Tag Archives: rants

“People Just Don’t Get It”-reblog?

Last week or so, fellow blogger http://aopinionatedman.wordpress.com nicely offered up his space to those of us who wanted to post as a guest author. He has a *much* bigger following than I do, so of course I jumped on it. One of the people who commented on my post “How To Be A Good Friend To Someone With Bipolar Disorder” has a blog of her own called http://learningtobebipolar.wordpress.com. There are a lot of awesome posts there, but one particularly stood out to me. I’m not sure that this is re-blogging so much as “tag-team” blogging-using each others’ words as a basis for our own. Carrying on a conversation, if you will. The “unfettered” post is linked here as well.

I am so so irritated when people use someone’s mental illness as weapon in an argument. Sure, it might be true that I am over reacting but I don’t need you to tell me “you’re only acting this way because you are bipolar”. It’s possible that’s a true statement, but it is also painful coming from someone that you put your trust in. I personally don’t really care what anyone says. If you want to use my illness against me, then I don’t need you in my life. And if you love me you will take the time to learn how to be supportive without being nasty and making me feel guilty and like I am less than because I have these problems.

How true. Sure, sometimes I’m mad at you (generic “you”) because I’m having an episode. More than likely, though, I’m mad at you because you’re being a jerk.

One thing I miss about the times before my diagnosis is people taking my reactions seriously. I’m not saying everyone does this, but I think some people use the fact that I have bipolar as an excuse to avoid taking responsibility for their behavior. I’m not saying they should have to walk on eggshells, but sometimes I wish they’d realize that the things I’m mad about are things anyone would be mad about; perhaps not to the same degree, but still mad. I am now and have long been very difficult to set off and very unlikely to participate in an argument or even stand up for myself. I suppose that is one reason some people don’t take the times I do show anger-or any emotion, really-seriously, but I wish they’d see that that’s just how I am. It is a very rare person that has that effect on me. Then again, I can’t fault people who didn’t know me before my diagnosis. Or the people who have that effect on me.

It’s so frustrating when I hear that people have been treated badly or that someone they love has used their worst fears against them. Admitting that you may have a mental illness is no easy thing, for most people. And when you are seeking and looking that closely at yourself it doesn’t help for someone else to push it in your face.

Hear, hear. Even though I was relieved to get my diagnosis (I was treated for depression first) because it told me that there was a name for what I was dealing with and a way to treat it, it really hurts when someone gets at you for something you can’t control.

And being supportive is so easy sometimes. Of course, there are times when it gets hard to be supportive all the time…

…especially when you don’t know what’s going on with us. Sometimes we don’t either.

Continue reading

Advertisements

I’ve been ‘fixed’!

No, I haven’t been rendered sterile, although the world would probably benefit from that. 🙂 I got my hip replaced!

I know I’m very young for this, but it’s related to the accident I described midway down the page in this https://theprozacqueen.wordpress.com/2009/12/21/lessons-learned-in-2009/ post. Short version-I was pulling out of my subdivision and got hit T-bone style on the driver’s side by a Dodge Ram. I broke my pelvis, spent a month in the hospital, basically had to learn to walk again and got arthritis from hell because of some extra bone that grew in the hip socket. This happened in 2005 November.

Now-2012 October, seven years later-I *finally* get to have this taken care of! I’ve waited for so long because of the costs associated with it; the hospital fees alone are more than $55,000! No, that’s not a typo-it actually costs *that* much, and that’s not even counting the doctor’s fees or the cost of the implant itself! Is it any *wonder* that one of the main causes of bankruptcy in this country is related to medical bills???? My friends from a support group board out of England took up a small collection for me; one of the main points mentioned was how the author was ‘appalled’ by how our health care system in the US handles stuff like this. Yes, I would have had to wait, but not SEVEN EFFING YEARS! I’m glad I live where I do, but that’s just ridiculous.

