- Disney Junior Is Giving Us The ‘Muppet Babies’ Reboot We All Need
- Ava DuVernay Creates Awesome Pop-Up Theater So Hometown Can See ‘A Wrinkle In Time’
- How My Husband Earned Back My Trust
- #SideProfileSelfie Is The Viral Movement That Is Making Us Love Our Noses
- Rejoice! Cannabis-Infused Self-Care Products Are Here
- What Happened When My Daughter And I Met Our Celebrity Crushes
- I Used To Judge Moms Who Nursed Toddlers — Until I Became One
- My Husband Lied To Me Today
Posted: 03 Mar 2018 07:16 AM PST
‘The Muppet Babies’ is coming back and we are so here for it
If scratch and sniff stickers and jelly shoes were your jam, you might want to sit down. Jim Henson’s cult classic, Muppet Babies, is making a comeback and kicking our nostalgia for All Things 80s into high gear.
The hit TV series is about to be introduced to a new generation of kids later this month when Disney Junior debuts the new animated series starring all our old favorites — Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, and Animal (cross your fingers for a Beaker cameo).
The original version aired on CBS from 1984 to 1991 and was a must-see for kids of my generation. We grabbed a TV tray and some Mr.T cereal, turned on the tube, and enjoyed a Saturday morning for champions.
For those unfamiliar with the series, all the baby Muppets live in a nursery together and are watched over by Nanny, a character who is seen only from the shoulders down — known only by her trademark bold and fabulous striped tights. The babies play pretend games, which then become “real” adventures, all driven by their imagination and supervised under the watchful eye of Nanny. If you think Muppets are adorable, the baby versions are even more scrumptious.
In the new series, none other than Jenny Slate of Zootopia and Parks and Recreation fame has been cast to play the new Miss Nanny. "I was so excited when they asked me to be Miss Nanny," Slate said in a behind-the-scenes video. "I was excited in general to hear that the Muppet Babies were returning to television. I am a lifelong Muppet fan. I watched the original show as a kid."
If I have to watch cartoons with my kids, you can bet it will be shows like the Muppet Babies. No offense Max and Ruby, you are adorable — but not “Muppets adorable.” The Muppets are cuter and funnier, and hell0…no one holds a candle to Jim Henson. No one.
The show is set to air on March 23 and will continue to be geared towards kids ages four to seven (or moms in their forties), and will feature two 11-minute segments. But if you can’t wait that long, have no fear. Disney will be airing a new series of shorts, Muppet Babies: Show and Tell, beginning this week so folks can get re-acquainted with the characters, which are sure to melt hearts of a new generation.
Be sure to tune in and introduce your kids to the glory that is the Muppet Babies.
Posted: 03 Mar 2018 05:36 AM PST
There are no movie theaters in Compton, so DuVernay brought her own
Ava DuVernay, the director of A Wrinkle in Time, asked Disney if the first public screening of her movie could be in her hometown. There are no movie theaters in Compton, and DuVernay was determined to let her hometown kids enjoy the full theater experience.
With the help of Disney and several local volunteers, Compton kids were treated to a special screening of DuVernay’s new movie a week before the rest of the world gets to see it. Pretty darn cool, huh?
“They created a theater experience with fab sound and picture quality out of a community center since there are no movie theaters in Compton,” DuVernay said about Disney. “I thank them. And these kids do too.”
In the video she shared, the joy filling the room is palpable.
DuVernay joins other celebrities doing good for kids who may not be able to see amazing and important films — Octavia Spencer recently rented out an entire theater in her home state so local kids could watch Black Panther.
Many people commented on the power of how doing good things like this can positively impact children and communities.
The event also included a giant spread of food, photo opportunities, and the full red carpet treatment.
Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time has been one of the most popular science fantasy book for children and young adults — it was the first novel of its kind I’d ever read when I was in 6th grade. It’s won dozens of literary awards because it’s inspiring. It’s also one hell of a journey. The story surrounds a young girl, Meg Murray, who is dubbed a “troublemaker” in school but learns about her own power as well as that of the entire universe as she and her younger brother search for their missing father.
