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Teenagers From Mars

Wow, has it really been almost a year since I posted an entry?! It doesn’t feel like that long, but then again, I don’t think about much aside from what’s right in front of me lately. There isn’t much time for anything else!! On with the show I guess!

Last night I was thinking about my family, and my mind suddenly flitted to my nieces and nephew, (as they often times tend to do because they are my world) and the fact the eldest, Ivy, is about to become a teenager, and is going into middle school next year. A familiar sense of dread hit me pretty hard at this moment. You see, middle school was particularly tough and awkward for me. My parents weren’t particularly keen on buying me the expensive, trendy clothes or letting me wear makeup (I wasn’t even allowed to shave my legs until 8th grade so you can image the horror of wearing shorts in gym class…), so to put it lightly, I was not considered popular by any means. Add to that some major self confidence issues, crazy frizzy hair that I didn’t know what to do with, and the fact that I liked comic books / video games, and you had a recipe for disaster.

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(Like this kinda, except more nerdy)

Because of these bad experiences with middle school age kids and how ruthlessly cruel they can be, I started to have a mini panic attack about my niece. A million thoughts ran through my mind: “what if she’s picked on? , what can I do from over a thousand miles away of she is? should I warn her? But if I do I just might freak her out…AHHHH!!” My niece is a very soft spoken, sweet girl, who is way smarter than her age would suggest (im sure all aunts say that right, but it’s TRUE). So I feel like worrying is legitimate.

HOWEVER, a more pressing and sinister thought crept into my mind that I never considered until that very moment — what if instead of being picked on, she turns out to be the BULLY?!

Many of us don’t think about that I don’t think. We are all so worried about the precious kids in our lives being potentially picked on, that we don’t really consider the possibility of them being the bully until it’s too late, and you’re getting calls from the principle. I have to admit that this freaked me out a little. I had a ton of potential answers for helping soothe her tears if she came to me crying, but I have no idea how I would handle the other situation; if she became one of the people that had given kids like me so many painful days growing up. What do you say to that? Especially as an aunt.

I think of her like a daughter, I was very involved in helping to raise her, up until the time I moved away. More so than a lot if aunts out there due to some very extenuating circumstances, so I feel that I would immediately wonder where I went wrong. But what would I SAY?! I could go the tough route and act like I would smack her upside her head and tell to knock her dumb shit off, but I wouldn’t do that to her and I know that. I also wouldn’t just try to lecture her about how bullying is wrong, because she already knows that now and if she was bullying in spite of that knowledge, she probably wouldn’t listen anyway.

So how do we approach this type of subject with kids on both sides of the fence? Sweeping it under the rug and ignoring it has driven so many kids to awful lengths to escape it, and I will be damned if I allow someone to bully my family to that point, or allow my family to drive someone ELSE to that point either. It’s something I feel strongly about. I would just want to communicate clearly without scaring her, or making her feel like I’m lecturing.

I’m probably thinking too much about this, and she will probably end up just fine because she’s got a sharp little attitude that can withstand a lot, but it’s scary to think about when I’m so far from her that she may not even reach out. I wish more parents thought about this, then maybe we wouldn’t have such an epidemic.

I guess I’ll just have to think more about how to approach it. Maybe I’ll post an update of my, more than likely embarrassing, attempt to have a serious conversation with a 12 year old, I’m sure Ivy would love that 😉

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Posted by on September 9, 2014 in Life

 

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We Didn’t Need Dialogue, We Had Faces!

Good Morning ladies and germs. I come to you today from the “comfort” of my fiberglass chair, at my work desk. Yes, I am at work…blogging. Our internet is running at the super speed of vintage 1995 and it is taking about 20 minutes to send any kind of email. So, here I sit, typing this out as I wait for another email to load. I swear, all that is missing from this equation is the connection screetch and the “welcome, you’ve got mail” voice blasting through the speakers.

SCRRRRREEEEECCCHHHHH…..

These past few weeks have been a roller coaster ride of emotions. Happy, sad, confused…blah blah. For the most part though, all has been well and good. For those of you who have been reading from the first few posts, I am FINALLY moving out of my horrible shit-hole of an apartment, and shuffling on to bigger better things. The cleaning and packing of this crappy apartment seems to be never ending though, and it is driving me to the edge of insanity. I can’t wait to be out of there for good come Friday.

