With the click of a mouse

You can unfriend anyone who is a nuisance.
You can block that person who calls you too much,
Or send that person straight to voicemail.
It’s so much easier that speaking to her.

You can write a check for a thousand dollars to feed the hungry
In some faraway land.
It’s so much easier than inviting your friend to dinner.
She’s a nuisance anyway.
Why bother looking at her or speaking to her?
It’s so much easier to click that mouse
And then boast to your Facebook “friends”
That you sent thousands to needy children
You’ll never meet.

Who wins? The drunk? Or the guy in the suit?

The guy in the suit says, “The check’s in the mail.” Do you believe him?

The drunk says, “I’ll get sober someday.  Just you wait.  I’ll prove ’em wrong.”

Well….Which will it be? Door #1, or Door #2?

I’ll tell you something.  You can beg and beg and beg for love from an asshole but you won’t get it.  You can pinch the asshole, squeeze it, shake it, pepper it, dress it up or strip it naked, fix it so it won’t stink, chop it in a million pieces, but still, it won’t give you love. 

On the other hand, look right into the heart, soul, and eyes of anyone that’s honest and truthful with you, whether they are drunk or sober, and there’s love right there.

Door #1?  Or Door #2?

I vote The Doors.  Let’s hear some music.  If you guys wanna get drunk, go ahead.  I don’t care to.  Open your hearts. Listen. Care about each other.  That’s what matters.

How to feel better: Recycle your friends. Hang out with those that cherish you.

This one little favor I did for myself made a big difference.

I recognized that many of the people I was trying to be friends with weren’t the right friends for me. Living like that wasn’t working at all.

Truth was, many people around me regarded me with loathing, disgust, and fear. Sure, they’d “tolerate” me, but no way did they like me or really want to be my friend.

What did they dislike so intensely?  I believe it was my refusal to go along with the status quo.  My insistence on being myself, whoever that was.  Many people don’t like troublemakers that speak out.

I changed my ways.  I hang out with other troublemakers now. We make lots of noise.  I feel more powerful, like I have a voice at last. Not only that, I am cherished as a writer.  Nothing beats that.  I was surely told enough times in the past to shut up, that no one wanted to hear or read my writing.   What an insult!

I’m done with that kind of censorship. I feel uncomfortable hanging out at places where folks are told to comply, that is, told to censor everything they say to the extent that no one can disagree or speak out.

You won’t find friends among those that are afraid of your words or the way you look, or make a requirement for friendship that you fit into a mold, or are highly critical. Go find other friends, those that cherish you unconditionally.  Be yourself. That was one valuable lesson I’ve learned.

Are you an army of one? Try using social media…and don’t give up!

So say you were the victim of mental health stigma, discrimination, or medical or psychiatric abuse, whatever you want to call it.

So now what?  Everyone around you tells you the following: “The doc/hospital/therapist was right. You were sick and that person was justified doing what he/she did.”

Of course, most well-meaning, caring people will tell you this.  It’s NORMAL for them to do that cuz no one wants to be accusatory or point a finger. That’s uncomfortable, right?

So, for instance, I was told by a very well-meaning, caring friend that the therapist who made a pass at me last spring, called me Honey from the start, and invited me out on a weekend-long date was a good therapist and right in doing what he did. Okay, I’m used to this sort of thing, this “justifying abuse” thing. People don’t mean harm by saying stuff like that. They want you to stop being pissed off, right? They think they are being helpful by justifying the abuse and smoothing it over.

The man who raped me was nice to me too.  He had his good qualities.  Of course he did or I never would have gone over there for coffee that night.

I didn’t talk about the rape afterward except to the rape counselor. No way did she once say the man who raped me was “justified” in what he did, or that I should forgive, or turn the other cheek. She encouraged me to never speak to him again and take steps to change my life so that I would never have to run into him, ever again.

Yes, you can compare. Abuse is abuse.  They say if a child is verbally abused, or physically abused, no way should we justify it and tell that child, “You deserved to be bullied,” or, “You asked for it.”  We hope we don’t tell a child that it was their own fault that they were bullied over their weight, do we? If a kid gets his lunch stolen, do we tell that kid he was delusional and maybe exaggerating, and maybe it’s cuz his grades need improving and the other kids were teaching him a lesson? If a kid from another country gets beat up, do we tell him it’s his own fault because he speaks another language at home?

