A little while ago I spent my evening getting lost in Wikipedia after the kids had gone to bed, when I should have been working instead. Wikipedia is like a churning vortex of random facts, sucking in everything and anything, from the most respected study to the most ridiculous opinion…. and it’s absolutely delicious when you’re bored and procrastiating. However, Wikipedia jumping is kind of like holding a conversation with a toddler suffering from ADHD: after spending about fifteen minutes reading you’ll soon realize you have no idea how you got to this subject from the one you started on.
For instance, this was the course I took the other night after tuning into “The Mummy Returns” on television: The Mummy Returns, Shrunken heads, Prognathism, Charles II of Spain, Joanna of Castile (offshoot: the Spanish movie, “Juana la Loca”), Insanity, Bedlam, Moll Cutpurse (Offshoot: Dropsy, to edema, to pitted edema, to hepatic cancer), “The Roaring Girl”, Virago, Amazons, Queer, Pejorative, Reclamation (off shoot: Mormon. Did you know that the word Mormon was originally a pejorative, but is now reclaimed?), Reappropriation, Euphemis treadmill, Dysphemism, Minced oath, Pardon my French, Francophobia, Anti-Americanism.

Wikis are one of the reasons why I spend too much time on the internet. It’s similar to how my sister and I talk when we get into one of our deep conversations. The last time we sat together we started on her mom and ended up on the Great Depression, how the economy works and a primer on classism.

Last night we had another four hour conversation that cycled through a dozen topics, though most of them tended to stay on the emotional hardship track. It’s the feeling of the week since Marika and her boyfriend broke up (which happened some time ago; I just didn’t post it) and she’s just entering the dating field again.

We started the evening with a brief run-in when she neglected chores to hang out with friends, and then missed dinner when she’d said she would be there on time.
When she did come home I reminded her of this and she ran into her room to sulk. I came in about 10 minutes later with her food, and to talk. She was extremely guarded, gave me attitude, and the conversation quickly dissolved into her accusing me of not wanting her to ever hang out with friends.
I told her that wasn’t true; I loved it when she hung out with her friends, I just wanted her to let me know what was happening and take care of her responsibilities first. She wasn’t listening to me, and was focusing on her own irritation, and I asked that if she was expecting her feelings of anger to be respected that she needed to respect mine too. That got through, so she quieted and let me say my part.

We slipped into her bedroom and sat down.
“I was disappointed and irritated when you didn’t come home on time, and that you left the dishes from last night. It would have been nice if you’d said, ‘I might be late, but I’m going to do the dishes as soon as I get back’, or even come home for 15 minutes to do them first.”
“… okay” she said. She was very cautious. “I can do that next time. I’m sorry that I missed dinner. I lost track of time.”
“That’s okay. Thanks for apologizing.”
There was a long silence, and she looked at me expectantly. I added: “I’m done now, that’s it.”
“… but?”
“Would you like me to jump up and down and start yelling? ‘Cause I can do that if it’ll make you feel better.”

She laughed a little, and then burst into tears, “I’m sorry! I turn into such a bitch when people are irritated with me and I know that makes them more irritated with me and it just makes things worse but every time someone is mad I expect them to start screaming at me and we’ll just fight and scream and I don’t know how to handle it when someone is upset, I feel like I have to protect myself and it makes everything worse!” she dissolved into a fit of tears and incomprehensible blubbering.
I hugged her and told her how much I loved her. I told her that didn’t happen this time, because instead of doing that she’d told me exactly what was going on for her and why she had felt defensive. She’d successfully defused the situation before it got worse by recognizing her feelings, giving herself space to feel them, and then communicating all of that to me without screaming or getting out of control.
“That’s huge! Give yourself credit for that,” I said. “A year ago it would have taken us an hour and a half before you’d been able to deconstruct your reaction. You’ve matured so much, and learned to communicate so much more effectively.”
“But, it freaks me out. We’ve never had a real fight. I feel like it’s coming.”
“Sure we have. We’ve had lots of run-ins and attitude issues since you’ve been here.”
“But, like, we haven’t screamed at each other.”
“That’s because you’re working so hard at communicating effectively. It’s never gotten to the point where we were screaming. It might still happen at some point… but that doesn’t mean I hate you, it just means we’re not communicating well at that moment, aren’t feeling heard, and need space to calm down”.

