Tuesday, December 3, 2013

When do you finally stop giving second chances.

I understand that most people have been let down or betrayed at some point in their lives.  Usually by friends or first loves when they are in elementary or high school.  But most of us learn from that.  It is one of life’s bitter lessons, that usually helps us as adults to avoid or at least deal with situations where our hearts have been smashed, our trust broken or some has just proven that they are not meant to be part of our lives.
Sometimes there is that one person you just keep hoping they will get their act together.  Even though it is not likely you still in the back of your mind expect that one day they will change.  You wait at every opportunity to see if they will for once be the person you need them to be, even as you fully expect them to let you down one more time.  It still hurts ever time they prove that they will never change even though they are given every opportunity to do so.

Eventually you have to simply walk away.  Which sounds easy, but usually it is not especially if they are family.  How many times do you let someone have the opportunity to let you down, disappoint or hurt you just because they are your mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter or grandchild?  How many times does the rest of the “family” pressure you into giving them one more chance?  How often does the very person hurting you or letting you down make everyone else think you are the issue, not them?  Or better yet convince your loved ones that you are being unreasonable, and are the black sheep, not them?  Nothing like having a loved one turn everyone against you.

I learned at a young age that my parents were not to be trusted, and did not have my best interest at heart.  As a child I tried to get help, but people, including family believed the adults not the child.  Even though I went to them year after year telling them what was really going on.  Eventually I stopped, betrayed a second time by the adults I turned to.  Other kids believed me, but what could they do.

Eventually I became old enough to leave and I did.  Other members of my family did help me go to school, gave me a place to live for a couple of years.  But even then they never believed me, always supported my parents version of things.  Even when my parents did or said something right in front of them they would self edit what happened.  I think they simply did not want to see or deal with the truth. 

Over the years I grew up, moved out on my own.  My father died, and on his death bed told me he never loved me, never wanted me and did not want me to even attend his funeral.  My mother had tricked him by getting pregnant.  Nothing I did not already know, but it still hurt that his last words were meant to hurt and harm.  My only crime, I was born.  I did not even tell my work place when he passed, did not cry a single tear.  I just went on with my life.  It was not like he was a part of my life before he died, I did not miss him. 
My mother on the other hand was still a part of my life.  For the most part I just accepted that she would be there.  I simply did not call her, or visit her.  If she called or came for a visit I would talk with her, spend time with her but I would not go out of my way to do so.  I was constantly under pressure to call her from other family members.  Eventually I had to cut her out of my life for several years.  Peace, finally peace.

Then I let my family convince me to talk with her.  So contact began again.  Eventually I started my own family and shock of all shocks she seemed to be a good Grandmother.  It happens, a bad mom but a great Grandmother.  I felt safe enough to go to counselling, mainly to deal with things so I could be a good parent.  I made the mistake of confronting my mother about my childhood, only to find out that she denied all of it and the things she could not deny “were not that bad and I deserved everything I got!”  From what I can figure out she has self edited the reality to make herself the victim and has never done anything wrong.  She decided that I was no longer her child and my children were no longer her grandchildren.  Thank goodness they were too young to understand or remember her.

However she started a campaign of hate right after that.  She convinced everyone that I cut her out of our life, that I was denying her access to her grandchildren.  She also convinced my family that I was demanding money, and things.  All I heard was how horrible I was for not letting her even talk to her grandchildren.  This from the same women who complained when I emailed her a photo of my children and told me not to send her pictures of them.  It was easy for her to convince everyone that I had done this because she had been telling everyone that I was a liar since I was a small child.  After all the things I told my family at 5 had to be a lie, a parent would not do those things to a child so it was easy for her to tell them it was a lie.
After many years and against my better judgement I finally let her have contact with the kids.  It was okay for a few years, but again she decided she does not want to have anything to do with us.  She visited and confronted me about all the lies I was telling her parents and sister.  I had not talked to my aunt in 9 years and I never talked about my mom to her or my grandparents.
It turns out that she has been full of anger for most of my life.  She was angry at me for “telling” when I was 5 years old.  She has self edited her memories to the point that I was at 5 years old telling terrible things just to cause problems.  That nothing was true.  She was angry at me and resenting me for things I said to her parents when I was between the ages of 5 and 10.  Some of the abuse came to light when I was eleven/twelve and she sent me to live with my dad for a year.  So it comes down to the fact that she has carried that anger for 40 years and in her mind it is a fresh as if it was yesterday.

