The Dead Dads Club

Dead Dads Club

The Dead Dads Club is a society you hope never to become a member of, but once you do you are forever one of us. When a girl/woman loses her father a piece of her dies as well. Although it never goes away, The Dead Dads Club members will help you get through the tough times.

Through the tears, laughs, and all of those uncomfortable situations we are there for each other. Humor is what I have found is the key to making it through. Most importantly, you must find other members to bond with. Non members can sympathize, but they can not empathize. No one who is not a member can ever fully understand.

We all become members at different stages in our lives. That doesn’t matter because our road is now the same. I am writing this during a weekend of weddings. Anyone who is a member of The Dead Dads Club knows what that means.

My group of The Dead Dads Club are very supportive of each other. We compare notes on what to do when a bride is being walked down the aisle by their father, the father daughter dance, and the fathers speech so that we don’t break down right there.
Top answers:
  • Knowing exactly when to go MIA.

    • Going to the bathroom right before the father daughter dance.

    • Stepping outside right before the dreaded speech from father to daughter.

    • Checking out everyone’s shoes under the table so you have something to focus on.

There is no missing the notorious aisle walk. But we find ways to keep from falling apart right there in front of everyone.
  • Find a focal point where you can stare, zoning out without anyone noticing.

  • Counting in your head while staring at your focal point.

  • The groom is a good place to stare.

There is no getting out unscathed, but why not minimize the pain?

Dead Dads Club

Fathers Day is of course a yearly reminder of what we no longer have. My sister and I were lucky in a way. We had no grandfathers or uncles, so we could get drunk or hibernate away from everyone on Fathers Day and just cry. We did this for years.
Suddenly, something changed and my sister and her husband had twins. I will never forget the absolute anguish I felt when I had to face down the ominous Fathers Day aisle at the store for the first time in years. Standing there blankly staring at all of the cards, trying not to lose it right there.
People try to be sympathetic, but are unknowingly offensive. My father passed during my senior year of high school. When I returned to my waitressing job shortly after my fathers death one of the older woman customers actually asked me “aren’t you the girl whose father just died”? I froze, not sure how to react. What I wanted to say was FUCK YOU! What I said was yes, that’s me. The other most common statements people make that make a member of The Dead Dads Club furious are: I know how you feel I lost my Uncle, Grandfather etc. Hello? I literally just lost my father! Well God has a plan. It was his time to go. The list goes on. So does the anger and pain of the members of this unfortunate club.
Whether you were called to come right now because your father was dying or you got a phone call after he passed, that memory will be with you forever. It is a movie clip that will forever play at unexpected times in your head. My sister and I were exhausted after my fathers open heart surgery so we left my mother at the hospital and went home. After all, he always made it through before. As we pulled into the driveway we got a phone call, you need to come back right now. By  time we made it back to the hospital, he was gone. The guilt of not saying goodbye and having left to get some sleep will never leave. Guilt is an ugly cross to bear.
The what ifs? My fathers surgeon had an emergency surgery right before my fathers. So, my fathers surgery got pushed back. We had a decision to make, postpone his surgery, which was an ordeal with the blood thinners he was on, or to proceed as planned. We chose to proceed. The what if we decided to postpone breaks my heart every time. What if I had stayed? Would I have been able to say goodbye? Would he not have felt so alone when he died? Please don’t kill yourself with what ifs. You can not change the past. Most importantly your father wouldn’t want you torturing yourself. Easier said then done. This is where other members of The Dead Dads Club come in. They will help you through it.
When you lose your father you might be angry. Others will probably not understand this. But your sisters of  The Dead Dads Club will. They will listen to you rant and pull you back when they know it is enough. Your tribe will understand when you need to talk about your mothers pain absolutely breaking your heart. Without the support of these women, my sister especially I would never make it through. You will share an unbreakable bond.
No matter what age a girl/woman is, she is always daddy’s little girl. A girls father is a hero, strong beyond compare, her forever safe place, and is indestructible in her eyes. It is devastating when that is ripped away. When a girl loses her father it leaves a hole in her heart, that although might get better with time, will never go away completely. Welcome to The Dead Dads Club.
The Dead Dads Club

Until next time….

