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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

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

 

My daily disclaimer:

I am new to this and will probably unintentionally say the wrong thing and offend or piss someone off, so I apologize in advance

Today’s issue:

Addressing racism (Covid-19, masks, immigration, LGBTQ, poverty, education, etc., etc., etc.) in a small community.

Since the world imploded, everyone has an opinion. And everyone seems to be airing those opinions publically. Then everyone else feels the need to comment/discuss/criticize, also publically. Anger flares. People are offended. Friendships ended.

“I am more community-minded than you.”

“I am less racist than you.”

“I’m more ‘woke’ than you.”

More.

Less.

Comparisons that divide rather than unite.

It’s all over social media. Everyone’s doing it. But it’s a whole different ball game when those comparisons and judgments are, at least in part, based on already-established biases based on previous personal interactions with the individuals who are speaking.

I know that I am guilty of it. I was in full force judgment mode last night.

A community member posted something recently that I happened to think was ridiculous, but she didn’t. As is her right.

The reactions were firey, critical, and personal.

I kept my mouth shut, mostly because it seemed like the rest of the community had enough to say without me adding my two cents.

If someone I didn’t know had created the post (which, by the way, I had seen before, so someone I don’t know did put it out there first) I would have scrolled right past, dismissing it as worthless, (which is what I did the first time I saw it.)

But, because I knew the post-er, I read the entire thing and each and every comment.

And I judged. I thought, “Really? You? Come on – I expected more.”

But still, trying to avoid adding to the shitstorm, I kept my mouth shut.

In a small town, there is no way to take a person at face value, to hear what they have to say on really, any issue, without incorporating what we already know or think we know about that person.

Well, you send your child to a different school than I do so I can’t agree with you on anything regarding education.

I’ve seen you be brutally selfish and self-serving so how can I believe that you are thinking about anyone’s best interests other than your own.

I saw you in the grocery store without a mask so don’t talk to me about being a caring community member.

Etc.

It can’t be avoided in a town this size.

We have opinions of each other, good or bad, right or wrong, that will color our perception of anything coming out of a person’s mouth to the point of detriment.

How can I listen to what someone has to say when I’m too busy thinking, “You are the most egotistical human being I’ve ever known so you can’t possibly care about this issue as much as I do, and therefore I won’t take seriously anything that you say”?

And suddenly some stupid shit on your wall is that much more laughable.

Or offensive.

And conversely, I like what you said at the School Board meeting last month so I am going to blindly agree with your recent post about Black Lives Matter.

I saw you at the hardware store without your mask so obviously, you’re a bigot.

It’s fucking mayhem out there.

These conversations quickly become chaotic. A discussion about whether or not the CDC has been upfront with the world about Covid-19, leaps from accusations of fascism into “White people should just listen to indigenous people.”

It’s all over the map. Everything is connected; race is, unfortunately, an underlying piece of every issue we address. The coronavirus overshadows all aspects of daily life. I get that it’s hard to keep things separated because it is all intertwined, but I also think that it is easier to mix it all up and make a conversation a muddled mess when we know each other.

We are talking about taking our biases out of The Conversation. The Conversation itself is about removing biases – biases about race or religion or sexual orientation – but that is really challenging when it’s your neighbor against (or with) whom you have a personal preconceived notion.

I know that I am more prone to jump on or off a bandwagon based on my prior interactions with the bandwagon driver.

I’m fired up about members of my community who I “used to respect.” There are certain people who I avoid at the post office or coffee shop because I can’t agree with their stance on masks.

In some ways maybe it’s a good thing – neighbors calling out neighbors on their bullshit.

But on the other hand, are we allowing issues to become more personal and more offensive, based on who is addressing those issues?

Is familiarity breeding contempt?

 

 

Ignorant White Girl

I am white. I was raised in a very white, very comfortable, privileged world. I knew no people of color until I went to my elite private school – and even there, there were a limited few of my classmates who weren’t raised in the same white world as I.

My mother is from the South. My father’s mother told me not to sit “next to the darkies” on the bus in New York City.

