Sunday, July 26, 2015

Day One Retirement

I hope that yesterday was not an auger as to how the rest of Jim's retirement is going to play out. It was the most triggering and awful day I've had in ages. Jim started cleaning the garage at daybreak, hours before I arose and started stumbling around making coffee.

First you must know that Jim is prone to start cleaning and organization projects, stop at a half way point, then just mound the stuff in a pile and demand I sort it.

Second - I have ADD, Adult ADD, that makes me freak out and not be able to function or think straight if I'm confronted with a huge pile of stuff. I get frozen where I cannot figure out what I need to do first and end up starting to put one thing away, get distracted by something else and end up overwhelmed and unable to complete the task. Which is why I keep much of my things sorted into plastic labeled tubs. I had all my art supplies and the things I used sorted in plastic bins, labeled and put on the long shelving that runs the length of the garage.

Now they're in a huge heap, thrown hither and yon, freaking me out, triggering me. This is after I deliberately asked Jim about a dozen times not to touch the stuff on the shelves. He didn't honor that and now I cannot make heads or tails of what was my carefully organized art supplies and home improvement equipment.

Third - It's always a bad idea to ask me to think or sort or do anything before I've had coffee. I'm one of those people that feels like a grumpy raging serial killer before coffee. Yeah, that's part of the ADD too.

So now there's a huge pile of trash on the front lawn, a big pile of stuff that needs to go to Goodwill and the garage has a heaping mound of my art supplies and tools in a mess. Just like Laura's bedroom from when Jim sorted it two years ago that I'm still working on sorting out.

I'm upset because I've told him repeatedly how much harder he makes it on me when he does these kamikaze clean outs without my help or notifying me it was coming. But he does it anyway.

Too big to bury him in the backyard and pretend he ran off so I don't know what I'm going to do. But if he keeps doing things that trigger me so massively I might have to take a sanity break at the beach for a week or a month.

Because of the ADD I do things a certain way here because I find I do better and keep on track if I have a set schedule.

Monday - Shopping and clean the bathrooms are picking up the house. Sweep, vacumn mop. Wash all bedding and towels.
Tuesday - Laundry and ironing. Baking the week's bread and whatever baked goods we need.
Wednesday - Home repair and gardening
Thursday - Complete housecleaning
Friday - Usually I work in my sewing room. Do whatever repairs need to happen to clothing or making clothing or working on quilts.
Saturday  -  Gardening
Sunday - Rest, which usually means oil painting and/or reading

None of this schedule counts the fact of the daily things like cooking and dishwashing or work or having to drop every damn thing to deal with a crisis like picking up his bumper and license plate off the ground where Jim hit a deer with his car.

Yesterday I had the double whammy. I picked a huge pile of cucumbers and zucchini and spent most of the day canning, putting up 16 quarts of various types of pickles and making 7 quarts of zucchini relish. By seven pm I was exhausted by the canning and dealing with Jim dragging everything we had in the garage out onto the lawn while demanding I sort it. I took a shower, laid on the sofa trying to crochet. He was most annoyed with me because by 8 pm  I was on the sofa and refusing to get up and sort things from that giant pile or go to the local carnival with him.

I know he means well, but it was seriously stressing me out and no amount of explaining to him why this was affecting me like this helped at all. He's not hearing me at all. Plus after dragging everything out of the garage from 6 am till about 10 am he decided to do other things like go shopping, followed by taking a name from 1 pm till around 5 pm.

Now he's threatening to do the same to the bathroom cabinets. Told him they were perfectly organized already and not to even dare touching any of that!

Here's hoping he gets many days substitute teaching this fall.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Congradulations Eeagle Eeye!

The title is how the bakery wrote the words "Congratulations Eagle Eye" on the cake at the office party for Jim's retirement. He has worked all these years as an editor at the Dept of Publications for the Bureau of Labor Statistics and he's known for having a sharp eye, catching everyone else's writing mistakes.

I went into the city with Jim on Wednesday when his department was holding his retirement party and did some shopping for my youngest daughter Laura's birthday in the morning. I wandered around the Union Station area and the museum shops picking up a few things I think she'll love.

The afternoon was the party and I have to say, I was impressed. One of the high high ups that answers directly to presidential appointee Secretary of Labor Perez attended the party and had some kind words to say about Jim's ability to spot mistakes. The rest of his coworkers and his supervisor also said what a decent and kind man he is. One lady read a humorous poem she wrote for the occasion. It was moving, I'd not known how well liked he was by his coworkers.

