Hello, Writing, My Old Friend

I have missed writing. A lot. It was something I have turned to time and time again because I have this need to emote every thought and the written word is my medium of choice. In the past it has been acting or “singing” (it’s in quotes because whether I can carry a tune is debatable) but writing has always been a constant. Ever since I was a little kid I have wanted to be a writer. And to be a “writer” one has to write, so why have I been so lazy about it?

I am in a constant battle with myself over whether my anti-depressants are necessary or not. While at times they seem mandatory, there are others where it feels like in the end all they do is turn me into a zombie. I have no emotion and the things I tend to feel passion for or about dissipates and I am left with apathy. I hate it. But I have read that it is the “emotional rollercoaster” that those who suffer from depression or bipolar disorder like. They like the crazy manic mood swings that typically accompany the disorders. And I may just be another statistic in that regards.

One of the biggest reasons I hate taking my meds is that I will literally be in the midst of writing, because it has called upon me, and for whatever reason the action hasn’t held my attention or I lose interest the in the thing that was ushering me to the task. So I inevitably hit “save as draft” and it sits in my blog forever unpublished because it’s unfinished. I hate that with every fiber of my being, because in my mind and in my heart I feel like this medication is taking away my personality and my voice.

However, the dark reality is that at times I need them. My emotions become to overpowering that I end up making irrational choices that from a distance are totally out of character and detrimental to my health. So it is that fear which keeps me tied to this prescription.

This never-ending battle has grown in fervor recently because of a particular episode of the “Well Red” podcast. It is episode 15 if you’re interested, which discusses the idea of dreams and dealing with the reality of achieving them. Everything they said I agreed with, which happens quite frequently with me and audio show. At one time I may not have, as I was an artistic dreamer that didn’t see the forest for the trees. Everything was possible as long as I “believed.” My husband comes along and straps blocks to my balloon. Now, that sounds harsh, and it is, but I needed it. He pushed me to think about what I wanted realistically and to not be the “head in the clouds” kind of person. At one time I resented him for it but now I love him more because of his ability to be honest with me. He wasn’t saying I couldn’t do it, he was just giving me a healthy dose of the reality that it may not happen and if it doesn’t to not be destroyed because of that “failure.” (I don’t want to use failure in this instance, but until my mind comes up with another more appropriate one it will have to stay.)

If you haven’t had the pleasure of listening to that podcast, do yourself a favor and do it now. These gents are super intelligent and such advocates for the gay community. I couldn’t love them more than I do, without knowing them personally. I’ve been binge listening to the whole series thus far and have only come across 1 episode I didn’t like and that was because the person they were interviewing reminded me of a toxic individual I removed from my life. Other than that… they’re hilarious and I could listen to them all day, and have.

Listening to Trae’s story about holding a job during the day and doing stand-up at night, with kids, has reminded me that it is possible to try. Success, however, is all about luck and timing. And that won’t happen if I don’t keep at it or even make an attempt. And this show has reignited that spark in me.

Writing has taken a backseat lately because of my pills, as previously mentioned, but also because of my obligation to complete my appraisal courses and working to get my AA in journalism from my local college. Something had to give and it was writing blogs or working on my novel. But… as of last Monday I have completed my appraisal courses and can now get my license.

It’s funny, the first thought I had after passing my course (other than immense relief and the want to break down crying) was that I can finally get back to working on my novel. And I mean, immediately after. I was walking away from the testing center when it came rushing to my mind.

It warms my heart to know that no matter how much time passes or what obligations get in the way, the thing I return to time and again is writing. If only I could figure out this pill situation…

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And there’s a dick

Last night while attending a friends birthday BBQ, a discussion was brought up of a scenario I for the life of me did not know happened and find mind boggling that even continues to occur. 

Imagine that in a board meeting room there is a machismo-bro executive and a well dressed young woman alone. Then without warning or apropos to the subject the man produces his genitals from within his trousers and let’s them hang there. This was the scene painted for me that occurred to a friend of my roommate. 

