That doesn’t work, we’ll give ’em Kramer!

Fucking Nazi’s.  Since writing my open letter to the tiki torch-carrying losers, more information about their actions has been revealed through photos and video footage.  And of course, the murder of Heather Heyer.  I can’t pretend to be as shocked as most seem.  The overwhelming ignorance of oppression in America is like forcing the oppressed to smoke two packs of non-filtered cigarettes a day.  We can barely fucking breathe, and people think we experience the same lives they do.  Most non-oppressed people have no fucking idea what we go through.  They’ve seen some videos now, and are starting to believe we struggle, but they STILL don’t get it yet.

They have little frame of reference because they think watching Roots brought them up to speed.  They believe now overt slavery is banned, we’re all living equally ever after.  They think Obama succeeds because of Affirmative Action, rather than sheer will, hard work, and drive most can’t even comprehend. They hate him because his existence reminds them how pathetic they are in comparison.  He achieved something incredible, and instead of motivating them to work harder, it enraged those who don’t even dare try out of fear of having their darkest fear proven correct.  They’re terrified of looking at themselves, because they know there’s nothing great to see.  The utter lack of effort they’ve put into building themselves up destroyed any self-esteem they managed to develop.  They surrendered before even trying because it was easier.

How many of you know someone branded by racist pricks?  I served with someone who bore this scar (while honorably serving the nation that enabled his torture.)  They used the same tools they use to torture livestock.  He escaped before the lynching.  This happened in the 70’s in America before the internet made it easier to expose racist evil.  When I saw his melted, scarred tissue, he quickly covered it and refused to speak of what happened.

I found out when he got drunk one night and sat up telling me his history.  I lost a lot of ignorance and innocence that night.  He was detained by racist fuckwads after school for a beat down, and was injured, (2 broken ribs from being repeatedly kicked while down.)  It made him miss his bus, and he had to walk home alone.  He was ambushed, beaten further, and branded, in preparation for a fucking LYNCHING.

They tried to horrifically murder him for walking down the street with brown skin.  He was a 9-year-old child.  It made me vomit.  My childhood was heaven in comparison.  (The difference being location, location, location.)  My family settled in an area that isn’t dominated by hate, bitterness, ignorance, and fear.  In the south, they celebrate this type of behavior.  Think about that.  This is only one horror story.  There are far, far more.  This one didn’t end in murder, but he’ll bear the scars for life.  I decided that night I’d never visit the Hate States.  I would never willingly go there, knowing evil murderers walk free as a matter of course.

Not everyone in the south has committed such atrocities.  However, everyone in the south lives among these demons.  They’re your neighbors.  You might not be aware of their evil activities.  Our fucking AG (attorney general) is a racist prick who lied under oath and colluded with the enemy to gain his ironic post.  Jeff Sessions is what a demon looks like.  (He’s an angel compared to Mike Pence.)  I wonder how many children he’s tortured and murdered.  I hope he dies in a fire.  I hope all who pose as humans while behaving as demons are annihilated.  They’re enemies of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  They’re traitors to our beloved nation.  Every time they inhale, it’s a tragedy.

Nazi’s need to crawl under a rock and stay hidden until they die as miserably as they lived.  I don’t differentiate between the groups, with all their various disguises.  They’re all one group.  Enemy.  Evangelicals, white supremacists, the GOP, neo-Nazi’s, and whatever other names they’re hiding behind.  All expendable pieces of shit holding America back from achieving further greatness.  All hateful and evil.  All bent on ethnically cleansing the United States of America until all that remains are the privileged:  Those with white skin.

Only, it won’t stop there.  The only way vile pseudo-humans can feel okay about themselves is to belittle and oppress others while falsely inflating their single qualifying attribute, (like 45.)  It’s incredibly weak and evil.  Spoiler alert:  Once the brown people are gone, they’ll turn and come after you.  Do you have brown eyes?  Brown hair?  Freckles?  Maybe that means you’re not actually white.  They don’t use science to make these determinations, so it’s only a matter of time.

And all this evil is made possible by people who only stand up for what they think affects them directly.

It’s the American way.  Nazi’s are exterminating people in vast numbers in concentration camps?  Do we come storming to the rescue?  Fuck no.  We wait until a Divine Wind awakens the Sleeping (self-interested) Giant before we decide this is UNACCEPTABLE FUCKING behavior.  Still, think America is number one?  The world police?  Think again.  America is a fickle bitch who only helps when it’s profitable.  We value money over human life as a nation.  By a long fucking shot, too.  If you come between the rich and their god (money,) some of them will kill you for it.  Not with their own hands, mind you.  They’ll hire someone to do it on their behalf so they can continue pretending their elite.  Koch brothers?  Fucking evil pricks bent on killing the planet to get RICHER THAN THEY ALREADY FUCKING ARE NOW.  They’re enemies of life.  Die. in. a. fucking. fire. Koch. demons.

