Too many thoughts, too little time.

Posts tagged ‘lessons’

A Success Story, Part 3

Continued from Part 1 and Part 2

Part 3: A Graduation, A Mustang, and A Teenage Mother

I had dreams and goals. One was to join the military, and get far away. I actually finished my junior and senior year at the same time. I never said anything, but when it was slow at work, or when I was babysitting all my siblings so my parents could grocery shop for 6 hours an evening, I did homework. They never checked or looked at it. I even graded it myself, so I could be sure I was getting my answers correct. They didn’t know until the college acceptance letters started rolling in. Texas, Florida, Ohio, Georgia, California…anywhere but here. I ended up getting a full ride scholarship to a state school 3 hours away, so, I began to pack, while my mother sobbed about me being so far away. But, I was going, damn it. So, I packed, and I told anyone who would listen. Luckily, our church wasn’t super conservative, so, I was encouraged in this pursuit. I even got a senator who went to our church to write me a letter of recommendation, so, he was a big help when he talked to my parents about me. There would be no hiding this and guilting me into staying home. (Unfortunately now, that senator is a huge home schooling advocate. He often blocks anything that may change the status quo, which in this state is basically nothing.)

This is always my parents’ first response when people don’t think homeschooling is great. That Punkie got a full ride scholarship to a good school, therefore homeschooling is good, and they are amazing parents. They never mention that I flunked literally every single class that semester I was gone. That, I didn’t make any friends. That they brought me home every single weekend.  But, I got into the good school, so, I am a success story.

Before I left, I got myself a boyfriend. I didn’t even really intend to. He was cute, and seemed like somebody I could get into some trouble with. We were going to college in opposite directions, and to be honest, I was tired of this burdensome “virginity” thing following me around. I was tired of modesty and acting right, because otherwise, I was a slut and men only cared about sex, and please insert your own used, dirty, useless, worthless, disgusting gum, tape, whatever analogy here. I didn’t want to get married for 15 more years, and I was not going to put up with this forever. So, I wanted to go ahead and get the first time out of the way, and move on. I never planned on a real relationship, and from what I had learned about men, he would be ok with that.

He wasn’t. And, I had been taught that love meant never standing up for yourself, it was long suffering, and if it involved pain and yelling and abuse, well, it was normal and probably your fault anyway. So, when the boy, Joe, began to fly his red flags proudly, I supported him, because he loved me, he said. And, when he reminded me, I was worthless, it hurt, but I was comfortable, I was used to this. He must REALLY love me, because that is how you treat people you love. After my first semester at college, I was put on academic probation. My parents told me if I would just come home, they would buy me a Mustang. I love cars, especially sports cars. Since I was doing so poorly at school, I agreed. I moved home, they found out about my bad grades and said I only came home because of my grades, not because I missed them, and, I never got the car.  I still pine after that 1967 Royal Blue Mustang they told me I could have.

Joe began pressuring me to get married. I said yes, because I never learned to say no. I was 17 and clueless. A few months went by, and he treated me worse. I thought long and hard about it, and decided, this was not what I wanted, it would not work. As we sat in his Accord, I told him, while I loved him, I could not marry him at this point, and we needed to call off the wedding. He begged me to give him a little while to process it, before having to deal with the embarrassment. I gave it to him. A couple weeks later the pregnancy test came back positive.

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A Success Story, Part 1

I really debated about posting this. I’ve went back and forth. But, my 9 year old brother is staying with us for a couple weeks while our parents are on vacation. I’m really struggling, watching him. Not that he misbehaves. He doesn’t. He’s loud, but, when you grow up with all the noise he does it isn’t any wonder. I’m trying to curb the constant yelling and interrupting. I’m afraid 2 weeks isn’t enough time though.

