Re: The Sandman’s Q&A #3

Hello, friends! The Sandman is back with yet another fun, little Q&A, and I thought I’d make this a thing, and go for round 3! Continue reading “Re: The Sandman’s Q&A #3”

High School Memories

What the hell is wrong with kids these days?

Hey, friends. I’ve been meaning to upload a vlog about everything that has been going on lately, but honestly, I’m too depressed. Kyle has been away at school for three days now, and we just found out that his classes actually last five weeks, and not three weeks, like he was originally told. Five weeks, followed by four to six weeks of driving on the road with his instructor. I haven’t been this bored, lonely, or sad, for a very long time. Luckily, I am able to Skype with him for a few minutes after his classes, but I miss him. Liam and I both do. Continue reading “High School Memories”

Daily Prompt 6/9/2016 | Then and Now

So… have I changed much? Not really, no.

In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 6/9/2016 | Transformation

Hello, friends! I was inspired by today’s daily prompt, as well as it being Throwback Thursday, to delve into the depths of my Facebook profile, all the way back to 2007, in search of my first ever profile picture. I thought it would be a good time to reflect on who I was when I joined the social networking site (not so much social networking as a whole, since I was a pretty hardcore MySpace user back in the day), and compare it with who I am today. I’ve compiled a list of questions to answer about who I was then, and who I am now.

Feel free to copy and paste these, or add your own, and post them on your blog! I had a lot of fun trying to remember things from my high school years!

THEN: 2007
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(Holy MySpace angles, Batman!)

1) How old are you?
17 years old.

2) Where was this picture taken?
On my front porch, minutes before I left for my senior photo shoot… not sure why I chose this extreme angle.

3) What is your hair color?
Brown and red.

4) Do you dye your hair?
Quite frequently actually.

5) Do you wear makeup?
Not really. I did the year before, and it looked awful all the time. I think I wore mascara and lip gloss sometimes, and that’s it.

6) What is your favorite color?
Green!

7) What is your favorite book?
Hm. Probably Crank  or Burned by Ellen Hopkins, though I was still pretty smitten with the Harry Potter series, which had just come to an end the summer before.

8) What is your favorite movie?
Pan’s Labyrinth.

9) What is your favorite band?
Breaking Benjamin and 30 Seconds to Mars!

10) What is your favorite song?
“Becoming the Bull” by Atreyu, or “Breaking the Habit” by Linkin Park.

11) Do you have any pets?
I had a cat named Napkin.

12) What is your best friend’s name?
My then-boyfriend, Matt.

13) What is your favorite food?
Chop Suey… or anything chocolate.

14) What is your ringtone?
I had just gotten my first cell phone, and all I had to choose from were the crappy pre-set ringtones. Ew.

15) What does a typical weekend look like for you?
Oh, you know, hardcore partying… with my online friends… in World of Warcraft…

16) What is your most visited website?
Probably MySpace, but I was starting to get into Facebook. I also went on eBaum’s World a lot.

17) Do you have any nicknames?
Jan Jan, and Jan. I also went by my WoW name… Zul.

18) What is your biggest fear?
Graduating and having no idea what to do with my life.

19) What is your biggest insecurity?
I was actually pretty confident at this point in my life. I had lost a lot of weight, stopped wearing makeup, and was preparing to graduate. I was insecure about my intelligence more than anything.

20) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland with a degree in Psychology, living with my boyfriend, Matt, in a nice house, with a picket fence, and a dog. You get the idea.

NOW: 2016
13239920_10206476000078274_8685172509188265663_n (1)
(Yeah, that’s definitely a better angle, Jan. Good job.)

1) How old are you?
26 years old.

2) Where was this picture taken?
In the passenger seat of our car, where I take most of my selfies these days. Best lighting!

3) What is your hair color?
Brown and blonde.

4) Do you dye your hair?
This was the first time I had dyed my hair in over two years, and I went to a salon, instead of doing it myself, and it came out so terrible.

