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San Diego, CA, United States
I am 48-years-old and a 4th generation San Diegan. I still live in the San Diego area with my husband. Writing is my emotional outlet and this blog is simply the organization of all my thoughts and feelings. It helps me to make sense of all the craziness in the world and in my life. With every experience I have and with every blog I write, I try to be a bit more introspective and seek to learn something new about myself. Sometimes I like what I learn, other times I don't, but such is my life. Welcome to it.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

When did I lose myself?

I often wonder at what point in my life in my life did I lose myself?  And then I ask if I had ever truly been found to be able to lose myself in the first place.  Have I ever really known who I was? Who I am?  Who I want to be?  

Most times I feel like I am a character and life is a movie with someone else directing.  I have never had complete control of my life, because it seems whenever I made a decision that I thought was of my own free will, it allowed someone else to lead me and I let them out of fear of being considered disobedient.  I justified this by thinking I was simply compromising, but in reality, I was letting others control me because I was afraid. 

I wonder if I’d lost myself when I was a child?  

I love my mother as daughters do and now that I am older and look back at our lives, I have a better understanding of why she was, and is, the way she is.  I love her, but I also harbor a deep resentment and that makes me feel incredibly guilty.  

My mother never allowed me to grow, to let me discover me.  It was always “do as I say” so I became what I hoped she wanted and that would make her happy.  There was never any room for discussion or defiance.  My opinions did not matter and the only way I was allowed to express myself was alone in my bedroom screaming my anger unheard into a pillow.  

My mother believes that everything is a problem that only she can solve. Our conversations aren’t really conversations, but a constant one-sided diatribe of unsolicited advice and her trying to solve problems that aren’t really problems.  

My reaction regarding my mother might be seen as an overreaction, but when I have spent a lifetime of listening to her constantly giving me advice about matters she knows nothing about, well, it gets tiresome.  

As my mother ages, I’m sure she is becoming more aware of her own fears and life regrets as am I of my own.  Perhaps her attempts at control is an attempt at remaining significant.  Perhaps she simply wants to be a mother that is still needed.  

I know I should be more forgiving, but I'm not.  I am frustrated and that again leads to me feeling extremely guilty. However, whatever her reasons may be, her constant advice giving and ‘strong’ suggestions of how I should do things, makes me feel inadequate.

I recognize I still have a lot of unresolved anger leftover from my childhood, but like when I was a child, my fears keep me from voicing my dissent and my anger festers.  

I wonder if I’d lost myself when I became a cop?

I was 23 years old when I become part of the law enforcement family.  I was taught how to act, how to speak, told what to wear (a uniform), how to wear my hair (it can’t go below my shirt collar), what color nail polish I was allowed (only muted colors!), my earrings had to be small, circular studs (silver or gold in color only!) and the list goes on.  This was all in preparation for making me into the best cop I could possibly be and I always had to represent the Department in a favorable light, whether I was on or off duty.  

As the years passed, I became resentful of the upper echelon constantly dictating how I should be and angry at myself for allowing them to have so much influence on my life.  

I haven’t liked my job for a very long time now, but I have reasons for why I don’t quit which have been expressed in other blog postings.  It wasn’t too long ago that I realized this job has played a huge part in me losing myself.  

When I am at work, I am expected to be authoritative, controlling, a take charge kind of person, but in reality I am an introvert, a quiet personality who prefers a solitary life, which is the complete opposite of what my day job requires.  

In uniform is when I feel like an actor, an imposter, because I cannot be who I want to be or who I think I am.  I am who the Department wants me to be.  I am a number that is expected to behave, but like when I was a child, my fears keep me from voicing my dissent and my anger festers.

I wonder if I’d lost myself when I got married?  

I was only 25 years old when I married for the first time.  My husband turned into, or probably always was, an emotionally abusive alcoholic.  I won’t go into detail, because I have closed off those memories, because they are nothing but negative.  That chapter in my life is over.  However, I allowed him control of my life which turned me into someone who I hated and that is one of the reasons why I divorced him.  

I have a good life now with my current husband, but as with any relationship, it has its ups and downs.  His love, however has given me confidence to try and be who I want to be and who I think I am, but I find myself falling into the same routine and letting him control my life, because that is how I have always been.  

