This argument, in all the years I’ve had to pick a side for an argumentative essay, I’ve never chosen a side.
Okay, before we start on today’s rant, let’s keep in mind this isn’t the typical debate. We’ve all had to learn about nature vs. nurture, and if you haven’t basically it’s about a person and the way they turn out as an adult, is it a product of nature (natural events such as genetics) or nurture (the way they were raised). There’s also something now called epigenetics which says that nurture can affect the genes. 🤯 Read More Here.
There’s definitely not a definitive answer to this question though.
The answer is both or all of it. 🤷♀️
People can develop their own ideas and constructs from anything. Look around at the world. All of the controversy is typically because of differing opinions, or misinterpretation, or a different perspective. Therefore, nature vs. nurture wise, you can become who you are based on both, depending on how you choose to interpret it.
Let me lay it out.
I’m a product of both.
My parents were drug addicts, in and out of jail, rehabs, multiple different people in their lives, domestic violence, check!
My mom suffered from schizo affect disorder and bipolar disorder. Risk factor for me, pretty high.
I moved over 15 times in the span of 13 years…. no military affiliation. I saw cocaine and needles at the age of 3. I saw physical fighting, hammers being thrown, hair being pulled, my mom smacking my dad upside the head with a frying pan, stepdad choking my mom out while she beat him upside the head with a cordless phone charger. I’ve seen some things, but I recognize it’s not as bad as some people still.
I’ve seen my mom purchase a gun with a silencer because she was tired of the neighbors partying. And I’m not saying she killed anybody, I’m just saying I never heard those neighbors party again, because they moved shortly after.
I’ve seen the cop car lights in the middle of the night, I’ve been unsure or where I was going to live. I’ve woken up with no electricity, literally gotten dressed in the dark. I’ve gone without eating and I’ve gone without basic things you would think all children have growing up, trust me. Again, I want to recognize that some children still have it worse. Let’s not forget #saveourchildren.
It’s easy to fall into the statistics with this background. Not to say I didn’t, because I most definitely did in some aspects.
I started partying at age 12. Drinking, smoking, acting wild. I did that. I smoked my first cigarette when I was 6. Wtf was I even doing? I stole from stores and hid drugs for people at the age of 7. I skipped school, I hung out with the gangbangers, I started a “gang”, high school shit, I’ve carved into my skin, the whole cutting phase was a thing, and I never backed down from anything or anyone, ready to fight at all times.
My dad kicked me out at age 16. I got pregnant at the age of 17. So yeah, to say I didn’t alter my life negatively in some ways, I won’t lie about. My first born was my savior though. She really doesn’t even understand.
I went through a rebellious kid phase that lasted from age 6-17/18 I guess. It was a crazy journey but I adapted to my surroundings as best as I could. That’s not me anymore, to an extent.
I graduated high school with a 3.95 GPA. I never failed a class. Only got suspended once, surprisingly. I graduated earlier than the rest of my class. I started college immediately after and went on to earn my Masters degree at the age of 26. Today I’m a behavior analyst managing a fucking clinic! I have a house, three kids now, and I’m hustling everyday to never go back to where I came from.
On the flip side, I’ll never forget where I came from. Would I say I made it? Absolutely but I still have more goals to accomplish.
One thing is for sure, my kids will never have to struggle but they will know about the struggle.
So nurture wise, it played its part, but nature wise, instinctively I was stronger. I mean, I have my weaknesses mentally, I’m not okay all of the time. Nurture wise, that did mess me up a little, but nature wise, I’m still stronger. I will still fight to ensure a better life for myself and my children.
So to the great debate, I say don’t let that determine who you become. Let it all play a part, but in the end make your own decisions! You do have control over your choices now, if you let some of that baggage that’s holding you down go. Don’t let the past define everything about you. It will affect you, it will be hard to overcome triggers, it will be difficult. That’s not sugar coated. It’s up to you to fight and not give up, even when it feels like life is crushing you, you can turn it around. Think outside of the box. Think survival. Because if there’s anything that is natural human instincts, survival is one of them!
