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Friday, August 29, 2014

Things I've learned since I started blogging...

When I first started blogging, I didn't have any real, clear direction.
I still don't.
I was merely looking for an outlet to tweak my creativity; Maybe to vent when I needed to about, whatever.  To help where I could and to try to right some of the wrongs I see in the world - even if it was just a small part of the world that reads this little blog of mine.

In this quest, here are some of the things - both good and bad that I've learned:

I've learned that the people here in the blogging community are AWESOME humans!  Really, every single one.   That doesn't just go for the writers, it also goes for the readers.  Everyone has this way of encouraging one another that's simply amazing.
I've learned that people WILL miss you when you're not around.  They will check in to see if you're OK if you haven't seen them online or writing in a while. Maybe not EVERYONE will check on you, but many will.  You will also miss people when they are no longer in your blog feed or news feed.
 
I've learned that people are FREAKS!  Yes you. I mean that in the kindest, most loving way.  I could be at my absolute weirdest & there's someone right beside me completely getting where I'm coming from.  I love that!
I've learned that among the cool and funny "freaks" there are those "other" FREAKS - the trolls.  You know who they are. They're the ones that come out of the woodwork and take delight in picking things apart - just because.  Yes - these people exist. The more your blog is read, the more open and susceptible you are to being targeted. It doesn't matter if they know you in your real life or not.  Most of the time they have no clue who you are.  They just take delight in wreaking havoc for the fun of it.  Yes, these trolls exist.
 
I've learned that while trying to be genuine and putting myself out there in whatever way I can, there will always be someone looking to use my "weaknesses" and my "strengths" against me to tear me down.  You could write your point of view, from your heart, as truthful and honest as you know how to be - BUT if there is a more dramatic or angry way to view the post - someone will decide that you are totally full of shit, take your words and twist them into a way that they can use those words against you, regardless of their initial intent or meaning, and people will believe it.
 
 
Since I've gone there...  
I've learned that you will REALLY learn who your friends are. You will also learn who they are NOT.  It's super sad - but many times you'll write something that has NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYONE and someone will be knock down drag out PISSED.  "I'm not stupid, I know that post was about me." - "Well pumpkin, sorry to tell you - it was NOT about you it was about last night's episode of Real Housewives." Of course they'll never believe you.  Sadly, this has happened to me more than once.  Although I may not have been thankful for those experiences while they were happening - I am thankful now.  Good lesson. The people who are really my friends would call me and ask me what's going on. They know that if I have a problem, I'll come to THEM.  I'm not afraid to say what I have to say.  If I'm writing about someone or something in my blog and they don't know about it directly it's because they're inaccessible to me in some way.  ie:  TV personality, someone from my past whom I don't communicate with anymore, someone I have no contact with, or there may be a REALLY BIG boat I don't want to rock.  Just ask me.  I'll tell ya. Have I ever been known to be shy?  Let's face it - I even in-boxed Kevin Sorbo to let him know he was being blogged.  :)  Not shy!

I've learned that the crap that I've been given in my life - ya know, the stuff that I hate and want to dig a big deep dark hole and throw it all into???  THAT STUFF??  THAT is the stuff that has helped more people than I can even count.  That stuff is the stuff I have been grateful for beyond words, because it has helped me to save at least one life and as I continue - more.  Who knew?
I've learned that even though my "crap" has helped people while I share my life here - it's better to blog anonymously. I now have a totally anonymous blog.  There is only one other person on the planet, besides me, who knows that I'm the author and I don't know this person in real life.  I have taken immense enjoyment out of that blog because people like it. People read it.  People relate to it and I've never had one person harpoon me for being "hypocritical" or "mean spirited" or "trouble making" or "pot stirring" or whatever mean and angry things have been thrown at me in the real world.  I still accomplish what I want to accomplish.  Judgment free!
 

