The Buffy

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My life is pretty dull. I play with a toddler, watch a lot of Yo Gabba Gabba and experiment with the crock pot. I have no bed time and I find humor in Laffy Taffy jokes. Conan O'Brien is my anti-drug.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The selfie game

I had a startling moment of clarity yesterday - image is the most important thing, no matter the outcome. We all do it. We portray ourselves as devil-may-care or the martyr or as the perfect parent or as the fashion accessory parent. This doesn't mean I don't do it too. I'm horrified at the idea that people will think I don't care enough, or that I'm an unfit parent. Publicly admitting mulling over the ramifications of suicide? That puts a bullseye on your back, after the respectful time allotment has passed. "It's been three weeks or so. Okay, she's fine." I've never experienced so many odd side glances at myself in my life. Before that, I publicly talked about my body, and my body image. I've had people suggest I maybe tone up before being so candid - so I stopped talking about my self-described successes and downfalls of my bodyfat percentage.

The point of this is that I ostracized myself yesterday and I ostracized myself a month ago and I'll most likely do it again. And again. I tried to get deep and talk about a bigger picture thing, tried to talk about something I didn't expect to affect my family. Especially not now; especially not at this age level. I had **multiple** people tell me or message that kids are kids. I shouldn't be so open with my blog. I'm being so over-dramatic. And so the next worry is, "Does the world think I'm just creating drama when there is none? Does the world think I'm an unfit parent because I didn't pay closer attention to what was taking place? Do they think I'm unfit because I stepped in? I corrected other peoples' kids; I corrected my own kid? I may have portrayed another parent as unfit because actions took place they weren't aware of. Am I unfit because kids were unfairly awful to each other in my own home without me being aware of it? Am I wrong in taking my child out of the situation? Should I have left her to fight her own batttles? Should I have caused a scene?" It truly never ends.

We as a human race cannot live like this! It's exhausting to constantly tiptoe around to play meek or overplay a role of carelessness or scrub our home because guests and pretend it's the natural state or suck in our stomachs and stick out our chest or anything else, solely to project an image.

I haven't been super social on Facebook lately, but it was suggested I turn it off for a week for the sake of my family. So that I can be a mom instead of a worrywart. Am I still on Instagram? Um, YES. I clearly have to still put up bi-weekly images of myself with the perfect chin position and teethy smile.

But the social comparisons, the worrying, the fear of being an outcast, the pride of a friends list number, the perfect profile picture, blah blah blah... I'm done.

...Clearly for only a week though. I'm not some kind of monster!



Sunday, May 21, 2017

The ongoing b-word ((updated))

*****I was informed by a mother involved, my daughter has previously been the bully. She has been the aggressive child along with some others, and that is not okay in the slightest. I will be going to her school today in a few moments to discuss this further with her, and I will do my damnedest to make sure she never has the nerve to try it again. I'm stating this publicly because I do not want her to continue another moment with playing a victim to someone she has apparently terrorized in the past. The point of my writing this wasn't to point fingers or say my child is an angel. It isn't to cast shame on someone else. I want people to be aware that this can happen right in front of our faces without us even knowing, and we need to be diligent with our children to make sure they understand, actions like this are never okay.*****

Bullying. There. I said it. Bullying. It is a nasty word with nasty connotations.  good kids don't bully. My kid doesn't bully. Your kid doesn't bully. And yet this word still exists.  I guess we can all see definition of this word differently. I see it as a person who preys on someone weaker or in a vulnerable situation.

A great opportunity? When several children gang up and decide to not only just leave another out (because honestly, who hasn't done that intentionally or otherwise?) but to actually ridicule and mock that single individual. To make them feel lesser than you. To take that moment to feel bigger and the expense of someone else.. amazingly? Even in front of that individuals mother and father.

When the tears first started flowing, when the drama was first kicked in to gear, I assumed right away as I was made aware of the situation that my child was being dramatic. She wanted access to something someone else had. Okay, suck it up. Take turns. Do something else.
... and then the children started laughing at her in front of me, taunting her. Making a big scene of her discomfort and exclusion. Oh... okay. Encourage her further to do something else.

Like moths to the flame though, my persistent child refused to leave the scene. I left her alone for a few moments thinking I was maybe reading things wrong. I know two of the four or five children involved and I know this isn't their normal behavior. I've watched these kids grow up. I've dug in my purse for Kleenexes for their snotty noses. I've snuck them extra cupcakes at parties in our home because I adore these children. Emma's walls are littered with multiple images of arms linked and eyes shining from over the years.