The longer I let it continue, the worse my internal struggle becomes.  It has always been easier to allow others to control my life than it is for me to figure myself out and take charge.  

I want to change, but I don’t know how.  Part of me wants to be assertive and the few times I have tried to use my voice, it has led to disagreements and agonizing guilt on my part, because I am not who I think my husband wants me to be or at least who he is used to me being.  

My husband often tells me he knows me better than I know myself and I think that’s true.  I don’t know myself, because I have never been allowed to discover me.  I have always compromised for fear of being disobedient and perhaps for fear of rejection.  

How do I know if someone will like and accept me if I don’t even know who I am?  Or if I will even like myself?  How do I present myself?  I fear I will be a disappointment, so I yield.  I try to be what I think is expected and in the process of trying to be what I think my mother, my boss, or my husband wants, I lose myself. 

And as I grow older, I am scared my true self will never be found and whoever I am at that moment will be a failure.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Why I am the way I am

The rain falls.  Soft at first and the gritty earth crunches under my boots.  My dog runs ahead on the trail leading away from our house, oblivious to the wetness.  This is our usual route and our walks usually last about twenty minutes.  That allows me plenty of time to think and enough time for her to pee and chase a rabbit or two.  As the rain comes, the tap tap of raindrops on my coat keeping rhythm with my steps, I wonder about my purpose, my fears, my beliefs.  I wonder why I am the way I am. 

Normally I don’t think such deep thoughts on our walks.  Instead, I am usually preoccupied by the more mundane subtleties of life - what to make for dinner, when is a good time to plant my tomatoes, do I need laundry detergent on my next trip to Wal Mart.  

Other times, I let my mind be free to enjoy the present, like the hawk soaring overhead, wondering what it sees, what it does, and where it goes.  I think about the sun as it rises, as it sets, and the stars in the sky.  Sometimes I am able to clear my mind and think about nothing at all.  I covet those times as the silencing of voices in my head is a rarity.

Today, however, my thoughts are heavy and I don’t know why.  I suppose it might be because I have been talking about retirement with my husband and I will be going to a retirement seminar in a few weeks.  Big life changes are soon to come and I don’t know if they’ll be good or bad.  The unknown terrifies me.  

My head explodes with thoughts and emotions and then I start questioning my entire life and it is an endless cycle of fear, confusion, excitement, hope, gratitude and regret.  The same issues I wrote about in a previous blog posting are still present and those feelings have only intensified as retirement grows nearer.

As the rain continues to fall, I am thinking about why I am the way I am.  

I have very few friends and I only stay in touch with them through social media.  We rarely hangout and I don’t make an effort to do so.  Sometimes I wish for a more active social life, but when I am out, I am full of anxiety and wish instead I was home.  

I don’t like crowds, parties, or gatherings with people I care nothing about.  I am content to be alone as I prefer the thoughts and conversations in my head to those insignificant interactions I have with others.  

My husband is my best friend, yet he knows that I like, that I need, my quiet and alone time. He understands I feel deeply and need a moment to reset myself or else I will become too overwhelmed with the incessant noise and chatterings of the world.  He gives me my space and I am thankful he understands what makes me me and I love him because he accepts me for the way I am.

I label myself an introvert, but I don’t necessarily like labels as that is a restrained and superficial description of who I am.  I am an introvert when I am with people, but an extrovert when I am with myself.  

I don’t need to be the center of attention, to walk into a room and be the first, and loudest, one talking.  Actually, I don’t need to talk at all.  I am content to remain in the background listening, watching, and learning.  

I have never mastered the art of idle chit chat and any attempts at it leaves me exhausted and irritable.  I don’t need conversation to enjoy someone’s company and very few people understand that.  People think I am rude, stuck-up, always in a bad mood, or even too intense, but I am none of those.  I am simply a quiet personality who lives her life internally rather than externally.    
I wonder if I don’t have friends, because I trust no one.  No one knows the true me, because I do not readily share myself with others and what little I do share, is subjective and comes only in bits and pieces.  I don’t trust people to take what I am saying and feeling and hold it sacred.  The few times I have divulged a part of myself, I have found that my beliefs have become lunchroom gossip and I have been ridiculed in some fashion, because someone wants to make themselves appear better by disparaging me.  It is easier if I keep the gate to my soul closed and locked.  