The only rich people who don’t deserve to perish in a fire are the ones who earned their wealth through success, not through conquest and loopholes.  Most are only rich because of inheritance, fraud, and theft.  They cheated.  They didn’t spend years training themselves to excel as an artist, scholar, inventor, etc.  They haven’t achieved anything.  They got their status for being born.  They got it by a fucking loophole.  They’re pampered and privileged and live in bubbles of unreality.  They don’t live in the real world and aren’t subject to real consequences or strife because their $god protects them.  From everything, including murder.

The sickest part is these loophole lottery winners rarely contribute to humanity in any way.  They don’t create.  They consume disproportionate resources.  They pollute more with their private jets and multiple McMansions.  They usually live and die unnoticed, having done nothing of note.  Most of them aren’t even happy in their perfect lives because they can’t trust anyone to love them sincerely.  Here’s a hint:  It’s because you bypassed the type of life that leads to good character.  You were too busy being pampered and elitist to deign to even speak to someone who isn’t worth a billion dollars, so you don’t know anyone who isn’t a human decoration with no purpose but to consume and look cute while doing it.  Sad!

It pisses me off because it’s such a waste.  What if  Einstein had a father like 45, and was rewarded for existing?  What if his potential was smothered with excess and sycophancy?  Those who put forth nothing and gain everything are a waste of oxygen, a bad example to those more impressionable than reasonable, and a drain on our planet’s resources with zero returns.  If a leech attaches to your body, you pull it off and shudder in disgust.  Why aren’t we doing the same with the parasites draining the lifeblood out of America?  I don’t understand why we continue jumping off the cliff like fucking lemmings.  The only way I can conjure an explanation is to accept the planet is rejecting homo sapiens as a species.

It would explain why we aid in our own murders.  Why we venerate our killers rather than annihilating them.  We as a nation are fucking pathetic because we usually don’t give a fuck until it hurts.  Short-sightedness, ignorance, and evil are steering humanity toward utter destruction.  We’re failing at survival because a few fuckwads want more wealth than they’ve already stolen.  It’s never enough because it doesn’t fill the void where their souls should be.  Instead of recognizing this, they just keep taking more.  Allowing them to continue is America’s shame and pending destruction.

If there is consciousness after death, and I highly doubt it, we’ll just use it to lament our pathetic failure to survive.  It’s easier to give up, surrender, look away, walk away, and pretend it’ll all go away if we do nothing.  We’re dying as a species because life took too much effort for some people to bother even trying to live honorably.  I’m starting to think it might be for the best.  When I see Nazi’s brutalizing citizens while openly brandishing weapons so powerful the police take cover, I think maybe homo sapiens is a virus, and the planet would be better off without us.

My protective nature is beginning to recognize the planet is more worthy of saving than we who are destroying it.  I’m starting to think I’ve wasted my life loving humans more than trees and seas.  I’m finding it harder to recognize our potential as a species because it’s buried under so much hate it can only be seen with faith.  Why?  Because a few are unbelievably evil, and for some reason, we don’t kill them for it.  We let them lay waste unmolested and pretend we couldn’t prevent it.  We all lose if we don’t stop them.  Our extinction event is set to be self-destruction.  No comets, aliens, or zombies necessary.

I think it’s B.O.!

Open Letter to the tiki torch carriers in North Carolina:

I woke up this morning and (eventually) checked my Twitter feed.  Oh.  A demonstration in North Carolina by angry, privileged, and misled individuals carrying tiki torches.  You’re upset because despite having an entire nation specifically designed to give you a better shot at everything in life, you’re still not thriving.  It’s not enough you’ve never experienced life surrounded by hateful people who despise you for existing.  You don’t even know what it’s like to face life without every possible advantage at your disposal.  You can’t imagine it.  It’s much easier to ignore these facts, and pretend to be the victim, instead, eh?

It’s also simpler to waste your life than live it to it’s fullest.  Privilege is an advantage, but it doesn’t live your life for you.  It doesn’t guarantee you will be on top of everyone else.  It doesn’t automatically make you awesome.  You still have to get off your lazy ass and build your life with effort, which is what truthfully has you so upset.  It’s unfortunate you didn’t focus on making yourself into someone you can love, and instead chose to concentrate on hating everyone else.  Every single one who carried their tiki torch around the church, while spewing racial slurs and saluting a dead, meth addicted loser, has publicly announced you are a miserable piece of shit.