But lo and behold, the next time I went into the back yard they had her cornered. One of the girls I knew had left the scene and was immediately apologetic. I was in disbelief. I kept thinking I was misunderstanding something taking place right in front of me. And my kid? My tough, bold, silly, strong-willed kid? She crumbled before my eyes. She was defeated. She shrunk inside herself. Even worse, when I told the other girls that they were out of line, they had the gall to turn on me. Can you imagine being a five or six or seven year old girl and getting sassy with someone's mom?! I can't even picture, in my own youth of being bullied for my weight and for my mom's income and for whatever else kids wanted to mock, any words being said to me in front of my mom - let alone TO my mom.

It was the cliche image of the pack of attacking dogs.  They were horrendous. The one remaining girl we know backed off slightly but then joined right back in. In front of me. In front of my husband. With her kicking and screaming, my defiant child was carried from the function since she wouldn't walk away herself. Despite the way she was treated, she still wanted to stay with her friend. She was angry that I removed her, and then she sobbed  because she didn't know why her friends and these strangers treated her this way.

And then I was broken. No one should witness this behavior - no one should experience this behavior first-hand.

 My sadness was refueled later when I saw image after image after image on social media of these beautiful little girls, with huge beaming smiles after we had left the event. I studied these images - they are just kids. They are someones babies. I'm sure the mother of the children I didn't know would have been horrified by their actions, but as it stands they will get to carry on another day. And, although I desperately try to not shelter my daughter from things that will make her stronger in time, I will never allow her to be at any event those children are at.

Talk to your children. Talk again. And again. Make sure they are safe. Ensure they aren't involved in a pack that could potentially leave another child vulnerable to attack. Make it clear that it is never okay to be the attacker. The aggressive one. Make sure they aren't the victim of a pack. Because when it does happen to your kid, the word will be tattooed into your mind.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Sunrises and Starbucks

 So here I am on this beautiful crisp morning, talking to type in the middle of a street in Geneva, Illinois. No that wasn't a typo. I didn't mean to say Galena. I didn't mean to say Lake Geneva. My husband and I snuck down here for a weekend to celebrate our 8th anniversary. I'm going to be honest, thus far it has been pretty damned relaxing. However, my insomnia continues, so I am on a mission for coffee that wouldn't require me waking my husband. I know there's a Starbucks just down the road but I still prefer smaller coffee shops.

You maybe wondering how I'm doing now. Honestly? About 80 million times better than I was a few weeks ago.

...Until just now, when I realized I'm stuck with Starbucks. Ack! The Washington in me begs for a quality local establishment or 6 in every town. Come on, people! Add a drive thru window and I'll be loyal for life.

Anyway, the meds are adjusting. The sun is shining again. I'm surviving.  Things are so incredibly Rocky there for a little while. I basically had a look at my surroundings and keep myself in check, because truly it my life is pretty great. Yeah, I have got a couple of kids who are total jerks. They are way too spoiled and both love to pick fights with me.  But hey, I have a husband who would do anything for me and truly I would do just about anything for him. I have friends who care and love and genuinely care  about my well-being. I have freckles, and you really cannot beat that.  No, seriously. They are my favorite trait.
And, with my recent new (read: awful) skill of not being able to sleep in in the mornings, I get to see sunrises every day. It's pretty  uplifting to be able to watch this guy crack in the pink and orange and then yellow.

 I too am on my way to cracking into yellow.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Attempting a size smaller of my crazypants



 After my crazy pants last post, I want people to know that I really am OK. It had everything to do with a new prescription I was put on. As my doctor reiterated, things were going to get rocky before they get better.  So as one antidepressant\anxiety medicine was wearing off, the new one hasn't ramped up yet so I was just sort of thrust into a whole hot mess of emo.
I can't say that I'm fixed. I don't really think there is a fix for anxiety and depression like that. But every day things are shifted to be a little bit better.

 Does anyone else remember this post from Hyperbole and a Half?  If you don't know the site, you are insane in the membrane and a should probably wasted about 47 hours of your life going back to the very beginning.  Anyway, I got really good at treading water until I  wasn't anymore. The prescription change was just about the most necessary thing for me even though it obviously had some pretty nasty (but hopefully temporary)  side  affects.

