All women have an inclination to act like raging cunts towards other women. It’s probably buried somewhere deep in our DNA. I’m sure it all started in the caveman days when us women had to beat out all the other ladies to land a man. In those days our only option for survival was connecting with a mate who would provide us shelter, food and the ability to create life. Over the the course of human existence, women evolved into creatures that could provide for themselves.
We no longer needed to marry someone to put food on the table or a roof over our head. Furthermore, society has developed in such a way that we can now have children on our own if we so choose. High fives all around. I’m personally thankful that I live in the time of our Universe’s story that allows me so much control over my own life and fulfillment.
But my burning question is how we as women have developed into such nasty human beings when we have the most power and control than any other time in our history.
We all complain about it. I don’t think I have yet to hear one friend or close acquaintance of mine talk about how the female sex isn’t a bunch of mean bitches. Why complain about it if you’re going to just keep feeding the cycle? You want other women to understand you, to accept you, to have your back and always be loyal…well you’re going to get what you give. You think that the continual trash-talk and whispers and ignorant bullshit you spew because of your insecurities go unnoticed? I can assure you doll, they don’t.
Because while you are running your mouth about that woman who is supposed to be your friend or the stranger on the street or even that girl you barely know that you “know you just don’t like” or passive-aggressively implying things on facebook…whatever vehicle you choose, people notice. They may sit there and seem like they are agreeing with you but inside they are thinking, “Fuck, if she talks this way about her, I can only imagine what she says about me.” Don’t think the men in your life don’t notice either. Any interview I’ve ever done asking men about women, integrity and loyalty when it comes to being a female is high on the list. In the back of their minds they see you tearing others down and beating your chest to make yourself look better and it chips away at the image they have of you. You seem less and less attractive, they feel less and less connected to you and trust starts to dissipate.
No one likes being talked about, criticized, judged or thrown into the lion’s den of back stabbing insults…so why do you do it? Is that how you want to be treated? I have learned that what people say about others is really the way they feel about themselves, because the truth of the matter is, you have no idea what is going on in a persons life. You have no idea the battles they may be facing or the guilt they have for any of their mistakes. Because honey, we all fucking make them. It’s the ones that learn from those mistakes and choose to grow into a better person in light of those mistakes that make a real woman. If you have a problem with someone, go to them. It says nothing but negative things about your character if you’re going to talk to every other person about a conflict with someone other than the person the conflict is with.
You are not perfect, I am not perfect and we all have wounds we are trying to heal from but I have no desire to put time and effort into someone that has nothing to offer a conversation other than trash talking someone else. Furthermore, there is nothing enriching and nourishing about someone who refuses to recognize their own mistakes and continue a path of emotional destruction. In the all popular saying, “I ain’t got time for that”. You can only control your own actions and reactions to other people’s actions.
We all come to a time in life, usually our late 20s, where relationships start to become clear. We realize that the true test of friendship lies in the moments of need and support, not in whether or not you show up to a party, not whether or not you remember to send someone a Christmas card and sure as hell not the a large cumulative amount of time spent with each other. I remember the day I woke up in the hospital, at the lowest point of my life, and who was there in that room with me. I remember the tears that were cried, the words that were said and being so thankful that I was lucky enough to have women in my life to sit next to me and literally hold me through the hardest and darkest of my days. That’s what matters and they know how important loyalty and integrity is in a friendship. Once its broken, you never get it back.
It’s taken some time and heartache to get to an understanding of what is most important to me in friendships but here are the mandatory five traits for me:
1. The Thelma to my Louise (Thanks BFF) or in true Bad Boys style “We ride together, we die together” mentality. Friends that have this criteria stand next to you no matter what. There may be times they don’t necessarily agree with you, but they sure as hell aren’t going to allow you to make that dumb mistake alone.
2. You are each others bulldogs. No matter what someone says about your friend or about you, you stick up for each other.
3. You’ve been through shit together. Whether it’s a death in one or the other’s family, a divorce or an illness, you’ve seen each other at really terrible moments and done the best you can on helping them get through it.
4. You fight. You piss each other off. You have on more than one occasion called that person a bitch. It’s because you love them so deeply that you can be real.
5. No amount of distance or busyness of life takes away from the friendship. There’s a calm understanding and no expectations. You allow each other to be each other.
So what do you want in a friendship? What is the type of woman you really want to be? You become a product of your environment, so choose wisely.
There are days that I wish I could have had just one mother-daughter conversation with my mom.
