White Christian Plus Sized Middle Class Female Smokers Feel Prejudices Too

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I’m White, a woman and a Christian so, I know my place.  I know that I’m supposed to be “Politically Correct” in everything I say or do because Heaven forbid, I should “offend someone”, somewhere, somehow, or in some way.  I shall forever be accountable for the atrocities that were committed by generations gone by and eternally having to atone for those who did wrong, endlessly having to watch my p’s and q’s by virtue of the colour of my skin and my religious affiliations even though I’m non-practising.  I’m also overweight, according to today’s standards and, yikes…I smoke (cigarettes).  Oh yes, and I’m Middle Class in the economic group, placing me smack dab between the poverty stricken and the wealthy where even other middle class groups don’t agree or like others in middle class.  I seem to have hit the all time lowest of the lows on all fronts.  A Home Run plus some in the arena of political and otherwise, incorrectness.

Having watched the Academy Awards last night and, of course, having bantered with others over the past 18 hours or so regarding comedian, Chris Rock’s monologue and quips throughout the show over Blacks and women not being well represented in Hollywood, I have had flash backs to my own life of prejudices being placed upon me in judgement of me as a person.  Yes, it’s true. White Christian, Plus-Sized, Middle Class, Female Smokers have had more than a few tastes of biases against us.  As a matter of fact, we’ve had to chew and swallow more than one would believe from other groups.

Were Whites today, born to be the whipping posts for all that ails society?  Were Christians all to blame for the Holocaust?  Are people who are overweight (meaning, not a size 8 or less), disgusting, low-willed, lazy asses?  Are tobacco smokers all murderers?  Are women to be seen but not heard from so that they’re not called “Feminists”?  Gasp!  Feminism has been taken as a dirty word by a lot of males in today’s society and bashed heavily.  After all, I am a woman, part of the working world, want equal rights to men in all ways so, I must be a Feminist, right?  One more chalk mark against me as a person to bash.

When all tolled, I am a prime target for Blacks, Health Enthusiast Nuts, Male Feminist Haters, Non-Christians, both the Wealthy and the Poverty Stricken and since I tend to be slanted towards being outspoken with my thoughts, a bulls eye for those aiming to persecute anyone with a difference of opinion to theirs.

I grew up in a neighbourhood where other cultures had congregated to settle amongst themselves.  An area where no one really had to learn to speak one of Canada’s two official languages because there was always someone who spoke their mother tongue and translated for them.  Our family was considered “The Mangia Cake Family” who apparently, only ate Kraft Dinner and hot dogs, didn’t know how to clean, cook or care for children.  They’d often speak in their mother language in front of me, knowing that I couldn’t understand them when they wanted to put either myself down or fellow Canadians.  That was my first taste of discrimination.

My mother passed away when I was 29 years of age with cancer and my father re-married a couple of years after her passing.  He married a Black Jamaican woman who had 2 previous marriages and 4 children of her own.  Two were of mixed race and two were Black.  My father was her second White husband who had 3 white children.  One would think that she would have been accepting of Whites in general but, that wasn’t the case.  This woman loved the “status” of having a White husband (according to her own admission) while the rest of her family and friends, called her a “sell-out” for having married a White man.  Every event that landed all of us in the middle of an all Black crowd or gathering, was an opportunity for discrimination that was so palpable that it couldn’t be ignored or even by-passed.  It was uncomfortable, to say the least.

While my father was passing away with a different form of cancer that the form my mother passed with, Step Mom was already moving onto Husband #4, this time a Black gentleman with great wealth and status, dumping my brothers and myself as The Past Mistake and moving Hubby 4 into the large home my father had built for them both, the day after his funeral which she didn’t attend.

Being a Christian didn’t absolve me of my sins amongst other Christians either.  I married a European, Catholic man whose family hated non-Catholic Canadians.  Talk about discrimination.  It was open and in my face as they told me in no uncertain terms that I was not welcome into their family and made it abundantly clear that they also looked down upon me for not being either the culture nor the religion that they were nor, did I speak their language.  After all, all Canadians spent their money on beer and fed their un-clothed, un-cared for children garbage foods from cans, boxes or jars, living in filthy houses because we didn’t know how to take care of a home and worshipped incorrectly at church.  The Catholic Church fertilized those thoughts quite nicely as well when they ostracized me for not being a Catholic.

