Life With Bully

I follow George Takei on Facebook and I read his posts pretty much daily. I don’t care if he has a team of assistants who post for him or not, I generally find about 50% of what he posts interesting.

Today he shared a Whisper post (through Buzzfeed) about the parents of bullied children. Like I said, I always read the posts from his page – but furthermore, I always go to the comments to see what the real people are saying.

See the Buzzfeed post/Whispers here.

Some of them have such heart wrenching stories.

I can’t even begin to imagine being the parent of a child who is being bullied for things that are out of their control – like their child having glasses, or being short or having a scar etc.

When we become parents we immediately and fiercely love our offspring and to see them hurting or struggling with something like bullying can be so infuriating and can make you question so many things.

Like, “why can’t others see how awesome my child is?”

And it can be equally as sad to know that your child’s once pure and carefree heart is now betrodden with thoughts of self-doubt and worry of what the next day brings. It can be so heartbreaking to see their innocence get stripped from them unwillingly. It takes away a bit of their spirit and turns it into dark matter.

The confusing part of this is that we often equate The Bully as being some sort of delinquent or dehumanized oppressor.

This idea is false.

I can almost guarantee that the majority of the time The Bully is just as loved as the victim.

As much as I can’t imagine being the parents of a bullied child, I also think about being that parent who discovers that their child is being nasty towards someone else. The shame that would course through my body would be apparent. None of us want our children to be the bad guy in stories or the Regina George’s in school.

We want our children to be good people.

We want others to look at our kids and think, “Wow, they did a great job raising these remarkable young humans.”

But, they aren’t going to come by this goodness magically.

I know there are some children who have had the shitty end of the stick and their bullying ways come from a history of abuse and learned behavior. It is common for anger and rage to be a coping mechanism and that is very unfortunate. Not only are these kids a victim, but they continue to victimize and try to push the pain onto someone else. I hope that in today’s world these children are given more of a chance than they are discarded and seen as a lost cause.

I know elementary and Pre-K bullying can be all kinds of rough. How do you deal with parents who won’t acknowledge the problem (or even care) and how do you communicate with the children effectively enough to put an end to it?

I can’t give any insight into that situation because I have never encountered it. I have dealt with a bit of middle school drama, but nothing major. My oldest girl has had things run pretty smoothly for her. She’s chill, pretty level-headed and deals with any escalating drama in the most diplomatic of ways. Pretty awesome for an almost 14 year-old. I can only hope my youngest’s school days turn out so smoothly.

 

I do remember my own first week of grade 7 – I had an older girl yell at my from across the yard that she didn’t like me because I looked like someone else she didn’t like. It made me nervous. She probably gave me a few cold stares in the hallway and a couple of shoulder bumps, but nothing to the extent that happens with incessant bullying.

This happened a couple of times over the span of my middle school and high school life. I had another girl rag on me pretty hard (unwarranted as I barely knew her) when I became pregnant in grade 12. But, by then I didn’t give a shit what people said about me. If it wasn’t physically hurting me, I didn’t care.

If anything else happened to me, it wasn’t significant enough to be emblazoned in my memory bank.

As an adult I have learned that bullies – or Assholes, as adult bullies are called – usually always back down when they realize their target is a bit harder to hit than they thought. Whenever I have fought back or showed by bullies up or given them back some of their own medicine, they almost always back down.

I know this doesn’t always work with child bullies because The Bully often doesn’t give up so easily. It can be kind of fun for them to have a bit of a challenge. That’s why kids think it is such a time to play the same level in a video game over and over and over. They do it until they think they win.

Then again, I know have also deterred my bullies/assholes by killing them with kindness. It doesn’t always work, but sometimes it is so satisfying to see the realization come over someone’s face that the road they take is a lot lower than they think – and it is a shock to their system to realize they get zero respect for doing it.

The childhood bully won’t always walk away from a situation like that and sometimes the child victim is not even going to try to sway them by being nice.

Do you want to know why this happens?

Sur-fucking-prise!

