“Leo, I don’t care for your demeanor.”

children learning

I mentioned in comments recently how Sheryl Crow is teaching me how to communicate with people from a more productive place.  Her song, Halfway There on her Be Myself album is my anthem for the lesson.  (It’s also a great song.)  Music is the most effective way to teach me something.  I feel like I’ve already made good progress.  Now, when communicating, instead of only thinking about presenting my viewpoint, I also think about how those who might not agree will hear it.

The reasoning behind the lesson is the fact there’s little point in expressing my opinion in a manner that will cause the listener to tune me out.  I have a cat for that.  Heh.  I know whenever I speak to her, she’s listening for keywords, (such as, treat.)  She’s interested in my tone of voice.  Anything beyond is noise.  If I want people to consider my opinions as worthy of thinking about, I have to work on how I present them.  Just like with Amelia Bedelia, my tone of voice, and the words I choose will make or break the conversation.

I didn’t realize how horrible I am at this until recently.  I tend to come off like a drill Sgt.  In my defense, I did virtually grow up in the Army.  I’ve been out long enough to recognize it’s an entirely different world than that of a civilian.  It took a long time for me to adapt.  The hardest part was accepting civilian attitudes.  It’s incredibly frustrating to work with (or even be around) people who aren’t giving their best by default.  Of course, not all civilians are like this, but I seem to find the ones who are regularly.  😂

child weeping

Fortunately, I no longer lecture people on the merits of doing their best, (like a drill Sgt.)  I even try to keep my face in check, but I’m never sure I manage.  I’m a thought telegrapher.  (You can probably imagine how much fun this added to my training. /sarcasm)  Worse, my expressions aren’t necessarily the NT (neurotypical) version.  Aside from about-to-laugh or about-to-cry, I’ve been told I look angry when I’m thinking or processing.  Damn eyebrows.

Body language is something I’ve decided not to stress over any longer.  I don’t get it, I probably never will, so no more beating myself up over it.  As for my own, I’m working on not walking away like I’m trying to escape whenever I talk to people.  (Even though, half the time, I am.)  My entire lifestyle centers around not having to speak (out loud) to strangers much.  I suspect many who have or had a speech impediment share this habit.  I also used to put my foot in my mouth virtually every time I opened it.  (Thank goodness, Stevie Nicks already taught me the importance of thinking before saying.  Love her!)  Now I’m ready to take it further.  Baby steps, yo.  🙃

The battle for access to abuse-free health care continues.  Jade and Keia of Gettin’ Grown talked about the fact African American women frequently die prematurely due to racism in the medical field on this week’s podcast.  I felt validated after listening.  I’m not the only one who has had to deal with doctors or dentists who don’t think black people feel pain.  Or who automatically disbelieve anything we say.  I’m glad I decided I’m not going to die prematurely due to the crudeness and cruelty of some alleged professionals.

I’m proud of myself for refusing to see the evil dentist who mistreated me again.  I looked right at her (probably with angry eyebrows) and said, “No.  I specifically stated I would not be seen by her again when I made the appointment.”  The receptionist acted confused, but I saw a different dentist that day.  It was the first time I stood up for myself, but not the last.  I’m grateful the Patient Care Representative at the VA is a (more than) decent human being.  She’s already helped put in motion an eye exam, and I’ll be seeing a non-evil dentist later this month.

cute cat on the floor

I wrote her a note identifying some examples of the abuse I’ve endured in the Mental Health clinic and ward.  I didn’t share much, and only mentioned one person by name, but it was an overwhelming exercise.  I also shared how I was dealing with my ex-husband turning into Ramsay Bolton at the time, which is what drove me to seek assistance in the first place.  It brought back all the shit I’ve had to put up with since I got out of the military.  Plus, the Kavanaugh Travesty triggered me and stapled me to the floor as a result.  It was like standing in the midst of a trauma avalanche.  Good times.

