Lockdown Update & Thirsty Men

With most people at home for now, it’s mainly been quiet. It’s almost like a flashback to 1990-something before my area was too crowded and overdeveloped with traffic. And I love it! However, all of that is about to change, because Florida is about to open back up. If money wasn’t an issue, I’d like it just fine the way it is.

Because of the Covid-19 shutdowns, I figured I’d have written way more than I have. Hell, I should have written my next book by now! However, I have done some much needed healing both physically and emotionally, catching up on sleep and removing toxic people out of my life, and catching up on some personal and work projects. I have been extremely content with being isolated during this pandemic. In fact, I’m loving it! I haven’t experienced any depression and very little anxiety (mainly just needing exercise). I’ve even managed to meditate a few times, and now I realize that I have been surrounding myself with untrustworthy assholes and going to places that are spiritually damaging and dark, which I feel has contributed to so much of the depression I’ve been writing about. Visiting family or friends and/or getting out once a week is just enough for me.

During all of this, there are certainly some thirsty men out there that I’ve been either avoiding, rejecting, or just disinterested in a text conversation. I am worth more than being there for someone for their entertainment when they have nothing else to do. If they can’t hang out with me or be a friend in real life or we don’t have a business interest, I’m not interested in wasting my time. There are too many good books to read for that!

In the meantime, I’ve run into a few people unexpectedly. I’m pretty sure I saw Toe Ring Guy’s truck pass my house one day, and I know I passed him on the street just prior to the lockdown. He does live nearby, however, I don’t want to see him on my street.

I ran into King Nothing a few times, and we’re cordial. (I think he secretly loves being called King Nothing, because he loves attention.) Another guy I went out for sushi with once (not a date, since there was no interest on my part) sent a text after months of silence. Someone else was trying to hook up, and I just wanted to be alone. A few random local guys on Instagram are also attempting to make conversation. God forbid I post a selfie, because that just makes them send DMs.

This piece of shit sent me a message on POF without realizing who I am; I ignored him.
I saw the back of Mr. Volatile on a beach walk one day – and he sent me a message on POF again without recognizing me. I told him he needed to stop lying about his age, so he blocked me. That was definitely a good laugh.

And then I heard from my (close) friend that hadn’t talked to me in three months. The one that was supposed to fix my car. The one that helped me during my surgery last year. The one that suddenly started seeing someone right after the holidays. But that is another post altogether.

As I’m writing this, my phone dings a text from a number I don’t recognize. I ask who it is. It’s someone I’ve known since high school that has a tendency to show up every couple of years. It’s 11 p.m. That will also be another blog post or two…

Right now my biggest concern is keeping healthy both physically and mentally, and I feel that keeping myself away from most people is key to succeeding at that. I enjoy company and good conversation without anything difficult, so I’ve been sticking with family and female friends as to not complicate things. Although I feel like a stereotype for doing so, I enjoy time with my cat more than most people… has life really come to this?

Don’t Shoot Me – Dreams Relevant to Waking Life

Sometimes dreams are relevant to waking life if you really try to interpret and make sense of them. I’ve been dreaming very vividly every night, which is good news, because it means I’m actually getting some REM sleep. Remembering the dreams, however, is another story. But this morning, I remembered a part of one when I awoke to pee at 3 a.m. The only thing I remember is a guy holding a gun on me, and each time he pointed it at me, I kissed him. Weird, right? I suppose in real life, I tend to be too nice to people that would hold a gun to me or otherwise treat me poorly. Now I will explain how I related this dream to waking life.

First, I am still on POF as an experiment with no intention of ever meeting anyone. I’ve been changing my zip code every 10 days or so to check out different areas I might want to visit and see what type of responses I get. However, the app also goes by your actual phone location, so someone can view me locally by using another feature. I noticed someone in my city had viewed my profile, someone I’d never seen before and is a transplant here from another state. And here is the thing – I NEVER initiate conversation with anyone on these sites. For some reason, I felt the urge to initiate a conversation with this person, because his profile seemed different than the typical rednecks and stoners around here, and he had a nice smile and nice eyes, which is a thing for me.

