Sunday, July 08, 2012



I'm finished!!! I wrote a book!

Amateur Night at the Bubblegum Kittikat is finished!

I feel like I should pop open a bottle of champagne or something, except now I have to revise the damned thing.
Friday, July 06, 2012

If I Seem a Little Strange...

In the interest of cultivating more candor in my blog, I'll let you in on another of my current personal struggles. I've miraculously somehow managed to let the whole Rachel thing go and I've accepted that she's crazy. In the midst of that drama I also had a significant realization about my own behavior, so maybe that's what I was supposed to get out of the whole interaction. 

When people are mean to me I become extra nice to them and it's ridiculous, passive-aggressive, self- serving, insincere niceness designed to inspire guilt in the person who was mean to me. AND IT HAS NEVER ACTUALLY DONE THAT. I think somewhere in my weird head I wish that one day someone would be mean to me, I would be extra nice and then they'd come to me and be like "Oh dear Victoria, I have wronged you terribly. You are so nice. You are so undeserving of all the awful things I've done. Can you ever forgive me and be my friend?"  

Delusional. Never going to happen. And seriously, why would I want someone who was mean to me to be my friend anyway?

Not only that, this behavior pattern allows me to put myself in the role of the perpetual innocent victim and you know what? I'm not always innocent. I'm a human being and I'm not a martyr. I need to learn to tell people to go fuck themselves when they're mean. Or even better, just ignore them and move on and have a healthy, fulfilled life not spent obsessing.

Yet I obsess...

The Bob and Bing thing really got to me. The final resolution of that situation ended up being satisfactory. Bob was adopted quickly and I thought Bing had been euthanized. I finally texted my half sister and asked her if she knew what happened and she said someone they knew adopted Bing and she thought I saw it on facebook, so she didn't bother telling me after I'd gone to all that trouble to try to save the cats. 

That kind of annoyed me.

It happened because I am outside of that family's ring of communication. They simply didn't naturally think to tell me because when it comes down to it, I'm not really one of them. I might try to be, but I'm not.

I don't know how to feel about this, about my five half siblings.

Negotiating relationships in broken families is usually awkward and difficult. Social media only adds to the awkwardness because it allows us outsiders to see all the ways in which we are excluded. Having a father who is a fanatical, fundamentalist lunatic with a slew of personality disorders confounds the situation and makes any kind of healing or bonding pretty much impossible.

I grew up entirely without these siblings. The oldest daughter was born a month after I went to live with my mother and once I went to live with my mother my father completely abandoned me. There was no visitation, no holidays, no phone calls, no birthday cards. Nothing. It was as if I had never existed to my biological father. He erased me from his life and mind you, I was eleven years old. A child. But he was such a petty, egomaniac and such a sociopath that he believed he was punishing me for my disloyalty, my betrayal of him, by choosing my mother over him. Only a very sick person does that to a child. Only a very sick person could cut himself off from his young daughter. My brain can't fathom his rationale at all.

The rest of the family though, they stuck with me. They knew what he did was wrong yet through them I learned of the births of the next four children. I knew I had five siblings. I just didn't know them.

There were a few times as a teenager and in my twenties when I'd be visiting my grandparents and they would come to visit and they'd either totally shun me and act as if I wasn't even there or I'd have to hide in a bedroom until my aunt and uncle could come pick me up and rescue me. At the few family functions we all attended they'd avoid me. I can't even say they acted like I was a stranger because strangers would have received maybe a polite nod or a smile. People strike up conversations with strangers. I was pariah.

I didn't entirely care though because these people were very strange. Their clothes, their mannerisms, their public displays of histrionic prayer. All of it was freaky. My stepmother looked like something out of a cult. She was so profoundly unkempt that she'd wear sweat suits to a wedding and not even appear to comb her hair. The family looked like they didn't fit in around normal people to me. They had a particular homeliness about them that I found off-putting. I think this comes from the religious fanaticism. They dressed shabbily and called it modesty. 

I can't say that when I saw them I ever felt like I was missing out on anything. I'd see them and thank God I escaped. 

I didn't invite them to my wedding. Why would I? They didn't invite me to anything. By the time I got married 21 years had passed. These were people I didn't know. People who would be so profoundly, overwhelmingly out of place around my friends and family that having them there would have been preposterous. Not to mention, everything about my wedding would have offended them anyway and I doubt they could have afforded the trip to Florida for seven people. Add to it that my stepmother had just been diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer the month before my wedding.

