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Who Decides? January 10, 2008

Posted by only4now in alive, Discipline, Layers of me, metaphor, normal, Optimism, rambling, Random thoughts, remodeling, repair.
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What is ‘normal’? Is it as simple as black and white? We all know there are gray areas. But, how much gray is allowed to creep into one’s mind before the individual is labelled as abnormal?

Who set the standard in which we are evaluated? How ‘normal’ is/was this person? Basing my thesis (of sorts) on the assumption that there is not an actual perfect individual in which we can compare our own levels of inadequacies, from where are the guidelines coming?

Perhaps I am the perfect specimen (with all my idiosyncrasies) in which all others should be compared. Maybe it is you? Seriously, why not?

No, I don’t honestly think I am relatively close to perfect. But, I still want to know how it is determined what is and is not ‘correct’ in brain wave patterns, in serotonin levels, in quirky behavior?

Deep theological questions running rampant in my mind today. All because an individual caught me talking to myself. I often do this when I am multi-tasking to the max. Verbalizing a list of assignments helps me organize them in my head. Actually, I talk to myself on a regular basis, not so much vocally.

In fact, I find it hard to believe that anyone can get from point A to point B without giving themselves assignments, steps to follow. (talking to yourself – in your head)

When I believe I am alone, I often say what I am thinking aloud. Actually, it is more of a whisper. “Don’t forget to stop at the store on your way home.” (type of comment)

Normal, right?

Well, a co-worker overheard me talking to myself and said, “It’s ok to talk to yourself as long as you don’t answer.”

First of all I think people who interrupt others conversations, even if the conversation is with myself, are rude individuals.

Secondly, why is it not ok to answer yourself? Who decided this is bad? Why am I considered ‘abnormal’ if I have a two-part conversation with myself? I say they are abnormal because they are not creative enough to bring in other characters.

Is this any different from the child who has his imaginary friend? Hmmm… is the child with the imaginary friend a normal or abnormal child, and why? So many questions bouncing around in my head. They never seem to stop, one just leads to 4 more, all on a different tangent.

One day I plan to climb to the top of the proverbial mountain and ask the Sage the all important question. “What the Fuck?”

Deep thinking and conversations with myself are the ‘norm’ when I tune out the world and dig into a project.

Here it is, the metaphor of my life:

 

My bathroom, a sickly Pepto-Bismo pink, is like my mind. Inside this room I am consumed with the feeling of unease. First glance (before last Friday) is pretty, organized, sweet – just like me. Looking deeper, you see that the floor tiles are coming up at the corners, the paint is masking a garish nightmare, there is a hint of mildew permeating the air.

Like my bathroom, my looks are deceiving. At first glance one would chance to miss the pain, the uncertainty, the sadness, the scars. You might only notice the well pressed clothes, the brushed hair, the impish grin… unless you look deep.

(I should have taken a picture before I began demolishing my bathroom in order to give you the full effects of my comparisons)

I am single-handed-ly getting rid of the annoyances in my bathroom and one day perhaps, the annoyances in my mind.

Destroying my room, one layer at a time, is empowering. Pulling up layer after layer of old linoleum, I am ridding the room of the trapped mold. The busted knuckles, the slivers, the bruise on my knee are all trophies, badges of honor.

I can do this! I swear, I feel so alive. Every muscle is aching… But, I am alive!

Here are a few pictures of the step by step project to-date. There is still alot of work to do. Every day I go home and force myself to face another part of the project.

 Pulled the base boards and almost complete with pulling the three layers of linoleum. Look at the whacked-out wallpaper that was under the base boards. I saved a piece of the wall paper as a memento.   

When I pulled the linoleum the particle board underneath was rotted around the bathtub. So, I pulled out my trusty tools (hammer, screwdriver and knife) and pryed and beat the daylights out of the old flooring, until it wielded to my command. Ha, I rule supreme over the disgusting materials.

The tile was much easier to cut and put in place than the old floor was to remove. This picture is before I applied the caulking. Notice, I layed the pieces a bit off-center, just like me. 😉

Tonight I will remove more of the old wall paper. If I have the energy, I hope to begin painting over the weekend. Who knows, I may be able to put my toilet back in sometime next week!  Right now, my toilet is resting in the shower. My neighbor thinks a perfect bathroom would have the toilet in the shower, allowing you to take care of two functions at the same time.