At some point in my life I began to see the world outside of my insulated one, realizing that it is very bigoted and hateful. I became aware that I didn’t want to be part of the problem.

With all that is happening in our country with racism and cruelty and violence and hatred, I understand that I am still a part of the problem.

But my heart is in the right place.

I want to learn more, understand more, change my role in perpetuating this plague.

I don’t want to be shamed. Shaming others does not solve the problem(s).

I hesitate to write because while I don’t know much about being a person of color, I know enough to be aware that my words may offend someone.

Unintentionally.

My heart is in the right place.

So I am going to take a chance here and address something that I’m seeing that feels, to me, pretty fucking racist.

If I offend, piss off, or hurt someone with my words, if whatever I say reeks of entitlement, I apologize. I am a white gal trying to understand.

My heart is in the right place.

If I don’t bring this up, if I don’t try to understand, then I continue to be a part of the problem, so I will risk sounding like an idiot so that maybe next time, I don’t.

What is currently bothering me at the moment feels like an undercurrent of superiority, judgment, and white shaming…

by white people.

I want to learn. I want to be educated. I want to be a part of the solution.

I don’t want to be shamed.

I especially don’t want to be shamed by white folks doing something that I see as “reverse racism.”

Maybe I just coined a new term, but I doubt it.

There are people out there, white ones, being quite vocal on the issues of race; folks who, because they have a connection with a BIPoC, act superior, more “woke.”

Dumbest fucking word in today’s lexicon.

Maybe some are more evolved, knowledgable and compassionate, but I am also seeing, feeling, hearing words and actions of superiority that bleed over into what I perceive as cultural appropriation.

If you are white, you are white. Period. And no matter where your heart is, you are not a person of color. No matter who your neighbors are, your partner is, your child’s best friend is, it doesn’t change your skin color.

Preaching, speaking out, damning, criticizing, judging…all of it…it often seems to communicate the misguided and wrong message of “I was white, but now I’m not anymore.”

Seems pretty damn racist.

And hypocritical.

We must speak out. We must act. We must do everything in our power to bring awareness to and then eradicate this hateful treatment of others.

Is there a way to do this without acting better than, more evolved? Without taking on another’s culture as our own? Without disdain for that white person who married another white person and maybe even gave birth to white kids; a person who fell in love with another’s soul, not their skin color?

Currently in my family – my children, their partners, their roommates – two white boys, a blond-haired blue-eyed Mormon gal, an African-American girl, and three Mexicans, one of whom is a DACA kid.

Does this make me “not white”?

Certainly not – it actually makes me feel even more ignorant in understanding the ways in which these members of my family have experienced life.

I am thankful that my family is more diverse than the entire county in which I was raised. I am proud of my children for not letting race differences determine who they love.

The reality is, I love my family – each and every one of them.

But, I am not more evolved, less ignorant, or simply better than because we have a wide-ish range of skin color under my roof. And I am fully aware that I am not black, I am not an undocumented worker from south of the border, I am not a foster kid desperate to connect with his Mexican heritage.

Can you imagine if I tried to “get my Mexican on,” like my son does? I’d be ridiculous. Learning to make my own tamales does not change my upbringing. And having a brown child does not make me brown.

It makes me a white mother who really needs to educate herself.

I am rambling here. I am trying to speak in generalizations (somewhat) so as not to point fingers.

Not to shame.

But I see a level of self-righteousness that offends me because I feel that the idolization of one culture over another, even if it’s a historically oppressed culture, is the SAME FUCKING PROBLEM.

Especially when it has a hint (or more) of cultural appropriation because it’s coming from the WASP’s among us.

(WASP – White Anglo Saxon Protestant.)

It feels like a lack of honest humility and oozes self-importance.

Teach me. I want to learn.

Show me how to help.

Explain to me what I am doing to perpetuate the problem.

Share with me your experiences. I want to hear.

I want to see change.

In the era of systemic racism that has been going on in our country for generations, I am a relative newcomer to understanding the depth and danger of our system.

I have a long way to go.

But, my heart is in the right place.