Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Raging Sea and PMS

Don’t do it. Don’t say it. Don’t think it. Don’t touch me. Don’t keep asking me the same questions over and over again. Just don’t. What? What? I can’t hear you!!! Are you speaking another language, because you’re not making sense!? The words out of your mouth mean absolutely nothing to me. Nothing. Stop making all that noise! I can’t take it! What are you talking about again?

From the slightest crinkle of a candy wrapper to a question that goes beyond what you’re willing to answer—your mind is in complete disarray of any rational thinking that may have taken place just a week prior. Your brain is ‘fuzz’. It’s static electricity sending out electric vibes; striking innocent people in its path. Don’t go near it. Stay far, far away. It’s a force to be reckoned with.

Inside the life of a PMS victim (I’m speaking of the person PMSing) life can take a very strange turn. From being happy, going out having fun and spending time with loved ones and friends, to staying home watching sappy Lifetime movies drinking a huge cup of tea with a box of Kleenex by your side in case you start bawling like a big baby. Hormones are dangerous. They alter a woman’s mind. This can also turn for the better. Hormones during this time may have their partners ‘satisfied’---due to the levels of testosterone flowing higher one moment. Cherish that moment. It’ll be over before you know it.

People get the initials “PMS” all confused with the concept of menstruating. They’re totally different. PMS is ‘pre-menstrual syndrome'. This usually occurs during the week before a woman starts her period. They’re like a time bomb waiting to explode. Their system is filling up with not only blood, but with raging out of control hormones and feelings of rage, anger, sadness and resentment. This all leaves once the woman is ‘relieved’ of her tension.

Please be warned of the following foods if you take a woman out who’s PMSing:

1. Chips
2. Tortillas
3. Sushi (with soy sauce)
4. Bloody marys
5. Soup (of any kind due to the amount of sodium)
6. Olives (do not order her a martini)
7. Anchovies (this includes antipastos and pizza)
8. Hot dogs
9. Salamis
10. Smoked salmon/lox (cured with salt and sugar)

Salt (sodium) bloats the woman up, making her feel tense and irritable. She even may have an overwhelming desire to drink tons of water—to which brings more bloating due to the water retention that the salt contributes to.

Here are some good ideas to feed your PMSing woman if she wants to go out:

1. Steak/burgers or anything with red meat (iron)
2. White wine (people actually think red wine is better due to it’s color, but white wine is better because it has more iron levels in it—red wine is just ‘sweeter’.)
3. Chocolate (this lets the woman feel better due to lack of blood)
4. Clams/mussels (loaded with iron)
5. Liver (tons of iron)
6. Spinach
7. Chicken
8. Fish
9. Brussel sprouts
10. Coffee/tea (caffeine is a known pain reliever)

These are all foods and beverages which have helped me feel better, as well being researched. My girlfriend went through a lot of problems due to having fibroids on her uterus which has to be removed eventually. She went through a rough time with excessive bleeding and had to get a D&C—(dilation and curettage) which left her weak. Her blood level was so low; it was almost close to having sickle cell anemia. Through research and doctor’s advice, I had to feed her all of the things above in the second list. I never thought clams were loaded with iron.

On May of 2005, we went to our beach house in the Hamptons, and we were worried because she was expecting her period during that time. The doctor said that if it got ‘alarming’ (hemorrhaging-type) to seek immediate medical help. We were on edge as soon as she got her period.

I made delicious chicken livers sautéed in onions, a baked potato along with a spinach salad. We made short work of the wine, which she had to drink in moderation, due to the alcohol thinning out her blood. I picked up some clam chowder from the local fish market down at the bay, and bought some chopped meat for the next night to barbeque.

I watched her like a hawk, and she seemed to be fine. The amount of iron I was pumping into her system made her stronger. It wasn’t ‘alarming’—thank God. We sat and relaxed on our deck which overlooked the ocean. I think the mixture between the calmness of being on the ocean and the rich in iron foods helped her a great deal. In fact, it was one of the best vacations we ever had. We relaxed, sat by the fire while there was a huge storm outside. Gale force winds and high tides were tumbling down on the beach, making our house rumble with each crash of a wave.

In the morning, I let her sleep in, while I made some coffee and sat outside on the deck watching the beautiful surf. The waves were practically reaching under our deck. In the bedroom, you can hear every little crash that the waves made. Our sleep was so restful, and our days were relaxing and stress-free.

At night I gave her excitement. We were drinking wine, and we had a huge fire going in the living room. I went to stoke the fire a little, but instead of grabbing the stoker, I grabbed the dry, straw broom. I almost burned the house down.

One evening while it was midnight, we took our wine and went down to the beach to sit and watch the ocean while the moon was full and bright. I got so drunk, I ran out into the ocean with my jeans on splashing around. If anyone knows me---they certainly know that I don’t even approach the beach at all. I FEAR the beach—even though I’m a good swimmer in a pool. Many stories about sharks reaching the shore and people getting sucked away by the riptides have me sitting on the dunes! That night, I had no fear. Madelene was laughing, but she kept an eye on me. That poor girl and the stuff she has to put up with!

The one major difference between Madelene’s cycle and my own, is that she doesn’t get the PMS rages. She never really seems depressed—the only thing that gets to her is the fatigue. Either she hides it well, or she’s just a unique woman. We balance each other out thankfully, and she puts up with my wacky hormonal imbalances.

We’re both very helpful to one another when we go through this. People laugh and joke about PMS, but let me tell you—it’s more serious than one may think. If you never experienced the extremes of PMS and the problems of what women have to endure while menstruating, it’s quite alarming sometimes. From hormonal wackiness to medical problems that need attention. For me, I get severe cramping that sometimes have me curled up in a corner somwhere crying hysterically. The pain is usually treated with 800 mg of Motrin, however, at this point it sometimes doesn't work. I may have to take other measures and talk to my doctor.

The complexities of a woman are fascinating to me. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I think that’s what compels me to women in general. They’re much like the ocean. Their waves change overnight, from high tides to low tides. They’re unpredictable, which keeps me on my toes. I just hope one day I don’t encounter a tsunami.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Voice From Queercents

I'm happy to introduce Dawn from Queercents over to my site. She is my guest blogger today who's going to share her views about being a Christian lesbian. Queercents is a personal finance blog serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. (LGBT)

"My Thoughts on Being a Christian Gay"

Deb asked me to write down a few of my thoughts about being a Christian gay (lesbian) as she said, "I love your outlook on it all". Well, I can't turn down an offer like that.

Let me give you a little background on me, I don't like to do this, but so many people who are homophobic read this stuff and have such preconceived ideas.

I come from a family where both my parents are still married in a loving relationship; I was raised in an evangelical home with no abuse. My parent's did spank me but nothing that was close to beating. I was not raised around gay people, nor did I even know what it was until I was in my mid-teens. We didn't even have a TV set until I was 14 years old. So I have no one or nothing to blame that would have "brainwashed" me. But I do know that I have had very strong relationships with woman and feelings for them. Oh, and I have a very good relationship with my mother, we can talk about anything. I believe I was born gay.

Now you know me a little. So what does this have to do with being a Christian Gay? It has been a process truthfully, being so immersed in the 'evangelical' upbringing it wasn't easy to understand why I could feel the way I do. Does God hate me? Why not make me like everyone else? Perhaps this is a test to see how faithful I can be, to 'take up my cross'. Sadly, going through this stress plus the added, and expected, drama from being a teenager, landed me in the hospital after an attempted suicide.

In order to understand how these feelings and my faith fit together I found a few verses that stuck with me as I healed:

Luke 12:6-8
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

"I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God"

If he knew my feelings and still loved me and realized that I didn't choose to have these feelings then He doesn't hate me. He made me unique. The test was not to be faithful by an outward appearance but by my inward soul.

Galatians 3:28
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

Christians complicate things so much, I knew I needed to step away from my upbringing and find the foundation of what I believed and who I was. I found it in these simple verses

John 13:34-35
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

Matthew 22:37-39
"Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself."

The above is the soil of my faith. The rain that God produces, to help me grow, are varying. Sometimes the rain comes down like a thunderstorm and I feel attacked by other 'Christians'. Like a scene out of the movie " Saved!" where Mandy Moore yelled "I am filled with Christ's love" and chucked a bible at Jena Malone. (I adore that movie, a must see). Other times the rain is light and comes in the everyday experiences of trusting Him.

It is after the rain, that eventually the sun comes out and this little flower can relax and enjoy. But one thing you will see from the above is that over time my eyes have turned from constantly looking at myself and what I perceive are my faults and instead turned my focus on what coming was above. The feelings I had that in essence came from well meaning people became less and less a concern as I made every effort to follow the first and greatest commandment.

The cross I bear now is not a feeling I was born with, but is the hatred people have for me while still trying to convey love back (the second command). I will be the first to say that I am not a great person and don't always follow through, but God nudges me back to him and shows me the error of my ways and to correct them. But I have never been nudged to change my lifestyle. What I thought was nudging in my teens, were the loud voices of my upbringing and when that finally died down, the still, small voice didn't speak to me about my lifestyle, but about loving and forgiving as God has done.

