Tag Archives: musings

Sadness

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Hey all.

Once again, it’s been a while since I posted. It’s been an interesting month, and I don’t even really know where to begin. Chronologically is best, I guess.

I started out writing this post talking about visiting my best friend in Chicago and taking a millinery class. But I’m just too tired and sad to finish it. Maybe I’ll elaborate later, because they were both really good times, but something else has dominated my mind and I feel like I can’t write about anything else. And I think I have to write about this, because it’s the only way for me to get it out. I’ll write and cry about it once, and then I’ll be done.

I spent the week learning hat-making. It was grueling but fun, it kept me busy the whole day and it left me exhausted at night. That was perfect, because it kept my mind off of what was going on during the week and why I chose to take that particular class in the first place. This past week was the week-long camp that I’ve done for five years, and the camp I was supposed to take over directing (see Moving On for some background). I purposely chose to take the hat-making class because I meant that I wouldn’t be home during camp, and wouldn’t have to, every day, drive past the church where it’s held and be reminded that that’s not a part of my life anymore.

It’s done. It’s over. I don’t know how to feel. I had kind of blocked it from my mind at the beginning of the week, and was just focusing on making these really difficult hats. But then Wednesday came and, as I sat in the dorm room in the evening, I suddenly wondered what was happening at camp at that moment. Dinner would have been over, so would they be doing the talent show, like they normally did on Wednesdays? Or would they maybe be watching a movie? Or doing something else entirely? It hit me at that moment that I had no idea. I had no idea what they were doing, because I wasn’t part of the camp anymore. I wasn’t directing, I wasn’t even volunteering there. I had absolutely not a clue what the schedule was, or who was there, or what things were new or different from previous years. And, more importantly, I wasn’t there for the campers that counted on me to be there. I had let them down. There was no way I could have gone after everything that had happened, but I still felt like I had failed them. They had no idea what all had happened, and I know several were probably asking where I was, but I had still let them down. I wonder how the new directors handled them asking about me, if they did.

I came home yesterday to an empty house (except for, you know, six cats and a rabbit). My parents are in San Francisco for the weekend for their anniversary, so I have today and tomorrow to pull myself together. I was okay during the day today because I kept myself busy — I organized all my bookmaking supplies, and then promptly messed them up again as I made a few small books. I engrossed myself in many episodes of Doctor Who. I played Candy Crush. But now I’m tired of Doctor Who for the moment, I have no more lives in Candy Crush, and I have no inspiration for books. I’m just sitting here, thinking, which is bad.

It’s all finally catching up with me. I just feel so sad, so tired, so unwilling to do anything. I just want to lay here, staring at the television and watching the Zimmerman trial coverage without taking anything in. I don’t want to clean up dinner, I don’t want to put away my book supplies, I don’t even want to read. I just want to be miserable.

I’m so glad everyone is gone for the weekend. I gives me time to grieve by myself, without having to try and be falsely happy or endure my parents trying to understand what’s wrong and how I feel. They don’t know. They think they do, but they don’t. Camp meant everything to me, and it was the thing that I looked forward to every year. I made countless friends there, friends that are so much more true and loyal than most friends you find in the normal world. I had my thoughts and opinions completely turned on their heads. I became comfortable working with people that most others cringe from and avoid. The whole experience has helped me grow into the person I am now, and has shaped my life and morals and goals since then. And now it’s all gone.

I’m still angry because I feel like I was purposely cut out, but I’m mostly just sad. It was a bad situation for everyone, including the new directors and the old, but I feel like it could have been handled better so that it didn’t come to this. And the worst part is that I have absolutely no idea why I was forced out. I tried to get answers and was evaded every time. I don’t understand — from the first time I was asked to join leadership, it was never ambiguous that I was supposed to take over. And then camp came last year and suddenly I wasn’t. And since then I have heard nothing from the directors, and was basically ignored despite earlier assurances that I would still be heavily involved. I wasn’t even asked to help plan and put together the reunion for the camp that I helped plan. They basically just dropped me, and not knowing why is the absolute worst part.

I do have theories, and none of them are reassuring. Was I kicked out because I was an atheist? Was it just because they didn’t want me personally to lead? Was it something I did or did not do? I honestly feel like I don’t care what the reasoning is — I just want and deserve to know. I don’t care how uncomfortable it would be for those in charge to tell me. They should have the balls to lay it out and tell me the truth, not dance around it and never provide answers and hope that I don’t notice.

