Spread Your Wings & Fly

I am a 21 year old college student, this is my senior year and I graduate in May. I am almost to the end of another chapter of my life and as scary as that is, I am completely excited to see where life will take me. I wish I could say the same about my mother. I get that it is a mothers job to worry and want to keep their families close but she needs to learn that I need to be able to go out, do my internship some where, and figure out where I want to be in life.

I have about 4 months before I have to really decide where I want to do my internship at and start applying places. That is November and when you say, “Oh I have to start applying for internships in November” it sounds like it is a ways away but its really not. I have been already looking at different states in which I could do my internship or would potentially like to live for a while, because I graduate in May but then have my internship in the summer and will be looking for a full time job. I would love to get an internship where I could potentially get a job offer from them when I am done.

My dad and I don’t have the best relationship and if you read my Daddy Issues post you really know how rocky our relationship is. Yet I find myself wanting to maybe live in South Dakota for a year or two at least until I can save up some money to get a place and start paying back my school loans. I started looking at internships out around the Rapid City area and found a place called Well Spring and they have a ton of different programs, but especially in my area of schooling. My major is child, adult, family services with a focus in youth aged children. This means that I can work with anything from new born to adults and their families but my main knowledge or most of it will be in youth aged children which is considered age 8 to 22. I started contacting this agency and asking about internships and as of this morning as long as I keep in touch I have pretty much already been offered an internship position. This works nicely because its about a half hour away from my dad and he has given me two options. Option one is that I get an apartment in Rapid, which would be nice. Option two is that I live with my dad in a guest bedroom or they have an amazing, air conditioned attic that I could decorate and furnish and make my own. This option sounds amazing because they live at Fort Meede which is an old military base and their backyard is pretty much woods and they just have a gorgeous view. I would love waking up and looking out my window to that every day.

This is where the title of this post comes into play.

I have a rough past and my mom knows about some of it, like my abortion. But she doesn’t know a lot of it and how being three hours away from her when at school has been really good for me because I have had time to find myself and what I like and dislike and what I want in my life. Moms will worry but she takes it just a tad to far. She is my best friend and I love her to death but its like I am not allowed to live for myself, I feel like she thinks I can’t take care of myself, and she is a tad bit suffocating.

When I am at school if she doesn’t hear from me once a day she thinks that something is wrong with me and I get a ton of phone calls and text messages, sometimes even Facebook messages. I love talking to my mom but my grandparents understand better than my mother, they are very old fashioned, that I need my space to find myself.

Today I brought up that I will do my internship either in Iowa, Minnesota, or South Dakota and the fact that I even brought up South Dakota caused and argument and she made me feel really bad, like some how I was betraying her. She has no idea that I already pretty much have an offer for an internship for some where it sounds like I would love and will probably go visit when I go out and visit my dad here in about a month or so. I hate that I can’t tell her because she is one of my best friends and I love her so much, but anything to do with my dad does not go over well.

When I brought up places today she kept pushing and pushing for me to apply for places here and thinking I will want to live here and near her for the rest of my life. But yet she was okay with me looking at places in Wisconsin. Which makes me feel like she doesn’t really care where I go as long as its not with my father. Moving there would give my dad and I the chance to bond but it would also give me the chance to make a life for myself and keep figuring out who I am and what I want in life and where I want to end up all together eventually.

I get that parents worry, but my frustration comes from parents who think they can control their child’s life until the day they die. I will always value my parents opinions and thoughts but I am my own person and I want to live my own life. I don’t want to move terribly far away but I want to be a way. Some day I would love to move to Seattle or Colorado or some where not near here. Family means the world to me.

Another example of parents needing to let their children live their own lives is one of my male friends is 21 almost 22 and his parents are still trying to completely control who he dates. I think that listening to your parents thoughts and feelings on some one is very important because some times they see things that maybe you don’t, but he as been trying to date a very nice girl, who yes they dated once and it just was the wrong time for both of them so it didn’t work and she didn’t break up with him in the best way because she just quit talking to him, but now she has been there for him for over a year through everything and she probably knows more about him then they do; but they gave him flack when he changed his status to in a relationship with her on Facebook. I think that, that is a scenario where they need to actually get to know her, they have never met her, not even talked to her and then go from there.

