Kids are assholes, teenagers in particular, are assholes. They get to be little wankers and have to learn to deal with being offended because that is part of learning to be adults. When the school system and parents go out of their way to punish some and molly-coddle others for what is a normal part of life they fail. The institutionalized creation of crybabies and punishment of the ones who are potential leaders and role models is despicable. Every successful adult I know deals with idiots and assholes every single day. I am at a total loss to understand when the right to ‘safe spaces’ and an existence free from offence and hurt feelings took precedence over the “suck it up, Buttercup” attitudes that built the productive, self-reliant adults that I see from my own generation.
Today’s policies are part of an agenda to break down the barriers between speech and actions. Children are being taught that words and disagreeable opinions are the same as physical violence. A hashtag isn’t the same as a ninja throwing star but you will never convince some people of that… as usual, something set me off, and here are the latest offenders to my not-so-delicate sensibilities:
It started here with this post by a teacher:
Well I am really proud of my son for wanting to work out because he actually likes to do that and he eats healthy because he wants to gain muscle only to go to school to get made fun of for “bulking up” or his classmates feel it’s necessary to tweet about what he eats! I’m so sick of him always being a target! The one thing I can say is that he has better character than any of them!
Her son is a bright kid and well liked. He is also one of those people who can’t manage to talk about anything but his lifestyle choices. (You know the type: Vegans, Vape fiends, and rabid Feminists.) As a result, he took some mild teasing from his classmates while he was on a particularly obnoxious rant about how he was better than everyone else and they should be just like him. Snowflake much??? The other students made up a fake Twitter account in his name with his complete participation. The whole incident lasted about ten minutes and he even took part in the process. Not even once did he say “You guys are being dicks”, “Stop it” or “That’s enough”… he didn’t even tell his mommy, who, once again, is a teacher at the school he attends, but that wasn’t good enough for mommy dearest.
As far as the child having better character than any of them…. he is the one who played along with the whole joke and kept you out of the loop, so, um, yeah, he is of superior character, at least compared to your parenting ability. He isn’t the one who is threatening other kids’ futures by being a tattletale crybaby seeking validation on social media.
She continued her social media rampage:
I would like to set the record straight. My son did not tell me about the kids who set up the fake twitter account in order to make fun of him. He didn’t even tell me he had a girlfriend a staff member did. He doesn’t tell me squat! Quite a few other students who felt it was wrong told me. He did tell the kids he didn’t care. My point is it is wrong to single out a kid and make fun of them. And as an educator it is our job to put a stop to it no matter who it is. I will also tell you that some of these kids also like to get under my kid’s skin because according to the students who told me (again not my son) they think it’s funny to provoke him to see if he would blow. Also in the past he’s been threatened, made fun of, threatened to slash tires, to ruin his truck, done things to his truck to make him mad, and provoked him
into a fight! And guess what I heard all of that from other students or administrators never once did my son tell me any of it. And you know why he doesn’t tell? Because he doesn’t want to upset his mom or get anyone in trouble. That is the kind of kid he is. And he doesn’t want a pity party and neither do I. What I want is for these students to just treat other people the way people should be treated! And I am tired of this crap that continuously year after year (since 3rd grade) keeps happening. And I guarantee you that if this was happening to any other child their moms would feel the same as I! Until you have walked in my shoes with the years of crap then don’t judge!
Lord, where to start with this insanity??? The rest of this post will be written as though I actually have the stones to tell this twat what I think of her directly:
The crap you are dealing with is the result of having a self-important little shit that you raised your overly protective attitude and inability to trust your own child’s conduct cloud your judgement. Despite your attention-whoring on facebook, your son chooses to cut you out of the loop because the incident, the incident that he helped create, wasn’t all that significant. You don’t know who he is dating because you would vilify the girl and her family on social media or through your authority at school and he is protecting her. Like all other kids who have a strong sense of self, he knows where his boundaries are and he knows your boundaries, too. He didn’t want some harmless BS to take over his life and the lives of his peers because you would go batshitcrazy over him taking part in an incident that didn’t cause any actual harm. He didn’t tell you because he knew that your actions would cause irreparable harm to his friends. (Thanks to your propensity to utilize school policies to “protect” your views of his interests.)
If this was happening to any other child….
Bullshit. I have news for you, it does, indeed, happen to other children. It happens to other parents. It is both a part of growing up and a part of being the parent to teenagers. The hardest lessons I have learned as a parent to young adults have been at the hands of teachers and administrators. It was the same way back in the age of dinosaurs when I attended school as it is now. You are the problem here. Where were you when you “as an educator” when my #1 wore skinny jeans to school and was humiliated in class for violating the Dress Code and sent to the Principal’s office? Oh, wait… you did that, even though other students were wearing the exact same thing. (Right down to the brand and style… but you didn’t like the way she looked in them.)
Where were you the day when #2 was relentlessly mocked and teased for “not having a father”? You didn’t take any action, and neither did the guidance counselor, and neither did the principal – because, in that case, I overruled my kids and went to the administration. In case you missed it, he is in prison for trying to have us all killed, but, hey, that was just ‘kids being kids’. Nothing about that is at all as offensive as your son making a self-deprecating #gainsandgainsandgains tweets at lunch with his peers when that is all he talks about is his personal trainer and lectures his others about the virtues of his diet and exercise program.
Were you there at sport practice later that same week when the hateful little twats kept up their relentless targeting of #2 until she retaliated by saying, “at least I am not fat” and was immediately kicked off the team without my even being notified in advance because fat-shaming isn’t acceptable? Nope. How about the whole weekend where #1 was excluded from the traditional cheerleader lunch at a state tournament and made to eat by herself in her cheer uniform because the school suburban “didn’t have room for her” (a 9 passenger vehicle that only transported 5 students) and she couldn’t eat with the volleyball team because she wasn’t suited up in her sports uniform? Did you even notice that she was excluded from the school news article that added insult to injury by not picturing her with the rest of the squad? Nah. You weren’t there either.
Let’s review the other incidents that you also don’t know about since I don’t plaster them all over social media because I am not a whiny crybaby who is trying desperately to keep my kids like infantilized little twits and desperately crying out for attention on social media:
When I went to the principal to have a talk about a teacher who was spewing incontrovertably incorrect “facts” to her class… crickets. When the same teacher, a whole year later let one of your pet students (your current bestie student and informer) berate, insult, and physically threaten #1 in class…. not a word. By the way, how did you not notice that one of your colleagues was a pill-popping drunk for TWO WHOLE YEARS??? Guess the little pricks you listen to didn’t mention it to you, ‘as an educator’ or were you just too busy to take action?
