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Toddler Interview

I saw this come across my Facebook feed and had to give it a try. My baby boys are turning 3 1/2 in just a few weeks and on the cusp of exiting toddlerhood. It’s a happy sad moment really, saying goodbye to the toddler years. I’m thrilled to be done with diapers and infancy but toddlerhood holds a special place in my heart. I’m going to miss their gusto and innocence as the real world takes hold. This is a good way to remember them at their purest form of humanity.

What’s your name? Old MacDonald (Champ)

How old are you? Five or Three or Two

What’s your favorite color? Green

What’s your favorite food to eat? Dinner

Who’s your best friend? Crash

What’s your favorite song? Dance Party (???)

What do you like to watch on tv? Octonauts

What’s your favorite animal? Bear (a lion)

Where’s your favorite place to go? To Underwear

What do you want to be when you grow up? Fly Airplanes

How old is mommy? 3

What does mommy do all day? You have to teach me to fly airplanes

What do you love most? Airplanes!!!

Champ has a plan. He is going to fly airplanes if it’s the last thing he does, and apparently I’m the one who’s going to teach him. He’s not entirely wrong. Every time he does something reckless or dangerous I’ve been scolding him by explaining that he can’t fly airplanes if he loses an eye or breaks a leg. So I guess I kind of am teaching him what he needs to become a pilot someday.

What’s your name? Gigi (Crash)

How old are you? Crash!

What’s your favorite color? Blue Airplanes

What’s your favorite food to eat? Dinner

Who’s your best friend? Daddy

What’s your favorite song? Dance Party (???)

What do you like to watch on tv? Octonauts

What’s your favorite animal? Gigi (alligator)

Where’s your favorite place to go? Underwear (giggle)

What do you want to be when you grow up? Old MacDonald

How old is mommy? You Old.

What does mommy do all day? Dinner

What do you love most? Dinner!!

Crash… well I think Crash was just hungry lol or he really loves my cooking… one of the two. 💕

It’s been such a wonderful adventure raising my kiddos. I love watching them grow into their personalities and develop their individuality. I’m so blessed with these tiny humans in my life. I don’t know what I would do without them.

Pro-Huh?

I’ve thought long and hard on this post, as well as my feelings on the recent hot button issue of abortion rights in the United States.

Back in the day I was pro-life 10000% percent with no exceptions. I still believe that life begins at conception and there are many very effective ways to avoid conception. The best and most effective way is to abstain from sexual activity all together. It’s not a popular alternative, but it is always effective without unwanted side effects.

That being said… as I’ve began to ponder the issue in recent weeks and months I’ve taken time to really listen to women who have chosen abortion for a million different reasons and it really has started to change my mind.

As a Christian I had to also consider it from a biblical standpoint, and while I do believe that conception is God’s will in all circumstances I also believe that he can use the act of abortion to fulfill His will. The important factor in it all swaying my decision toward a conservative pro-choice was the act of free will. If you believe as I do that humanity began with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, you also know that God gifted humanity with free will to make choices as we see fit. God knew from day one that humanity wouldn’t always make the right choices, but that’s where Jesus and salvation comes in.

People are going to have abortions. People were having them before medical science caught up to make them a relatively safe procedure, and even if the safe procedures are made illegal people will continue to have abortions. It’s not an issue of legislation, it’s an issue of the heart. I think in the midst of all of the political upheaval since the controversial Roe v Wade the Pro-Life movement has gotten lost along the way.

It’s not up to us as Christians to judge one another; that’s God’s job. It’s our job to love, forgive, and share Christ with others in hopes that their eyes and hearts will open. That means that instead of condemning people for choosing to have an abortion, we need to be on the other side supporting them and encouraging them regardless of their final choice and trust that God’s Will be done. If God gave humanity free will, we have no grounds to take it away.

Lettuce in Bowls

Pull up a chair. Let’s chat. This idea so many people have that restaurant work is somehow beneath other professions annoys the ever living ef out of me.

