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.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A Double Espresso Latte...for Here Please

A double espresso latte, one blueberry muffin, my laptop- all sitting on this round little brown lacquered table in a café down the road from me. Various people are walking inside to get relief from the cold air that’s sweeping New York this morning. Some look as though they’re preparing for their big day at the office, and others seem as though their strolling along, possibly unemployed and trying to occupy their time…like me. I have work, but it’s not enough. I have money, but it’s not enough. I’ve convinced myself that anything I have just isn’t enough. I’m grateful, but it’s not enough gratitude.

Finally, I’m in the process of moving out of my apartment that sits on top of my parents’ place. I love my parents, however, it’s time to move farther away; farther from where I grew up. I need change. There’s so much happening in my life at this time that it’s hard to say how I feel. I’m excited, because I have this place being prepared for us, a beautiful penthouse apartment with skylights, a fireplace, a beautiful kitchen with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. I’ve always told Madelene that I hated sharing a bathroom. She always insists on invading my space, regardless. We work well together. We’re best friends and most of all, I trust her 120%. Is that even possible?

With other exciting news in my life, I’m job hunting. Writing has brought in some money, but not enough to where I’m comfortable any longer. I’m going back into accounting. I miss numbers. I was good at it and it paid the bills and beyond. I’m recreating myself. After 5 years of being the “victim” of anxiety and depression, I am acknowledging that it’ll probably still be lurking around the corner, however, I’ll be working along side of it—doing my thing and coping. I will face my fears and do what I love to do---live.

A lady with a dark blue pea coat with a multi-colored scarf draped around her neck came in holding a used tissue in her hand. She let out a few mule-like coughs, as though she was moribund with a terrible cold or flu. Her hair was reddish-brown, a little blown from the wind and her eyes looked red and puffy. She has to be in her mid-thirties, probably married and stressed out from her job. She reminded me of a special person in my life that I recently had to let go of. Our relationship became tumultuous and we had to go our separate ways. It’ll be sad not having her around in my life, however, the stress, anguish and jealousy factors were enough to accept the final goodbye. So, I guess you can say I lost my best friend. I used to chuckle when I heard the phrase, “Awe, it looks like she just lost her best friend.” ...Now I know what it really feels like. I’ll deal. It’ll be fine, right? Days before, I sat in this same café, drinking the same espresso talking to my best friend, discussing ways of having a positive and healthy relationship. She asked, “Can this be our spot?” I smiled, and said of course it can. It was a place where we could talk over coffee and make each other laugh…like we used to. We haven’t laughed together for a long time. I miss that. I miss her. She’ll be fine. I’ll be fine.

People of faith are put to the test. I’ve been asking God, “Why? Why? Why?” Is this some sort of boot camp for believers? Instead of going into a deep depression, because of the frustration of finding a job and losing my best friend, I’m choosing to take on these challenges with a healthy state of mind and see the glass half full. There are positive things ahead; things that are healthy for me. I see how this messy mix will make me stronger—I really do, but sometimes I just wish it were a little easier for me. I’m looking at all the people in line with their fancy clothes, their Gucci bags and expensive lattes trying to hustle and bustle their way to their cushy 9-5 jobs. I wonder what their homes look like. I wonder how their relationships with their spouses are. Maybe I shouldn’t wonder and just focus on what I have right here: a double espresso latte, one blueberry muffin, my laptop and my ability to move forward to a healthier state of mind. It’s not so bad sitting at this table.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Manipulation: How to Detect It?

