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rant

7.27.23

Out loud I have a hard time saying most of this. Even thinking about it sometimes it’s hard to breath.  So saying it out loud, having the words leave my body even when I’ve tried with Mel, my throat closes and I stop.  I can’t do it.

I know I did what needed to be done.  I know it was the right thing to do under the circumstance, but.

It will be a very long time, if ever before I will get past feeling what I felt that day I helped Dad pack a suitcase, drove him to the building for lunch so that after they could take him to his/their new room.  That feeling will be with me for a very long time.  No matter how often someone says or even I say it to myself, it was the right thing to do, I had to do it.  I had to take what at that time he knew as his life, his freedom. Then to explain where the car keys were, then where the car was.  More than once.

There is nothing anyone can say or will be able to say ever that will make that right on my heart.  I didn’t want to do it, never wanted to have to do it, yet I did.  I had to be the one to walk him out of his house with a small suitcase to deliver him to a room with a chair and then a few pictures.  As scary or dangerous as it might have been, would he still be here because he had the muscle memory to do his daily routine of see Mom, get lunch, go home and watch sports.

Regardless of others around it was a feeling of complete isolation and what for me, while certainly less than some, my own trauma that turned me upside down and inside out.

That feeling, I’m not sure will ever leave no matter what you or anyone says, period. In fact someone saying you did the right thing, is just irritating.  

Mom was different, I think she was more resigned and maybe had enough reality then to know it had to happen.  She didn’t fight it or question it.  While it does nothing to help me, my hope is that Dad more often didn’t remember rather than remembering. 

Then everything that came with that.  A new job, full time job and a full time job just trying to do right for them and at every turn someone saying no.  Someone questioning every single action or attempt to get for them what was rightfully theirs. Like I was just trying to scam everyone.

Then I had to be happy and on for work 40 hours a week, with that mixed in the middle since all of those agencies for Mom and Dad only have regular hours 9-5 Mon – Friday, eastern time.  Like everyone lives in the time zone and has ALL the time in the world to sit on hold then answer all the security questions like you are new every time.  Even when they called me on my number that I GAVE them…please verify and confirm who you are.  FU was what I wanted to say.

Yes, I am mad.  Mad that I had to do it all with no help.  Moral support fails and through this, was no help.  Words to rally on fueled the anger.  More emotions I had to bury, keep to myself.  Why should anyone else have to feel what I was feeling?  

Then work, a phone call with a candidate.  Smile on my face, be nice and act like I actually give a fuck that they might be the perfect person for the job we are talking about.  A call with Long Term Care robots asking the same damn questions they did the week before, questioning every dime.  Then a phone call with a candidate, always on video, so smile on my face….I am exhausted. 

It seemed that it all then trickled into me just trying to do simple things.   Nothing could just   be done, it had to have some level of complication, question or just plain, no you can’t do it that way.   No straight line from A to B, it was all over the alphabet.  A few times I even bucked up and went into a call saying as the phone rang, this will go well, this will be easy, this will work in my favor.  And no.  There was no escape of the can’t (sorry Grandma) and the ridiculous.  

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Again, Fear

I think sometimes that people don’t understand fear.  Maybe they think of fear as something physical, physical harm.  Fear of falling a great distance, a head on collision, being shot or beaten, attacked by another.  Yes, I guess those are certainly something to fear, a physical harm the hurts or takes you life.  

Fear of a mental nature based on an unknown feels more difficult to consider or describe.  

There are a lot of people out there who have the ear and fear of some people.  They are carefully crafting scenarios that either have no merit or just plain doesn’t happen.  

They are psychologically feeding your fears.   I would argue or question maybe that you don’t even see it or it doesn’t register with you as a fear.  It’s an imposition or an infringement on you.  What you believe or deem right.  

The thing is, everyone is probably offended by something someone does.  But is it physically harming you or infringing on your beliefs and rights?  Is your disagreement of a certain community doing the very thing you hold dear for yourself?  Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  

How does a drag queen harm you?

How does a trans person harm you?

How does a gay person harm you?

How does a person who looks different that you do, harm you? 

Color, size, nationality, sex, fashion, the car you drive or the street you live on.

Truly, if you stopped, listened to understand and heard the other, guess what.  They want the same thing.

To be safe, happy, healthy and live with ease.

They don’t want more than you have, just the same.

Honestly we should all be fighting against the rich who get richer by some who give them tax breaks leaving you and me to pay the bill.  

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My Reality

My reality?  

I’m not here to understand.  

I hear and read things that fit no where in my brain.  

No reason or logic.

I’m not here to understand.

I am here to not question others who believe that they have or no the best path for them.

Yet I will question their need for their beliefs to be the only acceptable belief for others.

I have a lot of questions about humanity these days.  I know I’m not alone, but what is most confusing are those who seem to have a diametric opposition to how I see or feel about redeemable actions of others.