She visibly calmed, and started talking about how much fun she’d had hanging out with her new love interest, and all the mixed up feelings that causes when you go from one very serious long term relationship into dating again…
While she talked I felt amazed: she has this incredible ability to open up, learn, mature, communicate things so readily even if it makes her vulnerable and embarrassed. When I’m in a therapy session and I’m prompted to ‘make space’ for something that I can’t work through… I can’t do it. I feel on the spot. I can’t let go of it.
Marika continues to impress me on an almost daily basis with her emotional maturity, especially considering how stunted she was when she arrived here less than a year ago. Half an hour later in the conversation when she talked about how depressed she was when her mother sent her to live with her aunt for three months, I saw her start to tear up and look sheepish over “still” being upset. I told her that those feelings were valid, and even if she wasn’t here now and wouldn’t ever be again, she still had to make space to feel those things and work through them. It was like an “on” switch. Immediately she just… did. Opened up, cried, sobbed, bawled, talked openly about all her feelings and said, “I’ve never talked about it before” and “it feels so much better to say it”.

She awes me. She has so much maturity for a 15 year old girl, and it’s like she has absolutely no idea how incredible it is to hear someone her age talk like that. I’m jealous of her ability to so easily open up and learn new communication skills – then immediately and flawlessly put them to use.
I feel lucky to have her in my life. I feel lucky to have the experience of helping to raise her during this difficult time. I feel like she’s teaching me as much as I am teaching her, and we are both learning valuable life lessons through this circumstance.
As that love grows, I feel myself getting more furious that her mother continues to think of her as a “bad, stupid kid”. Just… look at her! She’s beautiful, smart, artistic, talented, mature and so incredibly capable. Her mother should be so lucky! Just… argh.

After the latest bout of infuriating emails I finally lost it at Krazy and publicly spanked her after a particularly schizophrenic phone call where she spent 15 straight minutes screaming at my husband over things like “You’re a horrific parent if you expose your children to my daughter’s influence” and, “She is a lost and confused little girl with no friends, you’re all liars and never tell me anything!”.
Curtis told her to call back when she felt she could calm down and speak respectfully, and then hung up on her. You could still hear her screaming as he put the phone down.
Of course, she didn’t call back when she was calm.
Instead she wrote an even crazier email to a huge group of people telling them all that I am refusing to let her speak to Marika (she said this was the “tenth time”), insulted her and have neglected Marika’s health to the point where she’s dying of a horrible disease and her innocent, loving mother knows nothing about her circumstances. It’s enough to make you want to pull your hair out.

I wrote back (to the same mass group of people) and explained that we have house rules in our family, rules that also apply to the telephone. The most important of those rules being that members of this household should always use respectful communication, that if they felt they couldn’t they should take some time to calm down.
I said we were happy to talk to her on the phone any time… as long as she was respectful and calm. I told her that if she felt she could not follow this rule, she would be hung up on. Repeatedly. Until she could show us the most basic respect.
(I mean really, how fucking hard is it to say, “Hi there. Could I speak to Marika?” and if she’s not home, to then reply, “Okay, could you let her know I called? Thanks, bye!” instead of ranting and screaming incomprehensibly for 15 minutes? For real).

Apparently she took that seriously, as the next thing she did was decide to never speak to us again under the reasoning that we’re “not respecting her” and she made Marika sign a paper that said we would never pick up the phone if she called the house.
It’s like she has a desperate, life-threatening need to control absolutely everything that ever happens around her. She just makes me want to scream. Why can’t this be as easy as just saying, “Let’s agree to disagree”? I’ve purposefully tried to keep this off public for almost a year, but it’s getting to the point where I don’t think I care anymore. This is so far beyond rational that I don’t even know how to describe it. Dealing with her makes me feel like I’m living in a sitcom.

