Saturday, February 19, 2011

I’m not like everybody else

Square peg2I’ve been thinking a lot about the shit going down right now, with a family member narcing on me to my Mom. I’ve been thinking about privacy, and family dynamics. I vacillate between feeling hurt and upset and feeling righteously pissed.

I’ve always been a very private person, and I’ve always felt I have the right to keep some things to myself. I doubt that many of us share all details of our lives with all friends and family. I wonder when it became a requirement that I be completely open about my beliefs concerning various subjects? Even more, I wonder when some decided that it was their place to not only judge me about something I’ve expressed here, but to go running to my Mom like a junior high school mean girl and tell her about it? Granted, this is a public blog, so anyone who wants to read it can do so (and yeah, I’ve still got my little family of stalkers...Bitter Bear, Hubby Bear, Sister Bear, and Mama Bear). But wouldn’t reason prevail in deciding what to share with certain people? Wouldn’t common sense tell you that telling my Mom about things you read here is going to hurt HER more than it would me? Are you so unthinking when it comes to the feelings of others that you can’t comprehend that?

I have struggled for many years with philosophical questions of all kinds, but especially religion. I’ve written some things about it here, but only a few people know the full details. Some things happened to me, things that I’ve realized recently that I blocked from my memory. No worries...I wasn’t sexually abused by any religious authority figures or anything like that. But I went through a period in my life that was so strange and so bizarre--like something from another universe--that my mind apparently decided to lock it away into a little hidey-hole, and it has only recently started to surface, some twenty years later.

So while I wasn’t physically abused, I most definitely was traumatized, and the root of it was religion. I spent a long time pondering this, trying to come to terms with what had happened to me, trying to figure out what I believed, what I felt. Trying to understand where it might fit into my life, what it all meant, where it might take me. I have spent much of my adult life truly thinking about these things; I have not taken it lightly, and I have approached it with gravitas and a true spirit of self-awareness. I really wanted to explore my feelings on the matter and come to the best conclusion I could.

As I wrote things about it here and on Facebook, I found a group of supportive friends who discussed things with me and helped me try to figure it out, at least as much as we can. Even those who don’t agree with me seem to either respect my right to come to my own conclusions, and to just agree to disagree; either that, or they decided to stop reading me. I respect both options, and I realize that I am not for everyone. I’m okay with that.

Square pegBut I found a voice here, on my own blog, and also among my Facebook friends. I realized that others have had similar struggles, and I felt stronger knowing that I wasn’t alone. There were even a couple of times when I think maybe I helped some people, the way that others had helped me. In short, I felt accepted for who I was and occasionally respected for my opinions, rather than judged and ostracized because of them.

And here we are. I’ve got someone taking the things I write here and running to my Mom with them. I am once again a “family discussion.” Apparently it’s easier for my online friends to accept me for who I am than it is for certain family members to accept it...they seem quite prepared to judge me. Well, I’ll tell you what. I’ve pretty much had my fill of that. When someone tells you that they think you’re possessed by a demon, you tend to get a little inured to such pronouncements, you know?

I don’t fit in easily. I didn’t in grade school, I didn’t in high school, there have been times when I didn’t in my workplace...I’m that square peg you hear about. It took me a while to get to the point where I not only was okay with that, I was actually kind of proud of it. I still am. I’m going to keep on doing what I do here, and I’m going to keep on writing what I write and thinking what I think. I’m going to keep advocating for equal rights for all and for my gay friends to be able to get married; I’m going to keep railing against the abuses and hypocrisy of the church; I’m going to keep writing about the disastrous policies the Repugnicans are trying to enact that will erase years of progress and return us to the time when dinosaurs rich white guys ruled the earth. Same thing, of course.

Bottom line: I don’t give a rat’s ass if you don’t like my opinions. It’s your prerogative to dislike them, and you know what? You can even dislike me. But it’s my prerogative to keep on voicing those opinions, and that is exactly what I’m going to do.

I’m not like everybody else. And I’m glad.


  1. I've always loved your insights and knowledge on religious and political topics. Don't ever stop speaking your beautiful mind.

  2. One of the reasons that I don't appear on Facebook with frequency (but enough regularity not to cause concern for my well-being) is that my sisters are 'friends' and if I popped on as they did, then I'd be expected to keep up with them and I might have to further edit what I post.

    In short, I would have never let them become aware of my on-line prescence if it could have been helped. Part of it is the animus that I exisits towards them on my part. And the remainder relates to what I think you are talking about here.

