Friday, February 13, 2015

Stop Blaming the Innocent

As many of my friends and family know I was bullied relentlessly in school.  For those who are new to me and this blog I won't go into the gory details, but let's just say it was brutal and daily.  To the point where suicide was a very real option for me, one I tried and luckily didn't succeed.  But because of my experience I have become very loud about anti-bullying, especially in our schools.  I never want another child to go through the hell that I experienced day after day and year after year. 

To be treated as less than human and then be told by teachers and administrators to grow a thicker skin or ignore them was never acceptable, and it still isn't.  That puts the work on the victim to make their situation better when in reality they never did anything to make it bad to begin with.  My favorite was always "You must have done something to make them dislike you", oh yeah that was a good one.  Because no, I didn't.  I was the new kid all the time, and we didn't have a lot of money for new clothes so I wore a lot of thrift store finds.  Guess what?  Instant target.  The other good one was "If you don't react they will stop." Oh yeah, like you can just ignore having glue put in your hair or ignore being shoved to the ground every day, or ignore having rubber bands flung at you, or even better ignore a group of older kids beating you black and blue with their books...Yep I will just walk away and pretend that never happened.

See all of this is blaming the victim, and that has got to stop.  Our society loves to do this, and not just with bullies.  Rape victims get blamed all the time.  If she hadn't of dressed so provocatively, if she hadn't have drank so much or taken that drug.  If she hadn't have gone with that guy.  What the hell does that have to do with anything?  If there is no consent, or if there is no mental capacity to give consent then it is rape and the perpetrator is the one at fault.

Even certain murders society will look at and blame the victim based on that person's past.  Were they a sex worker, oh well then they led a risky lifestyle so it was bound to happen.  NO!  That does no excuse on person taking another person's life.  A person's life is not more valuable based on what choices they make in life.  Just because they are a gang member doesn't mean they aren't somebody's son, or brother, or even father.  We may not agree with their choices, but it doesn't mean a life wasn't lost.

Stop blaming the victims people.  Start placing the blame where it belongs, on the people committing the acts that make these people victims.  Nobody deserves to be bullied, nobody deserves to be raped, and nobody deserves to be murdered.  Let's get our priorities right here and stop blaming the innocent.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Mind Your Beeswax

Yeah, I get it, I call in sick a lot and I leave work early unexpectedly a lot.  But you know what?  That’s between me, my manager, and my doctors.  That’s right I said doctors with an “s” on the end.  You see that happy face I put on all the time is a carefully crafted mask.  It’s a mask designed to hide the physical and mental pain I endure every day.  Every once in a while it slips because I just can’t hold it anymore.  Those are the days you label me a bitch.

You think you know my struggle through observation and then you deign to tell me what I should do based on your keen powers of observation.  The reality is you only know the little bit I let the outside world see.  You don't see my pain, you don't see my anguish, and you don't see my tears because I don't let you.  I don't let you because it really is none of your business, and honestly I have too much pride to let you know that I am that far beaten.  Not beaten by you, but beaten by my own body and mind.  Beaten by the pain that rips through my joints and muscles and beaten by the angry and horrible thoughts that race through my mind day after day, hour after hour, minute by minute.  Thoughts that have been with me for years and now feel like an old companion that I will never be free of.  But that's none of your business either.
Yet you have decided it is your business.  You think it's okay to speak up and tell me what I can and can't do.  How I should live my life, when I should give up and roll over and play dead.  You think you know me better than I know myself.  You think you can tell me when I have had enough.  Well guess what, you don't know shit.  Yeah, you see the mask slipping so you think you are seeing me at my worst.  You think that's my breaking point.  The point where I am going to call it quits and go home.  You ain't seen nothin' yet toots.  For all I have been through and all I carry every day I am a hell of a lot stronger than you will ever know.  You would be amazed what I can push through.
Those times when I do go home, or even call in sick, those are the times when I just can't lift that mask up anymore.  Where the weight of it has gotten so heavy and the pain of carrying it around so great that I just can't muster up a smile to face the day.  Maybe the physical pain is so great that I can barely crawl to the bathroom and back, or maybe the mental anguish has gotten so bad that I am at the point of hysterical anxiety.  Either way, that's none of your business either.
So the next time you think you know what's best for me.  Or you think you have my life figured out based on your observations.  Just don't.  The best thing you can do for yourself and me is to close your mouth before you open it and mind your own beeswax.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Can't we all just get along?

I believe that when you have a specific issue you should seek the support of others going through a similar experience.  The camaraderie and feeling of not being alone can really help when you feel isolated and helpless.  Since I have what I consider to be more than my fair share of issues, or what my fiancĂ© and I fondly refer to as subscriptions, I have reached out to various online support groups for, well, support. 

Some of these groups are quite large, tens of thousands of peoples, and when you get that many people together from various backgrounds you are bound to have differing opinions from time to time.  Now one would like to think that since we are all together for a common cause that we could set these differences aside and support one another regardless of race, gender, sexual preference, religion, etc.  And one would be oh so wrong.