Tonight Marika is sleeping over with friends, after catching up on her homework and doing all her chores. She called to give us the phone number where she was staying as soon as she got there, and she’ll call again tomorrow to give us an update on when she’ll come back.
She’s a damn good kid.
The more time we spend together, the more protective I feel. Curtis has started to puff out his chest when he hears about someone saying something unkind. Regardless of where we go from here, I can’t ever shed what spending this time with her has given us… and I sincerely hope that one day her mother can see her the way we do.

But for now, she can fuck herself with a stick covered in bugs.

Links of The Day:
Bristol Palin has a PSA for teen pregnancy. – I’m curious what everyone’s reactions on this are. The big criticisms are that it’s implying that children the result of teen pregnancies are unwanted, and that it implies it’s okay to have a baby if you’re rich but not if you’re poor.
Pedophile’s Paradise – A horrifying story about known Catholic child abusers and rapists being dumped in rural Alaskan villages where they could continue their abuse on Alaskan native children without being caught, or garnering negative publicity. (Trigger alert: this article contains graphic descriptions of abuse from the victims – it is NOT an easy read).
Staten Island University hospital limits cesareans – One area’s successful attempt to reduce cesareans and mother/baby morbidity. If only all hospitals took this route…
Better Births, Lower Cost “United Healthcare found that 48 percent of newborns admitted to the NICU were from scheduled deliveries, many of them before 39 weeks. When doctors and hospitals curbed the practice, the insurer saw a 46 percent decline in NICU admissions in just three months.”

Comments

comments

39 Comments

  • jesamin says:

    I’ve delivered at both of those hospitals and been under Dr. Moretti’s care for one of my pregnancies. I can tell you first hand that my experience at Richmond (then St. Vincent’s) was horrible. I hated every single about my birthing experience except for the end result. It was your standard snowball of interventions and I’m lucky I didn’t end up with a c section. Delivering at SIU was wonderful, my ob had been trained by the island midwives before they closed so his goal was to not cut. Not for a section and not for an episiotomy and I loved him. I’m glad to see that SIU is still doing a good job.

  • jeca777 says:

    Sorry for popping this on your journal. I know it’s a long shot, but I know a girl who is being told her baby may be too big for her to deliver vaginally and they are pushing to induce soon so the baby doesn’t get too big. Her due date is today.

    I was wondering if you still had the link to the story about the midwives who knew the woman’s pelvis was too small, but let her try anyway and she was able to vaginally deliver her baby. I know it’s not the same situation, but I really think the girl could use some support right now!

    I’m fairly certain it was you who shared the link, but I’m not sure if it’s easily accessible. If not that’s okay! No hurt in trying right? πŸ™‚ Thanks!

  • collette says:

    Totally random:

    A producer from the Dr. Oz show asked me to be on an episode, and demonstrate how I make breastmilk soap. The date conflicts with me being on-call for a client, so she asked me if someone else I knew would be willing to come on and talk about and use some soap. I asked my friends on FB, and someone mentioned you, and I remembered you using it. So, if you want to be on TV, this lady seems kinda desperate. I thought it might be interesting, but wasn’t sure if I would even do it and now I can’t.

    If you want to, it’s May 3rd, I believe that they are filming it, and they would fly you out (to NY, I think?) I can send her your email. No worries if you aren’t interested, though. It’s kind of a crazy thing to ask.

  • Whys is she so f-ing crazy?

  • altarflame says:

    I just watched that PSA – it’s really bizarre to me on a lot of levels. My own experience of teen pregnancy – without a famous family or a lot of support or any special opportunities – was bafflement that more teenage parents don’t take care of their own kids and turn out as decent parents. I mean…I breastfed. I read to my kids. I cooked for them. I co-slept and gave them baths and loved them to death and they were the best thing ever. I was 19 and had Ananda AND Aaron and I did not feel like a cautionary tale. Even with their biological dad being sort of a deadbeat who ended up out of the picture.

    I lived in a little apartment with a couch I found by the side of the road. I got bags of groceries from Catholic Charities and stood in early morning lines for help with utilities, with a toddler on each hip.

