Tag Archives: depression

“But She Seemed So Normal”

I hate these words. Especially when it comes to teen suicide. “She was at the top of her class.” As if that’s enough reason not to kill oneself, right there, correct? What reason could someone at the top of their class possibly have for killing themselves, they have everything going for them? “She seemed so normal.”

It makes me cringe inside, want to beat the walls in frustration. Why don’t people understand? Just because someone is at the top of their class, just because things seem fine, it doesn’t mean that they are fine.

What classifies as normal? Who judges what is and isn’t normal? People with no understanding of depression? People who have no real memory of how real and immediate the problems of a teenager seem when you’re a teenager? Much less if you’re a teenager with depression?

As a teenager, you don’t have a lot of control over your life. You can’t vote, you live at home, your parents hold the reins. It’s difficult if you’re a so-called “normal” teen (whatever that is), much less if you have depression, or identify as LBGTQ, or don’t fit in to any other of the myriad ways one is expected to in high school.

People are shocked when someone they thought was “normal” commits suicide in high school. Because the person was hiding a lot. Trying to fit in. Possibly afraid of the stigma of whatever issue they’re trying to deal with. “Why didn’t they talk to anyone?” Some people lament. Maybe they did, but no one really heard them. Not that it’s anyone’s fault, per se, but sometimes others don’t want to hear. They don’t want their images of “normality” shattered. “Not normal” is scary; it takes people away from the expected into realms of the unexplored and leads them into the uncomfortable, where things are difficult to talk about. But the difficult needs to be talked about. The uncomfortable needs to be delved into.

Teenagers today have it harder than they did when I was a teenager. Not only do they have all the issues I had to deal with, they have social media, a whole new wonderful world of torture. And those who use it for that purpose know how to do it well. And as for all of this zero-tolerance for bullying? According to the students I have talked to about it, that’s laughable. Bullying is alive and well on our K-12 campuses.

Some people think that the anti-bullying campaigns think that it’s preventing children and young adults from learning how to deal with these things on their own. I say those people didn’t have to grow up in an environment with social media, and the amount of viciousness that exists in schools today. I don’t remember the amount of hatred that seems so pervasive today, and I had my fair share of bullies. They were mean, but it wasn’t hate. If you broaden that out to statements made by adults on social media, you see a lot of hate there as well. It’s not a huge surprise it exists on school campuses.

But back to suicide. There are many, many reasons some teens feel hopeless enough to attempt it, and it’s tragic when they succeed. When the attitude is, “but they seemed so normal,” it’s no wonder that they hesitate to find people to talk to. At that age, trying to fit in is important to many kids (there are those who are brave enough to say “to hell with this” and find their own paths, and kudos to those kids), but there are some who aren’t, or can’t. They’re desperately trying to be “normal” and hide how they’re feeling, when in reality they need someone to tell them that what they’re feeling is normal, and it’s okay, and to please find someone to talk to them. It’s okay to ask for help, it’s not a weaknesses, it’s a sign of courage.

Being a teenager is hard. Really hard. It’s confusing, and sometimes things do seem like the end of the world, or that you’re stuck and there doesn’t seem like any other way. But wait. There is another way. And I know it’s not a huge consolation to hear it, but things do get better. There aren’t a lot of times I can say that with certainty, but when you’re in high school, and so much of your life is out of your control (you can’t even vote yet!), things really will get better. Find someone, anyone, you trust, and talk to them. Go on a walk. Give yourself time. Call a hotline. If there is ever a time to procrastinate, this is it. Make contact with someone. There are people who will help you, people who care about you, because you are important. Don’t ever forget that. Repeat it to yourself. You are important. You matter. You make a difference.

Normal is relative, and sometimes, being “normal” really isn’t all that important. Being safe, being loved, being accepted for who you are, and finding people who see the things in you that matter–those are the things that are important. Be who you are, not who others want you to be. You are your own “normal”, just the way you are. Your normal may be weird and funky, or depressed and odd, or whatever combination of things you can come up with, but that’s who you are, and don’t be ashamed of it. Let your flag of who you are fly, and be proud of it. There is only one you, and you are irreplaceable.

