Monday, June 30, 2008

Does It Matter?

(Photo taken this morning at 5am out on my deck.)

Again, I was hesitant to write about this topic, in fear that the men in the white coats may take me away, but I’m here and I’m going to jot this down like a lunatic. Bear with me. Whenever I’m closer to God, pray to Him more and really take the time to meditate and most of all---listen to Him; it’s then when I receive signs and visions. (I assure you I wasn’t drinking at this time.)

My prayer and meditation times have been more intense and far enlightening than ever. I’ve been more “open” to encounter or experience visions, signs or anything coming from God Himself. Through desperation one day, I called out, “God, show yourself to me”---in hopes that I’d be comforted through my time of stress and fatigue. I started to see sparkles and bright shiny little things flying around. To the right of my peripheral vision, I saw a bright white glow. I didn’t look directly at it, in fear it would vanish. These things are like stars in the sky---once you look directly at them, they disappear. So I just looked at it through the corner of my eye. It was amazing. I found my entire body had a golden aura, surrounding me with this feeling of peace that I've never experienced before. Tears were streaming down my cheeks, but I wasn’t sad. When I lifted my hands up into the energy that was above me, I felt it go right through my hands and up into my body. It. was. amazing!

This morning I woke up at 5am, made my coffee and toast and sat outside to watch the fog lift up from the mountains. The morning was different-- more tranquil than usual. I feel “excited” about something, but I don’t know what that something is yet. I feel overwhelmingly happy, yet I haven’t hit the lotto or got noticed by some hotshot filmmaker who wants to grab my book and turn it into a movie.

You can throw science and factual things at me telling me that what I had experienced was a lack of oxygen to my brain or an undiagnosed case of bi-polar disorder disrupting my life momentarily. Whatever it is: I welcome it. This euphoric feeling, because of my prayer and meditation to God gives me greater faith that Jesus is here with me; He’s hearing every prayer, every cry for help and knows I need a little more than the average sign from heaven.

A fellow blogger named Seven made this statement regarding my previous post: “…You mom saw the rose because she had faith in Helen. Was the rose real? Certainly it was real enough to her. Could someone else see it? Perhaps not. Does it matter; the message was from Helen to your mom.”

"Does it matter?" Those words resonated with me. Does it matter who believes me or who thinks I’m a religious quack for having faith that it was Jesus Himself? I just feel fortunate enough that I can share my experience with everyone. The funny thing is: God shows Himself to the most unexpected people sometimes. Believe me, I’m far from spiritually perfect or claim to be. I’m a sinner. I’m someone who continuously makes mistakes. I’m not perfect.

Does it matter? Probably not. What matters is: my faith in God is so strong, that my fear of death, disease and anything that may plague me with illness or less than desirable circumstances has lessened a great deal. I had this back when I was 23 years old, and I am so happy to say, I have it again. I hope it stays. Sometimes, our faith in God and our spiritual experiences only last for so long. If you let it go…it’ll disappear. My mother had this same feeling---which we believe is the Holy Spirit. She said, “I wish it would come back to me again.” I told her, “Maybe you should try going back to it.”

My mother and I have been talking a lot about this stuff. I asked her if she would be a guest blogger and she agreed. She is writing ‘the old fashioned way’, but will be typing it out on my laptop later this afternoon about her experience with God and her signs from heaven. I hope you’ll come back and read her post.

Back to Seven’s question: does it matter? No. The only thing that matters is if you truly believe that God resides inside your heart---in my opinion, that’s the only thing that matters.

Here’s a short video I made 5am this morning.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Deceased Loved Ones' Promises

Sometimes I hesitate to write about this type of thing, however, I truly believe that there are mysteries on the “other side” that we just cannot comprehend, believe or fathom. As a Christian, I would like to believe and mostly believe that if we have faith in God, and we’re fairly good and willing to atone for our shortcomings, that we all go to heaven. But as a human, I do wonder about the gray areas. I’m sure you do too. It’s as easy as grasping a UFO in the Midwest somewhere. A lot of people have seen them, but are they really out there? Teenage lawn boys did all those crop circles and you can’t even rely on “real footage” that you see on T.V. or Youtube anymore. Usually, you later find out that it was a setup or camera trick to try to deceive you.

What about “your truth”---the things only you know about. For instance, my mother had a best friend named Helen. She lived next door to us. They always visited one another and spent a lot of time together talking over coffee, reminiscing about the past and just sharing a wonderful friendship. Helen planted a beautiful blue spruce fir tree in our backyard that grew to be over 50 feet tall. Before Helen passed away, she told my mother that she would give her a sign that she was ok on the other side by growing a white rose out of a log. My mother couldn’t understand how she was going to pull that off, but she smiled and was happy that she even wanted to give her a sign.

Later that year in December, Helen passed away. My mother was devastated that her friend was no longer with us. Soon enough in the spring, my mother was walking outside in the back of the garage to get something. She noticed that a small tree was knocked down from a storm. My mom walked over to it and noticed a white rose growing right out of the tree. How can a rose grow from wood? Impossible, right? It was Helen’s sign that she was ok.

My mother was given a promise from her father (my grandfather), that when he passed away, he would send her a pigeon. See, my mother moved an hour upstate- away from the city. There aren’t any pigeons where she lives. My grandfather was from Brooklyn, NY and took care of his pigeons that flew on his balcony on the top floor of his tenement that he owned. He cherished them. So, the significance of sending my mom a pigeon when he died was important. A few years after his death, my mom got her pigeon. He was practically living on the roof of the house. He used to hang out by the poolside and just waddle around as if he owned the place. She smiled and then called him Frederick, which was my grandfather’s name.

