“You’re the One With the Problem.”

I had a nightmare during my nap just now:

It was raining really hard, and was supposed to stay that way for days.  I’m not even sure where I was; it looked like my house on the inside, but outside was my parent’s house.  My older sister lived next door, and my other 2 sisters lived in the house with my parents.  I’m not sure why we were staying in the same house as my parents, because this would never happen in real life.  But whatever…We weren’t interacting with my parents much, we were all just trying to weather this storm.  The driveway had become a tiny mudslide, and our car was in the middle of it, stuck like chuck.  So there we were. 

We’re all sitting on my couch when a huge, fat black widow skitters across the floor and hides under the other side.  We we all jumped up screaming, and found a brown recluse crawling down the other side of the couch.  We were sitting in the middle of an infestation of deadly spiders.  I was terrifed and suggested we leave.  My younger sister had never moved from the couch, and proceeded to make fun of my spider phobia.  Typical.   Maybe my sister next door would let us stay with her.  I packed our bags and ran outside.  I could see my sister taking laundry off the line on her back porch, with her son in tow.  I went to her fence, and we made eye contact.  Her son, my nephew, didn’t even crack a smile.  They just looked at me, and quickly went back inside, locking the door.  Shutting me out.  I didn’t have a problem with her..not a one.  My mom obviously trashed me to her and made her hate me. 

My son was younger in the dream, around 6 months old or so.   My mom was holding him when she stuck her head out the back door and asked me to help her–she needed something important that was out in the car and she couldn’t carry it.  I snapped out of my shocked daze and followed her, baby and all.   We get to the car, and there is a flat bed trailer next to it.  Mom laid the baby on the trailer, in the rain.  I asked her why she couldn’t bring him inside the car with us while we gathered everything, just to shield him from the heavy rain.  She replied, “sometimes we have to do the best we can for our children, even when it’s hard.”  What?  okaaay…so she opens the car and there are a couple stacks of books piled up, most of them about health because that’s what she is obsessed with.  THAT is what we came out there in the pouring rain to get: books.  I was annoyed.  The rain got heavier, so we grabbed the baby and took shelter in the car.  She read one of her books and I made a card for her from my son.  I may not have the best relationship with her, but I still thought it’d be nice for her and my son to know each other at least.  As I’m writing in the card, she looks over and sees it.  She says, “So we’re writing letters now?  That’s how you want to keep in contact?”  I replied that yes, when we we’re out of there, it would be letters only.  She said, “whatever you want to do.  After all, you’re the one with the problem.”  Followed by a quick change of subject that left me wondering if I’d even heard her right.  Did she really just say that?  It’s so like her to throw some cold-hearted jab in the middle of the conversation and keep talking about something else, like that somehow will  make me forget she even said it.  Like that somehow made it okay.  I was going to get out of the car with the baby and walk back to house in the rain, but I woke up and the dream was over.

According to Dreammoods.com, this is the interpretation:

To see a spider in your dream indicates that you are feeling like an outsider in some situation. Or perhaps you want to keep your distance and stay away from an alluring and tempting situation. The spider is also symbolic of feminine power or an overbearing mother figure in your life. Alternatively, a spider refers to a powerful force protecting you against your self-destructive behavior.

To see a black widow in your dream suggests fear or uncertainty regarding a relationship. You may feel confined, trapped, or suffocated in this relationship.

(What’s interesting is that spiders have been a recurring nightmare for me for as long as I can remember.  hmm..)

To see a trailer in your dream suggests that you are feeling overburdened. You are carry more weight on your shoulders than you need to.

To see books in your dream indicate calmness. You are moving toward your goals at a slow and steady pace. Books also symbolize knowledge, intellect, information and wisdom.

To see mud in your dream suggests that you are involved in a messy and sticky situation. It also suggests that some spiritual cleansing is needed.  To dream that you are walking in mud suggests that you are feeling weighed down by a situation, problem, or relationship. You are feeling frustrated. To dream that mud has gotten on your clothing means that your reputation is being attacked and called into question. Consider the term “mud-slinging” to refer to some politicians. 

interesting.



 

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Sex, Abstinence and Church…Oh My!

