Sunday, September 2, 2012

Cheer Up, Fuckface!


And a fine Sunday morning to you all! The above should be the theme for the day, with all the sourpusses I've encountered.

The Holy Bible arrived at the house the other day:



My brain's been so overloaded with psychology information the last several days, that I neglected to do what we were instructed at Adler, which was to take some time out for ourselves during the week to do what we love the most. I can tell you that verily the first week of school was overwhelming--it's all so deeply formal and professional--meanwhile, I'm still the snot-nosed Offbeat Drummer, despite being one of the oldest in the pack. (I have a LOT of reading to do between now and Tuesday, provided Professor Bingo Luke doen'st keep interrupting me with original card tricks he's made up, all of which are savant crazy insane good. He is SO going to Vegas with me when he turns 21. He can count cards! He is a master of illusion!) Our mission is to be forcefully kicked out of as many casinos as possible, after running away with all of their money. Speaking of money...

Having had to join like a dozen professional psychology associations, one of the perks of membership in select ones is that of malpractice insurance, which I now have $6,000,000 of. For counselors, that's to protect you if, say, someone commits suicide on your watch, and the family blames you. That kind of thing. I'm sure it's a pittance of a sum compared to that carried by MD's but it's certainly something. All of these professional organizations look good on a curriculum vitae, though I'm really interested in the chapter through the Illinois Counseling Association on religion & spirituality as well as the specialized branch dealing with addictions. But they all cost $$$, which I've been liberally charging to my mom's credit card. Damn, I can't wait until the end of the month, when my living stipend check arrives.



The school still expects me to find a part-time work-study job, so I've applied for a few, though my "proficiency" in things like Excel and Outlook are VERY limited. I also don't speak conversational German, which was one of the qualifications for another job I was otherwise qualified to get. Right now, I'm scrambling to get in as a writing consultant on Fridays. It seems like every department wants someone who can work Tuesdays, but I'm in class from 1-5 that day, so it wouldn't work out. Meh, I'm on a "must hire" contingency, so somebody, somewhere, has to hire me.

I've found myself more vehemently politically enraged this week than I usually EVER get over politics. Romney/Ryan are douchebags, pure and simple. Whether it's pro-choice issues, or budget cuts to Medicaid (which I'm on), or a decrease in spending on education and affordable health care, I'm advocating in the most irreverent way I know how, given I'm an anarchist at heart.  No, I didn't watch the convention. I wouldn't have been able to stomach it. Yes, I watched Clint Eastwood's speech online. It was insanely distasteful.  I admire Obama's confidence. It's cute. This is all I have to say:


Waiting for our turn for the convention....it ought to be a pip!


I had to write a semi-difficult paper this week (due Tuesday, but I'm done and just have more reading to do) for my Basic Skills for Psychotherapy class, the one where we give one another therapy...it was a "reflection paper." Those of you who assume I'm self-aggrandizing would've loved it, for it was all about me and my values. As per a couple of blogs ago, in deciding which event in my life was the most significant, I asked Luke what he thought. I asked him if the thought my getting sober was a more important life event than having had Luke. He said, "Your sobriety. Definitely." When I asked him why, he said, "Had you not gotten sober, you'd have died. You wouldn't have died NOT having had me." Which was very true. I was so torn between the two answers to that loaded question that I finally said "the opportunity to be a sober mom" as the most important thing that's ever happened to me. Luke thought that sounded just about right. This is what I wrote in my paper:
"Foregoing the conundrum in my heart, after grappling with a difficult question for a couple of days, I decided to ask a wise young man for some definitive assistance. “Luke,” I said. “I have a question for you. What would you say is the greatest gift EVER in my life, my sobriety or having had you?” (Luke’s only 12 ½ years old, yet is often found uttering philosophy a’la Thich Nhat Hanh, but with a far more foul mouth, which he inherited mimicking me, which drives my ex-husband insane.) “Your sobriety. Definitely,” Luke replied.  When I asked my son why, in his opinion, he would unconditionally value my living over his own existence, he frankly quipped, taking the iPod earbuds out of his canals, “Because if you never got sober, you’d have died. You wouldn’t die not ever having had me.”
                While certainly true from a pragmatic standpoint, I still failed to employ logic into my determination of a choice between the two most significant gifts that God has seen fit with which to bless me. Luke and I were driving home in the dark from my AA sponsor’s house when I posed the question, my son helping me navigate the city streets, knowing my notorious night blindness and having one blurry, infected eye and one good eye. “How about this? What if I say, ‘The opportunity to be a sober mom?’” I said, right after Luke directed me out of a street that said “DO NOT ENTER.” With the same characteristic snarkiness of his mother, Luke said, “Yeah. Exactly. Too bad God didn’t bless you with good eyesight.” 