She decided to cut me and my children out of her life again just like that.  We don’t exist to her anymore.  I have two children who don’t understand why Grandmother does not love them anymore, which is exactly what my concern was when I let her into their lives.  My youngest daughter turned one today.  No card, no phone call, nothing.  She is lucky.  She will never know her Grandmother and cannot be hurt by her.  As usual I am hearing from my family that I must have done something wrong, after all I have always been the one who lied and caused problems.  So the consequence of this is that now I don’t really have what I would consider family.

So when do you finally stop giving second chances.  Well hopefully people will learn from my example and will do so long before they can cause this much harm.  If being in contact with them is a negative experience then stop.  If they have an opportunity to hurt you or your loved ones it is not worth giving them a second chance.  If other people support the other person, well you know where you stand with them, move on.  It does not matter if they are family, or a long time friend.  If someone is abusing your good nature, causing you to be hurt physically or emotionally or is just not fun to be around don’t waste your time waiting for them to change.  They are not going to.  Simple!  If someone needs second chances and burns them but still expects more chances they have no reason to change, ever.  The only thing you are doing is giving them the chance to use and abuse your relationship and goodwill.  If people don’t understand why you don’t want to be around that person even after you explain it, they never will.  Don’t try to convince them you are right, just let it go and put your time and energy toward making your life better, with positive relationships.  Walk away from the negative.  If it is someone who you have no choice but to deal with (co-parent) limit contact and do not let their issues become yours.  It is hard to do, but having a better life is worth trying to do it.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Alphabet list for a better life

A is for attitude, a positive one.  Be positive, positive things will happen because you make them happen.  You will notice more positive things if you look for them, you may miss them if you don’t look for the positive.
B is for believing in yourself and others; like your loved ones.
C is for caring for yourself and others.
D is for doing, actually doing stuff, not talking about it, watching it on TV or thinking about it but actually turning off the computer and doing something.
E is for exercise, even though I hate it, I know I have to exercise.  Be active, get up and get the body moving.
F is for family and friends, and fun.  Fun is important, but so are family and friends.
G is for good, good food, good fun, good friends, good day, good well everything.

H is for happy.  Find something to be happy about every day, or better yet every hour.  Don’t wait for others to make you happy, or things to happen that make you happy.  Instead find your own happiness, and then share it to make others happy.
I is for individual.  Be yourself.  Don’t conform to others expectations, or become just like everyone else just to fit in.  Instead be yourself, be an individual, and encourage others to be themselves as well.  It is more fun being you than trying to be someone else just to make others happy.
J is for Joy.  Create joy where ever you go, find something to be joyful about every place you go.  Joy does not just happen, you have to help it happen, look for it and you will find it, even if it is just the joy found in a smile.
K is for kiss.  All kisses.  The ones you share as couples, the ones you give your children when they have a boo boo or are going to bed.  Kisses are about love, kindness and caring.

L is for loving life.  Don’t just live your life, love the life you have.  If you don’t love your life, than make changes until you do.  Don’t expect others to change for you, instead make the changes you need, that make your life better.  Let others make the changes they need to love their life.
M is for making, such as making the best of things.  Making things happen instead of waiting for others to make things happen.  Making as in creating things, like a good meal, a garden or a card that makes you happy.
N is for noticing.  Noticing all the good things in your life, not all the negative.  Some days it is more difficult than others, but you need to put the effort into noticing good things.
O is for organization.  It is hard to be happy, or find time to be happy if you are always fixing things, or busy.  Being organized lets you find ways to make time for yourself and find happiness.
P is for persistence.  You have to stick to things, be persistent.  Be persistent to be happy, to meet your goals.  Change does not happen if you give up when things get difficult, so persistence is important.

