Archive | February 2012 RSS feed for this section

Books or Boys~Advice

29 Feb

Dear I Am Not Defined,

I know that my problems probably aren’t on the top of your list to answer, but I’d really like some straight up advice. People may dismiss it as typical high school drama – and I know I may too in a few years, but right now, it seems pretty real to me. How do you really know whether to choose to be together with a boy or to stay alone? Let me put everything in perspective first – I’m only fifteen. Before you jump to any conclusions… here’s my case:
I’m at the point of my life where school is extremely important – and any distractions may have repercussions lasting a long time. I study after school for six or seven hours at a time, and I barely have enough time to chat with my friends for just a few minutes. College is something I know I have to work hard for, and I’m trying my best. But this boy, it seems like we’re just right for each other. I’m not going to say that “we’re in love” for all of those who don’t believe in teenage love, but he’s not your typical guy. We have the same goals in mind, but he can handle school and girls. He’s polite, empathetic, charming, focused and careful with his words. I’m aware that in two years, we’ll be going off our separate ways for different schools, so this doesn’t have a chance of lasting. At all. So, it’s basically guaranteed some sort of terrible ending. So, if you were in my shoes, what would you do? And why? Take the chance at a relationship that promises a terrible ending and risk a drop in school, or continue focusing on school?

Dear Books or Boys,

You sound like a very smart person to be working so hard so young. I can understand how a boy could really make you question your decisions right now. Personally, when I want something, I make it work. If you really want to make a go of it with this guy, then you should. I’m not saying you should just throw away all your hard work though. You will have to find a new balance to your life. Maybe you work your bum off all week, like you do now, and you save Friday nights for guy time. If he really is good at balancing his own life, then he should understand that you have goals, and nothing will keep you from making the best of your life and education. If you have the same goals in mind, he will probably need to get his work done as well, so maybe you can study together? Are you in any of the same classes? You will just have to be creative about the time you have together, and how to get it.

I think that you’re doing a great job working so hard, but don’t forget to take some time for yourself. My best friend is the hardest working woman I know. She worked a full-time job, while putting herself through school full-time. She is always very happy that she works so hard, but often questions if all the hard work she puts in is worth it, if she never has time for friends of guys. No matter what age you are, you will still find yourself in similar predicaments if you don’t take the time now to schedule some healthy social activities. You said that you barely have time for your friends, and I wonder how that makes you feel. I hope that even though you work super hard, you take a few moments for yourself from time to time, and enjoy being young and smart.

I think that if you really want to be with this guy, you should be. Don’t let anything hold you back from what you want to gain in life. I also don’t think that just because you will both be going to college in two years, this will be a dead-end relationship. You do not know where you will be in two years, nor can you predict what will happen between you and this guy, between now and then. Who knows, you could end up in a college close to his, or even at the same one. If this guy really does work out for you, you will find a way to make anything work out. I guess I am saying “Don’t knock it ‘till you try it”. Don’t always discount things because you predict they will go nowhere. Your situation isn’t any less real because of your age. You feelings are still real feelings, and the decisions you make will affect your happiness.

In the end I think you know what the best decision is for you. If you think that you can find a new balance to your life, and make something like a boyfriend work, then go for it. If you think that it will be more of a distraction than you can handle, then do what is best for you, and steer clear. You sound like you have a great head on your shoulders, and I think that you can probably figure out how to do just about anything you set your mind to. Good luck with life and balance, I hope you find happiness regardless of what you decide to do.

Get Advice from IAND

Like IAND on Facebook! Or follow us on Twitter!

© I Am Not Defined, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

At Peace

26 Feb

High school was something I really had to fight for,  for the first time in my life. I didn’t want to go to the same school as all the people I grew up with, so with a teachers nudging, I tried to get into a local “special” school. I had been in advance classes all my life, and I was lucky enough to have a very caring teacher in middle school, to help me find direction.

I had the same teacher two years in a row for English and Science, she was a very involved teacher, and her classes were always fun. She saw me for the intelligent, but anti-social child that I was, and helped me grow out of my shell. She was very good at finding assignment’s that worked well for each student, and I always picked things up quickly in her classes. In my seventh grade year, she announced that she would be leaving our school, and taking a teaching position at a local high school for advance students. I was very sad to see her go, and unhappy that I wouldn’t get to have her as a teacher anymore. She told me that I was smart enough to go to the school she would be teaching at, and told me to apply when I graduated, and offered to write a recommendation letter for me.

