Tuesday, September 19, 2017

An Open Letter To School Shooters

Dear teenager, 

I know how it feels to be picked on in school. My middle school years were horrendous. I suffered abuse from a tyrannical step-mother and then I was picked on at school for having my hair short, or not wearing the clothes that were in style, or basically for not being a "cool" kid. There were so many days that I tried to blend into the walls so no one could see me. 

It all started in about the fourth grade. I stole something that didn't belong to me. Of course everyone knew. What may surprise you is this was the 80's so it wasn't live streamed or put on facebook, it was strictly word of mouth. As you probably have learned by now, when something is spread by word of mouth, and it is negative, it spreads like wildfire. No one wanted to be my friend after that. Who could blame them? This incident happened in Elementary school so in my eyes it only plays a small part. 

Then came middle school. Yikes, those awkward preteen/becoming a teen years. See, I was different than the other girls. I wasn't allowed to wear make-up, shave my legs, or date until I was 16. That automatically made me a freak. You will never know the shame and embarrassment of a senile teacher actually thinking you are a boy and the whole class erupts into laughter. Writing and thinking about that day still makes me cringe and I am 43 years old and that happened when I was 13. Short hair and a flat chest....bad combo. I was teased relentlessly for stupid stuff.  

By the time I made to eighth grade, the bullying was too much. I couldn't take it anymore. Then one day my best friend decided we were not going to be friends anymore. She came into the locker room and actually pushed me down. I looked her in her eyes and told her that I was not going to fight her. See, I knew she had been hanging around one of my tormentors for a couple of weeks and that girl was trying to talk her against me. Well, after she knocked me down, I went into the locker room next door and another girl got in my face. This time, she had 10 other girls behind her. I completely snapped! I told her to bring it on and that I would whoop everybody's ass that day. I must have looked as crazy as I felt, because her and the other girls backed down and she pointed at me and said "you're crazy". After that day, nobody messed with me ever again.  

So the moral of this long drawn out story is this......

You can stand up for yourself without taking a gun and killing or wounding somebody. All it takes is for you to have some self-respect and let the bullies know you are not going to take their crap. Also, as cliched as it sounds.......nine times out of ten you will never see any of them again after you graduate.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Hunger - Book Review

I was browsing through the library a few days ago and this book caught my eye. When I began to read it, I could not put it down. Roxane Gay writes a memoir of her body and I felt she could have been writing about my body. She begins her book by stating that this story is the story of her body and it is her body's truth.  

To me, she was saying that in our society fat people are not accepted. As women, we are told to sit with our docile little hands in our docile little laps and not take up space. The societal norm is that we women were put here for the enjoyment of men or rather we should be pleasing to look at. To me, a prime example of this is the "shaming" culture that we live in. 

To further illustrate: The Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant with her third child right now. She is being shamed all over the internet for choosing to have another child, after having consensual sex with her husband. If she doesn't gain enough weight while pregnant she will be shamed, if she doesn't lose the weight after the baby fast enough she will be shamed, if she looks to skinny she will be shamed and if she comes out of the hospital and doesn't cover her bump up after having the baby she will be shamed. Why?

Another example of this is my best friend. After she had her second child her boyfriend told her she better lose the weight she gained while pregnant. She wouldn't eat all day, then would drink a Dr. Pepper and I would be riding in a car with her and I remember her stopping every fifteen minutes or so to vomit!

This book has really made me think about how I see my body. Go out today and check this book out at your local library. It is interesting, raw, uncensored and truthful.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Becoming a Stepmom at 40

In February, my life changed!  I wasn't sure how it would result in the end and my emotions were all over the place on how Life would change.

Most of you know what happened, but for those who don't I will share some quoted text from that time....
I have been married for almost 20 years, the end of this year on our anniversary.  We have been together on and off since we were 14 years old and I love that man more that life itself! We have had our issues here and there over the years (who hasn't), but nothing that we could not overcome!  Recently he got a new friend request on social media, not knowing the person but they had many mutual family members so he thought it could be someone related.  After accepting the request he received a message from her asking if he remembered her mom and threw a curve-ball that we never could have seen coming!!  She thinks he could be HER DAD!

