Dysfunctional Society

There are many issues with our society as a whole. There are certain key characteristics I am going to go through and describe and tell you how to deal with these people, or how your behavior affects others if you are one of the described people. The first set I am going to describe is toxic people. Later on, I am going to describe some anxiety/mental health behaviors most people don’t recognize. My biggest goal from this post is to help people recognize what is “their problem” and what is “not their problem” in a relationship. By nature, people try to take on other peoples issues for themselves, and then feel bitter for being “put” in that position when in all reality, they put themselves there.

I want people to understand about energies and how they can affect you. Positivity is contagious, but so is negativity. A great saying is “misery loves company” and that is a real life problem. Most people don’t like to admit when they are wrong, and most people would rather take on negativity, rather than admit that they are allowing someone else to control their energy. I say this because toxic people are a huge cause of being stuck in a pattern of negative energy. We need to be able to recognize them, and hold ourselves accountable for protecting ourselves from their bad energy.

The Arrogant

The first type of toxic person I would like to discuss is the “The Arrogant.” This type of toxic personality is also considered narcissistic, and carries a lot of the other traits of toxic people. Arrogant people live in a lala land that revolves around them. Most don’t recognize this type unless you know them personally. They seem very nice on the outside, until you cross them. This type only likes it their way. Anyone who challenges them could possibly jeopardize their fantasy land, so they are then the focus of the arrogants’ rage. When you are on the bad side, these types tend to criticize and belittle you and make you look like the bad guy. In their minds, these types cannot accept any chance of being wrong. Most of the time these types are compensating so that people won’t see some kind of deficiency they have recognized within themselves. They know that they don’t have genuine friendships, and compensate by having many acquaintances.
Personal Example: I have a family member who has a skilled labor job. This person is getting up there in age and won’t be able to do this job for very much longer. This person doesn’t have a high school diploma and has no other real skills, so I have suggested they get their G.E.D. in order to help them find a job when they need a new one. This person refuses to take the class because they are afraid they will fail, but instead of saying that, they outwardly speak about how they don’t need a G.E.D. and how the skills they have will be fine and it is someone else’s responsibility to take care of the bills since this person has been doing it for so long. This is arrogance. The inability to recognize they may need help, or accept the possibility of failure paired with the passing of the blame onto someone else so they don’t have to be responsible for the fallout are classic traits.
How to deal with them: The best way to deal with an arrogant person is to be compassionate. Generally, they have issues they are trying to conceal with smugness and they can’t emotionally handle any kind of criticism. So don’t point out insecurities. Recognize that their behavior reflects only on them and you have no control over their actions, only on how you react to them. If they are belittling you, make sure you address them calmly, and most importantly privately. This type does not like being called out and will be harsh and unresponsive in a social setting.

“The Victim”

This is one of the most draining personality types. These people are the ones who seem to always have a rain cloud hanging over their heads. Bad things are always happening to them. This type is also generally what society refers to as a “one-upper” because if anyone is sick or hurt, they have to be more sick or more hurt. These people are generally self harming to get to that worse state, and will go to very extreme lengths to make themselves seem victimized. There are varying degrees of this type. Some are constantly victimized by others. These people tend to be able to turn any type of argument or disagreement around on the other person, and like to retell the story in a way that makes them seem like they were attacked. If you are on the receiving end of this behavior, you can be sure they will tell everyone you know their version of what happened to try to pad their story. Most of the time this behavior is just a need for attention and sympathy. They need people to feel sorry for them because most of the time outside of the times they are hurt, no one wants to interact with them.
Personal experience: I know a lot of different people with varying degrees of this trait. One specific instance is a person I know who thinks the world is out to get them. They are always talking about how their life is awful and they don’t ever recognize the good things in their life because they are too busy finding blame for the bad ones. Every little thing that happens is just part of a larger scheme to ruin their life. Everything bad that happens is a catastrophe and blame can always be found in someone else. This person never takes responsibility for their own part in their story and considers themselves a victim of circumstance, and has an excuse for their behavior.
How to deal with them: The only way to deal with these people is to limit, if not completely remove your exposure. When you disconnect, expect them to make it seem like you are being mean to them or saying other things to make it seem like you are the bad guy. Remember that anyone who truly knows you will recognize this as what it is, and the ones who believe this person will most likely always support them. A lot of times people end up in a cycle of giving these people anything they want so it isn’t turned around on them, which is why I said this was one of the most draining personalities. It is a tough place to get out of, and for the most part, these people have no desire to change their behavior. The main thing you can do is remember who you are and that others opinions are just that—not yours and don’t belong on you.