Q is for quality, not quantity.  It is better to have quality in life instead of a lot of things.  More does not mean better.
R is for relaxing.  Always take some time to relax.
S is for staying true to yourself.  This has to be one of the hardest things, staying true to yourself.  We are taught as children to fit in, to make other people happy.  It can be very difficult to stand up and say no, to stray true to who you are, not change for others.
T is for truth.  Be truthful to yourself.  Don’t lie to yourself or others to make people happy, or avoid conflict.  Be honest with yourself, what you like, don’t like, and need in your life.  If you are not honest or truthful to yourself how can you find happiness.  If you are not truthful to others how can they make you happy? 

U is for unique.  Be unique, don’t try to hid or change who you are.  There is only one of you, so embrace your uniqueness.
V is for validation and value.  Value yourself.  Give yourself validation, don’t look to others to validate or value you.  Also if you don’t value yourself why should anyone else.  If you want people to value you than you need to value yourself!
W is for willingness.  Willingness to find happiness, and joy in your life.  Willingness to accept yourself, embrace who you are and change the things you don’t like.  Willingness to work hard and go after the things you want in life.  Willingness to let go of things that harm your life and to find out what makes your life better.  Willingness to be you, and accept that you can be happy.
X is for Xenodochial, which is a big word meaning to be friendly to strangers.  So be nice to the people you know and don’t know.
Y is for you.  You need to put yourself first.  Take care of you, do things that create a better life for you (and your children).
Z is for zest.  Have a zest for life, enjoy and embrace, live.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Unbelievable poison filled anonymous letter to the Mother with an autistic son results in positive outcome

Actors and musicians Lennon and Maisy tweeted this letter with the caption: “A close family friend has an autistic boy and this was an anonymous letter slipped under her door. This is real.”

 You spend your day dealing with everyday stuff, work, kids, life.  Things are a bit more difficult because your much loved 13 year old son has sever autism.  You struggle everyday to meet the needs of your autistic child.  Most people don't understand your struggles, how hard it is some days to see the child you love live in a world you just cannot reach.  But somehow you keep on going, keep on loving and giving your child everything you can.  You receive an anonymous hate filled letter saying horrible things about your son and you.  Why because your beloved child makes too much noise for one of your neighbors.  

It breaks your heart to read the poison someone felt it appropriate to write.  Someone who does not have the guts to come and talk to you face to face.  They know what they are saying is wrong so they hope to hurt the Mom as they hid behind anonymity.  What a coward.  How can someone write this garbage and not realize how stupid it makes them look.  I guess they only thought about hurting this family.  Well it worked for a little bit, than the Mother started talking and sharing with her friends (Lennon and Maisy) who took a very vocal stand.  This is not acceptable and we will not hid in the dark and let this slid hopping it will go away.  Nope they made sure the world saw this letter, and gave the power back to the victim, not the "anonymous" writer full of hate.  

Now most of the world is taking a stand to support the family with the autistic son, not the letter writer.  Not the outcome you were expecting anonymous one pissed off mother.  So now you have to suck it up and pretend to support the family, and the child you hate so much as everyone cries for your head.  You must be praying that you are never found out to be "one pissed off Mother".  So now instead of your victims hiding their home, fearful of what you will do next, worrying if it is safe for their son to play outside, you are hiding in fear.  And you have something to fear.  People hate you, really hate you, for what you did.  They feel sorry for your children and believe you need some serious mental health help. How pathetic are you that you have to lash out against an innocent child and his family?  It is not going to be pretty when you are found out.  We all know you don't want people to know who you are.  You didn't want to face the consequences of your poison letter when it was just you against this family.  Now it is the world against you, how are you going to deal with the consequences of that.  Eventually everyone is going to know who you are and what you did.

