Category Archives: Family

Beating Bullies and Safety Nets of Love

Well hello peeps…thanks for putting up with my last, somewhat vulgar, post.  Not my typical blog post but much needed.

I have been harbouring an awful lot of anger in my heart and it really, really needed to come out.  Nothing made me realize that more than this past weekend.  Luckily, I was able to and was supported in doing so.  It was fantastic.

I am one of those “fine” people…you know the ones right?  The conversations typically go something like this:

“How are you?” ~ “Fine.”

“How’s life?” ~ “Fine.”

“Are you ok?” ~ “Yep, I’m fine.”

“Do you need help?” ~ “Nope, I’m fine.”

Except this past weekend I decided had to do something differently (we all know the definition of insanity right?) and I answered those questions with “no”. It scared the daylights out of me to do that because I was worried that not being fine somehow made me less.  Somehow people wouldn’t care.  Somehow I wouldn’t be superwoman.  Man, I was so wrong.  I was immediately surrounded in love, support, understanding, friendship, guidance and acceptance.  Not being ok was totally ok.

It was one of the most liberating and freeing feelings I’ve had in a very long time. For once, it was ok to not know what to do or how to do whatever it was that needed to be done.

The person who was making a point of hurting me this past weekend has been hurting me for a very long time and I’ve had enough of it. It’s not that I can’t take it anymore – I don’t want to. I don’t want to and I don’t have to. The toxicity that comes from that individual is black and thick and infectious.  So, I simply put my heart in other people’s hands and asked them to hold it safely while it was hurting so badly.  And they did.

The outpouring of support, understanding and love was, and still is, incredible. It was a moment in my life that I know I will look back on often and draw strength from it. I know that taking that small risk made a very large, impactful difference in my life because I know it’s ok to not always be ok. I know that there is a safety net there to catch me when I fall and I know it’s made of the strongest substance on earth.  Love.

circle-of-love

Hypocrites and High Horses

Looks like I’m shaking off the dust of this rusty old blog once again…I’ve teetered on the decision to send a letter or email vs not saying anything and neither seems to sit well with me but what I’ve got to say has got to be said, just so I can let it go.

Dear You,

Once upon a time ago, about ten years ago actually, I met you with great angst. You made it very clear that I wasn’t wanted in this family nor would I be accepted easily by you. One thing you perhaps didn’t count on is that I rise to a challenge. So I set out to be accepted into the family, what I failed to realize were the unintended consequences of doing so. Over the years I have put you on a pedestal, for what reason? I’m not too sure but I did. I looked up to you and allowed myself to think and believe that you know better, live better, are better. I am learning to accept the fool in me. And that’s exactly what I was. A fool.

Over the years you and your husband and made comment after comment after comment about my life, my issues, my family, the way I live, the decisions I made/make, the way I parent, the way I talk to my husband, the relationship between me and my husband, really there has been nothing sacred that you two didn’t offer your “opinions” on or make some comment about. And I allowed it, worse even I believed it. I believed you two knew better. What a fucking crock of shit.

You are one of the worst hypocrites I have ever come across in my life. You talk to and about my husband, your brother-in-law, as though he is a shit human being and like he takes everything from you two. Open your fucking eyes. He asked his brother for help around his house. Big fucking whoop. That shouldn’t be something that is even used or held above someone’s head. One brother should be able to ask another brother for help without score being kept. The same person who you talk down to is also the same person who has rarely missed a child’s basketball game to which your husband didn’t go to. Why? Because he couldn’t “deal” with it or he was sitting at home sending naked pictures of his cock to strange women. Klassy. This “shit human” is also the same man who tore apart a bedroom so YOU could have somewhere to sleep while your husband was out fucking other women and refused to give you some much-needed space. Awesome. And again, same guy who has taken your kid camping, to parades, and has generally been there when your guy flakes out. But you won’t acknowledge that, you don’t give that to him.

