Nala's tell-all blog! Quad-bonding and more! Nala, Alice, Harley Quinn and Barnaby (aka Big Bunny).

Discussion in 'Bunny Blogs' started by Imbrium, Apr 24, 2019.

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  1. Sep 3, 2019 #41

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    Jennifer

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    Don't worry, she's fine!! If you're referring to the "bunnies or me" thread, that was a necro'd thread from 2014 - our zoo has grown significantly since then ;).

    Sorry I've been slacking on updating my blog... been busy. Nala had me worried for a while - even after the dental surgery, I never saw her eat all that much and she was still reluctant/slow to eat pellets (wasn't coming running up to eat them like they were crack, but eventually she'd eat some or most). Nearly two weeks later, her appetite still didn't seem back to normal and she didn't seem all that excited about food aside from the occasional bit of "junk food" like craisins. She was still pooping and was maintaining her normal weight. I even bought some of the Sherwood Forest recovery food for her that has probiotics and other good stuff in it, but she wouldn't eat it. I did get her to eat some little biscuits from Oxbow that are for digestive health once a day, though.

    One day, I glanced into her cage and her eye looked weird and I swear she looked worried and kind of miserable. I took her out for a closer look and there was a patch of skin above/beside one of her eyes that had no fur on it and the skin looked dry and scaly. I was poking around and trying to figure out what was going on when I saw a FLEA near her eye! Closer inspection revealed a lot of flea poop in the fur on her back :(. I felt like she most likely scratched too vigorously, causing the severe skin irritation, so I put some neosporin (without pain reliever) on the affected skin and started laying out a plan of attack. Our household has a zero-tolerance policy regarding fleas!

    None of the other rabbits seemed to have any fleas (no fleas or poop seen in their white fur), but they're housed near each other so they all need to be treated anyway to guarantee they wouldn't just go from Nala to someone else. The only cat I checked was Chanel because the other four cats (oh yeah, we got a 5th cat last month!) are black and/or dark brown but she's gray and white so they're easy to spot... when I found a flea on her, there was no reason to check the other cats. Both species had fleas so I needed a 2-pronged attack. Thankfully, we have NO carpets - only hard flooring - which makes it much easier to eradicate the infestation. Getting fleas AND eggs/larval stages out of carpet is hell incarnate.

    We rushed out to Walmart at like 10 pm in search of flea stuff, but they didn't have the generic versions at the first one we went to so I drug my husband to a second Walmart in hopes of getting Nala some relief. Thankfully, the second one had the generic versions of both Frontline and Advantage II for cats, though it still set us back a whopping $75! Ugh. Got a 6-pack of generic Frontline for the 5 kitties (because it's a good bit cheaper than Advantage) and a 4-pack of generic Advantage for bunnies (because fipronil, the main ingredient in Frontline, is often fatal to rabbits and should NEVER be used on them). They even had a "large cat" version of the Advantage that has twice as much per tube, allowing me to use a syringe to measure out doses and get two rabbits with one tube and save the other two tubes in case I need to re-treat.

    I have no idea how she got the fleas. Ruby (new kitty) had come home from the shelter maybe a week prior to finding the fleas but shelters give flea treatments to their animals and I had never seen her scratching, so I doubt they came from her. My two primary suspects are a) maybe Nala got them from another animal who was stored near her at the vet or b) we get feral cats, possums and raccoons in our yard; perhaps husband and I picked up a flea or two while tromping across the lawn and unwittingly brought them indoors. Nala seemed to have the worst infestation, though, so probably some rude person brought a flea-ridden animal in for vet work.

    Anyway, within 24-48 hours, her eye area was looking MUCH better and there was ZERO flea poop in her fur. She looked a lot brighter and happier in the eyes. The hunch I had about her still-reduced appetite upon finding the fleas was right, too - once her fleas were gone, she started getting excited about food again. She has been 100% back to normal ever since and absolutely destroys her pellets the second I offer them. All four rabbits have been slower to eat the orchard grass than they were 3rd cut timothy, but they do eat it when they get hungry enough and hopefully they'll get more used to it as time goes on.
     
  2. Sep 15, 2019 #42

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    Jennifer

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    So... I have a job working in a call center calling people on the phone in the vain hopes of catching someone with the time and inclination to spend 15 minutes on the phone with a random stranger. I spend most of my day listening to voicemail messages and making origami.