5 Things You Should Know About Your Mother

5 Things You Should Know About Your Mother

1. Mothers are HUMAN – it is unfair and unrealistic to assume mothers should not have flaws. I believe that we all want our parents to be these superhuman people, who are perfect. Reality they are human and trying to do their best.

2. Mothers have the best of intentions for their children – Are you sure you want to do that? You really need to quit smoking. And on and on it goes. Yet as annoying as it can be, we really need to take a step back from the situation. They are not trying to hurt us, and it hurts them deeply to watch their children in possible harms way.

3. They are a woman with a story – Our mothers had lives before us. They were not always just “our mom”. We all roll our eyes at our mothers and sometimes think they are uncool or don’t understand. My mother was the epitome of cool in her day. She saw Janice Joplin live, went on marches, hung out in the Village, and had some seriously hunky boyfriends. They were “cool” before us.

4. Mothers DO NOT get a day off – My older sister is 40. So my mother has not had a day off in 40 years. They don’t get to quit. Whether they are on their period or they have the flu mothers can’t just check out. Mothers are always their for their children, even when they are grown. They answer the phone in the middle of the night or talk to us for hours.

5. Your mother will be THE MOST loyal person in your life – No matter what you do or how badly you may have hurt her feelings, your mother will always be there for you.

Mother daughter relationships can definitely be complicated. There might be times when you drive each other crazy. But keep in mind your mother is human, she is not perfect, she has flaws. But, she LOVES you. We tend to take time for granted, when it comes to our mothers don’t. These 5 things you should know about your mother are better to realize before she is gone.

Why I Hate The Word Victim

The word victim portrays people as weak, people who were exploited. Yes, anyone who has lived through any type of abuse, sexual, physical, verbal, mental the list goes on were exploited. Yet, they LIVED. The word victim deceives people into thinking there was no strength there. This is why I hate the word victim.

Survivor. Warrior. Fierce. These are the words to be associated with people who have lived through the aforementioned abuses. People can sympathize with these survivors, but they cannot empathize. No one can understand the chilling fear that you can feel in your bones, except for another survivor.

I myself am a survivor of physical, mental, and verbal abuse. There are several women who are close to me who have survived the same abuse as I have, along with others who have survived other types of abuse. Not one of those women considers themselves victims. They all know that they are fierce warriors, survivors. Now I am not saying that survivors are strong immediately, it is a long, hard, heart wrenching road.

The word victim is associated with shame and a sense of embarrassment. We have nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. We survivors are proud and we are strong. What we have lived through has given us a strength that is hard to imagine possible. However, we have not allowed that strength to make us hard. Rather we have become empathetic.

Survivors do not want or need sympathy. Please do not pity us. The word victim correlates to sympathy and pity. Another reason I hate the word victim.

Why should survivors of abuse not be able to share their stories?  Who decided that women should not be able to hold their heads up high and say I survived, and became even better for it. Especially not to be allowed to help other women know that there is hope?

  I was blessed to have someone close to me when I left my abusive relationship, who was also a survivor. I do not know if I would have had the strength without her understanding and her sharing her story of survival with me.

How sad that in this world all of this shame, the stigma is placed with the “victim” and not the abuser. While the person who should be ashamed is the one who was so small and broken, that they had to crush another to feel powerful. That is the person who is weak, not the ones who survive. Hence this is why I hate the word victim.

Why I Hate The Word Victim

 

 

 

You Gotta Ibotta

You Gotta Ibotta

You Gotta Ibotta

Alright, who doesn’t like to go shopping? Online shopping? Even better. When it comes time to pay however we might not be so happy. So, what if I told you there was a way to make money just by shopping? No this is not a scheme or a joke. You gotta Ibotta!

When you download Ibotta using  https://ibotta.com/r/wmtindl 

or the code wmtindl you will automatically get $10! After redeeming $20 you can automatically transfer that money to your pay pal account. Then, you can transfer the money directly to your bank account all at no charge. You are already half way to your first redemption just by signing up!

So here are a few of my favorite stores to make money while shopping.

  • Amazon – Who thought Amazon could get any better? Now you can earn cash back on your Amazon purchases using Ibotta.

  • Ebay

  • Doordash! Yes, 10% back on your orders.

  • Walmart – Another store that we all shop at.

  • Publix

  • Albertsons

  • Whole Foods Market

  • Sams Club

  • Target

  • The Fresh Market

  • Sprouts Farmers Market

  • 1-800 Flowers – Making money while spending it on others? Awesome!