That was precisely the message you delivered.  Nobody saw you, and thought, “Hey!  This person has factual information to share with the world!”  We looked at you and were disgusted.  What a pathetic tiki tantrum by spoiled brats who haven’t figured out how to adult yet.  We don’t pity your invented woes.  We know your cause is bullshit.  We are aware you’re merely proving yourself one of the poor fools who fell for (weak) propaganda because it was easy and didn’t take any effort.  You just want to be a terrorist without consequence, and this group will take anyone with white skin.  Finally, you get to fit in without effort or policing your poorly formed personality.  How sad.

Barrack Obama was President of the United States of America for eight years.  He has brown skin.  Obama overcame every single obstacle that stood in his way.  Not one of you tiki torch carrying fuckwads has even faced a single one of the barriers he conquered.  Instead, you’re bent on creating more barriers to ensure such an incredible achievement never happens again.  Even with all the privilege and advantages, in this beautiful country where you automatically have a far better shot at life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,  merely for existing, you’re still losers.  That’s so fucking pathetic it’s hard to believe it’s even possible.  Holy shit.

The worst part is the why.  Why are you so miserable and pathetic?  The answer is simple.  You chose this.  You looked at all the opportunities America has to offer you, and said, “Nah, that all sounds like hard work.  Instead, I’m just going to make it harder for everyone else, and then pout over not being treated as if I’m valued, when all I have to offer is hate and destruction.”  On second thought, I do pity you.  If I see you on the street with your bug repelling torch, I’ll hug you.  I can’t imagine how awful it feels to be you.  Besides, you’re alive, which entitles you to my consideration.  You don’t even need skin for me to consider you and your feelings.  But if you strike me, my return will end you, so don’t.  Take the hug or don’t.  It’s yours to accept or reject.

Instead of choosing to be hateful, you can always change your mind and embrace all of America in her glory.  Together, we’re amazing.  I’d rather you were part of our greatness because I  suspect you have something inside you that makes you one of a kind.  Not part of some angry group looking foolish.  Just you, alone, without all the fake baggage.  Oh, there you are!  I can see you better when you’re not pretending to be a psychopath.  I don’t even believe you hate other Americans.  I think you’re angry and frustrated.  You’ve accepted a lot of bullshit as true and decided to go with it because you know you can get away with it, (now.)

I’m hoping you figure out this path leads to a dark empty place.  Many have traveled it, but none of them are still around to share.  You’ve chosen the team that will lose every single time, regardless of how much money and KGB bots feeding the effort.  In the end, love and life always win.  They’re the point, silly.  So think again about who you want to anchor yourself to, and why.  Do you want to spend the rest of your life angry and miserable?  Many have chosen to do this.  We have diseases named after them.  I hope you decide you want far more.  I hope you opt to be honest.  The hate is your thing.  I don’t hate you.  If I did, I wouldn’t bother writing this.

I love you for being alive.  I’m angry you’ve chosen misery because I know it’s a choice.  Nobody is forcing you to go down this road.  You’re truly only hurting yourself.  Don’t do that.  Life is hard enough without sabotaging it.  You know what’s right and wrong.  You’re free to choose.  Just remember, every choice has consequences.  You’re probably going to get away with terrorizing North Carolinians last night because of your white privilege.  Nobody is shocked by this because we live in a nation that doesn’t treat everyone equally.  We hate it.  We fight it.  We do whatever we can do legally to try and even the playing field.  We don’t show up and terrorize you, though.  We treat you better than you deserve, and you make us beg just to exist.

I hope you think about what kind of future you want for yourself, and make better choices.  Your white skin isn’t necessarily going to protect you forever, so please work on building yourself into a decent individual.  Nobody can do it but you.

Sincerely,

Alison

The busboy’s coming!

I had a good day.  My shrink left me a message stating he sent me a 90-day refill of Prozac.  Yay!  I talked to my former section leader from my first permanent duty station in the Army.  She’s the first female leader I ever met.  My part of the conversation entailed explaining my decision to quit the VA.  The rest was her giving a brilliant lecture on common sense, followed by a few compliments to my intellect, chased further by utter disbelief in how one can be so smart and (ignorant) at the same time.

It made me sweat a little while Skyping.  I could easily stand before 45 and elaborately flip him the bird with a goofy grin on my face.  I couldn’t stand in front of my former SFC (Sergeant First Class) and do anything I knew was wrong, rude, or improper in any way.  I understand it, but not fully.  It’s based on respect, but it’s a particular type.  It’s bestowed with confidence, a bit of awe, and incredible loyalty.  Suffice to say, I’m not quitting the VA.  Instead, I’m going to make it safer for me to get care.  I purchased a handheld voice recorder.  I’ll bring it with me and use it when necessary.