I don’t know. I just feel like this huge part of my life has been ripped away. I had planned on being part of this camp until its end, and now that plan is no more, and not by my choice. I’m not sad that any of the past five years has happened, because they made me the person I am today. I just wish it had ended differently, less harshly.

So I’m just going to chill tonight and wallow in my misery. I’m going to get it all out now so that when everyone gets home, I can lock it all away and pretend to be happy until it’s far enough away that I can try to move on. Maybe that’ll be soon, maybe that’ll take a while. This next week might be bad because pictures might be put up, so I’ll be forced to see what all they did and be reminded that I wasn’t there. I’ll have to see who served as companions for my campers of the past few years, and wish that I had been in their place instead. But hopefully I’ll be able to move on again soon and learn something from all of this. Sorry for the pity party over here, but I needed to get all this out somewhere. Any words of encouragement or advice are always welcome.

Forgetting

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Today I forgot how to make a paper crane.

That might sound like no big deal, but it’s actually a huge deal. When I was in elementary school, we did a fundraiser based on the book Sadako and the 1000 Paper Cranes. We had a big session in the gym the day it was announced, where every one of us learned how to make an origami crane. We made more than the thousand that was our goal, and they hung all over the school, in a ranbow of colors.

I can’t remember what we were fundraising for anymore, or what our prize was for reaching our goal of 1000 paper cranes, but ever since then, I’ve always made paper cranes when I get bored. I make them out of napkin wrappers in restaurants, scraps of notebook paper in class, wrappers from candies. The steps to making a crane have been ingrained in my memory for 16 years; I can pretty much make a crane with my eyes closed and completely preoccupied with something else.

Or at least, I used to be able to. I’m taking a paper batik and bookmaking class for studio art credits for graduate school. Today I finished my book early and was bored, so I picked up a square of bright magenta paper and started the first steps to making a crane. Fold diagonally in half, fold again the other way. Fold in half to make a rectangle and fold the other way. Push all of the corners up to form a point, the flatten to form a square. Then…

I totally blanked out. I had no idea what to do next. I sat there and stared at the square of paper, turning it this way and that, trying to figure out what the next step was. I pushed the flaps in and out, without any idea of how to fold the paper to make the wings and legs. It took me about a minute of playing around before it finally kind of came back to me. I was incredibly relieved, but also upset.

I wasn’t this upset after leaving my car keys in the freezer, nor was I this upset when I forgot how to roll down my car windows. Troubled, yes, but upset, no. Those were just little things that didn’t really matter (or at least the car keys were, but forgetting how to roll down the window was pretty bad). But this — this is huge. I feel like I lost a part of myself that I’ve had for more than a decade and a half. When we go to restaurants and such, my family members always pass me their napkin wrappers for me to make cranes out of. It’s what they know me for, and what I do in my down time and for relaxation, or when I just have nothing else to do and there’s paper handy. And today I feel like that little part of me that I’m known for disappeared.

I don’t know what to do. I could go back to my doctor and ask to have my medication reduced again, but my pain levels would probably increase, and I don’t want to start next semester being in pain all the time. Or I could reduce and go on a pain medication, but that’s not something I really want right now — I’ve resisted going on pain meds so far, and don’t want to start now. I could also switch medications, but that would mean months of figuring out the dosage, if it even works. And then there are the side effects to contend with. Who knows what those might be? Medication is about balance, and I’m at a point now where I need to decide what’s important and what needs and wants outweigh the others. I was willing to deal with a bit of memory loss when it came to small things like where I left my keys, but this is much, much bigger than that. This is part of my identity.

I dunno. I should probably go back and see what she says. My next actual appointment isn’t until September (about the longest I’ve going without seeing her since she became my PCP), but I know I could get in within the week if I wanted to. She’ll probably blow me off and tell me what I’ve already said: “Medication is about finding balance between the pros and cons.” But is a little more pain control worth the continuing degeneration of my memory? I just don’t know. I need to think on this more before I make a decision.

Losing yourself

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So I volunteer with a program that goes to nursing homes and does art therapy sessions with elders with dementia. Yesterday night was our big, end-of-the-year art show. As a student leader, I do no have a partner that I meet with every week. Rather, I help lead and facilitate the weekly sessions. Because of this, and the fact that I’ve only been involved for a year, I haven’t known any of the elders over a very long period of time. I seriously love each and every one of them, but I haven’t been around long enough to see the changes that the disease has been forcing on them.

