isn’t able to get in---to get into our hearts. Without that invitation---“your choice”-----that God has given to each and every one of us, He’ll be left out of your life, leaving you to handle things on your own.

Here are the things that got me to where I am now: my faith in God, my determination of acquiring a life that’s suitable for me, my mindset and goals, and of course, daily prayer and communication with the Lord to help me through the rough patches while on my journey. He never promised it would be easy.

I dare you to try this little project. Try to think about something that you truly want or desire out of life. Set your main goals up on a collage. Put Jesus or (God) in the middle of it all… Within a few weeks, watch how much things transpire and manifest into things you’ve always dreamed of wanting. Sounds too new age? Amuse me and try it. I did this project, and within weeks, my goals are starting to come into fruition before my very eyes. The main thing you have to remember is, make God your primary focus and goal. Everything else will fall into place.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Seeds of Doubt

There’s always something tugging me back; holding me from whatever it is I want to do. It’s a debilitating feeling that has me kept inside my own prison: anxiety. Where does it come from and why does it persist? I’ve dealt with anxiety for a very long time – half my life actually. Sometimes it’s not bad, and other times, it’s so debilitating that it prevents me from doing everyday tasks. I can control it, but there are times when I just give up and let it take over. That part, of course, is my own fault.

I read something today that encouraged me.

“God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

Underneath the passage there was more…

“Debilitating fear is not from the Lord. We can call upon God’s Spirit to give us the power to face our foes, the love to overcome evil with good, and the discipline to persevere through our trials. We have been given the power to turn from fear to faith.”

And that right there tells me that I need more faith; more focus on God. When I turn to God and give Him all my problems as I go about my day, I have no fear---I have strength and courage. When I try to resolve life’s little problems all by myself—without the help of God, I seem to fail. With all these new changes in my life, I have so many emotions going through me. I’m excited to start my life in a new home and start my career and have a life I’ve always dreamed of. The other side of me says, “This is going to increase your anxiety levels and what if this doesn’t work out and what if that doesn’t work out?”

It’s the “what ifs” that really plant the seeds of doubt. Then, I realized, the one who plants the seeds of doubt is the devil. God never plants the seed of doubt in anyone. God encourages and uplifts you. He wants you to be strong and courageous and to fight your fears. Sometimes, God even puts a person in our life that’ll plant seeds of discouragement. “What if you get anxiety while out on your own?” That in itself will give me the jitters. People say things out of concern, this I know, but sometimes their concerns turns into other people’s anxieties. I don’t place blame on anyone who has questioned me regarding my anxiety disorder and moving in a location that’s unfamiliar to me, but I wonder if they know that it’s planting the seeds of discouragement…

I don’t want to live with the spirit of fear and doubt. I want to be strong, courageous and face all of my fears and phobias, without the ‘what ifs’. I want the people around me to encourage me, instead of encouraging the enemy---fear. I ask that all the people in my life, my friends, my family and loved ones would help strengthen me, instead of trying to discourage me from something that I’ve always dreamed to do. This would help greatly. For whatever reason why the people in my life who are discouraging me from making this huge decision---please know that you’ll always be in my life. I’m not going anywhere but to another location and to a better state of mind. It’s just healthier. I promise.

Any prayers would be appreciated, to take away my anxiety and panic attacks.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Totally "Bugged" Out!

Batten down the hatches, disinfect anything that has been outside your house, wash your hands, one, two, three times my lady, and remember not to let any outsiders inside your home. It’s a dangerous world out there and we need to be safe. Stock up on a huge Sam’s Club amount of Purell hand sanitizer and make sure you open all doors with your sleeve. Don’t let anyone touch you- not even your spouse!

They reported on the news this morning that there is a new “bug” sweeping across the nation. This “bug” acts like a cold, but is dangerous enough to kill people. A 19-year-old boy died from this bug already. Apparently, this cold doesn’t get better, it just keeps progressing until it hits pneumonia and eventually death.

I’m already neurotic with my OCD. This news comes shortly after the “super bug”. Antibiotics are resistant to both bugs and people are getting nervous all across the board. Now, I could be an alarmist and say terrorists are to blame, but I could be wrong of course. Seriously, if you think about it, when have we ever came across “colds” that never went away that could potentially kill us? Medical teams and doctors say that it’s because we’re taking way too many antibiotics and developing a resistance to them. But, we’re talking about kids who are getting sick and dying over this. A 19-year-old boy dying? A strong athletic 19-year-old boy? Come on. His immune system has be to strong like bull—right?

Anyway, I heard this on the news this morning and I tried to look it up because I forgot the name of this new bug. So if anyone in your office sneezes or coughs in your direction, run…run far away and spray them down with Lysol!

I'm off to pick up my surgical masks. Michael Jackson had the right idea and we all thought he was crazy!


