Becoming Free Thinkers In A Society Of Sheeple

 

Zazzle bumper sticker

In a society of Sheeple, we spend more than 90% of our lives doing what we are told. We follow because we are taught to follow, not to lead. No matter what we decide to do with our lives, we will always have someone who is telling us what to do, when to do it, why we need to do it, how to do it, and where we should be doing it.

We are taught from the moment we can talk until we start Kindergarten, that asking questions is the best way to learn about something that we do not know. At some point while we are in school, that awareness changes from it’s ok to ask into shut up, sit down, do as I tell you, and stop asking questions. It becomes the life-long version of; “Because I say so, that’s why.”

 
Every parent dreams of having a unique child, right up until that precise moment when the teacher sits you down and explains that your child just won’t behave like the other children. You are told that your child will never be able to function in a healthy society when they are adults because they cannot seem to follow along like the other children do. You are then advised to get your child checked out by a medical professional to be medicated for the mental defect your child has that keeps them from doing as everyone else does. With or without a medical diagnosis or pharmaceutical medication; your child is now officially labeled as “different”, “unable to follow simple directions”, a “trouble-maker”, “difficult”, “learning impaired”, and “unteachable.”

I know this scenario very well from my own childhood. I could never really follow along with what everyone else was doing. The teachers always said that I had potential but, that I was basically a dreamer. They insisted that I will never accomplish anything worthwhile, because I just couldn’t do what I was told to do. My father’s word for that was, “stupid”. He didn’t realize, much like the teachers who were trying to teach me, that I wasn’t a follower. I couldn’t learn like the others because some of what they were teaching me I knew was bullshit. Some of what was being taught wasn’t advanced enough and I got bored easily because of it. And some of what was going on had to do with the terrorism I was experiencing at home on a daily basis. In other words, for me to be able to succeed in learning I needed to be taught the things I didn’t know by someone who was willing to learn what they didn’t know from me.

 

When I had my own children I did what every other parent does, enrolled them in a public school. My daughter started in Kindergarten and my son started in Pre-school. I was the epitome of school-mom. I drove them to school and picked them up every day, from the exact moment my daughter got bullied on the bus by a much bigger and older girl who wouldn’t be reprimanded by the school or bus driver because well… there was no way the driver could possibly watch the road and see the bullying that was going on, so it never happened. I went up to the school every day at lunch to eat with my children and their friends. I participated in all field trips and events pertaining to the education of my children. I sent snacks for their classes, hand-made snacks… that was allowed in that school, not like in so many others these days. I helped my children with homework every single night before bed. I worked just as hard if not harder in school as my own children did.

It didn’t take long to find out that my daughter had a reading problem because she had a seeing problem. From birth she had an eye that is blind. (Now they know it to be astigmatism, lazy, a congenital cataract, smaller jagged pupil along with the blindness.) Everything she “sees” from that eye is too blurry to really make anything out. So after eye exams, she got glasses. The glasses did nothing to help her reading problem though, so she was enrolled in a special class to help her with reading. Yet, Kindergarten through 2nd grade she struggled to read. Come to find out, right before we moved out of that school district, that her reading teacher was a nasty ogre of a woman who enjoyed bullying children by yelling at them for not being able to read. When I brought this to the attention of the principal and the teacher herself, they decided to go down the road that I was a bad parent because my daughter had missed several days of school that year. Why did she miss several days? Because she had recurrent bouts of tonsillitis which eventually led to the doctor removing her tonsils. Every single absence my children had were excused, since I had the medical documents to prove it. But, when it came down to the wrong doing, the school preferred to blame someone else instead of addressing the real issue, a teacher who doesn’t belong teaching.

This did not deter me though, because I still had faith in the school system. After all, I went to school and I graduated from school. It is what everyone does, right? It wasn’t until we moved to another state and both of my children were diagnosed with disabilities did another issue come up. We were new to the area and new to these illnesses my kids were diagnosed with (just finding out my daughter had Hashimoto’s and my son was moderately/severely deaf) and therefore we needed to have them seen by specialists. Well, needless to say to any parent who has dealt with a disabled child, seeing specialists in a Children’s Hospital is a very time-consuming event. And since these hospital’s see an entire city’s worth if not state’s worth of children, the appointments are limited and you go when they tell you or you don’t get seen period.

Once again I found myself being harassed and blamed by a school official for my children’s absences. Although there I stood with doctor documentation in my hands, I was still threatened and bullied by someone who I am supposed to trust to teach my children. I had had quite enough of that after only 2 months of them being in school, and considered homeschooling. While in the local library researching the state laws on homeschooling, I ran into a woman who homeschools and wrote a book. It was a sign! After speaking with her, my mind was made up and my children were pulled out of public school the following Monday by certified letter.

