Monday, March 30, 2020

One is the Loneliest Number

Introverts are not hermits.
 Now that I've cleared that up for some of you I must explain why I felt the need to inform the public. 

Just because I'm introverted doesn't mean I'm handling this quarantine situation like a boss. To be perfectly honest I'm not doing so well. I'm human and regardless of the stigma that introverts are cellar dwelling, cave occupying, shun the world and all its beings, troglodytes, I find myself feeling quite abandoned and lonely.  It's weird I know but contact is important that's why solitary confinement causes mental health issues in relatively mentally healthy people (yeah, I know I don't belong to that aforementioned group). Anyway, the thing I miss the most is Sunday hugs. Not going to my spiritual community on a regular weekly schedule has thrown a wrench in  my already delicate psyche. Even at work (I work at my church) it's hard not having that touch that is important to me. Otherwise I don't really get it. Regardless of your introverted range you still need human contact.

In social distancing one is still the loneliest number even with a Liam Hemsworth or Dwayne "the rock" Johnson distance between the group of ten you are allowed to have. (Wow! It's bad when I start using people, fine, long, tall, glasses of water people to measure distances). Thirsty?  Sorry, as I was saying before my ADHD and hormones kicked in, I'm floundering.

I've connected with people via text, Zoom, Messanger, etc. it helps but it's not the same. If anything this pandemic has reminded me how important my small but quality tribe is.
Take care of yourself and each other by checking in. It may be all some people have. I don't live alone so I'm lucky in that respects.
 Hang in there. We're all in this (isolated) together. 

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Leapin' Leap Year!

Yep, it's been awhile.  I've pulled off all of the cobwebs, swept up the dust bunnies, and wiped the grime off of the windows.  The air is a bit stale but the place still looks the same around here, a side from the random broken consonants and a few cracked vowels.  I did have to call Punctuation Control due to a colony of feral semicolons that had holed up in 2017 (no one was around) those things tend to always pop up in places they aren't needed 😉. 

I'm back! I figured what better way than Feburary 29th to leap back into this monthly head rambling.  Why do I do this? Solidarity?  Confession?  Accountability?  Silliness?  Vulnerability?  Yes, and many other reasons but what I've learned about the human condition is that we are so much more than we give ourselves credit for.  The many facets of ourselves, although not always pretty (you can read past entries for those) can be quite uh...educational, some can be quite humorous (check out "This Little Thing Called Fear"), some have trigger warnings avoid those if you still struggle.

This beginning leap year entry is just to invite you along my path of growth and discovery. What impacts my daily routines and how I handle or not handle it (Hey, I'm human!). Now showing: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, & Indifferent.
Grab a plate! I'm not sure what I'm serving up every month because the menu varies.

Bon appetit!

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Biggest Little Ballerina

 “Rubenesque: the word for masterpiece curves. Screw you, unsalted rice cakes.” -Christine Heppermann

Over 75% of my life I have been overweight. The euphemisms thrown at me weren't necessarily soothing. I have been called fat, plump, chubby, cuddly, hearty, healthy and someone even dropped the word fluffy once like I'm somebody's pet.
When I was too old to hide behind my mother's skirts I would beg her to let me wear my hair down instead of the usual ponytail or braids. People would always be distracted by that part of my appearance because my hair was long, thick, and curly and if my father hadn't been a barber I would have let it grow down to my ankles as long as it kept comments away from my physical stature.

My Parents wouldn't let me take dance lessons. My mother was raised in a strict church that called it a sin. Sometimes I would pull down the shades, close the door and twirl around the room. My brother caught me dancing once, and he laughed and said I couldn't be a ballerina because I was too fat. He didn't tell my mom that he found me dancing but I believe getting in trouble would have hurt less than his words that would forever haunt my conscience. All I wanted was to dance ballet like my cousin Nicole who was everything I wasn't including thin. Whenever I was spotted climbing trees in my Sunday dresses or making mud pies, my mother would ask why I couldn't be more like Nicole. However, now that I was showing interest in something that Nicole was doing like dancing I was told “No”. I dared not bring up the subject again out of fear of a lecture pertaining to what is and isn't a sin. I just couldn't understand how a beautiful form of communication could be sin so unbeknownst to my parents I found a friend who lived nearby and was taking ballet. I gave a quarter every time she taught me what she learned in class.
Pretty soon I began to realize that dancing wouldn't have made things better, but worse. Even if my parents would have allowed it; I would have stuck out like a sore thumb. I would have been the center of attention, not for my hair or my dancing but because I would have been the biggest little ballerina.