 So basically what I'm saying is please be patient with me. If I say something that seems kind of odd or if I am not as responsive for a little while,  or I don't show up at the gym for a couple days or whatever, I'm trying to work my way through this. And yeah, I'm still going to be sarcastic or goofy and say inappropriate things and probably be completely misunderstood and misinterpreted as being a bitch instead of me just trying to crack a joke.  That's just what makes Buffy Buffy.  But again, please be patient with me. I'm treading water but I'm desperately trying to make my way to shore, instead of going under.




Friday, April 14, 2017

Breathing until I can't

Mental health is such an odd thing. This is my favorite season of the year. My birthday was only a few weeks ago. I am planning for my daughter's party later today with her girlfriends from school and things should be OK. My marriage is good. My kids are healthy. We are financially stable and overall in a good place.

And yet yesterday afternoon I found myself pondering in moling over and making a plan for suicide.

This isn't a, "hey look at me!" This is my personal truths. I battle with depression and sometimes even when I think I am in a very good place the slightest thing can send me spiraling. While I would never act on these urges, I felt in my heart my family would be better off without me. I felt like I was bringing nothing to the table and only hurting those I love. My sunshine went away. I still have a whole slew of little girls coming to my house tonight and I am trying to figure out how I'm going to put on a brave face for my own little girl. I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to be around tomorrow and the next day and the next. 

I reached out to two groups of friends - A moms group that had experienced horrible tragedies in the last year and also my local circle of friends. I'm glad I have the connections I do, and I am very blessed to have the friends I have.

So if you have reached out to me in the last 24 hours, thank you. Even if I never responded, thank you. Especially if I never responded. My medications are being adjusted this afternoon, hopefully there will be a light again at the end of this very dark and seemingly long tunnel. Until then, I have to keep moving and keep planning and decorating for this party and I have to track down another two placesettings for two little girls that were late RSVPs. I need to make sure everyone is included and feel special and feels welcome. I can't even begin to tell you how many times in my life I have not felt that way. 


I need to wrap this up because it is incredibly long and I just wanted this to be seen publicly. If you were battling with depression, you are not alone. Reach out to someone. Try to find a lifeline. Do whatever you can. If it means publicly putting your sorrows on display, do it. I'm doing it because I need as many people as possible to know what I'm going through, to understand that if I am not always smiling or if I'm not always cracking jokes or if I'm not always bringing my 110%, it has nothing to do with me being lazy or bored or tired or anything else.  I'm struggling. And I need friends right now. And I need support right now. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

The 5 month evidence that scales are dumb


Remember these crazy numbers, dating back to my post titled, "Stupid Ham"?? Or this last comparison shot? These were posted 12/20/16, and I totally assumed the worst took place in the last three months since. The scale has hardly moved despite any and all efforts. I tried altering my diet. I tried altering my diet again. I tried more cardio, less cardio, etc. Ultimately, I've not seen any number changes and it was frustrating me. Because, I am a woman. I look at stupid scales and stupid weights and stupid numbers numbers numbers.And for some stupid, stupid reason I stopped looking at the above factors and fell back to stupidity. How many times can I be told that the scale is only a portion of the overall story? 

Duh, Buffy.

So a few days ago, my favorite trainer Rachel announced it was measurement day during our Women on Weights group. I scoffed. I shuffled my feet. I considered feigning illness or allergies to her caliper or claiming measuring tapes cause hives. Alas, in time I caved in and had my measurements taken. 

Yeah. So I'm only down 3 pounds officially on the scale. 3 1/2 months and only down 3 pounds. As that was the first part of the measurements taken, I was almost determined to see disappointing results. Is that weird? It's probably pretty weird. 

Whatever.
Don't judge my psyche. 

The interesting thing about being negative is that there are times you get confirmation in your negativity, and then there moments of being sort of surprised, and then there are times that you are blown out of the water. My 3 pound loss is actually an 11 pound fat loss, with an 8 pound (8 POUND!!) muscle gain! DOOD! I'll take it! Overall I am down 6 1/2 inches from December 19th, and since October I'm down 41 DAMNED POUNDS OF FAT! Body fat percentages went from 38 to 19. Am I pretty much a body builder fitness model in training? Nope. Of course not. But I'm making improvements and I'm getting stronger each day and I am genuinely excited to gym each day, even when I was under the self-imposed impression that it wasn't making a squat (ha, get it?) of difference.

OCTOBER 19th

DECEMBER 19th - MARCH 1st




And finally, here is a comparison shot of just about a year ago, while at Walt Disney World. There are times that I genuinely feel that despite what I can clearly see when I scrutinize these images, my body hasn't really changed for the better. I was strong before. I was energetic before. But, I hated every inch of my body. I'm finally getting to a point of mental strength, and that is not a bad thing.




