Thursday, November 20, 2014

Boston to LA and the death of my relationship


If a relationship ending is like a death in the family, then I've been feeling all of this shame and guilt, because I'm the one who murdered it with a rusty spoon. (continued after text below...)
I have remained somewhat silent about what happened, but recently have come to the conclusion that as I have always been an open book, I will come clean about what I've been discovering about myself. 

I told my manager that I had broken up with my boyfriend and he laughed.  He said, "I've never heard of any couple that moved out here together, or a long distance couple where one person moved out here, that it actually worked out.  They always split up! It'll be fine, you're fine, there's plenty of people to meet out here, you're young, focus on your career." 

I'm interning at a management company, learning about the business of Hollywood, getting ready to become a part of it, and I love it here in LA.  But LA came with a price, and that price was my relationship.  A 3 year relationship that I used to think was going to be my only one, my future husband, my soulmate, my one and only. But he wanted New York, and I prayed, I prayed and I prayed and with all of the positive energy, friends, and happenings that have happened during this program, I felt like God wanted me out here.  Too many coincidences, too many opportunities for work have fallen into my lap, and it just feels wonderfully and perfectly right to be here.  My William didn't fit in with that, or at least he doesn't feel that he could right now. 

I have severe abandonment issues. I have troubled memories as a child, shitty friends, divorced parents, the usual things that make kids whine and cry, and be sad, that scar them for life.  I'm not about to get too specific, but I will say that these issues were VERY prevalent in the beginning of our relationship.  I had never had a boyfriend, so I had trouble merely trusting the fact that Will wasn't going anywhere.  He wasn't going to abandon me, he wasn't going to stop coming back after a while.  He wasn't going to lie to me and tell me he'd be somewhere and disappear when I had my hopes up. 

But this mindset took A LOT of work!  He would be unable to sleep over, or he'd already slept over and it was the afternoon and he would go to leave and go home, and I would burst into tears!  I had panic attacks and felt like a small child with inexplicable anxiety when he would leave.  Any rational human being would take one look at a girl like this and be like, "Peace! I'm outskie, you got problems girlfriend!"  But he never did that.  He kept loving me and building something with me, through every fight, through every joyous moment, through life events like deaths, job losses, and disappointments. I no longer knew what life was like without him.

And then one day, as we had discussed many times, it was finally time for me to put on my big girl pants, and go to Los Angeles for a postgrad program.  I didn't know if I was coming back, I honestly had no idea.  I just knew that God wanted me to go, and New York wasn't the place for me to go at the time. So I went.

After a few weeks, it started to settle in that Will wasn't here. It crept up on me slowly, having little crying fits in my car, forgetting that he wouldn't be there when I went to a comedy club, calling him and not being able to expect him to swing by and stay over, missing his body next to mine, missing his face... then that started to turn into anger.  I kept asking him why he wouldn't come visit, and it was always about money, or work, or not knowing his schedule, etc. I was growing bitter and feeling lost and alone, realizing that I didn't know how to do this and be anywhere without him as my support system, my lover, my best friend.

So I started talking to other guys.

I'm not proud of this. I wasn't sleeping around, but I was trying to fill a void in my heart where I could feel him fading, but the hole was just getting bigger.  I was trying to replace someone that couldn't possibly be replaced.  I thought, "Well, this guy is here, and he likes me, maybe he'd be better for me right now."  And that's the worst thing I could have possibly done to myself.  I started taking the most wonderful man for granted, and I didn't even realize how stupid I was being. 

I even thought about the things I didn't like about our relationship to try and excuse my shitty behavior.  "He won't go to church with me, he hates Christmas, he always has money for weed but complains how he's broke..." when I should've been thinking about how great he was otherwise like, "he sends me love notes, he proclaims his devotion for everyone to see, he helped me move, he was always there when I was in pain, in distress, when I needed him the most."  But right then, in those first couple of months I was here, I started drowning in anxiety without him, getting used to a new place, and I felt all this anger towards him for not being there when I'm the one who up and left!

