I’m Offended. And If My Offense Bothers You. Delete Me.

Here’s your warning.

I have officially lost my filter.

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My Facebook news feed has this article on display for me to see.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, whatever. But, let’s get real and stop thinking  you know what goes on in a world you know nothing about.

Frankly, as a gay woman, I’m offended. What Michael Sam represents IS something heroic to a lot of gay young men and women who think they are worthless. Who are told they aren’t going to amount  to anything. Who are told that the only way they can be seen as normal is to HIDE who they are.

You may think I exaggerate. You can think that’s not the time we still live in. But, you would be mistaken. Because you don’t live it.

Don’t say its not brave to stand up and be who you are, when in this society, it’s still unacceptable for me to get married in my own state. It is not appropriate to dismiss one person because he wants to be himself in the world. He’s a public figure, who doesn’t want to hide aspects of his life.

You don’t have to hide parts of yourself, for fear of ridicule, hateful comments and possible injury or death (depending on the person you come in contact with.)

They say we (ie: the gays) are all up in arms about our sexuality and wanting what we do in the bedroom to be no one’s business. That’s still true. What we do or what you do in the bedroom IS no one’s business.

But you need to separate what goes on in the bedroom from being gay.

BEING GAY isn’t about what I do in the bedroom.

Separate that shit for crying out loud.

BEING GAY is loving another woman for me. In today’s society, people are still getting called out and even killed for that. KILLED for being GAY. Their rights, my rights, are STILL being taken away.

But its YOU and those who make homophobic, hurtful comments who are being persecuted? Really? Let’s get real for a minute for fucks sake. It’s your religion that’s being attacked. Its your morals and your beliefs being attacked. Its your opinion being attacked.

Actually. Let me break it down for you.

It’s your asinine need to spread those hurtful, hateful comments that is being attacked. Feel however you want. Believe whatever you want. The minute you voice it, you are open for whatever backlash comes your way! Don’t pretend YOU are the victim when it reigns negativity down on you when you treat another human being like a second class person.

Would you like those comments said about you? Any of them? If they were about straight people, would you still say its ridiculous? Would you still say its “not that big of a deal”?

You can be ‘fine with gays’. You can say “whatever makes you happy, whatever” But, then supporting something like this article completely contradicts. It’s hurtful to people who ACTUALLY live in the world as a gay person.

Until it effects you, you don’t get the right to decide what’s actually hurtful to those of us who are effected by it!

  • Do you get glares when you walk down the street holding hands with your husband?
  • Do you have people ask if you are your child’s REAL mother?
  • Do you constantly have to explain to people why you wear a ring, but you aren’t actually married?

So, please let’s not get on the topic of what Michael Sam is doing isn’t brave. Did he – perhaps – come out on National TV? So what. What if he did. That’s a brave thing to do, in a world where there are still people out there who want him stoned to death. People who stand out – loud and proud and proclaim judgement on him, until they get all butt hurt when they are called out for being the bigot they are.

Let’s stop for a moment and really look at what it says about you as a person when you say one thing and then support another. Look I’m all for freedom of speech. I’m all for your own damn opinion. I’m also all for the consequences that come with having backlash from an unfavorable opinion.

If you say something unfavorable, hypocritical, racist, homophobic, sexist, whatever – you know you are going to offend someone. Don’t fucking get all up in arms and pretend YOU are the victim, when you said the things you said, knowing and most likely, with the clear intention of offending and hurting someone.

I am one who can generally, agree to disagree. You love God? Cool, I don’t, but that’s no biggie. You breastfeed your kid til their three? I think it’s a little strange, but more power to ya! You voted against ACA? I don’t understand why free birth control is a bad thing, but stand proud, sir!

Look, I’m not being sarcastic. But, I also go out of my way to think about the people who are reading and having to react to the things I put out in the world. I don’t intentionally put it out to hurt someone, to judge someone.