I believe we should do what we can to take care of others regardless of their place.  That we are the richest (or so they say) country in the world so why does anyone suffer lack or disenfranchisement?

I believe that love is love.  So why who another loves has any harmful affect on me or anyone else is beyond me.

We don’t actually have, life liberty or the pursuit of happiness.  

Justice is not balanced, equal or fair.

Fear is our M.O., how else do we navigate the day to survive?

Government has their hands in the wrong issues and seem to disregard the will or bit of the people for their own interests.  Maybe everything should go to vote and all elected officials do is read their “opinions” for the citizens to vote on and that vote passes all and any new legislation.  (Yes I know there’s a lot bad that could happen there considering what some have done recently to suppress votes.

Drag Queens, gays, LGBTQ+, pronouns is not the problem.  Treatment of them is.

Average, normal every day citizens don’t need automatic fire arms that can shoot hundreds of rounds.  That should be only given to and used by military.  And not local police.  When in confrontation, why do they shoot someone  20, 30, 40, 60, 70 times?  Maybe they should all have 6 shooters? And if they are that fearful, maybe they are in the wrong job?

We should do what we can to help the houseless.  I know complicated, very complex issue.  So we should analyze it that way and stop with the band-aids, making them move and boulder gardens.  Millions spent to put sharp boulders here and there, what else could that money do.

For some reason I have a very low threshold for ethics and morality.  There should be a way to measure that and it be what disqualifies someone for running for an office that has the responsibility to take care of other humans. Yes, I’ll say it Trump, DeSantis, Cruz, MTG, Jordan, Boebert … just to name a few.

From time to time I catch myself saying, these people aren’t conservative, I’m conservative. I’m no prude, but seriously? Who reset what I thought were morals, ethics, fairness, justice and just plain old human decency? Judgment and hatred have moved in.

Maybe there should actually be a job description for the President of the Unites States (all political seats) with required qualifications and accountable responsibilities.  This would include the requirement of submittal of tax returns.  Which had been done for years before Trump.

How many companies have you worked for that have a code of ethics or standards or even conduct that are part of the culture? That you even had to yearly do an on demand training about that ethical or moral behavior? Me…many. Why are these jobs and the people in them allowed to run amuck and impose their concocted new brand of morality and ethical behavior? For me, nothing is further form the truth most of them. I mean, really? Come on!

Love is love is love is love and MUST win!  Why would anyone want anything else?

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I am a Racist ~ follow up

This is a follow up to my post I am a Racist on August 15, 2020.

Being or becoming anti-racist takes work, attention, listening, acknowledgment, a few stumbles and embracing the uncomfortable.

I’m reading a new book, “Everything You Already Know About Your Own Racism and How To Do Better  White Women” by Regina Jackson and Saira Rao.

Yes I recommend it!

On 12.6 I was able to see part of a book launch on LinkedIn for the book by Elizabeth Leiba, “I’m Not Yelling”.  I didn’t get to watch the entire event and I  haven’t ordered the book yet, but let me say this.

Black, women of color are not yelling. My hot take, you are hearing what you know deep down is wrong and your defenses are up.  Guilt or shame?  Let’s say it’s both.

  • Shame – I am flawed and unworthy – I’ve failed to make myself worthy and help to shine the light on women of color
  • Guilt – what I’ve done or failed to do that doesn’t match my values to shine light on women or just people of color.

(Brene Brown)

Me – I am ashamed because I don’t do enough to support and promote the voice of women of color.  I have guilt because my in action (or not doing enough) to be an ally, an anti-racist does not match my values.

Hearing yelling is a defense and a projection that as a white person, you know they are right but you refuse to own your racism and push it back to them so you can absolve yourself.

White Women pg 58: “at this point, a woman from the Arizona table turned and barked, “Not everything is about race.”

White women, I’m here to say, yes it is.  

A room full of just white women cannot advance the message of women if that room does not represent women.  ALL WOMEN, period.

If we are not willing to listen, engage and include “women” in our total fight for equality, if we are not willing to listen regardless of if we think one is “yelling”, we are letting our racism win. 

We need to dig deep to understand why as white women we continue to give other white women the advantage and not women of color.  More importantly we need to dig deep within ourselves our own DNA and ask, why do I feel or think that women of color are yelling?    I’ve found that the more I listen, the more I understand myself, the less yelling I hear.

I will fully admit that when I started my journey to listen, read and explore my racism, I often felt uncomfortable when listening to women of color speak to what was happening.  At the time my thought was, this is why no one (whites) will listen and it’s their out to not listen, so angry, so mad.  Well yeah!  You never yell or are mad about what’s happening?  

I see a few white “friends” on Facebook plenty angry and if I actually heard them say what they posted, they’d be yelling!  But then they are white, so they get to without retribution.  WRONG!

