#Beyourself, #freedom, #landmarkforum, #opportunity, #rodanandfields, #sidehustle, Uncategorized, vulnerability, Women's Fight

Saying YES

Remember that story about the guy trapped in a flood on his rooftop and he begs God to save him?  First a man in a rowboat shows up and shouts “Jump in, I can save you!” The says “No, its okay, I am waiting for God to save me.”

Then a guy in a motorboat (that motorboatin sonofabitch)  shows up and says “Jump in, I can save you…”

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The guy declines again and says “NO, its okay, I am waiting for God to save me.”

Lastly, a guy in a helicopter shows up. The guy on the rooftop remained stuck in his faith, beliefs and expectations; gracefully refuses. He answers “I am waiting for God to save me”.

Alas, the guy drowns. When he arrives in heaven, he angrily exclaims to God, “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, YOU let me drown! I don’t understand WHY!

God replied. “I sent you a rowboat, a motorboat (built for speed and comfort), and a helicopter. What more did you expect? God shakes his head and walks away whispering “dumbass” under his breath…

What did the guy expect? God himself to show up? He’s a busy guy. He sent his peeps to do his work. This guy clung on to his EXPECTATIONS instead of saying YES to opportunity.

Once you begin to look at everything as an opportunity, things in your life can begin to change; if you are smart enough to say yes. An opportunity could be a friend inviting you to lunch or to go out, an acquaintance asking you to come to a conference, a free seminar, or an exercise class. What happens is we hesitate; we start thinking. (#melrobbins) We start finding reasons why we shouldn’t or finding excuses to stay stuck. To stay SAFE.

Our brains are designed to keep us safe so if there is any kind of perceived risk, our brains respond to it. Our brains cannot decipher the risk, it can only respond to how we react. Our brains functioned exceptionally when we were non-verbal Neanderthal’s whose only existence was to procreate, hunt, gather and survive. The human brain’s “safe mode” allowed people to survive epidemics, wars, the holocaust, and countless other tragedies.

If you are fortunate to have your basic needs met (oxygen, water, food, shelter, adequate clothing, electricity, heat, running water, WIFI, a smart phone etc.) and you are physically safe; the brain prefers you stay that way.  When you step out of your “comfort zone”, the brain reacts to protect you; this is what causes you to hesitate.

“Hoping a situation will get better is not a strategy.” John Maxwell

Stepping out of your comfort zone could mean waking up a half hour earlier to jump start your day, not hitting the snooze button, doing an exercise you have never done, eating foods you have never tried, being real, being honest, not pretending, not reacting to the guilt trip your kids are trying to manipulate you with, speaking up in a meeting, standing up for someone, taking action in a situation that feels wrong, helping someone, putting yourself out there, doing something you have never done, physically taking action on something you want to change.

In reference to Theodore Roosevelt’s speech, The Man in the Arena…All of the above are examples “BEING in the arena.” (Debating with someone on social media about politics does not count-having social media balls is called sitting in the stands of the arena.:)

When you want something, you think about it, you speak about it, the universe responds. The universe has your back. It starts to work to bring you what you want. Unfortunately, many of us believe it should be “exactly” how we imagined or expected. However, we may not be ready for what we want and the next step in the journey shows up. Ever hear TRUST THE PROCESS?

If you keep talking about why you keep dating losers, how shitty your job is, how useless your significant other is or how broke you are; the universe will keep bringing you that as well.

An example could be when you are stuck in a rut, you believe your life is a mess, you have mountains of laundry, you look awful blah blah blah and a friend texts you to go to free class or meet for coffee or a drink. This is where you SAY YES.

When you want financial freedom, you may hope or expect to receive an inheritance, settlement or win the lottery; yet stay at a job you are miserable at. This expectation may enable you to not look for other options, ignore an idea you have, get a side hustle or even turn down a different job offer. It could even be a friend inviting you to a presentation or conference that could inspire or empower you. Instead you SAY YES to what has presented itself to you.

When you want to lose weight, have more energy or feel better, you may expect some kind of quick fix, magic pill or a surgery to do the work for you. Instead the universe may send you a friend inviting you to go a free exercise class, a stranger asking you to join an fitness/accountability group or you ignore the inner voice telling you to make that doctor appointment. You may do what you have always done and say no because you “don’t have the money, don’t have the time.” SAY YES.

You may long to be in a loving, fun and fulfilling relationship and you have expectations, opinions and false premises of what you think this is “supposed to feel like” and what this person is “supposed” to look like. The scenarios are endless with this one. The universe knows where you are at and is sending you individuals or situations to prepare you for what you do want. SAY YES.

Take Risks. Let go of Expectations. Don’t be a dumb ass. If you are, learn from it. Find the message in the mess.

No one is coming to save you!

God helps those who helps themselves.

empath, narcissism, narcisstic personality disorder, relationships, Uncategorized, vulnerability

Left feeling like John Coffey…

Left feeling like John Coffey…via Daily Prompt: Narcissism

The words I used to associate with narcissism are: Pompous, arrogant, grandiose, cocky, conceited with an inflated sense of self-importance.

Then I actually had “interactions” “friendships” and “relationships” and with men and women who have narcissistic personality disorder. The word narcissism has taken on a different meaning and vibe.

When I hear narcissism now, words like selfish, manipulative, predator,  heartless, soulless, delusional, toxic, emotional-vampires, self-absorbed, and mind-fuck come to mind. They literally “search” for impressionable and innocent individuals as if they can sense your weaknesses like an animal.  Individuals with this disorder are very charming, charismatic and complimentary at first.

They know exactly how to subtilely flatter you and make you “feel good”. Over time they intensify this excessive and insincere praise to butter you up and hook you. They usually have some kind of “sob story” to facilitate compassion from your kind heart and lead you to believe that “you are the only one they confided this to.” Hence they take advantage of your good intentions and thoughtful, giving nature by inadvertently causing you to feel special.

