Time for Tarot! (5-23-21)

DSC00093

Hi, everyone! Here’s how this works: use your intuition to pick an item from the above image. Today we have an antique jewelry box, a Hummel angel figurine, and a porcelain (I think?) bushel of flowers. Then scroll down to that item’s corresponding reading. These are timeless readings, meaning they’ll apply whenever you read them and not just when I post them.

I can’t promise that all of my readings will have a section that resonates with you! Some will, some won’t. These are general readings, so you really never know! If you’re interested in a you-specific reading, feel free to contact me at zeldas_lullaby@yahoo.com. And you can find all my Tarot readings here.

The antique jewelry box

I’m seeing a family situation here in which your parents are putting pressure on you to excel. I’m definitely not seeing any abuse, but there are huge expectations and insane successes to live up to. You’re ambitious by nature and very success-oriented, but it’s not quite enough for your parents. I’m seeing your dad as being very authoritative, clearheaded, and analytical. He’s well-respected and quite successful. Your mom is nurturing and has that image of being the world’s most perfect mother. Always a smile and a sunny outlook! But beneath it all, the expectations! Dear God.

Your parents act as if you’re being moody, sulky, and difficult, which is offensive to me, your kind Tarot reader. [I’m rolling my eyes at your parents right now.] In reality, you’re intelligent and ambitious. You probably dislike being patronized by them.

There are unrealistic expectations flying all through the air here. It’s hard for you to start down a certain career path when the only successful outcome in your parents’ eyes is total, complete success. There’s some instability in your familial relationships here, and you’re hesitant to speak up. I’m not sure if your parents realize the undue pressure that they’re putting on you. In order to be happy, you believe you have to follow in their footsteps. It’s to the point that you’d see them reflected back when you look in the mirror. What I’m afraid of is that you’re at risk of blowing up and losing it because you’re feeling like a pressure cooker inside.

So, let’s look at your oracles now and see what advice we have!

Your oracles are pointing out that knowledge is power as far as knowing your parents’ agendas and preparing for their “attacks”. If you can know how a visit will go beforehand, you can prepare a counterattack, as it were.

Also, this is interesting. Some people think of spirituality as just referring to direct spiritual experiences, like having a prophetic dream, for example. But there is spiritual truth underlying your relationships, and your interactions with family are a way for you to practice strengthening your own spiritual skills. Even if you don’t believe in spirituality, that’s not really the point. It’s just that we come into these lives in order to practice certain skills, and you’re accomplishing that by learning to set boundaries with your parents. There is spiritual benefit to your interactions.

The oracle also says to be pleased with small victories, because they’re worth feeling proud of, and also, you might not score any major victories with this situation soon. This isn’t the sort of thing where you can waltz in and change years and years of interaction patterns with your parents, if that makes sense, so take your victories as they come! Amen.

It’s also suggested that you’re the sort of person who might benefit from spending time in nature, so go for it! Get outside if you can.

Also, the oracles are telling me that this whole dynamic and situation is karmic, meaning it’s been set up with the goal of giving you a chance to learn communications skills over the long-term within this family system. Like, if you watch Everybody Loves Raymond—one of my favorite shows—Debra and Ray spend years and years trying to learn how to best communicate with Raymond’s parents, and at one point they finally realize (like a lightbulb lighting up overhead) that their parents are the problem. It’s a masterful awareness that occurs near the end of the show’s run. I’m not saying that the same exact situation is here. The point is that this is a long-term learning situation that will benefit you in communicating and assertion and boundaries, like how Debra and Raymond spent years appeasing his parents before the truth clicked in, in a long-term aha moment, if that makes sense.

Good luck, and hang in there!

The Hummel angel figurine

Right off the bat, I’m being told that you have a hilarious sense of humor and are incredibly sweet. How lovely!

You’ve been experiencing conflict lately regarding finances and being too frugal. I sense that you’re married and have kids. Whichever side of the money argument you’re on, you’re spinning your wheels in your attempts to remedy the situation. Some level of acceptance might work better. It is what it is!

Also, you’ve had a hard time letting go of something from your past involving a good man. I’m not sure what it is, but you’ve had anxiety and have been somewhat fixated. It could be a romance that you left or a father-figure situation. If you can focus on positive memories, it will help you be expansive. And there are plenty of positive memories here!

You’re a very busy person, and you tend to be very nurturing to everyone. You’re really good with kids, so if you don’t have your own kids or already work with kids, you should definitely consider it. Kids love your energy!

Don’t dwell too much on your negative thoughts about things like money and what you lack and what you miss. You’ve got a loving family and loads of inner strength, and there’s just so much to be grateful for here! The Ten of Cups came up, upright (not reversed), and that’s the card of a happy family and lots of love: a great spouse, kids, the works.

You’ve got to address the baggage that’s coming up in an effort to declutter your mind and thinking. You’re surrounded by love, but sometimes you forget that it’s there. You space out and go somewhere in your head.

Someone could be deceiving you. You’re being warned to consider this and to pay very close attention to any documents or contracts that you sign, as well as any verbal agreements you enter into (travel, selling something, a joint project, etc., etc.). Before you agree to something, ask what’s in it for the other party. If you’re uncertain who this could be, engage in some self-care and let your mind relax a bit, which the cards want you to do anyway. Because there’s something or someone that you’re in denial about. I don’t see it as a close person like a spouse. I see it more like someone from your personal or business life. It’s not necessarily someone who’s really important to you, or that you’re really close to, but you’ve got to acknowledge their intentions and motives and not “look the other way” or allow it.

The bushel of flowers

You’re very successful! You have a vision of how life should be that acts as your guiding force. You’ve got a lot going on, and sometimes you’re tired or stressed, so you take shortcuts in little ways. You’re very well off financially, and you might even be a tad bit too confident at times. I think that right now you’re dealing with the issue of children—having them, having more of them, how to raise them, possible infertility, that sort of thing. You’re concerned that it’ll be a situation where you and/or your significant other don’t come through when the time comes. Like, what if we’ve got too much going on already? And how will we juggle all of our priorities? That sort of concern. You’re afraid you don’t have the emotional strength or energy to handle it. You sense that your natural charm isn’t going to be helpful with a houseful of kids and everything else going on.

If the issue you’re dealing with is infertility, you’ve possibly been considering trying to “skip the line” somehow. I wouldn’t say that except the Seven of Swords came up. It’s all about gaming the system and taking shortcuts to reach the goal. If that doesn’t resonate, then just disregard it. But there’s no judgment here. I’ve heard horror stories of how hard it is to adopt a baby.

The issue of kids seems insurmountable, and you wonder how other people seem to have it all and do it all. Sometimes you lose touch with you who are underneath all the roles you play each day.

Did you know that in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the emerald city is actually all white? Residents and visitors are required to wear green-tinted glasses, so everyone thinks the city is made of emerald. It’s not. Other people’s situations are never as great as appearances would lead you to believe.

Your oracles are urging you to engage in deep thought. The general message here seems to be to sleep on it for a while and keep turning the idea over in your head for now. But I do see a baby in your future if you choose to go that route. It will all happen with divine timing, and the universe is hard at work on bringing it all together as we speak. Trust in the divine, for you will be truly blessed. The answers to the whole dilemma will come to you through your subconscious mind. And remember to have compassion for yourself, even if it all seems overwhelming. Before it can happen as it’s meant to, you must overcome one final hurdle of spiritual growth. I’m not sure what that hurdle is, but I have every reason to believe that you can and will accomplish it. Good luck!

From Fat to Free: Chapter 1

Okay, so I’m reading a new book about weight loss called From Fat to Free: How to End Your Toxic Relationship with Food by Elizabeth Lizberg. It has journaling questions for each chapter, so I thought, what the heck, I’ll blog them. There’s a companion Action Plan Journal which is rather expensive, but it turns out you can get it as a free gift as a PDF if you buy the From Fat to Free book. Basically, though, the Action Plan Journal is some questions and lots of lined pages. I’ve just read chapter 1.

1: FAT TO FREE ACTION PLAN

Find your why. Write the full story. It doesn’t have to be pretty; it just has to be true.

Having trouble getting started? Here are some questions you can answer.

  • What is your motivation to keep going?
  • Have you hit a rock-bottom moment that inspired you to make a change?
  • What reminder will help you keep going when it gets hard?