It took less than a year for me to find out that my children and I were not the “schooling” kind. And the longer I chose to teach my children in my home, the more my family, who was not living anywhere nearby to us nor knew anything about what we were doing or going through, worried. Why? Not so much because I wasn’t a licensed teacher, although that did come up occasionally, but because it was not the way that the world expects you to do things. I was stepping far outside of the norm and that scared the Hell out of them. However, the more I researched, read, and practiced this “unusual” way of learning; the more I found out that we were not a homeschooling family but actually what is known as an unschooling family. My beliefs about how a person learns, fell into the unschooling category perfectly, unlike the more religious reasons most homeschoolers have. So instead of forcing my children to learn subjects by grade level or solely what I believed in, we starting turning everything in our daily lives into a learning experience.

The more I unschooled my children and myself, the more we thrived in learning and as a family. In aiming to teach my children, I have been taught. We learn everything that we’ve always wanted to learn and we do it together, each one of us interchanging between student and teacher. We don’t believe that you can only learn certain things at a certain age. If we want to know about something, we learn about it. There are no whines, complaints, or not doing of the work because it isn’t work and it isn’t school… it is life, our life, and not one second of it is wasted. Every single moment of every single day spent learning freely without restrictions and timetables. Learning all that the world and life has to offer us by becoming free thinkers in a society of Sheeple.

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Father’s Day Project: Build-A-Dad

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Yesterday was Father’s Day. I am sure I do not need to remind any of you. As I sat around, well no… that isn’t exactly accurate. My husband was home all day and when he is, there is no sitting around. Clearly, he can sit around, demand things to be done/brought to him, or blankly stare at a plethora of asinine TV shows in English and/or Spanish but, me… I am required to go, go, go!!! Do I look like Speedy Gonzalez to you? Don’t answer that…

So as soon as I woke up, I mean got up, at about 10 am or so… I don’t remember. I just know it was still morning. Don’t judge me…. I’m an insomniac and sleeping is a problem for me. My husband started with his usual assholery and yelled something about the clips. “Where are the clips?” he yelled. “What clips? You mean… the clippers?” I replied while trying hard not to call him an illiterate son of a bitch. After all, it is his day, right?! So… I got up and waddled around the house. No, I am not pregnant but, I am somewhat fluffy these days. From room to room to room I went. Dodging dogs, shaking my head at the children that were still sleeping, over/around/up and down through the junk that has taken up permanent residence in my home from lands far and wide. Why was I cursed to marry the Mexican Fred Sanford from ‘Sanford and Son’? Or would that be, Federico Sanford de  ‘Sanford y su Hijo’? *Sigh*

Finally, I remembered where they were last put and handed them to him. All of this, not because he wanted to cut his hair mind you. But because he wanted to shave his beard and apparently shaving it with a razor or 5 was just too much freaking work for him. But, me wandering the streets of Can’t-Find-A-Damn-Thing-Without-My-Help-Ville wasn’t work at all….. *SIGH again*

I made sure at some point to mention, that I would like to go to the store, since it was Father’s Day and we had no gift for him and more importantly we had no damn milk. There is no way I was cooking breakfast on Father’s Day. I mean, hell, you know what I mean… I cook every single day. Why do I have to cook a meal that no one and I do mean no one, in my house even likes to eat? Besides it was starting to heat up in the house because the Midwest is in the center of Hell (hence the name Bible Belt) and we still have no working air conditioner. So I dressed myself, yes I know… woo-hoo Jen has finally learned how to dress herself. Do you guys always have to be so mean??? *Insert evil snort laugh*

My daughter got up and decided she would like to go with me to the store.  Shopping is one of our mother/daughter bonding times. Frankly, I take her along more often than my son because she isn’t the type to whine and throw a fit if I don’t buy her something. Just as we were about to walk out the door, my husband yells out, “You can’t leave. I need to go to Home Depot.” Didn’t I tell him not more than 10 minutes before that I needed to go to the store? *Scrolls up* Yes, yes I did. Welcome to my life people. Isn’t it a hoot?

In the time my husband is gone, I wash the dishes, that he requested I do. “You SHOULD wash the dishes before you leave the house,” he gently told me. Haha who am I kidding, right?! He has never gently told me anything in our nearly 19 years together. But, instead of complaining, I just do those loving things that a doting wife does out of the sheer goodness of her happy and fulfilled heart. *Awwww* Stop it…

My husband though… I mean, you just have to know that this man doesn’t know the meaning of a day off. Holidays, birthdays, Sundays… they are just another day to him. He is the epitome of a workaholic without the skanky secretary and the bank account to make it all worth my err, I mean his while. LOL So, what does my husband do on his day off? The one day where a father is allowed to be a mushy couch potato? The one time where everyone in the house is at his disposal? My genius of a husband chooses to rebuild the patio. Because his paranoia trumps mine by a longshot… “I have to fix this before it falls and the city condemns the house.”