    Today, I spent the last three hours of the shift making chickens at the rate of about 20 an hour. I am now headed into Walmart, where I plan to do something weird with them. Why? Because what the hell else am I going to do with 60 something tiny origami chickens?

    Here's a picture of one of the chickens. You can't tell by looking at it but if you manipulate it a little bit, it lays a tiny origami egg.
    IMG_20190914_185858_HDR.jpg


    I usually make these cranes that flap their wings when you pull their tail and leave a single one in a dozen or so spots in the store, but the chickens line up so nicely and remind me of the neighbors' flock.

    Darn, left the store without realizing 2 of the pics were blurry...

    IMG_20190914_191550.jpg

    IMG_20190914_191537.jpg

    I had on headphones to discourage having to explain myself to passers-by... There was also a guy stocking shelves on that aisle, but thankfully he didn't give a darn.

    I thought about putting the chickens by the eggs but settled on the pet section because they have a livestock section at the more rural of the two Walmarts near me... But for some reason suddenly all the sheep, goat, chicken and horse stuff is suddenly gone and all that was in the "livestock" section is small animal stuff. Anyway, here's hoping my tedious day at work provide some Walmart customer or two with amusement.
     
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  3. Sep 15, 2019 #43

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    Jennifer

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    On a side note... raise your hand if you've ever put a bunch of rabbits in your bed and just rolled around in a pile of them! Why have I never done that with more than two rabbits at a time before??
     
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  4. Sep 15, 2019 #44

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    Sounds like fun. Last night I tried giving both bunnies snuggles on my bed (at separate times of course) and Bugs can't sit still or behave for longer than 5 seconds. He thinks it's fun to play in my hair (which is fine because he's keeping himself entertained) but out of no where he'll start digging at my face. I'm sure I sound crazy when I explain that it was my rabbit that scratched me all down my face lol.
     
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  5. Sep 16, 2019 #45

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    Jennifer

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    A rabbit we had years ago, Norman, would nibble my eyelids and earlobes if he had access to me while I was sleeping. Ridiculous!

    Seriously, though, wrapping your arms around 3-4 rabbits at once and burying your face in them all and giggling is better than any anti-anxiety medication! Zoning out to the sight and sound of a rabbit munching leafy greens is such a stress-reliever, too. If I wasn't too lazy, I'd get the bunnies certified as ESA's (emotional support animals) because they help SO much!
     
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  6. Sep 18, 2019 #46

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    Jennifer

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    Ugh. Margie, the co-worker who sits in the halficle (tiny partial cubicle) across from me in the call center, got sick with a cold or sinus infection last weekend... I love her to pieces, but darn it, I hate getting sick! Starting Sat (first day she came in sick) I've been taking 3000 mg of vitamin C twice a day and also I've been taking these echinacea/goldenseal pills... but about 24h ago, I realized I had failed to thwart said illness >.>

    This is a really busy work week and there's a pay incentive for working extra days without ever being late or calling in (first time they've done that in the nearly 6 mos I've worked there), so of course I went in today anyway and will continue to do so all week. On the plus side, we did a good enough job that we finished work 45 mins early today. I came home from work and drank cough syrup and silver tequila until I didn't feel like **** anymore, lol.

    Tomorrow, a tropical storm's supposed to be hitting nearby so it looks like we're in for rain. The one upside is that I was thinking all day it was Monday and it's totally Tuesday, lol... which means only two more days until I can have a day off (though I work the next 3 days after that as well and the Saturday shift starts at 10 am instead of the usual 3-4 pm). My MIL thinks I probably won't work tomorrow (and her husband is the one who referred me to my current job)... but I really doubt that's the case. The areas we've been calling won't be affected by the storm, so as long as we've got electricity in the call center then I assume we'll be working. Hours are hours, though, so I can't complain too much!

    @Alyssa and Bugs♡ By the way, I swear I'm working on getting caught up on your blog! :p I'm about 3 pages behind and waiting until I have the time and inclination to plow through/comment on all three pages at once, lol.
     
  7. Sep 18, 2019 #47

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    I hope you feel better soon! Being sick sucks and I'm sure the storm coming won't help. If you don't mind me asking, I'm curious as to what your job is.

