This is my badge of honor

This is my badge of honor, not my badge of shame like some people may see it. Though, I still hesitate to post it because the lady at the grocery store check out the other day asked me if I wanted to try a cookie and I declined with a “no thank you because I’m nursing my dairy and egg allergic daughter.” She asked how old she was and I blushed “3”. The look of shock on her face said it all. It always does. But, let me tell you, I was fortunate to get to nurse my daughter at all, for so long, and for still getting to. We struggled so much at first with her tiny mouth on her 5 pound premature body and she has a condition called FPIES (food protein induced enterocolitis syndrome) and she would not have been able to tolerate most formulas and IF she would have been able to take one it would have bankrupted us, as it has so many other FPIES families. I have sacrificed my diet and my social life for 3 years now to ensure her health and I take no shame in it whatsoever. “How do you do it?” they ask. You do. You do as you know you can and have to for the sake of your baby and I do it because I know there are many magnificent mommies out there who couldn’t. I do it because this is my life and my child and right now it’s what works best for US. Cheers to all the moms out there doing what’s best for them and theirs 🍻

This is my badge of honor

The Fear of Sharing my Essential Oils Story


I first told myself I needed to write this post back in May, so this is a long time coming. Not just because I love oils, or because they have changed my life in so many positive ways, but because I’m absolutely terrified to share my story. And, well.. This is mostly a blog about overcoming my fears. So, here goes. 

First, let me tell you why I’m afraid to share my story. Because I know people are judging. I’m scared of being judged. I like people to like me, or at least not dislike me. I know it can be questionable when you hear of someone using alternative means of medicine, or alternative means of anything conventional, for that matter. Some people think that we ONLY use natural methods and forgo all forms of science and scientific evidence or logic. That we willy nilly throw oils on anything and everything. And yes, those people do exist, but I’m here to tell you that is not all of us. I’ve always been a little on the hippie side and that’s not always come off as a good thing to all people, but it’s just kind of who I am and who I have always been. I love my Birkenstocks, people. But, I’m also a researcher. It’s easy to take whatever a medical professional says literally until those medical professionals fail you. That’s when I started questioning everything and doing a bit of my own medical research. This came with age and experience, but I don’t jump in head first into anything anymore and you’re about to find out why. 

I started to get very sick in my adult age. Actually, it sort of started around 16 and then increasingly got worse after I had hip surgery at 18 that resulted in a blood transfusion, which I would later find out suppressed my immune system. Topping out around 25 when I was in the hospital on NINE medications, unable to feel my hands and feet, draped over a hospital bed, getting a spinal tap at midnight from a doctor who had been awake for over 48 hours. I was panicked. I had no family in the area and I thought my body was giving up on me. I felt like I had no say in what was happening to me. 

After the spinal tap was over and the doctor left without a word. I waited for hours to be released. They couldn’t find anything wrong. NOTHING. They think it may have been a reaction to one of the nine medications I was on, but it wasn’t any big deal they said and I was told I could keep taking this medication if I wanted it to help me sleep.. Which by the way, was not at all what it was prescribed to me for. So, I was sent home without any instructions and ended up with a week long debilitating spinal headache. That was MY moment. My sudden AHA realization that these medicines were what was killing my body. How did I get here?! I was more sick then, from the medicines that were trying to cure (or at least hide) the illnesses that started it all. I needed to make a change MYSELF, because a doctor wasn’t going to help me. I went home and started to read and read and read. I stopped all the medicine. I started to heal myself with food. I started to remove all toxins, all chemicals from my life. I was no longer willing to take what was thrown at me haphazardly. I was ready to heal. 