When I was about 13 or 14, our church had a True Love Waits ceremony.  This consisted of signing a pledge to remain a virgin until marriage, and then your father would sign it as well.  You stood in front the entire church congregation and made your sexuality everyone’s business.  Your youth minister, your pastor, your dad, the boys in your Sunday school class, the creepy guy in the back pew, the choir, and every gossiping church lady, are all witnesses to what you plan to do (or not do!) with your vagina.  One of the most personal decisions you can make has been put on a humiliating public display.  It’s awkward and embarrassing, especially at that age.

Now let me stop right here and explain some things–if you’ve been to a Baptist church, you know that it runs on gossip.  To say that gossip spreads like wildfire would be the understatement of the year.  Secondly, when you live in a small town, everyone knows who you are.  If you make one little mistake, everyone is going to know about it.  Your extreme fundamentalist parents have drilled it into your head that you are not to ruin the family’s reputation.  As a result, you have no choice but to participate in this public ceremony.  Everyone knows who you are, so they WILL notice if you aren’t standing up there proclaiming your virginity to the masses.  If you don’t make this pledge, your family’s reputation is at stake, as well as your own.  You will be considered a godless slut, and everyone will talk about you.  If you make the pledge and fail, everyone will find out through the grapevine and never forget about it.  This is an incredible amount of pressure at 14 years old.   So ready or not, you go through with it.  You really have no choice; the circumstances trap you into promising abstinence.  I’d like to think this wasn’t on purpose, that was all good intentions but poorly thought out, but I’m not really sure.  It could very well be a way to “control” sex-crazed teenagers so they don’t “end up in hell.”  I don’t know.

Girls get the most pressure from the church about abstinence.  Not only are we supposed to wear purity rings and make promises we don’t know we can keep, but we are also expected to help guys stay pure.  We are told not to show too much skin or take kissing too far, lest we MAKE a guy sin sexually.  It’s like we are responsible for ourselves AND for them, while they don’t have to take any responsibility at all.  In my middle school days, I used to bring my boyfriend at the time to youth group with me.  I was trying to be the good Christian girl and take my boyfriend to church, and tell him no when he tried to talk me into sex for the hundredth time.  However, no good deed goes unpunished.  I got taken aside by the youth pastor and got a sex talk out of the blue.  He more or less assumed we were doing it and I was the one that was in trouble.  Did he talk to my boyfriend? Nope. I guess I was causing him to think impure thoughts and that was my fault.  Did he get my side of the story?  Sure didn’t.  Ever since, whenever the lesson had anything to do with sex and purity, he made it a point to shoot a disapproving glance my way.  It was beyond humiliating and not to mention insulting.  I really stuck to my guns and never gave into the pressure to have sex and here I was being treated like a slut.

For some reason, the church is obsessed with other people’s sexuality (just take homosexuality for example)!  I believe that God sees sin as sin–not as one sin being “better” or “worse” than another.  We all have our particular sins that we struggle with, it’s part of being human.  The church focuses on sexual sins, and makes them out to be the worst things you can do.  It makes you feel like sex is dirty and wrong.  No one is honest or open about it; all the Sunday school teachers and pastors make themselves out to be perfect, as if they’ve done the right thing their whole lives without question or struggle.  Thankfully, my parents were very open and honest about this topic and I learned from their mistakes.  They both had kids out of wedlock and shared their regrets about giving something away that they could never get back.  Not everyone has a parent or mentor in their life to tell them the truth about these things.  All they hear is that sex is bad, and they end up in therapy.  If churches are going to make teenagers pledge to stay virgins in front of everybody, the least they can do is be completely honest about the topic.

I believe that promising abstinence is between me and God alone.  It should be something I CHOSE to do for the right reasons, not something I felt trapped into doing.  It completely misses the point to stay pure out of fear or obligation alone.  It should be a personal decision that you make to honor God.  I was given a purity ring at this ceremony, and I actually did keep my promise until marriage. I even lost a boyfriend or two over it.  Then I met my future husband, and he didn’t run when I told him I wanted to wait; he waited right along with me.  To be honest, I think we rushed into marriage too young; we wanted to follow through on our commitment to wait until our wedding night, but we didn’t want to wait forever!  Thankfully, we are still together and are so glad we waited for each other.  Not having that sexual past baggage is a gift in itself.

