Category Archives: bullying

Even if these tears never dry

(Even if – Mercy Me)

 

Grief continues to be a painful journey I must traverse. Some days I am proudly standing atop a hill, doing remarkably well. Other days, many many other days, I am falling down the hill or working so so hard to try to make upward progress and feeling like there ain’t much to show for my effort. There have been a lot of tears shed and a lot of days spent in the twilight zone between too in shock to cry and too upset to have any control over stopping the tears from appearing completely randomly and inappropriately.

 

Even though I might seem like an impulsive airhead…and maybe I am…I do also find myself reflecting on where I am and what is going on in life. For one thing, the same sentiment I wish I could get my little buddies to understand when they are really upset is pretty much the same thing I wish I could figure out for myself. I wish they understood that as much as they might prefer not to be there, they are stuck with me in this playroom for the next hour and might as well at least try to enjoy the toys that we have before they go as that surely must be more fun that crying. I wish I could find a way to have fun and enjoy myself until God takes me home. It is easier said than done. The feeling of hopelessness and pain and loneliness is oppressive like a thick heavy soggy blanket that I cannot remove. I wish I could just find something fun and forget my pain, but I’ve tried so hard and it just seems so impossible. I tried so hard to give this place a fair chance. I tried to find *something* to be excited about. I try so hard, but I fail which just makes it all the easier to see the continued losses…and then there’s the licensing exam that I probably failed. I feel frustrated. I feel stupid. I just wish God would hurry up and come back so I wouldn’t have to go through this life that hurts so much anymore. I so deeply long to not be on Earth. I do not want to be alive. I want to go home to be with my eternal daddy. I don’t understand why a God who is supposed to be all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-caring would make me keep having to live in a world that hurts so much.

 

I also read an article recently about assessing someone’s safety and need for intervention. I’m not totally sure how I ended up on the article, because I started out looking for what would happen if I drank some bleach…before you freak out, don’t worry. I didn’t come up with some stupid plan to intentionally hurt myself. There is a reason I don’t own any bleach and have no plans to own any, but it isn’t because of self-harm or suicidality concerns. The reason is because bleach feels safe and clean and if I had a million dollars I would very much like to buy a zillion bottles of bleach and bleach the world…and along those lines, I wanted to know if it was safe to drink bleach because I thought maybe I could sanitize my insides to prevent getting sick. As it turns out, I learned that small amounts will do virtually nothing and moderate amounts will cause stomach upset. Larger excessive amounts could cause more dangerous issues. Lol, since stomach upset is one of the most terrifying things in my world, there is no way I will ever attempt drinking bleach. Anyway, so the article said ultimately in a person without other obvious symptoms necessitating intervention, if you ask if the person can remain safe, most people will be honest and say no if they can’t so you can simply ask the question and the yes or no will direct whether or not you should intervene. Yeah. I am not most people. Ask me that question and I can almost guarantee you the answer will be that I am fine. There is a teeny tiny chance I will say I don’t know, but even then with further probing I will claim being okay. I’m always okay, especially when I am not. I can think right now of one particular time I was not safe and someone did ask that question…and I claimed being fine. Even so upset that I am crying uncontrollably, I am thinking about others and trying to protect others. My thought process was that if I admitted that I wasn’t very safe it would inconvenience someone and probably just cause more problems later, so I didn’t. Sure, it might not have been safe for me to do what I did, but clearly I survived it since I am still here. In retrospect, it would have probably been possible to sleep right where I was, let someone know to unplug my alarm clock, and go back to my room in the morning when I might not have been doing a lot better but would at least be attempting something in the morning when I am at my best rather than at the end of a long day, but I was deeply in survival mode and that kind of logical thought was WAY beyond me.

 

Lol, speaking of safety though, am I ever really safe? So a little background first, even though my mouth is basically a toddler and my social skills probably place me in elementary school despite my chronological age in my mid-twenties, my skin still thinks I am in puberty. That is to say I still get acne and a few nights ago I had what seemed at the time like a great idea to use a kitchen knife to cut a pimple off. I was very lucky that while I was trying to figure out how to hold the knife to be able to get an angle that would work and still be able to see what I was doing it occurred to me perhaps this was not a good idea. So I didn’t do it. Sometimes I think maybe I need a friend not just for companionship, but also to add a healthy dose of common sense to my life…Lol, I’m always a danger to myself in some way since I am kinda clumsy and kinda impulsive. I do really need a friend though. I don’t have any where I live.

 

Totally unrelated, but yesterday something pressed my buttons. Inclusion is extremely important to me, because I know how much exclusion hurts, so when a child was excluded I was furious. I had to work really hard not to lose my temper when a child with special needs was taken from his developmentally age appropriate classroom and moved to a younger age group where he clearly didn’t fit in and didn’t understand why he was taken away from his friends. If the child was disruptive or couldn’t keep up with his peers I would *almost* understand, but he wasn’t. Another child who had undisclosed special needs was definitely disruptive and was picked up partway through because of it, but this child was wonderful. Even if this child hadn’t been as able to keep up with his peers, we also had access to a 1:1 aide if he needed it to keep him with his peers. It would also be a different story if the room was at capacity and we absolutely could not take any more kids and had to move someone and were moving multiple kids to keep numbers balanced, but that isn’t what happened. Oh man, I was so livid. I got in my car afterwards and cried. I wasn’t crying out of my own grief (which, okay, felt pretty good to have something unrelated to my immediate circumstances to cry about) but because of how this child and his family were treated. That was not okay…especially when our lesson was on how we are all different and wonderful. I sent off an email this morning about it, and apparently it already had come to the attention of someone high enough up to fix it. Tonight should be better. Tonight no one will try to tell me at the end of the night how much better it is because of exclusion. Exclusion doesn’t feel good and doesn’t make anything better.