When I graduated from middle school, I applied for the special school, and was denied. My grades were not up to their standards, so they would not be allowing me to attend. I was pissed to say the least; I found my classes boring, and easy. I slacked off because I already knew what my teachers had to say, and my grades reflected it. I talked to my school counselor about it. She and I had become fairly friendly over the years, having been in her office multiple times, for not getting along with other students. She understood my problem, and offered to help me re-apply with her recommendation, and I contacted my old teacher for another recommendation. The school decided that I was at least worth interviewing, and allowed me to come and discuss why I belonged in their school. I must have done well because they accepted me on the spot.

My freshman year in high school was a completely different experience than any other year in school. I was finally in a school with like-minded freaks and geeks, who were all closet nerds. I wasn’t as much of an outcast among them; the school was made entirely of outcast kids from all the local schools. It consisted of kids who were passionate about knowledge in some form or another, and had made the choice to go there. It was a very empowering feeling, not having to dumb down your language, or act a certain way so people wouldn’t judge you.

The school was all about personal accountability, there were no bells; you went to class because you knew it was time, and if you were late it was your fault. There were no hall passes; the students were trusted to do what was required of them. Students didn’t have to lug around backpacks full of books, they all had copies at home and in class, making lockers unnecessary. Sports were not even offered, saving me from the horrors of P.E. Instead students had to spend an amount of hours every semester at the gym, or participating in their chosen athletic activity.

I was very happy there. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all sugar and daisies. Every school has bullies, and every school has a popular crowd. The social ladder just wasn’t as high there, and it was much easier for everyone to be themselves. I was able to get away from the nicknames and rumors I had grown up with, and have a bit of a fresh start. I made new friends, and had a decent social circle of fun, silly, lovable people.

So what if some of the less desirable people I grew up happened to go there to right? Remember those “You Could Be So Pretty” girls? How about the guy from “Used”? I had a bit of a hard time because they all went to this school. I felt like I had this huge crowd of popular kids I had to avoid because of some stupid incident that had happened a long time ago. It shouldn’t have held me back, but it did. I was incredibly shy around all of them, and was constantly afraid that I was being judged. Why that mattered, I have no idea, but back then, it seemed like a pretty big deal to me. You shouldn’t let people affect you like that. Who cares if other people judge you, you should be free to be yourself, regardless of other people’s personal opinions. It really makes sense in hindsight, but I guess that’s why we all have these crazy life lessons where you figure out the bigger picture.

Like IAND’s Facebook Fan Page! Or follow us on Twitter!

Get Advice from IAND!

Complicated~Advice

23 Feb

Authors Note: I appreciate everyone who takes the time to seek advice here. Without you, I couldn’t keep this going, and I am so grateful! It has been so amazing to see everyone put their two cents in, and I feel like we have really started something interesting here! Thank you everyone for your supportive and thoughtful comments and advice for all the participants! If you’d like to get some advice of your own, don’t forget to head to the Advice Section! Thanks!

Dear I Am Not Defined,

My ex-boyfriend and i were together for four years when we broke up last year in January, when he suddenly decided we weren’t meant for each other. We go to the same church, so basically getting over a break up was hard, I would always see him. In December we met again, and he told me he found out he had a son and he had that son when we were dating (basically, he was cheating on me). He told me he loved and wanted us to get back together. We talked for a while, but now he isn’t calling anymore. Should I move on, should I just assume this is it? Did he just want to use me and play with my emotions? How do I move on from him when I see him every Sunday? There is also another girl in the church, and I feel like they are going out but he denies it even though the girl acts as if they are. Should I just back off?

-Complicated

Dear Complicated,

Getting over a break up is always difficult, especially when the relationship lasted four years. Having to go to church with the guy seems very difficult! I know it must be so hard seeing him, but maybe it is time for you to let it go. He obviously didn’t respect you enough when you were together, if he was out having a child with someone else. He had to cheat on you to get that baby, and that is not fair to you. If he didn’t treat you right in the first place, I don’t think he will treat you right now. It also sounds like he may be leading on another girl, or even dating her. Either way she obviously thinks something is going on between them, I doubt she made up some connection out of the air.

