When Your Cyber-Bullies Are Family

As our entire world becomes immersed in social media, the increase in stories of teenagers who take their life over cyber bullying is alarming.  As a teenager it was difficult enough to deal with my three to four very close friends and the 100 or so acquaintances I would say hi to in the hallways.  With Facebook, I see kids with 900 friends checking to see who “commented” or “liked” the twenty-minute old post about their choice of breakfast cereal, and it could make or break their day.

It is so much easier to bully someone when you are looking at a screen with only your own words.  There is no face to face interaction, no back and forth dialog.  You do not see or hear the cue from the other person that tells your brain, “Hey, your being an ass, knock it off”.  School ground fights used to end with an adult stepping in telling everyone to break it up, the crowd dispersing and those involved dealing with the consequences almost immediately.  Now they have assemblies and pass out pamphlets about the damage cyber bullying can cause.  These are usually after some poor kid is tormented online, puts a gun in his mouth, and pulls the trigger.

My family not only allowed but encourage one person to make up whatever he wanted about me, my husband, and our 12-year-old son, and use the internet to spread it around.  So many things were copied, forwarded, and made up and sent or told to everyone they could find, I have no idea who thinks what and why.  The fact they flipped my life upside down with no thought, is telling on how easy it was to do from a computer.  Not sure it would have been that simple, if they had to look at my son’s face while it was happening.

After almost a year, I know longer care what they say.  Their efforts telling me I need to move on, I ignore.  That being said, it is horrible to go through.  I cannot imagine dealing with something even close to that as a teenager.  But, I can understand how they get to the breaking point.  Hopefully, society will figure out a way to keep human interaction from completely being lost in cyberspace before we forget what it is like.

I have sent my own e-mails, posted on Facebook, and created Spun, to deal with my mess as it was happening. And although I enjoy seeing them, I need more than a “like” or a “comment” to process what has happened.  I require the old, face to face, school ground fight. Except a judge, not a teacher will be the one to break it up, allowing for everyone to deal with their own actions.  Just like back in the old days.

 

Mom, I Am All Adventured Out..

Growing up I was blessed with being able to travel with my maternal grandparents several times a year.  Ranging anywhere from Disneyland and Sea World to camping and boating.  I was with my grandparents at  Lake Powell the day it was considered officially full in June of 1980. Lake Powell is my favorite place in the world and the resting place of my grandparents.

Except for the times my grandfather flew us in his Cessna, vacations were usually started with a Bronco pulling a trailer or a boat name The Beverly Anne II.  The drive was usually long enough for something to leak, break, fail, catch fire, or blow out along way.  Adding  adventure long before we were screaming at the darkness in Space Mountain

It was my grandmother who gave me the term “adventure” during those times that I still use to this day.  Living in a 30 year old pink single wide trailer with only a swamp cooler to get through the Vegas summer heat, was quiet an adventure.  My grandmother took one look at the trailer and told me to just pretend I was on a camping adventure.  There was even a big pine tree growing by the back door, reminding me of many Colorado camping trips.  After spending two summers “camping” and being pregnant with my second child we thought it better to end that trip and bought a house.

When the market went to shit in Las Vegas and we made the mistake of re-financing beyond our means we lost our home we had for eleven years.  So we started a new adventure in Arizona.  While most of my family lives there I was not really close to them.  I had spent 17 years in Vegas, I did not know them and they certainly did not know me.  They thought they did after reading all our private letters and journals, something I think they are proud of.  I do not think they would like me to do that to them. Actually, the thought to do that would not cross my mind.

A week before Christmas they kicked us out with our twelve year old son.  They have lied, stolen, and have turned into people I do not know.  I had an awesome childhood which makes what they did even more hard to deal with.  Something changed when my maternal grandparents passed away.  I know in my heart there is not a chance this would be happening if my grandfather were alive.

My grandfather’s favorite holiday was Christmas, and I think he sat in Heaven watching what was being done to his great grandchild, and if you can get pissed in the afterlife, I am certain he was.  My son was in a hotel room with his mom and dad who were on the verge of breakdown, while my parents got drunk with my daughter on a little holiday vacation at a bar in Laughlin.  Something is very wrong with that.

Two weeks after we were kicked out and we had been living in hotels, I told my son to think of this as an adventure.  I even said we could just live in hotels for a year while I wrote about our adventures.  Nothing is as easy as it sounds and hotels got expensive.  A twelve year old needs to be in school, not sitting in a McDonald’s on my laptop while his father and I figured out a way to get 60 dollars for a night at hotel in the ghetto.

A few weeks ago I was talking to my son about our adventures and he said something I will never forget.  He said “Mom, I am all adventured out.”  It broke my heart to hear him say that because I knew this adventure was not the kind my grandmother was talking about.  However, this adventure taught him to have compassion for others I have never seen, especially in a twelve-year-old.  Everyone we have come across has told me what a helpful and kind kid he is.  Teachers are telling me he is intelligent and articulate.  That being said, our adventure has done damage to his trust in people and given him a fear and an uncertainty a child should not have to deal with.

