Tag Archives: rights

A look behind the scenes of the dysfunctional Mental Health System

Reblogged from takingthemaskoff.com

This is an excellent post on one scenario of how two people, simply due to the circumstances of their birth, end up on two separate paths. I know that sounds trite and like every other story, but please read this one

A look behind the scenes of the dysfunctional Mental Health System.
A look behind the scenes of the dysfunctional Mental Health System
November 30, 2014 125 Comments

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“You know in this hotel room they have food every day and I knock on the door. Every day they open tha door to let me see the party, let me see that they throwin’ salami, throwin’ food around telling me there’s no food. Every day. I’m standing outside tryin to sing my way in- “We are weak, please let us in. We’re weak, please let us in.” After about a week that song is gonna change to, “We’re hungry, we need some food.” After two, three weeks it’s like “Give me some of that food! I’m breakin down that door.” After a year it’s like, “I’m pickin’ the lock, comin’ through the door blastin.” It’s like, “I’m hungry”

– Tupac Shakur

It is my hope that we have a silent army building. The revolution will not be televised. But I see the replies I get, and it gives me hope.

I saw an article in the New York Times basically saying there would be less shootings if the mentally ill had less privacy and were more easily forced to be hospitalized. This is the New York Times! Who are the sick ones?

I’m going to tell a story. 2 stories, of 2 different people. They are both true stories. Then you can see how this all begins and becomes a problem. I’ll go back and forth between the stories until their paths meet.

Here’s Dusty, I don’t know, age 3 to 5. Happy kid, plenty of love. Just loves everyone and loves the world. He doesn’t see color, sex, religion. He has nokind of discrimination, all he sees is love.

Here’s the second story. This is my cousin Donald. The man he is with is my father. Donald also loves the world, he sees no race, sex, and discriminates against no one. He is a very loving and giving kid.

Dusty gets older. He still loves everyone and everything. However, Dusty grew up in a home that was infested with cockroaches, and had been condemned 2 to 3 times. There was about 7 or 8 kids living there, they had no food. Dusty was the kindest of the group. He got beaten by his brothers, picked on, and thrown around. He was told “You are a loser, give me your money, do my work.” He did not understand, he gave whatever he had to others.

When I met Dusty he was about 8 or 9 years old. He had 4 brothers and sisters, they all smoked pot, drank, and never went to school. Everyone walked around this place with almost no clothes. They had only 2 bedrooms. The house was full of smoke.

Cockroaches were all over. They had no shower, and a bathroom with only a curtain covering it. The old guys would come around drinking, smoking weed, and getting physical. The older kids were getting worse also.

There was something special about Dusty, his heart. He was born with an amazing heart. He loved everyone, and gave all he had. To tell you of this kids strength, words won’t do it justice. As a 9 year old, he was growing up in a house in which every adult was punching, smoking weed, drinking, and stealing. Also, the gangsters knew where the weed was. THE house, that’s where they were. But Dusty, at age 9, he refused to smoke weed or drink or do any of that. However, being sweet and sensitive, he was an easy target. He did not stop loving though, he still loved them all. He saw through it, through everything, even as a kid. So what happens when you are extra sensitive, caring, and loving? You get pushed down, forced to create a mask, his was the goofy guy. This is the same house where I met Joe. Dusty and Joe were cousins and best friends.

Here is Donald. He is my cousin. He was a great kid. His father was a doctor in a small town, he made lots and lots of money. That doesn’t make Donald bad, and he is not bad. In fact, he’s a wonderful human being. I know this story puts him in privileged category. But, that is not his fault, he is still a caring, kind, and considerate human being. His father, my uncle, was once in jail for stealing cars and grew up to be a doctor. The thing about Donald was, he was born gifted, and extremely smart. He was above the genius level. He may have skipped a grade, I can’t remember. He was and is not a bad person.

However, while Dusty was seeing what he saw, Donald was going on trips, and getting the best life had to offer. He worried for nothing, he could be a kId and thrive.

Thrive he did. He is a talented, smart, and funny guy that had charisma. He didn’t have to worry about gangsters, getting food, getting raped, or having mice and cockroaches sleep on him. He had a huge bedroom, went on vacations, had all he ever wanted. He had great parents. Now another thing I noticed about Donald was that when I went to spend 2 weeks with him when I was 12, was that in this small town everyone drank, and did drugs, at age 12. Which is common for a small town. They were 12 and flung this. All of his friends.

One time we went to his friends house, the kid was sleeping and the kid woke up, and lifted his pillow and there was jack daniels. They all smoked and drank, except Donald. His parents taught him this.

Dusty did it on strength of character. Donald friends said “man your dad is always getting thanked in the paper.” That was true, small town legend.