Did I have enough on my plate already? No.  I chose to open a store as a White, in a predominantly Black area with a friend of mine.  The prejudice against Whites was so thick that we often were the target for vandalism and hate-filled actions by fellow business owners and patrons around the business area.  We ended up having to leave as we couldn’t afford to keep up the costs of doing business anymore and there was none as customers frequented other businesses in the area, run by Blacks and let us know the reason, without doubt or question.

Fast forward to today where a thyroid issue has left me with a weight problem.  In spite of my best efforts, I cannot lose weight easily and am considered rather overweight by today’s fashion standards.  Retailers, having switched to buying clothing made in countries like China or Thailand where sizing is tiny by comparison have shoved those who are not a size 8 or below into Plus Sized stores as they refuse to bring in larger sizing into regular clothing retail stores.  I have become “The Fat Lady In The Room” at times and felt the stares as I wear clothing created for the Plus Sized population that seems to assume that all above average sized clothing should look matronly, out of style/date or just plain ugly.  If you’re not adept at creating your own patterns and sewing, you’re out of luck and a target for discrimination for not only your weight but your fashion sense.  You’re told that you should “move more”, “eat less”, “hit a gym”, “eat a salad instead of anything else”.  At one point, I gave up eating and became extremely ill.  It did little good except to screw up my metabolism even further.  The shame was and still is, horrendous.  Yet, I am not out there protesting or burning down retail stores, looting or getting media attention right, left and centre.

When I first started smoking cigarettes, I wasn’t alone.  Many people did it (including doctors and nurses) and it was during the time when you could smoke anywhere, any time and looked “cool”.  Times changed and while I totally agree that it’s not at all healthy, smoking tobacco became “illegal” in most places and anyone who smokes nowadays is considered to be not only committing suicide but, killing others and, is being banished into corners, far away from any structure and especially, public institutions or places.  We are the lepers, sent outside to stand and shiver, get wet and be isolated with our “dirty habit” while being told “you wreak of cigarette smoke” as we come back indoors to thaw out or dry off.  Trust me, I’ve tried to quit many times, managing to quit during pregnancy but, fell back into it during times of stress afterwards. I continue to try to quit permanently but, until I do, I am still feeling the disfavour and disgust towards me.

What’s left is being a woman and part of the Middle Class economic group.  I have felt the animosity from those who are in the lower economic groups for not being able to fund everyone in need of help.  I give to charity, volunteer to help but, I do not fit in with this group.  Again, the anger, jealousy and discrimination is felt heavily even when volunteering.  The old “you think you’re better than us” attitude shines through brightly.  The same holds true of the wealthy of society where I cannot afford luxury homes or cars, don’t belong to exclusive clubs or gyms, can’t spend $250 for a haircut at an over-priced salon, don’t have nor, can I buy expensive, designer Prada or Gucci clothing or shoes or purses.  Walmart is my speed for a lot of things in life and I’m put down for that as well.

As a woman, I am persecuted by the “Feminist Hating Men” of the world because I believe that women should have equal rights in most ways and places and especially, the work place.  I am not a Feminist in today’s sometimes, fanatical movement by any means but, I do believe that women should get a much fairer shake than they are in a lot of cases.  Women are still behind the males and it’s about time that we caught up more fully.  Yet, I feel the anger and contempt from some men over this stance as well.

The bottom line to all of this is that there is no one walking this planet who doesn’t feel discriminated against by one group or another for one thing or another.  Blacks don’t hold the monopoly on prejudices, biases, disadvantage, hatred, bigotry or anything else that they can label it.  As a matter of fact, Blacks are just as discriminatory as any other group on the planet.  They just have a bigger soap box to stand on, built by the slavery trade where Blacks sold other Blacks as slaves yet, they will continue to blame Whites for having them rather than members of their own race for its beginnings.  Even Whites were enslaved and no one acknowledges that as they scramble to become politically correct and fall to their knees, begging for forgiveness, forgetting all that’s being done, at the first sign of someone calling them “racists”.

From my little corner of life, it doesn’t matter what your situation, you’re going to feel discrimination in one way or another, from one group or another in some form or another.  Blacks don’t hold the monopoly on discrimination and it’s time that the world accepted that #alllivesmatter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lily White Oscars Or Chris Rock’s Black Orchid Awards?

