Category Archives: Self esteem

For starzki on her journey

I thought I’d have this eye opening experience where life and my purpose would just click and make sense…. but here I sit 2 months into the trip of my lifetime, in a random country, where I know no one, and I feel so alone. I have no purpose, no path and it’s utterly confusing.  What am I doing? Why am I here? What am I actually looking for? Did I make a mistake? I’m 100% free from everything I thought I wanted to be free from. Wandering the world like a true gypsy… I belong to no man or no city, yet,
it’s like I’m trying to feel my way through the darkness. Searching for my people/my tribe. The one place I truly belong. Budapest has been the closest I’ve come… and, it scared  me…. they were weird and strange and wonderful and hardly showered, all make love… they lived in an old ruined building that resembled a crack den…. still I ran. With the fear behind me I’d stay forever and miss out on something on that “feeling” I’ve been searching for… the feeling I have no fucking clue what it is or if it even exists. Maybe I just need to embrace that and run straight back into their happy family of weirdness. To the Dirty people who want peace. It sounds right to me! There are too many clean people who want nothing but war.

Still  I feel alone. This loneliness won’t seem to leave. I can never seem to escape it.  Maybe it’s my empathic nature and I’m simply absorbing the loneliness around me is this giant world of truly lonely people. As I look at the man across the room from me and my heart breaks for him. I can feel his feelings, his sadness like I’m drinking them down as I would a glass of water. Consuming every ounce of me. How do I help him? How do I help myself? Literally fighting my own tears back as I try to look into his life. The crows feet around his eye intrigue me. I want to know where he’s been, how old is he, what his stories are that made him laugh that made him cry. The stories behind what brought him here today. Sitting alone drinking a beer.  

Soaking up his energy is hard for me but also inviting and full of pure sadness. 

Andrea

My friends, this woman is one of the most magnificent specimens of selflessness and kindness on this planet. She is genuine and pure and unique. She’s my best friend. One I haven’t seen in years but, I don’t need to in order to know she’s still there. She and I are connected by something real and rare. We are bonded in a way that, unfortunately, i don’t think many will ever feel. She says soul sister. That’s very true.  I don’t know what a soul is made of. I don’t know who gave mine to me. But everything in me knows that hers and mine are very much the same and it kills me when she says things like, “This loneliness won’t leave me alone.” That is beautiful. It’s that kind of absurd irony that makes life so strange and beautiful.

We’ve lived very different lives but have come to the same conclusions on most things. Mostly we believe that there is an overwhelming need for kindness, love, and acceptance on this planet and that we have to work to do something to combat the people in this world who preach the opposite.

Let me tell you about my friend.

She and I grew up in the same area. It was a rural one and most people don’t leave there. We certainly did (although I’m back there for reasons). It’s a lovely place,  as all places are. It is typically the people that screw places up.

During our younger years she and I weren’t that close at all. We were friends but we had different best friends and we were often among different groups of people. When we were both still in high school it seems we simultaneously hit a wall. We each found our own vices to cope with the onset of awfulness that was our emergence into this modern society. I don’t know if she could pinpoint the feelings that drove her to destruction back then. I never asked. Maybe I should have. Mine were fairly clear but took a decade to dig out from.

“I’m not what I’m supposed to be.”

That phrase would ring through my mind over and over again. I spent time trying to conform within my own code of conduct but, none of it ever felt right. I went to college thinking I’d found a path I could live on. That didn’t really work out. She came to see me a few times as she attempted to escape the asylum the world wanted to put her in. That’s not my story to tell but, guys, it’s a good one.

Anyway, when the dust settled after the disastrous teenage years were behind us, we found we were closer than ever. She may have been a teenager still, come to think of it. I don’t really know. I know she’s younger than me but I can never remember by how much. Some reading this may think, “How can you not know how old she is if you call her your best friend?” Well, it never seemed to matter. In high school she was more mature than I was. By A LOT. She taught me the drama and standards of female friendships were COMPLETELY unnecessary. That changed me. Her free spirit punched my free spirit right in the gut with that. I remember thinking, “I don’t have to participate in this nonsense?” I was under the impression that I was bound to that code or I’d be left alone. I thank whoever created our consciousness that she showed me I was wrong. 

I guess you could say, as we figured out more of who we really were, our spirits came closer to alignment within our individual selves and then became closer to alignment with each other as they are so similar. 

I always felt her spirit was a good bit stronger than mine. I had a tendency to draw myself inward and she forced herself out into the fray. She has well developed social skills because of this whereas I hide in my head and behind the keys of a computer in an effort to riddle it all out. 

I had a family and a marriage and I moved away from her and everyone I knew just trying to do what was right and grow into what I thought I should be and what I felt I was being directed to become. She was in a serious relationship with a dude, had a real job, a house, and some dogs. We seemed to be finally fitting in.  

But, it still didn’t feel right.

She called me one day. She told me she wasn’t happy in that spot. The world was so small there. Everything is the same over and over again. The people and the places and the experiences are quite limited when you live in the Midwest. So, I told her to stop worrying about obligations to others if she knew she’d be miserable in those boundaries. I told her to live for herself.

I’m sure she had already decided what she needed to do. That conversation couldn’t have held much weight. She does what she’s compelled to do and it’s magnificent because she’s one of the rare ones who can be trusted to do well with that kind of power.

She moved to the desert of Arizona. I was in the deep south. We spoke on the phone maybe twice a year, but, in those conversations from thousands of miles away, I felt more of a connection to her than I’d felt with any other and in a way that made up for all of what I felt was meaningless in my day to day interactions. Speaking with her refreshed me and made me feel like there was hope for true happiness.

From Arizona her world has only gotten bigger as she’s joined with philanthropic teams to assist those in need. Her world, it just keeps getting bigger.

I can see why she’s lost. We don’t have what is required to travel the paved roads on the maps that seem so popular. Their way doesn’t fill us up. Also, doing what does come naturally and what feels right doesn’t garner us any praise. We are often scorned for our actions in ways that don’t make sense to us. We are asked why we would be kind to certain people. Why would you give so much for someone you don’t know? Why would you do this and that and the other thing? It’s like we are weird and abnormal and strange and, maybe we are. 

There’s a lack of appreciation in a life like that. A lack of acceptance, a longing for camaraderie and, let’s face it, we were taught to need those things. Shaking that bad habit is hard as hell. When you’re an empathetic soul it hurts to watch people hurt each other. When you see an end to all of the useless pain and you’re told it will never work because of old ideas and standards you start to think others refuse to see the future and it’s frustrating and unfortunately, the laws are made in their favor so, you are forced to bend to their will in a lot of ways. It’s a bummer.

Maybe we evolved too early. Maybe it’s harder for us to find the like minded in a crowd because we are a sparse group of folks. Or maybe we were born too late. That hippie culture lingered but it feels like it’s gone. 

Regardless, the answers you’re searching for, my dearest friend, they aren’t out there. They never were. Whatever made us all gave the plan to us when he/she/it made our souls. They were attached to us before we were born so they couldn’t be taken from us. So everyone had a fair shot at happiness and fulfillment. Who you’re supposed to be and where you’re supposed to go and what you’re supposed to do are things you already know and you, precious Starchild, you’re lucky enough to be one of the brilliant ones who doesn’t need to be directed. You’re soul is smart enough and loud enough to drive you there. If you get it wrong something will turn you around. If it doesn’t feel right, walk away. Or run. You’ve been so far and you’ve done so much good.  Your intentions are PURE and your motives are clear.  You’re exactly who and what and where you’re supposed to be. 

If you don’t feel appreciated it is only because most people don’t know how to appreciate you. You’re like one of those stipple paintings that looks like dots up close to people who don’t know well enough to take a step back. You’re just too big for their small views. And that’s ok. Because there are a few exceptional people out there who can see you for all of the glorious good that you are. Don’t be lonely. We feel you there. Alllllll the way over there.

