My Right to Say No

I have been harassed since November 25, 2017. It’s unnerving. This happened before when I was in high school. A boy I dated when I was 16 decided we were destined to be together forever wasn’t letting me go, so he followed me. Everywhere. He showed up at my school, my church, and in the town where I lived. At the time I was still with my parents, surrounded by more protection. It didn’t seem unsettling. Today, I see everything with merciless eyes.

mmd_saint_seiya_video____taking_back_my_love_by_mmdmodelsall-d90pig8

None of this had to happen. I wasn’t in a relationship. So here’s the thing, if I decide I want to stop seeing someone I say so. And I did. No stringing it out, no rude remarks, and no yelling or breaking of objects. Mature adults. Oh, was I wrong. One-sided maturity. I was slapped in the face with a string of drunken texts claiming there were audio sex tapes. (Illegal alert) Days later I was threatened to be exposed for the vile woman I was and told I gave the man HIV. (He had flu-like symptoms.) During this time, he also had contacted a friend of mine and made verbal sexual advances toward her. (Illegal.)

The court ordered the defendant to pay restitution to the women and certified him as a sex offender. — Forbes

After doing some research I’m surprised by how common this is. Recording audio or video without consent is illegal. Nonconsensual Taping of Sex Partners Is a Crime.

As Stephanie’s Law and other unlawful surveillance statutes make clear, invasions of sexual privacy constitutes a crime. – Forbes

Harassment is a crime, as is slander and defamation of character.

Harassment Law and Legal Definition. Harassment is governed by state laws, which vary by state, but is generally defined as a course of conduct which annoys, threatens, intimidates, alarms, or puts a person in fear of their safety.

Harassment Law and Legal Definition | USLegal, Inc. https://definitions.uslegal.com/h/harassment/

If someone is threatening you, tell a friend, phone the police, get a lawyer involved. Don’t let anyone bully you. It’s alright to say no, and you should be free to walk away. There’s no voice without the ability to refuse, and the Almighty “NO!” Courage grows its roots in the choosing.

 

Want to read more? Check out Limitations, Boundaries, and those cute Picket Fences or Hope

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Otherness

At four years of age, I jumped out the doorway onto the crude steps outside. I’d been told not to do this repeatedly, but I was excited, and I knew I could do it. It was a big leap. And I was little. The ending wasn’t how I planned. I landed onto the concrete, with my left arm pinned underneath my body, snapping my arm bone in the process.

Conservative vs. Explorative

7d87a3be938e35d0e50de7f978574c95There is something I’ve noticed about personality traits. Some people really don’t like new things. Even if they have them over and over, they would prefer to go back to their original favorites. We call them the meat and potatoes people. What they grew up with is their traditional style, and it makes them happy. They are conservative. It’s not the same as being a Republican, though. This isn’t about politics. It’s style and moderation.

Seeing the color

I run toward otherness because I’m curious. Chase the rainbow. Yes, this might lead to trauma. Should I learn a lesson, slow my roll? Can we really change who we are? What I haven’t said about my jumping out the doorway from the forbidden height is that I’d done it many times before. Those other times had been successes. I’d watched my brothers who were older and wanted to do what they could do so I learned. I had been successful. Just not that one time. Life must be lived. Some of us will run towards the different things and what many would call otherness. And maybe someday we might fly.

I Am Safe

I’ve admired the European lifestyle for many years. What I’ve watched in a carefree manner began to be the way I wanted to pattern my life. I’ve felt stressed from the uptight expectations of the American society, stretched thin from not enough down time to recharge. I complained that I wanted to move to France or Italy or even Sweden just so I can get away from our hectic ways. Give me siestas and long vacations.

Wine and bread

While I’m working through my lunch cramming down the last bite of food, I’m thinking there’s someone in France sipping a glass of wine with her friend and eating a crusty baguette. Vacation only made this worse.

Somehow, the other side of the pond has always seemed greener. Europe’s healthcare system, vacations, their unpretentious philosophy of life, more liberal politics, all of these were more to my liking. But something interesting happened while I was driving back to work from a doctor’s appointment. I glanced out the car window and noticed there was a flock of geese lounging on the golf course, safe. Only golfers were near enough to chase them.

What Happened?

golfing-geese_zps9716b6961

There’s a lot of talk about healthcare in the states, and you’d think we were all dying on the streets without any care at all. I don’t want Medicaid defunded because this affects everyone, hospitals and doctors included, and of course, the patients receiving care. But that’s a political conversation. What I did realize about my own situation is that I am doing alright. And I came by this truth by changing my inner picture. Instead of seeing bad, I caught a glimpse of what’s good in my life, but this has taken retraining. Rehab for my brain. Neurolinguistics. Read this post. Can you Neuro Lingo.

