Nothing ventured, nothing gained

Remember to take down time for yourself. It works. I know it sucks! But this is the fastest you’ve recovered. A scant 48 hours. That’s two days, not two weeks. Think about it.

Found L’s daughter. Goddess only knows what I was thinking. Twenty-five years on. Must have been all that sitting around, waiting to feel better. Must have got sentimental. Crap! Sent out a note. Why, why, why? Last time I saw L she was all born again. Could not stand to be in her company much. That came more from her sanctimonious blame (and subsequent forgiveness) of me than her choice of church. You’re to blame for me doing this, but I forgive you… One more example of getting the weight of the world shoved on my shoulders. So why did I write? Why open that up? Why see if anything of the person I used to know is there anymore? I already know the answer: no.

The accusation…I agree I was wild. Wilder than wild. I’m sorry if hanging out with me and being my friend at that time in my life made you feel pressured to do anything you didn’t want to do. But the reality is I never forced you. You left, in fact, after our fight – and headed to Phoenix, where you went deeper into the muck than I ever wanted to go. Crystal meth. I still remember that phone call at 3 a.m. You were really jacked up. I was 1000 miles away.

Still want to blame me?

…Maybe that’s it. Maybe that’s what’s bugging me. The unsaid words on my part. Will a quarter century of experience temper her reply? Or will she still blame me, still point fingers, and simply turn away?

I miss the person I knew. I will always think of her as my friend, even tho at this point we’ve spent more years not being friends than our time together as comrades. Makes me sad because I’ve never had another friend like L.

I remember L as a woman of conditions. Certain lines drawn in the sand, never to be crossed. I also remember L as wild as myself, without any prompting by me. A pool hustler that convinced me to get my first and only tattoo. The chick in literature class I with whom I smoked my first on-campus joint. She was, in truth, the brave one of the two of us. It was her drive that first got me into the gym, her determination that took her half way across the country, while I looked on in awe and tried desperately to keep up.

Now we’re old. She has a grown daughter. And I think I still need to say a few things to her. Most of all, I want to acknowledge that yes, I was screwed up back then. Very much. So much so I didn’t know how much. I’ll take responsibility for that. And I am truly sorry if she felt pressured into anything during that time. I don’t remember it that way. But I’m willing to admit that my memories are not the only ones in question here. She saw what she saw, and felt what she felt.

…Maybe I’m looking for confirmation on my character. Character witnesses. Maybe I’m trying to absolve myself of past sins. Honestly don’t know. But I think there are unsaid things on my part, which is why I kept looking for her for so long.

I guess if there’s people you can’t let go of, you probably have something you need to tell them. I never told my mother what a bitch she was, ergo, my mother issues. Never fully called out my sister on her lying and cheating. Never said a lot of things to a lot of people – mostly because I couldn’t at those times in my life. Couldn’t articulate what was going on with me. And those people return to me. Their words haunt me, the memories of injustices left unchallenged drives me mad. Sometimes so much that I have to search them out, find them, say what needs to be said, because writing it out for myself just don’t cut it. It doesn’t release me from my bonds. I have to put it out there. I owe it to the younger me.

Gods, I’m scared.

What if it doesn’t work? I’m expecting some lightening of my load here. Some part of me thinks I’ll breathe easier after saying whatever it is I think I need to say. Will it? I think if I can address those times when I’ve been accused of more than I’m guilty of, perhaps I’ll view myself in a better light. Stop beating myself up so much. It’s hard, though. Hard to say I’m a little bit guilty. In my experience, once you admit to any bit of guilt you might as well go hang yourself. You’re guilty, full on, no exceptions, go straight to the guillotine. Or, just shove your toes in the fire. We’ll turn them as we sit fit.

Guess I can’t lose much of anything.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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So history tells us

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Maybe I shouldn’t say anything anymore. Someone overhears me, muttering in a corner, and somehow they think it’s free and open season on conversation. So they respond with a comment, which then brings someone else in to make a different point. Ye gods. Next thing I know there’s a fight going on caused by my ONE muttering. Had I said nothing, never been overheard, maybe everyone would have gone on their merry way and no one would walk away with a bruised ego. As it is, I have an old Uni friend and my uncle arguing on FB at the moment. Of course it’s political. Seems everything is political right now, or turned into a political argument. And both of them are pointing fingers at the other one, saying it’s your fault things are so bad in the US.

MY comment – the original muttering – was that ALL American citizens better re-think what the fuck they’re doing. Not Republicans. Not Democrats. Every. single. citizen. But no. In the US, it’s got to be them against us. Always has been, and probably always will be. Want to know WHY the US has a two party system? Because it falls into the easy ‘them or us’ category. It makes it easy to pit people against each other, draw lines in the sand, start fights.

