Archive for May, 2014

Not Quite Letting Go

While the original title was the title of a song, I changed it because this reflects better about a decision I’ve come to after reflection.

I can’t really go into what all was behind this decision, at least the stuff that doesn’t directly involve me and my behavior and thoughts,  but upon reflecting upon interactions I’ve had in the last several weeks, things I’ve read, and just plain spending time in my head, I’ve realized a few things.

One, I’m in a much better place mentally than I was a year ago.  Granted, a year ago I was dealing with being fired from evil security company and all the garbage they had put me through.   I still have anxiety and depression (and.a very uncooperative phone keyboard) but I can manage and cope even being off meds.

Two, the way I look at things matters.   I don’t have to buy into another person’s worldview.  I don’t have to compare myself to others.  The way I see myself is okay.  I am not a failure or a problem or a loser or worthless (watch it, I’ll probably post a post where I’m in bad headspace and believe that garbage again).

Three, just because some shares the same faith and beliefs as me doesn’t make them more knowledgeable or wider or more spiritual.  I’ve come to the point where I just have to deal with faith issues and what not on my own.  I know part of that is from the fact that I’m an introvert and I end up around fellow Catholics that are major extroverts. I just can’t be something I’m not.

Forth, I seem to attract people as friends who aren’t really, hmm, capable of being friends to me.  I can’t go into this here because I’m not sure if certain people read this blog or not but certain behaviors stand out in my mind and made me think about friendship.  Mainly about my ability to make friends but also my ability to piss people off and offend them without really knowing why.  There are also issues about my own  behavior and how  I act.

Fifth, I am okay with being single.  Yes, there are times when I’d like a companion but I’m certain I’d screw up marriage and kids.  Granted, I didn’t have any real models of a good marriage growing up.  Also, I have anger and rage issues from my abuse and worry I would inflict those on any kids I had.  I honestly worry about being abusive.  I know being abusive is largely a choice but still there is that fear. 

Sixth, I heard good advice about dealing with the past from a neighbor.  It was Mother’s Day and we were talking but I didn’t want to try to explain my mother.  My neighbor pointed out that if anything I survived and  I’m alive and focus on that and be grateful.  I thought that was actually pretty good advice.  Considering I get the impression from some people and from certain circles that what I experienced wasn’t abuse, that I made things up and was lying, and that I just need to become best friends with my mother and everything will be perfect. 

My mother was a bitch.  Plain and simple.  She was mean, manipulative, narcissistic, judgmental, belittling, two faced, played favorites, put me down, insulting, mentally unstable, played mind games, lied, hypochondriac, and just down right cruel.  She made sure I was afraid of her so that I lived in fear.  Of her, of being hit, of being sent to jail, of going to Hell and not the one in Michigan (yes there is a Hell, Michigan; look it up), of failing.  She was not a good mother.  There are days I wonder how I survived but I’m here.

I have a phone relationship with her but that’s all I can have with her.  She’s just too damaging to have directly in my life.  I’m better off without a mother.  Though I keep wanting one that will love me for me (and the next fruitcake that brings up the Blessed Virgin Mary as a substitute mother can go scrub floors with a toothbrush) (I don’t wasn’t to get into it).

I know, looking back, that I’ve made friends with a couple women hoping they would be the mother I wanted, I needed but that always blew up in my gave because many have ended up having some of the same terrible qualities as my mother.  I have to remind myself.I don’t have a mom.  I have a biological mother but not a mom, which is different.  And I never will. 
One of those things I have to let go. 

I’ll also probably never have a good best friend that I can share everything with.  I’ll have friends but never a best friend. 

Another thing to let go.

Also dreams and major success, not I really want “major success.”

And at this point the problems with the keyboard have pushed me to the edge so I’m stopping here.

Boys and Girls Shouldn’t Be So Modest

I started this as a reply to geoffhorswood on my last post, lost my reply after I went to look something up, and then decided to turn it into a post to give myself more space.

First, I think the big issue is that modesty and dress standards seen to be inordinately focused on girls and women.  Women are told to cover up, to dress modestly, to consider the affect they have on men and that how they dress can cause a man to lust.  I have read a blog post or two that point out boys and men are hurt by modesty/purity doctrine but the focus by and large is on women.