Today was Jim's official last day at work and it started with a bang. He hit a deer with his car around 5:45 am this morning. He tried to stop but could not, clipping a young doe as she and her fawn tried to cross the road. He was uninjured and did not stop, thinking he'd just knocked out the passenger's side headlight. But once he got to the VRE station to catch his train he saw that part of the bumper was crushed and splintered plus the license plate was missing.

Guess what I did this morning? If you guessed that I went out to the accident site to retrieve his license plate, pick up pieces of glass and bumper from the road and see if the deer was dead you'd be right. I was almost done when a sheriff's deputy arrived and wanted to know what I was doing.

Looked for the fawn, trying to see if it was still around so that we could get the wildlife rescue folks out there but there was no sign of it. The mama deer had managed to get about twenty yards away from the accident site before dying. So sad, upsetting start to the day.

Now Jim's home with five boxes of things from his twenty plus years in his office. An era is coming to an end.

Dear Washington D.C. Tourists....

Recently the Washington Post did an article on what local customs tourists routinely ignore or trample upon when they arrive here, things that make the area and it's people function smoothly. I am reminded of those things when I go into the city to shop, or go to the museums or the days I ride the train in with Jim to visit his office. Wednesday I went into the city with Jim to go over his retirement paperwork with HR and to attend the retirement party that his office threw for him.

Jim is more sanguine about the tourist hordes than I am. Yes, I understand we live on the edge of one of the biggest vacation destinations this side of Disney World and Disneyland. I understand they bring 7 billion dollars into the area every year. My problem with them is that they act like the DC/VA/MD area is just like Iowa or Mississippi plus the piles of RVs snaring up the really bad traffic on the major highways the areas I go to shop.

Like this photo from the Washington Post of the Metro escalators. I'm surprised no one pushed these folks or said something to them. You do not stand on the left side of the escalators in the District or you risk being pushed over or elbowed aside. Here it's stand right and walk left.

Good thing this wasn't rush hour or some of them would have been pushed down.

See, here's the thing. When I go places, like Costa Rica, or even someplace like the Midwest, I try to research as much info as someone in tourist mode can. Looked up tipping practices in Costa Rica. Made sure when I was in Germany not to give the 'okay' symbol to any drivers because it means 'asshole' there and is against the law. I never expect anyone to talk to me in my own language, I eat whatever the local cuisine is and try not to act like The Ugly American, save my venting over customs I don't like either for here or into poor Jim's ear, not airing them publicly.

I had a couple of hours to kill before Jim's retirement party and I spent them shopping at Union Station, observing the tourists after getting stuck on an escalator behind them trying to get back up to the Postal Square Building Jim works at. 

So what do you need to know besides never stand left on the escalator (which can earn you a shove, a nasty retort, or a simple big sigh and side eye) Sorry, but most of us there have a limited amount of time to get to work or are running to catch a commuter train.

1 - It is rarely a good idea to come to DC with a camper or RV. The nearest campgrounds are between 30 minutes to two hours away dependent upon traffic and rush hour situations. There is absolutely no place to park them in the city and many of the streets are too narrow to accommodate them easily. You'll also find drivers shaking their fists at you as you clog up the major highways with them and try to drive the speed limit. Traffic is too insane here to ever make that a good idea.

2 - Don't try to lecture a local on some custom or notion of the city. This happened to me standing in line at the Union Station Subway location to get a sandwich. Some busy body lady turned around and started trying to tell me where the line started and all the things wrong with D.C. I had to point out that she was mistaken about a few things, including where the line ran. She was in the wrong line. Don't assume everyone around you is a tourist.

3 - Expect to be run through security EVERYWHERE..... There are armed security officers just about everywhere, Metro, Union Station, the Mall, the various Smithsonians and every federal building ever. Don't take offense, just shuffle yourself through them, but please leave your handguns home.

4 - If you insist on driving, which I do not recommend, I recommend you fly in and take the Metro/VRE/MARC and stay in a hotel. But if you do drive please have a working GPS with recently updated software and at least take a look at a few maps to familiarize yourself with the fact that the city is laid out in an odd fashion and filled with lots of one way streets. Doing this might keep you from ending up in the worst parts of the city and out of the grips of petty criminals. Ask me about the time I got lost going to pick up an uncle from the Trailways Bus station in the middle of the night and the crackhead that jumped on the hood of my car at 2 am.