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Am I worthless? Am I filthy? Am I too far gone for a remedy?

(We As Human – Take the Bullets Away)

 

I’ve been living with the intense pain of grief for a long time…and before that the abuse…and long long before that the bullying. I know rejection. I know being unwanted. And so many other hard things life has thrown in my path. I am familiar with pain, but it seems to follow me and want cuddles like a small naughty puppy that I can’t get rid of. It doesn’t feel like there is a way out. I tried to create a timeline of when I could get back to my dreams. It was good to try to create an end to work towards, but even on the more magical completely unrealistic timeline, I still will be fighting through this for another year…and if we’re being really honest, even if we pretend this timeline is practical (it’s not) I am not naïve enough to believe the pain will completely disappear upon starting a new path. Sure, it will likely be super helpful, but it won’t be like flipping a switch. It won’t remove the previous rejection and wipe the slate clean. The more realistic timeline is a minimum of two years. The idea of holding on that long is overwhelming.

 

It is hard not knowing why no one wants me. It is hard feeling so much rejection. It is confusing to be chosen for a big girl position even over people with experience when I was rejected from all the transition roles I tried to get, especially when the same organization didn’t even give me an on-site interview for the residency to which I applied. It is hard hearing people tell me how great I am and then rejecting me later. I’d rather you were just honest and said hey we don’t like you instead of leading me on just to let me be crushed later. I’d rather instead of being polite you told me what was wrong with me so that I could change and improve. Am I so worthless that I do not even deserve the respect of being told the truth? Am I really so lousy that there is nothing I could do to even be close to good enough? And why doesn’t God love me enough to finally just say yes to one of my prayers and let me leave this pain? It is hard to reconcile this pain and God’s power with the goodness all-knowingness of God.

 

I’ve heard that when a Christian woman wakes up in the morning the devil says “oh no, she’s up again.” It’s not just the devil thinking that when I get up. It’s me too. God doesn’t seem to ever want the same things that I want. I keep crying and praying that God will take me home because I can’t take this pain. I can’t keep living like this…and God keeps saying no. I know God cares and I know God loves me, but it is really hard to understand how it could really be love to leave me here. It hurts so much. Why won’t God take me to forever home where I don’t have to deal with this? I have already struggled so long and I don’t want to keep fighting. I want to go home. When the bravest thing you do every day is get up and keep going, it is hard to keep up with life. I FINALLY got my authorization to test from the Board of Pharmacy…and I know that just trying to make it day to day has drained so much of my energy that I really haven’t put nearly enough into studying…and since it took so long to get the authorization, I probably only have one chance before my job gets taken away. I feel like I am probably going to fail…then I’ll have nothing but an expensive apartment in a city where I don’t have any close friends…

 

But I keep fighting. I keep trying. I get home and my ears hurt from the multiple media sources at full volume to which I am listening as I drive to minimize the tears so I can see where I am going to get home…because I can pretend life is awesome or at least tolerable when I’m with people…but put me alone in a car and it is very possible I will struggle – time alone with my thoughts and emotions, kinda trapped there. So especially if I’ve been reminded of the pain I am pretending doesn’t exist prior to getting in, I am likely to have a hard time. Grief doesn’t have a calendar. Grief doesn’t know that it has been over three months and is time to give me a break. Grief doesn’t have empathy. Grief doesn’t know I am exhausted and just want to be able to move on and have this whole thing disappear.

 

How am I? I’m doing the best that I can. I know the basics of life enough to know what I need…and God has been doing good things even if he didn’t give me what I want. I usually burn practically just by thinking about going outside, but I didn’t wear sunscreen and biked to my friend’s house and back last week and the burns were pretty mild. Yesterday, I did put on a little sunscreen but was outside about 4 hours (biked around 40 miles) and didn’t reapply…lol, you can look at my hands and see exactly where there was zero sunscreen on though…but anyway, last night I knew I was on the border of being too dehydrated (vs just dehydrated enough to mute some of the pain and tears as long as there aren’t any reminders). So I gave myself two choices: water or ice cream…I didn’t want either, but the trying to be a good girl half of me was stubborn long enough to win, and I did eventually pick one of the options…picking nothing seemed so much easier, but that wasn’t one of the choices. Protip: ice cream is always the answer. No, ice cream didn’t solve my problems and I was too far gone for the sugar to help pull me back in, but at least it did kinda sorta make me feel a little better about myself because I was also getting calories in at the same time…

 

There is a long road in front of me. Soon I will be moving a couple hours away and be even more alone. I am thankful that I make friends easily, but worried because I can’t exactly expect someone I just met to support me the way that the friends I have made over multiple years have…and I can’t expect to immediately be invited into other people’s circle of friends as the new girl. It is hard being new. Some people are willing to let you join their friend group, but other people are like the girls in my grade at the new church who never really let me join their clique. Sure, the moms sometimes tried to invite me, and sometimes I tried to push myself into their circle, but I wasn’t dumb, I knew that most of them really didn’t want me there and it was easier for them to preserve their little friend bubble by writing me off and keeping me out of the circle. I probably should have asked to join the girls in the grade above me who were a lot more welcoming and had already invited me in…but when I had the opportunity I was still in denial that I couldn’t just go back in time and make this whole nightmare end so besides the fear of using my words to ask or even of having someone ask for me, I denied that because I didn’t want to admit that I would be there long enough for it to matter. It wasn’t until almost my senior year when I finally let go and realized that this was for real and wasn’t changing any time soon…and by then the girls in the grade above me were graduating and moving on. They invited me to the grads group, but that didn’t solve the Sunday morning problem. (But the grads group was a lot better place for me than youth group ever was. Smaller and more inclusive was super helpful for me…no one cared that I was the farthest behind academically…it was awesome until the rest of my class joined and it gradually became more and more exclusive…a few years later I took my brother and he noted that every time he said anything it was as if he hadn’t said anything but the person next to him could say the exact same thing and people would respond. I hadn’t really noticed much because I didn’t talk much anyway, but it is definitely true. They would express excitement that someone new was there and then completely ignore whomever was not in their little friend group). Lol…all that to say that I appreciate however much my friends are willing to tolerate me while I am a lousy friend in return, and I do know how blessed I am and that having friends like this is nothing to be taken lightly.

