There is always a lot of discussion around people and their feelings. People will say: 'They're too sensitive', ' That's not how I saw that situation', 'Where do they get off saying that?'
Here is the deal:
Every living person who is a cognizant being has feelings. We all have time that we are happy, sad, envious, tense, bashful, embarrassed and the list goes on. Where do WE get off telling another person that their emotions are not relevant. When were we given the right to dismiss that person's feelings as silly or not important?
Somewhere along the line, we decided that we were judge and jury of our fellow man. We can tell them they are being silly, we can tell them their standards are set to high, we can tell them its never gonna happen, we can tell them anything to make them feel worse about what they are truly experiencing and quite frankly who in the hell needs to feel worse than they already do? When someone comes to you, if you are unsure of the role you are to play, ask them. Do you need an ear? DO you need a problem solver? Do you need advice? DO you need someone to be supportive? I have been known to tell people "I will listen, but if you ask for the truth, know that that is exactly what you are going get" I hold back no punches when asked for advice, I am known to be my friends biggest supporters. ( ie I will come get you, DO I need to go kick his ass, what will make you feel better, yes I am on my way with cupcakes and beer etc) I am the call you make at 4 am when you know that I have just finally gotten to sleep or am probably not even asleep yet. I am the one who will pick you up just to drive you around while you cry because HE is being an absolute idiot. I however, am also the same one who will remind you that we have discussed this a million times and my advice is still the same.
I am guilty of it myself. Thinking wow that person needs to get a grip or something equally dismissive about what they are feeling. I have also been on the receiving end of it for as long as I can remember. Grow a thicker skin, don't let others push you down, why does it matter what others think of you. Because, in short it does. We want and need to feel validated. We want someone to say 'wow, you are under a lot of stress, is there anything I can do?' we want to know that someone is willing to listen, unbiased and lend support as a friend. What we get in response is judgement and ridicule because as human as we are, we feel better about ourselves and out situation when we are making someone else seem smaller than us.
What I am trying to say is, be careful of the feelings of the next person you encounter. You never know, you might be the one listening, caring ear they have had in a long time, you might be the one who shows enough interest to stop something violent happening in that persons life, you might be the ray of light they have been begging God to send to them.
Complaining is a natural part of our existence. We all have something that we are not happy with. It is natural to want to express this displeasure to another, but the minute we cross that line and become judge, jury and executioner we have attempted to go face to face with a supreme law far beyond our understanding. I had a classmate back in 1991 who committed suicide because he felt he was in an impossible family situation and that he had no where to go and no one to turn to. There is not a week that goes by that I don't find myself helping a friend because you never know who is feeling the same way and who is looking to you for guidance.
Be careful of you impact on those around you. I have personally lived the domino effect of someone very close to me making decisions about my life without my input and dealing with the fallout when those decisions backfire. I have also been lucky enough to have friends who were there to support me and lift me up.
MY feelings matter because YOUR feelings matter.
Monday, June 21, 2010
There is always a lot of discussion around people and their feelings. People will say: 'They're too sensitive', ' That's not how I saw that situation', 'Where do they get off saying that?'
Posted by Vanessa Robinson Shafer at 11:29 AM
Sunday, June 20, 2010
It seems like a simple concept. Live Passionately. But it's not necessarily true.
When we are young, we are impressionable. We are taught to have hopes and dreams, to go forth into the world for it is our oyster. We dream big and we live big until we run into other people. Those other people then shape who we are going to become and they can make or break those dreams we have for ourselves.
Case in point. Growing up I was "the weird kid". I don't know exactly what it was about me, but the other kids always treated me as the outsider. I was no less privileged then they were and yet someone gave them license to tease me unmercifully for whatever reason came to mind. Now mind you there were a few exceptions to the rule, but for the main part of growing up (elementary/junior high) I was living in complete hell.
I was the girl with the glasses, with the overbite and the great big buck teeth, who was chubby and who went through puberty at the age of 10 etc etc. I was not popular (as proven by the fifth grade 'you can put your desks together in groups and no one wanted to sit with me) or the opportunities to send your classmates carnations or candy canes depending on the time of the year. Mot of you reading this are thinking why the hell does this matter... because in the grand scheme of life, every action or inaction by another person can and inevitably does leave an imprint on us.