    But it WAS pretty. It was HARD sometimes, but it was also amazing.

    I don’t know, man.

  • tastyanagram says:

    I’m so damn proud of Marika – and you.

  • (off shoot: Mormon. Did you know that the word Mormon was originally a pejorative, but is now reclaimed?)

    Yup. Though I didn’t find that out till my mid-teens or so. Then again, there are still some (non-Mormon) people think it’s pejorative… πŸ˜›

  • jeca777 says:

    Don’t have much time, but wanted to say I watched the PSA and wasn’t terribly offended at all. Teenage girls are starting to think it’s cool to have a baby while in high school and I think it’s nice that a noted teenage mom figure said to pause. I know nothing about the campaign itself and tend to think Palin is an idiot… I’m just saying what my first impression was. I am a poor parent and didn’t really catch a “you need to be rich to have a baby” thing, which is surprising cause I HATE when people say they need to be financially well off to have a child. If you do it right, you don’t need much… but a high school diploma is preferable just so you can get a job and raise your baby. I don’t think teenage moms CAN’T do it at all, but I know I wouldn’t have been able to handle a baby before about age 21. I would have put the baby up for adoption. Maybe more teenage moms should speak out about realities so kids don’t think “Hey, she can do it… so can I!”

    I also still can’t get over that her mother was so much about abstinence education and her daughter got knocked up. A sad example, but an effective one.

    • altarflame says:

      I just don’t get the whole idea that she “got knocked up” and it’s a “sad and effective example”. She had a baby – a gorgeous baby she loves who is not some kind of tragedy. She’s a mom. To me the only thing offensive about her in the PSA is that she’s standing there acting all miserable as though her SON is some kind of potentially-terrifying burden who would have cursed her had she not been the daughter of a big time politician.

      This is me talking as someone who had babies #1 and 2 at 18 and 19 years old and thinks I did a damn good job with them, despite them both being totally unplanned. Obviously I have a bias. I just feel like our society is so against teen pregnancy that we miss the part where when it DOES happen, it should still be celebrated just like any other life – not villified. What’s done is done and a teen mom has just as much right to be thrilled by her baby as any other mom does.

      • jeca777 says:

        I firmly believe that society is what makes this whole situation so difficult for some people. We are biologically supposed to start making babies very young, 10-12 in some cases… but society says don’t start until after you’ve finished college, laid a foundation for a successful career, gotten married, spent time together, and when the “perfect” time comes, you should have a baby. It sucks and our society isn’t flexible enough to bend to our biological needs.

        I said in my comment that I couldn’t have had a baby before 21, but I had a lot of different things going on. I came from an area where teen pregnancy was more the norm than the exception… I just know that where *I* was in my maturity and with the many obstacles I was facing already having to grow up too fast that I would have been very hard pressed to have the support I needed. I had my baby when I was 22 and he was also unplanned… I still don’t have the support to put me at par with everyone else around me, but my mind is better equipped now to raise a baby. People don’t have a timer that goes off when they reach a certain age that makes them capable of raising a tiny human and it sounds like you did a great job. I just don’t think I would have been able to help my child flourish when I was younger.

        I’m sorry if I offended you by what I said about her getting pregnant. It just drives me crazy that people think that abstinence education is the way to go to STOP teenagers from having sex. I believe it instead makes them feel ashamed to buy protection and have sex in a responsible way. Teenagers are going to have sex. THEIR BODIES ARE MADE TO. I also believe that pregnancy and parenthood are some of the most beautiful things in this world. It’s when famous teenagers get pregnant and the girls think it’s a COOL thing to do because “Jamie Spears got pregnant. If she can do it, so can I!” That’s why I think this kind of ad isn’t terrible from my point of view because she’s saying that it would be really freaking hard if she got pregnant and didn’t have the support she has. It’s not the same for a well off teenage girl to get pregnant as it is for someone else. It’s not the age that makes it this way, it’s our society.