The truth can be hard to accept, but it’s easier when you identify and accept the emotions that are involved.

(c) Elizabeth Lizberg

The author shared her “why” that she latched onto to keep going. She also shared that there was a horrid health crisis in her family after she’d lost seventy pounds at long last, and she dealt with the crisis by eating, and she gained eight pounds in ten days.

She then braced herself for future challenges and somehow found techniques for staving off such occurrences. I’m impressed so far!

Hmm… What is my motivation? I’m not sure. The author is really motivated out of love for her daughter, but I don’t have any kids. I want to avoid health issues that can be caused or exacerbated by being overweight. I want to be able to enter into middle age without having all this extra weight! Like, I can improve my health so much. Fortunately (yet this is unfortunate for my motivation levels), I have no physical health issues.

Huh, that might not be true. I snore. Goodness. And my right knee is whacked out.

And I feel unattractive when I look in the mirror. I know I can do better, yet I become helpless in the presence of junk food. But that assumes I encounter junk food on accident. Yesterday I went to McDonald’s. And there were pastries.

What reminder will help me keep going when it gets hard? First of all, it’s always hard. Well, it’s difficult several times a day. Um… I don’t know what I can remind myself of. Like a belief, like the author’s telling herself that she doesn’t want her daughter to lose both parents to health issues? I’ve got nothing like that, and my health isn’t that poor. Hmm… I do need something to remind myself. Higher power? WWJD? (What would Jesus do?) Good grief. Come on, people. Jesus ate bread and drank wine. [Groan.]

Yeah, but Meg, He never ate chocolate cake or fast food. 

True, dat. In fact, I think Jesus may have been tempted by such things when he spent forty days in the desert, but Jesus was a master of will power. The rest of us? Not so much.

I think my credo should be empowering. Like, “I’ve got this!” while reaching for junk food. No… that has an implied double-meaning, like, I’ve got the junk food! Better rephrase. Hmm. Well, Frasier said, “This is Dr. Frasier Crane. If you can feel, I can heal.” Oh, gee. No.

Maybe that’s the problem. I don’t know what my motivation is. Huh. I’ve got nothing.

Well, gee, Meg. You DO want to lose weight. There must be a reason you’re interested in it. 

Okay, that makes sense. Yeah. I want to feel prettier and accomplished, because it’s a huge accomplishment to lose weight. I want to become a master of food. I want to take away the power that food has over me to make me feel better, or to give me a high, or to lure me away from healthy choices. I want to become a master of my addictive tendencies toward junk food.

Yes, but why?!

I don’t know! Uh, it’s a great accomplishment.

We’ve established that.

Uh… well, I want to be proud of myself.

Also established.

Um…

Face it, Meg. You don’t want to give up junk food. You can’t live without that high you get from it. You want to lose weight, yes, but you can’t walk away from that high. If you were to lose weight, you know you’d start gaining it back. You love food, Meg. You love how it affects your brain. You don’t even trust yourself to live without that high. You don’t trust yourself to stick to healthy foods. You don’t let yourself eat healthy for more than a few days, or even a few hours, because you have to keep that relationship with junk food established at any cost. You’re afraid of success. You’re afraid of what it would mean to have to maintain a lower weight. You’re terrified of never being able to eat “enjoyable” foods again. You know, the kinds with chemicals that probably kill lab rats dead. You’re unwilling to walk away from that. And by the way, this is why you never yoyo diet. You just never lose weight, period. 

Well, I’m clearly having issues. But I’m sure I can untangle them and find a solution. Oh, hell. No, I’m not. I’m screwed. I’m addicted to food, and I can’t seem to break it.

I think I should discuss this with my life coach. I could also ask Dr. Phlegm about weight loss meds.

In good news, do you all remember how hard I tried to go down on Seroquel earlier this year? Well, go figure. Starting four days ago, my street was repaired and the metal plates were removed from it. Every time a car drove over it, I heard THUNK-THUNK. All night. My room isn’t very soundproof. But as soon as that was finally repaired, I slept like a log and even overslept for the next three days. Then last night I self-corrected by taking less Seroquel (to avoid oversleeping) and I still slept until noon.

I’ve successfully gone down on Seroquel now, and I believe Seroquel contributes to my weight gain. I’m not sure if it was the plates. I can’t remember how long they’ve been on my street, but it’s been a few months now. It might also have to do with the time of year, meaning I’d need more Seroquel in wintertime. But that ain’t now! Woo hoo! Maybe I can lose weight by taking less Seroquel this summer. Not that I’m too hopeful. I’m mostly demoralized beyond belief.

Hmm. Mantra: You don’t need a high, Meg. You. Don’t. Need. A. High. 

But how will I survive or even be happy without one? Ohh!

I do think that should be my motivation, though, because it’s the root of the problem. I must be reacting to daily stressors by turning to junk food. So my motivation has to be the belief that I can survive without needing that, that I can be stressed without needing the high. I guess I’ll start with that. You don’t need a high, Meg.

A disastrous sleepover and some negative career advice!

Dear Amy: Recently my oldest daughter had a 15th birthday party sleepover weekend.

Her best friend, as well as my nieces and nephews, spent the weekend celebrating with her at our home.

Sunday morning at around 2 a.m., my husband woke me up to tell me that he caught my 15-year-old nephew having sex with my daughter’s best friend on my living room couch! (Sadly, unprotected.)

I immediately called the girl’s mother and alerted her and brought the girl home. Same with my nephew.

Now my daughter is worried that her friend’s mom won’t let them stay friends because this happened in my house.

I’m sick with guilt. I feel responsible as the adult, and I feel terrible because my daughter has a hard time connecting with new people and this will most likely set her back. Understandably, the girl’s mother was furious and hasn’t responded to my calls and text messages to touch base and make sure everyone is okay.

I’m not sure what my next step is in all this.

— Buying a New Couch

Buying a New Couch: Let’s stipulate that — if they are motivated — some teenagers can and will have sex. There can also be sexual activity at same-sex sleepovers, but the stakes for those encounters are much different, because there is no chance of a resulting pregnancy.

Strictly speaking, sex between two 15-year-olds is illegal (since neither are old enough to consent), although many states have passed so-called “Romeo and Juliet laws” providing exemptions for close-in-age teens.

It is surprising, to say the least, that you and your husband would provide not only the location, but the opportunity for risky sexual activity, by hosting a co-ed sleepover.

I do know of parents (and organizations) that successfully host co-ed teen sleepovers, but they do so with very specific guidelines, chaperones, and — of course — with the knowledge and consent of all of the parents involved.

As the adults who made this choice, you shouldn’t just “feel” responsible. You (and your husband) are responsible.

You cannot control how these other parents handle their children or how they react to you. If you didn’t inform the girl’s parents in advance that boys would be spending the night at your house, I believe it would be a rational consequence for them to refuse to let their daughter spend time at your home again.

Do not interfere or intervene regarding the friendship between the two girls, unless your daughter expressly asks you for help. And even then, you may have to explain to her that even though this was not her doing, one additional consequence of teens having sex is that it can unfortunately interfere with their friendships. (c) Ask Amy

Huh. I wasn’t sure where the letter was headed until I reached this point:

My husband […] caught my 15-year-old nephew having sex with my daughter’s best friend on my living room couch!

And I was like, whoa! That escalated quickly.

surprisecat1

At least the letter writer has a sense of humor about it, as well as the clearheadedness to buy a new sofa.

Yeah, this was ill-advised. I don’t like stereotyping teenagers as randy horndogs, but there needs to be a modicum of supervision. Cousins can broadly be trusted, but the letter writer really dropped the ball by adding non-relatives to the sleepover. It should’ve just either been the cousins or the birthday girl’s best friend.

(Let’s face it. If the dad caught two cousins having sex on the sofa, that would be a whole separate issue.) (I’m tempted to joke about how my cousins and I all live in Kentucky and Indiana, but… I’ll try to refrain.) (Actually, I had a total crush on my cousin when I was fifteen and he was eighteen, but I wouldn’t have slept with him! Goodness.)

My husband […] caught my 15-year-old nephew having sex with my daughter’s best friend on my living room couch! (Sadly, unprotected.)

I’m… oddly glad that her husband looked close enough to check for possible condom usage…?

surprisecat1

Oh geez.

Let’s check in with Dear Abby!