Donald’s pressure was to follow his father, and that is a different kind of pressure. One that is often not considered a problem, the gifted child.

However, that is just as hard as raising a troubled child. People don’t want to hear that, but it’s true. What they both had in common was they were gifted.

Dusty then ended up going away for a while after missing so much school. His brothers would go just enough to not get sent away. Dusty was the extra sensitive one, he didn’t care. Me and Dusty and Joe had a bond, we all loved each other and saw behind each other’s masks. One time, on the phone, Dusty had called his mom and said, “tell mike I lo, well never mind,” he wanted to tell me he loved me, but he was afraid. I stopped hanging out there.

That’s another story, this isn’t about me. Dusty eventually surrendered and started using drugs. Then, they had a guy from Arizona living at the drug house, his name was Carl. He had packages of drugs delivered to the house all the time. The police got involved, and a sting was set up. So the package is delivered, they all have Dusty answer because he is kind and wants to help. So he always does, and he did on this case as well.

Well, he signed, and he gets arrested, and now he has a felony. They knew it was not him, he gets interrogated, and interrogated. Does he give Carl up?, nope, never. This was when Dusty was 19. That’s his booking photo. He went to jail, then he just got off probation recently.

This is someone you may see in jail, or at the shelter, or with the dirty clothes. That’s what you see, but this is what you’re missing when you make that judgement. These are the kids that come into our neighborhood, come to school, to church. We say get them out, those dirty kids with no manners. We don’t want to look at them, it’s like clutter in our clean house. We don’t want to deal with it, we want to pretend it’s not there. Then we may have to do something. So we ignore them and label them and call them losers or dirtbags. That’s much easier, isn’t it?

But that is how we all are part of the problem and we ask are co responsible for the inequality. You see these kids, these people, and no action is am action. Silence is consent.

Here’s Donald at age 19. He had a child. Now that’s a disaster if he’s in Dusty’s situation. However, Donald had great supports in place. His mom and dad helped the teenagers adjust, made sure everything was taken care of.

Donald was able to go to school and while Dusty was in jail, Donald was excelling. He finished college in 3 years and went on to medical school and finished. He’s a doctor. Now again, he’s not bad, not a superstar yet, I don’t think.

He is now starting to isolate, he is on a different level than others and he gets told that alot. So he believes it, so does his wife. So now the good doctor moves and starts dominating the medical profession.

They told me his iq is 156. I’m sure they told him too. He then joined the army like his father and got lots of medals and accolades.

Which is not bad. This is simply to show how we start to label and separate.

Here is Dusty taking care of his dying mother. He gets out of jail, meets a girl, and they have kids. He didn’t know how to have a relationship, he is on his own with no college, no skills, no understanding of life. Just love.

Then you have Donald with his 500 thousand dollar house that got egged.

How do I know this? Well his wife posted on Facebook that someone egged their 500 thousand dollar house but she wasn’t worried because they had security cameras all over the house. You know, to keep the “bad criminals out.”

Like clutter, she didn’t want to see that.

I also saw her post once that she was very upset with the mayor in the town they live in because he allowed a Wal-Mart to be built by their house. Her quote was “who else has to look out their 500 thousand dollar house and see a Wal-Mart, someone needs to stop this guy, do not vote for him.”

See as the separation is almost complete. What did dusty do to be placed below donald?

Nothing. But we see them each walking down the street and we treat them differently. That’s how we all contribute.

Dusty getting older, he split with his kids mom. He suffers from depression, severe depression. He feels rejected all the time, he smokes weed to forget, to not be himself.

He talks about suicide all the time. He misses Joe more than anyone. His heart is broken. Dusty and Joe spent all their time together. They even moved 2 blocks down from me for 2 years. I would drive by and wave. Really? Yes. I was no better than Donald. Even worse, because I drive by, and we still talked from time to time, but I was trying to get my life together. I could have said hi.

The doctor and his family. Now this is not an attack in Donald at all. It is about how we create separation. He worked hard, he’s caring, and he is a good man. He just started to believe he was different and better. He got told lies.

Lies we all believe, like, you need this huge house, cars, medals, and everyone to see how awesome you are.

So he fell in the trap. Here we are, the “look at us” photo.

You know how the native americans defined mental illness? They said anyone who lives in excess of what they need is mentally ill.

The doctors wife at the ritz.

Dusty and his kid at the laundromat.

The doctor and his boat.

Dusty at the playground. Having fun.

The doctors daughter with one of her trophies, she had special tennis lessons, beauty pageants, and she going to Oxford college on scholarship.

Same thing as Donald, smart talented kid. No fault of her own, the cycle continues. She is being brainwashed like he was.

He had a mask on as well. Still does.

