side effects may include…

Mood swings, irritability, anxiety, insomnia

I had steroid injections in my spine yesterday for sciatica. Not a big thing.

I’ve had one once before – when my kids were really small.

I remember afterward wanting to claw my (ex) husband’s eyeballs out.

I often had that desire but this was different; this time I considered acting on it.

I eventually put two and two together and realized that the added Oomph was because I had just been loaded up on “Roids”.

Well, I really like TAM and have no interest in clawing his eyes out, so when I didn’t feel any anger or aggression towards him I thought I was in the clear.

I left his house this morning to run an errand and in a matter of 15 minutes, I:

Got miffed enough at the front door covid tester to say something snarky under my breath and then stew about it until I finished shopping and moved on to saying something snarky directly to people who had blocked the parking lot. In my out-loud voice.

I didn’t have too long to fester about that one though because I rapidly advanced to sobbing through the drive-through phone, pleading with the pharmacist to save me from my agony.

I apparently really needed her to save me from myself.

 

 

Privilege. Power. Hypocrisy.

Each morning I drink my coffee and read the news, scroll through facebook, catch up with Heather Cox Richardson. Then I go for a walk in the canyon and process what I have read. More often than not, I end up riled up.

Note to self: stop reading the news before the walk

2nd note to self: stop reading the fucking news

What’s got me going this morning is white hypocrisy.

Locally, state-wide, and on a national level – it’s everywhere in the BLM movement.

Disclaimer: I am white, from a very privileged background, with an excellent, expensive, private school education. I knew very few people of color growing up. I do not, in any way, share in the experience of the discrimination and hatred that BIPOC have lived.

I am ignorant as fuck.

But I hope that I am not a hypocrite.

Anyway, what I am observing is white people taking the lead on racial issues – from their position of comfort and privilege.

ALL of us need to jump on the racial injustice bandwagon. It’s time, and it’s our responsibility. Especially for those of us whose privilege has led to where we are in this moment in history. But shouldn’t the drivers of the bandwagon be the people whose experiences we are addressing?

For example, many of my closest friends are queer. I can stand up for their rights, I can protest against discrimination and hatred and ignorance. I can educate myself. I can offer support. I can try to educate others.

But can I speak for the Queer Community?

Uh, no.

And what I see these days is some white people, often those considered leaders in the BLM movement, speaking for BIPOC. It’s one thing, in my humble opinion, to speak with the oppressed, but for??????

And in so many of these conversations, the speakers are angry, self-righteous, condescending, arrogant, and utterly lacking in compassion for those who are just trying to figure this all out.

I often feel like I am being schooled, not educated.

Many of the folks to whom I am referring are doing really good work in their communities or across the country towards equality and for that I am grateful. But you can’t deny who you are. Because one’s partner or best friend is brown or black or asian (currently receiving a rash of racist shit during this pandemic) – this does not make one an expert.

And this certainly does not magically make one a Person of Color.

I read amazing articles written from positions of relative ease – big houses, good educations, white-collar jobs, a full refrigerator, health care. I pour over them, trying to learn, but when that (white) writer speaks with a tone of superiority, I shut right down.

We can’t deny who we are. Just like it would be gross of me to pretend that didn’t belong to a fancy country club, I hate to see others pretend that they haven’t participated in a world made available to them because of their skin color.

Once I was old enough to make my own choices, I chose to no longer participate in the elite world in which I was raised. But I once did. For many years – mainly the formative ones. I enjoyed my privilege. I benefitted from it. Turning my back on that world doesn’t erase it from my history.

For me to speak on racial issues I must first come from the place of admitting to coming from the place from which I came.

I must own, not deny, the advantages that I have had, and continue to have.

I must own my lack of knowledge, lack of first-hand experience, lack of understanding.

I hear “community, equality, love,” and those words are not muffled by a mask in the age of a pandemic. How can one care so much about the experience of others and yet be selfish enough to not protect those around us?

Is the decision to put your neighbors at risk possible for you because you know that you can see a doctor if you get sick? You have family and friends who will help care for you? You know you won’t starve if you miss work?

Me vs We

Entitlement?

We can’t erase who we are, who we’ve been.

But we can change, and change we must.

But change isn’t possible unless we start with the truth of who we are.

Honesty or hypocrisy?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am finally, finally, having an evening to myself – my first semblance of “normal” in quite some time.

