Sorry I’m not 15. I don’t DO peer pressure.” (March 30, 2022)

At what age did you find you actually had morals and values that differed from the “family” you adapted them from? At what age did you question your family’s rules on obedience? I ask because defiance has always been in my blood; my name is a good starting point. To create my own path; pushed bullheaded into a brick wall a few times in my life. I am a giver from the depths of my soul not everyone enjoys or deserves. 

I ask these questions because it is at the root of our first and most deceitful defiance, that we stand on our own two feet and fight for what we saw as morally right, over the oppressors of our adulthood. I mean, I was questioning the authority in my life at a very young age, it was a “fend for yourself and covet the things that those around want most so they will love you to” abandonment level. That’s what played “ring around the possies” in my head for the first decade of my life. That I needed to be resourceful and useful if I was going to get noticed.

Self-Awareness Onion

 In chapter 4 of Mark Manson’s, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, he discusses The Value of Suffering and its effect on our way of thinking,

“If suffering is inevitable, if our problems in life are unavoidable, then the question we should be asking is not ‘How do I stop suffering?’ but ‘Why am I suffering – for what purpose?”

(Manson, 2016). Page 68. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. HarperOne publisher.

Mark Manson puts truth with brilliantly told short stories of real characters from a fantasy novel. Throughout this chapter I am brought back to a time in my own past when life said, “here you go, try this!” and I ran with the concept that I was unbreakable. I was reminded of what an open book I was then, that allowed so many people to take advantage of my kindness. Giving away my livelihood in order to have a social life I chose. This time was spent speaking and trying to help those I chose to hang out with onto a path that suited them and not the adults in their life.

Manson took an onion and built it into a concept so many people are jumping up and down for. That “call that asshole out!” The attitude of “not giving a fuck” affirmation is amazing for me. He speaks about the good and bad values we take from the people around us and fail at the life we are trying to acquire. With the pursuit of someone else’s lifestyle the pieces of the puzzle we bring with us don’t fit like they should. Shaving off parts of ourselves to fit the mold our parents, guardians, church family and friends don’t like.

“This is why these values – pleasure, material success, always being right, staying positive – are poor ideals for a person’s life. Some of the greatest moments of one’s life are not pleasure, not successful, not known, and not positive.”

(Manson, 2016) Page 86. The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck. HarperOne publisher.

This gives me hope in humankind’s search for their purpose. That we can all come together for the greater good to help each other find our peace in this world; one act of kindness at a time. Paying it forward should never come at a price too heavy for anyone to bear. I am not a fan of jerks, but when they own it and give it back to the kiddos; my heart aches for a simpler time when being a kid meant the whole world. I can only hope those kids see through the bullshit exterior that’s tired of being run over by adults as a reminder to be kind to those who deserve it.

What Emotions Come to Mind?


As a young child it will always be the abandonment of both my parents by age 8. Then my older biological sister at 15. Then my father again at 16. We all have had times in our lives when our blood just didn’t understand what was needed from them, over what was expected of me and the lack of self assurance we were loved for all of who we were; no matter what.

So, when doing the wrong thing got me too many ass whooping’s, I changed. I started doing better in school. Listening to the teacher talk instead of reading ahead in the book to avoid eye contact. The trauma still occurred. My biggest bully growing up lived down the hall from me.

I matured, physically, faster than almost everyone in my grade, the grade above me and then my older sister’s grade. I was 12 looking 25. I got in less trouble hanging out with the crowd I did run with because they were all in their late teens to early 20’s. I was full of “fun facts” and most of the people I spoke to also read the books I had. I was given more chances than not to join in on the conversation because of it.

This enraged my older sister. She was one of the smartest kids in her class. She was in all AP classes. She has always had ideological stance on the girls in her grade, “short, blonde, and dumb.” Anytime I befriended them, she would spread rumors around school about what I whore I was.

This backfired more than she’d like to admit it. Boys started trying to get her to invite me to hang out with her classmates outside of school. They’d come to the house to ask me on dates. They’d give her notes to give to me, “but don’t read it,” they’d say; she would share it with the yearbook club. I knew and still stood up for her when they’d call her a “dike.”

There wasn’t anything I could do other than to shut up that would make her happy; except lie. I didn’t do that. I refused. I got my ass beat the worst by my oldest foster sister once. I respected the fact that when I swung back she stopped because no one else ever did.

