Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Time and Shifting Paradigms

Jack Daniels sent me flowers yesterday.
Getting flowers is a rare and special treat - at least having a florist deliver flowers is a rare and special treat. I get flowers for myself all the time because I like flowers. My sister sends me flowers on my birthday, and she sent me flowers when I was in the looney bin.

JD sent flowers because yesterday was the 14th anniversary of me going into the looney bin. When I first started having this anniversary 13 years ago, it was pretty ominous. A reminder that life could take a very dismal turn at any moment. Since I've been divorced, though, I've been taking a moment to pause and celebrate the fact that they let me out of the looney bin.

They didn't have to let me out - even though health insurance companies do not like to pay to keep people in any hospitals for any reason at all. I suspect the only thing insurance companies don't mind covering is medication and that some sort of institutionalized kick back is tied up in all that - but I'm not thinking about the Bullshit in Washington and around the country right now. It's entirely too depressing, and today we celebrate not being Depressed anymore.

Although I successfully argued during my divorce proceedings that Buzz Kill drove me so crazy that he had to pay for my psychotherapy for the year following our divorce and that a line for therapy was included in my alimony - I don't really believe Buzz Kill was responsible for my depression. He contributed, for sure, as a terminal trigger to all manner of bad moods, but the suicidal ideations were in place long before I met Buzz Kill. It's just that the divorce has become a place on my personal time line - maybe a spot that shows we don't have to be trapped or oppressed by some circumstances.

The last time I was surprised by flowers by a man was a couple of birthdays ago when the bartender from Boston sent me a dozen long stemmed pink roses. He himself arrived a day or two later to take me out to dinner. It was a memorable evening because he passed out on the stoop in next door to the restaurant before we even got a table. I could swear I wrote about it myself, but I must have deleted it some time ago when I was trying to make up with HCW, The Narcissist aka That Ass-Whole, aka Bluestar727.
Getting flowers yesterday forcibly reminded me of that unpleasant man because, in contrast to people with any degree of maturity, Bluestar727 believes spending any sum of money on another person - male or female - weakens his grasp on The Upper Hand in a relationship. Actually, he was on my mind earlier in the day, too, because I was thinking he probably wishes I had not lived long enough to splash his assholery across the internet. That was kind of a mean thing for me to think about him, though, because I'm pretty sure that he doesn't wish I had killed myself 14 years ago. That I gnawed on the thought for a while shows just how much I can't stand that man. These days, I understand it's okay to be enraged at some people.

I've gone over all this shit a million times before which is how I reached the conclusion that I have more respect for my uncle the incestuous child molester than I do for Bluestar. As it happens, my uncle is now my aunt, but that's another story. He was still my uncle when he doused me with vodka and seduced me. I was fifteen at the time, and he was about 30 which makes him a very leathery, skinny old blonde woman right now who recently had the audacity to nominate his/her own self to be queen of the gay pride parade in Houston. The thing is that my Ankle, which is how my cousin and I refer to him/her these days, has admitted to and apologized for that bit of bad behavior - the incestuous episode not nominating himself to be Queen of the Pride Parade. Bluestar727 can't even acknowledge he willfully drove me nuts with his blogstalking merely because he's an attention hog.

Ever since I started asking myself why I hung out with that man for so long, I knew it all had to do with resolving my abuse issues once and for all. I suppose I should be grateful to him because the whole episode eventually led to my discovering grace and then to giving voice to the rage bubbling inside me as a result of his (insert pejorative) behavior. And I am grateful that I have finally stopped repeating a life long pattern of trying to have an impact on an asshole in order to prove to myself I have enough value as a person to deserve to live.

My ability to break that pattern is why today I'll be going to my very last regularly scheduled appointment with my therapist after 17 years of therapy. It's a great day when a therapist pronounces you Cured. I had to advocate for myself, of course, to prove I was absolutely as fine as anybody ever gets in this world - but apparently that's all part of the ineffable plan of psychotherapy.

Seeing those flowers from JD was more evidence that the pattern has definitely changed. It would be easy enough to dismiss this spring bouquet as evidence that a man is trying to get into my pants - which is most assuredly what the roses from the bartender represented. I thought about it for a minute and decided the preacher from the mountains is not like that. He's attentive, thoughtful and generous - although I must admit that it would be worrisome if he hadn't thought about my pants. First of all, if a man insisted he wasn't thinking about my pants, I'd be offended since there's not a dang thing wrong with my pants, and secondly, it would indicate that his cojones were not up to the challenge. I figures his cojones are fine or else he wouldn't be getting on an airplane in 45 days just so he can meet me in person.

I refuse to speculate on that aspect of our developing relationship. I imagine the topic will come up when he gets here at the beginning of May, but sex is not a foregone conclusion. I maintain that we should at least have coffee before anyone starts thinking in that direction. Besides, one of the main points of changing the pattern is understanding that I don't have to have sex anymore unless I absolutely want to. It's kind of a drag to have sex when it's somebody else's idea - especially when you've decided it's safer to submit, or that telling somebody you'd rather not have sex will be so much trouble you might as well just get it over with and go home. Or when you get swept up in the moment and discover later it was a big, fat mistake. Men often say, "at least you got laid." To me, it's not that simple - and now I have a shotgun.

