One of the most powerful things about this blogging program is the ability to do it from home. While I know some top bloggers are sitting somewhere on a beach with a little umbrella drink in their hands, and thats all well and good, the truth is, I feel just lucky enough to be able to stay in bed.
You see, five years ago I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that I have carried for most of my life, and will continue to carry until I die. I remember the day I was diagnosed, when I stood in my doctors office and they told me that I would lose the ability to use my hands- that Id never reach my goals of being an author, and that Id never see Advanced Based Camp on Everest. To a young woman, with three small children to care for, this was devastating.
I wallowed in pity, for a week or so. When the shock wore off of living with something I could only moderately control, I decided to do just that, start living.
I was declared disabled, and lost what mediocre job I had had. My monthly diability check from the government was a hair over $300. Roughly ten dollars a day to pay for me, and my three childrens every need. I went onto government programs, food stamps, into government housing. Id spend my days filling out forms and my nights crying.
One day I woke up and realized that it didnt have to be this way. That my disease would follow me around, but that the black cloud didnt have to. I started writing. I started writing often.
Then one day, my friend showed me this program. All you do is blog, he said. And point people to your blog. And you can make money, doing just that. Its real, and its helping people like me, who were told they were too unhealthy to ever work again. Its helped me, who would sit on social media just to keep from being lonely. Now, theres purpose to what I do. And if you take 12 minutes of your time, and watch the video below, I can show you how I did it. And how you can do it too. Right now.
Its not Multi-level marketing, its not contractual but it IS really working. For me and for alot of people I know. WATCH this. Now.
At one point or another, you were a sweet and innocent young lady, who had never gotten her little heart broken, with eyes full of sparkles and rainbows and gum drops. But shit happened, this guy did that, your best friend did this, and here you are. With scars and stab wounds all over your pretty little heart. So yeah, sometimes, you can be the bitch. We all can.
Guys turn into assholes, because at one point, some woman, somewhere has turned them that way. Some little girl broke his heart in such a way that he decided it wasn’t ever going to go down like that again. He chose to put up barriers to protect himself, and its all that one girls fault. Let’s blame her, while also acknowledging that at some point, to some one, we’ve been that girl.
Its uncomfortable, Im with you. I feel that guilt down deep. The memory of the guy who got upgraded on, simply because someone new was far better looking and far more available, or he had a car. We aren’t born into the world as progressive intelligent thoughtful humans, we have to grow to be this way. So hold on while I dump some water on your roots.
My son was in fifth grade when he came home for the first time with a big dumb grin on his face, clutching a valentines card that was as big as his head. My first feelings to this adolescent development, was immediate rage. I was ready to call friends and family for bail money, of which I would surely need the moment I could corner the young lady who, at age 11, had told my innocent son that she “loved him.” The card was laced with all kinds of young sentiments. I love you, you are my “One and Only” and of course, “Be Mine.” It also said in a plea for anonymity, “Don’t tell anyone.” My stomach was in knots. My veins icy with adrenaline.
Now, as time passed and my vision cleared, I stopped seeing red and started talking to my little man. He is a typical first born type A personality. He has always been the perfect kid, great grades, great at sports, amazing at helping around the house, fresh threads and a love of skateboarding. Its no wonder he is one of the most popular kids at school. He had had several valentines this year, but this one was handmade, hand delivered and clearly written from this little girls own hands. “Did you show anybody this?” I ask him credulously. “No” he said “She asked me not to.”
For a moment, I remembered what my first valentine was like. His name was Gregory and he was in the seventh grade. He was taller than most of the boys in school, and had deep blue eyes and dirty blond hair. He played the trumpet and I watched from my nerdy perch by the timpani drums. He was the one, I just knew it. So I turned in my drum sticks and started taking trumpet lessons. At least Id be closer to him during band class.
A full grade ahead of me, and so far out of my league I was positive he didn’t even know my name, Greg was the popular kid. I was a nobody. Until one day on the playground he called me by name, asking me to throw over the football that landed near my feet. I couldn’t breathe. This was it. This was my chance. So, I picked it up and threw my first ever (and possibly my last) perfect spiral throw, directly into his arms. He smiled and said “Nice throw!” I melted into my shoes.
For at least a month I lived on that moment. I replayed it like a record on loop. The grooves getting deeper and deeper. I was certain that we were meant to spend the rest of our lives together, playing catch and having little blonde hair and blue eyed babies who would subsequently ALSO throw perfect throws to wherever they aimed. It was destiny. There was nothing that could stop it. Nothing in the world, except me, of course.
So I sat down, and painstakingly wrote out my feelings on the only college ruled paper I could find in the house. I wouldn’t want to use that other stuff, I wanted him to know this was serious and adult, and eternal. After I had rewritten it a thousand times, I finally had the one perfect sample. I carefully folded it. Tucking the corners in just the way Id practiced. I plotted, I planned.
