Sunday, June 21, 2015

Embarrass

Izabel Laxamana.

You might now know her name, but there is a chance you know her story. On Friday, June 5th the 13 year old jumped from a vehicle she was riding in, off a bridge and onto an interstate.  In the weeks previous, a video of her father cutting off her hair had been leaked online and has the Internet up in arms about public shaming of children as discipline.

I don't understand this new trend where parents feel they need to make a YouTube video of themselves disciplining their children.  I don't understand why dealing with your child's behavior needs to go viral, and it makes me wonder what is more important to the parent: social media kudos (because some parents agree with their actions) or discipline.

While my memory of the situation might be different than what actually happened, I distinctly remember being grabbed by the arm and forcefully removed from the room for a growled admonishment behind closed doors after telling another child to "shut up" at my birthday party and then being forced to apologize.  I was embarrassed because I was threatened and forced to cry before being sent back to apologize.  I'm 29 years old and this event that happened on my 6th birthday still makes my stomach churn with the humiliation.  I should not have been made to cry and feel threatened for telling another child to shut up, though I wholeheartedly agree that I should have been made to apologize.

The thing is... I'm not wholly against kids feeling ashamed of their behavior in public.  I'm not saying that I agree with the guy who videos himself running over his daughter's cell phone with the lawn mower.  I'm also not agreeing with the guy who made his kid wear a sandwich board declaring him a liar and a thief. What Izabel Laxamana's father did was not discipline.  Cutting off a girl's hair for partying or inappropriate social media interactions is abuse, plain and simple.

I support public "shaming" when it fits the crime, and by that I mean things like the kid who goes around on social media bullying and degrading others should have to post a public apology before having their electronics taken away or their accounts cancelled until they can behave appropriately.  A kid who disturbs an entire classroom with their behavior should have to apologize to the entire class.  If you should your ass, you should have to show your face to apologize...and if you've ever had to do that, you know how embarrassing that is in and of itself and I believe it is fair.

But this thing where parents do things to humiliate a kid that are completely unrelated to the offense?  Dragging out dirty laundry completely unrelated to the situation?  What the fuck is that?


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sunday Confessions: FOR


Sometimes, it is when we have so many decisions to make that we find answers to feelings or problems we struggle with.

Of course, that doesn't necessarily make the decisions themselves any easier.

I'm struggled lately. I have felt burnt out. I have felt exhausted.  I've struggled to make decisions. I haven't wanted to blog.

I'd love to be able to blame my depression or my back pain for why I haven't wanted to do anything or take joy in things that brought me so much happiness before, why I've struggled to find purpose in the things that I do.

Over the last few months I've lost somebody very dear to me.  Sometimes, I think the death of a relationship hurts more than the actual death of a person because somehow their presence, the mere thought that they're still on this Earth, gives a kind of strange hope that things could be the same, or better, or different somehow in a way that would work.  Sometimes, when you've been forced into accepting the circumstances your heart struggles for awhile.

I'm the kind of person whose head always let's go first.  When it is time to do those things we do for the people we care about, my heart screams "Do it!", it's throbbing cries echoing inside my ribcage while my head looks at the situation, crosses it's arms, raises an eyebrow and says "what for?"

Normally, I let my heart lead.  I do this until my heart begins to notice that it spends more time championing from inside a ribbed cage than it does feeling grateful to be held inside lest it fly away.  Then, eventually, it stops raging and yearning and when the time comes it doesn't bother getting excited anymore because it doesn't seem to matter. 

Eventually, I just couldn't try anymore because I felt like it didn't matter what I did... I wasn't going to be given anything in return.

It seems I've grown to feel the same way about much of my own life.  I had a discussion with a friend the other day about something I've been thinking about doing for awhile and eventually I realized that I've struggled to commit because I can't see what for.

Then I realized, this is how I've been operating for awhile. Except, the reason hasn't been me. 
The answer to "what for?"  hasn't been "because I want to" or "because I like it" or "because it makes me feel good" or "because it makes me happy" in entirely too long. 

I've been discouraged and dissuaded from doing things because I've struggled to see the point. I've struggled because I've felt like what I do only provides good for others.  My "what for?" has been "meh, why not?" for too long.
I need to get back to making the answer to "what for?" be "FOR ME!".


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Anonymous

Anonymous.

I love the idea.

It was the original idea behind More Than Cheese and Beer.  To be anonymous and say all the things I really wanted to say about whoever and whatever I wanted to say it about.

It is the reason I love leaving my hometown, being in a place where no one knows me and I don't care what they see me do because I'll probably never see them again.

Sometimes, I wish there were more places I could just be anonymous.