Monthly Archives: September 2015

Hallelu-yer!

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He should show that he loves you, even years down the line, just because he has you doesn’t mean the possibility of losing you isn’t there. He should whisper sweet nothings in your ear. He should acknowledge birthdays and anniversaries even if with nothing but a hug and an “I Love You”. He should put you first above his friends and his pride. He should hold you when you cry and support you during your most triumphant moments. He should love you when you’re fat, skinny, happy, sad, ugly, beautiful and hair a mess. He should buy you flowers. He should speak highly of you to others and never be afraid to show his love for you. He should never be embarrassed of you, or your loud laugh. He should want you to meet his family. You should share inside jokes and laugh freely with each other. He should want to make passionate love to you and only you. He should make dinner sometimes. He should make you feel butterflies always and forever. When you argue, he should be compassionate and hear your side of things, even if he still doesn’t agree.

As a woman raised in this country during these times, I’ve been taught to expect all of these things from a man. I’ve been taught that I am a woman and I deserve the best at all times. I deserve to be treated like a “Queen” and I deserve “equality”. I ask you, what does equality mean to you? Over the years I’ve noticed how women have taken a stand against inequality and I am all for it. However, the people I’m hearing this from just aren’t making any sense. Just because I have a vagina, I automatically deserve all of these things? I don’t have to earn it, I don’t have to give respect but I’ll get it? I don’t have to do all of the small things for my partner, but he should do it for me? We expect all of these things from our partner, yet we want equality without having to give back.

I will admit, I was raised by strict Portuguese parents and surrounded by a huge Portuguese family that believes women cater to men. Perhaps my opinion on this is a bit biased due to this fact; at the same time I am a woman who was raised in this country, during these times, and I am aware of my worth. I believe in gender roles to a certain degree. You heard it folks. I expect to be the one who does most of the cooking, cleaning and any other “inside” duties that are required. Sure, I expect my partner to be open to helping me when needed, but his main duties are to take care of anything that needs to be taken care of “outside”. As in, I will absolutely never, ever, ever, take out the trash and that’s that. Sure, call this “depending” on a man. Sure, call this not being a strong, independent woman. Call it whatever the hell you want to call it to make yourself feel superior. I call it, “whatever the fuck works for me”. I will serve his plate at family functions, I will fold his clothes, I will cook and I will stay up late with sick children if I need to. I am a woman and I am strong. I am capable of much more than what I’ve been given credit for. I agree with all of the above, men should treat us well and with respect. They should love us unconditionally and they should be loyal to us. So why, when a man says the same thing, suddenly it’s disrespectful and suddenly he’s just some jerk reeking of glorified machismo.

He should depend on me like I depend on him because it is a partnership.We are a team. One does not outweigh the other, we both work equally as hard. He should give me flowers whether bought or picked from our own garden. He should hold me when I’m upset. He should put up with my loud, obnoxious laugh when I’m buzzed and someone tells me some shitty knock knock joke. But I should also love him and show him that I love him. I should also hold him when he’s upset, even if it makes him feel uncomfortable. It’s just the only way it’ll work, is to have a mutual understanding. These things aren’t outlined in black and white, each couple is different. Each circumstance unique.

Do not worship him.

He is not your idol. He is no better than you. He is not deserving of the double standard. He is your partner, your lover, your boyfriend, your husband, your best friend. No, he can’t talk to you that way. No, you don’t have to stay. No, you don’t have to put up with any of that.

You are a person.

You are stronger than you think. You don’t have to reciprocate his attitude or his actions. You should be the bigger person and do what’s best for YOU.

It is important for women to know their worth. Don’t ever let a man run you. But, don’t ever think for a second it’s okay to run a man.

So stop preaching about equality when you don’t even know what the hell it means.

e·qual·i·ty
əˈkwälədē/
noun
 
  1. the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities.
    “an organization aiming to promote racial equality”
    synonyms: fairness, equal rights, equal opportunities, equity, egalitarianism; More

     
    • MATHEMATICS
      a symbolic expression of the fact that two quantities are equal; an equation.
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Yo Mama Is A Stigma

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Have you ever seen someone on the street, homeless or not, and thought to yourself, “I wonder what they’re thinking”? Or perhaps, wonder what their day to day lives entail. The struggles they face. The struggles they don’t have to face.

Maybe you haven’t.

Maybe you’re like I was years ago, walking along and not giving others a second thought. No concern for anyone’s well being, but your own. Never thinking twice about the girl in class with ratty clothes and a shitty attitude. Never wondering why that other girl leads a promiscuous lifestyle. Never realizing that maybe, just maybe, that lawyer who has it ALL…Is slowly dying on the inside; fighting a battle he showed up to with no weapons at all.

It’s something that I now think about often. When I walk by people on the street and make eye contact, I smile. If I see a homeless person on the street, I try not to make assumptions about how they got there or their lifestyles. If there’s someone that I interact with day to day and they’re always upset, I try not to reciprocate their attitudes.

Honestly, I know people have been talking about this and it’s a bit ridiculous to be so passionate about someone that I never met…However, Robin Williams comes to mind in these situations. A man who laughed constantly and who’s only joy in life was to make others happy, to make them laugh. A man so gracious and selfless, yet we were never reminded until he actually passed. Through countless stories, including him visiting children in hospitals to cheer them up, we’re able to really realize how amazing he was.