        Until society is able to bend for teenage mothers, then teenage pregnancy can be a problem. Not for everyone, but I would say the majority. I had a pretty rough time being 22 and pregnant without a college education or a marriage certificate, and I’m probably better off than most. Was it easy for you?

        • altarflame says:

          I’m not sure I would say easy. I will say that having my third kid, with a steady partner in a steady home when I was in my 20s, was way harder to deal with than anything about my first two kids, simply because I never, ever got to sleep and consistently felt as though I didn’t know what I was doing wrong to make him so miserable. I was blessed to get very “easy” babies the first couple of times around. So yeah, of course there was huge money stuff – but I have a sort of uncanny ability to let money stuff roll off of my shoulders. I just don’t bother worrying about it when I’m not directly figuring it out/doing something about it. As far as the mothering part of it, yes, that was easy for me…it was awesome. I remember waking up every morning like a great big dork telling my daughter, “You’ll never be 8 days old again!” “You’ll never be 32 days old again!” and so on. Crying with happiness, video cameras, cute outfits, first sitting, all that stuff.

          The only really awful part was that my crappy young boyfriend ended up abusing my son, at which point we separated. But…I don’t think that was his age. I don’t think he’s fit for child raising now, 8 years later. And my just-as-young now-husband was great with them as babies, back then when we were friends, and would never have hurt a kid.

          I experienced pretty intense pressure to get an abortion with both of my pregnancies, that I really resented and felt so horrified by. There’s a sort of “what are you going to do??” auto-response to teen pregnancy, as though you are obligated if you are responsible and loving to consider abortion and adoption. It is pretty gross. Their body their choice means it’s ok to choose to have the baby.

          I know what you mean about abstinence-only education being problematic; it really is. HOWEVER, I think trying to put out the message that teen pregnancy is a disaster, a train wreck, something you DO NOT WANT TO HAPPEN TO YOU because it will RUIN YOUR LIFE – is just as dumb as abstinence only education. Really. In the same sense that teens are always going to have sex – SOME number of teens are always going to get pregnant. Rather than blacklisting that out of some kind of paranoia that we’re going to spotlight or encourage it – because I have NEVER seen that “Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant, it’s cool!” attitude you’re talking about – we should be HONEST, AND EDUCATE teens about pregnancy, birth, lactation, and childcare. Just like kids need sex information, I believe they need reproduction information. Knowledge is power, even if you don’t utilize it for 25 years or it just comes in handy when it allows you to help a friend. Teenagers who have babies shouldn’t become mothers under a dark cloud of shame and with an inability to send out happy announcements – they are the only parent/s that new baby is every going to know! They need to be acknowledged AS PARENTS, once they are.

          And honestly, I think real information sharing with teens about how you can do it, but it’s harder, and these are the sacrifices you’re looking at, etc, would be EXTREMELY helpful as a preventative to get them to take birth control seriously. I really do.

        • altarflame says:

          I wanted to clarify that I am not at all angry with you, here. Really! I am just passionate about this whole issue in general. I get so many people telling me what an amazing parent I am, how they wish they could be half the mother I am, etc, IRL and on the internet…and then later I hear them say standard derogatory stuff about teen moms like “teen mom” automatically equals Jerry Springer material. This is all probably really more appropriate stuff for a post than a comment/reply.

          • jeca777 says:

            I agree with you that something needs to change, and it seems that you have a lot of it figured out! It’s not something I’ve had to encounter, but I do feel it’s gone about in a wrong way. Are there any organizations that support your way of thinking, or is it to taboo?

            I don’t pay much attention to the news or to talkshows, but I keep coming across things in passing about teenage girls that are just dying to have babies and are tricking their boyfriends into getting them pregnant. I don’t know if it’s the same group of girls that are just getting a LOT of attention or what, but I tend to think it’s just a bunch of teenagers thinking all their emotional problems will be solved if they have a baby to love them unconditionally. I mean, maybe some people think this is okay but the problem comes in with what you were explaining above — the lack of reproductive education offered to young people. It’s one of those things that parents are expected to teach their children (and they should), but most don’t bother or they are too embarrassed to bring it up with their teens.