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I love Chris Rock and his comedy….well, most of the time anyway.  So, I tuned into the 2016, 88th Academy Awards.  Having watched none of the movies nominated, I was eager to see what Rock was going to do with this controversy over the “all white Oscars”.  It was my bet that Rock was going to get some snipes in and he didn’t fail to live up to my expectations.  As a matter of fact, he went so far with it that it became awkward, embarrassing and eventually, disjointed.   I nearly turned the entire program over to yet another rerun of Big Bang Theory or some other program I’d seen at least 3 times before.

One look at the faces in the audience and one could tell that even fellow members of the Academy were not knowing whether to clap, laugh or be insulted.  Confused was more the word, with many clapping or laughing out of sheer discomfort and “I don’t know what I should do here” type feelings.  “Do I laugh? Do I clap? Do I sit here and keep my mouth hanging open should the camera pan over me?  Should I try to be a good sport and politically correct or, do I want to cross my arms and not move?”

Right from the first sentence, it was perfectly clear that Rock was going to hit this issue and not let up on it.  It actually got to a point where it wasn’t even about the Oscars anymore but, about Blacks being lynched in days gone by and killed by cops, going to see movies.

Yes, he took some jabs at Jada Pinkett Smith over her outrage that her husband, Actor, Will  Smith, wasn’t nominated this year.  If I’m not mistaken, Jada P. Smith was one the instigators for this manic state over “black rights” at the awards.

It was hard to tell exactly what Rock was getting at through certain points he made.  He seemed to be taking jabs at the Smiths while driving home the idea that the Oscars are racist.

“But this is the wildest, craziest Oscars to ever host, because we’ve got all this controversy. No, no black nominees, you know, and people are like “Chris, you should boycott. Chris, you should quit. You should quit,” Rock said, clad in a white tux.

“So, I thought about quitting. I thought about it real hard. But, I realized, they’re gonna have the Oscars anyway. They’re not gonna cancel the Oscars because I quit. You know? And the last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart, O.K.?”

In reality, it’s likely that Rock realized that he had the perfect self-made soap box to stand on with this issue and he did it well.

Well, Chris this wasn’t “The White People’s Choice Awards” as you’ve called them.  The average Jane and Joe didn’t vote or even get the chance to do so.  Secondly, Neil Patrick Harris didn’t do such a bang-up job when he hosted the awards so, I wouldn’t ask him back if I were the one in charge.

The entire evening after Rock’s monologue felt like a wet blanket had been thrown over it. There were quips for the rest of the night made by Rock and scattered throughout his stage presences.  Statements like “we’re black…uhhh…I mean BACK” after commercial breaks and, “….whiter than white…Charlize Theron” as he introduced the first presenters of the show.  They didn’t go unnoticed and it was only after the awards started being accepted that one could feel the audience getting more into the purpose of the show but, the show had a pall cast over it and it wasn’t leaving.  The only thing leaving were viewer’s enthusiasm over watching any further.  Personally, I ended up flipping channels and doing other things instead.

This turned out not to be “The Lily White Oscars” after all.  Rock saw to it.  Perhaps, it should have been titled, “The Black Orchid Oscars”?

I’ve got an idea though.  Since Will Smith and Jada own their own production company, why don’t they write, produce and both star in a version of “Broke Black Mountain”  or “Black To The Future”?

From my little corner of life, the message was there but was over the top and got lost through a rather uncomfortable show this year.  While others will see Rock as a genius for it, all that it made me do was to turn the entire show off.  I did enjoy some re-runs though and learned how to use Crave TV.  All was not totally lost.

If you wish to read the transcript of Rock’s “performance” in his opening monologue, read it here.

Can Our Adult Children Bully Us?

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My daughter is an only child who has now become an adult, still acting like a child in spite of having grown up with other children around her at all times so as not to develop “Only Child Syndrome”.  Our home was constantly filled with other children, mainly her friends and some that I temporarily did home daycare with as a way of being able to be home for our daughter but, still bring in an income of some type.  It was also the home in which other children would come when their own families were in crisis and they needed a pseudo-mom to be here for them to help them through things.  In short, my daughter saw a lot of what went on in other families and learned well from other children about being part of a “family”, both the good and the bad.  She learned compassion, helping, sharing as well as the idea that she had it pretty damned good.