One person’s appreciation doesn’t feel like enough sometimes. Especially when you give so much of yourself without asking for much in return.  Administering polio vaccines and helping to build water filtration systems.  Jeez, man.  You should never have to doubt your beauty and worth.  You should never have to search for validation. But you will have to.  

Some days you won’t feel any love at all. Then you have to look for it and, on the way, you’ll find something that’s going to change you. The next step. It always starts in a moment of discomfort or pain. You’re about to grow wings, you beautiful creature.  Soon enough, you won’t have to look for anything at all. You’ll have found it all inside of you. And you’ll find that there is so much in there that you need not fear sharing it with any and everyone you come across because, if there is one thing I know, people like you never run out of love.  

Love is what fuels you. Love fuels us all and a lot of people replaced it with something else. I’m afraid many have forgotten what it really feels and looks like in it’s many magnificent forms but, you have it in abundance and it’s not going anywhere. 

I imagine you’ve seen things that make your efforts seem small, as exhausting as they have been. They aren’t small. And neither are you. When you reach out your hand or extend your love with that brilliant smile, you plug into another soul. And they bring it to another and on and on and on and, before you know it, your smile improved the whole of humanity. How can anyone feel alone when they start seeing that? It may sound trite but, you’ll see it, if you’re looking for it.  

You’re strong. Smart. Capable. Diligent in an effort to make humanity more positive and pleasant. You’re important. Just because you aren’t “following the rules” doesn’t mean you’re off course. I’m sure there are kids in India who’d be dead had they not met you.  YOU are everything you’re supposed to be, doing exactly what you’re supposed to do, exactly where you’re supposed to be. 

I love you.

P.S.

I miss your face

More 

A lot of people can see the moon.
Most see it as a light in the night sky.

Some go to the extent of seeing it as it is.  A planetary object circling the Earth. Dusty and gray.

Not many go as far as to see themselves upon it. 

Not many try to experience it as if they were there, in the fine particulate, smooth between their toes. 

Not many see themselves there, imagining the exact sort of smile that would spread across their face when they realized where they were. 

Wondering wildly. 

Kneeling down in that soft sand and inspecting it’s color and texture. Looking over their shoulder through the black sky to the moon sized Earth in their peripheral then out to the stars so clearly seen in the absence of an atmosphere.

When you are a person who has a mind meant for more, this universe is more to you than the majority and the majority of those you meet will inevitably call you crazy.

I was lost in it for awhile.

I felt more.

I tasted more.

I smelled more.

I experienced more in everything than most could even imagine.

Personalization + overactive imagination = PAIN

It was lonely, it still can be.  

There was no one to teach me how to travel here because they couldn’t possibly show me a way they could never understand.

Their way wouldn’t work for me and they couldn’t see or feel as I did. They couldn’t pave my road. 

So, I learned to fly over them.

The world as most know it wasn’t designed for my comfort. 

Majority rules. 

I turned inward, then outward, then every which way. 

I’m comfortable now.  Like an alien adjusting to a foreign atmosphere. Like a fish out of water that somehow survived.

I learned to live in my own skin and mind and morals. 

I learned my limitations and strengths.

I’m lucky I got to learn it all.  Many like me don’t make it here.

Judgement. Persecution. Ridicule. Because “they” don’t understand.

They can’t. 

That’s ok. 

It all hurt. All of it. Good and bad because it was too much for awhile. 

Imagine living in this world and seeing the bad and actually putting yourself there and inside of them.  Becoming the mother of a starving family or a child living in war.

There was pain every minute.

There were bombs shaking me in the night.

To harness the gifts I was given was a struggle.

To learn how to feel and sense and survive with this mentality was pain in the purest form.

I grew into it.

I outgrew a lot of it.

I’m growing into more.

I’m going to keep going. On my own terms. In my own time. By my own volition.

The will and wishes of others seemed too small for me. Their world is too small too.

But, here’s the beautiful thing, I don’t need it, or them. Not anymore.

Mine is brighter, bigger, fuller, and, I’m comfortable here.

Finally.

Persecution 

The mentally ill or those who are assumed to be, have suffered under unfair persecution since they started diagnosing people with mental defects. A good portion of them are just people who think in a way most “normal” people couldn’t hope to.  Or folks who feel emotions in a way that your typical person doesn’t understand. It takes a good bit of time to learn how to harness that kind of power. Warning, you’ll probably get locked up in the process. 

A friend of mine was recently put into an asylum because he said some things on social media that his paranoid parents didn’t understand. He had been in mental health units before so, each time they attempted to put him back in, his previous visits made it much easier to accomplish that.  Unfortunate. This is how most get trapped.

Google a list of reasons someone can get locked away in the state you live in. I did. What I learned is that we should basically all visit a behavioral medicine unit to be evaluated at some point. We are all absolutely insane based on the lists I’ve been browsing. And, if at any point in time you have taken an anti depressant or any type of psych med you are GOING IN THE NUT HOUSE. All it takes is one person to do it in some places and they require absolutely no proof of their accusations to stick you in there. What. The. Hell. Man?

I had depression when I was younger. It was trauma based, situational, never a chemical imbalance. I was too young to understand what had been done to me and what I had been through and what is still happening unfortunately. One doctor said I was bipolar for a minute. Turns out that, according to most psychiatrists I’ve spoken to, it was highly unethical for him to drastically change my previous diagnosis from years before just a few weeks after my mom died.  F****d my life up, big time.

 After seeing me for as little as five minutes he decided I needed to take handfuls of pills that my brain didn’t really need. I didn’t lose my mind, though I should have, after having someone stomp on it with pharmaceuticals for nearly a year. As it turns out he is known around town for being the “go to guy” to get benzo prescriptions. 

Why did this happen?

Plans. Plans I didn’t understand until now.

Some were drafted by men while other plans were typed up by God himself. I’m just gonna go with it.

Some people won’t let you escape some situations. They’ll do everything they can to drag you down with them. I don’t understand these people.  I don’t understand modern psychology. It’s no mystery at this point in our evolution that, we as a society, REALLY like pills. That’s enough of that now, people. It’s been said out loud by millions of people billions of times and it is still happening. 

Compare it to this scenario if you will; suboxon and methadone don’t make you not a drug addict. They make you addicted to suboxon and methadone.  

I understand folks with severe mental illness do need a little chemical leveling with the help of some of these medications but, holy hell, how did every bored housewife get a prescription to Ativan and Xanax? What is happening?

It’s become the answer. It is far from the solution. Especially in young ones. I was 16 when I was diagnosed with depression after I met 3 requirements on a vague 10 question checklist. They put me on Prozac. That was one of the only prescriptions the medical doctor who prescribed it knew of. Ahhhhhhhh. Run away, young me! Run awaaaay!

In all honesty I was struggling with childhood trauma. And I wouldn’t tell anyone about it. I didn’t mention a word of it to anyone until I was 17. It spilled out of me when I was drinking. Had I just been honest about the issue and open to discussing it I could have avoided years years years of misfortune. Most recently at the hands of some people who have decided to use the unfortunate incidents of my past to make themselves feel better about some stuff. I won’t go into detail about them. They aren’t important.

I have encountered this story before, though. I recognize a few familiar faces in the stories I find myself relating to during this trying time. They are out there in great numbers. Most have good intentions but, some don’t.  They use your history of mental instability to keep you unstable. To get out of trouble by making a case against you to cast doubt in a judge’s eyes or in the community opinion pool and make you look insane. They do it to gain control. Sometimes they want control because they are legitimitely afraid of you. Sometimes they overreact and fear that because you are capable of feeling strong emotions that would topple and cripple them that you will hurt yourself. Sometimes they just want to get out of trouble and your imagined insanity is a pretty good excuse.  No amount of evidence after the fact would do once they have painted a picture of you as a crazy person. Not when what you’ve been through is seen as a defect by most. Guess who was crazy. Van Gough.  Dude cut his ear off and stuff. He died poor and now he is seen as a visionary genius. I know that isn’t commonplace. I’m not saying I am him or like him. I don’t think I have what it takes to cleve off my own body parts. Ears are important. I’m keeping both of mine. 

