Self-care is so important. Self-abuse is unhealthy.
*I don’t know a single person who isn’t guilty of at least one of these things. Fruit, to me, is natural sugar, but the body still processes it the same way it would any other form of sugar. No one is perfect, but in most cases I find that if I’ve had no sugar in any form for a week or so, I will go insane. It’s impossible to avoid it entirely. I’m half a step away from murdering someone for a cupcake or a really good piece of cheesecake. Be careful with anything that contains sugar alcohol in it. Eat a little less of the real thing, because sugar alcohol, especially for diabetics, is terribly dangerous. It’s not exactly good for everyone else either.*
“Laugh, even when you feel too sick or too worn out or tired.
Smile, even when you’re trying not to cry and the tears are blurring your vision.
Sing, even when people stare at you and tell you your voice is crappy.
Trust, even when your heart begs you not to.
Twirl, even when your mind makes no sense of what you see.
Frolic, even when you are made fun of.
Kiss, even when others are watching.
Sleep, even when you’re afraid of what the dreams might bring.
Run, even when it feels like you can’t run any more.
And, always, remember, even when the memories pinch your heart. Because the pain of all your experience is what makes you the person you are now. And without your experience—you are an empty page, a blank notebook, a missing lyric.
What makes you brave is your willingness to live through your terrible life and hold your head up high the next day. So don’t live life in fear. Because you are stronger now, after all the crap has happened, than you ever were back before it started.” ―Alysha Speer
Author’s Note: I wrote this out of extreme concern for a person’s safety. That’s the place it comes from, so please don’t try and twist it into something it is not. I digress a bit at times, but I feel like I’ve made some very valid points.
Odd Marriage Trends & Idiocy Via Social Media
I’ve noticed an extremely disturbing marriage trend that just plain feels unkosher to me. I can’t describe it any other way than that. Creepy is another word I have to use, because deep within my soul, it just doesn’t feel right. When something doesn’t feel right to me, and it concerns another human being, or more than one human being, especially someone I know, and it involves their safety, I simply MUST speak out and use my voice. I’m generally a pretty quiet person (shocking, I know!), but when something feels so wrong that my brain screams at me to open my mouth, I have to do something, even if “something” is posing the question to my readers.
If a friend told you she’d gotten married to someone after only meeting this person a few times, having spent very little time with him, and that he lived in another country, what would you think? By “another country” I do not mean that he’s in the military or has a job that takes him away for lengthy periods of time, but 100% does.not.live.with.his.wife. Is that bizarre to you, ‘cause it just plain feels unkosher to me.
I’ve often joked in the past with my close friends about not needing my boyfriend/husband/partner with me 24/7, but in actuality, if I didn’t see him for a year or years, I certainly wouldn’t feel like I was in a relationship or marriage AT ALL. If he simply traveled for work at times and we had kids, which required me to stay home for some reason, like their schooling, then I do think it would get on my nerves eventually. A few trips for work a month is no big deal, but years?! Am I crazy thinking there is something not right here?
If a friend told you “I got married and I won’t see my husband for two years…” would you automatically think “Military” or would you be thinking “Mail Order Bride”? I have to be honest, when a man marries someone he barely knows, someone who lives in a country known for its extreme poverty, and he lives in a country on the opposite side of the world, it doesn’t scream “marriage” to me, it screams “Something isn’t right here.” There aren’t just red flags, there are thousands of blinking red lights.
Unfortunately, way too many women automatically believe that you are jealous of them if you pose a question of this nature, as opposed to seeing things from your perspective and realizing that you care enough about them to ask them about this “arrangement” because, in a world where women disappear into the sex trade and there’s rampant human trafficking occurring, you’d be a truly terrible friend if you didn’t speak up and say something BEFORE you find out that this person just went missing “on her way to visit her husband”. There’s not a whole lot you can do once that happens, but in the time leading up to it, yes, you can speak out and make them aware.