I’ve decided to let Monday be unit study day for my kids. Since I have LB here, I figure he needs to do school work as well. But, I wasn’t brought anything for him, nor any guidelines or instructions. So, as I worked on the unit study packets this past weekend, I made him one as well. A few weeks ago, my mom was acting irritated that LB made her look bad, that he told our grandma he couldn’t read, but he reads all the time. I thought that was an odd thing to lie about, but ok. Now that I’m doing homework with him, I see, he really can’t read. And, he just doesn’t understand  anything we are doing. My youngest boy is old enough for 3rd grade. But, because of when his birthday falls, I started him late. He’s in 2nd. He’s 8 and a half. My brother is a year older. And, also in 2nd grade. And, struggling with basic addition, or ANY reading. Today, as my boys worked through the worksheets, LB said “I’m really getting behind in school now.” I said, “No you aren’t. I’m working with you.” And he said “Yeah, but I don’t do school at home.” I asked how he felt about that, and he said angry, why is he “stupider” than my youngest? I said “Well, why don’t you do school?” he said “Mom is gone all the time, so, 17 yr old babysits. We just watch tv or watch them play video games.”

If I bring this up, my mother will 1. tell me he’s lying. 2. tell me she has never stopped him from getting out his school books and doing work. and 3. she will decide the problem is the video games, and get rid of the system my brother bought with his own money.

My parents cannot admit their homeschool experiment was a failure, because, I wasn’t a failure. I’m a “success” story. And, that is the story I want to share. How I became the poster child for doing things right, their way. It’s long, so I will divide it up. The story is actually going to be published anonymously elsewhere. I submitted it, and they said it would definitely be published. There was some things that are fairly identifying, however, when I read through the other submissions, so many things weren’t identifying. The huge number of siblings. The messy house. The emotional and physical abuse. The ideal front, and the church attendance, that hid everything else. Sadly, my story can easily be told while remaining anonymous, because there are so many Punkies out there. I apologize for any repeated information. I am copying and pasting from my submission to the other place.

Part 1: Elementary School

I am a homeschooling “success” story.

A fact that is rolled out by my parents, constantly. They have 10 children, and, if you dare question them about anything, including the fact their 6 year old acts more like a 3 year old, or that their 18 year old son can’t read, they will quickly point out Punkie and how successful she is.

As I read stories and as the online community has grown, I realize there are other people out here just like me. People who had parents who kept them isolated, who didn’t let anyone around, who weren’t actually taught anything. In some ways I think my abuse wasn’t so bad. I mean, I didn’t have to wear dresses all the time.  While my parents loved the Pearl’s method of raising children, it required too much work to keep up with. And, the abuse wasn’t usually physical, much. So, I have nothing to complain about. Then again, I read stories and am jealous of kids who were allowed to go to church activities and be on debate teams, and even go to conventions. My husband, Brad, has some of the same thoughts. His abuse was mainly mental, spiritual, and emotional abuse. Mine was the same, but with some physical thrown in as well.

I went to public school from K-3rd grade. In 4th, I was homeschooled. I was given dozens of different reasons why I was homeschooled, always seeming to change with whatever hyped news story was being broadcast. I was handed a stack of books and told to do the work in them. Since I could read, my mother claimed she did not need to teach me, just read the directions. That never changed. The sibling just younger than me has severe learning disabilities, even now, in our twenties, she has the mentality of a 6 year old.  She didn’t get schooling.  Our parents decided she could not learn, and didn’t even try. While we grew up, I’m the one who taught her to write her name, and how to make letters. I taught her to ride a 2-wheeled bike, how to pet a dog (she was terrified of animals), how to tie her shoes. When she was 16, I taught her how to swim. I’d been working on helping her over her fear of water for years, and one summer, she was swimming with me. Not often, and she didn’t like it much, but she did it. One day my father decided she needed to swim, he wanted to see how she did. She started to cry and fight him. She screamed, I tried to stop them. He picked her up and threw her in anyway, because she was disobedient. She panicked and needed saved, I had to calm her while pulling her back to the boat, in the middle of the lake.  She’s never swum again. I taught other siblings how to read, and long division. My mother rarely ever cooked, she only knows how to microwave junk food.  She says she doesn’t know how to cook, but, somehow, I learned how to make real meals.

I hated being homeschooled. I hated being taken from my friends, I hated being home all day. I hated not being “taught”. I hated that I lost my reprive from my mother’s screaming, and my dad’s constant yelling and temper tantrums, often that ended with the sound of the belt being pulled from his pants, to hit us with. My mother would scream at us, calling us names, expecting me to parents the others, and if I wasn’t a very good 10 year old mother, then it was made clear that I was worthless. She was always pregnant, always tired, always napping. When she wasn’t sleeping until noon, she was sitting on the sofa, watching t.v., demanding we clean something. Or mad at us for watching t.v. too much. Wanting to know why we were hungry, why hadn’t we microwaved a plate of Pizza Rolls if we were hungry? But, don’t forget, you can’t eat too many, because then she and dad wanted to know why we were such pigs  and wasted all their money.

