Tragedy Archive

New Car

Posted December 31, 2020 By kmarrs

In lovely news, I have a new car. Car insurance paid for about a third of it. My parents paid for the rest. She is a 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid SEL. My favorite part is that she is Bluetooth compatible so I can play my phone music through the car speakers. I’ve been wanting to be able to do that for a long time. She has fancy things like a push-button ignition and seat warmers and that is all lovely. But really, she gets me where I need to go, plays my music, and isn’t at risk of falling apart on me. So I’m over the moon.

Isn’t she pretty? I haven’t named her yet. I’ve had her for a few weeks at this point, but I immediately got Covid so I have barely driven her. Since she’s a C-Max I almost want to name her Max, but that’s my name and I don’t feel like sharing it.

Hmm. Actually. She’s an SEL. Maybe Selina?

Anyway, the Matrix that died in the accident was old and needed replaced. I wish I too hadn’t almost died in the process. I would have liked to have taken it out back and shot it when I was damn well ready. But it was nice to have insurance money to put towards this one. I got about 2.7k. So silver linings, I guess.

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Covid 2020

Posted December 17, 2020 By kmarrs

This has been a difficult month. First the car accident. And now Covid.

The thing is, I knew I’d get Covid.

I’m not well, still. It’s been about 2 weeks. So I’m going to go ahead and just copy/paste up into here what I told someone else. It makes it crystal clear how I got Covid. Then I’ll follow up with a PSA.

I’m an in-home caregiver for the elderly and we’re being as careful as can be in general but my client… red as the sea. Her son flies in from California every month to spend a week with her. He does not wear a mask. He goes to parties. He took her to a huge Thanksgiving gathering. He won’t let us wear masks around her. My coworkers are all like, “It’s fine!” Meanwhile, I’m trying to get assigned to another case but I really need this job. Then she f’ing starts coughing a week after Thanksgiving and no one reports it they simply started giving her Nyquil. I reported it immediately when I found out but you’ll never f’in guess what I’m sick as a dog with. Go on. Guess. F me, I guess.

So yeah, it’s no wonder how I got Covid at all. Now for a PSA.

Ok, I’m going to put this out there and I hope y’all are listening because this could save lives. My household has 5 cases of covid and all 5 are presenting differently. Looking at that covid vs flu vs head cold chart you’d diagnose only 1 or maybe 2 of us with covid. If that, since there is little to no coughing happening as far as I can tell. I’m presenting with mostly sinus bullshit. According to the charts going around, that’s not covid. That’s a head cold. Sammy is puking with a sore throat. That’s flu. All of us have random combinations of various cold and flu symptoms. We can’t even all agree on running a fever. So I’m telling you here and now, it doesn’t matter what your symptom looks like. Don’t wait for a cough or shortness of breath. If you have any cold or flu symptoms show up please isolate and get tested. No one is going to get upset with you if you get tested and it turns out to be just a cold. But you could kill someone if you assume it’s just the regular seasonal crud and it turns out it was covid. I wish I had known this a week ago. I would have made some different choices that I can’t unmake and must live with. (I didn’t know Marge was coughing at the time.) My only solace is that I ALWAYS wore a mask.

That PSA is also a week and a half old. Since then the kids are much better, though Iris and I are still miserable. I myself have had every single cold and flu symptom there is. But it all started in my sinuses. I honest to God thought I had seasonal crud because I was comparing my symptoms to the chart. My Covid test was more routine than anything else. And I could have gotten someone very very sick. I, in fact, easily might have. I don’t know. I’ll never know.

Anyway. Work is paying me to stay out for 2 weeks. I just hope and pray I’m actually better at the end of the two weeks because right now I still spike the occasional fever and my cough is atrocious. Y’all know by now my coughs linger. Hopefully since this isn’t bronchitis that isn’t the case. I can’t afford to miss more work than what work is willing to pay me for.

I also just really don’t like being this sick. I can not stress enough that you don’t want Covid.

So wear your mask. Social distance. Don’t gather for holiday gatherings. That includes Christmas at Grandma’s. Don’t kill Grandma. You don’t want that.

And if you have to work because capitalism, don’t beat yourself up. But do take care of yourself and get tested at the first sign of any symptoms.

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White supremacists like to argue that Martin Luther King Jr was a peaceful protester. They like to argue that he would never condone the violence and rioting of the Black Lives Matter movement. Well, I’d like to point out a few things.

First, these protests are intending to be peaceful. People are gathering with signs and a voice, begging to be heard. Their message is one of equality. They are not second class citizens, but they are being treated as such. They want the violence against them to stop and are peacefully asking for just that. So where is the violence coming from? In many cases, it’s undercover police officers looking to turn the peaceful protests into riots so that the force has an excuse to inflict violence on the protesters and take as many of them as possible to jail. You can read about that here. And please don’t forget the influence of white supremacists, which you can read about here.

But let’s go ahead and take a look at MLK Jr. Yes, he did preach peace. Right up until the FBI shot him in the head because his message wasn’t good for America.

So what I’m seeing here is that you want more dreams, but are offering bullets in return.

And don’t come at me about how the bullets are rubber. They are real bullets coated in rubber and multiple first-hand accounts (use google or twitter) are making it clear that the police who are at these protests are aiming for the face and the eyes. It doesn’t really matter what kind of bullet is being used when you are hit in the eyeball by one.

My stance

We all know I’m white so I will not speak for the demands of the people of color under threat by the racism in this country. But as a white person who cares and wants to be an ally it is my duty to callout other whites I see spewing bullshit, hatred, and violence. It is my job to hold other whites accountable for their words and actions.

