Fun gig today at Trish Blain’s meetup

Good evening, readers.  I told you all I was going to attend a “Meetup” type group today locally, and while there, read from my works.  I told you that this was going to be a very big Meetup.  Guess what?  I did it!   Apparently 250 people signed up for it and I’ll bet maybe at least 200 showed up.  It was a huge event and I am quite happy I went.

In case you are just popping in off the Internet and wondering, “Hey, so she attended some party.  What’s the big deal?  Everyone goes to things like that.”

So maybe you do or your pals do these things once a week or so.  Me, do I even get invited to them ever?  Naw.  I’m considered a “danger to society,” a “mental patient,” so no one bothers most of the time.  I mean, who knows, I might show up with a gun and go on a shooting spree according to these “professionals.”  Or, more likely, folks don’t want to be seen with me in public.  I’d embarrass them out of their minds. So, when someone sees me, they cross the street or hide themselves and hope I don’t see.  Sometimes, I’m rather apologetic,  “Aw, gee, sorry I recognized you.  I know you don’t want to be seen associating with the likes of a raggedy Welfare case in public, after all.”   And I walk off.  It’ll hit me a few hours or days later that I’ve just been insulted…again.

Anyway, no way was this Meetup thing like that at all.  No way.  Most everyone was incredibly friendly and wanted to pet Puzzle.  Let me tell you, Puzzle is sorta like that.  She’s the cutest darn dog you’ve ever seen and brings out the best in people.  It isn’t Puzzle that has the “mental illness” label, after all, it’s me.  Puzzle is friendly and when you pet her she gives you lots of kisses and and asks for more.  For me, for someone to pet Puzzle, it feels wicked good.  It makes me feel wanted and loved, too.  Not that I say that, but it does.

Trish must have known who I was because of Puzzle.  She came right up to me and introduced herself.  Now let me tell you I knew right away she is one cool lady.  She paid for this whole thing herself and the first thing she wanted folks to do was…get this: Help each other out.  No, not sell things or promote businesses, but do good things for each other.  I felt good about that and wanted to cry.  Well, don’t tell anyone, but I sorta did cry right then and there.  Only no one knew I was crying.

It’s tough when your faith in humans is down to nothing, nil.  When you believe humans are basically evil, and the only nice ones out there left are the exceptions.  Why?  No, not because something’s “wrong” with me, not at all.  Because recently I was weak and starving, and some mean people saw a vulnerable person and decided to dig in and pull a power trip.  It’s called abuse.  I’ve simply seen far too much.  I’m tired and worn out.

Abused kids live with mean people and that’s all they see, day in, day out.  Abused kids lead isolated, secret lives inside very scary families.  That’s their life and no one even knows.  It can be a nightmare and when someone shows up at the door (such as that “social worker” or cop, say, or neighbor) everything’s tidied up, the bottles hidden, all evidence of abuse tucked away.  I think there are rock songs about this.  The kids are threatened should they ever tell anyone, not that anyone’s gonna believe them anyway.   They’re only kids with giant imaginations, they lie and exaggerate after all, right?  People believe adults over kids because the adults are assumed to be the “competent” ones.  Oh, baloney.

So it is with anyone vulnerable.  There is so much abuse of elderly people that there are special hotlines where you can call in and report the abuse.  I think that’s because our society thinks the elderly (especially those affected by dementia, memory loss, mobility loss, or sensory loss) are “out of it.”  Take my grandmother, for instance.  If I recall correctly, she lived to be 95 and I guess maybe spent a bit of time in a nursing home at the end of her life.  I’m talking about the grandma that had very little money.  She came to the nursing home with inexpensive jewelry, that is, what was most likely fake pearls and the like.  It breaks my heart that what little she had got stolen.  I know my boyfriend Joe had to spend time in a couple of nursing homes in his life.  One of them was a vile place.  He was admitted there and brought with him two leather jackets.  When he finally got out of there, he left with only one.  He couldn’t figure out where the other one had gone off to.  He was looking and looking.  I told him maybe he should look for it some other time and tried to get him to forget about it.  Later, I cried.  I never told him those folks that worked there were a dishonest bunch.

