naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (BTiLC Crackerjack Timing)
I love my mom, but she had Issues. One of these was an apparent disregard for other people's feelings and experiences. I'm not saying she didn't care about people or care about me, but I don't think she really knew how to express sympathy. She would often try, but just as often she would get her back up and refuse to be sympathetic at all.

Whenever I would complain about how much I hated school and how much I loathed the kids who were mean to me, whenever I hurt myself, whenever life became overwhelming and I didn't know what to do and so I kind of melted down, she would get pissed off at me. Her favorite thing to do was to deploy the phrase "pay your dues."

"You think it's easy being a grownup? Well it's not! You just wait. Someday you'll have to PAY YOUR DUES."

I can remember specific incidents of her saying this to me while we were camping, while we were driving alone in the car going I don't know where, while we were on vacation, while driving me back from an unpleasant doctor's visit, at home in the living room, and over my homework. It happened a lot.

My mother painted a picture of adulthood for me: A nightmare landscape where horrible things happened all the time for no reason at all – pretty much just like childhood, only I would have no-one at all to take care of me . . . I'd be fending for myself and completely alone.

I fought tooth and nail against growing up because I thought that when I got there I would be handed a one-way ticket to the Land of Suck, and if I couldn't hack it, the bad guys would come and take away everything I owned and everything I loved because I owed them MY DUES.

Seriously, I thought that, because that is how my mom made it sound. I would actually cry sometimes, alone in my room, because I didn't want to grow up. I was a desperately unhappy child, and she was basically telling me that it only got worse from there.

It wasn't until much later that I believed life as an adult without my parents around might actually be pretty awesome – which it mostly has been. Not necessarily because of a lack of my parents, but because adults have more agency, adulthood is not an inherently powerless state like childhood is, which nobody ever explained to me.

I was afraid of being a grownup. I saw that grownups had much more serious problems – job problems, money problems, health problems – than kids, but nobody ever explained to me that being a grownup is worth it anyway. That it's way better than being a child.

Yes, being an adult has encompassed a range of sucktastic things, even some things I feared as a kid. It has also encompassed a surprising amount of helplessness. But it's still better than being a kid. Being a kid fucking sucked.

When you're a child you hear grownups talk about childhood as though it were some distant, magical country of wafting, misty perfection, enormous fairy wings, and magical moon-circumnaviating dirigibles powered by unicorn poop. You hear grownups talk about how wonderful it was to be a child, without a care in the world. But you look around at your world and it isn't like that! It's horrible! It stinks! It's a nightmare! Maybe it's not like this for every kid, but it's like this for a goddamn lot of them.

When you're a kid you hear adults talk about their teenage years like they were an endless field of catgirl tits, raunchy pirate cock, jet fuel and vodka shots, gold medals in endurance masturbation, and unicorn orgasms fountaining glitter across the sky. "The best days of your life," they say. WEB OF LIES! It's horrible! It stinks! It's a nightmare!

Adults lied about being a child, and they lied about being a teenager. And then they had the temerity, the unmitigated gall, to be shirty with me because I thought that my life as a child/teenager fucking sucked, BECAUSE IT DID.

Yeah, I wish my problems now were as minor as the ones I had as a kid. Does that mean that they didn't suck? Oh, fuck naw. I would never in a million years say to a kid "You don't know how good you have it! These are the best days of your life!" LIES. Because I have the equipment to deal with those problems now. I didn't then. If I could go back and do it over again with the same coping strategies and understanding I have now as an adult, it would be a lot less hellish (although I still wouldn't do it), but that's not the same as saying that it's easy.

I am convinced that most average adults don't actually remember what it was like being a kid. Which, you know, if I could suppress knowledge of how shitty childhood was, I guess I WOULD, but I can't. Some of them even had okay childhoods, and so they don't understand what other kids find so difficult and onerous.

Some people are really good at being children, are happy there. Some people are pretty much grownups from the day they are born, and are far happier as adults. When the former group tries to parent the latter, disaster can arise.