About 2 - 2 1/2 years before we were married we had gone our separate ways and I was actually dating someone else.  He had a one-night-stand with a lady that was a few years older, her mom.  He used protection and never thought much more about it, until now!
After returning home from our trip to do the DNA test my emotions were all over the place, knowing there was a chance that he could have a child older than mine and all the other things that accompanied that were so overwhelming!  I decided to mail the test in by 2 day mail in order to get the results faster, some how this seemed as though it would be better... or would it!?
Never in my Life was I so conflicted about opening a download!  All of the emotions were flowing in at once.. how would we feel if the results were that my husband had a daughter we never knew about until now?  How would we feel if she wasn't his?  How would we explain this to our girls?
This journey has been so much of an emotional roller coaster that I didn't even know if I wanted to know the answer; but I knew I had to suck it up and face this head on!
My husband was able to see the results first and then he turned it to show me...
The emotion roller coaster then shifted direction to a whole new direction of thoughts & questions!  It was like a train had hit me that I just wasn't ready for!  He IS the father! 

I haven't blogged about this since I told you all that I was now a Stepmom at 40.  I think that I needed to deal with things in my own way, help my husband and children build a bond with their daughter/sister, and try not to worry about the results changing or family.

I think the whole process I was worried that it would break us in some way, but it didn't!!

I have a step daughter who is lovely, never wanted to hurt us in any way.. she just wanted to know if he was her dad since the rumor mill said he might be.  I was worried about her, her relationship with the man she had known to be her dad for almost 21 years, and if her and us would be able to have any type of relationship after missing so much time.

I know most of you read my posts back then and wondered yourself or thought I was being overly dramatic... after all those were truly some of the rawest posts I believe I have ever shared.  BUT fear and not-knowing will do that to ya!!

Since finding out we have all grown, she is our family!  I love her and feel protective over her just as I do my own kids!  Her and my husband and oldest daughter have grown to be close.  We have went on a family trip to spend time with her and her husband.. it's hard to visit often since she lives 700 miles away, but we are trying.

I never thought I would be a step mom, but I am and even though I was truly terrified at the idea... I am happy with how it all worked out!!

Sometimes in Life we face things that we think will break us, but if we see them through, they could be some of the best moments that we ever face!!

Sex in your 40s

Love Making after 40

Making love after you have turned 40, I believe changes!  What do you think?  I mean, I am sure that this probably don't relate to every one 40 or over; but I think it was different in my 20's, 30's, and now the dreadful 40's!  

In the 40's, for me, it's more about that feeling of "making love".  However, I am a married woman that has been with her spouse in the teenage years, 20's, 30's, and now the 40's.  The definition of "Making Love" has changed along the way.  

I'm curious.. If you are in your 40's, think about it... has making love changed for you, The definition"?

In the 20's most people that I know who have been married in these stages and even those who haven't, most are more spontaneous and passionate.  In our 20's (or newly in a relationship) making love has it's own meaning to fit the times.  Yet, now in our 40's we tire easier, aren't in the shape or as healthy as we once were (many of us), and let's face it we have so many responsibilities that things have just changed.  Is it just me? 

Same with the 30's... added life changes and growth in the relationship will change the meaning of "Making Love".  Well, it did for me at least.

Now that I am 40, that meaning has really started to form itself to the actual true meaning.. Love!  Yes; most of the time when my husband and I "make love" it isn't what I am describing above, but when it is, it is.  I really hope some of you know exactly what I am saying, and could put it into words better than I can.  What's you take on this? 

Making Love now that I am 40 is more about the intimacy than sex... Would you agree?

Sunday, July 2, 2017

New Roller Coaster

My Life has been a roller coaster this year, many highs and lows along the way; and another is on the way.  There is a good possibility that my job may be changing very soon and NOT by choice!  This has caused much stress, but also a glimmer of hope for future career I want, what I went to school for.

It's been  3 years since I graduated and I still haven't changed jobs.  WOW!  It really doesn't seem like that long ago; however, there have been a few BIG events happen along the way that properly kept my thoughts elsewhere.  BUT I wanted to do these changes by choice, not be forced to.

There are so many reasons that I could tell you that have prevented me from achieving this accomplishment; and a few procrastination's  & excuses, as well (lol).  HOWEVER... I am trying to look at the goal and not the fears right this minute!!

