Monday, June 20, 2016

Only without the "squishy" splatty noise....

Trebuchet is the name of this font.  I kind of like the irony of that.  A sling shot style weapon of medieval times.  So it's fitting if this is going to be the third blog in line with this somewhat ridiculous challenge I've just challenged myself with.   Oh, yes, of course, I could blame my friend for even bringing it up.  But she's not going to have the ability to "make" me do anything.  I'm pretty damn ornery when it comes down to it and no one has ever "made" me do anything.  Okay, so I'm trying to remember how this plays out when I do meet anyone '"viable".  Ummm, and that's where I hit the brick wall.  I'm such an oddity of my own right, well, this isn't going to be something that I'll be able to get practice.  Since my divorce went final in 1996, I've met a grand total of 5 possible "viable" guys, dated one for a short period of time, dated one with my typical cycle (although I do think that just happens to be coincidence), and the other 3 I managed to turn into non-starters right off the bat.  That means I meet one an average of every 4 years.  That probably means practice is not going to be the solution.  Normally, I say "damn" with a sh*t eating grin on my face and never worry about it again.  Wash, rinse, repeat. But, I always try to keep my word, and as I've stated in a way older blog about something completely unrelated, keeping your word to yourself is the only way you can keep your word to others.  I was raised to be a person of your word--do as you say and say what you're going to do.

Alright.  I've got to say it.  Damn it.  I cut myself raw open in the first of these blogs, and unfortunately, I don't have the ability to do that here with this, and I don't have any friends that are even going to remotely going to understand what happens.  One of them and I talked about it and I know she didn't understand at all.  She just tried to listen.  But there's a reason that I'm lucky I'm such a unique type of person.  I just don't have to deal with this often enough to worry about it--excepting that stupid promise to myself that I wasn't going to bail on the viable anymore.  Sigh.  Not sure how that's going to work.  

Then again, let's face it.  I still am of the frame of mind what's meant to be will be no matter what you do.  Two of the most screwed up people I know are literally perfect for each other.  One had just got out of a long term relationship and he meets this woman and bam.  He marries her 3 months later and everyone thought it was insane.  It was like a year before I moved back to SC.  They're still together.  So who knows?  I think it just works itself out somehow.  

Probably the guy would have to figure out how it would work with me.  I'm not paying attention most of the time.  When someone says that guy over there is checking you out, I'm always like "uh, who?"  Yea, I notice everything else.  I'm pretty sure that's part of my defense mechanism.  The other night someone said to me "you just need to stop looking".  God this always annoys the hell out of me.  I'm never looking.   Ever.  You don't f***ing know me.  I'm never looking and all my closest friends know this.  I'm completely oblivious.  Sure, I joined a dating site again.  Ugh.  You should see the losers that are online and half of the women on those dating sites must be the biggest whores because even on one that is supposed to be innocuous, I've received some pretty rude emails.  Don't get me wrong I can be pretty crass; I'm a sailor afterall.  But give me a break.  I don't know you and HELL NO my dress is not going to look good on your floor or any floor that you will ever step on.  Ewwww.  Let's face it if I was actually looking for perfect for me, I would not be spending what free time I have riding around on my motorcycle with friends that are mostly couples.  Duh.  Where am I looking?  Nowhere.  The places we go have the same people over and over.  Is there somebody in the biker circle?  I have no idea.  But again, I'm such an oddity.  One every 4 years average.  

Okay.  So wash, rinse, repeat is starting to sound good again.  Sigh.  I know what my closest friends would say. And I made a promise to myself.  No more wash, rinse, repeat.  Cripes.  That's going to be harder than I thought.  It's not like I can take that boulder and just fling it off into the distance with a trebuchet.  If odds are any indication, this is not going to be easy.   I'd make an inappropriate joke at this point, but most of you really don't know me and I don't want to give anyone the wrong impression.  So here goes nothing:  there goes the wash, rinse, repeat cycle--kind of like launching a squash at the World Champion Pumpkin Chunkin.  Only without the "squishy" splatty noise.  

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Put your big girl panties on and do what you know you gotta do....

So, my blog is usually about me.  It's always about me, but I often cover things that help others.  That makes me feel pretty good when that happens.  My last blog was pretty much me cutting myself wide open and laying it out there about something I've dealt with, or ignored, for years.  As a combat arena (not actual combat for clarification) veteran, I can promise you when they tell you PTSD is different for everyone--although there are always some similarities--it is.  Why is it different for each of us?  Because PTSD does something that no other disorder does.  It's not just about what caused the PTSD.  It's also about every single bag of emotional crap that you had before you came in.  The PTSD door is one way, and once you've gone through it, even the most trivial emotional baggage can become overwhelming.  I'll have to admit that I thought about jerking that previous blog down, and then I saw the number of readers.  It must have meant something to get that many readers this time.  It even got shared by someone.  So even though it was a total exposure of my worst problem, it was also meaningful to what someone else might be experiencing.  I couldn't pull it down.

When I walked through that PTSD door and it slammed behind me, I had no idea that I had even walked through it.  PTSD from my understanding then was from actual combat.  My girlfriend that was a hospital corpsman (medic) that was in Kuwait City when it came under seige--she had PTSD.  I just had bad memories.  Her PTSD was totally different than mine, so I couldn't have PTSD.  Hers was different for two reasons--she had a totally different life than me before it and I had a totally different life than her before it.  Almost all PTSD veterans report some amount of fear of abandonment, but not always for the same reasons.  Some may be too afraid of being judged--very common actually.  Some like me, came in with a fear of abandonment.  I was married to a cheating idiot and my mother was gone by the time I was 9.  Being married to that idiot while I was deployed was very, very unhelpful.  If I had a normal relationship, like my girlfriend did, just losing my mother might not have been amplified.  I had long accepted that she was gone.  Probably why, after going through that door, it was now women that I could have more solid bonds.  My mother for all of the faults I like to joke about, like Green Eggs and Ham, was a wonderful woman.  My Grams had been my rock.  The closest relationships I have developed since that door have always been with girlfriends.  I'm reluctant to develop any of my male friends to the point of being "family".  So the fear of abandonment isn't about my mother.  In fact, when I went through counseling, my mother was rarely part of the conversation.  It became a non-starter pretty fast.  But Daddy issues?  I was Daddy's little girl.  I was kind of spoiled rotten.  But ok, maybe a little--Daddy had remarried and it wasn't good on me but I had been 12.  Yet, Daddy and I had started to develop a very tight and solid relationship again while I was in counseling.  It also became a non-starter.  My father and I were like two peas in pod sometimes and I think he liked that I was a lot like my mother.  So, I don't sound like the ideal abandonment case.  My girlfriend actually had a very estranged relationship with her family.  If anyone should have walked through that door with mommy and daddy issues, she would've been a prime candidate.