I will always consider myself a Christian Gay, a Christian first and my orientation is secondary. Because when I take my eyes off Him, my world becomes dark, angry and depressing. But when I look up, only then do I understand and see the love, the contentment, the light and what is important

Enough about me, let's talk about you…

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Found a New Drug Dealer

Yesterday was a trying day. As I’ve written before in my previous posts, my current psychiatrist has a personality of a rock. Granted, his words of wisdom that flow out of his mouth only once a year should be cherished, but the fact still remains, he sits there like a zombie and doesn’t say anything at all. If he does, it’s, “So when do you want to reschedule?”

Finally, I found a new doctor. I’m trying him out. Madelene came along with me for the ride. We walked into this small office full of people waiting. I approached the receptionist’s glass window and she gave me a ton of papers to fill out. You can’t help but hear everything that goes on in that office—it’s that small.

“No! We fit you in for 4pm this afternoon! Other than that, if you want to cancel this appointment, it won’t be until October…..No! I can’t!......What?......I’m sorry, you’ll just have to do the best you can!.....Well I’m so sorry to hear that.” The receptionist screams into her phone as she covers up the mouthpiece, looking in my direction as if she was going to say something. She whispers to me, “I’m sorry if I sound rude, but this patient cancels 90% of her appointments, please forgive me.”

Why is she apologizing to me? And why do I have to know about this woman’s appointment problems?

Then I see him. The doc. He comes out, and says, “I have your charts—I’ll be back momentarily!” He seemed as though he was a very high-energy kind of guy, short, stocky, a bit overweight and Jewish. The beanie gave it away, along with his full grown in beard. I believe he was orthodox---he didn’t have any curls or thick coke bottle glasses. I didn’t care; I just wanted a good psychiatrist.

Then the door opens from behind me. “Hi,” the doc says, trying to surprise me from another entryway. I wasn’t amused. Just get me into the office and help me please!!!

The office was beautiful actually. He sat me down on this huge couch that literally sunk my ass down to the floor. It was too comfortable. I knew I was going to have trouble getting out of this sofa.

“You don’t even know what we go through around here. Our patients are constantly calling in and canceling, which is why we’re having a problem with this one girl. We used to be upstate for a while, and recently moved down here. And now she can’t get a ride, or she’ll take a bus here, but says she doesn’t have money to take a bus…yet she has money to pay for the five medications I prescribe to her.” Doc says, with excitement in his voice, as his beanie flies across his desk. He gracefully picks his beanie back up and places it back on his bald spot.

“So why are you here today, Deb?” As he’s looking at my charts that explain my very reasoning.
“Anxiety and panic attacks plus depression episodes.”
“How long have you had this?”
“Since I was sixteen years old.”
“Repeat after me…Red banana…75 Washington Street…and freedom.”
“Red banana, 75 Washington Street, and freedom.”
“Good. I’ll ask you to repeat those again at a later time.”
“What does this mean…People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones?”
“References to hypocrites.”
“Say the months of the year backwards.”

Okay, so now I feel as though I’m doing some sort of sick sobriety test. I knew it was some sort of IQ test. I’ve been told by one psychiatrist before that my IQ was too high to have any sort of mental problem. To me, I think people with mental disorders have more of a intellectual outlook on the world. There’s a fine line between insanity and intelligence.

Long story short…or short story long….I explained to Doc that my anxiety attacks has lessened throughout the course of the years, however my bouts of depression seems to last bit longer. I still have a touch of agoraphobia, but I’m pretty sure I can zap that one, since I’m able to go into a grocery store without passing out.

Doc kept writing…and writing…and writing…and writing. Then his cell phone rings with a strange song. It was his physician’s office. He was scheduling a cholesterol and blood pressure test. He went on and on about how his wife kept nagging him to get this done. His friend recently had a stroke and he doesn’t want to be part of the statistics, as he kept munching on his Frito Lays. Then the woman he was talking with on the phone made an appointment with him. It was a business trade off that lasted a whole twenty minutes.

What is with these doctors taking calls on my time??? I am happy to report that after his phone call, he apologized and said he would give me twenty minutes extra. That was nice—but what if I had somewhere to go after that? Unreal.

Then he went into his life story about his wife worrying about his health and how the Goldberg family tree was dwindling off due to bad food and overeating. Why do I need to hear this? I’m a very compassionate person when someone is talking to me about their health--but for the love of God this is my time! I’m paying YOU to tell me about your health problems? I’ll send him the bill in the mail.

“Well, it sounds to be that you have bouts of depression with some highs to go with it. This is called bi-polar II. What that means is, you don’t experience abnormal highs, but your lows last longer than usual. I’m prescribing Lamictal to you.” He says, as he’s already writing out the script. His beanie fell once again, and he gracefully picked it up, placed it back on his bald spot as if nothing happened.
“Isn't that an anti-seizure medication, Doc?”
“It can be used for that…This medication will stabilize your moods and reduce the amount of highs and lows you are experiencing. Now, the one thing I must tell you, is that you may get Steven Johnson’s Syndrome from this.”
“Steven Johnson’s Syndrome?”
I asked.
“Yes, it’s a syndrome that occurs with this medication. It starts off as a rash, then goes into lesions, which can eventually turn into blisters in your mouth that go straight back into your throat. This syndrome can be very fatal if not treated immediately. Get medical attention right away if you experience this.”

Deb’s anxiety goes way up! I can’t believe this guy was giving me some weird ass medication that’s going to make my skin look as though it’s inside-out. He then reached over in his closet and took out a huge case of this medication to give to me.

“Please start off slowly with this. It’s very important you don’t go right into the recommended dosage. If you do, you will get this syndrome. Now can you repeat the three things I said to you before please?” He says, as his beanie fell right into my lap.
"Red banana, 75 Washington Street and freedom."
"Very good. See you next month."

I didn’t want to reject his script right there. I wanted to walk out and think about this suicide pill before making any decisions.

I explained to Madelene what these new pills may do to me. She was shocked and told me her friend almost died from this! Why is this doctor giving me a medication that will make me have anxiety? Why would any doctor risk the chance of their patients getting this syndrome? I’d rather live with my mental disorders and anxiety, rather than take something that’ll literally kill me. Look at these photos below. I know these photos may be alarming, but think if you had to take this medication.
I seriously think there are no ‘good’ doctors out there. The more I go to these doctors, the more normal I feel. From a psychiatrist that doesn’t say one word in our session, to a hyperactive Jewish man who has diarrhea of the mouth with a bouncy beanie. I don’t know which one is worse!

Again, calling all doctors! Calling all doctors! If you know a doctor in the New York area that you think may be helpful, please e-mail me.

This is going to be me in a psyche ward soon...rocking back and forth humming like a mental patient, cutting out little paper people. Don't let me get this far guys! Help me! I need a good doc!

Friday, August 25, 2006

300th Post Dedicated to OCD

It was bound to happen one day. I knew it was coming, I just didn’t realize when. It all happened when I touched the shopping cart handle. I usually have my Purell hand sanitizer with me at all times, but the other day I failed stock up on more—I ran out.

As I grabbed the cart and headed down the produce section, I was fully aware of my hands being wrapped around the orange plastic handle—which everyone and their mother probably touched. I just thought, “I’ll just dowse myself in Purell and that’s that!”

Amy came along with me on this shopping venture, because I get tunnel vision when I walk through a huge grocery store. In case I passed out, Amy would run out of there and leave me for dead. Anyway, while we were walking down the aisle, we saw a little kid sitting in the seat of the shopping cart as his mother pushed him around. He was leaning over his seat licking the handle. Great. My grip on my own handle gets less and less at this point. I’d look like a total freak if I were to use my tissues that I had handy in my purse. I remained strong and went on with my shopping trying to ignore the fact that some kid may have been slobbering on my own shopping cart handle driving my OCD insane.

We headed over to the deli section. I wanted to pick up some goodies for the evening since we were having dinner at my house that night. When I looked up to see the clerk slicing the deli meats, I noticed she was handling the cold cuts with her bare hands—no plastic gloves. Deb leaves. Deb drags Amy along with her. End of story.

Moving on.

Maybe a few steaks thrown on the barbeque would work. I headed down the meat section to pick up a few porterhouses. Behind the slew of meats sitting in the refrigerated glass counters, you can see the butcher up above in the window working. This is convenient when you want something cut a certain way or if you want to ask him about a certain meat that’s not available. I saw him catch my eye. I couldn’t stop staring at him, because he looked like Leatherface from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. His white lab coat was full of blood and pieces of meat were dangling off him. He had a grim look to him—so I just didn’t bother with purchasing any of his fine foods. I know he’s cutting up meat all day, but change your coat once in a while since you’re right in the window being watched by customers.

Moving on.

Who doesn’t like hot wings? I picked up some frozen Tyson wings and picked out organic vegetables and lettuce for a fresh garden salad. My options were getting smaller and smaller. I figured some chicken, potatoes and a nice salad along with some good wine should do the trick. It was settled.

We’re on the grocery line checking out. There were two people ahead of us with hardly anything. This is great—this means we’ll be out of there in no time.


The checkout girl was apparently new. Her boss kept helping her with each item she tried to slide through the price check machine. It looked like it wasn’t working…until her manager slid it through and it blipped up a price right away. The boss leaves. The girl does another slide across the table with another item. Nothing. She slides it again. Nothing. Deb feels panic rise up within her. The girl tries to wave down her boss. Obviously, her boss wasn’t looking in her general direction.

