On Friday April 6th, famous “painter of light” Thomas Kinkade died. Kinkade is known not only for his beautifully cheerful paintings but his strong faith and belief in Christianity. Within many of his paintings, he hid the names of his family members as well as Christian messages and symbolism such as the fish that he painted under his every signature. His nickname, “painter of light,” is likely a reference to the Renaissance; the era where the techniques of point of view and specifically light and shadow depiction were technically developed and perfected. In this era, the technique chiaroscuro was born. Chiaroscuro is a technique that utilizes light and dark shades and shadows to create realistic depth through usage of these various contrasting tonalities. The discovery of this way of painting light and shadow was drastic in comparison to the Byzantine style used throughout the middle ages.
There are some who might say that I have had way too many sexual partners in my life. I have been tested and do not have any STD’s, yet I know I have taken chances. I think it has been a rather normal progression of people in my life and I like to think I have played it safe. I look back at the journals I wrote during those times and I wonder what I was thinking. I know I was imagining that this was the way to love. My journey and documenting the stops continue to this day and I feel close to some personal truths. My path is not for everyone but I don’t regret my life.
I had been divorced after twenty five years because the sex was terrible. That really was the bottom line in addition to religious, personality and astrological differences. So when I was free I went looking. I actually found an affair while I was still married. The Internet swept me into a world that still intrigues me. Bruce was my first fellow and he gave me the kisses I was missing. My ex is still a fine friend but I needed more. I found it and never looked back.
Filed under Addiction, Art, Dating, Destiny, Dreams, Heart, Love, Passion, relationships, Sex, Uncategorized, Writing
I had found it under your bathroom sink again. I found it behind your printer once. I found it in your file cabinet. I hated that you hid booze in the house. Once you poured it out. Once you let me put it in the cabinet. Once it killed you.
I put the last four bottles I found under the bathroom cabinet in the back closet. Then I cleaned that closet out and put the Vodka in the kitchen cabinet. It has been there a couple months. Tonight I am having a cocktail. A Pineapple/Vodka drunk. An ode to your life. A time to take you away from this world and out into the universe. Unfortunately the crash back to earth is not worth it. I don’t like the payback but you didn’t seem to mind.
It took me all this time to buy some Pineapple juice. Today at Walmart I found some cheap and that is just what I wanted. You and I had wonderful fun with our Pineapple Cocktails. We added a red cherry to mine and you switched to Grapefruit Juice because you were that kind of guy. We loved our cocktail hour. We loved to play but you had to have more. You had to have a pint of this Vodka a day. A pint. You wanted to transcend. So tonight I am transcending in your honor. Tonight I am remembering the joys of alcohol.
A quick note about Whitney Houston
So many people look at Whitney Houston and other rich and famous celebrities like Lindsay Lohan with disdain. How could someone so beautiful and talented throw it all away? They wonder. They are so ungrateful, they say. It is easy to jump on this hate filled bandwagon, as gossip and trashing the lives of those more rich and famous than ourselves seems to be part of the American culture, but step away and look at the big picture. Did Whitney Houston really have it all? Beauty? yes. Talent? Yes. Money? Yes. Health? No.
These women, like many other people in and out of the spotlight are suffering from a debilitating mental illness called addiction. Addiction can rob you of your life for years and still not kill you. People like Lindsay Lohan and Whitney Houston haven’t been themselves for decade(s). From the outside, the fix looks obvious, but from the inside, every waking moment and even the most simple of tasks is like hard labor. For them, what you and I would call life is thought of as the time spent in between getting a fix.
While the unaddicted are whole (think 100%), the addicted are working with a deficit, a void they will spend years trying to fill with all the wrong things and people. People blame Bobby Brown for introducing Whitney into a world of drugs. This isn’t entirely accurate. He may have introduced her to drugs, but the void was already there before he came around. He didn’t make her susceptible, she already was. She was too weak to say no to a drama filled relationship with him in favor of looking out for her own best interest and too weak to say no to drugs as well. But why? Quite simply, it all comes down to self-esteem. Around the time Bobby Brown came into her life, she was already a pretty big deal. Everyone thought the world of her and maybe she didn’t believe it. Maybe she was too humble to accept this adoration, maybe there was a little voice inside of her screaming that she wasn’t perfect like everyone thought she was, and maybe just maybe she decided she needed to prove it. Doing so would certainly take some of the pressure off. So even without him it is likely that she would’ve found her way to this type of lifestyle eventually.
It is an unfortunate story with a tragic ending but even astronomical scientists have observed that it is often the biggest and brightest of stars that burn out the fastest.
Bulimia, What Made Me Feel So Much Better?
Those days I didn’t feel alone, I just wanted to be left alone. Something about binging then purging my food calmed me, but why?
- Hayley Rose 2006
It was years before I got a better understanding of it all. Between years of doing it and not doing it, the issue began to dwindle. It was during the times my bulimia seemed to be non-existent and then spontaneously seemed to start up again that I gained my best insight. When the binging and purging would return after long periods of normal eating/living, the psychology became clear.
Was I dating someone that was wrong for me? Or hanging out with the wrong people? In a job that made me miserable? It seemed that whenever I was making or living poor choices, I’d find myself in the bathroom vomiting sometimes four or five times a day.