The thing I can’t seem to grasp is what the fuck were these men thinking and what was their end game? Do these douche bags think that their dicks will be so entrancing these women will just drop hypnotized to their knees and begin giving them oral sex? Then the thing that frustrates me further is this was an actual event that occurred and this woman isn’t pressing sexual harassment charges. 

How is this okay?! This asshole should be fired from his position and be mandated to register as a sexual offender. This is unwanted sexual advances. 

What followed this tale were four more almost identical situations with varying degrees of severity. One story had a man completely naked with an erection in a women’s restroom. Another was a guy getting nude and walking into the ladies facilities where his co-worker was otherwise indisposed. 

I am dumbfounded! I wish I had the gall to be alone in a room with a man and just whip my dick out and just have it hanging  there to see how they would respond. Not in a sexual way. In no way would I want them to be overwhelmed with sexual desire that they feel the need to pleasure me. Oh no. That is the hopes and wishes of an egomaniac. I just want to see how uncomfortable they get and if they would report me to a superior. 

Then the most terrifying is how casual these women were in these situations. I even remarked that I would post these stories on Facebook and tag the offender so that others could see what huge pieces of shit they were, but one of my companions was so mortified by that notion he begged me not to. If I didn’t know how kind and giving this one friend of mine was I would have to question his character. 

I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a woman. 

Are there similar moments anyone knows of?

Joshua Revised

For the past few days I felt as though I had been regressing from my transformation after my completion of the Landmark Forum, causing me to panic that a return of the whiny bitch that used to run my life. To combat the potential relapse I started trying on different reasons for my cantankerous attitude. The one that held the most truth was that I hadn’t written something in awhile and it was wearing on me. I am a writer after all and if a writer doesn’t do his craft he begins to grow weary and out of shape.

So let me backtrack a bit. I’m sure I threw out some words or phrases that are absolutely foreign to most, making one ask “what is landmark forum?” I’m glad that question piqued your interest as it has become a large part of my existence.

Honestly when I first heard of it I was absolutely hesitant. It sounded like some weird cult bent on getting money. And At the time I thought that was my voice telling me that, but little did I know it was the voice of the pissed off 5 year old that was running the show. I can proudly say that now he has been put to bed in the past and won’t wake again. (That’s right, I killed him.)

The forum is pricey. Don’t get me wrong. I lucked out because the man that saved me from the most miserable job offered to change my life again and put out the $652 to get me enrolled. Even then I did it because I felt pressured to do it, but that was just another story I was telling myself. No one can make one do something he doesn’t want to do. What I know now is that the real me was begging, pleading for change. My life had fallen into a rut and all I was doing to get myself out was spin my tires and drag me further down. (Like they said often in the forum: “the more things change the more they stay the…”)

When the day of my forum arrived I told myself that I didn’t want to waste Steve’s money and I opened up my heart, ears, and mind to whatever change the forum had to offer. I didn’t want to say that I didn’t bother to at least try. Plus, my boss said it changed his life and I wanted the same.

Real change didn’t come until day two when one of the others in the forum read a letter he had written to his deceased mother. His honesty and pain struck a chord with me I could not comprehend and during the first break I called my mother and mended my fences.

Following later in the day we did an exercise where we dredged our past of fear and extracted it from our lives. In the course of an hour (which truthfully did not feel that long) I realized how much stock I put into wanting people to love and accept me. It went all the way back to first grade. Memories I had long forgotten were pulled up with this muck and actual snot. As a result of this exercise I discovered that I carried a physical manifestation of my pain in the form of sinus problems. Every instance when my nasal passage got stuffed up rushed through my minds eye and I found the connection. And when I was finished the amount of snot draining from my nose was embarrassing. I mean… Legit strings hanging from my nose down to the pool on the carpet.

Left raw and exposed the leader, Jerry, polished us up and I came out transformed. The baggage of the past was stripped away and all I had left was the possibility of my future.

One of the craziest and most fulfilling side effects of the forum is that my addiction is gone. I mean… Gone. I say it and feel it without the faintest hint of doubt. I couldn’t be happier. For so long that bull shit plagued my life and now it is gone.

Now left with me, the real me, I have so many things I want to accomplish. Things I will accomplish. First of all will be the promise I made to the entire forum on the final night: “I will create a future for myself and my life by BEING integrity.”

