Why I Reject Religion – Part 2

The same house with the same people that I posted about yesterday that were trying to get the devil out of me when I was in my mid-20s (Part 1 of Why I Reject Religion) – this is part of what I remember as a kid, from Chapter 9 of my book Unheard:

“Our church is called The Four Squares. It’s a small Pentecostal church, the same one where Daddy met Bianca. I think Four Squares is a dumb name for a church, but I figure it has something to do with the family of four that runs it. I have to attend church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night.

Gertrude, Bianca’s mother, goes to our church. I have to spend a few days with her while Daddy and Bianca spend some time together alone. Gertrude is an overweight lady with pretty skin, and she constantly preaches about the Lord. She yells and cries for no reason, calling for Jesus and praying to him to save her marriage from her unfaithful husband. Her yelling and screaming scares me at times, especially when she tells me that the devil is inside of me. That’s only if I say or do something she doesn’t like. More than anything, that makes me mad, and I feel like telling her the devil must be in her since she yells and scares kids away.”

For a child to experience this is pretty frightening. It’s like using the boogie man to scare children, but instead they use their god and hell and damnation. The thing is – I always questioned everything, but their answers never made sense. For example, I asked about dinosaurs not being in the Bible. I can’t recall the answer I was given at the time, but it didn’t make sense. I asked about timelines and relevant things that were contradictory in the Bible, but every answer I was given was also contradictory or made into some other uneducated explanation. I asked about children dying or people getting cancer, and I was told that was God’s will, which wasn’t an acceptable answer for me either. And this is a good one – why do women have to serve men? Because that shit didn’t fly with me, even when I was a child. Nothing made sense to me whatsoever, and I thought that “God” sounded like a total misogynistic, selfish asshole. By the time I was a teenager, I had made up my mind that church was not a place I ever care to go. If you’ve never experienced something like this in life or as a child, let me tell you – it’s not only weird, it’s pretty damn creepy! But not as creepy as what I’m about to share.

A girl I’d been friends with since fourth grade lived down the street from me. Her parents were very strict Christians, and even being only about nine years old, I noticed some very strange behavior. One thing was her older brothers pissed their beds (I believe they were either in high school or close to it), and looking back, that is a sure sign of abuse, whether physical or sexual. My friend was rarely allowed to play outside much, but sometimes I was allowed over when their father was there. Now this is where it gets really weird, and today I am 99.9% sure he was a goddamn pedophile. From Chapter 1 of Unheard:

“[My friend] was never allowed at my house, and I stopped going to hers when I was ten because her father kept making me sit on his lap, facing and straddling him as he held me close. He gave me the creeps. When I tried to scoot away he forcefully continued to pull me forward. He also liked to hug me a lot, which I also thought was creepy. I wasn’t used to hugs much from home, but I knew that my grandparents never hugged me like that. I knew in my stomach that something was wrong about it.”

Around the time I wrote and published my book, I was getting in touch with old friends on Facebook, including the friend mentioned above. I’m pretty sure she read the book but didn’t know if I’d written about her, because I kept her details and identity fairly private. I know she was going through a lot of her own difficulties, and at one point she did ask me about her father holding people too close, mentioning that people thought it was weird. She made some excuse about his actions, but I wasn’t buying it. I am certain that man probably did a lot of disgusting things to children.

These people that I had experience with in the religious sector had to be some of the craziest, sickest people a child could be forced to interact with. To this day, the only time you will see me in church is for a wedding or a funeral. But this still isn’t the end of my church stories just yet.

Why I Reject Religion – Part I

While I appreciate and accept other people’s paths in life, religion is not for me whatsoever. Even when I was a small child, I had interest in the occult, which major religions seem to despise.

If you’ve followed me long enough or read my first book, Unheard, you’ll know that religion was a big part of my childhood that led to the ultimate demise of the relationship with my biological father.

