addict

Crossings…

Once upon a time…
Some people were wandering in the wilderness. They had been seriously lost. They had wandered for a generation and had begun to believe that they would never find their way out. Finally, they got to where they could see where they were going. They could see the goal that they had begun to believe they would never reach but, there was a river in the way. That brought their dreams to a crashing halt but, their holy men prayed and they were given an answer from their God. He said, “I will make a path through the water and you will set monument stones where you walk that path through the river.” They agreed. They had the leaders of their tribes set those stones in the middle of the river where they had walked on dry land. Then their God closed up the river over those monuments leaving them unseen except for in the memories of the survivors…

Now, no matter what happened, they couldn’t cross back and they couldn’t disregard the importance of honoring the monuments their God had instructed them to place. They didn’t know what the future would hold, only that their past was closed to them…

Our lives are like that. Sometimes we face obstacles that seem unpassable. We get to the edge and don’t know what to do. We can see where we need to be, it’s right over there,but, we can’t see a way to cross to it…and then something changes…

I was faced with one of those places recently. I have had issues with trusting people, with believing that they will remain true to what they say. I have friends that have helped me get to the edge of the river by showing me that THEY could be trusted but, that was hard won, like the journey leading to the river. Still, I wanted to keep my distrust because it’s safer that way…and something happened. Just like in the story, one more person came along and changed things. They changed it by trusting me first…

The story shows, to me, a bunch of other things…

It shows me that, once crossed, we can not go back to our past…

It teaches that, although we fear the river might close up and swallow us, it is better to cross and begin again, no matter our fears.

It also lets us know that those crossings aren’t done alone. They asked their God for help and crossed with each other…

We don’t always see those crossings. Sometimes we look back and realize we did cross.

Sometimes the milestones and monuments differ. Some are places in time. Others are locations or objects. The most important are the people that help us and we keep them in our memories and hearts forever.

In the end, the best monuments are the memories of the times that a person neither pulled or pushed but, took our hand and walked along side. They are never seen but, exist to this day.

I have my Stones. I do them Honor by both remembering them, they are with me always, and not going back to who I used to be.

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…And Now a Word from Our Sponsor

Being me is an odd place for some values of that word. To say that I have “trust issues” puts it mildly. I compartmentalize people. I am willing to share bits of what I think as the situation demands. I can tell people about the events of my past but, not the “internal” stuff that goes along with them. I guard, with a passion bordering on paranoia, my emotions from the chance of hurt. I will readily push away anyone that I think might cause emotional distress, won’t even think twice about it. Poof, gone. I “run like hell” at the first sign of a chance that I might be coming close to allowing more than superficial trust.

*sigh*

It’s part of being me. Not the best part but, something that exists. Sure, I’m capable of affection and care but, not close enough that affection could be something greater.

So, imagine my surprise, and “distress”, lacking a better word, when earlier this week, someone I sort of knew reached out to me and I replied, just expecting them to vent and be done. I’m a good listener and keep secrets. *editorial, if you ask me not to tell something, I NEVER do* So, she asked if she could “rant” to me. I don’t know why she picked me, not sure she does. We have sort of talked. I knew some of her past. I’ve even blogged about some of it, in a guarded way, in the past when I was talking about how women are treated by men. I digress…

Then the unexpected happened, she started telling me stuff that she really doesn’t tell people. I went from random outsider to, “these are the ugly bits, the private bits, the fears, what cha gonna do with them?”…

And I freaked out. Completely out.Buggy. “Danger Will Robinson”. “RUN AWAY!” out.

I started to. run I mean. I went back into “survival mode”. Was in the process of convincing myself that survival was the best plan. That the old instincts that had served me so well, were the best instincts. That trust is “a fool’s game”. I really wanted to run. I didn’t want to allow the off chance that my fears were correct. I wanted to take the empathy I was feeling and get rid of it. I wanted to not allow the tiniest chance that I might be hurt. I wanted to be ENTIRELY selfish…

So, I didn’t do any of that.

I put some demons to bed by deciding, to consciously allow trust. By deciding to skip the middle bits and go straight to *word for the week* *smile thingie* storge. It’s the Greek word that means ” the love that friends feel for each other… Storge love is unconditional, accepts flaws or faults and ultimately drives you to forgive. It’s committed, sacrificial and makes you feel secure, comfortable and safe.”

