The Fifth Dentist

“Four out of five dentists recommend fluoride” What about the fifth dentist? Did he not get paid off, or is it that the fifth dentist can think for themselves?

How many times have people let major choices in their life be dictated by popular opinion? When I first started dating my boyfriend, it was a highly unpopular decision with many people. I did have one friend in my corner about what I chose to do. I dubbed her “The fifth dentist” since she was not buying into the bullshit that surrounded my dating choice at first. She saw for herself what the truth was, and reassured me that she would support whatever I wished to do.

Many people fall into the trap of not seeing things objectively. They see and hear only what they want to. This is why people can be easily manipulated into believing a bunch of lies. We all need that one friend who sees the big picture, and is able to think for themselves. The rumors that swirled around about me were completely false. I was being attacked on Facebook with startling hatred on a regular basis.

I did not fight back, I simply blocked the offenders and went on with my life, doing my best to not pour gasoline on the fire. The biggest benefit to doing this is that I showed my critics I was not who they thought I was. Life is all about choices. I can make the decision to go after someone or I can let things unfold and let people observe and draw their own conclusions. This is what freedom is all about. I certainly never want anyone to approve of me to gain friends. What I do want, is for people to see for themselves how things really are.

There is an old adage that says “Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see.”

That is a wise statement. The reality is that we never really know the circumstances behind what we hear. There are always three sides to every story; your side, my side, and the truth.

The friends to keep are the ones who admit being misinformed and are able to see that. In my own experience, I have gained a few new friends this way. There is nothing wrong with admitting to judging a situation before knowing all sides to it. That is part of being human. Just remember that four out of five dentists like fluoride. The fifth dentist sees through that and knows something we don’t.

Don’t always follow the crowd. Like The Beatles say “Think For Yourself”

The Best Therapy

Loud music is therapy for me. I am a headbanger at heart. When I can’t make sense of my feelings, I blast some music.

I am a sensation junkie and I know it. This is why I sing “You Got Another Thing Coming” at full volume when I get stressed out. This coping mechanism may seem odd, but I do not care. Singing relives aggression for me better than talking about feelings. As an added bonus, I get to piss of the neighbors.

So many times I hold back how I feel, afraid to offend someone with how angry I can get or how fearful I can be. There is that voice inside of me that says no one wants to hear it. Rob Halford and company help me tell that voice to go fuck off. This is something I have been working on for a while. Anger does little for me except give me a headache. Years ago, I loved being angry. No more. Being angry means that a situation or a person has control over my thoughts and actions.

“He who angers you controls you.” – Buddha.

I am sick of being controlled. When I get angry or scared, or just nervous, I turn the music up and let it go. This is even better than therapy. It costs nothing. The result is that when I am done, I forget what had me so upset in the first place. Learning to navigate my emotions does not mean I don’t feel them. It simply means that I will not allow them to control me or my behavior.

In my younger days, it would not be unusual for me to lash out. Maybe I would break something. Other times I would say things I could not take back. This never helps. Now, I realize that acting out is not acceptable. I find singing and cranking the music to be an excellent solution.

Me, lose my cool over something stupid? You got another thing coming.

Here is some Judas Priest. Turn it up!

Kicking Things Up A Notch

Since moving to Massachusetts, I have made a whole new set of friends who have become my adopted family. My best friend is someone who is the sister I never had growing up. When we get together we always have a good time, whether we go to lunch on a Sunday, or decide to go shopping, there is nothing boring with the two of us around. When she really wants to have fun, she will say to me “Let’s kick this up a notch.”

I have now started calling her Emeril in response. “BAM!”

It has been a long time since I had a best friend. Sure, I had close friends and all of that, but I had no one that I knew would love me even when I was not that lovable. We have been through a lot together as friends. She has seen me at my worst and I have seen her at her worst. Over the past two years we have become each other’s biggest cheerleader. Every one of us needs that one person who doesn’t let us lie to ourselves. About a year ago, I was so stuck on stupid that she finally said to me some things I did not want to hear.

