Thursday, September 23, 2010


Okay. It's time for a heart to heart. This is dedicated to all of my "readers," friends, and family who don't truly understand how to value and respect themselves or others...

I have seen faaaaaar too many people lately--people I care about dearly--who are either being used as doormats or treating others as if they are. Just because.

I don't get it.

Sure there are days (far more than I care to admit to) where I rant and rave and treat my family less than lovingly. We all have those days. That's not what I'm talking about here (although those days do leave me feeling miserable and regretful at the end of the day and I often have to go "untuck" my kids to tell them sorry again.)

What I'm talking about is this constant, consistent needling. Incessant (and usually passive agressive) behavior that clearly says, "your feelings are not my main concern." or "My needs are more important than yours...or anyone's."

At first I try to analyze it: "It must be insecurity and a lack of fulfillment somewhere in their life. Maybe they grew up being tormented that way and it's carried over...blah blah blah.

I don't look for a reason anymore.

If you're old enough to understand right from wrong, you're old enough to know that no one deserves to be treated like an afterthought. Like an insignificant, unimportant accessory.

I've had enough of watching it. I experienced it for long enough that I grew out of that "Oh, it must be me" and saw the light. "No, it's not me. It's them." Luckily, I don't have that same sitution in my life anymore, but it sure does leave scars. And those scars ache all over again when I see someone I care about going through the same thing. And having experienced it makes it all the more apparent when someone else is living it.

To my friends who are receiving this line of crap: You ARE more valuable than that! You DON'T have to take someone else's bull and swallow the lie that you are not important and valuable enough to have hopes, dreams, aspirations, and beliefs of your own. You should NEVER feel guilty for having outside interests or friends. You should NEVER have to accept comments that are hurtful, disparaging, or untrue. Don't settle. Don't buy into the lie that you somehow deserve this or it's okay to be treated this way. I don't care if it's a husband, a friend, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a parent, a sibling, or a boss...they are wrong.

Even if you recognize this person is wrong, but you think the easy way out is to "take it" or even go so far as to acknowledge your "part" in it...when you clearly know you didn't play a part...only to keep the peace, you are only postponing the inevitable and giving the person permission to treat you like that. Stop it.

Stand up for yourself. Get angry. Draw some boundaries. Stick to them.

Don't allow yourself to be the victim. Be the survivor. Start calling the shots.

If you're in danger--GET OUT! If you don't have a trusted family member or friend, there are women's shelters who can lead you in the right direction.

I think the hardest step is the first one: Acknowledging that you are FED UP with the way things are and that you want a CHANGE. Usually the misery that we are in is more comfortable to us than the unknown of striking out and removing ourselves from the situation.

Once you're out--stick to your convictions. Usually that person will do and try anything to get you back in their life. Don't fall for it. I'm not saying people can't/don't change, but it should take a lot to feel confident in that change.

I've also noticed leaving the situation is a lot like the "saint complex" after someone dies. For some inexplicable reason, the mind tends to soften the sharp edges of our memory and those things that infuriated us before now merely annoy us. We start to justify them or maybe even forget some. The good times are elevated and higlighted so that we start to question why we felt the way we did or why we left.

Be prepared for that and maybe it won't take you by surprise or fool you.

Lastly, confide in someone trustworthy. You need a safe place to vent. Everybody needs a "vault." Find yours and use it.

Am I an expert? Not by ANY means. But, I've been there in experience and sadly by watching others who I care about struggle through. I don't know why we allow that lying bill of goods to be sold to us, but it's time to stop accepting it.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mind Your Own Beeswax

Some people never cease to amaze me, but I don't know why. So here we were, out in, the hubbs, and all 4 of the munchkins when someone near me looked up, saw my daughter (who was far away from me, by my husband) gasped, and commented on the age appropriateness of the "vice" she still (unfortunately) partakes in. The woman looked at me (not realizing she was addressing mama bear) and said, "Does that girl have a [insert vice here]?" She was noticeably shocked, disgusted, etc. I loked over and--sure enough--it was E she was referring to. I replied, "She's mine." I hope the other woman got that "I-just-saw-flashing-red-lights-in-my-rearview-mirror-and-I'm-speeding" heat rush that we've all experienced.