…It is because we are all different and we handle different situations in different ways. EVEN AS CHILDREN.

Every.single.thought.

Every.single.action.

Every.single.reaction.

Can get a completely different response from different people/bullies/victims because we all think, act and react in different ways.

There is no concrete solution to end bullying.

Each bullying situation is completely and entirely unique. So, when I see blanket statements like, “The victim just needs to stand up for themselves!” or, “Just ignore it.” I get a bit enraged.

It isn’t just a matter of teaching our kids to be more confident, how to defend themselves, how to read people, or to just be good.

We need to teach them ALL OF THOSE THINGS and more.

We also need to listen. We need to listen to them with EVERYTHING. Our ears and our eyes are great observers, but our hearts tell us when things are a little off. We need to actually hear our kids when they tell us something isn’t right. We need to admit and be open-minded when we realize our child is a victim or even the one victimizing. I know it can be really hard to realize your child has hard time coping with a terrible situation, or maybe they are The Bully, but it isn’t going to change them or a damn thing about the situation just because you know about it. We need to take action.

We have to talk to our kids. Show them what empathy is. Teach them about self-respect and kindness and what it feels like to take the high road.

Let other people help your kids, too. Not every one of us has the answers. Someone else might have a better idea or a clearer view of the situation. Just because you had a child doesn’t mean you are an All-Seeing and All-Knowing Deity. Sometimes we just need some damn help helping our own kids. On the flip, if we see a kid that isn’t getting that help, the right talk or learning experience, we shouldn’t be hesitant to step up.

Dog-fuck civilization when it thinks it doesn’t take a village to raise a child.

 

Love Yourself (and yo’ kids),

Allison

Bully

 

See You on the Other Side

Do you remember us?

We used to be fun, spontaneous and down right self-absorbed. It was magnificent.

Back when we had our childless weekends together, when my oldest daughter would stay at her Dad’s, when we would stay up all night with friends, spend the day in our jammies and make grueling decisions like, “do we go to the grocery store for snacks, or do we just hit the drive-through?” Since one of those options included putting on bottoms other than pajama pants, we would usually go for the latter. 

We had no one to tell us how to live and we did what we wanted. Even our bodies were happily put through the abuse they endured – sleepless nights, too much alcohol, long trips on the four-wheeler, sunburns and bed aches.

 

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Fast Forward to present-day and the table has been flipped upside down.

We no longer get to choose how long we sleep, or when it happens – thanks to a toddler who still does not sleep through the night. Our activity options are also limited. Most of our plans have to include our kids, otherwise they just aren’t going to work for us.

Really, having a childfree night would be nice, but the thought of putting ourselves through an all-nighter on purpose sounds like mere fucking torture. Sleep is so important to us now, but instead of sleeping all day, we try to make sure we get the right kind of sleep at the right time – you know, like at night.

This stage of our lives can be lonely and is really hard.

We are raising babies and teenagers, yet trying to work enough to ensure our future.

It is a grindstone – and even when the weekend comes along, there isn’t enough time in two days to make up for the time missed during the week.

As for friends – OUR FRIENDS –

Since there is barely enough time for my husband and I to be with each other, and also take care of ourselves and our children, and managing our property or what-have-its – my DEAR FRIENDS…

…there is barely enough time for you.

When I do make time specifically for an evening out with friends or an event, it is calculated to the max.

Do I need a sitter? Do I need someone to watch the dog? Am I going to need to take a cab home? If I need a cab, how will we manage to get my car in the morning? If the toddler goes to a sitter, how many snacks do I pack? Do I actually have to wear real clothes or will my yoga pants suffice?

Long gone are the days of trying to decide between the grocery store and drive-throughs. Our priorities are in a vastly different order than they once were and are balanced very delicately.

It only takes one raucous and sleep deprived night to ruin an entire week in this house.

I totally understand that it can be frustrating to not see someone you once had friend-affair with. We were together a lot – almost inseparable at times.

But, do you really want to see us now? Do you want to chill with tired, worn out us?

