You’re Not Invited, So Mind Your Own Damn Business

Something I do is mind my own business, because that’s how I like to be treated. People have a habit of telling me their issues, but other than that, I don’t really care what others do as long as it doesn’t affect me. Living in a small town, people know your business – or think they know it – because that’s how small-minded places are. I experienced this when I lived on a small island years ago, and I have a feeling it has or may be happening again, thanks to jealous and/or gossiping bitches with boring lives (that will be an entirely new blog post).

On the island, there were people that loved to involve themselves in others’ lives that they truly knew nothing about, including mine – and it was all surface-level b.s. People see things and assume things and make it a topic of conversation amongst their shallow group of friends. How fucking pathetic. Some of the things that were assumed about me included being on drugs (no idea how that assumption developed) and sleeping with men that I never did anything with – and this was because after having been mugged one night, I’d always have someone walk me to my car. Just for that, it was assumed I went home with the guys! Fucking ridiculous! (And even if I had, it’s still no one’s business anyway.) The person that started that crap was one of my ex-husband’s best friends, but that was prior to me meeting him. When we did meet, she “warned” him about me. Warned him about what? !! The bitch had never even had a conversation with me and was one of those people that could never look me in the eye, even after we were married. Definitely no one I ever trusted! There was another person that I briefly dated there that also made shit up and would go around telling people, when the truth was, he had a lot to hide himself. Gossipers are the epitome of get a life and stay out of mine!

Months ago I was out with a male friend and his best friend’s wife when a young woman walked in wearing a super tight dress. The best friend’s wife decided to talk shit about her, saying it looked terrible on her, why is she wearing that, and general insults for no other reason except for her own insecurity. I think the young woman may have been pregnant, but I said to the friend’s wife, “Who cares? Seriously. Who really cares what she is wearing? Who really cares what anyone else is doing if it doesn’t affect us? It doesn’t matter. I don’t care to have this discussion about other people that I don’t know,” which abruptly ended the conversation. My male friend thought it was funny that I put her in her place, because I guess he didn’t care to hear it either.

Someone else that I interact with on occasion makes it a point to ask me extremely personal questions that are none of her damn business. If she took the time to read my blog, some of her questions might be answered, but a lot of her questions are things no one has the right to ask. For example, asking how much money I make is none of her business. Neither is asking very specific questions about my spiritual beliefs or sex life. If I feel the need to tell someone something, I’ll tell them or I’ll write about it, but other than that, mind your own damn business!

I have a frenemy that often talks shit about people, including me, but I have no issue returning the favor right to her face – because that’s the type of relationship we have. But when she starts making shit up about me and changing stories to make me look bad, then I have an issue, and that’s when I have to set her shit straight. Besides, she does her own fair share of making herself look like a dumbass in front of people and has burned many bridges because of it – but that’s on her.

This is probably another reason I stick by myself and avoid groups, especially groups of women. Some of the cattiest things come out of their mouths, gossiping about other people and then turning around pretending to be best friends. Oh, hell naw to that! I put an end to that shit in sixth grade, and I’m not living it again. Grow up already! If I have something to say, I will say it to your face or write about it and then send you the link (which I’ve done with some of my blog posts). Other than that, stay the hell out of my business!

Bye-Bye High-Five Guy

The other day I posted about saying bye-bye to people pleasing. Of course, as soon as that happens, the universe throws me a test.

I received a text from a male acquaintance asking me to go out for drinks or food. I told him I wasn’t going out, so he offered to bring me food. I had him order a sandwich, then I regretted it when he got here, because I remembered how he yell-talks right in my ear and he has to be told to stop yelling. We’d only hung out maybe three times over the last several years, and each time out in public drinking – when my senses are totally off. This was my first time being sober around him, but I’m unsure how much he’d had to drink.

The last time we’d had a conversation, I had a serious talk with him about some of the things he was doing and how he’s not going to find a decent girlfriend if he continues. I guess he took that to heart, because he’s currently making some changes. However, I think he’s wanting me as his girlfriend, because he started saying things like “Let’s go on a cruise, I’ll pay for it.” And “I don’t have any friends” – What?? And “If we ever got married…” What!!! Yikes! No thank you! I wasn’t aware of it until now, but he also lives with his mother, and he said he’s saving to buy a house and his mother will be living there, too, so he needs to find a woman that can accept that. Well, good luck!

In the meantime, we ate our sandwiches, he’s yell-talking in my ear a foot away from me, and every time he said something he’d say, “high five,” and put up his hand to high five. Me being my bluntly honest self, I was like what??? This is dumb, and I’m not high-fiving you anymore. (I will nickname him High-Five Guy.) Then he started talking inappropriately about sex and his dick – and besides the fact I’m over surface-level conversations – I told him I didn’t want to hear it. Whenever I would attempt to change the subject, he would interrupt and loudly speak over me, and I told him it was really rude. And then I guess he got offended when I asked him to throw his food container away, because he said something about him being a guest and that’s my job… whoa! I told him I wasn’t his mother or his maid, and my guests need to clean up after themselves. That’s when he said he was going outside (backyard) to smoke a cigarette.

I was doodling on some art when I realized High-Five Guy been gone for a longer time than usual, so I went to see what was going on. He wasn’t there. I checked out front, and his car was gone. I was not disappointed whatsoever and also relieved, but I wanted to find out what happened, so I sent him a text:

“Why did you leave and not say anything? I thought you were out back smoking. That’s fucking weird.” He said he was insulted. I said “What are you talking about? Instead of just taking off you should have probably said something. I mean come on, we are not in sixth grade.” He said every time he said something he said something wrong. He can’t win. Whatever. I told him “We have different personalities and energies, and it is what it is, thanks for the sandwich, have a good night!”

When I got up the next morning, he’d sent me a text at 5am saying how he’d brought me dinner and that he’d never been treated so poorly in his life. Then he ended it with this, “if u don’t change your ways a bit u will never get a good man. just a piece of advice. u have talked to me that way a few times now. nobody that has self worth would tolerate being talked to like that. no hard feelings but u have to be honest. I wish u luck.”

Here’s the thing – I still don’t have a fucking clue what he’s talking about, the way I talked to him? By asking him to clean up his shit and throw it in the garbage? By asking him to please keep his voice down? And tell him I didn’t want to have a conversation about sex? This is what I sent back:

“Wait a minute – who is rude? Who left without saying anything? That’s crazy and weird, not to mention completely immature. Is asking you to keep your voice down treating you poorly? I have elderly neighbors next door and you are extremely loud. The fact that everything I tried to say you interrupted me and spoke over me was very rude. That is not the type of company that I prefer in my home. It’s actually very disrespectful. Like I said, I think we are just different personalities and different energies. I’m not here to kiss somebody’s ass and serve them like a maid for bringing me a sandwich. I don’t need a man at all and a good one would show a lot more respect in my home. Good luck to you as well. Speaking of respect sending me this stuff at 5am is another issue.”

I find it funny how some men always refer back to “you’ll never find a good man!” when in fact, those are the same ones that act childish and still live with their mothers. I’ll take being alone for the rest of my life over having to put up with that… and I’ll even high-five to that!

Saying Bye-Bye to People Pleasing

I was reading a young woman’s blog post about her being a people pleaser, and it’s something that came up as a topic in one of my counseling sessions last year. I believe the discussion had to do with staying in relationships longer than I should, because I didn’t want to hurt the other person. I feel that’s what you do with the people you love, whether it’s a romantic relationship or a friendship. I was always taught to stick through things, even when you’re miserable, because things will eventually work out. I’m not sure that’s accurate, because it’s never worked!