So where does this fear of abandonment come from?  My friend didn't have it.  She had a solid relationship.  He was there for her before the darkness came and he stood strong beside her though the darkness.  She had no fear of abandonment at all.  I, on the other hand, probably suffer from an abandonment disorder now.  I usually have nothing bad to say about my ex.  It's not his fault, but yes, actually it was.  Don't get me wrong, shit happens.  You're supposed to suck it up like a buttercup and move on.  And I did.  I threw him out the door so fast it made everybody's head spin.  My best friends tried to tell me to slow down, breath, think.  Hell no, I had made up my mind.  He'd been cheating before we even got married.  Out the damn door was the best answer.  Then reject everyone that came through my door after a while.  That became my solution.  Prior to my ex, I was just not interested in getting serious with anyone--I had plans, I had goals, and nothing--let alone someone--was going to get in the middle of that.  With my ex, well, he was one of my best buddies--I'd say friends, but I'm not sure about that anymore.  Our other friends joked that he followed me around like a puppy.  I don't remember it that way.  He gaffed off dates to hang out with the group, but one of our mutual friends back then was quick to point out only if I was going to be around.  I don't remember anyone before that always putting me first.  It actually made me feel special.  I remember that feeling when I look at pictures of us before we were dating.  I also remember my Granddaddy always protecting my Grams.  In social settings, letting her flutter off on her own and then checking on her to make sure she was fine periodically.  And God forbid if anyone messed with her, Granddaddy was 6'5".  Grams was only 5'2".  You messed with Grams and he was going to be there ready to knock you across the room.  That is how my ex made me feel before we started dating, and that's what had won me over.  (Sure we could go into what his issues were--find justifications, excuses and some might even be valid, but those are his problems not mine.)

So, he went from being my great protector to being a horrible, unsupportive, cheating jerk who literally never had my back.  It was pretty bad when one of his friends, a guy who wasn't that fond of me, told me point blank that he didn't deserve me.  He wasn't trying to get with me--he had a solid relationship at the time.  But he had gotten to know me by then, and he just said that there was no way he was going to do right by me.  I found out later that conversation coincided with the first time my ex cheated on me--before we were even married.  Why even marry me?  Well, because I was like his mom and he was like his dad.  The difference is his mom was raised divorce was not an option and I was raised by Granddaddy to show his ass to the door.

So I'm trying now, to focus on the healthy examples that I have, and I've made myself a promise no more "unviables".  No one is perfect, but I never said I was looking for perfection.  I always was looking for just perfect for me.  In our hearts we know what that is when we meet it even it scares the hell out of us.  But no more, well, I don't like this, this is a bad thing, or whatever.  If it's easy to come up with the laundry list of why I shouldn't date him, I shouldn't be dating him.  That's my wash, rinse, repeat cycle starting back up.  No more.  My Granddaddy wasn't perfect, but the things that were right about him--well, everything that was right was always the person he was around me.  My father had a temper from hell (I come by it honest), but my father was educated, smart, hilarious, and a damn good man.  Never judged anyone and treated everyone equal.  That was one of the same qualities he and my Granddaddy had, and probably one of the reasons my mother was smitten.  It's time for me to start being less afraid and a lot more, as a friend put it, smarter than that.  So it might take practice.  Like I said in the previous blog, I can barely hold it together when I meet someone viable.  All those emotions can come flooding back--the flashback of how I felt in Turkey, how I felt on those phone calls, and then the anger when I got home that protected what was left.  It's not easy to control.  But it's time I try and learn to cope with that too.

Friday, June 17, 2016

What's wrong with me? I'm my own worst enemy....

It's been years since I've been honest about how I feel.  I mean, not about my job, my kids, my friends, my life overall.  It's been years that I've been honest about my relationships.  Dating.  Dating sucks.  I hate dating.  I always did.  I was in the military, before that I was actually, yes, believe it or not, a sorority girl.  I've heard every, and I mean every, horrible, good, cute, sucky, bullshit, dumbass, desperate, and then some, pick up line known to man.  My favorite was when a buddy, after a retirement of a Chief we worked for in the Navy was:  "I've got a dozen or so buttons just calling your name."  If you know nothing about the original Navy Crackerjacks, well, look it up.  It's still friggin hilarious when I think about the look on that girl's face.  No, he wasn't hitting on me. I was complicated.  I'm pretty sure I'm still as complicated, if not more, than I ever was then back then.  I had plenty of rules.  They were all geared to protect me.  I went in to the military with baggage and I came back out with more baggage.  Anyone with PTSD just multiplies what they came in with.  It's like starting with two rabbits and having a hundred after only a few months.

My PTSD is my biggest friend...used to be.  It helps me totally freak out every time I meet someone with real potential.  Not that anyone with real potential comes around on a regular basis.  I'm an uber goober geek with a super sarcastic sense of humor.  In example, a friend was trying very poorly this evening to pretend like he was a duck, or chicken, or goose....Everyone watching and I blurt out while everyone thinks I'm paying no attention that he's practicing his "blow job" neck.  The women at the table bust out laughing.  I'm friggin hilarious.  My sense of humor is sailor crossed with super smart ass (before the Navy) crossed with a lot of smarts.  My friends tell me all the time I need to find someone as smart as me.  From experience, I'm not sure what that is.  I mean I know plenty of people as smart or smarter than me.  Ok, no, I really don't.  I'm so geeky the only reason that I'm not shunned by everyone I know is that I'm pretty, I'm dedicated, faithful, honest and always have my friends' backs.  I'm not actually as pretty as I used to be.  Of course, back then I had no idea I was even pretty. Who knew?

