May 11, 2013

May 8

I don’t want applause or recognition for my original lifestyle. I don’t want to prove how clever I am. I don’t want to stand above or outside everyone else. My ego will NOT benefit from any of this shit, and I totally reject it all. I am learning to stop myself from being so judgemental and critical; I am reining in my impulses to tear down people I have come to hate (often because of childhood lessons [the rich]and sometimes because of social injustices [men]).

I AM thrilled at having a life of my own, a life of my own creation, and a life wherein I am doing exactly what I want and what I love.

Disclaimer: I am sorry that some people can’t accept who I am. They can’t accept that I DON’T CARE about the same things they do. As June Carter Cash graciously said to a woman who tried to shame her for getting a divorce (in the movie, “Walk the Line”), “I am sorry to disappoint you.” That woman expected things of June that she had no right to expect. “I am not here to live up to your expectations, and you are not here to live up to mine” (Fritz Perls). Every individual is responsible for THEIR own emotions.

As Popeye said, “I Yam What I Yam.”

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May 9

Myles, my grandson, was born either this morning or last night. Got texted photo of him from Seth.

I just read Gypsy Boy: My Life in the Secret World of the Romany Gypsies (2009) by Mikey Walsh. It was a difficult but frank and amazing book to read, and I read it in one day. (Another of Walsh’s books awaits me at the Ojai Library today.) It revealed the depths to which (some) British Gypsies have sunk. The violence (by Mikey’s dad) was extraordinary, and I was shocked by how everyone tolerated it.

I have always said that I am glad I’m not a Romany Gypsy because of the narrow, controlled, inferior status of the women. This book bore that out… and more. Ugly!

Stephen Fry’s quote on front cover: “A revelation. Moving and terrifying, funny, and brilliant. I shall never forget it — an amazing achievement.”

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“Travel is… about learning, about crossing boundaries and mastering the fear of strangers, about making the effort to understand other cultures and thereby empowering yourself.” ~~Fatima Mernissi (on a bookmark called “Bridging Cultures: Muslim Journeys”)

Wikipedia: Fatema or Fatima Mernissi (Arabic: فاطمة مرنيسي‎) is a Moroccan feminist writer and sociologist.

From ArabWomenWriters.com:
As an Islamic feminist, Mernissi is largely concerned with Islam and women’s roles in it, analyzing the historical development of Islamic thought and its modern manifestation. Through a detailed investigation of the nature of the succession to Muhammad, she casts doubt on the validity of some of the hadith (sayings and traditions attributed to him), and therefore the subordination of women that she sees in Islam, but not necessarily in the Qur’an.

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I am becoming am much nicer person, but I am not ever abandoning being true to myself. I am not giving up anything, I am just adding things — like being more compassionate and loving everyone and everything (not rejecting anyone or anything).

Non-traditional me: no coercion tolerated (not by me nor from anyone). No demands or expectations: neither from me to anyone nor from anyone to me. A life of my own; a world of my own. True to MY SELF. Freedom from family ties and obligations.

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Someone said to me this morning that Ojai is the kind of place where people come to get divorced. He said people who grew up here tend to stay married, but people who move here when they are married tend to get divorced! Ha ha. He attributed it to spiritual searching and growth that go on here; I agree and will add the general climate of creativity. Ojai has a long tradition of these things.

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At the San Francisco hotel (on the corner of Van Ness at the edge of the Tenderloin) Megan and I stayed in when she was in first grade, Miss Ellie taught Meg and some other kids to steal. Now, it’s really funny. Then, I thought it was terrible, and I forbade Megan to go out “shopping” with Miss Ellie.

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May 11

On Greyhound, pulling into the L.A. station. Everyone is sleepy because they got on the bus at 1 am in San Francisco.

Stayed at Chuck’s last night, camping in his yard. He’s such a good guy. We watched his Burner Moon Tribe’s favorite movie last night, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Now, I’ll have a few hours layover in L.A. (time to have breakfast: salad and hot chocolate $7+); then, off to Long Beach.

The L.A. Greyhound station next to skid row. I don’t wander around outside the station too much when I’m on layovers here, especially not at night. Can take local L.A. city buses from a nearby corner.

It’s 9 am, and my bus leaves here at 12 noon; it’s about a half hour trip to Long Beach. The station is full; lots of people going places today. It’s a weekend and tomorrow is Mothers’ Day.

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It’s nice now to have internet on the Greyhound buses and in the stations. And I have on my iPod. It’s so awesome! I can be in my own world when I travel. Not-being-afraid-of-people to me means being able to ignore them and to ask them for help when I need it. It does NOT mean talking/listening/relating to others for hours on end.

