my quote of the moment: "if you can attain repose and calm, believe that you have seized happiness." ~julie-jeanne-eleonore de lespinasse

August 31, 2012

important life lessons

i yell at my children, more often than i should admit to. but i yell at them with love and the best of intentions. and sometimes, i even yell good and important things at them. yesterday i was shown proof that at least one of them is listening.

i have already learned much about this walking to and from school business. i have learned that the boys are at an age where the school doesn't check if their parents are there before letting them out. in fact, there is a girl in bumble's grade who lives a block further away than us that walks by herself everyday. the boys think this is a  great idea, and want to implement it themselves. i said those famous motherly words: "we'll see."

i have also learned, through trial and error, that dear fish is not up to walking back and forth to the school twice a day. she is best at walking in the morning, and will even run to try and keep up with her brothers. in the afternoon, i push her in her stroller, and let her play on the playground while waiting for the boys to be released. i'm honestly not sure if the afternoon is harder because the walk falls so close to the end of nap time, or if i'm just out of patience for her dawdling at that point in the day. either way, the stroller works.

another thing i have learned is that there is more then on way to get from our house, through the neighborhood, and to school. with the crazy design of the streets, there are a silly number of different routes, but we have been trying to find the fastest. because there was some discussion between my boys and i about which way to go, we took a different path home yesterday afternoon.

it was, in my personal opinion, no shorter than our normal route. it was also not a way i would want to walk to school because of a large hill, but going home meant going down, and i was fine with that. the only plus i see in going that way is that we go past a different playground. thought it wasn't much of a plus yesterday because the slide was too hot to use and there was a spider on the see-saw.

so, instead of getting to play, we all agreed to walk home and eat popsicles. and because my boys are secretly teens and i am totally lame, they decided to run ahead while i slowly pushed their sister home.

and before i could even open my mouth, my dear fish yells "be careful and stay together!" and so they did.

all i could do was smile, because i knew, in spite of all of my doubts and fears of failure, my kids were at least getting the important stuff i was trying to teach them.

August 30, 2012

"all through the night"

i just realized something recently. my dear and beautiful fish is finally sleeping through the night. and it only just hit me because i also realized that, because she is sleeping all night, i get to sleep all night.

i know it might not seem like a big deal to some, but to those with little kids, you know how big of a deal this is. when babies sleep all night and don't get up for 2am feedings, it seems like such a parenting win. and when little toddlers don't get up and ask for a cup of water and a cuddle, it's just more proof that they're on their way to being a big kid.

now, when my boys were little, i never had a problem with them sleeping all night. i would put them down for bed, and they would stay there until it was time to get up in the morning. it might have had something to do with the fact that they've shared a room since lumpy was just over one and bumble was two, so if one got up they were able to comfort each other. little fish, always sleeping on her own, has been a completely different matter.

when she was little, she never really slept through the night. there were times where she would, but more often than not, she was up. and it wasn't that she was hungry or thirsty, it was just that she would wake up for whatever reason and then she'd need help settling down and going to sleep again. it was even worse when we transitioned her into a toddler bed, because then she'd get up crying and wander through the house until someone found her and put her back in bed. when we were staying with my mom, after we lost our house, she shared a room with my hubby and i, so she got very used to getting up and having us right there. and so, when we finally moved into our new house, it was hard for her to get used to sleeping in her own room in her own big girl bed.

this summer has been a crazy mash of not sleeping "normally." when we'd go places, usually all the kids would sleep together, so fish would have her brothers for comfort. and when people would come and visit, i would let people sleep in her room or in her bed, and have her sleep with my hubby and i. by the end of august, we were practicing our school routine, and so everybody was not only sleeping in their own bed by themselves, they were going to bed early and getting up early.

these last few days are kind of when it all hit me. fish has been going to bed just like her brothers, and she gets up with them in the morning. but she doesn't get up in the middle of the night any more. and no more fighting to go to sleep, with her screaming and crying that she's not tired, or i need to come in and hold her, or just sit and watch her fall asleep. nope, she's sleeping like a big girl, and i am so happy!