We promise that we love you. If we didn’t love you, we wouldn’t have so much respect for you to realize that we don’t see you quite enough. We honestly wish we had more time for you all – and we are sorry that this has happened.

But, here is the bright side:

Somehow this will all get easier.

We will figure out how to balance our lives a little better.

Our children won’t be quite so schedule dependent and maybe we will get to sleep easier and with that our days will come easier too.

We will never forget our fun ass times we had together. We won’t forget the memories we made and the histories we have developed with our Dearest Friends.

So when that time comes –

Don’t forget us.

We will see you on the other side.

 

Love Yourself,

Allison

 

How I Inadvertently Bought a Body Modification Device

Read title.
Say, “What?”
Uh huh, you read that right.
I had a wedding coming up and knew I would be wearing a bit of a form fitting dress.
I like Spanx, OK?
When I have some event to go to, or want to tuck in the little jiggly bits, I wear Spanx.
There is no shame in that…ok, there is a little bit of shame, but it is warranted.
After you have a couple of children, something’s gotta give, and it is usually the skin’s elasticity.
Hence, Spanx.
So, I was in need of a new pair of Spanx or the like and lo’ and behold, there on my facebook timeline was an ad for what looked like some sort of shapewear.
They were $9.99.
I measured myself and was a bit disappointed that I had to get the largest size they had available, but I figured it was probably a Chinese company and that is pretty normal for me.
I am not a size 2, after all.
I also figured even if it wasn’t as good as Spanx, I only paid $10 for it.
Deal was done.
A few weeks later I forgot I even bought it. Online shopping surprises are the best!
I was going about my day and went for my mail run and saw a package!
I opened the packet and pulled out this:
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It looked legit.
I tried it on and it held in my jiggles, and it even had some boning that promised to maintain its shape throughout my inevitable dancing the evening of the wedding.
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Or maybe I looked a bit like an overstuffed sausage…whatever.
Then I noticed it came with a note that said it was for “waist training.”
It came with no directions or really any indications that it was anything more than a shapewear you use occasionally.
I decided to check out waist-training on the internet.
I thought it would be some idea of wearing the shapewear while you work out to help with core stability or something.
Nope.
It is a little more fucked up than that.
Waist training is using corsets to cinch in the midriff and essentially compact the organs so you appear to have a smaller waist.
The pictures online were remarkable. I am not sure how else to put it.
They were remarkably weird, extreme, exaggerated and Kardashian.
Fucking obviously THEY had to come in here somewhere. Effin’ Kardashians.
I was a little shocked that this is a thing.
I don’t think the one I bought is meant to do the things some of the pictures on the internet suggested.
Google: “Extreme waist training”
What the mother eff is that about?
No thanks.
If this is what they want, fine. You want to look like a woman nearly cut in half, fine.
Do you want to prance around with your organs shifted so it looks like you have an hour glass figure? Fine.
You have to deal with the effects of the potential damage it creates. That’s your deal, not mine.
Man I was surprised at the amount of people into this kind of thing.
All I wanted was a little jiggle help.
I just wanted to tuck in some bits and wear a pretty dress and feel like I could glide across the dance floor without working about my jiggly-wigglies.
So, I will tell you, I did end up wearing the waist trainer to the wedding.
I had no time to go buy new Spanx, so it was done.
I could have worn my old Spanx, but the hole I made in the crotch from doing the splits at my other friend’s wedding had begun to show even more wear.
So there I was, waist training it up – I even ate a meal with this buggar on.
However, I took it off once the dancing began because it interfered with my Tootsie Roll moves.
And wouldn’t you know it, not one person fucking cared that I had a little jiggle action.
Not one.
My waist trainer shamelessly sits on my dresser with half of the parts of my now-unused breast pump.
…Toddler likes to use the cones to the breast pump as mini megaphones.
Love Yourself,
Allison

 

Why We Gotta Be So Assholish?