This initial euphoria (dopamine release) is what keeps you coming back for more. You like how you “feel” around this person. For once, someone is giving to you and it feels amazing. You feel full, admired, cherished, adored and loved.

They enjoy being responsible for your emotions and having power over your reactions. They groom you to become dependent on this euphoria until you become vulnerable enough to allow them to invade your soul.

  • You trust them wholeheartedly.
  • You feel like there is no one else is this world who understands you like they do.
  • You feel a deep connection to this person that almost becomes an obsession.

When the narcissist is aware that you are completely defenseless and completely enamoured with their tantalizing charm; this is when they strike. Usually it begins with subtle passive aggressive comments that confuse you and trigger insecurity and/or self-doubt. You may feel stung or humiliated and react emotionally. They will then minimize your reaction by twisting things around to make you look or feel irrational. #gaslighting

Then they will turn up the charm again, deepening your vulnerability by preying on your weakness in this raw, emotional state. They will use all the information and disclosures you provided them in confidence. Either they will hurt you more by using it against you or they will fill this void with whatever is missing. They will do exactly what makes you feel the most loved. Usually with whatever your love language is: lavish gifts, words of affirmation, acts of service like cleaning without asking, fixing your car or surprising you with dinner. The most dangerous is the physical affection or mind blowing sex that will completely impair your judgement.

They will “feed” off this emotional roller coaster they put you through and this “feeding” will temporarily sustain them. This pattern will continue until you begin to question your sanity, your decision making and how you feel about them or yourself. They will sense your ambivalence and “up the ante” and do things to make you feel crazier.

They may suddenly withdraw by ceasing to return calls or texts. They may stand you up for lunch or not show up for things. They behave aloof, rude or become cold and distant. They may begin to pick fights with you, accuse you of cheating, start “hanging out” with another “friend” making you jealous. They may play favorites with your siblings leaving you feel never good enough. They may cheat on you or talk badly about you to someone else.

After this, you may be convinced you are clinically insane.  Your emotions will feel so out of control and irrational that you wonder if perhaps you are the problem; not them. Since you have been strung out on the dopamine high they have been steadily supplying you, you will feel an intense withdrawal. This withdrawal is similar to a deep exhaustion or a hangover. You could feel worn out, drained, exhausted, depressed, anxious, paranoid, hopeless, worthless, and weak. You may feel imprisoned and trapped like there is no way out.

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Then they pounce on your vulnerability and feed off whatever emotion and reaction you provide them. Negative or positive reaction; it doesn’t matter. They need this emotional fix to survive so they will do whatever they have to do in order to receive a “reactional feeding”.

You may begin to feel desperate and do things out of character. You may even wonder how you used to be happy before this person walked into your life. You may re-trace when you started to care so much about how this person feels about you. You may speculate why you keep trying to win their affection or attention.

Out of this desperation, you may precariously decide to do anything to make this person happy. You muster up the strength for one more last-ditch effort in order to see that charming, charismatic, loving person they once were. F1BCA709-407E-4573-8489-308BDB71612B.jpeg

Under the delusional belief that deep down “they care about you” and they have empathy; you may attempt to “force” them to understand how you feel.  You will inevitably be heartbroken and devastated. This is an endless cycle that you can waste years on.

Hopefully you will love yourself enough to recognize that this “emotional vampire” has an insatiable thirst. They will leave you once you have nothing left to give and there is no supply left to “thrive”. They are incapable of true love and believe your purpose on this earth is to serve them and supply them without ever having to reciprocate. They do not feel guilty or remorse. It is all an act.

This person could be a significant other, sibling, family member, friend or in worst cases; a parent. The only way out is feeling the pain, learning and growing from it. Meanwhile, maintaining no contact with this person at all. Zero communication or reactions is the only way to end this cycle and break free from their control and toxicity.

The devil doesn’t show up wearing horns and a pitchfork; they show up disguised as everything you ever wanted.

gun control, march for our lives, Uncategorized

No Guns for you

Whenever I have to go to the Department of motor vehicles; I have a vision of the Soup Nazi.

In the DMV, everyone is obedient, quiet, respectful and stands in line patiently. Security is standing by the door, in the back of the room and near the check in desk.

There is usually a bad ass woman at the front desk (probably two years from retirement); with absolutely zero patience and zero tolerance for excuses. She doesn’t have time for bullshit.

She is the soup nazi.

She will check what you brought with for identification. If it is not the required paperwork, she will unapologetically tell you what you need to do, hand you back your pitiful paperwork and you’re excused. Got to come back another day. “No soup for you!”.

While you’re standing there flabbergasted like George Costanza; she’s already looking at the next person in line yelling out “next!”.

Everyone has the same rules and there are no “deals”. Like everyone else, I took a drivers license exam and I was scared to death and terrified. I was extremely cautious, wanting to pass and this drivers license examiner was strict as hell. He was also scary like the soup nazi, only he resembled Danny Devito. But you know what? He should be scary.

He has the power to give you a drivers license. This is a PRIVILEGE! He is a government employee. He is not a salesman.

He was testing me to make sure that I am capable of driving a vehicle. Why? For the safety of myself and other people. It is their responsibility to make sure we are able and willing to follow the rules of the road. If your vision is bad or you can’t pass the driver’s test; you don’t get a license. Period.

End. Of. Story.

It’s just the way it is. We all accept it.

Driving and the freedom we have is a privilege.

Even the most obnoxious of people (The Newman’s😂) who want the soup, know when to shut the fuck up, stand in line, be respectful, follow the rules and get out of there.

The vehicle I.D., license plate number and the drivers license number identify you on your insurance policy and can be found in the U.S. government database. If you do not follow these rules, you get tickets, fines and those brutal red light violations. I mean, you can be fined $100 if you do not come to a complete stop before turning right.(I’ve had like 10 of these 😖.)