I would be wary of any man who cheated before. In my experience, if he doesn’t treat you right the first time around, it’s never going to get better. I have gone back to the same person time and time again, hoping things would get better, and I only got hurt worse in the end. Give yourself the foot up, and steer clear of this toxic guy. ]

If you have to go to the same church, stay away from him. If it means you have to sit in the back because he is up front, do it. If you’re not around him, he can’t reach you with his drama. If your church offers more than one service, consider attending a different one. If it is just too hard on you to see him, try going to church with a friend who goes to a different one, until you feel like you’re up to seeing him.

If you still talk to him, you should stop. It sounds like he is pretty good at getting to you emotionally, and he will probably try to pull on your heart-strings when he realizes that he no longer holds some power over you. Be there for yourself and steer clear of him. You don’t need someone in your life that hurts you, and leaves you feeling clueless and confused!

You don’t have to go hunt down another guy to help you get over this one, just enjoy being yourself, independent and happy, and in time you will meet someone who gives you the respect and attention you deserve, and doesn’t toy with your emotions or cheat. You’re an amazing woman and no one deserves to be cheated on or screwed with!

-I Am Not Defined

Get yourself some Advice!

Like IAND on Facebook, or Follow us on Twitter!

© I Am Not Defined, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Preferential Husband~Advice

20 Feb

Dear I Am Not Defined,

How do I tell my husband that I’m on the verge of asking for a divorce because of the way he treats the kids? He’s not violent but his attitude is atrocious. He lectures the eldest while the youngest gets away with everything. Nothing my older son does is good enough, and it’s causing him to be depressed to the point he’s said he’s wished he were dead.

 -Preferential Husband

Dear Preferential Husband,

It must be so difficult to deal with your husband when he makes your kids feel like this. Have you tried talking to him about the negative impact it has on your children? I grew up with parents that treat my youngest sibling like he can do no wrong, and it really affected how I looked at the world as a child and even now as an adult.

Do you have any idea why he is so hard on your oldest child? Is he trying to get him to strive for more, and just approaching it the wrong way? Or does he really feel like your kid just doesn’t do anything right or well? Is he easier on your youngest for being the baby of the family? Or is he truly just preferential? I would try talking to him about his reasoning behind how he treats the children. If you feel like you can’t get through to him, or just need help, look into counseling. Maybe you need someone on the outside to help you both asses where you are at, and how you feel about things. No matter what, I would seek help for your oldest. Suicide is not a joke and should be taken seriously.

If he doesn’t have any good answers, or you have already tried talking to him or simply feel like you can’t, maybe you should get the divorce. Just be sure that this is really what you want, and that this is really what is best for you and your family. Before you suggest a divorce I would make sure that you have things in order. Divorces can get ugly and I would hate for you and your children to fall on hard times because you’re trying to get away from a bad situation. Do you have family or friends that you can lean on? Look to your support system for help, and maybe even talk to the people you trust the most before you decide to go through with this, and if you do, talk to them about what you should do next.

There is no happy way to go about a divorce. It is the end of something that was promised for life, but if it truly is a bad situation, you need to get out of it. If you feel that you can discuss a divorce safely with your husband, you should. Approach the situation calmly and rationally. Don’t be insulting, be honest, and don’t hash out things that don’t matter. It’s not a good time to accuse each other of wrong doing, it is simply a time to admit that you can’t do it anymore, and to find the best way to get out of it amicably.

I hope that you can find a good way to deal with your situation, whether it comes down to some deep conversation or divorce. I also hope that you will find someone for your oldest child to talk to. It can be so hard growing up, and feeling like you can do no right in your parents eyes. Get them some help before this situation gets worse. You should also take the time to let your oldest know what an amazing person you think that they are. Make sure to be encouraging and to remind them how much you love them, and commend them when they do well, so they don’t feel like their accomplishment’s go unnoticed. In the end you know what is right for you and your family, and I hope that good things will grow from this situation.

-I Am Not Defined

Authors Note:

Suicide is never the answer. It is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, and will not solve anything. If you or someone you know has had, or are having suicidal thoughts, I encourage you to find someone to talk to. Seek help. You are loved and unique, and the world needs you here. If you don’t think anyone cares, I do. I think the world is made of beautiful, unique, amazing people, and it would be a tragedy to lose anyone to such an unfortunate end.

International Suicide Prevention

Need some help? Check out the Advice Page!

And you can always catch up with us on Facebook, or follow IAND on Twitter!

© I Am Not Defined, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Used

16 Feb

By the time I started high school, my view on boys was pretty screwed up. I had grown up having had mostly negative interactions with guys, and I was pretty scared because of it. When it came to my dating life, I was probably pretty difficult to deal with. Having been molested, I had little trust in the male race, and I thought that every guy was out to get me.