Anyway, eventually my life sucked.  My ex was not only not supportive when I got out of the Gulf. He actually made it worse.  I was just desperately trying to make it all work--keep my life normal.  I don't talk about it much.  He was horrible to me while I was deployed to the point my friends overheard what he was saying to me, took the phone from me and hung up, and went to our Senior Chief to contact his command that enough was enough.  My trust factors have never been the same.  Not that they were huge to start with, but whatever they were got worse from my service and even worse with the things he did.  Not a dwell thing.  Just a didn't friggin help thing.

So over the years I've been very blessed to have people that had no idea what I was going through who always had my back, who when someone touched me and I freaked would take my side, who loved me no matter how friggin ridiculous I seemed.  They helped heal me in so many aspects.  Eventually, I started to thrive--work, kids, friends and family.  A lot of that was them and one-on-one counseling with a fabulous psychiatrist.  But I never looked at rejection.  Ever.  I just never cared about it.  I had never been rejected.  I barely was interested in anyone including my ex, let alone worried about rejection.  But my PTSD made me feel alone.  Alone all the time.  At home alone, out with friends sometimes, hanging out with my boys fishing.  I would just be overcome with loneliness.  It especially sucked when the boys were gone for the summer.  When they were home, I could walk into their rooms and just sit with them and listen to them breath and know in my heart I wasn't alone-alone.  But I was alone, and terrifyingly alone in the summers when they were gone.  My motorcycle gave me comfort.  But not much else did.

So I dated.  Sort of.  With the start of an organization to help those of us with PTSD, one of my best friends, called me out.  How am I doing this while my PTSD still cripples me in some cases?  Uh.  No.  It doesn't.  Then she pointed out my "cycle".  A year and a half to two years with someone that I already had an arm's length list of reasons that I should not be dating them.  Then I stay away from dating for a year, Wash, rinse, repeat.  I initially got a little pissy and said she was wrong.  I thrive in spite of my PTSD.  Yes, in every aspect of my life but relationships.  I don't date anyone viable she told me and it was time for me to start only dating guys I would consider long term.  Enough is enough...Yea, I told her I needed to get off the phone rather than argue that she was wrong.  She was wrong.

Of course, that settled into my head and a couple days and...I did mention super uber goober geek...I started to think about what she was saying.  She wasn't actually wrong.  No one makes it passed two years and before I ever start dating them I do have a very, very, very...very, very...long list of why I wouldn't date them.  There was one exception in the middle of all that mess, but eventually he didn't want me.  I'm not sure if it was his fault.  It seemed all good, but an ex-boyfriend--crazy as a friggin loon--kept prodding him.  I'm not sure I can take the blame either.  But it doesn't matter.  He didn't want to deal with it and the way I see it now is if I was that important he would've been there for me.

So then now my friend's observations--excepting that one who dropped me--are pretty much spot on.  Of course, he didn't help.  I lost all my confidence that anyone would want me.  I am so broken.  I made it easier on myself.  Choose ones that would be lucky to have me...that would be easy to lose.  Ideally with a long list of things wrong with them.  This is not actually hard to find.  It's so easy--it's disturbing in its own right.  But my friend is right.  I don't need to be doing that to myself.  It's not that I don't have a type, she pointed out.  It's that I refuse to date "my type".

I refuse to date "my type" because I'm terrified of being rejected and "my type" is so rare I have a better chance of getting hit by a bus.  Not that I haven't met a couple of "my type" but they totally freak me out, even now.  I'm excited and then I'm terrified.  And being terrified doesn't work well with PTSD.  Duh.   What terrifies me?  They won't want me.  The terror is very, very helpful at that point (feel the sarcasm).  I know this, but I rarely, even medicated, can keep it even keel.  It overwhelms me.  I'm afraid.  I become needy, a dipshit, barely functioning.  I need to be protected at that point and that doesn't happen.  Even with those that are not "my type" that I've dated--that vulnerability can become a liability.  The ones that I wouldn't date normally take advantage of it or just completely don't get it and the ones that I would be involved with.  Well, I just haven't put myself in the position to find out what they do.  I freak out and they drop me.  I might not even describe it as freaking out. It's kind of like I know it's right but I.  Well, I don't know.  I don't like to feel needy.  Don't get me wrong.  I need someone to make me feel safe.  I need to feel protected.  When I feel vulnerable, at risk, I'm out.  I'm not waiting to feel protected; I'm running like a scared doe for the deepest recesses of my safe zone.

My safe zone--my friends, my boys, hell, even the dog.  No judgement, no rejection, no risk.  They have proven themselves over and over.  A year of that and then I'm ready to start with the next guy that I wouldn't date normally or ever or whatever.  Depends on the guy but the list is usually long no matter who he is.

Thus why my friend said "no more".  Only I'm pretty sure I can't do "no more".  The guys I would actually date don't want me.  It's not that I don't want them or need them.  I recognize it pretty quickly since it's so friggin rare.  It's just that I'm going to freak the f*** out and be terrified, unprotected and completely un-functional.  Needing someone is scary as hell.  And when I want someone, genuinely, I need them.  I know "my type" and I don't want to be rejected by someone I need.  So I just fall back on the things that work with PTSD.  React big and retreat fast.  I know it's pathetic.  And I'm a survivor that for the most part is thriving.  Just not this aspect of my life.  I'd tell you that I have figured out how to get passed this.  But I barely can stand losing anyone (dying) anymore.  It breaks me for a little while.  And when I'm the most vulnerable is when I'm the least desirable apparently.  Or maybe I just choose that.  Hell, like I said at the beginning of this blog, I don't have this aspect of my life even remotely right.  I'm my own worst enemy.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Hopefully most of my die hard readers will get a kick out of this one....

