Thursday, May 27, 2010

Texting Boundaries

Have you ever received a text from a friend to only find out that this friend is just completely and insanely annoying? Thankfully, this person is not on my facebook account nor knows what my website is, so I am going to speak freely about this. There is this guy, we’ll call “Mike” whom I’ve known for many years. In fact, he’s an old employee of my father’s. Mike is the most respectful guy I have ever met. Madelene and I saw him at a bar a few months ago and he asked if he could have my cell phone number to update me on my favorite band that comes into our town occasionally. I gladly gave him my number, and besides, he’s a great guy. When we got back home to go to sleep, my phone buzzed. It was one of those 'fwd: fwd: fwd: fwd:' type of texts. When I opened it up, it was all pornographic images and even tiny little obscene videos. I asked if he had sent this to the wrong number, and his reply was, “Did you like it?” I asked him politely if he would stop sending me these things.

Here’s the deal: if I am not having sex with you, then I certainly don’t want to talk about it with you, or have you send me “sexual images” to me. It freaks me out. I can totally see if Mike was intimate with a woman and sent her a little “sexting”---only if that was what she was into. Even if you are intimate with someone - you have to know people’s boundaries. It does not give you a right to send smut over the net or via text message. To me, if you send me a sexual text, I’m going to automatically assume you want more than just a text back. It’s not being conceited, it’s me saying "WTF is wrong with you???" I also don’t understand the concept of two men sending pornographic images to one another. Are they gay? And if they’re not, why are you sending them to another man? I’ve seen that happen more than anything else.

Without much ‘in depth’ detail, I have had someone’s husband send me pornographic videos through email. Although I do admit, the previous night when we were all out having dinner, we were all talking about sex, but in a tactful way, not “smut” or anything. Well, the next day, I got a whole lotta’ smut in my email. At first I had no idea what he was sending, I had just thought they were a bunch of funny forwards that he kept sending every five minutes. I had at least 30 emails of his in my inbox from him. I emailed his wife and asked if she could tell her husband to take me off his ‘forward’ list, because he was sending way too many "forwarded jokes". Later on, I found out it was all porn. Lovely.

Getting back to “Mike” and his porn-filled texts, he had sent me another one recently, and I just said, “Oh dad saw that one, Mike. He says hello...” (Thinking he’s always scared to death of my father.) He never sent me another one after that. Days later, he sent me a text that said, “Tell Mad thanks for the other day.”

*blink*

Of course I called Madelene and she said he was looking for a BMW, so she was trying her best to help him out, but his credit score was shot and he couldn’t afford more than $50 a month on a car. He drives a 1980 Datsun for the love of God! He’s on a mission and I don’t know what it is, but if he keeps it up, I’m going to seriously do damage to his sex drive for good, perhaps keep sending him photos of me naked. That should do the trick.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

You Were Not a Mistake!

As of late, I have learned a new word: androsexual. It means you can be attracted to a person regardless of gender. You may think, well isn’t that being bisexual? In my opinion, yes and no. Yes, because it includes both genders, but no because, sometimes gender identity is more complex than we think. Personally, I hate placing labels on my forehead just to tell everyone, “Hey! I’m a lesbian”, or “Hey! I’m bisexual!” I’m just “me”. I love only one person who happens to be another woman. If that makes me a “lesbian”, then so be it. The derogatory term, “queer” is being used as a positive label for those who are androgynous and don’t care for a male or female distinction. Then you have transgender women who may happen to be a lesbian or perhaps, a straight “woman”. Sexual identity has nothing to do with sexual orientation. I know a woman who is now a male that prefers men. So “she” is now a “he”, who is now, a gay man. You can reread the sentence again if you'd like. And, there are more bi-gender people out there than you think, (people with both male and female genitalia). Depending on who they are attracted to is up to them, just like anyone else, but it doesn’t “define” who they are. Physical attributes and orientations are only a fraction of who these people really are...who I am...who my wife is.

There are so many people who are living a heterosexual lifestyle, whether they are dating the opposite sex or married with kids, who knew all their lives that they are gay, lesbian or bisexual, and yes, even androsexual. I truly believe that family and religion hold a huge influence in which direction we may take, depending on the mindset, desire to be free and the ability to face adversities. Not too long ago, I received an email from an anonymous woman in her late fifties with five children and a few grandchildren to boot. She lives with her husband and her two younger sons, since the other three have moved out and started families of their own. After describing her life to me, she then confided to me that she is and always has been, a lesbian. She has always been loyal to her husband of twenty plus years, however she knew that with her own immediate family, plus the family she started with her husband, that it would devastate them greatly. She has cried herself to sleep many nights, for many years because of the denial of how she felt and the emptiness that went into her marriage. Her love for her husband was more familial and hardly romantic, although he felt differently of course. She has fallen in and out of love with many female friends in her life while living the ‘straight life’. How can this happen? How does someone “choose” when in fact, they never chose their orientation? They went against the grain and now, she feels it’s much too late.

Years ago while attending a church service, Madelene and I attended a meeting with the gay and lesbian ministry. Let me rephrase that: the ex-gay and lesbian ministry. The two women who ran it, who were together for twenty plus years are now "cured" and living a life of celibacy, yet still cohabitating together. As they went up to give their testimonies, the one lady started crying her eyes out. Her emotional pain was evident. She was emotionally tortured by the people of the church, judging her and threatening hell as her afterlife, while misinterpreting scriptures so it fits their needs. Meanwhile, the adulterous sits in the midst of all this and judges as well, while nobody looks her way. What makes another person who is also a “sinner”, judge so harshly? What makes people think it’s right that they can control people’s lives and run it for them with the means of brainwashing them in the name of God? If they simply go by Leviticus, it clearly is evident that eating shellfish or a man shaving his beard will surely go to hell. Even Romans and other books of the bible describe homosexuality as "promiscuity", but they are not speaking about a loving relationship between two people. The bible clearly states the dangers “sexual sin”. Even premarital sex between heterosexuals is a sin. Why can’t people of every lifestyle and “sin” congregate together as one and worship their God without the judgments of others? Isn’t that what church is all about? Didn’t Jesus spend his time and surround himself with “sinners” and immoral people of this world? Why aren’t we doing more of this?