A few months after my wedding I began receiving radiation treatments at a cancer center for my own thyroid tumor. Every day I went to the center I'd see people who were desperately ill and I couldn't help but think about my stepmother. I googled inflammatory breast cancer. It's scary. Her prognosis wasn't good. Maybe, I thought, I should right my karma with her before she died. Maybe I should reach out and do the right thing. Looking back, I can see clearly that this was yet another example of me being extra nice to people who treated me like shit and in addition to that, I think I wanted to give her the chance to apologize to me before she died, because I felt like I needed that. So I wrote her a letter that was compassionate, yet honest. I explained to her that I had empathy for her suffering but at the same time that she had really hurt me. Did I get my apology?

Fuck no. 

I guess I thought cancer and the imminence of death might change her, but you know what? Assholes get cancer and die too. Cancer cells sadly only multiply themselves and not virtue, character or integrity in their hosts.

I didn't get my apology before she died. We emailed back and forth a few times. I felt like I had cleared a little karma, so that's better than nothing, I guess. At least I know I did the right thing and I have that.

But what I did was give her kids an opening to communicate with me.

In yet another example of my martyrdom, I sent the oldest daughter three hundred dollars because her mother was complaining on her blog about how poor they were and how they needed to fix their car or some such. Sending the money was showing off on my part too. I'll own that. This woman told me I'd never amount to anything, that her kids were all going to be prodigies and wild successes and I was nothing but trash, so I sent that money to stick it up her ass a little that I could. That she was the one begging and look who "answered her prayers." The very person she'd wronged years before. I wanted her to eat a little crow, but she didn't. She just cashed the check.

But that was when the oldest daughter started emailing me and we started talking on the phone and she was able to fill me in on some information about just how royally wacked out her parents actually were, which gave me a tremendous amount of needed validation and confirmation that it wasn't me who was crazy all along.

Then my stepmother died and then a year later everyone got on facebook and then four of the siblings added me as a friend.

That's when shit got weird.

The two oldest daughters would message me, chat with me, comment on posts. The oldest son and youngest daughter not so much.

I didn't know what was appropriate. I didn't know what the right way to act with them was. Who were these people to me, after all and what did I want from relationships with them, if anything? I couldn't and can't answer that.

The second oldest daughter didn't invite me to her wedding which for some reason hurt my feelings. I guess because all of my other family and cousins were invited and went and I was the only one who didn't go, although I understood. See, this is how it gets weird. I didn't expect to be invited. I didn't invite her to my wedding, yet I felt excluded anyway, which makes no sense.

That sister and I were pregnant at the same time and we emailed back and forth about pregnancy stuff and I felt, kind of bonded.

Then last year when her daughter turned one I sent her a present and never heard anything from her for a long time. The oldest sister later told me that it was because there hadn't been enough postage on the package and the mailman made her pay for it, which I guess ticked her off and she never thanked me or even told me that this had happened. She thought I did it on purpose!! Which is absurd because who would send someone a present and purposely not put enough stamps on the package so the recipient would have to pay? And why would that offend someone? I didn't get it and I wished I didn't have to hear about it secondhand from the other sister.

So what did I do? I emailed her and apologized profusely and told her how mortified I was that this had happened and then I SENT HER ANOTHER PACKAGE OF MORE STUFF.

I did this because I was trying to prove to her that I wasn't an asshole because I knew she'd been told her whole life that I was a horrible person. I needed to show her that I was good and kind and generous and successful in order to demonstrate that her father had been in the wrong in how he treated me.

Did it work? I don't think so.

I sent her a Christmas package. No thank you, no nothing. She didn't even send me a Christmas card or even acknowledge my daughter's birthday. So then I said, fuck it. I'm not sending them anything else. I don't expect them to send me stuff but I expect a thank you of some kind and maybe a holiday card.

The oldest daughter is a lot better about things like that. She has actually sent Baby Lawns several packages and always remembers everyone's birthdays and I definitely talk to her the most still, but sometimes when I communicate with her I feel a great strange distance still that makes me tremendously uncomfortable.

So I keep my half siblings at arm's length. I noticed that if I find myself interacting with them more, I'll unconsciously take several steps back.

I never know what's appropriate. Do they consider me their kids' aunt? What do I call myself to their children?

