Life’s a Bitch | Making the Cut | To Forgive Is Not Necessarily Divine

Life’s a Bitch

Dear Micah,

Here it is… My husband left me for somebody else in the not too distant past. My daughter just told me two days ago that she is pregnant at 17. My mother has a chronic illness and there is only my sister and I to care for her. And I get the feeling that my job is shaky. I can feel it in the air. People I work with are avoiding me a little bit. Like they know something I don’t. Got any advice for somebody with all my issues?


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Dear Dale,

Oh yeah. You seem to be a direct and plain-spoken woman, so I will give you the straight-talking, plain-spoken version of Micah. You’re about to lose your job because undoubtedly you have been bringing your troubles to work for WAY too long. Cut it out. No one cares. They are sick of hearing about it. I can feel the energy in your workplace just from the little you said. It’s like everyone knows you are on the way out, so they have withdrawn and aren’t really associating with you anymore. Stop talking about your problems. Yes, your life sucks right now. You win the “Suckiest Life” award this year, but that isn’t work’s fault. Your bad luck should have nothing to do with the business at hand.

You need to take charge and rectify this before you lose this much needed job. Address it head on. Go straight to the boss and tell him or her, “I have been self-evaluating and realize that I have been unplugged lately. I have had some major upheavals in my life and let it affect my work. That ends today. I am leaving my troubles at the door and letting this place be my priority when I am here. You will see that from now on. I just wanted to get that out there and let you know that I recognize it myself and will make changes immediately.”

Bosses love it when problem employees see their own flaws and correct them. We hate the idiots who keep making the same mistakes over and over again and never learn a lesson. We equally hate the people who let all the drama in their lives spill over and affect our productivity. You better have a conversation quickly with your boss because the last thing your life can handle is a job loss. You have too many depending on you.

Next, let’s address the daughter: 17 and pregnant. Okay, that isn’t ideal, but it is happening no matter what you think or feel. She may have made a stupid mistake, but she’s your kid, and you cannot turn your back on her. You need to face some realizations now. You are going to be a very hands-on grandmother because a 17-year-old is not mentally equipped in this day and age to understand what is ahead of her as a parent. No matter how much you may want to rail against that thought and make proclamations like “No, she’s going to have to stand up and face her responsibilities—I’m not doing it for her—blah, blah, blah,” you will be buying diapers, and heating formula, and running the kid to daycare, and getting up at night when it cries because she needs her sleep for her math test tomorrow.

This is going to be the new normal, so go ahead and wrap your head around the fact that you are now raising a new child. Instead of co-parenting with a husband, you will be co-parenting with your daughter. Hopefully, your daughter will be able to finish the school year before the baby comes and the typical “six weeks before a daycare will take a baby” will fall during the summer when your daughter can be home.  If she is a senior, that would be great because she could graduate on time. If she isn’t, then you will need that job issue settled so that you can afford some daycare so that she can go back to school next year. Maybe that ass of a husband that left you would be willing to cough up some money to help pay for daycare for his grandchild. If at all possible, try to keep your daughter in school and then college. That will be so hard with a child, and you will have to handle the lion’s share of the work, but her future and the baby’s future will be so much easier if she can finish her education. I don’t know your financial situation, but I would bet it is going to be tight. Try your best to get Dad to help and Baby Daddy to pay something, even if it’s just for a daycare service.

As for your mom, that’s awful, and I feel for you. But you have too much going on right now. Have a talk with your sister and explain everything that is happening. You just are not going to have time to tend to Mom while also working and helping to raise your grandchild. Mom may just have to go into a nursing home or assisted living facility if she has the finances to support it. If not, you may have some other avenues you could explore to help offset the expense. Just let your sister know that you can’t be terribly hands-on with mom as the months progress. Your priority is your own daughter and grandchild. That’s where all of your attention has to be focused when you are not at work.

As for the husband that ditched, f**k him. What can you do? He’s gone. Now he’s the new girl’s problem. I know it hurts, but you have too many eggs frying in the skillet and don’t have time to worry about the toast. Tend to the job and fix it before you lose it, make some plans for how life is going to work with the daughter and the grandchild in the house, and have an honest conversation with sis. Tell her you have to pawn Mom off on her while you get your house in order.

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Making the Cut

Dear Ask Micah,

We are expecting a son in February. Going back and forth over the circumcision. My husband is against it but I have read things about how it’s healthier to do it. Men don’t like to discuss such personal things so I don’t have a lot of people to ask. I don’t trust advice from websites because I know regionally things can be different. What do you think as man, a father, and living in the south? Are most men circumcised? Is it too personal to ask what you did with your son?


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Dear Kelsey,

Nothing’s too personal for me. Yes, we circumcised our son. We considered both options for a minute, but we didn’t spend too much time debating. I had read things online, too, but doctors I asked all said basically the same thing: it’s all a matter of preference. Health doesn’t really play too much of a role. If uncircumcised, there is always a slightly higher risk of infection if you aren’t pulling the skin back and cleaning it properly, but that’s not a major concern. Most people properly bathe their children. In the end we went with the advice of our doctor who said the son’s penis needs to look like Dad’s penis. He will look to Dad to compare and see what he is supposed to look like. If Dad is circumcised, then circumcise the son.

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To Forgive Is Not Necessarily Divine

Dear Micah,

I am in a program helping me overcome some addictions and behaviors that were very destructive in my life. I am trying to make amends for a wrong I did to someone. They will not talk to me. I totally get that what I did was awful. I further get that they don’t owe me forgiveness. I just really want it from them. Any ideas on how to get them to let me apologize and make amends?


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Dear M,

There may be nothing you can do. Sometimes people just don’t care. Clearly, you really cared about this person and caused them some kind of injury or anguish. You want to make it right and tell them how sorry you are and start fresh. That’s what you want, but it’s not necessarily what they want. They appear to want nothing to do with you anymore. Sometimes it’s too late to make amends.

Maybe that is an illustration of exactly how much crap they had to put up from you and they have just had enough. Maybe it’s a testament of how little they believe your word now and do not trust that this time is different. Or maybe, and this might be the hardest to accept, they just didn’t love you enough in the first place to withstand the crap you put them through. Maybe this silence on their part isn’t so much about them still holding a grudge as it is that they just plain don’t give a sh*t. You aren’t important to them, and they don’t care what steps you’re walking or what program you are in; they just prefer for you to go away and be out of their lives. And that’s okay. As you said, they don’t owe you forgiveness. And they don’t owe you affection if they don’t actually feel any for you.

The thing you have to move forward with is the knowledge that you don’t need their forgiveness to walk the path you are trying to walk. You are walking it for your own well-being, not the praise and acceptance of others. Would it be nice to make amends to people you’ve wronged and acquire their forgiveness and love? Sure. But it isn’t necessary for you to begin to be a good and worthwhile person again. Their lack of empathy towards you has no bearing on your self-worth at this point. It’s just that they don’t care anymore. But as long as you care enough about you as to not repeat past mistakes with the new people in your life who love and accept you, then you will be just fine.

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