Friday, April 23, 2010

A Few Good Men and one Brother!

Just returned from two days in San Diego.....Marine Corps Recruit Graduation! What an event. We went down on Thurday morning for Family Day and then we were honored to see my little Brother graduate from Marine Corps Basic Training! OOOH, RAHHHHH! Semper Fidelis!

Isn't he just the coolest? fact exhausted.....


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Well, she came off the rails......

So, first thing Monday morning my niece was suspended from school. Yep, all of my talking and trying to help her get around her ownself did nothing.

Her dad has grounded her, indefinitely, taken away her phone and her computer...which I agree with, however, he's grounded her from seeing me, as well. I fully agree with the consequences, accept the part where I can't see her or talk to her. S.O.B. doesn't get it and never will.

I know it was wrong of me, but while her dad was at work today, I discovered her on myspace and we began an IM conversation....I should have told her to get off the computer and do her chores and homework....but, I wanted her to know I love her and although she screwed up, she can redeem herself. She owned her mistake, said she knows it was her fault and that she was willing to suffer the consequences....she complained about the consequences, but acknowledged she deserved the punishment.

She also admitted that she was scared and said she thinks things with her dad are at the worst they've ever been....she's just dying for his attention....and instead of talking with his daughter, making an effort to find out what the hell is going on, he sent her to her room and apparently, isn't speaking to her.

He is also 'pissed' at my sister for not telling him what has been going if he couldn't have found out what is going on the same way she and I have been finding watching and listening. Fricken tool......


Thanks to each of you who stopped by with advice for me....I'm going to try to step back and just be here for her, no more hammering on how to conduct herself, just help her to find more productive ways to channel her energy....we've signed up at the horse barn to volunteer with the disabled kids, she's really looking forward to that and I think it will be good for her to give back in some way, might give her a different perspective.

She's breakin' my heart.....

♥♥♥ (she taught me how to make these hearts)

Saturday, April 17, 2010


How do you talk to a teenager.....? How do you give them information that they will actually take to heart?

The bullying situation blew over after a visit to the assistant principal and subsequent mediation between the two girls. A boy was at the heart of the matter and he has continued his duplicitous behavior, however, my neice isn't listening anymore. Finally.....

But, I see her running in the same circle, over and over again. She's really smart and mature for her age, but she cannot see the circle she keeps making. She feeds off of drama and I know that it is the nature of teen girls, but I KNOW some teen girls manage to avoid do they do it? How can I help my niece see that it is in her best interest to avoid the drama? Her dad hates the drama and to that end virtually ignores his daughter (she's got some serious anger around that, too).

I've talked until I'm blue in the face about the bullying and what constitutes getting into someone else's business and whether or not she has the right to butt in....she always says it is in the name of defending herself or a friend....which to a certain degree is admirable, however, a cop-out is a cop-out and that's what her 'defense' theory sounds like to me.

I don't want all of my contact with her to be about me 'talking to her about her behavior' and telling her to mind her own business, because, well, eventually she will quit listening....if she hasn't already.

I see her headed for another broken heart....the boy she truly has feelings for has little patience for drama and I think that her propensity for getting in the middle or rather, making drama is going to be the end of his feelings for her....and perhaps for any boy liking her for any long period of time.....(not that I believe that is the be all and end all for her happiness, but at this age boys are soooo important to a young girl).

My heart is heavy tonight....I want so desperately for her to be happy and to be a successful human.....


Monday, April 12, 2010

A favorite Aunt

Well, she's actually my Mom's Aunt....My Beloved Mom Jerrye's sister, Rose Marie. We visited her and her tribe yesterday. I did not realize the effect seeing her would have on me. I have not seen her since before my grandmother died. She reminded me of so many things about my grandmother that I miss terribly. Rose Marie is the youngest of the sibs and she is the only one left now. She is a funny lady, says whatever comes to her mind, just like my grandmother used to. She loves reading and eating, she tells me. My Mom got to talk about her mom with Auntie and I think it helped her mom has suffered with more grief than I realized and it seemed like she was able to excise some pent up grief.

We had a lovely meal with the rest of the tribe and an overall swell day.

I hope you had a wonderful Sunday.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Guess who came back this weekend?

