Fucked up dating and life

In terms of dating outside of one’s culture, I think people who really fit in well or have pride in their culture would have a hard time but even then, every family is unique.  Even dating here, a lot of guys drink with their families and my parents never drank hardly at all.  Then I joined a religious cult in college that disparaged drinking.  I still have a hard time with families that drink together.

My mom’s friends are all unmarried.  And one mentioned at NYE that because of her parents, she never thought she could make marriage work.  My mom later said that she thought if her friend had met the right someone, she would have married and I pointed out that if she met a great guy and her response was to run the other way that she’d not marry.  And it got me to thinking why I am single still.  My mom’s encouraging me to be silent and shy sat badly with my generation, when women were expected (correctly) to respond.  And I spent time in groups that I didn’t find belonging in.  All my closest friends while I was an Evangelical had a hard time getting married.  They were too smart, opinionated, and weren’t especially beautiful and took the Bible verses about not putting a lot of effort/money in your looks seriously.  Basically, we weren’t prizes within that culture of women are pretty, happy little helpmates.  One girl got married at 37 because she went to a different church in Ohio (the river is a big division geographically still). The other is talking to some guy and I don’t know about one.  One girl got married before 30 and I don’t know much about their relationship except her husband is quiet.

My old therapist said that anger is a symptom of frustration.  And I find that my family dealt with challenges and conflict by seeing themselves as victims.  So, to this day, I still have trouble realizing that if someone hurts me, I can let go of that pain by knowing I can limit my contact with that painful person in the future.  Or better yet, try to talk openly with them about how I felt in the situation and state I will not be allowing it to continue.  One of my mom’s friends made a comment about my parenting and I realized a) I should not open up and share with them about Jake, b) that I could simply state that it hurt my feelings and ask not to hear more from her, c) avoid her if she says nothing or says she’ll say whatever she likes.  C would be hard because me crying all night over a comment her friend made doesn’t matter to my mom.  My mom has let relatives hit me, let anyone insult me, and values her friends more than me.  So, I would have to hide in my room or go outside with Jake somewhere every other Saturday night to avoid her.  But, at my age, with my medical history, I totally would get upset enough to do that because 30 years of thinking and feeling like a victim, getting dumped on by the world with no recourse has just left me easily frustrated aka angry.

All that being said, I think being healthy emotionally, mentally and communication-wise is super important, no matter what culture or family you have.

My feelings being my responsibility is the hardest part of being healthy in relationships for me because childhood.  I repressed my feelings for decades and figuring out who to trust, how to share, and how to not bully others is hard.

I was a mess when I moved to California.  I met a lot of healthy people and I received wisdom from them but I didn’t become close friends with most of them.  Your roommates and Grace were my healthiest, closest friends and I met them all through Maggie who I think has put appropriate distance enough to me to remain civil with me, which is nice, because if she had demanded her friends not allow me over, I’d have no friends.  But I think healthy people can only visit unhealthy/sick people.  Too much time/too close of a relationship destroys their zen.  Healthy people pointed out things I didn’t know, didn’t want to face, couldn’t understand, or never experienced, but changing took time and required my own effort.  I don’t think anyone who was invested in me getting “better” was satisfied.  Now, I want more reciprocal relationships.  People who talk about how I need to change throw up red signs.  People I feel need to change, I need to give distance and from that distance practice acceptance.

Aging Elders

My grandmother and grandfather have poor physical and mental health so there was a bit of drama at Christmas and probably will continue for a while.  I have a very selfish uncle and he lives with them, but my mom and her other brother feel like he does nothing to help them.  And of course, being the oldest grandchild and my mom is a bit of a gossip, I do agree.  But I think I need to remind myself to not become invested in drama no one is asking me to try to solve.  My mom’s friend was giving her advice and I felt like I was seeing myself: wanting to reduce harm and create results but it’s neither of our problem.

