Are you being bullied or abused? Are you lonely? These are not “attitude problems”!

Reality is reality and feelings are feelings.  Reality bites. Feelings don’t.  Let’s face it.

You don’t “feel bullied.”  Bullying is real.  You don’t “feel abused.”   Abuse is real.

If you want my opinion, perps should stop abusing and bullies should stop bullying, and victims should be loved  and loved and loved until they become re-channelled again and learn that the world isn’t such a scary place.

Now let’s take a look at loneliness.  Does it come out of thin air? Of course not.  It’s not an attitude problem. Most people are lonely for a real reason. They’ve been victims of discrimination or hatred or gossip or they’ve been fired unjustly.  Or they are in an oppressive marriage or in a bad living situation.  None of this is an attitude problem or a moral problem or religious problem. Loneliness is real. When people turn their backs on you, that’s reality.  Yep, it can and does really happen.  It sucks real bad.

I doubt therapy will fix loneliness unless you want your therapist to keep you company.  If so, maybe instead you need to find someone you can talk to that you aren’t paying for human conversation.  If you are that lonely that the only human conversation you are getting is that which you have to pay for……..well, I’ve been there, too.  It sucks rock bottom.  If you ask me, that’s prostitution. It’s that low.

I think the key is to find others in the same boat.  Listen to each other. Be kind.  Hang out with each other.  Go find the others and reach out.  Listen.

Are you lonely?

Me and Puzzle, we’re right here, buddy.

 

The different parts of me

Thought I would talk about this.

You guys don’t know me.  No one does, well, hardly anyone.  Not too many people even bother with me these days.

Of course, there’s my “online presence.” That’s what most people assume is the “real me,” but it’s only a tiny fraction of who I am. The part I show to the real world through my computer.  That’s the “me” that talks about political and social justice issues, interpersonal stuff and the “me” that rants a fair amount.

So I suppose folks just want nothing to do with me and figure I’m a bitch nobody wants around.

Truth is, I spend all day alone and never speak to anyone. I go days and days without speaking, except an affectionate word or two with Puzzle. Maybe once or twice a week I get the pleasure of a human conversation.  It used to be far worse, in fact.  I’d go a full month with zero human conversations.

Yep, that bad.

Please, don’t let this happen to you. Do anything to see to it that you spend time conversing.  Even go out on a bus ride and pick up random conversation with anyone you can.  I know, sad but true…

Strangers are sometimes far kinder than folks that claim to be your pals.

Truth is, I’m actually a nice person if anyone takes the time to get to know me, but hardly anyone bothers to get that far. They dismiss me before I even start speaking.  They walk away, turn their backs, assume I’m crazy before I open my mouth, judge me before I have a chance to speak or meet them in person. I never stand a chance.  I am judged with no jury.  I’m sent to hell on the fast track, not even worthy of a St. Peter interview.

Anyway, I’m so down on humanity right now.  I feel like crying my eyes out. Is this what happens when you are abused in a hospital, or abused by a therapist, that is, ongoing abuse for a lengthy period? And then, no one believes what happened to you, for years? Do you lose faith in humanity entirely? I guess you do.

Please, world, tell me.   Then again, no one can answer that.  Maybe Puzzle knows.

What to do on Christmas if you are all alone

Here are some ideas from a pro who has spent the past 10 Christmases alone, and most of the past 30 decades of Christmases entirely alone, and certainly NOT surrounded by “loving family.”  Let’s face it, not everyone’s family sticks around.  Might as well have a blast!

1. First of all, God bless our pets.  Give them something special today.  At least we have them, right?  They’ve stuck around even when no one else has.  Puzzle had a super nice meal and the weather is terrific.  A bit cold but we enjoyed our walk and we cuddled some, too.

2. Do some cleaning chore you’ve been putting off forever.  Today I got together all those miscellaneous extra charge cords that are scattered all over the place.  I told myself, “This won’t do!”  So I totally organized them.  I put all my small electronic knick-knacks into one place and labeled everything so that it could be easily found.  Now, next time I ask myself, “Where the heck is that___?”….I can find it.