That’s when my counselor told me I was a people pleaser. Although I’d never really thought of myself as one, it makes sense as to what I have experienced in all types of relationships. I am slowly learning and making changes, but undoing something you’ve been doing for most of your life isn’t easy! I recall finding myself catering to men I dated without getting anything in return – often hosting, cooking, cleaning up everything – you name it. What the fuck was I thinking? As far as friends go, I would be a shoulder to cry on, but when it was my turn, those same people weren’t there. The thing is – I enjoyed doing that for someone I cared about or loved. I treat the people I care about the way I want to be treated, even if I am being taken advantage of, and I’ve had enough of that shit!

I resonate with most of this article from Psychology Today, “Are you a people pleaser?” Neglecting myself by serving others’ needs before my own? Check. Fear of rejection? Check. Resentment when I don’t feel appreciated or feel like I’m giving more than the other person? Check. This is another thing I have to work on, because being taken advantage of is a really awful feeling. Usually, once I realize someone is taking advantage of me, it’s a little late and a lot of resentment has built up by that point – and once I get to that point, I’m over the relationship. But I’d rather see the signs prior to that point.

I do believe I’ve gotten better over time, especially the last couple of years in romantic relationships, friends, and jobs. Now I don’t feel the need to make dinner for a man to please him if he doesn’t do something in return, and I’ve limited friendships with people that haven’t been there during times of need. Unless I’m working for myself, when it comes to jobs, I do what is in the job description and nothing more. There is no need to burn myself out again trying to please others that will do nothing more than move on to the next person when I stop giving.

Answers After Abandonment

I just reread a post I wrote about a year and half ago about dealing with abandonment issues that stemmed from my childhood and how this is a recurrent theme in my life. I am still trying to figure out what it is about my choosing of people that are inclined to abandon or ghost without explanation. Sometimes I do get explanations, although they may be months or years down the road. Other times, I have to suck it up and realize that some people are just cowardly assholes and I’m better off without them.

I recall the time when I was in the army and received a letter from the ex-boyfriend that I’d lost my virginity to. Initially, I was shocked at receiving anything from him at all, as it had been about two years since I’d seen him, and I was far beyond over him. I can’t remember everything the letter said, but he’d apologized for treating me like shit, told me how beautiful I was, and said something about me looking like Mariah Carey (which made me laugh – must have been the hair!). Years later, he attempted to date me again, but that wasn’t happening; I don’t repeat the same mistakes with the same person.

Most “abandonment” that happened pre-internet was just what it was, and I believe it was easier to move on, because there was no communication available if someone moved or changed phone numbers. Out of sight, out of mind. People would just wonder what happened to that person until their class reunion. But today, there is no excuse – or maybe poor excuses – like the one “friend” that suddenly quit talking to me, because she blamed me for working in a place where her ex knew people and some other lame-ass excuse. That was total bullshit, and I realize now so was our “friendship.”

What I don’t need in my life are fair-weathered friends. We all go through things in life that are inevitable and difficult to deal with – sickness, death, divorce, etc. It’s another thing if the issues are just drama type of bullshit that can be avoided, but if someone else can’t handle the problems you never invited them into in the first place, that’s on them. What’s really shitty is when you’re at your worst place and you get abandoned by those you thought had your back, especially when you would never do that to them.

With that being said, I had a male friend that I’d known since my days in the military, and about three years ago, he suddenly disappeared. I knew he was taking a break from social media, but I did have his email and phone number. I also knew he’d had some health issues, so I was truly concerned for his well-being, especially since I hadn’t heard from him and my emails and phone calls went unanswered. It was really out of the norm for him not to keep in touch at all. But then I happened to log into an old Facebook account where we were still “friends,” so I messaged him asking how he was, excited to get back in touch, because I truly enjoyed corresponding with him most of the time. Immediately, I was blocked. I thought how fucking bizarre and dramatic is this? I thought maybe he’s dating someone, and he can’t be friends with other women. Later, I was unblocked so that he could send me a very lengthy message describing in detail how he blocked a bunch of people a few years ago that weren’t adding positivity to his life. Ummm, okay, that’s understandable, but I’m not exactly sure how I fit in there, being that we live 3000 miles apart. He added something about the drama in my life, which wasn’t drama at all – I had a family member with cancer, and around that time a close friend had died. That’s not drama – that’s life! But what I really think happened is this – since we’ve known each other, he’d wanted a romantic relationship with me, and I wasn’t interested. I recall probably telling him a little too much about my personal dating life, and I honestly think he was jealous. I mean, I understand if I wanted someone romantically and they were rejecting me, but the reality of it is we’d never get along in that type of relationship anyway, not to mention the distance. Besides, I didn’t drag him into my “drama” or whatever you might call it; he tends to do that himself with other people’s business. Either way, at least I found out the truth behind the matter, and he seemed very sincere about it, which is a lot more than I can say for other people in my life who have done the same type of thing.

Am I guilty of ghosting anyone? Absolutely! But there is a difference when you’re not getting along with the person or you’ve had a falling out rather than just never speaking to them again without warning. I wish there was an abandonment meter when meeting someone, because it is truly heartbreaking when it happens, and I would definitely avoid those types of people. It’s completely unfair and selfish, not to mention immature, to abandon someone close to you without warning or explanation, and it says a lot about that person’s character.

Online Dating: From Friendly to Bye-Bye in 48 Hours

I’m still on POF as an experiment but rarely active, because it just doesn’t interest me enough. Last week I wrote about some of the harassment and abuse towards women on online dating sites. Not all of them are initially batshit crazy; some of them take time, which is why I like to chat and feel them out before replying or giving out my number or meeting in person.

I matched with someone in my area that had a great profile, which means he actually took the time to write things out in complete sentences and punctuation, along with adding more than one photo. However, he was in his 50s and had never been married and had no children. When I asked him how long ago his last relationship was, he never actually gave me an answer, just said a while and he didn’t want to talk about it. This was probably red flag #1, but I always give people the benefit of the doubt, because what if she had passed away or something tragic?

This conversation started on a Saturday. We were having great banter back and forth, but as it started to get late, he told me he had to go to watch his favorite TV show, Saturday Night Live, and he literally cut off the conversation. (I will name him SNL Guy.) I didn’t think much of it at the time, because it was late.

The following day, I’d gone to an art show out of town, which also happened to be the day of the Super Bowl. In the meantime, SNL Guy texted me his number and we exchanged some conversation off and on throughout the day. Somewhere around this time, I got an intuitive feeling that I can’t explain, except that his texts were starting to get on my nerves. I wasn’t having that great of a day, so I thought maybe it was just me.

SNL Guy mentioned he wanted to speak on the phone at some point, but he was going to a Super Bowl party and would contact me after that. I thought to myself that he should have probably asked me if it was okay to call me that late (red flag #2), because I was exhausted and ended up falling asleep. When I saw my phone the next morning, he’d texted me four times and called twice from 10pm until just after 11 (red flag #3). That seemed a little much for me, and I don’t know how else to describe my feelings, except that I felt a little creeped out.

On Monday, I had a very busy day, and he sent me some texts to which I barely replied, because I had priorities. In the evening, he texted me while I was driving. An hour later, he tried texting me again. I told him I was in a place where I couldn’t speak. He tried calling and texting again, and I told him I was still out. That’s when he asked if he should “give up,” to which I replied, “If you’re impatient, then yes you should.” Well, that did it!

SNL Guy said he felt a disconnect and based on my answer, that sums it up for him. And then his next comment clarified that intuitive feeling that I didn’t quite understand the day before… he said, “I said I would give you a shout today when my day was over but you blew me off. You were logged into POF. What’s that saying of throwing rocks from a glass house?” (Tons of red flags!!)

Whoa!! Dude is totally controlling and selfish and lacks boundaries. While it was fine for him to be unavailable when he wanted to watch tv and play, it wasn’t okay for me when I was busy. The fact that he went online to look at my activity was another warning. (I was probably at a stoplight when I noticed I had seven unread messages on POF.)

