In Seattle at CSer’s house. I was reading an article on the super-wealthy Inman (Duke family: tobacco) twins who were so abused as children (Rolling Stone magazine, Aug.15, 2013).
It made me think about my childhood again. Mom made me stay home with her (as a companion) so much. I could go out and play (like, with Jane and the neighborhood kids), but I was really kept on a tight rein, hit (spanked and slapped), and the supervision and control really amounted to a kind of abuse (it would have been called an old-fashioned upbringing, I guess).
I was an only, adopted child with parents who a.) were isolated themselves from the community (as post-WW II Germans in the USA), b.) had very few friends, and c.) had their own psychological problems (Mom: depression; Dad: some kind of psychosis, withdrawal, emotionally illness).
I think I got a “learned helplessness” out of it. through high school, Mom (with Dad in the background) controlled every aspect of my life, from my clothes and hair to my room to my “free time,” to my private journal to my boyfriends, ad nauseam. As with most abused kids, I was a staunch defender of Mom, my abuser.
I learned to sense things that, according to our society, “aren’t there” (like spirits). Having beliefs unlike most other people in your society is not a bad thing. I love my inner life and my beliefs. Much of my spirituality consists of beliefs held by people in other cultures and in non-Christian religions (my belief in the one, eternal Soulmate, for example–a Hindu belief). American society certainly doesn’t have a great tradition of understanding either the spiritual life or magic and mysticism.
My desire to shelter myself from unwanted influences and people is interesting considering how I’ve chosen to live for most of my life: moving and travelling. The way I have been travelling for the past few years has been not only an escape from people but also a constant barrage of new people. I leave these new folks days after meeting them.
I am afraid that, after a brilliant beginning to our friendship, I eventually won’t like the new people I meet (this has happened so many times in the past). And I’m afraid these new people eventually won’t like me. Still, I want to try to settle down–in Homer, Alaska. Try again to build a base where friendship and love can grow. Perhaps I need to learn how to love more and better and let the rest (their feelings toward me) take care of itself. You can’t MAKE people love you; all you can do is love them.
I dwell on my childhood because it has shaped me and left me with lots of sore spots. I haven’t fully healed (do we ever?). I relate to and identify with people like me: orphans, adoptees, abused … This identification makes for hard friendships: we are people who didn’t learn good communication skills or how to trust others.
Can’t lay claim to any man. Can’t KNOW FOR SURE (not in this lifetime anyway; I’m not evolved enough to have that kind of clarity) that any man is my One and Only Eternal Soulmate. He’s out there (or he may be a spirit), but all I can do is keep trying and hoping to find him.
Can’t make someone into that person; it’s either him or it’s not him. So I can never put myself first in any man’s life and think I’m #1. And no man can do that to me either (because I think me and my Soulmate are probably at the same level of evolution). So… At least I am clear on all this even if I don’t know who He is.
I have so much to learn still about who I am. That’s a lifelong task: to know myself. I am still enjoying it, too, because I can see the progress I am making. I have learned SO MUCH about myself. And I still am learning.
I understand that I was incredibly overprotected (by American standards) as a child. Mom would stay home alone all day everyday. She had one or two neighbor women who were friends (and only one was a close friend), so she was alone a lot. (Later, when I was in high school, Mom had a really good friend, Lois. That was wonderful for her.)
Mom depended on me to keep her company once school was out. I had to come right home after school every day. Only in my senior year of high school, when I became a cheerleader (a social status Mom and Dad had–and wanted–to respect), was I allowed to not come home right after school was out.
By choosing boyfriends who had abusive childhoods, I effectively eliminated any possibility that my sexual relationships with men would succeed. We were all too wounded to relate to each other in a kind and loving way. Even honesty was difficult. I certainly wasn’t honest with any of them (except Hank who got to know me during our 8 1/2 year marriage) about who I was: I didn’t know how to be. I thought that if they really knew me, they wouldn’t like me.
I start hitching to Boulder, Colorado today from Issaquah Park & Ride (Mike, my CS host, will drive me out there). I’ll take about a week to make the trip: each section of my trip involves only 3 or 4 hours of driving time, and I have couches (through Couchsurfing.org) all along the way.
Patience, trust and surrender (to the road) are some of the many things I learn from hitchhiking.
When I was growing up, we took baths once a week, European-style. Mom washed my hair for me even during some of my high school years. I was raised in a very old school, traditional European way.
Recently, in Homer, I stayed with someone who didn’t have a shower. We took a shower once a week, downtown, for $6 for 1/2 hour. I liked it. I felt really good after a week of being “dirty.” It just felt nice and natural.
In a house with a shower, I wash daily. But it does get to feeling a little compulsive and unnecessary. Americans are a little “too clean” for my taste sometimes. This whole germ-phobia we have is absurd sometimes… (not always, of course; some germs are deadly).
Dad was from Europe (born in 1901); Mom, born in 1908, was first-generation German-American. She and her family (10 kids) grew up in Roxbury, which back then was a community on the outskirts of Boston–it’s now an all-black, inner-city ghetto. The folks in Mom’s section of Roxbury (Thwing Street) were hated because of the two World Wars the US waged with Germany.
Mom chose all my clothes (or at least supervised my choice of clothes) almost all the way through high school (or perhaps ALL the way through [I forget]). She made me keep my hair very short (Muslims think women’s hair must be covered in public or it will inflame men. Was Mom thinking the same?)
