Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Frenemies

I met Sara* when we were in our senior year of high school. Wait!...maybe junior year?...I can't quite remember. I had known of her, but I didn't actually really meet her until that time. We had a science class together, and since her BFF ( whom she was slowly falling out with ) wasn't there with her, we ended up pairing up a few times when we had to pick "partners" for things.

From there, the story unfolds...

Sara was from the same sort of background as me, except switched up a bit. Divorced parents, unstable environment, shitty self-esteem, and looking for love in the wrong places. We seemed to have a lot in common. What I didn't know was that becoming her friend was one of the most toxic things I've ever done to myself.

But soon, we were BFFs. We would ride to school together. We would hang out after school. When she wasn't with her boyfriend and I wasn't with mine, we were together. I saw the signs from the get-go but it didn't get really bad until after we graduated high school. That's when shit hit the fan.

She was in a physically and mentally abusive relationship with a boyfriend that she had met online for years. He had moved here to be with her and he was also very insecure. He would use me as a way to get to her--saying sexually perverse things about me to her to piss her off and feed into her low self-esteem. But instead of being mad at him for them, she would become mad at me. Daunting insecurity grew a wedge between us fairly quickly, even though I hadn't done anything to even cause the matter. Unfortunately, I allowed this to happen for a number of years before I finally wised up and decided to make Sara a part of my past.

The summer/fall after graduating, she called me bawling at 2:00 AM because her and her boyfriend had a blow out. I lived 30 minutes away. I got dressed and drove my ass to come get her and some of her belongings and bring her back to the place my ex and I had together. I took her in for a month. What did she do?...she went back to the asshole. Can I blame her? No...I did it many times before. But I learned a while after this that she had seduced my boyfriend, walking around in a revealing towel and saying inappropriate things while I wasn't around. Yep...my "best friend".

Now I will admit, I'm almost certain that I've blocked out a lot of memories, mostly because if I recalled all the shit she did to me, I'd be even more damaged. But do you know how much it hurts to feel so alone in the world and have the one person you wanted SO BADLY to be there for you through thick and thin/never judge you/always stick up for you/love you no matter what ACTUALLY treat you like their worst enemy?! I do talk about it in therapy. It did scar me. As much as I wish it didn't have an impact on me, it did. And it sucks.

Another ex approached her on Myspace/Facebook instigating a threesome with her and his buddy...while I was still dating him. Did she put him in his place? No. Because it was attention for her and hurtful to me. She told me later, during a fight, with no remorse.

She slept with my ex-fiance and lied to me numerous times about it, simply to "get back at me". For what?...standing up for myself? Who the HELL sleeps with their BEST FRIEND'S ex-fiance?! ESPECIALLY knowing he mentally abused me, and being a victim yourself of mental abuse?! I found pictures she had sent to him...in his softball shirt. Yes, he was my ex but he was the guy I was with for so many years and she was supposed to be my friend.

She even went as far as to make fun of my dog to get to me. She would joke with other mean girls that Lola was "ugly" and call her names, also. How sad and rude.

I had to always babysit her and never even got a thank you. Whenever we would go out, she would get obliterated and I would have to 1) make sure she got home safe and 2) make sure she didn't get raped. I remember one instance when we went to the beach and she had a very low cut top on--she was trying to get an older guy and his son to buy her free drinks. Well, I stepped outside on the boardwalk to smoke a cigarette and apparently while I was outside, those guys got handsy. And she got MAD AT ME because "I wasn't there for her". We literally got into a screaming match on the boardwalk because of it. But instead of texting ME to come back inside, she texted a friend back home saying that I "left her to get sexually assaulted" pretty much. Uh, WHAT?! I had my phone with me. I was a text message away. And you text someone 4 hours away simply to bitch that I wasn't "there for you"?! GTFOH.

I was there through the good and the bad for her, and did not judge unless I was pushed by insults. And even then, I didn't really want to but I didn't know how else to make her feel the hurt that she would cause me. She would call me every name in the book simply because her boyfriend got her mad, including "fat chubba chubba whale" ( we were the same size and she KNEW I was insecure about my weight ), a slut, a cunt, a fucking bitch, etc. She would constantly throw my mistakes in my face, like how she had to go rescue me and a guy friend out of a wooded area because his car got stuck in the mud. Sure, I was being sneaky with that guy, but as my BEST FRIEND you don't use that information against me. YOU LOVE ME REGARDLESS or you tell me, "Hey, Jenn, don't do that shit--you're better than this!" When you're friends with someone you are supposed to raise them up, NOT put them down!

