Why I stopped writing

For the past few months I have tried to come and blog, but nine times out of ten, I end up closing it out without finishing.

Part of it has been I have been crazy busy.  A woman at work got ill and my two day week turned into a two week straight kind of thing. I’m not complaining. The money was a nice bonus.

However, that isn’t the sole reason I haven’t been inspired. I’ve learned the value of privacy. My children are getting older and they make it known they  don’t want me disclosing every detail of their lives.

Taking their lead, I have learned that I am much happier when I keep my life semi private. Yes, I still share a funny story about the kids on Facebook from time to time, but for the most part, I cherish the memories we make and hold them selfishly close to me.

I don’t have all the answers to this life, but I do know this; taking back my privacy has been a game changer. I no longer feel the need to “fake it until I make it” because I’m not sharing my day to day life with the world. I don’t feel the need to post these “look at me, I am so damn happy” pictures or make such declarations.

My family is what matters and if I am having a bad day, most likely anyone outside of them won’t have a clue. If I’m having a great day, same thing. I am done living my life out loud.

I stopped writing because frankly, my life is my life and not fodder for gossip. End of my story.

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Protected: The stupid hurts

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Hiding out

I realize there are moments that I am completely involved with friends and being engaging, enjoying jokes, posting on social media, etc. What most people don’t realize is how much energy those moments take.

Inevitably, following a manic period, I will need to shut down and regroup. It kind of sucks, but it is the nature of the depression.

I will suddenly drop off the face of the earth, but it isn’t like that, really. I just need to take the time for myself and work through the down side of a manic episode.

The thing is, I know what is going on and I am really okay with it. It doesn’t mean I am back in a depressive state. It simply means my body and mind need a break. April has been crazy busy on so many different levels and this is the first time all month that I have nothing on my calendar.

So, I’m not ignoring anyone.I am regrouping. See you soon!

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I have thought about this for several days now. It had nothing to do with me, but it has weighed on my mind since I read it. I will not say where I saw it, who wrote it, etc. I am just going to paraphrase the situation.

I stumbled across a story of a young boy (I believe around five) that had been left at a store. When the author of the story saw the boy obviously alone and scared, they approached the child. He was too frightened to respond, so the person did the absolute right thing and sought out an employee to make them aware of the situation.

The employee took the child and did some looking around. As it turns out, the parent had actually already checked out and left the store. Apparently not realizing a child had been left behind.

As one can imagine, the author of this piece was outraged. What kind of parent leaves an establishment without realizing they left a very small child behind? I was right there with the writer about their outrage and disbelief. While I wasn’t there and have no idea what might have been going on to cause this parent to forget her child, on the surface, you have to question parenting skills.

According to the story, the parent came back about five minutes later. Anyone that has ever lost sight of their child knows that five minutes seems like an eternity, so I can’t even imagine. The parent, according to the story, seemed completely calm and not the least bit apologetic or concerned. Again, I was not there, but if this is what happened, again, you have to question the parenting.

My problem is not with the accounting of the story. I would have felt much the same way. My problem came at the end of the story. This was how it closed “Fuck you and all you welfare cases out there! I can’t believe how ignorant and stupid you are!”

Did I miss something? Nowhere in this narrative did the author mention witnessing this parent check out, so how did they know the parent was a “welfare case”? Furthermore, what if she is? I never knew that your parenting skills were based on how financially secure you were. I mean, honestly, have we never heard of wealthy people being shitty parents?

I vividly recall a young mother near my home in Texas. She murdered her two young sons while they slept downstairs and her husband and baby were upstairs sleeping. They were an above middle class family. So, can someone explain that to me? Her financial situation did not suddenly turn her into Mother of the Year.

When the author was specifically asked had they seen the woman utilizing an EBT card, they admitted they had not seen her checkout, but that “they could spot a welfare case”. Again, I’m confused. What exactly does a “welfare case” look like? Probably like me on laundry day when I am in the most threadbare pair of sweats and tshirt stopping for change at the grocery store before heading to the laundromat. The problem with that? I have never been on public assistance. The neighbor of mine that drives a fairly new car, always dresses nicely, and never leaves the house without makeup happens to receive aide. If you put us side by side, you would probably view me as the “welfare case” and her the working woman. You would be so wrong.

The author also stated that 98% of “welfare cases” do not work. They simply live off the system. I don’t know about his experience, but from what I have seen, there is no way in hell that someone can “live off the system”. If they are lucky, they can survive off the system.