So like I was saying, see, a month ago, that is, the 22nd of August, I was finally freed from the medical floor of Mount Auburn Hospital.  I was abused very badly there. Why?  For one thing, I was starved and too weak to walk or stand.  When I got there, they took pity on me, then suddenly, someone decided I was “dangerous” and their tune changed.  That’s when the very bad abuse began.

Imagine being alone in the room with someone abusive when you are so weak you can’t stand up.  You can’t even lift your limbs.  This was my world for eleven days.  I had no clue if it would ever end.  I figured maybe this was going to be my life from now on and had no clue if I’d ever escape.  I was threatened and called a liar.  I couldn’t even tell anyone.  When I tried to, I was told even more that I was imagining it, making it up, delusional, and got pills shoved at me.  I was scared out of my mind.

When I left, I was really sick, too, physically sick.  I’ve been in bed for a month.  I needed the rest and I needed to lie down with Puzzle real bad.  I needed privacy, too.  Just to be alone and cry a whole bunch.  I needed to recover from the abuse.  I needed to stop being around folks that didn’t believe me, that claimed I was crazy, and hang with those that were affirming and truly caring, and didn’t put me down all the time.

So I signed up for the Meetup thing, just because it existed.  I said to myself, “What the heck?”  I guess a lot of folks said the same thing, and showed up.  For me, it was a giant opportunity to read aloud.  It was empowerment, for me.  You folks who have been following my blog a long time know I love to read aloud.  I’m good at it and I don’t get nervous. I get high off of it in fact.  Just like in the days when I was a young kid and used to perform music.  It’s much the same deal, getting up in front of an audience and having a blast.

When I share writing, of course, there’s always some message, some little bullet I want to drive into people’s heads.  Ooh, that statement sounded lethal, didn’t it?  Get out the leather restraints and security guards and needles!  Lock the doors, man!  The writer is here!

But before I talk about that part, I’ll mention that yes, there was food there and no, I wasn’t all flown into a panic over the food part.   It isn’t food that is scary for anyone with an eating disorder, it’s the fear of food that’s the scary part.  Once you realize that, there’s no threat at all left and no buffet, food pantry, restaurant, supermarket, soup kitchen, or pot luck that can hurt you.  There are only hurtful humans.  Just tell them to fuck off.

Not that I was totally rah rah about the food. Not that it was all that easy.  I did say a post or two ago about the hot flashes I’ve been having.  I’ve combed the Internet about why I’ve been having them and am doing stuff to prevent them.  The last thing I wanted today was to suddenly catch fire, not indoors while at this event.  I didn’t want to turn myself into some kind of hazard and embarrass the heck out of anyone.  I might singe Puzzle’s fur before they manage to put me out.  I don’t want that.  That plus you all know I avoid dairy because it makes me depressed.

So the food line was miles and miles long.  It was a little awkward standing in it.  I tried to make conversation, tried to be funny, but I wasn’t too successful at that, because no one is successful 100% of the time at being funny or cute.  I think folks were telling themselves they were wishing the line would move a little faster.  Suddenly, someone was asking me what kind of soup I wanted.  I said to myself, “Gee, what if I want no soup at all?  I don’t want anything hot because hot means yet another hot flash.”  So I asked if one of the soups was a cold soup.  It wasn’t.  I said I’d pass.  Then there were maybe a zillion quiches.  Why a zillion (yeah, I counted) I haven’t a clue.  I asked for an egg thing that looked like the most desirable one, very much forgetting that if it had cheese in it, I really shouldn’t have it.  I put salad on my plate and a hummus sandwich and some grapes.  There was another sandwich on a bun but it looked too gooey to me.  I’m not really comfortable when ingredients are mixed together and can’t be separated, so I don’t know if there might be way, way too much of something I don’t really want.  I ended up eating everything, even the egg stuff with cheese, because there was very little cheese in it, just enough to flavor it, and I didn’t have much.  Later, there was dessert, but I remembered reading on websites that sugary foods will bring on a hot flash, as well as anything that is quickly made into energy by the body.  I’ll get back to these recommendations in a minute, cuz I have more to say about what our bodies need and intuition.