Last night I was helping direct pairs of students and elders, and helping people get in and out of the elevators and find their partners. My nursing home was one of the very last to arrive, and they had to make two trips in the bus to get everyone there. In the second bus, there was a woman who I didn’t have on my list. One of the women from the nursing home told me that her name was Jean, and that she’s been active in the program in previous years, but has gone downhill recently and had to stop coming. Because she wasn’t a regular, she didn’t have a partner. She was the last to come up the elevator to the show, so I offered to sit with her and take her around to see the art.

Jean was really struggling. She spent most of the show half asleep, and the other part of the time she seemed to be in the throes of hallucinations. She would reach out a carefully rearrange things on the table, then act like she was kitting or sewing, or picking things up off the table to set in her lap. She did not talk beyond a few incoherent mumbles and did not respond to my talking to her.

After a brief ceremony where the volunteers and elders were recognized, I took Jean around in her wheelchair to see the art, including a piece of her own. Again, no reacting and continued hallucinations. I kept talking, though, and showed her pieces some of her friends had made. As we were going around, I had a woman come up to me. She was ecstatic to see Jean, and really excited that I was helping her around. She thought I was her partner. I told her that I was actually a leader, and was just filling in. This woman started telling me about Jean. Jean before the disease took its tole.

Jean loved to tell stories. She would sit there during art sessions and talk her partner’s ear off, telling them about her day, about her past and family, about something funny another resident had done, or telling them a story that she had made up on the spot. She had a definite way with words. And her art was amazing. She was very detailed and illustrative, drawing figures rather than abstract shapes. She loved the art sessions, both for the people she got to see and the pieces that she made.

I could hardly believe it. I just couldn’t match up this description with the woman I was pushing around in her wheelchair. It was as if she was describing a completely different person. In a way, I guess she was. Alzheimer’s has taken away the person she was before, and has left this sleepy, unresponsive woman in her place. This was the first time really where the disease had been brought home to me, hearing stories about how she used to be and seeing how she is now. It made me so incredibly sad, especially when I thought of the fact that the person she was is probably almost gone for good. That woman who told stories and drew amazing pictures has disappeared forever. And that’s going to happen to all of my other amazing artists that I love, given enough time.

We finished going through the artwork and went downstairs to wait for the bus. She was still hallucinating, but seemed a bit more alert. She actually opened her eyes to look at me where I was sitting in front of her. She started to talk. I couldn’t understand almost anything she said, but I tried my hardest to respond appropriately and keep talking to her. She seemed happy to just have someone there listening and paying attention to her.

The bus finally came and I took her outside to board it. As the worker backed her until the wheelchair lift, I told her that I was really happy that she had kept me company during the evening, and looked forward to maybe seeing her at the next art session if she was feeling up to it. She looked right up at me and told me that she would like that. She then smiled, shook her head, and told me that I was a beautiful girl. I almost burst into tears right there. Here was a woman who was struggling to retain herself in the face of a devastating disease, and who was clearly losing that fight, and yet when she came back to herself for a brief time she still was incredibly kind and appreciative. Most people would have seen Jean and written her off as a vegetable, not worth their time. But with just a little attention, some kind words, and a listening ear, she returned enough to offer some kind words of her own. She just demonstrates to me that every single person is worth our time and effort, and that even the tiniest things can be regarded the greatest victories.

I was so glad I got to spend time with Jean, and I genuinely look forward to doing so in the future. Hopefully she’ll feel well enough to come to art therapy every now and then!

Equality for All

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Okay. Recent events have made me want to tackle DOMA and Prop 8 in a post. I’m frustrated, and need to vent.

Last night a friend made a post about gay marriage. All day, my Facebook friends had been changing their profile pictures to the red and pink equal sign, in solidarity with those seeking equal rights for the gay community. Even many of those who didn’t change their picture were still posting other images in support of repealing Prop 8 and DOMA. It was really moving to see all of the support, and how the community was coming together to voice their want for change and equality. And then my friend posted.

The equal rights symbol everyone was posting.

Now, a bit of background on her. She’s always been the most religious out of my friends, but usually fairly quiet about it. But then she went to university (the same school as me) and joined a gospel group on campus. Since then, she’s become much more outspoken about and extreme in her views. She’s progressing religiously, but regressing on social issues and in the area of acceptance of others. She’s had posts claiming that others aren’t “true” Christian because their beliefs differ from hers (see Rant Time for that venting session). She’s been openly unaccepting of other belief systems, scoffing at them and just being generally belligerent. And her new friends from the gospel group are supporting and egging her on in this. I’m happy that she’s happy with her new friends, but I’m saddened to see how she’s changed over the past few years.