Has anyone ever promised you a sign when they pass over to the other side? And if you were given that promise, would you actually believe it was from them? What sign would you give somebody if and when you do venture on to the other side?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

On a Much Lighter Note...

As a kid growing up, my sister Cathy and I would watch cartoons every Saturday morning with a bowl of Fruity Pebbles or any bowl of sugar we could get our hands on. The bulk of our entertainment was Looney Tunes. We sat there the entire time laughing – we couldn’t watch enough of it. SJ posted a video up on his blog that reminded me of a question that I've had for years: how the heck did we ever understand these cartoons?

For instance, take a look at this video or just scan through some of it. It was totally inappropriate for kids however we still watched it.


I remember Bugs Bunny saying, “What a maroon!” I laughed at this, not really understanding what it meant, but by the inflection of his voice, I knew it meant something bad – like “a stupid person” or possibly a bad version of “moron”.

For instance, some of his lines included these:

"Eh, watch me paste this pathetic palooka with a powerful paralyzing perfect pachydermous percussion pitch."
(I’m not sure what pachydermous even means, in fact it’s not even spelled correctly and my spell check told me to frig’ off when I typed it in.)

You can listen here.

"Gold! Gold! I'm rich, I'm fabulously wealthy. I'm independent beyond the realm of mere avarice!"

You can listen here.

"Putting that 8-ball in the side pocket is all very well, but it doesn't explain what I'm doing in this boobie hatchery."

You can listen here.

Were these cartoons intended more for adults, or did they know that there would be kids or 'little geniuses' watching this show? I have to say, till this day, I even get stumped with a lot of their fancy words they use. I admit, I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, but to think these dialogs were for kids to understand is beyond me.

I leave you with my favorite Bugs Bunny show. Not much of eloquent speech as much as interesting lyrics.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Normalcy

Is there such a thing? People have their own definition of what normal is. It’s such a vague description. Normalcy: to not be crazy? Have you ever been through a breakup or a messy divorce that went terribly wrong, and your ex just didn’t know how to contact you like a human being? Any contact that they did make was erratic, emotional and off-the-wall insane and sometimes even irrational? It’s a proven fact that when you have a very bitter ex on your hands-- any contact, whether positive or negative (and they usually choose option 2), will be satisfactory for them. They’ll do things ‘out of the norm’ just to get your attention. Then again, what is “the norm”? I have a track record for dating attention getters (minus a very good friend I dated, H), who seek attention whether it is positive, yet mostly negative. They love to push your buttons to see your reaction.

There’s nothing wrong with being an attention getter in my opinion: it’s how some people’s genetic make up are set. I just don’t see the positive result in resolving or discussing issues with such anguish and animosity. I guess I’m the type that likes to see a happy ending, regardless if the relationship was one or not. I prefer to settle things civilly and ‘making nice’, instead of emotionally beating one another up. It just doesn’t make sense to me. The relationship is over. Let it go. Let all that wasted anger and resentment go. It’s so unhealthy.

Here’s what I’ve learned through a couple of bad breakups:

*Forgive that person completely, to the point of forgetting.
*Forgive everything that has transpired throughout the course of the relationship.
*Forgive yourself for mistakes you’ve made and things you’ve done to hurt the other person.
*Pray to God for forgiveness for both parties.
*Pray for love, health and happiness for the other person that you’ve ended ties with.

With these steps, I found myself to be set free. I can’t stress enough how important it is to forgive other people in life. I’m not saying that what they’ve done or what we’ve done is “okay” to do again, but just realizing that your heart is opened to forgiveness and wishing them happiness is a huge step to emotional freedom. There are so many people walking around with bottled up emotions and resentments from their past traumas. Usually, when they get into another relationship, they have a huge lack of trust and underlying anger that’ll resurface within that new relationship. It’s not fair to the new person and it’s also so unhealthy for the person who cannot forgive their offender(s), as well as themselves. They usually walk around “bitter” and cynical towards everything. They become sarcastic and poke fun at every single thing that resembles love. I’m sure you already know some of these people.

I almost got that way. I was discouraged over people and my lack of trust from being betrayed trickled over into thoughts of, “Everyone else will do the same thing.” Just because one person either cheated on you, lied to you or emotionally and/or physically harmed you, it doesn’t mean the new person will do the same thing. But how can you know this for sure? So a huge wall is built up for emotional protection and the resentment stays within. When I finally reached the point of exploding due to my pent up resentment, I was always sick, achy, depressed and full of anxiety. The day I decided to let go and forgive completely (for my ex and for myself), I can’t even tell you how free I felt. I finally started sleeping 8 hours per night, exercising regularly and actually feeling “human” again-----“normal” if you will.

This is what worked for me. I’m no relationship expert, you can talk to any one of my ex’s – believe me, but I can definitely tell you what to do afterwards in order to help you feel better again. I know the term “forgiveness” kind of falls out of the mouth too loosely, but if you can just picture yourself setting the person free and really accepting them for who they are, with all their flaws, imperfections and the things they’ve done that have hurt you deeply, hopefully you’ll find that there are healthy relationships out there, as long as you keep that mindset.

