Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Please, Someone Help

Monday, January 26th, 2009

(For some reason I seem to have a ministry trying to encourage depressed people over the internet. Here’s one of the most recent.)

I’m sorry to be such a downer, but I’m just not going to make it if someone can’t help me. I haven’t been eating much in the last 3 weeks, and I can’t get the understanding that I need from my mom or friends. I’m under 120 pounds, and a mental hospital isn’t going to help me the way I need; I’ve tried that before and I’m afraid they would not let me out. I’m 29. If anyone is willing to have me please contact me. My email is ***** I don’t have many obligations, and nothing else matters, I can fly out and stay for a while if you’re willing. I need real dedicated support, I’ve lost the will to live which is why I don’t eat. I feel so perverted and discarded and mutilated in the most cruel of ways. Can anyone please consider? I can’t live with the guilt of mom my killing herself if I starve myself to death. I’m sorry to be so dark, I don’t know what else to do. I don’t think it will be to much longer before my organs start shutting down, and I know the hospital won’t really help me, they only offer a temporary fix with drugs, and a therapist can’t really do anything either. They just try to make you see things from other perspectives, and I’ve already done that. I’d be willing to take the drugs if I was actually getting help that wasn’t temporary.

 My boyfriend was trapped in the whole eating disorder thing when he was in his teens and twenties. He checked himself into hospital a couple of times and saw a few different therapists. A combination of several things, I think, were effective for him. Getting an antidepressant drug that worked for him was an important part of it. That took some experimenting with different drugs and different dosages. Counselors who couldn’t prescribe medications did not turn out to be very helpful for him, at least not that he realized at the time. He would probably agree with your statement that “they just try to make you see things from other perspectives.” He said they only wanted to explore issues from his childhood and not the problems he was having now. Also the passage of time was helpful for him. In his thirties he became more independent (in his case, by learning to drive and by working more steadily). He also gained more self-confidence and became less concerned with what other people thought of him. This may sound negative, but he has come to conclude that most people are stupid, and therefore their opinions of him are meaningless.

You say you are looking for “real dedicated support.” What do you have in mind when you say this, and how would it be an improvement on weekly appointments with a therapist or a stay in an eating disorders unit? I’m not asking this as a challenge, because I assume you have a good answer to this question; I just don’t know what it is.

You say, “I feel so perverted and discarded and mutilated.” It might (or perhaps might not) be helpful to elaborate a little bit?

By the way, I bet you haven’t completely lost your will to live, otherwise you wouldn’t have bothered to send out this plea.

Please feel free to write directly to me instead of the group if you feel that would be appropriate. I look forward to hearing from you and hope and pray that your situation turns out for the better.

(We exchanged emails several times, and he did go into more detail about his situation and say that I and others had said nice things to him. I last heard from him as he was preparing to visit his mother over Christmas. Needless to say, he has a ton of unresolved issues from his childhood and feelings towards her.)

The Dream Harvest

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Here is a dream that someone else shared, followed by my interpretation.

The scene is a house, relatively modern, quite large.  I am house sitting.  I’ve been working hard and go to the bedroom only to see that a fine layer of grey clay has been tracked on the floor.  I come back later and realize with great dismay that now there are hills of silt and its blown in through cracks between the window frames.  There’s a storm that’s been serious enough to blow dirt into the house.

I go check on the living room and its got a couple of children playing with toys.  This room is vast and just a mess — legos, the building block toy — are scattered everywhere.

The first task is clean up.  And we’ve got to seal the cracks so silt can’t blow in.

In the next sequence Allan and I are standing in line at an outdoor Mexican food stand.  Its outside and we are with a small crowd peering over the wooden slats that separate the little courtyard from the kitchen.  The cooks aren’t paying attention and nobody can get them to take their food order.  We realize that we have to put in our orders together.  One man comes up and gets ready to order.  We tell him he can put his order in with ours.  Then we all realize that we had worried so much about the cooks not taking our order that we had forgotten to decide what we wanted.

The only common theme I see in all of this is disorder and chaos. There is disorder from natural causes with the silt drifting into the house, disorder from technology with the Lego blocks, and social disorder with the people who can’t manage to place an order for their meal.

Or maybe (in keeping with my firefly tale) the silt is where it’s supposed to be and the house is out of place.

You are house sitting for someone else and are concerned with what a mess has arisen on your watch. Is this saying something about stewardship?

The Mexican food stand segment is clearly about giving all one’s attention to the process and forgetting about the goal.

Myself, the cats woke me up suddenly and I didn’t remember any dreams even immediately after waking.

August 29 Dreams

Monday, January 26th, 2009

1. I was climbing on boulders that had split off from layers of rock. I thought of the forces which had lifted up the mountains and felt grateful for the teachers who had led me to understand such things.

(This part was longer but I only rehearsed it in my mind after waking and didn’t write any of these down until later in the day.)
I was hanging around the Geology Department because, although I am not a geologist, my training in physics helped me appreciate the forces within the earth and their effects.
A professor and the department secretary were discussing plans for a surprise party for another professor who was retiring.

