Release Me

Why am I my own worst enemy?

Release me from my self imposed shackles.

Open the window to my soul.

Let my eyes see the sunlight.

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Public Speaking

Public speaking has never been my thing.  I had to do it the other day at work.  It was something I had been dreading for a while.

I’d made the task so overwhelming.  No one else in the room seemed to be so distressed.

Part of it was my fault.  I’d been telling myself for days that I would stay up late or wake up early to get my project done.  Last minute pressure would make my brain work better.  Well those sort of strategies may have worked when I was 20, but not so much now.  Having rushed through preparing the information I was to speak about obviously didn’t help at all.

I can only make it better next time though by getting my information together in plenty of time, and perhaps even rehearsing at home.  Why does this whole experience make me feel like I am in school again.

I feel like I have a defective part of my brain.  Others seem to do these things so easily.

Waiting until the last minute made me a hair late.  Normally I am punctual.  I could see my supervisor glare at me momentarily as I entered the room.  Time to do better next time.

My Cold, Cold Heart

The dark is beginning to squeeze out the light.  It is pitch dark as I get ready for work.  October rains bring a cold dampness indoors.

I love fall, but then there is the looming threat of winter.  Winter, where the urge to close the curtains, and take a mental health day(or 4 or 5) is ever so strong.  The bed calls my name.  I probably would take a mental health day off, but the health care industry isn’t super compassionate about people missing work…..or at least all the jobs I have ever had.

Just a couple months ago I’d thought about talking to my doctor about decreasing my antidepressants, partly because of the expense.  I feel like that would be a huge mistake. It feels like a switch has been flipped, how I can feel my mood plummeting.

If I were stronger, or more self disciplined, maybe I could handle this better.  I know the dip in my mood is coming, surely there is some way I could be better prepared.

It is probably time to turn off the TV and stay away from the more controversial parts of the internet, that would be helpful.

If this is October what will I do when it gets really cold and that hellish thing called snow comes calling.

Rule Book

When I was a child I remember having very strict notions about what was FAIR.  I think I also had some strict notions about what was just, even if I couldn’t have articulated the concept.  Of course fair as a child might center on trivial issues like each child at the birthday party getting the EXACT same sized piece of cake.

When I was a child I had the notion of an invisible rule book everyone followed, because that would be FAIR. One person would receive the same penalty for a crime as another.  The teacher would step in when she saw someone bullied.

Going to Catholic schools growing up I believed our leaders tried their best to ensure the public school system ensured equality of opportunity for all who passed through its doors.  When my own kids started public school, I saw that wasn’t quite so.

I believed my Catholic public school neighbor would stand up for me when his friend shouted “Dirty Catholic” across the street, when he saw me walking home in my Catholic school uniform.  I believed my parents would intervene somehow in the situation.

I believed that people wouldn’t selectively turn their heads away at the injustices of the world.

Of course little by little I realized my rule book was an imaginary work of fiction in my own brain.  If I got myself in a tizzy every time someone didn’t follow my rule book, I’d go crazy.

Recent events in the US from Charlottesville to the Las Vegas shootings to Harvey Weinstein make me sad.  That rule book in my head just won’t stay quiet.  No answers, just sadness.

I remember after 9/11, crying all the time when I watched the news.  Eventually I had to stop watching TV for a while.  Turning off the TV might be okay, but someday we need to pay enough attention to get our problems figured out.

American Hypocrisy

A few years ago, there was a regular visitor to my workplace, a VIP kind of a guy.  I never did understand his presence in our workplace.  He expected people to stop what they were doing and cater to him.  He often exhibited many strange behaviors.  If you complained about him to your supervisor you’d get some really odd responses.  Odd responses from people that considered themselves very openminded.

I generally found the guy disruptive and an asshole.   One of my odd experiences with him was him entering my “office”, and me finding him there, looking at information that was supposed to be kept confidential.  I complained, and was essentially gaslighted by my supervisor.  I must have misunderstood, he’d entered the office by mistake, he wasn’t trying to look at confidential information.

He kept being an asshole and no on stopped him.  Fast forward a few years and he is asking others how he can take pictures of female employees with his phone.  He makes lewd remarks loud enough for others to hear.  He calls female employees vile names. Not too long after that he is finally banned from our workplace.

When others complained about his behavior they would be told they were taking things too personally.  Administrators don’t seem to care.  I live in a place that calls itself progressive.  People voted for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

While I’d never been the target of the VIP guys lewd comments, the whole experience makes me feel dirty.  Especially the administration’s long term attitude of gaslighting the individuals who had complained about his behaviors.  The two people I directly complained to about him were women.  Go figure.

Fast forward to this Harvey Weinstein business.  It all strangely reminds me of old VIP guy.  People know about his behaviors and don’t challenge him.

Now that famous people are coming forward to denounce Harvey Weinstein, something seems to stink to me.  Surely many people knew about his behaviors before, but chose to deal with the devil anyway.  People are anxiously waiting for Hillary Clinton and the Obamas to denounce him,  as if they believe these individuals care about the Harvey Weinstein’s  behaviors.  Hillary and the Obamas took money from him, they made their deal with the devil.  I have yet to hear if they will return contributions given to them from Weinstein, like other individuals have done.

People give opinions about Harvey Weinstein, but sort of jump around the Clinton issue.  They might denounce Trump and rightly so.