Dad would come home from work, furious that there were dishes left undone, and I should have done them. It  didn’t matter that it wasn’t my turn, or we’d been busy. The only thing that mattered was they needed done. He would fight with mom because she was lazy and he worked so hard. Mom would get offended and tell him it was our fault. The fight would ramp up, the screaming getting louder. And, eventually, she would decide she didn’t have to put up with it, and she’d walk out. Leaving us with him. He’d continue the yelling for hours, getting so in our faces, sometimes we’d get spit on us, it was disrespectful to not stand there and take it. He would punch holes in walls, he threw a toy tractor through a glass door, he hit my sister with the vacuum cord because she didn’t wind it right. He’d call us pigs and worthless. He’d throw cups full of milk. I remember one time very clearly crying, and he got in my face, demanding I explain why I was crying. I told him I was scared, and he said “Good, the Bible says you should fear God.” That was the moment I lost any bit of respect I had for him. My tears were often ridiculed and punished. I tried to protect “my” kids the best I could. Often mouthing off so the ire was turned towards me, while the others ran away. 20 minutes after the screaming stopped, he’d call us back. He’d apologize, but the apology was always blaming us. He was sorry he couldn’t control his temper, we had just pushed him too far. Then, he would say “Will you forgive me?” but, it wasn’t a question, it was a demand. The only allowable response was “Yes, Sir.” Then we had to give him a hug.

to be continued…

 

Anger and Forgiveness

What is forgiveness to you?

I have a lot of forgiving to do. I know this. I had to work on forgiving myself for many things, many of my choices. I have had to forgive Aussie for some things. My sister spent a few years calling me names and being rude because she found condoms in my medicine cabinet. I never liked her much anyway, so, I need to forgive. I need to forgive my ex-husband.  For the cheating and the emotional/mental/physical abuse. I need to forgive my parents, for the same abuse, for the lack of education… I’m sure they would appreciate it, but, I’m really being kind of selfish about that, I think I’ll feel better. 

But, it’s a process. Maybe it isn’t supposed to be. I don’t know. Maybe some of you can wake up one morning and say “all is forgiven” and move on without another thought. But, I can’t. I actually had a class last week, where we had to watch a documentary about meth. They were talking to people trying to get off of it, and one woman said that she hadn’t quit meth, she was quitting meth. It was a process. Everyday she had to tell herself today she wasn’t doing meth. And, I oddly feel that way about forgiveness at this point. Today I forgive you for that one time. And, tomorrow, I’ll forgive you for that other time, maybe, I’ll work on it. I’m not able, at this point, to do just some big lump of forgiveness. Maybe that is a flaw in me, but, I think it’s progress.

I used to be so mad all the time. I mean, all of it. I was so mad about how life was so unfair. About how everybody was so mean. But, I’ve tried to stop that, I know that wasn’t good for me. I’ve tried to change what I could, and fix what I could. I try to count my blessing and realize that things could have turned out completely differently for me, but they didn’t, and I’m extremely happy with where I am in my life, I’m proud of me, I like me, and my husband, and our little family. So, I can accept that all the crap is what got me here, doesn’t mean I’m thrilled with it, but, I accept it. I accept I can’t change the past.

I spent years avoiding my dad, and making it very clear that was what I was doing. Part of me wanted to completely cut my family out of my life, but, I also knew I depended too much on them at that point. I played mostly nice and I avoided dad. Recently though, I’ve been trying. I really have. I don’t think we’ll ever be close, but, I thought I could stay for 10-15 minutes after he got home from work, say hi, ask about work before I left. When he wants to stop by for a visit, I make a fresh pot of coffee for him. I know it isn’t much, but, it’s what I could do today, you know? The relationship is quite superficial, but, not so angry anymore, so, it’s something. I’ve tried to do the same with my sister and my ex. I don’t think we’ll ever be friends, but, I can be kind when we have to be around each other. 