One day, maybe you can find that sense of “normalcy” again. Maybe normalcy means hope and love. Maybe normalcy is a personalized definition for each individual.

Remember: you don’t need forgiveness from the other person. You need to be able to forgive them and be able and willing to forgive yourself. Afterwards you’ll receive the freedom that was missing in your life. I promise you!
EDIT: While reading Cruel Virgin's blog, she included a prayer that is so helpful in recovering from a past relationship. I am taking a tiny excerpt out from her post.
"It is a prayer to the Archangel St. Michael, the one who is believed to have defeated Lucifer in his rebellion. He is an angel of protection, and he holds what is called the sword of truth. I firmly believe that we are surrounded by angels who guide, protect and help to heal us, but only if we ask. Here is the prayer:
'Blessed St. Michael, Prince of the Heavenly Host, I ask that you use your Sword of Truth to sever the etheric cords that exist between myself and ____ (state his full name) in all Space and through all Time so that I can move forward with my own emotional healing and so that _______ may be free to move forward with his/her own soul’s evolution. Amen.'
The love that existed between the two of you will always be there. Nothing can separate that, not even death. The truth of the relationship is eternal. But you can start to move on."

Monday, June 23, 2008

It's All So Vague

Why are there so many diagnoses for a slew of different mental disorders and so many different opinions on what the diagnosis may be? For instance: a sociopath is a term professionals don’t like to use anymore, because they have broken it down to antisocial or dissocial personality disorder—whichever you choose. For each broken down definition, there are similarities regardless. Years ago, people who were ‘up and down’ with their moods were called, manic-depressives. That term is now obsolete: the term used now is, “bi-polar”. It’s basically the same thing heightened to an extreme. They also have bi-polar 1 and 2, depending on the severity. There are so many “new disorders” and new definitions that it makes me just wonder what it’s really all about. In my opinion, new medications make doctors trigger happy with diagnoses. Doctors get kickbacks and many of them are pill pushers. You’re in their office for less than 15 minutes, and voila---you’re diagnosed with a new disorder and out of his office with a new and improved medication just released by some medical firm.

These days, you have to literally look like shit in order to be taken seriously by professionals. I used to go to my doctor after work and they always diagnosed me as “generalized anxiety disorder”. Newsflash: 98% of people have it. It’s another word for stress. I thought mine was a bit different since I would experience a panic attack for no reason at all that I could think of at that moment. Of course, there are always underlying reasons for the attacks, however, while experiencing these scary moments, it’s your body’s way of purging out any negative feelings. Two days after a panic attack, I would experience extreme fatigue and depression. Some would categorize that as manic-depressive. Some would even venture to say because of the “highs and lows” that it’s bi-polar. I was never diagnosed with either, but the definitions of extreme highs and lows make sense to me. But aren’t they talking about extreme happiness? So, for me, it was extreme anxiety and fear for no rational reason whatsoever, and then a low like you couldn’t imagine. My doctors would just write me a prescription for ativan and tell me to just relax. Even if I was suicidal (this is back then), they never took me seriously because I was in a business suit and looked “presentable.” Crazy, huh? (Possibly a bad term to use in this post.)

I just wonder if medications are good for everyone. I know many people have claimed it has helped them a great deal and has even saved their lives, but what about the people who have bad reactions to it or who have been incorrectly diagnosed for the mere pleasure on their doctor's part of pushing a pill to make a buck? Are our lives at risk by seeing a shrink? Do they all see it as a business, or do these people actually want to help us get better? If you’re just having generalized anxiety disorder (stress), then wouldn’t psychotherapy, counseling and relaxation techniques be more beneficial than consuming chemicals? Are doctors getting lazy? I’m very disappointed in the heightened lax that the psychotherapy professionals have come to.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

What Do You Choose to Believe?

The subject of guilt and depression is still fresh in my mind. I’m convinced that we only feel what we “choose” to feel. A good friend of mine who works at my gym said to me, “You’re only depressed if you choose to be depressed.” I had a hard time taking that one in, because there are many people with chemical imbalances out there that do need help because of their genetics. However, there are a lot of us walking around “choosing” to be sad, or choosing to feel guilt because of this or that. Have you ever felt the urge to listen to a sad song while being in a depressed state, in order to enhance your sadness? It’s normal. I will even venture to say that it ‘can’ be healthy at times. A good cry and letting it all out is always healthy in my opinion, but to remain in that state for a long period of time can do a lot of damage.

What about love? Do you choose to love somebody or does it just “happen”? Is it out of our hands? Do we just fall in love because there’s no other choice but to fall head over heels for somebody? What about after a breakup---especially if the person we’ve severed ties with has hurt us badly? Do we choose to stay in love with that person for an extended period of time, or are we able to grieve for a healthy period of time and then move on? Do we choose to move on or do our feelings magically disappear just like that? A lot of people, (even myself), do feel that it does take somebody else to deter your attention away from the person you’re still in love with. However, there’s a bad consequence of creating an unhealthy (rebound-ish type) of relationship with the new person. This new person may get hurt, realizing that there are underlying feelings for your ex. It can be a vicious cycle and an ongoing pattern. (A bad stigma for the lesbian community!) Had to throw some humor in there somewhere.

