A world that gone mad

Heartbroken, disillusioned, brutality with impunity.

A grieving nation, decades of abuse at the hands of glaring repression.

Some are wide awake and others are choosing to stay under the covers while those at the top remain silent, their own brand Miranda rights, one designed to fit their narrative.

Talking heads from the Television, fanning the flames of division and hatred, I choose not to pay attention to them, I see the images and I can draw my own conclusions, I’m disheartened.

I feel angry, everyone’s feeling it, it’s been at a boil for decades, the great society is falling apart at the seams. The honeymoon between lady liberty and I have long past ( If there ever was one, to begin with.) My hope and faith in her are no more, lost in my tears and frustration.

Love fails to reach us, hate has overtaken us, so much misunderstanding, so much distrust, total chaos, and destruction; only God was can help us now, 🙏

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Martin Luther King day

I just went with my family on a walk to honor Martin Luther King, here I am with my dad. It was really powerful to recognize the power of Dr King and how he combated hate with love and non-violence.

After the walk, there were a few really good speakers and as we were walking back, I thanked one of them for his speech and told him how when I was a kid, I was different and picked on and read about Martin Luther King and Civil Rights and it resonated with me because I could understand what it was like to be singled out and treated differently and the story of Martin Luther King gave me the hope that you didn’t have react to those who hate you, you could love them instead.

I even wrote a book report about him when I was about 8 or 9, I’ll never forgot that. I was so emotional relaying this story to him because I realized that is why I am so outspoken against discrimination and bigotry, it hurts my heart to the core but thanks to Martin Luther King, the world is much kinder place than it used to be, there’s more unity and love and Martin Luther King will always be my hero. 💙

 

 

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Building my support network

Lately my social media has really grown, I have added thousands of people to my Facebook, most of them life coaches therapists, other advocates, those in the recovery field and it has been such a blessing to connect with them. I have found it healing being able to share my thoughts and feelings across and get all of these amazing responses, unimaginable 2 years ago, I finally feel like I have a sizable support network and for me that is important and when it comes to support, it makes no difference whether I personally know someone or not. In fact it’s a lot easier to me to talk about mental health or advocacy with those I don’t know personally. I am talking to interesting people and in only a matter of a few weeks, I have really grown as a person. and have never felt more connected/

This week is going to be quite the busy week in regards to advocacy. Today I went on my first Facebook live discussing mental health, I was with another advocate/life coach. The discussion went very even though I was a little nervous, especially sharing my story and being so open about my struggles and past but she listened and I felt like she understood, I was honest and raw in my discussion, which I always am, I don’t usually do on video, so it was nerve wracking. But people seemed to like the broadcast and I got a lot of good feedback from everyone, it was healing, therapeutic even. I talk about mental health, my issues with disabilities, my health issues my brother taking his life and spirtuality. . It can be overwhelming to get this sudden attention, to go from feeling very alone to being connected with all these people who want to talk me, it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around it, I am anxious about all of it but also excited. I have felt rejected for so long, I have trouble understanding why anyone would want to hear me talk. But I feel this is important and I will continue to speak out on mental health and disabilities.

I am also participating in an online anxiety workshop on top of everything else, I am very busy. But this is a time of finding myself, healing and I hope maybe this might lead to a career somehow. I really believe that I have the ability to reach people and help them with my story and experience. I care, I like to listen, I encourage others and I want them to feel less alone, those are valuable skills in that field. I am not working right now and I can’t go back to retail, I want to do something that makes a difference and working retail is soul crushing and it was so difficult and emotionally draining.

And I that leads to one more thing. In talking about the past and my issues with mental health and disabilities, I have mentioned several times how I felt I was treated poorly, in school as a child and in the workplace as an adult. As I was talking live on Facebook and i recounted my issues of disabilities and mental health struggles at work, I felt angry inside. I felt angry how they put me down, made me feel inferior and never took my disabilities into account when my productivity was slow. And when I was telling this story, the other person just listened and for first time I felt like someone was as angry as me about it. Like I knew I had been treated fairly but usually people just brush it off and say ” Everyone hates their job” It was different for me, I felt isolated and helpless, I was dealing with really bad stomach and bladder issues and it was creating emotional distress and all they could do was mock the fact that I wasn’t quick enough, that makes me angry, I was treated unfairly. I realized that part of advocacy is speaking out for those who are in similar situations but are afraid to speak up, much like i was, not too long ago. But instead of letting my anger fester and destroy me, I channel it and use it make a difference, that is what advocacy is all about. In a sense I feel vindicated, all of that pain and anquish lead me to something good, something better and maybe in a way it was worth it.