So, the post. She went on a mini rant about how she “might lose a lot of friends for this,” but she did not support gay marriage. She called marriage sacred, and claimed that it was only acceptable when it went through Jesus Christ, and that it is in fact not a civil right. She even claimed that we need to implement restrictive laws for marriage among straight people because they aren’t “doing it right” (or at least, that’s what I got out of her message). She ended with: “Am I projecting my faith and beliefs on you by saying no? I sure am. But so are you by saying yes. I am exercising my rights just as you are.” She also claimed that she was not brainwashed for her views.

I was pretty shocked by her post. Not because I didn’t think anyone believed the way she does, but because I couldn’t believe she believed it. In high school she was never against gay marriage — she was more of the camp of “I don’t really like it, it goes against what I believe, but if it makes you happy feel free.” She had gay friends, and she was sympathetic to their cause. She was always accepting of everyone. I’ve watched her views transformed from that over the years, to this adamant anti-equal rights mindset (and of course, this mindset overflows to other areas, such as with those of other religions and beliefs).

Immediately after she published her post, I got a text from one of my friends. She was also shocked. I think it was a bigger blow for her because she hasn’t really seen this transformation happened the past few years. She basically just saw the beginning and the end, with no middle morphing to warn her of her changing views. She was really upset, and wanted to comment on our friend’s post basically saying “Separation of church and state.”  I convinced her not to, as I didn’t think it would be productive, and would just cause problems.

This morning, I got another text from my best friend (as I knew I would — I was just surprised that it took her so long). She told me that she was saddened by our friend’s post, and I had to agree with her. That’s exactly how I felt, too — frustrated and disappointed, but mostly sad. “I just don’t understand how anyone can genuinely believe that allowing everyone to get married imposes my views on anyone else,” my BFF wrote, “No one’s forcing [our friend] to get marry a lesbian.”

As usual, she had pretty much summed up exactly what I was thinking (we have like a psychic connection or something — we pretty much have the exact same views, and agree on pretty much everything. We’re kind of the same person, and it’s kind of awesome). Here’s what really frustrates me. Your religious values are your religious values. Just because you believe something doesn’t mean that everyone else has to, too. When you try to make something illegal because of your personal religious beliefs, you are infringing on the rights of others, and shoving your beliefs down their throat. Making gay marriage illegal is not shoving our views down your throat. If we were trying to pass a law that forced everyone to engage in gay marriage, that would be shoving our beliefs down our throat. The middle ground here (as with many other social issues, such as abortion) is to let everyone do as they wish, not as you personally believe that they should. If you are offended by gay marriage and the gay lifestyle, you yourself are insecure in your own beliefs. Get over yourself — not everyone has to follow your personal, restrictive values. And your religion does not belong in our laws.

In addition, marriage is a civil rights issue. Marriage is a religious institution, but it is also a government and federal institution. The government is extending and restricting rights to some, based on these individual preferences. For me, I always have a rule: when someone’s talking about how “Gays shouldn’t be able to get married because it goes against my beliefs,” I always substitute another word for “gays.” That word can be “black,” “Jewish,” etc — any group that’s been repressed throughout history. So go ahead and insert it: “Blacks shouldn’t be able to get married because it goes against my beliefs.” See how ignorant you look? See how you are wrongly restricting someone’s rights? Why should sexual orientation be any different from skin color or religion? Sexual orientation, like race, is not a choice — why restrict rights because of something a person cannot control? Hell, why restrict them for something they can control? Your beliefs are your beliefs, not necessarily anyone else’s.

Sums it up perfectly.

I am 100% behind equal rights for gays. I have many gay friends who would love to be able to marry their partners. And not just enter a “civil union” — marry. Why call it something else? We’ve tried “separate but equal” before, and it didn’t work. I think our culture is slowly coming around it equality, and doing away with hate and prejudice, but we still have a long way to go. There have been baby steps so far, but repealing Prop 8 and DOMA wold be a massive leap. Once the laws change, attitudes follow. Don’t like it? No one is forcing you to marry someone of your same gender. Your beliefs are not universal, and you have no right to impose them on others through law. Get over yourself and stop worrying about others. Be happy and secure in your views, without feeling the need to force everyone else share them top.

