Slash Rant


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And if you do, please just don’t use it against me.  I need to rant and this is the only ear I have.  I no longer have a best friend.  This is all I have.  So just turn away, or read but keep it to yourself.  Because I’m tired, and I’m stressed, and I just need to rant.

It is Friday night at 12:35.  I just told you you were better off going to the bedroom because I was getting angrier by the minute, and in a huff you asked what you’d done now.

Let’s go back in time a few hours where you’d given me the last of your kick-starts so I’d have the fuel to get through the next few days, saying you wish there was more you could do.

Why is it you wish there was more you could do, because after trying to get an incomplete in this current class due to circumstances, I found out that wasn’t the option I thought it was and decided my best bet was to buckle down and get two weeks worth of work done in one weekend.  Why two weeks worth?  Because the second half of next week I will be in Iowa.  Not on some much needed vacation but instead to put my very favorite uncle in the ground, not even a year after putting my aunt in the ground.

All this after months of on again, off again, of my sister and her failing liver in the hospital.  I’m very glad we’re fairly certain I’m not going to lose my sister, I just wish we were more certain she wasn’t going to lose her liver.

And then tonight, I come home after spending 12 hours away, mush of which you had the house to yourself while I did 7 loads of laundry at my mom’s house trying to prepare for a trip I thought was going to be sooner in the week, wanting to be very certain you and the kids would have everything you could possibly need while I was away so I could pretend I wasn’t worried about you guys, and I come home to what I’m guessing to be about 4 loads of dishes.  Which wouldn’t be so bad in itself if I didn’t open the dishwasher to find it still loaded with what I put in it over 48 hours ago.  Real nice.

So before I leave town in less than a week I need to:

  • Do all the laundry about 45 minutes away
  • Make sure all the dishes are washed
  • And try not to fail this damn class.

 

Yep I sure wish there was more you could do.

 

I just really hope my sister doesn’t lose her life, or even just her liver, while mom and I are gone.

 

Because September has been that big of an asshole.

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We are what we make of ourselves.  And our disease is what we present it to be.

If you behave badly and use your mental illness as an excuse, you are helping to propel the stigma of mental illness forward.  If I only know one person with BPD and that person makes bad decision after bad decision, drinking, drugging, sleeping around, hurting themselves and all those near them, and then turns around and blames all this behavior on their BPD as if it’s an excuse, as if they can do as they please because they have this disease, then I’m going to assume this is what I can expect from all those who have BPD.  I may well be your future boss, lover, friend.  This makes it hard for all the others who have this disease but fight every.damn.day to not let it define them prove that BPD isn’t a life wrecker.  And I don’t just mean the life of those diagnosed but the lives of those surrounding those diagnosed.

Maybe remission and recovery isn’t about being 100% symptom free.  Maybe it’s about having the symptoms so well-managed and maintained that you can fool even yourself into thinking you are symptom free.

And where are those people standing up saying “Look at me!  Yes I destroyed so many lives including my own for such a long time.  But nowNow!  Now I have skills and a sheer determination that I will no longer drown in my diagnosis.  I am not my diagnosis, I have my diagnosis!”

Those fighting to destroy the stigma.  Those working amazing jobs with respectable careers despite their diagnosis, terrified to let their diagnosis be known because those words could ruin it all, based on the rep of those people making poor decisions and instead of owning up to them, choosing to blame those words.  These people need you to stop and look at your actions.  I’m not saying that you can automatically stop the actions.  But you can choose to own up to what you do, instead of blaming a diagnosis thinking that you can get away with whatever you want now.  You can’t.  Do you know right from wrong?  Then except that you have done wrong.  You, the person, said those words, did those things.  Not the diagnosis.

I’m not saying I’ve never been guilty of this.  We all have at some point.  But now?  Now I’m on the other side.  And if there is one thing I can do from this side, if I get to choose that one thing, then I choose to show those where I’ve been how their actions, and not owning their actions, create the stigma that all those on both sides try to fight.

We are fighting what we, ourselves created.

How’s that working out for you?  I have to say, it isn’t working out so well over here.

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Calling the weather “Bi-polar” is akin to calling a situation gay or retarded.

No, hear me.

Weather is not a sentient being.  It does not have feelings or moods.  So saying its behavior is “bi-polar” and meaning it as a put down or a sign of craziness, is demeaning to those who have bi-polar, or really, any personality disorder.  If you say it to be demeaning, then it is demeaning across the board.

Just as calling a situation you find to be stupid “gay” is in-effect, calling gay people stupid.  It is the same.  These sentient beings with feelings, thoughts and love may well be stupid, some of them, but it has naught to do with their sexuality.  Maybe they turned their nose up at education, or aren’t wise.  But that is intelligence and lack of intelligence can mean stupidity.  But not sexuality.  Sexuality is something you are born with.  Sexuality is who you love.  And love is never stupid.  It may make you do stupid or foolish things, but love is not stupid.