I should've known when she spoke of Jess* poorly that she would do the same to me. The insults about her mom, jealous of her new car ( even though she obtained that car from insurance money her mom had after she had DIED ), etc. She was mad that Jess moved on from her, which I clearly see now. But she never talked about Jess to people the way she would talk about ME to others. It's like she wanted no one to like me, and made it her sole purpose to get people to hate me. How did I remain friends with her for so long?!

I write this not for pity or for spite, but to get a message across ( and also it's kinda therapeutic ) I have depression and anxiety, and as I age it becomes worse. But having a mental disorder is NO excuse for being a shitty person to others. If you have bad self-esteem, your main purpose should be to help others rise to their potential, not degrade them to make yourself feel better. I never intentionally put someone down to make myself feel better UNLESS I was being attacked; and even THEN I toned it down, because I know when you piss off a bully, all it tends to do is make things worse. I put up with a LOT of shit from my so-called best friend--even more than my abusive ex did to me! But I stayed...for years.

I don't know who reads this blog honestly, and I don't care. I have very few friends these days, and no one really knows the extent of Sara and I's "friendship". And it's not their business. People from the past may THINK they know how things happened, but there's only two correct stories: mine, and hers. And they may both be correct...perception is our own truth. But what I perceived was that my BFF was being mentally abused and, to cope, she mentally abused me. And it sucked. I wished so hard for years that karma would come bite her, but now that it has numerous times I just feel...indifferent.

It's a fine line of feeling sorry for *anyone* because of the battles they face, and feeling sorry for a certain person because of who they once were in you rlife. No matter how shitty of a person you may be in life, you will ( hopefully ) have someone that loves you. And to know that there are others hurting because someone they love is hurting...it's sad. I would never wish such things on anyone. I would never intentionally cause harm. But I can honestly say...that I don't care. 

I guess it seems a little hypocritical to say that I don't care as I'm writing this, but I don't care--now. I care how the past has affected my life. I care how it has affected my self-esteem. I care how it has affected my current relationships in my life. I'm not a perfect person or a perfect friend, but everyday I try to be even a minuscule amount of a better person than I was yesterday. And yes, people can change...but only if they want to and work hard to.  

I wish that everyone in life could be the best version of themselves that they can be, and sometimes...we need help. I take meds, I do talk-therapy and I analyze my actions on a daily basis. I think, "what could I have done differently?", "how could I have said that better?", "what is the point I'm trying to get across and how do I approach it?" But because of the trials I've faced, I also fall back. I distance myself. I shut down. I don't know how to adequately talk to someone about my feelings because I remember being put down so often by people who claimed to *love* me. 

I empathize and sympathize with people far too often; and when you do that, you start making excuses for behavior that has no excuses.

I wish I would have stood up for myself and I wish I had had the backbone I've desperately always wanted. Maybe things would've went differently...and maybe not. But in the end of all of this, the past is the past and there's no way of changing that. All you can do is strive to be a better person tomorrow and not make the same mistakes that you did yesterday.

I'll leave with this--if you know that you have a problem with depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder or any other mental health issue, do not be afraid to ask for help. There are so many available resources out there. It's not you giving up and no one will think less of you. We all have issues, but it's about what you do to solve them that counts in life...



Monday, May 29, 2017

Weekend of Lularoe!

If you're on my friends list ( and you're a female ) you've probably been invited to one of my many "pop-ups". You probably also know that my love for Lularoe is strong, haha! Pretty much when I'm not in scrubs or gym clothes, I'm in Lularoe. And this entire weekend was no exception.

On Saturday:

M Irma, L Sarah cardigan, TC leggings


 I thought since we were having a Lularoe fundraiser, it was only fitting for me to wear Lularoe! I thought it was going to be cooler than it was, so I didn't really have to wear the Sarah much. I love that the top matches the leggings but not perfectly; they compliment each other well, though. I ended up rolling the bottoms of my leggings twice and leaving the Sarah off and it worked out perfectly!

