Wednesday, December 18, 2013


The holidays always make me a little nostalgic and contemplative. I start thinking where my life has been, and where I want it to go.

While I was visiting my parents for Thanksgiving, I finally found a couple of old journals I had lost. The first one was one I wrote in from around 7th grade-12th grade. My very first real journal. It was blue, with a white unicorn on it. I bought it at the Book Fair held at my school that year. My second journal, which I filled up in early college, was just a plain, small notebook. I admittedly wrote in my "hard copy" journals almost as sporadically as I write on this blog. This is likewise for the current hard copy journal I keep.

When I found the journals, I read through the first one. You can clearly see the shift in my awareness of the world around me as I got older, as I experienced, both directly and indirectly, more of the realities of life. You can also clearly see that the self-image and self-esteem issues have pretty much been with me from the beginning.

The first several pages are pretty much of varying renditions of complaining about my parents, and lamenting being ignored by a crush I had, wishing she would notice me, but also berating myself for even considering the possibility it could happen. I felt I was ugly and awkward. I buried myself in my books.

Reading on, I was reminded of the dramatic turn things took. I read the entries, written through the mind of an immature 12-13 year old. There was the time a boy I considered one of my best friends at the time, tried to choke me just before math class. I remember, he was upset about something, and me, being me, tried to help him feel better and figure out what was wrong, and he just wrapped his hands around my neck. There was the time another close friend moved to Florida. The death of my grandmother. My sister's brain surgery. The friend of seven years, who, a week after being the only friend to remember my birthday, came down with a virus in her brain called viral encephalitis, and subsequently lost the previous 18 years of her life, and I had to reintroduce myself to her.

Reading as an adult, I couldn't help but notice not what I wrote in my entries, but the memories that reading these entries triggered in my mind that I didn't write, the things I was too scared at the time to put to paper, for fear of having to face those realities, and fear of someone reading them. The reasons I learned not to trust people, not to let myself open up and be vulnerable to anyone. The reasons I learned so efficiently how to put up walls and hide my true emotions. Like how finding out I was adopted when I was 12, really affected me. The depths of the problems between my family and I. How she would compare me to my birthfather and say I should go live with him, assuming it would be worse than the current situation. The major academic accomplishment in 7th grade, that my parents barely acknowledged, with my mother telling me she didn't think I could really do it. The fact that in 11th grade, a boy, whose name I don't even remember now, but I remember his face, who committed suicide, and I picked up on the warning signs but didn't do anything or tell anyone. That haunted me for years. The fact that the reason the one close friend moved to Florida, was for her family to start a new life after she spent time in the foster care system, following her disclosure that her stepfather was molesting her. Or the fact that she eventually came back, and spent time in an institution for various suicide attempts after being raped.

Looking back on my life, with the things I've been through and the things I've seen, I consider it a miracle and a testament to the strength of the human spirit, or maybe even the force which we commonly refer to as "God", that I survived as long as I did, and found ways to make meaning out of it and learn from it. It is my hope that I can do the same with anything that comes my way.

Saturday, November 30, 2013


Thanksgiving is now over. The shopping season is in full swing. For me, the end of Thanksgiving - and the approach of my birthday - marks the start of the holiday season.

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. I used to hate it, with all of its commercialism and the almost debilitating optimism oozing out of every Christmas Carol I heard on a constant basis. The older I get, however, the more I seem to enjoy this holiday season. It helps lessen the depression I struggle with throughout the rest of the year. The more I let the positivity of the spirit of the season influence me, the more it helps me to give myself permission to be happy and actually enjoy life. As I become more spiritually aware, it's also a time for me to renew my spiritual practices and reconnect with my spirituality. The eclectic in me has tended, for the last few years, to experiment with spiritual practices and holiday observances during this time of year, as a way to explore my own spirituality and beliefs.

A few years ago, I stumbled upon a Menorah and accompanying candles at a local Christian bookstore (my guess is to accommodate the Messianic Jews of the area). As a result, for a couple of years I experimented with celebrating my own interpretation of Hanukkah , as a festival of lights and symbolizing determination. I found, however, that I did not spiritually or emotionally connect with the practice at all, and therefore I now have a Menorah I don't know what to do with. Although, I believe, I do still have my Hanukkah printouts in my Grimoire. Never hurts to have the information.