You may remember him from last year....or maybe not, becuase you hadn't started visiting yet. Either way, he made a return visit to help out....BobKitty! He came by today to get the back yard ready for the garden! Sooooo, excited about getting the garden in! We even had local horse poop compost delivered!

I know, I'm pathetic, right.....?

Just wait, the garden is going to ROCK this year!


Friday, April 9, 2010

Ah, Spring is soooo beautiful!

So, I ran into this beauty in the yard a couple of days ago. He even let me touch him, just lightly on one of his wings. When he noticed that I was photographing him he spread out his wings for me. I don't know why, but the meeting with that Butterfly really affected me, in a good way. I printed out several poses and I am using them as book marks in the many books I am currently reading.

I surely hope you will be having a wonderful Spring weekend!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Processing.....thoughts, feelings, the voice in my head

I have participated in my fair share of therapy. You might have guessed that if you have been reading my blog for very long. (I hope you have) And, as a result of all of that therapy I tend to over analyze my own thinking, feelings and have lengthy conversations with the third party voice in my head. I was once told that this is a symptom of co-dependence, and maybe it is. Either way, the voice, I am willing to concede, is my own voice doubting and judging myself. Because of this doubting judge I always second guess my feelings of being taken advantage of, or perhaps being used. Those are kind of harsh words for what I mean, but you get the gist. I tend to be over generous, something I have also been told is a symptom of co-dependence, always trying to be nice, please and gain favor by others and to keep the peace, etc. Maybe all true, either way, again, it is who I am and while I am aware of the therapeutic analogies that go along with the behaviors, I cannot for the life of me stop myself from getting into situations where I have been kind and generous to a person.Then feeling after a period of time that I have fallen prey to someone who is wholly capable to taking advantage of the situation and thereby rendering me them and myself.

So, that is when the doubter and judge really show up. "You idiot, why did you agree again to do something for so and so?", "You know that person isn't going to do anything for you, just because you were kind to them." And the little kid in me says, "but I was just being nice, really, I just wanted to be nice." and the Judge says, "no you didn't, you had an ulterior motive, you expected something in return." and again the poor little kid in me says, "oh, maybe you're right, I couldn't possibly know what my real intentions were, I'm just a stupid little kid who can't be anything but a wimp trying to win over people to be my friend." and the Judge say, "see, I told you you were stupid and that you don't deserve to stand up for yourself when you feel like you've been slighted or disrespected." and then the little kid begins to get angry and says, "Hey, I did this, this, and this for that person, I did it out of kindness and yes, you're right I expected to be respected for my kindness, you're right, I expected to be treated with at the very least dignity." And the Judge says, "you don't deserve those things, so before you let your mouth overload your butt, stuff your feelings and pretend everything is okay."

And you know what? I listen to the judge and over time the anger, frustration and the resentment build up and I begin to shut down and pull away and close myself off, for fear of puffing up and asking for the respect and dignity I deserve, but in a very unacceptable way.

And, all the while, there is another voice telling me to stop the madness and be open and speak your peace and if you have asked for something you truly don't deserve then the Universe will take care of that and set you straight.

The old behaviors and patterns, while glaringly obvious to me while I'm in the throws of them, are hard to shake. I am constantly studying myself, making adjustments, commending myself when I master a bevavior that is no good for me, reminding myself to start over tomorrow, 'drop the judge' and give myself the respect and dignity I deserve by Divine right. Lot's of processing....right now I'm in the throws and while I recognize what is going on....I can't seem to get off the ride.

That and some other things are distracting me from the finer things in life, like laying in bed reading a good book and eating a pound of See's candy.

I'll put out an update on the meeting with the school, the details are still unfolding as we found out this afternoon that the administrator we spoke to was not entirely truthful with us.....


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A shot across the bow.....

Teenage Girls.....uuugghhhhhh! Last week was Spring break, so there was no school...therefore, no bullying. However, today, on the first day back from break the bullying commenced and the "other" girl made a point of harassing my niece and then going into the Vice Principal's office and reporting my niece for bullying her! Yes, a very insidious maneuver, I think....and calculating....and conniving.

