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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A wish for my brother the day BEFORE World Suicide Prevention Day

Today would have been my brother's 46th birthday.

I know this very specifically.  Not just because he was my brother, but because he was 2 years, 11 months and 13 days younger than me :)

It was our joke - I wasn't 3 years older.  No, no, nooooo....
2 years, 11 months and 13 days
Get it right!  :)

My favorite picture of me  & my bro - Back in the day :)
Yeah, I know... he looks thrilled :)
Now he's immortally 38 years, 11 months & 13 day's old, and that matters.  (I just picked up on that numeric irony.)

It matters, because I've kept on aging.

It matters, because I'm still here and he's not.

It matters, because his birthday - today, September 9th, is the day BEFORE World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10th.


It matters, because suicide is what took my brother from me.

It matters, because even though he and I weren't speaking at the time of his death - I will never, ever, ever have another opportunity to try to talk sense into his thick skull.  I will never have another argument with him. We will never cave in and forgive each other - then laugh like idiots and hug it out.

It matters, because the relationship we once had is gone forever.

It matters, because my girls will never remember their Uncle Eric.

It matters because my son's Godfather didn't get to see him graduate boot camp or continue in the Navy, or whatever the next important mark in his life will be.

It matters.

It may not seem like it should matter to you, but it all matters.  It should matter.

To me it matters most of all, because HE DIDN'T HAVE TO GO!

It matters, because he suffered in silence.

It matters, because all of us are left behind to wonder why.  Why now? We never knew what was going on in his head.  He didn't show any signs (this time) that anyone picked up on.  It's probably why he never took my calls.  He knew I'd know.  He knew that I'd see through his bull shit and call him out.  He knew I'd step in, step up and find a way to help him, but he just couldn't handle it anymore.

It matters, because my brother - and every other person suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts - just wanted the pain to stop.

His pain stopped.
...And then it passed on to the rest of us left behind.

Some may say I didn't care, because I was tough on him.  Yes, I was very tough on him.  He needed me to be. Sometimes he thanked me for being so tough on him.  It got him through our childhood, through the Navy and through some really difficult situations I won't discuss in this blog.

He was my brother.  He was the person who I plotted with when we were younger, the one who beat me in tickle fights and made me laugh until chocolate milk came out my nose.  He was smart and cute and funny.  He had a heart of gold. He's the one, that although struggling with depression - made it through 3 previous attempts at taking his own life and continued on to become a functioning adult, until that day.

He was my brother, and I loved him.

In my heart I always knew my brother loved & missed me.  Sometimes it's hard to say - "I'm sorry.  I was wrong."  Even if the other person says it first.

Tomorrow, September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day.

Don't be a statistic - Suicide Victim or Suicide Survivor.

Educate yourself.  Know the signs.  Help save a life!

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:  http://www.afsp.org/preventing-suicide
S.A.V.E. Suicide & Depression Voices of Education:  http://www.save.org


If you are someone who is struggling - It's OK to have a bad day.
It's NOT OK to have several bad days that turn into weeks, months, years. Please reach out!

In my heart, I believe that as much pain as my brother had and as much as he wanted it to stop - I don't believe he thought he'd really pull it off.
...and now it's too late.

It IS OK to reach out for help.  The taboos of the past are behind you.
Your friends, family - whom ever... Trust me, they would rather hear you say "HELP ME, PLEASE", than pick out your casket.

Of this, I'm sure.

Someone DOES love you.  Someone WILL miss you.  
Reach out...Someone WILL grab your hand.
...Even if it's a total stranger.


Life is good.  Every single second.  No one said it would be easy, just that it would be worth it.

Love you all!

Peace,

Jenn

In loving memory of my brother, Eric, on what would have been his 46th birthday.

I will always love you, Eric.  Gone, but forever in my heart!

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Bitch Biting, Back Stabbing Biotches...

Wow, that got your attention, didn't it???


Ohhhh I can almost hear the clickity click clacks of the keyboard now...
DID YOU SEE WHAT SHE WROTE????

Relax... 
If you got all uptight and paranoid from the title of my blog, you don't belong here.

I've never been one to deny my "reality show" addiction.  The Real Housewives shows... my dirty little pleasure.  Almost all of them.  OC, NJ, Beverly Hills - Love them!

I watch for the mindless entertainment factor. The twisted "reality" that is edited and spun to create the dramatic scenes you get to watch. The things that people, like me, get all sucked in to - sort of like soap operas.

Mostly pretend, with a twist of "reality" spun in and the topics they intentionally or unintentionally convey.

Much of the time, the topics hit home - just like entertainment should be - thought provoking.


I was watching one of my Real Housewives addictions the other night and the rest of it this morning. There's always someone starting some sort of trouble with the other ones and, of course these episodes were no exception. One of the women, Lizzy, was stirring the trouble pot.  Somehow, this ONE woman managed to speak so much crap to the other women, that 3 of the 4 other women jumped right onto her bandwagon of drama and anger against this ONE other woman, Tamra, who pretty much didn't do anything.  No - she's no saint - but she didn't deserve the crucifixion she received either...

This is Lizzy
Anyway...

Were the things that Lizzy was saying actually things that were said by Tamra?

Well, yes... sort of.
There were definitely (many) word twists, intentionally blurred time lines, statements were delivered out of context then re-stated in a way to make the others upset, angry and hurt by the things Tamra had allegedly "said".

It was actually amazing to watch this ONE woman drop small pieces of truth, but not the entire story - just enough to get everyone's hackles up - but no enough for the REAL story to be told.

All because Tamra didn't go to her birthday party.  Can I get an eye roll here??

Stirring up that trouble pot good and hard.


I wanted to jump into TV Land and say "Hey, Hey....  Ummmm, I've been watching and that's NOT at ALL how it at went down."

Of course I can't do that, but I can be shocked and amazed that ONE person could be so manipulative and believe her own bullshit to such a degree that the others to believed her too.  Bravo.  (Get the pun there?  lol)

I felt sorry that Tamra was being "taken down" by Lizzy.  (Get that pun too??  If you watch RHOC you'll get it)

To a degree I related to how Tamra must have felt.
If someone is your really good friend, and someone else tells them something negative you supposedly said or did - you'd expect that friend to know better and if they didn't know better, you'd expect them to come to you to discuss it.  You wouldn't expect friendship ending decisions, when you never even did anything to the friend that's turned their back on you.

It was sad to watch.

Of the 4 woman spoken to in this episode, only ONE friend, Heather, came to Tamra with an open mind to discuss the situation.  Only ONE of the women knew better and trusted in her friendship.

THAT is what friends are supposed to do.

ONE friend trusted in her friendship.

The others were content to feed on the anger and drama.

It amazes me how many woman are more content to jump on the drama and anger band wagon than actually work out a friendship that's supposed to be important to them.  It seems they'd rather get sucked into, and believe, the nonsense rather than come to you with an open mind to save the friendship.  That's not friendship.

If someone is your true friend - the friendship comes first.  Not the drama.

I think that's why the Real Housewives issue hit so close to home.  I could watch it playing out on a TV screen and think WOW - that's how it works.

I feel extremely fortunate to no longer have this kind of silliness in my life.  I'm confident that the friendships that I maintain in my life, at this stage of the game, are genuine. Anyone who's wanted to continue a friendship with me still has one.  Those are the friendships that will always matter.


Yeah, I still feel pretty sorry for Tamra on RHOC.

But again, that's what TV drama is all about... the good story.

I'm sure they'll work it out by next season.

Thank you for reading my blog!!

~Jenn

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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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