I have pending blogs. But I also have computer issues. I will get them up as soon as I can. Keep reading the other awesome blogs around here!
What about the kids? November 15, 2011
Yesterday while I was driving and doing my Monday errands, I heard an ad on the radio for a segment to be aired today about what the victims of Coach Sandusky of Penn State might do to seek treatment and help to deal with the abuse they suffered. It got me thinking, “What about the kids?”
We have heard a lot from the media about child abusers in the last few years from priests to teachers to this latest scandal. As a society, we need to show each other that this behavior will not be tolerated, so these people need the negative media attention they are getting. But what about the kids they affect? When do we show them transform from victims into survivors? When do we point the countless other victims of low profile to no profile cases in the direction of help?
I have long felt that American media lacks balance. This is no different. I have been following a page on Facebook whose administrator is in another country. She is trying to raise awareness about the long-range effects of sexual abuse on people. I count myself lucky to live in a place where people realize how horrifying it is to treat a child in this way. But I don’t think we do enough. If all we do is demonize the perpetrator and don’t offer enough resources to the victims, we have only done half of our job.
The children that Sandusky hurt are going to need a lifetime of support. Your neighbor’s children who you don’t even know are being abused are going to need a lifetime of support. Will you know where to point them when they come to you for help? What if it’s your child? Where will you go? If you, like me and have no idea, we as a society need to do a better job of publicising what resources are available and make sure there is enough to go around.
Growing Up November 8, 2011
About a month ago I went to my twenty year high school reunion. I had hemmed and hawed about going right up until that week. I had chickened out on the ten-year reunion. Like many people, I was not exactly a cool kid in high school. Amongst the towns surrounding my own home town, we are known for being cruelly snobbish. So, not being a part of the “in crowd” seemed particularly harsh for some of us.
Looking back, it wasn’t so harsh. I wasn’t made fun of. No one told me they didn’t like me. There were a few people who I could sit with at lunch or during a free period. None the less, I had this feeling of not fitting in and that people didn’t like me. So why would I want to go to my reunion?
I seem to be at one of those points in life where I have to choose a direction. I can not be as aimless as I have been for the past few years. My recollections of high school and my current difficulty in making friends has been holding me back. I had to go to the reunion to let go of the past.
My childhood best friend went with me. (Neither of our husbands were interested in going.) We said hello to the people we had been friendly with. We waved to people we recognized. I shared bend over minimum contact hugs with some of the women. We had many quick conversations that went pretty much the same way. “What are you doing now? Do you have kids? Where do you live?”
After about an hour, my friend and I left to go have coffee and a real conversation to discuss the nitty-gritty of our lives. She asked me point-blank questions about my life with my husband (he has a mental illness) and listened sympathetically to the crap that goes along with being married to him. She smiled about the wonderful things that go along with being married to him. I did the same for her. Her life, like everyone’s, has not been all peaches and cream either.
Was the reunion a waste of time? No. It was just what I needed. Any fantasies I harbored about those people have vanished. They are all just like me – trying to work and support their families wherever they are and whatever career they have chosen. The nice guys are all married or gay. The women are mostly mothers who were glad to have an evening with adults and away from their kids.
This has freed me to realize why I didn’t have more friends back then and why I have so few now. I am a very closed person. Not just shy, but closed. I don’t tell very many people anything meaningful about myself. Anyone is welcome to the surface of me. But few people are welcome to the emotions and true thoughts within me. How can I expect anyone to want to spend a lot of time and bare their soul to me if I can’t reciprocate?
So, now what? Now, I grow up. I see what it takes to have a relationship and I see that I am a likeable person. It wasn’t my classmates not liking me. It was me not giving them a chance to find out if they liked me. Does this mean that I am going to overshare with everyone I meet now? Probably not. Opening a tightly locked gate is not easy. But I am utterly relieved to know that it was a locked gate within me and not people rejecting me for mean reasons. I wonder what I will learn about myself in another twently years?
Bridges November 6, 2011
Do you burn bridges behind you? I don’t. I hate confrontation. When it is time for a relationship to end, I generally go quietly without a fuss. If a relationship has been important to me, I may cry and grieve over the loss, but I don’t go away in a dramatic display causing me to never want to face that person again.
In particular, I think of a few friendships that have ended over the years. I had one friend, I use that term loosely, that I spent a lot of time with. We traveled together, ate a lot of dinners together, watched movies together, etc… But when I look back on the relationship, I was the one always calling her. She often cancelled on me. Then she stopped returning my calls. Was I being rejected? Yes. Because she didn’t like me? No. It turns out that this person is rather self-centered. She is there for me when it fits into her schedule.
Not too long ago she called to apologise for not having time for her friends for a couple of years due to problems in her relationship with her now ex-boyfriend. Then she launched into a litany of her current problems and asked for advice. This took about an hour. She asked how I was. But I wasn’t sure how to fit three or four very challenging years into one conversation. The day she called, things were good. I had called her from time to time when I needed a shoulder. She had neither picked up the phone, nor called back. When I needed the support, she wasn’t there. I don’t like to rehash problems. So, I didn’t rehash, I just told her I was having a good day and thanks for calling.
I haven’t heard from her since beyond a few facebook comments. Nor have I picked up the phone to call her. I don’t think I ever will again. I have learned who is actually there when I need to cry. Did I burn the bridge that connects me to her? No. But I have decided not to cross it again. Should I burn it and tell her I no longer want to have a “friendship?” I don’t think that’s necessary. I have cried my tears over what I thought I had with her. She can call me if she wants. Maybe I will pick up. I don’t know.
The not so writing life November 4, 2011
I love to write. I have written several books. But I lack motivation. I have not shopped my stories around. Now they seem trite and not very good because I last looked at them when I was about 25 or so. Now that I am 37, I am making another stab at it. Of course, the daily obstacles to writing are much bigger. There are facebook accounts to check, work to do so not only I, but my family can eat, facebook to check, dinner to make, facebook. You get the idea.
Happily, I have an idea for a new story with some new characters. If they get out of my head and onto paper, I will gladly share them with the world. It’s time for this little girl to grow up and find herself a job, not just and income.
As I hate “New Year’s resolutions,” I will make a general resolution to write daily. Even if I only get a few words down onto the page, I will do it. Even if it means just five minutes before passing out in bed, I will get a sentence or two written. I am counting on the blogosphere to keep me on my game here. Check in and ask if I have done any story writing lately. You might want to find me on facebook though. It’s where I am most often.
You can find me on facebook as Workin Momma or click here: http://www.facebook.com/meghantellsit