Monthly Archives: February 2007

The Blessing of Pain


This post is inspired by another article written by tobeme, “Pain and Suffering”, over at The Naked Soul.Again, I had to post my own article because I write way too much for other people’s comment section and I also get so personal that I want to document my thoughts on my own blog.Plus, I wrote about my religious beliefs and do not want to totally get off the subject of his post.I write in tangents, you see!

To make this [hopefully] simple, most of my life has been spent in pain, whether it be physical or emotional. I learned how to disassociate from it, music and my art being major tools I used for the emotional stuff.As I sit and look back through the years and arrive at specific experiences, the one common thread I see between my experiences of physical and emotional pain is that I did not try to block the pain out.It actually hurts more when you try to deny it.Rather, I’d ride through it, if you can imagine that.

I believe that going through the pain is the only way to survive it.Feeling the pain, exploring the pain as I ride through; then come out on the other side, stand up, look around and see that the pain is gone and I am still here and alive.Acknowledging pain, experiencing it and feeling it [very important], I believe, is the only way one can truly tuck it away, then bring it out again when we see someone else going through the same pain.Otherwise, when we say, “Oh yeah, I know what you are going through, I’ve been there,” it will be meaning less to the suffering person because they don’t feel empathy being projected toward them.The attempt will lack depth and authenticity.

When a person shares their own experiences, in depth, when trying to help, the sufferer will be able to feel the pain and identify with it.They know it’s not a snow job.Isn’t that what you are trying to do in the first place?To tell them that you’ve been there, weathered the storm, survived and that you are okay now.Revealing our own pain, I think, is a compassionate act.We lift the sufferer out of their own, more current, pain and enable them to forget it for awhile and focus on ours.They come away with a feeling that someone else TRULY knows what they are going through.

This is a concept that is shared by every self help organization out there.AA, all 12 step programs, and others that are not based on the 12 steps.I belonged to one such group for separated and divorced people, and it’s true;I did not really want to hear from my married friends or family.I felt more at home with people who experienced the same trauma in their own lives.I got the sense from them that they really knew what I was going through, and they did.I knew that I could call them at any time of any day and I would have a ear that would not get sore listening to me cry.Not so with my own family.After a while, people who do not share your specific pain, are not so happy listening to your woes… and it shows.

Sharing our pain to help our brothers and sisters.I believe this is what it’s all about.I believe THIS is the reason we experience pain to begin with.THIS is the answer when someone shakes his fist at the heavens and screams, “Why?” This is how we transform our very personal pain into a blessing for us and others.Instead of feeling negative emotions, hatred, resentment, disparity, we can perceive it as a way into the light.This is how I stay out of the deep, dark horrific hole I was in during my tweens, teens and early twenties.It was a major chunk of my life and I rather see those years as not wasted; but as a preparation period for my present self.A foundation laid out by my Lord to teach me lessons I needed to learn.I embrace my painful experiences because, through them, I am rich.Rich with knowledge and experiences; all of which I intend to share with my son, leaving him [hopefully] a good foundation to build his own life upon.

So, I do not worry too much about experiencing pain.I believe Christ suffered death on the cross to save man.I believe that in writing this post, in my own feeble mind, I am just beginning to understand that mystery.I think I begin to  understand what is behind that mystery, though, his suffering and death means so much more to humanity than my own, and being trivial in comparison to his.

Yes, Absolutely!We have the power to choose not to suffer. Allowing oneself to suffer is, indeed, a choice; whether we do it to get attention and sympathy, or not.Christ did not have to suffer, but he chose to and that is the difference.