On Sunday:

M Carly in a heathered pink/rose
Nate's parents wanted to grab dinner last night for Nate's birthday ( it's in 2 days ) and it was so sticky and *blah* after I got out of the shower. I thought that a Carly was fitting for the temperature. I accented it with a long necklace and Gladiator sandals. It worked out great.

Today:

XL Randy with a pair of shorts from Old Navy
After cleaning like a crazy person this morning, I sat down to watch a movie and relax before I had to head for Walmart to grab some groceries. I wasn't really feeling a dress and I had only worn this Randy for maybe 2 hours when I first got it, so I thought today would be the perfect day! It's a little hotter outside, but since I've been inside most of it, it's not too bad. I paired it with a pair of Old Navy black shorts ( as to match the sleeves ) and some Chucks. Perfect lounging outfit...while still looking "put together"!

If you haven't tried Lularoe yet, you don't know what you're missing! I know some girls say, "Ahh! That stuff is expensive!" but let me tell you...a lot of it I've earned through hosting parties OR waited to buy when consultants had sales. Just like with any other store I shop at, I'm all about the sales! So check a few girls out, look for the discounts and maybe even host a party of your own! I have a few *wonderful* consultants I would happily refer you to!




 

CPAA LLR Fundraiser

On Saturday, I hosted a Lularoe fundraiser to benefit Central Pennsylvania Animal Alliance at my regular PetValu location. Luckily the rain held off and the temperature was perfect. I couldn't have asked for a better day!

Some of the merchandise

Tara "manning" the CPAA booth

Patrons shopping away

Our get-up


Lovely consultant Heather Weaser came out with her inventory to help raise funds for our cause. She so graciously said she would donate 10% of the proceeds, plus Lularoe ( the company ) will give $1-3 per item sold! We made $85 that day with the sales, PLUS $110 in regular donations!!!

We also had our "spokespups" Zuul and Penni to come greet the shoppers!

Poor Penni was so itchy

Zuuly just hanging out with her cousin

Mandy with Miss Penni

Zuuly getting some mama lovins

Penni sporting a M Lularoe Randy...doesn't she rock it?!



Since we had such awesome success with this fundraiser, I may plan another one before year's end. Next month I will be doing a "4th of July" theme with hot dogs for sale, baked goods and Premier Designs jewelry by Kim. She will donate 25% of her sales to CPAA!

Two pooped out pups!
Thank you to everyone that came out to the event on Saturday and donated to help all of our dogs in foster homes and the HOPE program alike. Without you, we wouldn't be able to do what we do!

 
 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

My May Birchbox


I liked pretty much everything I got in this month's box! Great job so far, Birchbox!!

Now, with this subscription, you can "sneak peek" your items prior to them shipping and they actually give you the option to pick one of your items. So this month, I decided to pick out a gradual tanner to try...

Vita Liberata Fabulous Self Tanning Gradual Lotion
I love this product for numerous reasons and the main one is: it doesn't stink! If you've ever used a sunless tanner before, you know the GOD AWFUL stench of that shit. This stuff?...nada. Also, a little goes a long way so when I used nitrile gloves to apply, I needed very little product. A disadvantage, though, is that it is super gradual. I'm not sure if it was due to how I applied or not using enough of the lotion or what...but it took about 3 applications for me to see any results. I also came into this issue:


( I had applied the same "amount" of lotion to both my arms and legs, but you can see the difference ) My main goal was to make my LEGS tan, but as you can see--only my arms really benefited. But being a pastey-ass white girl, I like a tanning lotion that doesn't look fake...and this product really does an awesome job. I think I need to just invest in a good sunless tan mitt and a full size bottle ( retail $30 )

ModelCo Illusion Lip Pencil
I have never used a lip liner before, so I was skeptical. And even though I usually just roll out of bed, eat breakfast and go to work--sometimes I try to put a little something on to make me not look so, uh, dead. I noticed that the darker lipstick I have actually bled passed my lipline as the day went on, but when I tried out this liner it actually did prevent that from happening. It's a neutral color ( it may have had a name but I threw the box away ) so it can be paired with any lipstick hue.