No one stood up for me the day that one of our high school principals (and we have had many of them the past few years) literally threatened me in an official meeting, that he would “inform the child’s father of her IEP if I didn’t immediately produce documents proving that I have sole custody. Yeah, (snowflake warning) The Principal told me he would send the documents for the Individual Education Plan To the Prison where their father is being held on Attempted Capitol Murder Charges even though my daughters and I are in a State-sponsored Protection Program for Victims of Violent Crime. He was especially dismissive when I came in with the documents. He rolled his eyes and said, “oh, a divorce decree… I have one of those…” In front of YOU, and several other staff members, I replied, “yours doesn’t say ‘attempted murder'” …. you probably don’t remember the day, but I do. I always remember the days I walk into the school totally humiliated and terrified, with tears running down my face because my life, and the lives of my children have been literally threatened but a school administrator. Again, it isn’t just that my feelings were hurt, my life was threatened in a way just short of an actual gun being held to my head. But, then again, #gainsandgainsandgains on a Twitter account your son helped create is a far bigger issue – your poor son.
After the incident where #2 dared to call a fat girl fat, her family members, not once, but twice, chased her down and threatened physically her. One time she was caring for another child, the second time they actually exited their vehicle and approached her. I made police reports both times. The school did nothing – but the police took it seriously. Think of it…. two times, adults threatened my child with physical violence. But hey they are your friends, so that was OK with you – maybe you even laughed about how my kid was ‘put in her place’. It was so bad that the third time it happened (over the summer) I sent her to live with relatives in another state because I could no longer guarantee her physical safety. Unlike your beloved child who actually played along with a harmless teenage joke, my child had to be removed from the district to avoid being assaulted.
I have had my truck keyed, #1 has had her car taken without her permission, and I was publicly accosted in a business in town because #3 bullied another student. (She is a bit young for the real mean stuff to start.) Her offense was to ‘look mean” at another child. That’s it. She made a “mean look” at another child and I was threatened with repercussions by the school because someone the parent felt that was considered “bullying”.
Now, here you are, with over 75 facebook comments telling you to “go after” the kids who hurt your son’s feelings, based on the hearsay of other students. You have been told to take it to the administration and hire attorneys. Well, my #1 was there, and your butt hurt over your own child’s experience has the potential to wreck the lives and prevent the scholarships and further education of five other students. Silly me for not understanding that hurt feelings are exactly the same as YOUR personal abuse of the system if it benefits, YOU. (Even when your own son begs you to SHUT UP.)
This mess is the result of a dire lack of understanding when it comes to allowing children to become adults, overly protective parenting practices and an egregious abuse of your “power” as ‘an educator’ fully encouraged by the public school system. Your standards of bullying are over-reaching and selectively applied. Your ill-guided notion of “bullying” and how to deal with it are utterly lacking in common sense and I hope your son continues to exercise the good judgement of knowing when enough-is-enough because you clearly don’t have the ability to do so.
I write fairly often about the abuses of the system when it comes to Justice for Criminals, and that has certainly changed my views of the protections afforded to victims survivors of violent crimes and the mechanisms in place to assist them, but, long before any of that happened, I had my first taste of being powerless. It was a long, long time ago, but it plays a big role in the decisions that I have made for myself and my children throughout the past several years. It is referred to as “bullying” these days, but it wasn’t always called that and there were no crusades against it like there are now.
Well, the sad truth is, bullying happens within the community as well as at school, and indeed, the school supports, sanctions, and encourages bullying so we need to talk about it openly and honestly.
As you may believe, most abuse is perpetrated by students against other students. While young women can be labeled as aggressors, statistically, it’s boys who are much more likely to become physically violent. As a result, bullying among girls is too often treated with a “Sticks-and-Stones” attitude. School-initiated bullying is a topic that would be met with all the seriousness of a bigfoot sighting.
Bullying used to be narrowly defined as physical altercations between students. It may come as a surprise to many, but bullying normally doesn’t begin with physical acts of aggression. It tends to start out much more subtly. In many cases, the bully actually justifies their behavior and is supported, rewarded, defended, and encouraged by the school/community while their preferred target is dismissed and reprimanded, especially for speaking up in their own defense.
Teachers, staff, administrators and parents are totally obsessed with the notion that everything is bullying – but only when it comes to their own children or their favorite pupils – and that is where the whole thing goes off the rails. The ridiculous “zero-tolerance” policies actually make it possible for not only bullies, but those with authority to abuse the system and create a culture of perpetual victimhood among students.
Bullies, particularly those in positions of “authority”, are often quite charming at first. They conduct themselves in ways that make others believe they are everything you could hope for in a teacher or community leader. Slowly but surely, you get to see who they really are behind their curtain of flowery, school-sanctioned, politically correct rhetoric. Their true character comes out, and you begin to realize that they’re a different person than what you first perceived them to be. Attempts to expose their behavior results in retaliation on a grand scale. The worst part of these policies result in the alienation of the young people that they are designed to protect and many times, the enforcers are completely ignorant of the damage they are inflicting on the innocent parties they believe to be the villains.
The full spectrum of bullying includes emotional and psychological manipulation where the target is forced to silently accept the power and control the other person has over their lives, decisions and reputation. It’s called the “cycle of violence.” It’s a pattern where the abuse begins as non-verbal cues, then subtle emotional manipulation that escalates into more overt exercise of power and control, and ultimately, total devastation of the victim who no longer bothers to report the incidents once they have learned to accept their fate. That sounds dreadful, but that isn’t even the worst of it.
The swift and unfounded punishment of alleged ‘bullies’ leads many, if not most, students to remain silent because they know that the retaliation against others who have hurt their feelings will be disproportionate to the actual offense. Yeah, that’s right. “Victims” will police themselves and their responses to other kids being insensitive dickheads because they know when enough-is-enough and they will only tell an adult when they are in over their heads.