5) Do you wear makeup?
Sometimes. I’m wearing more makeup in this picture than I normally would, as we were going somewhere. I am content with leaving the house with no makeup on, but I do like wearing foundation, since, you know, I still have the same acne I did 7 years ago. And 10 years ago.

6) What is your favorite color?
Still green! Although I am fond of teal as well.

7) What is your favorite book?
I haven’t read a book in far too long. My life consists of baby and toddler books these days. Still Harry Potter, probably.

8) What is your favorite movie?
Mirrormask, Guardians of the Galaxy, and… well, any of the Harry Potter Movies. Duh.

9) What is your favorite band?
I actually don’t have one! I don’t listen to music anymore. I haven’t heard a recent song in… years?

10) What is your favorite song?
… I don’t have one. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

11) Do you have any pets?
I have a fiance, and a toddler, do they count?

12) What is your best friend’s name?
I don’t have one really… I suppose my closest friend is Lindsey. I love her. She is a pretty mermaid.

13) What is your favorite food?
Homemade brown rice bowl with black and red beans, tomatoes, jalapenos, avocado, and sour cream. Mmm. I also really love chocolate.

14) What is your ringtone?
I haven’t taken my phone off of silent since I bought it 2 years ago. Literally.

15) What does a typical weekend look like for you?
The same as a typical week really. Wake up with my son, and spend my day reading books, building block towers, digging toys out of the trash, having company while I pee, and maybe going for a walk to the park. I’m living on the edge, baby!

16) What is your most visited website?
Definitely Twitter.

17) Do you have any nicknames?
My mom calls me J, though I’m not sure why. Most people call me Jan.

18) What is your biggest fear?
Being unhappy. Losing my son.

19) What is your biggest insecurity?
My body. Everything about my physical appearance.

20) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully living in a house, with two little ones, married to my fiance, with a dog. Oh, and if I could have won the lottery by that point, that would be great.

So… have I changed much? Not really, no. I have all of the same values, morals, and beliefs as I did, and I’ve managed to stay pretty true to who I am as a person, though I am much more boring these days. My plans for myself, however, have gone to shit, and I feel like my 17-year-old self would be quite surprised to see where I am in life. The only thing that managed to stay on track was my reproductive plans. Seriously. I planned to have my first child at 24, and that is exactly what I did.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

Dream Journal 2/29/16

Past.

I was a teenager, and I was in a large barn with several other girls around my age, give or take a few years. We were all wearing large electronic collars around our necks, and were dressed in dirty, ripped clothes. A man walked in and yelled at us to stand in a straight line. We lined up, from shortest to tallest, and he grabbed the tallest girl on the end, a pretty blonde, and dragged her outside. She was screaming.

The girl to my left was crying, and she kept repeating that we needed to run, but no one would move. I grabbed her hand, and we ran to the back of the barn, where there was a large door, which was wide open. We ran out of the barn and into the woods, but the girl with me dropped to the ground and started screaming. Bolts of electricity were shooting out of her collar, and she was convulsing on the ground. I tried to roller her back toward the barn, but her body went limp and lifeless. I tried to pry my collar off with a large stick, but it wouldn’t come off.

I went back to the barn, but all of the other girls were gone, and the inside was dark. I walked in and tripped over something on the ground. I looked down and saw the body of one of the girls from the group. I covered my mouth to keep from screaming, and stumbled into one of the empty horse stalls. There was blood everywhere. I could hear the sound of a girl screaming somewhere outside, and ran toward it. The man from before was holding a gun to the head of an older woman, dressed very modestly, and she was begging him to let her go. He laughed at her, dropped the gun, and hit her with it. She fell to the ground, unconscious.

I dropped down and crawled back into the barn, and found a blowtorch in a pile of hay. I used it to burn off my collar, but it didn’t burn me. I found a black and white painted horse in one of the stalls, and rode him out of the barn. The forest looked more like a rain forest now, and there were very large, bright flowers scattered everywhere. I could hear low growling from somewhere, and my horse kept trying to buck me off of it’s back. We rode across a large bridge, made entirely of sticks and branches, yet somehow held us. There was another barn in a clearing ahead of us…

And then I woke up.

