Monthly Archives: May 2016

Taking Care of Ourselves

I don’t know without a doubt that our culture became so insistently unhealthy when it comes to the idea of self-care with the advent of differing variations of Christianity  becoming the “state religions” of the assorted European nations.  But, there is — consistently — a certain amount of misunderstanding about it in our culture today.

I wouldn’t blame it on the Bible or on the base doctrines of Christianity (those that are universal among all flavors of Christianity).  No, I would place the blame firmly on the shoulders of humans and their interpretation of those basic doctrines.

If you look at the Bible, charity and compassion for those less fortunate as well as love for your neighbors (regardless of who they worship or what they do, because the Bible states to be compassionate even to those who hate you.  Proverbs 25:21- => If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.) is the choice you must make if you wish to do your best to follow in the footsteps of Christ.

But, the Bible also talks about sacrifice and about martyrdom.

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Categories: Mental Retraining | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Heterosexual Women and the Subject of Erectile Dysfunction

Sadly, there is an overwhelming number of both men and women in heterosexual relationships  who think that erectile dysfunction is primarily an issue that comes from decreased desire in the man for the woman in the relationship.  This, then, leads to insecurity (in both the men experiencing it, and the woman they are with), which inevitably leads into arguments and worse.

In fact, it was one of the reasons I was celibate for 12 years of my marriage.  Because my ex lives in a constant state of stress due to his mental illness, it is not surprising that he started experiencing it at a fairly young age. The bad part of it is that he blamed me for the impotence, and I sadly took the responsibility for it.

By age 40, 5% of the male population experiences ED, and it only goes up to 17% (thankfully for those of us women who are peaking in their sexual desire in their 40s).  But it’s not just getting older that causes it.

There are MANY different physiological and mental issues that lead to impotence.  The one thing EVERY woman in a relationship with a man who experiences ED needs to remember is that the ED does NOT mean that the man doesn’t desire you.

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Categories: Body Health, General Contemplation | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

“No Intent to Harm”

via A Daycare Disaster in North Carolina Rightfully Upsets Father

I may not have children, but I know damned well that my sister (and her ex-husband) would be up in arms about this, as would my parents and myself.  It makes absolutely NO difference that this woman was sorry, nor that the so-called “school” (I’m very reluctant to call it that, as it is just a jumped-up daycare center) found supposedly no intent to harm.

No intent does not excuse what happened.  No care-giver of ANY sort should ever use a freaking BRUSH to clean off a child’s face.  Especially since a simple Google search offers multiple different safe ways to remove marker.  Hell, I know one based on a hint from my mother and grandmother.  I used to get ink on my glasses all the time, because I wouldn’t put the pen down when I would push my glasses up my nose.  A washcloth dampened with milk took the pen ink right off my glasses.  A combination of milk and vinegar seems to help with other things that plain milk doesn’t work on.

Even if she only used soap and water, she should have ONLY used a washcloth, never a brush.  Not even one of those so-called “soft” brushes.

You know, a drunken idiot who kills someone while driving “under the influence” is still accountable for the death they caused.  No place that is responsible for children should EVER excuse this kind of behavior.  This is – plain and simple – child abuse.

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Categories: Body Health | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The Female Mythological Responsibility

As I’ve said before, I’m not just working through my own personal perspectives of the world, but trying to address some of the cultural misperceptions of the role of women versus men, at least the way I learned them growing up.

There is one that I’ve always hated, even while stupidly living it.  It’s the cultural myth that a girlfriend, wife or  partner is responsible for somehow “fixing” their significant other, particularly if that significant other is a man.  Somehow, if we settle into a long-term relationship, we must have achieved perfection, because some man loves us “as we are.” But, the significant other is not perfect, because they have to change for us.  We shouldn’t have to change for them, because — like I said — somehow we’ve achieved perfection.

So there are a lot of women out there who live their lives trying to “fix” their significant other, whether that significant other wants to change or not.  And somehow, if the significant other just makes these “itty-bitty, teensy-tiny” changes, then we as women somehow will never again feel pain, insecurity, angst or any other so-called “negative” emotions.