At first, it was supposed to be just the railing because it was at a 45-degree angle and well… that is not what a railing on the second floor above a concrete driveway should be doing. The kids and I had long abandoned going out there because the patio door kept getting stuck on its track and I was terrified it might fall out and break. But, as the day progressed it became more and more things that needed to be done to that patio.

My daughter and I came back home from shopping to find my son sitting in the driveway guarding the wood and tools. My husband was standing on the patio, with the entire railing torn off. I graciously handed him a Monster energy drink and then continued carting bags inside the house.

It was a long day for all of us.  My son helped his dad out on his all day into the night Father’s Day project. Build-A-Dad; blackened by sweat and hard work, barely touched the dinner my daughter and I made for him. My daughter was exhausted from all the things she helped me do that are my daily requirements as housebitch.  *Sorry, I had to get in that last dig before wrapping this up*

And I? Well, I was my usual self. Tired, because being a mom and wife is hard work. Wired, because I have so much more work still left to do. A bit insane after all the “my dad is the greatest” crap I kept seeing over my Facebook feed when I finally had time to sit down and enjoy me time. But most of all I was thankful, because my kids and I have their dad in our life. And unfortunately, that is something many people don’t have. Hope you all had a splendid Father’s Day or just another Sunday in June, if you don’t celebrate.

Freedom For Father’s Day

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Father’s Day brings mixed emotions for me. One, for my kids who rarely see their dad because he is a workaholic; I guess if he is going to be an aholic I prefer it be work over alcohol. It would be nice if their dad realized that there is more to being a dad then providing a roof over one’s head. I’m certain one day he will grasp that idea but, the kids will be grown by then.

The other is for my father who is still alive but, I don’t call him or send him a card anymore for various reasons.

One reason being, he has disowned  me too many times to remember. Secondly, I don’t receive cards or calls on my “special” days including my birthday and neither do my kids; his grandkids. And lastly, I am just tired of trying to keep a relationship alive when it’s apparent he doesn’t care. Therefore, I have taken up the position of “You don’t know me then I don’t know you.” After all these years of trying what more can I do…

Am I wrong for this? I don’t believe I am wrong, I did my best most of my life to be a part of his life and in my opinion the road goes both ways. Yet, here I am, the one putting in the effort all the time. It just isn’t worth it to me to keep trying when it’s obvious I am not wanted in his life. I did the “Christian” thing; I forgave, accepted apologies and gave apologies but, did I get unconditional love back? No, I did not get back a fraction of what I put into the supposed father/daughter relationship. What we have here people, is a failure to reciprocate.

I’ve moved on now, there is nothing left to do but, move on and as my husband says; “Just say I love you and leave it at that.” (He can be a wise man sometimes.) I have bent over backwards to be included in the lives of people who swear they love me and my kids but, don’t actually know us. My kids have grandparents and they are a mystery to them. There are no phone calls, cards, or letters… absolutely nothing except, the occasional; “You know we love your kids” statement that I have heard during a phone call. Yet, still no effort is made on their part to be a part of their grandchildren’s lives. I have a hard time with this because I was taught that family is everything; how strange… because only certain family was ever included in our lives when I was growing up the rest were “disowned.” Well, looks like I too am a part of the “do as I want or be gone” side of the family. Thank God I believe that the most important family is my husband and kids or I might just be torn up about being exiled…

I can no longer accept such half-assed attempts from anyone, no matter who they are. It is one thing to be upset at me for whatever you believe I have done wrong but, to alienate children just because they are my blood is not only ridiculous it’s asinine and childish. One day my kids will be grown and in my opinion better off for not knowing people who didn’t take time out of their busy little fantasy isle lives to acknowledge them and love them.

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So my gift this Father’s Day is the gift of… freedom. I am freeing myself of annoyances, games and intolerable trivial nonsense and I am giving my father the freedom to never have to deal with me or mine ever again; which is clearly the greatest gift for any father who constantly disowns people like they were material possessions.

What I will not give though is my silence; I have spent too many years not saying what needed to be said and watched while those around me were verbally assaulted. I know for a fact that neither of my grandparents raised any of their children to be bullies or to deny their grandchildren just because they were mad at their children for something their child did as a child. In fact my grandmother not only accepted all her grandchildren she also accepted step-grandchildren and would take all of us during the summer to stay with her at her house. So I know very well her children were raised better than to “disown” anyone.