Maybe somebody can relate to my struggle. I have an extremely hard time getting over people that I’ve once had an intense and intimate relationship with. I can easily cry over somebody I dated over 15 years ago. I can still feel the pain. Is it my chemical make up or is it a choice to still harbor feelings for old flames, even if I were to never intend on taking action to start a relationship with them ever again? I guess if we keep picking at a wound, it’ll never fade out as a scar. Even if I haven’t thought about the person for a few years, I can still think about it for a moment and actually shed a tear for that particular past pain. Are we ever completely healed from an emotional wound? And if it’s a recent emotional wound, do we try and make it better by going back to the source to do it all over again?

What do you choose to believe?
"I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need." ~Philippians 4:13

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

'My Truth' About Psychiatry

Who has contemplated their destiny after life, without thoughts or feelings of guilt? Guilt can trigger many questions. Questioning your destiny because you’ve done something bad or “wrong” in the past is normal. “Will I get into heaven and will God forgive me because of my past?” If you can accept that God has already forgiven you, then you can free yourself from guilt. It sounds easy. It’s not. Somehow, the guilt sticks to you like a leech, not letting go until you burn it off. “But the person I hurt still hasn’t forgiven me?"

So what.

God has. Now it’s your turn to forgive yourself. If the person feels that they cannot provide you with any forgiveness, then the guilt crashes upon them instead. Holding resentment in your heart is one of the unhealthiest things you can possibly do. Not only do you suffer emotionally, but your physical health is at stake too. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve experienced “unexplained” anxiety attacks because I still held resentment and anger for the person who offended me. Until the day I finally let that go and gave it up to God, my anxiety attacks have lessened. So if resentment can trigger anxiety attacks, then it can definitely trigger heart attacks. Stress = a quicker way to the other side.

The importance of forgiving yourself purges all chances of self-loathing. The thoughts that go through people’s minds while self-loathing can be devastating. “I’m not good enough”, “I’m a bad person”, “I don’t deserve good things in life”, “I don’t deserve God’s forgiveness”, and “Why should I keep on living”? I’ve replayed these thoughts in my mind over and over while going through hard times in my life. I’m sure you have too. Think about a time when you thought you were a “bad person”. ...Think... Now think back and look in from the outside: were you? Were you that bad? The answer is usually no. People are so hard on themselves. I’m hard on myself. I’m still learning to forgive myself completely, and I tell ya, it’s hard. With persistence, faith, forgiveness and the ability to let go and let God take the reigns has completely transformed my way of thinking.

Back in 2003, I had a loaded gun pointed to my head. I hated myself because I felt hated and I felt that due to the lack of forgiveness and self-loathing I was torturing myself with, I felt as though my life should end. Thoughts kept flooding my mind constantly with negative messages: “People would be better off without me”, “I cause more misery than happiness to the people in my life”, and “I hate myself”. The final seconds before touching the trigger, other thoughts popped into my head: “My nieces and nephews will grow up thinking I was a complete coward”, “This is selfish and inconsiderate to the people I love in my life”, and “The worst thing to endure is losing a child, and I don’t want to do that to my parents”.

During that difficult time, I walked out of my psychiatrist’s office twice letting her know that I was planning to end my life.

She didn’t do anything to stop me.

She didn’t call the mental health emergency center.

She didn’t even call me...

My next appointment, she told me that she knew I was smarter than that. The most intelligent people kill themselves too. Then I thought, maybe I need a smarter therapist. I mean, thank God I came to my senses, but for a psychiatrist to do absolutely nothing is beyond me. I changed doctors of course, yet received the same treatment: oh it’s just generalized anxiety – you’ll be fine. I even walked out of his office a few years back telling him I was planning to end my life and he shrugged it off as though I was just “venting”. Hey, maybe I was just “venting”, but with the medication and alcohol I was consuming, “venting” can turn into something worse. People kept telling me to find a different doctor, but I have to say that I’ve tried them all and not one psychiatrist or therapist would have stopped me if I said these five words: I want to kill myself.

Luckily, I’ve been feeling great this past year and I have had no thoughts of anything dreadful as I did years ago. I’ve stopped their medications and stopped drinking heavily. I truly believe that these medications do more harm than good. (That’s just my opinion.) I’ve tried the medications with and without alcohol, and all of them gave me the same results: thoughts of suicide, depression, hypertension and increased agitation. When it got bad, I had to counteract it with alcohol. Now that I’m self-treating myself, relying on God more, I find that I don’t need chemicals to make me feel better anymore.

No more guilt. No more self-loathing. No more negative thought patterns---just acceptance and the willingness to get better each and every day with the help of God.

“When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” ~Psalm 94:19

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

When All Efforts Are Exhausted

Have you ever felt so strongly about someone or something and put so much energy into trying to please or obtain them, that when you’ve finally exhausted all your efforts, there’s absolutely no passion behind it anymore? You become numb to it, as though you never cared about the person or thing. This can pertain to anything really: a person, a career goal, mending a friendship or relationship or just anything you’ve tried “too hard” for.

What makes us give up?

Depending on what it is, I would like to say that it wasn’t because it was too high for us to reach. Persistence and perseverance are important while trying to get your dream job or dream house of course, but say with a person, we have to drop all our hard work and chuck it up to ‘it’s just not meant to be’. I'm not implying to give up easily, but sometimes we just have to let things come to us instead.

My friend J.C. just posted up a quote from Enya on her Myspace bulletin this morning:

“Look to love and you may dream, and if it should leave then give it wings. But if a love is meant to be, hope is home and the heart is free.”

Friday, June 13, 2008

On the Other Side...

