Youth Musing: 6 Things Childhood Can’t Help But Teach You

Great post from my friend. Check it out!

The Drunken Musings

When you were little, things were much different. So radically different in fact that you probably don’t remember it. Don’t believe me? Grab a cup of coffee and a cookie and come back. I’ll wait here.

Now that you’re back did, you think how lucky you are to be able to reach your counter? And that someone didn’t yell at you that dinner is in three hours and you won’t be hungry if you eat that whole sleeve or Oreos? No. You just ate fifteen Oreos without giving it a second thought.Because you’re a god damned grown-up. In adulthood the only people who attempt to control you are at you are trying to find the fastest way to get into a physical altercation.

Most of my life before I was 9 is a strange confusing blur. I know that time was formative, I just don’t know why. I can’t for…

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Why Am I…

“We are the sum of our past experiences and memories.” –Fellow Criminal Law Student 

I haven’t really been talking about myself on here because I just feel like there’s nothing to talk about. I was finally courageous enough to seek help for my anxiety and depression and now I’m at the point where I can get out of bed every day and not be in hysterics all day. Additionally, everything is really amazing in my relationship. So, what is there to talk about?

I know I am more than my relationship and my depression/anxiety, but it seems that the last few years these two things have really been the biggest parts of my life. Interestingly enough, I’ve been considering what makes me, “me?” Like, how have my past experiences and memories shaped who I am today?

No matter what you think, we can never escape our childhood. We will forever reenact the relationships we viewed and had as children.  For example, my parents loved hard when I was little. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was bad. I’ve noticed this cycle when it comes to my relationship with my girlfriend. When we are happily in love, it’s like God has opened the clouds and specifically picked us to shine the sun on. However, when we are not so happily in love, it’s explosive and anger filled. What I will say is that my girlfriend isn’t the actual aggressor when it comes to our arguments; it’s really me. But, what I’ve noticed is that I mimic the way my parents used to fight and interact and then get pissed when my girlfriend does not react or go along with it. It’s actually kind of weird.

Additionally, as a child I had a lot of people just drop out of my life. It was for all types of reason, like death, moving away, or just disappearing. As a child, you don’t necessarily understand why people are no longer there, so you kind of internalize it. So, here I am as a 23yr. old and I now have this weird relationship with others: either I’m really needy or I have this wall built up. I really attribute it to my experiences as a child. I’m needy with the people who didn’t leave me because I’m scared they will eventually leave me, but I build up a wall against the people I’ve perceived as having left me in the past. I don’t really get it and I feel bad that I am this way, but it is what it is. You know?

Sometimes I wish I could change these things about me, but then I wouldn’t be Gabrielle. My past has shaped me to be extremely loving, selfless, maternal, and intelligent. When I love someone, I love them regardless of what they do, but what they do will dictate whether I put up a wall or I barrage them with my emotions.

Do you think we are the sum of our past experiences and memories, or do you think we are just who we are?

Suicide in the Legal Community

In January I read a CNN article titled “Why are lawyers killing themselves?” and it really started to annoy me as to why some are surprised by the suicide statistics among attorneys.

When the Center of Disease Control found lawyers to have the fourth highest suicide rates (behind Dentists, Pharmacists, and Physicians), people were surprised. It just seemed obvious to me:

Type A personality + Serious Stress = An Inevitable Explosion

 Many attorneys have Type A personalities: competitive, ambitious, organized, etc. Essentially, those with Type A personalities usually deal with a high amount stress on a daily basis because that it just who they are.

The American Psychological Association has even found that lawyers are more than 3 times more likely to suffer depression than non-attorneys, which is a root cause of suicide. But yet, people are still surprised—Yes, lawyers have Type A personalities, but not a large group of Type A personalities commit suicide.

The American Legal System is inherently adversarial. We go into a court against someone else that has a different, competing interest than our own with a goal of beating him or her down. How would you feel going through this day in and day out? Additionally, stress is a fundamental in the profession. Whether you’re a transactional attorney, a prosecutor, a defender, or a litigator, you’re handling some very serious cases that could potentially change your clients’ lives, businesses, and finances. It’s scary just to think about it.

Due to the high rates of suicide, the legal community has started outreach groups like Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers to help any attorney or law student that is dealing with depression, anxiety, etc. However, it’s really hard to overcome your pride and fear to reach out to get help with depression and anxiety, so I’m not exactly sure how to “fix” this issue.

I commend the legal community for at least attempting to find a solution to lower the statistics by reaching out to law students early so that we know it’s natural to get depressed and there is someone out there to help, but it will never be enough. It just seems that as long as being an attorney is a high-stress profession, we will always have higher rates of suicide and drug/alcohol dependency.