Finally, after more than a decade of living like this, I began to see the pattern. My behavior was similar to the behavior of an alcoholic who turned to drink. Rather than confront my issue I ignored it through the mind-numbing compulsion that is the disease bulimia.
This I did despite knowing how dangerous anorexia or bulimia can be.
It was during the final and worst romantic relationship of my life that I began to see these patterns. Why was I throwing up again? Wasn’t I suppose to be happy that I was with a nice guy for once? Nice is an adjective far from what he truly was. I think even then I knew the truth, but by then it was too late; I was already on my way down a landslide without any footing. The red flags were there and I didn’t want to see them. The longer I stayed, the more I threw up.
At the height of my vomiting, when our relationship finally began to unravel, we got into an argument over it. It disgusted him, I disgusted him, but even that wasn’t what the fight was about. “You could just stop but you don’t want to!” he shouted.
More than a decade after surviving rape I still wonder if sex for me will ever be normal. I am sure I am not the only sexual assault survivor who wonders this. Rape, one of the most violent acts known to man, is a violation of the most intimate parts of your body, parts that society encourages young women to protect, preserve, and save for someone special. If your first “sexual” experience is a violent crime, can sex and rape ever be dissociated?
It doesn’t exactly matter if you were raped before or after you lost your virginity. Regardless of when, the trauma contorts the way you feel about yourself and your body. Additionally, it confuses your sense of being a sexual being. People who have a good understanding of their sexuality tend to have healthier sex lives. Having good self-esteem and confidence enables them to feel sexually empowered, a mental sphere that is very difficult to reach after surviving rape. Rape is a humiliation that stays with you long after the actual crime has been committed.
If you have ever had someone you care about attempt or even commit suicide, you know how terrible the ordeal can be. It is worse than a regular death. There is little closure. It is a situation where no one ever truly wins and those left behind spend the rest of their lives trying not to blame themselves for what they did or didn’t do. I have some good friends in the blogosphere who speak extensively about their past suicide attempts and I have a story or two of my own. This is not about me or them.
I have spent a lot of time taking care of sick relatives. Last month I was housesitting for a relative who had to have surgery. I was able to juggle running errands for both her and me, visiting her at the hospital, and still work, however only after a few days of her being in the hospital, things started to snowball. My uncle, from my story, “The Men Who Sleep on Park Benches,” was admitted to the same hospital after he was found in the motel he’s living with slit wrists.
Sometimes when we don’t trust ourselves, we feel very insecure about stepping out into the world to live life. I know I was afraid to go out and be my own person because of the abuse and rape I experienced at a young age. I feared that I, again, wouldn’t be able to protect myself if put in a compromising situation. As a result, I entered into an abusive relationship and subsequently continued this pattern for years. I was attracted to these types of relationships because on a subconscious level the aspect of control imposed limits that made me feel “protected” when everything around me felt very out of control. Alone, I felt vulnerable; like I could become a victim again at any time.
Like a text book abusive relationship, the imposed limitations ended up including a list of things he didn’t want me to do, people he didn’t want me see, and places he didn’t want me to go. Somewhere in my psyche I knew this and permitted it to happen because I felt more insecure out of the relationship than I did in it. Ironically, I ended up existing in this cocoon for several years instead of navigating the world on my own.
I will never forget the dread I experienced when I was honest about my feelings with my abusive ex-boyfriend. Anything and everything can and will offend an abuser; especially when you disagree with them. What they choose to get upset about is at their volition and as unpredictable as the weather; something that was benign yesterday can be infuriate them tomorrow.
Disagreeing with him was never a good idea. After doing so, I remember that sick pang I’d get in my torso as I awaited his imminent reaction. And even when there was no reaction, I found myself wondering and even asking him if he was mad at me. Why? Because that’s what I expected: he usually did get mad at when I voiced my opinion. Why wouldn’t I worry? Anger was the typical response I got when I was honest with him about my feelings or frustrations. Even with no response, the push and pull of his crazy abusive dynamics incapacitated my mind with fear and left me emotionally “hand shy.”
- Silver Springs? Hayley Rose 2011
Have you ever been exhausted from dating? I have! At first it felt great- to have so many dates lined up with men that seemed decent, were often cute, and successful too! And even better, they wanted to go out with me! Ah, naivety, it never goes away does it?
What ended up happening during this time in my life was much more bleak than the excitement I just exhibited (surprise, surprise). One lying man-child, two pretentious professionals, a normal guy, and a drug addict. Let’s start with the lying man-child who barely put effort into our dates. On the second date, we met at a sports bar, he showed up as if it was Super Casual Friday wearing track pants a purple T-shirt! Ugh. Then the professionals. We never made it to a second date. The first, a doctor, talked about himself the entire night and barely made eye contact with me. Then when he walked me to my truck, he tried to kiss me! He was extremely pissed when I didn’t let him. Then there was the lawyer, who also happened to be in love with himself but was considerate enough to ask questions about me, occasionally. He abruptly stood up while we were having coffee and cited that he had to get up early the next morning for work. Right. I didn’t feel bad, he was an atheist, I always question their motives. I feel like they are not so much non-believers as they are individuals who are angry at God for something and retaliate by denying his existence. Then there was the normal guy. We still talk, meet for coffee, and go for hikes together. We have become friends and have great conversations about all sorts of things like Native American spirituality and nature. Now for the drug addict, here’s where the story gets interesting.