Why now? Why wait so long?

I am the victim of sexual assault. It was a long time ago. No, I never reported it. Why? Well, I felt like it was somehow my fault, that no one would believe me, that he would deny it, that I would be humiliated even further. I blamed myself for putting myself in the situation that enabled him to do what he did to me. It took years for me to even acknowledge it was sexual assault, much less deal with the emotional fallout, and trust me, there was a LOT of emotional fallout. It’s not something you ever get over or forget.

All the reasons I never told anyone are all the reasons these women, and men, coming forward now to report sexual assaults, abuses, and harassment rather than years ago when they happened. And all the people pushing back only reinforce the rightness of their silence in the victims’ minds.

I’ve been filled with righteous anger the last couple of weeks at the insensitivity towards these victims, the ignorance of the naysayers saying they must be lying, or that they waited until just this moment to “ruin” the abusers’ lives. They have no idea how much these victims have suffered, how their lives have been ruined. That disbelief, that pushback is exactly why victims keep their mouths shut. Reinforcing that only does more damage, makes them believe maybe it didn’t happen, maybe it wasn’t what they thought, maybe it was their fault and they asked for it.

So stop asking them why now, stop questioning their motives, their motivation for coming forward now. Listen to them, support them, let them know you believe them, and it isn’t their fault what happened to them. Asking “why now” just makes you part of the problem, adds to the rape culture that exists in our world.

It’s Time for More…

I remember the very first time I was volunteering in Big Man’s kindergarten class and they had a lockdown drill. I held it together because, hello, surrounded by 5 year olds, and I didn’t want to make a bad impression upon his teachers, but I got home and fell apart. My little boy was practicing what to do if someone came on campus and started shooting. For all that’s holy, 5 year olds shouldn’t have to know that stuff. But it was part of the routine….they did fire drills, earthquake drills, and lockdown drills. It was, and is, just normal routine for them. That broke my heart then, and it breaks my heart now.

I remember duck-and-cover drills when I was in elementary school. Growing up near the California coast in the midst of the Cold War, and with Vietnam still fresh in everyone’s minds, we were prepared for air raids, along with the usual fire and earthquake drills. I’m sure my parents were a bit freaked their little children were having to learn that stuff. I’ve never asked them. It was just part of life.

We got a call from the district last night….our high schoolers will begin new drills and training – training to run, hide, or fight. I teared up as I listened to that call. My God, what have we allowed happen in our country that our kids have to know how to handle a shooter with a semi-automatic weapon? WTF??!!! That, combined with the massacre in Texas yesterday, plus the Vegas shooting, plus Orlando, plus Aurora, plus Sandy Hook, plus VT…..what does it take? When is it enough to finally enact sensible gun reform? It’s time for more than thoughts and prayers for the families of those slain (not that I’m disdaining anyone’s thoughts or prayers – Lord knows those families need them).

We’re supposed to make the world a better place for our children, give them better lives than we’ve had, right? I don’t feel like that’s happening. As I child I learned what to do if a foreign invader attacked. Our children have had to learn what to do when a fellow citizen decides to take innocent lives. Sorry, but that’s just f’d up.

I get the Second Amendment. Everyone’s guns don’t need to be taken away. But let’s just use a little bit of logic. On the no-fly list? No guns for you. Mental illness (and please remember, I have a child on the spectrum which equates to mental disability)? No guns for you. Been convicted of a felony? No guns for you. Basic, common sense, yes? And why the heck does any private citizen need an attachment for a gun that essentially makes it an automatic weapon, for all intents and purposes? Can we at least admit that much?

Kids should be allowed to remain innocent for as long as possible, and not have to think about a bad guy showing up at their school, their mall, their movie theater, their ballpark, their church to do serious harm. My goodness – we limit what they watch and listen to when they’re children, but yet allow them to be exposed to this possibility?

I’m sure I’m asking for it by writing all of this. But I am so freakin tired of sending thoughts and prayers to the families and friends of those lost to the insanity of a mass-shooting, knowing that even their loss won’t change a damn thing as far as guns are concerned. It’s time for more.

Itis

I have itis…….No specific itis, just itis. There’s physical itis – I am on week 17 of a 19 week half marathon training plan. My right hip has so much itis. My left IT band decided it needed itis for the first time in my life. (Totally used to managing my right IT band). I’m also tired of training. I want the race to be here. So I have training-itis. Mentally getting myself out the door every running day is challenging.

We’re reaching the end of the school year – although, as I mentioned, while Big Man and P have just 7 school days left, Little Man has 19 school days left. It sucks. I have school-mom-itis. I’m over checking grades, checking homework, asking if they have homework, getting kids out the door in the morning, making sure they go to bed at night. Done. Finis. Toast. Exhausted. Drained. ITIS!!!!!

I also have some domestic-itis. I have no motivation for laundry, grocery shopping, Costco trips, dishes, sweeping, vacuuming, making the bed. I make myself do it, because I am a responsible adult, but geeez…..I know now why my mom used to go off the deep end and totally lose her ish whenever we’d roll our eyes and/or groan over what she’d decided to make for dinner. I think one of the most over-rated things of being an adult is choosing what to make for dinner. Don’t even get me started on making sure you actually have what you need to make what you’ve decided you want to eat, nor on actually cooking it, and even less cleaning it up. My bed hasn’t been made in weeks, unless you count yesterday when clean sheets were put on all the beds.