couch

Speaking of my new place, last week I bought this couch (yes and the pillows in the picture)…might not have gotten the best deal of anything, but it is red and the place I am getting it from seemed to have a super flexible delivery plan which is helpful not immediately knowing when I’ll be available to receive the delivery…

The battle that you’re fighting makes you feel so all alone

(Ordinary Angels – Karyn Williams)

I have experienced a lot of side-lining, exclusion, and isolation in life. I was someone who really only had circumstantial friends until one particular person changed that in high school. I will be the first to admit that although I have found my voice, everyone else had enough of a head start that I still feel lost in the world of friendship. Making and keeping friends is something that I still approach tentatively. I strongly desire close friends, but don’t really know how to obtain them. I don’t want to impose on people, offend people, or bother anyone…I don’t want to be weird and awkward when I’m trying to be friendly. I am so thankful for the people I do have as friends, and many of them go far beyond the call of duty to love on me, but I wish I were better at the friendship game. I’ve always expressed interest in a guidebook for communication skills, but I do realize that it isn’t practical or probably even possible to create a comprehensive book for that…plus even if it did exist it would have way more words than I would probably be able to sit still long enough to read, and it would be so overwhelming that IDK if I’d even see it as worthwhile when I can stumble my way through figuring things out without all that work…

So yeah, all that to say I am used to being an unintentional loner, but grief is a profoundly isolating experience. It is like being inside a translucent hamster ball trying to understand the blurry shapes and fuzzy sounds and trying to interact with a world that you can’t really control or even touch while watching everyone else walk around in complete freedom. No one can really understand what it is like to be trapped in that ball and it is so stuck closed that no one can really free you from the prison of grief. It’s just you and the hard walls around you. The walls keep the world out and you in so your pain can’t hurt anyone else, but you keep running into those hard walls, and it gets frustrating that you can’t escape, and really without control your ball is also running into things.

My grief is getting a little better. It still hurts, and I still cry sometimes, but I am learning to ignore it. Tuesday since I was driving about 500 miles, I had a lot of driving time…driving all day can be less than ideal since there is not a lot I can do to entertain myself which means I am alone with my thoughts for a long time without much in the way of distraction…sure, I have the radio and a notebook in my lap, but that is often not enough. We aren’t going to talk about how dangerous driving can be when deep in the emotional pit, but yeah, driving can definitely underline the pain in life. And that is what emphasized how much progress I’ve made. Sure, by the afternoon I definitely had cried, but I actually did pretty well in the morning. I was annoyed when I realized one of the unmarked roads a few miles ago was the one I should have turned on and I was a little frustrated when my phone told me I should go 10 miles south then make a U-turn and go north when I could have just gone north in the first place, but it wasn’t that big of a deal (and on that second one, I should have just followed the directions I wrote down, but I wanted to believe that my phone was taking me on a shortcut…)…I made it.

I heard a lot of really awesome things on the radio. One of them is that when you’ve been supporting someone and they become able to be responsible for themselves, you don’t let go of them, you let go of control, and you don’t step out their life, you step out of their way. I really liked that. I have some friends who have done that well. When I am falling I might need help, but if once you have caught me you just notice that I am not in free fall anymore and let go and don’t help me get my own footing then I very well may start crashing down the mountain again. Grabbing me and letting go gives me hope for a minute, but it’s a false hope that doesn’t really change anything if I still don’t have any way of clinging to the mountain after you let go. Friends who leave me a rope, connecting me to the top in case I need it again, giving me space to climb but not be totally alone are so valuable…and leaving the rope out isn’t just hey let me know what you need. That is an awesome start that I really appreciate, but when I am deep in grief, it is really hard to figure out what I need. Let me know if you need anything is better, but still not totally there…it takes away the required need to know what I need, but leaves behind an implied fill-in-the-blank requirement that someone like me is usually going to not ask at all rather than leave the line blank. It also puts the responsibility on me to ask, and when I am using all the mental energy I have into keeping up with the more primitive responsibilities of life like eating, going to bed, and dressing myself, clearly that ask is beyond my every day ability. While it might be a frustrating approach when what used to be an easy answer (more skittles) is no longer a reliable solution since at times I wasn’t even eating candy, the best thing anyone can do if you really want to do something tangible is to tell me what you want to do and find out whether it would be helpful or just add more stress. Side note also that you should probably make sure that what you are offering is something you actually have the ability to make happen, because when you are already living minute to minute holding on for one more minute at a time, the disappointment of something that should be of marginal importance can be magnified. For me anyway, something tangible that was really helpful was people texting or otherwise contacting me even just liking a post on facebook in a way that didn’t require a response so I didn’t have to feel rude or extra stress if coming up with words to respond was way over my head, but I could still have the benefit of connection and someone reaching in to my lonely world. I eventually figured out how to ask for that, but I think I kinda failed on the follow up to make it happen…but anyway, I recently saw on one of the sites I follow a comment along these same lines…side note that everyone is different…the person in the quote below only cried like three times a day, and for a long time I cried pretty much any time I was alone and sometimes even if I wasn’t alone…although I suppose some days three might be right because that could also mean I only stopped crying twice…there were and are a lot of tears shed in my life…on a less surface level, for me, surprises are not really my thing, so while I might appreciate you just showing up, it would be more meaningful to me if you asked me first is it okay if you come over. If my world feels out of control, then even more than ever I want to feel involved in the choice. I might not have the mental capacity to actually choose, but at least letting me rubber stamp your decision is good for me…and okay, let’s be honest, I might be making bad choices because I don’t have the ability to reason logically, and I might be refusing help I might need because shaking my head no is the only control I can have in the world…but I might also be making a different decision than what you want for me because I am scared and because I don’t want to burden more people and because I learned shame and most importantly because back in March and April and May I knew I wasn’t supposed to do anything that could put graduation at risk and I knew that without full executive function I could easily say too much and break the rules by sharing about the abuse, and so some things just weren’t safe options for me. Yes I needed to talk, but no, I wasn’t going to let my guard down.