And the word “retarded” has been fought over all over the internet.  I’ve tried to avoid that can of worms, but it’s time.  There was a time that those who were born with a certain lack of intellectual qualities, were declared “retarded”.  But let’s be clear on something:  Your friend goofing off and doing stupid shit isn’t retarded.  He is dumb or unwise or unintelligent or just blowing off steam and actually the valedictorian of your class.  Who am I to know his story.  That kid with downs (as one of many examples)?  S/he has had to fight harder than you could ever possibly understand to get where s/he is in life.  And maybe that life won’t lead him or her to being a CEO or “successful” by societies standards, but the fight they have had to get to where they are is a success that far surpasses access to dreary board meetings.  And having what it takes to fight hard for that and still wake up every goddamn morning loving life and all it has to offer, is a sheer brilliant you can’t possibly seem to come to terms with.  Not if you are calling your jackass of a friend “retarded”.  Honestly, your friend isn’t worthy of that label.

For what it’s worth, I despise that label because of the ass-backwards connotations it holds.  It should be a label akin to “mood disorder” or “personality disorder” or “heart trouble”.  Something that covers many actual diagnoses, this one happens to deal with learning set-backs.  But no, people have turned it into a dirty word, so a dirty word it seems to be.

Not so very different from the connotations in calling the weather bipolar.

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You’re right, it is only 30 something degrees outside.  But I don’t feel the cold.  What I do feel is formal shoes tearing my feet apart.  I have bad feet, just as I have bad joints, and a misfiring brain.  So I do not feel the cold, but I feel the way my work shoes rub at my bunion that formed on my left big toe.  A rubbing I don’t feel in flip flops.

You’re perhaps right that it is embarrassing to be seen with me, as I wear improper foot wear in the dead of winter.  But that embarrassment is your choice to act upon.  Those who care the most about me choose me over my foot wear embarrassment and move past it because they care more about me than what I wear.  My shoes are my choice.  I put effort into making sure they are at least presentable, not worn down, and even pretty to look at, even if they are indeed flip flop in February. Even if I didn’t put in that effort, they are my feet, my shoes and my choice.  And you too have a choice.  You can let something so trivial stand in our way of spending time together, or you can move past it and decide me, and my comfort, are more important.

I live in chronic pain.  Boohoo, oh I know.  Quite the sob story.  Fine.  But if there is something so simple I can do to sob less, I’m going to do it with no shame.  No.  Shame.  I have 1 week without work and without formal shoes to allow my feet to heal as much as possible before I tear them up again.  And I will take every second of that to allow them to heal.

And if you are going to make the choice to not be seen with me in public, in Meijers at that, then I hold my right to make the choice of who I surround myself with.  And I choose people who care more about me, and my comfort, than they do about whether flip flops are proper foot wear in winter.  Because ultimately, who really cares?

Besides you.

Certainly no one at Meijers.  Lord knows, I spent 40 hours a week there for nearly a year.  I assure you, my flip flops are classy.

Something your behavior and words were not.

I’ve always suspected how you felt.  I always feared what was said behind my back to others.  And now I suppose I know.  You said it to my face, feeling no shame.

As I type these words, I don’t claim class, or to be better than anyone.  But I can claim that of all the reasons I could choose to not be seen with you in public, of which there are plenty enough, I keep them to myself and would never dream of acting upon them because ultimately deep friendship is what matters most.  My caring about you is what matters the most.

However misguided that caring may have been.

I’m known to be irrational.  And if calling me such, or thinking me such allows you to feel better about this, and sleep better at night, then go ahead.  Because frankly, I don’t give a damn.

Because frankly, my flip flops, in winter, far out class your decision, actions, but mostly your words, today.

No one is allowed to make me feel how you tried to make me feel.  Tried.

Tried

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In the days that have followed the school shooting, so much has been thrown around, fueled by anger. The anti-gun people, the mental health system needs fixed people, the don’t blame the mentally ill people. Everyone has something to yell about.

While I don’t have a single thing I want to take back, I do have something to make clear.

This guy was most likely mentally ill. Mentally balanced people don’t gun down a couple dozen children.

But the mental health community is in an uproar over that thought. Which is understandable. You can’t blame the mentally ill. Blaming the entire community, is like blaming every bathtub ever made because someone happened do drown in one.

Look, there are millions of mentally ill people who fight every day to get better and who will never be a threat to anyone ever. No matter the diagnosis.