But no, mental patients are told regularly that abuse by “treatment” is just fine. We are told we were sick and deserved to be locked up, battered, shoved aside, ignored, yelled at, deprived of basic needs, wrongly accused, threatened repeatedly, and repeatedly the victims of force and further bullying.  Many are physically or sexually abused.  Verbal abuse is a given.  Disrespect is a given.  Everyone has to fight to get quality care and you are lucky to get it at all.  Our privacy is stripped from us and this, too, gets justified. We were sick and that makes it okay. Why? The abuser didn’t want a lawsuit in case of some accident. The abuse is justified because it’s okay and legal for the abuser to cover his ass.

I say no more. We patients have asses too.  We need them covered, not stripped bare and lashed.

So if you have been abused and you tried to report the abuse and got NO RESPONSE from the human rights people…what next?

Don’t give up!  I know what it’s like. A lot of people around you telling you you are lying, making it all up, exaggerating, telling you it couldn’t have happened, or telling you to “forgive,” or telling you you are now even sicker and need more pills. No, you’re just pissed off and scared, not sick, and I don’t think any of this should happen to a person. The social rejection that follows abuse sucks. I don’t care for the religious zealots telling me to pray for the abusers, either.  I won’t do it and yes, I have in the past.  It never helped, and I was always sorry I said, “I forgive.” I was sorry I let it go and didn’t follow through.

I think if I’d followed through and DONE SOMETHING about bad quality health care, about uncaring or abusive therapists and staff, I would have gotten better lots faster than I did. Decades sooner, in fact.  Isn’t that amazing, the thought of it, that TAKING ACTION really helps?  It does!

If no one is listening right now, if you feel hopeless right now, get on social media.  Give that a try. If one venue isn’t working (like if you get slammed down and told how sick you are) try another.

Yesterday was my birthday and honestly, I had 90% of my birthday on social media.  I went for a run and went out with Puzzle and cuddled with her. I did a lot of writing as usual. Oh, I bought some books for myself too.

I had a great birthday and I mustered up some support on social media, too.  Wow, that felt so good.  Honestly, I can’t get anyone around here to go out with me for coffee, but I bet many of my Facebook friends would go out for coffee with me if they lived nearby. That feels wicked decent, about as decent as it gets.

Don’t stop trying. Don’t give up.  Please, our voices WILL be heard.

Let’s bring back FRIENDSHIP

So I got an idea:

Remember that song, by James Taylor (or was it Carole King?), called “You’ve got a friend”?  I used to think this song was true.

Well, it is. But when I ended up with an eating disorder, I was sorely disappointed in the world of friends.  They all immediately turned their backs on me.  I was disillusioned.  Anyone who has gotten the shaft from someone they assumed was their best buddy knows just what I’m talking about.

After a while, it got to be more like, “Love sucks,” or whatever.  But why should it?  Because if we brought back friendship, if we truly supported each other, if we can CHANGE THE VALUE SYSTEM that exists now…

Then we wouldn’t really need therapists, right? Why turn away a friend?  Why send that person to therapy, instead of giving that person a hug?  What’s the point of donating thousands of dollars to some charity, and not helping out your friends in need?

Because there seems to be less human conversation now, with the advent of texting and messaging. Let’s bring back conversation, speaking, dialogue, human touch, going out to coffee, meaning in relationships…..

We don’t need more services or better quality services because these won’t really help people if our values are skewed.  With the weakening of families and friendships, no therapies will help anyone. Therapy, that is, sitting in some office, being in such a pathetic situation that the only one who will listen is someone you have to PAY…well, that’s sad indeed.

It’s sad that the one person you feel closest to is that therapist, cuz in a few months, or a year, that therapist is gonna have another JOB anyway, and that’s what you are to them, a JOB. You’re a paycheck. Livelihood.  This therapist can “shift her clients” to another therapist once she leaves her current JOB, and then she’ll have you off her conscience. That’s life. She’ll move on.  You’ve been brushed off, kid.

Where are our friends? When I was a kid, if my friend was sad, I comforted my friend.  That was my life. These were my values and what I believed in.  I didn’t know a damn thing about “therapy.”  I still don’t have any use for it.