Recently, I moved back in with my mom because of certain situations in my life. Going through boxes and boxes of childhood memories and purging items that are long forgotten and not needed. (Being a packrat is part of my genetic makeup, something I fight with and sometimes it is a means of coping when things start going wrong) While going through this stuff I realized I had sketches and sketches of clothing. I loved the thought of decorating and anything artistic, but these were not "practical" dreams. As a child I rode horses. I spent so much time at the farm during my parents divorced I literally lived there every weekend. This was one more thing that kids made fun of me about and eventually as I got older I got away from it, because it was just one more thing that made me different. I was not going to be an artist, I was not going to ride horses in the Olympics and one by one my dreams were squeezed out of me.
I have always been intrigued by the law. Going through a box recently I found newspaper clippings as far back as the early 80's about crime. Then one of my older brothers went into the business of fighting crime and I felt that meant that this area was off limits to me. I had wanted to join the FBI.. I mean how cool right? In 1997-1998 it was made apparent that after a near fatal car accident that I would not be able to meet some of the physical requirements of such a demanding profession. My shoulder and neck have a disability rating which means as time goes on I will lose motion and gain arthritis. There is permanent nerve damage and then to top off that, a thyroid condition has left me fighting metabolic syndrome which can be everything from the under active thyroid, to the fluctuation of the blood pressure, to stroke and heart disease or infarction. This physically benches me from a lot of things, but mentally I am at the top of my game. I recently graduated Summa Cum Laude with my Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice. If only these institutions realized what a prized piece of real estate I am for them.
I love taking pictures. Wish I could afford a better camera set up to take up photography.
I still love horses and would love to get back to riding... what better adrenaline rush than rushing at a fence and feeling the power of the animal under you as you glide through the air?
I LOVE firearms. There is something sexy about holding something so dangerous in your hand and feeling the power as the bullet leaves the chamber and flies towards the target, the smell of gunpowder burning as the hot shell exits (usually hitting me in the face and leaving black powder or burn marks.. depending)
I love writing my thoughts to share with others. Wish I could get paid for it and don't do it nearly enough ( ask me why, although that's another whole blog post in itself)
What my point here is that through a series of events, I allowed others (referred to as them) to make me feel small and inconsequential. I allowed them to deviate my plans for my own life, I allowed them to make me feel poorly about myself, I allowed them to steal my dreams and my future.
If there is one thing that I have learned in recent months and through the recent events in my life is that I need to reclaim these areas of my life for myself. I have given too much of myself to others hoping that they would help complete me. What a bunch of horseshit right? I give of myself until I was broken inside. The sad part is that these kids from my past don't remember the horrible hurtful things that they did. They don't know how they affected me. Maybe they never will, but I have made peace with it. I have acknowledged it. I have forgiven them because children are just a product of what they have learned from those in their lives.
Make sense? There comes a time in your life when it is time to reclaim your dreams and let go of what others think of you because in the end, those that have treated you badly and discarded you long ago don't care about the footprints they have left on your soul.
When you fall off the horse, you get back on and trust me... in my career of riding horses I have fallen, been thrown, been rolled on, been kicked, been bitten in my armpit and thrown across a room.... just to name a few... All you need to do is get up one more time than life throws you down to win, so get up, dust off and hang on because each ride is going to be different and it is never over until the horse is untacked and back in their stall.
Never, Ever, Ever give up
Posted by Vanessa Robinson Shafer at 10:23 PM
Monday, May 17, 2010
So my reading fans, I have been on quite a hiatus from the blogging. I found that public blogging leads to heated passions and lots of additional drama that is never intended. Let me clear a few things up.
1 - Freedom of speech and expression are both protected. If I have a viewpoint and I share it, don't take offense because I had a different viewpoint of the same incident you were involved with. My feelings and opinions are valid and should not be discounted merely to save you from feeling uncomfortable. Forgiveness is given not for the offender, but for the offended which is something I am working on for myself to be able to move on.