“The Gossipers”

These people make sure to have their ear everywhere. They have many people they call friends for the sake of being involved in every single thing going on around them. They try to make themselves seem exciting by telling stories about others as if they were there. Most of these people are completely phony and compensate by lying and spreading info about others to take attention away from themselves. These people are generally aware that they are toxic, but don’t want others to recognize it. If it comes back on them, they will backtrack, lie, tell something about someone else meant to distract, and anything else in their power to not be found out. These people tend to make their relationships with people seem more than they are, for example saying they are good friends with someone they barely know to make themselves look more credible.
Personal Experience: Someone I know likes to lie on social media because most of the friends this person has either don’t know them very well, or believe their lies. I know for a fact how this person is so I will respond to posts that aren’t true and question them. They will immediately delete anything that could potentially prove them a liar. In the same breath this person will tell people we are good friends, and also tell others how I am a terrible person.
How to deal with them: Don’t divulge any information you don’t want spread. Never tell them anything going on in your life that involves anyone else, because they will spread it in a way that makes it seem like you were the one gossiping. Don’t tell them secrets. If they aren’t someone you’re obligated to be around, avoid them. Cut them out of your life, because they don’t have your best interest at heart and will only try to stir up trouble for you and the people you care about.

Negative Traits that could be caused by anxiety or depression

I don’t think people often try to explore the motives of others. I think when we have a bad experience our first thought is to cut that person out, as they are clearly a bad person. That isn’t always the case. I know for myself, I have issues with controlling things. This can make me irritable, anxious, and impatient. My need for controlling things is caused by my anxiety reminding me of when I have lost control before, and what happens if it is lost again. A lot of people probably think I am a helicopter parent because of the way I hover over my children. If they would look a little deeper, they would realize the way I work and the reason I react the way I do. Some other traits that can be caused by anxiety and depression include:

  • Over analyzing
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Being sensitive and easily drained
  • Empathy
  • Being introverted
  • Fidgeting, and being impatient
  • Negativity
  • Bouts of rage
  • Low self esteem
  • Over confidence

If you are empathetic you have to be cautious as to who you spend your time with. If not you can easily become an emotional dumping ground. I personally have a few people in my life who like to dump and run as I call it. These people will call me to dump their emotional problems on me, but immediately have to get off the phone when it’s time for me to reciprocate. These aren’t the type of people you want in your life.

I have a lot of friends who will take others emotional baggage as their own and then start to crumble under the weight. I find myself saying a lot that its a “them” problem, not a “you” problem to try and help them get the load off that they aren’t required to carry. Yes, it does make you a good friend to listen to someone when they aren’t okay, but you also have to be able to know that you are not there to fix things for them and therefor, it isn’t your responsibility to shoulder the weight. Boundaries are an important part of life that help the empaths and overly sensitive people navigate the separation between their thoughts and feelings, and someone else’s. You have to be able to separate and also know when you need to break and recharge. ‘You don’t have to set yourself  on fire to help keep others warm,’ is a quote that fits perfectly. Only you know your tolerance and what you can withstand before it starts zapping your energy. Remember that it is okay to tell someone you need some alone time. You have to be your own advocate. You do not have to apologize for the way you feel, but you also can’t control the way people react to you. Your only loyalty lies within yourself, and making sure you aren’t on fire.

 

That’s all for now!

 

Finding the Ying to Your Yang

Me and my husband have been together nearly twelve years. We experienced high school together, our first time moving out, paying bills, getting married, buying a house, having a child and all of the other firsts you can experience. Throughout this time we have changed and grown not only as individuals but also as a couple. He has put up with things from me and I have put up with things from him. But we have never tried to change one another. He is who he is with his own set of morals, and thoughts and feelings and I am me with mine.

Most of the time people like to judge their relationship on things they have in common. I will tell you from personal experience that commonalities aren’t as important as they are made out to be. For some reason, society feels that you need to find someone who likes the same things you do and is similar in every way and I think this causes unnecessary dependency issues. It also causes people to feel like they are doing something wrong if they don’t like the same things their partner likes, which can lead to self-esteem issues.

The first thing I would like to advise is to always check with the big stuff first. The deal breaker stuff. The things you know you want for yourself and your life that you won’t give up. For example, if you know you want children 100% for a fact, no chance you would compromise, then you need to make sure the person you’re investing in wants children too. It’s something that needs to come first before you dedicate yourself to someone and then have to decide whether to erase a piece of yourself to be with that person. Marriage is a big issue with some people, religion is a big issue.

Discuss your financial situation. I didn’t have to do this since we were together already when this became a factor but it has been an issue for people I know. Make sure you are both aware of the other’s finances. And I’m not saying you need to know their bank balance, but you should know if they’ve filed bankruptcy or had their wages garnished for some reason because those type of things will affect you and your financial standing if you continue on.

Discuss your strengths and weaknesses. One of the things that make my marriage so strong is that he is strong where I am weak and vise-verse. I never have to carry a load that is too heavy. When I need him, he is there. We can comfortably call on each other to share in whatever we are going through and be whatever the other person needs. This has especially helped in parenting. When consistency needs to be had and I am down for the count, he swoops in and makes it happen.