If you listen with a lens to understand what is inside you, what is deep or at the surface of you, I think you would hear something different.  When you’ve had it up to your eyeballs with being dismissed, disenfranchised or cast aside, you don’t get a little testy?  Oh yeah, right… 

They are speaking their ground truth and are speaking for millions, you aren’t hearing mad or divisive, you are hearing an exhausted journey being fought for others to be accountable, to be in the room and to have the exact say and opportunity that I and you as a white woman have had just because we are white.

If you don’t already know this, we(white) can no longer say, I’m not a racist.  Or I don’t have a racist bone in my body.  Bullshit!  We do!  I do and you do and we have to own it!

I had this idea the other day about a different kind of post on Facebook.  I find recently that in my world, the level of ridiculousness has exponentially topped out and is overflowing.  In the world and my little world.  I wanted or was curious who or if anyone would respond to this;

My first thought, this is Facebook, it will sit there with no interaction.  No comments, no questions, no likes, no emoji, no WTAF?  Who would dare, right?  My experience so far is no one really wants to have a real and true conversation to talk about real issues and potentially real solutions.  They just want to yell about the problem, and tell everyone the way they think it should be for everyone while saying don’t tread on me. Privilege.  

My hope at the no comments lies in my hope that, one – most will know better I’m testing it and two that no one believes either of those statements.  That said, there is a part of me that thinks there may be a few out there who are leaning into that and are out there yelling all the time.  Hey you don’t own the rights to “yelling”, especially if you are white.  You just don’t.

Here is short reading or listening list; (but there are SO many more)

Sonya Renee Taylor

Brittney Cooper

White Women

Layla Saad

If you read just the last two books and still think you don’t have racist tendencies or not a racist? Well, I have some bad news for you…

We, white people have to lean into the uncomfortable the discomfort to work our way to the other side.  We have to learn to listen to the message as it is delivered and learn  to understand our reaction or response to it.  I still get uncomfortable, or stop reading or listening, but not as often as I did.  Now often my uncomfortable is a reality that this is who we are, a racist, white supremacist country who’s idea of what makes America great is only  allowing certain voices to be heard, certain voices to be part of who we are and where we go.

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bible

I spent a lot of time in the bible growing up.  I’ve read a lot of it, but I don’t think I can say all of it.  It was a constant companion as a teenager in high school and a bit of college.  

My Mom has a degree in theology and studied early translations of the bible, first translations.  She started in me, not questions of doubt, but question of context.  Context of time and place.

I started reading more.  I’m not a good reader, so that’s always a challenge, but I read all I could.  Concepts, philosophies and world religions. 

Then second round of college.  Philosophy of Religion, Religions of the World, exploring beliefs around the world. Hindu Upanishads, Daoism, Sufism, Buddhism, Merton, Thomas, Jung, The Tao of Pooh… For me the definition of religion is maybe a bit abstract. For me this also includes, ethics and morality.

Those two concepts, ethics and morality I have more issue with today that straight up religion. What I see today as acceptable ethics and morality are far from my understanding of either concept. Yet, it feels those have been replaced, even dismissed for one thing.

I felt myself moving away from the bible.  The more I read of other religions, the more judgmental christianity and the bible felt. Others too sometimes, I feel that is wrong. Then I discovered something. Humans are judgmental regardless of what they have been taught or read. And yes, I will acknowledge this is a judgement. That said, I’ll say it feels different that what I see and hear.

I was feeling that what carried me through my youth was actually counter to what I thought I had been taught.  What I had actually read. The actual teachings of Jesus.

Through that format “Facebook” I was seeing and reading the thoughts of many that I thought were on the same page as me when it came to what we should do with and for others. But I was reading the opposite of what I thought from those, some of which I spent not just time with in groups in high school but sat next to in the pew, Sunday School classroom and weekend retreats. Their new philosophy was diametrically opposed to where I was and it, well it was shattering. Don’t spend a great deal of time now on that format. Honestly, it’s heartbreaking.

Humans are judgmental. Most can’t avoid it, can’t escape it. What I see and read recently, over the last few years is angry judgement. Anger that is so extreme, so directed, so specific. That anger is what I fear.

“Between what is said and not meant, and what is meant and not said, most of love is lost.” ~Khalil Gibran

Religion is a belief in worship of a superhuman.  Religion is a system.  Religion is a concept, an idea, that creates difference, divide and inequality.  And interpretation today is just as troubling as early translations.  

What if it is all fiction?  All of it?

It’s words that for the most part, none of us know who wrote the words or truly know why they were written.  You really don’t know me, really and you probably don’t know why I am writing this.  What prompted these words out of me?

Religion does nothing for us. Maybe it’s done something for you, but what about us? All of us? Well, as I see it right now, nothing good.  It pulls us apart.  Creates false equivalents to non-realities and gives some weak ground to stand on to support their ideas they want pushed onto others.  Often ideas based on nothing real and lack the effort to understand beyond the surface what it as stake. And in my opinion, nothing scarier then an angry Christian, (oxymoron).