I know there are families and children who have horrible lives compared to ours.  I thank God every day for what we do have and I know it will only get better.  We will have the adventures my grandmother talked about, and our son will learn to trust again.

 

Day (427) – If

The Better Man Project ™

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of…

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Phoenix Bad-Ass: Return of Boss

Boss was back in town, and this time it wasn’t on the D.L.

Walking into The Eagle, Boss waited for his eyes to adjust to the smokey darkness that filled the room. Coming into view was a shadow he knew well. Slouched over an empty 40oz of Old E was his old partner’s son, Zone.

“Hey Kid, you still drinking that shit water?” Boss said laughing as Zone recognized him.

The leather jacket was the same one he had worn for years.  Zone had never seen him in anything else besides Levis, a black t-shirt and that jacket. Even in the squelching 120 degree Arizona desert heat, that was it.  Zone smiled thinking about how pissed he was at Powell falling off the jet ski wearing it.

“Aww, there he is…What, this?  Zone replied looking down at the bottle. “This is the finest shit water you can get north of the border.  You want? ”

“What the hell.  It’s like what…?”  Boss answered looking at his watch, “9:45 in the morning.”

He pulled up the empty bar stool next to Zone. The cold 40oz sat sweating in front of him. It tasted like shit, exactly as he remembered it. He watched Zone take a drink. The image was just as it was twenty years ago when he had sat there with the kid’s father.

“Damn where you been? It’s been a minute since I saw you last.”  Zone asked.

“Shit kid, you how it is when you are on that DL.  You learned that at what, twelve?”  Boss said as he punch him in the arm.

“Hey watch it asshole.  Zone said laughing,  “I am not twelve any more. I can kick your ass while blindfolded, hung over and my hands tied behind my back.”

Boss did not doubt that. He had a kick no one else could touch. When his foot made contact it was like every once of anger and power in him came through at once, exploding on contact. Zone’s reputation preceded him, so it was not often Boss had seen it.

“Yeah, I guess you could kick my ass.”  Boss said looking towards the tiny girl standing by the Jagermeister  cooler.  “Hey sweetheart, can we get a couple of shots down here?”

Boss watched her turn, her eyes flashing sharp blue. It was like looking a negative of her mother. Everything was the same, except black where the blond was.

“What the hell did you just call me?  I ain’t your sweetheart, Asshole.” she paused recognizing the now silver hair and the old leather jacket,  “Boss…? Damn it is you, when did you get back in town?”

“Shit, girl I just rolled up. Damn,  you look good! Wanna take a run up north? My bike is outside.” Boss asked, with a grin.

She could feel her face get hot, “Shut the hell up Boss. Your older than my daddy.”
“I know girl, I know… but in another life time..”

He said, winking at her as she handed him the shot.

The cold went down smooth and fast.  Setting the glass down his focus went back to Zone.

“Speaking of your pops,  where the hell is that asshole?” 

 

SPUN Nominated For Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I want to thank Precarious for nominating Spun for the Very Inspiring Blogging Award.  I have enjoyed her blog immensely, so it is an honor to be one of her fifteen recommendations!

vib-awardRequirements for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award…

  • Place the Award logo on your blog.
  • Link back the person who thought you were Inspiring and deserving of this Award.
  • State seven things about who you are
  • Nominate fifteen bloggers who give you inspiration and link them.
  • Notify the bloggers of their nominations and the Award’s rules.

Seven Things About Me…

  • I love photography and writing.
  • I dislike people who feel the need to knock others down in order to feel better about themselves.
  • I love all animals and creatures, furry or not.
  • I enjoy the finer things in life such as, clean underwear, toothpaste, and taking a shower with really good body wash.
  • I love the Dallas Cowboys, even when they suck.
  • I dislike people who are so wrapped up in creating misery for some that they are blind to the innocent ones they are crushing in the process.
  • I love music…Enimen, Willie Nelson, Tupac Shakur, Eric Clapton, Stevie Nicks, Metallica, Pink Floyd, Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony, Jonny Cash, Eagles, D12, 50 Cent, Ozzy, Snoop Dog, Prince, Motley Crue, Waylon Jennings, Bon Jovi, Van Morrison.