She left me and my sisters when I was five because she didn’t “want” us. The last memories I have of her involve red lipstick, cocaine and my little feet in her black stilettos.
My mother was beautiful. Her voice, her long dark hair, the clothes she wore. I would stand and stare in amazement when she’d perch herself up on the bathroom vanity and put on her makeup. And every time I sit in my own sink and pluck my eyebrows, I think of her. Sometimes I smile, but most times I cry. I cry because I wish I didn’t know what it felt like to love my mother and feel the pain of losing her. It’s a pain that just won’t ever go away.
The day my dad told me my mother got on airplane and wouldn’t be coming home was the day that grass and I became good friends. I spent hours laying in it, scanning the sky for airplanes, hoping my dad was wrong. I so desperately needed him to be wrong. I needed my mom. I was five and obsessed with Barbie doll dream houses and playing princess and prancing around the living room in my pink poodle skirt while she watched and smiled. I needed her feminine presence and the comfort and security of her arms the first time I experienced heartbreak. I needed her to tell me I was beautiful, smart and that she was proud of me. I needed her out in the audience at every talent show, choir concert and on the sidelines of every soccer game. I needed her to teach me how to be a good friend, and how to shop without anxiety and socially gossip without wanting to punch people in the face. I needed her to teach me how to date, how to deal with emotion instead of ignoring it like my dad. I needed her to do my hair for my proms and tell me that white eyeliner wasn’t a good idea. I needed her to mother my sisters so I didn’t have to fill her shoes. I needed her to be my ally in life, the woman that would have my back no matter what. I needed her to be my voice of reason and wisdom when I said “yes” to the man I knew I should not have married. I needed her comforting and consoling arms when I asked for a divorce and my life turned upside down. I needed her to be next to me when I woke up in the hospital after trying to take my own life. I need her right now, just to talk to. I didn’t need this hole in my heart and life.
Growing up, my mother was the unspoken and broken piece to my family’s puzzle. If she was brought up, it was always bad things: the drinking, the drugs, her going away for days and leaving my dad alone with three babies, the other men. It hurt to hear those words. Gradually I accepted she was a bad person and I shouldn’t have any desire to want her in my life. I began to feel incredibly guilty for it and somehow believed it was a smack in my dads face. I asked him once if she ever has tried contacting us.
Dad, don’t ever lie to me again.
Turns out my mom sent me a birthday card every year and said some of those things I desperately needed to hear. But I never saw them. Not until my senior year of high school when I found all those cards and her phone number.
Dad, I love you and you are my hero, but you keeping my mother from me is the reason I don’t trust people. I don’t care that she is mentally unhealthy and chose to walk out on us, you should have told me the truth. However, I know you did it to protect us and I’ve tried to focus on that fact. I just wish you would have been honest and allowed me the courtesy to know what the fuck was really going on. And maybe one day I will be able to say this to your face and forgive you. But right now, at 28, I still pretend “I’m over it”. And I do it strictly for you. I see the look in your eyes when something big has ever happened in my life, things that she should have been there for. I know you don’t blame me for keeping my step-mother at a distance. I know how much guilt you feel and how much you wish you would have done things differently. And maybe that’s why I don’t have it in me to tell you that you broke your little girls heart. Because I know it would devastate you. I love you and I have learned that there are some things better left unsaid, you taught me that.
I’ll never forget sitting in my dads closet, staring down at phone records with a Nevada number strewn across the page. My heart was pounding out of my chest. I gripped the piece of paper with white knuckles and glanced down at the birthday cards scattered across the carpet. Fuck this. I’ve spent too long not knowing. So I called the number. The voice on the other line? My half-brother. He was just as completely shocked and overwhelmed as I was. How in the hell do you have a conversation with a sibling you knew nothing of? Part of me regrets making that phone call. Because that phone call allowed me to look my mother in the eyes and listen to her tell me why she left.
How do you stop “wanting” your daughters? Rhonda, please tell me how you can sleep at night. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your honesty and you have no idea the courage it took for me to mouth that question when I knew what the answer would be. Though I really am better because of the pain, it still sucks hearing your own mother tell you that you aren’t good enough for her to stick around and love.
That exchange between us changed my life forever. In that moment I knew the woman I didn’t want to be, the mother I would never permit myself to become and the human being that I would desperately strive to be the complete opposite of. In that moment I realized I had to start growing up without your ghost by my side.
