My life of choosing fear has been no life at all.

It hit me recently: In only 3 short years… I’ll be 40.

Fourty.

F-o-u-r-t-y

I’ll be 20 years older than my father was when I was born. I’ll literally be old enough that the sexy 20 year old in the random porn ad I stumble upon on random websites will be old enough to be my daughter. 40 years old… And there’s practically nothing worthwhile to show for it. This realization hot me hard and has forced me to take stock in where I’m at in my life, and how I got to where I am… And frankly, what I’ve seen of my path thus far makes me want to be sick. It’s been a pathetic waste.

A large part of what I’m doing is I’m realizing that a lot of decisions I’ve made over the years were made for the wrong desperate reasons, and were opposed to what I thought my core values and morals were. I made so many, so very many, decisions throughout my life based purely on fear, especially on the fear of making the wrong choice and the fear that making the wromg choice will ruin not just my life permanently, but also the life or lives of others.

Choices about maintaining toxic and destructive friendships and romances, choices of career and/or education, financial choices… All decided by the fear of making the wrong choice and the fear that by making the wrong choice, everyone I care about will be irreprably damaged or dragged down with me into destruction. Even the choices that seemed hopeful were hope driven by this fear.

For one thing, that fear is a big part ofwhy I’ve not chosen a talent to develop and build a career from. (Another part is bmhow as a kid I was constantly denied opportunities to further “extracuricular” activities like band, choir, sports teams, air cadets, boy scouts, etc. due to being too poor to afford equipment/materials/fees, but that’s a rant for another day.) I don’t really see myself as that skilled a creator; I mean, sure I can be fairly creative, but turning ideas into something tangible has never been my strong suit as I’ve no clue what talent in particular I should develop. I have always sucked at getting the images in my head out into some kind of tabgible form; writing, drawing, music, film, photography, software development, sculpting, crafting, cooking/baking, business/entrepreneurial, mental health, politics, trades work… There’s too many things I could go into. But if I chose the wrong one and discover I’m not that good at it at all, if it doesn’t become a marketable skill that I can turn into a decent career, that simply wastes time and resources that are too precious to be wasted like that. That’s been a kind of roadblock for me for a long, long time – how do I know which path won’t end up being a waste? How do I know that it will actually be a useful and marketable skill?

I can’t risk taking time to develop a talent into a skill just because it’s fun; not when I live in poverty and have to be taking care of my physically disabled mother who’s also living in poverty. There’s too much at stake to gamble that much on. I have to put my focus and energy into something that I can be absolutely sure will become useful and marketable first, then when that’s become stable and earning money,  developing my other talents into skills just for the fun of it can be justified.

I can’t be jerking around wasting time and precious resources developing skills that are fun but won’t pay the bills when there’s not enough food in the cupboard or there’s the threat of losing the roof over my head; especially not when I have to take care of my mom as well as myself. So I have to be extremely careful and find something I can be not just skilled at, but financially successful at. I just simply haven’t found anything I’m convinced I can be good enough at, even though I keep looking. I’vepretty much always had little to no guidance, no mentors, no one who I’ve felt can point me in the right direction that’s actually the best for me. I’ve been basically flying blindly in circles for about 26 years.

One thing I know I have to do is I’ve got to re-evaluate what my core values are as well as my whole process of decision making and social/interpersonal boundaries. I thought I was standing for certain things, and I’m seeing now that I wasn’t even remotely as firm in myself as I should have been. Because of that, and because I’ve been terrified to be honest with myself and others about my limitations and disabilities, I’ve irreprably hurt good oeople and ruined worthwhile relationships (both friendships and romance). Or I’ve allowed people to abuse me and take advantage of me over and over and over. Or a combination of the two.

For me to make my life as happy, peaceful, and productive as I want it to be, I stil have no idea all of what I need to do or change. For starters, though, I should at least begin figuring out who I am, who I want to be, and what my moral/social boundaries are all over again.

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She loves (re:”hates”) being single – Addendum

In my last post, I made some sweeping generalizations; I admit this. Nope, I’m not apologizing for it; I did so because I assumed that readers would be intelligent enough to understand that 1)  I was generalizing to include both men and women, and 2) by generalizing, it was a guideline and not a black-and-white rule. But apparently, I was wrong to give people so much credit and got some flack not for pointing out the issue, but for making it seem to them that I was meaning women, and that I meant all women everywhere. So though I’m not going to apologize, what I will do is try to clarify things and be more specific.