These fights with my oldest sister were encouraged by my parents; healthy sibling rivalry they said. She’s raising her kids and I am not allowed in her life. I am not allowed to stand up now as an adult; just like as a teenager. All over a teenage boy who molested me instead of dating her. I was labeled a whore by her at 11.


I gave up being anything but me away from school and home. The clothes I made were skintight but fit my sensory needs. That just got me into more trouble with people who saw the potential of defiance I was willing to go. See, I was born and raised in a Pentecostal church; the worship team sang me into this world. I loved to read and learn so it took me away from the pain of my day to day, being bullied for being weird, and gave me a purpose, teaching others.

You’ll notice that good, healthy values are achieved internally. Something like creativity or humility can be experienced right now. You simply have to orient your mind in a certain way to experience it. These values are immediate and controllable and engage you with the world as it is rather than how you wish it were.

(Manson, 2016). Page 87. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. HarperOne publisher.

The values and morals we are molded with is our way of seeing life outside of ourselves. Different timeframe, different environment, different point of view but nevertheless, they do not fully understand that our hardships are our own. That we have evolved past their ideals and created our own; just as they did their parents. As youth we want to find our place in this world no matter how hard others say it will be; that whole, “if it’s not hard, you’re doing it wrong.”

I couldn’t break the rules when I was a teenager. Somehow, in the back of my mind I knew the beatings I got as a kid would only get worse, so I didn’t drink until I was 20. Didn’t start smoking what I would never call weed now, when I was 16. I didn’t do meth until I was 20. I try everyday not to give up on the years of sobriety because some dick just can’t quit his unofficial day job of trying to control my life so he can harbor his.

How to Admit and Evolve


Behind closed doors the world seemed so much darker and less likely for me to survive it. I needed an outlet and the church had singing. I surrounded myself with music and lyrics of people who wanted to be heard. I had to learn that we are ultimately responsible for those who light our internal “rooms” and what it means for the people we choose to be in our personal space. Music brought light to a dark place and shined so bright I found my way out.

Being in the spotlight is not something I am comfortable with, but my talent does bring smiles and brings joy to my heart. I found my peace within blues and soul music as it shows me pain and gives me pleasure. The need to share my internalized pain into something beautiful as I am not handy with a paintbrush or pencil. What has helped me the most is knowing the difference between good and bad values can bring peace to a wandering soul. How music and healing can push us where we need to be within ourselves and how powerful it is.


By admitting we are to blame for our shortcomings is a hard one to swallow. As a toddler into my youth, church turned into an escape from the harsh reality that was my life. I studied a story about a man who against all odds stood up for the meek, fought the rich, and loved his children. No matter your religious understanding, those three are pretty important in the world. Fighting the good fight for those who can’t themselves.

Anger was easily found in my environment and easily mimicked to those who threatened my physical and emotional stability, until six years ago. I have and will never claim that my emotions are controllable. I have a tendency to see the world crashing around, because of logic and other #neurospicy tendencies. When your brain has only ever seen one outcome from the ticking time bomb that is your day to day routine,then that brain will react as quickly as it can to get to safety. Fight, flight or freeze are the three categories I would use all of them for each of the traumatic events that have happened to me in my life.

“Values are about prioritization. Everybody would love a good cannoli or a house in the Bahamas. The question is your priorities. What are the values that you prioritize about everything else, and that therefore influence your decision-making more than anything else?

(Manson, 2016). Page 87. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. HarperOne publisher.

I gave so much of my time, space, peace, money, soul, love, compassion, honesty, and loyalty to people I walk right by these days. The thought that I stayed narrowed in on the person I saw inside of them, they didn’t want anyone to know existed, and praised them behind closed doors. The manipulation and drama I have been accused of is gross, y’all are adults too. So scared of making a mistake and losing out on a social life. That girl doesn’t exist anymore; she’s still in 2010.

Those who hold hope for “happiness over wealth” and “human decency over profit margins” are my people because “being kind is easier than being spiteful” are the type of people who are willing to sacrifice for the greater good of ALL, not just themselves. Spiteful gets you nowhere but surrounded by other spiteful people. Not my cup of lemonade. Definitely not my kind of party; there are no fruit snacks. Peer pressure to assimilate into a societal group of high schoolers should never be a priority for anyone.

Until the next one…

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