Discuss your likes and dislikes. Discuss your hobbies and what a normal week looks like for you. Realise that the differences mean more. If you are both into everything the same, then you don’t get to broaden your mind and your experiences by seeing it from your partners’ view. Being able to see things my husband’s way has allowed me to be a more open minded person in general, whether I agree or not. For instance, my husband loves cars, and I have grown to appreciate going to car shows and races and seeing him fix things. Doesn’t mean I have to love cars too, but I do enjoy being part of it with him. He never liked classical music. One day I introduced him to acapella and now he loves it. It’s something that we can listen to together.

There are still things we don’t like and we handle that by giving the other person the space to do it independently. For example, he likes to watch shows I don’t like, so when he watches those shows, I go in the other room and crochet or watch something I want to watch. We don’t have to do everything together and I think that is a huge problem for most people.

Parenting style is a HUGE thing if you plan on having kids. It wasn’t something I realised was a big deal until our opinions differed on something. That was a big fight. You always want to protect your children and if someone doesn’t agree with something you’re doing, you take it personally, even when you shouldn’t. It’s definitely something that should be discussed before you go having children.

Knowing a person’s past can tell you a lot about their behaviours and coping mechanisms. If you know that your partner used to get hit by their parents, then you can understand why they may flinch when you go to touch them, or if your partner was bullied in school it could explain why they get so defensive about any criticism. With me, I had some mental issues with chemical imbalances that caused erratic and irrational behaviour and he had to learn not to take it personally, and I had to learn to tell him how I was feeling before I got out of hand. And we are still learning about things every day, but it’s nice to be able to understand why someone does or reacts to something the way they do instead of having to guess. Guessing is bad.

Insecurity on either end will eventually kill the relationship. Your life partner is supposed to be your safe place, your home base and if you are constantly worried about where they are, what they are doing or having to constantly be in everything they are doing it will not work. My husband can go do whatever he likes to go do if there is time, and I don’t sit and home and worry about who he is with. I have never felt unsafe with him. I have never worried about how am I going to raise these kids by myself, because I know he will always be here. But cheating isn’t the only insecurity people have. The point is you have to be willing and able to give 100% trust to the person you are with. You have to be able to know that that person is your safe place, and not stress out like you’re in limbo. Constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop instead of enjoying each other will eventually cause the other shoe to drop. You need to know you are good enough and deserve to be happy. If you don’t then you will constantly be projecting that on your partner and pushing them away. If they tell you-you are beautiful, don’t let insecurity take over, trust that they believe you are beautiful and believe it yourself!

You also never want to cause your partner to feel insecure. If both people feel safe, then you can be free to just enjoy each other and love each other with all that you have. ❤

You are an independent individual first. You cannot add a person to your life to fix you or fill a void. Those are things you have to discover within. Your partner is also an independent individual. The reason I am saying this is I want it to be understood that one of our greatest strengths is the ability to operate separately from each other. I think a lot of people have serious dependency issues and end up in a really bad position if the relationship goes bad. You have to have your own hobbies, and be your own person so that you can grow together, but also so that you aren’t left a shell of someone else if something bad were to happen. I’m not saying you need a contingency plan because you should feel safe and not need one, but independence is so important in any relationship. Being able to have your own things to do and your own people to talk to when your partner is busy will save you from a lot of resentment in the long run.

We try to keep things 50/50. It doesn’t always work out that way, but we make an effort. The main thing is if you see your partner struggling, help them! Be a sounding board if they need it, be angry if they need you to be angry with them, make them laugh if that’s what they need but above all else always be there 100%. If you’re not in 100%, then you’re out.

Never settle. I am not saying it’s going to be butterflies and rainbows every time you see them but they should definitely make you want to be a better version of yourself. This means not compromising you to be with someone. If someone is physically/mentally/emotionally hurting you, then you should probably pursue other options. People get depressed, people get stuck, people get unmotivated and no one should be faulted for that. You should be the support system when they need support and if you don’t think you can, then you can’t. If you can’t imagine taking care of someone when they are seriously ill, mentally or physically then you should never stay with them.

Arguments and disagreements are normal. You’re never going to see eye-to-eye on everything, and each person will want things to go their way. The idea is that you are practising these things in a healthy manner and that these arguments are solving a problem or coming up with a solution I should say. If this means you have to seek a professional counsellor to help you communicate effectively, then do it! It is not a bad thing to ask for help, as a matter of a fact being able to identify that a problem is bigger than you is a huge, wonderful thing.

Lastly, this isn’t all of the facts, and some of these things will not work for you. Do what you feel in your heart is best for you. Make sure you feel safe where you are. Let those unfounded insecurities go and let yourself love with everything you have. Compromise. Talk about the important stuff. Check in with yourself periodically and see where you are.

