Tired of the Bullshit!

bull shit
I just don’t know what is going on in this country. First, that piece of shit college swimmer rapes a woman and only gets 6 months in jail. And now I read that there are fundraising sites being set up to help his family with their “mounting legal fees.” Has anyone set up an account the help his victim pay for the years of counseling she will need? Has that judge took 1 second out of his day to consider that that douche bag will be out of jail in only 6 months despite causing that poor woman a lifetime of pain and trauma?
Then we have yet another hate crime against the LGBTQ community. Orlando and its community members will never be the same after what happened. All because someone doesn’t like the “gay lifestyle??” And what “lifestyle” is that exactly? A lifestyle of loving another person, marrying another person, and raising kids with another person just like “straight” people do? Oh my! How dare they??
What this all comes down to is a complete disregard for the fact that we are all humans- no matter our gender/gender identity, sexual preference/orientation, political affiliation, religion, etc..
Why can’t people just accept one another’s differences? There are plenty of things I don’t like about people or what they believe, but I would never attack or harm any of them! I don’t agree with a lot of things, but I don’t go around persecuting people because they are different from me or because they believe different things from what I do! If we were all the same this would be a very boring world for sure.
There’s not much that I hate -other than cigarette smoke, fish/seafood and most green vegetables 😉
And notice, the things I hate are not characteristics of people, but I will proudly admit that I hate ignorance and stupidity and anyone who possesses these qualities.
When it comes to people who possess those qualities, all I can say is this: Ignorance and hate, hate and ignorance. They go hand-in-hand. Because you can’t hate without also having a small mind…

Goodbye 2014 and Goodbye to the Bullshit That Came With It

2014-2014

As we say goodbye to 2014, I am left reflecting on what kind of year this has been. Overall, it wasn’t a bad year for me personally. It could have been better, but I guess I can’t complain.

But, what does strike me the most is all of the human rights travesties that went on. I spent much of this year being disgusted and angry at so many things that I certainly hope 2015 is better in that respect.

What has prompted me to write this is a post I saw last night on Facebook about a transgender teen, Leelah Alcorn, that killed herself and her last request, in her suicide note, is that society change their view and acceptance of the transgender community.     http://lazerprincess.tumblr.com/post/106447705738/suicide-note                                        And I couldn’t agree more. I’m disgusted and saddened that this poor girl felt like she had no one to turn to and no support system. So much so, that her only way to find comfort was to escape her life altogether. The worst part is that her parents tried to smother her with their skewed and wretched Christian ideals- telling her she wasn’t normal and that there was something wrong with her. They took her to Christian counselors who told her the same thing! Gender identity disorder/gender dysphoria is a real thing- it’s not just something “in someone’s head” and it’s not “attention seeking” or the person “just being confused.” And it is not the same as someone being gay!!

Being a counselor myself, this is what enraged me the most! I know many counselors who are Christian, Jewish, etc. but they know enough to keep their personal religious beliefs just that- personal! Part of our ethics code as mental health professionals is that we keep our personal beliefs out of the therapeutic process because it doesn’t belong there! Our job is to guide people toward healing, not push our beliefs on people. We should help people and helping someone most definitely does not mean telling the person there is something wrong with them and to encourage them to “pray away the gay” (or other such ignorant drivel).

I’m so god damn tired of people quoting the bible as their proof that homosexuality and same-sex marriage is wrong. People who say that don’t realize what fucking morons they are! If god created all humans, as bible thumpers believe, then doesn’t that mean that god created homosexuals? Oh wait! That’s right! Homosexuality is a choice isn’t it? (Insert sarcastic tone and eye roll here). Doesn’t the bible teach people to love one another unconditionally? And doesn’t it also teach that only god should judge and only on judgment day? I guess that doesn’t apply to people who don’t fit into “the norm.”  We can judge the hell out of them and that’s okay! And it’s some of these same bible thumpers that think it’s okay to inflict pain on homosexuals and also they call them names and say insulting things toward them. Yes, that’s very Christian of you!

There are only a few things in life I despise- ignorance, stupidity, and hypocrisy! In my opinion, bible thumpers like that embody all three! But they are just too blind to see who they really are because they think they are superior to everyone. I seriously try not to hate because it’s a wasted emotion, but I have a lot of hate for those types of people; I just can’t help it. If that makes me a bad person, then so be it. I’ll have fun partying in hell with the rest of the renegades!

I’m also disgusted by all of the set-backs with women’s rights. It’s like we are going backwards instead of forward! It’s like all of the fighting that was done in the past by so many strong women, is being wasted. Since when did what I do with or to my body become everyone’s business? Since when should men, who have no fucking clue what it’s like to be a woman, get to make decisions about my reproductive rights!?!

My argument about bible thumpers above applies here also. My absolute favorite is how all of the single mothers who had children out of wedlock are the first to step up and complain that birth control and or abortion are against their religion. Well, last I checked having sex before marriage is also, but how easily they forget that they let a guy into their pants before they walked down the aisle and took those sacred vows before god. Again, fucking hypocritical morons! I think the whole born-again-Christian thing is total bullshit anyway, but it cracks me up with idiots that think they can be born-again virgins! Sorry, chica- if there’s been a dick in there then you’re shit outta luck on that one!

Then there are all of the crazy race issues that have been going on in this country. It enrages me that there are still so many racist assholes out there. And it also enrages me that people create drama where there isn’t any. How does looting and rioting solve the race issues that still remain in this country? I understand that people are angry at some of the things that have gone on, but does stealing make that better? Does it fix the problem or just create more of a problem? Do we need to hate all police officers and law enforcement officials because there are assholes out there on a power trip who abuse the power of their job title? Do we need to kill innocent people to prove a point? Does it help to only focus on the bad stuff certain police officers have done while ignoring the criminal activity the person did that got the police involved in the first place? I’m not, in any way, excusing the abuse of power and gross displays of racism exhibited by certain police officers, but people need to stop focusing only on that and remember that the police became involved with that person for a reason. People also need to stop hating all police officers because of the ignorance of a select few. If everyone’s views continue to remain so one-sided, this country will never thrive.