I feel advocacy is my calling and I will continue to share my story, I will continue to speak out especially when I see injustices in the world. I feel God is working in my life and he is giving me all these opportunities and my life is changing faster than I could have imagined a few weeks ago, I’m really optimistic because I feel people are listening. I feel like this is my turn to shine and make something of myself. So I thank all of those that hurt me because they thought i was weak but they actually made me stronger, I rise above them and prove them all wrong. Thank you everyone who has always supported and listened to me

 

Note- I have been much less active on my blog lately, I apologize,  I have been communicating with a lot of people and dealing with an influx on comments, messages and reactions.  I am going to make more of an effort to blog more because I enjoy it.   And as soon as I can, I will post the link to the broadcast

 

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Author’s challenge 2019

This is my a bio I am making for the Author’s challenge of 2019

 

Hello #writingcommunity I’m doing the #authorschallenge2019 today. David is a yet to be published author and mental health/disability advocate. He has been blogging for almost two years; writing on subjects ranging from disabilities, mental health, grief, suicide, poetry, social justice, Spirituality ( as opposed to religion) and gender roles. David uses writing to uplift and encourage others who are suffering from depression and other mental illnesses and hopes to spread a message of love and acceptance. The goal is to continue to advocate for marginalized people and to publish his work in the coming years. David is looking forward to connecting with others positively in the writing community.

My bio for 2019 😀

 

 

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Jesus and the outcasts

I am really growing in my faith although I can’t make it Church service due to work and I should crack open my bible more; I try to live by the principles of Jesus’s teachings            ( which I have read several times)  and I often think about how God is working in my life.  I pray a lot when I feel other’s don’t accept me; they treat me as if I am unworthy and I’m sure mock me when I’m not around; I’m different.  I’m a pretty sensitive and gentle person and that is seen as a weakness; I have mental health issues; which I’m sure people pick up on; I have a lot of physical health issues and I am often uncomfortable which makes me anxious and people see anxious people as suspicious ( at least in my case) when they’re not. So I have felt and continue to feel like an outcast in many social situations.  The people who grew up with me accepted me but most outside of that circle have treated me poorly and that hurts.   So I was thinking about that the other day and if you read in the bible; Jesus didn’t seek out perfect people; the best looking guy in town; or the smartest guy; or the man in great health or someone that could communicate well; he chose those that were considered outcasts; tax collectors; those in bad health; those who stuttered ( Well that was in the old testament but you know what I mean) because Jesus knew that they could be the ones to effectively bring his message to ordinary people.  And Jesus didn’t go around helping only the rich or the highly educated; he helped sinners; prostitutes, the sick and the lame; people that society threw away              ( much like today)  But Jesus spread the word of God to them and healed them because the weakest members of society are the ones who need the most love and care.  It is so touching to read these stories of how Jesus cared for those who were outcasts. In a small way I saw myself in these passages and at times cried because I realized that I had pushed away God and yet he was also there to embrace me and accept me back; whereas people don’t always accept you back into their lives or have forgiveness in their hearts.  So when I feel mocked and pushed aside and made to feel like an outcast; I’m proud of that because I know Jesus is holding me up and giving me comfort; protecting me from the harsh world.  Not only do I love Jesus as the son of God but as a man; A selfless man who unlike the world preached that society should take care of it’s sick and disabled; it shouldn’t cast out anyone who is different; we should accept and love them; not in spite of their differences but because of their differences.  Having God in my life has given me hope in a world that sometimes feels hopeless; where people are so unkind to each other; where there’s no mercy or justice.  Times like that I close my eyes for a second; send a prayer to God; and while I may be anxious or hurting; I have peace knowing he is listening to this outcast and sending love down to him during those rough days.  Amen to that.  Remember that God is love and with him anything is possible

Dave

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The messages we send boys

Today was my day off and I decided to have breakfast at the diner close to my house; it’s really good and I can’t resist ordering pancakes.  I have noticed that everywhere I go; there is always a television pinned the wall and more often than not; it’s usually tuned into a sports channel; I seem to one of the few Americans not enamored with sports; it just doesn’t seem to interest me.  Even though I tried to ignore the television; I couldn’t help but look at since I was bored; I was alone; I had no notifications on my phone and I needed to be constantly entertained.

