Tag Archives: life

Toxic Relationships

I’m not the best at holding relationships of any kind.

Friends, lovers, family; I’ll write them off, take it back, and then rewrite them off consistently. It’s not really a good and healthy practice, but it’s just something I do. Don’t be like me. Once you start writing off people, it becomes a bad habit. You start writing people off for stupid reasons and stop working on repairing relationships until the only “real” and good relationships you maintain are in video games, where you’re looking up cheats so you can say exactly what they want to hear and your approval rating goes up.

That being said, sometimes you need to let go of a person. Sometimes, that person is so toxic that they’ve seeped into the core of your very being. Sometimes, it’s healthier to say goodbye.

I’ve gotten a lot of grief for writing off members of my family over the years. I wrote off my mother time and again, but my love for her family has brought us back together repeatedly. She has done some truly messed up things over our lives together, but we’re in this weird kind of shaky friendship at this point. I am re-learning how to love my mother, and it terrifies me, but I am actually trying to make this work between us.

My father, though, is a different story. My family understood how I could write off my mother like I did (like I said, REALLY messed up things she did), but they’ve been on my case about my father since I took that step and officially kicked him out of my life a year ago. I wasn’t able to talk about it before, but I’m finally ready to now.

My father was the most toxic presence in my life. It wasn’t entirely his fault. When you love someone as much as I loved him, you take disappointment a lot harder than you would for anyone else. You take their criticisms harder. You take everything they say to heart and it becomes a very unhealthy version of you.

I want to say the fight at my brother’s graduation caused this whole mess, but I knew the night before that I was done with him. I was done being hurt by him. After years of dealing with his verbal abuse and constant let-downs, I’d finally had enough, though it wasn’t entirely my decision. A lot of my other family wonders how I could just kick him out of my life like I did. A lot of them think it was about the fact he wasn’t going to help me in school after promising he would.

They’re wrong. The truth behind it is that he got rid of me first. When he returned to his almost-ex wife this last time, he stopped talking to me. He chose her over me, and that hurt more than anything I could ever imagine. It still really fucking hurts, because I did love him more than anything, but he chose first. I went from seeing him once a month to not at all. And each month, I got angrier and angrier. And then promises he had made while he and the wife were broken up were null and void, and I. Just. Lost. It.

I left the day after graduation and I haven’t reached out to him since. My brother has, and good luck to him for it, but I won’t continue to be around someone who would choose his third wife over his child. I won’t be around someone who could never respect me as a person because I’m a woman. I won’t be around someone who would abandon his own son.

I won’t say that it was easy, and it’s still not. I have dreams of him trying to apologize, to try and fix this. I went through that deep, deep depression this whole winter and some of spring. He texted me during the Baltimore riots while I was on the phone with my mother, and I burst out crying. This hasn’t been easy, but you know what? It’s been worth it.

I can make a list of at least ten good traits about myself now. I’ll catch myself saying that I’m stupid or crazy, and forcibly correct it. I’m learning to love myself and for that to be okay. I’m learning that being a woman is nothing to be ashamed of, and neither is having people think that you’re gay (even though I’m not). I’m learning that it’s okay to have feelings. Having feelings doesn’t make you crazy. Being a woman doesn’t mean you’re crazy. I’m learning how to actually channel my anger into more constructive means. It’s okay to talk well about yourself. It’s okay to eat what you want. It’s just goddamn okay to be me.

I had a realization the other day, and I texted it to my brother. I don’t know if he got the sigh of relief that I received when I thought it, but wow, it was such a powerful thought. By removing my father from my life, I have years of hurt and pain and damage, but it won’t continue past 2014. He can’t hurt me anymore. The hurting has stopped and everything past that point where I cut him out of my life is healing. There will never be new wounds.

You might be wondering why I’m sharing something this personal. I’m sharing it because you have that toxic person in your life that you’re scared to get rid of, and I want to help. I want you to read this as a success story. I want you to be able to read this and finally get the courage to remove them from your life. It won’t be easy, but if you ever need help, you can talk to me about it personally. Do this for no one but yourself. Do this for a better, happier you.

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Death Is A Six-Letter Word

If you had asked me only a year ago how I felt about my mother, I would’ve shrugged and said, “I take her with a grain of salt.” If you could’ve read my thoughts, you would know that I was actually thinking how I have tried so hard to love her, but it has left me exhausted to the point where I have no feelings left for her. My mother, she simply exists, nothing more.

If this had been going on last year, I would’ve simply said, “That sucks” and move on, but this isn’t last year. This is 2015, and I love my mother, just in time to watch her die.