I said, “Thanks for making it so easy, and in case you didn’t know, it works both ways. I was available when you wanted to watch a TV show and a football game, but I didn’t make a big deal out of it. I’m looking for someone with patience and doesn’t need instant gratification. Maybe you can find a woman to meet your demands in such an early stage. Good luck!”

SNL Guy tried to argue his point, which he didn’t have, except that we aren’t a match. Yeah, no shit! This is what I mean by online dating sites being such a waste of time getting to know someone only to find out they have issues no one wants to deal with. Even if it was only 48 hours, it was a lot of messaging that could have been spent on doing something better for myself.

** NOTE: The following day, I took a bike ride and put my phone in the basket with my water bottle. The water bottle rolled over my phone and opened apps and misc things… and somehow it actually called SNL Guy (his number was the last to call me), and by the time I picked up the phone to figure out what was going on, it was an operator message. Oops! Sorry, not sorry! **

Single on Valentine’s Day is Better Than Being in a Relationshit

Valentine’s Day is here and you’re single….again. For those that dread this day of phony love, V-Day is just another reminder of those horrible, yet unforgettable, relationshits that force you to remember why being single isn’t so bad. While there are probably too many to name, everyone can probably identify with these few types of (pri)mates: Sponge, Leech, Casanova, and Hang-Man.

Sponge is the guy that calls or texts when he’s bored, needs a ride, money, or any kind of help or service that you can provide – and you’re willing to give it to him. Sponge tells you everything you want to hear until he absorbs everything from your wallet, your sex drive, your convenience, and your soul. When you finally take off the blinders and see how things truly are, it’s usually too late.  Sponge has absorbed your life – and you are left a hard, dried up, rusty Brillo pad.

Leech is a parasitic creature that won’t go away. He seems to be a really nice guy and may make a great friend, but you have friend-zoned him for reasons you can’t explain. Leech destroys all of your hopes of ever finding anyone else because he won’t leave you alone – he shows up at parties, at your work, during a girls’ night out. He’s one of those guys that’s just always there. Because he’s always hanging around, people think you and Leech are together. You avoid his calls, his Facebook messages, his 450 texts over a two-day period – but Leech still doesn’t get it. Your friends refer to Leech as the Stalker or the Cock Block.

Everyone has heard of Casanova. He’s the guy that makes you feel like the sexiest person alive. He takes your breath away and tells you everything that dreams are made of. You are sure he is THE ONE. After an exquisite evening together and promises of the future, Casanova is never heard from again. You make excuses for him – like maybe his phone is broken or maybe he’s working late, and your calls and texts go unheeded for days or weeks. Casanova has ghosted you, and he isn’t seen or heard from again until you bump into him at a bar – locking lips with Flavor of the Week. Casanova is another name for man-whore.

How many of us have heard of Hang-Man? Not the game with letters, although this guy likes to play games alright. He hangs out with you at his own convenience but never seems to make real plans. You wait and wait for Hang-Man to make decisions, whether it be from what you’re planning to do over the weekend to what you want to eat for dinner. No matter what, Hang-Man always keep you hanging and wondering. Ranging from being consistently late to standing you up completely, Hang-Man acts as if you’re supposed to wait for his superior ass self while his mother still does his laundry. As a matter of fact, Hang-Man is probably keeping you waiting at this very moment.

There is one thing in common with all of these characters – besides the fact that they’re self-centered, arrogant people out for their own interests; they are types of men you can learn to easily avoid. Do yourself a favor – your dignity is worth more than any of these creatures and their false hopes – so don’t find yourself in a relationshit on Valentine’s Day! Instead, order some sushi, sit in the tub and cuddle up with your pet – the one who really does love you.

Harassment & Abuse on Online Dating Sites

The other day, I wrote about AWOL, the upcoming women’s movement that is a week-long protest against gender bias in dating apps and social media platforms. Today is the first phase of the movement, where women are changing their social media profile photos to the AWOL logo to bring awareness. I am participating in this event, and this post will give a pretty good explanation as to why.

Being on and off dating sites for the past six years of my single life has given me a poor outlook on dating altogether, as I have mainly found it to be a complete waste of time. Spending hours sorting through profiles which may or may not be real or current is exhausting, not to mention the back and forth texting and lack of communication. Discovering the person you’ve been talking to is completely different in person is another downside to online dating. Even worse are the sexual messages received, oftentimes unsolicited dick pics, and overall insulting garbage.

As an experiment, I joined Plenty of Fish for a few reasons: a) I hadn’t been on there in several years; and b) it’s free. While I never actually expected to meet anyone on the site in person, I was open to the chance of possibly meeting a new friend. Given what I experienced, however, I now highly doubt that.

This time, I only have one visible full-body photo of myself fully dressed, not showing any skin whatsoever, my face visible but not that distinguishable. (I wasn’t sure what one photo would elicit, but I have a feeling that no photos at all would still have baited plenty of sharks!) I’d stated specific things in my profile that I knew would disqualify most of the men in my area. That wasn’t done on purpose; it’s all the truth about myself and what I’m looking for, and most simply aren’t on the same page. The messages I will be posting here were received within my first 24 hours of being on POF.

Since my horrible experiences with dating Trump fans takes up half of my blog, I specifically stated “no Trump fans” at the end of my profile, which seemed to have really pissed off some men. The fact that they took the time out to send me rude messages told me they are immature, abusive, control freaks that have no place in my life. The very first message I received from POF was from Ray, who thinks he’s a keeper but isn’t intelligent enough to keep his children off of his main photo. No one asked for his opinion, and the site is for meeting people to date, not to argue politics like people do on Facebook.

Instead of just going about their business and moving along, women get harassed online daily by men like Ray on both dating and social media sites. It’s men like Ray that a lot of women would never give the time of day, and they know it, and they use the opportunity to insult women behind their keyboards in order to boost what little self esteem they have. Ray was reported, but I’m unsure if he still has his account.

I never replied to Ray, however, after a certain amount of messages like these, it becomes hard to ignore. I am not the type of woman to “sit back and take it,” because if I allow them to treat me this way and don’t stand up for myself, it gives them a motive to continue their shitty behavior and do it to more women. I am the type of woman to put someone in their place, so I decided to start replying to these unsolicited messages. This is from another extremely unattractive man:

At least mpc65 understood he was being inappropriate, but there is no excuse to do this in the first place when you’re looking for love (obviously in all the wrong places!) Other inappropriate (and frankly, just weird!) messages when I politely decline men that I have no interest in dating includes being called names, such as a racist, when race has nothing to do with it. This man’s profile stated he was located in the UK (my profile specifically states to be within an hour of my location), so even if I was interested, it would never work. Besides, I got the feeling it was probably a fake profile.

I know I am not the only one that has experienced being called a racist, as SareyTales and several other women have also been called the same thing for not being interested in a man of another race. I recall one of her posts recently from an Asian male that played video games and had interests that most grown women don’t. When she politely declined him, he called her a racist and then went on to continue insulting her. It’s just another frightening way that men often project their insecurities to women online.

In my profile, I state that I have a 3-month rule for dating before having sex, as I know this will weed out any players. Apparently, some men had a real issue with that and sent me some pretty nasty messages. One I appropriately nicknamed the “Russian Asshole,” since he fits the stereotypical type that treats women like second-class citizens sent this barrage of mysogyny. Notice that he gets through the POF messaging system by spacing out the letters when he calls me a bitch.

I felt that Russian Asshole’s messages were extremely demeaning, antagonizing, and downright disturbing. After reporting Russian Asshole on Twitter, his profile magically disappeared from POF. However, I don’t know if that means he was blocked from my profile and still allowed to harass other women.