One last thing that really got my goat this year is the woman, Brittany Maynard, who chose to die with dignity because a brain tumor was killing her. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brittany_Maynard   Crazy bible thumpers got their panties in a wad over this because it was ‘toying with god’s plan.’ Well, pretty sweet plan that god came up with- killing a woman slowly and painfully with a brain tumor. Or even allowing brain tumors to exist at all- but I digress…

The whole ‘right to die’ thing is quite controversial, but it shouldn’t be. Again, who the hell are you to decide what I can and can’t do with (or to) my body if it will end a person’s suffering? She chose to die with dignity and on her own terms, rather than suffering in pain and withering away into a vegetable. I speak from experience on this one folks. My father passed away from a glioblastoma ( http://www.abta.org/brain-tumor-information/types-of-tumors/glioblastoma.html ), the same thing she was diagnosed with, and it was not a pretty sight. I watched a once big and strong man, wither away right before my eyes. He lost his ability to walk, to use the bathroom on his own, and eventually he couldn’t speak or move at all. We gave him drops of morphine straight into his mouth to ease the pain we knew he was in, but could not express to us in words. Unable to swallow his saliva and phlegm, we had to use a turkey baster to suck it out so that he wouldn’t choke. He lay there in a comatose state, a shell of the man I knew and loved. I held his hand as he took his last breath and I watched the man I love the most in this world die right before my eyes.

So I say fuck you and the horse you rode in on to anyone who doesn’t support the ‘right to die’ movement. You are insensitive, ignorant, close-minded pricks. If someone is truly dying and will die a death full of pain and suffering then how is it hurting anyone if they choose to end their life before being riddled with pain? Unless you have witnessed it first hand as I did, you have absolutely no idea what it’s like to die from a glioblastoma (or any other horrible disease) so you have no right to an opinion on it! I wouldn’t wish what my father went through on anyone so to take away someone’s right to choose to end their suffering is the same as wishing pain and suffering on a person. There is a HUGE difference between suicide and choosing to die with the assistance of a doctor. Jack Kevorkian may have been bat shit crazy, but he was certainly on to something. I would have made the same decision as she did. She was brave to do so, as courageous as they come and I applaud her and her family and friends who supported her.

Need I remind people that we are entering 2015! It’s time to step out of the dark ages! When will equality become a true reality? Gender, sexual orientation, race, age, etc. need to be taken out of the equation. What we need to see is just people; human beings. Simple as that. If people would just mind their own business and focus on themselves and if people who stop being blind to the truth in a situation, this world would be a much more peaceful place.

So my hope for 2015 is that people leave their ignorance and hypocrisy in 2014 so that we can move toward equality and peace in this country. For my part, I will continue to fight the good fight and do whatever I can, whether it is big or small, to help the move toward equality. Now that my boys are getting older, I will teach them more about unconditional acceptance and to be tolerant of people’s differences. They are the next generation and it my job as a parent to teach them to be leaders and to lead fairly and justly and without judgment or conditions. If I can do that in the coming year, then I will consider 2015 to be a success.  So goodbye 2014, I’m leaving you in the past where you belong…

My Opinion on Adrian Peterson Being a Child Abuser

Okay, so it’s time for me to rant a bit again because I’m disgusted by this whole Adrian Peterson thing. I totally admit that I often try not to pay attention to such things because it makes me so angry. I really need to stay off of Facebook when something controversial has happened in the world, because the stupid responses some people have infuriates me! And then I just can’t help myself and I have to say something!

I can’t believe there are people who are defending what he did saying that kids today need discipline because they are out of control. Or then there are the people supporting him and justifying what he did because they got beatings when they were kids and they turned out fine. Case in point that they did NOT turn out fine! Who could possibly justify what he did?

I’m sorry, but there is a HUGE difference between discipline and abuse. I was spanked as a child. Hell, I even got the wood spoon across my butt sometimes from my very Italian mother, but it NEVER left marks and certainly didn’t make me bleed.

adrian-peterson-indicted-child-abuse

This picture is of Adrian Peterson’s son- this is NOT discipline, this is abuse. These pictures were taken 4 days after the beating. Can you even imagine what that poor child looked like 4 minutes after? Swollen, open wounds bleeding, crying and shuddering with fear. Yup, that’s good old fashioned discipline alright!

Who the hell is ignorant enough to think that making your child scream and cry in pain and BLEED is going to “teach him right from wrong.” All it “teaches” is fear and that the way to solve problems is to be violent. It teaches them that when you are angry you should react violently. It certainly doesn’t show your child that you love him and want the best for him!

And how nice that Mr. Peterson now sees the error of his ways. And how nice that he has spoken to a psychologist and has learned there are better ways to discipline a child. Really? He didn’t know it wasn’t okay to beat a child until he bleeds; to make a tiny child scream in pain? He didn’t know it wasn’t okay to premeditate getting a switch from a tree to “discipline” his child and “teach him a lesson?” It takes some real effort to walk outside, break a switch off of a tree, and then go into the beating room to “discipline” your kid.

Physical discipline is never the answer and it is not the way to get kids to behave. I can say that from the experience of being spanked as a child. It didn’t teach me anything. All it did was make me angry and resentful toward my mother. Being grounded/punished carried a lot more weight with me. Spanking hurt for a second (because I got spanked, not beat), but grounding stung for a much longer period of time. Spanking is one thing, but this was most definitely NOT spanking and there is a clear difference between a spanking and a beating/abuse. This was abuse, plain and simple. He was wrong and should be prosecuted. Period.

My Take on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

ice-bucket

So I am fully in support of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and I am so tired of hearing people bitch (via Facebook) that they are tired of watching the videos come up on their Newsfeed.