It seems I am sharing a great deal of myself in this blog, but that is the purpose of all of this. When I expose my inner most feelings through my writings, I don’t have to see a person’s reaction when I tell them I do not believe in God, or that I dislike children, or that I pretty much find the majority of humankind to be a waste of space. 

I do not have to hear the condescending tone in their voice as they ask why I don’t have children or see their mocking eye-roll when I say aliens exist and the moon is hollow.  Writing allows me to share myself and feel like I am having some kind of interaction without suffering through all the meaningless crap that goes along with interpersonal relationships.

I have been on my walk for almost half an hour.  I am wet.  My dog is soaked.  I say “house” and she runs towards home.  As she reaches the garage, she turns and waits for me.  With a wagging tail, she shakes off the rain and seems to smile as I kiss the top of her wet head.  I still don’t know why I am the way I am, but I love my dog and she loves me and for now, that’s all I need.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Driving and the skill of observation or lack thereof

I don’t necessarily like driving.  I hate traffic and asshole drivers which seem to make up most of the other drivers on the road.  Things like not using a turn signal, tailgating, merging into 70mph traffic at 50mph and expecting everyone else to get out of their way, and using a cellphone while driving are just a few of the things on my long list of asshole moves that I think make a driver a complete douche.  Since my work commute is at least 45 minutes one way, I encounter a lot of douches.

Most of my drive is spent on the freeway on the outskirts of the city and I go against traffic.  I am not subjected to bumper to bumper, car honking standstills on congested inner city freeways.  

For that I am grateful, because I’d most likely be in prison for some major road rage incident against some jack wagon beeping at me from behind the wheel of a Mini Cooper because the posted speed limit, of which I obey most times, is apparently too slow.  The open road with less traffic allows me to look around at my surroundings and at the other drivers, which is quite interesting at times.

I see people doing a variety of different things in their cars on any given day, yet the one thing that remains constant is that people are not paying attention.  Their stare is straight ahead, even when changing lanes, and they rarely look at the other cars on the road, let alone the drivers behind the wheel.

I suppose, like me, they like to let their mind wander, because once the road opens up, one doesn’t have to pay particular attention to traffic.  A car can simply get in a lane and zoom zoom they’re off with nothing in front of them except for an occasional semi truck, but sometimes looking around can be quite beneficial.  

Being observant while behind the wheel can help you avoid accidents with other asshole drivers and can help you avoid that suicidal deer that twice has tried to jump in front of my car at the last minute. More importantly, being observant can help you identify all the hiding spots along the freeway where the California Highway Patrol officers like to wait in ambush.  

Noticing the absence of observation by my fellow drivers, I decided to conduct an experiment in that one simple, but important, skill that most people lack - observation.  

Everyday for over two weeks I observed my fellow drivers.  To and from work whenever I passed a car, or more likely when a car passed me because according to my husband, I drive like a "grandma,” I attempted to make eye contact. Not a brief glance, but full on prolonged eye contact.

Rarely did the other drivers bother to turn their head in my direction, but when they did, I waved.  Nothing crazy-like, just a quick wag of the fingers and perhaps a head nod to acknowledge them, all the while attempting to maintain direct eye contact because I wanted to see their reactions.  

Out of the hundreds of cars that passed, only two drivers ever made direct eye contact.  Several more glanced in my direction, but our eyes never met, thus my wave went unnoticed.  

The first to make eye contact was an older gentlemen, perhaps in his 70’s, driving a beat up pick up truck with Arizona plates.  I actually passed him as he was driving even slower than me!  As I passed I looked over and we locked eyes.  I waved, smiled, and continued past.

A few miles down the freeway, he passed me, slowing as he came even with my Jeep.  We locked eyes again, he smiled and gave a very enthusiastic wave.  He exited the freeway a few off ramps later and I never saw him again, but I remember him because he responded in kind and had such a great smile.