It’s time to grow up; the child is almost 36 years old now and if I am being judged as an adult for something I did as a child, well I guess you just aren’t as smart as you think you are. Everyone makes mistakes and when you say “I’m sorry” or “I forgive you” than that is where it ends. You don’t hold on to something that transpired 17 years ago. I am not the same person I was 17 years ago and it’s a shame that some people haven’t changed at all in that time. So I end this with; I love you and I wish you well but, I cannot keep being a part of such constant hatred and childishness anymore. God loves all of his children no matter what; I know those are big shoes to fill but, you might want to give it a try.

To all the dads out there… Happy Father’s Day, love your children unconditionally and treat them well so that one day they will remember the good things about you and pass them down to their children.

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The Days on Gary Ct.

Gary Ct. Google Maps

Some days I sit and see the connection friends have amongst themselves and I long for the days when I was surrounded by good friends. It’s inevitable; people, move on and friendships fall apart, not because of choice but, because we all become so busy with other things that we no longer find time to visit or call. Some of us will try and find time to at least comment on a friend’s Facebook status before getting swept back up in the tediousness of our lives. Continue reading

Facebook avatars sending a message to End Child Abuse

All across Facebook recently you may have noticed a huge increase in avatars of children’s cartoons, spanning all different decades. It is being said that this is being done to raises awareness about child abuse. I don’t know who started this but, as soon as it reached me I knew I had to do it.

Many subjects I have jumped on to be an advocate for. But, nothing is as important to me as child abuse, for I was a victim for most of my life up into adulthood. I know how hard it is for a child to focus at school through the emotional and physical pain. But, the thing that is the worst is that it never goes away. The bruises or broken bones do eventually heal but the scar it leaves on your soul is one that will stay with you the rest of your life. Continue reading

Just another day, broke and hungry

The one thing I do not have to tell most people, is there is a huge economic crisis happening. But, what I want to talk about today is how agencies that are suppose to help you, do not help in a reasonable way.

Growing up I was taught about karma, everything happens for a reason, and charity begins at home. I was also taught that you must help out the less fortunate not only because it is the right thing to do but, because it is God’s will that you do it. Now here I am an adult with a family, trying to make ends meet. And all I can think about is if so many people believe in God and Jesus and in the Bible then why don’t they take on more traits of those they believe to be in power over us?

There have only been a few times in my life where I have needed assistance to live. I.e state assistance or pantry/church assistance. There has been many of these times I was sent away because I did not belong to the church. Now this seems a bit odd to me. I realize members in need should come first, I don’t have a problem with that. I do however, have a problem with them preaching about,”What would Jesus do” and in the same breath say oh I am sorry you are not our problem. Poverty and hunger is everyone’s problem. If you are a human and especially if you are a Christian it is most definitely your problem. How are you gonna believe that God will accept you in heaven for what you did on Earth if the first lesson he gave you, you failed? What’s that big rule God has…”Do unto others as you would have done unto you.”

Now I am not gonna sit here and preach to you about what God says we should or should not do. But, think about it, are you helping your fellow man in need or are you looking the other way? Which brings me to my reason for writing this today, pantries. Pantries are set up to help the hungry. Now tell me if you can, why it is acceptable to give a family of 4, 2 of them children, 10 sodas and a box of cookies?  Now, I have gone over this in my head over and over, and I still cannot figure out  how the hell this happens. Any other pantry I have ever gone to, gave what they could but, definitely gave food suitable for a family.

Unfortunately, the only conclusion I can come to is a racial one. We live in a majority black neighborhood, I don’t know why this matters but, all I know is it does. So, this pantry has people outside of it in the afternoon cold, quite a few families are there. It is 2 days before Thanksgiving, the time, where in my opinion, people should give more to the hungry. Yet, the people who run the pantry, are yelling and taking pictures of the people in line? So, let me get this straight, first of all you are poor and hungry, just want some food to eat, and they are taking your pictures, for what? They all gonna gather around their table on Thanksgiving looking at the pictures of the hungry and give thanks it isn’t them?

Most people who have ever been broke and hungry, are already embarrassed by the fact they have nothing. Who knows if they have to build up courage to go to a pantry or if the sound of their hunger is deafening. I do know, that any pantry who cannot give more then soda and cookies to a family for a week’s meal should not be called a pantry. I am disturbed by what I saw and embarrassed to be treated as nothing more then a stray animal in the streets. Where is the humanity, the concern, the love?

Next time, you are driving to go buy your groceries, drive past a pantry and look at the hungry families standing out their in the cold. They just want what you have, food in their stomaches. If you have never donated food or adopted a family at Christmas, now is the perfect time to do so. You never know when one of those people might be your neighbor or a relative. Stop being so self-absorbed and wasting money on things you don’t need, it doesn’t take much to make a stranger’s day. Try it, I promise the feeling you will get from doing the right thing is better then any high you get from buying another pair of shoes or a big screen tv.