You cannot obtain your drivers license or take a driver’s license test at a little shop next to the dollar store. You are unable to take care of any kind of governmental state issued identification responsibilities at Cabela’s or at Dick’s Sporting goods.

So what I’m wondering is, if having a drivers license is taken so seriously; how come obtaining guns are not managed the same way?

This picture was taken Thursday May 17th, 2018 on 74th and Harlem at a sporting goods store. You could stop here to pick up some ice, get a slurpie, or a gun, maybe some ammo…because that’s normal. Whut? Something has to be done about this. This is insanity.

First of all, Guns should be regulated like the DMV with the Soup Nazi at the front desk and someone testing you to ensure you are capable of handling this responsibility. There should be restrictions and requirements as there are with owning a car.

In owning a car and having a driver’s license, you know that if you screw up; you lose that privilege. Only I hope “screwing up” means something menial like turning right on a red light, not resulting in people being killed.

Guns are supposed to be owned only by people who understand and respect their power, follow the rules and take owning one seriously. Guns should be used for self- defense and hunting. That is it.

“No guns for you.”

Watch bullet control below by Chris Rock.

Read this article:

https://brenebrown.com/articles/2017/11/08/gun-reform-speaking-truth-bullshit-practicing-civility-effecting-change-2/

parenting struggles, Uncategorized, Women's Fight, Yoga Pants

My Whole Life is “Have To”

“Do you really have to go?” She asks during a heated discussion.

“My whole life is HAVE TO.” Steve Martin sneers.

I have no idea how but I truly believed I “had no time” prior to having children. What the hell did I do before? How did I ever have the balls to complain about anything?

Parents HAVE TO show up no matter what. There is no break or stopping. I am reminded of this quite frequently as I am about to plant my ass on the couch or eat a hot meal. I am stopped from stopping.

“Mom! Where’s my uniform? Mom, I can’t find my shoes.” Or some fight breaks out while they are both screaming my name simultaneously “MOM!” and overreacting in some kind of hysterics.

However, When you don’t have time to trim your toenails or make a doctor appointment to check out your vadge…this might be a sign you need to calm the fuck down.

When you’re walking around unaware that your shoulders are at your earlobes and you are appearing neckless…it might be a red flag to slow your roll.

As I mentioned that parents never stop, I really am unable to stop “doing stuff” and most of the time, it’s not by choice. I set a rule: one sport per kid at a time. However, what usually happens is there is a 2 week overlap where one sport is ending with playoffs/championships and another sport is beginning. These are the weeks I lose my shit.

Exercising helps and so does wine;). In order to mirror my non-stop lifestyle, I usually gravitate toward a fast-paced heated yoga sculpt; or a Beachbody workout with cardio/weights smashed into 30 minutes. These workouts are non-stop; like my life with only 10-30 seconds of rest. These workouts are essential when your whole life is “have to”.

This past Sunday morning I escaped while everyone still sleeping and I took a 75 minute heated yoga fusion class. Yoga fusion, Bikram, or Vinyasa are slower paced yoga classes. They entail poses that are held for longer periods of time; these are classes “I don’t like” or try to avoid.

I was extremely frustrated through the first half hour of this class. I was annoyed and irritated at my lack of balance and focus. I could not hold any pose for more than a second; then I would stumble. I had the urge to walk out of class because I felt so stupid; yet I was projecting my annoyance on the yoga instructor.

The yoga instructors constant reminders to lower my shoulders from my ears was irritating. I noticed every pose I held would become more difficult as my mind traveled to other places.

Examples:

During tree pose: I was initially focused and balanced, the instructor then advised us to hold this pose for five breaths. Met with the silence and only my thoughts, my mind wandered somewhere else then this dumb class. My focus switched to the music; which was Dave Matthews, One Sweet World ….My mind traveled to Reilly’s beer garden reminiscing about dancing in the sunshine…Then wondering why I am in this dark class on this sunny day…Ahhhh… happy place…

BAM…wipe out… back in present and staggering out of tree pose. Grrrrr.

During wild dancer: I listened to instructions and got in pose, then as everyone had to hold it with no one speaking…my thoughts wandered again…”I wonder what Dave Matthews is up to these days? Man that double CD “Live at Luther College” with Tim Reynolds is the best. I need to pull that out when I get home. I should go see Dave at Red Rock, oh yea and marijuana is legal in Colorado…SaWEET!”

Knocked out of my thoughts…I falter out of wild dancer.

Standing Split Pose: Again initially balanced and focused … then Rusted Root’s Ecstasy begins to play…Thoughts, “Am I too old to sit outside in Reilly’s beer garden? I wonder if they have live bands outside still on Sunday’s?”… I blunder unsteadily and tip over face first ….

What is the deal with this instructor’s class? I thought. She sucks.

This repeated over with my wandering thoughts.

“Did I even shower yesterday?”

(Teetering then fall)

“Jeez I need a pedicure.”

(Tip over, again)

I should day drink more often.”

(Wobbling)

“I can’t do this.” I thought and decided I hated the yoga instructor. “I like heated yoga sculpt Better. I like my workouts at home better.”

Then I painfully recognized what I was doing. I was uncomfortable, therefore I wanted to stop. I wanted to blame someone for my embarrassment. I was no longer in my comfort zone. The workouts I want to do are fast paced with constant movement…kinda like my life.

I was failing because I wasn’t in the present. I was struggling because this type of class was uncomfortable since I rarely slow down.

I pushed through the class anyways now that I realized I did not loathe the instructor; I loathed how I felt. I felt stupid and clumsy. I looked and felt foolish.

Then the wake up call…Reality check…No one gives a rats ass what I am doing, what I look like or even notices me. Everyone is too busy focusing on their own poses, demons and thoughts. I gradually got “out of my head” and “into my life.”