“You might want to call him over hon.” The lady said, as she waited patiently for her items to be rung up.

“Paul!...Paul!” The girl screams out. Paul comes over, and the entire line that now has approximately fifteen people waiting starts clapping as if they had just seen a Broadway show. They stood around the cash register trying to figure something out—God knows what. The older lady who was getting rung up was beginning to get more and more frustrated. Her long red acrylic nails were tapping on the counter impatiently. Her wedding ring looked like a chandelier—obviously someone out there in the world is broke…and it wasn’t her. The cashier rings her up and has her out of there.

As we’re walking out to the car, the older lady approaches us to tell us how she got ripped off $2.00. She wasn’t a happy camper and the car that she was driving did not reflect what was sitting on that ring finger of hers. She was driving the smallest little economy car ever! I don’t know how she sat in that little thing comfortably—being that she was a larger dame.

After Amy and I hit a liquor store and headed back to my house, we had a great time finishing off a few bottles of wine and enjoying our wings. Not only was I hungover the yesterday morning, but I ended up with a cold. Always remember to keep a bottle of Purell with you whenever you go grocery shopping. And they say it’s all in my head…

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Testosterone = Patience

What’s the rush?

Usually, when you’re back in the dating pool, it’s hard to decipher a good catch from a bad one. You just don’t know them. There are many times to be spent sharing, laughing, talking and getting acquainted with this ‘stranger’ that you’re now dating. It takes time. Some people can hide many things for a long period of time, but eventually, those skeletons come crashing out of the closet burying you with tons of bones. Is it too hard to wait it out?

Let me drag you into my world… Lesbians. That’s all I need to say before you start painting a picture of a U-Haul loaded with twenty cats and maybe a piece of furniture or two. I guess it’s comparable to dog years as far as dating. Two months is fourteen, one year is equal to seven, three years is equal to twenty-one years. Get my drift? After the two month mark, most lesbians are already picking out china and trekking to Ikea for their ‘assemble yourself’ furniture.

Stop right there! I didn’t say “all lesbians”. I can feel a lesbian gasping at the screen right now as she reads my post. Breathe….breathe….no hate mail....please!

So then, why are lesbian couples so quick to move in with one another and rush the relationship? What about the ‘dating’ phase? That’s the fun part about a relationship. If you miss that, you’ll miss the entire excitement of the relationship.

Here’s my nonprofessional, scientifically incorrect opinion on this. In a heterosexual relationship, who’s the one who always wants to get married? The woman, right? Who’s usually the one that bitches and moans to finally get hitched after four years of being engaged? I’m right? Right? ...Right.

Okay, so imagine two women in a relationship. Holy matrimony made on a stop watch! It’s a race to the alter---or whatever ordained minister will marry these two couples in whatever state allows it. Oy. Not getting into that conversation right now.

It’s a matter of two women being together. The estrogen levels are enough to make any terrorist shiver with fear. This hormone will literally destroy a small village. It’s a force to be reckoned with. It’s balanced off when in a heterosexual relationship, or if one woman in the lesbian relationship has much more testosterone. (Can you believe I said that?)

Moving on… The big commitment sign is the toothbrush being stuck in the other girl’s holder. Then it’s the ‘stay over clothes’ lingering around. Eventually, you will see sanitary napkins and other menstrual paraphernalia within the confines of your basin. The sleepovers become much more frequent, and the other one never wants to go home.

“Gawd, I’m paying so much rent, and it’s going up next month too, after my lease. I’m not sure I want to sign another full year.”

That’ll be the first ‘verbal attack’. The other one will sit there and think up solutions. Now if she has more testosterone in her, she’ll just say, “Well find a new apartment honey!” But if she has a high estrogen level, she’ll simply say, “Oh sweetie, why don’t you stay with me for a while…”


My girlfriend and I waited two whole years before we moved in together. It’s weird, even though we’re both feminine women, we hold more testosterone than the typical woman does. No—really, we have had our hormone levels checked out. I’m through the roof. My mother just asked me, “Your sex drive must be high!” Oh GAWD I did not want to hear that from my mom! Not to mention my routine waxing that goes on. Yeah, shush. So anyway, it took us two years to finally shack up. The reason why we’re together for so long (in my opinion) is because we "dated". We were best friends beforehand. We went out to dinner, and went home afterwards. We took little day trips, and then went back to our own homes. We courted one another. It was so much fun! Why are people choosing to miss out on this?

Women are in a rush. They’re clock is ticking. For lesbians? They’re clock is ticking to find her mate and settle down ASAP. My theory on why they have so many damn cats, is because while they’re waiting for their new girlfriend to give them the green light and say, “Come on – move in with me,” they have some company at their place. Cats are patient and they’re good pets to have around. They’re low maintenance and only require food and love.

I never dated a woman who had a cat. I never will. Not only am I allergic, but the mere thought of Toxoplasmosis scares the crap out of me. People who usually have cats don’t even know the dangers about having these cute little felines…that make me go into a fit of asthma attacks. I know I’ll be getting hate mail from PETA or a bunch of animal lovers. I’m willing to stand strong with my argument! To me, a woman with many cats screams out, “HELP!”

What’s my whole point of this post? Ah—my two dear friends who will remain nameless. Oh let’s just name them. Susie and Dorothy. (This has no relation to the Susie and Dorothy from the Sisters of Assumption. No relation at all.)

Anyway, Susie and Dorothy were dating for a short period of time---about three months. Susie proposed to Dorothy with a ring and asked her to move in. Dorothy wasn’t ready because she was enjoying the dating phase.; it was way too soon. Susie got upset, and broke up with her, because she felt the love wasn’t equal.

To me, this is sad, because Susie may have given up the best thing in her life. Her impatience caused her to break up with the woman she loved with all her heart. In my eyes, I see Dorothy as the one with the ‘high testosterone’ levels, due to her patience and willing to wait it out. You can disagree with me, but I see it all the time and I always analyze this to death.

What if these two decided to shack up right away? Instant marriage! (Or civil union) Whatever. No more picking her up for a dinner date, no more late night phone calls, no more wondering where she is. (Okay that one we can all do without.) But the whole mystery of ‘where is this going’ is completely gone. You’re ‘there’ already.

Girls---wait it out! I hope these two finally realize what they had together, and what still can be. These two women are beautiful, intelligent, and loving people. I would love to see these two women make it there. And they will…they just need more testosterone…or patience.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

What Does It All Mean?

Interpretation may seem frustrating to many when it comes to bible scriptures. Even when theologians and “bible thumpers” will only focus on the surface of the meaning and not the core, we can be persuaded very easily to believe the basics.

Is God basic? Wouldn’t you think there would be a deeper meaning into His word? Even so, the bible I have is the New Living Testament {NLT}—which is translated into modern English. The bible has been translated so many times, that it tends to lose some of its meaning.

For example: Madelene will tell me something in Spanish. She’s desperately trying to teach me Spanish the best she could. She’ll blurt out, “Lo que mata engorda,” when we’re eating something that I think isn’t ‘too good’. It means, whatever won’t kill you, will make you fat. Now, it sounds funny and amusing in Spanish, but in English, there’s a little something lost in its translation. It sounds kind of stupid in English. I don’t want to die from the food we eat, nor do I want to get fat from it. So I have no idea why this saying is so funny and cute. It scares me!

Interpretation is key. Just as it says in the first Corinthians about sexual immorality:

“Don’t you know that those who do wrong will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshippers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, abusers, and swindlers—none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God” ~1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Radical cult-like Christians will fire this off to the gay and lesbian community as a warning that they’re not getting into heaven. But, they fail to read off the next verse:

“There was a time when some of you were just like that, but now your sins have been washed away, and you have been set apart for God. You have been made right with God because of what the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God have done for you.” ~1 Corinthians 6-11

Idol worshippers {putting anything before God or worshipping another God} can be seen as many things. Some people even put off going to church to take care of their toddlers at home. Some don’t attend church due to everyday life that gets in the way. So, in some people’s eyes, that’s idol worshipping—even though these people love God with all their heart. Do you think they’re going to hell because of this?

Adulterers. Clearly we all know what this word means. This is having an extramarital affair. This hurts, and it hurts the entire family involved. In the bible, it does state that anyone who marries a divorcee can be considered an adulterer if their ex-spouse is still alive. So then, do they still go to hell? Maybe just a huge sign with a letter “A” may get thrown around their neck. What year is it?

Male prostitutes. Clearly this is self-explanatory. Making a buck to have sex is not out of love. (Mike, you better change your career! I’m running out of money.)

Homosexuals. Oooh the word makes those radical Christian holy rollers shiver with disgust. But, what they are coinciding this with is prostitution as well as sexual immorality—promiscuity. To have sex with absolutely anyone or any gender.

For instance:

“That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved.” ~Romans 1: 26-27

All of this is out of promiscuity. It clearly states that they “burned with lust”. Two people who love one another in a monogamous relationship do not burn together in their lust as the foundation of their union. Yes, there are promiscuous homosexuals out there, as well as promiscuous heterosexuals too. So for me, to interpret this “popular scripture” for those who hate homosexuals, I would definitely say that this stems from the lack of self-control of sexual desire. This is not of love; this is lust. Back in the Roman days when they had wild orgies and ran around having sex with anyone and everyone—this tells me they’re referencing the scriptures during that time period.