I Can Feel How Much You Love Me


Amazed
by: Lonestar

Every time our eyes meet
This feeling inside me
Is almost more than I can take
Baby when you touch me
I can feel how much you love me
And it just blows me away
I’ve never been this close to anyone or anything
I can hear your thoughts
I can see your dreams

I don’t know how you do what you do
I’m so in love with you
It just keeps getting better
I want to spend the rest of my life
With you by my side
Forever and ever
Every little thing that you do
Baby, I’m amazed by you

The smell of your skin
The taste of your kiss
The way you whisper in the dark
Your hair all around me
Baby you surround me
You touch every place in my heart
Oh, it feels like the first time, every time
I want to spend the whole night in your eyes

Every little thing that you do
I’m so in love with you
It just keeps getting better
I want to spend the rest of my life
With you by my side
Forever and ever
Every little thing that you do
Baby, I’m amazed by you

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Heard this on the radio today and………….. remembered.

I remembered how love feels. People too often get caught up in the rigidity of every day life. Our schedules get in the way of spontaneity, thought and feeling the feelings and some thing inside always suffers. Life as a couple may not notice right away as both people might be blind to it; but eventually, somebody notices and slight manifestations of negativity start to occur. The little idiosyncrasies that we find endearing start to bug us.

A lot of what brings people together is taken for granted over time in the sense that we have a “knowing”, but deep feelings are not allowed in every minute of every day. What is happening is that they are skipping over the very reasons that brought the couple together in the first place.

Just because we “know” why we are together does not mean that we should tuck it safely away into storage. We must keep those reasons in the forefront of our thoughts and keep them pliant in our minds. We must always be ready to take the time to express our love, even if it’s in little snippets during the time you are together. A slight touch on exposed skin, a long meaningful look goes a long, long way. The eyes are the windows to the soul. Look long and deep (if allowed) into your love’s eyes. What you will find there is no less than amazing. Eyes that address and acknowledge you every day are transformed into the twinkling, beautiful essence of why we love…. and they go deep.

There IS a certain amount of security that comes with “knowing” we love and are loved. It makes every day life so much easier, and difficult times easier to weather. However, when the feeling part is missing, our relationships become one dimensional, like cut-outs of Barbie and Ken. Stand them up. Put the clothes on them. Take the clothes off. Put the clothes back on. Take them back off again. Period. They can’t even have sex…. oops I said it. Notice how I said it, “They can’t even have sex.” Add a bit of “feeling” and that can be said, “I can’t wait to make wonderful, beautiful love with you.”

playful

With feeling, every day monotony transforms into colorful fantasy. With feeling, comes spontaneity and playfulness. You can be level headed one minute, and throw your lover on the bed the next second. Where did that come from?

Look inside.

Ashes to Ashes…


LENT

“Remember man that you are dust and into dust you shall return.”

That is what the priest says when he puts the ashes, the outward symbol of repentance and the wearer’s desire to change, on your forehead. For those of you who may not know, today is Ash Wednesday, first day of the Lenten Season. A renewal of spirit. The day you commit to change and embark on a journey during which you strive to become a better Catholic. Today at the mass, I remember very little of what was actually said, though I got the message. To satisfy our Lenten commitment, we must, #1 pray more, #2 sacrifice, #3 oh geez, I forgot! I just wasted over an hour trying to remember, so I will go on.

This time of year has always been a difficult one for me because 1. I don’t believe that one should need to be poked and prodded into change. Change is something that I believe can be proactive, but the person must have the desire to change and this doesn’t really happen overnight, or require an appointment. 2. I never really could see how giving up “sweets, smoking, chocolate, etc.” could make me a better catholic. In a lot of ways, I am a black and white sort of person. I need clear directions to follow when attempting something I am unfamiliar with. You guessed it, I am not that familiar with “religion”. Though, I am a practicing catholic now, I am really not sure if I am doing it “right”. I follow my heart and play it by ear. My religious experience in and out of mass is a very “feeling” one, very heart-centered. I do not “pray” in words. I pray with feeling. It comes from the concept that God knows your needs before you do and I believe that. I just open myself, my heart up to God, or the Universal Energy, or Spirit, or Higher Power… by whatever name. I open up, and I can feel the Spirit flow through me. I cannot use flowery words when the words are not what matters. What is in your heart is what matters.