 

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Post-Partum Depression

I think it’s very important for women to understand that if you feel depressed after the birth of a child, you aren’t alone, and that there are people for you to talk to who understand, and that, possibly even more importantly, there’s nothing wrong with you. You’re hardly alone. I know just from having depression that it’s easy to feel isolated and alone, and when I was really depressed, it was all I could do sometimes just to take care of my cat. Taking care of a baby? I can’t even imagine. But there’s hope, and there’s help. Post-Partum depression is understood better than it was before, and recognized as something legitimate and treatable, and something that isn’t the mother’s fault. It just happens. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad mother or you’ve messed anything up. It’s just something you need to talk to someone about.

I saw this poster at the gynecologist’s office and then found it online, because I think it’s something really important that often gets overlooked and I wanted to post it here. It’s from WellMama and I think they did a really good job.

WellMama

For people out of this immediate area, I also found a website called Postpartum Support International at:

http://www.postpartum.net/

This is quoted from their resources page:

“Postpartum Support International has many resources to help families, providers, and communities learn about the emotional and mental health of childbearing families. If you are not able to find what you’re looking for in the blue menu on the left of your screen, there are three ways to find more options: You can do a search by typing keywords in the search box at the upper right of your screen; access the whole website site map HERE to get a listing of all pages; or contact the PSI office for assistance at psioffice@postpartum.net or 503-894-9453.”

They have links to other webpages and it looks like a good site to check out.

So reach out and find some help, for you and your baby, because you’ll both feel better, and you’ll both be happier, and because it’s just so much nicer knowing that you’re not the only one that feels that way.

Big hugs.

 

This One I Will Let People Make Up Their Own Minds

I subscribe to a newsletter online, it might actually be helpful to some people–it usually is for me: it’s called Medical News Today, and covers what is new in many medical fields. I’m particularly interested in what’s going on in depression research and some of the other medical areas, and while I’m supposed to be keeping away from the news, there’s usually nothing upsetting in it to me. Until today. An article published by Drs. Wiltermuth and Cohen, titled, “I’d Only Let You Down’: Guilt Proneness and the Avoidance of Harmful Interdependence.” Now, from the title it doesn’t actually sound so bad, it wasn’t until I read the abstract that I got upset and sought out more information. This is from USC’s business site:

USC Marshall Research has Implications for Team Building in the Workplace
December 23, 2014 • by News at Marshall

Some people hate to disappoint—and you should definitely get them on your team. It turns out individuals who are highly prone to feel guilty for disappointing their co-workers are among the most ethical and hard-working partners. However, new research suggests that these highly guilt-prone people may be the most reticent to enter into partnerships.

Scott S. Wiltermuth, assistant professor of management and organization at the USC Marshall School of Business, along with Taya R. Cohen at Carnegie Mellon University, explains how guilt proneness may prevent people from forming partnerships in “‘I’d Only Let You Down’: Guilt Proneness and the Avoidance of Harmful Interdependence,” which will be published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Understanding this phenomenon, managers can make the best decisions about team building and increase productivity.

The Guilty are Good Workers
Highly guilt-prone people (i.e., people with a strong dispositional tendency to feel guilty for wrongdoings) make valuable work partners because a concern about letting others down drives them to complete at least their fair share of the work.

“Because of this concern for the impact of their actions on others’ welfare, highly guilt-prone people often outwork their less guilt-prone colleagues, demonstrate more effective leadership and contribute more to the success of the teams and partnerships in which they are involved,” Wiltermuth explained.

However, these same behavioral tendencies may, in some instances, also lead these individuals to be reticent to enter into certain partnerships at work.

In five studies, Wiltermuth and Cohen demonstrated that highly guilt-prone people may avoid forming interdependent partnerships with people they perceive to be more competent than themselves, because benefitting a partner less than the partner benefits them could trigger feelings of guilt.

“It may come as a surprise,” Wiltermuth said, “but our findings demonstrate that people who lack competence may not always seek out competence in others when choosing work partners.”

In studies where Wiltermuth asked participants with whom they would like to partner to complete a task, given information about their potential partners’ expertise in that area, highly guilt-prone people with less knowledge or skill in that area were less likely to choose the most competent partner. They were afraid to contribute less to the task than their partner and, thus, let them down.

But They Won’t Ask for a Bonus
In the studies, highly guilt-prone people were also more likely than others to opt to be paid on their performance alone and to opt to be paid based on the average of their performance and that of others whose competence was more similar to their own.