First of all, it's none of your business. Second, it's none of your business, and third, it's none of your business.

Let's disregard the fact that I am just as embarrassed by the fact that we still allow her to partake and look at the root of the issue here...this rubbed me the wrong way because I am sick to death of those parents who think their way is the best way and feel it necessary to impart their parenting wisdom onto others.

I'm not proud of it, we've broken the habit twice only to have much worse things happen (such as night terrors). No thanks. I need my sleep and if this one item will give her the comfort she needs (at 2!) then I will make that decision.

Situations like this make me so uncomfortable. Of course it knocks me down a few pegs to think that someone else doesn't think I'm doing a good job as a parent. (Shouldn't be my main concern, I know, but I am human.) I so detest moms who tear other moms down. And we all do things differently, so why openly condemn the way others parent? As long as it doesn't include abuse, of course.

It does serve as a mirror however, for me to look at myself and see the ways I am judgmental of others. It's never nice to be on the receiving end of those judgments and I try to remember that.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Takes Me Back

 Fall is officially on its way. It didn't seem like it just a few days ago when it was almost 100 degrees.

I caught a magnificent breeze the other day while driving and it stopped me for a minute. It took me back to when I met Joe. Which is weird considering I met Joe in June, but whatever.

Isn't it amazing how things can do that to you? Hear a certain song and there you are again at the 8th grade dance or with your first high school crush. Smell a certain scent and feel that rush of memories from a specific time in your life.

That's what happened to me the other day. It took me back to the butterflies in my stomach. The excitement of starting a new life for myself. I had just moved out on my own--for the first time EVER, I might add--from a 4 year marriage (8 year relationship) that ended very badly, although we are still civil to one another today.

It was so sad and so liberating. I was delirious with the prospects for the future and who I was as a person outside of the depressing, lonely life I had been leading. The life that left me feeling like a failure, like the ugliest woman alive, like a private detective.

And in walked Joe.

Well, actually in walked me. Into the bar. That's right, I said it. We met in a bar. It was one that I used to go to a lot with coworkers for Happy Hour. That's actually where I started tearin' up the mic on Friday nights for karaoke. Oh? didn't know that about me? 

Joe was the DJ. He had just moved back from California and was helping out with his brother-in-law's DJ business. My friend Stacey and I were there for my 24th birthday celebratory karaoke round and Joe played Happy Birthday for me while the bar sang along. Good times. Joe still recalls to this day that I had an enormous corsage on my wrist (compliments of Stace) but by the end of the night, it was around my ankle. One too many glasses of white zin.

I kept seeing Joe every Friday from then on and we started chatting. He told me he had just moved back and that he liked his apartment (since I was suddenly in the market) and I went to take a look at his complex. I also looked at a few others. The rent and location was best at the place where Joe lived, and wouldn't you know it....the ONLY 1 bedroom available was across the hall from him.

We got to know each other by propping our doors open and yelling across as we went about our day. It was fun. I got to know a really great guy and we fell in love (insert flowery music here.)

What a great time. I think that was the best summer of my life so far. I left an abusive relationship, harkened out on my own, Joe & I met, fell in love, got pregnant, freaked out, told our families, freaked out, bought a house, freaked out, got married, and then had a beautiful little boy. Yes, that's the order of things, and no it wasn't necessarily how I would recommend doing it or how I believe it should be done, but there it is.

So all of that was encapsulated in that breeze the other day. And it made me feel all kinds of things: nostalgic, wistful, sad, hopeful, content, and happy. All in a matter of about a second.

It made me realize (again) how important it is to refer back to where we've been to truly appreciate where we are and where we're going.

And I leave you with THE song that sums up all of the memories and emotions of when I met Joe. *sigh* Enjoy.

Click Here for your listening pleasure.
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