I’m fairly sure once it’s seen the grapevine will spread the word, and I won’t need it any longer.  The vast majority of people who work there are not racists.  I only know of one and suspect another.  It pisses me off how just a few ignorant fucks can cause me so much grief.  My SFC reminded me of the POC wearing the uniform right now.  I don’t want any of them to have to put up with this shit when they return, especially if I can do something about it.  So I will.  I’m quite pleased about the refill.  I’d love to have my creativity restored, but avoiding severe episodes of depression is better.  No contest.

What do you expect when your name rhymes with part of the female anatomy?

It finally stopped snowing.  I had an easy day today.  It allowed me to wrestle with religion internally for most of the day.  I mentioned I’m failing as an atheist, so I decided to try a different approach.  Since I’m indoctrinated as a Christian, I’m guilty of overlooking the rituals and doctrine of any other religions.  It’s because I never felt interested in other faiths.  In fact, I was conditioned to avoid learning about other religions.  I suspect this is true with non-Christians, too.  It’s practically taboo.  (I love that word.)  Unfortunately, it’s no excuse since I’m American.  We’re people of all faiths and none.  I realized it makes me an asshole not to lift a finger to educate myself about what is paramount to so many Americans.  My bad.

I’ll be studying Islam first.  I want to understand because it’s the shortest path to love.  I lived with a Muslim family for a year in Saudi, but my focus was on language.  I was also unable to be present when I socialized at that time.  When I’m on auto-pilot, I remember what goes on around me like it’s a dream.  Sometimes I can easily recall, and other times it’s just out of reach.  It was something I did unconsciously whenever my anxiety surged.  I’m better at controlling my anxiety in social situations now.  There’s still room for improvement, however.  Part of what I’m calling an improvement is my ability to dodge social situations when I’m not in the mood.  Recognizing I was allowed to say no was all that was holding me back.  (Embarrassing)

I looked into purchasing a gun earlier.  The laws are shockingly lax in South Dakota.  I discovered I can legally own an M-16 A2 (semi-automatic assault rifle!) without the hassle of a permit.  That’s the first weapon I ever fired.  I went from crying because it scared the shit out of me to acquiring sharpshooter status in a week.   Being afraid helped me aim well.  I never allowed my myself to overthink the ethical issues of killing as a soldier.  I wasn’t a conscientious objector exactly… I just decided if I found myself in a kill or be killed situation, it was game over for me.  It was too abstract to ponder much.  When I saw the racist senator from Iowa call for ethnic cleansing, I started thinking maybe a gun would be nice.  Then I lost my fury while researching options and reading an article about a bill to legalize silencers.  Are you fucking kidding me?  So… Yeah.  Fuck it.  If a racist piece of shit wants to shoot me, come at me.  Then rot in a cage, beast.

All you saved was the pea pods?

Victory in a meadow.

Growing up in a predominantly all-white community has helped me better understand what it’s like for my local peers to first encounter a person of color.  In my first twelve years of life, the only people of color I met were a few Native American parents of foster siblings, and my little sister, Heather.  (I don’t count Heather.)

Everyone else was Caucasian.  My teachers, neighbors, friends, family, everyone.  It was all I knew so, of course, it was normal to me.  Basic training was my first experience with diversity.  I stared a lot.  I got bullied by a black woman from Miami who claimed I “talk proper.”  While I tried to process this, the other women stood up for me and shut her down.  It was my first experience with social politics.

My first assigned buddy was a black woman.  We despised each other within a few minutes of the meeting.  She called me an oreo, and I told her she needed glasses.  (I know, I suck at comebacks in real time but think of hilarious zingers after sleeping on it.)  I remember putting all my energy into preventing myself from bursting into tears.  I failed.  Repeatedly.  Throughout the whole eight-week course.  (And that’s not counting the time I spent working one-on-one with a Drill Sgt learning how to walk right before I could begin basic training.)

I was assigned a different buddy since we both objected vehemently.  I got a Mexican-American woman whose English needed some work.  My Sesame Street Spanish served me well.  She was the best buddy I ever had.  We complemented each other well and conquered each challenge by working together.  I also befriended a woman (named Heather!) who was the glue that held our platoon together.  She had bright red hair and a few freckles.  She could find the funny in anything.  I learned so much from her.  Thanks to her wit, we laughed as much as we cried.

