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Douchetruckery

It’s five am. Which I guess makes it really early in the morning and no longer late at night. The things I think about when I’ve hit that level of so-over-tired-I-can-no-longer-sleep are odd. So. Welcome to the shit I think about at five A.M. And the reason why I don’t sleep much. Sorry. This may make you want to drink Draino. You were warned.

I wrote a comment about god on someones blog post recently. It was a really good comment and it was probably the only time I’ve ever been able to really explain my views coherently. And blogger ate it. It’s not something I can recreate, because it will never be as good.
I hate that. It happens with lost blog posts too. Words just disappeared into the void, eaten by the impermanence of Internet, never to be seen again.
Sometimes the Internet seems almost more real than reality. We have conversations here, make life long friends, even meet our future lovers. We change peoples life for the better, or at times for the worse. And it’s all with the words and images we share. Words and images that can spread like wildfire, reaching people you’d never imagined being able to reach. A celebrity you adore might come across a tweet or blog post you’ve created, someone you admire from afar might actually read your words, and for a second, you’ll be connected. You might make a stranger smile today. You might make a friend think. Or, your words might hurt someone. Or, you know, be eaten by fucking blogger and never be seen again.


Speaking of reaching out to people, I’ve started a new project. It is called Strangers With Kindness and it’s about using the incredible magic superpowers that the Internet has given us all to make a difference in peoples lives. It’s about making the world a better place, one person, one story at a time. We will be sharing stories that highlight the good in people. That tell of how total strangers have reached out a hand to a fellow human in need and made their day.
Not only will we be sharing those stories, but we will be making them ourselves. We are going to find people out there who need a ray of sunshine in their lives, and we are going to Love Bomb them.
It’s going to be amazing. You want to be involved. The feeling you get from helping someone in need, for no reason other than to be awesome, is like no other feeling in the world. You want to feel that feeling. Trust me.

I’d actually planned on like, sleeping a bit tonight. But then the vomit fairy made a stop by my place. She’s a bitch, that fairy. She took out the eight-year-old just for the fuck of it. And for no reason that we can discern, other than to torture her, (and her mother) a bit. Thankfully, after seven straight hours of spewing out of all orifices, the worst seems over.
It’s funny how kids seem to be able to remain in high spirits even between bouts of side splitting poop-stravaganzas.
Us adults on the other hand are whiny crybabies, and if my husband catches this and I have to listen to him moan about how he’s never been so sick before in his life and he means it this time, for REAL, I’m probably going to have to smother him with my red throw pillow.
Don’t worry. As long as there is one wife on that jury, I’m getting off.


Kira got a card from her sisters today. At one point Vi writes “I love you and I miss you like heck!”
This kills me. These people are destroying the lives of four children.
I miss them both so painfully it hurts. But Violet, she gets to me the most. Because, Vi, is MY child you see. There’s a much longer story in here, but the abridged version is that she’s mine. She’s not theirs. Me and my ex were separated when she was conceived. I made some, er, unwise choices, being as I was, overcome with grief and rage after my then-boyfriend of five years and father of our then less-than-one-year-old-daughter confessed that he had been having an affair with the only woman I was allowed to have a friendship with. So, I ended up pregnant with Vi, in the usual way, and her “real” father claimed he was sterile and there was no possible way she could exist. And walked out. After cutting my brake lines.
Cue my ex-husbands brothers horrible tragic death in the middle of this Springer-esque drama, and we end up back together. I’d just discovered I was pregnant- eleven weeks or so at that-and I was very upfront and honest about it. He decided he would pretend the child was his and that was that. Everyone in our families knew and this led to his mother getting drunk one night and spending five hours trying to threaten, coerce, intimidate and plead with me to have an abortion. At twenty-four weeks. She also proceeded to tell me about her abortions which started at age fifteen, and how they weren’t so bad. She ended the night by telling me “Well at least she won’t be ugly” after having seen a picture of the biological father.
Anyway, my ex, (let’s call him “Rex” from now on.) threatened me with abandonment if I didn’t let him sign the paternity papers at the hospital. One of his favorite ways to keep me in line was to tell me if I ever tried to leave him or dud X, Y or Z, he’d leave me and take the kids and I’d be fucked, because I had no money, no skills, no job, no friends and no car. All carefully orchestrated by him, mind you. (The very first thing I did during that first split was finally get my drivers license, which, at age 20, I’d never been allowed to do.)
I digress. The point is, he signed the papers though I wanted to leave the birth certificate blank. It was obvious when she was born that she wasn’t his, based on blood type alone.
(He has since claimed he had a paternity test done proving she is in fact his. She’s not. Mathematically, and scientifically not possible. Besides that, she’s the exact female replica of her bio-father. Like EXACT.)
The point is, she is living with people who treat her like shit and let her sister beat the crap out of her, and who have no biological ties to her whatsoever. I’m not saying you have to be related by blood to have a living bond with a child, far from it. But I am saying, Rex, and his mother have made it quite clear that her sister is the favorite and they only keep Vi around to placate her. She’s the one that deals with the full force of her sisters diseases and disorders. She keeps her sister out of their hair, occupies her so they don’t have to.
And the last time she was here, she begged me, in tears to please PLEASE get her away from them, and her sister. Please.
And oh gods, I tried baby. I really did. She was absolutely terrified. The look or horror in her face when I told Rex and his mother what she wanted was pure fear. They both claimed if it was what she wanted they’d support it and then immediately started with the manipulation. They had signed her up for voice lessons, bought her a new bedroom set. Started sending her pictures of her beloved dogs daily, reminding her that she couldn’t take them of course. And once they went home they started grilling them about every second of their time here, twisted every.single.thing. Until the whole trip, in both their minds was a horror story of screaming and suck. The accounts my ex mother-in-law spewed at me of what she thinks happened here last summer were so incredibly fucked up, exaggerated and warped that it’s no wonder the kids “chose” not to come back this summer.
So yeah. My child was kidnapped and is now being mind fucked and abused. And I can’t do a damn thing about it.
She’s on fucking Klonopin to make her sleep. She wets the bed at ten still. She’s on Focalin or some shut for her supposed “ADHD”. Basically, she is drugged so they can control her. She was off all that shut for nearly three months when she was here- and sugar too, don’t even get me started on what these people feed these kids-and she was FINE. Perfect. Awesome and happy.
Fucking fuck. Just…fuck.

