Random thoughts


This week, I made the decision to delete my dating profiles. Recently, I had  deleted a few of them but this week, POF, Tinder, and Bumble all went away. Previously, I have hidden them but this time, I completely deleted them. I haven’t met anyone even remotely decent on any of them in over a year. I have had some pretty boring dates. I do not know how many of them couldn’t even hold a conversation. I have had a couple of dates that talked about their ex-wives endlessly. One that was holding so much anger and another that obviously  was still in love with his ex. I have talked to men that within two messages were talking about being part of my family and others that wanted to commit to a hook up without meeting. I can imagine how that would have gone. I wasn’t looking for just a hookup but did tell one that it wasn’t completely off the table but we had to meet first. His last message to me was wanna get naked? I had men that expected me to be available to text 24/7 and if I didn’t respond immediately, they would get upset with me. I have noticed that few of them actually have been wanting to meet in person quickly. I was looking to date, not have pen-pals that would eventually meet. I have been ghosted, stood up,  and treated like I didn’t matter. If that is what dating is about nowadays, I do not need it. I am happy with my life without a man so why was I putting so much time and energy to date. I have decided that it is not worth it. I have a job that I love, lots of great friends, a great family and my dogs. For now, that is going to have to do

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Someone shared this on Facebook the other day and I had to share it. I guess I had never thought about it in these details.

The following day, I attended a workshop about preventing gender violence, facilitated by Katz. There, he posed a question to all of the men in the room: “Men, what things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?”
Not one man, including myself, could quickly answer the question. Finally, one man raised his hand and said, “Nothing.” Then Katz asked the women, “What things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?” Nearly all of the women in the room raised their hand. One by one, each woman testified:
“I don’t make eye contact with men when I walk down the street,” said one.
“I don’t put my drink down at parties,” said another.
“I use the buddy system when I go to parties.”
“I cross the street when I see a group of guys walking in my direction.”
“I use my keys as a potential weapon.”
The women went on for several minutes, until their side of the blackboard was completely filled with responses. The men’s side of the blackboard was blank. I was stunned. I had never heard a group of women say these things before. I thought about all of the women in my life — including my mother, sister and girlfriend — and realized that I had a lot to learn about gender.
— Why I Am A Male Feminist

-Byron Hurt is a documentary filmmaker and anti-sexist activist.

I have almost been raped once. I have been what I considered date raped once. I never came forward with either. The date rape was maybe the more difficult. He was a man that I trusted and cared about and he took advantage of  my emotions. I had been dating his friend and he had just been transferred back to the states. We went out as friends sad about Nick leaving. I honestly do not remember much of the evening but we were not friends after that night. The almost rape was scary. My roommates and I were across the street at a neighbors watching The Fly. My roommates went home and immediately, the guy that lived there had me pinned to the couch. He was much larger than I was. He would not stop. He told me he knew that I stayed because I wanted it. He wasn’t going to take no for an answer. I knew what he was going to do and I had no power to stop him. I was so glad when one of my roommates came back before things got too far. He got up to let my roommate in and I was able to  leave with him.  I immediately left and never spoke to my neighbor/friend again. I didn’t press charges. I never mentioned it to anyone of authority but when mentioning to a few gals I knew, I found out he had done similar things or worse to them. I often wonder how many women he has raped in his life. I wish I had had the courage to come forward but I knew what it would entail.

All women have been cat-called, sexually harassed, and made uncomfortable at times. It makes dating scary and dangerous at times. It is sad that we have to initially not trust a man and have him earn it. It is a shame that we have to  avoid being a lone with a man on a date. I no longer get in a car with a man until I get to know him. I won’t go on a hike or something like that  on a date until I get to know the man. Even after they earn your trust, there is always the risk. I am now a strong and confident woman but the risk is still there.

As I have gotten older, I have been wiser about things but, in reality, I should not have to change or monitor my behavior to protect myself. Men need to be taught to respect us from the time they are young so we women do not have to carry our keys a certain way, guard our drinks, cross the street, learn martial arts, live in fear.