It’s a must-read for the young. So naturally, the movie is a must-see — especially since it’s directed by DuVernay and stars Oprah, Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon, and Storm Reid.
Good on DuVernay for making sure a whole new generation of kids get to enjoy the magical journey.
Posted: 02 Mar 2018 06:00 PM PST
"Slow the f**k down; you're going to get us, or someone else killed!" I yelled to my husband.
I am usually not so dramatic (okay, maybe I am). But in my defense, legally going approximately 130 mph on the German who-the hell-cares-about-speed-limits-
My husband, normally a gentle and loving man, but self-professed car fanatic, borrowed a car with a fancy-schmancy engine from a friend earlier that evening. He thought he would make the most of our rare, kids-free night out. Who could blame the guy? He works hard and deserves to play hard too, right?
Well, yes and no.
Earlier that evening, I had mentioned to him that I didn't really feel safe driving around in such a beast. Seriously, the engine sounded like it wanted to devour our souls. The ride to the restaurant had been thrilling, I'll confess. I may have even smiled and laughed nervously just a little bit. However, I was at the limit of what I found comfortable. I begged him just before leaving our pizza paradise, in my half-joking, half-serious way to please drop me off at home before enjoying his second gas-guzzling speedgasm of the evening.
Despite my remarks, his brain apparently didn't compute any of this information. Hence, my subsequent shouting profanities at him and praying I will get another chance to see our children again.
When we arrived home, I couldn't speak. The words simply wouldn't come out. Silence. The silence might have lasted weeks if he hadn't snapped me out of my daze by asking, "Why won't you talk to me?"
I told him.
I told him that when he didn't listen to me, and didn't slow down like I had begged him to, it felt as if I was being raped — again.
My rape had happened over two-decades ago and long before my husband and I had ever met. However, it remains to this day an issue for me and our almost 12-year marriage. My husband knew that I was a 16-year-old virgin and dating someone I really liked and trusted. And he knew that the physical and emotional trauma had almost destroyed me. Almost.
"What? Oh my God. I am so sorry. I never intended to…I thought you were having fun. I remember you were laughing and…," he replied with a crackling voice.
"I did laugh, but I also clearly told you to 'Slow down!', 'Not so fast!', and 'Please stop!' However, this was all ignored," I explained. "I didn't consent to being driven around like we were on a Nascar racetrack. You have a right to do anything you want to your own body, but you do not have a right to do anything you want to mine!"
I have been teaching our children since they were toddlers about consent and body safety. The tenets of which are: you are the boss of your body and everyone else is the boss of theirs; you must always get permission before doing something to someone else's body (such as tickling, wrestling, hugging, etc.); and you must stop right away when someone tells you to. The stopping is the trickiest part for my kids, especially if they are having loads of fun in the process. But hey, they're still little kids; they have a lot to still learn. My husband, on the other hand, should have known better.
"You are right. I am so sorry," replied my husband. "What can I do to make sure this doesn't happen again? Maybe we should develop a safeword or something?"
A. Safe. Word.
A safe word theoretically has more power than the words No or Stop. It means someone has reached the outermost limits of their comfort zone. It means no more joking around. It means someone could get hurt if the activity continues. In other words, you don't screw around with the safe word, or else. The safe word means business.
Unfortunately, safe words have a bad reputation. Normally, when one thinks of a safe word, one conjures up images of people having all sorts of kinky sex. That's too bad, because safe words are truly a gift for everyone and, dare I say it, can even be family-friendly to use.
I thought his idea was brilliant. We then agreed to let our children decide what the word should be, since we figured it would be important for them to also use it with us whenever they felt they needed to. The word lederhosen, suggested by my daughter, was eventually the winner.
Honestly, now, I am so in love with our safe word. I wish we could patent it, sell it, and retire to a private island, because it has truly transformed how we all listen and respect each other's bodies. The power of this word has proven itself many times over, when "no" or "stop" didn't quite do the trick.
Parents, want your kids to stop climbing all over you when you are trying to type an urgent email to your boss from home? LEDERHOSEN!
Kids, want your mom to stop trying to slick those hair wisps down with her spit or to knock-off placing sloppy kisses on your cheek? LEDERHOSEN!