Well, yesterday it finally happened- I was challenged, by a good friend of mine, to do the ALS ice bucket challenge so this is what I wrote as my Facebook status to put all the “Negative Nellies” in their place:

I got challenged by my friend Stephanie to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and I will be doing it tomorrow (when it’s not raining and threatening thunder and lightning). But before I do it, I thought I’d give all of you bitching about having to “watch yet another person pour ice and water over their heads” a chance to avoid my page tomorrow and pass right by me if I show up in your Newsfeed.
I’d also like to say to all the naysayers- “quite your friggin’ bitching” and here’s why:
just like anything else, if you don’t like it, don’t do it; if you don’t want to see it, then don’t look at it. It’s as simple and as easy as that! Also, stop being bitter that ALS is getting more attention than {insert your chosen cause here}. Just because someone with {insert disease, etc here}, didn’t think of this first, is no reason to be bitter that someone with ALS did. There’s no denying that if you want to get the word out about something or if you want to raise awareness about something, then social media is the way to do it. The ALS Ice Bucket challenge is not only smart, it’s working. The ALS foundation has raised more in the few weeks this has been going on than it did in all of 2013! So, instead of bitching and complaining and trying to bring down something that is undeniably positive with your ridiculous negativity- shut up and put your money where your mouth is. Post on your own page about your own cause that you believe in so much! Use the power of social media to your advantage!
In fact, not only am I going to donate to the ALS foundation because that is, after all, what this challenge is all about; but I am going to do it one better- I am also going to donate to “my” cause- The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) in honor of my father. I will also be donating to the Smashing Walnuts Foundation- a new local charity that is raising money to fund pediatric cancer research in honor of Gabriella Miller a local VA girl that passed away from a brain tumor less than a year ago.
So… that is my challenge to all of you (and I will put it in my video tomorrow)- do the Ice Bucket challenge, but also donate to a cause you believe in and get your friends and family to do the same. Stop bitching and start doing something because bitching does nothing but make you look selfish and negative and gets nothing done- actions speak louder than words and that’s what this challenge was all about to begin with.
Rant over…

If you’d like to donate to the causes I mentioned above, check out the American Brain Tumor Association at:
http://www.abta.org
or
The Smashing Walnuts Foundation at: http://www.smashingwalnuts.org
and of course, the ALS Association at:
http://www.alsa.org

How do you Handle it When Faced with Other People’s Ignorance?

embrace diversity

So I need to get something off of my chest because keeping it in is driving me crazy! Have you ever been put into a situation where you just didn’t know how to react or what to say because you were so taken aback by what another person was saying to you? Well, this just happened to me at the school where I work. I am a mental health therapist and I am placed in an elementary/middle school as the school therapist.
The main part of a therapist’s job is to provide a safe space for a person; a place where he/she can talk about anything without being judged or criticized; a place where he/she knows that they can talk and be listened to. I attended a professional conference this summer and one of the sessions addressed the specific issues of the LGBTQ community and how therapists can support people who belong to this community. It was one of the best sessions I have ever attended and really opened my eyes, especially to the issues that middle and high school students may face.
There isn’t really any student at my school that is openly homosexual, but there has been a lot of talk this year about some of the middle school students being bisexual. Over the years, I have heard many students make derogatory comments about gay or lesbian people so I was worried that these bisexual students may think they had no one to talk to about their issues. I have a family member who is gay and I have many friends who are lesbians and gay rights is something that is very important to me so I wanted to do something to show these students that I could be that safe, nonjudgmental person that they could talk to.

There is a campaign called The Safe Space Campaign (https://safespace.glsen.org/campaign.cfm) which was created to help give students a positive learning environment. So I downloaded the Safe Space logo and put it on the door of my office, which is located right smack in the center of the middle school hallway. I also put a small picture on the wall outside of my office that said “Embrace Diversity” and had stick figures each with a different color to signify a rainbow. I did this the week before the students returned to school because I was hoping that this small, silent gesture would speak volumes with students who were looking for this type of message.
safe space

I’ve already had one female student disclose in a group that she is bisexual. I don’t know if she felt comfortable enough to do this because of the pictures I had posted on and near my office door or if she would have disclosed this anyway, but either way I was happy she felt safe enough to trust me. I’ve had some of the middle school teachers also tell me to “be on the lookout” because there are other students that they have heard rumors about and may need to come speak to me. I reminded the teachers that my office is a safe space. I was feeling good about all of this.
Then it happened. Ignorance and possibly personal opinion/discomfort was smashed in my face and it knocked me on my ass (figuratively, of course). I was on my way back into my office after dropping a kid back off to his classroom when my principal grabbed me and said he needed to speak to me. The assistant principal was standing with him, but didn’t say anything. I assumed they needed me to deal with a student who was having issues, but as soon as I looked at the principal’s face I was immediately transported back to my high school days when having to talk to the principal and my anxiety kicked in! What had I done wrong now?
He points to the “Embrace Diversity” picture and said, “Did you put this up?” Oh shit, here it comes! So I very tentatively replied, “Yes. Why?” He proceeds to look at me and shake his head and then asks me if I know what the rainbow symbol means. Was he seriously kidding me by asking that question? I’m an educated adult and a therapist; did he really think that I didn’t know what the rainbow symbolizes? I told him it represented the LGBTQ community. So he shook his head again and told me I had to take it down because he and the assistant principal weren’t “…comfortable having it up.” I’m sorry, what? Did I just hear that correctly?
I was so taken aback that I actually just stared at him in silence for like a good 30 seconds. I was so stunned that I didn’t know what to say or how to respond (and I am NEVER silent or nonresponsive). I finally tried to tell them about the conference I had attended and that we were encouraged, as school therapists, to put something up showing that we were the safe space. I also told them about problems that could arise for students who are trying to come out; like bullying, absenteeism, and even suicide among others. I stressed the suicide part trying to make a point and let him know that there are some bisexual students in our middle school. He then told me that he didn’t think that anyone’s first issue would end in suicide so “…we will deal with it if any issues arise and make sure that if it does that we let the student know they can come and talk to you.” The assistant principal then spoke up and said that I didn’t need the picture to be up because, “…word of mouth would be the best way to get the message out.” I tried to make my point again about kids needing a safe space and that we were encouraged to use signage to promote this, but they were not having it. The principal just kept saying he wasn’t comfortable with the sign being up. At that point, I was still so stunned at their ignorance and close mindedness that I just reached up and gently took the picture off the wall. I walked into my office, closed the door, and taped it up on the wall INSIDE my office! Thankfully, neither one of them seemed to notice the small Safe Space logo I had taped to my office door because they didn’t mention that.
For a solid 10-15 minutes, I just sat at my desk and did nothing. I couldn’t move. It’s hard to describe how I felt, but I guess the best way would be to say I felt defeated and disgusted. I felt a bit nauseous and was close to tears. How could anyone be so ignorant, so blind? There is no school rule or protocol that states that someone can’t put up a picture supporting LGBTQ students! They had completely overlooked the message of the picture which was “Embrace Diversity!” All they saw was the damn rainbow and acted on their own personal discomfort! Were they really putting their own personal discomfort ahead of the students they are supposed to support? I thought I was making headway at this school. I thought the admins had figured out that I am a good therapist and I do my job well. I thought they knew what my role was and supported me. I thought, I thought, I thought…
I called a colleague at the end of the day to process the whole thing because I need to vent and get someone else’s take on the whole thing. She was just as appalled as I was! I am going to bring up the issue at my staff meeting to get feedback from other clinicians in my program because I would love to know how they would have handled it and I would love to get their feedback. I guess the moral of the story is that people are not always what they seem or what we think they are. We need to be prepared for anything, especially in the work place. I believe we have to always stand our ground, but there is a time and place for everything. The principal is not my boss, but I am technically a guest in the school, so I can’t make too many waves. It is not in my nature to be silent on issues I believe so strongly in, but I also don’t want to get myself into any trouble and get removed from the school because that wouldn’t do anyone any good. I am posting this piece because I am hoping you all will take to the comments section and leave some feedback on how you would have felt in this situation or what you would have done because I am still reeling from this and I can use all the support I can get with this one!