That sounds great, right? You can trust the kids you have raised to know their own limits. That might even be ideal, but that is not how zero-tolerance policies work. Any tattletale shit-stirrer can go to any sympathetic adult ear and have their enemies scolded, reprimanded, and punished any time they want even over the objection of the so-called victim. So the bullies aren’t just in control, they have been handed the keys to the kingdom and normal kids who are learning how to be adults no longer have the basic right to let something roll off their backs and cope with it themselves.
Bullying starts with things like consistent, unfounded jealousy and escalates to behavior like isolating the target from their peers usually via some kind-hearted teacher. The manipulations become more intense until the victim accepts that friendships, grades and opportunities to succeed in extracurricular activities are all on the line until the targeted student (and their few remaining allies – including parents) accepts that they are trapped in a system over which they have absolutely no chance to regain control so they coputulate and exhibit the system-mandated “correct” behavior. While that all seems awful, I wasn’t describing “victims” but also those accused of being the aggressors.
That’s how it The System worked when I was in school, and that is exactly the way it happens now. Abuse of power by more popular (and the wannabe-popular) students is initially subtle and the barely-perceptible manipulation is stressful and confusing, yet easy to rationalize at first. Later, as teachers and administrators come to more fully support the more socially prominent students, manipulative little shits who use the power of the zero tolerance policies to get teachers on their sides, the targeted student and their families, eventually resign themselves to the ever increasing barrage of attacks. After an initial attempt to try to level the playing field, the student is attacked until they are no longer compelled to assert their own rights,
The belief that bullying is only about some nerdy underdog being shoved into a locker to later be rescued by a saintly teacher or a heroic popular kid is an inescapable part of our cultural narrative. Bullying is much more subtle, and the choice of a target for peer bullies is simplified by the adults who lead the way. The children are paying attention to the actions and attitudes of adults – no matter what words the adults use to justify their actions.
In fourth grade, I was asked to read a sentence out loud in class. The sentence was one of those where the words were all mixed up and out of order. I was given several chances, but I was just totally unable to read the words in the incorrect order. Every time I opened my mouth the words came out in the correct order. The teacher was displeased and confused, in the end, you could practically hear her patience running out.
I never did get it right, and I went from being “the smart kid” to “dumbass” in one single incident. The fallout at recess was terrible. I was mocked and ridiculed by my peers and told to ‘suck it up’ and ‘get over it’ by the teachers. It never occurred to me to make a big deal of it at home. I just internalized the feeling of being stupid and made it my mission to overcome that feeling by being academically perfect. My report card was intact, but my self esteem, yeah, not-so-much. The teacher, Mrs. Armstrong, never had any bad intentions towards me, I liked her and she did her best to be a kind person and a good teacher.
It was a hard lesson, but a necessary one. My teacher with the best of all good intentions inadvertently screwed me over in front of my classmates, and it never crossed her mind that there were consequences to her actions beyond teaching me a lesson. I should have been able to read that silly sentence with its incorrect word order, but I couldn’t. I had been reading since long before I ever walked into a formal classroom setting and was reading on a 12th grade plus level. My brain simply made order of the words and my mouth complied. I learned that people are mean, plain and simple.
The second time I was taken down a notch was in fifth grade, by a first-year teacher, a terrible human being in every aspect of the word, and even worse teacher. The beginning of my decades-long fear and loathing of mathematics started there. I was made to do, and re-do, and re-do one single long division problem for a solid week. No recess, no free time, and every single second of the day when I couldn’t get the right answer I was made to rework the problem. I got the same answer over and over and over again and it was always the wrong answer.
No one else got the right answer either, but for some reason, I was singled out. After all of that, it turns out the teacher’s key was wrong. She never even attempted to work the problem herself because she refused to believe that I was right and her precious book was wrong. It was the first time I really hated school. I doubt that my mom even remembers telling me to do what the teacher wanted, suck it up, get it right, move on.
I always read obsessively. I would stay up all night reading – until an hour or so before school. I read everything I could get my hands on. I didn’t have the ability to put down a book once I started it. I remembered nearly everything that I read with a clarity that none of my peers understood. That, very specifically that, came to bite me in the ass in the sixth grade, and again, when the same teacher moved up to seventh and eighth grade.
Mrs. Scream. The first teacher I ever hated, personally. The one who put me on the principal’s radar. She held a piece of chalk like it was Thor’s hammer, and any student who dared to contradict her would be smashed to bits by her limitless power. The greatest lesson she taught was the doctrine of false choices. For an upcoming test, we were given the option of a) reading the material or b) using Mrs. Scream’s favorite method of SQR3 – Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review. I had already read the material. In fact, I had read the whole damn textbook pretty early in the year. While the other students obediently took notes, I read another book. I took the test, finished first and answered every question correctly.
She was furious. I was an overly smart and overly smart mouthed little brat, but my greatest folly was believing the teacher when she told the class that we had options. My rejection of her preferred method of study was viewed as a personal attack. Her wrath followed me for the next two years thanks to some fancy new doctrine being implemented by the school and her false sense of superiority. She was an evil dictator who obsessively followed rules and expected others to do the same. Also, her crusade to bring me to heel was child’s play compared to the principal.
The people who should have been looking out for me weren’t much better at their jobs. The guidance counselor was (and still is) a trainwreck. When I was in school, they were just starting to perpetrate the nefarious idea that only people with degrees can be successful adults. During the meeting to plan my classes for my high school years, I told her that I wanted to build buildings. Her response, “Oh, honey, you need lots of math for that, and girls really aren’t good at that.” Lesson: people with authority are here to crush your dreams. (Thanks to some wonderful people, over a decade later was accepted into the Masters of Architecture Program at a top tier D1 school – no thanks to that useless excuse of a “Guidance Counselor” and I love math and science in a way that I never thought possible.)
Over the next few years, I was in the principal’s office for so many things I couldn’t begin to name them all. I was in ISS for more time than I was in class before I finally quit and got my GED. At our school, the Principal and Vice Principal’s offices were separated by The Vault I heard the principal call my best friend a slut and a whore – through the walls of the vault. Before it was all said and done, there were attorneys, the school psychologist, and a few very wonderful teachers who knew the situation and privately offered me counsel, and solace, but ultimately couldn’t risk their jobs to stand up for me.
