Things have been troublesome for me. My relationship of 4 years has ended, and I’m still heartbroken over that fact. It’s only been a couple days, and so the feelings are still very raw. It’s difficult to have 4 years of good memories in your head, only to be trumped by the memory of one incident: the break up.
I’m okay with having to move forward. I mean, I’ve been through a lot worse things in my life than a breakup, and have had my heart broken on the same level once before. I’m used to the pain. I’m used to the random crying that hits you when you hear a song that reminds you of everything, or see a couple, or hear about people and their love, or see all the pictures we have. I’m used to the constant feelings of “wow, this is all your fault” because I’m used to things getting ruined because of my mental health. And that’s essentially what all this boils down to.
I still have my cat. I love her, and I will forever love her. And I thank him for buying her for me those 2 years ago, she’s been a great addition to my life. So that’s one thing to be thankful for.
On top of that, the program I work for is also closing in December. I feel I am no longer welcome in this town by way of the universe, and that because both my job and relationship are essentially over at the same time, it’s a sign that it’s time to move on to bigger and better things.
I plan to move down to Los Angeles where peer support jobs are rampant in certain areas, and where I can really use my creative talent: my writing, my photography. I want to be able to blossom in this crazy life, and I’m sick of being stifled and stagnant. All of this stress is really kicking up my mental health issues, and so is not having the money to even pay for my prescriptions right now.
I started a GoFundMe. Hear me out: I hate taking money from people. I hate taking offers from people. I hate doing anything that requires me to beg. But I am in a situation where I can’t just up and leave town and not risk being homeless. I can’t stay in town and not risk being homeless. Again. I’m trying to avoid that. Again.
I would use the funds strictly for moving expenses and nothing more. That means the U-Haul to get my stuff down there, the deposit and first months rent on a place ( a room for rent, of course), and food along the way. I’m asking for 2k. Not too much, not too little.
If you know anyone who is willing to donate, that would be amazing. The link is here. I’m just a young 23 year old trying to make a new start in a world that has beat me down from the beginning. And I’m not trying to act helpless. I’m not even on disability, although with my diagnoses I could qualify. But I want to do things on my own, prove to myself and the world that I can be who I need to be without second guessing myself or degrading myself.
I am just in need of a little help.
I’ve been apart of this wordpress community for three years now, and have been thankful to every single person who has ever liked or commented on this blog. And now I’m finally reaching out to every single one of you and asking for just a bit of help. You don’t have to donate, that’s not what I’m asking. I’m asking for you to share the link on Facebook, on Twitter, on LinkedIn, whatever. I only have so much of a following, and could use more help in that department.
If you do donate, thank you, thank you. Every little bit helps.
Now, I’m going to try and get ready for my day, as difficult as that’s becoming.
Green plants are tender and filled with sap. At their death, they are withered and dry.
Therefore, the stiff and unbending is the disciple of death,
The gentle and yielding is the disciple of life.
Thus, an army without flexibility never wins a battle.
A tree that is unbending is easily broken.
The hard and strong will fall;
The soft and weak will overcome.
This becomes a testament to the importance of vulnerability, the importance of being connected with the present, of essentially “going with the flow”.
Often those of us who struggle mentally are praised for being so “strong”, so “resilient” to the things we go through, and often those who are the strongest of us are the ones suffering greatly, more so than those giving us the “compliment” may actually perceive. It takes much more energy to build (and maintain) walls than it does to crumble under the force.
There’s this odd sentiment among people that you always have to “fight back”. That the prospect of being vulnerable leaves one open for attack . . .
They try and tell us we’re paranoid.
If you believe you’ll be attacked, you will be attacked. By your own mind.
Being rigid in mind and body leaves you trapped, encased in your own personal hell. Being flexible in mind and agile in body leaves you, well, like this:
If you’re flexible in mind and body, you’ll learn to absorb different forces and push them back as a reflex. If you’re stiff and rigid, what hits you will bounce off . . . until the force is large enough and breaks you.
There’s nothing wrong with struggling. There’s nothing wrong with feeling weakened. There’s nothing wrong with being flimsy or flexible or agile. There’s nothing wrong with vulnerability.
There’s something wrong with thinking you can absolutely handle everything thrown at you with a smile on your face. There’s something wrong with thinking being “strong” means “being closed”. There’s something wrong with thinking resiliency is the ability to turn every negative into a positive–particularly, when you turn that negative into a positive without ever focusing on, and growing from, that negative.
There’s something wrong with the idea that focusing upon negativity drives you downward. Dwelling on the negative, perhaps, but focusing upon it for the purpose of confrontation, for the purpose of learning, is how a negative makes a transformation into a positive. Recognizing a negative, saying “oh well”, then “finding” a positive within the negative does nothing but allow you to ignore the feelings of the negative. If you can’t embrace negativity, what makes you think you can embrace positivity? They’re one in the same.
You can’t experience positivity without having ever experienced negativity. And Visa Versa. It’s the concept of Yin-Yang: love cannot exist without hate, evil cannot exist without good, and you could never tell one from the other if you have never experienced both. Hence interconnection.