5 - Another point to consider when driving is the problem of parking. Real estate is at a premium here and parking during the work week is next to impossible and can be quite expensive. Many times you end up parked so far from the place you're going you would have been much closer if you've have taken the Metro into that thing you are going to see. 

6 - Realize everything here costs much more than in many places. Simple supply and demand. Griping isn't going to help. Again, research the costs before arriving instead of standing in the middle of Union Station and ranting that you never paid that much for sandwich/bottle of water/memory card. Tourist areas are always financial ripoffs.

7 - Don't come in the Summer time. Not only is that when there are hordes of tourists that make obtaining things like tickets to the White House harder to get, but it's miserable here in the Summer. Washington D.C. is built upon a swamp and all the auto exhaust is not helping anything! It's gets Louisiana swamp hot here in the Summer. Spring or Fall are glorious, just not the Summer. Unless you enjoy sweating your ass off. Oh, and Winter sucks too because it's just far enough north to get some nasty nor'easters and snow.

8 - There are many places that are not going to allow you to bring that water or that backpack in, where you'll have to check your belongings, like the viewing gallery of the Capital. If you want to watch the senators or congressmen bloviate from the balcony be prepared to check your belongings.

9 - Summertime driving coming out of the District means that the traffic jams can start as early as noon on Thursday and Friday with people taking off early and fleeing the city for the mountains or Ocean City/Virginia Beach.