The paper also wanted us to outline what our value system was as we grew up, if those values are in conflict with what we believe and think as adults (Fuck yeah!), what we deem our greatest strengths and weaknesses and upon what we'd like to improve.
"Taking all of that into account, I often underestimate myself and my own strengths. I wasn’t dragged to rehab kicking and screaming. I decided to hospitalize myself. When I lost my last job, I decided that I wanted to go to graduate school full-time and earn a master’s degree in counseling psychology. At age 40, I’m taking a huge risk and choosing a 360-degree turn in terms of my education and eventual career path, in order to pay forward the compassion and wisdom bestowed upon me in both recovery and the care of my mental illnesses to people whose conditions are either as grave or even worse than the depths of despair I endured.  I’m successfully raising a highly intelligent, likewise resilient young man, with encouragement and dedication I feel I missed growing up. I am courageous. I am bold. So is Luke. I might be on a giant cocktail of medications that stabilize me and allow me to function properly, but I am not defined by what is wrong with me. I do not pity myself. I am proud but not arrogant, because I believe I have been unduly blessed with, not entitled to what (some people call “what little”) I have achieved in life."
After deep reflection, I came to the conclusion, which has probably been blatantly obvious to my readers from Day One, regarding my choice in men:
"I was the jewel of my father’s eye and I learned how to play him like a finely tuned violin at a very young age, often pitting him against my mother in order to get what I wanted, or to not get in trouble, or to simply assert my position as a “Daddy’s girl.” Consequently, as a grown woman, I have historically sought out specific, patriarchal males who share my passions and with whom I sense I can likewise “play,” either for gratification or with whom I can attempt to feed my insatiable “daddy complex,” which amounts to a constant need for validation and unconditional love, attention and acceptance (usually with men who are otherwise committed to other women or who are otherwise emotionally unavailable, not single, potential mates). My ex-husband was a rare exception, and we mixed like oil and water despite 15 total years together.  He was sort of a pansy and never did a terribly good job of caretaking me, which made me unhappy.

Admittedly, I am probably one of the neediest females on earth, with out-of-the-stratosphere desires to be wanted and cared for by men. THAT is the trait in me as an adult that I would most like to reverse.  Independence and fortitude are characteristics that I want to adopt, yet they frighten me to death. My ex-husband Craig’s  favorite question to me used to be, “What are the chances of you shutting up until you get exactly what you want?” I’d always say, “Slim to none.” And I’m still like that."

Yes, I came to this discovery myself.  It's why I'm in love with Guy Friend, to be blunt. My relationship with Best Male Friend is a totally different dynamic, as we're close in age (by 3 years) and probably healthier in the long run. I don't almost literally beg for BMF's love and affection--he gives it freely. But with Guy Friend? It's like pulling teeth to get him to do, as you know, ANYTHING. (He still hasn't procured a new cell phone, what he's waiting for, I don't know. But all he can do on his phone is make and receive calls. He can't retrieve voicemails or text, which is a HUGE bummer for me and BMF is dying over the number of texts he gets from me on a daily basis, particularly when I'm at school, or on the train to and from school. He's literally begged me to tell Guy Friend to get a new phone. Guy Friend finally called to check in Thursday night, just as I was en route to Luke's therapy, so I called him back when I got home.)

I went on in the self-reflective paper about my religious views being in opposition to how I was raised, and the residual conflict that's caused me as an adult, combining two of the professor's questions. I said:
"I am a woman of faith, and while I was taught to rattle off the books of the Bible by wrote memory,  and absorb and embrace what is taught in the most conservative synod of Lutheranism in the USA, I am the church’s resident Extreme Square Peg. People ask me how I can call myself a Lutheran when so much of what’s taught and practiced in my church is in direct conflict with what I morally, ethically and philosophically believe as a feminist, pro-choice, left-wing liberal-come-anarchist. While I do believe in eternal salvation through Christ, I refuse to discredit other world religions and believe in orthopraxy for all of humankind. I “practice” Christianity because that’s the value system I knew from little onward. But what do I truly believe, religiously, anyway?
Trust that I’ve been labeled a hypocrite and a demon-possessed, fallen one by my congregation and my family (I attend church regularly and play drums and percussion in the church’s contemporary praise band.) for believing that God is God is God, with many names, many identities, many faces, cross-culturally and socially. It’s not terribly popular to openly declare oneself a “Christian Hindu with Buddhist Tendencies” when you’re supposed to be a conservative fundamentalist. My belief is that we’re ALL “right.” All of us who believe in a power greater than our own that guides and directs the universe have effectively nailed it. (I’ve been told I’d make an excellent Unitarian Universalist, but I still hold onto the Lutheran church.)
                I grew up being taught at home, at school and in church, that whatever the Bible says is absolutely, irrefutably THE TRUTH and THE LAW, even though my parents weren’t themselves exactly models of exemplifying morals.  Does that make me a walking contradiction to send my son to a Lutheran school, where he learns, as I was taught, that the earth is only as old as the Bible, or that homosexuality is a sin, when I support LGBTQ rights with vigor and believe in evolution, bearing a Hindu “OM” tattoo beside a Christian cross tattoo on my wrist? One of the chief tenets of my intellectual and spiritual path from birth until early adulthood was to question nothing, yet the more I learn, the more I absorb, the different theories and philosophies that are presented before me cause me to question EVERYTHING, which I certainly encourage in Luke, who a bit hesitant. While vehemently anti-authoritarian, I abide by the “rules” on a case-by-case basis, and have taught my son to electively do the same, when his own code of conduct is in opposition to what in which he’s being instructed. Jesus’ greatest commandment?  “Love one another.” That’s what I’m striving to do as an adult, sometimes with more success than other times, while judgment and assumptions about people loom large in my legend. Another trait on which to work, methinks."
All true.