Ok, so I know I usually post some pretty uplifting stuff, or at least try to find the positive in it. Although this post will not be super positive, I’ll continue to try to look for the lesson that is being taught.
One of the days this week was a hard day. Life has been a little stressful with work picking back up. That’s fine though, I love my job and working keeps my mind occupied for sure. Working two jobs is getting a little more stressful as well, but again, I signed up for it so I’m not about to complain about that whatsoever, I just know it has played a roll in my mental status a bit.
However, anxiety and depression can strike out of nowhere. You can feel like you’re doing alright and then a fucking train of sadness and overwhelmed feelings take over your mind. There’s no need to run from the train, you couldn’t even if you tried. I welcome the wreck with open arms, ready to see how I can fight my emotions.
There was a day where it was a little more challenging to hold it together and not lose my shit. However, we’re almost through the week and I’m still alright. I still can’t shake the anxious feeling, did I fuck up sometime? Can I do better tomorrow? Am I missing something? Am I doing a good job? Do I know what I’m doing? Am I getting too comfortable? Should I check my professionalism? Have I been there for my kids? Am I listening to them? Giving them enough attention?
The questions are never-ending and never answered. There may not be an answer to any of these damn questions, but I ask them in my head anyway. Over-analyzing everything constantly.
Reassurance is needed although I limit who I seek it from. Life changes and it’s my job to change with it. Bobbin’ and weavin’ whatever life is throwing at me. Becoming stronger for the next stage or at least trying to.
It helps me to stop and think about my life. Evaluate it. Analyze it. Figure out what’s stressing me out and draining me and then make modifications to make life less draining. It typically involves self analyzing where I’m allocating my time. Where can I be most hopeful to fulfill my empath tendencies? That in and of itself is draining as well so where is the break?
The take away is, identify what’s triggering you and make the changes to prevent that from happening.
We all max out at some point. The weekend is to recharge and take the time to take a break from all the shit in life that is stressing you out. I pick one day at least to try and do that. Cleaning is a way that I relieve stress so I clean. Sometimes I write, read, spend a lot of time on my phone. Anything that you want that gets you out of the environment that is making you stressed. If you can’t leave, read a book, you escape to a fantasy land for a bit, sometimes that helps me.
Whatever you do, remember to recharge in some way when you are feeling drained, overwhelmed, or like life is starting to get harder or just shitty.
You have the right to take time to be selfish. Remember that!
A few months back, my brother said these words in response to me tearing up very briefly, I would say seconds, before acting like those tears never existed.
I’ve never in my life thought about it this way.
I hate feeling weak.
Even a little bit.
In any way, emotionally, mentally, and physically, I despise feeling weak and unable.
Now, I realize this is unhealthy, so please spare the comments. I’m very aware of myself and all of the unhealthiness that is wrapped up inside of me.
However, the phrase, “Temporary Weakness”, has stuck with me since I heard him say the words.
Today, perfect example, I cried over some shit that’s going on, like a normal person.
Today, I also cried in front of people I haven’t cried in front of in years.
Over shit that I would never want to discuss with them because it’s my business.
I cried because it is something that I hate talking about.
Something I know is an issue but I’ve been working on it.
Issues that are complex and they take a lot of work to perfect.
Perfection doesn’t exist so I can say we’re working on happiness as a family and that’s a lot of work.
Anyway, I feel fine now.
I sent some text messages thanking the people who saw me weak and vulnerable. I think it’s important that we show appreciation to the people that are there for us!
I told them it was temporary weakness and I’m fine now.
The truth is, I am fine and it was just temporary.
It’s sooo fucking important to know that temporary sadness, weakness, vulnerability, all that’s fine. It sucks and I fucking hate it when it happens, but it needs to happen sometimes.
We can’t be strong 24/7. Trust me, I’ve tried!
There’s not one person on this earth that can say they’ve never cried (unless some medical or mental issue that causes that). I’ve been looking for natural human instinct and showing emotion is one of them. Why? They don’t know yet, peep the article, The Science of Crying.
So cry it out, be temporarily weak, then wipe your tears and figure out how to feel better and fix whatever it is that made you feel that way.