 

what to say

 

Back to the point, I will also be the first to admit that it is probably hard for people to know if they should leave the rope out for me, because I am protective of other people and don’t want to burden them so to the extent it is possible I tend to pretend I am okay so they don’t have to feel bad for me or feel pressured to do more than is comfortable for them, and I am used to having to figure things out on my own while pretending everything is fine…Unfortunately, I’ve had way more experience with that than I would have ever liked to have. I went into third year doing reasonably well. I really did at that point primarily just need a steady accountability partner, which is another reason it didn’t seem like THAT big of a deal to be working with someone bad. I’d been bullied so much in the past that working with a bully didn’t seem like a problem. Yeah, I was wrong. It was a gradual enough change that I didn’t really notice it much myself and blamed what I did notice on other (moderately legitimate) circumstances (like new classes, my first apartment, etc) even though other people did notice that I had changed even though I wasn’t talking about what was going on. Looking back, by the end of third year I was probably in crisis mode more often than I wasn’t. Things that would have made me cringe and then go back to normal life became situations that threw me into a day or more of freaking out. I couldn’t handle the stress of the abuse and the germophobia grew into what I guess was maybe partly a mental distraction to take away from the pain of abuse…I don’t really know a lot about how these things work, but I know that regardless of the exact mechanism at work it isn’t the expected outcome to go into counseling close to ready to “graduate” from counseling and after a year be fighting to get through the semester even if there were other things like difficult teachers and deaths to contend with at the same time. (But don’t worry, according to my abuser, I was not grieving…lol…it is kind of scary that this person is still allowed to interact with and even “counsel” (those are definitely huge exaggerated finger quotes) students on campus. I worry about the other students she is hurting. I know I was an easy target and hope because of that I got hurt worse than other people, but that is small consolation, and I don’t have any proof there aren’t other people, easy targets or not, who were being treated just as badly as me.

I work hard to remind myself it is not my fault. It is never the victim’s fault. The victim never really chose to be abused. Being an easy target doesn’t mean it was my fault. It means I was taken advantage of. Someone whose job it was to protect me instead used her power to hurt me and that is not okay. Yes, being protective of others, being excessively quiet, and being very obedient made me an easy target because there was an almost non-existent chance of me spilling the beans, especially when told not to say anything, but that doesn’t make it wrong for me to have those attributes. Being protective of others is problematic in this kind of situation, but it isn’t wrong to want protect people. I know life isn’t all about me and value other people’s experience and perspective. Being quiet is something I’ve always hated about myself, but it doesn’t make being abused my fault. It also isn’t all bad. Someone told me once that not being good at speaking makes me good at listening. I’m not always totally convinced of that because sometimes the worry about if I am going to know what to say next takes away from my listening and also without having something to say in response makes me feel like I didn’t do a good enough job listening, but it is true that I am very willing to take the time to listen when people need to talk. And as much as being obedient has hurt me, I certainly cannot endorse being disobedient to avoid being hurt…I think being disobedient would likely bring its own problems. Following the rules doesn’t make it my fault. Not knowing when or how to question authority doesn’t make me a bad person. It is easy to blame myself because like why didn’t I tattle until months after the dust had settled when tattling even a couple months sooner could have spared me and other students a lot of hurt, but I have to remember that I was doing the best with what I had. My protective personality hadn’t yet let me let go of that protection. I knew tattling would hurt my abuser. I knew it could cost her a job which would also impact her two young daughters who hadn’t done anything wrong. As far as I knew, her husband was unemployed, and the stress of living in a family without steady income wasn’t something I wanted to be responsible for in those girls. I don’t know if she treats her daughters right, but I do know she is manipulative enough that it would be hard for social services to rescue those girls if she wasn’t treating them right. Even when I was ready to let go of protecting the mom I wasn’t ready to let go of protecting the girls.

