Differences

Update: The linked post has been removed by a moderator of the subreddit for violating one of its rules.

I don’t want to be a parent. I think I’ve mentioned that in at least a few posts on here. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t recognize parenting is, honestly, a hellish job. Lazy parents exist, yes, but being a good parent takes a huge amount of patience, effort, energy, and a host of other traits I either don’t have or do have that would be stretched far beyond their limits.

And that’s why this post from a subreddit I occasionally browse struck a nerve. Thankfully, several comments call the OP out on their nonsense, especially about judging mothers when the reason the subreddit essentially exists to begin is because of how poorly some people are judged for not having children. However, this particular line is what ticked me off:

It honestly feels like women who are like this are taking the female gender backward instead of forward.

“Like this” refers to being stay-at-home mothers. Somehow, a woman making a choice for her life that makes her happy is “taking the female gender backward”, but a woman tearing down other women for making a choice she personally disagrees with is progressive. And yet, some people can’t figure out why feminism is considered a joke today.

Why would you want to throw away your career?

This is a stereotype about not having children that grates on my nerves! Life is not only the two choices of “career or children”. Not everyone gets fulfillment out of having a career. I personally have never wanted a high-flying career. I’m content with a job that pays me enough to keep my bills on time and lets me have some money left over for savings and spending. But if I didn’t need to work to get by, I wouldn’t. It’s a pipe dream, but I would love if my boyfriend and I could make sufficient income from home without going to work, so we could have more free time for ourselves, each other, and our families and friends.

Now, speaking specifically about kids, if we wanted to be parents, I wouldn’t want to be a stay-at-home parent either purely because of the financial dependency. Crisis can hit anyone – single, couple, parents, non-parents – and I would hope if something tragic did happen to my boyfriend that left me alone with our hypothetical child, I could get myself back on my feet through whatever job I have so we don’t struggle too much. However, if my boyfriend and I had enough savings to last a few years, and that would hold us over in the case of a crisis, I would be a stay at home parent, or he could if he wanted (or, pipe dream, both of us if the “income from home without going to work” thing were possible). Of course, every parent needs a break and time away from their kids, but overall, I’d much rather be with my child than be at work, especially considering what my current job is. Eight hours behind a register or eight hours with my family? Not a tough choice.

I’m sorry but a “homemaker” is not a [freaking] job. It screams of laziness and dependency. Don’t these women ever want to accomplish anything in their lives? [Popping] out a kid and then sitting on your [butt] for the rest of your life is not an accomplishment.

Minus, again, the absolute hypocrisy of being judgmental and that parenting is not “sitting on your butt for the rest of your life”, this is probably the most infuriating part of this post. Who in the name of Equestria is anyone to decide for someone else what their life’s accomplishments are?! First of all, again, parenting is a hellish job. It’s one made by choice, yes, but we all make choices about what we do. Even people with life-saving careers chose that path, and just like we don’t have to choose to be parents, we don’t have to choose wildly stressful career paths either. But we do. If someone is proud of having raised their children to be whatever their children turned out be, and considers that an accomplishment, more power to them. I consider it an accomplishment I have a relationship that’s lasted for four years (and counting). That’s nothing to most people, but it means the world to me. Everyone defines for their life what their accomplishments are. It’s not up to other people to decide someone has achieved nothing.

It doesn’t matter what the appeal of being a stay-at-home parent is. The OP doesn’t have to understand it, any more than I have to understand what the appeal of alcohol is (red wine is disgusting!). It is not your life and it is none of your business. We don’t need to understand why others make the choices they do. People are given fulfillment by different things. Some people find fulfillment from parenting. Some people find it from career. Some people are fulfilled from traveling. Some people are fulfilled by pursuing education (referred to as “career students”) or doing charity work, or a host of other things I can’t think of. I personally feel fulfilled when I can be with my loved ones, like my boyfriend and my best friend, and support them in their lives. That’s my accomplishment, that I can hold these amazing people in my life. Not my only accomplishment, but the one that matters most to me.

The only exception to this rule is if how you live your life hurts others, and that should be obvious. If that’s not the case, everyone should live their life however it makes them happy. No one else has to understand and no one who doesn’t understand is owed an explanation. People are different, and that needs to be accepted.

“You’re you, I’m me. Together, we can live in harmony!”

Don’t Be A Judge

I’m not talking about the career path. I mean being judgmental in general.

Nearly two years ago, I wrote out a post on things I’ll never do in my life. At the top of the list was drugs and for good reason. Even without knowing just how bad drugs like tobacco and alcohol are, having people in my family who do them tells me enough. However, lately, I feel like I’ve started understanding just why people turn to drugs.

I’m stressed out and that’s a way I’ve been feeling often, as of late. For the most part, I manage to handle it, but every now and then, there’s a day where my thoughts turn to drinking. Not only having one drink either. These thoughts are usually binging on alcohol until I pass out and there have been times where the only thing that stops me from doing it is not wanting to deal with a hangover later on. To compensate, I binge on soda when I’m very stressed out, which isn’t healthy either, but won’t get me drunk. Unfortunately, soda doesn’t always work.