I stood in front of the bathroom mirror trying to brush the red dirt from my new shorts. My legs were covered in stinging welts, some were bleeding and I had two big blotches of blood caked with dirt and grass that clung to my knees. I slowly removed my shirt and with tears clouding my eyes I saw red teeth marks on my chest and I cried. I wasn't crying because I was in pain. I cried because there was evidence that I had been violated, that it had really happened and it wasn't a nightmare. I starred at the mirror at my chest and immediately felt shame because it stuck out slightly. A fat girl problem mocking being an early bloomer but I was only six years old. I didn't tell anyone about the violations but I wished I did because it occurred many times afterward.

In school I discovered how much I hated other kids. Their mean and cruel taunts pierced my confidence and gave me a new hatred for my last name. I was easy prey and became a loner but not by choice. The boys in my neighborhood that lured me into the woods to beat and rape me promised not to tease me as long as I continued to let them touch me. I still hate myself for allowing it. I still can't forgive myself for not telling. I would go to bed crying every night praying and asking God to please stop the knotting pain of guilt in my stomach and to please not send me to hell for my dishonor. The knotting pain wouldn't go away and I ripped the pages of my diary into tiny pieces and buried them in the back yard because I thought I was dying and I didn't want anyone to read about what a bad girl I was.

In high school I was still known as the fat girl but I now had the camaraderie of many others. I was still a loner but had a few friends. My friends thought I was funny and they liked my stories of misfit teens and my poems that made fun at the expense of world problems and situations. I also sketched uncanny likenesses of my teachers and sold them for a dollar a piece (five bucks if you wanted darts to go along with it). Being called the fat girl lost some of its sting. I'm not sure if was because there were others like me or I just got used to it.

People who are overweight don't want unsolicited advice. Guess what. We know we're fat. We live in homes with mirrors.” - Al Roker

Sunday, May 31, 2015

At the end of Lonely Street is my genetic dead end.

Not married. Not in a relationship. No prospects on deck. It's almost laughable as I remember my little girl self planning out my wedding and naming my future children. I had everything planned except one thing... the husband. But why worry about that at such a young age? I have plenty of time to find him. Many years later and I'm contemplating my future. Loathing all those fairy tales I read. My knight on his white horse (Proverbial of course) has yet to find me and to be perfectly honest, I haven't actually tried very hard to find him. I've romanticized this idea for so long I'm afraid my reality will always pale in comparison. Why ruin that? 

I'm not about to go into my daddy issues. I plan on keeping this shorter than War and Peace. I do have issues with men. I don't trust them very much. I have many reasons. Most of those reasons come from my observance of my peers.

 Ruby Gillis says when she grows up, she wants to have a line of beaus on a string and make them crazy for her. I'd rather have one in his rightful mind.There are some things in this world that even I cannot hope to understand. -Anne Shirley Anne of Green Gables.

I'd watch my friends in middle and high school breaking off into pairs, splitting up, crying, angry, then pairing off with someone else. I found the whole thing dizzying and kind of silly. I had one friend in particular who would flirt and tease and have several guys vying for her attention and I realized this infatuation thing wasn't for me. I dove into my art and writing and the few guys that I did temporarily pair off with was just so I could say that I had that experience. I was never boy crazy. I would look and lightly flirt with no intentions beyond that and found the whole thing tedious. I'd listen to the other girls giggle out vapid fantasies of their dream date or guy. I'd roll my eyes. How I became so cynical at such a young age is odd.  Then again odd seemed to be my specialty. I was the weird kid and the fat kid so being that type of overachiever didn't solidify dates in my calendar. Most of my guy friends were gay so that didn't help either. 

So I guess I'm stuck listening to my biological clock ticking slower everyday. As I care for my aging mother I wonder who's going to do this for me? Will I be the little old lady they find weeks later that died alone? I'm reminded of a quote from a television show I watched called the Torkelsons. 
"What's the wrong way to eat spaghetti?"

