Posted in Dating

No Need For Attraction – At Least Not You

You don’t need to be attracted, you just need to go on a date.

Attraction will grow as you get to know him.

Don’t you know bodies change, so why base things on his they look.

Just don’t think so much.

You’ll get used to them.

Once you know them, you’ll know they are very sweet, and will always be honest with you.

It really doesn’t matter what they look like, how they hold themselves, how they dress.

Yes, others might not find them attractive, but you don’t mind, your really nice.

You aren’t one of those that judge someone on their looks or how much they earn or even if they have a job, you are just so caring.

We all have to go through that.

Married people think the only way to happiness is being married, so they just chose a guy to go with a girl – they aren’t trying to offend you.

You shouldn’t feel so bad about it. They are trying their best.

Sometimes you need to go through bad dates to find the right one. You never know.

Well, I am sick and tired of this. I am tired of not feeling attractive or desirable. I am tired of being set up with nebbish and sad guys, with the expectation that I will just ignore that fact about them. I am tired of being told by people that I am attractive and desirable, and there just aren’t great guys out there. I am tired of being told by people that this is just how it is.

I WANT TO BE ATTRACTED TO A GUY IF I AM DATING HIM. I WANT TO BE ABLE TO SAY, “NO, I DON’T WANT TO GO OUT WITH HIM BECAUSE I DON’T FIND HIM ATTRACTIVE”. Why should I have to give that up?Why should I not want to feel attraction to a person I’m touching or who is touching me? Why does it feel like if I want to be with another person, I just have to accept any person regardless of my feelings and desires?

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Posted in Dating

People are Having Babies & I Still Can’t Even Get a Date

Sorry about this rant, but it has to happen somewhere outside of my head.

This past weekend, I think 3-4 of my friends just had babies. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am actually really happy for them. I am happy that they and their child are healthy and doing well. I actually have no hard feelings towards them.

But then I think about myself, and I literally can’t even get a date. There is no way for me to think about babies yet. The guy I wrote about last week, well, he came to my house for Shabbat dinner. We spoke during and after dinner, and that’s it. No reaching out before I did, and still hasn’t said anything to me yet since then. So once again, it might seem like someone is into me, but really they are not.

JSwipe is not giving me anything. Jdate isn’t either. At this point I feel embarrassed telling people over and over that I want to be dating, because I still can’t figure out how to do it. I’m going to shul every shabbat, specifically the shul that has lots of young single people, and yes I have some nice conversations, but nothing more than that. I even went to a singles dinner – and nothing from that either. This week the plan is to go to a few Chanukah parties, but well, I am quite pessimistic.

The other day I was called to a floor, as a woman both lost her baby at 21 weeks and had to have an emergency hysterectomy. When I brought this up with my supervisor during supervision (the time I need to talk about my feelings out loud…still getting the hang of that), he was like, yes it is sad and terrifying, but what does that have to do with your life and your current childlessness. When talking to him, I was really resistant – it seems so different than my situation. For me there is still a potential to bear a child, where as for her she no longer has that ability, and it was taken away without her consent.

But the more I think about it, maybe there is room for that connection, although that connection scares me (although I am not saying that it is at all comparable, it is a horrible situation to go through, and if I was her I would be devastated). There are things that she has that I am desiring, and can’t seem to get — mainly companionship, physical intimacy and sex, at least she has those. What if dating is not in my control, and it was decided from above that I am just meant to be alone – do I need to mourn the idea that something I want so badly is just not going to happen. What if I too am always unable to have a child, not because of some medical issue but because I am never able to find someone to have one with (yes I am aware I don’t really need a person, but I don’t want to have a child alone)? Is my singleness going to be like this horrible thing that happened to this woman?

 

Posted in Dating

What Should I Do Next: Dating Edition — Please Help

Ok, so I met a guy the other week at my friend’s shabbos table. He seemed really nice and funny. We spoke a bit, but not for too long.

Then two weeks ago, I saw him in shul in Kiddush. We started talking, but then we were talking the entirety of kiddush, like until they were cleaning up, and then walked out together still talking. During this time, he didn’t try to speak to other people – like when other people came by he was nice to them, but didn’t engage in conversation.