And this is why I shouldn’t write at five AM either.

Recently, this seasons contestants for the ABC show ” Dancing With The Stars” were announced. Among them this year is Chaz Bono.

Yes, it seems Bono is the child of Sonny and Cher. He’s also transgendered. Born female, Bono now identifies as a man.I don’t know many of the details or specifics here, and though I could look them up, frankly, I’m not going to. Because his personal experiences and whether or not he’s had surgeries or whatever is none of my damn business.

In my opinion, he’s a man, and who cares about the rest.

Apparently though, this is reason for many fans of the show to flip the fuck out. Publicly, on the shows message board. The constantly streaming river of hate here is just so extreme and intense it makes me sick. Although many people have come out to show their support and encouragement, the haters, well, they’re a-hatin– and in full force.

The issue for many seems to be along the lines of won’t someone please think of the children!!

One Anonymous Guest states:

“Sorry, but you just lost this family’s viewership. Having Chaz Bono on as a “star” is not only ridiculous and a cheap ploy for ratings, but is totally inappropriate for a so-called family show. I don’t want to have to explain to my 6 and 8-year-olds why/how this “man” used to be a girl. Come on, ABC!”

Another:

“Chaz Bono is not a “he”… For God’s sake people, quit trying to drive your social agenda down the throats of heterosexual people with your agenda to proclaim such a lifestyle as LBGT being “normal”. It isn’t. It is abnormal and it is unacceptable.  
You might as well shut down your show because it is NOT a family show and it is NOT something to watch. Good by DWTS!”

(P.S. It’s GOODBYE, dipshit.)

Also:

“Very disappointed in the lineup of “stars”. My family has watched for years and we have even flown out to California to see it live. We will not be watching this year. We will filter the show this year and do not support cast choices of transgender, gay or lesbian contestants. My kids enjoyed the younger dancers from shows they watch and this year there are no stars they can relate to.

First of all, its a DANCING SHOW. The chance that there is going to be many in depth conversations about the specifics of gender reassignment is: highly fucking unlikely. Though I’m not a regular viewer, I’m pretty sure most of what they do is dance. Not talk. Not indoctrinate the children with the eeeviil LGBT “agenda”

Second- Explaining it to kids? Easy. Bono himself said it best. He explained that all children start off as female. Some change into males physically while in the womb. But sometimes, females are born with the brain of a female and the body of a male. Or the other way around. I don’t know about you, but one of the most important things I try to teach my kids is not to judge people by what they look like on the outside, because what is on the inside is what counts. There are many things that I’m not looking forward to explaining to my kids. This is so not one of them. It’s only a big deal if you make it one. Tolerance begins at home, and if you set an example by handling this in a relaxed, matter-of-fact way, your kids will not think anything of it.

This applies here.

If someone looks like a woman on the outside, but is really a man on the inside, then-SO? This one isn’t even about homosexuality, or really sexuality in the bedroom kind of way at all. It’s about biology. Genetically, some people are born with the body of one gender, but the brain of another.

I just don’t see how that’s hard or awkward or weird or whatever to explain to your children. I really don’t get it.Its not theological or immoral or any of that crap, it’s science.

Also: Its NOT ABOUT SEX. Or GAY SEX. OR evil homosexual pedophiles who are trying to harm your children. It’s a simple genetic screwup. Just like some people are born with extra arms, or twelve toes or a third nipple. Sometimes, shit happens.

Another reader states:

“Chaz Bono is not a man. She is a selfish woman who had her breasts removed. Do you know how many women agonize each year from having to have their breasts removed because of cancer? You make me sick. DWTS is no longer a family show.”

How is modifying your body to fit what’s on the inside selfish? If you had been born with a tail, wouldn’t you have had it fixed? What’s the difference between that and gender reassignment for those who were born with the wrong genders plumbing?

And don’t give me the “God made them that gender so they should deal with it” crap. I guarantee that mist of these people would not let their kids run around with a tail because that’s the way god made them.

