Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Baby Hungry

I've never wanted kids. I don't like neediness, and kids require a lot of handholding-both physically and metaphorically. I'm not very patient, I'm crazy as hell, and I have a lot of bad genetic traits. I know this logically and yet...
    I saw a new doctor about my PCOS. For starters, he knows a lot about the issues. Apparently there are different kinds of PCOS that have different treatments; the more you know, huh? Anyway, he's been the first doctor to say "There's a good chance, once we get things figured out, you could get pregnant."
    Ever since that day, about 2 weeks ago, I've thought about babies.  It's one thing to declare how happy I am childless, having been told I'm incapable of having children. I brag about my free time and loose budget. I post Cracked articles on my Facebook about not having kids. I stay up until 3 and wake up at noon. (I'm, once again, jobless. But that's a story for another day)
   Long story short, outwardly, I'm pleased as punch to be childfree.  But thinking that I can't have kids, and learning to accept that is really different than having those same conversations with myself knowing there might be a chance to conceive. I think about the arguments I use. Honestly, my sleep schedule changes with a new job. My mother-in-law or my own mom would be super OK with watching the kid, pretty much whenever. Money would be tight, but I spend as much as I have. When we first got married and were super poor, I splurged $20 at Goodwill. Now I blow $75 at Sephora without blinking an eye.
   To make things more complicated, my husband doesn't really want babies.  Which I'm having a hard time accepting, because he was very much "BABIES AS MANY AS WE CAN HAVE" when we first got married. Part of me thinks it's because he's gotten quite used to coming home from work, and playing computer games until he's ready for bed and playing Magic:The Gathering every weekend.  
   But another part of me is afraid he's anti bio-child because he thinks I'd be a horrible mother. And I'll admit, I was miserable with the foster kids. But my uterus is saying it's because they weren't mine, that I never bonded with them, and and and...Not to mention my myriad of psychological issues and how badly I reacted to my 11 weeks of pregnancy when we first got married.
   
    It's a war. My brain is saying "No. You don't want this. You had a horrid childhood and don't know how to parent. You have a hard time connecting, you're impatient, and often not nice. Why would you put a poor, defenseless kid through your nonsense?"
    Yet, even with all that, my uterus is telling me that maybe why I can't seem to stick with a job is because I'm really meant to be a SAHM. Which brings up the financial aspect...

   I almost wish after my uterine biopsy, the doc would say "Yeah. It's totally broken. We're going to have to pull it out." And then take the choice out of things.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

CTNAHM-Obey Indeed? Part 7 (4 Different Types of Submission)

p 182

Hello! It's been quite a long time since I've even looked at this book, let alone review it. Honestly, I'd been having marital issues of my own, and reading that everything would be better if I would just submit more was too triggering. Not that my husband is forceful or demanding in any way of my obedience, but still...it was too much.

So, quick recap of where we left off a year ago. If you're wanting the original source materials, and have a strong stomach, here is the list of my reviews from the beginning. To sum it up, men are natural leaders and need-nay, deserve-a woman who is a good servant help meet. This chapter has been talking about how God never tells women to obey men in the Bible. That teaching is alternated with lovely reminders and anecdotes about how much better life is when women obey.
   Confused yet? Anywho, the last section I covered was Michael explaining the difference between obey and submit. Obeying is an action; he uses the example of horses obeying. Submission is obedience with a full heart. Basically being happy about obeying.  Today is more on that subject, in case there are any questions.

