Aunt B

Archive for the ‘Encouraging Words’ Category

Re-Post; Riding That Vicious Cycle

In A Man is Only as Good as His Tools, A New You, A Real Man, AA/NA, Addiction, All About Depression, Drugs and Addiction, Encouraging Words, Extreme Behavior, Extreme Behaviors, Extremists on June 28, 2009 at 5:24 pm

Editor’s Note; From time to time, for any given reason, a past post may be brought to my attention. Therefore, when I might re-read one, one of this magnitude, I feel the need to share it again. I wish I could speak to this fella again, this man who took the time to write me with such caring and thoughtful deliberation. I can not, thus, I can only hope and pray he might be well.

This is sound advice for many men who, I believe, struggle with the same situations; Mid-Life Crunch…

Dear Aunt B,

Agony Aunt of Mines,

As all of your letters start I shall begin with the same:

The time you’ve took to read this letter I cannot give back to you, nor do

I have something of any interest to give in return, or anything I can do for a reply but say that a stranger is sitting on the other side of the world in a room by himself, at 01:30 in the morning writing a letter; looking for help.

I’ll begin back in Scotland just over three years ago after finishing
University I went through a stage of mild depression (self diagnosis).
since a young age I had worked towards my current status as a qualified
Kayaking instructor, qualified abseiling instructor, British European and
World champion bagpipe player, loads of friends, I was in great physical
shape as well. I even applied to get in to the Royal Air Force (RAF)…I
had it all going for me.
Then all of a sudden, something changed. First the bagpipes kinda lost
interest when I was teaching (I just put it down to, I’d conquered the
tournaments and the challenge had disappeared), I thought it was just
because I’d gotten so far and wasn’t going to get any better…so I quit.

Soon after gradually the kayaking and the outdoor side of me lost its
interest too. Over a period of a year my whole social outlook in life
faded. Mood swings and loss of a steady sleeping pattern became apparent
over time too.
I had nothing. No hobbies like I used to, to career aspect and the pilots
training I decided wasn’t for me, and soon enough I wasn’t quite the
muscular person I used to be… I was in a rut just like I am now. I even
got myself into a little debt trying out new things to put that spark
back into my life, with no avail. Time passed and somehow Kevin (who was
a distant friend at the time) invited me over to Denmark. 3 years later I’m
still trying to fill the gap that was my life before I lost interest in
everything. As it stands now; I’m (slightly) overweight, I have a shit
job. I haven’t had a girlfriend in over 4 years because I’m boring and I
know it. And I have 40,000 kroner debt. (4000GBP)
The saddest part to the whole thing, is if even if I fight all my short
term problems: get rid of the debt, get into good shape again, etc etc…
I have nothing to look forward to, nothing.
I want nothing, I have no interest in any job aspect, and I’ve even given
up on trying to find a girl/girlfriend. I just don’t know what to do. I’m in
a rut, a big deep rut.
So I ask of you, what’s the secret to putting the spark back into life when
You’ve tried everything you liked/wanted for and lost it all? When there’s
no light at the end of the tunnel and something inside you asks why isn’t
it there? Please help me.


My Dearest Reader,

Well Darlin’, you’ve captured my heart with the Bagpipes. I love them and for me, they hold a rich sense of history. My family is Irish/Scot and I am Indian. My heart is held by the sound of bagpipes.

From what I gather, you are an extremist. You are the kind of guy who lives on the edge, jumps out of airplanes, lives for the adrenaline. If you are not doing something extreme, you don’t feel alive. It sounds like you’ve maxed out though, huh?

My initial reaction is that you are battling depression. This coupled with your lack of sleep can cause a significant change in your complete make-up and how you view your life, your love and things in general. This situation seems a bit complex. I would suggest counseling but somehow, I have the impression, that you are not the “Going to Counseling” type? Since I believe this is the case, all I have to offer is a bit of perspective.

Depression is a tricky bugger. It’s like a Spanner, peeking in on your life and it can hold you hostage. You then sit there and wonder just how the hell it got in?(Take this test, from the post prior to this) [*At bottom of page]

Let me offer a couple of suggestions here; Sleep is so important, get it, do it, make it. If you don’t want to take sleeping pills from your Doctor, you can get some Benadryl, OTC.
The key ingredient in Tylenol PM is Diphenhydramine HCl, which is also the generic name for Benadryl’s ingredients. In other words, you can buy a generic form and look for the active ingredient, “Diphenhydramine.” This may get you back in that sleep loop. You may begin to feel better, even from a good nights sleep.

Now, there’s no data to support this, that I have found but I have a theory about,
“Extreme Behaviorists.” I am an extremist myself and so is my ex-husband. It can actually be, somewhat of an addiction. You live for the thrill, of your behavior and once you become an extremist, it’s understandably hard, to break old habits.

Some people, who are extremists, create chaos in their life, when they are not, “On the edge.” They may become argumentative, just for the sake, of the chaos it brings. Once you’ve behaved in an extreme manner, it’s hard to find consolation, with the mundane. It seems dull and unrewarding.

Believe it or not, the data and text, concerning addiction, shows similar behaviors. Once you’ve “jazzed up” your life with drugs, when you are not high, things just don’t catch your interest. Now, I am not implying, that you and a drug addict, are one and the same, let me make that clear. You did not even mention any form of addiction, or the lot. I simply point this out because you may benefit from some of the Recovery tricks and tweaks.

If you research it and some of the advice from professionals, you’d find that the key, to overcoming addiction, is in making yourself aware of some of your own quirks and behaviors.

They use an example or acronym referred to as, “H.A.L.T.,”which stands for,

*Hungry…Angry…Lonely…Tired

it encourages us not to become too;


HUNGRY: When we dislike ourselves, we neglect and deprive our bodies of the balanced diet we need.

Food is a source of nurturing. Our bodies are ours to keep and care for so that we may understand
and carry out God’s will for us. When our bodies cry for attention, we no longer have time
for the spiritual program necessary for recovery.

ANGRY: When we choose not to deal with a situation immediately, there is a possibility that those feelings we are afraid to express will become resentments that we may later use as an excuse to drink or use drugs.


LONELY: When we believe that we are either better or worse than other people, we dig ourselves into a

hole of self-pity, feeling unique in our differences. We soon begin to feel the loneliness of such
isolation, and we tell ourselves that it is a good reason to drink or use drugs.

TIRED: When we can’t make sense out of anything and life overwhelms us, it is possible we have run

ourselves into a screeching HALT. We have filled our lives with so many activities that we have no
time for reflection.


I do not imply this acronym, to you in a sense of addiction to drugs but an addiction to extreme behavior.

Sex is another issue or situation, that can become humdrum, if you are used to pornography, fetish, S & M and the likes. I say this for perspective but if you have been doing a lot of kinky stuff, on a continual basis, going back to the missionary style, may seem boring. Do you see the correlation, I am making here? If we do things, all through life in an extreme manner, it’s sure as hell not going to get you excited to sit on the couch, is it? On the other hand, I think what has happened, is you topped out. You burnt your candles at both ends, did it all, per say and feel there’s nothing left. But is this really true? Is there nothing left?

I think you burned out and then fell into depression. Depression will cause sleep problems. It’s a vicious cycle and one feeds off the other. But I think you know this, right? So, we need to find a way to climb out and put things into perspective, correct?

To start, let’s look at things realistically. You are now older, this is a fact. I don’t know your age but I’d be willing to bet, you are having a hard time getting older. We don’t have to let go of dreams and desires, as we grow older but we often have to modify them.

In your 30’s, no matter what you do, you may never be that spry, spunky monkey you were in your 20’s. But you can keep in shape. My first suggestion is to start to work out again. I don’t mean go hog wild but a moderate amount of exercise is going to make a man, like you, feel better.

Once you begin to feel better about yourself, you will begin to “wear” that persona on the inside and out. Right now, you don’t feel good about you but I can tell at some point you were a man to be reckoned with. You can get that edge back and begin to feel better, by getting out and working out again. When you were in better shape, you felt better about yourself and how you looked. Start a little every day, walking and build up your exercise regimen. I guarantee, you will begin to feel better.

Complacency Breeds Complacency

You have not done it all, let me point this out. You need to challenge yourself and start with the exercise. Rome was not built in one day, so you need to start somewhere, right? Start by looking in the mirror. You obviously are not happy with you.

It’s clear to me, that you are very hard, on yourself. It’s even clearer, that there’s a reason, you feel the need to “Perform.” A man is not measured by his feats but by how good-hearted he is.

Your systems, values and beliefs need to be put under a microscope. I want you to realize that you were only doing yourself harm, if you believed, that a man, is only respected, by how hard he is, body and mind. I respect your feelings of wanting to be the very best, let me make that known. But there comes a time, when you have to realize that you do not have to win constantly and you sure don’t have to be the best at everything, to be respected.