3. Update whatever. Your antiviral, or your phone, or whatever gadget or version or whatever you’ve been putting off, if you’re a gadget or techno person.  Today I followed my phone’s instructions to a T, and successfully updated my phone.  I am so happy that I did this right.  I’ve been putting this off for weeks.

4. Get rid of that pile of junk that’s been sitting around forever. So for me, it’s that pile of junk mail that’s accumulated.  I don’t throw it out cuz I recycle.  So it sits here waiting for me to carry it off to the recycling bins.  I am going to be very happy when this task is done.

5. Laundry.  Problem is, everyone else has the same idea. All the other lonely people are at that one open laundromat today. Go meet the love of your life!

 

Are you lonely? No, it’s not your fault! Don’t believe those trendy articles that blame the victim!

Have you read all that “positive thinking” stuff out there?  Those magazine articles that say “If you are lonely, it’s your ATTITUDE that’s the problem?”  Oh, please.

I’m going to cut to the quick. (Sometimes I do, often I beat around the bush.)  She didn’t take into account societal prejudice, hatred, bullying, and stigma.  Not one bit.

It very well could be true, that people don’t like you.  Only not for the reasons you think.  It’s not because you’ve got some moral problem or because you are a defective.  YOU DID NOTHING WRONG.  The REAL reason folks don’t like you is because they are jerks.  They gossip.  Let’s face it.  They yap.  Prejudice and stigma.

So look at the schoolyard and tell me what you see.  The fat kid gets teased.  Why?  For no reason.

So society hates poor people, sick people, the veterans our country used and then tried to make excuses to, those it labels “crazy,” anyone with some “other” skin color…oh, anyone different whatsoever.

I remember the peels of laughter and jeering of mean girls in junior high.  Why?  My ankle socks.  Wrong color, wrong length.  The schoolyard is a microcosm of society and it wasn’t my fault that I was too young to shop for my own clothes.  It took months of PR with my mom and countless elastic bands around my shins before finally I found a pair of the “right” socks that didn’t make me the laughing stock of seventh grade.  I wasn’t even fat!  Can you imagine the nightmare the “fat kid” went through?

Don’t tell me to be “politically correct” and not talk about it, cuz we all know there was one “fat kid” in the class that got it bad.  I was a kid that got teased for other reasons.  So I cried for the “retarded kids,” the kids with various injuries, the kids who had some facial scars, the very tall kids, the kids who walked funny and everyone laughed.  I cried for the kids that had trouble in gym class cuz they got laughed at and I wanted to say, STOP!

That’s our society now, and we’re grownups now.  Do people grow up on the inside?  Naw, folks gossip. That’s the adult way that they tease, the grownup version of teasing the kids that are different.

Gossip takes on different forms and it’s often disguised.  Your medical record, of course, contains gossip, stuff that isn’t scientific, but opinion based on no scientific measurement or data.  This stuff gets spread around like wildfire.

Then there are the patronizing folks that claim they love you, but they don’t.  They tell you, “We care so we spoke of you….” and you notice they yapped some untrue statement about you all over your school or your town or social media or wherever you hang out.  How lovely.  You feel like everyone hates you.

No, I refuse to leave off here and say life totally sucks and the human race sucks so bad that we lonely folks might as well give up.  I’ll tell you why.

It’s not true, first of all, that everyone goes though extreme bad shit.  Most people in our society have never been through extreme social isolation.

Okay, so imagine the writer at the writer’s retreat.  Alone in a cabin for a month with no one around.  He knows he has loving family waiting for him when he’s done writing that novel.  Friends, family, a spouse, kids, his teaching job.  Solitude is awesome for writers.

Now imagine having no idea how you ended up in that cabin.  No loving family waiting.  No publisher.  No teaching job.  No way home or out of there.  No end in sight.