Those who jump around the Clinton issue, I find strange.  It is no good for Harvey Weinstein to be a sexual predator, but we totally avoid the fact that Bill Clinton was also a predator…this I cannot understand.  Especially when so called feminists can’t put Bill in this camp along with the Donald and Harvey.  It makes me sick.

I voted for Jill Stein in 2016.  November of 2016 was as close as I ever came to wanting to move to Canada, not that it would necessarily be a better place.  I hope in 2020 we can find some worthy candidates free of baggage.

 

Confused with Christianity

I was raised Catholic.  Though I certainly have some issues with Catholicism, the brand I was raised with didn’t seem withdrawn from the world at large.

It seems many Christians are huddled in their own little corners, worrying about same sex marriage, female submission or drivel like the Nashville Statement.  Don’t know what the Nashville Statement is?  It is a statement crafted by small minded men focusing especially on sexual morality.

Do the people who dote on issues of sexual immorality think they should ever take a breather for a while and see what is happening in the world?  When did we as Christians decide we should be deaf to the cries of those in need.

So many Christians seem silent on issues like the Charlottesville Riots, hurricaine relief, and DACA?   While I certainly was taught about sexual immorality back in the day, I always felt encouraged in some way that it was our duty to help those less fortunate than us.  Whether it was attempting to feed the hungry, help the elderly, or going to a protest to speak out on Trump’s attempts to end DACA, that spark was always there.

While certainly all Christians don’t fall into this camp, the world is making me sad right now.

Have we forgotten the words of Jesus?

Matthew 25:35-40

35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

Night

My plan is just to get through the night. To wake up in the morning, refreshed and ignorant of what went on through my supposed hours of sleep.

I want no drama, no tangled sheets.  No getting up to make it hotter or colder.  No buzz from my “smart phone”.  No getting up to see what is going on in the world wide web.

No waking up to my legs moving and some curious fragment of a dream. No sensations as if I am falling.  No sweating as if I had really been running.

No curious dreams of people I knew in the past or now in the present.  The most bizarre dream stories contain people I haven’t seen for years along with people I know presently.

No thoughts of trying a potion to make me sleep.  No trying relaxing scents to soothe me to sleep.  No one waking up next to me telling me “why don’t you just try to get to sleep, why do you keep getting up”.  He who falls asleep in minutes, who doesn’t understand my troubles.

Lastly, no getting up to have a snack, thinking if I only had something to eat, I would fall asleep instantly.

Will The American South Ever Remember Its Brutal Antebellum History?

I don’t normally reblog. I found this post from The Raven Report haunting and well worth the time to read.

The Raven Report

13-xpSTATUE1-master768*Sidenote: While The Raven Report does not typically offer commentary on the details of history, this current rise in white supremacist activity and Southern recalcitrance regarding the issue of black lives demands attention. As someone recently said, “If you ignore the problem, you are part of the problem.” And so, we would like to do our part in promoting the notion of equity among people, regardless of their race, creed, or gender. Thank you for being involved. Let’s make history.

With so much talk in the news about Charlottesville, Virginia and the recent race riot they endured, it’s worth considering what all the fuss is about. The Virginia controversy has centered specifically on a statue of the Confederacy’s top general, Robert E. Lee, who appears larger than life as he sternly surveys the landscape before him—a landscape plowed, planted, and reaped by the hands of African slaves. In many…

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Charlottesville Riots

Here in the United States, white supremacists came to Charlottesville, Virginia to rally around their cause.  In the violence that happened during the event, one woman was killed and many injured.  I personally know no one who supports the cause of the white supremacists.  In my circle of friends and acquaintances many of expressed horror and disgust over the actions of the white supremacists.  People are saddened that these nasty individuals are considered a representation of the United States.

As we grieve and are saddened by the events, I have questions.  If we really want people to be on equal footing, what small things are we doing on a daily basis to help achieve this.

I live in a very liberal university town.  My children attend/attended public schools.  I attended private schools growing up.  So perhaps I was a bit naive, but I thought the public school system represented equality of opportunity.  I thought everyone from the superintendent to the school board members to the principals to the classroom teachers were on board with this concept.  I was very wrong.  In my community those from disadvantaged backgrounds have little voice in the system.  Many parents who have kids in the public school system want a system where the rich get richer, and their kids are separated from those they considered the lowest of society.

I’m always surprised that we are horrified by the events of Charlottesville, but we turn a blind eye to other, smaller forms of prejudice.  If we want things to get better, we all have a role to play.  That means getting involved in local politics and state politics as well on a national level.  It means showing kindness to everyone.

Something I will never understand having recently traveled to another part of the country.  What jerks still make and sell Confederate flags?  Who the heck would dress their kid in a tshirt with a Confederate flag.

Summer Snippets…The Graveyard of Old Hurts

Circumstances have dictated that I must spend more time with my sister and my mom. Being around family means that old disagreements and painful memories come back to the surface.

It is okay to examine these old hurts for a time.  It gets dangerous for me though when they start to consume my thoughts.  Memories I thought were long dead come back to life to haunt me.

When those old memories haunt me, it is easy for my depression to sneak in and cast a dark cloud over everything.

I know for now I must say goodbye to the graveyard.  Time to get back amongst the living.