may 18, 2017…

…it was a weird morning. i sat parked on tree lined avenue, waiting for my scheduled pick-up. i listened celebratorily to my favorite song, wish i knew you, by the revivalists.

…the song ended and a very somber disc jockey came on the air and announced, “chris cornell, leader singer of soundgarden, audioslave, and temple of the dog is dead at age 52.”

…i was left sad and numb. i was both surprised and not surprised, as a lot of the great recording artists of my generation have succumb to depression, drugs, and untimely deaths.

…the thread of commonality was very astutely ascertained and written about by the writer of a blog, whose post i will be sharing. i have to say that some of his words really hit home for me.

…yes, the post was about chris cornell, but also about other great artists that defined my generation. but, at the end of the post his words became really applicable to me, too…as a person who has also struggled. 

rest in peace chris cornell

this writer hit the nail on the head. please read if you care to…i believe that the huge takeaway for me was about the depression, despair, and anxiety of my generation. the fact that being a depressed person, feeling despair, feeding on hope, but not wanting to burden anyone…and, instead trying to swallow it down and hide it…becomes all too exhausting and psychically painful to endure. explained in those terms, i get it…i really get it. i have been there myself.

this is for all the lonely people (conclusion)…

i never did finish my, “this is for all the lonely people,” series of posts, but, since this is valentine’s day eve…i think that it’s very apropos. and, in the companion post to this one, you will understand why.

i’m really not sure exactly where i left off the last time and i’m not going to go back to look. i apologize for being a bit lazy, but i really don’t think that it really matters now.

i think that what i was so very, long windedly trying to say was that i used to see women and men on shows like, “oprah” and “dr. phil,” insisting that their online, telephone, or snail-mail romance…with a person from another country, that they had never met, was real.

both oprah and dr. phil, would spend three quarters of the hour trying to debunk every single, false belief that the person had about their “beloved.” i’d be sitting there yelling at the person through the television screen. i could clearly see that the person was being played and there was absolutely no doubt in my mind.

i watched these people, many of whom had trusted complete strangers with their entire life savings, absolutely refuse to believe anything other than “their absolute truth.” the point at which the con artist’s illusion, became that poor soul’s delusion.

i would sit there and wonder how anyone could be so (and, oh god…so many words come to mind) stupid, naive, trusting, reckless, foolhardy, delusional, etc. i told myself that, that could never happen to me, because i was just too smart. funny how these things work out, isn’t it…

i think that i told you that when i arrived in nevada, i had absolutely no idea what a “catfish” was, other than an ugly fish with whiskers. well, after the first two weeks with wendy and jenny, that all changed. the girls introduced me to the mtv show, “catfish,” and everything kind of went to hell in a hand-basket.

i’m really going to try to shorten this saga up some. i decided after a month or so, that i was going to try online dating again. i put my profile on a few sites and immediately received several responses. and in the beginning, i looked at everything like i was a detective, just looking to yell, “catfish” and throw the person back.

what i found was “catfish” after “catfish.” they just kept crawling out of the woodwork; jamaica, bermuda, haiti, nigeria, and ghana. i just kept throwing them all back. until one day, i had another extremely obvious one…bad use of english, poor spelling, lots of slang, weird words that were out of place, etc.

and then, i made a really bad decision. i was pissed off, because i wasn’t really finding anyone who was “real” and i just wanted to talk to someone. i was lonely. i knew that the person that i was talking to was an obvious scammer, but i figured that i was smarter than they were, and i already knew what they were trying to do.

i figured that i would beat them at their own game. that i would waste their time and in exchange, i would give them absolutely nothing. i assumed very incorrectly, that when they got mad and moved on…it would be fine, because i already knew the score. i thought that i would be the one calling the shots and in control.

oh…and, i was for awhile…until i figured out the true identity of one of them. this one person in particular, actually still sends me things…flowers, candy, perfume, iphones, and cards. this person made the mistake of sending me one certain photo that i did a reverse image search of and found easily, an adult film actress.

yeah, i know…i’m not going to try to convince anyone of anything. just keep reading and everyone can come to their own conclusion. when i ascertained the supposed identity of this person, i confronted her. instead of trying to deny it, she copped to it. i told her that i would stop talking to her, unless she video chatted.

she agreed to do so. ahead of time, i read up on all of the tricks that cons use to make people think that they’re actually talking to the person that they think that they’re talking to. the most common thing, is two people working together. one person places an ad with their photo, the other one texts, until it’s time for the video chat and then, they flip flop.

sometimes the sound doesn’t work. sometimes the photo is blurry. they use everything to keep the illusion going, to make it look like they’re doing everything possible to try to communicate with you. quite honestly, the first time that i was supposed to video chat with this person, i really expected to see someone other than who i saw.