I was in my mid to late teens before I fully understood that it would get better, and even then, I only believed it because someone I trusted – at that point, the only person I trusted – explained to me that yes, things sucked ass, I was not making that shit up, and that it would eventually go away. (Thanks, sweetie.)

What I am getting at is that kids, especially precocious, nerdy, bookish, socially awkward kids, especially kids with something that sets them apart from others like a disability or being a kid of one race when the peer group is almost totally of another race, or being queer, or fat, or really, really fucking smart, these kids don't live in a perfect world. They are sentient yet powerless beings with complex emotional lives. They are teased and mocked and bullied and persecuted for things they cannot control – often things they can't control that they are told they should be able to control. And all around them, grownups, their teachers, their parents, are telling them that childhood is this wonderful magical happy time.

How can you trust people who lie to you like that?! How?!

Please, if you know a kid, if you are a parent or a sibling or a teacher or a friend, or anything, really, please, don't spread that "best time of your life" bullshit. Being a child, being a teenager, those are some of the hardest things it is possible to be. Fucking acknowledge that.

Listen to the kids in your life, listen to the young men and women. Really listen. When they describe what their world looks like to them, don't tell them that it's wrong because that's not what it looks like to you now, or what it looked like to you at their age. Take them at their word and be respectful of how they feel. Because it is a pretty sure bet that most of the other adults in their lives are not being respectful. The people that they are told are there to protect them from bullies and bad guys and terrible things often deny that those things exist, that those things are happening. No wonder so many kids and teenagers don't feel protected, but feel helpless. They're being eaten by bears while their parents and teachers and so on stand around watching the whole thing play out and say "I don't see any bears!" or "But that was a beautiful forest! I never saw any bears while I was there!" or "You think THOSE are bears? I'll show you BEARS!" or "These bears are nothing! Wait until you're a grownup and you meet the bears who BREATHE FIRE AND CAN FLY."

And for the love of god, don't use the "paying your dues" line on a child, or she will grow up to be afraid of being a grownup, and that is a terrible, terrible thing to be afraid of. I am still not over that shit, and I am nearly 34. Don't cut your child down when she is scared of something that seems big to her and small to you. Don't cut her down when she accomplishes something that is impressive to her and unimportant to you. The rest of the world exists to do that, okay? It murders hope by inches. That is not your job. Your job is to give your child enough hope that they don't run out of it as the world rips it away. Your job is to make her capable of overcoming large obstacles by helping her to first overcome smaller ones. You can't do that by sticking your fingers in your ears and pretending that childhood, teenagerhood, is a carefree walk in the park. Your kid ignoring her problems won't make them go away. You ignoring her problems won't make them go away, either. You may not be able to fix it, and that sucks and I am sure it is horrible and painful, but your child needs to know that you want to fix it, and they need to hear this a lot.

There's a lot of talk around lately about "it gets better." Lots of lovely posts and videos.

It did get better for me, but I remain agnostic on that point in a wider context because for many, it does not get better. Many don't have the strength to make it to "better."

This shouldn't be an issue, period. Childhood, teenagerhood, should not be as hard as it is. We should not have to be telling kids "it gets better" because they are having such a shitty time they need to be reassured of this. That is what I know. And the only way I know of to change that is to make sure that kids and teenagers are listened to. I don't have solutions for bullies. I don't even know if we can fix that. But I think of all these poor dead kids who were just churned under, lost and forgotten, and I wonder how many of them would be alive if they'd had enough grownups in their lives willing to listen and help. You know, at least one, but preferably more than one. I know that we can fix that part of the equation if we work at it. And I think we really need to.

And we can start by not lying to kids about how great it is to be a child. That isn't doing them a favor. It's just making them feel like they can't trust you to listen when they say that it's not.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (BTiLC Crackerjack Timing)
I love my mom, but she had Issues. One of these was an apparent disregard for other people's feelings and experiences. I'm not saying she didn't care about people or care about me, but I don't think she really knew how to express sympathy. She would often try, but just as often she would get her back up and refuse to be sympathetic at all.

