I love my kids very much. This was probably from 3rd grade (he’s in 9th now) and was hidden in a stack of papers in a rarely used filing cabinet. I just found it and it tugged at my heart strings.
I’m reading an awesome book about human sexuality. The link is below: Come As You Are, The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life, by Emily Nagoski, PhD.
Without too much spoiler, you will learn about brakes, accelerator, context, and much more. Reading this has solidified some of the self-work I have done on healing my sexual attitudes towards myself.
I loved this quote.
“If a girl has a particularly sensitive brake system, one incident might be enough to create a tangled knot in her arousal process. For many women, though, it takes consistent reinforcement of a negative message in order for it to be embedded in sexual response, and consistent reinforcement takes a sex-negative culture.”
I have a highly sensitive accelerator with dull brakes. I can only speak in generalities, because I forgot the details over the years. Generally, I was raised in an environment where sex should wait until marriage. It was more acceptable if a boy didn’t wait. It was likely a girl’s fault if a young couple was caught. Premarital sex is naughty. Don’t have sex with more than one boy. If you fail, ask for forgiveness and try harder next time. Oh, and don’t talk about your struggles because 1st – you should be ashamed and 2nd – it’s embarrassing to talk about sex.
I felt at least mildly guilty or shameful for YEARS. This book is helping me to finalize my healing process and truly understand.
I am the girl who was afraid to be herself until she was well into her 40s. I am the girl whose feelings get hurt because people try to change her and then disassociate themselves with her when she refuses to change.
Yes, that did hurt my feelings! But I am also the girl who has learned that what hurts me more is trying to be someone I am NOT — just to make others happy!
I’ve changed a LOT since 2012 and I think that it is for the better. I’ve had a lot of personal / emotional growth and I can tell when I read old journal entries. Here’s a few concepts where I have changed my position:
- When my ex and I started admitting that we had a broken relationship I told him that I would “take better care of him.”
I now realize that I was taking too much responsibility for his happiness / unhappiness. I’m not in charge of anyone else’s happiness. I’m in charge of my own happiness. I know that now, but it was a very difficult lesson to learn. I believe it is because I am a “giver.” I felt like if someone was struggling, I needed to give. And if they were still struggling – I needed to give MORE. And if it didn’t work – there must be something wrong with me.
- I had the attitude that ANYthing can be fixed.
Since some people (who suffered similar problems as my ex and I) came through it stronger on the other side, I figured we should be able to do that too. I was not accounting for the vast number of variables that made our situation different from the ones who DID make it through stronger. Add to this, several books and web sites I read basically accused couples of lack of effort if they didn’t make it through with the marriage intact. I’ve learned that sometimes the best way to fix a broken relationship is to simply let go and that there is nothing wrong with that.
- I used to analyze my way out of trusting my instincts.
I have pretty good instincts, actually. I can sense when someone is tense or uncomfortable. I can sense when I’m feeling uncomfortable. I might not figure out what is causing it immediately, but I can reflect for a bit and determine the source of my discomfort. And I can usually tell when something seems “fishy.” But I also suffered from low self confidence, so didn’t trust my instincts. I have learned to key in on my body signals that tell me that something is wrong and act accordingly.
- I used to rely heavily on advice from others, even if it felt wrong to me.
This is very related to trusting my instincts, but with a twist of asking advice from others. People mean well, but if I had listened to friends – I would be missing out on a great relationship with a man I care deeply about. I believe it is because too many people play “games” or manipulate people instead of just being honest about their feelings. My friends were giving advise based on that fact, and hinting that I should just give up on him. I sensed that this man was not playing games with me and I never really gave up on him. Ok, there was that one time that I went for about 3 or 4 weeks dating someone else, all the while thinking of my guy, but we eventually reconnected. I am happy about that.
Here are some basic tips for surviving discussions on sensitive topics, such as politics.
- Avoid name calling. It just makes you look like a big baby. Ad hominem.
- Don’t assume you know a person’s views based on a few words you see on your screen.
- Words on a screen are void of facial expression, tone and body language – so try not to assign emotion to things you read. You’ll probably be wrong or exaggerated in what you assign. I know that I’ve been horribly wrong, reading too much into things.
- Carefully choose your words when discussing hot topics.
- Lighten up – damn it.
- Admit that most people are not stupid just because they don’t share your opinion. Many people hold opinions for valid, well though out reasons.
- Don’t take differing view points so personal.
Something I think about is why some conservative people want to make laws that prevent liberal people from doing things that do NOT harm others. Stop imposing your “values” on me and others who simply do not agree.
Gay marriage hurts no one.
If you are a county clerk who objects based on your religion, suck it up and tell god that you only do it as part of your job. Ask him for forgiveness, because that’s what he does – you know?
Same goes for bakers, florists and other types of businesses that might support weddings and marriages. Provide the service and have a talk with god telling him you do not support gay marriage.
But by no means should you deny service or give another person a “holier than thou” attitude. Sure, that lifestyle doesn’t work for you. No one is going to force you into it and you should not try to force anyone out of it if it works for them.
Education never hurts anyone.
I’m going to focus on sex education, but this applies to a broad range of scientific education. Appropriate, medically sound sex education does NOT involve telling kids to go have sex. Studies show that locales with abstinence only sex education have higher rates of teen pregnancy.
The opening paragraph of this government site says:
Using the most recent national data (2005) from all U.S. states with information on sex education laws or policies (N = 48), we show that increasing emphasis on abstinence education is positively correlated with teenage pregnancy and birth rates.
And there are many other organizations that show the same results. So if you are conservative and don’t want your kids having sex, you should talk about your values with your kids and what your expectations are – IN ADDITION to giving them the knowledge on how to prevent pregnancy and STDs if they chose to go their own way. That way my kid can still have his medically sound sex education provided by the school, which would [should] be way more accurate and complete than what I could provide on my own.