            In an off way, I think we agree here that there is a problem and it is all about lack of knowledge. We just saw the PSA in two different ways. Because teen mothers are shunned a lot of the time, there AREN’T resources readily available if they are struggling and it can easily turn into a difficult situation. It doesn’t mean the end of the world, but I wish more mothers could be as loving through rough times as you were with your little ones. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always wind up that way. =\

            You know it can be done so the PSA irked you. I know there are girls that think it is the answer to their teen turmoil. It’s just a subject that no one wants to bring up because they’re always afraid they are going to offend someone whether it be a former teen mom, a Christian conservative, a man who feels he has no choice in the matter, pro-life, pro-choice… we’re so afraid of pissing someone off that we’re too afraid to fix the problem. (Problem being what I said earlier… Society. Not teen pregnancy)

      • admin says:

        You have really good points here. I’m sitting here absorbing it and it really hits me the way you said society vilifies teen mothers… because, you’re right: that’s true.

  • nutmegdealer says:

    wikipedia is my crack and i talked about my addiction in one of my last entries. behind the name and ancestry.com’s surname history are just as bad.

    the systematic child abuse in that article reminded me of the dancing boys of afghanistan which frontline just showed stomach turning documentary on.
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/dancingboys/
    don’t know if you’ll be able to see it, but it’s fucking twisted and disgusting.

    marika’s very fortunate to be living in such a trusting, supportive environment. when you’re young and have a fucked up family, it’s good to be able to talk to someone openly about it without them jusdging you based on the relationship they have with their own.

  • altarflame says:

    You and Marika are so great together. It is so much harder between me and Bob. He is pretty emotionally immature (though he has made some major strides over the past year), and boys I think tend to just “engage” less…but also, I feel like I don’t have the time or resources to nurture him on a daily (or sometimes even weekly) basis. I resent his attitude and his life-sucking depressive tendencies and sometimes he just walks out of his room and I wish he’d go back in, even when he’s not doing ANYTHING wrong.

    I also feel proud of him and tell him so, for how he’s progressing in various ways – but briefly. *I* have too much crap in the way of the two of us sitting down for emotional heart to hearts. It sounds like an impossibly heavy burden to even attempt such a thing, to be honest. We had a couple when he first got here, and now we mostly talk about whether or not he’s done the dishes and what he did that day. I appease my conscience knowing I’m providing a place to stay, and food, and that JobCorps is really working for him so far.

    *sigh*

    I am so horrified at the Catholic sex abuse stuff. I get frustrated sometimes when people act as though all priests are abusers or something; when you look at the numbers it’s actually very similar to how some construction workers, some doctors, some teachers, etc are pedophiles; most priests are good and safe, just like most people in general are. The priests just get uber-sensationalized.

    ON THE OTHER HAND, the institutional corruption – the part where higher-ups help to hide and protect abusers – that is the part I am insanely horrified by 😑

    • admin says:

      There is definitely a difference in the way girls and boys deal with emotional turmoil at that age… regardless of how they’re raised there is a society pressure that’s very apparent. It’s more difficult overall to get a teenage boy to sit down and have a heart to heart, because that’s just not “acceptable” by a lot of standards. (That said, I’m not condoning that no one try. I’m sure you know that, but just for the sake of saying it…).

      There is often a lot of stuff in the way of my making a lot of time for her, but it has helped that I’ve effectively put her in the same place as I do my own kids (as far as priority). Over time she’s learned to understand that sometimes I can’t drop everything for her (which is a very teenage “only child” attitude to have) and she’ll have to wait until I have a minute, but she also knows that I always will take time for her. And when I do, the unspoken agreement is that Curtis takes over being the primary parent while I help Marika through a crisis. Sometimes she’s as needy as a toddler, and as soon as I stopped resenting that it did come a lot easier.

      Priest thing: yes exactly. It’s the corruption, the cover up and the BLATANT ALLOWING OF IT TO HAPPEN and even actively encouraging it that is so incredibly sick.