Religion causes wars.  Religion right now has us calling each other names and making accusations based on information not based on facts. Some are assuming the worst when for the most part truly only the best of intentions are meant. But it somehow doesn’t fit into their box, their way. Some of us, a few of us have decided they are the ones to decided what is right for all the rest.  And some basing thoughts and ideas on what one person is saying, (Jim Jones?).

One side is so afraid of fear that they can’t think past that.  Their hearts are closed and even hardened.  Eyes closed, arms crossed and pass on harm, even trauma human to human. So much for, ‘all gods children’.

What are you afraid of?  The unknown I guess can be scary, but the unknown you fear now is craftily hidden in lies and the perpetuation of non truths by lost fearful people. (another judgment, yes)

We lack confidence that people are good and know what is best for them and lack imagination or an interest to seek truth.

The bible, some read it cover to cover.  Some read the words.  Some like my Mom, go deeper.  Context.  Who was it written for and why?  What was happening that needed to be addressed all those many years ago?

It’s not even a complete document.  Who chose the books and why?  Why not the others, the Apocrypha?  Why were those left out?  The last book, why is it last?  Did it almost not make it in?  What, who and why is it in the order that it is?  What was the intention of those people?  

Fear is blinding.  Fear is not productive it will end us all.  One by one, restriction by restriction.  It will keep us in fear of a fear that is not a reality, but again just a lie that one needs to keep their ego feed and their place in a world that they were lost.  

Who benefits from the sale of bibles?

Bible for sale, gently used.

-I am afraid that through others fears I will somehow be relegated  to a confinement or restrictions based on my beliefs, not my actions, but my beliefs.  I fear this for everyone, family, friends and those now pushing their beliefs on me. That laws will without provocation be passed that will have restriction and disenfranchise many like we have never seen before.  Don’t we have enough of that already with our history? And within those restrictions, those who feel they have a religion to back up their law, I feel will one day be surprised at the laws that follow that will restrict their own life.

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To my aging friends with kids

This is one of those, not so fun topics.  However, I’m not having any fun, so here we go.

If you are my age or older, even before actually, 50’s, 60’s and I’d say no later than 70’s.  Please consider this.

Sit down very soon with your kids and have the conversation about what happens when the body and the mind start to fail. And this can be a two way conversation. It can happen to the kids too.

Have a will, a Power of Attorney and be sure that the POA and all of your financial holdings play nice together.  Actually, I’m not sure that’s really possible. Anyway, this means you may need to update them on a regular basis. How does the POA work when all of a sudden you are incapacitated or worse, you and your “agent” mirror declining cognition and your alternate has to pay the bills or make decisions.

And, don’t forget the Health Care Directive. (I guess those are still honored? (Unless SCOTUS finishes their path of personal destruction of individual freedoms).

If you or your partner get a diagnosis of any thing closely resembling Dementia, or any cognitive issue, start right then and there to find a place that can care for you until end of life.  House or apartment, to assisted living, to nursing home, to memory care, etc.  AND MOVE!  And do it within a year. Do not wait.

Know and recognize that the pace of Dementia is not up to you.  You have no control over how quickly you or your partner will no longer know simple things like, how to use a phone, address, what day it is, where they are or how long an hour is.

Make these decision together and before they have to be done alone, by the kid or someone else for you. And DO NOT AVOID it! Live in reality. And if you live to be 120 and have no issues, you’ll still have a place to live and do whatever the hell you want when you want to do it!

While this is me saying this, and I know there are lots of thoughts about this, there is no shame in admitting the inevitable.  When you sleep, eat, watch TV, sleep again, what does it matter where you do that? If you travel, well you can travel from anywhere! For me the shame and guilt is what I had to do in May. 

My parents 10 years ago did make a decision to move to a house in a community that essentially has several levels of service, homes to end of life care.  What they didn’t do was make the last decision for themselves while they could have.  I will say, not that I didn’t try to make that happen.  One thinking the other was worse off, when all along they were declining just as quickly together.  They may be smart, or clever, but the brain is unforgiving.  Be direct and ask tough questions. Especially if you aren’t there in person to see or watch what is happening. The brain is in charge and will take its course as it chooses. No shame, no guilt, just what it wants to do.

If you don’t do this, then prepare the kids(or yourself) for days, weeks and potentially months of guilt and being talked to like they are a scammer or a criminal when they are just tying to take care of you and get what is rightfully due you that can be verified by the facility they are in or the doctor you’ve provided to them to verify.  Or worse yet, not being able to find a nice, clean place to care for you. I’m calling this, prancing through the dog and pony show…biting my tongue all the way. Hoop after hoop after hoop.