August 29, 2012

it's potty time!

with the boys in school all day, i have more free time. over the summer we were all so busy with reading and writing and all the normal summertime fun, i didn't have much time to get to all the things that i was hoping to do. now that my schedule has opened up a bit, i can focus on some of the important things i was putting off. like helping fish take the big step that will officially (in my mind) turn her from a toddler into a big girl. yeah, it's time to start potty training.

it's not like this is an out-of-the-blue decision. she's shown signs that she's ready. and we have attempted it a few times in the past. but either things got crazy at home or she just stopped being interested, and so i put off really trying until a later time. i really wasn't worried about her not being interested, because she's only 2 and a half, and i can remember the boys didn't bother until they were much older.

we started trying to train bumble just before he turned three. it was a struggle, but that i think had more to do with the fact that i had no idea what i was doing than that he wasn't ready. and it took a while, but he had it down. then we moved and he started having accidents and we had to go through potty training refresher courses.

my dear lumpy was a completely different story. he would watch his brother trying to go, he watched us help bumble through the whole process, he knew exactly what he was supposed to do, he just didn't want to bother. why stop what you're doing and the fun you're having just to go and sit on a funny white seat when going pee in your pants is so much faster and easier? the preschool we sent both the boys two had a daycare of sorts that allowed kids that weren't potty trained, which lumpy joined when he was two. on christmas break they had two weeks off from school, which also happened to be when he turned three. and so, in those two weeks, my hubby and i really forced lumpy to stop being lazy and start going like a big boy. he went from diapers all the time to regular underwear and no accidents all night in two weeks. if ever i need to point to a sign that my youngest boy will always choose the easiest way possible, how he was potty trained is it.

(another story that springs to mind is how he used a calculator to do his simple addition problems for homework once. and the only reason i questioned him is because he finished all 20 problems in less than 5 minutes. maybe he doesn't choose the easiest way so much as he is just lazy. and clever. which is turning into a very dangerous combination.)

anyway, i have a funny feeling that training my fishie will be much like training lumpy. she knows what she needs to do, and she's done it enough times that she's comfortable going. she's even gotten to the point where, once she goes, she comes and tells me when she needs a diaper change if she's ready for one. so, starting today, i am making her go. at least twice an hour i make her sit on her potty chair. and we decided her rewards for going would be temporary tatoos. i'm really pushing this because i've also decided i bought my last box of diapers. i'm not sure what i'll do if she runs through them all, but i believe that it won't be a problem. now that it's just her and i home all day, i can focus on helping her go.

she's clever, just like her brother. and i know she likes to take the easy way out. but i've told her princesses don't use diapers, and if she can stop having accidents, i'll buy her a crown. thankfully it's almost halloween, so i know i can find her one. and an outfit to go with it.

August 27, 2012

dress rehearsals

the summer is almost over. not by the calender, but by the standard of any family with young kids: school is starting. in fact, for my boys, it starts tomorrow.

that means that starting last week, we've been getting up early. and then earlier and earlier every day until today, when we got up as early as we will need to tomorrow. and we've been practicing not only getting up, but also getting ready. so today was a full dress rehearsal in getting to school on time.

and really, i've needed all this practice as much as the boys, because this year is going to be different. last year i was able to get the boys up and breakfasted and dressed. then i'd grab fish and we'd hop in the car and drive to the bus stop, wait for the bus, and then drive home. i never realized how easy it was that i really only had to worry about getting two people ready to go.

this year they're walkers. which means i can't really get them to their school in my pj's. or i could, but it's a long walk in slippers. it also means that i can't really leave fish in her pj's either, because i'm trying not to look like the trashy family that runs around in sloppy clothes with messy hair. i don't want to embarrass my boys so early into their new school careers, i'll have years for that.

this morning we got up, had breakfast, got dressed, and walked all the way to school. and we actually made it with time to spare! and, just to see how'd she do and how it would go, i let fish walk the whole way. she made it the whole way there and only wanted to be carried when we were 20 yards away from being home.

the boys thought it was great fun getting to walk. lumpy was even up and ready to go before bumble. or he would have been if he hadn't had a small melt down with his shoe laces being in knots. but both boys walked ahead and waited at the corners to cross with fish and i. and my dear littlest even held my hand most of the way.

still, it's the last official day of summer according to them, so i'm letting them take it easy. no work books or reading today, just games and cartoons. poor fish is happy with an easy day too, walking more than a mile just after breakfast has her laying on the couch, ready for a nap. hopefully tomorrow goes just as smoothly.

and it will, i'm sure. as long as it doesn't rain. because i don't think we have enough umbrellas for everybody.

