Anxiety, Introversion, and High Sensitivity, oh my!

It’s the triple threat and it’s why I tend to see the world a little differently than most people. It always strikes me as funny because I see the world as obstacles to overcome and hurdles to jump, but everyone is always surprised when they learn I am an introvert. I’ve never talked about anxiety with anyone, but it’s there and is really happy being paired with the introversion. Being a highly sensitive person is just a bonus.

Intoversion

Oh, the joys of being an introvert. There are billions of articles out there about being one since it’s a very popular thing to be nowadays. They make it sound like we’re a separate species or something, but really, there is one key difference between being an introvert and an extrovert: extroverts need social interaction to create certain happy brain chemicals. It makes them happy and full of energy and is necessary for them. Introverts use up happy brain chemicals during social interactions and build it up in solitude. Those happy brain chemicals become coin to use and social interactions are assigned to categories: worth the cost or not? This is ANY interaction, not just parties. Meeting with a friend, play dates, taking the kids to the park, being around your kids, hanging with your husband. All of it takes a toll from you; all of it costs happy brain chemicals. Some introverts can’t handle small talk at all because it so damn pointless and it’s waste of my precious happy stuff! I like deeper conversations, but I can handle small talk in small doses. I love my couch and Netflix and reading because during that time I’m creating my happy chemicals and introverts require such solitude in order to be calm and happy. Nap time is essential for me as a parent because it gives me some time to rest by myself.

Anxiety

I’m naturally shy and a very private person. I am also an overachiever and hate being wrong and very rarely ask for help. This all stems from anxiety issues of people judging me (even if they aren’t) and is compounded by my introversion. If I approach you and start a conversation, you should seriously consider giving me an award. I stress and worry about possible scenarios at parties. “What if” is a favorite game of mine. I worry about things I have to do or finish. My husband has often gotten frustrated at my stress over things beyond my control and has said, “Just stop worrying about it. You’ll find out tomorrow,” or “You can’t do anything about it now, just stop worrying about it.” To which I reply, “HA, easy for you to say.” Because it is easy to say but WAY harder to do in practice. My anxiety has gotten better as I’ve gotten older, although postpartum anxiety was pretty bad with my babies. Still, I understand what’s it’s like to freeze up or be unable to breathe when anxiety suddenly rears it’s head. Anxiety is real and it can debilitate your ability to go out, to do things, to conquer.  It isn’t something you can easily “get over” or “push through.”  It’s actually a terrible thing to say to someone with anxiety because it just makes the anxiety worse.

Highly Sensitive

And then, as if I didn’t have anything else to deal with, let’s through being highly sensitive into the mix. This isn’t a bad thing really, it just means that I notice way more than the average person and I’m extremely empathetic. By notice more, I mean I see everything and I remember almost everything that is told to me (I’m an auditory learner which helps with that). If you tell me you like scones, don’t be surprised that I remember that and bring you scones one day, even though you thought it was an insignificant part of the conversation. This makes me a GREAT gift giver because people forget the stuff they’ve told me they wan, but I remember. I can visit your house once and then again in a month and I’ll be able to tell you if one picture has been moved on your fireplace mantle. No, I’m not creeping around memorizing everything, I just notice that it’s different and probably can’t tell you what it was before just that it’s different now. I can’t watch gory horror movies or violent movies. Once I see that stuff I cannot unsee it and I will get flashes of it forever after that. I know that it’s fake, but that doesn’t matter. I don’t find many comedies funny simply because they make me uncomfortable or embarrassed (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Kimmy Schmidt, Wet Hot American Summer all fall into this category).  I’m sensitive to emotions, more so than other people, and can pick up on stuff that other people miss. All of this can make social occasions like parties or even restaurants somewhat overwhelming because I’m hearing and seeing EVERYTHING and I can get overstimulated.

So, the next time you see me out somewhere, just remember what it took to even go out of my door. I completely understand people who want to always stay inside their house, I just happen to think seeing people and doing things is important, necessary, AND fun (yes, I do like it, once I get there, but it’s all worry before I leave the house).  If you find I’ve disappeared for a while, I just needed to recharge a little, it’s not because I’m sad or angry. If I turn down an invitation, it’s not because I don’t like you, it’s just that I can’t handle that right now, but next time might be better, so ask me again!