Then this past Shabbat, I saw him at this big dinner at shul – it was a singles event. I mean really a singles event – like they make sure to have equal numbers of men and women, and had assigned seating so it would be equal at the tables. Well, I saw him during the cocktail hour, and we started talking. And once again, even though people were coming over, he seemed uninterested in talking to them. At one point some guy started talking business, and my friend came by and we went to get a drink. She asked if I was enjoying my conversation and I said yes, so I went back, and his response was “welcome back”, and so we were talking until we went to sit down (we were at different tables).

At the end of the night we refound each other, and I sat and was talking to him and another woman, until they we actually moving tables.

Then the next day at shul, again I saw him at Kiddush, and once again we were talking till they were clearing out the room. I was going to go to a dance thing that night and he was going to a birthday party, that I was also invited to, and so we said we would maybe see each other later.

So then last night I went to the birthday party after the dance performance. There were SO many people there. I was talking to some people and then saw him, and decided to go over. As soon as I was there he started talking to me, and left the few other people that were there. And so for the next 2 hours we stood there talking and joking. And we left, he even looked back to make sure I was there (I wanted to leave, it was already 12:30 and I have work today). And so we walked, and as soon as we got to his place he was like “ok, this is my place”, and we just said goodbye. That’s it.

So my question to internet land is what do I do next? There are articles I want to send him based on things we spoke about, but I don’t want to seem clingy or desperate or I don’t know, some other negative word. I do like speaking to him, I find him smart and pleasant and kind, I do find him attractive…

So I guess the real question is how do I get him to ask me out on a date? (Yes, I know in theory I could do the asking, but I have been told that I am intimidating enough, that doing so only makes me more so).

So, any advice out there?

Posted in CPE

On Family: My Parents

Well, the hardest calls I needed to make were my parents, and I did it. I didn’t die (which is a good thing).

Talking to my mom was ok. I feel weird asking her feelings about stuff. Talking to my dad made me SO nervous. It wasn’t because he would get mad at me, it was actually quite the opposite – he wants to talk. He wants to speak to me more and tell me lots of things – I just don’t really want to (or maybe at this point I just don’t know how to). Talking to him just makes me uncomfortable – I am worried that I am going to say the wrong thing, I am worried that he is going to want to talk about the times that he did wrong by me and get sentimental, I don’t know if I am able or even willing to be with him in that place.

Both of my parents agree that I am the trouble maker, I was the one who caused them the most problems. According to my mom it was as if I didn’t care about anyone else around me, and so if I wasn’t going to get my way, I was just going to make sure that it happened – that I didn’t look at who else I was going to hurt in the mix. According to my father it was either because I used to say that I just wanted to be an only child, and because I was the oldest of 4, I was just upset that my siblings existed OR that there were things that happened when I was young, in the way he treated me, and I still remember and hold it against him.

So one is, I’m not exactly sure what he is talking about. I mean yes, he used to scream at me A LOT. And he would spank me, that I remember too. There was a time after the accident that he hit me hard, but I was already older, so I am not sure why he would think that I would forget that. I was too scared to ask him what he is talking about. In the past he has sent me emails apologizing or even asking for forgiveness over Rosh Hashana/Yom Kippor – but I am not sure what incident he is thinking of. He is remorseful, I know – but I just can’t really seem to want to be close to him.

The other thing is that I am frustrated that everyone depicted me basically as really selfish and obstinate. From my memory, I had to fight to get attention. That everyone else go to do things, and I didn’t. That everyone needed help with stuff, and it just was easier if I didn’t because there wasn’t enough time or hands to go around. I felt like my siblings got to spend time with my parents, and there just wasn’t time or even a desire to do things with me, so I would do things on my own. I am much more extroverted than my parents, and it was really hard for me to not have any friends to play with and to be far away. I am also sad that this is what they think of me. I do remember in a fight with my parents yelling that them that I don’t get why I am yelled at so much, I am a good kid, with good grades, and wasn’t breaking any laws, but I was always doing something wrong in the house – and the truth is, I still feel that way. If I speak my mind, it is usually wrong or in the wrong tone. If I don’t say anything, then I am told I am cold. I think that they both like the fact that I am able to think on my own, but also are repulsed by the fact that I have my own ideas and am head strong. I do not feel like they understand me, and there is a large part of me that is tired trying.