I needed to hear them. That is what real friends do. They tell you what you need to hear instead of what you want to hear.

Hearing that I was being used hurt, but it was the truth. I respected her for not letting me go wandering around thinking this person loved me. It was the reality check we all sometimes need. When I was done being hurt, she was there to help me. That is what means the most to me. Now it is a year later and our lives have changed dramatically for the better. She has a job she loves, a new home with her man and the respect of her family. I have met someone that I love and who loves me back. We have moved in together and are creating a wonderful life. We have all that we need, and even a few things that we want.

One of the nicest things is that the four of us spend time together at least once a week. With the four of us, we always have a great time. I go out every Sunday with my sister.

Then we kick things up a notch.

Life With Gracie

A few months ago, I moved into an apartment with my boyfriend. We both wanted a kitten, and began posting on Facebook that we were in search of one. A few weeks later, my boyfriend received a message from a friend of his that she had a kitten that needed a good home. She had too many cats already, and could not keep her.

We saw her picture and we were both smitten. She was adorable. It was a simple message back “Yes we want her.”

The kitten was delivered to us the next morning. We named her Gracie the moment we saw her. She is the best housewarming gift we could have ever wished for. She has taught us so much about unconditional love. Gracie is exuberant. She loves to chase toys, play, and to nap in our laps while she purrs.

Gracie is more than just a pet. She is part of our family.

I have heard people say their pets were family members. I never understood that sentiment until now. Gracie is a huge part of both of our lives.

My boyfriend has said that Gracie taught him that a pet can be loved as much as a person. What Gracie has taught me is acceptance. When we first got Gracie, I was sick with bronchitis and would have awful coughing fits. One night, I was unable to stop coughing. Gracie laid down on my chest and began to purr. My coughing ceased in less than a minute.

Gracie has reminded me what it is to be a mother. She has reminded me to be not just a lover, but a teacher. Showing her right from wrong is not a bad thing. I do not spray her with water or tell her “NO!” for no reason. We all need boundaries and rules, even our pets.

As a young girl, I always wanted a kitty. Now we have one and she has made our life together even more rewarding.

Gracie has truly been a gift. We will love her for many years to come. Although, I could do without being awakened each day at 5:30 in the morning to feed her.

Being Me No Longer Sucks

Have you ever seen a person break down only to judge them as a train wreck? Have you ever been that train wreck yourself, yet think you should be able to have emotional outbursts whenever and wherever you happen to be at the time? We are all human, some of us are great at this thing called life, we are the solid rocks others look to and lean on when life gets tough.

So what happens when the tough ones break down? Who or what do they turn to when no one is around?

This is where things get tricky for me. For years, I have been self-reliant. I have had to take care of myself through good times and bad. I lived through highly abusive relationships and had precious few people to turn to. I was that train wreck. I was the one whose life was being judged harshly by others. I had no control over my situation at that time and things got progressively worse.

Things improved in my life once I cut all ties with toxic people. I no longer invite bullshit into my life. When I did that simple action, my entire life changed. The big success for me now is that a bad mood is no longer a day killer like it once was. It has taken a long time to accept that I have limitations on what I can handle. Nowadays, when things start to overwhelm me, I can stop the mood before it gets out of control.

When I first got in the accident, my emotions were all over the map. Today I can still have anger, depression and self-pity. The good news is they leave as fast as they arrive if I refuse to feed into them. This was my blind spot. I had this unreasonable expectation that I would be fine after suffering a skull fracture – and I wasn’t much to my dismay.

The truth is I am getting better all the time. I just don’t always notice it. Having depression and PTSD is no picnic. I do the best I can do with these conditions. I try to stay out of stressful situations. I know what I can handle and what I can’t. I also know that bad days are part of the package and I do my best not to beat myself up when they come.

I have had to learn new coping skills like taking time out, having a coffee, writing or listening to music. The biggest favor I have done for myself is realize I will never be perfect.

I am perfectly me and that is okay. Being me no longer sucks.

