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August 2022
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aside the lions and the ladies

I had the most fucked up dream last night. I couldn’t fall asleep and I couldn’t fall asleep and I freaked myself out thinking someone had broken into our house. Nevermind that I sleep just fine on the nights that we leave windows open. Finally I fell asleep and I started dreaming. I would swear to you that I had this dream going on for hours. I don’t give a shit what people say about not being able to have a dream that is connected for most of the night. I do it.

So I starts off that I’m driving through mountains to visit this tiny town that lives in a isolated valley. It sounds like a bad movie script. I get there and I’m staying with these people and I’m supposed to be learning from them? It feels like I was learning spinning but I distinctly remember competitions and computer stuff and games.

Someone’s board broke and we had to replace it before we could continue. There were pieces that weren’t competition and we just learned from them. At our terminals. Clearly my brain is crazy. But this is how the dream went. And I had a partner there. He wasn’t Bear and he wasn’t Carl. I didn’t travel there with him? I don’t know. But I remember at one point he stayed out of a leg of the competition and it was a big concern.

Eventually the whole town needed to travel to another place. I remember this felt like some kind of an emergency? So we are all walking and the partner dude gets stuck to the side of a hill.

Like, the ground comes up and traps him. And it starts raining? And water shoots out of the ground? I think this was the emergency. So anyways I’m really concerned about getting the partner out of the ground and the rest of the tribe is thinking they’ll send this one guy. He’s the most…good? person from the village. Because inherent goodness defeats ground that can swallow and trap people. Right. So he goes to free my partner dude and he gets thrown to the ground… by the ground? I dunno. It was bad. The village people freak out that my partner is one of the evil things. And I start creeping along the side of the hill to try and free him myself because I don’t want to tell the village people how I know he isn’t evil. But water starts falling on just me and the village people notice and I have to explain that I know he isn’t evil.

So apparently a couple hundred years ago, there weren’t people running around. There were just these creatures:

(That’s a depiction of Tiamat.)

And there was one black one and he was evil and a bunch of white ones and they were good and then there were a ton that didn’t know what they were. So this one white one battles the black one and swaps their heads thus defeating the evil. Or incorporating it into herself and forcing the goodness from her head into the evil. So whatever. Not defeated, just spread and shared. And that’s me and the partner dude. We hatched out of the creatures with the swapped heads and have been just fine ever since. No ramages of evil or random miracles coming out of asses. We are sometimes together and sometimes not.

So I’m explaining all of this to the village people. It was more that I was told them who we were. They already knew the story? That’s when the partner bursts out of his earth cage.

And I woke up. And all day today I’ve been grouchy and it feels like something is pushing into my left eye. Some days I’m pretty sure I’m kinda crazy.

(Linda, title is from The Trapeze Swinger by Iron & Wine)

tell me what you know about them night terrors every night

I wanna talk about abuse and why we stay in relationships today. The fact that my mom, dad and a stupid girl that I don’t even know cause me to want to talk about abusive relationships probably says scary things about my sanity, but since I didn’t start this blog off wanting to talk about my mental health and wellbeing I think the less said about the genesis of this topic the better.

I’ve known at least three women who stayed in abusive relationships. Two of them I even know pretty well, almost as well as you can know another human being. I can’t say why certain women stay in abusive relationships and others seem to find it easy to leave when a relationship isn’t healthy. I can’t say why a woman will find strength when she does end up leaving or where that strength comes from.

There are some things that I do know. I know that it’s not weak women who stay in abusive relationships. Some of the strongest women I know fall into abusive relationships. Maybe because they think they are too strong to ever be taken advantage of, until it happens. I know that women don’t stay in abusive relationships because they are stupid. Some of the smartest women I know have been in abusive relationships. I also know that abuse doesn’t necessarily come from spouses or significant others. Hell, I’ve negotiated a relationship with a man that I knew was abusive before I ever got into it. As my brother tells me, I shouldn’t have been surprised.