August 26, 2012

stupidly easy cinnamon rolls

after a bit of crazy and a lot of absence, i am hoping to get back into this posting thing. school starts in two days, and with that comes a pretty solid routine that allows for some free time during the day. still, i have found the time to play with sugar and my oven, and i figured i'd try to put things back to normal by sharing my latest experiment.

i've been going through my pantry and fridge and freezer, marveling at all the random things i've purchased for recipes that i never made. there are cans of things and odds and ends of so much stuff that i feel i really need to start using more and wasting less. not that the stuff in the pantry gets wasted, because it has such a long shelf life, but the stuff in the fridge sometimes languishes in a dark corner on the bottom shelf, and when i pull it out i cringe at the long passed expiration date.

like the last time i went grocery shopping, i bought apples, and when i brought them home i put them in the crisper drawer. it's sad to say it's been so long since i've bought something to put in that drawer, i didn't realize i had a tube of crescent rolls stashed there. ones that had expired a few weeks ago. and i just happened to find this tub of dough a few days ago, but i left it in there because i kept thinking it might still be kind of good.

i know this might sound gross to some people, and might make them change their minds about eating things i make, but honestly, when the food in question is so processed with chemicals, as long as it doesn't smell sour or look off, i figure it will still be ok to cook with. and especially when it's something that's baked, it'll be cooked thoroughly, and the most that happens is that the leavening agent is so old it doesn't puff up like it should.

and so, after thinking for a few days about what exactly i should do with this magical tube of fun, i settled on something different that i wanted to try. and when i searched for recipes to try, i couldn't find any. which just meant i'd have to make it up as i went along.

i love cinnamon rolls, always have, always will. when we went to the beach a few weeks ago, there were coupons for the recently constructed cinnabon, but i was very bummed that i was unable to find it. and i have made different versions of cinnamon rolls of the years. i've made the standard yeast version that i talked about in my old post. i've made ones with biscuit dough. and today, i used creasent roll dough.

seriously, i have no idea why i've never done this earlier. all i did was pop the dough out of the tube and put it on a piece of wax paper so it wouldn't stick to my count. parchment paper would work, as would a rolling mat, or even some flour sprinkled down (but i was feeling lazy and didn't want to clean flour from everywhere). then i rolled it out it help close the seems and make a bigger rectangle. i actually had to put another piece of wax paper on top of the dough because it was so sticky, but i think it was extra sticky because it was so old. once it was nice and thin, i spread soft butter and sprinkled over cinnamon and sugar. then i rolled it up and cut it into 12 pieces, put it into a well greased 8x8 pan and baked it. because i couldn't find another recipe like this one (and there might be one out there because i didn't look very hard), i baked it at 375, which is kind of my standard baking temp. and, as my mother says, i baked until done, which meant golden brown and delicious.

i used probably way more butter and sugar than i needed, and it baked out of the bottom of the rolls. once cool, this just gave them a crunchy, crusty, sugared bottom. and i liked them enough like that so i didn't even bother with an icing glaze. they didn't puff up much, but i wasn't really expecting them to. i think if i ever try to make these again, i'll use the new creasent sheets they came out with, that don't have the perforation to make rolls. then i could skip the rolling pin step and get them into the oven in less then five minutes. all in all, not bad for for a random recipe i made up on the fly to try and waste less.

August 8, 2012

why i hate pinterest

everybody has told me that it is totally a thing i should be all over. amazing pics of cute stuff, fun ideas, creative ways to keep it all together, and, of course, food porn. seriously, awesome stuff made by awesome people and shared quickly and easily so that everybody can be bowled over.

and i really do get why it's so popular. normal people make things and then pin them. and then some other random somebody sees it and shares it. and it gets repinned and repinned and repinned. and eventually everybody knows what a cool idea it was. before pinterest, if you made something and wanted to share it, you had the regular social media sites, mostly facebook. but then only those people who are friends with you would see your pics and ideas, not the world. or, if you had lots of great ideas, then you could create a blog and share your amazingness that way, and possibly reach many more people.

the thing is, i followed many different blogs by some very amazing people for a very long time. so not only did i get to learn all sorts of fun tricks and tasty recipes, i got to learn about the writer personally. it made things more interesting, because i almost felt like i had a personal connection with them.