I’m here to tell you that you didn’t cause the “cabin in the woods” problem (it’s a metaphor I’m using).  Societal hatred and of course, bad luck caused it.  It’s not because of your “character” or “bad personality.”

Be patient and persistent.  Don’t give up.  I didn’t.  I’m not lonely like I used to be.  To end the extreme loneliness and social isolation, I didn’t have to fake it and pretend to be someone I wasn’t.  I didn’t have to put on a mask.  I didn’t have to be anyone’s slave or take bad happy pills or join a support group or “comply” or pretend or kiss anyone’s ass.  I didn’t have to admit I was “wrong” and fake some confession.  Because I wasn’t wrong!  I was right all along.  And slowly, folks are waking up to that fact.  I do have friends now and I am cherished and loved.  I feel proud of who I am.

Be yourself.  You are wonderful just the way you are.

Calls from political candidates and their appeal to the lonely or socially-isolated voter

Hi again.  I am bursting with writing ideas I want to share with you all on this Thanksgiving Day.  I promise I won’t bore you with a gratitude list unless it’s something completely different from what everyone else is putting up there. As you know, or you may not, there’s no big table here, no kiddies, no turkey, no mom and pop, no football afterward, no family arguments, no family to argue with.  So I’m quite happy NOT to be boring you today with any tales of the usual Thanksgiving nuisance.   I’ve been spared that for about 10 years now.

I want to mention briefly that for a while my local online paper, which the locals do read I suppose, stopped sending me emails and I have no clue why.  Then, the e-mails just as mysteriously resumed.  I was out of touch with local politics for a while and I don’t own a TV.  By coincidence, the gap coincided with our local election.

It’s difficult for me to relate to many issues here in town that families with kids face, cuz I’ve never had any.  I can’t relate to people who have lots of money and want even more money.  I see both sides of the fence sometimes, but mostly, it makes want to cry when low-income people and people without jobs, adequate housing, and healthcare are disregarded.  I see the stigmatization of the poor as a growing problem here as there is so much emphasis on beautifying our town.

So one evening, I got a personal phone call.  This caller saying her “brother-in-law” was one of the candidates.

My Google Voice spams the recorded calls from the autodialers, which I appreciate.  I can look back in my phone records, but I believe this call was indeed from Watertown, or at least appeared to be.

So this lady told me all about her brother-in-law.  You guys know how lonely I am.  We’d been on the phone about 45 seconds, maybe less, when I said, “I’m so touched that you called me personally.  No one bothers with me anymore.’  I told her about my political concerns.  She said, “I’ll tell him right away.”

Was she really his sister-in-law, or some hired person?  If she was hired, she was a good faker.  She was a nice person, too, and seemed to know what I was talking about when I mentioned certain local issues.  Not only that, she touched my heart that night.  But I feel taken advantage of.

They sure know who’s lonely in Watertown.

Reactions to trauma aren’t “disorders.” They are normal.

Have you been given the label “PTSD”?  Take the “D” off of it right now.  There’s nothing “wrong” with you.  So saith me.  Instead, the world needs your voice.  Instead, what you need is to be loved and reassured.  If you have experienced something rotten, I’m truly sorry that it happened and I wish it didn’t.  No one can undo it.  However, it’s my wish, and I assume your wish as well that what happened to you never happens to anyone else.  What we all need to do to see to it that people stop being mean and that we all have a safer place to live.

I can give you a super good example of why I say “PTSD” is not a “D” at all.  My little dog, Puzzle, isn’t mentally ill.  She can’t speak in words, so no one can say she’s ever said anything irrational.  She’s never taken psych meds so no one can give her a diagnosis based on what meds have been “effective” for her in the past.  Has she ever tried to kill herself?  Has she ever overdosed?  Oh yeah, she overdosed on chicken bones a number of years ago because someone had thrown them on the ground instead of in the garbage and I didn’t see them there in time.  The bones went down the hatch quickly cuz that’s what dogs do.  It was my own fault that I was not able to teach her to give up what was in her mouth.  Was this a suicide attempt on Puzzle’s part and is she mentally ill?  Um, I think chicken bones are yummy for dogs and she’s rather typical.  So were the vet bills.