UPDATE: The "killer cold" is called, Adenovirus. It’s usually found in boot camps and in close living quarters. It’s been around since 1955 and keeps evolving. There’s no cure for this cold- it’s a virus. You can take antiviral medication, however, you can still get a bacterial infection on top of this virus. They say to get good rest, exercise and eat a balanced diet. Of course you all know my personal advice: wash wash wash those those hands!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Keeping the Door Open

When one door shuts, does another door open? Old question- I know. But, when something ends, something new must begin, right? Or does it just recycle itself back into your life in another form? I have two conflicting emotions inside of me tugging on both ends of my heart. There’s this sadness that’s beyond belief, and then there’s this excitement for a new and improved life that’s bursting out with joy. They’re both equal. The sadness part is, the “old life” needs to fade out and manifest itself into good memories. Or, were all those “good memories” just a bad dream? It’s hard to tell. Hindsight is 20/20 they say. We’ll see. I haven’t walked far enough past the sadness yet.

They say, ‘everything happens for a reason’ and ‘what won’t kill you will make you stronger’. Sometimes I just want to laugh at those platitudes. I remember once, somebody telling me that time would heal me. While going through that ‘bad time’, I didn’t believe it. After a few years (yes, I know a long time), my heart did heal. Time did heal me. It’s just the waiting it out part that stinks. I’m not the only one experiencing this. I know that all of you can relate to this somehow on some level.

Why are people so scared to say ‘goodbye’? What if two people aren’t meant to be together---isn’t a “goodbye” crucial to ending the relationship? Or do some people feel that saying “goodbye” would burn a bridge that they would possibly need at a later date? Is it selfish not to say goodbye? Or is it a selfless act of making yourself available to somebody you’ve just broken ties with? (This can be taken romantically or platonically.) Sometimes the “goodbyes” can be quite melodramatic. Some people live for that “drama”; they strive to go the distance of the terrible break up scene when Rhett Butler left Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind.

Sometimes a clean cut is best. Other times, it takes a little weaning off to take the bulk of the pain away. It depends on the parties involved. For me, I’m a “wean off’ type of girl. Even when I used to smoke, I had to wean off, until I finally quit at the age of 23. I didn’t go cold turkey—I let myself wean off slowly, enjoying each cigarette, each puff, as I blew the smoke goodbye…gradually. People are so quick to just end things—go cold turkey and fight the battle of what’s persisting in their hearts. I don’t get it…I never did.

So, when one door shuts, can the same one reopen?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My Gratitude

There’s always someone in our lives who makes a difference; somebody who is able to make us smile when things are not going our way. Regardless if they have anything to say or nothing to say at all, it’s their mere presence that comforts us. It’s their constant persistence of wanting to help us through it all. There are no hidden agendas or underlying reasons why they’re so available and ready to see us the thickest of our darkest moments. There are no conditions. There are no expectations.

These types of people are rare indeed. I call them God’s angels. Without them, life is mirthless. Wrapped up in life’s turbulences, these “angels” wrap their wings around you making sure you glide through life without scrapes or bruises. They make you giggle when you want to cry- they paint life’s picture so beautifully, making you want to jump right in it.

Ingredients: love, encouragement, compassion, wisdom and empathy. What’s a true friend without these important qualities? I’m fortunate to have such people in my life.

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares. ~Henri Nouwen

Monday, November 12, 2007

Bitter Cold

“Don’t cry!” my mother said, as she was consoling me last week. I’ve been hearing those words all of my life. To cry was to mean that you couldn’t handle it; you weren’t strong enough, or ‘the best will come along soon’. Some people have this misconception that I’m this hard-ass woman with no emotions whatsoever. I’m cold or unable to feel anything because I appear to be “strong”. I get all types of assumptions made about me all the time. How can I change peoples’ minds? I can’t. People leave lasting impressions---so this is mine: cold, heartless, uncaring and unable to feel.

I handle things differently than most. If I get nervous or upset, I’ll sometimes throw in a joke or two, just to make the other person lighten up and laugh a little. To them, this means I’m not caring or that I’m just casting their feelings aside and goofing around. They really don’t know me. It’s hard for me to let go of tears in front of somebody else, but do they know the amount that’s released behind closed doors? Of course not. Remember, I’m cold, heartless, uncaring and unable to feel.

These labels, which some people in my life have crazy glued me with, are starting to make me feel as though I’m not a good person. Maybe all my efforts to help other people aren’t acknowledged. Why should they? Give your gifts in secret, right? That’s what the bible tells us. What good is it? Today I thought about sending a nice little basket to somebody who was sad today; somebody going through the same thing as I am. Why? Who does those things for me? And yes, the bible also says not to expect anything in return. Well, why not? I’ve never expected anything from anyone and I feel so jaded.