 

I hope you enjoyed this! Please leave me some feedback below, or share, reblog, pin, save until your heart’s content! I would also love to hear something you and your partner do to keep your relationship healthy!

 

ALSO: IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS BEING ABUSED, PLEASE GET HELP!!
NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ABUSE HOTLINE: 1-800-799-7233 OR http://www.thehotline.org

NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE: 1-800-273-8255 OR http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

The Blame Game

I am tired. I am tired of constantly hearing about suicides, and murders and shootings. Not because I am blind to tragedy, but because of the aftermath that is left behind. I know tragedy, and I know in the aftermath you will find a dark cloud of turmoil as people search for a reason for why this has happened. Trying to find someone or something to blame this on so we don’t have to accept that maybe, just maybe society has caused it. No one wants to think of themselves as contributing to the fall of the human race, but let’s be honest for a second in saying that each and every single person on this earth has at one point left their mark on the giant stain that is today’s society. Not even just society, but today’s world.

The world we live in is full of darkness, hatred, and angst. And we are all complicit to the crimes constitantly being committed around us. The one thing that instantly gets me heated is people saying things like it “didn’t use to be this way.” This world is changing moment by moment. Every second is different from the last and anyone who is focused on the past is hindering the ability for us to fix the now and have a brighter future. We can sit back and complain about technological advances and how they have changed people for the worse, but is it really doing any good? Is your complaining doing anything to make this world a better place, or are you simply wasting precious oxygen? Shouldn’t we be trying to use what we have to the best of our abilities instead of companing about what we don’t have? We are constantly trying to further our knowledge and skills and racing other countries to be the most advanced, and I wonder what effect that has on us as a race. Sure, competition can be a wonderful thing but are we really focusing on the important issues? Are we really solving the most important problems? Or are we all in a giant pissing contest no one is going to win? I don’t want to blame the media for the way things are because that would imply that people are sheep and have a herd mentality and that is a scary thing to think about. Are we not held accountable for finding our own information and forming our own opinions? Why are people so insistent on the black and white when mostly everything fits into a grey area? Everything has turned into an either or and if you don’t fit into one then you must fit in the other. Being as I am a “grey area” person, most of the time my ideas don’t fit anywhere. Even though logically everyone’s opinions are based on their own life experiences, we expect them to conform to the little boxes we put the options in. You can either feel this way, or that way but no middle ground. I think this causes so much turmoil because people don’t really put much effort into feeling however they feel; they are too busy trying to figure out which box to check.

Denial is also a huge issue in today’s society. I mean look at vaccinations for an example. One person said they cause autism and even though we’ve advanced and know that is untrue people are still using that as their basis for not vaccinating their children. God forbid someone do their own research and find credible, up to date resources with proper information. This point hits home so hard in today’s society. Meanwhile children are getting diseases that are easily preventable because you want to stand by your opinion, rather than accept that you were wrong.

Racism, another example. Does it happen? Absolutely positive it does. Do I think there are people out there who grew up in a community of racists and for some reason have stuck there? Absolutely. Does everyone who grew up around it have the same ideas? Absolutely NOT. That’s the issue. People are constantly trying to conform by not conforming. They want to say, “I’m an individual” but in the same breath form an opinion based on one story they read on the internet one time. Recently, Starbucks has been under fire for racist employees being video taped and shown all over the internet. Do racists have some kind of sign or something that differentiates them from everyone else? No? So how exactly is a company supposed to know this? We are telling them how they should be screening these people and going through their social media before hiring, and out the other side of our mouths preaching about privacy and how important it is. You can’t have it both ways. There is a happy medium for everything but that happy medium requires compromise and we are living in a world where no one feels they should have to compromise whatsoever. Our morals and values should not be based on a story we read on the internet, or anything else besides what we feel from our own personal experiences is right and wrong.

So, what’s the answer to stop racism? I don’t know the answer, but what I do know is that we need to stop blaming groups for one individuals actions and thoughts. Sheep. Stop being a follower and wander off onto your own path. Stop expecting to get something because you feel you deserve it. Stop trying to place blame so you don’t have to look inwards and reevaluate yourself. Pull your head out of your ass and look around. Do your research, meet new people, listen to their ideas and their morals and take a little piece of everyone you meet and get a grip on the world we live in. Quit being so damn defensive when someone has a different opinion from you. You’re not wrong if you disagree, you’re different. And different isn’t bad.

Suicide and mental illness are a taboo in our society. We speak of it in hushed whispers and lowered tones. We don’t open up the dialogue unless there is something we disagree with. This needs to stop. We need to be informed! We need to learn the signs of mental illness and the options we have in respect to ourselves and our children and stop pretending it won’t happen to us. We’ve got to be familiar with medications and side effects and what to do if we experience them and be open to different medications and trying everything possible until something works. I know many people try one medication, don’t like the way it makes them feel and give up. Or someone will have bad side effects and just keep taking the medication because they think it’s their only option. If you have a bad experience with a psychiatrist or doctor, don’t be afraid to go to a new one. If you have a bad experience with a medication, there are a million other alternatives out there. Don’t be miserable when there are options out there. Talk with your people and create a support group. You will find that a lot of people are going through things similar but are afraid to talk about it. Be the start of a change. Be the leader and open up the dialogue.