Sensitive and traumatized folks need to be careful of the company they keep, though. It’s no mystery that a good portion of the people we meet are up to no good. I’m not being paranoid. I’m not an idiot, though. I see them. I avoid them. Or I fall in love with them because apparently I’m an idiot. I’m gonna save them! Ha! Nope. Doesn’t work. Moving on.

Some will use your supposed weakness to try and keep you weak. They don’t realize how much strength you had to have to make it out. 

Some are burned by the fire while others are fortified by it. 

Mental illness of the past just became a weapon in someone’s hands. Good thing I made it through that “illness” because I gained a very special skill set and strength that folks like them will never know. They couldn’t hold the weight of what I’ve learned if they raised an army to help them hoist it.  
Show me your army. My two marines and myself should do just fine against them. Ooh rah.

Huh?

Rah.

My friends used to call me Rah. Makes sense now. 

I dislike the injustice. Guess what! Justice doesn’t truly exsist here on Earth. We developed systems of order. We did that. Humans. Those systems are made up of people. Peopley people. There are some REALLY peopley people out there. Depending on all of the variables, sometimes those people fail to see the truth. Or they do and they can’t do anything about it because of the way the system that people made is designed and the limitations of the people in charge of it or the circumstances and quality of the people who represent other people. Etc. Blah blah blah

 People.

They’re fallible.

That means they make mistakes.

Good thing this isn’t the plain of exsistence I’m concerned with. My spirit has much further to travel. I fear for those who limit themselves by conducting themselves in a way that the really humany humans have told them they should. It’s like they can’t even feel the souls they carry anymore. They certainly don’t hear them. 

Don’t call me crazy for speaking of talking souls. Some call it your conscious. I have my own ideas. Having my own ideas and having a place to speak about them without being told I’m insane before I can explain is really nice.

I like it here.

I wanna live in this blog.

People like me fear our emotions and our thoughts like that. We have to carefully monitor what we do and say. We know how easy it is for you all to stuff us in a padded room because we make you uncomfortable. Or because it is just easier to ignore us. Or because you want something and if you make people believe we’re insane no one will listen to us.

I never had a desire to kill anyone or myself. But my emotional capacity scared people who weren’t capable of withstanding the emotional currents I had to force my way through. Those stormy seas were difficult to navigate and to survive. 

People like me are taught not to trust. They call our avoidance of people “social anxiety” or something like that. Pfft. Honestly, hun. I was usually just afraid of many of you because of what many others have done. 

“Normal”. Yuck. “Popular”. Eeewwwww. “Sane”. Like anyone even knows what that means anymore. 

I didn’t like to run with the herd. When you join a mob of anything you’re not allowed to use your brain anymore. You have to start thinking and doing and eating and wearing and talking about and WHATEVER WHATEVER WHATEVER! Not my thing. I gave it a good try but that crap got me in trouble. I wasn’t in the “wrong crowd” either. All crowds are the wrong crowd for me, to be honest. Too many rules that don’t make any real sense. I like what I like. I like who I like. If I get fat at some point I can hide until I’m cool with my new skin and adjust to my newly super-sized and awesome self and no one misses me in the meantime. It’s pretty awesome. 

We learn to live without flocks of friends and followers. We don’t need approval. We don’t need to be told we are right. We develop clear and powerful internal moral standards and compasses. We stand alone often because mob mentality doesn’t make any man or woman right. And it is downright dangerous, historically speaking, to think like that. So, we avoid the mobs. They ask us to think like they do and we can’t. I won’t.

When a person like me finds their way out of the pain that once pinned them down in an overwhelmed and panicked state, getting through things that would cripple most humans seems easy and almost effortless.  Just allow me a moment alone to let myself feel what is natural. Let the waves roll. I don’t fight against them anymore, I ride them to safety.
Then it’s done. The pain is there in a smaller sense but it’s not as bad as pain I once lived in for years on end. It’s not as bad as it was when it began. Shortly, it goes away completely because, at some point, I realized that pain does pass

When I was younger I didn’t know that. When people kept telling me I was sick I thought the pain would last forever. 

“I have what now? An invisible disease in my brain that may or may not require medication that could possibly make me want to kill myself even though the only reason you’re prescribing it to begin with is because I’m sad? What? The f**? Sense? My brain wants my body to die? What? This person says my brain wants my body to die. There’s a demon in me. This book says that’s basically what’s happening here. I drew that conclusion. Yes. That is a summary of my own, but, you read the literature and tell me that’s not what they’re saying, friend in 10th grade. We will figure this out together. We are soooo much smarter than alll of the adults. There is some type of mythical beast inhabiting parts of my brain that doctors and scientists don’t understand and it’s possibly gonna be there until I die. Soon probably. Based on these statistics. F***ing gnomes up there or something. Sh** is unbelievable. I thought I had PMS but apparently I was mistaken because the medical doctor who knows very little about brains wants me to take a pill that could possibly make me want to kill myself. I guess if it’s one type of beasty up there it gets weaker with the pills but if it’s the other kind of beasty it is going to, like, hijack my synapses and do some type of pod people sh** and I’m gonna wake up covered in blood and have no idea how I got to the couNtRY OF CHINA! WHAT THE LITERAL F***.”  

El fin. That was fun. Thanks for playing.

I was a child. A traumatized one. The trauma was my secret. Then ALLLLLLL of that pubescent nonsense rattled around in my immature brain like a barbed bouncy ball, ripping squishy magical brain bits to shreds.  I wanted to give up but I never could. Today I learned why.  

People are people and they’re not perfect.  They make mistakes. Sometimes it isn’t fair. Sometimes you suffer and no one seems to care. Even if they do care, sometimes, they just don’t have the power to do anything about it. 

Most people are afraid. Mostly of what they don’t understand. To protect themselves they pretend to know everything and only listen to those who agree. Such is life.

I’m not focusing on fair anymore. It is absolutely exhausting. And what people think is of no concern to me. Those who do know me, the important people, they know what’s real and what’s not. 

Most importantly, I know.  Every moment of excruciating sadness served a purpose. A sense of self without limitation or expectations. Without the need for approval or a single soul to agree.  My goal is not as near sighted as it once was. I can see into the distance now.  The world is HUGE. The universe is even bigger. God only knows what is out there and beyond all of this. I feel strongly that a true judge is watching. He/she/it knows. Knows every damn thing. Men are too easily fooled. By men I mean humans and not specifically things with penises.

 Every single thing mattered. I absorbed it all with my eyes, heart, and mind wide open and humility and awareness to help me accept some facts about the world that taste bitter and feel cruel.  Can’t taste the sweet without the salty, though. 

Ah, the yin and the yang.

I’ve been pinned down for some time now. The struggle isn’t over. Most of the pain I felt earlier today was selfish and naive. It took only hours for me to heal my wounded heart by recognizing the true source of my emotions and allowing myself to feel what I felt was appropriate under the direction of my moral code.

 Writing this has helped. Talking at my sister always helps.  Being reminded of what is in the distance helped. Realizing my strength helped.

Perspective. Hard earned maturity. Conquer over greater tragedies strengthened me for this.  It doesn’t take long for me to find order in chaos. Mostly because I refused to give up when many would have, and many did. Knowing myself well enough to give my good qualities the steroids and to tell my bad qualities to sit down and shut the hell up has become extremely useful. 

I knew I would have to fight harder. I’m outnumbered. My history has scars on it. I don’t catch breaks.  That’s exactly what made me strong enough to do this. 

I long for the day when the science of psychology improves. When they realize that medicine makes some people worse and that therapy isn’t enough for some and all of that helpful stuff that lies in the middle somewhere. 

Etc. Etc. Etc.  

For now, we are guinea pigs. How could anyone take a face like that seriously? I got off of the wheel and out of the cage, though. I’m just trying to find a way to safe pastures before a snake eats me.  

