How do you view people?

This post is motivated by not understanding what has gotten into some people and how they treat the people who they supposedly love. Sorry for being so blunt, but I can’t express the lack of understanding that occurs with some people when their relationship moves on.

Working with models, I hear a lot about their personal life, and how it impacts them from day to day. Several of the models who I work with have commented how their relationships have failed and are not reconcilable. In all the situations I am commenting about here today, they all have at least one child together. These are people who were in love with one another. I personally can’t understand how people can “fall” out of love. There are six people in my life that I have fallen in love, and to this day, I care very deeply about them all still to this day. Sometimes, it causes problems – but the good news is that with the exception of one, they all live across one ocean or the other. When you love someone, it is a permanent situation for me. Love never changes. I will go to my grave loving all of them.

Why am I writing this? I can’t grasp how anyone can be mean, vindictive, and in some of the cases, hit someone with malice that they love or have loved. It is something I can’t quite fathom or even comprehend. Worse, being abusive like this in front of your children. I know that feeling sometimes run fairly deep when love is concerned, but this kind of reaction is horrible and makes no sense. Why would you do anything close to this to someone you love? The answer that a few people have told me is that they no longer love one another. This leads to the second reason for writing this post.

When you work with people around you, do you see them for what they can do for you? For instance, in a work environment, do you make business contacts with just people who can help you get further in your work or that are good at resolving issues you may face? In a relationship situation, do you look at your relationships for the gifts you may be given, the sex you might get, or the promise that one of these are almost for certain? Think about it for a little bit. As I get older, I seem to be more sensitive to seeing people do just this. I hate to admit that I am guilty of this, too, in that when I am frequently after a specific artful image, and know someone will be able to create the image I want, I pull out the stops to get them in that image. But, beyond this, I don’t. Yet, I see it every day from other photographers, business relationships, and even some people’s personal relationships. I don’t understand how people can view life in these terms for everything they do – but they do. The more popular and charismatic a person is, the more they do exactly this with everyone in their life. Watch people, and you will see exactly what I mean.

Getting back to the first part about abusing their loves of their life, I have to wonder if there was something that they were getting from that significant other and then once removed or lost, they lose all control and get this way. If so, what they had wasn’t love but rather a mutual arrangement of getting something from someone else. Let me repeat – this isn’t love.

Take a long hard look at your own relationships with other people. Are you someone who is taking advantage of them or are you someone who is being taken advantage of? Knowing this will help you understand some of the dynamics of relationship you are in and how to deal with some of the ups and downs you face.

How do You Say Goodbye

How do you say goodbye to someone you care about and have been a very close friend? I don’t know  – I don’t want to say it. Life has happened, and we are growing apart in so many ways. Even though I see hints of the person I knew, their flame is slowly fading. New fires are burning, ones that I don’t want to be singed in. We used to talk or message a few times a day. Now, we don’t say anything. When we do talk, it isn’t pleasant and is more about nothing or highly critical. Trust has broken down. I won’t follow my friend where they are going – I can’t. I feel the pain, frustration, and anger when I am around them. I feel I no longer add to their life – instead, I am taking away, as they take away from mine. I want to be there like the friend I have always been, but they don’t want me there.

How do you say goodbye?

 

Two things happened this past week…

Over the past week, I have been grappling with an ending friendship with someone who I care deeply. There are two things that have caused me difficulty. The first was the text message where the friend said I was ruining her life and someone elses we know. Unfortunately, I don’t know what either of them are talking about. It put me in a tail spin. Then, to also have to deal with this friend’s first loss of a family pet, and watching her sorrow over a pet that has been there most of her life. It has been very gut wrenching to watch this friend grieve for her pet, and not be able to do anything.

I spent a day evaluating what was going on, and have accepted that the friendship was over when she sent me her first text message. I am sorry she choose that way to say this, but in the message, it was clear that she wouldn’t trust anything I would say — her mind was made up. This other person said I was ruining their life. Whether true or not, it was immaterial. As far as she was concerned, this was her decision. In the day afterward, there is only one thing I could say, and I know she wouldn’t understand what it really meant. One thing that I never say is “good bye”. Why? It is so permanent and final. This was from the first time I lost a friend to death, and only those in death or those who I never expect to ever see again is when I say “good bye”. In all other times, I say “Until later…” or “I will see you… ” and the time or place I will see them again. I also say “good bye” to those people who I care about in their caskets at their funerals. So, by saying good bye, I am saying a lot.  Unfortunately, like I said, very few people understand this meaning, even those who are close to me. My wife and daughter are very keenly aware of this meaning, and I think they are the only two who really understand it when I say “good bye”.