Tips on How to Talk to Your Kids About a Public Tragedy

school-shootings 2

school-shootings

{This is a post I had written for another blog right after the Newtown shooting. I thought it relevant to post here, now, because of yet another shooting that occurred today- the one in Oregon. When will this madness end????}

With all of the tragedies that have gone on in this country over the last decade, and especially the one that occurred this week in Connecticut, it is more important than ever that parents have an idea of how they should talk to their children if something bad happens. Every time I turned on the news today (and I’m sure it will be the same tomorrow too) stories of the Newtown tragedy were on. It will be all over the newspapers, it will be on the radio, and people everywhere will be talking about it. It is inevitable that at some point our children will hear about it in one way or another.
The first thing to remember is that YOU know your child best so you will know what will work for your child, but here are some basic guidelines:

1. Unless your child is about 7-8 years old, there is no need to bring it up unless they ask. No need to make your child anxious or scared about something they didn’t know about in the first place. Odds are, they will hear about it somewhere, but just in case they don’t, refrain from bringing it to their attention. Younger children may not be able to process the news properly, but again, you know your child the best so you will know what they can and cannot handle.

2. Be honest with them. If they ask about what happened, don’t lie and don’t sugar coat it. That won’t do anyone any good. I’m not saying that you have to give all the gory details, but tell them that something scary happened. Tell them there are bad people in the world who do bad things. Give them an idea of what the “bad thing” was, but don’t go into too much detail. You don’t want to make them any more scared or anxious than they already are. For example, with the Newtown incident, if a younger child asked about it, I might say something like, “A bad man went into a school and used a gun. There were people who were hurt and people who died. This man was not right in his head, but he is dead now because he used the gun on himself.” Word your explanation based on the age of your child and with regard to what you think your child can handle.

3. Reassure your child. Being honest is necessary and so we must also reassure our children. Again, don’t lie to them. Don’t tell them this will never happen to them or to anyone they know. Of course, odds are it probably won’t ever happen to them, but don’t promise or guarantee something you have no control over. Instead, tell them that you love them and that you will always do everything in your power to keep them safe. Do what you need to do to make them feel safe in the moment. If you child wants to sleep with the light on that night, then let them. If your child wants to help you lock the house up, then let them. Do what they need, within reason of course. You never want anything to step over the line into pathology.

4. Make sure you really know what your child is thinking and feeling about the situation. Ask them questions about what they heard, what they were told, what they saw, what they think, etc. You want to make sure that you have a full understanding of what their understanding of the situation is. Make sure they don’t have things mixed up and clear up any misconceptions that they may have. Validate their feelings. Let them know it’s okay to feel how ever it is that they are feeling. Never make them feel as if what they are feeling is silly or not justified.

5. Having this discussion is also a good jumping off point to review different safety procedures with your child. Talk about ways they can protect themselves and reiterate to them all of the things you do to help keep them safe. Review with them who are the safe people in their lives- family members, friends, police officers, firemen, teachers- whoever you deem as safe. Make sure your child knows about 911 and what to do if there is some kind of an emergency.

Remember, YOU know your child best. With that in mind, you will need to decide the what, when, where, and how when talking to your child. If the tragedy is something that affects them directly, the above tips will also apply, but this would be the time to get a professional involved as well. Find your child a counselor to talk to immediately so that the fear and/or anxiety that they are feeling doesn’t turn into something pathological.