I am ashamed of our government. I am ashamed of so many of our citizens. I grew up  in a world that accepted all people. I was not raised to treat people differently due to their race, religion, or anything. I know now that I was very sheltered in some ways. I grew up in a military world. It is a very diverse world. I wasn’t taught to hate and fear differences. I was taught to take care of each other and our world. Yes, I know that rules need to be followed but sometimes rules need to be broken or at least bent a little. The situation that has me upset is currently how we are treating immigrants in the US. It was bad enough with us turning away refugees. These people have no where to go and we vet them well but this is not about them. This post is about an acquaintance of mine. I have known the man  for years. I didn’t know that he was illegal until this story broke.

When I worked in the hospital, I used to see him all the time. He might be five foot tall. He is just a little guy but he always had a smile and a kind word. I met his wife at the clinic I worked at. The first time I met her, the oldest boy was just a toddler. I remember the first time I saw him. He was such a cute little guy. I found out that she and Edin were married shortly after that. I saw her go through the other pregnancies and always loved seeing them all together. Eventually, I got to know Edin very well as his business took care of the clinic I worked in. He was always johnny on the spot to get things done correctly. He is one of the hardest working men I know and he loves his family very much. I do know that he has traveled back to Honduras at least once that I know of. He wasn’t sneaking around or hiding. He was being a good “citizen” in our country. Yes, he was illegal BUT he didn’t deserve to be ripped away from his family. He should be given a path to citizenship. I have no problem with us tracking down and deporting the people here illegally that are doing other criminal activity but if someone has been here for years and not done anything but become part of a community, they should be able to stay. His life is now in danger. Three kids have lost their dad. A woman has lost her husband. They only speak English so them moving to Honduras would be extremely difficult PLUS it is dangerous for Edin. I hope things change and we can get him back to our small town. He is missed.

Local Man being deported

He is deported

Justice For Edin

There is another local case that I am also watching. I am not sure what is going to happen with it. One of my kids managers is from Ireland.  He was here on a Visa but got caught driving while drunk a couple of times. This last time it also turns out that his Visa had expired. He has been sent home and intends on reapplying for his Visa and coming back. Currently, his job is being held for him. I am really wondering if in this day of hating immigrants  in Trump’s country if he will be allowed to come back. I have my doubts.

I am a firm believer in preventive medicine. I get my teeth cleaned twice a year. I get a physical annually. I get my mammogram per protocol. I even have an echo-cardiogram every few years to monitor my heart murmur. I take meds for my murmur faithfully and do what modern medicine shows I should do. I also eat well, exercise, get good sleep. Because of this, I missed work today and again tomorrow as I am now fifty. It is time for my first colonoscopy.

When I called to make the appointment, I figured I would miss one day of work and then I found out that I would be on a LIQUID diet for the entire day prior. With someone that needs to eat about 2000 on a non-active day, this was going to be a long day. I usually eat breakfast at 6 am and then have a protein smoothie an hour later on the way to work. I then eat at my break around 10ish, lunch at noon, snack at 3ish, then dinner and snack before bed. I am lucky if I eat enough calories according to My Fitness Pal. I knew there was no way I would be able to walk miles today without eating so I took today off. The day has been long and I am quite hungry but I am glad I am doing this. Tomorrow morning, I go in for the procedure and then I can eat again. If everything goes well, I won’t have to do this for ten years.

I encourage all of you to take your health into your hands and do the tests that are recommended. I have had several friends die from cancer but I also have had several friends become survivors due to catching it early.