10 - Best to travel into and out of the city after rush hour unless you enjoy being stuck on the freeway for upwards of two hours to go a short distance.

~~~~~~~~~~

But to counter balance all that awful in some ways D.C. is the best place to go for freebies. The Smithsonian is always free, with the exception of parking at the Air & Space Museum near Dulles Airport. There's always something happening on the Mall and every afternoon brings a free concert at the Kennedy Center. It is a center of culture with many interesting things to see and do.

Don't forget to see the great things  in the surrounding countryside too. Where I live is mile after mile of white fenced rolling hills and horses. Not too far past that is the Shenandoah National Park with some of the most magnificent views in the East.




Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Stings, Arrows & Dead Batteries

Yesterday I should have just stayed in bed. I got up and did the usual work and house things before deciding to head out for the five dollar burger deal at a nearby Glory Days. I hadn't had a burger there in ages, Monday is the day to go while they're cheap, plus I knew I could get my burger wrapped in lettuce with a side of steamed veggies instead of fries.

It didn't quite work out like I anticipated. I tried to call Joannie to go with me so I could bitch about what a bitch I'd been to Diana the day before but she never called me back, just sent a Facebook message about a mutual friend being hauled to the hospital with a possible brain tumor and a request to pray.

I left around noon for my burger, but when I pulled into the parking lot and turned off the engine to my car the air conditioning kept blasting and would not switch off. Had this problem another insanely hot day a few weeks ago when I drove up to Northern Virginia to go to a Potomac Nationals minor league baseball game with Jim, Laura and Ian. That time the a/c finally cut off after a few minutes of running and it was a day like yesterday with temps in the high nineties.I decided not to chance it, just go on home.

Got home, turned off car and went inside. A/c off. Came back ninety minutes  later to find the car a/c blasting, yes it switched on while I was inside and not driving or running the car. By that point it had drained the battery. Eventually the a/c cut off because the battery was drained. I threw up my hands in frustration and went back into the house, resigned to an afternoon with no transportation but beyond going to the recycle center had nowhere I had to go. Or so I thought.

On my way back into the house I was stung by a wasp, another thing I am deathly allergic to. Managed to give myself an epipen injection followed by injectable benadryl.

Usually when you use your epipen you're supposed to go to the ER. I don't always because there's not a lot they can do but monitor me, give me oxygen and injectable benadryl. Yesterday I sat there and did the scary 'do I call an ambulance' thing because my car was dead, waiting with dread and panic attacks to see if my asthma/allergic attack would back off enough to avoid the ER. It did, but it made for some hairy moments here.

It helped that during my hyper vigilant do I or don't I call the ambulance I was able to talk to several friends on Facebook. One of them had been bullied by some of the same people I ran afoul of last summer and fall. We ended up talking a great deal about the need to develop and learn kindness post-leaving dangerous faith systems. There's just something about most of fundamentalism that just kills kindness dead and does not teach it to the children in the system. I've seen much of the lack of kindness first hand. Which means I'm going to try to be kinder, because that's the only thing that's going to help heal all the damaged persons coming out of the church. There's no real safe places in recovery but perhaps practicing kindness might help others to feel 'safe'

At that point I just gave up and went to bed for the rest of the day with my nebulizer. Jim was away at a Washington Nations baseball game and didn't get home till after midnight.

When Jim did come home he had gossip from our old church about our old pastor morphing into an alcoholic. At first I was pretty shocked, but as I thought back about puzzling happenings and interactions with the old pastor there are some things that never made sense to me that really clicked suddenly into place. Poor thing, I feel bad for him because that's not an easy path for anyone, particularly a pastor. For all my nasty journey out of the old church this pastor was not one of those trying to spiritually abuse me, he had his hands full with the hateful nuts at the old church. I hope he manages to kick this thing.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Jerk of Mormon

I was pretty offensive yesterday morning, a jerk even. I guess I'm still dealing with the eight years of fall out from leaving the old church. First thing in the morning I got to see Gina our new worship leader's mom and dad, who I knew all too well after serving on the old worship team with both of them.

Didn't get a chance to say much to her father Whit, we hugged and exchanged greetings. But once her mom Diana appeared I found myself being pretty mean to Diana by taking a couple of nasty swings at the theology we'd been taught at the old church, putting her on the defensive. It just popped out of my mouth like a series of big ugly toads, definitely not a magical Mormon Fuck Frog. I own her an apology this week. I'm not even sure why I did it. I guess I was a little extra tense. It was still wrong.

Was just about having a stroke because the service ran very late, our pastor would not cede the pulpit, the service ran a full thirty minutes late. I dread this because the moment this happens, when we're doing everything in our power to break down and move all the worship team things off the platform we're being hit with a few nasty retorts from the traditional service people coming in for the next service, the eleven o'clockers. Sure enough I was complained to no less than three times, including being told by one of the ushers, who acts like an asshole on his job during the week at the local school, to leave the sanctuary because we were impeding the flow of people into the church. Bullshit, we were not, there was plenty of room in the aisle. He was just pissed we weren't done with our service.