I’m alright

I was returning from an appointment with a doctor who was helpful and kind. I have good healthcare. My job allows me to leave in the middle of the day for an appointment. Yes, our system is complicated. It needs improvement, not abolished as some want to do. I’m also trying to remember that the grass is pretty damn green on my golf course.

Some helpful links:

Neurolinguistic training that helped

Similar blog posts:

 

Vacation Poster Promises

There are plenty of posters and travel blogs promising bliss and restoration. Smooth, polished rocks, cascading waterfalls, and green plush grass are there for you. Rest and Restore. Leave your worries behind. Well, I chuckle. Life’s just not that convenient. Worries are like clingy little babies. They want to be fed, and they want only you. To remove them takes some conscious choice. Mindfulness.

Mad Max Highway

I drive the same short stretch of highway connections every day. People like me are jamming this interchange, just leaving work and wanting to go home as quickly as possible. Tired. Cranky. Maybe short on patience. Twice this week I’ve had the same thing happen. Two different people cut me off when there was an opening for me to enter a lane. Once it was my lane and the fellow thought I wasn’t quick enough I’m guessing, he passed me. The nerve! Both episodes I reacted poorly by speeding ahead, glaring or yelling. Something inside me quickened, warning me. Bad responses. Not that I might harm someone, but what if another, a third party, was injured. Was I willing to continue this same path? As I realized I wasn’t mindful or grateful, I noticed a large tire in the middle of the highway. Would I have hit it?

Allowing Stupid to Be Stupid

Last week I mentioned in Mindless Searching clicking through one book after another. I realized after twenty minutes had passed that I was not interested in any of the books I was looking at.  I was in a trance. Mindfulness doesn’t happen by accident. It’s something I have to do. Pay attention. Watch the road. Stay calm. Let the anger go. Allow the stupid to be stupid and not even the score, because life isn’t fair.

Serendipity and Irony

I’m a passionate person, which is why I’m not good at just letting things slide. Some things can be planned, but there are a lot of stuff that just happen that are so much better if they happen on their own. For instance, the lemonade that I drank in Mexico. I couldn’t have planned that and made it taste any sweeter. And the memory of that day couldn’t bring me any more joy if I’d planned it.

When a moment happens and the events come together it seems perfect, as if you’d planned it, serendipitous. Athletes call it the flow or the zone. They’ve planned for it by practicing, maybe even visualizing. Who knows, that could be what happens to us when our lives have real things that fall into place. Ironic isn’t it?

 

 

 

Apocalypse, Abaddon, and the Spirit of Fear

The one thing that I believe I got right coming out of the religious world was a healthy dose of discernment. Even when I was neck deep in religiosity, I kept the same council as I’m going to bring out in this short blog today. I say short because a truth is simple usually. Once you know the truth of a thing, you stop worrying and get on with your life. When you’re uncertain, as in how to drive a car, you question everything. What if I mess up? What if I’m doing it wrong? When you’re an adult, and you drive to work, you get in your car and you drive to work. Sometimes you drive too fast, but you don’t sit around worrying about checking your brake pedal or your accelerator pad every five minutes.

End of Days – Again?

Know the truth and you will be free. So what’s this big truth? Love. Joy. Peace. I’m quoting the Bible because that’s the book I was given to read as a child, but I know that’s not the only holy scripture that teaches these truths. How do you know if a person is right? How do you know that they are wishing good things for you? Jesus’s disciples asked him how they would know if the other preachers were disciples of him? There were so many people performing miracles at one time it became confusing. His answer was easy, check their character. Not by their miracles, but by their fruit. Checking a person’s character was my first test when I was a child. I was serious as a kid.

True and False Prophets

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Matthew 7:15-20

Remember Hugs

If you’ve been hugged in the warmest of bear hugs by a grandparent and loved, you weren’t feeling afraid at that moment. If there were any fears, it would only be for their well-being. Love brings with it a sense of satisfaction and safety. Love is my second test.

Love Comes from God

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18

So for all of the Christians that are following the Blood Moon fear mongers, STOP. They are selling you a paper bag filled with lies and it’s dripping of fear. I am tired of calming my family down from it.

Those that get off making others afraid – like Tom Horn and even the Christian TV broadcasters like Pat Robertson and John Hagee, they are sick sadists. If you buy into that shit, then you might as well pick up the Sunday horoscope column and follow their advice every week.

The Truth:

Silly Crazy Stuff:

Rainbows and Taxes

The trick to having a happy life is knowing who you are and what you need at this stage of life.

I often get caught playing against two sides. The wall that is solid brick and constant. The unchanging realities. The weather. Death. Life. Taxes. It’s true to its word and never changes. You always know where you stand, but it is unforgiving if you slam against it.