It’s commendable, to be good, at all the things you have done but I want you to begin to be good at just being you. Relax your thinking a little and your assessment of your own self-worth. I think you are really tired of trying so hard, just to be you.

Maybe it’s time to re-invent yourself?

Someone you respect, taught you that you have to excel and win. These are really good qualities, if you know where the cut off point is, where you can relax. You gave up, instead of just relaxing some of your beliefs and then you became disgusted with yourself. You need a half-way point here.

  1. Start with getting a good nights sleep. This plays a huge role in how we perceive all things and how we feel. Some people are proud of the fact that they don’t sleep. They’re usually cranky bastards too! So, get some sleep on a regular basis.
  2. Begin to exercise, even if it’s to go to the park and walk. You may not remember how good it feels to work up a sweat but I’m willing to bet that once you do, you’ll feel refreshed.
  3. Relax and stop holding yourself to such high expectations. Enjoy life and go with the flow. You’ll begin to breathe differently.
  4. Just be you, not the Lion after the prey, on guard and ready to pounce. When you feel that anxiety, like you need to be doing something extreme and feeling guilty because you are not doing it, put on your favorite music and just relax.
  5. Stop believing that you have to live an extreme lifestyle to measure up.

I think once you implement these 5 things, you’ll stop that vicious cycle that’s got you hobbled. Each thing will fall into place and when you begin to feel better, you’ll look better.

As we get older, we must often accept that our body does not cooperate as it once did. This you must come to terms with and accept. You can however get comfortable in your own skin.

I encourage you not to be so superficial and accept you for who you are. Begin to love yourself again and in turn, you’ll be able to love another. Did you realize that you may be putting off negative energy, that people, specifically women can sense?

Who wants to go out with a ball of bad energy? Stop it and start just being you. Become aware of this possibility and you will see the difference if you change it. Oh, and stop being such a perfectionist. I can feel it.

Now, just do it!


Keeping It Real,

Aunt B


* Test Click Here


Easy Dynamic

In Advice, Affairs of the Heart, Being True to Self, Choices, Consensual Sex, Coping Skills, Criminal Behavior, Encouraging Words, Perspective on May 9, 2009 at 1:51 am

Write Aunt B and ask your question at mzbabz@comcast.net

With Aunt B’s Answer


Dear Aunt B,

On your website you said nothing is taboo and that’s why I will feel a bit more comfortable telling you this. I’m a 26 year old woman. I have a close knit family whom I love very much. I have an uncle who was in prison for 18 years that we as a family would go visit every weekend for years. We had a very good relationship during those years. He was released two years ago and our relationship has changed.

Last October, our relationship turned sexual and has been that way since then. He would send me texts saying how he wanted to have sex with me since I was 16. At first I thought it was a crazy joke, he was in prison a long time. That started in March.

Now let me say I thought the world of my uncle when I was 16. He always talked to me and gave me advice and listened to me. My father wasn’t around so he was the next best thing but better because I could talk to him about things I couldn’t with my mother. I never knew he felt that way about me. I admit I got curious after a while but I never really thought it would happen. When it first started it was just sex, but me like a dummy started to have feelings 5 months in. I told him I wanted to stop because of that and he ignored it.

Him and I both have had other partners him a lot more than me I’m sure. He tells me I’m better than his other ladies. He gets jealous when I mention another man. He tells me that I’m perfect and that if our situation was different he would marry me. He gets butterflies when he sees me. He loves holding me.

Now another woman is pregnant by him and it hurts me. I’ve been in this situation where I was cheated on and the other woman got pregnant three times before. I got really upset. We weren’t exactly careful and if it wasn’t for plan B I would b pregnant by him. He tells me he doesn’t want to stop. He even asked me if I wanted a baby and said he loved me one time since I found out.

Now I know that his words are BS but I guess it wore me down after all this time and I feel stupid for allowing myself to have feelings for him. I don’t know where they came from. I don’t understand why he wanted me in this way. I certainly didn’t plan on this. It really was just sex in the beginning and I didn’t want or ask for anything beyond that. But he keeps coming up with these type of comments.

Even though I feel like I’m in love with him, which sounds completely insane, I understand there is no good coming out of this situation especially for me. I want help with how to push emotion to the side and get out of this situation.

Signed,
Going Crazy
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


Dear Reader,

In the interest of helping you, really helping you, I need to tell you that you need to seek a professional for the resolve to your question. Not because you are crazy, but because you will need to talk this out for awhile before you can feel that you have fixed this situation. You are right, this is a complicated situation, and one that I feel shouldn’t be answered in a quick gut answer format.

I can tell you what *I* would do. So I am telling you to please get help from a professional. You do need it. There are so many things at work in this one small glimpse of your story.

I will go into this, a little, because I am afraid that you will not seek help. I am afraid you will not seek help for fear of judgment of *who* the man is, and having the rest of your feelings cast aside because of it. And I know there are plenty of professional people out there who get a bad rap, but a good one worth their salt, wouldn’t make you feel that way at all. A good therapist will address the whole of this situation, and go through all your feelings and how to overcome them. So please, again, do seek help.

It doesn’t sound insane to me that you feel that you are in love with this man. It actually makes total sense that you think you feel this way. It makes sense that you are feeling betrayed. It makes sense that you are feeling cast aside. It makes sense that you are angry. Do not feel stupid, you are making sense. Regardless of *who* the guy is, anyone would feel angry and be asking exactly what you have been asking.

The problem that I see is that he has preyed upon you since you were very young, and he will continue to do so. I am sorry to hear this story, and even sorrier for the pain this will cause you. But you need to step away, and you need to get help. Have you told your parents about all this? I am guessing not given the circumstances. I am not sure if saying anything to them right now would be helpful, because I don’t know your parents. But if they are close to you (as you have indicated) and you trust them, I would suggest that you tell them and let them help you through all of this. You will need support.

Your situation isn’t the type where there is a simple solution. If I could have a piece of simplicity, I would encourage you to move on and forget this guy because he doesn’t love you. And I really wish it were that simple. But, I know it isn’t because of the nature of your relationship and the length of time this has evolved. So, again, I implore you to stop what you are doing all together with this man, and get help.

I wish I could answer this for you, and I wish that it were an easy dynamic. If you need help to seek a professional, please let us know (we will keep that off site).

~Xmichra.

With Aunt B’s Answer


Dear Going Crazy,

I am “tickled pink” that you wrote us as we appreciate our readers as well as those that ask the many questions that we get. You’re right; Nothing Is Taboo and we will discuss anything, if it is a serious question. What I mean by this is if someone truly wants an answer to a heart felt question and sometimes even that is debatable, we will try to accommodate them by answering as best as we can.

I do believe you are already aware of the “Social Stigma“that may be associated with your relationship with your Uncle. For all intent and purpose, some may even refer to it as Incest. And if you don’t mind, I’ll ask you to click on that link I just provided for you, for that particular word.You may then come to your own conclusion/resolution as to the definition of your situation.

Putting all this aside, even the nature of the your possible blood relationship, well, I have bigger fish to fry here. What I mean by this is rather plain and simple;

Your Uncle, I believe is using you in the name of love.

Now, you may write me after you’ve examined all of this and “read me the riot act” but I’d be willing to wager, you have some real *self-esteem issues. Yes, I’d also be willing to bet you are a bit over weight, feel rather ugly and have been very hard on yourself, most of your God given life. And I want it to stop…right here and right now. Yep, you damn skippy, I can see you and I do know.

You have such urgency to be loved and desired, (which are all normal human needs), that you are willing to put aside all the red flags, all the, shall I dare say; Wrong that has been done to you. And I’m asking you to slow down and take a long, hard look at how you’ve allowed yourself to be treated.

You are in good company when it comes to what people, even and including myself, well, just what we will do for love. And it’s all a matter of what we may choose to endure in the “name of love.”

I’m sorry to tell you, that although I do firmly believe that your Uncle has feelings for you, I also unflinchingly believe he’s been leading you astray and feeding you a line in order to have sex with you. Now, you can lie to yourself and/or sugar coat it all day long but I tell you all this because I want you to wake up and see the devastation this man has effected.

What Can You Do???

For starters, I want you to begin to assess your own, hidden self worth. It’s not hidden from the world just from you, apparently, when you look in the mirror. I think you may have forgotten what a wonderful personality as well as sense of humor you possess. The absolute best attribute you are blessed with is that undeniable “twinkle” in your eyes, especially when you are in a playful mood. You’ve not been playful as of late and that’s a shame. The spring in your step
has sprung. Hasn’t it?


I’d like to see you get your sense of self back. That playfulness that I spoke of will come back the sooner you see how wrong it was for your Uncle to do this to you. Yes, I said “do this” because you have been a victim of a man who took advantage of and did what it took to bed down a damsel in distress, someone who just wants to be loved.