A week ago Friday my niece was on the phone with me, crying her eyes out, telling me about how this girl was really getting to her. She did not want anyone to go into the school and speak on her behalf because she was afraid the bullying would only get worse.....she wanted to wait until the break was over and maybe it would stop by the time they went back to school. (There is an added element to this whole game, the girl who is harassing the niece has a boy involved and he keeps getting my niece's hopes up about a possible romantic relationship, "as soon as I break up with Kaia {the bully}" and then he turns around and makes out with Kaia right in front of my niece)...we believe Kaia has put him up to these games and even though my niece suspects he is involved she keeps falling for it.

Evidently, over the break the boy started his campaign again and upon their return to school, Kaia and the boy set my niece up, staging a big make out session right in front of the class that my niece and the boy share. (dirty, rotten, heinous, monstrous kids).

My sister and I have a meeting tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. with the Vice Principal who called my niece in (without a parent's presence!)and advised her that she could be suspended for bullying! We're going in, informed, calm, cool, and collected and require that ALL parties be reprimanded and called to task for their behavior. We'll also be pointing out the Phoebe Prince case and ask that they take the matter seriously. (If we have to).

I hate this sh*t! Why are girls sooooo hateful to each other....? They should be banding together and bolstering each other, helping each other, protecting each other. I wonder when the first "mean girl" was long has this been going on?

I know that bullying has been going on for ages, but the girls today have a special level of mean to them that just scares me and makes me sick. And, it doesn't look like any one has been able to get a handle on it and eradicate it. What does that say about our society? Seriously, it's like a vast range of generations are raising narcissistic, psychopaths. I know that sounds kind of over the top, but in most cases it's like these kids don't have a conscience about their actions.

My niece still doesn't want anyone to go into the school and talk to the administrators about this, but my sister and I are concerned that if someone doesn't speak up now, on my niece's behalf, she's going to take the brundt of the punishment for something another kid is equally or more so to blame. Both girls have friends who have been witnessing this bullying, so at some point those other kids could get drawn into the mix and their actions could be called into question. I feel at this point, it isn't going to get better until someone stands up and calls everyone on the carpet - the school for letting it go on, the parents of all kids involved and all of the kids witnessing or participating.

Mostly, I hope that we will be taken seriously and that my niece won't suffer more excrutiatingly for our show of concern.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

The anew

(I totally plagarized this photo....Thanks to Julochka for the inspiration)

Today is a new day.....I am blessed

Tomorrow is another new day....I am blessed

I have family that I can lean on in times of joy and sorrow....I am blessed

I have the most amazing group of friends who are always there for me....I am blessed

I have a new life, sometimes it is a little scary.....yet I still feel I am blessed

I am abundantly blessed....

May you all be blessed as much!

Happy Easter

Peace be with you
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The case for consequences of teen bullying: Phoebe Prince

I have been rattled this week by the Phoebe Prince story. If you haven't seen or read the news a 15 year old girl hanged herself in January as a result of relentless bullying by her peers. The reasons this case should bother anyone are obvious, the reasons it bothers me are closer to home.

I've been chewing on this post for most of the week. Each night I was going to sit down and write....but each night the words did not come easily and today still are not at my finger, I'm going to go with a stream of consciousness thing....

I have a 14 year old niece who I dote on. She is spoiled. I contribute to that. For the most part I believe she is a good kid just trying to navigate the hurdles that come from being a teenager. Her parents are self-absorbed and are not paying attention. Yes, I said it, they are not paying attention because they are so caught up in their own "childhood nightmares" that they can't even see what is happening to their kid. Not to mention that to them, their daughter is just a pawn in their game with each other of torment and hate. While I can talk to my sister and she is beginning to see the light, the EX is a guy who can't see past his own nose and to him my niece is a piece of property and as long as she is getting good grades and staying out of obvious trouble, then he doesn't have to look any further. He doesn't want to see, he might have to sober up for that.

That shit aside, I am afraid for my Niece. Navigating the shit teenagers have to navigate these days would scare a battle weary warrior. When I read the details of the Pheobe Prince story my heart collapsed. I've been monitoring my niece's electronic social networking activity since the early summer and I have to admit I am both scared for her and disgusted by her. She gives as good as she gets....she REALLY works hard at fronting how tough she is, but the little girl I know is really a good, tender-hearted person. It was pointed out to me this morning that I might be just a bit naive about that. I didn't like it, but have to admit, I am being naive.

