It’s My Vote, not the GOP’s

If there is one thing this current election cycle says about America, it is that we have completely lost our way.

It is no secret that I am a long time conservative. I made the decision on my own. I grew up in a blue collar family. My parents worked multiple jobs to keep a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs. My parents focused on family being the most important thing in your life outside of your education. I busted my butt in school to get good grades and get into college. College as it turns out isn’t free and contrary to what social justice warriors will have you think, the white privilege myth doesn’t get you in and it certainly doesn’t pay your loans off or cover the cost of your books and supplies.

I’m a single mom and according to the government, I need them. But that isn’t parenting to me. I became a single mother at 25 due to unfortunate circumstances and all around poor choices. But they were my choices and I own them. No one owes me anything for that,but I do owe my son a life he deserves. Instead of taking the easy way out, I took the zero excuses route and finished my college degree at night while working a full time day job. I sacrificed a lot of time with my infant son for those years, but the point of it was that I was  doing it for him and setting the example that if you work hard enough at anything you will find success. He is my responsibility alone. Not the government’s.

As a fiscal conservative who believes strongly in absolute freedom of speech, in my right to defend myelf and the ones I love from any threat, that all Americans have the right to pursue happiness and success, and that the safety of our country is a top priority, I’m completely dumbfounded that THIS is the best we can do. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. A woman who’s negligence got Americans killed and who had a flagrant disregard for national security versus the world’s biggest narcissist, misogonyst, bigot.

I do NOT throw around words like bigot and racist. I do not take those terms lightly because they are thrown around with reckless abandon these days. At this point, it is difficult to deny that Donald Trump is all of these things. He is a walking disaster and the thought of him holding nuclear codes chills me to the core.

There is little I can do to stop this train for moving forward. This election is full steam ahead and it’s only a matter of time until we go to the polls and the train barrels off the tracks. There is no right answer here.

For years, we’ve been voting for the lesser of two evils it seems. When John McCain ran against Barrack Obama, he was a little too left of center for my liking, however Senator McCain is a man that I greatly respect and admire for his service to his country (service that Trump has openly mocked) and I agreed with him on enough issues that I felt comfortable voting for him. I believe he is a good and decent man who would have made an overall good president who would have been willing to reach across the aisle to get things done.

Four years later, I was faced with Mitt Romney. Again, not a perfect candidate, but he hit me where it mattered most to me and that was with my wallet. I think he would have been strong on econcomic policy and the economy means a lot to me when I vote. Do you like money? I like money.

Fast forward another four years and we are in the worst possible position I could have imagined. Okay, it is worse than I imagined. And the sick part of it all is that there are people telling me that if I don’t vote for Trump that I am being immoral and that I am supporting Hillary.

Here is where those people are wrong. I am not supporting Hillary by not supporting Trump. We started a year ago with some of the best candidates I have seen the GOP put forward in my adult life. Ted Cruz was strong all around in my eyes. Carly Fiorina had great ideas on reforming the tax code and foreign relations. John Kasich was honestly one of the most presidential candiates I’ve ever seen and as a long time fan of his record in Washington, I would have been proud to vote for him.

Governor Kasich wasn’t strong enough for those with an appetite for TMZ. He was sensible and calm and let his resume do the talking.

But Donald Trump was TMZ on crack. His campaign has been nothing but one dumpster fire to put out after another and the best that anyone can come up with to defend his actions is that he isn’t that articulate.

No. Trump isn’t articulate. It isn’t because he’s not great at public speaking or because he is passionate. It’s because he is completely in over his head and unqualified to hold the office of president. He is revealing exactly who he is. He’s a man who mocks veterans, blames women for being the victims of sexual harassment, claims he would order our military to commit war crimes, and has complete contempt for anyone who dares disagree with him. He is a man who’s only talent is standing on a podium and belittling others.

Yet I have people like Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity spewing remarks about how if I don’t support Trump I’m personally responsible for allowing Clinton to get elected and that as a conservative it is “immoral” for me to not support Trump.

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Well here is a big “fuck you” to that. Ted Cruz got one thing right this year and it was to vote my conscience. I will NOT be guilted or shamed into using my vote, MY VOTE, a right and duty that I have as an American citizen that I take more seriously than most other parts of my life, to elect anyone that I am uncomfortable voting for. People are becoming so obsessed with “beating Clinton” that they either haven’t truly stopped to consider that the candidate they have put forward isn’t the best solution to that or they are so party blind and hate Clinton so badly that they don’t even care who the other candidate is or what they stand for.