I was speaking to a friend of mine who happens to be Pagan. In her beliefs, she doesn’t understand why many people of different religions don’t go to a Unitarian church. For me that’s a touchy one, because I had explained with my deep faith in Christianity, I want the church that has the teachings of Christ, not just “all gods”. It’s not that I’m being judgmental, it’s because I want to learn more about Jesus and all the teachings of Christianity ----with confidence knowing that I do have a personal relationship with God. When people start focusing more on others who attend the church and not so much on God, then it becomes a negative place. I truly believe this is why many gays and lesbians have turned away from Catholicism and Christianity because of these reasons. This is why the documentary that I’m working on is so important to produce. I feel people should know ---yes, there are gay Christians out there that want to be heard! And yes, there are many opinions of those of different faiths that love God, and yet, still gay and lesbian. I have opposing views as well to balance it out, but most of all, my LGBT friends will be heard. Their beliefs matter. Their opinions matter....and most of all, their relationship with God is the only thing that truly matters.

This world is filled with beautiful flowers in a huge garden. Don’t let a couple of weeds take you down. Rise up above the rest and know that God loves you more than anyone in this world can ever love you.

“Destruction is certain for those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot ever argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you are doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be!’ How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father and mother, ‘Why was I born? Why did you make me this way?’” ~Isaiah 45:9-10

You were not a mistake!

**********************
If you're interested in being apart of our documentary, "Gays & Lesbians of Faith", please email me at deb@debrapasquella.com for more info. Below is a small sample/trailer of the documentary.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Everybody Wants It. . .

Years ago, jobs were more plentiful, more obtainable and of course, more desirable. After school, I started temping for a medical company that my sister had gotten me into. I was a product control tester, making sure all pocket PDRs (tiny little medical info laptops) were working properly. It was a tedious job, but I was thankful to get my foot in the door of a reputable company. After my time there, I started working for IBM for quite a while and although the pay and benefits of working there were wonderful, it. bored. me. to. tears. I was working in the finance department where everyone shared an office like a college dorm. Unfortunately, I had to share my “dorm room” with some hillbilly woman with no teeth who dressed up in pink corduroy pants and a leather vest with tassels. I kid you not. I always wondered how she got the job, but I quickly found out she was a fixture to the company - she had 20 years under her belt. As months went by, she started treating me like her little slave girl. Mind you, we both had the same accounting position, however because she was “seniority”-- she was the mother hen of the entire finance department. I was the rookie who was pushed around and somewhat verbally abused by this woman at times.

“Go grab me my printouts - the printer on this floor isn’t working.” She demanded, not even thinking twice if she should have posed that as a question, or perhaps, ‘can you do me a favor’ type of start to her sentence. Mind you, IBM is huge and looks a lot like a vessel from Star Trek from the inside. I had to walk through weird sliding doors that opened with one swipe of your card, off into a tunnel dome that looped into another building, take the elevator to whatever floor happened to have a "working printer" and hoped that her general ledger reports were sitting there waiting for me. After I shlepped back up to where Mz Hillbilly was sitting all comfy in our office overlooking the mountains and a beautiful lake, I would hand her the reports and get back to my own work. Not even a “thank you” or “oh great” ---just an expected look and a quick swivel of her chair to get back to her work. We’d sit there finishing our work till 5pm in complete silence, unless she had to pick up the phone, putting everyone on speakerphone. Who cares about the rookie squinting at the small numbers on the ledger report? If one number is wrong, the entire staff has to sit and shuffle through which penny was lost until midnight. She had no courtesy whatsoever. Her voice and accent drilled through my head - a cross between Jodi Foster and some backwoods Mississippi moonshine distiller. How did she get this job?

The entire finance department consisted of one floor. This department was known to be “the quiet section”. All other departments had fun people who dressed up their “dorm rooms” with posters and weird lighting - they were cool and they all hung out and treated one another like human beings. They dressed in jeans and a nice dress shirts --everything casual yet they worked hard. One step into the finance department and you found yourself surrounded by a slew of stuffed shirts with high blood pressures. Our department that consisted of approximately 8-10 people, had 1 secretary. She had a huge circular desk in the middle of all our ‘cushy’ little offices, or dorm rooms as I call them. They treated her like Mz Hillbilly treated me ---like shit. They all took her for granted and expected miracles out of her. She was a bubbly and feisty woman, probably in her mid-thirties who looked bored out of her mind too. She was always eating sweets and loved her food. She was the sweetest woman ever. One morning I took it upon myself to bring her in a big box of Italian pastries along with a stuffed animal that said, “Best Secretary Ever”. If you shook the stuffed animal, it would make weird hyena noises as if it was laughing or more like choking. I said, "Pretend it's the people who piss you off in here..." That small little token made her cry. She thought I was ‘one of them’----the Stepford IBM drones. We started having lunch together and she found out I was a real human being. We would come back upstairs from lunch hysterically laughing till we cried. It made the entire finance department realize it needed a little humor up there. Everyone started to lighten up a bit, in fact, when it was our break, we would sit around her desk and hang out ---everyone came out of their office to take their breaks with us. Who would have thought that everyone in that finance department were all human? I couldn't believe they all had a sense of humor. Even Mz Hillbilly and I went out for a drink! We became friends and never again, did she demand anything from me. I still helped her out, but it wasn’t “expected”.

There have been a couple of other companies I have worked for that was just like this. I figured, if I loosened up a bunch of IBMers, I’m definitely gonna loosen up this crew. And I did. It goes to show that when people are stuck in this drab atmosphere, they’re dying to get out of it. Everyone loves humor and everyone loves a touch of the 'down to earth' type of atmosphere - even if the company is a huge wet sock. I’ll never forget working for the Sorrento Cheese Co. and someone said the president of the company was really upset over something (work-related), so I grabbed a huge candy cane off the walls of the building, made a fake little mustache and then danced like Charlie Chaplin right outside of the door of his office. He tried staring at me in an intimidating way, red faced, hoping to scare me off, but instead, he bursted out with laughter & decided to give me that raise I’ve been wishing for.