Velvet is a bit concerned about my safety, however. He remembers those roses as a big red flag that some crazy fool from the internet is storming the gates at Menopausal Stoners World Headquarters on Central Park West. I have told Velvet to put such thoughts out of his brownie baking mind. The bartender came onto the scene because of computer dating and the Summer Boyfriend Reality Show. If I have accurately recreated the trajectory, the connection with the preacher from the mountains came about because both of us read The Mad Priest. Jack Daniels may have been reading Mad Priest on account of theology, but I read MP because he has a wicked sense of humor and a keen eye for the contradictions inherent in conservative expressions of Christianity. It's equally as possible, though, that the connection was made over at Bruce M. Hood's Supersense blog where the environment is decidedly more agnostic/atheistic but the laughs are just as jolly.

As it happens, last year The Mad Priest put me on his prayer list after reading about the anniversary of me being released from the looney bin (Stonerdate 03.29.09). I was touched because nobody had ever thanked G*d for Tricia before and suddenly there were people around the world doing it. Maybe only a handful, but I found the phenomenon remarkable. I'm pretty sure Jack Daniels and I were reading each other's blogs before that recognition from The Mad One.

No matter what your take on Christianity, everyone must agree that the story of Jesus has had an impact on the entire world. Buddha too, and most likely Mohamed as well, but I don't know about that stuff. It's too bad that Christian authorities have abused their power for generations, effectively undermining the original message - which is that any one of us can change our pattern any day. Easier said than done, of course, but it's possible nevertheless.

It's as possible as the flowers that bloom every springtime, changing the earth from a muddy dead zone into a morning singing with life. Pagans knew it long before there ever was a Jesus. Maybe the Jews did too and that's why Passover is in the springtime although there may be historical documentation regarding Pharaoh. In any case, everybody knows that early Christians attached their celebrations on to existing holidays so they could hide from those imperialist bastard Romans. The very same Imperialists who drove my Celtic ancestors into the woods and called them Witches.

I'd like to think George W and Dick Cheney et. al represented the last of the imperialists, but they seem to be an integral part of humanity's repeating pattern. For today, sociopolitical revolution will simply have to take care of itself. I'll be celebrating my own paradigm shift.


Blogger Gail said...


Well my goodness - "Happy Anniversary" on being out f the 'Looney Bin' 14 years AND on being pronounced cured by your therapist - 17 years, give or take is just about right. :-)

And I remember when the bartender came to see you - he came here first. I dressed him up so he would look good for ya!! :-)
I love that JD sent you flowers.

am still on the m,end with my inflamed sacarolliac joint -it is better but I am still healing and being very careful. phew.

Love to you girl

March 18, 2010 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger VV said...

Congratulations on your anniversary and I for one am glad you're here on this side of all that past mess. You have an intellect and wit that is rare and I do enjoy reading your thoughts on your blog. I think back to all the times I tried to off myself and am thankful I didn't, that others intervened. I would have missed out on all sorts of wonderful shit over the years. :-) Enjoy the flowers, the day and your triumph.

March 18, 2010 at 10:16 AM  
Blogger lisahgolden said...

Enjoy those flowers and all they represent.

March 18, 2010 at 10:27 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Hooray for you girl. On so many levels. Enjoy the flowers, and the moment. xo

March 18, 2010 at 1:22 PM  
Blogger Jaliya said...

Oh, you ... Wow, wow, wow! I could write a book in response to this post (and I'm only 1/2 way through) ... Two things at the first: Congrats on your rite of passage beyond therapy!! All that soul-work is paying off hugely :-)

... and kudos for surviving the looney bin xoxo

You have books in you, my friend ...

PENolan Paradigm Shift! Yes!!!

Flowers: nice ;-)

More after I've read it all and digested ...

So happy for you.

March 18, 2010 at 4:04 PM  
Blogger PENolan said...

Thanks friends. It's a good day all around.
And Gail, did he ever figure out we started communicating directly?

March 18, 2010 at 7:31 PM  
Blogger Mr. Charleston said...

Dang Trish, if anyone ever sends you a full bouquet of roses it should be good for a novel. Happy anniversary.

March 18, 2010 at 8:56 PM  
Anonymous dissed said...

It's a banner day! Flowers not only make most things better, they're also Good Manners.

March 18, 2010 at 9:29 PM  
Blogger PENolan said...

dissed, my mother made a similar observation and used the word, "gentleman."
Mr C, we can only hope something leads to the writing of said novel.

March 18, 2010 at 11:18 PM  
Anonymous Bruce Hood said...

Thanks for the heads up Trish - I could have put you on the guest list if I'd known for my NYC gig.
All the best, and hope the new guy is a good'un

March 19, 2010 at 8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good morning and congrats on the anniversary. I for one am glad you're out of the looney bin. Had no idea you thought people wouldn't care. The family would be kinda hollow without you. Looking forward to your visit!

March 19, 2010 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger PENolan said...

Not our side of the family, Jessica, the Beaumont side . . .
Bruce, there's always next time

March 19, 2010 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger intelliwench said...

Life begins - again - at 50, eh? And you didn't even need a Bolivian Love Amulet :-)

March 21, 2010 at 10:33 AM  
Blogger Gail said...


no, nope he never did although if he reads your/my blogs he will know for sure now!! :-) a

and I love, love, love JD - we 'connected' because of and in honor of YOU!! :-)

love you Texas'

March 22, 2010 at 11:28 AM  

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