My big thing is parents should want to see their children happy and doing something they love.

If I do this internship I know I will probably love it. Rapid City is a fun town and would be a blast, South Dakota has a lot of places to hike and things to see and do which would also be amazing and I think that, that is what I need in my life right now. It is not like I am making a poor decision and doing things to harm myself. That is where my frustration comes from, she should be happy for me. I can understand being disappointed but don’t take it out on me and guilt me into staying here, where I may not be happy.

I need to spread my wings and learn to fly on my own. That is how we learn so much in life.

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Internship Opportunity

Well since waking up this morning things have been fantastic. I had contacted a place in South Dakota called Wells Spring for an internship opportunity next summer after graduation and just asked if there was anyone I could talk to about a possible internship opportunity and they emailed me back and asked questions like was it for a bachelors degree or masters, if it was for the summer and for college and after I replied to those I recieved and email this morning saying that because its for a bachelors degree it would be easy to place me with a supervisor that didn’t have a large caseload and that I need to keep in touch and when the time gets closer they will do the back ground checks and everything and that I am welcome to do my internship there. I am a little less than a year from needing it and i already have it set up 🙂

It is close to my dad so maybe that would give us an opportunity to work on our relationship, but who knows. I am going to keep my options open and look around some more places but I think that is the best news that I have gotten in a while.

I know this is a pretty random post, but I was just so excited I wanted to share it with people, especially since I know once I tell my mom all hell is going to break loose. I will be writing a post later about letting your children find themselves and on leaving the house and letting them experience life probably later today, so stay tuned because I have to run for now 🙂

Hope you all are having a wonderful day

Daddy Issues

I would say the one thing about the major I am in is that as I sit doing reading for classes that I think oh yeah I could see how this event has effected my life, so the evidence is correct, or yeah my dad could have these issues with how he is. So I think I am going to talk about my daddy issues today and maybe someone who reads this will have some advice cause I sure could use it.

Where to even start with the daddy issues. I guess the best place to start is at the beginning.

My dad was never around much when I was little. We lived in this small, po-dunk town called Colo when I was little, I wasn’t even 2 yet I don’t think. It always amazes people how much I can remember from back then, but I can describe things that happened to me in that house and things we had, it is kind of weird. Anyways, my dad wasn’t around very often because of “work”. We all believed this we didn’t know any different.

We eventually moved to Mason where I grew up for most of my life. Shortly after moving to Mason my dad moved to an apartment in either Hampton or New Hampton, I can never remember which. We would see him on weekend and what not but my sister and I were young enough that we thought he moved because of work, but my parents were really on a break (found this out about 8 years ago when they divorced). This was hard on me, because as a little girl I was very much a daddies girl, eventually he got this huge, blue, toy phone that had big yellow buttons, he put a recording of his voice in it that we could listen to when we were away from him.

A few years later he moved back home and that is when I would say a lot of my daddy issues started. Things went pretty well at first but then my parents started fighting, a lot. They could get pretty bad, my dad never hit my mom, that I know of, but he would get so mad that he would slam out of the house and say he was never coming back. I am and always have been someone who tends to take the blame for stuff and the burden of things even when it wasn’t really my fault. But as a little girl, sitting at the top of the stairs listening to this happen, I always thought it was my fault that he was little.

This is a good spot for a side note for parents. When fighting in ear shot of children, especially little ones, they don’t have the mental capacity to understand really what you guys are fighting about, just that you guys are angry and yelling, not all but some children will blame themselves because they will think that they have done something wrong.

That was exactly my problem. Then as I got older I wasn’t so much a daddies girl anymore, I was very much a mama’s girl and still am at 21 years of age. At bed time when I was still pretty young I wouldn’t cooperate. I’d run around the house not wanting to go to bed and my dad would catch me up and put me in these holding restraints (him holding me) in his lap and arms. Then my parents would fight because of me. My mom would yell at my dad for being so rough with me and I’d get sent up stairs and they would fight and he would storm out. I felt like I was tearing my family apart.