My first crush was over one of my parent’s friend’s son. We hung out together a lot since our parents were friends, and we were often joined by the daughter of another couple. I remember being pretty good friends with the girl, and we both had crushes on this boy; he was pretty good-looking, and a year older than us. Looking back on the situation now, I can clearly see that he played us both, even though we were kids. He used to sit between us and whisper in my ear about how much he liked me. I knew he was also telling my friend the same things, but I thought he was just trying to make her feel better. I’m pretty good at convincing myself to see things in a better light, if you hadn’t noticed!

Things never got to crazy, but I did kiss him a few times. He was my first little girl crush, but I let it go pretty well in the end.  Eventually our parents just didn’t hang out as much, so we stopped seeing each other. I didn’t expect it to come back to me later in life.

During my last year in middle school, my supposed friends down the street had their way with me again. They dressed me up and paraded me around their house and had a few friends over. One of them just so happened to be the boy that I had a crush on as a little kid. I tried my best to seem cool, but I’m sure I just came off as quiet and awkward. After they left, I told the girls all about my old crush on this guy, and how we used to be really good friends when we were kids. He was a pretty popular guy and still good-looking, so the old crush came right back. My friends told me that he had a girlfriend that they went to school with, but she was a really crappy person. They told me several bad things about her, and I really felt like I should hate her.

The girls got it in their head that they were going to help me catch this guy, even though he had a girlfriend. I went to a different school then they did, so I didn’t know her, and I convinced myself that she was a bad person, so it was somehow ok. They dolled me up again, and reminded me just how pretty I would be if I wasn’t so heavy. They invited this guy over, and we hung out in one of the girls rooms listening to music, and hanging out.

I was pretty shy and quiet, I didn’t have a clue how I was supposed to handle myself in front of guys, let alone guys I had a crush on. I about had a panic attack when both of the girls found an excuse to leave the room, and leave me alone with him. He started making small talk, and then caught my attention when he said something about how the girl told him I really liked him. I didn’t know what to say and I probably just sat there with my mouth open looking confused for a minute.

He must have taken that as a sign, and he quickly came and sat next to me. Before I knew it he was kissing me. The girls came back pretty quickly, and we all hung out a bit longer. We also took some random pictures of the four of us goofing around, and hanging out. I gave the guy my phone number, and told him to give me a call, and we could hang out sometime, and the night ended.

This guy never called me. It was pretty hard, I was young and I thought he really liked me. I felt like I had known him for a really long time, and he should have called. I thought I had done something to make him not want to call, and I was pretty hard on myself. I thought that him not calling was just about the worst thing ever, but I was very wrong.

My so-called friends were apparently not very fond of this guy’s girlfriend, and had pretty much set the whole thing up. After we all hung out that night, they had gone to his girlfriend, and told her all about how he was secretly dating another girl. They went so far as to show her the picture from us all hanging out, but they had omitted most of the pictures with them in them, incriminating me and her boyfriend. I guess she was pretty pissed, and broke up with him over it. He thought I was in on it, and was pretty pissed at me as well.

This was the end of my friendship with these girls. It was one thing to have a guy hurt you, but it was another thing to be hurt by people you consider friends. I couldn’t believe that they had used me like this, and I was upset with myself for following along. I was angry at myself for hurting another girl, and I was very sad over the loss of my friends. Real friend would never use someone like that. I had also had a taste of what it was like to ruin someone’s relationship, and I really felt like a jerk for taking part in that. I learned that it was never ok to cheat or to help someone cheat, someone always gets hurt, and that’s not cool. It also made me re-evaluate what I considered a friend. Friends don’t hurt friends, and they certainly don’t use them in their plots against others.

 IAND is on Facebook, and Twitter!