Apparently (from what I can tell, but I could be mistaken), my mentioning that the woman in question was posting photos of a risque nature and was not doing it as part of making a modeling portfolio got suddenly assumed that I was attacking women who like to show skin and saying that women who post risque selfies must be “commitmentphobes.” That was a false assumption, though, and not at all what I was saying; the showing of skin was not the problem, and there’s nothing wrong with a woman choosing to do so. It was merely one of several tells.

Let me try to clarify more with an analogy. Say the problem, instead of being a “problem,” is a duck. I mention that I know it’s a duck because it has webbed feet, it has a bill, it has feathers, it has wings, it lays eggs, it goes quack, etc. But people see I said it has webbed feet and see me say “so it’s gotta be a duck”, and immediately get angry because they think I’m saying everything is a duck because webbed feet are only on ducks. Except I didn’t say all webbed feet animals must be ducks; the webbed feet, in and of themselves, have nothing to do with the duck; it’s when combining all the pieces together that you see the duck, and sometimes all that’s needed is to say openly, “hey, just so you know, this here is a duck.”

So it can be with emotional health problems. Each piece of the puzzle combined point to the issue. Humans are creatures of patterns; there’s no escaping this. It’s merely how all human brains are built. We just have the capacity to choose and train ourselves to trade one set of behavioral patterns for another. Yes, human behavioral patterns are far more complex and based way more often on social constructs and interpersonal interactions, but it’s all patterns, just the same. The pieces themselves can be moot, and often individual pieces can be found in more than one kind of pattern; but when combined together, they point out the problem more often than we realize. That does not mean the pieces are all bad and have to go; but that also the pieces not being bad does not mean the problem does not exist or that it does not need to be at least acknowledged. So it’s a duck; but saying the duck doesn’t exist or saying I’m wrong to assume there’s a duck just because I pointed out we all can see webbed feet along  with the other parts of the duck even though sometimes webbed feet are on frogs or on platypus and not just ducks is just plain silly. Yes, women publicly sharing risque selfies is totally acceptable if that’s how they choose to express themselves; there’s nothing inherently wrong with it if that’s how they enjoy expressing themselves, and yes it’s okay of that’s how they choose to seek attention and affection. Some women feel empowered by covering their skin, others feel empowered by revealing it. Either is their choice, and it’s not anyone’s place, especially mine, to say it’s wrong. And I’m absolutely not saying it’s wrong. Boudoir photography and even to some extent erotic photography are art forms I do love, whether amateur selfies or professional photo shoots.

That said, that does not also mean that no woman who does show off their body is ever using that as a way to avoid facing her own fears of commitment or that denying she has any fears of commitment is healthy. It doesn’t mean they’re always using it for that, but it also doesn’t mean they never are. It’s not a black and white piece to any patterns, and the pieces in and of themselves are rarely ever black and white. That’s why it was merely one piece of the pattern I was stating. The problem I had with the behavior of the woman in question wasn’t that she enjoyed showing off her amazing body; it was that she would use it to draw men in, then turn around and then lead men on in PMs, seeking emotional connections, but  when any started to form she would run away again. It’s the treating men like emotional yo-yo ‘s and the leading them on instead of being more up front with them and honest with herself about her boundaries that was the issue. It was the way she was using her photos to draw men in, just to hit them with her emotional wall when things started getting deeper that is a problem; her constant back and forth lying to herself that she prefers being single and never wants to be in a relationship again when the truth is that she simply feels safer being single despite longing for companionship. There’s nothing wrong with feeling safer and choosing that safety over the risk of being hurt; the issue I was trying to point out is that lying to herself about how she really feels was actually causing her to hurt other people who were willing and even trying to take that risk with her, because by lying to herself she was also lying to them and giving them hope they didn’t have. 

And I want to make it totally clear, before anyone decides to jump down my throat again: men do this to women too, and often for the same reasons; they often get labelled as players and all too often it’s glossed over as socially acceptable behavior when in fact it’s just as wrong, and it’s even more wrong to pretend treating others like that is fine. It doesn’t matter what sex a person is, what sexual orientation they are, what clothes they wear, or anything. The problem isn’t any of those things at all. The duck isn’t the webbed feet.