It has been quite a bizarre week. A little Twilight Zone-y. I felt entirely disconnected from my sweet existence. Things went a bit off-kilter in multiple realms of my life and I too went off-kilter.

I was coming back to center; things were on the upswing.

And then,

we went to Mesa Verde in the middle of a Global Pandemic.

I do so love to say, “Global Pandemic”.

There are not a lot of visitors in the Park right now, but enough.

Maybe 70% of them wore masks.

I wanted to say something to the 30%.

I wanted to respectfully say, “You know, we have a Mask Mandate in place.”

And with a bit more of an edge, “Hey, you are putting my community at risk. I shouldn’t feel unsafe in my own town.”

And then, with a lot more edge, “GO HOME!!!!!”

I was sad. Disheartened. Disspirited.

I just want to say “Come on people, quit being a selfish asshole.”

But I keep my mouth shut…

because I have manners.

And also, because I know that the maskless won’t suddenly change their minds and apologize for their lapse in judgment.

Because I know that a confrontation is likely to escalate on both sides.

Because I know that the leaders in my county will not enforce the Governor’s mandate.

Apparently, rules don’t apply to them.

Because it feels hopeless.

I was truly trying to refrain from going on a tirade about masks here on my blog. Part of why I haven’t been writing much is because I haven’t wanted to be a part of another heated discussion on social media and I have friends on both sides of the fence on this issue – friends who I would like to keep.

I’m actually sick to death of social media. I’ve limited my usage to only news. And only a certain amount. I am so disappointed in so many human beings that the load has gotten too heavy. Like so many others, I need a break from it all.

So, let’s go to the National Park and check out cool things.

And there it is, all of the garbage, the Rebels and the Sheeple, together on Sunday family outings in a beautiful place, in my town, my community. Every person there was obviously either masked or unmasked, and that single factor alone influenced how folks were interacting with each other and if I am to be completely honest, it fully influenced what I thought of each person I passed.

I do NOT want to be that person. I’m the gal who will smile and talk to anyone and everyone. So to feel anger and resentment towards my fellow human beings, based on appearances, feels super icky.

Disapproving is a very uncomfortable sensation.

But disapproving I am.

Disappointed.

Dismayed.

I want to carry around a sign. One side will say, “Thank you for wearing a mask.”

The other side…”Fuck you.”

But still, behind my mask, I keep my mouth shut and just step away from anyone without a face covering.

Then, at the Cliff Palace this man and his family blew past everyone on the trail, almost, if not actually, bumping people out of his way. And as the guy is huffing past me he says to no one and everyone, “Look at all these fucking stupid people.”

No shit. In front of his kids. In front of everyone else’s kids. Totally unprovoked.

Unless having to look at a person in a mask is provocation enough.

So my question here is Why?

Why does my mask bother this man so much that he feels the need to be ugly in front of his children?

Why do so many of the maskless feel the need to get mean?

If this is all about individual “rights” then don’t you have to respect someone who is exercising their individual right, even if you don’t agree with it?

And if the maskless feel that we Sheeple are (dumb, scared, brainless pusses…) go ahead and think that but again, why the hostility?

And then I wonder,

If the Science is wrong, and people are wearing masks needlessly, the only harm they are doing to anyone is irritating the maskless. They aren’t putting anyone at risk of anything.

But, conversely, if the Science is spot on, and masks will help prevent millions of deaths, then the maskless are actually doing harm. They are putting other people at risk.

So then, why the fuck are the maskless getting pissed off at the covered-ups?

It makes no sense.

Nothing makes sense these days.

So, sitting here, under my tree, watching the evening light change over the canyons, I think that the entire world feels a little Twilight Zone-y.

Except when I am here. This makes sense.

 

 

showing off for our guests

I have a friend in town. We went to high school together; we’ve seen each other once since I left Jersey in 1987.

And here she is as if we saw each other just last week. 

She’s here because she is thinking about moving here. She used to live on the I-70 corridor, then she moved to the PNW to get out of the snow but she misses the sunshine so I am trying to convince her that here is the perfect compromise.

I want her to join me in my little corner of Paradise, so I am trying to show off my homeland.

The problem is, she arrived just in time for another Saturday morning “Freedom Ride” through downtown Cortez; our weekly reminder that I, and apparently we (the “liberals”) are Sheeple.

I told her about our citizens who are tearing into each other over the issue of a piece of fabric.

I said to her, “I’m so embarrassed – my County is so poorly behaved right now.”