This year, I will be, of course, celebrating Christmas, and its predecessor, Advent.  I love Advent, as it is a time to prepare myself spiritually for Christmas, as well as balancing out the commercialism that can overtake this time of year leading up to Christmas. This year, I will be utilizing Advent readings from my pocket copy of the Book of Common Prayer , used in the Episcopal church, as well as the weekly readings of The Gnosis Archive , an online resources for those like myself who are drawn to Gnosticism and consider themselves Gnostics.

Also, as someone who attempts to engage in nature spirituality and honor nature, I am planning to do something to recognize Yule , which typically falls between December 20-22. I don't know exactly what will be done yet, whether it will be a simple meditation alone outside, or a full-blown ritual, but I plan to somehow recognize the holiday.

Finally, as I get older, and am going back into a contemplative stage, I find myself being drawn back to Unitarian Universalism. I am being active again in their online "congregation" and have enjoyed watching a couple of their archived online services via livestream, as they have begun having online Youtube video style weekly "online church services". I'm still happy with my current United Church of Christ church, but I find this sort of supplements it. In any case, UUs have their own holiday of sorts, which has only taken root in the last few years. It is called Chalica, and it is a 7-day celebration, beginning the first Monday of December. It's sort of a UU equivalent of Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. As UUism is guided not by dogma or theology regarding deity, but by their 7 Principles, the idea is for the celebrant to, on each day, light a candle and in some way meditate on and remember that day's principle - i.e. on the day dedicated to the "inherent worth and dignity of every person", find a way to make amends with someone whom you have had difficulty getting along with.

I just hope that it brings some positivity and calm back into my mind. God knows 2013 has been pretty much one of the weirdest, most eventful years I've ever had in my life. I need some balance.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


 Yesterday (October 31, 2013) was Halloween .  To many Witches, Druids, and others who practice some form of nature spirituality, this is better known as Samhain , a fall harvest festival which marks the halfway point to the Winter Solstice. In most of these traditions, Samhain is the Pagan "New Year". As such, rather than make my New Year's Resolutions in the secular New Year, being very cliché, I try to come up with some for this "religious" New Year (for the record, I try to then utilize the secular New Year to re-evaluate my progress and then renew those resolutions).

I tend to fluctuate a lot with my spirituality. And really, for that matter, any non-work related interests. I feel I don't read enough. I don't blog enough. I don't get out in nature enough - certainly not enough for one who considers himself a follower of a nature-oriented spiritual path. I'm not spiritual enough. I'm sure this lack of balance contributes to my depression.

I think part of my problem is that I try to take on too much at once. I try to jump from 0 straight to 10 on the spiritual scale, without taking the time to take and acknowledge baby steps. So that's what I'm going to try this time. For the next year, I'm going to focus on reading. Of course I'm always trying to make time to read my "fun" books - my books of fiction, spirituality, etc. But I'm going to make more effort to read from the sacred texts I most draw from on a daily basis - The Other Bible  , the NRSV Bible , and A Buddhist Bible  .  After I accomplish this and am in the habit, I will come up with next steps.

My ultimate goal is to develop a consistent daily spiritual practice of some sort in order to become more balanced in life. Perhaps even become a member of the AODA (see links section). Hopefully I'll be more successful this time.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Religion Quiz August 2013

 Every so often, I'll take a quiz on that I like. Cheesy enough, it's called the "Belief-O-Matic". It asks 20 questions, and asks you to rate your answer "low", "medium", or "high". At the end, it tells you which religion most closely matches the answers you gave. While I obviously don't take these quizzes as the definitive guide to my faith, taking it from time to time does give me a starting place, at times, to gauge how my beliefs have shifted over time. Almost every time I've taken the quiz, the highest results have been Unitarian-Universalism and Mahayana Buddhism, with Liberal Christianity and Neo-Paganism being close behind. This time, however, Neo-Paganism was lower, after Taoism, New Age, and Theravada Buddhism. Liberal Christianity was even lower, after Jainism, New Thought, and Reformed Judaism.

The interesting this about this, is that I did used to be involved in Unitarian-Universalism, and while I very much agree with their philosophy and outlook on spirituality, I found their brick-and-mortar church services a bit disconnected, drawing from Christianity one week, Buddhism the next, etc., whereas Christian churches, even liberal ones, have Christianity as their basic starting point, as I am accustomed to.  I currently attend a United Church of Christ church, which for the most part has the same outlook and religious/political perspectives as UU, only with a Christian focus. The running joke is that UCC stands for "Unitarians Considering Christ". And I know very little about Taoism and Jainism, so I will have to look more into that to see how it fits in. Perhaps that will be the stimulation I need to get back into some spiritual growth.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Spirituality of Pi

I've done book reviews on this blog before, but I don't believe I've ever taken the time to do a movie review. As I've been in a spiritually contemplative mood lately, I'm going to mention one of my favorite spiritual movies, Life of Pi.  I haven't read the book yet, but after seeing the movie, I greatly want to.

Life of Pi follows a young boy, Pi Patel, as he is stranded in the middle of the ocean following a storm, as he and his family are attempting to emigrate from India to Canada in search of a new life after a failing economy in their hometown.

The movie starts out in  recounting Pi's life in India prior to the shipwreck. It tells of his Hindu mother and atheist father, and Pi's own interests in spirituality. I love the philosophy of Pi. In the movie states the concept that "faith is a house with many rooms, and why not visit all the rooms?". As a child he is exposed to the Hindu faith through his mother. At another point, he wanders into a Christian church and is then exposed to Jesus. Soon after, he passes the town's Muslim district, and comes into contact with Islam (He states that "God introduced himself to me as Allah."). With each three, he finds some way of expressing spirituality that appeals to him, beginning to pray to Jesus and cross himself, as well as pray five times a day in the manner of Muslims. One of my favorite lines is when he is doing his bedtime prayers. He prays over an icon of Vishnu, and he prays "Thank you, Vishnu, for introducing me to Jesus". Throughout the movie, he interchangeably prays to Vishnu, Allah, "God", Krishna, etc., with the understanding that it's all just different ways to pray to the same Higher Power... "One mountain, many roads" so to speak. By the end of the movie, he has told two different versions of events, and then asks the novelist whom he is telling his story to,  "In both stories, I'm stranded at sea. In both stories I suffer great pain, and lose my family. Which story do you prefer?"(paraphrase). Once the journalist gives his answer, Pi, responds, "And so it is with God."

I find myself thinking about that more frequently as I'm getting into a more spiritual phase, as drama seems to finally be dying down a little bit compared to what 2013 has been overall. I have a philosophy similar to Pi's, where my own spirituality is influenced by Christianity, Buddhism, and nature spirituality. So am I Christian? Am I Buddhist? Am I Pagan? The older I get, the more I realize, yes, and no. I am a follower of Christ. Rather than the standard, Trinitarian view of Christ, I hold to the Pelagian view, in which Christ was sent not to suffer and die for sins, but to awaken us to our true potential. My Christianity is equally influenced by the Gnostic Scriptures as they are the canonical Bible. I also subscribe to the Buddhist Four Noble Truths, which describe the cause of suffering and how to rid oneself of suffering, a way of living your life. I try to honor nature, and recognize the cycles of nature and my connection to Mother Earth.  To me, we often have different tastes in music, movies, books, food, etc., and we don't limit ourselves to just one genre. So why box myself in when it involves spiritual matters? To do so would be denying other parts of who I am.

All in all, I can't recommend this movie enough.

Saturday, July 20, 2013


I've been in a very contemplative mood the last few days, particularly this weekend. I spent the day watching "Life of Pi" (which is a phenomenal movie, and I've been meaning to write a blog entry on it at some point), and reading through my old entries on here. I've been blogging on this particular blog since 2010, with the vast majority of entries being in 2010. It's interesting to see how things shift and how my perspectives change during that time.

There is finally a light at the end of the tunnel to a good bit of the drama that has been going on this year, I believe. I'm apprehensive to say that just yet, as my pessimism kicks in and says "The year isn't over yet, a lot can still happen!", but at the very least I seem to be getting a mild break. In addition to the 20mg of Celexa, I'm now also on 150mg of Wellbutrin, as the Celexa alone quickly became essentially ineffective. It's mostly helping now, although financially I haven't been able to get the prescriptions refilled a time or two. While I still have my depressed days, they are at least a bit more tolerable and manageable.

My six year single streak is now over as well. The man I met via, which I mentioned in a previous post I believe, where we went on the long walk on the beach and spent the whole evening together for our first date, we have really clicked and things have just grown from there. Funny how life doesn't quite go how you plan it to, but I'm at least happy with this particular development!