and unlike pinterest, it made things more manageable for someone like me. reading blogs takes time, whereas pinterest is like flipping through a magazine and just looking at the pictures. if you like something, you can stop and take a closer look, but otherwise you can keep flipping. it's like sensory overload, too much too fast, and i can't take it all in. you can look at things in different categories, but there are thousands of things in each. or you can only follow what certain people are pinning, and hope they are finding all the interesting things. but then i feel like maybe i'm missing something, so i look at more and more and more. it's too stressful for me like that.

the other thing is, when i would read full blog posts, i would get more than just a simple recipe. there are tricks to cooking, and sometimes little tidbits of information would be stashed in posts that seemed to have nothing to do with that fact. or, though i wasn't interested in the dish they were making, i would read through anyway and might learn a new technique that i could apply to something completely different. if i had just been looking at pictures, i would have flipped past and missed those things.

the biggest reason i hate pinterest, though, is that it makes me feel bad. seriously, there is all this amazing content right there in front of my eyes, and then i looking around at my own life and i just feel so much less creative or clever or talented. whereas when i read a blog for a long time, the authors not only talk about their triumphs, eventually they talk about their failures, which always makes me feel like less of a bumbling mess up.

i know i'm probably missing things by not jumping on the pinterest bandwagon, and by only following a select few blogs regularly. still, for my sanity, i like my way better.

August 7, 2012

what you don't know can kill you... with worry

i've heard the saying "what you don't know can't hurt you," but that's not really true, is it? i mean, if i'm walking along, and there is a rogue lion escaped from the zoo running straight at me, i think i'd kind of like to know so i can go a different way, as opposed to not knowing a crazed jungle beast was coming to eat me. i am one that likes to know what's going on so i can be prepared.

and sometimes, when something bad is going to happen, even if i can't change it, i'd still like to know. i like to be mentally prepared for the horrible, if i can, because then it saves me from blubbering in a corner because i was unprepared. i do not handle surprises well. or at least, bad surprises. i make plans, i prepare, i try to be ready for what life might throw at me, because when i am caught unawares, a freak-out ensues. and depending on the shock, it might be a while before i am collected enough to function.

and so, being that i know me very well, i am usually prepared for anything and everything. and mentally for all possibilities. because if i've thought it and worried about it, then, when and if it happens, i can deal with it. because if i've already worried over it, i'm past the freak-out stage, and can move straight on to the action stage.

that just means sometimes i let my imagination get the best of me. i give it free reign to be creative as it wants, to visualize all possibilities, not matter how unlikely. most situations that my crazed mind can invent never come into being, but that doesn't mean i don't wonder and worry until the moment has passed. and then, when those horrible possibilities are no longer possible, i move on to the next possible future of horror and drama.

still, sometimes reality surprises me. it catches even me unawares. things happen that not even i considered. and though i might have wasted so many precious moments worrying, sometimes the mental exercise in stress is enough to help me get through.

and yet, had i known what was going to happen, i probably would have worried and wondered more about the outcome. had i known these unexpected occurrences were even possible, it would have opened up a whole new realm of worry for me. and now that i know such craziness can happen, it builds on the scenarios that my frazzled imagination conjures, adding new stress over the future.

i let worry consume me. i know i shouldn't live in the apocalyptic possible futures, i should focus on the here and now. i should forget about the things that might happen, that could happen, that will most likely never happen, and if i feel the need to worry, i should worry about what's going on today. yet, there is the nagging in the back of my mind, all the worry that i do is what holds things together, that if i stop, if i just relax and go with the flow, then everything will fall apart, i will be taken unawares and off guard.

bad things will happen, whether i worry about them coming true or not. still, i worry that, if i don't worry, worse things will happen.

