Tuesday, July 21, 2015

This one's for you Kaitlyn...bullies SUCK. Even parents can be bullies

Last nights episode of the Bachelorette was kind of boring, but it was also eye opening. Kaitlyn might be polarizing, but from what I’ve learned in my years in radio, it’s better for people to have some kind of opinion of you than none at all. I think she’s accomplished that, right?  Unfortunately, though, some people have too much of an opinion and don’t know what to do with their thoughts. They’ve taken to being flat out hateful to her when it’s totally unnecessary.

If there’s one thing you have to admit about Kaitlyn, she owns her actions. Maybe she’s made some poor decisions…maybe not. She’s done what was right for her at the time and not everyone agrees with those choices. That’s fine. On the flip side, if Kaitlyn was a person who vowed to wait until marriage to even kiss a man, would she get such hate? Isn’t it just as extreme to make a lifelong commitment to a person not knowing if you have that connection with them? At least she has the courage to face her mistake, to keep Nick around to figure out if her feelings are just lust, and to finish this experiment the way she agreed to finish it.

The Tweets and messages that were read on the episode last night were downright sickening. People calling her a slut, whore, and wishing death on her were shameful. These people aren’t saying anything to the people on that show “Married at First Sight.” Those people don’t even know each other when they make vows to one another in God’s house. Then, in the end, they can commit what I’m told is the sin of divorce. They get MARRIED having no feelings for one another beyond possible physical attraction, but that’s acceptable? Even better, that’s more acceptable to a lot of people than two gay people who have loved one another for however many years? I’d love to know how that makes sense.

Beyond the moral ineptitude behind these thoughts goes the basic message of bullying. How is it ok to say such things to anyone? None of the people who sent those messages to Kaitlyn know her or what she’s feeling or going through. If you think she’s a whore, then I guess you think that everyone who’s ever been the Bachelor or Bachelorette is a whore because guess what? They all do it! You just don’t always know what happens. You think they sit there and sing lullabies in the fantasy suites? Why is Kaitlyn any worse than any other person who has been on this show?

Even more, why isn’t Ian getting backlash for being a total jackass? He had no right to say the things that he did right before he left the show. His apology last night was nothing more than a big show and his attempt to be the next Bachelor. Don’t you see it? He said that he should be the Bachelor. What’s better than the guy who left looking like some huge jerk and then came back, faced humiliation, and redeemed himself? I seriously hope that no one fell for that nonsense. It was the most insincere act I’ve seen in a while. Sickening.

It makes you think, though…if grown people feel that it’s totally acceptable to say those things to another person on social media, how can we possibly expect for kids to learn any differently? Why are such ignorant people the ones (SOMETIMES) that are blessed with children? There are so many types of bullying and I truly don’t think that we realize it before words come out of our mouths or before we type them on our Twitter accounts or Facebook pages.

One big thing that is on my mind right now…and it’s for personal reasons that I wish I could detail, but I can’t…is the effect that adults words and actions have on kids. In essence, adults being bullies to kids. I know that it might not seem like a parent or mentor or family member could or would be a bully to a kid, but I think that’s where we tend to go the most wrong. Here’s why.

There are some statements that can be made that will stick with a person forever. Here’s a personal one that I can share. When I was younger, one horrible person who should be in an institution said that I needed to watch my weight because I had a tendency to be fat. And now…here I am…an adult…and I still remember those words like they were spoken yesterday. How dare anyone speak to me or of me that way? Who has the right to put that thought in my head? I hate to tell you this, but from the ages of like maybe 8-14, you’re really vulnerable to body image issues. Unless a doctor tells you that your child is at risk for something, the only thing you should be telling your child or teenager is to take care of their body because they are perfect the way they are. Period. I vow to never refer to myself as fat around a child. I will encourage health and not accuse them of being less than the best. You know what? We could all be better. But who are you to be telling a kid that they need to watch their weight because they have a tendency to be fat? Now that I can, I say to you that you should go eff yourself.

I know that I was never the sharpest tool in the shed, but I tried. I also will never forget the day that we had to learn to write the cursive letter “F.” I think I about drove my mom insane. She never called me stupid of anything, but I know she was frustrated. That’s another way that parents bully their kids. Name-calling. Think about it before you call your child stupid because they make a bad grade. Don’t say they’re a brat because they throw a tantrum in the grocery store. Kids will be kids and if you can’t deal with it, perhaps parenthood wasn’t meant for you. If you need to call a name or two to your spouse at the end of the night, have at it. But don’t do it to your kids face. Unless that’s the way you want them to grow up handling other people.

