Thursday, July 23, 2015

Open Letter About Date Rape

My daughter was raped last August by a boy she was dating. The repercussions are frustrating to say the least. Since I don't know his mom, I'm hesitant to confront her directly. So instead, I am using this forum to address her, and mothers everywhere.

You don't know me but last fall your son and my daughter dated, for about a week. That one week changed her life forever, and not for the better. Not yet. Maybe one day, because I know she is strong.

One day your son gave her a ride home. Very innocent for a boyfriend. But then they started acting like teenagers, kissing and all. But he wanted more. And he got more. And she has to deal with it.

From her account, I do not believe it was violent or intentionally meant to hurt her. I believe it was a case of a boy pushing his limits but not really listening to hers.

She changed after it happened. She became more withdrawn. She didn't date at all for 6 months, didn't even show an interest in boys. I hoped it was growing up. I didn't know it was because of fear.

She finally told me in March. She doesn't want justice. She's only now ready to start therapy and talk about it. But every day I have to watch her deal with the consequences of actions that weren't her own. And it's not right that your son doesn't have these feelings.

She struggled and distanced herself from one of her very best friends partly because she couldn't handle how he dealt with his abusive situation while she hid hers from the world. She has finally met a great boy who has known from the beginning and loved and accepted her. She is now struggling with him because one time after "making out" it brought back the fear of being pushed beyond your comfort zone. Now she doesn't want him physically near her. She is already having anxiety attacks because school starts in two weeks and she knows she will see him in the hallway acting like nothing happened.

Your son actually bragged about having sex with my daughter. She had to hear it from friends. She's stronger than I am, because I would have lost it then.

So, mothers everywhere, if you have a son or daughter of dating age, talk to them. Tell them their actions have consequences. Teach them to respect each other. Stop the cycle and the stigma. I know people will always have sex. But make sure they understand when is the right time for that. And that in any relationship, the choice is not theirs alone.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Dementia Day

I am feeling so lost and helpless on this journey through elder care with my grandmother. It is such a frustrating ride.

She is now in an assisted living facility with my aunt. My aunt had been living with her at home and helping care for her. In June, she fell and cracked her pelvis. Her doctors have not cleared her to be at home with Grandmama for fear of her re-injuring herself. She is 65 with diabetes and uses a walker on good days. I can see where a deeper injury could be very serious fear.

So, they were apart for over a month, during which they both wanted to be together and to go home. Well, now they are at least together. It would seem like this is a better situation but it is not.

My Grandmother insists she doesn't need any help so she should be able to go home. Then the next minute she complains that the AL staff doesn't help enough. Huh?

She calls me every day - begging, pleading then threatening me - to come get her and take her home. Every day it is a struggle. She won't understand. I am unsure if this is because of her always stubborn and slightly hateful personality or if it is her dementia coming out.

We have struggled with the diagnosis of dementia. We (the family) feel that this is a label the doctors gave her to cover themselves and help the state with their case of conservatorship. Some of the behavior they say shows signs of dementia is just the way she is. She has never liked actual medical care. She has never felt doctors orders applied to her.

There are some increasing moments of what is best termed forgetfulness. She seems to get some dates mixed up, some people/events. But she is 86. There's a lot to remember. Some of her other behavior just seems like a more enhanced version of herself. She has always had a meaner streak. She likes to bring people down. She has never had hobbies. She is not one of those cookie baking Grandmas.

It is still hard to listen to her rants. I don't take them personally but they do make me angry. Angry that she has to act this way. Angry that there is truly nothing that can make her feel better. Angry that there is no right answer. Talking to her feels like someone has ripped my spine out and is twisting it like a wet towel. I can't handle this stress!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Grow Up

Today, the most irritating part of this caregiving process is having my sister react negatively when being told that once I have conservatorship over our Grandmother, she will not be getting all the "free" cash hand outs she has become accustomed to.

I find it irritating that some people refuse to grow up. Some people don't seem to see anything wrong with continually mooching off of other. But when confronted about her ways, she talks about how how it is for her to ask for help and how worthless it makes her feel.


I'm pretty sure that if I was embarrased about a behavior or a certain behavior made me feel like crap, I would try to do everything in my power to not put myself in that situation. This is not my sister's way. She blows every cent she gets on her own. Just this week, she spent all her daughter's child support on clothes for herself. Now she has to ask for money to pay for her daughter's birthday party. That "degrading" behavior could have been avoided by not buying clothes. But I guess it's easier to "humiliate" yourself than let yourself go without and do the responsible thing.

I just find this routine exhausting. I do believe that she should not go through life waiting for others to bail her out. She is perfectly capable of keeping a job but yet she never does. She knows she has a safety net. I think it's time for the net to be yanked out of place.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Family Ties - Up in Knots Usually

It's been a while. A lot has been going on. I'll try to start sharing. I think it will help.

First, let's start with a little background. To say there are some problems in my family tree would be a vast understatement. Our issues go pretty close to the roots. Right now, we have been having problems with our older family members. I've decided getting old really sucks in many ways.