Even when I am online, my intuition picks up on things that seem shady or weird, even if I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is. This guy was interested, then suddenly thought he was “better” than me when I turned him down.

Even though “Better Than You” Dan has no opinions of me, he thinks he’s better than me with all of his world travel, success and money.

These are just a few of several messages I’ve received from men I’ve turned down – and this was only the first 24 hours! Out of approximately six pages of messages, about 20% of them were like this. To think that 1/5 of the men on dating sites are this awful is pretty discouraging, especially when the apps enable them by allowing these abusive men to keep their profiles and punish the women that report them instead. Women are fed up, and as a result, AWOL has been formed.

Obituary Comment – I’m Glad You’re Dead?

I wrote this about 9 years ago… pretty sure the family members still feel the same way.

Free the Burden

I read Marcus’s father’s obit in the paper today. I can’t believe that miserable son of a bitch lived as long as he did. He had cancer at one time but beat it.

This is a man that – I hate to say it – deserved everything that happened to him. He was very abusive to his whole family, beat the kids. He hasn’t spoken to his children in years, and definitely not his grandchildren. I informed my brother that he died, and that he is listed as his grandchild in the obit.

My brother is super pissed. Said he doesn’t want his own father to be associated with his name, nevermind that supposed grandfather of his. He tried posting his comment to the obit, but apparently they have to be approved. His was not approved.

I wonder if anyone else has left comments on people’s obituaries telling them what…

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All Women Online Blackout – A Protest

If you’ve been following my blog long enough, you know that I have some experience with the online dating world. For the most part, my experiences haven’t been so great, as I often write about them. What makes them even worse is getting unsolicited dick pics, sexual harassment, threats, rude messages from men that I have politely rejected, nasty messages from men that don’t happen to like what I’ve written in my profile (they obviously don’t make the cut), being called racist for being uninterested in someone that happens to be a different race, and overall misogynistic attitudes. But this doesn’t just extend to dating sites; this happens all across the board with social media in general, with Facebook and Instagram being the worst culprits.

As for Instagram, there is no way to report an actual private message; only profiles and posts can be reported for obscenities or whatever goes against their terms. So when I received unsolicited dick pics from men I didn’t even know, my reports went unheeded, and those men got to keep their profiles. Yet, if I happen to screenshot the message, hide the dick pic with an emoji, and share it to my story – Instagram flags it and takes it down, even threatens to remove my profile. This type of behavior and inequality needs to stop. Right now.

This also happens with some online dating apps – you can report their profiles, but not their actual private messages in the app itself. If there is nothing violating the app’s terms in the profile, those men keep their profiles, even if the person sends a dick pic or tells a woman he’s going to rape or kill her. (Yes, this actually happens!) In some cases, the messages can be reported, however, often the abuser still gets to keep his profile. I suppose if the apps are making money off of these perpetrators, they don’t give a damn about the safety of women using their sites.

The real issue besides the idiots sending the messages is that these online platforms seem to cater more towards men in these cases. Oftentimes, when their profiles get reported, nothing happens. Sure, there’s the option to block them, but sometimes they make alternate profiles and continue the harassment. It sends a message to these men that it’s okay to harass women, since the block option is there. All it does is send them to the next woman, many of whom do not bother reporting them (or can’t), so nothing ever gets done about it, making it seem like it’s okay for men online to abuse women. Well, it’s NOT okay, and women are fed up.

Someone I have been following on Instagram for quite some time has exposed some of these jerks. Sarey Ruden of SareyTales was tired of the online harassment and misogyny, so she decided to make art “The Art of Online Dating” out of the awful messages received from men on dating sites; she even gave a TEDtalk about it. And now other women are joining in and revealing their online dating horrors – all very similar stories, and some even have the same types of messages from the same users in the same area. Even when reported, these men have no consequences, yet women who report them by outing them on social media (since there is no other option to report them within the apps) have actually been silenced and/or banned from the sites! Not only is this unjust, it feeds into the rape culture and perpetuates abuse of women.

On May 9th, a women’s movement is happening called AWOL – All Women Online. It is a week-long blackout on dating sites (also extended to social media) to combat gender-based dating app injustice and abuse. I will be joining it, along with thousands of other women (and also supportive men) in protest to the way women are treated unfairly by dating apps and social media apps that continue to fail us. To find out more and to participate, visit her website at SareyTales.com.

Depression and Antibiotics Linked

The other day I recalled reading something about intestinal flora and moods, and the possibility that an imbalance can cause depression. For me, this would make a lot of sense. Two years ago I had pneumonia and was on some really strong antibiotics. In the past year, from surgeries and other illnesses, I have been on antibiotics five times! This would explain my lack of appetite and food craving changes, not to mention the constant influx of depression.

During my research, I learned that the first antidepressant was an antibiotic, back in the days when tuberculosis was a big thing. The next thing I learned was that antibiotics can affect a child’s brain development. There have also been studies that antibiotics may contribute to types of psychosis and is associated with anxiety and depression. Due to antibiotics killing off all of the bacteria in the body (both good and bad), it really messes with the good bacteria responsible for sending signals to the brain.

I truly think this is another link between the horrible and constant depression I’ve experienced over the last couple of years, mostly because I just don’t feel like the same person I did three years ago. It was easy for me to bounce back out of anything, especially a relationship gone awry.

I have noticed that I definitely feel better both physically and mentally when I ingest probiotics regularly. Besides taking probiotic oral supplements, I make kombucha, which is a natural probiotic drink. However, I haven’t made any in the past few weeks and have been relying on the probiotic capsule. Now that I’m finally off antibiotics again, I’m going to continue with probiotics and see how this fairs with my mental health.

Feeling Worthless & Random Thoughts

My day began with getting woken up by my cat and not actually getting back to sleep, so I’m not exactly feeling good physically. It got worse when I got up and learned I’d been locked out of my Facebook account that I’ve had since 2013. I had jokingly changed my name about a month or so ago, but Facebook wouldn’t allow me to change it back for 90 days. I suppose someone reported me as a fake account, even though I run my biz pages from that account, have things for sale on that account, have my phone number associated with my account, have used credit cards for business on that account, and god knows what else they have that I’m not even aware of. They have more than enough of my personal information to prove I’m not a fake account. I also cannot access messenger, which is the only way I know to keep in touch with some people. Who knows what else I can’t access, because everything is connected to this POS network. Now Facebook wants me to send them my government ID to prove who I am, as if I’m going to send my sensitive information to some random person Facebook hired for $10/hr. I told them to fuck off. I may have to create an actual fake account in order to use it, but that seems like a lot of work for a platform I already despise.

I haven’t heard a word from my male friend, and as of yesterday, he still had me blocked on Facebook. Not that he was keeping in touch with me prior to that anyway. I’m just leaving him alone and not saying a word. I’ll just be as silent as he is. I just wish I could afford to pay someone else to fix my car, because I don’t even want to deal with bothering him again.

My new male friend/acquaintance seems to only text me when he’s drinking. There’s a sign to stay away. Last night he sent me a text inviting me over to “take a spin” in his jacuzzi. Take a spin? Really? I ignored him. Jacuzzis are gross anyway, and I will definitely not be joining him in one. Now he’s texting me about what kind of camera should he buy because he wants me to teach him photography. I jokingly said I charge $25/hr, but I should have said $100, because dealing with him costs me my sanity. I need to come up with a nickname for him, something fitting.

I feel no love. Seriously. None, except from my cat. I attempt to surround myself with things that make me feel better, but everything is only temporary. I want to be loved, to be wanted, to be appreciated… and not just for superficial bullshit… not for buying expensive Christmas gifts, not for acting up to someone else’s standards, not for giving a good blowjob. I guess that’s why cats are great. Fuck, at this point, I’d be happy befriending a ghost. If he wasn’t friendly, I’d cuss him out and sage the shit out of him.

