Always be yourself

Yesterday I wrote about my terrible self esteem.

Today, my 10 year old tells me that nobody wants to talk to her at lunch and recess.

Crushed.

She dropped this on me about 10 seconds before the bus pulled up.

At that point all I could do was hug her, kiss her forehead and tell her that we would talk when she gets back on Saturday.

So here I sit with tears in my eyes.

I always tell my girls to just be themselves.

But, let’s face it, in the world we live in, that is extremely difficult, and a lot of times brings on disappointment.

I grew up being different. I was quirky and weird, and still am.

Yes, I had friends, but I remember not liking the same popular things as most girls did.

I was bullied and picked on. I was made fun of and taunted.

It was hurtful.

We see it every day. Age has nothing to do with it.

And it all comes down to kids not accepting that no two people are the same.

Physically, emotionally and everything else in between.

My beautiful 10 year old doesn’t like all the same girly stuff that other girls do.

She dislikes dresses and frilly things.

She isn’t into dolls or boybands.

She loves to draw. She likes Five Nights at Freddys and playing Mario.

She doesn’t fit in with the typical norm.

I want her to know that it is ok.

It is not an easy road to travel.

I have never fit in.

I know how she feels.

Why though?

Why does any kid have to feel ashamed and lonely for being themselves?

Why does society put so much emphasis on being a particular way?

It is truly heartbreaking and it saddens me that at only 10, my daughter is questioning herself because others are ignorant and judgmental.

Take a moment. Talk to her. See how big this little girls heart is.

She holds the door for strangers. She offers help when she sees other people in need.

She is bright and energetic.

She is a lovely little girl.

And the tears in my eyes begin to fall.

Please, I cannot stress it enough, help your children understand that no two people are alike.

A little girls heart and self esteem are in the balance.

Don’t make her feel like she has to change just so she can have friends and be included.

Because I have taught her that.

And I will continue to instill that lesson as long as I remain on this earth.

Love the people that don’t seem lovable. Accept those that may be different from you.

Don’t judge before you know the person, and always be yourself.

I love you baby girl, and I will always be your fan. You be you.

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An un royal wedding

Not mine.

The ex is getting remarried today.

I have to say that I am pretty indifferent on the matter.

However, it does create thoughts about my future wedding.

Or lack there of.

I never had a dress the first time around at age 23.

Probably won’t have one again when my fiance and I officially get married.

Sadly, who would come? If no one is present, why the hell would I need a dress, bouquet, or reception?

No centerpieces, dj’s, cakes or catering.

I have lost so many friends and acquaintances over the years.

I only have bits and pieces of my family left and a lot of them are older and ailing.

It’s nobody’s fault, it just is what it is, and I guess that is what is bothering me the most.

I already offered him a pre-congratulations.

No bitter feelings.

Life goes on.

Don’t you dare judge me

Never in my life did I expect to be where I am now.

Everything I imagined my life to be has turned out differently.

I grew up thinking that when I had children, I would have a boy and a girl, like my parents did.

I have 4 girls.

I imagined being married living a middle of the road kind of life, like my parents did.

I imagined myself in a different life.

That is not where I am now.

Life is a sequence of cause and effect.

Every choice, every mistake, paves the road you must travel on.

Do you think I love the daily struggle to keep myself and my family afloat?

I have dealt with a massive number of downslopes over the past few years.

I was cocky after I filed for divorce and that was a huge mistake.

I didn’t realize how complicated things could get until one obstacle after another was thrown in my path.

After I lost the house I was 2 weeks away from buying, life took a turn for the worst.

Things have been mostly tragic since.

You think I like living that way?

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish things could be different.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t put my best into making everything go as smoothly as possible.

There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t work towards change.

Do you think I like living this way?

The circumstances of my life, messy and unpredictable, but never a reason to be any less of a good person or mother.

Always looking for a way to improve.

Even if it is a small change.

I have had to ask for help. I have swallowed my pride and accepted help I did not want to believe I needed.

