Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Becoming Paula

Lately I have come to accept that I am not intended for marriage. This is not a sad reality. I think that marriage is sometimes over glorified. Marriage has benefits,yes, all sorts, physical, spiritual and emotional. As the Bible says something about a stone sharpening a stone so we can grow putting up with the annoyances of another person. When we look at this we seem to forget Paul recommending not marrying. He did great things for God. With no wife.

Why am I talking about this? Was I not exceedingly happy while I was marrieds? Yes, and no. It was the best I had ever known. The reality is that I have always felt that marriage was not for me. As a child I really wanted to be an old maid. Even as a a teen I did not think I would marry. This was in big contrast to the fact that I had a really strong sex drive. My sex drive was not the kind that was okay with just sleeping around. All my fantasies, then and now include committed loving relationships with love. My body and spirit had contrasting desires.

Did I marry my ex-husband for sex? Yes and no. I also married him because I loved him and had intensely committed to him and up on marriage I was willing and able to love him until one of us died and that was the case until the divorce.

There is another reason I married. I was profoundly mentally ill. What I needed was therapy and medication and a reliance up on God, not marriage, or relationship of any kind. When I am in a relationship my spiritual growth becomes profoundly retarded. I give too much of what is God's to my partner. I love intensely all consumingly and committedly. My love is the stuff of romances. It is also suffocating and unhealthy.

Sometimes what we most want is the least good for us. I never grew up nor figured what I wanted because I was so intensely committed to my husband. Now I am thriving and scared that I will jeopardize all the wonderful things I have accomplished by falling into another relationship. Also it is quite clear that I have terrible taste in men. My standards are fall too low. Clearly the common factor in my dismal romantic history is me and I have to accept the blame and that God's blessing has not been up on any of it.

In contrast I am blessed and productive and growing and happy with myself alone. Unless God finds me the perfect man, I am not interested and perfection does not appear in reality, so I think I am safe. Just call me Paula, the female apostle preaching the gospel of Jesus and remaining unmarried. : P

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Business

The problem with me is that I have no concept of "business" as in whose business something is. My business, your business, nobody's business all become everybody's business. Am I gossip? Yes, but I do not believe my motives are malicious. Am I untrustworthy? In a way I am.

This does not primarily mean I will go tell your business to everybody. What I do mostly is I tell my business to everyone. I have no concept of why this would be a bad idea. I tell people all about my sex life, or lack of it. I have zero problem talking about sex. I think the problem is that people assume that if I talk about it I will have it, with them. This is not the case. I just am very comfortable with myself.

I accept my mistakes and I am comfortable with myself. I do things I am not proud of but I have no concept of why I should not share these things with practically everyone, anyone. Why not? I just have no filter.
I think people assume there is more I am not sharing. I have juicier secrets, like them. Secrets they keep secret. I have no secrets. Believe me. Ask me anything. I may not announce it online but I have no secrets. Maybe I am somehow disabled.

You may say that this is fine. It is my business who I tell my stuff to. I am an idiot but what ever floats my retarded boat. The real problem comes when your business and my business intersect and become the same thing. I have to exert quite a bit of will power not to blab my business, because it is your business. I try, but every once in a while it jumps out. It probably does not comfort you when I tell you how hard I try to keep it under wraps because people usually just see that one time when their dirty little secret was shared by me.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Invisible Illness

As my name on this blog tells you I consider myself a skeptic but I do not do scientific skepticism here much, and I will not do it here either. I want to talk about how grateful and blessed I am by modern medicine and the scientific method that has provided us with this ever changing, improving medical science.

I have always been very healthy in body most of the problems I have ever had are pretty much in my head. The health problems I have can not be seen on the surface, even by medical professionals sometimes. This does not mean they are incompetent, this means they can not read minds. You can not see pain or mental illness on the outside often that is why they are misunderstood by observers, and sometimes even by sufferers.

I was very lucky. When I had my breakdown and I descended into my dark place of depression and psychosis I received treatment but every step of the way I had to fight to get it and advocate for myself. I seemed calm rational and sane even as I was breaking down. I tried to explain to doctors that I was breaking down but  they just saw someone who seemed to be alright. When I was at the hospital the psychiatrist was not sure I necessarily needed anti-depressants. I had to explain to her this was not a temporary condition that would go away as the initial stress went away. She believed me and medicated me. 