I wrote this down last week to basically sum up how I was feeling about breaking things off.  I thought it would be better that I ended our relationship because he was so angry with me being such a pain in the ass and whining about everything.  And I didn't want to cheat on him, because I was terrified that at some point, it would happen.  I would be sad and missing him, and try to use that anger to justify being a shitty human being.

I thought that ending things would somehow make me feel stronger, like I didn't need him, or maybe
So here it is.....

If a relationship ending is like a death in the family, then I've been feeling all of this shame and guilt, because I'm the one who murdered it with a rusty spoon.

I gouged its eyes out by hiding my selfish behavior.

Then I plugged up its ears when I stopped hearing my William tell me how much I meant to him. 

I broke its teeth by lying about my evil intentions. 

I chopped off its limbs by leaving him behind 3 thousand miles away and unable to come to me or hold me again.

Then I took a sharpened silver knife and punctured its chest and cut out its heart, string by string.

I took garbage bags and wrapped it up to hide the body from myself in cans, closing the lid shut, but each day its stench gets stronger, and stronger, choking me and beating me down with its rot.

It's dead throat gurgles and cries out to me, "This was you! This was all your fault, you killed me and you'll have to deal with me sooner or later!  You'll pay for this, your secrets will come out and you can't hide from me forever!"

And so each time I feel my addiction, LONELINESS, come creeping up out of the shadows and climbing up on my back, stroking my hair, squeezing my face, stealing my heart, controlling my thoughts with whispers and fake promises, I think, "I just need a fix! Fix here, fix there, then I'll feel better." I turn to other men for attention, empty promises always come so easily for them, and I believe every last one of them.  The hole in my heart that this relationship used to fill up just gets bigger, and wider, and emptier, being sucked up, lapped up, consumed by the addiction sitting on my back.  He finds glory and satisfaction in my demise.

I'm spraying febreeze on the trash cans that I can't move because they're so heavy with the weight of my transgressions.  I need to cover up the stench that haunts me and reminds me of how awful and needy that I am; each man I flirt with, laugh with, give a piece of my heart to, is just another can of febreeze being pitifully sprayed and having no effect, more like making it worse.

I wish I could have it back.  I wish I could open up the cans, unwrap each body part, sew it back together, and bring it back to life.  I want to see it alive and as beautiful as it ever was.  Could I nurse it back to health?  Could I do something to jolt it back, or would it be horribly disjointed, like some Frankenstein's monster, scars and moaning in all its horror, bearing hatred and resentment towards me?  How could its heart beat again, after I had killed it so?

I want to hold it in a deep embrace and have my tears melt away the stitches and scars, and have my love take the other hand so we can be together again. 

But I don't think he'd come to help me fix my mistakes.

So that's it then.

It's all my fault.

I killed us.

I killed our love.

Friday, April 25, 2014

When We Were on Fire (book review/thoughts)

I just finished reading this book, When We Were on Fire, and I can't tell you how many sleepless nights I have had due to its powerful words making my head spin, bringing back painful memories (and somewhat good ones too) from my days as an evangelical Christian.  I'd like to take a few moments to reflect on how this book affected me, what I thought the outcome was going to be, and where I'd like to go from here. 

Addie Zierman, the author, goes through her faith story from age 14, up to having her first son.  She talks about how she survived her first heartbreak from another Christian boy, the expectations of other Christians at school or in church, getting married young, church hunting, depression, and drinking to deal with that depression. 

The book opens with her standing at a flagpole outside of her school, praying in the pouring rain.  As soon as I started reading this, tears welled up in my eyes.  I could barely remember that I had done that, and suddenly I remembered the "See You At the Pole" prayer circle we had every year with my youth group.  It was supposed to set an example, students would see a group of other students praying at a flagpole, and perhaps it would plant a seed in them that prayer was something people still did.  A subtle way to preach to young people we didn't know.