Then there's facebook. Once I saw a sister saying that all of her siblings had blue eyes and this hurt my feelings because it's not true. I have brown eyes. So am I not a sibling too? Well, maybe not. Again, I think it's that they don't automatically think of me as part of their family unit, because, well, I'm not. I have my own separate family unit, so this is to be expected.

Then there was the oldest son. He emailed me about the cats when I was in California and thanked me for my help and expressed interest in getting to know me better. He said he'd found my blog and found it difficult to read. Again, understandable. I get that. He said he wanted to set the record straight with me about his family. So I wrote him back and said I'd like to get to know him too and I explained that I was not trying to malign his family out of spite. I'm just telling my truth and my story. Never heard from him again. I sensed that I had somehow offended him, but I don't know how. Or maybe it's all too difficult to work around.

I think that ultimately all six of us are innocent victims of a hateful and small minded man who inexplicably calls himself a Christian. Look at the harm he's done. Look at what he has caused all of his children to miss out on because of his petty, childish grudges and the unnecessary anger he holds on to for some unknown reason. To prove a point? To feel powerful? For pride? What? I don't get it.

I keep my siblings at arm's length because I also realize that they've been raised by two extremely sick and toxic people and because they were brought up in a fanatical, radical household that was not normal or healthy. How then could they be healthy or able to nurture a normal relationship with me? I don't know and so I proceed with caution.

Part of my confusion is that I don't know what I want. Am I just satisfying a curiosity bred by the fact that I was kept from these people for so long? Am I befriending them out of spite to my biological father? Do I sincerely want siblings? Am I better off without any of them in my life or would my life be enriched by getting to know my brothers and sisters? Are we just too different to sustain any true familial bond? The oldest sister once told me that I don't seem like a sister to her but more like a distant cousin or something. I can relate. I sensed that too.

None of us even look alike. I look like my mother's family and they look like their mother's family. This, I confess, freaks me out. My stepmother traumatized me and her kids look an awful lot like her. The second daughter is her spitting image. It's scary how much she looks like her mother looked at the exact age when she married my biological father and seeing that woman in all of them always, I don't know how to say this delicately. It makes me cringe. It repulses me. I know this is unfair. They can't help who their parents are and they certainly can't help how they look and it's not like they're ugly or anything. I don't mean that. It's just that seeing her in them creeps me out.

I've often wondered what they were told about me and how I come off to them now that they can interact with me. I think they'd see me as inconsistent, possibly aloof. I think I seem strange to them.

And that's because I am.

(Yes, my title and ending are from the lyrics of a Smiths song. I'm not plagiarizing Morrissey.)

Advice? You guys had some excellent insights about the Rachel situation, so I'd appreciate your input here as well.
Monday, July 02, 2012

Of All The Things I've Written I Don't Have a Title for This Yet

(Read This Story first. This takes place that same summer. You'll need the post in the link for the context and one day if I decide to work on this story for publication or whatever I'll merge the two.)

Tina and I were both sixteen that summer and although our moms were best friends we weren't. Tina's mom Lola (not her real name, she'd changed it from Judy to sound more glamorous) ran the auction house by the train tracks over in the bad part of town and my mom would go every Friday night to auction off a bunch of Chinese flower pots she'd bought a truckload of on closeout. That's how they became friends even though my mom always called Lola a whore and an alcoholic behind her back and said she let her kids run wild, which was true.

Tina and I weren't friends because she listened to bass and liked Spanish guys who lowered their cars and wore tank tops and chunky chains around their necks. She moussed her hair and sprayed her bangs, then squeezed herself into ripped, acid washed jeans. We had nothing in common. I liked The Cure and boys who skated. I wore black and tried to dye my hair purple.

Plus, I knew better than to get pregnant.

Nobody at my school was pregnant. I mean, not when I went there anyway. I'd just dropped out, but when I was going there nobody got pregnant. Just black girls. We didn't know them though.

One day, two years before I had to poop at school and I went to the nurse because I wanted to go home because I couldn't poop at school and instead of saying that I had to poop I told her I didn't feel well. I said I was nauseous and my stomach hurt. I was definitely sick I said.

"Are you pregnant?" the school nurse asked.

"I've never even kissed a boy!" I said and at that time it had been true. I'd never been so insulted. Did I look like the kind of girl who'd get pregnant in ninth grade? Or ever?


"Tina's pregnant," my mom told me. 