Starting back at 1

How does one just throw away 27 years of sobriety? I keep asking myself that question as I think of my father who did exactly that. 

For whatever reason my father, that takes anti-psychotics to treat paranoid schizophrenia, decided it was a good idea to buy a fucking 30 pack of Coors Light and drink 19 of them in quick succession. 

The result is just as one may expect, he blacked the fuck out on his driveway, landing face first in his attempt to get the mail. 

One of the neighbors saw him and called 911 and he was rushed to the hospital. 

Then at 8:30 I get four calls from both my mother and father, one after the other. My heart starts to race thinking my aunt from my previous post has passed. 

I listen to my father’s voicemail and he non-chalantly informs me that he’s in the ER and needs me to pick him up because he fell after having a beer. 

I just don’t understand. Why ruin something you built so hard to build? He put so much distance between him and his past that for whatever reason he risked it all, including his life. 

What I hate the most is that I get it. Being an addict myself (not with alcohol) I know what it’s like to use something to ice the pain. He’s icing the pain and he was willing to destroy everything for a momentary solution. 

I asked him if he was on antidepressants and his big box of pills seems to contain everything but those. He laughed at me when I asked him. Clearly he doesn’t see the problem. 

My husband was furious with my father when he got to the ER. I’ve never seen him that angry before. Honestly it was weird. At one point I asked him to bring it down a couple notches because while it was deserved and justified it wasn’t helping the situation. No matter how angry one is with someone fucking up with their vice getting angry and making him feeling like shit is 100% counterproductive. 

After dropping my dad off and discovering his 6 beers was really 19, I went home to recoup. I had had enough and listening to him lie and tell me what he thinks I want to hear was frustrating me. There was nothing else I could have done. He was an adult man acting like a child. At least with a child you could have it committed to rehab or a psyche ward but someone that is coherent and present (most of the time) there is absolutely nothing one can do. My husband and I racked our brains trying to come up with some kind of solution. What it boiled down to was leaving him to make his own fucked up choices. 

The next morning (today) I went over to see how he was doing and if he had gotten more booze after we left. I didn’t find any in my quick search, but with my dad that doesn’t mean shit. He tends to hide his poisons. 

I found him wrapped in a blanket on the couch, staring blankly at the TV. I know how he feels, if he does feel any shade of remorse. I really understand. So, with a fresh perspective I tried to tell him what it is I would want to hear after I fucked up. I basically told him to keep calm and carry on. I let him know that we are all so angry because we love him so much and don’t want to see him do this shit to himself. 

He just stared at me. 

In the end I took his car key, cash, and credit cards. There is money hidden somewhere in the house but I don’t know the location and he is only aware of one of them, I guess. (So my mother thinks.) 

I really looked up to my dad. I never realized that I did until he disappointed me. I took his positive change for granted and without it I feel lost. It’s almost as if my whole childhood is a lie. He is lie. He is a fallible human being. 

He was my hope that I could get over my own demons. 

Today I remind myself that I don’t want to be him. I don’t want to let my past transgressions dictate how I handle situations which baffle me. 

I choose all the doors

At this juncture I have entirely too many choices set before and I haven’t the slightest clue what to choose. 

Since starting college (for real this time) I have earned solid A scores from each of the classes I’ve taken. When I originally set out my plan was to hopefully transfer to a CSU, thinking that they would be more open to applicants. Since I have far exceeded my grade expectations at the start, I have decided that since I could graduate Summa Cum Laude that I will branch out my choice of schools where I send applications. Possibly even well known and highly respected collegiate establishments. 

My first go to is Berkley. The husband jokes that I only have brought that into the equation since we went to see Kerry Eleveld speak at a PFLAG meeting. However he is only partially right. The meeting merely brought up memories from Saved By the Bell when Jesse Spano had dreams of going there. In reality I’m basing my choices on a dated children’s show. 

After a few searches listing the top collegiate journalism programs I narrowed it down to three that made multiple lists: USC, San Francisco State, and Berkley. The others are out of state and out of the realm of possibility. So at least I have that cut to a manageable size. But, with two of them (assuming I’m accepted) I would have to move away from my friends and family. The other I could realistically commute. It’d be exhausting but it’d be feasible. 