And if we leave that significant other, we seem to, more often than not, place the complete and total blame for the death of the relationship firmly on the shoulders of that significant other, rather than taking any portion of the blame ourselves.  At least I’m not guilty of that aspect of the cultural myth.  I am fully willing to take my portion of the blame for the death of my marriage.  I’m not willing to take ALL of the blame, as I have occasionally heard that my ex is stating.  But, yes, I am partly to blame for the breakup.

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Categories: Relationships | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

We’re Not Limited

After a discussion on Facebook today, I feel the need to remind my fellow Americans of something.  Why?  Because I know that not everyone remembers (or even paid any attention) their high school history classes.

For years now, the Republican party has been reportedly “dying,” and we just have not yet developed a universally agreed-upon national party.  The Tea Baggers are trying to replace it, but have not quite yet succeeded.

And, frankly, I believe that the Democratic party is trying to commit suicide, because of their corruption of the delegate system.

There is a huge percentage of people in both so-called “major” who are disgusted with the supposed “front runners” of each of the parties (Trump and Clinton). I certainly am, and I know damned well that I’m not alone.  The fact that the number of independents and centrists are growing, while the Democrats and Republicans are losing members should make people stand up and take notice.  Sadly, no one is paying attention.

But the Republicans and Democrats have not ALWAYS been the supposed “major” parties.  In fact, there have been either 5 (or 6) different sets of parties throughout our history – there is some argument that the 5th wave of political parties ended in the 1960s, and we are in the 6th wave).  Either way, since approximately the 60s, there has been an obsession with these two parties, and those who disagree with those parties have allowed themselves to choose a third direction: apathy.

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Categories: Political Opinion | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Envy and Jealousy

As much as I rarely experience jealousy (which for me is an emotion that says Me ONLY), I fairly often feel the pangs of envy (again, for me, comes down too an emotion of Me TOO).

Looking at it psychologically, while jealousy and envy are similar, they are not exactly the same no matter how many dictionaries attempt to make them synonyms.  Their denotation is very similar, but their connotations have a wildly dissimilar emotional impact.  Jealousy stems from a place of insecurity, convincing yourself that you just aren’t worthy enough or deserving enough of having whatever it is you are jealous about.  Whereas, envy stems from feelings of inferiority.  Insecurity is anxiety and nervousness based on your own doubts and fears about yourself.  Inferiority, on the other hand, is a pathologically distorted perception of yourself in comparison to others.

It’s sometimes hard not to make comparisons in our lives, particularly if you define yourself as a “have not.” I try not to define myself as a “have not,” but I find myself looking at others sometimes as a matter of: “If they can have it, why can’t I?”

And, particularly with someone in my life that I have always looked at with envy, it is often a habit that is difficult to stop.  I’ll freely admit that a part of the emotion I have always felt for my sister has included envy.  And it isn’t because she’s spent a goodly portion of her adult life living quite a bit above the poverty level.

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Categories: Mental Retraining | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Things Few People Look For

One of the things I do as a habit, since my late teens/early twenties is try to find a way to help myself be more healthy.  Because of my issues with the medical establishment (i.e. everything about my health is related to me being fat – no willingness to test, to prove, to truly diagnose), added to the fact that I’ve lived under the poverty line since I got married and rarely had medical insurance I branched out into other ways to keep myself healthy.

Thing is, what that has meant has been a lot of research and quite a bit of experimentation.  I turned to herbs and supplements because they were what was affordable for me.  So, as much as emotionally I tended to live in my head (in an intellectual space), physically I’ve spent the last 20 years paying attention to my body from a physiological point of view. This sadly makes the medical establishment label me as a hypochondriac. However, I was ready for that attitude, because I watched my Mom be treated that way by her doctors in the 1980s, when fibromyalgia was still considered a psychological condition, rather than a physical one.  Hell, the first actual study-based proof only happened in 1981.  It wasn’t until the 1990s that even the first guidelines for treating it were established. And my issues with estrogen are a diagnosis STILL being fought in the medical community.