I would patent the S & S (shit and shower) but fear it would never catch on with those who claim to be ‘normal’.

SO and other Things- 2nd try December 28, 2007

Posted by only4now in abuse, betrayal, Discipline, doubts, Music, Random thoughts, Sensory Overload, sexual abuse, Trust.
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Counting flowers on the wall,
That don’t bother me at all.
Playing Solitaire till dawn,
With a deck of fifty-one.
Smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo.
Now, don’t tell me I’ve nothing to do.

How appropriately nuts to put Pulp Fiction together with this song. My mind is zinging around like an errant ping-pong ball. My thought process is leading me from one topic matter to the next with no bridges in between.
Driving in to the office I was thinking about an email from Scott. He stated his favorite song and group. I wanted to send him back an email with my favorites… but came up empty. I love music, I really do. But, I could not think of a single song that I could call a favorite. While thinking back over the MANY Cd’s that I own, the crazy song jumped into my head. I had to laugh because it is often on the tip of my tongue. Which is odd because it has never been considered a favorite by any measure.
 
But I did come up with a song that I am very fond of at the moment. “The Reason” by Hoobastank. My son bought the Cd for me.I also enjoy “Right to be Wrong” by Joss Stone
I just don’t listen to music very often anymore. I suffer from periods of Sensory Overload. Many songs with repetitive lyrics and or beats drive me batty. I become so annoyed with the repetition that I am no longer listening to the song itself.
Sometimes it is a combination of outside distractions, a clutter on my desk, a book out of place, a piece of thread on the carpet… all throwing my mind into turmoil. Add to that the noise from a television or a radio and I cannot put together a concise thought.

So, unfortunately, I seldom listen to music anymore unless I have Cds playing in the background while cleaning the house.

Yesterday I was waiting in line at the Post Office. There were about 15 people in line, all chatting either on their cell phones or with others in line. The chatter was in several different languages and I almost went bonkers. I could feel a panic attack coming on. Thankfully the Post Master noticed that I was only in line to pick up a package and he waved me to the front.

I have only had a few episodes in which the overload became too much and I felt as if I were losing control. The other times were in busy restaurants. I wish I knew how to tune out the distractions. It is a scary feeling when the room begins to swim around me. The noise rising to a deafening level, but none of it making any sense.

This does not happen every time I am in loud crowded areas. Monday I was at the Chargers football game. The stadium was packed and the fans were crazed. I loved every minute of the event. I screamed and cheered along with the 68,000 in attendance, never once feeling overwhelmed.

Changing Channels: (or new topic)  My flight back from San Diego, CA to Houston, TX was 4 hours of HELL.

Before I begin, let me just say that I love children. I enjoy getting down on the floor and playing with them on their level. I take great pride in my ability to construct an awesome building block fort! My three year old nephew with his imaginary friend are two of my best buddies to hang out with. The honesty of a young child is refreshing. Rediscovering everything thru their eyes is almost like experiencing it for the first time all over again.

That being said – I was ready to hand a parachute to the four year old seated behind me and give her a gentle nudge out the window. Parents who have absolutely no control over their children should not force the rest of us to endure their crap.

I was subjected to four hours of the little chit kicking the back of my seat; a minimum of three hours of screaming tantrums, and to top it off the little ‘Princess’ pooped her pants about mid-flight.

When her mommy asked her why she did not get up and use the restroom, the young girl defiantly stated, “Because I don’t want to be here!”

Well Hell Fire, I don’t want you to be here either, but I am not going to poop my pants in protest.

Her mommy told the little ‘stinker-butt’ that she would have to just sit in ‘it’ until they landed. OMG she was going to make all of us suffer to prove a point. Lady, you and your daughter can both grab a parachute and jump.  
I so badly wanted to stand up and tell the brat to Shut the Fuck Up! I think I could have been convincing enough to shock them both into silence. Alas, I just sat silently on and endured the repeated blows to the back of my seat. 