As the years went on and she grew old enough to be elsewhere, experiencing other situations in Life, as well as with other circumstances, not so padded anymore, I became less and less important in her life.  That was understood and welcomed as every child must spread their wings and fly at some point or another.  It was “growth” as all children must do.  That meant that my influence as a parent was becoming more watered down in her life.  Her friends, the outside world, experiences, teachers, bosses and others, now had more influence than I did over her as happens in all cases where children aren’t locked in their bedrooms.

Boyfriends had become the focus of her life during her late teen years.  Her choices were not exactly stellar examples by any means.  They all had issues and instead of recognizing the fact that they were changing her and her relationship with me, she tried to get me to change to suit them and their issues.  That led to the start of problems between us because while I could sympathize with these boy’s issues, I wasn’t about to change myself or the house rules to suit these boys as she expected me to do.  Still, I bent some.  I didn’t completely give in but, I bent some in trying to understand and be fair to her, first and foremost but, also to these issue-riddled boys that she was seeing and bringing home while gently and subtly, trying to guide her to see that they were un-changeable in every way as they all needed professional counselling for one reason or another.

By her mid-twenties, after a nasty break-up with one, she had found what I call “Rebound Boy”.  Rebound boy was barely working, had no skills, refused to go to school and had been kicked out of his home by his own wealthy parents.  It was only when Rebound couldn’t find work for himself and was drowning, unable to stand on his own 2 feet, that Daddy decided to create a job for him within the business and paid off his debts that often got rung up on a monthly basis.  A good part of which, entailed hundreds of dollars per month on illegal weed usage, something my daughter abhorred.  Not only that but, he was slovenly, obnoxious, abrasive, un-driven, un-ambitious, un-driven and downright rude to most, if not all people around him.  He managed to not only alienate himself from all friends and his own family but, he was working diligently in trying to separate her from her friends and family.  He succeeded through tricking her into moving in with him, saying that he couldn’t afford to live alone anymore and “needed her” or, he’d have to move further away and they’d never see one another.  I later found out that it was a total lie but, suffice it to say that she fell for it and left home to live with him, his weed and other psychedelic drugs, lose all of her friends and became a clone of him with his attitude.

Fast forward to today.  It’s been nearly 7 years since that move-out she made with him and things have only gotten worse.  Systematically, he convinced her that he was the only one she could trust and, that we, along with his own parents (still providing a job for him) were “Evil Incarnate”.

At this point, she was already withdrawing from our lives, bit by bit.  She was also becoming horridly nasty with us, expecting us to “accept her new life”.  We accepted that she had moved out with him but, we struggled to maintain a relationship of some type with her even though we were trying to understand and accept this man’s issues and even help him.  We bought and paid for dinners, clothing, bought her a car and tried to keep her close to us.  We did the same for him.  Nothing worked.  He simply got more and more abbrassive, arrogant, lazy, mouthy and disrespectful.  She joined him.  In other words, the more we tolerated, the worse both of them became with us.

Eventually, our daughter wanted nothing to do with us because we finally had to stand up for ourselves with his rudeness.  That was his opening (and what he wanted) to ousting us from her life.  He worked hard at it and she became physically violent with me whereupon, I had to tell her to leave our home.  She did leave and didn’t come back.  Nasty emails, horrid and incorrect accusations got hurled at me as a mother while I was already on the ground in grief over the sudden passing of one of my two brothers.  She kicked and I rolled in pain.  She kept kicking until I had to shut the abuse down at which time, she had nothing to do with either my husband nor myself.

We did try another approach when I was back onto my feet after my brother’s death.  I tried, once again, to simply “tolerate” Rebound Boy being around, putting up with his insults, rudeness and not saying much of anything in return in order to keep our daughter close.  As they say, keep your friends close but your enemies even closer.  He had power and he knew it.  It didn’t work.  After 4 plus years of doing this, other family members had had enough of him being around and chose to tell us that he was no longer welcome, questioning our sanity for allowing this in our lives, their lives and our home.  Upon trying to smoke weed at our home, insulting my remaining brother to the point where my brother wanted to hit him and nearly did, I realized that there was no way to deal with this anymore on this basis.  It was time to stop both of their abuse on everyone.

