Sunday, February 27, 2011

Point of No Return

I realize that I'm at that point... You know what I mean - the point where you have lost interest in absolutely everything. I don't want to play Warcraft (6 years invested), any of the Facebook games. I don't want to paint, or watch anything on TV. I don't want to even hear music. I don't even want to go through the trouble of even talking to the few people I'm still interested in, because it won't work out in a way that makes me happy anyway. Besides, who wants to be bothered with a depressed person? Someone like me is too tiresome to be around, and though I know it, there's nothing I can do about it.

I don't want to do any work on the story I've started, because I can't even imagine what should happy next. Little snatches of potential conversations and scenes flit through my head and the dissipate before I can really give them a good think-through.

Life is just too much of an energy requirement to get out of bed each day. I'll get up and take care of Quincy, but really, what else is there to my life now?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I knew it

Do you ever suspect that someone is only being nice to you in hopes that it will get them closer to someone you know? I won't mention the part that was a concern for someone else but I am going to speak on the part that I figured affected me for, well, decades.

It used to really hurt my feelings at family reunions (not my blood family, of course - we never got together) when many people would come up to me just to ask me all about how my sister is doing and what she was up to. They didn't ask me about myself, of course. *rolling eyes*

For a long time I figured that I just misunderstood all of those people's intentions - that they were just being polite, and not that they actually preferred my fair-haired prettier sister. Okay, that's the family part.

On the other hand, when a guy made a beeline to me because he wanted to pump me for information about my sister, it became rather apparent what was going on. I was just a prop, a stepping stone to be utilized to get to my sister. If it took a little pretending that he was interested in me for a short while, until I came forth with the information, I'm sure he considered it a sacrifice for his greater interest. LOL

Recently someone did this to me and I remembered back in our teen years when he had done the exact same thing. Tolerated my presence and feigned interest long enough to see if I was a useful passageway to my sister. Yes, I remembered. And that's why I wouldn't take his bait.

Let me say this, in case there is some deluded soul out there calling a foul on me for saying my piece: You will NOT get the girl if you constantly want to talk about her sister. Don't use it as an excuse that your intentions have been misunderstood. THIS girl is tired of being subjected to that treatment, so many times I have lost count.

Now, the proof. My siblings and I had dinner yesterday with their local children (because the eldest is in California in the Air Force). The subject was broached, and when I reminded my sister that one man is still VERY interested in hearing how she is doing, just like when we were kids, our brother mentioned that when he sees that man, he always asks how my sister is doing. Not me. Just my sister.

See there? Verified. :)

[Insert feeling of superiority for having suspicions confirmed.] LOL

So even though this is all vastly insulting to me personally, I've still got enough of a twisted sense of humor to laugh about it. Further proof: I heard almost on a daily basis growing up (from the boys in our neighborhood) "It's a good thing that you got the brains, because your sister sure got all the beauty!" (I could give exact names, but what would be the point now? Nobody defended me then, and I know they don't care now, if they even remember what bullies they were.) The bad part is that it's a two-fisted insult. Luckily, my sister took it as pure compliment every time, and never stopped to think that they were indirectly insulting her intelligence while they were calling me ugly.

But I'm sure those boys didn't even know they'd insulted her as well.

And it isn't as if ANY of this matters now anyway...

You do need to understand that I don't hate men. I hate the crummy way they treat me, oh most definitely. I'm not going to start playing for the other team either. Still, it's well-documented that I have turned the other cheek enough times to realize that blanket forgive-and-forget is a very bad idea for me.

I might forgive. I might, if you can handle being properly apologetic. But I'm never going to truly forget. Even if something slides away from my conscious notice for a while, it will inevitably come back like a Jack-in-the-Box to say hello at a time even I wouldn't have chosen. You should remember the evil that you do. I know I will. LOL Especially if the evil is done to me.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Moderate Pain

First, let me say that I realize I have no right to complain about anything hurting, since there are so many people around me who are undoubtedly in worse pain than I am. My father, for example, is going to have fluid removed from his lungs today, through a needle in his back. Ouch.