Your answer, the beginning lies in you seeing all of this, peering into the looking glass with the realization that it is all as simple as you seeing yourself again, for the first time. Somewhat a riddle, I promise you that if you would ingest all that I have prescribed to you,

“He will come along. And he will tell you that ‘you have the most beautiful eyes he’s ever seen’.” (Bedroom Eyes)

Keeping It Real,

Aunt B

*Further Reading on Self Esteem;

Self Esteem – The Problem Behind All Problems

by Asoka Selvarajah, Ph.D

How Can I Improve My Self Esteem?
Reviewed by: D’Arcy Lyness, PhD

Written by Staff & Ask Aunt B at 12:47 PM 3 comments Links to this post Labels: , , ,

Doors of Communication

In 12 Step Program, AA/NA, AA/NA Meetings, Affairs of the Heart, Alcoholism, Aunt Babz Commentary, Aunt Babz Expose', Encouraging Words, Uncategorized on May 9, 2009 at 12:34 am

Write Ask Aunt B @ mzbabz@comcast.net

This is an Aunt B expose’

Saturday, April 25, 2009
Doors of Communication

Dear Reader’s,

As of late, I’ve found myself visiting the blogs of people, I don’t really know on the sidebars of some regulars I read. A lot of these blogs are about being the parent of a drug addict. So very sad.

And it occurred to me that God has blessed me with really being the only F***-Up in the family. What I mean by this is that while my daughter struggles with an addiction to Soma, my three sons really do not practice, note that word, “Practice” current and/or hard core drug use.

There’s no pat on the back for this because they watched as I shot up Heroin, drank whiskey shots like a seasoned Sailor and basically lived a life of every day crime.

Yea, I used to kid, “A Crime a day, keeps the Doctor away,” meaning I wouldn’t be dope sick if I committed some crime, scam, scheme, whatever it took to get my bundle of Heroin. And you can bet your ass, before I started doing heroin and was taking massive quantities of pills/opiates, I stole or wrote/forged Prescriptions for years to facilitate my habits as well as my husbands. I’m certainly not proud of this and as I write it, I could just puke.

If I’d tell you some of the rotten awful things I did, you’d probably say, “OMG Babz, you did not?” But I did and the past person I was, is a different person. I even changed my name from Barbara to Babz cause I’m not “her/Barb” anymore.

It saddens me though when I read some of the pain this Drug War has caused. And that’s exactly what it is, an all out War on and against, especially the juvenescence of today. This shit is taking your children hostage and promises to kill, harm or maim them for life. And of course, your life will never be the same.

First let me say that I don’t claim to know it all, hell I’m just recently beginning to realize this and am hell bent for leather to learn all sorts of sordid details. Not really, actually I want to know and learn, sew and say all the best I can in the time allotted me, left on this earth. I have a whole butt load of Karma, the good one, I need to replenish and give back. And I know Mz. Karma Bitchslap™ on a first name basis. I met her in Prison…

As I stood on that bridge, (another story in itself), ready to jump into the icy waters below. Here I was out, in the middle of a blizzard, no one on the roads, on the hunt for dope. I scored one bag but couldn’t do it because I had to walk home first and share that one bag with my SOB husband who divided it, giving him the bigger portion. It was barely enough to even get myself right much less the two of us.

Dope sick, barely able to stand, I threw my leg over the bridge railing. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw headlights. This storm was so bad even the natives were nestled in, all except for me and this one man in his car. I remember being pissed, thinking, “WTF???,” as I put my leg back down. He slowed down, just as he came upon me. His passenger side window was down, the street lamp illuminating his face.

Now, I don’t know if you believe in Angels or not but I sure do…NOW! This old white haired man, scraggly and I even think he was missing some teeth, smiled so warmly, the smile actually embraced me. I can’t explain it. I fell on my knees in the snow. There was a “Silent Scream” only heaven could hear. My tears almost froze to my face as I begged God for forgiveness. I also begged Him to help me, “Please God, I can’t do this anymore, please help me?”

I didn’t even say what it was that I needed help with but He knew. I’d tried to get help at the Hospital and for one, they told me I wasn’t sick enough to be admitted to the Hospital. Secondly, they said that both my husband and myself could not be admitted at the same time to the same Rehab. The intake evaluator guy was a real dick and offered no solution.

Neither one of us would dare leave the other out to fend for ourselves, especially considering I was my husbands meal ticket, I did all the dirty work which, to this day he readily admits. But they had shot us down anyway, as I said stating that we weren’t sick enough. I remember thinking how much I hated that guy just about the same time as I fell off the curb, cracking my head open on the bumper of a taxi cab (which I couldn’t even afford to take at the time and had to walk) because I was so weak I could hardly stand.

The Gift???

Well, it wasn’t all shiny or wrapped up in a big Pink or Red Bow. And it sure as hell wasn’t pretty. But God gave me a wonderful gift…He threw me, lock, stock and barrel, right into jail and then onto to my 2 1/2 to 5 year State Prison venture. It took some time for me to realize “The Gift.” It took a hot minute before I wasn’t so pissed off that I could spit nails. It took even longer for me to come to a realization that God had saved my life by throwing my sorry butt into Prison.

Bitter or Blessed???

Yes, good ol’ Mz. Karma Bitchslap™ gave me time to think and think and think. I’d been sentenced up to 5 years of my life for something I didn’t do, I just couldn’t prove it from where I was sitting. That’s a whole other story in itself but suffice it to say, I WAS GUILTY just not for the exact crime listed on the Indictment!

I’d done so many awful, God forsaken things, I deserved to be exactly where I was, I actually deserved Life. But how does one garner wisdom amongst the best criminals, insanest, meanest, nastiest people this world has to offer? You study them and yourself, which is exactly what I did. I turned the whole experience around, flipped the script and did everything I could to learn from it.

I took special notes concerning the fact that most of the inmates were there because of drugs, drinking, drug sales. I studied them, their behavior and I listened intently to what they had to say. As well, I was given the opportunity to go into a six month In-House Rehab Program called New Beginnings, while I was incarcerated. You are pretty much sequestered during this extremely strict program. I worked that bitch like my life depended on it, (which it actually did)all the while going through intense Interferon Treatment for Hep C.

So by going to prison, I broke the chain of heroin abuse, I broke the chain of domestic abuse that I’d endured for more than a decade and I think I broke the chain of events that led up to and facilitated a lot of my killing my self slowly behaviors. I even think I may have learned to like myself again. And it was all a Blessing, big time.

Again, it took a while to understand the mechanics of it all but I realize that most people that go in to prison come out one of two ways; Bitter or Blessed. Unfortunately, the majority come out real angry for having their lives disrupted and they’re surely not remorseful. In fact most are mad because they were caught.

For me, it was a time to stop and reflect, to learn and gain knowledge about myself as well as others; what makes them tick, what causes them to behave as they do and why do they continue in the same vein of unhappy addictions and addictive behaviors. These are all seen, in my eyes, as gifts.

I was also given a gift in the capacity to remember everything about how I felt and why I did things, especially concerning my teen years. I recall, collectively, what spurred me on to drugs-n-drinking. I now have the resounding collection of “Do Not’s” squarely fixed in my mind. If I was told;

Do Not Do Drugs
Do Not Drink
Do Not Have Sex
Do Not Share A Needle
Do Not Drink-n-Drive
Do Not Play With Guns
Do Not Go W/O Your Seat Belt…

I did it…and got addicted, got pregnant, got Hep C and on and frigin’ on.

Yes, it’s a gift that I can remember all this and have not burned out all my brain cells. I was in a really bad car accident(I was hit by two cars, drag racing, one head-on) when I was just 18. I had massive head trauma from going through the windshield. I was hurt badly enough they were going to put me in a Nursing Home. Besides the injuries that were visible, I had a terrible problem with short term memory loss.

My long term memory was not affected and I can even remember playing in my crib, climbing out and finding a bottle under my crib that was sour. I can also remember going for long walks with my Mom, in the stroller. To tide me over, my Mom would put chocolaty “*Metracal” in my bottle. It was a popular a diet drink back in the early sixties. The thing is, my Mom, who proudly exclaimed she followed the orders of “Dr. Spock” had me off the bottle by 18 months old. This means that I have memories of and before I was 18 months old.

The point is that, painful as it might be, I remember how I felt about things, especially as a teen. I mean, I can remember how hurt I was by the comments of boys like when they called me “Boobie Barbara” in 6th grade. As well I distinctly remember how I felt that I could not go to my Mom and Dad to talk about my personal problems and complexes, notable to a teen with such low self-esteem as I had. I felt fat and ugly, fueled by comments innocently spewed(I hope?) by my own Mother.

I was certainly not able to talk about sex and such. They were either too busy chasing the American Dream or had too many hang-ups themselves about personal issues. My own Mom was mean, hateful and beat the livin’ shit out of me on a daily basis. It’s no wonder I sought love in all the wrong places. They were “Unapproachable.”