The other thing that was shocking in my conversations with them, is that I found out that my mom terminated a pregnancy in 1997, a month after my dad’s accident. I never knew about that. My mom rolled it off, as if it was a big thing, but it’s not anymore – even though all these years later she still knows the date it happened. I was so sad for my mom. She terminated the pregnancy because she felt that physically, emotionally, and financially (they said my dad wouldn’t work ever again – which was not true in the end) she would not be able to take care of a baby (at that point she had 4 of us, and my dad who was bedridden). I can’t imagine having to make that choice, especially when everyone was healthy. I know that the accident fully changed our family dynamic, and made everything different and difficult – but this is a huge change too, there could’ve been 5 of us.

Now that I have this information, I am not really sure what to do with it. Some thoughts that I have been thinking about:

  • I do think that everyone was happier once I left, even though some said that it didn’t change anything- but everyone remembers me arguing with my dad, and my sister and mom mentioned that I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut.
  • I do feel like I took up too much space, and that is what got people annoyed with me. I also do feel like I annoyed people by not taking space – but I think it gave more room – that I was too needy at some point, so I figure that I should not be needy at all.
  • I really don’t like it when my parents focus on me. It just feels weird. I have a weird thing (and have for a while), that I don’t really like it when they are proud of me. There is a bit that I feel like they brag too much, and maybe even like they are living vicariously through me (which just feels weird). I think also it makes my siblings jealous, that I am getting more attention than they are. I am someone that everyone knows and I am smart, so that takes away their attention. I think also, there might even be a part of me that doesn’t think they deserve to be proud of me. That it is not because of them that I am where I am today, so why should they get that joy. Or maybe it is my form of rebellion – although thinking about that, it is a really mean way to rebel.
  • I know I fought a lot with my dad. I still do if I am not careful. I both have no intention of wanting to be close to him, but also want to be because he is my father, and I do love him.
  • It is weird to think of myself as the “bad kid”. I wonder how much I try to be the “good kid” outside – kinda trying to prove that it is possible for me. That I am not bad and that there is a reason to love me and want to be near me, but maybe it’s just not something they understand.

I presented today in class, and someone asked me how this plays out in my relationships. I mean really I don’t have relationships, I’m really bad at them. I guess there is a part of me that is afraid of doing the wrong thing, but even more afraid that no matter what I do it is the wrong thing, so then if I interact at a distance that might not be able to happen. I both crave attention and want to be left alone. I want to be noticed, I don’t want to be forgotten – but I also don’t want to trample others or be so much in the light that others are forgotten (I feel bad when I take up too much space). I am worried about taking up too much space or energy. That I am boring or annoying or mean, or that what I am feeling or noticing isn’t real. I guess that I want my interactions to be mine, and maybe I am not so good at sharing. I am not really sure what it would mean to be attached to someone else as I am my own person (either by my choice or maybe life circumstances).

Posted in CPE

On Family: Siblings

I am slowly asking my family stuff for my genogram project. On Thursday I called my siblings (I’m doing the easy conversations first).

There is a debate among them who is the favorite child – but it is between G(2nd in line) and T (4th in line).

It was clear that I was the problem child, the one that caused arguments, the one that got my parents angry, especially my father. According to my sister (G) I didn’t know when to keep my mouth shut and keep my opinions to myself, and according to U (3 in line) I am independent and they were unsure what to do with that.

All of my siblings say they had a content childhood. It was boring, but it was content. They feel like my parents gave T everything he wanted.

When I was 11 my father was in a really bad car accident that really did change everything in our family. He was out of work for 3 years, but in addition he had brain injury that lead to both depression and extra anger on his part. T doesn’t really remember most of that as he was 2, so it was just what he was brought up in (he might have gotten more, because by the time he was in HS my dad was working and driving again, something the rest of us did not have). The rest of us spoke about having to “grow up quickly” – my sister and I as we were older (I was 11 and she was 9), helping out more in the house, understanding we couldn’t go everywhere we wanted as my mom was the only one able to drive, and had 4 kids and a sick husband to care for, plus was working… U also did, although he was only 5, because my father would have non-epileptic seizures, he would zone out, and my brother would be the one to take him to the bathroom.

