Archive for the ‘men’ Category

Personal Stories of Lupus

May 10, 2009

Its Mother’s Day here in the USA.  I’m a mother home very sick with a lupus complicated drug reaction.  Since this is Lupus Awareness Month, I hope to blog  something every day about lupus in order to increase awareness. If you want to help me, please share the info and links on your blogs. If you are a woman, or love someone who is, you really  need to know more about the effects of this devastating disease:

Personal Stories of Lupus

What Witches Know ~ An Original Fable

April 24, 2009

 

WHAT WITCHES KNOW 

by

Psychscribe

© 2009 http://www.psychscribe.com

 

     My grandmother, just before they burned her, said this to my mother: the only difference between them and us is they don’t know they have it.  She gestured with her chin at  the bonneted, jostling women, who far out numbered the men in the seething crowd around the stake. Her own unbound hair snapped in the wind as they lit her.

     Afterwards my mother fled to this secret, wooded place that welcomes our kind.  The curse they call a power spills like gentle sunlight upon the bears  and other wild things that feed from our hands. The beasts of the forest are kin to us.

     I had no father.  She grew me, all on her own she liked to say. I never asked her for the truth.  I knew he’d met the same terrible fate as all the others, the ones who came after. 

     We never knew how they found her here.  They would just appear between the trees, squinting and searching, as if sucked from the great open spaces by a hungry wind.  Raking her fingers through that thick, viney hair, she would sigh so deeply you could feel the cottage tremble.  I trembled too.  For them and for her.  Go away, she would whisper.  Not again, I would pray. 

     The gods did not answer. The men did not hear.

     She tried to warn them.  I’ll hurt you, she’d cry.  Leave while you can.  They never believed her.  Princes and farmers, hunters and noblemen, even the friar thought he could save her.  They never said from what.

     Save yourself! she would shriek.  They only chased her more.

     She looked safe enough. Layers of violet gauze robes hung from a tall, fragile frame, concealing tiny breasts and skin so pale it seemed as if she might vanish at any moment.  They must have thought they were chasing a fairy.  How could they know what she was?

     What they hunted, hell-bent, was their own annihilation.   They would forget to eat and drink, or wash, or even sleep, and laugh in delight when she called it to their attention.  See what you do to me, crooned the hunter to his prey.   See what you do. 

     And each would whisper his dream of wholeness and nothingness, the dream we’ve been hearing since time began, the one that sends them from their churches and wives’ beds and into our damnation.

     Did she love them?  Almost, always almost, she once said.  But as soon as I can smell the fear in them the feeling is replaced by something else, something I can’t name. 

     Sooner or later she would grow tired from the hunt.  How long can you run from water when your throat is parched?  But she never succumbed, not at once anyway.  Breathless and laughing, she would toss the suitor her robes and the promise of tomorrow, disappearing into the cottage and bolting the door.

     Witch! they would shout at her naked, fleeing form, angry yet smiling in a way I did not understand.  Burn her! Burn her! the wives left behind cried out in their dreams. 

     In the morning, still naked, she would unbolt the door and open it wide, her dark hair coiling and writhing, lifting toward the sun.  I could feel her heat from where I lay in my small bed.  She would not close her eyes when she made what they called love . They liked that at first ( ah… spirit! ) arched triumphantly over her like bows and staring into the depths of what they fancied to be their souls.  They always got to the point, of course, where they needed to close their eyes on what they saw. But by then it was too late.

 

     We keep a little piece of them.  Not because we are evil but because it is our nature.  What we take are their shadows, their dark, howling secrets.  If you’ve ever seen a squirrel skinned alive then you know what it is like.   

     They live through it.  They go home to their wives, their hearths and their children.  But a man without his shadow is never sure he’s really there.  He looks at the ground and sees nothing beneath his feet.

 

     The witch hunts come cyclically, just like the seasons.  We know it is time long before we hear the pounding of hooves, the blood-thirsty cries.

