Monday, December 30, 2013

Anonymous Confessions: Family

Happy Sunday!  As always....Anonymous Confessions are in BLACK and mine are in PURPLE.

"My nieces and nephews are rotten. They're entitled, spoiled little bullies. I'm glad my sister lives 100 miles away"

"Family confession. I deliberately work weekends to avoid my in-laws functions because they make me feel so unwelcome"

"Every time my in-laws 'forget' that baby has my last name and not my husband's, I fight the urge to just call them out on their dysfunction."

"My sister used to be my best friend, but in the last year she has changed and is driving me crazy. I lost a LOT of weight, but when anyone comments on it, she makes sure to remind them of how much weight she has lost. It can be blatant ('oh yeah, she weighs now what I weighed when I started losing weight') or kinda subtle ('I've really had to be careful when buying bras. Since I've lost so much weight, just any old bra won't work'). She ignores my questions about medical issues (she used to work in the medical field) to tell me of her newest lover. She leaves her kids either at home or at our mom's while she dates a new guy practically every week, sometimes more. She has money issues, but buys clothes often. She continues to make choices that she could lose her job over. And these are all she talks about. If I ask a medical question, she will ignore my question and go off on this story about the fucking she got from one of her guys.
I miss my sister. I don't know what to do but "stop acting 17" comes to mind."

Remember that flat I got about 3 weeks ago, and my whole family showed up to help? Shit like that makes me proud!

"After my parents died and the property divided amongst us, my brother would come for a visit, and steal things he thought he should have. My one sister took our stepmom's ashes, and refuses to have any kind of service. My Aunt (stepmom's sister) asked for a small amount, so SHE could have a service at sister refused. She is sitting on those ashes muttering "My precious, precious".........She even sent my daughter a christmas card this year, but didn't make it a family card....entitled, self absorbed twats!!!"

"My uncle, my mother's brother, is the most rotten and miserable human being on Earth since he got divorced and started dating a new women a few years ago. She makes up lies about his family, she has made fat jokes about me and calls my sister (his God-daughter) an unfit mother, even though it's not true. She calls my mom crazy and unstable even though she's the crazy one. She talked shit about my grandma and said she never wanted to see her again and then had the nerve to show up at my grandma's funeral earlier this year. My uncle has never stuck up for any of us to her. He used to be my most favorite person and now I can't stand the thought of him. I am sad because I'll probably never see him again and he was such a great person way back when. Now I feel like I don't know him anymore. Nothing anyone says can get through to him. He is choosing his girlfriend over his family and it's heartbreaking and there's nothing we can do about it."

My family is going to be the reason I eventually go insane, or go to prison. True Story. I'm almost positive of it

Very personal confession: about 2 weeks ago my sister came over to my house and hid a bottle of Jameson somewhere. My options are to clean better and find it, or do without. Clearly, I'm doing without but I've thought about punching her in the crotch at least 3x a week since then.

"My sister is pissing me the fuck off! I may be taking her to court for custody of her children who currently reside with me and I'm taking care of them full time including financially! She needs a punch in the crotch! But for now I'll just get drunk on some Redd's apple ale while hubby cooks pizza for dinner. I'm so angry at my sister I could spit nails! I feel like 8 years worth of my time, energy and help was all a waste of my time, except I have my beautiful niece and nephew here with me where I know they're loved and taken care of!"

"I have 2 step kids that are rotten. Their mother is a creature from hell...lazy, loud, pill popping douchebag.
They hate to love me and have put me and my life in ruins more than once. Hubby just shrugs his shoulders. Two weeks ago the youngest and her mother went to MY town PD and filed a report saying I beat her up.
I have a 17 yr old daughter... and a 15 yr old son--never touched them once. She took the report back, but I have had so much- can't take much more- whether he goes forever or things change...but they won't.SO, I put my foot down & that little girl is NOT allowed here-- she is 11 & uses words like a 25 yr old male would... now on Thursday nights & Saturday into Sunday I make Hubby stay at his mother's with his children.
This is my home anyways. Wrong or not-- it's my choice."

"I didn't see my father much while growing up as a young child. When I was 12 I went to live with him and my stepmother and their young daughter.I realized that same day that he was an evil, abusive drunk. My father soon began sexually abusing me and beating me. He promised me if I didn't tell anyone, he'd send me to live with my mother, brothers and sisters again. So I kept quiet. After a few years, I told a teacher at school. I never saw my father or step sister again. Recently, she contacted me on Facebook and told me my father is dying of brain cancer and only has a short while to live. I'll admit, I felt nothing. I simply did not care. He was dead to me 15 years ago."

"I walk around saying 'I hate kids' an awful lot so my kids steer clear of me"

"I am totally surprised that my family has not ended up on an episode of Cops yet. They have made the local paper's police blotter section though! Several times! It's bad when only a few people in your family...extended included...haven't been in trouble with the law. I am embarrassed to say my last name in this city!"

"There is so much dysfunction in my husband's family that we stay away from most family functions like they have the plague. When we do get brave enough to go to one, it takes us both all of about 10 min to remember why we don't visit often and another 10 to get the hell out! They say we aren't trying to be part of the family, but when dealing with joy vampires it's best to avoid the night."

Thanks for reading, Everyone!  You can find my confession HERE as well as links to the wonderful people who made Sunday Confessions with me yesterday.  Thank you for trusting me with your confessions and I'll see you next week! 

Sunday, December 29, 2013


Today's Sunday Confession prompt:
FAMILY  What is there to be said?  I was hoping there would be some warm and fuzzy posts but you know, life with family isn't always like that and I'll be the first to say it.  I've got a couple confessions today so I'm just going to share them all with you.  

Truth be told...I've always been envious of close families.  Growing up, we didn't live near any of my cousins.  Not close enough to have a relationship where we interacted daily, weekly, even monthly.  And while we were taken up to visit sometimes, got to go to a birthday party or two, and we occasionally played together...I've never felt as close to them as they appear to feel towards each other.  Families where the whole clan gets together for things like holidays, family reunions and events is practically foreign to me.  