Also heard on the radio: “I entertain suicidal thoughts.” I heard that and said to myself, yes, yes I do, because I am a fun person. Those thoughts are so entertained…lol…you just wish you were as entertaining as I am. Then I started laughing which was awesome, because I had previously been crying. Also, I LOVE being graduated and free!! Now I can talk about stuff like this without risking anyone taking it out of context and taking it to someone in authority to get me in trouble. Is it stupid that I had to worry about stuff like that, umm, yes, but this was a for real problem. There were people looking for any opportunity to try to say that I wasn’t stable emotionally and should be kicked out of school or at minimum be punished for it…One of my friends asked me to think about the counselors I’d seen…I think the goal was for me to find one to go back to while I was grieving, but considering that over the course of my first 7 semesters of college I’d had sessions with 7 mental health practitioners, to me it was more of a game, and the eighth box on the grid was labeled “FREEDOM.” Not all of my experience was negative, but a lot of it was, and on top of that the last people I saw was, from my perspective, solely a check box of yes I did show up…and the last person even wrote her notes to school that way as a check box yes Wiggle Worm showed up and yes she participated on these dates. There was really no reason besides the stupid contract for me to be there. I saw it as a waste of my time that could be better spent studying and a waste of the money for the sessions and the gas to get there, particularly when I had no interest in being there and knew that even if I did need help that change wasn’t going to happen if I wasn’t interested. I think if the first person and people I saw that summer and fall after the slammed down phone had been more positive experiences that maybe my opinion could have been drastically different, but that isn’t what happened. Instead, being in counseling felt like serving my time, and I was thrilled when that was over. I do recognize that counselors can do a lot of good and I do recognize that in every occupation there are people who are bad at their job, but my experience left me with such a bitter taste that while I am happy to have a counselor as a friend and meet new ones without fearing them, I am not interested in having a counseling relationship with anyone. That ship has sailed. Besides, when you told me back then that part of my punishment for finally breaking under the abuse was going to be counseling, it is hard to in turn break the association that formed between counseling and punishment. I strongly believe that counseling should NEVER be used as a punishment. There are a lot of reasons for this belief. Among other things, it isn’t really fair to anyone involved including the counselor who might not have even done anything wrong – why should they have to use some of their time they could have used to have a session with a legitimate client to have a meeting with someone who really has no reason to be there aside from needing the sign off to stay in school? Why should they have to get into the middle of the web?

Calling them names because they’re different is wrong

(I can be your friend—VeggieTales)

I hate election time because of all of the hatred and hurtfulness that people spew. The headlines are full of stuff like “Hillary should be in prison, not the white house.” First of all, we have a legal justice system in this country that determines whether or not someone belongs in prison. We also have an innocent until proven guilty policy. Oh, and it is “we the people” who get to decide whether or not Hillary will move into the white house…well, we the people with the help of the electoral college, but that’s a conversation for another day and not really relevant to this conversation. Second, how do you think Hillary feels seeing that kind of headline? Why must we be so cruel to those with whom we disagree? And then the headlines of “your body belongs to Trump.” I can’t say I read the article to which this was attached, but I am guessing it was surrounding the topic of abortion. No, your body doesn’t belong to Trump, and I can guarantee he did not say that. I know you know how you feel when someone makes comments about your actions that are false. Do you really think Trump feels any differently? Your body does not belong to Trump. I might be lousy at history, but even I know slavery was outlawed a LONG time ago. And abortion isn’t about what you do with your body, abortion is about what you do with someone else’s body who isn’t yet able to defend him or herself. If it isn’t okay to murder your children when they can scream then it shouldn’t be okay to murder them when they can’t. (Side note, if it were YOUR body we were talking about then post abortion you would be dead…not sayin’ just sayin’). Today I got onto facebook and 90% of what I saw was people spewing hate about the candidates. (The other 10% was mostly the adorable children posts that are part of why I even have facebook). It really bothers me to see this hurtfulness towards those two people and towards anyone who has a different opinion.

Y’all you might only see these people on TV, and they might look kinda funny, but they are not just TV characters; they are real people. They are people with real feelings and real thoughts and real emotions.

You are entitled to your own opinion. So are they. So is your neighbor who voted differently from you or didn’t vote at all. In all reality, the president doesn’t have THAT much power over our everyday lives. No president is going to mandate what time you set your alarm or whether you shower in the morning or at night or what time to have lunch—the things that really affect your day to day remain unchanged. When I woke up this morning nothing was different than yesterday in my life—nor will anything truly change the day that our new president gets the keys to the white house. (Side note that the vice president kinda gets the short stick–how come the vice president doesn’t get a cool house). You don’t have to like the opinions of the person elected, but you should be a decent human being and show respect to the person elected. You don’t have to like how your neighbor voted, but you are still going to have to live with them the other over 1400 days until the next election, so it is going to be best for both of you if you can get it through your thick skull that your neighbor is another person worthy of respect.

Perhaps the news media and the social media folks need a reminder that as the adage says, if you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all. Have we forgotten our manners? Did we forget “the inside is the part that we’re supposed to care about; that’s where we’ve got feelings that are very much the same…it’s okay if we are different.” It is okay to be friends with people who do not share your exact same opinions. If everyone had the exact same opinions the world would be pretty boring. If you refuse to be friends then let’s remember that being rude and hurtful towards other people doesn’t show how superior you are; in fact, it pretty much just makes you seem childish. Let’s grow up and be civil towards people—even the ones who *gasp* aren’t identical to us.

Do you reach out and touch them?

(Dreaming Jacob’s Dream–Michael Card)

Supposedly over break I have been writing letters of intent, organizing things, preparing for upcoming rotations…all sorts of useful relevant things…

In reality, I am super distractible. I found this video and found it really powerful. Imagine what it is like to go through every day like the first half of the video. Some people don’t have to imagine. It is hard when despite your efforts to be friendly and positive the only interaction you get is negative if you get any interaction at all. The video was so powerful–being ignored or cast aside hurts, and it is discouraging when most interactions in a day are like that. Maybe I reacted mostly because I notice things–I see the facial expressions and body language, but even without the visual and just listening, the tone and words (or lackthereof) is a reminder that every interaction counts…and a reminder of how negative interactions have hurt me.

I also found this video. So good. But honestly, the first thing I thought when I saw it was “I wonder what their parents were thinking when their kid came home from day camp with a word like worthless scrawled across her face.” The video was super well done though.

Yolo…or like the Caribou cups and napkins always say, “Life is short. Stay awake for it.”

I wouldn’t trade your love for all the candy in this great big world

(Me—Plumb)

 

Ironically I actually had a conversation yesterday with a teacher about how isolation hurts so much more than almost anything else that happens in life…and then today my stupid ID wouldn’t work to let me study where I wanted, which equates to a sense of isolation, since it separates me from all my friends and everything else that I want. Although I was thinking about it overnight, and I don’t agree anymore that nothing is the worst thing to say to someone…Nothing is worse than an unintentional wrong thing, but the worst thing is actually to tell someone that they aren’t grieving. (At least I sure hope that wouldn’t be an accidental wrong thing…I have a hard time believing that telling someone they aren’t grieving when they clearly have something hard going on could ever be an accident). This makes me sad but also makes me laugh a little remembering a particular day I am not going to write about.