I can preach twenty four hours, seven days a week. Some people with disagree, some people will agree, other’s won’t understand what the hell is wrong with me, and really none of it matters. Everyone has their way of life and I respect that. However, I’ve seen the damage of being this kind of “resilient”, of being this kind of “Strong”, and it’s done nothing but create more mental strain than any of my apparent “illnesses” could.
Life is a cycle. Pain is a cycle. We don’t categorize death into right or wrong, than why do we categorize people’s pain as such? Why is one type of pain disordered and wrong, but another average and understandable?
HINT: Everything on earth is understandable if you take the time to climb off your high horse and understand it.
As if that’s something that could ever happen. Not in this PC Principal world.
Let’s all get our laughs out and then let’s get back to being at least a tiny bit serious here, people. I get that everyone’s freaking out because Nostradamus apparently predicted Trump and economic downfall and sequentially the end of humanity, love, reality, and sanity in 2017–not quite sure if sanity even existed in the first place–and I get that everyone is terrified because 2016 seems to be throwing names into a hat, plucking them out, then squashing them to death day by day. I get that someone set up a gofundme account to keep the deathly hands of 2016 away from Betty White’s neck.
Let’s be fucking serious here. Fuck’s sake. You’re all crazy. All of you. Coming from someone who is also very, very, VERY crazy, and very, very, VERY proud of it, that’s probably not saying much.
I believe I’m being followed by demons. You believe an angel saved your son from drowning. Some people call you crazy, some people call me crazy. We’re on an even ground here. Let’s shake hands and agree not to argue.
If there’s one thing that irks me, it’s this weird, diabolical concept that one belief exists superior to another. In the past, I had many friends who were Christians. I had some Buddhist, Atheist, Jewish, Catholic, friends. I grew up in a house that regurgitated the word of God without really understanding what the words were saying, and as a result I found Taoism and am more inclined to find spiritual connection in my native american ancestry. That doesn’t mean I’m a heathen and dislike God. So if that was going to be your comment, stop typing and walk away from your computer slowly.
Because, if you know anything about religion, you’ll know the majority of them believe heavily in a creator of the universe. Even science has developed the Cosmic Mind. So we can all agree that we believe something, someone, or some kind of entity (whether that be some spooky, conscious matter bursting into existence out of nowhere or ethereal force or intelligent spirit) created the universe. Look at that. Something to agree on. So why can’t we just stop there?
I feel people are inclined to believe that their belief is correct not because it is factually correct, but because they believe it. It’s like some weird ego boost. Because what they believe has to be right. Perhaps they’re not meaning to be this way on purpose, in fact most religious people I meet and speak with are very opening minded. They believe what they believe, they are proud of it, but they welcome other’s beliefs too. They don’t sit out on the street corner like the morons over here, protesting a mosque in development.
FACT: you don’t have to agree with someone to respect them.
FACT: you don’t have to undermine other’s believes to keep the faith in your belief alive.
FACT: Regardless of what you believe, we are a tiny amount of people on a tiny planet in the middle of a universe larger than our mind can comprehend.
QUESTION: Why waste all this time and all this life shooting missiles, debating, and ruining other’s happiness for the sake of a belief that COULD very well die with you? With all of us, in the end?
So when someone comes up to me on the street babbling things that could be a result of an altered state of mind, or a mental struggle, or a belief system, or a drug, I don’t discount them on any words they speak. Not because I believe what they’re saying, but because they are saying it and I don’t have the right as another fellow human being to label them as damned, disgusting, insane, stupid, or any other negative connotation to those words.
I understand certain religions have doctrines on how you’re supposed to live, and I respect that. Just don’t be a dick about it.
You all know me pretty well by now: I’m very blunt and, at times, emotionally inconsiderate. Sometimes that works to my advantage, others times not to much.
At eleven, I had a friend–SHOCKING, I know, it gets better–and this friend came from a devoted Christian family. I went to church with her. One day, I got saved.
Saved is the term they use to describe being a new believer and follower of Jesus Christ. You accept Him into your heart, essentially. Some will say I was brainwashed: I was not. I was not your average eleven year old, I had a very clear understanding of things around me. I’ve spent the majority of my life with my mouth shut, observing. But, I was not like these other Christians. I was not a follower, as they were, and I wasn’t convinced I believed in Jesus Christ, either.
What I had always been sure of, as a child, was my spiritual connection to the universe itself. Whether some see that as God, or enlightenment, or an endless list of Gods and Goddesses mattered not to me. So I took part in this saving because of the spiritual value, not the religious aspect.
As a result, I acquired this book from them called a “New Believers” bible. I found it the other day after about ten years of not seeing it. And on page 973, there is a page called “Aren’t other religions just as good as Christianity?”
And that disturbs me. Because it’s putting a spiritual connection one has with whatever their belief is on a pedestal. It becomes less about spirituality and more about superiority. More about this thing people seem to call “Truth” . . . without ever really defining what truth is.
The page goes on to talk about Buddhism and Muslims. They don’t degrade the religions, but they don’t give them justice either. They say, on the subject of Salvation, that “Buddists believe salvation is by self effort only. Hindus believe you achieve salvation by devotion, works and self control. Muslims believe that people earn their own salvation and pay for their own sins.” They go on to say “Christians believe that Jesus Christ died for their sins. If people turn from their sins and follow Jesus, they can be forgiven and have the hope of being with Jesus in Heaven”.