Back to the horrid messages, texts and criticisms of us especially, me and as parents.  She tore us to shreds in what anyone with half a brain could see was brain washing from him, possibly even dictated by him or the gist of it, given by him.  It was all, pure and simply Bully Tactics and it had to stop as neither my husband nor, myself could take any more of it from her/him.  The blame was horrendous for everything that ever had occurred in her life and things twisted so out of proportion to reality that it made me wonder who she was.  She certainly wasn’t the daughter I had known prior to this freak’s interference and her actions, words, hurtful actions had all become simply a form of “bullying” that could no longer be tolerated.

I haven’t seen nor, heard from her in months now.  Quite frankly, as much as this is intolerably painful for me to do, I cannot allow her back into my life unless/until she’s recognized the hurt she’s inflicted upon us.  There’s no more room for tolerating either of their abuse or bullying.  It appears as though it’s going to take her leaving him for her to wake up and realize that what she’s doing is not at all acceptable for anyone, let alone people who have loved and cared for her, her entire life.  There’s nothing left to give her.  There’s no more caving in and giving her what she wants because it’s impossible to give her anything further.  We’re tapped right out in every conceivable way from emotionally to financially.  The tolerance and hand-outs are over and she doesn’t like that fact.  He does though.  He loves it this way but, she cannot see that fact anymore than she can see that she’s become no more than a bully.

The answer to my question of whether our children can bully us or not is a resounding “yes” and as we age, it can become easier for them to do it to us.

If we don’t want this to occur, the bottom line is that we have to re-arrange the dynamics of the relationship we have with our children by placing ourselves back into parental status and them, back into the child role.  No matter how old they get, we are their parents whether they like it or not and we deserve respect from them.  Even if parents had been abusive or neglectful but, have apologized and tried to make it up to the child in whatever ways are possible, there’s only so many “sorrys” that parents can say or show.  If it’s not accepted, it’s time to cut the strings to their bullying us.  No matter what the past was, if parents are trying to make a fresh go of it with their adult-child/children and they are refusing and abusing us, it’s time to cut the strings of their abuse, even if it sadly means that we have no contact with them.  Bullying cannot be tolerated on any level for long.  We wouldn’t allow it with other people, why would we allow it with our own children?

From my little corner of life and pain, I am seeing this situation more clearly now.  With the help of professional counsellors, I am learning to love and like myself, recognize that nothing I did as a parent, warranted this type of treatment and that I need to put myself back into the driver’s seat rather than being a victim to my adult-child’s poor decisions, choices and/or lack of them.  This is purely my daughter’s baggage and choice to hang onto and unless she realizes what has happened to her and seeks out help or leaves the issue-riddled, co-dependent relationship with the jerk she’s chosen to be with, the abuse and bullying won’t stop and she’s not welcome back to dish out more.  We have to love ourselves enough to let go and stop it so that we’re no longer the victims of our adult-child’s abuse and bullying.  Zero tolerance for bullying from anyone.

 

 

 

We Accept The Love We Think We Deserve

I read a blog entry the other day, written by a fellow blogger.  I asked permission from him to re-blog it.  He graciously gave me permission because it hit me in so many ways with his only request being that I didn’t reblog it in the traditional way and keep his blog piece anonymous, which I am doing.

I think a lot of people can relate to this in one way or another and I hope that everyone will treasure themselves enough to dare to believe that we deserve only the best, never settling for less.

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“I bumped into an old friend this past weekend. She had been with a guy who hadn’t moved beyond where they started 4 years ago. As a matter of fact, they were worse off than the first day they moved in together. They were still in the same rented house that was falling apart and the landlord wasn’t moving to repair, she was working a retail job she hated but, couldn’t leave for financial reasons, had no friends of her own anymore and no will to try again, had run through every penny she had previously saved to go back to school and was always feeling sick, tired and depressed. The guy she was with, worked at a job where he’d been demoted or laid off several times and drank beer or smoked weed. She looked weary, drained and not happy. Yet when I asked her if she was happy, she responded, “oh yeah!”. There was only a half smile and I could tell that it wasn’t a genuine answer. It was what she thought she should say. I asked her straight out why she was with this guy and she couldn’t answer anything other than, “I love him.”