I've always believed friends are family you choose.  Past and present...I've had some truly awesome people in my life who taught me about life, love and myself.  And I've "chosen" some pretty rotten "family" sometimes.  

Sometimes, it really creeps me out when I look at a family and they all look too much alike.  Like the Kardashians.  

My family is joy, my love, the reason I drink and more than likely why I'll end up in prison someday.  

The older I get, the more I think I would like a family...and the less I think I'll be able to have the one I want or one at all. 

I'm amazed at how close I feel to people I've never even met...women I would love to call sister, people who embrace me wholeheartedly for who and what I am...sometimes more than my real family.  The internet is an amazing thing.

I drink at almost all family functions. 

Please check out all the Wonderful Bloggers who participated in Sunday Confessions with me this week:
Ramblings of a Real Mother (FIRST TIMER!!!!)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Anonymous Confessions: Tree

Anonymous Confessions are in BLACK and mine are in PURPLE.
"I have a million trees (ok, not a million.... maybe 12)...because I get bored easily. Big trees, little trees, Green trees, a pink tree, a silver tree, a green tree with white flocking...and this year, my 9 yr old decided we needed to use the Purple Tree. 
Honestly, I am not feeling it this year. I'm been working 7 days a week for months.  I've had surgery, and she broke her wrist. Between my doctor visits, her doctor visits, and her cheer-leading practices/games, I'm tired.  
She badgered her 19 year old brother into dragging the purple tree out of the attic 2 weeks before Thanksgiving. It sat there for weeks. She would plug it in when we got home every day, but it was bare. Finally, she scrounged around and found some ancient ornaments in a closet and put them on the tree. She conned me into buying some cupcake ornaments at the Dollar General. She helped put the tree up at my sister's house and begged some beaded garland off of her. She made paper chains We went shopping on my birthday and she pleaded for some hugely fluffy mantel garland and a tree skirt. FINALLY I deigned to put a topper on the tree....
Seriously, except for the topper, everything to do with this tree has been done by her."

"I redecorate the tree from the day it is put up until the day it gets taken down.  I can't stand to have something 'out of place'. OCD is a bitch."

"The kids really hate the fact that this year we switched to a fake tree.  But after the dog peed on the real tree the last 2 years in a row, it was either a fake tree or a fake dog."

"Growing up, we had the most beautiful tree skirt handmade by my grandmother.  It was covered in beads and sequins.  Last year, I bought a skirt so I could make my own...I haven't even touched it."

"My first kiss was in a tree."

"Last Christmas Tree I had, I stuffed down the trash chute in my apartment complete with tinsel, lights, and other decor, rather than break it down and try and store it. Nearly a decade of tree-free Christmases and I like it that way."

"Growing up, I always loved real trees even if I had an allergic reaction to them."

"There are more nuts than leaves on my Family Tree"

"I think a Christmas Tree can tell you a lot about the person/family that decorated it."

"When I was in 6th grade, we had to write a holiday story from a POV other than our own. For some reason, my very drug-free mind decided to write it from the POV of the Christmas tree. It won a place in the local paper that printed it. I'd love to read that goofy thing again one day..."

"Last year divorced from a man after over 20 years together.  Every year we would buy one special ornament for our tree.  Usually something about animals and always the year on it.  Threw them all away last year when I put my tree up.  Mom was disappointed and thought I should have given them away to charity.  Crazy part is, I knew they would be separated and did not want that.  Out they went.  My tree does not look the same but still pretty and not so much crazy anymore."
 Super thanks to everyone who submitted Anonymous Confessions!  Please remember to check out all the wonderful bloggers who participated with me this week listed below!  I hope to see you next Sunday!
Mommy Needs Wine, Not Wine
Juicebox Confession
How NOT To Kill Your Parents
Full Metal Mommy

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Tree Theft

Today's Sunday Confession prompt:

Growing up, we would go out and find a tree for Christmas.  We'd struggle the tree through the front door and finally get it set up.  Then we would decorate it with lights and ornaments and then my sister and I would argue over which tree topper to use.  When we were all done, I'd run and shut the lights off so we could all "Ooooo" and "Ahhhh" at the tree, sometimes laying underneath it and looking up at all of the pretty lights.

When I moved out on my own, I never had a tree.  It always seemed like an expense I couldn't afford for something only I would see.  At some point, however, I'd started to dream of my own tree.  I suspect it was the year one of the offices at the hospital where I worked had a giant, beautiful tree decorated in a peacock theme; It was the most beautiful tree and I started longing for one just like it.

Last year, the boyfriend-that-was said he would buy me a Christmas Tree.  We went shopping and he sat there on a bench while I walked through the "Enchanted Forest" looking for the tree I'd been dreaming of.  When I would ask him his opinion or his thoughts on the size or the color, he would glance over and tell me, "Whatever you want, this is your Christmas gift." or  "Whatever.  It's your Tree.  You buy whatever makes you happy".  I finally picked one and we brought it home.  

The next week, his mother invited me to help myself to whatever I wanted from the basement as she had all of her Mother's ornaments and she had so much that she couldn't give them away, but couldn't bring herself to throw them.  They were mostly crafts she'd done to entertain herself, nothing of huge monetary value and there was so much that there were still four huge boxes of "sentimental value" in the basement when we left.  

We decorated the tree with the Kiddo (my ex's daughter).  I then spent the following weeks trying to find a special ornament to commemorate our first Christmas together.  My tree was beautiful and I loved it.  My ex had me show everyone the picture of the tree and told everyone proudly that it was part of my Christmas gift that year.

You can imagine my surprise when after our break-up he sent me a long rambling text, claiming I was keeping his things and not returning HIS tree.  Truth be told, December snuck up on me and I've had a hard time getting into the holiday spirit with everything that has happened in the last few months. When I started thinking about getting ready for Christmas, I wasn't sure how I would feel about setting up a tree he gave me when I've worked so hard to clear him and all reminder of him out of my life. 

It's depressing.  Really. 