I am extremely disturbed by this arrangement a “friend” of mine has and I’m deeply concerned. Not just because she’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but because she desperately seeks love and acceptance from others and the way she goes about it, to me, is extremely unhealthy. She believes everyone in this world, at their core, is good. Maybe it’s the detective in me, maybe it’s just intelligence and intuition screaming at me, but I don’t see everyone in this world as predominantly good. I’ve seen way too much evil to believe that every single person walking this planet is supremely good and that each person has nothing, but good intentions. I’m way too smart for that fairytale nonsense. She should be old enough to have some common sense, but she lacks in this department, as many people do. She’s all over the fairytale. She truly believes she’s found her “Prince Charming”. It’s scary, because she is suffering through a lot of health issues and this man is not physically present for her whatsoever. To me, that’s not a marriage.
Normally I would keep my mouth shut & mind my own business, but this time everything was screaming at me to check this guy out. I researched this man she constantly refers to as her “hubby” (God as my witness, a man is only your “hubby” when he lives with you and sees you every single day. If you don’t wake up next to a person every day, it’s not an ideal marriage. Especially during the first year of marriage. God help me if I EVER refer to a man as my “hubby”. Try calling me “wifey”, you’ll be picking up your teeth for the next month. I do NOT do cutesy nicknames or pathetic references to married life and the person I share that life with. If you’ve been married longer than a year and you call your husband “your hubby”, that is your prerogative. We all use different references and names. However, every time I hear it, I throw up a little, ‘cause it’s nauseating. My friends all say “my husband”, or they use their partner’s actual name, they do not use obnoxious references or ridiculous nicknames. Maybe that’s why it is so much more sickening to me, I don’t know.), because I, by no means, think any of this is genuine.
It might be genuine on her end of things, she’s a person with a good heart who has been seeking the right person for quite some time, but again, not the sharpest tool in the shed. I’ve never met a man that loves a woman and is willing to live somewhere else for years once they are married, not unless it’s a financial thing and they have a plan to re-locate within a certain time frame, and the time frames are usually short enough that it doesn’t ever raise a red flag. Generally, this occurs in the military or when people work in different countries for a period of time based on their profession. None of this has been mentioned outside of “I’m going to visit him next year and he’s going to visit me the year after that.”, so I think that, as a friend, I should be concerned. I have to go with my intuition here and it has never, not once, lied to me.
Many years ago a friend of mine met a guy on-line. After a few years, they got married. He lived in England, and she lived in the U.S. He had visa problems because he constantly had to go back home due to illnesses within his family. She missed him terribly and when they were unable to get his visa cleared, she finally had enough, got her own, and moved to England permanently to establish citizenship. They’d hoped to be able to do that here, but with his family in one country and not well, and only some of her family here, it was the logical thing to do. We’d been friends for years and remained in touch after her marriage and subsequent move, but eventually we just lost touch. The difference between that relationship and the one I write about today is that they didn’t jump in to anything, they took time to get to know one another. I didn’t have a single red flag when she’d call me about him. In fact, I tried to help her in terms of information at times because she was slightly unsure if she should move or not. Initially during her first three months there, she absolutely HATED it and wanted to come home, but she stayed because she loved her husband, he loved her, and she didn’t want to be apart from him. That’s commitment, and I’m sure most of the married people reading this will agree with me.
One of my best friends has been married since she was about 19. Several years ago her husband’s company asked him to help open a new office for them…in Australia. It was only supposed to be six month, a year TOPS. Her work takes her all over the world, but this time she didn’t want to make the trip. She sent him ahead of her, but after a few months, I told her to just go for a few weeks and see if she liked it. She came back after the initial trip, and when she returned, she ended up staying right up until the last minute of still being able to fly pregnant, which is when they both returned, and months later their daughter was born with dual citizenship in the U.S. and Canada. Again, that’s a committed relationship. Even while he worked, she still traveled for her own job, but mostly, she wanted to be a supportive wife, which is why she went in the first place. She said she was ok with him being in Australia by himself, but in reality, she didn’t like it. She thought that by staying home, she was being supportive. I am glad I encouraged her to make the trip. They are stronger for it.
