Oct 24, 2011

Are You Constantly Seeking Approval from Women?

Keep me happy or else!
“A life lived in fear is a life half-lived.”
- Spanish proverb

One thing that makes life hard is when you live in constant fear of people. In my case, it's fear of women.

OK, I'm actually afraid of almost everybody, male and female. I can only think of one person where I don't experience a physical "shrinking from" reaction in my gut when I'm around them. Everyone else makes me cringe internally, even if it doesn't show on the outside, which it usually doesn't.

The roots of my seeking approval from women
I grew up with a violent, rageaholic mother who I was terrified of and secretly hated. I quickly learned to repress my thoughts, feelings and even the sense of my right to exist. My mother did NOT live by a code of "forgive and forget". She was like an elephant because I don't think that bitch ever forgot one slight, injury or insult in her entire life. Her main weapons were retaliation, humiliation, and if necessary, direct physical violence. That last was usually not necessary with me because since birth I'd gotten her unspoken message regarding the purpose of my existence loud and clear: "You're here to make me happy".

My mother was filled with hate towards her own father who molested her. I think I was the vehicle through which she was going to get revenge on all men. She hated men, and I was going to be the one who would "fix" all the injustices she'd suffered at their hands. I would be "different", because not only could I be trained to be her slave, she would also finally have the freedom to take out her frustrations any time she wanted on a "man" who couldn't fight back.

She also instilled in me a cringing, physical fear of her rage, which could explode without warning at any time. I lived in more or less constant fear of physical attack for years and felt I might be killed. This "freezing in terror" feeling is the most awful, shaming, and debilitating sensation I've ever experienced. And it's also the gift that keeps on giving.

I'm still seeking my Mom's approval from other women
Growing up male with a mother who hates men is not the best way to end up feeling good about yourself. The lingering effects of my mother's toxic influence includes messages like:
  • "Men are wicked. You're a man, therefore you are also wicked."
  • "You are my confidant and sympathizer. You understand me like no one else can."
  • "Your father is evil. You are my real husband, my real partner."
  • "I'll be damned if I'll let your father be a part of your life simply because he ejaculated."
  • "Men are pieces of shit."
  • "I love you. I'm the ONLY one who loves you."
  • "Everything's your fault. You're such a fuck-up."
  • "You'll never be able to live without me."
  • "You'll never amount to much."
  • "You're a deviant. You're disgusting. You're a rapist. ALL men are rapists!"
  • "You're not a real man."
  • "You're my slave. You'll ALWAYS be my slave."
  • "You owe me big time."
  • "You don't appreciate all I've done for you."
  • "I'm so disappointed in you."
  • "Do what you're told or I'll get rid of you."
These messages run deep. Some have changed over the years and some have not. All of them are still in process.

Needless to say, this type of early programming can really fuck up your sexual relationships with women. Getting sexually involved with any woman triggers some or all of the above messages for me. Which ones get triggered the strongest partly depends on her personality.

I tend to be attracted to strong, loud, opinionated, beautiful women who have more than a little touch of skank in them. Most of the women I've been with are or have been "bad girls" and most of them have rage issues.

Even though I'm not a kid anymore and have not really been abused by a woman in 25 years, I still engage in the same approval seeking behavior I used to survive my mom. I still go into this tailspin with women, even ones who are relatively healthy:
  • Everything's my fault.
  • I'm a piece of shit.
  • It's my job to keep her happy.
  • I'd better say I'm sorry.
  • If I make her angry, she might hurt me.
  • If I make her angry, she'll get rid of me.
  • She might be dangerous. She might even kill me if she gets too pissed off.
And the worst part is that the freezing sensation of terror is always beneath the surface. It's part of my daily living experience. I feel it almost all my interactions with other people, no matter how superficial. And it's utterly devastating for me in intimate personal relationships. It feels like be slowly strangled to death. I don't trust anyone and I don't really believe in my heart that anyone is truly safe. I know what human beings are capable of, and there's no way I can ever unknow it.

Do you also live in fear? Are you also constantly seeking approval from women? Moms? Wives? Girlfriends? Children? Your comments are always much appreciated.