Do you really think I like living this way?

I am certainly not the person I used to be.

I am a better person.

Don’t you dare judge me.

I have cried wondering how I was gonna pay the bills.

I have spent many sleepless nights wondering about the days to come and what new issue will arise.

I have persevered through many anxiety ridden days hoping that my family is happy enough.

I have sacrificed my needs to make sure my family has what they need.

I always try to display my best self, but some days my best isn’t always up to your standards.

But, don’t you dare judge me.

Life is perfectly imperfect and no matter what happens, I never give up.

I have conquered way too much to be judged by the likes of you.

You don’t control me.

You have no right to judge me.

Life sentence

I am doing a life sentence. No, I didn’t murder anyone, I merely got a divorce.

November 13, 2015 is when it was official, but somehow I am still dealing with the mental and verbal abuse.

He doesn’t specifically call me names, not to my face anyways. He saves that for telling the kids so when they get back home with me, I can hear all about what daddy said or what there soon to be wicked step mother has said about me.

And I don’t mean to retaliate, but I am almost 40 years old. Getting really tired of having to hear highschool drama. I bite my tongue most of the time. I know, just say nothing. But, it’s hard not to when it is so hurtful.

But, the never ending abuse is that no matter what I do or say, it is never the right thing, by his standards anyways.

I am not him, and I will make certain never to be. I don’t parent like he does, but that doesn’t make me a bad parent.

Their clothes aren’t new enough, or don’t meet his approval.

A long sleeved white t-shirt and pink sweatpants does not make a kid a hobo. As he called her that right to her face.

Loud flowery pants are not ridiculous if the kid likes to wear them. Kindergarten is not a fashion show and why can’t she within reason make some of her own decisions. It’s called having a mind of her own.

They obviously frown upon that considering they are all treated like little soldiers.

And it all comes back to me. I am a bad parent for allowing my kids to make small choices in their lives. Why does it matter what design was on her pants. She didn’t look “ridiculous”, she was happy with them and you made her feel bad.

They have clothes on their backs. Yes, the majority are hand me downs, because I just can’t afford to hit the malls and buy them the latest and greatest.

They have plenty of food to eat. They have a roof over their heads, running water and electricity. They have heat. They do homework and go to school each day. I buy them new shoes one at a time as I can afford it. They have backpacks and lunch bags to carry their stuff in. They have beds to sleep in. We do stuff as a family. I make homemade meals most nights.

I punish them when need be and revoke privileges when necessary. I take care of them when they are sick and I urge them to talk when I know something is wrong.

We play, we laugh and we love.

I don’t do things his way, but that doesn’t make me a bad parent.

I shouldn’t have to always defend myself. I shouldn’t have to always feel judged and scrutinized. I shouldn’t have to look over my shoulder constantly worrying that if I don’t do something to his standards that he will threaten to seek full custody or call children’s services on me.

I shouldn’t have to live with constant anxiety.

And yet I take the abuse. Being talked down to like I am a child. Berating me and my decisions.

It is a life sentence of constantly having to hear about how bad of a mom I am because I don’t force my kids to clean baseboards as a punishment.

Because a coat is old and worn and needs replaced, but I just don’t have the money for it right now. I don’t even have a coat.

Or hear about how my one daughters hair was a mess because she didn’t want it pulled up and quite frankly doesn’t give two shits about being perfect all the damn time.

I have to hear about how he gave me everything in the divorce and how he still needs to pay for two households.

I am tired of being beaten down and harassed about everything he doesn’t agree with.

It is abuse.

When my kids are skipping school, not doing homework, running the streets with no clothes, malnourished, doing drugs, stealing, living with no heat or electricity, unclean and unhappy, then he has every right to attack me.

But, that is not the case.

Every day of my life revolves around the lives that I carried in my womb for 9 months. Every sacrifice I make is for them so that I can give them the best that I can give them. I give them my best, always. Doesn’t that count for something?

It doesn’t make me a bad mum.

