Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Should Sex Ed Include Homosexuality?

Where do we learn tolerance for people who may be different than us? You can even post the question a little differently: where do we learn prejudices from? While society may be a factor, it also stems from what a child learns from home, or even what the child is hidden from. Kids are smart and eventually, they come to terms with Santa Claus being a fraud, the Tooth Fairy's a character played by mom and of course, the Easter bunny is just a fib. But those are 'good' lies; to enhance the child's wonderment. I do believe that. But what do you say to a child who sees two men holding hands or two women in a loving embrace like mommy and daddy do?  That's a hard call, but eventually they find out by their friends in school, which is just as scary as amateur sex ed. As society progresses into a new world of tolerance and equality for all (thank God), the old world of prejudices still lurks out there, waiting to offend anyone who dares fit the mold of the ~unknown~. At my Dad's funeral, I had an old friend come up to me and say, "Oh wait, aren't your parents Catholic or Christian or something? What did you convert to, since you know, you're gay and all?" I told her I was Christian and she looked shocked and appalled. "They don't accept you!" I wasn't going to get into a religious/gay & lesbian debate, so I just told her that people have different beliefs, and that's okay. She then went on and asked if she remembered what her parents said about being gay and how it's a sin. I just walked away from it. I didn't mention my Christian pastor marrying us in the name of God. Probably wouldn't have gone very well.

My point is, she referred back to her parents' teaching of how "wrong" it is to be gay. She also said as I was walking away from her, "Oh you know the old schoolers, Deb," but I simply kept walking and greeting people. I remember when I was five years old and hearing the word "lesbian" for the first time. I looked at my mom and asked, "What's a lesbian?" She gave me a wide-eyed look and stuttered out, "It's a-a-a-girl who, umm, kisses other g-g-g-girls." And my response was, "Oh." I remember pondering about it (knowing I preferred girls) and thinking, "Wow, it's possible!"  Just the other day while having an early family dinner, my adorable little nephew who's only ten years old asked, "Aunt Debbie, is Madelene your best friend?"  I looked up and said, "She certainly is!"  He looked back down at his dish and said, "Oh cool." I have no business responding, "She's my wife", when that answer would have been interrogated quickly. I'm just very happy he posed the question as he did, instead of asking, "Who is Madelene to you?"  Then it would be my business to say, "She's my wife" and have "the aunt" explain how to homosexuals can live together like mommy and daddy. "What's a homosexual?" I could only imagine it would have taken the most difficult route.

It's not right or wrong to not tell your kid about homosexuality if they don't need to know or they're not discovering at that early age that 'something's different' here.  To me, it's all about preference. But when does it come to the point of hiding homosexuality in fear that your child may be 'too' inquisitive, self-analyzing their own paths?  If you're able to have "the talk" with your child, do you include homosexuality in there as well? Or is that an 'alternative lifestyle' still? I actually have no opinion on it myself and still questioning it. I feel at times that when kids get a bit older, homosexuality could just be a 'fad' and explored like a drug instead of going with their own little hearts. They're so innocent and impressionable. It's a hard call to make especially if a kid asks about your relationship status with your wife or husband if you're gay. In my opinion, it's not my business to educate them on something that the parent should, or shouldn't. That's their call. I just hope if the parent does hide that lifestyle altogether, that they won't grow up thinking it's "wrong" or "sinful".  Two dear friends of mine who are a married gay couple recently had a baby girl. More and more gay parents are emerging into society. Soon enough, there will be no more explaining about, "Mommy & Mommy" or "Daddy & Daddy" --- it'll just be the norm.  We can only hope.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Life Lived Well