When I had boyfriends (one serious one in high school, Dave Carroll), Mom stayed up worrying wildly until I got home at the required time. If I was late, there was a row. I think Mom thought that since my birth-mom had an illegitimate child (me) I was vulnerable. The bastard gene undoubtedly. Also, sex was so very taboo when Mom was growing up (and she was Catholic to boot) that it was like a curse (and only a pleasure for men), rather than a blessing, as we now know it to be for both sexes.
Here is the wonderful way my Santiago, Dominican Republic pal, Paula Bussi, translated one of her posts (in Spanish) on Facebook for me today:
The Life is the art of meeting, even if both of disagreement for life!
This is so hopeful about finding and staying with my Soulmate. It’s about “meeting,” and, even if we disagree, we can stay together for life. OK, so I have reframed it a bit, but that’s my prerogative! I see it as a divine message.
Got a good ride to Spokane. Dave and his little dog, Kia. Nice, nice, nice. Great ride.
Now I’m at a house filled with uptight conservatives or maybe they’re all just in bad moods. I don’t know. I brought a 40-oz. beer; I hope to get pot from the neighbors. These abstemious people aren’t interested in drinking or smoking. Ugh! Didn’t my host read my profile?
My host is preoccupied. With her boyfriend. With god knows what. She doesn’t seem to have time for me now that she realizes who I am. I think she’s surprised that I’m an old lady whose hobbies are drinking and pot-smoking. I made my Couchsurfing profile much clearer about these things. And I specified: don’t host me unless you are at least A LITTLE CRAZY.
OK. So it’s my fault as much as theirs that I’m lonely here. I can just look at it as: I have a few days of peace here. These are not “my group” of people. Oh, well. The next group will be better… or the one after that.
Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever find “my group.” I’m such a social outsider. It’s mostly my Aspergers so that’s where I should start looking for my group.
My host may want me to be “nicer.” Sorry. That’s not me. I’m just being me. They are the conventional, “nice” people; I am the rebel, the punk, the funky crazy old woman. These people aren’t the wild artists I prefer. And they certainly know nothing about Asperger Syndrome.
I’m quite sure these people’s restraint is wise and will give them long lives. I’d rather be wild and have fun and live a shorter life. Yeah, it’s true.
Ah, the trials and tribulations of Couchsurfing. It’s not all fun and games. Eastern Washington state is apparently conservative. How on earth did the recreational pot law pass last November?
My CS host and I had a little chat last night so we are on the same page now. Good. She’s totally into other stuff, and I like hosts who are at least a little into getting to know me. Ah, well. I guess I need to settle down and find my own friend group.
I am realizing that, while an ideal relationship (with a man) would include a good sex life (and monogamy), I most likely won’t find that in this lifetime. My Soulmate and I may meet (or may have met), but I think he may be much younger than me (how did that happen?). We will each be into the sex life that is appropriate (I usually hate that word) for our age group.
I would not like to have a monogamous relationship with a very young man. At this age I know too much to deal full-time with someone who is just starting to learn The Stuff Of A Lifetime.
I’m barely even jealous anymore (and that’s a good thing). The pleasures of sex are still very apparent to me, but the games and dramas surrounding sex (and relationships in general) are quickly receding into the dark and dismal past. I can still fall in love, but I no longer want to be controlled by sexual lust. That was a long, difficult period in my life.
Plain, old sex almost never completely satisfied my lust. Maybe for a moment or two. Then, I’d need/want it again. The trouble was that the men I went to for sexual satisfaction never were men I could love or even like very much. Our contact was usually brief, and I chose them only for sex.
Lust is an emotion or feeling of intense desire in the body. The lust can take any form such as the lust for knowledge, the lust for sex or the lust for power. It can take such mundane forms as the lust for food as distinct from the need for food. Lust is a powerful psychological force producing intense wanting for an object, or circumstance fulfilling the emotion.
I think lust or intense (and perhaps uncontrolled/illicit) sexual desire is an evolutionary stage that most of us go through. My whole life was filled with lust.
Now I feel like I have escaped it or had the burden of it lifted from me. I explored it as fully as possible. I was a sex addict for awhile. I tried everything I could, and I regret a few of those experiments (including a few things I tried when I was “not in my right mind” [i.e. drunk or otherwise incapacitated). They hurt me and others.
The eight or nine relationships I had during that long period (including my marriage) were doomed from the start because they were based on sexual lust These are the lessons of a lifetime. We all have to learn them.
I don’t like hanging out with couples who are so into each other that they have no attention left for me or anyone else. Perhaps I should use times when I’m with such couples to learn about relationships by observing them. I’ve noticed that some people, some couples, seem to be aware that their mutual admiration leaves others out in the cold. These wise people don’t flaunt their love in front of others who may be lonely or jealous.
That Couchsurfing host I was with turned out to be psycho. She and her housemates didn’t like me. I wasn’t supposed to even sit on their porch this afternoon (I was sent to a local park). I was supposed to wait til my host came home at 6 pm.
Strange people who called me “rude” because last night I was too tired to socialize with them. My host’s “partner” is a young psychopath. And my host and one other housemate (a guy) seem to be his minions. The psychopath didn’t like me so they decided they didn’t like me. A very sick household. I packed up my stuff, slammed the door behind me, and called another CSer here in Spokane.