The sad thing about all of this is that the design team has talked to our lead pastor till we're all blue in the face about the fact that he frequently gets up there and rattles off a long list of announcements that are in the bulletin, listed on the media screens throughout the church and on the website. He will ramble on for almost 15 minutes, putting us at least ten minutes behind schedule. Add in others who come up to give out awards or call for volunteers and you can add in many more minutes. We go over this again and again in the meetings, insisting any presentations or talks need to be prerecorded and no longer than five minutes, but it goes in one ear and straight out the other of the head pastor.

Plus our old worship leader made a huge effort to make sure we didn't run over. Gina's new and I'm sure she's not about to step on the lead pastor's toes. After being chewed out by some ancient man I'd never laid eyes on before, with him telling me we'd better not make his service start late because he was going to not be able to miss the crowds at Country Cooking for his Sunday dinner I was pretty fed up.

Why all the handwringing over timing? This Sunday it was critical. We were driving into Washington D.C., to the Kennedy Center to see The Book of Mormon musical. Jim bought the tickets as a Mother's Day gift for me. He knew I'd been dying to see it for ages, listening to the soundtrack again and again.

Jim works in D.C., I avoid D.C. whenever possible because of the crowds and the traffic. Plus I've seen every single freaking Smithsonian and Museum now many times. We live a mere 60 miles out of the city and it should take us a mere hour to drive in.... if it wasn't D.C. When we first moved here it was just over an hour to get to Constitution Avenue and the White House. Now, it really depends on the traffic, could take anywhere from two hours to as much as four or five hours. See why I was sweating getting on the road?

The service was supposed to be over at 10:30 and our matinee tickets were for 1:30. By the time we drove through the horrible traffic to the Kennedy Center, which is right off I-66, first site off the interstate in the District, parked and found our theater, we had a mere 20 minutes to spare.

I loved the musical and we had the best time! The whole thing is hysterically funny, from the first song with the missionaries ringing doorbells and singing hello, all the way to the end when the Ugandans put on a skit showing what they learned to the bishop visiting the missionaries "Let's be really fucking polite to everyone we meet!" Anyone that has struggled with some of the more ridiculous aspects of faith or dealt with leaving their beliefs should see this show!

In all the years we've lived in D.C. and attended all sorts of events, even visiting the White House, we'd somehow never managed to make it over to the Kennedy Center. But this isn't going to be our last time. I'm planning on going to see the Suzanne Farrell Ballet in Oct/Nov when they play the Kennedy Center. The only problem is that I'm going to have to take someone else besides Jim. He's already indicated that he's afraid he'll have to give up his Man card and cut off his balls if he goes to the ballet. He's so funny about that!

I do know one thing, well one thing more than the facts that I have to apologize to Diana and see the ballet live, if we ever get another cat I'm going to name him General Buttfucking Naked and call him/her General...

Saturday, July 18, 2015

20 Worst Things To Say To Someone Suffering

As part of my adminning No Longer Quivering I have to stroll around the blogosphere a couple of times a day to see what's going on. This morning I found this list posted at not only on a blog but also on NLQ regular author's blog. Two different places. This list made me almost retch upon reading it.

Edited to add. Shortly after writing this I found out from the NLQ author that this was meant as a sarcastic piece. I never even picked up on that fact, but whew, am I relieved. Except I'm extremely sorry that the original author had to listen to this crap spewing out of the mouths of anyone as she left her abusive husband.

The original posting was about how your friends can support you best when you leave your abusive husband. Granted, I've never had to do that, but I have gone through trauma, tragedy and pain, just like everyone else, and heard more than a few of these very unhelpful suggestions.

Okay, from the original blogger who I'm not going to name or link to because I really don't want to start a beef. She's been through enough even if she is promoting these poisonous ideas.

Top 20 Very Best Things to Say to Someone Who is Struggling

… because they just gained the courage to flee an abusive marriage.
  1. Have you tried … (taking a nap, eating, medication, more prayer…)
  2. God never gives us more than we can handle.
  3. The sun will come out tomorrow!
  4. Whatever you do, don’t try yoga (or antidepressants)… #causesdemonpossession
  5. You just need to submit more… to God, to your husband, etc
  6. I know just how you feel… fill-in-the-blank with non-abuse related incident, like: “I know just how you feel… my middle child was *so* colicky!”
  7. If you just trusted God more then none of this would have happened.
  8. You just need to try harder (read your Bible more, pray more, etc)
  9. Think positively!
  10. Things could always be worse!
  11. At least you aren’t experiencing… (insert 3 hour long personal story)
  12. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and move on!
  13. You aren’t really struggling; it’s all in your head!
  14. You must be in sin.
  15. It was the Lord’s will.
  16. Have you forgiven him?
  17. I just don’t want you to become bitter!
  18. Just remember, God is in control!
  19. The Lord works in mysterious ways…
  20. The storms will relent if you simply trust God and repent.
Or, you could simply say something like, “That must be so hard!  I can’t imagine what you are going through or how you are feeling, but I care and want to walk alongside you in this.”
Makes me just want to yell 'Aw hell NO!" Here's my thoughts on these.

  1. This one is one of the very few on this list that I have no trouble with. It's natural to want to 'fix' or help someone you have mad love for or just simple friendship.
  2. Mouthing platitudes never helped anyone. This particular one merely minimizes the situation and the very real emotional pain of the sufferer. 