I learned quite a lot during this past week of my father's passing. Having this to be the first one of our immediate family member passing away, it gave me a glimpse into how other people react, feel, think and handle everything. The one thing that sticks out in my mind is how strange death can be, in terms of finally seeing people you love from years ago to pay their last respects. Where did the time go? The biggest repetitive thing said was, "It is so great to see you! -- Of course, it would be better under different circumstances," as their smile fades into a solace look and perhaps, a prolonged holding of one's hand. Why does it take a death to finally get us all together?  But that's life. Life gets in the way. And death brings us all back to that common ground: reality. It was such a great turnout and so nice to see so many coming to share that day with us. There were also some who were taken aback by how the services were handled. It was a one day event - short & sweet - no viewing except for a box with Dad's remains.  This is how Dad requested it to be. For anyone to comment or make a remark about how it lacked respect or that it was "too short" should really investigate ALL of their loved ones' wishes of how they want it to be. We were lucky enough to find out what Dad really wanted. And to go against his wishes would have been disrespect ---period. It's not about you. It's not about me. Dad's strange request to have his ashes near the woodpile of his home was a bit baffling for all of us, but but but, we had to fulfill his wishes. He did most of his work there and would sit on a chair smoking a cigarette contemplating life. My friend Jo sent me an oak tree called, "The Tree of Life". My family and I all gathered around yesterday, put dad's ashes into the hole of where the tree was going to be planted. In time, when that tree grows, we're going to make it a nice memorial area with a plaque. Each family member walked up to the hole filled with Dad's remains before the tree was planted and said their last thought, memory and goodbyes. It was actually more beautiful than any formal funeral I have ever attended. Sometimes less is more.

Strangely, (or maybe not), the day of his passing, a moth landed right near my coffee as Madelene and I were preparing to go see Dad at hospice. Look at the markings. To us, it looked like a rising angel. I told Madelene that "today is the day". I knew. Not only because of this incredible moth sign, but it was the 21rst. All of our relatives seemed to have died on the 21rst or the 12th of the month. Mom and I just knew... The first couple of days of his passing, my mother and I both wondered where Dad was. Mom said, "I wonder where he is right now."  Then we both were reminiscing about Dad's old friend who we haven't seen in years. He lived in Florida and would always come up to visit my parents. He developed alzheimer's and never called Dad or Mom again. His phone was disconnected as well.  As we were wondering where the both of them were, the radio came on out of nowhere and the lyrics of a Brian Adams song came blasting out, "Finding it hard to believe, we're in heaven." We both looked at each other and had tears of joy, taking it as a sign of Dad's whereabouts. She got her answer. I no longer wonder where Dad is and happy he's not in some hospital screaming for pain medicine or home in agony where he just couldn't get relief.

Rest in peace, Dad. I love you.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com

Friday, July 20, 2012

Peace

This morning I woke up into a puddle of tears. I dreamt that Dad was living his final days up in a beautiful room provided by hospice. My family and I, one by one, would walk up, giving him a kiss goodbye telling him "I love you" for the last time, staring at his weak, frail, grayish-blue frame sunken into the last bed he'll ever lie in. When I finally awoken from this nightmare, it hit me: it was real - it happened. Madelene came over to my side of the bed trying to control my sobbing with a hug, but it wouldn't stop. All I kept saying was, "It's real... It's real." Thoughts flooded my mind, memories, flashes of moments where Dad tried walking out of the house to get onto his backhoe because "he had to go to work", then realized he couldn't. His head sunk down realizing his passion in life was nothing but a memory. The last time he was conscious he said, "I don't think I'm gonna make it kid," as I helped him walk the property to rehabilitate his broken hip he got operated on. Then he said, "I love you," and then looked down, almost brokenhearted. He sat back down, petted Lola and said, "I love this dog..." Dad never really took a liking to dogs all that much, so it meant a lot. Lola never acted up in front of him. She always licked his hands while he petted her, almost 'knowing' his condition.

For almost three years now we've all been mourning since Dad was first diagnosed with cancer. But the last few months, perhaps even year, was just truly agonizing to see him suffer to the extent that he did. There was nothing you could possibly do to make it better. Mom stayed up countless nights with him trying to comfort him any way she could. Mom's stronger than I ever imagined, trying to hold him up while he was falling over, as well as emotionally holding him up with soothing words or making him laugh somehow. What tore me up (among many other factors), is watching two people who have been together for over 50 years saying goodbye to one another. "Take care of my baby," he said to me not too long ago, worrying that Mom would be alone, sad or God forbid had fallen ill. I made a promise to him that was absolutely effortless.