“Just so you know…we will not be watching this time for the first time since the show started. Adding Chaz to the lineup was the final straw! Gone is the day when this was entertainment. Now it is sensationalism and we will not participate. I understand there are a lot of others, too, who share our view of this. 

Good luck!

It’s only a big deal because you make it one, dude.

“ABC’s willingness to feature a lesbian WOMAN (Bono) who is so utterly confused with HER sexual identity on DWTS new season will, I hope, prove whether the American people will tolerate the attempt by activists to normalize the immoral behavior of homosexuality upon our societies. Personnaly, I hope the shows ratings drop…

Um, not all Trans people are gay. (Though some are attracted to other members of their inside-gender) But I don’t think most of them change their genders because they want to be with members of the same sex, as a member of the opposite sex. I believe that they change the outside because they want it to match who they are on the inside. Again, really doesn’t revolve around who they choose to have sex with. If someone is outwardly a man, but inside, is a woman and they choose to have sex with men, it’s because they are a woman. Not a gay man. Most Gay men I know, are quite happy being men. These are two different things.

(My head hurts a little. Did that make sense? Ow.)

Also, calling him a woman repeatedly=rude. CAPITALIZING it just reinforces what an asshole you are.

“I think it’s discusting that you’re forcing this trancgender thing upon the public. The gay thing is enough! Now this! Where will it stop!!!!!! I used to love watching your show, but now I’m done!!!!!!! Tell Chaz to go back into the closet!!!!!!

Holy exclamation points, batman. Is it me, or do the most hateful of comments seem to come from people who didn’t make it past the third grade? Stupidity and ignorance breed intolerance. Get an education, lose the fear and hate, and, also, learn to spell.

 

It’s ShirtMageddon time again!

Just In case you live under a social-media-free rock somewhere, and didn’t catch this post by Melissa from Pigtail Pals (@PigtailPals) or this post by @phdinparenting or this post at MoxieBird by @kdiddy or this post by Rebecca at Think Progress or this post by @JessicaWakeman at the Frisky. In case you missed allllll those posts, and the talk that started it all on Facebook last night, Let me fill you in:

Isn’t this all you need to know?

In case that picture isn’t enough, here’s some words too. This was posted last night on the Pigtail Pals Facebook page along with the comment “OMGZWTFBBQ!” (I’m SUMMARIZING, PEOPLE.)

And within approximately 4.2 seconds, (I’m ESTIMATING, PEOPLE) everyone in the world had heard about it. Now, I’m not sure how long it actually took, but JcPenney heard about the ruckus and about 12 minutes after I’d first heard about the offending garment, they had pulled it from the website and presumably, the shelves as well. As best I can figure, the product was pulled about 12 hours after the first mention of it, which occurred around 11(CST). last night  It was reported as being removed by JCP at around 10 am today. Assuming they don’t check their google alerts until morning, this is a pretty rapid response to a potentially damaging social media mess.

I’m not sure how much the response helped their image, but the speed with which they reacted was impressive. And much better than some other companies with similar issues have shown. (CoughPizzaHutCough)

Giving them some slack for maybe being asleep until oh, 7 am CST,  the shirt was removed after about three hours. Due to the power of pissed off moms on Twitter started spreading the story like wildfire.

(I’m ugly, so I can do my own math, thanks)

That is some pissed-off  GIRL POWER, people.

Anyway.. yeah. The shirt is stupid. And sexist. And I’m glad its gone, hopefully never to be seen again.

But, unfortunately- this is nothing new. In fact, I actually wrote about a similar issue back in 2009 after trying to find some appropriate clothing for my- then 5 year old- daughter, Kira.

I’m going to repost it here for fun.

(If you recognize where it’s from, shh. I’m anonymous now.)

Why can’t Girls be Superheroes too?

I’m not what you would call a regular customer at the Gap. It isn’t personal, I’m just not a Gap kind of girl. But, I somehow ended up with a giftcard, so decided to browse online. Since all of the stores near me have closed.

Not finding anything for myself, I wandered over to the kids section. You see, the kid, she is into T-shirts. She loves going to school and showing off her new shirts. We just picked out two from Target.

Awesome shirts, by the way. One is green and reminds us that dinosaurs are people too. Another is grey and features the Japanese frog from the “Hello Kitty” line. The one I used to love, instead of Hello Kitty, when I was a kid.

Hoping to find some more graphic kids shirts along these lines, I clicked on the Gap link for their “Junk Food” T-shirts for children. (I have no clue if this is their line or a line they feature, and I don’t care enough to find out.)

Oh! Look! It’s Smurfette! Awesome! I love Smurf… wait? What is Smurfette doing?

Smurfs don't shop!Why is she shopping? I don’t remember a mall in Smurf Village. Hmm. Lets try the next one…

Because, being popular is what's important, kids.So, girls care about being popular and shopping, huh? Good to know.

By this point, I am already annoyed, but when my eyes hit this next one, My head just explodes:

*Pakoosh* (That's the sound of my head fucking exploding)SMURFS. SHOULD. NOT. EVER. HOLLA.

Not all the shirts were as horrific as these, but the contrast between the girls shirts and the boys shirts was very obvious.

