Self-expression, tattoos, and dirty looks.

IMG_7131bw IMG_7150bw

Yesterday, N picked out a pack of Hello Kitty tattoos at the store and I bought them for her because I told her that she could have one thing from our grocery trip. I was surprised that she chose tattoos, but really not that surprised since both her father and myself have tattoos. When we got home and she helped me put groceries away she requested a tattoo on her arm. I obliged and applied it to her bicep and when it was transferred she excitedly said “Oh mommy, how cute! More tattoos?” So I applied another, and then another, and then her arm was full of tattoos. Who am I to say no to self expression? It’s her body and I’m not going to dictate what she does with it. Obviously she’s still young and there are things to be taught and things she needs to stray away from for her safety but tattoos are not on that list. I see nothing wrong with making a masterpiece of your skin, after all it is your canvas to make those masterpieces.

We visited my parents today and I immediately got rolled eyes and “why would you do that” and “that’s trashy” about it. And that really bothers me. It bothers me that it is that big of a deal to let my baby have fun decorating her body, especially when it’s the farthest from permanent that it gets. I have tattoos, I should have known that I was walking into an eye rolling party today, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt and went anyway.

We went to the store to pick up a few things since my parents are coming over for dinner and it was absolutely heartbreaking/infuriating how many dirty looks I received from complete strangers, and not to mention all of the people whispering under their breath while glaring at me. You would think I took her out naked (which is funny since I saw quite a few underdressed children in the store…), but I didn’t take her out naked. She was well dressed, from head to toe, with a pink tee shirt and denim shorts paired with some tie-dye Toms. Her hair was groomed and pulled out of her face. But nevermind the fact that she’s clean and well mannered (no really, she says excuse me and sorry to every single person in every single store we go into because she’s polite), what really matters is the fact that she has an arm full of Hello Kitty tattoos. It only matters that I raise her beneath a rock and force her to conform to opinions of people who don’t know us and that’s a shame.

When I say this, I do not say it lightly. I say this without hesitation: My child will not be raised under a rock. She will not be raised to shudder at every glare and nasty comment about her appearance. She will be raised to be strong and to love herself. There will never be a second that passes where she doubts how she looks if I can help it. Love is spoken here, not ugliness and negativity. It terrifies me that I am raising my daughter in a world full of hatred and horrible people, but I will do my absolute best to remind her that she is her own person and no one can change who she is. I would not want her any other way because if she was anyone else, she would be a stranger. If someday she decided that she wanted to tattoo every inch of her body and come out as something other than straight I wouldn’t bat an eyelash at her. She is who she is and I cannot change that, nor do I want to change that.

Self-expression is so important at this age; at every age. It’s so important to be introduced to art and let children figure out who they are. N may be two years old, but she’s aware of many things. She sees things and hears things I don’t want her to hear and I would appreciate the world being a little less cruel to her.

Advertisements

Family

IMG_8905

My parents are divorced and have been since I was three years old, so I don’t remember their marriage. From what I’m told it was horrible. I grew up having concepts and opinions shoved into my brain by my mother, regarding my dad and how he wasn’t worthy to be considered a father. I heard things I never should have never heard come out of my mother’s mouth about my dad, trying to sway me from loving him. It never worked but it bothers me that she tried to turn his own daughter away from him. As a mother I could never talk bad to N about her dad, no matter what my opinion of him is. That sort of stuff really messes with your head.

When I was a kid my dad ‘toured’ and played shows with his band. He was gone a lot of the time but he did what he could to be there for me. He would write me letters and buy me souvenirs. That’s not how it was portrayed by my mom. She would tell me that he didn’t want me or that he was off doing other things; that I wasn’t important. If he called to say he couldn’t pick me up for the weekend she would say that he didn’t care about me and reflecting on it almost brings me to tears because she is not a mother to me. My dad has been my mother, my father, my friend through my 23 years of life. My “mother” has abandoned me more times than I can count on two hands. She would hide away in her room and make me watch her kids, clean the house, make meals, all before the age of 13. I recall a time when I was 14 and she left for the weekend to stay with her boyfriend, leaving me alone with no food in the house. I remember times where she told me how horrible I was or that I was going to end up “knocked up” by the age of 16, calling me a slut. My mother is no mother. Maybe she has the title because she grew me in her womb, and I have her blood, but she’s not any mother of mine.