Second, we are talking boys and girls here.  Children who largely don’t know better or are following parents, adults directions.  Clothes for children, by and large, are things to wear or are fashionable.  You only care about what your friends think and maybe which ever adult is your favorite thinks.  It’s a pretty small world of opinions that a kid cares about which is fine since their world that they engage in is pretty small.  They are just kids.

Third, boys and girls are both being bombarded by the same sexist garbage.  Boys are told that they need to be one way and see girls another way.  Girls are told they need to be and act a certain way and that boys are different and shouldn’t act like girls.  Boys get told that girls are there for boys to use and that girls like being used because girls want to be in relationships with boys.  Girls are told that they need to be in a relationship with a boy and if they aren’t then they aren’t a person.  Neither boys or girls are told that they have worth outside of their genitalia.  Or outside what their bodies can physically do.

Forth, normal childhood development isn’t even considered.  Girls and boys go through puberty.  Girls start developing breasts and curves.  Boys start noticing girls are nice to look at where they might have found them icky before.  Even though there are physical differences between girls and boys before puberty, these differences don’t matter much to boys or girls.  There might be the idea that boys have cooties or that girls are icky but that’s more to emphasize that boys aren’t girls and girls aren’t boys, something other but nothing to worry about.

(I have never understood the concept of cooties.  In third grade, when all the other girls refused to go anywhere near boys because of the possibility of cootie contamination, I was friends with boys.  They were more fun and they liked having me around.  I was good at finding things they had lost and they never put me down.  But I still don’t get the idea of cooties and I’m 32.)

Fifth, boys and men are visual, so yes they are going to look at the opposite sex.  There is nothing wrong with looking.  Self-control is necessary but boys haven’t learned it yet.  They know girls are nice to look at and that many girls want to be looked at.  The problem lies in the reason they are looking and the way they are looking.  It’s one thing to notice a girl walking by who looks nice and is dressed nicely.  It’s another thing entirely to stare at that girl and want to undress her because she’s wearing a skirt and a blouse that fits close.

Which leads to number six.

Sixth, is the way words like lust, sex, attraction get defined and used. 

Lust is the disordered desire for sex and/or thinking about a person and using them to become sexually aroused for their own personal pleasure.  But that’s not how lust is usually defined.  Lust seems to end up meaning the finding of a person of the opposite sex attractive or even sexually attractive.  This definition of lust doesn’t refer to disordered desire or an inordinate focus on sex.  This definition focused on normal attraction.  A man can find a woman attractive but not think of her in a sexual way.  This is normal however modesty/purity doctrine says just looking at a woman is almost lust and finding her attractive is lust and that’s like having sex with her which is definitely a sin.

Sex is any act that stimulates and/or involves the genitalia of a person.  Just thinking about a person is not sex or lust.  Finding someone attractive is not sex.  Using a person for your private sexual fantasies is lust and if you self abuse, then it involves sex.

Attraction is finding qualities and/or attributes of a person that you like and possibly admire about that person. A man can find a women with blue eyes attractive.  A man find another man ‘attractive’ because he admires how he treats his family and his coworkers.  There is no sex involved.  Just appreciation and admiration of qualities of a person.  Don’t worry men, you can keep using admire instead of attractive but I’m pointing out that attraction isn’t based merely or solely on sex, if at all, in many cases.  It’s largely about appreciation and admiration.

These  terms gets misdefined or strongly wrongly defined and then get bantered about as if everyone agrees to the same definition.  That’s a major problem.

Seventh, boys and girls are taught to be ashamed of their bodies.  Girls are told that looking like a girl and having curves is a bad thing because boys look at you and therefore you are causing them to lust.  No explanations.  Just blaming.  Boys are taught that girls shouldn’t be looked at because they might like them and will start listing after them because girls dress in a manner that invites lust and boys can’t help it if they lust. 

Girl are taught that they are need to hide their shameful bodies and boys are taught to be victims and helpless.  Both boys and girls are taught wrong.  Neither are guilty.  Both are forced by adults to adhere to their impossible standards.