I know I have a large extended family and a large family on my fathers side (My grandmother Essie had 16 children) but they are scattered or far away. Have I been picky too long? Has my depression played a part or maybe my sexual abuse as a child? The multiple facets of every human soul wants some kind of connection. I look at my friends and peers that are married with children and I get a pang. I'm not sure if it's jealousy or just simply loneliness. 

To Do List:
Get a big table. 
Invite people over. 
Serve spaghetti. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

I'm short. Pass me another soapbox.

A riot is the language of the unheard - Martin Luther King Jr.

Okay, here goes the media again detailing several unruly uprisings of riotous brown people. That's right!  I said it! No shame.  However, the media fails to mention the many peaceful displays of protest. Haven't heard of any of those? Me either. I had to research them. I guess peaceful doesn't get ratings.

Hmm... where to start on this juicy topic? Where not to start. Lets face it, the lean and hungry are scrounging for morsels but left with the proverbial rice cake. Meaning large in size however tasteless and full of unsatisfying air. That's the ballad of the oppressed. This abandonment of your own nation holding up a surplus of that American pie just out of reach and ever so often allowing a crumb to fall leaving them starving and still reaching. This my friends create an uprising. This inequality causes riots.  I do not condone violence. Brutality only adds more pain to this already bruised nation. But when are you going to start listening, America? Put down your tablets, smart phones, and programmed ideas of what you've been told to think. People are wounded, misunderstood, and aching to be heard.

Those flocking to social media spouting their outrage over the riotous "thugs" only serves to polish their privilege badge. It serves no purpose. If a hungry child comes to your door do you read them a cookbook and send them on their merry way only satisfying your conscience instead of their bellies?

Think all "riots" are the same?  Check this out via The Young Turks

The plight of a people, your people America has been shouted from the rooftops and mourned in the graveyards. Open your ears, hearts and minds!

It's still not easy being brown in America.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Standing in the Misunderstanding

Having mental illness is a constant reminder that you will be misconceived on many levels on any given day. Sometimes this direct assault on your person will be in a way that you were not expecting and sometimes it is sadly familiar. Regardless of the invasion of your integrity you will experience a plethora of emotions.

For example I was pleasantly surprised to receive snail mail from an old friend. The fondness quickly faded when I opened said letter and saw hand written on the top of a devotional text “I thought of you when I read this”. The text was about Legion. For those of you unfamiliar with the bible Legion was a tortured little soul called so for being possessed with many demons. Great! Now I'm thought to be demon possessed. Audible sighs escaped my lips throughout the day as I thought about the mail I received.

The stigma of mental illness stands pretty strong on it's own without the help of those you consider friends and family feeding said monster and causing the drizzle of depression or whatever you might be experiencing to turn into a level 5 storm or hurricane. Now, knowing the person she is I know it was not meant to come from a place of malice. In knowing that doesn't mean I wasn't crushed and downtrodden by the assumption. Trying to stand in the misunderstanding of my mental illness is where the trial begins. I originally crawled and slid on my belly through many levels of hurt. I wallowed in anger, tumbled in despair, and was engulfed in self doubt. I bobbed and sank in this flood for days until slowly I realized that A.) this collapse was not beneficial, B.) this does not help with the understanding of mental illness, and C.) I'm pretty exhausted with wrestling with all of this.

I started with a letter to myself. Explaining how it was okay to feel what I felt and even how it was okay to wallow. I explained that no matter what, there will always be misunderstandings and how when I fall into them to pick myself back up and stand even when I'm still hunched over from hurt. My standing in this is not only for me but for the millions of others that deal with this stigma on a regular basis.

I know there are ideas and thoughts in every community that strengthens the shame of having a mental illness but I can help with that understanding by talking about it and not being ashamed. By explaining my situation and my thoughts and feelings because no one can fully understand until they have experienced it.

Finally I wrote a letter asking to meet and talk with this person. I have made notes, set boundaries, and set my intent for this meeting. So as not to fall back into the emotions that do not serve my purpose. I ask that you set some time to stand in the midst of a misunderstanding. Stand in love and kindness. Stand in your truth. Stand in who you are.

Stand and grow.