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I am an American before I am a conseravative. I am also a mother, a daughter, a sister, a girlfriend, an employee, and many other things. To answer your question Ms. Ingraham, I will explain to MY son that when the time came to cast my vote (which will likely go to a write in or third party candidate), that I did what was right for America and what was right for HIM and for me. Neither of these candidates are right for this country and you are so focused on “beating Hillary” that you are too ignorant and stubborn to see that the man you have aligned yourself with is every bit as untrustworthy and even more dangerous than any candidate I have ever seen before. I will tell my son that I didn’t vote for someone just because my registration card matched the party on the ballot. I stood up and said, “That was my vote, not the Republican party’s vote. I was not bullied into supporting a man  that I  did not believe was good enough, smart enough, or had enough restraint to lead this country.”

Our country is sick. It’s more divided than ever. We don’t have much to choose from, but I will make the choice that I can live with and not the one that pundits like Ingraham and Hannity so arrogantly believe I should make because they are too cowardly to open their minds and admit that this is the worst case scenario.

When you go to the polls, no matter your party affiliation, vote your conscience. Put country before petty politics. That’s your right and duty as an American.

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5 Days Later: Who did Negan Kill?

It’s been five days since a mystery character caught the unfortunate and brutal business end of Lucille on The Walking Dead season 6 finale. I’ve had time to come down from the immediate feelings of betrayal and anger that I felt toward TWD’s writers and producers. (Read my post-finale, freak out reaction at Game-Block and give them all of your loyalty as a reader.)

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Courtesy of AMC

Three things changed for me.

The first was reading an interview with Andrew Lincoln from Variety. Leave it to Andy to put my soul at ease. It’s what people with a British accent do, even though I read it in his Rick Grimes voice.

Lincoln details the feeling on set among his cast mates and the vision of writer and producer Scott M. Gimple. The cast doesn’t know who died. The moment was scripted as “point of view,” leaving Negan’s victim anonymous.

You think we’re emotional? A member of their family is about to unemployed/die what will arguably be the most horrific death since Oberyn Martell on Game of Thrones that television has ever seen and they have no clue who it is. This death is supposed to change everything for the show.

The second thing that changed was reading an interview from Greg Nicotero, who is slated to direct the season 7 premier. That alone gives me hope. The 15 episodes he has directed are arguably among the best we’ve seen. Nicotero and Gimple have promised that season 7 will kick off with viewers finding out who died. This puts to bed our fear of three to four episodes of parallel stories and backstories prior to the reveal.

The biggest reason that I am officially all in for season 7 is the audio.

I don’t believe the audio is a giveaway that we are losing our beloved Glenn, as we do in the comics. The producers wouldn’t make such a bold mistake because as I stated, according to Gimple, Nicotero, and TWD creator Robert Kirkman, the cast doesn’t know who it is (as also confirmed by Andy Lincoln in the link above and confirmed by Norman Reedus on Talking Dead immediately following the episode.)

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Courtesy of…Google Image Search?

The reason the audio reeled me back in is because of the power in hearing the primal screams with the other noise removed. No music. No crickets. No ringing in the ears of the victim. I was flooded with every emotion one could feel in witnessing such brutality.

We know it isn’t Rick or Carl. For the story to work and to justify putting the death reveal off it almost certainly has to be Glenn. Not because of the audio, but because of the impact…but also perhaps because this is a case where the famous death warrents being carried over from the comics.

Glenn’s death has the power to change the trajectory of the show. Glenn represents hope in a hopeless world. We’ve watched this incredible growth of a sarcastic pizza delivery boy who was the bait and leverage for every dangerous situation in the first two seasons into a self-sufficient badass. Glenn is a survivor who never let go of his humanity. The influence of Hershel and love for Maggie created an unstoppable force.

Glenn’s death also moves along the story arcs of Maggie and Tara. It puts both Maggie and Tara in the position of losing literally everyone. Their entire families are gone. Losing Glenn and Denise would bring a great opportunity to take Tara’s character to the next level.

Who else could it be? To have roughly the same emotional impact, it would have to be Daryl. Daryl doesn’t exist in the comics, so his story has been completely fabricated. This season, it feels like Daryl is in limbo. His story doesn’t seem to be moving. Swapping his death for Glenn’s would be a prime way to write him off the show.

Daryl is another character that has been a pleasure to watch grow. He’s gone from an impoverished, bigoted red-neck to one of the respected heads of a diverse family. The problem with killing off Daryl though is that I don’t believe it changes the story.

Daryl is loved by fans, and certainly loved by the Alexandrians. This is his family, after all. But Daryl isn’t symbolic of hope like Glenn, a father-to-be. Glenn is the epitome of brightness in the dark and all that life can offer if you are courageous enough to let it happen. Look at the profound impact his pending fatherhood has had on Abraham and thus Sasha. Glenn and Maggie have changed Abraham’s entire outlook on what the future holds. Daryl does not weild that same power.