Be careful how you handle bank accounts, retirement accounts. Any action there, depending on how you are listed on an account, they say, will be perceived as a gift it you try to do things, like request a live check to be direct deposited. That would look like a gift…cause it’s all a huge f*cking gift!

I know some will say, I got this.  It’s all under control.  I’m going to say, no it’s not.  No you won’t. Take care of it yourself and your kids when you can, NOW.

There is nothing that I know that prepares you for or helps you through any of this. To my knowledge, there is no one source that you can go to who can offer you, step, 1,2,3,4,5… And I have to say why not?

Where my parents are is okay. I am sure there are nicer places and certainly worse. But my question, why do they not have an advocate there who could help me through each step? Have a list of resources to point me in the right direction to ensure they have everything they need and deserve. I signed a lot of papers, but none of it was, now here are the things you will need or want to do, this insurance, this form, that form, this agency, this legal aspect, how this bill gets paid, how this claim gets filed. I am flying blind and further, deeper into a space that makes me just want to turn it all off and run away.

Yes, there is Elder Law. I’m now on that path, but they don’t cover it all. It’s not inclusive. That I can tell.

Be kind to yourself and to those who will have to take care of things for you.

P.S. beware of the address change via USPS. Somehow…I do not know how yet, but those non-profit, bulk mailings that are received, the ones that come with the labels, note pads, dollars, magnets, stickers and calendars, they somehow get the new address from somewhere and will now be sending your kids or who ever is getting your first class mail ALL of that! Not forwarded, sent directly to them and your address!

Three days of mail. THREE!! All non-profit asking for money. Thanks Mom…

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lost holiday

I ended my last post with a quote;

“Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.”

~ Bryan Stevenson

When it happens to you, you do look at it differently.  Certainly when it happens to someone close who you love.  When what happens is done by someone you  love, you still look at it differently.  I think you discover who you truly are in that reality.  Maybe even who you have been all along and then wonder, why wasn’t I vocal about this earlier.  Not just because it’s there in front of you now, but maybe because it doesn’t actually do what it is supposed to do, justice.  While not exactly, but kind of like what is said in the face of of the tragedy or sadness, why did “this” have to happen to bring us together, why did we wait? Then the question, does it really bring you together?

Regardless of what it was or is, there are layers.  There are parts that not everyone knows about.  Or may ever know about. There are parts that because of how we let others tell the story based on others stories, the story our story is rarely told in truth and often lost because it’s something no one wants to touch.  Or because of the story, told as is potentially while true, again isn’t the whole story and creates a shadow.  A shadow that without further analysis, is extreme.

This is the weekend our lives changed.   Easter weekend.  Easter used to mean something when I was a kid.  I think?   Now,  it’s an  annual  reminder of an arrest.   A shift in our fabric, in our comfort.  A shift that still years later,  has no real resolution.  No real answers except the judgement of one man of another who decided that 360 months was the answer.  No help, no therapy, no rehabilitation, 360 months.

Some will say it is just.  Some, maybe me, think it extreme.   I will fully admit that is based on what I know, who I know and not the whole story.  The whole truth.  Yet I still believe that it is extreme.  Incarceration, more often that not doesn’t solve what the real issue or trouble is that lies within.  It feels the easy way out, lazy.  Quick answer, done, next.

~~

Why do we avoid conversation or the person with an indiscretion?  Or those close to that person? Is it fear?  Guilt?  Thinking, am I like them?  Guilt by association? Not knowing what to say?  Believe me, I don’t know what to say either. The impact of silence and isolation pile on to an already enormous mountain of fear, question and guilt in itself. And the silence is … can’t find the words yet to describe.

It is an enormous loss. 

The impact is enormous on everyone on all sides. 

Three hundred and sixty. 

Thirty years.

Thirty. 

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i can’t

In an effort to try to understand the other side, well the saying goes,

I can’t. (sorry Grandma)

I’ve decided that life is too short and hard enough as it is, so I will respect others and stop trying to figure it(them) out.  I have plenty on my plate.  

I will not devalue or do anything to disenfranchise another human in anyway in word or deed.  

I will not impose or proclaim my beliefs of truth, equality and fairness on adversaries.

I will live true to that which I have held in high regard for years as core values, love, compassion, acceptance, tolerance and inclusion.

I will acknowledge that those values I hold true are and will to me feel diametrically opposed to some I know or thought I knew.  Them to mine.

I will acknowledge and honor that every single one of us has within us basic goodness. Even within the greatest of division.

I will live on the side of love, compassion, acceptance, tolerance and inclusion. 

“May you be safe. May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you live with ease”.

“Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.”
~ Bryan Stevenson

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emotions | the middle

Where to put it all.

