Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Feeling Free- From the Bonds of Bullying

My 17 year old son and I were having lunch today at Applebee's, while we waited for the car to have some repairs. I had asked him, "did you take your Lactaid?" (He keeps it in a pill fob on his key ring).  He smiled and said "Nope, I haven't had to take it for about three weeks".  I looked at him with a raised eyebrow and he knew I was going to ask why.  He responded by saying "Since I quit playing rugby, I've not had the gut wrenching pains after eating, no diarrhea, no nausea".  While this made me smile, that his immediate problem seems to have been taken care of, it made my heart hurt. 

For as long as I can remember, my son as been the target of bullying. He was a quiet, introverted little boy.  He often chose to play by himself, rather than with others.  He had different interests.  He was a nurturer and as a little one in play school, he was often found in the  play kitchen, holding the baby doll on his hip while cooking a meal on the pretend stove.  (He's going to be a kick-ass dad someday!)  This often led to teasing, even at this age! 

When my son was about six, he had his socks pulled up pretty high and had on a matching shorts and tank top outfit (thanks to me!).  This neighborhood child said, while I was at his side, "Hey!  Are you gay?", to which my son replied "Yes, yes I am!".  He didn't realize he was targeted as being different for having his socks pulled up and a matching outfit.  I told him, loud enough for the other child to hear, that being gay is not something that anyone should be teased about and if he is, I'm proud of him for knowing that at such a young age.  *smile*.  I then shot a look at the other child and reminded him that people can be different and still be awesome.  I know it was lost on him, but I had to say *something*. 

My son liked to grow his hair long.  It was something that caused a tremendous amount of teasing over the years.  One incident that still causes him pain was in 5th grade, when they had the "talk".  The boys were teasing and taunting and telling him he was in the wrong room, that he needed to go with the girls.  I told my son, look at all of these incredible, famous men, who have long hair.  (I named people who were popular musicians, athletes, and actors), but it didn't matter.  What mattered was what he was hearing every day in the halls, in the locker room, in the restroom at school. 

The tormenting and bullying got so bad that my straight A student started feeling ill every day.  He would be sick for weeks at a time.  He missed a ton of school.  He wanted to play a few sports, but the teasing continued, if not escalated, there.  He started cutting.  He said it was a way to release himself from the pain he felt inside.  He felt like he wanted to die.  No parent, EVER wants to hear that. 

Finally, we made the decision that home education was the best.  He didn't return for 6th grade, to public school.  He wanted to try cyber school for 7th grade and we did that for a couple of years, but for a number of reasons we returned to traditional home education (parent created curriculum) last year.  He also returned to sports, specifically rugby. 

I started attending his events.  I noticed he was always on the outside of the group.  I asked if he was ok, if he had friends.  I noticed some signs of depression.  I saw signs of tremendous anxiety.  We visited the doctor, then the psychiatrist.  He started medication.  The symptoms worsened.  I knew in my heart the bullying was starting up again. 

We went to a sporting event, out of town, and I witnessed, first hand, the horrible way he was treated by his peers.  I was PISSED OFF.  He and I talked about it and he wanted to finish out the season.  I told him I'd support that decision, but went to as many of his games as possible.  I wanted to be a barrier from these youth who were breaking his spirit.  Some said oh, kids will be kids.  He had to develop thick skin, he needed to grow up, etc.  I'm sorry.  This is uncalled for.  This is bullshit.  This isn't happening.  I'd advocate for anybody's child to not have to endure this. 

His anxiety worsened.  He was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  He was ill and couldn't make nearly every practice.  His school work suffered.  His depression worsened.  He lost his interest in EVERYTHING.  This beautiful child wanted to play again this year.  What the hell!?  I agreed, but told him if the bullying starts up again, that's IT.

He had a pretty decent summer.  Things were under control.  As soon as practice started in the fall, the symptoms all started coming back.  He then admitted to me, the bullying had started up again.  After school hours, before coaches arrive, the taunting, teasing, about the length of his hair, how pale he is, stupid things.  My child was growing his hair out, because he LIKED long hair, went and got a buzz cut.  He was BULLIED into getting his hair cut, just like that.  He was popping Lactaid like it was candy.  He needed Zantac.  He finally made the decision to stop.  This was the BEST decision he ever made. 

We are three weeks into this and he is happy again.  He hasn't needed a Lactaid.  He has attended numerous social functions. 

Please raise your boys to be the kind who hold doors for people.  Raise your boys to play in toy kitchens and carry babies on their hips.  Raise your boys to not tease another for how they look or if their hair is long or short.  Raise your boys to be respectful and appreciative of differences.  If we all looked and acted the same, the world would be a very boring place, wouldn't it? 

Let's take a stand against bullying.  Talk to your children about it.  My son could very well have completed suicide due to these situations.  We are fortunate that I was aware of what was going on and got him help.  If you are being bullied, get help.  If the first person you talk to won't help you, go to someone else.  This must be stopped. 