When I was about twelve I met someone while in the Azores, someone who was actually related to me. He quickly became my savior when my father would become upset and scream at me. I would run to his house crying and he would hold me and tell me that everything would be okay. He would tell me that I was going to grow up, and live my own life, and never have to answer to anyone but myself. He would remind me to never let anyone make me feel small and to never lose myself in all of the chaos happening around us. His smile was contagious and he never faltered on his word during the three months that I was there. He was always there for me and never judged me, even though I was 12 and absolutely impossible to be around. His name was Paulinho, and he was my cousin. We didn’t know each other very well until that summer, he was years older than I. He led a different lifestyle than the people of the Azores were accustomed to at the time, but he was always himself no matter what. It’ll be a year in November since he killed himself. It’ll be a year in November since the last time he sent me a Facebook message, telling me how mature I’ve become and how much I’ve grown into my personality. It’ll be a year since he’d post sad statuses on his Facebook that everyone just passed off as being dramatic. A year. I dream about him still and I wonder how it could’ve all been different. What could we have done to help. Was it the substance abuse? Was it his mind that tricked him into doing what he did? It was tragic, the way he did it. It wasn’t your everyday ABCNews suicide story, but I guess I wouldn’t have expected it to be less theatrical from our Paulo, always so over the top.

My point is, we would have never guessed Robin Williams suffered from severe depression. We would have never guessed that this man was battling demons stronger than himself and all of the money he had; or even the smiles he took hostage. We would have never guessed that happy, smiley, Paulinho had been having these thoughts over and over again. We missed the cues. We missed them. I wake up crying sometimes, after dreaming about Paulinho, because I wonder what was going through his mind and how it could’ve been prevented. We never know what people are going through around us. I think about his parents and what they went through. I think about my daughter, I fear for her future because this can happen to anyone. I imagine how I would feel if this happened to me, to my child, and I cry because I don’t know if I’ll be too blind to see the clues. The big issue is that depression has always been stigmatized in the Azores up until recently. It wasn’t something that was ever acknowledged or treated. Peers always brushed it off as if the person in question was being “over dramatic” or a “baby” about things. They need to “man up” and “grow up” because feeling this way can and should be controlled. The number of suicides in the Azores were ridiculous year to year in comparison to the very small population between all nine islands. In our country, no one wants to talk about it. It is frowned upon and families are embarrassed to acknowledge that a loved one suffers from this disease. Individuals are afraid to admit there’s a problem because they’re not sure how society and their own families will react to it.

Depression is real and it is all around us. It’s important to always be open and supportive. A simple smile could save someone, or a kind gesture.

Never take what you have for granted, or abuse the sanity you have been gifted.

Me, Myself, and That One Crazy Bitch

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I’ll be the first to say it…I’m fucking nuts.

I talk too much. I laugh too much. I’m too loud. I’m obnoxious. I confuse myself. I confuse others. I avoid confrontation. I like to give affection and receive it. I’m laid back. I like to have fun. Sometimes I like to drink too much wine at dinner. Sometimes I like to sit at home and read. I love being around my daughter. I love being around my boyfriend. I love being around my family. I love to have fun and sing out of tune. I love hugging and being held. I mask my sadness with a smile and I hide my lack of self esteem with a head held high and a confident strut.

But sometimes….Sometimes I don’t.

Sometimes I’ll call you out. Sometimes I’ll sit quietly, inside of my head. Sometimes things will bother me that shouldn’t bother me. Sometimes I cry uncontrollably in the shower, take a deep breath, and compose myself before going to work. Sometimes I want to give advice, other times I regret opening my mouth. Sometimes I don’t want to have a beer. Sometimes I don’t want to go out. Sometimes I don’t want to be surrounded by people. Sometimes I get social anxiety and find it hard to breathe in a crowd. Sometimes I don’t want to make decisions. Sometimes I don’t want to burden others with my shit. Sometimes I don’t want to be around anyone at all, I just want to sit by myself and not worry about anything or anyone. Just sit. At the beach, or in my home or at a park or anywhere. Sometimes I nag and complain and let small things hurt my feelings. Sometimes I watch the news and it ruins my entire day and I’ll take it out on people because the world is shit these days.

I’m sensitive. My feelings get hurt and I won’t always say it. I work through things alone and get over them. This is hard for people to understand because usually I’m so open about how I feel and about my thoughts. I am someone who has different sides to her, someone who isn’t always the same and who doesn’t always react to things in the same manner. I’m complicated, sentimental, lovable, honest, loyal, decent, generous, likable, and lonely. My personality is not split; it’s shredded. I love hard and then second guess myself twenty times a day because I’m scared. Of myself mostly. I ruin things without realizing it, I hurt people’s feelings unintentionally and then I get upset when they’re upset. I expect to be understood, I expect people to read my mind and know what’s wrong and then just leave me alone. Sometimes I don’t want people to ask me what’s wrong, let me stew in my own dramatic bullshit. I don’t like depending on others to make me feel better or to hear me out because I’m not used to it. I don’t want to vent and get the “oh wow I totally understand” *head nod* response I’ve been given in the past.

I’m irrational, and sometimes someone just needs to tell me that I’m being ridiculous and smack me upside the head. Or tell me that my thoughts aren’t as crazy as I feel they are, and hold me. I don’t like to cry in front of people and when I do sometimes I want to lock myself in a closet until the embarrassment and shame of being so weak washes away.

Crazy.

Irrational.

Sane.

Emotional.

Sensitive.

Stupid.

Intelligent.

Crazy.

Crazy.

Crazy.