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The “evils” of Princess Movies

I’m a big Disney fan. Huge. I think they make good movies and I don’t think those movies are as inherently sexist as many people say. For one, I think it’s a matter of perspective. I’m a big believer in talking to my children during movies. I never just sit them down and show them one. We sit together and talk about motivations and emotions. I use them as learning opportunities, not babysitting ones. That’s not to say we do nothing but watch TV, because we don’t, but that when it does happen, I try to be involved with it with them.

So, here are some of the ideas I have about a few Disney Princess movies, some of which get so much flack from people for being sexist. I present them in a whole different light to my kids than just “she got rescued by the guy.”

Cinderella (inspired by this set of tweets by @MeliGrey)

Oh, this one takes so much heat. People say that Cinderella is passive and just waiting to be rescued by her prince instead of saving herself. To this I say bullshit.

Cinderella was raised in an abusive environment and I don’t care how strong a person you are, when you are treated by family as a slave and told you are less than nothing, you start to believe it a little bit. Maybe a lot. You start to fear breaking the rules, I mean REALLY start to fear it. You try everything to make the abuser happy, even though that’s an impossible task. Cinderella wasn’t waiting to be rescued, she was SURVIVING. In addition to this, she was a happy person, an optimistic one who still believed in dreams. She could have become bitter, angry, and abusive in turn, but chose to be the opposite. That’s some strong will right there. She broke the cycle of abuse. SHE BROKE IT.

Then, when that stepmother tore her dress and ruined her dream of going to the ball, did Cinderella give up? NOPE. She went incognito. She BROKE The RULES. She went anyway, even though she knew there would be hell to pay if her step-mother found out. This is a big deal for someone in an abusive situation. By going, she found someone who loved her and she loved back. And why would that be a bad thing? She deserves love more than most people. I’m glad she can love someone and be happy.

The Little Mermaid

Or as I like to call it: Romeo and Juliet with tails (and without the dying). Seriously, Ariel did not change herself for a man. That song, ‘Part of Your World’ was sung BEFORE she ever laid eyes on Prince Eric. She wanted to be human for a long time. It was her dream. She collected human objects and obsessed over shipwrecks.

No, she would have probably married a merman and lived a happy mermaid life if her father had been a little more understanding. Her DAD was the reason she became a mermaid, not Eric. You cannot tell me that you didn’t have a crush on someone when you were 16 and had their posters all over your bedroom. Ariel had a statue. Her dad was angry and unsupportive and prejudiced. He not only destroyed her statue, he destroyed all of the human stuff she had collected over YEARS. This was stuff she adored and loved and he destroyed it like trash. Then, in that moment of learning that her father would NEVER understand her or support her or love her for what she is, she was convinced to visit the Sea Witch.

She didn’t turn into a human for a MAN, she did it because she was a damned teenager. She felt alone and alienated. And teenagers, ever since humans crawled out of the muck and learned how to say “You don’t understand! I hate you!” have been doing shit like the EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT YOU SAY. It was the Sea Witch who used Eric as part of the spell.

Beauty and the Beast (also seen here, if you know the author, please let me know)

Ok, last one, I think. Belle does not have Stockholm syndrome. This movie is an amazing piece on society and inclusion/exclusion/bullies/and beauty.  Seriously, just think about it. Gaston is revered for his attitude because he is considered manly. Our society encourages bullying because people who are different from us are scary and weird. Gaston is handsome and a bully and the town LOVES him for it. Belle is pretty, but she READS (the horror) and her father is an inventor (OMG, WHAT?) and so are not like the other simple ignorant town folk. The whole opening song is about how Belle is different from the rest of them. Belle feels like an outsider. She has no friends. She is excluded even though she is smart and kind.

The beast is what Gaston should look like. That is Gaston under the handsome appearance, a horrible beast. The Beast, on the other hand, WAS like Gaston, but the curse forced him to think about other. He was a bully who became an outcast. He experienced exclusion. In his solitude, he only had himself to think about, but as soon as Belle got there, he had someone ELSE to think about. He learned to be empathetic and his experience as an outcast taught him something. He grows as a person. He LEARNS. Belle, for the first time, is in a place where she is accepted. The Beast gives her access to his library: he GETS her and what she likes.  And then, he let’s her go because he wants her to be happy. He is SAD when the villagers come to get him, not angry. He only fights back when Belle comes back because then he realizes he has someone who loves him and he’s included.