You know, there are a long list of things I am finally, finally!, getting pissed off about but the one thing that sickens me to the actual core is how you’ve handled the last situation. Somehow, your husband was out F-U-C-K-I-N-G other women but somehow that’s my fault? Instead of being honest (whoa, what a concept) you are telling my nieces that *I* am to blame. I didn’t, and don’t, have control over where your man sticks his dick. I didn’t, and haven’t, offered undue “opinions or input” into your marriage. *I* wasn’t the cause of the infidelity but you are certainly comfortable placing blame. You know, I was there for your kid for years, especially when you couldn’t be. The Easter you went fishing or whatever with your Dad and your “man” was supposed to do Easter with us? Yeah, he dropped girlie off and we didn’t see him for three days….guess I had control of his junk then too, right? BUT…she still had Easter even though her Mom was away and her Dad was out trolling. You’re welcome. When you had to leave to be with your nephew, guess who still had a birthday party? And guess who did that? Your daughter has fabulous memories of camping, parades, family picnics, Easter dinner, Christmas dinner, and many more and guess who played a MAJOR factor in that? Yeah, that’d be me. I laugh a little now when I hear you’re doing family dinners and cooking Easter supper…all I can do is laugh a little. They say imitation is the best form of flattery…so I’m flattered.
You know, I’ve thought back to that day…you know the one? The one where I actually told you that your husband was sleeping with other woman and had continued to lie to you even after he said he didn’t. Yeah, that one…and I wonder if, knowing what I know now, would I have chosen differently. There is a part of me, a very mean part of me, that wishes I hadn’t told you. That part of me figures I should have just let it run its course and watched when it blew up in your face. I mean, he was pursuing women pretty aggressively and lots of people circling you were talking about it so it was only a matter of time. I kind of wish you hadn’t been given the opportunity to contain it and keep it private and I had the opportunity to watch those fake ass masks you two wear blow off BUT in the end, I am glad I told you. I know how important keeping your private affairs is to you, and I’m glad that you could do that to some extent and I’m glad you know the truth. So, in answer to myself, no I wouldn’t have done anything differently. If you two work things out, great. If not, that’s your story to write. Either way it goes, I’m kind of relieved, albeit saddened, that I’m out of it.

In the end of all of this, you know what irks me off the most? Is the fact that even if I said any of this directly to you, none of it would get through that thick skull of yours. You are incapable of considering my viewpoint and you have an incredible ability to disapprove of something I do, even when you’re doing it yourself. Brava on that talent by the way, it’s called double standards if you’re ever curious to learn more.

Anyway, there is a lot more that I can vent away about but really, what good is it going to do? I hope you learn how to be honest going forward, with yourself, your family, your spouse and everyone in your life. I know I’ve learned how and I’ll keep on being that way.

*dismounts my high horse*

Ciao.

Ohana

I don’t come from a large family or a particularly close family so I’ve always envied large families and ones that are super close. It’s always been something I wish I had but figured I wouldn’t ever really have. I mean most of my family lives half a world away and it’s fragmented at best so I came to accept that I just wouldn’t ever have that big, fun, family that I had always dreamed of. Then I married my husband. He has his own children which gave us an instantly larger family and he has a brother who’s married with children so I thought YES! I will finally have the large, close knit family I had always wanted. So I worked. And worked, and worked, and worked. I worked at being accepted, at being loved by that extended family, at pulling together the family I had always hoped for and for a time, a very short time, I thought we had actually overcome all the differences, all the troubles, all the drama of years past and we were finally a “family”.

Boy was I wrong. I’ve mentioned how wrong I can be, right?

I have come to the realization that it was all just a big delusion on my part. That “close-knit” family I had come to be so proud of was really all in my head. Over the years, we would host big family dinners and celebrate as a family but for the first time, I’m realizing that it was always me to initiate those get togethers. We would constantly extend invites to outings, picnics, backyard BBQ’s, dinners, movies, whatever and there would always be an excuse or a reason that they wouldn’t be able to come. We would share our alcohol, food, work, time, pay for our niece, etc but those favours were never returned. As a matter of fact, all we’ve ever been accused of is not helping enough.

For a short time, I felt like I had a brother close to me but it was just another delusion. I was a time-filler. Someone to go for coffee with and, most times, pay for it. My sister-in-law once said to me, that she was tired of being the one to pursue a relationship with someone. That relationships were two-way streets and it felt like she was always the one working. Funny, I’ve always been the one working on a relationship with her. Clearly I missed the message. I am disposable to both of these people. That became so clear when I finally, for once, told the truth. I knew that there were some shady things happening and I just couldn’t watch the games that were being played around me. I sought counsel of many people about what they would do and the vote was split. Some said tell, others said don’t. I care about the person being hurt. I care about the person doing the hurting. So I decided that if I was asked, I wouldn’t lie. And I didn’t. Holy backlash batman!