.My Nominations for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

Two Worlds

They look at you with disappointment…. thinking they know something…they have no idea how wrong they are…if they knew that would they act the same…would they make stupid comments…tell you they are not involved…ask you what are they doing to you…do they remember the innocent one in the middle…

You scream….yell…FUCK OFF…as loud as you can in your writing…they act shocked at your choice of words…writing “stuff it”  instead of using the words that come out of their mouths…they like to share your thoughts with each other…laughing back and forth…like your life is their game to be played with as they wish…to them it is pure entertainment…

Do they feel better when their foot shoves your face into the mud…when they grow tired they find someone else to shove down you some more… they all stare, laughing as they watch you struggle to get up… wiping away the spec of dirt that splattered back as their boot kicked your innocent one…you stand up out of the mud…you look deep into their soul…you see nothing but anger and hate…

You wonder…can she see a time where he did not get into the car…there is no insurance settlement…the older wise one did not start her in that house…no free and clear…she gets pregnant…he is screwing her friends…she is upset…she takes one more of the pills the Dr. gave her for pain…everything seems a little brighter…a year later..no money… over due bills… and that new problem…dope-sick…is she strong enough to handle that…can she turn down the needle full of heroin knowing the sickness is approaching fast…

Does he know how inches could have changed his entire life…he has been drinking with his friends…gets into his new truck…lines start to blur just a little… he tries to bring them back to clear…cannot see the car with the single mom of three…can he see the felony DUI…the manslaughter charge…can he feel the guilt ripping him apart…does he feel the relief when the vodka slides down his throat and starts to numb the pain…

They judge with only the knowledge formed from their own world…based on what they think is normal…

THEIR world where…. compassion is conditional…monetary success required…functional addiction mandatory…
VS.
YOUR world where…. empathy is expected…sharing required, as you cannot take it with you……AND the understanding there is only a moment in time…only one wrong decision before they come slipping into YOUR WORLD ….

Welcome to F*#K Fest 2012

On Christmas Eve we decided to not book another night in Fountain Hills.  I have no idea how we got everything crammed into the car, we must be learning.  We left not having our next hotel lined up, so we went to our main McDonald’s for some wifi and milk shakes.  Two hours later we were checking in to our new home ready for some peace and to enjoy Christmas.

During our constant struggle to keep a roof over our heads we also had to deal with what I now call “Insanity”.  This started with a family friend, Dumb-Shit, starting a rumor that was spun by King-Shit into something that actually affected how family treated me in different states.  Dumb-Shit is my mother’s best friend and has known me my entire life. The King- Shit is my father’s brother, who at one time I was very close to. Thirty-six hours before we found ourselves calling my best friend from McDonald’s, we had no idea what was about to happen…

We walked down the hall to the room the three of us had been staying in for the last two months.  There was a note on the door with my name on it.  I thought the handwriting looked liked my grandmother’s, but I was not sure.  We sat down talking about how things had started getting weird in the house.  There were nine people in the house and for the past week it seemed like something was very off.  It was like being in high school and we were being bullied and shunned.  My husband was getting the brunt of it, but he had been keeping it to himself. I had noticed a difference with the treatment of our son.  At the time I just thought it was a difference of opinion  Looking back I cannot believe I did not see it sooner. However, this was my family.  I had a trust that they would not sick a knife in my back and twist it until it hurt my son.

I could feel my heart start to pound as my eyes skimmed across the words that had been typed.  ” It would be best if you left tomorrow.  I am telling you today so you have time to pack some clothes.”  Pack some clothes?  What the hell is King-Shit talking about?  I read it again, letting it soak in for a second before I looked at my husband.  We have to be out tomorrow I told him as I handed him the now famous note….

The next 24 hours were a blur.  Disbelief, shock, hurt , and a million other feelings ran through us like a a freight train running off the tracks.  How could they do this to our son a week before Christmas, I thought as I tried to think what to pack. What  do you put into a Saturn to survive with a 12 year old in the winter.  Scottsdale still gets cold at night. What paper work did we need? What did we own that we could sell for fast money?  We had no bank accounts, no credit and our poor little Saturn had seen better days.

Normal people would be thinking what the hell did you do to get kicked out with your son with less than a days notice….” You being here is causing Gram and Gramp stress”  I understood that to a point.  However, what about the stress of seeing us running around asking what we did, could we stay until the end of the week, could our son stay to finish out the week of school…I think that was little stressful.

It was 6 pm and we were trying to get the last of our things to our car having no idea where we were going, when I hear my name called.  I look up and there is King Shit’s wife with my grandmother who is crying saying that King-Shit had said we had a place for the night.  One of many lies he would tell my grandmother in the upcoming weeks.  They ask us to stay until the day after Christmas.  We had no where to go, so we went back inside.  What I will never understand is how we all sat at that same table and ate supper as if the last 24 hours had not happened.  That is some insanity.

Later that night I received an email from King-Shit.  It was becoming apparent that he only spoke with his fingers and a keyboard.  Not sure what happen to his balls that I had assumed he was born with.  Maybe he lost them. The email floored me and spun my adrenaline into a tornado that is still spinning….A few hours later we were at our now favorite McDonald’s….