What the hell? If I’m going to risk trust and hurt, why not risk everything. Remember those parts a few paragraphs ago about “trust issues”? If that’s hard, why not make the hardest step?…

And I freaked out…again…lather rinse repeat…a couple more times…

And, in the mean time, because of what she has shared, I am, with her permission, writing blogs that are solely about her, these two The Worth of a Soul and Redefining a Person thinking to myself, “what a s**t head you are that you would write to serve a purpose and then run away”. I had accepted her trust, shared my demons in return, and I STILL couldn’t decide to run or stay…and I found myself writing this one Feeding the Demons. In the last one, I made a public statement of commitment. Hard to retract that.

*****

It’s part of my own healing process. I was trying to help her because I am a nice guy…and slammed into my own baggage. That’s the odd thing. I may be helping her but, the reaching out that she started made me face my fears. She didn’t do it intentionally. I think that if she had realized the anguish it was going to cause she wouldn’t have. She can be many things but, cruel is not one. There was no intent to cause stress for me in her. My “public face” is confident and sarcastic. I can be a vocal person. I like to talk. I just don’t like to reveal much. *here doesn’t count. typing at a screen is talking to myself*

She uses the word “test”. We are both being tested in this case. Her’s is, will she decide I’m unneeded and leave when my usefulness is over?

Will she find herself thinking I require too much effort when she has no energy to spare? I wouldn’t blame her if she did.

Mine test  is different. It is,  if she does, how will I react? What if she does walk away? What if she doesn’t need my insecurities while dealing with her own “stuff” and does the smart thing, tell me to “eff off”? Will I say, “yeah, I was right, never trust anyone that hasn’t proven themselves”, “don’t become attached to friends because they ALWAYS let you down”? Or will I try again, knowing the risk?

In the end, only time will tell. Ask me in a year how it went. Ask me in 5 how she’s doing. Check back and see if some demons have finally been put to rest. Yeah, I’m still scared that I made a mistake but, I have to take the chance. I have to try to learn. I think that I have found a person that will not fail the test, I just hope that person is me.

Yeah, I Took Shots at EVERYONE…

Bits of thoughts…

I am NOT open-minded. In my world, people, as differentiated from “humanity” fall into 3 groups, people I like, people I dislike, and people that will be one or the other of the first two. Humanity is different, because of the people I like, I write about humans being treated with decency and compassion. I write FOR the people I like and love, to humans, about humanity and faith…

To the young lady parked next to me. Yeah, I saw the dyed pink hair and haircut shorter than mine. Yeah, I saw the rainbow flag on your rear deck. Yep, I looked to see what you looked like because I was curious. I “people watch”. Perhaps I’m reading more into the look you gave me in return but, you have no clue that I write a blog defending your right to live your life as you please so, perhaps instead of seeing a middle-aged guy driving a black Town Car, you might consider that not everyone that looks like me sees someone that looks like you as anything other than a fellow traveler on this rock, not the enemy…

I’m not sure that people really understand the word “conservative” *grins* I see a bunch of alleged “conservatives” wanting to get up in arms over the “bathroom issue”. They seem to think that “traditional conservative values” means that the Constitution was unclear when it used the word “citizens” and not “straight, white, male, Republican, Christian” in it. The Constitution uses that word several times for example here, “The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states.” So if y’all all’s grasp of grammar is so poor as to misunderstand that one word, it comes as no surprise that bigger concepts like “equality” and “liberty” are beyond your grasp. Perhaps you should stick to simpler things like “fear” and “hate” as in this example, “Would y’all  misogynistic, homophobic, racist, semi-literate, cretins with delusions of grandeur please shut up?” *editorial, I am NOT a self-labeled Liberal. For most of my life, I have thought of myself as “conservative”. Now, that ideology has been hijacked by hate and fear so, I am of no political party and just look at the issues*…

While I’m at it… The nice thing about being me is that I have very few illusions about myself. I know my weaknesses and strengths. I know the bits of myself to be scared of and the places I trust. *there is a point to this* Guys that abuse women have no such confidence in themselves. All they have is weakness and the only way they are able to feel power is by making someone else less, sort of like those people in the last paragraph. The difference is that the people up there lash out at a group and the guys that abuse lash out at individuals. Either way, it is sadly pathetic when the only way you are able to feel any strength is to make someone else powerless…

And another thing…My Christianity doesn’t give me a lock on morality. When I first started using drugs, I owned and read a Bible and called myself Christian. If all it took was to claim a faith as the key, there would be no pedophile priests, spousal abusers in churches, or scammer t.v. evangelists. Just because you’re claiming “God Hates Fags” doesn’t make it so. If you actually read the words Jesus said, “love your neighbor as you love yourself” and claim that “God hates…” I suspect what you really mean is “I hate myself so, I’ll lash out at you…” Morality is a condition of your soul. It is entirely possible to be a transgender, Pagan, Lesbian and be moral. Just as it is possible to be a cishet, male, Christian and be a pedophile. It is the SOUL that matters, not the trappings around it…