U felt a lot of pressure from my parents to do well. He and I are the two of us that don’t have learning difficulties, and my parents noticed that. He said that he felt pressure because they were expecting him to be like me, and he actually had the ability to do so (he told me that everyone knew that I was really smart and somehow everyone knew who I was). He rebelled against this and chose to distance himself.

T spoke about moving to Israel as a religious thing he had to do. He felt the need to be in “his homeland” “defending his homeland” – and that was more important than being near his family. He felt like he was not so great in the academic world and so he didn’t really want to go to college (he is currently studying for a B. Ed.) He doesn’t feel like he can speak about relationships, because he sees how hard it is for me and G, and he doesn’t want to hurt us – but also he is having a much easier time with dating then we are. He likes the Yeshiva world. He found a place that is not only about academic achievement, but about God – which for now is speaking to him. There is a nice structure. He knows what he is supposed to do.

G is totally following in my mother’s footsteps (they are both teachers). She stayed around. She thinks that I think that she made bad choices, and so is kinda upset with me. The two of us rarely got along. I think (and she agreed) that we actually probably have much more in common, and that is why it is so hard for us to see eye-to-eye. She was also living in my shadow (something my siblings all spoke about – both with regards to my parents but also to school and shul).

Well that was done…now to speak to my parents….and other grandparents….and maybe aunts and uncles……

Posted in CPE

On Family: Grandma

My CPE class is based on Family Systems Theory, and what better way to learn about things than through your own family…right?! (haha). Well, one of the things we look at (or are starting to look at) are genograms. Basically fancy family trees that not only show who is related to who, but also what are people’s relationships to one another; who is suffering from a physical or mental illness; not only births but also miscarriages and abortions; so basically a supped up family tree that tells about people’s relationships.

Well, I have to do a genogram for my family. And part of getting information is well, calling the people in the family and talking to them. Finding out what their experiences are and how they deal with the good, the bad and the ugly. How they interacted with their parents, friends, in college. How did they get to be where they are today. Find out secrets and the such.

I’m not actually so close with my family. I mean, I’m not really distant, but I’m not so close. I used to get into a lot of fights with my father when I was younger, and I learned that if I stay away then, well I don’t fight. I also feel like I was too much for my siblings, and so it was easier when I was away. I have a weird thing that I don’t want my parents to know what I am doing, because well, they will make a bigger deal out of it then it actually is or the things that are important to me, they just don’t understand. So, I’m a bit nervous to actually make phone calls and ask things. I don’t know the last time I spoke to my aunt and uncles. I know that my mom speaks to them weekly, as well as to her parents. I know that my dad doesn’t speak to my mother’s side, basically at all. I know that I am potentially the only grandchild (at least from my parents) that call my mother’s parents. So, one could say there is a lot there.

Tonight I called my grandma (my dad’s mom), because I felt that she would be the easiest to talk to. I am very close to her, I always have been. There is something special about her, but also I think we are very similar. Speaking to her I found out some things that are beautiful and things that made me actually quite sad.

She seemed to have had a great childhood, despite the Depression. She felt like she had everything she ever wanted and needed, and never felt burdened by finances. She felt like her parents loved her and loved each other. She went to college and to camp. She dated A LOT. Apparently she was dating 3 guys at once. She told me hilarious stories, one of speaking to a guy on the train and just continued talking till they got to Canada (his destination, she was going up to Buffalo). Or the guy who flew a small plane, and she would regularly go with him from city to city, and her family never knew.

She loved my grandfather. He took care of her and did everything to make her happy (even after she joked they would need a cook, he actually looked into it OR despite his natural need to have plans and know what is happening, took a trip to Morocco with no plans at all, just for her on their 25th wedding anniversary). He made her smile. He was tall, handsome, well dressed, well spoke, religious and smart (hearing her list, it is basically exactly what I am looking for).

But she found my father difficult to deal with as a child. She wouldn’t go into detail (she said that she doesn’t remember details), but said that he was not always so nice. That he was religious and mean about it, and she thinks (or maybe my uncle said this) that is why my uncle is not religious, because of how my dad treated them. She feels like he is still quick with his temper towards her and others, and it hurts her that he is like this. She feels like it was something that she did wrong. That she noticed it, and hoped that he would change, but he never did. She was amazed that he found someone to marry him and put up with him.