This is an excerpt from Unheard: a Memoir – as told from a child’s point of view:

Grandmaw got Daddy to go to a big church called Calvary where Aunt Marylou went, and he became born again. That meant that he loved Jesus, who was the only person to show him how Daddy was getting to Heaven. They told me I should be born again too, but I decided that I would be baptized with the Holy Spirit. The spirit part scared me, because I thought that God’s son was a ghost. One night I was baptized in a big bathtub at the big Calvary church in front of a big audience. That’s when they handed me a microphone and I told them I love Jesus, even though I wasn’t sure I trusted Him, because I was afraid that I wouldn’t go to Heaven with the rest of my family if I didn’t do exactly as He said in the Bible. I think that water must have been dirty because I got sick a few days later. Maybe it was because my sins were still washing away. I wasn’t sure I liked the Calvary church because it was boring and they made us read like they did in school instead of color and do crafts like some of the other churches we went to. Besides, they made me feel stupid when I didn’t know what some of the Bible meant.

I stopped liking the Sunday school after they asked us what we knew about Abraham. I raised my hand. I knew all about Abraham from school.

“Abraham was the sixteenth president of the United States!” I proudly announced.

“No,” the teacher scrunched up his face. “We’re talking about Abraham from the Bible.”

I guess he thought I was a dumb kid because he never called on me again. I liked the story about the president Abraham better anyway because he freed the slaves.

I was an impressionable child that believed what adults told me as truth, because that was what I was taught (even when my gut said not to). There was another portion of Christianity that I was exposed to but thought it was not only horse shit, but outright nuts – the Pentecostal church. This is another excerpt from my book Unheard:

Grandmaw stopped going to the big church because they asked for too much money and started going to the new small Pentecostal church next to her house. I wasn’t sure I liked that one much either, because the music was old and boring, and so were most of the people. Most of the congregation was a bunch of people raising their hands and talking in a funny language they said was their tongue, even though I thought my tongue looked the same as theirs. The preacher would call up people to the front of the church and start yelling at them and push them on the head until they fell over raising their hands in the air and crying for Jesus. All of that yelling made me want to vomit sometimes because it scared me. The only part I liked about going to that church was meeting other kids and when Grandmaw gave me mints out of her purse when I sat next to her. The other part I liked was when they had food after the service because I was always starving by the time it was over.

Once I educated myself and had a mind of my own, I realized that religion is complete and utter bullshit that was invented by men to control the masses and take property from single/widowed women they deemed as “witches.” One college class I enjoyed most was World Religion, where I grew to learn about and respect other religions, which I feel pretty much all have the same basic beliefs and values. I gravitated towards Buddhism, Paganism, and anything considered “occult” because none of them were religions; they were ways of life and not defined by rules like Christianity or any of the other major world religions. Plus, they made sense.

One of the last times I visited my father was when I was in college. My daughter and I went to my stepmother’s mother’s house for New Year’s Day dinner. During the visit, my father asked me about what I’m doing in college, and at the time I was planning to become an art therapist, but first my plan was to become a high school teacher before working my way into art therapy. Both he and my stepmother discouraged me from teaching in public schools (my stepmother homeschooled all of their children), but I was determined to do whatever I wanted. (This was in the late 90s when schools aren’t what they are today.) After explaining how art and psychology helps people, my father basically told me psychology was a bunch of “hogwash” or whatever Southern term he came up with. That hurt me more than anything, because he has never helped me as an adult, nor have I ever asked, and I was doing my best raising a child and going to college and working on my own. He gave me no credit whatsoever. Everything I said made me wrong in his eyes. I was never good enough, no matter what I did for either him or myself. His words also made me angry, and they saw it. And then things got really fucking weird.

At that point, my stepmother said, “Let’s pray for Susanna!” … and they put me in a chair in the center of her mother’s living room and tried to “take the devil out” of me. By that, I mean they were praying loudly and speaking in tongues and putting their hands on my head and saying things like, “Let Susanna believe in God and let Susanna believe in Jesus! Rebuke the devil in the name of the Lord!”