I may hate having these emotions and feelings but I’m slowly learning to accept them and to stop trying to be strong all of the time.
We all have a breaking point. Try to identify yours before you hit it, because if something is triggered, there’s no controlling yourself sometimes
This past weekend while hanging out at a lake, my kids were outside hanging out with the adults.
We were all just casually conversing and my kids kept chiming in. Typical kid behavior.
However, they would contribute nothing to the conversation and get upset when I told them to leave.
I kept thinking back to when I was younger, not that I grew up with stable parents who had guests over often, but I could not remember ever adding to adult conversations in any way.
I minded my own business. Did I eavesdrop? Oh absolutely, but I would stay quiet so they wouldn’t tell me to go away in the few moments I was around them.
I’m not sure why my kids are not picking up on this. Every time they say something irrelevant I ask them why that even mattered? Then send them off. Example, my daughter, in the middle of the lake, in front of a ton of strangers, blurted out, “MOM, HOW MANY GUYS HAVE YOU DATED IN YOUR LIFE?” Nobody was talking about anything near dating or anything like that!
I fucking froze. Like why kid? Why now? What kind of intentions did you have behind that if any? You act so grown all the time why you asking that right now? You should know better!!!
I was baffled.
I played it off and redirected but why are kids like this?
Especially these days?
I always kick them out of our conversations, I know they want to be involved and need attention but sometimes, we need space.
Again, I’ve never remembered being so outspoken in adult conversations.
Maybe I’m not remembering correctly but let me hear about your experiences with your children or growing up as a child?
Did you mind your business or were you in the business but got dismissed? Never got dismissed? I’m so eager to know!
Note: this is not my text message and this was not fully the case in my story but a similar pattern.
One of the hardest lessons I had to learn in my life was to let go.
I stopped asking those questions, why me?
I couldn’t play victim when the truth was true.
I did allow it to happen.
I stayed when I should’ve left.
I complained and didn’t do anything about it.
I felt as if I wasn’t in control of my life and my decisions.
I felt trapped, unable to change anything, using the excuses in my head as reassurance.
I listened to words I should’ve disregarded.
You have nowhere to go.
How can I afford to be on my own right now?
I can’t stay at my sister’s with my kids.
So I stayed, happiness draining, but plans were being drawn.
Finally, one day, I found my strength to change my life.
I stopped making excuses and I stopped being scared.
Scared of the change, scared of the leap I was about to take. Scared of living life with two kids completely on my own.
How the fuck was I going to do this?
Step 1: Money
I needed money to sustain my family. I was 24 years old. I was enrolled in a masters program racking up student loan debt. I didn’t have parents who were going to help me in any way. I had my sister and my brother, but my brother lived far. I knew I still had support from my ex’s family and to this day I still consider them my family! They have always been there for me, regardless of my choices!
However, I wanted to do this on my own. I felt like asking people would be a sign of weakness. I was tired of feeling weak. My sister helped me find places to live. I found the cheapest place I could find in the area. I needed to stay close as my kids were in school and daycare and I didn’t want to change all of that.
2014, I found a job in a field I absolutely love. I based my future schooling on this field. I knew the job I had would be one I would want to keep forever. So I found steady income and sustained it for at least seven months before I moved on my own.
I used my income tax to put a deposit down and move into my first 600 square foot apartment with one bedroom and one bath. I found a place that was affordable based on my income plus bills. I didn’t try to be lavish. I had to be realistic. My kids shared the bedroom, I made sure to buy a pull out couch so I could have a bed at night.
During this time, I took advantage of government programs such as WIC and food stamps. I have no shame in saying I did have that help as well. It was very much needed. I also got on the waitlist before I moved for childcare assistance as I knew I would need that. After completing all of the steps, the kids were approved for childcare and that was affordable as well.
We survived but I knew I needed to do better. Regardless, we were happy together.