I have Medicare hospital insurance in addition to the insurance through my husband’s job because I get disability payments, which is the only reason we’re even *close* to being able to afford this. Also, his company is no longer offering insurance next year-some sort of ‘flexible spending account’, but that wouldn’t give us anywhere *near* the amount of coverage we would need to offset the costs. Yeah.

My friends have all told me that I’ve been very patient and strong when it comes to the wait. I’m glad I come off that way, but the fact is that I really don’t have any other choice. I could either sit around feeling sorry for myself (which, believe me, I did), fuss out God (which I also did, but He’s a big boy) or whatever, but that wouldn’t have done any good. Sure, it might get some feelings out, but self-pity isn’t a place you want to remain for very long. I know that from experience, believe me.

I mentioned fussing at God. It wasn’t in the ‘curse God, you’ve had enough’ sense so much as ‘if this is Your sense of humor, it sucks!’ sense. I don’t actually believe that God *does* bad things to us; He might *allow them to happen*, which is what happened in the book (Job) my quote is from, but He doesn’t do bad things to us Himself.

If you think about it, it’s actually a *positive* thing for a person of faith to get mad at God. As I heard on Desperate Housewives, the opposite of love is not hate; it’s indifference. Although we’re hardly in a position to argue with God, the fact that we get upset with Him over bad things that happen to us doesn’t mean that we’ve lost our faith; far from it. It actually means that we *do* believe in Him, that we *do* care about what God thinks of us, that we *do* ordinarily consider Him a good God who cares for us. Think about it-if a really bad person did something awful to somebody or allowed something awful to happen, we wouldn’t be surprised. We might be upset at what they did, but the ‘surprise’ element, the perceived ‘betrayal of trust’ element that gives these feelings their ‘ooomph’ wouldn’t be there. You probably wouldn’t have trusted the other person, but you *did* trust God, and that’s why it hurts so much when bad things happen to us. It’s like the way you felt when you were a kid and your dad spanked you-not only did it hurt, but you’re upset because you thought he loved you, you didn’t think that was something a loving person did. And like the spankings, the bad things happen for a reason. Hell if I know what that reason *is*, but there is one.

I suppose I should probably sign off now before I fall asleep sitting up. I’m doing very well, but still get tired much more easily than before. I have to remind myself that this is okay, that I’m not expected to bounce back right away and start dancing up and down the street. Good thing too, since I’m still wearing the hospital gown. Trust me, nobody wants to see that!


Civility a lost art?

Website Editors Aspire to Rein In Nasty Comments

Well, somebody had to say it.

For the past seven years or so, I’ve been a volunteer moderator on a site called Beliefnet. Generally I like the job, but I’ve noticed this same thing lately too. I thought it was just the fact that the boards I work with are about religion (debating Christianity and Judaism), and thus are naturally going to be more ‘highly charged’, although some things I’ve seen are just ridiculous. If I see one more person come on and say they know more than anyone else about God/Jesus/whatever and that everyone else is going to hell (outright or implied), I’m going to scream. I’m sure you probably expected me to say that I was going to shoot myself, but I won’t say that because I fear I’ll see it the moment I click over to the sites and then I’ll have to make good on it. Um, no.

Like I said, mostly I like my job, and Beliefnet isn’t the only forum I’ve used. However, I’ve seen the quality or civility of discussion about certain things take a nosedive in recent months. It seems that anything regarding President Obama-for or against, mostly against-should be marked with a ‘hazardous’ sign because it’s only a matter of posts before someone starts fussing about him and his healthcare reform ideas, regardless of what the discussion started off about. I’ll be honest, I voted for him and am hopeful, but even if I weren’t, there’s no excuse for calling people names if they simply disagree with you. The same goes for subjects like the Iraq War and Islam (to a degree). I think a big part of it is the fact that you’re typing to a computer screen and thus can sort of ‘hide behind’ it…anonymity makes a lot of people much more brave and willing to say insulting things online than they would to someone’s face. I’ll admit I’m guilty too. Also, some subjects like religion are things a lot of people don’t talk about except on those boards and thus you’ll see a side of them you wouldn’t otherwise see. I’ve spoken with and met some people ‘in person’ that I’ve known from various forums and, while I try to be roughly the same person in both situations, there are always going to be some who are completely different in person than online.