#fuckcancer

Last weekend, I went on a short ice cream date when I went to visit my son. My son was at an event so I figured I would do something. The guy talked about how much he hated various things and ended up making a very racist remark to me and then told me how he is not racist. I left that “date” once again wondering why I even bother anymore. I love my life. Most of the time I am not lonely. Do I really want to bring someone into my life that is going to take my time away from the things that are important to me? From what I have seen since I started dating it most men want to change us into who they want us to be. I am not “good enough” for them for whatever reason OR they are not right for me. I keep meeting men that are religious (even though I am very clear that I won’t date a religious man), crude,  or needy. Is it so much to ask to find a man that is non-religious. We are now a large part of the community. Is it so much to ask to find a man that can speak in proper English (most of the time), reads books, listens to music, is athletic and takes care of himself and cares for humanity? He doesn’t have to match me 100% but there are some things that are very important to me. I want him to have teeth. I want him to be well kept. I don’t want to be with a fat man that does not take care of himself. I walk almost ten miles a day for work. I also do karate 2 times a week. I hike on weekends. I kayak, I love football. I do drink but can have fun without it. I ski. I don’t want a partner that wants to sit on his ass and watch TV all the time, though I do love to watch television and movies. I read a lot. I would love to have someone to share books and discuss books with. I am very liberal so a Trump supporter does not fit in my life but many of them ask me out because I am cute. I am fifty years old but don’t look it. I am about 120 pounds trying to gain muscle mass but I want more than a physical relationship. I want to be physically attracted to my partner. It would be great to find someone to go to Comic Con with, as well as brew fests, film festivals, and wine festivals. I have gotten so I am comfortable going by myself. Is that a good or bad thing. I am finding that the longer that I am single and alone, the less tolerant I am of partner issues. Last weekend, my mom and daughter also came to visit my son. We had four of us trying to decide where to eat. I am so used to making decisions without anyone’s input anymore. I was really having a hard time with the indecision. Finally I just said that I didn’t care where I went. I would have a beer at one place and a margarita at the other. That was when my mom finally put in an opinion. For breakfast the next day, I just made a decision. Will I ever be able to let someone completely into my life again? One of my concerns with men I meet are ones that have never been in a long relationship because I am afraid that they will not be able to handle the changes of one. Am I becoming that person? Am I doomed to be my mother and single the rest of my life? I love who I am and how I am growing in independence daily but it scares me, also. There are days or moments that I am lonely sometimes lonely as hell. Days that I just want someone to love me. Today is one of them. Here is it Mother’s Day and I am all alone. I have three great kids but they are grown. I am no longer the focus of their lives, as it should be. The oldest had the morning with her boyfriend and is at home 300 miles away right now. The middle one that lives with me had to work today. The youngest hasn’t come home for the summer from college yet.  I have spent the day doing chores in my house but not as much as I should have. Most of the day has been spent paying bills and watching Shanarrah Chronicles. I started drinking margarita’s a drink ago. It would have been nice to not be alone today. Tomorrow is a quiet day but then Tuesday through Thursday, I go non-stop. I get up, go to work, and eat all day. After work, I either have my karate class or my atheist meeting. By Friday, I am usually exhausted so if I have no plans that night, I am actually usually relieved but going out for an hour or two after work is not a terrible thing. Saturday is my errand day if I stay in town. I also take an hour or two to sit at Starbucks with a coffee, a book, and my pup (outside patio). I really enjoy my Saturdays. Sometimes, I go on a hike or something like that instead.

I think I am just needing to accept being alone.It is so much easier and there are so many frogs out there. I haven’t found anyone worth my time in almost a year and he ghosted me after four weeks of telling me how much he liked me. I am not sure it is worth the risk and pain anymore. I can take care of myself. Financially is a struggle but it is getting better.  I refuse to let loneliness take over my life so I will stay busy and active. If someone decent enters my life, I hope I can accept him in.

I am so heart broken today. We had a local twelve year old die from suicide last night. I know nothing about this boy. I do not know his family but we have friends in common. That is all not relative to my feelings. As someone that has battled depression off and on for close to forty years, I know how dark a place you have to be to take this step. I have almost been there a few times. I have worked on a plan many times. Today, I am glad that I never have made that decision but this suicide got me thinking about TWELVE.

Wow, TWELVE years old.  How does a child of such a young age reach this point?