I find it funny that a letter full of hate and poison brings the world together to support the family that received it.  It brings to light autism, and the struggles of family's with autistic children.  Instead of making the family hid their autistic 13 year old son they stand proud, in public, with him.  As they should.  And now there are millions of people willing to stand right there beside them, with the son you hate so much.  The truth be told maybe we should be thanking you.  The letter you wrote in anger and hate has created love and support.  It has brought autism to the attention of the world.  Now people will know the world supports them, and their autistic children, not people like you.  Sure life is still going to be difficult, yes it is still sad their children are not able to live their lives like everyone else.  But now maybe people will not get so upset or avoid people with autism, maybe they will sit and talk to the Mother or Dad with that child and give them a smile and some much needed support.  Why all because you wrote such a ridiculously hate filled letter  that makes people re-evaluate their reactions and feelings.  Maybe people will change for the better simply because they don't want to be like you "a pissed off mother".

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Today I Wept : For Tim Bosma and his Family by Ellyse Murphy

I have to thank Ellyse Murphy for writing this.  She took the words right out of my heart.  I could not have put this any better.  Tim Bosma is not someone I knew, but my thoughts and heart go out to his family.  I think we all feel for his family and connect to him because he could have been any of us.

Today I wept. 

I wept for a stranger. I wept for a family. I wept for a nation. I wept for this world.
I have been anxiously checking updates daily, it’s consumed almost every conversation I’ve had and it hasn’t left my mind. Today, the update came – with great sadness. My heart fell, tears fell, I felt empty. I don’t know this man, I don’t know his family, I don’t even know somebody who knows somebody who knows him but I have a father; to grow up knowing I wouldn’t get to know my father because someone wanted a truck, would be devastating beyond words. I have a fiancĂ©; to lose him because someone wanted a thrill, would break me in half. I have uncles, brothers and friends; to lose any one of them in this way is unimaginable. And so, I wept.

I can’t count the number of items I have sold on Kijiji. I have found many jobs and hired many people from ads on Kijiji. I have been in people’s homes, met in central locations and had people in my home. I have test driven cars and sold cars. Tim’s story is everyone’s story – we trust.

Today, I question God. We all wonder what kind of world we live in that a man could be taken this way. It’s okay to be angry with God. Your anger will make your relationship stronger. He will guide you through. Often, right before God gives us something, he puts us through hardship. For the Bosma family, this is one of the biggest hardships you’ll know. Today you will weep, tomorrow you will weep, you very well might weep every day for the rest of your life – a piece of you was killed when your husband, father, son, uncle, friend was killed. But, one day, you will find your greatest moment of strength and you will move forward for Tim, you will find a way to honour him, find a way to prevent this from happening again, find a way to make meaning; you will find your way.

To the media, I would ask that you report on Tim. Report about his life, his accomplishments, his family, his friends, the people who have prayed for him. STOP reporting on the suspects. I’m tired of turning on Google and finding stories about such a promising man in aviation, a humble man, a quiet and reserved man. I don’t want to read one more fact about him. I won’t speak for the family but I can’t imagine it helps them either. There is one question they want answered: why? This doesn’t require pages and pages of details on this man, your reporting is speculation. I don’t care if he was an aviation prodigy – today he is a monster.

To the men who took Timothy Bosma, I have this to say: You have broken a family. You have killed the dreams of a wife and a little girl. You have crushed a mother. His family mourns his loss but do not be mistaken, they are not alone. 41,855 on Facebook alone, have found a way to be there for the family – some sent prayers, some sent love, some called the tip lines, some posted flyers, some talked to everyone they knew about Tim, some were the reason you’ve been caught. People from across the globe are pouring out their love and compassion for this man and his family.
You are but two men. We won’t focus on you because we cannot. We cannot allow ourselves to be consumed with all that is wrong with the world. I saw 41,855 reasons that you don’t matter.

Let us remember – just when the caterpillar thought life was over, he became a butterfly.

Timothy Bosma – Gone but not forgotten.

