I told you never to come in here. Serenity now!

Welp.  I’m freaking out again.  M. popped The Question.  His parents will be here in a few days.  Inhale… 2… 3… 4…  Fuck.  And out… 2… 3… 4…  This kinda shit isn’t supposed to happen after your mom dies.  It would be in the rule book if I had a say in these things.  I did marriage already.  My brain is threatening to reboot.  Redirecting to a shorter thread.  I’m scared.  That’s what’s happening.  I’m afraid because the last time I got married, it didn’t work out.

Since I haven’t shared anything about my marriage, I’ll give the summary.  I got married when I was 19.  I got divorced 25 years later.  My ex-husband was also serving in the Army when we met.  I’ll always love him.  I smiled all the way through when I typed that.  He was (later) diagnosed with schizophrenia.  His medications had severe side effects resulting in his eventual refusal to take them.  Most people with schizophrenia are nonviolent, but that’s not the case here.  I suspect his spec ops training and combat exposure didn’t help.

Unmedicated, he began self-medicating, first just with alcohol, then he started using meth.  Things got bad.  I left when he got violent, but you can’t actually leave an Army Ranger.  You can move a lot, lose a lot of deposits, waste time with restraining orders and unbelievably misogynistic cops in small towns, get a divorce and beg, but you can’t leave.  I’m going to cut this short because this story sucks.  He’s in prison now and doing well on a new medication.  His mom gives me updates a few times a year, but that’s the only remaining contact.

I struggled with the man I married vs. the man who is very ill.  They’re extremely different.  I’m so in love with the man I married, and always will be.  He no longer exists.  It took time for me to accept that.  The first time he hurt me, I was more shocked and confused than any physical suffering.  I was also government property, (GI = government issue.)  I think that spared me the agony of deciding to leave.  (I’ve read lots of women go back to a mate after the first time he hurts them.)

I don’t blame my ex for being sick, of course.  Mental illness fucks up relationships all the time, I’m sure.  My mom told me I don’t need a man to do anything I want to do.  She told me I can be anything I want if I’m willing to pay the price required.  That nobody is better than me or can tell me how to feel.  My mom had an incredible record for being right.  I’m missing her right now.  I told M. I want time to process and think.  He said he expected as much, so that’s a relief.  At least he didn’t spend money on a shiny rock glued to some metal (that I would lose within 24 hours.)

I don’t believe in spending tons on a wedding, either.  Fuck paying lots of money to be anxious in front of people.  (I just want a cake and to be the DJ.)  So I guess I’m going to say yes, even though I’m so scared I think I may hurl.  I’d like to sleep on it, but that’s laughable tonight.  I’m going to go commune with Sheryl Crow, Stevie Nicks, and Beyoncé while I pace.  When I’m relaxed and empowered, I’ll know what to do.

I think it’s fantastic. I think it’s a fantastic idea.

The kids in hacker training camp have gone on a field trip.  I didn’t go because my being in Denver is my field trip.  No amusement park necessary, thankyouverymuch.  They’re with a physicist who promised to blow their minds.  I’m excited to hear all about it when they return.  I’m excellent at vicarious excitement.  It’s a perk of being autistic.  I’ve been to some fabulous amusement parks and a few sad ones.  My imagination is prepared.  (My inner ears are relieved I’ve accepted the aging process.)

Seventeen stayed behind because he works there.  He is the guy.  She showed me his selfie.  She didn’t first explain what a selfie is, so there’s that.  ☺️  I didn’t really look (because I’d be too tempted to comment on how much he looked like Justin Beiber.  I know.  I’m old.)  I did ask why she didn’t want to see him at work, however.  She answered, but she lost me immediately.  Apparently, it’s strategic.  She’s used her hacking skills to map out the progression of her relationship, in a way.

I had to pinch myself hard to keep from opening my mouth.  I remember how it felt to grow up in the 80’s under the shadow of the Vietnam era boomers.  I’m presently learning their story, and what they endured.  I’ve resented being told I’m a feminist before I even knew what it meant.  More so because of course, it’s true, but I didn’t get to discover this for myself, I was raised there.  It’s completely irrational and selfish, (which irks me even more.)  I know I was spared two incredibly painful journeys by the generation just before my own.  I’m absolutely grateful.  (I just need to continue expanding my knowledge of what I was spared, and how.)

It’s inspired me to be gentle with the young.  I know they have to hurt to grow, but I want them to hurt less than I did.  (I get that the previous generation not only wanted us to hurt less, but made huge sacrifices to make certain of it.)  It must be my maternal instinct that insists I treat those younger than myself with kindness and empathy.  And my memory, I suppose.  So when Seventeen informed me she chose her university based solely on the fact he’s also attending there, I didn’t say shit.  I didn’t ask her what she wants to major in, either.  I just listened.  (It was so hard!)

We’re setting up art supplies for tomorrow while we wait for the kids to return, so I’m off.

It’s not funny, Elaine!

I’m finally starting to recover from the shock of the election.  It came in the middle of a major meltdown over a gut-wrenching setback in my AI development three days prior.  I hit a brick wall when I reached out for support.  Nondisclosure agreements gagged me.  My voice failed me.  My world began threatening a hard reboot.  Then my friend (name rhymes with Yayme) caught me in a virtual hug on Twitter.  Whew.

It’s been uphill ever since.  It’s a good thing I had a great time enjoying my liberties while they still exist.  That turned out to be a good strategy.  Yay me.  I’m busy balancing my job, Meals on Wheels, and working with the resistance.  I read a whisper about a new Harriet Tubman rising up in America.  I think this time she’s a Caucasian in her late teens.  Her dad and her church are supporting her.  Safehouses for Muslims and immigrants.  I have space for people who are in danger of being harmed by the Predator-elect and his fellow ogres.