Things seemed to calm down for a little bit, my dad started going on more “business” trips, so he wasn’t around very much.I got into soccer and he started coaching my soccer team and I loved it, but eventually even this tore my dad and I apart. I practiced even more then others before and after practice because my dad was the couch, I was never fast enough or anything. Then I started volleyball and I loved that even more than soccer and was extremely good, but he tried to control me with that too. One year in soccer we were playing against a guy team and I got my knee kicked and it caused issues. i played on it for a long time after that, but I would go home from games and practices with a knee the size of a grape fruit, my leg started to shrink because it was trying to protect my knee, but he expected me to keep playing. It wasn’t until I was told that I couldn’t anymore that he finally let me quit.

Next thing that caused issues was in 8th grade I was severely depressed. I had been raped by a semi older person at age 14 and then my grandpa died, my home life was a mess, I couldn’t play sports, which had been my outlet, so I just didn’t know what to do anymore. I took over  100 pills, a cocktail of them actually, and then my sister came home and found me almost unconscious on the couch and I was taken to the emergency room. My dad didn’t care that I was depressed, apparently wasn’t okay, and that I could have died. He was mad at how stupid i had been. The next day i didn’t feel good, I had been throwing up all night the night before and I didn’t want to go to school because I thought people would know what I had done. He took me to work with him and made me work. I felt like crap, he had to go to a meeting and had left his phone in his office, I called my mom and she came and got me at lunch.

Things just slowly kept getting worse, my dad was gone more and more. Finally my freshmen year of high school my parents divorced. My dad came out and told my mom that he had been having affairs for their whole marriage. He is now currently married to the one in which he met in Sturgis, South Dakota. He met her at a bar during Sturgis.

So there are some of the issues that i have with my dad. Now lets take a look at what this has caused for me emotionally and mentally now or how I cope with these things.

I have abandonment issues to a point. My dad always saying he was going to leave and not come back, the fact that my junior year of high school he did disown me, just because i told him how I felt about him cheating on my mom and how I felt like he didn’t only betray her but my sister and I. This has been hard for me to work through.

My home life affected my behavior for sure as a child. I snuck out, told my parents I was going one place when I was going to another, I drank, I looked for comfort in things that weren’t healthy, in relationships that weren’t healthy. I actually had problems with being in unhealthy relationships up until about a year ago probably. I finally realized what I deserved in life and that my past is my past and it has made me who I am. i have an amazing mentor to thank for that actually. She has been my saving grace since I came to school.

Lets talk about the holds he would put me in when I was younger. My mom would get really mad at him and I understood why to a point when I was younger but never completely why until this year. A few months ago I worked a residential treatment center, where kids with severe behavior issues lived and I had to get MANDT trained. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it is a set of holds and ways to get out of having your hair pulled and what not. The reason we are trained in it was because these children do act out violently and/or harm themselves and if it gets to a dangerous point we have to be able to restrain them. Well now I realize that my dad was putting me in MANDT holds which is not okay. These holds can be dangerous when someone is in supine and prone position, because it can obstruct their air flow depending where the hands are placed and what not. It is also just dangerous because it allows the hormones for adrenaline to be released, and if this happens for to long it can even cause death.

I don’t trust men, partially because of the bad men I have dated, but most of that comes from my dad. If your own father can lie, treat you like crap, and walk out all the time…then why would I believe that other men wont do that or the same?

I believe that a father in a girls life is that one man that will never hurt her, who she can always count on her to be there, who shows her what nice guys are like. Yes I know that there are girls out there that have it way worse, but I don’t think parents realize that how they treat their child does effect them in later life. I don’t trust, I work on not being so jumpy around angry men but that is hard, I went to counseling because of things involving him and things from my past, and its just hard. My dad found out about my abortion about 6 months ago and hasn’t asked me about it or anything. It is like he doesn’t want to get to know who I am at all. That hurts. I have had to figure out how to not let things bother me so much, which has made it easier for me to realize that I do deserve to be treated well by people, but especially men.

So guys treat your daughters right and be there for them. Let them know they are loved and that there is a man in her life that they can count on. Dads, teach your son’s how to treat women right.

And men in general and just anyone, think before you act. Men think before you do something to a girl and ask your self how you would feel if someone did that to your daughter, sister, mother, close friend, just anyone in your life. If it would make you mad or upset you..then don’t do it to them.

