It has been quite a long while since I have updated my blog, my mental health advocacy has been focused on social media and that has been thriving, I have created groups, I do live videos and collaborated on Podcasts. Also since I last updated my blog, I managed to get my college degree and continue with my volunteer work and I am currently looking for a job but now everything is put on hold due to the Coronavirus health scare.
Since Corona, everything seems to be shutting down, my volunteer work has been canceled for the time being and I stopped the job search because of the anxiety regarding going out in public. I am not sick, but due to high anxiety, I haven’t left the house since Thursday and am scared to do so, I will not out in public with any crowds, I am trying to minimize my risk but all of this is creating so much anxiety and depression with me.
I also was on a strict diet and my digestive and bladder issues were improving greatly but with store shelves empty, I may have to eat and drink what I can get, this is so frustrating. And not only is the virus itself concerning but people’s reaction to the virus is making me angry and irritable. As someone with digestive issues, I rely on items such as toilet paper, soap and gluten-free/dairy-free foods and there is a shortage of those right now. And it because of people’s selfishness that the most vulnerable and sick suffer even more. It all feels out of control and I feel helpless because there is nothing I or anyone else can but wait to see how it plays out.
The bright side is that I am reaching out to my friends online, I am continuing to speak out about mental health and use my struggles to help others, I am honest and vulnerable and reaching a lot of people, which is something I’m proud of that. I am doing self-care, lots of music, movies, hot baths, journaling, whatever I can do to keep my sanity, I am going to try and venture out tomorrow for a nature walk, it might do me some good. I can’t continue to live in this constant anxious and depressed state, it’s no good for me. I will continue to pray and I feel at this time that it will be a good idea to update my blog more as another means of emotional support. Thank you.
I miss my friend John. We never actually met but I feel like I knew him, he seemed like a smart man, witty; full of sarcasm wit; with his snide remarks and those not smart enough to understand sarcasm.
I appreciate his beautiful creativity and how he always pushed the boundaries of art unapologetically He was outspoken, a little broken but aren’t we all. I understand his anger, anger at a system that touts conformity and punishes anyone who is different the rebellious who stand out, someone who was tired of pigheaded politicians and just wanted some truth, just like I do, someone who thought peace and love wasn’t a novel concept and that war was never the answer, war is over if you want it.
The irony is that such a man who was about love and peace died from gun wounds created by a violent culture in a violent city from a sick deranged man who America raised, it makes me sad.
But what I most miss is John’s music and am angry that was taken away from all us by gun violence. All I know is that I miss my friend John.
Where are the leaders, the ones that can fix this broken place full of broken people, broken promises, how can we mend this, I have a feeling glue might not be strong enough. when I see what’s happening around me and my blood boils and my skin gets hot, I can feel the anger rising in me, the hypocrisy and the lies and the hatred, my voice raspy from screaming and not feeling heard, seeing all the suffering caused by indifference of those who possess no empathy whatsoever, my heart breaks, my hands tremble, my heart races, the anxiety of it all. And when I speak, I’m shouted down and told I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m told my feelings are wrong, what I am seeing has become acceptable and I’m the intolerant one, how dare I not tolerate families ripped apart, how dare I not tolerate unarmed children of a darker shade being murdered by those who were put in place to protect them, how dare I not be concerned when war is looming because those in our government instigates rogue leaders through late night tweets in a bathrobe, pacing around like a mad man, drink on the nightstand, one hand on the phone, the other on the remote tuned into the two minutes of hate, How dare I not tolerate the comments made by my fellow citizens that foreigners are illegals ( how can a human being illegal?) or the derogatory comments screamed by angry mobs about women, minorities, gays and anyone else who disagrees with their agenda. No, I can’t tolerate this, I won’t. I will continue to speak my mind and I won’t be silenced because the freedom you hold so dear to your heart doesn’t just mean the freedom to express your views but it’s the freedom of all us including me to make my voice heard and no more. This ends now, it’s become intolerable. no more, I say.
I was just watching a video where Anderson Cooper is interviewing Howard Stern last night and I’ve always liked Anderson Cooper, he has a calm demeanor and he just seems like a really nice guy, really intelligent and caring and passionate about journalism.
But it just hit me, there’s another reason that I like him so much is that I found that his brother committed suicide just like mine. And what I like is that is that he is open about it; just like I am. I admire the fact that he moves forward with his life and usies that tragedy as a way of educating people about mental health.
