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!!!Trigger Warnings!!! A Primer For My Well-intentioned Friends That Don't Quite "Get it"

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  Look. This is not my normal content. It really isn't. And I don't want to be "that" person about all this but honestly, I can't bite my tongue, or press my frustration down any further or I will end up either tongueless or exploded. Okay? I need you to just listen. Got it? Got it.  Toxic Masculinity:  What you seem to think it means: Masculinity=Men. Men=bad. All men are bad ewww men.  If I see one more "Masculinity isn't toxic" post, I will scream. Because intentionally or not that is completely missing the point.  What it actually means (not according to the "woke" crowd, we'll get there later)but according to the actual dictionary : a cultural concept of manliness that glorifies stoicism, strength, virility, and dominance, and that is socially maladaptive or harmful to mental health: Men and women both suffer when toxic masculinity perpetuates expectations that are restrictive and traumatizing.  Examples include but are not limited

The Best of Intentions Sometimes Lead to the Worst Situations

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 Hey friends. I'm going to cut right to the issue. I screwed up. I mean, I do that often enough it shouldn't be noteworthy but this one is stuck deep in my mom guilt so I'm going to put words to it and try to figure this thing out with all of you.  See, my oldest son just graduated from high school and is on his way to college in the fall. I am so impressed with him. I am so proud of his accomplishments and the strides he's made as a person. And that made me want to change the narrative of our life to the other kids that are living in the house.  It started innocently enough. The girls were complaining that school was starting again too soon. I said, "Well, your biggest brother is starting college in the fall so I bet he's nervous about school starting too."  The tears ya'll. I thought that perhaps framing big brother living elsewhere in a normal transition type of way would help. What actually happened was I made the girls deeply sad that now they wou

Confessions, Revelations, and The Love In Between

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 Confessions:  I haven't written anything specifically for this blog in months. I am apparently regressing to my 10-year-oldish self that was obsessed with Lisa Frank. Erego the Giraffe. Sorry, not sorry.  I've done a great deal of deconstruction of my faith and while I am still (and likely will always be) rebuilding Im happy and confused to realize Jesus is still an integral part of me. Some of his followers though, ya'll. Glass houses and stones and whatnot but man I think more of us brothers and sisters need to do some soul searching instead of holding onto lies. Ugh. It was much easier to exist as a human in this world before I started searching for truth and compassion. It is so much worse caring about people I would much rather "other" and move on from. It is also super gross to recognize that some of my past actions, thoughts, and postures towards others were at best unhelpful and at worst hateful and unfair. The number of times I have full-body cringed thi

Sorry For The Impending Apocalypse or Whatever...

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My kids went back to school after a lovely, relaxing Christmas break. Thursday. Why did they start back on Thursday? Unknown. I wasn't the one planning the school calendar. Pity that.  Regardless, I dropped my loves off at school on time, fed, and with all of their belongings. I should have known something was up then. That just doesn't happen, especially after two weeks of non-existent sleep schedules, and junk food free for all nonsense.  Around 9 o'clock, a mere hour and a half post drop off I get a call from the school. I briefly consider not answering, assuming it's a kid who forgot a folder.  Alas, it was the school nurse. My youngest had thrown up in class and would need to go home. Insert sad/frustrated mom guilt feelings.  So I picked up my girl who was really very sick and pitiful and went home. We hung out and watched cartoons. Truly my day wasn't going so far off what I had planned anyway, the contents on the TV and the sick child notwithstan

If I Could Start Over With Adoption

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https://authory.com/ChristinaGochnauer/If-I-Could-Start-Over-With-Adoption-af0551a6aefe04cc68b9966db511c6141

The Deconstruction and Renovation of my Faith

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I'm not sure if you've noticed it. In the past few years, there is a surge of women between the ages of 30 and 40 walking away from Christianity. Seemingly legions of religious leaders are suddenly struck down from their pedestals and outed as rapists, molesters, abusers, and liars. Now people are finding the very foundations on which they rested their faith crumbling to dust.  After decades of being admonished to not build our faiths on the sand, but on solid rock, we are collectively looking around in disbelief. Horrified we are just now realizing the rock we chose was fragile soapstone. The second a crack developed the whole thing fell into a pile of debris.  Now, traumatized, horrified, and in disbelief, we are having to, as an entire generation, sift through the mess and find the pieces that remain intact.  Some of us are finding that nothing at all is left worth saving. They are using heavy equipment to move away the detritus of their past. Now the place their faith resid

Our Adoption Anniversary and the Dissonance it Brings

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                              Today marks 5 years since our first 3 kids were adopted. A teeny baby girl and two older but small boys became officially ours. Since then we added two more little girls to our family. Adoption days are complicated anyway without our added family trauma. In the past, we have had a special meal or gotten ice cream.  This time last year our oldest wasn't with us. He had been in residential treatment for a while by then but I was still so deep in my grief over what he had done, and the fallout from it, the adoption anniversary didn't feel worse than all of the other days. Now that we all have truly begun to heal in earnest, today feels like a punch in the stomach. I find myself reliving the moment I found out my oldest son had broken our family. Facebook shows memories of 5 years ago, our beautiful, happy, smiling family.  Instead of being thankful I have children I love living under my roof, I'm distracted.  The one child that is not, and never a