“Guilt proneness reduces the incidence of unethical behavior,” Wiltermuth said. “Highly guilt-prone people are conscientious. They are less likely to free-ride on others’ expertise, and they will sacrifice financial gain out of concern about how their actions would influence others’ welfare.”

Those in supervisory roles can use this research to create the most effective dynamics in the workplace and increase productivity.

“Managers could try to ensure that highly guilt-prone people are creating the partnerships and perhaps even assuming leadership roles on teams,” Wiltermuth said, “despite highly guilt-prone people’s fear that by accepting these leadership positions they might be putting themselves into position to let their teammates down.”

http://www.marshall.usc.edu/news/releases/2014/guilt-complex

Above link goes to USC’s Marshall Business school.

Now, part of me sees the advantages in this, the other 95% screams out that it’s taking advantage of the guilt complex, which isn’t a good thing, as is something a lot of people with depression suffer from. I was so upset at the thought of people being used for something that makes them so easily manipulated by others that I simply started to cry. Granted, I’m going through dosage changes of my current med. I’m wary of businesses ability to use things like this in ethical and moral ways, and since I don’t think it’s ethical or moral to start with… I know businesses use personality traits already. In our society, which is so Corporate centered, the person at the top gets the money (the CEO), the heading, “But They Won’t Ask for a Bonus,” was just another kick in the stomach. So people shouldn’t get paid what they’re worth. It’s like Scrooge. This is a particularly Capitalistic p.o.v., where the concern is for how much the people at the top make. Look at where the US is compared to other countries financially. Last. Along with other English-Speaking countries that had followed the same model; eliminating apprenticeships, not caring so much for the workers and caring more for the shareholders and the CEO in terms of who benefits financially. The European model is different. Germany was at the top. They have apprenticeships. They are not as Capitalistic as we are. No, I don’t know a lot about business, only that they do things differently than we do, and the reason they have companies that have been around for a couple hundred years and are still at least all or partially family owned is that they are invested in the companies at a personal level. They are proud of them. Koh-I-Noor, who makes some of the coolest darn pencils ever, is celebrating their 222nd anniversary this year. They are Czechoslovakian. I’m noticing this a lot in art supplies from Europe. Faber-Castell has been around for a very long time, at least a hundred years, maybe longer. They did merge with another company. I don’t think they play the crazy take-over games there–I would have to ask my friend who lives in Germany, but I don’t think he pays a lot of attention to business either. He tries, like me, to support indie businesses, of which I’m a supporter as well. And which I’m sure doesn’t use guilt in their employees as a factor for putting together teams.

I have calmed down a lot, but I am appalled that this is considered psychology, and is being published as such, and as seemingly acceptable practice. It’s published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. I wrote a comment to the “article” on MNT, definitely influenced by the fact that I had a terrible experience at my last job and my current state of depression, which is accompanied by some feelings of guilt as well:

My opinion on this research is that using people because of their tendency to feel guilty about letting others down, “but they won’t ask for a bonus” is sick and unethical, and part of the reason that I hate the structure of business culture in America and other places that use tactics like this. At others’ expense to get ahead, and make more money for themselves. And this is Psychology? I subscribe to this, MNT, because I have MDD and have been suffering from a long episode of severe depression for over a year. I want to see what is being done to help other people like me who are running out of options, and also what is being doing to help with the other health issues I have, chronic kidney disease, migraines, etc. Not how our psychological problems can be used against us for profit. This is so disheartening. I recently had a breakdown because of stress and a med change that jumped too quickly for my system. If any of you corporate types read this and think this article is a good idea, consider the following; the Abilify that keeps some of your employees that may have guilt issues coming to work costs approximately $1,100 out of pocket, and some insurance companies only cover enough so they “only” have to pay around $431. That’s per month. That’s just one drug of many. Some of us have tried all the lower level, first line of defense against depression drugs, and they don’t work, so we have to up the ante. I’m very happy knowing I’m a long term guinea pig for Merck, when they don’t even know the dosages yet for their latest foray (that I’m aware of) into the anti-depressant market, but when you’re in a battle against depression, and you do happen to have a lot of guilt, you don’t have a lot of choice. It’s so nice to know that I’m a good candidate to help people, not because I’m altruistic, which I am, but because I also feel guilty for a lot of things which aren’t even my fault. Thank you for your support in my healing process by using me or people like me for your own ends. I’m not equating that everyone with guilt issues has depression, but often they do go hand in hand. For you to get ahead and build your little successful teams, how much are you putting out for your employees’ health insurance? What do you really know about your employees? I am so disgusted by this–you can just say that this is some troll, someone raving because of their “mental illness” that they would rather not see the “mentally ill” side of. But this is the truth, and sometimes is takes a mentally ill person to point it out in a way that you can see it for what it really is; not a good business decision, but an unethical money-grubbing ploy.