     The man who led the hunt for my mother was probably the most enamored of all her lovers.  And the most tormented.  He brought his wife, a small, plain  woman with flat brown eyes.  She’d known, of course.  They always know.  He’d offered her first torch when they found the witch.

     There must have been forty men.  You could smell the lust in the air when they stripped her.  I sure would like a taste of this one before we cook her, one of them said as he grabbed at her breast.

     Don’t touch her! I’ll kill the lot of you! screamed my mother’s lover, aiming his musket at all of them. The wife paled at his outburst.  She swayed on her feet like a sapling in a winter wind. My mother reached out a hand to steady her.

     A look passed between witch and wife that can hardly be described.. It flickered brighter than the torchlight in the air between them, a fusion of forces human shaped and witch radiant, so brilliant, so strong, that the men had to turn their faces from it. 

     She passed her torch to my mother, then gently wrapped her cloak around my mother’s bare shoulders.  Piece by piece she flung the rest of her garments at the men, laughing and spinning herself into the frenzy that is older than time.

     The men dared not say a word.  The husband could not.

     Embracing the stake like a lover, she wrapped her naked arms and legs around it as my mother lit the pyre.  Not a hand was lifted to stop it. 

     Afterwards he carried my mother home, belly down on his horse.  He married her and got his shadow back.  It was said, for a time, that he’d never looked better.  My mother, of course, died the death the wife had chosen for her.  It was slow, and a terrible thing to see.  First they bound her hair, then they put bonnets on her, and in time when he looked into her eyes he saw nothing.  Nothing at all.

     A witch without her magic is like a man without his shadow: useless both of them, and damned anyway.

“Interview” with Career Criminal

February 15, 2009

 

I was just watching a news story about a police officer who was killed by a “career criminal”. 

Now there’s something for the perpetrator to be proud of.  A murder to add to his resume.

Come with me to an interview with a career criminal composite. We’re having coffee at a Mac Donald’s in a really scary part of town.

“So what do you do for a living, Bob?”

“i’m a career criminal.”

“Could you tell us a bit about your job?”

“Yeah. I  sell drugs. Steal and kill and stuff like that.”

“What kind of compensation can a good career criminal hope to make?” 

“Well, the drugs are always good for a few hundred, even a grand some nights.  Or you can always get some cash  from someone walkin’ down the street.  It depends on the victim. You have to be good at targeting your mark. If you’re lucky, you can make hundreds in just one night. If you screw up and the mark has no cash, there’s always the payoff of the thrill kill.”

“Thrill kill?”

“Yeah, you know, like, you kill the mark anyway because you’re pissed off and just want to at least get a rush from that. Cops are better though.” 

“How so?”

“Cause they think they’re so above us, and are always sticking their noses into our business. I mean everyone has to make a living, right? I need a roof over my head and food on my table just like anyone else.

“Well…it must be dangerous?”

“Some. ” (He flexes his muscles a bit, clearly proud.) “But not if you’re tough, and you’re good. A lot of so called career criminals are just criminal wannabe’s. They’re amateurs. They don’t stay on the street, or anywhere else, very long.”

“Does your mother know what you do for a living?”

“Well, she knows I’ve done time but she also knows I was wrongfully  convicted.  I mean, otherwise why would they allow us conjugal visits?”

“Conjugal vists?????”

“Yeah, man it ain’t so bad at all. In our state, we have the right to get a trailer one weekend a month for our booty call.”

“Have you ever thought of going straight, getting a…real job?”

“Hey lady, you ever see where I grew up?  Did ya think I was gonna be a banker, or a lawyer? I”m doin’ just what my daddy did..”  

“You could go back to school…”

“And make what? Ten, fifteen bucks an hour when I get out? Who could live on that?” He looks at me like I”m a complete jackass and stomps out, like a bull ready to charge.

I walk fast, trying not to run, and get into my upscale car, locking all the doors. I feel scared, confused, angry, and also strangely sad for him.  For the blankness in his eyes and the danger in his soul. 