Never underestimate the power of humor. Everybody wants it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Is it "Stalking" Or "Peeking"?

Have you ever felt like someone was watching you or something just wasn’t right? I mean, granted you can’t tell if someone is tapping into your public facebook or Twitter account, however I’m not even speaking about the internet - I’m speaking about in real life “in the flesh” so to speak. We’ve all done the “spy on the ex lover” type of thing on the internet - who hasn’t? We’ve Googled, we’ve seen their public statuses and whatnot, but when does it come to the point of creepiness when it starts happening in person? Not too long ago, you probably remember me speaking about someone driving by my neighborhood. It was an ex-friend who wanted a bit more than just a coffee clutch bud. When the friendship ended, it was peaceful for quite some time...until I started seeing her car everywhere I went within a five mile radius. I just chucked it up to it being a coincidence. She was harmless. Then, I started seeing her on the very street that I live on. I looked right at her car and saw her driving, staring right back at me. Did she have a friend in my complex? Who knew? Then one Saturday I was driving into town picking up some last minute goodies for a party that I was having that evening. I pulled out of my driveway and started driving. I saw my friend’s car driving toward me, passing me by and then, she quickly stopped her car and pulled it around the other way. I drove off so quickly and hid in the back of a CVS while it was pouring raining outside. This happened for about five months or so? I don’t know exactly for how long, but I really didn’t take it seriously because she was harmless - just an emotional whack like most women (including myself) are.

Even in my past, I had a real stalker. He was my ex-boyfriend who would actually creep down my driveway slowly with the lights off and then sneak behind the house on foot and put his ear to my bedroom window. One night, while I was getting ready to go out with the girls, I was changing into a skirt, (yes this is when I wore skirts), and I felt uneasy for some reason. Well, my stupid ex admitted he was watching me change and explained everything I did. He was just a numbskull so he basically spilled the beans. Sometimes, I’d catch him parked on the side of our dirt road with the lights out. I stopped my car and walked over. “Hey Frankie, what’s up?” He’d look at me, giggle like a big Italian goofball and say, “Oh I’m just parked here ‘cause it’s a good spot to smoke my weed.” I challenged him, since he was a health freak: “Oh cool, you sharing?” Then he said he forgot it. Totally a bad liar. Anyway, again, like I said about my ex friend ---he was totally harmless. You know when you’re in danger - your gut just tells you so. I’m 110% sure that both of these people just haven’t processed the whole breaking of the relationship thing the right way. But is there a right way? I know for myself, I would never be seen in the same town of one of my ex’s, just because of the fear of seeing them. That’s how I am. However, on that note, if I haven’t processed the break up so well, I do tend to prolong a few text messages like, “Hey, how are you?” Or maybe toss a few emails around. But that’s the extent of it. I could never physically peek on someone - and that’s what I call it with these two people: they peeked on me. They didn’t “stalk” per se - they peeked. So what.

While having a glass of wine with a friend at the bar one night, I was explaining my dilemma about my ex friend who was constantly “peeking” at me in my neighborhood and passing by my building. She looked over at me and gave me her honest opinion about this whole “peeking issue”. She said, “I’ve done it before so I know what it’s like. You just want to see if they’re home.” I stared at her for a second and asked, “But why? Whether they’re home or not, if you’re not going to knock on the door and see if they wanna go out for coffee or talk, then why drive all the way to their house?” She replied, “It’s just comforting to know where they are. It’s not like we’re gonna do any harm to you, it helps our hearts to think that maybe we might see you. Maybe we’ll bump into you or see you walking to your car.” And yet, I still stared at her in disbelief. I don’t understand the logic reasoning behind that, but I guess when it comes to matters of the heart ----is anything logic? Hey, just because I don’t understand it doesn’t mean the entire world doesn’t. I then explained to my friend, that my past “ex-friend” was driving around the restaurant I was in with my mother repeatedly, until I updated my Twitter account via my BlackBerry. My mother told me what to type: “If you’re going to keep driving around, why don’t you stop in for a glass of wine and say hi?” I tried to make peace, but she didn’t come in, however, the circling around & round like a vulture soon stopped right after that tweet.

It was interesting to learn that the friend I was speaking to about this totally understood my ex-friend’s reasonings of why she was doing this to me. It was another outlook on stalking---I mean “peeking”. I don’t mind people of my past looking at my Twitter account because I rarely say anything 'too' personal or incriminating, but sometimes, on rare occasions, I might just be talking about YOU.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Alive & Kickin'

There hasn’t been much effort to put forth a post or talk about anything lately being that the weather’s been awfully drab and nothing has really been happening all that much. There’s nothing I can write that I haven’t said before, so I’ll just give you the lowdown on things that have been puzzling me lately.

1. It infuriates me that Cardoba House project is planning to build a mosque (possibly two) not even two blocks away from ground zero. Mind you, I have nothing against Muslims, but the fact that so many people died all “in the name of Allah” has to hit a nerve with the victims of 9/11. Some say it’s a positive step for making peace with those who are Muslim and not of the extremist type, which is good I guess, but isn’t it a proverbial 'slap in the face' for the victims of 9/11? I feel so bad for them. They haven’t had a moment to breathe, and no, I don’t think nine years is enough grieving time for the drastic way they have all perished. --read the article here from CNN.

2. Apiphobia. My name, “Debra” means “queen bee”. I cannot for the life of me, get away from these goddam bees! Everywhere I go, there’s either a few or a swarm. It doesn’t even have to be hot out. So, after a nice visit with my parents, I go over to my car and I see about five of them all gathered on my hood. I ran to the door and quickly shuffled inside. As I’m driving, all of them held on for about a mile. This one in the photo held on the entire way home. I don’t understand why I am their ultimate target. Even at barbecues or at the pool, everyone will be having a nice time without the bees, until I walk over. It’s then we get massacred with a family of yellow jackets. I just. don’t. get. it.