Now, you may be thinking haphazardly?! But, these are doctors. Who have gone through medical school. Who have taken an oath. Who care and heal and make good practice with their patients. Maybe some. Or l can even say most, if I’m being generous, but that is not my experience. Rarely could I ever get a doctor to REALLY listen to me. Even in more recent years I brought in a list of issues to my doctor and asked if we could do some tests to find out the reasons behind the issues. He told me it wouldn’t be worth it and offered me several medications. I refused and he continued to push. I finally said “listen, I don’t want any medications. I just want to know what is wrong.” He responded with “You don’t even want something for sleep? Are you sure?” I left feeling defeated. Turns out those symptoms were there because I have hypothyroidism and yes I needed a (different) doctor to diagnose this. I have since learned to trust my own instincts and ask a lot of questions. I am the ultimate skeptic.

Hypothyroidism would be one of two diseases I would be diagnosed with over the years. The other being stage 4 endometriosis. These are diseases that can be exacerbated by or even caused by: stress, environmental toxins, artificial sweeteners, hormone disruptions, smoking, poor immune health, poor diet (especially increased estrogen intake from things like dairy, meat, and soy), and that’s just to name a few. I have read and continue to read everything I can on these two diseases and it has been clear to me that I need to rid my body of chemical toxins. This includes my environment since skin is the largest human organ and can absorb almost anything. I need to regulate my hormones. I need to de-stress. These would be my goals now and for the rest of my life. 

I really started to make vast improvements in my health in my late twenties. I had gone through elimination diets and figured out which foods triggered some of my severe symptoms. I was eating the most healthy I ever had in my life. I threw away all of the chemicals under my sink, in my medicine cabinet, I changed laundry detergent and threw dryer sheets to the wind. For several years I hardly used anything at all to even clean. I was too scared to. Any time my body came in contact with a chemical of any form, it sent my health spiraling out of control and would take me ages to get it back to OKAY. 

My first introduction to oils was when I went into labor at 35 weeks into my pregnancy. My water broke at 2am and I was immediately ill. Violently ill. Within 30 minutes, I was at the hospital, dialated to 5cm with my doula at my side waving peppermint oil in my face to stop my nausea. It was working. I do not remember much from my 18 hours of labor, which included 8 hours of on and off pushing and an epidural at 10cm to get my baby’s head around the bolt in my hip from a previous surgery. But, I clearly remember that wonderful smell of peppermint oil. I didn’t give oils another thought for sometime after this because I was busy with a sick, premature baby.

I then started to dabble in becoming a minimalist. Clutter was always a mind block for me and there was no sense in having a bunch of things around that made me sick. I still try to stick with this lifestyle, but there were a few things in my life I felt like I needed and/or wanted. Things such as, face wash. I had now been washing my face with vegetable glycerin soap for YEARS. Too terrified to put anything else on it because of what consequences could come. I decided to try a few different things last year because the vegetable glycerin no longer seemed like enough. I wanted a glow! I chose naturally based products and havoc broke loose on my face. I was shocked, but should have also known better because these products included “fragrance” as an ingredient. According to FDA.gov “FDA requires the list of ingredients under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act(FPLA). This law is not allowed to be used to force a company to tell “trade secrets.” Fragrance and flavor formulas are complex mixtures of many different natural and synthetic chemical ingredients, and they are the kinds of cosmetic components that are most likely to be “trade secrets.” So, I was potentially putting synthetic chemicals on my FACE. No thank you. 

Cleaning products were huge on this list also. I have tried just about every “green” cleaning product available to the market. Most of these are just as bad or just slightly less than their conventional counterparts. I tried making my own with all of my Pinterest finds and they were not making the cut. Then, I started my own cleaning business when I couldn’t find a cleaning company to clean my new home without chemicals (unless I paid a very steep price). I started out using Method products. We had been using these at home for some time. They seemed to work well, but we didn’t use them too often because they still had a bit of an overwhelming smell. When I started cleaning client’s houses with them, I would cough endlessly. I felt as if someone was siphoning the air from my lungs. Then, a client introduced me to Thieves household cleaner. At this point I had already tried out some more oils and settled on Young Living because of their Seed to Seal guarantee. That way I always knew for certain what I was getting was pure. I had to know where products came from to make sure I was getting what I was told I was getting (remember, biggest skeptic). I was using and loving the Young Living oils to make my home smell good, but the cleaner changed everything for me. I could clean (and clean really well) and feel perfectly healthy afterwards. This is when I truly fell in love with Young Living.