The Ten Commandments which Christians, Catholics and many other religions based on the trinity believe:

1. "I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me... .."
This commandment is to believe in the existence of God and His influence on events in the world, and that the goal of the redemption from Egypt was to become His servants (Rashi). It prohibits belief in or worship of any additional deities.

2. "Do not make a sculpted image or any likeness of what is in the heavens above..."
This prohibits the construction or fashioning of "idols" in the likeness of created things (beasts, fish, birds, people) and worshipping them.

3. "Thou shalt not swear falsely by the name of the LORD..."
This commandment is to never take the name of God in a vain, pointless or insincere oath (Rashi). This includes four types of prohibited oaths: an oath affirming as true a matter one knows to be false, an oath that affirms the patently obvious, an oath denying the truth of a matter one knows to be true, and an oath to perform an act that is beyond one's capabilities.

4. "Remember [zachor] the Sabbath day and keep it holy" (the version in Deuteronomy reads shamor, "observe")
The seventh day of the week is termed Shabbat and is holy, just as God ceased creative activity during Creation. The aspect of zachor (remember) is performed by declaring the greatness of the day (kiddush), by having three festive meals and by engaging in Torah study and pleasurable activities. The aspect of shamor is performed by abstaining from productive activity (the 39 melachot, forbidden categories of work) on the Shabbat.

5. "Thou shalt honor your father and your mother..."
The obligation to honor one's parents is an obligation that one owes to God and fulfills this obligation through one's actions towards one's parents.

6. "Thou shalt not murder"
Killing an innocent human being is a capital sin.

7. "Thou shalt not commit adultery."
Adultery is defined as sexual intercourse with a married woman who is not your wife (Rashi).

8. "Thou shalt not steal."
This is not understood as stealing in the conventional sense, since theft of property is forbidden elsewhere and is not a capital offense. In this context it is to be taken as "do not kidnap" (Rashi).

9. "Thou shalt not bear false witness against your neighbor"
One must not bear false witness in a court of law or other proceeding.

10. "Thou shalt not covet your neighbor's house..."
One is forbidden to desire and plan how one may obtain that which God has given to another. Maimonides makes a distinction in codifying the laws between the instruction given here in Exodus (You shall not covet) and that given in Deuteronomy (You shall not desire), according to which one does not violate the Exodus commandment unless there is a physical action associated with the desire, even if this is legally purchasing an envied object.

So is a sin a sin? Each sin is considered equal. What about those who say a white lie, eat shellfish, gossip, look at another woman or man—with sexual desire, but without the sexual ‘action’? What about someone who marries a divorcee? Has anyone ever had an impure thought? Drunkards are supposed to be doomed and go to hell. Who made water into wine again?

The above paragraph has just wiped out the entire world. Are we all going to hell? Are we all doomed? The bible is a great source for living your life, but without deeper interpretation of it all, it can really pursuade you to call on another God—or lose your faith all together. God doesn’t want that. The devil will place people in your life to tell you to find another religion. Who would even say that? I was recently told to find another religion simply because I’m ‘another sinner’.

Jesus said, “If anyone should cause one of these little ones to turn away from his faith in me, it would be better for that man to have a large millstone tied around his neck and be drowned in the deep sea." ~Luke 17: 1-2

For all the gay men and lesbian women who have emailed me with your comments regarding my previous post, I wanted to write something especially for you. I want to encourage you to keep strong in your faith as Christians, and not listen to those who are quick to judge. God loves all of you--not just some of you. God created you in His own image. He knew we would all be sinners, which is why He gave us Jesus.

Remember, whenever someone preaches the gospel with hatred or condemnation for others, it simply means it’s coming from an evil place; an evil mind. They don’t want to help you—they want to bring your spirit down. For thousands of years, bigots and racists have been torturing those who want to live a happy life. Hypocrites and evil people who “claim to be Christians” (ie: The Klu Klux Klan) will try to persuade you into having their type of mindset.

I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. ~Romans 8:38

What does it all mean? God loves each and every one of you. Nothing can ever take that away—not a person, not the devil nor the world. Keep strong in your faith and never let anyone bring your spirit down. Meditate before reading the bible. Pray to God, and ask for wisdom and understanding. Then you will see the true meaning of it all. The only reason I feel so strong about this, is because I had spiritual experiences of my own, that led me to believe that the bible is all about interpretation if you have the spiritual understanding behind it. God gives us messages, if we’re willing to receive them.

There were some of you who have emailed me, asking if I was disturbed by someone who has been blogging about me—whose religion is based upon hate. My answer is no. I find it interesting how someone who claims to be Christian will follow the patterns of every hateful person. But remember this:

God blesses you when you are mocked and persecuted and lied about because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted, too. ~Matthew 5:11-12

Thank you all for your support and wonderful emails and comments that I received! Those of you who emailed me, but didn't want to comment due to the nature of who it was directed to--I totally understand and I thank you for your encouragement and support.

God bless!

EDIT: Please also visit Amy's post on the dangers of radical Christians and their agendas. She has footage of what lengths these extremists will go through in order to serve "their God". These people are grateful that our 'gay soldiers' are now dead.

Monday, August 21, 2006

To Answer Your Question, Dani...

This is a letter to Dani. She has dedicated a post about me in her blog regarding my beliefs. I just want to state that my beliefs about sinning are based upon being saved by Jesus. God knew that we would all sin and all of us would fall short. Who is without sin in their lives? I can list a ton, from gossiping, eating shellfish, lying, stealing, taking the Lord's name in vain--even the occasional ("OMG!") as well as sexual immorality. Tons of people (heterosexual and homosexual) have premarrital sex. Do you know anyone who has waited until marriage? There are some, I know that's true, but do you think God would throw everyone into the depths of hell? We're all in this together. We might as well enjoy the journey and love God with all our heart. Why make things so difficult while we're here for such a short time on this earth? And here's my letter to Dani.

Hi Dani,

Thanks for dedicating your post to me. I realize you are concerned for those that are struggling with sin. We all struggle with sin. I will answer your questions accordingly.

”…Do you love God enough to completely trust in Him and obey ALL of His commands about sexual immorality? Or do you love your lesbian partner and your own selfish desires more?Do you really want to be set free from your sin? Or are you completely comfortable continuing to openly live as a lesbian?”

I have obeyed all of His Ten Commandments. I have broken a couple, which I have repented for. Homosexuality is not in the Ten Commandments.

You gave the passage in your post:

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither FORNICATORS, nor idolaters, nor ADULTERERS, nor effeminate, nor HOMOSEXUALS, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:8-10

But you forget the rest of the passage. Here it is:

”There was a time when some of you were just like that, but now your sins have been washed away, and you have been set apart for God. You have been made right with God because of what the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God have done for you.” ~1 Corinthians 6:11

Now the rest of the scripture goes on about sexual immorality with a prostitute; which means {PROMISCUITY}. Those things “are” bad for you. So you can rant all you want about the below scriptures, but keep in mind that what they speak of is prostitution. My relationship is a monogamous one. Big difference. There is love; not lust. Dani, I love God completely and trust in Him. My partner and I worship the Lord together, and have our own relationship with Him. We make God number one in our lives; just as a Christian heterosexual husband and wife. I am set free from my sin, because Jesus saved me…and my partner.

I will continue to live my life openly as a lesbian, due to my love and loyalty to my significant other. It’s ironic that many people will touch upon the subject of homosexuality. And thank you, for those who touched upon the fact that premarital heterosexual sex is a sin too. There are many, many people struggling with addictions, and other sinful aspects that are unhealthy in their lives. We are not to judge. Only GOD can judge.

So then, what if I left my partner of twelve years, and marry some guy, just so “your God” can wash me clean of my sins? Will this mean I will be without sin, since I am married with kids, living a “normal life” as you would call it?


There are other ways the devil tries to get at us. We can’t get away from our carnal and physical nature; which is why Jesus came on this earth----to SAVE ALL OF US! Are we grateful? Or are we scared and uncertain of our faith? I’m certain that I am saved, because I have had spiritual experiences, which I have listed in my book, that lets me know, “I’m okay”, and everyone who is homosexual living a life of monogamy and love is okay as well… That anyone who loves one another, yet aren’t married yet, are saved too. God knows our heart. Evil is hurting someone. The evil nature destroys—which is Satan. He kills, steals and destroys… What does he kill? He kills our spirit. What does he steal? Our self-confidence. What does he destroy? Our relationships with other Christians to make us lose faith.

Someone said in your comments, ”Abandon belief in the Christian God altogether.”


That in itself is the devil trying to persuade you to believe something else. It’s Satan trying to draw you further from God. God is the same then, now as he is today. I don’t believe God changes; I believe our interpretation changes, and our quickness to judge changes drastically. No one else dwells on their sins; only on others. No one wants to share what they struggle with. We’re all in this together. If you are not hurting anyone or destroying someone’s spirit, God is not going to throw you in the depths of hell. I know this to be true (in my beliefs) due to my experiences I have encountered which were amazing! So no one can convince me otherwise.

