He Took One Thing, My Confidence

22 years ago next month, a man came into my house and changed my life forever. He wasn’t a friend. He wasn’t a family member. To me, he was a complete stranger. He was my best friend’s drug dealer. His name was Scott. He was 22. I was 14.

At 14 you’re pretty sure that you rule the world, and that nothing will ever hurt you. So, when my best friend suggested we drink the bottle of Jack Daniels in my parent’s liquor cabinet, I didn’t argue. It was horrible, and burned on the way down. I hated every minute of it, but my best friend assured me it was going to be fun. After a few sips the burning subsided, and the fun began. We started stumbling around the house, laughing hysterically, and calling everyone we knew. “I know,” she said “Let’s call my drug dealer, he thinks you’re really pretty.” At 14 the thought of a grown-up thinking you’re pretty is a pretty awesome thing. I puffed up my chest, shook my shoulders, and agreed to the phone call.

30 minutes later there was Scott, on my doorstep. He was tall and handsome. He touched my face and said hello. I was in heaven. After he and my best friend  made a little transaction off to the side, he came up to me and put his hand on my waist. “Is there some place we can go to talk in private?” Being naive, and young, I walked him down to the basement. He followed behind me, with the bottle of Jack in his hand. Once we were down there he started urging me to take sips from the bottle. After each sip he would kiss me. A peck on the cheek, then the other. A lingering kiss on the neck. His hands fondled the outside of my shirt, and then under it. He told me how beautiful I was, and what an amazing body I had. In my mind, I was a queen. This is what it meant to be a teenager, to be wanted by a man. A real man. He then asked me where my bedroom was.

I stumbled up the stairs ahead of him. Up two floors to my bedroom. The door shut. The lights went off. I suddenly felt like I had left my body. I kept getting glimpses of a naked me on the bed, with him on top. It hurt, but I let it happen because he had told me I was beautiful. That had to mean something. Right? At one point I saw the door fly open, followed by a flash of light. “Oh my god!!!! They’re actually doing it!!!” It was my best friend yelling into the phone in excitement.

The next morning I woke up, not with a handsome 22 year old next to me, but in a rumpled heap in a pool of my own vomit next to an empty Jack Daniels bottle. Everything hurt. My head. My body. I felt confused. I felt scared. I felt violated. My best friend was sitting in the living room when I got downstairs. “So?” she asked, “How was it?” I didn’t know what to say, instead I shrugged my shoulders and walked outside. She followed me outside cheerfully. She explained to me that Scott had left when I started to throw up, and that she had traded me for drugs. My best friend traded my dignity for drugs.

Since then I have had difficulties forming personal relationships, and trusting those close to me. I have no emotional attachment to sex, and I a difficult time saying “no” when a man pushes himself against me. Instead of enjoying foreplay, I fill with anxiety and go numb. I become an emotional void from the first grope to the last insertion. I have a history of choosing the wrong men because I don’t know how to say “no”. I end up taking them into my life because they told me I was beautiful. Even after they stop saying it, after they start treating me like an object, after they become complete strangers in our home, after I try to cut them out of my life; I can’t say no.

I have been raped one more time since then. That one sent me into a very dark period in my life where I hurt a lot of men. I used them the same way I though they wanted to use me. For the past 22 years I have made myself believe all I am good for is sex. I have struggled with eating disorders, alcohol addiction, and self doubt. Now, for the first time since that fateful night, I am finally ready to put my feet back under me. I am ready to take my life back, and I am sacred shitless. For those of you who know me in real life, please be gentle with me. Please help me through the rollercoaster ahead of me because I have a long way to go.

Today I Am Worth It

In the past two and a half years I have put on almost 20 pounds. I now find myself jiggling in places I haven’t felt jiggle since my daughter was born. When I walk, my ass looks like it’s bumpin’ at the club, and my sides wiggle  like they’re being tickled. Don’t even get me started on my boobs. The two things that are growing at such an obscene pace, I’ve maxed out my JC Penny’s credit card. I have wrinkles in places I didn’t even know could wrinkle, and hair growing in places no hair should ever go.

This past year, I let the weight gain, wrinkles, and hair get the better of me. To top it all off, I was letting the stresses of life get to me. I would look in the mirror, and not even recognize the person looking back at me. All I saw was a sad woman, carrying the weight on the world on her shoulders. She constantly looked exhausted. She never liked to smile. Her eyes were sad. Her skin was pale. I had let all these things define me. My struggles at work, a failing relationship, and overall struggle of raising two young kids had taken over what I thought I was. Boy, was I wrong! Letting all that define me made me into…well…a miserable bitch.