Just because it’s got webbed feet, doesn’t mean it’s always gonna be a duck; but just because I and other intelligent people can piece together the parts we can see and then see clearly that it is indeed a duck, doesn’t mean I’m attacking webbed feet or saying webbed feet are bad or saying all webbed feet must be ducks 😛 Also, just because I say “well because I can see it’s got all these different features including webbed feet, it’s clearly a duck” doesn’t mean I’m wrong or an asshole for saying so. All I’m saying is we need to all be able to say “yes this is a duck, and I know it’s here” or “if you want to deal with me, you just gotta know I come with this duck that you can see here.”

That small gesture, acknowledging our ducks exist either for ourselves or when people who care about us try to point them out for us, is sometimes all it takes to make living together on this big ball of dirt flying through space easier and less complicated.

She loves (re: “hates”) being single

If a woman claims profusely that she prefers being alone and loves being single and has no interest in relationships, but her social media is filled with photos of herself showing off sexy poses and skimpy/suggestive outfits/shower photos, and on those posts she responds to half the men who reply to the pictures how sexy she is, calling those men “baby” or “handsome” and such (but she’s not at all in the modeling industry and isn’t trying to break into modeling whatsoever), and if she also often complains to men in private messages how lonesome she gets and how she misses sex or how boyfriends are assholes and being single makes her happier, then she’s lying – _mostly to herself._ She’s not happier being single, and she doesn’t prefer being alone; if she preferred being alone, she would not be trying to solicit the attentions of so many men by advertising so many provocative photos and taking the time to return attention to so many men.

Before you misunderstand, no she’s not simply being a slut.

She’s not happier being alone; she’s just making sure she can’t be hurt by someone she’s intimate with, by simply not being that intimate with anyone and not letting anyone close. She’s actually mostly just afraid of being in a relationship again and afraid of commitment being betrayed; she’s been hurt by someone, or several someones, and is terrified of getting involved and being hurt again, but at the same time longs for a relationship and the attention she gets from a boyfriend. She wants a man to make her feel attractive and adored, but is too afraid of commitment to let a man get close enough to her to fulfill those needs.

She’s not happier being single; she just thinks she’s protecting herself from being hurt again. Someone who is truly happy being single doesn’t need to post several pics every day to her personal social media that are extremely suggestive and provocatively erotic; one or two every week or so and between photos of other stuff she enjoys is enough. Someone who’s happy being single doesn’t need to call half the dozens of guys who comment on her pictures (and who don’t know her personally IRL) “baby” or “handsome.” Someone who’s happy being single doesn’t need to go on a bout every few days with random strangers over PMs telling them how she wants to be held then immediately bragging how much happier she is being single. Preventing the possibility for heartache (ie staying single and avoiding relationships) does not automatically equal being happier. You can’t say you’re truly happy being single if all you’re really doing is preventing yourself from every risking being hurt again by a relationship. You can’t treat people and act like you’re longing for a romance, one  that sweeps you off your feet, while simultaneously sabotaging any and all possible chances for that romance to develop with anyone, and expect people to believe that you are honestly happy being single.

Love doesn’t hurt. Love doesn’t create heartache. Relationships don’t fail because they don’t love each other (anymore).

Being betrayed hurts. Trusting someone and having that trust broken creates heartache. Relationships fail because of what they do/don’t do, not merely because of how much or little they love each other.

 

Ready your pitchforks, I’m talking about “gender identity”

You know what? I’m going to get into a bit of a controversial rant here that will likely piss people off at first, but I think that if you keep your mind open, you might find I make decent sense.

First: I believe there are only 2 genders – male and female.

Second: I believe “gender” is only physical anatomy, NOT sexual orientation or interests or etc.

Cue the hate posts, flaming, tar & feathers, and Crucifixion.

WAIT – before you start tying that noose around my neck, let me explain what I mean in more depth…

What I mean is there are actually no such things as “gender roles;” we made them all up. People all over talk about being gender fluid, about LGBTQ, about cross-dressing, bisexuality, transexuality, being born in the wrong body, etc. But let me posit a possibility – what if all the things that people talk about as “gender identity” don’t actually exist as any kind of gender? What if the whole concept of these things being “exclusive” to a specific “gender” is nothing more than psychological constructs arbitrarily created by society over thousands of years which (when you really think about it) makes them actually completely moot?

