Monday, October 11, 2010

Broken

I am having a hard time writing this post.

I am not really sure where to start...

Do I start with how I can't stop crying? Or what is making me cry? Or why I feel so emotional in the first place?

I don't really know where to begin any of this. I just have a jumbled bunch of thoughts that I really need to get out before I explode into a big pile of tears and snot with the occasional booger bubble as I try to breathe.

Do I take my time and stop as I start to cry? Or should I make a mess of this so that I can't even go back later and make sense of this? 

Should I be brutally honest with myself so that later on I can show my kids that this is how I felt even though it might hurt feelings? Then, knowing I've hurt feelings, do I dare do this knowing I'll cry some more? 

I'm so sick of crying. Let's just start there.

The why's of my emotional chaotic mess will come later at a different post I guess, but just know these things- Right now I am at such a heightened state emotionally that when I find something funny, I laugh out loud. When I hear something that angers me, I am seeing red and feeling the steam come out of my ears. When I find something sad, I start to sob. I wish that these were just random things doing this to me, but I am almost in a place where I am picking up on the vibes of others and amplifying what they are feeling. 

I am to the point the when I do finally have the big break down, sobbing, blubbering mess I hope that I am alone and by myself. I really don't like my kids to see this and I don't want to scare my husband to death. 

Now, on to my ranting and raving and soul dumping. 

Because of aforementioned sadness I haven't been going out a whole lot, as my friends can attest. I haven't been very motivated to do much around the house. And when I try to, it doesn't really matter because I end up having to stay in the same room as the kids and play referee and make sure Linus doesn't kill Bea by sitting on her or smothering her with a pillow or blanket. So, I sit and play online so I don't go out of my head watching The Dark Crystal again for the 500,000 time this month. 

I have been seeing a lot of bloggers and facebookers posting things that are hitting a little too close to my heart and I feel the need to spew my own feelings about this.


(btw, this is day 2 so I am feeling a little bit better this a.m.)


So, there has been a lot of news about teenagers killing themselves over bullying and more specifically being bullied over their sexual orientation. There has been a huge flux of reports of this specific type of bullying leading to suicide in the last month or so.


I wonder what these young people would be thinking if they knew their deaths would cause such a stir? They have inspired people to renew their vocal and passionate fight for gay rights, to stop bullying, and have rendered memories to be brought to the surface of our childhoods and the bullying that some of us have received.


I have had the privilege of reading this blog post about bullying. That was probably my brother.  How stupid that I, having been bullied quite a bit, didn't even think that my brother who wasn't just a chubby kid, but quite fat for a while, was probably so awful to his siblings because he was bullied as well. I don't even have the courage to ask him about it now. As the writer of the blog above was able to break away from the teasing mostly, my brother did as well. I know that at one point he started drama and had a great moment where he put on a jacket he hadn't had a chance to put on and it didn't fit and he broke out into the Tommy Boy "Fat man in a little coat" song. I am pretty sure that this might have been his changing moment. He also joined the football team. And I have never been more proud of him than I was when I heard of the award he won his first season. That he tried the hardest. He has never been a big runner, but even if it took him an hour later than everyone else, he ALWAYS finished the runs assigned at practice. He ALWAYS finished whatever was assigned at practice. He ALWAYS made it to practice. I think that earned him so much respect that people stopped making fun of him and he started to lose all of his weight from football and wrestling practice. But in reality, what he went through, how he got over it, does it still affect him, whatever, that is his story to tell. All I know is that I was a real shitty older sister and even at the somewhat grown up age of 32 I still can't bring myself to ask him. I just can't do it. 


I was also the victim of bullying. And not just by kids my age, by adults. It's not like kids are too stupid to know when an adult doesn't like them and then to have that adult join in with ostracizing the child is crushing.


I remember the earliest time during preschool and I have an awful tendency to day dream. I remember all the time kids at preschool always saying "what are you staring at? hey stupid! what's wrong with you?" and then the name "Stupid" sticks.


I was always a tom boy. I wanted my hair short so my long hair would quit getting stuck in trees and swings. It just got in the way. Girls don't normally want to play with the tom boy and then make fun of the girl who plays with the boys.