Perhaps I'm being petty and I do know that I owe him his box of ornaments that once belonged to a woman he openly said he hated.  But to have him text me and accuse me of tree makes me angry.  Nearly three years I allowed someone to call me names; names no one had ever disrespected me enough to call me before.  When it happened, I was devastated, crushed even.  But now there is a small part of me that is so incredibly angry at myself for getting upset at being called names that never applied to me.  Being falsely accused of being a tree thief has suddenly made all the things he called me and accused me of in the past so funny.  The accusation that the embarrassing, drastic and humiliating steps I was forced to take to end the relationship were really made in order to keep a tree I was given as a gift has really put things into perspective for me.  

I let him cut me down with lies. I drank his kool-aid.  I've sat here all hung up about this tree, but a gift is something you give to another person to make them happy.  I've sat here feeling like I can't set up the tree because HE gave it to me, because I've been afraid of the memories.  That doesn't leave space or opportunity for new ones for me to make with MY tree.  Who cares if he was the one who gave it to me?  So yeah...I guess I am a Tree Thief in the sense that now I'm taking back MY holiday and I'm going to start by decorating MY tree.  

So, Jingle my Bells and Suck on my big, beautiful, and sparkly spruce.  And another thing...

I never do Sunday Confessions alone.  Please check out these wonderful bloggers who have joined me this week:

Friday, December 20, 2013

Dear Santa (a Christmas List from the More than Cheese and Beer Lady)

Dear Santa,

I know you've made your list, and checked it twice.  I'd just like to remind you that Naughty is the new Nice. It would be really unfair to attempt to punish me by NOT getting me a little something when you get such enjoyment out of my antics, and if you really see me when I'm sleeping like the song says...well, that's kind of weird, but we both know what you're looking at.  No judgement.  I'm just saying maybe you kind of owe me...pony up, and I mean cash, unless you can deliver THIS under my tree...

So, here's my list of things I'd really like this year:

1. Retirement.  If I had been smarter as a child, when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up I would have said "Retired".  Now, I truly understand my calling in life.

2. IV Caffeine/Vodka.  I've been begging to just be plugged in for years so this is not a new concept, I'm just suggesting that maybe this be the year.  Plus...I reach a point where I think coffee is trying to kill me from the inside, this would completely eliminate that problem.  The Vodka is self-explanatory.  Just, try and find a way to make this happen.

3. All in One Washer/Dryer.  Is this a thing and I just missed it?  Because not having to switch over the laundry would be awesome.  Plus I wouldn't have a repeat of last weekend when I started the wash and left it soaking.

4. I would really like a fat bank account and slim body.  I know I haven't asked for this for a few years, because you seem to always get the fat/thin part swapped, but...maybe just consider trying again this year because money is really tight.

5. I don't know if you've noticed, but I am without a vehicle in Wisconsin during December.  Something?  Even a bus pass?

6. Calorie-Free Chocolate and more wine.

7. I don't think I'm ready to date again.  I don't know that I'll ever be ready to date again.  I've considered it.  I even signed up on POF and sadly regret it (you should bring those guys some coal).  But...I might settle for a really cute guy to take garbage out, carry groceries, do manly things, and snog with.

8. Potty Training....while you're at the house, can you teach my cats to use the potty and flush?  I'm tired of litter boxes.  Just...think about it.

9.   Peace on Earth.  Goodwill towards men.  Marriage equality.  And Legalization of Marijuana.

10.  This might be a tricky one, and maybe in the Spirit of Christmas I'm not supposed to ask for this, but...if you and the reindeer could "accidentally" run over (9 Reindeer + Large Man/Toy-laden Sled) my ex that would be wonderful.

So....just think about it.

All My Love,
The Cheese and Beer Lady

Monday, December 16, 2013

Anonymous Confessions: Eating

Per a special request, I will now be posting all of the Anonymous Confessions I receive on the blog on the following Monday.  Sometimes, I like to make my own confessions too.  So...Anonymous Confessions are in BLACK and mine are in PURPLE.

"The opposite of dieting can suck too. As a skinny girl who has always been told to gain weight, now that I have put on 5 lbs (its winter!!) there's the nosy co-workers asking if I'm pregnant or simply talking about my body... no matter what I look like people are going to say some crap, but I just love food!"

"Nothing means love and acceptance like a meal. Everything we do is centered around the table and food. Sunday dinners where we talk and tell the week's news and laugh and, of course, eat. It's so hard to lose weight when not eating "enough" is deemed a slight. Even after my gastric sleeve surgery, the urge to stay at the table to be part of that loving circle is so strong, it's almost unbearable, even though I know if I stay I'll eat more than I should."

"One of my fondest memories of being a teenager were driving out to #KrispyKreme late at night for a Hot Chocolate with a shot of the Kreme flavoring and eating donuts with my High School Sweetheart. I miss Krispy Kreme a lot sometimes."

"I still go down to the basement by myself and enjoy a few roasted marshmallows by the Woodstove!"

"My earliest memories are of my dad coming home from working long long hours and sharing a candy bar or crackers from his dinner bucket with me. I tend to equate food with that feeling of being safe and loved."

"I have this silly pet peeve, but it grosses me out when people eat something like pasta (you see this a lot with Ramen noodles too) and they bring it to their mouth and then bite it off in the middle and let the rest fall back on the plate. Once I start eating a noodle, I don't care how bad my manners are...I will finish it. That drives me nuts, especially when someone then offers me a bite or tries to give me their leftovers!"

"I love eating onions on just about everything! Unfortunately, I'm one of those people who will smell like an onion EVERYWHERE for at least a day after I eat them, and there is nothing that kills the sexy time for my boyfriend like 'onion breath' coming from inside the panties"

"My mother-in-law talks with her mouth full. Like, she jams her food up in one cheek like a squirrel getting ready for winter and proceeds to have a conversation with you, talking out of the one side of her mouth. So disgusting! Good news? I lose my appetite around her, so there's that..."

"I'm not certain I'm normal. I've been told that the reason people overeat is because they take every bite after the first trying to recapture the way the first bite tasted/felt. My first bite and last bite are the same to me....awesome."