But ever since I gave it my all on that stupid workout game (YSFE), my feet have hurt (HURT, not just ached - stinging, twingeing pain on putting weight on them, left foot especially) and my left hip hurts inside the socket. I blame that virtual witch who kept telling me to get my feet further apart. I think something got yanked loose in my hip socket and it's going to end up leading me to a doctor's visit because it's been bothering me since at least January, and maybe December if I go back and check.

Realistically, my feet and my hip have been hurting daily (really hurting) since early January, and now that my trapezius is acting up again (due to sleeping on the bench in the ICU during Dad's hospital stay), I am starting to have trouble walking down the halls of the school without a limp.

Okay, I know I just turned 40, and this means I'm officially "getting old" but I know that there's nothing magical about that age that means everything suddenly starts hurting at once.

Unless of course, you fall and break your hip, and then "it's all downhill from there!"

I'm torn between wanting to fix whatever is wrong and dealing with the frustration of being told by a doctor that either they can't find anything wrong or they can find something wrong but they don't know what it is or how to treat it. Please don't let me end up with another "mystery illness" again. Yes, I am still freaked about that time that my joints swelled and froze up and I got covered with a bright red rash from my neck down to the soles of my feet. And a five day headache that suddenly turned into the "worst headache of my life."

Seeing your doctor freak out at seeing the extent of your complaint is NOT comforting. Hearing that he can't figure out what's causing it to happen despite his running tests on you for Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and several other scary things doesn't help much either.

Oh woe is me, my "immune system over-reacted" and curled my fingers into claws I couldn't unclench myself? (Among other things... it just started in my fingers and stretched itself inward to bigger things like my hips and legs) Okay, it's in the past but now every time my joints hurt I'm afraid the mysterious "virus" has come back and I'm going to be paralyzed forever.

At the same time, I hate getting that look that means the nurses are calling me a hypochondriac behind my back. I am not. I don't even go when I have the flu. I'm always sure I can just tough it out in a few days. Don't need a doctor to tell me to stay in bed.

So anyway, now that I've thought about it some more today, when I was 20, all of my energy *noticeably* evaporated and never really came back. (found out after 9 years of trying to get listened to on the subject that I have diabetes. ) I'm 40, and everything hurts all at once. What the heck will happen when I'm 60, limbs just start falling off??? Yikes!

80? Will I live that long, or just completely disintegrate? Hmm.

Hopefully, I will figure out how to fix this all - whether it's a diet thing, or exercise issue.

Monday, February 21, 2011

In Vino Veritas

Isn't it strange how some people drink and want to feed you a line of absolute garbage, and others tell you things that, under normal circumstances, they would never admit to?

And then there are others who wouldn't pay you a moment's attention sober, but let them have a few drinks, and suddenly, you're irresistible to them. Ah, but I digress.

The point is that a few days ago, an ex called me sounding completely wasted. And I told him so. My worry was that he was driving at the time, but he wasn't. You see, he usually calls me right about the time, late at night, he's having to drive a distance but he's getting sleepy. So I'm a prop. Yay, me. So wonderful to be useful for that. Oh, and my blood, but that's a different story.

Half of the words he said were all mushed together, and occasionally I had to wonder if this wasn't some elaborate practical joke to see if I would worry about his well-being. Then he alluded to something he said that he needed to tell me, but he didn't know how to say it.

Ho-boy. I was dreading that one. All kinds of room for interpretation and hurt feelings in that.

At this time, I wasn't the "keep me awake while I drive" prop, I was the "keep me from passing out because I drank too much and I have a meeting to get to in an hour" prop. Hey, at least I recognize the limits of my value.

Sometime in this hour (bye bye, saved cell phone minutes!) he told me that when he is able to look behind all the layers of "stuff" (his words were mushy, so this is what I understood - stuff): my low-self esteem, vulnerability, bad childhood, lonely adult years, etc. - in other words, when he was finally (after all these years) able to see the "essence" of who I really am...

That I'm someone he can trust, and always could.

And he's right. Because there were so many times I could have demanded that he treat me a lot better, and I didn't. And a fair few times I could have held his feet to the fire and practically blackmailed him into doing what I wanted, because there were things I could have held over his head. Again, I didn't.

I didn't want to be the evil, manipulative woman that is the rallying cry that defensive and abusive males are always yelling to explain why they are doing something destructive to every woman they lay their brutish hands on. Literally.