This was before I was overtaken by my evangelical friends.  This was when I was going to a Protestant UCC church, where they still told us not to have sex before marriage, but I think the general views of the church were pretty liberal.  I remember finding out there was a difference in churches, and between my current youth group not-so-close-friends, and then my super close marching band friends.  My marching band friends were all somehow going to church together, without me, and if you've read anything about my faith story, the main reason I went to church as a kid was to make friends.  I was jealous, and I thought I should be part of THEIR church group, instead of the one my mother was very comfortable with me attending.

They were the EVANGELICALS. The BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANS.  The REAL Christians.  My UCC church suddenly was described as LUKE WARM Christians.  They weren't quite so faithful about God because they weren't preaching enough about Hellfire and whathaveyou. 

This blog in particular, I started when I was going through a terribly tough time in college.  Well, to be more fair, most of my time in college was very rough.  And a lot of that had to do with God, but then with friendships that were negatively influential and transparent, and with my eating disorder, and mostly with a boy that I thought loved me because we both also loved God.
Now I no longer really write in this blog.  I also no longer use my prayer journal.  It sits under my bed collecting dust, like a forgotten novel that I got bored with and didn't care to find out the ending.  Perhaps this has happened with things in your life that you used to be very passionate about, and then suddenly either moved on to something else, or you have felt depressed during certain points in your life because you've lost any passion.  You've felt guilty, disjointed, without direction. I often wonder whether anything I do in my faith is ENOUGH.  A common theme I have with how Addie often felt growing up is this yearning for acceptance, not just with other Christians or with God, but perhaps with herself.

I'd like to take a better direction with my blogging, and perhaps vlogging. I'm thinking of starting a new youtube channel, or just recommitting to my blog, and not associating it with "India Pearl the actor, the comic" but making it about a 20something female who doesn't always know where she belongs in the world because she's a Christian.  I'm an ABNORMAL CHRISTIAN.  I love God, but like I've said in past blogs, I also love vulgar humor, drinking too much wine with my gals, and my boyfriend who doesn't go to church (though I do wish he'd go once in a blue moon aside from begrudgingly on Christmas). 

Lots of REAL CHRISTIANS would have a problem with that.  Just like lots of NORMAL PEOPLE are shocked that I even go to church.

So where do I belong?

Well, maybe if enough people read this, I'll be able to find at least one person who's just like me.

Next blog: more specific topics will follow, though I have yet to decide the order. Perhaps I will pick from the book and go from there on how it related to my growing up and where I'm currently at. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Arizona and specifics of the argument from NPR

I'm going to say my two cents about this whole Arizona debacle...

I'm 100% supportive of gay rights.  I disagree that this bill should be put into place, because it could obviously be used for evil and before we know it, homosexuals will have to wear a gold star like Jews so they can be pointed out and banned from businesses around town like we're back in Germany in the 1930s. 

HOWEVER.

I listened to this story on NPR yesterday about a woman who is a photographer and was asked to work a gay wedding.  She refused, told them she couldn't work the wedding because she doesn't support gay marriage, and she politely referred them to another photographer that would be able to help them, just as good of a photographer, blah blah blah.  The couple said to her, "Oh no, you're going to work our wedding, and you don't we will sue you." 

                                    They did sue her, and they won.

Here's everything that is wrong with that:

The laws state that if you have items that you sell, you cannot refuse to sell those items (or services) to anyone that comes in no matter their race, creed, etc. If you sell dresses, you have to sell to whoever wants to buy that dress.  If you're a restaurant owner, anyone should be able to come in and sit and eat.  What the law does not address, is that it gets very grey with freelance artists.

My job for example, I am a freelance performer.  I have worked for multiple companies, I get asked to work gigs out of the blue, sometimes I'm booked, and sometimes I say no because the project SUCKS.  I don't want to perform for them, because I don't think it'll benefit me in any way.  I'm sure that if I was asked to perform in a play or do standup at a venue that was run by devil worshipers, I would gladly tell them that I'm not going to work there and that's why.  I'm freelance, and I get to choose what jobs I do, that's the benefit of being freelance.