 

On the positive side, on a whim a week-ish ago I went looking for where the microwave in the other studying building on campus got moved to, so I still have a way to eat…which is good, because I like eating. Girl would be very crabby if she had to wait to get to church to eat lunch.

 

A few days ago an email went out that we have to sign that we agree with who is joining our fraternity (the one whose whole attraction factor is that you can go greek without having as many mandatory meetings to attend…so I did pretty much as a resume booster, because it is the most stupid and pointless group ever). Hahahahaha. You tell me I am required to sign that I agree with who is going to join our fraternity, and if I don’t agree I have to write a letter stating my preferences, and you know what, you could be telling me that Hitler was joining and I’d still say go for it…it doesn’t really change anything for me if someone else is joining. Not going to lie…I didn’t necessarily read the list before I signed my name to say I agreed. Sometimes I don’t care if my opinion is heard…besides, I am fairly certain there is only one more mandatory meeting left, so it isn’t like I actually have to be in the same room with this group more than one more time (and you wouldn’t believe how many people don’t show up for the mandatory meetings anyway…and I don’t blame them, because I’d rather go stick my head in a pot of boiling water than go to the meetings. So yeah, I do have the best friends that money can buy, and you know what, money doesn’t buy very good friends…the biggest problem is probably that leadership in the group is a popularity contest just like student council and when you have stuck up people who have no leadership skills running a group it isn’t going to go very well. (Side note that not the entirety of the leadership is stuck up, but the “president” is, and that sets the tone for the rest of the leadership).

 

I decided that living in an apartment is something that I am going to stop doing ASAP…Apparently once you tell them that you are officially planning on moving out, you are required to keep your apartment completely clean and presentable at all times and if they find out you didn’t then there is a significant fine. I have so many problems with this. First, I am a college student and I have a lot more important things to worry about than whether there is a stray shirt of the floor next to the washer or if the pile of books is starting to look like the leaning tower of Pisa. To me, it is my apartment and if I am stressed out and don’t want to deal with laundry and dishes until after an exam then I should be able to do that (assuming that there is not a science experiment brewing). Second, how in the world do I work on moving out while keeping my apartment presentable. Moving out is a huge process that usually spans over the course of a few weeks when I am *only* going home for break, so you can imagine that it is going to be an even bigger project when leaving for good…especially since I am trying to sell my dresser so once that is gone it will be pretty limited where I can store my stuff. I spent a significant portion of yesterday cleaning…and then of course getting ready in the morning takes twice as long when the bed has to be made and the pajamas neatly folded and…and…and…etc Not so bad when I have some extra time, but the majority of the time I do not have extra time.

 

On the positive side, now that they might be showing my apartment to prospective renters, perhaps they will finally fix the ceiling I have been complaining about since I moved in, and fix the broken burner I have been complaining about since November…

 

On the note of cleaning…I determined that if things were still halfway (or fully) shrink-wrapped then I probably didn’t need them…yep…which resulted in a trip to the dumpsters in the dark and rain…which was frustrating because the fire escape was slippery and also apparently they said they changed the codes on the gates, but what they didn’t say was that they only changed it on some of them, so I was frustratedly trying to release myself to go back to my apartment and the stupid code wasn’t working…I mean, it doesn’t work 70% of the time with the correct code anyway, but eventually I tried the old code and got to go home.

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There’s a chemical in your brain it’s pouring sunshine and rage

(Manic—Plumb)

 

I’m not sure about the physiologic accuracy of this lyric…I mean, lack of serotonin and norepinephrine is suspected to be an underlying cause of ADHD and depression, so you could link the depression to rage and the ADHD to sunshine…but that is kind of simplistic…and not at all what I think the song is trying to express…in any case…it’s crazy how a single situation can change so dramatically with the introduction of tiny new variables…

 

Back to the song, it is a Christian song, but it also not totally theologically sound in my opinion. “I won’t forgive again because she takes so often.” Umm I’m pretty sure that 70×7 wasn’t intended to mean that you got to stop forgiving when you hit 490…in fact, the song goes “70 times 7, don’t use a calculator to figure it out, forgive as God has forgiven you, that’s what it’s all about.” (Yeah, I know, I shouldn’t necessarily get my theology from children’s songs, but I’m pretty sure the forgiveness isn’t something where you can meet a quota and then stop.

 

Also, this blog post made me cry a few days ago. There are people in the world who make bad choices, but there are also SO many good people. Sometimes God orchestrates some pretty awesome people to work together to make big things happen. http://themighty.com/2016/03/to-the-strangers-in-whole-foods-who-surrounded-me-after-news-of-my-fathers-suicide/

 

Speaking of bad choices, I almost made one today…but then, like usually pops into my head, I remembered the book “Song Lee and the I Hate You Notes.” I honestly have no clue what that book is about, but the title has stuck with me a lot longer than the actual content of the book. I do remember that in the book, Song Lee got an I hate you note (I don’t remember whether it was intentional, a joke, or intended for someone else) and I was very sad for her. I don’t want to make anyone feel like that…so it isn’t okay to post online that I think someone stinks (not in the sense of smelling bad, necessarily, but in the sense of personality)…although sometimes smell makes me really want to punch someone in the face even though I would never do that, because I am no longer nearly as picky as I used to be, but there are still a lot of food that not only will I not eat, but I can’t stand how they smell…including ketchup, wine, salad dressing, cooked fish, barbecue sauce, greek yogurt, funyuns, and beer…I’ll tolerate it, but it will drive me insane…