Not really sure how to approach my friend. I’m thinking that I just won’t approach her at all. It’s not worth losing a friendship over. I think that we’re already drifting apart, but I don’t want to end it definitively. She knows that all of us will disagree with her, and she chose to put it out there. Whatever happens, happens, I guess. I’m just glad that I have other friends who are accepting of all people, regardless of what they believe and who they love.

Oh, roommates.

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Have I mentioned that I live with a freshman? Yes, a freshman. A freshman in an apartment with two seniors and one junior who’s basically a senior (she’s the same age as us). That’s a recipe for disaster right there.

She moved in after my one crazy roommate moved out (that’s a whole long story in itself — maybe I’ll tell it one day), since she had had also had a crazy roommate and was forced out. Management put her in our apartment without talking to any of us who already lived there, which was a bit annoying. Her kitten also moved in, which has been an adventure.

Things were great at first — she was super nice happy, and very willing to make sure things worked. But things have deteriorated since November. First of all, her cat. The thing is pretty much feral, and incredibly wild. She doesn’t like to be touched, I’ve never heard her purr, and she basically only has two modes — crazy and asleep. She attacks my cat, eats his (special diet, expensive) food, and has been peeing on his litter mat. My roommate never cleans her kitten’s litter box, so she uses my cat’s. It gets full super fast, and if I don’t notice it right away, she pees. I’ve had to clean it up over and over again, and so has my other roommate. The freshman never has, even when we’re told her and asked her to clean it. She’s literally just left the pee all over the floor and ignored it. It’s super frustrating. We’ve discussed it with her more than a few times, and she just will not clean her litter box. It’s disgusting, and my poor cat’s box gets used like crazy. And, of course, I clean it. She just isn’t responsible enough to have a pet. I don’t think any freshman should have a pet — they’re just not responsible enough and it’s too much for your first year of school.

In addition, she’s lying to the school about where she lives. Freshmen are required to live in the dorms, unless they’re over 21, married, or live with parents/guardians. She’s told the school that she’s living at home and commuting, and she’s not. We were worried that, with the plagiarism hearing, they would figure out that she was lying when they found out that she was living in an apartment with a senior. Lucky for her, it never came up. She’s digging herself a pretty deep hole here — she could get into a lot of trouble if she’s found out.

She’s also been eating our food. We told her when she moved in that she could use any of our cooking and baking stuff, as well as any herbs and seasonings she wanted, but now she’s move on to eating groceries that we buy. Like my roommate’s chicken in the freezer, and our butter. It’s getting ridiculous. She also buys her own chicken, but she leaves it uncovered in the fridge for weeks, and we end up throwing it away or she eats it. I can’t believe she hasn’t gotten food poisoning yet, especially since she also leaves out her dinner left overs on the counter, even when they have meat and dairy in them. Food poisoning waiting to happen.

She’s been getting super annoying lately as well. I think she has a slight attachment disorder (that’s the psychologist in me — diagnosing and analyzing her) from when her father left them. Because of that, she is forever flattering you. Like, “OMG, you were SO right!” “OMG that jacket looks fantastic on you!” “OMG, I love that TV show you told me about!” This isn’t just every now and then — it’s constant. A little flattery is nice, but ass-kissing is hella annoying. I know she does it because she’s afraid of us leaving her, and I try to be understanding, but it gets very wearing. She also is forever thinking we’re mad at her, for stupid things that we’re not actually mad about. She’s always apologizing for things. And then, when we’re actually mad about something she’s doing or not doing, she completely ignores the issue. She flees from it and acts like nothing’s wrong. She hides in her room until she thinks it’s safe and the issue has blown over. It’s definitely a protective factor, but it’s making issues worse.

So, the cat, the lying, the food eating, and the attachment disorder. Adding that on top of the general immaturity of freshmen, and the fact that they’re just getting used to being on their own, and the living with people who are much more mature and used to living and work with others, and you’ve got a nightmare. She’s so super nice, and so happy to be away from her crazy roommates, but this is just betting to be too much. I hate to get mad at her, but we’re all kind of at the end of our rope at this point. She’s currently in the “run and hide in my room” mode, so none of us have spoken to her since before the weekend. It’s ridiculous. She’s impossible to talk to when she’s in this state — she takes it personally, and then she sulks more and nothing changes.