It hurt me to hear that he was always hurtful to people or that he continues to hurt her today with his anger. I wonder if he knows that he is constantly hurting her. She said that he always says “I love you” at the end of the conversation, but is unsure how he shows it, and doesn’t always want to answer back. It is the thing that she feels is the hardest part of her life.

It is crazy to me that he has been this way forever. He was quick to anger when I was younger, and the truth is even now. I am both afraid to get close to him, but also part of me does not have such a strong desire. I don’t really know how my mother has patience for him, because he is not always easy to deal with.

My grandmother told me that he is upset with me that I don’t tell him anything that is going on in my life. She knows because she asks what is going on, and he always answers in anger that I don’t tell him anything. But then again, I both don’t want to tell him things and the reality is that there is nothing going on – I go to work and then home again, that is it. But maybe I need to try harder – although I am not sure that it will ever be enough…

I also know that I can have a temper and push people away and put them down, just like him. I try really hard not to let it show, but every so often it does happen. I hope I don’t take on that trait. I hope that I can really not speak down to people (maybe I learned it from him- but my sister always gets angry with me saying I speak down to her…)…

Getting close to family again is scary and making me feel really nervous. I am scared about what I will find out and a bit more scared about having to share this with people. Well, I guess now that I started, I’ll have to continue. I hope that over Thanksgiving I will get a chance to speak to my parents and maybe some siblings, and then Sunday call my grandparents (I can’t fathom calling them with my parents next door).

Here’s to learning more about the nitty-gritty of the family….

Posted in Quotes

“I Hope I Screw This Up”

Over Shabbat I read the book “I Hope I Screw This Up: How Falling in Love with Your Fears Can Change the World” by Kyle Cease. So much reminded me of things we talk about in process group in CPE, it was the same themes of how if we allow ourselves to feel, we will be able to be more connected. How thinking might not be connecting, and sometimes makes things bigger than they are. And even ways to allow one’s self to feel, and when you are open to feeling you are able to grow more. Well, here are some of the quotes that I really liked. Look out for some of my answers to the exercises  he brings up – I’m trying new things this year (yay feelings?!…)

pg. 20

… When we live in that fearful part of ourselves, all sorts of stuff that isn’t really that big of a deal completely starts to feel like it’s life-and-death… those are the things we’ve created stories around in our mind that have linked us back to that fight-or-flight response in our instinctual nervous system. Our minds are constantly putting us in survival modes all day so they can protect us from what they think will be death, and unfortunately, our minds think almost everything is death. Our minds think starting something new is death. They think being judged by other people is death. They think losing a friend is death. If you are wrong about something, that’s death. If you’re not number one, if you get made fun of, if you don’t make enough money, you’ll die…So we’re constantly doing things unconsciously to avoid dying. We judge people before they can judge us. We hold on to relationships and friendships that don’t fill us anymore. We hoard as much money as possible. We avoid following our passions and stay small…

Pg. 29

As I wrote chapter one, my head was blocking my heart from coming through because it was trying to control the outcome of this book (in order to survive), but the head isn’t the enemy. In fact, it’s our job to access and love both the head and the heart at the same time. Our minds are brilliant tools we’ve been given to use in collaboration with the creativity of our hearts, but many of us are living exclusively from our heads and have cut off the infinite wisdom of our souls. Our brains are basically like mid-level employees who have convinced all the other employees that they’re the boss and now everyone’s confused about who’s steering the ship. We then go back and forth between brilliance and chaos on an almost moment-to-moment basis.

Pg. 47

The truth is, none of our emotions are bad. Not sadness. Not fear. Not negativity. It’s not about getting rid of our sadness, it’s about becoming a big enough space that we can totally accept and love every part of ourselves. It’s not about avoiding the dark and moving toward the light. The amount of light that we can bring into the world is equal to the amount of darkness that we can accept and love. We’re not here to feel happy, we’re here to feel fully.

Pg. 131

When we are stressed out and lost in that illusion, sometimes it can feel like the world is crushing us. We feel the strain in our heads as we do everything we can to keep from falling apart. It’s almost like we are these fragile ice cubes that are melting into a glass of warm water. We feel separate and small and like we have to keep it all together or we’ll lose everything. We feel like we are getting smaller and smaller and if we don’t do something quick, if we don’t fight, if we don’t run, we will cease (MY NAME!) to exist.

