Month: March 2015

What is the meaning of life? Who am I?

 

I’ve been considering these questions a lot more for some reason lately and I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe the answers are one and the same. I’m of the belief that we’re formed through our life experiences.

I’m the person I am because of what I’ve
done, who I’ve known & what I’ve overcome.

Therefore, I feel as though I will never know who I truly am until I have lived all that life throws at me. If is true, then because we experience right up to the moment of death will we die before we know? Or will there be a moment right before the end, where the fog clears and we finally see who we are and therefore, the meaning of our life? I think that this moment of understanding, could be the “tunnel” or the “white light” that everyone who’s had a near death experience refers to. This could be what we see at the moment of death and how wonderful would that be?

Lastly, the color white is a symbol of rebirth and new beginnings; so when we die as we walk into that “white light”, maybe we’re given the meaning of life as a gift and then that is what allows us to begin again? ‪#‎30DOT‬ ‪#‎DoYou‬ ‪#‎LoveChangesPeople‬

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What We Can Learn From Whitney Houston

“The Greatest Love of All” was one of my very favorite songs as a kid.

“The greatest love of all
is easy to achieve.
Learning to love yourself,
it is the greatest love of all.”

I remember singing it at talent shows and during slumber parties in middle school. (Yes, I’m that old) It became an anthem for me and most likely for many other girls in my generation. Even as an adult it followed me, I recall belting it out at the top of my lungs with my girlfriend while getting ready for a night out, and texting lines to the song back and forth with her years after that. I’ve probably sang that song more times than Happy Birthday, but about a month ago I heard it again and although the meaning was the same, my perspective was completely different.

For those of you too young to know Whitney or the song, it is about learning to LOVE YOURSELF. Although the music is dated, the message is still relevant. But before I get to that, let’s talk about her story.

Whitney Houston started singing at a very young age and she was also a teen model. In fact, she was one of the very first African American women to appear on the cover of Seventeen Magazine. She won several Grammy’s in her career and starred in movies as well. There is no doubt that she had tremendous talent, but she ended up in an abusive marriage filled with emotional and physical abuse and of course, drugs. I won’t pretend to know what happened first, the abuse or the drugs nor will I blame them for the drugs. Speaking from experience, sometimes drugs are the only way to make the situation bearable, they can be forced on you, and in some cases they can be the lesser of two evils. Either way, it was a bad situation and like so many people do, she tried to make it work. They were a famous couple with an image to maintain (I’m sure money played a part too) and they had a child, so she stayed.

After a 15 year marriage that was riddled with abuse and drug problems that were at times broadcast on reality television, Whitney’s mother intervened with the Sheriff and a court order. She insisted that Whitney “retire and give this up because it’s not worth it”. Later that same year the divorce was final and Whitney was granted full custody of their daughter, Bobbi. Things were looking up in her world but in early 2012, rumors surfaced that she was in financial trouble. Then on Feb 11, 2012 she was found in the bathtub of the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Her death was officially ruled as an “accidental drowning” but the autopsy showed signs of heart disease and cocaine in her system. She never escaped the pain of her past and unfortunately it seems that her 21 year old daughter, Bobbi is following in her footsteps. On Jan 31, 2015 she was found unresponsive in her own bathtub, was rushed to the hospital and placed in a medically induced coma and as of today, she “shows no signs of life”. It’s terribly sad, and when I listened to the song again today the foreshadowing is almost eerie.

The woman who sang about loving yourself, died alone in her hotel room after living a life filled with sadness. I’m sure she wasn’t perfect, none of us are, but no one deserves abuse and the fact that she turned to drugs even after the divorce is more common that you know. People forget that the effects of abuse don’t just go away after the abuser is gone, in fact I don’t know that they ever go away completely. You are expected to magically go back to the person you were before and honestly, you’ll never be that person again. The sad part is that friends and family don’t usually understand.

So, back to the song…

“I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadow
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I’ll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can’t take away my dignity”

However, in the end she did walk in someone’s shadow…Her Own, His, and worse the image that the media portrayed. Why do so many women (especially famous ones) stay in abusive relationships? It’s simple – Money and Image, aside from the fact that they are constantly put on the defense with questions like “Why didn’t you just leave”? It’s not that simple at all, and in cases where they are in the public eye, it’s even worse. They are made to feel stupid in front of the world so they downplay it, and then of course they stay. Can you imagine how Janay Rice felt watching that elevator video over and over and over again? And as if that wasn’t bad enough, then she was bombarded with reporters asking her “Why” when they really should have been asking him.