I copied that all verbatim. I see no problem with self effort for salvation. I see no problem with achieving salvation by devotion and self control, or earning salvation and owning up to their own sins. None of that seems to be a big deal to me. Why is it to everyone else? Is this really the kind of stuff we’re arguing over?
All these philosophies and religions have wonderful values and teachings, but rather than think about the messages and gain a sense of spiritual calmness from them, we like to nit-pick and claim our set of values is higher than those other sets of equally fine values.
I would say, in response to this book, that there are no religions as good as Christianity, because Christianity isn’t good. No religion is good, no religion is bad. It all just simply IS.
And that’s not a bad thing. It’s not a good thing. It’s just a thing.
I feel for those stuck in the fire of the religious wars across seas. And I feel worse for those not in the war who look down on those in the war. In fact, I feel bad for every person who thinks any portion of man, including thoughts, including beliefs, feelings, writings, teachings, are any kind of superior at all. That’s what I call delusional.
We get caught up, often, in the material part of the world, the part of the world that’s surface-level compared to what some would call “The Truth”. There are many truths for many people in the forms of religions, philosophies, anarchists, e.t.c. I’m not one who could consciously say any belief of anyone else is false, wrong, or ignorant. Everyone handles the struggles of life differently and that constancy will never change.
As for me, I don’t much affiliate with any religious preference, although I many teaching from many different religious texts, and I don’t much claim to be a philosopher with any set belief, although I’m entertained deeply by some western philosophers like Kant and Nietzsche. I’m not one to claim science over God, gods, deities, e.t.c, either.
I’m spiritually connected to the parts of my indigenous culture I’ve been able to learn about. I’m also engrossed heavily with Taoism (known as Daoism, or dào jiào, more correctly). For this article I’ll refer to it as Taoism and “The Tao”, because it’s what I’ve noticed a lot of people are more familiar with.
For those who aren’t aware, Taoism is one philosophy indigenous to China (6th century B.C, Laozi). Some call it a religion, but I’m more inclined to consider it a philosophy; there is no set creator like in Christian or Catholic religions. Although the cosmos and The Tao are the universe and the creation of, neither are worshiped.
First and foremost, let’s consider The Sage, as this understanding encompasses the majority of what the beliefs surround. Essentially, this is someone who is in completely harmony with her surroundings, in their environment as well as in the universe. What does this mean? Briefly, it means this person has gained a wisdom extending beyond intellect and instead enriched with an intuitive understanding of life.
“Rank and Reward make no appeal to her. Disgrace and shame do not deter her. She is not always looking for right and wrong. The world is ruled by letting things take their course”.
We’re all capable of embodying these characteristics because they are all parts of our humanity.
As a way express and embody this, Toaism is birthed. The Tao is considered “the way” or “the path”. It’s how we perceive and interact with the world around us, and how we interpret that reality influences our path of action. Do you all know that book “The Secret”? This book?They’re putting a really westernized twist on this philosophy of The Tao.
The most important thing to understand, in my mind’s view, is that all of life, every manifestation of life, is part of this whole that is inseparable, an interconnected organic unity from The Tao itself. Life’s forces are attracted to balance because it’s their nature to do so. Sound familiar? It should; it’s pretty damn similar to the basis of The Law of Inertia, one of Newton’s three law’s of motion–an object in motion will stay in motion unless acted on by some unbalancing force. Essentially, it’s this “natural tendency” for things to say in the state they are in, unless they’re disturbed.
How can relate this to ourselves and the Universe? Well, we have a couple choices as humans, and one choice is to follow this “Way”, and “go with the flow” as you will, ot we can choose to do the opposite and remain disconnected from life.
As someone with indigenous American roots, this speaks volumes to me. My ancestors lived a life conducive with nature, with the cosmos, not one which ruled the land and claimed the Earth as “ours”. There was violence, there was hierarchy, yes, but with nature they were one and connected to life.
Yin-Yang is also important to talk about here. This is the principal of change and harmony. They’re primal energies, not opposites as many think. They’re complimentary to each other: in other words, Yin creates Yang and Yang creates Yin. You can only know pain because there is happiness. You can only know good because there is evil.
This leads to the conclusion that one shouldn’t ever get intertwined in contradictions like right and wrong, to choose one over the other. Instead, we should only recognize their relatedness.
How can we relate this to ourselves? Well, how often do we find ourselves, especially those of you who are my mental health peers, picking at ourselves over parts of us we dislike, or disowning parts of ourselves? That’s fighting against the natural balance of things. In other words, although times are tough now, every force in life, including that which lies within us, strives for balance and we can’t achieve that balance within ourselves by fighting what must happen. If that means a shitty period in life, a horrible mental break down, or manic episode or days upon months upon years of hearing voices or anxiety or depression, than what’s what it means.
It’s not giving in. It’s recognizing that this reality is here, and to try and eradicate it would be like trying to erase a negative current from electricity just because it isn’t positive. Eradication is not balance. That’s like removing your left eye and then wondering why you can’t see out of it anymore.