Haha, but I think focusing on other people’s drama is easier than handling my own problems.  I feel so much anxiety over my own problems that I really avoid trying to deal with them.  If my mom is doing the same with hers, who am I to get on her case?  If I had my life all put together, I wouldn’t be in a position to be in the know about my grandmother’s declining health.  I assume my emotions are more debilitating and intense than my mom’s, but that’s only conjecture based on her lack of breakdowns and her ability to keep up appearances of normacy.

And it’s not like I don’t care what happens to them, but it is out of my control.  And I resent constant advice givers very much, personally.  I know my mom won’t use my advice, regardless.  So this situation seems like a perfect time to practice deliberate presence while giving up on managing, predicting, or even trying worrying about my grandmother.  It’s not my place.  And now, as an adult, I can claim my own distance.

Love stories with additive love

The typical love story is boy meets girl, they get married, buy a dog or cat, have kids, then grow old.

Now same sex couples can openly be together and have children. Possibly not what barren heterosexual Christian couples embracing reproductive technological advances had in mind.

But shouldn’t children be regarded as a blessing?  Even to unwed mothers, even to homosexual couples, even to couples that divorce.  A person’s personal feeling on a particular child may be complicated or negative, but shouldn’t society as a whole embrace the children of their future continuation?
As Andrew Solomon wrote, “I do not accept competitive models of love, only additive ones. I espouse reproductive libertarianism, because when everyone has the broadest choice, love itself expands. The affection my family have found in one another is not a better love, but it is another love, and just as species diversity is crucial to sustain the planet, this diversity strengthens the ecosphere of kindness.”

Personally as a single mom, I am looking for additive love. Someone that loves me and first baby, and will want to have more children. Someone whose parents and family will love all my children.  That siblings of different blood to all be loved equally.  To be a whole family, even if one child has a different father.  To have an abundance of love, instead of restricting it to mere biology.

I have struggled to keep my baby’s father involved. I know his family wanted only the baby, not me. Definitely not me with another love relationship and definitely not half-blood siblings.

This makes me sad.  Will my son have to go on solo trips to see his father and the rest of their family?  If I get married and have more children, will we go as well and have a separate vacation from my son?  That makes me sad, thinking about separating siblings because of the complicated and proprietary feelings of adults.

I still work very hard to keep my son connected with the other half of his family.  It’d be easier and less painful to cut off contact.  But the idea of my son having more family to love him is important to me.

It’d be wonderful to have all three families together to celebrate life’s special moments.  Right now, it’s hard to imagine.  Because it’s difficult to imagine people genuinely being happy for others, generous, unselfish, and optimistic.  The idea of people believing in an infinite additive love instead of our traditional redactive model.

Are These Essential Human Relationships?

Today, I was surprised to hear talk that held out to its logical conclusion as presented meant poor people should not procreate. Should not is different from have not, but even in America there has been cases of women undergoing forced sterilizations. The systematic control of reproduction is called eugenics.

So they say poor people shouldn’t have the experience of having children. In some countries, people are so poor they can’t afford marriage: the ceremonies, legal registration, bridal price or family gifts, much less separate housing and again, the children.

Are these essential relationships? Humans are made to connect. Perhaps we don’t need to be mothers or father or spouses or partners.  But nevertheless we need connection.  For my part, it grieves me to tears to think of poverty keeping families from forming.  It’s perhaps not essential but often the most meaningful aspect of living.  It’s certain there is a biological imperative to procreate.

Understanding that so much of our life is the circumstances we were born into and luck or chance, is it right that “the least of these” are absolutely judged or possibly prevented from having the love that forming a family creates?

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Children’s Day 2010

Children's Day at Daegu Arboretum
Children's Day at Daegu Arboretum
Fountain at Daegu Arboretum
The Fountain at Daegu Arboretum
Spring Flowers in Daegu Arboretum
Spring Flowers in Daegu Arboretum
Bamboo in Daegu Arboretum
Bamboo in Daegu Arboretum
Family Picnic by Suseong Lake
Family Picnic by Suseong Lake
The view of Suseong Lake
Suseong Lake
A Korean man taking his own photograph
A Korean man taking his own photograph
Beautiful Suseong Lake
Beautiful Suseong Lake
Magical Suseong Lake
Magical Suseong Lake