Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Dictator and the Pants Suit Queen

I was added to the best closed group a few days ago and once I spent some time in it I quickly added other women of like mind to join.  I initially thought it was just for women, so I neglected to add any of the males on my friends list that think like me, but I might choose to amend that, I might not.   You see it's been really nice to see my Facebook pop up with a heartfelt story about what it's like to be a woman today.  So many of us fight the same battles each day.  I've not shared any of my personal stories there, I don't feel a need, but I know if I did, it would be welcomed and not judged.  Some of the men in the group have shared their stories of their sisters or mothers which has also been so uplifting.  It's been a life saver to my sanity, as the election grows closer, and my Republican and Democrat friends keep posting meme upon meme of what they think is truth or humor. 

Well, it's making my head spin.  And I find my anxiety levels have risen just reading some of them not to mention the comments I get tagged in, which, because of my curiosity I have to read.  The Soldier is a good example and I had to hide his stream for fear of letting my kind nature getting trampled by my feminist side that WILL NOT be pushed around any longer by any white male or female privilege.   It's what will get me stabbed or shot in Chicago.  Not moving out of the way of a younger white woman in the grocery store who believes she has the right of way, of the entire isle, only due to her pocketbook size.  "I bet she dives the same way." I say under my breath.  Or the white young man who wont move to the side to allow a much older woman lugging groceries in a pull cart behind her, obviously out of breath.  Nope I just stand in his way and smile until he moves or gets the point.  And it's not always young men.  I've had men my age not move either. I always move for my elders.  Always.  But I was raised to respect my parents and anyone with more experience than I.   Where have all the gentlemen and ladies gone?  Do we not teach our children to respect our elders anymore?  I know I taught mine to, and I know I teach every child I nanny that important behavior. 

You see manners start young, and if they aren't enforced at a young age, like flossing, people just tend to skip it.  I love the family I nanny for, they never treat me like a servant.  I've been lucky none of the family's I've nannied for have.  But I choose families to work for that I believe don't have the foggiest idea how to treat someone like a servant or grew up with servants and understand that we are people with our own families and not another possession.  It's not hard to spot either, the families that will treat you like you don't matter.  They usually have outlandish rules or no rules for their little ones and expect you to do EVERYTHING for their children so they don't have to raise them at all.  I would never work for people that think this is the norm because I couldn't raise their children to be like them.  Which is what you do as a nanny.  You don't raise them to be like you or your kids.  These rude, and I'm embarrassed of my race to say it, white people must never have been taught that they were wrong, or had to apologize when wrong or that the world doesn't owe them a god damned thing. 

I can't imagine the country getting any better with Trump as president.  I voted yesterday, by mail for the first time in my adult life.  And it felt really good to take my ballot to the post office and send it on it's way.  If Hillary isn't elected, I will be sad for my country.  I might even have to consider leaving it for Mexico, as I can't afford Canada.  Since I'm a white woman that doesn't look like Trumps wives and won't raise my hand in a very similar Nazi salute to his Orangness, I will be pushed under the bus just like all the people of color, or people of fluid genders, or people of every religion other than Christians, or people that get food stamps, or people that believe its a woman's right to choose, or men and women that are gay/lesbian or bi, or people that want water over oil, or people that are tired of war, or people that want our country to be respected world wide not hated because of our President.  This election has turned into a moral one, and I know it's wrong to unfriend people because of political differences.  That would be just like them, wouldn't it?  So I don't.  I hope and pray to the goddess that they might be swayed in the final moments to see the evil he is and how he has cloaked himself in lies and telling the public what it wants to hear rather than who he really is. 

It's not to late to stand up for your gender, your race, your religion, and your culture and fight for what is right.  No one is perfect, I'm not saying Hillary is but she's worlds more qualified for this job than he is.  And if she doesn't win it will be another very obvious promotion an over qualified woman lost to an under qualified man, because he's a MAN. 