It was late afternoon. I'd been at a friend's house all afternoon listening to REM and eating popsicles. This was the last week I lived at home before my boyfriend and his friends came down for the summer and we took over my aunt's lease.

"Are you serious?" I asked, "How?"

"She was fucking without a rubber," my mom said. She was smoking and playing Super Mario on our white leather couch in the den.

I took a sip from the can of Koala Springs my mom had left on the black lacquer coffee table.

"So what's she going to do?" I asked.

My mom shrugged and lit a cigarette with her game paused. She had almost saved the princess. She was really good. I never made it past level three.

"Who's the father?" I wanted to know.

"Some Spanish guy. He just got locked up," my mom told me, never taking her eyes from the screen.

I rolled my eyes and snorted in disgust.

"For what?" I asked.

My mom didn't know.

"Gross," I said.

Of course I would have one. It wasn't even a question. There wasn't a choice to be made. If I were in that situation, I'd go get one and it would be over just like that.

The only people against it were Jesus Freaks - the Jesus kids who went to school early so they could sit in a circle in the courtyard and conspicuously pray. I was always embarrassed for them and how weird they were.

If you were cool you were pro-choice. My friends wore metal bracelets engraved with the names of girls who'd died in back alley clinics or from coat hangers before Roe vs. Wade. They were like POW bracelets, but for girls. And they were cool. I never had one but I wanted one. A bracelet I mean.


"Wait so your mom is only 34?" my friend asked me.

I was used to people being shocked when they found out.

"Yeah," I told her.

I could see her doing the math. I wondered how many people had done the math, counted on their fingers since I'd been born.

"So your mom was seventeen when she got pregnant with you?" she asked.

"Yeah," I said.

"Wow, I'm seventeen," she said, almost whispering.

I was going to be seventeen in November.


Sometimes that summer my boyfriend and I did it without one. Just at first. He'd put it in a little and then I'd make him stop and put one on. He said it felt better without one and we used the kind with spermicide anyway so that would kill anything that might have gotten out.
Then we started going longer and longer without one.

"I'll pull out," he said and he did. He never finished inside.

"You can still get pregnant like that, you know," my friend told me.

She knew someone who did.

That's what they told us in school too. But you could only get pregnant two weeks after your period, I thought. So I'd make sure he used one then.

"You're being uptight again," he said when I made him stop and asked him to get one out of the shoebox we kept beside the mattress we slept on on the floor.

"You're not going to get pregnant. We're extra careful," he said.


My mom told me that Tina was still pregnant. It was a couple months later, the hottest middle of the summer. I'd been looking for a job and hadn't found one so I'd had my boyfriend drive me over to my mom's house in his Jeep to ask her for money. When we got there she'd just gotten home from lunch and she had the leftovers of a spinach salad in a styrofoam clam shell. With bacon and hardboiled egg. I wanted it so badly that my mouth literally watered. I felt like a dog.

I didn't have the nerve to ask for money or the salad so we gossiped about Tina.

"Lola wants her to get rid of it," my mom said.

"Like an abortion?" I asked.


"Good," I said.

"She's waited too long," my mom told me but I didn't know what she meant.

"You're supposed to do it early. She's five months pregnant already. She's showing and everything."

"So?" I said.

"Do you know what they do?"

I had no idea.

"I don't know. Suck it out or something," I said, picking at my dried cuticles and wondering what was on TV. My parents had HBO. At our place that summer we didn't even have a TV and I missed it.

"Something like that. When it's early, not when it's this far along."

I didn't ask her what they did when it was later. I wanted to play Mario Brothers.

Tina was such an idiot. I was glad I wasn't friends with her.


I was supposed to get my period the week after Fourth of July but it never came.


Maybe it was new or maybe I never noticed it before. We were driving to the beach the first time I noticed it. Our roommate Jim wanted to play bongos on the sand. The rest of us wanted to swim before the sun went down and we were coming over the drawbridge that separates the barrier island from the mainland. Someone had spray painted over a big white sign by the bridge that posted hurricane evacuation routes.

Abortion Kills.

They'd used black paint and the letters had run. 

On the way back I saw another one. I wondered if it was the same person, some fanatical nut bag, one of the freaks who prayed before school probably. The second one was a stop sign. Underneath the "STOP" they'd sprayed the word "abortion." This time the paint was white. It still dripped.

No one noticed these signs but me. I didn't say anything.