Most days I am overwhelmed by emotions.  Before COVID I had  to learn to manage this in public.  Now, in the privacy of my own home, I can be or feel what I need to feel when I need to feel it.  Before going 100% remote, it was painful and exhausting to hold back some emotions in the office and on the bus.  Those times when, you may understand, when whatever it is there  is just nothing you can do to keep the tears inside.   

Most days I struggle with where  I am in support of causes or what I perceive as injustice.  Often I find myself in the middle and it seems there isn’t much room in the middle  anymore.  You are  either on one side or  the  other.  This is untenable for me.  Untenable  because  I believe people  should  be allowed individual freedoms.  Yet, there are strong forces that are pulling us miles apart. Some of the pulling are leaders some of us have voted or continue to vote into office.

I support Black Lives Matter.  I also support law enforcement and the rule of law.  Because I believe, I have to believe that there are good police officers.  That said, black and brown people are black and  brown 24/7, 365 days a year not 40 hours a week. Now you think I don’t really support law enforcement.  Fine. I do.  Legal, unbiased and fair law enforcement. 

I made the choice to get vaccinated.  I won’t lie or hide it, I do think others should because I see it saving lives and I also see the stress and exhaustion on the faces and in the voices of the Nurses and Doctors I support everyday.  I hear the pain of loss and feel their struggles daily.  That hits me at my core. I also believe that is a personal choice and decision to get a vaccination and it should not be forced.  What I read says it  saves  lives and can get us back to a bit or a normal  life.  Others read the opposite.  So here we are, divided.  I grew up in a time when it wasn’t questioned.  It was seen as a way to preserve life and minimize illness.  

I saw this on Instagram; @journey_to_wellness] Who says having a wide range of emotions in one day is a bad thing? 

Our emotions are there to tell us something. Maybe they’re nudging you to rest, to spend time with a friend, or whatever it is that you take away from them. The feelings we feel so profoundly are what make us human. 

So whether your wheel of emotions today looks like the one of the left or right, whatever your feeling today is entirely okay. 💕”

My chart, happy is a little smaller and most days, motivated and excited are taken over by stress, anxiety and exhaustion.  And the exhaustion comes from feeling and realizing the exhaustion of others for the most part.  What have I got to be tired about?  Well, a couple things, but not ready to actually tell that story here yet. 

I am in the middle more and more each day.  More than I care to be, yet here I  am.  Maybe an assumption?  Maybe a reality.  My reality, I am in  the middle of so much and have no avenue or platform to have any affect on that personally, locally, yet alone globally.   Which in my reality is not for me to push or try to change with others.  You have to come to your  own conclusions.  And  we have to  realize that often those will  not be the same.  

Ultimately we  all have access to the same information.  We all, for the most  part have access to every bit of information in many forms.  I think it’s our DNA that determines where we go, where we lean.

And by DNA, I don’t just mean biological.  That could be part of it,  but the DNA  that we have within us from our lived experiences of life.   The good and the bad.   The new and the old.  And by old I mean past lives.  Yes, I believe there is something to that.

Our lived experiences are as vast and diverse as we are.  Easy childhood, difficult childhood, adversity, wealth, poverty, abuse, neglect, love, disdain, adoration, abundance, lack, isolation.  What does that do with our DNA and how does that  affect of influence our relationships?  How does that affect our response or reaction to what comes to us.

I’m not physiologist, nor have I studied psychology to the extent that it gives  me any  credibility to speak to this.  I can speak from my understanding of my experience and years of observation.  

Insecurity reveals itself in many ways.  Me, saying I need to keep my words to myself and thinking I should stay quiet, it is my feeling that I wasn’t given much opportunity to speak out as a child or teenager.  Knowing and now understanding  introversion, odds were against me.  What others had to say or say to me, was more important.  Which maybe is why I easily headed down that path of religion in high school, people listened to me.

While I have  settled into it a bit, I live a secondary life to everyone I am in relationship with.  Many of us do, but there are some who have that one that is of the utmost importance, that one they think of when they wake up and when they go to sleep.  If I’ve ever had that, I didn’t know it.  And that’s okay.  That’s not what this life was  to be about for me.

What happened in your childhood do you believe affects how you interact or respond to another person?  Have you considered their experience and how that has affected their relationship with you?  Their response or reaction to you? I’ve said, at least to myself, I believe that more often than not, a response to someones words or actions are more a reflection of the person hearing or receiving not giving.  Of course if it goes deeper, then both bring to the conversation, the situation their own … let’s just call it, baggage.  And very often, I think has nothing to do with what is happening in that moment.  What happened to you when you were 8 or 9 is triggered.  And I bet 99.9% of the time neither has any idea that time is seeping into now.  It is.  Maybe we should all do a chart and put in it what happened to us as a kid so that we can have it for awareness and carry it around. If you have issues with trust and you are having a conversation with someone who has issues with trust. Guess what?