I've learned that the people who DO stand beside me and support me have a deeper understanding of who I am, why I react to certain things and when I'm sinking and need help (When I refuse to ask for it.).  They see me for who I really am.  They know my heart and they know what's real.  They know that I am who I am.  There are no hidden agendas or secret sides of me.  I am just ME.  They also KNOW that all the B/S is just that B/S - and that's all that matters.
For me that's so amazing and that has brought many of my relationships closer than ever.
I've learned that blogging is, across the board, very freeing.  Not only have I been able to help other people with the things I've gone through, but I've been able to work through many issues that had been gnawing at me.  I've also been able to go totally off the rails and get a few laughs when I just need to let go.  I've met amazing and wonderful people and I've learned some really solid lessons that I embrace.

I've learned that even though my writing will probably not win me a Nobel prize, I'm cool with that.  I'm not in this for the fame and fortune.  I'm in this for ME and whomever chooses to ride the crazy bus along side me.

I've learned that there is so much good around me that the ick doesn't matter at all!
 

God gave me the gift of expression.  I use it as I choose to express myself and to grow.

Regardless of the seemingly negative tone some of my lessons give, I'm thankful - I'm grateful and I feel completely blessed for all the lessons I've learned!

I am confident that even though having this little blog created some ick in some areas of my life, it also made me acutely aware that the path I was on wasn't the path I was supposed to be on.  Some of those people in my life weren't meant to continue on my journey, and that's all OK.


Everything happens for a reason, a season or a life time.

Good Lessons!

Thank you for reading my blog & continuing with me along on my journey.

Lots of love,
Jenn

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Love Your Sibs...Even if they're a pain in your BLEEP

It's true to say that no one can push your buttons or get you riled up faster than a sibling.

After all, they're the ones you've lived most of your life with.  In many instances, the first other kids you'd ever known.  Your first friends.  Your first partners in crime. The ones you hated at times, but would still die for.

They know all the buttons to push, when to push 'em & how hard.

Siblings are an important piece(s) to the puzzle that is your life.

Around this time of the year, I get really sad.
On August 27th, 2007 I lost my younger brother.
It was truly one of the worst days of my life, if not the worst.

I'm not going to get all high and mighty and speak with piety - because the worst part of my brother leaving this planet without me getting to say good bye is that we weren't speaking, and I hate that!  We hadn't spoken for several years.  Even worse than all of that - our not speaking had NOTHING to do with each other.


Outside circumstances - people - events are what came between us, what divided us.

Eric was my first sibling.  Number 2 in the pecking order, with me being the big sister, the numero uno at the top of the heap.  He and I fought - oh my gosh, how we fought.  As an adult, I'm embarrassed to say that we actually fist fought and even drew blood.  If my kids fought like we fought, I don't even know what I'd do.  Looking back, it was really awful - but we loved still each other.

He always knew that as much of a pain in the butt as he was - and believe me, he was - I was always there for him.  I was always the first person he'd call if he needed help, if he was really sad, or if he needed money.  Whatever it was - he knew he had a no questions asked policy with me.

Even though I was his older sister, I was his main care taker growing up.  He knew that, I knew that.  So when he left this planet - I was completely out of sorts.  I wasn't there to help him this time.  I didn't know he was suffering.  I didn't know he had pain.  He didn't come to me, like he had in the past.  He struggled with whatever it was - in silence, not talking to anyone.  As a result, my dear brother took his own life.

I genuinely think of my brother every single day, feeling as if I'd failed him in some way.

A friend of mine's mom went through the same situation with her sister.  Many years before I lost Eric she would tell me over and over, "Jenn, keep trying.  Just keep trying.  Call him, send him letters.  Do whatever you can - because if something happens and you're not speaking, you'll never forgive yourself."
She was right.

My point of this posting is not to draw sympathy to me - but attention to your own sibling relationships.  I know a few people - right off the top of my head who aren't speaking to their siblings.  Some issues are big, others small - others just flat out foolish pride.  It's not worth it!  Let it go!

Your siblings are the closest people to you - besides your spouse and children.  Even closer than your parents on many levels.  You grew together.  You have the same memories.  You've done all the stupid crap together & worked to get over on your parents together.  You built dreams & maybe even made them come true.

There is NOTHING on this planet worth a division between siblings.  NOTHING!

Not money, not your spouse, not a ridiculous family feud that has nothing to do with you.  NOTHING!

Work it out!  Somehow, some way.