I hate the fact that I get melodramatic when I’m upset, but I have issues with people so isolated from real life, either because of socioeconomic reasons or Ivory Tower reasons (I considered going on to get my Ph.D in English Lit and teaching, but that fact, the isolation from reality, is one of the reasons I didn’t), that their grand “ideas” for improving business, despite how good they sound in their bios and how impressive their educational backgrounds, and despite the fact they are writing about psychology, they seem to know nothing about the morality of dealing with people empathetically, which in my mind is the most important aspect of treating people with and earning their respect. That’s how you get them to work their best for you. Acknowledge them as human beings, give them a living wage, good health insurance, days off without question, flexibility with their schedules if they need it; acknowledge that life is messy and it doesn’t just fit into a little box because the office manager wants it to. They may have sacrificed their life, but the people who work for them don’t have to. Genuine kindness and understanding, knowing the people who work for you, are what win their loyalty. Treating them with dignity. Do we really need to resort to using their guilt against them? Just because it’s easier than actually doing any of the aforementioned? Big business is killing itself. It merges and takes over and bloats itself like a giant amoeba, until, eventually, will it just collapse on itself? Because an amoeba is an ever changing thing, with no strong foundation, and without that foundation, in this case, the workers, the companies are only as strong as their weakest link. And when they resort to using guilt because it gets more done for less money from them, the word pathetic isn’t adequate. And if that’s what the psychological research is telling them to do? The psychological research from people who pride themselves on their interest in moral and ethical behavior in the workplace, what is the world coming to?

There are a couple of Robin Williams quotes I’ve been wanting to put somewhere, and I’ll probably make them email signatures at some point, but for now here they are, and feel free to use them as your email signatures if they touch you. They sort of have to do with the topic, kind of, but the first, I think, more with perserverence, and the second, a little how I started to feel at work, which was a sign I was in the wrong place, and if it weren’t for the financial issues, I should have left before a lot of what happened did.

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”
–Robin Williams

“I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone.”
–Robin Williams

 

leavingbio.net

leavingbio.net

Friends

From 95.7 KJR:

Lily and Maddison

Lily and Maddison

Quelquefois (Armadillo)

Sometimes just sounds better that way, when the usual word is worn out.

I write terrible poetry. Be forewarned

That while the world is in a semi-fixed state I am not.

Not predictable like the tides; there are no little flip books to gauge the shifts in my moods.

I don’t know how others see me; I present a front–does it work?

I have few friends, it’s easier that way, to keep up the charade,

Because one thing I hate above all others is being misunderstood;

The fear of rejection, the fear of loss, the fear of holding on too tight.

Yet there are so few who understand, where it’s safe to be myself.

“Just suck it up, get it together, what’s wrong with you, you look perfectly fine.

There’s no reason for you to be so tired, it’s not as if you’re sick or anything like that.

There are people who have it so much worse than you, you should be grateful for what you have.

How long will all this take?

Do your part, get a job, contribute something to the world, to your upkeep, at least.”

If I stopped eating would I feel less guilty?

If I could sustain myself on the air, the same air I breathe to try to stay calm.

My focus, my attention, in altered states from new medications.

To sleep, and yes, to dream–quite vividly–a side effect, it seems.

I do have a sense of humor, a fairly quick wit; that’s not a charade.

My Kafkaesque armadillo to keep me safe.

(I think it would be difficult to get an armadillo into a straight jacket)

Does it work, my front? I don’t know how others see me,

With my invisible disabilities.

Susanne Atanus: “Everybody knows that God controls weather […] God is super angry[.]”

I didn’t think it was possible that a woman of such extremism her own GOP opponent regarded her with an extended expression of disbelief during their “debate.” Because how do you have a debate with someone who just repeats, “God is angry.” I know, because I tried, but more on that in a minute.

So, if this last winter has been “God…super angry,” what’s he like when he’s really pissed off? Sounds like we’re talking old testament God here. The one before sharknadoes and…rats, I forget the other one. We’re having a heck of a time with moths right now, so let’s just combine the two and call it a mothzilla. Or was it a grizzard?