Get Advice from IAND

© I Am Not Defined, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Self Conscious~Advice

13 Feb

Dear I Am Not Defined,

What can you tell someone who’s very self-conscious about the way she looks right now?
I hate the way I look. I’m not skinny, but I’m not fat either. But when I look at myself in the mirror I HATE what I see. Flabs around the stomach, a bit on the arms, on the thighs, chubby face. What makes it worse is that in the past a few people have technically called me overweight or fat directly or indirectly. Just the other day, a guy told me I was wider than my friend, and when it comes to boys, I feel really insecure. I had a few boys tell me I was beautiful online, but I knew that was just because they wanted some action and I wasn’t going to give it. I’m not that type of girl, but it did bring my confidence down a bit. Then the other day, this boy followed me on twitter and we started tweeting each other, and added each other on facebook. We started chatting, and it turned out he went to the same college as me. He then told me that I was really beautiful and something just lit up inside me. I guess I did have a little crush on him, even though I had just started talking to him. I think it was the fact that no guy, a decent one (or so I thought) told me I was beautiful, and I believed it. We started talking about whether we’ve seen each other on campus, and he said that maybe he saw me and asked whether I always wore a blue coat. Because I hate the way I look, I thought he’d get put off too but he still kept being nice to me. So the next day in college, I tried to look for him but I didn’t see him. Then when I came home, without an explanation, he had deleted me off of facebook. I felt like such a fool, and my confidence dropped a LOT. What makes it worse is that I see him everywhere now. I’m not sure whether he sees me or not, but when I walk past him, I don’t even acknowledge him. I just act as if he’s a stranger, but I can’t help noting that I’ve been played, and it hurts. I guess a few of my friends don’t help either. Sometimes they gossip about this one girl and how she’s fat but I don’t think she’s fat, more curvy, but short. They make fun of her weight and it makes me feel really bad because if they think she fat, what do they think of me? I obviously don’t join in, because I have no right to. I was having this talk with my two best friends and they keep saying that I am pretty, and beautiful, and cute, but as much as I want to believe them, I don’t. I want to lose weight and I’m trying to do that right now. It’s not like I eat really badly, I’m just adding more fruits and veggies. I want to change physically, and in a way, I want a genuine guy to tell me honestly how beautiful i look. Guy or girl, I think I just want a person to come up to me and just tell me that I look good for once? Is that selfish of me? I struggle with confidence, and I’m always giving advice to others, which means I keep all my troubles hidden and some days I end up crying because.. it gets to be too much.

-Self Conscious 

Dear Self Conscious,

It sounds like you’re having a really hard time with yourself right now. Guys can be jerks sometimes, and they don’t always think about how their actions will affect other people. I’m sorry some guy treated you like this.

I think you really need to work on being happy with yourself. So what if you see flab in the mirror. Is that flab going to attack? It truly won’t hurt you, just your self-conscience. You’re not defined by what you see in the mirror, it doesn’t reflect who you are, it only shows you what you look like on the outside, your shell. Work on being happy with who you are on the inside, and love for who you are on the outside will follow.

If your friends are upsetting you, talk to them. Tell them how it makes you feel when they talk about other people like that. If they are good friends, they will likely apologize. Girls are mean and tend to attack one another to make themselves feel better, and sometimes it can backfire. I’m sure your friends didn’t think about it because they don’t see you for your size, they see you as the person you are.

You are a beautiful woman, I mean that. Beauty is not defined by size zero fake blonde models, Real beauty comes from the inside. Embrace yourself and your size, there is a man out there that will love your for the shape that you are, and think you are more beautiful than a scrawny girl any day.

Remember that not everyone is nice, and no matter what size you are, people will still find mean things to say. Girls with some meat on their bones get called big or chubby, and skinny girls get called anorexic and scrawny. Not matter what you do there will always be people who feel the need to judge you. Just avoid them and let their comments and actions go. They don’t know the real you anyway, and if this is how they act, you don’t want to get to know them in the first place.

 -I Am Not Defined

Want my help? Go to this Advice page to get it!

Follow IAND on Twitter or Facebook

© I Am Not Defined, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Secret Girlfriend ~Advice

8 Feb

Dear I Am Not Defined,

As your latest post is about looks and how certain people can be mean, this came up to my mind. And as I cannot think of anyone else to discuss this with, I thought, I might as well try to ask you. I am fat… to the point of obese. I am trying, but it seems to be a very slow process of losing weight. Earlier I was very confident about my body, but now, I am very conscious. I think it is because my boyfriend says (I am not sure if it is his way of encouragement, or if he really means it) that he is not ready to be seen in public with me. He even refuses to meet me and says it is better we talk over the phone or the internet till I lose weight. Is this normal? Am I letting him trouble me too mush… because such statements by him are very hurting.

 -Secret Girlfriend

Dear Secret Girlfriend,

No woman should ever be made to feel like her body is holding her back. You are not defined by your size, and any man worth your time would see that. You are amazing because of who you are on the inside, your size does not say anything about the person you are. If this man makes you feel like crap about yourself, then you should really ditch him.