I pushed through the class now, wiser. When my mind began to wander, I counted backwards 54321. Trick learned from the book The Five Second Rule by Mel Robbins. It was the only tool I could think of to do in that moment.

When I finally reached the end of this 75 minute class; I sensed relief. I made it to corpse pose (Shavasana) and my mind was completely blank. Shockingly I was thinking of nothing. I had no recollection what I was doing after this class or the rest of the day. “It doesn’t matter right now“. The teacher, now my BFF, gave me an ice cold washcloth with essential oils for my face. I now felt like a million bucks!

This was an excellent reminder that stepping OUT of your comfort zone helps you step INTO the BIG PICTURE.

I am not a mom.

I am not a wife.

I am not a daughter.

I am not a woman.

I am not a coach.

I am not a counselor.

I am

I just …am

I am enough.

#thefivesecondrule

#parenthood

#stevemartin

#mywholelifeishaveto

#melrobbins

#slowyourroll

#brenebrown, #greatpretender, #homeschoolingrealshit, #opportunity, #sidehustle, Find A Way, parenting struggles, Uncategorized, Women's Fight, Yoga Pants

My Brain Is Oatmeal

I was home (in between jobs 😜)from January 12th-March 6th. Sounds awesome right? However about after a month and not having money (because not working kinda limits all the “fun things” and “projects” you want to do while off.)

I have found it doesn’t take much to throw off your momentum and routine. I believe sick kids is literally the #1 routine- sabotager for moms. Somehow shit is everywhere, you are trapped at home and eventually you have to give in at some point.

Just throw in the towel and watch movies with your sick child who requires hourly snacks and drinks. (Ironically they never eat this much when they are well.) Then of course, mom succumbs to the illness, further jacking up the routine for another week or two.

Then the “getting back on track” phase begins, where you want to jump back into action, however you have mountains of crap to catch up on and clean because the sick child’s stuff is all over. Finally after about three days, you are ready to get back to your “routine”.

My “routine”…After I get the kids to school and calm down from the morning rage of screaming at each other to get going; I do the morning dishes. I wipe the counter and table, which leads to scrubbing the stove, and then washing floor in the kitchen. Let’s be real, cooking real dinners are messy AF and since I was “off”, making real dinners, not chicken nuggets or pizza, was expected. Reasoning: I am off work, I should be able to start dinner. Hence, “Should.”

I am an unintentional slob while cooking. I leave cabinets open, I always over boil pasta and get the filmy stain on the stove. Most of the stuff I chop ends up on the floor, and I have like 15 different seasonings and ingredients on the counter. I’m like an OCD person’s worst nightmare.

I move on to the laundry and find myself frustrated about the baskets of unmatching socks mixed with items the kids barely wore and putting it in the wash. I sit on the floor attempting to match my daughters 17 pairs of socks in various colors, that are “almost the same” color but not quite. I cuss and then realize I also have many different colored socks that require matching and curse myself for being me. When I start becoming euphoric when I find a sock match, I know it’s time for me to get a life and do something else. I stand up feeling old AF because my hips and knees ache from siting like that so long.

I decide to take a break from the maddening sock-matching battle, get out of the house and take an exercise class. When I arrive home, I’m starving and thirsty so then I ponder about what to make that is the least messy to clean up. While I’m thinking, I mindlessly eat some donkey chips or nuts. Once I make something, I clean up again, try to figure out what to make for dinner and I’m now exhausted.

I aim to take a “meditation nap” while listening to headphones by 1pm before I shower and pick the kids up. I wake up to my alarm at 2:00pm and check my texts, somehow I’m on some article on Social media and 30 minutes goes by. Son of a… so no shower…again.

I’m getting headaches frequently, probably from dehydration because I keep forgetting to drink water. None of my clothes fit except yoga pants. I have no energy to walk in addition to my workouts. I am barely hitting 5000 steps on my Fitbit. I have forgotten two appointments and like 6 of my kids practices already because I didn’t put it in my calendar. My house is being consumed by clutter and randomness, and the sad thing is, I don’t even care. However, I do begin caring about dumb shit and worrying like “my friend didn’t text me back, is she mad at me?”

I noticed the universal intervention while I kept procrastinating about cleaning my bathroom. “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Until one fateful day, in the middle of washing my face and my daughter asked me something. I dried my face , went to help her and brought kids to school. When I arrive home, I discover the back room floor wet. “Damn kids, what the hell?” I think. Until I go upstairs and realize I left the sink running the entire time. Now I really have to clean my bathroom. Declutter and throw away tons of crap that should’ve been gone years ago.

Fast Forward: Start job March 6th.

•Have to wake up at 4:20am in order to get everything done and leave a time-window open for my scatterbrain-ness•

Below is all that I accomplished:

  • •Exercise•Shower•Get dressed•Wake kids•Make them breakfast•Ensure they are ready and brush their teeth to eliminate dragon breath before I leave•(why don’t kids care these days about not being the smelly kid).
  • The Night before all this is ready: Kids lunches/snacks/water•Meal prep my lunch/snacks•Run dishwasher•Laundry•kids uniforms/shoes/socks all ready•(the cursed sock and shoe search is the biggest daily time sucker).•Lay out my workout clothes (with socks and shoes)•Pick out work clothes including underwear, bra, socks and shoes (I am just as bad as my kids, who am I kidding?)•
  • Leave for train at 6:35am.
  • Hall ass 25 minutes in the cold to my building
  • I eat the food I brought with me.
  • I drink tons of water, probably 20 ounces an hour without thinking about it.
  • I get 10,000+ steps in by halling ass back to the train station.
  • No naps,
  • Home by 5:30

It continues…

•Make dinner•Clock in as an unpaid Uber driver and cart kids from school extended day, games and practices•No missed practices because I put everything my calendar immediately upon receiving the coach’s email•I keep on the kids about putting their crap away•I hold kids accountable to get their shit ready for the morning•No guilt•

Repeat.