I knew my mom had had one. I'd been born already. She'd told me all about it, how she had this boyfriend who was a loser and didn't work. All he did was smoke pot all day and they lived at his parents' beach house. I remembered that house and going to visit my mom there when I was very little. I lived with my grandparents by then because my mom had lost custody of me.

"Your father stole you from me," she always said.

But I still got to visit her in the pink beach house. There was sand on the floors and back then my mother smelled of patchouli oil, which I'd recently taken to wearing too. I was so small, all I remembered were images, like my mind hadn't yet been able to remember in movies, only snapshots. Macrame, fried flounder, the flat grey bay, amber glass beads, the smell of pot and wet German Shepherd.

I never knew my mother was pregnant back then.

She was on the pill when it happened. It was winter. She'd been waitressing at a pizza place and saving all her tips in a coffee can to pay a lawyer so she could take my father to court to get me back but then she missed her period and took the test and the same day she found out her boyfriend had stolen all the money out of the coffee can to buy a pound of weed to sell and he'd lost it all.

That was why she'd started dealing. Just small time stuff. To survive, to have it done because she couldn't have another baby. She would have loved more children, but she couldn't. She knew.

I never thought her decision didn't make sense. I never wished for that sibling. I always understood. I would have done the same thing.

After it though, she got her tubes tied. She was only twenty-one.

"You were so young. Why would you do that to yourself?" I asked.

"Because I couldn't bear to lose another child," she told me.

It took me years to understand what she meant.


I tried jumping up and down.

I hit myself in the stomach. Repeatedly.

When we had sex I made him do it harder, so it hurt. I wanted him to damage my insides, but I didn't tell him that.

"Do it harder," I'd whisper.

"Like that?" he'd ask.



My mom's friend Linda who lived down the street was six months pregnant. She was my mom's age and had been with her boyfriend a long time. They'd sort of planned the baby and were happy about it but Linda was having problems. Spotting, cramping.

Every time I peed I pushed hard and looked for a pink tinge on the toilet paper. I wished for spotting and cramping.

I didn't really know Linda and I didn't really care about her but every time I talked to my mom she gave me some new detail about Linda's pregnancy.

"She's on bedrest."

"They think she might have high blood pressure."

And I was always like "who cares" in my head.

Then one day Linda had the baby.

"Premature," my mother said.

The baby could fit in the palm of her mother's hand.

"Is it dead?" I asked.

"No, they've got it in an incubator hooked up to life support," my mom told me.

"A baby that small can live?" I asked.


They didn't know if the baby was going to live or not. Usually they didn't survive born that soon, but sometimes they could. Miraculously they could.

Now whenever I saw my mom, she gave me updates on the baby along with how much it was costing to keep it alive on all the machines.

"Hundreds of thousands of dollars," she said very slowly.

"Wow," I replied.

I thought I didn't care about that baby, but I dreaded that one day I might call my mom and she'd tell me the baby was dead. Maybe this was because Linda was a nice person. A nice person I barely knew, but still nice and according to my mom she never left the hospital. Never left the tiny baby.


Our cat had kittens the night we all did acid. It was my first time.

My boyfriend and roommates had wanted me to try it all summer. The mescaline I'd taken with them a month earlier wasn't enough to satisfy them and I'd been terrified of LSD but I'd wanted to run poison through my system. I wanted my guts to clench with the strychnine and push out whatever might be living inside of me.

Jim had picked the cat up somewhere. Maybe at a Rainbow Gathering or behind the dumpster of the Waffle House where he washed dishes for a week. I don't remember, but the cat was pregnant. I called her Sarah. I'd pet her when the house was quiet during the afternoons when everyone slept and feel the kittens writhing through her soft coat, inside of her taught belly. Towards the end she could barely walk so I made her a bed in a box in my closet. I remembered my mom doing that for our cat when I was little.

"Don't watch the cat have kittens or you'll have a bad trip," my boyfriend warned.

But I didn't leave her side. I lie flat on my stomach, half in the closet with my legs splayed out onto the bedroom floor and I watched her pant and heave out seven kittens in slick bags that looked like eggplants and I could hear the impermanence of everything. I could feel the vibration of the universe, like a deaf person with her hand on an amplifier.

The cat let her littlest, a black one, die.

As she licked the healthy ones dry, the runt gasped and shuddered, tried to stagger towards its mother. I helped it, pushed it closer, urged it to nurse, but the mother cat ignored it, then nudged it away from her with her nose.

