What I Never Want To Do

Day 6: Something you hope you never have to do……………

This is hard for a couple of reasons.  First of all, I really try not to think about things I don’t want to happen.  I know, I sound very New Age when I say that, But I read The Secret, and that stuck with me.

The second reason this is so hard is because the thing I hope I never have to do, I already did.  I buried my child.  I didn’t think I would survive it.  I am almost positive that I wouldn’t survive if I had to do it again.

Another thing that I hope I never have to do is put my children in any type of danger.  We have a bad living situation that needs to be corrected as soon as possible.  I never want my kids to be homeless, not have enough to eat, heat to be warm.  Once I take that leap, though, it’s kind of all up to me, sink or swim.  That’s why I’m here now.  Because when I leave this time, I will not be back, no matter what.

I love the idea of not relying on anyone but myself, I really do.  I’m pretty sure that it’s natural to be worried about it, seeing as I am 42 and have never been totally on my own yet.  It’s not that I’m not up to the challenge, it’s just a matter of how big a gamble I am willing to take with my kids.  They deserve the best, and I am determined to give it to them.

We Have To Stop This

Know what makes me mad?  The fact that children are coming to a point where they feel that it is better to be dead than to be who they are.  These kids are being tortured.  Every day.  All the time.  And they are dying. We have to stop this.

I am angry at the people bullying, obviously.  It goes deeper than that, though.  I am angry at their parents, for allowing their children to use words like gay, or faggot, or queer as an insult.  Maybe they don’t know their kids are doing this, okay, my question then is why?  Why don’t they know?  They need to know.  We have to stop this.

I am angry at the teachers, and faculty in the schools.  My mother is a teacher.  I know teachers hear what goes on in the hallways.  I believe that it is their responsibility, their job, to stop it.  I was teased in school.  It was truly horrible.  These days though?  Twenty times worse.  Now, we have the internet, this wonderful thing that I love so much.  For some of these children, it is just another vehicle of torture.  So now there is no safe place.  There is no shutting the door at the end of the school day.  Bullying is now a 24/7 business.  We have to stop this.

I am angry at all of the bystanders, the people who hear the names, see the fights, read the posts, and do…..nothing.  I understand that they might be afraid, I do.  I know they don’t want to lose their friends.  I know that they don’t want the bullying to be turned on them.  Silence, in this case, is deadly.  We have to stop this.

So how do we stop it?  I wish I knew.  I wish that I had a magic answer that would keep even one more person from suffering, but I don’t.  I can teach my children, and I do.  I tell them that making fun of a person for being gay makes as much sense as making fun of a person for having blond hair, or green eyes.  I tell them if they hear it, to stop it.  I try to make them understand that gay is just who some people are, like some people are straight.  No better, no worse.  Most of all, I tell them that loving someone is and never will be wrong.  Because, people, we have to stop this.

What I Want

Day 5: something you hope to do in your life………….

There are a lot of things I want to do in my life.  I want to take a bicycle tour of Tuscany.  I want to be able to support my children without help from anyone, even my ex.  I want to own a cabin in the mountains.

Mostly, what I really want right now, is to live a really and truly authentic life.  I want to have the courage to stand up for causes that I deeply believe in, without worrying about what anyone else will think of me.  I want to make a difference in this world.  I want to find my voice, and be heard.

I know that what stops me a lot of the time, is fear.  Fear of the unknown I guess?  I don’t know.  That’s why I love challenges like this one, because they force me to think about things like this.  I know what I want, I even know how to get most of what I want.  What I don’t know, it what is stopping me, and what the hell I’m waiting for.

Forgiving Someone Else

Day 4: Something you have to forgive someone for…………..

Lucky for me, this assignment does not say I have to forgive someone, just that I acknowledge that there is something I should forgive someone for.  That, I can do.

I should forgive my ex for a lot of things.  For the most part, I have.  I have not been able to forgive him for trying to turn my children against me.  I cannot forgive him telling children that are too young to hear, hideous partial truths and thinly veiled lies about me.  I cannot forgive him encouraging my children to say hateful things to me, and laughing when they do.  I cannot forgive him for encouraging hate.  I can’t, but I should.