Last week, it was a bad week. I had to go to court with my ex, thing one had strep throat, ex was over medicating him, telling me the divorce decree said differently than it did, just lots of little stuff. I had to leave the boys with mom for court. I went back to get them, and for some reason she started talking about how she’s learned to be a better parents and how she feels bad about the name she called us when we were little. She asks if I remember, then tells me not to say anything. I said I did. Then she starts pestering me about what I remember. I say what i remember her calling me, and she gets upset, spends 5 minutes telling me she never said that. So, I drop it. Then, she waits and asks again, then she says it. The whole thing was just bizarre. I say yeah I remember being called that, she says something about “why didn’t you say it then?” I said “because, honestly, the things you called us was eclipsed by the things Dad said and did.” Then, she tears up “Well, I hope one day you can grow enough as a person to find it in your heart to forgive him.”

It really felt like a slap in the face, I’d been trying. But, almost every time I see him, I have new things to forgive! I was trying, and it wasn’t good enough, it wasn’t enough. She changes the subject, but i’m fighting back tears. Finally I say I’m irritated, that I’d been trying. That maybe she should just tell me what forgiveness looks like to her since I’m not doing it right. Does it mean I can’t be hurt? Does it mean it never gets brought up again? Does it mean I have to pretend everything is ok all the time? For a MONTH my ex husband treated me like dad did for 25 years, and they want him arrested, but, I just need to shut up and forgive dad? And apparently forgive means opening myself up to constant hurt and pain from him, without another word of how he’s been doing this for almost THIRTY YEARS, so he and mom can be happy.

God I was mad. I went on, “No, I don’t remember, I don’t give a shit what names you called us. I cared that you’d get dad all worked up, and you’d get him mad, and he’d start screaming and breaking things and demanding we get up and scrub the house at 3 am, and you’d just walk out. But, not usually before making fun of me for crying because i was scared. You’d just leave, leave us with him, crying and scared, with me trying to calm down the 4 yr old on my lap crying and half asleep. Then you’d come home to a clean house, and a calmed down husband, and everything was fine. I care about that. But, you’ve never asked for forgiveness or even apologized for that one. I remember him throwing Bro’s little tikes tractor through the huge glass door, then demanding the 5 yr old clean it up all the glass. And you didn’t do anything! I remember him punching a hole through the wall on Christmas Eve, then throwing our toys away at 2am, and you didn’t keep quiet that time. You didn’t walk away that time. You helped him! You told us it was all our fault. I care that you didn’t stop it, that you didn’t protect us!”

What I want to say:

“You want me to forgive faster and i’m working on it! I have 30 yrs of crap to forgive. I have a father who was always harder on me than everyone else because I wasn’t his, he only tolerated me to get you! I have a father, who i called him crying…’daddy, he’s cheating and breaking things, Help me. I got to go.’ and my ex hid in the closet, and dad went and knocked on the door, and when Joe didn’t answer, he left. I said ‘break in the door! He’s there! It’s my house! break in the door!’ and he said “no, you aren’t worth going to jail over. I have a dad who rushed out to pick up his favorite daughter from her boyfriends or church or whatever, after she’d been sick and hurting all day, but she went anyway, then couldn’t drive home, the night i had surgery. He CARRIED her in the house, but, my kids toys were on the floor, so he kicked them, came back, dumped over the entire toy box, then made me clean it all up. 4 hours after I got home from the hospital. Because sister MIGHT have gotten hurt if he tripped. I married a guy you said I had to, then when I said thats why, you told me that you didn’t mean it. I had dad hit my kid in front of me, then, when I took the boy away, he came after me to scream and berate me for how i parented and how horrible my kids were. I passed out in the driveway once, from a panic attack I had while he screamed and trashed me, and he said I faked it! You stood by as he hit us with belts, not caring if the buckle got us! When he left a handprint bruise on my leg after I cried because he broke my bike, your only words of comfort were ‘go put some ice on it, you shouldn’t have made him so mad.’ You didn’t stop him from hitting the other sister with the vacuum cord! my 25th birthday was being taken out for lunch by my brother, followed up with him screaming at me, putting me down, calling me names, telling  me I was a bad mom and my life would be perfect if only I would have done everything you ever said. When I pointed out I did marry dipshit like you told me to, it turned into, ‘we also told you not to have sex with him before you were married, so, that was your own fault.’ apparently, this plan only worked as long as I never broke a rule since birth, after that, I was all on my own. You know how that fight got started? I went out, to take myself out for ice cream that night, I had to borrow your car. I turned the key, and it didn’t start. And that was my fault. I destroy all your things, I don’t take care of anything, you guys are tired of helping me. Even though, I never even drove that car, the battery was just dead. 