There were a couple of things he said that totally rubbed me the wrong way, because I was being sincere and doing what most people do on online dating sites – asking questions to get to know someone. I started by giving him a compliment on his profile, and at first I was only getting short answers in return until I must have annoyed him when I asked about his short answers. I guess he was working at the time and answering me when he could, but I didn’t know it until he told me so.

I made the mistake of telling him that I found online dating to mostly be a waste of time, because either people want to get married the following week or they’re not serious about what they want, and that I had been on and off dating sites for the last six years. Within 24 hours, there were quite a few messages back and forth (mine were much longer), and at some point he was a bit short with me and accused me of being judgmental. I was taken aback, because I wasn’t sure I understood what he meant, and it turned out to be really stupid.

He’s working a lot, having surgery in a couple of months, and trying to get his son here for the summer. Like anyone that uses logic – based on what he told me – I said it sounded like he didn’t have time to get to know anyone with all of that going on. How does that make me judgmental? He said something in Spanish, so I asked him if he was Spanish or spoke Spanish (he’d mentioned having lived in Texas for the past 20 years). His response was that I was jumping to conclusions “like 95% of women,” and that he’d taken Spanish in high school. He also said that maybe that’s why I hadn’t had success on dating sites. Whoa… Jumping to conclusions? It’s called deductive reasoning, for fuck sakes, and I know plenty of women that have the same issues on said sites, so I know for a fact it’s definitely not just me.

I had asked him multiple times why he only had one photo and how long ago was it taken. He said he already answered that, but when I scrolled back through messages, I didn’t see it anywhere and told him so. He’d buried the answer within something else he said, but the answer was “I don’t put much effort into this site,” yet somehow I was supposed to interpret that as to why he only had one photo?

On Day 2, he said he was feeling better and thanks for asking (I didn’t ask, wasn’t aware he was ill) and insisted he had told me he was feeling terrible the day before. I told him to go back through his messages, because it wasn’t me he told, because I have compassion for people, and I’m not an asshole. Then he brought up that I hadn’t responded to his comments about giving/getting a massage, and I told him I don’t have discussions about massage or intimacy with someone I’ve never met. And that was pretty much when I shut down. Being flirty is fine when you know someone, but it’s not okay with me when I’ve never met someone that has already insulted me more than enough times. It made me jump to more conclusions that his intentions aren’t sincere. I felt like either he was a being a dick, and I did not deserve it whatsoever, or maybe I was taking it the wrong way, which is easy to do with text. I told him that I prefer to speak in person anyway, and when I asked him to tell me more about himself, he said he would do it in person. With this coronavirus thing going on, I told him that might be awhile. (If at all!)

When I woke up the following day, I decided I was done wasting my time with him. I realized he hadn’t asked one single question about me, and the more I thought about it – didn’t show any interest in me whatsoever except when he mentioned massage – AND he briefly mentioned maybe I needed a spanking, but I guess I had missed that. I decided I wasn’t going to message him anymore and didn’t hear from him for two days, to which his only message was asking how I was. I was short in my answer: “Good. You?” Said he was feeling better and needs to prep for surgery and his son. Like I mentioned – who has time for a relationship? Not that guy.

But here’s the funny part – I will be starting a new job for the company he also works for, and there’s a really good chance we will run into each other – and I didn’t tell him this. I believe I will recognize him right away (if he really does look like his one photo), but I don’t believe he will know who I am, especially considering he showed such little interest. My one photo is full-length, dressed in winter clothing with my hair down and no tattoos showing. That’s not my typical look, so it should be interesting if he flirts with me in person – and this time, I can be the one to show no interest. Oh, and did I mention I don’t even know his name?

I think my dream was telling me how I have been with men in real life. This guy was ready to shoot me, but instead of leaving, I kiss them. Well, fuck that. I would only be setting myself up for failure, to be hurt, to be used, to be abused. I deserve a hell of a lot better than that. I’m not that lonely!