Of course, safe words can backfire on parents once and a while…
My children believe they should get to choose when to clean their rooms, take a bath, or see a doctor, because, as they put it, "It is our bodies and we get to choose. Lederhosen!" However, they are slowly learning about the rare occasions where the safe word must be overridden and those are matters exclusively relating to health and safety.
Nice try, sweethearts. Now, please clean your rooms before you attract bugs to it.
I have, since that fateful date night, regained trust in my husband. Now, when we are all cruising on the Autobahn, my husband knows he might hear me peep, "Lederhosen" and will lower the speed. No more drama. No more silent treatment. I am proud of him for this. He is demonstrating to our children how to show respect for someone else's boundaries.
He gets it now and I love him for that.
Posted: 02 Mar 2018 06:00 PM PST
We’re seeing a shift when it comes to body-positivity, that’s for sure. Women are busting out their true, real, beautiful selves by posting pictures of their cellulite, freckled skin, saggy boobs, and postpartum bodies, and proudly displaying them in their true, unfiltered glory.
And we love them for it. It’s a strong force; we are done feeling sorry for ourselves because we don’t match up to 1% of the population and the unrealistic standards that are flashed before us in the media every damn day.
Women are changing their definition of beautiful and blazing a new path for our young girls about what it means to embrace ourselves– flaws and all.
And thanks to badass women, like writer Radhika Sanghani and her #SideProfileSelfie movement, our noses and profiles are now included in this refreshing change.
Sanghani’s notes that while we are seeing a lot of positive movement as far as how women view their bodies, we are leaving something out: our noses. Many of us still feel the need to bend and angle our faces a certain way in front of the camera in order to hide the size or shape of our nose.
And many of us feel highly insecure about our side profiles especially.
I’m on of them, I hate to admit, but I am. My daughter took this picture of my new tattoo, something I was so excited about and I almost didn’t post this picture because my nose looks like a ski slope. I absolutely hate it.
But I did it anyway because I didn’t want to tell her the reason I wasn’t posting that picture — my daughter has my nose, after all. I got it from my handsome father and it’s not going anywhere. How can I expect her to embrace her whole self if I can’t? So, I posted the picture. Even though it makes me cringe.
I reached out to some of the other Scary Mommy staff members asking them to share their #SideProfileSelfies, and this is what they had to say about themselves:
Christine says she was hit with a dodge ball right in the nose when she was 10, and it rearranged her cartilage. “I have a bump on it now and I always feel like Wicked Witch of the West.”
Rita thinks her nose is too sharp and pointy.
Scary Mommy editor, Samantha, says she’s always loathed her side profile as she feels self-conscious of her bumpy, Italian nose.
After sharing this picture with me, Wendy said how everyone always says how much they love this, but she hates it — all because of her nose.
But while exchanging photos and talking, we all saw things in each other that we weren’t able to see in ourselves: We saw beauty, and grace, and strong confident women. We weren’t seeing anything that was too big, pointy, crooked, or wrong.
It’s pretty amazing the way we view ourselves, isn’t it? We certainly are our own harshest critic.
How many photo opportunities have we avoided all because of our nose? I’m guessing a ton.
Sanghani is inspiring other women around the world to feel more confident with the nose they were born with as they are now posting pictures of their #SideProfilesSelfie without shame.
It wasn’t easy though, Sanghani admits she’s always hated her profile and how scary it was to post it out there for the world to see and told Today “Even though I've grown to love my nose in recent months it still felt really scary to post a photo of it, in all its big crooked glory, on social media.”
She goes on to say she was worried about how men from her past would feel about her now after seeing these photos.
Of course my first thought is, Who gives a shit about them? But I realize it’s easy for me to say that because I think she’s beautiful. But if I’m being really honest, that’s one of the first things I would think about too. We are all human and our insecurities make us feel unbelievably vulnerable, especially around those we are attracted to.
But see what happens when we do something we are afraid of? When we own ourselves instead of trying to put a mask on? It’s so damn attractive and empowering. Now, Sanghani has inspired other women to stand up and accept themselves too.