The whole situation makes me so sad. I’ve tried to be angry but I’m not. I’m just sad. These realizations are always the hardest. It is hard to realize that you don’t mean much to someone, especially when you’ve held that person, or in this case people, in such high regard.

The great thing about realizing who you mean little to, is you also start to realize who you mean a lot to. I’ve been so focussed on making the family I married into work that I lost sight of the family that I actually built. I have really amazing friends, many of whom I consider family. I was able to realize that I’d really neglected relationships with people who mean the world to me and I’m so thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to start rebuilding them. People who want me around simply because they like who I am and enjoy spending time with me.

At the end of it all, life is just teaching me the true definition of “family”.

ohana-means-family

Head Housekeeping

I don’t know how many times I’ve typed a sentence only to lay on the backspace button and forever erase what I’d just written. Heck, I just did it five times. Every time I open this page I expect some rush of wisdom or witty banter to flow from my thoughts to my fingers and finally into the interwebz that will reap hoardes of viewers and build a healthy following of eager listeners. (I have mentioned my completely unrealistic expectations, right?) And every time I open this page and start typing, I get discouraged by the fact that I erase what I start to say a bunch of times before I actually start getting my thoughts out.

What does that say to me? I have ridiculous expectations and my brain is scattered. I need to start doing a little internal spring cleaning. Get my thoughts out. Get the stuff that keeps rolling around and around and around in my head, OUT! I need to finally embark on the next leg of my healing journey and that is exactly what I’m going to do.

As you may, or may not gathered, I am overweight…like way overweight. No, scratch that. I’m fuggin fat. And I’m sick of it so what do I do? I start planning. Plan, plan, plan and then do a little of the do-ing and then get pissed off because my plans are taking too long (I wasn’t joking about those expectations of mine) and then I self-sabotage and then BOOM! Back to square one. Yes, I do this often. Yes, I know what the definition of insane is. This time, I’m going to do things a little differently. See? Told you I know I’m being insane. This time, I’m not going to focus on my weight or my food or my exercise. This time, I’m going to focus on doing a little head housekeeping. I’m going to try and get my thoughts calmed down, my spirits lifted and remember that I am me. I am going to teach myself how to calm my expectations a little bit. I am going to be patient with myself. I am going to learn what works for me and my body. I am going to learn how to deal with my stress and focus on the undercurrents that may be leading to my sabotage. I know how to eat healthy, I know how to track my food and I know how to exercise. Clearly, there is more going on here than just that. I am holding onto this weight either literally or figuratively or both but regardless of what it is, I am going to get to the bottom of it. Starting now.

Goals for this week:

1) Do one meditation
2) Write at least 3 blog posts or journal entries
3) Find one positive thing about each day to celebrate and post on my facebook status (keeps me real, yo)

Good goals, right? I think so!

Nailing it
Nailing it

Come as you are…

“Come as you are, as you were,
As I want you to be
As a friend, as a friend, as an old enemy.
Take your time, hurry up
The choice is yours, don’t be late.”

Ahh…the lyrics that shapped my early teenaged years. Good ole Nirvana. I can distinctly remember 13 year old me talking about how I could relate to the lyrics because I had grown so much over the years (yes, that was written while rolling my eyes). Boy do I wish I could go back and smack 13 year old me up side the head.

Certain things have been happening in my life that have really made me look at who I am and who’ve I’ve become. I spout off about the stories of who I used to be and the things I used to do but I rarely talk about who I am and I’ve come up with a theory on why. Basically, the person I used to be is familiar and I know what to expect when I behave in those ways but this new, more honest version of me is scary as hell.

The person I used to be smoked weed, got drunk, screwed around, lied, was manipulative, usually had an alterior motive but that is who I used to be. I didn’t really give a shit about anyone but myself. If I spoke up about something, it’s because I stood to gain soemthing. If I wanted to get high, get drunk, and/or have sex I’d just call up whoever would be willing and go to ‘er, the consequences never really mattered.