I loved serving in the Army.  Acquiring PTSD was my only reason for getting out.  It murdered my eligibility to serve.  I had both positive and traumatic experiences.  I learned a great deal about humans, war, and reality.  I lost my innocence in every sense of the word.  I recognized my vulnerability and gullibility.  I had known before I reenlisted that my reasons for joining initially were adorable at best.  In those initial three years, I grew up.  I entered a child, and before my first active duty enlistment ended, the child in me surrendered control to my adult self.  The military has converting children into soldiers down to a science.  Soldiers are adults.  The process was painful but fascinating.

I remember the day I realized I had a friend from every group identified by the government.  I ate chocolate cake for dinner that day in celebration.  I celebrated because I thought it meant I was safe from ever being called a racist.  I felt like I won some unspoken challenge in life.  This is something I tie to my upbringing.  It’s a subtle conformity to institutional racism.  Subtleties usually fly over me.  I fear I’m too distracted to grasp them regularly.

This recognition of my contribution to the problem of racism is extremely hopeful progress in my journey to being the best possible me.  Now that I’m aware of where I’m fucking up, I can consciously avoid it in the future.  I have several previous posts in this blog where I, unfortunately, demonstrated my ignorance.  When I gain new knowledge and annihilate the ignorance, I’m tempted to go back and remove anything I said that I now realize identified me as an ignoramus.  I chuckle, then leave it.

Another thing I learned in the Army;

 It never hurts to have a reminder handy for those times you’re tempted to shove your head up your ass.

My previous posts remind me, humble me, and (something that might be) embarrass me.  I’ll never forget the day I had to carry a giant cardboard ID card everywhere I went for losing my military ID card.  My Sgt took many liberties in drawing the highly unflattering photo on my large version.  I struggled to keep assholes from yanking it away and running off.  (Losing the giant card would have been devastating.)  People kept honking and scaring the shit out of me.  I was a nervous wreck that day.  I never misplaced a card of any type since.  Or keys.  I guess it was worth it.

I don’t classify my friends by political groupings any longer.  I know diversity enriches my life.  I like being surrounded by it, but I’m also okay with living in a community that doesn’t have a lot of diversity.  What matters is recognizing it’s positive for everyone.  The only superior race is homo sapiens.  We changed the face of our planet, for better or worse, and climbed to the top of the food chain.  This is our planet, and I hope we spread to much more in the future.

When a person creates something that propels mankind forward, that victory belongs to all humans.  The same goes for the athlete who achieves a world record.  And the scholar who wins the Nobel Prize.  The writer who captures our imagination so profoundly we believe the story is real.  The actor that makes us laugh, then cry.  The comedian who’s so funny you laugh and cry at the same time.  The artist who captures an idea and paints it on a canvas.  These are humanities victories.  These are proof of our awesomeness as a species.  We don’t worship people, we share what makes us amazing.  It’s in all of us.  All humans.  It’s in you.  It’s in me.

Knowing this makes me love people.  I know everyone I encounter has awesome in them.  I hope they show it off.  It’s a connection between all of us, and I think we should all celebrate it by eating chocolate cake for dinner.  You in?

If we pick, do we not bleed? I am not an animal!

I’m so angry right now.  I went to my dental appointment, only to find out they weren’t expecting me.  I arrived 20 minutes early, after spending about 10 minutes looking for the place.  The directions I was given over the phone sucked.  They said it’s “across the street from Globe University”.  First of all, that’s vague.  Directly across from Globe University is an ISP and a medical center.  Prior to reaching Globe University, there’s a strip mall with a dental office in it.  I wasn’t given the name of the office.  I figured there was likely only one dental office adjacent to Globe University, and I was right.  However, I wouldn’t describe it as across the street from Globe University.  The only possible means of approaching this dental office doesn’t even pass Globe Fucking University.  It’s further down the street, around a curve, and up a slight incline, making it barely visible from the dental office.

I slowly drove past Globe University a few times, like we just broke up, and I was stalking it.  Then I tried to pull up a map on my phone.  Sprint sucks so hard I couldn’t even get 3G.  I got 1X, whatever-the-fuck that is.  It wasn’t sufficient to load my location, let alone allow me to search the vicinity for a dental office.  I wonder if any other locals are interested in a class action lawsuit against Sprint for epic sucking.  I want every penny I ever paid to Sprint returned to me, because they aren’t providing cellular service, they’re just teasing.  1X.  Are you kidding me?  I’ll be correcting that situation soon.  There will be long, redundant letters, dripping with contempt, reaching Sprint executives in the near future.