But ya know... being soft, sweet, and vulnerable has never done me a bit of good. And it has honestly taken so much out of me that I don't think I can maintain the sweetness when it's a rare thing to have it reflected back to me by another person. Like any other rare breed of thing... following rarity is extinction.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Wistful Thinking & the Lie Detector

(I started this at 11 pm on the 14th, actually.)

Today is my birthday. Nothing special happened. Instead of getting to go home and rest I was a taxi service all evening long. I don't mind taking my nephew somewhere when he needs to go and nobody else is around. And of course I knew that nothing would be done for me, because my father is in the hospital in Memphis, and he has to be our prime concern right now.

My brother is staying the night with him tonight and my sister had her boyfriend she needed to have yet another Valentine's event with. (Like she did on Saturday night. And Sunday afternoon too. Gee - never get enough of the Valentine's stuff, do you? I wonder what that's like...)

Anyway, a bunch of people on Facebook wished me a happy birthday, and a few at work did, and I'm really grateful for their kindness. I got phone calls from my siblings. And I got a phone call from an ex-boyfriend (the provider of the only *good* Valentine's Day I had - my 18th birthday). His was more the "chin-up, you deserve a good day even if you're not getting it" type. He made me laugh. I needed to laugh.

Someone mentioned going to Young Life back in high school and I found myself still wishing that I could have gone. Would have been allowed to go.

You see, I did ask my parents to let me go when I was in the 9th grade. And I was told no. My father's attitude was that he didn't know "those people" and he thought that the organization was suspect. As if it were some kind of front for a bunch of teenagers getting together to smoke pot and have sex.

I wanted to go because it sounded like a non-denominational youth fellowship group, and at that point in my life, I knew that I needed something like that. After all, our family never attended church in my lifetime, and they stopped sending us to church when we were little girls. I really just wanted to be a good girl. I was in the middle of a bit of religious fervor in my life, and I wanted to be around people who understood me, at least on that point.

Of course, there was the obstacle of me actually GETTING there, if I were allowed to go. My stepmother refused to drive me anywhere after dark and was always very angry with me anytime I had to do anything at school outside of normal school hours. She said she couldn't see after dark. She didn't have any special visual problem that I ever heard of. I knew that she didn't want me involved in anything that would inconvenience her.

When I turned 16, I was told I had to get a job and start saving money if I ever wanted to have a car. So, after 2 straight months of intense pressure (browbeating) I got a job at Gibson's. Worked there over the summer and then got a job at the Sound Shop in the mall. And I never again had an evening when I could have even gone to Young Life. I worked full time in the summer, which earned me scathing comments from a guidance counselor who derided me (in front of the whole class) for not signing up for some accelerated Summer School college prep class the high school was offering.

I was not one of those kids whose parents thought that a job was beneath their precious angel. My parents did not give me money, beyond my $3 a week allowance, which often turned into my lunch money when Dad forgot to put ours in the band-aid box in the kitchen cabinet. (The $3 was earned, not given. We had plenty of chores to do.)

Oh, I loved my job at the mall. :) But there was a problem. My stepsister eventually became the assistant manager, and the girl who was one slot beneath her spent an awful lot of time leaving the store to go shopping on the clock with her husband and baby when she was the one in charge of the store for the shift.

That was when the campaign to get rid of me started. My stepsister called me in the office and related to me the lies she had been told. What could I even say to defend myself, when she had already decided for herself they were true? She even hurt my feelings by quoting that I always made big sad "puppydog eyes" at the other girl whenever she told me to do something. Just like I was supposedly making at my stepsister then.

I remember forcing myself to look at the floor and then at the wall a few inches in front of my face, because I wasn't *trying* to give any kind of a look. (I was just trying not to cry.) She claimed I did that every time I got in trouble at home. I was wondering what there was about my eyes that people hated so much.

And I was trying not to cry, because at the age of 16, even though I had done none of those things I was accused of, I was about to get fired from my dream job.

All because the other girl was feeling paranoid that I had told on her for all the times she left the store on the clock and went shopping for an hour or two while she was being paid. Extra long lunch breaks. Extra breaks she wasn't due for her shift.