Life's cycles are sometimes strange and frightening. "This isn't suppose to happen."  Well, Dad wasn't suppose to be here past 60 years old and he made it to 75! God bless him for being a fighter.  He outlived most of his younger friends and family who doubted his longevity. "You're never gonna make it past 60, Charlie."  And proverbially he turned around and said, "Watch me ya bachagaloop!"  He proved everybody wrong.

But Mom... My family and I are worried about her health declining through all the stress and the extended mourning period. Mom and I sometimes get the "church giggles". We'll laugh at inappropriate times and perhaps it can be seen as 'insensitive', but we don't mean it to be. It's through hours and hours of crying in the morning and having to sit up in hospice watching Dad starve cause he can't swallow any longer, that at some point during the day, there needs to be a balance; a "lightness" to the heavy fog that's crushing all of us. Mom said, "What if they think I don't care," as she started crying again, and worrying about what others thought about her having a fit of the giggles over something stupid I had done just to get a smile or chuckle out of her. "Mom, I'm sure it's a relief to the entire family to even see you crack a smile. You. need. balance. Haven't you cried enough?" We all have. And not to sound as though there shouldn't be more tears, but the tears are constant....and so should the happiness. To be calm in the midst of chaos - to ride the storm with hope - to be content with "what is" and not wish for something unrealistic, is a healthy way to live in my opinion. I don't want my mom to die of a broken heart. I'm sure you've probably heard those stories where one partner dies, and then the other partner passes away out of nowhere because, well... they died of a broken heart. But what if - what if - Mom's heart was mended by a little laughter, a positive outlook on life in which the next chapter in LIFE isn't such a bad idea to look forward to? That's all I want for my mom at this time. Peace. That's all I want for my dad at this time. Peace. That's all I want for my sisters at this time.

Peace.

Will we allow it?

Please continue to pray for our family as we try to get through this difficult time.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Feed Your Soul

It's a proven fact that if you don't love yourself, you can't love another person. It's also a fact that if you don't take care of "you" first, you can't take care of other people. When you constantly 'do do do' and don't take time out to replenish your mind, body & soul, you'll end up resentful and perhaps full of anxiety.  Sometimes there is a misconception of whose life is easier. And while that may look like the case, it certainly is not. Each person has their own cross to bear so I always try to keep in mind that judging their circumstances or lack thereof is just unfair. Remember, people don't always tell you everything that's brewing behind closed doors. But while being in the midst of this 'messy life' we all live in to certain degrees, there are some wonderful suggestions and tips that are always given, but are they always taken? Yesterday afternoon while I was having a "me" day, I went to a wellness center to get some polarity treatments and relax.  It was time. I had to do this for myself before I can continue to help anybody else. While waiting for my Reiki master, I read something on his wall that basically told me everything I should be doing in life. It was the best advice ever, which I want to share with you. And if you can't read it due to the photo, just enlarge it if you can. I took it with my phone cam, so I apologize for the reflection of the window in the background, oh, and my big hair...

Everything from connecting with your "God" to explaining where fears are stemmed from. The one that stood out the most for me was avoiding loud and aggressive people. They are vexatious to the soul.  I can't tell you how many times I have had to walk away from people who were either too loud (in a negative way) and those who just spoke so negatively about everything and everyone. This also applies to people who only speak things of 'gloom & doom' -- where everything out of their mouth is just so depressing or grim. It really does rub off on you, or at least for me, it gives me anxiety. No doubt, we're all going to talk about things that may be negative, but, all. the. time...?  I can't do it. I can't surround myself with these types of people. Even aggressive and loud people disturb my peace. I constantly feel "on guard" and ready to flee or defend myself. I don't want to feel that way. Isn't life hard enough as it is? 

My main problem (among a million) is that I feel a lot of guilt. I spoke to my Reiki guy and he said, "Stop that. You deserve to be here. If you don't ever do these types of things for yourself, you'll never be at peace and you'll end up resenting whatever it is you do for other people." My wife always says, "Throw guilt in a bag and shoot it."  I feel guilty if I just want to stay home with my wife and have alone time. I feel guilty if I just want to go out and get a manicure, or do things like that for myself. I feel guilty for even having lunch or dinner with one of my girlfriends. I feel guilty for wanting to have a party. I feel guilty for wanting to have a life basically. In turn, with all of these negative feelings of wanting things I can actually have, and not taking them due to guilt is making my depression sink in more and more. It started to make me not want to do things for other people; withdraw and flee from the world.