I hate being part of a giant family, and I hate that you always want to pretend our last name is Walton. I think it was selfish to have that many kids, when sister 2 could have used more time and attention and support. I hate that you had 2 more kids after i had mine, because you robbed my kids of having real grandparents, you guys are basically their friend’s parents. You punish them for things your kids did, you take your kids’ side. i hate that my kids can’t stay the night at your house, because they don’t want mice crawling over them when they sleep. I hate that you don’t see that this is gross and a problem! I hate that I get lumped in with everybody else, nobody knows ME they know me as part of you all, and i’m not. I hate that you get offended that I am not close to the 2 baby brothers, and you really hoped we would be. They are 20+ yrs younger than me!

I stay in your life not because I desire any sort of relationship with you, either of you, but so i can try to protect sister 2 somewhat. Because my boys consider brother5 their friend, and I can’t or won’t take him from them. And, really, I keep hoping I can show brother 5 that there is more to life than you teach him. I’m not writing you off, because I still have 2 other siblings living at home. 

I hate that I can’t say I’m done with the drama, and I’m just going to keep to myself, because then you two make fun of me, you put me down, you roll your eyes and call me a martyr. Make snide comment about how i’m overly emotional and need to grow up. Because you guys need the drama. You pretend you don’t, but you do. How are you going to feel better than everyone if you don’t fight with them? If you don’t have drama going on constantly?

 

Bad influences

This song came on the radio the other day, when my oldest informed me that he loved that song. I said, I liked it to, and I hoped they were watching the right people and learning the right things. My younger one piped up and said “Yeah mommy, we are. We are learning from Brad that you have to take care of your family. That you have to do a good job in school and get a good job. That you work hard and you can buy the things you want. And you don’t have to yell and scream all the time!” I asked the 8 yr old what he learned and he told me “We learned from daddy, that sometimes you will get fired for making one little mistake so why even bother trying to do a good job. And if you are in a relationship that doesn’t make you happy, then you need to leave it and find a girl who will make you happy.” I should say here that their dad was fired from 10 jobs within 2 years. He had at least 4 girlfriends I know about while we still lived together, and in the 5 yrs he’s been gone, he’s lived with 5 different women, but moved 15 times. (At least)

I was mad. I told them, as calmly as I could that first of all, almost nobody gets fired for “one little mistake” and that if you are doing something you need to do your best, if you mess up you need to take responsibility for it and man up and take the consequence, and learn from it. I also told them that a relationship wouldn’t make them happy, if they loved a girl only for how happy she made them, then it was for the wrong reasons. That you can’t count on someone else making you happy, because people aren’t perfect, they will not always make you happy. I told them if they were dating a girl and found that she wasn’t right for them, then they should end the relationship, but, they shouldn’t live with every girl they meet, and if they are married, then it is their responsibility to go to their wife and say “we have a problem, will you help me fix it?” Not just replace the woman and think it was all better.

You know, I can accept most the unfairness of divorce. I can accept he doesn’t pay child support, and I deal with the fact he ignores the court order to provide them with health insurance. I have even come to terms with the fact he abused me, but the court still decided he was ok to have unsupervised visitation. However, I’m really struggling with the fact he is allowed to warp their minds with his bullshit. He is allowed to do these things that have lasting impact and I am allowed to do nothing to stop it. If they boys had a babysitter that taught them this garbage, or a teacher, everyone would support me changing that. But, he’s their dad, so, whatever he says is cool?

This is the same man who tried to take the kids from me based on the fact he THOUGHT the religion we were didn’t allow Christmas and he’s not ok with that, so, I shouldn’t have them. But I have to stand by silently while he tells them they don’t even have to try to do a good job at work? This is the same man who tried to take the kids from me on the basis of I didn’t feed them enough hamburger. Yes, I am serious. Nevermind the fact that for the last FIVE YEARS he has lived with women who already have kids and only a 2 bedroom apartment, or gotten his own one bedroom apartments. For FIVE YEARS our children have not had a bedroom or a bed when they visit their dad. Right now they sleep on an air mattress on the floor. You know who bought the air mattress? ME!