That’s all changed. I like to pin point my own extra marital affair as the piviotal point of change but I think it’s been happening for a long time before that, maybe I just started paying attention after that last encounter. Recently, I was faced with a decision to lie or tell the truth. Lying would have been so much easier, in the short term anyway. I could have preserved one relationship and stalled the strain on another but in the moment when I had the choice, I chose to tell the truth. I’ve asked myself why so many times in the past while because that’s not what I’d normally do. I’m glad I’ve had the wherewithall to question the why because I’ve been pleasantly surprised by my answers.

First, I’ve had the awesome opportunity to realize and celebrate the fact that my values and moral compass have shifted. I no longer identify with being a “cheater” or “cheap” or “easy” or “a homewrecker”. That’s just not who I am anymore. I’ve made peace with that part of me and it feels fantastic. I find myself getting defensive when someone says “once a cheater, always a cheater” because that’s not true, I am no longer a cheater nor will I ever be again.

I also don’t identify with being a liar. I am not completely innocent when it comes to lying and I can’t say I won’t tell a lie in the future but what I can tell you is that it doesn’t feel good when I do it. I feel the weight of guilt, frustration, worry and general distaste. In that moment of being able to chose, and knowing what the consequences of my choice were, I finally chose what was best for me. For my psyche. I may never repair those relationships and that’s a consequence of the situation but at least I know that I was honest and I’m not hiding anything. I’m not keeping secrets or protecting lies. I am free of that and that freedom is delicious.

Finally, I’ve been taking a good long look at why I’m drinking and why I have started smoking pot again *gasp* and really, the question there is why am I chasing that dragon? Why am I feeling the need to live a life that’s not a sober one and again, I think it’s to get away from facing up to what I already know. Things are different now. Pot is not my deal and when I think about hiding it from my kids and being paranoid that I’m going to get “caught”, it is clear to me that my conscience already knows what my brain has been slow in realizing. It’s just not for me. Drinking makes me sick and I do and say stupid things when I’m drunk. It’s also not for me. I have to be ready to let that go. I have to learn to be comfortable and confident in my sober skin and that’s what I’m going to learn to do. I want a healthy life and not one that is foggy and half-remembered.

Finally, I have been examining the relationships I have in my life and I’ve started to question why I’ve prioritized some unhealhty, one-sided relationships over ones that I felt comfortable in. I have distanced myself from so many of my friends over the last few years and I am ashamed of that. I have a lot of fence mending to do and hopefully those fences are strong enough to be mended. I have been chasing people who couldn’t give a damn if I was in their lives or not, bending over backward, trying to be everything to everyone and I have forgotten that to a handful of people I am enough for them without even having to try.

I am so blessed to have found the person that I love completely. I am so blessed to have healthy, interested, good people as children. I am blessed to have fences that need mending. I am blessed that I realized it before it was too late.

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Coming Home

One morning I woke up, decided to don my big-girl panties, pack my suitcase and take my new, enlightened self to a different venue.  Like so many leaving home for the first time, I thought I can do this, I can find a new space and make it my own but like many of us, there never really is any place quite like home.  That’s how I feel about this blog.

I started a new blog, I started a twitter, I started all of it with the intentions of tapping back into my creative self and pouring out one enlightened post after another but you know what they say about good intentions right? 

I thought making the decision to re-open Random Babble would be easy but it really wasn’t.  I found myself staring at the link to my dashboard and thinking “If only I could post…” until my better sense (she can be a little slow on the uptake folks) kicked some sense into my brain and replied with “why the hell can’t you?”  I didn’t have a good answer. Yes, I answer myself.

Luckily, deciding to post on an old blog is nothing like going home.  For starters, you can actually do it.  It doesn’t feel weird.  I don’t feel misplaced or like a guest.  I feel exactly how I should – like I want to write again.

 coming home logo 1

Up, Up and Away…

This has become a mantra for me This has become a mantra for me

I started this blog many years ago with great intentions of becoming a “real” blogger. You know, one that develops a loyal following and has fans waiting in the wings. Yeah, my ego may have been slightly larger than my head. And by slightly I mean freaking huge. But whatevs.