No, you're not like me and you've probably never met anyone like me.  My personality makes up only 4% of the population in the United States and less than 2% of that 4% are female.  I'll do the math for you:  Only 0.08% of the people in the USA are like me--304.000 women in the USA total.  I think about half of us joined the military.  According to most studies, you meet 75,000 people--not get to know--just come casually across in your lifetime.  So yea, your odds of knowing anyone like me are basically close to zero.  Please stop assuming you KNOW me.  You don't.  But hey, then what's this blog for?  I'm hoping that some people will know from this that some people that love to talk about me like they know me will read this and think--ok, I know they don't have a clue who she is or what she is about.  Plus, some of you should stop beating yourself up like you should be like anyone else.  You should bask in your own "individuality"--what makes you "you" is what makes "you" special.  Yea, but back to me:  

1. I've lived in 9 States. 
2. I've visited more than 20.  I was going to recount but why... More than 20...
3. I've been to 6 countries, not including the USA.  Not impressive. I know people that have been to more than twenty.
4. I could read and write fluently when I was 3.
5. I've read every book written by Charles Dickens before I was 9--including A Tale of Two Cities.  No matter what my parents said, that book sucked.  Totally sucked.  
5A.  One of my 3 favorite books is Green Eggs and Ham.  My mother thought Dr. Seuss was dumbing down children with jibberish.  It was the first book I'd ever seen with pictures.  I was in kindergarten.  Stop thinking your life was like mine.  It wasn't. My mother deprived me of Green Eggs and Ham.  I think that borders on cruelty.  "I will not eat them Sam I Am..."   Hahaha...
6.  I've pretty much read every classic known to man.  Hate most of them.  Gulliver's Travels for example.  Ridiculous.
7.  I technically can speak 3 languages.  I was fluent in them when I was a toddler and in my teens.... Two of which I have to be around people speaking it for at least 2 hours to get back to a toddler/elementary level.  Give me a week and I'll be around a high school level.  English, well American English, is one of the 3.  Duh.  My mother and grandmother taught English.  You think school sucked?  How would you like to have to learn the whole dictionary for most of the first 5 years of your life?  Annoying.  I'm telling you.
8.  I can count to ten in 5 languages.  Completely useless.  Well, until I needed beer in France.  So 2 have been completely useless to date.
9.  I've read the Constitution 6x+.  In high school, I realized my Government teacher hadn't read the Constitution, just the bits and pieces she thought she was going to be teaching.  I called bullshit, and I didn't get in trouble.  She went it read it like she should've in the first place.
10.  I've read newspapers from before Roosevelt died and from before JFK died.  Neither were popular Presidents while they were alive.  Roosevelt had accumulated too much power and JFK had the Bay of Pigs.  Day after they died, beloved.  Just an example of how we Americans think I guess.
11.  Yes, I've read the Federalist Papers, and Thomas Paine and Ben Franklin amongst others.. It's been decades.  But every writer has a nuisance and I'll likely realize you're misquoting faster than I can actually call bullshit.
12.  If you haven't read the Bible, just bits and pieces, I'll likely catch it.  And yes if you act all holier than thou, I'll likely call you on it.  My one aunt was a Sunday school teacher...just because my parents were atheists doesn't mean the rest of the family was.  I got it crammed down my throat more than you did.
13. I have rebuilt engines and used to love to tinker.  Not anymore. I've got better things to do than hang out in a garage all day....okay, I think I have better things to do.  If you like to be in a garage all day, more power to you.  Stop acting like giving up a hobby is that hard.  Let's put it this way--ride my motorcycle or tinker?  Babyboy is gassed and ready.  See ya.  
14. My parents were true atheists.  To their dismay, at 7 I decided there had to be some higher power that I chose to call whatever that higher power is God.  I believe religion is a choice.  God chooses the path for each of us.  I wish people would stop trying to guess why God chose something different for someone else.  Just have faith in what you believe.  Live and let live and stop judging everyone.  I remember multiple examples from the Bible of judge not.  And all religions have similar examples.  Live and let live.  Not your circus and I'm betting you've got enough of your own 3 ring circus without worrying about anyone else's circus.
15.  I'm realistic.  You're never changing anyone and here's a newsflash:  They are never changing for you.  Men don't change; women don't change.  Anyone will try to be what you want them to be for a bit--assuming that they think that is what they have to do.  I'm not changing.  I don't care.  Like me the way I am or not, but no I'm not even going to try to change to make you happy.  I don't pretend or put on pretenses and even though I may seem like an open book to you, I have more pages than Vanity Fair (the novel by Thackeray--I know some of you didn't even know it is a book).  It's 1600+ pages depending upon the print copy you're reading, so I'm a long read and you probably don't have the time.  That's fine, but don't read one chapter, let alone only the cover, and think you know me.  I don't minimize you down to a one page flyer--stop doing it to me.  
16.  My family debated about everything and we did it correctly.  Sometimes you got screwed and had to debate for something you were totally against.  So yes, I can see your point of view just fine.  What annoys the hell out of me is that you can't see anyone else's point of view.  
16A.  I was in the friggin military--and hung around squid and jarheads that had nothing to do most of the damn time but hurry up and wait...and wait and wait and wait.  If I thought my family could debate, just thank God I'm the only one from my generation of my family that went into the military.  It wasn't just debate--it was a great lesson at bullshit.  Years of practice in the military makes it even easier to pick out if someone is BS'n me.  
17.  I'm a big softy.  I cry at sad movies--thus why I never go watch that stuff at the movies.  I spend movie money on action flicks and cry in the safety of my own home--although I've been known to cry when I'm mad as a hornet, when I think about friends that are gone or maybe even when my PTSD kicks in.  Hell, for all I know it might be something to do with menopause.  I could only hope.  I'm really sick of having a period.  
18.  I'll help anyone--even those that I cannot stand.  I'm a human being.  That's how I decide if you are.  If you're only helping people that you like or only for your own benefit--well, from my point of view you might not be as awesome as you think you are.
19.  I can curtsy--all the way down to the floor like proper etiquette would require in front of the Queen of England.  No, never met her and really wouldn't see any occasion that I ever would, but my Grams was old school and I learned to do this with a full size dictionary on my head. Hell, I learned to walk with a book on my head.  Posture and all lady-like.  