Daily Prompt 2/22/2016 | Triggering Memories

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/22/2016 | Drawing a Blank

When was the last time your walked away from a discussion, only to think of The Perfect Comeback hours later? Recreate the scene for us, and use your winning line.”

A comeback? No. I just wish I had the right words to say…

I sat helplessly behind the screen of the computer that he had given me just after my 15th birthday. I could barely read the words popping up in the X-Fire chat window through my tears, let alone see the keys to formula some kind of response. Not that it would have mattered at that point anyway.

I’m sorry.
I’m tired of this.
I’m coming over.

We had been arguing. Over the course of 3 years, he had been my everything, but he had broken my heart so many times, and I always came back. I didn’t know any better, and I had no one else. But not the last time. I had chosen to move on with my life, and had found someone else to share myself with, who didn’t treat me that way. He didn’t like it. I sat there for what seemed like hours, when really, the drive from his house to mine only took a few minutes. I heard the knock on my front door, followed by footsteps coming to my bedroom.

His eyes were red, and he was shaking. He reached for my computer, and began unplugging it, taking it apart to take back to his house. Taking away my only form of communication with the outside world, and my new, long-distance boyfriend. Taking away a part of me. He was angry, and he was hurt, and I didn’t try to stop him. At least, not from taking the computer.

You can’t do this…” I said to him, grabbing his shoulders, trying to calm him down. I was bigger than him, and stronger, but he was in a bad place, “I won’t let you do this.

He ignored me, and I choked back tears, trying to stay strong. I didn’t know if he wanted me to try to stop him or not, I didn’t know what he wanted to hear. I didn’t know what to do. My mom and her friend sat in the kitchen, just outside my bedroom door, and I thought about telling them what was going on, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t even speak. So I didn’t.

I watched him dismantle my computer, get into his car, and drive away. I waited until I knew he was back home, and called him. He answered, much to my surprise.

Please, don’t do this. Can we talk about it?

No,” he choked out, he was crying.

Then I heard the pill bottle, and my heart stopped.

Stop. STOP.” I demanded, but all I heard was sobbing, and the sounds of pills scattering across his desk. He was in his room. Was his mom home? Should I call the police? I’d have to hang up the phone. I couldn’t hang up the phone.

Don’t do anything,” he said, seemingly reading my mind,his voice raw, “I’ll unplug the phone. My mom has a gun upstairs. Don’t make me do that, Janise.

I was sobbing. I had no words. I was frozen. I could hear him counting pills out loud… 1… 2… 3… I didn’t know what he was taking. Why was he doing this?

Please…” I sobbed.

Thank you,” was all he said, then, “goodbye.

Click.

I sobbed loudly. My mom had already left with her friend, and I was alone in the house. Had I lost him? Was it too late to do anything? I curled up on my bed, and I cried. My body shook, and I soaked my pillow. I never did anything. I don’t know when I fell asleep, but I woke up to my phone vibrating. The sun was up.

I reached for it, and saw his name on the called I.D. I didn’t want to answer. What if it was his mom? What if it was him? I answered.

I need you to come over. We need to talk,” came his voice from the other end of the phone. I agreed, and he hung up.

The sobbing started all over again. I had my mom drop me off, and told her that his mom would be bringing me to school. She still did not know anything about what was going on.

I didn’t knock on his door, I hadn’t done that in months. I went straight to his room, where he was sitting at his desk. He looked awful.

Are you okay? What did you do?” I demanded, “Did you tell yout mom?

He nodded slowly, and told me that he had told her everything. Everything about us. Everything he was feeling. He had taken 22 extra strength Tylenol, and 6 of his ADHD pills last night. I dropped to the floor, crying. Why wasn’t he at the hospital? Why was he here?