I finally found a company that made products I could use. Not only could I use them, but I could feel good after using them. The ingredients were simple. Oils are one ingredient. Blends, may be a few of those simple ingredients, and their other products also don’t have hidden synthetic chemicals inside. Now, when I have something going on in my home; perhaps a bug bite, or a stain on the carpet, a pimple, or a scraped knee, I don’t go for a bottle of whatever I used to use because Lord only knows all that’s in them. I go for simple. I have a reference book, an app, and a well educated community to help guide me in times when I’m uncertain. And that feels great. 

I spent every single year of my teenage and adult life being sick for weeks and weeks on end. After I started cleaning regularly with Thieves, diffusing it, and using other Young Living products, I went through last cold and flu season without even getting a cold. Colds used to last me 6 weeks! I had my first full year of my adult life without an emergency room visit for my failing immune system. 

I feel good! 

So, there it is. This is a lifestyle change for me that has brought on a lot of positivity and I welcome all to share their journey here with me. Please introduce yourself and tell me how you found oils and how they have changed your life or ways you would like for them to help you. Thanks!! 

Sending love,

Jen

The Fear of Sharing my Essential Oils Story

Feeling Super Human

Lately I have felt especially super human. No, not superhuman, but super duper human. Mistakes galore. Give me a little breathing room, please. I am making mistake after mistake and being oh so forgetful. I’m never a forgetful person! How dare my mind do this to me. It’s little things, things I just can’t imagine that my mind skipped over, but alas, I AM human. Superbly so, apparently. I know in years past I may have fooled a few or myself by doing a lot at once, always remembering everything there is to remember and being at the top of my game. But now it’s time to take a step back and be ok with making a mistake here or there and I ask for grace. As I work my way through this year of facing fears I have to remember how many obstacles I have already over come. How fulfilled I have let myself be. I am not choosing to take this step back, but my body and mind are asking for it in a manner of force. They are telling me that it’s time to slow down a bit. It’s time to realize that I can do it all and I have done it all and it’s now ok to sit back and breathe and let someone else take over, if only for a moment. Or to take a deep breath and ask for forgiveness in my moments of feeling incomplete, not quite enough, or inadequate. It’s ok to forgive myself instead of think on my shortcomings for days on end. I give my mind permission to let go. I am super human and sometimes superhuman and today I am letting myself know that is perfectly ok. I am going to slow down and breathe in, rub some of my favorite Ortho Ease massage oil on my aching hips and shoulders, and remember that I do not fancy the life of always being busy. I’m going to cuddle my daughter and smell her hair and forgive myself for getting frustrated with her because she’s scared of her new bed. I will pray for peace of heart and peace of mind, as I do every day. 

Feeling Super Human

All the things that are impossible

All my life I have been told about the impossible. 

“It is impossible for you to get pregnant with endometriosis.” Well, the road here wasn’t easy, but I have my biological kid now! So, take that impossibility! 

“It is impossible for your baby to sleep through the night.” This is one of my favorites. All of the “Welcome to parenthood! Where you’ll never get a full night of sleep again! Hahaha!” comments that I endured sure scared me before, during, and after pregnancy. The scariest point was from a week old to 6 months old, when my daughter literally didn’t sleep for more than 30 minutes at a time. I thought it was going to be my life forever and those not so encouraging comments just drove that home in my mind. But, I am here to tell you that I conquered the impossible, again. My 2.5 year old sleeps 12-13 hours a night! She has been doing this for over a YEAR! Isn’t that crazy?! Thank goodness that impossibility ended up not being true. 