10 years have passed since then and the brokenness you brought upon me is still there. It will never go away but it’s just the hand I was dealt. I refuse to be crippled by your absence and allow your bad choices and negative energy to take away my happiness. That doesn’t mean I don’t have sorrow in my heart and wish you were around to teach me how to be a woman. It just means that I’m painfully aware of my demons and weaknesses as a person.
Because at 28 I have realized I am my father’s daughter. I have listened to romantic partners tell me “I’m cold” and “more like a dude” and “guarded” and “un-emotional”. I have sabotaged healthy relationships because I am so used to chaos and pain in personal relationships that the drama-free ones feel wrong. I keep my circle of friends and people I’d give my life up for as small as humanly possible. Because you taught me that you can lose the things you love more than anything in one second and the instance someone breaks your trust, it never returns no matter how bad you want it to. You also taught me how reliance in yourself is the only thing that matters. People are going to let you down, they are going to leave you when you want them to stay and they are going to cut you deep and say things like “I don’t want you”. So you taught me to be strong, to keep on going even when my heart is hanging out of my chest and somehow manage to still feel warmth and joy. You’d be really proud of me.
My life is not perfect, believe me and I really do suck at being a girl but I’m working on it. And that’s all I can really do. I have hope that more time goes by, the less blame I will put on you and perhaps just see you as a hurting person that made choices that probably weren’t the best. I have hope that someday I’m going to have my own little girl and she’ll know how beautiful, smart and powerful she is. She’ll learn it through love instead of through pain. But when the pain does come, she’ll know that everything in the end is going to turn out alright.
Despite you not being here, I feel like I’m figuring it out though. All the good has been worth all the bad. Somehow, through everything, I’m alive with air in my lungs and I want so much goodness for others. And with every fiber in me, I know that’s nothing other than a gift.
So perhaps, mom, you’ve been the biggest lesson in life for me thus far. A lesson that seems to keep popping up and transforming the way I look at the world. No longer am I a scared and sad little girl with delusional eyes fixed towards the sky. No. I’ve planted my feet on the ground as firmly as I can and grasped the notion that whatever happens in life, I will undoubtedly be ok. Because I’ve got the most important person in this world looking out for me. Me.
In kindergarten I was too pre-occupied with smelling rubber cement and learning how to write “MER” in blue crayon all over my crafts to pay attention to boys. And now, I feel like I have somehow summed up a lot of questions about the things that go on in my mind sometimes with the beginning of this post…
When I got to first grade the only thing I remember putting a lot of energy into was figuring out what I wanted to bring to show and tell for the week. Turns out, a roomful of 7- year-olds in the early 90’s enjoy things like power rangers, slap bracelets and the newest flavor of lip-smackers. NOT dead animal skins from my dads hunting days. However, I did have one boy whisper to me on the playground that he liked my raccoon hat and that I was weird. I always tried to sit on the opposite end of the carpet as him from that point on.
In second grade boys angered me. Mostly because poking fun at my name became one of the few communicative vehicles I would experience at the age of 8. No worries though. My sisters and I had no problem beating the crap out of each other to resolve conflict; I just applied the same survival instincts to Travis Johnson. I will never forget chasing him under the monkey bars, pushing him down on the ground and punching him. I’m sure he never will either. Though it stopped the insults, it also sparked a very juvenile attraction. Who knew beating up a boy would make him fall in love. He started leaving me granola bars in my desk on a weekly basis and then collected every piece of banana laffy-taffy he could find and gave them to me on the last day of school. It seemed the more I ignored him, the more he tried to get my attention.
Then third grade rolled around and I found myself with a training bra, a love of Snoop Dogg and several major crushes. Thanks to my incredibly hunky gym teacher, Mr. Webb, at 9-years-old I discovered my attraction to height and the way to my heart: parachute cat and mouse. I still don’t think I’ve ever experienced as much joy as I did on the days when he’d get that huge rainbow-colored parachute out and me and my classmates would chase each other around. I was a small, cunning and fast little thing back in those days and I held the record for the longest time it took me to be caught. I was extremely proud of this, but terribly arrogant as well. One day Jonathan, a kid with a buzz cut, glasses and obsession with striped shirts picked me to be the mouse. I stood up, threw my shoulders back, smiled and dove under the parachute when the whistle blew. BAM. in less than 15 seconds Jonathan caught me. I was piiiiiiissssssssssed. I think it took me the rest of the school week just to get over the shock of losing my God status in cat and mouse.