Madelene and I even tossed around the idea of moving out to the Cape and seeing how we would like it. She already has a job lined up for her at any time over there and since I work from home, it would be the perfect set up. But but but. That guilt creeps in saying, "You can't leave here. Too many people depend on you. You can't have your own life."  Fact is, everyone everywhere will be fine regardless of who leaves and who stays. That's just a given. The world will still be spinning. After my session yesterday, I felt better about my desire to move out to a place I have always dreamed of.  I have less guilt, less need to please everyone and more motivation to feed my soul more. I deserve it. YOU deserve it. Everyone deserves to live how they want to live, without guilt, without resentment, without the need to fulfill everybody else's needs but your own, so then you can help others more effectively. And that's just how it works.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Scientific Impossibility

Questioning life is a good thing. We never want to reach that level of "OK, I don't need to learn anything else." Questioning the afterlife is inevitable, for every religion and those who don't believe in a "god" or higher being.  What truly happens when we die? Logic will explain everything - even for those who had a near death experience witnessing that great big 'white light' as well as seeing deceased loved ones. It's just something the brain produces that makes you see your life flash before your eyes and perhaps, your dead relatives coming to see you.  Sounds cooky, doesn't it?  But, it has happened and yet, science keeps batting it down as if it was nonsense. Even in my own experience, I was planning to go up to visit my grandmother once in the hospital. The night before, she came to me in a dream and stubbornly said, "I don't want you to see me like this. Don't you dare come to the hospital!" Just a dream... I brushed it off and still planned to go visit her. The next morning, my mother called and said that grandma passed away early that morning. There are a ton of stories where a near death loved one who is in a coma or is gravely ill can actually communicate with those who are close to them. What about terminally ill people who are on their last breath waiting for that last relative to come visit before he or she passes away? I've heard that story so many times and I truly believe that to be true. The unexplainable is just that: it cannot be dissected and proven 100%. Science vs. spirituality is a losing battle. Neither of them win out solely based upon belief systems.

As you've probably read in the comments of this blog post of mine, I ran across a diehard angry atheist who downgraded my ability to plant the seed of faith to three atheist friends of mine. He doubted that they were truly atheistic because of their willing to learn more about another faith, or perhaps just tap into it a little whether or not they converted. I'm not here to convert anyone.  I explained that many atheists who I have come across all sought to make me look "stupid" with my faith in Christianity. They'd even mock my God and make blasphemies which would offend me a great deal. He said I was wrong in "assuming" that all atheists did this, but he never absorbed the fact that I said "the only ones I have ever come across". I explained that perhaps 'somewhere out there', maybe there are atheists who don't behave this way, but that was no better. He said, "To suggest that 'somewhere out there' there might be some is only marginally better than to say that there are none. Again, it's like saying that 'somewhere out there, there are Moslems who don't blow people up. You feel justified in lumping all atheists together into the same pot when I feel quite sure you would never do the same in speaking about blondes, vegetarians, or violin players. Prejudiced people rarely see the prejudice within themselves because, in their minds, they're simply describing the despised group in an accurate manner."  Again, I told him that this was "my" experience - not saying "all" atheists are like that.  Well, this gentleman went on to blast me out of the water, since his "religion" is atheism. All he does is write about his former life as a religious man and basically rants on about his lack of beliefs. I can't see constantly writing about a lack of belief -- I can see someone passionately writing about a belief though. So in my opinion, I truly feel this person is reaching to seek answers. Although his stubborn nature says, "I DON'T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR RELIGION BECAUSE IT DOES NOT EXIST", his writing, his actions, his words speak louder. He's angry because the people of that religion possibly gave him a bad taste of what it's like to be spiritual. "Religious" people - the ones who instill the guilt and condemn others for sins while having so many of their own are the culprits for 'some' people to seek atheism. It's a shame there are so many scary religious people that pose doubts and makes other people of faith lose hope of anything greater than themselves.

