Welcome to the life of an American female. Aimlessly wandering the road of youth and adulthood, she shares her tales of growing pains, discoveries and ideas. There might also be a pinch of happiness, a dash of light, and a micro-amount of wisdom within. The author is not liable for any psychological damages you may incur while reading this blog.

The author put it best when she said, "My humor is like a good martini - extra dry and sometimes served dirty."

Sunday, December 15, 2013

On Dealing with Emotions

I now have less than 7 weeks until my due date, granted our little one waits that long. I'm pretty excited about being a mom, and I'm going to try my hardest to be a very good one. I hope to remember all of the experiences I had as a child and pass on the good while leaving out the things I don't agree with. With the help of the internet, reading, and a friend working towards her PHD in psychology, I'm pretty sure I can have a better approach to certain things (not that my parents' approach scarred me for life).

"And how does that make you feel?"

For example, many people engage in a behavior known as minimisation, a behavior that avoids acknowledging and dealing with negative emotions by basically denying they exist or discounting their effect. When I was 16, my boyfriend at the time broke up with me. It broke my heart. My mom told me, "It's okay. It's not like you're enemies; you can still be friends. At least he's not dead!" Not. Comforting. At. All. I completely understand why she said those things. What else do you say when you see your child is inconsolable? A better way to handle a situation like that is to simply offer a few words ("I'm so sorry you're going through this. I'm here if you need anything.") in the event that you don't have some secret to healing their pain (who does??). This is something we ALL have to remember, as negative emotions arise on a daily basis in those around us.

I interact with an online group of expectant women, new moms, and experienced moms. Our page is hidden, and we all have an agreement not to "tattle-tale" on members, so we all have the comfort of speaking freely. Many of us are dealing with pregnancies, new babies, and less-than-involved significant others. On one particularly rant-y post, a woman chimed in that she had recently lost her significant other, and "didn't feel so bad" now that she saw what we were going through. At first, I thought surely she must be being sarcastic, but I'm not so sure. I told her not to discount her emotions that way. That is the situation she is in right now. That is what is affecting her, and we were complaining about what is currently affecting us. You can't compare such things.

"I'm holding this cute cat, but I can still raise my brows at you."

Anyway, all that to say that I hope to arm my little one with the ability to recognize emotions and deal with them appropriately. When something upsets you, it's more than okay to acknowledge it and the way it makes you feel. Problems only arise when you refuse to deal with the situation and continually dwell on the negative emotions.

Hey, Spock was half-human, after all. Even he had to deal with emotions.

We aren't Vulcans; we're humans. We have emotions -- good, bad, and everything in between. It's important to recognize our emotions, how they are influencing our actions, and deal with them appropriately. While this can seem easy enough when it's just ourselves we're dealing with, we also must apply this approach to our emotions when dealing with others. Someone once told me that we can't change people or the way they think, but we can change the way WE deal with them and how we let them affect us.

Monday, December 2, 2013

More on Gender...of the LGBT Variety

I'm not homophobic. I'll admit, the idea of two men is much more foreign and weird to me than the idea of two women. I suppose that's because I am a woman and I know the closeness two girlfriends can have. I'm not weirded out by my own parts, so I guess I find it less weird. Society also makes two females seem somehow more acceptable than two men. Anyway, I think it's all summed up best by this sentiment:

Ask a heterosexual person, "Can you stop being straight? Can you be attracted to a member of the same sex, right now?" Their answer will surely be "no." Well, it's the same for homosexual people. They are attracted to members of the same sex, exclusively. The shades of grey come up with bisexual, polysexual, and asexual (etc) people. Look it up. It's interesting, if not slightly confusing, stuff. Basically, sex is sex. It's a personal act and really none of anyone's business except those involved.

But alas, this post isn't so much about sex as it is a particular subgroup of people: those that are born as one gender but identify as another. I am confused, but not bothered when I see a male dress as a female, have a female alter-ego, what-have-you. Whatever floats your boat, dude. What gets me, and what I often bite my tongue at, is when I see a he (as a she) rant about things like PMS, periods, etc.

I seriously get a little bit offended.

I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, so I bite my tongue, roll my eyes and move on. I don't really know how to approach such a topic, anyway.

I have no clue what it feels like to be born one gender, yet identify as another. I have no clue what it's like to have a penis. I have no clue what it feels like to be kicked in the kahunas, as I don't have, nor will I ever have, kahunas.

I do, however, know exactly how it feels to be a woman, with a functioning vagina, uterus, and ovaries. I know what a monthly cycle feels like. I know about cramps, nausea, acne, bloat, breast tenderness and mood swings. If you're born a man, even if you have a sex change, you will never ever know what a period feels like. Ever. So don't pretend you know.

People born as one gender that identify as another have their own set of problems. I would never pretend to know what that feels like, just as I don't think a man should "play pretend" at having a period, even if he really wants to be a woman. I also don't think a woman who identifies as a man should ever pretend to really know what it's like to be a man.

Am I the only one that feels this way? What's your take?