A Never Ending Coughing Fit

I had to go to the emergency room yesterday. It seems I have acute bronchitis. It took two hours to be seen by a doctor and another hour just to get a prescription for antibiotics. This annoyed the fuck out of me. I hate waiting. I also am no fan of being sick. Actually, I don’t know anyone who likes getting sick except for hypochondriacs who love the attention.

Me? I am perfectly happy to get my seven or eight hours of sleep, do some housework, play with the kitten and wait for my sweetie to come home from work.

I hate coughing worst of all. It wakes me up from perfectly nice dreams of winning the lottery or of my man asking for my hand in marriage. Ah. Such is life. Dreams can come true of course, this would mean I have to start purchasing lottery tickets. You gotta be in it to win it right? So they say.

Who are they anyway? And, where does the money the lottery get go? Certainly not to education. Take a look at our public school system and see if you think money is going there. I bet you it is lining some politicians pocket. That is what I think.

Of course, what do I know? I am just a blogger. A blogger on excess caffeine and antibiotics. This is the result of what is rolling around in my head.

Speaking of rolling, I love the Rolling Stones. My favorites by them are “Gimme Shelter” “Wild Horses” and “Tumbling Dice.” I am having one of those days where I need some loud music. Maybe that will take away my sudden urge to play the lottery.

Or not.

Have you ever had one of those days where you wished all your problems could be solved with something like winning the lottery?

That is what is in my head today. What about you?

When Is It Going To Stop?

Last week, Danny Brown did a blog post about the rape and murder of two teenage girls in India. If you have not read it you are doing yourself a disservice.

Let me make one point clear – NO! always has been and always will be a complete sentence.

When is this era of entitlement going to stop? How many more girls have to be raped and or killed for others to see that this behavior is wrong on every level?

The sad news is this – it will probably never stop. The pervasive mindset in this world is that everything is for the taking including people. How do families deal with daughters being treated as nothing more than chattel? How do we teach girls to respect themselves when we know full well that the mentality among teenage boys is one of competition to bed the most girls through any means necessary? What can parents do in this day and age to ensure that their sons and daughters grow up to care about themselves and others?

The problem does not necessarily lie solely with the parents. In many gang rape cases, peer pressure is the main culprit. This mentality if often reflected in team sports. In the United States, football players basically get the chance to do what they want with little to no consequence. The old adage “Boys will be boys” needs to end. It begs the question – what would these parents of these boys think if they had a daughter that was targeted? What then? Would they just shrug off the behavior or would they be looking for justice?

I am going to guess that they would be looking for justice like any other parent would.

Rape is wrong period. It does not matter if the incident occurs in a third world country, or in the baseball dugout at the local high school. Once the word “No.” is uttered it goes from being “just having fun” to rape plain and simple.

There are many countries where men are more valued than women. Why is this? Women have plenty to offer besides being sexual objects. The problem is that in many cultures, this is not the case. Think about it. In China, a male birth is celebrated, while a female may be killed simply for being born the wrong sex. This is the kind of thinking that keeps perpetuating rape cases. The idea is that females are disposable and that no one will fight for them anyway.

The time has come to fight.

The biggest problem with high school is not sex ed. It is humanization. Everywhere you look, there are sexual images especially of women. Advertising has become more risque over the years, along with music videos and songs about “hoes” and about getting what you want. This is where the problem begins. This is not just a US problem it is worldwide. When will we start being accountable for monitoring what our kids are listening to and who they are hanging out with? When will team sports stop embracing antiquated attitudes?

It may never end sadly. The onus is on us to teach our children to respect their bodies as much as they respect others.

In my early twenties, I was raped by my best friend’s husband. I was in their house sleeping on the couch fully dressed. My friend’s husband had wanted to have sex with me apparently for years and knew I would never consent, so instead he came up with a plan to strike when I would be too inebriated to stop him. This is the essence of being entitled. This individual told me quite simply he would beat me if I resisted him and that if I dared to tell his wife she would not believe it.

He was right about that. He told her I seduced him. That I wanted this and what was he to do? Umm…how about have some self control perhaps?

When is it going to stop?

Probably never sadly.