3. Phallic foods. You know I hate labels, but since I am married to a woman, I guess that makes me a lesbian. However, lately my choices of food have taken a turn for the “wurst”, and I’m not sure if my inner straight girl has been screaming bloody murder, but my food choices have been mildly arousing somewhat. Usually, if I am stressed out to the max, I go for the forbidden foods: hot dogs, burgers, KFC, beer, etc. I go through this “stress phase” and then it fizzles back into all greens, grilled chicken, fish and other healthy foods. I guess even with the healthiest of foods, I’m drawn to the most phallic of them all. Do you think this means anything? Madelene’s concerned.

4. Mom. She’s such an honest little love bug. She’ll tell you if you look like you’ve been eating healthy - aka - “you’re getting fat” or if your hair looks like hell, or anything else that may have you cutting your wrists. She’s good with compliments too...sometimes. As I was leaving her house the other day, right before the bees attacked my car, I had given her a kiss goodbye, and in return, she handed me breath mints. I asked, “Are you trying to tell me something?” She bursted out laughing and didn’t realize the connection...or did she?

Other than that, nothing new & exciting going on other than work, same projects, being a domestic goddess and a pain in the ass to my wife, as usual. I have nothing deep or meaningful to say ---just that I’m still here alive & kickin’!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Imagine Your Own Child Thinking About Suicide...

Did you ever feel like you were trying to help people, but in the process you may be doing more harm than anything else? I'll explain... In the spring of 2007, I was having a difficult time coping with my depression, life’s circumstances and of course, Madelene and I had been separated for a little while. I was going through a rough time emotionally, and even had "the unthinkable" float through my mind: suicide. I had nothing to live for. I was confused with what I wanted to do in life, what career path I wanted to take and the lack of one at that time. I was doing odd jobs and basically, just trying to make a buck. My love life, career and living situation were a mess. I felt like I just couldn’t get out of it. It was impossible, so it seemed. I felt awful about myself and with the feelings I had, which reflected on the outside too. Don’t get me wrong, I had my good days, but the bad ones weighed out most of all. There were consecutive days where I wouldn’t even get out of bed. Why? For what? I didn't care anymore.

Alcohol was my great escape. It was the morning after that I couldn’t escape from. Almost every single evening, I’d head out to dinner with a friend that had just moved to New York and we’d drink till way after midnight, sometimes even watching the sun come up. When you hear the first sounds of birds chirping, you know it’s going to be a rough morning. I’d wake up with the shakes, swear off alcohol yet again, and then when I felt better physically, I'd go right back to the bottle. Emotionally I was a complete wreck. I had people in my life during that time who were only using me, and I kind of knew it, but I didn’t care about myself enough to acknowledge it more. I just accepted it.

One morning I woke up feeling much better. I realized I wanted to live and change my life. I was a member of a depression/suicide message board. It helped me to know that there were people out there like me. So, I started to put together a video. They’re a bunch of images paired up with a song. The video is called, “Suicide Prevention”. I thought maybe a few people would see it, and of course I shared it with the people on my message board, but I didn’t realize that it would get over 50,000 hits. At first, the comments were very helpful, but then as time went on, the comments got really intense and sometimes, people would say, “This video just made me worse.” Lately, I’ve been getting more comments stating that the video is doing more harm than good. So, I’m a bit confused whether or not to take it down. But, to me, it was supposed to be more of a positive thing, a helpful thing, with drastic images to show how real, how hurtful and intense the feeling of wanting to take your life can be.

Here’s the clip:


I have had comments from “I want to disappear completely” to suggestions that would help someone who’s going through this. I get a lot of, “Goodbye” comments, to indicate they were leaving this world right at that moment. Is this video one of the last ones they view before taking their own lives? Also, the bulk of my viewers are as young as 12 years old. That alone makes me so incredibly sad. Maybe they’re in an abusive household and the thought of what some of these kids go through in school, now that the evil internet is here is very scary. Kids are killing themselves because rumors are started of facebook or Myspace. This is detrimental to their self-esteem and they’re taking everything. to. heart. Can you just imagine your kid (if you are a parent) wanting to kill themselves? And imagine this: you haven’t got a clue because they hide it so well. I had spoken to one kid who said that he is the class clown and people think he’s so funny, but he doesn’t want to live anymore at the age of 15. Another young kid commented on my video and it was just heartbreaking. I’m not going to edit the text - I’m copying and pasting “as is”. This is what they said:

“no body cares if im alive or dead.. my mother drinks alot and all my dad does is yell at me, i have no friends at all and thats how my life has been as early as i can rember... i have court coming up in a week and i feel like shit.. it hurts to even breath... everybody that i have ever talked to sence i was little said it would get beter.. it only got worse.. i guess thats why they say a broken promis is as good as a lie.”

Another girl who happens to be 13 yrs old said: “F%ck this life.” I went to her profile and in her profile, and without editing it, she wrote:

“..i dont talk about myself much so this is weird...i used to write poetry (like last night xD) but im gonna stop. oh yea, if you see comments on my channel about my poems its cuz i put some up but took them down. i dont trust anyone with my real feelings. i usually seem fine on the outside but im not. i hate people who try to convert me to god. god isnt my savior hes not real. i shop at hot topic alot and never abercrombie. i listen to music all the time, silence is so loud to me i hate it. dont misuse me cuz i hurt easily, i wont show it, but i do. dont ask me how i am i will always say fine. so save your breath. i might seem really depressed in this description, but im not always, todays just a bad day. im a messy person and hate things organized. if my rooms clean i cant find anything. i keep my phone and mp3 player on me at all times (hence the love music thing). my hearts been broken before and im never forgive the guy who broke it. dont know what else to say...i like black, eyeliner, jeans, and studded belts. thats what i wear like...everyday. if i stop talking to you, dont take it personally. i just get annoyed easily and dont like people talking to me. i love zebra print and strips they are so cool. ♥”

I wrote back:

“I remember being your age (13) and having these same feelings. You know what? You're gonna have them from time to time when you get older. I'm in my thirties now and I still feel that same 'intensity' from time to time, but I am so glad I picked life. Guys are going to totally break your heart, regardless of gender----if you put high expectations on people, you will always be disappointed.

