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Relationship Woes...
Sometimes I find it highly difficult to express my emotions toward women and often times I fail miserably.
The one woman I thought would want to be with me and accept me for my weird nature revealed her real nature and I, being an idiot, see it for what it is. I'm happy, angry, and sad but the happiness seems to take precedent over the other two emotions.
She made me confident in myself; she changed my thoughts on the small things. But.... I'm back at square one and I'm just sitting here, cooking dinner, listening to some positive and negative songs, and feeling that I'm doing the same old thing all over again.
This has to end. I'm not falling into my old depressive nature again. I'm still pretty, confident, and not perfect and I'm ready to make amends for everything that's happening. Yeah, this new me is cool and the old me has to figuratively speaking die.
I'll be sad for a bit and hopefully bounce back soon.

Her house sinks down to death and her tracks lead to the dead; none who go to her return again, nor do they reach the paths of life.
She does not ponder the path of life; her ways are unstable, she does not know it.
Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house.
Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths. For many are the victims she has cast down, and numerous are all her slain.


My friend's wife sees a danger in me talking with him.
I have so far utterly failed to communicate to him that her instincts are dead-on.

I did not set out to destroy. This wasn't about conquest. This was about my hungry little heart wanting to be treasured. Cherished. Valued. I'd been feeding my ego so well for so long that it had gotten big and strong and needed more feeding than ever.

Right around when I started college, a certain stand-up comedian introduced Akhmed the Dead Terrorist. Very popular routine. My friend came up with a moniker for me - Afmehb the Romance Terrorist. It's an acronym - Angel-Faced Man-Eating Heartbreaker.

My sister is charitable. She came up with a description, borrowing my overprotective big brother's nickname for me (see Jeanine Frost's "Night Huntress" series - or don't, if you're susceptible to erotica.), of a kitten happily playing in the sun, who spots a grasshopper.
G: *spring!*
K: *attention seized, alert*
G: *spring! spring!*
K: *wiggle wiggle, POUNCE!*
G: ...whut. what just happened.
K: *circles*
G: *struggle struggle, half-spring*
G: "...."
K: *prods*
G: *dead*
K: *prods some more. disappointed. sadly pads away.*
Grasshopper 2: *Spring!*

I never set out to break hearts. I was honestly fascinated by a man's heart, and the more active, the more interesting it was to me. They're strange and different than what I've known (I grew up with all sisters, and did not acquire my "big brother" until we were 17). Simply fascinating.

Men are sometimes somewhat reluctant to voice their attraction. I was very girl-next-door (except for an unfortunate phase involving chokers and a few other enhancements every day), and did not grasp that sweet happy unconsciously-vulnerable awakens not only a protective instinct in some solid men, but also an attraction. I thought that men were attracted to racy women, edgy women, even slender women. I was safe.

That's the misnomer. The Angel-Faced part of that. I am not "safe," but I looked like it. I looked like a very nice girl. And since my standard of sex was that I wasn't going to cross a certain line physically, I reasoned that I was a very good girl. Sure, I read and write a lot of erotica. Sure, I have a shocking sense of humor, and flirt outrageously. Sure, I'm a total sensualist - pursue whatever feels good, do what makes others feel good, experience the world entirely through senses.

When I met my friend, I was well-primed to be the baby homewrecker his wife probably recognized in me. I've never, ever gone after another woman's man - the majority of the guys I'd dated had cheated on me, I knew how that felt, and never wanted to inflict that on another woman. But, that was by my own standard of "going after" someone. It was totally acceptable to be friendly, to be trustworthy, and if he got to a point of liking me a lot and being irritated with her, that wasn't MY fault.

A clue: Every relationship goes through crap-times. They can build you, test you, strengthen you as a couple. Or they can divide you. There is such a thing as an emotional bank account - if I have managed to accumulate a ton of positive inputs, and my friend's wife has had a mix of positive and negative (as will of course happen when you live with someone, share the bathroom with them, and sometimes have to put down what you want to do in the name of caring for the other person), I might end up being the favored one.

And I love being the favorite. I crave being someone's treasure. Even as I know I'm being destructive, I will listen to that craving and tell myself that what I'm doing isn't THAT bad, it isn't REALLY harmful, I just have to be careful with it.