Because in the end, when you look back on your life - the endless reel of memories that will play out in your mind WILL have your siblings in it.

How awesome is it to share that with them?

Thank you for reading my blog!

Love you guys, really!

~Jenn

PS.  Darren, I love you & I'm sending you hugs through here for now.  xxoo
(To those of you who don't know...Darren is my "baby" brother)

Rest sweetly on the wings of angels, Eric.  Love you and miss you always.  

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re-post from August 23, 2012

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

When the funny fades...

To tell you that I hate to dwell on this crap would be the understatement of the decade.

I try to say what I have to say, do what I have to do and then move on.

Done.

Not so much in these types of situations.  When suicide enters your life - it's very difficult to just turn your back and walk away.  Suicide settles inside of you.  It crawls into those deep dark crevices and makes itself at home, like a rodent in the eaves of your home - chewing at the wires until it creates a really dangerous situation, or at least that feeling does.  It's a feeling I can't describe, nor do I want to.  It's a feeling that I hope you don't know, if you don't already.

I know that there are so many people who read my blog who don't get it. I know my husband is one of those "don't get it" people.  That's OK.  Not everyone does.  I used to be one of those "don't get it" people until it happened to me.  Twice.

I feel INCREDIBLY LUCKY to not suffer from depression.  LUCKY. Fortunate!  Depression runs rampant in my family - two suicides, alcoholism and drug abuse.  RAMPANT.  I've been sad. I've been really, really sad and maybe a tad depressed, but I've never wanted to die. Sadness is a feeling you can get beyond.  Depression takes hold.  That is the difference between sadness and depression.

I can remember back to when I was a little girl, sitting next to my dad on the couch watching Mork & Mindy.  I can remember my dad's hearty laugh and his statements of Robin Williams being "off the wall."

Robin Williams was, without a doubt, hysterically funny.  He is, well was, one of my favorite funny people.  He was my dad's too.  They were both funny guys, though my dad was no Robin Williams, he sure thought he was.  They both left this place in the same way - by their own hand.

Tears of a clown is the best analogy I can come up with.

Depression is a bitch. Depression is one of those things that people have learned to try to hide. Try to self cure.  Drugs. Alcohol. Dangerous living. Being funny. Pick a mask, any mask. As long as the depression doesn't show and make anyone else uncomfortable, it's all good.
No it's not.


I try to express my feelings on this as often as possible, without turning away those of you who don't "get it" or don't want to hear about it.  I understand.  NO ONE wants to hear about it.  NO ONE wants to talk about the "crazy" the "sick" the "it never happens to me" the "they need shock treatment" the depressing depression.

It needs to be talked about.

That taboo?  That "elephant in the room" as someone so graciously input on my FB page - that elephant needs to be addressed.  That elephant needs to be called out and dealt with.

Until that happens, people will continue to die at their own hand.

People do NOT have to die at their own hand.

There is SO MUCH life left to live.  So much wonderful life.  Yes, there will be pain.  Yes, there will be hard times.  Don't let the lies of depression tell you that it's hopeless.  It's never hopeless.
You are never, ever alone.

If you are in depression's grasp, please let someone you love and trust know.  If you don't feel like you love or trust anyone at the moment, tell someone else.  It doesn't matter who you tell.  Tell someone. Reach out your hand.  Someone WILL grab it!

The mask can only last for so long until the pain takes over, until the funny fades.

Mr. Williams - thank you for the laughs and for a wonderful legacy of funny.

May you, and the others before you find the peace that you were unable to find in this place.

Nanu-Nanu

I wish you peace and love.

~Jenn

**  If you are struggling with Depression or Suicidal thoughts - Please DO NOT SUFFER IN SILENCE!  PLEASE reach out.  Let someone help you.  Life is good.  Really.  **

(as shared from https://www.facebook.com/DBSAlliance )

National Suicide Prevention Helpline (U.S.)
1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK)

International Directory of Suicide Hotlines
http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html
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Need someone to listen & help without judging?

Warmline "Listening Line" Directory (U.S.)
http://www.warmline.org/

Befrienders (International)
http://www.befrienders.org/
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Concerned about someone online?
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/gethelp/online.aspx


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