Reach out to everyone you know and tell them your experiences. Get the information out there and open up about things that make people think or make people uncomfortable because people need to be uncomfortable. We need to talk about suicide and we need to talk about mental health and racism and all of the other things no one wants to talk about. Get. It. Out. Do not be a sheep. Instead of focusing outward when something goes wrong, we need to focus inward and make a conscious effort to start the change within us. You can change more about this world starting with yourself than you ever could pointing fingers trying to fix everyone else. You are not a sheep, you are not a tree so change.

How to be Happy

That is a tall order. Happiness is relative. What makes you happy, may make me miserable. But there are cornerstones to setting yourself up for happiness and I don’t think many people have the right framing to do so.

You have to be willing to let go of negativity. I think that most people probably have this idea in their heads of what happy looks like, but don’t know how to get there. I want you to think about five reasons you aren’t happy right now. Now when you get those five things how many of them involve someone else? How many times have you based your happiness on someone else? Maybe not their actions per say but what about whether or not they were happy? Do you put others happiness before your own? Most people will, or should if they are being honest answer yes. I don’t think people realize how much stock we put in other people making us happy. The truth is the only person in the way of you being happy, is you.

Your mind is a wonderful, massive place full of thoughts and ideas and feelings. The only person in control of those thoughts and ideas is you. Think about the last time you had a bad day. Was it because of something you did, or was it from the actions of someone else? Other people should not have the amount of control necessary to ruin your day, and by allowing them to you are blocking your own happiness unintentionally. So stop allowing anyone else to have that power over you.

Positive thinking is something we all aspire to, but most people don’t understand how much of a life changer it can be. I’ve heard of people deciding to take the word “no” out of their vocabulary, or people who look in the mirror everyday and compliment themselves or tell themselves it’s going to be a good day and just little changes like this are what can change your life. Just simply reframing the way you speak is a huge changer. Write down five things that are negatively impacting your life and then, next to them, write down ways they could also be positively affecting you. For example:

1. Negative: I can’t decide what I want to do.

Positive: I have an enormous amount of options in front of me and endless opportunities.

Just little things like that daily and you will notice that the way you think changes. You will start to see things from a positive outlook.

In my own personal life there are people who get under my skin. In the moment it seems like something important that requires an amount of aggravation on my part. It isn’t until afterwards that I realize how much time and energy was spent focusing on something that wasn’t really important. I try to realize that ahead of time but it’s a work in progress. I know that there are a ton of negative people surrounding you but the best choice you can make for yourself is to put up a wall, and not allow them to affect you.

Some people like to consider how others are going to feel before making decisions. I used to be one of these people. Now when I say this, I am not referring to major life altering decisions. Although you should always put your own thoughts and feelings first, considering how you make people close to you feel, is something that has to be addressed. I’m not suggesting you be inconsiderate, I’m simply stating that you shouldn’t base whether or not you allow things that make you happy into your life and things that make you unhappy out of your life on other people’s feelings. The truth is, at the end of the day, the only person who has to deal with your thoughts and feelings and decisions is you. So why would you put so much consideration into someone who doesn’t even have to live with the choice?

You have to gain the ability to say how you feel and not hold it in. If you don’t like how someone is treating you the best course of action is to tell them. Now if it is someone you don’t really know or care to waste your energy on, then don’t, but don’t also let them treat you in a way you don’t like just because you don’t feel close enough to discuss your feelings. You have to have a certain level of respect for yourself, and others have to show you that same respect at those same standards you hold for yourself. Anyone who cannot respect these, doesn’t belong in your life.

So, let go of the negatively, try reframing your thoughts in a positive direction, and don’t allow others to influence your emotions. Seems easier said than done I know, but just get it started and it will roll down the hill on its own, leaving you life with less bad and more good. Who wouldn’t want that?

How to be Happy

That is a tall order. Happiness is relative. What makes you happy, may make me miserable. But there are cornerstones to setting yourself up for happiness and I don’t think many people have the right framing to do so.

You have to be willing to let go of negativity. I think that most people probably have this idea in their heads of what happy looks like, but don’t know how to get there. I want you to think about five reasons you aren’t happy right now. Now when you get those five things how many of them involve someone else? How many times have you based your happiness on someone else? Maybe not their actions per say but what about whether or not they were happy? Do you put others happiness before your own? Most people will, or should if they are being honest answer yes. I don’t think people realize how much stock we put in other people making us happy. The truth is the only person in the way of you being happy, is you.