Women all over are saying this movement has given them new found confidence about something they have been insecure about their whole damn life — that’s just too long. And it goes to show we can be either be insecure about our flaws, or we can start a fucking movement and invite others along for the ride, to shed themselves of fear and self-doubt they’ve been living with their whole lives.
Let’s see those side profiles, ladies & gents. You’re all beautiful.
Posted: 02 Mar 2018 06:00 PM PST
When I open the pouch of cannabis-infused Epsom salt, I expect to catch a whiff of skunky weed. Instead I inhale only the relaxing scent of lavender. There's no trace of the telltale odor of pot — and that's a good thing. I'm not looking to get high or smell. What I really want from this hot soak is to relax and lull my anxious brain towards an easy sleep. I pour the envelope of twinkling crystal salts into the warm bath and climb in.
Cannabis-laced self care products have been around for years in states like California, Washington, Oregon, and Colorado where medical marijuana has been legal for a while. But even though I live in one of those states, weed-infused balms and bath salts weren't on my stressed-out-mom-of-three radar until recently.
But the more I learn about weed, the more I realize there's so much more to it than smoking to get high. Not that that's a bad thing, of course; it's just that I'm more interested in chilling out than tuning out.
Turns out there's a cannabis-infused bath bomb for that. There's also body lotion, massage oil and bath soaks, vapes and edible sleep aids.
These products use cannabidiol (CBD), which is known for its medicinal properties and doesn't get you high like the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychotropic element of cannabis. What CBD is good at is interacting with our body's natural endocannabidiol system and helping it work more efficiently to keep our stress responses balanced. That makes it a great anti-inflammatory. The other huge benefit of CBD is its ability to help with insomnia, stress, and anxiety.
I've dealt with low-level anxiety most of my life. As a kid, I started almost every morning with a stomachache that had me clutching my tummy and begging to stay home from school. In middle school, I barely spoke up in class because I was too nervous. As a young adult, I'd comb back through conversations from the day before, wondering if I'd said something dumb or offensive. Now that I have kids, much of my anxiety is focused on whether or not I'm doing this whole motherhood thing right or setting my kids up for a lifetime of therapy.
This all leaves me strung out, stressed and often sleepless. I manage my anxiety in a variety of ways, like exercising regularly, breathing mindfully, and eating lots of cheese. When I feel particularly wound up, I drink wine in the evening, but I don't like the slight grogginess that greets me the next morning.
When I tried a CBD-melatonin sleep chew, my world changed. The medicated chocolate caramel helps me sleep deeply through the night and, as all moms know, sleep (and self-care) is the most precious currency. Without it, we're running on fumes and not always able to be our best selves, emotionally or physically.
I love the way the edible works, but I wondered what other cannabis-infused self-care products might help me relax. A quick Google search brought me to a variety of topical products, including Om Body Epsom Salt Soak. I liked the idea of submerging my entire body in warm water and really taking the whole self-care aspect to another level. And since I hardly ever take baths, this felt like a real treat.
According to a review on The Cannifornian (tagline: Covering the Golden State of Cannabis), "…there's a nice anti-anxiety effect for the parasympathetic nervous system built right into the method of delivery with these salts…ideal for people suffering from anxiety, depression and is wonderful for people who suffer from insomnia and want to sleep like a baby."
Who doesn't want to sleep like a baby, as long as it's one of those miracle babies who sleeps through the night? I was sold the promise of sweet sleep, but not everyone is as comfortable as I am with personal recommendations from strangers. Unfortunately, if you're looking for formal scientific evidence of CBD's anti-anxiety properties, you won't find much. That's because marijuana is considered a Schedule 1 drug in the same category as heroin and LSD (I know, ridiculous) and hasn't formally been studied for it's medicinal properties.
In an interview in The Cut, Dr. Margaret Haney, professor of Neurobiology and Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center said, "There have been a handful of studies giving CBD orally and looking at measures of anxiety, and there seems to be a suggestion that it has some anxiolytic effects — some effects that decrease anxiety — but in terms of comparing to FDA-approved anxiolytics or, you know, really assessing what daily use of cannabidiol for anxiety is, there is very little data."