I have learned some things:

1. People can really suck sometimes & they can be hurtful.
2. People sometimes don't realize the impact they have on others.
3. If we start to love ourselves and realize our WORTH, life gets easier.
4. If you change the way you think...the world changes around you. (Believe that.)
5. It's okay to put a wall of protection up around you, or a "bubble", but try not to keep a complete barrier up because there's gonna be someone who you will absolutely love to pieces that won't be able to come in.

You commented on one of my videos and I just wanted to say that, yes...I've been there. It sucks and it feels like, "Why am I alive?" But who is going to guarantee happiness on the other side? Think about it: if you ever did take your life, you may end up with a worse one in the afterlife. I know you don't believe in God or such and that's okay, but with that being said, why do you think is better on the other side?

If you ever need talk-----I'm always here. You'll probably tell me to eff off, and that's fine, but I just wanted to write to you.

{{HUGS}}
Yes, I saw that you liked hugs...

Hope you're ok, 

Deb"

If you feel like writing a little positive note to her, you can click here and send her an email.

I have responded to many people who have come across my video. I tried helping many young kids going through this awful suicidal phase, and some kids weren’t going through a phase, they were going through more of a mission. I wish parents were more aware what’s happening to their kids, but unfortunately, many children live in homes that are unstable and with that, they feel unloved. Why live? Most of us are fortunate enough to have had parents or guardians who loved us while growing up, but with the mix of bad parenting and all the crazy drama that happens in school, is it any wonder why these kids feel so awful?

Anyway, I’m sorry for the long post today, but this is what I woke up to. I get email notifications on my BlackBerry anytime I get a comment, and this one just hit me hard. If you’re feeling rambunctious enough, feel free to go to my video and sift through the comments and perhaps, answer to one of those little lost souls. Answering only one can make such a huge difference.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bring It...

You’ve probably heard me complain about this before, however I’m about fed up and done with the neighbors downstairs. They’re a young couple, in their mid-thirties with a very yappy dog that sits out on the deck below us barking from morning till night. I know that living in the same building with other people can be challenging at times. That’s a given. You’re going to hear them one way or another. I’m totally fine with that. But, when do realize that the noises and booms are specially made for you? I’m not quite sure if it is deliberate, but I guarantee you, nobody slams doors the way these people have lately. And, it’s not just a “one time slamming of a door”-----it’s like they go into every single room and slam the door at least five f%cking times. On top of that, they have hard wood floors, so they sound like a bunch of wild horses. I chucked it up to just being more sensitive to their noise than usual, until I had woken up to the loudest BOOMS ever at. 5 am. in. the. goddam. morning. It was like she was taking a 20 lb dumbbell and slamming it up against the ceiling! “BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!” I thought she was trying to get our attention---but at 5am? Are you serious?

As I laid there in bed wondering if there was something else going on downstairs, I realized that the couple were talking and laughing as they got ready for work. I didn’t understand what all the ruckus was about. I walked into the living room to see if it was loud in there as well. It sounded like WW3. So, I went to the middle of the living room, found a vulnerable spot on the floor, and with all my might, I stomped on it with my heel. The entire floor --wait--- the entire building rattled so loudly - it was like a sonic boom. You heard the metal beams underneath go rat-a-tat-tat, or better yet, boomda-boom-boom! It was like the biggest ripple effect ever. I felt proud of my retaliation, but I kind of felt bad for the neighbor adjacent to me on the same floor. He must have felt it. All of the sudden -----complete silence. I slowly walked back to my bedroom, hopped into bed and threw the covers over my head. “That should do it.” ...Not even 2 minutes later, my entire floor----wait----the entire building started to shake!!!

WHAT???

Whatever they were doing was manipulating the building in such a way, that our neighbors’ dogs started barking. I didn’t do a thing. Instead, I waited till later. They usually go to bed at 8-9pm, because they have to get up at 5am. I figured, hey, they disturbed my sleep, now I’m going to give them hell at midnight. I did the “sonic boom” with my heel, and even gave them a bonus 10 lb weight right on top of their heads because their bedroom is right under ours. It was silent. No noise, no retaliation, no getting up walking around to see what was going on----they knew. The next morning, they were so quiet, I didn’t even hear them get up or slam the door hard as they usually do when they leave for work. So all day yesterday, I was as quiet as a mouse. It was my message: You tone it down...and I tone it down. They’re under me. They’re practically a drum. I own them. So if they wanna play, I’m gonna play much harder. I have now found the perfect way to keep them quiet, or perhaps, make them think about moving.

I feel bad for the new neighbor who just moved in right underneath them. Nobody lasts more than three months in that apartment. I think I might just make a new friend.

Any advice???

Monday, May 10, 2010

Lesbian Drama

Everything I do, everything I have done, including everything I plan on doing, has one underlining motivational factor: Madelene. Whether or not other people view us as a "family unit", that’s exactly what we are, even without having children. She’s my family. She’s my wife, my best friend and the person I trust 110%. I seriously don’t have fun when I’m not with her. It’s not that I need her to be with me 24/7, but it feels like there’s something missing. If I’m out with friends and I order a delicious martini, I think, “Oh Mad would love this”, or if I order something I think she’d like, I’d save half and bring it home for her. It’s just not the same without her. We had gotten into an argument not too long ago -mind you we hardly ever argue, but a disagreement once in a while is healthy. This one was one of our biggies. She said to me, “Do you want me to move out so you can think clearly?” I stared at her thinking, “Oh my God, I couldn’t stay here if you left!” The thought of coming home without my best friend was just a complete mind f%ck. This home isn’t a home if she’s not here. She’s my home.

