My mother is vindictive, controlling and outright mean. If I could list the ways she passive aggressively told me I was fat, told me my boyfriend was too stupid, too nerdy, too poor, to high maintenance, whatever—if I could count the times she’s implied I was stupid, that my only success would come with marrying a wealthy man or that what I was doing was just not good enough—I’d have a very long list. Read more on College Candy…
When I was in middle school, I was picked to become a peer mediator. At the time, I was just stoked to get out of classes for two days for program-mandated training, but it ended up being some of the most useful stuff I learned in school. The theory behind peer mediation is that kids benefit from resolving conflicts without the express involvement of authority figures, and without the threat of disciplinary action. I only actually mediated on a few cases when I was in school, but the basic tenets of mediation theory and conflict-resolution philosophy have always stuck with me.
The key to winning any fight is not to fight at all. But if that’s an impossibility, then try these five tips that will help you successfully navigate — and resolve! — any conflict.
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I like to consider myself a strong and independent woman. I live alone; I take care of myself and never waiver in my beliefs. I’ve managed to convince myself that I’m fearless; I look confrontation in the eye and am without regret in my behavior – even when it isn’t the most flattering or well thought-out way to handle certain situations. I am, admittedly, a hot head.
I do not allow others to define me, put me in a box labeled by how they see me and will scream at the top of my lungs before I’ll ever let someone try to silence me. I am all these things; I have been all these things, and years from now these expectations that I have for myself will still be true. I don’t give a fuck who might be angered or won’t agree along the way. In the words of the great sailor, Popeye, “I am what I am.”
However, there were a few years in there, the dark years, that I was not all these things. When it came to Christoffer, I was a shadow. Keep reading »
This month marks the six-year anniversary of my divorce. A lot has changed since then. I’ve lived on my own (no parents, roommates, boyfriend, or husband). I dated again for the first time in a long time (how long? there was no internet the last time I dated). I changed jobs, got another degree, changed careers, moved across the country. Fell in love again.
I’m happy, extremely so. So why do people still act sorry for me when they hear I’m no longer married and the reason why? Keep reading »
My name is Winona and I am a slob.
Growing up, my mom affectionately referred to my bedroom as “the pig sty,” and rightfully so: the clothing, books, art supplies and cereal bowls that covered the floor would often reach knee-height before I felt the urge to tidy up a bit. At some point my brothers began gathering up the trash from their cars and setting it my room instead of putting it in the garbage. Months would pass before I found the bags of Slurpee cups and cracked Green Day CDs.
When I moved into my college dorm, my roommate was also a slob, and within months the trek from our doorway to our beds had become eerily reminiscent of the scene in “Star Wars” where Luke Skywalker falls into the Death Star’s garbage compactor. Keep reading »
I was really young and naïve when I met Christian* at a nightclub. By “young,” I mean 18 and by “naïve,” I mean an inexperienced dater who thought men would only like me for my intelligence.
“Isn’t she beautiful?” Christian asked some other club goers in line. I looked behind me to see where the beautiful girl was. I certainly didn’t think it was me. But he pointed at me again. He was standing in the club’s entryway wearing big, Buddy Holly glasses, black leather pants, and reeking of “teen icon.” Then he smiled – a wide, devilish grin. With one hand, he offered me a lollipop; with the other he held a whiskey on the rocks. In fact, in the four years (on and off) that we were involved, Christian usually had a whiskey on the rocks. It was like his signature accessory. Keep reading »
I’ve been in therapy for, oh, almost four years, I think. I go once a week, for 45 minutes. I spend a lot of time talking about myself, obviously — issues I have from the past that I need to work on because they’re affecting me in the present (and potentially the future), as well as the usual topics I need to vent about (work, money, family, etc.) so I don’t go postal. But mostly, I talk about boys.
When I say I talk about boys, what I mean is that I talk a lot about the issues the dudes in my life are having, how they’re affecting me and, thus, us, and how improvements need to be made in order for them to be better partners. I play amateur psychologist during my little 45 minute sessions each week with my doc, diagnosing each and every one of these boyfriends based on the knowledge I’ve gathered as a patient myself. I have evolved and healed in innumerable ways through my own treatment. I was (almost) fixed, so let me fix them.
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