Notice the difference? Now it is clear and concise like a fucking resume. Lots of Action Words.

No bullshit.

It’s all done. No elaboration, no details.

It’s completed because it has to be.

I don’t have a choice.

There’s no time to think.

No time to procrastinate.

I have to just do it.

The less time you have, the less time you waste.

Autism, Grief, Uncategorized, Women's Fight

The Eye of the Sparrow (Part Four)

For about ten years, things were great with our team. We became a little family. We embraced each other’s idiosyncrasies. We invited our spouses and kids to our quarterly get together’s. MF invited all of us to her husband’s 50th party because all he wanted for his birthday was to “jam.” I had never been to a party where they had a real band in the backyard equipped with stage, dance floor, microphone, and instruments. MF’s brothers and brother-in-laws all were musically gifted as well. They all performed and sang on stage, even MF, her husband, her kids. It was by far, the coolest party I had ever attended.

I had planned on sleeping over so I was lucky enough to witness a real “acuostic jam session” between MF, her brothers, sister, nephews, nieces, and her kids etc. Everyone was enjoying drinks and were sitting around with their instruments.  MF nephew asked her if she had heard of the song, “Angel of Montgomery” By John Prine, sang by Bonnie Raitt. MF replied “Kinda”. He said, “All right, Let’s do it.” Her nephew handed her a notebook with the lyrics written inside. All of MF brother’s, nephews etc began playing as if they rehearsed this everyday; which they didn’t. They all had regular jobs but played music for enjoyment.

I always knew MF was a good singer, however, I had never expected to witness what I did that night. I hate to sound like Stepbrothers, but honestly, she did sound like a combination of Fergie and Jesus; as if Bonnie Raitt or the Angel of Montgomery herself was in the room. It was fascinating to watch.  When she was done singing and the guys were all done playing, everyone seemed to say “Whhooooaa” simultaneously.

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Soon after, MF’s husband hurt his back really badly while landscaping, his mother died of Alzheimer’s and his business fell apart. He was unemployed and lost.  Meanwhile, their son was approaching high school graduation and becoming a legal adult, which was setting MF and her husband into a tailspin of anxiety and concern about his future. It did not help that MF was going through menopause and this seemed to trigger a new onset of mood disturbance symptoms. She could not sleep, she would fly off the handle and at times it was as if she could not stop talking. One day I teased her and asked her how much coffee she had that day. When she asked Why, I told her she reminded me of Kramer from Seinfeld when he drank too many cafe latte’s. That didn’t go over well 😬.

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Thankfully, the Doctor and Rokstar could always get MF laughing no matter what was going on; usually by taking a break and watching a few SNL clips or Thug Life videos. Of course her flying off the handle led to some comical stories. MF would often to refer to herself as a “Straight up Ridah” inspired by “Ambitionz of a Ridah” by Tupac.

Our personal favorite “Ridah” story was when MF got into a debate with a bad ass, hilarious, six foot tall Amazon woman at work. At our next party, the two of them decided to settle this debate by agreeing to disagree and then by having a “dance off”.  Both tenacious women claimed they won and it was an event we still laugh about, mainly because of the “Ridah’s” perspective and comments about it.

Following the dance off party, MF was doing well again for a while, until her family was struck by another tragedy. Her niece that she was extremely close to,  lost her 10 day old full term newborn. Understandably, MF fell apart again, and it seemed to take her much longer to bounce back. This seemed to break her heart and spirit more than anything else ever had. Seeing a beautiful, angelic baby in a bassinet/casket is something that no one should have to witness and it is a traumatizing sight. It is one of those things I deeply wish I could “unsee” because that image is burned in my brain. I cannot fathom the pain that  MF, her family or this baby’s mother had to endure.

One day MF conveyed to us that she finally found comfort from the tragedy in the bible verse Matthew 10:29, 31. It was difficult for her to see God’s plan this time through the baby dying, however her faith helped her find peace. I still was detached from my faith so I ignorantly teased her for being a “Bible Person”. When she explained it to me, I hated to admit it made sense but I had not yet made my peace with God and everything tragic that seemed to happen in this world just kept my resistance alive.

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After this incident, MF’s husband to seem to spiral out of control. It seemed he could not cope with the severe back pain, the financial pressure of losing his business, his autistic son’s future, his daughter’s college career and then his wife’s grief and depression. MF was struggling with her husband’s episode because he was always the rock that kept her and her son together. His patience with his son was limitless and MF would frequently say that he has the patience of a saint. However since her husband was self employed, worked alone at home, he did not have time for many friends or a support system of coworkers as MF did.

Rokstar was very concerned when MF did not show up for work February 8th, 2016 and she was not responding to texts or phone calls. Rokstar, The Doctor and I were talking on the phone together three way and we decided that we should stop over at her house to make sure everything was okay. It was snowing and we were thinking something may have happened with their power. Deep down, we all knew something was wrong but unsure what happened.

No one answered the door, it was eerily dark and quiet until the dog started barking. The Doctor called the police on her home phone while the three of us remained on our cell phones together. We all had a sick, nauseous, trembling feeling. The police would not disclose anything to Rokstar and myself except that there was someone deceased in the home and that they would contact us once the identity confirmed.

One can only speculate why MF, her 18 year old son and her husband were found dead in their home. One can only guess what happened based on the information that is known. Ironically I found peace and comfort in “Don’t be afraid, you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” One thing I do know is that when you have a a friend that you love, you do not want to see them in pain. I do believe she is no longer afraid and in pain anymore and does not have to worry about her son’s future because she is right next to him. Additionally, she would be going ballistic everyday if she were here to see Trump president😂.