Manna Kadar Cosmetics Glo Illuminator
I don't use illuminators. I barely make time to put on make up. So that one was a wipe.

COOLA SPF 30 Organic Makeup Setting Spray
Again, I don't usually use make up but I applied some one morning to specifically try this shit out...and it works really good! I've never used a setting spray before but I really like it and I will definitely keep this on hand for special occasions where I want my make up to stay put forrealforreal!

Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle
Love it! Love pretty much ALL the hair products I've received thus far from Ipsy and Birchbox alike. Smells great, helps to detangle post-shower, helps with frizz...the nines! Birchbox can gladly send me hair serums and sprays galore!...especially with the summer approaching.

So far, so good with Birchbox! And remember, if you're thinking about getting a subscription, click here and follow my link to get us both a lil' *something-something* 😉

 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Pura Vida Bracelets

**FYI: this is not a sponsored post, so all opinions are solely mine**

A couple of weeks ago, the office manager at work came in with a bracelet for each of us girls from a company called Pura Vida Bracelets. I had seen ads for the website on Instagram and Facebook, and I may have briefly checked out the page, but I didn't pay much mind to it. But I have fallen in love for numerous reasons. 


When you purchase from Pura Vida, you are giving jobs to hundreds in Costa Rica. Sure, some will say "KEEP JOBS IN AMERICA!" but...guess what?! We are all humans and need to make a living. 

The quality is pretty awesome. I didn't read the description until after Stacy gave me my bracelet, but they are actually 100% waterproof and expandable, too. The bracelets are wax-coated so you can shower, surf, swim, tube or whatever in your Pura Vida bracelet without the hassle of having to take it off every time.

They also work with numerous charities. When you buy specific Pura Vida bracelets, 10% of the net profits are donated to said charity. The one I was gifted was for Best Friends Animal Society, a no-kill animal sanctuary that looks to be based out of Utah. Stacy knows I'm a big animal advocate and the gesture made me feel wonderful. Then, this past Friday I decided to check the site out more thoroughly and I ended up purchasing 3 more charity bracelets: anxiety disorder awareness, depression awareness and mental health awareness. 


I also got the wave ring and they gave me the Beach Life bracelet FO' FREE! How bow dat...?

To sum it up, I really like the quality of the bracelets ( they have "fancier" ones, too, but the charity ones are what struck my interest most ) and the concept of the business. 

I think I'm fairly "braceleted out" at this point, but if you want to donate money and still get something pretty from it, go pick out a $5 bracelet for your favorite cause while also getting summer ready! 

 

 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Gift Of Fear

Even though I still have not finished this book ( but hey!, I'm making progress! ), I wanted to write a blog about The Gift Of Fear by Gavin De Becker.


A few months ago, I decided that instead of buying more Lularoe, I was going to take that money and buy some books I'd been wanting to purchase on Amazon. This book was on my list. I had picked up a cheap read at B&N last year called 50 Psychology Classics, which listed this novel and many others that I wanted to read more in-depth ( also, if you like psych but don't know what you want to read into, that book was $7.99 and gave you a sneak peak into all 50 books ) Anywaysssss....

So the author of this book sounds like a pretty interesting man. I assume he's a doctor but it's never mentioned ( at least 193 pages in, I didn't see it ) He advised the prosecution in the O.J. Simpson trial. He meets with major companies to help prevent workplace violence. He knows violent behavior, as he had experienced it into his childhood and studied it thereafter. And he wrote three books on the topic.

The point of this 315 page book ( not including the epilogue and appendices ) is to teach yourself how to recognize violent behaviors and to take it seriously.   

Once you start reading, though, you find out that a lot of this recognition is actually based on instincts. In his book, he has this chart listed in Chapter 2:

 
This chapter is called Survival Signals and discusses the behaviors of strangers, but as you read further he gets into relationship violence and work violence, also. 

He even wrote an entire chapter on how employers can help avoid a violent act by a jaded employee. De Becker goes into the best ways to spot a violent person, ways to diffuse the situation and to ( ultimately ) eliminate them from their position. 

