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itsallgrand
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Way back, when I was in school, there were quite a few of my classmates and people in the community I grew up in who were very religious. And my grandmother was very religious too, regularly telling me how worried she was for my soul. Since being an adult, I've tended to surround myself with less or non religious folks by preference.

So it's odd to me now, even though I'm well acquainted with it, to come across someone so openly terrified and hostile of a non religious person. I'm talking about a belief that without religion, a person must not have any basis for being a moral and good human. A fear of that non belief in a particular deity.

 

It's just a good reminder on a personal level. See, reason was always my balm for fear. I must stay reasonable . It's human to lapse into our pet beliefs, all too human, and I'm not immune.

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I grew up in an area where there was a healthy representation of a lot of different religions. Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, etc., and the various sects of each. As a result, I grew up in an environment where there was a quiet, unspoken tolerance and respect for other people's beliefs.

 

I went to college way out in the boonies of another state. While there, I had a couple of friends who grew up in very religious christian communities. These friends had a lot of anger towards christianity and christian people. Like, a lot.

 

It was clear that these friends harbored this hostility because the christian people in their communities had made them feel inferior, or as if they didn't belong in some way. What seemed crazy to me was that my friends were behaving in the exact some intolerant way as their christian 'enemies!'

 

But, you know, hate always has the same cross section.

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It's so interesting.

 

The lady I'm speaking about had expressed to me a fear of a particular person specifically because the other person responded she did not believe in god when told by the lady ' god bless, I'll pray for you'. I guess they were talking about their families?!

The lady made big eyes and said to me ' can you believe it?! Does not believe in god! I'm scared and don't trust her now!'

 

Neither of them know my beliefs as we are acquaintances and it's something I reserve for the most part.

 

It just took me back. And got me thinking.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There's so much smoke in the air again. Woke up with a sore throat and eyes . These fires are so bad this year. And so many of them. And we are lucky considering the big picture and others. It really makes me grateful for our usual beautiful clean air and bright blue skies.

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I just have to get this out. It's been bothering me. Lately there have bet too many acquaintances who barely know me dropping all this judgement on me for not having kids. Why do people think that's appropriate?!

It tends to start the same. They will ask if I have any, and I give a simple no. Then it goes one of a few ways. Often it's why?! ( which I think is rude in itself). I don't really know how to respond to this. I don't want to get into that conversation with practical strangers. Depending, at times I've looked away and tried to change the topic. I've shrugged. I've said, you know, that's rather personal.

Then comes the unasked for opinions. I've heard " that's weird! Don't you like kids?!" . I've heard " You should really get on that". I've heard " that's not right. Is there something wrong with you? Everyone should have kids". I've heard " oh that's sad, I can't imagine not being a mom!". And yesterday, it was " I'm surprised. Don't you want to settle down?! Have a family?! You must be so lonely?". And that was from a young man! Is it just me who thinks what the ?! , is there an epidemic of thoughtless and stupid or something?!

 

How did you or do you handle oafs like that? I wouldn't mind if it was once in a blue moon, but it seems like way more frequently than occasionally. And it's natural the topic of if you have kids may be asked. That's fine. And there are some really thoughtful people in this world. And I know I'm particularly sensitive to judgement about it right now, and that's amplified by my own beliefs about the seriousness of having kids ( in my eyes) and that we live in an overpopulated world already, so extra thought etc seems to me to be important right now on putting more kids on the planet and how.

There's that and I think even if that weren't so, not having children is not something anyone needs to explain to a stranger. If anything, let's shake their hands for doing a community service in its own right .

 

So how do you deal with this and prevent getting upset? I don't want to be upset when it happens, it's not good for ME.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I cringe reading my last post. But it was helpful to write, and to reflect on. Irritation is a good cue as to my fatigue level.

I tend to push myself too hard sometimes, and be too hard on myself. I know this.

Just a reminder to slow down. Breathe.

 

I've started using an app called calm. It's good for me. Carve aside that little time every night when it's about time for bed.

Just let my mind have a break. Put some space there; makes it easier to see the forests for the trees.

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There's nothing cringeworthy about it. At least not that I see. I remember seeing that post, but I forgot to respond to it.

 

I don't think I've ever gotten angry about it. I think that's because I never wanted children. I just felt this minor pressure to have them, and it was easy to shrug off. And I feel a lot the way you do, that it's doing the world a service not to have children. I don't want children to starve or fight, and that's already happening. It's just going to get worse. That's not the main reason, though, just a benefit that I see. Mainly, I don't want to worry about them--I have a hard time raising a plant. Plus, I don't mind dying out and leaving no progeny.

 

For me, at worst, I feel awkward telling people that I don't want children because I'm basically telling them that I wouldn't have done that if I were them.

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Your post caught my eye, and it amazes me people are so much in each others' business like the examples you gave. What you said here sounds like a very good response when the next person asks: "Not having children is not something anyone needs to explain to a stranger." If it is to family or friends, just leave out the "to a stranger" part.

 

It might be hard to give that reply the first time, but it is a perfectly reasonable answer. Then become adept at changing the subject, or just giving them a calm quiet look.