The best advice I could give to any parent is to be aware of the doors of communication. Are they closed? That’s when you seem unapproachable or maybe you’re too busy with work and your children don’t feel they can come and talk to you about anything and everything. This is the exact spot, the very pinpoint to the beginning of the end.

See, when your kid can’t come to you and ask you anything or talk to you about what’s going on in their lives, the good, the bad and the ugly or you down play their emotions and you can bet your ass they have them, that’s when the problems begin. Now they’re going to go to their friends for advice and that sense of family. That’s when your daughter is going to seek counsel, love, whatever from some older guy.

You have to realize that their emotions run the gambit from desires to be older to emotional immaturity as in holding onto childhood behaviors. One day they’ll seem and believe that they’re all grown up while the next they’ll do something very childish and immature. But the thing you have to remember is that this is their emotions and they are really real.

You can not leave it up to the school system to raise your child. As well, you can not leave it up to the school system to teach your child about sex and drugs either. While D.A.R.E. is a good program, parents, you’ve still got to sit down with your kids and *talk to them about drugs, drinking, sex, peer pressure, cyber bullying, internet predators and unfortunately you’ve got to let them in on the very worst secret of all; That it is not all lollipops and cotton candy out there. There are people in this world that can and will harm them.

Do You Know Them???

Note the word “Talk.” Now, when you speak to your child, of course, you want to command respect. If you want a rapport with your children though you’ve got to be mindful of these doors of communication and are they open, always open, 24/7? And do you speak down to them? Speak over them? Speak above them?

The big question of the day is this; Do you really, really know your child? Does your child have a secret side for fear of chastisement, punishment or retribution? Do they have that secret side because you might not understand?

I don’t claim to be the sharpest peanut in the turd but I will say, if nothing else, I am observant. I see parents all the time, especially Mothers who treat their teens as equals, as a friend and are almost fearful of disciplining their child, expressly their adolescent children. These are quite often the Moms who want to be the “Cool Mom” on the block. They tend to look the other way rather than deal with the ginormous monstrosity that is their child.

I know all this because I was that Mom who wanted to be the “Cool Mom.” And because of my own addictive behaviors and thinking, I allowed my own kids to get high, in the bathroom, in my own home. I also taught my children all the finer things in life where it concerns being a good criminal.When they busted me, it was front page news and the headline read, something like, “Busted; Ma Barker & Her Boys.” I was shackled to my youngest son, for God’s sake. Does it get any badder than that?

“Let Go & Let God”

For those parents that have kids already down that road, going down Addiction Alley, I pray that you will find calm assurance and realize the power of prayer. I’ll pray that you see that you’ll have to allow them to fall before they can ever climb up. This is one of the absolute hardest things a Mom can go through because we can’t stand for our children to hurt. But the thing is, they’ve got to feel the burn, they’ve got to know that no one, short of God is going to save them. They’ve got to feel the repercussions of their actions or they’ll continue to carry on, every day, in the same way. You’ve got to stay in prayer and allow them to hit their own personal bottom, now, before it’s too late.

Open 24/7

If you are a parent of a pre-teen or teenager, I hope you will see the relevance of and awareness of those doors of communication, that I mentioned before. And I want you to take a long hard look at what is really important in this life; Is it that American Dream you keep chasing? You know the one where you think that both of you need to work over time to keep that second SUV in the garage, have a t.v. in every room, give your kid the best of the best, a cell phone, computer and on and on. But check this out: You work over time to get all this crap that you must ask yourself, “Do I really need all this to define happiness?”

Yes, you have to work over time and then you feel guilty for it so you think you’ll compensate your kid by buying them all the things you didn’t have growing up. But for real, what they need is YOU, not all this BS you work so hard to get.

The pitch line here is this; Parents, your children need you. Are you really there for them? Do you really know your child?

Hypethetically Speaking;

Did you know that a 23 year old guy is talking to your daughter, online and treats her all grown up and tells her how he desires her so badly?
(He wants to meet her and is trying to talk her into it. She’s scared but wants to be desired by somebody, anybody. She believes she’s ugly so she’s just ecstatic because somebody has taken an interest in her.)

Did you know that your son has been driving around with his pals, getting drunk in order to fit in with the rest of the football team?
(I mean he just wants to be accepted but he’s playing with death)

Did you know that the reason your daughter is so thin is because she’s Anorexic?
(Yea, she was a bit chubby and the kids made fun of her, especially the boys)

Did you know that your child’s failing grades are because she’s caught up with a group of girls, “The Stoners?”
(She was doing fairly well but because of her low self-esteem she wanted to be accepted into the cliche of girls, you know the bad ones who’ll steer her wrong. Those girls are not the prettiest or brightest so she feels safe amongst them because they really can’t put her down. She’ll start skipping school so she can hang out at that friends house who’s Mom, a single mother, is always at work and they can party at her house and not get caught)

There are so many, “Do You Know’s” you must ask yourself, about your child. And I could go on forever but suffice it to say, it’s preventive medicine if you try to get to really know your child, reach out to them and let them know that they have permission to come to you about anything, especially before they do it.

Take A Look!

Your kids are less apt to seek out that sense of family, if they are still getting it at home. Take A Look! If you want them to learn about this life’s ups and downs and why they should or shouldn’t do something, you’d better assume the role of parent and teach them yourself. Take A Look!

If you want them to understand that drugs-n-drinking just might take them down, you’d better teach them yourself. But it’s not good enough to simply say, “Now, don’t you do this or that.” No, you’ve got to explain why and a 5 minute talk on the subject is not going to do. You’ve got to explain how they can get out of the situation if they are offered drugs or any illicit behavior.

Your best bet is to arm yourself with an understanding of addiction and addictive behaviors. I suggest you study all you can on the subject so you may be armed with an educated opinion on the subject.

Teaching them to “Just Say No to Drugs” is not enough. What I mean by this is while the school system teaches them some on the subject, they don’t know your child, what makes them who they are and what might cause them to turn to drugs/drinking. That is a question you must ask yourself before it happens. That is pertinent to you and your child and something you must face together.

Don’t make the stupid mistake of assuming that your child will never mess around with drugs and/or drinking. It’s safer to say that they will be faced with it and just telling them to, again, “Just Say No to Drugs” is not enough. You’ve got to delve into the subject, the meat of the whole shabang. And that entails letting them know, showing them what happens when you play with fire; you will get burned.

Your best stance, to take might be to let them know that getting high is an escape they may never be able to escape from. Tell them that if they do have an addictive personality and they do try drugs, it will ruin their lives. Notice that I didn’t say “might ruin their lives.” Drugs will most certainly place your kid on the road of self destruction. They’ve got to know why it’s so dangerous to try; They may think they love it, need it and will then do anything to get it. That’s the truth of the matter.

Speak to them now, before it’s too late!

Keeping It Real,

Aunt B

*1950s through the ’70s:

Metracal was the first weight-loss shake product, adapted from baby formula by Mead Johnson
Nutritionals. It was wildly successful. The company also marketed Metracal cookies. Metracal is now off
the market.
Source; Whatever Happened To…
History of Diets

Written by Staff & Ask Aunt B at 3:24 PM
Labels: Anorexia, D.A.R.E., Doors of Communication, Drugs, Drugs and Drinking
Reactions:

The Matriarch

In Childbirth, Discernment, Encouraging Words, Having Children, Intuition, Loss of a Child, Small Still Voice, Stillbirth, The Spirit on September 27, 2008 at 1:03 pm


Dear Aunt Babz,

Hello I am a 36 year old married mom of four children….Three here on earth and one baby that I lost

last year due to a stillbirth. I took the loss very hard and still today very hurt and just plain refuse to

have peace until I hold another baby in my arms. Of course the new baby will not replace my beautiful girl

that i lost. I lost her at 6 months along in pregancy.

I am wondering if you have a feeling of when this might be? I have a couple of health problems that can

probally be fixed with my own help. Like losing weight.

I have had a couple of dreams that imply that i will be pregnant again but do not know what to do with the dreams.

I have had a few dreams in my life that lead me in a way but i have no guidance as to how to get there.

If you have any feelings on this it would help so much.

Sincerely
Tori from Tn.

Dear Tori from Tn.,

I pray before or as I write these answers. I pray for wisdom and words but let me make it clear to you that I do not nor will I ever claim to be a psychic. I do believe that God has given me the gift of Discernment and Intuition as well as an ability to put things in some sort of perspective. I write what I feel, what the “Small, Still Voice,” tells me. Other than that, well, I just want you to understand that I am not a psychic.