Have you ever daydreamed about the afterlife? Have you ever wondered what it would truly be like to meet somebody up in “heaven”, or to see someone that you’ve been at odds with or held some sort of resentment towards while you were here on earth? Think about it: up in heaven there is no resentment, anger, depression, feelings of shame, guilt or anguish. These things are all meaningless on the other side. Unforgiving hearts on the other side will realize that it was merely a product of the physical nature; the prison of the human heart trapped with negative feelings of hurt.

It doesn’t matter anymore.

It was on earth.

It was meaningless.

Life was just a trial.

The funny thing is, we don’t even look back on life and say, “We shoulduv’ coulduv’ woulduv’”, instead, we just look at our “offenders” or “enemies” in our previous lives on earth and then smile with gladness that it’s all over now. There’s no past pain and there’s no emotional trauma on anyone’s heart—only love. Our level of epiphany rises, reaching an intensity of relief that we’re back in touch with one another, and rid of all the chaotic emotions that were once stored up in our carnal shells back on earth.

Sounds too fairytale-ish? This is just my daydream of what it would be like if I were to cross the other side. I doubt that we’re going to look at somebody who has hurt us and say, “Are ya happy now? You made my life miserable!” Instead, we’re going to just smile and replay the events without any negative feelings. God sees the entire scope of everything---we just see a tiny thumbnail clip of the movie that we made here on earth.

The next time you feel pangs of resentment for anybody, think about how it would be if you two were walking toward one another on the other side, with the full knowledge that life was one big movie. All the “acting” we did was meaningless----yet enlightening.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lesbian Social Stigma

Lesbians are known for so many stereotypes. I even poke fun at some of them myself. Things like, bringing u-hauls on the second date, lesbians are obsessed with cats, lesbians are all drama queens and the best yet, lesbians are all manhaters. Of course I’ve come across all of the above, however if you really think about it, most women in general, gay or straight are ‘fast movers’ in relationships, tend to like cats better than dogs and bitch and moan about men periodically. As I’ve stated in a previous post, lesbians are also known to hold the award for LBD: Lesbian Bed Death. To some degree, you can scientifically look at the genetic data and technically say that testosterone and estrogen can play certain roles in this area. But how many heterosexuals are kissing one another goodnight and then turning over to go to sleep?

I love meeting new people. Over the past 6 months or so, I’ve met quite a few people-- most being men actually. When they find out that I’m gay, the response varies and they’re always interesting. Here are some of the questions that I’ve been asked:

“What made you ‘decide’ to be gay?”
“Have you ever dated men before?”
“So do you ‘still’ sleep with men?”
“Do you and your partner ever bring a guy into the bedroom?”
“Do you miss men?”
“Can I watch?” (I got one of those recently!)
"Can I join?"

Some of the straight women I have met recently have asked me quite a few questions themselves:

“Did a guy hurt you in the past?”
“How does the sex part work? What do you do?”
“Do you use toys?”
“Who plays the man and who plays the woman?” (Love that one!)

The unknown tends to draw more questions. I totally understand why people ask the questions they do. They’re curious. The one thing that frustrates me, which I see a lot of in the lesbian community is how many of them seem to disrespect each other’s relationships. For instance, it’s ok to hit on your friend’s girlfriend, or it’s ok to go after someone who’s already taken. It’s as though they don’t take lesbian relationships seriously and the sad part is – they’re gay themselves! Is it an insecurity issue that drives them to test other people’s admiration for them? Do they want to play the game of, ‘let’s see if she’ll go for me while she’s with another girl’? It’s another thing if the person who is taken states that they’re single. That’s a whole other different ballgame. But, I will say this: a lot of lesbians I’ve come across will try to steal someone else’s lover. It’s like they just don’t care. “Oh we fell in love.”

Bullshit.

I’m not saying that this type of stuff doesn’t happen to heterosexuals, however it runs rampant in the lesbian community. In the past, I’ve been on both sides: the pursuer and pursued. I’ve been the one to witness my girlfriend getting hit on as well. Back when I was the “pursuer”, I was 20 yrs old and didn’t know better. I met an older woman who was 33 years old and she already lived with her partner. I was out for my ‘experience’ with a woman. My bad. I admit that. But you can also say, her bad too, because she cheated on her girlfriend with me. Lessons learned.

Whether you’re at a potluck function, knitting party, a political activist event, a social lesbian 'dance' held in an Episcopalian church or at Pride, throw all the stigmas out the window, have fun and live in the moment. Who cares what they say. Just don’t hit on my girl and keep your nose out of my bedroom business!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Going My Own Way

Someone else had something in mind for you, either your parents, a guardian or someone who looked after you while growing up. They envisioned a different life than you probably live right now. With good intentions, they wanted the “best” for you. In their minds, the “best” for you was to have a medium to a large size family with a huge nest egg. They wanted you to be loved by your children, who would eventually take care of you when you got much older and wanted you to have enough money to be comfortable and live well. Their dream: a husband or wife, a couple of kids, maybe a dog, and a house with a white picket fence. It sounds endearing– much like a neighborhood scene from a Lifetime movie.

Is it realistic for them to expect this from you?

In the bible, it says it’s better to be alone. Some people rather live with a family or a spouse or life partner. I grew up living in a large house with both my parents and 3 older sisters. We were all close and we all were expected to “live the good life”, just as my mother had. In fact, I was raised to find a nice man who made a good living. I was never told to go to college, find the perfect career or make a living for myself. If I were to find the “perfect man”, as my mom would put it, then even better. My mom suggested to stay home and raise children and let him support you. It’s old fashioned, but understandable for her to want that type of life for me.