Look, guys, we have to be realistic. We are not going to agree with everyone. We are not going to like everyone. There’s no way we’ll ever understand everyone but, we have to live together on this rock…at least to the day of our demise…so, it’s far easier on ourselves, and the rest of the world, if we spend less time hating and fearing what we don’t understand. There are a bunch of things to fear. I fear that a moment of weakness could bring relapse. I fear finding a scorpion in my shoe…I don’t have time to fear others because their lives are not inside my house or my head.

Predatory people happen. They are criminals. If I spend my life worrying that it will be disrupted by a criminal, I spend very little time LIVING my own and they win. If I spend my time making myself feel stronger by surrounding myself with cowards, how strong am I really? I’d rather be built up by the strength and courage of the people I know than to have sunk to the level of the fear mongers.

That’s it, in the end, do we have the strength to realize that “different” is not the same as “evil” or “loathsome”? Or do we stay with the comfort of our own xenophobic beliefs and forget Genesis 3:19?

By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”

The Great Equalizer comes for all of us one day…

You Ask Me…

I’m going to try an experiment. Usually, a blog post gives a view or an idea or a story. In this one, you guys ask the questions. I am willing to answer ANY question about me, my past, my personal faith, my addiction, my views on LBGT’s, my perspective on other faiths, or any other thing you think I need to answer…with this caveat, I will not answer any questions that endanger the safety or privacy of those I write about. That includes but is not limited to my wife, Aj, Z, Kelly, or any other person referenced in any post that is not a public figure.
Please, feel free to ask here or on the Facebook page linked to the blog. My life will be an open book. *editorial, I don’t think I’m that important or interesting* I am merely trying to start a dialog.

Reflections on Ten Years

This’ll post the day after I made it to ten years clean. I think I’m going to wander through my head and just put down what seems like it matters…

Some days are very easy to stay clean and sober, other’s it’s all I can do to not have “just one” beer.

The nightmares are finally starting to fade.

I’m less worried about being liked by the world at large and far more concerned with the opinions of a few people I love. Related to that, I conserve emotional energy so that I have more for them.

Little things make my day like a tasty bite at work or an easy drive home.

My very favorite hobby is “Doing Nice Things for Sweety”. She is the reason I stay clean. The Bible says “count the cost”. If I relapse, she is the cost. I am unwilling to pay that price.

My second favorite hobby is this blog because it is a gift to myself and some friends that I think of as Treasures. Yeah, the best things in life are the people that allow you to share their lives.

I have different priorities now than I had ten years ago. When I first became sober, I was trying to figure out who I was and how to deal with being sober. Now, I LIKE being sober and *grins* mostly sane. I also don’t think I’ll ever figure it out so, I don’t worry about it.

Interestingly enough, when I got sober, it was in a place that is Conservative Christian. Now, I am much less open minded than I was then. Yeah, “oddly” because although this is a blog that has a lot of posts for LBGT Rights and freedom from persecution for some Pagan friends, there are a lot of things I disapprove of. It just happens that being gay or Pagan aren’t things on the Disapprove List *grins* To clarify, there are a lot of things that are out of bounds…for me…that I am willing to encourage others to do. I can not drink ever again. As an example, that doesn’t mean I don’t tell people to have a beer and have bought them a beer on occasion.

I think I’ve grown up a tiny bit but, some days I still wish I was 4…

On a serious note, I NEED a “support group”. It isn’t a traditional AA type support group but, there are some close friends and my wife that I am able to turn to on the bad days. Yeah, I still have days that are “touch and go”. I can not rely on my own strength to stay sober but, I can long enough to be able to get to someone that will loan me some of theirs. Then I have enough strength.

I’ve learned gratitude. I am entirely grateful for the “bonus years” I’ve been given. I didn’t expect to live this long. I am grateful, too, for the people that populate my life in these years Sweety, Aj, Z, Kelladillo, and the rest of them. I never expected to have people I trust since I didn’t trust myself or anyone else way back then.

Trust is another thing I’ve learned. I am able to trust me and other people. I wasn’t able before. Go figure.

I still have baggage. I keep little stashes of food because I used to not have enough for drugs and food so I chose drugs and stayed hungry. Now, having food is security.