My roommate just sold her car for $6,000, and therefore the financial situation, I hope, is finally going to get stable again. Next month, when she gets her financial aid overage check for school, she is going to pay me back the money she owes me from all the crap that happened at the beginning of the year. My first order of business is to book a trip to Washington DC to meet my father. After that, finally catch up on my medical appointments - go to the dentist, get contacts again, maybe see an allergist and get a second opinion at an ENT regarding my hearing.

That's not to say there hasn't been some drama. I got written up at work, essentially for being behind on paperwork and not meeting the required number of hours per month. Office politics at their finest. I do take responsibility for my end though - my mood swings and emotions have been a particular roller coaster this year, which has affected my job performance. Burnout has contributed to this as well. The property management company which handles our monthly rent, totally screwed us over this month. First, the computer system (we have the option to pay online via a tenant portal) couldn't recognize the bank information, leading to the check being returned - twice. Finally, my roommate just wrote the check and took it to them in person. Two days later, the property manager (by the way, our previous property manager quit and nobody told us, I didn't find this out until I called to address the previously mentioned computer situation) calls and says we have until Friday to pay, with late fee. She called on Thursday. There were  repeated attempts to resolve this situation on my end, with her repeatedly saying that my roommate never brought a check, and then when my roommate tried to call her, she never answered the phone and then said that my roommate never tried to contact her (the proof is in my roommate's call log). I did manage to get them to give us until Monday, so that we could first void the check that they lost. It was pretty much the straw that broke the camel's back for me, which led to my decision to report them to the Better Business Bureau. Guess we'll see where that goes.

In skimming through my previous posts, I feel I'm starting to shift again. I tend to fluctuate a lot in my spiritual beliefs/practices. It's like an on/off switch. With all of this going on, I've been "off" for most of 2013, if not even before, back when I first found myself having to sleep on a couch. I feel myself swinging back to "on", and find myself in a stage of once again evaluating my spirituality, and generally having spiritual thoughts to begin with. I'm at that point where, I'm not going to make myself (or anyone else) any promises about how often I'll blog, what spiritual practices I will or won't do or how often. I'm going to try to be completely Zen about it, and just take it one day at a time, and not beat myself up if I don't quite follow through.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


It's funny how life can be. Such a strange mix of ups and downs, like the rise and fall of the ocean waves.

I'm on another anti-depressant. I take 150mg of Wellbutrin in the mornings, and the 20mg of Celexa in the evenings. I think it's starting to help some.

I'm burned out in my job. I love my career field, but it's so tiring and draining having so many cases, with such a high turnover rate, and wondering if I'm really making a difference. I'm ready for a job that pays better, and is more fitting for my current license level. If I could just take the time to apply to jobs.

I'm in another financial crisis, because I got a late fee for paying the rent late. I had the money in the bank, but I pay rent online, and stupid me fell asleep and forgot to pay by the deadline that day. It was the last day of the grace period, too. So I'll probably be overdrafting again soon. I'm sick of this. It makes me wonder why I spent 8 years in college, to have the same financial problems as if I hadn't gone at all. I'm trying to sell my Nikon to get some extra cash, but so far no luck.

Things didn't pan out with the guy I went on a date with in the previous entry. He said he didn't feel a connection, and we haven't talked since. At first I was sad, but I've talked to a few other guys since then, and actually went on a date with a guy this past Sunday that I really seem to have connected with. We went on a walk on the beach, ate at a local restaurant, got Starbucks, then saw a movie. It was essentially an all-day date. At the end of it all, we kissed, and it was wonderful (he has since said it was the best kiss he's had in years). We continue to talk, and he's made it very clear that he's interested in taking our relationship further. We can't go out this weekend, because my family is coming to visit and he's going on a camping trip, but we're making plans to meet up next weekend. We met on, and he lives about 2 hours away. I'm a little apprehensive about the distance, as my experience with distance dating with Natalie was generally a disaster. On the other hand, that was distance from North Carolina to Chicago, whereas at least this is manageable to be able to see each other on weekends. I'm trying to take things slow and just take things as they come, to avoid getting my hopes up and then having him disappear like what happened in January, but so far I think things are looking up in the dating end, finally. Here's hoping the second half of 2013 isn't quite as crazy as the first half has been.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


I really am glad I have such amazing friends. So far, all of the friends I've come out to (whether individually, or through the previous blog entry) have been nothing but supportive. Amusingly, a couple were actually basically of the "yeah, we figured that out years ago, just waiting for you to catch up" mindset. Funny how sometimes things you think are "deep, dark secrets" turn out to not be so deep, dark, OR secret.

