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  1. Today is St. Distaff's Day. Compitalia, celebrating the household Gods. Today we honor Frigg and her followers, the "Freefolk". "Partly work, and partly play Ye must on Saint Distaff's Dayu" the old adage goes. It is also time for me to "shield in place". I need to take a break from the constant ups and downs regarding "my" dysphoria. My affliction. Tired of facing inward and trying to fix something that in the scope of my life? A lot less of an "issue" than it needs to be, considering. What? Well, let's throw out some things shall we? I have recieved some excellent "counseling" from someone who says my dysphoria is NOT my biggest concern. OK. Good to know. My counselor is a pretty decent person. Specializies in helping people who's professional lives expose them to some very traumatic stuff. I was amazed at how good this person was at getting me to talk. Good to find someone I can be comfortable with. A person that is familiar with the "problems" people who work in compartmented "projects" all they're lives can develop. I thought I was lossing it to Paranoid schizophrenia! The counselor just laughed at me and said "No, that's called self preservation. Johnathan Pollard actually existed. That actually happened. Your pretty much screwed for the rest of your life, just stay frosty and relax". Showed me this picture and said if you can balance these? Your mental health issues will be skosh. When I broached "dysphoria"? Push me over with a feather, the counselor replied "You'd be astounded to know just how many people I deal with could use a little clarity on THAT subject". Love them Doc's that don't beat around the bush! 
     

     
    How is your 2017 going to go? I have a good idea of how mine is going to go. Lots and lots of time in medical facilities. Lots of appointments. Lots of testing. I am VERY HAPPY about that. This flurry of medical activity surrounds my Soulmate and not me. She is FINALLY going to get the medical assistance and screening that she deserves. She is. not me. I am working on my "blackouts" and my manic depression issues, but for now, I am good. I have a mea culpa. I have NOT been a good spouse for a while. My prediliction with my tripartite self. I have been selfish. So, there you go. "Ronnie" is a steady state for me. 50/50. MODLOC. I have a lot of "new" things to deal with. I can NEVER drive a car on public roads EVER again, unless it is the most dire of emergencies. I can't get on an airliner. I wouldn't be able to fly a plane. I'm not even supposed to operate power tools without supervision anymore! But that doesn't mean I have to stop living or caring about the awesome folks I've met here. 
    I was going to leave this site and then I thought, why? It can help me. Hopefully, I can be of help to someone else. I have 41 and in a less than a month, 42 Y E A R S invested in the person that I DO love most. Violet pretty much is my Universe and she deserves better from me. Sure, some will say that I may be "disengenious" with regard to the "community". That I am not being "true" to myself. Really? I exist in a different "plane" than most people. The person who is my betrothed is also a Petty Officer in the US NAVY, like I am. She saved my life. That's what she does. She can make a towering Marine break out in a sweat by snapping a rubber band, holding a syringe and saying "Need to draw some labs". The only things that can make the USMC hesitate? Godzilla and Hospital Corpsman. Oops, my bad. Hospital Corpsman THEN Godzilla. Got to preserve the natural order of things as the Creator has made them. Nope, for me? This fight isn't about a community. It's about my sanity and I am the ONLY one that can fight it and that means being in it to win it. I may never be "complete", but I promise, I will try NOT to be boring. But I'm not that salty so having a wingman? PRICELESS. I know she always has my back. BRAVO ZULU Doc! 
    So for this new blog, I chose "Scutum" because I need a shield right now. Something that will insulate me from the Demon I have just gotten to go back to sleep. Scutum is called "Sobieski's Shield" in some places in Europe. Jan III Sobieski was a bad ass. Your writings here and how you look at the World and what you are doing to cope and  just the minutiae of our everyday existence can be the exact thing I need to stabilize when I start to get wiggy! 2 anchors are better than one. I have Violet and I have you all. I am blessed. Monsters from the id. They're real.