While killing off Abraham or Michonne would also have some weight in this situation, I still feel it has to be someone bigger. This moment was hyped and teased for an entire season. Killing off a B character like Rosita or Aaron would be an utter failure. Even Eugene, whom we anticipated dying in this episode simply would not work. It’s not enough.

It can’t be Maggie. The savagery of that act would turn off fans and would undermine Negan’s reputation. It’s too barbaric and revolting, even for this show. Negan is supposed to be a character that we love to hate or just love. Killing the ailing pregnant girl makes it difficult to empathize with him on any level.

Murder her husband though, and there you have a game changer.

Prepare yourselves. It’s going to be a gory, disgusting, and emotional October.

Two Years Later

Wow…I haven’t written on here in quite a long time. I always mean to. I always have ideas, but as a full time mom with a full time job, by the time I sit down at night all I want to do is watch Netflix and not deal with anyone or anything.

A friend texted me today about something he read on my blog two years ago. The wonderful world of Facebook and Timehop reminded him that two years ago, I posted about the abusive relationship that I was in for about four years. A lot has happened since I put that out in the open.

The reason that I wrote those three posts was because I believed that if I just got it out and just finally said it that all of the hurt and all of the anxiety would magically go away. I thought that if I ripped off the bandaid that the weight would be lifted from my shoulders and I could move on with my life. What I soon realized, within minutes actually of clicking “publish”  on my third and final post, was that it was only the first step to healing.

I wrote an article for school a year prior about children who are sexually abused by teachers and how teachers get away with it for so long. I spoke with many local experts in medical, social, and psychiatric fields. I reached out to one of the therapists that I had interviewed for my article, as she specialized in working with victims of sexual abuse and rape. That first appointment turned into 19 months of therapy sessions to help me understand what happened, why it happened, and what I have to do to move on.

I want to begin to share that personal journey with the hope that someone out there who has experienced what I have will seek help and start their own road to recovery.

The number one thing that I had to learn to do was to forgive myself. I know. That sounds odd, right? I had to forgive and be compassionate to the person I used to be so that I can become the person I want to be. Rather than carrying guilt and blaming myself and being angry at myself and how naive and afraid I was, I had to show 19 year old me compassion. I had to accept the fact that what happened was not my fault and that the important thing is that I survived and I found the strength to leave and try to make my life better.

Forgiving myself was the most difficult part of my journey. No one wants to be a victim and when you are one for so long, even though you know it’s not your fault, you still blame yourself. You still believe that you knew better and you knew how wrong it was and yet you let it go on and made excuses.

The majority of my time in therapy though wasn’t spent facing my past, but facing the present so that I could have a better future. I’ve been in a relationship for almost two years, and the first year was the most difficult. Do you know why? It was because I couldn’t handle being treated how I DESERVE to be treated. My boyfriend gave me anxiety because he was nice to me and did normal loving things. What a world this is…having a panic attack because someone treats you well.

When you’re treated like nothing for so  many years, you believe that you’re nothing. Every day I was waiting for him to decide he was bored of me or to break up with me for some lame reason. I was never waiting for him to be abusive. I know him better than I know anyone. He was my friend before we dated and he doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. He’s the most caring and compassionate person, but that didn’t mean that he wouldn’t be capable of suddenly realizing that I had nothing to offer.

I was always afraid to fight or disagree with him. I mean, disagreeing had serious consequences in the past. What if he started to hate me because of it?

It all sounds absurd. And it is to a point. But that’s how I was trained to think. I was uncomfortable being treated like a human, with respect and honesty and love. It made me anxious to receive gifts and compliments because I felt like I did nothing to deserve them and that I had to earn those things. Why would you buy me something? Why would you pay for dinner? I felt like if I wasn’t keeping things even or giving more that I wasn’t contributing and wasn’t worthy.

Until him, I’d never, not once, received a gift from a boyfriend “just because.” He got me the most beautiful necklace for my birthday this year and I cried. I’d never received jewelry before from anyone, even at 32 years old. He was floored. It wasn’t just that he got me a necklace, it was that he put so much thought into it. It was a very specific type that I had mentioned I was going to buy myself to match a bracelet I have. It meant the world to me.

Another issue I had was discomfort with being trusted. When he offered to give me a key to his house, I pretty much had a nervous breakdown. I’d never been trusted before. It got really bad. I was anxious all of the time. I couldn’t function. He came to therapy with me to figure out what he could do to help me when I’d have these breakdowns. My therapist discussed with him specific things that trigger me to panic, some of which may never fully go away. But he brought up that he noticed the flip in my demeanor the day he wanted to give me a key to his house. He was right.

Something so small and so normal for two people in an adult relationship was unbelievably difficult for me to accept. We settled at me asking for it when I was ready and the offer would be outstanding. It took me 3 months to feel comfortable with the idea and an additional two to work up the courage to ask for it.