The day came. I delivered the note, tucking it into the bell of his trumpet moments before class. I took my place at chair 3, with my rented trumpet in my shaking hands. He walked in with his friends, the popular kids always did that, didn’t they? Travel in packs. He said down in First Chair, and opened his trumpet case. My nerves were on fire. My brain was telling me to get up, and run. Or wait and see, cause maybe he loved me too. I sat halfway on the chair, halfway off. When our teach raised his baton to get our attention, and he still hadn’t found the note. I panicked a little.
The song began, and immediately everyone knew something was wrong. Mr. Pleasant nodded to the trumpets and gave that “where you at?” shrug. I glance over at Greg who is looking at his trumpet as if its not making sense. He puts it to his pursed lips and blows. The sound is muffled, by my note. Because I couldn’t just lay it in there, and let it be found. I had to make a big scene and I just had to do it in front of the whole class. He tipped it up and looked inside the bell, finding the crumpled note shoved so deep down his trumpet that he struggled to get it out. Im pretty sure there were curse words involved. But at that point my lesser self had won over and I was already up and out of my chair, bursting into the hallway with tears in my eyes.
He didn’t like me back. In fact, apparently everyone had a good laugh over the contents of my note that day. It got passed around to everyone, including my best friend who was also his younger sister. I was so devastated I finished the school year and begged to go somewhere else. My friend didn’t talk to me anymore. The boy I was certain was my future husband, laughed at me for expressing my emotions. I died that day. Just a little bit.
So there is my fifth grader, who is the cute older boy, who has been given this gift that once illicited rage from me, but was now leaving me feeling deep pain for the person who wrote it. I remember what courage it took to deliver my first note. I remember that pain of rejection, the groove in my record now being overshadowed by an immediate feeling of regret. I wasn’t sure Id ever fit in, and I knew that pain that could come so easy when someone doesn’t return your feelings. I pull my son in close, hugging him tight. “You did a good thing.” I tell him. He nods.
That leaves me with questions about who we are and how we relate to the people around us. Do we really know that we hurt people so deeply, when we do it? Do we really know what we are doing when we carelessly reject? Or when we callously fight? Do we know, at the young tender age of schoolyard crushes, that lifelong memories will be made right there. And like a rock in our shoes, we take them with us, feeling the sting with every step.
The men in your life may be bruised, they may have been rejected a hundred times since the first day they noticed the fairer sex. They may be totally different people than who you see on the outside. Men who play the part of the asshole are usually just scared little boys down deep. When we put our hand on a hot stove, and it melts our fingerprints, we learn not to put our hand on that damn stovetop again. We have a human reaction to pain, and that is retreat. The same goes for love.
As adults we understand that rejection is a part of life. But as a child, we often view rejection as a life altering tragedy. When children experience these deep rejections, when their life skills and coping mechanisms are still being developed, it can lead to a deep groove in an otherwise healthy record.
“As researchers have dug deeper into the roots of rejection, they’ve found surprising evidence that the pain of being excluded is not so different from the pain of physical injury. Rejection also has serious implications for an individual’s psychological state and for society in general. Social rejection can influence emotion, cognition and even physical health. Ostracized people sometimes become aggressive and turn to violence. In 2003 Leary and colleagues analyzed 15 cases of school shooters, and found all but two suffered from social rejection (Aggressive Behavior, 2003).
Clearly, there are good reasons to better understand the effects of being excluded. “Humans have a fundamental need to belong. Just as we have needs for food and water, we also have needs for positive and lasting relationships,” says C. Nathan DeWall, PhD, a psychologist at the University of Kentucky. “This need is deeply rooted in our evolutionary history and has all sorts of consequences for modern psychological processes.”
Children experiencing rejection feel what is perceived as physical pain. In fact, fMRI studies indicate that the part of the brain responsible for the perception of physical pain- the dorsal anterior cingulate and the anterior insula- both showed increased acitivty response similar to physical pain. As far as your brain is concerned, a broken heart is as painful as a broken arm.
We have all touched the proverbial hot stove. So what can be done to break down the walls of the person you love?
Try to remember that, just like you, men have become who they are through many different actions and reactions through their whole lives. Assholes aren’t born, no mother on this planet has woken up from the pain of childbirth only to realize that the angel that was sent down into her arms was replaced with an asshole douchebag who wears his hat sideways and doesn’t open the door for you. Assholes are made, through trial and error. They are built in response to their environment.
Sometimes it’s worth it, sometimes its not.
Rehabbing an asshole, and teaching him that not all girls are the same is a lot of work. You are in for some heartbreak, some sleepless nights and some long winded discussions that no one is comfortable having. But ultimately, its worth it. Underneath that hardened exterior is a good guy that wants to believe that there are still good girls out there. Remember to work on yourself first. No man will be good for a woman he knows isn’t worth it.
