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Dear Aunt Becky,

A little more than a month ago I found out my best friend, who is only 16 like me, was cutting. After my initial shock, with a lot of arguing and tears, I managed to convince her to tell her parents and get help. Since then she has been diagnosed with depression and has begun seeing a therapist.

Just recently she was talking about how she is sort of relieved that it’s out, but that she feels like any therapist can’t really help her, and she is anxious about getting medication.

I know that this process is really rough in the beginning and that over time she might find a combination of therapy and/or medication that works for her, but for now I want to help her in anyway that I can. I’m always try to listen to her, but she says that talking about it doesn’t really make her feel better.

How else can I help and support her?

Prankster, can I just tell you how proud I am to know you? What an amazing friend you are to your friend? Because you are. I hope that one day you, too, will be MY friend. You’re a good soul.

As for what you can do for your friend, just be patient. Listen when she needs you to. Acknowledge that her pain is really real. Suggest alternatives to cutting. Offer gentle, quiet support every day, and remind her that she is loved. Being stuck underwater with depression, well, that means it’s often hard to see the surface; remind yourself that there ARE people above holding out there hands.

So stand by her, encourage her as best you can, and remind her that she is so, so loved.

All of us should be so lucky to have a friend like you.

Dear Aunt Becky,

I need some advice. First let me just say that you are hilarious and when I grow up I want to be just like you :)
Now, some background information. I’m 25, married to a wonderful man and mother to a wonderful 3 year old. We both have steady jobs and work full time. Currently we are living paycheck to paycheck, just scraping by. My husband wants another baby. I don’t.

At least I don’t think I do.

I do a majority of the housework, dishes, laundry all that jazz on top of working 40 hours a week. Due to my husband’s hours I also do the majority of the child-rearing. Add three dogs and a cat to the mix and by bedtime I am completely exhausted. Not to mention the fact that we have very little family support. My biological mother is incarcerated and the woman who raised me passed away two years ago. So that leaves me an orphan. My in-laws are fantastic but they are in their late 60’s and 70’s.

I am terrified that if we have another child we are going to drown. I was raised poor, so as long as we have a roof overhead (we do) and food for our bellies (we do), I’m happy. At this point, the only thing that is keeping me on the birth control is money. We just don’t have enough of it.

Is it ridiculous to want to wait until we are more financially stable? Please help Aunt Becky!

Xoxo,

Less Money, Mo’ Problems

Ah, the old quandary: when to have another baby.

I’m afraid I can’t answer that question easily, but I can say this: waiting until the time is easier financially is much less stressful on your life. I’ve had a baby when I was so butt-broke I couldn’t even buy him a single thing myself. I relied on the kindness of strangers, who were unbelievably kind to me. That didn’t make it less hard. Then, I’ve had babies who I can – without thinking too much – buy formula, diapers, and clothes for. While I’ve managed both sets of circumstances, it’s much harder the first way.

However, that does not mean it is impossible.

But you should wait until YOU are ready to have a second child. Spending nine months waddling around is hardest on you, not anyone else.

I wish you the best of luck, Prankster.

Dearest Rockin’ Aunt Becky,

I’m due soon with my very first crotch parasite.  So I’m doing all my first time parental duties and reading the books, checking out the websites and generally preparing.

Why is it that in every book or website the people post how “magical” and “wonderful” this whole pregnancy thing is?  I’m sorry, not one bit of this has been “magical” for me.  I gained 10 lbs of bloat during the first trimester, have zits the size of jupiter, was sick for 15 weeks,  and am generally unhappy.  I have a child growing inside me who has been kicking me so hard since 16 weeks I jump out of my chair at work.  Typical posts online are “oh i loved it when my baby kicked it was such a wonderful feeling”.  

What? Really? How is it wonderful? I feel like my insides are being pummeled into tenderized meat.