Another impossibility that I conquered was bicep tendonitis. It may seem trivial to some, but boy was that brutal. One morning I woke up and my shoulder just didn’t work. It was excruciatingly painful. I could lift it a few inches, but once I got to my chest, it just stopped. Wouldn’t budge. It was extremely scary. I headed to urgent care where I had a X-ray to determine no major issues were going on and discovered I had bicep tendonitis. The most likely culprit was picking up my toddler. I was given a steroid injection, which immediately worked its magic and felt like a miracle. I was told to ice like crazy and not use my arm for 2-3 days. They gave me a sling. They must have not heard me say that I have a toddler. A sling, with a toddler, lol. I had it re-checked a week later and it was healing, but unless I stopped picking up my toddler it wasn’t going to go away. I got really good at the one arm pickup, but then the other shoulder started to ache. I saw my general practitioner who basically told me I would have this until I completely stopped picking up my own kid. Well, I still have quite a few more years of that ahead and I also clean for a living, so my arm is in constant use. This went on for months. With some determination and a whole lot of ice packs, I have gotten rid of the pain and inflammation of bicep tendonitis! Sure, it could come back at some point, but for now I’m calling it an impossibility win. 

Owning my own business. Others have said it, but this one mostly came from myself. I fear success more than anything else in the world. Why? I wish I knew! But, I am ecstatic to report that my business was not only started all by myself, but it is thriving! I’m even considering hiring someone to help me. 

   

There will always be the naysayers. Let those people drive you. They are only projecting what they feel true of themselves, onto you. 

Tell me what is impossible and I’ll show you what is possible. 

All the things that are impossible

Friends will show their true colors in times of adversity.

All my life I’ve faced adversity.

When I was 23 years old I left a 7 year abusive relationship. My ex sent out a letter with his version of events of not only our relationship, but basically of my life.. to everyone I knew. From my grandmother, aunts, uncles, to all of MY friends. Just about everyone who got that letter who I considered a friend, never talked to me again. They never called me and asked me what happened. They didn’t ask me if I was ok or if I needed help. I lived on a coworkers couch for 3 weeks until I saved up enough money to get a cockroach infested apartment with another coworker. These people I called my best friends for years still don’t talk to me. And it still kind of hurts even ten years later when I’m completely comfortable with the decision I made to secretly leave and can firmly say that he was a pathological liar. 

I went through a similar situation just a few years ago around the time my daughter was born. One person I called a dear friend who felt I wronged them in a decision I had made for myself and didn’t involve them (and shouldn’t have involved them) went on a rampage of telling people never to talk to me again. Two people wrote me hateful emails. Many removed me from their lives. Not a single one ever asked me my side of the story. No one ever got to hear how I was used as a scape goat and how I was treated. 

I’m wiser now. And though it still stings just a little, I know that this was all part of the plan to show me who I didn’t need in my life. Sometimes we wish for certain people to be there for us in our times of need and we feel so alone when those people aren’t there, but those voids will be filled with people who WANT to be there. It was also a lesson to listen to my instincts. That nagging feeling you get when something isn’t quite right, but you try to push through it over and over. That feeling is there for a reason. It’s a reminder to take a step back and analyze the situation before it gets out of hand. 

Friends will show their true colors in times of adversity. 

  

Friends will show their true colors in times of adversity.

Being a woman.

Today I want to talk about being a woman and what that can entail. I hope you read all the way to the end (whether you’re a male or female) because this is a topic that we often don’t allow young girls to talk about and then they feel left behind in society, like I did and sometimes still do. This is a very important story of a large aspect of my life. I want to break through the taboo topic of menstruation, so that if something is out of “the norm” a girl will know, instead of assuming everyone goes through the same thing. 

I started menstruating when I was 12. I was lucky to be well educated on the matter thanks to the school system I was in and my mom allowing me to be a part of health education starting at the age of 9. When I got my period, I was at a friend’s house. I ransacked her bathroom cupboard, figured out how to use a pad, told her I needed to go home early, then walked home. I told my mom what happened and she stocked me up on supplies. I bled heavily. I was uncomfortable. It lasted 8-10 days every time. 

