Wednesday, April 29, 2015

More Loss

Two friends gone in as many weeks, though one died just after Ron, last August.

Jerry was a buddy, a pal.  We met at a football game, where he and the sweet boy who would become my longest-running relationship in High School were sitting behind me, endlessly blowing an air horn in my ear.  Jerry was never a romantic interest for me that I remember (my memory is apparently flawed in that regard, as more than one old friend has said we had a romantic involvement when I remembered none), but rather an extremely good friend.  He listened, I talked.  He talked, I listened.    We both despaired of ever finding true love, and even had a pact at one point in which we would get together and give one another a try if we were still virgins when we were 25.  Of course, we lost touch soon after high school, only reconnecting about two years ago.  Jerry had become a reclusive curmudgeon, living with his wife of many decades in eastern Oregon, and try as I might, I never got the sense there was a smile or even a glimmer at the other end of our communication.

I'm sorry he's gone, for I feel the loss, but I think he was more than ready, and so I am glad for his release.  I confess that I really hope there's some interim meetup waiting for me after this life...more and more people I care about are over there. And maybe that's my final shred of hope that lingers after all else falls away...

A Change of Location

If anyone is even reading this much-neglected, overgrown-with-weeds space, you may have wondered where I disappeared to, and I thought I've give you a map.  I have to warn you that there are plenty of weeds over in the new space, too, as I've withdrawn from a LOT of the places where I previously chanced contact with the virtual world.  I'd also like to tell you I'll be doing a lot more writing, sharing my thoughts and heartsong...I'd like to tell you that, but I'm not at all certain it's true.  Nonetheless, you deserve to better than to simply be left hanging.  So, if you care (and it's really okay if you don't, a lot of days I don't, either), go to my new(er) blog for the occasional burst of communication.  Now I'm off to write a post over there...see ya!

Sunday, September 22, 2013


Isn't friendship an odd thing?  I'm not very good at it, all in all.  Or maybe, as a former boyfriend repeatedly insisted, I just have to find the right person to be friends with.  Beats me.  I know that I'm not an easy person to spend a lot of time with.  Am I a narcissist? As the daughter of a Pathological Narcissist, I am a reluctant expert on the subject, and though I exhibit some narcissistic traits (so does everyone, btw, even the Dalai Lama and the Pope), I am not a Narcissist.  Certainly I have a super-ego that frequently demands its self-centered desires be fulfilled, but unlike my unfortunate mother, my ego is healthy and ultimately in control of the situation.  So when my super-ego is being a super-brat, my ego steps in and negotiates away the threatened tantrum.  Still, my super-ego is strong, and it often insists on FAR too much attention, exhausting not just my id and ego, and the id, ego, and super-egos of those around me, too.  You thought I didn't know that, huh?  Nope, I'm fully and painfully aware of how needy a part of me is.  Sux, but there it is.  All this adds up to a person who is sub-optimal friendship fodder.  And that makes me feel sad a lot of the time.

I've been moving fairly constantly since before I was born, and that takes a toll.  I envy those people who've lived in one place all their lives, who know everyone in town and are a vital part of their community.

So how do I go about building a space for myself in the Community when what I'm really good at is quietly pottering about in my own solitary space?  How can I make friends when making friends isn't something at which I'm particularly adept?  How can I be connected when withdrawal is my comfort zone?  Once again, I have to extrude extroverted behaviour from this introverted shell.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Anger Epiphany

Apparently, expressing one's feelings in a public place such as this blog is a social no-no.  Hey, what do I know?  Maybe the person who told me I shouldn't have written what I did is right.  So I've taken it down.  Mea culpa.

One more layer of bricks in the Isolation Wall is now in place.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


I grew up in a strange world.  From parents older than those of most my friends, I was born with three sisters (from my father's first marriage) I never knew, and one (from my mother's first marriage) who was married and gone by the time I was four.  One of my father's set I've still never met, in spite of her relatively close proximity, a mere 250 miles.  Her choice more than mine, though I've never pushed in the slightest for a meeting.