Therefore, my Newest Roller Coaster in Life is going to be My New ME.. working hard to find a job when I can be productive, work on a team creating something people will love and/or learn from, and feel like I didn't go to school 4 years for and then waste it!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Priceless Moments

There are Priceless Moments in Life, moments that will live in our hearts a lifetime!  Many of these moments most people can relate, but some everyone can not.  I got to experience a priceless moment today that I know I will treasure forever, because I didn't think I would ever get to.

Last year, I watched my oldest child, my daughter, walk that wonderful walk at her High School Graduation.  This was a Priceless Moment that many other parents can relate, that moment when we see all their hard work pay off... and all of ours!  A moment we all look back on and reflect on it differently, but treasure because of how special it truly was!

Other moments many parents experience, others envy and don't ever think that they will get to experience... that's life right?!

When my oldest daughter was in elementary school it was breeze.  She was quiet and done pretty well in most subjects.  She struggled with reading a little, got help, and done fine.  She loved school because it wasn't a huge challenge and the teachers loved her because she was quiet, not disruptive,  and cute.  On Awards Days I was always that mom who felt proud when she got her awards each and every year.  They are moments that I will treasure and smile whenever I look back on them as long as I am able to remember.

However, my youngest daughter started school on a completely different, lol!  The 1st day of school she was on RED, which was one step from the Principles office and calling me.  I thought "Oh My Gosh, she's going to be like her dad when it comes to school. I better buckle my seat-belt! LOL".

We held her back in Kindergarten because she wasn't quite ready.   We began to see her struggles with Reading early on, but even with lots of help she was still struggling more than we all thought she should be.  Over the years we have been down a long, and difficult path trying to overcome these struggles with NOT a lot of success.

Last year we had a series of testing and appointments that lasted a good year.  When it was all over the Doctor told me that she had a Learning Disability called Dyslexia, among other stuff.  During our conversation he actually came out and said, "I don't think she will ever be able to read and comprehend more than she can now".  Fist off, it pissed me off that he had the balls to come out and say it so bluntly; but more so I was scared.

Awards Days over the years were different.  I wasn't the same mom I had been with my oldest, I was the one hoping that they would call her name where she'd feel like she done good.  The first couple years she got class certificates, but she never received one on the stage at the ceremony.  It was heartbreaking after a few years pasts because she really did try her best and didn't understand why she couldn't get one too.  As she got older I stopped making her go to school on Awards Day, as I had planned to do today!

She is in 7th grade this year.  She still struggles just as much as she did before, but she still tries just as hard!!  She's had one teacher that has truly pushed her this year out of her comfort zone and her grades & confidence have been up.  Last night, she gives me a pare inviting me to Awards Day because she is getting an Award.  She was excited, as was I.  I asked her what Award she'd be getting, but she didn't know!   :)

So, I re-arranged my schedule a little to be able to attend the event because it was going to be a first, a proud moment for her; and me too.  I thought about it a few times last night and this morning, wondering what the Award was for.  I assumed it would be a citizenship or character award, because she has a huge heart and she is such a helpful kid (at school that is lol). BUT she's excited and that's all that really matters.

Today, I sat watching and celebrating all these wonderful 7th graders success.  Something that many of these kids won't recall when they are my age, I know I don't remember mine. LOL   However, I know all their parents will.

When they called her name, I was proud but I was relived as well.  Who says hard work don't pay off!  I was proud, obviously, for the same reason the other parents were and the same as when my oldest would get an Award; but it was priceless!!

Those of you who know us can truly get what I am saying; and hopefully many of you know and have lived what I am talking about! :)

... Just wanted to share a special moment I had and hopefully bring a smile to your face today.  I hope Life gives you a priceless moment to treasure til the next one comes, memories to store for later days to bring smiles to our faces and love into our hearts!!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Love & Other Strange Things

So, here I go again, trying to write about what I feel.

A couple of years ago, I met a man and he made me laugh again and for that I was grateful. We began to date and he had such a good heart and treated me with such care and kindness. I kept thinking he might be my rebound because he was the first man I dated after my divorce. Oh, how he made me laugh. He told me he loved me and I cried. I wasn't sure if anyone would say those words to me again. 