When I was 16 I had a searing stabbing pain in my lower right abdomen. It was so painful that I was unable to stand up straight or walk. I had an abdominal ultrasound. I had a cyst. I was prescribed low dosage birth control pills and told it would make the cyst shrink. I asked no questions. I was told nothing else. No other options. I was not asked about how I felt. I did not have any sort of exam. I took the pills.

Over the next several years I was on and off birth control pills to control the pain. The best way I can describe this pain is worse than giving birth. And yes, I have done that, so I can compare. I would get sweaty and so hot that I would feel like I was going to pass out. The room would spin. I couldn’t stop my body from curling into a ball because my abdominal muscles were contracting so hard. I would vomit from the magnitude of the pain. I laid on a lot of bathroom floors, because the tiles were cold and would help ever so slightly to cool me down. Because that would keep me close to the toilet. I would hold onto the walls to try and keep me upright while on the toilet. I would slip in and out of consciousness. 

When I was in school I was told cramps were normal and to get on with my day. Take Midol! Midol couldn’t touch my pain. I ate Advil like it was candy. I was still in unbearable pain. I learned to hide what I was going through. I learned to cancel plans. The real pain came when I was of college age. During these years I lived with roommates and a boyfriend and I would hide away in the bathroom during these terrible fits of pain. Sometimes for days. How could this be normal? I was shamed by my boyfriend and his mother when I had frequent yeast infections. I must be promiscuous! I was a slut! You only get yeast infections from having sex with multiple people! I was heart broken. I was sick and confused. 

I went through this increasing pain for many many years. I lost majority of my twenties to it. I had trouble staying in college. I had trouble keeping jobs. There was never enough sick time to cover my sick days. When I was 25 I left being a waitress (which gave me flexibility) so I could start a career and have health insurance. While in the training of this job I became increasingly ill. I ended up in the ER. I was put on a “final written warning” at my job because you weren’t allowed to miss one day of training. This meant that if I missed one more hour of time that I would be terminated. I was ridiculed by a female coworker saying I should know better than to miss a day. I should have expected the warning because those were the rules and it didn’t matter that I was in the emergency room. Another coworker overheard and later pulled me aside. She asked me if I had ever heard of endometriosis. It was an entirely new word to me. She said her mom had it and what I was describing sounded a lot like it. I researched it when I got home (and I recommend you do the same now, but here is a short description from endometriosis.org: “Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (the endometrial stroma and glands, which should only be located inside the uterus) is found elsewhere in the body.”) It had to be the answer. All of the symptoms were dead on. I made an appointment with a gynecologist. 

This gynecologist listened to me for a bit and before I could even mention endometriosis, she did. She pulled out a large book to show me what it was and could look like. She said it sounded like what I had. I agreed. She said the only way to know for sure was to do a laparoscopic surgery. She didn’t think it was really necessary at this time. I was prescribed more birth control and pain pills. I was offered Vicodin and Hydrocodone. I was told the pain is hard to manage. I declined and asked for a non-narcotic pain reliever. Narcotics basically knock me out to not have to deal with the pain, but I needed to work, so I could eat, so I could have health insurance, so I could survive. I ultimately was given Toradol for pain and Zofran and Phenergan for nausea and vomiting. 

Since a lot of my symptoms also revolved around my bowels and vomiting, the gynecologist sent me to a Gastroenterologist (GI). I had to undergo an endoscopy and colonoscopy. I ended up on 9 medications total. I was becoming sicker and sicker. I was down to a size 2. I ended up back in the ER getting a spinal tap because I lost the feeling in my hands and feet. The ER Doctor believes I had a reaction to one of the medications I was placed on by the GI. The worst part was when the ER Doctor told me I could continue to take it if I wanted, because it may help me sleep. This was a turning point for me. I realized that the doctors were not looking out for my best interest. I went home and started to research. I completely changed my diet and took myself off of all my medication. I slowly started to get better. 