Monday, April 22, 2013

I have a Job, Motherhood. Happy Mother’s Day

All my life I have made choices.  I live with the consequences and accept that they were my choices.  I am responsible for my life and my choices.  I have started to come to terms with the fact that some people only see the negative.  That it does not matter what I do or say it will never be enough or the right thing in their eyes.  To them I am and always have been the “problem”.  This is one of the reasons I chose not to have any communications with some people.

I am a good person, I like me and will not accept responsibility for other people’s views or opinions.  They are not my opinions so I don’t have to make changes to make other people happy.  I only need to make changes for me and my children.  I am not going to let other people make me feel bad about myself or put me down because I don’t live the life they expect me to have.  I am also not going to take responsibility for things outside of my control, like being laid off because the company I worked for does not have any work for me.

I have never had any problem accepting the fact that I need to work hard in life.  I don’t have my hand out or expect others to “take care of me”.  I don’t go around asking for things, though when help has been offered I have accepted it with gratitude and appreciation.

I know that once my daughter is a year old I will start looking for work again.  I expect that it will be difficult to find a good job again, one that I love to do.  I know I will probably have to take whatever job I can get to pay bills and live on, even with my college education and work ethics.  Maybe one day I will have a job I love again, but probably not.  The fact that I am unemployed (with lots of other people in the same boat) does not make me a bad person or mean that I don’t want a job. 

I live in reality, not in a dream world of how it should be, or used to be.  Once you could go to college, get a job and stay there until you wanted to leave or retired.  My reality is that no job is guaranteed even if you are a great employee, or work really hard.  The world my Grandparents, and my parents lived in is not the one I live in.  Their expectations do not fit within the current job market where I live. 

I look forward to having a full time job again that lets me pay my bills and take care of my family.  I know that whatever job I get will not fit within some people’s expectations of me.  I am just going to work hard at the job I do get to pay the bills and do the best at the job I will always have, that of a Mother.

My most important job is being the best Mother I can be.  Part of being a good Mother, for me, is getting a job that will help me take care of my family.  My identity and worth is not tied into a job, but who I am as a person and how I treat other people, especially my children.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Star Wars the Old Republic Guild Turns to Cyber bullying

For almost a year a father and his 9 year old son played on the Star Wars the Old Republic with a great guild.  A few weeks before the new Star Wars the Old Republic expansion started the guild turned nasty.  Suddenly what used to be a fun MMORPG became an ordeal of cyber bulling.

It started in sly comments.  It quickly moved up to nasty in game messages, anonymous posting full of swear words, insults and comments like “you are this and this and should quite the game” but not in so nice words.  Insert any combination of swear words, insults with thinly veiled threats and you get the idea. 

The last straw was when an anonymous posting went on the guild page attacking four players, Suddenly what was just annoying and somewhat childish behaviour became a full out attack.  The guild leader let the posting stay up on the guild page.  This showed that she supported the cyber bulling behaviour of one guild member.  Please note that the bully did not have the guts to put their name on their poison pen posting.  As a result all four members decided independently that they did not want to play in a guild where they were expected to put up with someone treating them like crap.

Not one of the players being cyber bullied had done anything to earn the abuse.  Two were new players, who did not have much experience.  They were in the process of learning the game and building up their levels.  One was a father, with a new born, who played when he could but put his family first.  The fourth was in the US military serving overseas.  He is fighting for his country, with all his time scheduled for him.  Not to mention putting his life on the line every day.  Why would any of these people want to deal with abuse every time they logged onto Star Wars the Old Republic?

Now it is one thing to have someone be nasty on Star Wars the Old Republic, you simply block them.  It is something different to be cyber bullied by someone in your own guild.  Especially when the cyber bully hides who they are, it taints the whole guild.  You don’t know who is doing it.  It is like getting nasty letters in your locker at high school, the bully wants to make their life hell but is not “man” enough to put their name on it.

Oh, and Mr. Anonymous was not so anonymous after all.  The person was creating alternative characters not in the guild so they could cyber bully “anonymously”.  But all four people figured out who it was when they compared notes. 