The intercom at the school made a popping noise before the secretary’s voice came through the speakers. By the end of my sophomore year, I started crying before I ever heard her voice telling the teacher to send me to the office. Just a little while before I quit school for good, I heard one of the most spectacularly insulting things I have ever heard one person say to another when the principal of the school said to my dad, “This is my school, I run it, because I know how to do more than pound nails in a board.” It wasn’t the last time I would hear some arrogant asshole say insulting things to a parent, but the next time, I was on the receiving end.
Not that much time went by before I was summoned to the office again. I don’t even remember what the alleged offence was, but the principal slammed the phone out of my hand before I could call my mother. There were no cell phones then, so students were easy targets completely on their own at the mercy of any supposed authority – so not that much has changed. All I had as a weapon was a spiral notebook and a pencil which i always carried at the instruction of the legal counsel my parents had to hire to protect me from the principal at the school.
The guidance counselor was ready to take notes for the principal when I was physically dragged into the teachers’ lounge, and I prepared to take my own notes since I was all alone, without my parents or lawyer. The principal snapped my pencil, and tore my notebook in half. He called me “Little Miss Lawyer” and screamed the words that still infuriate me to this day, “Who do you think you are? This is MY school.”
I can still hear myself saying, “Fuck YOU” as I walked out of the door of that shitty teachers’ lounge. I even offered to spell FUCK for the guidance counselor before I left. I had to drive home to call my mom to tell her. School is supposed to be a safe place and a place to learn. For me, it was hell on earth. Every attempt my parents made to do the right thing only made things worse. So, now, especially now, I mostly try to keep my mouth shut when my kids get screwed over at school because the number one lesson I learned as a kid is that fighting for what is right does more harm than good. In today’s climate of pervasive SJW/PC policies, it is even worse now because at even a hint of someone being booty-hurt children are punished for inadvertently – supposedly – maybe – possibly – potentially offending some other child’s delicate sensibilities.
In retrospect, many of my problems at school had to do with personal issues between my mom and the administration. Our community standing as a family, the cliques among the community members and my refusal to be a team player (literally because I refused to participate in sports which is a Sin in a small school) all played a critical role in my hatred of school and the subsequent delay in my attendance at an institution of higher education. As a result, I am very sensitive to how I am viewed as a parent now, and I just don’t have the ability to be a pillar of the community where I am forcing my kids to live now, but I will get to that later.
Stay tuned for Part Two.
Yeah, I know I don’t blog much anymore, but, in my defense, James Bowie and William Travis died at the siege of the Alamo – they probably didn’t blog much either while their communications were cut off and they slowly starved in need of reinforcements while they were being surrounded by enemy forces. I remember Texas and my days there fondly, as I am sure the Texas patriots did even while they were under attack and while they drew their last breaths defending the ideals that brought them there. They were left to twist in the wind and probably shouted obscenities in defiance of the devil himself in defense of their ideals, so I will follow their example and I am making my last stand with words, and not a Bowie knife….
Remember the Alamo? #realworldstruggles (random internet photo)
Lots of wonderful moments of time and small victories have happened, but today, I figured out that my cries for help and my pledges of allegiance fell on deaf ears. To abandon the historical reference – here goes (and I will bring it back to historical context in the end).
My oldest child, my one and only true larger-than-life-Texan, is a 6’1″ varsity volleyball player in addition to being a 4.0 student; a four event medalist at state track; a top 10 award winner in Forensics (old people like me call it Speech and Debate Team;, a top 10 FFA judging winner; a Student Council rep; a cheerleader; member of the drill team; Scholars’ Bowl participant; Art Club member; a main actress/ singer in the all school play; and held a job (or did until her boss was diagnosed with cancer) for four years. She has (mostly) purchased her own clothes, mostly her own food, and paid for her own fuel for two years straight. She also hates – HATES – for me, her only parent, to attend her events because she doesn’t want to let me down. So, out of respect, I stay away from watching her in sports or any other event where spectators are a normal occurrence.
The hitter is mine and I would rather try to catch a cannonball in my teeth than be on the other side of the net from her…
Today – by accident – I found out that the “pillars of the community parents” planned to have a party to make signs for Sub-State Volleyball. The tournament is this weekend. They inadvertently had two separate group messages going. One of the pain-in-the-ass- constant-group-messages was for the breakfast, and the other for their private get-together to make the fancy signs to put on the sides of the road for the players to see on their way to the big event. Well, not all the mommies from the “good families” were on the same page, because one of them let the cat out of the bag and I found out that I was obviously, purposely, personally excluded from the cool-bitches’ gathering.
I could shout about this and claim special snowflake victim status, but I doubt (or at least I hope) that they didn’t do this on purpose, but…. when it comes right down to it, I struggle financially, I am a single mother, and I wasn’t raised here. I have a job with unpredictable, and unconventional hours, and none of the Mean Mommies have bothered to ask why I do not attend games to watch my child participate in sports, cheer, or dance. I have very minimal community ties except for law enforcement (which is well known) and I changed my own, and my childrens’ names for reasons that seem suspicious to these catty, hateful bitches. (Oops… I typed that???!!! for you to read and I didn’t delete it, dammit)
The school guidance counselor refuses – yeah – refuses to assist my Junior in High School in scheduling her college entrance exam even though all the kids from “good families” have already taken theirs with her assistance (or, more correctly – at her insistence) , but, yet, I have college recruiters breathing down my throat from over a dozen different schools trying their best to offer her a scholarship for both athletics and academics. Despite – or in spite of – my begging for instructions or assistance the counselor keeps blowing me off and not in the happy-fun way.
Meanwhile, I dealt with this bank-breaking mess. (P.S. Don’t drive down Schroyer Road (one of the top ten most-haunted places in America)
As it turns out, the hateful sign-making mommas had nothing to worry about when it came to trying to keep from inviting me to their party. I got the call today with one-hour-notice that I needed to come to cover a shift at the bar where I work. ( I make over $25/hour on a regular basis so fuck off, it is a job that usually has flexible hours so I have plenty of weekday free time to take care of my kids’ needs.) My job pays well for the time I have to put in (100-mile commute excluded) but I am the lead bartender and that means that I am basically like a substitute teacher if subs have to go in to work at the last minute with a classroom of kids with behavioral issues and serve them alcohol all day.
Yeah… I also bought a classic car out of a barn….. and, guess what, bitches? This big block is about to outrun the glitter on your hateful, bitchy VB signs (Also, I ruined a good pair of jeans with the awful hot pink soap at the carwash.)