We both travel in life looking in the same direction. We want the same things in life, we believe in the same religion and both feel strongly about political matters. That’s so important to us. We also remain a bit quiet about our views, as most of our friends are on opposing sides of our political stance. It doesn’t make for a great discussion anyway. With certain friends that I have had, and yes, I am saying past tense - they all seemed very resentful toward us in some way or another. One friend of mine would be fine when we were spending time alone, talking, having a drink together and laughing, but once Madelene came into the picture to join us, my friend would turn into a completely different person. She began to mock me and even go as far to say that I wasn’t in love with my wife. She would see Madelene come home and kiss me hello, and following that, came a slew of insults darted at me. I have had this happen with a few friends of mine. We never once excluded people, nor have we ever made people feel uncomfortable with public displays of affection --maybe a kiss hello, but that’s it.

Recently I have encountered a “friend” who got upset with me and blurted out, “Being with someone for sixteen years - you must go through LBD (Lesbian Bed Death).” She had also stated that she doesn’t think I’m in love with my wife and quite a few other opinionated remarks that were just baffling, since I've never gotten “too close” with this friend in order for her to know my life in such an intimate way. Why people are so interested in our sex life is beyond me. I’m like, why ---cause I don’t tell all my graphic sexual details like some people do? Sometimes I sit there in shock thinking: must I know this? TMI seems to be “in” these days. And don’t get me wrong, I am a very open person - but not in the sense of telling intimate details and then having it slap me right in the face with a vicious rumor later on. What’s the difference, right? Rumors will be started regardless. Right now, we have the “LBD label” stuck on our foreheads. We’ll deal with it.

I’ve come across a couple things, being that I work and network with many lesbian entertainers. The one theme that I have seen a bit too often, is other couples judging other couples. Let me explain: one assumes that the other one isn’t a healthy one. “Oh she makes more money than her, she deserves someone on an equal pay scale.” First of all, it’s none of anyone’s business about anyone’s financial matters. If that’s what you’re going to base your opinions on, then look inside your own relationship(s). There’s always someone else who makes a bit more. Does it really matter? If it’s an issue within in the relationship, then it’s their bone to pick and prod at, not yours. “Oh I think she may be abusive.” I heard that one a few times. Listen, if you don’t know for sure if that person is being physically abused, then shut it. It’s a vicious rumor that needs to end right there. You can’t base your opinion purely on judgmental factors. “Oh she looks angry all the time, she must beat her.” WHAT? Come on ladies. (I know this happens in the straight world, but I’m only speaking from what I have seen lately in my world.)

Moral of the story: stay out of someone’s relationship, keep your opinions to yourself and remember, whatever energy you put out there, whether negative or positive, will always come right back atchya’.

Unexpected...

What a weekend! Have you ever gotten so excited over plans made for the weekend and then quickly, it started deteriorating before your very eyes? Well, that’s exactly what happened to me. My Saturday was all set: wake up, clean the house, do laundry, walk five miles and then take my wife out for sushi and cocktails. Sunday, I had planned on seeing my mom for Mother’s Day and spending some time with my family. Usually, my weekends are never quite planned so perfectly. Maybe that’s why I don’t plan my weekends very often because when I do, this is what happens...

Friday evening around 8pm I started to get chest pains. I brushed it off because I had been exercising and lifting weights the previous day. I thought it was just a muscle spasm. Saturday morning, I woke up to these chest pains, but they were getting more severe and now, starting to shoot down my left arm. Red flag! Now, if you already know me or have been reading me for a bit, you know that I have had this happen to me a bit too often than I would like. I stated on my Facebook & Twitter: “Having bad chest pains for the past 12 hrs. I refuse to sit inside the ER just for them to tell me it's nothing for the umpteenth time.” I did it for two reasons: 1. Because if I kicked the bucket, people would know why. 2. I wanted to prove I could outlive these chest pains and the hell with going to the ER, yet again.

As Madelene was getting ready to go to work, the pain increased. She saw me holding my chest. I felt like someone was sitting on my chest and found it hard to breathe. “This is different”, I said to her, hoping that she would comfort me and basically tell me, “Nah, you’re alright. You were just lifting weights the other day, remember?” She didn’t. Instead, she gave me a look of concern, which concerns me because Mad usually chucks things up to ‘nothing’---so she said, “Let’s go to the ER”, all dressed up in her nice suit and ready to call into her job so she could drive me. I was happy she was willing to do this for me, but at the same time, I was scared to death that SHE was scared to death of what was happening to me.

We get into the emergency room to hurry up and wait. The nurses were flimflamming us for nearly two hours before they realized they forgot to tell the lab to come down and take my blood to check my enzymes to see if I was having a heart attack. Of course they slapped the EKG nubs on me, which basically gave me a good waxin’, but those machines are as useless as a doctor’s educated guess of why I was having chest pains. Surprisingly, my blood pressure and cholesterol was low -quite a change before I started working out. Exercise DOES help! Who woulda’ thunk? After having the phlebotmist take a gallon of my blood, it took nearly four hours to receive my results. The doctor came in and explained that I had costochondritis -an inflammation of the cartilage joining the ribs to the breast bone, usually triggered by emotional stress. Although it had nothing to do with my heart per se, it had everything to leading up to one later in life. I didn’t think I was that stressed out, but come to think of it, with all my anxiety, I guess that’s stress in itself.

We get back home and Mad flies back to work. I passed out for a few hours and when I had woken up, say around 6pm, Mad and I ordered Spanish food from down the street. I had a couple of glasses of wine and my absolute favorite dish: pernil with yellow rice. I figured, hey, my cholesterol is down, I just went through a traumatic day, so the hell wid'it- I’m gonna treat myself. We’re both sitting there eating our dishes and watching “Sex and the City” for the fifth time, when I realized later on that evening, I got food poisoning from the pernil. I remember part of the meat was slightly “pink”, but figured they were so good that nothing could possibly happen. Well, both Madelene and I were sick as dogs all throughout yesterday for Mother’s Day. I couldn’t even visit my mom! We stayed in bed the entire day with our laptops, tons of bottled water & gatorade. Thank God we have two bathrooms - that’s all I gotta say.

Thank the good Lord that today is different. I’m back to my ol’ spunky self and after I’m done with a few projects that were put on hold, I’m heading to mom’s to spend Mother’s Day with her. So today’s lesson for myself is: never plan a weekend with high expectations.