The girls shirts were overwhelmingly pink, and while there were two (bright pink) Beatles shirts that didn’t completely offend me, the majority of the shirts for little girls revolved around shopping, love, and candy.  Sometimes,  a combination of all three:

I probably would have accepted this without the "You Drive me" part.“Have romantic relationships at five! Eat junk food! Buy our product!”

Seriously, people wonder why we are raising a bunch of vapid, self obsessed, shopaholics who aspire to be like such “role models” as  Paris Hilton.

Buy me stuff!And we wonder why we have all these over-sexualized tweens running around:

That's right. Learn to manipulate them young!

For the record, The boys shirts were awesome, and I would have bought any one of them for The Kid.  But by the time I got to them, I was pretty well disgusted.

Boys, apparently, get to be superheroes. They get Star Wars, Star Trek, and Batman Shirts.  Their Beatles shirts aren’t fucking pink.

As a mother to three girls, when I see shit like this, I just want to cry. I mean, I know this isn’t the only, or even the worst instance of this. This happens all the time. (Have you seen Bratz dolls? And Bratz babies with thongs? Gah.)

But it’s going to continue unless we, as parent’s, and consumers,  start doing something about it. Refusing to buy shit like this. See it for what it is. We should think about using our considerable power to force retailers into  thinking about the message they’re trying to send our girls, instead of just slapping random cutsey crap onto shirts, dying it barbie-barf-pink, and calling it a day. It’s not innocent and harmless. Especially when it’s everywhere.

So, I propose we say “Fuck the Gap.” And anyone else who wants to keep pushing this crap on us and our girls. And boys for that matter.

I know how hard it is not to give in to this, and let our kids wear this stuff, let them learn this stuff, especially as they get older and start pushing to be like their friends, but it’s ridiculous for us to expect this to change if we don’t do something about it. We need to stop telling ourselves it doesn’t matter, that it’s just a silly little thing. That girls should only love pink and candy and shopping while boys save the world.

It matters. Pass it on.

Yeah. Stupid clothing aimed at little girls is nothing new. But I’m glad the issue has come up again. I actually went out and did some browsing, just to see the kind of things that are going around in the more popular retail stores lately. I was surprised by a few things.

1-The Gap graphic shirts for girls this year are actually pretty awesome. Hurray Gap!Maybe they got my memo.

2-Even Wal-Mart doesn’t sell shit like that. When you can manage to have worse clothing than Wal-Mart, you’re pretty bad indeed.

3-The offensive shirt that started the frenzy? Not the only one available at JCP right now. Observe:

The ad says: Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and this screen printed tee makes a strong statement about her love for “bling.”

I just hate the word “Bling,” A lot.

Apparently, girls love cupcakes and puppies. And Shopping. And “BFF’s” How about Math, Science and Superman?

And, you know, they like stuff too. Like Shoes. And hearts. And shopping of course. And cute furry things.

Also, girls can’t spell three letter words without making their brothers do it for them. And the girl who made this shirt didn’t have a brother. Like OMG WTF. 

It’s an ongoing issue, and something we need to constantly be on the lookout for. The messages aimed at our daughters tell them that they must be pretty and pink, and it’s only cool for them to love stuff like “BFF’s” and ZOMGPUPPIES and Flowers and Hearts and cupcakes, of course- lets not forget the over-sugared, obesity encouraging junk food. They are told that they don’t need to have brains, as long as they have looks, and because they are girls, how they look is valued over all else. Our kids are bombarded by these messages every day, and we obviously have the power to do something about it, if today was any example. So let’s keep fighting the good fight.

Because…Seriously?

Shirts like that make my unicorn vomit.

Most of us believe we know what abuse is, and we like to think we would recognize it instantly. Most of us hear the stories of women in abusive relationships and think to ourselves: ” She must have been stupid. There’s no way I’d ever put up with that.”

Unfortunately, far, far too many of us do end up in abusive relationships. And the worst part is, often we don’t even realize it, until it’s too late. We tell ourselves “I’ll never be that bruised shell of a person on TV saying  ‘But he loooves me'” We pity the woman who got to the point where she just couldn’t take it anymore and ended up taking her own life just to get away. We feel for those who end up dead at the hands of their spouse. But deep down we think There must have been something wrong with her, to put up with that, to stay in a relationship like that. We would never let ourselves get into that situation.

Until we are.

The thing is, it sneaks up on you. Nobody goes into a relationship thinking “I bet he’s going to beat the crap out of me and call me a fat whore every night. I think I’ll marry him.”

(Side note: Most of us. I am aware that there are those that enjoy being dominated. See lesson 667: Turn-On’s,  Fetishes and Submission, Oh My.)

This lesson starts with the big obvious red flags, but also deals with the more subtle forms of abuse, the warning signs, if you will, that things are not, in fact, five by five. (Forgive me the random Buffy reference. Yes. I’m a fangirl.)

So, please, even if you think you are immune, please take a moment and ask yourself these questions. Answer them honestly, your life may depend on it.

(Please note: I use “he” simply because of personal experience and because women are typically more often abused than men, and by men, but know that this applies to any gender, and any type of relationship, gay, straight, even a friendship or parent-child relationship.)

1: Has your partner ever intentionally physically hurt you?