There are two other areas I would like to speak of, the “Te”, which is the principal of inner nature, and the Wu-Wei principal of “non-doing”, but I’ll save that for a different post. As of now, I’d like to share two translations I found in a book at work, coupled with the Chinese writings of each.
“In the pursuit of learning, everyday something is acquired.
In the pursuit of Tao, everyday something is dropped.
Less and less is done,
until non-action is achieved.
When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.
The world is ruled by letting things take their course.
It cannot be ruled by interfering.”
“The beginning of the universe
Is the mother of all things.
Knowing the mother, one also knows the sons.
Knowing the sons, yet remaining in touch with the mother,
It’s always baffled me that people need an actual day to relax with each other, have a good meal, and figure out what they’re thankful for.
I mean, obviously they don’t need that day, but because we’ve decided it exists, some people use it as an excuse to call the old relatives they never call, invite over the people they never see, and finally go through a list of things they’re thankful for.
I remember when I was a little kid in elementary school, they made us write out the things we were thankful for as thanksgiving tradition-which is weird, considering they never told us any of the truths behind thanksgiving. Don’t give me that “kids are too young to know about violence and killing and genocide”; if you’re that worried about it, say something like ” a bunch of people came over here, tricked the Indians into thinking they were friendly, and then killed them”. I’ve read accounts of German members of society who learned about the Holocaust in detail in grade three and four. They know how to mend their history and they know how to respect their past. America sucks in that respect.
Anyway I’m not going to list what I’m thankful for, because I list what I’m thankful for every day. I think about all the things I have and all the things others don’t have and I don’t need a day of the year that was never even about thankfulness to tell me to be thankful. I don’t need a day of the year to eat a lot of food (I do that daily, too) and I don’t need a day of the year to get together with family.
I guess the Europeans were thankful the Natives taught them how to eat and survive. That’s about as close to a “thankful” thanksgiving we’re going to get.
So I don’t celebrate this holiday. “Holiday”. Not since I was in elementary school.
I know, I know, I work too much off logic and reason and not as much off of emotion sometimes. Logically and reasonably thanksgiving is pointless and a disgrace. Emotionally people cling to it as an excuse to show the world they’re not heartless, to show their family they still care, and to take a day off work.
Until, you know, they go back to work and scam a few people out of some money and kick the homeless guy on the street begging for money because they think all homeless people are lazy drug addicts.
Would you rather have someone beg you for money or coerce you for money? In other words, would you rather have a bunch of homeless people on your lawn or a bunch of ads on your phone tracking what you type into Google so it can send some more direct ads at you?
In this world you get both; it’s not really a choice. That was a joke.
I can be funny too.
The problem with saying “the day doesn’t matter, it’s just a time to celebrate what you’re thankful for and be with family” is that you’re ignoring a vital part of American history. Not history according to the United States government, but history according to all the native people stuck on poverty-stricken reservations with cards of their “blood quantum” in their wallets and elders who sit around and mourn about the old days on this twenty sixth of November. That’s how they celebrate this “holiday”.
It’s fine to take a day off and be happy; you really do deserve it. Just don’t lose sight of what you’re relaxing in the name of.
We obviously already have lost sight of it if people feel comfortable saying things like “the day doesn’t matter, it’s the holiday spirit”.
It’s like Christmas. Now don’t get me wrong; I love Christmas. All the chocolate and candy canes and warmth of the heater. But we all know it was Pagan holiday celebrating the winter solstice, right? We all know a lot of religious holidays were stolen from Pagan celebrations right? Because Pagans were deemed “evil”, right? And yet we ignore it. People who aren’t even religious hear the word Pagan and associate it with something bad; we just celebrate holidays for the sake of the celebration.
It’s like reading the bible. I’ve read it; we read portions for one of my advanced English classes and I read it as a child and I even went to a church for a while with one of my friends to explore her lifestyle, her traditions, and the youth group she wanted me to come to. The people were so nice; I love them to death still. The preacher often scheduled trips for us and we went to things like Jelly Bean factories and arcades and had a shit ton of fun. I felt kind of bribed, but hey; I signed up for it.
She wanted me to be saved. I had no idea what that meant, so they explained it to me. I hope I don’t offend anyone of the Christian religion by saying that I went for it because I wanted to experience everything. They say you need to give your heart to Jesus Christ without really explaining what that means, so I figured it didn’t matter whether I did it under true conviction or not.
I’m a spiritual person and I must say, with all those serious people in the room I did feel a shift in the air and I did feel warm and very emotional and it was odd. Did that make me a believer in the Bible and their teachers? Fuck no! (Obviously). But it did solidify my spirituality–there is something out there in the universe that’s a mystery that we’re never going to understand from a book or writings or even oral stories; it’s something you feel and that’s the closest you’ll ever get to it. It’s in that moment we’re connected to each other and to nature and that’s all we really need. I’m fine with that.
So I did a lot of searching about the Bible and you know there are a lot of stories the church excludes, a lot of words Jesus said that they refused to put in the teachings, and religion has just become a weird cult designed to keep people under control.