I thought of my innocent days before the world tried to beat me into submission with its nonchalant carelessness. He made me feel like that girl again, that sweet innocent girl, that had a wild imagination about what her life might be. Maybe if I had met him while I was young we would have had a chance to really shine or I could have avoided a lot of heartache. Mistakes are what life is about. Without mistakes there would be no lesson. 

He isn't my boyfriend anymore. We both felt that something was missing. I felt it, I didn't realize he did too. Oh, he is such a great man; he has character, honesty and humility and I have searched the world over to find a man that possessed these qualities and I finally did and love fizzles out. Was it ever love to begin with? I think he and I both got comfortable because we wanted someone to share our lives with and we were not connecting on a deeper level.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

13 Reasons Why: Season 2

Netflix's Controversial Series "13 Reason's Why" has been announced for a Season 2.  Season 1 stirred up conversations and had much anticipated back lash as well!

My oldest daughter (18) binged watched the entire series over a two day period, she was hooked.  She continued trying to talk me into watching it over the course of about a week.  Honestly, I had not seen or heard much about it and only knew what little she had told me; so, I decided to see what it was about.

**Suicide is NEVER the answer!!!  If you or someone you love needs help please visit  https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/    
or contact someone at the suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255

To be Honest, I was conflicted on my feelings at first as I watched...

  • Why make a show where a teenage girl commits suicide?
  • Why would someone record tapes and pass them after they did?
  • Why would these kids pass them along to the next person, allowing them to hear what part they had played?
  • Will this glorify suicide in someone who isn't mentally stable?
  • How could these kids know the harsh things that were done and what crimes others committed and keep their secret?
  • Why so graphic?
However, I myself was hooked.. couldn't wait to be able to watch the next episode to see how it would unfold!!  I watched Season 1 in a weeks time, after work and on my day off. 

My heart broke for Hanna and the other characters as well; and I related to the way she felt as I recalled events from my school days!!

This morning I heard a news story about a High School who had recently had 6 suicides... WOW!  The show came up and almost seemed to be accused of glorifying teen suicide.  Personally, I don't think 13 Reasons Why glorified suicide in any way!!  I believe it reflected the harsh reality of the way kids are treated and how some handle it.  

In my opinion this isn't a show for kids younger than High School, I'm on the fence here because some scenes are gory and hard to watch, even as an adult.  If these weren't this way I would have sat down with my 14 year old and watched it with her... Just because I think it is a way to start the conversation with teenagers and hear how things are at school and online for  them; and allow parents to talk and encourage them as well.  Just my opinion, would love to hear yours!

Season 1 ended with so many cliff hangers, which makes me wonder where it will go in Season 2.  I have a bad feeling that Tyler is planning a hit list or school shooting and I hope if this is the case, adults are paying more attention because of what happened to Hanna and stop him!

I don't think that Alex tried to commit suicide, I think he was shot by Tyler... just a feeling on how things unfolded.  However, I'm also not convinced that Alex was the teenager who had been shot on the ambulance they briefly showed off at a distance in the scene.  

I hope Jessica gets the help dealing with what happened and Bryce needs to face consequences for his actions as well.

What will the Brewers do with the audio recordings that Tony gave them... will they be able to listen and how will they hold themselves accountable for the signs they missed?

So many directions the show could go and so many conversational pieces that could be opened up for parents/kids with it!!

13 Reasons Why tacked one of the most difficult subject matters, suicide.  The CDC reports that suicide is the 3rd cause of death for people ages 10-24.  This is shocking and scary.  The show may not be a good idea for people who are mentally unstable or suicidal, and I do believe that kids watching should be accompanied by an adult to add much needed conversation. 

We all have had times where we felt alone or hurt by others and I think the show allows parents to get an idea of how much harder it may be today.  A way to feel the need to talk more and educate themselves about the subjects that we sometimes don't want to think about because they are so horrific.  I know it really made me think and want to talk to my kids about things more.

Have you seen Season 1 of 13 Reasons Why?  What are your thoughts?  Do you want a Season 2? What direction do you think Season 2 will go?  I can't wait to hear what you all think!!!

**Suicide is NEVER the answer!!!  If you or someone you love needs help please visit  https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/    or contact someone at the suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255