I also keep finding out that I’m far from perfect. I try to be a good husband…and some days I am. Others I take her for granted. People, even the ones I put on the unfair to them pedestal aren’t. Humans have faults. I just have a tendency to ignore their’s.

I have a huge weakness with labels. I want people to fit in nice little boxes. I try to make them fit my construct and world view. *sigh* When I was an addict, I didn’t care as much. Now, I want things to be neat and tidy. It manifests itself when it comes to faith in particular. I do a disservice to a dear friend, Aj, because I try to “Christianize” her when she is not. I have a hard time with that because I have a hard time stepping outside myself. On the other hand, because of those same attempts to put people into boxes, it makes me predisposed to like someone because of one aspect of themselves. Examples being that if I find out someone is Pagan I want to like them or if they are Lesbian, because of Z, I want to like them. Because most of my close friends and all of my “support group” is female, I tend to want to like them and am much more wary of having male friends. *editorial, I do have a couple of male friends but, am not as close to them*

For what it’s worth, being an addict sucked. Hating yourself is not fun. Ever. Letting every hygiene standard and all of your values suffer rots the soul. I can not find any excuse for who I was. I listen to a radio commercial for a treatment center that says “it’s not your fault” and entirely disagree. If it wasn’t my fault, it for d**n sure wasn’t anyone else’s or God’s. If I didn’t do it, who did? I had to learn to own my actions and thoughts. I had to realize that every step I took belonged to me. Now, I realize that even being angry is a conscious process and I control it. I used to make excuses about my life, now I don’t. I either fix it or take the hit, either way, it’s mine.

*****

I thought this was going to be a list of milestones. That’s not how it turned out. Sorry. Fatigue set in. Still, I wanted some words down. I would like to thank my family, my wife, and The Collective Conscience. God gets a bunch of the credit, too. I get very little except for being smart enough to turn to good people.

The Walls That Harm Us…

I have lived Paranoid. For many years, I used meth. If you have never been awake for a couple of days trying to do enough meth to stay awake for more, you really have no clue how bad that can be. I have been terrified hiding inside my house. All the windows blocked. Jumping at every noise. Afraid that someone will want in. Scared to leave. Crawling around so that you can stay beow the chance of someone seeing in. Peering out through the tiniest crack looking for “Them”…I hid inside the walls, not realizing I created them and not wanting out because outside was Danger…The danger was me…The danger was the Walls…

I like on-line friendships. They still allow distance. My closest friends are on-line. There’s nothing wrong with that. My job forces interaction. I can not hide from it. On the other hand, home is a refuge. It is cool, dark, and quiet. My wife and my life are here…and my friends. People do not physically visit and that’s fine. *editorial, our house is small and there’s not much sitting room. That’s why*

I am no longer Paranoid. It’s been almost ten years since I last used. I can not imagine going back. The cost would be far too high. The price would be everything…

Anyway, the Walls…My best friend is Pagan. I am not. During the time we were starting to develop the mutual respect that led to realizing we were best friends, I had no idea she was Pagan. My world view, after I became sober, was concentrated around Conservative Christianity, and all its baggage…The day I found out, all that baggage came to roost. All the fears of Divination, Sorcery, and visions of Hell came home. I was hit with a HUGE problem. I thought I knew Aj. I knew she was “saved” because I knew her honor, honesty, character, and love. I was given a choice, tear down the Walls my learning had built or consign her to Hell and, by doing that, reject her. Like I say, present tense, “my best friend IS Pagan”. Those Walls that I thought protected me would have walled her out. They would have cost me someone that constantly if a bit testily *grins*, wants the best for my wife and me. I would have rejected one of the people that I, now, love as much as any of my blood family. That “protection” would have harmed me…and, I think, her since she would have lost the love and prayers I send to her. *editorial, my prayers are NOT for her to change but for my God to watch over and protect her*

The Walls…we think they protect us. We think that by excluding people we make ourselves safe. Nothing could be more untrue. Hiding below the windows denies the World. It only lets us see our fears. It creates Paranoid. The only things inside the Walls with us are our own Monsters.