The biggest hot button?  Religion.  In fact in some groups the discussion of religion is banned all together and anytime it is brought up the posts get deleted immediately.  In other groups they ask you to be respectful, and unfortunately that doesn't always work out so well.  Such was the case last night.

In one of the groups I belong to a person posted offering to pray for anyone who needed it.  A very sweet and generous offer.  It was quite simple, if you wanted prayers you posted and if you didn't you just moved along.  Then, someone else decided that this post offended them and replied with a message saying they were offended because it was a decidedly Christian post and they were not Christian.  The original poster then was upset because they didn't intend to offend anyone and so as not to upset anyone else deleted their own post.

And oh dear gods did this cause a tizzy.  Now half the group is jumping all over the admins because they assumed the admins removed the post because the one person was offended.  Then it turned to an us against them discussion about Christian vs. Non-Christian.  Everyone was weighing in, including me. 

I tried to remain neutral by saying that I am Wiccan, and that if someone offers to pray for me I simply say thank you.  Because to me a prayer is simply another way to send good energy and karma into the universe for someone.  Apparently that was the wrong thing to say because then this Southern Baptist from Georgia started ranting and raving about how we were all going to hell in a hand basket and they couldn't be around us godless creatures so they were leaving the group.  Aye aye aye!

Then the group's owner, who lives in the UK, was asking me what a Southern Baptist was and what the South and Georgia had to do with anything.  I was trying to explain it and I got screamed at for bashing all Southerners, which I was not doing if they had read all my words and not skipped over the important ones like the qualifiers of "some" and "most" and "many" and "a few".  But you know hey they look exactly like "all" and "every" so I can see the confusion.

The point was though, and I think more Non-Christians were trying to get this across than anything, it shouldn't matter.  We are all there to support each other, and we should just respect each other's beliefs or non-beliefs.  If you don't like a post because of its religious undertones then just move on to the next one.  There are always plenty more to read.  I think it is so sad that our society is still so stuck on who has to be right about which religion is the correct one.  What if we are all right?

My mom has this really amazing way of explaining religion, and I would like to leave you all with this.  Religion is like a giant wheel, and each type is just a spoke on the wheel.  They are all a different path, but they all lead to the same place in the universe.  The center.  It doesn't matter how you worship, or what you call your divine.  We are all heading to the same destination in the end.  So really, what is there to fight over?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

That one word I can never remember

I feel like sometimes I get too serious here, and sometimes I may not show all the facets of who I really am.  I am one of those types that has so many different sides that every day with me is a new adventure, just ask my parents and my fiancĂ©.  And it's not that I am two-faced or untrue, it's just that I am a very complex person.  My last post was about taking the high road in situations when dealing with a bully, and I am not contradicting that at all.  I am going to focus on another aspect of me though, my mischievous side. 

There is this person in my life who is making it pretty much miserable, and unfortunately I am stuck with them.  Much like the person in my last post, but a different person.  This person is making my life miserable through a complete and total lack of competence and common sense.  It is to the point where most days the thought of homicide crosses my mind only to be replaced by the realization that I love my nice fluffy bed too much.

Now, normally and up until recently, I would be as patient as possible on the outside and only suffer silently on the inside while venting to others not related to the situation.  This worked for several months, until one fateful day.  This person in question decided to do the unthinkable, they said something so offensively stupid that I just couldn't let it go.  Sorry, I am only human after all.  So what could they have possibly said?

Well, to make a very long story as short as possible.  A grown-up version of show and tell took place concerning holiday traditions.  A discussion between myself and another was taking place about Wicca, and this moron decides to ask "So, ds you sacrifice animals?".  I think my eyebrows peeled off my face and hit the ceiling.  My reply, a classic if I do say so myself, was "No, and we don't sacrifice babies either."  Apparently this freaked them out even more.  Perfect!

I began to notice that they were starting to keep their distance now.  And the "Witch is In/Out" sign I had kept up since Halloween was no longer a topic of conversation.  Muwhahaha.  Time to have some fun.  I began to repay all the times they had quietly walked up behind me and scared the crap out of me.  Apparently, the subject startles easily.  I bought a magnet of the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz for my file cabinet.  That bought me a whole lot of space and we have now resorted to email only communication unless forced otherwise.  I am highly amused by this.

Of course when I reported this to my therapist he said there is a word for it, shadenfreude.  It is a German word that translates to harm-joy.  It means that you derive pleasure from someone else's misfortune.  Problem is, I can never remember the blasted thing.  I even had to Google it for this post.  But I like that there is a word for it.

Is it probably wrong for me to be this happy over this person being so freaked out by me?  Probably.  Still isn't going to stop it from happening.  Not sorry, I have put up with too much of their BS and cleaned up too many of their messes to be sorry.  So, until that changes I say shadenfreude on!