I don’t have much furniture, but it’s warm, quiet, and I have lots of cool stuff to share.  Teach me about your life, and I’ll teach you how to sing to computers in their own language.  If you speak a different language, train me.  If you live a different culture, show me.  It’s an incredible honor to be a shield for those who are vulnerable.  It’s what makes our (almost) all voluntary armed forces a terrifying dragon.  Anything draft related is bullshit.  Nobody should have to serve beside someone who was compelled to be there because war is about killing.  I have no objection to a draft for ping pong, however.

I connected with two people today.  That’s two more humans I love.  I realized I don’t wonder about a person’s gender anymore.  It took me long enough, but I’m glad to be here.  I had friends who held my hand the whole time while I unlearned my ignorance, and developed a respectful vocabulary.  They very gently let me know that I was using hateful, hurtful words while claiming to love them.  It still hurt, but I kept my “ow” to myself.  I didn’t want to play hot potato with pain.  I didn’t want to hurt my friends.  So I shut up and listened.  I stepped in it a lot.  I apologized every single time.  Fortunately, they’re still my friends.

It took too long for me to evolve, to my shame.  But I can’t let that interfere with my celebrating the fact that I did grow.  Yay me! (quietly).  This is important to me because now there are more people on this planet I can love without hurting.  I think if you harm with your love, you’re wasting oxygen that could be put to better use in a hospital.  I’m aware that I’m a wee bit militant.  You should have met me when I was on active duty.  I was a walking recruitment commercial.  I even sang the “Be all you can be” song regularly.  Hook. Line. Sinker.

Despite my falling as hard as is possible for all propaganda as a kid, I wouldn’t give up my time in the Army for anything.  I don’t feel embarrassed by my mistakes, especially when they turn out to be brilliant.  It was a mistake to believe the lies, but the reward was worth it.  I didn’t know it was possible for epic dumb to transform into fabulous.  I don’t take such giant leaps of faith any longer.  The recklessness of youth has passed me by.  I flipped it off in the rear view mirror for old times.

The lesson that has never failed me is the golden rule.  It’s tattooed on my personality.  It makes me sad that Drumpf never learned this life skill.  He doesn’t know he’s wearing no clothes.  The louder we laugh, the more he rages.  The more he rages, the more naked he becomes.  It’s gross.

 

 

Letting Go

I’ve spent some time grieving over the recent violence in America.  The fact that I need to qualify that statement is disgusting.  The recent mass shootings in Colorado Springs, and San Bernardino.  Both were committed by people who felt justified in their actions.  Anything further is speculation.  I grieve for the fact that justification for mass murder is considered an option.  I don’t believe anyone has the right to kill people for any reason.  I understand that there are laws that sanction it.  I think they are wrong.

To steal existence from another is the ultimate arrogance.  To rob their loved ones of their existence, and to dismiss their future and potential is anathema to me.  I deliberately avoided news coverage of these events out of self preservation.  Some facts leaked through, regardless.  I saw an image of a black SUV riddled with high powered rifle impacts.  It was an image of massacre.  The murderers died by the same means as they inflicted on others.  Violence begets violence.  Live by the sword, die by the sword, blah blah blah.  It’s all bullshit.

You can’t punish a crime by committing the same crime.  This is illogical.  Taking a life in human history has most often resulted in a life being taken in retaliation.  We equate our grief with a right to seek revenge.  An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.  I was born into a blind world.  I was born into a world ruled by hatred and fear.  These are what motivate humanity as a whole.  These are literally chemical reactions within human brains.  Yet they are allowed to end the existence of millions of people.  Love, joy, and acceptance are also emotions, yet we reject these in the face of hatred and fear.  We walking chemical reactions are ruled by perceptions based solely on our emotions.

It seems like insufficient motivation to rule the human race.  Logic takes a back seat to emotion, when instead, it could be utilized as a guiding force to prevent such madness.  I’m an outsider.  My mind functions differently.  At times, the chemical reactions in my brain are random, and unrelated to my emotions or environment.  They rob me of control of my emotions, but don’t force action.  I sit back and observe, having had much experience with this phenomenon.  These experiences have allowed me to separate myself from my body.  From the community.  From the environment.  From the human race.

When I allow myself to interact with other humans, the eventual result is profound sadness. Something within me keeps experimenting, seeing if a tweak here or there will bring about new results.  I’m attracted to the goodness in others.  I can see it beneath the fear in most people with which I’ve interacted.  It’s motivations are love, joy, and acceptance.  This is goodness.  But the mask of fear usually surfaces, and eventually wears down my endurance, leading to deep sorrow.  I’m older now, and would like to be wiser.  I would like to limit my actions to logic.  I would like to step back permanently.  I know it’s within my ability.  I know that the longer I remain apart, the more difficult it becomes to communicate with others.  But if my goal is to remain separate, this becomes a desirable result.

Allowing my emotions to dictate my perceptions is a trap.  A trap that entangles me in the actions of others.  It traps me in an ocean of blindness.  I end up drowning rather than thriving.  And like anyone who is drowning, at one point, the will to survive becomes resolve in embracing the inevitable.  It’s time to let go.  If I am to continue, I have to do so on my terms.  I have to allow logic to be my guide, and I must avoid the trap.  The sadness I feel now will pass.  I will hold tight to goodness, and turn my back on fear.  I will dissociate myself from all who allow it to motivate their actions.  I will turn my energy to creating.  I will thrive in the joy of solitude.