Nothing is certain as of yet. They found something on her lung. It might be cancer, but they’re going to give it three months and see if it grows any. It won’t matter if they catch it early though. If it is cancer, she’s as good as dead.

My mother told me, as we were sitting around the dinner table on Saturday, that if it is cancer, she’s not going to pursue chemo. She’s not going to wait until it gets bad, either. She’s going to kill herself. I can’t tell if she’s saying this simply to get a reaction from me or if she really means it. I can’t tell if this is because of the conclusions we’ve come to throughout the week, about how she won’t be able to stay at home to do chemo, about how I would take off of work to take her to appointments and to basically hold her hand, about how my brother would have to step up and help. I don’t know if this ties into the fight we had with my brother Tuesday night, where I found her crying in her room and she told me she feels like she’s holding him back, that maybe he really should move up here with me. I can’t tell what she means by this, so I say, “You know, if you kill yourself, life insurance won’t pay out.”

Because that’s all I really can say. I don’t know what’s going through her head. Everything I am feeling, she must be feeling ten times worse. Do I agree with her decision? Absolutely. If it was me, I wouldn’t kill myself necessarily, but I also wouldn’t pursue chemo. It’s entirely selfish of me to want her to destroy herself just so she might live long enough for me to settle down and have her some grandchildren. I won’t push that on her.

I keep thinking about how we are finally getting along after 19 years, how I finally feel like I’m part of a family again. I keep thinking that if only this had happened sooner, before I allowed myself to start loving her again. I keep thinking that parents die and it’s just something that happens.  Maybe we’ll get lucky, but we’re not known for our luck.

So here we sit, in limbo, for three months.

How Drake May Have Saved My Life

As you, regular blog reader, will know, I was out on a “sabbatical” for awhile due to mental health issues. I am still not going into details, but I will talk to you about how I got through it.

As many of you might suspect, my self esteem is minimal. Smaller than an atom. I was made to think that I was never worth anything, and in my low points in life, it grips me hard and practically paralyzes me. I watched all the seasons of Friends, it was that bad. But there was one artist that surprisingly helped me get through this low point: Drake.

Weird, right? According to Let Me Drake That For You, Drake doesn’t care about mental health. His songs are primarily about money and bitches and himself. How could his music ever help me pull through one of the darkest patches in my life?

You know the saying, “Fake it till you make it?” Well, the same could be said about self esteem/self love, and Drake has plenty of love for himself. You can tell by 70% of his song lyrics.

“I swear I love myself cause I swear their life is just not as fun.” -Miss Me, Drake

Rap along to his songs long enough, and you will start to feel empowered, like the Canadian Jewish rapper you actually are on the inside. You will lift up his feeling of invincibility and transfer it over to yourself. Drake is King in the religion of feeling good about yourself.

“And really, I think I like who I’m becoming.” -Crew Love, Drake

Now, I feel like I need to give you the story behind my induction into the Gospel Of Drake to give this more credibility. I didn’t start of loving Drake. In fact, I didn’t even know he was Drake. To me, he was just Jimmy. That’s right, I watched Degrassi. I missed out on USA shows like Saved By The Bell, but I watched the hell out of Degrassi.

Flash forward about five or six years, and everyone keeps talking about this “Drake” character. “Drake this” and “Drake that”. This was around the time Drake Bell was trying to do his own music career, so when people said Drake, I thought they meant him. “No, I don’t like Drake,” I’d respond and kept responding, until “Best I Ever Had” came on the radio. The guy I was dating at the time pointed out that was Drake.

Since then, I’ve listened to him consecutively. His cds rarely leave my car. However, if you had told me he would save my life, I’d still would’ve said, “Pshaw! How?” But his lyrics really did get me through this hard time. Nothing Was Ever The Same didn’t leave my car stereo for a straight month! I can’t say that about really any other artist out there. He was mad when I wanted to be mad. He was confident when I was feeling my most vulnerable. He was there for me when everyone else was too busy focusing on their problems to respect that I had my own.

So Drake, if you’re listening, thanks.

To everyone else, enjoy some more uplifting lyrics.

“I had to prove I made the right decision.” -Underground Kings, Drake

“I might be too strung out on compliments, overdosed on confidence. Started not to give a fuck and stopped fearing the consequences.” -Headlines, Drake

“Last name ever, first name greatest.” -Forever, Drake

“I swear this life is like the sweetest thing I’ve ever known.” -Over, Drake

“Started from the bottom, now we’re here.” -Started From The Bottom, Drake

Blogging Vacation Is Over!