Both boys and girls need to be taught and reminded that they are human beings made in the image and likeness of God.  They are not objects.  They are not victims.  They are not demons.  They are not destroyers.  They are not helpless.  They can learn how to treat people with respect and dignity.  They can learn to treat themselves with respect and that they don’t have to hold themselves to somebody else’s impossible standards.

But it starts with parents.  I’m not going to point fingers or blame.  I will point out that parents are the first teachers and that they are the ones who kids will listen to first. 

Teach respect. 

Teach boundaries and that they aren’t to be violated. 

Teach not to judge on physical appearances. 

Teach that modesty isn’t about dress codes but about behaviors and attitudes and how we see ourselves in light of our being children of God. 

Teach boys to respect girls and girls to respect boys. 
Model it yourself because actions speak louder than words.

Learn the real definitions of words not what you think a word might mean.  You’ll be smarter and more knowledgeable and won’t make stupid mistakes and maybe better at doing crossword puzzles.

Challenge modesty and purity doctrine and how they are taught to kids and stop the focus from being exclusively on girls and how they dress.

Don’t demand behavior and dress that you don’t do yourself.  Again, actions speak louder than words.

Don’t shame.  Put downs only make you a bully and nobody likes a bully.

Give second chances. Nobody can change overnight.

Support and praise go farther and last longer than shaming and bullying.  Applaud effort.

Remember, just because someone is selling it doesn’t mean you have to but it.  Don’t buy into the lies about sex and clothing and how people are just objects to be used. 
NOBODY IS AN OBJECT.  EVERYONE IS A PERSON ACTUAL AND WHOLE, WORTHY OF DIGNITY AND RESPECT.

Dress Coded: An Education on (unnecessary) Sexualization

It’s good to see this problem engaged outside of “Christian” circles. So much of this is true and so much of it is garbage (not your post but the stupid need to blame girls ). So reblogging this to pass this on.

Sophieologie

dress-coded-1

When one Illinois middle school cluelessly decided to ban leggings & yoga pants because they were “distracting to the boys”, they probably didn’t have any idea it would be the catalyst to a national conversation about dress codes in school.

I mean, dress codes are like, so un-controversial. Until now.

Now, all sorts of interesting stories are surfacing. Girls wearing the same regulation gym outfits, but the curvier ones are getting dress-coded. Tall girls getting dress-coded for short garments, even though they’re finger-tip length, while short girls seem to not draw the same leg-bearing ire. One girl getting sent home from prom for wearing pants. Another girl was sent home from her homeschool prom because male chaperons said her dress was “causing impure thoughts”…for the teenage boys, of course.

So… Many interesting stories indeed.

The leggings ban irked me immediately for two reasons. The first…

View original post 1,033 more words

Girls Are Sex Objects (And You Better Treat Them That Way)

Yes, the title is provocative but it’s also true.  Two, no, three different blog posts I read on WordPress Reader TODAY have mentioned modesty and how girls dress.  Girls not even teens but prepubescent girls.

The first post was under the Catholic tag and was about modesty.  Anytime religion or faith enters into a discussion about girls and how they dress I an very, very, very wary.  And I’m Catholic   but some take it too far.

It usually ends up being a blame fest pointing the finger at the girls and making them at fault for a man’s actions.  It’s the Professional Weaker Brother Syndrome and it’s a deliberate misinterpretation of a Bible verse which I’m not even going to bother to post here.

Now this a blog post was mostly okay up until the blogger mentioned that men and women are so different that women can’t understand that men are so visual and that women’s fashion are hurting them. 

Hello, No. 

Men are visual but that does not excuse them for their actions, attitudes, and behaviors.  There was more than that but it basically came down to: Women, you are dressing like sluts and hurting our poor, weak men by making them lust and so you hussies need to get with the program and dress how these poor men tell you to dress.  And you should be so ashamed of yourselves for being born female with breasts and curves.  You need to hide and cover up.

And all of this is coming from WOMEN.  How messed up is that?

Then there was the blog post about a dress code for middle schoolers.  The dress code wasn’t so much the problem as the enforcement of it was.  Remember, these girls are 11-14.  But the blogger made very important points.  Girls are being told from a very young age and even in school where they shouldn’t have to deal with theses issues, that their looks are more important than any abilities or talents they might have.