I am in the middle and have been since a child.  If only I were a actually a middle child I’d have more to work with. I know that plays into who I am today and the relationships I am in.  I would however like to shake some of that, but I’m not sure I can.  It is deep in me and as I grew up and realized that being in the middle was where I was.  As I got older I also had to come to terms with what that actually meant.  Sometimes I felt like in that middle space, I was more of a pawn in a game for some.  Something to barter with for love and affection or control of me.  Also  probably why I don’t care to control anything…exhausting.  Let it go.  

Most days I feel I have let this go.  But has it served me?  Being in the middle or letting go?  I also know that it will alway be there as reminder to me.  Yet, I can’t always control how it presents.

Again, I haven’t studied phycology a great deal, but that does tend to be where I  read when seeking out answers.  And have been in  therapy a few times.  So as I was writing this I found an old article in Psychology Today, “6 Ways that a Rough Childhood Can Affect Adult Relationships”.  Number 4 kind of hit home;

4. Avoidance of relationships: “I’m someone who is better off alone.”

Alternatively, people with negative developmental experiences involving intimate relationships may opt to avoid closeness and isolate themselves. Sometimes this starts early on and sometimes later, as an attempt to break the cycle of harmful relationships. But healthy relationships with other people are crucial for personal development, presenting opportunities for growth and change. Missing out on them in adulthood as a self-protective measure further impairs development of a fully adult identity, solidifying a self-perception of unworthiness and self-condemnation. There are many exceptions to the feeling that we are too flawed for others, who deserve better. Most of us have the capacity to offer more than we think we do, and thereby become more appreciative of ourselves. It’s too complicated for here to talk about hope, faith in oneself, and how a long process of recovery unfolds. It’s worth noting that sometimes we unconscious push people away, appearing to ourselves be a threat when we do not so intend.

In terms of harmful relationships, mine were not harmful like others.  I wasn’t physically abused.  But maybe I was manipulated or used.  Do any of us really know how  to navigate life in a clear and balanced way?  Do most of us think that someone is out to get us or is there to disrupt our life, take something away from us, to ruin our day or make us feel something? My Mom has said to me many times, ‘people don’t make you feel something, you let them make you feel it’.  

We all struggle.  Who knows how to do any of this?  Who knows anything?  I know I don’t.  I just know that I want there to be fairness.  I want people to treat each other with kindness and care.  I want the lens of fair to be so sharp  and bright that there can be no question. 

Right now I am still in the middle and while I know the side I would move to if I had to I will still fight for the other side as well.  As long as their goal is also equality, fairness and no one is harmed.  Right now, I don’t see that or feel it and I am pretty sure it has nothing to do with my childhood, but pure lack of enough concern for humanity and a lot of misinformation. We have to fight together and fight our personal bias.  We all want our rights and our freedoms, we can’t eliminate those for others because they believe or feel differently.

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don't speak...don't speak!

Almost…

Deep reflection is not a new space for me.  Writing things down is not new either.  Actually putting them out to be seen by anyone is still something I don’t do that often.  Some of you may disagree.  If I showed you my Cloud, Notes, email drafts and old blogs no one knows about. I think you would get it.

I almost let someone silence me recently because they twisted my words to lash out at me for something and I questioned my ability to articulate a thought. I am not a bad person, I do deserve respect and I will continue to fight for equality for everyone in all aspects of life.  And I will speak out.

I’ve been called sardonic, yes.  I’ve been called judicious, yes.  I’ve been called dark, yes.  I’ve been called solid, no.  But never, “this tells me that you don’t want anyone to have freedom of choice, not women in danger, or any person who wants to have freedom of choice”.  What?? At least to my face and uh, not what I said. 

Oh, ‘I’ve been called solid, no’. In case you are wondering. This is my shield, my protection. No I am not solid. In reality, I am a melting mess 75% of the time. Kind of like this post. And it is exhausting even in normal times.  But now?  Family stuff, COVID, racial injustice, division over things like science and a cloth to protect each other from a virus that’s killed… where does it end? It will not end.

I will however acknowledge that how I reacted to what is happening in Texas, maybe could have been done in a better way. That said,  my question stands and more or less is saying, maybe not asking, what’s the next law another state will pass that infringes  on the rights of its citizens.  And now the DOJ agrees.

Ironically, that was exactly my point of the post I shared and my words were twisted.  I do absolutely expect that if not stopped our freedoms will be whittled away by white men trying to control what they have no legal, or moral right to.  Period!  

So here it is.

Ironic – The expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.

Sarcasm- The use of irony to mock or convey contempt.

Which is why this;

“Private individuals in Texas can now sue anyone who performs or aids banned abortions, including doctors and even an Uber driver taking a patient to an abortion clinic. Plaintiffs, who need not have any connection to the matter, can win $10,000 in damages.” NYTimes

Made me say this; 

So, can I sue someone for not getting a COVID vaccine?  What if they infect a love one who then dies?  Seems like I should be able to do that.