 

But…just a PSA…I have a personal bubble that I like to be respected…My getting up to go to the bathroom is not an invitation for you to stand by my stuff. As far as I could tell nothing was taken, but there was absolutely no reason to stand there, and you’re not going to get any juicy gossip because I mostly leave only notes out, and not things like my journal or my facebook, so it isn’t going to be that exciting unless you are thrilled by antibiotic resistance or whatnot…When I sit back down it is certainly not an invitation to come on back. It is my opinion that if someone would like to use a particular space that my stuff and/or my body has already claimed then that person owes me the dignity of a smile or a hi or some other form of acknowledgement…obviously an exception would be if I am quite obviously in the zone and won’t notice the difference anyway, but if you are someone who doesn’t think I should receive that level of respect then you should probably not be invading my space…especially when there is absolutely no reason to do so and it actually is seemingly an inconvenience to you to be there…IDK about you, but I like to be respected.

 

Discussion was awesome today for at least part of it because there was pizza…who wouldn’t be thrilled about being in class when there is pizza? However, while it was okay to eventually accept the fact that I forgot to turn in an assignment last week, that acceptance quickly disappeared when I found out the teacher was still deciding whether to enforce the syllabus and give me a zero or how to otherwise penalize me. I am so thankful that this teacher was so much more compassionate than my teacher last semester who told me I wasn’t going to be a good pharmacist because I cared about my grade…it was also completely false when the teacher last semester said a particular assignment I got a zero on (because I got 7 wrong out of 50…) wouldn’t impact my grade, because at the end of the semester I was like 3 points away from the grade I wanted in the class…so clearly if I had even gotten three points on the assignment it would have impacted my grade, and dramatically impacted my self-esteem.

 

I thought about drowning my sorrow today in half a pizza, but I didn’t know if by the time I picked up the pizza and found an okay place to set it down if I would have enough time left on the ticking time bomb of my brain to get somewhere alone before I lost control of my emotions…but I kinda wish I had taken some, because now I am hungry…and I need to run, because I just looked at the clock and have class in 5 minutes!!

You are All I Need

(Sing me a Love Song Again—BarlowGirl)

This week has had a lot of frustration, but God is totally in it. I am so blessed. For every bad thing there has been at least one good thing without which I would have ended up completely crushed. Instead I couldn’t fall asleep last night because while my body was exhausted, my brain was still on overdrive jumping up and down laughing and smiling…joy was overflowing…I suppose it is a good problem to have despite being a bit annoying when I finally fall asleep just in time for the alarm to go off…

Doesn't everyone clean their glasses with lemon scented bathroom cleaner when they get home?...also, I don't want to eat whoever's lemons thought that this cleaner smells like lemon...it doesn't even smell like chemically-lemon
Doesn’t everyone clean their glasses with lemon scented bathroom cleaner when they get home?…also, I don’t want to eat whoever’s lemons thought that this cleaner smells like lemon…it doesn’t even smell like chemically-lemon

So yeah, yesterday went swimmingly…my stupid glasses fell in the toilet. (Lol, swimmingly…toilet…I had to call my dad as soon as I got out of class to share the humor). It could have been so much worse though. See, I got to school in the morning and since it was a Thursday, and not only that, but the Thursday after forgetting to turn in an important assignment, was both mildly sleep deprived and a bit stressed out. Within the first 10 minutes of being at school I had washed my hands 7 times in addition to using hand sanitizer multiple times. So clearly, the early part of the day was not going super well and would have ended in major crisis if the incident had happened earlier. My actual response later in the day when it happened: “Oh no.” And then I thought for a second if I really needed them. Answer: yes, I probably can’t even make it back to the res hall after class without them not to mention that sometimes in class it is necessary to be able to see more than an inch or two in front of my eyes. So I picked them up, super thankful that they were brightly colored so at least I didn’t need to feel around on the floor first and could easily find them…and also thankful that I could get to the sink to wash my glasses without wearing them. It was a good thing I had intended to get to class early to study for a few minutes, because that gave me enough time to wash my glasses with soap and water like ten times and find a hand sanitizer wipe to use on them and still slip into my seat just before class started.

Knowing that could have had a lot worse consequences: like if it had happened when the water wasn’t “clean”…clean is in quotes, because just going to say that I would never truly classify toilet water as clean…and also if I had already been living in the land of the germophobes, it would have been a major issue and it might have been the first time OCD kept me out of class, I used my problem solving skills. This was not the first time my glasses fell off in the bathroom…this is just the first time I didn’t catch them and put them in my pocket before calamity occurred. Here is a picture of my old glasses and my current glasses. The problem should be easy to identify.

Lol...you can probably also see why I pay extra for the ultra thin and light lenses...
Lol…you can probably also see why I pay extra for the ultra thin and light lenses…

So solution so far: wearing my old glasses for whatever I can get away with it for and carrying around my current glasses for when I really need to be able to see…like in class. It isn’t a perfect solution; the prescription is somewhat old and also not evenly wrong so I’ve only been up for a little over two hours and my eyes are already tired, but at least they are close enough that I can feel safe driving in them as long as I don’t need to be reading street signs…and this is why I try to remember to get my glasses re-adjusted whenever I am home…but I forgot over winter break…side note: if anyone knows anywhere close to school that will adjust a pair of glasses they didn’t sell, I might be very interested.