I’m feeling terrible again. Maybe I’m low on B-12, but I’m out of syringes and keep forgetting to go to the store to get them. When I ask the pharmacist and say what it’s for, they still look at me like I’m a crackhead, even though I’m too fat to be one. I really, really need a massage. I know it would make me feel better for at least a day or two, which is more than I’ve felt in a while.

I’m constantly worried. I worry about how I will manage to pay rent each month. It’s not even high rent, and it’s relatively low (knock on wood) for my area, but my income has changed due to health issues. Then I worry if the only income I have will suddenly end and I’ll be homeless. This is another reason I’ve been so very anxious to get my car fixed, because it could be my next home.

No matter how hard I try different things, like changing routines and cutting alcohol, I am still depressed and feel worthless. So then I’ll have a few drinks, which lets my guard down and makes me actually talk to people I would normally not speak to. But they don’t know that, because then when I see them somewhere else, I may not be as friendly, and then they think I’m a snob. Not my intention.

I don’t like fake attention. I don’t like when strange men come up to me in a grocery store and give me compliments about my looks. It makes me feel weird, like a target, especially coming from men that should probably keep to themselves anyway and would probably fuck anything in a skirt if given the chance. It would be different coming from a man that I like and respect, but I prefer to be liked and complimented for how I am as a person.

Everything is just an illusion, but seeing people out together and seemingly happy makes me feel like an even bigger loser for being alone and depressed. Some of them are faking their happiness and showing off for people; they have someone to impress. I see that. But that doesn’t make me feel any better or… un-alone, because there is no antonym for alone. Disconnected might describe it. I’m not out to impress anyone. Fuck that. Like me as I am or fuck off.

I always feel alone, even in most company. It’s the worst feeling in the world. When I am in company and feel this way, I tend to just get up and leave, because I can’t take it, and I’m not going to subject myself to torture. As an introvert, it’s total hell. Someone I had a beer with recently ruined my somewhat content mood, and I became annoyed, because she was being super aggressive and opinionated in a conversation, discussing topics I don’t care to discuss, especially when I’m already feeling bad. I’m sure that wasn’t her intention; it’s just her nature. I was relieved when she left me back to being alone.

I’m not sure there’s a cure for depression in my case. My VA counselor thinks that I’m just one of those people that is naturally/normally depressed. I don’t think it’s normal at all. I have never thought of myself that way, as I’ve always yearned for happiness. We all want happiness. What if I had all of the things listed that I’ve researched and written about (eating alone, sex, touch) that might help with depression? Would I still be depressed?

Eye in the Sky – A Sign from the Universe?

This morning I awoke from a dream, and the only thing I can remember is it had to do with the band The Alan Parsons Project. Having no idea why I would dream about a band that I vaguely know, the first song that popped into my head was their 80s hit “Eye in the Sky.” Being a believer in dreams and signs, I knew that this was the universe telling me something I needed to know… except attempting to decipher exactly what it could be is tricky.

The only lyrics besides the chorus that I instantly remembered were “Don’t say words you’re gonna regret,” and after that I wasn’t sure what the words were, but they are, “Don’t let the fire rush to your head.” Immediately, I could only think of the situation with my male friend, because I was angry with him for blocking me on Facebook and denying it, along with other issues, and I let him know it. It still bothers me not knowing the truth about this, because if my friend lied to me about something this stupid, what else has he lied to me about?

The rest of the lyrics suggest gambling and the ending of a relationship. Perhaps it had something to do with relationships being a gamble, since most do not last. I am still upset over the ending of the friendship we once had, because he is the only person I’ve become close to in over two years and spent a lot of time with over the past several months. Last night I ordered takeout, and when I remembered the last time I’d eaten food from this place, it was with my friend, and I became upset all over again.

But is that what the dream message was really about? Being that the band’s album cover depicts the Eye of Horus, perhaps the lyrics to the song has to do with the “eye in the sky,” a symbol of protection and good health and possibly the third eye. Getting upset and angry certainly doesn’t help with health matters, and I am doing my best not to obsess to find answers and the truth, hoping that it will work itself out eventually. One of the problems I have is that I “have” to find out the truth, so it really does bother me when I don’t know. It may take years, but the truth eventually does come out. It just sucks having to wait, because I feel that it would speed up the healing process.

Blocked Again

Some days can just kiss my ass, and Monday was one of them.

Monday turned out to be one of those days in which I couldn’t wait to go back to sleep, because I did not want to face reality. Going to sleep super early the night before and waking up in the middle of the night pretty much screwed up my Monday morning, and when I got up I texted my close male friend that still hadn’t replied to me about what was going on with him. I went about my morning, intending to attend yoga, but I ended up being too upset to bother leaving the house.

Here’s a recap of the original text I sent to my friend the night before: “Look, I don’t know if you’re seeing somebody or something but you don’t even say hi to me anymore unless I initiate the conversation. I haven’t seen you literally since last year. I know you’re busy and all but I feel like something has changed between us. I almost feel like I’m bothering you by even asking you anything.” Nothing but crickets, which is very unusual… so on Monday morning I said, “Well alrighty then…” And that’s when he finally responded.

I was right – he’d “met someone recently and was going to tell” me. I guess it took me directly asking the question instead of attempting to communicate and getting excuses. It certainly explains all of the avoidance and standoffishness after I told him I wasn’t going to have sex with someone that is emotionally unavailable and too busy to hang out, because I’m not looking for a fuck buddy. I felt hurt knowing that someone I’d developed such a close friendship with blew me off with excuses but found time to date someone. Just be up front, you know? That doesn’t make it okay to avoid me and treat me like I’m an ex. I felt I lost a friend, because I know our friendship will never be the same again. I feel sad about it, and I suspect I’ll go through somewhat of a mourning period. Again. FFS.

Later on that day, even though we weren’t friends on Facebook, my male friend’s profile had come up as “people you might know.” I viewed his profile and summed up who I’m certain he’s dating.  Later that evening, my friend’s Facebook profile had blocked mine, and I had no idea why. I confronted him about it, because why did he feel the need to do such a thing if we’re still friends… and I’d never mentioned it to him… and his posts were public… He swears he never blocked me, but he hasn’t unblocked me, and unless someone else did it, he’s lying to me. Then I spent some time obsessing over it, thinking maybe one of his friends or the chick he’s dating did it. He, on the other hand, didn’t seem concerned whatsoever.

Then… he revealed this: He wanted more but I didn’t. Say what??? This was never a topic of discussion. Maybe a topic was “what is this?” to which I replied, “we are friends,” because like I said, a relationship doesn’t work when either party is emotionally unavailable. Nor does it work when someone is “too busy” to spend quality time together. He said he still wants to remain friends, and he agreed to fix my car as promised. I just wished he’d done it prior to this, because now everything feels awkward. Why the hell can’t men get their shit together before creating more problems and awkwardness?

I became angry again about being blocked on Facebook, and I told him so, because what did I do to deserve that? And why aren’t we friends on Facebook anyway? It’s obvious he’s annoyed with my questioning, which doesn’t surprise me, since men block, ignore, gaslight, and/or get angry when they get questioned or called out on their shit.

So what now? Is my very trusted friend lying to me? It doesn’t give me a good feeling at all, especially after having been blocked and ghosted by OC, and I feel triggered all over again again. Speaking of OC…

I decided to block OC’s Instagram account from viewing or liking any of mine nevermore. I wasn’t expecting to see a new photo of him and his girlfriend posted (that oddly, his wife “liked”). I knew I was doing the right thing by blocking this asshole, because I no longer want to question why he’s liking my posts or why he ghosted me for no reason or to see his stupid face – nevermore!