Maybe one day I will be able to.  I really hope so.  The only way I can see that happening though, is if he stops what he is doing.  If he stops talking to children like they are adults.  If he stops trying to draw dividing lines in our family.  I truly hope he will.

What I can do, is promise that I will not do the same.  I will not try to turn our kids against him.  I will not make them feel like they need to choose between us.  I will continue to try to encourage peace and healing.  That much, I can do.

Forgiveness

Day 3: Something you have to forgive yourself for………….

I have this vision of how my life should be.  I guess I have always had it.

My children always happy, never fighting with me.  Me, always patient, always understanding.  I handle the most difficult of situations with a smile, confidently moving briskly to the perfect solution.

My personal relationship, of course is one to be envied.  It is completely equal, and nurturing.  I never play those awful games that some people play.  That wanting the person to be closer, until the second they ARE closer, then pushing them away.  How gross!  How immature.  How WRONG!

I have a perfect career, where my talents are put to use, my ideas and opinions are valued, and my skills are challenged and honed daily.

Of course, eventually I have to wake up.  And while I know logically that no one actually has a perfect life, mine falls so far from the mark that it is completely off the grid.  And, sadly, there is no one to blame but myself.  And I do.  Well.  And often.

So, that is what I need to forgive myself for.  All of the choices I made, and decisions I allowed people to make for me, that made me who I am today.  My kids fight with me all the time.  My house looks like Tina Turner’s hair most days.  I have no personal relationship.  I have no career, I have a job, and not a very good one at that.

On good days, I tell myself that I can still change any or all of these things.  I can build better relationships with my kids, establish a loving, caring personal relationship, get a better job.  The question is, if I don’t do these things, can I forgive myself enough to be truly happy with the life I have?

The Things I Like About Myself

Day 2: Something you love about yourself…………..

I guess the thing I like most about myself is that I am loyal.  Once I love you, I love you for life.  It might not be the same kind of love, because situations and circumstances change, but I will still genuinely care about you and wish you well.  In most cases, I will still want to be your friend.

I am a lot stronger than people think I am.  I don’t know how or where this picture of me as some helpless, delicate being came from for some people, but that is not me.  I don’t think that has ever been me.  I kind of roll with the punches for the most part.  I get back up when I’m knocked down.  I make the best out of the situation, whatever that may be.  I do what needs to be done, and I move on.

I am a good mom.  My ex likes to tell me I’m not, but I know differently, and my kids know differently, too.  They know I love them, no matter what.  They know they can come to me with anything, and they do.  They trust me with their secrets.  They tell me their dreams for their future.  They know that I will do anything in my power for their happiness.  That will never change.

I’m sure that there are more things I could write here, but I have a problem with listing good things about myself.  I kind of feel like I’m bragging?  I know that 5 years ago, it would have been nearly impossible for me to think of even one thing to say positive about myself.  I have a long way to go, but I’m getting there.

30 Days of Truth

Day 1:  Something you hate about yourself……………

Okay, so this one is hard, right off the bat.  Not because there is nothing that I hate about myself, but rather, having spent years with no self-esteem, and even less self-worth, there is a great reservoir  to choose from.  These days, I really try not to dwell on them, but I’m sure I can pull some out for the purpose of this challenge.

I am too forgiving.  Like to the point that I become worthy of doormat status.  Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a good thing to forgive, a necessary thing even.  I just think that if the same thing keeps happening, over and over and over again, there comes a point that you have to deviate from the well read script of forgiveness.

I am too open with people.  Again, this is a good thing in most cases, but it’s like I don’t know when to shut my damn mouth sometimes.  Giving people too much information, too soon, gives them the power to hurt you deeply.  And really, I have always wanted to be one of those silent people, you know?  The people that are so easy to talk to, but you really don’t know that much about them?  Yeah, that will never be me.

I care about people’s opinion of me way too much.  I am always the first one to tell my kids not to worry about what other people think if they feel good about who they are.  Seems I can’t follow my own advice.  I want my boss to like me.  I want my co workers to like me, even the ones that I don’t necessarily like.  I want STRANGERS to like me!

Gag!