Of course, some topics are more volatile than others. On Beliefnet, we have had to relegate all discussions of abortion and homosexuality-religiously based or not-to specific boards set aside for it. I’ve had people complain about this, particularly the latter, sometimes seeming like they expect me to make exceptions. I’m not going to, because I think I’m partly responsible for the policy being made to begin with. I say this because I am a moderator of a Christian debate board (Christians debating each other) and, when discussion of homosexuality was allowed on religious debate boards, the subject would completely dominate the board. It was usually the same two or three posters, but sometimes the conflict spread from thread to thread in a completely off-topic, disruptive fashion.. One thing Beliefnet specifically rules against are ‘ad hominem attacks’-personal attacks against other members. I get that it’s a highly charged subject, especially in the previous administration with a more conservative president, and especially in some parts of this country. There was some pretty hateful stuff posted, enough for me to have trouble keeping up with it, but it was hard to get another moderator to come and put their hands into the mess. This came from both sides of the debate. It ended up turning away members who enjoyed discussing issues related to Christianity in a civil manner because who would want to be around stuff like that? If I weren’t the moderator and weren’t there to try to make things better, I wouldn’t. We ended up suspending the worst offenders but over time it was determined that the subject could not be discussed on our boards without having an overall negative effect on the community. I would say I constantly lobbied my supervisors for the change, but the truth is, I didn’t have to because others had done that for me. At first there was only debate board for sexual orientation, but the need came for several other, faith-specific boards to be created to keep up with the ‘demand’. I found the whole thing rather sad because a lot of the posters were people who had other things in common and would probably have been able to be friendly if not for the arguments about that one particular subject.

There are some forums I used to frequent but that I don’t anymore because some people seem to be rude just for the sake of being rude. I don’t understand people like that. I figure, life is full of enough stress and bitterness, why add to it? But then, I think some people are just miserable and want to spread it around. That seems to be the case with some of the most nasty posters I’ve come across.

This has been said so many times it’s ridiculous, but ‘where is the love??” Whatever happened to being civil to people, even if you disagree? Whatever happened to agreeing to disagree? Like I said, I understand some subjects are very highly-charged, but the principle your mom taught you about dealing with the school bully could probably be put to work here too…just ignore it and walk away. The scroll button is our friend. Although I’ll admit I’m guilty of letting some jerk ‘have it’ on occasion, it’s not something I enjoy doing. Sometimes we all need to just turn off the computer and watch some Mystery Science Theater 3000 to calm down.

Speaking of which….see you later!


What would you call this? Possibly triggering and annoying babble…

The part below-above the asterisk row-was written a long time ago, but I got the idea to post it here because I’ve read several stories from my friends about similar issues and thought I’d add my ‘me too’ and let them know they’re not alone.- PQ

Okay, many of you who know me have heard me talk about this. I had an idea of what to call it, but some conversations with a friend made me wonder. What would the name be for this situation:

I was in a relationship in college. It lasted about 3.5-4 years. We did not have intercourse. But there were many things of a sexual nature that I did that I did not want to do. Stuff like fondling, oral sex, ‘dry humping’, using his fingers on me, etc. There were times when I did want to do things, but there were many times when I didn’t. Sometimes he would do something like touch me sexually and I would say no, but he would continue. Sometimes I would end up enjoying it, but not always. He would make sexual comments about me and other women, and some of his friends did too. When I would say something about it, he would make me feel as though I was wrong, too ‘prudish’ (I had been told before by other friends that I was too judgemental about sex), that I needed to ‘loosen up’. Toward the end, I would get quite angry and would not want to show any part of my body to him, would be very ashamed that anyone knew we did stuff, etc. He would make comments about it to argue with me and seem/get angry, knowing that I didn’t want to hurt or make people mad. Basically he was playing on my good nature.