Most of the friends I have that are Trump supporters have said they are voting for him because he's a man that speaks like a normal human without the political double talk.  Or that he's not part of the machine so can't be corrupted like the rest.  I say they are living a dream on that last one.  Ultimate power always corrupts, ultimately.  I don't care what your upbringing is.  It's why our best and brightest don't want to run.  They understand this principal and don't want to be tempted or see who they would turn into.  And on the first part of that, listen to him in the debates, really listen to him talk, he says nothing.  His extemporaneous speaking says nothing to answer any question put to him.  It's just rhetoric designed to get the crowd going.  He's an entertainer.  A reality show host.  A con artist businessman that has pulled the wool over so many peoples eyes in this country that I feel like the Germans and Polish in 1938 that didn't support Hitler.  I'm actually amazed he's gotten this far. 

I will, as an American, defend all of your rights to your own opinions on this election.  For that is what free speech is all about.  Please, respect mine. 


Sunday, October 23, 2016

You Think You're Honest, But You're Not

I've reached a very content place in my life.  My kids are grown and doing well.  My career is one I love and while I'd much rather be wealthy and live the life of world traveler and benefactor, I'd not change it to any other.  Raising children is the most rewarding thing I've ever done with my life and apparently raising my own wasn't enough.  My love life is peaceful and honest, always, because I'm single.  I have all the freedom in the world to do whatever I want whenever I want.  And I do.  Sometimes it's a day on the town to explore and be a tourist, and sometimes it's just enjoying my own company,  for I do find that I like the lack of drama that comes with a life alone.  

No more do I have to say 'it's fine or ok' when I'm biting back my real response or hiding from myself the truth of who I am.  No more do I have to coddle a man's fragile ego while he stomps all over mine.  No more do I have to try to find a way to pay the rent because he's spent that money on booze or drugs or the latest gaming cube, or other women.  No more do I have to fulfill all of his fantasies while mine, while voiced, never happen.  No more do I have to try to be his mother, wife and prostitute all rolled up into one.  No more do I have to wonder after doing and becoming everything he desires, where he is at night, or who he's with.  No more do I have to tell myself that he lies to everyone, except me, and believe it.  No more do I have to wear my hair or clothes or anything for him and never for my sense of style.  No more do I have to wonder how those other couples can be so happy doing this.

It's because they don't do this.

They are happy because they have found someone who loves them for exactly who they are not who they think they are.  The biggest mistake you can make in any relationship is lying about who you are to be with someone.  I know you think you know this already, I thought I knew it too.  But it's why I am happier alone.  I'm myself alone.  But the minute you put a man in the mix with me I start to become who I know he needs.  Who he's told me he desires.  And while he becomes happy as a clam, for a while, I become less and less of who I am.  Until I explode out of the shell I've become into who I really am. 

I blame this chameleon ability on my vivid imagination which makes me a better writer, but not a better person.  You see when you do this to yourself you are, of course, hurting yourself the most but you are also hurting the person you are trying most to please.  Because the mask will fall along with the tears.  And heartbreak should not feel like a constant companion.

Be true to yourself.  No matter the cost.  No matter what you lose along the way because you will gain more than peace of mind and mental health.  You will gain your tribe of like minded people as you become who you are rather than who you think you need to be.  


Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Soldier and The Gypsy Witch

Yesterday I had a surprising intellectual conversation with a Facebook friend over politics.  Since I don't use real names we'll just call him The Soldier, since he's a military man.  I know what you're thinking.  And I was stunned too.  Especially because The Soldier is a Trump supporter.  I didn't know he was a Trump supporter until he posted this.  I can't remember why I added him, like I'm sure most of you are with your Facebook friends, but there must have been a moment when I felt we thought the same about something.  And I wasn't disappointed.

Soldier's post had been about how he couldn't understand how a woman would wait twenty years to come forward about an unwanted touch, IE: all the grouping and fondling that these women are claiming Trump did, and that they must have done it for money.  Been paid off by some entity either political side or journalistic...someone. 

