Not Repeating The Cycle

People wonder why we don’t drink alcohol. Why there is no alcohol in my house and why we may take a sip or two of a wine cooler once a year. I’m not a prude. I’m not judgemental of those who drink socially. I’m not going to shun you if you have a little drink now and then.

The reason is simple. I don’t want to repeat the cycle of my childhood with my own daughter. I will not subject her to the trauma that I was afforded as a child.  I do my best not to call people out in my blog, because I do know people personally who read it. I have family and friends who know me outside the internet and will likely read it.

However, this time, the straw is broken. I am so fed up I can’t stand it. My little girl is playing happily in the livingroom where I am typing, my partner is asleep. The only way to vent this anger I have about to explode is to write it down. To share it with unsuspected internet followers.

For that, I apologize.

I will never understand why grown people find it FUN to get drunk. To get so wasted they don’t remember what happened. It’s so incredulous to me that grown people think it awesome to teach their teenagers that it’s ok to disrespect people and it’s ok to be violent. Especially when you are drunk, you just don’t know what you are doing, so it’s ok.

I will never understand why these grown people are parents. I suppose I shouldn’t say that, because if the grown people I am talking about were not parents, I would not be here. Yes, I am talking about my own parent. I am the product of alcoholism.

Growing up, I have learned, especially after having my own daughter, that our parents do the best they can. The baby doesn’t come out and hand you a parenting manual with their screaming first cries. Parents do the best they can with what they have. I get that. I give a little leeway for that.

Frankly, though, no child should have to hide under a bed with a pillow over their heads to muffle the sounds of glass breaking and screaming matches in the kitchen. No child should have to watch their parent dragged away in handcuffs – headed off to jail. No child should have to worry where their next meal may be coming from because their parent is too busy locked in another room drinking it up.

So, when people say that my daughter is at a disadvantage because she has two moms, I want to remind those people of my childhood. A child with two straight parents. A mom and a dad. I don’t ever claim that I had a worse childhood than anyone else. I don’t write this for pity. I write this for awareness. I write this to remind parents that their children should come first.

I understand addiction. I do. I was addicted to cigarettes. I am the first person to admit that I smoked throughout my ENTIRE 42 weeks of pregnancy. Demonize me if you must, I deserve it. I am so ashamed of those moments when I lit up a cigarette while my daughter was kicking in my womb. Thank goodness, she’s healthy and had no birth problems. I am still ashamed.

That addiction was a hard habit to kick. I have been smoke free for over a year now, so I know how hard it can be to stop something that has it’s claws in you. I also know how hard it is to make that decision to stop an addiction for the sake of your child. So, I don’t write this from a martyr’s standpoint. I don’t stand here and proclaim perfection.

Parenting is about decisions. It’s about sacrifice. I don’t care if you are a mom and a dad or a mom and a mama or a dad and a papa. It doesn’t matter your family dynamic. Children benefit from love and responsibility. Children benefit from support and encouragement. They benefit from parents who try their best and do what they feel is right.

Society says that children need to have a female and a male influence. I agree that children benefit from seeing gender roles that are set forth by society. I do not agree that they have to be a mom and a dad. I also don’t agree that children have to know the gender roles set up by society so that they can emulate them, because I don’t agree that children have to be what society wants them to be.

I got off on a tangent. What I mean is, children benefit from parents who teach them to love, respect, and encourage. They benefit from parents who show them acceptable ways to behave. They benefit from parents who care enough to put their needs before booze or addiction.

I’m so angry that I am 29 years old, and I am still affected by the parenting I was raised with. I am still crying – still having flashbacks of myself at 12 and 15. Then, just when I think it’s over, just when I think I am over it, something like this happens.

Something that makes me remember why I plan to teach my daughter about love, cause and effect, and learning from our mistakes. So many of the people I know, have never learned from their mistakes. That’s the biggest lesson of all.

I apologize, I am all over the place. My head is not quite here today. I just don’t understand how some people get so far off track. Anyway, thanks for being a sounding board for my rant.

Seeing Red For Gay Marriage

CAM00483I  have been sitting glued to my computer screen with live updates on ABC all day. I am in a constant state of nausea and nervousness and I hear the decisions won’t even be made until June. I’m sitting here wearing my red t-shirt, in near tears from the overwhelming sea of red that I find on my Facebook feed from supporters in my own family and friends.

Proposition 8 (commonly known as Prop 8) is before the United States Supreme Court today, and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) has its day tomorrow. I am on pins and needles, because these things seriously effect my family and it affects my daughter’s future.

The future of my child’s life is in the hands of someone else and it scares me to death. I am still overwhelmed by the different possibilities that may happen as a result of this monumental event.

I can only hope that it will go our way and we can be treated equal, finally. I am dreaming of a wedding. I am hoping for a marriage. I’m hoping to be treated like my family members, like my friends, like my co-workers.

It’s not about religion, it’s not about a GOD. It’s about human rights. It’s about real people, about the rights of my daughter. It’s about the stability of our family. It’s about dignity and about equality. It’s about loving thy neighbor. It’s about being compassionate.

It doesn’t matter your religious views. It doesn’t matter what you belief or don’t believe in religiously. It’s about what is right or wrong. It’s wrong to discriminate. It’s wrong to call me less of an American because of who I love. It’s wrong to tell my daughter her parents are less than normal. It’s wrong to pass judgement on another human being.

We all deserve to be treated equal. We all deserve to be loved. We all deserve to love one another.

Because I am so overwhelmed with this, I just don’t have the words to convey how much this impacts me. Instead, I have decided to let other people say it for me.

10 Ways DOMA Affects Families Like Mine

A Picture is Worth More Than Words

Equality Thoughts from my Straight Friend

How DOMA Hurts Real Families

And the one who said it the best today, was my very dear friend. I found this post on my Facebook wall, and I hope that he doesn’t mind that I stole it. It really puts all my thoughts and feeling into words I can’t really find.

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“This week, I PRAY for the US Supreme Court Justices. I PRAY that of those who are Christian, they look to their morality and Jesus’ teaching that LOVE knows no bounds and all should be treated with respect, dignity, and LOVE. 

For all of the Justices, I pray they will use their internal knowing of what is right and wrong; as well as the Constitution and the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS as a guide. I PRAY they will remember that their job is a legal one and should not be swayed simply because of a belief they hold religiously. They have a LEGAL job to do. It is only God’s decision who shall be judged upon their sins – NOT that of a government, court, or, dare I say, the people. 

My prayers are with the nine HUMANS who have to make a decision about what is LEGALLY and MORALLY right; NOT what is RELIGIOUSLY right. I hope ALL Americans can respect that even if a decision is handed down that doesn’t match your RELIGIOUS beliefs, it is NOT a cause for you to be upset. This isn’t a question of RELIGION. It’s a question of HUMANITY.” — G.A.

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So, with that, I put out my own hopes and dreams and I land them on the shoulders of 9 people. 9 people who can hand me equality or take it away. 9 people who can tell my daughter that she will be okay with her two mothers. 9 people who can say to the world, it’s time to stand up and treat our fellow Americans as one.

I’m no less and no more than you. My family is no less and no more than  you. I just want to be able to stand up and tell my daughter it’s okay to love and it’s okay to be who you are.