The Mother’s Day Aftermath

Multi-tasking-Mom

Well, another Mother’s Day has come and gone and so it’s back to the grind. Really the whole mother’s day thing is a big scam. Everyday should be mother’s day with the amount of stuff we mothers do and the things we put up with! Everyone talks about how they are going to spend their mother’s day; what they are going to do with their family, how they are going to be “spoiled.” Well, you know what I wanted for mother’s day this year? The day off!
Maybe I’m being selfish, maybe I’m being a brat, or maybe I’m being honest and saying the thing that some women are too scared to say out loud (although they are thinking it). I don’t need a special day to spend with my family- I spend every day with them anyway! We do fun, meaningful stuff all the time. If it is truly “mother’s” day, then shouldn’t it be a day for me to do what I really want?
So this year I told my husband I wanted to sleep in- undisturbed- something I haven’t been able to do since having my first child almost 5½ years ago. I also wanted to be able to take a nap; again something I haven’t really done in many, many years (can you tell that I am constantly sleep deprived?). I also told him I was off-duty when it came to wiping my sons’ butts because I’m usually the one doing that. I also did not want to have anything to do with the cooking or cleaning; again something I am usually in charge of. I wasn’t asking to leave the house or be away from my family (although, to be quite honest a few hours away would have been amazing), I just wanted to be able to relax and take it easy and have minimal responsibilities for just one day!
Don’t get me wrong- I love my family dearly and I love being a mother, but sometimes I long for the days when I wasn’t responsible for the life of 2 little people; the days when I could be irresponsible, sleep in until noon, go shopping and spend what I wanted… But, those days are gone and that’s okay, but having just one day to myself really isn’t too much to ask when the other 364 days in the year I give so much of myself to my family and to the kids I work with.
I must say, the hubby was a total trooper about my “day off.” He got up early and took the child monitors downstairs with him so I wouldn’t hear the kids wake up. When they did wake up, which miraculously I didn’t hear, he got them up and ready and gave them breakfast. At one point, I did wake up and I heard him say, “Come on, let’s go outside and play so we can let Mommy sleep.” And when I turned to look to see what time it was, there was a card sitting on my clock radio. I opened my card, read it, and went back to sleep with a smile on my face and a warmth in my heart. When I did finally get up (and it wasn’t even that late, 9:30am), I went downstairs to see my husband and kids making me Belgian waffles for breakfast- my favorite! I was greeted by my 2 little cuties shouting, “Mommy, did you know it’s Mother’s Day today?” Why yes, I do know it’s Mother’s Day- the only reason I was able to sleep in past 7:30!
As the day continued, my husband upheld his side of the deal. I did not wipe any butts all day (woo hoo!), nor did I make any meals or clean anything up. AND, I got to take my nap! At around 12:30 I announced that the kids needed lunch and then their naps and that I was going upstairs to take a nap myself. My husband gave me a kiss and so did my kids and upstairs I went. I hunkered down under my covers and fell asleep- for 4 hours!! I told you I was sleep deprived! I got up and went outside and played with my kids. We played baseball, rolled around in the grass, played soccer, and played with our new chickens. In a word, we had fun! Later on, my husband made the kids dinner and then we put them to bed. Then the hubby made a meal for the two of us and we ate it and shared a bottle of wine while watching our favorite TV show. After that we went to bed. (I think that is the most sleep I have gotten in the last 5 years!) All-in-all it was a relaxing and stress-free Mother’s Day, which is exactly what I wanted. We all need a day here and there to relax, rejuvenate, and regroup (the three r’s of the 21st Century). It keeps the mind and body healthy. Having a day like that taught me that it is okay to ask for the day off once in a while, even if it isn’t the second Sunday in May.

Religion is Ridiculous

religion is ridiculous

 

 

I completely admit that I think religion, “believing,” church, etc. is totally ridiculous. I also think “believing” is weak. I’m trying to figure out how to even start this post because I have so much going through my head right now I can’t even get my thoughts straight!

            I suppose the first thing I should say, in case you hadn’t already figured it out, is that I am what you would call a “non-believer.” Looking back, I’ve never really believed in god or religion even though I was raised in a very Italian Catholic family. In fact, many people in my family are quite religious, but this doesn’t change my opinion on the matter. I love and respect everyone in my family, but I just don’t get the whole belief thing.

            Christians are asked to believe in a god that created the universe, created the heavens and the earth, created man and animal… yet does no one ever wonder who created this supposed ‘god?’ That is a question I asked my religion teacher and parents at the very young age of 6. (. I have always been the type of person that questions everything. The answer I was given (“god always was and always will be”) not only was not acceptable to me, but it also definitely did not answer my question. That answer is a cop-out because no one has an answer!

            So you’re telling me that I should believe in something that has absolutely no scientific proof of actually existing? That I should put all my faith into this thing that no one has ever seen or touched? That this entity controls what happens in our lives and on this earth? That I should pray to this entity to forgive my “sins,” cure illness, ease suffering? Are you friggin’ kidding me?

            Sorry, but no. I’m much more intelligent and logical than that, thank you very much. I don’t believe in things that don’t make sense and can’t be proven and can’t be seen with my own eyes. Believing is for pussies who are too afraid to take control of their own lives and take responsibility for themselves and their actions. It’s for people who are too afraid to see things for how they really are because you’re also telling me I should believe and have faith in an entity that would allow such suffering to exist. You want me to believe and have faith in something that would allow: AIDS and other horrible diseases to exist, kids to suffer and die from cancer, people to be homeless and starving, babies to be born with horrible birth defects, parents to die and leave young children alone and scared, or… should I keep on going?

            This god allows all of this pain and suffering to be all around us, yet this is also the same god people pray to to take this pain and suffering away or at least to lessen it? Yeah. That makes a ton of sense! Like I said, I’m far too logical to believe any of that crap. I just can’t wrap my head around any of that and I sure as hell can’t figure out how anyone else has been able to for centuries. Maybe I’m the weird one, and that’s fine. How could centuries of people be wrong, right?

Oh wait. I can answer that question- it’s called the crowd mentality. One person or persons, a very long time ago, decided to write a book and call it The Bible. Somehow this book became the be-all, end-all of everything that people should believe and what they should base their lives on. Suddenly, the story of a man named Jesus became THE story and this man became the person we should put all of our faith in. Seriously?

Isn’t it funny how in some situations all of the things he supposedly did would be considered magic (and black magic by some), but for the convenience of the bible they were considered ‘miracles?’ We are supposed to believe that on the 3rd day he rose again. Isn’t this the same as David Copperfield doing his disappearing act which is an illusion?! I’m quite sure Jesus did not actually die and rise again and drift off to heaven to be seated next his is father, god, who never actually even had intercourse to create him. Do you see how NONE of this makes any sense?!

And don’t tell me the bible isn’t meant to be taken literally- I know that! BUT… isn’t it also funny how people get to decide what should be taken literally and what should not based on what point they are trying to prove? Sorry, no again. It doesn’t work that way. You either believe or you don’t- it doesn’t get to be a matter of convenience. Like all these morons out there right now quoting the bible to oppose gay rights and gay marriage. Quoting the bible and saying we need to heed god’s word and it’s wrong “because the bible says so.” But then are we seriously meant to believe that Moses actually parted the Red Sea? No! This is a metaphor for being able to overcome adversity; overcome whatever obstacle is standing in the way of what our goals are.