It broke my heart to read that he keeps you a secret. He should be proud to be with you, and proudly parade you around as yourself, not some skewed image of what he expects you to be. I think he may have some problems of his own if he is truly worried about your weight, and he does not act very nice with comments that put you down.  Encouragement should never hurt!

There is going to be some guy out there that sees beyond your size, and loves you for the person that you are. You don’t need some vain man putting his own insecurities on you, and putting you down. A true man will love you for you. Look at your body like it is the cover of a book. You can find some truly amazing books in an array of covers.

To be honest, most men don’t want the anorexic model type anyway. It’s not fun to cuddle with a person who feels like a bag of bones. Most men appreciate real curves, and real women. Who wants to be with someone who is that obsessed about themselves, and focuses all of their energy on body image?

If you’re truly concerned about your weight, be healthy. Look at what a real serving size is, on food packages, cut down on sugary drinks, walk as often as you can, and enjoy yourself. It can get pretty boring running on a treadmill for hours, so pick up a dance game and shake your bum off in the privacy of your home (There are some fun dancing games for the Wii etc.). Just find something that you enjoy doing that gets you up and about, and do more of it! Honestly though, don’t focus so much about your size, it doesn’t define you. Be happy with who you are on the inside, and surround yourself with people who love you for who you are, not who you seem to be. I would personally ditch the guy to; you don’t need someone in your life dragging you down. He is too superficial anyway if he only sees your size when he looks at you. Forget about guys like him; there are real men out there!

 -I Am Not Defined

Get your own Advice! 

Check out IAND on Facebook, or Twitter!

© I Am Not Defined, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Enemies

7 Feb

In the hierarchy known as middle school, most people think that they are better than someone else. This is usually extremely true for the popular crowds, who seem to think that they are better than most. This is also true for the outcast kids. Just because they aren’t part of the popular crowd doesn’t mean they are at the bottom of the food chain.

In middle school I had several equally outcast friends, and we formed a decent group of loner kids. I still thought that I was better than a few, and I played into popularity like almost every other kid. There was one girl in particular who I thought was at least lower than me on the social food chain. I am not proud but I took many of my frustrations out on her, and made fun of her with my friends. I felt like making fun of her made me better somehow, and I wasn’t very nice.

I didn’t connect the dots, and realize that I was doing to her, what other kids did to me. My friends and I made her life more difficult, and I have no doubt that we made her feel bad about herself. In all fairness, her side was pretty much the same. She and her friends saw themselves as a little bit better than us, and taunted us as well. We never got along and it was fairly safe to say that we were enemies. Both of us playing into what was socially acceptable, and making life more difficult for one another.

This went on for all three years of middle school. She dated a friend of mine once, and when that didn’t work out, we had even more fuel for the fire. We called her names based on her bodily characteristics, and put her down repeatedly. I am not proud of myself for how I treated another person in school; it seems so silly to me now that I didn’t see myself giving her the same hell I was going through.

Before graduating from middle school, all the 8th graders got to go on a field trip to some fun place. Like all the other students, I went along for the fun. The day started off with all the older students getting on busses to head out. When I got on the last bus, there were no seats available, except for the one next to my so-called enemy. I had to sit next to her for the entire ride there and I wasn’t looking forward to it.

At some point along the way we stopped ignoring each other and made real small talk. I had never really talked to her before, and I was surprised at how well we could carry a conversation. That moment of friendship ended as soon as we got there, and we found our own friends. The day carried on, and everyone enjoyed not having to be in class for an entire day. I saw my enemy a few times but never approached her. On the ride home we had to take the same bus we took to get there, and once again we ended up sitting next to each other.

We easily struck up a conversation again, and before long we had each other in giggles. It amazed me that this person I thought I hated so much, could be so fun to talk to. Conversation came so easily to the two of us, and we really seemed to have a lot in common. I started thinking about why I didn’t like her, and I couldn’t really think of a good reason. So what if other people didn’t like her, other people didn’t like me either. There was nothing bad about this girl, and she really was nice. I wasn’t really sure why people were so mean to her. She was different yes, but she wasn’t weird or crazy.

On the ride home, I came to the conclusion that I didn’t have anything against this girl, and I decided that we should call a truce, after all why couldn’t we like each other? She readily agreed, and that was the beginning of the longest friendship I have had in my life.