Violence is not just behind closed doors. Look at Columbine. Look at the World Trade Center. Look at 11:00PM on a Tuesday night in a bad part of town. Look at the fucking news! Violence is everywhere and even innocent people can be affected. That's why this book is a good idea for everyone to read ( especially women! )

Now, I was a tad worried that it would feed into my mild hypochondriac tendencies, but it's also empowering!--not every gut feeling automatically means something bad is going to happen, but you need to feel this emotion, evaluate it and then act accordingly. We have instincts for a reason, people. But I know, hindsight is always 20/20.

I have about 100 more pages to go in this book, but I definitely think it's a beneficial book to own. De Becker's stories are not only informational, but also very interesting. It's not a hard read at all--I just don't prioritize reading like I once did. 

If you want a read that makes you second guess situations you've been in in your past, tools to protect yourself in the future and interesting tales from others, grab a copy of The Gift Of Fear and "don't. get. murdered!"

BAI! 


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

This is the day we give a shout out to all the moms...but, of course, you should thank your mom regularly. Try telling a teenager that, though...

If you read my previous blog it tells you a bit about my situation with my mother, so I'm not going to go into that again. Today, I want to thank all the OTHER types of mothers.

The mothers who lost their child.
The step-mothers who love their children like their own.
The "mothers" who will never get the chance to be.
The dog/furry moms.
The mom-figures.
And to those who have lost their mothers.

There are a few important women in my life that I want to say a special "happy mother's day" to:

Roxi,
I swear that you were supposed to be my mom. When I first started at Perio, you immediately took me under your wing. You looked out for me and guided me and helped me to be the best I could be...something a mother does. You never got to have children of your own, and I'm sorry for that. You would've been a great one. We went from coworkers to friends and now you're like my family. I'm thankful that you became my "surrogate" mom, and I love you very much.

Andrea,
I know that it pains you inside to know that you will never have the ability to be a mom. And hunnie, you would've been a great one. Be it that you and George decide to adopt or you just have furry kids, your friends and family are very lucky to have you as a mom-figure to their children. And if you do adopt, your children will be super lucky to have you both as parents.

Mallory,
You know more about me than I think I even know about myself. And I know that deep down this day is probably going to wear on you a bit. Please remember that your momma is looking after you and she loved/loves you very much. She would be so proud of where you are today. 

Karen A,
Out of all the women that dad dated, you were the only one that treated us like one of your own. You didn't treat us poorly, you weren't unfair and I will always be grateful for the opportunity to meet you. I'm sorry that it didn't work out, and I COMPLETELY understand why, but you've would've been a great step-mom.

Nanny,
Thank you for taking care of things for Carol and I when dad couldn't and mom wasn't there. Without your help and guidance, we would probably be far-off worse than where we are. I know I haven't been around as much and I hope to be more often now that you all have met Nate, but I just wanted to say that I love you very much and I ALSO hope you have a fantastic birthday today!

Deb,
You welcomed me into you and Nate's lives with open arms and have been nothing but kind and considerate to me. I'm glad that you see that I'm not like all the others, and that I only get on Nate when it's important and necessary. I want to have a life with your son and I'm so glad that we get along well.

Carol,
You have become a wonderful mother. Although you still get on my nerves ( you're my sister! ), Madilyn is very lucky to have such a loving and caring mom. I know that our past experiences molded us and the fact that Mom wasn't there truly makes you want to be the best mother you can for Madilyn...and she deserves it. Just keep doing what you're doing, and don't let anyone's opinions of your mothering get you down! ( you know who I'm talking about... )

Aunt Stacey,
I don't know WHAT I would've done during adolescence without your help and guidance! OMG!...hahaha! You were there to talk to when I was having boy problems, dad problems and just depressed. You got me on birth control ( and look!...STILL NOT PREGNANT! LMAO! ) and took me to the appointments that I didn't want dad to take me to. YOU were my mom during that time in my life, and I would've never survived had I not had you to confide in. You're the best aunt a girl could ask for and thank you for being there when I didn't have mom.