So when this woman (let's just forget about whether she's right or wrong for believing what she was probably born and raised to believe) was approached to photograph a wedding and said no, she was sued and forced to do the job.  But if she's anything like the rest of us freelance artists, she probably became a photographer so she could do the jobs that she wanted to do.  I think she made the mistake of telling them why she wouldn't do the job, she could've just said NO and left it at that, she didn't have to make them feel bad about themselves, but I don't feel she should've been forced to do that wedding.  I've never been forced to work a show that I didn't want to, and just like this bill could be construed and spread around to be used for evil, I feel that the precedent of that law suit is very dangerous for other freelance workers getting sued for when they say no to a job for any reason.  You could just think someone is an asshole and not want to work for them, and you should be able to say that!  They shouldn't be able to force you to make art for them.

And also, I'm a bit disappointed in the couple because suing that woman is not going to teach her anything about homosexuals, except that she's probably going to hate them after that.  She is not going to gain an open mind about another person's lifestyle if she is treated with anger and forced to do something she doesn't want to do. She was not an angry person to them and referred them to another photographer which seems fairly respectful to me, regardless at how hurt the couple must have been by her declining to take the gig.  Are we not just stirring the hatred pot here?  There's no evidence that she was even negative or mean to them, she just was honest about her religious beliefs (and like I said, she probably should've just lied that she was booked already or declined politely without giving them gripe).

My last point is, why in the heck would they ever want her at their wedding telling the story of their love with photos, when she disapproves of them and doesn't even want to be there?  I would never want that kind of bad juju infecting my wedding day energy.  Wouldn't you think that your photos are going to be a bit less than stellar with a non-enthused grudge-bearing photographer?  Wouldn't you always think of that awful memory every time you saw your wedding photos, and wouldn't you be nervous all day that she might do a mediocre or crappy job on purpose?  Why not just talk to the photographer she sent you?!  Give her a crappy review on yelp and ruin her week, don't bring that energy back on yourselves by still making her attend what's supposed to be the best day of your life!

What's next, how many people are we going to sue that have a freelance business and work for themselves, but are also not supportive of gay rights?  Would I be sued if I refused to do a comedy gig because I found out it was for someone's birthday who had 3 wives?  Because I'm just as against multiple spouses as some people are against homosexuality.  Where does it end?  Aren't we NOT supposed to be spreading hate, and instead prove you're the better person in this day and age?  This woman says she's a Christian and doesn't want to photograph your wedding, so if you think she's wrong wouldn't you want to prove to her what you think Jesus would actually do?  Maybe send her a note about why you think she's wrong and respectfully go on your way to finding someone else.  You shouldn't put money in her pocket if you think she's so wrong!

To some people, to me, being a homosexual is just as engrained as the color of your skin.  I completely understand that the LGBT community needs to start putting their foot down.  But I honestly feel bad for that woman and I have a bit of fear for other freelancers' future gigs if this is the standard being set.  The same reason she can believe gay marriage is wrong, is the same reason that gays are able to get married.  It's a FREE COUNTRY.  The best thing we can do for each other and ourselves is to live and let live.  That goes for people on BOTH sides of the argument.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

I am what I guess you could call a "bipolar" Christian...

*photo credit: postsecret.com


When I was younger, I had friends that would talk about God like He was another part of our group of friends.  As though He were someone who would pop over for tea and biscuits whenever we needed Him, or a Father that we would have deep discussions about and how He played a role in our decisions, our way of considering others feelings, our way of deciding how to be better people.  Some people consider this a weak way of thinking or being, but to be honest, I miss it.  I miss it a lot.  I miss being able to talk about God with people like He's a person that we know.  But I know it's uncomfortable for probably about 90% of the people that I know, and I don't wish to change my relationships or friendships with those people.  I don't want to offend anyone, and society has pretty much changed into the direction of, "faith is something to keep to yourself, it's a private matter".  And I get that idea and where it comes from... I just wish that I had more time set aside in my life to keep that connection that I used to have.