Mindset & Changes

The past two days I felt great – allergies were minimal, not really much pain except when my Yeti cup fell on my foot and I thought I broke it (it’s fine now), slept pretty good even though still a little tired. I managed to go kayaking for the first time since last summer, got too much sun. Yesterday I managed to do a lot of other house cleaning that most of us tend to ignore. Been eating fairly healthy, took a walk on the beach… and today I feel like total shit again. I’m achy, allergies are horrible, my head aches to the point it’s difficult to concentrate – like I have bands wrapped around my head, squeezing it… and when I feel this way, I’m not in a good mood at all. It’s extremely difficult feeling like total shit and trying to be happy or even content. To only feel good two or three days a week just plain sucks, and I don’t know what else to do anymore. It is terribly difficult to function and feel hopeful like this.

This is what happens to me all the time. I start to finally get on a roll of doing better, than bam… I’m brought back down again. It’s extremely discouraging to have a good outlook on life when you cannot even predict any given day of the week. There are many things I need and want to write about, but my head can’t focus on much of anything. I just applied for a new job that was referred to me by someone else that is doing very well during this pandemic, so I’m hoping that will at least bring some financial relief.

I’ve been working on a lot of things mentally. About two weeks ago, something within me kind of snapped, and I decided that I have absolutely outgrown this town I’ve lived in for 14 years. It was like I woke up one day and said nope, this isn’t for me. I’m over it for sure now. The changes that are happening here aren’t what I want in my life. The majority of people are too small-minded and uneducated for my interest, and it’s either time for me to find somewhere else to call home or travel enough so that I don’t notice it as much. I have struggled here for too long to continue trying to make it happen, because I’ve done nothing but waste my time. The money I make to keep a roof over my head has nothing to do with living here (it’s remote), and the other jobs here I can do pretty much anywhere.

But I don’t want just a job. I want something that I enjoy and look forward to going to every day. I love project based jobs, which is what I’m good at, and what I’ve been doing for several years. Although they can be inconsistent at times, they are flexible, which is how I like things to be. Sitting in an office or a classroom from 9-5 doesn’t suit me whatsoever. Being indoors constantly causes me so much anxiety I literally get ill. I don’t know exactly what it is I will be doing in the future, but it will be something that is meant for me. I have been meditating, and I feel something is out there for me, and it will come up unexpectedly – an offer I can’t refuse that I will absolutely love. I don’t know why I feel this, but maybe I think it’s time for the universe to finally present to me what I’ve been searching for the last 20 years and place me around legitimate work with legitimate people that will appreciate what I have to offer.

With that being said, either this job will require me to travel and allow me to keep my current apartment and lifestyle – OR it will bring me to a new place that will either be better or similar to where I am now. I don’t know when this will happen, but my mind has set it in motion. I’m ready for a better life.

Another Religious Reject

This is a continuation of Why I Reject Religion. The other day I saw an article about televangelist Kenneth Copeland who claimed the coronavirus is not that serious and that he can blow it away. Most people probably don’t know who this man is, but unfortunately for me, he was one of the many religious con artists I was forced to watch and listen to when I was a kid. This was during my middle school years, which were detrimental to social development and socializing with my peers, and as far as I knew, none of my friends (even the church ones) were made to watch these shyster programs. It was one of many things that make me reject religion today.

I had only lived in the cult-religious home with my father and stepmother Bianca during my seventh grade year – a year that I would never want to repeat if I time traveled. The restrictions were ludicrous; I wasn’t allowed to listen to the music I liked, dress like a normal kid, and I wasn’t allowed to go to other friend’s homes except the preacher’s daughter. Basically, if it was considered normal or something I enjoyed, I wasn’t allowed to do it. This is an excerpt from my memoir, Unheard:

I have a little radio that I listen to in my room, usually tuned to top 40 music. I like reading teen magazines with all of the latest, greatest posters of pop stars and teen idols, and at the same time I listen to music. I’m not allowed to hang posters in my room because it will ruin the walls, so I keep them in a drawer.

“What are you listening to?” Bianca asks while I am in my room, reading and listening to music. I can see in her face that she doesn’t like it, and something is wrong. I am afraid of what I have done.

“Men At Work,” I answer timidly.