I’ve slightly gotten into the red flag thing, but let me expand: If I told any of my best friends that this was an arrangement I had just entered into, or that I was romancing the idea of doing such a thing, each of them would tell me outright that something wasn’t right. They would also advise me to wait until we are both living in the same country before agreeing to marriage. After all, what the hell do you know about this person when you’ve only spent short periods of time with them? Not for nothing, they wouldn’t actually need to tell me any of this because I’m not impulsive and I don’t rush into anything. I believe in the sanctity of marriage, and if I’m going to stand up before God, my family, and my friends and take vows, then I’m truly committed to that person, and he damn well had better be committed to me because I’m not afraid to break out the shotgun, and neither is anyone else I know.
Red flags are a big thing for me in relationships. This one that’s bothering me has gigantic Red John sized red flags all over it. I was willing to let it go since she’s happy, until I sent her a response to a message that I found more than a little obnoxious via e-mail, where I basically asked her NOT to discuss anything private with me on my Facebook wall, or via Facebook at all. She responded, via Facebook (Like I said, not the sharpest tool in the shed.), with several different excuses as to why she cannot access her e-mail account from her computer, her iPhone (I’m sorry, but if I cannot access a Google Mail account via my incredibly overpriced “Smartphone”, then I do what any person with a functioning brain does: I get a NEW e-mail address with another company, Yahoo for example, where I CAN access my e-mail, and I let everyone know that I have had to make a change in e-mail addresses for the time being. Simple enough, right? We’ve all done it at one time or another. I myself was gifted with a new Android phone sometime last Spring/early Summer. I activated it on my birthday after Verizon terminated my previous cell after I’d already paid them. The bank got my money back, and despite truly loving my Verizon service and my 4 year old phone, as well as the phone number, I sunk to a new low with this new phone and activated it with Virgin Mobile, a company I’ve never done business with before. In order to use this particular brand, you’re required to attach it to a Google Mail account, so when I was initially gifted with said phone, I created a Google Mail account, despite the fact that I rarely use it. No big deal, it took less than five minutes. It’s not rocket science. I can access my mail from anywhere in the world, Google account or not. Maybe this is an iPhone issue, I don’t know, but I still think what I said is completely valid.), etc., and then told me the big whopper that was something I simply cannot abide by: She informed me that her husband dictates her e-mail to her via FaceTime conversations, so the only way she can talk to me “privately” is via Facebook. Are you fucking kidding me?! Get out the Revenge Red Sharpie everyone, because this one seriously creeps me the fuck out. In what world do they live in?!
Do you let your husband/boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/partner read your private e-mail discussions between you & friends that they don’t know and have never met? I ask this in a completely “I’m not cheating” way, because I don’t, nor will I ever. I can understand if you’re just checking their phone to make sure your partner isn’t sending inappropriate text messages to someone else (if you’re the kind of person that does that. I do not.), but outside of that, I think it’s a bit much. I don’t let anyone read my e-mail. I might read something to a person when I am trying to handle a situation that bothers me, or when I want advice about something, but I keep the private sections to myself as any truly good friend should. As much as I give in the relationships in which I am in, and as much as I love, my friendships do not pertain to my boyfriend/husband/partner, so I do not feel he needs to know what I say to my friends or what they say in return. Unless something is said in front of him or directly to him, I believe in some semblance of a private social life. I expect him to have a private social life in many regards as well, and I don’t find that odd, I find it healthy.
I believe in each of us having our own friends, and in having friends as a couple. That does not mean I am cheating or keeping secrets, it simply means there are boundaries in relationships and I don’t cross them. Reading my e-mail to me like you’re some kind of overbearing father figure is not something I would EVER accept or allow, unless I was dead, in which case, have a fucking ball. He’d have to spend the next 40 years of his life deciphering the codes in which my friends and I speak any way, so not only would he be clueless beyond words, he’d get really bored, really fast.
This man, that I do not know and have never met or spoken to, had the audacity to send me a rude message on Facebook (interestingly enough she clearly doesn’t have any privacy considering the message was from her, with his name attached to it. How are our discussions “private” if he has her password to speak on her behalf?) because I was honest with his wife about something so minor, that no person on this planet with an I.Q. above their shoe size would take offense to. She is someone I’ve known for a very long time, and here he is telling me she’s been told not to get in contact with me ever again, and not only can’t he speak English, he can’t spell or write properly either. Considering he’s supposedly from a country where English is the predominant language spoken, do you find that remotely odd? I certainly do. Again, RED FUCKING FLAGS!