I have already mastered the Being-Friendly thing; I know how to laugh, joke, and endure or enjoy most people. I know how effective a smile can be. I don’t give a damn; I use my people skills when I feel the need. Sometimes relating with others is gratifying, and often it is not.

Lots of people bore or annoy me: especially people who complain incessantly, talk incessantly, are critical,  want attention, or are judgemental or small-minded. When people are too different from me, it’s often hard to find common ground. I won’t put up with anyone putting me down, and when (some) people (so–called “friends”) know too much about me, they tend to berate and discourage me. (That’s not friendship.) Much of the time, I’d rather be alone or in my own world with my iPod and computer than talk to them.

A lot of travelling is about ignoring people and things. It’s a job requirement. On the road, I encounter so many new people in one day alone that it gets tiring. For example, here in the Los Angeles bus station so much is going on all the time (during the day) that I have to ignore most of it for the sake of my nerves and my sanity.

I know how to look at people (as individuals or groups) without making eye contact so I don’t have to relate to them. It’s a game, a skill, a life-saving device, and it’s good for my physical and mental health to detach.

I have no qualms about saying to someone, “I need to be alone now. I don’t want to talk. Sorry.” Translation: go away and leave me alone. Lots of time I think people look at me, an old lady alone, and they form stereotypes– she wants company; she looks lonely; she must want someone to talk to, etc.– all of them wrong. Even little kids who are used to subservient grandmothers who have no life of their own expect me to look at them and smile, etc., ad nauseam.

Later today, I’ll be at Carla’s with a couch in the living room (no private, get-away space). My computer and earphones will be indispensable. Relating to people constantly (or even to dogs) is not only exhausting, it’s got a time-limit. Even being with people I love has an expiration date (usually in hours). After that, I need to be alone or in a world of my own. I’d like to put up my tent in the living room in places where I don’t have my own room.

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This whole Alaska/Yukon trip seems to me like a round about and very interesting way for me to get back to New Orleans. I’ll be seeing Sam in Boulder, Colorado which I look forward to; I wish I could take him travelling with me.

I am not complaining anymore about what I don’t have; I am focusing on and enjoying what I DO have. It’s very satisfying. I am not a victim; I’m a survivor.

Let it all go and dwell in my own Highest Self (the “I”). Too much of great importance is going on in the world, and for me to focus on my petty little problems is dumb. See the Highest Potential in everything. Be my own Higher Power (“I”). I am my Higher Power.

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This bus station is sort of large, and the people who ride Greyhound are lower middle class/working class. You always encounter surly people here, angry people, jealous people, mentally ill people (ones who haven’t gotten therapy), attention-grabbers, greedy people (like in the higher classes!), women who have some sort of passive/subservient thing going on, aggressive men, and petty criminals (thieves, etc.). Sometimes people from skid row slip in (the security guards try to keep them out) and ask for money. I rarely ask anyone to watch my bag for me because, no matter how nice they look and how well-dressed they are, they could be a thief.

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As an Aspie, I have been the target of bullies for many, many years. Here are some reasons why this happens: bullies sense that I am “different”; I don’t act “normal” or conform to how-one-should-act (yet I am doing nothing they can actually put their finger on); my intentional distancing from them makes me appear aloof and superior (it’s actually based on a natural detachment and love of being alone); I am usually smarter than them (and they sense and hate this); they have egos that are either too big or too small.

Our Aspie focus on things we love infuriates some people. We aren’t trying to disturb them; we are just doing what we love, and no distractions (like them) are tolerated. Anxious and/or angry people take Aspie-style personally. They get mad at us and at anyone who is being REAL (i.e., acting naturally, not being afraid of being themselves, and flying in the face of the status quo).

I have learned how to do two things when I am bullied: first, the “lower” action, play it back on them with mental (psychic/mind) games; this is a waiting game. This is the action of the protective Eagle (the second evolutionary phase of the sign of Scorpio). Second, let it go; just see my thoughts floating up  into the air and away. The second way is the way of the Dove (the third phase of Scorpio), and it’s freeing. The first way is vengeful and satisfying, but it’s a short-lived satisfaction. The Dove’s peaceful way is endlessly satisfying.

I think an Aspie’s main rationale when dealing with people is: you are responsible for yourself! I am responsible for myself! Don’t expect me to meet your expectations or solve your problems or live out your karma for you. That’s not my job, it’s yours. So, fuck off.