She kicked me out when I was 14 because she was angry with me over the fact that I wanted to live with my dad more than her, and rightfully so. I wanted out of there so badly. She was married to someone who verbally and mentally abused me, who called me names, who yelled at me and gave me punishments for things that I shouldn’t have been punished for. I was grounded once because when I shared a room with my then toddler brother, he made a mess of things, and somehow that was my fault. My dad was on his way to pick me up for the weekend and my moms husband threatened to fight him in the driveway because I was in “trouble”. I grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, with the wrong people. But I was able to escape that nightmare and finally move in with my dad. I was home at last.

I love my dad. I go above and beyond to make him proud of me. I’ve made stupid choices in the past, like leaving at the age of 18 to live with a controlling and abusive boyfriend, two days before my high school graduation. He still showed up to see me walk and get my diploma. He has always loved and cared about me and I have never doubted that.

Sometimes I find myself getting really sad because my dad and step-mom will go off and do things and not include me. At least it feels like I’m forgotten. Maybe I’m not but I guess my abandonment issues get the best of me and I automatically get myself upset over it. If they go out to dinner without me, I stop myself from saying “thanks for the invite” or something sarcastic to hide how I really feel about it. I’ve said how I feel countless times before and it never changes anything, so I just stopped expressing how I felt about it. If they go do something fun, I’m not included usually. Even if you think I’m busy, it’s nice to be included. But I never am.

Brandon gets the short end of the stick a lot of the time. When I scroll through my Facebook news feed and see their check in to some place cool, I get sad. I cry about it. I get really upset over these things and I don’t know if it’s normal to feel the way I do, because I do see them occasionally. I’m seeing them today but I just feel alone when it comes to being a part of my family, I guess. Brandon is the one holding me and wiping my tears when I get sad over it, and we’re going today and I’ll be happy with my family but deep down I am going to feel hurt and unimportant, and Brandon will sit there across from me and know that I’m aching over it.

I love my family so much and I hate that I have these issues that hold me back from normality. All I can say is that it sucks.

 

Wherein I talk about mean people and happiness. (TW: Abuse)

I’ve been dealt a bad hand when it comes to friends. I had some friends once but they’re not friends any longer. There was a time when coming to that realization would hurt me to the core but I’ve had some time to mend and pick up my pieces and well, it’s not so hurtful anymore. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I am a good person; I’ve never picked up a cigarette, done a drug, and I don’t really drink (not that people who do those things are bad people; some of the best people have addictions). I did get arrested once but it was over the stupidest reason (yeah, yeah, sure, that’s what they all say…), but really, it’s the truth. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and it’s just my luck, and by ‘my luck’ I actually mean that I don’t have any. A while back I thought that I was in love; I thought I was in love with someone who was self-centered, who didn’t put me first, who loved his Playstation 3 more than he loved me. We had a baby and my “friends” slowly dwindled away. Our friends turned to his friends who urged him to leave me. He did, in the worst possible way. My “best friend” lured him to her all the while pretending to be there for me. I can’t even describe the pain I felt from that, and I don’t really remember how I moved on. Having your heart smashed to pieces is hard enough when it’s done by one person, but two people? That was tough. Really, really, really tough. I was alone after that. I didn’t trust anyone I knew. At some point I even blocked every. single. person. from my graduating class (and his) because I felt like I was the subject of their gossip and mockery. I didn’t want to be that girl that people pitied; “Oh, that’s so sad that he left her and her baby.”, “It’s such a pity, who will want her now?”. I just disappeared; vanished; gone. No one knew where I went. I was hurt and I didn’t know how to cope so I just left. Who cared anyway, right? I didn’t.