So I got the hell out of there. I said thank you, I respected them, and I got the fuck on. I prefer to respect nature and give thanks to what’s here on earth and give thanks to the mystery of the universe rather than live my life according to a bunch of men who wrote a bunch of words a couple thousand years ago.
Love the call for peace and harmony and respect, but the majority of their people don’t follow their own rules so that kind of invalidates a large portion of the religion. Anyone who uses religion to disregard gays from the community and ignores the fact that animals in nature engage in homosexual activities just proves me right. I mean . . . there was research a long time ago in the forties or fifties I believe on elephants who researchers saw performing unconventional sexual acts on each other (male/male, female/female) and these idiots condemned the elephants and said they were going against God. It’s the people that ruin the meaning of spirituality, it really is.
But it’ll always be warped and twisted. Soon Easter is going to be about the giant three headed bunny demi-god who’s half human half jackrabbit who burrows under your house and steals your shoes at night. You’re supposed to leave him carrots and chocolate so he doesn’t kill you. And soon math and science will actually build that giant three headed bunny demi-god and use it as police patrol on the streets as a solution to the racial violence of today’s officers.
A beautiful future lies on the horizon.
I’d also like to congratulate science and Epigentics for finally catching up with Native traditional beliefs: yes, trauma and pain are passed down from generation to generation and yes physics, we all are interconnected. I’m glad you all finally found the proof you need to prove the well known belief right.
Found a Ghost Post: something I wrote last night that I forgot about.
I am not writing this in the afternoon as usual but at 2:59am.
Fifteen minutes ago I finished the two articles for the website I was writing for and the owner said they really enjoyed them and would be in contact with me when he needs more articles. Cool. I have a fan.
Anyway, I couldn’t fall asleep without writing about the movie I watched in my native literature class tonight–err, last night. It was called When The Mountains Tremble. It was filmed in 1982 during he peak of the Guatemalan army’s oppression of the natives (Mayan Descendants) of that country.
Let me start off by saying I’ve always felt a connection to every person. I was taught about spirit and love for the world and corn meal sporadically through my life, but I feel like I knew all of that without anyone’s input. And there wasn’t a lot of input; my father isn’t connected to his culture.
I genuinely care about every person on this planet, even the idiots I yell at sitting at a stoplight, even the professor who so kindly reminded me I’m a failure (Or, Ahem, change your thinking remember? See, I’m learning just like you guys. He reminded me I’ve had a setback), and even Smug Honda Guy and his pudgy wife. I’ve always felt I’ve been able to feel other’s pain. When someone hurts physical or mentally, I hurt along with them, even if they’re across the world. If I hear about it, if I read about it, see it in real life, see it on the news, whatever, it doesn’t matter; we’re all connected and I suffer just as much as they suffer.
I was the kid secretly crying over the news and bad things in the world. I still do; it crushes me immensely. There’s a lot of people aching out there and I have to feel every ounce of it.
It’s the people who have blocked out that feeling (*Cough* Politicians/Leaders/TheMajorityOfCelebrities *Cough*) that I don’t feel much remorse for. I love them, they’re part of us, they’re part of me, they’re part of we, but holly fuck are they dumb. They’re self-centered and weak to have let greed overpower their prefrontal cortex. How are you going to let an inanimate object control the better halves of your brain?
Anyway, I’ve never felt comfortable saying these things to people, saying I feel like I’m being guided, saying I feel connected with nature and people because, uh, hello, people think you’re a loon. They think “Oh shit, she’s finally done it, she’s fell off the crazy boat, she’s flapping in the crazy water like a crazy fish, let’s get the crazy-fuck out of here”.
Mind you, it’s 3:19 Am as I type this, I don’t even know what I’m talking about at this point.
Oh yeah, stuff.
Watching this movie was extremely difficult. Thank God the lights were off so no one could see how affected I was. These people were driven into the mountains of their own country by this army, most of which were of European Spanish descent, where they had to either hide off in the forest under the protection of the Guerrilla’s or live under the rule of the army.
There were news telecasts by the president who literally said, very blatantly, these native people are in our way, let’s get rid of them. I mean . . . at least they’re saying the truth, that’s more than America would ever do.
But the army snuck into the Native’s huts, raped their wives, kidnapped children and women and men and took them in the forest and slashed their throat, raided a town and killed close to a hundred people in front of the other villages, and had the audacity to blame the riot on the Natives, much like our some of our army members do in the middle east.
The government made the Natives have a permit to come into the city to get food and basic necessities.
The Guerrilla’s were not violent unless they needed to be, much like many of the Guerrilla’s in Africa. You hear that they tear apart soldiers boats and raid houses and huts but did you know about all the Nuclear Waste dumping we were doing in their waters right on their shores? You mean to tell me you wouldn’t get pissed off when your fish comes up out the water with four eyes, a monkey leg growing from it’s stomach and a tiny voice barking “mama”?
Anyway, all this drama in Guatemala these people get on video tape. They risked their lives. Some snuggled up nice and close to the government while the others raced through the hills with the Guerrilla’s avoiding the constantly circulating army helicopters. And I thought I didn’t feel safe in my home town.