Like I said sex objects.  Girls and women are being assaulted visually and mentally into being sex objects.  Advertisers know sex sells so they use it in everything.  Even toys and clothes for little girls.  We are  being turned into sex objects and told to stay there. Human beings need not apply.

And girls and women get it from all sides.  Christians, Muslims, and Orthodox Jews (believe me, it’s not just Fundy Christians who have dress codes for women) all point to women and outright blame women for men’s behavior.  I know Christian and Muslims back up their unrealistic proscriptions with Bible and Quran verses, respectively.  They focus on how women behave and dress but they also send the message to boys and women that women are constantly setting traps so that men are forced to sin.  Yes, forced because, at least Christians, choose to selectively forget that it is the individual who chooses to sin.  You cannot force a person to sin.  That’s a sin in and of itself.  But then as soon as it involves women, men, and any hint or idea of sex women are automatically at fault no matter if it was the man doing the sinning, as in the case of rape.

Especially in Fundy circles, where boys are indoctrinated at a young age to see women as objects and that anything girls and women do or say or wear can make a man sin, this perverse idea of modesty has taken hold.  Women are objects unless you are married them it’s a person but boys, just as much as girls, are hurt by modesty doctrine.  They are told girls are objects, sex demons that are out to trap them, that they aren’t to think about sex or their body or anybody’s body because that’s lust and sin but then it all becomes okay after you get married and that being married means you will have awesome sex all the time and lust will never be a problem and then you have ALL sorts of problems.

Worse, this has leaked into secular culture.   Preteen girls are being told they can’t wear this or that because they have hit puberty which means breasts have started growing and other physical changes.  Girls and women are being punished for being born female.  They aren’t supposed to dress indecently but then are punished for dressing like a girl.  

It’s not just dress codes.  It’s about sex and gender.  Feminists can argue all they want that women are better treated than they were a hundred years ago, two hundred years ago but really, in many ways, things haven’t changed.  Or they have gotten worse.  Women are expected to turn themselves into sex objects and are punished, usually by OTHER WOMEN, when these women refuse to and instead, see themselves as living, beating human beings worthy of dignity and respect.  Worse, many feminists are guilty of telling women to dress like sluts and them slut shaming these women for doing what the feminists tell them to do.

So, like I said, all sides. Women aren’t objects and it’s a lie that  women and girls are being force fed from a young age.  Dress like a women and you will upset a whole bunch of people.  Christians will say you causing man to sin and that you are a stumbling block.  Secular authorities tell you that you are causing problems for boys.  Feminists say you can dress how you want but then shame you no matter how you dress.

So it sucks to be a women.  You are at fault for EVERYTHING.  Turn yourself into an object.  Many men, and even some women, will be happy that you are a sex object they can use and discard for their pleasure.  Many men, and a whole lot more women, still think you are an object but an object of shame and ridicule, something to be made an example of and then thrown in the trash.

Women are not objects.  We are people, actual and whole.  Our exterior appearance is part of us but it isn’t all of us.  We are more than the sum of our external parts. We are not objects to be used but people who want to be loved and cared for, for who we are as a whole, not for some little piece of us.

How we dress is not that important though it may reflect that person’s personality.  We are not breasts and butts for you to ogle.  You have no right to judge how we dress or how we look or if we have the right body parts or not.  You do not get to judge or look at my body for your own depraved desired and then blame me for existing. You do not get to decide if I am pretty or not, attractive or not.  You do not get to decide if I am worth fucking or not.

I am not an object.  I am a woman with talents and abilities.  I will dress however I want.  I am not here to serve your depraved desires or to “serve” you in any way.  I will not listen to your stupid judgments about me, about how I dress, about how I look, about how pretty or not I am.  I will not let you have a say in my life.

Like the poster said, I am Me and I am Okay.

I am Wrecked

Between that long post the other day and telling my friend some of that stuff and more today, I am emotionally and mentally wrecked.  My sleep has been messed up which is not fun when I had just started getting back on a schedule.  So I’m wrecked. A bit physically as well. I still have another post in the works dealing with my messed up headspace.  I still can’t believe that I’ve gotten this far or am still alive with all I’ve dealt with.