Summer,
YOU ARE THE STRONGEST MAMA I KNOW! I know that you don't feel like it sometimes, but you are. I admire you so much and how you deal with being a single mom of 3. But you make it work, and sometimes I have NO clue how. I know some days are rougher than others, but you always keep that mentality that it's "for your babies"...what a good mother does. Don't let ANYBODY tell you differently...I am SO proud of you and I love you to the moon and back. Thank you so much for being my friend for all of these years and making me a part of your family. We get each other...on a level that no one else does...and we could not talk for 2 years and *still* act like we never stopped speaking. You're my very best friend and I'm so glad. 

And a quick shout out to Angie for taking on the role as step-mom to her husbands little boy and kicking ASS at it. I know it's hard sometimes, girl, but when he's older he will appreciate all that love--I promise! Cherie, I know that you suffered a loss and that the pain will never fully go away...and it breaks my heart. I hope that one day you have the ability to have a beautiful baby of your own ( biological or not ) and when you do, you will be a wonderful mama.  

I hope all you ladies have a wonderful day filled with homemade cards, flowers, your favorite dinner or just a kiss and hug. You ladies are superwomen, and totes deserve it!

 

 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Topic Of Gaslighting

Yesterday I was talking to a friend and he said he was doing some "research on relationships" ( ? ) So I asked what he meant ( since he was so vague ) and he'd mentioned that he read an article about "gaslighting".

If you are unaware what gaslighting is, it is pretty much a form of manipulation or abuse where the one party uses denial, lying, misdirection, and degradation to control the other. 

Pretty much it is mental abuse.  

But there is a difference between narcissism and insecurity.

If you'd like to read a good article about gaslighting, Psychology Today has one here. 

And it doesn't just happen in romantic relationships, either. It happens in friendships, work relationships and within families alike. 

I know of a few people who have used gaslighting against me, actually.

But when do you know if it's actually gaslighting, or just low self-esteem?

Of course, any projected insecurities are going to suck. No one should have to mentally "pay" for someone else's lack of self worth. But when and if it starts to become malicious, you are being gaslighted.

Per the article link above, a few signs that you are being gaslighted include:

-You are constantly second-guessing yourself.
-You constantly make excuses for the other person to friends and family.
-You feel like you can't do anything right.
-You're always apologizing.
-You feel you've changed: you're more on edge and less relaxed.   

People use gaslighting to gain the upper hand; to belittle someone so much that they can pretty much control them. But gaslighting stems from the narcissist finding the other party a weak target--and using that to their advantage. Again, it's mental abuse.

Now, if you're significant other is insecure and a little overly-emotional, you may feel some of these things, too. But most people who aren't happy with themselves are not out to hurt others on purpose; they are simply jaded and have entirely different motives.

In my friend's situation, I feel his girlfriend is simply scared, unsure of herself and ( unfortunately ) pushing him away with her misdirected pessimism. Her fear of being alone becomes anxiety which then becomes irritability which then can cause strain in any relationship.

And if you or someone you know is truly being gaslighted, work to change the behavior or run as fast as you can! I've learned the hard way that, for the most part, narcissistic behaviors do not change and there will always be a "next time"...

Stay informed, my friends!

 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

"Fuck Off" Fund

I was sitting at the table this morning eating a bowl of Frosted Shredded Mini-Wheats ( one of my faves ) and browsing through my Facebook feed when I came across a blog post that read:

"I Have A Fuck Off Fund, And So Should All Single Girls"
( you can read the original blog post by clicking above )

I have been saying this for YEARS, yo!

Back in 2006/07 I was in a prettttty shitastical relationship. I had the feeling that things were starting to get rocky, but we had just recently moved into a new apartment and I didn't know what I was going to do if we split. *May I say that no one should have to be put in such a situation* So I decided that year that I was going to take my entire tax refund and start a savings account. At the time, I was working for Roadway Trucking and was making decent money for a 21 year old, so I continued to save what I could each pay. When our relationship finally ended right before summer, I was fortunate enough to have the funds to put a security deposit and first month's rent down on my own apartment. 

And from then on, I've just always had a savings account--whether it only have a few hundred, or a couple thousand in it.

...it's helped me on countless occasions since then.

But what I didn't like about the article is how it's mostly based on "if your man leaves you". Yes, it's common for relationships to not last. Yes, it's good to have a buffer and something to fall back on. But don't save money solely for that reason; save it for ALL the "what ifs" life has to offer.