I got so lucky. The first medication I was given worked. This does not happen every time, often people have to go through years of trial and error to find the right medicine. Thank you medical science, thank you God. It also worked fast. After three weeks I felt like I turned a corner. One day dramatically things looked different, less enormous. It was like the elephant I had to eat was chopped up into bite sized pieces and I saw that there was a possibility that over time I could get over this and the task in front of me could be accomplished with time. I was cautious. I made them keep me another week. They wanted to send me home after a week at first, then two, then three but I had to make them keep me until I was ready to go, until my medicine was working, until the feeling of facing the world outside did not fill me with unspeakable terror.
 
My struggle continued outside. Things got harder as I got out, as they tend to. I had to face the world, face my husband and the stresses of being out on my own for the first time ever. I still miss being at the hospital sometimes. It was so safe there. I had to now convince a whole new set of people I was sick. I was optimistic and full of enthusiasm to get on the path to my new life but every one had their own idea about what I should do and they did not ask me what I needed.
 
I had to convince a new mental health nurse I was sick, and eventually that my depression had worsened and I had regressed several months and had to up my medicine, also I had to convince a psychiatrist. They were not incompetent, or blind, or anything. They just could not read minds. I was clean, my clothes were nice and I took care of myself and I felt better when I talked to others. How could they possibly see the dark moments of depression and loneliness I experienced? They were not in my messy apartment as I forced myself to make something to eat and broke down crying in the middle of slicing vegetables, collapsing to the floor and swearing tourets like: Bastard, fucking passive-aggressive douche bag! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fucking asshole!

The real difficulty was convincing the non-medical people. I have been told by so many people that I should not have tried to kill myself because suicide is a sin. Really? Wow, you know, I did not grow up in the Christian culture so I really had no idea. (What is the font for sarcasm?) My parents, every time my medication comes up, are still trying to convince me I should stop taking it. They do not understand. It was even worse in the beginning listening to my father's two hour lectures about the evils of psychology. Don't get me wrong, my parents are great and supportive in this time. They just do not understand, or even in some cases, acknowledge my sickness.

People tell me I should just pick myself up by my boot straps and clean my home. After all, it won't take that long, it is a small apartment. Just pick up after yourself. I wish I could. I really wish I could. Get a job, any job, earn money and quit living off the government. Even immigrants who do not know how to speak Finnish can get jobs in cleaning because they want to. People are poor in Kosovo and things are bad there but they have no depression.

That is what I hear. It is hard, I am alone in my sickness in a lot of ways. Make no mistake about it. I am ill. Just because I am not visibly ill does not mean I am fine. If you were to take a look at my brain under an MRI you would find that my hippo campus has drastically shrunk from what is normal for a 31 year old woman. The functioning of my frontal lobe is different and impaired. I have a drug to treat the chemical imbalance and slow the re-uptake of serotonin but only by taking it for a long time and going to therapy and in general living a healthy happy life can I hope to fix the physical changes in my brain. There is a hope that one day I will be fully cured and my depression will go into remission forever, but I may have to be medicated for the rest of my life. The first possibility is what I hope for but I am alright with the second. I am willing to take my chances.

What about the long term side effects of anti-depressants? We are not aware of all of them. Some may say. I answer: What about them? I have a friend with diabetes. There are long term side effects with having to take insulin too, but no one worries about that because it is necessary for her to live and they understand she will take it forever. I do not see how my case, if I am medicated for the rest of my life, is much different.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Update on My Life

How has life been treating the Skeptigirl?  You may ask. Well, life is treating me well. I am still sick but I am happy. I have realized that there is so much more and better things to life. My world has expanded. Sometimes I am lonely, sometimes I am angry but regardless of being depressed I am very happy. I am sure that last part makes very little sense.

I no longer believe in romantic love, it is a load of poo. I seriously do not think I will ever get married again because I really do not see the point. I have loads of great friends and family and my self-esteem is really high, like arrogantly high. Come on, I am awesome, smart, likeable, talented and seriously good looking. I mean my looks are astronomical.

Anyways, life is good, no need to worry about me. Maybe I will post  real blog post sometime soon, or a video, or something.

Friday, October 4, 2013

How my Life Fell Apart 2, The Crawl Foreward

When someone asks me when I am Christian I usually tell them the story of when I got saved when I was eight and tell them that God spoke to my heart in love and asked to let him in and to become his beloved daughter. He asked nothing from me, only that I love him back. This loving back was not a condition for me to get his love, no. He loved me anyway.