Autism, Uncategorized, Women's Fight

The Eye on the Sparrow (Part Three)

Once ML (Mom-Lady) grasped the job and had some good days at work, she calmed down and was able to become MF (Mom-Friend) again. MF was able to recognize how her anxiety literally hijacked her brain and her fear of feeling inadequate or stupid triggered some massive shame.  MF also reluctantly went back to counseling and shifted her mindset; coming up with a “new normal” about her dreams for her family.

MF always had a hilarious spin on everything. Her impressions of people were on point and she had our coworkers, doctors and even patients erupting with laughter. Most of all, her therapeutic interventions with patients were professional, empathetic and real. She was extremely compassionate and went above and beyond with each patient. MF had the patients laughing and sometimes was able to “roll with” where ever our patients were. If the patient needed to sing, she would sing with them. If they needed to pray, she prayed with them. She danced with patients in the hallways if that is what they needed to do.

Some of her escapades with patients led to some hysterical stories, hashtagable phrases and our team developed an almost secret language of inside jokes. This “language” originated it seemed, when MF, (a five foot two, petite, Irish, woman with glasses) began dancing with a six foot five African American Male who was in the greatest mood of his life thanks to his manic episode and auditory hallucinations of Motown music playing.

His euphoria led him to believe that this was a kick ass time and he was eternally grateful to be sitting in the ER hallway that we all referred to as the last stop before HELL.

He thought his ER visit was awesome and jam-packed with good times. The lucky ones to witness this dance routine could hear this male yelling “It’s gonna be a good time!” He was also doing that grunt sound like James Brown as if he just consumed the most delicious, satisfying meal of his existence. Meanwhile, MF was donning a protruding-lower-lip-pouting-smile, shaking her head back and forth in agreement as she were saying “Damn Right”. #itsgonnabeagoodtime

I rarely worked with MF but when I did, I could see the cohesive connections she had formed with each of our coworkers. MF and the Doctor ended up having tons of pop culture tastes in common and watching the two of them have a discussion or debate was mind-blowing. MF and Rokstar ended up being two peas in a pod and they discovered that Rokstar was basically a younger version of MF.  MF and the Seasoned Social Worker (SSW) both were avid newspaper readers and would have in-depth, intellectual and political discussions. Lucy and MF had this sister relationship where they would talk about their daughters and husbands; laugh hysterically together yet have these emotional arguments about work and make up like family. Unfortunately for the Doctor, MF and Lucy would seem to always have these heated fights while working with her and she was awkwardly stuck; like the middle child. Then Lucy, the doctor and MF would all laugh about it later.

MF and The Hunter had opposing political views, yet they both possesed a dark and dirty sense of humor (thanks to MF’s three brothers). They would be crying laughing about raunchy things then switch gears into a heated political argument; he would enjoy getting her all riled up and pissed off just like a brother would. MF and The Barber were about the same age and they clicked when discussing their generation and their kids.  MF loved jewelry, flowers and fashion which was the topic of discussion between her and The Movie Star; who was also the biggest fan of her impressions. If you were a strong-minded, opinionated, independent woman, LOOK OUT, because you were bound to butt heads and get into it with MF as Kendall, NaeNae, CeCe, and Jacquaylan did. They would always resolve it laughing while maintaining mutual respect agreeing to disagree.

Eventually MF became comfortable with her new normal and found the humor in many of her son’s rigid views. She would have all of us cracking up with stories of epic failures in trying to beat the spectrum. “CFG!Delete!” was another coin phrase after MF and her husband attempted to get their son to broaden his palette besides chicken nuggets, fries and grapes. This attempt was met with rage as her son burst through the door exclaiming “CFG! Delete.” Translation: “Delete that bullshit lunch you gave me. Get me Chicken nuggets, fries and grapes immediately.” #cfgdelete

MF would share her initial mortification of being at parties where her son would say his version of “thanks for having us” when leaving as “Thank you for the chicken, it was kinda disgusting.” She would obviously laugh privately and most of the time agreed with his brutal honesty. Her son would lecture anyone who would listen about the fact he knew the names of the all of the editors, costume designers, sound effects specialists, stunt doubles, and other random titles of people involved in movies that most people do not pay attention to. MF, her husband, her son and her daughter all possessed musical talent and amazing singing voices. Her son would belt out songs anywhere, even during class and all his peers and teachers would stop and listen because it was too beautiful to interrupt him.

When MF was happy and in a good place, she was unstoppable and intoxicating to anyone around her. You felt lit up as if the sun was shining just for you. When she was not in a good place, it felt lonely, cold and dark to be near her. Things that put her in a bad place seemed to be anything that triggered shame. An example, MF refused to watch the movie Shrek 2 because her son was unable to stop talking during the movie, a woman complained and they were asked to leave the theater. Her son was too busy going through the first Shrek movie dialogue in his head and reciting it out loud to care; however MF and her husband did. They were heartbroken and beginning to see the signs that being on the spectrum in junior high was more evident and not so cute anymore.  This triggered more fear and shame in MF, which led her husband to want to fix it and make her happy again. He could not bear to be in the cold and dark place and longed to be in her shining presence again.

MF was able to snap out of it fairly quickly with some good laughs, connection and her faith. She knew when she was being a “debbie downer” and would slip into character doing Rachel Dratch’s facial expressions and the “wah wah”.  She enjoyed singing at church, watching her daughter sing at church and seeing her siblings in a good place. MF was too cool for school and you would actually forget she was a mom sometimes because she seemed too in touch with everything. She was caught up with the latest binge worthy netflix shows, could jam to Missy Elliott, Ed Sheeran and Adele. If MF was singing, you knew she was in good place. However, for the Doctor and I, who also enjoyed singing; we felt completely inadequate singing around her because our voices sounded like sick dogs. MF could stop a party with her voice.