    I have always treated being online the way that I have treated any relationship outside of my family... as private. Had I not used the social network (sorry, could not resist!) to get my feuding sisters back to being friends (what they are now to each other, couldn't tell you, but I will call one tonight) I would not have 'friended' them.

    I hate that you had to go through this situation. It is a different kind of hurt when someone who is close enough to you decides to go behind your back and gossip with the intent to hurt you. That is the only reason that a person could have to spread gossip and to misrepresent things you say. I would be like so 'f*ck you' to whatever rationale that they have for trying to hurt you by spreading poison about you to you Mom. That is so dispicable!!

    I have no doubt that you will treat this person as a hazardous specimen from here on out. And I really wish that there was something that I could do, perhaps some 'home correctin' of some kind is in order..? Anywho, I do think I understand about never fitting in, being a square peg but enjoying that uniqueness instead of fitting in.

    When it comes to family the petty jealousies and insecure resentments are always there waiting for an opportunity to strike. The way that the internet has changed human relations makes it a lot easier for cowardice and insensitivity to lash out, especially with small people with insecure egos. The incident said more about their character and has served to further define (because I get the feeling that this is not an 'inner ring' relative) the person as a jerk.

    Stay strong and I know that you won't let this incident stop you from making your opinions known!!


  3. Hi Beth,
    I know you've been going through a tough time lately. This person you're describing who "ratted you out" seems at best insensitive and at worst hateful. But having read your blog for a while now and met you in person, I personally don't think you have anything to be "ratted out" about. You have strong views and whether your family chooses to share them or not, they should at least take pride in the intelligent, independent and articulate person you've become!

  4. from one square peg to another..i can relate to not ever really fitting in anywhere either..came close a few times..but even then..

    it sounds like you've been going through a difficult time..i wish you nothing but the best and hope everything works out for the best..whatever that may be..

    from what i've gotten to know of you, you're definitely outspoken and have a lot of strong opinions..which is great..i can relate to that as well..although i don't always agree w/your choice of words i know that's you being you & i respect that..just keep being yourself Beth..that's the best person you can be..stay strong & know all your true friends are behind you..


  5. From one square peg to another, I say Keep Blogging and Ranting and Questioning and Pushing.
    Square pegs are what keeps things interesting and thought provoking.

  6. I'm a fan. I like you, I read you, I agree with you and I'll take a rat's ass if you have one.


  7. again, i am sorry all this came about because of the actions of a malicious,buttinsky,cruel hearted person who only did this to serve themselves. machinations like these are the true heart of evil if you ask me because they serve but one purpose- to hurt and isolate others.

    you have been very helpful and kind to me on my journey and i will always be thankful for that. it saddens me that some folks can't see beyond other people that are 'just like them'.

    be you louder. i can find a rat for you and DB if you like.


  8. You are who you were raised to be, so keep on being you.

  9. You are one of the awesomest, bravest people I know. I love you for being who you are!

  10. As one of the people that you definitely helped, I hope you can feel the love and support I send across the Universe to you! I don't have to "pray for your soul".... I'll just cut out the middleman and send good vibes your way!!!

  11. you are one of my most favorite people on earth. You are kind, SMART as hell, nonjudgmental.....and real. I can not and do not share the same beliefs as anyone in my immediate family....none of us get along at all any more just because they hate my President...and David Letterman...and are fucking stupid as hell as far as i am know my secrets and have never left nor lied....and i am pissed as hell that someone has judged you for what you believe in....and has hurt your mom too.....i hope this is able to be fixed some how...i always have your back if you need me....and i thank you for listening, caring, and being YOU...because Beth, you are truly a wonderful person and not some damn demon or devil or whatever the hell you were called.

    and people i actually like and love wonder why i fucking hate people sometimes......

  12. I totally agree with Bucko..........Keep being you! That is how we love you!

    Hugs, Rose

  13. Even before I becae one of your commenters over at AOL I often read your blog and really enjoyed your writing, as I felt it cae from the heart and I like that you tackle so many diverse subjects.

    Privacy with family is quite different from others we interact with, because your family know you differently and we tend to conform when were around them because it's easier.

    However no one has the right to read your words and repeat the out of context with your family, basically just shit stirring to cause strife especially knowing you've all had a difficult year with the death of your father, that just go to show you how little soe have in their little lives.

    Take care


  14. Keep fighting the good fight. I've got yer back!

  15. Beth, what draws me to you is that you're an original. Sometimes you make me laugh, sometimes you make me want to scream, sometimes offer a fervent amen to what you have to say and always you make me think. Your wit, intelligence and humor impress me as do your skills as a writer.

