Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Things I Have Learned About "Friends" as an Adult

They say that if you don't like something about yourself or about your situation, then change it. Sometimes, it's easier said than done, and other times, it's just a matter of whose opinion is affecting your thought process. I can give you several examples. I love coffee, but I have insomnia. The logical answer would be to quit my caffeine intake, but it makes me happy in the morning (or afternoon if I went to bed at 5am.) Mainstream and medical opinion is "you should lose weight." Sounds healthy, right? My inside numbers: 110/70 bp, 210 cholesterol (not too shabby) and hormone levels, thyroid gland, every other organ in perfect shape. I run up and down the stairs 100 times a day, can lift fairly heavy things and still have my breath. Not too bad for 43 years old. I have no issue with my 'lumps & bumps' but sometimes other people do. So is that my problem or their problem? If I feel comfortable being "me" and being happy regardless if I'm a size 2 or a size 20 -- then it shouldn't make a difference to anyone. "It'll catch up with you," -- well so can any disease. Skinny people have heart attacks, cancer, diabetes, you name it -- what makes you think just because someone is overweight that they are more prone to catch a disease of any nature? It's funny, because I eat quite well. I usually stick to whole food -- foods that are from main sources and not boxed or canned goods. My downfall is my insomnia, which makes it difficult to not have a snack at night. But my snacks aren't ice cream or potato chips -- they're usually leftover veggies or salads from dinner or a cup of bone broth. If you ask me to give up my wine, you're asking me to give up my sanity. So there's that.

But why do people feel the need to change us?

The other day, someone suggested that I should have just settled with being "roommates" with my wife. The question was, "Why did you have to marry her? Why couldn't you have just lived together?" Well, I guess we could've done that, but like any other couple after 14 years of dating, you'd wanna ask WHY they didn't tie the knot. (Am I way off on this?) But it wasn't a matter of commitment they were asking about, it was a matter of them believing that being in a gay relationship is just wrong.  The same goes for someone who suggested that I should renounce my faith in Christianity (stop calling myself a Christian) if I'm going to continue living in a homosexual "lifestyle." They were basically telling me to reject God, which is the worst thing you can do in the Christian faith. To reject God is one of the biggest sins you could ever commit -- it's blasphemy. So they're suggesting that I commit a much larger sin, with no salvation available. This person also thought that I was a "false prophet," and that I was steering people down a very dangerous road. The thing is, even if I was a "false prophet," wouldn't they trust God enough to guide them His way. We are chosen by God. I was told to "Stop talking about your relationship and calling your girlfriend your wife. You're shoving your sexuality down our throats."

So what do I call Madelene? And when I say, "Oh, let me ask Madelene," to a complete stranger, they're going to ask, "Oh, who's that?" So then, do I like and say she's my roommate, and just stuff myself back into the back of that cluttered closet? Or can I do what every married PERSON does and call them my spouse, wife or husband? It's like a woman talking to a real estate broker, and she says, "Oh this apartment sounds great, let me just ask my husband first," and then the real estate broker says, "STOP PUTTING YOUR SEXUALITY IN MY FACE!" It's the same thing. So just by this person suggesting that I stop "putting my sexuality in other people's faces" suggests that SHE is very uncomfortable with anyone who is gay or lesbian. I didn't talk about my "wild lesbian sex" I had two nights ago -- I said "wife" to refer to Madelene. Most of this stems from severely sexually repressed people who are so overwhelmed by their "lack of" that they need to make other people feel uncomfortable in their own skin. Another thing I've noticed is that these people are usually religious and determined to "fix" everybody who isn't broken. It actually says a lot about their insecurities with their own faith in God. If they were confident in their walk with their god -- they wouldn't feel the need to correct other people. They would trust God enough to handle the situation. And if anyone thinks another person is sinning, then pray for them and leave it in God's hands.

But still, they try to change us.


Either you're not praying the right way, or you're not praying to the right God and you're not behaving the way God wants you to. The judgment and criticism of those who are fellow sinners seep into our minds making us think, "Hey, I'm not worthy of God's love." And so, that person ends up being "agnostic" and just believing that there is a higher power. I know that I know that I know that there is a God who I speak to. He hears me, He answers my prayers, and when He doesn't answer my prayers, he gives me something even better. There is absolutely zero proof of someone else's spiritual walk being better than another. There is no "right or wrong" road to travel on -- it's all about our own personal journey. Once you step into the area of believing that someone else's journey is going to be their downfall, then that tells me that you don't trust God at all. For instance, if God sees that one of his children love Him with all of their heart, He's not going to let them stumble. As it says in the scriptures, He will guide them along the right pathway.

Other people's opinions...

