Monday, April 28, 2014

Infantalization: The Surest Way to Get Me to Despise You

Reading this blog, you might think I'm easily annoyed & ticked off. That's not really true. I'm actually somewhat easygoing & flexible. It's mandatory if you're going to work in the entertainment industry & especially if you're going to be a model or an actress. Background work, fashion shows, they both require being able to adapt & roll with the punches. Not to mention being a producer or in legal work. Change seems inevitable when you're dealing with trying to get financing, interview people, get important records or other information, etc.

Like most of the world, though I have no-gos in my life. Aside from liars & hypocrisy, my biggest has to be attempts to infantalize me.

What does this mean? This means giving a person no control over his/her personal schedule & autonomy. If I can't move someplace freely & get where I need to, that's a major problem. I despise & not just loathe but can't psychologically handle being confined or at everyone else's mercy to get things done.

This partly goes back to my childhood: when my father would get into his little drunken episodes, I usually had no escape from my home. I didn't drive until I was 20, didn't have access to a car & when he ripped my bedroom door out from the hinges I didn't even have a full on retreat to my bedroom to avoid things. Sometimes I had to deal with this crap by myself, largely in my early college years. My mother & sister didn't really seem to get it even though my mother would take us and flee when he started destroying property and getting violent.

I also despise being forced to carry heavy items when I go places; I'm a model, I'm an attorney. I'm NOT a moving woman or a brawn type. No one should be demanding me to be a bodybuilder when I'm already smart, a looker & have gone through far more personal strife and grief in a very short time without having to be institutionalized, getting arrested, killing anyone or doing more harmful things to self and others like developing nasty addictions to alcohol or drugs. Let's see some of these jerkoffs go through what I have & how they cope with it. I'll bet you they would be too paralyzed to do anything meaningful with their lives.

If you are a guy around me, I'm carrying my laptop or some bag other than my purse & you don't offer to help carry it then I'm not going to think well of you. I will, in fact, presume you're an asshole not worthy of my time, interest or regard for you as a person in any dimension (aside from totally lacking in chivalry). Strangers have taken pity on seeing me move heavy things & helped me out without me having to ask so if you're some guy friend and not doing that, well you can just go to Hell.

If you want me to stay someplace or feel like I'm at "home" anywhere, you won't get me to feel that way if I don't have my free range of movement & lack of limits on my comings and goings. Nothing will drive me out quicker than feeling like I'm a teenager subjected to a curfew or an invalid who has to wait on you to feel like picking me up from someplace or to give me a ride to the grocery store.

It was getting sick of waiting for everyone else to feel like getting me a ride to the grocery store that motivated me to get a driver's license & a car. I felt constrained, trapped & like a prisoner. It also made me feel like a prisoner in NC to not have a license or a car & anytime I go there now, I insist on having my own car for my own travel since I can't deal with being at everyone else's mercy for things.

Is this something wrong with me? Am I overreacting? Or do I as an adult woman have a very healthy attitude & the people who'd say I'm overreacting have that problem?

The lack of freedom in my comings & goings makes me feel like an infant. It's not a feeling I do well with. Didn't even like that feeling when I was a teenager. I also hated curfews, especially when I felt like my mother was trying to do that when I came home for summers in college.

Remember, I was living in a single dorm room for most of my college years & I was 500 miles away from home most of the year. I had my own schedule & was doing my own things without anyone monitoring or babysitting me. I think I even asked my mother why she wanted to try that on me when A) I was well over 18 years old, B) I was living on my own 500 miles away for 9 months out of the year & C) I made every effort to be quiet when I came home i.e. not disturb others. I had my own keys and didn't turn on lights in bedrooms or anything.

This is probably why I do better living alone and answering to only myself with my own means of transportation. If I do something, it only comes down to me vs. anyone else having to deal with it. I also am not big on relying upon others since they will inevitably let you down & leave you in the lurch; it's happened to me far too many times to count & then I ended up being inconvenienced or hassled or bothered in some fashion. Not something I appreciate.

It's why when I say I'll give you a ride someplace or be around to pick you up, I follow through unless I have no car to get you or an emergency comes up (rarities that are unlikely to happen in a normal day). I don't dick around, I don't slack off on it b/c I've had people do that to me & really didn't appreciate it. For me, it's like "why did you bother making the offer if you weren't going to follow through?" You won't be borrowing my car if I have a plan to get someone & on points like this, I'm firm. I won't be oversleeping & missing YOUR stuff; I'll set alarms to ensure I don't.

Of course, I don't do such favors for just anyone. You have to earn things with me & while I really don't mind helping someone out I won't do it if you treat me like I don't count or matter. Lately, I've gotten far pickier on things & if people are going to be pissy at me for not settling for BS they can just get over it. Being in my life today (just like any other time but more so now) is a privilege, not an automatic right. Keeping that privilege means you'll have to show me you care. If you don't, it's at your peril.