He had created me and watched me grow and knew all my weaknesses and strenghts and saw me at my worst and at my best through out my life, before and after I met him. I have failed so many times in my life to love him back properly but his unconditional love has never wavered, lessened nor drawn back.

Tree months ago I tried to kill myself as a result of my husband leaving me for another woman and completely shaking and leveling my whole world. My family was all I had. I had nothing, I could not sleep or eat and I suffered from crippling axiety. 

Suicide is a big no-no in Christianity, the unforgiveable sin, almost. In this case God not only forgave me but protected me and loved me even more noticeably than before because I needed it so much. He made sure I was picked up by the police who took me to the hospital where I recieved good care and recovered from the physical results of my suicide attempt. He also was with me in that dark place that I fell to. 

After my husband pulled my entire world out from under me I was alone and could see no light but I was with Jesus in this lonely darkness. He held me as I wept in shock, sorrow and rage. He bore my childish fits of screaming "WHY!" He loved me not because I was so special but because he is love.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8

I think I have come out on the other side of this tragedy. I have accepted that my once happy life with my family is over. I am making a new life for myself wth its highest goal being to find God's plan for me. If I am in God's will, I know I will be happy because: "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God" Roman's 8:28

I am still in the all things phase but I am starting to believe strongly that they will work out for good, soon. 

I do not usually include verses in my posts but I have been gaining a great deal of comfort from these verses because I am missing a lot of tangible love that I once had in my life. It was ripped from me suddenly with no warning leaving me experiencing withdraval symptoms. So I hope you will indulge me posting one last verse that made me cry earlier because I was overwhelmed by its beauty.

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38-39

Saturday, May 25, 2013

How My Life Fell Apart, part 1



I wrote this essay/blog entry a day before yesturday. I did not post it because it did not feel like the right time yet. Now more has happened and it does seem like the right time to talk about my feelings I had then. I will write more soon, and tell more.

When I wrote a research paper in the ninth grade I did it because I suspected I was depressed and I knew next to nothing about the subject. The first sentence of my paper was a quote: “Depression is like a murky pool.” I never understood the quote at the time but I thought the imagery was neat. For years I thought it meant that understanding depression was like groping around in a murky pool, you never knew what was underneath there. Now I understand, years later, that being depressed is like being in a murky pool. You are alone, you can’t see much. You cannot see the light above the surface clearly, if at all, and you can’t breathe. You are being weighed down with lead weights tied around your ankles. I was in that pool for years.

The main reason I got out was my husband’s help and support. He made me feel a love and acceptance I had never experienced before and in that positive environment I felt like I could be myself and slowly those lead weights came free. I did not even notice the ropes slipping free and how I began to float towards the surface and for the first time in a decade I was able to take a breath and see clearly in the free light and air with my head above water.

The terrible thing in this story of beauty and triumph is that in my wonderful recovery I hurt my husband a great deal. All those days, months and years of living with a depressed person, wondering if they have hurt themselves or will you find something worse when you come home, is very draining. Your life starts to revolve around that person’s disease. You lose yourself and you chop off little pieces of yourself to take care of your sick loved one. That is what happened to my husband.
He not only became burdened down with the weight of my lead weights he forgot who he was and forgot why he even did it. I was like a vampire or a parasite slowly sucking away his happiness and sense of self to gain those things for myself and I never noticed that. We were happy. We loved each other. Our marriage, despite all the financial and social things, was the real consistently good thing in our lives. Or so I thought. I projected my happiness onto him. I thought: I have become a better person in the course of this marriage; he influenced me for the better. I must have done the same for him. We grew together.

Well, that is what I thought. It felt amazing to be liked, loved and accepted by someone so completely, warts and all. I did have this nagging suspicion in the back of my mind, somewhere in the worst fears section of my brain, that he did not like me as much as I liked him. I figured it was just my old low self-esteem talking. I mean he was so great, kind, patient and nice. He was so talented, capable, funny and smart. I was a loser with no real talents or skills. My IQ was painfully average, my humor was often bristly and mean and not nearly as funny as I thought. On top of that my youthful good looks were not nearly as youthful or good as they had once been. Come on, that is just my old self-esteem and fear. I am great, people like me, I like me etc. I had all this new found self-esteem and he told me he loved me like a million times a day, of course he liked and loved me. 