    Don't worry about catching up on my blog. Besides temporary taking in a 3rd, it hasn't been too exciting.
     
  8. Sep 18, 2019 #48

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    Jennifer

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    I work for a company that does surveys over the phone (political polls and stuff about legislative proposals that might be on a ballot soon, mostly). The job can be awesome or awful depending on the survey and whether people are amenable to doing one that day... But my boss and co-workers are great, which helps a lot.

    If you ever get a phone call from "Alice" at Promark Research... That's probably me, lol (unless there's an Alice at one of our other two locations). I use Alice because it's shorter than Jennifer... And also because Alice is so adorable, who could say no to that little lop face?
     
  9. Sep 18, 2019 #49

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    I feel it would suck to have that job because there are those people who are incredibly rude when answering calls like that. There was this one company in particular who wouldn't stop calling me while I was in class a few weeks ago so I stepped into the hall to answer it and it turns out they really wanted me to try out their new car insurance plan. I don't even have a car, lol.

    I love that you go by Alice at work. It would be an interesting conversation if you happened to call my phone (which isn't likely at all because with the way the country views teenager's opinions on things like that although, we can be incredibly opinionated).
     
  10. Sep 18, 2019 #50

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    Jennifer

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    I used to pick up the phone, say (or scream) "---- off" and hang up when I got woken up by an unsolicited call at like 9 or 10 am after going to sleep around 6 am... So I've been the rude person on the other end, lol.

    Unless we're redialing excessively because we have a very limited pool of numbers to work with, it's not too bad. Most people hang up during your intro without a word. Often when someone is rude, they inadvertently provide comedic fodder and we mock them amongst ourselves. "Do you know what day it is, Alice??" like I maybe have no clue it's Sunday. Or "why did you call me when I'm ________??" like we're able to see where they are and what they're doing before we dial.

    Every once in a while you get the total opposite - someone so polite they actually ask "is it ok if I don't want to do the survey?" which I find super cute. Of course it's ok. I have no recourse if someone doesn't want to talk to me, lol, and anyway you're totally doing me a favor if you take time out of your day to do the survey. The odds of cold-calling someone and catching them when they're in a good mood and not busy are pretty low (average is 1-2% of dials resulting in a complete for cell phones).

    It's the people who say yes that make the job fun. Sometimes you get a really funny respondent. Asking people their opinion about Trump is usually pretty fun because people have SUCH strong opinions about him. One lady the other day said (when I asked if she approved or disapproved of Trump) "I'd kill him myself if I didn't think God would smite me down." AOC gets similarly strong responses.

    It's very important that we never share our own political beliefs with respondents or explicitly agree or disagree with their opinions... But you can laugh and say vague things like "oh, I hear ya" that insinuate camaraderie.

    I'm an independent and my political views are aggressively moderate... plus I think there are some batshit crazy politicians on both sides of the aisle... so no matter what someone's political views are, I always have some common ground with them. I can laugh at Republicans with a Democrat and laugh at Democrats with a Republican because they're both right about some people on the other side having lost their freaking minds.
     
  11. Sep 18, 2019 #51

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    Some people will instantly hang up if it sounds a bit too much like a robot (which I 100% get, talking to a robot is incredibly frustrating). In my english class last year, if someone were to get a call from a random number they'd answer it and say something incredibly random/slightly inappropriate which the person trying to do their job probably didn't see coming or deserve.
    I love people like this. I bet you get some pretty interesting responses when you ask that question. He's a very controversial person. I do, however, really like the ban he's placing on flavored vaping products currently. I know of many 14-18-year-olds who use these products daily (especially in the school bathrooms) and I can't imagine what it's doing to their lungs. There are so many beautiful accessories for the Juuls that a quick google search would make anyone want to try it. I think that the main issue is that it's so easy for teens to get ahold of one in the first place. I'd really like an adult perspective on this though: do you think it's fair to the adults when/if these flavors are banned?

    I think that the elections have become more of a "make the other candidates look as bad as possible" versus them actually trying to win by sharing their plans.

    I don't know if posting this is crossing the line and if it is I'm very sorry.
     
  12. Sep 19, 2019 #52

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    Jennifer

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    Well, it's my blog and I don't think it's crossing the line... So hopefully that suffices.

