One giant leap

Up late. I believe we have new neighbors. Neighbors who believe in allowing young children the run of the house all hours of the day and night. Hearing these kids run around and yell, play loud music and generally make a nuisance of themselves, well past 11 at night. I have to stay up later now, because going to bed earlier won’t result in sleep. It’s too noisy. I have to wait out the kids, and hope they settle down by midnight.

Heard from S yesterday. First a text, then a call. We’re meeting tomorrow in downtown Rotterdam for coffee and a long chat. I was correct in letting go my anxiety over S. Last we spoke, her grandmother had just died. Yesterday I learned that her grandfather died a few weeks later. She’s been in mourning, and had interviews and stress. It wasn’t me. Her life just got very busy. Looking forward to seeing her in person. We’ll probably talk and talk and talk and still not get to everything we want to talk about. That’s okay. It’s what friends do.

No plans to reveal my big secret to S at this time. Not unless our conversation naturally swings that way. I don’t need her to know; I don’t need anyone to know. I was the one who needed to know, who needed to accept it. Telling other people is just an explanation now. Why can’t you like yourself? My mother abused me. Why can’t you take a compliment? My mother abused me. It has become my first line of defense, the first thing I want to whip out when some aspect of my behavior or demeanor is cause for comment. Once again, it’s not a full explanation. A full explanation would be: I know I’m screwed up because my mother abused me when I was young. Can’t quite put that sentence together in my mouth. That’s okay. I’m still assessing how ‘screwed up’ I am, and until I form some conclusion that’s comfortable for me and fits, I won’t say anything to that effect. Res ipsa loquitur; the thing speaks for itself. You see it, I know it…it’s no secret.

It was always just one of those things that was totally evident and never discussed. That’s a very American attitude: ignore it, don’t talk about it, just gloss it all over and when someone finally pops you can all claim innocence and ignorance. Oh, we had no idea she was so depressed! No, he always seemed like the most normal guy! Bullshit. You all saw the signs; it’s just that American secretive attitude that keeps everything shoved under the rug. You don’t want to talk about it, because if you did you’d need to admit how pervasive it is, how cold the American life, how empty the American ‘dream’.

Squeeze a rat colony and watch how quickly they become cannibals. I watched this pervasive attitude that the world is dying and we’re running out of room, food, clean air, water, and energy increase throughout my lifetime. And it’s true; keep polluting the world and everything will run out. But that underlying information has fed fear into humanity’s subconscious, and helped give rise to this ‘all for me, I’m the greatest and deserve everything’ attitude. If we’re all going down and doomed anyway, grab everything you can because it doesn’t matter anyway. We are the rats, turning on each other.

…Yeah. Lots to unload today.

Hope to get a few things done. Go to the gym for a long walk. Start to mix some cookie dough because we’re almost out of lembas again. Water the plants. Take a shower. Read.

Still have not replied to my uncle’s last message. Purposefully keeping a spam email in my box so when I open my email my uncle’s message isn’t the first thing I see because it’s the last message. Do not want that visual nag every day.

Reminding myself to take things one at a time. First, the dental surgery and time to recover. Then, call to have my shoes finally taken care of so I’m comfortable when I walk. After that, see the psychiatrist. Then I’ll be concentrating on the Amsterdam performance of the play. When all that’s over, I can start on other things – seeing my doc about my poor digestion or going back to the dentist because the tooth that had the root canal still isn’t right. It’s too tall a stack of NEEDS to tackle at once, and I know that, but my head tends to pile everything up in one place and label it THINGS YOU MUST DO – which then just makes me feel anxious because it’s all so much.

…And I’m shrinking those pix in my head. Taking the screen down small, turning down the volume, reminding myself it’s not that big a deal. It’s my anxiety that blows things out of proportion, my focusing on one aspect and one aspect only that makes it seem so damed difficult.

One positive thing to report: I can breathe easier. This is a bit of an oxymoron, because it’s repeating ‘my mother abused me’ that helps me breathe – the very sentence that I first fought so hard against and had such anxiety over. But it fits. My whole body clicks into a more comfortable, relaxed position when I say it to myself. While I am verbally hanging onto that phrase, I think I’m beginning to let go of it in my body. I’m encouraged by that, and frankly, it feels real good to breathe easier and release some knots in my stomach. And my shoulders. I carry a lot there.

Top of my list today (and every day from here on out) is: take care of yourself. Whatever that looks like. Hiding, reading, watching films, writing, crying… Does not matter. It doesn’t matter what I do or what it looks like. It doesn’t matter if I’m ‘successful’ or not; the only thing to judge success on now is how at ease I am in my own skin.