It isn’t the outside we have to fear. It’s the inside. It’s the loneliness and xenophobia that says, “different is wrong” not realizing that EVERYONE is different…

*****

For what it’s worth and to clarify, Aj’s beliefs do not include the concept of “Christian Hell”. Mine do. Either was, I do not think that her soul is going there. I’m not a “universalist” by any reach. I just don’t think that Hell applies to people not of my faith. I believe that God is big enough and powerful enough to have made a place for all His Creations…for that matter *grins* Aj would even dispute that part of my beliefs because she believes differently…*grins again*…

Because Aj and Z…

Aj reminded me of something I had forgotten. She reminded me why I really started writing this blog. I’m no one’s idea of “open minded”. I have a whole handful of dislikes and narrow-minded “conservative” attitudes. It’s just that there are some things that have fallen off of the list…

Anyway…the reason I started was because I am narrow-minded and Christian and a straight, white, married, male, Texan. I am strongly distrustful of “agendas”…ANY agendas. I firmly believe that not thinking for yourself and blindly following Dogma should be a crime. I have very fixed opinions of “proper”. I am a bit of a prude. So, if I write for Religious Freedom, meaning not judging someone based on their faith, or LBGT Rights it is because I think that they are, after careful consideration, worth speaking for.

Honestly, I didn’t used to care. It didn’t make that much difference how “those people” were treated. Not the tiniest of cares what happened to a “cult”, the way I used to think of Paganism, or a “lifestyle”, the way I used to think of being gay. Why should I care? Didn’t affect me.

Things changed. Aj and Z changed them. Funny how that worked. I didn’t know Aj is Pagan. I didn’t know Z is gay. Became friends without knowing. It’s not like they said, “hi Miller, I’m (insert name here) and I’m (fill in the blank)”. It took me being a smarta$$ and them responding for me to find out. By then it was too late. Hard to call a friend a “them” or a “those people”.

***Interlude***

A funny thing happened on the way to work today. Yeah, it was really funny for several reasons. I called Aj. In the middle of the conversation, it turned into a double entendre about her “friend with benefits” wanting to get her top off…her Jeep…and her. Laughing about it I was encouraging both. Laughing harder, so was she. Then it struck me, not so many years ago, less than 5, I would not have been able to have that conversation. I would have been far too embarrassed to be able to have it. I would have stammered an exit. Today, I was a cheerleader for her.

I’ve changed. Conversations I could not have had are now comfortable. Not with everyone but, with people I am relaxed around. Discussions I could not have had with anyone. Laughing with a woman about her getting laid.

It’s a realization I’ve come to, I don’t have to apply the rules I use on myself to others. Being Pagan is not right for me. It fits Aj. Being gay is not right for me. It is for Z. How do I think I have the right to inflict my personal rules on another adult? My eyes have been opened. I watched it happen. I actively participated in the opening. I WANT to love Aj and Z exactly the way they are. I don’t want them to change. I want me to encourage them. So, I do.

*****

Like I said right back there, being Pagan or gay isn’t a fit for me. However, I know Aj and Z and, knowing them, I find it hard to be as “black and white” as I used to be. I have a hard time convincing myself that I am infallible. I can not bring myself to condemn them for being themselves. In fact, I refuse to condemn someone I love for being their individual selves…

Back to where I was waaay up there, the reasons I write for them. I love those Ladies. Part of loving them is that I do have a voice. I have two choices. I may remain silent and by doing that condone the condemnation and scorn of a society that has slight regard for the parts of them it considers unconventional, or I may speak for them. There is no third option.

To remain silent is to fail in fulfilling the phrase “I love you”. It makes me a party to their repression. It fails to encourage them. It makes a lie of the word “love”. A private statement without a willingness to say and act on it publicly is hollow.

So, the other choice, to speak. That is easier and harder. I have had to learn what the people that are not for them think. I’ve had to see the obstacles they face. I’ve had to see the slanders and slurs and dangers my loved ones face. There is not one single part of that I enjoy. I am “protective” of them. It is another fact of this blog that some posts use the things they face as examples. Having to type those things about the people I love, even to point out the fallacy, is something I would avoid. It feels like I am saying those things about them. If I could, and I can not, I would shelter them from those.

The “easier” parts of speaking out are basic. I LOVE them. By speaking, I get to say that over and over. I get to talk about people I am proud of. I get to express my warmth for them. I get to show the world their courage and kindness. I get to say how lucky I am that they love me in return. I get to spend time doing some good things for dear friends.

*****

Something I also left out about myself. I am a Meth Survivor. I know that has left it’s marks on my psyche. I use Jan 6, 2006 as my “birthday”. That means, to me, I am an emotional youth. I am learning my way around…still…through the parts of my mind that were left to not grow. The scars that remain give me reasons to question my own sanity. I spent a bunch, 20ish, years living as an emotional hermit. I have a tendency to spend far too much time worrying about what someone, read my wife, Aj, and Z, think, never considering that they just don’t stress it. It leaves a propensity to be concerned with minor difficulties giving them far too much weight. I know all those things and, yet, I can not seem to stop.