Whenever I would complain about how much I hated school and how much I loathed the kids who were mean to me, whenever I hurt myself, whenever life became overwhelming and I didn't know what to do and so I kind of melted down, she would get pissed off at me. Her favorite thing to do was to deploy the phrase "pay your dues."

"You think it's easy being a grownup? Well it's not! You just wait. Someday you'll have to PAY YOUR DUES."

I can remember specific incidents of her saying this to me while we were camping, while we were driving alone in the car going I don't know where, while we were on vacation, while driving me back from an unpleasant doctor's visit, at home in the living room, and over my homework. It happened a lot.

My mother painted a picture of adulthood for me: A nightmare landscape where horrible things happened all the time for no reason at all – pretty much just like childhood, only I would have no-one at all to take care of me . . . I'd be fending for myself and completely alone.

I fought tooth and nail against growing up because I thought that when I got there I would be handed a one-way ticket to the Land of Suck, and if I couldn't hack it, the bad guys would come and take away everything I owned and everything I loved because I owed them MY DUES.

Seriously, I thought that, because that is how my mom made it sound. I would actually cry sometimes, alone in my room, because I didn't want to grow up. I was a desperately unhappy child, and she was basically telling me that it only got worse from there.

It wasn't until much later that I believed life as an adult without my parents around might actually be pretty awesome – which it mostly has been. Not necessarily because of a lack of my parents, but because adults have more agency, adulthood is not an inherently powerless state like childhood is, which nobody ever explained to me.

I was afraid of being a grownup. I saw that grownups had much more serious problems – job problems, money problems, health problems – than kids, but nobody ever explained to me that being a grownup is worth it anyway. That it's way better than being a child.

Yes, being an adult has encompassed a range of sucktastic things, even some things I feared as a kid. It has also encompassed a surprising amount of helplessness. But it's still better than being a kid. Being a kid fucking sucked.

When you're a child you hear grownups talk about childhood as though it were some distant, magical country of wafting, misty perfection, enormous fairy wings, and magical moon-circumnaviating dirigibles powered by unicorn poop. You hear grownups talk about how wonderful it was to be a child, without a care in the world. But you look around at your world and it isn't like that! It's horrible! It stinks! It's a nightmare! Maybe it's not like this for every kid, but it's like this for a goddamn lot of them.

When you're a kid you hear adults talk about their teenage years like they were an endless field of catgirl tits, raunchy pirate cock, jet fuel and vodka shots, gold medals in endurance masturbation, and unicorn orgasms fountaining glitter across the sky. "The best days of your life," they say. WEB OF LIES! It's horrible! It stinks! It's a nightmare!

Adults lied about being a child, and they lied about being a teenager. And then they had the temerity, the unmitigated gall, to be shirty with me because I thought that my life as a child/teenager fucking sucked, BECAUSE IT DID.

Yeah, I wish my problems now were as minor as the ones I had as a kid. Does that mean that they didn't suck? Oh, fuck naw. I would never in a million years say to a kid "You don't know how good you have it! These are the best days of your life!" LIES. Because I have the equipment to deal with those problems now. I didn't then. If I could go back and do it over again with the same coping strategies and understanding I have now as an adult, it would be a lot less hellish (although I still wouldn't do it), but that's not the same as saying that it's easy.

I am convinced that most average adults don't actually remember what it was like being a kid. Which, you know, if I could suppress knowledge of how shitty childhood was, I guess I WOULD, but I can't. Some of them even had okay childhoods, and so they don't understand what other kids find so difficult and onerous.

Some people are really good at being children, are happy there. Some people are pretty much grownups from the day they are born, and are far happier as adults. When the former group tries to parent the latter, disaster can arise.

I was in my mid to late teens before I fully understood that it would get better, and even then, I only believed it because someone I trusted – at that point, the only person I trusted – explained to me that yes, things sucked ass, I was not making that shit up, and that it would eventually go away. (Thanks, sweetie.)