The sacrifice part of this all is not about giving up something that doesn’t mean too much to you, like “meat”, or “sweets”. You can get through that, knowing that soon, you will be able to have it again. The whole point of sacrifice is to “feel” the loss. The examples given today were something like this: It’s harder to give up gossiping to our friends, or complaining about everything than to give up a piece of chocolate.

Oh, the Drake just came in and remembered the third thing: #3 Charity. This mixes well with #1, sacrifice. Part of what was said about this was that we can take the money we save from unbought cigarettes, or whatever surplus comes our way from “sacrifice”, and give it to the poor, or to the church, or use it for some good. I immediately thought of the trip to the company store that we had planned for today… but then thought how can I turn company credits for cosmetics and hair products into something the poor can use? Hmmm, maybe purchasing shampoo and conditioner and giving it to the organization I’ve been donating baby clothes to. That sounds good.

All in all, I shall be striving to strengthen my connection with God, as I know Him. Oh, and another thing that I take on every year is my tremendous ego, a formidable opponent.

This year will me MINE!

Head Down, Chin Up!


I will now take you into the realm sacred to women, though invokes a horrible fear. This is the place where no man may enter; no man may look upon…… EVER!!!

Women in general go through so much to make ourselves “presentable”. Most of us wear makeup, perfume, accessorize; but we do more than that. READ ON AT YOUR OWN RISK! We shave our armpits and some shave their whole bodies. Why does this society shun hair on the female body, yet, it’s okay for men to be hairy apes, back and all? Why must our preteen girls feel embarrassed into shaving their legs so young because they don’t want the other GIRLS to see them in gym class?

I bring this up because there is a stigma attached to female body and facial hair. Is it that if a woman doesn’t get rid of it, somehow people assume that she does not practice good hygiene? I used to work with an Italian girl who shaves every bit of body hair that dared to grow on her person, and I mean everywhere… for her husband. I will not judge her or say anything about her practice, but why is it that if she didn’t, she would comment about how she had “missed” doing it in the morning like it was such a big deal and a terrible oversight? What little she had could hardly be seen by anyone in the office.

You may be asking yourself, “Why is she writing about this?” I chose to make a big deal about this to emphasize what I deem a social injustice. I, myself have a severe situation of facial and body hair hanging out on my very person. I was born with it, it’s in the genes. Yes, I am saying that. And YES, it’s in the genes. I am of Mediterranean decent and it’s prevalent (and sometimes runs rampant) in people of my ethnic background, which is Italian.

I’ve always had very dark hair against very light skin, VERY visible. My mother and my sister had the same thing, but they had much darker skin than I. My mother taught us to use bleach, but I had hair on my chin and neck and the bleach stuff just didn’t stay put long enough to be effective, plus more often than not, I burned myself with it, producing even more noticeable burns that stung for days and I had to walk around with burn marks on my face. I tried depilatories but they burn, too. Oh, and you can forget about waxing! I said, “Later for that!” Finally desperate, I took my dad’s razor and shaved my face as well as my legs and underarms. My mom found out and almost killed me, figuratively, because doing that will “make it grow back faster and denser.” I can tell you that is a TRUE statement, but it was my easy way out.

I was stigmatized and ashamed to be seen, yet, I hated all this extra stuff I needed to do to be “acceptable” for the rest of the human race. All the girls and women I know are preoccupied with the removal their hair, if they have any extra. No matter how often I shaved, I could never really get rid of the stubble and sometimes I cut myself… and well, you guys know that story. Even though I have male hair, my skin is female and too sensitive to tolerate daily shaving, so I must make sure that I time my “shaves” to coincide with any events that may be going on so that I have a clean face and neck. I even tried electrolysis, but that did not work, either.

One day, while commuting from high school on the bus, I saw this middle aged woman sitting in front of me and she hardly had any hair on her head. Could have been for any reason from cancer treatments to early hair loss; but what really stood out to me, and changed my life, was the fact that she did not cover it up with a hat. She held her head high, apparently indifferent, and that affected me deeply. I am so grateful for her fleeting appearance in the show that is my life.