The kitten trembled, as if freezing, and died under the cupped roof of my palm.


It had been more than a month and I told a friend.

"Do your boobs hurt?" she asked.


"Are you throwing up?"


"Well, did you even take a test?"

"No. I can't afford one. I don't have any money."

"Did you tell your mom?"

"Are you kidding me? No."

All my life my mother warned me. If you get pregnant your life will be over. A baby will ruin your life. She said the same things about drugs. No daughter of hers would do drugs or get pregnant.

My friend thought for a minute.

"You're really skinny. That can make you not get your period. You're probably too skinny. Maybe you should eat more or something."

"Yeah," I sighed, "It's always been kind of irregular, as they say."

"But get a test anyway, you know, just to know for sure."

I told her I probably would.


Lola told my mom that she thought Tina was on drugs.

"What kind?" I asked.

"I don't know. Coke or heroin or something. Pills. I don't know," my mom said.

We were on the phone. I was sprawled out on my mattress with kittens crawling all over me. Their eyes had just opened.

"She had the abortion, by the way," my mom said.

"Good," I said.

"She was six months pregnant."

I was quiet for a minute.

"I thought they couldn't do them that late," I said. Why was I even talking about this with her? Why did I even care? I barely knew this stupid girl. I couldn't stand her. She was trash.

"They can still do them but not the same way. It's not as easy."

She started to explain the process but halfway through I didn't want to hear about it anymore.

"Stop stop, it's gross," I said.

It was like dissecting frogs in biology, like seeing open heart surgeries on TV, or dead bodies. I didn't like things like that. Things with guts. I'd squint my eyes closed and plug my fingers in my ears.

My mom started talking about something my aunt was doing but I barely paid attention to her.

"Wait, you said Tina was six months pregnant?" I interrupted.


"And wasn't Linda six months pregnant too when her baby was born?" I asked.


"Is it still hooked up to machines?" I asked, but what I really meant was was it still alive.

"Oh yes. Do you know how much it's costing? Maybe up to a million dollars. Can you imagine that?"

"Damn, " I said.

"But if it was your baby you wouldn't care how much it costed to keep it alive."


I started to have cramps, just light. I never had them bad like some girls. These were just enough to know something was happening.

We'd bought a test just that morning but I hadn't peed on the stick yet. I wanted to put it off another day and if I got my period finally I thought I could take the test back and get a refund, enough to buy some more ramen noodles or a can of chili. If I got my period I'd treat myself to a Slurpee at the 7-11. Half cherry, half coke, with a spoon straw.

It was the middle of August, unbearably hot. We only had a window unit AC that dripped musty water and kicked and revved like an old lawn mower. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn't.

I took a shower that night to cool off. My aunt had left her salmon pink shower curtain and it was blemished with orange and black mildew. I washed my hair with coconut Suave.

When I got out a small trickle of blood meandered down my thigh, down my calf and spread in a watery pink drop on the linoleum.

I sat down on the toilet, tried to pee, pushed hard out of habit now and wiped. Blood. I wiped again just to watch it soak through the little white carnation of toilet paper in my hand.

When I stood up, the blood had dyed the toilet water rose. I stuffed my towel between my legs as I pawed through the cabinet under the sink looking for a tampon and when I found one and tossed the towel on the wet floor, stains had blossomed as big and deep as hibiscus flowers on the terry cloth.

The smell of pennies. Blood smeared on my hands. Splattered across the rim of the toilet seat. Red washing down my legs and red drops on the floor, clotting in the creases and indentations of the vinyl floor's pattern.

The blood was everywhere.

Why Hot Yoga?

I should have answered this in the previous post. Everyone is asking me why it has to be hot yoga. It doesn't. The reason I went to hot yoga is because that place had babysitting and nowhere else in town does. The place with babysitting only has hot yoga.

But now everything has changed because Baby Lawns, in the family tradition, has gotten kicked out of yoga babysitting. It seems she's going through a bad bout of separation anxiety lately and would cry hysterically the entire time I was in class. I thought if she just kept going she'd eventually stop, but she didn't and I was asked not to return, which is understandable and obviously, I don't want to traumatize my child. My parents have agreed to babysit when they can so I can use up the classes in the package I bought.

Does anyone have any wisdom about dealing with toddler separation anxiety? Sometimes if I leave her even with her father or grandparents she still has a fit. I don't know what to do and it's very disheartening to me. I feel like I did something wrong somewhere along the way.

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