I hadn't told on her. As a matter of fact, I was thinking that the mature thing to do, while I sat in that midnight blue slice of back office space, was to *not* spill my guts over what the other girl was doing. I never told on her, even after that. She wound up quitting a few months later.

I'm still hurt by my stepsister's absolute disbelief in me. It feels like I had (pardon my language) a huge bucket of shit dumped on me that I still feel taints me to this day. Let me be clear: that girl lied to cover her own sneakiness.

In this case, the teenager should have been trusted, because the adult was dishonest. Ever think about how often adults will do bad things and then try to pin it on a kid? Happens a lot. It's how child molesters get away with so much. "She seduced me! She's a 7 year old Jezebel!" Um, sure. Enjoy Hell.

If I remember correctly, the only reason that I wasn't fired was that the store was shorthanded, and I was really good at my job. And my stepsister wound up quitting herself. The next manager was a really nice guy and he always told me that I was doing a great job. He let me do lots of the wall displays, and I was proud that I got to do something creative (while I was getting paid!) LOL

His assistant manager eventually became the manager when he was transferred, and she was more crooked than the first girl that caused me problems. Any time that we had a promotion for suggestive selling, she would steal our claim tags and put her name on them, and then blabber on and on about how she had talked to the customer first. Or she did days before, really being the one who convinced them to buy something.

Naturally, she won every single company contest we had in the store while she was the manager. She took all of the promos for herself too. And then... I got promoted, slightly.

I became the person beneath the assistant manager, which meant I was the highest level peon, for I had a key to the store's front gate. Which translates to me doing a lot of opening and closing and no benefits whatsoever. But that was okay, because I was in college and not planning on the store as a career anyway.

One night when I was counting down the register, it came up short by some minor (albeit important) amount under $100. I called the manager. Asked her to review me on the countdown procedures. Asked if she bought change and forgot to put it in or something like that. I was really confused. And scared. And ashamed that I couldn't get it right. I had thought I was a smart person.

The second time it happened, it was a huge amount. $365, if I remember correctly. Inside, I was freaking out. All this time, I was wondering just how I counted down the register so badly. My fear of math took over my brain. My self-confidence in doing such a simple task absolutely died. I called the manager again, after I had done the procedure a few more times and found the register short that exact amount every single time.

She didn't sound bothered. She said she would fix whatever *I* had screwed up the next day. She didn't want to be bothered in her new home that night.

Flash forward a few days. The AREA manager showed up at the store and we had an after hours store meeting. He was careful to look around at all of us equally, and say that if any of us needed an advance on our pay, he could arrange it, but that stealing from the register was going to be prosecuted. And if they had to resort to a lie-detector test, they would.

I remember the store manager speaking up as if to assist him and saying that she knew I was probably hurting for money, being in college and all. I told her that all of my college was currently paid for by scholarships. 100%. I wasn't having ANY money problems. Patrick didn't seem too happy about her jumping in like that, though. I had been scared about responding (I was always scared of Patrick, because I was shy and he was very outgoing, but seemed a bit stern, like "I am the boss; do not MESS with me.")

He talked to us all individually, and privately. I had, by this time, known him a few years more than anyone else, and I risked asking him if he thought I would steal from the store. He told me not to worry so much, because he was pretty sure he knew who had done it, and it was a weird coincidence that it happened on nights when I was closing. Weird, as in arranged. I told him that I would take that polygraph test whenever they wanted me to. He blandly told me that T, the assistant manager, had said the exact same thing.

So T and I wound up with appointments in Memphis for polygraph tests. We took them and never heard anything more about the missing money, except that the store manager wasn't getting her Christmas bonus that year, and what do you know, it was $365 exactly. She didn't have the sense to act angry about it. Nobody else took a polygraph test over the matter. I believe that our unflinching requests for the test pegged our innocence in the matter.

I had realized that the manager must have stolen the money, thinking she could get away with it and set me up for the theft by taking the money on nights when I closed the store. (This was a woman who sent everyone in the store an invitation to her bridal shower and told us what we could get her for gifts, and then made sure to schedule it so that none of us could attend it.) All in all, she's a pretty bad person, and I'm glad my last connection to her has been severed forever. The last I heard about her, she was fired from some other job. For stealing. Go figure.