Until today. Damnit. Today I don’t care what you think. I don’t care who’s reading and I don’t care if you are offended. Be offended.

If you are offended, I am offended by you.

You don’t like what Michael Sam is doing. That’s fine. Don’t attack his character. Don’t attack his motives. Don’t discount the fact that to a lot of people – an ENTIRE group of people, this is a real thing. AND it’s a big deal.

But to people who have all rights afforded to them, taking them for granted – and don’t think about other people’s rights being violated, with-held and ridiculed – its just another day in the NFL. Well, I don’t like football. I don’t care about football. Its not about football. It’s about the exposure that this brings to people like me.

To families like MINE. Its a very real BIG DEAL.

To the gay youth, to those who feel like they aren’t going to amount to anything if anyone finds out their gay.

 

The normalcy, the real idea that someday, this won’t need to be a media spectacle.

You know, I’m also annoyed that Michael Sam’s story has become a spectacle. But frankly, its not HIS fault. Its our society’s fault that this has been an issue in the first place – so when something positive comes of it, it blows up into a media circus.

Is the circus ok? No! I don’t like it anymore than anyone else.

But it’s not about Michael Sam’s sex life. It’s about the fact that he is the FIRST man in the NFL to say, “Hey, this is who I am. I love a man and we have a life together. That’s a part of me.”

Its not flaunting it, it’s not making a big deal. It’s sharing a part of his life. Being GAY isn’t about sex. Its about who you love and how you love. Period. When he’s interviewed about his hobbies and his training and his family – his partner, his love is going to come up. Why not be up front about it?! Instead people are asking him to hide a very large part of who he is. A very large part of his life.

He’s just being who he is. He’s being normal and the media took it to a much higher place. But don’t discount the fact that this is big news. This is an acceptance that hasn’t been seen before in the NFL – and in a community where the people are shunned and not accepted, it is a VERY big DEAL.

So, yes. I’m offended. Not because you support someone’s right to freedom of speech. I’m offended because you support people’s hurtful comments that, while you may not think effect me, and only effect some gay black man in the NFL.

It very much effects me. Maybe you didn’t know. Now you do.

If you think this post is about you, well , it probably is.

If you have something to say about any of it, say it to me, instead of hiding behind the internet and slamming some man you don’t even know!

Why I’m No Longer In A Mom’s Group

In previous posts I mentioned that I had joined a mom’s group and it was good for me, with my anxiety disorder and my fear of new people and places. It was good for Peyton’s social skills and getting her out and about. I really had high hopes for this working out. I slowly began to really come to the conclusion that in the end, I’m not cut out to be “that mom”.

What do I mean by “that mom”?

The mom who judges every little parenting choice of someone else. The mom who knows exactly the right way to parent YOUR child. Somehow, the manual to your kid popped out of her vagina with her kid. Apparently, you missed the memo, you are doing it all wrong. It’s right here in Chapter Six of “Raising Punky 101”. It’s the mom who thinks that if you aren’t parenting your kid the way they do, you are wrong, your kid will be a sociopath. The mom who is so very nice to your face, despite the obvious differences in opinion, but in a public internet forum, bashes your choices in a passive-aggressive way.

I’m not good at being that mom. And, apparently, I’m even worse at dealing with that mom.

You know, it’s not even that these comments are being personally directed at me. A lot of times, it’s just a general statement about one parenting choice or another. The problem is, it’s hurtful and I want so badly to say something, but instead, I hold my tongue. I’m really not the type to bite my tongue for very long. I’m really not very good at it.

It’s not even that these comments were directly solely at me and in some cases at me at all.

When you go out with a group of moms to relax and have a good time, I notice that all the ladies have a glass or two of wine or something related (unless breastfeeding of course). When one mom thinks it’s ok to call another one a “lush”, joking or not, it hurts people’s feelings and embarrasses people. Why say things like that? Because women are the best as making a ‘joke’ out of something they truly feel to soften the blow and not make themselves look bad.