In the early months, I made lists of the topics I was going to cover. Political topics, hot-button topic, and parenting issues all made the roster but very few made the blog. This blog became a place for me to write about and work through very personal issues in my life. I’ve had some really great feedback from the few people who do read my posts and I’ve had some very ugly things thrown at me by trolls who need a hobby. Looking back now, I see this as a stepping stone onto the journey I have been on.

Looking at this blog now I see so much of it that represents where I used to be. I used to trend to the negative. I used to be bitter. I used to look at the world through lenses coloured with anger, hate, hurt and sarcasm. I used to talk about all the things I used to be instead of really focussing on what I am, who I’m becoming and who I want to be. (Yes, I realize the irony of doing that exact thing right now). I used to think of myself as broken.

I am no longer those things. I am being true to myself. I am learning my passions. I am terrified of this journey. I am terrified of being vulernable. I am terrified of being weak. I am terrified of reaching out to people and letting them in. I am terrified of failing. I am excited to be on this journey. I am proud of the accomplishments I’ve made so far. I am proud that I continually challenge myself and am putting a voice to my insecurities. I am glad that I have acknowledged my weaknesses and am learning to embrace them. I am fixing myself.

I have been cleansing my life of my old ways. Slowly but surely. Old habits, old thought patterns, old text messages, old contacts, and old diary pages. It’s now time to put this blog to rest, not just change the template or the title or the layout but really close this chapter and move on.

So, until next time folks!

So long and farewell

Eager Easter

Easter is right around the corner and lots of folks are focussed on the Bunny, celebratory dinners and the inevitable chocolate hangover.  Other folks are also focussed on the religious aspect of Easter, the death and resurrection of Jesus. 

Over the years I haven’t put much thought into the whole death and resurrection bit.  I’ve gone to Church, I understand what it all means but I’ve never really thought about it.  I’m talking in a how-does-this-relate-to-me kind of way.  Now I’m starting to think about it.

This time last year, I was still deep in the ditch I had dug for myself, waivering between anger, sadness, embarassment, guilt and a myrid of other emotions.  I was walking the thin line of choice and change.  I expected that change to occur immediately but I was wrong.  So very, very wrong.

The person I was compared to the person I am is like comparing apples to oranges.  There are similarities, for sure. Both are round, both are fruits, both grow on trees, they both have seeds, they come in a variety of types and flavor profiles…really the similarities between apples and oranges are greater than one thinks; however, there are many differences as well.  They’re just not a subtle.

My differences are subtle.  I am blessed with the opportunity to practice these differences and I’m blessed to be able to actually see the change.  That doesn’t mean the same old girl isn’t kicking around in this body, it just means how she’s interacting with the world and the people in it is a little different.  I’m grateful for each new encounter, I’m grateful for each opportunity to be a little more positive, I’m grateful to have the strength to change and I’m grateful for the set backs I’m sure to encounter.  I’m grateful that the people in my life are starting to see and trust in the changes I’ve made and I’m grateful they are all so supportive of who I am. 

I totally get the death and resurrection thing now.  Maybe I just never realized that it’s not always physical.

“…May the past be the sound
Of your feet on the ground
Carry on…”

Happy Easter Everyone. 

 

Hoppy Easter

Closure Exposure

Closure Disclaimer:

I was sent a “closure” email recently and I’ve contemplated responding to it but haven’t. That being said, I do need to have my say.  To be able to get these words out.  Somewhere.  So, like all things, I turned to my little web-corner and I’ve decided to have my say here.  These are my words.  My feelings.  My thoughts and my opinions.  If you don’t want to hear it or read it, please close your browser now. 

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Dear So-and-So,

I recevied your “closure” email but quite frankly, I don’t care if you have “closure”  or not.  So the next time you feel inspired to write a piece of hate mail, leave me out of it.  I am tired of hearing the same old hashed-out insults and complaints.  I wanted to reply but, as you will soon find out, I have nothing nice to say to you.  That being said, I do need some closure for my own self so that I finally start the healing of this hurt. 

Everytime I start to think about what to write, I get so exasperated I can barely think. Your behaviour and attitude is beyond comprehension.  Your words are contradictory, your behaviour is erradic and overall this whole situation is nonsensical. 