Do you see what I’m saying? Back to PTS____.  We as a society speak often of abused animals and how they tend to cower and act scared.  Do we call them mentally ill?  I don’t think so.  They are traumatized and their behavior is a normal conditioned response.  They have learned from their bad experience to be fearful.  What do we do?  We are animal rights activists.  We beg for the rights of these abused animals and beg for them not to be killed and beg for homes for them, donating our time and money.  We bring them into our homes.  We love them and cherish them.  Why don’t we do this for our abused humans?  Instead, society gives them the message that something’s “wrong” with them, makes them feel even more like crap, segregates them into ghettos, “programs,” hospitals, jails, medicates them, therapizes them, supervises them, or manages them, but certainly doesn’t love them.

Puzzle was traumatized when we first moved to this apartment.  I’ve spoken of it here before.  A lady shoved a shopping cart at her.  I couldn’t undo what was done and it shouldn’t have happened.  The lady still lives here.  She’s one of the many residents I feel sorry for her cuz (between ourselves) she herself is a victim of ongoing abuse, but that’s a whole other story.  This is low income housing and an incredible number of people here are lonely and deeply unhappy.  You’d think it’s a quaint home-like place where little old ladies live, but the truth is, it’s a very violent and harsh environment.  There’s a lot of shouting at all hours and you don’t feel safe here.

The Housing Authority doesn’t want people wandering the halls with shopping carts that come from the supermarkets and these shopping carts are supermarket property anyway.  I’m sure the presence of shopping carts in our narrow hallways are a hazard for fire and rescue efforts.  But this lady walks the halls using a shopping cart instead of a walker.  She owns a walker but prefers the shopping cart, so I’ve since learned.  (Her claim that she couldn’t afford one and didn’t own one wasn’t true.) Whether the walker isn’t comfortable to walk with or isn’t properly fitted and the shopping cart fits better…I don’t know much about walkers, actually and am no judge.

I was walking with Puzzle, just coming in from a walk, having just moved in, not thinking of any of this and not knowing that the residents had already made up their minds.  They felt hostile toward this new girl they’d never met before and had not even spoken to.  They never bothered introducing themselves.  They simply decided they didn’t like this girl and her dog.  She was an ugly girl.  From the other building.  A Jew.  I guess someone heard the girl crying.  What a slut.

So the lady said she was scared of Puzzle while I was walking down the hall and that’s why she reacted the way she did.  “Get away from me!” and she shoved that cart right at Puzzle.

I didn’t know it then, but looking back, I can tell you that Puzzle’s personality changed after that.  A few of the changes have never gone away, but most have faded gradually.  She became extremely fearful.  I’d say for a year after that, she’d assume you couldn’t be trusted until you proved yourself trustworthy.  This was new.  Observers would ask me if she was a “shelter mutt.”  Over time, this distrust has faded and she’s back to being the loving dog she once was that assumes everyone is good.  That’s because I gave her lots and lots of love and exposed her to as many other people as I could that loved her as well.

There are behaviors I see in Puzzle, though, that originated with this shopping cart event that have never disappeared.  She gets upset when the doorbell rings or when someone knocks.  A guest is not necessarily someone she feels she can trust.  I don’t have people inside my home ever.  I did have CBFS but most of the CBFS personnel I dealt with didn’t even like dogs and wouldn’t pet her or show interest in her.  They’d even look repulsed when they saw her or they’d visibly flinch or move away or rudely bury themselves in their cell phones.  The maintenance people are rude and I tend to dread their coming in here.  I always hope that they send one of the ones with manners that likes Puzzle.