I've decided, for pretty much obvious reasons, that unless my next relationship turns out to be with a guy, I'm not going to even bring it up with my family. We're already superficial as it is, so if I end up dating a girl again, it's really a moot point.

As I said, I updated my OKCupid profile to state that I'm bi. I haven't had much luck on dating sites overall, but I like OKCupid the best - I'm also a member of, and have been on eharmony in the past, and I have a basically inactive account on PlentyofFish. I've done them all, it seems. Anyways, the reason I like OKCupid the best, is because it actually allows you to state that you're bi as an option, and search for guys and girls who are comfortable with bi guys. All of the other sites make you choose between. So for the time being, I'm searching mostly for men. Figure I may as well explore that side of me a little more and see if I have better luck. Who knows.  I will say that it seems that gay men seem to be more approachable and/or more likely to approach me. I've been talking to a few guys, gotten a couple of phone numbers. And, I have a date with a guy on Saturday evening. He does some kind of computer engineering type stuff for the Navy. Come to think of it, all of the guys except maybe one that I've gotten into real conversation with, including both this one and the other guy who I got his phone number, are in the military - the other guy is a substance abuse counselor on the Air Force Base. Anyways, Navy guy and I are going out for pizza on Saturday evening, so we will see how things go.

I guess the next step is to come out to my therapist. Weird that I'm a little anxious about that, as it's not something I've been straightforward about with her from the beginning, and I do pay her after all, and I know if she's a professional then she won't judge me. I'm still a bit anxious though. I guess I'm afraid that at some point she'll think that I'm one of those people who creates unnecessary drama for myself. I mean, look at everything else. It does seem like I get into a lot of drama, and I do wonder sometimes how much of it I subconsciously bring on myself. But, one step at a time, one foot in front of the other. Guess we'll see where things go from here. The whole experience still feels so surreal to me.

Monday, April 29, 2013


"OK, so a new study proving that bisexual men are aroused by both men and women didn’t come as “news” to bi men, but most are nonetheless relieved by the results, because it will help to legitimize their identity in others’ eyes. (This is especially true since prior research controversially reported that there was no evidence of male bisexuality.) Still, the more than dozen bisexual men that I interviewed about the study say it serves as a reminder of just how far they still have to go toward acceptance and understanding. Despite enormous strides made in the past decade for LGBT rights, male bisexuality remains a challenging idea and a unique taboo, even within sexually progressive circles." ----  Tracy Clark-Flory, The Invisible Bisexual Man

"If you're asking yourself "Am I Bisexual?" then here's a handy checklist:
  1. Thinking about the people you've been attracted to, so far in your life, were they all of the same gender?
If you answered "No", to any or all of the questions in our list above then we feel it's okay for you to call yourself bisexual. We don't care how attracted you are to the genders around you - you're bisexual as soon as you stop being exclusively attracted to only one sex." - The Bisexual Index

There's something that many people don't realize within the fight for LGBT rights. And that's that the "B" and "T" are particularly more ostracized than Lesbians and Gays. I can't speak for the transgender experience, as I do not currently have any trans friends nor do I fall in that category, but bisexuals - people who are in some way or another, to some degree or another, attracted to both men and women (to describe it simply) are often ostracized by both heterosexuals and homosexuals, being seen as fence-sitters or too afraid to fully come out of the closet. Particularly Bi men, more than likely because of gender stereotypes and the prevalent fear of STDs, particularly HIV/AIDS.

There have been a series of instances within the last few years where people I've either become friends or acquaintances with during my time in undergrad, have come out as gay or bi. In each instance, I wondered about myself. In truth, I had really had questions about my sexuality since at least high school. I found myself attracted to guys. Most of my friends have always been females. As a child, I liked "girly" toys and cartoons just as much as the more "boy" ones (although granted, I know none of those are 100% indicators  of anyone's sexuality as they get older). Was I gay? No, that wasn't it. I was genuinely attracted to the females I had dated over the years. I was very much in love with Natalie during the time we were together. I was attracted to her physically and emotionally. But I still knew something was different. After we broke up, I decided that, as I'm in the process of "finding myself" in every other way, this would include my sexual identity. I won't go into sordid details here of course, but suffice it to say I basically did what probably anyone who questions their sexuality does. And it was probably about a week ago that I consciously tried out the term "bisexual" on myself, and it just seemed to fit. And I wonder now if that's contributed to the troubles I've had in all of my heterosexual relationships. None of my past girlfriends knew about my coinciding attraction to men. Natalie, even though she had a gay brother, had said in passing once, that she would never feel comfortable in dating a bi guy. So here I was, hiding a big part of myself not only from my friends and family, but from my extremely liberal girlfriend, even. Maybe now that I can acknowledge ALL of who I am, then I'll finally find a relationship that will actually last.