I glanced up and saw some segment about male solders coming home after battle and being greeted by their families and another one where families (women and children) are standing for the national anthem ( I never got the connection between the military/patriotism and sports).  I admit I am not the most patriotic person in the world but at the same time I appreciate the sacrifices that our military makes in making the world a safe place; I’m just quiet about it; I don’t believe in spectacles; in fact I see it as propaganda.  It makes you feel guilty if you aren’t constantly waving an American flag; with a support our troops stick on it.  As a male; the message seems to be you are less of a man if you aren’t in military and if you don’t support them; you are a horrible American.

A commercial break came on and mind you the TV was silent; I saw an ad for a cable company and it showed a few women; one of them was cooking and the other was shopping; it then showed a male watching sports on TV; with the text that read “TV for everyone”.   I shook my head in annoyance at the subtle and outdated messages about gender that media portrays; it has very narrow views of what it means to be a man where it gives women a lot of more roles.  Men are expected to be tough; non emotional and given roles such as military soldiers, sport stars and police men/firemen. I never see male artists or writers or activists being celebrated in the media.  And it makes me so sad because we forget about the sensitive men in this world or make art and make a difference in others lives; men who care for their children; men who stand up for the disenfranchised; men who help the sick and the disabled; they aren’t celebrated because having empathy for others is a considered a female trait for most.  It really bothers me because as a man I made to feel weak for being who I am. I try to be kind and gentle and am proud I write; just once I’d like to turn on the TV and see someone like me; someone I could relate to. I’m sure there are a lot of males who feel like I do; it’s a very lonely feeling and all you can do is slump back in your chair and continue eating your pancakes.

So while I was looking at the TV; I noticed a father and his son having breakfast  the kid was probably about 11 or 12. And it’s great to see a dad take his soon out for pancakes; that was so important to me as kid. But I thought about how this kid was interpreting  these messages at his age. Maybe he’s sensitive; maybe he likes to express himself and talk about his feelings. But he looks at the TV and sees that males don’t talk about their feelings; they are supposed to be tough; never cry; fighting in battle is something all men should do.  So he downplays all of those traits that aren’t masculine and emulates what a male is based on those subtle message radiating from the glow of the television.  I just think boys only get one image of masculinity and it creates this culture where if you are a boy and don’t fit in with what most people’s views are as a male; then you get ostracized and our culture at large and media plays a big role in that.  I think young males should learn that they should be able to have any interests they want ( even its considered feminine) and express themselves how they want without their masculinity being called into question.

I tend to read too much into things but I thought I myself as a young boy and I always liked girls; I had crushes with them at 6 or 7; never a cootie phase.  But I liked talking to girls more than boys; I thought they were nicer.  I remember talking to them on the playground more than males and sitting with them at lunch. But somehow down the line I got bullied by a lot of the boys in my class and I realized that hanging out with the girls; being too sensitive; expressing myself too much would make the bullying worse. So I tried to hid all of those non-masculine traits and I tried to be tough; I tried to play sports and not talk about drawing or writing; in hopes that they might accept me but they never did.  If I could I would have just been myself and try not to buy into the idea that boys should be this way and girls should be that way but I was kid; what did I know?  I hope we can get to a point where we as adults stop dictating to boys what a male is and let them choose their own version of masculinity.  So if a boy wants to be tough and play sports; great but it is equally important to let a boy be sensitive and creative and express him openly without telling him that only girls talk about their feelings.   I think there is room all sorts of roles for males. Don’t you think?

 

Yoga can kill you

I have been told how wonderful Yoga is for reducing stressed; getting centered; helping with some of my physical issues and just finding an escape from the chaotic world outside.  So about a year I decided to try yoga for the first; it was relaxing but I struggling keeping my balance and following directions but nonetheless it was an enjoyable experience and I told myself if I had more time I’d take a few more classes; now I’m not so sure.  It seems not even the peaceful atmosphere of Yoga is safe from gun violence.