    I had a guy one time repeatedly make me jump through hoops as he tested to make sure I was not a robot. I feel like he's very misinformed about how sophisticated AI is these days, given the depth to which I was tested. However, it's quite common for people to interrupt during your introduction and many times I feel like they've done it just to see if I react... so I make a point to acknowledge the interruption.

    I'm an adult who started smoking at 16 and didn't quit until I was 33. On the one hand, I know firsthand that if kids want cigarettes, they find a way to get them... And also that, while still far from healthy, e-cigs are still better than regular cigarettes. That said, I can very easily see from the perspective of people who worry that e-cigs glorify smoking and make it seem more accessible to teens. It's a very challenging and nuanced line to try to walk... On the one hand, I certainly wouldn't want legislation that discouraged existing adult smokers from transitioning to something that's technically less unhealthy... but on the other hand, you don't want to make it easier for kids to become smokers in the first place.

    Overall, if pushed to take a side, I would rather see adult smokers take the hit then see more teens pick up the habit... if for no reason other than that discouraging teens from picking up the habit means there's less adults to lure away from cigarettes in the future.

    It's definitely kind of annoying to the adult smoker that they can't take a puff from an e-cigarette indoors even though all it gives off when you exhale is water vapor... but I'm willing to tell my husband to suck it up and vape outside now that it's been brought to my attention (by a survey I administered once) that the laws against smoking an e-cigarette inside came about because of people trying to address the teen epidemic.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
  13. Sep 22, 2019 #53

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    Jennifer

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    Normal work hours for me are 4 pm - 12 am Mon-Thurs and 2 pm - 11 pm on Sun (no shift on Friday)... but the optional Saturday shift is 10 am - 6 pm. 10 am doesn't sound so bad until you realize you have to set your alarm at 8:30 in order to have time to shower, eat breakfast, get ready and make the morning rounds through the menagerie.

    9 am this morning, my husband is laying there, loafed out like a happy rabbit. As I walk past the bed to tend to the birds, he opens his eyes to look at me and - with a huge grin on his face - sings me this song lyric about having a kingsize all to himself. Naturally, I called him a son of a bitch and we burst out laughing.

    On a side note, Harley Quinn is in the doghouse for eating Barnaby's whiskers right off his face!!
     
  14. Sep 22, 2019 #54

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    I agree 100% that if we want something, we find a way to get it. I could easily get my hands on a vape/pack of cigarettes/anything else I wanted without my parents knowing anything. I had no idea that it was illegal to smoke an e-cig indoors. They do definitely glorify smoking. You don't get that cigarette smell and they look nice.

    I just want to say that you and your husband's relationship seems amazing. He shares your love of bunnies and you can affectionally call him a son of a bitch? Perfect.
     
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  15. Sep 22, 2019 #55

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    Jennifer

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    He drives me absolutely insane sometimes, but I wouldn't trade him for the world! We've been through hell and back (especially leading up to his diagnosis of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia last spring when he had to be hospitalized twice, among other turmoils we've faced (like living in a semi-haunted apartment for 3 years and being really poor)) but we always come out stronger for it. We have plenty of ups and downs, but always together.

    The best advice I can give to someone your age is this: marry your best friend. We were best friends (online) for three years before we even met in person or started a romantic relationship and we've been married for over 6 years. As long as you love each other unconditionally, you can get through anything and you can always find a way to reconnect when life tries to pull you apart. Also, have no secrets and no shame (at least with each other). If you've seen each other at your absolute WORSTS and are still totally in love, even the unknown doesn't seem so scary ;). Being able to be 100% yourself with the person you love the most = win.
     
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  16. Sep 25, 2019 #56

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    You two really have been through hell and back. Reading that first part made me sad but I'm happy to hear you two always come out on top. Many couples don't unfortunately.

    I can't wait to meet the one someday. I was talking to this guy and I liked whatever we had going on (okay, who am I kidding, he liked Bugs and Evie and that's very important to me) but he started to ask me very personal and inappropriate questions and it made me very uncomfortable. I felt like I couldn't trust him because of some things I've been told about him (that he has multiple girlfriends at once, only wants one thing and that one thing definitely isn't what I want) and I don't like secrets. He gave me a love letter today (so middle school, lol) and in it, he said he loves me and that I'm the highlight of his day, among other things. We've known each other for two weeks, you can't fall in love with someone in two weeks. The idea of someone that isn't family loving me seems so foreign. I don't even love myself.