Years ago I worked for a large retail establishment that was infamous for their statement that they kept employee wages low so that their employees would still qualify for assistance. Of the fifty or so women I worked with daily, I’d say more than 90% did receive some sort of aide, but you have never seen women work harder day in and day out just to fucking do better than survive.

I have never met anyone that is on public assistance that said “Oh man, I am so glad I have all this help. I’m going to sit on my ass and collect my check.” Reality is that people do the best they can with the resources they have available.

I don’t know what caused that parent to forget her child at the store. Bad parenting or simply a tragic mistake. I don’t know if she is a “welfare case” or a woman that drives a Rolls and has ten nannies. It doesn’t fucking matter.

What matters is that you made a sweeping generalization without one statistic to back you up. What’s next? Giving nasty looks to the young girl holding a baby in her arms using WIC in line in front of you? Did you ever stop and think that this is the child’s sister and the mom is at work so the young woman has to take care of things at home? Nope, in your distorted view, this was a stupid girl that made a stupid decision.

My oldest daughter is 21. My youngest daughter is 9. When Em was a baby, Whit took her into the store with her often. She “looked” old enough to be her mother, but the reality was, Em’s mom was two aisles over picking up something.

Stop judging and start opening your mind. Believe me, those “welfare cases” are not what you make them out to be and I’m willing to bet that many of them are far more intelligent than the author of that story.

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Post Rant

I kind of lost it last night because of the management. In my defense, she has been up my ass since the day she began working here. First I had to remove the satellite that had been in place (with prior management permission) for over three years. Then I had to sell Em’s playhouse (again on my patio with prior management permission). From then on, it just seems like she has a personal issue with me and loves making me miserable. I’m fairly certain after talking with other tenants that she is that way with everyone, so it isn’t just me.

My lease is up the end of this month. For two years following my initial year lease, we were month to month. I liked that, but since she has been in place, the new game is to up the rent every six months by a ridiculous amount unless you resign for six months. My rent still goes up 50 dollars, but it beats the 300 she tries to pull if you continue month to month. So, I have two choices, give notice and find another place, or suck it up and sign for another six months. I’m not in a mental space to even attempt to move unless something literally just falls in my lap.

I did do some research and she can’t forbid the kids from riding in the common areas without presenting a clear and present danger. I just told Caleb to chill on his hover board until she leaves the office for the day and then have fun. I think what irritates me the most is that he is rarely on the property. He spends much of his afternoons at the skate park and has only spent about fifteen minutes here on the property outside in the past several months. Oh well, it is what it is and we can manage this. He can always take his hover board to the park with him. She just annoys me.

I have both kids home sick today. Em is still battling this nasty cough and runny nose and Caleb started barking last night with it. The weather took a sudden turn yesterday and we went from sunny and 80 to torrential rain and about 50. That did not help either of them on any level.

I’m getting ready for Em’s first non family birthday party. I have delayed it until the 20th because it just worked out better for all of us. Honestly, I couldn’t get myself together enough to have invitations sent out before this week and I wanted to allow enough notice for her friends. This also gives her time to get over this nasty cold.

Time to get busy around here.

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Power trip

I hate the management at my complex. She is an absolute bitch that likes to pick and choose what rules she intends to enforce. Typically, she makes the shit up as she goes along.

When we moved here, I was told there was a breed restriction for dogs and that no dog over 25 pounds was allowed. Someone should explain that to the fourteen pit bulls (or breed similar) that I see every single day. Each of those dogs weighs a minimum of 50 pounds and one that appears to be close to 100 pounds is walked by a child that can’t weigh more than 50 pounds. The dog is obviously never under their control and I have had to pick up Em and hurry inside before the child lost complete control. My dog has been scrutinized more times than I care to think about. Bella weighs just at 20 pounds and is never outside of my control. The only time she goes out is to go to the dog run.

When we moved here, there was a large area that kids could play. Now, Caleb gets chastised for going out to get the mail riding his hover board. I should mention that the mailbox is less than fifty feet from my door. There is NOTHING between my apartment and the mailboxes. Not another apartment, sidewalk, nothing. You walk out our door and turn right. Bam, there they are. I sent him out to get the mail. She saw him and informed him he was not allowed to ride it and would have to carry it back to our house. First, nowhere in my lease does it state he is not allowed to ride scooters, hover boards, bicycles, etc. Nowhere, I have read it many times. Second, he was less than twenty feet from our front door. If he were breaking a rule, I’d have no issue. He is not according to my lease.