19A.  Yes, I even taught my boys to open doors for ladies and stand up when they leave or come to the table...and pull out the chair.  Old fashioned manners doesn't mean you have to be a male chauvinist pig.  In fact, mos MCPs I've met usually haven't got much on the manners side.  
20.  We can "blame" my Granddaddy for me being willing to talk to a man on equal footing.  I don't consider myself less than any man.  Ever.  God gave women the ability to give birth--life.  So he felt so bad about that he gave us periods to make it up to the guys.  I'm telling you guys that is one thing I would never have traded to be a guy--there's a lot of other things too.  But yes.  Just wow.  Any woman that has had a child should get it. I think he gypped you guys.  But other than that--we are equal.  Quit telling yourselves that we aren't.  
21.  I used to think I was the "odd duck" (refer to the opening paragraph).  Less than 0.08% of the population after all.  Whatever.  Remember the ugly duckling turned into a swan.  My mother read it to me when I was really little--I've always wondered if the copy she read me actually had pictures because when my boys were little I never found a single copy that had no pictures.  But the ducks all laughed at the swan.  But the swan is a regal and tough bird.  Not that I'm a swan.  My spirit animal is a hawk.  
22.  Hawks are loyal and faithful creatures and somewhat loners.  All that shaman native American stuff.  Got interested in it for a while.  I have a white aura.  Bright white light aura.  Okay, if you believe in that stuff.  But every shaman or someone that carries the gift has told me the same thing.  They've always told me how super rare that is.  I don't know.  Guess that all fits that whole most people don't have a clue who I am.  
23.  Of course, a white aura is supposed to be super balanced.  Maybe, maybe most of the time.  I try to be.   I sometimes wonder if they change color or get brighter or lighter at time I meet a true shaman with the "gift" I've got to remember to ask.  
24.  Nope, I don't know everything.  I don't even care to know everything.  It's bad enough that I know so much superfluous stuff combined with PTSD which actually improves your cognitive access to memory.  Nice.  I'm a walking encyclopedia.  I'm just thankful that there are some things that I don't actually have any interest in.  I've got enough information floating around already without adding stuff I don't have any interest in whatsoever.  
25.  I have zero and I mean zero interest in several things.  I could care less about basketball--I only know stuff about it because Daddy loved basketball.  I don't care one iota about baseball--only know anything about it because it was one of the many sports my oldest son was good at.  Other things I could care less about--hmmm, see now this is a hard list for me to tell you--not because I have interest in everything, but because if I don't care about it, I don't think about it at all.  If you start talking about one of these subjects to me, I'll tell you so if you push me to be part of the conversation.  I'm also likely to tell you I have zero interest and know nothing about it.  This is usually where some snide comment gets made.  Yea, just be thankful that I'm not judging you on what you know that I don't.  I'm glad your interested in something.  It's better than not using that gift called a brain God gave you.  You use it for what you're interested in and I'll use mine for what I'm interested in.  Easy peasy.  
26.  Music is the sign of intellect.  Seriously.  If you like only one type or two, well, that's great for you.  But the larger the mind, the more music that appeals to you.  Just fact.  Willie Nelson did a song with Snoop Dogg.  If Willie Nelson was as closed minded as some of the people that like his music, likewise if Snoop Dogg was a closed minded as some of the people that like his music, well, guess what?  No one would know either of their names--let alone the two collaborating.  Wish some people would expand like Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg, but I'm done trying to figure out whether that's DNA or societal limitations that limit people.  "All we are is all we know."  Some people are content just knowing a little bit..  
27.  Nothing wrong with only knowing a little bit, but quit judging me because I want to know about a lot of things.  There are actually some things that I'm not good at, even with interest.  I love flowers for example.  I've tried to learn to cultivate plants.  They hate me.  Seriously.  Only certain plants like me and they're always Asian or thorny.  Roses love me.  Asiatic lilies love me.  Bamboo, money trees, rubber tree plants.  Every other plant just prays when they see me in the plant section of Home Depot that I don't pick them out.  Ever seen a plant turn its leaves?  Yep all like they are hiding.  Sure, I might be exaggerating, but I might not be.  Yes, friends have loaned me books, tried to give me advise, even gone so far as to help me with growing plants.  Forget it.  I might know a lot of stuff, but there are just some things I'm not good at.  And I'm fine with that.  If you're not as good at something as someone else, big whoopee.  Accept it and move on.
28.  Oh stop talking about change.  If you really wanted to change the world, you'd stop talking about it and actually do something--and you sure as hell wouldn't have set us all up to vote for the Clintons or Trump.  They are not change.  They are both the epitome of what is wrong and unfair in this country, and they have no intention of screwing themselves to fix what makes them rich and screws the rest of us.  You may say you want change, but you aren't actually making the change.  You want change, you have to go in a new direction--not the same.   The fact is that I would like to see change, but like you, I'm not interested enough to run for office.  My extent of change in that arena is going to be voting for the Libertarians.  
29.  Oh right, on that change.  I am very passionate about changing one thing.  That's all most people have in them to change.  Some small--some big.  I have one passion that I do want to change.  I don't want to keep losing 22 of my brothers and sisters a day to suicide.  It literally breaks my heart every time.  Down to the core.  I'm going to try my damnedest to make a dent.
30.  I've met a lot of people that have no passion about anything.  I feel sorry for you.  I'm sure you think it's a great way to live.  I'm too emotional, I'm too controversial, I'm too energetic, or I'm just too much.  Yes, I've heard it all.  I really don't care that you don't have as much energy or feeling.  I actually feel sorry for those that haven't got that inner fire that I do.  I don't know what it would be like to be mellowed out.  Mellow might work for you, but it's never helped me even to try.  It's not who I was meant to be.  I live my life to the fullest and with direction and conviction, loyalty and strong bonds that distance and time do not break.  I cannot imagine what it would be like to live my life any other way, and honestly, I wouldn't want to live my life inside the bubble it has been suggested to live in.  It's not that I haven't tried.  It's that it didn't work anyway.  It's not who I am and I'm not going to be miserable to make anyone else happy.  And neither should anyone else.  