August 6, 2012

knowing my place

sometimes i am forgetful. sometimes i forget what my real duties and responsibilities are.

first, foremost, and before everything, i am a mother. it's a true fact if there ever was one, and there's no getting away from it.

and it's not like i have much room to dispute or complain. i am a mother because i chose to be. or sometimes, because i didn't chose not to be. there were long ago choices i could have made, things i could have changed, and then this here and now would not be the future of then. i could have said no where i said yes, i could have done so many things differently. and though i might not have known that being a stay at home mom was going to be my major accomplishment in my life, i really didn't do much to stop it from happening or try to change my circumstances.

and even though, in the beginning, i was making my decisions for questionable reasons, they were my reasons. i was not coerced or forced. i still stand by them. i knew myself well enough then that, no matter how things turned out, it was the right choice.

and really, looking back now, i know i made the right choices. or at least, given the options available at the time, i pick the correct ones. i was not expecting to get here, but had i chosen differently, i know where i would have ended up. and though i am not completely satisfied with my life at all times, this reality is a better one than what could have been.

it doesn't matter how much i look back, though, because looking back won't change anything. and there is no point in looking around, because i know what is here and now. what i need to do, what we all should do, is look toward the future. plot and plan and prepare for what is coming as best as we are able. and i am trying to do that. because the future as i see it doesn't have much of me playing a huge role, but the future is for my children. and so i am not preparing for my future, but i am trying to help them prepare for theirs. which is ridiculously hard and frustrating sometimes.

i know the world well enough to understand that my place in the here and now is not for me. my place is to help and support and sustain my kids. i have a pretty good idea what my future will hold, there aren't too many possibilities stemming from a past like mine. and so, instead of trying to rail against fate and change what i consider my destiny, i will put all my efforts and energy into helping my children. because their futures are still filled with possibilities. if nothing else, i want to give them a choice, and make sure they know that choice exists, to give them a chance at a much brighter future than what lies in store for me.

August 5, 2012

my fault

i whine and complain a lot. and bitch and moan and scream against life and the universe and how unfair the fates can be. i flop on the floor and kick my feet and scream and throw a fit.

or at least i would, if i had somebody that would listen to me complain.

because sometimes i think life is very unfair. and i mean beyond the terrible bad things that happen to good people. i mean on a more personal level of how good things happen to bad people, so why do bad things happen to me? why is life unfair to me, specifically?

though it isn't. i am blessed with many things. and i have things in my life that are truly a blessing, though sometimes they don't seem that way. but it's more a problem with my frame of mind then the justness of the fates.

still there are times where i wish things could be different. and there are certain points in my past where i know exactly what choice lead me down this path to where i am today. and i wonder and play "what if" and i regret.

because part of me wonders if there is more in the world than this. that maybe, had i done things differently, i could have been so much more, so much better, had a chance at a more wonderful life. that all of my wildest dreams could have been reality had i just said no where i said yes. that this present life didn't have to be the future of my past.

part of me worries, though, that this is all there is. that i am not great because i am not meant for greatness. that i should be happy with what i have, because this is all there is and it wouldn't have been better no matter how much i changed my past. that this is as good as i will ever be.

i know i should be thankful for all the good i have. and just because i am not satisfied does not mean the fates were cruel. i made the choices that got me here, i was not forced into this life. and if i can't accept that this is my reality, that this is the way things are, then it is not anyone's fault but my own for walking the path that brought me here. and honestly, it's not anyone else's problem either. i have no right to complain, and i can't expect a do-over, because i know the world doesn't work like that. this is my life, this is all i get, and i should try to make the best of it. and if i feel the need to blame someone, i should start by looking in the mirror.

August 4, 2012

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me

everybody always told me that raising boys and girls would be different. but really, i never believed them. because they were also the people that really followed the gender lines hard and straight. i, on the other hand, was always fine if my boys wanted to have a tea party or if my girl wanted to play with monster trucks. if it's something that's safe and age appropriate, who is to say that it has to be only for boys or only for girls?

i hate how toys sections are divided up, with shelves in the "girl" section actually pink, filled with barbies and baby dolls and dress up clothes. i hate to say it, but my little fishie girl likes to play with all her brothers' old toys, "boy" toys, and i'm fine with it. she runs around the yard with them, using nerf guns to shoot monsters and aliens. they've helped set up their matchbox tracks and she likes to jump the cars with the best of them. and her dino roar is even better then bumble's. and on the other side of things, bumble has played with her baby dolls with her, showed her how to feed them with the plastic bottles and rock them to sleep.

i know i've said it before, but if playing makes a child happy, and it is safe and age appropriate, i don't care if it's something that comes in a pink or blue box. and it seems that a lot of people don't have a problem if it's girls playing with boy toys, somehow that's empowerment, but a boy playing with girl toys is strange and wrong.

