19 December 2008

What Shapes Us All

Lately, I've plunked down before the computer and stare. I feel if I entertain you with fits of laughter, you'll come back. I think if I can connect to you on a comedic level, you'll like me and tell your friends. You may think I can't write a serious sentence without goofing off. In contrast, I'm more afraid if I write seriously, most of you will leave wanting to put a gun barrel in your mouth.

I have this intrinsic need to be validated. When everyone and their dog was doing the love languages book by Gary Chapman, I scored big on validation/affirmation. Not surprising, I guess. I already know I'm a people pleaser and need people to like me for me. I get scared when I show who I am that I'll be rejected. What to do when people don't like me? I'll do my darndest to win them over. I know, I know, it's one of those juvenile statements that people think, but don't say outloud. Well, I'm saying it.

I'm sure this validation is a throwback to my childhood stint in foster homes and the abandonment issues they caused. Whatever. I think it might be deeper, like the fact that I watched too many Wonder Woman cartoons and my parents made me eat all my lima beans. Regardless of the reason, it's part of who I am.

I don't write about my every day because it bores the bajingo out of me. In fact, keeping to more silly and humorous writing is easy, but also a crutch for me. I may not be the most composed in thought, nor could I point to Kazakhstan on a world map. (somewhere near the other "-stans" in the Middle East) I could however, drone on like the rest of them when I tell you what I care about and makes me tick. HPV. Partial birth abortions. Dead beat Dads. People who communicate like a 2nd grader. The perfect lasagna recipe.

I think back to the days of foster care. My mother, a schizophrenic, who couldn't properly care for us four girls when my father was involved in a traumatic motorcycle accident. The accident left him with a severely broken leg and left us girls in foster care.

I don't remember much of that time, being 3 years old. Yet, I have a few flashbacks. One in particular was finding myself in a cold room with sparce furnishings. It was bedtime. I can only assume it was in the home of a foster family. I sat up in the dimly lit room; the hall light visible only through the slit in the bedroom door that was left ajar. I looked out the window and hated not knowing what was going on. There alone on my bed, I watched the rain come down with every drop silhouetted by the lone street lamp below. I remember thinking how much I didn't want to be there. I wanted to cry, scream, punch..anything to make things different. I didn't want to be alive. I clearly felt I wanted to leave the earth because I felt so unimportant. At 3 years old, I wanted to die.

I am a deep thinker. Most probably darker than most only because of where I've come from and managed to push through in life. I am a worrier by nature, control freak, over-thinker, and idealist, but also one who can wrap my brain around anything logical or emotional. I often have my brain going 100 miles faster than where I am at. I'd pause to answer in grade school, and they thought me a dunce. As an adult, I've suffered in jobs and relationships because I'm honest in how I speak and don't imply or take hints. The older I get the more I hone the art of speaking my mind diplomatically. That's the key.

I look back at my childhood and know how it shaped the person who I am. They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger....or is it that it gives you something good to blog about? I'd say those darker days give me something good to blog about because it's forced me to look at the bright side (humorous side) of anything life throws at me. Like laughing hysterically at the news that the Anti-Christ has a $2200 repair.

Sure, I have my days, just like anyone. But if you wonder why I like to make fun of even the worst of what comes my way, know that it's because I won't let the worst kill me.

I don't know if this is a right way to be. Coping mechanism, denial or insanity...whatever you want to label it...it's my way. If you find that idea dysfunctional or 'wrong', do tell me about your 3 year old wish to die and your schizophrenic mother. I'm all ears and ready to wear your shoes. In the meantime, I might find something for you to laugh about. I've found that indeed, laughter IS the best medicine.

~Bee gets philosophical on her daily walks.
Listening to: Well Enough Alone by Chevelle


Dapoppins said...

So, what doesn't kill you makes you laugh?

What a horrid memory to have at three...I remember my parents arguing, being kicked into the sky by a giant pelican, and not liking myself...but being lost and alone...

I am sorry for that, and grateful for where you are now.

And I would so rather laugh than cry.

Dapoppins said...

I was first! I want to say some more but i have to go put my daughter in the bathtub....

Anonymous said...

I'm the exact same way. I had enough seriousness and trauma in my childhood that I think laughter is the best way to go. I used to have a sign in my bedroom that said "laughter is the best medicine, unless you are really sick, then you should call 911" and it made me giggle every time I looked at it. Life is too short to be serious.

Heffalump said...