I’m a woman with faith in action.  My Higher Power will get me where he needs me and I finally have the self worth and sense of self to be confident that I know what I am and what’s best for me.  I fought through a lot to gain that knowledge. I’m keeping it because I earned it and I deserve it.

 I’m sure this post will be widely misinterpreted by a few lawyers in particular and entered into evidence, too. Hi there. 

If you don’t know me and you are reading this, I’m writing this for you, not them. 

The one thing that helped me out of the cage was realizing my true nature, accepting it, owning it, building up the good and working to turn the bad into more good.  

I know my super power now. All of us “crazy” people have one if we live long enough to develop it.

Mine is my protective nature. Anyone who really knows me knew that about me before I was able to admit it. I wandered along looking for someone to protect me for too long. Instead of giving me what I wanted, my Creator taught me how to protect myself and reminded me again today, when the man in the black robe did what he was required to do by giving someone he didn’t know the benefit of doubt. I was swiftly reminded of who I am really here to protect. And it’s not myself. 

Justice for me doesn’t really matter. I don’t need it. I was upset at first but not because of the obvious. My brain doesn’t work like that. I hated the smug illusion that was created at that moment.  But, I was quickly reminded of what was really important. That something isn’t me either.

I’m important. Don’t get me wrong. But I matter to a larger thing now that I don’t limit myself to accepting and craving the Itty bitty thing a lot of people are obsessed with fitting into and obeying. That infinite thing showed me we’ve all got a cozy little spot somewhere. We all matter. At different times, different places, different ways, etc. That won’t make sense to some. Those of you who do understand it have probably seen some sh**. And I’m glad you made it out. Keep going.

I started writing this to work out the clutter. My mind is like an enormous library. At one time all of the books were on the floor. They’re on shelves now. I’m still trying to organize them. This is one section of my life’s collective knowledge that I have dusted and alphabetized. 

With every word I write here I explore another chapter and I let you read it too. I hope you benefit from it.  If I had read words like this when I was young things may have been different for me. 

There were no blogs back then because I am, indeed, a dinosaur according to you young people. 

Just kidding I’m 32. So I’ve seen some really cool stuff happen. Really bad stuff too. When I was originally diagnosed with depression the internet had only just begun. Encyclopedias gave clinical definitions. I didn’t relate much to the elderly male psychiatrists I encountered so I didn’t trust them to know the whole truth which is why I’ll say what bears repeating. 

My struggle is something I will continue to share with any and all of you. Every bit of it will come out in time. It would be selfish of me to keep it all hidden in fear or shame as I know that all I needed when I was young was something to relate to. 

A word, a face, a poem, a book.  

Something happens when you feel unusual, outnumber, overwhelmed, and alone.  In those times we are most likely to give up. People have a lot to learn about folks like me.  They could learn a lot FROM folks like me too.  

We’ll get there. You’ll get there. Maybe I’ll get there too.  In the mean time, my faith is in myself and my Higher power because people are full of faults and often fail.  We’re made that way so people are just a silly thing to have faith in.  

 I stopped asking them to save me long ago. No one will fight harder for me than I will. At one point I just didn’t care enough about myself to do that but now, I do, that has made me unstoppable. 

There are bumps. BIG ONES. That sh** will HURT!  I learned today that as long as I don’t turn those bumps into mountains I was meant to climb and not carry, I will make it to the other side. 

I heard that saying for the first time this year.  “These mountains you were carrying, you were only meant to climb.” Najwah Zebian

Today it made sense in every possible way that I am currently capable of understanding. 

I hope I can explain what I mean by that someday but I need you to take from it what you need to go further.

Someday people who call themselves normal and sane and even the ones who look good on paper but behave like beasts behind closed doors or when you get in their way will have as little power over you as they do over me at this point in my life. 

The battles are long, exhausting, and you will lose sometimes. You will also lose people you really love. But, if you give up at any point it takes longer. If you give up completely you won’t get there at all. 

Don’t let it all out in front of anyone you don’t trust. Don’t trust anyone that you are suspicious of because your intuition knows things and somehow sees beyond the lies they tell and walls they’ve built. The key to that particular super power lies somewhere in the magical squishy brain bits that haven’t yet been explored and defined. Maybe. Or maybe that’s what our appendix is for. Who the hell knows really?! Not me! That’s for sure.

Someday we’ll know more about the brain and trauma. Mostly because they experimented on us. Some of us have had to pay dearly, over and over again. Some of us lost our lives.  

It is getting better out there, though.  I can see it improving even within my own limited lifetime. I think it’s because we aren’t hiding anymore. 

They have to feel they understand us to be comfortable. I feel safe airing it out now from here, on the other side of the pain. If you’re still in it, anonymity is necessary at times but in the safety of a legally bound psychiatrists office let them know every piece. I wish I had.  

I hid for too long. Gave one doc a bit, another got a different portion, etc.  By denying a trusted and qualified and intelligent professional the whole picture I only prolonged my sadness. They wouldn’t have thought as negatively of me as I did of myself. They wouldn’t have called me crazy like I had feared they would. They would’ve known the problem and the way to help me through it.  A few moments of discomfort at the beginning would have remedied and prevented decades of discomfort and desolate pain.

So.

That’s done.

Bye
 

 

Dating myself again.

I took myself on a date and I have to say,  I’m quite a gentleman. 

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I’ve often been accused of being a loner.  Or antisocial.  Or a man hater.  I’m none of those things.  I like being alone from time to time.  That is true.  I like to think. For me, that’s best done alone.  I’m not afraid of silence or introspection.  In fact I prefer it to meaningless noise and small talk. Being on my own feels natural.

As a small child I often played alone in my room as my imagination was vibrant and strange and my sister had a quiet and gentle presence whereas mine was rambunctious and wild. I felt no need to force myself on her as I was perfectly content on my own.  We played plenty.  She’s my best friend, after all.

I have often found it difficult to truly relate with most of the people I’ve met, though.   I was usually at level 10 and most wanted me to be at level 2. And for me everything has to have meaning,  including the relationships and friendships I take great effort caring for and nurturing.

I like people just fine.  Don’t get me wrong.  Sometimes it’s fun to be part of a loud crowd.  I’m comfortable there,  as well.  I just never found it necessary to have a hundred friends and a thousand interactions as the few good friendships I have maintained have always been fulfilling enough for me.

I don’t understand why people feel bad for me as I eat alone in a restaurant.   I don’t mind it at all.  Everyone has to eat.   I could hide in my car and eat fast food to spare their feelings I suppose as they imagine I’m lonely or sad.  Some have made the assumption that I’ve been “stood up” or that there must be something wrong with me.  I don’t carry much concern for the opinion of strangers,  though.  So I’ll gladly go on a solitary date with myself.

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My unimpeded view was magnificent under the stormy skies. The chairs were wicked bouncy and the air smelled nice.

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I settled on the Butcher’s Cut and ate it in it’s entirety.  All alone.  Happily.  Without having to pause for conversation or attempt to be attractive with grease on my face.  Let’s be honest.  I wouldn’t have attempted to be attractive eating a burger if I had been sitting across the table from James Dean.

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I devoured this masterpiece in silence.  As a mother of 3,  silence is as rare as the inside of that delightful beef patty.

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I wasn’t self conscious,  though strangers stared with looks of wonder.  I wasn’t bummed to be on my own.  I fought hard for my independance.  No tears will be shed today because of it.

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When I had sufficiently stuffed myself full of truffle oil and frites, I hit up my favorite book store for some much needed inspiration.

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Then off I went to see a movie. I heard the dudes behind me whispering.  “Sad” they said.  For you or me, Pal?  I don’t need a chaperone.  I assure you,  I can handle myself just fine. I’m not certain if anyone else is capable of that task, though.

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Here is how the date ended.  Back in my bed.  Alone.  No expectations.  No inappropriate advances.  Treated myself like a lady all night which is a welcome change from what I had become accustomed to. I didn’t get kidnapped or raped either, so, that was nice.

On went the leggings and t-shirt and cartoons. 

If all dates were this easy and someone would treat me as well as I have learned to treat myself, maybe I would consider dating an option.  But,  for now,  I’m cool with this arrangement.   I’m fine with the assumptions,  murmers,  and sad stares.   I’m fine with me so I’m cool with you. 

Freedom.

A great lie

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That’s me.  No filter. No make-up.

I was never the girl who couldn’t wait to wear make-up. Nor had I been one who wanted to shop for trendy clothes and look like all the others. I remember wondering why women wore that stuff and all of the boys and men got to continue being themselves.   I was in the 9th grade when I realized how superficial standards would drastically effect my life.

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9th grade. Still hopeful. I was only just beginning to feel the weight of what I grew to believe the world expected of me but it hadn’t yet begun to choke the fire and life out of my young soul yet. It was after I grew out my awesome nerd ‘fro that the other kids started to take notice of me in one way or another.  Late into middle school I was basically forced into one of those supremely awkward and speechless “relationships” that were common during that age in the mid 90’s.

A “cool chick” I knew who eventually became a pretty righteous homecoming queen suggested my dorky behind be girlfriend to the jock type’s less brawny friend. He was a stellar freckly faced ginger boy, adorable, skinny, and according to the other’s we would be just oh so cute together.  Okey doke.  The problem was he and I were both as shy as anyone ever had been in the history of time.  Ever.  In all of the years that man had existed.

We never spoke.   NOT ONE TIME from what I recall.

I remember he and his friends called my house once.  I basically just let his more extroverted friends speak at me. Occasionally I would interject a one word answer in response but, I still don’t know what my first boyfriend’s voice sounded like.

That relationship dissolved amicably enough.  We just stopped being together.  I didn’t want a boyfriend anyway to be honest.  We never held hands or kissed.  There was no physical contact whatsoever outside of the one time we slow danced at school.  It seemed to be a huge deal for everyone but the two of us.  They even made sure to take a photo of this magical moment in prepubescent awkwardness and put it in the yearbook.

I remember that we were both so sweaty that we could barely hold on to each others hands.  That’s right.  Hands together, the other hand on the shoulder.  I’ve always been a classy broad.  I had seen that sh** in the movies and I assumed that was how this was done.  I felt gross, we both smelled bad, and it was the quintessential depiction of puberty in all it’s bumbling glory.  That was enough romance for me, thank you very much.

The next year things changed even more and with an even greater sense of dis-ease and discomfort.

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I’d been an awesome nerd all of my life.  Tomboy through and through. I spent my early formative years in the library at least once a day.  It was only a few blocks from my house and there was a kick ass park outside of it.  My friends and I always sported scraped knees from bicycle accidents and playing “War” in the yard with my walkie talkies.  I had a bag full of nail polish but my favorite thing to do with it was to chip it off after it had been applied.  I played the clarinet in a marching band, man.  I had not been what most would have considered “cool”.

Hitting high school was rough. I was skinny and short in middle school but grew several inches the summer before my sophomore year.  I wasn’t waddling around on my size 9 duck feet with a 4 foot frame anymore.  Boys who’d never seen me before from the grades ahead of me began to take notice.  Soon after the popular type, male and female, began to take notice, as well.  I’ll never forget the day when “they” sent one of their henchmen to my locker.

She told me, and I’m paraphrasing here, “You know, you could be so cool if you just dropped all of your geeky friends.”  Gulp… I’ll never forget those words or the feelings they made me feel.  Invisible was comfortable.  Being noticed was terrifying.

Her words angered me greatly, though I know it wasn’t her fault.  They weren’t really her words, after all.  Those “geeks” were my best friends.  So I simply stated, “If my friends are geeks I guess that makes me a geek too. ”

My friends were awesome. They still are. Individual, kind, good people. They were all a part of the positive force . I love them dearly. They were, and still are, incredible people. These flawless creatures were being talked down about by girls who were cool because years ago someone decided that they were cool. I honestly don’t know how we all came to that conclusion. I denied their offer and “They” had it in for me after that.

My school was very “cliquey”.  Some of the chicks in the cliques were nice enough.  Some had been friends of mine when we were small.  They were kind, sweet, good people.  But, some were insecure, cruel, vain, and vicious. Those b****** and I had words from time to time throughout high school.

Having someone say those words to me got into my head.  I wasn’t any different than I had been when I was younger.  At least not at that point.  I was brainy, wild with my friends and reserved around strangers, kind, always willing to stick up for the underdog. The only thing that had changed was my hair, clothing, and the powder I had started wearing on my face.  Suddenly, like some kind of s*** out of the Devil’s Bible, a spell had been cast and pervy old dudes were harassing me left and right.

Sophomore year was f***ing hell.  A senior boy liked me.  A senior boy who had been dating the same girl for 3 years, nonetheless.  He’d pop up in the windows outside of my classrooms to make strange faces at me.  He’d leave notes in my locker.  He stood outside of the door of his classroom that was on my way to choir every day just so he could say hello.  I had been to his house once with friends and he talked my ear off all night, told me that a boy in my grade asked him to put a good word in for him, all while he flirted his ass off and in return only received a shy yes or no answer to his millions of arbitrary questions.  He even fooled me into thinking there was a “Hug a Senior Day”.  I hugged him, he giggled, I felt stupid.

I worked at a pizza place at the time.  He worked there too.  I honestly can’t remember who got there first because his employment there was of little importance to me.  My best friend worked there and they had no problem hiring a 15 year old.  One night he took me on a delivery with him so he could talk to me.  He told me he felt he’d led me on, I said nope.  I told him we were cool.  It didn’t turn out to be so cool though.  After he graduated sh** hit the fan.  Hell got even hotter.

His girlfriend was a senior now.  She. F***ING. Tortured. Me. And the b**** was merciless.

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Junior year while working one night she and the entire softball team she was part of, all in the cool kids club, took turns yelling sh** like home-wrecker, slut, and b**** back into the kitchen through the buffet line.  I cried because of their cruelty.  It didn’t end there.  They harassed me at school and sporting events, anywhere I was and anywhere they saw me.  They keyed my car.  They would park so closely to it that I couldn’t open the doors to get into it unless they moved their vehicles.  They spread rumors and smeared things on my locker.  Ripped pictures in my locker down and stole from it.  They were relentless.

I’m a nice girl, forgiving and empathetic.  I knew what she thought had happened so I didn’t retaliate.

In the meantime I decided to take up drinking to numb the pain of all of this bullying and to take a break from thinking about the identity crisis I was trying to find my way through.

Boom.  I was immediately great at it.  I was praised for the volume of booze I could tolerate.  I was a gold medal Olympian in the sport of intoxication.  Why not do it as much and as often as I could?  It shook the shy right off of me.  I could finally corner all of the scary b****es I hated and scream obscenities at them during parties.  I never actually remembered doing it but I heard plenty about it at school the next day.  Jesus.  I quickly lost my sh** altogether.

Shortly after turning 17 I started dating a dude.  He was cool and all, but romantic feelings were never really in my nature.  I submitted to his persistent requests to date him because he was funny, sweet, and, well, persistent.  We broke up every 2 weeks for one reason or another. He’d get me flowers and we’d date again.  My favorite thing about him was his patience.  He was a good guy.  At that point I had never kissed a boy and he was never pushy about it.  He continued to treat me like a valuable individual despite the absence of affection. He waited without making me feel pressured.   But, while he waited it seems others were plotting.  His best friend stole the first kiss.  What a jack ass.

One night after work we were all drinking and his buddy decided I needed a shoulder rub.  Sure. Why not?  Just as long as I can move my arms so I can drink copious amounts of this lime flavored vodka. When I had had enough, I turned around and thanked him.  He said, “You owe me more than that.” Mother F*****, I don’t owe you SH**.  These words were bouncing around between my ears but before I could open my mouth to say them aloud, he kissed me.  On the lips.  My very first time.

I ran up the stairs and told my boyfriend what had happened.  He punched a hole in the wall.  I cried under a table in the dark all night.  We didn’t date anymore.  Men were too much f***ing work.  They were also terrifying beasts with carnal urges I simply wasn’t willing to fulfill.  See, all the while those girls were calling me a slut, their boyfriends were calling me a prude.  What the f*** was I?  Good God, I was confused.

It wasn’t long after that I experienced something that further solidified my idea of men and what they thought my purpose was.  I had developed an idea of this as a child.  After being molested, bummer, I repressed the memory of the event but all of the concepts and feeling lingered.  Men were dangerous.  Men were beasts.  Men were expecting things of me I wasn’t willing to give.  I had high defenses and, to me, men were all the same.  Every man I didn’t know well or trust was to be treated as a suspect.  A dangerous predator.  One got by me, though.  He snuck right by security and did some damage on the inside.

I’m going to need to explain something here.  I no longer hold any bad feeling for this boy anymore.  I am, by NO means, excusing his behavior.  But, to be fair I feel I need to disclose that in that time acquaintance rape and date rape were hardly discussed.  Even now the laws regarding this matter are being debated and reformed.  As it stands in most states now, a person who is incapacitated by drugs or alcohol are not considered able to give consent.

I got wasted with a person I thought was my friend one night.  I don’t want to smear this man because he is a man now. Not a boy. He is no longer who he was then. But this event deeply impacted my life so I feel the need to speak about it.  I remember telling him I wasn’t interested in “fooling around” before we started drinking, but, with each drink he pushed further past my boundaries and when I woke I was no longer a virgin.  I don’t remember much about it.  Only flashes.  And at the time it was pretty common for people to get their date “loosened up” with alcohol.  He was just a kid.  But so was I.  When he denied that it had happened when my friends asked about it, I felt he was ashamed of me, not of what he’d done.

I felt at that point that I was just a conquest, a prize, a trophy on a mantle, a plaque on a wall, something to be looked at and used up.  Further and further down I went. “F*** being cute”, I thought.  This make-up.  These jeans.  Nothing but trouble.  Who the f*** was I?  Am I a slut?  Am I a prude?  Am I an angry belligerent beast on a crusade for justice like I am after 12 beers or a liter of vodka, or am I a shy and nerdy introvert like I am when I’m sober? What the f*** am I and where do I fit?

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Years and years and years of struggling with my identity, my purpose, and my traumas went by.  I barely made it out alive. The added torture of recalling bits and pieces of my childhood rape while blacked out felt like a rotten cherry atop a sundae made of vomit and dog sh**.

Based on what I had seen of the world, what most of the folks around were showing me, I had one purpose.  To be a toy.  To be viewed for pleasure and not heard or referred to with respect.  As they say, my insides didn’t match my outsides but every time I dyed my hair brown and wore glasses people called me a poser.

When I started putting that make-up on I started hiding the most valuable parts of me.  It was a literal mask I felt left a film no astringent could wash clear.  When I put on the make-up my true sense of self was concealed and I allowed it to smother my soul for decades.

There was a discord between what I thought people valued in me and what I actually valued in myself. I had no chance at happiness.  No shot at comfort.  Inevitably, I had no desire to live.

It took a long time and a hell of a lot of pain, but, at 200 pounds I finally realized that my outsides were only there to protect what lies within.  The skin protects the flesh beneath it.  The flesh protects the bone.  Bone and flesh protect the organs that create and use the fuel that carries my precious soul through this particular plane of existence.

All of it will rot.  All of it will change constantly and decay eventually.  The only thing that will last for eternity is the spirit I carry inside.  I know that for a fact because, as confused as that part of me was for all of those years, it stayed essentially the same.  Brave, kind, forgiving, solicitous, empathetic, impetuous, wild, humorous, emotional, hot tempered, sensitive, etcetera.

New behaviors can be learned and bad habits can be broken but I have to be who I am at the core in order to feel a necessary sense of self fulfillment.  That is what seems to drive me forward with stability and a sense of safety as I’ve seen all of that that is external waver and flicker in and out of my personal existence.

I have been lucky. I’ve had some incredible friends who are truly angels on Earth.  The difference between the one’s who’ve stayed and the one’s that went away was an unconditional appreciation and acceptance of who I REALLY am.  Some walked away, with great difficulty, as they were watching me destroy my true self.  No one should be forced to watch that. But, when I returned, there they were, waiting for me to return.

People I’ve been desperate to keep around, people I was convinced were good for me destroyed me slowly to bolster their own survival.  They fed on me and siphoned my energy.  When they were taken away I was made free, one piece at a time so long as I was willing to do the work to reclaim what I’d lost.

Then there were those that I lost but truly needed.  With their departure they left me great gifts.  In the wake of their loss I learned I was more than I had previously thought.  I inherited parts of their spirit that I now honor by allowing it to live inside of me and in my actions, words, and mindset.

The great lie I once lived has been proven false by circumstance, experience, and triumph over cruel turns of fate.  I have realized I need to maintain my sense of self.  I fought for it.  I’m keeping it.  I will nurture it.  It would be selfish of me not to.  Harming myself to suit the needs of others will do no one any good.  If they truly need me and I’m not truly me I am lying to them and dying inside.  No one can benefit from such an arrangement.

I knew who I was and then, I forgot.  32 years old and I’m back.  I’m finally able to be a real benefit to those I encounter, confidently aware of my assets, humbly recognizing my weaknesses, and, most importantly, unafraid to let everyone see it all in it’s entirety without the illusion of that worn out old mask.  Ready, willing, able, and unafraid to let some go or let some in because, within myself, my spirit is whole enough again to live without the ones I lose and strong enough to stand tall in the presence of any other.

All I need, I find within myself.

 

 

 

 

 

I will never quit

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I was once a quitter.  Overwhelmed with anxiety and sadness,  I gave up on myself constantly.  I didn’t value my own life enough to fight for it. I begged God to get me out of it or to make it better.  The work it would take to repair damages done seemed insurmountable so I had a tendency to give up before I had even begun.  No attempt to improve was made,  as I felt completely helpless and terrified.

God took care of it for me though.   My Creator gave me a reason to fight in the form of innocent’s that needed guardianship and unconditional love. 

At first I began to live for them only.  Soon I found that life could be more than just being a mommy as I began to learn my value as they grew, proving myself capable of determination,  diligence,  and dutiful selflessness. I proved I was a better person than I had ever given myself credit for when He/She gave me a job I couldn’t quit.

When I was younger the pain made no sense,  it just hurt. It hurt so tremendously that pain outweighed any type of pleasure and I felt as if I’d suffocate beneath it as it was a stifling and ever present, debilitating nightmare I woke with and dreamt of every day,  every second of my life. I felt it would last forever, never realizing that life itself was temporary.

I am one who searches for reason.  A logical explanation was nowhere to be found.  I hurt myself physically to put a face on the pain inside.  I tried to take my own life once or twice.  But,  when I was given the charge of taking care for these defenseless young souls,  all became clear and my pain washed away in bits and pieces. Their birth was a baptism of sorts for me. My sins and the sins of all of the others that had stained my skin for decades detached one by one and floated away with the current in a river, fresh and clear.

I wasn’t able to quit living,  even in my darkest times.   I would attempt to meet my end and immediately regret it. I saved my own life a few times. I somehow knew there was more ahead of me. I somehow knew my time in this realm was not yet over. I somehow knew there was a job to do and hope for me to fulfill my purpose someday. In those indescribable inklings I found hope. Hope. It’s a powerful thing.

I think my searching for explanations for the tragedy and trauma was what kept me in such incredible pain. I needed answers and solutions and was constantly frustrated with the lack of justice and fairness. Living in that mentality kept me lost and lonely. I was living inside of the moments that tormented me, unable to move forward and heal.