Have you ever heard Native Guatemalan? It’s reminds me so much of African dialect clicking of the tongue but with a side of German slur in it. I’m not trying to make fun of them but this is for your benefit: Imagine someone clicking their tongue against the roof of their mouth, cutting off each and every word halfway through but adding a “shlawgen” type accent on them. It’s really interesting to hear, I loved it.
They did things much like the Natives up here: grind some corn, thank Mother Earth for the bounty, live according to nature.
I never knew about them until tonight but they’re also my people. We’re all each other’s people, but they are also my people. They also fight oppression because of who they are. They are also generational victims of colonization. They suffered worse when Reagan promoted United States involvement in feeding guns to the army to fight the “terrorists” the “Guerrilla’s”. Word leaked out once or twice what was really happening and although we were told repeatedly to stop handing the government weapons we refused to recognize anyone else’s authority or opinion but our own and continued. Jimmy Carter was the one to cease trading with them. One Guatemalan native woman wrote a book on the atrocities she faced, and spread it through Europe. Denmark and a few other countries also ceased trading and the Guatemalan government had no choice but to ease up their tension. I have no idea what state they are in today but you better believe I’ll find out.
I tell this story because you’re most likely not going to hear it from your average person. We all know there ain’t no way in hell a school system is ever going to tell you, not when southern states still label slaves as “workers” in their textbooks.
Oh don’t give me that look, take a damn joke.
It just astounds me how similar the Americas are to each other in terms of native history and how different the other side of the world was. What sparked such an arrogance that they believed they were destined to spread Christianity through the land? That they were on a quest from God? What still sparks that arrogance in the colonization of today? It’s not stupidity or ignorance because they’re fully aware of what they’re doing. If anything, they’re proud of it.
The other side of my family is Polish, Danish, and Irish. So don’t look at me like I’m another brown person just dissing white people. I’m white too. I’m a lot of things.
One of the things I am is curious. If only I could travel back to Europe before the spread of Christianity from the middle east. I want to see how they lived their lives before kings and queens; everyone was tribal at some point.
I’m accepting of all religions and all creeds. However; Jesus was not white, Rome. Come on now. What white person is going to be born in the middle of damn Jerusalem? Was he an Albino? And nice patriarchy you got going there with God being a man and all.
It’s just interesting. I will never disrespect someone else’s belief, I’m just 100% innocently curious of how this all played out.
One thing I can’t stand though is when people say “oh, natives passed their stories down through word, I can’t believe that, it got changed along the way”.
Hmmm. How many times do you think the Bible has been edited? Changed?
Believe what you want. Have faith, it’s good to have faith in something, anything. But do not brush away the significance of facts; that makes you ignorant and it forever taints your beliefs.
I’ve said it once, twice, three times I think, that this literature class is life changing. It’s going to be the awakening of me, I’m sure of it. It already has been.
I want to make this brief, concise, and to the point.
But It’ll probably spray all over the place like a Fire Hose on the ground, so you know, clench your teeth, give me your pity face, and just nod in agreement.
A lot of my therapy is bringing up things from my past I thought I was “getting over”. Or things you know, that I acknowledged happened and that I thought I were over. Apparently I wasn’t. Last night it hit me like a ton of bricks and for the first time in three or four years I cried myself to sleep over memories I thought I hardly gave two shits about. So it’s been rough.
Finding answers is rough. Trying to understand who you are is rough. You know, that identity crisis seen in Borderline Personality Disorder isn’t that abnormal if you think about it. Even the extent it reaches isn’t that abnormal. There’s a reason many people diagnosed with the disorder have had past trauma or often grew up with an alcoholic as a parent.
Two women came and spoke to our class today about historical trauma. One woman shared the fact that her grandfather’s sister was put into a boarding school for Native Americans back in the day and was forced, along with all the other children, to watch another little girl receive a punishment by being mauled and raped by a dog. Well if that’s not traumatizing, than I don’t know what is. These were children stripped from their homes and forced into a way of life, into a uniform, into a narrow mind, all under the name of God, in the name of Manifest Destiny, in the name of American society. This is a fact, not a judgement and not a personal attack just for anyone who feels the need to argue.
They were taught that you don’t speak unless you were spoken to. I was also taught that.
I was taught “children should be seen and not heard”.
It explains why I’ve never felt safe. The person who raised me didn’t either. Neither did his mother or her mother or her mother’s tribe.
Well, My family is full of historical trauma then, isn’t it? If my father is African american and his grandmother is Cherokee, well fuck me I’m just a clusterfuck of trauma, aren’t I? It explains why he grew up the way it did, It explained why my grandmother grew up the way she did, and it explains why I now live in a house with an alcoholic with a 30+ year track record. My grandmother picked cotton. She had eight kids. She disciplined them with belts and had violent relationships with other men. My uncles don’t have the same father. My last name, of which is French, is from a man who was in a few year relationship with my grandmother and happens to have no blood relationship to my father. My real last name is Ware. That’s not French.
My father never got his name changed. He’s thought about it, but hasn’t yet.
I might. In fact, the more I learn of my history, the more I learn to respect it and to be proud of it. I’ll change my name, I don’t give a shit what people think. I want it to reflect who I am and where I came from, regardless of whether my biological grandfather also drunk himself to death.
