It’s a very good thing I called in

I just read an article about flooding here and they’ve closed major bridges. It’s not just the Walmart parking lot that’s fucked, they say rivers have swelled and they closed roads, closed schools, and even the major highways are shut down. Maybe people in the city and burbs nearby can get in to work, but I couldn’t have! Either that or be stranded at my workplace pleasing customers all night long, kissing asses for the next three days straight. They don’t want to pay the overtime, I don’t think. Plus poor Puzzle, home alone….I gotta call my friend and make sure she has power. See you all’s in a bit.

How to prevent organ damage from psychiatric drugs

This is a list of methods to prevent organ damage from psychiatric drugs.

1. Don’t see a psychiatrist.
2. Don’t allow yourself to get a label.
3. Don’t label yourself or others.
4. Don’t go to a mental hospital.
5. Don’t commit a crime, and if you do, don’t get caught.
6. Don’t be female, a minority, and avoid getting old.
7. Skip adolescence altogether.
8. When you get a prescription, use it to make an origami figure instead of filling it. My favorite is the crane.
9. Use the prescription for handwriting analysis class.
10. Spell-check it.
11. Recycle it.
12. When you get the pills, use them to make jewelry and sell it on Etsy.
13. Recycle the capsule shells. Use the powder to make paint.
14.  Don’t use it as house paint if children move it, it is TOXIC.
15. Do not ingest. Oh, unless you want to prove a point, but I think it’s already been made.

Don’t take psych drugs.

Woken by a funny dream

I went to take a nap, realizing that I was tired. Puzzle came to sleep with me. I told myself I was way too tired since last night I’d stayed up late searching for my cell phone. I really thought I’d gotten off the bus without it. Had I truly done so it would have been a rarity, as i don’t tend to truly lose my cell. I had put it on my table and then, put my bright red sweater somewhat over it, which is why I couldn’t see it for about a half hour. Also, I had silenced it, so when I tried calling it I couldn’t hear the ringer. I did find it, but the whole to-do caused me to stay up way too late. I got up at 5 this morning…actually 5:11 because I dislike my digital alarm clock so I don’t use it and my analogue one is off a little. A lot.

Still, even those 11 minutes weren’t generous enough. I lay down a bit ago. I don’t often nap but given that today is DAY OFF, I did. Me and Puzzle both. As I do not sleep without Puzzle.

I think I was asleep maybe ten minutes and suddenly I awoke telling myself, “Oh my god, I’ve overslept and I gotta run to work!”

No I don’t. I didn’t oversleep. I am not working today and it’s mid-morning.

Still, i found it amusing to wake up with that thought. I love having these normal days. At least I wasn’t woken by “checks.”

News from me

Today I called in to work due to a giant snow storm that caused accidents north of me backing up traffic and causing trucks to completely block the road. My road is still not plowed nor is the main connecting road that goes through here. The bus radio was blaring last night warning bus drivers not to try to turn around in the Walmart parking lot. Last night I dropped a mitten in my yard and it was GONE in a flash under a blanket of snow. Never mind I couldn’t see it in the dark anyway. Oh well that’s another pair dead.

Today I am spending my day off arranging my “business casual” clothing so that I can find what I need. I am putting the rug back down on the floor since it is dry after its shower. I had to shower it because Puzzle used it as a toilet a few days ago.

Mostly, I am getting ready for a gigantic toastmasters speech I am giving. I am inviting a few people to come to our open house and I hope it will be well attended. I’m recording the speech and if it comes out well I will put it up on youtube. I only have my days off to get ready.

Are you guys staying warm? I hope so.

Psych survivors regularly put each other down without realizing it

You would not believe the commentary I get from very well-meaning people. “You’re too old.””You’re too sick.” I ask where is the sickness and how old do you have to be to qualify for old? Do I act sick? Am I decrepit? Is running 5k not far enough? Am I lame? What the heck is wrong with these very well-meaning folks that they have to do this kind of thing to me all the time? I ask if it is the jealousy factor, but honestly I don’t know.

Have you guys experienced this, and what do you do about it? Where’s the disability? Where’s the limp? Where’s the incapability? I still hear, over and over, just how much I can’t. And yet I don’t see evidence for “I can’t” anywhere. Where’s the illness? Go show it to me and I’ll back down.

I called this employment place about a month ago and they tried to tell me a million reasons why I was unemployable and why I needed “supported employment.” Nope. I do not have “supported” employment thank god. I do not want to be a known leper.  I do not want to be singled out.  I got employed based on merit and experience. I never said a word about “disability” payments. I told them I had a master’s which, by the way, I earned because I am worked damn hard for it WITHOUT ACCOMMODATIONS, and my employer happens to LIKE me.

I work five days a week, full work days, long commute, and before work I go running at the gym. I even have a work badge.

Success is the best revenge.