I was pissed and wanted to get up and scream, “What in the holy HELL are you people doing?!!” But I also didn’t want to scare the small children, because it would “prove” to them that the devil was surely inside of me, and I didn’t want to be a part of the children witnessing “the devil” that only exists in their small minds. They had never even asked me what my beliefs were, and at the time, they were probably a little different than they are today.

My daughter was probably about eight at the time, and I believe she was scared for me and scared of them. It was confusing and weird and a total WTF moment. She and I have a bond like no one else, because it was just her and I for several years. I was fuming mad that they humiliated me like this in front of my young siblings (around her age) and my child. I left so angry, and I vaguely recall my daughter and I speaking about it on the way home, and she said that was the weirdest thing she’d ever seen. No shit. To this day, it’s one of the weirdest things I’ve ever experienced. This was only the beginning of the end of my relationship with my father – by his choice (although there are other theories I’ll write about later).

Pain, Allergies, & Being Alone

I’ve been having those feelings again. Slightly depressed, but perhaps it’s because I haven’t been sleeping as well, and I’ve been in a lot of pain lately. I did something to my back somehow, attempted yoga to stretch it out, but it made it worse. Went to the chiropractor, which helped, then I picked up a bag of potting soil the wrong way and screwed up my back again, so that has been an issue.

Some of the pain is caused from allergies. Besides the typical allergy issues of runny nose and itchy eyes, it affects my entire body as if every muscle or my blood is inflamed and poisoned. The only way I can describe it is like a burning sensation throughout my entire body, as if I drank bleach or something caustic – similar to that achiness the body gets having the flu. The only thing does seem to help is alcohol, believe it or not. So I’ve reverted to binge drinking on those days, which of course doesn’t help other issues. I feel like it’s a no-win situation.

Unfortunately, my only option to treat allergies with the VA is to take Claritin, which only solves some of the issues. Allergy shots would require me to drive 70 miles one way 3x a week for several months, which is just not going to happen. I’ve looked into alternative measures that sound promising, and at this point, I’m willing to try ANYTHING to resolve this miserable issue, but the affordability is another problem, just like everything else in this country’s shitty healthcare system.

When I sleep well and I’m not in pain, I feel like I can conquer the world, and it seems like I’ve been dealing with this my entire life. I vaguely remember “always” feeling good for days at a time, a very brief amount of time, and that’s a pretty shitty way to live. Stress has a lot to do with it, I’m certain. Feeling like this gives me no self-confidence in anything I do or anything I am striving towards or anything about life in general. I feel like if I died tomorrow, who cares? I don’t. It would probably be a relief rather than feel this way. (That is NOT a statement that I plan to hurt myself, so back off!)

This whole coronavirus thing is out of control, but since I’m already alone 99% of the time and avoid crowds most of the time, it doesn’t seem to affect me much. What it does affect, however, is the next job I’m waiting to start, because now everything is on hold.

I definitely haven’t been wanting to be around people anyway due to the anxious energy in the air, because it gives me anxiety, too. I feel everyone’s energy, and I don’t like it, because most of it doesn’t feel very good to me. I need to be around calming or creative energies – or just be alone. I feel like all of the good energy has been sucked out of me from the shitty people I’ve allowed in my life.

The only invitations I’ve had since the beginning of the year involve drinking. I went out a few times, but other than that, I’m bored with that lifestyle and end up hating the fake people I meet from it. While it’s fun to interact at times, I get burned out extremely fast, not to mention it’s unhealthy overall.

I haven’t been on an actual date in about a year (**when I say “date” it means with the intention of something beyond friendship**), and that last experience has left me not wanting to put any effort into dating. That was the last straw of dating for me, because I can’t stand another second of wasting my time on liars and people that add absolutely nothing but bullshit to my life. I don’t trust anyone, and I have no desire to make new friends or meet anyone new. I feel that saying hello and being cordial is enough for me right now.