What if the truth is that we are more like the warm water than the ice cube? What if you could be a space for your fear to dissolve into? What if you were a giant glass of warm water that could love and connect with the fear inside of you? The ice will eventually melt into the water, but if you thought your identity was ice, you would try as hard as you could to stay frozen because you’d think melting meant death. You would have to be more rigid, cold and hard as a protective mechanism if you believed that you were ice.

What ice might not understand is, if it would surrender to the warm water, it would melt, but it would still exist. Not only would it still exist, but it would join together with even more of itself and access an entirely new level of possibility. If the ice cube would just sit back and let itself go, it would slowly dissolve back into what it actually is, a warm, fluid, soft glass of water.

When we are in fear, we are often scared of the love that we are. We are scared to receive love from others and we are unaware that it is inevitable that we will become love.

When you are scared of something, you are like the ice cube. You believe that you have something to protect and you are trying to sustain an old identity. At any moment, you can let go and fall into the love that you are. You can be theater that holds the space for the ice. You are the love that holds the space for the thoughts.

You have nothing to do. It’s being done for you.

Pg. 136-137

Ice has to constantly create a freezing situation to live. Fear is the same way.

…People who are in fear have to surround themselves with others who are in fear. People who complain about everything must be around other fear-based people to keep their ice cube frozen. When fear-based people are around people who are self-connected, they feel threatened. Water can remain ice that everything is okay, and that would mean that ice is wrong. The worst thing to someone in fear is to be wrong. People who are in fear think that being wrong means death. They would rather fight, and even kill, others than face the fact that there is more to life than what they believe…

If you were to go for at least ten days phoneless, medialess, and without other people who act like ice cubes, you would melt very, very quickly. You would be like a boiling pot of water and you would feel your old identity dissolve into the infinite space of possibility and creativity that you are. You would feel expansion of love. You would feel a new level of fulfillment while also feeling a sense of letting go. There would be sadness as you mourned the old story of who you thought you were. You would feel tears as you said good-bye to the old protective mechanisms that helped you through a challenging world and a difficult childhood. You would say good-bye to the old story of protection that did what it had to do to not feel abandoned or yelled at, or ignored or hurt by your parents. You would feel that ice cube that you might have identified with for years dissolve into the real you. It would dissolve into your infinite ocean.

Pg. 187

we are not here to judge the world outside and try to change it to fit our minds’ controlling, limited viewpoint. Instead we are here to see the love in everything. Everything is you. Everything is in purpose. Even your thinking that you are out of purpose is in purpose.

Your pain is in your love for some of life but not all of it. Our resistance to what is cuts us off from our soul. Our acceptance of what is connects us to everything and makes way fora  true internal healing followed by an external healing. As your internal state becomes fluid and in alignment with your true nature, your external world will begin to mirror that alignment. Later you will discover internal and external are the same. 

As we sit and watch, we can discover that the judgment that come up in our heads are, and always have been, an illusion. All of our separation and fear is pure illusion. You will start to discover that the only difference between you and everyone else is the story in your head. This sounds crazy to the mind because it is a separation machine. For the mind to survive it has to be separate from everything and everyone it sees so it can maintain its individual story. When we move beyond the mind, we enter a dimension where we see how much of a lie that actually is. Our bodies and minds are like individual rivers that all flow to and from the same ocean.

Pg. 239

The biggest reason we stress is because we are trying to control the things that we can’t control the things that we can’t control and aren’t controlling what we can. There are so many things that we can’t directly control. We can’t control what a football team just did, We can’t control our past. We can’t control what other people think about us. However, we love to grab on to these situations and argue with them because we can’t do anything about it.

We can control our decisions. We can control our intention. We can control who and what we surround ourselves with. But the biggest thing we can control is … whether or not we accept this moment fully. This moment that you are in right now, do you accept it completely? Do you accept all of your emotions? Do you accept all of your past and future? DO you accept what they said about you? Do you accept the things might have been working against your expectations? Do you? If you do, you will move forward into a place within yourself that will allow you to start cocreating  with life in a magical way, and the new world that you want to live in will start to show up around you.