Like I said at the beginning of this blog, be yourself and quit worrying about what I am.  I'm flattered you've got nothing better to do than try to put me down to people that don't know me in hopes of making me miserable.  But those people that would listen to your crap aren't even the type of people I want in my life.  Thanks for the favor.  You eliminated me from their lives and save me the time of weeding them out.  Just be your damn self, mind your own business, and be who you are instead of worrying about who you think I am.  If who you are is someone who can't be yourself, can't mind your own business and are such a busy body you have to worry more about sabotaging my life, well, that's just pathetic and I haven't got any advice for you.  I think you're probably an idiot.    

Sunday, May 15, 2016

A force of nature or the chicken coop?

Have you ever wondered what makes the perfect relationship?  Yea, me too.  It's like patches of clover in my yard. I've seen other people successfully pick four leaf clovers out of the clover, so I know they are there.  But damned if I can find one.  I could stand there all day looking and that "perfect" relationship is about as hard for me to find as that damn fourth leaf.  Admittedly, I really haven't tried very hard to find either.  I have the attention span of a gnat.  I've got better things to do than hunt through clover.  Likewise, I typically have a lot of far more interesting things to do than wait on a man to find me or me to find a man.  So it's probably no surprise that anyone I've dated has usually hit on me first, been the one showing the initial interest, and then me doing one of two things--showing interest or not.  More often, not. 

For my friends that have known me for years, they will point out that I probably have a tendency to jump ship as soon as possible.  First sign of bad weather and I'm steering the rudder in the direction of calmer seas.  It's not that I can't handle a storm; I've been through quite a few.  Sometimes I'm a force of nature, so I have no qualms at steering head on into the eye of a storm.  Taking on a storm is exhausting though and it takes time to recharge.  Even a force of nature has to have calm seas.  Tsunamis are only around for one season out of four.  So I just cannot see constantly driving the rudder into a storm that someone else keeps creating.

The other problem is I have always had a lot of priorities.  A relationship has really just never been one.  My boys always came first.  My career always came second.  My personal life was and still is about my friends--especially the friends that are like family or that are very close to me.  Of course, that's not to say that I haven't had a couple of relationships that I look back on and think maybe I should have stayed there.  But the reality is that there is only one relationship total that I look back on and cannot justify the mistakes that I made, giving up on it, going absolutely crazy trying to figure out how to make it work, and then finally residing myself that it was never going to work.  And, the one thing I'm sure of is that I never want to have to rack my brain like that again.  

A very good friend of mine just found his soulmate.  She's perfect for him and from what I have observed, he is perfect for her.  That seems to make a very happy relationship and they aren't the first couple I know like this as I've stated in previous blogs.  But for him, well, this always seemed like it would be a toss.  He had some very rocky relationships in the past and it was sometimes how he acted in the relationships as much as it was how the women acted.  Yet, some way out of seemingly nowhere, he's in the perfect relationship for him.  So there has to be hope for all of us, even ones like me that are absolute hard cases.  (Laugh, it's funny.)

Friends over the years have joked that I'm like that white tail deer you just spooked that takes off into the woods.  I used to joke that I was "nothing but cottontail"--in reference to a spooked rabbit.  When I was younger I was engaged and I probably would've married him and lived my life as a teacher--quiet little patch of land somewhere in God's country.  But, a big argument and I never answered his calls again.  The wrong words.  Of course, we were super young and the reality is that I always wanted something.  Just never knew what that something was.  The impetuousness of youth I suppose.  By the time I figured out what I wanted, I thought I had the "perfect" relationship.  Another impetuous fancy of youth.  Perfect for me is so much more complicated.  I used to joke that I could have my stupid conversations with my friends.  Yet, most of my friends are pretty smart, so I can have my "smart" conversations with them too.  The only thing I really need from a man is, well, my Grams raised me better than that.  Go figure.  

Of course, I have a lot of male friends and have even dated one or two of them.  There's even one in there that I look back and think God didn't make one more like me than him.  Should've stayed there too maybe.  But, well, we don't have a lot of common hobbies so yea, maybe not.  My best friend is a guy.  I mean if we talk about the friend that I've known the longest, can talk about absolutely anything, and all that.  Forty years plus knowing someone makes a pretty deep friendship.  Of course, he's not my type and I'm not his type.  Just fact.  But if I really want real advise about a relationship, I'm calling him.  This probably will not excite my many girlfriends that have listened to me gripe about relationships over the years.  But the truth is that if he hasn't heard the guy's name, then the guy just isn't getting very far.  And if he's hearing it because I want advise, the guy is on his way out--as many of my girlfriends know.  He never even met my ex--because well, maybe my ex just wasn't really "it"--whatever "it" is.  Of course, he's a bit more steady than me.  I'm a bit flighty, as Grams would've put it.  If it weren't for my boys, I'd be living on a Caribbean island, serving mai tais, riding my Harley around in circles and working on the never ending novel while listening to the waves rolling in.  Okay, maybe not a Caribbean island, I think that circle thing would make me dizzy--flighty is bad enough.  

So what was the point of this blog?  Wow.  Really, sometimes these things have no point at all other than to clear my head and maybe make a little break in your day.  Do I want a real relationship?  Maybe, maybe not.  OK, probably more maybe.  But do I want to argue over ridiculous sh*t?  Or be told what to do?  If you've actually met me then you know that is literally like trying to control the wind.  The best anyone can hope for is just enjoying the breeze.  I cannot stand the idea of being controlled.  Hmmm, I can probably blame a couple control freak ex-boyfriends, but hey, that friend of mine who has found his "perfect"--well, there's still hope.  Okay, maybe not.  Funny how quickly that works....I'm happy just like I am right now and given everything I've done or had done to me in my life I'll take it.  Happy and alone is way better than with someone and miserable.  I'd rather be a force of nature than a chicken in a coop.  