Now, in three years time I will want to have children. I will not physically able to, seeing as how I am unfortunately lacking a working uterus, and my husband does not have one either. That leaves surrogacy or adoption. I would prefer the first, but that option is far outside my budget. So it is left to the second. I’d prefer an infant but I’m not picky. 

The problem is that my significant other does not want to raise a family in the very conservative community in which we reside. I don’t blame him. He’s uncomfortable with having to explain to people the situation and risk their judgement and shame. I get it. That is not something that bothers me but it takes two to tango and I need my dancing partner if I’m going to cut a rug. 

Yet since this conversation has been the argument du jour in our household he has also agreed that moving away would also cut off our potential children from having a large and loving family; which is something he himself says he loves about his life. 

So the question is, do I stay or do I go? In the end, the decision won’t be made until I have graduated with higher distinctions and after having been accepted to my institution of choice. Even that is hinged on whether I got my appraiser’s license, AND if I’m comfortable moving and leaving the boss that sees great potential in me and have paid for my education. 

Ugh! Life!

High school sweethearts

Today my husband encountered something that shocked and astounded me. 

He’s taking the photojournalism class I took last semester and today they did the assignment for “portrait.” One of the volunteer models was this 15 year old boy. 

My husband said that this boy had brought another along with him and they were being playful with each other in a way that gave him the impression that they were together. They were lightly touching the others waist or arms. Nothing that screamed “hey! We got a gay here!”

All of the students in the class grabbed a model and disappeared to do the assignment, other than my husband and this boy. He went up and asked him to be his model and they took pictures.

As they were walking my husband asked if he and the boy were together and the boy said “how could you tell?” 

It turns out that this 15 year old boy and his boyfriend are engaged to be married in a year. A year. He’ll be sixteen. His fiancé is 18. 

What I find so shocking is that in my conservative, bible buckle of the Bible Belt, town that not only do this boy’s parents accept him as a gay man BUT also have given permission for the two to be married. That’s insane!

I shouldn’t be this amazed, my mother alone is testament to the power of love and acceptance, but I think this a testament to change. Real change. 

While I wish the best for these two, part of me thinks that they won’t make it very long. Teenage romance has it tough already, the fact that they’re also gay men doesn’t really add to the potential success rate of this relationship. 

Pessimism aside, the fact that I even have this story to tell brings me so much joy. 

Weed be gone!

I am torn. For as long as I can remember understanding what pot, weed, marijuana, is and used for I have had no inclination to try. In fact I have always wanted to stay away from it because I always respected my mother and her ability to say “I’ve never tried pot.” I don’t know why that meant something to me. Maybe it’s because with all of the social pressure and standing against the stream made me respect her. When I think about it now she probably never had any opportunities due to the fact she was VERY religious and her whole youth was either church or family. So her social circle was pretty fucking small.

As I’ve gotten older (and have mentioned on previous posts) I find my friends to mean more to me than family. I think it stems from wanting what I can’t have. I am notorious for feeling that way. It’s really bad. And now one of my friend who I treasure more than most and means so much to me, used to feel the same about weed as I had. But it appears that this is no longer the case for him. And now I find my own perception faltering.

My husband has said that my opinion changed because my last hold out companion changed his tune and now I have to follow the flock. And… He’s right.

It’s funny to me that I went all through my teenage years being bombarded with warnings of “peer pressure” and never once did I experience it. Not fucking once. Get into my late twenties and I have had another close friend push drugs into me. (I say drugs because that’s what they refer to them as. No joke.)

In the end I find my perspective changing. Maybe it’s not so bad. Maybe I’ve built it up in my head to be something else entirely. Maybe I devoured the anti-drug propaganda so much that it has destroyed every ounce of free will. I don’t know. All I know is… I feel pressured to do something I’ve fought so long not to do. And yes, weed isn’t bad. It’s nowhere near the other harmful things that destroy your mind and body. I get it. Weed is barely a blip in the radar. For me it’s about the principle and obviously they’re failing.