Dusty being a dad and loving. He never knew life would be so hard when all he wanted to do was love.

The doctor is now continuing to serve and get accolades. To bad it’s all a lie.

Now this part is not real, but an example of what would likely happen from what I’ve seen in my years being in both worlds……

Now what happens if Dusty walks into Dr. Donalds office? How in the world can the doctor understand what Dusty is saying. Dusty says “Life isn’t worth living, I need to smoke weed.”

The doctors response is usually, “He just doesn’t care, he doesn’t want to work, he wants disability.” The thought process I’ve seen a million times. All the time, it’s the rule, not the exception.

So, let’s say Dusty had attempted suicide 2 times, and keeps coming back. He has to in order to get benefits and to get housing for himself.

The doctor is frustrated, in his mind he’s trying hard. That’s what life is, you just don’t behave like that in his opinion. In his world, you get up, work hard, and get it done. He can’t understand why Dusty complains that no medications work, yet continues to use drugs, and goes to the hospital.

He thinks Dusty has children, and he’s not taking care of them, he’s a “Predator” or a “Manipulator” or “Gamey.”

This is when I hear things like, why do they get free healthcare and we don’t. Almost a resentment at the patients. This is something that I see daily. The caring staff keep their mouths shut in fear.

So now Dusty has to be forced to take meds. He doesn’t get it, we have to help him. So we will put him on meds, and we aren’t going to listen to his side effects stories. We are going to force injections if he doesn’t comply with orders.

He can’t take care of himself. We have to in the doctors opinions.

Oh and, let’s charge insurance about 1500 dollars a day to do this. If the drugs give him diabetes, that’s too bad because he needs to be safe.

Good job young doctor, you’re saving the world.

Now Dusty has not been without weed for years, so asking him to stop is asking him to feel all these feelings that he has never felt before. Forcing him to take his mask off without support. The feelings he had been told to block his whole life, the feelings that have made him an outsider and not accepted.

Then give him a med that makes him feel no better for at least 6 weeks. Then it might not be the right medication, so we may have to start all over.

He will have side effects like drooling, sedation, diarrhea, and tremors. That occurs right away. Plus feeling all these emotions. Then when he sleeps too much we say that he is lazy, or non compliant with his treatment.

So we force him out of bed, and we make him go to groups with someone explaining all these “skills” he needs to use. Then he can’t participate due to the meds, the side effects, being off drugs his brain had coffee to rely on, and now having to freak with all these suppressed emotions.

So he is said to be non interested. So we need to give him more medications.

Of course we do.

Now he’s angry. No one listens, he’s sensitive, but he has had enough. He explodes from this and other patient’s likely taking advantage of him, and staff telling him when he can shower, piss, and treat him like a criminal.

Because, we say, look at his record, he is a felon. No one asks why or what happened, and they won’t believe him anyways, he’s a “manipulator.”

True story…

We had a young man admitted to our place the other day. I’ll call him “kev.” Abused age 1 to 3. A ward off the state at age 3. Picture a 3 year old being abused and taken from home, then a 3 year old in a privileged home, they’re is no difference, why do we seem to think as adults that there is? He was in foster homes his whole life, sexually abused, and beaten.Then at age 19 he committed an armed robbery, and he was shot 3 times. Then he Went to max security prison for 7 years. In prison, he cuts himself enough to need surgery, he has been known to swallow glass, and toothbrushes requiring surgery.

The assessment by “the team.” Is that he is “smooth, and manipulative.” He swallowed these things to get to go to hospital, a trip out of jail.

This is dangerous to call him manipulative. If I think you are manipulative then everything you do I take as a con. If we instead think of him as this kid who has a desparate need for acceptance and love, you will treat him differently. Then he will react differently. Then he gets better treatment. Our staff are young, impressionable, and eager to learn about psychiatry since it is romanticized on the media at times.

However if you work in government, they need to save the taxpayers money, they don’t want us spending “their” money. We have to hire inexperienced staff, because they are cheaper. We train them by what they see. The cycle continues.

So why would someone like Dusty shoot his doctor? It’s not so black and white if you look deep enough.

What’s the difference between…

This 19 year old young dad.

And this…

This young dad? (This is Joe and Anthony from last post)

The answer is nothing. Until we divide them. When we divide, we create class, uppers and lowers. When really we are all connected.

It won’t end. It can’t. Until people start fighting back. The battle is not going to be easy, we won’t see the end. We won’t see the victory. That will come after we’re gone.

But there is going to be a fight, we know that there is going to be a fight because we are going to start it. We will lose some, as we lost Joe. We won’t stop. Love always wins. Always.

If I’ve made you mad, then I’ve done my job. Happy people don’t create change. You have to be angry, you must have discontent to create change. So be angry. Then do something about it.