I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

-Civilia D. Martin

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Autism, Uncategorized, Women's Fight

The Eye on the Sparrow (Part Two)

A few weeks before my wedding, my brother got into a terrible car accident. It truly was an accident, however, one girl died and others were badly injured. My brother was arrested and we weren’t sure if he was going to be able to attend my wedding. My mom, sisters and I were so devastated and scared. I was a mess at work and of course I fell apart the second I saw my Mom-Friend (MF).

I was angry. I was SO angry that it hurt. I was so angry at God for doing this to my family. “How much more is my family supposed to take?” I said to MF. I had disclosed to MF many of my family’s hardships and she confided in me many of her family’s hardships as well. Somehow we both had the same gift of laughing in the face of adversity.

“Believe me honey, I know. I ask that question quite often.” MF said genuinely. She gave me hug and I was slobbering all over her shoulder so I started to laugh. MF said “You can use my shirt as a Kleenex, really it’s okay.” I laughed, red faced, with a stuffy nose. MF took a deep breath and said “I am sorry I told you to get some real problems. Jeez, you showed me up.” I laughed again and so did MF.

Thinking about the people injured in this accident and the family of the girl that died made my wedding seem like such a trivial occurrence in this life. Thinking of my brother, terrified in jail and coping with the guilt of the accident weighing on his shoulders made my wedding day seem so stupid in the big scheme of things.  I get the lesson God, get off my balls. 

Thankfully my brother was released and was able to attend my wedding.  I hated to admit it but this tragedy occurring  with such a joyous outcome made my wedding so much more meaningful for me. There definitely was a shift in my faith and I was still pissed at God; but this situation caused me to care less about the actual wedding and focus more on enjoying the moment with my family.

However, going back to the office space job after my honeymoon was exceptionally painful; like that kind of nauseous and disgusted pain. I remember I went roller blading in the morning before I had to take the train and part of me was secretly hoping I would get hit by a car so I wouldn’t have to go to work (whisper…red flag.) Google Kristen Wiig’s SNL skit Red Flag.

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Clearly I knew I had to starting looking for another job. Eventually, I received a call from my graduate school buddy, Rokstar, about a job she loved at a hospital. I interviewed with an older lady, then a doctor and a seasoned social worker. Later, only to discover my fly was unzipped the entire interview. I got the job anyways.

It was difficult to leave my work gals, but I told them that if I would rather get hit by a car then come to work; then my leaving is definitely for my own safety. (whisper…red flag) We all laughed. Mom-Friend (MF) was happy for me, sad and pissed at me simultaneously. (MF) had already applied at the same hospital as soon as I told her I had an interview.

My first shift was with the doctor I interviewed with and she turned out to be extremely laid back, fun and enjoyable.

“First we will have breakfast, I really do not like to talk until after 8am unless I have to.” The Doctor said confidently. Fine by me. I am not a morning person either. We enjoyed breakfast in silence and then we began “training”. The Doctor’s version of training was talking about pop culture and we had many genre’s in common. The Doctor explained that the only real way to learn this job is shadowing and then just to do it. Again, Fine by me, this job rocks. 

MF also got a job in my new department and she began a month after me. One thing I didn’t anticipate was MF turned right back into Mom-Lady (ML); anxious, stressed, bitchy. She wasn’t cool with the laid back training process and began asking the Doctor multiple questions upon her arrival at 7am despite my warning to not talk to the Doctor until after 8am.

“Well you are a chatty one, aren’t ya?” The Doctor said to ML.

ML called me the second she arrived home from her first shift. ML was extremely pissed off about her experience “training”. I wanted to laugh when ML told me what the Doctor had said to her. I reminded myself that this was just ML anxiety talking and once she feels more comfortable, she will become MF again. Day after Day I arrived home happy and grateful as hell. Day after Day I received intense, stressful calls from ML.

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Finally, I ended my training period and was thrown into the job.  I thrived in the hectic, chaotic environment and I laughed all day long with my co-workers. I was so grateful to my graduate school friend, Rokstar, for calling me about this job. Rokstar was happy with my initiation into this job, however, she struggled with ML as I did. Each shift I worked, I would hear more stories about everyone struggling with  ML. I didn’t know what to do or how to handle it.

I noticed that in the entire time I have known ML, she has NEVER once complained about her husband, her kids or anything else besides work and the news.  MF was so enamored and proud of her family! Her face would completely light up when talking about her daughter and laugh when talking about her son. She spoke so lovingly about her husband. Her husband would make her lunch everyday and drive her to work so she would not have to walk in the cold through the mile-long parking lot.

I was the opposite where I found myself bitching about everything else except work. I seemed to joke around about work and our boss. Fortunately, this is how everyone else was at work and we related to each other; which was maybe why ML was struggling. ML took work extremely seriously. I brought this to ML attention one day we met for lunch; concerned that she was so fixated on the problems at work and I commended her that she never complained about her husband or kids. ML was quiet for a long time and then I saw her chin was trembling and her eyes began to well up with tears.

“I can’t complain about my family because if I did I would start to cry.” MF said with a quivering voice. “My life is my kids. My daughter and I do nice things together and I am so into her plays and activities; but at the same time my heart breaks for her. I want her to soar and not be held back by us. I fear she will be forced to take care of her brother when my husband and I are gone. I do not want that for her. I am not sure if my son will be able to take care of himself. The school seems to be trying to prepare us for his future autonomy. They have been providing us with information on residential facilities if we do not have family that will care for him if anything happens to us. I tell my husband all the time I better go before he does because my heart cannot take that kind of pain. I want my daughter’s dreams to come true.” I was completely crying now.

