Welcome to the Chaos

You have stumbled upon the new blog (i.e. random babblings) of a quirky single mom. A shoot-from-the-hip, anti-pink (yet almost gaggingly perky), non-traditional, can cuss like a sailor but loves insanely and has the save the world syndrome gal who is bracing for a future as a Crazy Cat Lady though she secretly hopes like hell it doesn't come true. Enjoy your stay and feel free to say hi- I don't bite. Well, unless we're dating and you are into that type of thing or you contain peanut butter. >;-)

About Me

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Quirky single mom of two monkeys. I used to beat up the kids that picked on the "special students" during recess. Now I work with those with chronic mental illness. I speak quite a few languages, enjoy coed naked underwater basket weaving, have an addiction to Sushi and humor is my defense mechanism. Arrogant people make my right eye twitch. I'm ambidextrously brained, I will knit for tattoos, I am the friend that everyone comes to for advice and bail money. I pride myself on keeping my eyes, ears, heart and mind open. Making me laugh goes a long way with me, I think the brain is the sexiest organ and I'm the kinda gal you can take anywhere and I'll have a good time. Other than that, I'm just me.

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FLIP IT!

It amazes me how alike and yet how different my monkeys are. They are both undeniably my daughters in so very many ways. Personality-wise, there is almost nothing of their father in them. Trust me, that’s not a bad thing.

Both are strong and feisty in their own right. Lilest is my rebel, bold and proud of who she is and will defend herself and her sister in less than a heartbeat. Eldest monkey is equally proud of who she is, will womp an army if they even look at her sister cross-eyed, but will not stand up for herself. Both willing to bend, to change, to break for no one. Yet one remains silent when faced with someone who feels it is okay to diminish her feelings or bully her. She will merely stand silent and take it. I used to think she had inherited the trait from me. I will take a lot of shit from people before I finally say I’ve had enough and snap. Mess with someone I love though and it’s on like Donkey Kong. And over before you know it.

Yesterday, I realized I was wrong.

Eldest came home from school Monday and told me one of her classmates (I’m gonna refer to him as Eddie, cuz I swear he’s the bastard son of Eddie Haskel) pushed her at recess. Huge step for her. I asked to her tell me what happened. Turns out Eddie kept telling her to kiss another male classmate (Eldest’s BFF actually) and she refused to. So the little shit pushed her. Each time she said no to giving BFF a smooch, Eddie would push her down. When I asked her what she did, she replied “I just kept getting up.” When I asked her why she didn’t go get one of the teachers at recess, she said she didn’t want to be a “tattle tale.” Grrr… the guidance counselor had talked to them last week about “tattle tales.” One of the guidelines to when you should tell was only if someone was getting hurt. In Eldest’s head, she wasn’t physically hurt from the push, therefore she shouldn’t tell. Good job guidance counselor.

So we had a chat. I explained right off the bat that NO ONE has the right to hurt or to push her. That just because the push wasn’t physically hurting her, it still hurt her feelings and her feelings were even more important than her body to some extent. A scraped knee heals quicker sometimes.

We formulated a plan.

First push- she points at him and in the biggest voice she has says “NO! Eddie that is NOT OKAY! You do NOT have the right to push me!” Even if he stops, she tells her teacher what happened.

Second push- she goes to get a teacher.

If he tries to push her or stop her in any way from getting a teacher, I told her to push his ass back. That’s right. This is a point I would end up fighting with her teacher on. My point, bottom line- my children will know that if ANYONE tries to physically restrain them from getting help, they have the RIGHT to physically defend themselves. Period. Cuz one day it may not be lil Eddie. It may be someone bigger and far more dangerous. So, yeah, kick his lil ass monkey.


Tuesday she comes home. And yup, Eddie pushed her again. She stuck her finger out and she stated her case. Then he pushed her again. Then she forgot what number two was. So, we went over it again. I also made it clear that while I wanted her to address this with her teacher and would giver her the opportunity to do so, that I as going to step in if it happened again. On the way to school Wednesday, we went through the steps again. This time at recess she forgot all of them. So, yesterday morning I stepped in.