If 1 person reading this gets 1 thing and does something, that’s perfect. The ripple effect will be huge.

Love you Dusty.

The end.

If you want to see this in video.
Here it is..10 minutes I think.

 

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The World Interpreted through Alice in Wonderland

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Consulting the Oracle

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First Meeting

Many Don’t Arrive

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A Meeting is Held

Alice is voted unanimously as Ambassador

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Waiting to meet the Red Queen

(With trepidation )

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A productive discussion did not seem in the cards

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And, in fact, became quite hostile.

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Things on the home front were not much better.

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With a heavy heart, Alice helped prepare her friends for battle with what little she could find.

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Alice listened to the Mock Turtle’s prophecies of the outcome of the war.

    4E9FC6FE-AC4F-4C99-AF28-2985270D3379.png Is the Mock Turtle going to be right?

Mr. Putin, speaker with two faces?

Mr. Netenyahu, regretful of civilian deaths?

 

Who will take responsibility for their actions?

Who will pretend to paint the roses red with the blood of the fallen?

 

Panti Noble’s Call at the Abbey Theatre

Reblogged from The Bilerco Project/YouTube

Fantastic. She says more in 11 minutes that I could in 11 posts, far more adeptly.

Equality

Social Equality & Cultural Understanding  www.oc.illinois.edu

Social Equality & Cultural Understanding
www.oc.illinois.edu

697852_high

Love is Love www.likecool.com

Love is Love
www.likecool.com

Marriage Equality - composite

Words of Love www.hongkiat.com Words of Love (By: Alice vel. Hazel)

Words of Love
www.hongkiat.com
Words of Love (By: Alice vel. Hazel)

Equality and Diversity Logo www.projectjohn.co.uk

Equality and Diversity Logo
www.projectjohn.co.uk

Rosie--Women's Equality www.nyclu.org

Rosie–Women’s Equality
www.nyclu.org

Equality in Action Love is Love

Equality in Action
Love is Love

Nelson Mandela on Love and Hate

I was on a site where I’ve chosen other sites to follow, admiring a picture of two sloths (I relate quite well to sloths, I share some of their well known attributes), and these two were up for International Sloth Day. Who knew? If I keep it up, maybe someday there will be a day for me. I’ll see how many more animal attributes I can assimilate, because I think I’d have to be pretty unique, and I don’t plan on any surgery to add horns or fangs that spit poison–that’s taking it a bit too far. Then there was an adorable Red Panda. I love those. Then, there was a picture of Nelson Mandela:

Nelson Mandela

And I loved it–it was for United Nations Human Rights, #LGBT. So of course I read the comments, which are generally all supportive. But there is one woman’s who are just downright confusing.

1st post: Love comes softly

That could be taken in a variety of ways. It seems neutral, somewhat supportive.

2nd post: Many are filled with bitterness and hatred….so sad….I wish all the hatred would go away and those who delve off into hatred daily should follow

Again, this seems…interesting. Sort of generalized. The thing about statements like this, and my conflict about the Lily Allen song, F**K You, is that when you hate the haters, it makes you a hater, which makes you one of them, even if they might be worse, and you are justified in not liking them, but where to draw the line so you’re not a hater? I really like that song, but the chorus makes it difficult, because of the hater issue. But that’s neither here nor there. I talked to my boyfriend, and he agreed with me, so I’m not the only one with this issue concerning this song. I really like Lily Allen. This is not a bash Lily Allen post. It’s because I like the song and have thought about putting a link to it up, but haven’t because of that.

3rd post: I believe in equality, not an advocate for LGBT … Two men laying or two women or transgender, bisexuals…..adds to societal issues …. Confusion and bad influence ….. I don’t mistreat people but I don’t amen that choice life of living

Wait, wait, wait…WHAT?

Equality is equality, one does not get to choose whom to bestow it on. What gives us the right to make those decisions? As the author of these says in an earlier post, which doesn’t really make sense when read with this one, love comes softly. Exactly.

Love is love. What if I am lesbian? What if someone I love is gay? Should I give them less rights than I have? Treat them as my inferiors? Make sure they’re not getting equal treatment to what I am? What makes me better? Nothing. What makes us the same? Love. Compassion. Oh. And the fact we’re all human.