Yet, it still chaps my skinny ass that I wasn’t even invited to participate in the little private Volleyball Mommy Party. No one has ever asked why I am not at games – none of these entitled-helicopter-mom twatwaffles has a clue about the effort that goes into maintaining a household ALONE – and I pray for them every single day that they never learn about it firsthand. They just think I am an un-involved beer slinging bitch. (None of them know that I have an advanced STEM degree – not do they care that it is useless in this tiny town.)
Yep – that is really, truly, little-ol’-me at work this Summer… photographed by Dirty Ernie… the #1 photographer for Easy Rider Magazine in the 1970’s
Meanwhile, I have two other kids. One was bullied to the point that I decided to send her to school in another state. She is absolutely flourishing in a bigger school district with more diverse opportunities. Cross country, swim team, tennis, drama, and a part time job – with the support of extended family and without living in the shadow of her older sister in this small town. … the youngest child is my other little over-achiever who I spend several hours a day encouraging in her passion to learn and grow. I am so busy with work, paying bills, and taking care of the business of the household, that the baby of the family uses most of her free time either doing household chores or researching history to get ready for her latest performance – either on a stage or on the court for sports. (Still an almost straight A student, but she sucks at doing dishes and folding clothes – oh, well – I know when to admit defeat.)
Tell me #3 can’t play at being a ghost or a dead girl for a local Historical Society event!!!
Tomorrow morning I will be up at six to see #1 and #3 off to school. I will pack up the things that #2 (the out-of-towner) needs to pick up from me in the town where I work and, before work I will meet with three business owners who help me make things happen for the Historical Societies and the Veterans’ organizations that I volunteer for before I go stock beer to serve to the patrons at my paying job. After work, I will spend my tip money one dollar at a time (the same way I earn it) so #1’s team has the juice and milk I promised to the Team Moms for HS VB.
Think I forgot to mention that I was teaching #3 to restore bikes…
In the morning (about three hours after I get home from work) I will take the drinks to the HS then shower, then take #3 to her last two little-girl VB games, and then come home to finish sewing our period-correct clothing and do final preparations to our carefully prepared scripts for the Fall Railroad Historical Society run. Somehow, in the midst of all that, I will hit up the bank to pay the mortgage, buy groceries, follow the score or the HS Sub-State Tournament, check in with #2, and do period-correct hairstyles for the evening performance, knock out a couple load of laundry and check my tire pressure because my sensor light came on while I was driving home tonight. After all that, I can figure out how the hell to pay for the renewal on the license plates on three vehicles and buy Halloween costumes in the next ten days.
One of the biggest steam engines ever made…. photographed between VB games…. Yep, shitty Momma that I am, I managed to take #3 to see this history made after a 12 hour shift.
But, at least I will be able to do it all while wondering why the ever-loving- fuck I wasn’t qualified to be invited to sprinkle glitter on signs with the Cool Mommies who got invited to the party, but at least I am not being fired upon by Santa Ana, right??? I thought this was gong to be a safe place and a defensible position. Have mercy and bring a Bowie knife to put me out of this misery, please.
Remember the Alamo, and remember small town Kansas.
(P.S. unaccredited photos are mine-all-mine)
Saturday morning I changed my tire and got eaten up by ten million mosquitoes and gnats (which I am deathly allergic to). My kids, the Track Star, the BabySitter, and BabyBrat did their things….
First of all, my kids are kicking some serious ass.except #3, BabyBrat, who is on a stiff learning curve…. this past weekend, however, sucked some serious ass. I was stood up by two different guys, one was a major relief – the other one, well, that Hurt.
Like the special snowflake that I am, let me introduce you to the boys/ men who showed me the backside of The Wall in a big way: Rock Star, one of the nicest guys I have ever met. Seriously, I am not even kidding, he is a real-deal signed and sealed rock and roll musician. He is kind, moderately attractive, and my age (within a couple of years) and has health issues that he refuses to take responsibility for…. and that’s why I can’t even.
Which is why, Rock Star, in all his guitar-playing glory, flaked out on me EIGHT minutes before he was supposed to pick me up for a date. …. Really. I blew a tire out the night before our date, changed the tire myself in the morning, went to work, dressed for the date… appropriately, but ‘pretty’ for him…. aaaaaaannnnnndddd he canceled out EIGHT minutes before he was supposed to pick me up. Eh, whatever. It would have been a relief, but I was pissed off over it.
I wasn’t even mad because he flaked out. I was pissed because one of the most excellent, talented, kind and caring men I have ever met is neglecting his own health. I mean, seriously, monitor your fucking blood sugar. (Now back to me) I am constantly hit on, degraded and objectified … not because people are assholes, but because I am a bartender and that is part of the job… Yeah. I serve a purpose and get paid decent money for it, but I am eye-candy with alcohol, but I get to listen to the problems of the miserable and be the only woman who is nice to the decent married guys who are super grateful for a woman who isn’t constantly cutting them down.
It sucks, but that is my job. I have some heavy hitting professional skills, and a degree in a STEM field, but I need the freedom of a blue collar, part-time-ish job. So, I work a pitiful, but high paying, if not psychologically difficult ‘unskilled labor” job to serve middle class assholes who think I am not smart enough to do anything else. If you could just stop looking down on me, that would be great. Meanwhile, Rock Star wasn’t the only one who stood me up Saturday night. …
Only three times in my life have I felt the “Disneyland-fireworks-heart-stopping” biology of That Guy. I am 45 years old, so that’s saying a LOT about him. I am that bitch. I planned on spending the night with That Guy after doing a friend-date with Rock Star. RS flaked out on me (because, again, he can’t manage his own health issues) and I texted That Guy that I was available earlier than expected. I was totally willing to make arrangements to stay up there – fifty miles from home – but TG told me he would “be out really late”.. so I drove home.
Got to the house to see on social media that TG was at the bar where I work TEN FUCKING MINUTES after I left. I unfriended both of them. Fuck off, good bye, hasta la never think I will speak of you (or to you again). Meanwhile, I cried my ass off all day Sunday and Monday. I cried for RS that he could have a beautiful life, but won’t even care for himself… I cried about TG because… Oh, God, That Guy… The asshole that I wanted more than anything to want me back.