Again, some people totally take this literally and believe that everything written in the bible is truth so let’s talk about the beloved story of Noah and the Ark for a second. We are to believe that one day, god got really pissed off at how everyone was acting, so he decided to essentially murder everyone on the earth except Noah and his family because they were the only ones so amazingly good that they could be spared. Then Noah was instructed to build an ark that was big enough to hold his family plus 2 animals from every species. Yes, I bet that isn’t an impossible feat! And somehow all of these animals instinctually knew to travel to said ark and were all able to get to the ark from all over the world. Yup- another totally possible thing! Then we are to believe that it rained for 40 days and 40 nights and at the end there was a lovely rainbow meant to be a symbol that god would never destroy the earth with a flood ever again. Well, gee thanks. I don’t have to be afraid of being drowned to death by this thing we are supposed to have faith in, but it could be any day now that he decides to murder all of us in some other way! Great.

But wait, I’m not done with good ol’ Noah just yet. We are also, from this story, supposed to take away that Noah and his family were spared so that the human race could continue and learn from the mistakes of their poor, murdered ancestors. Now how exactly was that supposed to happen? Last time I checked, the bible also renounced incest (the same way it renounces homosexuality). But how could the human race continue without incest if the only people spared were Noah, his wife, and their children? Somewhere along the line, for the human race to live on, Noah had to have sex with his daughters, his wife had to have sex with her sons, and the siblings needed to get it on with each other. I’m sorry. Am I the only one that thinks that is totally disgusting? Because now I realize I am a product of incest because my theory can also be applied to Adam and Eve. Gross! You also can’t tell me that whatever people were doing back then was bad enough to warrant a complete murder and obliteration of the whole world, but the shit going on in present day isn’t as bad that we are all left to live happily with our beliefs and faith? Come on now!!

I could go on and on and on about so many of the other ludicrous stories in the bible that so many take as literal, but I have so many other points to make! Some people are so blinded by faith, beliefs, and religion that they are unable to truly live their own lives and make their own decisions. In fact, they really constantly live in fear if you really think about it. They fear god and his wrath, they fear sinning and making biblical mistakes. How is living in fear any way to really live? I honestly get nauseous when I read/hear some of the wacky things people say in the name of religion. My eyes are constantly rolling. I don’t need to pray or “give it up to god.” What I need to do is take action in my own life- that’s what will get things done!

Believe it or not, I work as an independent distributor for a company that is biblically based. I continue to work for said company because I like the products and I make good money so I just ignore (and eye roll) all the religious crap that people spew. I also do a lot of laughing at people. Not so much in a mean way, but more in a “are you fucking serious right now” kind of way. Let me give you an example, if someone is having trouble in their business they will ask for prayers to get their business going again. Sorry, it’s not praying that you need to do- it’s called get off your ass and work for it! If someone didn’t make the money they expected during an event, people will offer up support by saying shit like, “don’t worry. It will get better and remember it’s not our business anyway, it’s god’s business.” What the fuck is that supposed to mean? Sorry again. It is MY business. I am the one doing all of the work needed to be successful. It sure as hell isn’t god doing the work! Then when someone has a good event, they will write things like, “Praise the lord. I thank our savior for blessing me in my business.” Again, are you fucking kidding me? Thank yourself for all the hard work you put in- give yourself some damn credit! Thank the people who made purchases- they are the ones that helped to make you money. It had nothing to do with god! I just don’t get it.

Recently, I had a friend who didn’t realize I am of the non-believing variety of humans. She asked me how I could not believe. My response was, “you don’t want to hear my answer because you may not like me at the end of it.” She is a VERY religious person who is thinking about leaving her very good job to become a pastor because she believes she is being called to do god’s work. I love her dearly, but I did an invisible eye roll when I heard that one. Of course, she pushed a bit, so I gave her my very, very short answer which was, “I don’t believe in things that can’t be proven and no one can prove that god exists.” Her response, which I expected and have heard before, was, “but you can’t prove that he doesn’t exist either.” I just left it at that because I was, up until that point, having a good time and didn’t want to get into a religious debate. But… had I answered her, all I would have said is, “just the absence of proof that he doesn’t exist, is proof that he actually does not exist.” It doesn’t take a philosopher to figure that one out.

I also can’t stand how so many supposed religious people are so holier than though when it comes to their supposed morality. So many religious freaks are the most immoral of people. I don’t need religion, faith, or to believe to be moral. Morality is about knowing right from wrong and about being a good person. I am a very moral and ethical person and it has nothing at all to do with religion. I am a good person and I am a nice person (now don’t get me wrong, I can turn mean and be a bitch if I need to). I am also pretty happy, satisfied, and fulfilled so don’t tell me I need religion in my life to “make my life more worthwhile.” I should also clarify, that I am not a devil worshiper as some of you reading this may think. In fact, I don’t even believe in the devil or in hell. I don’t think there could be anything worse than the hell that is everyday life. If there were something worse, then that would just be cruel- and wouldn’t that lead me back to my original point that there can’t be a god because of all the terrible things that exist in this world and why would anyone believe in and/or pray to something that would allow such things to exist?

So there you have it. I could keep going, believe me, but it seems that my point has come full circle.