Of course, Aspies hate confrontation, so we don’t say “fuck off,” but, believe me, we think it. At least I do. I’m a very contented, peaceful, confident, self-loving, happy person, so even when I think “fuck off,” it’s kind of funny and amusing to me. I don’t hate anyone. And I love my life. I have lots of compassion, and by now I have so much life experience that I can relate to and find common ground with MANY people. I’m doing alright.

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At the Oxnard Transit Center this morning, a woman and her teen-aged daughter were going ahead of me in line. I said, “This is a line.” She rolled her eyes at her daughter, which pissed me off, so I said. “They oversold this bus,” (the ticket seller told me this), “and we may not all get on” (three people were ahead of me in line). “I’m not going to let you get ahead of me. You might not like it, and I’m sorry.” She took it well. We all did get on the bus, but that woman didn’t. Maybe she wasn’t trying to cut into the line after all. I appreciated the practice I got in speaking my feelings.

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In “The Great Game” episode of Sherlock (BBC), John Watson gets mad because Sherlock  doesn’t CARE  about people (and refuses the mantle of “hero”). Sherlock helps people and hunts down criminals with LOGIC. It’s much more helpful than caring (which is nice and sweet and makes people feel good but doesn’t solve crimes).

Sherlock is bullied, but he gives it back, as good as he gets. I think Sherlock is at least part-Aspie. (So is his brother Mycroft. Mycroft is an important part of the British government and not counter-cultural, so he’s less visible and obvious than Sherlock.)

Like an Aspie, Sherlock’s thinking is: I am not here to take care of you or live up to your expectations. Fuck off! He does what he does–“the work”–because he loves  it!

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Some of the hostility I invariably encounter (and do nothing to discourage) in public comes from other sources. Some men (and some women) are enraged when women, especially OLD women, are clearly smart, liberated, and unafraid of being and enjoying themselves in public. Some people don’t like old people in general to be anywhere but in the background. And then whenever I am a minority anywhere (and even when I am not)–which is often– I get the flack about my ethnicity (Caucasian) and nationality (USA) thrown at me (sometimes verbally). Why get upset? These people’s faults (prejudice, ignorance, etc.) are not my problem; they are their problem.

Awareness of the extreme importance and incomparable significance of self-expression and individuality is such a gift. And not everyone, by a long shot, has had access to this information; many people can’t even imagine it. People who grow up with no inkling of their individuality (eg. with their own thoughts, feelings, needs, desires, etc.) and without the experience of expressing their individuality are severely limited in this respect, and they may never be able to conceive of the possibility. In fact, they may actively resist it. Individuality flies in the face of service to others, and these “others” will keep their servants and minions dependent and helpless as long as they can.

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We open “portals” for our children. I mean that we parents, or me anyway, open POSSIBILITIES for our kids. We hold them out like golden apples, like magic, like diamond drops of wisdom: “Here. You can have this. I give you this jewel.”

Einstein said (if you can believe all the quotes that are attributed to him): “Imagination is better than knowledge.” So I’d be, like, “Hey, you can do this or do that” or “You can be this or that.” I’d give my kids huge possibilities and let them run with them, figuring out what they liked and what they wanted and needed.

I showed my kids–and Sam (whom I helped to raise until he was five)–how to live in such a way (cheaply, simply, creatively, originally, definitely outside the American mainstream, etc.) that their possibilities were maximized and enlarged (not confined to the status quo’s options). I tried to show them how to attain things (NOT material stuff) they wanted: I opened up the world for them, showing them that all different lifestyles were acceptable (not hurting other beings, of course) and that all people and things are worthy of love and consideration. I showed them this by DOING many unconventional things myself (things mainstreamers would–and did–call bizarre). The Buddhists love to say how wonderful intention is, but for me there’s no substitute for action. Doing something yourself, and showing your kids how to do it, is, as they say, worth 1,000 words.

I think I raised my kids with MAXIMUM INCENTIVE to try things, and to invent and create things, and to learn and live the way they wanted for MAXIMUM personal evolution.

Parents, once we open these portals of possibilities, have the huge, overwhelming job of keeping the fucking portals open. The world (i.e., people) constantly try to tell each other, “No, that’s not possible. You just have to follow the crowd and do what everyone else does. Otherwise, watch out, Dude!” The tendency is to crush children’s imagination, hope and dreams. Well, lots of shit goes down about how hope is not such a good thing, but it IS a good thing. It’s a wonderful thing (unless you analyze it to pieces and destroy it). So, parents have this awesomely awful job of keeping these portals open (until the kid is about 18 and able to keep open for themselves their favorite portals). A portal, by the way, is a window into the future and into alternate realities. It’s real, but the world usually doesn’t acknowledge it. That adds to the parent’s job of keeping the portal open.

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