Welcome to my life, Facebook

One thing I intensely hate about Facebook, where my posts here cross-post, is the “popularity contest” aspect of it, the constant reminder that I have to fight to be “liked” in this world.  I am always reminded that so many people that used to be in my life now are making certain that they don’t read my posts by “hiding” them.  They make sure that the Negative Complainers who do nothing but Bitch and Moan about how Rotten their circumstances are don’t show up on their Facebook pages.  So there are people who might have, say, 500 friends, but really, only the “good” ones, the ones who have the “smart” things to say show up on their home pages.  Or so I’m guessing.

I don’t hide anyone.  When I first got on Facebook, I once hid someone because they were simply posting far too frequently, like once an hour, about dumb things like “I’m going for a walk now” and it got on my nerves, but I quickly unhid that person as time went on and I realized that everyone did that.  I “comment” on random things and sometimes, I’m not on there for weeks.  Now that my WordPress account cross-posts, it’s kinda unavoidable.  And the cell phone’s hooked up, too.  We’re all wired in, folks.  Jeez.  What a world.

And yet…it’s a tool.  It can be used.  It’s like e-mail vs snail mail, know what I mean?  We can think of it that way, sort of a different way to e-mail people, a web-like e-mail.  You can use it for networking.  You can use it for empowerment.  And you can use it to gather people together to make real changes in the world, such as changing laws or helping people get out of prisons and mental hospitals or better yet,

Let’s get rid of the mental hospitals and prisons altogether, okay? But get me talking about that, and god forbid, folks on Facebook will start “hiding” me.  After all, it’s Thanksgiving and we only want happy families and cheer and nonstop gratefulness.

When you have a bad week

When you have a bad week, what happens?  A number of things could occur.  Seeing as I have had a lot of bad weeks, I’ll speak from experience.

I observe that anyone can post something, say, on Facebook such as, “What a beautiful day today!” or, “Look at my lovely daughter!” and post photos.  They’ll probably be told what wonderful, positive, people they are, what cute daughters they have, etc.  Or they can post pleas for support for animal rights, showing a photo of a starving puppy, and get an outpouring of support along with signatures.  Or they can say, “I’m brushing my teeth right now,” and get FIFTY likes and be told how smart they are and what original thinkers they are.  Trust me, I’ve seen this.

This, dear reader, isn’t just a statement about Facebook.  It’s a reflection of society as a whole.  Think about it.

Agreeably, there are people out there that never, ever have a bad day.  Every day is just great.  The smiles on their faces are genuine.  They are never tired.  They never stub their toes.  When they drive, no one ever cuts them off in traffic.  Their dishes don’t break.  Their kids don’t ever fall down or get hurt or get sick and they never have problems in school.  I suppose old age just passes them by.  I met a few people that made these claims but ended up quite disappointed.  I discovered they were either stoned on drugs to the point of being delusional, or following the orders of another person, institution, or cult, and sadly, oppressed and unable to think for themselves…often both.  Please, don’t get into this kind of thing.

Anyway, besides these brainwashed folks, I think most people have some bad days and some good days.  It’s not “illness” to have a bad day.  It’s not “illness” to feel wicked good.   In fact, it’s November, so if you’re feeling good and you end up with a very high word count one day, don’t let some shrink tell you you’re manic.  I say you are incredibly blessed because you are productive, and tell your shrink to go to hell.  Tell your shrink you are doing Nano and that your shrink should learn a thing or two about writing before pronouncing you “bipolar.”

Let’s get back to that bad week.  What’s gonna happen when you post on Facebook, “I’m having a crappy week”?

The first time you post it, you’re likely to get an outpouring of support.  You might even get a few phone numbers and the words, “Call me anytime.”  Or, “message me.”  Oh, love love love.

Same with friends.  They’ll tell you they love you and say they are concerned.  They’ll say they’ve been there too.

So shitty week #2 comes.  The friends are still there.  Facebook’s still there.

Shitty week #40, 50, 100….I doubt anyone even reads your Facebook posts anymore.  You can post all the cute photos of your kids, or say you’re brushing your teeth or anything you want, but it’s really too late now.  They’ve turned their backs.  Nobody wants to hang around with people with problems.  It makes them uncomfortable.

Here’s what they say:  “She used to be the nicest person.  She changed.  I don’t know what happened.  She seems ungrateful.  She’s not the cheery, positive person she used to be.”

Um, I want to say a word to those “friends” out there, LOUD AND CLEAR: Do you want to know what changed?  You assholes turned your backs on her.  That’s the last thing she needed.