At least one upside is I have discovered a great place to hang out for free in NYC if you want to be in a climate controlled space, have access to bathrooms, wall plugs, comfortable seats, and so forth. I won't share this one unless asked but maybe you can guess on your own where I'm referring to.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Separate Beds if You're Married; Should You or Shouldn't You?

Read this Slate article recently:

I have some insight on this since my mother & father did this later on. It was mostly because my mother could no longer tolerate my father's snoring and movement in his sleep. He apparently moved a lot, punching and kicking on occasion. Shockingly, I never saw her get injured from it but long after I was no longer living there she said she'd had enough & decided they needed to be in separate beds.

Plus, my father was working third shift and usually wasn't home to sleep until she had to leave for her day job.

Now I feel like their marriage was not on the best grounds considering he was an abusive alcoholic, an "asshole drunk" as I call it. For me personally, I felt like it just sounded bad all around & the separate beds thing was just icing on the cake.

So, about me: I'm probably the best person to sleep with. I don't mean in terms of sex (though no one's ever complained & I've only gotten praise for THAT, thank you). I mean in the fact that I don't snore (jerky ex claimed I did but only sometimes & not loudly), don't move around, don't talk (and if so, not much), am not a light or super heavy sleeper & if a guy I'm with initiates sex, I'll usually submit even if I'm asleep. The ex told me I pushed him away a few times but I don't remember that. I don't recall it being during the 15 months of misery but if it was, I guess that should have been my first clue.

Funny thing is we were sleeping in the same bed up until the very end though after the blowup it was an unspoken "this is my side, that's yours & never shall the two meet" (jerkoff tried to violate that & I fought to keep him away from my turf or taking my part of the blankets; even asleep, we were in conflict). I started not being able to sleep too well, especially when the "let's get separated" boom was dropped. I think the first time I was able to sleep properly was when I got to my semi-permanent housing situation.

My therapist said the new people in my life have shown me more kindness than I probably got in my entire marriage.

The irony is just where I've found this kindness; it's been in some very unlikely places, places that I under my normal mindset & circumstances wouldn't have considered. No, didn't find it with racists or some group like that. More like people under categories I had negative assumptions about & made judgment on with regard to how they'd treat me. Not getting the treatment I expected is a bit of a mind blower but maybe I should be used to it. After all, a friend whose advances I rejected in favor of the scummy ex came through at a time when my perception of who he was dictated that he wouldn't. Seems I'll be spending more time re-evaluating things I believed and my perceptions of people.

Remember that sometimes the things you're looking for come from the last place you'd expect to find them. One thing for sure is that I've got tons of inspiration and material for writing and acting; I can definitely get to pain & down times along with serious complexity (though it's not like I had no complexity to me to start with). If I'd stuck to my previous judgments & not taken some leaps of faith, I wouldn't be where I'm at now & wouldn't have some valued folk in my life.

I've definitely come to value a good night's sleep in my private space. You appreciate little things when you've had your routine broken in dramatic fashion. It also feels like coming out into a post-apocalyptic world & looking for fellow survivors to converse with.

I also personally like touch & having a guy hold me or holding him at night. So unless some guy's snoring is unbearable (as in I won't be able to sleep even if I'm wearing ear plugs) or he's one of those punchers/kickers/consistent talkers/drools buckets all over me, I'm not for the separate beds and rooms thing. I feel like it's too puritanical, too 1950s TV show for my taste. I also like the easy access for certain things like sex at odd hours. Plus, if you've had someone you find chemistry with in your bed & you've been in those early stages there's that charge you get from being in the same bed with him/her. I've been in or had guys in my bed & remember feeling so charged I could barely sleep. Didn't even have to do anything; having the guy in my bed or being in his bed was enough for me.

Perhaps I had & maybe still have some romantic notions about things like that. Indulging stuff like that is a plus with me even though I'm still a cynic, can't do commitments or attachment and probably can't fully love anyone. At least as conventional society defines love, there's no way I can do it. I could never fully give up my independence & feel irked already at having given up so much of it for a marriage that was a total sham. I hate "you complete me" and the ex even said to me once after a brutal counseling session "Why can't you turn to me to solve your problems?" Well, excuse me for being a strong, independent woman. It seems like commitments like that require people, especially women, to give up their independent selves & to that I say "why bother?"

God help any guy trying to break my even harder shell of cynicism and refusal to get attached or committed. At least I can tell you precisely why I feel that way.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

How Long Do You Get to Live Without Judgment After Tragedy?

Yesterday, a new friend of mine was talking about this. Apparently, they say you get 3 months to be a total asshole without any judgment or condemnation if you lose a parent. This was something he'd heard after his father died (one point of our instant bond; that felt like "hey, you understand something major about me").

With all the shit I've been going through, I figure I should get at least 1 year. I definitely didn't see all this coming. A year ago, I wouldn't have predicted I'd be hanging out with this friend in NYC or that we'd have even crossed paths. Nor did I foresee any of this 6 months ago. No one else I talked to really saw it either. They also expected my jerky ex to exercise a little compassion and flexibility instead of trying to sabotage, be emotionally abusive & make threats at me. One friend even told me he'd never leave me & I'd be the one ending things. I was unhappy but I didn't really end things; I thought there was still a little hope before late January.