And there are thousands or millions or billions of mentally ill who want to get help but can’t because they don’t have insurance, or they are wait listed, our there isn’t a bed in an inpatient ward no matter how much they need to stay.

This world has not made it easy for those who need help to get it and afford it.

But this doesn’t make mental illness the monster. It. Does. Not.

What does need to happen is the system needs to change. Mental health care is not a luxury. It can’t be. It has to be a priority. So many of these cases you never would have seen it coming, fine. But the lack of ability to receive proper care does cost lives.

Maybe this kid never tried to get help. I’ll grant that concession.

But what about those who try for help, can’t get it, and take their own? Less of a blood bath, still tragic. Won’t quantify the tragic. I’ve already removed those in my life who have tried to. (Oh those 20 kids didn’t die, therefore it’s not as bad. Seriously? I’m sorry they didn’t die to better my point?)

My point is, any premature death, or life threatening injury, is tragic. 1 or 27. And if lack of proper care is what’s allowing this to happen, then the system is broken.

I’m not done on this. You have not heard the last from me.

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This is what Morgan Freeman has to say about the shooting on Friday.  He has it so very right. (Edit: turns out it isn’t Mr Freeman. All very right.)

“You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here’s why.

It’s because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single *victim* of Columbine? Disturbed
people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he’ll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN’s article says that if the body count “holds up”, this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer’s face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer’s identity? None that I’ve seen yet. Because they don’t sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you’ve just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

You can help by forgetting you ever read this man’s name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news.”

In so many cases this is the truth.

We all can name Osama Bin Laden.  We could all pick him out of a line up, if he hadn’t been found.  Name one of his victims.  Sure many people can.  Many people are related to one.  But that many is not the majority.

Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, Columbine, Aurora, The Unabomber, Jeffrey Dahmer, Jack the Ripper

Name one victim for each, off the top of your head.  Using Google is cheating.

But the men behind the horror?  Are men of legend.  Not positive legend, mind you.  But still legend.

And going back to what I posted earlier and Mr Freeman finished with, tell me about the mental health of everyone named above.

 

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I remember when I learned about Columbine.  I was sitting in my living room, about 15 years old, in High school myself, when Total Request Live with Carson Daily was interrupted for breaking news.  I sat there in shock, horror and awe.

As I finished through high school, shootings weren’t common, but they were a thing.  As I’ve gotten older and become a parent, I’ve always worried.

But I also always figured I had until at least my kids were in middle school before I had to lose sleep over it with my own babies in mind.

Friday’s news changed that.

I watched my twitter stream in horror, shock and awe.  I clicked news page after news page, from my chair at work, hurting that I couldn’t wrap my arms around my babies then and there, refusing to ever let go.

And then I got angry.  Sure I’m angry at the shooter, but I’m also angry at some of the reactions I’ve seen.  Mothers, fathers, self proclaimed experts calling for this and that.  Gun control.  GUN CONTROL!  Their child’s safety is far more important than your access to guns.  Yes, yes it is, but…

Alright, I am all for gun control and regulation.  I don’t know the current laws, but I’d actually be pleased to hear that with my list of mental issues I’m banned from every purchasing one.  I have been locked away for being suicidal after all.  Twice.

But this isn’t a gun control issue.  Say there were no guns ever.  There would still be knives, swords, crowbars, etc.

Clique but: Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.  And this kid wanted to kill.

This kid killed his mother who taught at the school.  I’m no shrink but with the majority of his victims being her students, if I had to give a guess I’d say this is a mental issue stemming from jealously of perceived, “She loves them more than me!”  She wasn’t even in the school at the time.  He went out of his way.  He had a grudge against those children.  Those 5-10 year-olds.  They didn’t have it coming but he sure thought they did.

The real issue.  The real reform needed isn’t gun control, it’s mental health reform.

Too many view mental health help as a luxury, a privilege, and a bartering tool on the floor of our nation’s capital.  But that only works if ignored mental health issues and cries for help don’t lead to senseless, mass, tragic violence.

Mental health reform starts with having therapy, just someone to talk to when stressed, or sad, being a common practice.  Yes I think everyone should have a therapist, even if they don’t visit them even monthly.  And these visits should maybe even enforced when there is a clear sign that someone might actually need it.  It can’t be a matter of can someone afford it.  It can’t hold stigma.  It can’t be viewed as something to vote on or barter over.

When you ignore mental health issues you later read about them in the news.  You see it on live TV.  You lose people all too early in movie theaters, shopping malls, and now apparently elementary schools.

Can every shooting be avoided?  No.  There are crimes of passion.  There is no predicting for Ned walking in on his wife Nancy in bed with his best friend Jim.

However, you can’t tell me that the people behind these horrendous crimes don’t have issues beyond having access to too many guns.

When you barter with mental health, you barter with lives.

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