What I suggest for you Dani, is to lighten your heart. You burden yourself with the thought of everyone around you sinning. And for your husband, wouldn’t it be nice to have that close bond with your mother—regardless of her being homosexual? Aren’t you sad that you choose not to have a relationship with her, due to her choice by “who” she loves? It’s sad really. So in conclusion, I will leave you with this scripture, which I base my belief system on:

”My conscience is clear, but that isn’t what matters. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.” 1 Corinthians 4

It is the LORD who will judge me. Not an average person who has cult-like beliefs with no room for acceptance. The biggest commandment of all is to love God with all your heart and to love others as you would yourself.

Are we doing any of this?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Shrinking Pyschology

Don’t get me started. I have enough problems with public bathrooms as it is. The worst part about public bathrooms is when you expect it to be clean…but it’s not. I run into this crap (so to speak) all the time. It’s not only ‘just a public bathroom’, but one that was located in my psychiatrist’s office. Each time I arrive at doc’s office, I have to use the ladies’ room. I don’t know if it’s from nerves, or if it’s from that whole, ‘let me get this over with so I don’t have to cross my legs real tight’ sort of fiasco. I just have to go.

I rush into the glass doors of the building, and run straight to the loo. I open the door, turn on the light and plop my purse on the corner of the floor. I don’t think anyone urinates there—so it’s safe. Later on, I’ll dowse that thing up with rubbing alcohol. It’s all good.

As I check out the sink to see if droplets and tiny pieces of curly pubic hair aren't lying around, I then check out the toilet seat to check if that’s ‘clear’.

Oh it was clear alright. But the one thing that wasn’t…was inside the porcelain bowl staring back up at me. Someone obviously had bad Mexican food, or didn’t take well to the meds that doc prescribed. I’m not sure. Whatever this mess was, I wasn’t about to sit above it. I wasn’t about to flush this myself. Instead…I dry heaved.

Okay, no problem. I don’t have to go that bad anyway. I head into doc’s office with my OCD flaring to its maximum and my fear of ‘having to go pee’ at a high alert. Doc notices my discomfort and quickly takes a sip of his coffee which is in a dark brown mug. It’s probably scotch. I’m his last patient, so by the time I get to him, he’s already tapped the dry bar behind his desk a few times. Nothing wrong with a few nips here and there, especially dealing with psychos like myself.

Doc looks at me. I look at doc. He sips again. I now know for sure…it’s scotch. We always have this awkward ‘who’s gonna talk first’ moment. It’s eerie, especially with him. He’s tired. I’m tired. He’s watching the clock. I’m watching the clock more.

“Hiya doc!” I blurt out with excitement just to scare him—or sober him up.
“Heh…hello.” He says, as he giggles through another sip of his ‘coffee’.


“So, what’s up?” I said.
“Nothing. Heh. So how are you?”

At that time, the phone rings. This little bastard has the audacity to pick up the phone right when I’m about to tell him what’s wrong with me! Maybe he has the right idea; scotch and being saved by the bell. Great. Check please! It’s like a bad date. The other person talks about something the other person doesn't want to hear, and the other person sits there looking at the time. It’s a commitment from hell.

He stays on the phone making an appointment for some other lost soul. I sat there picking my cuticles. I had nothing else to do. Maybe I should fill up my Poland Springs with Ketel One. We’d both be happy at least.

Doc hangs up the phone and starts writing in his schedule book for about two minutes. Now, not for nothing, but two minutes is a long time to sit there and fiddle-faddle with your scheduling book—especially having a mental patient sitting right in front of you.

Hello! Remember me?

“So do you have a night crew to come in and clean?” I asked.
“Why do you ask?”
“Have you seen the ladies’ room?”
“No. I use the men’s room.”
He says, looking at me as though he just made the best joke of his life.
“It’s disgusting. I’m freaking out and I feel dirty.”
“Why do you feel dirty?”
“They didn’t flush the rest of their puréed burritos down the toilet.”
“And how does this make you feel dirty?”
“Molecules are in the air all the time doc! It’s disgusting.”
“Why didn’t you flush it?”
“Why should I?”
“Why are we here today?”
He asked.

At that point, I had no clue. I had no idea why I am still seeing this doc other than to get some advice on how to live my life and to fill up on those needed scripts of ativan. My anxiety attacks are less, and I asked if I could cut down my medication in half. I wanted to wean off.

“Well, that’s a great start Deb. You’ve been on this medication long enough. Weaning off is good.”
“Do I at least get cognitive behavioral therapy while I’m in the process of withdrawals and convulsions?”
“We can work on what your goals are after you stop taking the medications.”
“What about effective ways on handling my anxiety? How do I handle the anxiety when I am cutting back on the meds?”
“What works for you?”
“Why am I here???”

You know what’s sad? I get my therapy and cognitive behavior techniques online. Yeah, yeah, I know, online advice is ‘iffy’…but I found someone who really does help. If you visit Dr. Deborah Serani’s site called, “Psychological Perspectives”, she gives some great tips on everyday life struggles and advice to those who need help. It’s really an interesting site that anyone can benefit from.

I need a new doctor…ASAP.

Problems with my doc:

* Answers the phone all the time. Some calls last up to five minutes each. On a regular basis, the phone will ring 3-4 times. That’s twenty minutes of my time!

* Doesn’t give me CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) which is crucial to anyone that has anxiety and panic attacks as well as agoraphobia. He only spurts out a little advice here and there. My dad can do that. Wait…bad idea.

* The man has marbles in his mouth. You can barely make out what he’s saying to you. I consistently keep asking him to repeat himself. “What? What? What?” It’s exhausting.

Problems with finding good psychiatrists:

* Most psychiatrists overbook. They do this so that if one cancels or decides not to go, they have people waiting in the wings.

* There are hardly any in my immediate area who are willing to take me after 5pm. I’d need night appointments.

* (Take this with a grain of salt please.) When I do find a psychiatrist, they’ll sometimes be of an Indian or Pakistani decent, with very thick accents. I can barely make out what they’re saying. I’m not being prejudice, I just want to hear them and understand what they are saying.

Okay, now I’m off for some self-medicating. Red wine and a nice burger to compliment that fine alcohol. Any advice on what I should do would be appreciated. I’m totally being serious and embarrassingly honest here. Yes, the description in my profile is true!

I should write up a personal ad:

NCL: Neurotic Christian lesbian seeks a well spoken head doc. Loves pina coladas and walks in the rain. I’m not into yoga, but I have half-a-brain. I’m not into health food I am into champagne (on a beer budget) I call it meds.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Please Won't You Be...My Neighbor?

It’s been a crazy week full of events. I haven’t been blogging much, however, there was one event I had to share with the rest of the world. As I have posted many times, my father is not so close with his neighbors. They irritate him…errr…or….he irritates them. Who knows. Anyway, Sunday morning, while we were all hungover, trying to recoup from Saturday’s party at my friend's house…I heard a sound coming from the backyard. Little recap of what’s been happening around the neighborhood... Our house has this amazing view of the mountains and lake nearby. The trees that are surrounding my neighbor’s house is obstructing our view. Now, the trees are on ‘our’ side, so my father asked them politely (I think) to trim them, or remove them. They never responded—or responded fast enough. Dad always went on and on about this; threatening them till the very end.

"If dey' don't trim their God damn trees, den' I'm gonna do dis' my way!"

My dad took it into his own hands. In this footage below, is my father trekking down our lawn, over to the neighbor’s yard to tear down these trees that are in the way of our view. Funny thing is, after he removed them, he didn’t realize that there were many trees down below the valley that is obstructing the view as well. His luck! Please turn up your sound to hear the appropriate song that goes with this. I have to thank Amy for taking this footage and placing the song that goes with it!

The guy that comes walking up behind my dad is his little 'watch out' in case something should go wrong. He looks a little nervous though, doesn't he?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Taking the Good With the Bad

In a blink of an eye, my father can demonstrate a calm, easy going man, or a raging bull full of chaos. It’s tricky trying to talk to him, because you never know what he’s going to agree or disagree with. On top of that, never, ever, and I mean never…talk about politics with this man. He leans so much to the right that it’s scary. After a few gin martinis, he’ll lean to the left for support. His political views are worse than Hitler’s. Now, what I am about to tell you, please take with a grain of salt. My father’s logic and reasoning is neither sane nor meant for educating our children.

Dad. He’s Archie Bunker, Tony Soprano and Leatherface all wrapped up into one. Lovely, right? I just adore him.

Anyway, here’s the lowdown on each of the following alter egos he has:

Archie Bunker: Very racist, but claims he has many Jewish and black friends. He hires the Puerto Ricans all the time at the homeless shelter, so why would anyone think he’s a racist? Those Mexicans are wonderful workers! Then it gets even scarier. His political views on what Bush should do. First of all, he absolutely loves loves loves President Bush. He believes that Bush should go into Iraq and every ‘Muslim’ country that threatens our nation…line them up…and ‘whack em’. Italian for “kill”. No one wants to hear this. It’s crazy.

