Mental Health

Fever Dream: Part 2

Have you ever had someone watch you use the bathroom? Not in a guard the broken stall door in the creepy public toilet way… More of a what kind of trouble are you getting into way.

For what is worth, performance anxiety isn’t just a guy problem.

At some point Bat started squeaking about shy bladder and reached in to turn on the faucet. When that didn’t work, she walked right in, squeezed past my trembling knees and turned on the shower.

Somewhere between my legs going numb and an irritated…

Know what? Even I don’t want to hear the rest of that. Suffice it to say, Niagara Falls, eventually… Only more eloquently described and all.

At least I think so. Sometimes I think maybe that part was a dream.

~~~

It can be hard to tell, you know… What’s a dream and what’s real and the other way around.

Because I would have sworn it was some grand, poetic swandive from the second floor balcony into the glittering fountain at the mall… But someone said it was really a flailing leap from a bridge into a sludgy river, in front of God, the police, and rush hour rubber neckers.

Then there was that awful Eliza Doolittle cockney accent, except it wasn’t Audrey Hepburn. It was Julie Andrews… Only she did the stage while Hepburn did the movie and then they switched for Mary Poppins… But the stage plays were on another continent before my time so how did I even know what Julie Andrews sounded like on stage, right?

Look, it made sense in my head before it became words on a page.

I’m supposed to write it the way I remember it… Only, sometimes I am not sure what I remember is what really happened.

~~~

The Bat is gone. So is Middle Of The Night Nose Picker… And Porn-stache is way down the hall, I think with Screamer.

Maybe I’ll look at the hallway now I’m off the stalker leash.

…Maybe I’ll wake up from the dream.

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Techless

My tablet hit the floor and the world as I know it came crashing down.

Okay, slight exaggeration… but it no longer has a working touch screen and is useless.

It’s scary how quickly we embrace and rely on the new gadgets. 5 years ago I was dead set against having a cell phone. I did not want to be attached to an electronic  tether. It seemed to me a mobile phone would simply ensure I never had quiet time to myself again.

Turns out I was right. Haven’t felt whole without a mobile connection to family and friends since I first connected a phone to the web.

Access to the family computer is a pain the butt, to say the least and I’m not up to blogging on this tiny slide out keyboard.

Choosing, instead of freaking out in this perceived tech isolation, to embrace the silence a bit. Take a deep breath, pick up a well-worn favorite book. Maybe tweet a little… and embrace the relative quiet.

The above was written weeks ago when I first broke the tablet and has hope it could be fixed.

Okay, screw calm and quiet. I’m completely freaking out.

I’ve commandeered Hubby’s tablet. If I don’t get away from Facebook memes, Twitter, and time wasting games, my brain will implode.

Write! Must write!

Silence Kills

flyernumber1

 

First, links. These two links provide the back story to this post:
About the original hashtag
Blog post referenced in above article

It’s 6am.

Just before midnight I made a snap decision to do a personal tweet marathon.

As the sunlight fills my bedroom window, it occurs to me some preparation may have been in order… But knowing my tendency towards “Meh, no one really cares” I jumped in before giving myself a chance to reconsider speaking up.

Last month, someone decided his particular brand of entitlement justified committing violence on others before taking himself out of the picture and the possibility for a media circus of a trial or a lucrative best-selling book deal. Poor him…

Within days of his video rant and rampage, people had stopped mentioning him by name (Honestly don’t remember and won’t give his name the brain space) and instead started talking about the harsh reality that some men do such atrocious things that all women have learned to live defensively in order to maintain basic personal safety.

As if to prove the point, some men took this idea so harshly, the woman who opened the specific conversation felt the need to protect her Twitter account in order to retain some measure of anonymity and safety.

It’s eaten at me for weeks. The activity on the tag on Twitter may have died down some because people there are closer to the source and heard the request to let it go, but I still see it in other places. It’s a conversation that should not end and an idea that shouldn’t be silenced.

Yesterday, a friend used the YAW tag and instantly found herself a misogynist troll. Someone created an account specifically to bash anyone who dares to share her story using YAW.

In talking with her, Author Leigh Michaels (whose books directly address the damage of silence) last night, I got a little riled up about internet bullies and the use of threats or shaming to silence those whose experiences are uncomfortable.

And we said it… Silence Kills.

Abuse, mental illness, addictions, medication, chronic illnesses, trauma, sexuality… The list of uncomfortable subjects is pretty vast. I know saying anything about it, drawing attention to the idea that keeping silent isn’t about keeping peace as much as it is about self-preservation and fear, I’m tossing out the idea that anyone who feels their religious, political or other dogmatic belief system isn’t getting enough wind could jump in and hijack it for their own purposes.

This isn’t about a movement or a hash tag or any formal or informal… Ism.

For me, it’s about acknowledging that too often silence is personally damaging. How many secrets, games, manipulations or outright crimes have you not shared because the weight of being denied, ignored, accused or punished is more painful than bearing it in silence?

I’m doing a 24 hour marathon on Twitter under the tag #SilenceKills. It’s a deeply personal thing for me and I’ll see it through even if it’s alone.

But if anyone here has a Twitter and has a story to tell that’s been silenced… Abuse, neglect, domestic violence, harassment… Whatever your background, gender identity, race, whatever… If you have been coerced to silence because of some societal taboo and you want to speak up, please do so. You don’t have to interact in any way other than breaking your own silence.

For a few hours, let our voices be heard and damn the bullies.

Blast From the Past

The Crew as we saw ourselves in 2003

The Crew as we saw ourselves in 2003.

Looking through my original blog, some 5 blog sites ago, I came across this post. I wish I could say with confidence which of us wrote it. Though it sounds like Stephanie, the conspicuous lack of f-bombs makes me wonder if it was a collaboration between her and one of the “helpers” who stayed inside. There’s a certain satisfaction in remembering when this post appeared in our blog, only a tiny handful of people knew us and our various foibles well enough to get the joke. Most simply skipped it, without comment, assuming a genuine conflict within The Crew. Knowing Stephanie had, bare minimum, creative control over this little rant is a reminder of the steps she took from angry, teenaged, lone warrior to recognizing our collective need to work together for recovery. It’s a gift today as it reminds me both of how much has changed and how much remains exactly the same. I can easily see myself saying something similar to my own reflection today. Plus, it just makes me laugh.  

Attention all Obsessives and Anal Retentives:      - 11/29/2002
*Please note this is intended for The Crew*
Please step forward to your neatly and evenly spaced placards on the floor. The placards were individually decorated according to your personal taste with each name painstakingly written in calligraphy using an antique pen and acid-free ink. The rice paper used is of archival quality and will last in like-new condition for years of enjoyment.
When you find your mark, please turn to face the wall. Note the wall is painted with the highest quality paint, found at discount prices, in the lastest decorator colors. Notice that each flower, from floor to ceiling, is individually rendrered, using drybrush techniques and sealed for protection and durability.
Please syncronize the antique timepieces that you have each restored to accuracy before fitting with hand-beaded bands using beads collected from boutiques and galleries worldwide over the last 10 years. Syncronize to precicely 6:20 pm, Eastern Standard Time, of course. Now...
At 6:21 pm, please begin banging your head on the wall in an harmonious rhythm until unconscious.
The rest of us need the break.