DEAR ABBY: I have a niece who is bipolar. She was put into rehab at the age of 20 and has been clean and sober for the last three years. We have always been close, but on a family visit, she asked my opinion about a job choice, and I was honest with her. Because it wasn’t what she wanted to hear, she is extremely distant now. I am no longer “Auntie.” She calls me by my first name only. Weekly calls have ceased.

I have championed my niece, supported her emotionally when she had problems and helped her out financially. Her mother says if you don’t agree with her (even though she solicits your opinion), you are then “against” her. What’s the best way to reach out to her? Due to extreme drug abuse for many years, she seems emotionally stuck at age 14. — AUNTIE NO MORE IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR AUNTIE: With the clear understanding that I am not a psychotherapist, may I point out that some individuals who suffer from mental illness find it necessary to place people into two categories: friends and enemies. Disagreeing with your niece has landed you in the latter. Her mother has explained this to you, so try not to take it personally.

I don’t think this troubled young woman will be receptive to a reconciliation until she has found another target. In the meantime, remain open, stay cordial and fill your life with activities that bring you joy rather than pain. I’m sure her mother will update you on your niece’s progress. (c) DEAR ABBY

Oh my.

I was honest with her. Because it wasn’t what she wanted to hear, she is extremely distant now. [Emphasis added]

There’s an implication in the underlined passage that the letter writer is sticking by the advice she gave and expecting her niece to accept her advice. Personally, if my advice hurt someone, I’d backpedal fast enough to bike backward. I think that giving advice (even when asked for) should be about lifting the other person up, not inserting your own weird agendas, especially in this instance when the niece was unable to handle the straightforwardness of her aunt’s advice. When someone’s sensitive to too much “truth”, that should generally be respected.

The letter writer hasn’t given us any indication that she tried to smooth things over, fix the situation, backpedal, apologize, etc. That’s not good.

Because it wasn’t what she wanted to hear […]

Why do some people stand by their own opinions instead of accepting whatever opinions or beliefs someone else wants to have? If I were her aunt, I’d be impressed that she’s looking for work. Bipolar and addictions are serious conditions. I mean, I’m not capable of working due to being schizophrenic and then some. So my first thought is to be impressed that the niece is going for it! More power to her. I have nothing but admiration for people who work.

But what I’m trying to say is that advice is only good for exactly similar situations, which almost never happens. Maybe the aunt had a bad experience working retail whereas it would be perfect for the niece. The aunt seems quite rigid and unwilling to bend a little toward her niece’s needs and perspective.

Due to extreme drug abuse for many years, she seems emotionally stuck at age 14.

This sounds quite defensive, as if the aunt is actually hurt or mad that her niece is offended. Like, “It’s my niece’s fault! She’s emotionally stunted. All I did was give her honest advice!” But the letter writer should’ve been less forceful with her advice. And now, instead of backpedaling, she’s blaming her troubled niece. Nice.

I’d treat her like a fourteen-year-old and reach her at her level (in a discreet and non-patronizing way, for sure). But there’s no reason to be judgey about it because almost everyone is at some sort of different level in some ways. If you take a random thirty-year-old, he or she might be emotionally twenty-two, intellectually forty-five, and socially twenty-four. Making it sound pejorative doesn’t help anyone. And all I know of the niece is that, despite her serious issues, she wants to work. (I do find it credible that she might be emotionally fourteen, but I admire her regardless.)

Like, when I was in high school, I was socially stunted somehow so I loved to hang out and play with the middle school kids. We were on the same wavelength. We need less judgment. I always used to cringe when the adults would pass me hanging out in the lobby with the middle school kids. I felt so judged. It was awful.

Both age groups (grades six through twelve) went on a retreat to help flood victims, after which we spent a day at Six Flags amusement park. When I got off the bus that day I decided to do what I was “supposed” to do, and I hung out with the high school kids. (I was in eleventh grade.) They wound up ditching me. (It’s a long, eyeroll-worthy story.) Alone, I wandered around and prayed for God to guide my feet, and I passed a train track that must’ve been part of a ride. Then I turned and saw some middle school kids way across the park. Thrilled, I joined them and proceeded to have the time of my life.

Fortunately I’m now happy having friends my age, and this has been the case for a long time.

So if the niece is stuck at fourteen emotionally, the aunt should keep that in mind. Dumping harsh truths on people who are emotionally fourteen for no good reason is so unkind. Would anyone shoot down a fourteen-year-old who asks questions about working? I’d hope not.

[…] some individuals who suffer from mental illness find it necessary to place people into two categories: friends and enemies. Disagreeing with your niece has landed you in the latter. […] Try not to take it personally.

This is exactly why the letter writer should apologize. The niece should be able to trust her aunt! But instead of trying to work it out, the aunt has “sided” with the niece’s mom. Gracious heavenly saints.

I don’t think this troubled young woman will be receptive to a reconciliation until she has found another target.

Okayyyy. I fail to see how the niece was targeting her aunt in the first place, or now. Despite her mental illness and addictions, she was talking about joining or staying in the workforce. I don’t think Dear Abby really thought this through very carefully. Her advice seems sort of shortsighted and generic today.

My intuition is telling me that the conversation went like this:

Niece: “Do you think I’d make a good teacher? I want to work with Kindergarteners.” 

Aunt: “Oh, honey, you’re a bad influence. You need so much more maturity for that.” 

There are ways to be tactful and considerate about it, like…

Aunt: “Oh, you’re interested in working with Kindergarteners? I saw you with your younger cousin earlier, and you were really good with her. What else can you do to gain skills in this area? You could be onto something. It takes a lot of patience, but you might be good at it.” 

People should be encouraged. I think it would be better for the niece to fail at being a teacher rather than to feel humiliated by her aunt’s judgey reaction.

Time for Tarot!

DSC00084Hi, everyone! Here’s how this works: use your intuition to pick a paperweight from the above image. We have a glass lantern, a house bank (you can put money in it), and a vintage photo of one of my ancestors. (Hot stuff, yeah?) Then scroll down to that paperweight’s corresponding reading.

I can’t promise that all of my readings will have a section that resonates with you! Some will, some won’t. These are general readings, so you really never know! If you’re interested in a you-specific reading, feel free to contact me at zeldas_lullaby@yahoo.com. And you can find all my Tarot readings here.

The glass lantern!

You definitely strike me as the sort of valuable person who’s comfortable around the elderly and doesn’t cringe at death. You have so much to be proud of! I’m seeing you talking with old people about their childhood memories and making the elderly feel heard. This is very special. Not everyone has your gifts.

You’re going through a major transformation within. You tend to be a very analytical and logical clear thinker, but you’re just now opening up your spiritual side and questioning what you believe in. I think this inner shift ties into a new job offer you’re considering, or that you’re in the process of applying for. You might be planning a career shift into territory that’s outside of your comfort zone, and personally I think you should go for it. The cards area also very encouraging for you. You could be about to stumble upon a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and that’s major, so go for it! You’ve lost your faith in yourself and you have a lot of doubt, but the cards want to lift you up. They’re urging you to take it one step at a time and to think about your long-term goals, which are definitely worth working toward. You totally have it within you to step up and do this.

I think you have a lot of apathy and emotional disconnection because you’re worn down by other people’s negativity. People who should be supportive of you (most likely family members) are constantly criticizing you, and it’s wearing you down. But don’t lost faith! You have the tools so succeed in the new job. You’ll be well-liked and looked up to. The job will require more socialization and extroversion, but you’re up to it! You’re definitely a people person.

You’ll be tempted to pass on the job or opportunity, but that could be a huge mistake. If you put careful thought into it, don’t listen to the critics in your life. Instead, get in touch with your intuition. You have what it takes to be victorious if you tune out all the negativity. When other people act judgmental toward you, it’s about them, so just tune it out and ignore it. (Or, better yet, avoid it. I know how hard it is to have to tolerate it without letting it affect you. Downright impossible, am I right?)

I’d also urge you to spend some quality time involved in self-care. You give of yourself so much to others, and your energy gets further depleted by the naysayers in your life. Give to yourself! You deserve it.

The house bank!

You’re about to wreak some destruction over a relationship that’s driving you crazy. Don’t do something you might regret! You’re irritated and frustrated as all get-out. This person be a significant other, but it could also be a friend or family member, even a sibling who’s just driving you nuts. This person is always making promises they don’t keep and being obnoxious in general, and you’re fed up. This is someone you have a complicated relationship with. At a core level, they get you, they really get you. You can joke around and goof off and be yourself. But lately you’re struggling to cope with their antics.