I told her how I normally feel about my home town. I told her that we are a community of folks, with the good old fashioned values of “neighbors helping neighbors.”

I explained to her that I have always felt at home here, and accepted, and included, because we value taking care of each other more than we do personal politics.

I was the lone hippie that moved into this County before it was discovered. I may have been ridiculed behind my back, but no one ever, EVER, made me feel like I didn’t belong.

And now, I am telling my friend that my once idyllic little haven is being torn in half over a piece of fabric.

She has been so safe, so careful, so isolated behind her mask, and so supported within her city and state. She is in utter disbelief at the fact that anyone would fight this simple and life-saving courtesy.

She says, “Wait, isn’t there a mask mandate from the Governor?”

Then, “Don’t your neighbors care about their neighbors?”

“Do I want to live here?”

It’s sad, and as I said, embarrassing. I hate that she is seeing Montezuma County at its ugliest. I try to tell her that it’s not always like this but I don’t see that it’s going to improve any, any time soon.”

I hate that she is witnessing our divisiveness, our self-righteous anger, our stupidity.

I’m mortified to say that our leaders, and so many residents of our corner of the world, believe that they are above the law. 

Our people are going rogue and it’s not flattering.

It’s off-putting to someone considering moving here.

She’s questioning if she would feel safe walking down Market Street in her mask and “Make Orwell Fiction Again” t-shirt, and I have to say, “I’m not sure you are safe.”

She’s from Portland.

She feels less threatened there.

People, think about that.

 

 

 

Remember when…

In the beginning:

“We’re all in this together

Yes, I’m happy to wear a mask to protect my neighbors

Does anyone need anything from the City Market?

MoCo  – neighbors helping neighbors

Let’s share books, recipes, laughs – from a distance

You, with cancer, I will protect myself everywhere I go so that I can still visit you – from a distance

We need to support our vulnerable populations

Our poor neighbors, community members, on the Navajo Nation – let’s help them”

Remember those days?

Those were good days.

Scary. For sure.

We had no idea what was coming. But there was a collective angst that bonded us together as a community.

There has always been, in rural towns, an entrenched belief that we are all reliant upon each other, regardless of our differences. When push comes to shove, you show up for your neighbors to help with branding, preparing meals, bucking hay, regardless of where y’all sit on the political or religious spectrums.

It takes a village.

Unfortunately, in just a couple of months, it has changed to:

“You can’t tell me what to do

It’s all a hoax

I am healthy and fit so I don’t need to wear a mask. If you feel like you need to wear one, maybe you should eat some veggies and go to the gym instead

Who cares about my neighbors

I’m not going to the store for you – no one’s going to make ME wear a mask

I am going to gather maskless, in public places because it’s my right.

I might start shit with anyone who doesn’t agree with me on the issue of masks

Our neighbors from Shiprock shouldn’t be allowed to shop here

Fuck the Governor”

I have been so honored to live in a tiny world where being a part of a community means that you are loved and cared for – even by folks you’ve never even met.

This sense of togetherness was one of the main reasons that I picked here instead of anywhere else to live.

But, I am watching as neighbors helping neighbors spirals into neighbors hating neighbors.

Sad people. Very very sad.

 

self analysis

I am…

an empath

a sexual assault survivor

a victim of severe emotional and mental abuse

anxious

supremely sensitive

living in chronic pain

a person with PTSD

a Taurus

an introvert

melancholic

clinically depressed

a being whose seems to love alcoholics

bat shit crazy

me

For so much time, I have tried to understand Me by putting myself into one of these boxes – I’ve attempted to explain myself to partners, friends, co-workers, children, by using one of these labels.

The problem is, I fit into all of the above categories and quite a few more that I haven’t listed.

And I realize that it doesn’t matter. I am all of the above and none of the above.

What I am is a person who is incredibly sensitive to energetic vibes; I feel a shift in the air. Someone else’s subtle change can hit me like a ton of bricks.

It’s what makes me the ear, the shoulder, the rock.

It’s also what makes me feel sorrow so much of the time.

I have years of heartbreak under my belt. I have been to hell and back more times than I can count. Enough so that I am way more able to roll with the punches.

At least certain ones. The big ones.

My father dies the same day that my uterus falls out.

Just another day in the life.

A global pandemic?

Yeah, whatever.

Unemployment?

I’ve been in this boat for the last year.

It’s old hat by now.

It’s the little things that unravel me.