What I really want to tell the kids is the truth. I want to point out how stupid his advice is. He is THIRTY YEARS OLD. Why can he not manage to get his own place? Why can he not provide our kids with beds? He told them he’s buying another truck, so he will have two, one from driving every day and one for off roading. But he can’t buy them a freakin’ bed. Why can’t a 30 yr old keep a job? Why can’t he manage a relationship? I want to point out, that following Brad’s example = good job, money, 2 nice cars, 2 project cars, lots of travel, lots of fun things, a nice, new house, dinner out when you feel like it, museum memberships, good relationship, etc. Ex’s example=Sleeping on women’s couches until  you can convince them to have sex with you, then you are “in a relationship”, cars that leave you stranded all the time, being too broke for McDonalds. A long string of “true love” failed relationships, lots of yelling and fighting, being homeless, lots of run ins with the law, “vacations” that consist of driving an hour to the beach for the day then coming home. Oh, and not taking care of your children, so, you go to court for that as well.

I really hope they are both smart enough to realize Brad’s example is the one to follow.But, I still hate that ex is allowed to be such a bad influence and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it. I can’t even talk to him, because he truly believes what he says. He believes I have been the source of all his problems for the last 10 yrs. Even though, he’s been gone for 5, and if I’m such a bad person, then how come I’m coming out ahead. I don’t impact his life anymore at all, so, shouldn’t he start crawling out of the hole I supposedly pushed him in? 5 yrs should be enough time for a start.

It’s No Big Deal…Or Is It?

Brad and I have a sort of rule in our relationship. The phrase “It’s no big deal” isn’t allowed. I’m sure when I first told him I hated that phrase, he thought it was, well, no big deal. But, it was/is a big deal to me.

“It’s no big deal” is dismissive. It shuts down coversation. It puts the upset person on the defensive All things that I’ve never heard as being conductive to a good relationship. It is not really a good answer for anything.

If Brad comes to me and says “I am really upset that you did XYZ.” and my immediate response is “I don’t see what the big deal is”, than what is the harm in me giving in and taking care of the problem the way he would like. If I go to him and say “I’m tired of you always picking where we eat for dinner. I feel like you don’t care what I want.” he has two choices, 1. Listen to me, think about why he never lets me pick what’s for dinner, try to understand that it makes me feel bad, and be more careful next time to make sure he at least gets my opinion. Or, 2. He can say “it’s just dinner, it’s no big deal.” which doesn’t fix the problem, makes me feel worse, makes me upset and start trying to defend myself, reenforces the idea that my feelings and opinions don’t matter. If it is really, truely, not any big deal, than why can’t he let me pick sometimes? This is not an issue we have had, and it is obviously oversimplified, but it makes my point.

Could this backfire? Could this be bad? I suppose, in a relationship where one person is controlling or manipulative, it could be. Someone who was controlling could claim EVERYTTHING is a big deal, or they could demand their spouse have no friends at all, because it was a big deal to them. I  can see this not working for them, but, I certainly hope, the person being controlled would be able to explain why it is a big deal to have friends. Obvviously, not everything will work for everyone, but, it’s been a good rule of thumb for us. This is an issue that has been on my mind, partially because after I explained a situation to Brad, he told me what a good rule he thought it was.

I recently saw a former friend post 4 facebook stauses in a row…all talking about her friend, and he is just a friend and his wife is a psycho jealous old woman and their friendship is “no big deal” and she can just get over it.

Really? If it is no big deal, if there isn’t anything there, if ALL they do is discuss the old days in high school, and his wife is seriously upset about it, then, why can’t this woman drop it? Obviously it is a big deal to the wife. If it is no big deal for former friend, than what is the big deal with leaving the guy alone? Former friend continued on, trying to get all her friends to comment, and boy, did they. Things like “whatever, that’s so stupid”, “men and women can be friends!”, “jealous bitch”, “what, doesn’t she trust her own husband?”, and “maybe if she wasn’t so controlling she wouldn’t be worried he was out looking”.

Funny thing about marriage, nobody knows completely what is going on except the people in it. So, maybe the wife doesn’t trust her husband, and maybe she has a good reason. Maybe she knows her husband can’t be just friends. Maybe she is “controlling” because he’s shown with any freedom, that he will do something wrong.