-what if I need new tires?
-what if I break my ankle?
-what if the dog gets sick?
-what if my car breaks down?
-what if I lose my job?

When I used to tell others that I saved money "just in case things fell apart", they would tell me that I'm being pessimistic and that it was unhealthy for the relationship. I simply saw it as being a realist and making sure I can fend for myself if necessary. But my savings account has gotten me out of quite a few unexpected pickles in the last 10 years. So, if I learned anything from that craptacular relationship, it was that I need to be responsible so that I'm not left high-and-dry.

The author of this blog post, Ossiana Tepfenhart, writes as #10:
It's just a smart thing to do. Having a F*ck-Off fund is like having a fire hydrant. You never want to use it, but if you need it, it'll always be there. It gives you peace of mind just by existing, and that's an amazing gift.

"Sisters are doing it for themselves" these days and we cannot rely on a man, mommy/daddy, grandma, Aunt Deb or anyone else to take care of the sticky situations life throws at us.  

There will always be break ups.
There will always be disasters.
There will always be unexpected monkey-wrenches thrown in for good measure.

Skip the Skinny-Mocha-Latte once a week. Keep a change jar. Set back an allotted amount from each pay. Tuck away unexpected monies you obtain. Have a yard sale. Sell shit on eBay. Having SOME sort of nest egg is essential! 

Be smart. Be prepared. Take it in stride. 

 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Not One More

THIS IS MY 100TH BLOG POST! THIS MAKES FOR MY LONGEST-STANDING BLOG TO DATE! I'M SUPER PSYCHED THAT I KEPT UP WITH IT THIS TIME! ❤❤

This past Saturday, Nathan, myself and a handful of his family did the Not One More 5K Walk/Run in honor of his sister Victoria. 

As mentioned in a previous blog, Victoria lost her turbulent battle with heroin in mid-March. 

Not One More is an organization that aims to helps addicts and their families alike. They offer support, education and help to those who don't have the means to help themselves. The epidemic is real and the impact showed at Saturday's walk: last year they had about 150 participants...this year, over 600.

The funds raised by this walk are to help their efforts in continuing to give "Hope For The Hopeless" ( our team name ) 

It was definitely a humbling experience; to see that each person walking was most likely affected personally by heroin--be it their own struggle or a loved ones. Of course you always see those "5K Addicts" who simply do them to run, but they still pay the registration fee and that still helps the cause. 

Adrianna stayed by my side the entire time, which made it a bit more bearable. My goal was to train for this 5K and try to run the entire thing. But then the Haley fiasco happened and I was diagnosed with pleurisy so...training never happened. But us ladies hit the finish line around 43:45 so...I'll take it! We still ran some of it, so I didn't walk it all. But I definitely plan to train for another in hopes of running a majority of it.


My partner for the run

My handsome boyfriend ran more than I did!

Nate's brother, his wife and the kiddos

Baby Valentina earned her medal!

Hope For The Hopeless/Team Victoria


Life isn't about just ourselves. To live a good life, we need to live for others also. Too many people out there are consumed with what's good for THEM only, never looking at how the little things we say and do can make or break the spirit of someone else.

Tread with love and understanding...we all co-habitat this Earth together. Even the littlest of contributions can make a world of difference to someone suffering by any means...

Friday, May 5, 2017

It's A Process

I fully understand that "Rome wasn't built in a day", but after doing several months of therapy, I feel no differently...

...I think it may be time to find a new therapist. 

Although I really like my therapist, I feel like she doesn't do much outside of just listening to me complain about life. I need tools. I need help. I need to learn coping mechanisms to help me deal with disappointment, anger, healthy communication, hostility, how I dwell on things, and the such. I'm 30 years old and I *still* don't have a grasp on any it. And for that, I'm meant to live as a sheep; a follower.

I was told that it's "just not my personality" to be a leader. Okay...maybe it's not. But why am I always the one who gets pushed around and shit on?

I presume it's mostly due to the fact that I don't know how to correctly express myself. And because I don't act like a total raging bitch that flies off the handle whenever I don't get my way, apparently that makes me "soft".