I hope the church can find a better way to approach this topic.  It’s so very personal, and so many Christians are grossly ill-informed about sex.  The way they handle it can be the difference between someone accepting God or rejecting Him altogether.  There is a dire need in the church for better education on sex in general, and what the Bible itself actually says about it.  The Bible is NOT shy about the matter, and we shouldn’t be either.  It’s part of life, like breathing.  Treating it like a taboo subject, picking on homosexuality and shaming teenagers into abstinence is not working. 

Session One

I took a huge leap today.  I went to therapy for the first time in my life.  I felt as though I were approaching an enormous staircase, and I couldn’t see where it led to.  I took the first step.  Already, I feel like I’ve made progress.  Each step in this journey is a step closer to healing and understanding.  Each step holds a lesson.  I was so nervous going into this, and I’m glad I did.  My therapist could tell within the first 15 minutes that I had a divine sense of intuition.  She was kind of impressed by it, actually.  I told her I’m an INFJ and she wasn’t surprised.  🙂 

My parents split up when I was little.  I grew up with a step-sibling who has borderline personality disorder.  It took my marriage almost falling apart for me to realize that my mother has been manipulating me my whole life, like I was her puppet. I was sheltered…told what to think instead of taught HOW to think.  I left home with no idea who I was or how to make my decisions for myself.  My mother wants me to be 5 forever, and refuses to believe I am a grown woman.  She wants me to be her clone, and to think how she thinks.  Being an independent woman with a mind of my own is unacceptable.  If I think or feel or act differently than she would like me to, she says I’m being “controlled” by someone else.  It’s almost insulting; she is implying that I cannot think for myself.   

I am not responsible for her emotions, as she would have me believe.  I have been carrying the burden of her negative emotions my whole life, and I simply can’t bear it any longer.  She alone is responsible for them.  What a heavy, awful burden to put on the shoulders of a child!  It is no wonder I always had to be strong one.  If I fell apart, she would fall apart and it would be all my fault.  I am not buying tickets to her constant guilt trips anymore.  I am done carrying around needless guilt about every little thing. 

Between her and my BPD sibling, I have grown up surrounded by dysfunction and manipulation.  It’s no wonder I have anxiety, and am so quick to shut down.  All my life, I thought I was crazy.  I thought there was something wrong with me.  I didn’t feel “normal” like everyone else.  I grew up, and still felt that way.  After shit hit the fan, I started to see the manipulation and guilt trips for the first time.  The scales have slowly been falling from my eyes ever since.  My therapist made me feel like I’m NOT crazy, and that feels so good.  Like a burden lifted.  Am I a mess?  Yes.  But now I know why.  I thought maybe I was angry, and not thinking clearly…that maybe I was being ridiculous or was way off base.  But no.  Therapy confirmed everything.  I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, but at least I know I’m not completely insane now. 

I am exhausted, It’s been such a long day.  Yet, here I am unable to sleep.  Too many heavy thoughts swirling around my mind that my therapy session stirred up.  I am finally able to begin the process of sorting the madness out and figuring out what the hell to do with it all.

“Sometimes you don’t realize your drowning when you’re trying to be someone else’s anchor.”

“I can tell a lot by a person by what they choose to see in me.  It’s always a game changer.”

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Therapy..

I finally got up the nerve to make that phone call today…the one that would result in my first ever therapy appointment.  I am surprised at how nervous I am.  Am I nervous about finding the office, about getting lost on the way there, or not being able to find parking?  Is it just the idea that I have to be somewhere at a certain time?  Or am I nervous about baring my soul to a total stranger?  I hope this helps, I really do.  I’ve been through a lot and maybe this will help me put all the pieces of my past together.  Maybe I can finally have a normal relationship with my mother, and learn how to sort out and communicate my feelings.  It’s so easy to figure out everyone else, but I am my biggest mystery.  sigh…here goes nothin’!

INFJ Favorite Songs of the Week!