If I was able to (and I was held back in every way that could literally mean) I’d be on the front lines of the Columbus protests doing my best to use my whiteness and assumed femininity to physically stand between the police and those who are vulnerable, as a human shield. That said, I’m not the first white “woman” to have this thought. In response, first hand reports that filtered back made it clear that the police where specifically targeting white women to insight rage and violence in black men.

Yet clearly the protesters were the problem. /S

I have many more things to say on this but I’m far too angry to continue to be coherent. So I’ll leave on this one final thought.

I have chosen a hill to die on and that hill is wide spread equality to everyone.

But, what’s the point of selecting a hill to die on, if you aren’t, in fact, willing to die?

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A Gentle Reminder

Posted March 31, 2020 By kmarrs

We are, all of us, going through a traumatic event. This is the sort of thing that makes history books and history books are full to the brim of traumatic events.

Science shows that when someone is going through trauma, their brain is producing an overabundance of hormones that trigger rapidly cycling fight/flight/freeze responses. Every single time new data (and it can be literally anything) is input the brain spins the wheel looking for a new response. At this point hundreds of times every day.

It’s exhausting. It leads to a multitude of emotional responses, anger and depression being big among them.

So maybe be kind to yourself. Go extra easy on yourself. And while we all need to be kind, we also all need to practice forgiveness. No one. NO ONE. Is operating at their best.

So many of us are stuck in fight mode. And while we need to be mindful, mindfulness is next to impossible when going through trauma without a long history of constant practice. Even then it’s still challenging.

So forgive your fellow man. Especially those you are stuck in a house with. Hold them accountable sure. We all should be held accountable for or actions. And this does not excuse abuse outright. But please keep in mind the science behind it. And practice forgiveness to the best of your abilities.

And this includes forgiveness of self. Especially if it’s over something as simple as not being as productive as you want to be. We can’t be productive in flight or freeze mode. Fight mode is 50/50.

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Don’t believe me?  I have a copy of the US Constitution sitting right here.  It does mention guns, but certainly not assault weapons of that caliber.  Oh wait, they didn’t have assault weapons of that caliber back then.  Back when our founding fathers were giving you the right to own a gun they used the musket and its attached bayonet, the rifle, and the pistol.  Now, muskets, of the three, were faster than the rifle to load, and about as fast as the pistol, but I don’t have the exact numbers on the pistol, so we’ll go with the generous numbers of the musket.  Muskets could be fired as fast as every 15 seconds, or 45 shots per minute.  The AR-15 shoots 25 rounds in 2.5 seconds.  Then you have to reload, which takes, I don’t know a minute or two, depends on if you’re going into this super prepared or not, and then another 25 rounds in 2.5 seconds.  Without calculating reloading, that’s 600 rounds per minute.  That technology… do you think the founding fathers were nodding yes to that when they gave us the right to own guns?  If they had the weaponry back then that we have today, they would have started with gun control.  But 200 years ago people weren’t taking 600 rounds a minute into schools and taverns with the intent of causing harm for the sake of causing harm.  Because that’s what this is about.  This isn’t about taking your hunting rifle away from you.  This isn’t even about taking your pistol away from you.  This is about taking deadly massive shooting assault weapons out of the hand of the general public.  Because owning an AR-15 Assault Rifle isn’t a civil right.

 

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There is also a conversation to be had about who should be allowed to own guns but frankly, I’m to heart sick for it.  I will say this, though.  If access to mental health care was as easy as access to guns in the US, this might have been a happier month.

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No Return

Posted May 15, 2013 By kmarrs

When I was a freshman in high school, so roughly 15, I had an online friend, whom was depressed.  Suicidal.  I knew this.

One night I sat and read his plan as he typed it to me over ICQ or Yahoo, whatever we were using at the time.  This was 15 years ago.  I read his anguish and what he intended to do about it.  I knew it was coming that night, that hour.  So I started him talking.  Anything to keep him talking.  I gained ground, and I lost it.  I’d gain more, but I’d lose twice as much.  That’s what it’s like when someone isn’t just wishing life away but putting a plan into motion.

I kept him going for an hour or so.  Maybe it was far less.  Maybe it was more like 3.  This was half my life ago and in moments like this, time doesn’t progress normally anyway.  But we talked a lifetime away as I kept him talking right up until he couldn’t type anymore.  And I continued to type to him knowing full well it was too late, he was at that point of no return.  He was already gone.

I had it confirmed, I don’t even know how much later, by his younger brother.

My life was never the same after that night.

I suppose that’s why, so many years later, I can’t just walk away.  It may not be my personal problem, but it’s someone’s problem.  Someone’s friend.  Someone’s son or daughter.  The love of someone’s life, whether they can see it or not.  And maybe for whatever reason, they can’t be the one there keeping them talking.

But I’d like to think that if I hadn’t been available on that fateful night, someone else would have been.  Maybe they could have done better, maybe I got further than anyone could have.  Just as long as he wasn’t alone in his final moments, even if I was an ocean away.

And so no, I can’t walk away.  It doesn’t matter if you are a total stranger.  Someone who knows you and loves you will always be grateful for the heart I put into gaining ground in keeping your life intact.

I told my father the day after it happened.  Knowing full well he was gone, did we have any means of confirming it?  But this person I cried for the night before was an ocean away, and I didn’t even know for sure where.  Technology was much the same then in the sense of talking to people around the world, but unlike today, there was no Facebook or twitter making it possible to narrow down where a lost life might be found so police could be called.

I still think of him time to time.  I don’t remember his name.  Too many years have passed and I’m not good with that aspect  of my memory.  Yet I will never forget, until my own dying days, that feeling I was left with when all was said and done.

And if in my life I can prevent that feeling for anyone else, then I will fight to make it so.

Because you don’t have to love someone to feel that hole of a life lost.

You’d be surprised who can care about you and how.

And no one is better off when anyone is gone.

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