Slow Dancing

What can be more poetic than watching two people fall in love dancing?
Two friends who are just friends,
Evident to everyone but themselves.
Memories of her come rushing in
Like the overwhelming emotion of “Lean On Me”
I want to lean on her but all that I hold is a ghost of a memory,
Slipping through my fingers
Like waning notes of a forgotten love song.
And so as I dance with another, you are “Always On My Mind”.
But in the silence between the songs
Your far away voice is still there.

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The Vagaries Of Life.

As I am sitting in the tent, eating my supper, Yours Truly is considering the current situation. We had to set up an emergency camp on a mountain plateau, far from any suitable location. The plan was quite different but due to the deep and intractable snow and darkness we have been left with no choice but to sleep here and backtrack the entire trajectory thus far.
At times like these, one cannot but contemplate the vagaries of life. We had a plan; it was a good plan. But it completely desintegrated. (As the military folks are apt to point out, no plan survives contact with the enemy.)
Yours Truly also has some plans. If you have read my previous posts, you know that I am working on being a better me. It is not easy but – not unlike a shark – if I stop moving, that will be the end of the line. Eventually, the aim is to be the kind of person that would be successful in interpersonal relationships, and especially the romantic kind. So as I am biding my time in a cold tent in the middle of a mountain plateau, with high winds battering the sides of the tent, on the eve of the Ex’s birthday, I am striving to figure out how is it possible that an exceptionally bright and beautiful young woman, 13 years my junior, would show romantic interest in Yours Truly. To date, we have only gone out on a few dates (though snogging was involved) and she is amazing. She loves a lot of the same things I love and same goes for things we hate. We have a tremendous amount of things in common. And I don’t know how to react and what to do with myself. Am I still in love with the Ex? Am I ready for a relationship with someone new? Does she even want one? How do I not screw this up? This new girl – let us refer to her as T. – isĀ  by far more pleasant, far smarter, better writer, and more beautiful than the Ex. And yet I do still think about the Ex. To my credit, this does not happen as often as before and, since meeting T., the intensity of emotions has greatly declined. Will she be the one to help me out of my ennui and perhaps more? Or am investing too much, too early and am simply setting things up for a disappointment? The latter is most likely true. But I yearn for someone to hold me close and see me for who I truly am and what I can become. For now, though, I am stuck in a tent with two other guys, hundreds of miles/kilometres from home and T.

The Inevitable.

Panic attack. Through years of practice I learned to automatically breath with my “stomach” (lower lung section). It is instinctual by now. But those instincts do not work right now. That learned behaviour is overridden by primal panic. I draw short ragged breaths as my chest rises and collapses in adrenaline-induced spasms. My heart beats like the loudest gong in my head. Sweat rolls down my head and the roots of my hairs feel like they are white hot. A buzzing feeling permeates my skin throughout my body. My mouth is dry and my tongue and fingers no longer feel like my own.

I was wondering what would happen if and when I saw my ex. Now I know.

Megan and Grace Or Why I Do Not Hate The Westboro Baptist Church.

Few people would disagree that I am a pretty intense character. In fact, if I am being honest, no one would disagree with that. I am angry. I am in a state of preemptive warfare against the world at large because it is easier than giving it a chance to hurt me first. I am pissed at the unfairness of the cruel universe that endowed me with a learning disability that went on undiagnosed for most of my life, which in turn gave me a shitload of psychological and emotional problems. For the longest time I even thought that I was devoid of capacity for love. Of course that ended up being proven wrong with the most disastrous of consequences for my already troubled mind. And now I am perhaps more jaded than ever before and I do not want to love. Now, nor ever again.

I mean look at the disaster that is my life! I have so many fucking problems! I am totally justified for feeling the way I do! My goddamn issues are so goddamn fucked up and the world just doesn’t understand me! I am the most royally screwed fucker in the whole fucking universe!

To be fair, this does not really represent my serious, considered thinking. I am not always this dramatic and wallowing in self-pity but it is a fairly accurate distillation of my inner cognitive distortion(s).

So the other day a story of two young women – named Megan and Grace – has come to my attention. There are some general similarities between their lives and mine. Megan and Grace come from a very loving (perhaps even more so than mine) and supporting family. They grew up a fairly regimented life and have always known how their lives would go. Of course, that is where the similarities end because while my family is completely unknown to the world at large, Megan and Grace’s family is arguably the most reviled group of people in America. That is because Megan and Grace Phelps-Roper are the granddaughters of Reverend Fred Phelps, the founding head of the Westboro Baptist Church.

http://www.cbc.ca/player/AudioMobile/Q/ID/2350556712/ (WordPress won’t let me embed a flash player so you will have to use the link instead).

Listening to these two remarkable young women and reading about them, it struck me that even though they are clearly traumatised not only by the horrible message that they used to spread but also by the fact that their family – whom they still love – considers them traitors and will not speak to them, both Megan and Grace have kept their love for the world in general and hope in the future. While I dread the times ahead and what they bring because I expect the worst, they look forward to whatever it may bring. I have an education and a career. I have hobbies and friends. I still have my family, however small it may be. They have left all that they have ever known less than a year ago. They made some new friends but they may never see they brothers and sister, their parents again. So why have I been feeling such complete absence of hope for so many years? Why have I so little energy to try to go on living? Why do I feel so much pain?

Learning about Megan and Grace Phelps has been an incredibly transformative experience. Though I struggle to see the hope in this world and emotional point of loving again, their example gives me strength to keep going forward. Their actions and words tell me that if they can overcome their hurdles in life, then I can overcome mine, which seem so pitiful and banal in comparison. Despite all the realisations Megan and Grace have come to about their family’s hateful message, which they did not choose to grow up in no more that I chose to be born with ADHD-PI and get co-morbid depression and anxiety, they still love them. That is not something to be ashamed of or something to hide. Their love for people who have so royally screwed them is empowering.

Follow Megan on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/meganphelps and Grace here: https://twitter.com/gracethecurious