Step 2. Growth
After a couple of years or so in our tiny apartment, I searched again for a bigger, more affordable place. The rent for the one bedroom was sky rocketing and I figured I could find something better. I started making decent money after a few raises and was almost done with my masters degree so I planned to get a promotion at work, playing my cards carefully. I worked in the field and company I knew had opportunities for growth and I did what I had to earn that.
I found income based townhomes, 3 bedroom 2 bath and it was amazing. We had so much room! It was perfect and affordable. I had to make some sacrifices sleep wise as I needed to drive my kids a little farther but, we did that for over three years and it was fine.
I met my current boyfriend and we had a child together. I made new goals because now our townhome was not so big. It was still affordable and we were content, but my goals included moving into a house.
Work wise, I got my promotion and continued to work my way up. Trying to learn and succeed. I didn’t want to fail as I felt that would be letting my kids down as well as myself.
Along the way, all government assistance was ceased, so now life was getting even more real and more expensive. My kids were growing, there was a new addition, food stamps would’ve been appreciated most but I understood that I made money to cover it and other people needed that money more. So I budgeted.
Step 3: Achievement
Although it was a rushed process, a house was secured this year in 2020. My boyfriend has made sacrifices for me so we could have this house and it’s bigger but comfortable still, not too big, but enough to fit us all. Each kid has a room, we have a dog now, wtf… I didn’t want the dog but he’s my best friend now.
Life is looking positive.
Why? I let go. I let go of something that was holding me back and pulling me down.
I made new promises to myself to succeed and be in control of my own life no matter the circumstances.
I am not a victim. I will not play that role.
I am a fucking survivor and I will do what it takes to survive for my children!
So if you need to let go of something that’s not letting you fly, start thinking and making moves.
Life ain’t fucking easy and you have to put in work. You have to make smart moves. You have to figure out what the fuck you even want and then you have to go get it! Set goals and smash them all!
We’re all just trying to survive in this world, I wish you all nothing but success and happiness!!
Man I had all of these great thoughts earlier and I was ready to drop some straight knowledge today for y’all! However, I forgot it.
Therefore, my thought of the moment includes how fucking fast my savings can deplete when it takes me forever to build it up. Just like my credit. It doesn’t make any damn sense!
I could be angry about it but I’m not because that’s not the right emotion to feel for a situation like this. The emotion I feel is sad and disappointed in myself. Why? Because I spent the money and I knew what I was doing! That’s important.
It’s important to identify when it’s your fault, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again for the people who didn’t listen the first time!
Now I can’t sit here and be mad at about it because I did it. All I can do now is find a solution to my issue so that I won’t be sad in the future. That solution is to save up again and next time try not to blow it on all on an upcoming camping trip.
I’m so pumped to escape for a weekend with my family though! Truth be told, the main reason I blew my savings was because every year I say I’m so excited to escape and then every year I get frustrated on the trip about something. Usually it has to do with the kids.
I never truly know how to relax and that’s annoying. Talk about anxiety. At a river, and there’s hills to hike, and what if they drown, or fall over the cliff, or anything literally could happen. Needless to say, camping trip sounds fun but never is fun and since I’ve identified this, I want to change it.
That’s why this year I said, let me buy everything possible that will make my life easier while I’m there. Three kids and a vacation isn’t really much of a vacation unless you got the kids set up.
Mind you, camping = no solid cell service. (Say that 3xs fast!) Without electronics, parenting is going to get real! As in, my babysitter is gone. Sounds terrible but it’s true. So true in fact, that I will still have them download movies and take chargers and power banks because if all else fails and the camping experience is just too boring, they can at least watch a movie!
I’m putting antecedent strategies into place. I’m planning ahead of time, maybe too thoroughly, but every time I wing these vacations I end up pissed off so I’m hoping I won’t regret blowing all of the monies. Who knows, maybe I will and they won’t use anything that I got however that will be a later post if that does happen.
For now, I’ll be sad but grateful that I could buy things for them in the first place. Grateful to be able to go anywhere during these times, and grateful for the things I do have versus what I do not!
Let’s talk about how we can save our future generation from being spoiled and entitled brats. I think that’s a touchy topic because all parents love their children so much that they defend them, as do I so we’re not knocking those parents. However, I think it’s important to recognize when our kids suck.