After that, Jonathan started writing me notes. And giving me his honey butter at lunch. And sitting next to me during class reading time. And telling me I could copy his math homework. And using my name in every game of M.A.S.H.T. And staring at me in choir. There were days that I liked the attention, but most days I was severely annoyed. In the beginning I thought I could just ignore him, however it was the start of a new school year and I knew I couldn’t endure months of the suffocation. So, I pretended to have a crush on another boy in our class, Jeremiah. Another kid with a buzz cut, glasses and love of stripes. I thought maybe Jonathan would stop bothering me if he saw my attention diverted somewhere other than correcting everyone’s spelling.
Oh Mercedes, you are so very dumb. Pretending to like a boy is bad karma. Because you know what happens? Instead of the boy running from you as most boys do when you show interest without a chase, this one acted like he got a hold of a handle of love potion No. 9. Add the element of competitions: Now I had two nerds following me around, trying to out-do the other and win my affection; I was in over my head. I tried going to my best friends for help, but they didn’t share my worries. Nope. They were actually cultivating relationships. Holding hands, going to co-ed birthday parties and belting out the lyrics to Boyz II Men break-up songs because of legit romantic woes. My only source of advice were the middle schoolers on the bus ride home. Sigh…though I appreciate the clarification of the term “tonsil hockey”, they gave me shit for actual advice. I think they just liked the fact that I willingly subjected myself to their games of truth or dare. FYI: Blue pixie sticks are the worst to snort and there is nothing attractive about looking like you just snorted smurf cocaine. I am also terrified of fake eyeballs due to witnessing one roll down the aisle of the bus.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. I had one option: write these boys a letter. I came home one day after school, sat down with my Lisa Frank stationary and laid it out.
I play a lot of softball and I don’t see myself ever asking you to come to a game. Also, my dad told me I can’t date until I’m 18 and I can’t shave my legs until I’m 15 and I can’t wear make-up until I go to middle school. You also cried when the dogs died in where the red fern grows and spelled chlorophyll wrong on the test I graded. I’m sorry.
I have two sisters that are twins. You have a brother and he’s your twin. I’m really mad at you for taking my feliz navidad solo at Christmas when I got strep throat. I’m sorry.
And there you have it. Classic “it’s me not you”. Actually, not really. But, I eventually got to that point.
5th and 6th grade were pretty non-eventful years. But then 7th grade hit and from that point on, I began honing my friendzoning skills. I took more of a humble approach during that time and pretty much tried to make myself look like a crazy person to get boys to leave me alone. This backfired when the boys that I really did like heard about some of the retarded crap that came out of my mouth. Oh well, their loss. However, I would like to personally apologize to Justin G. I’m sorry I dishonestly friend-zoned you with the explanation of you being “too nice” for me. Truth is, you were too nice, but Nick H. bought me a rose and sang me a song on our field trip to the Fox Theater and I know you know my weakness for music and flowers.
Through the years I have learned that honesty is the best policy and the sooner you make the shift, the better it is for both parties. But the most important of all, is combining the honesty and timing with finesse. Boys oddly have feelings too and we need to try to be as respectful as we can while remaining assertive enough for them to get the picture. Unless they are a douche-bag and say things like “Then why did you come over to my house” after you turned them down repeatedly for sex. Then you just tell them straight to their faces that they are disrespectful jerks.
I quit drinking.
I heard somewhere the toxins in alcohol literally sit in your spinal cavity. They lounge around, crocheting and gossiping and then 7 days later they leave. That fact gave me the willies.
Also, I’m sorta doing a whole mind, body and soul reset, so I figured saying goodbye to alcohol would be a starter.
Now, just a little disclaimer. By no means did I have a problem. However, I was either enjoying a glass of wine, mixed drink or tasty craft beer on a daily basis which resulted in me feeling like crap most days. Some nights it would even affect my slumber.
So I just stopped. It’s been 5 days. I feel better. It’s been easy to keep myself busy and pass on meeting friends for a drink. But, opening day is Monday, which means the start of a season of baseball and expected beer drinking. This will be a test. I think I’m up for the challenge though.
How about you? Have you ever just stopped drinking for one reason or another? How long did you last? How difficult was it?
The title of this post really has nothing to do with the content…it’s just a catchy little phrase I text-ed to my friend when a random stranger told me I looked like Nikki Minaj.
You haven’t seen me in almost two months. Looking back, I can’t even begin to tell you precisely where I was all that time. Oh wait, it’s coming to me…wait for it…I was dreaming big, taking on way too much and straight up floundering. But, the biggest consumer of my time had to be that I WAS IN A RELATIONSHIP.