Articles about car seats really bother the shit out of me. But, I don’t really say anything anymore. Not since I was basically told I was a bad mother (in not so many words) because we followed our pediatrician’s recommendations for Punky and turned her front facing when she turned 12 months old. She’s bigger for her age and frankly, she screamed in the car the entire time we were in there while she was rear-facing. I was happy to turn her ’round.

When I explained this as my experience and my opinion (not once mentioning anything about anyone who didn’t do this) I was slapped with a comment about how I should get a different pediatrician. And another mother, an expert in car seat safety, posted a video about what will happen to my daughter in an accident. I’m sure it’s all well meaning, but at the end of the day, hurtful and just another way to make a new mother feel crappy about herself.

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Let’s not take into consideration that I have an anxiety disorder. My eagerness to turn Punky around had more to do with my anxiety than anything else. When she was rear-facing, I couldn’t see her. I’m forgetful. Seriously. I couldn’t stop imagining that I would be one of those moms who left her in the car on a hot day. Even now, front-facing, I imagine my reaction to finding her dead in the back seat because I forgot about her back there for one reason or another. It’s part of my anxiety disorder, I picture these things the entire time we are in the car with Punky in the back seat.

During posts of seemingly support seeking mothers, especially those with small children who won’t sleep, the claws came out all the time. So, a mother posts about how she’s really having a hard time with the lack of sleep and looking for suggestions. The first time I posted that we used the cry it out method and how we did it and why and how it worked for us. The response I got from the mother was this: “With all due respect, crying it out is NOT an option in our home.” Well, excuse me for giving you a suggestion.

The comments continued with things like, “It’s unnatural for a mother to feel fine allowing her child to cry and not do anything.” “I can’t imagine leaving my child in her room alone and scared.”

These comments weren’t specifically directed at me, but I felt the sting. Wow. I’m a shitty mom because I let Punky cry herself to sleep one night. Let’s not take into consideration that both K and I were exhausted and really ready to shake this baby at the time. But excuse me, ladies, you don’t get to worry about your own well-being. Again, we took recommendations from our pediatrician to put her in her own room and let her cry it out. Not only for her health and need to get more sleep, but our sanity.

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Guess what, no one thought to take into consideration that I was sitting outside her door the entire time she was crying, tears streaming down my own face. K had to practically sit on me, because we knew it was best for Punky and best for our relationship and wellbeing. It was the hardest night of my life. Yet, Punky is the best sleeper I have ever met, mothers are astonished that she goes to sleep at 8:30PM and doesn’t wake up until at least 9:30 or 10AM. I get surprised faces when I tell people that she loves taking naps and we rarely have a fight when it is time as she will clearly say “Nap” and head to her room, when she is tired and usually right around the same predictable time.

But, screw me. I shouldn’t have allowed her to cry it out for one time and apparently, I’m unnatural and not a great mother for allowing her to be independant.

Don’t get me started on vaccinations. I will be real honest here. Do I think it’s weird that there are people who don’t vaccinate their kids? Honestly. I do. But, I have never said anything to these mothers. They are making their own choices and they are doing what they feel is right for their religious beliefs or their family or whatever.

So, why is it that I hear one of my good friends was told she was uneducated and ignorant for vaccinating her kid? Seriously? Someone said that. See that’s the case of the comments not being directed at me, but I have a few choice words I could say in response to that hurtful and highly offensive comment. But, I bite my tongue, instead of defend my friend’s choice, defend my choice. Because if she’s uneducated and ignorant for vaccinating her kid, then shit, so am I. Awesome, at this point, I’m really doing a great parenting job according to these moms.

Other things I have felt while in this group:

  • If you are on the computer and not constantly talking to your kid, you are bad mother and doing your kid a disservice. (Let’s forget that my second job is online, that I am actually making money for my family, while on this computer.)