The second driver I made eye contact with was a younger man driving a U-Haul truck and again, driving way slower than me.  Slow enough to the point he was pissing off other drivers on the freeway.  Nevertheless, as I passed I glanced over.  Our eyes met briefly, but long enough for me to smile and give a quick wave.  

I remember him, because he had the most retarded (I know, not a PC comment, but an accurate description) look on his face with his mouth hanging open and he just stared at me. He didn’t wave, smile, or even nod his head, just stared slack jawed as I passed.  

It was a very weird expression.  Perhaps he was being forced at gunpoint to drive the U-Haul truck by a high ranking member of a drug cartel and the truck was full of heroin? Or maybe he had just killed his wife and was hauling her mutilated body out to dump in the desert?  Or probably he was simply moving and his mind was preoccupied with more pressing matters than the strange woman in the Jeep staring and waving at him.  But whatever the reason for his odd expression, I will never know.

After a week with just about every single driver ignoring me or glancing in my direction but not really seeing what or whom they were looking at, I decided to change the focus of my experiment to the passengers in the passing cars.  Actually, this adjustment came about by accident.  Even though the other drivers had no idea they were partaking in an observational exercise, I was still getting frustrated with their lack of active participation, but it was almost getting into a car accident that caused me to shift my attention to the passengers.

I was attempting a lane change on the freeway and as I began merging into the other lane, I saw a car at the last minute in my blind spot.  I swerved back into my lane and cursed out loud that this idiot thought it safe to drive in another’s blind spot, which is a huge pet peeve of mine.  I glared at them as they passed and it was the woman in the passenger seat with whom I made eye contact.

I would estimate she was in her late 40’s or early 50’s.  Instead of returning my hostile gaze or flipping me the bird because I had almost crashed into them, she smiled.  I was quite taken aback by her response, but her simple gesture of a smile immediately diffused my irritation.  I returned the smile and gave an apologetic wave.  It should be noted, however, that they did not have California plates and I think that was the difference in her giving me a smile versus the middle finger.  

That phase of the experiment didn’t last long, however, as the majority of passengers in the other cars that made eye contact with me were children.  Although they made great eye contact as they passed, they had no other reaction.  They simply stared, often turning around in their seats to continue their unfaltering gaze.  Most times it was I who averted my eyes, otherwise we just stared at one another and after a few seconds it became unnerving as their faces remained passive regardless of whether I waved, smiled or stuck my tongue out at them.  

My experiment has long been over, but I find myself still watching other drivers as they pass me by.  I no longer hope for eye contact, but on the rare occasion when it does happen, I smile and wave, but so far no one has ever been observant enough to notice.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

A woman's perspective on gun control

People have their own perspectives and opinions.  Each one is different from the other based on that individual’s experiences in life and how those experiences have shaped their thoughts.  My perspective is much more skewed than some because of how I make my living.  I am a cop.  I don’t get the luxury of seeing the world through ‘rose colored glasses.’  My trust in others can either get me killed or save my life, depending in whom I am placing that trust.  Most times, I trust no one and have very little faith in humanity.  It’s not a pretty way to view the world, but it is my perspective based on my personal experiences and it is how I choose to be.

I know not the experiences of others, unless they share, but even then I can only hear their words.  I cannot feel the emotions of their experiences.  I may have a similar experience, but I do not know how the way they live their lives has influenced and affected their views and they do not know mine.  I only know of what I know for me and these thoughts are solely my own.

In the wake of the recent horrific events at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, people are calling for stricter gun laws.  This outrage after every mass shooting tragedy - San Bernardino, Newtown, Roseburg, just to name a few -  is understandable.  We are angry that such unthinkable acts are becoming so common and frequent and we feel helpless as to how to stop it.  A seemingly easy, and popular, solution is to get rid of the guns; to pass stricter gun laws, but this will not solve the underlying problem.  

We have ‘laws’ and ‘rules’ for everything in our lives and I see them being broken on a daily basis.  Sometimes it is I who is violating the law and I consider myself to be an upstanding citizen who pays my taxes on time and for the most part, obeys the laws and rules set forth by our government and other members of society.  Everyone has broken the law at some point in their life regardless of their social standing, religious background, or sexual orientation, and hopefully, no one was injured in the process.  