This movie is not just about Belle. Belle doesn’t need to change. She already sees the good in the Beast and the bad in Gaston. She is intelligent and she reads and learns. She is just a force of change: Gaston doesn’t change and dies for it, while the Beast DOES and the spell is broken.

Ok, that’s enough for now. I hope you enjoyed my pro-Disney movie rant. My challenge to you is to look at a movie in a different way. I am all for feminism and equality, as you know, but things aren’t always black and white.

Fish

 

It had been a normal day for Mary. Her alarm clock had gone off at 6:30AM as usual. Her morning routine had taken thirty minutes as usual. She had spent ten more minutes having her cup of morning coffee with no milk and two sugars, as usual. There had been no indication that this day would not be usual in any way.

Mary worked in an advertising firm in the city doing nothing particularly exciting or requiring any special talent. Her car was a small foreign model sedan, the same as thousands of other people. The one special thing she had that separated her form her friends and coworkers was her tiny house outside the city.  She had saved for years, suffered through tiny apartments, odd roommates, and eating inexpensive frozen meals to save for it. The house wasn’t large, but it was tidy, neat, and hers. After the bustle and insanity of the city, this house became her sanctuary. Everything was done in a certain way and she never had to deviate from her routines and habits.

Now, this morning, after it’s promising beginning, would become the morning that changed her life forever. It started when she stepped out the door. There, right on her brown mat with the bold black letters spelling “Welcome,” was a fish tail. Mary frowned, confused. She had no pets and from what she knew of her neighbors, no one would have done this. But, it was only a fish tail, so she got a paper towel, picked it up and deposited it neatly in the garbage bin in the garage (no need to stink up the house, after all). Mary then promptly forgot about it.

The drive to the city began as normal. There were lights, cars, loud music, and stops and starts. She tuned her radio to classical and did her best to ignore the chaos. Unfortunately, there was more chaos than usual this particular morning. A traffic accident on the main freeway had backed up traffic for miles. Annoyed, Mary considered waiting it out, but knew that she had an appointment not long after she usually arrived at work. Deciding that the appointment was important enough, Mary took the next exit in order to arrive on time. As she took a left, she saw a fish head on the side of the road. Well, she thought, at least it’s not on my front porch.

As she drove down the surface street, along with other people trying to avoid the traffic, she noticed the sky, which had been bright and promising earlier, was rapidly becoming dark. The closer she got to the city, the darker it got, until it turned a gut clenching odd green color. Mary had never seen such a sky and sent a fervent hope out that she would find shelter before the storm broke.

Of course, that didn’t happen. Not only was she still driving, the storm that broke was not your normal storm. Her first hint at its abnormality was when the fish landed on her windshield. It was a fairly large fish, with splendid silvery scales, and it hit with a sick smack, promptly spilled its guts, and Mary found herself unable to see out of her windshield. Now, no one really knows how to react when a fish hits their windshield, but Mary cried out in surprise and then applied her brakes, hit her emergency lights, and found a place to pull over.

Stepping out of her car, she found herself on the main drag of a small town. She was parked in front of an auto parts store (what a coincidence, she thought), and next to a bar called “The Usual.” She turned to look at her car and sighed. What a mess. Scales, blood, and other fish parts decorated the windshield; this simply wouldn’t do.

Mary turned to the auto-parts store to find some cleaning supplies and found someone had come out to see her.

“Good morning!” he greeted her brightly. He was tall, good looking (she supposed), and wore blue jeans and a white t-shirt. “I saw your emergency lights and though I’d come out. What seems to be – Goddamn, is that a fish?”

Mary cringed at the profanity, but nodded. “Um, yes. If you could just get some glass cleaner and a rag, I’ll get it cleaned up and be out of your hair.” Her every move and her very demeanor screamed a desire to be left alone.

“Well, I’ll be. How the hell did a fish end up on your car?” He stepped closer, peering at it.

She stepped back before answering. “Oh, well, it just fell on it.”

“No! From where?”

“Er, the sky, I imagine.” Really, she just wanted him to leave her be and where else would it fall from?!