Much like any other industry restaurants pay on a sliding scale based on experience. Yes, I put lettuce in bowls for a living, BUT I also have seven years of industry experience and the majority of those years I’ve spent in management. I make significantly above the industry average. In fact, I’m right on par with any local factory, warehouse, CNA, or LPN and I’m only required to work an 8hr shift to earn the exact same salary. When my kids all start school and I can open up my availability, my employer will pay for whatever I have left as far as school goes to achieve my degree PLUS my salary PLUS retirement and health benefits for me to continue putting lettuce in bowls full time.

Of course putting lettuce in bowls isn’t the most emotionally fulfilling work in the world, but that’s why I write and volunteer with all the extra time my 8hr (often less) shifts afford me. Restaurant work isn’t easy, and it takes a long time in the industry to really make a decent living. There are also infinite opportunities that many people never take advantage of simply due to their ego. They want instant gratification vs hard work and perseverance.

When I started my food career I was making less than minimum wage (I was a minor) but now I have all the perks of any other local industry all for the simple task of putting lettuce in bowls. It’s a pretty sweet deal really. I love my coworkers, and I enjoy the extra time I have available to spend with my family.

It’s also not particularly glamorous, putting lettuce in bowls, but neither is storing pallets on racks, working an assembly line, changing bed pans or checking vitals on otherwise healthy patients day in and day out.

Success is how you feel at the end of the work day. What you do to achieve that feeling is entirely up to you.

Butterfly Girl

As much as my Little struggled at the beginning of the school year, she has flourished in the last half.

She can read. She can write. She can draw. She’s even obsessing over her first trend, and challenging her peer’s social cliques. She’s standing up for herself and she’s standing up for others. She wanted to be a doctor when the school year began, and now she’s expanded her desire to become a doctor at a university hospital so she can teach other people how to be good doctors too. She’s lost six teeth, and gained many friends.

She’s also a little bit scared as the school year comes to a close. Her teacher is transferring to another school and the anticipation of starting all over again next year with out the security of a familiar face is weighing heavy on her sensitive soul. She knew she wouldn’t be in her teacher’s class beyond this year, but she was looking forward to seeing her down the hall anyway.

She also (FINALLY) over came her fear of the Bad Man in recent weeks. I was worried with the anniversary of the break in and the change in the weather that she might relapse into her night terrors, but she sailed through unfazed this year which helped keep me calm as well.

We’ve also reconnected over the past month or so. I felt like we were growing apart since my schedule changed and Hubs took over most of the evening responsibilities. I hardly ever get to see Little during the week aside from sending her off to the bus, and she runs to her Daddy for everything. The past two weeks or so we’ve had the opportunity to go shopping together and just do fun Girl Time activities. She’s enjoyed it. So much in fact that she couldn’t wait to give me this wonderful Mother’s Day card:

That’s right. As much as I’ve struggled with this momming thing, and as much as I doubt myself my Little still thinks I’m the “bestst” all the naysayers be damned. 🥰💕🥰

Tsunami

My comments have gone off the chain this year in regards to my Sexual Assault Awareness Month posts. Which is weird since I haven’t really posted as much as I have in years passed and instead focused on promoting my books elsewhere.

One in particular got my attention more than others. A lot of them were the standard victim blaming. “What happened to me was my fault.” “I’m just making everything up for attention.” “You just regret sleeping with him” “He never abused you” blah blah blah. Typical victim blaming that often appears with Mens Rights Activists, or others who disagree with the so called “feminist agenda.” I’ve heard it all before. I’m used to it. Everyone has a right to their opinion, as well as the ability to disagree with mine. It’s whatever.