Now, I’m not talking about that time you were play-wrestling and fell off the couch or when you twisted your ankle trying out the new sex swing.
I’m talking about someone doing something to you with the sole intention of causing you physical pain. Even if they only try to hurt you, but you escape. Say, for example, he threw a ten-pound barbell at your head, but missed. Or threw a punch but hit the wall behind you instead because of your ninja-esque ducking skills. Trying to hurt you counts, even if they fail.
Actually hurting you counts too.

If the answer to this question is yes, then you need to leave. Yes, I know you love him. Yes, I know he really didn’t mean it. Yes, I know you think maybe you might have provoked it.Yes, I know you have kids and bills and ohmygodhowcanimanagewithouthim?
Still, leave. Yes, I know it’s just not that easy. Trust me. I KNOW.
Leave anyway.

2: Have they ever hurt your children?
Again, I’m not talking about a swat on the bottom after a child runs into the road.

I’m talking about when they hold your two year old daughter over the balcony at the top of the stairs and scream at you to come get your fucking kid right now! I’m talking slapping your child in the face for throwing a tantrum. Intentionally causing physical harm.
Get the fuck out.

Seriously.

This is abuse and even if they aren’t hitting you-yet-these are your children and it is your job to protect them. Yes. Even from their parents. Fortunately,this is usually the straw that finally pushes you to leave a bad situation for many people, but unfortunately, your child has now been abused, and will likely remember this forever.  Far too many people will put up with bring hurt themselves, but most will run the second they realize their children are in danger. Here’s the thing: If he’s hurting you, chances are damn good that he will eventually hurt the kids too. Don’t risk it. Leave, before it gets this far.

About now, you’re probably thinking “Duh. Everyone knows the hitting is bad.”

Yes. But as I said, generally that’s not how it starts. Abuse is not always in-your-face, blatant black eyes and “I walked into a door” excuses. It is insidious. It sneaks up on you when you aren’t paying attention. There are some less obvious warning signs that you can often catch before it gets to the point of violence and restraining orders and shelters and fear and stalking.

3: Do you still have close friends and family?
On of the first tricks of an abuser is to isolate you. Half of the time, it’s not even done consciously on the abusers part. He just wants you to want him. Wants your focus to be on him. And no one else. It starts with something stupid, like him complaining about your friends. When you go out without them, you get a guilt-trip when you get home. Perhaps when you take him out with you, he’s rude to your friends and family. When you talk about what your friends are up to, he gets annoyed. On the phone with your mom or girlfriend for too long? Dirty looks and snide remarks abound.

Eventually it becomes easier to just stay home, and after time the friends stop calling. Family doesn’t drop by as much because he doesn’t like it.

This is a rather large warning flag. If you used to be a social butterfly, and now you can’t remember the last time you talked to a friend, something is wrong. (Note: some exceptions for those with new children and no sitter/sleep here.)
The abuser will generally isolate you or only allow you around select pre-approved friends. (In my case, this meant I was “allowed” to hang out with women he was sleeping with or trying to sleep with)

4: Are you allowed time to yourself?
A trip to the grocery store. A day at work where he doesn’t stop by or call/text you every hour to see “Whatcha doing?” Being able to sit and read a book in peace. Going online and live-tweeting Grays Anatomy.  All things we take for granted.

If you can’t remember the last time you were able to do these things, you should be concerned. And I’m not referring to that new-relationship-can’t-bear-to-be-apart phase. That’s normal, to an extent. But if it extends past that, to the point where you exist only to amuse your partner, be careful.

Generally, abusers want control. They want to know where you are and what you are doing and who you are with at all times. Which brings us to…

5: How does your partner react when you are around members of the opposite sex?

(Or same sex, if you are gay. Really, anyone that could conceivably be considered a romantic interest.)

Is the answer, ” With total, inappropriate, unjustified jealous rage?” If so, be on your guard. This doesn’t always mean it’s going to get bad, but many a person has ended up getting hurt due to unfounded jealousy. If he flips out because you have a male friend, forbids you to see/speak to them anymore- first ask yourself: ” Does he have a valid reason to be jealous?” If the answer us an honest “No” then proceed with caution.

Also, if he reads your email, monitors your phone calls and tracks every website you visit online, run away.

6: How do you argue?
Arguing in a relationship is normal, and can actually be healthy-to some degree.

Being called a “Worthless Slut” or a “Fat Whore” on a regular basis is not.

The mentality of an abuser is such that they tend to feel the need to tear you down constantly. And yes-There are exceptions to this. When things get heated, some of us tend to say things we don’t mean, especially when we are hurt. (It’s possible I may havecalled my husband a “Fucking Fuck” at one point in our relationship.)

Stupid nonsensical swearing is one thing, but a true abuser learns your weak spots and uses them to hurt you. On a regular basis. To the point where you truly start to believe you really are a worthless fat whatever.

This is emotional abuse- which alone is reason enough to flee, but is also often an indicator of worse abuse to come.
Honestly, even if it never goes past this, you deserve better. Someone who truly loves you should not constantly throw your faults and insecurities in your face. They should not use your pain and past mistakes against you.

This is not love.

This person needs to tear you down in order to feel better about themselves. And too many of us, women and men alike, put up with it. (Surprisingly-to some- women are often guilty of doing this.)