  • frogger414 says:

    This is all too similar to my situation when I was a teenager – my mother’s brother and his wife (refered to as parents) “adopted” me after the state took me out of my mother’s house and was looking for next of kin to place me before finding a foster home. My mother would call and act like Krazy and finally my parents told her she was not welcome to call anymore if she continued to treat me like that, etc. It was so empowering to me to finally be shielded from the abuse, that someone finally got it and I didn’t have to be exposed to it anymore. It allowed me to focus on schoolwork and my social life (important for teens as you know already). The way you and Curtis handled this situation just makes me feel so much better. Of course with the Krazies in the world, they don’t react too kindly to rationalism or calmness. *hugs*

  • alicianne3 says:

    “with a stick covered in bugs”
    my jaw dropped! LOL you have such a way with words…
    thankyou for posting this stuff about parenting teens. i have one(non-biological) almost there and i’m scared shitless!!!

    • admin says:

      I can’t take the credit for that one, it’s my father’s insult. πŸ™‚ We’ve all been laughing over it for weeks because he was truly upset when he said it, which only made it funnier.

  • bluealoe says:

    Wikipedia is bad, but I find TV Tropes even worse for wasting time…

    Marika is amazing. I don’t understand why her mother insists on thinking of her as a bad kid. I mean, shouldn’t a parent be PROUD of their child when they learn things and become more mature, not make them out to be a hopeless cause? I don’t get it, I really don’t.

    I haven’t read the pedophile article yet, but the issues has been big news in Alaska for several years. I know several Catholic priests and nuns who have done amazing work in the villages, but unfortunately there are the abusers as well….it’s so easy to just transfer them to some Alaskan village, since no one pays any attention to the Alaskan bush. GRRRRRR.

    Yay for that doctor on Staten Island!

  • Oh God, lol, a stick covered in bugs? Really? Eeeew.

    I hear you, though. Every time you talk about her you make me think of my MIL (who we live with…*shudder*). I don’t know what it is about these women…it’s like they are incapable of the most basic reasoning, the most basic critical thinking. They are so entirely self absorbed that the whole of reality only exists in how it directly relates to them and anything and everything outside of that is the enemy. It’s sad, sick, shameful and pathetic. *sigh* What I cannot understand is how you can give birth to someone and then treat them like that. It’s mind-boggling.

    • admin says:

      It’s my dad’s insult. πŸ˜‰

      Krazy treated her pretty okay until she was a teenager… it was only once she started showing the most basic signs of rebellion that it got weird. πŸ™ Before that, she could happily exist as her mother’s protΓ©gΓ©.

      • altarflame says:

        My mother and I had the kind of dynamic I can imagine developing that way; she was very, VERY dependent on me for everything from help making basic life decisions to emotional support. I was literally her only friend and she confided completely innapropriate things from a very young age. She HATED it so much when I got friends, or a boyfriend, as I got older, and visciously disallowed me any freedom at all to branch out.

        I was able to sneak around off her radar to some degree, but what really kept the situation from escalating was that she moved away when I was 15, across the state, and left me to live with relatives. So then I got to get a job and a license and have friends and travel with my church and all kinds of things that would have been impossible if she had still been around.

        Anyway, it was REALLY the kindness of others that allowed me to be ok. Church people, great teachers, my grandparents, etc. It is so good that she has you. I think a that-much-older sister would have been AMAZING for me at that point in my life when my mom checked out.

        • admin says:

          Yeah, I see a LOT of that in their relationship. This inappropriate abuse of the mom/daughter trust where M becomes her mother’s emotional support and best friend… in a way that completely undermines her ability to trust that her mother will be there for her if SHE has emotional needs. It’s like her mother has regressed.

          I mean, okay, perfect example: two nights ago. Her mom is about to go in for elective therapeutic hysterectomy. She caught up with Marika on Facebook chat (which was weird in and of itself) and started talking with her about random stuff. It was 11:30 at night and Marika immediately said that she was sorry she didn’t call earlier, but it’s really late now and she’d be happy to call tomorrow instead.
          Her mom started getting weird like, “Why is it too late? Huh?” and Marika felt really uncomfortable. She didn’t want to say outright that she didn’t want to talk to her right now (especially after that) so she went on the excuse that it’s too late to use the phone and once again said she’d call her tomorrow, that she loved her, blah blah.