I zoom home to my cozy little house in the burbs, and thank God our sons were born into the life we’ve been able to offer them.

Matchmakers Making Big Bucks on Wall Street

February 12, 2009

Today I found this article published by Reuters….

People are writing checks  for $30,000 -$50,000 up front to find a perfect mate. These appear to be primarily men, who in the stress of their jobs during this economic turmoil would rather come home to the comfort and soothing of a good wife than date around as in past glory days.

So while Wall Street is crashing, matchmaking is smashing. One matchmaker said that she’s recently had a 30 year old write her a $30,00. check up front “without batting an eyelid.”  Another matchmaker said she  recently spent a week at a luxury hotel in New York interviewing  20 women for a client who wanted to meet a graduate of the same Ivy League university he attended.  The client paid more than $50,000. for the search.

Two thoughts occur to me.

1. I went into the wrong profession in terms of income.  

2. Can you imagine how many hungry kids that money could feed around the globe? Is it just me, or is this decadent?

Mental Health Day: True Confession

December 4, 2008

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I’m taking one today. I mean, everyone else gets them. Why shouldn’t I? Even shrinks need mental health days once in a while. I need to relax and not HAVE to get in my car and go anywhere, be anywhere. No pressure…Mmmm…..

So lets see….I think I will dust today since I have an allergy to the stuff and its a real pain to walk around choking all the time….and do more Christmas shopping ONLINE (I don’t do malls anymore)..and finalize my choice of photos from the wedding for my “parent album”…oh…and i guess it would be a good idea to search again for my very expensive, lost wedding rings, I know they’re in this house someplace…and i need to get started on the jewelry I’m making for Christmas gifts….and call my mother which is never, ever less than a one hour conversation (that’s another whole post  in itself)…and I have several, repeat SEVERAL baskets of ironing that I’ve been avoiding like the bubonic plague…and for that matter there’s probably at least the same amount of  wash to be done…

Ok, so this is not what I’d advise a client to do on a mental health day. I would suggest to a client that she do something fun, relaxing, no chores allowed! But then again, for some people, getting chores done on a day when they would be going to work  is good for their mental health because all that stuff is no longer waiting for them…hovering.stalking them…

I guess I should call this my housework health day.

Tell us the truth. What do YOU do on your mental health days?

When Alpha Males Get Sick

November 23, 2008

hallsbalsamLord help me. He only gets sick once a year, but when he does my hero turns into my worst nightmare.  I truly appreciate that he patiently takes care of me all the rest of the year above and beyond the call of duty, with my lupus and all, but BOY…paybacks are a bitch! He won’t let me take care of him… he wants me to take care of him…. he doesn’t need help…he does need help. I am trying not to get too close physically so I don’t catch his germs. He finds this to be insulting. When I tell him  that I miss his hugs, he looks accusingly at me like its all my fault. I’m also supposed to be a mindreader. When I ask him if he’s hungry, he’s not. Five minutes later I find him cooking himself some soup and sneezing into it. Mmmm….yummy…He then graciously offers me some, which I graciously decline.. And, worst of all, he’s a VERY cranky patient who isn’t a patient.

And just so you know, Alpha Males don’t marry Florence Nightingales. Truthfully, I HATE being a nurse. 

I hope I don’t get sick for Thanksgiving 😦

When A Spouse Comes Out

November 5, 2008

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I found an interesting column by Garry Cooper  in this month’s Psychotherapy Networker.  

He reports that  Amity Pierce Buxton, founder of The Straight Spouse Network, estimates that as many as two million straight spouses will, often suddenly, traumatically,  and by accident, find themselves discovering that they have a gay or bi spouse. The article also reports that Joe Kort, an Imago therapist specializing in gay issues, has seen couples negotiate arrangements other than splitting.  Some agreed upon solutions have been allowing one or both parters to have relationships outside the marriage, allowing the bi/ gay partner to use porn and webcams but not meet sexual partners face to face, or the bi/gay partner agrees not to indulge in outside sexual behaviors or porn.