From that moment on, I decided that I was not going to be preoccupied with hair… well except the hair on my head. To go one further, I decided that God gave me all this hair to use for a positive. I have a way with little children. They like me and I like them… I can talk to them on their level, and they know that I listen to them. I will let a child stare at my stubble and try to project positive-ness by seeking eye contact and smiling. Sometimes they ask questions and I will answer. I don’t want the kids to be afraid of it, you know? Impressions are formed at a young age and my goal is to reach the kids out there and show them that there is nothing to be afraid of and that people can be approachable and satisfy their curiosity. Maybe this is my way of transforming this curse into a blessing…. one kid at a time.

I have a little one right here and he already knows that there is something “different” about my face and neck sometimes. He touches it. He runs his fingers over it and he knows, at 2 yrs old, that something is up. I cringe, however, when I think about his classmates and what they might say to my baby. I can see myself “cleaning” my face every day in an effort so that the kids at his school(s) do not find a reason to taunt him. Sigh. I have to stop myself from thinking about it from now.

Where does this general aversion to something normal come from anyway? What is so-called “normal”? I believe this topic ties into having (or developing) the capacity for tolerance of people who are “different” from us. I am talking about facial hair here, but it applies to the disabled, the elderly, different races, cultures, etc. It can apply to any differences we see around us.

I don’t know. I do know that this piece is totally disorganized with thoughts coming from all angles and absurdities; but I just had to get it out. Maybe before I get to post it, I’ll clean it up a bit…. Oops, too late!

“AT SEVENTEEN”
By Janis Ian

I learned the truth at seventeen
That love was meant for beauty queens
And high school girls with clear skinned smiles
Who married young and then retired
The valentines I never knew
The Friday night charades of youth
Were spent on one more beautiful
At seventeen I learned the truth…

And those of us with ravaged faces
Lacking in the social graces
Desperately remained at home
Inventing lovers on the phone
Who called to say “come dance with me”
And murmured vague obscenities
It isn’t all it seems at seventeen…

A brown eyed girl in hand me downs
Whose name I never could pronounce
Said: “Pity please the ones who serve
They only get what they deserve”
The rich relation’s hometown queen
Marries into what she needs
With a guarantee of company
And haven for the elderly…

So remember those who win the game
Lose the love they sought to gain
In debentures of quality and dubious integrity
Their small-town eyes will gape at you
In dull surprise when payment due
Exceeds accounts received at seventeen…

To those of us who knew the pain
Of valentines that never came
And those whose names were never called
When choosing sides for basketball
It was long ago and far away
the world was younger than today
when dreams were all they gave for free
to ugly duckling girls like me…

We all play the game, and when we dare
We cheat ourselves at solitaire
Inventing lovers on the phone
Repenting other lives unknown
That call and say: “Come dance with me”
And murmur vague obscenities
At ugly girls like me, at seventeen…

All The Time


After my last post about the Drake and Valentine’s Day, I’ve been wanting to post something that balances the scales a little bit. Oh, and I preface by saying that the following is not motivated by anyone online, here; but from my “other” life.

As you may (or may not) know, I am a stay at home mom… so no income actually flows in from my person. Even though people say that raising a child is a job, and my part of this partnership, AND I must say that I agree with all that…. I still must say that I find it hard asking for money for myself and my own entertainment. I do know that I am entitled to money that comes in from my drake; but I’m too independent that way, and I am used to having my own money, however little it ever was. My Drake knows this and leaves me $$$ every week so I do not have to ask for it. We have a special “place” and there is always something in there. Whenever I go out, he gives me $$ even when he knows I have it from our little treasure chest. If that were not enough, he gives me $$ specifically for gas for MY car.

Today, I went to Ikea for a small bookshelf for Little Drake’s books and got the okay for $100.00. Good Shopper Mommie found one, not the one I really wanted; but for $30.00, she could not resist. Then, she bought some stuff for herself and for the house. I have told Big Drake that I will pay him for my private stuff from babysitting that I do every other week and he said, “OK”; but I know that when it comes time to pay him, he will tell me to forget about it…. so here there it is.