I hope all the mothers out there got spoiled and treated like queens on Mother’s Day. It’s the hardest job in the world to take care of a child. Hats off to you for being such incredible moms! I’m just so thankful that my mom made the choice to have me seven years after her last child, because I was a little “unexpected” so to speak. I won’t make this political, but I am glad she chose life. I'm glad my father did too... Thanks, Mom & Dad!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Bottom Line for Love

With respect for my very close friend which I have gained inspiration for this post today, I will not mention names, but will give my two cents on a situation she got herself into, or perhaps, got her heart into. I will include my own experiences from the opposing side so that you know I am not speaking from a bias point of view. Maybe with suggestions and your comments, it’ll help her one way or another. This is a true story...

“Bottom line” is what my friend always says right after she puts her heart out there explaining how she feels. The “bottom line” is usually followed with a “logical” standpoint; a factual basis on why she shouldn’t continue this relationship. “What about your heart? What does your heart say?” I asked, hoping her bottom line would soon be a bottomless pit of hope and undying love. Mind you, in my own personal opinion, “bottom lines” are only meant for those who are either verbally or physically abusive. Situations are different, depending all on what “you” can handle. I believe that anything can be worked out if both people love one another. Everything in the middle “just is” - deal with it, work with it, handle it with care.

“Kelly” started dating a woman who was in the process of a divorce. Her husband still lived at home at the time because of their daughter, who just became a freshman in high school. When Kelly met “Sally” (ok that was really bad- bear with me here) they fell madly in love. Sally laid her cards out on the table about her entire situation, and while they both knew about their challenging journey, their hearts were taking a leap of faith. While Kelly knew the entire situation, she was also informed that she was Sally’s very first lesbian relationship. For us old timer lesbians, this is a huge red flag because most “seemingly straight” women who fall in love with a lesbian usually trek back to the other side of the fence. It’s quite normal due to the confusion and drastic lifestyle change, especially after years of dating men.

As their relationship progressed, it was kept quiet to Sally’s daughter about who Kelly really was to her mom. Kelly was just a “friend” that came around to keep her mom sane while going through her divorce. Even when Sally’s husband moved out of the house, it was still on the ‘hush hush’, until the daughter asked why her mom was spending much more time with her friend rather than with her. When her mom explained who Kelly was, the daughter was mortified. “You’re a lesbian!??” She now had to go to school worrying about “if” her peers would find out. The stress on the daughter had a ripple effect, and caused stress on all three parties involved. Little by little, Kelly and Sally’s time together were getting less and less. Kelly felt a little slighted because she missed her girlfriend, yet understood. The tension between Kelly and the daughter became evident.

"The Other Love Triangle"

Kelly came to me about her concerns. We talked about it and I had told her that no matter what, her child will always come first. That’s just a given. “Give her some time and space so that the daughter knows she’s the most important person in her life, since having lost her dad in the household.” We both nodded in agreement but it didn’t make life easier for Kelly. Things then started to get better, with a surprising proposal of marriage by Sally this past February. Long story trying to be short: Sally decided to break off the engagement at the end of March. Her confusion was evident, between Kelly, her daughter and this new life of hers ---what direction was it taking? Is she really a lesbian or is she going through a phase? She had stated she has never been in love like this before. The fact that Sally was already in love with Kelly made the situation even more confusing, because she didn’t want to lose her connection with her daughter, as well as have the neighbors and community find out about this new change of lifestyle. With confusing signals on Sally’s part, she was telling Kelly she loved her, but then only calling on her terms only along with MIA statuses.

Give her time...

I related to Kelly’s story on a much different level. I told her how Madelene and I met and how challenging it was for Madelene. I was only 20 years old and still dating men. I was confused, but I knew deep down that I was always a lesbian. I dreamed of having a husband, a few kids, a house with the white picket fence, etc. - but all the passion was missing from it. I remember a few months into our noncommittal relationship, I had written her a letter telling her that I needed to break it off because I wasn’t sure if I was willing to change my lifestyle and become a “full time lesbian”. I also had the middlemen involved: my family. I didn’t want to disappoint them, especially my parents. I didn’t want to embarrass the people who loved me so much. That was a huge concern for me. So I sacrificed, and took the risk of breaking it off with Madelene, yet I kept finding myself calling her periodically to check up on her, to see what she was up to, and the occasional, “Do you wanna grab a drink” type of calls. This is what Sally is doing to Kelly right now.

Taking a standpoint on Sally’s situation, I told Kelly that the time Madelene gave to me in order to clear my head without any pressure, was when I figured out I couldn’t live without her. I totally believe in “whatever you resist will persist” - especially denying who I was, who I am and who I loved. Kelly kept saying, “Bottom line, her daughter’s always going to resent me and Sally is only calling me on her terms.” There is no bottom line. The bottomless pit of hope will tell her that yes, the daughter will always be there, and will eventually see what a beautiful person Kelly is after some time. Sally will eventually come to terms (or not) with her lifestyle and her love for Kelly, but she has. to. give. it. time. There’s something to be said about a logical point of view and having a backbone, but when does it come to the point of chucking each brick of vulnerability down onto the ground? Kelly said, “My brain says to cut all ties,” ----then I interrupted and asked her, “But what does your heart say?”

“I’m still in love with her. I love her so much, Deb.”

We’re supposed to be sensible, logical and strong as a bull when it comes to dealing with relationships and love. We need to show that we have a backbone so no one will walk all over us. "We can't get hurt again." While that’s a great concept in order to protect ourselves with, I also think it’s good to realize that everyone has a complicated life, to which they have to make decisions based on whatever, for personal reasons. In my own personal opinion: with a logical mind and a strong backbone, how can love penetrate through that? While Kelly and Sally are taking a break from their relationship due to all this conflict, what do you think Kelly should do? Should she wait for Sally because she is still in love with her? Or should she take “the high road” and scram?

What’s the “bottom line” for love?

Thursday, May 06, 2010

When We Were "Us". . .