Tony Soprano: Arrested for racketeering. The FBI raided our home and took away mom and dad. Traumatic for a 16 year old girl? Naw, that’s when alcohol came into play. Dad has placed lovely souvenirs in the driver seat of his enemies. (A dog’s head.) Every Italian restaurant around here knows dad, because they all went to the same “country club” as he did. (Federal prison)

Leatherface: Dad loves telling stories. He’s not shy. Poor Amy got stuck listening to him go on and on about stories that would make any ‘good Christian’ cringe. There was a time where dad got upset over my sister’s boyfriend for saying he would pull the plug if ever, (God forbid) my sister was sick and in a coma for years. This goes back to the Terri Schiavo case. My dad is very protective over us. His choice of words were something like this, “Dat’s ma’ dawta’ ya bastard! Who da’ f*ck you dink’ you’re messin’ wit’ here? I’ll gut ya like a deer! I’ll rip ya’ heart right outa’ ya chest you f*cking slob! I’ll tear ya ear off and cutya’ jugular!” It goes on and on. He won’t stop until you leave. When he gets mad, it turns really ugly—especially threatening any of his daughters. His face gets really red, and his eyes turn yellow. No shit—yellow. He has hazel eyes that gleam a greenish color, but when he gets mad, they turn yellow.

My father and I are a lot alike, except for the racial and political views among other things. I can’t go there with him. Too stressful. We’re the comedians of the family. We’re entertainers and love to have company over the house. My mother? She absolutely hates outsiders walking into her home. My father and I will do this little skit on Thanksgiving or any given festive holiday involving too much family...and way too much alcohol. It’s how “fuggedaboudit” can be used for absolutely anything.

“That guy is a little light on his feet, huh?”

“You think you can handle that excavating job, dad?”

“What happened? Did mom just yell at you?”

“Do you think you’re overcharging these customers?”

Now here’s where this ‘tough guy’ becomes a big mush. One day, as I was cleaning my upstairs apartment, I noticed something strange happening in the backyard. We have residential and commercial property, due to the excavation business. My dad’s able to hold all his bulldozers and backhoes on his lot. He doesn’t have to rent space from anyone. Our property is ‘grandfathered’ for this.

Well, in one section of our yard, are the tractor trailers and the trailers that are left there for storage. Yes, some would call it a white trash scene, but it’s beautiful landscaping on the other side. We try to hide that little area... Anyway, I see my father walking out towards one of the trailers with a huge Italian hero in his hand. I then noticed the trailer door opening by itself, and then I realize that it was a homeless man waiting for his lunch. He was storing homeless people in his empty trailers so they could be warm and have food. My mother would have never, ever let this happen. If it was up to my father, he would store the homeless in his own house. I’m not sure if that sits well with me.

God. My dad believes that God is all love and that God accepts me, and my lifestyle. My father was so overwhelmingly accepting when I came out. We were both watching the gay parade in NYC on television one day, and he looks over and says, “Can ya believe these fairies??? Look at ‘dem, will ya?” I looked over at him and said, “Dad, you had four daughters. Three of them are with men. Don’t you think one of them will stray the other way?” He was silent for a moment, and then looked at me. I was expecting an outburst of lewd and judgmental remarks.

“You wit’ dat nice girl dat’ comes here all da’ time? Dat’ pretty Puerto Rican girl?”
I said…in fear.
“Good for ya! Ya’ better off to tell ya da’ troot!”

And that was that. His issue on God vs. my lifestyle is amazing to me. He believes that God loves all of His children. I’m grateful that he was so easy to open up to. He has to be the most generous man ever—but a lot of times, he gets burned in the end by friends who use him. My dad and I are huge tippers. We love people, and we love giving…without expectations of a gift in return. He’s a remarkable man with a huge heart…just don’t get on his bad side!

Some would call us walking contradictions, and some would call us ‘real people’. Some would certainly say we’re both insane…but all in all, I’m glad that he’s my dad. Life would certainly be boring without him. I'll take the good with the bad, just as he does.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Never a Dull Moment

These things really happen to me. I’m not even exaggerating. Once again, Amy and I are out to dinner enjoying a bottle of wine along with some delicious Italian food. We were seated next to the window that overlooks the lake and a very busy street. There was a nice older Jewish couple behind us talking up a storm. They looked as though they were in their mid-fifties and seemed as though they’ve been married for a very long time. I tend to eavesdrop on other people’s conversations sometimes when silence hits my own table, but I’m not as bad as my mother. Her antennas go up right away, even if you’re telling her the most exciting story—someone at the other table has a better one to tell.

As I overhear the couple talking about their grandchildren’s bar mitzvahs and such, I notice outside that a car stopped right in the middle of the street without putting their hazard lights on. Cars were passing, beeping like crazy and going around him from the left, as well as the right side of the vehicle. Then, an old man walks out, with white hair, a long white beard that looked like he was some old fisherman out from the cape. This man looked like some captain of a ship. He staggered inside the restaurant, possibly for some help.

“Can anyone tell me where 54 E 21rst St is?” He yells out, across the bar of the restaurant. The location he was searching for was the road he was on. We knew this guy was either drunk off his kilter, or just senile.
“Sir, you’re on that street. Just keep going down the road and 54 should be on the end.” The bartender explained, as she was shocked that this old man didn’t realize he was on his own street.
“Well do ya’ have a cigarette? I really need a cigarette!”
“No sir, I’m sorry, I don’t.”

The old man continues to walk towards the door, but realizes there are people dining inside the next room. He decides to trek inside. The lady behind me leans her chair back and whispers to me, “Do you think he lost his way inside the restaurant?” I leaned back more and said, “I think he’s really drunk…I can’t figure this one out.” We both start chuckling because it was just so awkward.

On the top of this elderly man’s lungs, he screams out to the rest of us, “Do any ovya’ have a cigarette? I really need a cigarette bad!” Everyone turns around and nods ‘no’ to the old man. “Well, that’s good! You don’t smoke. That means y’all very healthy! Enjoy your night!” He says, as he staggers back outside into the chaos of cars backed up behind his old clunker. Moments later, a patrol comes by, and leads him back to where he was going. I guess he wasn’t drunk—he was just disoriented. I kind of felt bad for this guy.

After one Frangelico for me, and a coffee for Amy, we decided that it was time to leave. It was 10pm, and the evening was absolutely beautiful. We went back to my house, and sat near the pool where the moon reflected brightly against the water. As we were talking and laughing about the night’s events, we hear a growl from beyond.

“What’s that?” I ask, looking around my yard for any bears. We’ve been known to have bears around this area.
“Sounds like a car or an old truck, Deb.” Amy says, as the growl became more animalistic.
“No. That’s a bear!” I said, recognizing the rumble of the beast’s angry territorial warning sound. Then I heard loud barking from behind my gate. I couldn’t see too well, but it looked like my neighbor’s Rottweiler. For some reason, I had my keys and cell phone on me. I never do this when I’m home just hanging out in my yard. Luckily, I had them. I went to go exit on the opposite side of where the dog was snarling and barking at us, but he decided to run fast over to where I was going to exit. Amy runs over to the corner of the pool and grabs a huge shovel. Why the hell did we have a shovel there in the first place? Thank you God!

I start dialing my parents’ number. No service. What the??? I try again… No service. This has to be just my luck tonight! Then, finally I get through, and my father. (known to have ceased many dogs in his day if you rummage through my archives) He comes out with a huge metal pick. I have no idea what he uses this God awful thing for…but chances are, I don’t want to know.

“Get ata’ here ya rat bastard! I’ll keel ya --- ya sunnova’ bitch! God damn dogs!” My father screams out, as he’s waving this awful looking metal pick around like a crazy man.

As the dog approaches the gate and gets closer to the flood lights, I notice that it was a black lab puppy. This is what I was afraid of? He was a hyper little thing. I told my father it wasn’t a big deal, I just thought it was the Rottweiler from next door, because it was dark out, and he appeared larger for some reason.

I opened the gate, and the dog rushes in jumping on me. I played with him a little, and then he nipped my hand. He was aggressive, but only playing. I ran inside and sat on my deck upstairs with Amy to watch this dog roam aimlessly through my yard.

And people wonder why I have a drinking problem…

BEWARE OF THIS VICIOUS DOG! Chances are you'll get licked to death...

Monday, August 07, 2006

God Hates?

Many of your comments from my previous post has inspired me to write this next post. Thank you all who have participated in the discussion and shared with me your beliefs and thoughts. And now, here's yet, another religious post about what I truly believe.

Does God hate?

Realistically speaking, emotions such as hate, anger, guilt and sadness are all “gifts” from Satan. In my beliefs as a Christian, the devil tries to take away your joy and replace it with these negative emotions. It can even be in the form of a person in your life that drains the energy out of you, discouraging words from someone or even thoughts of things that you did in the past which you regret, that manifests itself into guilt.

Why would God want us to feel negative emotions? Why would another Christian try to make other Christians feel guilt for the things that they do in their life if they don’t agree with certain things? Regardless of what religion you are, it’s still unnerving for someone to try and reinforce their beliefs upon you in a negative aspect. They’re not trying to help us; they’re not trying to edify us and lift our spirits up. This is how the devil uses people to get to us. Don’t buy into it.

Why are radical Christians so concerned with other people’s lives? They’re bored, because they’ve been sucked into this web of lies—living a life that’s unnecessary. They’re living a life full of guilt in the past that trickles over into their current life, which ultimately trickles over into other people’s lives. Remorse and having apologetic feelings is one thing, but guilt is such a horrible emotion. It’s only what I believe though.