I woke up this morning to read the  news and saw the headline ” 2 shot dead at Florida yoga studio”  I didn’t even bother to read the article because I already know the story; it’s been told time and time again in this country.  People going about their day; at a religious service; going to school; having drinks at nightclub; shopping at the mall and now yoga are shot by a mentally deranged ( usually white male) person with no known motive and usually ends up turning the gun of themselves; leaving the rest of us with no answers.  Its depressing beyond belief; it’s depressing that nothing is done about this. This is a broken ugly hate filled world and we live in a country that has accepted that this kind of violence is a normal part of living; even at a yoga studio; one of the most peaceful places you can be in. I can picture it; people are on the floor on their yoga mats; eyes closed; soft voices; with new age music playing in the background; mediating and trying to gain some peace in their life; all of a sudden being awoken from the state of relaxation to the sound of gunfire; it sounds like something from a movie or something; it’s too horrifying to be real.

I am not political or social expert; I have no answers except to speak from my heart.  Why do we hurt each other so?  Why can’t we do something about the amount guns in our country? Why makes this society so violent to begin with?  Why are white males so angry? Why do we value aggression and dominance over passiveness and compassion in our society?  I don’t have the answers to those questions but all I know is that my heart hurts for those who died. My heart hurts that this man was in such pain that he not only took his life; but the lives of two innocent people.

I don’t have words except to express my  heartfelt sadness and anger whenever I read things like this; I can’t accept it; I won’t let it be normal and I won’t stop talking about it.  I will speak my mind even if others disagree.  I am an idealist and a part me thinks love is the answer and I know some people would laugh at me but I certainly don’t think hate or anger is the answer; maybe understanding.  Why does this affect me so much; why can’t I be numb to it like everyone else?.  All I can do is write and I hope we can heal as a nation and make this a safer place

Dave

 

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My mountain Trip

Well I just got back from a 3 day fall retreat to the mountains with the disability ministry  that serves those with special needs.  I was taken aback when the leader asked me to go on this trip since I’d only been there a few weeks. I guess she could see how well I interacted with the young adults and how much they liked me.  I was concerned about some of my physical issues but I learned to manage them because I was determined to make this trip a success and not let it get in the way of being there for the young adults we were helping.  And by the way; in the short time that I have known them; I have really grown to care about them and I hope the feeling is mutual.   I get along with them great and I have stated earlier but they all are so kind and gentle; with the biggest hearts of anyone you’ll ever going to meet.  It was touching to see how happy they were and how much they cared for one another; when others were down they made such an effort to cheer them up; at one point praying over someone; I was amazed.

This trip was also good for me because it has been a stressful and painful few weeks with a lot going in my life; I needed a break and this trip kept me so busy that I forgot my troubles for a short while and focused on being a part of this ministry instead.  And we were really busy; we did all sorts of things like cooking meals, bible study; hot dog roast, apple picking, out to dinner and exploring the mountain city; it was busy busy busy but they really seemed to enjoy themselves; they were very excited everywhere we went. One of the more frustrating parts of the trip was that a few times I noticed people giving us funny looks and that made me sad. These young adults are so cool and funny and sweet and yet the rest of the world doesn’t see it that way. But you obviously can’t react so you  talk to the person next to you and continue eating your chicken fingers; pretending not to notice the people staring at us. But for the most part; people were accepting of them and that made me smile.

When I joined this group I was also looking forward to getting to know some of volunteers and I felt that I was able to connect with most of the people there; really well.  Oh and I have always managed to get to know some of the parents of the young adults and I can tell some of them really like me; I really try to get to know them and hopefully they can realize how much I care. Anyways while I get along with a lot of the people; .  I am exhausted and I finally have a day off; so I am taking this day ( how did i get Saturday off?) off to rest and recover from this positive yet emotionally draining trip.

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Going back to school

So it has been a rough few days for me but I have been moving forward and I refuse to allow my anxiety to take over. Today I had an appointment with a disability counselor at school and it actually went pretty well; I let her know I had various learning disabilities and how I struggled with math problems; focusing, getting frustrated etc; she seemed to understand that.  She told me that because of class rules I had to abide by the no calculator rule ( which to be honest I was a disappointed) but she told me I could take tests in a smaller room with less distractions and have extra time for tests; I also could have someone write me notes in a way I could understand. I thought that was fair; I am not afraid to ask for help because I am determined to get this degree, man; like I want it so bad.

