Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Catching up...and a few confessions

Wow! Almost an exact month since my last post. Kind of scary. Well, less scary I guess considering my last month has been a hellish roller coaster with sone really awesome highs and some seriously fucked up lows. My psych dr is pretty sure some event triggered it, as I'd been doing really well in therapy and on my new medication.

Warning: I do not hold a grudge against my teachers, mentors, or parents. They were doing what they thought was best in the way they thought was best. While i realize and accept this, it does not lessen the impact, damage, and trauma that may have resulted.

Content warning: emotional trauma

But, I guess if I'm being honest my downslide probably started when I decided to jump from keeping my schedule on paper to only digital, and some things didn't make it over. One of my biggest pet peeves is people being late and I'm mortified when I am. I missed or forgot until reminded over 5 deadlines. I wanted to die of embarrassment.

Yes, I know everyone makes mistakes. You're probably wondering why I don't cut myself some slack. Well, it's not that easy. My brain, besides serious chemical imbalances, is wired differently than your average person's. I've got a crazy list of mental illnesses and disorders and fun stuff I grapple with everyday.

And yes, I do my best to stay on top of things without losing my mind even when I don't slip up. My husband tells me I take on too much, but I always feel like I should be doing more. Doing better. Improving faster. Which is funny because I'm not competitive and I don't want to be the best. I want to be solidly middle of the road dependable. Which for me is like climbing Mt Everest in only a bikini at times.

Early in school they made us take IQ tests to separate out the smarter kids for extra classes instead of recess or computer lab time. Guess what happens when you test as a genius and above the 95th percentile? Everyone's expectations skyrocket. Why? Because as soon as they know you're smart they expect you to excel and be the best. Not top of your class? Keep the pressure on and rising so the genius reaches full potential. Know what that did for me? I burned out in my 2nd or 3rd year. Of ekementary school.

But did that stop me from pretending everything was fine? Nope. It did cause me to learn quickly how to hide everything. Crying when you aren't hurt and someone didn't die? Not allowed at my house.

Ever been called a crybaby by your father in a mocking voice when you were five because you couldn't get your words out when you were upset or stressed? I have. By the time I was nine, I was so scared to cry, when my great uncle John died, and I saw my dad cry for the first time,  my mom had to tell me multiple times that I wouldn't get in trouble if I cried.

Nothing was ever good enough for my dad. Not to my face. But a lot of the neighborhood adults and kids treated me poorly. My dad would constantly brag about me to other adults, and some in turn would unfairly ask their kids why they couldn't do better like me.

Due to the constant bullying and harassment at school I learned to do everything I could to blend into the background at school. It didn't help. Teachers, trying to help me often gave me different, harder assignments and held higher expectations for my work for fear I'd get bored. I delighted in this until in junior high, during English, oneof my classmates loudly complained that I was exempt from the essay outlining exercise the rest of the class was doing. The teacher (thankfully) did not explain that I was working on a college-level essay topic that wpuld be graded as a college-level essay. She simply replied that I learned differently. But I was still so embarassed. The teacher, when handingout the worksheets had simply slipped my packet off the bottom and gave it to me, having spoken to me before class. I was so relieved that it hadn't been obvious. I was deep into writing the essay when my classmate loudly objected and it made me want to melt into the floor. But by then I'd mastered the art of no reaction, no telltale facial twitch, or physical tic, or even blushing to indicate I'd heard. I had lost my rhythm but continued to write, as stopping would have meant acknowledging that I was indeed different.

I think I've cleansed what I can today. Blessed Solstice.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Playing for the Save


Veteran relief pitcher Ryan Hudson always saves the game for his team. He’s dependable, focused, and good at what he does.

Which is why he prefers to live alone and not have anything to do with women and all the noise and chaos they bring.

Noise and chaos is all single mother Jamie Rush knows. Working and taking care of her two boys is a full time job, especially since one of them is autistic and she gets no help from her ex-husband.

When her two sons win a day with ballplayer Ryan Hudson, they strike up an odd friendship with the reclusive pitcher. Jamie is wary of the baseball hero, but can’t help fantasizing about him.

Ryan is attracted to Jamie, but desperately tries to hide his past. The only problem, they’re made for one another.