In this interview on CNN with Howard Stern, they both recount when Anderson was Howard Stern’s show and Anderson was talking about the suicide of his brother and Howard Stern mentions how he used that the story to learn about the issue of suicide..
That’s what it is about; using our stories to educate the public about an issue that has so much stigma. And if a public figure like Anderson Cooper can be so open about the suicide of his brother, so can I and without shame. I just thought I’d share this with you. Thanks for listening and for caring ❤
I keep thinking about small window of time in my life before the internet, I was 12 the first time I used it. We went from a 286 Dos computer with a floppy disc and a mouse to a brand computer with a mouse, CD-drive and this new thing called the internet
I thought it was so cool that I could read a newspaper in another country, I could chat with anyone in the world, I could look at news headlines of any place I wanted, it seemed like the most incredible thing to me, like so much freedom
Looking back I miss the days before though. I miss not knowing what my friends were up to at all times of the day, They were not interested in my every thought and the feeling was mutual I miss not being flooded with negative new stories 24 hours a day and biased opinionated news online ( I mean we had CNN but it was nothing like it is now). I miss days where people actually talked to each other face to face. We were less connected in a sense in yet we were way more connected than we are now. We have the world at our finger tips and can talk to our friends anytime of day and yet we couldn’t be lonelier
We had our privacy, no one was reading our messages or using our thoughts and feelings ( data) to sell to the highest bidder. Kids could have a meltdown in public and not worry about some jack ass recording it and uploading it Youtube. They had bullies, but bullying stopped in the school yard and kids were safe in their own homes unlike now, where they are barraged with harassing text messages and mocked on social media
The internet was supposed to make the world a better place but in many ways it has made things worse. It’s addicting; full of porn and violent images and nothing of substance or value. People have so much knowledge on their phones in their pockets and they choose to look at bullshit and remain willfully ignorant.
Somedays I think we’d be better off without the internet but we can’t go back and we have a generation that doesn’t know a world without the internet. In fact I was the last generation to have gone through my whole childhood without the internet and it was great, we survived, in fact we thrived and we were happier because we didn’t have it.
I am a history buff and its amazing how history repeats itself. I look at Germany in the 1920’s and how there was a depression and most people were out of work. People were struggling financially and felt defeated as a nation, they were once proud but now felt shamed after World War I. So the Nazis rose up and had a charismatic leader in Hitler, who promised to make “Germany” great again by bringing back jobs to “Germans” ( which really meant people that weren’t Jewish or Polish, Communist or disabled) and build up it’s military and show the world it’s strength. Never again was Germany going to be humiliated. Hitler also convinced the people that all the good jobs were taken by foreigners and Jews and that there was a worldwide conspiracy by Jewish and foreign powers to oppress hard working Aryan Germans, Hitler used the fears of a hurt people and manipulated all of Germany in order to gain power. He said whatever he could to gain the crowd’s favor, he gave inflammatory speeches full of racist anti-Semitic rhetoric and whipped the crowd into a frenzy, they bought ever word, hook line, and sinker. Hitler once said that if you tell a lie over and over again, it eventually becomes the truth. And the people who supported Hitler were not monsters or demons, they were everyday citizens who just wanted jobs and a better life but they were duped by an evil monster. Some of this stuff seems really familiar, doesn’t it? Try reading a history book, you might just learn something.
You gotta stand up for what’s right; you gotta fight with all your might and never let them out of your sight.
Never give up; never give in; when you quit; you don’t win and they persevere; they thrive on your fear.
If we don’t have our say they’re here to stay and with our votes we can make them go away and make this a better day.
But we have to make ourselves heard even when we’re bored with all the rhetoric and the lack of respect; we expect better from our leaders. We gotta be avid readers of the news and use it make a difference in this world and do something instead of staying at home curled in bed. So do you get the jest of what I’ve just said?