It takes a toll on you to deal with all of their shenanigans, and you’re exhausted from it all. But to be honest, your diplomatic ways are a good complement to their impulsive freneticism. You two balance each other out really well. In other words, you’re a good influence.

What’s really unfair, though, is this person’s need to always get the last word and to always be right. It’s driving you over the edge. Fortunately, things are going to get better with your relationship soon. It’s recommended that you guys call a truce and keep trying to get along. Peace can be restored.

Speak up about what’s going wrong in the relationship! Don’t agree to anything without reading the fine print. For example, if you travel with this person, have an ironclad arrangement beforehand of who will pay for what. You might think that the cost splits would be obvious, but don’t leave it to chance. With this relationship, you need to spell stuff out. This can prevent arguments. Balance within the relationship will improve morale, so stay positive and things should improve. The outlook is good that a time of peace is coming. This relationship has the potential to be healing for one or both of you, especially if it can be made to work and be harmonious.

Positive changes are coming your way, and a lot of it is due to how hard you’ve tried to maintain this relationship. Your efforts at peacekeeping are appreciated by your guides, who are bringing some good things your way soon. You’ve earned good karma points by hanging there with this!

The vintage photo!

You’ve been dealing with some extreme emotions lately! I want to give you a hug. Hugs! You definitely need some encouragement. The pop culture card I drew for you is an image of Puss ‘n boots from Shrek gazing at me sadly. Unfortunately, you don’t cope well with your emotions. You’re pushing people away and isolating yourself, and you’re also giving in to excess (like with alcohol, partying, or whatever you’re doing to escape the pain). You’ve got to address whatever you’re upset about instead of running from it, and addictions can often get worse before they get better. Please take care of yourself!

Your world feels as if it’s crashing down around you, and you’ve got to quit living in excess. You’re a good person who’s generally reliable, stable, supportive, and successful. But lately you feel as if everything you’ve been working toward has lost its meaning. You’re uncertain. You’re being asked to learn from your mistakes and to reprioritize everything in your life. The universe is on hand to help. You can have it all, and in fact, you might have some great opportunities coming your way on a global scale. Keep your eyes open!

But to succeed, you’ve got to develop more balance and moderation. You’ve got some big decisions to make soon about great opportunities, and you need to be in a position of strength to make the most of this. On an encouraging level, I drew the Strength card upright, so the cards believe in you, and so do I. And the World upright definitely bodes well for your future successes. There’s a lot here to be glad about!

I drew some oracle cards that will hopefully give some advice for how you can get more moderation. Offhand, if you’re dealing with addictions, you should probably get the services of a specialist. But let’s also see what the oracle says…

You take strength from being home, so spend more time in your refuge and try to do some soul searching if you can. You’ve got some great people in your life who are truly committed to you, so now you must commit to your own life! Go for it! Your mind is becoming more aware of your emotions and the role they play, which is good, because strong emotions aren’t necessarily the enemy; and this is a great time to forge new connections with others, or deeper connections within existing relationships. The universe is working behind the scenes to help you connect deeply with others.

Try to remember to be nurturing to yourself first and foremost during this time. You’ve got to connect to your own higher power and remember that your outer world (your environment and experiences, etc.) is being created by your thoughts. Instead of making external changes, focus on addressing whatever’s going on inside yourself that’s causing you to live in excess. That’s where the answers are. So, get in touch with yourself, and get in touch with your higher power, and positive changes will occur naturally. Good luck!

Time for more Tarot!

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Hi, everyone! I’ve got more content today since I’ve abandoned vocal.media. Here’s how this works: use your intuition to pick from the three pretty items in the above image–the pyramid, the rainbow bowl, or the rainbowy rainbow. Then scroll down to that item’s corresponding reading.

I can’t promise that all of my readings will have a section that resonates with you! Some will, some won’t. These are general readings, so you really never know! If you’re interested in a you-specific reading, feel free to contact me at zeldas_lullaby@yahoo.com.

The pyramid

The sense I have is that you’ve been mixing business and pleasure by working or running a business together alongside someone with whom you’re in a relationship. It could be a significant other or a close friend, or even a group of friends. At first it was going well and you were on top of things, and you had a partnership that was working all around. But then things went wrong and emotions got involved. You felt forced to make certain changes or adjustments, and you clashed over whether to do things traditionally or more uniquely.

You’re a nurturing and emotional person in general so I get the sense that you put yourself into a situation that might not be a good fit for you in a business sense. There could also be different priorities between you and the other person (or people) involved.

You’ve been wondering if you should keep investing in this or give up. You’ve had high expectations, but things have gone really awry, and now you’re afraid to continue and you’ve become extra cautious.

You’re sort of heartbroken over it because you have a hard time separating feelings and business. You’re trying to come to terms with the limitations of your relationship(s). You’ll want to be careful here to not reenact old issues that present themselves as recurring patterns in your life. You’ve got to make a decision about the situation right now, but don’t overthink it. There are no wrong answers because you can’t know how it’ll go until after you’ve made the decision, if that makes sense. Get in touch with your intentions and your priorities. What’s the main goal, and what are the important aspects of it?

I’m also seeing here that you’re an empath, which could be part of the problem. In a business setting your empathy skills are causing confusion about how to act and are butting into your work relationships. You care too much! And you pick up on everything that others feel. You’re being urged to read books about being an empath because you definitely have those qualities. You need strategies for dealing with the energy and emotions you pick up on.

You’re also about to come into some new business opportunities, so keep your eyes open and put yourself out there! Don’t see your current situation as a failure, because it isn’t! It’s a learning opportunity. We can never have too many of those. I can’t emphasize this silver lining enough. I got to the end of your reading and literally drew a card that speaks of new business opportunities.

I hope you’ve enjoyed your reading!

The rainbow bowl

You’re embroiled in some dysfunction, and you feel as if you’ve been cast into playing the same dysfunctional role again and again. It could be familial or even work related, like if you have a mean boss, for example. The situation has you feeling isolated and like you’re not allowed to be happy. The reason I suspect this is that I have a deck of Tarot cards that I made for my own personal enjoyment. (I can’t market them because I don’t own the copywrite to the images, so I just use them for myself.) For you I drew an image from Everybody Loves Raymond in which Marie jumps into bed between Raymond and Debra while Frank grins or smirks (hard to tell) from the sidelines. It’s too funny for words… unless you’re living it. Like, seriously, Mom, get out of my bed! But in your instance, I also suspect that this could be a work-related problem or some other non-family situation.

If you’ve never watched Everybody Loves Raymond, please consider binge-watching it. It’s a great show, and it digs deep into the issues of dysfunction while remaining hilarious at all times. The actors and actresses are brilliant. I love the lengthy scenes the actors perform, whereas most TV shows today have one-minute scenes. But I digress.

I think there’s a man in your life who’s critical, hurtful, and abusive. He’s a real bully. He could be your employer, an in-law, your significant other, etc. What you might not realize is that his bad behavior is built on a lack of self-esteem and some major insecurities. You feel stuck as if you can’t escape the situation, but I’m hopeful that there’s some way you could deal with it better. It sounds dreadful to me, so I don’t envy you. The cards are pointing out that most people who act judgmental toward you are actually feeling negatively toward themselves. I’m not sure how much that helps, but it’s probably true. All the judgment you’re surrounded by shouldn’t be your problem, yet it is.

You’ve tried being assertive and setting boundaries and expressing your needs, but you keep having to defend your right to do these things! Ugh. What a mess. You’ve become disillusioned and sort of depressed about it all. The cards are urging you to tap into your inner strength to find creative ways of coping. Creative expression via blogging, other writing, artwork, and so forth could be helpful. And watch out that this situation doesn’t bring out the worst in you! (Not that I’d blame you. I’ve been there! My family’s dysfunction junction.) But the cards are definitely indicating that you absolutely do have the inner resources to deal with this. I drew the card of Strength (upright) which is very encouraging here. You have more inner strength than you know. You’ve got this!