Anyway, that is not what this blog is about today. Today it is about a conversation I had with my sister last night, and our conclusion about how something in our upbringing resulted in terrible personality flaws that myself, as well as my brother and sister, seem to have.

I don’t remember how the conversation came up, but we ended up joking about how many people who are close to us tend to eventually confront us about how negative we are (among other things). It suddenly became very clear that it wasn’t really a joke, it’s a pretty serious problem. Let me tell you how amazed I was that it wasn’t only me who reacts that way to situations that normal people react to in a happy way. We traded stories back and forth and it got kinda sad to me. I told her about a situation where something really great happened to a friend and I, and that person was very excited and hugged me, screaming with joy. What did I do? I got stiff and uncomfortable and downplayed the happiness of the situation like it wasn’t a big deal. My sister, on the other hand, shared a story about reading a letter my niece wrote about being excited about an upcoming trip. She said she had to bite her tongue to keep from saying something negative about an otherwise happy situation. I don’t have a specific story about my brother doing this, but trust me, he does a lot as well. And it has nothing to do with jealousy at all, we do it even when something good happens to US.

“oh, you just got the awesome promotion you’ve been waiting for?..psshh, whatever, big deal.”

We kept asking ourselves why we do that. And we contemplated what was missing or broken in our upbringing that causes us to try to negate something happy. Neither of us want to be like that. We both expressed how horrible it is to realize you’re doing this and how it is affecting those around you. We tried to laugh about how when we consciously try to fix it, we feel like we are being overly nice and too fake. I gave her an example of how I question why I am not functioning normal. I will share that with you all too. This has happened on many different occasions, but this is the most recent. It may seem silly, but at the root of it, the realization sucks and sometimes makes me feel incomplete. Here we go:

I was taking a break from cleaning for a minute and popped in the movie the Devils Advocate. As ridiculous as that movie is, I enjoy it. There is a part early in the movie where Keanu Reeve’s character tells his wife (played by Charlize Theron if you haven’t seen it for some reason) good news about winning a case. She screams happily, jumps up and down, jumps on him to hug him and they kinda are just happy in the moment together.

Ok, see this face? I don’t think I’ve ever even ACTED this excited before…

Now, instead of just watching that part like a regular person, I thought, “I wish I could be that excited over something. Why can’t I react that way when something exciting happens to me or someone close to me? I want to be that person and know what that feels like..”. Let me tell you, I have NEVER ONCE, fell that excited over something. Don’t get me wrong, I have been excited over things, but it is a small smile at most and it is usually followed by what could have been better about it, or what can go wrong with it. Let me clarify too that this is not comparing my life to movies. That would be retarded. I have seen my friends react similar to this often. They have even reacted like this to news I have told them about myself, as I stood there kinda smiling awkwardly. So tell me dear readers…what the fuck is wrong here?! Do I need meds (spare me the pharmaceutical conspiracy theories on this please…I don’t believe ’em)?! Am I just hard wired to be miserable like this for ever? I don’t want that! It pushes people away.

We get this from our mom. That much is very obvious. I love my mom very much, But what sadness happened to HER to make her pass this (probably unknowingly) down to us?! I have had my share of horrible things that have happened to me as a kid, don’t doubt that. But most of that didn’t begin until around age 8. So when a child’s first memory at 3 years old, is looking in the mirror and hating that reflection and being disappointed that there is nothing special looking back, there has to be something going on with the wiring upstairs.

This is what I imagine my brain doing when I act like this.

So, for the time being, I am going to make a change MYSELF. Hopefully, I can break this ugly habit I’ve been taught to have for 29 years. I felt like I just had to write it to get it off my chest, so excuse th “woe is me” context here. I promise I will go back to my normal blogs soon haha. I am open to opinions and suggestions of course…but know I’ll probably roll my eyes at them and scoff even though I KNOW they are helpful haha.. Jk.
Thanks for reading as always!

Gazzy

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Life, Uncategorized

 

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