They know all those things about me. I do try to pretend to argue with them because I argue and get defensive but, I know they are right when they tell me I am wrong. They are my support. They pray for me or light candles. They listen when I have rough nights and nightmares. They don’t push me away when my emotional confusion and overthinking get the best of me. They don’t question my sanity…even when I do.

So, you see, the people that others fear, embrace me and protect me. They are the place that does not judge me even though I judge myself. I feel like I come up wanting in comparison…and they tell me I’m wrong. Odd thing, my heroes tell me they look up to me. They do not allow me to wallow in inferiority. They are quick to correct me when I even try.

My harshest critic is me. My biggest fans are them. Seems fair since I am theirs.

*****

I know some would disagree but, I believe we have a soul. I believe we were born with a purpose. I do not think this is some kind of cosmic accident. I further believe that people are put in our lives for a reason. I think that some of those reasons are to build up the people we are given. Again, for the who knows how many times, I love these Ladies. Allowing them to be looked upon with scorn or disregard does not build them up. Not speaking IS tearing them down. That is not good enough. Speaking for them is merely fulfilling part of the reason I exist.

This is a blog about Aj and Z, Religious Freedom and LBGT Rights. I can not write about who I do not know. I know and love them, so, it is specific to them. They are my way of putting a face on things. They are my way of saying that it is not about MY morality…or yours. They have their lives and loves. They are people I can not imagine my life without. The fact that they exist, even when we do not speak, reassures me that some humans are Treasures. They are not “them”. They are Aj and Z.

Religious Freedom and LBGT Rights go hand in hand. They are about giving room for difference. They are about humans that have different ways of living than me…and not forcing them to conform to my path. My path is the correct path…for me and no one else. The way I got here is my own way as theirs belong to them…and yours to you. When we say we have the ONLY “right” way, we limit humans. We say that they can not be what they were created to be. We say that we have possession of them and that we have the right to dictate their lives. That we know better. That we are God. I am a frail and imperfect being. I am not God. I do not have all knowledge and an unshakable lock on morality.

So, why do I write? Because I can. Because I should. Because honor. Because, most importantly, Aj and Z.

Some Boxes in the Attic

I’m gonna clean out the attic. There are some boxes up there that need to be poked into. Maybe there are treasures, maybe junk. Let’s see which and we can both decide…

*****

I was thinking about something I said and Z called me on. I used the phrase “predisposed to like girls that like girls”. It sounds like, in retrospect that my preference is for Lesbian friends or female friends. Z even pointed that out. It bugged me and stuck in my head. I have a tendency to waaaaaay over think things. It is possible that it is the truth, even if its not a conscious thought. I really didn’t set out to have my closest friends be women. It has struck me as odd that it worked out that way. Who knows? I mean, it isn’t part of some interview process. “Would you like to become someone I talk to and some years down the road trust? Oh yeah, are you a Lesbian?”

I don’t love Z because she’s a “girl that likes girls”. I love her because she’s Z. We don’t need a list of things that make her who she is, I would still miss stuff. It’s enough to say that she, as a person, is a Treasure. I’m not gonna think it any further through than that. I will give it this, though, if she weren’t gay, this blog wouldn’t exist in the form that it does. I HAVE to have a person to write for and about. It’s part of me. I am good with specific people, not so much a “demographic”. The numbers are just too big…

*****

Yesterday, I wrote about my addiction and it sounded like I was down on myself or putting down what I’ve done. I’m really not. Like I told someone, some days are almost easy, some are hard as Hell. It’s been almost ten years and it isn’t a walk in the park. I still have nightmares. I wake up yelling…like last night. My wife is patient, she just wakes me up and then goes back to sleep.