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  • If you aren’t still breastfeeding your child after a year old, you are not supermom. (Let’s not mention that Punky couldn’t latch and I hated pumping because it caused me mastitis and my breasts were constantly on fire or in pain)
  • If you let your child watch TV, you will rot their brain and toddlers just don’t benefit at all by watching anything that is currently on TV. (Never mind the fact that Punky has learned how to speak from conversations with Dora and learned to jump, clap, and wave from the GiggleBellies).2013-06-29 05.09.28
  • You don’t feed your kid organic food? Bad Mom! (Except, jesus, organic food is expensive and we are living paycheck to paycheck. But, then, you use cloth diapers so you don’t have to worry about not having diapers for your kid. Another strike against me, whoops.) Of course, I suppose I could just get on the cloth diaper bandwagon, except we live in an apartment and don’t have a washer and dryer and can’t afford to wash our clothes as often as I would like, let alone shitty diapers. But, then again, I’m sure these moms just think we shouldn’t have a kid until we are financially stable enough to do this very important things that cost more money.

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  • One meetup I proposed to take the kids to the city hall steps to play in the fountains. I posted a picture of Punky, MY DAUGHTER, playing in the fountains. One of the comments I got was “I don’t know if that’s safe for my child.” For real? So, I suggested an activity that I have done with my own child, but it’s not safe for other people’s children. Way to basically say that I’m putting my kid in a dangerous situation and how dare I put yours in the same boat.

The last straw was about the debate on stay at home moms and working moms. All the instances above, I have pretty much not gotten involved, not since the crying it out and car seat instance. Because if I get involved, I’m likely to get banned and I really did like getting to know some of these ladies and we are still friends on Facebook. So, I kept my mouth shut and didn’t say anything.

Then a post about how being a stay at home mom was so much harder than a working mother. Working mothers had it easy because they didn’t have to change diapers and they didn’t have to deal with the constant tantrums and nap fighting and the exhaustion.

Excuse me?

I know how hard it is to be a stay at home mom, I live with one. I also know how hard it is to be a working mother, I am one! Each one of us has a different kind of challenge and hard work in different areas, but the challenges weigh the same. So, while I figured this mom was just trying to get some support for her own challenges, but she took the opportunity to shoot down working mothers in the process.

It brings me to tears every freaking day when I lay her down for her afternoon nap, knowing that I won’t see her again until morning when she wakes up. It is hard to come home for lunch, because she’s awake and when I leave, she thinks she’s coming too. When I shut the door and she can’t come, I can hear her disappointment plain as day in her cry through the door.

To give K a break, she gets to sleep in and I get up early with Punky and take her places before work. Am I exhausted? You bet your ass I am. But, I am helping my partner, the stay at home mom, and I am finding the only time I can get with my kid while I put food in her belly by working and making a life for her.

Whether she did it intentionally or not, I’m not sure. I don’t think she did. However, when someone pointed it out that her comments might be hurtful to working mothers, she got defensive and basically said she didn’t know why her comments could be construed as unfair.

That’s what broke my spirit. If you say things unintentionally that hurt someone’s feelings. How about we just acknowledge that perhaps you hadn’t thought about how things would be perceived.

I promptly left the group. Simply because if I said what I wanted to say on the forum, I’d make ladies cry. So, instead I post it here.

With my anxiety disorder, I take medication damnit, to regulate my mood and my anxiety, this kind of environment doesn’t sit well with me and it makes it very hard for me to function. As much as I don’t want to admit it, I’m certain I suffered from a small case of postpartum after having Punky and I already felt like a shitty mom, I don’t need anyone to help me think that about myself.

None of us need to have that in our lives. We are all mothers, doing the best we can for our kids.

And frankly, children learn from their parents, mothers in particular. Children teach their friends their habits. I’m not interested in bringing Punky into that kind of learning.

So, while I think that the mom’s group was beneficial for making a few great friends, I am not cut out to hold my tongue anymore about unfeeling comments made about other people’s choices and debates and Mommy Wars. I’m just not built to withstand the drama.