Divide and conquer. That’s what the fat cats have done, and boy! Do they have YOU over a barrel.

By keeping one side chanting ‘USA, USA’ and the other side shouting ‘Black Lives Matter’, no real issues get addressed. Health care, once a hot topic in the states, isn’t discussed right now though I’ve heard umpteen complaints over the problems in the system Obama founded. And it should be.

The United States has the most expensive health care in the world. And it’s not very good. The doctors aren’t good. The board that watches docs and kicks out the quacks isn’t good. The drugs you get – IF you can get any medication, which seems to be damned difficult unless you’re asking to get hooked on some opioid – are horrendously expensive.

They keep telling you it’s great. I’m telling you it isn’t.

I would have thought when Michael Moore took a bunch of people down to CUBA to get their health care problems addressed in Sicko that more people would have sat up and said ‘Cuba? Cuba has better health care than the states?’ but it seems they didn’t.

I remember the time I had to go to hospital after getting mugged and dragged down the street. Not my choice; I got banged on my head and my sister insisted I get checked for a concussion. I spent over an hour on a gurney, waiting to be seen. When I finally WAS checked, it took a whole 20 minutes – 15 of which was given over to a class of med students who came in to look at my uneven pupils, a semi-rare condition I was born with. A week later I was slapped with a $2000 bill.

My physiotherapist apologizes to me for charging €31 for a half hour session.

Even in Ireland, where health care was FAR more expensive than here in the Netherlands, it was far LESS than in the states. A visit to my GP cost €21 each time in Ireland. Last time I saw a GP in the states it was $80 – and that was 25 years ago.

And health insurance? I think my policy is costing around €130 a month. When I was in my 20s and HEALTHY Blue Cross Blue Shield cost $300 a month.

Let’s just think for a minute. If everyone in your country is sick, disabled, in pain, and unwell, how high do you think your production will be? How about the quality of your products? People make mistakes when they’re not feeling well. Now think about a healthy nation. A nation where everyone gets taken care of. How much do you think they’ll be capable of? And how high will the quality get?

This is basic stuff. One plus one equals two. Why can’t you see that?

Let me make myself clear: this is NOT the fault of the doctors, nurses, and health care professionals in the field. It’s the fault of the ENTIRE SYSTEM. A system that asks young people to burden themselves with hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt from school. A system that sees the health of its citizens as an opportunity to make a buck. If you are poor, uneducated, or disabled, you’re not really ‘part of the system’. You’re just a burden. The scapegoat of society, the blame for all ills of the nation. Never mind what your POTENTIAL is; right now you’re a drain on resources. That makes you bad. All of you, from your head to your toe, from your childhood to your death – BAD. You stink from it, and it’s a stink that will never wash off.

This football team maniacal feeling of ‘kill the other guy’ isn’t new. Nor is the ‘if you don’t like it, get the hell out’ line. In fact, I heard the second line enough that I did just that – got the hell out. I’m not alone. The US has had a record number of people giving up their citizenship for new nationalities.

If you seek out comparisons in history, you might find the disturbing fact that all totalitarian systems had an exodus of intellectuals prior to the final crack down.

History repeats itself.

We are growing more divisive at a time when we need to come together. This phenomenon isn’t happening only in the states; here in NL we have Geert Wilders, who’s been likened as the Trump of the Netherlands. In Britain, it’s Nigel Farage. France, Marine Le Pen. Organizations like the Sons of Odin – basically vigilante groups – are gaining ground.

Things are spiraling out of control. Everyone’s trying to say it’s not so bad, they’ve got a way to fix it. Everyone is lying. It IS that bad, and you can’t fix it. Not fast, and not easy. There is no action you can take that won’t have negative consequences somewhere. Politicians like to espouse simple lines and simple solutions. They act as if we live in an open ended universe, where all assets are unlimited as long as you keep working or digging for them.

The truth is, there’s a limit. This isn’t an open ended system. It’s closed. We use it up, that’s it. There is no more. No way to fix it. If you take more than you need, someone goes without. THAT’S the true law of the planet.

And like children, some people just can’t keep their hands out of the cookie jar. They must take, they must comment, they must incite violence.

This world is not theirs alone. Injustice always topples. Always. And hate will always instigate hate.

So history tells us…

IRL

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WARNING: THE FOLLOWING IS A REAL RAGE DUMP.

No matter how bad it gets, remember someone always has it worse than you.

