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Signs that you are a victim of gas lighting

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The dance studio was a TON of work. Like next level. It was a 24/7 job for four of us. There was NO breaks. I worked at my job as an RN ALL NIGHT and then came to work at the studio ALL DAY (without pay) because this is what I was expected to do. That’s what a signed up for right.... I kept telling myself it was a passion project and it would pay off. I was always super clear about the fact that I had a goal to take more of a backseat role and the girls both seemed fine with this. I wanted my nursing to be my first job and do the studio part time. It was very clear that somewhere along the line, this shifted. Lines got blurred and I was expected to be there all the damn time. We put this terrible pressure on each other. I got pressured into coming in to teach when I was suppose to be sleeping for nightshift because it was “only 1 hour” I did it because I didn’t want to make waves, I did it because that’s what I thought I was suppose to do. I fought against my partner when she tried to kick our other partner out for being “stupid”. I convinced her to step down. I convinced her to not follow her fathers advice to get her to make the decision to leave instead of getting “kicked out”. There was so many nights I stood up for my one partner.... and for the dumbest shit like leaving a fucking grilled cheese in a drawer. (Yeah, she wanted to overthrow her for that). I was young, dumb, easily controlled...manipulated and fell for it. I was definitely a sheep. I am glad that I managed to stand up for my partner, but the cycle continued. Unfortunately, it was a cycle that didn’t continue in my best interest. I got engaged and couldn’t enjoy that. I had to bargain to get my bridal shower off work at the studio and my wedding dress shopping. I had to come in to teach when I was sick, just so I could justify taking my wedding weekend off. I got married and got guilted for taking that time off. I went on my honeymoon and it was a big thing. I remember doing work from my phone on my honeymoon. We all had to be equal and my life events were not taken into account. If I was taking off this time to get married, my partners could then in turn take off time to do whatever they wanted as well. You can bet that it wasn’t this way when the tables were turned though. There was SO many red flags in the first year. So many signs and reasons why we shouldn’t continue. I should of learned. I was a big ball of anxiety and I couldn’t even really tell if I loved what I was doing anymore. But alas, I continued on.

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5 things no one tells you about having a baby in a pandemic. Why my 2020 maternity leave didn’t suck.

I had my second daughter in May of 2020. Year of the dumpster fire. Maybe I’ll write that in her baby book? Who am I kidding, she does not have a baby book started yet.... she’s the poor second child. The quiet one that you find rolled away into the corner, quietly playing alone. My little patient unicorn baby. What a roller coaster of emotions it was to have a baby in a pandemic. There was so many disadvantages, but if I’m being honest, I kind of liked it. Obviously I didn’t like the risk of myself or my baby contracting COVID!! What I mean is, I like how we had time once she was born to slow down and just enjoy her, enjoy our new little family of four. Before I get into that, there is obviously some really shitty things about having a baby in a pandemic that I would like to acknowledge. 2020 definitely stole away the traditional maternity leave experiences that’s forsure. This certainly was not the maternity leave that I had envisioned. Grandparents and Great Grandparents had to meet Nora through screens, and windows. Our aunties and uncles STILL haven’t met her. My grandparents met her for the VERY FIRST TIME about a month ago. She is 8 months old. That is sad and wrong. The quiet, cozy days that I had imagined for us were quickly met with chaos. Daycares had shut down, people lost their jobs (my husband included) we couldn’t go anywhere and it’s insane that my mental health didn’t go down the shitter. Organized activities came to a screeching halt, parks were closed, people were told not to talk or see each other. Along with trying to figure out what the hell was happening in the world and how to survive in a pandemic, my husband and I also had to try and figure out how to become parents to two kids without any support. Cam was able to secure a new job and had to work the DAY after we brought Nora home from the hospital. The maternity leave I imaged for myself vanished over night. No napping while the baby napped (because toddler) no joining mom groups like I did last time, no dropping off the kids with the grandparents for some me time. No coffee dates, no evening wine with girlfriends. No baby shower, no celebrations for Nora. It was sad!! There was also certainly no time during the day to clean the damn house (once again, because toddler)

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