Now who can claim to know the “TRUTH” in the spiritual sense? You can definitely say you believe it to be true, however, you can’t speak for everyone else. As I’ve said in previous posts, I’ve had spiritual encounters that led me to believe that God is real; that Jesus is real and living among us. I can only claim it’s ‘true for me’. I can’t convince you that it’s factual, because I may have had a psychotic moment or way too many martinis to see straight. So how would you know it’s true, unless you’ve encountered a spiritual experience yourself?

That’s where faith comes in. So many of us have faith on a particular religion---and a lot of people have the same faith in the same religion, yet with different beliefs. How does that happen? One Christian believes ‘this’ to be true, and another Christian believes something totally opposite. What’s the foundation of the faith though? Jesus. If Christians would stop focusing in on everybody else’s lives, and focus on Him, we wouldn’t have so many religious battles all over the world. Why are they so concerned with what we do? Why are they so angry over actions or ‘sins’ of another human? Is their life not exciting enough that they have to stick their noses into everybody’s business? You really have to wonder about that.

So then, who’s telling the truth? The psychotic Christian lesbian who loves Jesus, or the radical Christian bible thumper who rebukes you for your sins. Who should do the rebuking? Shouldn’t God be in charge of all the rebuking? That kind of makes sense to me. Now, it’s not a matter of ‘truth’, it’s a matter of faith and tolerance to those who differ from your own beliefs and values. Being kind to one another and loving others is the only effective way to help…not by criticizing their life. Do they really feel that they’re helping? Or is it a self-satisfying selfish act on their part?

Too many people want to be heroes. They want a big seal of approval from God. They’re looking for a stamp on their forehead that says, “I brainwashed yet another happy person living their lives in peace!” Life is to be enjoyed. Life is a journey; a path that’s full of adventures, learning experiences and joy. It shouldn’t be full of anger, resentment, hatred and people condemning one another…but unfortunately, that’s how it seems to be. Countries all over the world are having holy wars. They “ALL” know the “TRUTH”. Or do they? If they knew the “truth”, would they be fighting and killing one another over it? Of course not. In my heart, and in my beliefs, God is all love. He is nothing but love. He doesn’t put seeds of guilt, sadness, anxiety and fear into us; Satan does a good job of that.

So the next time someone criticizes you for the way you live—regardless of your religion or lack thereof, just remember that it’s evident the person criticizing you, is not happy with their own life. There are so many people who shy away from church, merely out of judgmental people. I know that in the gay and lesbian community, there are so many people that go into other religions that only accept their lifestyle. They have all the beliefs as a Christian, yet fall back on some other religion that says, “We’re gay friendly.” And that’s okay. But, the sad part about this is, a lot of the gay community lost their faith, due to other people giving them strife about their love for another human being of the same gender.

Now, think about this… What about those people who have married a divorcee? No one at the church condemns them. What about those who have had premarital sex? No big deal, right? We have no right to judge another human being. It’s such a waste of energy! Why not put all that energy into something positive, like lifting someone’s spirits up, or being considerate and nonjudgmental to those around you? Why don’t they donate their time into encouraging people to lean more towards God? What judgmental people do is actually the opposite. They draw people further away from God by telling them how bad they’ve been, and how God HATES what they’re doing. God hates?

Here’s what I think… Each person has their own personal and individual relationship with God. Each person has a different purpose in life. We’re all an integral part of God’s machine; each one doing a different job and just as important as the other. You are an important link…I’m an important link. We’re all here for a purpose. God has the blueprints of our life and only God knows what those plans are. How can a mere human being ever claim to know what that is? It’s impossible. I can share with you what my beliefs are, but I have no right to judge your life and claim that you’re a worse sinner than I am. Everyone sins, and everyone falls short—we’re all in this together. I just wish people would realize how much wasted time and energy is being put out there when they literally hurt people by using Christianity as a weapon.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Animalistic or Human Nature? Or are Both the Same?

All my life, I knew I was a good fella’. No. Wait. That’s not where I was going with this. Let me start all over again.

All my life, I knew I was a lesbian. At the age of four years old, I fantasized about Marie Osmond. Shut up—I fantasized about her babysitting me or something, and maybe a little kiss here and there. I really didn’t know what sex was, but I knew I woke up shaking and quivering at the age of four not knowing what took place. Call it animalistic, call it human nature, or call me a heathen straight from hell---this is what happened at my very early age.

Don’t psychoanalyze me or even entertain the thought of child molestation, because that wasn’t the case. I was never touched by an adult ‘in that way’. I was always taken care of in a parental type of loving way.

”Oh you must have blocked it out.” Oh give me a break. The only thing I blocked out were the intense orgasms brewing inside me when I was a little tyke running-a-muck. (Or at least tried to anyway.)

Getting back to ‘knowing’ I was born like this… I used to watch television thinking how beautiful the women were, and how all men seemed to look alike in soap operas, as I sat home playing, while my mother took care of me. The men always had that part on the side of their hair, all wearing the same suits (so it appeared) and all had the general mannerisms. The women were pretty, and their hairstyles were all unique and done up so beautifully. I was drawn to them physically, and emotionally I felt the need to be around women for the nurturing aspect of it.

“Well what made you decide you were gay at the age of nineteen?” People ask me. I didn’t decide to “be gay”, I was always gay. I decided to come out of the closet and be comfortable with myself, instead of constantly trying to hide my feelings. It was like being in jail.

At the age of eight years old, I was caught making out with a friend who lived near me. My mother quickly shut the door and later explained that I should never do that again.

”But we were playing house, ma!”
“Well it’s not normal and you’re way too young to be kissing anyone—especially another girl. It’s not natural!”
My mother said, as she was ready to start dialing up her gossipy friends for some much needed advice.

Scientifically speaking, if it isn’t a gene, then what explains all these sexual feelings and desires I had towards women at the age of four years old and on? I never was exposed to any pornographic material, nor did I fantasize about things I’ve seen that weren’t suited for my young eyes.

Some of my closest friends tell me they have never masturbated until reaching a certain age in their twenties. Some even say that they have never experienced an orgasm before. Do I believe them? Sure I do. Why wouldn’t I? I totally believe that everyone is born differently than another; unique in their traits, the way they were built and designed for their purpose in life.

Here’s where my problem comes in. Now, I dated men before. I have never been hurt by a man—ever. I never had a bad experience with a guy. A lot of people will say, ”Oh, well she probably was really hurt by some man, which led her to this lesbian lifestyle.” Wrong. The men in my life were always respectful towards me and treated me nicely.

I think men are beautiful. Some I actually have to turn my head and say, ”Wow! He’s hot!” I’m human. It’s normal to appreciate the beauty of any gender, in my opinion.

”Oh well you’re going to hell for being a homosexual! Repent and give up your sinful nature!!!” Freaky radical Christian bible thumpin, holy rollin’, holier than thou nutjobs will spew out to me.

God has a purpose for everyone. I was born gay. I know I was. I have proof – just from my life alone. I know God loves me, He accepts me ‘as is’. Unconditional love bypasses the flaws of sin; and imperfection. It overcomes the idiosyncrasies of human nature; the flaws of life that come to play each and every single day. To me, this is why Jesus died for us on the cross. God knew, that we were all going to be imperfect. If my parents can accept me, what makes anyone think that God can’t?

I have some making remarks about the book I published. The people making these ‘remarks’ have not even read my book, but are they’re already bashing it. My book is not only for the gay and lesbian community, but it deals with relationship issues, for straight and gay people. It deals with a break up that I recovered from—through prayer. It mainly focuses on the miracles that God places in your life, if you make Him the person you lean on the most. It’s mostly about God…not about homosexuality. It’s foundation is unconditional love, and how prayer works through the rough patches. It explains how to pray, and how to listen as well; to be aware of the small messages that come through from God.

Maybe my purpose on earth was to be a lesbian, who has a love for Christ; to demonstrate that even as sinners, we are free to come to Him… Religion has placed a bad stigma on those who are imperfect. And who are the people in the world who are imperfect? ALL OF US. We all fall short.

You can debate me until you’re blue in the face that God doesn’t love me, or God doesn’t accept me. I know the truth—which is God’s unconditional love…for me…and for you.

Now religion put aside for those who are atheist or believe in another God, we have to start focusing on loving ourselves and treating ourselves with the most utmost respect. Why are we relying on these holy rolling freaks to decide what’s good for us? Oh, they’re saving our souls and making sure we go to heaven. To tell you the truth, these people don’t give a rat’s ass about your destiny, once the afterlife has opened its doors for you. These people want some sort of reward—possibly a shiny gold halo or a pair of wings they’ve been wanting from heaven’s Macy’s department.

Give me a break. These people are in for themselves---and themselves only. They’re selfish, judgmental and full of self-righteousness. Are these the people you truly want to take advice from? Or do you want to take advice from someone who relates to you; someone who is imperfect---a human---who will understand and have compassion for whatever circumstance you are going through?