A weird look. A short response. A change from “normal.”

A cross word can fuck up my entire day.

A bruise on my leg.

A lack of acknowledgment.

An unfair accusation will flatten me for days, months, years.

Being misunderstood.

Being accused of selfish motives.

Fucking up something small and relatively insignificant will completely derail me.

Asking for help and not getting it right away makes me feel like a burden.

Put me near a drunk person and I am in a total panic. Hypervigilant.

Don’t ever say to me “I need to talk to you about something…later.”

I will fester, perseverate, obsess, freak out.

“What have I done wrong?”

Am. I. In Trouble???????????

The slightest hint of dishonesty sends me running for the hills.

And so on, and so on, and so on…

I need to retreat. I need to escape.

I swirl into dark dismal places where all of the past hurts, all of the pain, the abuse, the confusion, the inability to trust my own instincts, and fear, all spin in my brain. My heart cracks open, again.

I feel sorry for myself sometimes. Not in a pitiful way, more in a “Fuck me, it’s been a long haul” kind of way.

I question if I will ever be able to have friendships, and relationships, where I trust. Where I don’t feel like an outsider or a burden, or a fuck-up.

There was an episode of Weeds, the tv show, where a drug cartel leader had his goonies take a palm sander to a snitch’s face.

Yeah, totally gross.

But I so often feel like someone has used that palm sander on my entire body, inside and out. My nerves, my psyche, and my soul feel so utterly, irreparably raw and exposed and damaged.

I feel scraped and frayed.

I grieve. I feel such deep sorrow.

I feel hopeless. Alone.

Afraid of my own feelings. My damage.

I am sad. I am angry. I’m frustrated, confused, and floundering.

And when I get here, I begin to cry. And sometimes I don’t stop for days.

Because I am a person whose feelings come out of her eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

nocturnal creatures of the desert

Coyotes, skunks, bobcats, tarantulas, scorpions, centipedes, peccaries, kangaroo rats, jackrabbits, owls, nightjars…me.

Last night I was sitting outside at 11:00 pm, eating my dinner, wide awake and full of energy and I realized that when left to my own devices, I have fallen into the rhythm of creatures that live in 106-degree heat. They hide and sleep during the day and come out to frolic once the sun goes down and the air cools to a reasonable temperature (below 90).

I like it. It feels right, natural, necessary.

I’m up before the sun, wandering through my darkened house, crawling around the sandstone landscape, taking advantage of the cool dawn air that will heat up within minutes once the sun climbs over the canyon rim.

When the orb of heat does show up, I close the windows, close the shades, turn on the fans, and pray for the best as the rising sun creates rising temps.

At night, I reopen everything and let the coolness invade my home.

The nearby side rolls add just a hit of moisture to the slight breeze that swishes through the leaves of my front yard shade tree inviting me to relax with the dogs and listen to the night sounds of crickets and owls.

In my repose, I wonder if taking naps midday, every day, is being lazy. At midnight, when I am going through case files for work after cleaning out my fridge and doing 3 loads of laundry, I know that I am being a lot more productive than I would be during those excruciatingly hot mid-afternoon siesta hours.

The lizards and the snakes and the coyotes know what they are doing. I am following their lead.

Anniversaries and Updates

Anniversaries:

A year ago yesterday my innards fell out.

A year ago today, a doctor told me that I needed to have surgery that had me unemployed for 9 months and from which I am still recovering.

Then…a year ago tomorrow my father died.

Updates:

My uterus is gone, as are my core muscles, so now my back hurts.

I spent today in an MRI machine, re-traumatized by being in the hospital where my son’s accident played out 2 1/2 years ago.

My dad is still dead.

I am unemployed now/again/still, along with millions of others, because there is a global pandemic.

THERE’S A FUCKING GLOBAL PANDEMIC.

The planet is blowing up.

We’re seeing a resurgence of lynchings.

And our president is an asshat.

Good thing for margaritas, the desert, and being madly in love.

 

 

 

 

unbearable

My Outward Bound community lost two friends this month. The virus didn’t kill either of them. Brain cancer did.

Both of them.

Within a few short weeks.

Both died on the same couch.

They were married.

They have children.

Those kids lost their mother and father in a month.

I want to sit with my thoughts and prayers for them and yet my mind can’t come to rest on those musings; it is just too painful.

Too unthinkable.

Unimaginable.

Unbearable.

#andyandalison #youwillbemissed