You feel exhausted and wonder if your life is going the way it was meant to. You’re rethinking some of the choices that brought you to this point. You’ve got to reevaluate your circumstances at this time and consider making some changes. You’re possibly holding onto something that has run its course. I can tell you’re hesitant to walk away from your current situation because certain aspects of it are working for you. It’s familiar, and I also think you’re afraid that if you make changes, you’ll wind up alone. And if this is an employment situation, you’re afraid that you won’t be as successful elsewhere. Don’t give these thoughts too much power! You’ve got to focus on your overall goals for life and assess if they’re being realized in your current situation.

You’re being asked to remain calm and attempt to be a peacemaker. I’m sure this is easier said than done, but you can’t make major decisions or effect any sort of change until you’re coming from a place of strength and inner stillness. You also need to take a methodical and well-thought-out approach to this. It sounds odd, but you’ve got to be strategic and cautious in your interactions. If you know someone’s going to push your buttons a certain way, have a reaction prepared. This could help you feel less anxious about the situation and more in control.

You’re following a difficult path that will metamorphose you into a beautiful butterfly. Don’t forget that every difficult experience or interaction can be learned from. If we don’t interact, and if we always choose to avoid life, then we aren’t really living or growing. You’re on the right path and are always divinely guided. Ask yourself if you have an agenda here, and make sure your agenda is pure of heart. If you’re caught up in wanting to get even or get the last word, etc., it could be better to just bail altogether. You deserve to be around people who bring out your inner generosity and good intentions. If there’s any way you can make that happen, I’d recommend it! If not, just remember that you can only control your own actions and decisions.

The rainbowy rainbow

You’ve got a crush on someone who you hope is the one. This is someone with a great sense of humor but who only sees you as a friend. This person is a natural leader and a good person all around, and they do appreciate your friendship.

You’ve got a lot going on in your life and you’re juggling it all really well. You’re doing great financially. You’re normally a grounded and with-it person, but your feelings for this person have caused you to think and act differently. You’ve lost touch with your intuition, or perhaps you’ve silenced it subconsciously on purpose. You might be in denial about the limits of the friendship. Your thoughts have been murky and hazy, possibly due to your listening to emotional music.

You’ve been emotional and moody, and it’s got you feeling stuck like there’s no solution. You’ve possibly had a disagreement with your friend and you hope to reconcile, and it shouldn’t be too hard if you apologize sincerely. You’re still hoping that it would lead to a romantic relationship, but it will only lead to heartache. I’m sorry.

There’s no possible way that you can make your friend fall in love with you, but the cards are asking you to consider bringing your feelings out into the open. It could help you to move forward if your friend knows how you feel, but it’s still going to hurt. I understand. It’s possible that your friend isn’t attracted to members of your gender.

You’ve got to reorient your affections off of your friend, but you can definitely appreciate the friendship, which has depth and is incredibly valid. It’s sad that things can’t be different, but there’s little hope for it.

So, watch a movie, eat some ice cream, and give yourself credit for forging such a close and loving relationship. It has value, and so do you.

Time for Tarot!

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Hi everyone! I’m starting a new category of blog posts that involve Tarot readings. Now, for those of you who follow me and aren’t interested in Tarot, you can just skip my Tarot posts. I won’t be offended. 🙂 I’ll categorize them as “Tarot” if that helps.

I was going to post these on vocal.media, but then I read reviews of their site and was somewhat horrified. So I figured that if I want to do written Tarot readings, I may as well do it here where I feel secure. I enjoy Tarot and I offer Tarot readings, so feel free to contact me at zeldas_lullaby@yahoo.com if you’re interested!

Here’s how this works: use your intuition to pick a paperweight from the above image. Today we have the green and orange owl, the clear owl, and the piece of fruit. Then scroll down to that paperweight’s corresponding reading.

I can’t promise that all of my readings will have a section that resonates with you! Some will, some won’t. These are general readings, so you really never know!

The Green-and-Orange Owl Paperweight

I’m seeing that you’ve gone through a horrid breakup, and you’re struggling to process it. For some reason, you’re focusing on what other people are going to think. You’re fretting over appearances and status. This might be to distract yourself from the real pain, or you might have genuine concern over your image.

You’re blowing the whole ordeal up into magnified proportions, not that I blame you! I’ve been there. I channeled the image of the rodents of unusual size from The Princess Bride. I sense you perceive this breakup as being a monster of that magnitude. In reality, you might move past this with surprising quickness and come out on the other side happier and healthier!

You crave and miss your ex. Your relationship was very physical with loads of chemistry. I suspect you’re going through a bit of withdrawal. Looking at the cards drawn, I’m seeing that your significant other was a player. He/she sort of… got around, as it were. I’d probably say you’re better off without this person. They took the relationship for granted. Your emotional input wasn’t reciprocated.

You’ve been losing sleep trying to process the emotions of it. I sense that you’re grief-stricken and heartbroken. The cards I drew are giving some advice here. They’re saying that in order to be happy again, you have to do some soul-searching and cut through the crap that this person inflicted upon you. You’ve got to use your razor-sharp intellect to see the situation for what it was. You definitely have the inner ability to do this. There’s no doubt in my mind. And you will be happy again—I drew the Sun card, and it’s all about happiness and feeling positive. So, get to work analyzing what went wrong and how you were treated.

I also sense that you’re having to defend your feelings because some people in your life are telling you to “get over it already,” as if that’s remotely helpful or kind! (Spoiler: it’s neither.) This is my advice, not the cards’: prioritize yourself, and only interact with people who can support you until this hard time in your life has passed!

The cards are saying that you might want to remain single for a while and focus on taking things slowly in the future, if/when you start dating again. Focus on being productive and getting stuff done, and focus on yourself for now.

The oracle cards I drew are saying that you need to rediscover your inner gratitude by getting in touch with everything you’re grateful for. Make a list! Also, you’re about to break free from this situation. As the ties to your previous connection with your ex loosen, you’ll feel empowered and freed.

Like, sometimes as soon as the fog clears you realize how much better off you are and there’s an odd sense of relief and freedom!

Also, don’t worry about what anyone else thinks of you. The issue of judgment has come up twice in this reading in regard to your concerns about what other people think. Seriously, anyone who’s gossiping about your breakup or who’s being unsupportive doesn’t have a place in your life.

Positive life changes are coming your way! Surrender to it and have faith, because your life is about to turn around! The oracle cards are very clear about this.

The Clear Owl Paperweight

Hello! You chose group 2 with its clear owl paperweight. Here’s your reading!

I’m picturing you as being an extrovert who parties often in order to avoid being left alone with their thoughts. I’m not sure if you’re running from a traumatic memory or if you’re just uncomfortable with your own inner world, but you’re constantly going out and living it up to the point that you’re somewhat distressed if you have to be alone at times.

You’ve lost a sense of balance between your extroverted activities and the desires you want to manifest in your life. You’ve lost touch with what matters to you. You can reclaim it, though!

You tend to create conflict by speaking first and thinking second. You’re outspoken and rather boisterous in your opinions. Try to consider how you come across at times.

You’re possibly on the fast track to upsetting the wrong person or getting in trouble with authority. You’ve been feeling rebellious lately! On the plus side, you’re becoming better at thinking for yourself instead of just following the crowd.

I’m seeing that you’ve accomplished and/or overcome a lot in your life, and it’s all stuff that you should be proud of and that you should remind yourself of often in order to boost your morale. However, you tend to downplay it all inside your own head. “Eh, anyone could’ve accomplished or overcome what I did. I’m nothing special.” That sort of thing. You’ve got to quit doing this! Be proud! It all has value.

You’re going to be destructive soon, but I’m seeing it as a good thing. Let me explain. First of all, whatever goes down is going to bring you clarity and a mental breakthrough. Second, there are times when we need to shake things up, and the cards are saying that this is one of those times. For example, suppose someone always takes advantage of you and you always go along with it. One day, their request rubs you the wrong way and you yell, “Quit taking advantage of me!” There, see? You just shook things up, and sometimes this has to happen. The relationship with someone who takes advantage should be destroyed (or rearranged into a better relationship—but the point here is that not all “destruction” is bad). So, like I said, after you shake things up, there will be clarity and better understanding.

What I see is that you really want to get married and have kids. However, you haven’t been living in accordance with these desires. I think you’re wondering if you’re capable of not partying, since parents aren’t supposed to go out and socialize all night, right? The cards are telling you that you are capable of it, and that you need to start showing discipline in your life now. E.g., set a time on when you’ll come home each night with plenty of time to sleep before work the next day, and so forth. This will bring you a new perspective and will lead to rapid changes in your life. Your goals are within reach, but you’ve got to quit shoving them into a corner of your mind and pretending they don’t exist. You shouldn’t cut yourself off like that.