I learned that her family situation was pretty crappy. She had a single mom who was prone to drunken outburst, and a total lack of sobriety. We quickly bonded, and she spent more time at my house then her own. By the time we started high school together, she was more like a sister.

I couldn’t believe that I had spent the last three years acting like a total jerk to this girl for no real reason. Just because it was socially acceptable didn’t make it ok, and in the end I really did like her. If I hadn’t given in to the social pressure of popularity, I would have found my best friend earlier. I am so thankful that we were able to see beyond the reputation other kids had given us, and see each other for who we really were.

It was a good lesson to help me realize that people are not defined by what others say, nor how they look, or your preconceived notions of them. I learned to take the time to get to know someone even if other people have bad things to say about them. How do you know that other people took the time to get to know someone before judging them? Maybe we should all take the time to see who a person really is before we judge them. I think a lot of people will find that instead of making enemies, they make friends. I know I am thankful for my best friend, and for the many years we have been able to lean on each other.

Like what I have to say? Get some advice! Check out my advice page!

Join me on Twitter and Facebook!

© I Am Not Defined, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Anti-Social~Advice

6 Feb

Dear I Am Not Defined,

I understand the bullying and the keeping everything inside. My school days weren’t very different, although I do not have boobs!  I am no longer in school, but it has forever scared me. I still have anti-social behavior and I don’t have many friends. None outside of work. What do you do? How do you look for friends?

-Anti-Social

Dear Anti-Social,

It’s very hard to get away from your anti-social behavior; I think a lot of people act this way to protect themselves from getting hurt. If you want to have more friends, you’re going to have to be willing to put yourself out there. I recommend facing every situation with a smile. It is really hard to be mean to someone who starts off by giving you a smile. Kill everyone with kindness, it might sound silly, but people are much more receptive to kindness.

Strike up a conversation with just about anyone, it might be hard to get out of your shell, but you will probably find that you have something in common with just about anyone. I find that anti-social people often come off as stuck up, people think that you’re being anti-social because you think you’re better than them, or something to that effect. Since you’re less likely to open your mouth and let people know about you, they are more likely to make assumptions about you that may not be true.

The best thing you can do is love yourself. If you are happy with who you are, you will be more confident, people are really attracted to confidence. Since it sounds like you had a hard time growing up, your self-love may not be so great. Work on accepting yourself for everything you are, and aren’t. The world is full of different unique people for a reason. It would be so boring if everyone was the same, and I think you’re pretty awesome for being different. Embrace your flaws, they make you unique and they make you who you are. If you love yourself, others will follow.

Go hang out somewhere that you really enjoy, and spend the day just talking to people, some people will blow you off and be jerks, the world is full of them, but that’s ok. It is only their insecurity showing. Hopefully you will connect with some new people, find some common ground and go from there. You both like art? Ask your new friend if they want to go to a museum with you next week. Be proactive, it’s like a first date and you’re the guy, you have to be willing to make the first move, and hopefully you won’t get rejected! Rejection is part of life however, and if someone blows you off, you didn’t want to be friends with them anyway, so consider yourself lucky to have weeded them out so quickly! Keep your chin up and just keep trying!

 -I Am Not Defined

Need some Advice?

IAND on Facebook and Twitter!

© I Am Not Defined, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Confused~Advice

