Monday, May 5, 2014

Beautiful Mess

Dear Chasing Ten,

I just wanted to let you know I'm still here.  I know it's been a really long time; actually, I wasn't sure how to get back to you but I muddled through, and here we are.  My old friend.  Even though I'm away in words, I'm always with you in thought.

So much has gone on and for better or worse, here we are.....A Beautiful Mess....You and Me.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Intrinsic Value

Considering myself to have led a sheltered life, in that I never knew what it was to really lose a friendship, be "unfriended" on Facebook, or have arguments that caused me to say words that would make my Grandmother roll over in her grave(until these last few years), has been quite the experience. Finding myself in the company of gay males more often than not (by choice,I might add), it has become very apparent to me that there are no "mean girls" on the planet, as mean as a gay man scorned. On the flip side, there is nothing that makes me smile as big as seeing a gay man in the throws of forgiveness or the height of happiness.

I have developed somewhat of an addiction to friendships with gay men and for good reason. My Mother was what I would consider a great Mother, given what she had to work with (that's my way of letting her off easy). Comes to be, she never really knew that she was supposed to protect me from a lot of things in life. This in turn caused me to be very insecure (which I myself never realized until recently) but more so made me realize that I have lived most of my life in fear, afraid of everything. Afraid of going to Hell, afraid of getting fired from my job, afraid of how someone might respond to me, afraid for my children, my marriage, and even afraid of being afraid.

That said, there has never really be anyone in my life that protected me and made me feel like I could rely on them, and not be afraid of something (except my Brother when I was a kid; unfortunately he turned out to have a drug addiction and is now dead). This has made me the dominant person in my relationships. Dominance is a very male oriented characteristic which long way around, explains why I am more comfortable in the company of men. Gay men especially, as the threat of any indiscretion is completely eliminated. Having gay male friends is almost like being in a brotherhood, for me. It's a place where I can be who I am, open up, and trust. No pretense, no competition, no judgment.

 My therapist seems to think this is a sign I'm either a Lesbian or that  I'm not happy in my marriage. I have assured her that I have no physical attraction to women and the main reason I have female friends honestly, is because that what society warrants. I have never really been able to open up to my female friends; ironically now I know why, it's because of my insecurity and my inability to trust (possibly women) in my life. After all, why do you think women prefer male hairdressers? It's because when a female tells you your hair looks like shit you know it looks amazing; when a male tells you it looks like shit, it looks like shit. As far as my marriage, I'm not going to lie; I love my Husband but my marriage is work; I don't know anyone who after 26 years is telling the truth if they say it's not. The only "sign" here is that I'm the dominant partner in my marriage and I need friends (i.e. men)  I can relate to, to help me get through my day. .

Although one might think this some kind of a "condition" or "fetish" in and of itself, I actually look at it simply as gay men having intrinsic value in my life. Their friendships make me feel good because I have someone to share my thoughts with who aren't judging me the way some women might. They are friends that can see things from a dominant perspective and give me advice I can trust and that is pertinent to my life.

This is good because it helps me find solutions to a lot of my problems, which in turn enables me to have a more clear head. I can then more fully appreciate the good things in my life. This is important because I've earned them. I am a good person. I do good things. I deserve to be treated well. I deserve not to be afraid or live my life in fear. I deserve to be able to let my guard down and trust someone enough to protect me, even if its only for advice, simply because that's the way life should be.

Everyone deserves not be afraid. Everyone deserves to be able to let their guard down, even if only for a little while. Everyone deserves to have someone in their life of intrinsic value. Thank you to all of the gay men in my life. I love you with all my heart and the value of your friendship to me, is priceless.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Chasing Ten

Sometimes I feel so sad I honest to God feel like I could curl up in a ball and die but within minutes, I see a post from a friend, hear my daughters laugh, or my husband gives me a big smile and a hug; suddenly all is better, at least for five minutes.

I'm not even sure what I'm really going through right now; I have so many emotions flowing from minute to minute, hour to hour. Alone, deceived, manipulated, na├»ve, lost, abandoned; open, wise, intellectually stimulated, enlightened, found, and welcome. My heart wants to commiserate, my mind wants to move forward. I don't have time to play these games with myself. I have responsibilities, commitments, and much to look forward to.  Oddly the one thing I do not feel is depressed.