While I was having my meltdown, Track Star did this: On the heels of getting the Gold in track – four medals in all four of her events at State – this child took on a second job. Nah, she didn’t get The Gold in all four events, but she kicked ass. The day after State Track was over, not one, but TWO coaches call me because since she is a Junior in High School, it is now ‘legal’ to recruit her. If $100 dropped out of the sky right now, I would go to the grocery store to buy food, but my Track Star needs new shoes and she knows I can’t buy them for her so she is earning the money herself. My kid is paying for her own future because I can’t.
So Track Star got a second job…. She now works for three bucks an hour at her “other’ job. So here is her schedule: Six AM – weights/conditioning; Volleyball Camp 8 to 11:30; Work from 11:30 to 3 ish; VB walk through until about 4:30… work from 5 to 7 then VB games until about 9…… Wash; Rinse; Repeat. Every day. Every. Fucking Day. No wonder she cries herself to sleep.
I can’t help her. I just have to watch and let her make her own way. At this point, she is a room mare that I pay car insurance for and make sure that there are tampons and TP in the house. It sucks and I am proud of what she is accomplishing all on her own. Being a single mom sucks, and I am a terrible provider when it comes to material things, but I must be doing something right – or at least well enough to not have POS kids.
Which brings me to #2…. She is working off a serious ankle injury and working full time while living with my Sis and her Hubs in another state. My gawd, this kid is putting in 50-70 hours watching other peoples’ kids. The parents love her – even the ones who totally coddle their kids and cater to their every whim. As a babysitter, my kid is the one who will laugh at the pampered brats and tell them to STFU and move on, but she makes good money and she is LOVED. Her stories from work will curdle milk….but the kids she cares for love her because she provides the only structure they have. I am so proud.
Number Three….It is a miracle I haven’t murdered this kid yet. The older two have covered for her for the last 11 years, and now she has to step up. It isn’t going well. It is hard for her to give up her role as the baby of the family. She is home alone most of the time and has to learn how to do chores alone. This Summer will be a hard one for her, but I think that it will be a good learning experience for her – at least, I hope so.
But, then again, I hope for lots of things that will never ever happen.
Welcome to the life of a single mom who never intended to be one.
I begin each day asking myself what drives me to want to reach out to others. I try so hard to identify the reasons that I am driven to offer myself up as an example when I could easily wallow in self-pity and swim in fear of the next minute, hour or day, I finally came to the realization that, “I am easy to find.” You can see why here. Despite my best efforts at being an anonymous Victim, that is the Truth. Unlike the dude in the video, it isn’t a challenge to him, rather an admission to myself that hiding isn’t serving who I am as a Person.
I wasted far too much time taking bad advice from people with good intentions and hiding from the inevitable reality of his release. As it turns out, drowning in that sea of fear and denial was a blessing. It gave me time to prepare for my decision to make my story public. I have grown stronger over the past few years and I am now prepared to fight for others who face their own personal Hell. Even as I prepare for the next phase of protecting myself and my children I am preparing to do battle in a much larger arena. All of the times of denial, anger, fear, bargaining and depression had a value to me, personally, and now, I want that time in the depths of my personal hell to benefit others. I refuse to be destroyed, and I want to do my best to make sure others have the chance, not to live, but to Survive.
As I came to realize I wanted to share my story and talk about the challenges I have faced over the last … well… over a decade now, I decided my first step was to become a volunteer for a local Crisis Center that assists domestic violence victims. I have worked with one of their Directors for over eight years now so she knows me well. Once again, I was confronted with a harsh reality. The woman that I respect and trust broke the news to me that, while she believed I was “safe”, I wasn’t considered ‘safe enough’ to assist others.
Since I don’t meet the established standards for acting as a volunteer to mentor others in similar situations (12 months threat-free) – it was suggested that I seek counseling to have ‘a professional’ make sure I wouldn’t re-traumatize myself in my quest to gain the credentials to assist others. My counselor is Kyrie, and she kicks ass. I already knew some of the steps I would have to take to start this new portion of my journey through life, but having Kyrie to give me some accountability is the cure for my hesitation.
My first assignment was not only to write, but to concentrate on tackling some of my beliefs head on. Keep in mind, I am not seeing a “shrink” because I have issues in my life, it is because a person I know and respect wants me to protect myself, cherish the progress I have already made, and prepare for a new phase of life. All of that while I am facing the release of the person who wanted me to die – and (written by his own hand, still does).
The time is coming. Slowly, surely, steadily….So now here is what I think of Jason. I know he is coming eventually. Yes. He will come after me…. so, here (hopefully, not for posterity’s sake) what I think of him:
What kind of man would steal life from the mother of his children???
Imagine the thrill of this demon as he planned my death the first time around. Imagine the depravity of a person who spent at least SIX months acting like my best friend all because he knew in his mind and heart that he had secured an end to my life but he was playing the role of ‘good father’ to his children until he got to send my soul to heaven while splattering my body across any adjacent structure.
I wish his soul was tortured for his acts, but it isn’t. From the depths of whatever hell it is to be in prison, he is there now delighting in planning his next move. He is a slave of his own depraved mind with no regard for his own children or any other good and decent person in the world. Not only have I forgiven him, but I pity him for every breath he takes.
Even when he is released, he will still be in prison – one of his own design and no doubt, he will find it delightful and even be more secure in the knowledge he now has some expert knowledge about where he went wrong the first time around. Meanwhile, The System he is in relentlessly strives to put me in prison, too. Only I am in control of my own release from Hell so I am speaking directly, and publicly about it now for the first time in a really personal way, because what do I have to lose?
My path to freedom begins with walking out of this cell and using the rest of my days as I choose to – helping others escape from Hell if it is at all in my power to do so. You see, the “Offenders” have many more right and protections than their Victims do once an arrest is made. The first thing that the cops say to someone they are arresting is, “You have the right to remain silent”… but, as most people will never realize, that is a protection for the criminals and a warning to the victims (and their survivors) to STFU.
Yeah, I know… The Law. Whatever. Here goes: There is a permanent Protective Order in place, but we all know it won’t stop a bomb or a bullet. He can come after me to finish what he started, but know this:
His future of redemption, and leading a life of respect and decency begins with doing the right thing and staying right there in the prison he made for himself – whether or not that is literally behind bars.