2- I did not come back to CT for drama. If you have it, keep it. I don't need it. Been through enough and could care less. It is time to take care of myself and my own stuff and I don't need to be dragged into anyone Else's Bull.
3- N0 I am not happy that I personally feel like a failure at being an adult. I am 32, once divorced and living with my mom while I search for a job and save to get my own place. Due to this economic downturn, I am not able to currently find anything I am qualified for that anyone wants to pay me for. I have been given the suggestion to dumb down my resume so that maybe I can bag groceries.
4- NO I am not receiving any money for anything. WA hasn't decided whether they want to give me unemployment because I voluntarily left because I couldn't stay afloat on my own after the divorce and the system doesn't help the working class except to advise them if they want services, they should get knocked up.
5- I am fully aware that my ex is hated by all my peeps. I know that I should never have signed the pre nup, that I never should have been in the position I was in to care for his son while he was deployed and that you all suspect his ulterior motives for marrying me had everything to do with anything but love.
6- I saw a picture of me today that was taken today. I hated what I saw. Last September I was 30 pounds lighter than I am now. I went back to Allstate (which made me want to eat all the time) and recently I took a break from the thyroid meds due to my financial issues. Since my recent ER visit, it is apparent that the weight, the high BP and my asthma that the Metabolic Syndrome is wrecking havoc on my body again. I am lazy by nature and not a person who adores eating well or working out, both of which are much needed before I have a stroke or become 600 pounds, both of which will make me an even more socially awkward adult.
7- I am well aware that I am the coolest chick ever to hang out with and be friends with. I don't actually need you to tell me I am sweet and if I wasn't so heavy you would be attracted to me and want to have sex with me. Luckily for this particular guy, he was recently out of the hospital with stitches in his gut and was totally grey (while his picture indicated black hair) At least I could lose the weight and still be nice... you will always be a jerk.
8- CT drivers - You have a lot to learn. Do not tailgate me, When you are close enough to my rear mirror for me to read your lips, YOU ARE TOO CLOSE. Back up, give me some space or I am gonna hit those breaks baby.
9- Women are .... wait for it.... wait for it.... Women are Bitches. Yes I said it. I am tired of meeting men who have been run down by women who have sucked them dry and made them discount the fact that there might actually be a decent woman left in the world. Since I am a woman, I can accurately account that women are in fact of the witch variety. I know this because I was not always the nicest and I can reflect back on that now and see the error of my ways. I can also say though, that the men who have come across my path have not always been free of issues before getting to me either. I would like to think I made a difference one way or another... but going forward my intention is not to ruin any men worse than when you got to me.
10- If you so desire to read my blog and then comment, have the guts to sign your name. Anonymous posters who have no clue what they are talking about make me laugh. ( well first mad, then laugh) You are ignorant and shitless.
11- I am quite aware that we live in a society where girls are judged on their appearance and not their personality, sense of humor or intelligence. Let me live in my dream world where a super fox guy sees me for who I am and wants to be with me for me and who I am, not what he wishes I were.
12- I have experienced many things in my life. Good, Bad and Unbelievable. They have made me who I am, they have led me down many different paths and I cant say I would change them even if I could because I have become an extraordinaire person. That being said, if you don't know that, cant see that and don't want to be a part of it.... that's your loss.
Posted by Vanessa Robinson Shafer at 6:23 PM
Sunday, January 10, 2010
OK, so most of you know I am divorced, and that came about as a result of circumstances I had no hand in. As with anything, there comes a time when a woman wants to have another relationship, even if that means opening herself to the possibility of being hurt.
During this time I have been putting myself out there to see what I can find.... and it ain't pretty.
I have found a variety of men. Some are wonderful, some are not. Some are witty, some are not. Some are full of promise, some are not and some are full of manners and some ARE NOT.
Firstly, I dont want a man who is nearly the same age of my father. My father is older because he was an adult when I was born, it is not cool to think a 30 something woman wants to date a man who was old enough to drink legally when she was born. Its what I call the ick factor.