Now I just look back & think giving up my independence was completely stupid even though I never did it 100%. Imagine if I had; things would have been far worse for me & it would hurt more. Kicking someone when they're down is plain beastly & scummy.

Watched one of my favorite episodes of South Park recently. Remember the one where we first meet the Goth kids & the Raisins girls? Where Wendy breaks up with Stan and Stan reacts by joining up with the Goth kids? I watched it & saw Stan's reaction to the whole thing. I remember thinking "I don't feel like Stan in the aftermath of being dumped. I don't have the urge to sit & cry someplace or go Goth."

Instead, I feel reborn. Like the whole world is wide open to me in a way that it wasn't when I was living in my old place and in my old life. There's excitement & adventure in this new life; lots of it, really. I've got some great inspiration and stories for writing and acting. I've gotten to broaden my horizons in major ways that I probably wouldn't have if life hadn't intervened. Then there's also being a far stronger person than plenty of people; my mom was telling me today I'm much stronger than to just give up & develop a substance abuse problem or end up being committed to a mental hospital. Probably true; I know I've dealt with far greater adversity and foes than my scummy ex-husband or his equally scummy, fully hypocritical family could even contemplate. Real "pro-family" to condone letting your kid toss his wife out knowing damn well she has no family in the area, no steady paying income & is legally married to him vs. being some live-in he got sick of.

My bullshit tolerance is also even lower, if that's possible. I've got no incentive or stakes to stand for it at this point. It's like being single again but in a more concentrated, direct & cynical way. At least one new friend actually likes my cynicism, though. He even unlocked answers to some questions I'd been wondering about like why the sudden 180 from a guy who supposedly loved me & why I constantly get propositioned/asked out by men.

If my soon to be ex begged me to come back, I wouldn't. For one thing, he crossed the line into unforgivable behavior (at least what I consider unforgivable). I think what is unforgivable or not is generally up to the person but certainly anyone hearing about what this guy did wouldn't want me to let him think any of that was perfectly acceptable or forgivable. It would be a betrayal of myself to allow him back after all that.

Second, I've only been emboldened to be more self-confident & embrace my model self (the 2 things he & his family seemed to hate). If he thought I'd changed at the end of the relationship, well I've changed far more now. I've gotten far better treatment, more love, more respect & more compassion from virtual strangers and my allies/saviors/whatever term you want to use for people helping you in the times I'm dealing with than I did from him at the very end. He seemed to resent the idea that I had human worth & knew my worth. To that, I say "Fuck him."

Third, if you had experienced the adventure and getting to do things I now get to do as a virtual single person, would you go back to your old life? Other than the cats, there's nothing there for me anymore. I've had other cats & eventually one has to move on in life.

As I think about it, there's just no way that could ever be reconciled. I still feel I don't really have to do much to fix his wagon though plenty of people have pointed out that he's a total idiot for crossing an attorney. Whether I get a paycheck from it or not, I still have the skill & license. I also still have the forethought to do things & take care of myself that he never had. If he wasn't living with Mommy & Daddy by Christmas, I'd be shocked. I know no roommate is going to give a shit about his job situation or indulge his bitching while he does nothing to change it.

Just a feeling but I know my life will always be more interesting than his. I've accepted that I now live in a different world & occupy a different, cooler sphere than he or his family does. It's not something I'm ashamed or unhappy about; rather I decided to embrace it. Stealing from me isn't going to change certain truths.

I do seriously wonder how long I get to take a vacation from judgment & condemnation for my actions. There was my father's death, my SIL's death, pending legal stuff, family strife from asserting myself & now this bastard kicking me during all this. I've had to act for mere survival & I think I'm certainly entitled to some creature comforts in this very difficult period. Whatever creature comforts I can get, really.

Not sure I'll ever really get over the anger or sense of betrayal & that truth ensures I need to be alone. I haven't even thought about what I'm doing or where I'll be for holidays; that sort of thing becomes inconsequential to you after going through all this. Even if I'm alone, eating something basic I'll be happy that I'm alive, haven't been taken down by this bastard & still have a support system through it all. My mother called me a phoenix. Perhaps that's true; sometimes I've even counted myself out on things & life intervened to make things better.

I feel like my jerky ex did me a favor by kicking me out & pulling his shit since now I've discovered better things and found people to associate with who aren't losers or limited. I'm also not the only one who feels he's the loser here & threw away a good thing.

Meanwhile, I've just been trying to live as best I can from day to day & not be too hard on myself. After all, I'm in abnormal times & an emotional position I'm not normally in. I don't feel I can be 100% responsible for my actions at this point. Dare to judge me? Go walk in these shoes & see how you'd cope. Maybe you'd be just like my ex, who'd fall apart if he were in my position. Guess the strong, confident & independent types should just stay with those. At least I've gotten more discerning on who I deal with.