I think I am naturally quite an asshole.
I work really hard at not being one.
There was a time I didn’t care and would tear a strip off someone or totally confront someone over petty matters and basically be an all around dick – but I realized how exhausting and self destructive it was.
I blame it on being a spoiled youngin’ raised in a healthy home full of sarcasm, general pickiness and the ever-so-often, “Mum and Dad should have told you that you were adopted.”
Note: Not adopted.
Basically, I come from a long line of assholes.
Just kidding – I love my family… most days.
But, seriously now, I truly feel like the world is currently comprised of a lot of people who think being a jerk is the thing to do.
After all, being a jerk and being known as The Jerk, can kind of give you free reign to become more and more terrible without any consequences, amirite?
The Kicker is: Once you have The Jerk label, it is a tough one to shake.
I am sure there are plenty of people who regard me in this light.
It isn’t really anyone that matters in my life currently, but what if the tides changed and someday I find myself wanting to get a job with someone who thought I was an asshole?
Or in a far off place I actually made friends with someone, but then their opinion of me got skewed by someone who knew The Jerk me? There goes another BFF… again.
I think well all have memories of that one person in our lives who treated us like crap – and maybe treated everyone else like crap too – and was The Jerk from the get go.
These instances and that label could have happened when we were children, yet in our minds that dude is still The Jerk.
Who gives a shit that they donate a portion of their paycheck to charity and is a great mentor to our local youth?
They are THE JERK, GODDAMMIT!
Also, as long as someone else is The Jerk, the label does not fall onto anyone else.
Yeah, that’s right. You may even get away with being a bit sly and wankerish every now and then, because you know you will never live up to the expectations of The Jerk – especially if The Jerk’s within your tight social circle.
As for myself, you can ask my husband and he will flat out tell you that I am not a sweet little wifey who is so darling and nice.
Nope. I am still a little bit assholish sometimes.
We don’t fight much, but I am so very much pig headed and stubborn that I declare I win all the arguments.
If I do not win all the arguments, another argument will ensue so I even up the tally.
I am also the worst opponent in a board game ever…
…and cards. I am kind of a dick when I play cards.
Winning. I win everything.
Win or die.
But, I have #GOALS you guys.
Working on myself comes in so many forms.
I am physically trying to be better, mentally trying to be better and outwardly just trying to be better as well.
I know we all think we are good guys – even The Jerk can sometimes think they are doing nothing wrong – and it takes a lot of self-evaluation to see that a personality trait needs to change.
It also takes mental strength to purposefully interact with people in a different way than you have been used to for so long.
MXLLS
 
 – Gone are the days when I use someone’s flaws to get a laugh from someone else.
I haven’t done that in a really long time and I always found it to be the most hurtful when it happened to me. (Also, the days of laughing at those jokes coming from someone else are gone as well.)
 – Gone are the days when I judged someone solely on how they looked. I am a pretty clear fucking example of “Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover” myself. I can expand this further by not judging them on what their socio-economic status is. You don’t have to have a yacht to be my bud – although that would be pretty sweet.
– Gone are the days of not talking to someone because I thought our meeting was irrelevant or insignificant. Saying “Hello” to the bridge toll guys or asking a cashier how their day is going is not going to fucking hurt. Although, as a stay at home mom, I will yak some of their ears off. GIVE ME ADULT INTERACTION!
– Gone are the days of worrying about how other people live and caring about their counterpart gossiping hens and the twisted words they weave. Someone out there may be talking about me at this very moment. Trust me, I am just trying to live life how I want and how I think will suit me and my family best – so is everyone else – even if you don’t always agree with the choices they make.
Those are just a small fraction of the things that I feel like have changed for me.
In my journey to be a better person I can often come across as intense and a bit scattered.
It is all because I want to relate to everyone.
I want to listen. No one else seems to be listening, so someone has to genuinely do it.
I also want to care about some people other than myself and my immediate family.
So, I guess this means something.
Buh-bye, Jerk Face.
So long, Asshole.
Hello, Mrs. IamWorkingOnIt.
Love Yourself,
Allison
PS) I still CRUSH at Monopoly. Crib is a whole-otha-level of bitchassiness.