He would manipulate me into doing many things. He’d use tactics like lying/pretending to be sad that I didn’t want to fool around, arguing with me, giving guilt trips, etc. If I were talking to anyone else I’d call it “coercion”, but for some reason I draw a blank when it comes to myself. We got along well sometimes, so I basically did things because I felt like I had to. I thought that that was just what you do, that I had to have a ‘tradeoff’ and give sexual favors to get the good things like support, etc. There were several times when I would wake up and he would be touching me sexually.

He would occasionally say something like an apology and that he was doing wrong, and stop for about a week or so. But he would shortly go right back to the same old thing. I stayed mainly because (as I see it now) he manipulated me and got me to where I felt dependent on him or didn’t feel strong enough to leave. Once, when I did break up with him, he would come up and try to be my friend. He would give advice to me about guys I was interested in, tell me how I deserved better and swoop right in when they left me alone. Come to find out, they mainly did that because he was harassing them and interfering.

I know the emotional and psychological stuff would be abuse, but what about the sexual stuff? At the time I didn’t know it had a name or that anyone would believe me or think it was wrong because he was my boyfriend. Also, there were times when I did want to do things, or ended up enjoying it.

Would that be a separate type of abuse? I thought that ‘rape’ had to be forced intercourse, and there wasn’t any of that.  I was talking with a friend, and she said something that make me reconsider that perhaps it really *was* rape because of the use of fingers. She also said that my eventual enjoyment of it was irrelevant, that it was the fact that he did not take no for an answer and that he did this consistently over a long period of time that was problematic. That prompted me to start reading on the internet about the subject, but I got different ideas and definitions from different sources.

What do you think? What would the name be for this, if any? I was using ‘sexual abuse’, but my friend’s comments made me wonder.

******************************************

The above was posted on Beliefnet.com a while back in the form of a thread on the Sexual Ethics board:

http://community.beliefnet.com/go/thread/view/43931/13270689/What_is_the_name_for_this

As  you can see here, I got some good responses and some nasty responses. They all told me things I’d already thought of: that it was my fault because I stayed with him and because I had done things in the past; that it didn’t matter what happened in the past, that it was still wrong for him not to take ‘no’ for an answer; that I didn’t set clear enough boundaries and gave him mixed messages, and so I was just as wrong; the whole ‘why didn’t you leave him?’…same old same old.

I don’t want to go on about how I’m a victim…I *hate* that word! I’ve managed to have good relationships with men since then, even if my view of sex might have changed a bit. What’s strange is that this whole thing still effects me, 10+ years later…probably affects me more now than it did around when it actually happened. I’m told that is fairly common.  I just hate how, even now, even seeing his *name* or someone who looks like him shakes me up.  In fact, I was working on a project about abuse in relationships a while back, but had to table it for a while because thinking of it all started weighing on me and I would find myself thinking or talking about it so much that it got in the way of other, very important things- things like taking Facebook quizzes and drooling over blonde male Aussies on TV. 🙂  Can’t have that, now, can we? 🙂

I tend to make jokes to try to deal with things, even if some don’t think I should.  I refer to this ex as Psycho Rapist because I think it sounds funny but I also don’t want to say his name. There are just *so many levels* to this relationship.  I had low self-esteem, didn’t think what I wanted was very important, thought I had to please people or else I was a bad person, thought it was a matter of taking the good with the bad, etc…typical thought patterns of a person in an abusive relationship. However, sometimes it still hits me. Not at this moment, but sometimes it takes very little to bring thoughts back up.  Now, there were some decent things and some fun things, and I keep trying to tell myself that, but I still keep going back to the negative, especially when I read about a friend having a bad situation. I hate that my friends have had these sorts of things happen to them.

Seriously, though-a few months ago he sent a friend request to me on Facebook. He sent and I ignored them three different times (he even sent them two days apart from each other), and ended up blocking him.