Sunday, May 8, 2016

We all make mistakes--not taking a second to LOOK TWICE should never be one of them

Yesterday was a motorcycle run, what we bikers call a Poker Run, although several states have tried defining them as "gambling" and illegal.  This isn't about that.  It was a run for the "LOOK TWICE, SAVE A LIFE" campaign.  On the way home, as I came up on the neighborhood Walmart, a little silver car never even paused coming out of the parking lot, flying at about 20-25 miles an hour--this is pretty fast in a parking lot and to be not even pausing onto a major 4 lane road.  Of course, he saw the cars behind me.  The guy didn't see me.  His hurry was for nothing.  We were stopped by the red light 75 feet away.  I was along side, because he had flown across into the left lane on top of it.  I beeped my horn, looked at him and mouthed "Thanks, Thanks a lot for looking first."  Okay, I didn't mouth it only but he had his windows up.  What pissed me off wasn't that.  For me, I had enough time to react; a few feet more--maybe, maybe not.  What actually pissed me off even more is he had a kid in the car with him.  Sitting in a center booster in the man's backseat.  The "Look Twice, Save a Life" campaign focuses on motorcycles, but since he was blatantly not paying attention and going too fast to stop coming out of that parking lot, he and more importantly, the boy--assuming his child, could've been injured had I been in my truck or car instead.  A motorcyclist has a minor advantage that if we can see it soon enough our vehicles can stop faster--but that isn't an advantage when we have a vehicle behind us.  Because they can't!!!  So this guy, in a split second, decided it might be okay for him, his son or anyone else to be injured or even killed.  He decided it might be okay for his son to witness someone die because of his poor decision.

Yes, I've heard the arguments about helmets.  Yet study after study shows that the frontal portion of the biker is where the most damage occurs.  Most helmets do not cover the front portion of the face--and that protection is not near as much.  But why frontal damage?  Because we are hit from behind or someone pulls in front of us and we are thrown....FORWARD.  If we had been closer, I may or may not have been able to react fast enough, but the vehicle behind me, an large SUV, she wouldn't have been able to.  So this guy made a decision that not only affected him, his son, me and now this lady behind me and whoever was in her vehicle.  I was fortunate she was not riding right behind me and allowed herself plenty of reaction space between our vehicles.  But had she been where I was when he did this, she may have hit him.  He didn't care that he didn't stop to see me.  But he didn't think that between her and me might not be enough room either.  He couldn't be sure.  He came out of nowhere in the parking lot and flew into the road.  He had no time to gauge how fast she was going even if he didn't see me.  He definitely saw that there were about 5 cars and SUVs around me, but hey maybe not.   He came out of nowhere.  I was watching for him....That was the only difference and it might not have helped if he were only a couple of seconds later coming out of that parking lot.

I know, so I'm responsible, but you're sick of those motorcycles that are going too fast and zipping between traffic lines.  All bikers know that some of the younger people riding some bikes, and even some of the older, are not as responsible as we would like.  But they typically are not the norm.  Of 66.7M bikers on the roads in the United States, we know that less than 20% are sport bike riders--that group that most people equate with doing the stupid tricks on the freeways, flying way too fast, cutting between lines of traffic.  The average age of these riders is 28 years old.  They are young and sometimes impetuous, and yes, sometimes their speed plays a big factor not because someone didn't pull out in front of them but because they had not allowed themselves a reaction time.  But they are someone's child, someone's friend, someone's heart.  They mean something to someone and you wouldn't want someone to disregard someone that you care about.  The other point is that most of us are responsible for the most part.  We all make mistakes, but the mistake that we make shouldn't be something as simple as not taking a couple of seconds to take a second look.

In spite of that show by Peggy Buddy and her husband, the truth is 99% of bikers are just like you.  They have jobs.  They pay taxes.  They bitch about the same politicians.  They have to pay bills.  They have families.  Many of them are just going through a mid-life crisis and will ride for 2 or 3 years and then sell their bike for a boat or a vacation site.  Some of us are life long bikers.  I grew up with motorcycles.  My uncle dragged NRHA in the 60s and 70s.  My father worked as a structural engineer on my uncle's bike.  They were both mechanical engineers.  My uncle worked in the US auto industry.  My dad was a structural engineer that worked all over the country.  I rode the tank when I was a toddler--to my Grams' dismay.  Some bikers are teachers, construction workers, quality assurance techs, hair dressers, CEOs.  We are just like you, only our hobby is an iron horse.

LOOK TWICE, SAVE A LIFE is not just about motorcycles.  When you come up to a stop, you cannot assume anything.  You need to look twice.  Not just for motorcycles, for anyone.  I have a bright orange truck, and I've had plenty of people pull out in front of my truck.  That truck sticks out like a sore thumb, yet time and time again, I've had people put their lives, their passengers' lives, my life and my passengers' lives in danger, because they can't take a couple of extra seconds to look twice.  It's not just motorcyclists' lives that you might save.  It might be yours or someone you love.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Zealots make it complicated.... But it really is pretty simple

Let's face it.  If you know me, personally--in person, then you know I won't lie and I pull no punches.  I'm a walking encyclopedia--if I've heard anything that sparked my interested, I've researched it.  Now, that doesn't mean that I know everything.  There is plenty of stuff I could absolutely care less about, and there are some things I've gotten curious about and may know a good bit about but not everything.  For example, I love to cook, because Grams taught me to cook by taste and I love to try and recreate stuff I like.  Cookbooks only get you part of the way there.  Anyone can cook, but making something amazing is relative to who you're serving it to and to a little thing called talent.  I can cook, but I'm no chef.  Of course, when you're a walking encyclopedia compared to the average person, well, suffice to say I know a lot of superfluous stuff that other people have no clue.  So as of late, I've gotten pretty annoyed by the religious right.  Don't get me wrong.  The far right religious right has always annoyed me a little.  I'm pro-choice--just like my Grams and First Lady Nancy Reagan were.  I believe that our religion needs to be kept in our own churches and our own homes, and if you truly believe it is your role to spread your religion, then you do so with an open heart and only by saying what your religion has done for you.  Unfortunately this is not how the far right religious right behaves and they are like an infection sometimes spreading their dis-knowledge and hate.

Oh boy.  I know it's a huge can of worms talking about religion, but this isn't about your religion or religions.  Yes, some people actually follow multiple "religions" or religious beliefs and in the United States of America, this is supposed to be fine, perfectly acceptable--thanks to a thing that we call the First Amendment.  No, I'm not trying to get you to give up your religion.  I'm just trying to point out that your religion, even the interpretation of your own religion, isn't always the same as others that practice your religion.  