I made a post about this earlier on Facebook and a good friend of mine who works in the disability field asked if I could ever be a guest speaker at the school where she works; what an honor.  Given my financial situation; it might be difficult but I ever get that chance I will take it. God has blessed me with such wonderful loving friends and I know he is working in my life.  So while yesterday was stressful and it felt like everything was falling apart; today feels like this really is a blessing in disguise and life might work out after all. I am just so optimistic right now but I have to continue to pray and keep moving forward.

Thanks for listening

Dave

 

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Why were they laughing?

I want to first say that despite the title this blog isn’t about politics or saying one party is better than the other; I find those discussions to be frustrating and it leads to arguments; so no arguing on my page or negativity; please.

That being said I have to talk  about Trump mocking Dr Ford; the woman accusing Judge Kavanaugh at a rally in Mississippi ( he won the election why he is still campaigning?); he mocked how she couldn’t remember certain details; riling the crowd into a frenzy.  I felt immediately shaken and had a very angry reaction inside; I mean Trump says a lot of insensitive things but this really got to me; especially after writing about my own trauma and trying to relate to Dr Ford’s ( particularly memory lapses).  I then realized I wasn’t just upset about what Trump said because at this point I expect that from him. It was the crowd’s reaction; it was his loud  laughter and cheering as he is humiliating this woman for the whole world to see; the smiles in the background; coming not only from men but women as well ( do they have no shame?). What I was found interesting  was how at one point during the hearing; Dr Ford stated that she could hear laughing and it was at her expense; so again; thanks to Trump; she was victimized all over again; this time to a cheering crowd.  It hurt for me to hear this laughter; like this woman’s painful memories were something to be laughed at; it is one of the ugliest spectacles I have seen in a long time; it felt almost unreal like it was movie.  I don’t know about you but I when i see a movie where someone is being humiliated or laughed at by a large crowd; I get a knot in my stomach and a sick feeling; that is  how I was feeling as I was watching this.  I watched the clip on CNN and Brooke Baldwin said ” I want you to notice that there is a little boy in the background”  That says so much; this boy is hearing his parents; along with the President of the United States mocking a woman who came forward with sexual assault allegations. Whether you believe her testimony or not is irrelevant; what is the message that we are sending to young men? That is ok to laugh at and dismiss women who share their stories of sexual assault; to be callous; that women are liars and will never be believed so do what you want with them sexually because you won’t get caught?  And I also thought to myself some of these adults in the crowd have daughters. How would they respond if their daughter came home and said they were raped; would they think it’s funny?  Would they refuse to believe her? How would they respond if they came to the police and were mocked and laughed at while this young girl told her story? I think that is something to think about.  I am just absolutely disgusted and I think you should be as well; regardless of your political beliefs. This behavior is unacceptable. If I went to work and talked like Trump; I’d be fired ( I wouldn’t of course ) and yet Trump can say the most vile disgusting things about women and not only do they sweep it under the rug; they laugh  What is happening in this country where this kind of behavior is tolerable; it’s not; no matter who it comes from.

There is another reason why I am so upset; I have been bullied in one way or another all my life; I know what its like to humiliated and laughed behind my back; because of that I have horrible self esteem; it’s hard for me to make friends; it’s hard for me to handle praise because it unfathomable that anyone would want to be my friend or be interested in what I have to say; all because of being bullied.  It brought back memories of kids taking my things; punching me; making me cry; humiliating me all while everyone laughed around me; and the teachers didn’t do a fuckin thing; all while this kids tried to make my life miserable. Hearing them laugh brought all back to me and I felt like I was 9 years on the playground again; being cornered by bullies; totally helpless; tempted to just run home and never go back to school; that is how bad it was.  We are a society of bullies; our whole social/economic system is built on bullying; the rich and powerful take advantage of the poor and vulnerable segments of the population. And a a part of it is the fact that parents don’t take the time to teach their kids to respect other’s differences. So seeing those ignorant fools laughing and cheering; makes me feel so bad for those kids. It gives them permission to go to school to next and humiliate someone weaker than them; just for the hell of it. The President does it and it’s funny; I bet I can get big laughs if I give Mikey a wedgie or pour food on Billy.  This really is a dark time in our country and I feel for any kid getting bullied right now because the situation seems hopeless. I have no words anymore but I take comfort in knowing I’m not alone in feeling this way. I pray that this country heals from this and speaking of prayer; I wonder how many of those laughing go to church every Sunday but you know what that’s for another blog.   Writing this has been exhausting so I will stop here.

Thank for listening and let’s try harder to love one another and treat each other with respect.

Dave