Puzzle enjoys traveling on the bus and subway.  She takes up a tiny amount of room on my lap.  It’s transit policy that I can’t take up more than one seat even with a dog, so I either leave my knapsack on my back or I take it off and snuggle Puzzle between my body and the knapsack.  She loves being snuggled.  I try to sit next to someone that smiles and me and invites me to sit rather than sit next to someone who looks grossed out at the idea of sitting next to a dog.  My instincts are pretty good.  I almost always choose someone wonderful.  I pray for someone who is lonely.  I want Puzzle and I to make someone’s day.

I want to end this article with a little story about love.

Where is God?  What is God?  God is love.  God is the voice of those lonely, often nameless strangers that speak to me on the bus.  God is the homeless girl I met on the CT1 or CT2 bus, I can’t recall which, who had shared with me that she cared about her relative (was it an uncle?  I can’t recall) more than anything.  She was on her way to yet another shelter and didn’t have enough change to pay for the bus.  The bus driver told her, very rudely and in a lecturing tone, “Grow up.”  She asked me in earnest for some tips on how to quit smoking and said she was trying very hard.  I thought surely, she’d seen a lot of life if she’d lived in shelters.  It was all I could do to listen to her story and of course, I told her how I’d quit smoking many years ago.  She’d bummed her last cigarette off of someone.  She was doing everything she could just to survive this world. All she wanted was for her sick relative to be well.

Puzzle and I have met so many.  There have been men with whom I have spoken as well, men on their way to the shelter in Waltham, men hoping to find employment.  I see them on the 70 bus, headed for the shelter.

Many people tell me their story, and thus doing, without knowing it, I have renewed hope and the will to go on with my life when otherwise I would have ended it.  A simple conversation.

I don’t give a shit if that lonely person may have been drunk or “out of it” or if some doctor has stated that the person is “mentally incompetent” or how many drugs the person was or wasn’t taking.  Or if the person was a working person that society assumed was okay, but inside, was deeply unhappy.  Do you understand that this fleeting conversation on whatever bus saved my own life?  That smile, those tears of relief and that person saying, “You and your dog Puzzle made my day.”

You ask me where is God.  I am telling you, this is God.

We should all be so loved again.  Throw out the “D” and let’s all embrace.

Might as well add yet another post

I mean, I might as well.  Love you guys just for reading all the shit I put on here.  It’s useless crap, right?

I have no one else to talk to so that’s why I rant on here.  But I’ll tell ya something.  My phone rang today.  I had pretty much forgotten what my ringer sounds like.  I was rather surprised to hear the sound of it and I did the appropriate thing.  I picked up the phone.  I have it paired to a headset and I did it right.  I pressed the right button.

Folks, I know I did it right.  I know I pressed the right button.  I swear up and down I did.  But the person hung up as soon as we connected and I’m rather certain it was a wrong number to begin with.  Someone out of state.  Um, Florida.  Who knows, possibly some spammer.

Okay, so we get these calls all the time.  My phone rarely makes a sound, but these sounds are important to me.  They stick out at me and I’ve learned not to ignore them the way I’ve filtered out all the shouting in the hall.  That’s just neighbor shit and the maintenance guys that haven’t learned to work quietly and show us residents some respect.

Now we have received notices telling us that they are doing hall floor waxing…I suppose we go through this from time to time…starts at 10pm and ends god-knows-when…2am from what I recall.  Loud fucking loud like drilling and each time they come by, they hit your door with a bang.  Disrespect….But really.  I don’t have kids that have to show up for school the next day, so maybe I should just not complain.  They tell us not to walk out in the hall during that time.  Most of the time, they just wax and don’t bother telling us ahead of time they are going to do it.  So I’ll consider this progress.

Shit, world.  See my shirt?  It says BITCH on it and that’s why no one talks to me.  That is, literally no one.  I try to make jokes and even my jokes are going sour.

I badly need to get the fuck off Facebook.  I’m crappy at the social thing.

I’m telling myself right now: Is this what “social” has boiled down to?  Facebook and nothing else?

A few other things, too.  I don’t know what.  A good night’s sleep might be nice.  I don’t ask for a lot.  Most folks, by the time they are tired and worn out like I am, don’t really do.  Just to hold my dog and cry my eyes out another time.

sick and all alone in the world

Guess that ab0ut sums it up.