Back to counseling yesterday, my therapist called me  a "genius," and made it clear that I am very in touch and aware of my situation; this makes for a lot of interesting discussion and gets me through faster. She said I make her job easy; I'll take that as my head being in a good place. Unfortunately, it doesn't come with a discount.

I am very anxious to get started on my new blog. For as many times as I have thought I need to delete "Chasing 10," I haven't been able to go through with it. Much of it represents a lot of pain and heartache from my past, but much of it also represents finding myself and gives meaning to where I have been, and where I am going.

Part of my homework assignment from my therapist includes expanding my social circle; finding friends that can meet my intellectual and social needs, especially during the evenings. I've found some "meet up" groups in my area that involve writing, and a diverse coffee klatch that involves music, one of my great passions. I'm very excited about both.

The mistakes of my past will not be the errors of my future. I am worthy of much more.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Bumming Around

I was invited by a friend this past Sunday to go to "Camp Davis" (aka "Gay Camp").  I had previously been to a "Gay Camp" a few years back but that was during "Friends and Family" weekend. Both camps are clothing optional, but  when I visited  the first time, all of the boys had their fig leaves on (due to the special weekend). This weekend at Camp Davis, clothing was optional, and lets just say the phrase "bear in the woods" took on an entirely new meaning.

Nervous about how things would go, after all, I'm not one who enjoys looking at the jangly parts of men, not even those of my husband, I forged on. Determined to keep my eyes up,  I circled around the camp in my car when I first arrived, spotting a bare bum here and there. "I can do this," I thought to myself as I smiled and waved. Admittedly, I don't mind seeing a nice bum on occasion, and don't know anyone who does.

Registering at the office included buying a membership. Apparently you have to be a member to visit. This I did not know.  Although I have no intention of returning anytime soon (unless I have a hankering for toasted marshmallows) it always feels good to belong.

I met my friends who were fully clothed (the entire time) but sadly, my female counterpart was not able to make it, which left me the only woman at camp. I will say that although I was a bit saddened, it wasn't an entire loss because for me, being surrounded by a camp full of gay men, is this girls dream.

We spent the afternoon by the pool, had lunch with another group of campers, and enjoyed the day. I have to say that I surprised myself because if nothing else, I proved what I can do if I put my mind to it. This was a lesson in self control and facing (what could have been) one of the most uncomfortable situations I have ever encountered. Not only did I have an experience of a lifetime (to borrow a phrase), I  succeeded in achieving  "security in insecurity."

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Survivor

In May, my Mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. It was stage one and less than one-half inch (1/3 cm) in size. A partial mastectomy was done shortly thereafter, and she was prescribed six weeks of radiation treatment. Today, she finished her treatment and is Cancer-free.

I can't begin to tell you how proud of her I am; she went from sleeping until Noon everyday, going to bed at 3am, and never eating right (she is insulin diabetic), to going to bed by 10pm, getting herself to her appointments everyday by 9:45 am, and has lost a few pounds.

She looks better now than before she started her treatment. She's not very spry due to her weight and arthritis (she underwent two total knee replacements a few years ago) but she's very young at heart and still gives the best Motherly advice I've ever heard.

Not her "best photo,"she agreed to let me post it; this was just after she finished her last radiation treatment.  They gave her "booby beads" for having to show her boobs (during treatment). Believe me, she earned them!

Charlene
                                                                     
Even though she is responsible for a least half of my crazy, we've learned to make a pretty good team, and I love her with all my heart.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pain in the Ass

One of the first mistakes I've made over this last year is that I stopped listening to 96.1 FM; it's one of our local Top 40 radio stations that helps to keep me young. I have always preferred music to anything else and  it sets the tone in my day, especially with an hour long commute to work. It keeps me upbeat or calm, inspired or lost in thought (not while driving of course). It gives me whatever I need and doesn't ask anything in return.