25 Years Ago – A Child’s Point of View on Space Shuttle Challenger

34 years ago today…

Free the Burden

Told from a child’s point of view, this is what happened 25 years ago on the day the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up:

It is a chilly, but sunny afternoon. After gym class I head to history. I hear an annoying boy named John yelling in the courtyard.

“The space shuttle blew up!”

He points to the sky at a puffy looking cloud in the air. John is known to say and do things for attention, so I don’t believe him.

“Shut up!” I say. “That’s just a cloud.”

“No, I swear!” he says.

John isn’t lying. I arrive to history class. Our teacher, Mrs. Still, has the television on and announces that the Space Shuttle Challenger has exploded into the sky, killing all seven astronauts, including the first teacher in space. I have never seen a teacher cry until I see Mrs. Still. The entire class sits in awe…

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Touch Starvation & Depression

Something I was reading about that makes total sense to me is that “touch starvation” can lead to depression, and I fit the category 110%. Affectionate human touch is essential to connecting with others, as it stimulates oxytocin, the love hormone that reduces stress and pain, helps with emotional well-being, and naturally increases overall physical health. An article from Psychology Today reports that “Lack of physical affection can actually kill babies.”

So if touch starvation can kill infants, what does it do to adults? Studies have shown adults that lack affectionate touch are inclined to be more depressed, have anxiety issues, are lonelier, and have an increased chance of developing Alzheimer’s. Somehow deep inside, I know all of these things, because I can feel it. Sometimes I feel that I’m fucked, and I will probably die at an early age. And to drive the anxiety level up, my fear is to die alone, like one of those people found weeks later with her cats gnawing at her dead body.

I come from a family that didn’t hug much or showed very little physical affection towards each other, so I’ve never been a touchy-feely type of person unless I’m in love. I recall being forced to hug strangers in church when I was a kid, and I absolutely despised it to the point it sometimes made me sick to my stomach. For all I knew, I was hugging some pedophile hiding under the guise of being a godly person. Since I also feel people’s energy, hugging those with bad or “off” energy doesn’t work for me, as I tend to “catch and carry” whatever it is they have. I have experienced my fair share of “bad” touch, which is an entirely different topic, but I wonder if it makes a person unresponsive to any sort of touch?

Experience has taught me that invited touch (i.e. cuddles, massage) from the opposite sex often leads to unwanted and uninvited touch or forces me to do something I’m not ready for, another double-edged sword that can screw up a person’s mind and make them fearful of intimate physical touch. It takes me a while to fully trust in someone, but at the same time, I have also gone full force too soon trusting those that ultimately hurt me. When I meet someone that can respect my boundaries, that’s when the trust begins. As soon as someone breaks trust in any way (physical or emotional), their touch repulses me, and it never comes back, which brings me to this:

A few male friends have almost crossed boundaries, which makes me not want to hang out with them anymore. Usually, drinking is involved, and when I am just friends with someone that has a few drinks and suddenly finds his hand touching my knee uninvitedly or arm around the back of my chair in public as if we’re a couple, it turns me off. My body language is very clear about what I invite into my space, so if I want a man, he will know it. When I don’t, my body language will say it, but I have to realize a lot of people don’t know how to read body language.

The other evening when I had sushi with a new male friend/acquaintance, I was not turned towards him or gave him any indication I was interested in anything more than friendship and conversation; however, towards the end he ended up sitting closer to me as if we were on a date, and his body language said the opposite of what I wanted. Just because a man pays for my meal and a couple of drinks doesn’t give him the right to disrespect my physical space and boundaries. If my female friends paid the tab, they wouldn’t try to make out with me, so why do men think it’s okay? It’s NOT.

On the opposite spectrum, my ex was super needy and touchy-feely to the point that I felt suffocated. Too much touch is just that – too much. I’m not the type of person that can give another person that much attention; otherwise, I’d have had more children. A healthy balance is nice, and it’s what I had with OC, and I haven’t experienced that since.

Being an introvert probably doesn’t help with my situation, because I expose myself to far less people than an extrovert would. Massages help tremendously when I can afford to have one, and I notice a huge difference in how I feel afterwards, not just physically but mentally. Sometimes it’s the only human touch I get for months. How pathetic that I have to pay for it. At least I have a cat, because touching pets does help, plus he has great unconditional loving energy. However, I truly miss being cuddled by a human, especially on cold or rainy nights. No wonder I’m a fucked up, depressed mess. Maybe I should get more cats.

Cutting Back on Alcohol

A few weeks or so ago, I’d written about changing some things in my life. Today is Day 20 of no drinking/cutting back on alcohol. It was something I intended to do, but the losing my shit incident was a catalyst.

I started out being on antibiotics, which was a great way to begin my not-drinking voyage. I have to admit the first few days were tough, because I’d been working outside in the heat, and beer sounded great, but I knew the medication would have made me sick anyway.

Once I got through the first week, it wasn’t so bad. I started keeping myself busy working out or taking walks in the evenings. I went grocery shopping and ran errands during the times I would normally have gone to happy hour. It probably helped that I didn’t exactly have the money to be going out.

Week two was a success, however, I thought I would feel better. I haven’t felt that much better except that I didn’t have hangovers. I was tired, but in a different way; I felt exhausted. My appetite began to change, and I was cooking again, and I had more motivation mentally and could think clearer. Still, I had no energy for the most part (could very well have been due to the antibiotics). The weather brought on some allergy issues, and it felt as if fibromyalgia was full-blown for a few days. My body was super achy from head to toe, and I remembered that when I drank beer, the aches would disappear. I did notice anxiety went down a little while I wasn’t drinking, maybe because I was just exhausted. My mood was only slightly lifted, but I was still feeling depressed. Perhaps it was lack of human contact or something else, but I was craving not being depressed, which is part of the reason I quit/cut back on drinking.

On Day 15, the weather was pretty bad. I had one beer in the fridge (one that I normally wouldn’t drink, because it would have been gone by now) that I drank and didn’t really care for it. The following day (16), I met up with some friends that are getting married soon to discuss some things about their wedding that I’m shooting. It was nice getting out of the house for once and home by 10:30. I had three beers in two and a half hours, felt high as a kite, and felt like shit the entire next day. Two of the beers were relatively normal in alcohol content, but the first may have been almost like drinking two. I remembered how much I hated waking up feeling completely unrested, having to get up to pee at wee hours, thirsty and unable to get back to sleep, and basically being unable to fully function intellectually with unclear thinking skills the following day. I also noticed my allergies were worse. Three beers was almost nothing for me before; it only took two weeks for that effect.

When the weekend rolled around, I went to an event out of town, and then a new friend/acquaintance offered to meet up for sushi. At first, I was hesitant being unfamiliar with him, but I was hungry, and the timing was perfect. I started out drinking water, had a tiny bit of sake and opted for a beer that I normally really like. However, I wasn’t liking the beer much at all and switched it to something sweet. It was nice to be out having conversation and a meal with someone, and I left feeling generally content, yet tired.

The following day, I noticed my mood was off. I felt sad, even though it was a nice day. (I suppose I could have also been sad about my other male friend.) Again, my energy was low and I had little motivation, but I didn’t feel like I had a hangover or anything. I was burping up the beer the next day, which made me not want to drink it even more, especially after nearly 12 hours passed since I’d drank it… just gross. I felt annoyed all day and canceled plans to go to an art event, because I didn’t want to be around people. I don’t know if this is a result from drinking or just being tired or annoyed.

Doing two experiments of having a few drinks after not drinking showed me that it really doesn’t bring me any happiness, especially the following day. Socially, it can be fun, but I am pretty sure I can find other fun things to do.