I am Rick's treasure. And I am God's treasure. Actually, those two feed into each other - part of how God treasures me was to introduce Rick and bring us together. Rick in turn always leads me closer to God, and teaches me to recognize love the way God does it.

Rick knows all this. It makes it all the more stunning to me that he wanted me as his wife, knowing my history. Knowing that the heart that made that history still lived in me. It's smaller. I'm feeding something else now. But part of our lives is Rick being gone for long periods of time, sometimes with no way to contact me for weeks. And that's when I start feeling sorry for myself, start feeling uncherished, and start getting myself into trouble.

Because my friend is not the biggest monster out there. This same pattern comes in with Roguepawn, and he's one who Rick has had to remind me, "He enjoyed hurting you in the past, he will enjoy hurting you again." My friend might be using me, but never deliberately hurts me. Roguepawn remembers some old, deep wounds, and will reinflict if he thinks it's justified. Single most vindictive person I've known, after myself, but aided by a longer memory than I have. He's arrogant, aggressive, distasteful, and uses his strength (mainly intellect, but he could backhand me through drywall if I stayed in range) to run others down rather than lift them up.
And for ten years, he cherished me. I was his treasure. So when I'm feeling neglected, I start to ease that direction.

I had a long conversation with Jewel about this this morning. I had a conversation with Butterfly about this last night. I was a virgin on my wedding night, but I was still the woman in Proverbs for years before that. I am not strong enough to fight this on my own.

Ironically, I wish I could ask my friend's wife for help, but it doesn't work that way. The only thing I know to do is close down as many accesses as I can, and busy myself with what I know to be good.

I can love on the kids, I can love on my girlfriends, I can absolutely love on my husband - but the young men of this world, I am sorry, but I am not a good friend for any of you. I've crushed a lot of grasshoppers, just as a byproduct of happily following my instincts. Keep your way far from me, do not come near the door of my house.

Finding My Calling

All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for their daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere
People's tears are filling up their glasses
No expression, no expression
Hide my head, I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow

And I find it kind of funny,
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying
Are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you
'Cause I find it hard to take
When people run in circles
It's a very, very
Mad world, mad world
Mad world, mad world

Children waiting for the day they feel good
Happy birthday, happy birthday
Made to feel the way that every child should -
Sit and listen, sit and listen
Went to school and I was very nervous;
No one knew me, no one knew me
Hello, teacher, tell me what's my lesson?
Look right through me, look right through me

And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying
Are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you
'Cause I find it hard to take
When people run in circles
It's a very, very
Mad world, mad world
Mad world, mad world

Tears For Fears

Yesterday's...well, this weekend's events...well, the last MONTH'S events, it's all been percolating - got me thinking about why I'm drawn to healing. It's a complex over-under unfolding-weaving of ideas, and Tears For Fears unwittingly captured several of them in their song. (I assume this was unwittingly - I seriously doubt they wrote a song to explain why I think the way I do).

Because from what I've seen, the world IS mad. It was beautiful, and it's wrecked, and some places are more wrecked than others, and some places retain some glimpses of their original beauty.
And because of that, escaping this world, the dreams in which I'm dying - they're the best I've ever had. (Also dreams about flying or doing a lot of time underwater. They're different worlds.)
And because I'm not unique. I'm not alone in this. A lot of people, probably everyone, are also feeling their souls blister from exposure to this world.

Is there anyone out there, 'cause it's getting harder and harder to breathe?
Is there anyone out there, 'cause it's getting harder and harder to breathe?
Maroon 5

If you've ever been in a real fire, house fire, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, sit down with me a minute. It's hot on a level you have to invent new words for. Some of it's searing, some of it's blistering, some of it's baking, some of it's burning. Your mind gibbers, really, from trying to find ways to describe an environment you instinctively must escape. It's cooler near the floor, there's air there, you crouch or crawl if you have an idea of which way is out. The ceiling is choking, stifling, oppressive, it hurts your skin, hurts your eyes, hurts your throat, hurts your chest. It's dark, dark, little flickers of flame, but you can tell it's the choking smoke filling everything that makes it dark. Visibility varies - maybe ten feet, maybe six feet. Sometimes you're down to two, and you're just crawling in the direction you believe is out, only able to see what you immediately have to deal with, nothing beyond. Sometimes you can't see your hand in front of your face. Your eyes burn whenever you open them, but trying to escape blind is maddening.