I’ve been searching for roots to my social anxiety disorder for a long time. And, as you can tell, I think I’ve found it.
The native woman who spoke to us tonight say it takes four generations to heal. Well, guess who’s the fourth generation after some crazy trauma? This chick right here, sitting all straight at her desk, excited like a child on a rollercoaster, ready to fucking punch someone in the face for calling her a pussy because she screamed on the ride.
I know people like to get hung up on the percentage amount of Native in my blood, and in all Native’s blood, and we talked a lot about that tonight as well. But let me ask you this: have you ever been asked what percentage white you are? No, so then lay up off us. We’ve been slaughtered, there aren’t that many “full bloods” left. Secondly, it’s a culture, it’s a set of value systems, not a blood quantum, not a card issued by the American government. Educate yourselves, please.
I never went to ceremonies as a child but I did have some of the spiritual values instilled in me.
I don’t know man, I’m just so . . . enamored. About everything. About life, about love, about spirit, about nature, about everything and everyone and anyone. Because I’m finally learning who I am.
You know, when people called me Mexican in school, or assumed I was, I never really countered with a “oh, I’m black, or oh I’m white, or oh I”m native”, I just told them to shut the fuck up, I’m mixed. And it’s true, I’m mixed. But I never had a cultural value or anything growing up, I didn’t know who I was and so how could I fight all those people who seemed so confidant in knowing who I was?
It’s a crazy world out there kids.
Now, what I gather from all of this? Well, my anxiety may have a slight bit to do with neurotransmitters but that’s a direct result of how I developed. My so-called “chemical imbalance” was caused, it didn’t come out of no where, it was caused. And in today’s American society where “mental disorders are on the rise” or whatever stupid shit they claim, we forget to give understand towards environment and who we are as humans, not just sacks of meat with cells.
How do people in American society know who they are when America doesn’t even know it’s own identity?
We start American history when Columbus sailed the ocean.
We tell our children when they take field trips to missions that colonialism started because the people who came over here saw vast land and no one on it.
Sarah Palin said she wants all the foreigners gone, including the Native Americans who can go back to Nativia.
Well just poke me in the eye with a hot pin, ride me like a donkey, slap my ass and call me Johnny; I’d like one ticket to NATIVIA PLEASE. PLEASE SARAH PALIN, ID LIKE ONE TICKET TO NATIVIA.
I mean people, really. Just sit and think about it for a little, especially if you’re American and especially, especially if you’re American with an ethnic background.
If you are a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a therapist, a social worker . . . and you don’t understand or care to understand the culture of your client than do us all a favor and just walk over to your nice, comfy fireplace that you installed in your house after the Prozac company gave you a surprise bonus for making your millionth prescription, blow dust from your credentials, stare at it lovingly, smile at the memories of why you got into psychology, at all the parties you attended in college, how you woke up from a hangover outside of the deans office and scrambled to make it to your last final of the semester before he caught you, and burn the fuck out of it. Burn it. BURN IT. You don’t deserve it.
And if you’re a psychiatrist who thinks you’re so fucking amazing that you hardly took any psychology courses in your undergrad and graduate years, don’t even talk to me. Just . . . just fuck off, really. You’re not in touch with people as humans, you’re in touch with people as patient and doctor and that’s creating a hierarchy that only further perpetuates bullshit in this society. So fuck off.
I feel I’ve been guided all my life. Not by God, not by my parents, not by my peers, not even fully by myself, but by the mere subconscious memory of my ancestors, of their spirits. Everything in my life, no matter how tragic, has always had a bit of supernatural mystery to it. Things just fall into place somehow. Things are always a coincidence. I just happened to find this psychologist, the first one who happened to mention my cultural background and then just happened to say eh, I’m going to take this Native class because why the hell not?
There are more examples I can’t think of right now. But regardless, I feel I’m on the right path now. I’m slowly understanding who I am, where I’m from, and this class has helped me cope with my social anxiety disorder more than any avoidance tactic ever has.
I thank my professor for that, and any mysterious ancestors that may be watching over my shoulder right now saying, yes! She’s finally got it! Yes! Yes! Yes!
But probably in a Native Language I wouldn’t be able to understand if I heard it.
It seemed all the news could talk about was how fast the disease spread, about how many people it killed, about the 21 day incubation period, and about how, worst of all, we had no vaccines because we don’t need vaccines for viruses that only hit the poorest of the poorest countries. I remember I couldn’t sleep at night when they diagnosed the first case of Ebola in the United States in the Texas hospital that did a shitty job of detecting the virus. I remember all the racial shit that surrounded the fact that they didn’t administer the trial drug to the black guy but they did to the other two white doctors who contracted the virus (of whom the experimental drug saved). I remember all the scares of Ebola on the airlines. And I remember when I told myself if it spread over here to the West Coast I was packing up my shit and moving to Canada.
I probably wasn’t in my right mind when I thought I could cure Ebola. I literally sat at this very desk, albeit on a smaller non-touch screen, non-expensive computer, created a folder entitled “Ebola Research” and started learning about filo-viruses and all this other biological shit, most of which I can’t remember. For days. I read about why traditional vaccines wouldn’t work and came to some pretty obvious conclusions that I thought were just genius at the time, then grew even more elated when I read in news articles that the exact conclusion I’d come to was the exact conclusion the biochemists came to. I thought I was the shit. It felt like they were stealing my work.