“I’ll be damned. Never seen anything like it.” At this point he turned and smiled at her. “Must’ve scared you when it hit.”

“It certainly startled me, yes,” she replied, looking at him as if he were crazy. “Please, I’m in a bit of a hurry-”

“Now, I don’t have much that will take off fish. A new windshield I have, but you need a scraper and glass cleaner. Easy fix really.”

Was this man an idiot? Hadn’t she just said that? “Yes,” she said simply, not wanting to prolong a conversation with him by arguing.

“I’m Jack,” he said, and stuck out a grease and oil stained hand at her. Gingerly, she reached out to shake it. Ignoring her squeamishness, he grabbed her hand firmly, pumping it several times. “Let’s go find you those things and get this windshield clean.”

She followed him into the bar next door, grimacing at her oily hand. She had run out of travel tissues yesterday, so she had to deal with it for now. As Jack approached  the door, he pulled the handle, which refused to move. “Must be too early,” he muttered.

“It’s only 7:30,” she replied.

“Well, of course it is. Come on,” And then, just then, the storm broke. Rain fell so heavily she felt as if a bucket were being poured over her ehad. She couldn’t see or breath and rapidly began to panic.

“Hey now! This way, ma’am.” Jack’s greasy hand grabbed her white crisp, irioned, white shirt and pulled. She practically fell into the shelter of an awning, careening into him. “All right, then?” he asked, peering at her.

“Yes, thank you.” She wasn’t really.  Her hair was soaking and ruined, her shirt was transparent, her make-up running, and she was late.

“I don’t think this will let up soon. Why don’t you come in and have breakfast?”

Turning, Mary saw the awning they stood under belonged to a diner. “Oh, no, thank you. The rain probably got rid of the fish now. You have been very helpful, but I really need to go.” And she squared her shoulders, stepped out into the rain, and was promptly hit on the head with a fish. It bounced off, hit her shoulder, and then fell on her right foot. “Augh!” she cried in disgust, jumping back under the awning.

Jack was laughing. Loudly. “That-your face! Ha ha!” He bent over clutching his stomach. Mary felt something she had never felt before: pure rage.” She jumped at him, hitting him everywhere. Still laughing, Jack simply caught her hands. Once he stilled, he looked at her flashing eyes, running mascara and all, her flushed cheeks, and her heaving chest. “It’s nice to finally really meet you.” he said, grinning.

Taken aback, Mary gaped at him.

“Now, how about breakfast?” He had blue eyes, she saw.

“Oh, I, um, I suppose.” she stammered. And that day began something. It may or may not turn into a beautiful romance, but it wasn’t the usual. Mary never had the usual ever again and it was all thanks to that fish that fell from the sky and hit her windshield.

Kim Davis is not Rosa Parks

Or Martin Luther King Jr. If you are comparing the two you are so wrong I cannot even tell you how wrong you are.

  1. Christians are not being persecuted in this country. ISIS is beheading Christians right now. Are you in danger of being beheaded? Do you need to go into hiding? Just because we are living in a country of laws NOT created out of your religion does NOT mean you are being persecuted. In any part of this country you can stand on a corner with a sign that says I AM A CHRISTIAN and nothing will happen to you. Because our country was founded on the belief that anyone can practice any religion we established a SEPARATION of CHURCH and STATE.  Religion and laws are to be separate, according to the Constitution that we live under. Separate. You are not special because you are a Christian. Your rules are not everyone’s rules. Stop thinking they are and STOP trying to make them be.
  2. Stop comparing a white woman to a. black people and b. black people from the Civil Rights era especially.  Rosa Park was blacklisted and couldn’t find a job. She had to leave Alabama because of that and the fact that she was receiving constant death threats. MLK Jr. was jailed for 11 days. His house was fire bombed. The FBI tried to find dirt on him. Politicians were NOT waiting for him when he exited the jail. There was no rally. He was assassinated. When you compare Kim Davis to these figures you have no understanding of what true persecution is or what those figures suffered in their daily lives. None. Stop doing it.
  3. Kim Davis is an elected official. ELECTED. This means that BY LAW she has to do as the LAW says. She is not someone working at a Hobby Lobby. She is a government official and swore an oath (on a Bible no less) to uphold the duties of her office regardless of her religion BECAUSE OF THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE. She ignored that and so she broke the law. She defied a court order, and so she went to jail. She was not persecuted because of her beliefs, she went to jail because she broke the law. Period.