This is the world a lot of people live in. This is depression. This is a host of other emotional, mental, social, US-issues.

When you feel-more-than-see that smoke-ceiling rolling down lower, towards you, because it's filled up the top of the room and has nowhere to go, it's getting harder and harder to call out, and I'm there. That's my place. That's where I belong - I'm supposed to be there, where you can't breathe and I know the way out. I'm going to be a gentle hand and a strong arm in the dark, and you're going to make a decision about whether to trust me.

If you trust me, if you lunge and seize my hand, I can get you out of here. I just came from a place where it's not burning. You can breathe there. You won't be alone anymore.

There's a landscape I know well. It's always night there. It's volcanic slag and exposed bedrock, an undulating lifeless plain, the smoke is still in the air but you can breathe, realize it's smoke and mist. While that means you still can't see very far most of the time, except when the wind clears some of it off (and makes you wish you hadn't seen) the mist is starting to heal your burned throat and lungs. There are pits open to magma below, there are stretching plains of undulating bare rock.

This is what most people call rock bottom. Everyone hits it, some people hit it often enough that they get familiar with it, even comfortable.

I've been here a lot. I know this place. I'm not afraid of it anymore. I know how to build my house here. And while it's bleak as all-get-out, I can run with confidence over those big rocks, finding sure footing. I know there's nothing else here for life, but you glance down at your hand and I'm still holding. I'm still here, until you don't want me, or until we get you out of this place. Rock bottom, as far as I'm concerned, is the best foundation imaginable, as long as you've got the right Rock.

I don't make permanent ties. Rick is the closest it gets, and we both know one of us will precede the other. In my line of work, industrial accidents are common. In his, people simply disappear. I have friends who've run deep with me, and we've passed out of each others' lives, untroubled by this. First time a friend of mine died, she was 20. First time a friend of mine was widowed, she was 26. I've accepted that most of what I attach to here will be a temporal attachment, and this is not disheartening to me because both of us are blessed by that attachment to go on to whatever, whoever, is next.

And then I'm going to go back to doing my thing, until I hear someone else desperate to breathe, and I will run back across that bare rock into the smoke and find her.

I'm not special. I'm not uniquely gifted. It isn't me alone doing this, who feels compelled to do this - there are a lot more of us. I'm one thread in the tapestry. The tapestry is strong not only because some threads are strong, but because the Weaver is skillful. The picture is discernible because the threads run as they were planned to do. I'm just running where I was designed to run.

This is what I do. What I have to do. I can't exist and not do this.

This is why I feel lost when I go for weeks without seeing people.

This is why my day-of-rest involves being alone, and my other six days are all about connections.

This is why I see the world in terms of relationships.

This is why, when I know that it will be better still to leave this world, I'm still here.

Strength and dignity are her clothing;
She can laugh at the days to come.

There's a chapter in the Bible, the last two-thirds of it describing "an excellent wife." Not so much, "This is what all wives look like," but the one that excels, surpasses.

Not surprisingly, most Bible-trusting women of my acquaintance are very familiar with it. (And exasperated, because if you take it in context of the rest of the book, it's clear that she's a woman who relies on God for her strength; most of us isolated that chapter by itself and can't fathom how any woman would do all these things on her own strength.)

About two or three years ago, my friend's husband had a chat with two of us girls about emotional vulnerability. This might sound like awful manipulation, but we'd learned that a lot of males have a drive to protect, so to create strong relationships with males we trusted, we'd be emotionally vulnerable with them. This is a risky gamble, because if a woman is an unskilled judge of character (whether the guy is both a)trustworthy and b)hardwired to protect), this will backfire in a REALLY big way.

Thing was, Erik explained, us being as open as we were, showing our vulnerabilities, was the emotional equivalent of being naked with the man in question - a concept we'd never dream of attempting. Yeah, it builds strong ties, because it's supposed to. That's part of what binds men to their wives.