The person I thought was one of my best friends has pretty much ghosted me, but I shouldn’t have been surprised at all after I had surgery and she couldn’t bother to ask how I was doing. I see clearly now that she was a terrible friend and only around when she needed someone. She’s also part of a group of women that act like middle schoolers, which I want no part of. And after my friendship with my male friend that hasn’t spoken to me since the end of January, why bother putting effort in getting to know anyone if they’re just going to ditch me without any closure, without anything but hurt feelings and lies – with nothing more than reminders of the abandonment issues I can’t seem to shake?

I realize I have always felt this way. I have always felt extremely alone in the world, and no matter how many people may surround me, I still feel alone. I feel like an outcast. I feel unloved. I feel like nothing I do matters, so I just go along trudging through each day until my time is up on this planet. I have always felt like there is no one out there for me, and even though I’ve had long-term relationships and marriages, I have always settled for something less than what I really wanted, because there was absolutely nothing that even resembled what I wanted. I am thinking that maybe I’m just a dreamer and nothing that I want exists on earth.

I’ve Been Dating Lemons, Dreams, & Introspection

This morning I had a dream that was very vivid and relevant to my spiritual and mental growth, but I can only remember a few specific details. If I don’t write things down as soon as I awake, I forget them. Years ago, I read somewhere that it’s what you do remember that matters.

I believe there were two men in the dream, but no one I know in real life. I believe one was someone I didn’t want to talk to or be around. The one I was corresponding with the most reminded me of Toe Ring Guy, but I’m not sure why. Maybe it was the way he was built physically but not the personality. The guy gave me a pair of beige high heels with rounded closed toes that were really nice – totally something I’d wear in real life. Apparently, they’d belonged to someone that had just died (I believe it was his mother), which was a little weird – but in the dream, I felt it was a nice gesture. At some point in the dream, I recall him saying something about waiting on his mother’s inheritance, and even within the dream, I thought that was strange.

The place that I was at was possibly a hotel – it was large, and even though I didn’t see stairs, I could see across a sky and felt that I may have been above the bottom floor. I believe my aunt was there and we saw part of a beautiful sunset, but there was another large, ugly building blocking most of it – which annoyed me, just as it would in real life. We said something about the sunset being so beautiful but we couldn’t see it entirely due to the building in the way.

Then back to the guy that gave me the shoes – I felt as if he was the better option of the two guys (by then the other one had disappeared), but I still felt something was off about him – which was probably knowing he was waiting on the inheritance, because that would be a complete turnoff for me.

I’m going to interpret this as:

Some guy giving me his mother’s shoes means filling in for someone else, perhaps in a motherly role. Perhaps I have a habit of taking on a motherly role (very domesticated) when I’m in a relationship. I want to say the high heels probably represent sex in some way, probably another role that women tend to fulfill. What’s the cliche? A maid in the living room, a cook in the kitchen, and a whore in the bedroom? Well, maybe I’ve been offering the Madonna-Whore Complex of being someone’s servant and taking what I can get instead of an actual partnership that I really want and deserve.

As for my aunt and the sunset being partially blocked, this aunt in particular is someone I like talking to, and she’s fun and artistic. Yet something large and ugly is blocking the sunset – which is something beautiful and something I always enjoy seeing. The building reminded me of some of the newer ones being built in my area that I refer to as monstrosities, because they have ruined the beauty of my area – including sunsets no longer to be seen.

I have often thought of buildings in dreams as a representation of a body or mind, but in this one, whose body? Perhaps the hotel represents a temporary frame of mind I’m currently in, but the bigger one represents things to see and sunsets are to come? I really don’t know. The only problem I have is that the building was just big and ugly, and I’m not exactly sure what that would mean in this context. Maybe I have to discover an ugly part of myself or my emotions to see the sunset clearly? Maybe I have to face an ugly part of a relationship (either from adulthood or childhood) or something else that’s ugly that has happened that I haven’t quite moved forward with. (UGH!!!)

Again, this is a lot to contemplate, because there are so many facets it could relate to, not only now but throughout my life entirely. This is frustrating not to know, because I’m probably already an over-thinker and over-analyzer. And sometimes this is why I hate myself – I just want to be normal, whatever the fuck that is.