I couldn’t help but question that answer. After all, she wasn’t moving forward with her life. She had actually, regressed. How could she be “happy” in a life that wasn’t moving her forward?
That answer came as no surprise. “He’s planning on doing so much so, I have to wait.”
I could only mumble inside my own head, “wait for WHAT? If he’s not moving ahead and he’s moving backwards with nothing changing for the better over the past 4 years, what makes you think he’s going to change anything now?” Of course, I kept that to myself because my opinion wasn’t asked for at that point.

Having gone to high school with her, we’d known one another for so long, we grabbed a coffee and chatted further about my life, hers, things in general. Perhaps, her guard came down when she relaxed with me as an old friend but, it finally came out. “I just wish that I could change things. I’m not happy. I want more than what I’ve got but, there’s no way to get it.”
Why not? What was stopping her? (Of course, I knew the answer to this one but, she had to recognize it for herself.)

“It’s just that he’s in a bit of an emotional state over other things in his life and, I can’t get him to work things out. He just keeps doing the same things over and over again. Nothing ever improves except, when I threaten to end the relationship. Then, he straightens things up for a bit and pledges to make changes but, he never does. Things just keep staying the same or getting worse.”

“A zebra doesn’t change its stripes,” I answered. “You can’t turn a toad into a prince. This isn’t a fairytale. Keep doing the same things and expecting a different result is…well…you know the rest.”
She nodded, putting her head down. “But, how can I leave him? I’d have to start all over again and maybe, go live with a friend or go back home with my parents who are 2 cities away. I’d be going backwards!”

“Do you think you’re moving ahead now?” I asked, hoping for the answer I hoped I’d hear coming from her mouth.
She shook her head, ‘no’.

“Then, what are you hanging onto? Do you like being stuck? A move anywhere right now, is better than standing still. Do you not think you’re worth better than this?”

“But, I’ve put so much time and effort into him and our relationship. I’d be admitting that I had made a mistake. How can I give up on something I have vested so much into?” she asked, I think, not really wanting an answer from me.

“Do you think that all that you’ve put into this relationship has paid you back with some sort of ‘interest'”, I asked. “Where do you see yourself, 5 years from now if you stay with him?”

SILENCE, HEAD DOWN, THINKING

“Right now, I don’t see myself being anywhere different but, I keep hoping that he will do as he keeps promising he’s going to do,” she answered. “If he does, it’ll all be ok!”
“What if he doesn’t?” I questioned. “What if all that he’s giving you is lip-service and you’ve spent another 5 years of your life, waiting? Can you accept and deal with that then?”

“I am struggling to deal with it NOW,” she answered, seeming relieved that she’d blurted it out. “I want more. I want to get ahead. I want a life that doesn’t include just working, coming home, cooking/cleaning/doing laundry and watching him play video games or play on the net. I don’t want to keep our money going into beer and weed. I want him to get a better job so that we can have better!”

I didn’t think that I needed to say much more because she’d already said so much in just that few sentences but, she was still stuck.

“So, do you think you want to wait it out or do you simply admit that you’ve made an error in judgement and move on NOW?” I asked as we were finishing our coffees. “Do you think that you deserve better than what he’s giving you or what you’ve got right now? Never mind what he says or proclaims or his gripes, groans, moans and complaints about everything and everyone else because those are all excuses. Do you deserve better?”

At that point she had to go. Actually, she wanted to go. I don’t think she could answer my questions any further so, I wished her well and let her know that I was happy that I’d bumped into her. She hugged me and we exchanged email addresses.

I don’t know what she’ll decide. Maybe, she’ll remain stuck. My hope is that she’ll think this through carefully and decide that her life isn’t going to change for the better with this guy she’s with. Anyone could have told her that. All that I can do is to hope that she’ll decide to move on. She can’t change a zebra’s stripes so, why waste more precious time in life. You attract and stay stuck with the love you think you deserve. I hope she realizes that she deserves better and does it soon.

Life goes by quickly. I know. I got out of a couple of relationships that just weren’t worth it after losing too much time already. Thankfully, I have found someone who is wonderful. I am so much better off for recognizing that I deserved better than I thought.”