When I was younger, my dream was the total opposite. I used to dream of finding the perfect woman and settling into a nice apartment– not a house. I didn’t want a big house and a yard. I wanted a nice modern apartment, with a nice view if possible. I saw myself surrounded by good friends, dinner parties and trips to my favorite places- not necessarily a “lavish life”, but a good life, which to me included having fun and being young at heart. I never wanted to have a husband or have any children.

My mother always told me that I would never live a good life if I were to continue being a lesbian. “Women can’t make it without men.” These words resonated within me. She then said, “Men can live a good life together because they make more money. If you’re a gay man, you’ll live a nice life, but you’ll live in fear.” Her main concern was money and a good reputation. Her intentions were good, but her thought process was old fashioned and distorted in my opinion. There are plenty of successful lesbian couples living good lives and even bearing children, starting families of their own. “It’s just not natural. Don’t you want your own children?”

We can!

I do understand that type of mindset. It’s hard to adapt to another way of living when all you knew was “this way”. I took it with a grain of salt. I refused to believe that lesbian couples couldn’t make it without men. I know for myself, I can’t live without men in my life, but not for the reasons my mother stated. I need them for more important reasons, like giving me their male point of views, having a great friend around, showing me how to fix a carburetor, even if I break a nail and even, if I were to have kids, it's important to have a good male role model in their lives. And if wasn’t for my “future donor” who I’ve already claimed and he has accepted, then I wouldn’t have the option of deciding whether or not to bear a child of "my own".

Even though someone had something else in mind for my life, I turned out okay. I didn’t “need” a man to make my life a “good life”, but they sure do make my life worth living!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Obamanation to Extremists?

While in the presence of a friend who is way too political for my taste, he brought up something I really never thought about: assassination. He explained his views on Obama getting elected for presidency. He was concerned that if he did win the final election, that Obama would most likely get killed during his term. My question is, if Bush made it through two terms alive, wouldn’t Obama have a better chance? My friend explained that Bush has the white supremacy, the radical Christians and basically, “rednecks” on his side. That’s what basically got him in. People like the most of us, who feel that Bush wasn’t such a good president wouldn’t think of assassinating him, but instead, voting for a new president in the next election.

You can’t even make those statements though, because look what happened to President Reagan. A white Republican who a lot of people liked. I’ve heard these statements a few times from other people. I wonder if people secretly wish death upon our presidents that weren’t of their choice, or if it’s just a mere innocent concern.

I rarely talk about politics, but it really bothered me that my friend brought this up as though he knew for sure this would happen if Obama got elected.

Your thoughts?

Here are some of the comments from my blog on Myspace:

Michelle
I truely belive that Presidents ALWAYS have a secret Assasin. Look at former President JFK. He was supposedly the most loved President the US has ever had and even he was murdered. It's an unfortunate fact that everyone has someone that doesn't like them and if your "famous" or "important" that only puts a much larger target on your head. It's a situation that knows no creed, Race, or Gender....Unfortunatly.

Red
I've actually wondered about this but not enough to bring it up in conversation. You have to remember that people who have been assassinated were either set up or the person who shot them was not mentally stable. I don't think it's something that we really need to worry about. Whoever becomes president will have many people guarding them and I'm sure security has been advanced since the several shootings of important people in the 60's. (If you notice, whenever the President goes anywhere the top of his car is CLOSED; R.I.P. JFK) I'm a supporter of Obama but I'm not sure that he'll win the Presidency. I would tell your friend to wait till Obama is elected into office, if he/she is still worried they should write a letter and send it to the White House.

Rocker Mom
I have said this too...there are way too many racist out there then I care to think about.Honeslty, I dont think there is anyway he is going to win, there are too many people out there that would rather have another repulican in office then a black manwhich is sad really...

Queen of Everything
You can't be in the public eye - let alone in public power - without drawing out the psychos. However, I have to agree with your friend. Because of his family background, being a relative newcomer on the powerful elite, and sadly, because of his race - I expect that the threats to Obama will be exponential when compaired to his successors. I wouldn't be surprised if someone didn't attempt before the election.But I also think he has slim chances of winning. I think he's been set up as a canditate sure to lose.

corkey
I believe your friend has a valid concern. I saw on Fox News, the leader of the KKK in South Carolina, say, "If he comes here, he will be killed".I had thought for a long time, that whether him or Hillary got elected; they would be assinated in the first year, and the VP would move into place. I feel it as if it has already happened.While a large portion of America is ready for a change, those you mentioned above, will not put up with either a woman nor ANY race man - other than white. It is sad to say, but we are still too BACKWARD or back woods to think this will work.In addition: If Obama is elected and subsequently assinated, there WILL be RIOTS! Rodney King in the 90's was just a drop in the bucket.I wish PEACE and Truth would ring out, but... this is America - Patriarchial, Judgemental, Selfish, Unforgiving, and Proud to be so...

Tom
Who is this Obama you are talking about? Does he play for the Lakers?

AVID ROSS knows me by Name!- OMG I'm special!
All I can say is if you were black you'd understand and you would of thought about this. I'm surprised his still with us at this point. There are so many people that HATE blacks still I mean you'd be soooooo surprised!!! It sucks cuz its almost like you have to be black to really feel the kind of fear we feel. I have alot of friends who voted for Hilary because they didn't want Obama getting killed. With the history of my people....some of us experiencing first hand deaths in our own families by racists...its hard on us. We don't want another MLK death or MALCOLM X death.