{I have no problem with comments on this, but please, don’t try to religify me or “educate” me, or to change my mind. It won’t work; just the same way that I won’t be able to change your mind. People are strong in their beliefs. And you know what? If you are going to have strong and real beliefs about something, then that is great, and you should hold to them and not allow them to be changed (even if I think what you believe is silly and weak). Admit to your beliefs and hold on to them- it definitely makes you a more credible person.}

 

            

It’s Not Guns that Kill People, It’s Crazy Mother Fuckers that Do!

gun control 2

Sorry to be so harsh, but I am so damn tired of hearing everyone talk about gun control or making guns illegal or other such nonsense! For once, can we just talk about what’s really going on and stop skirting around the issue!?!?! The real issue here is mental health and the government’s historical lack of giving a shit about something so important. I firmly believe that if there was more mental health awareness and more funding for proper mental health treatment, there would be a lot less violence in this country.
I’m not saying that there doesn’t need to be stricter gun control laws- actually I think there should be, but my idea of “gun control” goes hand-in-hand with mental health awareness. The problem seems to be, in my opinion, that it is far too easy for mentally ill people to get their hands on guns. My idea of gun control would be to make it mandatory for a potential gun owner to not only have criminal and personal background checks, but to also have an in depth psychological evaluation. This should include a clinical interview and psychological testing. It should also be against the law for someone to own a gun who has a mentally ill person living in their home or in their care. This was the case in the Newtown, Connecticut shooting. The crazy bastard who went on the killing rampage used guns that were owned by his mother whom he lived with. For whatever reason, she didn’t have the intelligence to keep her guns locked up and away from her mentally ill son and this led to her and many others’ demise. She shouldn’t have been allowed to keep guns in her house while having a mentally ill person living with her!
Now I’m not naïve enough to believe that increasing gun control laws will keep guns out of the hands of crazy people, but I do believe it will be a good deterrent and it certainly won’t hurt anyone! I will also tell you that I grew up in a home with guns, my father was a supporter of the NRA, and my husband currently owns guns and has them in our home. The difference is, that I, nor are any of my family members are mentally ill. I support the idea of the 2nd Amendment, but it needs to be rewritten and there definitely needs to be some restrictions put into place such as the ones I have suggested here.
I mean let’s look at the 2nd Amendment for a minute; do most people really know what it says? Most of us just know it as the amendment that allows us the right to own guns. Here is how it really reads, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution) That shit was written in 1791. The Supreme Court has ruled that this can be interpreted as protecting a person’s right to own and carry a firearm, but why should 9 people be allowed to interpret that the way they see fit? It’s 2014 and it’s time to make an official change; one that is written into our Constitution to be upheld for generations. That interpretation was passed down from the 9 justices who sat on the Supreme Court in 2008 and 2010. What’s to say that in 5, 10, or 15 years someone else challenges the interpretation of the 2nd Amendment and there are different justices on the Supreme Court who choose to change the interpretation? It seems to be a matter of opinion when really, an important issue like this, needs to have something official and in writing that can’t just be left to interpretation. My suggestions are not in any way fool proof, but I do believe they would certainly help to keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people.
I know we have the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in place for when a person wants to purchase a gun, but clearly it’s just not doing the job and needs to be overhauled! The NICS states: “The National Instant Criminal Background Check System is applicable to sales from federally licensed dealers. Sales of firearms by private sellers are allowed to proceed without a background check unless required by state law. These regulations remain in place at gun shows, where no special leniency is granted to licensed sellers, and no additional requirements are placed upon private sellers.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Instant_Criminal_Background_Check_System) Shouldn’t it be required of all states to make it a law that this should apply to private sellers as well? Or maybe we need to make it a national law and stop leaving it up to the individual states. Just because a person is crazy doesn’t mean they aren’t smart. It doesn’t take a genius to look this information up and then roll in to a gun show and purchase an arsenal!
I’m also not stupid enough to think that guns are the only weapons a mentally ill person can use to inflict harm. Knives or explosives, hell even cross bows can be used, and those types of things need to be regulated too, but really we need to start providing proper treatment to mentally ill people! Back in 1927, some crazy dude blew up 38 elementary school children in Bath Township, Michigan. Why did he do this? Because he was bat shit crazy, that’s why! How about Columbine? That happened during a 10 year period when “assault weapons” were banned. Obviously, that didn’t do much to deter the shooters, but again, untreated mental illness was at play. How about Virginia Tech? That guy was as crazy as they come!
Now the media is trying to blame video games, TV shows, and action films among other things. Back in the day, they said comic books and certain novels were to blame for society’s ills. There are great classic books that are still banned in many school districts! Come on people, open your fucking eyes! Sane people who are free from mental illness don’t commit murder; people who are nuts do. People need to be educated about what mental illness is- its signs and symptoms and risk factors. This is the first, and most needed, step in dealing with the violence in today’s society.
The government, on a state and national level, needs to start ponying up some cash to fund much needed mental health programs in schools, hospitals, clinics, and elsewhere in the community. The insurance companies need to stop making it so damn hard to secure mental health treatment, especially an inpatient stay. Do you know how hard it is and how many hoops have to be jumped through in order to get someone a proper inpatient stay? Most insurance companies will give an authorization for a 3 day admission. You can’t do shit for someone in 3 days; not someone whose symptoms or behaviors are serious enough to warrant an inpatient admission! Then there are psychiatric medications and how some of them are so expensive it is cost prohibitive for people to take the medicine(s) they so desperately need. Drug companies shouldn’t be allowed to charge so much for medications and insurance companies shouldn’t be allowed to put so many stipulations on who can and cannot fill a prescription. It shouldn’t be so hard for a mentally ill person to get the treatment they need.
I work as a mental health therapist in a school. I believe that all schools should have a mental health therapist at their disposal. This is the easiest way to reach kids because they are there! I’m never at the mercy of the parent, wondering if they will bring the kid in for his/her appointment or not, as I would be if I worked in an outpatient clinic. I just walk to the kid’s classroom and take him/her with me to my office for a session. I’m also able to get to kids when they are young and before things get too out of control. This is essential! Treat them while they are young, get them the help they need early on, and hopefully help prevent another Columbine or Newtown.
It shouldn’t take a tragedy for people to realize how important mental health treatment is. I bet if a politician’s family member were a victim of the Newtown shooting we’d be hearing a hell of a lot more about increasing mental health funding! It also shouldn’t have taken another school shooting for so many schools around the nation to be beefing up their security and safety measures. I can tell you at my school we did a code red drill on the Monday after the Connecticut tragedy. Before that, I didn’t even know what a code red was! We then had loud speakers put in all of the hallways. Previously, loud speakers were only in the classrooms so if you were in the hallway you were unable to hear if an announcement was being made. Common sense would tell you that you should be able to hear announcements from anywhere in the building, but it took a major school shooting to get something done. I am a contractual employee with the school system. So I am employed by an outside agency and I am placed in my school. I have been doing this job for the past 8 years and only just last year was made to go get an identification badge from the school system. I wonder why that is?
This country needs to stop reacting and start preventing. We need to get our priorities straight and start committing money to things that really matter! Okay, I’ll get down off my soap box now (at least for a little while).

The Hollywood Weight Debate and the Ridiculous Societal Standards That Come From It

So I’m sure, like many other people, I stayed up last night to watch the Oscars. I love to look at what people are wearing because I’m really into fashion. Overall, I enjoyed the Oscars and there wasn’t really anything that anyone wore that I found too appalling. I admit, I was up and down during the show doing other things, so I certainly could have missed something crazy!
Anyway, then today I was on Facebook and I saw a post from E News showing a split screen picture of Jennifer Lawrence in her Oscar dress and her Oscar after-dress. This caused me some distress so I took to my Facebook status, reposted the picture, and ranted a bit. An old friend from high school, a male, felt the need to comment on what I wrote, which of course, I was compelled to reply to.

Jennifer

Here is the transcript of what transpired:

MY ORIGINAL POST:
I have nothing against Jennifer Lawrence, she is a very talented actress, but the fact that there have been all these articles recently about how she is “a real woman with curves” and doesn’t fit Hollywood’s standards of beauty and skinny is a friggin’ joke! That girl has not a curve anywhere on her body and to think these photos show “a real woman’s body” is a complete joke! And they can’t blame it on Spanx either because she’s not even wearing underwear in the second dress!


ROB:
I’m sorry {my name} but a woman does not have to be chubby and out of shape to be a “Real” woman! Her industry demands that she stay in shape much like a professional athlete needs to be in top physical condition to maintain his/her career. She is actually very average as far as body mass. She is thicker then most celebrity women. She is also 23. Sorry but I hate hearing that people who take care of their bodies, are in the public eye, get ridiculed for it. I’m 25 lbs. overweight and do you think for a minute and say to myself, damn I better look like George Clooney or Brad Pitt! Not at all. And don’t say it is different for women then it is men because that is B.S. You allow yourself to create an image of what you feel you should look like to others. You were always a beautiful girl and I am sure a beautiful now. Be happy with you!


MY RESPONSE:
I never said I wasn’t happy with myself, nor did I criticize anyone for taking care of their body! I’m not chubby or out of shape and I wasn’t implying that a real woman has to be overweight to be “real.” By the looks of these photos and what I saw live last night, here is nothing “thick” about her! Nor do her legs look anything like what they did in the recent photos I am referring to. There is also a HUGE difference between taking care of your body and basically starving yourself and exercising yourself to the point that you look almost starved like many Hollywood women do. I haven’t created any image of what I feel I should look like to others. I don’t want to look like her or other Hollywood women. She looks starved and I don’t find that appealing at all, nor do I find being overweight appealing. Could I stand to lose a few pounds? Sure! Do I really give a shit? Nope (as I sit here and type on my iPad while drinking wine and eating Thai food)!
My point in this post is that it’s all a bunch of bullshit! She doesn’t look anything like she did in that photo of her in the one piece bathing suit type thing that I saw in a magazine. So it is very clear, at least to me, that she succumbed to the same bullshit she pretended to be against. She obviously dieted and worked out to get in “better shape.” And you know what? Good for her! She’s a beautiful young woman. She’s 23 so why not be skinny before her body naturally starts to age, but don’t pretend to be against all the Hollywood weight hype and then fall prey to it so easily. It just makes her lose credibility- at least in my book.

ROB:

Wine and Thai,….sounds like a good evening.

MY RESPONSE:

Just as a reference, this is the photo I’m talking about. I think she looks amazing in this photo, but this is not the same body in the photo above!

Jennifer Lawrence bathing suit photo

The standards of what society sets as beautiful and acceptable all have to do with weight. If you’re anything more than a 0 or 2, you are clearly a fat cow. You better cut out all carbs, meat, dairy, blah, blah, blah- basically anything that tastes good. You better sell your soul to the devil for a lifetime gym membership and a personal trainer or you ain’t worth shit!

Clearly, I do not fit into those standards. I have not been a 0 or a 2 since high school and I have accepted that I never will be again.

  • Am I fat? Not at all.
  • Could I lose a few pounds and be in better shape? Absolutely.
  • Do I eat healthy? Much of the time I do.
  • Do I deny myself the things I want to eat or drink? Nope.
  • Do I have a gym membership? Nope, again.
  • Do I work out outside of a gym? Nope for the third time! I have 2 little boys that I run after constantly so that’s enough of a work out for me!
  • Am I lazy? Not at all. I just choose, right now, to not make the time to work out because I have a lot of other things going on in my life that I feel are more important.

And that last statement I just made pretty much sums it up. I don’t put that much importance on being super skinny. I never have. I admit that there were times in my life when I put more importance on it, but it has never been even in my top 5 most important things.
I guess I’m lucky that I’ve always been naturally on the more fit side. Never “skinny,” but certainly thin and muscular. That’s just my genetics. I have never starved myself or worked out like a mad woman. I have never even dieted really. I followed Weight Watchers once when my sister was doing it and I lost about 15 pounds that I definitely needed to lose. But I lost that weight to be healthy and feel better, not to be more accepted by societal standards.

 
I’m fairly comfortable in my own skin. Hell, I rocked a bikini during both of my pregnancies! But, are there days when I look at myself in the mirror in disgust? Hell yes there are! Do I wish my boobs were bigger and my stomach flatter? Of course I do! I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t. Then I have to take a step back and remember that this body of mine birthed 2 amazing little boys and nursed both of them for 14 months. And I don’t have a private chef or a personal trainer. I also have to remember that most of those people who kill themselves to be skinny are doing so to mask a very deep pain and they think looking a certain way will make that pain go away. But it doesn’t. Those people are the ones who are wearing 00 pants and xxs tops and still looking in the mirror and hating what they see. I may look in the mirror and hate what I see sometimes, but I only hate what I see on the surface, some people actually hate themselves inside and out and losing those last 5lbs. won’t change that.