Life isn’t always fun, I know that. Life isn’t always awful either, I need to remember that. As I looked at myself in the mirror the other night, tears streaming down my face, flat out ugly crying I started to look at my life up to that point. Where had I been? What had I done? What had brought me to this point of self hate? I want to say this is the point where I had this amazing, snot induced epiphany…but it wasn’t. This is where I went downstairs, ignored the homework that was due in two hours, drank too much a beer. I was a failure. I was useless. I couldn’t believe I was allowed to raise children. My personal pity party carried on into the next day, at work and into the night.

I sent out a few “pay attention to me” text messages to friends, posted some adult emo content on social media, and cried…a lot. I was convinced I would never finish my degree, get a better paying job, buy a house, or find someone who thought I was worthy of a daily weekly foot rub. My kids deserved better, and I was the worst mother alive. I looked at myself in the mirror again, confirming all the horrible things. I then climbed into a hole, covered myself with dirt, and gave in. I let the all the negative in. I let it take over all my emotions. I could feel myself breaking apart, full of hopelessness. There was no way I was going to be able to climb out of this. Then I woke up.

The alarm was going off. The cat was starring at me. Same day, different date. But something was different. Something had changed. As I climbed out of bed, I caught a glimpse on my naked body in the mirror behind the door. Who was that? She had soft curves, smooth skin. She was younger and free. Then it hit me, I was looking at myself. My wrinkles were still there, but they were less harsh. My ass was still bumpin’ at the club yes, I checked, and my boobs were still monsters. Everything was still THERE, it was just different. Confused, I walked into the bathroom to look in a different mirror. There I saw strength and beauty. I saw a woman who had control of her life, and was going to do something about it.

I had let all the negative consume me completely. I let it fester and manifest. I let it have it’s way with me. Then it burned itself out, leaving me in a pile of ashes. This morning, from those ashes, I awoke and arose a phoenix. Today I can take on the world. Today I can give my children everything needed for a full, and happy life. Today I am beautiful. Today I am worth it. Today is the beginning of the rest of my life.

Yes, I’ll still have to shave my toes and work on losing weight, and that’s ok. I’ll still have days where life will push me down, but I’m ready. Today I have a confidence I have never had before. Today I love myswlf. Today and every day going forward.
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Head Explodes: Continuum Hypothesis

I am a 36 year old mother of two, attempting to finish her college degree online. My day starts at 5:30am with an IV drip of coffee. That’s bull shit, I straight funnel that shit like a beer bong! I’m a college student now, that’s how I roll! Between getting myself into a respectable I use that term very loosely state for work, hauling children out of bed by their toes, beating them with broom handles, chiming the bus departure countdown in NASA-esque fashion, flying to work in my Lesbian hockey player car Subaru, attempting to act like I know what I’m talking about in the world of non-profit fundraising, hob nobbing at the Coop while picking up Asian dipping sauces and organic fennel, flying to the afterschool program to magically whisk the kids out the door so we can go for a “family” walk the only viable time I can actively ignore them without being caught, getting super on the table by 6:30pm, tiny people showers by 7:30pm, and lights out no later than 8pm…I’ve completely forgotten where this absurdly long sentence was going…Oh, yes! That’s right, between all this bull shit responsibility nonsense and school work, it’s any wonder that I can get any sort of grade that resembles the definition of “decent.”

I am now in my second term of classes. This means I have successfully passed two, very serious, classes already. Both classes were research based, meant to educate my classmates, meant to educate myself, blah, blah, blah. With that being said, I’ve pretty much jumped onto the sarcasm bandwagon for this second term, at least with my math class. I’m so awesome at being awesome, that I decided to take an online math class…online. On-FUCKING-LINE!!!Who does that??? Aside from crazy people who actually “enjoy” math. No one. Not unless we are being held at gunpoint, our children’s lives are being threatened, or we need the credits to graduate. So, there I was…taking an online math class.

It’s any wonder my professor has not asked me to leave the class already. I come out and voice my distain of all different aspects of mathematics, and basically approach all my assignments with an air of satire. For those of you wondering what exactly I mean, may I present to you exhibit “A”. Also known as “The Continuum Hypothesis and Why Math Professor Will End Up Hating Me.” I should add, I have absolutely no idea what I am talking about mathematically.

(This is the actual “paper” I wrote for my infinity assignment) *drops dead from mathematical stress*

Truth be told, infinity and I don’t get along. Why? Many reasons. I don’t like numbers I can verbally count to represented by letters, but then again, I don’t like numbers I can’t count to. It bothers me to know there are unknown numbers swimming around in space and all around us. Numbers that are just lingering around until someone plucks it out of thin air because they turned n into 0.2345. The worst part for me is not having a definitive number of something, I don’t like that it can go on, and on, and on, and on, and on…much like my seven-year-old daughter when she’s explaining the very real concept of unicorns hidden in our every day. Couple all this together with the overall concept of the Continuum Hypothesis that is can neither be proven true or false, and my head pretty much exploded. Infinity is a unicorn.

I could end my explanation there, but I’m not sure that falls within the rubric guidelines. Therefore, I will close my eyes and jump head first into the world of unicorns…I mean the continuum hypothesis. In the late 1800’s, Georg Cantor proved that there is a one-to-one relationship between natural numbers and algebraic numbers.

For example: a1 = 2; a2 = 3; a3 = 4

In short, each number we are used to has a little algebraic buddy that is just like it. Twins separated at birth. It would have been nice if Cantor had stopped there, but he didn’t. Instead he dug a little deeper, and looked between the numbers. He not only wanted to see if there were one-to-one ratios within these fractions of numbers, but he also wanted to see how many there were. In other words, he wanted to see if there was an infinite number of one-to-one ratios. The answer? He has no idea. He could never prove if there were an infinite number of sets or not. This means that poor Cantor died in 1918 not knowing the answer.

Thankfully, David Hilbert (from the Hilbert Hotel problem) decided to support Cantor by basically saying the continuum hypothesis was “the most important unsolved problem in mathematics.” Of course, if I were running a hotel like his, I would also find this to be the most important problem in mathematics. It is because of the “unsolvable” issue that mathematicians have continued to work tirelessly on trying to prove something other than “unknown.” The closest any two have come are Curt Godel in the 1920’s when he determined the hypothesis could never be proven as false. About 50 years later, Paul J. Cohen determined that it can also not be proven true.

As I said in the beginning, my head pretty much exploded. I’m not a mathematician, I don’t play one on TV, and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn last night; but I did try very hard to wrap my brain around this unsolved mystery. The best I could come up with is the problem where you start out 4 feet from a wall. Your first step, you cut the distance in half to 2 feet. Your next step, you cut that distance in half to one foot. Each time you take a step, you are cutting the distance in front of you by half. With each step, you get closer. However, because you keep cutting the distance in half, you will never actually reach the wall…at least not in a way you can prove it. Each step is broken down into a smaller part. This is much like a number line.

 

You______1’_______2’_______3’_______4’_Wall

Starting 4’ away

You_____1’_____2’ Wall

You just cut the distance in half. Let’s do it again.

You____1’ Wall

Now we start cutting the distance down into fractions. Take one more step.

You_____0.5’ Wall

Again…

You_____0.25’_Wall

Each step is half of the last. It can keep getting smaller, but it can never fully stop. That is until your Fitbit tells you have reached your step goal for the day, or you’re tired of looking at the wall.

 

 

References:

TEDEducation. “How Big Is Infinity? – Dennis Wildfogel.” YouTube. YouTube, 2012. Web. 25 Apr. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPA3bwVVzGI&gt;.

 

Koellner, Peter. “The Continuum Hypothesis.” Stanford University. Stanford University, 2013. Web. 25 Apr. 2016. <http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/continuum-hypothesis/&gt;.

 

Your Shit on My Sweet Ass

To all the wonderful people who use the toilet on a regular basis,

Did you know that when a toilet is flushes, particles (fecal matter) fly up to six feet away through the air? With that being said, women, put the lid down after you piddle in the potty. Men, put the seat AND the lid down after you drain the snake. I don’t want your urine all over the bathroom, and I sure as shit don’t want your shit on my toothbrush…or anything else I have to touch. If you’re sitting there thinking, “Huh, what if I don’t flush after I visit  the porcelain thrown?” My response? Unless you have faulty toilet, or are a serious water conversationalist, I don’t want to see waste that comes from your nether regions. Your piss stinks, flush it.

I should also mention that I am an absolute idiot in the bathroom, and have serious blonde tendencies when I am on a mission to turn my bladder into a deflated balloon. I will sit my pink ass down on that yellow and brown stained toilet rim, and fall right in to abyss  known as the toilet bowl. Then I end up having your shit on my sweet ass. Ain’t no body got time for that!

So, if you would be so kind, please close that toilet up like you are shutting the refrigerator door after you put the milk carton you just drank out of back. Yes, I know you’re a milk heathen, I’ve watched you.

Thank you,

The woman who went into the bathroom after you

Today, I am loved.

Today someone told me they loved me.

Today someone told me I was brave.

Today someone told me they admired my honesty.

Today someone told me it was ok that I fuck up.

Today someone made a difference in my life because I was ready to curl up into a hole and accept defeat. This person didn’t have to tell me these things. I don’t even see this person on a daily basis. Yet they felt the need to reach out, and remind me that I am loved, brave, honest, and not a complete fuck up.

All too often we find ourselves in a state of defeat because our everyday doesn’t remind us how wonderful we are. Our every day doesn’t stop to tell us how much we’re loved. How beautiful we are. How we make a difference every day, no matter how large or small that difference is.