Oct 21, 2011

WHY Do I Keep Talking About Jesus?!

I did my usual morning trip down to the market after I got up. There's a young black guy who works the counter some mornings. He's one of those cherubic type people who radiates relaxation and good vibes. This evokes in me a combination of curiosity and suspicion. I'm not sure how to engage happy people because I don't understand their motivations.

Even so, I've gradually gotten to know this guy a little over the last few months. He's just so approachable, even I can approach him. We got into a discussion about faith and power struggles in the Christian Church. This is amazing to me, because it seems like everywhere I go, I end up talking with people about Jesus. How the fuck this happens is beyond me. I am NOT a Christian. I despise religion and I question whether there is a God or if He's something we had to make up so that we could bear to keep on living. I am very judgmental about "people of faith" in the traditional Christian sense, although I do believe everyone has to have faith in something, even atheists.

One thing I will say though is that the Christians I've somehow been talking about Jesus with without wanting to fucking throw up have been really nice people. I've only encountered (so far) the more modern Christians who don't try to force it down your throat. At least not directly. American Christianity has learned its collective lesson about the high fail rate of the "Old Time Gospel Hour" style of fire and brimstone preaching that nowadays just makes more people hate Christians. I'd call Christianity's current style of conversion advertising rather than proselytizing. They still want your money though.

Anyway, the counter guy is of the opinion that the division in the Church and the reason why there's so many churches is because of money. That instead of bringing people together like Jesus supposedly talked about, the Church is more about business than people. On this we agree. But I don't know that the Church being more about money than about people is necessarily a bad thing.

Maybe the reason I'm meeting so many Christians lately is because I'm interested in them. They pretty much rule the Western World and I feel it behooves me to understand them. What motivates them? What drives them? What do they think and why do they think it? Where are their blind spots and weaknesses? And how can they be manipulated?

Hey baby! Wanna do the nasty?
One thing that's clear about the black counter dude is that he's one of the people who believes Jesus was perfect, the "Perfect Man". That Jesus never made mistakes. That Jesus never did anything wrong. That he was never afraid, never unsure, never confused. That he never did anything he was ashamed of, or kept secrets he hoped no one ever found out about. And that he was never, EVER tempted to have a full-on gang-bang with a bunch of those prostitutes he hung out with, preferably someplace where God wouldn't see what he was up to.

Along with its sneaky conversion tactics, this is the other big thing that turns me off about Christianity, this belief in an infallible God. And it's such, blind, unquestioning believe too! That's the creepiest thing about it. That despite Jesus supposedly being simultaneously fully Divine AND fully human, he was/IS somehow still perfect. And that if we will only ask ourselves "What Would Jesus Do", we can also become perfect.

Oh, to be sure, our perfection probably won't come during our Earthly existence. After all, we're all sinners (except for Jesus). But if we do our pathetic best to follow His example (sob!), and live out our poor sinners' existence allowing Him to guide us (gasp!), it's guaranteed we will FINALLY reap the rewards of ultimate perfection when we get to Heaven. Can I get a big Hallelujah right now?

Christians of the "Jesus Was Perfect" ilk, I've got news for you: your dreams of perfection are all bullshit. Nothing can save you from your human imperfections. Not even Jesus. Not even death itself.

Jesus wasn't perfect. There is no "perfect man". If Jesus was a manifestation of the Divine in fully human form, then he was Divinely imperfect. He was afraid. He was tempted. And he was probably even ashamed about some things. And he made some BIG mistakes. And he knew it too.

I have to congratulate you modern Christians on your new approach to winning souls and filling the coffers of Heaven with cash. From a pure marketing point of view, I perversely admire the subtle and sophisticated way you've developed to continue fleecing people out of their money.

I still despise your religion, though. One thing that hasn't changed is your unquestioning obedience to a perfect God. And your unspoken craving to be perfect yourselves.

I also have to congratulate you on one more thing: you've made Jesus into a God only a saint could relate to.

What do you think about the idea of a "Perfect Jesus"? Please talk about it below. I love your comments!