Keep our schools, neighborhoods, communities safe.  Thank you.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Getting Started- With Smile Brillant!

I love coffee, maybe a little too much!  I started looking for a tooth whitener kit a while back and opted for a whitening tooth paste.  Wow, my teeth are sensitive!  That didn't go so well!  Yes, my teeth are somewhat whiter than they were, but the pain isn't worth it!

I was asked if I would try the tooth whitening kit from Smile Brilliant and I thought oh noooo, this is going to HURT!  I found out that you can get a desensitizing gel with the kit!  Seriously!  I said ok, I will try it, but no guarantees I will like this!  I'm stubborn that way.  :)

I got my kit in the mail and it it collect dust for a good two weeks.  Why, you ask?  Oh, because you have to make your own impressions and I remembered back when I had my braces, I almost threw up!  GAG!  I didn't want to do that again!  I finally decided, the other day, to give it a go, knowing it was literally in my hands to take it out if I couldn't do it.

I mixed up the compound, put it in the tray and had a mini panic attack.  I then put it in my mouth and guess what!?  No gagging.  None.  Honest.  It wasn't bad, at all.

I then mixed up the 2nd tray and did my bottom teeth.  Easy.  Why did I think it was going to be so bad?

My trays went off in the handy postage paid envelope and I should have my personal, for me only, trays for the gel.  I will update you all and let you know how I like them, if they hurt and how white my teeth become!

I'm super excited!


* I received these products complimentary from Smile Brilliant to review*

I love new products, influenster and Mary Kay!

How's that for dusting off the ole blog? Yes, I'm a product junkie, any product or any kind, I will check it out and give an honest review right here, on my blog. I started reviewing products with influenster a while back, I'd say a few years now. I love it when I get full size products in the mail, to try! I've tried a variety of things. My current package has to be the most rewarding, though. My son has dealt with some acne for a while now. It clearly affects how he feels about himself. I'm sure you can remember back to when you were a teenager (and even now, as many adults still suffer from the pesky acne!) Well, influenster partnered with Mary Kay and sent us full size products of their Clearproof line to try! How awesome is that!? It's 4 full size products, a clarifying clensing gel, an acne treatment gel, an oil free moisturizer for acne prone skin and a blemish control toner.

"I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes."

I will report back and update you on how we like this product! ~Maggie

Friday, January 31, 2014

Fibromyalgia SUCKS

My fibromyalgia is a pain in the ASS. I hate it. I loathe it. I'd give anything to not have this monster of a disorder. I want to be able to get up in the morning and just run! I want to get up, fix my kids a real breakfast (not just cereal, or a breakfast bar) and feel human. I want to not have to rely on my son to comb my youngest child's hair, get her dressed and ready for school, on those iffy days. (there for a long time that was every single day! I have been looking back trying to figure out where I dropped the ball this time and I think it was a number of things. I think it started with this, I used a massage chair. It felt REALLY good, but I think it started my flare. Then, because of the flare, I started eating convenience foods, because it hurt too bad to cook. This led to not having a lot of cash (cost of convenience foods is higher than fresh) which led to a bout of serious depression (more pain, physically and mentally) which led to MORE convenience foods, which led to more pain. THEN to top it off, we had weird weather patterns, which always cause significant pain flares. Throughout it all I tried to continue to go to the gym. I noticed muscle fatigue and started switching things up, less weight, less reps, then I just took some time off. Among all of that, I ran out of my fibro medication. I was losing my shit and fast, at that point. The bottom went and fell out. My dearest, closest friends were noticing. I was moving slower, I was avoiding phone calls, I was extremely bitchy, the brain fog is horrible. All in a matter of 2-3 weeks. Shit hit the FAN. One email to my doctor, explaining I was losing my cool, my meds ran out, pain flare, etc. I am back on track. I have had 3 days now of 6 hours of sleep, not continuous, but still, 6 hours of sleep. I usually sleep 3-4 hours, then get up for a few hours, then sleep for 3-4 more. During this flare time I was averaging 2 each time. That's 4 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. Things will get better. I am still working toward my weight loss goals, eating healthy (yes, it does indeed help!), exercising as I am able, putting one foot in front of the other. Thank you for being there for me and having my back!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Powerocks Media Portable Charger- Review

If you are looking for a way to keep your phone charged while you are out running, playing with the kids, in meetings all day, or even having fun at an amusement park all day, look no further. I had the opportunity to try out this charger and I have to say, it is fabulous! Unfortunately, it did not arrive in time for the holidays, for me to do a holiday review (I can assume because of the UPS delays), but I'm able to present to you, this fabulous device. It is just awesome! It charges my phone quickly and it also works on other usb charged devices like my daughter's tablet and my kindle! If you would like one of your own, please visit Powerocksusa For a limited time you can save 20% by using the code Powerblog20. Thanks for reading!