Confusion and bad influence? We have politicians for that. They’re a shining example for our children. They add to societal issues? How are the LGBT community contributing to poverty, rising crime rates, the breakdown of education and health care (which will hopefully start to get better), illiteracy rates, bullying in schools, teen drinking and pregnancy (I truly don’t think they’re contributing to the latter), lack of funding for public libraries, rising costs of higher education, therefore making it less accessible, inadequate services for people with disabilities, the lack of employment opportunities, the stagnant economy, unaffordable housing, the rise in diseases we thought had been eradicated, such as measles, polio, whooping cough, meningitis, the incredibly high cost of day care, which parents have no choice but to pay because they both have to work because they need the money? How? Because, wow, if they’ve done all that, they could take over the whole world, and next thing you know we’ll all be flying rainbow flags and will be feeling uncontrollable sexual urges toward the same sex. Good grief. And frogs will give you warts. Masturbation will either give you hairy palms or make you blind. Or give you hairy eyeballs. Plucking the petals off daisies will definitely determine your true love and the course of your life. Fairies will mess with you if you don’t turn your shoes the right way under the bed. I know someone who believes that and I will not say who–it is not me. I’ll just say sometimes my shoes have been realigned. Being gay, lesbian, trans, asexual–it’s not contagious, I swear. On a stack of Merriam-Websters and Chicago Manuals of Style.

No. Once again, look to our politicians, our businesses, and the ones who profit from this. There is no logic in your reasoning.

You may not mistreat the LGBT community with your actions, but you mistreat them with your attitudes and your words. Mother Teresa said, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” Love is love.

Here are the values that I stand for: honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values.
Ellen DeGeneres

Maybe this seems like an overreaction, but remember, the 19th Amendment, prohibiting any United States citizen the denial of the right to vote on the basis of sex, was passed in 1920. Less than 100 years ago. And women are still having to fight for their rights. Should we give up the right to decide what happens to our own bodies because of some white haired men in congress? I think not.

Neither should the future of what happens in the lives of the LGBT community be decided by those same men. And women. Unless it’s giving them the same rights and equality that every person, regardless of ethnicity, gender, disability, race, language, orientation, gender identity–I’m trying to include everyone but am afraid I’m forgetting someone. Every single human, how’s that? We all deserve equality. It shouldn’t even be a political issue.

And who is Congress to decide? They can’t even balance a budget.

I think people are going to get a lot of mileage out of that one.

The Landfill Harmonic

I joined this site to follow, The Upworthiest, and they have some of the coolest things. I don’t watch TV and generally tend to miss some of the more interesting things on the news (well, truthfully, some of the more interesting things tend to not make the news).

This is one of their most recent stories, a project started on Kickstarter to make a documentary in Paraguay:

http://www.landfillharmonicmovie.com/

The Recycled Orchestra

The Recycled Orchestra

The Recycled Orchestra--Violin Detail

The Recycled Orchestra–Violin Detail

The Recycled Orchestra--Sax Detail

The Recycled Orchestra–Sax Detail

Words on Bullying Not From Me

Reblogged Below

Stonewall Riots

The early hours of June 28th, 2013, mark the 44th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which occurred outside the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in Central Greenwich Village, New York City. David Carter calls these “the riots that sparked the gay revolution.” I knew nothing about them until recently. They occurred the year I was born, which makes me very happy that some other good things came out of 1969 and that it can be remembered for other things than Nixon being sworn in as President for the second time. Not an auspicious day to be born on. I could argue I was born in the Philippines and I actually missed that whole debacle entirely, I suppose.

But that’s not the point of this post. These riots were a remarkable step in gay rights. Here’s the Wiki link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_riots

If anyone has a better one, or a link they think would add more information, put it in the comments.

I was wondering how I could follow up the news of Lief getting a new heart, then I started to think about what that actualized symbolized. I’m big on symbolism. Basically, because you can examine something, say what you think it interprets, and while people can disagree, they can’t outright tell you it’s wrong. Who is anyone else to tell you what you see in something is wrong, just because they don’t see it?

This is what I was thinking. Someone’s family lost a loved one, someone precious to them who will always be missed, and then allowed his or her heart to be donated so Lief could live and continue on, given everything goes well, with his little ten year old life and all the expectations he had before he was stuck in a hospital bed for five months. That heart is starting over, beating in a new body. Giving Lief new life.

So, on this anniversary that will always be the same age as me, an anniversary for a life changing event for so, so many people, this is what I have decided.

I am going to let the past go, as hard as it is to do, because there is still pain and there are many things left unresolved. At this point, however, I don’t think they will ever be resolved. It is ironic that the person I discussed the Stonewall Riots with the most is one of the entities I am leaving behind. I am done with subterfuge, mind games, sly cunning, psychological mischief, and emotional abuse. Done. I am done with pretenders who take the game too far and continue to reel people in like fish on a hook for their own personal enjoyment. It’s sick and it’s twisted.