I realized something when necessity for triumph found me. I realized something that changed my life.

All of the years of dwelling and depression, searching for a savior and waiting for someone to pay for what they’d done, I was allowing them to hurt me continually. What they had done had lasted only a few hours of my life in total. Once they finished, their part in the damage was done. Though their deeds were dirty, all of the years of terrible pain that followed was something I was causing myself. I was allowing my abusers to abuse me everyday, over and over again, every minute of my life by refusing to let it go.

I set myself free, not needing an explanation or repayment. I let myself live when I decided to move on.

I will never give up on myself or my life again because now I have realized my power and have gained the humility to also recognize and conquer my weaknesses, turning them into assets and character strengthening traits.

I will not quit. I may falter and I may fall, but I can’t stay down. My Higher Power sent me down this path, one that required no outside salvation. When I search for my heroes inside of my memory, the one most frequently seen is the one that appears in the mirror before me because she made the decision to gwt up and go on.

I won’t give up. It does no good. Brief rests are taken during the struggles and I see myself sitting on a log in the forest, climbing a mountain trail during those times. But the climb continues, always. I won’t lay down and die just to pass whatever pain I feel on to those who love me.

I will never give up. I will never lose hope. As long as I have the breath in my lungs and the ability to breath it, I will continue on.

Protect and serve, any way you can

Anyone who has know me for awhile,  especially my childhood friends, will tell you of my protective nature.   I have always been drawn to fight for people outnumbered and outgunned.

It started when I was very small,  fighting little boys on the pre-k playground who were being brutish little bullies.  

By the time I was 8 my aspirations hit the big time.   My dream was to be a Marine.   I was devastated when someone told me that women couldn’t fight on the front line.

Next I decided to be rich somehow so I could drive around big cities on a bus,  collecting homeless people and bringing them to apartment complexes I’d paid for, supplying them with clothing,  groceries,  and resources so they would be able to recover from whatever ailed them,  gain employment,  and get back on their feet.

The world hasn’t made me any less protective.   I remember being in a rehab facility a few years ago,  taking on the “cool chicks” who’d been picking on an awesome little lady who felt alone and outnumbered, until I arrived.

I feel like I was born with it.   Circumstance has only made it stronger and looking back through the history of my family this trait may be genetic after all.

I have a great uncle,  Uncle Lloyd,  who made the brave decision to martyr himself on a battleship.   He and a few others locked themselves behind a door to seal the sinking ship so the others up top could survive.  My father himself fought as a Marine during the Vietnam War.   Enlisted as a minor teenager,  sent overseas when he had just turned 18.   Marine Corps,  Hard Core.  Semper Fi.

So many men in my family have been active in the military.  My grandpa fought in WWII,  cousins,  uncles,  heroes.   But,  the women have been spectacular pillars of strength,  as well.

My Grandmother attended a private college during a time when most married women had babies and fed men for a living.   Nothing wrong with homemaking,  I’ve been doing it for almost ten years,  but that example carried through our family’s history,  making education a thing of importance to the young women I’m related to.  The other grandma went in the other direction,  beautiful,  fiery,  smart.   She raised 7 children on a farm,  working from dusk until dawn selflessly to keep her loved ones happy and safe.

Then there’s my Mama.   The Mama eagle.   She worked hard every day.  I never saw that woman give up.  She did the most difficult thing a mother can do.  She turned me away so I could save my own life.   She set boundaries and rules while I was going wild.  I broke them.  There were consequences.  They led me to feel the full gravity of the pain I was causing myself and my loved ones, which is the only reason I found long lasting and absolute recovery at such a young age. 

She died fighting.  A prolonged and painful battle.  Cancer.  But,  she smiled,  she laughed,  she held me,  she held my children,  she won if you ask me.  She didn’t let that disease beat her at all.   It’s what killed her, that’s true, but it didn’t beat her for even a second.

Protection,  strength,  bravery.   Lofty ideals to some.   They aren’t just applicable to mutants in movies.  They are attainable to anyone who makes the right choice despite the consequence coming their way.   Choose.  You are what you want to be.  People like me will help you become it.   Find us on the internet,  in a friendly smile,  a kind gesture. 

Most importantly,  pick yourself up along with all of the others you assist.   Helping others doesnt hurt if you don’t let it.  Choose who you are and be that person and one day you’ll look at your idols and see that you’re becoming them and that you yourself, have become an inspiration to someone else. 

No excuses,  no justifications, nor self preservation, ego or pride will take you as far as integrity does.  Decency doesn’t hurt either.  Love and kindness are always good.  Just be who you want to be. 

It’s hard to be new.  It’s difficult at first,  but you can do it,  I did.  I set myself free.   And,  I have a gut feeling that it’s my duty to help you do the same.

Call me pretentious and ostentatious or grandiose if you’d like,  but I don’t care anymore.   When I was a little girl trauma trapped me in a lonely dark place and I WISH I could’ve gotten on the internet and found words like these.   I’m 32 and the internet was new when I was in middle school.   Encyclopedia’s didn’t give out information like this and loneliness is what was killing me,  slowly.   So,  slowly. I wasn’t brave enough to ask for help to benefit myself back then, though I’d fight for you until it killed me.

I made it to freedom before the darkness took over.  I was given innocent’s to defend and a purpose to fulfill. Not everyone is this lucky. 

So take my words with you,  wrap them around your heart like armor, because you are not alone.  I can’t physically shield everyone I feel called to.  I’ve learned some don’t deserve my protection, as well.  Ive also learned that many do, but can’t have it without drowning me too. So,  if all I can give are my words,  please take them.  They’re free. They’re free of agenda,  cruel intentions,  or any desire for reward.  Just take them.  They’re yours now.  Be safe.  Be free.  Be happy.  You deserve it.

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One more unsolicated and probably obnoxious word of advice.

Not that you asked,  but while it’s on my mind,  I’d like to offer this statement: Accentuate the positive to eliminate the negative. 

Kids with a fuzzy view on morality and right from wrong are always gettin’ into sh**.   If all they hear is stop,  no,  don’t do that,  get down, etcetera, their world will be dark and negative.  So will their self image.  Trust me,  I was a problem child myself.  Luckily,  my parents were/are amazing.

I’ve found my children who have difficulty determining the difference between detrimental and positive behavior make better choices when they are praised for the good they do with enthisiasm,  rather than only receiving the stern reprimands that are the more common choice of discipline.

The “troublemakers”, myself included,  hear the bad things about themselves much more often than they hear about the good. 

Adding positive remarks to the corrections in their behavior being made helps kids, kids like mine and kids like I was, realize that they aren’t bad people. 

Ok,  I’m f***ing DONE!   I promise.

For now… 

Take and break

Hi.
Having a good day? 
Well,  let me go ahead and ruin it for you  if you happen to be a middle child by drudging up some possibly unpleasant memories of your childhood. 
Unless your answer was no.  Then we’re good here.
Let us proceed then.

I have three kids.  They are all incredible little humans and I am incredibly proud of them all.  They’re each unique,  talented,  and special.  Each has a gift given to them by nature or God himself.  Having children really woke the amateur sociologist in me,  sincerely,  and I have been doing experiments on them since they were born.  Nothing cruel, like depriving them of affection like they did to those Russian orphans and those poor little monkeys.  I promise.  Harmless, all of it, but…SCIENCE!

Being analytical,  curious,  and outward thinking,  I took it upon myself to at least attempt to solve the world’s greatest behavioral mysteries! (Insert maniacal laughter). Here is one thing I have learned about those poor little Middles.

There seems to be a reoccuring issue,  something I like to call the “take and break dilemma”.  Let me explain with a clear example.

My Middle had a birthday recently and I noticed something. As soon as he got a new toy out of the box,  Big brother would try to manipulate him into letting him play with it.  In fact,  at times,  as Middle played with one of the new toys,  Big was in the background opening up a box.  He claimed he was trying to help Middle get at his stuff faster,  but it was obvious to any intelligent adult what was really going on. Big shouldn’t be punished about this. His tactics were innocent. He’s still learning the boundaries of brotherhood himself but, that is the “take”.  