What I am getting at is that kids, especially precocious, nerdy, bookish, socially awkward kids, especially kids with something that sets them apart from others like a disability or being a kid of one race when the peer group is almost totally of another race, or being queer, or fat, or really, really fucking smart, these kids don't live in a perfect world. They are sentient yet powerless beings with complex emotional lives. They are teased and mocked and bullied and persecuted for things they cannot control – often things they can't control that they are told they should be able to control. And all around them, grownups, their teachers, their parents, are telling them that childhood is this wonderful magical happy time.

How can you trust people who lie to you like that?! How?!

Please, if you know a kid, if you are a parent or a sibling or a teacher or a friend, or anything, really, please, don't spread that "best time of your life" bullshit. Being a child, being a teenager, those are some of the hardest things it is possible to be. Fucking acknowledge that.

Listen to the kids in your life, listen to the young men and women. Really listen. When they describe what their world looks like to them, don't tell them that it's wrong because that's not what it looks like to you now, or what it looked like to you at their age. Take them at their word and be respectful of how they feel. Because it is a pretty sure bet that most of the other adults in their lives are not being respectful. The people that they are told are there to protect them from bullies and bad guys and terrible things often deny that those things exist, that those things are happening. No wonder so many kids and teenagers don't feel protected, but feel helpless. They're being eaten by bears while their parents and teachers and so on stand around watching the whole thing play out and say "I don't see any bears!" or "But that was a beautiful forest! I never saw any bears while I was there!" or "You think THOSE are bears? I'll show you BEARS!" or "These bears are nothing! Wait until you're a grownup and you meet the bears who BREATHE FIRE AND CAN FLY."

And for the love of god, don't use the "paying your dues" line on a child, or she will grow up to be afraid of being a grownup, and that is a terrible, terrible thing to be afraid of. I am still not over that shit, and I am nearly 34. Don't cut your child down when she is scared of something that seems big to her and small to you. Don't cut her down when she accomplishes something that is impressive to her and unimportant to you. The rest of the world exists to do that, okay? It murders hope by inches. That is not your job. Your job is to give your child enough hope that they don't run out of it as the world rips it away. Your job is to make her capable of overcoming large obstacles by helping her to first overcome smaller ones. You can't do that by sticking your fingers in your ears and pretending that childhood, teenagerhood, is a carefree walk in the park. Your kid ignoring her problems won't make them go away. You ignoring her problems won't make them go away, either. You may not be able to fix it, and that sucks and I am sure it is horrible and painful, but your child needs to know that you want to fix it, and they need to hear this a lot.

There's a lot of talk around lately about "it gets better." Lots of lovely posts and videos.

It did get better for me, but I remain agnostic on that point in a wider context because for many, it does not get better. Many don't have the strength to make it to "better."

This shouldn't be an issue, period. Childhood, teenagerhood, should not be as hard as it is. We should not have to be telling kids "it gets better" because they are having such a shitty time they need to be reassured of this. That is what I know. And the only way I know of to change that is to make sure that kids and teenagers are listened to. I don't have solutions for bullies. I don't even know if we can fix that. But I think of all these poor dead kids who were just churned under, lost and forgotten, and I wonder how many of them would be alive if they'd had enough grownups in their lives willing to listen and help. You know, at least one, but preferably more than one. I know that we can fix that part of the equation if we work at it. And I think we really need to.

And we can start by not lying to kids about how great it is to be a child. That isn't doing them a favor. It's just making them feel like they can't trust you to listen when they say that it's not.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Gay Agenda)
Yes, many of you have seen this. But for those of you who have not, I present George Takei, being fucking awesome.



The entirety of this beautiful video is worth quoting, so I won't quote it. I will just say that it makes me happier than anything has in a long, long time.

Thanks, George. We love you.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Gay Agenda)
Yes, many of you have seen this. But for those of you who have not, I present George Takei, being fucking awesome.



The entirety of this beautiful video is worth quoting, so I won't quote it. I will just say that it makes me happier than anything has in a long, long time.

Thanks, George. We love you.

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