I absolutely KNOW that some people will judge my drake because he doesn’t follow the accepted husband protocol for Valentine’s Day. Do they know what goes on the rest of the time? Do they know how his mind works, or for that matter, how our relationship works? No. What is even worse than that is the fact that I hate to be asked about how we spent the day/night, really meaning, “what did he get you.” The last thing I want, or need, is to feel that I must recap everything else he does for me the rest of the year to justify not getting a gift that cuts the mustard in their eyes.

All The Time
by: Barry Manilow

All the time I thought
There’s only me
Crazy in a way
That no one else could be
I would have given everything I own
If someone would have said you’re not alone

All the time I thought
That I was wrong
Wanting to be me,but needing to belong
If I had just believed in all I had
If someone would have said you’re not so bad

All the time, all the wasted time
All the years, waiting for a sign
To think I had it all
All the time

All the time I thought
There’s only me
Crazy in way that no one else could be
I can’t believe that you where somewhere too
Thinking all the time there’s only you

All the time, all the wasted time
All the years, waiting for a sign
To think I had it all
All the time

ConAgra Foods Peanut Butter Recall


I thought this was important enough to post here. I found this site (Responsible Shopper) that lists extensive profiles on corporations, on The Cleaner Plate Club. I found two jars of the Peter Pan peanut butter and one was half eaten by me… AND another was already eaten. I had gotten 3 jars on sale 3/$5.00. Thank goodness those jars did not have salmonella in them. I am just glad that they were the “honey” variety because I am not giving my baby honey yet.  Otherwise, HE would have been exposed to sickness.  The infected jars are identified by the product code starting with “2111”.

So, as I read about this food company called ConAgra Foods, I decided that I will not give this company my money any longer. They actually own a wide range of food companies from popcorn to meat products. They are linked to several cases of E coli and salmonella. I want to throw up, right now. They own several major, popular food companies. Go on over and take a look. Read the whole profile and learn about excessive earnings by the CEO in only 8 years while the company was not performing excessively well. Learn about animal abuse at their facilities… even turkeys (Butterball) being sexually abused right there on the premises. Learn about financial fraud. Learn about a whole bunch of stuff.

Gladly I saw that I do not use a lot of the products listed there, but it’s no wonder that I rejected most of them for having too many preservatives or sodium. Wesson, Libbys, Swiss Miss, Reddi Whip, Real… the list is very long. Oh, Responsible Shopper has profiles on many, many companies; it’s worth checking out, even if you are not interested in this recall.

Well, I got out tonight to shop for groceries. Not a stitch of Valentine’s stuff left over in the isles… maybe some red M&M’s (not on the list). I really wanted to get out to get my favorite diet soda. I rarely drink soda, but since this diabetes thing, I been feeling really deprived lately, so I had a hankering for it. This great soda is called Canfield’s. It’s chocolate fudge flavored diet soda and it also comes in cherry chocolate. This soda doesn’t even come in non-diet form; or at least I am not aware of it. 0 carbs, 0 sugar, 0 everything… yet it tastes great.

The Lost Boy’s Socks


Okay, I didn’t really want to go out today, but I had had enough. I keep losing my son’s tiny socks in the wash and I just simply can’t find them.  It was so cold outside, and he’d just gotten over a cold… but I was going stir crazy and this seemed like a good excuse to get out.  I get so frustrated because I lose all the socks, especially my own novelty socks… and you know that I can’t even get by with two different ones of those, like I do with one blue and one black.

My son got up again today without his socks on. Oh yes, I know he gleefully pulls them off and I found out he gets a lot of satisfaction “letting” them fall behind the crib. One time I caught him in the act and he looked right at me, grinned, and simply let go!  There were no socks around to use in a pinch, so I decided to excavate the pair he had on last night from the pit. He only had them on a couple of hours before going to bed anyway. I wedged myself underneath that crib and saw there is a blanket hanging down from his mattress that we had used for padding so that the springs would not eat into the mattress (the Drake’s idea). So, I pull up the blanket and this is what I found:

The Lost Boys Socks
Evidently, I stumbled into the Land of the Lost Socks.   I counted 18 pairs of tiny socks.  That little goopy acted like I raided his stash!