I just wanted so badly to reply “If it’s no big deal, than get out of their relationship and their problems.” I didn’t, but, I feel more and more like I am the odd one out. I would not be comfortable knowing I was causing issues in the marriage of someone I considered “a very good friend”.

I realize banning the phrase “it’s no big deal” might be a bit much. But, if you find yourself tempted to say it, please think about it. Is it really no big deal? Then why can’t you do something else? Are you saying it to be dismissive of the other person? Because you know you don’t really have a good reason to continue, or because you know they’ve made a valid point? Are you putting them on the defensive because you know you don’t really have a defense? If it does matter to you, then please, explain, talk, reason, negotiate, compromise, but please don’t use “it’s no big deal” as a polite “shut up”.

You Must Choose a Side, and Everyone Else is Evil

Of course!

I am about done with facebook.

Or maybe I will just go on some big unfriending spree.

And, no, no one has done anything personally offensive to me, but, jeesh, the way people talk to each other. I have quite a few liberal friends, who post political stuff. Which is fine, I don’t mind seeing it. I may not agree with all of it, but, everyone is allowed to have their own opinion. I have a lot of conservative friends, who post a lot of political stuff. I feel the same way about it.

What bothers me is the people who post garbage for the Lord. What bothers me is the gross generalizations made. A woman recently posted a quote from Roseanne Barr, about how anyone who eats at Chik-FilA should get cancer. Ok. that is a horrible thing to say. So anyway, the “friend” who posted said “Oh of course, what else can you expect from a liberal?” Really? I consider myself to lean more towards liberal than conservative, I would never say that! A family member recently posted an email she received from another family member. Which opened up to a lot of comments, and it was about Chik-Fil-A, and how they were so in the right for their stance on gay marriage. Another person replied “So, I am supposed to let God condemn these people to hell for not believing in him? Sorry for caring about your souls people!”

Right, I must have missed the part where all good Christians followed the Bible to a T, and didn’t have any private issues they were dealing with. I think people are much more likely to care about you worrying about their souls, when you worry about them first. I think they might be more likely to listen to you, if you worried more about how they felt, rather than what they did with their genitals. You know, if I honestly told people the whole story behind mine and Aussie’s relationship, they would probably be shocked, and upset. But, we got to get married so, we’re good people now.  Really?

Speaking of our relationship and generalizations, I’m a member of another board, and a few people have mentioned situations like ours, and they are quickly shot down with criticisms. With name calling. With being told how there is no way in hell it will ever work out. Meanwhile, I post something and I am told a hundred times how adorable we are, how I found a good man, how we’re a great couple. Oddly enough, if someone were to post “I met this great guy at a church get together, and he joined my family and I for a picnic. He asked me out, we’ve seen each other several times now, he is really sweet.” This would be the story that gets “awww, that’s amazing, sounds great!” It is also the beginning if the story to my first marriage, and that ended horribly.

Stop making assumptions people!*

All Conservatives are not people who think God allows dead soldiers because of America’s stance on gays.

All liberals are not trying to steal your money to give to lazy people.

All “good guys” aren’t going to give you happily ever after.

All guys who just want a f**k buddy aren’t married liars who will give you aids.

All people who homeschool are not anti-social nuts.

All people who go to public school do not leave uneducated.

All “traditional” families aren’t looking down on others.

All “different” families aren’t trying to destroy yours.

All wives who are ok with their husbands being in charge aren’t abused.

All feminists don’t hate men.

All gay people aren’t trying to convert you.

All men aren’t child molesters.

All poor people are not lazy and stupid.

All rich people aren’t greedy and mean.

All Christians aren’t kind.

All Atheists are not immoral.

All foreigners aren’t here illegally.

All natural born Americans aren’t gun toting, flag waving, NASCAR fans.

All fat people aren’t sitting on the couch all day eating Twinkies while watching soap operas.

All skinny people don’t need a hamburger.

Just stop with the assumptions and the generalizations. You might learn something.

*Please do not mistake any of my generalizations for things I believe. I don’t, but, I have heard ALL these things.

Not Everyone Fits Into Your Mold

Looks about right to me.

I was at the library today doing my usual walk through.