Somewhere in the dream lemons appeared – I believe towards the end – but I’m unsure as to what aspect. The “off” feeling about this dream guy is probably the way I feel about men that I meet and/or date – since they’re the “only” option available, I tend to go along with it, because I feel that I should “try.” But in reality, they are all lemons!

And as I’m writing this, a big butterfly is fluttering around me – another sign of positive transformation!

How a Person I’ve Never Met Changed My Perspective

How many of us often wonder what is our purpose in life? Do any of us really know? And if so, how do you know?

Just prior to getting divorced, I was going through a rough patch and received a very unexpected phone call early one morning. At first I almost hung up, believing that it was a telemarketer – until the person on the other end said, “You signed up to be a bone marrow donor in 2007. You are a possible match.”

I was still a little groggy and in a little bit of a shock that this could be happening, but I suddenly felt a peace come over me. I thought maybe this was a sign telling me I had a purpose in life after all.

The nurse on the phone asked some questions and told me that the person in need was a 36-year-old male with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. What usually happens is the doctor and patient explore all options, and if they decide a bone marrow transplant is best, then I would be subjected to a few blood tests before proceeding. I wouldn’t know anything unless they decided to go with the transplant.

But I had questions, too. My biggest concern was about the process being a very painful one, because that seems to be the popular rumor. She said it’s not like it used to be, that the donor is put under anesthesia and most people are back to normal within a few days or so.

When we hung up I did some research on the “Be the Match” donor website. I realized that a week of “pain” to save someone’s life is well worth it. I considered the time I was in labor pain for about 20 hours when I gave birth to my daughter (not to mention the pain and anguish during her teenage years 😉 ), so this would be easy for me. I decided to proceed with the paperwork and sent in what they needed. Then a friend reminded me that her son had the same disease, and that a bone marrow donor saved his life. I knew I had to agree to do this if I was a match, and I didn’t think twice about it.

I haven’t heard anything since, so I’m assuming that the patient decided against the transplant. However, the phone call itself changed me. Here I was stressing over things in life that I had some control over and worrying about why I am on this planet. And here was this 36-year-old guy being told his life is in danger; he most certainly had legitimate concerns. Boy, did I feel like a wuss!

Whoever you are, 36-year-old guy, you don’t even know it, but I want to thank you for changing my life perspective. Maybe that is part of your purpose for being here.

*To register to be a bone marrow donor, visit BeTheMatch.org

Boundaries in Relationships: Space Invaders & Energy Vampires

Have you ever played the game Space Invaders? It came out in 1978, and as a small child I played it until I had blisters on my fingers. As a matter of fact, I still have a scar on one of my fingers! I was determined to shoot down the enemy if I couldn’t hide behind the walls that almost always got torn down. Of course, in video games, the game always wins. But in real life, we have the power to control what happens; it’s just a matter of learning how to use it.

One day it dawned on me that the aliens in the game Space Invaders are much like people who are space invaders. (Some people often refer to them as energy vampires.) They invade space and suck the good energy right out because they have no respect for other people’s needs or boundaries.

For instance, the friend that has endless relationship problems – you provide an ear to listen. A week or a month later, same friend, same problem. Six months later, a year, two years  – same friend, same problem. Her relationships literally make her ill, and listening to her somehow starts to make you feel ill as well. You’ve invested countless hours listening to her rant about her ex or about how everything in her life sucks. Now it’s your turn. You have an issue and need an ear just to hear you vent, and now your friend doesn’t have time for you. Not a friend at all; just an energy vampire. Healthy friendships are based on mutual listening skills; otherwise you are an unpaid therapist.