And since I’m not wanting to delve back into that headspace right now, this will be it for a while.  I’ll still post but the big heavy stuff will be a few days.  It’s too draining and upsetting and leaves me wrecked.

I Didn’t Do Anything Wrong

Growing up, I was constantly being accused of things I didn’t do.  Didn’t matter if I wasn’t anywhere near the area or my mother had seen one of my sisters do the actual deed, I was at fault. I heard it for years.  Yes, I suppose it’s one of the downsides of being the oldest but honestly, it was more than that. 

I was a convenient scapegoat who wasn’t going to stand up for herself.  And my mother played favorites so S wasn’t going to be punished for anything she did. 

I had learned to be afraid.  My mother was a yeller, a screamer.  She could make her feelings, usually rage or anger, known just by the volume of her voice. And the tone was usually condescending at least when speaking to me.  So I learned to be afraid.  She’d raise her voice, anything could set her off, and I knew the world was going to come crashing down on me.

Somewhere in there she threatened the police on me.  Her or maybe my stepgrandfather because he could be just as loud and angry and demanding.  I’m not sure but I became afraid of the police and being taking away by them which is interesting in light of my mother’s abuse (why would I want to stay but, then I didn’t know any better) and my love of crime dramas which of course, featured the police.  It’s not something I fully understand except maybe it’s a reflection that authority figures weren’t trustworthy, that adults couldn’t be trusted.  Unfortunately, I learned soon after that children, even those my own age couldn’t be trusted, after they started bullying and harassing me.  And I figured that telling an adult wouldn’t do any good because I would be the one in trouble not the other kids.

So I learned fear and mistrust and blowing things out of proportion.  All things that still affect me and affect me greatly.  I couldn’t make a mistake without fearing unreasonable consequences, at least from teachers and bosses.  My mother, well, you could never be sure what the consequences were and if they would change, which happened frequently.  And with her, like I said, it didn’t matter who was at fault because I would be the one blamed and punished.

Up till about the age of nine, that meant spanking.  Which is weird.  I always knew where the paddle was (in a kitchen crock on the counter, visible to all) and there were constant threats of being spanked but I really don’t remember being spanked myself.  I can remember one occasion where one of my sisters was spanked and it was maybe twice with the paddle and my sister screaming and crying  and my mother stopping and letting her go but I can’t recall an instance where I was spanked.  Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen at least once but then I also spent many years repressing the past.  I wanted to forget, to move on, to not have to deal with all the rage and anger swirling around, choking the air.

Don’t ask me why the spanking stopped at age nine other than that’s when we moved cities.  The paddle was still around, still on the counter but it wasn’t used.  I suppose it didn’t matter because I was definitely afraid of messing up, of setting off mom, of being arrested and going to jail.  This was also when the bullying started in school and I didn’t really have any friends for years. 

Then we moved house again (legal matters involving the previous owners and their inability to pay their debts) but school didn’t change but home got worse.  I used school to escape home and home to escape school but I wasn’t safe anywhere.  But at least the teachers didn’t yell and liked the fact that I loved to learn.  And I was smart but nobody cared so I was bored in school but hating it and home was full of anger and being told that I would never amount to anything.  And that bad girls like me go to Hell.

My sisters were still getting away with stuff.  I was still being blamed but not punished as much.  I don’t think my mother cared.  With all four of us in school, she had time to herself which is used to watch endless amounts of TV and go shopping.  She wasn’t any happier and she still screamed and yelled alot but her threats were largely empty but I didn’t know that.  I was still afraid.

Then high school.  Many of the subjects I loved and others I tolerated (P.E.) but it wasn’t home and my sisters weren’t there.  Didn’t stop the comparisons though.  I was taking honors classes and doing quite well in them (except math, my major weakness) but my mother would point out how they were getting better grades when I had flunked my Honors Algebra II test (the only time I failed a math test but still an F).  I was taking what was essentially a sophomore honors class in math and that had been my only failed test but to my mother it meant I was stupid and less than my sisters.  I took honors classes all four years of high school, got largely A’s except in math where I got C’s and graduated with a 4.3 GPA (honors classes weighed more), and was planning on majoring in engineering in college but for my mother that wasn’t enough.