When I finally found the office, the woman behind the desk didn’t present a good first impression.  She seemed unkempt, and when she got up to inquire about my appointment, I noticed her seat had chunks of upholstery missing, and one of the armrests was broken.  Another woman came out and agreed they weren’t expecting me.  I told them someone called me, and scheduled me for 12:30.  They both acted like that couldn’t possibly have occurred.  I started getting agitated.  I wanted to tell the first woman I saw upon entering that I knew it was her, because I recognize voices like most people recognize faces.  She didn’t confess, so I let it go because her face was turning red.  Nice.

She handed me an intake sheet to fill out, and told me if I waited a few minutes, they might be able to fit me in if the next appointment didn’t show up.  I sat down and filled out the paperwork, but didn’t put in my social security number.  As if.  Clearly, nobody in this office will be performing oral surgery on me.  I filled out the paperwork because it was an excellent distraction, and I was so pissed off at that point, I could feel the tears welling up.  I won’t drive when I’m upset, but the time it took to fill out was sufficient for me to calm down.  I handed them the paperwork, and they informed me that the next appointment was on her way, and could I come back tomorrow at 2.  I said, “Okay”.  I know I was saying, “Okay, I’m calm enough to drive now, so I’m leaving.”  I don’t care what they heard.

I know I probably should work on my tolerance for incompetence.  I’m not working on it.  I want everyone who sucks at their job to adjust their attitude, and do their best at all times.

Side note:  If you suck at your job, it’s because you choose to suck at your job.  You’re accepting payment in exchange for less than your best work.  You’re robbing your employer.  That’s fucked up.  Stop doing that.  It makes you an asshole.  Be the best you that you can be.  That’s all anyone can ask of another.  But nobody should have to ask, so if this is you, get right.

Back to my tantrum.  I just got a callback from the Patient Care Advocate at the VA.  She’s awesome, I went to school with her as a kid.  I told her everything that’s happened since my initial complaint of overwhelming pain.  A week without resolution to level 9 out of 10 pain is awful.  I wouldn’t wish it on a horrible person.  If you shot me in the face, point blank, and I managed to survive long enough, I’d tell you that you suck, but still not enough to have to endure the week I’ve had.  Yes, I’ve learned how to cope with pain, and that was an important lesson that will serve me well in the future.  However, that does not excuse the hellacious amount of bullshit I’ve had to wade through in order to receive proper care.

The ER doctor and nurse tried everything they could to control my pain.  The doctor couldn’t prescribe me anything to take home because the pharmacy was closed, and my blood pressure was so high, they had to address that as well.  Obviously, when my pain level is 9, my blood pressure is high.  200/118 is my body’s way of saying, do something immediately to stop this pain, or I’m going to give her a stroke.  My Primary Care doctor responded quickly and effectively when I sent her a message.  The dentist is a problem.  She’s new at the VA.  She told me that she was new there, but had been a dentist for 30 years.  I believed her.  Now, I suspect the reason she is now working for the VA after 30 years in the civilian sector, is probably related to a lawsuit.  Civilians won’t put up with this bullshit.  Sigh.

I don’t have to use the VA facilities for my healthcare, but I prefer it because civilian medicine is so different from military.  It’s rare for me to see a non-VA or military caregiver.  Honestly, it freaks me out a little to have someone do everything for me, regardless of my ability.  It feels like being coddled at a point where what I need is to practice coping despite whatever is ailing me.  In a military hospital, you clean up after yourself if you’re able.  You go to the mess hall to eat if you’re able.  They don’t do anything for you that you can do for yourself.  And often, there is a discrepancy between what your doctor knows you can do, and what you believe you can do, despite whatever ails you.  Laying in bed being served doesn’t help a soldier get back to duty.  But if you try to clean in a civilian hospital, it upsets the people who work there, and makes them talk loudly.

It’s baffling.  It seems to me that everyone who enters a hospital should be helping keep it as clean as possible.  Nosocomial infections, and all that.  But whatever.  The Patient Care Advocate will fix this, and I’ll be getting fixed up soon, with proper pain management afterward.  And I won’t be punching that dentist in the neck, even though it would inflict far less pain than what she’s forced me to endure.  Right now, the pain is tolerable, and I’m almost finished with the antibiotic.  I have an odd number left, which is slightly troubling, since it’s 2 capsules per dose.  The swelling has gone down, so I think it’s working.  This is the first time I’ve had a bad experience with a dentist.  I suppose that’s a good record.  I won’t be seeing her again.

And here is the part that will probably disturb my sleep for a while;  I suspect the dentist is a bigot.  I don’t know for sure, but that’s what my gut is telling me.  I know that institutional racism in the medical field is ugly af.  There are doctors who think black people don’t feel pain, or at least not to the degree a white person does.  It’s 2016, and some educated Americans think this is a fact.  It’s not a fact.  It’s racist bullshit.  Homo sapiens sapiens have a central nervous system that delivers pain messages to the brain.  If this system is not compromised, there will be pain.  This means all humans.  We’re all the same fucking species.  The piddly variations in skin tone, (and many other things), are irrelevant.  Any human being who disbelieves this fact in favor of hateful fictions that don’t even pass the bullshit test, is expendable.