If that’s how I feel within a day, it’s not so hard for me to see what leads other people down that path. Before I go any further, let me stress I am not condoning alcoholism or other drug addictions. They’re still terrible. I’m only explaining I’m beginning to understand why people turn to drugs to cope. If you told me I could have something that’d block out my senses, and make me forget every single thing that’s plaguing my mind right now, and the only side effect was falling unconscious some time later, I would take it. I just don’t want to risk addiction, so I don’t do it because I know if I start using those as a way of handling stress, I won’t stop.

My problems are far from the worst there could be. If I’m having thoughts of drinking myself into unconsciousness from the stress I’m feeling, how must some people who have it worse than me feel? I’m not surprised someone would decide they’d rather put up with the bad effects later on to feel good now for a while. What about the people who feel like they have nothing else to lose? Truthfully, that’s one of my reasons sometimes. I feel like I’m at the bottom as it is and I can’t get any lower, so what’s the worst that could happen if I got drunk for a day or night? I know what’s the worst, but on my worst days, I feel like the risk would be worth it.

I’m aware addiction hurts more than the person with it and that’s another reason I try my hardest not to give in to the thoughts of binge drinking I have. Despite how much they’ve hurt me, I don’t want to hurt my family. I especially don’t want to hurt my best friend and boyfriend, who have never hurt me. I don’t want to lose being able to see my clinician, who’s become somewhat more of my friend now since I’m out of high school, and going to the events she hosts and as open-minded as she is, I’m certain she wouldn’t want someone with a drug addiction around her family, especially her niece and niece’s friends. I don’t want to lose me.

In short, I’m trying to stop a bad habit before it starts. Yes, I know there’s such a thing as moderation, but that’s not something I feel I can trust myself to maintain.

While that resolve of never using drugs hasn’t changed, my perspective of people with those addictions certainly has. I have no room to judge someone about binging on alcohol when I’m having thoughts of doing the same. If nothing else, the stress I’m dealing with and the thoughts I’m having are teaching me two things: 1) I’m not above anything and 2) this is why it’s critically important to never judge someone. People are different and you have no idea.

Maturity? Not In This House!

Sometimes, it feels like no one in this house ever left high school. My relatives love to gossip about and judge other people either on the phone or behind their backs. You’d expect such behavior from someone my age, not three men in middle and late adulthood. Yet it almost seems like a competition in this household.

I know everyone makes snap judgments from time to time – I’m no exception – but gossiping and shots get tiresome after a while, and it makes wish some people knew the expression “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Of course, everyone does something worthy of criticism every now and then, but that’s not what the problem is in this house. It’s mean-spiritedness and nothing more.

Ironically, my family then wonders why I prefer not to tell them anything instead of opening up to them. Why should I? Nobody wants to talk to someone who they know has a habit of talking about others behind their backs. You can’t throw judgments left and right, yet wonder why no one confided in or trusts you. And, of course, the hypocrisy is when someone does the same behavior to them, they get upset.

I guess all things considered, it’s really a part of human nature, but it’s no less annoying.

I Guess She Has A Point…

I saw my therapist in school this past Thursday. I didn’t really have much to talk about. Besides the finals, there was nothing going on and I didn’t feel like talking about finals anyway. She did try to convince me to join the summer program, but I declined. It’s not that I don’t want to see her. It’s just I’ve lost interest in “summer camp” and even though each day would only be 10 AM to 2 PM, the kind of activities they apparently have don’t really appeal. If she keeps bugging me, however, I might give in.

I have to wonder if she was a little under the weather because she was a little…snippy.

First, I asked her, for no real reason, if a blood clot could kill you. She said it could. But, for some reason, added on, “Or you could go into a coma and have other people wiping your a** for you!” BAD!! That was NOT an image I needed in my head! Why she chose to add this nasty detail is beyond me, but I’d rather not ask. Like I did the question that initiated this response.

But the real “snippiness” began with a song I played on YouTube on my (school-issued) iPad. Since we weren’t really talking about anything, I figured it would be okay. The song I played was Grenade, a version sung by Ariana Grande (who also plays a role in one of my favorite shows). I was listening to a lyric video. Basically, the song is about how the singer would harm herself and die to protect her lover, despite that he wouldn’t do the same for her and is abusive toward her.

I regret playing that in her office so much! My therapist practically went on a rant about how ridiculous the song was! She even went so far as to insult Ariana, who hadn’t even written the song! Since her last name is Grande, my therapist asked me if I knew what that meant. I told her I did (Grande means “big”) and also pointed out that “Ariana” means “gift from God”, meaning her name meant “big gift from God”. My therapist decided no. Ariana’s name meant “big retard”. No matter how many times I exclaimed “It’s just a song”, she didn’t seem to get it. So I finally just played another song called Generation Love (sung by Jennette McCurdy), which was about helping society and loving each other. Fortunately, my therapist approved.

I suppose she does have a point about the song. It is rather over-the-top and, as she pointed out, does the give the impression that the singer is suicidal. But still, it’s just a song! Many songs are over-the-top and Grenade is not the worst I’ve heard. Far from it.

If there is one thing I learned from that particular appointment, it’s that my therapist, though not her “default” personality, can be quite the judgmental b/witch. Perhaps she was joking, perhaps she was not, but I think I’ll be more careful about any music I play in her office from now on.