“I mean, let’s be real. I can’t really complain about the struggle I have with my son’s Autism because I probably sound like an asshole to them. If I show them a picture, he looks fine. He is completely adorable. If one more person tells me that my “Son looks fine” I am going to snap. No one could possibly know what it is like until they walk in my shoes. My problems are different than everyone else. I am ANGRY. I am angry that there is Autism.  I am angry at God for doing this to my family. I have already been through so much, how much more do I have to take?” MF said. It was silent for a while, I had no idea what to say. I could not say “I understand” because I don’t. I felt that would sound ignorant because I have no idea what it is like for her. I am not even a mom yet.

“Jeez, get some real problems.” I said to her. I bit my lips trying not to laugh. I could see a smirk emerge on my MF face. Now I totally understood when MF told me to get some real problems when I was complaining about my wedding dress.

Get some real problems is right.

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Uncategorized, Women's Fight, Yoga Pants

Aunt Flo is clearly not Catholic

So…The time has arrived again for my monthly quarantine. Where I just allow myself to suck it up and accept the fact that this is another obstacle women have to deal with. I find myself talking about this monthly problem to anyone of the female species who will listen. I keep wanting to double check, “Is this right? Is this normal? Am I really supposed to bleed this much?”

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I find it preposterous that I am supposed to cope with this on a monthly basis! I am literally debilitated.  I am not even joking or exaggerating, I wish I was.The vadge-splitting, ovarian stabbing, excruciating cramps have not been this bad since childbirth labor contractions. Only each month, I do not have an epidural to cope. I would consider myself a pretty tough chic, but this is my kryptonite

With Aunt Flo’s arrival, I am also blessed with menstrual migraines from the hormonal fluctuations. These migraines have me waking up to the skull-crushing pain on the side of my head that doesn’t go away until I take my prescription migraine medication. I have a friend who has severe cases of vertigo with her migraines! She cannot even drive at times! How terrifying!

The only thing that got me out of the house yesterday was my daughter’s two volleyball games and my commitment to my volunteer duties of concession stand. My leaving the house was made possible by: four Motrin, then two Extra Strength Tylenol and multiple different witch doctor remedies I have tried over the years to function. I do not even bother with tampons anymore. I feel like my baby-maker would actually laugh out loud if I even tried to put one of those in.

Baby-Maker says to Tampon: “Psshh”.

So I opt for the extra-long overnight pads to prevent accidents even during the day. They are one step below what we receive in the hospital after we deliver a human being out of a hole as big as a quarter that expands to fit a football. (Why aren’t we paid equal wages as men again?) Anyways, these bad boys usually don’t miss anything unless I am unable to change them frequently; about every 45 minutes or so. You know, because I have nothing else going on in my life.

Anyways, as I served Gatorade, water, ring pops, nachos, and popcorn to cute, adorable kids way younger than mine; I neglected to notice the 45 minute mark had passed. We were now in the red zone of 90 minutes and counting. I missed my time to change my diaper and now it is havoc. I was quickly reminded when I felt my jeans get hot and swampy while laughing at some hilarious women. These women were ecstatic about how we finally got Diet Coke at the Concession stand; there reactions were cracking me up. They made the Diet Coke sound so tantalizing that I considered having one myself, which I would have had to steal because of course I had no cash😂. My thievery idea was interrupted when I was paralyzed by the sensation of laying an egg in my jeans. Apparently, the more I laughed or moved, the more I triggered my uterus to shed…during the day…in public. Don’t mind me everyone, I am just passing a clot…from my vagina, no big deal.

img_6843-1When my concession obligations ended, I walked to my car slowly as if I didn’t want to wake a sleeping child; do not wake the beast. This missed diaper change resulted in an “accident” and my having to wash my clothes and another vain attempt in finding some kind of clothes that were “diaper” worthy. I remembered when my kids diapers would leak, I had to put a onesie on them to keep them in place. I was beginning to consider the onesie idea for myself; except my tummy is so bloated and tender that would be difficult for me to pull off snapping the crotch alone.


I woke up on this Sunday morning in January feeling grateful that I didn’t sneeze at my daughter’s games yesterday (which usually results in the floodgates opening.) I was thanking God and baby Jesus that we had no games today so I could stay in the privacy of my own home and bleed out. I decided to allow myself embrace Aunt Flo for all the joy she brings. Her arrival is a gentle reminder that I am not having anymore children, that I am not crazy because the last few days of rage were just hormonal related and my scorching case of irrational hunger is not from a tape worm.

Then I saw on my calendar today was not empty because we have Mandatory Mass for Catholic’s Schools week.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

img_6841My God, why have you forsaken me? I am not ready to put on real pants again. I can only hope that God understands it is not my fault and it is the hormones I was blessed with. I want go but if I have to take these baggy-black-loose-waisted-maternity type pants off again, I may loose my mind.

So I did the unspeakable today.

They both got ready in their uniforms, I dropped them off at church and I went back home.

The guilt is almost too much to bear. However, none of the meds have kicked in yet so I got over the guilt quickly. I have endured hot wax being poured on various parts of my body and had the hair ripped out by its follicles; I could tolerate that with little effort. However, Aunt Flo’s wrath is one that kicks me when I’m down. Aunt Flo waits for no one and clearly does not care if it is Catholic Schools week! She doesn’t care that I need to be on my game. If Aunt Flo is Catholic, I imagine her like this:

img_6840I already called my doctor, a left a message. Yes on a Sunday, so I do not forget to do something about this. Once she leaves town, I forget about the hell she just put me through…until next month!

I will not allow myself to forget this time that Aunt Flo violently strips down the walls of my uterus resulting in excruciating pain, rage and feeling unable to function for three days! I am sick of feeling terrified to sneeze or laugh or revolving my schedule around this skank.

Be it Tube Litigation, IUD, Hysterectomy, the pill…I do not care. I am done. This bitch is goin down!

Please feel free to share any funny or traumatic experience in the comments. It feels good to get it out and laugh about it!