I haven’t had any personal conversations with God lately, nor am I in any specially ordained position in a church, temple, or bakery (sorry, that’s Jesus, chip off the old block?) or, apparently, congressional candidates to receive the word of God. Normally when people hear the voice of God, he tells them to go out and build a big boat and collect things (like Pokemon), take their child to the top of a tall hill and kill them, or turns people to pillars of salt. Now, I take that one personally, as someone with a chronic kidney condition. That’s just not funny. (snerk) But I’m still not going to blame God personally for the fact I do. I just do. It’s not progressive. Hopefully. And that’s it.

God also isn’t responsible for my having severe depression, a generalized anxiety disorder, a slight cognitive disorder (fish oil helps a lot for that, but it was Jesus with the loaves and the fishes–see, something helpful?), or mild ADD. Nope. I was just born that way. God didn’t decide to make people who are gay the instruments of all demonic evil and destruction. People who are gay were born that way too. People with autism were born that way. Ask an adult with autism if they would change the way they are. It’s not easy. It’s not easy for anyone who is different. But ask them if they would completely change who they are.

And hear this, Susanne Atanus, if you are saying that there is something intrinsically wrong with people with disabilities, will you please explain to them what that is? Because some of the best, most honest, most loving, and most caring people I have ever met in my 45 years on this planet have had disabilities, from mild to severe, and if you tell me any of these people have a problem I would really like to hear what you have to say. Officially I have mental disabilities, and I will tell you without a shred of doubt in my mind I certainly didn’t get this way because of the existence of gay people in the world. Oh, I’d like to hear what you have to say to the parents of these people with disabilities as well. And the young woman I worked with in a Life Skills Special Education Classroom in high school, now in her early twenties, who is now living on her own and doing a kick-ass job of it (you go, girl!). Is God angry about that too? I don’t think so. I am incredibly proud of her, and so is everyone I know who ever worked with her. I feel honored to have worked with her for a year, to have been a little part of her life.

The weather is messed up because careless human beings have screwed it up. That’s not something you want to own up to, is it? It’s easier to blame it on God. I don’t think he’s sitting around melting the ice caps. I’ll tell you who’s super angry. Penguins. Polar Bears. Seals. They’re pissed. We’re destroying their home. And I tell you, when these Penguins decide to do recon, it’s not going to be the happy little “Smile and wave” Penguins from “Madagascar.” Since the Industrial Revolution we’ve been fouling up the air with coal smoke. Nasty stuff. If you don’t believe me, look at the reconstruction they’re having to do in high coal-use cities in Europe and even older cities here, the ones where statues and buildings are coated with it and black. That wasn’t God. Unless God told us where the coal was because he was already angry at all of us, and since the boat didn’t work the first time, he decided to get the ball rolling on a nice big weather disaster again. The Titanic didn’t work either.

There is no reasoning with you because everything you say is a circular cycle of blame leading back to “God is angry.” That isn’t an argument. That’s your personal belief. Which you are clearly entitled to have. It is not however, a political platform. I think we had this conversation. Church, state, two different things.

At this point, I would like to relate what I mean by trying to have a reasonable conversation. This is an email conversation with Susanne Atunus at the time she was a declared candidate for office, and I emailed her at that address, asking her questions about her position which anyone could have asked her. I do not see an problem posting them here, as I have not altered a word either of us wrote. I did not actually think she would continue a conversation with me, so I was surprised she continued it as long as she did. She thinks it’s okay for our security that the NSA monitor email. I think it’s okay for our security that everyone have access to this email. At that point, I also had no idea she would actually win the candidacy. I thought people might be more reasonable. This is not a libelous statement, as the words she wrote are her own. My words are my own. I have removed email addresses. Anyone wishing to contact Ms. Atanus can look up the candidates for the 9th Congressional District of Illinois.
———————————————————————————————-
Wendy Clements

Jan 26
Dear Ms. Atanus,

I believe that when our forefather created this country, they had several things in mind. One of the primary and most critical was the separation of church and state. This means, that as a representative of the 9th District, you do not represent God, you represent your constituents and keep your personal views regarding religion to yourself.

