Friday, March 25, 2011

Can men and women be just friends?

This is a question I've been thinking about for some time now, "Can men and women be just friends?" I asked my friends on Facebook this question last night. There doesn't seem to be any one right answer. Some said No, they can't, some feel that Yes, they can. But both seem to feel very strongly about their opinion. I keep thinking back to my friendships over the years. I have quite a few male friends, but the ones that I seem to be the closest to are the ones I have some sort of history with. Most of it is innocent history, boyfriends from high school but it's still history. Somehow it seems that the connection we shared then allows us to have a deeper connection now. Is this wrong? These boys from my youth are now men, some of them married, most of them have children. I've never been truly intimate with any of them. Is this what makes the difference? If I had ever been sexually involved with these friends, would we still be friends today?
But what about emotional intimacy? Since I have known these men since we were kids I'm able to talk to them on a deeper level. It's different then talking to my female friends. They give me a whole different perspective on things. Men and women see things so differently that it's nice to get an "inside" view on men. There's many times when a male friend has helped me work through a problem better than my female friends.
Another variable here is that my close male friends live in a different state. Would be still be able to maintain our "just friends" closeness if we lived closer to eachother? Is the physical distance what allows us to stay such good friends? I can't find any one right answer to this. It seems to all depend on the people involved and all the different variables.
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Then and now.

One minute I'm a sophomore in high school, giggling with my friends and trying to figure out which boy to date. The next thing I know I'm married with three young children and having to make much more difficult choices. Where does all the time go?
It's been eleven years since I've seen most of my high school friends, yet thanks to Facebook I've managed to get back in touch with the majority of them. We have all changed in so many ways, moving to different states, getting married, raising children, you name it, one of us has probably done it. Yet through all these years and despite all of our differences we are still as close as we were then. In some ways, maybe closer. We're able to relate to eachother on deeper levels. We went from being boys and girls, to men and women.
I only hope that one day my children are able to find these same kind of friendships
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Friday, March 11, 2011

Bus stop tears

There's a little girl at my daughter's bus stop that most of the other parents don't particulary care for. She's rude, bossy, and just a plain pain in the butt. The other kids kind of stay clear of her too. This morning when we got there though, she was crying. I asked her what was wrong and she said her step-mom tried to kill her. I thought she was exagerating the way seven year olds do and told her I doubted she was trying to kill her. She continued to cry so I asked her what happened. She was crying so hard I couldn't really understand her, then she said she just didn't want to talk about it. I took her aside so that the others couldn't hear and told her that sometimes you need to talk to other people so that they can help you. She said that she tells her dad but that he never does anything about it. Eventually I got her calmed down enough to get the gist of the story. Her and her step-mom had had a small argument over socks that morning, and the woman tackled her. She then went on to tell me that she does things like that to her all the time, and that she hits her. The bus was about to come so the best thing I could come up with was to hug her and suggest that she talk to the school counselor. After the kids all got on the bus, another mother and I were talking about what happened. Both of us recalled the step-mom telling us that she hated the child. I think it definatley explains the little girl's behavior most of the time. On the way home, I called the school and gave them as much information as I could about the child and what had happened. I also called children services. I was greatly disappointed in the reaction I got from cps. The woman seemed cold and unfeeling. She was only concerned with if there were any marks on the child. I told them it was cold so she was wearing a heavy coat, so it's not like I could actually see her body. They didn't seem to care at all about what the little girl had said, or to consider that there are many different forms of child abuse. I don't like to get trouble started or to get into a strangers business, but this little girl trusted me enough to tell her what happened, I wasn't going to just ignore it. I will also be checking back with the school to see if the counselor did talk to her or not. If a child ever tells you something like this, please don't "mind your own business." Make a call. You might just save a child's life.
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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How does the story end? (part 2)

I was 17 years old when my father deceided to touch my breast and tell me it was getting harder to think of me as just his daughter. I know there are many fathers who do worse stuff than that to their daughters, but for me that was devastating enough. All the years when I was younger that my uncle used to ask me if my father had ever touched me finally started to make sense. It wasn't too long after that that we moved out of state to be near my stepmother's family. For me that didn't last long. I went back to Ohio to live with my aunt that took care of me when I was little.
Long story short, life and who we become is made up of, and influenced by, so many different things. We are shaped by the things and people that happen in our lives. My mother was too young to have me. My father was too irresponsible to have me. There's no doubt that I love my parents, even if I don't always understand them. But I always end up dwelling on the things that have happend in life. They both had hard childhoods, which shaped who they became, and in turn shaped who I would become. The lack of attention from my mother is in part what I think made it harder for me to relate to my daughter the way I should when she was born. The being bounced around between family members, and all the attention they lavished on me to make up for my parents lack of interest in me, made me to where I didn't like to be alone. And I tried too hard to fit in and be what I thought other people wanted me to be. And whether I like it or not, my father was lazy and I ended up marrying a man who is also lazy.
None of these are excuses, they are just examples of our lives shaping us. But it doesn't have to be a bad thing. We can take the unpleasant things that have happend and turn them into life lessons and things to avoid. I try to do better with my children then my parents did with me. On some things I've succeeded and on others I've failded miserably. But I'm trying to realize these things now while my kids are little and to remember that it's never too late to change.
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