Anyway, not to make light of things, I’m a Meth Survivor. I know that’s a rare thing. I know I have a bunch of baggage, read “boxes in the attic”. I merely have this perspective, pardon me quoting something I said to someone else, “What I beat was done BY me. What y’all beat was done TO you. Just as you think I overcame something seemingly insurmountable, from here, it seems the same to me about you. I can not imagine how hard it was. Y’all are my heroes, too.” Does that make sense? I made my bed. I wasn’t an addict when I was born. I had a chance to stop every time I started…and didn’t. I suppose that’s why I don’t think it’s that big a deal. That and I really don’t know how to handle compliments or praise. I just don’t have the tools…

Back to my point, though. My past shaped my now. Expecting nothing from life has taught gratitude. Not being able to trust anyone has given me an appreciation for the people I trust…and a fear of trust because my mind still expects betrayal. Knowing what it’s like to beat something that usually wins means I tend to root for the underdog. Not loving myself means I am scared of it, love, now but…I am enjoying the learning process, even if it confuses and scares me. For what it’s worth, I have some people that are teaching me and I don’t know quite how to take that. I always expect conditions even while not imposing them on others. *editorial, my mind is an oddly shaped place*…

One last before this goes away. I got a second chance. I grabbed it and ran. I was given a gift beyond price. I was given Life. I will always appreciate that. If you are given a gift like that, never turn it down.

*****

I think I want to revisit the “Z thing” again… I didn’t really set out to spend as much time writing about LBGT Rights as I have. I was going to write about Religious Freedom, random stuff, Drug Addiction, love and, yeah, LBGT Rights. It just kind of turned out that The Muse needs a voice. We, she and I, use her as the example and the inspiration for these words. *editorial, “use” is not a word I like, in the future I’m gonna say “share” because she’s not a tool to be used. She’s a human* My point being, LBGT Rights have covered all the rest. If we learn that Humans deserve respect, then we learn to respect their values, even if we don’t do things the same way. When we see Z, not as a part of a group but, as the Treasure she is, then we may learn to see other people in the same way. She’s not an (insert pejorative). She’s one of the very most valuable people in my world. She’s a Treasure and a Lady. Period. She’s a cherished part of her family. She is a space in my heart that I didn’t know existed ’till she filled it.

Thing is, everyone someone denigrates is a Z to someone else. No matter what you might think of them, when you put down that person, you are deciding that you have the right to assign and diminish value. You do not. I don’t care what your reason is. Just because someone doesn’t fit what you want takes nothing away from them, it just makes you blind and it makes you smaller…

I honestly don’t care what you do with your treasures. I’m proud of mine. I’m proud of her courage and willingness to let me share her with the World.

*****

Different box…I use the word Lady with a capital because I use it as if it were a title. Same with the word Treasure…or any other random use of caps. It’s a part of me and them…*grins* I didn’t assign the titles, they earned them.

*****

It seems there are lots of boxes today…

I admit this is a bit hypocritical but, meaning I’m going ahead anyway, why are people so concerned with what other people do? Why such great concern with someone else’s life? Why not worry about your own? Yeah, I ask those while trying to persuade people to change. My point being, if you are a something and someone else is a different something, why does that make you want them to be the same something as you? Why not just treat them as a person and go on? Wouldn’t it be simpler? Maybe a tad less stressful? A whole lot less complicated than saying, “you don’t fit my box so I gotta tear down your box and rebuild it before we can interact”? It seems that way to me. I like having different perspectives in my life…even if I disagree with some. *grins* Maybe I missed something. Maybe people like their tiny boxes and feel safer in them. I like exploring my big box. It’s got a bunch of interesting stuff in it…

*****

Sometimes I wonder…other times I’m sure…I digress…*grins* I think the whole of what was stashed in the boxes was an attempt to get us, you and me, to lighten up. Life is short and can be difficult. There are principals to stand on. Loyalty, trust, honesty, and love come to mind. Why complicate things by being concerned with the details of someone else’s life when we have enough in our own that could use a bit of polish?

*****

*grins* The Muse is fishing. The Surrogate Muse is doing whatever Surrogate Muses do when they’re not around to surrogate. *grins again* So, they left me alone to see what was in some boxes…Look, I found my old blankie…Y’all have a good day. Maybe some of this made some sense? *sweeps dust off of the floor and wanders off…*

 

I Was an Addict, So Don’t Praise Me…

I love being married. I suppose I appreciate it more because I never expected it. I was long past the point where I ever expected to find someone that would want to marry me. I always thought I was “damaged goods”…

It’s funny, very much NOT ha ha, that people fight against who they are. We believe that we are trapped in a place and unable to bend or change. I was convinced I’d go to my grave an addict. I hated myself and decided God had abandoned me so, I’d abandon him. I had a warped view that allowed Hell to exist and not Heaven. I could pin down a locality for Hell, just look inside my clothes. It was wandering around in there…