He has a double target on his back like foreal. I'm trying to be positive too but the fact is its scary. And if he survives (which i pray he will) he will seriously be making history. Most blacks don't survive that kind of movement. Like my great uncle was shot dead in front of my mom when she was 9 years old........all of the kids all 10 of them were outside. A white man was arguing over land with him and my grandfather tried to tell uncle calvin to hush. But he was the type that refused to let a white man run him. In return he pulled out a gun and shot him dead right on the porch. To this day my mom fears going in closets to find bloody shoes. So to us (blacks) its really personal. We are so proud of Obama that we don't want to loose him! Already just by being nominated he has moved our people to greater beginnings. I'm totally scared! Being that the KKK is yet in full effect. My mom n her siblings were shipped out to cali one by one cuz they threatened to kill them all. They'd wake up to KKK in blood all over their house n the steps. But it was a white woman who had mercy on them n took the money out of her own pocket (allowance her hubby was giving her) and she'd give lil by lil to my grandma until all the kids were in los angeles with my great aunt.

I know sounds like a book huh? But yes we're worried and we all need to be praying. The regan comment? ummm he wasn't black.
ENUFF SAID!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Up Before the Rooster Crows

For a while, I’ve been having insomnia. It’s not so much that I can’t sleep; it’s staying asleep, which is also considered insomnia. I go through spurts of it though; it’s not all the time. What wakes me up while trying to fall asleep is I have problems coordinating two things: sleeping and breathing. I wasn’t much of a multitask kinda' gal anyway, but for the love of God, why can’t my body cope with two natural involuntary things to work with? Right when I’m surpassing the first REM stage, I wake up gasping for air. Sometimes, I even feel as though the air won’t even enter my lungs. For 3 whole seconds, I really believe that I’m going to die right there. So what happens? I stay awake afraid to fall back asleep again. Of course, this always has a ripple effect, leaving Madelene sleepless as well.

For the hour that I did manage to sleep last night, I had the scariest dream. I dreamt that I was at an ex-girlfriend’s apartment. Inside, she had a male ghost. (Don’t ask. You know how dreams are.) Anyway, my ex-girlfriend was out and I was left alone picking up my guitar that I had left there. While I was closing the case of the guitar, the ghost snuck up from behind me and tied me up with a phone wire and left me there lying on the floor. Seconds later, I heard the hissing sounds of the gas stove and the doors and windows shutting. He was trying to kill me. Somehow, I managed a way to untangle the phone cords and drunkenly staggered (from the gas and not vodka of course) to the stove to shut it off. I remember how dizzy and fatigued I felt. I ran outside to get the hell outa’ there. I survived, but when I woke up from the dream, I couldn’t go back to sleep.

One website told me to listen to the subconscious messages that my dreams are telling me. They basically said that dreams hold powers of psychic and analytical data into your inner thoughts and subconscious state-of-mind.

This article by Janet Kinosian stated: “A doctor once told me to address my subconscious kindly a moment before I fell asleep: ‘My dear sweet subconscious mind (that took a while to say with sincerity), be assured I will hear what you have to tell me tonight. I can listen best if you don't shout or scare me.’ And yes, this accepting attitude has worked well for me, and still does. Once again: Dreams are only messengers. You can choose to listen or not. It's up to you.”

Don’t get me wrong, but if I said this before going to sleep, Madelene would have the guys in the white coats after me. I just can’t imagine saying that. I don’t even know if I believe that our dreams are subconscious messages. I remember my cousin once bought me a book so I can interpret my dreams. I was amazed to read what certain things meant if they were in your dreams. For example, if you dreamt of a carrot – you would receive money soon. I mean, come on – it was like some funky version of a Chinese fortune cookie message. So instead, I went out and bought a similar book to compare it with. Turns out, if you dream about a carrot, it means that your health would soon deteriorate. Quite a different interpretation, huh?

“See a doctor, Deb.” A lot of people tell me to do that. The only thing is, they’re going to have to keep me overnight somewhere to watch me sleep. Oh yeah, as if I’m going to nod off into a peaceful slumber while doctors watch on. I don’t think so. I know for a fact that I won’t sleep. It’s the only way that they can determine if you have sleep apnea. I’ve read all the guidelines to help with my sleeping disorder: don’t eat anything 3 hours before bedtime, don’t exercise 3 hours before bedtime, and don’t drink alcohol or caffeinated beverages 3 hours before bedtime. Basically, don’t have a life 3 hours before bedtime. And yes, that means sex too!

I need sleep.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Is Your Heart Marked?

Do you have a mark on your heart? Each and every one of us has a story to tell. Some even have a few. Many keep it bottled up and suffer in silence. “Talk about it, get it out in the open.” A lot of us wonder, “to who though”? A therapist or a good friend are both great options, but for some people, it’s no option at all. Have you ever felt that if you let those bottled up emotions out to somebody, that it would devalue them in some way? Inside, those stories, those special past relationships or whatever it is that you keep inside so tightly are treasures. Memories and thoughts of past people, things and relationships are stored up in a safe place in your heart. Some still sting. Regardless, they’re invaluable. …Until you let it all out. It becomes everyone else’s story. “Oh, you’re not the only one.” I’m sure you’ve heard that one before. “Everybody goes through that from time to time.” But nobody goes through your story. Your story is unique. Your story is the one that’s invaluable.