double standards suck, and i hate that it's still part of the world my kids have to grow up in. i try to explain that just because somebody else says that it's wrong, it's not necessarily bad, and they shouldn't feel bad for their choices. i consider respect to be the most important quality to teach my kids, respect for themselves, respect for others, and especially respect for those that are different from them. i've already had a conversation with my boys about how sometimes people are different, they do different things and believe in different things, and respect doesn't mean changing our beliefs, but letting them believe what they want as long as they respect my boys also. and bumble, at least, has shown me that he gets it.

and i know there are those that don't agree with how i'm raising my kids. even people i know personally have told me that i'm making my boys "soft" by letting them play with the toys they want and the games they want. which makes me sad for my boys, because it's not fair to them. it's a fact that fish will have the freedom growing up to wear pants and play in the dirt like a boy, and most will think she's a tom-boy and leave it at that. but if my boys try to wear a skirt i know i would never hear the end of it.

i know i've gone off on a rant here. and it's not the first time i talked about gender roles and double standards on this blog. for fishie's first halloween, i dressed her as a dragon, because i have a thing for group costumes, and her brother's decided to be knights. you can read that post here. later, i was told i was it was wrong to dress her as a dragon, i should have dressed her as a princess because she is a girl. it makes me so sad to think that people think it's ok to say things like that to people. what right do they have to force their values on other people?

i know that not everybody agrees with me, and i don't expect them to. and if anyone has a problem with the things i say here, they need to understand that everything i write is my thoughts on my life, and it's my personal opinion. and they totally have the freedom to not read. i just really wish they would respect my right to raise my children in the way that i see fit.

sticks and stone may break my bones....

...but words will scar and kill me.

and oh the words and thoughts that go flying around my head. things i've heard, that were actually said to me, in another place and time. though, truth be told, some were said in a much more recent time. i've tried to leave all those mean and evil people behind, but still, their words stuck. and through some wicked twist of fate, i can't remember names and historical date and grammar rules, but these things that have been said to me, these i can't forget:

i am stupid and lazy and ungrateful. i am worthless and hopeless and useless. i'll never be able to change, i'll always be this pathetic, this damaged. why try? i can't fight my inevitable failure. i am always the same, full of  the same lame excuses, the same ineffective attempts at fixing things. i should really know my place and stick to it. and i should also know what my responsibilities are and try not to mess things up completely. or let everyone down, as usual. because don't i know how lucky i am to be in a place like this? don't i remember how it all began, how terrible it all was. how bleak. how dark. do i really want to go back there? don't i know how much worse it could be? then i better try harder at changing. and always remember to thank my lucky stars i'm not back there.

what's funny, in a dark sort of way, is that growing up i didn't realize how wrong it was to let people talk to me like that. when i was young, i knew all about physical and sexual abuse, how bad it was and what to do if it was happening to you. but back then, nobody ever told me there was such a thing as emotional abuse.

i thought, for a very long time, that certain mean people said stuff like that to everybody. i knew they were mean, but i thought that i just had too thin skin to let it all bother me so. the other not so funny part was that there were times where i was so desperate for attention and companionship, i willingly subjected myself to their attacks and abuse, just so i wouldn't have to be alone. and like someone who was physically abused and stays in that toxic relationship, part of me wondered if i didn't deserve it. if they weren't being mean, but actually kind, telling me the things i needed to hear so i could try and better myself.

it's kind of strange now, to think what i put myself through because of others. how everything could have been so much different if somebody had noticed what was going on and actually told me it didn't have to be like that. which is also why, i suppose, i worry so much about my own children. because i still remember the fine line between playful teasing and outright meanness. and i don't want them pushed across it. and i certainly don't want them doing the pushing.

**something i wrote a few months ago and never posted. it ties into the previous post**

the one thing i wish i knew when i was younger

when i was growing up, way back in the '90s, it was a big thing to talk to kids about being careful around strangers. stranger danger was super important, so i was careful to avoid shady older men at the mall who might have been following me (they never were), and random ice cream trucks that would show up in my neighborhood at 9pm (never happened either), and people at school who looked like they didn't belong (you had to drive to my school, so it was obvious if somebody didn't belong).

as i grew a bit older, around high school time, there were after school specials about the dangers of abusive relationships. i was told again and again how no one, no matter what, had the right to hit you or touch you in any way you didn't want to be touched. because physical abuse and sexual abuse is super bad and super serious.