You have to make a decision which is most important, religion or politics, because they are supposed to remain separate matters entirely, one never entering the floor of Congress whatsoever. If that is an impossibility, then I would trust where your true passions lie and serve either church or state, but not both, as that is not only violates the constitution, but treads on morally and ethically shaky ground.

I do believe in global warming, and that it is caused by all humans, not just a select few chosen as targets. Zealots do not belong in congress, but there is a home for them in the church. Love thy neighbor, and practice Christianity as it was meant to be practiced. I haven’t seen any bolts of lightening striking anyone down, so I don’t think God has any issues.

There is a revolution in the Ukraine. There is a crisis in Syria. There are crises in the education and economic systems of our own country. Congress needs to pay attention to these matters and stop playing a shell game of distraction.

Thank you for your attention,
Wendy Clements

 

[From Susanne Atanus]

Jan 27

to me

Freedom of speech. We have exteeemeeely cold weather today. God is angry and I cannot look the other way. How can you?

 

From: Wendy Clements
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 1:37 AM
Subject: Congressional 9th District Seat

Jan 27

to Susanne
Which God? In war, how is God always on both sides, both sides believing with equal fervor that God supports their cause. God has better things to do than care about whether two men or two women marry, or love each other. Love thy neighbor, be unto others as you would unto yourself, the golden rule, people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. That one isn’t in the bible–that one is let the one without sin throw the first stone. What is religion without self-examination? Self-righteousness, bitter hatred, claiming to speak in God’s name, setting yourself on a pedestal above all others, those are things God wouldn’t approve of. There is no place in a secular position for a person who acts in the name of God–freedom of speech does not mean church and state should mix.

I would concern myself about whether or not the constituents are angry, about the economy, with the employment rates, and the unemployment rates. With the dismal conditions our schools are in, and lack of funding to both education and social services, to programs that serve Veterans who have fought for this country, in the name of God, and are now homeless and having their benefits cut. Stop using trivial matters such as same sex marriage to try to divert people from the true, serious issues at hand that impact everyone in a very real, very tangible way.

Sincerely,
W. Clements

 

Susanne Atanus
Jan 27

to me
I am running for daily positive returns on stocks; with more income and gov’t. revenue we will purchase more goods and services, and this will create more jobs; all this without raising taxes! I did not use the word punishment I cannot ignore we have extreemeely cold days and 24 tornadoes in 2 hours that hit 3 counties in IL on a Sunday afternoon around noon that was catastrophic, horrible with lots of damage.

God is angry and provoked with sin including gay and abortions. Please pray for cures for newer diseases, too. Please pray that God will heal our land.

 

From: Wendy Clements
To: Susanne Atanus
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 6:07 PM
Subject: Re: Congressional 9th District Seat

Jan 28

to Susanne
Where does the money for these stocks come from, and how can you guarantee a daily positive return? The budget is being cut, not increased, how can you count on more government revenue? I assume the more income is from the stocks? I don’t see how more goods and services will be purchased from that, thereby creating more jobs, with no other source of income other than daily returns from stocks (which would have to be high risk stocks to give you daily returns). The foundations for the fiscal support system for your whole district would be based solely on income from stocks? I don’t know if a financial adviser would recommend that for one persona, unless they had money invested elsewhere, but for an entire congressional district? Good luck.

It is extremely cold because not only are we experiencing global warming, weather tends to occur in patterns. Around here we hear a lot of older people saying it hasn’t been this cold since 1972. That sounds about right. Every 30-40 years the weather pattern changes. If you look Illinois up in Wikipedia, it has had the most weather extremes of any state in the nation, due not to God but because of its “length and mid-continental placement.” Also, according to the same source, the deadliest tornado on record in the United States was mostly in Illinois (in the tri-state area) and killed, Wiki reports, 613 people. That was in 1925. Nature is nature, and prone to do unexpected things.

Nothing to do with God. All normally occurring things. Which newer diseases are you referring to? The ones that people have been refusing to get their children vaccinated against? Those are the old diseases making a comeback and causing small epidemics. That’s human ignorance. Our land has been destroyed by us. We have strip mined it, logged it, polluted and poisoned it with toxic pollutants from corporations being dumped into the water, and biohazardous waste being dumped where it shouldn’t be. There are all things humans have done to the earth. Why should some greater entity be expected to come in and fix the mistakes we continue to make? Look at the sides of our roads–littered with garbage from fast foot restaurants, food that is making the people of our nation overweight and susceptible to heart disease and chronic kidney disease. Did God come up with those recipes? No. Humans did, from companies with CEOs who are billionaires while their workers struggle to get by on a day to day basis.