I was grateful to go off to college but it wasn’t easy.  I nearly flunked a physics class my first semester (dropped it before it could affect my grade) and decided engineering wasn’t for me.  I also felt like a failure since I wasn’t going into a math or science and had been told, been indoctrinated, that the ONLY way I could be successful was to go into math and science, especially since I was a woman.  I did manage a B in Calculus and then was glad I only had to take the one semester (I was two days into my second semester when I decided I didn’t wasn’t to minor in math so I dropped the second Calculus class).  It wasn’t until the end of my sophomore year that I figured out that I wanted to major in Anthropology.  Then I spent a year abroad (I was miserable and yet happy as well).  Then my last year.  I might have been close to graduating but I had spent most of my life doing what other people wanted, following their rules, fulfilling their needs, making everyone happy but myself. 

I didn’t know I needed to register to graduate until my German professor mentioned she hadn’t seen me on the list (fixed that).  Then I graduated but had no where to go, no job, no nothing.  Nothing.  My res director helped a little and I moved into summer housing.  I still didn’t have a job and it took me the entire summer to find a place.  Did find a place but the one roommate was psycho which I really wasn’t aware of when.I moved in.  Fought with parents over money, sort of had a job, no car, and psycho roommate was making the living situation horrible.

Got out of that living situation only to lose the next one three months later (nothing bad, just choices on part of the landlord).  At least at this point I had a car, which I would end up living in for the next SIX months.  I would stay in a hotel on the weekends which helped me rack up major credit card debt.  I was also not eating healthy since I largely are fast food.  What really sucked is that people at church knew what was happening to me but didn’t do anything to help.  Maybe once or twice but no real help.  I was on my own.

I found the apartment I live in now after that time in my car.  Still didn’t really have a job.  Went back to school though I had only been looking for a couple of computer classes.  Ended up with a decent part time job while in school though I had to travel an hour to get there.  Parents moved after my mother forced my dad to retire and told me they weren’t helping me in anyway anymore.  I graduated with my second degree and worked my part time job for a few more months till I quit that because I wasn’t getting hours and the travel wasn’t worth it.

So unemployed for six months till I started working for evil security company.  My first full time job.  I could finally pay all my bills on my own.  I was finally an adult.  I was 27.

By this point I had spent years being a failure, not succeeding, not fitting into the world, not being a success by the world’s standards.  I’m still not a success.  I’ve been unemployed for a year.  I’ve been reduced to going to strangers to ask for help and being slightly rebuked for asking. 

I’m not going back to Saint Vincent de Paul again.  They nor I did anything wrong but I honestly feel so ashamed for going that I’m not doing that again.  Did that woman mean to rebuke me?  No but I already felt guilty for going there.  Hell, it took me a long time to work up the courage to even go.  So I was going to feel any slight, any off hand remark as directed at me for even showing up.

And now I’m in tears just writing and thinking about all this.  And I still haven’t covered what I intended.  Since this had gone on for so long as it it, this is a good place to stop.

Two Hundred

As in this is my 200th blog post.  Go me.

And I have had 200 likes.  So go you (everyone who’s read and/or liked my blog).

On to the actual post.

I did something very scary and I still feel a bit ashamed.  I went to Saint Vincent de Paul and got food.  Which I really needed since I was down to two eggs, a couple of turkey burger patties, and rice.  So I really needed food. As I was, driving home, I was trying so hard not to break into tears.  I felt like I had hit so far down, was such a failure that I didn’t deserve any of that food or any help. I wanted to return it all.  I didn’t and spent most of the drive home telling myself that I will be okay.

That’s been my mantra, my saying:  I will be okay.  Hopefully, if I say it enough I’ll fully believe it.

I did also managed to apply to another job today.  I hope I hear something back soon.

I also did several other things today which makes this a pretty good day for me. 

First, day four of getting up before noon.  Well, I had to go to Saint Vincent de Paul between 9:30 and 11:30  so I had to get up. 

I also picked up a free item. 

I went to the library which was where I was able to use the computers there to apply to that job. 

I verified two gift cards didn’t work and one that which means I have a little grocery money. 

I also got sun. 

And I called my parents for financial help with the credit card bill.

So I’ve been busy today.


Categories

Type this later, if I remember.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 215 other followers

Goodreads