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I remember struggling with infertility and people being inquisitive or outright berating me for not giving my son a sibling. They literally ripped my heart out some days. I would have liked to say get out of my reproductive woes you t.... Either side of the coin I wish people would leave others alone. ❤️

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This was really nice to come back to. Thank you.

 

I'm going to try what you suggested, journeynow. Yes, it'll feel strangely frank at first. But I'm going to give it a try.

 

Jibraltra, it was very comforting to me to read your reply. I so appreciate having the opportunity here to talk to someone who understands that part of my brain that thinks about overpopulation and the future for all of us here. It's not an exaggeration that I think about it every day. When I have a nice long shower, I think, enjoy this as I will likely live to see an end to the luxuriousness I get to enjoy every day. It's close to my heart, wanting to help in a sustainable future. I could- and have- write endlessly about various aspects of it.

 

I want to be a mom. I was prepared to give that up - I had so much work to do to get myself in good mental health, but I did it. And somehow, I found a person who I want to spend the rest of my life with. It's nuts really - I'm really very fortunate right now. So I shouldn't be angry - I made the choice to wait or potentially put that 'mom' energy elsewhere forever if that's how it rolled out to be.

 

I think because it's so close now. I don't know what is going to happen. Maybe we will blessed with a beautiful child this way or that.

 

I just keep thinking, hey, in a few years, this too will be past. It will be new challenges. I'll be ok any which way - but the anticipation is killing me!

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  • 3 months later...

Life is good. No major news to report. I've been enjoying, growing ventures, moving forward.

 

I wanted to write a bit about yesterday. I had an anxiety attack in the theatre, and we left the movie partially through due to it. I haven't had an episode like that for quite some time. In fact, I can't remember the last specific incidence - that's how good it's been.

 

It was a chill day. I was content, relaxed. Usually I'm a bit more careful about what movies I go to see, but I was in such a great mood I wasn't really thinking it through. I skimmed one quick review, it looked interesting, so we went to see 'Vice'.

 

When we were leaving, I went to take a few minutes in the bathroom, and I was white as a ghost. I'm very lucky to be with somebody who is so understanding. He asked me what would help the most and what I'd like to do, and I said, please don't take it personally but I know some time alone in quiet is what I need. As he was driving, I started crying. I felt so sad and frustrated that such a great time together was ending over my reaction to a freakin movie. I felt ashamed too - it's something that pops up, even though I know full well at this point the drill. It's not something that is shameful, still, that feeling does come up.

 

So I spent some time alone, at home, in the quiet and in the semi dark. I made herbal tea. I sat there and pet the cat. I know from experience it takes a good hour, away from anything that can compound it, to start to feel better and for that flush of chemicals in the body to begin to dissipate.

 

What I want to note here is the feelings. Because it's not a constant in my life anymore ( though for a long time, it was), because of the treatments I've received and the therapy, because of the self work and insight... I can observe them now with more clarity.

 

This is only my particular experience. First there's the panic. The retreat unto oneself. Confusion. A desperate attempt to cope and carry on as usual. Fidgeting . Sweaty palms. Discomfort. A feeling of coldness, numbness. Then there's dizziness. Disorientation. Fear. Sadness. Vulnerability. And for me, there's anger.

 

I just wanted to write it down. There was this sense of clarity about aspects of myself, and my life, and what I need to do going forward to further heal and achieve what I want while ACCEPTING my limitations and what I personally need to stay healthy and happy and well. I just don't want to forget it. It's easy enough to get sloppy with mental health - I don't ever want to take what I have for granted. It's so precious.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've been working a lot this last little while; often 13 hour days. BUT it's been work that's enjoyable to me, that has tangible purpose, and where I have learning opportunities. It's invigorating ! I've been in such good spirits and though I know to take it easy and not overextend myself ( these bursts of long days mixed up with time for rest/family/friends/ fun) - I don't feel that heavy sense of fatigue like I used to trudging away. I know I've said it before but I'm never going back to that!

 

It was nice affirmation too getting complimented yesterday by my guy that I was looking 'particularly ravishingly, you have that glow and sparkle when you are happy'. Makes me feel good that the various pieces are coming together into a more holistic kind of life - and it reflects who I am, what I stand for, more accurately.

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I've been working a lot this last little while; often 13 hour days. BUT it's been work that's enjoyable to me, that has tangible purpose, and where I have learning opportunities. It's invigorating ! I've been in such good spirits and though I know to take it easy and not overextend myself ( these bursts of long days mixed up with time for rest/family/friends/ fun) - I don't feel that heavy sense of fatigue like I used to trudging away. I know I've said it before but I'm never going back to that!

 

It was nice affirmation too getting complimented yesterday by my guy that I was looking 'particularly ravishingly, you have that glow and sparkle when you are happy'. Makes me feel good that the various pieces are coming together into a more holistic kind of life - and it reflects who I am, what I stand for, more accurately.

That's great to hear :)))
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I've been working a lot this last little while; often 13 hour days. BUT it's been work that's enjoyable to me, that has tangible purpose, and where I have learning opportunities. It's invigorating ! I've been in such good spirits and though I know to take it easy and not overextend myself ( these bursts of long days mixed up with time for rest/family/friends/ fun) - I don't feel that heavy sense of fatigue like I used to trudging away. I know I've said it before but I'm never going back to that!

 

It was nice affirmation too getting complimented yesterday by my guy that I was looking 'particularly ravishingly, you have that glow and sparkle when you are happy'. Makes me feel good that the various pieces are coming together into a more holistic kind of life - and it reflects who I am, what I stand for, more accurately.

 

That sounds wonderful :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

I feel grateful tonight for the love that is in my life. I'm blessed that I have people who love me and are supportive of me.

I was thinking ... I've always had that. At least a few people who I know really love me. Some people come and go through life. And some people pass away.

But I really am so so lucky to have always known I've been loved. Not everyone has that experience. Some people struggle through big portions of their lives feeling so alone. Searching to be appreciated and shown love.

 

My guy recently turned forty. I'll be close behind. All in all, things could be a hell of a lot worse!

We spent about a week celebrating it in various ways. Near the end, one of his friends mentioned a drive she is part of for a family who lost their home and belongings in a fire. Times like that, where he stops what he is doing and jumps right in , my heart swells with pride.

Oh and we almost adopted a cat. Lol. We went to spend some time at the shelter and he fell in love with a lil guy who had the sweetest personality but had obviously had a rough go so far. Only reason he's not with us now is he was scooped up by the time we had talked it through. So that lil guy did get a forever home, which is great.

 

I think we are just at the point, we have so much and we are bursting to share it. Not a bad place to be.

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's one of those nights where I'm having trouble sleeping. They are rather rare these days. Thoughts knocking around in the old skull. I'm just trying to find that sweet spot of balance. Work, life, living balance. I still struggle at times with the idea of saying firmly for myself 'this is enough'. That it's ok to not go to a point where it's too much! And yet I do my best work and am happiest when not feeling under a drill.

There's something there that bubbles like a feeling an inadequacy. This fear of decending to laziness and apathy. Yet it doesn't hold up. The opposite is true - take the old way, it leads to a crash. Much better the new. Much less recouperation time.

Perhaps the only way to truly break the habit is to keep at it. With time, the old will fall away more. But by bit. Challenged by experience.

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

This is an older video, but to me, it's a great reminder of how ordinary people are often heroes - real ones - simply by doing what they know in their hearts is right .

 

I'm hormonal and emotional today , yes! But I dare anyone to watch it and not be moved a little bit. We have to take care of each other out there, as the world can be so cruel sometimes.

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This is an older video, but to me, it's a great reminder of how ordinary people are often heroes - real ones - simply by doing what they know in their hearts is right .

 

I'm hormonal and emotional today , yes! But I dare anyone to watch it and not be moved a little bit. We have to take care of each other out there, as the world can be so cruel sometimes.

 

Oh my goodness- can't watch now, can only imagine. I've been reading old New Yorker magazines and am in the middle of an article about North Korea. I had a friend living in my city for about a year from south korea (and my son befriended her daughter -they still email!) - very interesting culture!

We do have to take care of each other I agree. I do try.

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I think part of why I'm drawn to stories like this is because of the amount of exposure I've had to the ugly side of people.

I was thinking about something a woman I was in contact with in my last job said. Repeatedly, she seemed to want to make sure she got her point across.

She told me her sister had an abortion when young. Later on, she had a child, and the child was born with severe disabilities. She said she had told her sister it was god punishing her for aborting a child.

She also told me she hated her youngest son, as he looked like his father. She would punish and deny him the same as her younger children. She openly offered this information, almost with pride.

 

I think about stuff like that. I've noticed this huge stress relief since not being at that job, and being in that area of town. Meth addicts everywhere, and I was always looking over my shoulder. The attitude is very much, hey, if you get one over someone, you are so clever. The community is broken down, it's depressing.

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So I'll offer a different perspective -I don't think it's necessarily about exposure other than in cases of, like, immediate family abuse -I think it's about how you react to the exposure - kind of like growing up in a really crowded huge noisy city like I did for 43 years -and didn't really notice or experience it that way until I had a baby in a stroller and was terrified of him being bumped into, etc (which happened including someone literally falling on top of his infant head with her weight) -and of course the noise when he was napping, etc. My mom who has lived in that city for 84 years is a cheery optimist type (bless her lol) and doesn't react to that kind of exposure (and she's seen plenty - our neighborhood was not very nice at all let's just say when we were growing up in the 60s and 70s). On the other hand my sister is highly sensitive to noise, light, etc. I also had a friend who worked in our city in the sex crimes division of the district attorney and yes she burnt out pretty fast.

 

Many years ago I did an internship to help children with special needs get better services. And learned that in a particular religious sect, it was really hard to even get the information on what types of special needs were at issue because kids with special needs were thought to be the result of the parents being punished by god - so they tried to hide the children away as best as they could. Tragic!

 

I'm glad you're out of that environment -doesn't seem healthy at all for you.

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