Stigmas

Why is there such a stigma surrounding mental health issues?

In the United States, about one in ten people suffer from depression (or, at least admit to it) and anxiety effects about eighteen percent of the population. These two mental health issues are the most common of the mental health issues, yet there is such a stigma around it and such a stigma causes many not to seek help.  

I don’t understand why people with depression or anxiety disorders are perceived as “weak.” We are some of the strongest people I know. Picture going through your day in a perpetual state of panic, irritability, worry or sadness and it’s something that’s not within your control whatsoever. Do you know how much strength it takes to make it through every day like that? Do you understand the kind of strength it takes not to end your life because you know tomorrow won’t be any different than today? 

Personally, I’ve suffered with depression and anxiety for years, but it didn’t start to noticeably effect my life until enrolling in law school. Every day I fought with the black cloud floating through my life. Because it seemed like a “no no” to express what I really was dealing with, I plastered a smile on my face and tried to exude confidence. Those were some of the most disheartening days of my life. I really felt alone and didn’t know what I could do. Recently, I was finally brave enough to reach out for help and the dark cloud has finally started to dissipate.  

It’s really amazing how hard it is to reach out for help out ofthe fear of being perceived as weak or needy. And it’s really not just a matter of “getting over it” or “pick[ing] yourself up by your bootstraps.” It’s something that cannot be controlled and typically looked down upon. Without having lived through it, it’s difficult to explain and understand how bad it can really get.

I know everyone has had a bad day, week, or month, but I don’t feel like it’s the same. It can last months or years—a dark cloud of emotions anticipating your next move and always at least one step ahead of you.

Living with depression or anxiety/panic disorders is not an easy task and no one should be judged simply upon that nor should they be perceived as something lesser than because of it. It takes a lot of courage and trust to finally get help for mental health issues. If someone reaches out to you for same or similar issues, don’t invalidate their feelings and always be there for support and courage for him or her. That little bit can really save a life. 

WARNING: This Post May Contain a Rant

I know I’ve been gone for way too long. As per usual, I apologize. I have been very busy with finals, first assignments, and the first few weeks of class.

What have I been up to? Let’s see, I’m in my fourth semester of law school (2 more to go! Whoot whoot!). I’m also doing some pro bono work once a week, which I thoroughly enjoy. Besides that there’s nothing much to say.

Now that I’m done with the formalities, I need to rant!

Why have I been cursed by the world’s suckiest body?!?! The last two weeks I’ve been suffering from a constantly runny nose and sore throat.  A sore throat that was so bad I could no longer swallow food or talk without being in severe pain. I finally put my big girl panties on and went to the doctor. No, I did not have mono, strep throat or tonsillitis. I actually have winter allergies. So, now I deal with year-long allergy issues because I have hay fever and regular spring/summer/fall allergies. Awesome.

Well I thought I was done with it. I got my neti-pot and started taking allergy medicine and was feeling a million times better. Welp, this morning I woke up a sore throat, cough, and stuffed up nose. A God forsaken cold!!! Really?! I simply do not have time for things like this. I haven’t been 100% since before the beginning of the semester and I’m already behind in classes. I really no longer want to deal and just go to bed until I feel better.

Okay. Rant over. You may continue on with your day!

xoxo

Changes

A few days ago I was complaining about how scatter-brained I was feeling. I am still feeling like that, but now I keep coming up with things I want write about. Sorry if you feel like I’m clogging up your newsfeed, reader, etc.

Anyways, I’ve been thinking of all the things I’ve learned about myself in the last year and a half. It’s been a really tough 18 months: I’ve moved twice, started law school, transferred law schools, lost some awesome friends, rediscovered who I am within my relationship, and so much more. So, I wanted to share with you thirteen things what I’ve learned about myself.