Also I have preferences. These do not make me a bad person, just selective. I do not want someome excesively old, or excessively young. I do not personally want to date a black man. I am not looking to be someone's "visa express" to get them in or keep them in the country. I am not interested in being your sexual liason to make you feel good about yourself.
I am 32 years old. I am once divorced, no children and no arrest record or questionable activities in my past. I have wants and needs for myself and I feel that I have been compromising these wants and needs because people in my life tell me that this i the best I am gonna get. That isnt true. I know that what I want is out there, just the where is what I need to know.
Here are some guidelines for men:
If I say I am interested in a Long term relationship, thats exactly what it means. If you are looking for a casual daaliance, keep it moving.
I am a woman with curves. There is no Barbie doll here. If you are simply affected by what you visually and you cant get past that, keep going and refrain from your nasty comments. If I am going to change my body, it will be because I want it, not to please you.
When a woman says no, she means no. This does not mean she wants to find herself in a position to keep fighting off your Octopus limbs and inappropriate contact. Nor does she want you to take her hand and repeatedly have to fight to not put it where you want it to be. I am not that kind of girl and if you force my hand so to speak I will kick your ass. This is your only warning.
Women want to feel like the man is interested in them and not that they are simply what is available to them. Men : Make the gesture. Show the lady you are interested. Woo her. Send her a card or flowers, srprise her with a visit at her work or a night out for dinner. Dont let her ever think she is a burden, that she is a filler for your time when there is nothing else going on for you.
Smell good, dress nice (and clean) dont be too pushy with the physical contact if she isnt ready, if you cant be with her, cant make your chat date or whatever the situation, a quick call or text is appreciated. It lets her know you appreciate her time and that you respect her enough to let her make other plans.
Men: Know how to kiss a lady. Dont come at her with your mouth puckered open like a fish trying to get a hook out of their mouth. Girls dont like bad kissers, they dont want their face swallowed off. Kissing is supposed to be a sensual act of interest between two people, not a fight for one to retain part of their face.
I know it seems like I am being picky, but I dont think that I should be treated like "green grass" while you toy with me while you find the "greener grass". I am the Greener Grass and the sooner you figure it out and start treating me with respect, the sooner I will respond favorably.
I know that there is more to be said, but I need to end here for tonight.
Let the feedback roll :)
Posted by Vanessa Robinson Shafer at 8:59 PM
Sunday, September 27, 2009
There is a saying that dogs are a man's best friend.... Mine certainly is..... I am a huMAN of the female variety and I have a wonderful, lovely little beagle named Bayley. For most of you a dog is just a dog. For me, my pooch is my little girl. Six years ago I rescued Bayley and have given her an amazing life full of pampering and love. Unfortunatley in May Bayley was diagnosed with heart failure. Because of its advanced nature I was told that it would only be months before she took a turn for the worse. And here we are the end of September and I am being given the estimate of a couple weeks before I will have to do the humane thing and end her life.
Since I last typed on this post time has mached on adn we are standing at October 11th. Bayley has lived longer than the vet has given her on a time scale, but I can see the deterioration in her body. She is taking on more edema, her body is so swollen she can barely walk, sleeps all the time and only eats meat specially prepared for her. Today it broke my heart to see her standing over a pee pee pad and unable to squat and just had her bodily fluids running down her backside. I gave her a bath knowing it is most likely the last one she will have and knowing time is running short on what is considered humane. I am still hoping that God will take her in her sleep and take this enormous decision out of my hands. I can't believe I will soon have to look her in the eyes knowing that when she closes them it will be for the last time and that I will have signed the authorization for her execution... humane or not it's a tough decision to be left with.
IN the end, I do need to know I made Bayley's life incredible while I had her and I was truly blessed to be this sweet little animals momma.
I Love Bayley and I hope she knows I did everything I could for her and that this was never an easy decision for me to have to make, but I can't watch much more of this.
Posted by Vanessa Robinson Shafer at 8:53 PM
Friday, September 4, 2009
Since I am in Washington, you might think that this title is in repsonse to the many bears, cougars and yes even aligators that have recently made the news. But those of you who know me better know that I am talking about a different species altogether.... Men.