Well some of his male friends immediately jumped on that bandwagon.  Some women too.  But there was one female friend of his that used that moment to tell him her own story of unwanted touching which led to rape, and how she had been afraid and told not to tell, and didn't for many many years.  I of course could not let her stand alone; I who had been coached into silence, which was so much more damaging in the long run than the rapes.  So I came forward with my stories about rape as well.  I even re-posted my blog that helped another friend from group titled My Letter To My 12 Year Old Self that is the anchor to my blog.  And then another woman, touched by our stories told her story FOR THE FIRST TIME.  Then more women did, and how helpless they felt and how they couldn't come forward out of shame or the fear no one would believe them anyway since these men were allowed to go along with their grouping and unwanted touching completely unpunished, but everyone knew enough to warn women what not to do.  These were trusted men in power, teachers, parents boyfriends, family members, employers.  It was shameful to me but triggered many feelings of helplessness from the past.  For once I wasn't crying but I had the big shoulders for them.  And I was proud of my progress.

He was true to his nature and wanted to punch them all out when he read our stories and stood on the principle that these weren't rapes only touching.  But he was further educated about rape culture and how that's how it starts.  That his candidate exhibits rape culture behavior.  We may not have changed his mind on his candidate, and that wasn't the point.  But I think we opened his eyes about how women have this kind of thing happen to them every day and we're taught to just let it go.  Because 'boys will be boys' and it 'doesn't mean anything'.  But that is wrong.  Boys should be taught to respect women and men for that matter.  Boys should be taught that its wrong to touch another person without their permission, just like we teach girls.  We should further more not teach a little girl that a boy hits her because he likes her.  Or is disrespectful in anyway meaning that is affection.  It's not.  And it sends a very confusing signal to both of their developing brains. 

In the end, we're still exchanging ideas this morning, and I'm confident his wife has found not only a strong man to protect her from her abusive past, but I have found a friend that would help me stand up to a man who was afraid of my feminist attitudes.  While he showed no fear only actually listened to my point of view,  never tried to talk over me or interrupt me, which is admittedly hard to to on line, but his responses didn't feel like he was just listening to respond.  He was listening.  He gives me hope that other men out there might not be as scary as some of my choices in partner or my attackers or even some of the men (and women) I've worked for.  For this is just another form of bullying isn't?  Pushing your weight around and taking what you want instead of working for it and risking rejection.  Forcing anyone, male or female, to do what you want, weather it's with unwanted touching or verbal abuse or guilt or whatever, is wrong.  And when you respect and love the person it's a helpless feeling that not only slowly kills your love but destroys your ego.  You start to believe the hype.  'I deserved it' 'It was my fault...somehow'

I'm amazed by the men that can't see what my friend sees, and I'm hopeful that he will use his male power to help women in every facet of his life when they are treated as objects instead of humans.  I made sure I told him how great I thought he was to have let us all express our opinions in a safe place and I know I made a friend.  Here's to more great discussions, and making new friends.


Sunday, October 9, 2016

I'm Stronger Than You Know

I figured out why music left my life.  I hated myself.  But I fixed that, and now when I look in the mirror the first thought in my head is not, 'I hate him.'  I'm not really sure when that mantra started but I know it was sometime between when I felt the last straw drop in August 2015, and when the camel's back broke over New Years 2016. 

I've been nursing a broken heart since then, with the hope that every visit would be better.  That he would somehow see me again, just outside the walls.  But to my bitter disappointment, his life that he has chosen,  had finally wormed its way through to us.  To our time.  His worry over his directionless seeming double life had rendered our time together from passionate soulmates with no time for the tech world or cell phones, to paid by a good time party girl and arm chair psychiatrist.  And that is not what I ever wanted or needed from him.  But after this experience I've come to agree with That Guy, "Its the only way he knows how to make friends.  Who has the best weed, booze, and sex.  Not how to actually get intimate with someone."  And like he has himself said, "I deserve so much better than that." 

So after a six year . . .I'm not even sure what to call it other than affair, it certainly didn't have the weight of a relationship anymore. . it's over and done with.  And as sad as I am that I was not the one he chose to be with, that he couldn't see a future with me in it, I am also relieved that I ended it before I was saying, 'I hate you."  I tried to end it back in August of last year, but I became weak with every "I need to see you" that came out of internet void into my cushioned and padded cell.  I had done the same thing to myself that my third husband did when he moved us away from all our friends.  I had hidden myself away from life because my heart was always going to stay invested in Mr. Hopeful. 

So each time he showed up at my door, I'd let him in with hope that the love that introduced us would still be there, but each time he was less and less here.  Less in less in tune with what I wanted and needed as lover in my life or even as a friend. 