I’m wondering when I’m going to feel the “magic”.  Is it a drug women take? I feel really alone in feeling like this and everytime I post something about it on Facebook or The Twitter people think I’M the crazy one.  I’ve learned to just shut up and take it b/c my lonely “miserable while pregnant” island has a pretty small population, of One, me.

So in conclusion, Aunt Becky, Please tell me I’m not the only one who can’t WAIT for this stage to be over and to hold my little girl.  

If I am the only one who feels this way, please mail me some of those “I Love Pregnancy” drugs everyone seems to be taking (along with a Shut Your Whore Mouth t-shirt).

Truthfuly yours,
Knockered up in RI

Bwahahahahahahahahahaha! Are you kidding? ARE YOU KIDDING? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I love my children dearly, but I will be the FIRST to admit that I was the most miserable, unhappy, fat, and unpleasant pregnant woman on the plant. Maybe you’d have sat on MY misery island with me.

Read THIS.

Feel better? You should.

P.S. Better name the baby “Aunt Becky.” Just, you know, because.

I wrote a post on Antenatal Depression for ABC’s Million Moms Challenge. You should read it.

Also: I need a pony.

And a cookie.

To you whom I have hurt:

I am sorry. Believe me when I say that hurting others was not my intention, and for that I am sorry.

I had been using writing as a therapy to work through my past, not dwell in it, but to speak to what I remember. I learned somewhere in some class that I probably had to take as a prereq learning about communication (shows how well I paid attention, huh?). In every situation, each person involved has their own perceptions; their own memories. These memories may or may not be the same as others, even those who witnessed the same events. Those memories may be a small fragment of what actually happened.

The words I write here are my own and are the truth as I remember them. When writing about my past, my childhood especially, it’s clear that some things stuck with me more than others. I imagine the same is true for each of you.

I do not dwell on things from my past, I do not wish to play the victim and I do not wish to hurt others by sharing my memories. I’m not a malicious person and I never will be. I write things out as they come to me and I’ve used this blog to work through many of my emotions over the years. Is that dull? Yes. Is it primarily trite? Probably. I’m not denying that.

My relationship with my parents has been something I’ve worked through, accepted, and moved on from. I cannot change the way I’ve felt about certain situations, nor can I pretend that those feelings have never existed. I have, however, been able to move past the way Young Aunt Becky viewed things and moved into my own feelings and thoughts. Are they always pretty? No. Are they always nice to hear? Again, no. But they are mine.

I accept my parents as they are now: a big part of my life. I live a mere seven minutes from them – BY DESIGN – and haven’t been happier. I see my mother each day and our relationship has grown immeasurably. Likewise with my father. Does this mean I don’t occasionally remember things as Young Aunt Becky saw them? Of course not.

Perspective and time means that I can see them for who they were: people who were simply trying to do the best that they could. I don’t begrudge my past as I once did, but I don’t shy away from talking about how I felt. My feelings about any given situation may not be the same as others in the same situation, but that does not invalidate them.

However, in seeing that I’ve hurt so many, I feel it bears mentioning that I did not wish to cause pain for anyone. I spoke my truth as I saw it when I saw it and, through writing it out, I was able to move on.

But I am taking responsibility for those who I have hurt and apologizing that I was the cause of such pain.

I hadn’t meant to.

——————-

At Band Back Together, we’re doing a Wall of Remembrance on October 15 for those who have lost a baby, child or suffered a miscarriage. If you’d like to us to remember your baby with you, please send an email to jana@bandbacktogether.com with the subject OCTOBER 15.

The line will look like this: Charlie: Jana’s son born May 21, 2003 and died June 14, 2003 from late-onset Group B Strep.

Here’s the information Jana is collecting for the wall:

  • Baby’s name (or names for twins, triplets or multiple losses)
  • Dates and the cause of death (miscarriage, stillbirth, prematurity, heart defect, group b strep, etc.)
  • URL to your blog or a post about your baby(ies)
  • Your first name (if you want it included)

I will also be posting my own wall here just as I do every October 15. The Pranksters and I will always remember those whose tables are forever missing one.

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