Clearly the medical community needs to catch up with the user community. With marijuana use considered illegal under federal law and powerful pharmaceutical companies owning the anti-anxiety meds space that might not happen for a while.
Anecdotally, though, users attest to the power of cannabis to ease anxiety. Two of my family members suffering from cancer swear by marijuana to help them relax and sleep better. Several close friends who suffer from mild to almost crippling anxiety routinely use specific strains of pot for the same reason.
When I stepped out of the tub after my cannabis soak, I really did feel more relaxed and my buzzing brain had simmered down to a manageable hum. Best of all, I slept through the night, which made the next day's anxiety just a little less overwhelming.
Posted: 02 Mar 2018 06:00 PM PST
New parents are told that their children will always be watching. Most of us heed this warning by cleaning up our acts before the baby even arrives. We try to eat healthier, drive slower, and learn to use a well-modulated indoor voice. As they grow older, our influence is sometimes surprising and harder to gauge. Your daughter will come down the stairs wearing a way too revealing dress that she says belongs to you. Your son shouts an expletive during a football game. Hmm…where did that come from?
By the time they are teenagers, you let your guard down a bit to share experiences you all enjoy. Not like when they were toddlers and you pretended to like making Play-Doh pizzas or listening to Raffi songs (over and over and over again). Now, for example, you can binge-watch TV shows as a family. The ones you missed the year you were in charge of the overly complicated carpool. Lyndsey was always late and Chloe's cleats made the car smell bad. Really bad. But I digress.
One of the shows we watched as a family was the brilliant Mad Men—a period of time in which I took, shall we say, some interest in the actor Jon Hamm. My sister says I was "obsessed." Okay, I liked him, but I'm pretty sure I wasn't a stalker. Anyway, it's fair to say that, as we plowed through the series, Jon Hamm's name came up at the dinner table from time to time.
The concept of a "hall pass" was around long before the Farrelly brother's movie. I remember laughing with my friends about who their spouse would allow them to pursue. My list had only one name. If the opportunity to be with Jon Hamm ever presented itself, I was all in. Interestingly enough, the kids seemed okay with the idea. We agreed: in the unlikely event something should happen to their dad, Mr. Hamm would be a suitable replacement.
I did eventually meet the congenial and accommodating Jon Hamm at Stand Up to Cancer in Los Angeles, a work event for my husband. Under normal circumstances, I am a model spouse at plus one obligations. Long-term marriages almost always require an interest in your spouse's occupation and I did not have to fake mine. The show was emotional, as well as entertaining, and afterwards we were funneled into the after-party. My husband likes to say I sought Jon out like a heat-seeking missile—as soon as I saw him across the room, I zoomed in.
Here's the thing: Jon Hamm fulfilled every expectation and more, short of becoming a step-dad to my teens. He held my hand upon introduction, threw his arm around my back for pictures and, most importantly, we discussed, with very intense eye contact, the loss of our mothers to cancer. For a few all too brief minutes, Jon made me feel like I was the only one in the room. At the same time, he reminded me that cancer sucks and we need to do more to stop it.
When I returned home with my original spouse in tow, it was fun to tell the kids about the entire event, including the big encounter. As I said, you can never be too sure what message your kids are taking in. In this case, I hoped they embraced the idea of supporting a cause. And if your crush supports your cause too, then it's a win-win.
The following year the entire family had the privilege of accompanying my husband on another business trip — this time to London. When the plane landed, my teenage daughter turned to me after checking her Instagram feed and said, "Mom, Ansel is here in London!" And by Ansel, she meant Ansel Elgort the rising star of The Fault in Our Stars and, more recently, Baby Driver (with Jon Hamm!).
Despite a well-planned day of culture and food, I suspended the schedule after an insider tip from a doorman. Against my better judgment, we ran, jetlagged and starving, through the streets of London to snap a picture of Ansel, who also turned out to be kind and accommodating.
The ability of social media to connect us with celebrities, and in a foreign city at that, still amazes me. But the smile on my daughter's face is what I will remember the most about that trip. While the reward of this particular day was not a lesson about culture, health or philanthropy, or even supporting a cause. It was about perhaps the most important thing of all: the happiness of our children.
Posted: 02 Mar 2018 06:00 PM PST
I’m not going to lie, I totally judged women who breastfed their toddlers (I also never knew that a baby technically becomes a “toddler” when they turn one). I mean, you breastfeed babies, but kids who can walk — or even talk — that’s just weird. Then I became a mother. And I became that mother.
Before having a child, I had a completely different perspective on basically everything. I mean, you can’t truly understand the monumental responsibility of raising a child (or the fears and worries that come up) until you have one, so I don’t know who I thought I was judging other women.
This new little being requires every bit of your attention and they don’t care whether or not it’s 2 a.m. — they’re hungry and they need to eat now or they just want to be held. And you can’t blame them — they’re these innocent little beings who need you to survive. And when you’re the one breastfeeding, it all falls on you. Sure, I did pump so my wife could give our baby a bottle sometimes, but that’s time-consuming as well.
You also can’t comprehend the anxiety that arises when you go home with this little being knowing that it’s entire health and existence relies solely on you (and your partner, family, etc.). And then, as they grow, new worries come up. But no matter what is going on, breastfeeding is a way to, in a way, protect your child. It allows you to pass on antibodies and give a balanced nutritional diet to your child. And to top it off, according to Mayo Clinic, extended breastfeeding (nursing past the one year mark) “has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.” With so many things in life that you can’t control, why wouldn’t a mother want to breastfeed as long as possible?
When I was pregnant, I was committed to breastfeeding. I truly believe fed is best; however, if you can breastfeed (and not everyone can), then that is certainly best for your baby’s overall health and immune system. I was blessed that everything was smooth sailing in the beginning … and then it wasn’t.
The struggles we had nursing, coupled with my anxiety, made things really hard for me. I was totally judging myself — saying that I wasn’t good enough, blaming myself for Parker not being able to fully nurse each session, that his health would be compromised — and it wasn’t anyone’s fault. It’s just hard.
Both of our bodies were adapting to something completely new and foreign. Of course, there would be bumps in the road. But my anxiety had me catastrophizing everything. I found myself desperate to breastfeed because I didn’t want Parker having formula even though there’s nothing wrong with it. (I had a combo of breastmilk and formula as a baby and I turned out pretty great!)
I had it stuck in my head that breastfeeding was the only way, and a big part of this is the pressure that society places on us, as well as the pressure we women place on ourselves to be the “perfect mother.” We put our children first, sometimes to the detriment of ourselves because we just want the very best for our children. I’m totally guilty of this. I need to remind myself that sometimes the best for my child is me taking care of me. But I digress …
Traveling forward in time, my commitment to exclusively breastfeeding, despite how hard I was on me, paid off. Parker is almost 13 months and we’re still going strong, and I can’t imagine stopping. I eventually will because I want to stop before we have another baby (I know you can continue to breastfeed while you’re pregnant, I am, however, choosing not to).
So here I am, that mom with a toddler who is walking around and yet still nursing. He doesn’t seem to have any interest in stopping our current 2-3 sessions per day, and neither do I.
So I leave you with this … are you really in a position to judge another woman’s choices, especially those regarding her and her child’s body?
Posted: 02 Mar 2018 06:00 PM PST
Most people look back on their early 20’s with nostalgia.
They refer to those days as “the good days.”
They reminiscence about them.
But, not me.
I look back with my eyes squinting and face shielded, careful to keep the light from blinding me; looking at my past as if it’s a solar eclipse that must be seen through special glasses for fear of causing (more) damage.
But, today I realized that I’ve completely missed a huge milestone in my life.
I’ve arrived to a place that I never thought that I would be at again.
Today, my husband lied to me.
He lied to me, point blank, and my once overactive and paranoid gut, did not whisper a single word to me.
I might as well have been a naive 17-year-old girl again. I had not the slightest idea of what had just happened.
Even when my mind said, “That’s not right.” My heart said, “You must be wrong.”
The result was confusion, because my mind couldn’t even process the possibility that it was a lie — that my husband had just lied to me.
No, it was just confused.
It just skipped right over that possibility and stalled.
I shorted out.
It sounds dramatic, I know. After all, some people are lied to for their entire life and never notice, but that has never been me.