Well, no, I think I’ll talk about it right now.  Coffee.  Yep, caffeine.  Is it really society’s evil?  Let’s put it this way: We use coffee more as a social lubricant than anything else, far more than we use alcohol, but no one really thinks of it that way.  What’s served in the office?  Most of the time, coffee.   What’s at every restaurant and legal for everyone and costs less?  No restaurant needs a coffee license.  Alcohol only shows up at the occasional party and in the bars.  You can drink coffee and drive but most folks better not drink alcohol and expect to do anything important or meaningful or anything that requires coordination.  I know many people are sensitive to caffeine or even allergic to it, and probably should stay away from it.  Then for godsakes, stay away from it.  Don’t preach to me that it’s evil.  I don’t tell others that dairy is evil but if I eat a large amount of dairy, that is, the curds, I get so depressed I’m suicidal. That’s just me.  I’m not everyone.

So…me and coffee.  I don’t drink coffee every day.  Maybe every other day or once every few days. But when I do, I make a very nice ceremony of it and enjoy it. My body always tells me, “Ahh, that was so good.  Thank you!  Do it again tomorrow, please!”  My stomach feels great after a cup of coffee, better than it was before, and my whole day seems better.  If I exercise, I move faster and feel stronger and lighter.  I do have to let the coffee cool a bit if it’s a hot day, though.  Other than the fact that it’s a hot beverage, I doubt coffee is causing me any problem at all.  There are simply too many medicinal benefits for me to truly give it up.  I don’t like iced coffee nearly as much, but if I wait a minute or two, I’m sure a less hot cup of coffee will be fine.

And so, let me talk about the talent show.  As I said, I was in it.  I read a piece of writing I wrote specially for the show a day or two ago.  There were maybe 15 people signed up.  Some folks sang.  I guess many folks did.  There was an interesting demo of a machine that made your body vibrate.  A couple of people played instruments.  All of the music was original.  Isn’t that cool?  A guy did a cool talk about disability and empowerment and accessibility and speaking out.  I thought, wow, he’s doing stuff to change the world.  Another guy talked about Occupy Wall Street.  Guess what?  He was there last weekend and said there were all sorts of cops all over the place.  Like the protesters were dangerous criminals.  Hmm, kinda reminds me of the war protests of the 1960s.  When I was a kid, I only saw these on TV and heard radio reports late at night, and read about them in newspapers over my dad’s shoulder.  Have times changed at all?  If you are “sick” or “different” or “don’t fit in” (like me, with an eating disorder I never even asked for) you get accused of being a crook and end up locked up?  Guess that’s the way of the world.

Early on in the talent show, a guy who was a personal trainer did a wonderful poem about how our bodies know best.  That gets back to the “coffee is bad for you” myth I was talking about.  Okay, so coffee is the Evil of the World for some people.  Trendy thing to think.   Everyone thinks this is bad for you, that’s evil, watch out for this, avoid this, etc, even (or should I say especially) doctors.  He had such a good point.  So afterward, this guy came up to me and we talked. That was so cool that I got to talk to him and I sure felt privileged.

After all, if you got to be my age and alive, I think there must be something wise in you, something that kept you living and breathing.  You know what it was?  It was you.  You are strong beyond belief.

So anyway, I will indeed do a You-Tube of my piece.  I figure, what the heck, I need to get my stuff out there.  I do like the piece very much.  I love giving things away for free, too.

I came home.  I was exhausted.  I lay down with Puzzle later on and we slept a while.  That was refreshing.  When I awoke, I was convinced it was midnight for a bit, but it was only 7pm.  Puzzle, of course, never really woke up.  I need to wake her up for dinner.

I will of course be coming out with the newsletter, just like I said.  I’m working on that.  See ya, readers!


Feedback and comments welcome!