My ASS. If this were true, it would mean somewhere on the planet there is one person who has it absolutely the worst in the world. Could you point him or her out to me, please? Because I think we ALL need to know what’s “the worst”. To put our lives in perspective. Not some inspirational story about some paraplegic who’s managed to win a dance contest because they control their wheelchair with their teeth, not some dying kid who gives away everything to help other people. Show me the worst. Show me that drudge that’s got it so fucking bad I should shut the fuck up about my own problems.

I reject every goddamned meme out there that subtly and not so subtly tells me I’m not good enough, not worth listening to, not worth caring about.

And fuck you for even SAYING it.

Fuck you for even THINKING it.

Just off a dust off with my bro. Subject? Rape. I simply wanted to point out that now that male rape is being talked about, rape in general has become a whole other thing. It’s so horrible. Rapists need to be punished. Um…women have been saying that for fucking THOUSANDS OF YEARS and we’re still blamed for being raped more than half the fucking time. But oh no! Now MEN are fucking each other and oh, poor little men who get raped it’s such a goddamn tragedy and we should all line up and fucking cry for them.

For once, I was the one staying calm. I was only pointing out the change that’s come with the acknowledgement of male rape. He’s the one that went ballistic, cutting me off mid sentence.

Yeah, I’ve wondered before if my bro’s been raped.

And while rape is rape and a horrible crime no matter WHO it’s committed against, you’ve got to admit that the entire subject is being taken in a different light now. I’m not saying men weren’t raped thru the ages; I’m sure they were. As I’ve pointed out before, some men can’t contain their penises, and quite often rape is more about power than sex anyway. But please! Why is the topic NOW getting so much attention just because men are admitting to being raped? Because they’re men? It’s the only fucking difference I see.

Yet I’m to blame for bringing this all back to a men vs women argument.

But isn’t that what it IS?

Same with body shaming. I’m not happy to know that young men are being body shamed and encouraged to take supplements, steroids, and generally act counter to their good health. But why such a ruckus about body shaming now? Again, this is an argument women have been fighting for generations, and those that have had the courage to stand up against it have been called dykes, bitches, and worst of all (gasp!) feminists. Yet one fat man stands up and says oh boo-hoo, I’m being body shamed and the fucking media and social thought gets turned on their heads. Oh, this is so awful. Oh, we MUST do something about it right now.

Again, show me how this ISN’T a men vs women issue and I’ll back the fuck off.

The more I get this shit in my face, the more radical my thought processes become. I’m more than half way to voting every man’s dick should cut off right now.

*sigh* Let’s just leave that old wound alone…

Pleased enough to say my appointment went well yesterday. Then again, I worked hard for it. I cleaned myself up, donned better clothes, pulled my hair back off my face, and practiced some Dutch before going. Nothing about my last visit was hinted at. My concerns were taken seriously, and I had blood and urine tests done. Should get the results in a few days.

Got another doctor appointment today, for my psoriasis. Far less frightening.

Really wishing I didn’t feel so un-balanced at the mo. Guess who’s gonna scramble a bit to recover her calm exterior? I just don’t have a good idea on how to do that…

This fundamental unfairness I feel..it doesn’t go away just because I head out for a walk or turn my mind to other things. It’s always there, and I’m always angry about it. I don’t understand how you can walk this planet as a woman and not feel it. I suspect it’s the same for racial minorities or gays or any other group that is discriminated against. Say what they will: I STILL see more mid to upper class white men in film roles, on tv as presenters or guests or experts, in music, in literature – characters AND authors. The only time you see more women is when we’re showing our tits or draped across a car. And that sickens me, right to the core. It’s blatant fucking programming. White males are NOT the majority of persons on this planet. But you sure as fuck wouldn’t know that just looking at our media and culture. It should be closer to 51% female. THEN you can break it down into races, religions, and sexual orientation. But let’s START with a proper representation of the LARGEST dissed group: women.

And I get shit when I bring it up. Guess it’s an issue only white males should talk about.

Okay, so I didn’t drop it. I’m still goddamn angry.

How the fuck do you deal with this on a day by day basis? Huh? Ignore it? Forgive the foibles of men closest to you because they’re KIND of good guys? Because 85% of the time they think before they talk? Goddamn!

This reminds me of a South Park episode. Kyle makes the mistake of saying he understands Token and what it’s like to be black. Maybe that’s all I’m looking for here: an acknowledgement from men – from my brother – that they don’t understand what it is to be a woman and face this discrimination every goddamn minute of our goddamn lives. In the end of South Park, Kyle, of course, learns his lesson. But that’s tv.

What about IRL?