The one that stood out among the rest was the one accusing me of participating in continuing advocacy as some sort of diabolical revenge plot directed at my rapist. It didn’t upset me so much as it just really, really, REALLY confused me. Now if they had said something along the lines of: “your book is an act of revenge” okay. It’s not true, but books have been published in anger before so I get that logic and how people may feel that way. Again, difference of opinion, it’s whatever.

But that’s not what the accusation was. The accusation was that somehow by transcending from the victim mentality to that of a survivor, and using my gift as an author and experience in recovery to advocate and support fellow victims/survivors of sexually based crimes that I’m some how making my rapist’s life miserable and it’s all because I want some sort of revenge. Even typing that out made my brain ache because it doesn’t make any sense.

Okay… first of all, if I was out for revenge when I published my memoir I would have used his real name. That’s the difference between an autobiography and a memoir. Autobiographies have to be iron clad, and 110% factual a+b=c with no room for interpretation. Memoirs are personal stories, anecdotes, experiences and opinions. Legally speaking I could publish his name and there wouldn’t be shit he could do about it. Much in the same way that reporting the crime so long after the fact I was unable to receive any sort of justice being my word against his, if he chose to bring a law suit against me it wouldn’t get anywhere. I still could have used his name if I wanted revenge.

Even here. My blog, is protected by the 1st Amendment. I can publish names if I wanted to, but I don’t. It’s childish, petty, and ridiculous. Yes, in my younger days I’ve been guilty of calling people out, but I’ve grown past that. I have way better things to write about than using this space to call people out by name. I’d much rather focus on concepts, ideas, and my own feelings than the specifics of who’s to blame for my trauma at this point in my life. It really doesn’t matter what my rapist’s name is, what matters is that he raped me and has since caused a whole host of bullshit in my life allowing me the opportunities to publish my books and advocate on behalf of others. Which I will continue to do for as long as I’m able, despite his best efforts to stop me.

If that’s making his life miserable in some way, it’s only because he can’t control me anymore not because I’m hellbent on something as shallow as revenge. I am hellbent, but I’m hellbent on standing up for change and making the world a better place for my children. And you know what? It’s working. Advocacy on behalf of victims of sexually based crimes IS working. I’m watching the fruits of our labors come to fruition right now as my niece is taking on the system in regards to her own assault and actually seeing results. She will have her day in court. Whether she actually sees justice is yet to be determined, but she will have her day in court. That’s a lot farther than many other women could even hope to get before the rise of MeToo and TimesUp.

I’m not vain enough to believe it was my specific story that inspired this local tide of change. Hell, the family didn’t even tell me because they were worried about me having a PTSD episode so I know it’s not my specific story that’s contributed to any of this. I’m only one of millions and those millions are making progress. Slow, often painful, but progress. That’s why I continue to participate in Sexual Assault Awareness Month, RedMyLips, DenimDay, and other opportunities. That’s why I continue to promote my books, and do all the PR bullshit. It’s working. Me as an individual, hell, I’m just a tiny ripple in an ocean. But eventually when we get enough ripples, we’ll have a Tsunami.

Integrity

A few years ago I wrote about why I didn’t report the rape and sexual abuse that defined my young adulthood until much later. A big part of it was because my rapist’s father was a high ranking military official at a local base and I was terrified that he might use his political connections to make my life hell.

I compared myself to Emily Doe and Brock Turner in reference to Mr. Turner’s (Brock’s father) involvement with the case and the infamous letter he wrote to the judge on his son’s behalf. I mentioned that I wasn’t sure if my rapist’s father had any involvement in our particular case, but I hoped that he possessed more integrity than Mr. Turner.

This year in the midst of digging around in other military records I pulled up the public information on my rapist’s father as well to satisfy my own curiosity. A big part of the entire fiasco of entering a relationship with my rapist after the fact was his consistent dishonesty. As I’ve spent time fact checking various stories he shared with me during the publication process of my memoir, I’ve found that 90% of everything my rapist ever told me was complete bullshit. Which isn’t entirely surprising considering the level of abuse I endured at his hands during our short lived relationship. His lies were a simple, yet effective way to control me. He held me emotionally hostage for many years even after our relationship ended. Both with fear that he would harm himself in retaliation for me speaking out about the abuse or that he would “teach me a lesson” and come after me.