That wakeup guy was trouble!

Today was the first good day I’ve had so far this week.  I spent several hours in the ER trying to get my pain under control, but to no avail.  The pain was unbelievable, and they tried three different narcotics, including morphine.  I was at the point where I had to keep my tooth submerged in ice water at all times in order to get any relief from the pain.  I could go about 5 seconds at a time between dousing it.  Not long enough to get an x-ray at the dental clinic.  They got one, but I was shaking from the pain, and whimpering by the time she finished.  I cracked my tooth, and it got infected, and the infection spread to my ear and sinus cavity.  It took a while for me to notice the pain, then narrow down it’s location.

By the time I went in, it was too late.  But some good came of it.  For instance, my fear of going to the ER at the VA is broken now.  The nurses and doctors were all kind and professional.  I did see the employee that harassed me in the ER in the first place, but just in passing.  I didn’t have to sit in any waiting rooms, which helped a lot.  The nurse who is in charge of all the nurses in the ER took care of me as soon as I got there, and led me to a private room away from the noise.  She’s helped me before, and is astonishingly good at her job.  She told me over the phone that if any nurse ever upset me in the ER to let her know and she’d take care of it.  (That was when someone who wasn’t one of her nurses harassed me).

It’s startling to me how just a handful of nasty people can make a place that also has far more excellent people feel unsafe for me.  Logic would dictate that I would overlook the few, and only count those who are helpful.  I don’t like going anywhere when I’m vulnerable, let alone when I know there is at least one person there who despises me for having brown skin.  I know now that I’m not alone with this issue.  I’ve read about other WOC who have to deal with this problem, too.  It’s disgusting.  When someone is ill or injured, help them to the best of your ability, regardless of skin color.  Otherwise, you’re not a medical professional, you’re a bigot and a fraud.  And I will never again cower in the presence of hatred and ignorance.  Now that I know it’s not just me, I feel like it’s my duty to protect all WOC who are harassed when trying to seek medical care.  So if you pull this shit with me, expect the tongue lashing of your life, followed by a report to the Patient Care representative, which I will CC to the hospital administrator, your immediate supervisor, and several government organizations that can initiate inspections that involve your entire chain of command.

I know exactly how uncomfortable racist white people get when a black woman, who is clearly pissed off, decides to raise her voice and be heard by everyone, while she tells you off for being a hateful bigot.  That’s why we do it.  We know your sneaky ass only pulls this kind of shit when you have us alone, with no other witnesses.  We also know how to download an app that allows us to record everything said while we’re in your care.  So think twice before you mistreat us behind closed doors.  We’re going to use technology to even the playing field, and expose you hateful motherfuckers for what you really are, in front of those whose opinions matter to you.  That’s a promise.

So anyway, before I got all ranty, I noticed it’s National Poetry Day.  It got me thinking about Maya Angelou.  She was a personal hero of mine from childhood.  One of the things my Mom did right as the parent of an interracially adopted child, was to bring to my attention WOC who are amazing, and stand out.  She did this throughout my childhood.  Not only WOC, but women in general who were great.  A lot of them were authors.  Alice Walker, Maya Angelou, Zora Neal Hurston, Ntozake Shange, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Louisa May Alcott, etc.  I’m so glad she did this.  She had no idea how isolated I felt as the only black kid in my school district.  But by doing this, she let me know that my skin color and my gender were obstacles, but not barriers.  I wasn’t doomed, even though I sometimes felt like it.  My mom was awesome.

TV shows, like Diff’rent Strokes, The Facts of Life, The Cosby Show (ugh, I know), and even certain episodes of Little House on the Prairie with Todd Bridges, and a few others helped me feel less isolated.  I believed at first that having brown skin was extremely rare, until I started paying attention to TV.  My little sister was the only other black person I ever met until I was 12.  I guess it makes it easier for me to see some of the progress we’ve made as a nation regarding race issues.  I have memories of incidents that if they happened today, would result in viral shaming.  They don’t haunt me as often as an adult as they did when I was a kid.  I’m proud of the kids I went to school with, because they were genuinely decent people.  Some were assholes in elementary school, but I blame their parents for that.  I forgave them because they outgrew it by age 12.  They could have made my life a living hell, and they didn’t.