I’m worn out; tired from trying to please everybody else except myself. I’m exhausted from people who drain me of all my energy. Not a single thing in my fricken life is personal; it’s everyone’s business. Nothing can be withheld from anyone. Everyone needs to know what’s happening with Deb. Everyone needs to know ‘how Deb’s doing’, not because they give a rat’s ass about me, but because they’re just so damn curious about what’s going on in my life. Where ya going? Whaddya’ doing? Who you seeing? Why you moving? Where you moving?

Sometimes I feel like screaming. Other times I feel like hiding out where nobody can find me. I’m looking forward to my big move. I’ll be able to hide out and focus on my career and life with no interruptions. I’ll be able to live life on my own with a sense of impedance; a sense of owning my life for once. I might take a few months off from people in general—go MIA for a while and gain a piece of myself back.

On my ‘to do’ list: change phone numbers, change email accounts, change living quarters, change careers, change my attitude towards certain things, change my heart and change my vulnerability to where nobody can penetrate my heart again.

I’ve become what everybody thought I was: cold, heartless, uncaring and unable to feel.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Indescribable

Here I am at the same spot, drinking my double espresso latte without the muffin, because I’m not quite hungry. It’s crowded more than usual in the café and my tolerance for people is next to zero. I had to wait to get this tiny little table so I could write about nothing. Some overzealous buffoon on his Bluetooth bumped into me, making me almost lose my balance on the long line ahead of me, hoping his aggressiveness will get him further in line…or maybe further in life. I’m sure he’s single and has been for a very long time. The lady’s perfume in front of me was gagging me half to death and making my asthma kick in overtime. I was ready to hose her down with Poland Spring.

I get to my little table and set everything up. The echoes of every wannabe executive in that café on their cell phones were making me nuts. I instantly got ADD. I tried to focus, but all I could manage to do was read the headlines on Yahoo News. My eyes were dry and foggy. I didn’t get a good night’s sleep. I’ve been losing my breath at night, jumping out of my skin desperate to get air back into my lungs. It happened about 5 times last night. I don’t have sleep apnea or anything- it’s just my anxiety. It feels like I’m drying.

Numb. That’s how I’ve been explaining how I feel…until today. Everything seems to be coming up to the surface and I can’t manage to keep a tear in. I couldn’t dissimulate myself from how I truly felt this morning. I’m torn. I’m happy, but I’m sad. I’m calm, yet I have so much damn anxiety. I feel like I’m on the brink of maundering obscenities in front of this entire crowd! “SHUT THE FUG UP ALREADY AND GET YOUR DAMN COFFEE!” But I can’t. That would be…uncivilized. It also would ruin my reputation of being a “good Christian’. Christians don’t curse, I hear. Maybe they don’t give a rat’s ass about the concept of imperfection and how to be human. Everyone else is crazy.

As I sit here looking at all these “put together” people trying to scramble their way to their crack dealer (coffee clerk) and zip off to work on time, it’s amazing how some of these people aren’t what they appear to be. Take for instance, this woman standing yards away from me waiting on line. She’s absolutely stunning. Her straightened blonde hair sits beautifully on her small-framed shoulders. Her eyes are piercing blue- almost as if she could see right through me. She’s wearing a beautiful long wool coat with a built in scarf draping down, almost reaching her midsection. Her slacks are freshly pressed and the boots she has on are 3-inch black leather heels. She’s so “put together”. She makes no expression as the other people are literally yelling over one another to talk to whomever on their cell phones. People are pushing and shoving; yet she’s absolutely impassive to everything around her. What is she thinking? Will she just lose it after a while and say, “SHUT THE FUG UP ALREADY AND GET YOUR DAMN COFFEE!!!” No. She stands there so patiently. She must be a Christian.

I wonder what’s underneath that patient leniency. Some people show their true colors behind closed doors or only around certain people. They don’t want to ruin their reputations or be known as “crazy”. Maybe to be known as…a human! Just the thought! I wonder if people realize how they truly appear to other people. Have you ever witnessed yourself on a video camera and said, “Oh my God, I look and sound like that?” It’s the same concept. People think they’re doing one thing, yet people see a whole entire different clip of them. It’s kind of interesting really. “Oh I take bad pictures.” No, you just looked like shit in a lot of them. So what?

If you don’t like yourself, then recreate yourself. If you don’t like what you see on film or on a camera, then change it. If you don’t like what others are saying about you, then make sure that you’re the one that’s ok with your behavior and appearance. It’s as simple as that. People can think and say what they want, but the bottom line is what you think. ...What does God think?

What about those “reformed people”? I’m talking about the entire klan here---from reformed smokers, to those who have physically, emotionally and sexually abused people in their past, to recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. Isn’t it funny how “some” of them almost forget their past and judge you to death? They are now wise and prestigious; above our level and able to make choices for us. “Oh don’t do that and don’t do this!” Put a sock in it, stop judging us and remember where you came from. Remember the forgiveness that has been given to you—not only from God, but from the people you have hurt.

I’m sick of hypocrites. And you thought this was going to be a happy post? Check in tomorrow.