It died off, just like my other countless projects.
My first or second semester of college, I was sitting in World Music jiggling my leg as usual, hoping the peaceful sound of Chinese classical music would lull my mind into recess, and instead I got it into my head to start researching the effects of music on the brain–particularly tones. It’s not particularly an innovative idea, plenty of people have done it, but I took it too far. I probably wasn’t in my right mind. I named it “Hypertonal fluctuations . . . ” and some other shit I don’t remember. I still have the folder of unused research on my laptop. I used my knowledge from my bio-psychology classes to pinpoint the areas of the brain I wanted to focus on and did a lot more research on frequencies than I care to admit. I wanted to see if I could cure anxiety with a tone. I guess I stole the idea of “Binaural Beats” and ran with it. I asked my few friends to gather their friends because I needed test subjects. I just knew I’d solved one of the most common mental health issues on the face of the planet.
That lasted for at least a week and a half until it died off too. I didn’t have the energy for it anymore. I went onto something new.
I like thinking about those days because I did well in my classes and I kept up on all my work. I had enough balls to apply for jobs and even sent in an application to a neurofeedback place even though I had little qualifications. My writing made me sound much better than I was. I obviously wasn’t in my right mind thinking I was a professional.
But hey, I learned a lot about viruses and frequencies and the brain and neurofeedback. Being the (usual) socially anxious person I am, I would have never been able to get my boyfriend without these breaks in reality. So I’m thankful for them. They’re much easier to deal with than the depression; too bad they don’t come around nearly as often.
A part of me still thinks I could probably cure Ebola. The vaccine is easy; just blend up some money, melt it in a spoon, suck it in a syringe, and inject it in people’s veins. They’ll be cured in a matter of minutes, I guarantee you.
But you know, one thing about having mental health issues is that we often get sucked into our own troubles and can find it hard to think of others without thinking of ourselves. So I figured I’d talk about some other people real quick. We all know Africa is, in our “modern eyes”, one of the poorest countries. They got their kid stealing Militia’s, their rampant cases of Malaria, and their lack of clean water. The land is beautiful, the tribes are amazing; they’ve been through colonization hell and are still going through colonization hell. They speak a lot of French and English and a lot of them are Christian. In Africa. No offense to the French and English languages, but get the fuck out of Africa. I’d much prefer to be out in the wilderness with the mostly untouched tribes hearing their invigoratingly soulful drumming, their singing, and their languages of which they’ve been speaking for millions of years.
I swear I’m not trying to be offensive in any way, but this is an honest question: what is Europe’s obsession with colonization of these specific countries? Don’t tell me they still believe they’re showing them a “better” way of life? I mean, we’re not that primitive of a people still, are we?
So what of the mentally disturbed in Africa? That’s a topic we don’t hear about very often. We supposedly give their governments money to help the poor but you think that money ever reaches the poor? Of course not. Unless you donate through Give Directly, in which your money actually goes to the people. I know I’ve mentioned them before and I’m going to keep mentioning them.
There are prayer camps for the mentally unwell there, where the poorest of the poorest send their illest of the ill, meaning those suffering schizophrenia and bipolar, and delusional disorders. Their treatment is prayers everyday. They get chained to trees for weeks, months, even years, until God has healed them. “Healed” means they’re coherent enough to ask for a bath. It’s all the camp leaders know how to do.
There’s one psychiatric hospital in the whole of that specific country.
There’s one man, as shown in the video from the “Prayer camps” link above, who has started an organization where he, some nurses, and one French psychiatrist dude house those with severe mental disorders, give them heavy medication, and help some find jobs. They don’t have a lot of money, obviously, so the only real treatment they can offer is heavy, heavy medication, you know, the old neuroleptics and psychotropics your hauty-taughty doctor knows better than to give you. Hopefully.
The prayer camps wouldn’t be so ridiculous if they actually provided treatment to their . . . patients (?). I think it’s important to treat people according to their culture (whether their religious views were FORCED upon them or not) so if someone comes to you as an Avid Christian your job isn’t to tell them “Science is better”, your job is to remind them “Your God is good, and you can still believe in Him while receiving treatment”. In fact, it’s important they do. That’s their support system. Don’t try and take that away from them.
But don’t chain them to a tree with metal shackles, either. I . . . I don’t think that helps.
I’m also not saying go in there with our Modern medicine and fuck shit up. But there’s nothing wrong with helping them learn what we know and then letting them handle it on their own. That’s sharing information, instead of CONVERTINGpeople into our “modern” (still very primitive) way of life. They don’t have to be “modern” if they don’t want to. That’s their choice.
If we as a society can’t see that “if one man is in chains, than we are all in chains”, than we’ve got to be one of the most primitive-modern societies I’ve ever heard of.
To all you book people out there, if you’re interested in topics like this, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbra Kingsolver about a southern missionary family moving to the Congo for missionary duties in 1959 is an excellent read. I read it a few years ago and still love it.