People were asking how long I was going to stop drinking. I never had an answer, because I tried to make realistic expectations and just go with the flow with how I felt. I have no cravings to continue doing it, and after feeling as bad as I have been, I don’t looking forward to it again. Eventually, I want to get back into eating a stricter diet, but for now I’m doing one thing at a time; I’m still enjoying chocolate chip cookies for now.

Getting Rejected by Male Friends

There’s a reason why heterosexual men and women cannot just be friends: sex. Even when sex is not involved, once the man realizes he’s not going to get anywhere with the woman sexually, he either ditches the friendship or remains very distant.

I met someone last summer that was a very good friend to me. He was there for me when no one else was when I had my surgery and helped me tremendously, more than anyone in my family or circle of friends. He fixed my car for free and refused to take payment. I felt comfortable enough with and trusted him enough to share things that I’d never told anyone else. We didn’t have much in common, but sometimes we’d have dinner or drinks together. Our communication was pretty much daily, and it was nice knowing someone cared. But I noticed something changed shortly after my surgery and then again recently.

Once I was on my way to recovering from surgery, I saw less and less of my male friend. I know he had a bunch of his own things going on; from a friendship standpoint, I was available for him emotionally if he needed me. But apparently, he didn’t need me. Each time I offered to make dinner for him in return of the favors he’d done for me, he declined. At some point, I told him I was going to stop asking, because I can’t keep setting myself up for rejection. His communication became less and less, and I let him know that I felt that he was avoiding me, and I wanted to know why. He gave excuses about working a lot, being busy, dealing with stuff. Okay, I get that, but I also felt it was just excuses and that he was blowing me off. After all, we went from hanging out 3-4x a week to maybe once a week or every other week. I figured maybe he’d started seeing someone, but he swore that wasn’t the case.

One of the things in the back of my mind is that he knew that due to the surgery, I was unable to have sex for a long period of time, so maybe that’s why he wasn’t pursuing the friendship. When I’d brought this up to him, he denied it and continued saying he was just busy. After healing from surgery and being medically cleared for normal activity, he found some time to hang out again, and he kept asking me when I was okay to go back to regular activity again. I knew he was referring to sexual activity, and medically, I was approved, but mentally and physically, I wasn’t ready.

When the holidays came around, my male friend was busy with family, so I barely heard from him and only saw him once – and it was the last time I saw him. This is about the time the friendship seemed to have completely changed. It was clear to me that he wanted to fuck, and even though my body wanted to, I physically could not due to other medical issues I was having. Mentally, I still couldn’t handle it at the time, and I didn’t want to get my feelings involved for the wrong reasons with someone that also isn’t emotionally available.

I told my male friend that I can only be friends with him, because I am going through my own shit, I knew he was going through his. I reminded him that he’s completely emotionally unavailable, and he treats me no different than he does his other friends, so I’m not about to have sex with someone that puts me on the same level as everyone else. This incident happened between Christmas and the new year. Since, I only hear from my friend when I initiate the conversation, and he hasn’t invited me to do anything at all. A week or so ago I was running errands near his house, so I asked what he was up to; he usually tells me to stop by and say hi. He didn’t. He hasn’t even initiated a hello or anything, which makes me feel like he only wanted to hang out thinking he was going to get laid, and that makes me feel like shit.

I sent my friend some messages about trying to arrange fixing my car again, because we’ve been discussing it for several months. He ignored my message and other regular ones I’d sent, but he had time to post shit on social media. When he eventually answered me, I felt he was being standoffish. So today, I finally sent him a message saying, “Look, I don’t know if you’re seeing somebody or something but you don’t even say hi to me anymore unless I initiate the conversation. I haven’t seen you literally since last year. I know you’re busy and all but I feel like something has changed between us. I almost feel like I’m bothering you by even asking you anything.” So far… crickets.

This is the type of behavior that men display that makes me not want to bother becoming friends with straight men anymore, because it’s a double edged sword. Just because I’m not going to have sex with someone doesn’t mean we can’t be friends and we can’t hang out, that we can’t eat meals together like normal friends. It’s really hurtful to gain trust in someone that was once so helpful, then just drops off the radar when he knows he can’t have sex with me. It’s really hurtful to continue being rejected by people that only want to be friends under certain conditions.

Lack of Sex & Depression

Yesterday I wrote about eating alone and depression, realizing that I need some social interaction during meals. While still attempting to get to the root of my own depression, I realize that when I am having regular sex, I am a much happier person. I sleep better, eat healthier, feel more energized, and for whatever reason, I think more clearly and get more things accomplished, and I generally feel alive all over. I cannot remember the last time I felt that way. (Oh wait, yes I can – two and a half years ago. *cringe*)

I did some research on depression and lack of sex. Not surprisingly, it turns out there is a correlation between the two. The hormones released during sex help with fighting off stress, pain, and illness – all of which I’ve been dealing with. There are other physical bodily results from lack of sex that made me say WTF! For women: “Without regular intercourse, your vagina can tighten and its tissues can get thinner and be more likely to get injured, tear, or even bleed during sex.” Whoa. This would explain some things.

During the last three years of my marriage, we had sex once a year, and I didn’t consider myself depressed at the time, but looking back, I probably was. Prior to those three years, sex was dull; even though he was happy and thought it was great, it was boring for me, because he was boring and insisted he knew what he was doing when he did not. Except for a couple of short term relationships (2-3 months) in the past six years, I haven’t had regular sex at all. I miss being held, being close to someone, and having someone to care about. I haven’t had good sex or even a good kiss in over a year. No wonder I’m depressed and pissed off about everything.

Solo isn’t cutting it anymore. I’m not desperate enough to have a fling, but dammit, my body is telling me it needs some attention. Prior to the past year, I would have been open to a friend with benefits situation, but that’s not going to work for me now. I tend to get my feelings involved for the wrong reasons, and having sex only increases those feelings – and I certainly don’t need to put myself in another situation that makes me feel shitty. And despite some of the terrible things I’ve written that have happened to me, I am very aware of my sexuality, and I have no hang-ups enjoying intercourse with the right person. The issue is finding that person.

Eating Alone & Depression

I have a lot of work to do with myself. Writing down my thoughts has been extremely therapeutic for me, and the more I write, the more realizations I have – the patterns, the negative thoughts that were ingrained into my system that I didn’t even know existed. I’m doing my best to pinpoint the things that have been causing depression and doing whatever I can to lift my spirits.

Whether you’re an adult or a child, eating alone all the time can be depressing. When I was trained to be a home health care aide, we were told that it’s important to eat meals (or at least sit) with our elderly clients, because they tend not to eat as much when they’re alone, and they’re happier eating with other people. What is it about eating alone vs eating with others that somehow determines our happiness? Studies have found that people enjoy the general social aspect of eating with others. The only times I didn’t eat alone throughout my adult life was when I was in the army, married or had a boyfriend, or when my daughter was young and I had a regular schedule. Studies show that people who share meals with others tend to eat healthier and live healthier lives. I suppose that would explain one of the reasons I have been depressed for much of the past six years.

Except for eating at my grandparent’s houses or with my father when I was a child, I often ate alone growing up. If I didn’t eat alone, I was usually separated from the adults, or dinnertime was so miserable I’d opt to eat alone. It was either literally get yelled at for breathing or something else that is considered normal to anyone. Here is an excerpt from Chapter 7 of my book, Unheard:

“Since dinnertime is dreadful, I hate evenings. Even when I am starving, I prefer eating by myself. I hate looking at him and watching him sit with his head tilted down towards the plate and scraping the food from his fork into his mouth without ever looking up. I try to speak and make normal conversation; he makes a point to say something to upset my stomach or tells me to shut up and eat. He finishes his food, gets up without excusing or cleaning up after himself, trots into the living room, lights a smelly cigarette, watches TV, and drinks beer. I guess he thinks it was a woman’s job to keep quiet and clean up after him.”