Let me start by saying I am furious with you and the things said below come from a place of bitterness, disappointment, and embarassment. I am downright incensed with the person you’ve grown into and the behaviour you’ve demonstrated and I need to get this out. I always thought you were better than any of this but I was so wrong.  You are fake.  You are a liar.  You are entitled. You are destructive and you are hurtful.  You spew hate and hurt toward this family yet you act as if you are the “hurt” one.  Stop playing the victim and start owning up to your own behaviour.  You haven’t grown, you haven’t changed, you haven’t done one goddamn thing you preach about yet you expect praise because you’re going to school?  Let me tell you girl, it’s going to take a helluva lot more than a college diploma before I believe one ounce of breath that leaves your body.

In your email, you thanked me for being a parent to you when neither of your bio-parents were able.  You know, it may have meant something to me if you hadn’t spent the rest of your time bashing my character.  I’m not sure who you think you are but until you are faced with having to make the same decisions, you are unqualified to judge my actions and my decisions.  Being your parent was hellish at times.  I spent more hours crying about, worrying over, and double guessing my decisions than any one person should have.  I spent my early 20’s dealing with your shitty attitude and behaviour and oh look, now spending my early 30’s doing exactly the same thing.

Your words, your behaviour, your actions have caused me more hurt in my life than anything else.  That’s because they used to mean something to me.  Your opinion of me, meant something.  That’s starting to change.  See, all those years I’d find little notes about you wishing your Dad would leave me, all those years where you felt it necessary to impart your opinion on our relationship, all the times you’ve yelled, screamed, pitched fits about how crappy your life was are taking their toll. 

You’ve always made your opinion of your Dad’s and my relationship known and that obviously isn’t about to change.  My response to that is “Butt Out”.  It is none of your business.  My relationship with your Dad is between us.  Keep it to yourself.  In my opinion, you would be lucky to find someone as kind, caring, loving and considerate as your Dad. 

Another one of your many complaints is that your Dad chose me over you but you’ve failed to explain exactly how he’s done that.   It’s time to lay that to rest.  It’s obvious your Dad loves you.  It’s obvious he’s been there for you, there were times when he could have been there more but overall, I’d say he’s been pretty involved in your life.  I challenge you to do the math of how many years you’ve lived with your Dad, spent weekends with your Dad and then talk to me about how he was never there or chose someone else.  Until you can come up with compelling facts, backed up by people other than just your Mother’s Camp, your complaints fall on deaf ears.

The thing that has bothered me the most in all of this is how you are constantly slinging mud at your Dad.  You know, if he ever said the things to you that you’ve been saying to him, you would go on the war path like no one has ever seen.  It would serve to validate every little real or imagined injustice you have felt through your life.  You would use it against him for all time and show every person how awful and mean your Dad is.  You know, people are in your life for a short period of time and one day, you will miss your Dad.  One day, you may regret the things you’ve said to him.  One day, your Dad will be gone and I sincerely hope that regret weighs heavy in your heart and on your soul. 

I am constantly amazed at how you expect others to accept you, believe in you and look past your mistakes but you aren’t willing to give the same consideration to other people.  We’ve apologized for our parenting mistakes time and time again but that’s simply not good enough for you.  I have a news flash for you – we are people too. 

The bitter-hearted part of me sometimes wishes I could go back and take back every birthday party, every special holiday, every hug, every inside joke, every new anything and the shopping splurges, every time I did put you before my own children, every time I referenced you as my own daughter, every Saturday morning family cuddle, take the flower that represents you off of my body, basically take back every little piece of me I’ve ever given you. That is pure anger talking and it’s going to take time for me to work through that.

Beyond the bitterness and anger, beyond the hurt and brokenheart, this has made me stronger.  In the past, I would have bottled everything up inside.  The end result of that being an explosive response when I just couldn’t take anymore.  Now, I’m reaching out to people in my life and it’s a really good feeling.  I have kind, considerate folks who are willing to listen to me.  They help me talk through the hurt and the pain and support me in my growth.  It gives me renewed strength and energy to face the next time you enter my life.  It is a great feeling and I’m happy that I’m able to establish stronger relationships and really value them as they should be.  Our family is more honest and supportive of one another.  We are stronger because of this and are re-evaluating relationships we may have otherwise overlooked. 

Over the years we have included you in every family gathering, every family function, worked so hard to make you feel important, to make you feel loved and valued and at the end of the day, it was all superficial.  We never meant anything to you.  You keep saying “we aren’t your real family” over and over and for the longest time I didn’t want to believe it but that’s probably the only truthful thing you’ve said. 