What a tough and painful situation for everyone involved…particularly where there are children…or the spouses still love each other…  What would you do?

Great Parenting DVD

October 29, 2008

A couple I’m working with blew me away with a DVD they have of a pediatrician who teaches mirroring to young parents. Mirroring is literally just that, imitating the communication of the child so that he or she feels you’re speaking their language. The toddler then  feels understood, and cooperative.  He is Dr. Harvey Karp – the DVD is The Happiest Toddler on the Block.

Among other things he teaches mirroring of facial expressions, body language and sounds. His basic tenet is don’t talk to toddlers like they’re little adults because they’re not; their language skills are far more primal.  You have to literally  get down to their level. He also has another one, The Happiest Baby on the Block which I have not yet reviewed.

The results looked startlingly effective to ward off and/or stop tantrums.  His website is www.thehappiestbaby.com. I can tell you one thing for sure. When my kids present me with grandchildren, this will be one of the first gifts I give them.

Here he is in action:

 

Alpha, Beta & Omega Males

October 2, 2008

First let me preface this by saying that I am not one of those  people who thinks that individuals can be neatly categorized into labeled boxes. But behavioral tendencies are fun and interesting to think about.   

My previous posts on alpha males have received so much interest that I decided to look up more about the other males…the rest of the story.  Here’s what wikipedia has to say (hardly a definitive or professional guide, IMO, but a jumping off place for thought and discussion).

“In social animals, the alpha male is the individual in the community to whom the others follow and defer. Where one male and one female fulfill this role, they are referred to as the alpha pair. In some groups, the alpha males and females are overrepresented in the genetics of a population if they are the only ones who breed successfully.

Chimpanzees show deference to the alpha of the community by ritualised gestures such as bowing, allowing the alpha to walk first in a procession, or standing aside when the alpha challenges. Canines also show deference to the alpha pair in their pack, by allowing them to be the first to eat and, usually, the only pair to mate; wolves are a good example of this. The status of the alpha is generally achieved by means of superior physical prowess; however, in certain highly social species such as the bonobo and humans, a contender can use more indirect methods, such as political alliances, to oust the ruling alpha and take his place.

Beta and omega

In the power hierarchy of the human group, two other roles also are defined and named. First, the beta male, which is the contender, subservient to the alpha male, but only after testing. The betas act as second-in-command and can either be dethroned alpha males or future alphas if they persist in challenging the regnant alpha male. The term omega (ω) is an antonym often used in a deprecating or self-deprecating manner to refer to member at the bottom of the social hierarchy. The omega is subservient to all members.”

So…are you a beta or omega male? Do you typically befriend or fall in love with one? What’s that like for you?

Psychscribe Quote # 42

October 1, 2008

 

 

“No one is more arrogant toward women, more aggressive or scornful, than the man who is anxious about his virility.” Simone de Beauvoir

Homosexual Brain Resembles Opposite Sex

July 11, 2008

An article in Science Daily reports that Swedish researchers have found  some physical attributes of the homosexual brain to resemble those found in the opposite sex.

The findings: 

The brains of heterosexual men and homosexual women are slightly asymmetric—the right hemisphere is larger than the left—and the brains of gay men and straight women are not.

In connectivity of the amygdala (which is important for emotional learning), lesbians resemble straight men, and gay men resemble straight women. 

So…….maybe moral choice regarding this issue, with all the negative moral judgements attached to it, really does come down to natural, biological chance. And doesn’t everyone deserve a chance to be who they were created to be?

Tim Russert’s death means life to many

July 9, 2008

I read a moving essay in today’s NY Times, by a man who might not even be alive today if he hadn’t remembered the well publicized facts and symptoms of Russert’s heart attack. He notes that apparently  many, many men are arriving in emergency rooms, better safe than sorry.

