Category Archives: dads

The One About Saying No

As a chick and a parent, I’ve said no somewhere in the billions of times. I’m talking about this:

Bugger bugs.

“Stop.”

Bugger continues, upping their game and laughing.

“No, stop. I’m serious.”

Bugger kicks it into high and taunts.

I raise my voice, lay hands, force a stop.

Bugger gets feelings hurt and accuses me of overreacting.

Brothers, boyfriends, friends, coworkers, even my dad. It’s been omnipresent in my life.

Never really thought much about it other than to be annoyed. Today, being home sick and bored to tears, I watched a couple of movies. Guess what they both had in common.

Scenario One: The woman tells the man to stop because she doesn’t want to get into the water. He chases her, corners her, forces her over his shoulder before throwing her into the pool. The whole time she’s screaming for him to stop. She’s MAD when she gets out of the water and the man stalks off because he thinks it’s NOT FAIR that she’s angry. She runs after him and apologizes.

Scenario Two: The woman has had a traumatic past that has not been disclosed to the man. He puts on a mask and stalks her around the dark house. The whole time she’s backing up, trying to get away, and screaming for him to stop. When she slams the bathroom door on his hand in an effort to lock herself in, he’s pissed. She apologizes to him and explains her traumatic past as a way to make him understand her reaction.

No means no. All the time. Every time.

No, don’t want to go out with you.

No, I don’t want to be tickled.

No, you can’t have a hug.

No, I don’t like to be scared.

No, I don’t want to have kids.

No, I don’t want to get my extensions wet.

And no I won’t apologize to you for the response your actions wrought.tumblr_naqc5foddz1rxmno2o1_500

TL;DR: Stop making this normal. Reject it and don’t fucking apologize for asserting yourself. Thinking men are too fragile to be told no is a Rook mistake. Let them deal with it.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

The One About Feelings

It’s not like we’re all wired differently. But, you know, some of us just are. It’s OK. We wind up confused or angry at things that normal folk don’t blink twice at. That’s OK too.

I’m having a hard time today. My normal hard time is a gentle paranoia that bleeds into anxiety. It’s like a whisper in your ear telling you the reasons that you suck and that safety is a mere illusion.

Anxiety can make me feel out of control and afraid. I fear for myself and society at large. I wonder what that guy is hiding under his sweatshirt. I wonder why that woman looks so angry and what she has in that giant purse. I won’t sit in the middle of the room because I don’t want anyone to walk behind me. I don’t want anyone too close.

Today is not that day.

Today I’m pissed.

Just under the epidermal layer of my emotional chitin shell is full blown anger. I’ve already ranted at my sig-oth for no reason that my logical side can fathom. And instead of feeling like I’m spending these feelings, emptying the rage-well, it’s building.

Today there is a deep and rising tide of anger. My jaw is clenched so tightly that the muscles hurt. I am fearless. I am fucking tired of other people’s shit. Even if I can’t fucking put my finger on what that shit is.  So, I’m going to go run errands instead of be angry with my family for no damn good reason.

Growing up with a brother and sister, we fought on the regular. My father used to tell me it was because we were too familiar with one another. When he’d had it with our squabbles, he’d say, “Ya’ll treat one another like you’ve never met. You’re kinder to strangers than you are to each other.”

So, even today, he’s right.14224822_1172209372818043_2819946695618234321_n

TL;DR: Anger is a part of PTSD. Don’t let it burn down your relationships. Also, everyone loves Girl Scout cookies.

 

The One About Night Terrors

It’s more than a nightmare.

For me it’s total paralysis with open eyes screaming. Sometimes it bolts me awake. Sometimes I don’t quite reach consciousness.

Sometimes it’s the total certainty that someone is standing over me in the dark.

Sometimes it’s a memory replayed in a thousand different ways that I am helpless to change.

An adrenaline dump in the middle of the night can keep me up for hours, or not let me sleep again. Panicked, angry, and frightened, I’ll roam my house trying to talk myself down. “It was just a dream. I’m fine. Everything is fine. I’m OK.  Nothing is wrong.” It’s a mantra.

It also upsets the household. Thankfully, my son has always slept like he was in his own personal cocoon. My sig-oth isn’t so lucky. I know it’s a helpless situation for him as well. But there is nothing he can do.

Add guilt to the mix of anger, panic, fear because I’m causing sleep depravation for him, too.

Fuck all that.

This kid , Tyler Skuzacek in Saint Paul, MN,  is a freaking genius. He and his team created an app.

It hasn’t made the clinical trials yet, but he’s working with the VA and sleep experts.

It marks the symptoms leading up to the terror and interrupts deep sleep with a vibration to take the sleeper just this side of consciousness without actually waking them.

Sign me up, Tyler.

MyBivy App

It’s never hopeless. Someone’s always out there working on ways to make it better. They don’t give up and neither can you. That would be the worst Rook mistake.

BwKqNrgCYAAuZPa

I know the pic is sappy af, but this time it fits.

TL;DR: Tyler’s dad came home with PTSD. After watching his dad suffer, he chose to do something about it. There’s an app in the works. Don’t give up. Help is coming.

The One About My Dad

 

A day late and a dollar short for Father’s Day, but it’s always hard.

I was a bona fide daddy’s girl growing up. There was a  good five years difference between me and my sister, and then another two between me and my littlest brother. That gave me seven years of being the son my dad wanted. And another 5 before the brother got interesting.

By 12, my father had taught me how to hunt and field dress a deer, reload a shotgun because relocating the raccoons didn’t work out, use a couple of hand tools to put a swing set together, how to lose with grace and courage, and how to cuss the son of bitch out who cheated. He taught me to love and to help people. He’d taught me to drive a stick shift, a 1972 Volkswagen Beetle, from one end of the pasture to the other while he shot quail from the passenger side window.

He taught me that life goes on when he pulled my brother out of the cattle tank and couldn’t save him.

He taught me that it was OK to cry.

He taught me that, if you’re able, you work. No excuses. No bullshit. And if you’re not, you contribute in other ways and that there will always be people (like him) to help you.

He was a fireman that, on his off days, remodeled houses. He taught me how to put up a ceiling fan and put in light fixtures. He taught me twice why it’s important to turn off the circuit breaker. (Sorry, Daddy, I am still terrified of electrocuting myself.)

He taught me the importance of a tension breaking joke. (LOUD HORN: “Don’t shoot! I’ll marry the whole damn family!) He taught me patience and the desire to do it right the first time – not to be perfect – but just so you can rest later. His favorite thing to say was, “Give your laziest man your hardest job and he’ll find the easiest way to do it.” He thought he was lazy.

He taught me to stand up for others. And to always give someone the chance to do the right thing. And then he taught me to pick my battles. He taught me the courage of not saying anything and letting people make their own mistakes.

Even if he did let me marry one of them.

Before he walked me down the aisle, he turned and said, “It’s not too late. Tell me right now that you don’t want to do this and I’ll drive you anywhere you want to go.”Because that’s the kind of guy he was.

He was.

My dad didn’t live to see my son. Though on his 60th birthday, I gave him a framed picture of my first sonogram. That was July. By December, he was gone.

So, help someone out if you can today. Or maybe cuss them. Do it for my dad.

TL;DR: I miss my dad. 644142_4181073278109_853771843_n