I have not been here in many months. There is much that I think about posting, but little I actually get past the point of the thoughts passing through my awareness or discussing a topic with friends or family. Last night I participated in a community discussion on Power, Equality and Justice. I was incredibly open. One of my instructors in my graduate studies program was mentioned, Vikki Reynolds. I am not sure of the spelling. My wounding through the psychiatrization of my reality over the past fourteen years was fully activated last night and I ended up talking about the intersectionality of oppression, hidden disabilities, the fact that many of us have much about us that is hidden, and that the response to the hatred and fear that haters are increasingly trying to disseminate can be resisted through creating tapestries of stories about our lives and how we have individually and collectively resisted oppression. Subversive stories are one of the most powerful tools for fighting oppression. They provide hope and alternative outcomes. They open space for something new to enter in, or for something new to gestate. I am tired of my isolation. I am tired of my fear controlling my life. I am through with letting the small dreams be all that is allowable within my being. I want to learn how to speak up and out. I want to believe that when people say they like what I say, and they want to hear my story, that they really mean it. I want to use my education as a tool for creating opportunities for others to discover their stories and how together we can all be agents for positive change in our world, and through that work, reclaim the futures that trauma and oppression have stolen from us.
I have discovered almost by accident that it is entireley possible to be completely mad, and yet, those around you respond to you with respect and humor. They are not afraid to say what they feel. They do not question that I/we have the capacity to withstand the truth about themselves they need and want to share. Or if they do, there is faith that the bond that exists between and amongst us will be strong enough to buoy each of us up and to keep us from drowning. This has emerged during a time of great external turmoil interpersonally and socially in my world. As the reader, you may realize I jump around among pronouns in this piece. I have introduced myself before as trans* identified, and will go further now to say that I actively consider myself and live as a nonbinary gender identifying person with lived experience of having lived in a strictly female gender and a largely male gender. I always draw different strengths from each of my expressions of self.
I have been experiencing many months of high emotion, extreme sleeplessness, lethargy and boundless energy intermixed. I do not wish to connect any of my experiences closely because I am wanting them to stand as their own reality, not as a reflection of some construct that could be construed as mental illness. During this period I have joined a sweat lodge community, commenced upon deep spiritual cleansing work within my masculine seeming aspects of self, and acquired a deeper and abiding appreciation and respect for the feminine energy that flows unendingly through me from the deepest wound of the Mother of us all.
As soon as I write these things I skip away from them because they feel like the words and worlds of another being or beings. For many years I have existed within a continuum of a multiple self sense within which there actually is no specific I. The I cannot be elevated above the plural sense of communal experience of the self states that peer out of my eyes and inform every word and step and embrace I participate in. The I is indivisible from the us/we.
On this day there is much joy. Although there is rain outside this self state that exists as a nexus point of many flowing self awarenesses that lend it shape walks in full sunlight of the spirit. We see the possible ending of dependence upon man made substances that have at times made life bearable where it was unbearable, and even enjoyable when we had considered ending things. There has been little thought of needing to end things for some time. Moments of exteme overwhelm brought about by sleep deprivation and overloading the temporal space of one living body with far too many commitments have helped us to arrive at a place of relative peace. Letting go of relationship styles and behaviors that harm self and other is an amazing way to find health and peace. It can be a very gentle way to bring the relationships one values back onto a plane of relating that works for each person involved….. sometimes. This writing feels free and genuine. Gratitude for that, and to the reader for reading this. Blessings.
Glad to find this. Thankyou. L
One year ago I left my non-profit job and secured myself a medical leave. I know that my experience of burnout was one of common occurrence in “the helping professions”, as I have seen many friends, loved ones and co-workers melt and spiral in similar ways. In the year since leaving my job I have attempted to access numerous avenues of assistance including programs for self employment, job readiness and disability benefits. The process has included high level comedy-of-errors type interactions. And here’s what I learned from all of this:
The systems that are supposed to make up this country’s social safety net are intentionally made difficult to navigate and degrading to those who need them.
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Many people I have talked to at any length about how feelings seem to control our world view have talked about a time or two where they had few or no people in their lives they could rely on to be there as a friend, as someone to just listen and witness the day to day struggles of human existance. Humans are, fundamentally, creatures of relationships. Even those of us who love spending time alone seem to benefit from having someone in our life we can trust enough to let tears out or to fall apart and to hell with what we look like while we do it.
There are many different and equally valuable perspectives on maintaining or healing one’s emotional and spiritual self. We can gather together and break down the walls of enforced isolation, shame and unspoken grief. Freedom from the shadows that drag us into listlessness, addiction, helplessness. There is power in a group that one person cannot find alone. Sometimes, we discover what works for us quickly, and we seem to heal and find meaning with the first therapist, friend, or group we connect with. Such occurrences are gifts. There are others who seek healing support from many different people, venues and helping modalities and some things seem to work for awhile, and then things just stop helping. This may be because we’ve gone as far as we can with this person or group. We may need a break and then return refreshed. Or something happens that helps us realize that we are in the wrong place doing the wrong thing for us.
Springtime where I live brings wind and sun and rain. Sometimes it brings snow, and this morning on my way to work I saw snow half way down the mountainside. I live in a part of the world where years ago government and power corporations sold our water rights away so even though we are now one of the richest water places in the world, there are dams across many of our rivers and private for profit power projects on our creeks. Many of us have demonstrated and carried on decades long campaigns to retain the original beauty and wonder of the place we live in. I happen to come from a culture that does not value the intrinsic beauty and worth of natural living landscapes. We are a culture of consumption and predation.
As a child, I read our literature and found the people who care about the things I was born knowing were deeply valuable beyond their worth in dollars. I can hardly begin to address the countering movement that has risen like a groundswell from among my people and many others, to stand against the pillage and rapine of capitalism. Today, the cherry trees are in blossom and i walked in the wind and took photographs of the cherry blossoms as I have done on previous years. I am one person who cares. I see evidence in my days online and off that the resistance to the corporate control of our world and human lives grows day by day. It is this knowledge as I observe, that brings comfort on windy days in April, when the world renews herself, and the water flows freely from the ground and feeds all the living creatures that spring forth from the rich earth of the mountainsides and valleys.
This blog is an amazing exploration of hope in the face of determinism and “expert” opinion.
How are you? I hope you are well.
What do writers think about when they write a blog?
We think about things like, who is our target audience, who do we want to appeal to, how and why?
Why am I asking these questions?
Simply, it is because I read a blog post by another author about finding our target audience.
What have I discovered?
I have learned that my intentions for this blog have evolved somewhat, since I had certain intentions when I opened the blog, but I found there is a need and that this is a need I can full fill, but it is outside the realm of what I initially intended this blog to be.
What is that need?
The need is for Hope for people facing Schizophrenia.
I read somewhere (don’t quote me on this) that 10 per cent of people facing schizophrenia…
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