I’ve asked myself, friends and spiritual advisers about forgiving him about three or four times in the past few years, but for some reason I can’t seem to drill anything through my head. I’ve wrestled with that sort of thing many times, although lately I haven’t really.  It comes and goes. I just feel so weird because I know he can’t hurt me, probably doesn’t want to, he’s married, it’s been about ten years since I last saw him, etc…but still seeing his name kind of ‘kicked me’. This is what sometimes goes through my head: I keep going back and forth in my head remembering how I thought I had forgiven him a long time ago…actually, more than once…but every now and then I’m reminded of things, and back to square one. I feel bad because he didn’t hit me or anything…besides, it’s Facebook, what could it hurt? But I don’t like looking at another friend’s picture because that picture resembles PR…I still use that name…but it was so long ago and I should be past this by now…Round and round and round it goes…

But anyway, my question is if there something wrong with me spiritually that I keep thinking I forgave him but still feel shaken up by seeing his name.  I know forgiving doesn’t always mean that you have to have a relationship with that person and I don’t necessarily want bad things to happen to him, but shouldn’t I be at the point where I don’t feel nervous when I see him? Isn’t that kind of holding everything against him all over again? The verses about God not forgiving us if we don’t forgive others keep coming to mind.

As you see, I’ve become an expert in self-flagellation. I would *never* suggest to anyone else that they weren’t going to be forgiven if they didn’t forgive, or that they had to have a relationship with someone who hurt them. He just brought me back in so many times by using that, by manipulating me and appealing to my good nature. Appealing to my faith, basically anything really he could find a foothold.

I’ll stop babbling now; I’m probably not making sense anyway.  As you can tell, I’ve copied and pasted from other things I’ve written before, but I’ve thought I might as well because I keep going over the same things in my head over and over again. Most of it has never been published before, so it’s kind of like writing it for the first time.


Somewhat random whine…

Don’t you hate it when you think you’ve gotten over something, put it behind you, only to realize you hadn’t? To wonder if you never truly can?

Don’t you hate it when you can’t decide whether or not you have a right to feel something, or if you are making too big of a deal out of it? If you are ‘playing the victim’, ‘trying to make everyone feel sorry for you’, or otherwise blowing it out of proportion, to quote the person who did it? To quote your father, even if he wasn’t talking about you?  If you are just being a baby/bitch/whiner/princess/etc? If you are making yourself feel bad on purpose to get attention?

Doesn’t it suck to think all of these bad things or ask all of these questions about yourself when you would never do that if you were talking to a friend with the same feelings?

Doesn’t it bother you when you find yourself making excuses for the person or behavior, or trying to talk yourself out of feeling the way you do? Especially it was this very tendency, this very lack of self-esteem and tendency to look at the positive, that made the abuse possible to begin with?

Should I be afraid I will become bitter? Even if you don’t really see why you would, or don’t think you have, but still wonder about that anyway?

Is it weird for a person who doesn’t believe in taking revenge to inwardly laugh or feel good when her male friends offer to ‘handle’ her ex? Especially the more, um, creative ideas? 🙂

Isn’t it frustrating not to be able to put a name for what happened to you, or to not like the sound of the words? Or to feel that you shouldn’t use the words because they normally apply to something you see as much worse than what happened to you? To feel bad about telling anyone because they’ll be mad at you and think you are ‘belittling’ what happened to them if you use the same terms? Or to wonder if anything out of the ordinary happened at all?

Doesn’t it suck that remembering something or someone that hurt you and being triggered by it makes you question your faith and whether or not you’ve really forgiven? Whether or not you’ve been taking the Eucharist unworthily?* To wonder whether or not you’re going to be forgiven for your sins because you haven’t forgiven someone else’s sins against you?  To question whether or not ‘sins against you’ is even the right phrase for it? To question what forgiveness even means, and to remember every Scripture verse that ‘convicts’ you, but none that comfort you? Especially if this very line of reasoning contributed to the situation you are ‘supposed’ to have forgiven?

Isn’t it awful when you feel like you can’t even trust your own thoughts, feelings, actions or beliefs? When you have to keep repeating the same stuff over and over again to yourself, but it doesn’t seem to sink in? When you ask your friends about things like this that confuse you but are so obvious to everyone else?