Or worse, we actually believe that this is how a relationship is supposed to be. It isn’t.

Sometimes, as I said, awful things are said in anger, but a good person will apologize after a bad fight. It’s not a constant everyday “You burned my dinner again you useless fat fucking whore can’t you do anything right.”

Fuck that shit. Seriously. Kick his ass to the curb and move on.

7: Do you live in constant fear of making a mistake?
To a point, we all try to please our significant others. This is normal, and should be a mutual thing. You both do things to make the other happy. If, however, you went to the store and realized after the fact that you forgot to buy his favorite cereal and you’ve spent the last four hours freaking out about having to tell him this when he gets home, um, there be problems.

As with everything, there is a line here. If you just spent $800 on a new pair of Manolos, and now you don’t have money for groceries, well, chances are you’re gonna get chewed out, and rightfully so.  (And then you’re gonna return some shoes and go buy your kids some food, right?)

But you wont get the crap kicked out of you.

If you live your life walking on eggshells around your partner, terrified of making even the smallest of mistakes, something is wrong. This is wrong.

~~~

I know that I haven’t covered everything here. Please, add anything you think of that I’ve missed in the comment section.

Seriously, if you find yourself answering yes to any of these, please, I beg you, take a step back and really LOOK at your relationship. If you truly can’t be objective, ask a friend or family member for their honest opinion.

Chances are, they’ve noticed, because being in abusive relationship changes you. It strips down your self-esteem and destroys your spirit, and in the long run, your life. I don’t care HOW many mistakes you’ve made, you deserve better.

If it turns out you are in an abusive relationship, please, get help and get out before it’s too late. I know leaving in many cases is terrifying. Not just from fear of retribution, but fear of how you will live, especially if you have kids, or if, like me, you had been so isolated by that point that you no longer have any friends or family to turn to.

If you are a victim of abuse, and you need help, please email me or comment. Even if you just need to talk, to vent. Anything. I will never reveal your email address or “out” you, and I will do everything in my power to help. Because I’ve been there. Because abuse sucks. Because leaving also sucks, but you don’t have to face it alone. You are not alone.

Also, if you’d be willing and able to help a victim of abuse who is in need, please comment or leave me an email at ebcummingsblogATgmailDOTcom.

Don’t be fooled by its high number. These are the most important lessons you’ll learn from the internet. Ever. Until tomorrow, when someone creates a more relevant, funnier cartoon.

1- Here There Be Trolls (AKA:If You Write it, They Will Bitch)

Welcome to the Internet! Are you new here? Let me show you around!
So. Let’s jump right in with today’s lesson. Here’s the thing, if you’re planning on using the Internet for anything other than emailing your relatives annoying chain-mail and creating a vast virtual farming empire, you are going to run into the mystical creature known as the Troll.

Unfortunately, unlike the trolls of the good ol’ days, these are not the seldom seen creatures that really only surface when you try to cross a bridge; in the Internet world, Trolls are everywhere.  They come out when you least expect it and they usually travel in packs. And instead of asking you to pay a toll, their purpose is apparently to piss on everyones Cheerios and indulge in general douchetruckkery-for-the-sake-of-douchetruckkery.
Example:
Want to see a troll for yourself? Simply write about politics, breastfeeding or, inexplicably, how your cats sometimes annoy you-and watch them come out of the woodwork! They will tell you, in no uncertain terms, that you are WRONG and then explain, generally with extremely poor grammar/spelling/random numbers inserted inappropriately and/or with significant abuse of the CAPS LOCK, SO THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THEY ARE REALLY MAD and/or SERIOUS. (Or possibly “srs!”)

Your political thought, idea or party is wrong. The way you breastfeed in public/bottle feed exclusively makes you an “obscene flasher who is sexualizing our youth!!!!/A lazy poisoner who is going to have a fat asthmatic child. The fact that your pets are no longer worshiped completely now that you have kids, and maybe you’d prefer they not rub their assholes on your stuff, it makes you eeeevil, and your baby should die/abandon you in a nursing home.

It doesn’t matter what you say, there is no reasoning with a troll. ( See #3) The best bet is to just accept that they exist and ignore them. Unless you are super-bored, in which case, go write a post about (any) religion and have fun with the replies.

2-Hiding Behind a Computer Makes People Say Shit They Wouldn’t  Ever Say Otherwise

Example:

There’s a corner of the internet in which there exists a category of persons who don’t quite fall into the troll category. They do what they do for deeper reasons, whereas most trolls are just bored or ignorant or righteous (or, most likely, all three). This other entity- for the purposes of this lesson, let’s call them “Ogres”-is bigger than a troll. (Maybe. I haven’t played D&D in awhile.)

An Ogre is not happy with just stirring the pot in some comment section somewhere. An Ogre actually thrives on drama, and craves attention. Usually this type of creature isn’t quite able to write thoughtful, funny, well written blog posts or articles that would draw the large crowd they desire in the usual way, or they are simply too lazy to come up with their own content. So they try to capitalize on other peoples success- in the classiest way possible of course!