The speed limit in my city is 65mph and it is against the law to go faster.  If I get caught, I don’t necessarily go to jail, but I do get to pay a hefty fine.   How many of us break that law on a daily basis?  We justify that it’s okay to go 70mph or maybe even 75 because we’re late for work.  

The speed limit in a school zone is 25mph, but that seems incredibly slow when we’re in such a mad rush, so if we do 30 or maybe 35 this one time, it won’t be that big of a deal.  We expect nothing bad to happen so it’s okay.  At least it’s okay right up until it’s not, but we justify and make excuses as to why we speed.  Perhaps in the world of laws, speeding is really no big deal, but speed is limited for our safety and going faster is considered breaking the law whether we agree with it or not.

I live in a very rural part of my city, thus I allow my dog to run free when we are out for our hikes.  She likes to chase rabbits and squirrels and the occasional smaller dog if we come across one.  However, according to the San Diego County Code Sections 62.669(b) and 62.601(y), “If you walk or otherwise bring a dog to public or other private property (where dogs are permitted), you must restrain the dog by a hand held leash (not longer than 6 feet in length).  I justify breaking this law based on where I live.  My interactions with people are very limited during our hikes and in my opinion, this law is a minor one.  However it is the law and by allowing my dog to run free, I am in violation.

Breaking these laws we consider minor doesn’t necessarily make us bad people, but if we look at it from a right and wrong point of view, we are wrong.  We are violating laws that have been put in place for the safety of society.  In my line of work, I meet many people who have violated the law in some regard.  I have dealt with everyday people in court for drunk driving, drug possession, and violating restraining orders.  People who could have been my friends, neighbors, and family members.  Good people.  I have also dealt with people who’ve broken laws that most people consider unconscionable  - rape, murder, and child molestation.  

My point is, laws, regardless of how minor or extreme an individual may feel they are, are being broken on an hourly basis.  They are being broken by the local pastor, the Police Chief, the mayor, your mom.  Just because it is law and even when the ramifications for breaking such laws are severe (example: time spent in prison), people will still justify and bend the law to fit their own ideals.  And frankly, there are those people who break laws because they simply don’t give a shit because they have no respect for others or for themselves.

So, I ask this: Will stricter gun laws remove the guns from the hands of those people who really really want a gun?  NO, it will not.  Law abiding citizens obey gun laws, criminals do not. Laws, regardless of how stringent they are, will always be broken by someone who has no regard for laws.  Stricter gun laws would increase the chances of those law abiding citizens of becoming victims, because they cannot adequately defend themselves.  

It is time for society to stop preaching “one love” because as swell as that may sound, it will never ever happen.  People need to stop trying to view the world as a rainbow, butterfly, unicorn kitten and start accepting it for what it is: flawed, abusive, and fucking scary.  Ignorance is not bliss, especially when it is getting innocent people killed.  

Most times I have a cop’s perspective and that is what I have been sharing so far.  Working around bad people is what I have been doing for the last 25 years, so again, my viewpoint is slanted towards the nefarious aspects of society.  However, I am also a woman and have a woman’s perspective.  For me, that perspective is much more important, although it’s still a bit cynical.

I have many fears as a woman, and rape is the most prominent one. Rape is ugly in every way imaginable and something that I think about on a daily basis.  Not in the extreme that I think every single man I meet is going to rape me - although I think anyone, man or woman, is capable of anything they want to do whether it’s good or bad - but thinking more about the situations I put myself into and how to keep myself safe.  

One way I keep myself from being a victim is I carry a gun.  Fortunately, I have never had to point it at someone, but the comfort of knowing it is within reach gives me a sense of, well, comfort. Just because I carry though, does not mean I purposely put myself in dicey situations and having it tucked into my waistband certainly does not make me invincible.  I do not allow carrying a gun to give me a false sense of security.  I know the risks involved, but I have been trained and am rather proficient in its use.  I am comfortable carrying a gun.