I have a little work-itis too. I do love my job, but I’m struggling with a very-low patience level due to all the other itis’s I’m currently managing, so tedious tasks are, well, tedious, and annoying. I wanted to poke my own eyeballs out while spending two hours on a PowerPoint, only to discover it didn’t save half of what I’d done. Then another spreadsheet just flat out disappeared off my external hard drive. Can’t find it on my computer anywhere. And darn it, I really hate when I forget something or make a mistake. The event I worked today was on the Bay. I sat there and watched boats for half an hour after everyone was checked in and the program was underway. That half hour of quiet and calm is the only thing keeping me sane at the moment.

My mind and body want to float in my pool with a book and a beverage all day, every day. I don’t know what you’d call that particular itis, but I have it. It’s probably the worst itis I have at the moment. I’m sure it’s making all my other itis’s worse, don’t you think? I can hear the water flowing over the edge of the hot tub into the pool. It’s warm outside, and the water looks so inviting. And my float is just floating around the pool, looking lonely. Sigh….

What’s your current itis situation?

The Ending

*Something of a spoiler alert – if you haven’t seen LaLa Land yet (holy wow, who hasn’t seen LaLa Land yet?) But if you haven’t seen it yet, you may want to skip this post, cuz I tell you the ending…….*

 

I bought the LaLa Land DVD when it came out recently. I haven’t watched it though. The Princess and I did see it when it was in theaters, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch it again. Here’s why – the ending still haunts me. I still haven’t been able to decide if I liked it or not. And since we’ve kind of been in an emotional place in recent months, neither P nor I felt ourselves in a place to be able to handle it. Heck, the music is enough to make me cry.

I did really love the movie, but that ending…..Did you like it, if you saw it? I get it – it’s more real life than most movies. We don’t always end up getting forever with that one person who was with us during a time we’re becoming, we’re discovering, we’re learning about ourselves. I had one of those – a boy I dated right out of college. I was starting my career, really figuring out what I wanted to do with my life, and I was making plans. Turns out he wasn’t supposed to be Mr. Forever, he was just Mr. Right Then. It took me a few years to figure that out, and I don’t regret that one minute. He encouraged me in so many ways, helped me grow and learn. And we had some amazing adventures together. He was there for me at a pivotal point in my life. But we both ended up married to other people, and that’s as it should be. Spouse is my Mr. Forever, and has stood by my side through things I don’t know that other boy would have been able.

My deal is this – when I go to a movie, I don’t tend to want reality. Hello! I’m there to escape reality. That means the boy gets the girl, and the girl gets the boy, and it’s forever. Amen, and pass the popcorn. I had NO CLUE I was going to get a dose of reality at the end of this movie. For real – who puts real life at the end of a magical musical? It was like a punch to the gut at the end. It took me weeks to recover. I think that’s a big part of why the music still gets to me.

P and I talked about it. We both kind of go back on forth on whether we liked it or not. What’s your take?  Should it have had a happy ending? Or did you consider this a happy ending after all? I mean, she is married with a beautiful child, and is a successful actress, but she’s not married to the guy who helped her get there, the guy who stood by her side as she worked towards her dreams and began to see them realized. There still seemed a certain sadness, a what if, to her at the end. And he definitely seemed sad, even if he did fulfill his dream of having his own jazz club. I didn’t walk away with an “everyone is fine” feeling. I’m leaning towards it not being a happy ending, and it making me sad.

Checking Out

We have been on non-stop go since Christmas. Yes, Spring Break was just a few weeks ago, and we did take a trip, but it was work getting ready for that trip, and work when we got back. Then I had a HUGE work event  on Friday, followed the  next day by a fundraiser we hold at our home every year.  Took me three days to dig out from those, and there’s still event-reconciliation for both to accomplish. Here’s the thing – my mind and body both said “NO!” this morning. I’m tapped out. Exhausted – physically and mentally. So I declared today a check-out day. Do you ever take those?

I take maybe two check-out days a year. That doesn’t include summer days by the beach or pool, etc. This is me, at home, doing nothing. So much harder, because every domestic chore stares me in the face all day. It takes discipline to be home and take a check-out day. It’s good for the soul, trust me. I know every once in a great while, I need a check-out day, where I put responsibilities aside as much as possible, and just laze mentally and physically. Today has been that day.

I did get two kids up and out, including making breakfast. Once Little was delivered to school, I returned home to my lovely couch, coffee, and the Today Show. Oh, I did put a load of laundry in, and I did actually work for about an hour, but then it was on. Couch surfing time. I binged five of the twelve episodes of  This Is Us I have on the DVR. I had lunch. I did swap the laundry to the dryer. And I also begged my neighbor for a cold Diet Coke since my kids drank all we had, and I didn’t have it in me to drive the 3/4 mile to the 7-11 up the street. I even went and got the mail from the box down the street. But other than that, I’ve been checked out.