There’s a lot to be said about the way you treat others around your children. That’s how they learn to treat others. Think about it. If I’m a 2-year old and I see my dad punch someone every time he meets them, what am I going to do? Most likely punch people when I meet them. I’m screwed because my daddy is violent. If you talk down to your significant other and show no respect, where is your child going to learn respect? If you let the trash pile up in your house because you’re too lazy to clean it, how is your child going to learn hygienic responsibility? Do you see the trend?

You are setting the standard for future generations. So am I. I’m around kids all the time. I spend most of my free time around three kids that mean the world to me. I’m not talking out of turn with all of this. Life is definitely a world of practicing what you preach. Respecting and showing kindness isn’t that hard. If you can’t do that, at least being civil should come somewhat easy. I’m not saying bow down and kiss everyone’s feet, but tweeting someone and calling him or her a slut or whore and wishing them dead because they admit to having made a mistake makes you no better than them. Check your own morals before you cast contempt on someone else’s. I can almost promise you that if you look into the mirror honestly, you have no room to look down on another person.

And with that…I will now spell check.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

More on the hate thing and the anniversary of Ethan

Man, I have a lot of stuff that I need to get off my chest. I’m going to probably make people mad (as proven by my post a couple weeks ago on FB). I have stuff to say about SCOTUS making gay marriage legal and the things that have been said since. It really sucks when I’m told to take my post down because others might disagree with it. That’s the beauty of everyone having their own social media pages and the ability to look at what others post. If they disagree, they can move on like normal people and see that that’s the beauty of intelligence. We are meant to differ in opinions. Hating someone because of a difference in opinion is a different story.

I was called a hypocrite when I posted this:

The words of the Texas Attorney General. My interpretation is that love denounces the Constitution and the value of family. I would rather have a family made of loving people filled with acceptance than one made of straight bigots. Hate is a repulsive quality.

This was in response to the Texas Attorney General saying that the allowance of gay marriage was the beginning of the dilution of marriage. It was preceded by words about religion and sin and family values that made me feel utter disgust. Not hate, but disgust. All that I can assume is that those who were so hell bent on hating me for what I said don’t know the definition of the word bigot. Well, here it is.

Bigot: a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.

Now, if my saying that hate is a repulsive quality makes me a bigot towards haters, then so be it. I’m ok with that. However, I take issue with the way that a lot of people have handled this issue. I’m not stupid enough to think that God wrote the Bible. If you took my comment about that on my post literally, then I understand why you’re likely pissed about what I said and I will mail you a dictionary. I’m not a horribly religious person. I NEED to believe in a higher power for my sanity. I do not believe that all of my actions are being judged by that higher power and that the rules of however many thousands of years ago should apply today. That’s insanity in my opinion. Too rigid.

Here’s my thing. I know how I am. I am not afraid to sit here and tell you that I have felt the way that I do regarding sexuality since I was little. It’s not a trend or a choice, so if you think that it’s like a light switch or that it’s one of those things that we can just take or leave, you’re wrong. I cannot speak for others. I cannot explain people who claim to be bisexual. I speak for me. So it’s hard for me to sit back and be hated by those who go to church every Sunday and say, “love one another for we are all His creatures…” and then find a reason to not accept me. What about the adulterer to your right? Or the child molester you had dinner with last weekend, but you don’t want to rock the family boat by turning him in? Why are they more acceptable than me? Isn’t that a bigger issue than who I fall asleep with at night? I’m not a pervert. I would never do anything wrong to another person. So why hold me in lower regard than you do the person who should be in prison right now? I don’t understand.

I heard a recording of a sermon yesterday of a preacher who I know tried really hard to get it right. He was saying not to hate us gays and not to be mad at the Supreme Court because God’s children shouldn’t carry anger. He said he welcomed the LGBT community to worship there on Sunday’s, but that the church would not marry same sex couples. But keep coming to church, please. Keep giving 10% of your earnings so they can keep the latest big screens and the best sound systems. But if you want to have the same rights as that straight couple beside you by getting married, go somewhere else. Goodness knows what they do when they leave church. Maybe they run a non-profit charity. Maybe they rob non-profits. Who knows. Regardless, it’s not fair to deny any of us the right to live and express human emotion based on gender.

I’ll admit that I was a little worried when the courts were flooded with same sex couples getting married as soon as it was legal. I hope that we are taking this seriously and not just getting married to prove a point. It’s a commitment to be taken seriously, so let’s do so. It’s a serious right to be given and a big one to be denied. Why it’s more acceptable in some people’s eyes for the man or woman who has cheated and destroyed their past three marriages to get married again while it’s unacceptable for me to not get married once is beyond me. All I can explain is myself, though. I can just pray that hate and stupidity is not genetic and I can teach love and acceptance as much as I know how. I can practice tolerance until I’m blue in the face, even if those I tolerate don’t really deserve it. We all have enough of our own problems as it is, so why take it upon ourselves to make whom others love one of those problems, too? It makes no sense! I’m sure there are many other reasons to dislike me. Legitimate ones. So pick one of those, please.

Now, totally switching gears. Monday is July 13. The 4-year mark of my nephew, Ethan Pacheco, drowning. I’m sick to my stomach thinking about it. Still. If you didn’t keep up with me back then, here’s the background. He was my life. I picked him up every chance I got. I drove my sister to the hospital when she went into labor. That baby was like my own child. He taught me to be OK with sweat, tears, and snot other than my own. He taught me that it was time to calm down and enjoy life for what it is. Take in the little things like bubble lawn mowers, sunflowers on the nature trail, kids Lo Mein at Pei Wei, Hot Wheels, a good beat in a song, sneaking food and drinks mom and dad didn’t allow, the dollar section at Target, and endless hugs and kisses.

I could go on and on about him and the times we had together, but it hurts still. I could talk about my sister calling and telling me about the accident, but that hurts. I still remember the touch of his skin on my lips when I got to the hospital. I have never felt that pain before in my life and it’s still somewhat there. It’s weird still not knowing how to handle Mother’s Day and Father’s Day with my sister and brother in law because of the loss of Ethan. They have Jake now, which is the biggest blessing. I know they have a void still, though. I bought Jake a shirt that says “World’s Best Brother,” and I wonder if that was a good or bad idea. I said earlier that I need to believe in a higher power and this is why. For my Ethan. I need to believe that he’s in a great place, looking down on his mom and dad and that he’s seen his baby brother and he watches over them because I can’t. They are in Maui and I’m in Texas, so that makes it hard. I need to know that Ethan feels no pain and that he knows I’m thinking about him and I haven’t gone to Pei Wei since we lost him. That was what we did. It seems pretty pointless to go when the manager isn’t running around when we walk in to get his chair all fixed up.

I guess time does make it easier. For a while I didn’t get out of bed and now I’m here at work. Life does go on and I feel like life is great. I do worry, though, that maybe Ethan isn’t always listening now when I talk to him. I still talk to him a lot. His mommy, daddy, and brother are in Hawaii, so maybe he spends a lot of time listening there. That’s OK. He should be focusing his attention on his family. As long as he knows that his Aunt Shanon still loves him so, so much and will be going to a nature trail to walk and share stories with Meagan about him.

I think it’s kind of funny that this blog is about these two things. It sort of goes to show that maybe we should take a step back every now and then and shut up. Quit worrying about everybody else’s this and that and stop making issues where there are none. What difference does it make if I’m married or not? What difference does it make if I’m married to a man or woman? Seriously? How does that affect you? Put all of your religious arguments aside and tell me…how does it affect your life? Is it worth giving up the energy that could be going into someone or something that IS important? You really and truly do not have another moment promised to you. I learned that the hard way with my Ethan and there’s ONE THING I thank God for with that. I didn’t take a single minute for granted with him. Sort out your nonsense and soak up what matters. Believe me. If today was your last day and your last thought was one about the legalization of gay marriage, I promise you you’d feel cheated. Make it count.

While you’re making your thoughts count, will you please say a little prayer for Emma Elizondo and her family? She is just not doing well. She’s back in the hospital with some serious issues and could use some serious prayer warriors. Good thoughts put into the universe would be awesome. Thank you so much…