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Next Life, NO Kids: December 2015

December 22, 2015

5 Reasons I'm Not A "Christmas Person"

I am not a "Christmas person."

I'm not actually 100% sure what that means, but I am sure the fact that the phrase alone gives me the creeps is a clue. Apparently, I lack the starry eyed gaze of "The Christmas Spirit."

I have really tried to accommodate the expectation, and the more I've struggled with it this year, the more I've pondered the answers to WHY.

Here's what I've come up with.

 

I am an empath, and everyone is fucking miserable. 

  

I am an empath; which basically means I feel and take on the weight of everyone else's emotional shit. I have yet to figure out how to put a cap on it, so every year around this time, I find myself wanting to jump a bridge. I can't even walk into Target, the greatest place on Earth, without fighting the sudden urge to set myself on fire and run through the isles screaming, "SAVE YOURSELVES!!" 

I usually start and quit smoking butts (again) at least three times between November and January...because I hate you and you're ruining my life.


I would definitely be happier if I wasn't such an ungrateful twat. 


It's my understanding that the spirit of Christmas is supposed to produce some level of inner merriment that I just don't get. The season begins during my annually scheduled trip to Hardcore Depression & Stifling Anxiety Island. It's often quite difficult to stray from its strict itinerary of paranoia and emotional angst long enough to focus on anything else. It's hard for me to feel happy when I feel so useless. 

It's not easy to find the motivation to get out of bed when I feel like this. Never mind the pressure of making glorious memories, with my poor children, that don't involve me yelling again; because I woke up overwhelmed and incapable of handing anything beyond coffee and my little spoon (If you understand this reference, I love you extra hard right now).

The pressure-washed season of joyful bliss highlights the fact that I should be happy, and also that there's definitely something wrong with me because I want to kill myself every forty seconds. 

I mean, there are people literally dying, alone, starving, and scared! 
Who the hell am I to feel sad?

So, I usually fake it, and that makes me tired and irritable. 

"I'm sorry, I can't get to Christmas right now, because I'm anxious, depressed, and find you extremely exhausting. Please leave a message."


BEEEP

It's possible everyone is going to die.


For some ungodly reason, my depression-fueled anxiety is hyper-focused around death and loss. So, every time someone I love leaves the house, I feel like I might never see them again and prepare myself for the phone call. I immediately jump to having to live without them.

Festive, right? Sign me up.

It's hard to get excited about things when everyone is probably going to die. 

Christmas and mental problems are like best friends.


via GIPHY

 

People are actually trying to kill us.


If I do wrangle my mental problems long enough to make it out of the house during the holiday rush, I'm usually met with at least ten people who are in a terrible hurry. They need to get wherever they are going ten minutes ago, and they are determined to make it, even if it means killing everyone on the road standing in the way. During the festive holiday season, even a trip to the store for milk can result in barely escaping death by shiny SUV, blasting Andy Williams (which is most likely the reason Christmas music makes me stabby). 

When I'm depressed, anxious and my life is threatened, my typical response is rage.

Obviously everyone is pretty stoked to find out we're taking my car.




Commercialism


I feel like I have no idea what Christmas is about anymore - if I ever did. As a recovering Catholic, I have vague memories about it having something to do with the birth of Jesus, but who can be sure anymore? I'm no longer religious (mostly because I loathe guilt), so I'm not entirely sure why we celebrate. Wait...yes I am.  We celebrate to conform to what can only be defined as a brilliantly crafted, Hallmark holiday straight outta Hell. 

Everyone else is doing it. We should do it, too. 

We hide behind the spirit of the holiday. We talk about how it's all about family, and "the most wonderful time of the year," but most of our conversations concerning Christmas revolve around what we're "getting." We fight total strangers in the line at Walmart for the last Nutri Ninja, secretly hoping someone will record and post it on YouTube, so we can get our 15 seconds of "fame."

We dress our families in uncomfortable, itchy clothing they wouldn't be caught dead in, and ask them to sit still and smile long enough to capture the perfect picture - a picture that encapsulates no part of our real lives - so that we can mail them out to people who might be jealous of our faux display of perfection or the time we had to even send out cards with all these kids running around. 


This year I said, "fuck it."

We make lists to include people we perhaps haven't thought about all year, unless we follow their lives on Facebook, and we decide how much they mean to us by determining if it's a card, gift, or visit year. Small talk becomes, "What are you getting the kids for Christmas this year?" as if we really care more than wish to compare our own lists and budget. 

We've turned into a society completely accepting of entitled asshole-ism. During the holidays, I feel like it's in stereo. People are running around like they're the most important people on the planet so they can be first in line to be crowned Most Selfish Dick in the name of "Christmas," and it tires me out. Yes, of course there are people doing good deeds; which might be way easier to focus on longer if it weren't for the amount of folks lining up to take advantage.  






The spirit of Christmas has been invaded, snatched up, and replaced by the spirit of me me me, and maybe I'm no good at pretending it hasn't. If that makes me less of a "Christmas person," I'm okay with that. Because let's face it, if this is the most wonderful time of the year? I think we might be fucked.




Please stay safe, and take care this holiday season. If you, like me, are prone to depression and anxiety, please reach out. If you're a woman, here are two judgment-free Facebook groups (yes, it's very possible) you may find helpful or even necessary.


Sober Mommies - Closed Group  
(supporting women in or contemplating recovery)

Mommitment Group  
(supporting ALL women)


via GIPHY





Whether you love what you just read or hated everything about it, let's connect and talk about it! I'm always open to honest feedback.
Come be social with me!





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December 01, 2015

Why I Intentionally Left Out The "L Word" When Talking To My Daughter About Sex

"When two people love each other..." they do it. He puts his thing in her thing and they make a baby. Yes, because... love

The first time I heard this, I was nine years old and hiding in the very back seat of a school bus. It was right after Joey Mahoney asked me if I was "on the rag." He was older, and I had a wicked crush on him. I yelled back a pretty firm, "No??" and then asked a friendly older girl to explain what a rag was, and if it was something I wanted to be on.

It's possible she was trying to shield me from the realities of sex, or maybe she too was given this information by someone she trusted and still believed; like the existence of The Tooth Fairy. Or perhaps the illusion had not been smashed for her. In any event, after she informed me that someday I would bleed ferociously from my vagina, I had questions. She did her best to answer them before she got off the bus.

"When two people love each other..."

I remember making a promise to myself that day to never let a boy "love" me; horrified by what I might let him do to me. 

The summer after I turned thirteen, Joey's friend Mike found his way into my bedroom window, "late-night." We went for walks on the beach and he told me how special and mature I was. He was beautiful, and totally wanted to "love" me the way I had learned about on the bus. Unfortunately for him, I was way too afraid and intimidated by the intensity of his mojo to follow through. I'd like to thank him for being the kind of guy who listens when a girl says "stop," even if it's inconvenient.

When I lost my virginity freshman year, it was with someone I thought I loved. He mentioned the word love and wanted to have sex, so obviously it was serious. He was a virgin too, and ready to take this step with me. I was sure he wanted to spend eternity with me.

So I was completely dumbfounded the following week; when he stopped calling me right back, and then had his new girlfriend call me to ask that I leave him alone forever. 

After that, I was overwhelmed by the amount of boys suddenly aware of their "love" for me after hearing I was no longer a virgin.

Anyway, I learned the hard way that sex doesn't actually require love. Through the years, I came to the understanding - via the Drunken Rejection Express - that it doesn't even have to involve like.

When my daughter started asking questions about sex many years ago, and I knew she was ready for the answers, I intentionally left out the "L word." Instead, I told her the story of my first time; what I had been told and believed, and what actually happened. I told her had I known I'd still remember the details of my first time so many years later, I would have opted for someone else to give myself to - someone who was actually interested in me for more than the act. 

I was also pretty honest about the fact that sex at 15 was not a beautiful experience. It was painful and awkward and terrible. I told her if I could go back, I would have probably chosen to be with someone who wouldn't have thrown my clothes at me when we were finished; when he was done with me. I also let her in on the secret that sometimes "I love you" is code for "I lust you," and gave her some tips on how to tell the difference.

I intentionally left out the "L word," because I didn't want to lie to her. As much as I was praying she'd wait until she found the right person, I was careful not to send the message that it would definitely end in "happily ever after." Maybe once upon a time sex was always about "When two people love each other...," but it certainly isn't today. Life is not a fairy tale.

I can't ever go back and change that day in my own life, but I did my best to ensure my daughter's day would be far more informed and on her terms.

I believe this opened the door for honest communication. It allowed her to ask questions, and gave me the opportunity to answer them without feeling like I was setting her up for future disappointment. 

I never suggested that love wasn't important in a sexual relationship, but I also didn't ask her to feel terrible and ashamed if she found it wasn't. I put the ball in her court, and hoped she'd make the right choice for herself when the time came.

Because when two people love each other... they tell each other the truth. 





Whether you love what you just read or hated everything about it, let's connect and talk about it! I'm always open to honest feedback. Come be social with me!



Find me on Facebook, Twitter, or on my Facebook Page!


I'm So Glad I Was Wrong - A Letter To My Daugher  #motheringteens

http://www.nextlifenokids.com/2013/02/what-i-wont-tell-you.html

http://www.nextlifenokids.com/2014/06/dont-be-c-u-next-tuesday.html


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