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Love is a Gamble…

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“To love means to commit oneself without guarantee, to give oneself completely in the hope that our love will produce hope in the loved person.  Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love.”  

-Eric Fromm

In essence, love is a gamble.  I decided that it’s like the lottery.  If you don’t play you simply cannot win.  The problem is that I’m almost 40…and to date, I have not won.  

I knew that the relationship that I have been in was astonishingly toxic, but this evening I learned that I am completely and indescribably disposable to this man.  I recently loaned him a sizable amount of money.  I know, I know…how pitifully stupid of me.  Another codependent attempt to help someone I thought I loved.  My intentions were wholly pure.  But why do I keep falling in love with unlovable men?

I recently lost my job.  The new job that I have taken will reduce my pay by $30,000 per year.  I made this loan in good faith, feeling (somewhat) confident that he would honor me by paying it back.  After all, he was the one who solicited me for the money.  The loan was one of those white-trash payday loans that will incur 30 percent interest every two weeks until the principle is paid in full.  I feel sick.  My financial situation is already bleak…and logically it’s about to get much worse.  I need a miracle…and a roommate!

I love the quote by Rollo May that says, “The opposite of love is not hate; apathy is.”  Indeed my friends…indeed.  This man grew completely cold and apathetic in regards to me after I loaned him the money.  I haven’t seen him since and might be lucky if I received one or two texts a day.   He insisted last night that, “a text is the same as a phone call.”  Really?  

Tonight I merely asked if he planned to pay anything toward the principal, as tomorrow is the deadline.  He said things like, “Fuck off, loser.”  and “fucking fly“.  The beauty of the situation is that I do not love him anymore.  After all, if I were to label something like this “love” I would expect to be immediately placed in a straight jacket and tossed into a padded room.  I may be dysfunctional, but I know what love is.  This certainly isn’t it.  Love isn’t supposed to hurt.

One thing I do know though is that, in spite of my recent spiritual disconnect, God loves me.  As a matter of fact, His love is all the love I need…  I want God to be my husband.  However, those words are easy to say, but hard to really internalize enough to make my heart cry out for and accept His all-consuming love.  I have often times cursed God simply because He is invisible.  Faith take a lot of work, and this woman here has been longing for a pair of tangible arms to hold her for as long as I can remember.

My life circumstances tell me that I am rejected, abandoned, and that I should just go ahead and succumb to this feeling of impending doom.  Praise God for the following scripture:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  For he CHOSE us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.  In love He PREDESTINED us to be ADOPTED as his sons through Christ Jesus, in accordance with His PLEASURE AND HIS WILL–to the praise of his glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with ALL wisdom and understanding.  -Ephesians 1:3-8

Now that is good stuff!  He adopted you and me!  He CHOSE us…before He even created the world.  He created us not just because he wanted to, but also for his pleasure.  And the part about His Grace… He LAVISHED it upon us with ALL his wisdom and ALL of His understanding.  I imagine God’s wisdom and understanding to be pretty intense.  It’s true that our human minds cannot comprehend a love so great.  So if He chose us…before the beginning of time, with ALL his will, pleasure, and understanding that means that He knew exactly what He was getting Himself into.  

He knew about our sins, our flaws, our bad, habits, and our insecurities.  He knew we would be beautiful, but beautiful messes, indeed.  AND HE DID IT ANYWAY!

So when a loathsome, abusive, spineless man comes along and tries to steal my joy (and my money)… I will remind myself that Jesus suffered died on a cross for me…and for YOU.  

True love will never come in human form.  I have to keep reminding myself of this.  No man can be all things to all people…just our Beloved Savior.  Let’s allow Him to be ENOUGH.

Blessings,

Ava 

I Will Fix You

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“Codependency is defined as a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as in an addiction to alcohol and/or drugs). In broader terms, it refers to the dependence on the needs of another.  It also often involves placing a lower priority on one’s own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others.  Codependency may also be characterized by denial, low self-esteem, excessive compliance, or control patterns.  Narcissists are considered to be natural magnets for the codependent.”