I do absolutely see a spouse and kids in your future if you can work toward becoming that person.

You might be romantically involved with someone who doesn’t share your values. This needs to be addressed. There’s no good reason to stay with someone if they aren’t on the same page about what you want out of life. If you know for a fact that a relationship isn’t built on mutual goals, don’t perpetuate it. You might need to free yourself up to find someone who wants what you want.

What you mostly need to do is reconnect with your inner desires and ambitions. I know there’s no magic way to wave a magic wand and suddenly have the life you want, but you can set yourself up for success by reconnecting with what really matters to you. Good luck!

The Fruit Paperweight

Hi, group three! I’m so sorry you’ve been feeling sad lately! I wish I could give you a hug! I can feel your grief coming through loud and clear! I hope this reading brings clarity and manages to help somehow!

It feels as if you’re standing on the precipice of a world you don’t recognize anymore with no one to hear you scream. I’m visualizing the high dive and the fear that young divers show when they’re first asked to jump off it. I’d never be able to do that! You’ve got to integrate the past into who you are so you can move into the future, but don’t push yourself! Take it slow. It’ll be okay. You’ve been stuck and suspended in place with no forward momentum, but all you’re being asked to do right now is whatever’s best for you in this moment. Eating? Making some tea? A shower? Running an errand? Don’t try to plan past whatever you need to do right now.

You’re a kind and nurturing person who’s always been there for everyone else, and now you must be there for yourself. You’re losing sleep at night from anxiety and nightmares. There’s a strong message for you to be kind to yourself and nurture yourself. You’re embarking on a spiritual quest to find meaning in what’s happened, and it’s an inner quest that’s yours alone. You’ve learned that we can lose something precious in a heartbeat and never get it back, and right now you’re terrified that you’ll lose more. Because if you could lose one thing, what’s to stop the world from taking everything away? But those thoughts aren’t your friends, and they’re keeping you stuck in limbo with no easy way to move forward.

You need to do some soul-searching but from a deep place of kindness and compassion for yourself. This isn’t the time to be hard on yourself or to expect certain outcomes from yourself. Not at all. The basis of your journey here needs to focus on kindness to yourself and your path. You feel weary and aren’t sure if you can move past this, but what you’ve got to do is bypass your thoughts. Your thoughts are bugging you and telling you negative things right now. What you have to tap into is your intuition. Meditation, dream interpretation, and other spiritual pursuits might help with this. Your intuition is your ally now.

What I’m seeing in the cards is that if you take a first step, like just to leave the house, then things are going to start happening for you—positive changes. You know how at the beginning of a movie, the hero finally breaks out of his introverted ways and goes to a party, and then wild and entertaining chaos ensues? It’s going to happen for you—huge changes will make things better as soon as you take that first step toward getting out there again. Denial is painful to deal with, but one way past it is to wonder if the universe might bring you wonderful things that you never could’ve imagined before.

You will feel unstuck soon, and you’ve got a world of resources at your disposal. Use them! Don’t put it all on yourself to move forward. That’s asking too much. You’re not alone, and you needn’t act or feel alone. Yes, it’s your healing path and only you can accomplish it, but no, you mustn’t do it all alone.

I’m concerned about you because I sense that you’re extrapolating your grief onto everyone like, “How has everyone alive ever dealt with all their losses?” In other words, you’re taking on the burden of everyone’s grief—all the grief that’s ever existed or presently exists, if that makes sense. You’ve got to stop doing this. (Consider counseling!) You should only be concerned about yourself right now. You’re making life way more serious than it has to be by taking on all these added pains. Good luck, and I’m sending you hugs! It’ll be okay!!

Ohh, Ask Amy! You went there!

Dear Amy: My best friend suffers from PTSD and other mental health issues, and has been suicidal.

This has been a particularly tough year for her, and she pushed away several friends after they hurt her, leaving me as one of her only remaining confidants (she isn’t in touch with her family, for good reason).

We would text or talk daily, and she lives close to me, so she’s a huge part of my life.

A month ago, she was having a bad day and I tried to cheer her up by saying this year would be a lot better than the last. That hurt her, and she told me (via text) that she “needed space.” I haven’t heard from her since.

I’ve texted her several times since then to affirm that I understand her need for space but that I care and am here for her.

Should I reach out beyond that?

I want to call or show up at her door, but doing so feels disrespectful of her need for space.

On the other hand, I worry that she’ll feel abandoned if I don’t do more to reach out.

I know she’s in pain, and it kills me to not be able to be there for her. I miss her terribly, but I don’t want to drive her further away. What should I do?

— Forlorn Friend

Forlorn Friend: Your friend may have boxed herself into a corner by declaring that she needed space. She may still want to isolate — but she might not. Her depression may prevent her from taking what might seem like monumental steps to reach out.

I think you should call her. If she doesn’t pick up, leave a message — not of the “I’m worried about you” variety, but more general: “I’m just checking in. I was at the plant store yesterday and thought of you. I’d love to swing by and pick you up and we could go smell the lilacs or meet for coffee if you’re up for it. Let me know.”

Suggest something simple that reminds her of your friendship and affection, and let her know that you see her as more than being consumed by her illness.

You want to open the door — and keep it open — hoping that she will walk through it when she is ready. (c) Ask Amy

This is really strange. The letter writer was trying to cheer her friend–let’s call the friend Mary Anne–and Mary Anne was hurt by it. There must be one of two things going on here:

  1. Either Mary Anne is unable to tell when someone’s trying to help and therefore perceives helpfulness as a threat, or
  2. Mary Anne is being a victim.

I honestly can’t call it, or I would. Corresponding to the above, what Mary Anne really wanted wasn’t space. It was:

  1. For the letter writer to backpedal and apologize for being insensitive by saying that this will be a better year, or
  2. For the letter writer to apologize profusely for not kowtowing to Mary Anne’s pathos.

Apologies are what was wanted either way. There was no desire for space. This isn’t the sort of context anyone asks for space in, unless there’s a controlling or manipulative element included, which there is.

For the above two scenarios, I feel:

  1. Sorry for Mary Anne that she’s so confused and unable to interpret things, or
  2. Appalled that the letter writer’s playing into Mary Anne’s games by constantly contacting her.

But the letter writer needs to react the same way regardless. “Mary Anne, I take it personally that you need all this space. I care about you a lot, and if you don’t believe me, then I don’t know what more I can do. If you want to discuss things, then come and find me. But don’t push me away unless you mean it.”

Dear Amy: I have an 18-year-old son who is “10 feet tall and bulletproof,” especially regarding the coronavirus.

Last December, five of the six of us contracted the coronavirus. Guess who didn’t?

We followed Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and isolated within our house, so he had no contact with the rest of us for the two-week period.

He won’t get his blood tested to find out if he contracted it. Now we’re all getting vaccinated. Except him.

I give him all the statistics. I’ve even tried to bribe him to get his shot.

He says it’s his body and that he chooses not to get this vaccine.

I have three daughters also and have always made sure everybody knows boundaries with respect to their bodies. How can I argue with him?

How can I make an 18-year-old boy understand it’s not all about him?

— Bullet-proof’s Mom

Bullet-proof’s Mom: Your 18-year-old’s behavior is typical of an older adolescent: conveying his immaturity and poor judgment through arrogance.

This is what compels young people to drink and drive, engage in risky sex, and ignore common sense and their parents’ entreaties.

Unfortunately, the more you focus on him — talking, bribing and begging — the more you convey that it really IS all about him.

Stop.

At some point, he’ll probably try to join a university or workplace that will require proof of vaccination. And then he’ll come running to you to hold his hand while he gets his “ouchy.”

Oh wow, we went there! Okayyyy.

surprisecat1

Is Ask Amy for reallish?! This is the most condescending column I’ve ever read! Let’s start with this:

I have three daughters also and have always made sure everybody knows boundaries with respect to their bodies. How can I argue with him?

Well, gee, that’s just it. The letter writer wants to have her cake and eat it, too. She wants a way to get around the values that she’s instilled into her children. Geez.

But this really takes the prize:

How can I make an 18-year-old boy understand it’s not all about him?

GUILT TRIP! GUILT TRIP! GUILT TRIP! I call foul! I call foul!