Will those daily positives returns on stocks help those people? The ones who have to work double shifts and still don’t make enough money to support their families? They’re not being lazy by any means. Give them the dignity they deserve by paying them what they deserve.

We need to heal our own land, instead of waiting for God to fix everything for us, because it isn’t going to happen.

Do you personally know anyone who is gay? Have a friend who is? Because you know what, they are just like everyone else. Do you know about Alan Turing, whom Queen Elizabeth just gave a Royal Pardon to years too late, far after his death? He was imprisoned for being homosexual. He was also a brilliant man who more than likely saved the Allies during World War II. He was a mathematician and code breaker, and managed to break the Nazi’s code. He is also one of the fathers of modern computing.

When you don’t know people, out of ignorance or fear, how can you, personally, make any judgment on them. We have brains because we’re supposed to use them. Do we really want to act like little Hitlers in the United States, persecuting people simply because of their orientation, which, truthfully, is none of our business anyway?

This is what bothers me the most, is when people simply say, God says to do this, God says to do that, Jesus said I can discriminate–wait just a minute. That’s just simply not the sort of thing Jesus would either condone or do. He preached love and acceptance. When people follow religion to the point they are blinded by reality and the ability to think for themselves. I think if God were to be angry, it would be at how unevenly wealth is distributed in this country, how greedy the rich are while so many people live at the poverty level while resources to help them are cut. After all, the way you can really tell the nature of a country is in how it treats its poor, its disabled, its elderly, the ill, and its animals. There is a complete lack of communication between many of the millionaire congress and it’s constituents. These are the things people are concerned with. Will they get enough time on the dialysis machine when they go in? Why do the rich kids get away with driving onto the sidewalk drunk whereas if it were a poor kid they’d be going to jail. The gap is growing, and so is the disconnect.

I’d be more worried about the people being angry. The ones who can’t afford to buy enough food or pay their heating bills. The ones with disabilities who are having trouble paying doctors bills. God is not angry and causing more children to be born with disabilities, for any reason other than we’ve poisoned our environment and pregnant women don’t get the neonatal care they need. Enough of that rhetoric. Life happens.

Building a future on stocks is a risky proposition at best. I think it might be good to have a couple of back up plans.

 

Susanne Atanus

Jan 28

to me
Publicly traded corporations and large banks have billions and Chase Bank has five trillion in assets, and does not have a “down” day. I am running to fix the economy with daily positive returns on stocks so the l% will not get richer and richer. With more income, we will purchase more goods and services and this will create more jobs-the Greatest Economic Stimulus! It will also generate more gov’t. revenue so we don’t see higher taxes-a very important agenda.

I never used the word punishment. We need to pray for diseases, and newer diseases. Sin angers God including abortions and gay. I am concerned with newer and more diseases, aren’t you? If we pray and humble ourselves, God will heal our land.

I cannot ignore our severe winter. God is angry at many people. I never said diseases were punishment. But, God controls health and the weather. Don’t take it personally. It needs to be discussed in the public. Sickness is in every family.

 

From: Wendy Clements
To: Susanne Atanus
Sent: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 9:59 AM

Jan 28

to Susanne
I never used the word punishment in either of the cases where it sounds like you’re correcting me. You came up with that yourself. So, you must be thinking of punishment, as this is the first time I’ve said it. You’re even twisting what I say to your own benefit. I don’t see why God has to be so angry and malevolent. That’s your interpretation of the bible. Just like you somehow managed to get punishment out of my email.

Don’t you think that if it were that easy to fix the economy, someone would have done it already?

I’m more concerned with current belief systems that people follow blindly and preach hatred toward our fellow humans. There is no reasoning with someone who has a message in their brain on a loop: “God is angry, God is angry.” I’m sorry you have to live that way. I take nothing you say personally, because I do not prescribe to your beliefs. I believe in love. I believe there is nothing wrong with loving someone of the same sex. Love is love. I believe in a woman’s right to choose what to do with her own body. I am not concerned with newer and more diseases, I am concerned with people who think we can pollute the planet and God will make it all better. Sickness is where you find it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with people who are gay. Some of them are the best people I have ever known are gay or lesbian or trans*. Frankly, you’re completely ignorant of your subject, so you don’t know what you’re talking about. God is about compassion and forgiveness. Who are you to say “God is angry at many people?” Personal telegram?