There are many people who do not realize that they’re being manipulated. From Coping.org, there’s a perfect description for detecting when and if you’re being manipulated. Here are the signs:

Manipulation is a set of behaviors whose goal is to:
  • Get you what you want from others even when the others are not willing initially to give it to you.
  • Make it seem to others that they have come up with an idea or offer of help on their own when in reality you have worked on them to promote this idea or need for help for your own benefit.
  • Dishonestly get people to do or act in a way which they might not have freely chosen on their own.
  • "Con'' people to believe what you want them to believe as true.
  • Get "your way'' in almost every interaction you have with people, places, or things.
  • Present reality the way you want others to see it rather than the way it "really is.''
  • Hide behind a "mask'' and let people see you in an acceptable way when in reality you are actually feeling or acting in an ``unacceptable'' way for these people.
  • Maintain control and power over others even though they think they have the control and power.
  • Make other people feel sorry for you even though it would be better for them to make you accept your personal responsibility for your own actions.
  • Get away with not having to do the things necessary to meet your obligations, responsibilities, and duties in life.
  • Involve everyone in your life's problems so that you do not have to face the problems alone.
  • Keep everything the same so that the "status quo'' is not affected or changed.
  • Make others feel guilty or responsible for actions or thoughts which are yours alone.
  • Get others to feel like they are responsible for your welfare so that you do not have to make a decision or take responsibility for anything that goes wrong in your life.


Some people are so “put together”, that anyone who knows them as acquaintances or platonically would never suspect this person to be this type of character. Their intelligence exceeds the norm sometimes, and they can really use that to their advantage—even fooling your own intelligence making you feel as the ‘bad guy’. There are other times when a manipulating person can actually forget what they tell you, simply ignoring their statements and moving on with the next; almost like subliminal messages. It really screws with your head.

Dishonest people. The one thing I ask for in a friendship or relationship is honesty. What was George Bush’s statement one time, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice….errr…..then you’ve fooled me again.” When somebody is caught in numerous lies, I tend to build a proverbial wall and guard myself for the ‘next lie’…which may lie ahead. My trust factor drops and all my ability to believe anything they have to say goes right down the drain. There are people that lie so well, that their lies almost become their honest answer. They believe what they’re saying. Is it a sickness? Is it something they’ve trained themselves to do?

I always try to focus on the positive side of people, however, when lies and deception take place of trust and honesty, then there’s no room for them to be in my life any longer. I forgive, I forget, but sometimes, you have to know when enough is enough and just let go. Give it up to God and pray for the person whose life is ruled by lies and manipulations. By all means, I’m not perfect, but I refuse to take emotional blows from somebody that I’ve trusted and believed in for so long. It hurts and it makes me suspicious of other people- and I don’t like that feeling. I want to be able to trust. No wonder there are so many people with trust issues.

Toxic people. These people wreak havoc on your emotions and set goals to make sure that whenever you are happy, they’ll make sure to disturb it a little or a lot. They don’t want to see other people happy, so they make sure that you’re in the same funk as they are. Don’t let these people manipulate you into thinking you’re in the same funk. Their bad attitudes and grudges will only leave you feeling drained. It’s best to remove yourself from the person or situation if that ever happens.

Upbringing. Does it matter? In my opinion, people who are from a broken home or have been jaded many times in their past will potentially be toxic to you if they didn’t get the necessary help resolving certain issues in their own lives. My mother always told me, “Marry a man who loves his mother.” Of course, the man part is out of the question, however, I think it speaks volumes for people in general. How do they treat their parents and siblings? Sometimes, that’ll effect the way they treat you. Through my own experience, I have seen this to be true. Some may debate me on this, and that’s ok, however, I feel strongly about that issue.

Gratitude. There’s a lot to be said about a person who doesn’t have an ounce of gratitude for people who help them. They take take take, without the consideration of giving back. I’m not talking material-wise - I speak upon giving back in love, respect and compassion. There are many self-centered people who don’t realize that all they do is take take take. They never give it a second thought that maybe, just maybe, it would be nice to actually make somebody feel good, give them loving and emotional support, or just be there as a friend with a non biased outlook.

These scriptures below are helpful in understanding manipulators and their motives.

Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future lies before those who love peace. ~Psalm 37:37

Let the lying lips be put to silence. ~Psalms 31:18

All day long you plot destruction.
Your tongue cuts like a sharp razor;
you’re an expert at telling lies.
You love evil more than good
and lies more than truth. ~Psalm 52:2-4

Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight. ~Proverbs 12:22

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!