So I was a lone child with considerably older parents than my peers.  Compound the strangeness of that with the lifestyle we led due to my father's work.  See, I grew up traveling the world, moving, on average, every three months.  I never knew what my father did for work beyond a very vague "electrical engineer" or "he works for the government," which was another element that made it difficult for me to fit in with the "normal" child's world.  It wasn't until I had ready access to the Internet that I could finally plug in all the information I had...places, dates, whispered and cryptic references to dad's work...and deduce that he did covert work for our government.  I don't believe he was ever involved in black ops, and almost certainly not in wet work of any kind.  Rather, he worked on the electrical installations of various bases and facilities.  Curious...I actually know more than I'm saying, but all those years of "We don't discuss your father's work" and my father refusing to talk (even in the deepest throes of senile dementia, the integrity of his wall of secrecy remained unbreachable) have apparently made me unable to speak openly...makes my gut tighten to consider the idea.

By the time I was eight, I had lived on every continent but one - Antarctica, and most of that time had either been taught by governesses or simply by reading books and observing the world around me.  When we returned permanently to the States, I had almost nothing in common with other children.  I remember clearly trying to grasp who sports figures, or movie and music celebrities were, with very little success.  Unlike the kids I was finally, actually going to school with, I had been given unlimited access to reading materials, which meant I had zero knowledge of Bobbsie Twins or Nancy Drew, but an extensive repertoire of English children's fiction from the Edwardian period.  Librarians loathed me because I read at a level they were simply not prepared to allow.  My mother had a massive fight over one librarian's refusal to allow me to check out The Last of the Mohicans at age 8, insisting that I was "too young" and therefore "incapable of understanding" the book.  My mother was outraged; I just moved on to other books.  Caring about what other people said I could or couldn't do really wasn't worthy of my consideration until I hit my forties.

On top of all this artificial aging (truly, I was a 40 year old in a 6 year old's body), my parents, both children of physically and emotionally abusive parents (not my paternal grandmother - SHE was a peach), were given an exclusive, all-access 24x7 pass to my isolated little psyche, and they wrecked havoc.

All of this background is simply to give you some understanding of how thoroughly I have never fit into the society around me, and is the crux of the question with which I am currently grappling, desperately trying to find some answer that will smooth my ragged edges; sooth the terrible pain I suffer all. the. time.  Here is my question:

Is it possible for someone to simply be born utterly unlovable? 

Blaming my parents has been a convenient way to deal with my pain for decades, but maybe it's the wrong approach.  After all, at this point the problem is mine, and mine alone.  Maybe I am simply unlovable.  Maybe I was born that way.  Maybe there really IS absolutely no hope.  I don't know.  I just keep trying to find an answer that will allow me to unclench and eventually to love myself a bit.  I'd like to love myself.  If possible.  And therein lies most of my hope and most of my despair.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Long, Strange Trip

My best friend and I are in a rough patch, and one of the things 
she said yesterday was that she was worried about me because I 
am "obsessed with death." I was taken aback, because I don't see 
myself obsessed with death at all, and because I've always 
been obsessed with death. And there you have perhaps the perfect 
description of my strangely dichotomous being. 

I have more death-related memories than any other set except for 
those involving light and pattern.  A large part of that is probably 
due to growing up as I did, traveling the world, experiencing the 
world in a more adult way than most children.  So AM I obsessed 
with death? Perhaps with the paraphernalia and trappings thereof, 
but not with death itself. 

In the past 9 months, seven friends, five of them extremely close
at one time of my life or another, have died. My closest friend on 
the planet for the past 25+ years, my closest friend in high school, 
the boy who gave me the greatest kiss of the last 45 years, 
another dear, dear friend from high school, and a friend from 
another time, another place...all suddenly gone, far, far too soon. 
And yes, losing your friends makes you think about your own 

And so it goes, as Kurt Vonnegut said. Life is strangely 
long, and short, both simultaneously. I have begun to wonder, as 
my father did fairly constantly toward the end of 96 years, "how 
long is this going to go on?"  Will I, like him, be the last one 
standing?  Do I have to watch everyone I know and love fall off the 
earth?  How did my father endure the loss?  How will I?  But endure 
I will, for I have little choice, really.  As often as I've contemplated 
it, suicide is not an option.  No, I'll go on, and I will do my best to 
enjoy life for all those friends who die before me. One aspect of 
the recent losses I find comforting is the sense that all those friends are at my elbow whenever I need them, lending me their love.  And that's a very nice feeling.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Math 101, or I Am A Sensitive Plant

Anyone who knows me well is aware of my feelings regarding the process of learning about mathematics.  My father, deeply frustrated when trying to teach me (I need to understand the WHY of things before I can simply "accept it."), usually vented that frustration on me, thus creating an additional layer of loathing whenever someone tries to explain a mathematical concept.  I had one teacher, in the Seventh Grade, who actually took my flinching in the face of math as a challenge, and I ended up getting a solid, shining A+ in his class, which was all about fractions and decimals.  Thank heavens for that man, for he taught me that I COULD learn math, given the right teacher.

Quick aside - my father once told me I needed to learn algebra because I would need it in life, and when I retorted that I would NOT need it, he asked me what I would do when I needed to calculate something complex, and I said "I'll HIRE someone."  I could hear my mother choking on her laughter from the next room.

Over the years, one friend (all male...not one female has ever attempted) after another has tried to teach me various mathematical concepts/skills, usually because I've asked a specific question.  I say God Bless Them for trying, but it's largely a thankless job, because I generally find Math pretty silly, and giggle through an explanation, or I get frustrated and cry.  I have simply learned to avoid asking about the how or why of calculations rather than face the emotions of trying to learn.

Saturday last, whilst picking through the trash and treasures at a local thrift store, I spied a miniature slide rule in a little leather case, and memories of my dad trying to teach me to use it bubbled up.  I actually remember that as a fun, though mostly baffling experience, but throughout the years, I have always wanted to understand how to use those suckers.  When I showed it to V last night, he asked me if I knew how to use it.  Warily, but with the ever present hope of a Fool, I replied that I didn't, but would like to.  Oy.  After showing me how to do basic multiplication with it, we rapidly descended into a discussion of logarithms, which quickly led to terms like indicies, exponentiation, inverse functions, etc.  And I braced for a mind-numbing lecture, already searching for any easy exit.
Dad had a slide rule very much like this...sure wish I had a full sized one in a nice leather case again...
Needless to say, I was amazed that he never got angry when I giggled (I know math is supposed to be ALL about logic, but it seems HIGHly illogical to MY way of thinking), and when tears welled up, he simply backed up and took a new tack.  When I argued and/or asked what might seem like stupid questions (I'm someone who tells people "there ARE no stupid questions," so saying that of myself is truly damning), he steadily, and utterly without distress, explained, over and over.  And staying the course as he did, with calm and gentle guidance, I actually ended up with a fresh and mostly clear understanding of all the terms and concepts we covered!  Stunning!  Seriously, I really love this man!

Of course, his success went to his head, because this morning he decided to teach me why using 3/4" to the foot vs 1" to the foot scale was better,  (because of how rulers are laid out), subconsciously thinking, I suppose, that he was able to explain the more complex concepts, so this should be a breeze!  FOOL!  First of all, don't try to explain anything to me first thing in the morning, because I am NOT a morning person even a little bit.  Wait until the afternoon and I will be FAR more receptive.  Same goes for sex or anything else you want.  Generally, give me a few hours (NOT minutes) to thoroughly wake up.  More importantly, though, if you have had a successful discussion with me involving math, LEAVE IT ALONE.

Let me explain how mathematical discussions effect my system.  Are you familiar with Mimosa Pudica, aka "The Sensitive Plant"?   That's what I become after very brief exposure to anything regarding math.  I need time to recover, so don't expect me to react in any fashion but a rapid flinching away if you come back too soon.  It's just best to wait for me to ask again.  Please.  'Cause I really do appreciate learning about this stuff, I just have to take it in very small doses.

Mimosa Pudica in action