I have this problem with my mind running 39348598345 miles a minute when there's a heated discussion about anything; thus leaving my words to fumble out of my mouth like an utter idiot. As you can imagine, it doesn't help my case. I'm better at expressing myself through writing...but that's not healthy when you need to express something to a lover, co-worker, family member or even a stranger.

But how does one "break up with their therapist"? I feel like I'm losing a friend. And it's stressful because I've invested so much time with her and I'll have to start all over with someone new. Go over all my gripes...again. Talk about my family...again. Talk about my self-esteem issues and my depression/anxiety and failed friendships and work and home...again. I wish I could just talk to her about these issues, but I have somewhat before and it hasn't changed. 

I need someone to call me out on my bullshit.

I need someone to be real with me, that I don't have a personal connection with.

I need "homework" and goals to achieve to make me feel like I'm actually accomplishing groundwork.

...I just don't know where I'm to look.

Talk-therapy helps me because I feel like it's someone I can go to that has no emotional attachment to ANY of the parties I discuss. But I also like that my therapist tells me a bit about her life and shows me the similarities in our childhoods--it makes me feel less "alone" in my experiences. I just need something more.

I'm unsure as to what resources I should investigate to find what I am looking for. The major one, though, is a psychologist who accepts insurance because I have mental health coverage. 

It just sucks that I took the step to try to better myself and took the effort to even start doing this, and now I have to start from the bottom again. 

*sigh* c'est la vie, I suppose...

 









PS. If therapy was doing what I needed it to, I would've formed the skills to help me move on to something that would work better for me...GAH! Hahaha!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Tornado Warning

Remember back in elementary school when they would have us "duck and cover" under our desks for emergency weather drills?...I was never really sure how a lightweight, metal desk was to serve as shelter but...

Yesterday the weather was calling for some pretty bad storms, including 60mph winds, tornado warnings and golf-ball sized hail. Luckily, all we got were a couple of downpours of rain...but severe weather warnings can be scary.

Do you know what to do in case of a weather emergency? Do you have a plan? If not, here are a few tips so you're not stuck high-and-dry:

Make sure your cell phone is fully charged
When you hear of severe weather in the forecast, make sure you have a full battery on your phone in case of an emergency. This does not mean "charge and drain your battery playing Candy Crush". For entertainment, if you have a laptop or tablet, charge that, too. If something were to happen that's serious, you need to know that you can call the appropriate help.

Have stock in batteries and candles
You want to either have a new package of batteries or fully-charged rechargeable ones for things like flashlights, lanterns, etc. Candles are also a good idea to keep on hand. If it's dark and you lose power, you want to have reliable light sources.

"Milk, eggs, bread"
...I always thought this was fucking stupid that THESE are the things people run out to get. If you lose power due to something like a flood or major storm and it's off for a few days, how the hell do you think you're going to keep that milk and eggs cold?! LOL! I think it's best to have pre-packaged foods and fruit/veggies that do not need refrigeration. Also, bottled water is good to have. I know we don't usually have to worry about days-long power outages in Pennsylvania, but it's always good to keep these things on hand anyways.

A heating/cooling source
If it's mid-summer, you may sweat to death. In winter, you'll freeze. Make sure you have plenty of comforters and possibly a battery-powered fan. OR, if you're rich enough, get yourself a generator. 

Find a good book or invest in some board games
Yeah, I know most kids these days don't remember whipping out Monolpoly anytime the lights went out, but I do! Having something to pass the time is always helpful, whether it's a coloring book, craft, game or magazine. 

And most importantly, HAVE AN EVACUATION PLAN
Nate and I live in a modular home...so the base of it is like a trailer. We don't have a basement. It's an open-floor plan. Usually you're told to go into the most central room with no windows...but in some cases, you don't have that. So it's good to have a plan of action for emergency situations; be it a fire, flood, hurricane or robber. 

Thankfully, the rain was it, though. When I lived in Florida for a few years, I remember my sister and I made a fort in my parent's closet during a hurricane warning in our area. We didn't get much more than heavy winds and rain, but it was definitely a scary experience for two elementary-aged kids.

Make sure to have a plan before it's too late! Especially if you live in an area that is prone to bad weather issues!