Its so worth reading…

Couples Clue Phone #6

July 3, 2008

Too often, as adults, we forget to say three little words that mean so much to our partners. No, not the obvious ones.

I mean “I’m proud of you.” For some reason, we forget to say that, almost as if its a given to our partner. It isn’t. Trust me. Try saying it. Please be sure you have a particular example in mind because its absolutely certain he or she will ask, “Why???”.

Then when you say it, watch the subtle change of facial expression.  You will see that you have given a powerfully tender gift to the person you love.

LOST – Jack or Sawyer?

June 14, 2008

Ok….naughty Psych is thinking….if you HAD to spend the night with either Jack or Sawyer, and it would bring about world peace, and the cure for all diseases…and NO repercussions from your partner….who would you pick….Jack or Sawyer?  😉

 

 

No Kids – Not by Choice

June 10, 2008

Ok, so I had to sneak in a quasi post  (a  little withdrawal here )  offering you a link to a great article in today’s NY Times about people who struggle with infertility treatments and finally make the choice to stop this invasion of their lives and souls. I hope it helps someone.

Psychscribe Quote #32

May 9, 2008

“Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” 
James A. Baldwin

Is this Justice??

May 3, 2008

I could not believe the news story I read today. A man in Texas caught his wife in a truck  with her lover. She cried rape, apparently in an attempt to get away with the infidelity. Ostensibly he attempted to defend her so he shot the guy to death. No charges have been filed against the husband, but she has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter because her cry of rape incited the husband to shoot…. She faces 2-20 years in prison. 

I don’t know…I have a problem with this. In one respect, I get it that she has responsibility here for the lover’s death. But somehow the husband not having any accountability for killing the guy does not sit right with me. I mean, there was no mention of the lover having a weapon, tho this news story is pretty brief. But couldn’t the husband have taken a few swings at the guy rather than pull out his gun and kill him?   Is this another “crime of passion” excused by the legal system? What do you think?

Couples Clue Phone #5

April 2, 2008

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Artist: Dante Gabriel Rosetti

I hate when I hear clients or professionals talking about having to “work at” a sexual relationship. That sounds about as exciting as cleaning the bathroom. Maintaining (or resurrecting) the sexual chemistry in a relationship is an art. Repeat: art. Its about flirting and seduction. 

I ask you, does this lovely lady look like she’s working?

My Alpha Has Done it Again

March 14, 2008

Flowers for no reason. Not a birthday, not Valentine’s Day. Just tulips (my favorite flower) delivered to my office. With a romantic note that I will not share here, but reminded me instantly of why I fell in love with him.  I know he’s not sounding so alpha these days, but I want to balance the picture by telling you that he plays war games on X-Box with his sons and buddies.

NY Gov. Caught Using Prostitution Ring

March 12, 2008

 You may have heard recent news  about NY Gov. Elliot Spitzer getting caught allegedly using the services of high priced call girls in a prostitution ring, specificially one $4600. evening of revels. There is  an excellent article about this  in Live Science called “Why Power and Prostitution Go Together.”  It talks about the psychology of men in power and, as the old saying goes, power corrupts.  There is a long line of men (I use the male gender because statistically they’re the ones in power) who have gotten caught doing things like this and you want to say, “Are ya kidding me? Did you really think you’d get away with this?”

 Its apparently the feeling of invincibility, that once they reach a certain point on the political ladder they can’t be touched.  Also, I think, a feeling of entitlement. In addition to an illustrious line of politicians caught with, pardon the expression, their pants down, the psychology here reminds me  of Tony Soprano.  

In his prior position as NY State’s attorney general, Spitzer proscecuted two prostitution rings. Here’s a defining moment he could have done without.

What Did You Learn About Love From Your Parents?

March 6, 2008

They were your first teachers, after all. Did you learn that love was a cold and distant thing, an economic family unit with no sense of affection or connection between your parents? Or did you learn that love hurts? That you need pain to feel love? Or that to love is to risk abandonment, because you saw it as well as felt it, unnoticed,  yourself?  If you are lucky, you learned that love is friendship and connection and sexy and nurturing and romantic and expansive. Most of all you learned that love is unconditional. ….Think about it, and then think about your own committed relationship….Are you repeating it?

