Through the grandparental grapevine, I heard that my son had a girlfriend.
Ben, not Alex. Because if Alex had a girlfriend, he’d try and fart on her to woo her. Which, let’s face it, is how Daver wooed me.
When I asked Ben about his “girlfriend,” rather than chattering on for an hour and a half like he normally does, instead he turned red and ran out of the room laughing, yelling, “I DON’T HAVE A GIRLFRIEND.” Which is precisely how Daver wooed me.
Must run in the family.
Yesterday, he brought up his “girlfriend,” again. By again, I mean that he yelled I DON’T HAVE A GIRLFRIEND, then running around the house for a couple of minutes, before coming back to challenge me, “you can’t guess what my girlfriend’s name is.”
Daver warned him, “don’t challenge your mother unless you want her to know, Ben. If she wants to do something, she WILL.” My heart burst with pride.
Curious now, I asked Ben what “girlfriend” meant to him.
“Well,” he informed me, “it’s someone I like.”
“Does…” I asked hesitantly, worried that I hadn’t properly explained dating to him, “does she know you like her?”
“Well,” he looked at his hands. “No.”
I smiled and informed him that this was someone he had a crush on, not a “girlfriend.” He seemed taken aback.
I asked him if he was going to have her come over to play this summer, and again, he blushed furiously and ran around the house like a maniac. Running around like maniacs is what my children do best and why my single friends use visiting Aunt Becky as “free birth control.”
When he finally came back, he said he was too nervous to ask her to hang out this summer.
I knew I had to act. And now.
“Okay, Ben, when you’re all nervous, you think to yourself, EYE OF THE TIGER,” I pulled out the BIG guns.
He looked confused, so I hollered, “EYE OF THE TIGER.”
He looked even MORE confused. Daver queued up Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” as an A/V tool and I began my wicked Air Guitar Routine. Let me tell you, Pranksters, I would TOTALLY win at any air guitar contest EVER.
Well, the music helped. Soon all three of my children were running around the house, air-playing different instruments (we could form an amazing air rock band) yelling, “EYE OF THE TIGER.”
When the song was over, Ben came back and said, “It worked Mom. I feel like I can do ANYTHING now. I’m all EYE OF THE TIGER.”
Exactly, my child.
Am over at Cafe Mom today. Got two columns for you.
When my mother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, it was a big secret. Not to me, of course, but to the insurance companies. I remember how she had to hide her treatments, her hospitalizations and her actual diagnosis from going “on record” so as to avoid being labeled as “A Crazy.”
I’m not sure anyone outside of our immediate family knew about her illness.
By the time I was in high school, depression wasn’t something that people expected you to be locked in a padded room for. Hats of to Prozac!
I’ve dealt with generic, boring-ass depression on and off for years; sometimes it’s better, sometimes it’s worse, and I’ve spoken out repeatedly about how I suffered terrible antenatal depression (depression while pregnant).
Antenatal depression is not quite as well-known as postpartum depression – probably because it’s even less glamorous. I mean, who can be depressed while creating a new life INSIDE you? A new life that’s using your liver as a punching bag, giving you insomnia and causing you to pee your pants when you waddle? Not a GOOD mother.
(that was sarcasm)
When my last child, Amelia, was born in a decidedly non-picturesque freakshow carnival that ended with someone drilling into her brain, removing part of it, and then implanting a prosthetic piece of skull into her delicious wee newborn head, that things went from manageable to so beyond anything I could handle.
But she was fine! I berated myself, night after night, as I relived those horrible awful first days in a series of flashbacks.
I was forever delivering that sick baby, having her ripped from my arms and sent off for neurosurgery. I was forever offering her up like Abraham sacrificing Issac, stuck between two horrifying alternatives. In what few dreams I had, I roamed the halls of the hospital, everything stuck in freeze-frame.
Why, I chastised myself, if she had survived, was I in such a state? I couldn’t answer that.
For months following her birth and surgery, I couldn’t leave the house. My beloved roses wilted from lack of care that summer because I simply couldn’t handle even that – a task which had brought me so much joy. I couldn’t do anything. I was mired in one place. Numb. Alone.