I’m sorry for your loss and pray for your timely healing. I can only imagine how difficult it has been for you? They say that time heals all wounds but I can also imagine it’s rather hard for you to see or feel that right now? Again, I pray for your healing and understanding that all things happen for a reason and our God is a merciful God. He knows what He is doing and I pray that all will be revealed to you as you heal from your loss. I pray that you realize, as well, that your child is sitting beside Jesus, cozy and loved beyond understanding. You must stand on this faith, in order to embrace your loss. Selah

As I stated in the top of this post, I try to write what that small still voice tells me. My firm belief is that it is the Spirit of God. I realize now, post haste and in retrospect that a major portion of my life could have had an alternate ending had I listened to the Spirit. But I did not listen and I fell. I fell hard but am now able to look back and see that that gentle voice was there all along. You must listen for the answer too.

It is reiterated to me over and over, as I write this to tell you what I hear. I have been thinking about all this for a couple of days and it’s quite possible that I delayed answering you so I would find/hear an answer, as I do not take your question lightly. I feel your pain and I do not not presume to have an answer for you but merely suggestions…

Undivided Attention

Your days shall be filled with the joy your three children bring you. Your time and attention shall not be divided by another. These three will fulfill your expectations but there will be some struggle. Thus, you should not be taxed, your attention divided again and again. Your life will become redefined several times. It will not be easy along the way. Your energies will be tapped and health issues might drain you further. These three will need you and it will be because of you that they will become wonderful people. They may not be what the world calls or defines as success in a monetary aspect but they are and will be good, well rounded children, individuals who know they are loved. They will know the true meaning of love. They will have a complete sense of family.

You will be torn as to what is important in your life and what defines you, similar to what you are going through now. But it is these three which make your life worth living. Because you kept things in perspective, they will each, after their own journey, find a new found respect and adoration for you. With their maturity, they will begin to visit their own past with a fondness. They will not only love you but like you and enjoy your company. You will be The Matriarch…and when your days are numbered, you will be surrounded by many, many who think you are just the cats pajamas.

Keeping It Real,

Aunt Babz


Dear T,

As you may or may not know I am pregnant. With this comes a lot of need for knowledge, which has made me search for all sorts of things pregnancy related. So I am going to try and answer your questions the best that I can, but I would strongly urge you to connect with a support group or a healer because what you have gone through is very painful, very hard, and very emotional. You do need support to come through this, and I think finding a support group would help you immensely. Losing a child at any stage is traumatic and I can understand the feeling of needing to have a baby when you were so looking forward to being a new mom again. But I will caution you, that this may not be the best time for becoming pregnant again. You may need some more time to digest what has happened and to be fully equipped mentally to face another pregnancy, which also may have complications. Only you can decide that for sure, but I would advise you to talk this over with your spouse and think about it for a little while before you rush into anything. Also, your body may not be equipped yet to handle another pregnancy. Sometimes when women undergo a D&C (I am assuming you had this done) the uterus is very strained and cannot catch or hold to a fertilized egg or embryo. So make sure that you have had a pap test and pelvic exam to ensure that your body is ready to try again. Dreams are a funny tool (some would argue) because they open our eyes to things that we want or need in our lives. And sometimes they are manifestations of things we wish were truth. Differentiating between those two things is tricky business, and it is easy to be caught up in dream world when the results are positive. But my thinking on dreams is this: they are our mind at play. Sometimes they can lead us to do the things that we need to do, but often (and I believe in this case) they are representative of things we wish we had. Dreaming positive things like this is not harmful, but taking these dreams as signs of hope can be. Please do not take this the wrong way because I know you are still in pain, but you need to get your head out of the dreams, and talk with your family doctor or a specialist about the realism of becoming pregnant again. That would be the best option. A doctor can tell you what you need to do to become pregnant, would monitor the pregnancy (especially so since you have lost a child in pregnancy) and can tell you when you need to be more careful (things like bed rest and light stress should be listened to.). I would also like to tell you of a few sites that can help you on your way in regards to the emotional side of what has happened to you and also getting pregnant again.

http://www.babycenter.com/0_coping-with-pregnancy-loss_4006.bc http://www.birth.com.au/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=30 http://www.mothers35plus.co.uk/losing.htm http://www.webmd.com/baby/pregnancy-loss-neonatal-death

I do hope the very best for you and your family. Take care of yourself, and your body.

~Xmichra.

Silver Lining

In Betrayal, Encouraging Words, Family Issues, Miscarriage, Portraying Womanhood on August 21, 2008 at 3:47 pm

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Hi Aunt B;

I’m 8 weeks pregnant with my first child. My husband and I are thrilled and decided to share the news with our families last week. We respectfully asked them to keep the news quiet until the 12th week had passed. After having suffered a miscarriage a few of months ago, we did not feel comfortable sharing the news with just anyone until the 1st trimester was over. We honestly didn’t think this would be an issue, and so far, it’s been nothing but problems!

No one is respecting our wish to keep this quiet and many of the people that my husband and I had hoped to tell now know. We’re both pretty private people and if we lost this baby, we know it would be difficult for us to have to talk about with people other than family.


We’re regretting having ever told anyone but we also know that had we waited three months to tell them, they would have been hurt. Now it’s my husband and I who are left feeling betrayed and hurt that our family has not allowed us to share our news when we were ready to! We both understand that they’re all very excited as well, however, we both feel that this is our news to share with the people we care about when we are ready to. We’ve tried talking to them about this, but they just tell us to get over it and that we should be excited to tell everyone. They don’t seem to understand how this is impacting us. Any advice?


Dear Friend,

Congrats and let us pray that all goes well, in this joyous occasion.

This is such a delicate subject, on one hand and especially for you. On the other, it’s a situation/scenario, (the pregnancy) in itself, that happens every day. Your family most likely viewed it as the latter, an every day occurrence.

I can only imagine what you went through. As well, it must’ve been more painful than people understand. See, while people can have compassion about some things, they more often than not, do not have empathy, much less understanding. Yes, there is a clear and definite difference between the two and only those that have walked in your shoes can really have empathy. As well, your situation is unique to you and only you thus it is very hard for people to grieve as you have nor can they really surmise the complex emotion involved.

But you must forgive them. Their joy is genuine and this is why they were bursting with and beaming for your new pregnancy. They didn’t understand your fears nor did they understand that you cried yourself to sleep with the loss of your unborn child. You put on a brave front and wore your pain like a trooper but it affected you rather adversly. Know that all things happen for a reason and our God is a loving and merciful God. I am not religious but I sure am Spiritual. So, I have come to know that everything happens for a reason and that includes the loss of your child. But that premise also applies to the gift of a second chance.

First and foremost, stop blaming yourself for what happened and remember what I just said. Even if you don’t believe in a Higher Power, as I do, you have to know that all was not right or all would have been well. You, as well as your child were spared. What a gift. I know it is extremely hard to see this right now. A Mother’s love is forever and her heart is so easily broken. Mine has been broken countless times too numerous to mention. But I always joke that, “I wouldn’t sell my kids for a million dollars but wouldn’t pay a damn dime for any one of them.” I’m kidding of course and can not imagine my life without them in it. As a Mother, I know that we are sometimes defined by our children. Hell, I didn’t even know my own name, other than “Mommy” for years!

So, I can hardly stand the thought of losing any one of them and can not even fathom your loss. I can also understand your trepidation and hesitancy in exclaiming to the world, this impending birth. I mean, how do you explain it again, if something were to happen? It’s such a personal pain and I dare say, I, myself, may not have wanted to share in that pain with anyone including family.

If you had a normal reaction to this miscarriage, the feelings attached to this would run the gamet, possibly overlapping each other. From blame, shame, pain, a question of your womanhood and I could just go on and on, you most likely were an emotional wreck. However, I don’t believe the average person could/can surmise or comprehend all the emotional baggage that goes along with such an unfortunate loss.

Having said all that, I’ll say it again; You must forgive them for what they do not know or understand. No, they had no right whatsoever to tell anyone, especially when you requested them not to. You have ever right to be angry and disappointed. But it’s similar to an Attorney making a statement in court, then the judge strikes the statement. He’ll then turn to the jury and tell them to “Disregard the statement.” It really can not be done, it can’t be undone. It’s the same with your situation; it can’t be undone. They felt joy upon hearing the news because of your loss. Because of your loss, they could not contain that joy. They were all secretly hoping this would make it all better, make your pain go away and they never meant any harm.

Now, let go and let God. Forgive them as you will do yourself more harm than good by keeping it all inside and maintaining your anger and animosity. Try to find the Silver Lining in this; People do care, they want to share in your joy and it’s very apparent that they’d shout it from the rooftop.

Yes, there is a Silver Lining…look for it.

Keeping It Real,

Aunt Babz

Silver Lining

In Betrayal, Encouraging Words, Family Issues, Miscarriage, Portraying Womanhood on August 21, 2008 at 3:47 pm

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Hi Aunt B;

I’m 8 weeks pregnant with my first child. My husband and I are thrilled and decided to share the news with our families last week. We respectfully asked them to keep the news quiet until the 12th week had passed. After having suffered a miscarriage a few of months ago, we did not feel comfortable sharing the news with just anyone until the 1st trimester was over. We honestly didn’t think this would be an issue, and so far, it’s been nothing but problems!