    I really struggle with being myself around everyone. It's part of the reason why I love RO so much. I'm surrounded by my kind of people and you don't have to hear me stutter every other word ;) although most of everything I post on here is all over the place and has more grammatical errors than I can count on one hand, which is weird because I'm the grammar police at school. I love spending time with Bugs and Evie because I know for sure they aren't judging.
     
  17. Sep 26, 2019 #57

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    Jennifer

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    Well, love and infatuation can be easily confused. Coming on so strong so fast does strike me as a red flag... either he's just trying to get in your pants or he's got some warped/unhealthy expectations of romantic relationships would be my guess. Some guys fall for a girl and put her on a pedestal; they're convinced she's their everything... that's impossible to live up to in the long run (and it's not at all fun to be on said pedestal if you're not the attention-loving type). If it makes you feel any better, NO ONE knows what they're doing when it comes to love and relationships at your age - the ones who seem to are simply better at faking it ;).

    I NEVER fit in at school. Overweight, smarter than everyone and a year younger to boot, always had my nose in a book and I had no desire to even try fitting in with the popular kids because in my experience, they were annoying jerks and my books were better company. I did what I wanted and if people didn't like me for who I was, that was their problem. Don't get me wrong, teasing and bullying still hurt like hell... but for some reason I never considered changing myself to try to stop it. I almost always had one best friend who was also a bit of a black sheep and who I could totally trust, though... for me, that was enough. I'm shy unless I really know people and feel comfortable in my surroundings (like I do here) and not big on groups.

    I remember in high school, they had the "PAL" program... forget what it stands for, but their job was basically to make lonely kids feel better or something like that? I dunno. The way lunch worked at my school is it was during third period - some kids went to lunch, then class. Some went to class, then lunch. Some went to half of class, then lunch, then the other half... except every once in a while the teacher would have us take a different lunch if they didn't want it interrupting the lesson plan. More than once, I was eating by myself because lunch time was changed and my friends ate at my normal lunch time, so I'd bring a book and be happily reading and eating lunch by myself... only to be rudely interrupted by someone who thought I looked "lonely" and wanted to pretend to be "friends" so I wouldn't have to eat alone. There's no polite way of saying things like "if I wanted to talk, I wouldn't be reading a book" or "please take your pity small-talk somewhere else." The PAL kids were terribad at taking hints to bugger off, like one word responses and very generic answers.

    Freshman year of college was a HUGE eye-opener for me. I went to a small liberal arts college that had about as many students total as were in just my own grade in high school (around 1200, iirc). I lived in the best dorm on campus, hands-down. It was the only co-ed dorm, located next to the two boys' dorms on one side of campus; there were three girls' dorms on the other side. The name of my dorm? Couch. It was inhabited by weirdos and outcasts - most of the gay/lesbian students were there, the oddballs, the misfits, the stoners... basically, all the best people who were more abnormal than normal :p. I actually had friends and hung out in the lobbies and in front of the dorm with groups of people.

    Suddenly people liked me for the exact same reasons that kids in K-12 picked on me! I could do what I want and not feel constantly judged. For example, whenever I knew it was going to be a long/stressful day (tests and such, usually), I'd wear this pair of calico cat ears to class because they cheered me up and I felt that anyone who wanted to judge me for that could suck it (a lot of people stopped to tell me they were awesome). The boyfriend I ended up losing my virginity to confessed to me months after the fact that the moment he fell for me was when he was sitting in one of the lobbies and commenting to friends that he could totally see himself with the kind of girl who would wear cat ears for no reason... and right after he said that, I happened to walk past in my cat ears. Pretty trippy timing, lol.

    Bottom line is that K-12 sucks. Kids suck. Bullies suck. Everyone is dysfunctional in one way or another and the social hierarchy is completely ass-backwards. All you can really do is find a friend or two who can make all the BS tolerable.