Another Channel Change: Parenting skills … via my Dad and Step-Mom ~ I adore my Dad. He has always been my rock. He is tough with his rules, yet fair. I did get a couple well deserved swats on the butt. yet, I never once felt anything but love from Dad. He is the type of person who commands respect when he walks into a room, yet everyone welcomes him with open arms. Dad loves people and people love Dad. 

In school I pushed hard with my studies, eager to see Dad’s smile and feel his hugs for a job well done. On the weekends I would be his shadow, following him from project to project. Handing him a wrench or a screwdriver as was needed for each job. 

On cold winter mornings, Dad would pick me up from my paper route and take me out for hot cocoa and a donut. It was our special time together.

… And then there was my Step-Mom (SM). She was by no means as evil as Cinderella’s Step-Mom, but neither was there any of the love which I so badly craved. I tried for years to please her, baking bread and cookies, setting the table, ironing, mopping floors. 

But, I cannot remember her ever smiling in my direction. Perhaps she was upset with the doting love my Dad showered upon me. In years past, I have wondered if Dad gave me extra hugs because he saw Mom’s lack of contact with me… Did his extra attention backfire causing her to push even further away from me? Maybe, I was exuding a subliminal resentment that kept her at bay.

I do remember many incidents in which she left me in tears. One being when I was 11 or 12 years of age. My best friend told me that she didn’t want to be my friend any longer. (this is traumatic news for a young girl) I went into the house in tears and told Mom what had happened. She began to laugh and said “nobody likes you, everybody hates you, why don’t you go eat worms?” 

She then turned back around and continued to prepare dinner. She might as well of slapped me across the face. The end result would have been the same, only this time the pain did not leave a mark on the outside.
 
I also think she knew about my step-bothers molesting me.  I often wonder if that was part of the reason for her barbs. Maybe she was afraid that I was going to tell. (I often wonder why I was too afraid to speak up) 

My  SM made me a couple soft flannel night shirts that she gave me for Christmas one year. They were fantastic. So warm and soft to sleep in during the harsh winters of Northern Wyoming. However they were not as sweet to sleep in in the hot stagnant air of the summer months.

Often times in the middle of the night, I would strip off my nightie and sleep in my panties between the sheets. On a couple different nights I was awakened by my SM and spanked for being indecent. What is so indecent about a 9 year old girl sleeping without a night shirt in her own bed in her own room? In a normal family I would like to think that little girls are safe and can sleep however they choose. 

My SM told me that I was dirty and I was asking for trouble. Yes, I think she knew.

I am relieved that I no longer need her love and approval. I don’t wish her harm, nor do I wish to spend another moment in her presence. 

Too bad I cannot send out an invitation for only my Dad to come visit. My life will crumble when it is Dad’s time to pass.  Alas, I hope I go before him. (selfish I know)    

Adding some Color December 21, 2007

Posted by only4now in alive, color, Optimism, Random thoughts.
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I love this picture! The fog with hints of light peaking thru. So many places to escape, to be invisible to those around me. It has a damp chill, enough to remind me I am alive. Sitting here, I can almost smell the dampness in the leaves at my feet. Feel the mist of the fog against my cheek.

While I find comfort in the picture, I also feel a sadness. I was trying to put my finger on it… and have decided, that much like my life, the picture needs color.

I need color.

 

It has been too long since I last walked to the pond and fed the ducks. Sitting in my fog, I am missing the beauty of life around me.

This will be my first of what I hope will be a weekly post, in which I find three reasons why I am happy to be alive. (It cannot be that hard, right?) Here it is, in no particular order:

1.) Peanut butter cookies – being awake at 3 in the morning and mixing flour, sugar, eggs, and peanut butter together… Creating a masterpiece when everyone else is still asleep. This is a very good reason to be alive. Feeling the dough form between my fingers, slightly sticky, testing a few bites as I go… I am not sure, but I doubt I could make cookies if I were dead… A fair assumption.

2.) Hearing my son’s voice on the phone – Even knowing he will chide me about my taste in music, movies, clothes, football teams… I love that young man. I love the way he debates me with conviction. I love his independence. I love his giant heart and the way he can send me a hug right over the phone.