Needless to say, I did not go out today.

I Have a Short Story Online.


Yep, Chill has a site, 11 Heavens, that is posting short stories and she asked me to write one. If you are interested, it’s called The Little Tonka That Did. It also happens to be something that I actually did around this time of year, a few years ago- long before Big Drake came along.

Also, for all you writers out there, you might like to contribute a few lines. I am so happy for WordPress and this forum. I never really took to blogging until I found WordPress. I had really missed writing and recently had realized that I was loosing my command of the English language. I feel this is a great way to keep up with the skills and stretch the brain a little… or a lot. This medium is also great for the flexibility it allows for stuff like……….. that! I love computers which allow us to change and rearrange everything we want to say into, hopefully, something beautiful. I love being expressive through the written word… something that is becoming a “Dying Art” in itself. Case in point, all these kids today are NOT required in school to learn how to write in script. Can you imagine that? My niece told me that. She was not required to know how to tell time by the face of a clock!

~Happy February 15th~

Happy Valentine’s Day


Well, I’m sitting here trying to write with my two year old in the next room keening over his lost mommie. Well guys, it looks like I was saved today by the snow. Big Drake called out of work and was home all day! That was a gift in itself. I made oat waffles with Splenda and I must say they were pretty good. Of course, I did not use syrup, but I put some sour cream on them. Then I cleaned up and BD took LD (Little Drake) out of the area to give me some peace.

After a nice leisurely shower, I never came out of our bedroom for the rest of the morning. Beforehand, I stocked it up with my yarn stuff and laptop. Give me those two things, and I can be holed up until the yarn runs out or we have a blackout, whichever comes first. After a while, I presented BD with a card and candy; and of course, he acted surprised (or he was). Strike #1- He made no move to give me anything…. ugh, Mr. Anti-commercialism is in the house! Oh well, I would like to say that “maybe” he was foiled by the snow, but my real suspicion is that he planned on calling out of work all along. I can safely assume that most of the time he is rushing home straight from work so that I can do my stuff… but that doesn’t really wash, either, because there are some days that he doesn’t come right home (when I’m not doing anything) and just last night, he brought home some water from the store. He said something like he would have gotten me candy but I’m diabetic now…. ahem… Strike #2- I put my order in for a little bamboo plant, shaped like a heart, that Walgreens was selling for Valentine’s Day. Uh oh… busted! I can get over that. I’ll just go out and get my own bamboo plant, on clearance at that, with his money… well, because now that I’m not working, it’s all his money anyway.

I am so impressed by myself! I did not say anything about not getting a gift. As the day progressed, he took over watching LD; so I guess my gift was a day off. He even gave the baby a bath… whoo hoo! Hey, this is only the second bath BD has to the baby in his whole life! Ah, as I write, I hear daddy getting son off to bed.

Let me tell you about our dinner. I decided to play devil’s advocate and asked BD what he wanted to do for dinner. He said that he didn’t want to chance going out with all the ice on the ground, so we stayed in. I whipped up some nice shrimp parmigiana with sauce and shrimp from the freezer and pasta. Voila! Great dinner that we both could eat. Wow, what a wife!

While we all ate, I casually said (I am so bad), “Now, wasn’t this better than White Castle?”

Strike #3- His answer was, “Yeah, in a way.” At this point, I’m not really surprised by this answer, and he went on. “They do it up real nice there with flowers and table cloths on the tables.”

I’m like, “Oh yeah?”

“Yeah, they’ve been doing it for the past few years.”

“Is this all the time, or just for Valentine’s Day?”

“Just for today. They decorate it really nice. Next time.” (Strike #4?)

I am thinking, “Next time?” Okay, so now, at least, I get the reasoning behind the insanity. He wants me to see how White Castle celebrates V-Day and how they “draw in” the customers from the Spanish restaurant next door. Yep, thank YOU for the snow. I am still impressed by myself at not making any snotty remarks.

