Inability to Focus

For the last month, I have struggled with every aspect of my life – from school, to my kids, to my parents, right down to my cat.  Attempting to build new relationships have crashed and burned with remarkable ease, faster than you can say “trainwreck” while older relationships have become stagnant.  My one lost love is lonely for me, as I am lonely for him, yet we know we can never be together without one of us ending up dead.  My parents don’t understand anything I do, or like, and of course don’t agree on how I parent…and school has been incredibly difficult as I have been completely unable to focus with all of these things swirling around my mind.

Part of the problem is I’m very lonely; I have absolutely no social support these days.  Part of the problem is I do a terrible job at disciplining the kids, and their issues really affect me.  Another part of the problem is my parents who lack consideration for the fact that we’re different people, and just because they don’t like something I do – doesn’t mean it’s automatically a bad thing.

I hope that one of these days, this phase will pass.  I hope that one of these days, I’ll meet a man who isn’t a sex addict, or a liar, or an abusive yet magical man.  I just want simple, honest, happy and safe.  I didn’t think that was so much to ask.

Phew.

To My Surprise…

Today, I was reading this week’s chapter for my Abnormal Psychology course.  The chapter’s title is “An Integrated Approach to Psychopathology.”  It was quite interesting, until I got to the section discussing cultural, social and interpersonal factors, where in the first paragraph it said:  “Researchers have now established that cultural and social influences can kill you.”  On the next page it says, “A large number of studies have demonstrated that the greater the number and frequency of social relationships and contacts, the longer you are likely to live.  Conversely, the lower you score on a social index that measures the richness of your social life, the shorter your life expectancy.”   

Really.  

I am dumbfounded.  Has it occurred to any of these specialists that some people just do not get along with the superficial sheep that most of the people in our society have become?  Did it occur to them that they are biased, because their studies are controlled and their subjects were hand picked?  Did it occur to them that they may offend someone in writing something like that in a textbook?

I plan to broach this subject in the lecture tonight.  It just amazes me what some of these textbooks are like.  The psychology text book for the course I took last term wasn’t even a text book; it was a book with each chapter written by a different author, was completely convoluted and made absolutely no sense.  

But hey, I’m still going strong with a continued 4.0 GPA.  Hooray for my side!  Anyone else out in blog world find those comments a bit frustrating?

What I Have Learned Over the Most Difficult Five Years I’ve Experienced Yet…

I’ve decided to start this post out with a riddle.  “If you break me, I’ll stop working; if you can touch me, my work is done; if you lose me; you must find me with a ring soon after….What am I?  Answer….The human heart.”  And that answer is exactly what part of me the last five years has really impacted the most, hypothetically and literally:  my little feminine heart.  Of course, my ego has been damaged, my soul has some cracks…my faith in people eliminated.  However, I am also a tough, open minded, intelligent, resilient woman with two children.  Therefore, even a five year emotional beat down can’t break me.  So, in this sixth year, I find myself thinking back on all of the lessons I have learned, so that I can be sure I never make the same mistakes again.  

Most of the drama over the past five years has revolved around two things: romantic relationships and financial stress.  Since my very first long term relationship that started when I was 14, I never really put much thought into what standards I should have for the person I would devote my time to. As I grew up, that didn’t change much.  And, I had children.

I learned that I should never be afraid to ask for help, but that I should ask for help in doses.  I should not take advantage of anyone’s kindness as I unfortunately had in the past.  I learned that I should take offers to change as an opportunity and grasp them as if they were my last hope.  Sometimes, they may just me exactly that.

I learned that in relationships, money is not the most important thing and should never be what the argument is always about.  I learned that without communication, trust, respect and equality you have nothing.  I learned that there doesn’t have to be a reason for violence…sometimes a woman just has to breathe to piss a man off; or likewise in other situations where the woman is the evil one.  I learned that two people can have an amazing connection sober, and an incredibly existential connection high; however, if violence follows on the comedown….the love is tainted and will never succeed.  I learned that to get away, you have to hurt the other as they hurt you, at least when you’re forced into corners like that.