So, what can we learn from Whitney’s story? How can we empower others and our children to love themselves? Well, for starters we can make sure that they know they are loved. We can TELL THEM, SHOW THEM and BE THERE FOR THEM. Don’t wait until they are sick or in trouble or dead before you show them you care.

Now listen to the very last line of Whitney’s song:

“And if by chance that special place
that you’ve been dreaming of,
leads you to a lonely place,
find your strength in love.”

To me, “that special place” is a partner and/or marriage. She’s telling us to find our own strength in order to survive; and the LOVE she refers to is, of course for ourselves. We MUST heed this lesson anytime we find ourselves in a “lonely place” in any type of relationship. We must love ourselves before we can love others, and if you are true to yourself then you will know in the pit of your stomach if something isn’t right with your relationship, friendship or even a job. If it doesn’t feel right, then you owe it to yourself to find something that does. Yes, it will hurt like hell in the beginning, and you will doubt yourself a million times, but it will be worth it in the end. You are worth it. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to live a life of true love and happiness.

A few questions:
• Are you are always walking on eggshells trying to keep your partner happy?
• Do you constantly lower your expectations for what you want in
the relationship?
• Are you constantly making excuses for them?

If you answered yes to any (or all) of those questions, then you need to have a very serious discussion with them. Please, DON’T WAIT it won’t get better. If, during the course of discussion it becomes apparent that these things cannot be remedied, then you MUST gather your strength, remember to LOVE YOURSELF, and do what is best for YOU.

Whitney Houston didn’t do this until it was too late and although we don’t know for sure, it seems as if her daughter learned it from her too. We must break the cycle of violence and teach our kids that love does not = control, jealousy & intimidation.
Love Changes People and just like the song says,

“learning to love yourself, is the greatest love of all”.

‪#‎30DOT‬ ‪#‎LoveChangesPeople‬ ‪#‎DoYou‬

Things You Should Know Before We Go Out

 

Dating is hard. Especially when you’re over 30 and divorced. Add a toddler to the mix and it’s worse. Add one with special needs and it’s pretty much impossible. Single parents have a very small amount of time to devote to dating, so I’ve been thinking that it would be so much easier if everyone just put out an “FYI List” for potential dates. (Yes, this is supposed to be funny…mostly).

Here’s mine:

1) The greatest gift you can give me is your attention.

2) Curiosity is engraved on my soul. I’ll always be searching, for what I don’t know.

3) If you play guitar, you should definitely play for me. wink emoticon

4) I cuss, a lot. I’m loud, extremely. I don’t care what people think, ever. Let me be. This is who I am & I won’t change for anyone.

5) Always be honest with me. Even if it might hurt. I want to know…no matter what it is.

6) I’m gonna scream at scary movies. It’s part of the fun. Don’t try to stop me.

7) Practical jokes are always funny. So, you better think so too.

8) A man who feels comfortable enough to cry in front of me is sexy. (On occasion, not incessantly)

9) If I ask you to listen to a song you should pay attention. Music says what I can’t.

10) I’m comfortable talking about sex with anyone. It doesn’t mean I’m going to do it with them, I just believe that women should be able to discuss this subject as openly as men.

11) Don’t give me rules, I won’t follow them.

12) If you don’t call after our date, I’ll be upset; but when you do, there is a good chance I’ll be annoyed. I have no answers for this one except use your charm and be witty. (I love that shit.)

13) If it rains and I’m asleep you should definitely wake me up. (wink, wink) wink emoticon

14) I need alone time. Solitude is important to my mental health, it has nothing to do with you.

15) My son’s needs and happiness are always going to come first. If you don’t understand this, it’s best you just move along.

‪#‎30DOT‬ ‪#‎LoveChangesPeople‬ ‪#‎DoYou‬ ‪#‎singlemoms‬ ‪#‎singleparentproblems

Why I Committed Social Media Suicide

Almost two years ago, I made the decision to dissappear from social media. I had just escaped a 10 year abusive marriage, moved across the country and was pretty much in hiding. So, I deleted all my social network profiles and vanished from my “friends” feeds. I didn’t really have a choice in the matter however, it was something I’d been wanting to do for over a year.

Facebook was the place where I had the most “friends”. What a joke – Hey Mark Z, you guys really need to come up with another option to choose besides “friend” Ha! I had been close with all of these people at one point or another but first marriage and then abuse made it where I didn’t see any of them anymore. Anything that I posted was “monitored” by my abuser so it’s not like I actually reached out for help, but as I slowly slipped away I find it odd that no one reached out.

My feed had always been full of pics, travel posts and happy quotes. Then all of a sudden I went dark. I even had a brand new baby, isn’t that when people are MOST active? So, I dissappeared and honestly I doubt that many of them ever even noticed. To be fair, a select few were connected with my mother and they reached out through her, but I was so done I really wanted to leave everything behind me.