  3. Another simple cliche that reduces whatever you are going through.
  4. Wow, just wow! Let's see, anti depressants can actually help you get through trying times and there's NO evidence of 'demon possession' from them. Evangelical fear mongering. Plus you know my thoughts on yoga already. Another ridiculous fear mongering over what is not understood. 
  5. Submission never stopped a man that is abusing a woman, plus it's another version of blaming and shaming a person for their own abuse by implying they are submissive enough.
  6. This one is actually not harmful so much as it is irritating. If you are going through hard times the last thing you want to hear is someone comparing your heart attack to their cut finger. Not helpful at all.
  7. Again, with the blaming the sufferer for own suffering.
  8. More saying that the sufferer is responsible for her/his own situation in a shaming and blaming way.
  9. This sort of denial of actual feelings and emotions can be harmful. If you suppress all your negative thoughts and emotions they're going to eventually emerge in a much worse way. Better to deal with the way you feel and be honest with yourself than deny reality.
  10. Well yeah, they really could be worse, but how is that being encouraging of someone suffering through tragedy?
  11. See number six above.
  12. Don't you think if the person dealing with hard times could do that they would have already? It's disrespectful of that person and their journey to reduce it all down to simply.
  13. It goes beyond disrespectful to hostile, attacking and gas-lighting to suggest something is all in your head. If any friend of yours tries to throw shade at you with this line I suggest you immediately drop that friend because they are really no friend.
  14. Blaming and shaming is what many Evangelical Christians do best and this is that.
  15. Let's keep God out of this. If a god wants to torture people to teach them a lesson then he's not much of a god, more of a sadistic monster.
  16. How is being told you must forgive someone that abused you helpful? If there is forgiveness it needs to be freely given, not because someone else is pressuring you. It must also be in your own time as part of your healing journey. There are no time tables or hard and fast rules about forgiving an abuser. You may never get to that point of forgiveness and that's okay too.
  17. Bitterness, another Evangelical-speak buzzword for not forgiving someone. See number sixteen.
  18. See number fifteen!
  19. See number fifteen again!
  20. More blaming and shaming. In this life we can do things perfectly, PERFECTLY, and still bad things can happen to us through no fault of our own. 
Here's twenty better things you can say to some one going through a great trial or tragedy.

  1. Have you remembered to eat, sleep or take care of yourself while this is going on?
  2. How can I help ease some of your burden right now?
  3. I know this looks bleak right now but maybe you should sleep on it before you make any hard and fast decisions?
  4. Is there something you love to do that could give you some relief from the stress and maybe make you feel a little better? 
  5. Let me do something for you like bring you a meal or go with you when you file that restraining order.
  6. I understand you're in pain.
  7. I know you did everything you could in this situation. Please don't feel guilty.
  8. Rest might be the best thing for you right now.
  9. It's normal to hurt or feel disappointed. You are still grieving about what happened.
  10.  I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this. 
  11. I'm here for you.
  12. It's going to take time to work through this.
  13. If you need a shoulder to cry on or just someone to listen to your feelings you can call me.
  14. Sometimes things happen that are beyond our control.
  15. God doesn't hurt us to teach us a lesson.
  16. You should concentrate on your own healing right now and not worry about anyone else.
  17. Would you like to get together and do something like go to the movies or shopping so you don't have to think about all of this for a few hours?
  18. Please don't isolate yourself in this time. 
  19. I admire how you're handling yourself in this difficult time. You're so strong.
  20. Can I give you a little break by taking your children to the park for a few hours?
Sometimes a simple "I'm sorry" is the most powerful thing you can say.

What did I miss that needs to be on the list of things you should say?

Friday, July 17, 2015

Baking A Cake For My Pity Party

So I was extremely triggered and maudlin earlier in the week. A couple of things happened to shift my mood.

1) My friend Joanie and her husband Paul called us up and we went out for a late lavish Italian meal at a local restaurant followed by some shopping. Joanie started sharing some of her eschatology views that always make me laugh because I cannot take any of them seriously. Apparently Sid Roth and other prognosticating fundamentalists are all calling for some end of the world cataclysmic event around Sept. 23 this year. Something like the government seizing control of everyone via martial law due to some happening.

Well, looking at Sid Roth's website to see if I can find the details while writing this and I see nothing about it, in fact Sid is hawking a tour of the Holy Lands in November, which would never happen if he was one of the end of the worlders. I'm not sure who she's citing, but I have heard talk of this Sept. date and disaster, just cannot remember who came up with it.

In my years in a charismatic conservative church I have heard every single end of the world scenario you can imagine well before Y2K appeared on the horizon and did nothing. I'm over it. As I always point out to her if it actually did happen I'd die quickly because of the asthma so there's no use in worrying about it.

2) I realized I'm not angry at God, or any God that might or might not exist over what happened to me. I'm freaking angry at guys like Joel Osteen who babble on about shaking off everything that happens to you from a hangnail through cancer, like it's actually possible not to react when some of the worst things life can hand you is even possible, much less a normal reaction. Joel lives in a protected rich white man bubble where child molestation, cancer, heartache simply does not exist.