Romantic Voice Mail from my Alpha

March 5, 2008

I dialed in and never heard his voice….just a favorite love song of ours …sooooo nice…try it…your partner might like it as much as I did….

Couples Clue Phone #3 by Psychscribe

March 1, 2008

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 What NOT to say: “Do you wanna go upstairs and fool around?” or “Do you feel like having sex tonight?”  Such direct approaches generally yield zip in the bedroom because they’re not exactly a turn on.  Better: when you’re feeling amorous, be seductive and romantic. I don’t have to tell you how. You know you  remember, and isn’t your partner worth the trouble? Not to mention the money you’ll save on marriage counselors.

Copyright 2008 Psychscribe

When the Woman in Your Life is Crying

February 26, 2008

I just ran across this wonderful piece by lirone.  Please, men everywhere, do read what to do When the Woman in Your Life is Crying . Women should read it too, both to feel validated and maybe to send it to your man.

Step-Parent “Romance”: A precautionary tale

February 24, 2008

“We’ll never have children together,” I said to the man who used to be my lover.  “We’ll always be lovers.”

“We’ll hve it all,” he agreed.  “Satin sheets and negligees. Candle light and romance.”

“Yours and mine.”

“Ours.”

“They’ll grow together.”

“Learn from each other.”

“A ready made family.”

“No babies.”

“No diapers.”

“No two a.m. feedings.”

“You’ll never be too tired for me,” he growled, biting my neck.

“Never,” I purred, wriggling sensuously.

In small doses, we brought them together.  A weekend here. An overnight there.  Museums and picnics. Sleigh rides and swimming.

The two older ones went off together.  The two little ones played together.  The two grown ups snuck off for afternoon “naps”.

Congratulating ourselves, we married…

The second thing to go, after the grape juice splattered satin sheets, is the sexy negiligee.

“What if one of the children comes in?” I protest, clutching my faded cotton night gown to my neck.

“Nonsense!” he decrees, lunging for me.

A knock on the door knocks the moment beyond recall.

“Are there anymore potato chips? one of the big ones wants to know. It is exactly two a.m.

Both the little ones wet their beds. Every night.

“Must be we both have colds in our stomachs,” mine suggests to his.

“Must be that air conditioner making us cold,” his suggests to mine.

They become great friends, having this shared problem.  My man and I glower at each other as we each take turns washing stinky sheets.

As for dinner…. “I don’t eat chicken.”

“I don’t eat dark meat.”

“I’m not hungry now.” (Later, when my feet are up with a good book ,this one will want a three course meal.)

“Does anyone want the last piece?” All four do. Every time. A slippery ear of buttered corn lands in my man’s lap as he tries to break it four ways.  A man looks different with butter and corn kernels dripping down his pants…

The three boys share one large room.

“Like a dorm, ” we tell them.  “Like a camp.”

Like occupied territory.  There are boundary lines.  There are zones.  I find one asleep on the living room couch.

“They won’t let me walk through their part to get to my part, ” he blithely explains. Even he, the vanquished, accepts the schoolboy logic of this.

“He won’t pick up his filthy clothes off the floor!” the other shrieks, less blithely.

His, like their father, are neat.

Mine, like me, are slobs.

“You really should try to teach them better habits,” my lover who has become someone’s father says through clenched teeth.

“So what’s the big deal – a few clothes on the floor?” hisses mother hen who used to be a pussy cat.

The hottest moment in months comes  when we find his little boy in the upstairs closet with my little girl.

“Well it was her idea to pull our pants down,” he gallantly explains.

“But he wanted to. He liked it!” my baby vamp protests.

A long lost twinkle sparkles in my husbands eyes. We make a date for later. Upstairs in the closet.

Copyright 2008 Psychscribe