We aren’t your real family.  To you, we never were.  It sucks for all of us because to us, it was very real.

Hey You! Sixteen and stupid

Have you seen or heard the commercial or youtube video or whatever that outlines a letter to your sixteen year old self? Yeah, me too. And it got me to thinking, what would I say to my sixteen year old self? What advice or wisdom would I impart on her? Not that she’d listen…my 16 year old self was an idiot. Anyway, here goes…

Dear You,

I am you but you sixteen years from now. Yeah ok, feel better now that your eyes have rolled all over your face? Good. Don’t do that again. You look like an idiot.

Let me level with you here kid. Things are ugly right now and unless you change some things, it’s only going to get uglier. So, you can do things the right way or you can continue to do things your way. Me, as you 16 years in the future, would really like you to do things the right way. I know you’re not going to but still. Let’s break this down bit by bit, ok?

First, school. Stay in it. I get that Skull Baby is hot. Like H.O.T. I get it, I remember him well. Your relationship? Yeah, it’s going to end in about…oh…3 weeks. School? That shit is not going away. Just suck it up, get ‘er done. Oh yeah, and participate while you’re IN school. One day, you’ll look back and really, really wish you had. You’re not unpopular, you’re not bullied so live it up. High school. It’s hell and awesome. There will never be anything like it so embrace it. Once you’re done school, go to University. Think you’re too cool huh? Well, right now, you’re trying to raise kids, pay a mortgage, work your ass off AND figure out how to afford and fit school into that kind of schedule. So, um, suck it up. Get it done. Get a bachelor’s degree. That’s a good plan.

Remember that relationship I mentioned earlier? It’s actually a pivotal time in your life. SURPRISE!

You’re going to cheat on Skull Baby with his best Bud. Don’t. It doesn’t turn out well and it sort-of sets the stage for later years. Not going to listen? Ok, fine. Then when it all goes to shit, and you are set up with Hippy Boy as a distraction, practice safe sex with him. What if you don’t? Well, then we’ll end up here…and you’ll be a mom in 2 years. Promise. Ok, so you’re not going to pay heed to my warning, that’s cool. I like the kids, yeah I said k.i.d.S., he gives you. Hippy Boy is going to change your life. You think he’s “the One”. WAKE UP! He lives in a fucking CAR! He is NOT the One. He will be the one who takes your security, tramples on your self esteem, makes you feel smaller than a speck of dust.

Speaking of self esteem and security. Learn how to build your self esteem. You aren’t fat. You aren’t ugly. You aren’t stupid. Actually, quite the contrary. You are smart. You are beautiful and you have an eating disorder. Get help. The reasons you have those issues run deep. They will stay with you for a long time. Get help. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about and you WILL live a better life because of it.

Don’t fight with your Mom. Talk to her. You two can’t get along? You’re not the first. Figure out another living arrangement. Go to a group home or go to a teen’s shelter. Otherise, you will be sleeping in parks. Yes, I mean outside. Yes, I mean alone. You will be terrified. Believe me. I’ve been there. Also, go to Alanon. You need it.

Get your driver’s license. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GET YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE! You will regret this later in life. I don’t care if you don’t use. Shred it for all I care but get it. Have it. Keep it.

Oh yeah, stop smoking. Leave the dope alone. Practice safe sex. Be responsible.

Basically it boils down to this, you are making risky decisions. I totally get you can’t see the consequences and I totally get how a lot of your home-life situations were tough and you just want to escape, I’m not denying that. I’m just saying that your escape can be so much easier than it will be if you continue down this path. A little teeth grtting will save you so much energy later in life.

I know you aren’t going to listen. I am you afterall. I know that your stubborness and refusal to give in will get you through but it will tire you out.

Some other words of advice: your Mom is going to borrow money for a downpayment. Get those terms in writing, in a contract that’s been reviewed by a lawyer. Otherwise, you will lose out. There will be an opportunity for you to buy a house. Take it. Put your kids in private school. It’ll be worth it. Don’t give in to drinking and eating excessively. You will struggle with weight gain in later years. Stay in touch with friends. You will miss them in years to come.