A couple of questions were posed. One being, if Christians believe in a deity and also the grim thought of hell, then why would God send an "honest man" -- even if he's a non-believer to hell? In my beliefs, I don't believe God would send him to hell. I think it goes much deeper than just casting off non-believers. Jesus said, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; <--(for atheists) but blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." {John 20:29} Many people don't have the chance to experience "GOD" in their lives -- as a real entity/person/spiritual guide. And that's okay. This is why Jesus accepts those who have to 'see' to believe. And what I mean by that is, even if you never believe in this lifetime, I truly truly believe that when one is questionable about religion and faith altogether, the answer will be revealed in the afterlife. No hell. Just a chance to be saved. I'm not trying to convert anyone, but "religion" has gotten so out of control - a rule book to throw at those who want to learn and get closer to God, but too scared of the people who worship Him. They threaten hell upon those who are truly good people. They try to instill guilt, shame and negative overtones to rule out "sin". It's an awful way to live.

The other question was, if you believe in your God so much, why don't you write more about your faith? I went down this road many times speaking about my faith, but in moderation. When I overdid it, I had extremists argue with me, which was pointless. Why argue over something that is "believed", rather than proven? I have my personal relationship with God where I don't have to shout upon the mountain tops to prove my love for God. In Matthew 6:5-6 "And now about prayer. When you pray, don't be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on the street corners and in the synagogues (and perhaps blogs) where everyone can see them. I assure you, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you." See, I don't need to blog about every prayer session I've had or rant on about what God has done for me, even though He has done SO much. I don't need to prove that I'm a Christian believer - only God knows my heart. To ask a loaded question of "Why then don't you write about your faith if you believe in this 'so called god' of yours" is plain ignorant.  In turn, I ask, why then, do you blog so much about your *unbelief* if you're not seeking answers of your own about our 'so called God' or trying to tear someone else's faith in God down? Raises a few good questions in my eyes.


There is this stigma for people who believe in God, to which they are seen as stupid, uneducated and naive just because they worship something, someone who is not visible to the eye. Perhaps even seen as "crazy" in some cases.  Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths." When I rely on my own understanding, or "intellect", there are times when it just doesn't pan out. For me, the most important thing is learning more about God - my afterlife - my faith as to where it'll take me. Here on earth, we live for such a short time. Intelligence is great, but I value spiritual wisdom to guide me through life. How do we view success? What is "success" to some people?  Is it a college education? Is it a six figure income? Is it having the 'know all' to prove to so many people how sharp and bright you are? One scripture that really speaks to my heart is this one found in Ecclesiastes 5:13-20 -- "There is another serious problem I have seen in the world. Riches are sometimes hoarded to the harm of the saver, or they are put into risky investments that turn sour and everything is lost. In the end, there is nothing left to pass on to one's children. People who live only for wealth come to the end of their lives as naked and empty-handed as on the day they were born. And this, too, is a very serious problem. As people come into this world, so they depart. All their hard work is for nothing. (All the college degrees, careers and money earned.) They have been working for the wind, and everything will be swept away. Throughout their lives, they live under a cloud--frustrated, discouraged, and angry. Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat well, drink a good glass of wine, and enjoy their work---whatever they do under the sun---for however long God lets them live. And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life--that is indeed a gift from God. People who do this rarely look with sorrow on the past, for God has given them reasons for joy." And one more scripture that speaks so loudly is this one: "I have observed something else in this world of ours. The fastest runner doesn't always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn't always win the battle. The wise are often poor, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don't always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being at the right place at the right time." {Ecclesiastes 9:11}  So, my point is, if you are truly relying on intellect and the world's view of success -- you will never genuinely be happy if you don't have love, health, and most of all, God in your life. And yes, this is my opinion and view on this as a "blogger". So go 'head, call me uneducated and naive just because I believe in God. Christians will always be prosecuted and taunted with. It's been happening since the beginning of time.

"If there were no God, there would be no atheists." --G.K. Chesterton

Some interesting tweets I found: 

Now how you gonna explain a miracle to those who live in darkness?? You can't!!

: I was in the same position as you. Didn't give my life or soul much thought then the LORD captured me! Using me for His glory.