Sometimes space invaders are determined to selfishly grant their wants rather than someone else’s needs. A friend whose ex would not stop contacting her after she broke off the relationship, even after she ignored and warned him, got to the point of having to call authorities. Obviously, he had no self-control and zero respect for her needs and boundaries. She probably set these parameters at the very beginning of the relationship, translating his actions into flattery and “love”, instead of listening to her own needs and boundaries. Years after this began, she is finally done with him once and for all but has still had to deal with his stalking.

bound·a·ry
ˈbound(ə)rē
noun
plural noun: boundaries
1.
a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line.

A woman I used to be friends with would go out of her way to “help” people with all good intentions, but she does it without their permission and expected things to go her way. For example, she was trying to set her friend up on a blind date with some dude that turned out to be a dud (she invited them to the same party without informing the woman of her intentions). Instead of accepting that her friend had boundaries about dating and being set up with complete strangers without her knowledge, she got upset that she “went out of her way” and didn’t feel appreciated. What she did caused three people unneeded stress – her friend for the embarrassment and invasion of privacy, the dud(e) who was embarrassed after getting his hopes up, and herself because she had expectations for something she had no business sticking her nose into.

I once had a male friend (I’ll nickname him Orchid Guy) that I no longer speak to cross a boundary during the time I was newly separated from my ex. My plan was to check out the city where he lived, because there was a job coming up that I was applying for, and while I was there he was supposed to show me around. Prior to my arrival, he decided to make an itinerary of my entire trip, which included dinner and a cruise – something that I said hell no to, because I was maybe a month into being newly single and definitely not ready for a romantic evening with an old friend. It weirded me out, and I told him, and not only that – I was going to do my own thing, because I really needed alone time. Around the same time, he insisted on sending a package to me, but I felt uncomfortable about it, because technically, I was still married and living under the same roof as my ex. I told him to just wait until I visit, but Orchid Guy couldn’t control himself. He sent it to my job where I was teaching, which was also invasive, because it was a very small school and no one received personal packages there. The package contained a book that I would never be interested in reading, a lengthy handwritten card that sounded too mushy for what our friendship was, the first season of Game of Thrones, and a witch’s knot pendant (the only thing I kept). I thought what an odd bunch of things to send to me! I had to hide everything, because I didn’t want my ex to see it, and I really didn’t even want it in my house – period.

A few weeks later when I arrived at the B&B in his city, Orchid Guy had sent flowers to my room (mainly orchids). At that point, I flipped the fuck out. I thought it was extremely invasive, because this was a trip I was paying for myself, not to mention the emotional time I was having during my separation, but to have someone put flowers in my room just crossed the line for me. He thought he was making a nice gesture and being a “good guy,” but in reality he was well over all of my boundaries to the point that I didn’t feel the need to hang out with him whatsoever during my trip. I was super angry and felt violated.

Even after explaining to a space invader that they have crossed a line (or many lines), explaining that perhaps right now is not the time to continue a conversation, or explaining that right now we may not be feeling well enough to do what they would like us to do, they continue making excuses and finding ways to invade our space… if that person continues to disrespect your boundaries, it’s time to either set the boundaries or let them go. Space invaders will make us crazy and make us literally ill, because they are life-sucking vampires.

In the game Space Invaders, you get 3 “lives,” but in real life we only get one. However, we do have three choices as to how we handle these people: we can either continue allowing space invaders win and slowly kill us, place the boundaries today, or completely end the relationship by announcing: Game Over.

Making Name Changes

You may have noticed that I’ve made a few changes to the blog, including its name. There are a few reasons for this, the first being that I want the name change to reflect the current content I share. It took me a while to come up with something that wasn’t already taken but also relevant, so Free the Burden is it!

The second reason is when I created this site more than 10 years ago, my original intention was to use it to promote myself as an author using a pen name. I had chosen the first name of Susanna, the story in the Bible in which she was minding her own business when two perverted elders came along and spied on her while she was modestly bathing, then  blamed her for being beautiful and making them lustful and attempted to force her into having sex with them. When she refused, Susanna was accused of being promiscuous, which was a death sentence for an adulterer. Proclaiming she’d rather die than have sex with these jerks, she cried out, drawing attention to herself. Eventually, the lying pieces of shit elders are tried and found guilty, mainly because they couldn’t get their story straight –  and thanks to Daniel, Susanna is finally believed.