Some people like to find old, worn down houses and fix them up.  I do not.  I find that old houses are creepy and that they smell musty.  I’m also afraid that some old ghost could be lingering around, which is why I had my house built.  I am however a renovator.  Only, I don’t like to find busted houses and fix them up, I like to find busted  people and fix them up.  And I do it free of charge.

My favorite fixer-up projects tend to be men who are narcissistic sociopaths.  I mean I’ve dated alcoholics, drug addicts, gambling addicts, sex addicts, abusers, pathological liars, thieves, con-artists, cheaters, and undiagnosed bipolar persons.  The current man who I am trying to wean myself off lived in Las Vegas for three-year making his living from playing poker and living in comped hotels.  I had known him from when I was a stripper in my early 20’s and was once mesmerized by his long, dark, hair, his dimples, and his radiantly piercing blue eyes.  He drove a bad ass BMW, was high-ranking in his social stature, and he had this mystical je ne sais quoi that surrounded him.  As a matter of fact, he strongly resembled Leonardo DiCaprio.  My God he was deliciously stunning.

He and I connected last year on Facebook and the rest was history.  It wasn’t long before he asked my father for my hand in marriage.  He literally got off the plane and moved into my house.  Mind you, this is not something that I “do” as I do not like to bring men around Jeremiah and Jonah.  As it was, the boys loved him; he charmed us all–for a while.  Eventually the heavy alcoholism became apparent as did his gambling addiction.  I even had to hide my sedatives from him; I hid them in one of those vintage, cardboard jewelry boxes–the ones where the little ballerina pops up and spins around.  Every night when I needed to take my medication, I would be petrified that the sound of the music box was going to go off and that I would be caught.   What’s more, this man morphed into the most verbally and emotionally persons that I had ever known.  Hence, I wrote the following poem one sleepless night after he had left me (the first time):

You played me for a common fool,

You played me from the start.

I gave you every ounce of me,

I handed you my heart.

Words like blades you slayed me with,

Cutting me to the bone.

With you I felt a stranger in the place I once called home.

I walked on eggshells day and night,

Guarding my every word.

Each thing I did, each thing I said

Felt stupid and absurd.

But convinced was I your love was real,

Convinced I was your girl-

I soon learned I was ordinary,

To you a nameless girl.

A girl you “would not” fight for

With a heart you could abuse-

Your “promises” were hollow words,

You set me up to lose.

Abandoned and rejected now,

Cast out in a lonely spot-

I’ll never dance this dance again;

In love I’ll not be caught.

I’ll build the walls around my heart;

You’ll never get back in.

I’m scarred for life, for the one I lost

Once called me his “best friend”.

So love those cards, the alcohol,

The pills and shallow bitches-

My loving soul now bears a hole,

My heart’s in need of stitches.

So here’s to your life of solitude,

Of Godlessness, and sorrow-

You robbed me of the dream of love

And darkened my tomorrows.

Remember me, as you saw me last,

With tear drops on my face.

I surrender the dream of my soul-mate tonight; 

For me love holds no place.  

When I wrote this poem, and I didn’t know it at the time, but I was suffering a complete and utter nervous breakdown.  Friends I’m not just using the term “nervous breakdown” as a semantic euphemism.  This was indeed, indubitably real and entirely physiological in nature.   I couldn’t eat or sleep for about 4 days; I lost 12 pounds in one week.  I couldn’t stay off the toilet, and my panic attacks were so physically intense that I could not operate my car or attend work.  I cried and sobbed for days upon days.  Eventually, I had to seek medical treatment in the form of late-night counseling visits and trips to my family physician.  It was a nightmare.  My mind knew what was going on, but my body ceases to cooperate.

How this happened is beyond me.  He had lived with me for just two, short months.  Still, 60 days of day in and day out can be intense, particularly because I firmly believed I had finally met my husband.  He didn’t work or have a car (supposedly all his belonging, including his chopper and his truck were in storage in Vegas); but he helped me so much around my house and helped care for my kids in ways that were unfathomable.  I was my best self when he was with me.