 Your weight is just a number. A stupid number. Scales are dumb. You are more than a number.
 



Wednesday, February 8, 2017

To the awful human who kind of rubbed my back

To the management of Massage Green Spa in Brookfield, WI, Corporate Headquarters, the therapist I experienced, and anyone else who may be a potential client of this establishment;


I regret not writing sooner. I regret not being more assertive at the verbal abuse I was treated to. I regret whispering my frustrations to the woman working the front desk as instead I should have been loud. I should have warned the other customers.

I purchased a Groupon, so apparently I was not considered a valid customer.

On  February 3rd at 11 am, I had a scheduled massage at Massage Green Spa, located at 17440 Bluemound Road, Suite B in Brookfield, WI. I arrived early and excited, as I had sore muscles from exercise and parenting and life in general. I hadn't been sleeping well and I was ready to relax. I'm a pretty chatty, upbeat person so if the therapist was a talker I could definitely handle it, but overall I was prepared to ask for quiet so I could potentially fall into a deep rest mode. When I scheduled the massage, I had asked for a relaxation massage. When I checked in, I asked for a relaxation massage. When I filled out the form, I stated that I wanted a deep tissue relaxation massage.

The therapist came and retrieved me a few moments early and immediately started asking questions. This is typically a good sign, yes? He asked about why I had asked for no work done on the front of my knee - I explained my most recent ACL replacement. I was then asked if I still exercised and was then told he could tell because of my 'bulky man muscles'. (ha!)

I am man muscles. Hear me roar


I should have ran from the room. He asked about my job or work. I stated I was a stay at home mom.
He then told me, "This is the problem with Americans. This is a disease that they won't work." I don't have an income, so I am by default lazy.

Oh.

Once on the table, he had me start on my stomach. Typically I've had therapists ask me to start on my back, but everyone is different. He spent about 10 minutes barely touching my neck, back, hips. He was "assessing". While making said assessments, he asked about my diet. I told him I typically ate lean protein and vegetables and fruit. He proceeded to scold me about how I am eating dead protein and I should never eat meat. My kidneys aren't getting fresh blood because I don't drink pureed carrots or other pureed fresh vegetables that have the consistency of blood, which is why I was dealing with insomnia last week and the week prior (FYI, I had sinus issues. As soon as those cleared up, I miraculously started sleeping again).

He still hadn't actually started working on me.

20 minutes into the process, he pressed on my hip, and then explained to me that my muscles are weak and covered in fat. He asked about if I had a family and I told him briefly about Emma, my sweet but challenging daughter who is too damned smart.
FYI, she needs acupuncture among other things. Oh, and I need to completely change her diet and some other random tidbit. Also, I should look inside at how I am as a mother, because I'm apparently a bad one.

Every time he opened his mouth, I could feel myself tensing for the next series of verbal abuse. I almost asked him to let me leave 30 minutes into the session, because I was simply laying on the table face down, crying. I wish I had been able to record his comments so I wouldn't forget any of them. I wish I had gone to any other establishment other than the one I went to. I don't know how many times I asked him if I could just have quiet.

He never stopped.

As my 50 minutes were up, he stated that next time I get a massage, I should request a gentle relaxation massage. Um... I did. However, he never once had me turn over. He never once touched an area outside of my hips or shoulders - namely, my right shoulder even though I asked if he could work on my left. He never worked on my IT bands as I had very specifically asked. He never did ANYTHING. He did tell me however that as a woman I should be focusing on fixing myself so I can be sexually attractive to my husband and other men. Because clearly that is my sole value and goal in life - how sexually attractive I am.

And like a fool, I just laid there as he verbally abused me.

When I went to the front desk after, I told the woman briefly about what I had experienced. She shrugged it off as a language barrier (the man had an accent but spoke extremely clear English). She stated that he was their most requested therapist. She suggested I go ahead and schedule another session with him so he could focus on another area next time. When I was adamant that I would never make a point to see him again, she said that if I wanted she could go ahead and schedule me with someone else then.

WHAT?! Why would I ever go back to this place? Why would I subject myself to the lack of attention, lack of relaxation and verbal abuse?

I don't know what I expect writing this. I know I couldn't keep this to myself another moment. I know contacting the specific location would be fruitless as I had already been brushed aside. My purchase had been redeemed so I was no longer of value to them. I have never been treated so horribly, which is saying something because I've been treated pretty bad in the past.

Signed,
Extremely horrified former customer