Men are like wild animals. I am not talking about their manners, although in the last few months I have found several that are lacking in that area as well. Didn't their mamma's raise them right? I am sure they did, but once they get out on their own, they become hunters of prey... and women are it.
In this case, I am talking about the men who are inherently good. They have been taken advantage of by those women we know and see who care less about the treatment of their men, instead only caring about what they can get from them. These men become headshy and rightfully so. Their experiences have taught them that all women are slippery and conniving monsters who are out to suck their souls dry. The problem is that there us women who have run into the male counterparts of these succubi and we too are timid thinking about getting into a relationship.
These men who have been mishandled see a woman, any woman, and at this point they are skittish. Wise as I am, I have learned that you cannot be blunt and direct should you scare them more. A women who is secure with herself can pose a scary front to these men.
Here is where you need to be careful, compassionate and skillful. Avoid direct eye contact and approach them slowly and at an angle. This helps to give the contact that is needed to build a secure rapport with the man. He can learn to trust you and you can work up to the directness once they have warmed up to you.
This same theory can be applied to men of a forceful nature. It is like coming face to face with a bear ready to devour you. Back away slowly, awert your gaze and don't make any loud sounds. Easier said then done when you know the way I am... full force, straight ahead and no fear.... not always the best way to gracefully attend to a situation, but we know that I have always marched to the beat of a different drummer... it's what makes me - me.
Good luck and God Speed
Posted by Vanessa Robinson Shafer at 9:23 PM
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Recently there has been a recurring theme to my life.... one of loss and rejection. I lost the marriage that I thought would last forever. I lost the step son that I believed that I was in his life to make his life better, I lost the job that I believed in and thought I was making a difference. I have been rejected by men, by jobs and by people whom I considered friends. I have had to deal with the fact that I am never going to have relationships with some family members that I grew thinking that time would heal.
I am looking for work, looking for a purpose to my life, looking for something to believe in. Each rejection, whether it be family, friends, members of the opposite sex or potential jobs that don't want me, I feel myself losing a piece of my spirit. I know that a lot of what I am going through is that this is a stormy season for a lot of people and isn't something to be taken personally, but how do you not take things personally when it is you they are saying no to?
Every rejection gives me that feeling that it is ME that is not worthy, not wanted and not special enough. How do I overcome these feelings of inadequacy and restore myself to the person I am suppossed to be? I feel trapped and I am hating the fact that I feel weak and that I have let this self doubt creep in and muddy the waters of my life.
Posted by Vanessa Robinson Shafer at 9:02 PM
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Here are some musing over the past weeks news events :
Michael Jackson: Murdered - His doctor gave him pill after pill until he gave him a "diluted" dose of propofol. Now while I am not a Doctor, I would not have kept giving him narcotics end over end... what did this dink think would happen with all this shit mixing in his system? Pull his license and put him where all dumbasses go - To Jail
Lockerbie Terrorist Released on Compassionate Grounds - WTF people... He had no compassion for the people he blew up, why should we care that he is terminal? Let him rot in jail until the time that Karma sends him straight to hell. No, he was released and sent home to Libya where he is considered a national hero.... Way to go Scotland.. you might as well post a sign that says we heat terrorists.
President Obama on Vacation- so this means the email I sent him last week won't be answered until he goes back to work. However there are people who are pissed that he is taking a week off after eight months of work. Granted most people have to wait a year before their job gives them time off, but considering the immense mountain of shit he walked into office to deal with cut the man some slack. Give him a week with his family before they go back to work and school because you know everything he deals with on a daily basis requires patience and skill to deal with. I would love to see one of these critics run this country for a week withou shedding a few tears.
Crypt near Marilyn Monroe auctioned off on ebay - Really ... this is the most fascinating newsworthy story of the day? This is just weird.
Murdered Model - Manhunt ensues for ex husband of model. Then he takes his own life. Case solved and no trial.
Swine Flu precautions being out in place as schools go back in session - People... its the FLU.... cover your mouth, wash your hands etc its called good hygiene.....