I learned the importance of slowing down and reevaluating my goals; knowing that succeeding with one goal does not mean I have accomplished it all.  I must find a way to maintain my motivation; but first, take a breath and think.

I realized that I am going to be a lonely person in life.  I am very different from others, I have a very different view of life, and the things I like are very different as well.  I get along with others fine, but seem unable to keep close friends.  I get very attached to people very fast, and they leave even faster than I become attached to them.  I must smell.

Most of all, I learned never to ignore my gut instinct every again; not for any reason.  No matter what anyone says to me, or what I’m told, or what I read, or what I hear.  If my gut says yes, it says yes.  If it says no, it says no.  If it says run…I will run.  If I had listened to myself five years ago, things would have been a lot different, and I would probably be in a different place today.  

Then again, I’m a stronger person because of where I’ve been.  And the people that I’ve met along the way have given me things I didn’t have, and I have grown from all of the lessons learned.  I have loved harder than I have ever loved before; and I have suffered more than I have ever suffered before as well.  

One day I hope to get it all right, so that I can make sure my kids can make mistakes that aren’t quite so painful.Image

The Written Word as a Release

Sometimes, for me, taking my thoughts out of my subconscious through my hands and out into the world wide web can be a wonderful way to relieve the tension I feel, or find answers I had been struggling to find just by thinking or “debating” in my own mind.  Throughout my educational career, I’ve taken countless courses where I’ve had to learn about applying critical thinking skills to everyday life, and so I find myself analyzing every moment of my daily life, the people in my life, and the events that occur in my life.  However, in my experiences (especially over the last ten years or so) in my personal relationships…such analysis has seriously damaged those relationships and caused a great deal of emotional pain and as a consequence, my children have had to deal with a very unstable life for about four years now.  So, my thoughts wander now to questioning how beneficial critical thinking truly is for me, since I obviously do not know the proper way to go about using the skills and methods I’ve learned so far.

Dictionary.com defines critical thinking as “the mental process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion.”  This definition to me makes sense in terms of the career I intend on having once I graduate with my masters after I complete this bachelors program; but when I really think about it and compare it to what I have been using it for in my life, I realize that I really have taken the meaning out of context ~ thereby completely making a mess out of my life, as well as my children’s lives; and the lives of those around me who were affected my the choices I’ve made based on all of that incorrect critical thinking.

“Most critical writing is drivel and half of it is dishonest…. It is a short cut to oblivion, anyway. Thinking in terms of ideas destroys the power to think in terms of emotions and sensations.” (Raymond Chandler)  Well, isn’t that the case with me?  No, not completely.  I’ve been confusing the idea of having ideas with overwhelming emotions; being completely confused in the altered, sick state I was in.

The best way I can understand myself is in this quote by Diane Ackerman:  “Though most of us don’t hunt, our eyes are still the great monopolists of our senses. To taste or touch your enemy or your food, you have to be unnervingly close to it. To smell or hear it, you can risk being further off. But vision can rush through the fields and up the mountains, travel across time, country, and parsecs of outer space, and collect bushel baskets of information as it goes. Animals that hear high frequencies better than we do–bats and dolphins, for instance–seem to see richly with their ears, hearing geographically, but for us the world becomes most densely informative, most luscious, when we take it in through our eyes. It may even be that abstract thinking evolved from our eyes’ elaborate struggle to make sense of what they saw. Seventy percent of the body’s sense receptors cluster in the eyes, and it is mainly through seeing the world that we appraise and understand it. Lovers close their eyes when they kiss because, if they didn’t, there would be too many visual distractions to notice and analyze.”

My heart; my emotions can be so overwhelming sometimes the way they beat me bloody from the inside when I think of those who I love most; especially those I love intensely but are gone.  My hope is that through the written word, aka blog and vlog…which I will write about all the different subjects I love; music, art, Riot Grrrl, travel, tattoos, photography…my children…and finding love….hopefully, somewhere in these words I will find the path I need, the words will guide me, someone will find me.  After all, finding new hobbies are a great way to start conquering a broken heart, they say.

Cheers to new beginnings!

~Jacquelyn~