As for the friend, she chose to stand by someone else who says I am damaging their life, and continue to do so. In reality, after trying to figure out where this is coming from, I have figured out that this is one or a few things. The first being that this other person gets to play the pitty act, and bolsters their position with it. If I am hurting them, I am being mean and selfish, right? Unfortunately, I am not being mean and I have avoided that other individual for almost a year. If anyone associates with them, I work to separate myself from them. How could separating myself from their activities be hurting them? It shouldn’t. I am no one special or important in this world. I also get the feeling that it is a way that this other person thinks they might try to control me. If they hurt someone who I care about, then I will fold and change my ways to keep them from being hurt. My view point is that anyone who plays this type of game is a terrorist, and I won’t negotiate with terrorists. If anyone ever does this to me, they should consider me dead and lost, because I never want them to cave into someone’s demands like this. Unfortunately, too many people do cave in, and it does establish some power and control to that unscrupulous individual. The last thing this does is allow the friend to do what they want – her sense of obligation would allow that other friend to take out his anger with me on her, and she would willingly accept it and feel obligated to accept it.

In trying to find out what is going on, I have found out that the other person has had several set backs in their career. So called rejections when there had been acceptance in the past. Add to this that the persons own choices and actions have been influencing others. I have even been told that the person has been spreading what he says I have did (while telling others I did it). This is in addition to slams to my character, and don’t really care because I know time will bear me out because what that person is saying is contrary to who I am. And, to make matters worse, I don’t care what that other person thinks.

What kind of conclusions do I have? I have to sever my friendship and go on with life. Not an easy thing to do. I won’t let someone else who I don’t care about to control me or my life. There are too many other things to be focused than this.

In time, the emptiness that this action creates will be filled.

Two years later…

Earlier this week, my wife and I visited our God child’s grave. She passed away two years ago in a tragic accident in front of the whole family. I wanted to write a little about her here. She was a very special child.

Her life began with both a mother and father who really didn’t want her. Her mother was a drug user and drank a lot during the pregnancy. Her mother was on several drugs to control various mental and psychological health issues. Her father was also a drug user, but he ended up spending most of his time in jail during the pregnancy. Needless to say, she was born early with many heath and mental problems. One of her grandmothers noticed how she was being treated and that she needed a better place and more consistent life style (she was autistic). After being awarded custody of her, she grew and became a more controlled and loving person. She was starting to enjoy life. She was funny, and a trouble maker. It struck me odd that he would always fall back into old ways and be panicked when her mom showed up (irregularly and unpredictably, at that). She loved to go fishing and play with the rod and drag it until a blue gill or other pan fish bit at her hook. Given all the problems she had, she was a trooper who loved life (except when her mom was around).

Lily was a wonderful person and someone who loved life. I miss her.

Procrastination

I had a bad dream yesterday night. Understand, I don’t have nightmares but I do have bad dreams. This dream was about procrastinating bringing a beautiful cactus in from the outside. I had it in a pot, and it bloomed several times through the summer. I captured one of the images of it one night and gave the image as a gift to my mother-in-law. I knew it was getting colder soon, and I knew this cactus wouldn’t survive a cold freeze. But, being busy and always in a rush to get somewhere, I didn’t take that simple few minutes to get the cactus in from the cold. Then, in October, we had a hard freeze. I brought the cactus in when I saw this happen – but it was too late. In a few days, the cactus rotted from the freeze. And now, I am haunted by that once beautiful cactus. It’s memory living on in my mind, always reminding me of something I should have done and knew I needed to do, but didn’t.

The differences are Important

One of the things I have noticed in the political debates is that we all seem to be in the middle class. Ask the doctor who is making $400 thousand a year, owns several expensive cars, lives in a prestigious neighborhood where they live, and they say they are in the middle class. Ask someone who is getting paid slightly more than middle class, can barely afford the used car they have, lives with their parent where they live and they say they are in the middle class. That is a broad spectrum of people – but are they really in the middle class? Why do they say this with such a broad level? I am not sure, but it is one of the things that bind us as a nation here in the United States. Most of us are somewhere in between.