It took a long time for me to really grasp this, and not until one counseling session did I really grasp, "Ah, I am married - all non-Dad males in my life are now 'acquaintances.' " "Emotionally naked" actually gets paired with physically naked. I have certain girlfriends with whom I'm close enough that we'll carry on a conversation while changing, and obviously Rick. These are the same relationships where it's good to be emotionally vulnerable.

(I'm not that open with my Dad, either. That'd be very weird. But, Dad and I will spend a lot of time in conversation, and he and Rick are the only males where that's the case.)

This gave me a handle on what it might mean to be clothed with strength. That God-supplied-strength is what I have on around most people, and it's only in the intimate relationships that I set it aside sometimes.

But dignity?

I hadn't really thought about it.

I'm a goof. Really. I've been compared to Dory, to Tangled's Rapunzel, to Tigger...always the most off-the-wall, unconsciously silliest fun-loving personality in the favorite movie. And the closer people are to me, the more they know it...oh, hang on. Hang on. This is sounding familiar.

Because the same way that I know if I open up emotionally, certain select males will immediately take a position to protect that weakness - I've also learned that just being my goofy self attracts certain select males. Usually out of a sort of baffled delight, like, "How does this actually exist here??"

(Spoiler: Coping with events that took place in my later childhood meant that some part of me remained isolated from growing up, because subconscious wanted that part untainted/unharmed by what happened. That's the current theory among the sisters, anyway.)

It isn't, as I'd once believed, that the options are "undignified" and "not me." "Classy" was the adjective of choice in just about anything to do with my life as a music major - except for rehearsals with my dear friends. Classy was one more manifestation of who I understood myself to be, not a denial of self.

I talked with Rick, and we're thinking of something of an experiment. This would take a long time to fully manifest, but, what if I took that as a challenge - clothing myself with dignity (a term I still have yet to properly understand, but as I can easily define undignified, that gives me a start), and saving the undignified for the intimate friends?

Worth a shot.

(By the way, one likely symptom of this will be that the nature of blogging changes for me to something far less me-oriented - that would go to a journal, and this would be for something good to share that isn't about me.)

"Are the people really there?"
It finally hit me.

The reason this is so weird to me, when it should be blatantly obvious, is that I identify this issue in other people all the time. (I used to work with kids. Kids rock. I used to work with teens. Teens rock. Somewhere between a quarter and a third of the kids I worked with had some pretty big problems. If I could get an idea of what kind of problem the kid was working with, and how he felt about it, I could manage to be friends with him without whacking him on a bruise, possibly get to a place where he'd be able to talk about it if he wanted. It's usually a useful skill, but it did result once in learning something I REALLY didn't want to know about someone in my family, that she would not have wanted me to know, so now I'm much more hesitant about applying it.)
(Okay, sometimes I do it when someone is annoying me. But this is wrong of me.)

I've been addicted to a couple of webcomics for years. And I identify my Facebook-addiction as fluctuating back and forth over the line of control (if I swear I'll be off it for a month, I'm usually back in two weeks). And there are a couple of blogs that I faithfully check, and on all of these, I get disappointed without updates.

Hello. Duh.

I'm looking for connection. Desperately. Even with fictional characters. I want to engage, but I'm so afraid that no one wants to engage with me, and I'm DONE with rejection.

I didn't think of it, because I love my friends. They're all wonderful people - but truthfully, when I think of it, there are only a few who I'd be vulnerable with. Birth-family's a few thousand miles away. Rick's a joy, but with his hours, I can't make him the only outlet I connect with.

I didn't even realize I was doing this. It's the kind of thing I notice in someone else, and think, "Oh, how sad for them!" because they're replacing human companionship with something more distant, less physical. And now there's quiet laughter in some corner of my mind, because I've been doing this...gosh, I don't even know how long. Probably since being on Gaia, back in high school. Getting a half-sense of connection, with little risk and minimal effort. It's like someone using porn because they don't want to put in the effort of figuring out what it would take to find a real partner.

Taking the risk of rejection again - that someone will dislike me for how I dress, or speak, or my face, or my weight.
Learning how to connect with someone and communicate what I'm bursting to say - "There's something worthwhile to connect with, I see it, I just don't know how to make contact, will you let me in?"

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