Yes, another therapy post. You can pass on by if you want.
We were discussing relationships, and she asked me a somewhat off the wall question, at least from my perspective. I can’t exactly remember the question, but it was essentially one where she wanted to know if there was any specific memory that seemed to be associated with what I was feeling.
It took me straight to Homecoming of my senior year in high school. Now, you have to understand a few things about my high school. It was a boarding school, and I was what could be called a “scholarship student.” I worked as a dishwasher at least both my junior and senior years, and my parents got loans either from family or from the church body that owned and ran the school (yes, it was a religious boarding school owned and run by a very conservative, evangelical Lutheran synod). We were not allowed dances, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have those “special days.” It just meant that it was more about speeches and awards than about having some — hopefully — semi-clean fun. We had a joke about it (that I told my therapist) that we weren’t allowed to have sex because “it would lead to dancing.” Also, since it was the 80s, and most of the huge anti-hazing laws had yet to be created, there was a form of hazing for incoming freshmen. Anything (short of illegal or against the rules) that an upperclassman (juniors and seniors) told them to do, they were supposed to do.
I was, for a good portion of my high school years, the almost asexual, advice-giving friend. My senior year, I decided to take a risk. I asked an older freshman that I had been hanging out with to go to Homecoming with me. I wasn’t expecting some huge romantic relationship, just having an escort for my last Homecoming of my high school career.
I’ve discussed some of my old programming when it comes to romantic relationships. I’ve made some real progress, however slowly, in rewriting many of the larger of my stumbling blocks.
But just like Satine in “Moulin Rouge,” there are still some of my definitions of what is expected of me in romantic relationships that take a while for me to actually see as an issue.
In my marriage, I let myself be celibate (and damned near asexual) for a dozen years because somehow I excused my ex from making our sexual relationship a priority. Now, life is life and often that means many issues become a lower priority temporarily. But, if a relationship is going to be healthy, except for those times of crisis, dealing with the issues — sexual or not — should at least be in the Top Ten of priorities for each person in the relationship.
I’ve been catching up on the current season of Elementary (Hulu only adds it to the queue once the season is done). I just finished watching “Ready or Not”, which ends with a discussion between Holmes (while it is never truly said out loud, seems to me to be somewhere along the autism spectrum himself) and Fiona (who is on the autism spectrum, but prefers to be called “neuro-atypical” — which I personally think is a much better way to discuss neurological differences than the supposed mainstream “norm” that is only a theoretical construct).
In the last 45 seconds of that episode, Fiona says the quoted phrase above to Sherlock. Supposedly, for the last 47 days, Sherlock has been abstaining from sex, because he’s exclusive with Fiona, and believes their relationship deserves his extra work. Because she is neuro-atypical, he has been very careful with her emotions since it is a challenge to make sure the relationship does not harm either him or her.
Sex can be a difficult part of any romantic relationship. We all, even those of us who seem confident, have our own issues and hang-ups about the act. For example, while I would happily walk naked down the main street of Cumberland if it were not illegal, but it still scares me for someone to see me naked for the first time in a romantic setting. No matter how much work I do on my self-esteem or sexual positivity, it’s always going to be there — it is simply a matter of how much I allow that fear to rule me. Once that first hurdle is past, I no longer have the issue.
I’ve heard many excuses for why guys send women photos of their “wee willies”(OK, who asked for the Mike Meyers soundtrack to be an earworm? Now, I have him doing a bad Scottish accent in my head!!)
But every single reason comes down to a self-esteem issue. You know, that thing that guys try to deny that they feel?
Sadly, as read in this article, it’s not just self-esteem, it’s literally sending one off in order to think that someone, somewhere out there is looking at your genitals. The woman on the other side doesn’t really matter, she’s really just a faceless audience member.
Guys, come on. Men trying to say that they don’t have self-esteem issues are like a pet trying to cover up their shit on linoleum. No matter how much you do it, the shit ain’t going to get covered.
I think I’ve said something about this before, but if not…I’m putting six pieces of my art into the Art Show at CONvergence 2016 (a.k.a. CVG) It is only my second art show outside of school. And the other one was when I was very young. Yes, I am fearing no one will like my art, because well, I can’t seem to stop with the self-criticism. But, no matter how afraid of it I am, I WILL do this!
Now, I’ll admit, I’ve been attending CVG for most of its history, only missing two out of the 17 previous conventions (1999 and 2015). This also means I’ll be fairly quiet from Wednesday, June 29 through Sunday, July 3 (I may be out longer than that, depending on how much sleep I need to recover from spending those days at the con).
I consider CVG to be a safe space for me. Why? Because for the most part, attendees are some of the most open-minded yet sensible people I have ever met. Oh, there are those who aren’t, but having known a good portion of the con-comm (essentially the decision-makers for the convention) and many of the volunteers (having volunteered a number of years myself – particularly a few years volunteering in the Art Show), I know exactly who and when to run for a security person or a wandering host if there is an issue.
It’s not just because it is a group of geeks and nerds about science fiction/fantasy. It’s about being able to put your “real life” on hold for a few days, and choosing to let the Universe be in charge.
Look, I’m not going to list the millions of things that are worse than being fat. If you can’t name 20 things that are worse than being fat in the next five minutes, then frankly you need a brain transplant.
But there is one thing that is worse that I will talk about. And that is being a judgemental asshole.
Let me give you some facts here, just from my own life. I’ve posted numerous photos of me from when I was younger. In fact, the one that most shows how fat of a child I was can be seen to the right. I’m the larger child on the left.
The list of supposed “weight related diseases” includes the following: High blood pressure, heart disease/stroke, diabetes, gall bladder issues, osteoarthritis, gout and sleep apnea.
Therapy today was interesting, even though it pushed quite a few buttons. Essentially, if you distill it down to its base, my personality is based on essentially being the Rebel. Too much disapproval. Too much being the pariah, the outcast from society. Too much blazing my own trail.
I was this little girl. Just like the author, any popularity that I had (what little there was) sadly was more about my intelligence than about me being “thin enough” or “pretty enough” to be allowed any standing in childhood’s pecking order.
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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