In my eyes, my city is far more diverse than when I was growing up.  But the numbers have gone from .1% to 1.4%, so it doesn’t really qualify to be called diverse here.  I remember how excited I got when I heard a man speaking fluent Spanish while checking out a customer at Hy-Vee.  Now I even see signs in both Spanish and English.  When I was a kid, the hispanic population in South Dakota was too low to count.  They put it at 0%.  It’s possible there were zero hispanic people living in the state at that time.  That’s changed.  We also have Asians who weren’t adopted by Caucasians now too.  When I was a kid, the only Asians I ever saw were also interracially adopted.  To me, that didn’t count.  Those of us who were adopted as infants by white families have the culture of the families that adopt us.  This is our native culture, and the only one we know, until we deliberately learn another.

Please don’t ask a POC about what you assume is their native culture until you’re sure it’s their native culture.  Most of the people you meet in America are Americans.  That’s the only assumption you can make without offending someone when in America.  I don’t know very many people who aren’t Americans.  But I love the ones I do know.  I have a particular fondness for people who can speak English.  And Canadians, because for most of my life, I truly believed being Canadian meant you were a nice person.  Now I only believe differently because I took Statistics at uni.  I’m still loopy from all the pain medication they pumped into me.  I felt giddy with joy today, because no pain, and I’m able to keep food down again.  Great reason to feel joyful.  I’m off to read.

 

Well he looks like a man. I know he belches a lot.

Today was rough.  I have a sinus infection that feels like a severe toothache anytime I lean my head forward, lay down, or continue having a head.  I got 2 hours of sleep, and they weren’t consecutive hours.  I had a challenge to meet today, as it was the first day I’ve physically gone to work in a while.  I pulled it off.  Having my schedule broken seems to have been the biggest obstacle.  We talked about this in therapy, and I began to berate myself internally for not recognizing this on my own.  Then I forgave myself, because there’s a direct relation between sleep deprivation and lowered ability to function.  Last nights attempt led to at least 25 minutes of staring at the wall for no apparent reason.

The sinus pain isn’t constant, thank goodness.  I’ve used a neti pot, warm compress, cold compress (big mistake), and steamy showers.  They all help some, but only for a short time.  Then it’s back to severe pain that comes and goes several times an hour.  I have a high pain threshold, so the pain level is surprising to me.  It’s not as bad as a kidney stone, but it’s up there.  It doesn’t evoke a string of curse words, like a kidney stone.  But I do feel legally obligated to inform everyone I encounter how unbelievably painful it is for a measly sinus infection.  When I woke up this morning, (after my nap), the pain surged when I stood up.  I immediately wondered if going to work would be a good idea.  Then I figured since it’s going to hurt regardless of my location, I may as well grab a victory while I suffer, and make it suck a little less.

Obviously, I realize going to the doctor would quickly resolve this issue.  However, I’m just not up for going to the VA.  I hate going there, and my reason feels insufficient sometimes.  I had to get a pressure dressing applied in the ER at one time.  The nurse who treated me was blatantly racist, and made absolutely certain she didn’t touch me.  She glared at me, but the doctor was nearby, so she didn’t say anything.  Her disgust made her efforts pointless, and I had to ask a different (non-racist) nurse apply a proper pressure dressing while I dripped blood on the floor.  That was the second incident involving a racist employee at my local VA.  Both work in the ER.

So I haven’t gone back.  If I’m dying, I’ll suck it up and go anyway.  Short of that, not likely.  I realize my reaction may seem extreme, but from my viewpoint, it’s wise.  I’ll be moving soon, and won’t have to put up with them ever after.  I’ve never heard of anyone dying from a sinus infection.  Putting up with the pain is better than sitting in the waiting room.  Sleep is overrated, and I just started reading “The Girl on the Train”.  So far, it’s held my interest, but I’m not enjoying it, yet.  There’s something wrong with the tempo, and I don’t like how the viewpoint bounces back and forth.  It would have been more engrossing to give one whole viewpoint, then the other, and let the reader gasp at the incongruity between them.  The way it’s written makes me feel dizzy, but it might just be that I was overtired at the time.  I’m off to read.

 

 

Denver bound

I’m off to Denver today. Yay!! I’m excited to go this time.  My anxiety is a little high, but not more than I can handle.  I didn’t sleep well again.  More Trump nightmares.  Sigh.  It’s just so hard to reconcile the fact that it’s 2016, and so many are still ignorant and full of hatred.  I’m trying not to think about the fact that the 2 leading candidates are racists.  I’m not feeling terribly proud to be an American.  For the next few days, I’m going to have fun, and try to forget about the ugliness.  At least I’ll get some sleep.  Hopefully nightmare free.