One small step for Beeps, one giant leap for Beeps’ mind…

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Am I alone out here?

I told you so.

Today’s kicker: an article on a study showing that the DNA of women who have babies is on average 11 years “older” than women who don’t have babies. Wow. Can I say that’s like finally coming out and admitting menstruation causes pain in the female body? Duh-uh. I noticed that very early on: women who have children grow old fast. And why shouldn’t they? Having a living thing tapping into your body for nine months, sucking off your reserves, eating up the vitamins and minerals a person needs…no great surprise to me to find mothers age quicker than normal women [I am using ‘normal women’ here to reassure myself and the rest of the bleeding world that choosing to NOT have children is normal, not some freak accident of nature]. I’ve watched it again and again, through people I’ve known and strangers.

So happy you men finally caught on. Maybe now you’ll begin to recognize why I consider the ‘keep ’em in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant’ is such an indignity. You not only use women like baby factories and slaves, you endanger and shorten women’s lives every time you do it.

Will this open up lawsuits against states and countries that force women to have children? I sure as fuck hope so. Endangering the lives – purposely shortening the lives – of women should be a criminal offense. I hope they hang you fuckers up by your balls.

But no. Some man will probably invent some way for men to have babies. And then we’ll hear it. Then we’ll have story after story of these “courageous” men. We’ll have detailed descriptions and graphic pictures of their pain. We will be told how they’ve never felt anything like it, and no one could ever know how painful it is until they go through it themselves. Then, the men will be lauded. Oh, good on you, old boy, for breaking that pregnancy barrier. By jove, if we’d known it was that painful we’d have given you more powerful drugs. Here! We’ll make something new that will take all the pain out of childbirth because no man should ever have to go through that again. You are a pioneer! And then the book will come out, followed up by the film.

Think it won’t happen? Do you remember how I began this post?

I like men individually. But as a group, you’re assholes I’d rather the world did without. Justice to me looks like several thousand years with men tied up in some holding cell and milked for their semen. They can never see the light of day without a woman’s permission. They can never vote, can never change their circumstances, and will get ridiculed, belittled, and abused every time they dare speak up for this “equality”. Do that for three or five thousand years and we’ll be even. Maybe.

Like any good little girl, I know my anger at men begins at home. Let’s talk about Dad.

Dad, I knew, loved me. Individually, as me. He did not see me as a second class remake of my sister, like my mother did. I need to say that up front.

However…

Continually saying things like ‘women should never be president because they’ll have a mood swing and hit the button killing us all’ did not build up my self-esteem. Telling me I was pretty as a consolation when I was in tears didn’t convince me I was attractive (just the opposite, and I’ve a clear memory of my mother telling me how SHOCKED my father was by a comment from a colleague who said I was beautiful). Lecturing me to hide my intelligence from the world because if men knew how smart I was no one would ever marry me did nothing other than add to my complexes.

I was raised by a Neanderthal. A loving Neanderthal, but a Neanderthal nonetheless.

But Daddy liked his little girl. For all that negativity, he was the one who encouraged my verbal skills, my debate and logic skills. Even when I grew old enough that my logic caught him out and triggered his anger, I felt he was proud of the fact I could do that in the first place. It was as if he wanted me to be one way in private, and another way in public.

Again: secrets. Keep the silence. Don’t let them know. Hide it.

There’s always a second message when secrets are involved. The implied message that you’re somehow wrong if you can’t keep the secret. You talk too much, you don’t care about the other person, you’re self-centered…pick one. They’re all implied, and you can latch onto whichever one your programming set you up to accept.

I have never been accused of talking too much. Saying too much, yes. But not talking too much. My only assumption all these years (and that’s been backed up by the actions and reactions of others) is that I’m different. Somehow. I don’t have certain filters in place. I just say things. I talk about subjects that people don’t discuss. I reveal “secrets” about myself that others think they can use against me. That, of course, is their perception problem. I say those things so I take my power back. If I’m up front about my body issues, no one can shame me by pointing a finger at me and calling me fat. Yeah, I’ve already told you I think I am; you’re just pointing out the obvious to me and that makes YOU look like an idiot. So I talk about my uncomfortable self. I reveal my anxieties – not crying, nor wringing my hands, just stated. I have panic attacks. I have body issues. I have self-esteem issues. My mother abused me.

To me, this is just truth. This is honesty and communication. But the looks I get -!

Perhaps it is too much honesty. Too deep of a truth to reveal to some people. Does everyone hide that much?

Am I alone out here?