Like when I tell them “No” or “Not right now” and they hear, “You’re never going to get it!”
Or when I tell them “Yeah, maybe tomorrow or tomorrow we’ll see” and they hear, “Tomorrow FOR SURE!” so when tomorrow comes and I say “No”, all of a sudden I suck as a parent right?
Today, I shouted out, “Sorry for disappointing you” to my twelve year old for the first time ever. This was in response to her mumbling as she’s walking away, “You said today, but of course, it’s not today!” My entire motherhood (12 years) has been prized on not disappointing them. On being the best mom ever for them because my mother set a very bad example of how to be a good mother. So to me, it means trying to be the person I needed and I’m aware that many parents do this.
Over our quarantining time together, I feel like my children and I have really taken it to another level. I am so real with my kids, sometimes too real, but in reality that’s what they need sometimes. Why should I wait for life to teach them hard lessons when I can slowly introduce them to it and desensitize them before they are adults? Do I do this on purpose? Absolutely not! But when an opportunity arises and I analyze it, I see that I’m teaching important lessons versus “how did I let my child down today?”! See what I did there? (Side note: it is important to note that you shouldn’t let your kid down continuously, that is not the message here!)
Let me explain it.
Today, I disappointed my child, and I knew it was going to be hard for me to do it but I was like, you know what, fuck it. Why? Because life isn’t fair and sometimes they are going to be disappointed. If it’s you disappointing them, at least they will understand it a little more. Especially because you can explain why it’s happening whereas that stranger won’t explain a damn thing.
That’s another important note. Make sure you talk with your children and explain your actions. Yeah, sometimes I’m not the best mom and I make plenty of mistakes! On the days where I feel overwhelmed I tell my kids the truth! “Leave me alone, I need five minutes, ya’ll are TOO much for me right now go take a break!” and I’ll even tell them, “I feel very frustrated right now and I don’t want to yell at you for no reason!” That’s real life! Those are emotions that they need to process and understand that it is totally normal to feel that way. It also took me years to get to this point! I had to slowly become more firm and honest. For their sake and mine!
Again, this is my style and I’m trying really hard to not raise sucky adults. When they are acting like brats, I tell them that too. Being ungrateful is not okay, especially when I know their lives can be much worse because mine was. They have their needs met and more so I believe my contribution to society is raising individuals who also contribute to society. Respectful, grateful, understanding, giving, compassionate, but they must also know boundaries. So yes, they are being raised with a little hood in them because they need to learn to survive. In the end, I’m teaching my kids to survive in this world, without me. That means to notice your emotions, notice when you’re wrong, notice your own flaws so others can’t point them out and then FIX them if they need to be fixed. Understand that you are not always right and that sometimes it’s best to listen instead of talk. These are all really hard concepts to understand but we are practicing all of them slowly throughout pre-teen and teenage years before adulthood smacks them in the face.
My personal advice of the day is, don’t be afraid to disappoint your kids sometimes because if it’s not you, it’s going to be someone else and it’s going to be a harder lesson for them in the future. You’re not a bad parent for not following through 100% of the time. Just try to do your best to teach them accountability but also teach them that some days it’s okay to not follow through because mental health is also important. It’s more important to notice when you need a break and today, I needed a break.
Anyway, today’s disappointment was, you ready for it?
I didn’t want to make homemade noodles with my oldest kid. Supposedly, (maybe I did), I told her that we would. We’ve made things from freaking TIKTOK for the last two nights. I’m done with the TIKTOK stuff, also I’m tired and that sounded like a lot of work. So no, we’re not making noodles today. Yes, she will get over it, but I will also explain to her why so she understands. I also gave her the option to figure it out herself if she wanted to make them and that apparently was too much for her to do.
Parenting isn’t easy, remember to know when you need a break. I needed a break today but that’s okay, we can make noodles tomorrow (or maybe we won’t), I’ll see how I feel at that time. Today, we ate buffalo chicken wraps and she helped with that because guess what, she got over the no noodles thing, imagine that! #Parentsunite