Thursday, September 18, 2008

Belly-button rumination #587

Sam playing Jenga on his birthday. Happy birthday Sam!
Copyright (c) 2008 Wendee Holtcamp

The reality is that every human being is broken and vulnerable. How strange that we should ordinarily feel compelled to hide our wounds when we are all wounded!
- Scott Peck, The Different Drum

There is pain in our wounds. But even more important is the love that arises among us when we share, both ways, our woundedness.
- Scott Peck, The Different Drum

I went running this morning and about 1/4 mile from my house, I tripped over one of the many fallen branches that are all over the sidewalk path I run. I held my hands out to stop my fall and got a pretty decent couple of scrapes on my elbow, & hands. At first it didn’t hurt, it was more of a shock but I saw how deep the cut was and all the dirt in there and I started to jog back toward home to clean them up. Then I said, ah screw it, I’m going running. I’m fine. I run 6 miles generally so I still had quite a ways to go and I was fine. I got to thinking about me and pain. I had an older brother who used to beat up on me a bit and really didn’t like me much, so I learned to be pretty tough early on. My dad who was a hippie was all against preservatives and medicines and stuff that is unnecessary and I have taken on that into my own life. I think people need to toughen up! I had two babies without any drugs, got through a pretty severe depression without drugs and went through a hellacious few years as a teen without medications (though I did “self-medicate” in those other teenage ways!). All that’s long past.

The ouchie on my elbow. What hurt worse was the alcohol I used to clean the wound! Digging in and getting the crap out of the wounds so we can heal is often worse than the original wound. But of course, it's absolutely necessary for true healing.

Anyway, I think that so many people take antidepressants and medications that some people have become out of touch with the normal range of human emotions (of which I display all of and many of on any given day!) and don't seem to know WHAT "normal" is! I think that, particularly with us creative types - artists, writers, etc - we have a deep well of emotion that we can tap into that allows us to create, to see the world in a unique way and to create poetry, writing, photograph, or whatever other artistic endeavor creatives get involved with. God forbid we destroy that beauty and creativity through taking medications that dull our human senses. And I do know there are some situations where people need medications and even anti-depressants and other medications, and to each their own, but I strongly believe we are a way overmedicated society.

So anyway I was reading this book on relationships and it was talking about differences between men and women and of course it’s a generalization but when I read the description of men, I was like that’s me! LOL. I really think in many ways I’m much more in touch with my masculine side – not in the way I dress or look but in my behavior. This book says that men “are programmed to move quickly and solve problems; they have the ability to focus and get the job done.” It also says that testosterone shapes the male’s body and he’s wired for building physical tension and releasing it.

OK I’m not so sure how much testosterone I have, but I swear I think I’m a man in a woman’s body (don’t worry, I don’t want a sex change, I like men too much! LOL). But I so relate to that description. When I want to get something done – whether it’s build a freelance writing career from scratch, learn how to do something, recover from a issue I’ve recognized in myself, I just find a way that’s been done before to solve that problem and I do it. Nothing can stop me when I’ve set my mind to something (though I won’t walk over people to get my way, I don’t think that’s right).

But I’m ultra-independent, a do-it-yourselfer, super active, I invest in the stock market, I bought my own house, I am an outdoorsy person who likes bugs, snakes, sharks and bears, and unlike most women (who tend to have the problem of not saying enough of their feelings and keeping things inside) I call people on their shit. And, weird or not, I feel like I relate to that description of the physical building of tension and releasing it. I know what they’re talking about… and I don’t necessarily mean THAT, but I do this with my build up and release of my emotions, but also in things like needing to work out until I’m exhausted, which ironically gives me tons of energy! The description of women is that their sense of adventure is internal, and their wiring gives them an edge in family relationships and they’re natural diplomats. Um, that’s not me! So I think that some people have a hard time figuring me out and for those who are trying... (besides myself) Newsflash: Stop trying! It’s not your problem! (PS This message is for a particular few people, not my general blog readers at large! Though in general if you try to solve someone else's problems you might want to look up the definition of codependency...).

Anyway, I have been talking to guy friends about some of these things. To one friend I said, “So if a guy has a problem with you or something, how do they deal with it with you?” and one guy said, “They’d just say hey man WTF is the problem, why did you do this?” And then they’d work it out right there. And I’d say but if a woman has a problem, she’d say “We need to talk. Guys hate this. Why does that phrase strike fear in the heart of a man?” He laughed and said, “Well that’s because of the setup.” Anyway typically I would tend to just call people on their stuff when they piss me off. I don’t get mad often at friends (unless you are a phone customer service person, who are born into this world just to annoy people) but when someone does something to tick me off I’ll just tell them – no beating around the bush for me. I do this to guys and to girlfriends. But in my experience, women are not so good at dealing with this, and maybe this is why so many marriages and relationships are so crappy. Women run away from conflict, they do not actually like to resolve it or maybe they’re just not so good at it. I’m not saying I am, but at least I know what bothers me and speak my mind… I’m not so sure that men are any better at resolving conflicts but I think that they’re not used to dealing with a woman who acts like a guy in that kind of thing. I think maybe I’m just from Planet Cruton, as Matt likes to say.

Oh, and we still do not have electricity. More areas around me do, and the gas lines are getting shorter. I think I heard something online that it may be on by Monday. Last night me Georgia and Amy went out for margaritas. That was fun! Yesterday during the day I spent some time with Sam, Savannah and Matt and we took Sam out to his favorite restuarant - Happy Buddha Japanese Steakhouse - yum!

Sam climbing the tree in our backyard. You can see the one missing slat from my fence - the sole damage from the Hurricane to my house. Yay for that!

This cat has got so much personality! She is so funny. She loves looking out the windows, especially when they are open with just the screen. She is also the cat that eats too fast and throws up all over so she is quite skinny. We call her the bulimic cat. Her littermate, on the other hand, is a typical fat orange cat.

This is my neighbor's house with a pine tree through the roof. This sight is quite common around my neighborhood!!
Here is another tree that was toppled over from the root ball. Another very common sight!


Carrie Wilson Link said...

Wow - I have too many points of interest in this post, and no time to address all, so I'll just say it again, WOW!

Miranda said...

This post brought up a lot of thoughts. I agree we are an overmedicated society but just fyi, at the right dose of antidepressant or whatever you don't become emotionally flat; rather, your out of control moods calm down enough so you can actually feel more in touch with yourself and your emotions, rather than just remaining in hysterical mode. That's my experience anyway.

I wish I could be tougher and I definitely identify with some masculine traits as well, or maybe rather don't identify with certain female ones. I think I'm a good friend but have never felt "nurturing" or maternal in any way.

I think it is oK not to be strong all the time though, especially if you're sensitive by nature. It's more important to nurture yourself when you feel the need rather than be macho. The most important thing I think is to be resilient.