I needed to tell you… that I’m sorry…” his breathing was starting to sound labored, and I looked up, just in time to see him fall from his chair. I heard myself scream, and his mother and younger sister came running downstairs. He was still lucid, and he got to his feet. He swayed, and tried to run to the kitchen, with us right behind him. He fell to the kitchen floor, and I knelt beside him, placing his head in my lap, while his mom sobbed into the phone. She had called 911. The ambulance was on it’s way. The wait was terrible. His mom was crying, his sister was saying this was my fault, and I was silent.

I rode to the hospital with his mother, who had some very cruel words for me. She blamed me for this as well.

I missed the entire school day, and spent nearly 8 hours in the hospital with him. I was there when they gave him charcoal, to flush his stomach. I sat by his side, holding his hand, and talked to him about everything. About us. About what was on TV. Everything. I was so thankful that he was alright, even though he wasn’t. I didn’t know if I was helping him, or hurting him, but I got my answer later. They made him talk to a therapist, and we were asked to leave the room. The therapist also blamed me, and they all agreed that it would be best if I get out of his life. Forever.

I called my mom to come get me, unable to stand another moment with his mother, and I broke down in her car, and told her everything. She didn’t blame me.

The weeks and months that followed were some of the worst of my life. I had lost my best friend, even though he was still alive. Every single friend that we shared, had turned their backs on me, and rumors flew around the school about what really happened that night and the following day. It was absolute hell. Seeing him, every day, and not being able to say anything to him, to see how he was doing, was awful, bur that’s what he wanted. He made that abundantly clear when he switched out of the 3 classes that we shared, and glared at me whenever we passed in the halls. How could people hate me so much, when I was simply trying to move on, and make myself happy?

I never defended myself. I never gave my side of our story. I never tried to correct people when they spread blatant lies. He was fine, but a piece of me had died that night, and it still affects me to this day. Triggers me.

We have since made up, and are friends from a distance, talking every once in a while via Facebook. We have never spoken of it, and I sometimes wonder if he ever thinks about that night, and if it ever cuts into him like it still does to me, nearly 10 years later. If I had the right words to say, would it have changed the outcome of that night? Or did what little I was able to say actually keep him alive?

I wish I could say this this was the last time that I was put in this situation, but unfortunately, it happened again more recently. However, that’s a story for another time.

Thank you for reading, friends. If you, or someone you know, is thinking about suicide, please get help.

US: 1 (800) 273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week

Jan

Trichotillomania and Baby Eyelash Envy

Hello, friends. I want to share something with you that I don’t talk much about. It’s not a secret, per se, but just not something I generally talk about. I have trichotillomaniaFor those of you who don’t know what that long, bizarre word means, here is an even longer definition:

Trichotillomania (trik-o-til-o-MAY-nee-uh) is a disorder that involves recurrent, irresistible urges to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows or other areas of your body, despite trying to stop.

Hair pulling from the scalp often leaves patchy bald spots, which causes significant distress and can interfere with social or work functioning. People with trichotillomania may go to great lengths to disguise the loss of hair.

For some people, trichotillomania may be mild and generally manageable. For others, the compulsive urge to pull hair is overwhelming. Some treatment options have helped many people reduce their hair pulling or stop entirely.” ~ Mayo Clinic

This affliction is actually fairly common, and there are so many different degrees of severity. I honestly don’t know how long I’ve had trichotillomania, but I remember becoming aware of it around the 8th grade. My symptoms are not nearly as severe as some people that I know (I went to school with a girl who had to wear beanies to hide small bald patches from her pulling her hair out), which I am thankful for, and they pop up randomly, usually when I am stressed, anxious, or upset, but sometimes I do it out of boredom, and don’t even notice it. I pull my facial hair, specifically, my eyebrows and eyelashes. When I was younger, I had long, thick, black eyelashes. If you’ve seen pictures of my son, picture those beautiful eyeballs of his, on my face, with blue irises.

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Look at him! He’s perfect. He got those eyes from his mama.

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Circa 2008 or so.