I pray every day, I think about God with this undoubting faith in His mere existence, but I still miss being able to have a relaxed conversation with things like, "What are you doing with this? Are you praying about that?  Doesn't it say in Luke that this happened?  Maybe God has a bigger plan..." As if they were perfectly normal things to say to your friend.  Because to me, they are.  I constantly repress these feelings and tell myself that maybe my old friends were "too Jesus-y" which to some people they probably would be. 

Last year I took my boyfriend to a wedding of some friends of mine, and they hadn't had sex before the wedding.  The wedding was so "Jesus-y" that it quickly became apparent to my boyfriend and he leaned into my ear, "Wait... they REALLY never had sex yet?!" No, surprisingly in today's world some couples that I know won't do that before marriage.  Now, regardless of my own opinion on this (or yours), the reason I bring up this wedding is because of its sheer beauty overall.  There were many biblical references to love, and not just the obligatory "Love is patient, love is kind..." verse that everyone has their cousin read to make her feel special at their ceremony.  It had prayer, and songs I listen to on Chris Tomlin radio when I put on Pandora, and this message of marriage being a pure Godly choice between two people.  I loved it, and I bawled my eyes out (a couple of times).  And this was the environment that I was in on a twice-weekly basis in high school and college.  Sunday church, and bible study, and talks with my friends.  But that's not the whole story...

When I was in college, I lived a double life.  I was an officer of Navigators, and teaching a bible study, and then living in my sorority house and drinking and doing things not worth mentioning if my boyfriend were to read this.  I was constantly having a mental battle with myself, not knowing if I was a good person, not having a clue if I was even a "real Christian" because I have always had an unshakable faith in God, but I felt like I didn't know how to make good decisions.  There are two schools of thought on this, and I still struggle with which one is "right" or "wrong" or if either make sense.  There's the idea that if you're a good person, and you do good things, then you won't go to Hell and you don't even have to really believe in anything.  That's what probably most people believe in today's world.  Then there's the other side of the coin that you could be a crazed zealot about God and faith, but if you're a crappy person and you're missing the point of Jesus' message (or any religion's message of being good to others) then it doesn't matter and you'll go to Hell.  So imagine me, feeling like I was a bad person but I had a lot of faith... and then when I would go on a mission trip or try to participate more in church, I would feel like the person with the least amount of faith and like I didn't deserve to be there.  Always, it was like I didn't feel good enough to belong in a group.

I swear, I drink, I have a boyfriend, but I go to church on Sundays and I pray all the time.  But I still feel like sometimes I don't have anyone to talk to about God like He's our friend.  Like we can call Him up and Hang, and it's normal.  But I would feel like I had to censor myself in front of old friends that I could that with sometimes.  Like I wasn't "Christian" enough for them because I swear and I was too adventurous.  And I know some of them would hate my standup comedy!  But then there's my friends I'm with all the time, fellow performers, colleagues, etc, and I feel like I have to hide a certain part of myself or I'm gonna be a freak.  So I still feel like a lot of the time I don't belong or maybe I'm never FULLY myself.  Is anyone ever really fully themselves?

I go to this church that's amazing, because they accept anyone and they have a rainbow flag above the door, and I feel like it's good for people like me.  But then sometimes I feel nervous to talk about God like he's a friend of ours, because they're not the crazed-for-Christ types that I was used to at my old church (but then again those crazed types weren't really ok with sex or gay people). I hate talking to God like he's a symbol, or praying out of obligation.  I miss the way things used to be sometimes.
SO IS IT ME OR DO I NOT BELONG ANYWHERE?!  This is really sad and conflicting for me, and it tears me up inside.