one thing no one ever talked about when i was growing up was emotional abuse. seriously, i didn't even know that was a thing until after i was married. growing up i was so desperate for attention i surrounded myself with some really horrible people. no one ever laid a hand on me, but the things they said were awful.

it's not like i didn't say anything, in the beginning. but i don't think the grown ups around me really understood that it was abuse either, because all i used to hear was that it was just words and not a big deal. the mantra "sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me," was something i was told more than once.

and i tried to find better people to hang around with. but when you're told constantly that you are worthless and useless and good for nothing, it's hard not to believe it. and when the people that tell you those things also tell you that you should be lucky and thankful that they actually want to be your friend because you're too pathetic to find anybody else, you kind of believe them too. and it just created a circle of abuse and horrible words.

now, there is a huge campaign against bullying in schools. there has been some light shead on the problem. about how dangerous words can be. about how constant taunting in schools is can be just as violent as being beat up. and how lasting the effect of hearing those hateful words can be. because seriously, some of those words stick with you forever.

even now, when things get dark, i hear those words from long ago circle around through my head. those dark whispers about how stupid and pathetic i am. how worthless i am, a waste of space. how i am nothing now and will never amount to anything in this life. how i drag down everyone around me, and i should thank my lucky stars people even want to associate with me. how it's a miracle i haven't ended it sooner, and really i should just grow up and get it all over with because what is the point of living if you're as lame as i am?

but they're just words, said by those that used to be closest to me, though they still sometimes get stuck on repeat in my head some days. and even growing up, part of me knew it wasn't right to stay with people who said such things to me, but there were times i was so lonely that i thought it was worth it to stay with them. because even though their speech was filled with hate, at least they never beat me, right?

August 2, 2012

being nice

sometimes i think i am a horrible person. which is so random, because i really try to be nice to everybody. and even though i might not like everybody, i at least try to get to know them. i've been known to make excuses for people, forgiving their behavior, because i believe there is good in everyone.

and yet i think the worst thoughts about people. mean, awful, degrading things. rude and inappropriate comments, belittling statements, just outright horrible stuff.

but i don't say any of it out loud. and yet i feel bad about even thinking it. like the super nice people that i know are totally nice on the outside and the inside. and i, on the other hand, am a scumbag of a human, thinking such awful things about random people.

which really isn't so awful. because i'm pretty sure everybody thinks stuff they know they shouldn't say in polite society. and so they don't. because as grown up type people we don't have to say everything that comes to mind. it's what makes us civilized and mature.

still, i feel bad about how mean i can be. and from that i begin to think that there must be something wrong with me, because nice people don't have such awful thoughts. so maybe i'm not really the nice person i thought i was. maybe i'm a mean person, and everybody around me is too nice to say anything. and everybody just tolerates me because that's what nice people really do. and they all just feel bad for me, but still wish me well. and sometimes they shake their heads sadly at my downfall, because even though this is how i turned out, they still remember when i had such potential to be a wonderful human being and i've just gone and let them all down.

and yeah, i know that's not what's really going on, though sometimes a part of me thinks that it might be. that i am not nice enough or good enough, smart enough or cool enough, and the only reason people even talk to me is because of my dear husband. because if it wasn't for him, i'd be sad and pathetically all alone.

August 1, 2012

my thoughts on politics

it's an election year, just in case you didn't know. and i am not very political. in fact, i have a dirty little secret that might shock some.

i don't vote.

seriously, i don't see a point in it. i vaguely follow the campaigns, the speeches and debates and commercials, but i just don't care. it all seems so pointless to me. there have been candidates that, had i been registered, i probably would have voted for. but then they either didn't win or didn't follow through on all their fancy "campaign promises" that i don't feel guilty at all for not getting out there. because even if i made my voice heard, it doesn't mean that i will be listened to. and it doesn't mean that those politicians will actually do what they say they will do anyway.

the other side of my lack of caring touches more on the unbalanced side of me. i don't deal with confrontation well. in fact, i try not to deal with it at all. and when it comes to politics, there is much confrontation.

it seems to me that everybody picks sides, who they think will win and who best represents them, and then tries to get the other side to admit that they are wrong. and i don't understand how one side can be right, can know exactly how to fix all of our problems, and the other side be wrong. because i personally believe that we all need to work together to make everything flow, and every november, especially when the presidential race is involved, it seems to me that there is less a desire to work together and more a need to explain short comings and point fingers.