I find  entertaining especially those who use profanity instead of logic RT : Is  a passion of yours?

I PRAY... Not because I Need something, but because I have to about something... :)
God lead me & I will follow....

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Tough Love Or Intolerance?

There are a lot of people who simply just amaze me. And I say "amaze" in not so much of a judgmental tone, but more on a curious level - like trying to get inside their minds in order to fully understand why they think and do what they think and do. Capiche?  I'll never forget about ten years ago, a friend of mine who was much younger than all of us had driven to our house crying hysterically. She was nineteen years old was still living with her parents at the time. What happened was, her parents found out by another family member that she was a lesbian and had been seeing a young woman for the past six months or so. I remember "Christine" sobbing through her words, telling Madelene and I how she was about to come out to them and truly thought that her parents wouldn't have made such a big fuss over it. When Christine came home from her job of working with those who are developmentally challenged, she found that her parents had all of her belongings out on the lawn. When she tried to open the door, it was locked. She frantically called them up to see what happened, but no one answered the phone. After sitting out on the lawn with piles of her clothes packed in hefty bags, Christine got a call from her older sister letting her know what took place and that her parents wanted her out of the house because she was gay. Being a homosexual wasn't tolerated in their household. Unfortunately, her sister lived on the west coast, so it wasn't like she could have just said, "Come over right now." Christine packed up her bags from the lawn and drove off into a mall parking lot to call her friends to see if anyone would have her temporarily.

I'm writing this story because a good friend's little sister is going through the same thing. She too got the big ol' boot from her parents due to their religious belief that homosexuality is a sinful abomination. So, until she is "cured", she can live back home. What I can't comprehend is how someone who believes in Jesus can actually shun their own child, kicking them out on the street. I just see it as conditional love -- true love would never do this. True love tolerates, unless of course the situation is "harmful" or threatening in some way. I guess they've never read certain passages in the bible like, "Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. {1 Corinthians 13:4-7} Or, "For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard." {Romans 3:23} And, "Jesus was asked, 'Of all the commandments, which is the most important?' Jesus replied, 'The most important commandment is this: Here O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord, your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important - love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.'" {Matthew 22:34-40}

Years ago when someone would ask, "Are you religious", I would say yes. But now I fully understand that I am NOT religious. I have a relationship with God - I do not worship 'man's word' - I am spiritual due to the fact that Jesus was tolerant to the most intolerable and that's the way I want to try and live my life. I'm imperfect, everyone is if they can truly admit it, which is why we need to yield a bit to those who may be different than us, or those whose lifestyle we may disagree with. God's the only judge that can make a call on 'that's bad' or 'this is to be looked down upon'.  Again, like I said, unless the situation or said person is seemingly dangerous or threatening to your life and well-being, then why can't people be just a little more tolerant of others? Especially a parent to a child. I just can't wrap my mind around that. People just amaze me. Do you feel this is tough love or plain ol' intolerance?

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Proceed With Caution

It's been one of those weeks where I just want to scream, "I can't laugh anymore!!!" To all my family and friends, they know me as the 'jokester' - sometimes with the most hideous jokes, but nonetheless. I make light of things and try to defuse any tense situation...I try. They do the same for me as well, or at least try. Yesterday morning was especially hard for me. I woke up feeling nauseous, possibly from nerves to help my mother with some personal issues to tend to and getting things situated for her back home. I made some coffee, had a little something to eat with Mad, and while I was in the bathroom, I came back out to find my Chihuahua licking up the last bits of my coffee while there were shards of the glass mug all around her. She has learned to jump onto the table now with her little 2 inch legs and knock things over. Needless to say, she zoomed around the house like Speedy Gonzales on meth. After cleaning the mess up and taking her outside to do her ~biz~, she comes back inside the house to pee all over the floor. Guess she was mad at me for taking away her java. I'd be mad too.  I tried getting ready. I went into the shower and the dog just freaked out. For whatever reason, this dog has a panic attack every time I try to shower. To relieve her anxiety, I keep the door open so she can hang out with me. Instead, she sits by the shower with a high pitched bark yelping until I come out. Then the headache kicks in. I seriously need the dog whisperer to come visit me.