"Dieting sucks so hard because you simply can't stop eating. You have to plan every single bite you take, so now I'm thinking of food 10x more than I ever did before. Almost to the point of obsession with my food/calorie/carb/quantity logs that never satisfies my doctor. And the worst part is, you HAVE to EAT. It's like breathing.... You can't live without it. It's much easier when you don't have to think about it."

"I hate when people scrape their fork on their teeth while eating! Makes me want to punch their hand and have them choke on the fork!"

"Even though I'm diabetic and I try to eat well, the week before my period is hell. I crave everything I know is bad and sometimes I will break down and dial up extra insulin and sit down will a bowl of melted marshmallows covered in hot fudge. I make sure I compensate with exercise and meds afterwards, but that two to three minutes of indulgence is priceless."

"I don't know if I ever mentioned this before, but I have a touch of OCD. Not the good kind where everything is really clean, but the kind where I label everything. Anyway...I have a problem with eating #Skittles. I have to eat the same color in even numbers because I don't feel like anyone should die in my mouth alone or as the 3rd or 5th or 7th wheel. I literally sort through them and eat them that way. And when I have an odd number, they get paired up with another odd number (3 red and 3 purple, for example). And as a last resort, singles with be matched up with singles of another color. But I can't eat just one.

That's insane. I know. Everyone who knows makes fun of me. Also, feel free to send me some Skittles because just talking about them makes me long for their fruit deliciousness. Except the new green ones. WTF. I hate the new Green Apple Skittles."

"So love to cook and eat. Had a rough last year and have lost a lot of weight. I agree that I need to put more back on and have put a few back. I am just tired of family and friends always commenting on what I eat or do not eat or how much. And that is not helping my appetite. I know its coming from a place of love but it is tiring. Meanwhile its time for a Snickers."

"I don't like to eat in front of anyone. Even my family...I eat a meal when everyone else is asleep, and I pick at my kids leftovers through the day."

"Last night, my boyfriend came home from hockey at about midnight and he brought me the new poutine from McDonald's and McNuggets. OMFG. I love grease and salt."

"I don't eat condiments/dressings. No ketchup, mustard, pickle relish, Mayo, Miracle Whip, Vinaigrette or Steak Sauce for me. The only exception is Ranch Dressing, which I eat on just about EVERYTHING."

"I hate eating with my Mom. She chews so loud it drives me up the wall. I'm always surprised to see she is chewing with her mouth closed."

Super thanks to everyone who submitted Anonymous Confessions!  Please remember to check out all the wonderful bloggers who participated with me this week listed below!  I hope to see you next Sunday!

Read My Confession

Submissions this week include: Juicebox Confession
Mommy Needs Wine, Not Wine 
ComfyTown Chronicles
Full Metal Mommy
And one more from Flaws and All who posted directly to can see it HERE

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Binge Eating and Validation

Today's Sunday Confession prompt:

My friend Bonehead and I have been trying to work something out that happened between us some time ago.  I don't want to call it an argument, but I got upset at him for something and I didn't say anything about it until one day I just couldn't take it anymore and I said something awful.  I was angry past the point of being able to talk it out and we didn't talk for a year. While talking to him this week about why I made it so difficult, I realized something about myself and it felt like one of the biggest breakthroughs ever.  

My therapist might have actually been proud.

I have a problem with telling people when they do something that hurts or upsets me.  I've often thought that perhaps I just don't like conflict or maybe I lack self-esteem or courage; Maybe it is like my good friend once told me, I just want everyone to love me and think awesome shit about me all the time and not say/do things that cause butthurtness.  However, I've realized that while I was growing up, and in many of my relationships since then, any time I've tried to talk to someone about something that bothered me...the reaction was to argue with me or invalidate my feelings, and tell me why my feelings were wrong or inappropriate. 

Now, I say nothing when people do things that bother me.  I shove whatever upset comes my way down inside because I constantly second-guess whether I'm justified or allowed to feel the way that I do. More often than not, I get mad at myself for my feelings because I never feel like I have a right to feel whatever way I may be feeling. When something happens, I shove the hurt down inside and don't say anything.  This will continue to happen until eventually the initial hurt starts to fester and I grow  angrier with every "offense".  The more time goes by and the more little upsetting things happen (and they do when you don't tell someone that what they are doing upsets you) the more it eventually feels like I'm eating shit.  Even then, I keep doing it until finally, when I'm tired of eating shit... it all comes back up and instead of having a mature, honest discussion about something small that bothered me I become an angry, spiteful person full of attitude because I've been hanging on to so many little tiny things for such a long time. 

I realized that this explains why I don't have many close personal relationships: I find other people exhausting, and I can't communicate the things that bother me. I've always considered myself to be a more solitary person and an introvert because I need time to regenerate after social interaction. 

I laughed when I read this.

I'm starting to wonder if life might be different and if that void wouldn't exist if I didn't find the people in my life to be so draining and taxing not because of who they are but because I don't know how to communicate the things that bother me in order to have a stronger, better, more positive relationship.  And then I realized that it goes hand-in-hand with my Binge Eating.  

I am a Binge Eater; I was diagnosed more that 5 years ago but I've been struggling for about 10 years, probably more.  I've done the unhealthy drugstore diet pills, Internet Fad Diets, and bought a juicer.  I cannot even begin to describe how irritating it is to have yet another person attempt a heart-to-heart talk about helping me lose weight; Or worse, when the "let me help you" conversation comes from someone I don't and would never confide in about the intimate details of my life much less the Eating Disorders Clinic, doctors, dietitians, prescriptions and therapy I've been through.

I've spent years and countless hours in waiting rooms and doctors' offices trying to get better.  I was seeing medical professionals who were trying to help me lose weight on a weekly basis at one point and I lost less than 12 pounds.  Eventually, I stopped going because I had plateaued in my progress and I was starting to have a hard time affording treatment.  Since then, I've tried to work on myself and figure out when and how I became a Binge Eater, and why I seek out Taco Bell or an entire deli chicken when I'm hurt or stressed.  