Another is someone who sings. If someone sings, they all think they are above average. Again, there is a wide breadth of people who can and can’t perform – Just watch American Idol for a while and you will see many of these people. There are people that you have to wonder why they are even there – why do they think they are even good at singing. They are devastated when the judges tell them they aren’t very good and should stay in the shower. They don’t have a clue. And then there are other out there who are so awesome and incredible, and they don’t think they are that good. Just a broad spectrum of people who work at singing with people placing somewhere in this scale.

We can say the same thing about driving a car. Everyone who drives is above average. Ask anyone who you know. They will all say they are above average. But, if you have ever spent any amount of time watching them drive, there are those who “point and gas” and those who are precision drivers (or anywhere in between).

So why do I mention this today? Just something that I see about people in general – that we all think we are “average” when there are many levels of people. Each of us is unique and different. But, we hang out with people who are similar to each of us and we all seem average. It isn’t until you break out of your usual crowds and look around you to see what is the real average. Part of this is to get yourself to open your own eyes to the real world, and not the one that hanging around people like ourselves creates. We should be embracing that difference between us and recognize that it is one of the things that makes us a great country.

How can people…

A lot has happened and I have been VERY busy these past two weeks (or three) since my last blog post. Most recently  I have been working hard to help my adopted daughter with dealing with her older [natural born] brother. He has been in the ICU for over a week. He was dead when the paramedics arrived at his location, he passed away again upon arriving at the hospital, and at 4:30 AM, the MDs didn’t think he would make it through the next day. And, yes, my daughter was called by the medical staff for some reason to identify “John Doe #4” at 4:30 AM that morning. It isn’t the staff that I am going to comment on, but rather the people who were around her older brother.

I look at how my daughter has been there every day from 9:30-10:00 AM until 1 AM each and every day. The morning time, I have been at her house at 7:30 to help take care of cleaning, and getting the small things taken care of that she can’t focus on. Just getting her to the hospital is a chore, and I am sure that she isn’t eating, either. She has so much on her mind and is busy trying to get things remembered and done while she is at home, but her mind is on her brother. Her other younger brother who isn’t working at the moment is there at night when she isn’t there. Someone from her injured family is always there with him who cares about him. I would be there, but I am not considered immediate family so ICU staff won’t let me go in and visit with him. I know that he is alive today because his family is there, and they are spending the time there with him and there for him. Without them there, constantly talking with him and letting him know that he means so much to them, I am sure he would have given up. Even though he isn’t completely away from this because of the sedation he is on, when my daughter told him that he was with her and in the hospital, he cried as best as his body could cry.

Now for why I am writing this: How can someone in this world do what they did to him? He was tortured for three days. He was drugged (not sure if this was by his choice or not), but then they tortured him for three to four days. His arm was broken. He has internal abdominal injuries. He was burned repetitively with cigarette burns. He was also burnt with a cigarette lighter all over. I can’t imagine what he went through for the three to four days prior to being in the hospital. He is still in critical condition and we don’t know if he will make it. I listen to the description of the injuries, and I have to wonder how this can happen in our civilized world? What makes it OK to torture someone like this in our society? Why is it that no one he was around not say this is wrong? I won’t go into the fact that the police have done nothing – not even taken a report. We don’t know who the “they” are that tortured him. Comments from the people who are where the paramedics picked him up say one thing, the paramedics say something else, and a few of the people who normally can be found in that location have gone missing.

I bring this up because this is the future of our society. I can only hope that we as a people realize that crimes like this means our society is falling apart. Our morals and civil liberties have fallen to the side and mean almost nothing to the individuals who did this. I am very sorry to be an American knowing what I do with my daughter’s brother’s injuries. On the other hand, I am proud of my daughter and her constant being there for her brother, and it makes me proud to be her father.

UPDATE: More is coming out on what happened to my daughter’s biological brother and what he went through in his ordeal. The more I hear about this, the more it reminds me of some of the war crimes you read about in the newspapers. I can’t imagine what he went through over the three to four days of torture. We have also found out that one person tried to stop what was going on and ended up injured for several days and there are quite a few people who knew this torture was going on. I have to wonder why no one put a stop to this type of treatment. Instead, all anyone really did (except one person) was watch this go on.