Your mind is a wonderful, massive place full of thoughts and ideas and feelings. The only person in control of those thoughts and ideas is you. Think about the last time you had a bad day. Was it because of something you did, or was it from the actions of someone else? Other people should not have the amount of control necessary to ruin your day, and by allowing them to you are blocking your own happiness unintentionally. So stop allowing anyone else to have that power over you.

Positive thinking is something we all aspire to, but most people don’t understand how much of a life changer it can be. I’ve heard of people deciding to take the word “no” out of their vocabulary, or people who look in the mirror everyday and compliment themselves or tell themselves it’s going to be a good day and just little changes like this are what can change your life. Just simply reframing the way you speak is a huge changer. Write down five things that are negatively impacting your life and then, next to them, write down ways they could also be positively affecting you. For example:

1. Negative: I can’t decide what I want to do.

Positive: I have an enormous amount of options in front of me and endless opportunities.

Just little things like that daily and you will notice that the way you think changes. You will start to see things from a positive outlook.

In my own personal life there are people who get under my skin. In the moment it seems like something important that requires an amount of aggravation on my part. It isn’t until afterwards that I realize how much time and energy was spent focusing on something that wasn’t really important. I try to realize that ahead of time but it’s a work in progress. I know that there are a ton of negative people surrounding you but the best choice you can make for yourself is to put up a wall, and not allow them to affect you.

Some people like to consider how others are going to feel before making decisions. I used to be one of these people. Now when I say this, I am not referring to major life altering decisions. Although you should always put your own thoughts and feelings first, considering how you make people close to you feel, is something that has to be addressed. I’m not suggesting you be inconsiderate, I’m simply stating that you shouldn’t base whether or not you allow things that make you happy into your life and things that make you unhappy out of your life on other people’s feelings. The truth is, at the end of the day, the only person who has to deal with your thoughts and feelings and decisions is you. So why would you put so much consideration into someone who doesn’t even have to live with the choice?

You have to gain the ability to say how you feel and not hold it in. If you don’t like how someone is treating you the best course of action is to tell them. Now if it is someone you don’t really know or care to waste your energy on, then don’t, but don’t also let them treat you in a way you don’t like just because you don’t feel close enough to discuss your feelings. You have to have a certain level of respect for yourself, and others have to show you that same respect at those same standards you hold for yourself. Anyone who cannot respect these, doesn’t belong in your life.

So, let go of the negatively, try reframing your thoughts in a positive direction, and don’t allow others to influence your emotions. Seems easier said than done I know, but just get it started and it will roll down the hill on its own, leaving you life with less bad and more good. Who wouldn’t want that?

Grief

The silence is loud

It hurts my ears

I tell myself this

To justify the tears

Denial, depression

Well, I’ve got it all

Quietly, silently

Slowly I fall

Disbelief in my mind

Numbing in my heart

A deep, dark, black hole

Slowly tearing me apart

The winds whip around me

I try to hold on

To experience the loss

To believe that you’re gone

To feel all the feelings

But none of the pain

To grieve and get through it

While still staying sane

On the outside I’m steady

As strong as a rock

On the inside I’m numb

On my heart is a lock

I have so many feelings

Too many to sort out

I miss you, I hate you

Is this what life’s about?

I catch myself off guard

At night, all alone

The pain sneaks up on me

Reminds me what is known

Its right in my face,

I can see it but can’t touch

I’m scared it will burn me

It will all be too much

I hope that you’re happy

Wherever you went

Trying to hold myself together

Remember the time we spent

Your memories are all we have

We will keep them, hold them tight

I just wish that I could speak with you

Moving on doesn’t seem right

I know that moving forward

Is the only way to go

I hope that I can feel you here

Whenever I feel low

For now, I’ll take it day by day

Second by second if I may

I love you and I miss you bro

If only heaven wasn’t so far away ❤️

Denial

Today is hard. I don’t know why but today has just been hard. I just keep trying to wrap my head around the fact that I will never get to see my brother again. My brother, who I shared 25 years and endless memories with, is gone. I don’t really wonder why anymore, I’m sure he had his reasons, now I just wish it wasn’t true. I wish this whole thing was just a nightmare and I could wake up and talk to my brother again. I know that isn’t going to happen. 25 years old. I find myself wondering what his life would’ve been like ten years from now. Would he have had children? Would he have an awesome job and a house? Would he have moved closer? Would we have been closer? I just miss him like crazy and I wish there would be some sign that he’s ok and he made it somewhere on the other side or wherever he was meant to go. Some sign that says ok he’s no longer in pain. Maybe one day. His birthday is next month. He wouldve been 26. Still so young. Only thing I can do is keep moving forward and keep his memory alive, but also move on with my life. Time has kind of stood still lately in my mind. The days have just kind of blended together like a glob so I hope that doesn’t stay. I hope I don’t feel this way forever. I hope one day soon I can look back and have wonderful memories and be at peace with his loss. Until then though I just have to keep holding on, taking things moment by moment, and doing only what I can and nothing more. Not expecting things out of myself, just getting done what I can and not punishing myself for not doing more. ❤️