I was told we were not allowed to add any window units to the apartment. The apartment across from us not only has a window unit, but a window covered in foil. Both clearly stated violations of the lease. It has been that way for over a year. No issue.

She has now decided they are no longer accepting pets. However, the last four tenants that have moved in not only moved in with pets, but pets that were clearly over the weight restriction. That’s apparently okay.

She got rude with Caleb and honestly, I’m done. He is doing nothing wrong. Where is she when the neighbors upstairs are fighting so loudly that they wake me up in the middle of the night? Where is she when the SWAT team comes in and raids the same neighbors? The lease clearly states they will not lease to someone with a felony record. I happen to like the neighbor, but he has a felony and last I heard, was not on the lease. So why is it that he has lived here for more than two years? Another clear violation of the lease.

Yes, I am being bitchy and whiny, but she made my kid cry. I am looking at other options now, but honestly, I don’t want to leave the general area due to school. There aren’t a ton of rentals available right now. I figure the right one will come along at the right time. For now, I plan on letting Caleb ride his hover board and if she cares to discuss it, I will be happy to point out the clear violations of the lease she is ignoring while trying to enforce something that is not.

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Brain dump

It’s been a few weeks, I think, since I last sat down to blog. I find myself bored with life and figure, why bore everyone else?

Life is oddly calm. I find myself no longer walking around quietly waiting for the other shoe to drop. Believe me, when you have lived a life full of “fight or flight” moments, calm can take some getting used to.

I have slowly stepped out of my comfort zone and have been having some shopping dates and lunches with two women that I have known since Caleb started at this school three years ago. It was always the “we exchange pleasantries while waiting to pick up kids”, but never went beyond the school yard. We have slowly built those beginnings into real life “lets go to lunch” friendships. I adore them both and feel like they get me. After my disaster with the person whose name I don’t speak, I was even more cautious than normal.

Em turned nine on Thursday. Her surrogate grandmother (one of my not new, but new friends) spoiled her rotten. She came to school with this huge bag of all the things Em had asked for. She got a new tank and capris, a huge bunny, a dress, a Barbie, candy, necklaces, and probably more I’m forgetting. Attached to the bag were three balloons. To say Em has her under her spell is an understatement. Since my younger kids really have no relationship with their actual grandparents, having D step in and love her the way she does, melts my heart.

Around Christmas time, Caleb was obsessed with that damn hover board thing. You know the one that seems to catch on fire for no reason? Yeah, it was also selling for upwards of 400 dollars. I told him then he had a choice, the Xbox One or the hover board. He chose the Xbox One. I did tell him if he was able to find one for a ridiculously low price (I will just say it had to be under 150) I would get it for him. I didn’t hear anything for months and then the other day he comes in and says he found one in the range I requested. Never one to break a promise, he is now the proud owner of a hover board that is never charged longer than two hours and never unless someone is here monitoring it. He learned that instant gratification isn’t always the best. He researched, he waited, and he found one at the price I demanded.

Watching him play on it makes me smile. He loves that stupid thing and I think it was totally worth it.

I plan on doing Em’s party in just over a week. I could not get myself together enough to try and do it this weekend and now I’m glad. Rain is coming in tonight and the forecast says it will be here for a few days. Due to lack of space and a psycho dog, I planned on doing her party at a local park S and I scoped out earlier this week. Can’t have a park party in the rain, so next weekend will be perfect.

Em did attend her first party last week. Being one of only two girls in her class, she ended up being the only girl at the party, but she handled it quite well. Thankfully, I was with a group of moms that understand when kids get overstimulated and need a quiet place to regroup. Em’s sudden disappearance to a quiet corner wasn’t viewed as odd, but completely normal. I love these moms.

On her birthday, Hottie Teacher was waiting. He has put her picture up on the smart board with the birthday song on repeat. He also had the entire class make her birthday cards. It was, by far, the sweetest gift she received.

I spent three solid hours building her dollhouse. It was a hit and worth the pain. I seriously felt like I had built an actual house by the time I was done.

Life is quiet and I’m learning to embrace it. I think after so many years of living in chaos, both the kids and I deserve this. It was a long time coming.

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