Don’t you hate it when everyone else sees something for what it is, but you don’t, no matter how many times you have to beat it into your head?

Don’t you hate feeling that you should be ‘beyond’ something by now? That you should ‘be over it’, Even though you would never say that to someone else?

Isn’t it annoying when you ignore or turn down someone’s Facebook friend request because you want to forget about them, but they keep on asking, so you have to keep on seeing their name until you finally block them?  When seeing that name or picture throws you off and you have to remind yourself that he can’t hurt you again, or that hopefully he’s grown up and just wants to be friendly? When you have to block someone because they don’t get the hint that you don’t want to be their friend the first couple of times you turn them down?

Don’t you hate it when you can’t even look at some of your college photos because you are triggered by the sight of one person in them? And you could go through the photos and put a sticker or something over his face, but that would mean that you actually have to look at him?

Doesn’t it suck that seeing one picture, hearing one name, can make you feel like years of therapy, spiritual counseling, help from others and self help efforts haven’t done anything? As though all of the progress you’ve made disappears into the mist so easily and you have to start all over again, just because you saw a stupid picture?

Doesn’t it annoy you when you don’t know how you will feel about something or someone from one day to the next? When you keep going back and forth between positive and negative, thought and feeling, healing and injury?

Doesn’t it suck not to be able to look at a friend’s profile picture because he reminds you of someone who the very sight of unnerves you?

Don’t you hate it when you have dreams about someone but are doing to them what you should have done back when you knew them? When you wake up feeling rattled, or you think you hear yourself yelling at them in your sleep? But isn’t it oddly satisfying when you beat the crap out of them in your dream?

And isn’t it awful when you write all these questions out and feel better, but hate that you even felt all this stuff in the first place?

*Yes, as a matter of fact, I am a master of worrying, made so by years of experience.  I give lessons on Fridays.  🙂

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Ode to the newspaper lady…

I was reading a friend’s (yes, I have friends…who knew? 😛 ) blog last week when I came across this post. Reading it inspired and infuriated me at the same time. Here is the post I’m referring to:

World Without End-Cold

An excerpt:
I have a “friend” who loudly declared one day that Big Issue sellers “don’t want to work”. I tried to explain, as gently as I could considering how angry I was, that they buy the magazine, mark it up and sell it; that they’re out all day in the rain and wind; that it’s meant as a way for them to work for a living – that they’re working harder than many people will ever have to, and taking the abuse of a snotty public while they’re at it. It didn’t seem to compute. I don’t think the person concerned was expecting to hear an argument, and so he didn’t hear it.

As for his ‘friend’-

I know several people like that, who think that they are the only ones who actually *work* for a living. The person who served them at the coffee shop, the street cleaner, the salesperson in the electronics store? Lazy bums, all of them. It’s usually either that, or that they are in their job because they are ‘lower’ somehow-less intelligent, less educated, not motivated, bitter or generally of ‘lower’ stock. I probably don’t even have to tell you what I’ve heard said about people on public assistance, programs some don’t think should even exist. Either way, they are looking down their noses at anyone who is not in ‘their station’. But then, these people usually have never been in a position to where they have nothing less than top-notch jobs, been laid off or had a hard time of it. It must be nice…but the truth is, I kind of pity them. Sometimes they are arrogant, elitist jerks but, more often than not, they’re just clueless. “Doing what they [customer service workers] do because they don’t want to work?” Trust me, it’s work. Besides, I’m sure a person could find more enjoyable things to do on a Saturday night than park people’s cars. I know I could. Also, how do they know that the person serving them isn’t working through college to get the education they are assumed not to have? How do they know that person doesn’t have three kids at home to feed? They might also look down on a single person with kids, but how do they know that person is single, or is single by choice? How do they know that the person working the cash register at Walmart isn’t a former software engineer who’s been affected by a bad economy and layoffs? How do they know that the job at the coffee shop isn’t a second job the person takes to help pay off student loans? I’ve known people like this. How do they know that the person getting Social Security hasn’t busted her butt working and paying into the system a lot longer than she really should have and only stopped working because she’s been forced to? Yes, I have personal stake in this. Bitter and angry, party of one.