Due to circumstances that I think were beyond both my parents, my home life was very lax. There weren't very many rules, there were no chores, there wasn't any type of regularity. There was not a whole lot of stability regarding what was expected of us. I am not sure to this day if it was because of the way we were raised or because of the lack of raising that I dealt with what I did regarding kids and teasing. At this point it doesn't matter for me, but I would like to think that maybe it was a certain lacking and maybe I can prevent some of it in my kids having gone through it. 


I have always been strange, weird, kooky, quirky, use whatever name you want to use, but if you know me and you say otherwise...well, you are either lying to my face or you don't know me at all.  I have a certain condition called diarrhea of the mouth and I have no filter for what comes out. I don't know what is acceptable to talk about and I don't know when to shut up. And to add to that, I am an awful know-it-all. 


To add this this, I was the skinny, freckle face, braces/retainer wearing, glasses kid with big feet and frizzy hair. Always with the frizzy hair. :/


My mom was going through a lot when I was a kid and she was dealing with her own things so she wasn't really able to sit with us every night and make sure that we were bathing or brushing our teeth. I don't really know how other kids learn about hygiene or when to shave or put on deodorant or that you really have to brush every day, but there wasn't really much of a presence in this sort of thing. I remember every once in a while, but I just don't think that it was present enough to really create a habit of hygiene.


Then, the croup de grace of the deal was that I wasn't LDS. In a pretty small town at the time where that is the main religion, it kind of sticks out like a sore thumb.


I was told on more than one occasion "I can't play with you anymore because you aren't Mormon." Or "I can't sleep at your house, but you can sleep at ours, but only on Sunday and you have to come to church with me."


I was not athletically savvy and I had asthma.


Need I go on? 


Don't get me wrong, I did have my one best friend the whole way through elementary school. I did have friends off and on throughout until 6th grade. I was friends with every one at least long enough to have a play date. 


I always felt ugly, but my validation came in 6th grade. I remember where in the class I was sitting, who my teacher was, and this boy who was sitting next to me. He turned to me and said, "You sure are ugly. You know that?" 


Do you reply to that? Do you just...what the heck do you do? I just hung my head and said "yes. I do know that."


7th and 8th grade is where I shut down and if I hadn't been instilled that those who kill themselves go to hell and it is the most horrendous, awful, torture for all of eternity, I would not be here to write this story. Every day I wanted to die. Every day, I just wanted to be gone.  


I met a girl who was Baptist like I was, she didn't like my current best friend, and because she was the same religion I was, I decided maybe she'd be better for me. That ended in my losing my best friend who in spite of my strangeness still liked me for me and feeling like I had no one. I was ridiculed at church, I didn't fit in with the kids there, I was openly teased and no one stopped it, at one point, one of the youth leaders joined in. I would ride around with them with my headphones on and by accident I learned that they would talk about me with me in the car. I started to just put my headphones on and listen to those around me.


I did have a few friends in junior high, but they were school friends. I don't think I ever did anything with friends the whole time I was in junior high. I didn't feel like I fit in with anyone. I know that is pretty normal, but I really had no one. I would go home every day and sit in my room and read. My siblings remember me best that way. Or worst I guess.


I don't know if I didn't feel like I fit in for any other reason than I just didn't feel like a kid. I didn't get giggly, I didn't squeal, I just wasn't a typical 12 year old. I would rather go to my Granny's and talk to her. Or hang out with my mom. But I was very aware of boys and desperately wanted some sort of recognition of me as a girl. I didn't want to feel so ugly. I didn't want to know that boys felt the same way that I did...but I always had phone calls from boys, they'd pretend that they liked me, then ask me to go steady, then that boy and all of his friends would laugh and tell me they couldn't believe I would think anyone would want to date me. I was disgusting, I was ugly, I was dumb. Over and over and over. 


I managed to get to 9th grade and 3 things happened... I got contacts (even though it took me giving my dad the silent treatment for a while because he promised and then said never mind), I got my braces off, and my hair had grown long enough that the perm was gone and I figured out how to do it.  Oh, and for some reason eyeliner is another thing. I don't know what it is about dark eyeliner, but it makes me feel like a different person.