As I've always been the responsible one, a lot of responsibilities have obviously shifted to me, despite the fact that my mother and aunt are still in the picture. In some ways, they are problems in the pictures themselves. To say that all this has put a strain on my immediate family is putting it mildly.

Recently we had a birthday party for our darling daughter. Let's just say it was not the happy, relaxing weekend I was hoping for. I had actually been looking forward to my in-laws coming and bringing some sanity to our home. Due to circumstances caused by my family, not relating to me, but in some ways completely involving me, everyone managed to get pissed off, especially my husband and his parents. I guess I should have been firmer with my family but I always have trouble with that, because, after all they are family and like them or not they still belong to you.

Flash forward a month or so. Now it's time for my birthday. I got my annual present in the mail from my in-laws with one vast exception. Instead of a loving card with a message signed Mom and Dad, I get a generic card signed with their actual names. This may not seem like much but it has really hurt me. For 16 years, every card has been signed Mom and Dad. Now apparently we are back on first name only basis.

This really just reflects everything in my life right now. I have so many more jobs and am failing so miserably at all of them. Now I can add daughter-in-law to my list of failures. I always thought during rough times people are supposed to be more sympathetic. I am finding this is not always the case. Sometimes when you really need someone to lift you up, even in the little ways, they feel more constructive tearing you down.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Welcome to the Double Sided States of America

Despite deep down knowing better, I am surprised at the immediate, negative reaction to Pres. Obama's decision about Gen. Stanley McChrystal. All I keep reading from conservative bloggers is "What about his freedom of speech?".

To which I think - WHAT?

Are you seriously defending this man? Aren't you the same base of conservatives who wanted the Dixie Chicks kicked out of our country or worse for one small comment that was made about their disapproval of Pres. Bush's actions?

So, let's compare. An entertainer, with no governmental ties whatsoever, speaks her mind and gets accused of being Unamerican because we need to display a united front at all times. However, a high ranking official speaks out against the President and rightfully loses his position (after all, he's not showing respect and a united front is he) but now his Freedom of Speech rights have been violated.

Somehow, it appears we have expressed ourselves in another double standard. It's kind of like conservatives loving to spend money on an unwinnable war but not to rebuild our own economy. Never mind that some of our economic mess was caused by their greed and lower standards in loaning and trading. That is irrelevant.

It is nice to see that entertainers are held to higher standards than our men and women risking their lives for our country. Entertainers - support our country no matter what policies you don't believe in. Military Officials - please criticize the current President because you are fighting a war started by our previous President, where most errors were made.

This worries me for the type of environment our children are growing up in. I wonder how history will remember these times.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Little Ears Are Really Listening

Well, I've learned a valuable kid lesson. Even when you think they are rolling their eyes and sighing heavily, they might still be listening.

My daughter, C., has a friend, Q. C & Q have very similar, pushy type personalities. There have been times they've had conflicts. After which, I've talked to C about how she handled things and things that both have done that were not the friendliest.

I'll admit that my talks probably leaned more on what Q did than C, although I have pointed out faults of both of them. Apparently this week, Q and C were fighting at school so my darling daughter felt it necessary to tell Q that she wasn't my favorite among C's friends.

Well, of course Q was upset! I never meant C to use anything I said in a fight amongst themselves. With the above mentioned eye rolling and sighing I never knew she was taking it to heart at all.

Now, I have immense feelings of guilt. Lesson learned. Now, I have to figure out how to make it better. I hope Q's parents believe that I am sorry for Q being upset. I have told them what I told C and how it probably got misinterpreted. And I've talked to C about how you don't repeat things Mama said, especially not in a way to hurt someone's feelings.

Oh the webs we weave…

Friday, December 11, 2009

Zhu Zhu Mania

This is something I've only admitted to my husband - and only because I figured he'd find out eventually. I got Zhu Zhu Mania!!

In case you don't know what a Zhu Zhu is, let me explain. A Zhu Zhu pet is a little robotic hamster that is apparently the must have toy this year. You can't find them in stores. They are sold out everywhere. You can buy them online for crazy amounts of overage. But it's what every little girl wants for Christmas, including mine.

So, I went to ebay. Now, some are really crazy. These things retail for about $10. I've seen them on ebay go for as high as $50. Quite the markup. I told myself, I wouldn't pay more than double, including shipping. But it is so hard to not get caught up in the frenzy and frustration. So many times it comes to the last second and you think - is this it? Did I get it? Then, no - hopes dashed :(

But, finally, I did get one. I paid a little extra, $21 total, but on Christmas morning my daughter will have under the tree the one thing I told her that even Santa couldn't make enough of. I do realize that come Dec. 26, most of these little rodents will have either been forgotten about or will suddenly be so plentiful on the shelves that the stores will have to slash prices. But for this one moment, Santa still exists for many little girls and boys around the world. And that's why we do it.