I just did an evaluation of my motivation level – still not there. So I’m going to cut myself some slack. I don’t have to be super-person every day. Some days, you just need to let it all go. It will still be there tomorrow. Dishes don’t walk themselves out the door. Dry laundry can stay in the dryer for a bit -that’s what the 20 minutes cycle is there for, isn’t it? And dinner? Well, since Spouse has an event, I have a distinct feeling it’ll be a take-out kind of night. Tomorrow, I will be back to regularly-scheduled programming.

Sleeping Beauty or That Girl Can Fall Asleep Anywhere

I wrote this post nearly two years ago. But “girl sleeping” seems to be a frequent search term, because it pops up in my stats as “viewed” at least twice a week. Even two years later, she still falls asleep anywhere and everywhere. She is a super busy girl, and goes and goes until she drops, and/or we have meltdown. This is her, this is part of her story…..I thought I’d re-share since it gets hits pretty frequently.  Happy Weekend!

So, the Princess has been a wee bit ignored lately what with March for Babies focusing our thoughts on Big Man’s prematurity,  and it being Autism Awareness Month turning our minds towards Little Man and his stuff. I’m here to remedy that this afternoon.

This girl can fall asleep anywhere, and she usually does. She hated napping and going to bed when she was an infant and toddler. She would fight it tooth and nail. She didn’t want to be held to fall asleep. She preferred her bouncy seat, exersaucer, crib, pack-n-play…anywhere but in someone’s arms. She just didn’t particularly like to sleep where or when you expected her to sleep. This made for some interesting discoveries, especially after she learned how to climb out of her crib (at a ridiculously young age for my liking, mind you). She would go and go and go, until she dropped wherever she was, and I mean that literally. We have video of her sound asleep, and snoring, laying up the stairs. We have photos of her hanging half off her bed, on her back. I have pictures of her sleeping pretty much everywhere. Some samples: IMG_0074 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

across her pillow across recliner after beach after slumber party after soccer arms across e in the car booster sleeping on the stairs

I’ll give her this…in almost all of the above photos, we were either at the beach, at soccer, skiing, or at dance before she passed out and photos were taken.

Nowadays, if you put her in the car for more than five minutes, she’s out. You would think that with all the time she and I spend in the car together, we would get some good mother/daughter, one-on-one time. Not so much. She falls asleep on the way to the studio and on the way home from the studio. It is rather entertaining to watch her head start to bob, and then we hit the curvy road and she falls over. She doesn’t even try to fight it anymore. Airplane to DC? She was out before we were over Arizona.  On the way home, I don’t even think she made it to takeoff. It’s kind of her thing now, part of her story.  Seems almost appropriate – I call her Princess, and she could qualify as Sleeping Beauty. That girl can sleep anywhere.

Is it over yet?

I know I’m not alone in saying I can’t wait for this election to be over. It’s gotten so ugly out there. I’ve unfollowed so many people in the last few months. I’m now  a pro at hitting that little downward arrow in the upper right corner of posts. Good grief. I haven’t unfollowed just the people supporting the “other” candidate either. It’s been across the board unfollowing. I can’t take it anymore.

There was an interesting segment on 60 Minutes last night with a panel of voters – decided, and undecided, voting for someone, and voting against someone. The person doing the interviewing – a man who’s been doing this a very long time – said he’s never seen anything like this, the way everyone on the panel was talking over each other, getting so angry, not listening to anyone else at all. It was a sad statement on our society.

I’d been blaming it on the 24-hour news cycle. The media has to hype even the smallest scandals or slip-ups, drawing them out, sucking the life out of every little thing, then re-hash it for days. I do think it’s contributed to our elections becoming a three-ring circus, full of mud-slinging, half-truths, insults, and a complete loss of integrity.

What I’ve come to realize in the course of the last year is that social media is just as much, if not more, to blame. First of all, social media is the biggest rumor mill outside of high school. Ever play the telephone game? Multiply that times oh, about 3 billion or so. Everyone  has a platform, a public voice. Too many people choose to exercise that voice without ever fact checking what they’re repeating or re-posting. It’s so easy to sling insults from behind the safety of a keyboard and computer screen – when you never have to see the person you’re sending a bunch of horrible words towards. I’ve watched long-term friendships go down in flames over stupid Facebook posts within the last year.

I have two teenagers and one almost-teenager. They’re very aware what’s going on. We don’t censor much.  I’ve watched the behavior of kids their age spiral back to a place we’ve worked so hard to crawl out of….This election  has led too many kids to believe it’s okay to say horrible things, write horrible things about those who are different in any way. We’ve shut it down with our children – reminding them this is just NOT okay behavior, and won’t be tolerated no matter what they see being accepted as the norm around them. It’s sad, and it’s heartbreaking.

I can’t wait for tomorrow to be over, for this election to be done. I have a bad feeling all the bad feelings aren’t going to end, however, with the end of this election cycle. I pray this isn’t how people are going to be from here on out. I pray we will be able to heal, recover, re-group, and support whomever is elected. Until then, I think I’m going to just hide over here in my little corner of the world, with my family, my friends,  and some chocolate. Tell me when it’s over.

PS…Yes, I did vote.