The other is not a wall at all. Plasma. Morphing. Changing. Moving. It’s much like sinking sand. The wants, needs, and desires we all have. We want a house. College. We dream of success. It’s all intangible. The end of the rainbow. The stars of the sky. It can seem scary when the desires overwhelm us.

“Don’t seek to be happy; let everyone else chase after that rainbow.
Seek to be kind, and you’ll find the rainbow follows you.”
Richelle E. Goodrich

No one wants to live in an iron cage. To be contained without forgiveness will make your heart sink with defeat. You lose all motivation and wish only for death to come. We dream of running free or flying high in the air. If your life is constantly paying dues, living your life meeting the needs of others, being responsible, then your life is an iron cage. You are a bird in a cage.

It’s not all or nothing….

But, we all need a little support. We need fences and borders to help us along the way. Highways have markings for a reason. Road signs and access lanes keep us traveling freely. When we are developing our skills either as children or adults we need guidance. How do I travel overseas? Do I need a passport? Will I be searched at the airport? So you ask for guidance, consult the experts, get recommendations from friends and even strangers who look like they might know something about traveling abroad. If you have been a regular nomad your entire life, you don’t need these things anymore. You could write your own guidebook. Heck you probably already have.

Where are you?

The important thing to know is, what level are you in this life? Are you starting fresh or starting over? You’ll know because you’ll be asking questions and looking everywhere for answers. That bewildered look on your face really gives you away. That’s okay. It’s just one step at a time and then you’re on your way. Maybe you started over and have been on this journey awhile but you’re not sure if this is where you want to be. Maybe it’s an okay place, but it may be a bit boring. That’s when you start flexing some muscles. Add some play into your routine. You can push the boundaries a bit just to start a spark. It will be like your teenage years all over again, but without the braces.

Who are you?

Not many people will admit to being an old pro at life. I mean really, as they say, no one gets out alive. Some are more sturdy and knowledgeable though and to yell at them for getting off the safe path would just be silly. They might laugh at you. These are the ones who stare at the top of Mount Everest with a twinkle in their eye. “Yep,” they say, “I’m gonna climb that someday.” And maybe they will. If not that mountain then it might be another. You’ll find these people often helping out the Red Cross or United Way after a disaster. They’ll be reading to small children while their parents are stocking up on survival supplies. You might see them but you probably won’t because they are busy just living their lives.

“the image of those midwestern storms that rip up the world as you know it, and leave, like a sacrifice, a rainbow to make you forget what has come before.”
Jodi Picoult, Picture Perfect

There are the travelers and the nomads. Trailblazers and renegades. The gardener and the road builder. The scientist and the preacher. What do all of these have in common? You guessed it. They all started with one step in front of the other. No one is born fully whole.

Where are you? Have you recently started over? Do you even know where you want to go or what you want to see? Just know where you are now. Write it down and don’t be ashamed. If you were wanting to travel you would start with brochures. You would read up on the places that sound interesting then learn what you need for the journey.

Some books that inspired me:

El Camino road by Shirley Maclaine
The ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Expectations vs Reality

There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically. “Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed. “Maybe,” replied the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “Maybe,” answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. “Maybe,” said the farmer.

Expectations are just that, expectations. They aren’t promises or guarantees. We assume we know how life will go. I have heard that women tend towards forecasting in relationships more so than men. We meet a man, and in our mind we’ve got our house picked out along with the names of the two adorable children we will have. When the relationship crashes, we wonder what went wrong. Maybe nothing went wrong. It could be that it wasn’t as perfect as we’d thought. It’s difficult to process the difference between our imaginary relationship or imaginary job versus the one that really exists. We need to be careful to pay attention to what really is happening around us, then we approach life face to face.  Where were you looking when the roof caved in? Did you notice the first drops of rain? Or the buckets on the floor to catch the dripping roof leak? Maybe you were were visualizing life in another town.

So what are we to do? I love to redecorate my house in my mind and our imagination has its purpose. How would we ever make any progress, whether scientific or mathematically? Visualization gives us our map of how it could be. We need to remember where we are right now.

Avoiding magical thinking

But while your intent is pure and your goal is to create magic, the most common mistake is to believe that the marketplace will agree with your good intent and support you. More specifically, that media intermediaries will clearly, loudly and accurately tell your story, that this story will be heard by an eager and interested public and that the public will take action (three strikes).

Or, more tempting, that ten people will tell ten people to the eighth power, leading to truly exponential growth (some day). Because right now, you’ve told ten people and they have told no one…

Only count on things that have happened before, a funnel you can buy and time you can afford to invest. Anything more than that is a nice bonus. – Seth’s blog

 

Afraid to Say No

emotion
emotion (Photo credit: ro_buk [I’m not there])
I’m not afraid of love. But I’m afraid of loving. I am afraid of loving someone so much that I can’t say no for fear of hurting them, because it doesn’t matter how compatible people are, at some time there will be disagreements. It’s a rather co-dependent behavior I realize and I avoid it so it won’t happen.