The far religious right has made the arguments against abortion.  Often these conversations, when I have been willing to venture into them with someone, have ended with them wanting to "save babies".  Do you realize how many unwanted children are out there?  Needing real homes?  Are these "babies" that need saving going to end up as those unwanted children?  Let's skip the religious arguments.  Look up how often women died of "unknown" abdominal bleeding in the early 1900s through the 1960s.  The counts were actually massive.  Yet, after Roe v. Wade, those numbers dropped drastically.  That's why Nancy Reagan, my Grams and others of their generation were pro-choice.  My Grams had explained to me how one of her college sorority sisters died from a back room, coat hanger abortion because she didn't want to tell her family she had gotten pregnant.  Grams explained to me that her friend could've gotten an abortion in a hospital, money talked, if she had told her family.  They had the money.  But she was so ashamed and she ended up bleeding to death because of the botched effort made by some scam artist in a backroom.  Now, I have heard the far right religious argument here.  She deserved to die.  Seriously.  Sometimes, these people blow my mind.  No one deserves to die for a mistake.  These people cast stones like its going out of style, and yet one of the primary tenements of all the Abrahamics is to cast no judgement unless you want to be judged yourself.  The far Christian right actually offends almost all other Christian beliefs when it really comes down to it.  The majority of American Christians, regardless of which sect, do not believe it's okay to kill a woman that is thinking about getting an abortion, blowing up the Atlanta Olympics or killing a doctor or nurse.  Most Christians are totally mortified by this, but they let the far Christian right be their voice.  Even more eerily, they allow the far right arguments to win them over without all their own religion's facts. 

The next argument that I get is that God says or God tells you or God says it in the Bible.  Well, no, there's actually nothing about abortion in the Bible.  Nothing.  Not a single word.  What does the Bible actually say?  It doesn't actually say anything about conception.  That's actually a falsehood.  Some man added that to a sermon and it's a lie that took on a life of its own.  He probably added it because backroom abortions have been taking place for centuries prior to this argument that takes place now.  What does the Bible say?  It actually tells the story of the beginning of life in Genesis and it says is that life began when God breathed the living breath into the first being (human being).  By that, then life begins when you take your first breath.  Control of the churches up until the last 100 years has been primarily by men.  Female ministers are only a more recent--last 50 years or so--anomaly.  Men have dominated the religious make up for the Abrahamics and still continue to.  And that's fine, but it's not going to change that the Bible doesn't say anything for or against being pro-choice.  What it does say gives most Christians a reason to be pro-choice.  Life begins at your first breath.

That's not to say that any of Christians need to change what their beliefs are.  Just a reason to analyze what a minister told you may or may not be a reason to believe what you believe.  Which always brings me to my most amazed discovery over the years.  How many Christians have never read the Bible.  In recent studies trying to reduce Islamic extremists in the Middle East and Africa, they have discovered that many of the extremists cannot read, so they have never read the Quran for themselves.  They have listened to someone else, someone else's interpretation and often have been mislead as to what a section means or even what it actually says.  This is called Brainwashing.  We have seen it over and over and over.  Neo-nazi recruiters in the 80s used it.  Charlie Manson used it.  I'm not saying that a minister is intentionally misleading his or her flock if they teach that abortion is wrong, but there's really not an idea in the Bible that conception is where life begins.  So Christians are free to decide what they believe, and not have someone dictate to them what they should or shouldn't believe.

What's even more important is that it means no Christians, far right or otherwise, should be cramming their own personal belief down anyone else's throat.  Using myself as an example, I believe life begins before a baby take its first breath.  While I was raised Christian and I follow many of Christ's teachings, I am Taoist.  I follow many Buddhist beliefs.  Most Buddhists believe that life begins when the soul enters the body, so at that point, the fetus becomes a baby to me.  When the soul enters the body is all debatable.  However, science has proven that a fetus cannot survive outside of the womb prior to a heartbeat and there are no brain waves until a couple of weeks after the heartbeat begins.  Whether you believe in reincarnation or not, this suggests that once the brain waves start, the fetus becomes able to respond and begins developing as its own entity, separate of the mother.  Most religions believe as Christians do in a soul or something similar, some greater energy than just our body.  I believe after some undetermined amount of time after the brain is capable of working a soul enters the body of the fetus, transforming it from a fetus to a baby.  At this point, abortion to me is no longer viable.  However, this is my belief.  Intentional baby responses, such as kicking when the mother pushes the baby's foot, take an additional couple of months after.  I'm sure it could be debated that the soul waits until a certain amount of brain capacity has been developed.  Not sure.  I have a scientific based point in time that helps substantiate my belief. 

So I know some people would disagree with my opinion, because it's an opinion.  I have no proof one way or the other when the "soul" enters the body.  But in an interview, the Dalai Lama was once asked "what if science could prove there's no such thing as reincarnation?". His response was "we (Buddhists and Hindus) would simply stop believing in it, but how will they prove it?". Some things we simply go on faith.  I have faith that there is reincarnation and that there is karma. We could be wrong, but science cannot prove we are wrong.... At least not yet.  My opinion is based on that faith.  Science has proven when a fetus's heartbeat starts, when the brainwaves start, but how would they prove when a soul is present?  There's no definite God's word.  Each of us is free to form our own opinion based on our faith and other sources.  But it's time we start respecting that each of us forms our own opinions based on something none of us can ever know for sure.  I am loathe to have the audacity to tell anyone that they have to live by my belief, so I am equally loathe of people that would tell me that I have to live by their religious based, personal faith based, opinion.  

The fact is that over 80% of Americans do not have an issue with abortion during the first trimester.  And while my timeline is a little shorter, I think what most of us can agree we need to leave this issue and move on.  The Founding Fathers thought Freedom of Religion was so important that they included it right away as part of the First Amendment.  My opinion based on my faith should not dictate what anyone else can or cannot do, and neither should yours. It really is just that simple.  It's the zealots that have to make it so complicated.