The police were here AGAIN last night.  No, I didn’t call them.  Someone else did.  I was dumb and for whatever reason, posted something rather incoherent on Facebook.  Two hours later, I guess someone saw it on Facebook, got concerned, and called

OUR GREAT HERO WATERTOWN COPS

who got as far as the doorbway and no further, thanks to scary little Puzzle (she’s a teensy 14-lb Schnoodle) and then I told them to please leave.

I guess I’d been asleep about two hours when they arrived.  I did not appreciate being woken up.

My CBFS worker called today.  She was clueless that any of this had happened.  Of course, I said nothing.  I told her I did not want her over here.  Our conversations are not helpful to me at all and I do not want her here, period.  She asked me if I had a medical appointment set up yet.

Well, has SHE helped me get a medical appointment set up?  Surely, not.

I’m telling you, these people do nothing.  They spend more time playing with their cell phones than anything else.

Meanwhile, last night, I smashed into a bookcase and knocked over a bunch of books.  They are lying on the floor.  I fell a number of times.  Like every time I tried to stand, I fell.  Another time, a dish broke.  Another time, somehow, my nose started bleeding.  Some of the furniture got knocked over.

But hey, I am alive and the roof hasn’t caved in.

I slept a bunch today.

Puzzle is right here beside me.

I might go back to sleep.

Will I get that medical appointment this coming week, or will I have to wait yet another week?  I have that shrink appointment, which will probably be a waste.

Now, they say David Foster Wallace’s suicide was “justified.”  That he was suffering and that he’d “tried everything.”

Well, he was famous and probably had money, too, and had lots of friends and fellow writers who supported him and I do not have money and I lose friends {probably cuz I have no money and no car to drive people around in) so if I do something like that, it’s not justified, it’s selfish.  Go figure.

My phone actually rang last night

It was the usual recorded message reminding me of the appointment that’s been scheduled for ages now with Dr. P.  A recording.  Not a human voice.  I think a good 80% of the calls I get are recordings, and the remaining 20% are wrong numbers.

I refuse to go to this appointment unless Dr. P and Person X have an actual conversation with each other prior to my seeing Dr. P. I don’t mean phone tag.  I mean a conversation.

Otherwise, it’s yet another wasted 20 minutes of mine and Dr. P’s time.  I waste Medicare and Medicaid money.  That’s your tax dollars, folks.

It’s going to be a long, long weekend.  A hot one.  But my AC works, and I actually own a little fan now that sends the air from the living room into my bedroom.  I bought it for a steal.  Smart thinking, eh?

I am sleeping the day away.  Me and Puzzle, cuddling up.

Oh boy. what fun at the CVS

I was such a bitch, and since I’m a bitch anyway, I really don’t care.   First of all, I had to get there before midnight cuz I had a coupon that was going to expire on the 27th.  So I got there and had to make sure I completed my purchase before the clock struck.  And I did.

I bought a bunch of contraband.  No food, just drugs that are really bad for you, or shall I say bad for me.  I got some coffee, too, cuz I’m running out and they had some on sale.  Big debate as to which type of coffee I should get, then I made my decision and went to the automatic teller.

So that got done before midnight.  Then I picked up a prescription.  The guy asked me if I wanted it on automatic refill or whatever.  I told him the following:

“No, because that means I’ll get all these calls that are nothing but recordings.  I like getting calls that are a real human voice.  It really sucks when all the calls you get are recordings, especially when you have no friends and no family.  I don’t even know why I have a phone.”

Then he asks me if I want to use my CVS card when I pay for the prescription.  I tell him, “Yes, because then I get some money back eventually.  Us folks on this Medicare and Medicaid don’t have money, contrary to the popular belief that we get our money free from the government, and that we actually get health care.  There is no care.”

He told me I should sign on the line on this thingy, which I did, and then I left.  Wow.  Guess I made his day, eh?  Or, should I say, night.