About a year ago, I had written a post, entitled, “Don’t Cry”. I was speaking about how when I used to cry over my heart being broken, my mom would come into my room and plead to me, “Don’t cry mama - don’t cry, please!” I know she wasn’t downgrading the emotional torture I was going through, it was just that it killed her to see me so sad. As I’ve written about my mom’s proverbs that she obtained from her prayer & meditation, she wrote down this one: “My heart cries, when your soul aches.” Within her prayer, this is what God had spoken to her. Isn’t that what God does - the same thing our parents try to do? God doesn’t want us to be sad - He wants us to be full of joy, but being human, that isn’t possible all the time, which is why we need Him so much. The same goes for our parents: they want us to be filled with joy 24/7. God, like our parents, want the best for us, and seeing us sad makes them sad. At the same time, God and our parents are stronger for us, when we’re at our weakest. I know my mom was strong for me when I was crying. She comforted me, even went as far as putting raw slices of potatoes on my eyelids because they were so puffy and made me hot tea. It worked.

“Turn your back from anger, and your face toward God.” --Mom

Another proverb from my mom that is challenging to do, yet it’s the smartest option. As in my previous post, by choosing to stay out of the friendship that had taken a turn for the worse, it would be unhealthy for me to stay, not only because this person has hurt me numerous times, which always can be forgiven, but because I get too angry. I am a very forgiving person, but after way too many times of being offended and getting hurt, I have to step back because I know for myself, I am not perfect and in the midst of anger, I can become hurtful too. I don’t want to hurt anyone, so the smartest choice for me is to pull back. I’m still under construction and once my maturity level is complete or I have gained more wisdom through God, my experiences and yeah, even mom ---then maybe I can forgive seventy times seven times and yet, still hang in there. Right now, I’m not spiritually mature enough to do that. Everyone deserves to be forgiven, but sometimes it’s not about the other person, it’s about the person that was offended not having the strength to hold in their anger.

Just as the bible states: "And if your hand or your foot is a cause of trouble, let it be cut off and put it away from you: it is better for you to go into life with the loss of a hand or a foot than, having two hands or two feet, to go into the eternal fire."

Meaning: if anything causes you to sin, take it out of your life. Of course you still want your hand and foot, but if it causes you to keep sinning (or getting angry) - whichever sin you are facing ---then cut it off. So because of my own weaknesses, this is why I “seem to be” not forgiving my friend, but in reality, I DO forgive her - I just don’t trust myself. Maybe she’s reading this right now and perhaps, she understands this a bit better than just lashing out and calling me names and accusing me of this & that & the other thing. After her words this morning realizing her emails, phone calls weren’t being reciprocated she sent me this message: “Try as hard as you like Deb... but you won't get rid of me that easily” --I hope this blog post may defuse her anger.

“A gentle word is like the sea in the morning.” -Mom

I wish her nothing but health, love, happiness and perhaps, some wonderful memories of when we were “us”.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Seventy Times Seven?

It’s been quite challenging for me lately, as far as debating whether or not to continue a journey of friendship with someone I cared for very much. We’re all complex and have our own opinions, beliefs and whatnot. It’s normal. But when an argument or a disagreement takes place, when is it time to draw the line in order to decide whether or not staying in the friendship is a healthy choice? It’s one thing for two people to disagree about whatever, but it’s another to insult or attack another on a personal level. For instance: you and a friend argue about a misunderstanding or perhaps, a break in a promise that was set - those things can be resolved. But when your friend personally attacks you - whether it’s about your physical appearance, insults about your family or maybe an attack on your integrity: when does it come to the point of realizing your friend obviously has hidden resentments, anger or even jealousy toward you? 

I ended a friendship a couple of weeks ago. This person returned to me to give me advice on what to reveal on my Twitter account. (An obvious excuse to communicate.) I asked her politely if she would stop all contact with me, due to her past verbal abuse and personal attacks. The friendship turned toxic and yet, I truly and genuinely forgive this person, but I also choose to stay away from her, only because it happens more often than I can handle. I wished her the best, but I was very honest and explained that, yes I totally forgive the words she lashed out at me, the threat to my family and friends, (about slandering them online) and all of the outbursts I have endured during this friendship. There were good times. I won’t ever forget them. But at the same time, I don’t think I can ever forget the hurt and pain of her words echoing throughout my mind about all the terrible things she has said to me. I always get, “I was just mad at you, I’m sorry”, and then it’s back to buddies again. But how many times do I have to experience this?



“Then Peter came up and said to him, ‘Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.’” -Matthew 18:21-22

Forgiveness is a beautiful thing. I forgive her. However, choosing to stay in the friendship is another thing. I have no hard feelings toward this person, but I do remember, I’m only human. I am not resentful or wish bad upon her - I just want to leave things be and move on. I remember I was on the other side of this scenario too. I remember begging for forgiveness because I too, had verbally attacked someone and regretted it afterwards. That person forgave me, but chose to stay out of the friendship because she was so hurt by it. Through growing pains of maturing, I am learning more and more that forgiveness starts with loving ourselves and realizing that YES we can forgive those who hurt us terribly, and at the same time, we have a choice to improve our overall well-being by staying out of toxic friendships and relationships. If I didn’t learn the hard way, I probably wouldn’t understand it today. I’m thankful I went through what I did---having a friend choosing not to stay, because today, I’m understanding that to “forgive and forget” does not mean to lose all self-respect. I love myself too much to ever go through that type of abuse.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Gays & Lesbians of Faith - (Trailer & Update)



Gays & Lesbians of Faith is a documentary solely based on gays, lesbians and transgenders who have faith in a particular religion, yet are confident in their lifestyle regardless of religious judgments. We're looking for people to interview, whether they are Christian, Muslim, Jewish or any other religion that they may have had adversities in life trying to overcome the obstacle of being gay & yet, still loving GOD. Questions will be given during the film, as well as footage showing the interviewees' everyday life to give it more of a personal touch. We are seeking people in the New York area, (Hudson Valley, Manhattan and even outskirts of northern New Jersey) to be apart of our project. Food and beverage will be provided. Its a great opportunity for exposure and a chance to tell the world that you're here, you're queer and yet GOD loves you anyway!