Also, I was talking to my friend and there were a lot of awesome things that happened, because talking to my friends is the best thing in the whole world, but in particular she said “want to know what (name removed) did?” And I was like “umm, maybe,” so she told me. Apparently (name) was super rude to her and then got all passive aggressive so my friend was all passive aggressive right back in her face. And there was one particular part of her response that I was like why in the world would you say that?! And her response was something along the lines of “because I love to talk and so I’m going to drive her crazy talking her ears off. It’ll be like so what did you want to talk about? Everything. Just wait.” So yeah…I didn’t want to say thank you, because I don’t really want to condone being passive aggressive and payback and stuff, because that isn’t really very loving…but I might be twenty three (and a half), but on the inside I am still a threenager sometimes, and my inner threenager absolutely adored the idea of repaying rude and passive aggressive with a little bit of passive aggressive taste your own medicine. I mean, my friend wasn’t rude and had no plans of being mean or anything…just passive aggressive which is bad but not SO bad, and maybe a little time-wasting, but I mean, if you are wasting someone’s time who is paid to do it, it is kind of a win win…but anyway…instead of thanking her, I was proud that she was standing up for herself, because I really wish I had had the confidence and gall to do that when I was in the situation. I suggested a possibly more useful pathway, but she’s kinda like me in that once we come up with a solution we are pretty sure that is the way we want to do things…

One of my friends told me not to let other people limit me from the things that excite me…I do agree to some extent, and I had contented myself with my half agreement…until I was on facebook this morning and saw yet another thing I desperately wanted to do that I wasn’t sure if I could and even if I could, wasn’t sure it would be a good idea…when the excitement has already started bubbling over inside my heart it is super hard to try to shut that down…maybe it is time to just go for it, be strong, and hope for the best…at least if I know what I am getting myself into I can prepare myself in advance and have a safety plan in place if things aren’t going in the right direction…plus, this is going to be a lot less hurtful and scary topic to share…We’ll see. I don’t want to set myself for another “worst ‘exposure therapy’ of my life.” That was not a good thing and definitely impacted my academics and pretty much every other aspect of my life. I don’t think this one would be as bad, but considering that I know in advance what I would be walking into this time, it also might not be the greatest idea to do it just from an external safety perspective…but I want to so bad…

Completely unrelated: I was reading through peer-assessment comments on my presentation from a couple weeks ago…my opinion is that if the worst thing you can say about me is that my posture isn’t the greatest then I must have had a pretty kick-bottom presentation.

You Won’t Know Until You Try

(Never ever ever give up—Thomas & Friends)

I thought I was ready to focus in class Tuesday. Then a stupid truck with a flashy light on top decided to park in front of the window for the entirety of the class. The truck won. Amount of antibiotic resistance material Wiggle Worm learned: minimal…Amount of time spent looking out the window and watching the light go on and off: umm, well, a lot? I tried really hard to focus, but even if I turned so it wasn’t even in my peripheral vision, I still knew it was there and besides, everyone knows I can’t sit still in class, so it wasn’t that long before I was once again facing the window and therefore was drawn into watching the lights again. Someone please explain to me why anyone thought a building with windows in pretty much every room was a good idea for a school. Also, please explain why the blinds for the windows are 100% see through—what is even the point of that?!?!? Also, people should recognize that I am trying really hard to learn and not do distracting things like have a flashy light right outside the window…sorry, but this is a school, and there are certain things that just aren’t okay at schools…kinda like how some schools send girls home if they forgot that they were supposed to wear clothes they didn’t outgrow ten years ago…

I thought I was totally 100% recovered from an incident last week…until I wasn’t wearing my headphones…It probably isn’t a good idea right now to go into details, but basically last week Tuesday ensured that my week would be from my nightmares. I thought that I was doing totally fine aside from a little frustration from the academic setbacks resulting from the fallout. And, I mean, I was doing REALLY well, but really well does not equal 100% recovery. I thought I was rocking it—I could see BPG* and it was annoying but didn’t really hugely negatively impact my day, and I didn’t feel all my muscles tighten to make me as small as possible (as if this girl who likes vibrant colors could really shrink down and be unseen…lol…literally). Yay! Progress! Until I was not wearing my headphones and heard The Voice…without even the visual I was once again hiding. Luckily, I was doing well enough that it wasn’t a major setback, but it definitely was not comfortable…so I guess we’ll go with that I am 96% recovered from that particular incident. Still, I am thankful for how much better baseline is than it was a year ago, because a year ago I might not have been doing this well even without an incident.

*no, I will not tell you what BPG stands for…trust me, you don’t really want to know…I will throw out there that the B definitely does not stand for the B-word though…I might not always be nice inside my head, but I definitely don’t use swear words to refer to things, because I have a vocabulary of real words.

Annoying is a snow day when I can look and even go outside and see that people are still speeding way too fast outside on the roads and don’t appear to be having any difficulty stopping and turning…well, aside from the fact that about 50% of people seem to have difficulty understanding what those big red octagonal signs are for regardless of the weather…

Speaking of idiotic drivers, yesterday someone WATCHED me make a three point turn so that I could park behind them…and then got back in her car and scooted back so that there was a space precisely the size of my car behind her (which obviously means I wasn’t going to be able to get into it), and a space just slightly smaller than my car in front of her. Oh my…if I hadn’t been busy turning around to look again for a place to leave my big iron thing, I would have given her a piece of my mind…so it is good that I was busy, because my mind is valuable, so I shouldn’t be giving it away to undeserving people 🙂

Also, I really appreciate that school no longer waits until everyone is seated in class to cancel classes for the day—that is super obnoxious and something they did repeatedly a few years ago…but it would be nice if they could cancel it before I pack my back pack and lunch box and walk out the door. I did check my email as soon as I got up AND before I finished packing up…luckily, my mom saw the email immediately when it was sent and texted me so I got the memo prior to arriving at school and potentially discovering a half-full water bottle without any way to fill it up on my own…which meant a detour to the lobby to turn in homework, send emails, and finish this post before throwing everything from my backpack onto my bed to have a do-over on today’s plans…frustrated, but All Things…