Thanks so much for trying to ruin my reputation, by the way.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Well, I was being honest.

These are the results I got for an informal online depression test. I don't know how truly accurate it is, but the questions were pretty serious and to the point. I did not save the results from the personality disorder test because that one was just embarrassing, and not what I was expecting. I'll never own up to any of those things, but going by the description... well, you'd see why I won't post them.

My first response was one four letter word that starts with an F. Two guesses and the first one doesn't count.

DisorderYour Score
Major Depression:Very High
Dysthymia:High
Bipolar Disorder:Extremely High
Cyclothymia:Very High
Seasonal Affective Disorder:Extremely High
Postpartum Depression:N/A
Take the Depression Test


but HEY, at least I don't suffer from postpartum depression, right? That would put me at batting 1000 for forget-it-she's-beyond-help. At the same time, I'm thinking that this explains why Celexa never helped me do anything but caused some serious internal shivering all the time. Eh, I'm a little angry about this. I'd be just as angry as I would if an actual doctor said, hey, you KNEW you were bipolar - you recognized the signs yourself.

Still, some of those indicators don't apply. I'm not promiscuous (though, ha ha, I'm thinking it might freaking HELP if I were), I don't do drugs (vehemently opposed to the thought of even prescription meds even if I seem to need them), I don't drink, and I am never euphoric. Somehow, I feel rather cheated by that last one. If I'm going to have the extreme lows and the nasty mood cycles, why can't I just have a week of extreme (though unreal) happiness to temper it? ARGH!

Of course, I could go to a doctor and tell him / her that I have suspected I'm bipolar for a long time, and be told noo.... you couldn't know that! Because one thing I know to be true: A doctor will NOT listen to your own unprofessional suspicions -- they want to be the FIRST to come up with that diagnosis! Otherwise, it's been my experience that they will not take your worries seriously.

Case in point: For years, I had doctors tell me there was no way I was diabetic. Finally I insisted on the fasting glucose test, and offered to just shut up and stop complaining when I was proven wrong. I nearly passed out in the waiting room from low blood sugar and oh gee, looks like I was right. I don't have to be right or even first to figure it out if they will just care enough to help me with whatever IS causing me misery.

Ending with the previously mentioned 4 letter word.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

CICU

I'm at the hospital with Dad, Steph, and Tommy. He's recovering from his mitral valve replacement surgery, and seemingly doing well, but mine is an uneducated eye with little knowledge of health care.

They've been giving him some liquids and hopefully he will eat some real food later today. :)

He has lots of apparently itchy tubes all over and he's really thirsty. :(

I'm trying not to get sleepy, but having a hard time for some reason. I did sleep last night but I'm having a hard time being awake right now. I can't be thinking about me -- I need to be thinking about Dad.

The more he's awake today, the more miserable he is. Up, down, back hurts, oxygen mask bothering him, etc. Seems like a constant set of contradictions troubling him. If he could just get some rest and get those tense back muscles to stop spasming...

The nurse told us that during heart surgery, they tie the patient's arms behind their back to present the chest better for surgery, and after hours in that position, I guess it stresses the back into cramping for a few days afterward. :(. I know how that can wake me up from a sound sleep, but I can usually force my back to go numb and let me sleep again.

I wish something was working for Dad, but nothing seems to help much at this point. :(

***
Update: When the surgeon made his rounds today, he removed the tube that was snaking around into Dad's back for drainage -- he said that was what was hurting Dad, and it wasn't really draining enough to justify keeping it in there and causing him pain.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Pain Blooms

Don't worry, I'm not going to write a page on my owwies today, but something just popped into my mind a few minutes ago. I was in the kitchen, getting a breakfast (protein enriched with cardboard) bar. I opened the cabinet, thinking they were in their container, but they weren't. I hadn't taken them out of the boxes with I bought them a couple of nights ago, so I decided to remedy that. And as I was shutting the cabinet door, the bottom corner of it caught me in the back of my hip.

The pain *bloomed*. Meaning that at first, it was just a little jab to the middle-back of my hip and while I was wondering, is that going to hurt? the pain began to radiate outward from that tiny little point of impact. In my mind I suddenly saw a dark pink flower opening up into bloom, and that's where the phrase came in.