Thanks to the idiocy that is social media, people no longer feel the need to send out engagement announcements, wedding announcements, birth announcements, or invitations to anything. They truly think it is safe and completely normal to post their entire lives on social media, but then they wonder why their identities get stolen. and how people they don’t know suddenly know every single thing about them. They wonder why they get stalked. Lets be honest: It’s not because you’re a fascinating creature that people want to be “friends” with, it’s because you’ve lost the ability to keep your private life PRIVATE. Privacy is not a setting, it’s basic common sense. Every single aspect of their lives, from where they eat, shop, live, etc., and a plethora of photos that should be kept private, are there for anyone in the world to come across. Go to my Facebook page, apart from photos of my deceased cats and my new baby, you will not find any personal photos there whatsoever. My best friends (those that have known me for less than 20 years) didn’t even know what I looked like until they landed at the airport when I picked them up the first time they came to see me, and they were all fine with that. If you want to know what I look like, you’ll have to wait for the back cover of my novel, and that’s providing I go the picture route at all. When I say I’m a private person, I actually mean it. It’s not because I am hiding anything, it’s because I have learned to protect my safety and to keep personal things to myself. Do I want an absolute stranger approaching me in public simply because they’ve wandered onto my blog? The answer is an emphatic NO.
Several years ago I found one of my cousins on Facebook. I was utterly appalled to see that he had hundreds of family photos posted where anyone could come across them. I could have been a stranger, as opposed to a family member, and it would have been all too easy to do God only knows what because not only were his wife and children prominent in a great many of the photos, but so were photos of his home, his siblings, their children, spouses, and my Aunt & Uncle. Not for nothing, these people abandoned my brother & I completely after my parents died. They are my first cousins, the only first cousins I have. All four of them are married or in a committed relationship, and not a single one knows how to return a fucking phone call or be a decent human being. I did not get so much as a phone call or a condolence card upon losing both of my parents, but when their father passed away, I made sure we were all there before he died, as well as at the funeral, and at the house right afterwards. I spent months calling several of them after he passed away to try to make sure we established relationships, and they treated me like I didn’t exist. You can only ignore me for so long before I lose all interest in you from start to finish. I am embarrassed to share bloodlines and Grandparents with them, but I adore their children to pieces and would give them bodily organs if ever they needed it. That’s the difference between them and me, but I digress.
I generalize a lot of what I write on this blog, and I do it for a reason. Only a handful of you know me as a living, breathing person, have my phone number, or have friended me on different social media sites where I maintain a presence as a writer, and those that do have higher levels of information about me as a person are people I trust not to disrespect that, nor would I ever disrespect them and the friendship they have extended to me. If I’ve exchanged e-mails with you, and you can contact me like a normal person, then that means something. It means you are welcome in my life. Not just my on-line life, but my real, every day life. That is something I honor very few people with because I learned very early on in my professional career that far too many people wanted to be a part of my life for the wrong reasons. In turn, I let very few people into my life, heart, or home. I am a writer and I publicly post some incredibly personal, honest things here, but I also have boundaries to protect my privacy, as should we all.
This entire ordeal with my “friend” feels wrong to me for a lot of reasons, but the main reasons are: I have no respect for anyone that is trying to control another person, and somehow manages to do so from a completely different country. They don’t even live under the same roof! Moreover, I know that when something feels this wrong to me, the outcome is not going to be pretty.
When I have an intense sense of something, I am almost always right. I take no pleasure in being right about things of this nature, but I truly feel she is in danger and I have no idea how to approach her with it. She’s being civil with me, moving towards childishly friendly, but this guy is in her ear and she’s preaching The Bible at me, among other things. Before she met this guy, she was practicing Wicca. That’s a drastic switch in such a short period of time, so I take offense to her responding to the things I write about Wicca because I never abandoned it. Maybe that seems ridiculous or childish, but if you know me, you will understand what I’m saying and that it’s not coming from a judgmental place, merely a place of extreme awareness, as well as extreme concern.
I’m concerned for her safety in going to visit this guy. I do not trust him as far as I can throw him, and I’m pretty sure I could take him. I have no respect for a man that has the audacity to come into my domain and tell me what to say, how to say it, and whom to say it to. No one tells me what to do, I am not anyone’s property. I am not something that needs to be controlled.