Acceptance

What an odd word for this situation. I don’t accept my brother’s decision to kill himself. But what I can accept is that he made that decision and there isn’t anything I can do to change it. Mental illness is invisible. So when someone is suffering with it sometimes you never even know. So although they’ve been sick for a long time and trying to fight it, when they lose the battle it leaves us with a lot of questions. It’s hard to accept when you can’t physically see it. My mom says that sometimes it doesn’t take a culmination of dark moments but just one at the wrong time and that is true. I think more often than not, all it takes is that one second. That one bad thought. No outside force can control it. No one will ever understand why someone would do this because we can’t read minds and even if we could, everyone experiences things differently. I know asking why and trying to figure it out seems like the logical thing to do. Trying to make sense of nonsense won’t help you move on. Accepting someone was sick and they aren’t anymore is the only way to find peace. I use an app that had me write a letter to him and then write a letter from him. It helped me. Trying to put myself in his shoes instead of wondering why made a huge difference. Trying to understand he had a sick mind and he had an alcohol problem instead of trying to figure out who did what and who could have done what differently is important. Blame has no place here. You can’t move on if your holding on to negative feelings like blame and guilt. And I know that’s easier said than done but it’s something we have to try. Everyone is dealing with a loss. Your questions aren’t more important than someone else’s feelings. I’m going to try my hardest to put the questions behind me and decide what I can do with my future to make a difference. ❤️

Drowning

I’m sitting here thinking. Probably not a great idea but it’s happening. I find myself searching in my life for the worst times and trying to analyze the way I handled them to see if my current emotional state is outside my norm. Through this wondering I’ve also pondered how many times people feel like they’re drowning simply because they are busy being a life raft for other people. I’m wondering how many times someone has been depressed and struggling but never reached out for help because they thought they needed to be strong for others. I would imagine the answer is many times.

Suicide is an incidence that gets everyone thinking. Reevaluating their own lives and relationships. Each person who has ended their own life has had their own reasons, reasons we will never truly know. I just wonder how many times the reason has been they were strong for others for too long and when it came time for someone to hold them up no one was there. People think because you come off as strong that you don’t have moments of weakness. You don’t feel strong emotions, you don’t need anyone but that isn’t the case. The people who feel the most alone don’t reach out because they feel like they are a burden. They don’t reach out because they don’t think anyone can help them; they think people are too busy in their own lives. I tell you these things because I feel like it is so important for people to make themselves a priority. Just take a moment to take a self inventory and make sure you aren’t drowning trying to save everyone else. They tell you on an airplane to put on your own oxygen mask before helping anyone else with theirs and although it may seem cold, that should be the way your life is. You can’t help anyone until you help yourself. You can’t keep sacrificing your own happiness, your own sanity for the sake of others. Let them save themselves. Put your mask on first. Reach out if you need help. You aren’t alone and you don’t have to do this alone. Everyone is going through their own shit so if you’re waiting for things to slow down, they never will. But the good thing about everyone going through their own shit is there is plenty of people who can truly empathize with you and relate. Find those people. Love with all you are, but make sure you love yourself first.

That’s it for today ❤️

RIP FC2 Kier

Yesterday was the funeral for my 25 year old brother Kendall. As much reality as there has been and finality with the funeral, I find myself still trying to figure out if I’m in denial or if I’m dealing with things exceptionally well. I can’t let myself just break down. I don’t know why but I can’t risk the vulnerability. I remember the last few months having my mom call me and tell me he wasn’t ok. Telling me he wanted to die and I kept telling her there’s no way. There’s no way he could do that. I even had myself convinced. Although suicide and mental illness has plagued my family for generations, my brother was always so rational. Always thought it was stupid to go out that way. Yet here we are mourning the loss and feeling the pain of his choices.

I know my brother was in a dark place for a long time. And he thought getting help would make him appear weak, or he would lose the navy job he so loved. Some people want to blame his marital issues and I’m sure my sister in law feels guilty but I know that suicide isn’t only just a selfish act. It’s also a choice you make in an irrational state of mind. Everyone has their own personal hell and what’s a breeze to one can be hell to another so there will never be a way to know what exactly was in his head that night. The should haves and could haves and what ifs are a waste of energy. What’s done is done. We can’t change it. The only thing we can do at this point is to break the cycle. End the stigma on mental illness. Spread the word that it’s okay to not be okay so more people reach out instead of feeling like there’s no other way. I would like to somehow be able to get help for military people because they have such hard jobs. Long times away from family and friends and having to see and do things that most of us can’t even imagine. These people who are fighting for our freedoms against our enemies should not be having to battle inside their own heads for fear of being ostracized. These people should be a main priority in this country. And I don’t just mean military, I mean all of the men and women who’s job it is to protect and serve. These people should be our first priority and we should thank them by making sure they know it is okay to get help. It is okay not to be okay.

