succumbing to peer pressure

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Ruminations on Therapy

I'm in this group, Active Minds, and all of us members have this tendency to talk about our various mental issues in these matter-of-fact terms. The idea is that if we're up front with our friends, going to therapy can become as mundane as going to the movies or meeting someone for coffee. The metaphor that gets used is that mental health problems should be treated exactly like physical problems. If you rolled your ankle everyone would expect you to go to the hospital to have it checked out and to follow whatever the necessary treatment was; this is how seeking therapy should be treated too...but I started to wonder today if perhaps that's a little too matter-of-fact, a little too glib. If that attitude somehow takes away from the seriousness of whatever prompted you to seek help in the first place. I agree with the spirit of the thing...but one of the things my therapist and I work on is dropping down to a place of more emotional honesty...and I had this sort of confession about why I ended up in therapy in the first place, and it was rather a big deal for me, and it got me to thinking that perhaps the language I use to demystify the experience for people who think mental illness makes someone a freak also devalues the 'bigness' of the process.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Money (again)

God, I'm tired of thinking about it, I'm sure you guys are tired of hearing about it. But this is a more fun little exercise - I was given a gift certificate for Target online as a thank you for some committee work that I did. So, given my current financial woes, the question is, should I be responsible (buy, say, some replacement head phones for my busted pair, a garden hose for the house, and maybe some extra bath towels) or indulge a bit (with, maybe the Firefly box set)?

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Ruminations on Virginity

So I lost my virginity a little over 4 months ago. I posted some vague reference here that I knew my friends would get. I became like that guy on the cheerios commercial who answers his phone and tells everyone he lowered his cholesterol - I told anyone and everyone that I got laid. And it was fine. Nice even. Everything everyone had prepared me it would be. And he was nice...briefly. Unfortunately, that didn't last. But so it goes. He fell somewhere near average on the spectrum of assholes. And in the course of a sometimes awkward and mostly illuminating conversation with him on the subject this evening, I've come around to this (make the personal political? check!) - despite my feeling that the segment of feminism that focused on sexual liberation stole a bit from the larger idea of feminism working toward gender equality in all arenas...we still have a long way to go on the whole sexual liberation front. Men, for sometimes honorable and sometimes not, reasons, still have trouble seeing us as fully autonomous persons, inside and outside the bedroom. Now, personally, my quest to get laid became a comedy of errors over which my former roommates and I laughed and laughed. But many of those errors were due to my naive confession of inexperience and his freaking out and balking. Sometimes because he couldn't escape the feeling that he would be taking advantage of me, sometimes because he feared my reaction in the morning (I loooooove you, I presume, was top of that list of fears) and sometimes for reasons unimaginable to me. But always, in my opinion, because he couldn't believe that I, a fully formed 24-year-old, might not have reached this point by accident, but rather by being fully aware of my body, my emotions, my relationships, and my comfort level. And that despite his inability to fathom it, I was capable of making this decision, without dumping some enormous level of guilt and responsibility on him. Sure, it takes two to tango, but let me be an equal partner in that twosome, damnit! Don't insult me by implying that I need to be protected from my own sexual desires.