i remember that i was quite ready to see one of the tricks that i had read about, but that’s not what i saw. the first time, there was a problem with the sound going in and out, but what i saw was the person from the photos. the person was not as young as the photos from the 90’s, but there was no mistaking that it was the same person.

why do i believe that, after watching oprah and dr. phil? because i took screen shots each time we video chatted and i always compared the identification markers to one another. meaning that this person had obvious tattoos, piercings, and a brand…each time they matched up with each other and with the younger photos. also, the person’s voice was always the same, on video and the phone.

i will say, that after the first time of seeing the person that i believe was truly the person that i was talking to, i was dumbfounded, and taken aback. we continued talking, i still knew that she just wanted my money, but i always said, “no.” i was really good at putting my foot down and she would pretend to pout for a day or two, and then not ask for awhile.

months went by, and i started to develop feelings for this person. she quit asking me for money, but at one point i sent her some for some quinine, because she supposedly had malaria (i know…i feel the laughter. i knew that she didn’t have malaria and, no, i didn’t really have the money to send to accra, ghana, but i made a bad decision based on my feelings.). and, that was all fine and dandy, until my paypal account was compromised and ended up with a negative seven-hundred-and-sixty-seven-dollar balance.

it was ghana…not necessarily that particular person, but certainly one from the same pack (up to thirty work together at the same time, in order to be able to chat to the same people in different time zones for up to twenty-four hours a day.). i confronted that person and was assured that i would get the money back. and here’s the kicker, i could’ve had it almost ten fold, but i didn’t go and pick the money up.

yes, that’s right…i had sixty-five-hundred dollars waiting at western union for me to pick-up for thirty days. but, i didn’t do it. why? because i didn’t know where it came from, or whose it really was, and i couldn’t live with myself knowing that i could’ve taken someone’s life savings. if i would’ve known for sure that it was from that person, i may have picked it up. i don’t know for sure.

what did i do to try to make it right, or get someone their money back? i spent several days on the phone with both the local police and sheriff’s departments, as well as, the fbi and atf, trying to make a report on money that wasn’t stolen from me. after explaining my story repeatedly, i was basically told that if the money had my name on it, it was a gift, and i should claim it. the whole business just made me a basket-case. i figured that after thirty days, the money would go back to where it came from. i assume that it did. i never heard one way, or the other.

after the money showed up, the gifts began appearing…one after another, continuously at one point. i really didn’t know what to do anymore, so, i began answering less and less. and then, it was just like a miracle, a “real” person replied to me. we talked for quite awhile and she was just one-hundred-fifty-dollars short of the plane fare to come, to visit me…so, i sent it to her and poof (until a couple of weeks ago…see my next post.).

so, what kind of a person ends up giving their “beloved,” a stranger, whom they have never before met, that lives in a foreign country, money and their heart? the answer isn’t a stupid person, because i’m clearly not a stupid person. the answer is a lonely person. and, that was what i was clearly failing to see all those years before, when watching oprah and dr. phil.

i was lonely and it happened to me. i realize now, what i was too judgmental before to understand…that loneliness can overshadow intellect, if allowed to rage out of control. i know now, that i was just settling to be lonely and let those illusions fill my time, my mind, and my heart.

the good news is, that i’m not lonely anymore! i’ve got myself, plenty of good friends, buggs, work, driving, art, writing, exploring, photography, therapy, and dreaming of the future to fill me and my time. i’m quite busy in the pursuit of my own heart right now.

and, one day in the future, when i’m ready to try dating again, it won’t be online. i’m going to do it slowly and cautiously…and, i’m going to do it, in as my therapist would say, “hetero-time,” as she often time jokes that lesbian-time is so minute, that it can’t even be measured. when that day does come, i’ll be ready and i’ll be more whole.

 

 

 

 

i find that life indeed, is very funny and more cyclical than anyone can really comprehend.