Wrong, so wrong, I had created my happy marriage as a work of one sided fiction. I just really wanted this wonderful person to love me. It turned out all those little worrying red flags I had experienced really were signs that not all was right. My husband’s occasional signs of depression and not being able to keep friends very actively. He was feeling like an old loser after he had stopped doing things and hanging out with people because he felt he needed to just take care of me and cater to my needs. There was the way he never complemented my personality, intelligence, sense of humor or anything internal like that and how all the compliments on my looks just stopped coming, even when I specifically asked for compliments. I figured he did not need to do that, he loved me anyway and it was ridiculous to need compliments, I needed to have my confidence standing independently.

Now here I am, I have to peer to the surface of the murky pool and stare the plain truth in the face. I am a loser. People like me only when they don’t know me. The one person who truly knows me does not like me and this not liking has worn down the love over the years making his responses of “I love you.” as hollow and empty as a looted tomb. I just fell off a cliff, how are you doing?

Saturday, May 4, 2013

LGBTF

I am back for the moment. I never said it was forever. I am probably not here to stay but might pop in at some point. I am sneaky and mysterious and all that. I just had something I wanted to write and here it is.



I have always been such a huge fan of the civil rights movement. I have always been more of a Rosa Parks type of a fighter for freedom, than a Freedom Rider. I will stand up for what is right when I need to but I am not actively courageous. I wait for my moment to stand up for what I believe in. I am still waiting for my opportunity because then I could say, look at me, these are my principles, and this is what I believe in.

In today’s world racial equality is a given. That does not mean racism is not live and well but it is not systematic, widespread and accepted. I keep thinking: What is the today’s equivalent of the 1960’s segregation? My answer is there is not an exact analog but in my life but prejudice against Muslims and homosexuals comes close. I face both in my spiritual community. The prejudice against Muslims is the reason I have effectively left my former church. As much as I love the people I spend time with there, their attitudes against this particular group of Semitic people are too much for me to take and so I left. I mean I work there. I have committed to certain tasks which I can’t just leave barring something absolutely egregious.

The subject of gay rights is another thing all together. I believe it is a human rights issue to allow them to marry, adopt and have the same legal rights as couples of the opposite sex. Adam and Steve all the way, so to speak. This is actually an issue I cannot even take up to defend in a community of faith, or among most of my family. I am an ally of the LGBT community. I am a Christian. If I can justify women having the same rights legally, socially, and within the church it is not hard to justify acceptance of homosexuals. What is the justifying of a few verses versus a whole boatload of crap declaring women are as unto animals?

I feel like on this blog I have been too accommodating of differing opinion on this particular topic. I mean, I still allow for differing opinion when it is done politely 100%, it is the ground on which this is built. What I mean my expression of the issue. I think I have been molly coddling the bigots by expressing my opinions in a watered down way.  I must speak the truth. I cannot in my heart believe that homosexuality is a sin. We cannot help who we love and are attracted to. Not all of us are suited to the lifestyle of celibate monks. We are not all Paul. “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.” 1 Corinthians 7:8. I am a person made to be with someone. I am made to be in a couple with my husband.

It was our anniversary, Friday May 3. We have been married for nine years. I am prone to loneliness and could not imagine making it through life without someone at my side. I cannot deny that for a person who is predisposed to form a pair bond with a person of the same gender. If someone can live life single, great for them, do that. It frees you up for other, more important things. So if you are gay and can remain single, fine do it. If you are straight and can do that I absolutely encourage it and use the time you have free and untethered for the benefit of others. Go out, change the world, write a blog and let me live through you vicariously.

I am still waiting for a Rosa Parks moment. I am also dreading it because I really do not feel comfortable coming out to friends and family as an ally. I have said that I support gay marriage because I do not believe that the government should legislate morality but no one knows that I believe it is possible to be gay, Christian and a good person at the same time. I feel ashamed of this. I want to live in a way that I can say this so that is why I am waiting for my Rosa Parks moment. I am waiting for the moment I cannot stay silent. I am waiting for the moment that something happens and my inner sense of justice forces me to declare the truth. I want that because then I could say: “I am living according to my principles, I am not a coward. Let the gays into the church and into fellowship with us.”




 http://youtu.be/1eTgwOe5_q8