During this trying time, I met my husband. I maintained my health for several years with diet and exercise, but I was still sick. I was completely non-functional for 2-3 days a month. It was difficult to hang onto my career, but I did. Then my husband and I decided we wanted to have a child. I took myself off birth control pills, which managed the majority of my pain. I became very sick and was in severe pain around my periods and randomly throughout other times during the months. We weren’t getting pregnant. 

It all becomes a jumbled mess in my mind sometime around this point, but I saw my gynecologist and she referred us to a fertility clinic. After going through some testing there they said they needed to check if my Fallopian tubes were open. I am allergic to iodine, so the typical method couldn’t be used. I went back to my gynecologist and we talked about the laparoscopic surgery. She said they could check my tubes that way and at the same time check for endometriosis. Around this time she was retiring from performing surgery and referred me to her partner who would be my surgeon. 

I had a transvaginal ultrasound. I had many of these done over the years and they are awful. Painful, embarrassing, uncomfortable. Then my husband and I met the surgeon. I remember this day very clearly. We sat in a small room. I on the exam table. My husband in a nearby chair. The surgeon was an older man with white hair that formed a ring around his head. He was bald in the center and had glasses and a mustache. He told me that the ultrasound showed a lot of darkness around my right ovary and that it was most likely endometriosis. He said that it was so massive and major that once they got in there, they would most likely have to remove the ovary. I felt dizzy. I started to get hot. I saw stars. The room started to go black. He was still talking, but I could no longer hear what he was saying. It was muffled. I put my head down. I asked him to please stop talking. 

After that appointment I Googled the hell out of removing an ovary. Ovaries do a lot more than just hold onto your eggs and release them. They control hormones, your mood, your bone density. I was terrified. I didn’t want a piece of me removed. It felt so wrong. I called my gynecologist and left her a frantic message. My husband and I decided to go out to dinner to try and relax and put the day behind us. My phone rang in the parking lot before we went into the restaurant. It was my gynecologist. I probably started to cry during that conversation. I can’t remember exactly, but I basically pleaded for my ovary. I was so scared that the surgeon would take it out without my permission. She assured me that it was not necessary to take it out and if I said no to having it done, then he couldn’t do it. Basically, it would be easier for him to remove the ovary and the mass of endometriosis around it, rather than try to delicately remove just the endometriosis and leave my ovary intact. It was a very reassuring conversation, but I was still so scared.

Surgery day came and everything went fine. It was a horrific night at home as the gas they filled my body with to perform the procedure rose in me and caused excruciating pain in my back and shoulders. My husband was on the verge of calling an ambulance, but I made it through that night at home. I was out of work for weeks and weeks unable to stand up straight. I had three incisions. My stomach was black from the bruising. At my follow up appointment with the surgeon he tried to show me pictures and I refused to look. I do not want to know what my insides look like. He was astonished at the severity of my endometriosis. Categorized as stage 4. My right ovary was totally engulfed and “glued” to my pelvic wall. My bowels were completely entangled in endometriosis. My Fallopian tubes were also engulfed. He removed every bit that he possibly could, cleared out my Fallopian tubes, and put my right ovary back in its rightful place. I was told if I wanted to get pregnant, I should do it soon. Within the next few months, as endometriosis comes back. It will be a never ending battle. 

We went on another long journey after this with the fertility clinic. I had to quit my career. I would have never gotten pregnant without the surgery. During fertility treatments my right ovary was the only one to ovulate. My daughter would not be here if I hadn’t stuck up for myself and listened to my heart and gut and let the surgeon take the easy way out and take my ovary. 

We as women need to be our own advocates with our health. So much is still unknown. Endometriosis has no known cause and no known cure. The earlier it is detected, the earlier symptoms can be managed. There are several ground breaking endometriosis surgeons in the United States that are taking great strides to completely remove endometriosis through revolutionary surgeries. One day I dream of seeing one in Atlanta Georgia, but until then I hope I can help to give at least one little girl a voice. I hope I can help just one girl to be able to recognize if something isn’t right with her body and be able to have the courage to talk to others. To compare how she is feeling with how other girls are feeling. To talk to someone who can get her help. To let her know she is not alone. She is loved and she doesn’t have to hide away in the bathroom in pain. And I ask that if you are a woman, that you talk to others about your body and what is happening with it. And if you are a man, I ask that you listen. I ask that you make it acceptable for women to talk about their bodies and what is happening to them. Lead by example and let all the little girls in the world know that it is ok to speak out about whatever is going on with them. 