She is not a martyr. She is not being persecuted. Stop. Saying. She. Is. Kim Davis is not Rosa Parks.

Dress Codes, Girls, and Feminism

This is a very popular question recently: do dress codes unfairly target girls? It was brought to my attention yet again when I saw this article in the Orange County Register this morning. So, what’s going on with the dress codes?

Well, girls are feeling unfairly picked on. In a nutshell:

Laura Bates, co-founder of The Everyday Sexism Project, wrote in a recent opinion piece in Time magazine: “When a girl is taken out of class on a hot day for wearing a strappy top, because she is ‘distracting’ her male classmates, his education is prioritized over hers. When a school takes the decision to police female students’ bodies while turning a blind eye to boys’ behavior, it sets up a lifelong assumption that sexual violence is inevitable and victims are partially responsible. Students are being groomed to perpetuate the rape culture narrative that sits at the very heart of our society’s sexual violence crisis.

I think there is some truth to this. Remember, I taught high school. Not only that, I have two teenage sisters and I was once a teenager myself. There’s a lot that goes into what a teenager decides to wear to school on any given day, boy or girl, but girls face much more criticism than boys do. A boy can wear pretty much anything he wants to class and not get in trouble, but they also have few choices to choose from clothing wise (yet another difference between genders). Most boys wear tees-shirts and jeans and call it a day. Girls have so many options: tank tops, tee-shirts,  spaghetti straps, yoga pants, jeans, shorts, skirts, dresses, sandals, tennis shoes, combat boots…. Any of these can be worn in combination according to the girls’ taste or feelings that day and here comes the crux of the problem of dress codes: they are awfully subjective. What one person considers objectionable someone else thinks is totally fine.

I think there is a problem with dress codes, but I also think high school is a place where students are taught about what is appropriate as an adult in a professional world. If I wore yoga pants and a tank top to a job interview, I wouldn’t be hired. The need to dress correctly for different situations is something that teenagers often don’t understand and must be explained. School is not their house or the movies. School is a professional environment, albeit it’s casual Friday five days a week. As a professional environment, they should dress ready to learn, not lounge. Comfortable clothing, but not pajamas. The same rules should apply to the boys: I don’t need to know what pattern you have on your underwear. Wear clothing that covers it up, not because it offends me or will excite members of the opposite sex, but because it’s professional.

As a teacher, I find it hard to believe that in this day an age, a boy will totally lose focus because the girl in front of him is wearing a black spaghetti strap tank top with a pink bra and the bra straps are showing. I, personally, don’t like my bra straps to show, but fashion has moved toward bras being used almost as accessories and the common trend now is that it’s ok for a bra strap to show. BUT. See, again we run into professional environment. Wearing a tank top would be ok if it had wider straps, I think. It IS high school and not an office and in Southern California it gets damn hot and the schools are usually not enclosed affairs you find where it snows. You eat lunch and walk to classes outside. Comfortable clothing, not pajamas, remember.

And then there is the question of age. As an adult, I can wear almost anything I want. As a child, I don’t think you can. With maturity comes responsibility and until you reach that maturity, you have to follow the rules more mature people put in place for you. It’s just the way it is and sometimes it sucks. A young girl wearing shorts that are so short her ass hangs out is not appropriate because she is a YOUNG girl. Teenagers want to be seen as adults, more than ANYTHING, but unfortunately, they are not yet adults.  As such, they should wear clothing that covers more skin and isn’t something a college student would wear. Again, though, this is very subjective and parents will let their child leave the house wearing something that I would never let my daughter be seen in.

See? It’s a tough question and a sensitive topic. Do I think girls should be able to wear what they want? Yes. Do I think they should be told not to because BOYS will be uncomfortable and distracted? Absolutely not. I think the rules should be as follows:

  1. All clothing must be of an appropriate size, not too big or too small. It should not be skin tight or so loose the pants fall off and show off colorful boxers. I REALLY don’t need to know what your underwear looks like. Pants should fit at the waist and not be so low to show me your thong (remember those low rise jeans?!). Underwear stays under there.
  2. Tank tops are fine. Nothing see through. Short should be long enough to keep your butt covered, not just while standing but while sitting or bending over.
  3. Skirts should also be long enough to keep everything under wraps while sitting and not so tight you can’t walk (I just like walking and hate binding clothing, so this rule is mostly for me :p).
  4. Shirts should be long enough that they cover everything MOST of the time. If your stomach peeks out while you raise your hand, that’s ok.

