Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Thinking Out Loud

In the last few days, I've read and commented on several discussions of a religious and/or political nature. I usually try to steer clear of those, as I'm aware they can get heated, but these have all been started by people I consider good friends, so I presumed that things would stay on a more mature, adult level. Just goes to show you what I know!!!

I've seen name-calling of people involved in the discussion as well as of public figures...insults, disrespect, anger all run rampant. I stop enjoying drama in my life years ago, and I try to stay away from places where I see it starting. I don't approve of the sort of behavior I'm seeing, and I will work behind the scenes to try to mediate, to calm people down, to draw their attention to what they are doing, etc.--but I won't call them out in in public, as that's not what I see as the best way to handle the situation (although if it works for someone else, I won't think any less of them, for sure).

I love my friends, each and every one of them, and I'm glad that we don't always agree on everything we discuss...if we did, life would be pretty boring, and I wouldn't have the opportunity to learn from those who have different opinions from mine. But I also happen to believe that the best way to get people to LISTEN when you disagree is to be respectful, present facts...or present your opinions in a calm, cool, rational way....and then, in turn, listen to the other person's POV with the same respect you want them to give you.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you....timeless advice.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Enough Already!!!

I am a people pleaser...there, I said it! I am the type of person who wants everyone around her to be happy, and will do almost anything they ask me to do for them to insure that happiness, even if it sometimes means sacrificing my own happiness in the process.

It started in my childhood. Older members of my family wanted me to be a nurse, so I started answering the "What do you want to be when you grow up?" question with "A nurse," even though, in my heart, the answer was "A teacher." I joined a candy striper program in high school, and I hated every minute of it....some weeks I would sign in, then hide in the restroom until it was time to sign out, just to avoid having to deal with the situation.

I got a full scholarship to nursing school, and I forced myself to push through the first quarter. During the break between first and second quarters, I tried to convince my mother that I didn't want to go back...she guilted me into continuing, though. I made it through one week of the second quarter before I just KNEW that I was at my breaking point. So, one night I wrote a short note, took a bottle of pills and went to bed, thinking that was the only way I could get out of a hopeless situation. Obviously, since I'm still around, I was rescued before it was too late....and I was then able to convince my mother I was serious about not wanting to be a nurse, and only doing it because it was what SHE wanted.

I nearly let other people talk me into giving my first child up for adoption, and I wound up married to my first husband because that was the only way I could keep my child and still be seen as respectable. I put up with a lot of crap from my in-laws, and lot of behavior from my husband, that I should never have let just go by, but I didn't want to make waves or start any arguments. I nearly had a nervous breakdown during my second pregnancy because it was such a difficult time, and I went through most of it on my own--more emotionally than physically--while also trying to take care of a three year old. I finally got to the point where I couldn't take any more, and I walked away from the relationship rather than make any sort of effort to fix it....and I felt guilty for letting everyone else down, never bothering to really take a look at how I felt about it.

In my second marriage, I spent years putting up with emotional and physical abuse, hiding it from most everyone, thinking that I somehow deserved it. I told myself that if I were a better wife, somehow, it wouldn't happen. And yet, no matter how hard I tried to keep him happy, it was never enough.

I can't count how many times I've given up plans of my own, shelved dreams and hopes, or even gone so far as trying to be someone I'm not, just so the people who matter to me can have the life I think they deserve, or at least some temporary happiness. And yet, every time I do it, I build up just a little more resentment, and eventually it leads to things like this blog, where I just let it all come spewing out.

All I want is the chance to be ME...to live the life that I want...to make plans for myself, and to be able to follow my own dreams. Is that REALLY too much to ask???

Monday, August 2, 2010

Irresponsible Parents

Some people call them deadbeat dads, but I know that term is offensive to some, so I titled this discussion differently. That does NOT change my personal opinion, however.

When a father doesn't work at all, lets his girlfriend/new wife pay his bills, and refuses to give any money to his CHILDREN, that makes him a DEADBEAT DAD!

When a father chooses not to take advantage of the fact that the mother is willing to let him see his children anytime he wants, and goes for months without seeing or even contacting said child, that makes him a DEADBEAT DAD.

The mother may have decided that she has no further use for him, but that gives him no right to decide he has no further use for or obligation to his child. Many of these DEADBEAT DADS are spending money on beer and cigarettes but can't find a penny to spare for their child.

Furthermore, these DEADBEAT DADS are living with other women,letting her support him, while mom has married someone who is working 60 hours a week and paying for the children of the DEADBEAT DAD, since he's too lazy to get off his butt and fulfill his obligations. It's not about giving "free money" to an former wife, it's about continuing to take part in raising a child that you took part in creating.

If the DEADBEAT DAD were a REAL MAN, he would be paying his support on time, taking every available opportunity to be with his child, and then he wouldn't have to worry about getting tossed in jail, losing his job, his house, his vehicle, etc.

If a man supports and encourages his wife to be a stay at home mother while they are married, then he should be willing to still pull his weight when it comes to the CHILDREN....not the mother, granted, but definitely the CHILDREN.
So get over yourself and put your children ahead of trying to get back at your former wife for a change.

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