Now all I really have to judge his father’s integrity are military service records, awards, achievements etc. versus the word of his son who has proven himself to be a pathological liar. I never interacted with his father enough to really make a solid assessment of his character. Up until recently I based most of my presumptions on what his son told me.

Bah HA HA HA HA! Thank God for the military recording every time you breathe, because what his son told me conflicts with everything he has ever done in his public military career. Of course I can’t speak for his home life, but given the fact that he never really pursued the more political ranks, never spoke of his various (damn impressive) achievements, and pretty much keeps to himself like every other Average Joe, I’m going to say that aside from the same love and loyalty to his children he has boat loads more integrity than Mr. Turner ever will.

Would he help his son out of various legal debacles? Sure. He’s a loving father. He would certainly offer any legal resources he has to give his son the best chance to survive the circus of the legal system.

Would he manipulate the system, play politics, bribe, blackmail, etc etc etc as his son lead me to believe? No. I sincerely don’t believe he would now or really ever has. I think in instances where his son needed “help from his dad” it was merely a convenient cover story for his son to go find less than legal means (or another woman) to bail his own ass out.

Coming to that conclusion makes me a little sad that I didn’t think to research more before publishing my memoir. Not that Dad really plays a large part in it all, but the way I wrote him was written through the false pretenses his son filled my head with. Thankfully I took the time to change all the major identifying details so only a handful of people know who he really is, but… I still feel foolish anyway. Sorry, Dad! My bad. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Summer Nights

Working late at night doesn’t leave a whole lot of options for socializing after work, but once or twice a week a few co workers and I go out for an hour or two and relax after we close the restaurant. We’ve gone to a bar or two, and more recently we’ve switched it up to late night diners and such.

This week I returned to a nostalgic piece of my young adulthood. It’s not the first time I’ve been back to a late night Waffle House meal with friends, but it is the most recent.

Our local Waffle House is basically aesthetically perfect. It’s in a quite empty plaza parking lot next to a junk yard on the West and train yard slightly South, snuggly nestled up directly under a bill board advertising a local drug rehabilitation program. And all of this is situated across the street from a rundown Walmart. Lol. Which is honestly really out of place for the rest of the neighborhood, but it is what it is.

I sat in the parking lot with my windows down just enjoying the warm night air, listening to the sounds of trains moving around and watching a light on the billboard flicker. It was comforting in a way and brought back happy memories of carefree Summer nights wasted driving around aimlessly or haunting diners and other 24hr establishments simply because we could.

I think that’s really the only thing I miss about my days before becoming a parent. Well that and sleeping naked lol. I’m glad I’ve found a nice balance between responsibilities and my youthful adventurous spirit. It makes coming home to the demands of three tiny humans much less draining, and my secondish shift schedule fits much better into my natural circadian rhythm.

It’s nice to enjoy my Summer Waffles again without sacrificing the life I’ve built here with Hubs. It took a while to find my balance between the two, but I think I’ve finally got it. I can’t wait until the weather stays consistently warmer and I can break out my flip flops and sun dresses. It’s going to be a good year this year. I’m excited. 😊

SAAM 2019: Thank You Mr. President?

Rebecca MacCeile

April 2017

“In April 2017 President Trump made a declaration about April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). To be clear, I was staunchly opposed to him being in office with so many allegations of sexual assault against him. Yet, SAAM and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center were trending for the first time that I could recall in all of my years of involvement with the project.

I was offended by the blatant hypocrisy, and obvious insincerity. I was also kind of excited that SAAM was trending, simply for the sake of awareness. I’m not going to call it a silver lining, because that’s unfair to the victims. Not just victims who made allegations against the President, but any victim who hasn’t reached a place where they can comfortably be bombarded with discussions of sexual assault in the media.