A good friend of mine is a holistic healer and a Reiki master. While working on me one day, she put her hand in the middle of my chest near my heart gently. There was no pressure at all, however, I felt as though the air was being taken right out of me. She asked, “Does this hurt?” Even though it was a feather-like touch, I felt so much pain; so much that I even started crying a little. I didn’t know what was triggering these emotions. She explained to me that this was where our “hurt” is stored. She said that the word, “heartbroken” is factual. Our heart literally breaks when we’re hurt. My friend does this to each patient, and sadly enough, each patient responds the same: yes, it hurts.

Are we all walking around with broken hearts? I guess some hearts are bruised, scarred, and some are freshly broken trying to repair itself the best it can.

Do you remember your first heartbreak? I bet you can remember every single thing you were doing at the time and where you were, right? And, if you relive that moment for just a little while, I bet you can also still feel the pangs of how your heart felt. I don’t care if it was one year or 20 yrs ago; it’s still a mark on your heart.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Does It Really Matter?

Most of us tend to focus on the past, dwelling on things that we should have done or that we could have done. We still pick the scabs of the past not giving it a chance to become a faded out scar. It’s true that our past makes us who we are today, but it’s another thing to continue living as a victim. We have a choice: we can either choose to learn from our past mistakes and traumas, or we can relive the past over and over again in our minds each and every day. It’s up to us. Easier said than done… I guess the true key in letting it go, is true forgiveness. Forgiveness goes both ways- not only to the person(s) who hurt you, but forgiveness for yourself as well. I think most of us forget about that. If we can relinquish all of the resentment and anger we store up in our system, we can see much clearer. The fog tends to lift and we can then get a better grip on how to handle our emotions without losing it completely.

It took quite a long time for me to realize this. It actually took two bad breakups, quite a few bottles of vodka and many therapy sessions. Even though I’m a big fan of the “potato juice”, I have to say that the worst thing to do while dealing with somebody who has hurt you is to drink. A lot of rubbish comes out of the pie hole- believe me. I’ve said some things that I would have never said while sober. I’ve even shocked myself in the process while reading some emails that were sent to the “enemy” while under the influence. It was a total different person. “I wrote that?” Delete, delete, delete. But, it’s still in their inbox. For myself, I’m more of an emailing terrorist while arguing with somebody. On the phone however, it’s “real”. Work it out. Try calmness at first. At times, and of course, with the tater juice, it can become brutal. Words have power. It’s up to you whether to use it for good or for bad – no matter how much the other person has hurt you.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger. ~Proverbs 15:1

I’m still a ‘work in progress’ here. God’s not done with me yet of course. I think all of the traumatic events and crap we’ve all been through is actually good for us. It helps us learn ‘what not to do’ for the next time around.

A wonderful quote from Thomas Edison: “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”

I still have many mistakes ahead of me. …I’m sure.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

My Short Lived Resignation

Inevitably, you knew I’d be back like a bad case of acne during PMS. Although my short lived resignation to this blog was supposed to be permanent, I have way too many thoughts and questions that flow through my mind, to which I need answers and opinions to. I initially quit blogging for a short while due to stressful circumstances in my life that left my mind absolutely blank. I had nothing to give. I had no thoughts. My mind was shut down. During my break, I’ve been writing short articles for a local magazine (freelance) and at times, posting them in my own personal blog periodically on Myspace. I guess I’ll start this blog off once again with an article I had written a few weeks back.

"Lesbian Bed Death & Cheating"

Why are some people so quick to analyze everyone else’s relationships except for their own? Even if they’re single, they still have a strong opinion, which is even a worse case scenario. I think we all know what we “should” do or what a relationship “should” be like, however no relationship is perfect by any means. If you expect a passionate and 100% understanding relationship that is equal on both sides, then you’re in for a rude awakening. Hey, I’m not saying it’s not out there – I’m just saying that it’s hard to find and eventually that 'perfect steel beam' of perfection will eventually wear down from time-to-time. Is it fixable? In most cases, yes. That’s up to the person who has the house built with those steel beams. Will the owner fix it?

I recently came across an article in this month’s addition of Curve Magazine about LBD (Lesbian Bed Death). This upsets me a great deal because they focus on LESBIAN bed death. I mean, I know many heterosexuals that are chewing on ice and waking up with morning wood. Why are we just focused on the lesbian community not getting some in the bedroom? Can’t we safely say that all of us are at risk for BD (bed death), gay or straight? Baffles me. We’ve pigeonholed ourselves into this category of sexually deprived lesbian women.

Another gripe of mine would be “one” of my male friends (names will not be mentioned), who constantly hints about having a fling or throwing sexual innuendos at me. Is it flattering? Sure. The only thing I don’t get is when a man hits on a woman (lesbian) and who is already in a relationship. They don’t view it as “cheating”. Even “some” bi-sexual women don’t view having sex with another woman cheating. It’s sex with another person! Doesn’t that qualify for cheating? If you have an opened relationship like that, then fine. But call it as you see it: infidelity.

Sometimes I really believe that there are a lot of people who view homosexuality as being promiscuous, which would explain the holy rolling bible thumpin’ peeps who constantly tell us we’re going to hell for having sex with the same gender. Meanwhile, back in many ranches, there are tons and tons of heterosexual people having premarital sex.

We’re all doomed.