Eventually, therapy sessions became less frequent. Some were still very emotional, while others were wonderful as I just gave an update on my life and talked about anything going on and how I felt about it, whether I felt just a little nervous or completely happy. I began to accept that I am worth loving and that it is okay for me to open my mouth when something is bothering me because there should be no consequences other than coming to a resolution.

I haven’t been to therapy since the spring. I’m sure I’ll go again eventually to check in or if I’m just having a rough day to collect my thoughts and just have that added support of someone who can help cut through the surface.

I cannot say enough about how fortunate I feel for my boyfriend and how incredible he has been in not just sticking by me and being supportive, but really helping to open my eyes to how happy I can and deserve to be if I allow myself. The same goes to my friends who, like one in particular today, check in with me to see how I am doing and to remind me that I’m not alone and that they are there when I need them.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be 100%  better, and that’s okay. I don’t have to be. It’s normal not to be. I still get bothered at times about what happened.  Something will remind me of him or I’ll get awful deja vu from something he did. But at this point, I am strong enough to push through it and remember that it’s over and it’ll never happen to me again because I am worth more than how he treated me.

Make-up Shaming

I learned tonight that there is something known as “make-up shaming.” I didn’t know this was a thing and I don’t really subscribe to these types of titles for actions. I mean, basically when it comes down to it, we’re just labeling different ways that people annoy us.

This type of annoyance has to do with criticizing a girl/lady/woman because of her make-up. It could be that she wears what you perceive as too much, or maybe too little, or you don’t like how they’ve applied it, or the worst of them all- “you don’t need make-up!”

Tonight I ran into, “you don’t need make-up.”

Well, I don’t need a Playstation 4, but I have one. I don’t need a Hunger Games cup with a rolled up mini posted of Harley Quinn from Batman on it sticking out of it sitting on my desk because I’m not sure what to do with the awesome poster yet, but I have it. I didn’t need a skinny mocha from Starbucks on Tuesday, but I got one. Okay that last one is a lie. I needed that.

But you get my point.

This all started because I posted a help request to Facebook for anyone who might be really good at applying makeup to maybe help me with some techniques. I can pull off the natural day look, but I struggle when I start getting into smoky eyes and night time looks.

Enter a barage of totally useless responses, mostly from men about how I don’t need make-up.

Yeah. I get it. But I like it.

 

Okay, fine. I don’t. But it’s 1. not your business or anyone elses if I choose to wear make-up and 2. If you didn’t have anything helpful to add, shut your dick trap. I had a very specific request and got only one remotely helpful response.

I understand that there is probably nothing wrong with how I look without make-up or wearing my hair my natural color instead of highlighting it or not having my nail painted. But I like those things. I enjoy the 15 minutes of “me time” that I get when I sit down to put on my make-up and I think I look nice with it on. It makes me feel good and comfortable.

Can the uber feminists who think that make-up is for weak women just trying to please men also please take a back seat and shut the fuck up?

 

That’s not a bad thing. I don’t feel bad about myself without make-up, but I do enjoy how I look and feel with it on, so I wear it. That’s totally 100% on me. I don’t need anyone telling me what I should or should not wear on my face, male or female. I don’t tell guys what to do to look good. Okay, another lie. I prefer it when my boyfriend has a beard. When he doesn’t, I still like his face, so I keep him around.

Maybe this is actually a good time to bring up BEARD SHAMING.

Guys- do you hate it when someone tells you that you should shave your beard or mustache? I bet that’s fucking annoying. If you want to grow a beard, you should grow a beard without anyone getting in your face about it. (Except if you can only grow something patchy or a pedostache. Just do yourself a favor and don’t.)

Don’t like it, huh? It’s the same thing as telling women to not wear make-up.

 

Honestly, the biggest problem I have here probably has nothing to do with make-up or beards even. It’s the fact that we have this thing called the internet and social media that are ways for us to communicate and learn and gather information and we are literally failing at it.

I asked a very specific question that I was hoping to get useful answers from. I would like help learning to better apply my make-up. So yes, I was looking for someone who is really good at it to either offer to help me out or to see if anyone I know has a favorite website or tutorial or Youtube channel that they like that could give me some sort of aid.

But when people ask for help on the internet, mostly they just get opinions from people who cannot offer help. It’s like you see a specific request and think, “I can’t help, but I sure as shit can inject my opinion on the subject and tell someone what I think they should do instead.” Or just hijack the whole thing going off on a fucking tangent. If you cannot help me with my make-up, your response amounted to this to me:

It’s a nasty trend, and you all know it.

But regardless, how I decide to dress or make myself up is my prerogative just as your personal style is yours.