If he comes after me, he will face my wrath, and I will have the full backing of all God’s angels and all the demons of hell to bring against him. My children, my friends, my family, my neighbors, and every kind and decent person of my community will strive to make his life a living hell that makes time in prison look like a trip to Disneyland. He will never know the compassion and mercy that has been extended to me and to my daughters based on the suffering we now endure.
He will never know the thrill of seeing my Daughters achieve unimaginable goals and experiencing victories that most people will never know. Make no mistake, these children are mine and mine alone. I take no credit for their accomplishments, but I do take pride in them, and I deserve every second of it. I don’t ‘parent’ well, but I have moved both Heaven and Earth to remove negative issues so they can seek the Positive on their own, unencumbered by the shit storm their ‘father’ brought to our doorstep, AND THE SUBSEQUENT BULLSHIT BROUGHT ON BY THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM.
If there was a shred of a soul in that man or any remorse, he would willingly stay right where he is until he knew he was no longer a danger to anyone decent person in the world. I know what he has done, even from prison: writing letters to people, trying to commit more criminal acts to steal money I need to raise my daughters. I have copies of the letters, I know what he has said about me and what his goals are regarding my continued survival. I have tried to alert “the authorities” about his efforts, but they have all ignored me and are hell-bent on his release this time around.
Last year, I attempted to participate in the Victim/offender mediation program and it clearly didn’t go well. While he obviously knows the ‘right things’ to say to the parole board, he showed his true colors when surprised with a conversation by an advocate working on behalf of me and my children.
I was prepared to share with him all of their accomplishments – even pictures of them if he had shown a shred of remorse, but that will never happen now… See, these kids are my sources of pride, and I won’t give him any way to take pride in their achievements because while I desperately hoped that he had an interest in them, he didn’t. He never even inquired about their well being, he, did, however, focus on stating that he, ‘knows we are in Nebraska’… which, we are clearly NOT.
If and when he comes after me, all the people who know and love my daughters and I will recognize him by his blackened soul if not by the mug shots that everyone in town will have seen before he ever hits state line. He’s a coward, but a clever one and we all know he is coming, so Let Him. Come after me, please and be famous in a real bad way. The second he hits fresh air, people are watching out for me and mine. Violating conditions of release for one single second will make phones ring all over the country to protect me, his former Mistress and all of our children. It is clear, she is his first target, and while I have plenty of animosity towards her, I in no way wish death upon her and I have taken every available legal action within my reach to make sure she knows that He. Is. A. Threat.
I am above all else, a selfish asshole in this regard, in that I know when he figures out she has moved on… he will be all the more determined to take his frustration and disappointment out on me. She is a raging pile of shit, in my opinion, but, Bless Her Heart, she’s my canary in the coal mine.
He might believe that it is better to ask forgiveness than permission, but the people I work with aren’t going to let the Criminal Justice gag us on their bullshit or his anymore. Trust me when I say that no one who knows what I have been through will allow it to happen again either to myself or to anyone else that he believes has any shred of loyalty to you or respect for him. We are as safe now as we ever will be, and I will not stop talking about it until he shuts my mouth for good.
Just a few hours before corn planting was done (in most of the places that seriously grow your food)….
And came this:
and now, this. It is a one minute video of a town very close by. I will try to get up more pics soon. Stay safe and dry, folks!
Can we please stop berating people for being thin? The fervor over some fitness center’s ad is just completely out of hand. The one memorable line from this article about the ‘Beach Body’ ad is this,
And it didn’t take the SJWs [Social Justice Warriors] and feminists long to once again strap in to their high horses and go to war. Soon, the posters were being crudely vandalized to instead read, among other things, “You body is not a commodity”.
While that idea is Feminista and WhiteKnight lovely and politically correct and all…. Hate to break it to ya, but Your Body IS a Commodity.
No matter who you are or what you look like, your body – including your BRAIN – is up for sale. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, your physical and intellectual attributes and abilities are Commodities. Politicians, and corporations see each and everyone of us as nothing more than a pile of beans or wheat or corn with no other purpose than to keep them profitable. You are going to work in some capacity to pay for your increasingly restricted existence if you have any intention at all of participating in society. Do it as a smoking hottie or as a fat-screechy-hairy feminist or as a keyboard warrior or a PUA or a nice, traditional family-person. It isn’t my business what you do or how you choose to conduct yourself as long as you don’t start making your choices and beliefs mandates that everyone else must follow.
Sadly, though, that is exactly what is happening. So, yeah, people forcing others to think, act, and behave in ways that make them feel “safe” is a gigantic distraction from actual danger and injustice. Big Important Issues(TM) like Bruce Jenner’s penis (or lack thereof) and the effectiveness of The Grapefruit Blowjob (NSFW) need to be addressed. Meanwhile, our society is turning into an over-flowing shit filled toilet and it isn’t because bakers everywhere are spontaneously causing shortages of Super-Gay Wedding Cakes.
Side Note: I am still baffled by this controversy. Good Lord, it’s food you will serve to your family and friends. Don’t you have some concept of what terrible outcome there could be when you have forced another person to prepare your food against their will??? Why wouldn’t you want to employ a person who is happy to serve you? Even more importantly, if you are so upset at being told “No” by a baker, you aren’t really emotionally equipped to breathe air, let alone be married. Grow. The. Fuck. Up. Not everyone agrees with your lifestyle.
It doesn’t mean you get to use Big Brother to punish them.(Yes, It Does, but only if you are Gay and the Baker is Christian – not the other way around.)
There are plenty of people who are really brilliant at explaining Mandrosphere ideals and how relationships are changing. Please go read this if you haven’t yet, Keoni totally nails it on that topic, so I am going to keep my skinny ass on my side of the barbed wire fence and tell you what is happening here in flyover country. Hint: it isn’t pretty.
people self-infantilized, misinformed carpet-walkers are caught up in manufactured controversies and all manner of trivial bullshit brought to you courtesy of the MSM and social media, there is a storm brewing that has the potential to guarantee that we are all well-and-truly-screwed for good. You can put away your tin foil hats for a few minutes – this isn’t about Operation Jade HELM (Homeland Elimination of Local Militants is the acronym – go google it – I don’t want to get sidetracked) It isn’t about the fracking earthquakes that are causing all sorts of environmentalist weeping and gnashing of teeth, either. Folks, your problem is that none of your silly drama matters at all when you don’t have food.
(Go to your safe place and eat your play dough and crayons if you don’t want to know about disgruntled country bumpkins.)