No Two Things Are Exactly The Same

ImageI have been wondering what my next post should be about; my last one was so serious that I didn’t want to post another one about my past quite yet. I was looking for inspiration for this one and as I was packing my things up to move to my new apartment here in three weeks I came across my favorite book from when I was a little girl, Elmer by David McKee.

How much time do we spend judging someone for how they look, what they are into, or by their actions? We can all say, “I don’t judge,” or “I try not to judge often”. But ask yourself is that really the truth? If it is then I applaud you, but I know for me that I am guilty of judging, sometimes even before anything is out of the persons mouth. I suppose this piggy backs off of the last quote from my last post and my challenge that I posed to you. The quote was from Sylvia Plath and was:

“So many people are shut up tight inside themselves like boxes, yet they would open up, unfolding quite wonderfully, if only you were interested in them.”

We in society or so quick to judge people because of their past or who they are now, but really you don’t know why they are who they are or even truly what they have gone through in their past if you don’t talk to someone. 

Think about high school. If your school was like mine you had the choice of where you sat at lunch and if it was also like mine it was very clicky..but there was always a table or someone you could tell when they came through that lunch line that they didn’t know where to sit because they didn’t feel like they belonged any where. I bet you didn’t offer for them to sit with you, maybe your group of friends even picked on and bullied that kid. 

Our pasts are what make us unique. If it weren’t for our pasts and our choices now then we would all be extremely boring and never really have anything to talk about and life would just be dull. 

A good example of people judging me involves when they do find out that I had an abortion, they think that I could have picked any of those other options but they don’t get to know me enough to hear the story or they are just so set in their ways that automatically I am a bad person, a killer, ect. 

That is their choice. But we were made unique and have been lead through the hardships that we have because we are all meant to be the person that we are. 

You are all wonderful exactly how you are. Your past is the past, you can’t let it control you in a negative way. That is hard sometimes, trust me I know but at some point you have to let it go so you can grow and be healthy.

My major is child, adult, family services so a lot of my jobs when I graduate will be social work type jobs or working with troubled youth and you can’t judge those people. I worked in a residential treatment center for children with severe behavioral issues. What do you think age wise i am talking about right now? Older I bet, but no, these kids were between 5 and 13 was the oldest I worked with; a lot of these kids were 8 to 11 though. They have been in and out of foster care, abusive homes, or they can’t find placement because of their behavior. 

Before I worked there I probably would have judged every single one of them. I probably even did a little bit when I first started working there, judging makes us human, and when people would hear me talk about work at all they would judge those kids. They are just kids. They are kids who come from broken families, abusive homes, have been sexually abused and when you are reading their intake file so you get to know them and their triggers and everything your heart breaks. For each one of those children it breaks and you get mad because how could someone put a child through that type of stuff! But you can’t show them sympathy, when they cry because they miss home or because of their past you are there for them, but at the same time you can’t grow fond because they need discipline and structure. You see them act out and try to attack each other and staff, even you and you can’t understand what goes through their mind or why they think its okay. You become shocked almost, but then when they see you come into work and run up and give you a giant hug because they are excited to see you, or they want to play tag outside its like a light bulb goes off in your head and you realize that they really deep down inside are not different than any one else, not your children, not you, not your siblings. They want what all of us want, they want a home, to feel loved, to be a kid. 

I am sure you are all wondering how Elmer plays into what probably seems like a rant but it does. For those of you who have never read Elmer he is an elephant with many different colors, he looks different than all his elephant friends and a lot of the time they pick on him. One day he realizes if he rolls around in berries that he becomes the same color as the rest of them and he feels better. Well then one day it rains and the juices from the berries start to wash off and all the other elephants tell him that they have missed him and everything else, that it was the best prank he has ever played and from that day on once a year they have a day where they paint themselves to look all crazy and weird like him.

He thought he was being judged, he thought he had to change to be just like the rest and in the end they loved him for who he was. Get to know someone! Love them for who they are! that friendship. You are no better than anyone else. I am no better or worse then all of you. We are just different and have been through different things. Be that person who can be themselves and have the confidence to not blend in with society. Who will make others, like Elmer, want to celebrate him one day out of the year. Be someone that when you die people can look back at pictures and stuff and go, “That was the guy/girl who befriended me, who helped show me people care”. Don’t be the person people don’t have good things to say, who thinks they are better than anyone else.