Okay, rant over.

I’ll admit I haven’t always been as gracious as I’m expecting others to be. I have a bachelor’s in communication from one of the best schools in my home state (Go NC State!!!!). I’ve had jobs where I’ve made good salaries-or, what was good for me back then. I was young, and brimming with the delusion of invincibility that comes along with it. I thought ‘it couldn’t happen to me’. Long story short, it did happen to me. I was quickly knocked down by the loss of a job and had to experience first-hand what it was like to work multiple jobs to pay the rent or to live off of credit cards. I have the bankruptcy on my record to prove it. One thing I learned the hard way is that none of us are immune from setbacks; they can happen to anyone, at any time. I know people who have lost considerable amounts of their retirement savings in the stock market. They weren’t irresponsible, but the general economy sunk and took the stock market (and their savings) with it. Now in any given place you can find people who had high-powered jobs but were laid off because their companies had to make cutbacks. Several of my friends can’t work anymore because of an illness. I’ve known of families who are now on food stamps because the main breadwinner got hurt and can’t work anymore. Heck, my husband went through all of his savings taking care of me for the seven months after my wreck that I couldn’t work. These weren’t things that could have been foreseen, otherwise we would have gladly planned. While there is something to be said for saving for a rainy day and thinking about the future, I just want to stress that a person’s job situation isn’t necessarily due to a character flaw or anything the person could have done. Unfortunately, sometimes stuff just happens. I wish it didn’t, but maybe it has a purpose. Few things will teach you the value of human compassion than being in a position where you are on the receiving end!

Speaking of compassion…

I was touched by the fact that my friend wanted to help this young lady, a person he barely knew. That means he spoke with her, actually listened to what she had to say, took an interest in her and thought about her for longer than the two minutes it would take for her to hand him his paper. In other words, he treated her like an ‘equal’ as opposed to The Person Who Is There To Serve Him. I know this might not sound like much but, believe me, it is. As someone who has worked extensively in the service industry (restaurant and retail), I cannot express enough how much it can mean to have a customer notice you as a person. Restaurants have a high employee turnover rate for a reason; the job can be very interesting, but also some of the roughest and most thankless work you’ll ever find. I’ve personally enjoyed many of my service jobs, but there were definitely moments when I’d loved to have given someone a mashed-potato facial. 🙂 However, every now and then you’ll come across the customer who makes you glad you are there. I don’t remember many of the rude customers I’ve had (beyond the extremes), but I definitely remember the ones who took the time to speak with me and showed interest in/concern for me. This might especially make a difference to the person who stands out in freezing-cold weather and sells newspapers for a living; in other words, the person many people pass on the street every day but don’t even notice. We never know; that might be us or someone we love one day. Karma may be a bitch, but she can also do good and God knows we need all the help we can get!


5 Things I Just Don’t ‘Get’

I’m sure we’ve seen or heard a lot of things we simply don’t understand, no matter how hard we try. Here are some of mine, I want to hear yours:

1. New World Order, government conspiracies or all the other theories. Sorry, but I’ve never been able to understand what is meant by ‘government is bad, bad, bad’, ‘the EU is a sign that communism is coming back’, ‘don’t use electricity or anything else that is public because then The Man will be able to spy on you’ or some of the other ‘slippery slope’ arguments I’ve heard. No, I’m not making this up. I understand the fear to a point since no one wants to lose their freedoms or private lives, but some take it a bit far. When I was getting married, I was told over and over again how I shouldn’t register my marriage with the state because then the government would have access to us and do all kinds of stuff to take away our freedoms and generally screw with our lives…what could they really do that would cancel out the benefits of marriage (joint taxes, hospital visitation, power-of-attorney, inheritance, etc)? I appreciate their concern but they need to hang up their foil hats. I got married in the state of North Carolina and it’s on record. No brain-wave hijacking yet. I’ll let you know how it goes.