I don't know what happened at church to make things different for me, but I think a lot of it has to do with the women there who were outright mean to me were gone. They either no longer were at church or they were no longer in position of "power". I also happened to meet a very great friend my 10th grade year who explained to me what was turning people off. She told me that I was a know-it-all. She was my mentor of sorts and with her by my side, I didn't need anyone else. I feel that was the beginning. I was able to give off an "I don't care what you think of me" vibe. I am told often that they never had any idea that anyone's opinion mattered to me.  Or that I always had a very confident air about me. I guess that would be my wall. I learned to fit in with the misfits. The skaters, the goths, the smokers, the partiers, the kids who dressed funny, the parking lot crowd. Those were the kids that I could let my strange creep out and I didn't get much flack or they'd let me know what about it just wasn't ok. Who would have thought the outcasts would be teaching me social graces?


Even in my "I'm more comfortable about myself" years, I still had to deal with teasing. There was a small group of kids in High School who I just hated. They were always mean, belittling, would go out of their way to embarrass and individual just to get a laugh. My poor friend worked with a couple of them and in our innocence, she invited me to the holiday dinner her work was having. I had friends who were interested in the same gender, but it didn't ever dawn on me that people thought it was a bad thing or something to be ashamed of. I went to this dinner as a friend and people were teasing us that it was a date. That was my first experience with teasing due to sexuality. And although I didn't really care, I think it embarrassed my friend a lot. I didn't care because I had a boyfriend. I think she did care because she was so shy and did not, in fact, have a boyfriend. Or maybe she cared because these people just teased her all of the time and this was just something else. This particular instance is the reason that I turn into 'mama bear' when people start to say or do anything that is negative towards the LGBT community. What if this friend just happened to be a lesbian and they shamed her to turn her back on who she is? I am still hurt that people tried to shame me into being something that I wasn't. I am weird. I am strange. I view the world differently and I have been shamed that it isn't the social norm. I was shamed that I wasn't LDS. I shouldn't be shameful of what I am.


So, I am now an adult and as a kid you are always told that things get better, and that's just a lie. I have been teased, made fun of, been cast as an outsider, ugly things have been said and that has happened after high school. Bullying never stops. It just changes faces. 


It's the guy who picks his nose and is stinky. It's the guy who makes the same lame jokes over and over. It's the guy who is just a little strange and is overly friendly. It's the girl who, no matter what, smells like onions. It's the girl who has a speech impediment. It's the girl who is the only white girl at work. It's the girl who is dating/married to the guy the mean girl likes. It's the new girl. It's the guy who just started work who is very effeminate. It's the girl who doesn't want to party. It's the girl who got the job everyone else wanted. It's the guy who just doesn't fit into the social norm. Or even in family members. I have two specific family members that have always made me feel very inadequate and wrong in every way. One of them, I used to be told that "that's just her way." And as an adult, I won't allow her to make me feel that way. I will call her on every back handed comment she makes and it has slowed down a lot. The other one, well, I guess my brother and I were everything she did not like. But, she was everything that I did not like so we lived in mutual irritation. Every day I see it. I think I have done a pretty good job of being friendly to those. I know I have sunk low and just to be part of the group I have joined in, but I try very hard to rectify that wrong. 


After talking to these people, you realize there are things going on and I really have no place to judge. 


So... after WAY too many days of writing this, here it is. I didn't really get into as much as I'd like because I had way too many distractions. If I had the ability to just sit and write, I would get more in, but having to stop and take care of babies and the hubs, I realize how draining it is to write this and I stop. 


All in all, I was an awful sister to my siblings because I was picked on and I was so unhappy and I was just a kid, I didn't know how to differentiate my feelings from what and separate them. I was mad so I was mad at everything. I was hurt so it was everything that hurt me. I didn't get to know my siblings, I fought with them, I yelled at them, I scared them, I was even meaner to Teej cause he was just as bad. I didn't have any way of saying to my parents that this is what's going on because I didn't feel that they could do anything. I didn't get to know my family. I shut down completely and what I have learned from that is what I will not allow my children to do. I DO NOT blame my parents for their parenting. They only did what they knew how. My disclaimer is this... their parents came a long way from what they grew up with, my parents came a long way from what they grew up with, and I hope to go a long way from what I grew up with. In reality, they did a pretty dang good job from what they were taught from their parents so for that, I am grateful. 


