Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Kindness to Strangers

"There are no strangers here; only friends you haven't yet met."
~William Butler Yeats

Last night my 12 year old daughter quietly woke me up around midnight with the words: "Mom, I think someone is about to kill themselves."

I'm awake!!

Of course my first question was "who?"

"This boy on this Instagram fan site who cuts himself. Someone posted that he should cut deeper so he can't stop the bleeding."

Well shit.

First of all we obviously don't know "this boy" or anything about him except that he is a fan of something my daughter is and his user name. Second of all I would hope that one stupid comment from a dumb...no IDIOTIC person would not push him to such a rash end.

It was interesting that the notion of suicide came up at dinner earlier when for some reason my son said that it wasn't a choice. I replied that it most definitely was a choice. I explained that some people can feel so lost that they think it is the only choice, but that choice ends one person's pain and leaves a wake of sorrow.

We discussed the idea of no matter how bad things are they will always get better. It may not seem like it can, I've been in those dark times, but they amazingly do. And having been in those dark times I know how it feels like a solution-not a choice. But I can't say that to my son.

And yet kids text other kids that they should "just kill themselves," "cut deeper," "do us all a favor and die."

And we thought kids were cruel when we were young.

So here we are in the middle of the night with my daughter scared for a stranger. All I could say was that some kind words to that person can go a long way. So that is all she could do in her worried state.

And that is all any of us can do-be kind. Smile at a stranger, say hello, show support to those that struggle around us-either personally or in the ever exposing social media.

It's amazing how tiny an acknowledgement or smile of someone feeling like they are invisible or lost can change how they spend the rest of their day.

So all we can do is be kind.

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Deal with the Devil

"For every minute you are angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do you have someone who just pushes all of your buttons (I mean the bad buttons-not the fun ones). Someone that no matter how hard you try you can't help but lose your temper? Maybe it's a sibling, child, spouse, parent or co-worker. In my case it's an ex-husband.

It's actually strange because we had one of the easiest divorces, I left him most everything, only taking the bare minimum much to my attorney's dismay. You would think life would move on.

But sometimes people change or their brains snap somehow. He remarried two years later (it's been almost five years) and that should be that-happily ever after. Yet in the last year he has filed two law suits against me simply because I finally got what I want-my own happiness. 

They are silly suits, filed in a petty, vindictive manner. Mostly wanting me to pay back support money I used last year to, well, support myself and my kids. Claiming that when Dan, the person I am now with, was visiting from Amsterdam he was actually living here (which he is now by the way and support was terminated at that time). He's asking for the small amount per month that just covered my rent and groceries, why I was waiting tables to cover the rest while trying to find a real job (which I also have now). Through the courts I know that my ex-husband makes more money in two months than I do in a year, yet somehow, if there is a half asleep judge and he wins, I'd have to find that money that was used to keep a roof over my kid's heads.

I've tried to not be bitter because it eats me alive. I've even tried to be "nice" in an attempt to somehow know we can be at a child's life event in somewhat peace someday. All I get when I try is anger and name calling.

The kids get verbally battered and beaten down and no longer want to be with him and I'm apparently to blame for that in his mind. He's also verbally attacked my extended family as well. This is only a small sampling of the things he has done that have shocked and devastated the kids and I recently.

So on August 4th I will go to court and tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have nothing to hide and nothing to lie about. I will continue to rack up attorney fees and sleepless nights but I will win this no matter what the outcome. 

I'll win this because I know how lucky I am. My kids love me and I have the complete devotion and support of the man of my dreams. I may briefly lose my happiness in the fog but ultimately he can never take that from me in the end. 

I will win.

"Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it was stored than to anything on which it is poured."
~Mark Twain