However, once he began gambling again, he became a different person.  I was working my tail off everyday and providing for the family financially but justified that it was a fair trade-off because of all the help he was giving me with the boys and around the house.  And in all fairness, my house looked like a tornado had blown through it before he came to my rescue.

However, to my horror, it turned out that he felt entirely and hopelessly trapped in my haven of a home.  WTF?  And the guy wasn’t stuck; I was carpooling to work with a friend each day so that he could have full use of my Hummer.  I gave him everything I had to give but in the end, it wasn’t enough.  So there it was, staring me in the face again: rejection and abandonment.  I became so concerned with his needs that I had completely ceased to care my own.  I was screwed.

Today I opened some mail (which is something I rarely do because it’s depressing).  Much to my chagrin, it contained two invoices from the North Texas Tollway Authority demanding that I pay $321.40 in toll violations.  There are photos of my car and license plate.  The problem is, I don’t drive in Dallas.  I live and work in Fort Worth.  And the dates in question are dates that I was working.  My mother was a cop.  I would never blow through a toll booth and not pay the toll.  I would feel like God was watching me and I promise you, I could simply not sleep at night knowing that I had done such a thing.  On the invoices, I counted 32 violations.  I’m not sure what to say or what to do at this point.  I suppose that some serious prayer is in order.

What’s worse we are still unofficially still seeing one another.  I absolutely loathe confrontation.  More than that, I hate being lied to.  However, I feel that both are in my very near future.

As a co-dependent you have to ask yourself, “When is enough enough?”  Am I that lonely and desperate to be loved that I would put up with blatant abuse.  He’s put me at risk legally now.  I’m going to sleep on this and see what tomorrow brings.  Nevertheless, I have had it.  I just hope that I’ve really “had it”.  Will he deny that he was driving my car and blowing through toll booths or will he fess up, apologize, and pay the fines?  We’ll see, but the outcome certainly doesn’t look good.

I’ll write more about the issues of co-dependency that I struggle with later.  There are many wonderful attributes about this man who I haven’t mentioned, and I wish to be fair.  However, I just really want to go have a smoke and go to bed.  I am fed up with myself.  I keep trying to find my happiness in the form of a human being.  In reality though, my heart knows that true happiness originates from a relationship with God and God alone.   I just wish that God would hold me with a  tangible set of arms.  He made me.  Doesn’t He understand my heart and that I want to be chosen and loved by a man?

My best friend, Addison and I constantly talk about how all these other women are married (except us).  We carry on and on about the subject noting that women with clubbed feet, missing teeth, and even those with body odor and swamp ass have husbands that truly love them.  When will God deem us worthy of having a husband?  What are we doing wrong?

Does Masturbation Reduce the Risk of Testicular Cancer?

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The answer to this question varies, depending on who you ask.  I am certainly not a medical doctor, but my vote would be that there is no correlation between amount of time spent masturbating and testicular cancer.  However, if you were to ask my oldest son, Jeremiah, you might get a different spin on the issue.

Recently, I was horrified when my younger sister, Vivian, mother to my twelve-year old nephew, Gabriel came to me with concerns about some advice that Jeremiah had given to a very impressionable young Gabe.  As Vivian reports it, the conversation went a little something like this:

Gabriel: (concerned) “As I’m getting older “things” are starting to uncontrollably “pop up” on me when I least expect it.  It’s really embarrassing and I’m not sure what to do about it.”

Jeremiah: (equally concerned) “If you don’t masturbate every day you will get ball cancer.”

In the words of my late mother, “Now I know why some animals eat their young at birth.”  Sufficed to say, I was humiliated and was for once, utterly speechless. 

The irony of the situation is that earlier in my conversation with my sister, I was telling her how both boys could be such a good influence on one another.  My son, Jeremiah has certainly veered from the straight and narrow path as of late, and I suppose I was subconsciously trying to salvage my sister’s opinion of him.  