As for the emotional breakdown, please excuse the above mentioned crying fits. I do not deal well with PMS and if I can hide from it, that's great. But between being a single parent for way too long due to the hunting season and all of this stuff online due to the bullying and suicides, it just put me in a very bad place. Thankfully I have gotten this out and I really wish that I didn't feel the need to hold back a little just so that I didn't scare my family, married in and otherwise. 


I just wish people would realize that we are all broken just a little and no one wants those faults to be brought to light. I just keep thinking that what we consider to be our faults, really may not be faults at all. I think I have some pretty endearing quirky faults. ;)



4 comments:

Anna said...

Finding out stuff now makes me think I must have been oblivous to a lot of things when I was younger. I tended to be imginative and have rose colored glasses on.

I don't recall exactly how I felt about all my friends. I just remember liking them. I remember liking you. We weren't best friends or anything, but I remember hanging out with you sometimes.

I agree with you though. I think there is a quote that goes something like this. "We do the best we can with what we know. When we know better, we do better."

Which is good enough reason to not judge anyone. They did what they knew. We just need to keep improving ourselves throughout our life and learn and do better as we learn better.

Also, I've never really understood the whole "I can't play with you, you're not LDS". I had such a varied group of friends. I had the non-LDS, the inactive LDS, the active LDS.

One time I had a guy ask me out to go to a concert. He was Catholic I think. He was a nice guy, I liked him well enough as a friend, but didn't want to date him. Instead of just telling him no, I thought I'd tell my mom about it and tell her that he wasn't LDS and she would tell me not to go. Well, it didn't even phase her. She told me that if I wanted to go, then go. I did go. I definately didn't want a second date (because he wasn't my type).

Anyway, I was talking with my mom recently about the whole friends thing. She told me that she didn't want to tell us who to be friends with and who not to. It was our choice. I would go to Audra's house and come home smelling like smoke sometimes. But she let me. And I'm glad she did.

I remember some Christmas dinners that we had my strange uncle, my other strange relatives, my Baptist side of the family, the widows in the neighbor, and who knows who else. Everyone was invited to our home. We went to my grandma's house for a summer BBQ and a bunch of people from the Baptist church were there. And we had fun. Who cares what religion a person is. It's the person who matters.

Anyway, a whole lot of random thoughts from me. I liked you and I still do. It was fun seeing you at Audra's wedding. Having little ones can be a lot of stress. Someday they will be starting school and you will be amazed that you made it through. I know some days I am.

Kristen Munns said...

I love you Amanda. I'm sorry that you are having such a hard time right now. I wish I was closer. If its any consolation, I've always thought you were perfect.

kelly said...

I second what my sister said except the being closer because I am, but I'm not good with the keeping in contact right now!

I got lucky to have extra "little sisters" due to both of my sisters having such great friends. And you were a better little sister because I didn't have to live with you. (Love you Krissy)

And because I know you will find it funny, when I first typed that sentence, I typed suck great friends. Then I nearly cried because I was laughing so hard. These are the types of things that get me through the day.

I love you and frankly I wouldn't change anything about you.

Anonymous said...

you know, it's so funny out different things seem from different perspectives. I knew what was happening, but I also knew you had some great friends - thanks Larson family and others! I also knew I was not the kind of parent you needed, but we don't get to choose, do we? Don't worry, I'm not offended or hurt by what you said...you were bang on. I'm so sorry that you are hurting and wish you the answer to prayers said for you. I wish I had not had the fears I had when I was parenting "don't rock the boat" "don't air dirty laundry" "don't ask for help, help yourself" "it's your bed, lie in it" - all that stupid stuff I don't care about now. I love you to the moon and back and wish you knew how much...I wish you would let me help you more. I know you can get through this with help and be a stronger more beautifully delightful person than you already are. love mom