    Your mother is from a different generation; don't ever doubt that she loves you and is proud of you but if she's anything like my mother was, she wants you to be more of a reflection of her. We let them slide because they are our mothers. As for the rest of your family members, the ones who are tattling to your mother like spoiled children, I think that you nailed it. How selfish of them to upset your mother needlessly! No one tells their mother everything. You're being thoughtful when you omit things that you know would only upset her.

    I know that you are a strong person but I also suspect that it still hurts to have to deal with this undermining from family members. I am sorry that you have to deal with this [ainful foolishness. Lord knows, we don't get to choose our family. I d3efinitely would have not selected some of mine if asked. Fortunately, most of them are totally uninterested in my blog and never take the time to read it.

    I don't ususally do mushy stuff but here goes: <>. Hope I did it right. ;)

  16. screwed it up! It was supposed to say Hugs!

  17. Never trust people who are SO morally involved(supposedly), but detached in all other ways. You know: The people who tell you to KEEP THE BABY, but not how to FEED the baby. They are fakes; all those types are fakes. They don't want you to "do good," they want you to feel bad.

    The people who love you, truly & deeply(like your mom & your husband) will always love you. Sometimes they will be worried for you in ways you do not agree with or appreciate--and that is your right...but someone you know is feeding off that. This is an ugly situation, but you didn't do anything to contribute to negativity of it. Your mother wants you to have a peaceful heart. Don't let this person steal that from you.

  18. My wife's brother is evangelical Christian and has cut off all communication with the remainder of the "heathen" family. My wife doesn't discuss her lack of belief with her father (whom I am sure suspects) as she does not want to upset him because he would be sad that she won't see Jesus when she dies. It is left as "the great unsaid".

    We have an atheist group in town that meets once a month, maybe a dozen of us. Elsewhere in town are dozens of churches, synagogue and a mosque all of which have hundreds of members who meet weekly or more.

    And yet we non-believers number more than the largest religious affiliation in the country. As someone pointed out to me, the religions need constant reassurance of their faith. Atheists need no such reassurance; so we tend to not "congregate". But if we look for each other, we ARE there.

    I just joined the Freedom From Religion Foundation. I highly recommend it. THERE is one place where I get MY reassurance.

  19. Beth love, as a previous commentor're definitely outspoken and have a lot of strong opinions..which is great..I can relate to that as well..although I don't always agree w/your choice of words i know that's you being you and I respect that..just keep being yourself..... You are the Beth that I respect..
    LOve Sybil xx

  20. I love & respect you just the way you are and I don't expect anything less than total honesty from you. Folks really need to let people be who they are without laying all kinds of shit on them about it. You know I am an oddball (or square peg) so to me different is good, very good. I spend 90% of my time alone on the farm for a reason....people are overrated. ;)

  21. Beth, from one person who doesn't fit to another that doesn't, keep being you and I'll keep being me. Keep taking the harder road, the one less traveled. It makes you a more passionate person and a more compassionate human being. I know it makes me feel that I live each and every day. Neither of us is alone(we're on the same road after all), though sometimes the road ahead looks pretty empty, I'll give you that.

  22. "One size does NOT fit all!" (If you remember what that's from, I'll be very surprised.)
    You may have started this post "hurt", but I believe you ended it "pissed." :) You know, I never fit in, and I have a daughter, of whom I'm very proud, who in many ways doesn't fit in either. And SHE is teaching ME lessons every day about being who you are and being proud of it. I'm fortunate to have not had the type of trauma you experienced as a youngster in regard to religion. My mother, and the religion she raised me in and in which I have chosen to stay, taught me love and respect and a Godly fear that has more to do with respect, compassion, and unity, than with "fear". I grew up with a daily habit of "reasoning" about what I believe, and with a communication about it that helped me to form solid opinions and beliefs ahead of time, in order to deal with crap that comes up in every-day life. I have a peace because of it that I wish everyone could have, but I wouldn't go calling you "possessed" or "telling on you" to your mom because you don't share that with me. Good grief! I think it is pitiful that anyone would "tattle" on you to your mom regarding what you write in your own journal. I think it's very sad, and I wish you didn't have to put up with it. I have a lot of respect for you and your opinions, even when we don't agree. I hope this person backs off, and I hope they don't upset your mother too much. Unfortunately, you cannot control that. Take care, and hopefully this person will go away and bother someone else for a change.


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?