No one is respecting our wish to keep this quiet and many of the people that my husband and I had hoped to tell now know. We’re both pretty private people and if we lost this baby, we know it would be difficult for us to have to talk about with people other than family.


We’re regretting having ever told anyone but we also know that had we waited three months to tell them, they would have been hurt. Now it’s my husband and I who are left feeling betrayed and hurt that our family has not allowed us to share our news when we were ready to! We both understand that they’re all very excited as well, however, we both feel that this is our news to share with the people we care about when we are ready to. We’ve tried talking to them about this, but they just tell us to get over it and that we should be excited to tell everyone. They don’t seem to understand how this is impacting us. Any advice?


Dear Friend,

Congrats and let us pray that all goes well, in this joyous occasion.

This is such a delicate subject, on one hand and especially for you. On the other, it’s a situation/scenario, (the pregnancy) in itself, that happens every day. Your family most likely viewed it as the latter, an every day occurrence.

I can only imagine what you went through. As well, it must’ve been more painful than people understand. See, while people can have compassion about some things, they more often than not, do not have empathy, much less understanding. Yes, there is a clear and definite difference between the two and only those that have walked in your shoes can really have empathy. As well, your situation is unique to you and only you thus it is very hard for people to grieve as you have nor can they really surmise the complex emotion involved.

But you must forgive them. Their joy is genuine and this is why they were bursting with and beaming for your new pregnancy. They didn’t understand your fears nor did they understand that you cried yourself to sleep with the loss of your unborn child. You put on a brave front and wore your pain like a trooper but it affected you rather adversly. Know that all things happen for a reason and our God is a loving and merciful God. I am not religious but I sure am Spiritual. So, I have come to know that everything happens for a reason and that includes the loss of your child. But that premise also applies to the gift of a second chance.

First and foremost, stop blaming yourself for what happened and remember what I just said. Even if you don’t believe in a Higher Power, as I do, you have to know that all was not right or all would have been well. You, as well as your child were spared. What a gift. I know it is extremely hard to see this right now. A Mother’s love is forever and her heart is so easily broken. Mine has been broken countless times too numerous to mention. But I always joke that, “I wouldn’t sell my kids for a million dollars but wouldn’t pay a damn dime for any one of them.” I’m kidding of course and can not imagine my life without them in it. As a Mother, I know that we are sometimes defined by our children. Hell, I didn’t even know my own name, other than “Mommy” for years!

So, I can hardly stand the thought of losing any one of them and can not even fathom your loss. I can also understand your trepidation and hesitancy in exclaiming to the world, this impending birth. I mean, how do you explain it again, if something were to happen? It’s such a personal pain and I dare say, I, myself, may not have wanted to share in that pain with anyone including family.

If you had a normal reaction to this miscarriage, the feelings attached to this would run the gamet, possibly overlapping each other. From blame, shame, pain, a question of your womanhood and I could just go on and on, you most likely were an emotional wreck. However, I don’t believe the average person could/can surmise or comprehend all the emotional baggage that goes along with such an unfortunate loss.

Having said all that, I’ll say it again; You must forgive them for what they do not know or understand. No, they had no right whatsoever to tell anyone, especially when you requested them not to. You have ever right to be angry and disappointed. But it’s similar to an Attorney making a statement in court, then the judge strikes the statement. He’ll then turn to the jury and tell them to “Disregard the statement.” It really can not be done, it can’t be undone. It’s the same with your situation; it can’t be undone. They felt joy upon hearing the news because of your loss. Because of your loss, they could not contain that joy. They were all secretly hoping this would make it all better, make your pain go away and they never meant any harm.

Now, let go and let God. Forgive them as you will do yourself more harm than good by keeping it all inside and maintaining your anger and animosity. Try to find the Silver Lining in this; People do care, they want to share in your joy and it’s very apparent that they’d shout it from the rooftop.

Yes, there is a Silver Lining…look for it.

Keeping It Real,

Aunt Babz

Music Soothes the Savage Beast

In College Requirements, Encouraging Words, ESL, HS Issues, Joy, Life is Perspective, Marching Band, Music Soothes the Savage Beast, Sign Language on July 3, 2008 at 2:58 pm


Dear Aunt B,

I’m in the marching band and I have been in it for 2 years (band for like 5 years). Well, as I’m going to my junior year in high school, I really don’t like the millions of hours wasted from band from millions of rehearsals and performances.

Sure, colleges like extra curricular activity’s but I’m 100% sure I’m getting to college without doing band and without doing community service hours (I’m that confident). Also, the reason I’m deciding to quit band is because I will have NOTHING to do with band in the real world.

I don’t want to become a musician or anything else with band. I’m sick and tired of band controlling my life in school! The hours are just a waste! Band camp starts 3 weeks before school starts so it’s another 3 weeks wasted from summer!!! I effing hate band but if I quit, I don’t know what other classes to take (although I would eventually find a class I’m interested in taking). Not to mention the exercise I won’t have (although I can exercise on my own).

So my question is, what should I do? Stay or quit?


Dear Friend/Band Mate,

I was in the Drum & Bugle Corp. as well as The Americanettes, a Baton/Majorette Corp so I know just how much time and dedication is required, dedication being the key word. I have mostly good memories of my years with emphasis on camaraderie and I must say, nothing gets your blood pumping like a good band backing you up, marching in time and so on.

It is pretty apparent, via your email that you are rather adamant about this. If it’s such a burden, I’d tend to agree with you as possibly nixing the whole deal. Life is what you make it right? If something does not bring you joy and it’s really not necessary, why put yourself through it?

Now, it seems to me that you’ve weighed this out, concerning College entrance requirements. I know they do look at extra curricular activity, if nothing else to see if you are involved in things other than straight up school study. They feel that those that have healthy hobbies and are civic minded are more well rounded persons. It’s a big plus to do some form of Community Service, so you might consider this?

I can see your point if you have no intention of using your talent, your musical inclination, further down the road. It is a proven point, however, that those that maintain a musical hobby/background, especially as a stress reliever, well, Music Soothes the Savage Beast.

Maybe we can assume that you need a break from the rigors and commitment of maintaining your spot in Band? Right now, it’s real clear that you have a real aversion to it, so step away from the situation, take a breather and focus on something else.

As I stated before, life is what you make it, it’s all about perspective, what brings you joy and weeding out the bullshit that bothers you or causes you pain. Some things we have no control over while others, i.e. your band experience is something you can control. So, exercise that control but apply your energy to something that will be or work to your advantage, in the future.

An example, if you were to take up a second language or even, let’s say, Sign Language, that would most certainly be to your advantage. Either one of those can and will be used in the future and it gives you a jump up on the average Joe. By that, I mean, if you have, let’s say, Spanish under your belt and let’s say you choose to be an Attorney, Doctor or whatever, it is a plus to be able to interpret and you will be in demand. It’s just a win/win situation.

I can tell you are a rather determined individual, who when you make up your mind about something, come hell or high water, it’s going to happen. Take all that energy, all that wherewithal and turn it into a positive. Right now, you seem a bit negative simply because you’re just out and out pissed about this band agenda. Turn this whole thing into a beneficial situation and view it as freeing up your time to do bigger and better things. Take note of the mind set here. It is all about perspective and perspective is what it’s all about. Flip the script, even in your attitude. See it as a step forward and correlate what it is that you want to do, concerning your college study and what will make your life easier, in the future. It’s all a matter of working smart, not hard.

My advice to you is to weed out all the bull, all that does not bring you joy. Carefully look at what you can do that will bring about that joy. Mind you, not all things in life are pleasant and sometimes, for the sake of our future, we’ve gotta suck it up. Look at where you want to be and what you can do with this free time, if you quit band or rather put it on the back burner, whatever. Use the time wisely and hopefully in/with something that will put a smile back on your face.

Keeping It Real,

Aunt Babz

Dear Friend,

You don’t stay in band for collegian upper-ground. That’s all i know. But seriously, if you hate it, then quit. But many an adult would caution you that this could be one of those instances that you look back on and regret. There are plenty of people that i know who wish they had stuck with lessons, or learned an instrument. And very few who actually learned to play something who regret the task of doing so. if you are more interested in something else though, and your heart isn’t in the music… then find your passion. But don’t write off music just yet. It has a funny way of weaving itself back in.

~Xmichra~

Music Soothes the Savage Beast

In College Requirements, Encouraging Words, ESL, HS Issues, Joy, Life is Perspective, Marching Band, Music Soothes the Savage Beast, Sign Language on July 3, 2008 at 2:58 pm


Dear Aunt B,

I’m in the marching band and I have been in it for 2 years (band for like 5 years). Well, as I’m going to my junior year in high school, I really don’t like the millions of hours wasted from band from millions of rehearsals and performances.