3) I saw an article about the fates of women who were molested as children. So many of them end up working in the sex trade or on drugs or in jail that I realized anew that I'd made it. I escaped the worst fates, beat the odds and carved out a life for myself without those things. I have things I must work on to recover, particularly since I could not even admit what had happened to me until about ten years ago. Recovery is slow and not much fun.

I also made an effort to do a few things for other people to get my mind off my triggering on Sunday. Baked a cake for someone and hung out with an old friend of mine from my days working at the international floral wire service.

In my years at the floral company I'd always admired Debbie, she had a big booming laugh and was the only person I've ever seen there get away from deviating from the accepted script. Guys would call up, grumpily ask the cost of roses. Debbie would retort, "If you have to ask the price you cain't afford 'em" followed by that great big booming laugh. Somehow most the guys would laugh too and then order the flowers. It always reminded me of Texas Guinan greeting her nightclub patrons with a hearty "Hello suckers!"

But the absolute best thing about Debbie was when I was hired, we were given a few scanty hours training before being tossed in cubicles to sell items we knew nothing about, was that she sat in a cubicle facing mine and would go out of her way to help me when I had questions. That is rare in a commissions only sales environment. There were only what I would call a handful of decent human beings in the entire place. She was one of them and did not mind helping you out.

Debbie and I had quite a laugh talking about the things that happened at work. Like The Tickle Guy, who would call up in the mornings and act like he was about to order a big bunch of roses. As you started to lead him through the ordering process he'd start asking you questions, like if you had kids or little cousins and if you tickled them. The more you'd try to steer the conversation back to the floral order the harder he'd push talking about tickling, eventually asking you if you'd tickled them hard enough to make them pee on themselves. Suddenly you'd notice he was breathing hard before there would be total silence, he'd thank you and hang up. It was only afterward it would dawn on you that he'd been masturbating the whole time he'd been talking to you. Debbie and I were the only two that went so far along with the conversation to the end. Everyone else but us had the sense enough to realize this perv was molesting himself while talking to them. He called up regularly.

I quit back in 2010 and she was laid off a couple of years ago. Debbie didn't realize that the floral company had been slapped with a five million dollar fine for deceptive practices over their rewards program by the courts and that had been the reason they laid off most of the staff. She ended up working as a home healthcare aide until earlier in the spring when it was found she had cancer. She had surgery but not chemo and radiation as they said it wouldn't buy her any time. I suspect, knowing how many organs/pieces that they took out that the prognosis isn't a good one.

Didn't realize how much I'd missed Debbie and some of my other former coworkers that have tried to stay in touch with me. I'm going to have to see if I can made amends for my lack of communication with them.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Hasa Diga Eebowai

I always thought I'd be over the triggers of religion and evangelicalism eventually. But life has, as usual, been proving me quite wrong. Now I've been mentally singing a song from the musical "The Book of Mormon" all morning in my head. The song that translates literally to 'Fuck You God!'

Give it a little listen:

I'm feeling it.

What happened to trigger this? Our usual Sunday morn routine. I'm on my computer checking the comments section of No Longer Quivering for random fundies spouting nonsense and Jim's in the living room switching on his every week viewing of Joel Osteen.

For full disclosure: I do not care at all for Osteen, with his stupid grin, simplistic prosperity gospel that tells you to deny all of your emotions and feelings and only think positively. I've seen the wreckage and fall out, the extreme damage done by this type of thinking. I can think of at least three people who are now six feet under because they chose to ignore the doctor and employ Osteen's positive thinking method.

Anything or anyone that tells you to suppress your own feelings is toxic and will only destroy you eventually.

Jim loves Joel and if it helps him feel better I leave him to it. He never follows or actually does what Joel preaches.

This morning Joel started by talking about when unfair things or you are hurt by something someone did to you that God is getting right up to either defend you or redeem or revenge what was done to you. I don't even know why this got so under my skin so instantaneously. I burst into tears and wanted to shout out at Joel, "Where the fuck was God when I was being sexually abused for two years?!" ending with a lot of Hasa Diga Eebowai!

Seriously, this is one of those things that makes me seriously doubt the existence of any God. What type of good or almighty God allows children to be sexually abused? Or allows someone to murder others of a different race in His house? Or allows innocent babies to be infected with AIDs or be born without brains or with other deformities? A God cruel enough to not protect the most innocent is not anyone I want any part of.

The damage of what was done to me as a child has touched negatively every single aspect of my life. Now, I can see what it's done and how screwed up its made me  for most of my life. There's no easy way to heal from this, repair what can be fixed, redeem the wasted years. The fear and pain of that horrible thing makes me do so many stupid things. I've made a pile of bad decisions because of my own skewed view of the world. 

It's only been in the last ten years that I've been able to even admit what happened to me from years seven to nine. I guess I'm still processing it and working on recovery. But people like Joel Osteen aren't making it very easy at all with their words. They're killing what little belief I still have left.

Seriously, fuck you Joel Osteen's version of God..

I prefer to think that God, if there actually is a God, wept over what happened to me, instead of saying He would use it to glorify Himself. That's just sick.