  1. I thoroughly love to write. I don’t have much confidence in my writing skills, but I just love to put words on paper whether or not they make any sense.
  2. I am so grateful for my baby sister. She’s going to be three next month (yes, we are 20yrs apart) and she’s one of the best things that has happened to me. I see so much of myself in her and it gives me a small window into what it will be like to a mother.
  3. My favorite candle scents are “clean” smells like cotton, ocean, grass, etc. It reminds me of my mom’s home and it’s a comfort to me.
  4. I have a very complex relationship with my mother. She’s my partner in crime, my confidante, best friend, advisor, and anything you can think of. Although I don’t agree with everything she does, she’s one of the very few people that accepts me for who I am, loves me regardless, supports me in everything, and thoroughly enjoys my company. She’s not perfect, but she tries her hardest to be and I pray that I can be half the woman she is.
  5. Reading is my escape from the world. It’s the few moments I can forget about whatever is going on in my life. I get to pretend I’m someone else and it gives me the adventure I’m too scared to have in my own life.
  6. I have the “pull it out of your ass” gene. My grandmother and my mother have it too. It’s this ability to figure something out on the fly and pay the rent and bills some how when you have no money in the account. It makes you dependable and amazing.
  7. The best feeling in the world is knowing you helped someone or you brightened their day. Knowing you had a good effect on the world is so gratifying. It’s one of the reasons I didn’t mind making the two hour round trip commute to work this summer: I felt like I was making a difference.
  8. I don’t take anyone for granted. I’ve lost some of the most important people in my life at a young age, so I realize that tomorrow is never guaranteed. Every time I say “goodbye” to some one I make sure I say and do everything I need to just in case and I cherish every moment I have with my family, friends, and girlfriend.
  9. Shower time is “me time.” It’s where I get to think about my day and get to just be alone with quietness, which is why I must take two showers a day (at least).
  10. I have endless hope in people. No matter how mean someone is or how bad their past has been (with me or not), I have hope that they’ll change and that things will be different.
  11. In some ways, I’ve completely mellowed out, but, in other ways, I’ve become more unreserved. I don’t feel the need to be the “center of attention” all the time anymore. I actually don’t really like being the center of attention. On the other hand, though, I’m a lot more open about my life (feelings, opinions, etc.). I don’t tell everyone my business, but I’m learning that I can’t hold everything in.
  12. I don’t like to watch high-drama television shows. For some reason, it causes severe anxiety in me, so I don’t like watching it. I really try to avoid anything that raises my already high anxiety.
  13. Judging people on their face is inherently wrong. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt and allow their actions to show me who they really are.

 

Related Articles:

http://passionlivingbycw.com/2013/11/20/why-wait/

http://kiddphree.wordpress.com/2013/11/20/clhoavneges-everything/

http://adricaro21.wordpress.com/2013/11/20/do-we-control-our-lives-or-are-our-lives-taking-control-over-us/

http://gmercier4388.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/confidante/

http://theforgetfulgenius.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/3-words-1115/

I Can’t Anymore

“Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend somewhere along in the bitterness.”- The Fray, “How to Save a Life” 

“We accept the love we think we deserve.”- Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Remember when you were little and friendships were held for ransom daily? Like, “if you don’t do [blank], I won’t be your friend anymore.” As we get older, it doesn’t change. In some way or another, we hold our love, friendships, support, or relationships for ransom.

“If you don’t stay monogamous, I won’t be your spouse/partner anymore.”

“If you change, I wont be your friend anymore.”

“If you don’t do what I like, I won’t support you in your endeavors.”

Everyone does this in one way or another. That doesn’t necessarily mean that putting ransoms on our interactions on others is bad. In fact, it shows that you’re emotionally mature and that you respect yourself enough to know what you want and don’t want in your life.

I even admit that I do it, but I do have a high tolerance for bad behavior so I tend to put these limits on my love, support, friendship, and relationships that I never really follow through with the ransoms. However, there are times when I do follow through.

Why do we do this to each other?

Is it so others know our limits? Is it to protect us from getting hurt by someone else? Is it an innate controlling characteristic that much of the population has?

For me, I think it’s a controlling feature of myself. I plan everything to the tenth power. I think and plan and then over-think every decision and action. And I’ve found that when I don’t over-analyze and over-think my actions, bad things happen: I say something hurtful, I blow-up, I act in a way that isn’t socially acceptable, I do things that are totally out of my nature. So, I learn to be even more controlling of everything I do, say, feel, etc. It’s weird, but it’s how I cope.

But, like I said earlier, I tend not to follow through with the ransoms I put on my interactions with others. “Why?” you ask. Well, I simply believe that I deserve the behaviors and actions of others that are in my life. Whether that is abusive or kind or whatever, I believe it’s what I deserve.

I’ve also found that when I do enforce my limits/ransoms, I lose people in my life. I don’t like that because I find myself in the place I am now: socially alone. Currently, I have two friends (outside of my girlfriend and family) who have stayed within my limits, but they’re living states away. So, that’s what I get for setting limits and following through. I loneliness. Thus, I turn around and retract the limits just so I can have someone to talk to or lean on when I need it. But instead of controlling my relationships, I control and over-think my actions to not set off the bomb of the people I keep letting back in my life. That doesn’t always work, though. Sometimes the slightest misstep, quickest breath can cause a ticking bomb to go off.

I feel like I keep getting caught in the same web of debris. I want friends in my life, but I’m tired of being scared of being hurt by them, which tends to happen.