As I said, I only started seriously considering the possibility that I've moved on from the "bicurious" phase to accepting that I am indeed bisexual within about the past week. I feel this is a culmination of things. In addition to the friends of mine that have come out, over the course of the last ten years I've resolved a lot of internal turmoil. I've been able to become comfortable with my spiritual and religious beliefs (even if they do change over time as I change), and generally broken free of the dogma I was brainwashed with in my fundamentalist family. I've been able to make great strides in my career goals in ways I didn't think I was actually capable of doing. I've begun getting a handle on my depression through therapy and medication. I've made friends who are as open-minded and progressive as I am, which helps me feel less alone. I've finally been able to resolve my issues revolving around the question of my father, what he's like now, and what really happened in my infancy. Let's face it, the last thirty years of my life have pretty much played out like a Lifetime Original Movie. I've had a lot that I've had to work through. Sometimes it amazes me what I've been through and how I survived. So now I guess finally officially acknowledging my sexuality is the natural progression. One issue at a time. All starting with breaking free of my childhood dogmas.

My first outward verbalization of being bisexual is when I located a bi-oriented facebook group, called BiNet USA. I posted a general introduction and seeking guidance from those farther along the path than I. It had some unintended consequences. I had forgotten that things posted in Open Groups can be seen by everyone in the newsfeed. I was alerted to this fact by an acquaintance of mine who congratulated me and told me he was proud of me for being true to myself. He then proceeded to confess that he was gay, had been with his boyfriend for 16 years, but he did not tell many people because he had been severely shunned for it - even though he's a few years older than me, he had never even had the official "coming out" conversation with his own family because of their religious beliefs. The second friend told me she supported me as well, and that her sister is bisexual. At first I considered deleting the post, in case someone in my family saw it and having some awkward questions/accusations, but I decided against it. To me, doing so would have reinforced the idea that there was something wrong, something shameful, in it all. And I didn't feel right doing that, especially after a mostly closeted gay friend had just spilled his guts to me about the things he had struggled with because of his own sexuality. Besides, my family isn't exactly observant - they were in the same room as me when Natalie told me through instant messenger that she was pregnant and having an abortion, and they still don't know. So, I'll cross that bridge when it happens. Maybe I'll have a "big talk" with them at some point, maybe not. Who knows.

My second outward verbalization was when I officially updated my OKCupid profile, the primary dating site that I'm actually still a member of. Haven't had much luck on the site the last few years, so I don't anticipate much, but who knows.

My third outward admission of being bisexual is this blog entry. I'm still adjusting to the whole idea of being honest about it all, so I'm taking small steps. Those of my friends who know about this blog are among the most trusted, so I consider this a progression - writing it out for my friends to know who keep up with this blog, and then maybe I'll have the actual, verbal face to face conversation with them at some point as well, if need be. It's not a matter of fear of being rejected by them, more a matter of "would I be having the same conversation twice?" essentially.

Up to this point, I have not verbally opened up to anyone about it yet. On the one hand, the whole concept of being bisexual scares the hell out of me. I'm already such an outsider as it is. With the way bi men are marginalized by both the gay and the straight communities, it's just one more way I'm an outsider. One more way I don't fit in with my family. One more way to feel I don't belong. One whole new type of people to not really understand when I'm trying to date. On the other hand, it does help that there are online communities that I can turn to for support, and I know that my closest friends will support me. And I know my church will accept me, even if I don't feel the need to make some "big announcement" regarding my orientation. And it really does feel liberating to finally be fully honest with myself.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Flip Side

 If January was a month of elation and excitement, then February was mediocre, and March and April have been its flat-out evil twins.

I still have been talking to my father somewhat regularly. Primarily through email. He sent me a lovely angel figurine as a housewarming gift. My biggest problem at this point is my general conversation skills, which gives me trouble with just about any relationship I have.

About a month after the young woman and I started our casual dating, we stopped. There was no closure or warning. She just kind of, stopped responding to my texts or following through when making plans.