Yet I keep a stiff upper lip, and press onward, especially when faced with bullshit like "she's so self-aggrandizing." This is an autobiographical blog about MY LIFE. If course it's going to come across as self-aggrandizing. This is a mystery to people?  I seem to always forget Rule #1 of people: Most people are fucknuts dumb.




I best get cracking at that 2nd tattoo soon. Looking around school, I look virtually nude with only 2 small tattoos side-by-side. This is what I want to get, the Sanskrit word (symbol) for mindfulness, which is a huge part of the psychology I want to practice eventually, cognitive behavioral therapy, on my left inner arm, and approximately to scale here, in all black, though maybe a smidge bigger:



स्मृतिसंप्रजन्ये

It's a little wordy and confusing, but totally fucking cool, don't you think? My mom'll have a heart attack.

Mitt Romney's scared of ABBA? He thinks their music is too "angry?" Has he ever HEARD ABBA? Or SEEN ABBA? This image is confusing, granted, but far from scary,. unless foil behind the Swedish flag really disturbs you:



I have to love amazon.com. After paying out of my ASS for 2-day or overnight shipping of my school books, last night, as I was ordering the last of them, BAM! They reportedly have a "free 2-day shipping for students!" I joined it for next semester's $1000 in books, but for this term, I'm already screwed. "Oh, Annie, we noticed that you bought a crapload of academic books...allow us to offer you one of our student perks."
 Too little, too late, but I'll take it anyway. (UPDATE! I got ticked enough to email them about it this afternoon, and they're refunding me $42 in extra shipping charges. It pays to bitch!)

Best meme I saw ALL week? Definitely this one:


With that, the Offbeat Drummer has homework to tackle. 

More soon, dear ones and enemies alike. Wonder if that new stalker person in Lenexa , KS will check in today. (UPDATE: Yes, he/she did. For 8 1/2 minutes!) Surprise! I have a new entry to pour over! No, I didn't mention The Flaming Lips or slow-nerve-action.com, or did I?

UPDATE: SUNDAY NIGHT:

100 pages on ethics and Freud, and frankly, too little on Jung....I tried reading outside today and nodded off on the patio. I read at my desk and closed my eyes. I read on my bed and ended up taking a 3-hour nap. Can we please move onto a more exciting subject? I'm half done. More to read tonight, like when I'm not drowsy.






3 comments:

best male friend said...

While you didn't email me your whole essay, I've read enough of it here to slap you. You are TOO DAMN HARD on yourself and not HARD ENOUGH on some other influences in your life.

Seriously? You're in love with Guy Friend? This is the first time you've actually phrased it that way in your blog, so I was surprised. And kinda mad. And a little bummed out.

I'll get over it. It's not like it's news to me...I just never dreamed you'd publicly acknowledge it. (And now I'm exploiting it.)

You'd tell me, "Cheer up, Fuckface," so I'll quit while ahead.
xoxo

Andrea Miklasz said...

Ok, I emailed you the whole essay for your perusal.

I think Guy Friend had it figured out a long time ago and he doesn't know what the hell to make out of it, so he does nothing.

It's not the main subject of the blog entry anyway.

Chris, like 2 years ago, said HE knew I was in love with Guy Friend when I first gave him a tub of my homemade meat sauce. Evidently, I only give it out to people who I'm in love with. I guess he was actually right on that point.

It doesn't mean I love you any less, BMF. You fall under the same umbrella as GF, just with a different dynamic. We're more peers than you being a patriarchal figure. (Read: You're not old.)

Love you. xoxo back.

best male friend said...

I read your whole paper.

I still think you're too hard on yourself and you don't stick up for what you believe in enough.

Luke is awesomely philosophical for his age, you know?

I'm not mad at you about Guy Friend anymore. I understand the attraction. He may never, but I do.
I still resent him for not spending more time with you, given you live close to one another.

Oh, girl....