Why is it so complicated???
The last straw came crashing down when Mad let me borrow an SUV from her dealership. I needed this truck to help mom out. Five minutes before she goes to work, she explains how the shifter works. "Three down for drive, two up for reverse and press the button on the top to park it." ....."What?" She says it again slowly, and then she starts hysterically laughing. So, I started to laugh too, and kept repeating it until it finally 'clicked' in my brain. "So three down for drive, two up for reverse and press WHAT button for park?"  She stared at me. I just lost it. Not because I couldn't understand the shifting protocol, but because I was so overwhelmed with everything overall. I started crying. "Come on, laugh - it's funny." she says, to try to relieve my sadness. "It's not funny when you leave me with a 5 minute crash course on this complicated shifter that's not even standard!" I cried out as if it was some catastrophic event that was happening. I then realized how dumb this whole 'argument' was, and kind of let out a giggle through my tears and said, "I'm sorry, I'm just overwhelmed with everything. That was really stupid."  She hugged me and took me outside to teach me this whacked out shifter. ...It was the easiest shifter I have ever used. I then felt even more stupid.

Leave me alone!
To make matters worse, I seem to attract friends who think every insult or punch at me is "funny". I can take a low blow here and there or make light of a serious situation most of the times, but this week certainly isn't one of them. I'm not sure if it's the full moon or that Mercury is in retrograde, but it's beyond me why some of my friends decide to drunk text me idiotic comments or profess their unrelenting beer goggled crushes on me. I should be flattered, but midnight drunk texts usually means "You're my last resort & I don't care if you're married - I'm bored." (-----Go 'way!) I really gave it to one of my friends where I told her that I don't 'do well' with drunk texts and that she offended both my wife and I. She denied it while the texts above were all proof of her drunken ego at work. One thing about me: I can joke around like the best of them but when you start to get personal or insult my marriage or even make reference of assuming what my life is like --- I will bite back and defend myself. I didn't say "eff off" or anything of that nature, I just honestly spoke my heart and told my friend I'm not tolerating this any longer. I can blow it off as quickly as it came on as well. But do it again, and you've lost a good friend. And again, I know I've been tightly wound up lately, but please...proceed with caution.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Next Chapter In Life

A friend of mine suggested this Buddhist based book that basically gave suggestions on how to handle life's circumstances and turmoils. The main message was, instead of stepping into your next chapter of life with fear, step into it with curiosity.  I have a few friends who are going through very turbulent times right now in their lives, as I am too. We all share, give our best advice and sometimes, just give an ear or shoulder to lend out if need be. They all fear the worst outcome. (So do I.) The point is: everyone is going through something, regardless how small or big. The significance of it all depends on the individual. It doesn't even have to be an outward circumstance - it can be an inner turmoil that someone's going through that makes them do things, say things and think things that are just out of their character. And to undermine what someone else is going through, just because you went through something similar is beyond my understanding, and it also does not mean it's the same "circumstance". For example, say I lose a loved one and you did as well, it can be very different. Maybe I was never close to my "loved one" and didn't take the blow hard enough, whereas your loved one meant everything to you, making your world crumble beneath your feet. Every person, every trial, every heart, every emotion, every "hurt" in life can be so incredibly different from another. It's a proven fact that every new "chapter" in life is followed in with a ton of fear, or as most psychiatrists say, "stress". Change of job, loss of loved one, divorce, breakups, even moving to a different place - all stress-related.

Maybe you can relate to this... Every year in my life is so different from another. Every half of year is significantly different even. Things change, people change, circumstances change and it's so EASY to say, "go into it with curiosity" when you know change is right around the corner, but is it for good or for bad? We anticipate the worst more often than not. To be honest with you, I couldn't take the well intended advice of "go into it with curiosity" when I had so much fear brewing inside of me. I would stay up late at night with insomnia anticipating the day - not even a 'happening' or something I had to do - the day itself was feared. "What's next?"  ---- The unknown freaked me the hell out and my nights were spent either with insomnia or in the emergency room with chest pains from an anxiety attack. I would leave my cell phone near my bedside, anticipating a call from my mom asking me to come down because dad 's sick or something bad happened. And when that phone last rang, I swear to God it was all I can do to keep it together and not find myself hooked up to an EKG machine in the ER. Go into it with curiosity? "Eff you" I thought...