Text is in purple

Though God commends Sarah for her extraordinary obedience, (I must say it again) the Bible never commands a wife to obey. It commands much more than obedience-it commands her to submit. Submission is a voluntary attitude of cooperating.  Strong is correct in saying that the Greek word behind "wives submit" was a "Greek military term meaning to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader.'" (emphasis his)
   There we have it. God never tells wives to obey; He tells them to submit! Though I'm not certain how the Greek term has come to mean "women do what your husband says, and cheerfully". Maybe it's something that got lost in translation?
When Hagar fled from her jealous and oppressive mistress, the "angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. (Genesis 16:9)" Not just grudgingly obey. She had never stopped obeying; she just treated Sarah with disrespect. She was told to return and submit, that is to willingly and with all her heart place herself under the authority of her mistress.
   I see a couple of problems with this comparison. First, Hagar was a slave. It was literally her job description to do what Sarah said. Is Michael saying that the dynamic between a mistress and servant is the same as a husband and wife?
    Second, some context for this verse. I'm paraphrasing because it's easier for me to understand this way. Sarah had been married to Abraham for awhile, and hadn't gotten pregnant. So she said "Here, take my slave and maybe she'll give you a child." It worked, and Hagar conceived. After she found out she was pregnant, she was rude with Sarah. And Sarah went to Abraham and said "This is your fault! I tried to make you happy, and now that she's pregnant, she's treating me like crap!" Abraham pretty much shrugged and said "She's your slave. Do what you want to her." Sarah did.  She treated Hagar badly, and Hagar up and left.  While she was running away, an angel came and said "You're Sarah's servant, what are you doing here?" Hagar answered "She was a jerk, and I'm done with that nonsense." Then the angel said "Go back and submit to her, and I'll give you so many descendants that there will be too many to count." So she went back and had Ishmael.
   Oddly enough, there is no mention of the Sarah/Hagar dynamic when Hagar went back. And still nowhere in this chapter of Genesis is it talking about wives submitting to husbands. If anything, it's telling a second wife to submit to the first wife. Which is a bit too Mormon for my tastes, so let's move on.
Paul employs the same Greek word in the book of Romans, "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. (Romans 10:3)" The word obey would not be an appropriate synonym to replace submitted in this passage-"have not [obeyed] themselves unto the righteousness of God." To submit to the gift of righteousness is the opposite of obeying unto righteousness.
   Is it just me, or is Michael harping over a minuscule point? And, really, how is a husband to know whether his wife is obeying or submitting? Would it even matter, in this culture, to him? As long as what he wants is getting done, would he really think about the "state of his wife's heart"? I'm honestly not sure. I am, however, getting really sick of both of those words.
Those striving to obtain righteousness through human means were not submitting to God's offer of righteousness through  Jesus Christ.  I know many misguided souls who are obeying God but not submitting to the gift of righteousness. A wife could obey her husband without an ounce of submission.
   What the heck is the "gift of righteousness" he keeps talking about? Being a diligent student, I went to Michael's website to find out. Apparently it is "God 'imputed' our sin to the perfect God/Man Jesus Christ. He died as if he were the sinner and was raised from the dead because he was indeed righteous. God now imputes the righteousness of Jesus to all who will believe on him." How I understand it is that because Christ died for people's sins, God makes people righteous? I'm confused. Especially since there is no connection to "gift of righteousness" and submission! I mean, if God hands out imputed righteousness to everyone who believes in Jesus the God/Man, where would submission even play a part?
   Urgh. I remember now how infuriating Michael's logic is. It really seems like he thinks if he throws enough big Biblical words at people, they will agree.
Look at 1 Corinthians 16: 15-16 and 1 Peter 5:5. They carry the meaning of voluntarily conforming to and assisting."
   Ok. Let's look at those verses.

1 Corinthians 16:15-16New International Version (NIV)

15 You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia,and they have devoted themselves to the service of the Lord’s people. I urge you, brothers and sisters, 16 to submit to such people and to everyone who joins in the work and labors at it.
And 

1 Peter 5:5New International Version (NIV)

In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,“God opposes the proud  but shows favor to the humble.
I kind of see what Michael is getting at. It does kind of show that when God says submit, he wants you to serve others and listen to your elders. But I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how Michael conflates this type of submission with wifely obedience.  Unless he is pointing out examples of other people's submission to non-husband entities (elders, mistresses, first converts) as a guideline for wifely submission?  Interesting, because of all the women in the Bible, how many of them actually submitted to their husbands? Ruth's husband was dead. Esther defied her husband, the king. Mary didn't have a husband at the time...Sarah did, but we've already covered how that turned out. (Spoiler: Abraham made bad decisions and God had to save the day)
   Which brings me to my final point. Who is there to protect the wife from an abusive or tyrannical husband? If submission is a gift to one's husband, is there a way to ensure the safety of the submissive? I don't know much about BDSM, but I do know that the submissive sets the limits and can always say NO. (Or a codeword) Honestly, despite the societal taboo associated with it, from my cursory research, it really seems that a BDSM relationship is far more healthy then anything Michael or Debi Pearl has to offer. 
  