I realized while typing this that this has been one of my most boring blogs ever... probably won't do this again :)
Posted by Vanessa Robinson Shafer at 8:46 PM
Monday, August 24, 2009
I am just curious how many people actually read my blog. If you are religious with keeping tabs on me, or just an occasional lurker,now is the time to just send up a smoke signal so I know who my reading audience is....
Greatly Appreciated and I look forward to giving you more reading for your stalkerish pleasure :)
Posted by Vanessa Robinson Shafer at 3:01 AM
So the last few days have been interesting to say the least.
I finally sucked up my pride, or what little I actually have left these days, and filed with DSHS for financial assistance. I had to go to Bremerton (EWWW) and have an in person interview. Their paperwork states to bring all paperwork relating to expenditures. I go, armed with oodles of paper trail that proves who I am and that I am in fact a living breathing person. I walk into this building to see the masses of people who work the system and I am pretty sure I am the only one who bathed recently,not to mention today in general. I start to well up with tears because I know I do not belong in this place, but if help is here, here is where I must come.
I meet with my caseworker and find out that my $808.oo a month take home of unemployment disqualifies me from cash assistance or medical (aka Medicaid) She then says that if I were to get pregnant I could qualify for more assistance. REALLY? They actually advocate for that? I stated to here that I didn't see that as a viable option to bring a child into this world. Call me old fashioned, but I believe that a child should be conceived out of love between two people, by people who want a child and who can afford or have some sort of game plan for that child's future. Don't get me wrong, I am not discounting ever having my own children, but damn at least I am fully aware that this is not the right time or the right way to go about it.
Anyways, by this point, all pride being gone I am in full on cry mode. In the past when crying was present my ex would say "Are you fixin to start?" to which my reply would be "To beat you, YES". In reality I am sure that is a good point when it comes to being overly emotional since I am known for being embarrassed at crying when I think I should be able to control it and even to the point of being pissed at myself. On this day there would be no restraint at crying in front of a stranger and I told her the system sucked. Her reply? I told you how to make the system work for you otherwise write the president (which upon getting home I did in fact send an email to President Obama .... I expect a response this week LOL)
So anyways no pride or self respect I left the office with a handy dandy EBT card filled with my $86 monthly allotment for food. I just CAN'T WAIT to start brandishing it at the local market to show people just how poor I currently am.
Let's see what's next... Oh Yeah
Was referred by the local Worksource office (WA place that helps you find a job) for a position at a local United Way Organization. While I won't divulge the name of the particular organization, let's just say that my Bachelors was a perfect fit. Worksource was given the task of prescreening a certain number of applicants (21) and then the interviewing was to begin. I even checked in with my caseworker at Worksource to find out what was going on. So I waited and waited and waited and yup.. yesterday got a rejection letter without even getting an interview.... WHAT? How the hell is it even helpful to have Worksource prescreen for yo if you aren't going to meet with all of the potential candidates before making a decision?
At this point I am nearing the 300+ mark on the number of applications and resumes that are out there circulating. I am feeling like a failure. I even applied at Walmart and couldn't get hired, even with my mom working for the company in a store 3000 miles away.... WTF man.
They tell you even at the Worksource office that getting a job is all about who you know and in most cases it is. Case in point, I originally applied for a position at the DRC when my friend Andrea worked there.. she told me about the job. I didn't get it but Kim did. Later on I met Kim and when I was losing a job to to a family situation, it just so happens the DRC was looking for another position which I got. Here is to hoping that knowing Amy will get me the fantabulous job she told me about because the money is bitchin'. If I don't get this job it just further cements the fact that I need to move away from this area, but to where still remains to be seen. I know people back east want me to come that way, but I am not sure that is where I am supposed to go. I guess it just means that I have some more conversating to do with God before I know my true purpose. I do know that I have one true hearts desire, but I am trying to hold myself back so that I don't hurt myself in the process.
Well now that is nearly 3 am, I am going to try to finally get some shut eye..... right after I spell check this and get a snack since my belly is roaring. (Disclaimer: And yes there are some words intentionally spelled different and even a made up word.. totally on purpose)
Posted by Vanessa Robinson Shafer at 2:26 AM