Duration: Jan 3 , 2013 – March 25, 2013
Premise: Long distance
Who did the breaking: Moi.
Reason for breakup: In his words: “We have very different personalities and perceptions of the world that lead us to repeated conflict.” In my words: “There really isn’t that much importance to why things happened, it’s just that they did.”
I don’t know if he reads my blog. I know at one point in time he said, “I don’t want to read your blog. I wouldn’t want to see something written about me.” However, all humans are curious and sometimes we torture ourselves, especially after break-ups. So D, if you’re reading this, I’ll refrain from detailing our story out of respect for your feelings.
Sigh. I’m not proud of what I did next. Actually it was what I did about 12 hours later. After I hung up the phone, I drove around for an hour. My mind was blank, my body numb and I couldn’t have produced tears if I thought about 1,000 dead puppies. I ended up at a bar with one of my best friends and drank. I drank some more. I scraped my knee from a piggy-back ride gone wrong. I sang karaoke and drank some more. I nonchalantly announced the end of my relationship. I came up with wild ideas, said some really crazy things and avoided the very emotions that were bubbling just under the surface. I was doing my avoidance dance.
I woke up the next morning hung over, completely paralyzed by anger and seriously losing my shit. I’ve never been one to cry over a breakup. Once it’s over, it’s over. Because I know that I did everything in my power to make it work and by the time it gets around to me pulling the plug, I see it as the last “transaction” that needs to take place. How cold, I know. But the morning after the breakup, I woke up feeling things that I had not felt since last year and everything I went through with DB.
And that’s where I tell you the thing I did that I’m not proud of. I called DB. I called him and spewed so much hate and anger. I told him because of what he did to me, he’s ruined it for any guy that may be worth investing in. I told him he truly was the only person I could honestly say I hated. It was terrible. It didn’t feel good to me because I knew I was only feeding his narcissism. As predicted, he said, “There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about what I did to you. You have know idea what it’s done to me. I’m still not over you.” Engage anger round #2. The very things he was saying to me in that moment are the things he was saying to his ex when he was with me. And it made me feel complete and utter sorrow for the woman he’s in a relationship right now. Some days, I feel like contacting her and forwarding her all of the texts he’s sent me, but then I wonder what that would do to her. On one hand, I wish desperately someone would have done that for me but on the other, their relationship is none of my business. I don’t want to ruin anyone’s life. However, I’m human and he is the one person that I would like nothing more than to get revenge on through karma. It is clear to me that I still have some healing to do.
Furthermore, I know the anger I hold really isn’t towards him. It’s towards myself. I know that my entire life I’ve made poor relationship choices. Those choices have hindered me from truly being me. I lose myself in relationships. The reasons for getting into them have gone against my core values and morals at times, but I still have chosen to leap. I haven’t been single or unattached to another person since I was 16 years old. Seeing that in written word is nauseating. It’s always been Mercedes + 1. I haven’t taken the time to cultivate me. Take all of my extra time and give it to myself. I’ve been on the brink of going after certain dreams, but then a guy comes along and those dreams slowly start to dissipate. I must break the cycle.
When I hung up the phone, I bawled my eyes out. I pleaded with the universe to men in black me and make me forget the things that happened in that relationship. It made me despise the word “love” because the only person I truly felt it with was him. I was married for almost 5 years and never felt that with my ex-husband. I was more upset about my dog dying in 2010 than I was about the end of my marriage. It makes me feel like a horrible person. It makes me feel that I must have something so incredibly screwed up in my brain and heart that I could fall in love so deeply with someone who treated me like complete shit, but continually feel uncomfortable and guarded in relationships that are healthy (just not the right ones).
On top of all this emotional turmoil, my endometriosis has come back.
So I have two choices at this point: Sink or swim. Up until this morning, I felt like I was indeed sinking. I allowed myself to break with the weight of my love life, physical issues and career discontent. But the thing about me is, I posses a shit ton of strength. There are times that it’s literally impossible to manifest that strength, but it’s those times that I realize the cracks and world falling in HAS to happen so I’m forced to make a change.
The fact of the matter is: Pain exists to tell you that something is wrong. It is your internal barometer and compass in life. Pain is anything but bad. It may be uncomfortable, but it must occur to experience joy and happiness. So I’m listening to myself. I’m choosing to not do what I have always done, because I sure as heck don’t want what I have always received, from myself and others.