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Almost A Year

Holy cow. It's been almost a year since my last post. Where has the time gone?? And what a crazy year it's been.
   Let me catch you up on things with me.
   This past summer, I asked Justin for a separation. I was working 50-60 hour weeks, he was working crazy overtime, too, for a work project. He wouldn't text me or talk to me during the day. Literal weeks would go by with no communication unless I imitated, and even then would be limited answers.  On my days off (which weren't many), he would play computer games or Magic the Gathering until he was ready for bed. Or we would watch an episode or two of TV together before he'd play his games.
   The therapy during this time was intense, let me tell you. Not only that, but Justin was completely blind-sighted by my separation request. He had no idea that I was so miserable, nor did he realise I was feeling completely ignored.  So we would go in for couple's therapy (once a week, along with my individual therapy, plus medication appointments), and he'd say "I don't know what's wrong...I'm totally happy." And I would tell him how I felt ignored unless he wanted sex or food, and he would get this hurt look on his face and say something like "We hang out together all the time."
   That's when I realised something. Our ideas of time together were way different. For him, proximity was enough. And, having used up his daily allotment of words at work, he was content to sit in silence next to me on the couch. (Side note-that's his dad's MO as well).
   I told my therapist that sometimes, it's like he has little check boxes in his head of things he has to do to get what he wants. She said something that blew my mind. "Have you thought about looking into Asperger's syndrome?"  Well, no...is that something you ask all your patients?
   But we did. He read the Wikipedia article on Aspies, and took a quiz-albiet a very unscientific one. Out of like 38 or 40 questions, he scored a 32. I, on the other hand, scored an 8. He read a book written by a man who has Asperger's, and really related to how this guy thought about things.
   Herein lies the problem. I'm bipolar, which means I over emote. He's an Aspie, which means he under emotes. We are literally 2 polar opposites of the emotional/reactionary scale. Not only that, but I am hyper aware of my surroundings (thank you, abusive childhood).  He is clueless on social cues, inflections, and the world around himself, in general. I wanted to bash my head against a wall; it seemed like everything was pulling us apart-including ourselves.
   I wasn't ready for a divorce, because he's such a nice guy. He doesn't hit me, doesn't yell at me, doesn't hurt me on purpose...a literal paradise from my earlier experiences. I felt guilty for complaining. Other people have it so much worse; hell, I've had it so much worse. It took me quite awhile to get to the point where I was willing to say that being miserable wasn't OK. Something had to change.
   I looked into Asperger's. More specifically, how spouses of Aspies dealt with the realities of living with someone with such an internal world. I found a few things that I would try. I gave Justin 2 months to work some things out with me; otherwise, I'd be gone. Here's what we tried.
   If I wanted/needed something, instead of waiting for him to pick up on my cues, say very clearly "These are my needs." If I was having a bad day at work, and wanted him to tell me he was on my side, then I would say "I want you to listen, and when I'm done, tell me that you love me, that I'm good, and that we can get through this." Or even if I wanted to go out to eat, let him know it was important to me.
   This was difficult for me. I am so hyper-aware of my surroundings, I had gotten a reputation at work of being psychic, because I knew what people were thinking, and going to do. I was, frankly, offended that a grown man would need me to tell him "I need attention now." I mean, I can tell within 5 seconds (not bragging or lying) of him coming home how his day at work was, and what he needed. Yet the only way he understood I was upset was if I was yelling or crying.
   This has actually worked out pretty well. He's  a good guy who genuinely wanted to work on our marriage, so when I say what my needs are, he's usually pretty good about meeting them. On the understanding that I won't take advantage of that and say I HAVE to go out to eat every day for a week.
   The second thing was to help him understand his feelings. Because of the aforementioned psychic issue, I could anticipate his needs before he was aware that he had them. So he's never really learned what he's feeling or how to articulate it. So I've been taking a backseat and letting him figure out what he wants or needs before I jump in with the solution.  This has been incredibly hard, because I'm a fix-it person.

  During this time, I celebrated my birthday, my dead sister's birthday, and her deathiversary. All of these were really hard, for reasons that should be obvious.
 
 I also met my other sister. I have a full biological sister who was adopted out when she was born. I'd known about her since I was 18, and been in contact with her since 2007. She, however, just recently found out she was adopted-via a post on her Facebook wall (by her "grandmother" telling her to find her real family). She emailed and said "Hey, I know that we're actually sisters, not cousins like my mom said."  We corresponded for awhile, and agreed to meet up.
   I still feel conflicted for a few different reasons. I feel like I have to like her. In my head, she's my sister-and we have a lot in common. We think similarly, enjoy makeup, and have similar mannerisms, as well as looking pretty similarly.
See what I mean?
But I'm not sure I like her. I am sympathetic towards her and her messed up life. I feel bad that she is continually in crappy situations. But there's just something...weird. I don't know if I'm trying for too much. I think part of me was hoping to get something akin to the relationship my dead sister and I had, as rocky as that one was. Or maybe it's because she looks like me, and has the voice of Stef. I don't know. It's just a difficult thing.  How are feelings supposed to be when there's a genetic connection, but a world of difference in our upbringings?
   She met our mom. That didn't go well. Everytime she talked about something, my mom would say "Oh, Stef liked this." or "Stef did that." to the point that I wanted to kick her, so I can't imagine how bad my other sister felt.  Not only that, but when asked "Did you ever think about me?" (A common question), my mom replied "Even when I was carrying you, I thought of you as [adopted mom]'s child." Not a great meeting...

    Cripes. This post has gone on long enough. Part 2 coming...eventually. :)