I was thinking about myself at twelve. I hadn’t been depressed yet. My parents had separated and gotten back together. My older sister told me how my dad had cheated on my mom and she is the one that discovered  it. My dad was drunk most of the time. I didn’t feel he loved me. I felt betrayed by my dad and so angry at what he had done to my mom. I actually was angry at my mom for taking him back. We moved again back to the states and I returned to a school I had been at previously but it was a civilian school and I was a brat. I was extremely naive and sheltered in many ways and felt that I didn’t fit in. My former friends had matured and I was still so YOUNG.  My self-esteem was dropping tremendously. I was put in a back brace for my scoliosis which was embarrassing and uncomfortable. I was tiny. I was uncoordinated.  I was DIFFERENT but I was not depressed YET. This was in 1979. Times have changed.

Today’s kids have no escape from all these things at home. They are lucky enough to have the internet. In so many ways, it enriches our lives but the isolation can be so much worse now. I cannot imagine how I would have felt seeing photos of parties I wasn’t invited to all the time, possibly the bullying online, the boy I liked with the girl in the class. These things never go away. The experts state that cyber bullying is one of the reasons that death by suicide is rising among younger children. Add to that if the child is even more different. The child is gay or wondering if he is gay or trans or another member of the LBGTQ community. The child is doubting the religion of the family/community.  Coming out of the closet as a LBGTQ or even an atheist can be very difficult and scary.

We as adults need to learn to ask the kids in our lives are okay and truly listen. We need to not brush off their concerns and fears with “that doesn’t really matter.’ We  need to quit thinking and saying things like, what do they have to be depressed about? No, children, for the most part, do not have to worry about bills and other adult issues but their issues are real to them and are just as upsetting to them as ours are to us.

Right now, there are a few things that some parents are bringing to the school board in my town about LBGTQ and religious rights. I am not saying that this is the reason that this particular boy died by suicide as I do not know where his mind was. Only he knows, unless he left a note, why he made this ultimate decision. I hope for the survivors that it had nothing to do with these things as some of them were behind this school board issue. There is enough guilt for survivors as it is. I wish I could go back 24  hours and take this boy aside and tell him that it will get better and get him the help and support he needed. Unfortunately, none of us can do that and our small town has to deal with another young child death as well as another suicide.

Facts about suicidal thoughts in children

Suicides under 13

If you are thinking about suicide PLEASE reach out. I promise, it will get better.  If you suspect someone might be in crisis, reach out. People don’t say it unless they have thought it. You don’t want t be a survivor. Be a rescuer instead.

Suicide prevention

We never know when an act of kindness can be real important to someone. My middle child taught me this years ago. She randomly compliments people all the time. One day, I had a friend tell me that she had met my kiddo at the movie theater the night before. My kid worked there at the time. My kiddo complimented her and Nikki so appreciated it. I don’t remember what the compliment was but I am sure Nikki does. After that, I try to do the same with people all the time. With my job, I see so many people every day. It is not uncommon for me to tell someone that they have a great smile, nice shoes, nice hair or something along those lines. The people always perk up when I do this but sometimes, it comes back to me.

Today, I had a gal stop me and say my name, which is not a common name. She reminded me that a while ago, on her birthday, I had written her a ticket and she came out right afterwards. We have a policy that if we choose to, we can call in and request a warning for someone. They are allowed one per calendar year. She was nice at the time so I did this for her. When they were checking her account, she let me know that it was her birthday. When she was telling me this, it came back to me. It was several weeks ago. I told her that I was hoping that I could dismiss it for her for her birthday. I knew that there was something else to the story but I didn’t remember what. She reminded me how she is also going through a divorce. I did what I always do. I gave support. I asked her if she had a good support system. I told her that if she needed to talk to find me at work. We are a small town. I don’t remember all the conversation from a few weeks ago but we continued it today. She told me how much my kindness that day helped. She was having a hard time. First birthday separated is hard for sure. She told me how she tells everyone about my kindness and thanked me for being there for her. We chatted a few minutes about things and then went about our days. I went back to patrolling and almost cried. I am so glad that I was able to cheer her day and give her hope. I love my job in that I can do that. Yes, I write tickets but in the time of my work day it is such a small part. I do things like this more often. It also made me remember how the kindness of others helped me five years ago when I was going through my divorce. We need to remember to be kind to people. We never know what is going on in their lives. A small gesture that means nothing to us, can mean the world to them.

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