Vivian is an  amazing person.   She is also a single mother, although that’s about to change as she is about to be married late this summer.  She is most likely a Republican as she is one of the most conservative people that I know (giggle).  She has worked and sacrificed intensely to provide my nephew with a very quality, yet sheltered lifestyle.  To my knowledge, he is still unable to play games that are not rated E.  However, I have witnessed the fruits of her labor, as Gabe has turned out to be an  incredible young man.  Sufficed to say, you won’t hear me poking fun (anymore) at my incessantly overprotective sibling. 

Sometimes I often find myself comparing me to her.  She is quite possibly the most self-disciplined, organized, hard-working, balanced person that I know (quite the opposite of me).  But how much does she really know about “ball cancer”?  In doing some research on the topic of Jeremiah and Gabriel’s conversation I found the following article from the BBC:

BBC NEWS
Masturbation ‘cuts cancer risk’
Men could reduce their risk of developing prostate cancer through regular masturbation, researchers suggest.They say cancer-causing chemicals could build up in the prostate if men do not ejaculate regularly.

And they say sexual intercourse may not have the same protective effect because of the possibility of contracting a sexually transmitted infection, which could increase men’s cancer risk.

Australian researchers questioned over 1,000 men who had developed prostate cancer and 1,250 who had not about their sexual habits.

This is a plausible theory 
Dr Chris Hiley, Prostate Cancer Charity
They found those who had ejaculated the most between the ages of 20 and 50 were the least likely to develop the cancer.The protective effect was greatest while the men were in their 20s.Men who ejaculated more than five times a week were a third less likely to develop prostate cancer later in life.FluidPrevious research has suggested that a high number of sexual partners or a high level of sexual activity increased a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer by up to 40%.But the Australian researchers who carried out this study suggest the early work missed the protective effect of ejaculation because it focussed on sexual intercourse, with its associated risk of STIs.

Graham Giles, of the Cancer Council Victoria in Melbourne, who led the research team, told New Scientist: “Had we been able to remove ejaculations associated with sexual intercourse, there should have been an even stronger protective effect of ejaculations.”

The researchers suggest that ejaculating may prevent carcinogens accumulating in the prostate gland.

The prostate provides a fluid into semen during ejaculation that activates sperm and prevents them sticking together.

The fluid has high concentrations of substances including potassium, zinc, fructose and citric acid, which are drawn from the bloodstream.

But animal studies have shown carcinogens such as 3-methylchloranthrene, found in cigarette smoke, are also concentrated in the prostate.

‘Flushing out’

Dr Giles said fewer ejaculations may mean the carcinogens build up.

“It’s a prostatic stagnation hypothesis. The more you flush the ducts out, the less there is to hang around and damage the cells that line them.”

A similar connection has been found between breast cancer and breastfeeding, where lactating appeared to “flush out” carcinogens, reduce a woman’s risk of the disease, New Scientist reports.

Another theory put forward by the researchers is that ejaculation may induce prostate glands to mature fully, making them less susceptible to carcinogens.

Dr Chris Hiley, head of policy and research at the UK’s Prostate Cancer Charity, told BBC News Online: “This is a plausible theory.”

She added: “In the same way the human papillomavirus has been linked to cervical cancer, there is a suggestion that bits of prostate cancer may be related to a sexually transmitted infection earlier in life.”

Anthony Smith, deputy director of the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at La Trobe University in Melbourne, said the research could affect the kind of lifestyle advice doctors give to patients.

“Masturbation is part of people’s sexual repertoire.

“If these findings hold up, then it’s perfectly reasonable that men should be encouraged to masturbate,” he said.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/health/3072021.stmPublished: 2003/07/16 23:11:15 GMT

I realize that not everything that we read is the Gospel and that reporters have a way of spinning things to support their own points of views.  Nonetheless, could my wayward child be on to something?  Possibly so, my friend.  Possibly so.  However whether he is wrong or right, I had better not catch him “reducing his risk of ball cancer” when I’m at home.  Gag!  I pray that his preventative efforts be unknown to me…and you can guarantee that as of today I am going to quit hassling him about locking his bedroom door!