    You really should work on trying to love yourself, though. It's nearly impossible to be in a healthy relationship otherwise - it's tough to be happy with another person if you can't be happy on your own. You'll always be wondering what they see in you and second-guessing yourself and probably end up sabotaging the relationship as a result, you know?

    I've gotta say, from talking to you over the months, I think one of your big problems is the same as what mine always was when I was younger - being an old soul trapped in a young body! To put it in today's politically correct terms, I "self-identify" as being about 10 years older than my biological age :p. What I'm getting at is that you're awesome the way you are but everyone around you needs to grow up before they realize that being unique is actually better than being cookie-cutter. I'd rather four years of misery followed by a lifetime of healthy friendships and relationships than to spend decades looking back on high school as the best years of my life. Trust me, you're smart, friendly, mature, heart-felt and honest, helpful, funny and you love the bunniehs. You're like the little sister I never had. Anyone who doesn't appreciate you for who you are isn't worth knowing.
     
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  18. Sep 27, 2019 #58

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    I'm like 95% sure he just wanted in my pants. He said on multiple different occasions that I seemed easy (which I am definitely not, I have lots of self-respect when it comes to things like that). Why else would he want with a girl a year and a half younger than he is when there are girls his age that would gladly date him? I told him earlier today that I can't keep getting lied to so I asked him to delete my number and never text me again. I've never had a boyfriend and I'm scared that when I finally get a boyfriend, I'll have no idea about how to be a good girlfriend. My mom and step-dad aren't exactly the greatest examples.

    I've always found myself in these toxic friendships that make me scared to even try making new friends. I had a friend that told me she'd kill herself if I ever stopped being friends with her. She also tried to make me lesbian for her because she couldn't get a boyfriend. She tried to kiss me multiple times but I always pulled away which upset her. I didn't want her to die so I suffered through the friendship for 2 horrible years. In those two years, I self-harmed almost daily in many different ways, I starved myself, and I even told myself I'd be dead by April. I mean it when I say that Bugs is the only reason I'm still here. I wanted to make it to his first birthday in mid-April and I did. He gave me something to keep living for. I woke up on his birthday (which also happened to be Easter) and I felt like a different person. Something changed and I threw all of my self-harm supplies away. I realized that even though most people didn't care if I died, Bugs would. My family wouldn't keep him because they wouldn't know how to take care of him. I didn't want that for him. I tried getting help (which was unsuccessful, my mom couldn't accept that I wasn't the happy person she thought I was. I don't blame her though, I did an amazing job at hiding everything). That thread I posted in February about how I wasn't happy that you probably don't remember? That thread saved me. It showed me that I was wanted and that I'll always have you guys and I'll forever be grateful for that. I reread that every time I'm having a bad day. I dropped that friend after April and I feel so much lighter. That manipulative bitch is someone else's problem now.

    I was made fun of last year for my rabbit obsession. I hate starting conversations but I found it easy to talk about bunnies so whenever I felt uncomfortable I brought them up. I would do it without thinking and it got on everyone's nerves. They'd say "look at the crazy bunny lady" whenever I walked into class and it's not about what they said because I'm 100% a (proud) crazy bunny lady but they'd say it in such a bitchy tone and then laugh with their friends about it. I was suspended last year for fighting after a girl was constantly running her mouth and that didn't help me. If I'd get annoyed, they'd say things like "ooh, bunny lady's gonna hit us too" **** right I am. You wearing cat ears is almost enough to inspire me to wear my bunny shirt :p

    I feel incredibly older than I am. I can't stand being friends with most people my age because there's so much drama. My teachers and I are all friends lol.

    Thank you. This made my morning. It makes me so happy that you consider me a sister! I'm the oldest so I don't have anyone at home to look up to. We have much more in common than I realized, I'm a complete book nerd also and we both cherish the bunniehs. I really appreciate you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
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  19. Sep 28, 2019 #59

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

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    Wow, you've been through a lot. I remember that thread from back in February, I'm sure I recall posting in it. I'm sorry to hear about the toxic friend you had; so glad you got rid of her and found Bugs! Reminds me of the start of sophomore year of college when my roommate (same one as freshman year) announced that over the summer, she had dumped her boyfriend and gotten rats - we both agreed that she had upgraded :p. Oh, and I was also friends with my teachers (and my mom's friends).