Step 1. Return the books I could have sworn I returned last week.

Step 2. Browse the mystery “fluff”. You know, the cheap soft cover books you buy at garage sales for $0.50.

Step 3. Stumble upon the true crime section. Decide which serial killer you want to read about this week, because no week is complete without at least one night where you get up 7 times to make sure you locked the doors.

Step 4. Remember that the library is actually a good place to learn things, and might help with this whole homeschooling thing. Find the education section.

Step 5. Remember why you avoid this section.

I wanted a book, something like “What Your 1st Grader Needs to Know”. I am trying to get a plan in place for this school year, something that will tell me “if your kid doesn’t know how to read Dr Seuss by the end of the year, you’re doing something wrong.”

I do not need “Why Public School Damages Your Child.” I don’t need “The Biblical School Year”. I don’t want “Teaching Your Kids God’s Way.” I don’t care about “Good Answered to Common Arguments!” I also don’t need any of the 75 variations of “School Your Child For FREE!”

I don’t care to read the first 3 chapters about how you met your husband and married him the day you turned 18 so you could become a baby factory, as is “God’s plan” for your life. I don’t care about the next 2 chapters where the author makes sure to remind us, over and over, to utilize our husband’s brilliance and have him help, or even send the kids to work with him for the day, for “real world experience” I don’t care to be warned about the dangers lurking on the internet for both our immature child and our easily led into temptation husbands.  I am not concerned with a book written in  comic sans being my reminder I should go to church whenever the doors are unlocked, and I also am not worried about the fact my sons have “girl” chores, like unloading the dishwasher.

I am bothered by the assumption that EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON who chooses to home school their children is obviously a married, broke, stay at home mother, whose husband has a 9-5 job and is a conservative Christian.

We’re starting our 4th year of this. I have been a single mom for all of it so far, though, that does change this year. I’ve been a working mom for a lot of it as well. I’ve been a full time student through at least half of it. I didn’t have all day everyday to devote to making sure they recited prayers correctly. Now, I’m married. My husband is brilliant. And, he doesn’t really get a chance to help me, because he’s never home. I suppose I could send the kids to work with him, but, that involves 3 plan tickets, a week away, and not even getting to see most of it, due to privacy laws.

I don’t wish to argue with people about how they should/should not teach their kids. I don’t care to hear about the “evil” public school system, because, I already made my decision, I don’t need further convincing. I hate the condescending tone of most “answers to arguments” books. No, I don’t think I am going to help make people understand when my response to “What about socialization?” is “I know, why don’t you let your kids be around more people of varying ages? Obviously, your kids are anti-social.” I want to know what the state requires of me, and what they expect of the kids. I want to know what skills will help advance them in life, I honestly do not care about doing this “God’s way”, mainly because I think most people who make that claim know as much, if not less than I do. Unless they have a divine telephone and God’s direct extension number, they don’t know!

As far as doing it for free, don’t get me wrong, I like a good deal as much as the next person. But, if all I was concerned about was the cost of my kid’s education, I would send them to public school, that my tax dollars have already paid for. And guess what? “Wait for back to school sales!” is not exactly ground breaking new information.

And for all the “my husband is head of the house” writing, there is a lot of things that imply your husband is just another kid, but this one brings home a paycheck. No, I have more respect for my husband than that. I don’t need to ban everyone in the house from the internet because the call of the XXX is too strong for his man brain to resist. He knows how I feel about this sort of thing, I trust him to respect my feelings, and so far, he has.  I go to church because I enjoy it, I take the kids. I don’t think it is necessary to have reading practice for my 3rd grader be Proverbs, when I am trying to instill a love of reading in him, and his attention is held much better by the “All About Ferrari” book. We have managed to have some lovely child led philosophical and theological discussions, that I don’t think could have been planned into our day.

Maybe I should write a book. A book for non-super religious, slightly off traditional families who home school. One that is for tips, info and resources, but doesn’t assume that I am a conservative Christian, that doesn’t assume I hate public schools, that doesn’t assume I want to change anyone’s mind. Maybe one that doesn’t assume everyone is married with a minimum of 3.5 kids and a husband who is only slightly more intelligent than the average idiot, but, who you obey because God says so.  But, days like today, I feel there is a market of one for that book, and why would I need to buy it if I wrote it?

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