1. Embrace Me–Greg Laswell

Oh wind, won’t you take me up to the sky
I can get a good look down at this life of mine
River, won’t you take me out into the sea
I can get a good look back at the land that grounds me

2. Wave–Beck  

I move away from this place
In the form of a disturbance
And enter into the world
Like some tiny distortion

3. It Was Always You–Maroon 5

Woke up sweating from a dream
With a different kind of feeling
All day long my heart was beating
Searching for the meaning

4. Love Runs Out–OneRepublic

I’ll be your light, your match, your burning sun,
I’ll be the bright, in black that’s makin’ you run.

5. This One Has Flown–Sam Martin

This one is gone
This one has flown
I have lost something pure..

6. Battle Cry–Imagine Dragons

Stars are only visible in darkness
Fear is ever-changing and evolving
And I, I can poison these eyes
But I, I feel so alive
Nobody can save you now
The king is crowned
It’s do or die
Nobody can save me now
The only sound
Is the battle cry

How to Understand Your INFJ: Part 1

This couldn’t be more true!

INFJ Blog

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1. Accept that you will never really understand your INFJ. If it were possible for anyone to 100% understand any INFJ, an INFJ would have wrote a book on it by now. But the truth is, even we INFJs can’t completely understand ourselves, so we don’t expect you to. But we can tell when you’re trying, and that means a lot.

2. Listen to what your INFJ is not saying. You know the quote that goes something like “the quietest people have the loudest minds”? That is very true of INFJs. The quieter we are, the more we probably have on our minds. We want friends and partners who understand that and will want to talk to us about it, and more importantly, listen.

3. Know that INFJs really aren’t that serious. Yes, we have a lot on our minds. Yes, we can be sensitive. Yes, we like to partake…

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Craving Space–Followed By a Question for My Fellow Introverts

Solitude gets a lot harder to come by when you enter marriage and parenthood. As an introvert, solitude is crucial to my well-being. But it is now a luxury–something that only happens when all the stars align. It is afforded to me in small increments of nap times of my husband’s work schedule.

Lately, we have had company in and out of the house. The Mister has had several days off in a row and has been home for every one of them. The baby’s schedule is jacked up thanks to said company, so naps are hit or miss. This leaves me surrounded by people at every turn. Someone ALWAYS needs SOMETHING. The neighbors need to borrow the mower. The baby is like having the Tasmanian devil in the house 24/7. The husband is an ISTP, who has ZERO concept of personal space and I haven’t had 2 seconds alone in daaayyyys. He is like a kid with a puppy; he loves it so much he hugs it to death (I am the puppy). I am lucky to pee alone or take a shower without someone else in it. I’ve got three meals a day to cook, laundry and dishes to keep up with, floors that refuse to stay clean, a dog that wants in or out or to be fed. There’s always people coming and going, needing something, making last minute plans to do something THAT night. There’s the friend who talks my ear off, mostly about shallow things. Don’t even get me started on the noisy neighbor waking the baby from a much-needed nap. The one day I get out of the house kid-free turned into a disaster–the girl’s day out with a friend went to shit fast when she bitched out the salon receptionist and stormed out. That was awkward.

All of this has left me feeling suffocated. Like I need to get up for air and something or someone keeps pushing me right back down. I am drowning in a sea of shallow people, noise, crowds, awkwardness, demands, changes-of-plans, and inconveniences. I love my family and friends more than anything, I really do. But let’s be honest–sometimes I just want to watch some sappy lifetime movie uninterrupted, eat something I don’t have to share, and let out a fart or 2 without someone around to make a big deal about it. I’d like to shower alone and have the whole thing to myself and take as long as I damn well please. I want to pee without fighting the baby for toilet paper. I want to eat a whole row of oreos without judgement. I want to fold laundry in peace and quiet, and not have a toddler unfolding it all immediately afterwards. I do NOT want to watch Elmo, or one of my husband’s car shows.

How do you tell the people you love most in the world that you need space? How do you explain to them that it’s nothing personal, in a way they will understand? I find myself suffering through it, feeling cornered, suffocated, irritable. But I love being with them. It’s such a contradiction. I go back and forth, arguing with myself. If I had alone time, I would be a much happier person. I would be a better mother and wife. But what kind of good mother and wife WANTS to be away from her family, just to do nothing? It’s an internal struggle only an introvert would understand.

Fellow introverts: How do you recharge your batteries without hurting people’s feelings? What words do you use that help them understand without sounding selfish or weird?