With most people I can keep my boundaries. They ask a favor, I evaluate, and I answer honestly. Easy. The closer I get to people emotionally,  the more difficult it is to evaluate and answer honestly. Trust and the fear of abandonment get involved. Unfortunately the only way I know to break this cycle is to walk through the fear as consciously as possible. Be afraid and still hold my ground.

Maybe what I’m really afraid of is rejection, not love. If emotions were easy we would all be stable and not need our crutches of medication and television. I realize that I’m not the only one who has these issues, it just seems that so many other people are comfortable with being with someone without emotions. Or maybe they’ve fooled me. Either way I will deal with my issues and pick up the pieces later.

 

Security Alert

 

Gun Barrel Proof House, Banbury Street, Digbet...

Warning! Space less than 2 inches. Air in short supply. The alarms are ringing, every muscle in my body is stiff. My brain is not functioning. Shut down in 10, 9, 8, etc.

I have felt extreme panic just driving over a narrow bridge. It felt as if my blood was ice-cold, my breath stuck in my lungs, and panic seized my entire body, just as if a tiger was right in front of me. Is it fear or is it my alarm warning of true danger? Sometimes it’s hard to tell.

When I was first married, we allowed a door to door, fire and security alarm salesman to come into our new home. Partly because the salesman was a friend of a friend and partly to hear what the guy had to say, we let him go through his salesman pitch. A good salesman can sell ice cubes to an Eskimo they always say. This guy was good. And he used fear as his purchase motivation. He casually looked out our back window. Noticing a privacy fence, he told a scenario of a burglar or rapist climbing over a fence and breaking into our home while I was alone. Normally those thoughts would scare me, but not this time. His fear tactic was a little too obvious. He painted his scary story with too much cliché.

Resetting my alarm is something I’ve worked with for 15 years and more. With the recent crime spree in Tulsa I’ve had to get a grip. My solution was to buy a security alarm, read up on home invasion prevention, and listen to some hypnosis audio to help ease the panic. Of course some of the danger was real, but like the salesman who painted the picture of danger, my mind’s vivid imagination was a bit overdone.

Update:

The Tulsa rapist came to an ironic end. After his 8th assault, he swerved off the highway and crashed into a pole. The police had already identified  him as a potential suspect and with the last bit of DNA evidence, they confirmed him as the rapist. He was brain-dead from the crash and before the DA could file charges against him, his family pulled the plug.

 

 

 

 

Getting the Agoraphobia Out In the Open

I have a touch of agoraphobia. I think. I’m not sure if that’s what it would be called exactly, but I don’t like leaving home. I also don’t like being without my car. Home and car are security blankets. My vehicles of protection. Shelter. It’s a strange feeling. I don’t like crowds of people like carnivals and malls, but I see that as being different from my agoraphobia. Away from home feels unsafe. I’m not relaxed. Everything revolves around getting finished with whatever it is that’s keeping me away from my safe place and when I’m finished I can collapse in relief. I’m home. I’m not sure what causes this feeling.

I’m not scared when I’m away. I’m just uncomfortable. To me it’s like having shoes that are too tight. I walk just fine, but it would feel so much better without them on. Or it’s like going outside a sunny day. The glare of the sun in your eyes makes everything you do a bit more difficult. That’s the best way I can describe it. I can function and most would never know that I have an issue, unless I tell them. I really like being at home.

The definition of agoraphobia is a fear of being outside or otherwise being in a situation from which one either cannot escape or from which escaping would be difficult or humiliating.  – Medicinenet.com

This is funny but true:

Physical symptoms are rare because most people with agoraphobia avoid situations that they believe will trigger panic. – MedicalNewsToday.com 

This isn’t a topic I think about much, except it seems to be creeping in just a bit more all the time. When I was younger I had a lot of responsibilities. People to care for and obligations to keep. Now, it’s only me. I can do most of my shopping online. I pay my bills and compare prices online. The day I can work from home, I may be in trouble. This is one reason I like running. It gets me outside in the sunshine and fresh air.

I wonder if my neighbors think I’m a psychopath. I’ve lived here for over 5 years and still don’t know anyone’s name. We’ve talked. They’ve helped me dig my car out of the snow. I even almost proposed to one guy. I felt so grateful for his helping me get unstuck. I wonder what he’d have thought about that.

Just a note to all of my friends: As I get older, you may have to intervene. I don’t ask for much, but if you buy me a ticket to a Thirty Seconds To Mars concert, I will leave my house. Even in the ice and snow. Right Nicole and David?

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