When you're a public figure online (maybe not famous) but out there for everyone to see your life unfold, whether through a blog or live streaming, you are a "public figure" in a sense. People seem to get a gist of who you are, and sometimes, they feel they know you 100% after watching just a few live streams, or if they had read a few of your articles. What many people don't realize is, those who are in the public eye are not showing you 100% of their lives. I know that I never show 100% of my life. If anything at all, you get to see probably 30% of what I'm all about. I write and live stream about my faith and I also do discussions and cooking shows over on Periscope. I had a viewer say to me that she knows that I am not in love with my wife and how I should remove myself from the relationship (she refuses to call it a marriage.) I was kind of taken aback and asked why. (Who wouldn't ask why...) And she felt that it didn't seem right for me. Mind you, this person has never met me nor has she seen my offscreen life. But it goes to show you how imaginative some people can be while viewing other people who are pretty much public with their lives, or at least a portion of their lives. She doesn't get to see us cuddling at night while we fall asleep, or how we have hours and hours of conversations over coffee and breakfast on Sunday mornings. She doesn't see how we're there for one another when we fall ill or we need emotional support. Offscreen, we can be found at our favorite restaurant laughing and talking, having a great time, like two best friends do when they're out. She doesn't get to see the long walks in the park with our dog or the many rides into another town on our day off. She doesn't get to see how we connect with our family and bring them together for BBQs and outings. She only sees me cooking or having an online live stream discussion about relationships, religion and topics regarding the LGBT community. Even if you are friends with someone through the interwebs, it is not enough to judge them by.

And then again, no relationships is ever perfect.

And that's a beautiful thing. People will judge you according to how "bad" your relationship may seem because you two either had an argument or like us, had separated for a short time. Things like this happen in any relationship. When I think about the mind of a live stream viewer or a reader of mine, I think about what goes through their head while reading it all. Are they getting the full gist of what I mean and say, or are they coming to their own conclusions due to their own past experiences, which is very likely. I find it ironic how most people who are single and much older than I am who have a "say" in what my relationship and marriage should "be like." I always wonder why they're single....but it usually doesn't last for very long. I usually understand why.  Unhappy people hope to find other unhappy people to relate to, as well as that old saying goes, hurt people hurt. If you're not unhappy and having a few bumps in the road, they'll wanna see you drive through the sinkhole of life instead. They like to see the struggle because they thrive off of other people's misery. It is a sickness, because it makes them feel better about their own lives. And many people (even myself) can hold some of those traits. Have you ever watched COPS and thought, "Wow, I'm pretty damn lucky...?"  It's kind of like that, but on a larger and much closer scale since they know you personally, or so they think they do.

Be careful who you let inside your small circle. There are many people out to hurt you if they can't have you. The psychological damage that brings them to try and destroy your peace and joy is astounding. They'll do anything and everything to make you think that you're crazy. It's not only disturbing, but it's also very narcissistic. It's usually a "me me me" agenda, and they'll stop at nothing once they see you struggling somehow, some way, in some form. Have you ever thought about your life as a young man or woman and remember all of the many friends you had? And then you kind of take a look at your adult life, and you're lucky if you have at least 3-4 close friends who you can trust? I believe that come from learning how other people are, and how they can hurt you due to their own selfish motives. There are people in my life today, who I have "ghosted" on because they have used me, either financially, or to use me as a B&B getaway. Some used me as their own personal therapeutic sounding board. After some time, the therapy sessions wear thin on someone who is only playing the role of "the ear" to bend. There has to be a happy medium if you plan to unload on your friend. I'm always there for my friends when they need to talk, but there are some who truly take advantage of other people's good nature. I always pray to God to show me somebody's true intentions and He never lets me down.

Have you been ghosted by someone?
{Ghosting: When a friend or a person of interest has suddenly disappeared without a reason why.}

It's not always your fault. But ask yourself, "Did I come on too strong? Did I make awkward advances? Have I completely unloaded my emotional baggage onto this person too soon? Have I used this person for personal gain or for financial help? Am I always negative?" 

Speaking about negative people -- remember that if you are around somebody who is negative, that'll definitely rub off on you. I don't mean someone who needs a friend because she's going through a divorce -- but someone who never, and refuses to see the glass half full. You can't convince them no matter what and they'll even look at your life as an example of a "bad situation" when in fact, you're quite happy in your little messy life as most of us are. I'm not saying someone has to be all happy-go-lucky in order to hang out with me, but there's a fine line between friendship and therapy sessions. Know when to release the baggage.

Oh, one more thing. Another thing I get from many narcissistic people is that "this message if for them." Wrong. This message is from my own past experience with many who have tried to make my life a living hell by all of their judgments regarding what I do, how I do it and keeping me accountable for every single word that comes out of my mouth. I'm only human, and can only take so much before I come up to the surface and tell my story, as I always do. As much as people would like to think that my life is pretty much an open book -- there are many chapters that are marked "private."  And just because I give you a few inches of my life online, does not mean you're seeing the full yard of my daily living. I think it's safe to say that I can speak for a lot of people here. Just keep in mind that people are trying to share as much as they can sincerely, and once you hurt them or judge them harshly, they will flee far far away, or as the kiddies say, "they'll ghost."

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