By creating their own site, network or club in their mom’s basement, that is solely dedicated to bashing other people. They pick fights with the popular kids. They harass celebrities. Because the next best thing to actually being a popular, well-liked person is to be that persons nemesis. Instead of becoming well known for the good they do, they become well known for the shit they start.

The result is the same. People notice Ogres.

That’s the point, you see.

Most of them claim noble motivations. I.e. They’re just thinking of the children! OMGZ WONT SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN. (This applies in mommy-blog circles and in some celebrity bashings as well.)

They’ll come up with a cause to justify their actions, paint themselves as the misunderstood underdog who’s just trying to show everyone the wrongness of, say blogging about their kid shitting on the floor, or how elitist and racist unicorn cakes really are. They’re good Ogres. Honest.

Like Shrek.

A few are blatant about their choice to go “green”, not even pretending to have layers like an onion. ( Random Shrek pun. You’re Welcome.) They freely admit they are doing it to drive traffic to the blog/forum/their kids treehouse party.

Here’s the thing: In person, Ogres are usually totally normal people in real life.

In keeping with the Shrek comparison, think Fiona, circa the first movie. By day, shes a pretty pretty princess. At night, shes the jealous bitter asshole who’s Tweeting your home address and/or the contents of your last email out to her loyal fans, because yes, they’ve always, always ALWAYS got underlings.

And they are usually illiterate Trolls. It’s theee Circle of Life..er.. Wrong movie. Moving on.

The Ogres “Daytime Persona” or Fiona, is generally a NICE person. So the next time you see that nice lady who lets you cut ahead of her in the line at the supermarket because you have a screaming kid, a candy grabbing “Mom, mom. MOM Can I have this? This? How about THIS?” kid and the kid who is fucking antagonizing  the already-screaming-kid by taking his toy and dangling it just out of his reach and you JUST WANT TO BUY YOUR FUCKING BOX OF TAMPONS AND YOUR BAG OF CHOCOLATE PRETZELS AND A GALLON OF MILK BECAUSE YOUR HUSBAND CAN’T STOP ON THE WAY HOME FROM WORK BECAUSE HE IS TIRED

…erm.. sorry, I think I had a flashback there. Er. Cough. Excuse me. Where was I?

Oh right. That nice, polite lady with those well behaved children who is letting you go ahead of her and totally not rolling her eyes at your obnoxious children-She could be an Ogre. Again, you’re welcome.

3-You Can’t Win At The Internets ( So Stop Typing)

So, what happens when you are happily perusing the internet one day, ignoring trolls and staying away from ogres, and you come across a post that is just so absolutely mind-bogglingly wrong you think you must be dreaming it?

I Know. What that guy just said.. I KNOW. He is WRONG. And RUDE. And WRONG. And, if he would just listen to you for five seconds, just read what you had to say he would understand.

No. He won’t. Ever. No matter how wonderful you think Sarah Palin* is, that troll is not going to suddenly change his mind after listening to your thoughtful, Maverick-y, intelligent reasoning on the subject. And chances are, the more you keep trying- especially if you are in a public forum- the more likely it is that someone else is going to interject with this picture at some point.

And then, twelve more people are going to come in and comment about how not cool that picture is and how making fun of people with disabilities is wrong, and using the word “retard” is even more wrong. (And I will be one of these people.) And they’re right, making fun of people with disabilities IS wrong. And they’re right. Fighting on the internet IS pointless. But you’ll be too pissed at the woman hating liberal elitist cat-rapey-baby-eater who JUST WONT LISTEN by this point to realize that at the end of the day, some things just aren’t worth your time.

This says it best.

(Click the picture to see it entirely. Via Thought Catalog)

Of course, if the original post is like, super, SUPER wrong, feel free to bend the rules a little. Because sometimes douchetrucks totally need a smackdown. Personally, if I absolutely can’t stand it and MUST say something, I’ll say it, and move on-without engaging in any of the after-effects or turning it into an entire THING. Unless I’m really, really bored. Or the person I’m arguing with is really, really stupid. Then all bets are off.

4- Some People Really ARE That Racist/Sexist/Stupid/Etcetera

Yes. Not all of the Trolls and Ogres are playing a part, and not all of the internet assholes are nice people when they are not hiding behind their Mac with their Caramel Macchiato and fabricated indignation.

The wonderful thing about the internet is that everyone gets a voice.

 The horrible thing about the internet is that everyone gets a voice.

Even Racist Fucktards and Pedophiles and For Some Reason This Guy.

Yes. People really do think that way. Say that stuff. Believe that shit. Not just on the internet either, it carries over to real life.

Free Speech applies to everyone. Even Douchetrucks. And as fucking god-awful as some things are, if we start taking away their right to spout their bullshit freely, then we pave the way for a whole fuck-ton (It’s a metric measurement.) of problems. Honestly, I think most of us would silence pedophiles in an instant, given, say, a vote. But how many people do you think would silence, say, sites about homosexuality that are aimed at children and teens? Probably a lot, if it was put to a vote in America. What about religion? Does the religion with the most followers get to silence the rest of them?

Damn slippery slopes and their damn slippery-ness.

5-As Unlikely As It Seems Now-Some People Are Awesome

Now that you have decided to stomp on, smash and then burn your laptop before tossing it in the dumpster as you flee, FLEE from the horrible horrible internet with its trolls and RACISTS AND BEARS OH MY!