    Getting someone toxic like that friend out of your life can be really hard when you're a kind-hearted and empathetic individual who hates letting people down. I struggled for a long time with my decision to cut my grandmother out of my life, but she had a truly toxic personality (due, I believe, to undiagnosed borderline personality disorder that caused her to be emotionally 13 and have an insane sibling rivalry thing going on with me). My mom trained me that the only way to win a fight with her was to walk away... but the problem was that she would chase you, screaming and ranting and doing her best to provoke you back into the fight. While my mom was alive, she ran interference for me and got in-between us so that I could make my escape... but after she died, her little sister didn't understand that I needed someone's help to escape those one-sided fights. I finally had to tell myself that, family or not, my grandmother had been systematically destroying my self-esteem for almost my entire life and that it just wasn't worth dealing with her if I didn't have at least one person I could count on to take my side and peel her off me when she got neurotic.

    Anyway, I find that I talk about our animals a lot, too, for the same reason as you - they're easy to talk about and provide hilarious stories. I've had people think I was weird for talking about them so much... but that's just who I am, so if they don't like it then I feel like that's their problem. I have two really good friends at my job. One is Jackie, who is 78 and a total spit-fire. She's hilarious and really sweet; she's my best friend after my husband. The other good friend is also named Jennifer (early 40s, iirc, so maybe 8 years older than me?) and she's a crazy cat lady too, so we're always talking about cats and rabbits at work! Finding the one friend who really wants to hear your bunny stories makes everything worth it.

    I graduated high school at 17; starting with the friends I made working at IHOP that summer followed by the friends I met in college is when I started to truly embrace my cynical confidence - the idea that people I met had two choices; either like me for who I am or bugger off. Seriously, other people suck (most of the time). I remember my mom freaking out when I was 15 or 16 because I made some off-hand comment about how I hate people (she thought it was a red flag or something), but seriously, a lot of people are NOT worth the breath used to talk to them and the sooner you accept that, the sooner you can focus on finding those people who ARE worth your time. For me, that's my husband, his family, my co-workers and you guys here on RO. I mean, I'm nice and polite to strangers, but I have pretty low expectations so that I'm not disappointed if they turn out to be dumbasses or jerks, you know? I'd rather be pleasantly surprised when someone exceeds expectations and is totally worth befriending. I'm not mean, but I'm skeptical.

    You'll really be on your way to being well-adjusted if you can wrap your head around the idea that bullies should be pitied. It sucks to be them so much that the only way they can cope with it is to try to make you feel as bad as they do on the inside. A lot of kids who are bullies have terrible home-lives and parents who have no business raising a child. If you can muster up the nuts to screw with their heads, try responses like "I'm sorry you feel that way" or "*shrug* I wouldn't like bunnies as much if they weren't so much cooler than you." Bullies expect you to either lash out back at them or run away from the fight they're trying to pick. They're rarely equipped to handle smart-ass comments designed to reboot and derail them. Do your best to avoid becoming emotional. Be calm, collected and clever - they'll never see it coming! Sarcasm is a wonderful coping tool. It's the equivalent of high-quality trolling on the internet (not to be confused with your run-of-the-mill pathetic trolls). Trolling bullies makes me happy :D.
     
  20. Sep 28, 2019 #60

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

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    I forgot to include my advice on being a good girlfriend...

    Love someone unconditionally for who they are and expect the same in return. Don't try to change them and don't let them change you. Don't be afraid to risk your heart... or to ask for what you want/need. Be considerate. Be willing to compromise. Don't be domineering but don't be a doormat. When you feel hurt try to talk about it instead of pulling away (a bad habit my husband helped me break). Don't get pushed into something you're truly not ready for (like sex), yet be willing to let them nudge you to try new things (non-sex stuff that's a little bit outside your comfort zone).

    When it comes to sex, know that you give a little piece of yourself every time. It's never "just" sex. Whether it's love or friendship, sex is so much better with some sort of emotional connection. If you're not ready, make that clear. Worst case scenario, you might lose a boyfriend... But relationships at your age **** near never last anyway so why compromise yourself for something fleeting? You're going to get your heart broken. You're going to break someone else's. Don't be afraid of that pain. It sucks, but that's part of growing up and it's how you learn what you want in a relationship and learn what you want to offer someone else.
     

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