Almost every relationship that I had been in, ended badly.
It ended through being cheated on, lied to, stolen from, tricked, deceived, fooled, abandoned.
One of those relationships was long with sudden betrayal; some of them were short and ended when suspicions were confirmed; and one of them was a toxicity that I had never experienced before.
And all of them were bad.
I became that “damaged” girl that you always hear about, but it wasn’t quite as glamorous as the one’s they show on t.v.
I wasn’t just damaged enough, that I needed that one guy to parade into my life with truth and love and persistence to change me. I wasn’t otherwise beautiful and together. I was not the young girl claiming to be damaged after her one-month, high school relationship ended.
I was legitimately damaged and it was not pretty or movie-worthy or glamorous.
What does being damaged look like if it doesn’t look like Pretty Woman? (You mean, there’s not a Richard Gere out there waiting to rescue us?!)
Real damage looks more like Kathy Bates.
Or Amy Dunne.
It looks like a woman scorned who no longer doubts her intuition, and is convinced that every relationship will have the same result.
It looks like someone who has been told they’re “crazy,” but then they were proven right, and, now, she basks in her rightness for the world to appreciate and acknowledge.
“You once thought that I was crazy, but now you know that I was right and I won’t let that go,” says the damaged woman.
Enduring real damage actually doesn’t look like anything at all, except maybe normal?
Sure, I looked just fine when my ex-boyfriend brought me flowers before telling me that he was working an unexpected night shift.
Yes, I smiled and gave him a kiss and pretended that my gut had not caught on fire and wanted to throw him in its embers.
I didn’t miss a beat when my ex of over a year decided to go out without even asking me to go with him.
I didn’t tell him that I knew that he was lying when he said that he thought that I had to work, when I had never worked on that day of the week before.
No, instead, I kept my cool and tried to smother those thoughts and I plugged my ears to my own intuition.
And when I didn’t heed the warning of my own sixth sense, I was put in the precise situations that the universe was trying to protect me from.
As I was miscarrying at home, my then-boyfriend took my debit card, borrowed my car, and helped himself to what little money that I had.
Later on, when I delivered my beautiful baby girl, it was my best friend who was in the room with me, holding my hand.
And when he asked to terminate his rights, I let him.
Damage isn’t written on someone’s forehead.
Instead, it is quiet and it likes to rear it’s ugly head when it’s faced with legitimacy, when it’s presented with the truth.
No, damage usually doesn’t punish the deserving — the ones who created it; it punishes the undeserving — the ones who are trying to overcome it.
It punishes the ones who are not lying, who are not deceptive, who are genuine. And it grows like cancer when it’s presence doesn’t send the undeserving away.
“Oh, you’re still here after that stunt? Well, just you wait and see!” says Damage.
Damage looks like someone staring you in your eyes and giving you cold chills because they spoke the truth, which is so unusual for you to hear that you actually have a physical reaction to it.
Damage looks like forcing yourself to resist the urge to pick up his phone, or investigate his search history.
Damage looks like paranoia.
Because, for every time you’ve been told the truth, you’ve been told a lie threefold. For every time that you knocked down that red flag, five more popped up and they were glaring post-breakup.
But, it is possible for the damage to be undone. It won’t be easy; it won’t be quick; it won’t be painless or without friction.
But, it can happen.
Undoing the damage looks like the undeserving telling you that you cannot pack up and leave during every argument.
Undoing the damage looks like the undeserving not dropping any bombs on you for three years and counting.
Today my husband lied to me.
He wasn’t at the gas station that I had just passed, getting gas, like he said he was.
He was actually down the road picking up my Valentine’s Day present from the store, which he covered up.
And when he told me that he wasn’t really at the gas station, I realized, then, that my mind, although it picked up on the fact that I had just looked for him at the gas station, just completely given out from this confusion.
My mind had removed “lying” from the pool of possibilities.
My once damaged, paranoid mind is healthy again.
I look for the good, now.
I don’t expect the worst anymore.
The damage has been undone.
|You are subscribed to email updates from Scary Mommy. |
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
|Email delivery powered by Google|
|Google, 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States|