You are wonderful just the way you are!

Be you!

Be unique!!

You Never Know

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” — Eleanor Roosevelt, You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life

This quote is an outstanding quote by Elanor Roosevelt. With my past I could have easily given up and let everything bring me down and I could be living in fear. To live in fear though is not an option.

Times may get rough but you should always believe that you are strong enough to make it through. You need to believe like she says that, “I can take the next thing that comes along.”

I suppose this would be the best time to start talking about things I have gone through in my past and how I have gotten through it and become stronger. There is a lot I have gone through but I suppose I will start with one of the most recent and probably the hardest thing I have gone through and choice I have had to make. All the names I use in here will be modified as I don’t want to use peoples real names.

When I was in senior in high school I dated some not so good guys, I was cheated on, they were manipulative, and abusive in different ways. Towards the end of my senior year I started dating this guy, “Steve”. At first he seemed really nice, we clicked really well and he made me really happy, but like most young and naive’ girls I thought I loved him and things got serious fast. (Things I talk about later in this blog from years prior to this will help you understand why some of what I say may have been and happened)

The longer “Steve” and I were together the more controlling and manipulative he became. Soon enough I was always at his house or his moms house, he was older, and I was never around my family. I had a good friend at the time, Sabrina, who was there for me and saw what was going on and how I couldn’t get out of the relationship no matter how hard I tried. Shortly after my senior prom I found out I was pregnant (did not happen on prom night), this point “Steve” and I had been together for about six or seven months and it had gotten bad.

Sabrina was the first person to know I was pregnant. I didn’t know what to do. Like any teenage girl I was scared of what my family would say and what people would think. Graduation was just a few weeks away and I didn’t want to tell my mom until after graduation because she was having so much fun planning my graduation party and everything. Eventually I knew I had to tell “Steve” and I did. He was excited that I was pregnant and got extremely mad when I cried and told him that I was afraid and didn’t think I wanted it.

After telling him I was pregnant is when things really started to fall apart in my life. I had morning sickness 24/7 it was not just the morning, it was all day and I never knew when it was going to hit. I wanted to sleep all the time, this pregnancy was taking its toll on me. Sabrina kept trying to get me to leave “Steve” but I couldn’t, every time I would try to he would use our unborn child to blackmail me into staying because I hadn’t told my mom yet and he told me he would. Graduation came and past and I didn’t tell my mom. I swore I would tell her after memorial day weekend because I was going to go to my dads place on a lake in Minnesota with Sabrina. I got car sick all the way there, I couldn’t go out on the boat fishing because I got sick. I was constantly sick.

The day we got back to Iowa I was supposed to go see him and instead Sabrina and I decided we were going to go to the beach. This infuriated him and we finally broke up. Then he wouldn’t stop calling and texting me and he threatened my life. At this point I was a wreck, I went upstairs having some sort of composer to get something from my room when my mom saw me and asked what was wrong I just broke down.

The first thing out of her mouth was, “You are pregnant aren’t you?”

Next thing out of her mouth was, “Do you want an abortion?”

Up to this point I was completely against abortion. I was going to keep the baby and I had started picking out names already. But my answer to her was yes. She called planned parenthood an hour and a half away and within the next day I was on my way there to have an abortion. I was scared, I didn’t know if I was making the right choice. I guess you can say you are against something until you are put in the situation where you actually have to make the choice. When we got there I filled out a lot of paper work and then was taken to the back. I was terrified. I didn’t know how far along I was, which made it so I didn’t know what type of abortion I was going to have, the medical pill one, or the more invasive type.

When I was in the back I had a vaginal ultra sound and got to see my baby on the screen. I got to hear its heart beat and it was really hard but I knew I had to do this. At this point everyone is always like, “you had other options”. I am hear to say, yes I did but they wouldn’t have come easy. If I wanted to put it up for adoption he would have had to agreed. I could have gone and fought for full custody but that most likely wouldn’t have happened because there was no evidence. This meant that my child would go to his house where he was abusive and I would never have been able to live with myself if something had happened to my child while in his care. So I went through with it. I was 8 weeks along which was just at the mark of me being able to take the pill abortion.