When something is “normal” for a child, they don’t always realize it’s not normal or healthy as an adult. I knew that what was happening to me didn’t feel right, especially when my friends did “normal” things, like eat with their families. I have never purposely separated myself from eating with others as an adult; it’s just that I don’t exactly have a choice when I’m single.

My daughter visited me a couple of weekends ago, and for the first time in a while, I cooked up a delicious shrimp and pasta dish. It was the first time I’d cooked a meal for anyone other than myself in months, and it was nice to share. When I was regularly dating, I cooked more than I was taken out, and I was perfectly happy with that, because I was happy. I realize that some of my happiest times are when I’m cooking and sharing meals with others (not being expected to, but wanting to), and that hasn’t happened regularly in two and a half years. (If you follow my blog, you’ll probably guess with whom.) I’ve also been more depressed in that two and a half years than ever, and I eat alone almost 100% of the time.

I try to take myself out to eat for lunch or dinner just to be in a social outing, even if I’m out alone. However, eating out gets expensive, and I feel that I can cook better than what is served in most restaurants. Plus, I love sharing my culinary skills with others. Like the studies have shown, it’s the socialization that I’ve been missing at mealtime and probably another reason my friends keep telling me I need a boyfriend. *eyeroll*

How I Lost My Virginity

Seeing the patterns of sexual abuse…

Free the Burden

This is probably going to be somewhat disturbing to some readers, so this is fair warning.

When I was 16, I worked with a guy that went to my school. For about a year he begged me to date him, but I wasn’t interested. Eventually, I gave in to him and he was my “first love” so to speak. He had a car, so we’d sneak off and park in wooded areas or parks to make out and have sex.

One night when I was babysitting he came to the house. We were on the living room floor (the person I was babysitting for was in her room asleep by then) making out. He was acting like an asshole, which was typical of him anyway, but here’s where this gets disturbing… All of the times I thought we were having sex, he wasn’t actually inside of me. I think maybe the…

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Snail Slime and Self-Protection

A few weeks ago, a snail was crawling up the window of my door, which was an unusual thing to see. A big believer of signs and symbols, I looked up the meaning of the snail. It turns out that I learned something new – snails have two different types of slime; one type is for movement, and the other is for protection… and snails secrete a substance to create their own shell.

I had to reflect on this snail discovery, as I am often told that I’m very guarded. When I’m in a new place or around new people, I typically observe; it’s important to know my surroundings before participating. Maybe that’s why a lot of people initially think that I’m quiet and guarded when they first meet me; this has been said to me since I was a child. I never understood what people meant, because I feel that I’m friendly and cordial with people. I suppose being guarded had to do with my upbringing of always having to protect myself from one thing or another. If you’ve been a follower long enough and/or read my books, you’ll understand that statement (or you can read excerpts here).

I feel that the snail was a sign for me to watch myself, my surroundings and the things that I was doing. I was drinking too much over the holidays and not protecting myself from sickness and toxic, slimy people. In the end, all of it literally made me ill. It was a sign to move on, move away from these people and protect not only my physical body, but my emotional and mental state. I realize snail slime is the only slime I need in my life.

Acceptance After Being Ghosted

The other day I posted about the other four stages of grief after being ghosted by someone in a close dating relationship. There were a few times I felt I had come to the acceptance stage, but I was alternating between all of the stages randomly. I would think to myself, I’m over it; he’s a jerk, and then something would toss me right back to a different stage. I’d be angry at the fact that he’s meeting other women and dating and having fun, but I was left standing alone without answers to my heartbreak and had a miserable dating life. (I was also angry when one of his family members suggested that I must not have ever had anyone break up with me before, since I had these feelings. I corrected them by reminding them I was ghosted without answers.) I have come to some other realizations about this person that have helped me to enter the stage of acceptance.

It’s always helpful to get over someone by dating another person, however, the options I had been presented were pretty grim. Prior to meeting OC, a close friend had unexpectedly passed away, and during my mourning period (which lasted about a year), I jumped into a two-month toxic relationship with someone 18 years younger. I met OC about three or four months after that relationship ended. I was looking to date, but only looking for friends and activity partners, so what I felt with him was completely unexpected. Looking back, I feel that I was probably still vulnerable to opening myself up to injured souls, because I was also one of them.

Taking accountability for myself, I probably ignored a lot of red flags – the first of which was that OC’s online dating profile stated he was single. However, he was still technically a married man (verified separated for two years at that point) and still living in the same house with his wife. I broke my own rule by continuing a relationship with him, because my rule is to date someone that has been single (not separated) for at least a year, preferably longer. When I initially met him, he’d told me about another woman he’d been on a few dates with and was texting him… but according to him, he was ignoring her. I’d informed him that I only date one person at a time, and I expect the same in a partner and that he needs to tell this woman that he’s seeing someone else, to not just ignore her. I don’t know what he did, but now I suspect he ghosted her as well. Or perhaps he ghosts women, then shows up randomly when he thinks it’s okay and allow him back into their lives again… the same way he did to me six months later when he unblocked me and liked my social media posts – and still continues to this day!

I specifically remember a couple of times him mentioning things to me that seemed off. For example, even though he still claimed to be getting divorced, he was adamant about staying in their home and was building a separate entrance for himself. I later learned that during the time they supposedly separated, they’d purchased the house together, which didn’t fit the divorce story he was giving me. He would spend the night at my house most nights and head home first thing in the morning; we never spent any mornings together – just afternoons and nights. I had suspected he’d been hiding something or bending the truth, but I never actually found out. He also had a tattoo of a ball and chain along with his wife’s name on the front of his hip. When I asked if he was planning to cover it up, he became flustered as if I’d asked him to chop off his balls. He replied,  “Why? No one will see it.” Seriously? I told him I see it, and if he dates other women, they’re going to see it as well. I suspect he never covered it up, and he probably never will. (I wonder what his new girlfriend thinks of his wife’s name when she’s giving him a blowjob?) He’d say random things that didn’t make sense to me at the time. For example, one time he told me he was selfish and immature, but I hadn’t seen that side of him, so I wasn’t sure what he was talking about. What he’d presented to me in his actions was opposite of what he said in so many ways.

Something wasn’t right, but I blamed it on my own insecurities. I developed a lot of anxiety when I didn’t hear from him, especially that last week prior to him ghosting me. Perhaps he was lying to me, perhaps it was something else, but I ignored my gut feelings. The problem I have with myself is I am determined to get to the bottom of things, to find out the truth, and when I can’t pinpoint what isn’t right, I continue with a relationship until I do find out. He claimed to be “so busy” with his work, but right after he ghosted me, he’d pass me at the beach every single day, so I felt he was using that as an excuse.

Knowing OC’s history of 30+ years being raised in and then leaving a cult religion whose manipulative members suddenly cut off their own children for not being followers, I am aware that this has been ingrained into his system since he was a child, so it is probably easy for him to act this way without any regard for my feelings. Not that it’s right by any means, but what else can I tell myself when I have no other explanation? I also realize, no matter how sweet he was to me while we were together, he is a very wounded and disturbed soul that may not feel anything at all. He lied to me and broke promises, especially when he knew I was recovering after a divorce and promised me he wouldn’t break my heart.  I tell myself he was fake and manipulated my feelings and trust for his own selfish purposes, and everything about the relationship was as fake as Dirty John, because genuine people do not develop close intense relationships only to treat others with such disdain. I wish I could have moved on when it all went down; I wanted nothing more than those awful feelings to go away. I look at him now and think I can do so much better than him.

The stage of acceptance is the beginning of my healing process, because I am ready to meet my next long-term relationship.