2. The fascination some Christians have with the Rapture or the End Times. No, I don’t think Obama is the Antichrist. I don’t really want to look forward to the destruction of 2/3 of humanity, despite the gleam in some preachers’ eyes when they talk about it. That part actually makes me sad…I don’t really care about the ‘signs’, and I was under the impression that Jesus didn’t really want us to anticipate it. I could be wrong on that, though. ‘Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again’ is really all I need to know.

3. Why people like the Kardashians or Paris Hilton are even celebrities. They don’t seem to really *do* anything, and yet I still see headlines about them on magazines in the checkout line at the grocery store. Somewhere a family of trees is mourning the senseless loss of their ‘son’ or ‘daughter’, because the paper to print them had to come from somewhere. My condolences.

4. Why some people enjoy being mean just for the sake of being mean. I guess they do that so they can tap into their own misery and spread it around, or maybe pour it out and serve it at parties like a cheap keg. Thanks, but I’ll pass.

5. Why people can do so many awful things to each other in the name of a religion. Truth is, none of us really knows for certain what’s on ‘the other side’. We have beliefs, but still all see through a glass, and darkly. The day is coming for each of us when we will have a clear view, but not yet. Until then, I’d like to live my life doing what Jesus said when He asked us to love our neighbor as ourselves…or ‘try’, I should say, since I will never be as good at this as I should or would like to be.

[eta 11/16/09] Okay, I’m going to cheat and add a sixth item that has been bothering me lately-

6. Why some people are more concerned with being ‘right’ than with being loving and caring toward other people. I don’t give a toss what Scripture or anything else says about…well, a lot of things. Actually, that’s not true; I’m a Christian, so by definition I find a lot of value in Scripture.  It’s a way (among others) we learn about Jesus, for one. It’s more the negative twisting of Scripture to make it say what one wants it to (esegesis, sp?) and make God in one’s own image I have a problem with. Sorry, but the Bible isn’t a weapon against people you (generic “you”) happen not to like. That’s what I see some people using it as-a weapon to beat people down rather than lift them up the way it should. I think that’s wrong and is much more likely to push people *away* from Christianity than bring them in, which is supposedly their goal. It is much more important to me to be compassionate toward other people and to treat them as I would like them to treat me.  That’s what He said to do, after all. To me, that is a lot more worthy of my attention than what some text said about things that are constantly taken out of context and are referring to something entirely different from what we think it did.  I’m no scholar, but I can’t for the life of me find the section where Jesus tells people what movies they should watch or who they should date. I *do* remember where He talks about loving our neighbor as ourselves, not being judgmental, taking the log out of our own eyes before trying to get the speck out of someone else’s, and feeding/visiting/caring for ‘the least of these’…a category I believe most of us will fit into at some point in our lives.  Some of us already have.

I welcome any enlightenment you might be able to offer. What are some of your things you just don’t ‘get’?


Pouring My Art Out

Ripping out my guts for your entertainment

Tea and Theology

Fix yourself a cup of tea. Let's talk theology.

renegade mothering

tales of a wayward mama

sonofthemountains

Child of the human condition

Notes from the U.K.

Exploring the spidery corners of a culture and the weird stuff that tourist brochures ignore.

My Ears Are Tired

where the days are long, but the years are short

Express With NeJae

Express Yourself ..We Care

New Pollyanna

Ne'er-do-well on the loose

Lorelle on WordPress

utorials about WordPress, blogging, social media, and having your say on the web.

~Idiot Writing~

'all our lives are a poetry - awake our souls.' ~ Battling the hypocrite within ~

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

blahpolar

bipolar, uninterrupted

Not A Minute To Waste

About life. Anything and everything about it. Let's talk.

MAG's Blog

Lady, mum, minister of the word, author, mental health advocate, psychotherapist... inspires & motivates with personal experiences

The Write Life

Helping writers create, connect and earn