yes, there are certain things that i believe that i know not everybody agrees with. and some of those things are topics that candidates have taken a stand on. so there are people running who better represent my view points. still, in the long run, it doesn't seem to make much of a difference who gets put in office.

i know i have more of a hopeless, bleak outlook. but i think that some of the problems in this country are more of society's fault and not the government. it is our mentality as a people, and not those making the rules, that are at fault. and so i don't think it matters who holds the power, because if we continue to teach our children the values of hate and discrimination and greed and vanity, then things aren't going to change. it starts with grown ups needing to make themselves better role models for the youth of the nation, and elections won't fix that.


so this past weekend, i went to otakon with my hubby and a bunch of our friends. it was my third year going, and it was wonderful as always.

and of course, it was awful, because i couldn't leave my brain at home and fully enjoy myself.

we went with friends that we used to spend tons of time with. but since we've moved out of the jtown area, we see them less and less. and sometimes, even when we are in town, we're so busy doing the family thing, we don't get to see them at all. and so, it was very nice to be able to spend some grown up times hanging out and doing all the things we like that we don't normally get to do.

let me back up a sec and make sure everybody realizes that this is a huge social gathering of freaks and geeks, all the nerds enjoying themselves with all the subversive activities the normal crowd doesn't understand. and i love it. it is a weekend to be free and have fun and talk to other enthusiasts about all the things i love, people who understand and share in my obsession with fictional characters, how amazing it is to meet the people to make the work you love, and how fantastic it is just to see someone else get overly excited about the random. it's a time to dress up and pretend and to leave the real world behind.

but like i said, i can't leave the real world behind. as much as i'd love to completely forget things for a while, it always follows me. so even when i'm having a truly interesting conversation with friends, i still occasionally realize that people are actually listening to the things that are coming out of my mouth. and even though i've known these people for years, words still fail me when i get random bouts of stage fright. and so i trail off, sometimes mid-sentence, and instead of making a fabulous point, i mumble incoherently and vow to remember to keep my mouth shut next time. or, even more amusing to the detached part of my brain, is to watch when a bit of mania takes hold, and then i begin to ramble a mile a minute, part of me shouting to shut up. and when i'm done i'm always left with a feeling of shame and embarrassment, of why oh why did i say that?

so while i did enjoy myself very much this past weekend, i still left with feelings of regrets. of how i must have been so stupid and foolish, and all my friends are too polite to tell me what they really think.

in truth, i'm sure, no one noticed anything too out of the ordinary. and it was all in my head, as it usually is.

"long time gone"

so it's been a while since i've posted. yeah, it's been a very long time since i feel like i've done anything constructive with my time.

and honestly, i know exactly what the problem is. to borrow some words of a friend, i just don't have my head screwed on right.

i've got all this stuff, these words and thoughts and feelings, rolling around my head constantly. i'm distracted, i'm not sleeping well, and i just don't know what to do about it. some of it is simple stress and worry from the day to day that is going on. but some of it, some of it are the old words, the words i've been trying to leave behind, the thoughts that i know aren't true and aren't real and don't serve any purpose. and yet, it's hard to get them out of my head. just admitting and acknowledging gives these thoughts power.

i used to be able to work through things, in my own time and in my own way, and then i would be able to get over and get past all the darkness going on in my head. but this time, it's not working. i am trying, but it's hard. and sometimes i am tired. and sometimes the whisperings in the dark sound reasonable and make sense. and maybe those crazy little thoughts are right.

they're not, i know they're not. but i wished they'd just shut up sometimes.

and so, with everything going on, it's been hard to concentrate on anything beyond the concrete. i've been pushing through to keep up with the day to day. still, i know things are falling and being forgotten.

so this is what we're going to do, i'm going to try and post more. seriously. i mean, i know i've said that before, but this time i'm going to take a different approach. instead of writing happy little snippets of still life, all the things i normally share that i think help to make me look good or normal, i'm going full on crazy. i'm going to use this as a public place to work out my demons. it'll be honest, it'll be real, and it'll be very different.

and after i work through what i need to, if you've stuck by me through all of it, hopefully we can move on to the fun stuff. you know, like sugar.