People that you assume have “problems” don’t need you to shit on them further.  They need your love.  What’s your excuse for holding back?

My technology crash and what it meant to me

What can I say?

A complete technology crash within about ten days.  I can only say it sucked, but I’m back.

One day (as I think I mentioned on the You-Tube I made, you-tube channel juliemadblogger) I was walking out of the bathroom, innocently enough

I was trying to rescue my clothes, because Puzzle was throwing up on them.

Now, this is a moment of panic if ever I saw one.

A naked, not-so-great-to-look-at 55-year-old woman running to rescue her clothes because her dog is puking on them.

It’s morning.  Not that early, only a couple of weeks ago.

So like I said, in the process of rescuing my clothes, my rather newish laptop went crashing to the floor and it’s more or less totaled.

Well, I told myself there wasn’t all that much data in it that wasn’t duplicated on my old reliable desktop, and I never really liked Win 8.  The little  laptop didn’t cost an exact fortune.   So, I decided I’d take it as a loss, and maybe go to my nice laptop repair guy someday and have it repaired for less than the other store was quoting me.  Someday, sigh.  But now, the screen was popping and stuff.  Time to turn it off.  Just go to bed.  Cry or whatever.

Puzzle, don’t puke again for a good long while, okay?

So, maybe a bunch of days later the other disaster happened that I’ve probably told you about…technology, again.

I was asleep and woke up to find my old desktop computer was completely kaput.  Gone.  Dead as a doornail.

Now only the night before, I’d done a backup using my portable hard drive.  I had no clue why I was doing the backup but I figured I might as well.  I hadn’t been doing them that often.  The last thing I expected was a crash.  And right before I fell asleep, I backed up the book I was writing on one of those thumb drives.

So this is all rather weird cuz I had just changed Internet services and just downloaded a file having to do with this modem they sent me.  So I call this new Internet service and they tell me,

“Your new service isn’t starting till October 31st and you aren’t supposed to be using that modem.  Please discontinue using it and restart it October 31st.”

They had sent me no mailings saying the service started October 31st.  In fact, their mailings stated stuff like, “Plug your modem in and have Internet in a jiffy.”  And their contract was all confusing and had all this legal stuff in it….They were calling me at all times asking me questions, it got to the point of what I would call harassing.   I am still getting calls but they seem to disconnect as soon as I answer.  I’ve canned them and gone back to my old service.  There is talk in town about people who received these modems and were told the same thing, no service until the end of October.  Many were Apple modems but mine was a different one and I paid $30 for mine…I should ask for that back.

So, all that bit rather sucked, relying on a cell phone to reach the outside world for a bunch of days, and thinking I was going to have to go that way through October, snatching free Internet outdoors when I could.

One night, I sat outside the library (this is a scream) and used their Internet one night, cuz I wanted to see my e-mail on full screen.  I was tired of looking at the tiny screen of my cell phone.  The laptop I was using was like an antique practically and worked at a snail’s pace, but it was what I had.  It was darned late, well after hours.  I had a large umbrella with me.   So I was packing up, decided to head home.  Now, folks, here was my mistake.  I decided to turn off my laptop instead of “sleeping” it.  Why was this a mistake?  The darned thing did an update.  Now, there was only one Windows update but it was the Update from Hell you never, ever want while you are sitting at the library late at night while the cops are driving by and might nab you for loitering.  Of course, I’ve already called the library and they’ve told me it’s fine to go sit there after hours, but it’s so late that I’m wondering if a cop is going to ask me to leave.  Do cops understand Windows updates?  I wait…oh geez, longer and longer.  The freaking update from Hell like you would not believe.  So it starts to rain.  I put up my umbrella and it’s still updating and updating and updating forever.  I start to wonder if I’m going to have to call a cab and hold my computer open, telling the cab driver I need to rush home and plug the damn thing in.   Surely, I can’t walk home holding the computer open, cuz I’ll trip and fall.  So about ten more minutes pass while it’s raining on me and the thing is updating still.  I am meanwhile writing an e-mail, under the umbrella, with my cell phone.  This is so comical, a 55-year-old woman and her dog under the umbrella into the night.  Microsoft, did you have to do this to me?  Finally, the Update from Hell was over.  We were home when?  12:30pm.  Jesus.  I was exhausted.  I’ll never forget that night.  I guess that was one thing that made me decide I wanted home Internet back.