The first discussion I had with the person who I ended up talking to about the Stonewall Riots was very big on pride in being gay. I said there was nothing wrong with being proud, but it might cause a distancing effect from other people who didn’t understand, and maybe it was better to try to bridge the gap with understanding so that rights were just as important as pride. We sort of went around on that one for a while. But, for someone who is so proud of being gay, look how you’ve treated the people who supported you. Look back at the situation and tell me you can’t understand why myself and some others reacted the way we did. For myself, I don’t even know you exist other than the occasional postings and lamenting on the board. If you’re reading this, did you read the first half of this paragraph? Did you read the part about pride? You want to complain about people leaving so you can act sad and say, “Last person out shut off the lights.” Is this a self-pity party? Imagine how different things would have been if the three of you had handled things differently. You had an active say in the way the outcome could have been determined. Couldn’t you tell I was trying to help? Did you even give me a chance, listen? No. You both disappeared. For things being “private,” they were awfully quickly dispersed, don’t you think? So if pride in being gay is more important than kindness to fellow humans, if pride is more important than friends, if you hold your pride so close to your heart you don’t let anything else in, then tell me, what is the use of pride? Isolation? Lack of morals? Lack of values? Bad judgement? There are still ways open, it’s your choice to take them or not. Just remember, pride cometh before a fall.

Aren’t you glad that no one came along and deleted Stonewall out of history the way the entity so easily deleted the life out of our group? The winners are supposed to write the history. What if the winners are really the losers? The heart is gone, donated elsewhere, and the group will never be the same. Why don’t you both just leave? Do something more worthwhile? Start a group about something more worthy. Gay rights in literature. You’re both smart, if sometimes similar.

I think I’ve said what I needed to, at least what I’m willing to post to my millions of readers. lol But, you think you’ve figured everything out. You haven’t. I’m a little surprised, actually. I’m a little disgusted at what you’ve left up, yet my posts are offensive? You need to sit down and do some serious self examination, which is what I’ve been doing. That’s why, with this anniversary of Stonewall, I still support the cause it stands for as strongly and wholeheartedly as ever, but you are in my past, a regrettable mistake. It wasn’t until the early hours of June 28th, but you won’t have read this since you don’t speak to me at all. I truly am a non-entity to you, but you do have your pride to wrap yourself in.

One of my online friends, who is not much older but is incredibly wiser, which I think is unfair, and I have discussed this, and I’ve known all along he was right and putting it in the past was the right thing to do, it was just so hard to do. Then I was standing there at the sink, sorting out the dishes–I hate washing dishes and am very OCD about the order in which things need to be washed–thinking about everything, and Lief, and the David Carter book, and the friend I have who’s homeless because her asshole of a boyfriend kicked her out when she started showing some independence and who spent the night with us last night and may be back tonight because there was a mistake and the spot she was given at the shelter was given to someone else before she got there. She’s in severe pain because of her back–she’s going to need to have surgery, it’s so bad, and I thought about how strong she is, and how strong Lief is, and how brave the patrons of the Stonewall Inn were, not even knowing what they were starting or the effects it would have on gay history and gay rights. And I thought, yes, I’m in pain right now, but it will fade, and I have better things to do with my life. I have a new editing job. I have things with voc rehab that need to be done. I need to get my health insurance straightened out. So why am I feeling down about a friendship with someone who could obviously care less if I were breathing or not? Why waste the time? Why bother feeling things for people who make no effort to communicate with you? That’s ridiculous. I might as well try to have a conversation about nebulas with the broom.

It’s time to move on, from immature hurtful people to somewhere else where people are more respectful and kind. I learned an important lesson, and unfortunately it took this to teach it to me. Just because I am who I am online doesn’t mean other people are. I’ve been too gullible. People don’t trust that I am who I am because they aren’t who they are, for the most part. I need to stop trusting people I don’t know so easily, because all that does is make myself vulnerable to people pretending to be something they aren’t. Sometimes it’s something little that doesn’t matter so much. Sometimes it’s something malicious and malevolent. I also have people online now that I trust quite a bit. I don’t know if I could ever develop a persona. Probably not. I was never a good actor, I just need to be more careful.

I’m tired of trying, this post is the end of that trying. I’m stubborn, yes, ornery, yes, but there’s no dealing with lack of conscience or emotion in another person. The fact that I am those two things mean that I have feelings, care about things. So, people got hurt. On both sides. It didn’t have to be a war where someone “wins.” Game of Thrones is fiction. That’s part of the problem, though, isn’t it, fiction vs. reality? But och, even then there’s that pride again. Pesky thing. Even Mr. Darcy wasn’t this bad. I’m proud I’m finally moving on (really, this time, anyone who knows me knows it takes at least a few false starts, or ends, I should probably say, before I actually do manage it).