I don’t know what I would do if my assailant…

View original post 295 more words

My Baby Did a Thing

Yesterday was my Littlest Little’s last occupational therapy appointment. All things considered it was a joyous and positive experience. He’s grown so much over the past 10 months and he really didn’t need to go anymore, but he really loved going and he really loved his therapist. So much so that as we were getting ready to leave the house I explained to him that it was his last appointment and we would have to say goodbye to Ms Becky. He looked at me and got tears in his eyes as the realization sank in. He went from mega excited to go to his appointment, to very quiet and upset.

Gosh if that didn’t make ME all weepy and upset for him even though I understood going into it that it wouldn’t last forever. I also understand that this is an amazing thing for him to be flourishing and the therapist to be confident that he will continue to do so without her help. And it still crushed my Champ’s spirit and smashed his little heart into a billion pieces.

Uuuuuuuugh… if I’m this upset when he has to say goodbye to a therapist, what the hell am I going to do when the first girl breaks his heart?!

He handled it fairly well overall. He was upset, didn’t really want to say goodbye or leave the session, and he had a mild meltdown at bedtime but nothing like the epic meltdowns that inspired us to seek treatment in the first place. He’s growing up, and maturing. *sigh* My Baby did a thing.

Scrub the Decks!

Do you ever have one of those days where one thing after another just piles up on top of you and just brings out the Hulk Smash? Yep. Yesterday was one of those days.

It started with the news of a coworker who has been trying for years to conceive both finally receiving a positive pregnancy test and then subsequently losing the pregnancy a few weeks later. It was a very private affair, only a handful of people knew about it and it was absolutely devastating to find out about the loss. I cried and pulled out a few of my quotes and special moments that have helped me grieve my own pregnancy losses to share with her.

That was emotionally draining; then I headed off to work itself. Pulling out of the driveway I noticed my neighbors celebrating their son’s birthday with a cookout and piñata. They moved here from Mexico (LEGALLY I might add. They’re fully law abiding, naturalized, and on their way to citizenship) several years ago settling first in Georgia and eventually moving up here to Indiana to be closer to family. Their son was turning eight years old and like most other 8yr old boys he is very into all things Marvel and Avengers right now. So the theme of the party was Avengers and the piñata happened to be a likeness of Captain America.

SOME ASSHAT IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD CALLED THE POLICE AND COMPLAINED OF ANTI-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES. The local detective was just pulling up to the house as I was leaving and when I returned an hour or so later the party had all moved inside and the piñata was gone. Like… seriously? SERIOUSLY?? The kid was BORN HERE. He’s just as much an American as anyone else in the neighborhood and just because his parents came from Mexico and speak Spanish doesn’t mean celebrating with a piñata makes them evil anti-American criminals.

I, being spiteful as I can be when irritated, want to hang a bunch of Captain America piñatas from my front tree for everything my family celebrates and leave them there indefinitely. Hubs, the more rational of our partnership, has discouraged this idea but dammit if the desire isn’t there. Do you want to fuel legitimate anti American activity Racist Neighbor? BECAUSE IGNORANT BULLSHIT LIKE THIS IS HOW YOU FUEL LEGITIMATE ANTI AMERICAN ACTIVITY.

But the icing on my emotionally charged rage cake was learning that my niece was assaulted. That I can’t go into any amount of detail about pending the ongoing investigation, but it tipped me right over the edge passed Hulk Smash and straight into Calm Rage, one of the few perks to my PTSD. I was hyperaware, and physically tense but otherwise completely composed.

Yep. That was basically me for the duration of the evening. I Rage Cleaned the house, ran two miles, and flew through two chapters of homework before my adrenaline wore off and I passed out in an emotionally exhausted lump where I have remained for the duration except for getting Little on the bus and feeding the boys breakfast.