I often feel like I got the crappy Eating Disorder.  Not only is most of the clothing in the plus sizes usually ugly, but it costs more on account of needing more fabric.  Being fat is less acceptable than being too skinny, and people are constantly trying to "help" you.  Worse that being "helped" is people "defending" you in ways that make you feel 2 feet tall or insult you more than whatever they were defending you against.  And never, NEVER try to explain to someone that you have a Binge Eating Disorder because some people just believe it is laziness. 

And what is with the Eating?  I eat my feelings and I mean all of them.  I go out to eat to celebrate.  I eat out of boredom.  I eat when I've had a long week because I feel like I deserve a "treat".  I eat because after being sexually assaulted as a teenager there is a part of me that feels safer hiding under the adipose.  I eat because fat repulses people, and therefor I don’t have to worry about anyone trying to get too close to me.  On some level, there is a part of me that believes that someone who chooses to get to know me or love me in spite of the giant wall of flesh I've put up must really want to get to know me as a person, and might actually be able to see me for me.  Yep, my weight is yet another brilliant strategy I use to keep people out. 

And here I am.  I struggle with Eating and it is a symptom of everything else I struggle with.

Read the Anonymous Confessions from this Week

Thanks for reading!  Please check out these other great Sunday Confessions:
Full Metal Mommy
Juicebox Confession
Mommy Need Wine, Not Whine

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Social Media is Fast Food for the Brain

When I began "Sunday Confessions", in many ways I did it to have a forum to confess whatever was on my mind at the time.  To share whatever it was inside of me that felt like it needed to be told to someone whether it was sad, funny, lame, morbid, selfish, or whatever else I was feeling.  It was in many ways a very self-serving creation for me.  But through wonderful friends I've met through Blogging and Social Media it came to be a thing and is part of fulfilling my dream.  

As it grows though, I realize it no longer serves only me.  Other people are experiencing the amazing catharsis that can come with participating in Sunday Confessions.  In truth, in many ways this is more for our own self-inspection, acceptance of our life situations, and our own personal growth than anything else.  Seeing other people experience the same kind of "release" that I often feel after a good Sunday Confession is indescribable.  

That being said...I would like to please ask you to check out the list of bloggers at the end of this post who have contributed to this week's Sunday Confessions.

Today's Sunday Confession prompt:

Social Media.  It is everywhere these days.  Who could have imagined that Social Media would have taken the World by storm like this back in the days of  MySpace?  Gosh....I can barely remember MySpace.  Honestly, there is a part of me that can barely remember life before Facebook.  But who would have thought that Social Media....Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest....would someday be such a huge thing in our lives?

In many ways, I think the World might be smaller now.  I can log on to Facebook and talk to friends all over the World.  With a few clicks I can find large communities of people who can relate to me over just about anything.  I can have a blog that people in the United Kingdom and Australia read.  The "6 Degrees of Separation" was reduced to 4.74 degrees in 2011 (according to Wikipedia, of course)...judging by the fact that Margaret Cho follows me on Twitter, I'm pretty sure it is less now.  I can see who is "Friends" with my "Friends" in a mere click.  I can know what is going on in the lives of people I haven't seen in over a decade.  I can have relationships with relatives I always wanted to be closer to but was never given the chance.  I can see and know the people and things that are important to people I love.  Some days, it feels like everything is at my fingertips.

At the same time, however...I realize that nothing is all good.  Social Media comes with it's own unique set of problems.  Sometimes, the walls to the rest of the World that are removed by Social Media turn out to be completely necessary and sorely missed.  We all know those people who use various forms of Social Media to poison our lives and to spew their hurt, hate, pain, drama, insanity and word vomit seemingly into our living rooms.  And with the invention of the laptop, tablet and smart phone...into our bathrooms while we shit, our bedrooms and even right into our beds.  It is now borderline absolutely impossible to give up, shut it all down and change who you are if you embrace Social Media unless you change your name, relocate and never communicate with anyone from your past ever again.  Isn't that kind of sad in a way?  That if you are unhappy with yourself, you can't reinvent or change and start over?  That by making a few clicks and seeing your "Mutual Friends" that someone can find out about you through the eyes of some person who knew you once upon a time?

While things like Facebook and Twitter are pushing us forward into an age where we can experience the World from whatever warm, comfy place we want, at the same time....we're standing still. 

Interesting sentiments from someone who just talked about experiencing personal growth here every week but in spite of all the wonderful things I can't help but notice all the ways my life stands still because of Social Media and wonder if it isn't holding me behind somewhere.

Every morning I wake up and check to see what I've missed since I went to bed.  I lay there to check and see what might have happened between 1 a.m and 7 a.m when the alarms finally roused me.  Nothing happens at those hours, yet every morning I check before I even rub the crud out of the corners.  It continues through the rest of the day.

I check Facebook while I poop.

I tweet from my bathtub. 

I blog from my bed.

I recently watched a documentary about food and how the Food Industry is poisoning us by specifically creating food that is addictive through the use of salt, sugar and fat but is for the most part nutritionally void.  I realize now...Social Media is Fast Food for your brain.  Seriously.  Everyone loves the happy stories and baby pictures and cute movies...they're like Sugar.  The drama, the pain, the mysterious angry Vaguebooking...Salt.  And the fat?  Lordy....Candy Crush Saga.  And the Sex....oh, the Sex is Sex and there is no way around it.  Is there any Nutritional Value?  Doesn't seem like it...more bullshit gets passed around than actual information.

And my confession?  I'm so hooked on this shit it hurts and I think it is poisoning me.

It is not that I think Social Media isn't wonderful.  I do.  I've been given a great many things via Social Media.  It has brought me wonderful friends, relationships, and brought family closer.  Social Media has saved my life a time or two late at night when my head was in a bad place and I needed someone to talk to.  Social Media has been a great part of making my dream of writing a reality.  Social Media makes it easy for someone with Social Anxiety to actually be Social even if it is through a screen.  But the rest of it?  I'm starting to wonder if it is worth it. 