NO!  I DO NOT THINK THAT LAWS SHOULD BE PASSED LETTING CITIZENS SUE EACH OTHER!

Sotomayer’s Defiant Dissent  

Honestly, this is what I believed happened. Psychological projection a defense mechanism in which the ego defends itself against unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves and attributing them to others.[1] A bully may project their own feelings of vulnerability onto the target, or a person who is confused may project feelings of confusion and inadequacy onto other people. Projection incorporates blame shifting and can manifest as shame dumping.[2] Projection has been described as an early phase of introjection.[3]

We live in very trying times.  We are pitted against each other with falsehoods and misinformation.  Not so long ago I said, assumptions are killing us. 

Your belief is not right for every one. Your truth with out credible facts that can be referenced or even offered are not truth but your opinion.  Of which you are entitled to. However;

These are my opinions.  And I would fight to the end to say that my opinions or thoughts are a fight for freedoms for everyone on this planet.  Especially for those I love.  There is a minority ruling the majority right now and that is scary and the consequences feel evil.

My truth may not be yours, but I believe they are rooted in the fair an equal treatment of every human being on this planet.  Do you not want that?  Or do you want more than your neighbor or the person across the office or passing you in the aisle of the grocery?

I believe we all do want the best for others, but un-investigated or acknowledged bias within each of us does impact how that best is defined and how we see it in others.  (My opinion, maybe. Or a truth).

There are many things that worry me because of the potential downstream impact on humans.  Regardless of the side of the aisle you are on, when laws start getting past to restrict freedoms, they won’t just be the one you agree with.

If a state, Texas can pass a law like this, my point or my reaction was the lunacy of this.  What’s next? We are in precarious times and the slopes are slippery.

~Legal Defense Fund statement on Supreme Court decision.

The social media  platform is a hit and run environment. Don’t hit and run.  Be brave enough to look me straight in the eye if you are going to accuse me of being someone that I am not.

You know that Maya Angelou quote?

Wrote about that last time cause I’m having trouble with “This”.

Except for a few years in my late teens of radical fundamental christian self-righteousness judgement, I am who you met the first time.  Maybe I was a bit guarded or you may have even thought me aloof.   But I am me. An introvert who keeps her circle small and loves that if I don’t want to I don’t have to leave my house.

Saying the last couple of weeks have been deep reflection is an understatement. In the beginning my reflection immediately lead me to believe I should be silent.  No more posts, no more commentary on the injustice I see today.  No one needs to hear from me.  And I know I’m not going to change anyones mind. 

I would like to think that albeit my delivery is sometimes, sardonic or sarcastic or even ironic, you know me and know what I meant.

I used to say that I was more silent than verbal because I often had this deep feeling that my words had no value or no one was ready to hear what I had to say, therefore I saved my words. Literally.  Or who would care what I thought.  I would save them until someone was ready.  

One has already decided that I am no longer the person they thought I was. A message to her. Nothing is further from the truth.  But your opinion is yours and yours alone.  While wrong, I will respect that.  And no matter what, I will be here if and when you call.

I imagine they might not read this, but I want this to be clear, my post was trying to point out the lunacy of a government  passing laws and regulating what choices a woman makes for herself.  New Texas law removes that right and  allows someone, anyone to sue anyone helping  a woman or child get an abortion.  At its very worst, a father can rape his daughter no matter her age then sue if she tries to abort a child as result of that rape.  As I read somewhere,  this is a blueprint for other states to follow suit. 

My friend Ken said,

Thanks Ken!

Sometime in their own struggles or pain, others will project their fears, their struggles onto you.  They will judge you and question your core.  I nearly let this happen and it almost silenced me. While an important time of reflection and thought about what is important to me, I will not be silenced or manipulated to conform to another’s self projection on who I am.  

A conversation does not happen in the comments section, DM or email.  They happen face to face, a conversation.  A talk, especially an informal one, between two or more people, in which news and ideas are exchanged. The other is noise and pointless.  If you want to question something I say and don’t have my number to call to meet, then ask me for it. And yes, I’m a little guilty here with this post.

I was raised as and am a bleeding heart liberal for god’s sake! Not a radicalized version of anything. Well, in liberal terms I guess.

When I see something and respond, or react, it comes directly from core.  My desire for fair and equal treatment of all humans period.  And in the reason for this post, my ridiculous response to a ridiculous law. 

Yet we don’t live in a fair society.  While many are saying don’t take my freedoms they are supporting taking freedoms away from others and can’t see past their ego or fears.  How does EVERYONE not see that? We are a mess. And Texas…

Side bar – I’m also a bit unsettled about the vaccine mandate. I need time to rattle that around and might come back later. Right now I will say, what about my right to live and work is a safe place free of a virus that is deadly. How am I protected if others aren’t?