People who criticize your life are the ones that are unhappy with their own. They have nothing better to do than to judge every single sinful seed that falls off your ‘fruitful’ or ‘fruitless’ tree and crush it with all their might. Who’s to even say that your tree isn’t ‘fruitful’? Just because you are without child or not serving some man who calls himself a ‘husband’, when he’s actually a self-serving bigot with no desire but to control you?

Like I said, don’t judge a book by its cover, and especially mine. And I speak to those who have already criticized my book, without opening one page. It’s hypocrisy and judgments in its finest form.

I realize I have a lot of straight readers out there. But I am sure that you have either a family member, or a friend who is living a homosexual lifestyle. The best thing you can do for them is to accept how they are, because they’re not going to change just because someone says it’s wrong. God will convict people’s heart, if He feels this is not the path that should have been taken. Don’t we trust God anymore? I certainly do, and I know I have a mission out there to tell people suffering through the painful bigotry that God loves you no matter what. God is there for you—waiting for you to come to Him.

Let people of hatred mumble and grumble about your lifestyle. Let them judge you, while you live a life of peace and happiness. Let them say whatever it is that they want to, for you know in your heart where you stand, and where you stand with God. That’s the most important thing to remember.

It may not even be homosexuality that you’re dealing with. Maybe it’s an addiction. Do you think God hates you just because you have an addiction with alcohol, drugs or sex? God loves all His children—He says so Himself.

Be calm, be still…and let God handle the rest.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Feeling Hot Hot Hot!

It’s a scorcher out there today in New York and many parts of the US. The newscasters warn us to keep ourselves well hydrated and not to bake in the sun too long. They want us to check up on our elderly and make sure they’re okay. Rumor has it that the elderly have a harder time in this heat, than someone who’s younger.

I started laughing when the news reporter went up to all the elderly people in the streets of New York yesterday asking them how they’re coping.

“What? What the hell ya’ want me to do? I have to go out!” One old lady yelled to the reporter. The newscaster was sweating more than the little old lady was. She was happy, smiling from ear-to-ear and having a great time in Manhattan. It seems like the hotter the weather, the more the elderly are out and about.

Think about this… I found that when my parents got older, in the winter, their heat is cranked up to 90 degrees anyway. If I go into a home of someone who is in their seasoned years, their heat is enough to make you sweat bullets! What about ‘snowbirds’--the older people who flock over to Florida in the winter months, and then head back to New York when it’s hot again? These people love the heat! It’s people in my age range that are suffering here. Most of them move to Florida. Let the elderly check up on us!

My father proves them wrong. He’s 70 years young, and he’s outside working at this very moment. He is sitting on a hot and stuffy enclosed bulldozer making new foundations for homes being built. The young guys that work along with him usually want to ‘call it a day’ before my father calls it quits.

Is it a matter of the mind? Do we look at the news and start ‘feeling hot’, because they ‘say’ it’s hot out there? Or are we really feeling this awful heat—even more than our older friends?

“Think cold! Think cold!” That’s what some people say to themselves when they’re out in this hot weather. It helps them feel cooler. The mind is a powerful thing---we haven’t even tapped into the other 90%. Can you imagine if we used more than 10% of our mind?

Okay, I’m going to discuss Amy right now. Amy used to live in Arizona. The heat went up to 105 most of the time. She’s used to this type of weather. Now that she’s in New York, I see her wearing mostly long sleeved shirts and blouses while it’s 100 degrees out. She says that she’s used to it, and that she gets colder easily. She also works inside an air conditioned office. But, when she gets out of work, she has to walk five blocks to get to the train.

“What are you wearing?” I ask Amy, as she’s trekking down the street trying to make her train. (No it wasn’t a dirty call, so get your minds out of the gutter.)
“A light crisp white shirt.”
She says to me, as she’s lying through her teeth. She ended up coming over yesterday in a black long sleeve shirt with a hood. At least wear white! When I used to work in an office, I would wear white crisp long sleeved shirts---that’s normal. But black? She doesn’t even appear to be hot. (Well, she’s HOT, but not ‘hot’ in temperature.) But why do some people heat up more than others? If it was up to me, I’d run around naked, but I’m afraid I’d traumatize many innocent people.

So how hot is it for you?

Please visit Amy's blog. I did a little write up about her as a guest blogger. So swing on by and say hello! I'm not sure if this was a toast or a roast I did.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Familiarity Breeds Contempt

“Familiarity breeds contempt. How accurate that is. The reason we hold truth in such respect is because we have so little opportunity to get familiar with it.” ~Mark Twain.

Why is it that the people closest to us presume to know us the best—or know us at all? I’ve always encountered people assuming my character and what I was all about. If you ask my girlfriend or any of my ex’s, they will all tell you that I have kept them on their toes a lot of the time. This is true. The reason I have chosen this route, is because in my life people always thought ‘they knew me’. Presumptuous people drive me nuts.

Madelene and I always tell one another how much we still have yet to learn about one another. Yes, we’ve been together for twelve years, but to me, I still don’t feel I know her. I think I know her only about 25%---and that’s a lot. It may seem like a very little amount, but the other 75% is all about her mind, her thoughts, her deepest secrets and her past, as well as her thoughts on the future. Who knows for sure what someone else is truly thinking or feeling? We can ‘claim’ we know, but do we? Do we truly know our partners/spouses/family members and our friends? Can we ever say, “Oh I know him/her, she would never do that…?”

You can even say that my reasoning for ‘keeping people on their toes’, or ‘in suspense’ of who I really am, is really an issue of an invasion of my privacy. I open up to the people closest to me, however, I choose to share only things I am comfortable with. It’s my right…it’s your right too. If you have read my archives in this blog, you’ve seen how I have revealed many things about myself as well as my family on here. (Of course with their permission.) There are major things I want to share with others, because it just may help someone in some way. Sharing my lifestyle and what I went through while coming out of the closet is another way I “think” may help someone struggling with their own identity.

“What are you thinking?” Couples will ask this a lot of the time. I ask it occasionally when someone’s eyebrows are crinkled up, or if someone is obviously lost in thought. It’s truly none of my business. It’s none of anybody’s business what anyone is thinking. People are trying desperately to get into each other’s thoughts; to get into each other’s minds. Why? One word: Insecurity. We have become so insecure with who we are, with who we are with, and with thoughts we can’t control…other people’s thoughts. I’m guilty of it. I get insecure a lot of the times, finding myself asking someone close to me, “What’s on your mind?” As if I am doing this in a caring ‘can I help you’ type of manner. To be honest, I’m afraid it may be negative thoughts concerning me.

Some people have called me an enigma or a mystery. Fine. I’m okay with that. Just don’t claim ‘you know me’. Those words bug the hell out of me for some reason. It makes me want to give them shocking news of some sort.

“Hey! I’m really a man! I had a sex change!” That’ll be a blow to someone’s mind—who all along knew me as “Deb” the lesbian.

Yes, that actually happened. In fact, it happened last night. Someone close to me had claimed ‘they knew me’, and that I was so honest. Maybe my life is one big lie? Maybe my thoughts, feelings, actions and words are a huge tale from Deb’s neurotic mind. How would you know? I was flattered that someone said they thought I was very honest---that’s a compliment for sure…but never say that you know me 100%. I’m not upset, or angry—I’m just baffled by those type of statements.

Complex and fickle as I am, no one can ever claim they know me. I can say I love one thing one day, and the next day I will totally hate it. I’m complicated, confusing and sometimes I can be considered a walking contradiction. (As if a Christian lesbian isn’t one in some people’s eyes…) My mind changes fast sometimes—it’s a woman’s right, isn’t it? Or is that our excuse? Maybe too much estrogen has taken over this pathological mind of mine, but it’s still my birth given right to plead the 5th.

What about cases where two people meet each other online? Say even two people meet from a blog? Okay, okay, I’ll stop beating around the bush already… So I met someone that has been reading my blog for months before I even knew them. A lot of the times, they’ll say to me, “Oh I already knew that,” or “Oh, I don’t think you would do that.” They’ve read my book as well.

Does a blog or book someone wrote create their full character in real life? I’m talking “character and persona”—not in the aspect of lying, but judging someone by merely reading their ‘text’. Sometimes people will conjur up a whole different person in their minds, due to what the other person has written in their blog or in their book. I’m not ‘holier than thou’, and yes, whatever I write in this blog is 100% truth about my life—however, this doesn’t mean they should quit learning about me since they know the whole scoop on my life through reading about me. This is just my opinion.

My blog and my book is only a fraction of who I really am. They are life events that have taken place in the past, and current issues that are important to me. Sometimes I’m joking around, sometimes I’m serious, and sometimes I’m just way too confusing and complex to even read. This is when you find yourself “X”ing out of my blog and into someone else’s who can entertain you better.

“I’m star-struck when I’m around you.” A flattering comment; but never a comment that should be made to anyone…not even Charlize Theron! I know people mean well, but they also have to keep in mind that the other person may feel awkward hearing this type of thing.

It also amazes me how people think they know certain celebrities. They talk about them as if they were part of their circle of friends. They put on their pants the same way you and I do… (Well sometimes I do a little dance before throwing on a good pair of jeans, but that’s just me.)

So in your most honest response, who do you know 100%? Who do you think you know even 75%? And what do you base your answers on?

Emotional Self-Preservation

"I'm Sorry." After the last couple of years, and whatever it is that you may be personally going through, it's especially ...