     

     
     

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  2.    Who doesn't love a hand full of skittles every now and then? No, I'm not going to go into any commentary on candy at this time, though. My subject is actually about love in diversity, namely the LGBT community and more specifically the pride flag. Although this site is geared more toward Trans...(fill in the blank) and our flag is a flag of different colors my intention isn't really about colors. The rainbow has been used as a significant symbol throughout our world's history. In the 16th century, during the German Peasant's War the rainbow flag was used to symbolize a new era, hope and social change. The rainbow flag represent the city of Cusco in Peru. It represents Buddhism, In the 1920's it represented the International cooperative Movement, which stood Unity in diversity and in 2001 it became a logo for the I.C.M., placed in the middle of white background. Each color representing different meanings: 
    Red - CourageOrange- visions of PossibilitiesYellow - The challenge that Green has kindled..Green - A challenge to strive for growthSky Blue - A goal to achieve global unity Dark blue - Helping those less fortunateViolet - Warmth, beauty and friendship  In 1961 the rainbow flag stood for Peace. Then in 1978 Gay Pride!
         Yup the good ol' rainbow flag in unity and love. The colors have traveled around the world to arrive in this day and time as a symbol of hope and an expression of courage . It has been told that in various countries that gay men signaled others by the wearing of a specific color. In England they wore green carnation, in Australia the color was yellow, usually in the form of socks. At one time, somewhere, the color was purple, as in "Purple Power". During the holocaust a pink (gay) or black (lesbian) triangle was used for the prisoners. Now brought together in the form of a flag that not only represents rights but also pride. 
         As the story goes that the original rainbow was created by the Hebrew/Christian God as symbol of a promise with love. Now please don't take me as a hater when I say that it should be returned to be just that, a promise with love or in love. I don't mean in love with your partner, but in love with each other as a whole. This world needs to learn to love one another. Across the oceans and across the land. The rainbow flag needs to be spread over the globe not only in the homosexual community, but in all community, all cultures,(or sub cultures) in all society. Remove all labels and just as the colors of the flag came from around the world let it now fly around the world in love and unity in diversity.  
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  3. The other article on Lesbian Connection that hit me between the eyes was about relationships.  
    ""Where are all the 'real' women?"  "I just want someone to be honest and authentic!"  "No one I meet knows how to listen and go deep!""
    "We offer dating and relationship classes for women, and it's amazing how often we hear this kind of thing from the Lesbians we work with.  We have some good news, and some bad news.  First - what you find out there is pretty much always a reflection of what you're bringing.  Now the good news - when you learn to show up with the beautiful, deep, vulnerable, self-responsible "realness" you seek, you can often magically elicit that same level of authenticity from others.  (No, not from everyone.  But from many women - more than enough!)"
    "For example, years ago I went on a first date with a woman who seemed promising.  She was a writer, she was smart, she was funny, and I was attracted to her.  But something wasn't going quite right.  She just kept talking and talking.  Every time I made a comment, or tried to interject something about myself, she'd launch into another story."
    "At first it was okay, because her stories were interesting.  But as this went on, I started to wonder:  Does she always just go on and on like this?  Is she really conceited, or is she just nervous?  Does she just not like me?  What gives?  And as more time passed I thought:  If this is how it's going to be, I don't want to date her.  What's wrong with her?  Doesn't she notice she's hogging all the conversational space?  Why doesn't she know how to listen?  Does she even know I'm here?"
    Then, after a while, a familiar litany started up in my head:  What's wrong with me?  Why do I always end up with women who don't know how to listen?  Maybe I am too picky.  Maybe I'm destined to be alone.  While all these thoughts, fears and frustrations were going through my head, on the outside I was nodding, smiling, being polite, saying "Mmm-hmm," and still trying to get a word in edge-wise about my own life, too."
    "What I was not doing was - being real."
    "I wasn't taking the risk to tell my date what I was really thinking and feeling.  That means I was giving up at the starting gate and not even giving her the chance to go deeper with me.  And I wasn't sharing with her the authenticity that I longed for."
    "How many times have you found yourself in a similar situation?  And how many times have you broken through it by getting more real yourself?  If your answers are "a lot," and, "none," you're not alone!  Most of us simply don't know how to be that honest, especially with someone we don't know well.  Yet how are we ever going to get to know someone well, if we aren't honest with them?  It's quite a conundrum!"