I've realized today that somewhere along the line I've lost my inspiration. After a great doctor's appointment for a condition I've had for 4.5 years, I am ready to move forward and get my life back on track. For as long as I've just mentioned, I've been trying to get a doctor to actually listen to what I was saying in regard to my pain, my pain in my ass. Yes my ass. My left buttock to be correct. It cramps after walking only a few steps and makes everyday routine living atrocious at times. For years the doctors have been trying to attribute it to my mess of a back, a back that doesn't really bother me.

No amount of pain medication for the pain in my ass has ever helped, so I just don't take it. I look perfectly healthy on the outside so no one really knows the amount of pain I go through on a daily basis. After seeing too many doctors to count, they have finally diagnosed me with Piriformis Syndrome, are giving me injections and prescribing physical therapy. The injections are giving me my life back. For information on Piriformis Syndrome, see below.

Suffering a recent Friend Divorce (not to be confused with "friendly divorce" as there was nothing friendly about it) I've realized that I am the only person who can truly make myself happy, but I do need some help in the process, including good friends with whom I can trust my thoughts, and who are willing to give me their time and insight. It's hard to find friends like that; if you do, hang onto them with all your might.

In the divorce, there will be no support; I got the kids and they don't want weekends. They got Barnes and I got Starbucks. They got freedom and I got therapy. The one good thing that did come from all of this was my new found drive to get my life back on track. I am resolved to healthy mind, body, and spirit.

I've already talked to my therapist and just the sound of her voice was reassuring; I'm looking forward to my new appointment, getting some support and delving into some more of my issues that have really come to a head.  It's always good to have an unbiased ally even if you're paying for it. Besides, my therapist works on my terms which include: not prescribing meds and letting me drink wine.

 So, goodbye thirty pounds I have been slogging around with for almost two years; it's time for you to go back to whence you came. Yoga, my stationary bike, and the ability to walk distances again are my three new best friends. We will talk daily.

I start teaching CCD at our local church in a few weeks, for the first time ever. Hard to believe that anyone is trusting me with the minds of anybody other than my own kids, but they are. I am looking forward to learning a lot from them, and achieving growth in my spiritual life, adding to my overall inner peace.

In two months I'm going to be fifty years old; I want my life to count for something, before my time is up. Not that it hasn't up until now but I've stagnated something terribly and I'm not going to let myself take it anymore. My mantra is and always will be, I am the most imperfect person you will ever know and if you can handle that, it's all you need for me to call you friend.

p.s. Don't even CONSIDER making comments about my painful tight ass.

*http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/piriformis-syndrome-causes-symptoms-treatments

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Price of Freedom

Ever since I was little, I was trained to fear the worst when it comes to the people you love. Someone is always just about to keel over, die in a car crash, or be dead in a ditch and surely, that's why they're not home yet.

My brother was always dead somewhere, until he came home, usually with some lame excuse. The sigh of relief when he showed up couldn't make up for the rampant terror that was in our hearts for the prior three hours, at least not for my Mother and my twelve year old self. The important thing from all my years in training, was that I knew eventually one day it would happen, that eventually he wouldn't come home, after all with drug use since age twelve, by forty-four he didn't have a chance, Finally it happened, just as I knew it would. His girlfriend found him on the floor of their apartment. He had been at the computer, his heart burst, and he fell over onto the floor chair and all. That's what she found when she came home.

I answered the phone when his girlfriend called, expecting the worst because she usually never called.  Brad and I were getting ready to leave for a weekend away with our kids and their friends when it came. I answered the phone and she was crying, I didn't even wait for it and said, "Is he dead?"  She sobbed and said, "yes."  I was more than half tempted to still go on our trip; after all, I had waited 25 years for this call, so couldn't he wait two days for me?  He didn't have anything else going on. Besides, it would be at least two days just the make the funeral arrangements. As usual, his timing was impeccable, even in death. It took a lot for me not to go on that vacation.  The only good thought I had was that at least the waiting was over.

Sometimes it seems I've had a lifetime of fear, just waiting for "it" to happen. I never know what "it" is, but I'm certain it's going to happen. Some of it's just logical destiny. The impending doom is very difficult to deal with sometimes, but there is one thing I have found in all of this that is a good thing; the end of whatever "it" is, brings peace and freedom from fear. It truly sets you free, but freedom doesn't come cheap.