What if people rallying in protest against “typical gender roles” and pushing social boundaries by promoting flipping those gender roles or adding new gender roles, are actually not realizing that they’re feeding more into the problem and the lie – that gender roles exist at all in any form beyond concepts and assumptions?

What if instead of “gender identity,” people were just… people?

I once read a cute “joke” that was a conversation between a person on a fast-food drive-through intercom and a mother in her car. The fast-food worker asked the mom if she wanted the barbie toy or the hot wheels car. The mom said she wanted the girl toy. The fast food worker said “that’s great; do you want the barbie toy or the hot wheels car?” That kind of emphasizes what I’m talking about. There is no “girl’s toy” or “boy’s toy.” There are no “girl’s activities” or “boy’s activities.” Essentially, there’s male anatomy, and female anatomy. Everything else is fluff and personality.

What anatomy a person has, has no concrete bearing whatsoever on ANYTHING about a person’s personality, interests, hobbies, sexual orientation – nothing at all. Beyond the basic biological functionality, gender as people have been fighting over it does not actually exist. It’s fiction, made up. Men being emotional cripples who treat feelings as a weakness, women who like pastels and are expected to stay at home with the kids, men who like to be dressed up in a latex dog suit and put in a cage to be f*cked through the bars and fed kibble,  everything between and beyond – none of that has anything to do with “gender” or “orientation,” it’s just things we like and things we love and things we do and yes it’s who we are, but none of it is “male” or “female” or any of that.

Which brings me to my primary point – judging anyone based on what they want to call their gender identity, their sexual orientation/interests, hobbies, likes/dislikes, astrological sign, income, skin colour, height, innie or outie belly button, eye colour, etc. is insane because none of these things matter. There are no “boy’s toys” or “girl’s toys.” They are all equal and moot. And because gender doesn’t truly exist in that way, assigning a “gender identity” to things like sexual orientation or personality traits or hobbies and interests is meaningless. We are not these many different genders – WE ARE ALL JUST HUMANS. We don’t have to immediately be best friends with everyone; we just need to stop tearing other people down as inhuman just for not sharing the same sexual attraction in the things you do.

DraziPurpleGreen01

Judging or hating people based on “gender identity” is basically this. (kudos if you know the reference)

I say we need to tear down these boundaries we put around ourselves that people are calling “gender,” starting with the language we use. I’m not “straight,” that guy isn’t a “cross-dresser,” that girl isn’t “lesbian.” We’re all humans; I have an interest in the opposite sex, that person enjoys wearing dresses and fancy makeup, and that woman’s sexual orientation is none of your f’ing buisiness. If  a guy is into women and is getting hit on by another guy, don’t say “I’m straight;” say “I’m just not into guys.” Don’t separate yourself into another class of person, instead be open and honest about your interests. We’re all different, but we’re all the same species. Asking a person what their “gender” or “orientation” is, is as worthless today as asking them what their job is. Ask their interests, their passions; that tells you who a person is. The reason gender today has become such a muddled question is because people are realizing that no one is trapped in defined “gender roles,” yet instead of accepting that there are no roles, people try to create new ones.

The best way to fight against a destructive concept is to stop feeding into it by talking about it like it’s a real thing to be fought. Let’s follow he example of things like what Morgan Freeman said about Black History Month and Racism – the best way to stop racism is to stop talking about it. There are no homosexuals, no heterosexuals – there are humans. That’s it. Some men like women, some women like men, some men like men, some women like women, some women want to be men, some men want to be women, some want to be both, some want to be neither. It doesn’t matter; they’re all human, we all are born, we all grow, we all die. We’re all on this planet. We’re all in this together. You don’t have to share another person’s tastes or interests in order to respect them, help them, be friends with them. Start ignoring those society made boundaries by realizing they aren’t really there, they are figments of our imaginations, and only exist because we treat them like they do. Just treat each other like the human beings we all are. What bits we have between our thighs etc. has no bearing on whether you treat someone else  with respect like a human being.