Be a safe spot for your man to be that little boy who can accept the valentines from a smitten little girl, without telling the world all about it. Sometimes it comes easy, with one nod of the head or one silly little love note. They too are taking their playground crushes along with them. Facing and coping with rejections along the way.
Columbine, Aurora, Arizona, Boston, 9/11. These acts of terror have one underlying thing in common, and its not deranged gun men with a nefarious agenda or narcissistic madmen hell bent on destroying the fabric of our nation. Instead, these tragedies have the common thread of separation.
A country divided, is a country controlled. When something tragic happens, we dont all come together, working as a unit. Instead, we find ourselves glued to the internet, watching the news, huddled scared and alone in our homes.
Boston was especially interesting when it came to social media, and the news. An entire city was locked down while they searched for an unarmed 19 year old. An entire city, that went into a state of shock. Businesses were closed, people were forced to stay at home, or risk being arrested and detained. Every square inch of every home for 20 complete blocks was searched. Children were ripped from their homes at gunpoint, forced to run from armed stranger to armed stranger amid barking police dogs. The lockdown eventually proved unsuccessful in its purpose, to locate the teenager allegedly responsible for the Boston marathon bombings. Instead, once the ban was lifted, it was a common man that found the perpetrator huddled outside his home. Martial law in place with thousands of law enforcement officials combing the streets, and it was one man with a keen eye that located the suspect. What does that tell us?
Immediately as the news broke of these bombings, the internet went abuzz with conspiracy talk. The general distrust of the government is palpable, and even the smallest event has become a platform to destroy the credibility of those powers that be. Once the conspirators started calling the event a “false flag” there was immediate backlash from the other camp. People started pointing at each other, You are wrong. No, YOU are wrong.
This separation happens not only with an event of this magnitude, but in our daily lives. Facebook has replaced face to face conversations. Instagram has replaced private letters. Is anyone even emailing anymore?
We are turning away from each other, and whether you believe that there is a private club of people running the world, or you believe that our government wants what’s best for us, the fact remains. We are letting ourselves be removed from the very fabric of humanity. The connections we need to live, the love we need to feel for one another.
Suicide has surpassed car crashes to become the #1 cause of injury related deaths. And more soldiers die from suicide than die in combat.
Let that roll around in your head for a little bit. People are killing themselves, in droves. And they arent doing it in some third world country, they are doing it here. And they are doing it today, right now.
The separation we have created, cultivated and encouraged has hits its breaking point. We can not let it continue. We can no longer afford to keep our heads down, and to worry only about ourselves. We MUST walk once more into the village square, and talk to our neighbors, and shake the hands of our fellow humans. And when one person is hurting, we can wrap our arms around them. As a group, as a collective. We can make these changes. We can show the world that we are human first.
There is good in all of us. Lets focus on taking care of one another, loving our planet, and living a life based in joy, and devoid of fear.
Almost every night, before we close the blinds and lock the dead bolt. My youngest son and I take off our shoes and walk around our neighborhood. Walking barefoot brings you closer to the earth, it slows down your pace and lets you relax. We do this together almost every night the weather permits. The cool sidewalks on our soles.
Tonight, we had rushed out of the house to get to the park before nightfall. The older boys rode their bikes and mike crawled into the car without shoes, surely prepping for our barefoot walk, unbeknownst to me. I had sandals on, my legs and feet already sore from swimming all day. I didnt even notice he was barefoot. When we reached the park, he reminded me that he was barefoot and that we would have to walk slow. I paused, weighing the options of going back to the house for shoes, or having a child barefoot on rocks and sand.
We know our neighborhood well, we've walked it a million times. The park is another story, it is full of rocks and sticker bushes, wood chips and random garbage. He pulled me along as we get out of the car, brothers right behind us. I ask him if his feet are okay, if he is comfortable. He insists that he is. The pavement turns to sand, and into course rocks only about three hundred feet in front of us.
As we walk, since he has no desire to play on the swings or climb on the monkey bars, he simply just wants to walk, we talk in quiet tones about our day. What made him happy, what made him sad, how much he enjoys having his brothers home. As we get further down the path, he starts to slow down, gripping tighter on my hand. I squeeze back, and stop. Bending down I place my sandals in front of him and he slips his tiny feet into them without a sound. He smiles up at me and we continue walking.
Its then that I realize how fast he is growing up and how little I can do to stop it. He is quickly becoming a little boy, who will turn into a young man, and eventually into a man all his own. I am powerless to stop it. Totally and utterly powerless.
"Your feet hurting, mommy?" He asks me, with an expectant raise of those delicate eyebrows.
"Im okay boog." I tell him.
Im walking over sharp stones, and having sticks jammed into the tender soles of my feet. Im wincing at the pain, and markedly slowing as we tread forward. He gets several paces ahead of me and then, without warning, he changes direction and heads straight up the hill. I stop, watching him for a moment. His silhouette against the backdrop of a setting sun. My brave boy is climbing mountains, and ultimately, Im giving him the shoes to do so.