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Posted in Relationships, Thinking Outloud

Singlehood

Randomly thinking about how being single most of my adult life has effected me and the woman that I am. I have heard so many times over the past 20 years things like “you’re so strong, how do you do it all by yourself?” Ignoring the fact that I do it “all by myself” because I HAVE to. I’ve also had people be shocked that I would or could do something by myself, without a man, like go camping. This is typically from women who have never really been single in their entire adult lives, so I suppose just like I cannot imagine NOT doing things I enjoy simply because a man isn’t there to help me, protect me, or do part of it for me they cannot imagine doing certain things without the assistance of a man, because they’ve always had one to depend on. When it comes to dating this feels like a double-edge sword at times. The longer I am single, the more independent I become, the more I realize I don’t NEED a man for much of anything and then the less attractive I seem to become to most men – because most men seem to have a huge issue with needing to feel needed! I have seen women pretend to not be able to do something or to need help, I don’t know how to pretend to be needy. My damsel-in-distress game is not on point.

This dynamic confuses me though, because I would think it would be MORE attractive and a bigger ego boost for whoever I date to know that I don’t need them…that I am with them because I WANT to be with them, because they add something positive to my life, because being with them brings me laughter, joy, intimacy, because I enjoy their company, because I find them to be a remarkable human being who I want to spend time with! I know I certainly do not want to be with a man because he feels like he NEEDS a woman, I don’t want to be anyone’s mother or to be with someone who doesn’t know how to function or do basic things for themselves. I want someone who is with me because they want to be and not because they feel like they have to be with somebody…I’d think it would work the other way around as well. That a guy would want to be with someone who isn’t dependent on them to pay their bills or protect them from grizzly bears or do their taxes for them or take their car in to get an oil change or…

But – this also explains why so many people I know stay in such unhealthy and abusive relationships and why I will never quite understand that either. I’ve never been so dependent on a man that I would stay with him even as he controls me or abuses me. Hell, I left my ex-husband while I was 3 months pregnant and had a 2 1/2 year old and zero employable skills beyond waitresssing, it probably would have been smarter to put up with the unhappiness and allow him to financially take care of me through to the end of my pregnancy. Yet I walked away knowing aspects of it would be hard, but knowing I deserved better than how I was being treated and that I deserved happiness and love! But if a person cannot even imagine going camping by themselves, making their own doctor’s appointment, doing their own laundry, maintaining their own finances, figuring out how to get something fixed when it breaks, or making life decisions on their own – it makes sense why the idea of leaving, the idea of being alone, the idea of having to suddenly learn how to do all of those things can be paralyziing. And why far too many people, men and women, seem to jump from one unhealthy relationship to the next! It is like they break free of one, and are lost without someone to do things with/for them and so they jump in with the next person who comes along and offers them any sort of attention or commitment.

I want companionship. I want that feeling you get when you wake up next to someone and your heart feels full. I want consistent physical affection and intimacy. But I hate dating and I don’t know if I’ll ever find a guy who is like – I’m a fully functioning adult, you’re a fully functioning adult – lets be together because we WANT to be. I don’t know if I’ll ever find someone who wakes up every day and CHOOSES me the same way I wake up every day and CHOOSE them…I don’t want someone who is with me only because they don’t want to be alone.

Posted in Uncategorized

Self-Help or Harms?

I downloaded the Happiness app but haven’t utilized it regularly. Started reading through some of the daily, inspirational articles today. Some self-help is so full of toxic positivity, insisting that we can just wake up every day and choose happiness – ignoring the realities of trauma and depression. I like being happy. I like experiencing awe, joy, optimism. If I could choose these feelings every day, I WOULD.

This excerpt is from an article about letting go of pain and the past. “Imagine, visualize, and fantasize what you’d love to have instead in your life.” I live in daydreams, I visualize and fantasize about the life I want all the time! Often times it adds to my depression because the life I want and the life I have are so far apart, without any clear path to get from one to the next. Sure, some of my daydreaming is simply unrealistic; winning the lottery so I can move wherever I want, travel, and never have to work so I can only focus on things that bring me pleasure. I think a lot of self- help tends to focus on helping you create the career you want – am I strange in that my ultimate dream would be to NOT work? That I cannot envision any career which I must put 8-10 hours, 5 days a week into bringing me joy?

Beyond this financial freedom dream, my other fantasies have, for years, involved other people. Having a close group of friends to celebrate life’s milestones with, to vacation with, to lean on when life is hard. A partner to do those same things with, to plan a future with, to hug, and kiss, and make love to all the time! How do you manifest these things? How do you ” just try harder and you’ll get what you want” your way to HUMAN CONNECTION? The thing I’ve yearned for and been missing for so long? I’ve attempted online dating way too many times and refuse to do it again. I’ve made attempts to reach out to people I care about and would like to see or talk to more often; we have one conversation or one dinner and that’s it, there’s no reciprocity, no reaching out back from them.

If these oversimplified tropes about thinking your way to happiness or manifesting your dream life don’t work, are you doing it wrong? Are you broken? Is it yet another thing you’ve failed at? I think this can add to further feelings of despair and failure. Most self-help assumes that we all have strong support systems that we can just nurture more. The constant talk about friends, when we don’t have any, can also make us feel more miserable.

Maybe we all just need therapy. I wish it was covered 100% by insurance and was easier to find one that works for you…but I think if you do strike gold, a good therapist is surely more helpful than generalized articles that make happiness seem like something you choose as easily as what to eat for breakfast!

Posted in PURE POETRY

Stranger in my FB Memories

Happy platitudes

Astrology

memes of sunshine and rainbows

unwavering optimism

faith

love, LOVE

god

goodness

humanity

a ray of fucking sunshine…

Who was this person?

Where did all the positivity vanish to?

Was it a show?

Did she really have such happy thoughts, such optimism?

Posted in PURE POETRY

My Authentic Self

I have been depressed.

Like struggle to get out of bed, no motivation for life, can’t focus, unproductive, depressed

Crying over every little thing depressed

Wondering what is the point? depressed

Heard;

“You have so much to be grateful for”

“just look on the bright side”

“so many people have it so much worse”

But the most persistent push has been – get on the good drugs

Get on antidepressants, you’ll feel so much better

New Doctor – You’re depressed? Oh, let’s get you on antidepressants right away!

No. I don’t NEED antidepressants. I’m depressed for a reason.

My life is not the life I want

Yes, others have it worse, others are in survival mode and cannot think beyond their hunger pains

Others have it worse and they drink away their sorrows, take out their aggression on their spouse or children, become addicted to opioids, or end their lives

I don’t want to be a statistic, refuse to just survive

I want to exist, I simply want my existence to feel good, to mean something.

Finally start therapy – through zoom of course

And I find the person

The person who finally SEES ME and says

Of course you’re depressed – you’re trying to fit inside someone else’s box

Of course you’re depressed – you’re not being your authentic self

Finally – someone gets it, and we’re gonna work on creating one badass life!