I do not equate what I went through with what some friends did. I struggled against my own perception of who I was. I fought against a view that I was trapped in a pattern of MY OWN making. It is truly not the same as knowing who you are and being told by “society” that you can not be that. Addicts are islands. We remove ourselves from the world. We live in isolation out of shame and self-loathing that WE OURSELVES have created. We think the lies we tell ourselves about ourselves are the truth. We justify a continued series of criminal acts with “I can’t help myself…” We fool ourselves into thoughts that no one knows when everyone does. When we finally realize we aren’t trapped and do change, hopefully before it’s too late, we are praised…

Honestly, I don’t think that praise is earned. Why should I be praised for not slowly killing myself and poisoning everyone around me with my toxicity? What kudos for not being a criminal have I earned? If you want to praise me for doing a good job at work, fine. If I do a good job at cooking a meal and you enjoyed it, I’ll take that. Just DO NOT tell me how great I am for being an ex-addict. I shouldn’t have been one to begin with, I knew better. I am a nice guy. I am a loyal friend. I do my d**nedest to be a good husband. Those, too, do not deserve praise, they’re what I’m supposed to do…

Society also forces roles. It tells a fraction of the population that they have to be what the other 90 odd percent think they should be. Sometimes people become trapped in that spot, too. They try to conform and be what’s expected of them. Sometimes, they break free. I have a few friends that did that. I am prouder of them than I am of myself. I fought me. They fought everyone and themselves and they won. I didn’t know them when they were someone else, I only know them as the persons they are now. I love those people. That they don’t judge me based on who I was is a gift I gladly take. That they don’t hold against me that I spent more time as a criminal, yeah addicts are criminals and ex-addicts aren’t, than I haven’t is a blessing that I am grateful for.

Why do we think it’s our “right” to judge? *Yeah, skip the “criminal” part of what comes next. We can agree that crimes need and deserve to be prosecuted.* Why do we think we should be able to tell someone “you have to be what I want you to be?” Our individual lives are the only things that we will ever own, as fleeting as they may be. Possessions may be lost or stolen. Why then do we think we have a reason to steal someone’s “self” as if we own them? What reason to impose our view of what context for some life that is not our own. What reason to demean or degrade a human that has not earned our scorn?

I get that people do not understand any other human. I barely understand myself. I get that people want to think that some things are “choice” and are not. I get that we tend to impose what we think on someone without having the tiniest clue if it’s actually the truth. We assume that some people have the ability to change…not realizing they did. They changed from living a lie to living the truth. We tell them that their truth is of no value or “against my religion” as an excuse to deny them the right to be themselves *sigh* while demanding the recognize our same self-demanded rights…

I may be any number of things. What I am not is someone else. Who I happen to love is my wife. She’s the center of my world. No one ever told me I couldn’t marry her. No one ever told me that my love for her was worthless. Who someone decides they want to spend their life with is not for another human to judge except for the person they offer their love to. It is SOLELY for that person to accept or reject. It is a gift that is the greatest offering one human can give another. So, why then, do some persons think it’s their right to judge that? What possible personal reason to impose a third view where only two are important?

Does any of this make sense?

Agree or disagree with Obergefell or not. It no longer matters. What’s left is looking inside ourselves and finding a way…We, individuals, may celebrate a victory for our friends. Some of you may call it a defeat for morality. Either way, it is the law. It doesn’t matter what our, outsider, views are. How someone else views a relationship is no longer a reason to disallow it. What finally matters is what the individuals inside of it think.

*sigh*

Like I said up there, I am proud of my friends. I survived me. They survived everyone else. Letting them live their lives with the same peace and lack of judgment that I’m given is not too much to ask. So, please, look at the individuals and base your view on their individual lives and not some preconceived notion? Please, they’ve earned that much…What we should be doing is rejoicing with them that they’ve found love in the first place.

 

Addendum to “I’m an Opinionated Jerk”

You want to judge people? Please do. Judge me. Judge Z. Do it based on my views. Do it based on my attitudes. Do it for any damn reason you please. It’s no biggie. I probably don’t like you, either. Do it because I’m straight and the person I write for isn’t. Do it because I wouldn’t trade the one of her for the all of you. Do it because I’m an ex-addict. Any reason you please is fine with me.

Just don’t blame the problems of the world on either of us. We didn’t cause floods or earthquakes. We are not what’s wrong with this country. The world isn’t going to end because I want Z to find a good woman to spend her life with and know she’s out there. Your children’s problems are not caused by Z. Your Christian faith is not under attack by either of us…in fact, we’re both Christians. Deal with it.

I hope you do judge us. I hope you find fault. We aren’t perfect. We’re humans trying to muddle through as best as we can. We’ll live. We’re used to it. Just realize, you aren’t perfect. either. Go figure.