Bra straps will probably show sometimes, but I don’t think it’s much of an issue, but personally, I think spaghetti straps are too casual for school. I think those four rules cover everything and are not too restrictive for either gender.

I do absolutely think that girls need to stop being told that they need to dress differently because the boys will react a certain way. That’s insane. Boys should be able to control themselves and I don’t think they’re mindless sex fiends, no matter their age. I also think that consent should be taught to BOTH boys and girls in their health classes.  This idea that girls are solely responsible for how a boy reacts to them IS the solid foundation of rape culture and the very beginnings of blaming victims for their own rape. Boys need to be taught respect and consent and control, and to learn to take responsibility for their actions. A dress code should not be in place to restrict what clothing a girl can wear to keep boys from feeling uncomfortable. A dress code should be in place because they are children in a somewhat professional environment and should dress accordingly, plain and simple.

Disneyland with a toddler

I took my almost 4 year old to Disneyland for the first time a week ago. It was super cute and so much fun and I’m so glad I waited until she was this age to take her. Much younger and she just wouldn’t have appreciated the magic as much. I needed to write something today, and someone suggested that I write about how to do Disneyland with a toddler. So, here’s me giving that a shot.

Some points before I start:

  1. I live 20 minutes from the park, this means I don’t need to pay for a hotel and can leave when I want. This might not be the case for you, so do what you need to in order to feel like you get your money’s worth. Tickets are now $100 a pop, even for a 3 year old, and that is not cheap, my friends.
  2. If you are planning a family trip, I do recommend the Disney run hotels. They are fabulous and cater well to families, even if they are on the pricey side. If you can’t afford that (understandably), the Howard Johnson is nearby and also fabulous.

Ok, Disney with a toddler.

  1. I made this trip about her. Because I live close by, I know I will be going back to the park with her and I’ve grown up going to Disney, so this trip was NOT about what I wanted to do. It was all about HER. The rides I chose, the characters we met, all of it was designed to give her the best possible first time experience I could give her. This might not work for everyone, especially if you have more than one child, or if you’re visiting from out of town and don’t know when/if you’ll make it back. In that case, I would pick one thing the child would really love and make sure that is on the agenda.
  2. Stroller. This is a must for a Disney trip with small children. There is a TON of walking and they get tired, fast. Let them ride in the stroller as much as they want to save their energy, hide from all the people, or get some shade. It will help a lot. It is also useful in the carrying of the things. I suggest two bags: one with important things like money and cameras and one with non-essentials, like a change of clothing or baby wipes. The smaller one with the important stuff can come with you on rides, and the other stuff can stay on the stroller and that way if it gets stolen, it’s not a big deal. For the record, nothing was taken out of our stroller, but better safe than sorry.
  3. Don’t skip the nap. Disney is exhausting and a tired child isn’t having any fun and is probably making you miserable. They cry more and whine more and generally bring everything down. Disney is the happiest place on Earth, so keep the peace by allowing the child to nap. I know it’s hard to leave the park, but if you have a hotel nearby, have one parent take the child back for a nap and then meet up with the rest of the family. If you live near the park, take them home. This also allows you to miss the afternoon heat and the toddler is up and ready to go for the evening parade and other fun stuff. Trust me, it will only make things run more smoothly. If you have an annual pass, consider just going home after a few hours. End the day on a high note, not a tantrum. Even with older children who don’t nap, taking a break around lunch for a couple of hours to unwind is not a terrible idea. Swim in the pool, have lunch, watch TV, whatever. Then come back for more fun with a well rested happy family.
  4. Understand that you won’t hit everything you want. Have a list of rides you think they will like, but keep the plan loose.  There is a LOT to see and do and once you add in snacks and meals AND line times, the day goes really really fast. You will not be able to do everything, especially if you have a lot of people who want to do all the stuff THEY want. This is where having at least ONE thing for the toddler that you make time to do really important.
  5. Don’t force a ride. Seriously, it’s not worth it. If the kid really doesn’t want to go on it, don’t make them. It’s mean and Disney is the happiest place on Earth. Don’t make the kid cry.
  6. What to bring. Baby wipes, hand sanitizer, a change of clothes in case of an accident or a water ride, diapers if the toddler isn’t potty trained yet. Anything else is extra. Remember, this is for an older child who is no longer breast/bottle feeding. Younger babies will need more stuff. If you find you need something, they have stores there. Don’t try to haul everything around, it’ll just stress you out.
  7. They have baby centers. They DO! It’s the most amazing place. If you need to breast/bottle feed a younger sibling or just need some quiet time but don’t have a hotel or home to go to, they have baby centers in the Park. Ask at the front gate or any Cast Member. There are all sorts of things a mom could need in one of those places.
  8. Keep up on bathroom breaks. Don’t wait for the toddler to start doing their potty dance. That might be too late. There are bathrooms everywhere but if you don’t know WHERE you might not have time to find one. So, every couple of rides or so, just make a pit stop.
  9. Hydrate. They have bottles of water and if you go into a restaurant, they will give you a cup of water for free. Don’t forget to eat, too. There is so much good food at Disney, you won’t be without choices. There are carts that sell fruit and healthy muchie stuff, if you want to avoid sugar and fat.
  10. Have fun! Try not to stress. Go with the flow and just enjoy the wonder that is Disney. And remember, what works for my family might not work for yours. Do what DOES work for you, so you love Disneyland as much as I do.

Stop Victim Blaming

I am fuming, absolutely fuming. Tonight, this article appeared on my twitter feed and I was stupid and read it before bed. So, now I’m angry and can’t sleep because I’m just thinking about that poor girl.

It has to stop. It just has to. The victim of molestation is NEVER at fault in ANY WAY. If you didn’t click the link up there, basically, a 14 year old child was groomed and molested by her teacher for a year. Now, the Los Angeles School District is using her prior sexual history to claim that the molestation was partly her fault. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, because that girl wasn’t a virgin, she is to blame for a pedophile molesting her. That’s slut shaming and victim blaming ALL IN ONE PACKAGE. It’s a two for one and that poor girl now as to live with the fact that she was molested AND enjoy the finger pointing. Well, guess what SHE’S NOT AT FAULT.

The argument LAUSD’s attorneys are using is not that she instigated the relationship, but that 1. she wouldn’t be that harmed by it because she had already engaged in sexual acts before and 2. she didn’t tell anyone about it. Let’s just break these reasons wide open and expose them for the insanity they are, shall we?

  1. She wouldn’t be bothered by the molestation because she wasn’t a virgin.

WHAT. THE. ACTUAL. FUCK. Ok, sorry, but SERIOUSLY?! Look, I don’t care if that girl slept with the entire football team (she didn’t), she was 14. FOURTEEN. That puts her squarely under the age of consent. Period. She obviously is traumatized by it since her parents are suing the school district. That teacher was an adult. AN ADULT. He found her weaknesses and preyed on them and as a teacher is in a position of authority. The whole relationship is unbalanced and wrong, I don’t care that she had engaged in sexual relationships before this. This is like saying a rape victim can’t be bothered by her rape because she has had sex before so, it’s totally fine, right? This is slut shaming at it’s worst.

2. She didn’t report it to the school or her parents.

Well OF COURSE she didn’t. That teacher groomed her since she was 13. Part of the whole grooming process is making sure the girl keeps her mouth shut. Because it was an adult and a teacher, he was in a terrible position of authority. I’m sure the words “no one would believe you anyway” were uttered at some point, as well as other similar things. He started the whole thing on a basis of secrecy, using his authority to impress upon a child that the CHILD would get in trouble if any of this came to light. Child molesters are VERY good at making sure their victims don’t say anything. To use this as an excuse that she is to blame for her molestation is blaming the victim. ARE YOU INSANE LAUSD?!

This is disgusting and appalling. It’s so disgusting and appalling I cannot believe I even read that story or that this exists. And yet, it does. Some poor girl was a victim of molestation and now is being told it’s her own fault. Way to go, LAUSD. You are a model of the educational system. Go straight to Hell.