They just don’t know it.

Rating: 5 out of 5 fairies

Saturday, May 20, 2017

On Turning 30

5.5 years of marriage and I now have a wedding band with my engagement ring. Not because we couldn't get one back then, but because it took me this long to find one I like. Heading for the big 3-0 this is a wonderful present from my hubby who I've been with for over 10 years. Heading into my 30th I've decided it's time to let me shine through, no matter my body shape, weight, or society's expectations. Time to let the real me shine. So grateful to have a husband who's always been in love with the real me, even when I was too scared to really let that person out. It's a great feeling.

Sunday, May 14, 2017


The dictionary definition of opinion is:
a :  a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter We asked them for their opinions about the new stadium.
b :  approval, esteem I have no great opinion of his work.
a :  belief stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge a person of rigid opinions
b :  a generally held view news programs that shape public opinion
a :  a formal expression of judgment or advice by an expert My doctor says that I need an operation, but I'm going to get a second opinion.
b :  the formal expression (as by a judge, court, or referee) of the legal reasons and principles upon which a legal decision is based The article discusses the recent Supreme Court opinion.

Opinions are often personal. I liked this movie, I didn't like that book. When we write reviews about products, books, movies, songs, albums, etc we are sharing our opinion of the product with others. Did we hate it, was it meh, did we like it but not love it, or are we raving about it because it's so amazing?

So why is it, that when we're expressing our opinion first, or only writing it online, we have no problem being honest and frank, but when others express their opinions first, we often feel pressure to conform, or to at least modify our opinion lest we be ostracised for our differences? There's a big movement about fighting gender roles, the concept of gender as a binary, whether women should or should not wear makeup, whether a woman should control choices about her body. All of which often have strong opinions that people rarely waver from, even at the risk of being the only differing opinion in the group, regardless of what side they come down on.

But if you go see a new movie, or hear a new song on the radio with 2 friends, and 2 out of the 3 love or hate the movie/song, how likely are you to offer a differing opinion? How many times have we tempered our real opinion and lied about how someone looks because they clearly love that hideous outfit they're wearing?

Or if we're unwilling to share a differing opinion, or outright change it to the group opinion, how often do we just quietly, noncommittally agree to the opinion of the majority?

As I sit here I think back to going to the movies with my husband, his father, and his brother. I thought it was the dumbest movie I had ever seen. The three of them thought it was amazing. When asked what I thought I shrugged and said it was decent and just let them discuss while I stayed quiet. I didn't want to voice my opinion that the movie was fucking horrible and stupid because I was the only one in the group who thought so. It brought on doubts. Was there something that I was unable to grasp about the movie? Did I miss some epiphany I should have had? Was I not smart enough to get this movie that was supposed to be one of those edgy, artsy films?

The answer: no. There was nothing wrong with me. I have nothing against edgy, artsy films. But in my opinion the film was neither edgy nor artsy. I was disappointed. I had read some reviews online and overall this film had been well received. But...after seeing it, I couldn't understand. I'm a contrary person by nature, but this wasn't driven by that. I genuinely thought the film was a steaming pile of crap. Did that mean that something was wrong about the people who loved it? No. Absolutely not.

Why? Because opinions are personal. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. You are not, however, entitled to force your opinion on others. You are not allowed to use your opinion or beliefs for that matter, to infringe on the rights of others.

When I write reviews, I'm brutally honest. When directly asked for my opinion on things like food, outfits, etc I will also be brutally honest. But when it comes to things being discussed in a group, like movies or books or restaurants, unless I have strong feelings about the subject, I will often just be as quiet as possible. I don't like drawing attention to myself, so I often hide my differing opinions when I don't feel passionate about them when it comes to discussing them in a group.

But it's time for me to make a change. I know it won't happen overnight. But I need to start having more confidence in myself. If they love me, they aren't going to start hating me because I don't like that movie they absolutely love, or that restaurant they think as food to die for. So it's time to start speaking up, and stop blending in all the time. I'm almost 30, and I'm so afraid of being singled out, or deemed the picky one, that I go as much with the flow as I can when it comes to most things. If I can kick the toxic people out of my life and tell them exactly what I think of them, then why can't I say I hate that movie?