This. Even in light of the glaring misinformation in the article, the threat to your grocery cart is very real. First, let me clear up a few things:
Farmers pay no sales taxes on machinery and equipment, or on diesel fuel for agricultural equipment, computers, fertilizer, chemicals and seed. Even shampoo bought by a hairdresser for a “farm” client is exempt, according to the Kansas Department of Agriculture. There is much more, but you get the picture.
So take a look at the original article by Chapman Rackaway. He does a pretty fine job of explaining some of the things that I see happening here locally right now and makes it pretty clear why/how this is happening. Greedy city-SOBs want to have their cake and eat it, too, but that isn’t enough. They also want the people who worked the land to grow the ingredients for the cake to give it to them for free with a side-order of cash. Just like they did with the schools. Just like they are still doing now with the schools. There is a veritable fecal-hurricane taking place on fb over school funding cuts and the proposed farm legislation, which includes a 473% property tax increase. (That is not a typo.)
One local fb commenter put it this way:
Farmers and teachers. Two professions trampled in the dirt, who get paid NOT according to their societal worth, and yet do it anyways, because it must be done. And God made a farmer, indeed.
Without getting too deeply into the political forces at work here it is in a nutshell from the Rackaway article (the accurate one of the two newspaper story links above):
Perhaps that explains why the Legislature has gone from trying to keep the west in Kansas to showing it the door. Two bills, one already passed, the other pending, would have massive adverse effects on the state’s breadbasket. The bill that has passed, HB2403, dumps the 1992 school funding formula in favor of block grants. While the block grants would potentially hurt some other schools to the east of I-135, the western half of the state looks to take a disproportional hit.
The result is that early school closings in western Kansas, such as Concordia, will likely be followed with more early closings and even consolidations. The beating hearts of western Kansas communities…may well be stopped.
So why on earth should you give a damn about our school funding disaster and bills designed to kill family farms? Unless you have escaped the need to eat this is going to screw you over, too. To begin with, the schools are the canary in the coal mine. The school my kids attend isn’t one of the districts that have shortened the school year, but they have decided to lay off nearly every “para” (the educators that do not hold licenses). Just like that. nearly thirty percent of the staff is gone. Transportation to events and for after school activities, also gone. Some of our students (again, not specific to our district) are already forced to ride the bus for over two hours per day just to attend classes, now their parents are going to have to spend more time, and more money to get their kids to and from activities. So, hey, just take some more of you hard-earned cash and drive an extra fifty or sixty miles twice a day so your kids can play ball or join the debate team… no big deal, right?
Before you start screaming “home school” consider that our schools aren’t like urban schools. Sports, FFA, and other extra-curricular activities fill the void that comes with living in a rural community. Our public schools are really pretty dang close to home-school already. Since parents have to work to pay their taxes, very few have the time or ability to adequately educate their kids at home, so, right-or-wrong, public schools are important to us. These aren’t the zero-tolerance/zero-common-sense indoctrination centers that we all love to hate. As the schools are forced to consolidate, it isn’t just less convenient, it takes away more and more of the tax base and that money has to come from somewhere, and while you can’t get blood from a stone, you can get more tax money out of the dirt. So, Farmers.
Even more disturbing and damaging for the west is SB 178, which would raise agricultural land property taxes by a statewide average of 473 percent. With the majority of farmland in the state to the west, the actual hit would be even higher. Many farmers are land-rich and cash-poor, so paying five times higher taxes could be fatal to many western Kansas farms.
What’s it to you if a bunch of farmers lose their asses and their livelihoods via government sponsored theft? Well, that means that the real big boys – the mega corporate conglomerations and foreign investors will take up the void. They generally don’t pay taxes anyway so, rather than adding to the tax base, it will likely decrease the already inadequate state revenue. Even if that isn’t the outcome, it will take away even more diversity and completely remove the stewards of the land from the decision making process.
Still don’t get it? Let me walk you through it, slowly. A traditional family farming operation (even the incorporated, mid-level guys) has people who make decisions on a daily basis that ensure the land is cared for properly. The wildlife buffer zones (a/k/a conservation belts), the crop diversity, the settings on the equipment, the timing of planting and harvest, the hiring of their own help, all rest on the common sense and experience of these family farmers. They live or die by their own choices, and they can respond to market forces with complete autonomy. They are intimately connected with the land and dedicated to providing food for your table and theirs. If you suppose that none of that changes when all the land is controlled by a few corporate giants, you are fooling yourself.
Locally, we see it happening already. A large Co-Op is eating up little independent elevators all over this region. Having prices set locally by each elevator, hiring employees without college degrees, farmers having input and control over the services they need. Poof. Gone. You have to have a degree to work at the elevator now. The corporate farms are the same way. Decisions are made by someone a couple hundred miles away and no amount of experience will get a person hired because The Corporate Office determined only college graduates may be employed. Not high school kids, not the guys who have already given up their family farms. College Graduates Only. If you don’t pay your way through four years of school, you don’t even get to sweep the floor.
Now, imagine what will happen when the family farmers are gone. If some carpet-walker decides that only one type of corn will be grown. That’s that. If conditions vary from one field or pasture to another, too bad. The guy who is actually working the land can’t even access the person who could make a change, and policies take months to change. Plants and animals don’t wait around for months while The Board of Directors contemplates a change. The destruction of traditional family values is small potatoes compared to the devastation of family owned farms. Once the dude in the tractor is some low-paid employee whose only function is to punch a clock and keep his mouth shut, we all have bigger problems than gay wedding cakes and bitchy feminists.
So we are back to the beginning, You are a commodity whose very existence has been purchased by a hostile takeover. Government, corporations, and whatever mysterious scary forces you believe are in control have reduced you to a slave to be bought and sold on the open market. You must pay and pay and pay. College, taxes, insurance, more taxes, higher food prices, more and more laws and rules to keep you feeding the big corporate money making machines…everything you do, everywhere you go, fewer choices, less personal control over everything. Just keep your mouth shut and follow the rules. If someone wants your opinion, they will make a law telling you what it should be.
Meanwhile, feminists everywhere should be celebrating because they finally got something half right. They really have been objectified, but then again, so have the rest of us. It isn’t going to change until enough people are tired of being little tax-paying hunks of meat. Now, where is that Safe Place??? I want to go there, too!!!