I spent many of my high school years spewing all of my emotions and angst out in letters to friends (ask Dapoppins, she was the recipient of many of those letters) and in depressing journal entries. I was always great at expressing myself via writing.
However, in the blogging world, I just don't put myself out there like that. I stick with a glossier version of myself. That isn't to say I lie, I just rarely peel back the layers to get below the surface of who I am.
I admire those times that you show your depth, and I enjoy those times that you make me laugh and smile as well, and all the layers in between.
Thanks for just being you, and for giving your children a better childhood than you got.

Ian said...

Aw heck, I'll keep coming back whether you make me giggle or not, because there's a distinct lack of real intelligence in the blogosphere. You're a bastion of smartitude.

Millie said...

Amen on laughing instead of crying about all the crap that happens to us.

Bless you for all you've lived through.

Heather said...

My husband has similar memories and issues with abandonment and encouragement worry and all that other stuff (his mom was schizophrenic and his dad an absentee dad/life alcoholic--and is funny as all heck. In fact, he is enough funny that he has several thousand readers who know nothing of all his childhood stuff (I think I and a few friends who knew him are the only ones who know). Laughing and funny are GOOD!

Lisa Wheeler Milton said...

I think laughter is glorious.

Keeping your sense of humor heals, protects - like chapstick, I guess - it keeps us buoyant. which doesn't work with the chapstick analogy, but still works...

(It hurts to know you felt that way, at 3. I'm sorry.)

Jo Beaufoix said...

Bee, I love you whatever you write. You are witty, intelligent and warm as well as hilarious. Miss M is 3, most 4 and I can't imagine what would have to happen for her to feel the way that you did. xoxoxo

My childhood wasn't the easiest, but nothin,g like yours, and I also hide in humour sometimes though I'm getting out there a bit more with what's happening now.

You broke the cycle with your fantastic kids and relationship with Mr Coffee. You're a survivior and I'm so glad to have 'met' you. (Sorry if that sounds cheesy or cliched but I don't mean it to be.)

I have to get to Portland one day. There are so many wicked women out there. (Wicked as in fabulous.) Me and Holl will come play one day.


Happy Christmas gorgeous. xoxoxo

holly said...

how many points do i get for a bipolar one? she was scary...?

none. crap. okay.

i think you do it right anyway.

you know you said laughter is the best medicine, but i have read three posts in a row, and i've laughed as much as i could, but i still have the flu (or something like it). your medicine doesn't really have *instant* healing power, now does it?

on the upside, you make me laugh WAY more than theraflu. and your comedy tastes better than that lemony shit. wait. can i say shit here? if not, sorry.

Doozie said...

I've come through a lot of crap by using laughter. As a result, I'm being labeled as a goon parent by my sons dad. He has no idea. No freakin idea. Just because he is too weak to do it on his own, and I plunged in, does not make him the person to judge me. I don't care what he says or thinks...I will continue to be goofy and enjoy my son....label me as a parent trying to be his best friend? whatever...we laugh through all of it.

Rebecca Blevins said...

When things get bad I try to find things to make me laugh. The husband and I both look for our favorite comedies online to relieve some stress through laughing.

I enjoy your posts and I admire that even though you've had some very sucky times, you bring that into your humor. It makes your writing very engaging and easy to identify with.

Suzy-Q said...

I laugh at myself all the time...that way I'll ALWAYS have somthing to laugh at.

I love your humor. You are one of the smartest and talented people I know....well not in real life, but in the blogosphere. You know what I mean.

Laughter is wonderful and I am glad you are the Laugh Extractor.

Whistle Britches said...

Does manic depressive count?
My family has tons of them.
Maybe schizophrenics too.
No they don't.
Yes they do.
No, they don't.
Yes they do.
No they don't......

Muley said...

All of the best comedians -- Chaplin, Keaton, Pryor, you name it -- had sadness and seriousness behind their hilarity. You hereby have license to be both silly AND serious, whenever and in whatever proportions you desire. Each emotion somehow plays off the other, and makes the final written result all that more satisfying.

Of course, if you ever get so serious that you no longer find whoopee cushions funny, then you will need counseling and a trip to the pharmacy...

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with being your kids friend...I am 22 and am just now really being able to be friends, and talk with my parents...I plan on being my kids friend, AND parent

Mrs4444 said...

Well, I love whatever you offer, including this post. That said, I've wrote a post that includes a link to you for the 30th :) Thanks for the laughs!

Jaina said...

I love your funny AND your serious posts. I don't come here just for the funny, I come here because I enjoy reading what you write. Whatever you write. :)

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"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words."

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe