I am ugly. I am horrid. I am terrible. My reflection says to me.
If I thought I was insecure, I promise you it got way worse after I had a C-section.
Granted, a lot of it was probably the postpartum depression encouraging me to hate myself, but I looked at my large scar, the tiger stripes that now went across my body, and I cried.
I mourned for all the things I wanted to wear, all the ways I wanted people to look at me.
I am ugly. I am horrid. I am terrible my reflection says to me.
I live in an area where there is no spring, just a long, horrible winter, and an even longer, hotter summer. So my envy of girls in short shorts and tank tops goes way beyond fashion, I just wish My body was beautiful enough for me to not have to cover every inch of it all summer.
Enter, the woman, we'll call her Fran*
I never met Fran before. We were all strangers at this college graduation barbeque but all bonded instantly over our love of all things geeky. In between the Star Wars arguments and Deadpool one-liners, I found myself staring in awe of Fran quite a bit.
She was beautiful and tall. She had that glowing brown skin that was all one smooth color. Her afro bounced as she laughed when someone complimented her top. It was a burgundy crop top that said "Thick Thighs. Thin Patience." She looked so amazing in her shorts and crop top that I started to think "I wish I didn't have stretch marks on my belly so I could wear that."
Hold up, Quinzel, she has stretch marks.
I was so caught up in the comparison game, of replaying the record known as Quinzel's Low Self Esteem, that I didn't even notice that Fran was someone just like me.
And I didn't think she was ugly
I didn't think she was horrid
And I certainly didn't think she was terrible
Fran was kind, funny, and beautiful, stretch marks and all.
So what the hell was wrong with me? Why was I so judgemental with myself and so quick to see the beauty in someone else?
So this is my love letter to Fran, who made me wake up and say Fuck It, I am not ugly, I am not horrid, I am not terrible.
And I am buying that fucking crop top and rocking it.
*I made this name up, I'm not even sure I know anyone irl named Fran
Yeah girl, it was that bad.
In December I had my first very own geeky baby. I wasn’t due until the end of January, but as it were Geeky Baby was ready to enter.
I won't go into the details of the birth, just imagine I was a first-time mom saying "what?" and "holy fuck" a lot.
But I had some bottles purchased, had some onesies and sleepers laid out and a good stock of diapers. I was prepared.
What I was not prepared for was Postpartum Depression.
On the cusp of the Black Panther premiere, I went from enthusiastically talking about this movie for months to feeling like nothing, not even Black Panther, could give me joy.
When most people think of postpartum depression, they recall some pretty awful news stories that I can't bear to repeat. Even the doctor asks you in a dry tone, "have you had thoughts of harming your child?"
Oh? No. I like GB. It was me I didn't like. Since what I had only known about postpartum was from the media, I didn't think I had it because my feelings weren't toward GB, they were toward me.
I felt hopeless. I felt inadequate. I cried for 4 hours a day. I felt like I was the most awful person and couldn't tell you why I thought that but the feeling was strong. I couldn't eat but I just chalked it up to the nausea.
It wasn't until my husband took notice that I was able to get what I needed.
He kinda got a head start. GB was a preemie and spent a few weeks in the NICU, so the nurses pulled him aside and gave him some signs to watch out for. He comforted me and he took the time to make sure I ate. But when he asked me about buying tickets to Black Panther and I just shrugged, he knew something was really wrong.
So why am I telling you this story? Because as Geeky Girls, we know the things we love and give us joy. Mental illness tries to take that away from us. But if we can stay ahead and know when it’s coming, we can win this fight.
Still, I wasn't enthused about leaving the house. I really did not want to go.
So, I'm gonna offer a bit of advice for anyone struggling with any type of depression: Go Anyway.
After leaving the movie theater, I not only had to thank my husband for pushing me to go, but my best friend who paid for my movie tickets and babysat just so I could go. And she isn't even a big comic fan, she just knew it was important to me.
I walked out refreshed and ready to face the day. It would still take time to see a large improvement in my PPD (I'm doing much better now) but that small thing really made a huge leap in my recovery.
So again. Leave your house. Do it. Don't abandon the things you love. It doesn't resolve it completely, but damn it helps.
So, I'd like to know if any of you have dealt with depression, postpartum or otherwise. Leave a comment and tell me about your coping mechanisms, your support people, and your "aha" moments
If you know someone having issues with postpartum depression, here are some helpful links:
If you don't know who Kid Fury is, you need to stop what you're doing right now and listen to The Read Podcast. Kid Fury is not only a certified geek, he is also someone who takes no shit. And, dammit, we should all be like him.
There's a segment in the podcast known as Listener Letters where people write in to get advice, usually on their relationship. While Kid Fury's tried and true advice is to "break up with him" you can't help but know that he's right. Every. Single. Time.
And he's not even just saying that to be funny, you can tell that he adheres to the advice that he gives. Don't waste time with someone who won't treat you right, don't care what people think of you, and for the love of Pete, stand up for yourself!
So now that you know why you should live your life this way
Get a Dog
Ok but seriously, Kid Fury has this cute little dog named Link and she even has her own Instagram. The guys you date may be crappy, but dogs are awesome
Get in Therapy
I love a person who is an advocate for therapy. Because you can't get to a place where you don't have time to deal with fuckboys if you don't first take a look inside of yourself. He openly admits that he goes to therapy and you can tell that his self reflection pays off. After all, he wouldn't continue pursing a relationship with a man that outright refuses to wipe his butt because its "not manly" (yes, that was a real Listener Letter)
Get A Hustle
He often talks about how before The Read, he worked long hours at his day job and then pursued the things he loved at night. Look where he is now.
Find your hustle, even if you can't do it full time now. Start small
Get some prayer
Kid Fury is very religious and connected to God. Even though I myself ran from the church kicking and screaming, I can really appreciate his belief system and apply it to myself. Because the universe is always looking out for you.
2017. What can you say about it? In 2016 we saw the death of huge icons, of people we have admired for years. 2017 continued the theme of death. Not of people per se, but of ideals. People that we thought were kind, courageous, and brave ended up being total trash heaps. Our country is in the middle of one of the biggest dumpster fires I have ever seen. That is what 2017 meant to me.
2018 is here and it is full of the optimism, hope, and joy we once wished 2017 would hold for us. Please let that be true. I am not sure I can handle too many more dumpster fires.
It is a new year. It is the same old me. I don’t believe in resolutions. I never keep them. I am however working on being a better person. Here is the list of things I plan on doing for the new year (But I had also been working on them in 2017 as well)
If 2017 was a dumpster fire, my brain is part of the trash heap that had lighter fluid sprayed liberally upon it. I am an organizational nightmare. I worked on this a lot by obtaining a paper planner and started to use that. I did not use it as well as I could have and that is what I want to work on this year. I actually have two planners this year. One for my job, and one for my personal life. Maybe if I organize a little bit better I could have the time and energy to do the things I want to do when I have down time. It might make it easier for me to craft more or organize more activities for geeky baby. To see some of the fun creative stuff I have been doing with my planner, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram.
2) Werqin on my fitness
2017 saw me change my eating habits a lot. I eat (most of the time) like I have some damn sense. I drink more water than I do diet soda. Though I do still enjoy an icy cold Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper. I make somewhat of an attempt to bring a healthy lunch and snacks to work that work well with a diabetic.
I am the most sedentary person you will ever meet in your life. Like I am a total slug. It amazes my husband that he can find me in one spot and 5 hours later I will be in that same spot huddled up with a blanket on doing absolutely nothing. He doesn’t understand it at all. I feel like if I exercised more, maybe I would get some energy back? Isn’t that how it is supposed to work? We shall see. I found some free videos on YouTube and will be using those to start. If I feel like it is something I could go gung ho on, I may get a gym membership.
3) Do Your Homework!
I have been talking about this one or a while. My goal this year is to do every single bit of homework Nerdette assigns throughout the year. You may be asking yourself “Why in the hell would she want to do homework?” In addition to being a nerd, I am an absolute geek. I live for homework. Plus, I have done several of the homework assignments from Nerdette, and I always come away with some knowledge, or at least a good book recommendation.
So yes. These are the major things I have in store for 2018. Do you have anything that you want to grow or develop? Did you have a great 2017? Let us know!
This has been a whirlwind of several months, and I am here to give you the scoop.
Have you been in a position before where you felt like you were drowning? Maybe it was homework, housework, just life altogether, but you felt like no matter what you did, you could not get your head above water.
That was me.
Ladies and gentlemen of the blog, I was in a very bad situation with my job. It pretty much felt like I was being emotionally abused in a way. No one's feelings in my department were being considered. The way that we were treated made it seemed like we were worthless. Even if you are amazing at your job, being treated like that for a year or longer, you will begin to doubt yourself.
When I came into my job, I basically came in and kicked in a door. I kicked ass, I was the best. I did my job, I did it well, and while it wasn't the most technologically stimulating job; it was giving me experience in a large corporate environment.
Until it didn't.
I knew one of two things were going to happen.
1) I would stay there and be miserable and never move up and never grow. I was always at the point where the job was affecting me outside of work. It was straining my relationship with my husband.
2) I would go off the deep end at work, getting fired. And I was very close to this. At one point I sat in a group meeting with the VP of Information Technology, defiant, not paying attention, and reading Supernatural fan fiction (don't judge me).
Before all of this went down, I did do the prudent thing and speak with my director. I told her I was not happy. I explained to her my background, what I came to do, what I was doing, and how I was capable of so much more.
She (attempted) to placate me, stating she was here and wanted to empower women in our department and have us grow.
I later found out this was a sham, and that she truly enjoyed pitting team members against each other, thinking it made them work harder.
How can you pit anyone against someone who has no equal?
In response to our meeting, she ripped what little I enjoyed from my job. She swapped my supervisor, took me from someone who had equal education and experience from me, and placed me with someone who had no education in technology, and boasted frequently that he enjoyed running his group like the correctional facility he was from.
Even after all this I slogged to work, and tried to make it through.
In hindsight, this is hilarious, but my final straw? She took my cube away from me.
In my department, not all cubes have three walls. Some people share a cube. She took away my three walled cube, gave it to someone that was in a different area, but still a direct report to her, and stuck me in a cube with one of the loudest and extremely argumentative people I have ever met in my life. I could no longer speak on the phone while this person was on the phone, as she would over talk me and I couldn't focus on what I was saying, nor what the person I was speaking with on the phone was saying. So let me recap everything that happened in a year.
I lost a supervisor that was on my level technology wise
I lost my ability to be able to do my job without people hovering over me
I lost my ability to collaborate with departments outside my own
I lost my cube
I lost my ability to do my job, as someone was right next to me screaming
I had started looking half heartedly for a new job but stepped up my efforts. I enlisted the aid of a headhunter that seemed eager to help, but never returned my calls, never gave me any feedback on the two interviews they sent me on, and were just useless.
However, after about 3 months of searching, I finally found a position! This time around, I asked many questions, mulled over all of the information they gave me, and finally made a decision. I refused to jump into a new position only to have the same or worse issues.
It has been almost two months, and my anxiety is nearly gone. I rarely feel that panic when someone calls my name in the hall. I've stopped frequently asking if what I do is okay. I get the feeling if I screw things up, I will be corrected and redirected.
My home life, which was in slight shambles, is on the mend.
Guys, know your worth. Know that there is no reason to put up with abuse at work. I don't care if it is physical, emotional, or verbal. Don't put up with it. Do what you need to do to protect yourself.
So that is what has been going on with me. I would love to know what has been going on with you.
I hope to be able to write more now that I am through the fire. You will here more geeky, techie, less serious things from me soon!
Tis the New Year, and it is that fateful time in which we all try our best at vowing to make the changes that we failed to in the prior year. I would love to give you hopeful advice about the good you could do for yourself in the next coming year, but if I am completely honest, I am not exactly very good at keeping my own. So I shall lean towards realism and comedy, because that is what I do best. Here is my hopeful, but brutally honest New Year’s resolutions list. Enjoy!
This will always be at the top of the list. Honestly, some years turn out better than others. What I won’t do is try crazy ass diets just to try to get down to an ideal size and make myself miserable by doing it. I am already miserable enough. No need to add on top of that. I am a stress eater, and until I figure out and solidify a better manner of control my stress relief, that weight isn’t going anywhere. What I have done is bought a yoga mat and a beginners training DVD. I am hoping that this will help me find a healthier manner in which to relax. Outside of the impending humiliation that I am no doubt about to punish myself with, I am hoping that my balance will at least improve. On a side and realistic note, I will probably have to go and speak with my neighbor who lives beneath me before I start. I do not need to have the poor man calling 911 thinking that I’ve died every time gravity wins and my fat ass falls over.
Manage Money Better
Could I manage my money better, probably, but I do a pretty damn decent job of it at the moment. I have really cut back on my overall spending in favor of keeping a roof over my head and food on the table. Damn, adulting. So while I shouldn’t throw a small amount of money that would no doubt be put towards better use for something else, I will probably end up buying that ticket to the Supernatural convention. I don’t go on vacations, so I don’t feel too bad about it. I have so much fun when I go. I will however be putting aside plane ticket money to try and take some visits back to the Midwest. I need to see the family and I refuse to miss out on another wedding that is important to me. Now I just have to fight the temptation of all the new damn Funko Pop! Figures that are coming out. I will endure.
This is one that I feel I should really put a valiant effort into improving, but year after year, I still do what I want. I have chosen to believe that things will work out as they will, and until then, I have too much shit to achieve. I guess a big part of my lack of fear is knowing that the worse situation one will ever be in is alone. I handle that with bells on, so not such a big scare for me. Have I thought about toying with dating sites? Yeah, but it really isn’t for me. I am too much of a person reader, and the internet pretty much blinds me from that. I have toyed with the idea of doing speed dating with my friends, but due to the fact that I can be a pretty big A hole, it won’t be that wise. It would be pure comedy for my friends, but not for the poor bastards that get to meet me. It’s best to let things fall as they may.
Of course, I would love to quit everything and just write, but that isn’t guaranteed to bring in the money at the moment. This isn’t the time for me to skip off and say f@#* off to all. Nope, got bills, and they need to be paid. I am going to try and incorporate some freelance work into my life, so that I can subsidize the fun world of perks. That will probably help with the whole stress thing. On top of that I will continue to achieve status as an exemplary employee at the current job, and maybe try to grow there in the meantime. Anything from keeping me from having a part time job. It is Vegas, and who knows what kind of part time job I’d end up getting. Terrifying! I really, really enjoy sleep. It’s awesome! More hours would mean less of that and most likely more stress.
All in all, more money will allow for more geekdom, so that’s a bonus altogether.
Those are the basics, right? Is there anything I’m forgetting? Let me know what you are planning for this lovely year ahead of us. Thanks for hanging out, and I hope you all have a great 2015 ahead of you!
This year I thought that I would check out the Second Annual Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con. We went last Sunday for family day. We thought that it would be a good idea, since my eldest nephew would probably love it. Being able to dress up around other people who are also dressed up and celebrate his favorite superheroes, heaven for the kid. It did not disappoint the little guy or his baby brother either. The con is clearly growing and while it may not be as big as some of the others in the country, I truly believe it will be bigger next year. It certainly was busting at the seams on Sunday. My only complaint was that it was too cramped, but honestly, the con probably didn’t know what to expect as far as a turnout. Since that is my only complaint, it really isn’t that terrible. I would have had lots of pictures for you showing the different displays and costumes that I saw, but my camera kind of punked out on me. I apologize for that. Next year, I will be better prepared. There was tons of Cosplayers, which is pretty essential for these kinds of events. What made me even happier was that there were tons of kids that were dressed up as well. This is was my first ever comic con experience, and I had fun. I loved seeing all of the kids dressed up, many making their own costumes. One of the most adorable of these costumes was one nine year-old boy made his own Doctor Octopus costume with an adult dress shirt hemmed at the bottom to look like a lab coat and duct tape and tubing that created the metallic arms coming out of the back. It was a solid little costume. Another kid that sat down at our table as we were getting ready to leave from lunch actually made what looked like a silver Boba Fett costume. If that is not Boba Fett, I apologize to the Star Wars community, I really only know the movies, so anything outside of that I am at a loss. Regardless, the twelve year-old craftsmanship was very impressive. He actually molded pieces of some kind of light metal or plastic sprayed to look like metal. My eldest nephew got really excited when he sat down with us and asked him to take his picture with him. There were plenty of adults with some impressive costumes as well. I saw a really good Elsa that was walking around with none other than Jesus, who I think was supposed to be Buddy Christ from Dogma. That was a fun conversation with some of my friends a couple of days later when we were talking about the costumes we saw. My friend hasn’t seen Frozen yet and she was trying to describe the Elsa costume and confirm if that was the one that I was talking about. My next question came out as “Was she with Jesus?” That made us both pause and crack up, because I really just said that. I saw an Anna as well that was so good, that homegirl would probably get kicked out of Disneyland just like that Tinkerbell cosplayer did. One costume created a spontaneous nerd moment in the middle of the con that made me smile. This man had a self-made Predator costume and was walking around the con when a ten year-old boy freaked out and grabbed him excitedly for a picture because he was carrying around an Alien mask. The predator guy gave him a high five and they took the picture. This brings me to my favorite part about this entire con experience, enjoying it with my nephews. My youngest nephew is about nineteen months old, and doesn’t really know what’s going on around him, but was happy to be there. He had fun, but not to the extent that his five year-old brother did. My eldest nephew is a Captain America and Transformers junkie. He insists that his real name is Optimus Prime and actually has begun to introduce himself as such to people, bless him. This kid had a blast! He of course went as his favorite superhero, Captain America. All he wanted before we went in was to get his picture with Captain America. Knowing that there was probably going to be someone there that was dressed up Captain America, I knew we could make this happen. His mind got blown however by all of the characters he did get to see. He started screaming for joy when he heard over the intercom that Iron Man was there. Now he had to get a picture with Iron Man. He as was just thrilled. If anyone reading this was at the con and dressed up, please let me take the moment to thank you. Everyone at this con was kind and considerate and just as excited as my nephew when it came to him asking for pictures. Everyone was fantastically awesome and dropped into to character at the drop of a hat. They always called my nephew Captain America or Steve when addressing him, which made his day. That is nerd love from the community that just wants to support each other’s passions. I was so floored by this reception all around, and it wasn’t just with my nephew, it was with all of the children there for family day. Thank you all for making such a special memory for this little guy. His little brother even got pulled for pictures, since he was dressed up as Cap’s sidekick, Bucky. This was an absolutely fantastic experience, and I can’t wait for next year. A little side note of nerd humor. My brother took my nephew to the bathroom while we had taken a break to eat. I was still sitting at the table waiting on them and could see the entrance of the bathrooms. After a bit, I see this kid about the same age as my nephew come skipping out of the bathroom dressed as the Winter Soldier. As I was started to think what a fun picture that would be for my nephew to take, here he comes skipping and bouncing right after him. I fell out because it looked like Captain America just chased the Winter Soldier out the bathroom. When my brother and nephew came back over, I told my brother what I saw. Apparently their story started in the bathroom. My nephew approached the other kid and told him that he was my nephew’s enemy. The other kid just growled back at him before turning to skip out, which prompted my nephew to follow. You have to love the babies. They are adorable.
To see the first part of this story click here.
Like I said, things were going superbly with Dax and I until I met his parents. A few things to know about me. I come from a blue collar family. My mother is a nurse, my father is a computer tech. At the time of this story, I was working two low level jobs, and getting ready to attend college. A few things to know about Dax. His family is affluent. We’re talking WASPy affluence. So imagine the surprise when said affluent WASPy members find out their little Dax is bringing home, not only a blue collar, undereducated small town girl, but she is brown to boot!
I am empathic. It is one of the reasons it is hard for me to be around a large group of people for an extended period of time. A lot of times I can feel what the people around me feel. When I met Dax’s parents, what I felt was not cool. His father was basically shooting off “What the hell is going on!?” vibes. I maintained my own and stuck it out, and got out of there as soon as I could. On the way home, I explained what I felt to Dax. He brushed me off saying it was fine, and that I was being silly.
A week later, he called to break up with me.
Before everyone boo/hisses about the phone call break up, please remember we live an hour apart. I wasn’t mad at the fact that he called to break up. I was mad that he let his father get into his head about me.
Dax stuttered and stumbled through his break up thoughts. They were mostly that we are different people (I would hope I wasn’t dating myself, that would be super difficult…and kind of vain), that we were in different places in our lives (I was 23, he was 28.. he had financial and emotional support to go to school and do things in his life. I did not and was getting around to him late. He knew all of this WHEN WE MET), and the kicker was that his father thought I wasn’t very healthy (aka I was fat, and his dad did not approve) When he got finished I spoke. I informed him that I thought I was dating him, not his father, and if he wanted to break up with me, that was fine. But they needed to be for his own reasons, and not some reasons his father drilled into his head. He got quiet and spoke softly on the phone “I don’t really want to break up.” That settled that. Truth be told, we should have probably broke up then and there. He was family oriented. Really family oriented. I already knew I didn’t feel comfortable hanging out with his family, as they had already let me know (through a proxy no less) how they felt about me. What can I say? I was Britney Spears in that moment (“My loneliness, is killing me.”)
Our relationship went on. for a while. He brought up hanging out with his parents again. He told me his mother was fine with us and it would be okay. I rolled my eyes and went along with it. His family had me over to dinner at one point. For some reason, bi-colored corn got brought up by me, his mother stated she thought I said “bi-colored porn.” At this point, I just wanted to go back home. To my hole, and die.
His mother sent me a hand written note to my house to invite me to Thanksgiving. My mom and I read the note together and looked at each other. “Who sends handwritten notes to a family affair? Are you getting engaged!?” my mother screamed at me. “No…LORD NO!” I responded. I kept looking at that note. I felt cynical. I felt like it was a trap.
While it wasn’t a trap, not a more awkward Thanksgiving was had. I watched what I ate, lest it was said that I was eating too much, I was suspicious of the turkey, as I never saw the whole bird. They took it in another room, cut it up, and served it. Plus, I don’t think his mom cooked much, because she didn’t have a schedule, cooked the bird very first. By the time we ate, it was dry and ice cold. We stayed there the entire day. Long after his brothers left, we stayed. I began to notice some things. His father sort of ran the house with an iron fist. His mother wanted the gas fireplace on. His dad told her to “Don’t be stupid, we don’t have the instructions anymore, we will not be doing any fires.” She just said okay and went with it. Dax’s two brothers weren’t impressed. They were from his mother’s previous marriage, so Dax’s dad was their stepfather. and Dax was their half brother. They started telling me stories of how they would scare the shit out of him when they were kids. Dax’s mood just got darker and darker as they talked. He was bullied as a child and still had a hard time being the butt of anyone’s jokes.
I would like to say that things improved after this day. They didn’t. I started to notice things. Certain things he did, I was embarassed about. The turning point of everything was one Memorial day. My family had a party and I lied to him and said my family was going out of town. Why did I lie? Because the party was being held at my uncle’s house that had a swimming pool. All of the kids would be in the pool, and I knew if I had invited him, he would be the lone adult in the pool, prompting my family to ask “what is wrong with him?”
The breakup wasn’t mutual, he broke up with me (again). While I was sad for a short while, I feel like part of myself was relieved. I didn’t have to deal with this anymore.
We have both moved on, years later he is married with a child and I am married. I am grateful for the experience of Dax. It made me realize what I wanted in a significant other more than anyone else I had ever dated. I also decided that at that point in my life, men were a distraction I couldn’t afford. I stopped dating when I went back to school. It got a little lonely, but it forced me to focus on myself, and the bettering of myself. It allowed me to make sure that I would never feel how Dax’s family made me feel. I knew back then I was a good person, but I didn’t realize my worth until someone else tried to set that for me.