My roommate became a victim of debit/credit card theft, which has been a strain on both of our finances because it led to her rent check bouncing..... after my bank had already used it to pay rent. I had to take out a small loan to make sure I had enough finances to keep up the bills.

I'm now on 20mg of Celexa - or rather, the generic equivalent, citalopram - for depression. It was originally 10mg, as they were a little concerned about possible side effects, seeing as how when I have side effects to meds, it's usually really bad. This last Thursday is when the dosage was increased to a more typical dosage.

And finally, I do have a new dog. I love him. He's a Maltese/Poodle mix. I got him off of Craigslist. He's approximately four years old. His previous owner, an elderly man, had a stroke. That man's daughter tried to take him in, but he didn't get along with her cats, so she sold him. I love him, but he has crazy separation anxiety that I'm working with him on. Plus, I finally got him to a groomer yesterday. The road to get that to actually happen was an ordeal, as I had to reschedule twice because of miscommunication between myself, the groomers, and the vet, even though they were both at Petsmart. When I finally did get the appointment, he ended up at the emergency vet because they accidentally cut off one of his dew claws, that little claw in the back. His fur was so matted up, that they're basically having to shave it all off and start from scratch, and didn't see it under all the fur. Fortunately, they paid the vet bill, did the grooming free of charge, and when I take them to finish the job (they hadn't finished yet when the injury happened), that will be free of charge as well.

And so has my 2013 been so far. I'm making it my goal to write at least once a week, as a lot of things have been going through my head lately that I need to write more consistently about.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I had just finished a home visit with a family on my caseload on a cold, late-January evening. After leaving, I noticed I had a voicemail on my phone. The number was a restricted number. I listened to the message, assuming it was my aunt, the only person I knew who had a restricted number.

The voice on the other end was not my aunt. It was my father.

I had finally gotten the nerve to mail him the letter just the week before. I had updated it to include my phone number and email address, and providing a new mailing address. He had emailed me and called me on the very day he received the letter.

We talked for about thirty minutes. He asked me about pictures he had seen online - it turns out he had been keeping tabs on me all these years, just waiting for me to contact him. He told me several times how proud he is of me. We spent the next several days emailing each other. I finally got the questions I had wanted answered for twenty years, answered. I heard his side of how things went down between he and my mother. His only remaining family is a sister and some nephews and nieces, and I am his only child. He married soon after things ended with my mother, but they divorced and he has not married since. He is very nomadic, having moved from state to state simply for the hell of it, because he gets tired of living somewhere. He emailed me a picture of himself so I would know what he looked like. Turns out we are almost carbon copies of each other. After hearing his side of events, and seeing how much we looked alike, so many of my childhood issues finally seemed to be making sense. No wonder my mom treated me the way she did when I was a child - we look so much alike, I was a constant reminder of decisions and days that she would rather have forgotten.  When he asked, I was honest (well, to a point) about what my mother had told me about him. What really amazed me, is that after years of being told by her that he was practically the devil incarnate, and never having a nice thing to say about him, he has not once said anything negative about her. In fact, his advice was to never stop loving my family, and not let myself be consumed by hatred, because he's been down that road and it ruined him. He still views my mother as "the one that got away", and says that the day that she walked out on him, with me in her arms, is the hardest thing he's ever been through.

January had already been a whirlwind month. By this point in the month, I had already gone on several dates with a beautiful girl whom I was very attracted to. We initially met up at Barnes and Noble. We talked for four hours straight. Throughout the course of the month, she stated that she was very interested in me, but was wanting to take it slow because I'm her first post-divorce dating experience. I, of course, was perfectly okay with taking things slowly, as I haven't been in a relationship since 2007, and didn't want to jump into anything myself. I had also just passed my licensing exam, making me an official LMSW. And my roommate and I had just obtained approval on a house for rent, and would be moving at the first of March. I would no longer be sleeping on a couch. I would have my own space. Be able to get my own furniture. Be able to get all of my stuff back out of storage. For the first time in a long time, I felt good about my life. I was excited that so many things seemed to finally be coming together at once. I was relieved that my father was receptive to connecting with me, and that I had found a girl I thought I could potentially be happy with. But yet, so much was changing in my life, in just one month, that I was apprehensive. Waiting for the other shoe to drop. After all, it would seem that nothing positive ever lasts for long when it concerns me. The other shoe always finds a way to drop. And so, I waited. And hoped I was wrong.