Sometimes the most inane suggestions are often the best ones. Someone told me, "Get a dog." I was never really an animal person at all. I don't even go to people's houses who have animals hardly (unless I'm forced to). A dog maybe, a cat? ...No way. And if you've been reading me for some time or know me, I finally went up to the pet shelter and found my best friend waiting for me. I have to say my little Chihuahua saved my life in many ways.  I haven't had a severe panic attack or 'mania' of thinking something's wrong with my health in a long time. My sleep patterns are back to normal (first week was tough with the pup but we got through it), and my overall 'well-being' seems to have taken on a much more peaceful approach to all this chaos around me. Maybe it's the focus of taking care of something other than yourself, or maybe it's God's little presents from heaven saying, "Here, this'll make you feel better." I'm picking option two. With all honesty, it was the best medicine I have ever received - better than any stress relieving remedy ever suggested. Although I'm still going through 'my thang', I have Lola here to keep my wife and I happy and laughing - the place feels "lighter", and overall, she has enhanced our lives in such a positive way that I can understand when people say, "I like animals better than I like people." So now, maybe I can move onto my next chapter in life with the support of my wife, our pup by my side and a positive and healthy dose of curiosity to dull the fear. 


Do you step into your next chapter in life with curiosity or fear? And what's your best "medicine" to handle your inner turmoils? 


Random picked tweets: 

Don't give up on what makes you happy for  of failure?.. Be failing by trying what most fear.. WV

I'm scared of the future but I can't stop living because of the 

 is the ever-present stop sign in our head. Speak up and talk back to your fears as they appear. Your fears mostly need your!

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com


Monday, July 02, 2012

Facebook: I'm Only Here for the Drama

Everything has become so impersonal. You get happy birthday wishes on your Facebook wall - no card or phone call. If it weren't for Facebook, perhaps your birthday would be forgotten altogether. You no longer have to wonder what people are doing on the weekends or what they're up to during the work week and if it sucked - they always let you know. The funniest entertainment for me are the ones who create those little online dramas online with a status message indicating how upset they are over people commenting over 'this' or 'that' or posting whatever. Who gives a rat's ass? And as much as I would like to think that Facebook has dwindled down a bit, like Myspace, truth is, it hasn't at all. In fact, I want to even say it has gotten worse. This is why I'm more of a fan of Twitter. It's an outlet for whatever and however you want to express yourself and you can hashtag a topic in order to start a conversation about a particular topic. I also find it one of the best news sources (with links of course).

The most disturbing part of Facebook are the ones who have just broken up with a spouse or partner. At times, one person leaves their account fully open just to rub things in the ex's face. Get off their page! (But is it possible?)  Maybe they'll post a picture of a quote stating their feelings or indirectly insulting the person of interest... And keep in mind that people will only show you what they want you to see. They could show you everything in the world, from traveling, new house, new lover, new this, new that --- but have they really moved on?  You'll never know. Facebook is not a truthful place to go if you're seeking answers. And no doubt, there are people out there who do put out too much 'truth' - inappropriate truths to where it hurts someone else in some way or another.

What about photos? You have the self-posed bathroom portrait with some dirty underwear on the floor, or the 'pucker-lipped-I-pretend-to-have-collagen' shot which looks worse than it sounds. I love the pics where you can actually see the arm extending the phone cam in order to get the profile picture, raised high enough to enhance 'features', even some major cleavage (or minor/enhanced). We can create this world/illusion of ourselves through this hellish forum of online social media, but what's really brewing underneath that online persona?  And hey, I would never take a photo right when I wake up, but apparently, there is an online social networking forum where that's the big thing now. Maybe I'll start posting some bed head pics.  But for now, I'll just keep my "fan page" (hate that it's called that) for my writing, and my personal page to post an overload of pics of my dog and alcoholic beverages. But please, don't hesitate to keep me entertained. I love every dramatic post that gets plopped on there.

Kudos~

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com