Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My Top Ten Posts of the Year

I haven't done one of these end of the year posts in a while, but I figured I should try this year. I haven't written nearly as much as I would have liked to, and I'm hoping to get better about that in the new year.

This list is an interesting one, for sure, demonstrating how wide the the range of topics I write about truly is. If you click on the titles, you can read them if you haven't already.

Thank you all for sticking around this year. xoxo

Here they are, in no particular order:

You know they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions 
I wrote this one as a response to all the people in the world who insist on platitudes and placating us, who insist on minimizing our pain and grief, who try to tell us that whatever we're going through isn't that bad.

".... when I have written about how losing both parents translates to the reality that I'm now fully grown up, without a safety net anymore, not that she'd ever have been able to catch me if I'd needed her, and people placate me by saying things like, "you aren't alone". Well, yeah. I am. I have my brother and my extended family and my husband and my inlaws, but I don't actually have parents anymore. They aren't here. Let's not pretend that the idea of them or that the memory of them is the same as them actually being here, because it isn't at all."

Attachment Parenting as Children Grow Up
I wrote this one at request, as people were seeking more information on what attachement parenting looks like once kids are out of the toddler stage. Many people believe that AP is limited to infancy, or that it requires adherence to every principle to be legitimate. I disagree. AP is more of a general approach to how we've chose to raise our children.

Also, this is sexy as hell.

"...We don't expect or demand the same things from all the kids because they are all different people. What works for one won't work for another. What is a reasonable goal for one might be unattainable for another. We stay flexible, and we let them screw up. We just help fix it afterwards."

50 Shades of Abuse
I wrote this one when the movie came out, because it does a vast disservice to the BDSM community and portrays this relationship in highly unhealthy ways.

"...He tells her she can't leave him because he will find her. 

He dictates to her that she needs to take birth control.

He pushes her into doing things she isn't comfortable with.

Does any of that sound romantic?"

When the Tragedy is Local and the Horror is Real 
I wrote this in the wake of a horrific tragedy locally, when a pregnant woman was attacked, her baby cut out of her womb. The baby did not survive. When horrible things happen, people tend to rush to blame the place where it happened. Terrible things happen everywhere.

"...Nothing happened to this town. Terrible things happen everywhere. Live anywhere long enough and something will happen there. It's just reality. I grew up in a place with a bad reputation, with a name that still to this day leaves a bad taste in peoples' mouths. That place never deserved that reputation. This town where I live now doesn't deserve one either.

These two tragic stories have far more to do with mental health than geography."

We Ain't There Yet, A Guest Post from Anonymous 
This was a submission from a fan who asked to remain anonymous. It is a story about her fight for her child in a system that isn't equipped to help either one of them.

"...He set fire to my house and killed his sister all in one week, and went right back to watching Blues Clues. 

He melts down and calms down with out any notice, there are no indicators or blinking lights alarms don't sound, he just goes rageangerviolencecursingcryingsobbingthrowingscreamingkickingpunchingsuicidethreatsattemptsvoicessayingkillkillkill.... 

Then. Calm.

Mommy I love you.

I love you too."

5th Annual Photo Challenge Contest 
Always one of my favorite posts of the year, always one of my most popular. I host a 30 day photo challenge in June, then run the contest at the end. Learning, growing, sharing. It's amazing and it gets bigger every year.

friendship and loss and the lessons we learn 
I wrote this one, through tears, sitting on my front porch as I watched my daughter say goodbye to her very best friend in the world.

"...These two have known one another since they were first learning to walk. They toddled around the neighborhood together, trying desperately to keep up with their big sisters. They drove the little powerwheels jeep so fast they spun the tires bald, their blonde hair flowing in the wind behind them. We used to nervously laugh about what it would be like when they were driving for real.

And someday, they will both be driving, it just won't be together."

TTPMOT - the of course I am going there edition
The most read Things That Piss Me Off Post of the year, it was the one that I raged and ranted about the sexual abuse in the Duggar household.

"...Interesting that no one here is talking about the victims. Not Josh, not his parents, not the apologists.

They are but a mere footnote in this story, as they've been raised to believe that they are.

They, the female children, are just waiting until they can bear the fruit of their husband's will, at the mercy of his whims and wishes.

These girls were victims long before they were victims."

50 Things About My Mother
I challenged myself to write this one after seeing something similar online. My mother and I, we had a relationship that can only be categorized as complicated, though that doesn't seem big enough a word. I wasn't sure I'd be able to come up with 50 things, but by the time I got to the end of the list, I could have written four more posts.

"...34. Her tacos are something that people still talk about. Friends would always come over for dinner on taco night...even when my brother and I were away at school.

35. My favorite memory of her is when she'd ask me to help her make her bed, and I'd incessantly throw the sheets up in the air and dive under them. She'd tell me to stop and do what I was supposed to, then laugh. Over and over. Sometimes it took us half an hour to make one bed."

One of those women
Finally, one of my most personally revealing mental health posts, one where I talked at length about my personal struggle with postpartum depression. I share for my sanity. I share so others won't feel alone. I share to help lift the stigma. I am one of those women.

"...we need to admit that this happens far more often than most people realize. Then we need to confront the fact that most of what we believe about post partum depression is wrong. We need to understand that the images we are fed are misleading.

Postpartum depression looks like me."

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