Saturday, February 23, 2013

Bullying and Healing Old Wounds

For most of my posts I like to have a news item or event on which to base my writing from...heaven knows there are plenty of things in the news to be grist for the mill. The developments within the Catholic Church alone could keep us talking for days. But...for some reason my mind keeps coming back around to bullying.'s not some special anti-bullying holiday, nor has some terrible example of peer abuse popped up in the news today. It's just on my mind lately because, like many of us, I went through it. Bullying dominated my life and made me hate and fear school from elementary into high school. School was the hell were I was tortured and telling adults did nothing to fix it....then. Since there was no help for what was happening to me there was little to do about it but find ways to survive and that's what I did....

There is the assumption that time heals all wounds and that after awhile past trauma's should not hurt us anymore. I guess it's true given enough time passes. But as I am sitting here sipping my coffee as a 40 year old adult far removed from the days I was bullied, I am wondering what the long term effect of those years was on who I am today. Bullying...especially intense and sustained bullying...leaves it's mark on a person. It's like scar tissue, it may not be as crippling as when it was new, but it never really goes away completely. If I want to, I can remember the faces and events of what happened with more clarity than I can remember some birthdays or Christmas's. because of those days of constant fear, I have an instictive need to avoid conflict...even watching it on t.v. can trigger anxiety feelings in me. And worst of all is the damage that is done to our self-esteem. It has taken me years to begin to believe that I have a right to consider myself as good as the person next to me...or to speak up for myself at all. I literally lost all sense of a healthy ego. Now, even 30 years later I still struggle with this.

I know that some of what I write here may be embarrassing for me to admit in such a public forum....but it happened. It may be uncomfortable for some to read but this post is my place to work it out and hopefully find wisdom....either in just telling the tale, or in hearing from others. So my question today does being bullied affect us as grown ups? If we can get through those days, does that which does not kill us really make us stronger...or just stranger?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Attack of The Teenage years...One Year Too Soon

They are Here! There are ravenous, and they will make you want to scream in terror! They are....the teenage years!

Seriously...When I was a newbie parent and talking to veteran parents about raising children, they ALL had one warning to give...."Just wait till they're teenagers!"  Each of them echoed the same warning...all of them, to a one...a fact which is creepy enough by itself. However, I shrugged off their warnings as so much cynical ramblings and after all, my son was only five and all that teenage stuff seemed so far away that I didn't have to worry about it. So, like the ill-fated kids of Camp Crystal Lake I blithely set off to a date with the monster. But like a beast stalking us from the lay in wait for seven years until it was time to strike.

For those of you doing the math...yes, that means my son is now Twelve and not exactly a teenager. I feel like I am cheating myself out of being able to write this post next year but...just like movie monsters leap out at you when you expect them the least, neither did my sons teenage traits wait till his chronological aged ticked over from twelve to thirteen. It's here and it's demanding to be dealt with....(cue B-movie scream)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Hating On Couples...The Couples Strike Back

Valentines day is fast approaching! Are you ready?!  Do you have  cards?! Flowers?! Chocolates?! Erotic massage oils?! Come to think of I have any of that stuff?! The answer is yes, no,...and maybe. Additionally for parents is finding someone to watch the kids so you can have the uber rare thing known as a "date night" event that comes along with the same frequency as Haley's comet. but no matter what your relationship status everyone looks ahead to Valentines day with excitement or dread...sometimes both. As a happily married dad of fifteen years Valentines Day is a different experience for my husband and I than it will be for many others. For starters, Jay loves the candy, the flowers, the movie, and all the sentiment that comes with the Holiday. I, on the other hand, am grateful for a night out and a little monkey business after. Sometimes all we actually get is a couple hours together in the morning before we both have to rush off to separate responsibilities.

Since my last few posts have been on the serious side, I thought I would have a little fun with this one and share a post that made me and my husband laugh...."Why Everyone Hates Couples" written by Orlando Soria, attempts to explain why he thinks that everyone hates couples and finds the answer if the annoying little things we only do when we are in a relationship. Now...most single people hate on couples around Valentines day and that is ok.....but Soria being a coupled person himself, makes me wonder why the shade? Some of the things he gives of evidence of obnoxiousness I would find appalling under any circumstances and still others I may be guilty of myself but I never really saw as all that annoying.  But I'll try not to be too defensive and let Mr. Soria speak for himself...

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Superbowl and Gay Rights....Game On

Ah old arch nemesis. I can't believe that I am actually finding myself writing about football today. I have never been the kind of guy to follow or be interested in sports at all. I just have never got why it's supposed to be exciting. I suppose it's exactly the same for other people when I go on about Star Wars and Sci-Fi...but for me, sports remind me of being different. Whether it was being a kid who never understood the rules and constantly got made fun of by classmates, making the playing of the game into a hell of it's own...or standing on the outside as the odd duck, as the rest of my family excitedly gathers together to share football on Sundays  Sports, for me, has always highlighted how I have felt like an outsider to the rest of the world. That's not a gay's just a me thing. So when The Superbowl and World Series clog up the news I usually ignore it and wait for the temporary insanity to pass.

Yet lately it seems as if the sports world is undergoing a seismic shift when it comes to gay players. On the eve of footballs biggest night...and during a time when I usually cannot escape hearing about everyone's fantasy football picks...the  conversation has instead been about the acceptance of gay people.

Wait what?...