I'm hopeful, because of our friendship that we can save that, for God knows he needs one.  And I've been pretty successful in remaining somewhat friends with some of my ex's, even the ones I didn't have children with.  And I think that says a lot for my honesty and ability to be kind as well as firm. 

And pushing him away, is exactly what I'm doing now.  It's not because I don't love him.  I'll always love him, but if we can't be together then it's the only thing to do for us both.  He was never going to leave me anymore than he can leave his life.  But I can.  I can walk away to save us both, and while I know in my heart I will always want to see him.  I will refrain from doing anything except always being here to listen and help if he needs a shoulder or an ear.  Self preservation.  I can't afford to lose it all alone in Chicago.  And after all, wasn't this a big part of why I left?  To rid myself of all the bad memories and relationships that Wisconsin had given my love life?

My only regret is that my kids still live there so going back there will happen.  The holidays fast approach and I'll be with my kids, which makes me so happy my heart soars.  I understand completely how choosing your kids is the only choice you have.   Without them in my life I'm sure I would be dead now.  But with that being said, that doesn't mean you have to also choose their fathers if the life you built together has fallen apart or become negative for you all.  I have no regrets at having allowed love to come into my life again.  I'd be a hypocrite if I did.  For I've always preached that you never walk away from a chance at love, because you just don't know what that love could be.  But in this case I believe that continuing after I moved was what killed us.  That and me trying to move on, unsuccessfully, with Mr. Charisma.    Another thing I can blame Mr. C for in my curse.  (insert evil laugh here).  Cursing Mr. Hopeful is not an option, for I believe we will always be friends and chat about our lives like Mr. Practical and I still do.  It will be much more healthy for us and perhaps in a shorter time than he imagines, he will feel relieved that this double life is over.  Fate has shown me a path I must take, now we wait for Time to heal. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

When Anxiety Wont Shut Up!

Most of yesterday I spent trapped inside my head listening to the chatter.  I haven't had a day or night like that in a long time.  Not since, what I like to call, the meltdown.  Or Life Before The Lobotomy as Green Day would say.  That would have been Christmas 2013 and in that time it took me only two months of intensive group therapy to make a change in my life for the better.  Once the chatter started, and for those of you that aren't depressed or anxiety ridden, the chatter is different for each of us.  For me, it's always doom and gloom about things that might happen in my financial situation but haven't happened. . .yet.  That is to say I can see the house of cards I've carefully built being destroyed by just about anything, and so I'm very protective of it.  So much so that I can't seem to stop my mind from telling myself that it doesn't matter that I have a million opportunities in the city, nothing will help.  It's a defeatist attitude and one I abhor in others and always try to do my best to help them see the bright side.  I'm really good at it when it's someone else that needs cheering up.  I fall very short when it's my own life. 

So in-between trying to stop the chatter by gaming, and watching episodes of Oz and cleaning and errands, I started looking at other job opportunities in my field, knowing that the easiest way to make more money is to get a better job.  I even searched craig's list for cheaper apartments or roommate situations.  I have come to the understanding from my very intelligent daughter that if I want to remain at this job in Chicago that I might need to accept the fact that I will need a roommate.  Now I'm a nanny and not in a live in situation right now, but having a roommate would be like that.  So no matter how hard I find it to wrap my head around the fact that I would be living with someone that is not my child or my husband or for work, I need to do it.  Or resign myself to living in a really bad neighborhood, which I just don't think I can do. 

Once I started looking I found that there are a lot of people looking for someone to help them out.  And I felt so much better knowing I wasn't alone in my situation.  I work full time at what would have been considered a good paying job five years ago, and even in a smaller town where the cost of living is cheaper it would be more than enough, but Chicago is expensive.  I felt somehow validated in knowing that other young professionals were feeling the pinch of our way of life in America.

Other than saving every penny I can and hoping that no emergencies or disasters happen, there is not much more I can do at this point as I love my job and changing it might not be for the better.  I've been with this family for over two years now and the longevity is also very comforting.  Staying positive is the hardest part for me right now, and I need to find a way to get my mind to stop being my worst enemy.

I'm going to try to write and hope I can get lost somewhere in my mind that is positive.