And yet I am bullied and broken down and because of him, I feel like I am.

I have no leverage to make it stop. He won’t stop and I don’t know what to do. There are no laws or rules that can make it stop.

I just want to live in peace. It has been nearly three years since the separation and I am still being punished. I am still being treated like I am garbage. I am still being made to feel inadequate. I am still being bullied and talked down to.

It makes me sad, it makes me want to cry at times. It makes me angry. It makes my anxiety shoot through the roof. It makes me second guess myself and feel like I am not good enough.

I received a life sentence of being treated like shit from a narcissist. An angry bully who feels superior.

All because I wanted a divorce.

When adults can’t seem to “grow up”…

In the beginning, emotions are raging. Life exploded, but yet came to a standstill all at the same time. 

That sensory overload is extremely disruptive, and there are a lot of pieces to pick up. A lot of questions. A lot of confusion. A lot of everything. 

People make mistakes. People sometimes do stupid things. 

The problem is when people can not move past the disruptive phase. 

I am definitely in a new phase of life. 

One that I belong in.

Life has changed so much over the past almost 2 years. Not just for me, but for everyone. 

I have been through so much chaos along the way. But, no matter how down I get about things, somehow I keep moving forward. Proving to myself that even though I aspire for more, I am worthwhile, and successful in my own way. 

I no longer have time for regret, or to hold grudges or retaliation. 

I am almost 37 years old. I have a baby on the way. I have an ailing father in the hospital. I have three small beings that depend on me. I have way too much going on to hold on to the past.

Some people can’t seem to do this. 

Why? I wish I knew. I wish it would stop. 

I live an honest life. I have nothing to hide. I do the best I can and more almost every day. I try to be selfless and giving where I can. 

Why do I need to keep defending my honor when I know it is true and real? 

Nobody is perfect. You are not better or worse than me. We are equal, but we are different. 

That is all. 

You are not destroying my life or knocking me down. Your childish attacks are only giving me more courage and fight. 

More knowledge, more power. 

So, to you…you do whatever you think you need to do to feel better about yourself. 

I know who I am. 

Retail

Todd and I were talking about working the retail life. 

I have been a mere associate, and I have been more. 

I am going to speak from the level of management. It is a much more expansive picture to paint. 

So ya, we run registers. Nowadays we don’t have to worry about counting back change. More often than not, the customer is swiping or inserting a card instead. (I will not even get into my disgust for chip readers). 

But, as a retail store manager there is so much more. 

We pretty much run the entire operation of the store. 

We hire and fire. 

We order, receive and unpack. 

We train and teach our employees. 

We scold and reprimand employees when need be. 

We work up all the numbers each day and are held accountable when numbers are not correct and where they are expected. 

We manage all the transactions, cash, charges, returns. 

We order supplies to make sure we can continue to be operational each day. 

We set sales, reorganize, set up, tear down, change, decorate or promote our products on a daily basis. 

We often skip our lunch breaks because getting the new floor set done is more important. 

We have to get talked down to from higher ups that don’t want to hear any of your excuses. 

Dealing with insubordinate employees, lying, or stealing. 

I had an employee one Christmas that took a 15 min break, and came back drolling and slurring and acting crazy. He ended up shooting heroin on his little break. 

And just like the associates below us, we still have to have a smile on our faces for our customers. 

We have to help and serve them and help them with their needs, because they are the people who ultimately keep our paychecks coming. 

For a measly $400 a week, I was expected to do it all. 
I had people blame me for everything, fight and argue. I have had people who I grew to know very well that appreciated what I did. 

People trying to shoplift. Fighting on the weekends. Ignorant teenagers that were obviously not raised well. 

It was one of the most stressful jobs I have ever had. But, I had a purpose. It felt good that somebody believed in me enough to hand me keys to the store and say, here ya go, you got this. 

So, just remember that as the holidays approach. Although I am not in the business anymore, I know what it is like to get paid shit, treated like shit and yet have so much responsibility. 

Just be respectful. Be human. Be real.