You never said diseases were a punishment, but Got controls health? It sure sounds like you think they are, as well as the weather. It’s pointless to try to reason or use logic with people like you, because you don’t listen.

How do you know God isn’t telling you the exact opposite of what you’re doing? Turn the other cheek. What harm is anyone doing you? Psychologists would say you create your own issues, such as believing that God is angry.

When people first came over to the Americas in the 1600s from England, it was to escape people like you. I’m thinking we may have been better off if we’d just stayed under the Monarchy in the first place and had a more dignified Parliament.

 

Susanne Atanus

Jan 28

to me
Pray and repent.
—————————————————————————————————————-

So there we have it. Pray and repent. I’ve not really taken that too seriously. Also, by no means did I mean the matter of gay marriage is trivial in and of itself, I simply feel that it is such a no-brainer of a decision that lawmakers should have made it legal years ago and all of this now is ridiculous. It isn’t anyone else’s business and there really are serious things going on around the world–congress should be discussing Putin and just make gay marriage legal in the whole US and tell everyone to stop fussing about it. What do they want more, to fight same sex marriage or possibly have a Third World War? I mention Hitler in one of my communications with Ms. Atanus, ironic since I also mentioned the similarity of what Putin is doing, even more so now than back when I wrote the posts, to what Hitler did before the beginning of WWII. By distracting people with the issue of same sex marriage, which is right here in the US and thus more noticeable, politicians keep attention away from Europe (I don’t watch TV, so I have to confess I don’t know how the news is covering it). But this isn’t about Putin.

Or maybe in a way it is. It’s about keeping people like Ms. Atanus out of office, the ones who want to drag the country backward. That’s what has happened in Russia. Putin still thinks it’s the USSR and the Cold War is still in full play. He’s also very good at circular arguments and deflecting blame elsewhere.

I wasn’t planning on writing a post tonight. I just saw the headline that Ms. Atanus had won the candidacy and was a little in shock. But we do have our answers to the worlds’ problems: ‘pray and repent.” Catchy, but you can’t really dance to it.

Clean Slate: The Past is the Past

People are human. They make mistakes. This is especially true of people who have mental illnesses, who get off kilter, and, depending on the person, do things they wouldn’t do if they weren’t in that current state of mind. It’s embarrassing for the person with the mental illness later on, and sometimes gives an incorrect first impression. It’s an incredibly frustrating feeling, to know at the back of your mind that you’re not behaving in a completely rational manner, yet it doesn’t stop you from doing things that seem extraordinarily bizarre to others. Trying to explain seems to make it worse, so, so much for ending the stigma of mental illness and the knowledge that you’re not always like that.

The thing is, like recognizes like, especially if it’s something familiar. The wheel turns, and the positions are reversed. You’re finally stable (ish)–enough to realize when someone else is having trouble and needs help. But now you’re one of the “crazies” (terrible term, don’t use it), so genuine advice isn’t heeded. You’ve been forever pigeon holed.

I’ll say it again. If someone feels like they’re having a nervous breakdown, that they’re overwhelmed, most likely they are. There’s no shame in getting help, because it’s only going to get worse, and the fact that the person has recognized it is a good sign. No person, anyone, can fulfill everyone’s expectations. It’s impossible. Because people are only human, and there’s a limit to what they can do. The first thing is that it’s a sign, a huge sign, that they need to stop what they’re doing right now and step away from it, because it will only make it worse. Get help from a professional. There are people who offer sliding scales for individuals without insurance, or sometimes other arrangements can be made–it all depends on where you live.

But there is help, and this is something important to get help for. It’s hard for some people to ask for help, and it’s non uncommon for men to express emotions through anger or hostility because men aren’t really taught very well how to deal with emotions. Probably also one of the reasons men are less likely to seek out treatment, unfortunately. But there’s no shame in it. We live in an incredibly stressful world, and for people who may be more sensitive or pre-disposed to stress, anxiety, or depression–all common among creative types–it can be horrific.

In the event of an emergency, the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) is the best place to go online, and you can find resources for your area specifically: http://www.nami.org/

SUICIDE24HOURLOCATORdisaster-relief-btn

starcenter The STAR Center has some interesting links and more information that could be of use in other situations, since I was already there.