Middle idolizes Big,  relies on him for assistance in many areas and thusly feels an automatic sense of pressure to comply to his requests. 

Meanwhile,  Little is grabbin’ sh**,  left and right.   Haphazardly tossin’ sh** around like a maniac.  She doesn’t know any better,  really.  She has been given indestructible baby toys her whole life that haven’t nearly as many removable and delicate pieces.  She’s still learning to take care of material goods. And there’s the “break”.

Middle loves his baby sis.  He protects her and falls for her big brown eyes and pleas every,  single,  time.  He and Big receive swift punishment if Little is hurt,  physically or her feelings,  because,  from the moment they met her,  she was fragile,  small, and guarded by the adults.   Something Middle and Big can’t remember mommy doing for them in their infancy, but are seeing clearly with the Little. I’m sure he feels that if he says no and makes Little cry,  he will get in big trouble.

Middle gets something new and it is RIPPED from him with Big’s manipulation and absolutely DESTROYED by Little’s carelessness.  Bummer,  dude.  Sincerely.

How can a kid enjoy their stuff when they live in a state of pressurized paranoia, feeling they have to share the newness under the direction of adults,  being conned into submission by the wisest of the siblings,  and being fearful of the inevitable damage that will be done by the smallest?   Poor Middle.  

This particular problem effects Middle more because,  well,  he’s right there in the middle.  He’s big enough to have stuff that still interests Big and little enough to get things that Little is beginning to enjoy.  Big wants nothing to do with Little’s things,  Little doesn’t understand the belongings of Big.

It’s a habit as a parent to tell them to share.   Share it all!  Share it now!  Share!  Share!  Share!   I know I’ve done it.   My fear of them growing to be greedy and selfish caused that annoying tic.  

But,  poor Middle has ALWAYS had to share.   Even his mommy.   BIG had years with no competition.  Middle had to deal with the confusion and frustration of a first time parent of two.  Honestly,  having a third was easier than having my second.  All the kinks were worked out by the time number three came into being.  Those kinks were worked out on poor One and Two.  Baby number three had a professional parent from the very beginning.

While working out those kinks,  mommy had to gently and patiently teach Big to share mommy,  to detach and become more independant,  to require less from momma bear.  Less attention was given to Middle in order to fulfill the needs of Big,  but Little never had to deal with this because Middle was born to share mommy. So Little got all the attention she needed because Big and Middle had already been taught that mommy only has two arms but one big heart made for three.

Middle has always been required to share.  So,  and this is just me,  I don’t make him share it all,  at least not right away.  

He needs to feel special,  important, a priority.  When he gets new things,  when they all get new things,  they’re not forced to share immediately,  or even at all if it’s a very special thing.  I allow them all to make the choice,  let them rub a little of the newness off of their toy before everyone else gets their turn.  If they haven’t made the decision to share after a few days of play, we have a discussion about the importance of having a gracious nature and they usually turn their “my stuff” attitude around.

I feel the need to be very attentive with my kids,  every child is unique,  they know the same rules apply to all in most situations but,  because they’re individuals,  sometimes different rules are enforced for each.  All the while, they’re told REPEATEDLY (to a degree that must annoy them) that my love for them is equal,  never divided, always multiplied.

Middle’s struggle with the “take and break” scenario is something I monitor very closely.  

Obviously, the importance of personal time and special activities designed for each individual child to experience with each parent is very important.   I feel it’s necessary to seperate their experiences in their youth to help foster their own personal identities as discovering one’s self is difficult enough without constantly being grouped and lumped together.  By giving them a baseline of interests and qualities to look to for guidance during the safety of their formative years is incredibly beneficial.

From what I’ve seen,  no child struggles more to find their center than the Middle.

For this reason,  I feel the need to make sure they aren’t constantly being forced to place their things into the destructive hands of the Little or be subjected to the misguided reasoning Big uses to get at Middle’s stuff.

They all need to be taught ABSO-FRIGGIN-LUTELY EVERY SINGLE EFFIN’ THING.   It’s exhausting to help children form beneficial behaviors and perceptions.  Other than natural instinctive body functions,  we are all born clueless.  Thoughtful measures are taken,  research is done.  Sh**,  I even survey my friends and family and develop statistical overviews and conclusions.  Nerd.

I can’t help it.   I was born to evaluate and decipher,  reform not conform.  I hope parents and their kids can benefit from my hours of informal behavioral studies. 

I have no degree.  I am not a professional anything,  anywhere.  But,  I am dedicated and diligent.  I’m well informed and well practiced.  I’m a mommy.   Good ‘nuf.      

Bee-tee-dubs, this mommy thinks the hours of tireless introspection, research and fact checking,  objective cross examination of multitudes of opinions,  is worth every ounce of intuitive understanding these kids will gain and have engrained in their subconscious minds. It is worth the effort,  sleep deprivation,  and the “diligence wrinkles”.  That’s what I affectionately call the marks between my eyebrows from pondering and thinking things like,  “Why the eff would any creature,  anywhere, ever, think it was a good idea to smear poo all over the television?”.  All while making that face.  You know that face.  The one that is often accompanied by a hand over the mouth that is desperately holding in the obscenities as you realize you’re about to have to lysol and q-tip someone else’s sh** out of the cracks and holes of an old t.v.  Sigh.

The “Fun with Feces” phase is proof we came from monkeys.  Only explanation,  man.  No other sense can be made of the amount of excrement I have cleaned out of hair,  appliance’s,  and off of other children.   “Look what’s in the toybox, mom! “. Yikes,  dude. 

Sincerely.

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Boxes are like clouds

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When you look at a box,  what do you see?   This one started as a rocket ship then it was a submarine,  currently it’s a slide,  next it will be a television,  last in line is the classic puppet theater.
 
Creativity with kids goes a long way.  Imaginations need nurturing,  and having children help you transform a box into something spectacular is one great way to get them to think outside of one.

I was born with a wild mind.  Had my creativity not been fostered,  I would’ve been lost to the world’s darker side,  of this I’m certain.  My parents saw something special inside of me.  I was a storyteller,  an artist,  a poet.  They appreciated every blue ribbon drawing and praised me for every trip to the young writer’s conferences I’d won my way into with essays.

I have three children,  and as I’ve watched them grow,  I’ve realized that some children are born with definite ideals while others wander aimlessly in gray areas and uncertainty.  I was always a wanderer. 

Right and wrong weren’t clear to me.  I knew if I hurt someone,  stole something,  broke something,  there’d be consequences,  but when it came to a moral compass,  mine was spinning wildly.

Then there is my sister.  She seemed to know everything.  She’s my big sister so I idolized her for her ability to do the right thing effortlessly.  She was just so damn good,  all of the time.  Honestly,  it’s amazing how good she is.  An angel,  really. 

Then there was me.   “Little sh**”,  “Troublemaker”,  these were my nicknames.  I took pride in my ability to stir things up.  There are benefits to being a wildflower.  No one can predict the power within.  No one sees it coming.  God gave me the element of surprise when he put this blonde hair atop my head,  disguising my big beautiful mind.  Wink wink,  smiley face emoji.

Having an ability to decide north from south outside of the magnetic field most find shelter inside of caused some trouble and confusion,  I’ll be honest,  but I found that it’s pretty rad to be able to think laterally. No one sees the world like I do. No one can explain it using the words I choose. In a world full of folks who fight to fit in,  I felt the need to stand out.  

I’m only called odd because I’m unexpected.  Im only labeled as weird because I’m unique. I like that.   I don’t want to be you,  I don’t want to blend in.   I just want to be me. Strange and unusual.  Bold and brave.  My place is wherever I decide I want to be.  I fit in wherever I go.  

It’s nice to be a lunatic. Sincerely!

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