Going from a family of three to a twosome was difficult for me. I didn’t have support. I didn’t have a chest to lay on at night when I was overwhelmed and needed comforting. I didn’t have anything but a five month old and a dog. I almost became homeless and I starved myself for months so my baby didn’t. My entire life fell apart with the blink of my eye and there was nothing I could do about it. I dwelled in the darkness; in the pain. I wallowed in my own pity for so long and cried myself to sleep so often that I didn’t know how to pull myself out of bed in the mornings. I don’t think I got out of bed except to feed N the entire time I was in this state. It’s hard for me to think back on those times because I honestly have no idea how I pulled through it. I’m just not a strong person. At least I didn’t think I was.

Skipping forward, I started to ‘reappear’ and trust select people. It was a lengthy, drawn out process with lists of people, with their names crossed off as if I was inviting them to my 10th birthday party. It’s not easy learning to trust again. It’s not easy at all, especially when you’ve been burned. I’m still learning to forget my past aches and breaks, even after nearly three years. I am constantly reminding myself that life is a roller coaster; that life sucks. C’est la vie.

I never deserved the things I’ve been handed in my life, apart from N. She is my entire world and there is never a moment that passes by that she doesn’t make me a better person. I become better every single day and I wish other people could have someone in their life to make them better people because God knows they need it.

I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, stemming from my childhood. My mom always told me to suck it in, her (then) husband called me a fat cow. I wasn’t even a teenager yet and I had already been a victim of verbal and mental abuse. If only the physical abuse never happened, but unfortunately it did. I went on to be with people who treated me like dirt; who used the back of their hand to show their affections for me. I went on to be with people who talked down to me and not only made me feel worthless, but made me believe it. I settled because my mother set a bad example by always being with a man and never putting herself or her children first. To my mother, a man would always come before her child and sadly that never changed. After back to back relationships and marriages she’s still the same unavailable ”parent”. She always will be.

Going back to my depression and heart break, I somehow managed to move on. I escaped the nausea that came with dealing with N’s dad and I got past the anger and resentment. I took steps forward and I haven’t looked back. Although I am the happiest I have ever been in my entire life, it has not come easy. There have been obstacles and a lot of name calling thrown at me since I took the necessary steps to get happy, but it’s all been worth it. Sticks and stones, sticks and stones. Words will never break me. Not anymore, rest assured.

Happiness does not come easy but it does come to those who are patient. It hurts like hell to wait, but you will be glad you did when it’s all over. Destiny, fate, whatever you call it. You will find it.

IMG_6687

Appearance

20130726-163525.jpg

If you know me you know that I struggle with body image quite a lot. I am constantly belittling my appearance and referring to myself as fat and unpretty. I think most of my low self esteem stems from my clothes no longer fitting properly.

Last year I dropped 40 pounds. I looked and felt great for the first time since… Ever. I’m a pretty tall girl; I am 5’9″ and my feet are the size of a small country (size 10). I got myself down to a size 14, which was pretty impressive to me considering I only wanted to be a size 12. I loved the way I looked.

In February of this year I began gaining weight very quickly. I gained back 30 pounds in a matter of two and a half months. My doctor has urged me to get my thyroid checked but I haven’t yet. I am hoping that there is nothing wrong with it but it’s common in my family to have thyroid disorders so I wouldn’t be surprised.

My size 14’s began getting tighter, so I brought out my 16’s, and then my 18’s which fit if you don’t count the muffin top. And that’s what is so discouraging. None of my clothes fit anymore so what I see in the mirror isn’t pretty. I don’t see attractive when I look at myself and instead all I see staring back at me are fat rolls upon fat rolls swimming in fat rolls. When I put on my clothes all I see is unflattering and that’s probably why I’m so hard on myself.

So with that being said, I am going to try to buy an outfit or two a week to rebuild my wardrobe and help me get my self esteem back up.

Today I bought a pair of ankle jeans (pictured), a black and grey maxi skirt, and a black tank too (also pictured). Buying just three things that I felt comfortable in boosted my self esteem a lot. I’m not sure if it’s the retail therapy talking or a genuine boost in my confidence but I like it regardless.

Do It Yourself

IMG_6598

 

I think this speaks for itself if you look close enough, but I’m super proud of my artistry on this one! This will be hung above our bed. I have some prints coming in the mail so hopefully soon I can hang a picture on each side of this and finish the whole project! Now to get around to painting those other picture frames…