I am officially coming off my blogging vacation. I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile now, but since I got in the habit of writing posts at work (and have been too busy at work to write), it’s been a struggle for me to sit down at home and blog (the struggle isn’t sitting down, it’s the blogging).

I could talk about what made me take a vacation in the first place, but let’s just ignore that and keep right on going, shall we? I’d like to thank everyone who is still reading this blog, everyone who sent me well-wishes, and my friends who got me through some of the emotional stuff.

You’re going to see some changes on the blog. I won’t be doing Fandom Fridays anymore, or any type of “weekly” post. I feel like a scheduled series takes away from blog content, which this blog will start to focus on. There may still be lists from time to time, but they will be my lists that I came up with. You can still count on my book posts and picture posts. What I’m trying to accomplish is making this blog, essentially, me. Something I can be proud of when a penpal says they read my blog.

While I’ve been on vacation, I’ve been trying to do stand-up comedy. While I think I’m hanging up on that dream, I will be trying to do more comedic posts. That means more personal posts as well.

Pictures are still pretty much a non-thing for this blog, as my camera is still broken. Hopefully that will change soon, but my wallet says “try again later”.

I promise that my posting will be at least once a week. I don’t want to says 3 times a week cause I don’t want to make that kind of content commitment. Also, after being on a vacation and coming back to Bloglovin, I have over 1600 posts to catch up on, some blogs with over 50 posts. That’s a bit ridiculous and I hope I’m never that blog. I want this to be something you actually read, not just mark as read to get it off your dashboard.

So prepare yourself, internet, cause Jo’s about to give this thing all she’s got!

Thursday.

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When you first realize your car isn’t where you left it, several thoughts run through your head. You stare at the space where your car was, as if willing it to reappear. You look up and down the street, just looking for it. Maybe the thief changed their mind and left your car? You think to yourself, “Am I sure I parked here?” You’re generally sure. You’ll think, “Why my car? Why me? Just why?”

And then this is usually where panic sets in. You’ll pace, you’ll scream and cry, you’ll hit something. You may call someone. It may be the cops. It may be your mother. You’ll angrily post a Facebook status. You’ll tweet about how heartbroken you are without your beloved.

Panic never set in for me yesterday morning. I never thought, “why me?” I stood out on the sidewalk, called the police, then went back inside and sat in my window, waiting for them to show up. In the meantime, I called M2. She advised me to go ahead and call the insurance company. Maybe, just maybe, I have full coverage. So I called, and they said an adjuster would call me in 1-2 business days. The cop showed up, I explained what happened, and he said he’d drive by the impound lot. I asked why, and he said it was just standard procedure.

Where did this calm come from? This was my car! This was the car I had just renewed the registration for, the car I had bought a new battery for, the car I keep pouring money into year after year to keep alive. In the trunk was a baseball bat I loved that I’ve had since I was 9. I also had games I was selling, and had finally found a buyer for some of them. I had a brand new cd in the player. All of that was simply gone, and I just sat there, waiting.

It was never an issue of whether or not my car would be found. I knew that it would. When I thought, “why my car?”, it was more because of what my car looks like. My car is the very definition of descriptive. A 1997 Honda Accord, it could easily be lost in the sea of Honda Accords if it weren’t for the very large dents in both rear doors, the stickers that frame the rearview window, and the license plate cover that says, “A Leaf In The Wind”. It was also very much on an empty tank. This thief had to be an idiot. That was the only explanation for why my car was chosen.

The cop came back from the impound lot. “I tried to call you. Didn’t you get the message?” I shook my head no, and he proceeded. “It’s at the impound on Falls Road.” I thanked the officer, then called. They told me it would be $272 to get my car out. I had been parked in a “No Parking from 4pm-6pm” area at 5pm. There was no thief, just me and my skim reading that has gotten me in trouble time and again. This time though, it had gone too far.

Now I had to let everyone know what had happened, that my car was okay. This was my fault. Shouldn’t I at least be angry at myself? In the weird calm that occurred when I first discovered my car was missing, it followed me for the rest of the day, and even over to when I picked my car up the next morning. I was a little perturbed that the towing company hadn’t informed me of the impounding. I had wasted both my insurance company and the police’s time. If I had gotten upset, I would’ve wasted all that emotion and energy into a situation that was perfectly fine.

Maybe that was why I had waited. Maybe that was why I had stayed calm. Out there somewhere had been the belief that everything would turn out fine. As a coworker of mine had said about a completely different situation, “You’ll be fine. You always seem to find a way.” She is right. Somehow, I do always seem to be fine. I would do well to remember that the next time I feel my anger levels begin to rise.

Everything is going to be okay.