A week ago friday she was on the phone with me, sobbing, hysterical that she 'just can't take it anymore', (another girl at school has been harassing her, since January and usually my niece puts anyone in their place if they harass her, this particular girl has gotten in her head), she has spoken to a counsellor at school twice, but it appears she has little credibility with the persons in charge and so no punishment has been meted out to the harassing party. We all know that if there are no severe consequences and the consequences aren't enforced, once a bully is called out on their behavior the bullying only gets worse for the it did for Phoebe Prince. I do not believe that my niece is on the verge of hurting herself and when I reminded her of our call last friday, she recalled a modified version of what happened, in other words, she doesn't want adult intervention for fear of reprisal....and I don't blame her.

Because i have been monitoring her myspace, facebook, and formspring I am acutely aware of her conduct and am afraid she is not exactly the 'nice girl' I thought she was. Her swearing and threatening language were a considerable disappointment. But more than that, it was horribly sad for me. naively I want to say, "she's screaming out for her folks attention," but intellectually, I think that teenage girls are horrible monsters, each one to some degree and there is nothing I can do to protect her from herself.

Because I can only do so much and really have no control of how my niece is parented by her parents I feel impotent to intervene with her and on her behalf. More than anything I am afraid that her electronic life is going to horrifically derail her future life. These kids have no concept of how they are presenting themselves to the world and quite literally they are putting their whole lives out there for judgement...they have no sense that what they write on these HEINOUS "networking" sites can be damaging to them in far reaching ways.

That is just one of the reasons the Phoebe Prince story has affected me....they have been able to actually bring charges against these CHILDREN for their teenage behavior. I am both outraged by the teen's behavior, and saddened by their behavior and quite honestly hope that they all go to prison for a very long time as some kind of penance for what happened to Phoebe Prince....but if I feel that way about those teens, how can I defend my niece to those who she might be bullying as either a defense to behavior perpetrated against her or for her own sport.

I am not just rattled, but ROCKED by this case and the possible far reaching reprecussions the outcome will have on all of us.

Yesterday I went to my sister and showed her the details of the Phoebe Prince case, discussed with her in detail what I thought it could mean in the long run, showed her how her own daughter was conducting herself and begged her to start paying attention. We already had a date set for them to come over for egg decorating and agreed we'd wait for another time so that the evening wouldnt' be some point in the evening we began sporadic talk of the electronic forums (my niece brought a friend with her and both teens were eager to share and discuss). Our discussions were lively and emotionally charged and over the course of the evening many feelings and ideas were shared. I'm saying this wrong, but to my surprise, and although things did get heated many times, we managed to cover a lot of ground without actually bringing up the topic of the Phoebe Prince story. At a later point in the evening my sister surprised me with her bravery and brought up the case and then we began to have a hardcore serious discussion wtih both girls about acceptable and not acceptable behavior, based on the assumption that the case will have long lasting reprecussiosn on how teens can treat each other.

Again to my additional surprise, both girls began to own their own heinous behavior and they actually grasped the concepts we were trying to share with them (albeit, my niece tried valiantly to deflect as much responsibility as possible, her friend would not let her get away with it) and while I don't think either girl will abandon their myspace, facebook and formspring pages, nor their phones, I feel that they were given food for thought.

In the end both my sister and I were able to address a difficult topic and hear directly from the girls what was going on....but, again it was pointed out to me, I see my niece with rose colored glasses, the child is mean, disprespectful of all adults and may already be lost. I feel like that is a defeatist attitude and like I've surrendered to the battle and cannot be convinced the war can be won.... I did not sleep well after they left and when I did wake up this morning I had an overwhelming sense of sadness and defeat, like I'd already lost....

Over the next few weeks I imagine there will be a flurry of activity on the part of schools to address the issues that will be staring them in the face due to the Phoebe Prince case....I pray that my niece really HEARD what we said to her and that my heavy heart is wrong and that she will reexamine how she conducts herself and set a new course for herself.....but maybe I am again, being naive.

I am praying for Phoebe Prince and those kids who are going to pay for her death...whether they go to jail or not.