Good grief. I can spot a guilt trip a mile away thanks to my own dear mother. Last year at Christmas (I think it was last year), she agreed not to grill my brother about his eating habits. (He might have orthorexia, but he’s very healthy.) As soon as she started asking him casual (read: loaded) questions about his eating, I’d jump in with, “Foul! You agreed not to ask him about that.” It was a fun Christmas! Those are some good memories.

This letter writer needs to view her son as an adult who’s capable of largely making good decisions for himself (assuming the letter writer wants to give herself credit for having raised him right!). To talk down to him and look down at him in this manner is just depraved. It’s HIS body! If he doesn’t want to get vaccinated, what’s the worst thing that will happen? Five of his family members have already survived it.

He’ll come running to you to hold his hand while he gets his “ouchy.”

Okay, what on earth was Ask Amy drinking, smoking, or ingesting that day?! Are you kidding me? No! Good grief. That’s too ridiculous. I got the vaccine, and it didn’t hurt. A healthy eighteen-year-old teenager doesn’t need to have his hand held while getting… an ouchy?! This is so cringeworthy as to be embarrassing. Ask Amy has clearly lost her mind.

He says it’s his body and that he chooses not to get this vaccine.

The letter writer was skilled at making it seem as if her son’s a clueless neanderthal, but in all likelihood he’s put thought into it, and this is the decision he’s arrived at. There we go.

I mean, maybe I should’ve put more thought into getting the vaccine. The side effects I had really scared me. Did I listen to the people who wanted to wait and make sure the vaccine was safe? No. Should I have listened? Quite possibly. [Nods.] But the assumption that this guy is just an ogreish buffoon is beyond patronizing.

Grief bites!

Dear Amy: My husband died very suddenly a few months ago of covid.

This was a second marriage, as my first husband died young, of cancer.

When I reach out to my sister, she gives me advice about how to deal with it. I know she means well, but she really has no idea what she is talking about.

Now that things have opened up due to vaccines, she has traveled to Hawaii and New York, rather than coming to see me and tend to my grief.

I’m really hurt by her neglect, and when I express this to her, she says that she will be there for me “when I get my anger under control.”

I want to have a relationship with her, but I don’t think it should be all on me.

Any thoughts?

— Grieving

Grieving: Please accept my deepest sympathy for your losses. To be widowed twice — and to lose your loved-one so suddenly of this merciless disease — I cannot even imagine.

I say feel your anger as much as you need to. Do not suppress it to appease your selfish sister. You should not feel forced to move through this world according to anyone else’s metric. Not now, anyway.

I urge you to find a grief group, either in-person, or virtually, and connect with others who can support and affirm your process.

There is a very active support group on Facebook for people who have lost loved-ones to covid: “Covid-19 Loss Support for Family & Friends.” I hope you will join it. The participants are extremely honest and supportive of one another. (c) Ask Amy

Hmm. Interesting. What the letter writer is failing to understand is that not everyone can be who you need them to be at all times. If she has a relationship with her sister, that’s great, but her sister’s not the person to turn to for grief support. I think the letter writer should contact hospice. They counseled my mom when her husband died, and they gave her great advice.

I don’t see this as a blame game but rather as a cognitive inaccuracy.

When I reach out to my sister, she gives me advice about how to deal with it. I know she means well, but she really has no idea what she is talking about.

Right! So the letter writer should talk to someone else. It’s futile to keep hoping her sister will rapidly develop skills in grief counseling.

Now that things have opened up due to vaccines, she has traveled to Hawaii and New York, rather than coming to see me and tend to my grief.

But the sister isn’t helping with the grief! That was just acknowledged.

I’m really hurt by her neglect, and when I express this to her, she says that she will be there for me “when I get my anger under control.”

Okay, what went down? I’m not going to judge someone who’s grief-stricken, but the sister couldn’t cope with it. Not everyone can handle a meltdown. (A good retort to the above statement, though, would’ve pointed out that anger is one of the stages of grief… so there! Hmmph.)

I want to have a relationship with her, but I don’t think it should be all on me.

Having a relationship with her is great, but she can’t help with grief! The relationship would have to involve other things.

It seems counterintuitive to have relationships (friendships, family, etc.) in which some people can’t offer certain things like grief support, but the fact is that there isn’t anyone who can be someone’s everything.

I wrote a story over the weekend for the 100-word competition. It’s very brief. I can’t share it here until NYC Midnight gives the green light in a few days. It was such a small story that I only sent it out to two people: my mentor (who does the contests also), and Sonya (who’s against contests on questionable moral grounds).

They had laughably opposite reactions. My mentor loved it and wrote the ending for me. (This is allowed. Collaboration is definitely encouraged in these competitions.) Sonya, however, read it and turned green. She mumbled something like, “Don’t feel bad. People who like dark comedy will love it. Erck.”

I have to admit that it was hard not to laugh at her just a little bit. I was like, “That’s the wrong reaction! Oh no! Can’t you show me some enthusiasm?” No, she couldn’t.

(The story involved zombie dismemberment, which unfortunately triggered Sonya’s fear of death. I had to explain to her that my fictional zombies can put themselves back together, which is true. That made her feel better. She wanted me to clarify that in the story, but with a hundred words, you can only do so much. It’s the tiniest contest NYC Midnight runs. I mean, I think this paragraph alone has surpassed a hundred words.)

The point of this sordid narration is that no two people are ever going to have the same insights or skill sets or personalities or senses of humor or abilities! People are complex beings. Some can handle grief, and some can’t. I don’t even know which category I fall into because I’ve never grieved for anyone, not really. My grandparents all died of old age, and there was no way around it. I think it would be a shock to the system if someone died suddenly and without cause, but I’ve never experienced it, so we can’t determine how well I’d cope or be able to help someone else in that situation. [Shrug.]

People can often help in different ways. I don’t think the letter writer should talk to her sister about the grieving process, but maybe her sister can handle the logistics of sorting through the estate, or so forth. The secret to good relationships is to appreciate what people can give of themselves, and to not take people’s inadequacies personally. There will almost always be a workaround or some other way that someone can help or contribute.

But waxing philosophical aside, the letter writer needs professional grief counseling from hospice, or a counselor, or a therapist, etc. It can’t be the sister’s job. It’s great if a friend or family member can help with grief, but the only way it can be guaranteed (more or less) is if someone’s been trained in grief counseling.

There’s more to both of these!

Dear Amy: More than 35 years ago, when my husband was 19, he had sexual relations on two occasions with an older woman, who later informed him that he was the father of her two children.

His paternity was never proved, as she was known to be dating others at the time.

I met my husband a few years later. We immigrated to this country after our marriage. We have been married for many years and have children in their 20s.

One child recently did a DNA test, which did not show any link to any possible siblings elsewhere. However, am I correct in understanding that this link would show up only if the possible siblings also did the DNA test?

I am concerned that at some point, our children may find out that they have half-siblings and will be shocked and maybe angry that they were never told.

I don’t feel it’s my responsibility to tell them, as this all happened before I met their father.

Should my husband inform them of the possibility of half-siblings (though we don’t have proof of that), or wait to see if anything comes out of these DNA tests?

— Wondering Wife

Wondering Wife: This story isn’t quite holding together for me (are these children twins, or did these encounters happen over the course of a couple of years?), and so I am trying to imagine the conversation your husband might have with the kids: “When I was 19 I had sex two times with a woman who claimed I fathered both of her children, but I don’t think I did … . Sooooo, just giving you a heads up!”

I can’t imagine what you might expect your kids to do with this incomplete and ambiguous information.

A more judicious course might be for your husband to at least attempt to follow through regarding his own DNA questions and these possible offspring or to finally settle into his certitude that they are not related to him.

He might be extremely resistant to exploring a possible connection to them, but I think it is wise for you both to grasp the fact that this question seems to have dangled over your entire marriage. Your husband thought this possibility was important enough to tell you about it, and now you are both worried about it decades later.

You are correct that any DNA matches need to be included in the collection data, but at the rate testing seems to be increasing worldwide, matches down the line are always possible. (c) Ask Amy

Oh my. We’re to believe this guy’s accounting of it? It’s exactly what adults tell kids! “Mommy, how many times have you and Daddy had sex?”

And then the parent answers with the number of kids they have. “Well, seeing as you have an older brother… we’ve had sex twice.”