IMG_2084With love,

Your Endo Sister

Being a woman.

United Against Bullying

#unityday2015

I’m sorry if your opinion of me was influenced by others and I didn’t step in to stick up for myself. I have mentioned that I have a major fear of offending people. This often gets me left behind in life. I have been bullied for many many years and it has made it difficult for me to stand up for myself. I often try to keep people close to me by not letting them know when they offend me, out of fear of offending them. So far this hasn’t worked out in my favor, but I have taken notice now and I am working on fixing this within myself. I also have far too good of a memory. I remember all the details of the most unpleasant moments in life. 

Memories of my childhood begin when I was just 3 years old. I can remember being upset in nursery school with one of my friends. We had round tables that were surrounded by chairs and I pulled out a chair so I could hide under the table. I clearly remember making snacks in the kitchen of the church with my mom. I remember the day we made pictures to turn into plastic plates. My Gran sat across from me showing me how to write my name. I saw it upside down and made the J upside down just as it was. I remember bouncing a ball on the parachute outside after class. 

My first memories of bullying started in the first grade. We moved from urban lower middle class Detroit to a wealthy suburb called Grosse Pointe Park. I didn’t fit in. I was the new kid. I was from somewhere else and my teacher was awful to me. As a child, I had no idea why. I just knew I didn’t belong there. It wasn’t long before I was refusing to walk the 3 blocks home and instead went to the far side of the school to hide behind the bushes until my mom picked me up. The bullying continued throughout my entire elementary school experience. 

When I went into middle school the bullying gained momentum. More kids were added to the group of bullies. It turned physical. Boys pinned me against my locker. Screamed in my face. Threw food at me. One time I stuck up for myself and poured a Coke all over a boy’s head because he hit me in the face with a piece of food while I ate my lunch. I was scolded by the assistant principal. 

Then came high school, where even more bullies were added to the group. I was pushed and shoved often. The name calling, relentless. One day I was walking with headphones on in the hall and two boys started screaming in my face. I can’t remember their exact words, but they were meant to be hurtful. I do remember that one was saying something about “Marilyn Manson”. I said “actually I’m listening to a Christian band”. I was listening to the Insyderz. But it didn’t really matter to them what I was listening to. I went to class and after came back to hateful things written on my locker in black permanent marker. They had also written on my best friend’s locker next to mine. I went to my counselor. Her son was friends with these boys. She told me there was nothing she could do. She scolded me. I was told I should dress more normal. I was sort of on the punk side, with a pixie haircut. The boys weren’t even punished for defacing school property. 

So, you see, there are times in my life where I have tried to stick up for myself and it has backfired. This has also been a trend in my friendships. Bullying carried into my adulthood with coworker and friends. It’s one of those cases where people will do what only you allow them to do and I have let people talk bad about me. Walk all over me. I have let friends tell other people what my opinion is or how I would act in a certain situation, when none of it was true. All because I didn’t want to offend the person who was talking about me to someone else?! I know, it sounds crazy. It kind of is. But, I never really knew how to stand up for myself. I never thought I could say “Hey, wait! That’s not true. I wouldn’t act that way. Don’t talk about me. I’m right here! I can speak for myself!” Instead, I would just cock my head to the side and maybe have a bewildered look on my face. 

So, that is why I am sorry if you have a poor opinion of me. I ask that you give me another chance. A chance to speak for myself. A chance to get to know me through me and not through what someone else is saying about me. I have a voice that I believe is worth sharing and my heart is always open. 

How has bullying changed your life as an adult? What do you do now when you face bullying? I would love to here from you!

United Against Bullying