At any given time there are offers available at over 300 stores

Don’t forget to look at the bonuses. I have already earned $25 in bonuses alone. All you have to do is activate the offers you qualify for and scan your receipt by taking a picture of it or scanning the code at the bottom of the receipt. All online shopping you do through Ibotta tracks automatically. You don’t have to do a thing.

You Gotta Ibotta

Invite friends to join. When they do using your code not only do you get a bonus, but they become a part or your team. The bigger your team, the faster you earn. The more friends on your team, the easier it is to earn your Teamwork bonuses, each and every month.

No one has time for coupon cutting anymore. It doesn’t get any easier than this! Make money every time you shop. You gotta Ibotta!

Until next time…

Living with mental illness

Living With Mental Illness

     Mental health is such a broad topic. People are taught not to talk about having mental health issues. There is no shame in living with mental illness. I myself suffer from several mental health issues. Living with mental illness is manageable. You can still have a “normal” life living with mental illness.

My father passed away when I was 17, right at the beginning of my senior year. That is where my battle with depression first began. The anxiety and PTSD came later in life. Luckily when I began suffering from depression, my mother saw that I was in trouble and tried to get me help. I was young and very angry. Therapy is something I wouldn’t entertain, but did begin taking antidepressants.

Today, I am on antidepressants and anxiety medications. One of the best decisions I ever made was staying on these medications. That doesn’t mean that it was easy, or that I never went off of my medications. There were times trying new medications that I gained so much weight, I only got more depressed and angry.
During the times I went off of my medications, I was so tired, depressed, and just ugh that I literally couldn’t even get out of bed. Suffering from depression and at that point anxiety was always embarrassing to me. Going to therapy was humiliating. Thank God I’ve grown past that.

Maybe it was when I’m was not allowed to take my medications anymore that I realized how important they really are. My ex was extremely abusive and controlling. He bullied me into no longer taking my medications because “they made me weak and were unnecessary”. I stopped taking my medications.

After a long time being off my meds, I was so anxious I could peel my own skin off, so depressed I couldn’t think clearly, I decided I couldn’t live like that anymore.
Without my exes knowledge, I went to the doctor and got new prescriptions. My ex went through my purse when I was sleeping and found them. The next day he let me know he found them. He berated and embarrassed me. Then, the final blow, he told me he counted all of the pills. My ex allowed me to hold on to them, but I couldn’t take them. He would count them while I was sleeping. Little did I know at the time, he did this so he could keep me “off”. If he kept me not at my best mentally, I wouldn’t leave. This however is a story for another day.

I eventually left my ex. First stop was to a therapist.  Getting my prescriptions refilled was my next stop. Unfortunately, it was at this time that I was diagnosed with PTSD by my therapist. When a person lives in an abusive relationship, they are afraid to speak, laugh, or even breathe. Walking on constant eggshells like that is one of the causes of PTSD. Obviously, the screaming, fighting, and physical violence are also a big part. To this day if someone comes up behind me and startles me I can easily go into a panic. Loud fighting can put me over the edge.

It was at this point that the real work came. Medication is not a cure-all. Lifestyle is a huge part of keeping my depression and anxiety at bay. Exercising, sleep, and even diet play a part in staying healthy when living with mental illness.

My sister would walk with me every day. I began journaling weekly at least. Therapy was no longer something that I fought, I actually embraced it. There were numerous self-help books I read back to back. It was a long road, paved with heartache and tears.
But do you know what? It worked, I still struggle, but I am doing the best I ever have done. That is not to say that I do not still have bad days, believe me I do. When I have a bad day now, I am more equipped to handle it. On a day that I am depressed and anxious, I do not allow myself to stay in bed and feed my depression. I force myself to get up, go for a walk, and face the day. I fight falling back into depression.

Mental health issues are no longer as taboo. It shouldn’t be embarrassing. There are so many resources out there today. Living with mental health issues is not easy. It takes work and commitment. What worthwhile in life doesn’t though?

May is mental health awareness month. Mental health issues do not make anyone less of a person. Here is a list of things to know when living with mental illness.
1. You are not alone!
2. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, neither is talking about it.
3. Your illness does not define you, your strength does.
This link gives resources to find the help you might need. http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/resources

Until next time…