Here are the other Bloggers with Contributions to this week's post that I currently know of (at the time of this posting):

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Confessions of a Childless Wonder

Yep. I said it. I'm a Childless Wonder. Many of my friends and cousins have gone on to get married/start making babies, and all my bloggy friends are "Mommy", "Momma" or "Mom". I'm the one who has yet to get married, or have children. I suppose I'm probably at an age where that is going to happen and I'm not going to lie...I'm starting to feel like an outsider, and some people are quite fond of telling me that I don't understand because I'm not one of the "breeding" crowd. I try really, really hard not to be a Judgy McJudgypants Asshole about it all, but some days not raising an eyebrow is tough. Not to mention, feeling like people treat me as "less" because of their decision to be parents is a challenge. So today, I'm acknowledging all of those little things...the things I don't understand, the things I wish the parents I know would understand (or perhaps I should say remember?), and the little misconceptions. And...if you decide you need to take me out for it, please come for me with an angry mob, pitchforks and all, and burn me at the stake like in the olden days because we witches always appreciate tradition.

I'm totally Bitter sometimes. Don't worry, you don't need to resort to name calling or accusing me of saying the following because I'm jealous. Because in a lot of ways, I really am jealous and bitter. My mother had me at 24, I feel like I'm the late there a Judy Bloom book for adults I can read about this?  I have friends celebrating 5 year anniversaries and sending kids to school. For a long time, I thought I didn't want kids. Now, I'm that woman healing from a terrible 3-year relationship with a man I wouldn't have wanted a family with even if he had been able to give me one and I feel like I've wasted precious time. I'm still not 100% sure I want a family, but when I look at all the little happy families with mommies and daddies and happy little kinders...something in me feels sad. I'm not sure what it is that I feel sad about, but I envy that happiness I see.

I really DO NOT hate Kids.  I actually really like them most of the time, but even kids deserve to have their personal space acknowledged and respected.  I love having little people to show things to and do things like go to the zoo with.  I LOVE Babies.  Wanna know a secret?  I'm a baby rocker (bet you didn't know that, huh?) and when you let me cuddle your little one...I just LOVE it!  But if you're pregnant I will not touch you, nor will I ask to because I consider it an invasion of personal space; I will never say "no" if invited, but I will never ask.  I will also never ask to hold your baby (in case we're not as close as I think we are, you're uncomfortable with everyone holding the baby-especially if you're a first time parent, I don't want to put pressure on you, etc.), but that doesn't mean I don't REALLY want to.  And I will avoid touching your child as a general rule until they're toddlers (or it is necessary) and they reach for me.  I'm trying to show respect, not dislike and I kind of hate it that people think I'm such an Ice Queen for it.

I wish you would just say NO. One of the biggest complaints I hear from parents about Childless Wonders is that we are/can be rude, mean, or nasty when you're unable to attend something or we stop inviting you. I've actually seen some really horrible examples of it, and I have to say...please don't group us all together because we don't all do that or come from that place. I am not the kind of person who expects you to drop everything and run off somewhere with me. My short-notice invitation shouldn't be taken as pressure, insult to your parental status or a half-assed attempt at excluding you. I hate when I go out and do things only to have someone I didn't invite (because I thought they would have their kids) comment on a status update or Facebook photo that they were able to go and were hurt that I didn't at least try to call them. I try so hard to be a considerate friend by trying to engage in wholesome family activities, suggesting things to do after the kids are asleep and when there is something I REALLY want my friends to be there for, I try to give plenty of advance notice.

I will admit that there are people I stopped inviting to things and I stand by the decision. I once asked someone if they were going to an event because I would try and find them to visit for a little bit. She responded by biting my head off and telling me that I needed to remember that she had kids and couldn't run around doing whatever she wanted (it was a parade...I guess I mistakenly thought a parent might take their child to a parade, my bad). I never invited her to anything again, but that decision was based on the fact that we were casual friends, and her rather extreme reaction felt incredibly inappropriate considering I was just offering to drop by and say "hi" not asking her to do anything she might not already be doing if she were going-NOT because she had kids. The other person, I suspect, wanted to end some friendships and was doing so by using their kids as an excuse not to interact/engage with people but would then go make other child-free plans with others. 

To make it very basic, if you're not interested just say "No"...You don't have to treat me like an ass for trying to include you because you have kids, make an excuse, or lead me on if you KNOW you aren't going to try and make it work.  The interaction (my invitation, and your acceptance or refusal) doesn't have to be about your parental status, I'll still be your friend.  It's ok to say "No" if you want, just try and say "Yes" sometimes or issuing your own invitation so I know you're not just waiting for me to "get a clue" and stop calling.

Your time might be more precious to you, but that doesn't make it more valuable than mine.  Maybe this is something I can't possibly understand because I'm not dressing a tiny, fit throwing little being who is pissed off because "something" hurts in her shoe so she won't put them on. But I can't stand it when people who are parents treat me like I don't have obligations/responsibilities just because I don't have kids. 

I once had a physical therapist give me OVER 5 hours worth of walking, exercises, and icing to do at home every night. Then, he asked me if I had kids and when I told him I didn't, he said "Good. So you'll have plenty of time to do all of this". Riiiiiiiight....because I wasn't trying to have a relationship with my boyfriend and his daughter, watching my nephew 2-3 times a week so my sister could go to night school, plus working 2 jobs, and maintaining a household with pets with an injury that left me moving a lot slower than I used to.

I can't even begin to tell you how hurtful it is when people treat me like my time is less valuable than theirs, even more so when I'm generous with my time with you. I will work around your schedule to be your friend. I will come to you if need be. I will invite and accommodate your children (accommodate for lack of a better word). I will be understanding if you're late or something happened at the last minute and I get stood up. I'm that person who thinks it shitty when you have to work on your kid's birthday or during their t-ball game and I'm the one offering to take your hours (even though it might mean working a 12+ hour shift) so you can go.  But please don't treat me like every time overtime is offered I should be the one to step up because my plans can't possibly be more important that yours because I don't have kids. Please don't abuse my time by being ridiculously late when I'm babysitting to try and give you a break without so much as a phone call. I get it...when you're a parent things take longer, you're responsible for others and their messes and your time isn't solely directed at doing what you want to do and when you want to do it. I'm not without wonder, awe, admiration and respect for that. I'm just saying, please don't act like my time, energy, and personal relationships aren't as valuable as yours.