Tip for anyone going back to work

If you are going back to work after long-term coerced unemployment, when you tell Social Security you are working again, ALSO inform them NOT to contact your workplace. While they are well aware of discrimination, they also default to contacting your workplace, literally blowing your privacy UNLESS you demand that they do not call your workplace. DEMAND THAT THEY NOT CALL. This is going to mean bringing your pay stubs into their office very privately if you have a weekday off your job, or somehow conveying to them how much you are making. You may be able to fax something over to them. I note that they ask the name of your supervisor. Yikes.

If they do they are jeopardizing my job and violating my privacy. I can’t believe they default to this. BEWARE.

Happy Birthday to me!

Good morning everyone! Happy birthday to me!  I made it to 60, which undoubtedly infuriates a small handful of not-so admirers, to whom I say a hearty “Nyah nyah.” However, to most folks out there it’s just another January day.

January 8 is also Elvis’ birthday! Here we have Elvis’ granddaughter singing “It’s now or never.”

Which, I must say, is very true. It really is now or never. Get out there and live your life. Fulfill your dreams. Believe in possibility.

Does grading really do any good for education?

I was graded throughout primary and high school. My first college graded its students. Then I went to Bennington and discovered the value of no-grade education. When I returned to college at age 40 I disliked Emerson’s policy of using grades. So I chose Goddard as my graduate school.

There are good and bad things about the no-grades system. The good part is that you get a better quality education without the grades. If you are already an A student, and you don’t have that pinnacle called “A” to strive for, you work much, much harder and learn ten times more. However, transferring out you won’t have much to show for except a P for all your classes.  I’m not sure if employers even care. That I know of, they want to know what degree you got and if you graduated.

Does the absence of grades prepare you for the working world? Sadly, no. You may have learned much more, but the working world is cutthroat and competitive. In the working world, if you want to do some far-out wacky project, your workplace won’t support you nor cheer you on the way they did at the liberal college you went to. In real life, you aren’t going to be coddled and spoiled.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad I went to Goddard. I  would likely not be writing these words otherwise. I given the opportunity to develop this gift called writing. The hard part is choosing the best way to use it.

Writing, in itself, isn’t a marketable skill. No one wants a “writer” actually. If the job description says “writer,” sorry to say, all they want is ad copy. They do not want your novel and they won’t appreciate it, either.

Goddard didn’t teach me how to get a job. However, I didn’t ask for that when I got there. I had no clue I’d be entering the work force at that time. Let’s just say I believed I was off the hook.

Writing eventually saved my life and keeps me going. As far as being marketable, while I am not likely to find that “writer” job I have managed to develop other, related skills, namely:

Ability to read aloud to an audience
Sense of humor
Love of performing
Public speaking

When I started my job we newbies were asked to fill out a questionnaire. One of the questions was, “What is your dream job?” They wanted us to push the limit with this one, and didn’t expect us to write, “I have always dreamed of working an entry-level position.”

To answer that question I wrote that my dream job is to make it to the TED Talks. I know I can do it and I know I am qualified. I don’t expect my friends from the System to be supportive. In fact, I expect naysaying such as “You can try but you won’t be accepted.” Or, “You sure?” It’s bullshit, but to be honest I don’t see much support coming from the survivor community. Patients are brainwashed into believing our work is second-rate. We’ve been told that for years, or even decades. For this reason, I know enough to move beyond the survivor community which is holding me back.

A person should know how to act in a competitive environment. Lack of competition due to a no-grading system in the long run leads to failure to act properly under competition. The world of work is cutthroat and we need to know how to handle it. No grades doesn’t mean anything goes. If the colleges have a no grading policy, they need to also be very demanding on their students.

College campuses, including graduate schools need tougher anti-harassment policies

Colleges have strengthened their harassment policies but often do not enforce them. Harassment needs to be defined and clarified and policies need to be clear. Students should have a comfortable way to report bullying they witness. Those that file reports should not be further harassed nor should there be retaliation. These policies need to be in writing and all parties need to read and sign. This should include academic bullying that is beyond the expected competition between students.

Back when I was in college, both undergrad and grad schools, no such policies existed or they were written but never heeded.

In undergrad at Bennington in 1981, a professor took me aside and needled me badly. I believe alcohol was a factor (his). I was shocked to see him acting the way he was. I had no recourse.

Emerson profs were good to me, but I did notice favoritism during the time I was there. I was never on the receiving end of the negative favoritism. Some profs made disparaging comments about the other students in my presence. I never realized just how wrong that was.

Graduate school had a Student Handbook. I doubt most students even read it. We were busy. Early in 2005 I was bullied and called a “fat pig” by other graduate students. I even reported this. Nothing was done.

I noticed a few students were dropping out. I asked them why and mostly I heard stuff like “I will never go back there.” I didn’t find out why. I transferred to the other campus and went on with my studies. We were very chummy for sure.

All that chumminess ended when grad school ended. They were cruel to me on Facebook. Finally I got a cruel email from my advisor. I went to the dean. Nothing happened.

I ask why these policies are there to begin with if they are not followed nor enforced, and regularly broken.

I am happy that my current workplace makes you READ and sign their harassment policies. Most don’t even realize…These policies are there to protect us all.