For the record, my boyfriend was APPALLED that a man that does not know me would do such a thing. He, himself, would defend me if someone was physically harming me, he’s never let anyone disrespect me, but he knows full well that in pretty much every situation, I can handle myself. He does not have to speak for me. He’s smart enough to stay out of things that do not pertain to him. I do the same. It’s about respect, it’s not about a lack of emotion towards the other person.
He has been a part of my life for far longer than he has been a boyfriend, and much like me, manners are important to him. Facebook nonsense irritates him just as much as it irritates me, and he is not a part of it because he feels it would be detrimental to his professional career. When he sees me dealing with these things, he asks me why I don’t just tell all of these people to go to hell. He doesn’t understand why I navigate it gently. In fact, he thinks this piece is “too soft”. His advice was to be a lot more “in your face”. Alas, there’s a reason I’m the writer and he is not.
Being in a relationship of any kind, especially marriage, requires a foundation of friendship and respect. It doesn’t mean you hand over every single aspect of your life to the other person, or that you allow them to control you in any way. That’s just plain sick behavior to me, not to mention antiquated thinking.
Exactly how many people are omitting “Obey” from their wedding vows? If you want something or someone to obey you, get a fucking dog. Train it. Throw him/her a bone every now and then, and it’ll “Obey” you. If you expect your 21st century wife to “Obey” you, you definitely won’t be marrying a modern woman. Maybe that attitude will swing in other cultures, but if that way of thinking is working anywhere in this country, get yourself to therapy IMMEDIATELY. Don’t walk. RUN. Subservience and passiveness in women is a huge issue for me. I know for some it is simply in their nature, but I lack the ability to be a “People Pleaser”, and I also completely and utterly lack the ability to be a poor friend.
Far too many women are marrying people they do not know and end up in human trafficking, sex trades, become drug addicts overnight, or they end up dead. Many lose every single dime they spent their lives working for, all in the name of “love”. How can I not be concerned?! Meeting someone on the Internet does not guarantee that he is being honest with you about anything, especially if you’ve only ever been around him, or with him, for short periods of time. For all the Match.com and eHarmony “success stories”, note that you’re not being told all of the horror stories that run rampant through dating sites of all kinds. I’m a very open person, and a lot of the stories I hear are enough to keep me far, FAR away from any forum where I could potentially be meeting someone that has done nothing to earn my trust. It gives you an illusion of safety, nothing more. In reality, it’s about as safe as most bars, except that more and more bars have cameras around as a precautionary measure.
I strongly encourage women to run background checks on guys they’re dating, if for nothing else than pure peace of mind. At the very least, Google him first to make sure he’s not wanted for a crime, and make sure he’s never been to jail for anything questionable. If you live in California, do both a Google search and an IMDB search. Trust me on this one.
Call me old-fashioned, but no matter how I meet a guy, I want to be looking him in the eye when he tells me certain things. I want to be able to see his body language. Once you’ve spent enough time with a person, you know whether or not you feel comfortable enough to pursue a relationship. This does not happen right away, not if you’re smart. I would rather spend time talking to a person and getting to know him as an individual before jumping his bones. Call me crazy, but I like knowing a guy’s middle name, where he was born, what his parents and siblings names are, and what his tells are. Hell, I’m even happy to hear about his Grandparents if they’re still alive. I don’t want a resume, but I do want to know he’s not a piece of shit. If you’re friends with someone, you will find things out so much easier as opposed to jumping into a relationship with them. And at the core of the best relationships are two people who genuinely like spending time together, even if they’re simply reading different things in the same room, you’ll see them glance up at one another and smile. The silence is comfortable, and each person feels safe with the other.
I am a little concerned in posting this because I know I wasn’t Ms. Sweetness & Light here, but anyone that knows me shouldn’t expect me to dump 50 pounds of confectioner’s sugar on something that could potentially be a very serious matter. In turn, this will be available to be read for a short period of time and after that it will be made Private to protect the guilty, as well as the innocent. In the meantime, please tell me what you think.