Ugh, sorry. Just needed a quick vent. A positive thing for the day — we’re doing color in my drawing class! Finally! I love pastels — they’re my thing. I think my instructor was really surprised when I started doing my color, because she obviously thought I would have issues with it since I’m very meticulous with charcoal, and have a difficult time “letting go.” Not so with pastels. I don’t like to brag, but I think I’m the most advanced colorist in the class, mostly because my art instructor of 10 years drilled color theory into us. I also just love layering colors. So that’s been a good thing about the week! Also, Sherlock filming. ‘Nuff said.

Thanks for reading my rant! Any advice is always welcome!

 

Is this week over yet?

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Good lord. This has been the longest week of the semester, I think. It just never ends. I’ve been trying to figure out my schedule for next semester, which has been a bit of a nightmare. I need 15 credit hours for graduate school, all art credits. My first schedule I had seven different classes on my schedule — drawing (3 credits), painting (3), ceramics (1), sculpture (3), woodworking (1), metals (1), and printmaking (3). Wut. Yeah, that wasn’t going to work. Also because it would interfere with my volunteer work. So I tried again — drawing (3), painting (3), ceramics (3), and sculpture (3), with three credits during the summer with a special program that my university offers. Much better. But now the problem is actually getting all that scheduled, since I don’t have a registration time ticket (since they think I’m graduating and leaving) and because I haven’t taken some of the pre-req courses for a few of them. So I’ve been running around all week trying to figure out who to talk to to get all of this resolved. It’s been crazy, and I’m still working on it.

I’ve also been running myself ragged trying to get everything done this week. I managed to get my one exam that I forgot resolved (I can take it and get half credit, and then extra credit, so it’ll be fine), but I still have a million other things to do. I’ve been trying to finish drawings, working on schedules, writing papers, figuring out group projects and meetings, attending a plagiarism hearing as a witness for my roommate (she got off, basically only because of my testimony), picking up my cap and gown for graduation, and trying to figure out what project I’m doing for my volunteer work. I have to go work on stuff tonight for that volunteer work project (playtime, we call it!), figure out what we’re going to do, and then test it a few times. And, just to add to the stress, I’ve barely had time to eat the past few days. I tried to make barbacoa in my crock pot, but for some reason it totally messed up and was burnt black. I have no idea what went wrong, as I followed instructions to the letter. So last night I ended up eating a corn dog for dinner at like nine o’clock. Ew.

To make everything worse, I haven’t been sleeping well all week. They installed a new light on the apartment building across the way, but it’s not a normal flood light. It’s like a prison yard spot light. Even with my shades closed and my curtains (which are supposed to be light-blocking) pulled, it’s like trying to sleep during the day. I’ve been sleeping with a blanket over my curtains. It’s ridiculous. And because that makes my room so dark, I have a lot of trouble waking up in the moment without at least some natural light. I don’t know what to do, short of getting a ladder and punching out that light.

This lack of sleep is really running me down. I’ve been having more flare-ups than usual, and my hips are killing me. We had to stand all class for my drawing course (but we’re finally doing color — yay! Side note, I love color and I love pastels because I can layer color. We had to draw two fruits, a banana and an orange for me, and use only four colors to draw it, which I chose orange, yellow, green, and purple. My instructor thought I was cheating and using more than four colors. Sorry that I just know how to blend and pick colors? I’m just really good at it. Anyway…). All that standing has just been killing my hips. And then I got to the building where my next course was, after running all around campus trying to get answers for my schedule while exhausted from lack of sleep and fibro-fog, and the elevator up to the third floor was out. I was in the basement. So I had to drag myself up all of those stairs. Ugh. Now my hips hurt even more, even while just sitting here. At least we’re watching a movie in my class, so don’t have to actually think or pay attention. Instead I can write this post!

Anyway, sorry for the rant. It’s been a long week and I just want it to be over. Playtime tonight, then one class in the morning and I can go home for the weekend and see family. It can’t come soon enough! Cheers!