It is easy to feel like our everyday doesn’t care, that it wouldn’t matter if they saw us or not. This is why I am asking you all to do one thing for me, when you see your everyday, tell them how wonderful they are. Reach out and touch their face. Wrap your arms around the. Whisper all the reasons you love them, because tomorrow your everyday might not be there anymore. Today is the day to make sure you don’t lose your everyday.

 

 

Heathens and Relationships

I love that Steve is such an independent person. He doesn’t need me to coddle him, or do things for him. He is very much a “I’ll do what I want, and I’ll do it on my own, thank you very much” kind of person. Also known as stubborn. I’m typically ok it, and let him do his thing, but the other day…well…I’m not ok with what he did. It broke my heart and caused me rivers of tears behind the closed bathroom door. I sat there with my pants around my ankles in disbelief. What he did was something I always thought happened in everyone else’s house, never mine. The horror of the situation is almost too much to handle, and has left me questioning the future of our relationship. I present to you, exhibit A:

TP

For the past two years, Steve has been hiding the fact that he is a toilet paper heathen from me. His true self has reared it’s ugly head. This I cannot let slide. I will have to address this immediately so as to eliminate the likelihood of it happening again. Wish me luck.

Santa: Never Stop Believing, a true story.

Everyone knows the story of Santa Claus. How could we not? Every year that jolly old elf pops up on store shelves shorty before Halloween, and watches over us with a tinkling eye until he comes barreling down our chimneys to eat  eat cookies and leave presents behind. As kids our parents threatened us with gifts of coal from the big man, and as adults, we threaten our kids with the same. Santa Claus is quite possibly the most loved and adored man to have ever “allegedly” walked the face of this earth. With magical reindeer and an army of overly productive elves, it’s hard for any child to not get excited about the thought of Santa coming to visit.

I remember, as a child, sneaking down the stairs Christmas morning hoping to maybe catch a glimpse of that man in red. To my dismay I never saw him, but I never stopped believing either. Over the years my friends would stop getting presents from Santa. They said it was because he wasn’t real. I said it was because they didn’t believe.

My father was possibly the most joyful person you could ever meet. He had a smile that could light up a room, and a laugh that made you feel good all over. There was no better feeling than to be wrapped up in his arms when I would go home to visit, and at 36 years old, I would still sit on his lap and talk to him about my hopes and dreams. I’m almost pretty sure he lived off of a steady diet of cookies and sweets, much to my mother’s dismay, and it was because of this he had quite a bulbous belly that made him recognizable to almost anyone.

To say my father loved Christmas was an understatement. I used to catch him silently staring at the tree from time to time with a glimmer in his eye. One corner of his mouth would turn up, and a gentle chuckle would escape his lips for no reason other than the fact he was looking at the tree. After my brother and I moved out of the house my parents downsized their tree. It went from being a marvelous wonderment we would haul out of the woods, to nothing more than a table top tree from the back yard. However, I would still catch my father chuckling at that table top tree because, to him, it was still marvelous.

Last month my father passed away after being diagnosed with cancer. I was so angry when it happened because I wasn’t done spending time with him, and neither were my kids. Like so many “children” I wanted to think that my father would be around forever, but as we all know, all things must eventually come to end. The grieving process has been a roller-coaster. I have my good days, and I have my bad days, but the other day turned it all around.

As we were sitting at the table one night for dinner, the kids and I started talking about my father, aka Papa. I was telling them how much Papa loved Christmas, how it was his absolute favorite holiday. We laughed about how he had a big nose and rosy cheeks, and how his belly shook when he laughed. My son then mentioned how we needed to buy more “cheap Christmas cookies” because we were out, and they were Papa’s favorites. We then all looked at the tree in the corner of the living room. It was all lit up and cast little shadows of homemade ornaments on the walls. Then it hit me.

I looked at the kids and said, “Wait a minute, we all know that Santa doesn’t live forever. Right? I mean, someone has to replace him every once in while. Right?” They agreed. “And who is the jolliest person you know?”

“Papa.”

“And who loved Christmas more than anyone else, EVER?”

“Papa!”

Suddenly my daughter pops up in her chair, “And who eats Christmas cookies ALL the time???”

“PAPA!!! Papa is the new Santa!!!”

It all makes sense to me now. Why I loved my father’s laugh. Why I sat on his lap every time I saw him.

Why I never stopped believing. Who could ever stop believing when they grew up with the future Santa after all? So, this Christmas, my family can take a little joy knowing that my father isn’t really gone. He will live forever in our hearts and minds as we take comfort in knowing that he will be coming down our chimneys for many Christmas Eves to come.

I miss my father every day, so can you do me a favor? The next time you’re out at the mall or store, and you see Santa, go sit on his lap and tell him his family misses him, but we’re so glad he’s spreading the joy and magic of Christmas.

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