I found out quite early that soy made my menorrhagia quite a bit worse.  Since it was already vying Niagara Falls for flow, this was not a good thing.  But it actually took me most of a decade to realize that it wasn’t just ingesting soy, but using it in topical lotions as well.  The application of soy based lotions caused such a minor change (until I hit my 30s) that I didn’t realize it was part of the problem.

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Categories: Body Health | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The Gender Divide

via Transgender Men See Sexism From Both Sides

Is this a surprised to absolutely ANYONE?

Sadly, I do believe that it is a surprise to the male half of our population.  I’ve been repeatedly told by men in my life that gender differences mean absolutely nothing, that a woman’s experience of life is no different than a man’s.

There are times when I have actually said that the men in my life didn’t understand the reasons I was angry or upset, because one gender cannot understand the experience of the other gender because neither of us were raised as if we were the other gender. And, not surprisingly, each and every one of them thought I was attacking their mental ability and their empathy. Since many of the men I spend time with tend to be very empathetic, they couldn’t see that it wasn’t them I was viewing as lacking empathy but our society and our cultural “norms.” They couldn’t see the opposite side of the coin — that I personally can’t fully and completely understand some issues their lives, because I wasn’t raised as a man.

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Categories: Feminism, Gender Inequities | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Living By Your Own Standards

I’ve always said that I have a higher standard of expectation for myself than I have had for anyone else around me.  But, sitting here, I have to wonder if even the lesser standards I have for others aren’t sometimes expecting too much of people.

When I had nights like this while I was still married and would try to talk about them with my ex, eventually every one of those discussions ended up with him calling me a mutant — because nobody else in the world thinks or acts the way I do.

I don’t agree quite as much with that sentiment.

But, with some of the lessons learned over the last two years, especially on the subject of relationships, I have to wonder sometimes if how I was raised was so completely different than the supposed norm for humanity.

Take the subject of relationships.  Yes, I’m fully aware as a polyamorous person I am already in a category that is not the “norm.” Except, I have lived my life with a staunchly monogamous family.  My model for relationships is my parents, who will be celebrating their 56th wedding anniversary this August. Regardless of the style of the relationship, they taught me to communicate with my partner.  They taught me that a fight isn’t the end of a relationship, even if things were said that were later regretted – although amends and a visible attempt at not repeating the mistake are expected (and given). I learned that just because someone looks appreciatively at another person of their partner’s gender, or makes comments to that effect, does not mean that they are lusting after that person.  Hell, as an artist I have an appreciation for the human female form, but I feel no romantic attraction to those of my own gender.

I learned that insecurity is a fact of life, but that expecting your partner(s) to change so that you feel somehow “less insecure” is an impossible request.  If you are insecure, the issue is inside yourself so any changes that someone external to you makes will have no real, lasting effect on your feelings of insecurity/security.  You will always have just “one more tiny change” that they have to make for you to be happy.

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Categories: Non-Monogamy, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Creative Choices

I’ve been working with my fairly old Wacom Bamboo tablet (probably about 10 years old at this point) to help with some of the delicate work in my Photoshop art.  It’s not the best, but it works for me.

But, occasionally, when searching for a tutorial (because no matter how much experience you have with something, there is ALWAYS something new to learn), I come across articles on “getting to know your drawing tablet in Photoshop.”

And a few of them list “mistakes newbies make.”  One that keeps popping up is that a “n00b” will orient their tablet to match the same angle as is most comfortable for drawing.  Instead, supposedly a orientation to the screen is somehow what a so-called “professional” will do.

There is a simple answer to that issue.  Absolutely anyone who has done ANY real-world «Real world, in this case, is pencil or paintbrush in hand, not done on the computer» drawing (or painting for that matter) orients the paper or surface to whatever angle they need to in order to do what they want to do.

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Categories: Creativity | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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