And the drama continues…

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Oh, goodness. Every time I think everything’s okay and we’re all good, something else happens. So for the past year or so, things with my extended family on my dad’s side have been rocky. It started with my aunt and uncle and cousins not coming to my younger sister’s graduation or graduation party — they said that they didn’t think that they were invited What?! They got an invitation, and we even invited them personally before the paper invites went out. Here’s what the real issue was: they had committed to help out at some church car wash or something (they say), but they did that just like the day or two before the graduation ceremony (after they would have received the invite). (A bit of background on them: they’re incredibly religious. Like, church all day Sunday and sometimes during the week too, Bible study each night and prayer before every single meal, preach to everyone they meet, religious. So they’re constantly doing stuff with their megachurch and ignoring everyone else. And they’re constantly trying to push their religion on everyone). It would have been alright with them not coming, but they didn’t even congratulate my sister, or send her an apology for not coming. She was really upset. And it’s frustrating because we had just been up there the weekend before to go to my cousin’s “graduation” the weekend before (she didn’t really graduate — they were homeschooled (barely), and she hadn’t even taken her test to get her GED yet (and I still don’t think she has), so it was basically a “let’s go to a park and we’ll give you the homemade diploma we printed off” situation). Things were really, really rocky for the six or so months after that (until Christmas, really), but my dad and my aunt finally kind of made up. Still, that’s been in the back of our minds since this summer.

So the other night, the drama returned with them. My younger sister got on Facebook and saw that a kid she went to church camp with with my cousin had posted about gay marriage. He was pretty belligerent about it, saying that it was, to him, just as bad as taking drugs and such, and that the Bible is totally against it. My sister (who is Christian) couldn’t resist commenting, so she told him that she didn’t think that the Bible really said anything about it, and that she thought Jesus would accept anyone. She even told him that we don’t really know much about Jesus, but even if he took drugs and was gay himself, that she would accept him. So they got into a big fight where he told her that she was “lowering her Christian standards by supporting gay marriage,” she told him to go fuck himself, and that was that. I thought that was the end.

No, of course not, because the next day my sister got a Facebook message from my aunt. This whole thing was filled with Bible passages and talking about how my sister obviously hadn’t read the Bible, and that she was “defaming Jesus” for what she said. She even implied that she should go to the church camp with our cousins again so that she could learn better. Then she ended it with “Hope this doesn’t cause a problem between us. Love you.”

“Hope this doesn’t cause a problem”? Really?! How could this not cause a problem, especially since we’ve all been rocky since summer? And just in general, what makes you think that you can tell someone that their beliefs are wrong and that they’re “defaming Jesus,” and not get some sort of backlash? And how dare you tell someone that their religious beliefs are wrong, just because they vary slightly from yours? What should it matter so long as you both believe the same basic, important tenants?

This is just one thing that really gets on my nerves about their church and their form of Christianity (Baptist? Maybe? Who knows, I can never remember what they are — they’re just incredibly zealous in my book). Their church tells them exactly what to believe and if you don’t believe it, you’re wrong. And then they tell them to go out and tell everyone else what to believe, and to correct them if they’re “wrong.” And they create camps (like the one my sister went to with our cousins once or twice) where they basically go and brainwash their kids into believing whatever they tell them to (and because it didn’t work when my sister went, suddenly she’s “defaming Jesus”).

I think what really annoys me the most about all of this is that my aunt expects an apology from my sister for things that she wrote that my aunt happened to read. My aunt wasn’t involved at all — she butted in, and then demands an apology because she was offended by what she voluntarily read. You know what? If you don’t like it, don’t read it. And definitely don’t push yourself into the middle of it. (She’s done this a few times before, by the way).

Ugh. I honestly can’t stand that side of the family, and it’s really just these huge religious issues that are the root cause of it. Otherwise, my aunt’s a great person, and so are my cousins (my uncle I’m not a huge fan of anyway, but that’s mainly because he has the most blah personality). I love being around them (for an hour or two), but all that goes away as soon as religion comes up. It kind of reminds me a quote from The Perks of Being a Wallflower when Charlie is talking about his family: “I am very interested and fascinated by how everyone loves each other, but no one really likes each other.” There are very few times that I can think of when I read something and just went “YES!” That quote is so unbelievably true, and perfectly sums up this situation.

I guess we’ll see where all this goes. When my sister told my dad, first he was unhappy, but okay with it (because he didn’t want to tell his sister that her beliefs were wrong), but then, after thinking about it, he was pretty pissed. I think he’s planning on writing to my aunt. So we’ll see what happens with that. Again, expect an update.

Oh, and an update from my last post: the girl whose “Atheism” picture I commented on just deleted what I wrote. Honestly, stuff like that drives me crazy because how can you grow or learn about someone if you never talk to them about touchy issues? I always respond to people, even when I disagree. I guess I just expect people to do the same, though they rarely do. But I guess that’s the end of that (until she posts something else, of course).