 I leave you with this last lesson.

Despite all of the crap, and though there sometimes seems to be an overwhelming amount of it, not all of the people and experiences you will find here are evil and bad. In fact, most of them aren’t.

People set up amazing fundraisers and support groups and technology has brought important issues to the forefront by making them immediately, visually THERE. And impossible to ignore.

More than that though, there is this sense of community that can be found, regardless of who you are, there’s a place for you. Since I happen to be a Mother, and a Writer, I spend a lot of time lurking in those circles, but no matter what you enjoy, what you have been through, there is a place where people will understand, whether its collecting Sporks or finding an abuse survivor support group, there’s a place here where you will be wanted and loved and accepted.

(Yes. Even Trolls and Ogres have their place. See: Facebook and 4Chan)

Take BlogHer for example. This blogging conference for women is a yearly event  and though it’s not something I’ll ever be rich fortunate enough to attend, just reading the stories and hearing about the amazing friendships and inspiring panels that happen during these conferences, renews my faith that there is still good and sparkly to be found in the internet. Still a place where I belong, albeit virtually.

Good Exists.

And GOOD always wins. Don’t you watch the movies?

Or the Unicorns?

        (BlogHer 11’s SparkleCorn Cake By MamaPop)

* Ed Note. This statement does not reflect the opinions of the owner of this blog. And I would never, ever post that picture.

Lesson 27: Who am I and How Did I Get Here? (Part One)

Or: Things I learned from my last blog

-When starting a personal blog, it’s best not to use your email address as your blog name, because even the stupidest of abusive ex-husbands will eventually think to Google that.

-When starting a replacement blog after getting sick of said ex harassing and stalking you on the first blog-use a pseudonym. Because the only way you can actually be honest, ironically, is by hiding behind a fake name. And start said blog with a nice introduction post to help readers get to know you.
Example:
Hi! I’m E.B. Cummings! But you can call me EeeBee!
This is me:

“hi.”

I’m a mom, a wife and an ex-wife, among other things. I have four children. They are Ayla-age12, Violet (Vi) age 10, Kira, age 8 (this week!) and Mason, who’ll be two in November.

This is Kira:

She could not BE more bored right now.

And, This is Mason. Sort of. You try taking a picture of a 21-month old commercial for Adderall boy. All of his pictures turn out like this:

Or, you know, this:

Admit it. You're jealous because YOUR kid can't do this.

Yes, my two other children presumably have faces too. They live with their father right now and pictures of them are few and far between. (Note: See “Douchetruck”)

-If that sounds cheesy and trite, you can always try the renowned “Fake-Interviewing-Yourself” technique, in which you make up questions to as yourself and then answer them, whilst trying to sound as un-schizophrenic as possible.

Example:

Q: So, are you one of those bitter divorced women who is just going to whine about her ex nonstop?
A: Maybe. Sometimes. In my defense, my ex is a huge douchetruck. And he made me name one of my kids after a crayon.

Q: Will you blog about other things or post pictures of cats? I hear that’s popular these days.
A: Our cat is really boring. She mostly just lies around and meows and stuff. (Although I suspect at night, when we are sleeping she entertains herself by rubbing her asshole across our lips. Because she’s a cat and cats totally do shit like that YOU KNOW THEY DO.)

"Nothing To See Here."

We do however have dogs that may guest star from time to time. No matter how much I bribe them, they won’t let me balance shit on their faces and take pictures though, so if that’s what you are into, you’ll have to look elsewhere. However, Isis, our very large husky/Rottweiler mutt has a highly entreating Darth Vader phobia that I enjoy exploiting for lol’s and lulz. Because she’s a big dog and she could totally take a Darth-Tater and the pair of Darth-bedroom slippers I inexplicably purchased for my husband years back.

"You're taking another picture of me for that fucking blog thing, aren't you? I bet you're even adding snarky comments that you have to hover over the pictures in order to see."

We also have another dog who might occasionally star here-probably in a post entitled “Shit my dog ate” And he’s a Chihuahua/Mini-Pinscher/JackRussell mix that was originally named Berry by Kira but we felt that we had to give him some dignity and thus shortened it to the more manly “Bear”.

Somewhere in this picture is a dog, and a bunch of shit he's eaten.

Q: Okayyy. Moving on. What else can readers expect to find here?
A: Hmmm. Well. I’ve been blessed with several chronic illnesses. This occasionally puts me in some surreal situations. Or situations where I’m forced to poop in a trash bag while following instructions that feel the need to remind me not to drink anything from the provided poo-collecting cup.
I try not to get too maudlin about the whole I-might-die thing because, well, everyone is going to die. My pancreas might rot out in ten years, give or take, but you might get hit by a truck tomorrow, so it’s all relative. (And I apologize to the guy whose mothers brothers second cousin twice removed was hit by a truck last week.)
So, yeah. Where was I? Oh right, poop. Aside from my own poop stories, well I have kids. And pets. And anyone who has those knows that, on some days, LIFE TOTALLY REVOLVES AROUND POOP. Because even my eight-year-old still leaves poop crumbs in various places. Sorry Kira but OMG LEARN TO WIPE.
Q: And thanks for that. I think it’s time to end this as we are crossing the border into crazy-ville.
A: I think you’re right.