This has really been a rough week for so many; with the Kavanaugh hearing; a lot of people are triggered and emotions are running high. I actually have to admit I don’t have cable news ( or even a TV for that matter) so I miss out on a lot of the details; I read headlines on Facebook and hear people talking about it but I don’t get the full picture. The news is just so negative and full of drama that I have a tendency to just shut out the news because it’s too much; too many players; too much arguing back and forth; it’s not good for my mental health. That being said I have jest of what these hearing is about; Judge Kavanaugh is being accused of attempted rape at a party in the 80s in high school ( a pretty serious accusation). A lot of people these days are being accused of sexual assault; it’s seems like a celebrity or politician is being accused of sexual misconduct each day; and a lot of them have surprised me (Charlie Rose, really?) And while I am shocked and have empathy for these women that are accusing these men; I don’t know them personally so it’s easy to not get emotional because I am looking at as outsider who has never been sexual assaulted and can’t fully understand that pain; but a lot people have ( as I have been finding out recently)
I find myself to be a very sensitive man and have met so many caring women who have been there for me in my life; I admire their strength and courage. I admire how they express their feelings ( some not all); how they show empathy; how they are usually to ones who speak against the injustices of the world.. So when I hear about men who abuse women; my heart breaks because I can sense the pain and anguish the actions of these men cause; the trauma inflicted on these women is life long. I understand trauma in my own way and I have empathy for them because i am a human being who cares about others; but there are so many others in this world that are insensitive; they can listen to a woman describe unbelievable trauma while recounting being sexually assaulted; hear her voice quiver; hands shake and tears rolling down her eyes and not blink an eye. To them it’s all in act to smear the name of good family man; it’s scam; a political ploy; instead of a woman speaking her truth. And then I hear some say “Well why didn’t they come forward earlier?’ Well who wants to relive that trauma in front of a courtroom ( mostly made of men ); have your sexual history on display; be called a liar and told that it didn’t happen and say that you just want money or attention? Why go through all that; especially when you are a teenager. Being bullied as a kid I can remember being ganged up on and when I told the teachers; they told me to just ignore it and it made things worse. I learned not to speak up because it didn’t stop the bullying and no one was going to help me anyways; so I just learned to put up with the bullying because i had no choice. I use that as an example of trying my best to understand why women take so long to come forward ( if they ever come forward at all). Just typing this now makes me feel angry; I feel angry so many men doubt women; so many men say so many disrespectful things towards someone who has been through sexual assault; why are they so quick to judge?. And do so few men stand up for women? That’s my question.
For a long time I didn’t speak up because it wasn’t personal but last year after the allegations of Harvey Weinstein were brought to light; I started seeing all of these statuses from women that said “me too”. I had no idea what that was about; I later found out it was women sharing that they had been victims of sexual assault and harassment; and all of sudden most of my female friends were making “me too” posts; it became personal. These women who were my friends and who I loved were sexually assaulted or harassed at one point by men in their lives; that hurt deeply; I really felt for them. Soon some of them started sharing their stories in more detail and I started to realize how many women were affected by this and how so few of them ever came forward and their seemed to be a recurring theme: fear, fear fear. Either they were threatened or didn’t want to get his male in trouble so they held it in for years and years. Now by sharing this they have nothing to gain; they aren’t taking these guys to court; they are speaking their truth so other women don’t feel so alone; and they’d have no reason to lie. I thought about that; a lot of these accusers are coming forward 15-20 years later; way past the statute of limitations; so they can’t charge this guy. Why would a woman put herself through that trauma all over again; be called a liar in front of everyone; have her sexual history questioned and gain nothing legally from it; if she wasn’t telling the truth, right?. I don’t know; I don’t have statistics and figures; I can only speak from the heart and I believe a lot of women coming forward and I commend them for being so brave; because it takes guts to stand up against powerful men who think they are entitled to sex and see women as solely sex objects with no feelings or worth.
I want to finish this post and talk about a family member who I have not seen since she was a little girl; we actually share the same birthday; she is exactly 6 or 7 years younger than me. I don’t talk to that side of the family so I don’t know about any of them. But I was told that this member in the family was sexually abused at a very young ( 7 or 8) and it was shocking; especially since I had met the boys who had abused her for years. I just felt so furious and had so much hurt in my heart; knowing that cute little innocent girl who was funny and who i went to the pool with and talked with her had been through unimaginable abuse. I can’t describe how it makes me feel except sick. Even though I have no contact with my family; I do love her and she crosses my mind from time to time. I caught up with her on Facebook about a year ago. I messaged her a few times and I could tell she was struggling; she didn’t work; had ptsd ( related to the abuse); and it wasn’t like talking to an adult; it was like talking to a little girl. I realized that the abuse was so bad that emotionally she remained 7 or 8 years of age. I didn’t think it was appropriate to be talking to her; even online so I cut off contact with her and any other family I had on Facebook. But when all this talk of sexual abuse comes up; she does cross my mind. And she’s isn’t lying about the abuse and didn’t tell anyone for years; long after it had ended. I tend to believe most women who come forward because in a rape culture such as ours; I believe that there are many more men out there capable of sexual abuse than I had previously imagined. I hope to continue to be the kind of man who speaks up for women; comforts women; is friends with women; and never stops believing women