Susanna was the name I’d chosen because of being wrongfully accused of things, which was a common theme when I was growing up. I was accused of lying when I wasn’t, because I had a difficult time expressing myself verbally. I was accused of miscellaneous things just because of not being liked by both adults and peers. Even in my adulthood, I have been accused of some pretty bizarre things – but I don’t know what is more bizarre – the accusations themselves or the people making them.

Like many authors, I wanted a pen name in order to protect not only my identity and safety, but the identity and safety of my family and others that I’ve written about. Some family and friends and people that have known me for a majority of my life know my true identity behind this blog.

However, some people are complete dicks and think it’s okay to violate people’s privacy, even by going as far to do something illegal to gain information for their own selfish and sick purposes. It’s not a game to me, because some of the content I share with the public on this blog is extremely sensitive information that I wish to remain between myself and the reader, not the rest of the city and certainly not any of my exes unless I care to share it with them directly. To be “outed” by someone that I have never even met is akin to being emotionally raped or having your home burglarized, and that’s a really awful and indescribable feeling. Obviously, that person has severe issues and needs to do a lot of introspection, not to mention getting a life and keeping me out of it. I will be looking further into this matter and seeing what legal action I can take.

All Frogs and No Princes

Last night I noticed a frog in my bathroom. He was quite large, and it was getting late, so I left him alone figuring he’d find his way out eventually. Then I forgot about all about him. Around 2 a.m., I heard a knocking or thumping sound, checked to see if anyone was at my door. Nothing in sight, I went back to bed. This morning I heard another knocking at my back door, got up and saw it was the frog trying to make his way out. Later on, I noticed my bathroom mirror had little marks all over it, which were his tiny little footprints. I suppose that’s what I was hearing at 2 a.m.

Frog symbolism means a few things – particularly transformation, since it goes through different stages of metamorphosis. I suppose this resonates with me, body, mind and soul, because of currently going through all three of those changes.

I realize I need to take better care of my body, because I’m not getting any younger, and I don’t heal as quickly as I used to. Allergies have been worse over the years, so cutting out certain things is something I need to try to build up my immune system again. A few weeks ago I went to my doctor to discuss some changes that didn’t seem normal to me; however, she told me these things are normal as women age. I said, “So basically, women have nothing to look forward to in life?” – because that’s exactly how I felt. She said pretty much – we go through a series of changes throughout our lives and always seem to have issues. What the fuck.

Meditation has helped me in the past, but a problem I have is when the routine is disrupted. I started meditating regularly several years ago and not only did I notice a huge difference in how I felt, I manifested things that I never imagined possible. Then my life picked up and changed dramatically, and I had difficulty getting back into it. It probably didn’t help that my partner didn’t meditate or have any interest in my spirituality (at that point I realized we had nothing in common, which was spiritually draining). I started meditating again recently, but something interrupted my daily routine, and I stopped. I kick myself for doing this!

Spiritually, I feel that I’m changing again, and I’m aware that I need to make a lot of changes. When I was younger, I would set my mind to something and just go for it, no matter what. I’m not exactly sure what happened, but I stopped having goals except for getting through each day and making rent each month, and my focus was completely off. I’m sure my health issues had a lot to do with that, but I think they’re manageable now, and keeping toxic assholes out of my life certainly helps! I pretty much gave up my dreams in life for various reasons, but now I’m ready to make things happen again. Perhaps I should make a vision board so I can better focus and meditate on what I have always dreamed of in life.

A last note on frogs – I am utterly bored out of my mind with online dating, like usual. I still have my POF profile, and since I was traveling recently, decided to change my location to see what options were out there. It seems like all frogs and no princes. I have no desire to converse with anyone that messages me, no profiles stick out for me, and organically, no one in my area interests me whatsoever. I suppose this is also part of my spiritual growth.

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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