5 Feb

Dear I Am Not Defined,

I’m not sure if I’m asking for advice or what, but just I’m letting you know I admire what you’re doing, it takes a lot of guts. My brother was molested when he was younger, but he was living with my grandparents because my mom couldn’t handle him anymore. It was a retarded guy who lived in the nearby area, and more is being revealed as i get older. He’s all over the place emotionally and he decided drugs were the thing to help him, if not just get him through the day. There’s been a shift lately though, and he is clean and he feels better. He is seeing a psychiatrist to find some meds that can help him feel normal again. He’s been diagnosed with bipolar/borderline personality disorder, all sorts of other things. It makes sense, but he was just a boy trying to figure out what was wrong with him, and he tried every method available. He just tried negative ones, and they all lead him to one addiction or another. The only trouble he got in were cries for attention, like going to rehab, or getting some woman to pay a train ticket to Montreal, where she would wire him money, and he could party for a while. He got to Montreal and didn’t have a photo id, so he couldn’t get the money, and was stuck there without a dime. He was 16, but the adventures he’s been on, and the quest he’s been out for was to feel good. He just wanted to feel good, so i could never stay mad at him for long when he didn’t get along with us. He was violent when he was younger, he did live with us off and on, but it was too late, and the damage was done. I don’t think he ever felt accepted. I tried telling him, to do what he had to do, but I’m always here for him, and I always have been. He’s been there for me too. I hope this time around he sticks to his guns, and stays positive when things get tough. Life is harsh sometimes, but it doesn’t have to be bad, or stay that way. When i was a bit younger, maybe 5 years ago, I went for a mental evaluation, to see if there was anything wrong with me. Sure i smoke pot, and had dabbled with mushrooms and acid, but my plight was different. I knew there was something wrong, something holding me back, but i couldn’t put my finger on it. I told them about my brother, and that i thought it may have happened to my sister. I’m pretty sure it never happened to me, but what if it did? And, why them and not me? I mean, I feel emotionally messed up as well, but my luck has been great in comparison between my siblings, I’m the middle kid and sometimes the oldest, but emotionally, i was like everybody’s father, making sure they weren’t doing anything too stupid or hurting themselves or anyone else. I blame my mum for a lot of the shit now, how negligent she was, and a recovering alcoholic. Now I’m just starting to think she switched from alcohol to her meds. There’s a lot of stuff she did not prepare us for. I’m father myself, and had my family split up because I was so scared the same thing was going to happen. I shut down, and broke down trying to manage my depressed-prone wife, and my own shit. I couldn’t take it. We fought all the time, nothing violent, just yelling and emotional hurt, so i left until things calmed down. I didn’t know what was going to happen, but my wife decided to go back to her hometown with our daughter. I obliged, and let them go. I think I was not able to handle a family because i lacked any sort of emotional experience. I didn’t know how to deal with them properly, and my wife struggled to get better. She strangled me emotionally, and i broke down before I became violent. As soon as the urge to starting hitting something comes up in me, I run away. I’ve seen drunken abuse from my mum’s boyfriends and my brother; i didn’t need to be like that. I always think of my daughter, and she’s my reason to keep going. I want a better life for her, and i hope she’s a lucky one, like me, so that she can help others who need it. I think we all have certain traumas brought into our lives, but it’s how we deal with it that counts. It’s our actions and reactions, not losing control and knowing that life is good, things will turn out ok. Thank you for letting me know that you know it too, and that you’re doing what you can to help those who can’t talk about past traumas, thanks again, you’re doing great :)

 -Confused

Dear Confused,

First I want to tell you that your brother is very lucky to have such and understanding, loving sibling. It is very hard to watch someone you love destroy their lives with addictions and emotional issues, and it is even harder to be there for them when they fall.

It sounds like you carried a lot of weight on your shoulders as a child. It can be very stressful always being the “parent” sibling. It takes a lot of effort to make sure that the people around you are taken care of, and I am sure you didn’t have as much time to worry about yourself. Acting as a caregiver can really force you to grow up, and see the world in a different light. Maybe you were robbed of your childhood because of this?

It also seems like you grew up in a world where things seemed fairly out of control, which might cause you to act more controlling in your adult life. It seems like you have a handle on your anger, in a sense that you know when you need to get away, but have you figured out why you are so angry? Maybe if you can get to the root of your anger, you will be able to get a better hold on it, and not always have to flee?

It sounds like getting help has done a lot for your brother, maybe you need someone to speak to, an impartial person who can just listen while you get it all out. Bringing things to light, and understanding them can do amazing things for the soul. Just because your brother and sister had different traumas then you, doesn’t make yours are less important. You still had to grow up under the same circumstances, with the same people.

Maybe your wife having issues was too hard on you, after growing up with your siblings, and always having to help them. Was it too much to have that in your marriage as well? If you’re not emotionally stable in your own mind, you will never be able to help someone else get or stay emotionally stable. Maybe you both need someone to talk to.

At the very least you seem able to clearly see where your upbringing was flawed, and now that you have a daughter of your own you can do you’re very best to make sure that she is brought up differently. Things may or may not get better with your wife, but you have to come to terms with yourself before the two of you will really be able to hash it out. It sounds like you have a very good head on your shoulders, and I think you can do really well and go far. Turn your experiences into something better, and grow from them. I really think you can figure this out, and feel better about yourself and your life. I’m sure times are hard, but they will get better!

-I Am Not Defined

Want me to help you? 

IAND on Twitter and Facebook!

© I Am Not Defined, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,615 other followers

%d bloggers like this: