Radiogurl a la Carte

Sunday, Aug. 28, 2005
Running On Empty

The Internet was down for several hours this morning for maintenance. I was duly annoyed but decided to take advantage of the lull to do all the things I've put off for days. My dishes are done, I vaccumed, cleaned up in general, the usual stuff.

I am soooooo not domestic. I do try to keep things relatively neat and can't stand a lot of clutter - but my bed doesn't get made every day and sometimes I leave dirty dishes for a couple of days, depending on how insane things are. Weird thing is, I don't mind clutter in someone else's house. Just my own. I would rather toss out all but the basics than to feel packed in with a bunch of junk.

The one exception is my bed. It ends up being the catch-all for books, papers, my purse, the mail - whatever comes in the house, pretty much. It gets cleaned off when I change the bedding every week, but within a couple of days it's full again. I'm trying to set a date mid-week now to clean it off, easing myself away from that habit!

A couple of good friends in the New Orleans area have hopefully now evacuated, including one I wish would drive out and kept going. She's lived in an abusive marriage for years and years and needs to get out before her darling hubby murders her just for kicks. I've offered to take her in and so has another mutual friend and she refuses, worried that her hubby will take their daughter from her. Wonderful parent that he is, he already took the 8-year-old girl with him and made her sit at a bar while he drank himself into near-oblivion.

I don't know how he got her in unless Louisiana's laws are a lot more lax than ours. I gathered she was left to sit outside the actual bar area but inside the building. This was a bar, not a restaurant that served liquor. Since my friend and her hubby were locked into one of those "covenant marriages" she can't even leave him without jumping through unbelievable legal hoops, during which all it would take would be one drunken rage and she'd be dead. And he already promised that he'd hurt their child if she did anything.

What an awesome catch, that guy. Normally I don't advocate euthanasia but in this case I think somebody should put him out of the world's misery.

There was a time I'd have used that loser to point and say all men are slime. What's worse, I'd have believed it myself. I still have moments when I'm sucked in by the dark side; fortunately they're fewer and farther between these days. I know for a fact that not all men are cruel and abusive. Not all men are lazy, worthless louts. In fact, some men are pretty terrific people. I can think of a few I know, including some I've met here on Diaryland and some I've mentioned here.

I happen to think my sons are pretty special men. They're both working and going to school; both walked away from the drug scene to make better lives for themselves. My younger son was never a big user but his oldest sibling - my oldest son - ran the gamut before a couple of very scary incidents put the fear of God into him and he straightened his life up.

My girls... well, I'll give them credit for trying to turn things around in spite of some bad choices in companions, something for which I blame myself. After all, I was their example. My previous decisions concerning the opposite sex were not exactly idea. I hope things continue to work with T, and that our relationship can eventually help to undo some of the damage from the past. I want my daughters to see what a healthy relationship looks like, to know that it's possible to have a healthy relationship and that it doesn't have to hurt to be in love. I learned my attitudes toward men from watching the way my father treated my mother. I loathed him for it and at the same time that formed my expectations of all men based on his behaviors. Which meant that I found men built on the same template.

It took stepping back and removing myself for years to rearrange those thought patterns. And truth be told, I don't know if I really got past them yet. T is not someone I would have sought out. He found me, and I came very, very close to shutting the door to him before I gave him a chance to know me and vice versa. But the one thing that I do know is that he is not cut from the same cloth as my father nor my exes. Even this early into the game I can see that.

I have changed significantly, too. I know that I can survive on my own these days. I don't need a man in my life for that and know I don't have to tolerate abuse. On the flip side of that, I have also come to the realization that loving someone doesn't have to mean cruelty and lies; that there really are men who can care, who want the same things that I want from life and from relationships.

Life is about balances and this, too, is a balance. I am slowly learning that to blend your life with another's, you don't have to lose your identity. You can each maintain your own thoughts, your individuality, while forging a joint identity as a couple, too. Rather than being diminished, you are expanded in a thousand ways.

Good grief... It's official. I am a complete sap now.

Before - After

In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )