I don’t even know what to say…

So it’s been months since I have posted on here or my other blog. But things are changing, and I have need to speak out. This is the one place I can post my thoughts for others to see, and none of my co-workers or friends have access to this page.

Work has been rough lately. With all the re-structuring, state re-licensing and all that, I have not had one peaceful thought for the last few weeks. In addition to this, I have said good-bye or am in the process of saying good bye to four friends.

Friend #1 is my ex. I had to say good bye because he couldn’t have a healthy relationship with his wife AND me at the same time. For God’s sake…he left me roses on Valentine’s day. What does that make me to him? His mistress? Then there is the “rape culture” factor. Not only did he take “no” as “yes” when I was drunk, he completely disregarded the fact that I could state when sober, “If I’m drunk and say ‘yes’ the answer is still ‘no.'” I was basically his sex toy for years in exchange for trinkets and movies and shit. Problem is I was so dumb to the whole fact that I never took into account that I was going through perpetual rape and reliving my actual rape from years previous by someone who took advantage of me while I was drunk. When I finally realized what was going on, I started avoiding calls and hanging out. I made rules and compared my ex to the guy who raped me while I was drunk and told him I was feeling the same way over and over again each time the occurrences happened. And then within the last week, I decided I was done with it. All of it. I sent one single text saying, “I can’t be friends with you any more. It’s time to end this.” I had tried to stop being friends before, because for a while he was as shitty as a friend as when he was my boyfriend. But I would always chew him out before I told him I wouldn’t be friends. This time, I offered no explanation and kept it to two sentences. Apparently he took me seriously (via mutual friend source), and I’ve been sticking to my guns on this one.

 

Friend #2 is a friend who decided to join the Army. Good on him. I mean it. But it doesn’t mean I have to be happy with his decision. The worst thing about it all is that I began developing feelings for him, and then I got a rude awakening with his announcement he was going to MEPS and was going to be shipped out right after. I had one week to cram in as much possible time with him as possible. And then I botched the whole, “I have feelings for you” speech I was so carefully rehearsing in my mind. I made up for it a couple days later. He didn’t say no. He just said, “let’s see what happens once I graduate from Basic and AIT.” Good news, he didn’t say no. Bad news….I have no idea what that is going to be yet.

 

Friend #3 is a friend I have worked with for years. Her mom passed away, and she went back home to Tennessee for the funeral and decided to stay there. She has SO much drama going on right now that I messaged her and let her know that with all my drama and all hers, that I had to unfollow her on FB for now until I could get my head on straight.

 

Friend #4 is best friends and old band mates with my ex. He is super special to me because we talk about anything and everything. He is the kind of friend that could look at me naked and keep on talking like I was wearing normal clothes because we just don’t turn each other on. He calls me his “nudicle” and vice versa. But he decided he was going to move to Nashville in August when his lease is up. Besides my Army friend, the thought of losing him is horrible.

Granted, I’ve been taking every opportunity lately to hang out with my female co-workers and invite them over or hang at their places. But the sadness is still there. I still mourn the fact I am losing friend after friend right now. I DON’T make friends easily, so when one moves further and further away, I continue to be at a loss.

It WILL get better though. I know that with having gotten rid of my friendly ex, I can finally look to the future. He had a bigger hold on me than I could possibly imagine. It will get better. All I need is a little time.

Friendly Inspiration 10.17.16

I always want to create but
don’t know what to say.
But the sound of your voice
throws all my fears away.

You would think we were lovers,
But in truth we’re just friends.
The kind who can be honest
Until the bitter end.

It’s the weirdest thing really…
The whole truth with no lies.
All black and white
With no gray to divide.

Together we can conquer
On SO many levels
But tonight I’m just happy
I have you by my side.

Years and miles part us
But one thing stays true.
We are artists, you and I
No matter how blue.

Hidden Artist 10.17.16

You gave without asking
Anything in return
Yet I want to give you
My world with no in between

I don’t mean my intimacy
But my creativity
Even though we ALL know
Creativity means being innocent.

It shows a level of trust
A kinship so pure
I don’t know where you’ve been.
But now? Now you are here.

I will keep your heart gladly
Til you can return to the one you love
You are my friend and my
Inspiration. I owe it all to you.

You brought that secret out of me
You didn’t even try.
But I will love and treat you as my muse
Because we are friends. You and I.

Puppet 11.02.16

I wrote this song for my friend Erin because he and the boys are getting their band back together. When my ex Phil and I were together, the two of them and our friend Cole all started as “The Angry Sparrows.” As an indie rock band, they were doing well. When Erin and his wife moved to Omaha, they maintained their musical relationship, but things began changing which prompted their new band name “Monarchs of Speed.” A couple years later, they decided to take a break, and now this year they are starting back up again. They are going back to their original roots and will henceforth be known as “Patron of Thieves.” This time, for them, it isn’t about getting big and famous. It is about doing what they love and sharing that joy with others. I couldn’t be more proud of them.

So now….here is MY song. I just hope that Erin is likes it enough to want to polish it up and turn it into a song.

 

PUPPET

I broke myself into smithereens
Because I failed to realize my own dreams
It’s not your fault, it’s mine
Because I can’t and won’t write lyrics so fine.

But honey, I’ve only just started
A hurricane force, a fury unthwarted
You don’t take “no” for an answer
But you’ll never make me your private dancer.

<CHORUS>
You want a puppet? Fine.
You have no place in a heart such as mine
There is always anger, so much hate
So much so I have no energy to berate.

When you ruin a hard won life
With so much passionate disrespect
It makes it hard to listen to your strife
Making it harder to re-connect.

My time with you is through
I couldn’t be more glad
And the more you push that issue
Gives me reason to finally be mad.

<CHORUS>
You want a puppet? Fine.
You have no place in a heart such as mine
There is always anger, so much hate
So much so I have no energy to berate.

I never wanted this to life to end
But to me you’re finally dead.
Treacherous lechery is not my style
Even though it’s been a very long while.

Don’t come begging at my door
For you…I am there no more.
Learn to reap what you sow
For only then will you begin to grow.

<CHORUS>Change up
You want a puppet? Fine.
You have no place in a heart such as mine.
There is always anger, so much hate
So much so I’m ready to berate.

You will always be my secret love
But it feels like sacrificing a dove.
One so harmless, one so weak
You threw me to wolves, me a timid sheep.

<CHORUS>
You want a puppet? Fine.
But you have no place in a heart like mine.
There is so much anger, so much hate.
I will disappear just to escape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upheaval and Response

I don’t even know where to begin with this because I have so many things on my mind. We are going through some major upheavals at work. Changes that managers are NOT happy about. I’m not thrilled about it either, but I see the necessity of it. My job is doing away with all management (team leads and asst team leads) due to the inconsistency, lack of communication, inability to work as a team, and animosity.

We have a new vice president at work, and through many conversations with the president/CEO, our therapists’ director, and all the management team, this is what she has come up with. While it is DEFINITELY a huge pill to swallow and hurts on many levels considering I JUST GOT this position four months ago after working three years to get where I am now, I see the necessity of it.

Unlike my fellow managers, I think I am the only one who sees how horribly this must be affecting our new vice president. I am LOYAL to my company. If it requires me to step down, then I will. But I will not EVER defame my workplace and the decisions made by the higher ups. As house managers and assistant managers, we don’t always get to see the whole picture. I feel horrible that our new VP had to make this call, even though there seem to be many things people have questions about. I am not going to complain about it. I am going to continue doing my job to the best of my ability no matter what function they have me doing. I can guarantee that while people won’t say things to her face, there is so, so much hatred and resentment being thrown towards her. But it was necessary. You have to burn the field in order to allow it to grow anew and healthily.

After receiving the news, considering how well staffed we were, I asked HR if I could take a mental day to process everything. I went home and started creating some amazing pieces of art. And while doing so, it allowed me to think about what our new VP must being going through. So I sent her a text (she didn’t have my number in her phone at the time) and this is what I said to her….

“Amanda, I just wanted to thank you for giving us this news in person. I know you have given it a lot of thought, had countless discussions with everyone and listened to what we said. While this has been hard for all of us to process, I believe you and everyone involved have made the best possible decision for the well being of Lakemary.

I am loyal to Lakemary. I refuse to quit and give up even thought this news was unexpected. I will do my best and more to uphold to Lakemary values and look forward to the positive changes that will be made.

Thank you again for listening to all of us. I know it can’t have been an easy decision to make. You handled it with diplomacy, kindness, and honor. Thank you.”

Shortly after that, she called me. The VICE PRESIDENT of my company called me to talk to me personally. And I must have made one hell of an impression because my previous supervisor pulled me aside today and said that Amanda called him after our talk and said that she had stated we had an amazing conversation and she had a much better feel for the type of person I truly am, and that I impressed her.

I am never one to brag. Not really ever. I might toot my horn once in a while, but it is honestly in good fun. I will take credit for my ideas, but I will also be honest and admit any of my wrong doing. I do my best every day to take care of the kiddos we serve. If that means I have to step down and be a lowly BHT once again, I will do it with pride. I am very good at what I do. I will not let this detract from that. I will do everything every day that I need to. I won’t be sorry for it. I won’t let my job bring me down. I won’t let others bring me down. I will be me. I will love the kids and help them. I will follow our values and mission statement.

My mom wants so badly for me to leave the area because of all the bad memories and my ex being in the same small town. But I won’t leave. I have established my life. I am not my mom. I am able to learn and RELISH learning new things. I have HOPE. I won’t let ANYONE take that away, and I won’t give people permission to detract from the amazing person I am.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work Vent

It is nights like these that make me want to post a very public and very unprofessional post on Facebook. I am trying to be mature in this situation although my furious mind and heart are screaming I defend myself publicly and call out everyone who treat my back like a voicemail.

To make a long story someone shorter, I have been in my new asst mgr role for almost four months now. It seriously doesn’t feel that long, but it has been. The days go by in a blur most of the time. However, when it was announced I got the asst mgr job, the whole house I was assigned to was in an uproar. Everyone else (employees who had less seniority and on their final written disciplinary) felt they did more for the company, put in more time, and deserved it more than I. It wasn’t just petty jealousy but everything else mixed in to the point it was downright hatred and everyone threatening to quit or move their schedule around so they didn’t have to work with me.

My new direct supervisor, fellow asst mgr and I all knew going into this that there would be a sort of mutiny with me getting the position. And there was…but NONE of it is to my face. I did have one employee start trying to argue with me today about company policy. I stopped it pretty quickly by apologizing for the way things were set up but that what was happening was incorrect, so I set about fixing it myself as it was apparent if I left she would keep doing what was wrong because she didn’t want to deal with the repercussions.

We work with kids. We have a very specific set of rules and guidelines which are non negotiable set in place for the kids’ and staff’s safety. When these rules aren’t followed, especially the ones pertaining to safety, then yes, there will be repercussions. And then add the fact several employees have up and decided not to do their documentation for several days because they are too lazy? That is a non compliance issue. I very major state non compliance issue.

Fortunately I DO have a direct supervisor I can inform of these issues. If they refuse to listen to me, then they will listen to her.

And then I find out more stuff about myself. I found out I am lazy and stay in the office all day according to one of my employees. The one I corrected today posted on FB “I miss when my job was about the kids.” Um…it still is…you just don’t want to do anything to interact with them and would rather let the TV be your babysitter which is a big no-no.

I also found out my fellow asst mgr is telling our new hires that I’m lazy, hog the office all the time which puts her in census every day. THAT…well that is what almost made me burst into tears. I have been busting my ass for almost FOUR months to get all this back paperwork completed and back on track. Paperwork that we are responsible for. She started tracking employees paperwork right around the time I got the position and then she stopped doing it altogether. I myself am generally in census 3 out of 4 shifts every week, and I don’t complain about it. I get my manager paperwork done even if it means coming in early or staying late. I stay late with a lot of the employees because to me it isn’t right they are stuck there doing paperwork and I get to go home. I come to work and work my 13 hour shift on Sundays while she gets PTO on almost every weekend which leaves the house unsupported. I do my asst mgr paperwork, make sure documentation is complete, make sure our books are up to date with the most current information for the kids, read all write up documentation about the kids (she has done NONE of this in months). Last week, I even asked her if she could go through and do the approvals to get stuff out of the queue and she straight up told me she didn’t feel like doing it. WHAT. THE. FUCK.

I am done with bullshit and fuckery. They can all kiss my fucking ass. They want to call me a Nazi? Well, I can show them what it is really like for me to be a Nazi. I bend over backwards to make myself available, be supportive and help in any way I can. They want to accuse me of being lazy? I can show them what lazy really is…if they really want it (actually no I can’t, because I would feel horrible guilt for doing so. It just felt nice to be able to say that.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lead Sibling Toast (Wedding Toast)

So…my brother and future sister-in-law decided to do away with the traditional maid of honor/best man toast at their wedding reception  and decided on a “lead sibling” toast instead for each of them….

D: M– and I were talking and we were hoping, instead of the best man and maid of honor speech, we want a lead sibling to speak in our honour.
D: I want you to be my lead sibling.
ME: Wow…I’m speechless, D. That is a huge honor and I would love to.

It’s now been about six hours, and I am freaking out. I want so badly to be able to do them proud. I want there to be humor (and I’m not very funny…just to me, apparently…), but I want to convey that emotion without being overly sappy.

So I am going to begin the speech here, and I welcome any feedback any readers have to give. I want to be able to retain my own voice but show the humor in the situations that I am so horrible about.

 

My brother David is one of the most amazing men I have the privilege of knowing. I am blessed beyond all imagining to have him as my brother.

Growing up, our childhood years were magic. We went from playing Barbies and Legos (we always put the two together, and he was always the “butler” when playing Barbies because it was more manly) and we built houses together. When our younger sister Delaney thought her broom handle was a gun, it lead to a new era of hunting stuffed animals (well…that and Kyam creating guns out of crackers and going “pew, pew, pew”). Then we were pioneers in the wilderness of our quarter acre backyard creating homes out of leaves which we raked up and created outlines for our amazing houses.

The memories that have been shared by all our siblings…well, they are special.

There are memories of taking our family’s dog Chin Chin and pretending she was the grandma, with a blanket and spectacles, telling stories and waving the poor dog’s legs around. Then there was David carrying Ky on his own back to safety in the middle of what they thought was an asthma attack. And many memories of family camping excursions and zoo escapades.

I have watched him grow. Literally. But beyond that… I watched him go from Pokémon nerd to Yu-Gi-Oh nerd to theatre techie and beyond. He had surpassed all expectations but for one thing. My little brother stayed single throughout high school. Then he went to Webster University where he met Myra.

I, personally, was so excited to learn he had a girlfriend. A real, honest to goodness, in the flesh girlfriend. I knew he always wanted one growing up. With me being the realist I am, I figured he and Myra weren’t going to be together for long, because college relationships just didn’t stick. I should have known so much better. David would never talk of a girlfriend unless it was actually serious.

Then we met Myra. Our family has always been the touchy-feely type, and Myra allowed our many hugs and was supremely gracious about our quirky family habits. Point in her favor. Holiday after holiday and special occasion, she has been there. What sealed the deal though, was something mom shared with me. She told me how David and Myra were walking to the library and were swiping each other with their lanyards on their way there. Most of us know it takes a lot to stay so playful after years of being in a relationship. But they have it.

Despite the many life obstacles with school and moving halfway across the country, David and Myra are together today having made their marital vows. I couldn’t be prouder of the both of them. They work constantly. They know each others’ habits. They work together so much, and have an open line of communication. They have a relationship for many to envy, to be inspired by, to be guided by.

With the greatest pride, and with the most hearty blessings, I encourage you to salute them and give them your own blessings in return. They deserve our blessing and encouragement towards their next greatest adventure as man and wife. David, I am so incredibly proud to have you as my brother, and Myra, I welcome and bless you to our family of many. May the love, strength and dedication you have for each other spread to everyone in this room. I love you both.