Besides, what I saw online made me sick most of the time. You all know the story (some of you more than others), someone would post about a sickness, death or depression and one of two things would happen.

1) People would send the quick “I’m praying
for you” or “talk to God” comment.
* Not anything REAL mind you, just
what they thought was polite. I mean
even people who believe, (I don’t) do
those comments really help?

2) People would just scroll past the post.
* Time and time again they would just
ignore it. Honestly, at least this group
was being real about the fact that they
didn’t care.

Here’s the problem – WE KNOW THAT BAD THINGS ARE HAPPENING ALL AROUND US, BUT WE ARE TOO FUCKING BUSY LIVING OUR FAKE LIVES TO CARE!!! For that reason right there, I have no regrets that I vanished from their lives.

I know you all must be wondering how I can claim “social media suicide” in a Facebook post smile emoticon and honestly, this is the BEST PART OF THE STORY! You see, Blanca Lapin is not my real name – duh, my name literally means White Rabbit. (and yes, that was sort of a Pitch Perfect reference for those of you keeping up). I assumed a new identity and joined Twitter, then WordPress, Instagram and finally Facebook. But here’s the awesome part… every person that I communicate with now in my social networks are REAL FRIENDS, yet I’ve only met a handful of them in person. However, I know that I can count on them to check on me, to respond to my texts and to help me however they can should I need it.

So when I hear/read people talking about real life-friends vs. virtual ones I laugh because in my life, my virtual friends are the only REAL friends I’ve ever known. I know this is not the case for everyone, but this is MY story. So, here’s a toast to all my Internet Friends…..

CHEERS! YOU FUCKING ROCK & I LOVE YOU ALL!
#30DOT ‪#‎DoYou‬ ‪#‎LoveChangesPeople‬ ‪#‎YouMatter

An Open Letter To Anyone Who Might Ever Love Me

I’m not perfect, far from it…but if you are going to attempt to love me, then it’s important that you know that I will try really hard to keep you from doing just that.

In the past I’ve hurt my friends and family, and I’m sure that I will do it again. I’ve lied and not followed through on promises. I forget things (a lot lately) I miss birthdays, anniversaries and funerals. I never call when I say I will, and sometimes I hide in my shell and don’t come out for weeks. I push away anyone who might love me just to see if they will come back. I expect the worst out of everyone so that I’m not disappointed when they give it to me. I refuse to ask for help and I’d rather be alone than to impose on someone. I come off as aloof because I try so hard to act like I don’t care when in all actuality, I really care more than you will ever know.

I cry every single day and there’s nothing you can do about it. I give away my love as fast as I can, in hopes that I’ll forget what’s happened in my past. I’m impulsive and reckless, loud and sometimes (okay a lot of times) obnoxious and I hardly ever act like an adult. Some of these things are just me, but others I know need to be addressed and if you will try to love me, then I promise to try to change what makes it hard to do just that.
♡,
Blanca

‪#‎30DOT‬ ‪#‎DoYou‬ ‪#‎LoveChangesPeople

My Suicide Note

One night a few years ago, I felt as if I was at rock bottom. I saw no future and I was desperate to end the pain that my life had become. I wrote a goodbye note to my family and i ran. I ended up calling the suicide hotline and then I checked myself into the local mental hospital.

I learned so much while I was there but one question was left unanswered. I told three doctors while I was inpatient, that I would strike myself until I couldn’t stand it anymore. I remember asking with tears streaming, why do I do this? Does anyone else? Am I crazy? All three doctors had no answer.

A few weeks later,via a simple Google search, I found the term…self-harm! There was a name for it! Why did no one tell me??? I discovered that I had been self-harming in several different ways for years.

Fast forward, today I am a much healthier person. I rid myself of the baggage that was bringing me down and everyday I get stronger. Do I still struggle? Absolutely. But I know that I am not alone and I know that there is hope.

I joined The Truce Initiative because I wanted to make sure that no one ever felt the way I did. To raise awareness about this important issue and hopefully to help others see hope for a brighter life ahead. Now that we have teamed up with Team Bossy Kids, I know that the message will be heard. Together, we are changing the world! I hope you join us!!!

‪#‎NoMore‬ ‪#‎YouMatter‬ ‪#‎musicismedicine‬ ‪#‎truceinitiative‬ ‪#‎suicideawareness‬ ‪#‎suicideprevention‬ ‪#‎suicidesupport‬ ‪#‎selfharmprevention‬ ‪#‎selfharmawareness‬ ‪#‎selfharmsupport‬