I just don’t know what to do anymore. I’m finally not scared to admit that I can’t do it all anymore.

Thanks for listening to my rambling…

 

Related Articles:

http://focsimama.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/day-62365-days-of-yabjaya-forgiveness/

http://yoursirreverently.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/alone-again-contentedly/

http://goodstewardship4life.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/why-do-i-hurt-easily/

http://mckarlie.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/what-effect-do-you-have-on-others-and-do-you-give-a-shit/

http://laurablough.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/an-emotionally-corrective-experience/

Don’t Touch Me!

We all have weird quirks about ourselves that sometimes are hard to admit because they’re either embarrassing or just plain weird. Well one of my quirks, from my vast list, is I don’t like being touched.

I don’t like being touched by strangers specifically, but I also don’t really like being touched in general. I’ll admit that’s it’s really really weird, but I just don’t like it.

I’m okay with my girlfriend, mom, step-dad, younger siblings, and a few other select family members touching me (hugs, kisses, etc.), but outside of that: just no! My friends can tell you that I’m not much of a hugger and when I realize that in the moment a hug or handshake is socially required I get weirdly awkward, tense, and sweaty.

I wasn’t always this way. My mom said when I was little I was very much a cuddler and I liked to hug and kiss and all that fun crap. Apparently something in the last twenty or so years has changed because if a stranger even brushes me on the train I stare them down like they’re a convicted serial killer. 

I just don’t see why touching is socially required. Why do I have to shake hands with a prospective employer? A nice smile isn’t good enough for you?! Why do people feel the need to place their hands on body when they need me to move?!  Maybe my brain is wired differently, but I just don’t get it. 

I’m perfectly content with keeping people at an arms length away. I mean, I really take my personal space serious and do not think of invading it or you will feel like you woke up the Kraken.

A nice smile or nod and a wave is good by me. Everyone should just follow by my social rules. Life would be easier and a lot more comfortable. 

Scatter Brain

I’ve really been battling a case of “scatter brain.” I can’t seem to focus on anything for longer than a few minutes and I’ve started five different blog posts before this one, but never finished them.

I don’t know why. I have a lot of things I need to focus on (class readings and papers due), but I just can’t do it.  I just want one day where I don’t have to do anything: cook, clean, organize, research, homework, write papers. Just nothing. I want a break, but it doesn’t seem like I ever get one. 

Sorry this post is so short. I’ve got to get to this memo and I’m tired of complaining (>_<)…

 

Happy Sunday!

Can You Love More Than One Person?

Recently, I read an old article that considered whether a person could romantically love more than one person. So, can we?

It’s quite an interesting topic because I’ve found that it has happened to many people. They’re in a longstanding stable relationship and yet, begin to have romantic feelings for someone else and pursue them. 

But if this does happen, does it take away from the love for original partner? I’m not sure, but I would assume so. I mean, if you have all this love for one person, but then start loving someone else, it obviously would take away from the time, effort, and feelings you had for your original partner. So, do you really love those two people? I think not. I simply believe this because if you truly love someone, you put all of yourself into them. Therefore, if you “love” two people, then you’re only putting half of yourself into each person and, thus, not truly loving those two people. But, this is just my opinion on what I feel romantic love is.

But if you do love someone else, but you don’t physically act on it, does it still count as cheating? You’re not kissing, holding hands, or anything that goes along with romantic love. I would consider that cheating; it’s emotional cheating. 

For some, one kind of cheating is worse than another. I view them as equal because I am passionate about everything I do, thus if I were to do any of that I’d be taking away my passion from my original partner.

One question that haunts me when I hear about romantically loving someone else outside of your relationship is, why? Why would anyone cheat if they say they truly love their partner? I’ve decided that it must be because something is missing. Whether something is missing within yourself or within your relationship, something is definitely missing.

If it’s something within yourself that is missing, fix it. It’s not fair to hurt and punish your partner for something they had no control over. If it’s something missing in your relationship, speak up. Tell him or her what you want in need out of the relationship. You should never go outside of your relationship for something that you could easily get within it, if you’d just speak up. Now, what if you’ve spoken up and you’re still not getting what you need and want? Honestly, I’m not sure what to do. I don’t think you should go outside of your relationship, but I’d understand why you wouldn’t want to divorce or separate from your current partner. It’s quite an issue and I’m not sure if there is really an appropriate answer except that you need to decide whether or not you really want to be in that relationship.

Whether or not it’s physical or emotional, you’re taking away from your partner what you promised to give them: your all. You should never do that if you truly love your wife, husband, fiancé, boyfriend or girlfriend.

But who knows? I don’t know if I’m right and I never say that I am because I rarely am.

What do you think?