The cyber bully had recently joined the guild.  He was a new “friend” of the guild leader and was given extra special treatment at the expense of the other guild members.  He was given an officers position right away, even though everyone else had to work their way up the guild and prove themselves.  He was going after the guild members he felt threatened by. 

The ex-guild members felt betrayed by their guild leader, that she would allow such abusive behaviour.  None of the attacked players engage the bully.  It was not worth their time.  They play Star Wars the Old Republic to have fun. 

The funny part is that the cyber bully did not even notice they had left the guild.  He stepped up the attacks after they had already left.  He started posting anonymous abusive messages in the guilds message of the day for everyone to see.  He called them names, put them down and kept saying they should be kicked out of the guild.

At first the guild leader was upset that the guild members quite and asked them back.  That changed within a day.  Suddenly she was being abusive to them as well.  Somehow they were in the wrong for taking offence to the extremely abusive attacks.  She expected them to just put up with it.

Just to be safe the Father decided to log onto his 9 year old sons account and pull him out of the guild.  What did he find, in retaliation for the father leaving the guild leader kicked his son out.  The cyber bully sent the 9 year old a very abusive, bulling message along the same lines as what he had posted to the other guild members.  It was full of swear words and was just plain nasty to say to anyone, let alone a 9 year old.

What was the point of cyber bulling a child?  The kid was already kicked out of the guild.  Why send a child you don’t know an abusive message?  Simple, because he could.  He knew his guild leader will support his cyber bullying of long standing and new guild members.  Why would she have an issue with him attacking a child in the same manner?  He was so confident that he did not even bother to do it anonymously!  This just confirmed the suspicions about who was doing it.

Well he was right.  When this was brought to the guild leader’s attention her response was, she was the one who kicked the child out of the guild and what was the problem with the messages.  After all it was all just a joke.  Extreme abusive cyber bullying for two weeks a joke!  Right.  Who is she kidding?  Most people will not accept this treatment any time, so why should anyone accept it on a MMORPG. 

With the number of kids killing themselves over cyber bulling she still thinks it’s ok for her new friend to do this to a child who has never done anything to anyone.  I guess she is not the good person people thought she was.  Who wants to be in a guild that you have to put up with abuse to play in?  What gets me the most though is, how could anyone think it is ok for an adult to cyber bully a child!  It is not ok for anyone to cyber bully a child.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Pay it Forward or a Helping Hand in Real Life

I keep finding postings about positive people helping out people in need.  I know many of them are fakes, but still make you think and are a good read.  However, I can tell a real story about unexpected help we have received in the last 6 months.  It may not be as well written as the stories usually posted, but at least they are real.

Our newborn was underweight and losing weight every day.  If she did not put on weight she had to go back to the hospital.  We had to put her onto formula, something we had not budgeted for.  She had nipple confusion and would not take the breast.  I talked about it on Facebook, I was very worried about having to put her onto formula and upset that I was not doing my job as a mom and breastfeeding her.  One lady in our area had a huge bag of formula that her baby was unable to eat.  Her family gave us the unopened cans of formula.  My daughter could eat it and put on weight.  There was enough formula that it got us to when we had money again.  Their kindness made a big impact on the life of my family. 

With a new born Christmas was very tight, but we expected that and made plans and budgeted for it.  We let our kids know that they would not be getting very much and they needed to pick one special toy they wanted for Christmas.  On the day we were told we had to put our newborn on formula we used our budgeted Christmas money to buy bottles, formula and a breast pump.  At the time I felt like a huge failure because I could not breast feed my baby and that took away the special toys our kids had asked for Christmas.  Just before Christmas a Christmas card showed up in my mail with a prepaid credit card with $50 on it.  This really helped us out.  We used it to buy the toys special to our kids.  It also let our kids buy a gift for each other, something they really wanted to do.  A small gesture made a big impact.  I don’t know how much the $50 meant to the person who gave it to us; I just know how big of a difference it made to us.

For my daughter’s birthday we told her no party this year and we would have to wait a couple of weeks to do something as a family.  Our daughter understood, and I never told anyone, not even family, about the difficulty we were having.  Out of the blue a few days before my daughter’s birthday a gift arrived, $50.  It gave us what we needed to do what she wanted on her birthday, to eat out at a specific restaurant, and still buy groceries for the next two weeks.  Again someone made a huge difference to our lives just because they wanted to.  It may seem like a small thing, being able to take our daughter out on her birthday, but it was a huge thing for her.  It made her feel important and loved.  With a new baby in the house she needs all the reminders we can give her that she is still valued, important and loved.

I never asked for help.  I don’t sit around with my hand out waiting for someone to make my life better.  But I am willing to accept kindness for my children.  I have no pride when it comes to my kids, if my pride has to go so my children can have what they need, so be it.  They always come first.

I do see this as what goes around comes around.  In the past I was able to pay it forward, or be that helping hand many times.  I have been told that I can be a soft touch, and have a hard time seeing people in need.  There were many times when money found its way into the hands of those in need, family, friends and strangers.  Many invites for lunch or dinner were given with lots of leftovers when we knew someone was running low on food.  Sometimes it was as simple as paying for the meal of the family behind us in line at a fast food place.  When we had our business we would often suddenly need “staff” when people really needed some real money.  They would work the weekend with us and would have the money they needed without feeling they were taking charity (and they actually did do work for us).
When we lost the business and moved into this complex we would to buy hotdogs when they went on sale, and fill our freezer with them.  It was not uncommon all summer long for the kids in our neighbourhood to show up whenever we turned on the BBQ.  They knew we would put on several packages of hotdogs, and they could eat.  For some of the kids it was the only food they would get during the day.  We knew that, and made sure they ate.  Heck we even bought a deep fryer because a bag of potatoes was cheap and make a lot of French-fry’s.  It is not something our family talks about, we just did it because we could.  Sometimes they would show up for dinner too.  Those kids don’t live here anymore, but we helped them out when they did.  It was nice to be able to make a difference in someone’s life.  I never expected to be on the other side, but I am grateful that I was.

Times are getting harder, more families are in need.  I see requests on Freecycle for food, and formula, clothing and more all the time.  It makes me sad that so many people are in need.  I hope to be able to repay the unexpected gifts of money one day when things change and I am working again.  Hopefully when it is need the most. 

I grew up poor.  I am poor now.  I expect to die poor.  But at least I am in good company!


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Rant about New Computer Still in Box

I just found out my Mom bought a computer last year, and it is still sitting in the box.  She is using one from 2002, but has a new one sitting in a box! 

Ok, I understand that she is busy and does not have the time to set up the new computer.  She is waiting until the home they are building is finished before they set it up.  Mind you they have been building the new home for over 10 years, it might even be more then 15 years.  I have no idea how much more work needs to be done, or how long it will take. 
I am frustrated because I was trying to explain to her that if she has a new computer she should be using it.  Also you don’t buy a computer until you are ready to use it because you can get the same one for a lot less later on, or buy a better one for the same price.  She is happy to have it in its box, ready for when she wants to set it up.  I keep thinking about how much she spent (did not ask) and that she could have gotten a much better deal when she was ready to actually use a new computer, not store one.
 I think the problem is that she is just not that into computers the way my family is.  It is not a big deal to her if the computer sits there in a box for a year.  She had the money so she bought it and put it aside until she is ready to use it.  Computers are not a big part of her life, she just does not use computers the way my family and I use them.  My kids started trying to play on the computer around 2 ½ years old.  Heck, my kids have their own computers.  My mom actually bought our son a laptop when he was 8. My kids use computers every day, and so do I.  It is hard for me to wrap my head around having a new computer and not using it, not even opening it to make sure it works.
The real frustrating part is that I have been after her for years to do video conferencing with us so my kids can talk to her face to face, but the computer she is using is old, and is not equipped to do video conferencing (Skype).  Then I find out she has a new computer sitting in a box.  I just keep thinking about the time she is losing that she could have been talking face to face with her grandchildren on Skype.  I have no idea how close they are to finishing the house.  I don’t even know if their new computer has what they need to do Skype.  But as I finally emailed my Mom, it’s her computer so I will shut up.
 I was still frustrated so I decided to write (whine) about it to get it out of my system.  It helped me see that my getting frustrated about the new computer still in a box is my issue, not hers.   When she is ready she will open the computer box; that is her choice.  I should just mind my own business.
I am still frustrated though.  I want my kids to be able to see their Grandmother and for her to see them even if it is just on Skype.   I am sure she will get around to opening up her new computer, when she is ready.  I just hope she can Skype with it; that she has what she needs to do video conferencing.  Mind you if it was not for my husband I would have no idea how to Skype or what I would need on my computer to do so!  Thank goodness my laptop came with everything I need! 
Ok, I have to laugh at myself for getting upset about my Mom not setting up her computer when I have never set one up myself.  That is what my husband does, builds and fixes our computers (not laptops).  I am sure if I had to I could set one up, they have extremely easy step by step instructions or come fully loaded these days.  Build one, nope, but turn it on and follow what it tells me to do, that I have no problem doing. Now I am laughing at myself!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Tell Your Teen Girls Rape Happens

You don’t have to be a victim to be raped.  It is not true that only bad people are raped.  Being a good person does not keep anyone safe from predators.

A few years ago I wrote an article on Tips on talking to your teen girl about sex.  In the article I pointed out the need to tell young ladies, or teen girls that men and teen boys want to have sex with them.  Some will say and do whatever will get her to agree to have sex with them.  Some will use alcohol and drugs to lower her inhibitions to get her to be more willing to have sex with them.  There are also people who will simply rape them, with or without the use of drugs.  It is reality.  One person commented: “I think we should spend more time teaching our sons not to rape as opposed to teaching our daughters that they are victims.”

You don't have to be a victim or even look like a victim to be raped.  You just have to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or come to the attention of the wrong person.  Rapists are called predators for a reason.  You don’t have to be a woman or girl to be raped or a man to be a rapist.  Anyone can be raped if the rapist puts the time and effort into it.  It is about power and control after all, not sex.  So telling your daughter that people out there want sex with her and some are willing to take away her choice is not making her a victim.  It is letting her know it is possible.  How can we expect our children to protect themselves to the best of their ability if they are unaware that this can happen, or think it only happens to bad people so it will not happen to them?

Rape is a reality and a real possibility.  We cannot put our heads in the sand and pretend it does not happen, or will not happen.  Telling little boys and teens that is wrong to rape is no different than telling them not to steal.   They need to know this, but that does not mean they will not choose to steal, or rape.  People make bad choices all the time, and some people feel they are entitled to whatever they want, including sex with someone even if that person is not interested. 

We need to make sure our children, male and female, know that rape is real.  There is nothing wrong with doing everything we can to prepare our children to live in the real world.  We need to make sure they know what they can do to try and protect themselves.  We don’t want them to be hurt or die in a car accident, so we tell them to not drink and drive.  So what is wrong with telling them not to take drinks from people they don’t know, don’t get so drunk you pass out or are unable to say no, or too drunk to care who they have sex with.  What is wrong with telling them not to hang out or walk down a dark alley if they don’t have to, walk in well light areas and travel in groups whenever possible.  It is important to avoid problems and learn to protect themselves if a problem does occur.  There are things people can do to deter a rapist, so it makes sense to tell our kids.  Also we need to accept that some rapists are not deterred no matter what someone does; they will find a way to do what they want.   As parents we have the opportunity to give our children the knowledge and tools to have the best out of life, or we can leave them unprepared and vulnerable to people who don’t care that your child deserves the best out of life, not the worst.

We also need to state that the rapist is responsible not the victim.  Being raped does not make someone a bad person, or valueless no matter what some people say.  Also no one deserves to be raped.