Those were the worst days of my life.
It wasn’t for many months that it smacked me upside the head: I had Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I wrestled with the realization.
Well, I said to myself, Aunt Becky, that sounds dumb. Fucking man-up here. Get your bitch ass off the couch and fucking do something about it. You’re not a soldier. And sweet baby Jesus, your kid survived! How dare you be so fucking whiny-pants about it?
It took a long time for me to accept that I was suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Acceptance, they say, is always the hardest part. But I finally did.
And here’s what I have to say to you, in honor of National Mental Health Month:
Having PTSD is not my fault. It’s not something I need to be ashamed of. It’s not a character flaw. It’s not a plea for sympathy. It’s not something I’m all, “would you like any cheese with that whine?” about. It’s something that is.
I am NOT ashamed to have a mental illness.
My name is Becky Sherrick Harks and I am the face of PTSD.
On Band Back Together, we spend countless hours working to reduce stigmas by bringing the world stories – real stories written by real people – about mental illness, child abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse and all of the other dark places in our lives.
That is what we proudly do.
We’re celebrating National Mental Health Month by doing a stigma-busting blog carnival. We’re telling the world exactly who we are. We’re breaking down stigmas and kicking ass. Mental illness isn’t a death sentence.
Mental illness is a part of who we are. There’s no shame in being who we are. We should celebrate our flaws, embrace our differences and accept them.
It’s time to put a face to as many mental illnesses as we can.
Because stigmas? Stigmas are bullshit.
Please, I beg you Pranksters, help me kick stigmas squarely in the balls (or taco).
You can join us by posting on your own blog and linking up to Band Back Together (that’s the master link-up post) or you can write about it on Band Back Together. (Or both) Time to break down stigmas.
I am proud to be the face of PTSD.
If you haven’t heard, The Apocalypse is coming. I know this because I saw it on a billboard and billboards never lie. Just like The Internet. It never lies.
This is not NEARLY as Fear Mongering as it should be.
Here, try this one, Pranksters. See if you feel MORE afraid now:
*shudders* It’s the fucking daisies. They get me EVERY time.
Anyway, so this guy said it was SUPPOSED to be the apocalypse back in 1994, but apparently the guy was wrong then. It happens. I mean who WOULDN’T make mistakes while calculating The End of Days?
So this time, he’s sure he’s right. And you know what Pranksters? I’m GLAD. Here’s why.
1) I won’t have to pay off my credit cards! When I’m rotting away in the afterlife, my creditors will too! This is a win.
3) I won’t have to plant any of the shrubbery I bought for my front yard. Let’s be honest here: I’m tired of digging holes and then filling them with plants. Now, I won’t have to!
6) I’ll never have to pen the children’s book: “Shhhh, Baby, Mama’s Hungover.”
10) Hell, I’ll never have to pen ANY book, because I’ll be roasting away in the fiery pits of Hades. This will make looking for a new literary agent or self-publishing a total moot point.
15) I will never have to listen to that stupid fucking duck on the Wonderpets say, “This. Is. SEWIOUS” again, because he’ll be all BLAM! BLAM! DEAD.
21) I’ll never have to worry about getting past those stupid pigs in Angry Birds.
28) No one cares if you’re a size four in hell.
36) I’ll never have to clean another litterbox. Less poo = win for all of us.
45) I won’t have to watch Extreme Couponing and feel guilty that I can’t seem to save three hundred dollars every time I go to the store. Because there will be no stores!
55) I’ll get to hang out with most of LA down in hell.
78) I’ll never have to hear the words, “social media,” “viral video,” “let’s connect!” or “bloggy” again.
91) I won’t have to worry that someone will send filler flowers (carnations, baby’s breath) to my funeral because there will BE no funeral.
105) I won’t have to hear about the Real Housewives again.
120) I can finally forget about that girl who reminds me of a Chicken McNugget, Snookie.
136) Maybe I can finally get a nap.
Why are YOU excited for the Apocalypse, Pranksters?