“It will have to be on a Thursday.”

“Well, it can’t be tomorrow, because there’s not enough time to prepare.”

“Then it will have to be next week, because that’s the last Thursday in April, and after that everyone will be busy with finals and graduation.”

2. I got a receipt from Central District Conference for our church’s latest contribution. There were several penciled cursive notes from the conference secretary on the form. She noted that it was more than our previous contribution and wondered if we had a new member.

She had written the names and addresses of our only members that she knew about, which I recognized as the last two people to join. One of them was a veterinarian and she asked if he should be listed with the title of Dr. The notes ended with a request for me to complete the membership roster.

3. When I got home there was a lot of mail to go through. The telephone company had sent a thin phone book in a white cover dated 10/05 with just the Ames listings, and a thicker one in a similar cover dated 12/05 with the usual contents.

I opened the thick book to see where area code 563 was.

Notes after the fact

During the daytime I was climbing over rocks just like that. (This was along the Yuba River in the Sierra Nevada mountains.)


My sister teaches geology at a community college (but she’s nowhere near ready to retire!).
The receipt looked just like the carbonless duplicate form that I include when I send a check to CDC.
If the dream was detailed enough to include the names of the recent new members, I don’t remember them, but one of them might have been of Japanese origin. A book I was reading this week included a Japanese man who was passed off as a veterinarian. (And now I can’t recall what book that was, unless it was Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut.)

I got a missed call from area code 563 on my cell phone during the trip, and at the time of the dream I hadn’t found where the list of area codes was hidden in the phone book in the motel. (Later I found it in the yellow pages under Area Codes rather than in the front matter.) (Someone at church suggested it might be meaningful to look at number 563 in the hymnal.)

Those are the only private meanings I can assign to these images. I’ll be interested to hear what they suggest to the rest of you.

(One of our members is a dentist who had to retire due to disabilities and has been somewhat at a loss as to what he is to do with his life now. The question in the dream about whether someone is still entitled to be addressed as Doctor seems to me to be a very obvious reference to this, but nobody else caught it.)

[Dreamed in 2005 and originally published in 2006.]



Where Are All the Butches?

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

Eleanor Brown wrote:

TV talk show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres isn’t much of a butch….

But DeGeneres — no bull dagger — seems to be the closest to a tough dyke allowed in the mass media.

Popular culture seems so lesbian-positive these days… but only a certain kind of lesbian, thank you very much. To be a lesbian is to be femme: Hot blonde Serena Southerlyn on “Law & Order,” the bi gal on “The OC,” even the “The L Word” is all femme….

But fact, now that’s another story. The teeny tiny bit butch Ellen DeGeneres fits into the fact category (or at least, I hope her talk show does). But real bull daggers exist in the world. Why aren’t they on my TV? On reality television?…

On “What Not To Wear,” butch girls — gay and straight — are forced into girl clothes, into girl walks, even into girl mannerisms.

The show’s hosts, by the way, present as a straight woman and a gay man. The show reflects the esthetic of high fashion, of Hollywood, of a certain kind of gay man. The type of gay man who rolls his eyes at a dyke’s plaid shirt and big biker boots.

The type of gay man who loves nothing better than to erase butch dykes from existence.

Help me out here; I don’t get this. Is she saying Ellen is femme because she’s blond and smiles?

That’s not the reading I get. Umm,… how shall I put this?

You see, I’m only 99.9% gay. That remaining sliver of me, well, Ellen is butch enough to turn me on.

And that’s how I spotted her before the tabloids began gossiping about her. Women that I notice in that way invariably turn out to be lesbians.

So my 0.1% heterosexuality has never been put into practice.

[Originally published in 2006.]


Sunday, January 25th, 2009

The impression I got growing up was that males are supposed to be tough. We’re meant to endure a lot of wear and tear—scrapes and bruises on the athletic field, cuts and black eyes from schoolyard fights, doing the chores that involve heavy lifting and dangerous power tools, and eventually going off to war.

And what advantage did we get in return for this? Precious little, as far as I could tell. When I was a boy I was oblivious to the ways women are disadvantaged in society. The only benefit to being tough that I could see was that men’s clothing didn’t have all the frills and lace that was delicate and difficult to keep in repair.

Besides unrealistic and unattainable expectations for myself, this also led to mistaken ideas about others. If men are tough in ways that women aren’t, then this must mean that women are supposed to be fragile. What a lie that is!

I certainly didn’t learn all this from my parents. Must have been peers and television.

As I matured, I learned that it was okay for me not to be tough or not to fit someone else’s idea of what that meant. I still appreciate durable, easy to clean clothing, though.

Choc Chip Baked Pats

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

How to make them, told in words of one beat by Al of the kin of Bate

Here is a treat that may hit the spot at this time of the year. But with all the sweet and fat, this is a some time treat.