Those pictures and videos creep me out. I try so hard to smile and appreciate your moment because some of them are really beautiful. Someone is going to get offended here and I wish you wouldn't, but as someone without kids (and in spite of knowing how it all works from a medical standpoint), sometimes that stuff still scares the hell out of me. I'm really sorry, but ultrasound photos can be really creepy-especially those 3D ones.  And those videos of your kid kicking around in there?  They convince me that being pregnant is really like that scene from "Alien vs. Predator" when the baby aliens come flying out of the human abdomens.  I'm not even going to acknowledge those people posting a picture of their belly EVERY DAY all "Look at my belly today because I'm wearing a different shirt". 

Your kid is NOT my Life. I probably like them, maybe even love them. I try to remember their special things. But please don't be upset when I don't remember every anniversaries of things like first words, or every single one of their little preferences, or have to ask you for clarity on something. You're their parent, I'm just another person that cares about them. My inability to remember every single detail about them and their little life isn't some kind of statement about how I feel about them. 

Your kid shouldn't be your ENTIRE life either. Things change, you change, and life changes when you become a parent. That doesn't mean that you stop being an individual or a person with thoughts, feelings, opinions or your own general well-being. Please, just like....every 6th Facebook post, say something about yourself. Hell, I'd settle for an opinion about the weather. But when you become a broadcasting system for everything Little Johnny or Susie does, I worry about you and your kid. My cousin has shared that many people complain about his frequent content on his personal Facebook about his kid. And you know what? He's a damn proud father and I'm proud of him for it and I enjoy reading updates about his family. Why doesn't this apply to him? Because he posts photos of his kid, shares funny and witty stories and general updates about things going on in their lives. He ALSO posts about sports, politics, his personal photography and the other people in his household. His Facebook page isn't some creepy digital shrine to every move and poop his kid takes. Being a parent is one of the most incredible jobs and labels you can have, just please don't stop being all of the other awesome things you are (and someday, your kid is going to want to know what kind of an awesome person you are and not just what an awesome parent you are). 

I don't think your kid should be your best friend. I was raised to believe that you shouldn't be your kid's friend. We've all seen THAT parent. It really creeps me out when people put their kid up on some kind of creepy, obsessive, "Fatal Attraction" level pedestal. I've had people tell me that their kid is their entire life and best friend...who tells their kids the same things they tell their best friends?  I think people need other people to relate to, children do not understand adult problems and shouldn't be expected to in any way.  Please, don't ever tell me your kid is your best friend, not only is it strange and creepy but what kind of pressure/expectations are you putting on that kid?

Your child is not a weapon.  I was fortunately raised by two people who loved their children more than they disliked each other. I'm not going to pretend the divorce was all roses. Sometimes I overheard things I shouldn't have, I noticed the tone or the eye rolling that accompanied a statement about the non-present parent. But damn, the things I have seen people say and do to "get back at" the other person just blow my mind and make me sick and I don't understand how having kids with someone else doesn't make you more tolerant of them. I don't care if you don't like them, just don't use your kid to attack them. When you attack the other person, you attack half of the make-up of your own kid. Unless the other person is REALLY horrible, awful, abusive, whatever....suck it up. Treat your kids like an egg...don't throw them at your ex because it will break them.

You picked that bitch. I have this thing about people who bitch about the person they made babies with (even if it is behind their back), specifically the ones who claim they didn't pick the other person to be the parent of their child because they used birth control. They call it "Practicing Safe Sex" because birth control is really something you PRACTICE, it isn't a guarantee. Most birth control is not 100% effective and even if it is...there is always user failure or what they call I.D 10 T errors. So, the minute you choose to practice making babies with someone and practice safe sex, you're taking a risk that they will be the parent of your child. So, just....a little advice (either for your future, or to tell YOUR kids when they're age appropriate): Sex is for making babies. While technology now allows us to have a good time without the intended result of the act, there is still a percentage of a chance of making a baby. Use multiple forms of birth control (seriously, double that shit up) and if you aren't interested in doing that, stop and look at the person really hard and ask yourself if you really want them to be the other parent of your child because it CAN happen. 

Doomsday Parents....WTF? One of the reasons I don't have kids is due to extreme anxiety.  I'd totally be that parent sitting in my car on the street watching my kid at recess. OK, maybe not that extreme, but as a result of being tampered with as a child, being raised on Rescue 911/Cops/America's Most Wanted...I'm a very paranoid adult. All of that paranoia in MY life and I still don't think I would be as crazy as some of the people I've met. Seriously. I understand not being able to leave the kid with "just anyone". I understand calling me all night long on date night to check on the little poop factory you left in my care. But WTF is wrong with people that feel the need to go on a tangent about keeping their kid safe at all costs, "giving their life" for their kid, and what they would do if anyone ever hurt their kid every time their kid comes up in conversation? It's creepy. I get it, it's a parents' job to protect their babies, but I've had people get aggressive, even teary-eyed during rants like this in bars (ironically enough).  I don't understand if this is an outward expression of their internal fears or some kind of over-compensation for their insecurities, but I'm more concerned about the need to verbalize threats of physical violence, paranoia, and "preparedness" towards unknown and presently non-existent "threats" than I am something might actually happen.   I'm very afraid it could turn into one of those situations where a child gets locked in a basement for 24 years, or locked up and forced to haul their elderly parent up the side of a tower via their long hair. Last, but not least, when people go on these insane rants and start getting threatening and scary,  part of me feels like they're trying to imply something or hint at something like they think I'm a threat to their which case, they should stop being friends with me.

Yeah. Like this. 