On to something bigger, better, with no regrets. Everything is a lesson. I don’t believe in coincidence. I believe people meet the people they do at the times they do for a reason, for however long. I wouldn’t have met some of the people whose friendship I value if this hadn’t happened, and that’s my future.

windblown

Nothing is Simple

steampunk bicycle

It’s true. Nothing is simple. If it were, it would be too good to be true. Why is it that life seems to be like an unceasing fairy tale, where we keep coming across the obstacles, but never reach the dream? There are moments in there, of course, little slices of time that feel like snuggling on a couch with someone you care about, hand in their hair, then they’re gone, and you’re left on the couch alone wondering what went so wrong and how you could go from admired to hated so quickly. You’re tried, sentenced, and beheaded before you’re given a chance to defend yourself, and you realize you’ve wandered into the Red Queen’s garden accidentally.

“Oops,” you might say as the ax falls. “I should have been one of the flamingoes instead.”

Or is it like Groundhog Day, where you have to keep reliving the same day over and over until you get that one infinitesimal thing right, the one you couldn’t quite put your finger on before but suddenly bursts forth in all of its resplendent glory. You get to pass go. You get to collect $200.

Or, you don’t figure it out, and suddenly your’re talking to a health insurance representative who answers your question about whether or not you had health insurance during May and June with, “Wellll, you did and you didn’t.” Or you’re told by two different departments at a university, “Of course, we automatically defer late enrollments for September,” while the head of your department was told, by the same person, “Why would we tell anyone that? They have to ask if they want to be considered for enrollment in September.”

Nothing is simple when we are like little ants, people with no meaningful lives to these people who make decisions every day that are nothing to them, little people whose decisions are determined by bureaucrats who don’t have to worry about the fact they can’t go to the doctor, or that the decisions they make regarding someone’s enrollment have staggering effects. We’re just game pieces to them, names on a piece of paper. Which, if we’re lucky, don’t get paper-clipped to the back of the one in front of it.  That’s happened to me, for a referral I was waiting for while my left hand was atrophying away to look a little like a skeleton’s, only it was the wrong time of year–May. How like my body to refuse to time its injuries to the appropriate holiday.

While I hate to stick in a long bunch of lyrics here, this is a song that has resonated with me on more than one occasion–it voices how I’ve felt many of the times I’ve felt trapped, oppressed, and like I’ve had no choice (say, for instance, in a job situation). It’s from Muse’s album Resistance, and the song is Uprising. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8KQmps-Sog  I like Muse in general, but this album and The 2nd Law (a little more uneven and not as cohesive as Resistance, but a good album nonetheless) are both good.

Uprising

Paranoia is in bloom,
The PR transmissions will resume,
They’ll try to push drugs that keep us all dumbed down,
And hope that we will never see the truth around
(So come on)
Another promise, another scene,
Another packaged lie to keep us trapped in greed,
And all the green belts wrapped around our minds,
And endless red tape to keep the truth confined
(So come on)

They will not force us,
They will stop degrading us,
They will not control us,
We will be victorious
(So come on)

Interchanging mind control,
Come let the revolution take it’s toll,
If you could flick a switch and open your third eye,
You’d see that
We should never be afraid to die
(So come on)

Rise up and take the power back,
It’s time the fat cats had a heart attack,
You know that their time’s coming to an end,
We have to unify and watch our flag ascend

More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/m/muse/

I will be the first to admit that their videos seldom make sense, and the teddy bear in this one seems just a bit…malevolent. But if you think the one for Uprising is odd, find the official one for Supermassive Black Hole.  <g>

Their concerts are great as well, but very noisy. They’re the only ones I go to see–I’m picky that way.

Well, all those lyrics tired me out, and I don’t feel like a huge rant.

But it’s definitely true. Nothing is simple.

What about Straight Pride?

This came up in group I’m in and a member kindly posted this link:

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/13/opinion/granderson-straight-pride/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_cnn

I looked at some of the comments following the article, which is always a dangerous thing, because that’s where all the interesting people start climbing out of the woodwork. I should mention the post before this one was one talking about “religious bigots raising their children to hate everyone, such as gays, and perpetuating their irrational christian beliefs.” Normally I stay out of religious arguments completely. I’m not religious. I come from a family (stopping at my parents) of Southern Baptists. I see the kind of “love” they preach. Love everyone unless they’re different. Love everyone who follows all our rules. Put on a good show in public, but in private it’s not so important. I truly don’t understand the comment below, and I don’t understand how someone could be so ignorant of the world around them. I find it hard to believe that anyone could make the statement in the second sentence and truly believe it–I think I can fairly safely say that it isn’t an accusation but a matter of fact that bible centered churches have and actively do preach hatred and the denial of rights toward individuals who are gay, and that many christian groups have taken a strong negative stance against gays and gay rights.