These days, both my eyelashes and eyebrows are coarse and unappealing. My eyelashes are still long, but there are noticeable (to me) gaps between them, making them look clumpy. It makes wearing mascara difficult, because I then drive myself crazy trying to separate the clumps, and end up with black fingers. I also can’t wear eyeliner well on my upper eyelids because of the thick gaps in my eyelashes, and how thick the skin is at the root. I am actually incredibly embarrassed about these things. I’ve also, on more than one occasion, pulled my eyelashes out so violently, that it caused my eyelid to become swollen and red. Try explaining that to someone who doesn’t understand mental disorders.

Most days, when I’m home alone with the baby, makeup free, I am okay with it. I don’t mind the gaps in my lashes, or the coarseness of my eyebrows… until someone mentions my son’s lashes. My mother and grandmother, specifically, are able to get under my skin about this. It isn’t their fault, as neither of them know about my struggles with trichotillomania, and likely haven’t noticed the difference in my face, as I haven’t seen either of them in years, but it still gets to me. I sometimes find myself feeling jealous of my one-year old son, because he has these beautiful lashes, and I will probably never have that again. Coincidentally, my trichotillomania worsened after my son was born, but has gotten a bit better.

“He has your eyes! You always had such gorgeous lashes!”
“Look at those LASHES! Just like his mommy!”
“You had the prettiest eyelashes when you were younger, too!”

Past tense now, of course.

It can take several weeks to several months for eyelashes to grow back, though there are little tricks to get them to grow faster and thicker. Of course, the rate at which they grow back means nothing if you continue to pull others out in the meantime. It’s a vicious cycle. I’m also a compulsive skin picker (hurray, adult acne!), but that’s a whooole other problem. Just add that to the list of weird things that add to my many reasons that I suffer from such severe self-esteem issues.

Does anyone else suffer from trichotillomania? Were you aware that there was even a term for it? How has it affected your life?

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 2/12/2016 | Alma Mater

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/12/2016 | Alma Mater

You’ve been asked to speak at your high school alma mater — about the path of life. (Whoa.) Draft the speech.”

“Hello, young humans. This school looks so different than the last time I was here. My name is Jan, although I used to go by Janise when I went to school here. I made a conscious decision to change my name, thanks to twelve years of mispronunciations, and it made my life so much better. So, if I don’t mention it later, my first bit of advice to you is that if people are mispronouncing your name, and it is driving you nuts, go by something else. Anyway, I’m here today to talk to you all about the path of life, though I’m not sure why I was asked to fly 1,200 miles to come back here and speak, when my path of life hasn’t exactly been successful.

I was an above average student most of the time, but I was easily distracted by things that had nothing to do with school. Boys, family drama, having fun with friends, etc., and that was a huge mistake. If I could change one thing about my high school career, I would go back and try harder, and focus more. I got lazy during my senior year, and my grades reflect that. I was smart enough to start applying to colleges early, which is super important, but I played it safe, because I was afraid of rejection. Some of my top choice schools never even got my application, because I just didn’t want to hear a “no”.

I got accepted into every school that I applied to, but sacrificed my education, as well as my friends and family, for a boy, and ended up leaving the country to attend school with him. Big mistake. We didn’t last, and I am still in debt to that school, over seven years later. I had to drop out, and bounce around from crappy job to crappy job, just trying to stay above water, and pay my bills. I would do anything to be able to go back to school, and finish my degree, so that I can have a good career that supports my family.

If you take anything away from my speech today, anything at all, please, focus on school. Boys will come and go, and drama will pass. High school doesn’t last forever, and things will get better. Even if you don’t believe in yourself, and you’re afraid of those rejection letters, apply to schools that you feel might be out of your comfort zone, or even out of your financial reach. There are scholarships and grants out there to help you, and I wish that I had done more research on the matter before I graduated. Who knows, I might have actually graduated.

Thank you for inviting me to speak here today. Stay in school, kids!”

Thank you for reading, friends.

Jan