Your jokes about being a "cat lady in training" kind of hurt sometimes. I know I sometimes make those jokes. But really, it's not my fault I can't find someone to successfully meld genetic material with. I try to laugh, but the idea of ending up like Goldie Hawn in "Death Becomes Her" after being left by her fiance is terrifying to me. I'm fat. I like frosting. I have cats. It could happen and it is scary.

I'm not judging you. You know those moments when you're grocery shopping and one kid is begging/screaming/crying for something and the baby has snot on his face? Yeah...I'm going to notice you, but I'm not usually judging you. I've dealt with kids. I know there are those days where they do everything they can to make you look like the world's dumbest, most awful parent. I will totally admit to thanking whatever powers may be that I'm not in your situation at that moment, but I'm not assuming anything about your kids, or your parenting skills. I genuinely hope something turns your day around, then go back to thinking about whatever is on my plate at that moment.

I'm totally judging you. I WILL, however, judge you for not parenting your kid whatsoever, for situations and circumstances you could change and clearly refuse to, for taking your kid to an inappropriate place, allowing your child to abuse you, smoking in the car (and this coming from a smoker), or being abusive in any way towards your child.

My money doesn't grow on trees either.  I'm happy to buy cookies, popcorn, overpriced wrapping paper, etc., to help out whatever your kid is involved in.  But there is a limit to my "extra" funds and sometimes, I just can't buy.  Please don't make me feel like a horrible person for it.  

I'm not Stupid.  They're doing new studies and have new "rules" for raising children every day; I respect your right to raise your kid however you want, but don't treat me like I'm inexperienced or stupid because I don't have a kid.  But I've wiped asses.  I went to school and was once a State Certified Nursing Assistant.  I have common sense.  Just because I'm not a parent doesn't mean I'm a moron.  Please see this blog for a list of my experience.  

Why the Mommy Hate?  Seeing the "Mommy Wars" over vaccinations, SAHM vs Moms who work outside of the home, breast vs. bottle...I'm sorry, but I've seen women get downright frightening over these issues.  I know I don't "understand", but from the outside...I wish all of the smart, strong women I know could accept that you can't change someone else's beliefs and instead support each other.  Boy, I bet that sounds super green to seasoned parents, huh?  (And I bet somewhere out there, someone is about to direct some of that scary ass Mommy rage at me over this)

I have CRAZY Respect for you.  I've watched a few Parent Wars and the amount of research and reading some people I know do in order to make the best decision for their children (and later use in debates) blows me away.  The seemingly endless patience, the time management skills, diagnosing and fixing a "problem" like an expert, witnessing the little moments between child and parent...sometimes watching you people in action is just amazing. 

I cherish your kiddo too.  I know in the last 5 minutes I've said that your child is not my life, begged you to stop Facebooking everything about them and nothing about you, and called them a poop monster...among other things.  But sometimes, the cute pictures and the great stories really light up my life and make my day.  When you let me "steal" your kid(s) to do fun things, I love it!  I love seeing their little faces light up, and getting to hear the funny little things kids say and do that you get to experience all of the time. 

Ok....that is everything I can think of.  I hope you know how much joy and laughter you and your little one(s) bring into my life, even though I might not always understand you.  And don't worry, if someday I find someone to bond DNA with and "get a clue" about all of these things I don't understand right now, you can TOTALLY rub this in my face. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Dance

Today's Sunday Confession prompt:

I once danced in the Show Choir (unbelievable right?)

When I'm home alone (which happens a lot these days) and I'm cleaning, I like to turn on Pandora and dance around my kitchen.  Please believe...I Dougie and I do it with No Hands.  

I HATED dancing with my ex, the Boyfriend-that-Was.  Oh my god, it was awful.  He wouldn't dance with me at an appropriate when I was listening to music or we were at a function.  But he would dance with me in the small kitchen of my apartment while I tried to make dinner.  And don't even get me started on trying to dance with someone who: A.) Can't dance.  B.) Had a belly so large it was like there were triplets in there.  I mean...I'm fat too, but holy uncomfortable. C.) Couldn't lead for shit so he would try to do something "fancy" and when you didn't do what he intended would stop and chastise you for not doing what you were "supposed" to do and D.) Insisted on wrenching and twisting you into these moves he saw on t.v but didn't understand the mechanics of so he just ended up hurting you.

But there were other times.... and a flood of memories, thoughts and insecurities come back to me.

I've really and truly had some of the best moments of my life with the worst people.  As I'm sitting here...I remember dancing in the middle of the street with my long-ago beau.  It was a beautiful summer night and the smell of cinnamon rolls filled the air (I grew up a few blocks away from a huge bakery), I was madly in love and he was everything to me.  There was no music.  Just us.  Dancing in the street.  I know, I a world after "The Notebook" that is cliche, corny and unoriginal; But this was before Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams and therefore....magic.  Now when anyone tries to have an impromptu dance with me I just sigh inside. 

I don't care what anyone was just like this.  I mean, yeah...they needed a guy with abs and she is totally dressed better than I was (Victory Rolls haunt me!) but other than those small details...just like this.  Just this moment though...the rest is someone else's love story. 

Memory lane can be special. 

But I digress.

 I've been doing one hell of a serious dance.  Some days it is 2 steps forward, one step back.  Some days it is one step forward and 2 back.  All I know is...I just keep trying to make progress and it can be frustrating when I feel like I just keep doing this dance and getting no where on the dance floor.   

I have a strange relationship with "Life".  Maybe it's God.  I don't know.  But one thing I'm beginning to realize is that when I think I know something, Life will find a way to remind me that I know nothing.  When I think something is inevitable, Life will show me that even when all the signs are there things can change in a moment.  When I think I could never do or be something, I find myself in the position where I have to do or be that something.  When all seems dark, somehow I realize that without it I would be unable to see the light. 

And I realized that without steps both forward and back...there is no dance, and what kind of life would that be?

It's not a perfect dance and sometimes I really suck at it, but I'm trying to have the Time of my Life.  (Oh yeah, Dirty Dancing reference.  That makes me awesome today!)