 ……….. ok, this is tough……. There must be many more reasons… I need to look deeper…

3.) I am getting 4 days off from work. That alone should make a person happy to be alive. Going to San Diego and watching the Chargers football game… I love to fly. The feeling of being free from the pulls of day to day life. The slight twinge of concern when bouncing in turbulence. The new challenges I face with each step I am taking away from my comfort zone. Scared, yet excited… Alive.   

Hello God December 17, 2007

Posted by only4now in doubts, God, Random thoughts.
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“Are you really there?”

“Is it true you answer every child’s prayer?”

My sister’s daughter sang this little child’s song to me. It is beautiful.  Religion is beautiful… (for what it is worth)

Right now I am having serious doubts about the entire package. Is there a God? Have we all been duped into praying to someone who does not exist?

My parents would be crapping bunnies if they knew I was in doubt. I think their every thought and action is centered around religion. In fact they recently sold their home and left for Ghana Africa to do missionary work.

As children we were taught to pray, many times per day… upon rising, before meals, before bedtime…

Religion was always a part of our lives, yet I never developed a relationship with God. All my actions were rote as were my prayers.

And now, the more I see of life the more I doubt.

Don’t get me wrong, religion as a basis for teaching right from wrong, good versus evil, humanity, kindness, charity, humility, etc is an excellent tool.

Depending on who you listen to, God is either a loving being in which to turn when you need guidance; or he is to be feared. You follow his word to please him or because you fear his wrath.

The entire preconception of a deity strikes me in a funny way. I cannot help but think we are approaching religion in a slightly-more-advanced state than the Greeks during the periods of Zeus and Hera.

We still pray for rain, for good fortune, for victory in battle. We ask for God to spare us and when we lose a loved one we say, “It was God’s will.”

If there is a God (the verdict is still out in my mind), then I may be struck down. Because I am about to bring shame to my family and state my views.

One of my favorite quotes is by Voltaire ~ “God is a Comedian, playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.”

Well, I have decided that IF there is a God, then he is a cruel SOB.

How can a loving God allow such atrocities to occur? How can a loving God not intervene when a monster tortures a child to death? How can a loving God sit idly by when a parent begs for his mercy while trying to free his daughter from a burning car?

Is it God’s will that the little girl should die in pain, screaming for her father to get her out? Is it God’s will that the child’s father see his daughter suffer?

For what?

What lesson did God teach this family? What lesson was I supposed to gather?

Was it a test to see if the family could remain strong after such adversity? (They did not…)

If it was “Her time to go.” (like so many said) Why didn’t God let her die in the impact of the wreck, or at least have her knocked unconscious. Her parents did nothing wrong. They were hit by an inattentive driver.

Why did God (if he really exists) choose to torture a child in this manner?

When I begged God to end my pain, did he hear me? Did he care? Is he even there?

Alas, the verdict is still out and may never re-adjourn.

What is the Purpose? December 14, 2007

Posted by only4now in boxing, Random thoughts, Senseless acts.
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“The Argument from Intimidation is a confession of intellectual impotence.”

– Ayn Rand

They stand in a ring and beat each other senseless, and for what? Is it the status? Being able to say that “I am stronger than you.” ???

What is accomplished?

I detest boxing whether it is a schoolyard brawl or an officiated, sanctioned boxing match. It does not matter to me that both participants are in agreement to the fight. Nor am I eased in my thinking, knowing that in professional boxing they are often well paid.

It is just plain stupid to let people kill off each other’s brain cells one punch at a time. And I further detest the fools in the crowd who egg them on.

For some reason boxing reminds me of the Gladiators of ancient Rome who fought until the death, all the while the people in the arena were screaming their approval.

I am not sure why this just popped in my head??? Any more I am left grinning like a fool by the randomness of my thought process.

Speaking of random thoughts of senseless acts….

A man was out walking his dog. He turned his head to watch me go past him, and the fool stepped off the curb and almost landed on his butt. As soon as he regained his footing, he kicked his dog. (I guess I was supposed to believe that his dog was the reason he was clumsy and not his inattention to where he was stepping)