Sure, colleges like extra curricular activity’s but I’m 100% sure I’m getting to college without doing band and without doing community service hours (I’m that confident). Also, the reason I’m deciding to quit band is because I will have NOTHING to do with band in the real world.

I don’t want to become a musician or anything else with band. I’m sick and tired of band controlling my life in school! The hours are just a waste! Band camp starts 3 weeks before school starts so it’s another 3 weeks wasted from summer!!! I effing hate band but if I quit, I don’t know what other classes to take (although I would eventually find a class I’m interested in taking). Not to mention the exercise I won’t have (although I can exercise on my own).

So my question is, what should I do? Stay or quit?


Dear Friend/Band Mate,

I was in the Drum & Bugle Corp. as well as The Americanettes, a Baton/Majorette Corp so I know just how much time and dedication is required, dedication being the key word. I have mostly good memories of my years with emphasis on camaraderie and I must say, nothing gets your blood pumping like a good band backing you up, marching in time and so on.

It is pretty apparent, via your email that you are rather adamant about this. If it’s such a burden, I’d tend to agree with you as possibly nixing the whole deal. Life is what you make it right? If something does not bring you joy and it’s really not necessary, why put yourself through it?

Now, it seems to me that you’ve weighed this out, concerning College entrance requirements. I know they do look at extra curricular activity, if nothing else to see if you are involved in things other than straight up school study. They feel that those that have healthy hobbies and are civic minded are more well rounded persons. It’s a big plus to do some form of Community Service, so you might consider this?

I can see your point if you have no intention of using your talent, your musical inclination, further down the road. It is a proven point, however, that those that maintain a musical hobby/background, especially as a stress reliever, well, Music Soothes the Savage Beast.

Maybe we can assume that you need a break from the rigors and commitment of maintaining your spot in Band? Right now, it’s real clear that you have a real aversion to it, so step away from the situation, take a breather and focus on something else.

As I stated before, life is what you make it, it’s all about perspective, what brings you joy and weeding out the bullshit that bothers you or causes you pain. Some things we have no control over while others, i.e. your band experience is something you can control. So, exercise that control but apply your energy to something that will be or work to your advantage, in the future.

An example, if you were to take up a second language or even, let’s say, Sign Language, that would most certainly be to your advantage. Either one of those can and will be used in the future and it gives you a jump up on the average Joe. By that, I mean, if you have, let’s say, Spanish under your belt and let’s say you choose to be an Attorney, Doctor or whatever, it is a plus to be able to interpret and you will be in demand. It’s just a win/win situation.

I can tell you are a rather determined individual, who when you make up your mind about something, come hell or high water, it’s going to happen. Take all that energy, all that wherewithal and turn it into a positive. Right now, you seem a bit negative simply because you’re just out and out pissed about this band agenda. Turn this whole thing into a beneficial situation and view it as freeing up your time to do bigger and better things. Take note of the mind set here. It is all about perspective and perspective is what it’s all about. Flip the script, even in your attitude. See it as a step forward and correlate what it is that you want to do, concerning your college study and what will make your life easier, in the future. It’s all a matter of working smart, not hard.

My advice to you is to weed out all the bull, all that does not bring you joy. Carefully look at what you can do that will bring about that joy. Mind you, not all things in life are pleasant and sometimes, for the sake of our future, we’ve gotta suck it up. Look at where you want to be and what you can do with this free time, if you quit band or rather put it on the back burner, whatever. Use the time wisely and hopefully in/with something that will put a smile back on your face.

Keeping It Real,

Aunt Babz

Dear Friend,

You don’t stay in band for collegian upper-ground. That’s all i know. But seriously, if you hate it, then quit. But many an adult would caution you that this could be one of those instances that you look back on and regret. There are plenty of people that i know who wish they had stuck with lessons, or learned an instrument. And very few who actually learned to play something who regret the task of doing so. if you are more interested in something else though, and your heart isn’t in the music… then find your passion. But don’t write off music just yet. It has a funny way of weaving itself back in.

~Xmichra~

Cut Them Off

In Encouraging Words, Friend Issues, The Games People Play on June 1, 2008 at 12:46 pm

Dear Aunt B,

I have a truly upsetting and depressing dilemma. some background… i’m heavily involved in my children’s school. i volunteer for many things. i became friends with a woman i’ll call friend A who for the most part is truly a nice lady, but a bit moody and when stressed out, which is somewhat frequent, likes to say rude things & get angry in front of others. I don’t subscribe to this type of behavior because i’ve learned from my mother it’s better to say nothing at all if it can’t be nice.

anyway, i’ve let a few things go over the last year, and felt the better person for doing so. now enter the other person, friend B who i met and welcomed into my circle of friends, and then hooked her up with my husband since she needed a job and he needed an employee. well, of course my husband is very generous and good, but maybe this wasn’t a good idea to hire her, but it worked out well until she started complaining about her health, and i started to note that maybe her job history should have been a clue as to the fact that she doesn’t like to work.

whatever, the thing is, i thought we were friends, and i made the mistake when i was upset with friend A of telling friend B. i never attacked A’s character, but rather expressed how upset i was that she could be so rude in public. I’m starting to think I am a sap because I should have just put A in her place and moved on with the friendship, but instead i’m an idiot because i talked to another person about her which isn’t right, but i needed guidance and understanding.


Other than the one time i spoke about her, i never did again, until recently when A started the rudeness at a meeting. i was very upset and happened to talk to B, who just resigned from my husbands business, and I told B my dilemma. The weird thing is I realized after it was too late that B was getting close to A, apparently keeping me out of the loop. the signs were there, but i chose to not notice i guess in hindsight.

I guess what bothers me most is that i don’t trust B at all because she’s an exaggerator extraordinaire and she’s a little nuts to be honest. my husband is very kind, but he’s happy she’s gone because he says she makes big deals out of most issues and she’s a little manic. and this is true. she couldn’t get along with the other woman in his office and she took every shot she could at a woman who does not have good fortune. and she couldn’t even tell my husband herself that she wanted to leave, she left it up to another man who works for him to break the news. it turns out he’s in some mlm marketing group and has recruited her to join him.


The thing is i didn’t realize that she had moved herself so heavily into my circle of friends. I noted that a few weeks ago a play date was planned, but friend A told her 2nd grade daughter not to “tell anyone” who her playdate was, although i had spoken to B and she told me. I was hurt, not because of the date, but rather because of the fact she felt it necessary to hide it from me. i said nothing, and just this evening, at a softball practice, A said she was meeting her husband for dinner with the kids, and B and her husband were going to dinner somewhere else. i wouldn’t have even given it a thought but i thought I noticed some weird behavior and then when were were leaving i was behind them and B’s husband started to make the turn to the same place to A was going, but abruptly changed his mind and went the way the place she said she was going was. I went my way, stopped to get gas in the vicinity of where A was and lo and behold, B and her husband pulled up to the restaurant.

Okay, while i know i can’t be invited everywhere and no one owes me an explanation, i feel that something is amiss because of the great lengths B is going and A for that matter too, to keep me out of it. what the heck do i do? i am really hurting so badly. I can’t move on. I have no appetite and I feel sick to my stomach. I really need help on how to deal with this.
Sincerely.
J.K.

Dear JK,

Well my Dear, with friends like A & B, who needs enemas, I mean enemies, right? I can quite imagine that I might feel the same way?

In my humble opinion, you sound like the type of person that is so forgiving, extremely kind and well rounded. You have a huge heart and it hurts when somone such as these two steps on it. You tend to ask yourself what did you do to deserve all this. In fact, you take it all to heart, take it all personal. That’s only natural.

The answer is quite simple, my friend; You come to the conclusion that with friends such as these two, are you not better off to let them have their little game?

I don’t mean to say you should be vindictive but simply assertive. You distance yourself, you don’t call and you keep them at arms length. Stop answering their calls, if they do in fact ever call again. Cut them off, if only in your mind, like the festering sore they have become.

You made a few mistakes by talking to one about the other, right? Now, because of it, they are playing this little game which only serves to make their unity stronger against you. It’s psychological warfare, an extremely painful but quite transparent game, don’t you think?

So you beat them at their own game by acting as if you could care less, it’s no skin off your nose. I do realize that you may run into either of them, possibly A at school functions but there’s no law that says you must socialize with her any longer. If she’s there, at the same time, you find a way around not speaking with her. Yes, you busy yourself by talking to another parent and so on. It’s not to say that you will out and out snub her and make it apparent that she left a bad taste in your mouth but body language and innuendo will speak for it’s self.

You learned a valuable lesson about trust, as well as who you can and can not talk to. In my mind, I can imagine I’d need to vent too. But it back fired. Forgive yourself for this first, then move on.