And I was glad when this machine that I am writing to you on arrived safely a bunch of days later.  It runs.  It’s a refurb.  I was lucky to get it.  It runs Win7, not bad, not too hard to get used to.  With it came a little webcam.  It took me ages to get the webcam running but now it does.

I’d like to restore my old files from the old machine.  I’ve written to the tech support people for the portable hard drive, cuz I want to restore the files properly.  I expect them to respond Monday.

Well, why am I telling you all this?  It all kinda affected me in a big way.  It’s ironic that I live in the most densely populated town in Massachusetts, but I can’t walk out my door and say, “Hello, how are you.  You can pet my dog if you want.”  It totally sucks that people take one look at me, judge me based on my appearance, and decide they want nothing to do with me.  So where are the folks that care about me and love me for who I am?  I speak to them through technology, through the phone and the computer, and that’s why I need this machinery.  That’s why the technology crash really affected me.

Watertown, wake up, folks.  I’m not a monster.  I don’t carry weaponry, and I’m not from outer space.  I’m flesh and blood.  I have feelings just like you.  I’m not on drugs.  I’m not violent, never have been, and I don’t hurt children.  What’s the deal?  It’s too damn hot to turn our backs on each other.

Just don’t bother then

You are allergic to the phone?

My only friend who enjoys conversation with me is on vacation in fucking Alaska for a month.

No one else will even open their mouth and the world is a silent place for me.

Look at me.  What’s wrong with me?

Shall I turn it off?  Will that make it ring?  What’s the trick to it?  There’s a manual somewhere but it doesn’t teach you friendship.

No one likes me anymore.  Am I an ugly fuck?  When I was a kid I believed I didn’t have friends because I was the shortest kid in the class, and because I wore glasses.  And because I wasn’t very athletic.  I couldn’t hit that home run.  Boy, I wanted real bad to hit that home run.  I figured if I could do that, I’d have it made.  Everyone would like me then, and I’d have lots of friends, and, I’d even be what they called back then “popular.”

I was so fucking jealous of the kids that I believed were popular.  Anyway, they didn’t have it any better than us rejects.

Well, that, I guess, was junior high.

Friendship still sucks bad.

To Everyone that I Love and that Loves Me in Return (I Know You Will All Eventually Get Around to Reading This):

I stood in my kitchen this afternoon and cried and I just want to tell you this one thing:

 

You are fucking sacred.  I am standing here still now hours later and I don’t want a damn thing to change.  Nothing.  Not a damn thing.

 

Sure, I’m all alone in the world but I’m really okay with it.  Me and my dog, we do okay.  I love you all.  I love the e-mails, the messages, the text messages on my phone, messages on Facebook, comments on my blog, every damn thing.

 

Stay right where you are.  Picture perfect.  Snap it.

 

I’d love to call out your beautiful names right now because I’d love to name certain wonderful very special people in my life, but I won’t embarrass you.  You know who you are.

 

Or maybe you don’t.  Those little “hellos…” however brief or infrequent, or erratic or even only once a year to wish me happy birthday….

 

See, I don’t get all that many of these messages, so each one of these means so much, even if I don’t reply it doesn’t mean I haven’t heard you or haven’t felt your presence.

 

And to those of you in my past who have left me along the way….Those I get nasty about and get pissed off and hastily refer to perhaps as “ex-friends” or “those that dumped me” or whatever, yeah, I know you, too, eventually get around to peeking at what I write.  Because you wonder how I’m doing, or you are pissed at me, too, or you wonder how much longer I am gonna keep kicking and screaming in this life and you peek, even though you hate that morbid fascination with death, but you do, in fact, wonder when I am going to bite the dust.  So you are reading this right now.  Saying that you dumped me a long time ago because you hated being “sucked into” my life.

 

Well, stay right where you are.   You, too, are sacred.  Because you were once in my life and you held a special place there, you and I.   We shared all sorts of stuff, and I have my memories that nothing in this world will ever take away.

 

So my coffee is long gone.  I washed the cup in hot water, turned it upside-down and let it dry.  My feet are still bare.  Touching the floor.  We had a power outage here and the neighbors were making a racket, milling about in the hall.  I stayed inside here, me and my dog, until the power came back on.  My dog was afraid.

 

You are all so sacred.