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P.S.: Anyone who wants to blow up and say, “what about hermaphrodites, you insensitive prick?” So what about them? They have both male and female parts, and besides how it affects their medical health, who gives a crap? Let them be who they want to be – just like with everyone else. They’re human, I’m human, you’re human. They get to decide which organs they want to allow to develop, which to remove, and whether to even make that choice. Everything else is whatever we feel in our hearts and what we want to be; no one deserves to be judged on that, no matter what junk is in their downstairs. Judge actions which cause harm to themselves or others, but stop judging people and stop assigning prepackaged boxes to people’s personalities and interests.

P.P.S. And any of my fellow Christians out there who think it’s your job to rain harsh judgement on people who don’t have the same “sexual orientation” as you or follow what you believe “gender identity” should be, I’ve got some bad news for you – you are NOT God; that is not your job. God has already said how we are to deal with this kind of thing: respect them as humans, treat them the same way you would treat Jesus himself, and leave their “judgement” and any subsequent “punishment” to God; He will decide their fate Himself when they go up to see him. Jesus never forced His word or even salvation on anyone; He gave them the opportunity to chose for themselves, then left them to their choices, whether he agreed or not. Even the story of the money lenders that He chased off with a whip – He did not chase them to the ends of the Earth, He merely chased them from the temple itself then let them do as they would. You should do the same – you don’t have to let them be at your church (if you own the property, of course) or in your own home (if you really want to be a dick like that), but persecuting them down the street, assaulting them either physically or mentally, is simply WRONG. Denying them the same basic rights as you under the law is WRONG.

Late night thoughts while homeless and giving up hope

I’ve been homeless for going on a month now. It wasn’t because I haven’t had any money to rent a new place; it’s because there are no places that my mom and I can get together. She’s physically disabled and rewuires a walker to get around, and even uses a cane or crutches just to move around the house. Plus she has a cat she’s been with for about 13 years now. We’ve been looking since 6 weeks before we had to move out of that God-forsaken hellhole of an apartment, and everything we’ve tried to get has fallen through.

So for the time being, I’m dependent on the kindness of others just for survival. I’ve been crashing on my buddy Brian’s hide-a-bed, but I worry that my extended stay could get him in trouble with the landlord. I search every day for a new place to rent, as well as for a job I can handle long-term, but so far both those searches seem to be useless… I’m getting more and more stressed about just day to day survival; the more stressed I get, the less I can sleep, and the more I find myself running to Netflix and video games. And when I look up from the screen and realize how long I’ve been playing, I feel even shittier about myself and I haven’t been able to figure out why…

That is, until I realized something tonight. My OCD causes me issues when I have to deal with chaotic inconsistencies or if things are disorganized and out of control. Which is exactly what my whole life is right now… Homeless and couch-surfing, unemployed and unable to find a job that I can handle long-term and that will also actually hire me, I have no control whatsoever.

This is why I’m drawn to playing video games so much; it’s an organized and controlled envoronment, and I have more control of things inside a video game than I do in real life. And with my OCD being the way it is and as severe as it is, I NEED to be able to have control of my environment.

It’s same as the reasons why I could do very well in management, but not as a bottom-rung underling; I need to have a work environment that’s well organized in the right ways for me, and I need the authority to control that environment or adjust it my way when needed. At the bottom rung, I have no power or authority to even organize my environment, let alone make sure it’s kept that way. And the jobs that are willing to hire me are the kind that are so shitty that any co-workers I have don’t give a flying fuck about keeping anything organized for themselves, let alone for me.

So my life is a hugely disorganized mess; I’m severely OCD and triggered by disorganization, inconsistency, and powerlessness; which means just living each day the way my life is right now is making me unable to function and there’s nothing I can do about any of this… 😕

Stop blaming poverty on the poor

Today, a friend of mine posted this video on Facebook. It made me absolutely FURIOUS. I’ll let you watch it, then I’ll tell you why it made me so mad:

This is false bullshit. Poor people are poor because they “pass up opportunities”? This idiot kid doesn’t have any clue what being poor even is, and anyone who blindly agrees with him also does not understand what true poverty is either. I speak from experience. A large majority of “poor people” are not passing up opportunities; they are not being given opportunities. Saying “it’s their own fault and they’re just making excuses” is a cop-out to ignore the problems, which only enables the problems and adds to them.