I do know that sometimes there’s nothing you can do. From my own experience I think I know now that if a man is abusive there’s nothing you can do but stay away. I also know that I tend to never accept that there’s not a solution. So that’s my own stupid failing and it tripped me up. I thought there was a way to protect myself and still be in the relationship. I also know that abuse isn’t limited to women. Men fall into this exact trap of thinking they can protect themselves and so enter into relationships with people who have redeeming qualities. I, and in my opinion others as well, think that in the end it will all worth it.

I don’t believe it’s because women are fooling themselves either. It’s not them getting tricked by some hormones or excitement or other emotions. The fact that someone would say that women are being led astray by thinking they can change a person or by the excitement from being around that person makes me 1) want to vomit and 2) want to beat someone. By the time a woman realizes that the partner she has picked is abusive, it’s not that you are still so fluttery at the thought of being around that person that’s keeping you there. It’s probably partially the fact that you picked that person. It’s partially that you love this person and have been putting them before or equal to your own wellbeing for at least some amount of time before now. It’s that there’s shame associated with being in an intimate relationship with someone who would hurt you, sometimes not even deliberately, but often.

I find women who manage to walk away from damaging relationships strong. I hope there’s someone there to give them hugs and prop them up when their sanity is at risk. I also wish that someone had been there before they fell in love with that person to say something. Often this doesn’t work, but maybe, just maybe, sometimes it does.

My brain is not predicatable

Coming back from 2 really solid weeks away is always a chore. If it weren’t for Linda and the coblog we just did together, I’m not sure I’d be back up and running yet. Usually when I go home I have a list of stuff I want to accomplish while I’m in town. This year I checked out so thoroughly that I didn’t even pack to come home very well and my mom is saving my butt by shipping me both the stuff we left on accident and the gifts we left on purpose. I had a ton of fun though and I think visiting my family was easier on Bear this year.

I’m working on a year in review post for 2009. For all that it sucked for some people (and parts of it sucked for me), a lot happened. I had 6 months of a new local friendship, I formed new habits and pushed myself the hardest that I’ve worked in the last 5 years, and I traveled more than I have ever done before in one year. I had my mom and Linda visit me. Bear and I started the process of buying a house. That stuff alone is pretty big.

I’m hoping that I get myself together more for 2010 though so that I can both accomplish more, hit more milestones and have more fun. I’m already planning on getting my Master’s, purchasing a new house, and I’ve already got at least 3 people planning on visiting us in addition to TAing a class and possibly scheduling some visits to see people (Monarch and Linda for example). Lee is planning on taking a sabbatical. Life just gets more full and more interesting.

Completely separately I had a really WEIRD dream last night. In further proof that I have dreams that are long and last for an entire night, I woke up at 5am and clearly remember having this dream and I was still dreaming it when I woke up for good at 8am. My family was going on vacation somewhere, but it turned out that in that same city, an old classmate of mine had just lost her sister. The suspicion was that she was abducted, but they weren’t sure what had happened to her really. The plan had not been for me to go on this vacation with the other members of my family because I was due to do something the day after they got back into the United States (clearly this was overseas somewhere, but I’m not sure where). I hastily bought a ticket because for some reason in the dream I could do something about this missing girl (I make an awesome detective in my dreams). So we flew out to this city that is in dreamland and seriously, the FLIGHT there was part of my dream. I remember Bear being uncomfortable and chatting with my brother and getting annoyed on the long flight with some other family members. Twin being one of them. I remember getting to the city and asking around. I remember ending up in a bath house type of place (the weird things my brain comes up with?). It was like a restroom, but there were a ton of women in there and it was more like a locker room at a really busy gym with showers and bathtubs. I saw the sister that I went to school with and I tried to make it through all the women to tell her I was in town and she slipped out before I could get her attention. I ended up following her through the city and realized something more than just a missing sister was going on. So I start tracking this guy that the girl I went to school with met with while I was following her. Of course while I’m doing all this sleuthing, I’ve still got my family in town and so I keep meeting up with them periodically. When the alarm rang and woke me up, I was watching the dude do some bizarre building climbing to get into a restricted part of the city.  I was going to official channels to get into that part of the city when I absolutely had to get up. It was a fun dream now that I’m awake, but I remember being tense and determined in the dream.