Little Drake is now safely tucked into bed; and to be honest, I would not be writing and posting tonight if Big Drake did not give me a day off… so he’s still the light in my eyes. I’ve been looking at him all day… he’s got no idea what is going through my head. I saw that a couple of times today, he was sort of feeling me out on this no gift thing… and I might be confounding him right now by not mentioning it at all. Now ladies, isn’t that what we live for?

Seriously, I have been through so much in my life. I’ve spent most of my life feeling unbearably lonely. I was married for eight of those years to a man who was overbearing, very self centered, and petty. When God gave me The Drake, he was the greatest gift I could ever ask for. Given my past experience with men, he goes beyond my wildest hopes for a man, love, companion. Never did I believe that I could meet someone like him. Gratitude has been a big part of our relationship. We are both very grateful to God for bringing us together. We both believe that we were groomed, by God, for this very moment, and we are grateful.

Since I discovered my self worth, I’ve been looking for a man who was “worthy” of me. I know that might sound so self centered and egotistical; but that is honestly how I felt. The Drake is someone who inspires me daily to be more than I am by just who he is…. he really does nothing to consciously make me feel that way- it’s just him. That is all that he really needs to do; but he is also a very gentle, loving man. A great father and I am very proud to have him as the father of my child. What you see is what you get, nothing more, nothing less. No games… ever. Sometimes I say something that is supposed to be a joke and he, ever the straight man, he will seriously answer me. Well, I just find it totally endearing.

All strikes are cancelled!

How Labels Hurt


This post was contrived by me after being inspired by Justin V.’s new post, “Let the Judging Begin”.  Tobeme also wrote an article about labels, entitled, “What Labels Are You Wearing?”.  To be honest, my comment on Justin’s site got too long again, and I had to break it up somehow. This part of my comment is also very personal, so I place it here:

Here’s an example of a label being placed on me and how it affected my whole life.  My first grade year the girls wore corsages and brought in cupcakes or goodies on their birthdays.I couldn’t wait for my birthday and hoped that my parents would get me a corsage.I forget if I told them about it or not.

When my birthday came, I got my corsage and went to school, but I didn’t have anything for the class. I think I got recognition from the teacher, but then I did not pass anything out to my classmates. I can still remember the mean kids taunting me because I didn’t have something for them. In particular, a giant of a girl and I remember her twisted, contorted face as she looked over from the next row and berated me because I didn’t have cupcakes. I was mortified and didn’t say anything and it was all I could do to hold back the tears. It felt as if my heart would explode. That stuck with me. To this day, when I cry, it’s the silent cry. I will never show my tears, if I can help it.

I was just a 6 yr old kid and didn’t know anything about such things. Those kids put an unspoken label on me from that incident that said, “target for meanness” and my shyness did not help matters because I did not defend myself, though one time I did get into a fight with a boy.I remember the built up blind rage that exploded that time was unbelievable.  For eight years I was harassed by the kids in my class, made fun of, pranks, you name it.  All the girls in my class would not speak to me because they knew that if they did, THEY would then be shunned as well.  The boys talked to me, but only to taunt me and to curse me and to provoke me into conflict.

It was during my first grade year that my weight ballooned. I know because I’ve seen pictures. Before then, I was a normal sized kid. My first grade pictures, I was much heavier. No body saw anything, nobody noticed. Nothing was done. My parents were useless to me at that time… though I realize that they were inexperienced and those times (mid 60’s) were not like these times. There was no internet or readily accessible source of information. Still, I can’t help but wonder how they did not recognize that I was not myself…. the “me” they had known before I went to school.

I site this example because I wanted to show how deeply labels can hurt. Now, it seems so far away, but it haunts me. I am okay now, but I carried a lot of baggage from this situation for many, many years. I finally let it go in my mid 30’s and I can’t really say that I feel anything about it now, only to say that I will never forget it and pray that I will be a vigilant mother, looking out for hints of problems that may plague my son. H0pefully, he will charm the pants (not literally) off his classmates!

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