“I’ve never heard of them,” she says.

I show her a poster of the group from one of my magazines.

“See? Here they are. They have good songs.”

“They look gay,” she says, crinkling her face.

“Huh? How can you tell?”

I’m not quite sure I understand what gay is, but I know the kids at schools say it means a man liking another man.

“They’re gay,” she repeats. “You can see it in their eyes. And look at their earrings. It means that they’re gay. It’s disgusting. Turn this music off, it’s making me sick to my stomach.”

I am confused. A lot of guys at school wear earrings, but they’re not gay; they have girlfriends. And how can a song about Australia make someone ill? I am offended and insulted! After all, something that I enjoy that is perfectly harmless is being used against me.

“But they’re not saying anything bad!” I cry.

“I don’t care what it’s about,” Bianca’s face contorts. “They’re homosexuals and it’s satanic! Just turn it off!”

I sulk the rest of the afternoon alone in my room. It’s not fair that I have to turn off something I like just because she thinks someone is gay. Who cares if they are gay if the music is good?

I try to keep my radio as quiet as possible and my bedroom door shut now so the music doesn’t make Bianca sick.

She opens my door.

“What are you doing?” she asks.

I look at her.

“Who is that on the radio?”

“Michael Jackson.”

“I don’t think it’s a good idea to listen to that garbage. The Jacksons are sinners.”

She hands me some tapes.

“Here’s Amy Grant and Sandi Patty for you to listen to. You like them, right?”

I don’t really care for the lame Christian music, but it’s better than listening to some of the other awful boring church stuff she has.

Music was just one of many meaningful things taken away from me due to ridiculous religious beliefs. I had to hide some of my friendships, because Bianca wouldn’t allow those, either. This is another excerpt from Unheard:

Sabrina is allowed to have me over once, with her father there, but Bianca says she must come to our house first to meet her.

“She seems loose,” Bianca says after Sabrina leaves. I don’t know what that means, but I know it doesn’t mean anything nice.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

Bianca doesn’t like me questioning her, but I think I have a right to know why she says the things she does about my friends.

“The way she dresses… those pants,” her face scrunches up. “I don’t want you going over there.”

“Parachute pants? That’s what all of the kids in school wear.”

“She looks like a French whore.”

“What does that mean!” I yell and cry. How dare she call my friend such an undeserving name! I do an about face and stomp right into my room.

Bianca doesn’t like any of my new friends; she is just as judgmental and picky about the kids from church. She is starting to get that way about me, too.

Things gradually worsened throughout the school year. My body started developing when I was nine, so by the time I was twelve, I was wearing women’s normal bra sizes. When a child’s body develops faster than her mind, she is still a child inside, even though many adults don’t seem to realize that. (A good analogy would be seeing a 9-month-old puppy looking like a grown dog, but it’s still a puppy.) Bianca wouldn’t even allow me to wear certain items in our own home, and I didn’t understand any of this over-the-top bullshit:

You need to wear your robe,” Bianca announces.

“You mean over this?” I question, tugging at my long shirt.

I am wearing an old, red, thick, oversized t-shirt nightgown she’d given me last year. It hangs on me like a potato sack, right past my knees.

“Yes,” she says. “I can see your nipples.”

“How? You can’t see through it. I can’t see through it. It’s thick like a shirt.”

“I can see the outline of your nipples. Go put a robe on. You can’t be walking around your dad like that.”

It is over 75 degrees, and I’m not allowed to wear a t-shirt?

“But it’s hot,” I whine.

“Susanna!” she snaps. “Put your robe on or go to bed now!”

Dad is in the other room on the computer.

Why doesn’t he defend me at all? I’m not doing anything wrong! This is ridiculous!

I am starting to get sick of Bianca’s weirdness with everything that I do. I decide to go to my room instead of look at her.

Those were just a few of the things that Bianca did to ruin my life as a twelve-year-old. My father never stood up for me, and over time, things progressively became worse. I didn’t realize then what I know now that Bianca was trying to shape me into something I wasn’t, and when she figured out she couldn’t, I was banned from the family. I will explore some of that later…