And then it hit me. It wasn’t that Eldest had inherited this trait from me. She had LEARNED it from me. It was all my fault.

This week there has been a situation going on in my life that has echoed some things that have happened to me in the past. Wednesday night I had made the realization that I was allowing myself to react to them in a similar way as I had and it bothered me. I had made a plan to change that. While writing Eldest’s teacher, the realization beat me over the head that some of her earliest memories of me are what has caused her to be the way she is right now.

While Eldest monkey was only two and a half when I finally got the courage to end my marriage, she was a very smart two and a half. And she remembers it quite clearly. In fact, no one is allowed to use the word stupid around me because of that. You see I say my ex was an asshole of epic proportions. What I have yet to mention is that he was a huge bully and incredibly abusive. One of his favorite things to do was invent new ways to call me stupid. “What did you eat a big fucking bowl of stupid for breakfast?” Despite that fact that I worked full time and did literally everything around the house, “useless bitch” was one of his favorite pet names. He couldn’t even wake up for work on his own, I was his “alarm clock” and he was a mean man in the morning. If he was late, it was my fault. Everything was my fault. I will spare you all the gory details.

He was constantly yelling and screaming at me and in my defensive mode, I kept thinking “don’t fight back.” At the time, in my head, I didn’t want the girls to see us fighting. I thought if I just stood there and took it, it would end quicker. And it chipped away at me day by day. Little by little I began to lose who I was. Something I’d swore I’d never do. Then one day Eldest came into the kitchen and says “Mommy, what’s that noise?” I say “It’s daddy, he’s home and outside snowblowing the driveway.” She FREAKED. Eldest became hysterical and yelled “I DON’T WANT DADDY TO BE HOME!! I HATE IT WHEN HE’S HOME MOMMY!!” And that was it. It took a couple more weeks for me to formulate a safe “escape plan” and get him out of the house.
But in my attempt to shield them from giant, ugly and potentially very frightening , violent fights, I had taught Eldest that it was okay to take that. It was okay to allow someone to treat her that way. To bully her. To not stand up for herself.

And you have no idea how much it hurts to know I have done that.

So, I have a brand new plan. It is up to me to lead by example. To be the change. To end the cycle. To stand up for myself. To acknowledge when people are treating me in a way I do not deserve and to vocalize it and back it up with actions. To cut ties with those that feel it is okay to bully me. To diminish my feelings. Or use me as an ego boost when no one else is paying them attention. Those that are used to getting away with things because I allow them to.

One of our Monkey Family Rules is “If you’re having a bad day, you can still turn it around. You can take a deep breath, a step back and yell ‘FLIP IT!’ And start it over and do it right.”

I am using my “FLIP IT!”

7 comments:

O_o said...

I adored this post!

We need more strong females in this world. That learn young and keep at it.

UberDorkGirlie said...

Thank you :) I'm doing my best to raise two of them that way :)

Jamie said...

You are such a warrior. I think a lot of us know the pain of teaching our kids things we never meant to teach them. Many of us don't realize or know how to fix it. Thanks for this story; I think it turned my day around.
Best,
Jamie

Agustin J. said...

Wow! I'm blown away. Made me think of my girls and how I want them to be as they grow. You're a great person and a wonderful Mom. Keep on being the strong woman that you are and the Monkeys will grow up to be the same! And if that son of an asshat comes around, I would be more than happy to come and stand by your side!
-Augie

UberDorkGirlie said...

Thank you soooo much Jamie & Augie. *huge hugs* Augie I'd be totally happy to have you stand by my side :) I think he knows better now. But, if he gets outta line again, you'll be the first to know :)

Sarah said...

You are such an amazing, strong person, and those girls are blessed to have you as a mom. <3

coachbx said...

You should be so proud of yourself. Many people go through life not ever acknowledging or discerning these things, which can perpetuate the problem. Not only have you shown courage to help your girls change the behavioral pattern by being able to now follow your lead, you have also helped so many others who share your strife. Thank you for sharing this, Natali!

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