I want to keep my right to bear arms because I want to have that added option of protection.  Protection for me and my family.  I don’t pretend that if something happened, like a robbery or shooting at a nightclub, I would play superhero and insert myself into the path of danger to save the world.  I like to think that I would respond positively to protect others, but one never knows how one will truly react until put into any given situation.  

However, I can say, if a bad man tried to hurt me or my family, I would definitely put up a fight.  Calling 911 will probably not save me if someone is breaking into my home as response times by my local law enforcement to my area can vary (depending on all the variables in play).  That’s not a chance I want to take.  I don’t want to wait for someone else to rescue me and hope they get to me in time.  

Self-defense tactics might not work either, especially against someone stronger and bigger or if there is more than one attacker.  A gun in my hand, though, just might save my life even if it is at the expense of another, but that's the choice they made when they broke into my home and/or attacked me.  A gun is a great equalizer for any woman in a fight, plus I’d be able to defend myself from a safer distance and hopefully minimize harm to myself. 

The world has become a dangerous place and thinking that violence will never affect ones own community is living in denial.  It’s making yourself an easy target, it’s making yourself a victim, it’s putting your kids in harms way, it’s allowing someone else to dictate the way you live your life.  

The human race is unpredictable and we need to realize unscrupulous people come in every shape and size.  They don’t wear signs advertising their evil intentions.  They come with a smile, offering a helping hand and aren’t always unknown to us.  Over the past several years, mass shootings have occurred at such places like movie theaters, schools, and churches.  Soft targets where people are the most vulnerable and bad people can do the most damage in the least amount of time because no one saw them coming and no one was prepared.  

Yes, a gun can be a dangerous weapon, but so can everything else in life.  In 2007, a woman in Sacramento died from water intoxication after drinking too much water during a radio station’s water drinking contest.  Probably not the smartest decision on the woman’s part, but do we need to enact ridiculous water drinking laws to protect those people from their own stupidity?  Earlier this month, a woman died after being impaled by a flying beach umbrella at Virginia Beach.  An incredibly sad and tragic accident, but do we now need to ban beach umbrellas for fear of being stabbed while we sunbathe?

These are freak accidents, but a more common item that can be used as a deadly weapon is a car.  Drunk driving is against the law, but how many people have done it?  According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), “over 1.1 million drivers were arrested in 2014 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.” After a long week at work, happy hour beckons.  “I’ll only have a few,” but on an empty stomach that few can be too many.  “I live just a mile away,” but in that mile you hit and kill a kid on his bike.  Do we become a dry nation and ban all alcohol because the .08% limit certainly isn’t preventing people from drinking too much?  Do we ban cars because they’re dangerous when driven improperly?  

In California, all drivers are banned from using a hand-held cellphone while driving (texting included), but I see people breaking this law every single day while on my way to and from work.  Stricter cellphone laws won’t prevent people from distracted driving and stricter gun laws won’t prevent guns from falling into the hands of criminals.

The problem is the person, not the gun in their hand or car, cellphone, jug of water, or even the beach umbrella.  It boils down to how that person was raised, his or her influences, and role models in life.  It depends on how that person chooses to be. We all instinctively know right from wrong, but some people just don’t give a fuck about what happens to you, to me, to anyone.  Stricter laws of any kind will not stop a person from doing what he or she wants to do whether it’s speeding or killing a bunch of innocent people.  

Stricter gun laws is not a viable solution.  Again, the problem is the sick individual holding the gun, not the gun itself and that is what we need to fix. The person.

I’m not sure what I’d hope to accomplish with this post, but I felt I needed to voice my opposition to those screaming hard for stricter gun laws.  The Internet is filled with the same posts and messages about the subject, but these people don’t seem to be adding anything new to the argument.  It is simply a regurgitation of whatever is trending on Facebook and Twitter and that is alarming as people seem more comfortable to be sheeple (followers) than individuals who can act for themselves and think, even though I hate this term, ‘outside the box’.  

I believe that individuals have the right to live in whatever manner they choose and whatever perspectives you have, I am not criticizing you nor your right to not carry.  I am only sharing my thoughts as I think them however, I do ask that you not interfere with my right to live in the manner I choose and that includes my right to carrying a gun.