“What Christian organization are you speaking of? Because NO Jesus centered and Bible centered Church that I have attended has EVER preached hate or the denyl of rights. What it DOES teach is love and acceptance. I may not agree with their life choices but that doesn’t mean I hate them. What they choose to do has nothing to do with me. I may not agree but I still love. Just as Jesus did for me. The people who you are speaking of would be ignorant, hateful, and practice bigotry whether they were “Christians” or not. Just because they call themselves a Christian doesn’t make them one. I can call my self a Muslim but if I dont follow the teachings of the Koran and Muhammad I am not a Muslim.

Edit: I took out a section of this post in which I used a more extreme example of hate and violence to try to “win” this “argument” I apologize and retract the former. Homosexuals that experience hate and violence are no less important because some other groups may experience more.  Eric Truman 

My response:

“Have you taken a look around and read the news lately? Why is it the religious groups that believe that reparative therapy is possible? I’m afraid that there are more religious groups against equal rights for people who are LBGTQ than for them. 

For those of you who believe it’s a life choice, think again. People are born the way they are, already oriented the way they are. This makes them no less equal, no less worth loving, gives them no less right to chose who they want to love, than any of the rest of us. 

Who are the groups who are keeping them from having the rights they should already unquestioningly have? Religion, and the government. Two groups who should have no voice in a persons’ sexuality or who they love. 

Anyone who says that religious groups only teach love and acceptance are looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, and seeing what they want to see. 

God made everyone in his image, correct? Does God make mistakes? I don’t think so. Would a religious person agree to that? God made people who are straight, who are gay, who are lesbian, who are all gamuts of that spectrum. They are not aberrations. There is absolutely nothing wrong with them. They are perfect the way they are. 

Step out of your box and truly look at the world around you. Say hello to someone with a disability who uses a wheelchair. Use tolerance. Practice patience. Love. Treat others as you would want others to treat you.”

The thing that I think stands out most jarringly to me is the statement in the “Edit” section of Mr. Truman’s post–he mentions “winning” the “argument.” I’m not sure if he’s retracting that as well or if he still means it. Equality isn’t about winning an argument. This is a fight for rights, yes, but only because the rights which are duly owed haven’t already been given as they should have been.

While not religious, I still think the above postulation does make sense. I also believe that religious groups and politicians should mind their own business, once they’ve straightened out this mess and given equal rights, legally, to everyone who should have have. Not deserve to have them, although they do, but should have them as human beings just like anyone else. As a basic and fundamental right. We’re past the days (I thought) where children had to be protected under animal abuse laws because there were no laws protecting children from abuse. Aren’t we?

This country, in it’s attempts to escape oppression for freedom, has done a fine job emulating that oppression. Oppression against people of different races, beliefs, women, LBGTQ individuals, children, people with disabilities…

I went to my SO’s daughter’s 8th grade graduation last night. She had been attending a Charter School loosely based on Waldorf principles, which emphasis creativity, individuality, the ability to work together (they don’t adhere so strictly to the Waldorfian principles because, quite frankly, they were written over a hundred years ago and they haven’t changed with the times). These children, approximately twenty of them altogether, have grown up together. They’ve had the same teachers, the same classes. All of them gave short speeches. For those children who entered later on, in say, 5th grade like my SO’s daughter did, they were suspicious of the methods of the school and the curriculum because it was so radically different from those of a regular public school. (This school has a waiting list, we were lucky she got in). But these children gave the wisest, funniest, most heartfelt speeches. Some of them said they’d hated school until they went there. For some of them, it was their last chance school, they’d tried every school in the district and been unsuccessful. They all mentioned the school being like a family to them. These kids have it together, and are much more mature than I was when I was fourteen. They’ll need it, because now they’re going on to public high schools around the district, and she’s going to the biggest high school in Eugene, but is also a very good school. They have values and ethics some adults are lacking. Her mother is lesbian, with a partner who’s known her since she was 5, so she’s grown up used to differences. I’ve known her since she was 8. She has changed so much, and I know that she will be a kid who won’t bully other kids in high school. She’ll help them. It’s in her nature. I am incredibly proud of her and her tenacity for standing up for what she believes in. I hope there are more young adults like her, or who will follow her example, and help fight against bullying and prejudice. I’ve talked to her about it. She’s very receptive–unlike many fourteen-year-olds, you can have conversations with her about pretty heavy things.

So, in a way I suppose it will be a fight, although I think it’s sad that someone who isn’t gay thinks it’s something that needs to be won. To me, it’s not a matter of winning or losing, it’s a matter of long deserved reparation that should never have had to be asked for, and should never have been withheld–basic human rights.