    "So let's take a look at what I might have said on that date:  "You know, I'm starting to feel really confused and kind of sad because I find you attractive, but it feels like our conversation is just going one way - and I'm really not sure why, or how to change that."
    ""You've got a lot of great stories, but I would really like it if we could switch gears and talk about what's going on between us right now.  I'm finding myself starting to have some familiar thoughts and feelings that are keeping me from really being here with you.""
    ""I was really looking forward to this date, but I feel like something isn't going quite right for me in our conversational flow, and I would love it if we could talk about that together and try to change it.  Would you be up for that?""
    "You'll notice that in each of these statements, I used "I - language" - that is, I'm trying to talk about what I am feeling, rather than make accusations or assume I know what's going on for my date.  When you make I - statements, it's easier for someone to hear you - and it makes it less likely she'll argue or get defensive.  And, most importantly, by talking about what I feel and want, I am being vulnerable and real.  I am offering my date the chance to go deeper with me - if she's able and willing."
    "As I said before, some women won't choose to take you up on that offer.  But some will.  And for most of us, all it really takes is one!"
    "Fast-forward to when I met my partner, M.  I can still remember a few key moments when I took these kinds of risks, and she followed, and we ended up connecting much more deeply, because of it.  Sometimes it was by e-mail (which for some of us is easier).  In fact, that's how I first told her I loved her!  But other times it was in person.  Once, it was when we were in bed and things just weren't working well for me.  Another time, I was having some doubts about whether we should keep seeing each other because I was afraid she felt more for me than I did for her.  And every time I took the risk and told her - in an honest, vulnerable and present-moment way - what was happening inside me, she met me there.  And that's a huge part of why we celebrated our eighth anniversary - and why we keep growing and going deeper together every day!"
    "And it's also a big part of why we started our website (http://www.consciousgirlfriend.com), in order to help Lesbians who are struggling with relationships, learn how to create deep connection.  We offer coaching, retreats and classes, such as "Communicate and Be Heard," and, "Take Charge of Your Relationship Destiny.""
    - R.
    Found this an excellent article, and I would like to make some comments.
    Feel the writer was engaging in what I call "emotional masturbation," also known as "diarrhea of the mouth." Most of the time, this is caused by runaway anxiety, and R. did an excellent job of supporting her date to get a grip on her anxiety, instead of stressing her further by trying to get a word in edgewise.  
    The other comment I have is that R. is a butch, and her partner is a fem, and butches have to be sensitive to how fems perceive a relationship.  Fems, are, by nature, more sensitive than butches, and expect butches to gently lead the relationship.  Forgive me, but it is the butch's job to pleasure the fem in bed, but I applaud this butch for having a conversation about it, instead of breaking the relationship off.
    In my opinion, I find people (not just Lesbians) don't give a relationship a chance to bloom, looking for every excuse to break it off, for fear of intimacy.  
    How do I get past this?  Building friendships, sometimes for months and even years, to build emotional safety for both.  As I am getting older, I realize I have to speed it up a little bit.  With the love of my life, we were friends for two years before we became romantically involved, and we slowly went about it.  Not a big fan of Internet dating websites, as I use touch (in the respectful way) and touch is my major communication tool.  
    Highly recommend Dr. Gary Chapman's book, "The Five Languages of Love," even though it was written for Straight people.
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  4. Found two great free websites with relationship quizzes that will give you insight into yourself and your partner or future partner. They are www.5lovelanguages.com and www.personalityassessor.com/relationshipwants. Took both of them and they were spot-on! They are brief, fun to take and easy to understand. Enjoy!!
  5. Everyone, and I mean everyone, no one is immune, experiences open (obvious) and closed (not so obvious) rejection in their lives, through all stages of their life, starting in the very earliest years.

    The reality is that not everybody likes or loves you, but there will be some who do. The secret is to focus on those who do, and innoculate yourself from those who don't, thus removing their power to hurt you.
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