A lot of poor people are on disability because they have neurological disorders or mental illnesses and can’t just do any old job; but because they’re poor, they don’t get opportunities to do jobs they might excel at; they’re brushed over and ignored. Or there’s people who are poor because they suddenly found themselves laid off after a merger or their employer went under or their workplace replaced workers with robots, and now they can’t find a job in that same field because other employers have done the same and jobs are much more scares, meanwhile other lower paying jobs tun them down for being “overqualified.”

This idiot kid is essentially saying that poor people just need to “appreciate life and be happy with what they have” but he doesn’t have a fucking clue; he doesn’t understand the strain and stress of worrying how you’re going to get food or keep a roof over your head, doesn’t understand the abuse of people judging you as not a worthwhile person just because you’re poor, doesn’t fathom the pain and depression of struggling day after day after day for decades barely able to survive or having to sleep outside on the pavement for months at a time. He has never had to beg just for clothes to go do job interview after job interview after job interview just to be turned down over and over and over.

He is blaming poverty on the poor; this is no different than blaming rape on the victim. I don’t know whether this is white privilege, male privilege, or simply wealth privilege, but this kid is not schooling anyone.

Poverty is it’s own disability

It really grinds my gears when people say things like, “money doesn’t matter, anyone can do anything if they just believe and try hard enough.” That’s utter bullshit and completely false. It’s bullshit like that which perpetuates the crime and drug-abusing cultures that North America has created.

People say money doesn’t matter only because they have it and grew up with access to it; whether their own or their families, whether hard currency or good credit. None of them have ever actually had to face real poverty for seriously extended periods, and the other problem is BC specifically makes living in poverty it’s own disability.

My only real mistake, personally, was wasting 20 years letting people tell me I wasn’t disabled enough and that I was “normal” because I look “normal,” (which was the equivalent of cutting me off at the knees emotionally) and telling me to just get any job I can find at all, since I’m “too normal/smart to be disabled.” Because I trusted the people I called family and friends to actually care about me and be supportive of what my real limitations and talents are, I now have no money, no marketable skills, no formal education, no friends, and shit credit. And I was treated like that because I was on welfare or disability. Doors were closed because of how high functioning I am, others were closed because of how disabled I am, and still others were closed because my income is drastically below the poverty line. None of it was ever because I was just lazy.

People turn to crime not because they are bad people or they just like to cause chaos, they do it out of desperation. People turn to drugs not because they are lazy, but because poverty makes them desperate to find any way to escape even if only for a few minutes. The rich create poverty by fighting to hoard as much wealth and resources as they can, regardless of their own actual needs. Crime and illicit drug use are created by poverty. And then those who aren’t in poverty, often even those also struggling themselves to not fall into poverty, turn around and blame the poor on things like crime and illicit drug use.

The war on poverty has become a war on the poor (those people living at or below the poverty line), and the US has been ground zero; the grotesque prejudice against the poor has spread around the globe, and has become entrenched in even Canadian society. I speak from experience; I’ve lived BELOW the poverty line all my life, and NOT because I’m lazy or stupid. It’s because I have neurological disorders which prevent me from being able to work in many employment environments. But because of the prejudice about people on poverty, AND the ignorance about neurological disorders and mental health, many doors of opportunity are slammed shut in my face.

I didn’t choose to have these disorders. I didn’t just choose to shut those doors. And the FACT is that if my family had a middle-class income, many of those doors would have never been shut on me because we could pay for the accommodations and the education I needed, which would have opened doors of employment I can’t get. Money that would pay for things like a driver’s license and a decent car, as even those would double my current job possibilities. Money that would pay for education and accommodations like a private tutor and study aid in high school and university, which would have allowed me to graduate with whatever degree I put my mind to.

It isn’t lack of desire or lack of talent that keeps me in poverty. It’s prejudice, and poverty itself. It doesn’t matter what I “believe” or how hard I fight; money is the only thing a majority of society and in a lot of cases even government will listen to.

And to people who tell me to just get volunteer work so I can add skills to my resume, 1) they don’t offer free training to volunteers for any skills I could use as marketable on my resume, and 2) for people in poverty, unpaid volunteer work is practically an equivalent to indentured slavery; you’re working the same as a paid worker, but for free, and you still can’t afford to survive.