Uh-huh. [Eyeroll.]

Why would the husband lie about it? It was in his past, after all. Maybe his wife doesn’t want to acknowledge that he had sex before they knew each other? It’s just that statistically speaking, if a baby came from every sexual encounter, our world’s population would be multiplied by a million.

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It sounds like the husband’s downplaying it for whatever reason. If I were the wife, I’d have a few questions for him, and I wouldn’t appreciate being patronized like that. And in a paranoid sense, I’d wonder if he’s a serial cheater and always has been. Why else would he try to downplay his sexual history from before when they met? It sure doesn’t look good.

Dear Amy: My boyfriend and his 20-year-old son moved into my home two years ago.

Four months ago, his son committed a felony.

He had illegal drugs mailed to my home from across state lines. We found out the package contained illegal drugs.

We delivered the drugs to his dealer and said we would not call the police if he moved to another state to live with his mother.

Now, four months later, the son is coming to visit our state.

I told my boyfriend that his son was not welcome to sleep here. I didn’t care if the son came over when my boyfriend was at the house, but he could not stay overnight.

My boyfriend said he would respect my wishes, but now he keeps asking if his son can stay for a night or two.

I have continued to say no, but he is getting angry with me and it’s causing tension between us. Should I let his son stay over to keep the peace?

— Worried

Worried: You delivered illegal drugs to a dealer to protect this young man from the consequences of his actions. If he committed a felony then, didn’t you do the same?

It seems (to me) that this young man easily drew you into his life of crime.

I agree with you that he probably should not stay with you; you two are obviously extremely vulnerable to engage in whatever behavior his poor judgment leads you to.

Wow. I’m stunned. Just stunned. Isn’t there a scene in one of my books where the heroine gets handed some drugs, and she just immediately goes to the school’s guidance counselor and hands them over, much to the dismay of the scumbag thug who gave her the drugs? And then he sees her in the guidance counselor’s office with the drugs, turns green, and flees to uncertain safety? She certainly showed some integrity there.

We delivered the drugs to his dealer and said we would not call the police if he moved to another state to live with his mother.

Talk about your empty threats! How could they call the police? “Yeah, hello, police. So, we just delivered our son’s drugs to a dealer.”

surprisecat1

Like, are you kidding me? That’s not how to threaten someone with police involvement.

I suspect I know why Ask Amy didn’t point out that this relationship needs to end. The letter writer is every bit as immoral as her boyfriend, the father of the criminal. She’d have to be. You don’t commit felonies to protect people. It’s called becoming a criminal yourself. Both Ask Amy and I have spoken.

So this woman may as well stay in her relationship with the criminal’s dad, because they’re all perfect for each other. There’s no morality there at all. I’m not surprised that the son is coming back. The letter writer couldn’t be a better partner in crime if she tried!

Isn’t it funny when people act as if they were forced into a life of crime when in reality they saw a chance to get involved in crime and jumped at the opportunity? Uh-huh. I’ve got this woman’s number, and so does Ask Amy. That’s so messed up.

Generational drama!

Dear Amy: My husband has two siblings and several nieces and nephews.

His brother’s daughter — our niece — is pregnant, and everyone is genuinely excited about the baby.

Our issue is that a few years ago my very generous and kind father-in-law (her grandfather) gave her funds to attend college.

We don’t know how long or how successful she was with her college, but eventually she stopped going and dropped out.

Somehow this became a sore spot, and she refused to communicate any longer with her grandfather.

She has not spoken to him in well over a year.

This had to be hurtful for him — at 97 years old.

He has been generous and supportive to all his children and grandchildren and has never interfered in anyone’s life.

We are appalled by her behavior.

I have been invited to her baby shower and have been given a list of specific items from which to choose with instructions that we need to choose from the list (many of them out of our budget).

My husband and I do not care to support her because of this rift.

We think she is out of line and acting immature.

We are torn because my husband’s brother (her dad) has always been kind and supportive to our son, and I would like to show respect and support for him.

I know her grandfather wants to give her something; he still loves her and always will.

Should we send a gift?

— Concerned Aunt

Concerned Aunt: The way I read your question, you would prefer not to recognize or celebrate your niece, out of solidarity to her grandfather.

You can ghost this niece, or gripe about her too-expensive shower registry, but when you withdraw from her, you are then perpetuating HER poor behavior.

Her grandfather’s expectations made her uncomfortable, and so she responded by withdrawing from him, with no explanation.

Her expectations make you uncomfortable, and you are responding by withdrawing from her, with no explanation.

This is how long-standing generational estrangements take hold.

I suggest that you disconnect her previous objectionable behavior from her pregnancy.

Find an item on her registry that you can afford (or send her something off the registry) to congratulate her on her pregnancy.

Your husband should ask his brother if there are ways you two might help to encourage a healing connection between your niece and her grandfather.

At the end of the day, her relationship with him is her responsibility to manage — and you should not judge or interfere, unless you are invited to. (c) Ask Amy

Huh. That’s a tough issue when someone offers to pay for your college, but on some level you suspect that college isn’t for you. What to do? The whole miscommunication could be due to something as simple as the granddaughter feeling ashamed or embarrassed that college didn’t pan out. Or maybe the grandfather was insensitive about it and hurt her feelings. College isn’t for everyone.

Regardless of what went down, this is a family dynamic that I hate with a bloody passion. It has happened too often in my family: one family member puts a shame trip onto another family member, even though the first aforementioned family member had no involvement in whatever went down.

This isn’t about loyalty or siding with the aggrieved party. I’m a fan of doing that if someone’s actions are bad enough. This situation doesn’t begin to qualify. It would have to be criminal or incredibly immoral.

I also think it’s supportive to let someone trash-talk a mutual friend if a relationship has gone awry, because the person doing the trash-talking needs an outlet. But that’s not really the same thing.

What’s going on in this letter is more of a control issue. The older generation wants to control or shame the younger generation due to a bizarre deference to the oldest generation. It’s sort of like a power play that forces everyone to respect their elders. I’m not opposed to respecting people, but I am opposed to respecting people simply because they’re of an older generation. Respect should be earned and merited. But the letter writer’s in a tizzy because she senses (without having all the facts) that her niece dissed her (the niece’s) grandfather. And we simply cannot allow such disrespect for his generation!

There’s a dynamic in which the older generations shun the younger generations if they’re not subservient enough, and that’s what’s happening here. The grandfather knew that funding his granddaughter’s college education would be a risk. He’s not a victim here to the point that other people need to get involved and draw conclusions about what happened or didn’t happen. Is it sad that his granddaughter hasn’t spoken to him? Yes. Is it bad enough to justify other family members taking sides? No. If she’d physically assaulted him or committed some other crime against him, I’d feel differently. But this is the sort of general interaction between two people that doesn’t merit anyone else’s input.

I hated growing up with the awareness and expectations that I was supposed to bow down to the older generations out of deference for their superiority. It made me miserable. If ever there was a disagreement (as Granny Franny and I once disagreed about which episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman was going to air), the argument was supposed to be settled in favor of whoever was in the older generation. I was expected to not share my opinion about what the commercial showed–yeah, about something that idiotic and meaningless–because it would make Granny Franny feel disrespected. Mm-hmm. She was disrespected because I was telling her what the commercial told us. It turned out that both she and I were right about which episode was on. Subplots! Who knew?

I would suggest to this letter writer that she quit being judgy against her niece. Her niece has every right to not speak to her grandfather. It’s between them.

I know her grandfather wants to give her something; he still loves her and always will.

Well! Look who’s setting a good example here. Let’s follow it, shall we?

We are torn because my husband’s brother (her dad) has always been kind and supportive to our son, and I would like to show respect and support for him.

Interesting dilemma. See? She can’t decide whom to defer to: someone who’s a generation above her (the grandfather) or someone of her generation (her brother-in-law). And deferring to anyone is just ridiculous. (Although I do sort of agree that it would be hurtful toward her brother-in-law to diss his daughter’s baby shower.) But this shouldn’t be about kowtowing to anyone! It should be about supporting the niece at her baby shower. And of course there are expensive items on the registry! It costs a fortune to raise a baby.

It’s also worth pointing out in the niece’s defense that she never trash-talked her grandfather regarding the college situation. If she had, then we’d know more about what went down. Instead, she’s being discreet and vague about the situation. Points!

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