The older I get, the more I wish I could get all shots in my arm, but no, some of them are given in the hip. I got one of those with a kidney infection nearly 10 years ago, thinking that when the nurse said hip, she was just trying to delicately say butt. LOL No, it was in my upper hip, in the actual bony area way up above, and it hurt worse than any other shot I remember. Beats my many tetanus shots hands down. She said I did great because a lot of men pass out when they get that one. It took everything I had not to tense up because supposedly it hurts less when you relax. :) I focused on my hands and tried to avoid thinking about how much I was sweating in the minutes it seemed to take to inject all that medicine into me. I swear, the needle was filled with something neon green.

Ouch. So I do understand why it was there - proximity to my kidneys which were swollen visibly out from my back. And the shot worked because things got to working and I was able to pee again a couple of days after we got to Florida. Ewww I know, gross topic. But it was like a switch had just been turned off and that function just wasn't working. The alarming part was that I didn't even feel the need to go and I knew that everything was just holding there in my kidneys... Dangerous.

Still, in the grand scheme of things, it's just a shot, and shots are no big deal.

I did some organizational writing for my story last night. I had been floundering, trying to figure out what story I was going to tell. I had no more than a spine decided upon at that point. Taking a piece of advice from a book I'd started reading about writing, I just started working, and points that I was having trouble just *finding* in my head started to pan out into a useful story outline.

Anybody who knows me from high school knows that I am not an outliner. I am the girl who wrote entire research papers and then went back to write the outline after I found where my research had taken me. Of course, that's cheating, and it defeats the whole useful purpose of outlining first. When I did try to do things the proper way, my outlines were useless anyway. Possibly, I was always waiting on a muse to light upon my shoulder and tell me in which direction I should sally forth and conquer the writing assignment I was never so jazzed about in the first place.

Hmm. I think I just visualized a muse as a fairy. Tinkerbell-esque. *snicker* Strange, because if I had to have a fairy in my life, it would definitely be a hunky male with dark hair and beautiful eyes. Oh yes, that would inspire me to have many naughty thoughts. But I don't think that there were any male muses. :D

Back to my point, and there is one. Writing from real life won't be as much of a problem as I had thought before. I was trying to figure out my antagonist, and that creepy cop I dated popped into my mind with this random thought: I wonder if he's on Facebook? Then, oh my God, I hope my privacy settings are good enough to keep him from ever finding me. There can be some doubt about some of the work stories he told me, but never any regarding his treatment of me. No mistaking his darker intentions there. My bad guy has an infusion of HIS blood now, and it makes him more formidable. Originally, he was going to be too weak, as in, how could anyone believe you'd do anything worse than swat a fly?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Absolutely (Story of a Girl)

"Absolutely (Story Of A Girl)"

[Chorus:]
This is the story of a girl
Who cried a river and drowned the whole world
And while she looked so sad in photographs
I absolutely love her
When she smiles

Now how many days in a year
She woke up with hope
But she only found tears
And I can be so insincere
Making her promises never for real
As long as she stands there waiting
Wearing the holes in the soles of her shoes
Now how many days disappear
When you look in the mirror
So how do you choose

Your clothes never wear as well the next day
And your hair never falls in quite the same way
You never seem to run out of things to say

[Chorus]

Now how many lovers would stay
Just to put up with this shit
day after day
Now how did we wind up this way
Watching our mouths for the words that we say
As long as we stand here waiting
Wearing the clothes or the soles that we choose
Now how do we get there today
When we're walking too far for the price of our shoes

Your clothes never wear as well the next day
And your hair never falls in quite the same way
You never seem to run out of things to say

[Chorus]

[Guitar solo]

Well your clothes never wear as well the next day
And your hair never falls in quite the same way
You never seem to run out of things to say

[Chorus]

This is the story of a girl
Whose pretty face she hid from the world
And while she looks so sad in photographs
I absolutely love her

This is the story of a - girl
Who cried a river and drowned the whole world
And while she looked so sad in photographs
I absolutely love her
When she smiles
When she smiles!
---

Wow... as long as she stands there waiting on him to keep his promises, THAT's what makes him happy? What an insincere jerk! He loves to see her smile, but he never does anything to make her smile.... Sounds like a typical male.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sitting in Judgment

I think it is so bizarre that certain people can make comments bordering on the judgmental (whether those comments are aimed at me or not) and make me feel absolutely guilt-ridden for drawing a breath without stepping to the beat of *their* personal agenda.