The pill is mifepristone. If I had been 9 weeks along I wouldn’t have been able to have the pill. What happens during the medication abortion? There are two steps:

1) The health care provider, in this case planned parenthood, gives you the abortion pill at the clinic along with antibiotics to take. The abortion pill works by blocking hormones, progesterone. Without that hormone the lining of the uterus breaks down and the pregnancy can’t continue.

2) A second medicine is given, misorpostol. Causes the uterus to empty. It causes cramps and to bleed heavily, this is when you pass the pregnancy. It lasts a few hours for me it lasted about 8, but then I had some bleeding still a few days later along with passing of lining and such.

Then the third thing you do is follow up with a doctor or planed parenthood about two weeks later to make sure you had a full abortion and not a partial. They do this with blood pregnancy tests.

When I was aborting my pregnancy I felt like I had horrible back pain which feels like lower back cramps. I had horrible cramps though worse then the ones I would get with a normal period, which were pretty bad.

 

I got through this okay but for the longest time I felt like I was a horrible person. I was depressed and I felt like I couldn’t talk to my mom about it because I felt like she just wanted to forget the whole thing and I didn’t want to upset her. I did a year at community college and then decided I needed out of town and transferred to my current University where I met a professor that after having to write a cognitive dissonance paper has become a huge mentor to me and a great help. She had a similar story and pulled me aside to tell me and has helped me during my healing process. It is because of her that I can type this up, knowing that some people who read it will judge and have strong emotions to it but that every day people are going to judge me and I have to look past it. It was a part of my past, a hard choice, and something I had to conquer and eventually look fear in the eyes. I am in a major now where in the end I want to help kids not making the choices I did but for sure to be able to get out of an abusive relationship.

 

If you or anyone lives in Iowa towards central Iowa and you know they are being abused or you are being abused there are a ton of resources out there for you. Some of them are:

Iowa Coailition Against Domestic Violence (If you are being abused and go here they have an escape button and it will not show up in your internet history)

http://www.icadv.org/

ACCESS:

http://www.assaultcarecenter.org/

And if you want more information on abortions or your choices if pregnant here is planned parenthoods:

http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/abortion/abortion-pill-medication-abortion-4354.asp

 

My last couple pieces of wisdom are these:

Don’t judge people before knowing them, or before fully understanding their past. You never know what they have gone through or why they made the choices that they made. You also never know what you would truly do if you have to choose between a few hard choices. It is easy to say you are against something when you have never been put in the situation.

“So many people are shut up tight inside themselves like boxes, yet they would open up, unfolding quite wonderfully, if only you were interested in them.” — Slyvia Plath

Here is my challenge to you:

If you are ever sitting at school eating lunch or on a lunch break at work and a co-worker or fellow student is sitting alone or you just see someone who looks sad and lonely and like people may judge, go sit with them, talk and get to know them. Even if that is the only day you talk to them you have no idea the kind of impact you could have on that persons day.

Introduction

Well I decided that I am going to write a blog on what I’ve gone through in my past and how I’ve gotten to where I’m at now and I suppose just random day to day stuff. 

I went through some rough things in my past and had to make some choices that were hard and it took me a long time to heal because of it. I started to heal though when I met my mentor at school after writing a paper over cognitive dissonance and her calling me into her office and asking if I wanted to talk. She told me her story, which was similar to mine, and she has been there for me ever sense. 

I have realized that people are always going to judge and I am sure that some of what I write is not going to agree with some people and I’m sorry for that. But she made me realize that by telling my story even if just one person reads it who has gone through something similar that it helps. She is in her 40’s and besides family and close friends nobody really knows her story or they didn’t, but this past January I was involved in a women’s leadership retreat and not even knowing she was speaking there I went and she came up to me before hand and told me that I had inspired her to tell her story, that if me a 21 year old college student could do it, that she could it. It was touching and I almost cried. 

So this will be my life and the up’s and down’s and the turmoils and people may not always like what they read.