My brother came home from deployment on a Friday. While he was out he had already told us of his plans to end his life and we had reached out to the navy to try and get him help. I’m not exactly sure what he told them but nothing was done. He was angry that my mother had told of his plans and was concerned about being in trouble with the navy. I don’t know if he had PTSD or bipolar disorder but what I do know is he should not have been afraid to ask for help. To tell them he wasn’t able to deal. He told my mom, ‘now I’ll have to do it.’ When he did finally come home he started drinking the first night. He told his friends he was “unplugging” for the weekend to work things out with his wife. The second night he sent my parents (although we didn’t know at the time) his final goodbyes. The third night he was gone. I never thought it would be him. I look back now and see all of the signs and signals that should’ve thrown up red flags but I realize that once he made the decision anything we would have done would’ve just prolonged the inevitable. I don’t place blame anywhere, I know that he made his own choices and most of them were made by a sick mind.

I’m still sorting through my thoughts and trying to figure out a way to accept what has happened and what this means for me. I love my sister in law and I hope that she is able to find solace in some of this and be able to move on with her life without this dark cloud moving over her too. When this happened I sort of shut my friends and family out for fear of spreading this misery any further. Maybe one day I’ll open up. I just feel like my brother hurt enough people and I don’t feel like anyone else should have to hurt for this. Maybe that’s the anger.

One thing I know for sure is I’m going to try my hardest to make sure my kids know their options. I’m not going to be snowed into the thought that maybe they will never experience depression, but instead plan for them to know its ok to get help and there is help out there.

That’s all I have for now. When I get things together a little more I’ll come back. Until then, please spread the word that it’s okay to not be okay and help is all around us.

❤️💚💛🧡💜💙

Tantrums & Meltdowns, Oh my!

So tantrums have been an issue for every parent at one point in time. I mean, we call them “terrible two’s” for a reason, right? Everyone has some tricks up their sleeves with their own children, but what do you do when that doesn’t work? Children also have different versions of tantrums, so how do you tell what to do about yours? What is the difference between a tantrum and a meltdown?

First, let me explain the difference between a tantrum and a meltdown. Generally, in a tantrum, a child still has some control over their actions and emotions. In a meltdown, they are so distraught they have to wear themselves out to calm down. Either way, they are struggling with emotions and are unable to effectively communicate or regulate. This is where we come in. Teaching our children how to communicate their feelings in a safe, healthy way will not only make our relationships with our children better but will also make it much easier to understand them.

The first thing you can do is observe when your child has a tantrum and see what triggered it. Was it not getting their way over a toy? Or not winning a game? There are so many things in a child’s world that they can’t understand the reasoning for, such as you didn’t let them stay up and play video games, or go to school without eating breakfast. It could be the smallest thing. But the important part is to understand what the triggers are and what is the emotion they are trying to express? For example, my son gets upset when he can’t get a game to load on his tablet. In this instance I know he is angry it isn’t working. He also will cry when he doesn’t get called on in class. In this instance I know he feels ignored. Learning what the triggers are and what emotions they are trying to communicate will help you with the next step.

Don’t get frustrated if there are many things that trigger a tantrum with your child. Break it down a little more. Are all of the triggers caused by anger? Maybe he/she has trouble controlling his anger. Maybe he/she has trouble with feeling left out. Maybe your child just has issues with any negative emotion. This happens more in younger children who don’t have the words to express how they feel. In younger children, you start by teaching them to say, “I’m mad” or “I’m sad.” In older children who know the words you have to help them understand how to deal with those emotions in a safe and healthy way.

Staying calm should be your first reaction. I know this is hard when you’re in the middle of a place where yelling and screaming isn’t ideal but it’s a must. Second thing you should do is give them time to sort it out. Don’t avoid the triggers. That will only teach them that they need to avoid their feelings. Instead give them tools to use to help them understand how they feel. Breakdown their triggers into small parts and start slow. If they have tantrums when it’s time to take away games, give them plenty of warning (10 minutes left, 5 minutes left) and make sure at first they are playing a game that they don’t mind stopping. Continue to do this until you can take it without a tantrum. Consistency is key.

Self regulation is important as well. When they have a tantrum make sure to have them either talk or write down what went wrong, why it happened, and how they can do better the next time they are in that situation. Kids are more rational than you think, and problem solving can be a great tool. Make sure you don’t hover and you let them figure it out. Make sure they know that if they need help, you are there but you believe in them being able to figure it out without your help. And when they do make strides reward them, praise them! You definitely want them to know that you are so proud of them!

Tantrums and Meltdowns are a normal part of development. And they are a huge chance for you to minimize emotional issues later on in development and help your relationship with your child. Is there anything you do that works to curb tantrums in your home?