(I'm not saying that the person is aiming it at me, but I manage to place myself in the target area anyway. I kind of doubt this person ever really registers me completely. So it's unlikely that I am a consideration in the subject matter. But I read what people post, and I think about it.)

What the heck is that -- manipulation? Or is it just that I'm still looking to other people for guidance on how to be a person that is acceptable to others. I'm still not succeeding at that, because intrinsically, I know that I can do everything some people require of me and it will never be good enough to reach their bar.

So why am I even worried about it? Oh that's right. I still have that hidden agenda that boils down to wanting to be liked and cared for. What's that line from the song.... "I'm human and I need to be loved... like everybody else does." This would be an excellent time for others to not make me feel like that basic human need is a failure of mine. I've merely failed in accomplishing that.

And I am the one who has to deal with that.

When a person starts listing things that everyone better do or risk being unloved forever, it tells on them for being controlling. What they're saying is that nobody will be happy in their life if they don't follow *that person's* rules, because that person has a need to dictate to others how they should live.

On the other hand, if that person is wanting to offer a helping hand, I'm the kind of person willing to accept help. But not if I'm going to be looked down on by someone who has a sanctimonious attitude toward me.

I've already had plenty of that in my life and I'm not going to voluntarily bow down and kiss their feet because they feel self-righteous.

I've had some pretty bad things happen to me in my life, but it kind of goes against the idea of a God that loves all of His children to say that we aren't ever going to be good enough unless we do something that one plain old human says to do. If bad things happen to you, and you happen to survive them, wasn't that part of the divine plan? Test of faith, perhaps.

"You're going to Hell because you don't go to my church." Would you say that to a truly holy man (or woman) because they don't attend your church and follow YOUR path? I think it's a bit presumptuous for a plain old human to go ordering people around. Watch out. From what I've been taught, that's dangerous ground.

You can't just tell everybody else where they are going wrong and then not try to help them get it right. If you don't know what's in their heart (and how could you, when you aren't God?) how can you sit in judgment of them? Are you so sure that you're not heading for a bad end yourself? Hmm?

Well, just try and remember that if someone is holding on to the edge of a cliff with their fingertips and clawing with their nails, it's not Christian to stand over them and say why they deserve to fall. The Christian thing to do would be to reach down into that icky place where they are and give them a hand. You might get your own hands dirty, but there's always a chance that's the act that will save *you*.

Disclaimer: Don't get your knickers in a twist over this. It's written by one very broken, surviving human who is indeed hanging on at the edge of the cliff and hoping that a helping hand will appear. I know that even if I fall, God will be there at the end to move me past the body smashed on the rocks below.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bad Bokeh

All right, I will admit that I tried to capture bokeh with Christmas tree lights and utterly failed. :) Mainly because I am still using only the original lens that came with my Rebel, and I need a better one to capture that effect. Still, I couldn't accept total defeat, so I went into Photoshop and *played* to see what I could come up with.
So this is the best I took from the attempt. You can see why I was dishearted and didn't touch this photo until tonight when I was doing a little delete-&-organize-boogie on the new pc. When your photo is awful, there is nothing to lose by fiddling with it. Hey, at least you might get some kind of special effect.


I duplicated the original layer 3 times and turned them in various directions, then added blend modes "lighten" and "linear dodge" to the top three layers. I had squished around the layers to make them all fit into the constraints of the photo dimensions, then realized it would be interesting to jog them around, and not have such a perfect circling around the center. I resized the whole thing to 12x12 x 300 ppi and cropped the edges, and this was the result.

I think it has some value as an abstract background, anyway. :) Better than having a totally useless photo. Granted, it wasn't the effect I was trying to achieve in the beginning -- in that respect it's an utter failure. But I think it's a happy accident, and I am going to keep it.

I do love playing around in Photoshop. :) Bet you can figure out how I did that zig-zaggy effect.