Considering I spent the last weekend watching season one of Weeds on netflix, you would think my dreams would have more to do with suburbia and the craziness of that show.

Two working arms and legs

I’m sucking at the blogging again. But I had family in town and then I went out of town and then I had Linda in town. Seriously, the last three weekends have been very busy and! at work I’ve been trying to do my research and I picked up 10 hours of TA work.

So I have all kinds of rambles in my head. I was going to say lately, but really? That would have been a big fat lie considering I ramble all the time in my head about all kinds of things. Lately it’s about what makes us happy. Not like that TED talk where the dude was talking about synthesizing happiness. Although maybe. I meant, like, in the moments where you aren’t working towards your big goals in life, where you aren’t worrying about money or family, what makes it possible for us to be happy? Definitely part of it is the way we process our lives. If your mind constantly sticks on the amount of calories in the food you ate or the money you spent or that thing so and so said to you, it’s going to be very hard to be happy. If you treat others badly, that takes its toll on you too. There’s a million tiny things that can clearly be signs of people just not being happy or content with their lives.

I’ve met happy people who aren’t depressed, but are in a bad relationship or are struggling with family or money problems. They are still happy people, despite whatever struggles they’ve invited into their lives or they’ve taken upon themselves.

I’ve met unhappy people who aren’t depressed, but have the best luck and refuse to see it. They manage to be accomplished at work and have good days just like the happy people, but you’d never know it from how they talk.

I’ve met happy and unhappy depressed people. It took me a while to realize that depression doesn’t account for everything. Because it doesn’t. Because if it did, then how on earth could you have two people who clearly have clinical depression problems, but one manages to still see how wow, today was a good day, I’m just having trouble feeling that goodness and people who had the same types of things happen to them, but only feel the fact that they missed their bus.

So lately I’ve been trying to see, what do the happy people, depressed or not, have in common. What do the unhappy people have in common. I think it’s about respect and love. If you love yourself and life and you have respect for your life and other’s lives, this leads to happiness. It makes it easier to be happy.

Lately (this time it is true) I’ve become increasingly aware just how important respect is. Respect for yourself, for the people around you, for the things we have and the things we kill in order to make space for ourselves. Love for yourself and people in general and especially your loved ones.

I think most of us forget to love and respect ourselves. I don’t mean the stupid modern don’t let your kids become your life and take time for yourself and be selfish shit that people tend to abuse lately. I mean, loving the way you process the world around you. Appreciating how it’s different from other people. Deciding that your hair, despite all the ways you hate it, is interesting to you. I don’t know, there’s a million ways, none of them overt or time consuming, to love yourself.

If you aren’t happy that your skin is warm just behind your knees and the fact that your ankles hurt when you sleep on your stomach, how can you find amazement in how your husband’s back is warmer than behind his knees and that one of his feet is more crooked than the other? If you don’t appreciate that you get sad at old movies because black and white makes things too stark and be amazed at that quirk of your personality, how can you find the fact that your husband pretends to like horror movies but never watches them adorable or that your mom cries at movie weddings but not real ones hilarious? It’s not just that we should know these things about ourselves, but that we should like them. We should realize that we will never be anyone else in this world and that makes our quirks some of the most precious things in our lives. Underneath every interaction and ever touch you give, beats the fact that you love. That you know how valuable your touch is to you and thus to the people you touch. That everything you give, even to those who don’t appreciate it, comes from love and respect.

I wanted to end this post there, but I think I have a more concise way of saying what I’m trying to say. We only have one point of view in life. If we can’t like that point of view, how can we ever like what we see with it?