          Then her mom goes on this weird rant about how Marika never even asked her to talk about her problems, and that she could DIE in surgery and never see her again, and that if she really doesn’t want to care about her then she’ll just go to bed and never talk to her again. Then she logged off.
          I mean… what?! It’s like she’s 12. This is the kind of stuff I’d expect to hear from a fight Marika is having with a friend in school, you know? NOT FROM HER OWN MOTHER. It’s this weird emotional manipulation that’s totally inappropriate, and leads to Marika having to chase her mom down and go, “No no, it’s okay, tell me about your problems” in a very uncomfortable way for a 15 year old to do.

          • heavynleigh says:

            Ugh. That is totally the relationship I had with my mom growing up and it sucked. I’m sorry Marika has to deal with all of that crap. She’s very lucky to have you as a positive role model and it sounds like she’s really coming through it all with a really good head on her shoulders.

  • On that first link — I’ve liked what I’ve heard of the ‘Pause before you play’ campaign so far, but this is a few steps backward to ‘scaring you off it’ for bad reasons, I think. I think they have a huge opportunity to focus on how easy and simple it is to ‘pause before you play’ to use a barrier method, for example, but this ad does imply that there’s no hope for single young mothers who have decided to go through with unwanted pregnancy. I think it’s not going to shock teens as much as it will make other demographics generally uncomfortable. I read a magazine article in which Bristol said something along the lines of ‘if everyone knew what it was like to go through having a baby, they’d never have sex!’ which is just…hyperbole and utterly silly :P. We all get shown those videos in school, but it’s so foreign and far-fetched and sex is too appealing. I can see that they’re trying to make it relevant…but I think they’re missing the point; teens feel ten feet tall and like nothing can phase them with stuff like this — don’t try and tell them how scared they should be, tell them about how powerful they can be by picking up a condom.

    That’s my opinion, anyhow :).

    Good to hear about Marika, sounds like she’s getting an amazing second chance with parental units who can really listen to her. Not many people are lucky like that, I’m so proud of her too for seizing her opportunity with both hands. πŸ™‚

    • I agree. I’m really tired of the scare tactics. Lets just be real with our kids and support them. Honestly, if we tell them that having children will *ruin everything* what does that say to them about how we feel regarding THEM?

      Definitely agree with giving them power rather than stripping it away.

    • frogger414 says:

      I agree – I am currently 33w5d with my first and I have plenty of friends and coworkers try and tell me how they think I should be (yay unsolicited, uneducated advice!) My biggest pet peeve is when they use a similar line to “if everyone knew what it was like to go through having a baby, they’d never have sex!” – I mean I have one friend in particular that upon finding out that my husband and I want two children about two years apart, she went bolistic and was trying to tell me how hard it is and how I’ll regret that decision. Nevermind her situation is wayyyy different than mine and her kids are 4 years apart.

      I guess my point is that everyone has different experiences and reactions to situations and while one reaction may be traumatic or stressful, another reaction could be maturity and calm. IDK. We should focus on positive language in a campaign like that and like you said, encourage the use of protection and not use “scared” language.

    • admin says:

      When I first saw the ad, I honestly kind of liked it because I thought it was interesting. The “pause” campaign does say ‘pausing to get a condom’ as one of their mission statements… but I can also see where the crap is coming from, and the more I think about it the more I’m disappointed it missed the chances that it had. :-/

      And I agree with you on the point of the having baby thing. Teens are going to have sex. This is just a reality people, all people, have to accept. While it’s true not every single one will, those that have the opportunity are probably going to do it. Trying to scare them straight is not going to work because once they do it they’re immediately going to figure out, “Hey, this isn’t so bad…” – and they’re going to resent being told that turning 20 is magic and the scary stuff won’t affect them anymore. It’s the same thing with using drugs. I do not find any good in the “scary” campaigns.

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