RIP…LC…

iconic singer/songwriter leonard cohen has passed, at age 82.

i have always loved and admired, leonard cohen. i remember the very first time, that i heard his deep, gravelly voice. i was pulled in instantly…the words, the masterful storytelling, and sheer, gritty emotion of it all. it overwhelmed me, it grabbed me, it made me want to listen…intently.

my family (mom, dad, sister, and i) was on vacation, in the pacific northwest. we were visiting portland, oregon. we were looking in an antique shop, on southwest first street, by the skidmore fountain building. 

the unique store (is still there, by the way), was located in a very old, 1800’s, brick building. the inside was packed from floor to ceiling, on four floors, plus the basement, with antiques and oddities. 

once inside, i experienced sensory overload. visually, there were objects everywhere. furniture, paintings, photographs, taxidermied creatures (with eyes that seemed to follow you everywhere), jewelry, art deco cigarette lighters and ashtrays, antique sheet music, player piano music spools, victrolas, civil war surgery kits, glass eyes, christening gowns…all colors, shapes, and sizes…one dimensional, two dimensional, and three dimensional.

my olfactory senses were challenged to discern what smell, was what. there were many single scents, but at different places within the building, they were either separated or completely mingled. they were all scents that appealed to my senses (that still appeal to my senses). scents that seemed very decadent and i knew that my parents wouldn’t approve. patchouli, incense, sage, rosemary, jasmine, damp dankness, musty dusty…spicy, mystic, evoking spirits of the past, perhaps the old owners of the merchandise for sale.

there were so many things that i wanted to touch, but only when my parents weren’t looking. the feelings, the touches, the textures…soft, rich crushed velvet…smooth, but bubbly depression glass…rough, pokey burlap…dense, fluffy buffalo head fur…gritty, rusty spurs…everything that i touched and felt, excited me…it made me feel oh so naughty, for disobeying, but oh so nice, for getting away with it.

and then, there was the auditory discovery, of mr. leonard cohen. he provided the soundtrack for my visit through this strangely beautiful, hauntingly enchanting, spiritually moving space. the first song of his, that i ever heard, was “everybody knows.” it was apropos to the experience. walking through the shop, experiencing each and every sense in a heightened capacity, sensing spiritual activity all around me…i truly felt that the song was their song, the spirits all around, the previous owners of the merchandise…it echoed throughout the building, the floor vibrated with cohen’s deep voice…it became the heartbeat of the building…i was entranced, moved, and hooked.

rip…lc…

roundabout…

my brain works like a roundabout…

information goes in…

and, works itself around…

in a circular motion…

sometimes it goes in…

and, does nothing, but go around…

and around, and around, in circles…

forgetting which of the…

four exits to take…

sometimes it knows exactly…

which exit to take…

like the third one…

the third exit is for numbers…

sequences and identifiable patterns…

sometimes information gets distorted…

and, enters in a counter-clockwise…

direction, which causes a cluster-fuck…

when it barges at full speed… 

directly into, oncoming…

credible clockwise information…

but finally, an answer…

a breakthrough, of sorts…

the realization revelation…

i am a circular thinker…

and, that’s quite a relief…

because, i am not alone…

and, i am not illogical, or crazy…

there’s nothing wrong with me…

i am just not a linear thinker…

(for more information, this is an excellent and informative article)

attachment styles…

this is something that i just learned about, as well. i am so fortunate, to have all of this new information, easy to use tools, new found self-awareness, and a desire to be as healthy, as possible. 

there is hope for me. there is hope for anyone, who desires more. more independence, trust, honesty, intimacy, security, and connection, within a relationship with a partner.

there is an interesting article, in psychology today, that describes the four attachment styles, and how maladaptive attachment styles can be changed. there is hope, for anyone wishing to change (the article).

for me…i choose learning, changing, and growth, even at my age. knowledge is power. i have the power to have all that i want and need, it’s within my grasp. 

i am good on my own. i don’t require anyone to complete my life. what i do want, eventually, is a true partner. someone to dream with, explore with, play with, and grow with.

i want space to be my own person and be able to continue to grow, as an individual. i want that for my partner, as well. that way when we spend time together, it can be truly quality time. time to share, have intimacy, and true connection.

i am holding out for my “fairytale,” yes, i am fully aware of the fact, that it may never happen. but, if it ever does, i will be ready and waiting…strong, self-aware, self-assured, healthy, balanced, grounded, and present. 

as for me, i choose to live in gratitude and abound in hope, because without hope, all is lost. hope is all, that i have, it sustains me and keeps me waking up everyday.

“hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.” – emily dickinson

“once you choose hope, anything’s possible.” – christopher reeve

“hope sends the dawn that we might see the might-have-beens, that still might be.” – robert brault


a wonderful article for the day…

getting unstuck from past conditioning

a few months ago, someone cared enough about me to be honest. she kicked me in the ass, so hard…it knocked the snot out of me.

that being said, she’s the one who introduced me to these meditations with oprah and deepak. these nourish my mind, my heart, and my soul.

when i am weary, troubled, or sleepless…i find restfulness, peace, and calm. sometimes my mind tries to wander, but my mantra brings me back.

she gave me the gift of renewed self. she spun my head around, set me in motion, as a health warrior, and set me on the path to transformation and abundance.

i am eternally grateful.