You must realize that you deserve better friends and wash your hands of the whole affair. Don’t you think that you’d be better off without friends than with these kind of friends? I suppose you, being the kind person that you are, can’t conceptualize their behavior and it baffles you. Trust me though, you’ll be better off without their friendship. Cut you loses and move on!

Keeping It Real,

Aunt Babz

This is Your Life

In Best Friends, Best Man, BF's, Encouraging Words, Guy Stuff, Life is Perspective, Perspective, Real Men, Soul Searching, Your Eulogy, Your Life on June 1, 2008 at 10:22 am

Dear Aunt B,

I am a new reader and found your site through Google. You were the only site I came across that truly offered advice for free, I commend you.

My name is Jeremy and I’m 26 years old. I have a wife of four years and a three year old daughter, both were blessings in my life. My problem is my best friend Ben. Ben and I grew up together, we met in high school and played sports, dated and had alot of really goofy experiences together. We were inseparable.

When I met my wife and we started getting really serious, we moved in together to an apartment across town. Not far away, maybe ten minutes from Ben. We still called and played golf, did guy stuff together. When I told him I was marrying her, his response was supportive but not much else. Not even a congratulations.

Ben and I didn’t talk alot when my daughter was born. I was worried about working as much as I could to keep as much money in my bank account to provide for them, I really never thought about Ben as much as I should have. He still came over to my house to watch movies or go out to a bar for a couple of hours, play golf together once in a while.

Ben met someone about a year ago. I kept asking to meet her but he always had some excuse. He called me one day about a month later telling me to get my best man speech ready because he was going to ask her to marry him. I had never met this girl. I told him to come to the bar with me so I could give him some advice on getting married. He says okay but don’t tell your wife, I’m bringing (his girl) so you can meet her. I told him I wasn’t going to lie to my wife, I just wasn’t coming if that’s the way he wanted it.

So he begged and I brought my wife along anyway. We’re sitting at dinner and I’m watching this girl treat my best friend like he was a little child. Wiping his face with a napkin and picking up some of his food for him. I didn’t like the way he seemed, all I know is that Ben wasn’t the guy I had known for 10+ years. The next day we met for a beer after work and he asked me what I thought of his girl. I was straight with him that I didn’t like the way she treated him and that he should really think about what he was doing in marrying this girl.

He threw a ten dollar bill down on the table and tried to walk out. I caught him by his arm and told him this wasn’t over, he was going to stay and talk about this with me. He still took off and that’s the last time we really spoke.

We recently started emailing which is a good step, although now he won’t email me back. I found out thru these emails that he never really liked my wife and the speech he gave as my best man was all lies…actually his fiance’ told me that. I feel like I owe it to him to be there on his big day, which is now 6 weeks away. I have tried to get him to meet me somewhere to talk about things and where they went wrong and to no avail.

I feel like we have too much history to abandon this lost cause because he just doesn’t get it. What can I do, if anything? Thank you for listening.

Dear Jeremy,

I thank ya kindly for the compliment. We are unique, are we not? We’ve all been down a few roads and I know I was rode hard and put away wet. Now, if we can help someone have a little easier ride, well, I guess that’s what it’s all about. Plus, I still owe Mz. Karma Bitchslap™, some good before I go.

Well my Dear Jeremy, I’m gonna tell you just like I might if you were one of my own. I have three sons and an adopted daughter, 7 grandchildren and one great-grandchild, all of which find themselves in the corner, from time to time, me chewing their ear, maybe even boxing them. Yes, I have always carried a big stick and at 49, I can still dance. I tell it like it is and I will treat you like family. That gives me the inalienable right to cut to the chase, to hell with the democracy. Welcome to the Family…

First, I want to make you aware that I can see that you are grateful for your wife and child, you see them as blessings while others may take it all for granted. With a continued appreciative heart and a conscience effort to always be thankful, you will be one step ahead of this program. Too many of us can’t appreciate the water till the well runs dry, right? Selah

If you’ve read anything, that I’ve written here, you’ll notice a recurring theme or method to my madness; I try to put things into perspective. After all, life and love is all a matter of perspective and how we choose to look at things. Hopefully, we choose to look for the good in people, first and have an optimistic heart. This equates, to me anyway as, well you know, some people say the glass is half empty, some say the glass is half full, right? Personally, I’m just grateful for the water and you must be too. Selah

You know that good friends are hand picked family and sometimes you must strive for that unconditional love, unconditional understanding, afforded to family.

I do believe that Ben is part of your handpicked family and you may have to just let him be Ben. You’ll have to choose to over look some things, things that might not sit well with you. Yes, even if you feel she may not be right for him, he’ll have to walk down “his road” and I’m hoping you’ll walk on the berm along side him.

You do know the power of a woman on a man? Many men would never admit that power. Yes, a woman does wield the power to make or break a guy. As well, I say there is “a good woman behind every great man.” The thing is though, in the dark of night, in the wee hours of the morn, at your final moment on this earth, it will be that woman next to you and not your best friend.

Perspective

He didn’t care for your wife, did he? You may never have known this had you not drawn “first blood.” What I imply is that without realizing it, you may have started this fight.

Your buddy Ben, is a different man when he is with her, you do know this, don’t you? And don’t you think, if he didn’t like her coddling and so on, you know the kind of stuff that makes you throw up in your mouth, is he not man enough to stop her or tell her he doesn’t like it? Read that again.

Although Ben is behaving, so far from the guy you know and love as a brother, she may be just what the Doctor ordered. She may fulfill what he needs in those wee hours, in the dark of night. And if he’s not man enough to tell her he doesn’t like her doing these things, especially in front of his friends, well he must sit in his own shit, till he decides to man up and say how badly it stinks. Who knows what’s in the hearts of men? Yes, a woman does have this ability to change the rules of the game.

In some ways, you see it as belittling, you know, wiping his mouth and so on but he may very well love every minute of it? So, somehow you’ve got to find it in your heart to be happy for your friend and assume that he does like things just as they are.

Now, if we assume that he does like things just as they are, would you, if the tables were turned, not find offense in your best friend implying that you are not man enough to stand up for himself against the evil which lurks in the heart of woman? Would you not be hurt that your friend didn’t try to understand and be happy for you? Furthermore, would it not piss you off, if your friend asserted his opinion on the matter and put his two cents in where it would be perceived that it didn’t belong?

I know and you know that you only have his best interests at heart. But life is much like a book with it’s twists and turns, it’s comedy and tragedy, it’s plot and the plot has just thickened. Yes, Ben has opened a new chapter in his book, one where he has re-invented himself and it’s not someone your recognize.

When you went onto another chapter, in your book, “This is Your Life,” Ben didn’t really recognize you at first either. He contemplated and wondered where he fit in in this new equation, this new chapter. Do you want to know how many times Ben asked himself, “What the hell does he see in her?” He also wondered where his best friend had gone and told himself that his feelings were unfounded and he didn’t have the right to resent your new wife for stealing, his best buddy. Did you know that Ben was a bit lost and didn’t know what to do with himself, after she took you? Your wedding day was not his best day but he tried to smile and get through it. He tried to be happy for you and accept things as they are and were. Yes, Ben often looked in the mirror and told himself what a real asshole he was being for faking his smile that day. He stood in front of that mirror, many times before and after your wedding day, searching his soul for the right feelings.

Life is too short for the dumb shit. Real friends are few and far between. They often go the wayside when you do open a new chapter, especially one where they no longer have anything in common. True friends, not associates, you know the ones that, as I said before are hand picked family, are the only ones that last, the only ones that will be *Pallbearers at your funeral.

Do you want Ben to be a Pallbearer and would you be one at his funeral? OK, it sounds a bit morbid but ask yourself this, would it be a lie to carry his casket or his yours? Would it be filled with lies if he were to give a Eulogy at your wake?

Write your friend, one more email and give him his Eulogy, today. Say what needs to be said. Search your soul for the right words. Search your soul for some semblance of happiness and understanding for your friend. Most of all, well, I’m going to just say it; You do owe him even a slice of an apology. Look at this pie and see why you want that slice, ok?

Yes, life is far too short for the dumb shit, as I said but it’s never ever too late to do the right thing, right this minute. Jeremy, if you live your life today, like tomorrow will be your last and say what needs to be said but weigh your words first, you’ll really live.

Keeping It Real,

Aunt Babz

*A pallbearer is one of several funeral participants who helps carry the casket of a deceased person from a religious or memorial service or viewing either directly to a cemetery or mausoleum, or to and from the hearse which does so.

A pall is the heavy cloth that is draped over a coffin. Hence the metaphoric term “casting a pall” on a gathering of people, by announcing bad news to the group. By metonymy, the term “pallbearer” is used to signify someone who bears the coffin which the pall covers.

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