How would you handle this sort of situation with a friend? And yes, I am perfectly willing to let the friendship end if it means she gets a brain and is kept safe. I would rather she see him for what he really is, than end up a statistic. I have said nothing to her about my concerns because she is not open to hearing anything beyond her own self-involved “bliss”. She thinks he is the greatest thing in the world. Love is blind, sometimes too much so, but love should never be suicidally stupid.
Lately I have found myself on the receiving end of a lot of preaching. One of the first things anyone should know about me is that I am 100% unpreachable. I’m completely unreceptive to it, especially when the approach is so obnoxiously aggressive, and almost negative in some respects. I am not, nor have I ever been, a Bible Thumper. I respect difference of religion so long as one’s beliefs are not being shoved down my throat and recited to me as Gospel, but I will not respect, accept, or allow someone to be disrespectful to me or anyone that reads this blog.
I make my own decisions, my own choices. I live by a specific code, and nobody tells me what to do, think, say, feel, or how to be. There’s no one controlling me. I believe in freedom of speech (Though I can honestly say that some people need to have the right revoked, simply for taking it WAY TOO FAR! And I mean that in the sense that their idea of “freedom of speech” is sick, not helpful or thought-provoking.), in the right to bear arms, in the right to practice whatever religion you choose, so long as you aren’t harming anyone, in the right to love whoever you choose, and I’m a firm believer that when you are trying to seek help for yourself in ANY way, you should be treated with dignity, respect, kindness, compassion, and empathy. If a person cannot at least be polite & professional, then they need to find another line of work if their job means dealing with people or the public on a daily basis.
One of the most important things I learned as a writer, and in business, and this was literally day one, is that not everyone you encounter is going to like you, and that you have to accept that. I don’t like more than half of the people I encounter in this world, but I still believe in having manners and being respectful. I still believe in holding doors for people, in assisting one with directions if they are lost, and in general, not being an asshole. I’m completely intolerant when it comes to the many varieties of assholes in this world, and there are so many, it’s unreal.
Whenever I mention an aspect of religion on this blog, it is by no means coming from a “Live as I live” point of view. I am not telling anyone what to think or believe. It’s coming from a “This is my story, and I’m going to tell it the way I want to tell it.” perspective. We all have different beliefs, and that’s exactly how it should be. Differences make the word go ’round. We all have a unique point of view, and so many of us have amazing gifts and stories to share with the world. I have an immense amount of respect for that, and for the individuals I speak with on a regular basis.
If you visit my blog, please respect others that also visit. Some people think they have the right to comment on other people’s comments, but I don’t feel that way. If a comment is left for me, then I am going to answer it. If a comment is left for someone else, that’s a whole different ball game, but again, I encourage respect. I have deleted some things I felt were inappropriate and/or disrespectful for a number of reasons.
At the end of the day, this may be a public blog that anyone can stumble upon and read, but I will always get the final say in the material in which I allow my readers to be subjected to. If anyone is ever bothered by something, come to me directly and I will do whatever needs doing to correct it. If you find that you dislike me or my approach, there’s an Unfollow button. Use it if you choose, I know I do.
Learning To Love Our Bodies
I’ve been meaning to share this blog for quite some time now. It breaks my heart that any child would ask if raisins are fattening. I openly admit to having an image problem, but I can tell you that it did not start until I left gymnastics and it didn’t begin at home. In fact, I never saw anything wrong with myself physically (except for obvious things that all girls find issue with at one time in their life or another) until people started pointing my flaws out left and right. All of a sudden, I was avoiding mirrors and wouldn’t purchase new clothes.
As women, we make this worse. Instead of building each other up, we tear each other down. It’s disgusting and I don’t want to be a part of that. If I think someone is beautiful, be it inner or outer beauty (occasionally it is both, but not all the time,), then I find absolutely nothing wrong with saying it. That doesn’t mean I want to be in a relationship with them, it simply means I’m not blind.
Zero and Double Zero are not sizes, even if that’s your “natural weight”. It should not be anyone’s goal of perfection because perfection is an illusion. Be yourself. Be comfortable in the skin you’re in because you’re going to be in that skin for a very long time. Be kind to yourself and try to achieve self-acceptance, because it’s so much easier than “perfection”.