I’m doing better now, (finally stopped weeping.)  I look and feel like I talked shit about Mike Tyson’s mom in his earshot, but at least I’m not silently wishing slow deaths on everyone who ever hurt me any longer, (then feeling guilty about it.)  I finally slept, which helped.  I also listened to lots of music and watched a Will and Grace marathon while pacing.  I might take the saying, walk it off, too literally, but whatever works.  I paid enough attention to recognize how insensitive (and probably offensive) we were in the 90’s.  I didn’t notice back then.  (+100 to the millennials for helping us see how unkind we were without realizing it.)  ✌🏽

p.s.  Here is a fabulous, healing, and hopeful video.  #SISTERHOOD

“Elaine is writing a sitcom!”

Raven flying

I’m so glad it’s finally cooled off.  I love fall and winter.  I finished watching season 7 of Game of Thrones.  I’m so pleased with what HBO has created.  The season was short, but so much happened.  I purchased the seasons on Bluray because I don’t have HBO, but I plan on subscribing before season 8 begins, now that I’ve seen what they can do.

I wrote a short story about a scientist who created a contagious airborne agent that caused mass infertility, (tentatively) titled, The Politician.  She released it in a few international airports, then followed it’s spread across the world on 24-hour news channels.  It took seven years before world governments publicly acknowledged its existence.  She was then chosen to lead an international team to work on a cure.  😂

My inner mad-scientist often cackled while writing.  The Republicans in America initially blamed environmentalists for creating it.  The US Congress armed task forces to round up environmentalists (without bothering with things like evidence or due process.)  After the sanctioned murder of several such citizens, the scientist released a manifesto calling for an end to patriarchal rule in exchange for a cure.  HPV

Sadly, Congress refused to do anything but spend more tax dollars on locating the agents’ creator rather than adopting term limits and other suggested changes that would interfere with their ability to wield excessive power over everyone else in America.  Soon, everyone with ovaries was suspect in the eyes of law enforcement.  It became even more dangerous to exist as a woman; the opposite of what the scientist wanted.  The world population began to decline due to an increase in mass suicides and no new births.

writing and editingAfter a few decades with no cure in sight, and the murder of women at an all-time high, the future of the human race is in question.  Then I realized it’s too long to be a short story.  I tried to edit with a heavy hand, but it caused even the main characters to lose dimension and relatability.  So I decided it’s a novel.  Heh.

I continued to follow a group who set up an underground thinktank to develop an approach to end the crisis without more bloodshed.  They assisted people in fleeing the United States and tried to communicate with the scientist.  Their main concern was in preserving humanity by building a world where nobody had the power to interfere in the lives of others; where law applied to everyone equally, including those chosen to create and enforce them.

I’m about 400 pages in now.  I’m not sure I want to finish and submit it for publication yet.  I’ll keep working on it and see how I feel when it’s complete.  My band is coming over later to watch a Sheryl Crow live concert on DVD.  Yay.  Only 25 days until the Fleetwood Mac concert.  Uber-yay.  😆  I’m off to practice drumming.  ✌🏽💜

“I’ve driven women to lesbianism before, but never to a mental institution.”

kittens wrapped in a blanket

I’ve draped myself in the comforting blanket of music, of late.  It’s gently healing the many wounds I’ve acquired on my journey so far.  In this pleasant space, I’m building a better survival strategy for when The New and Improved Depression Monster (TNAIDM) ambushes me in the future.  I’ve acknowledged how it affects me; out damn pride.  First to go is my wit.  I cannot rely on my keen mind when stapled to the floor.

woman listening to music

I don’t know how TNAIDM steals my intellect and rationality, but the evidence is overwhelming.  I must plan accordingly.  My inner gamer sees this as a challenge.  There are no walk-through videos to study on YouTube.  No strategy guides on message boards.  Only me, my presently uncompromised wit, and my shelter of music.  Challenge accepted.  Victory awaits.

Today, this blanket consists solely of music by Sheryl Crow.  As I listen and sing along, the lyrics reach me.  My strength and resolve rebuild.  My focus broadens, and my sorrows fade.  I remember who I am and embrace the biggest picture I’m able to perceive.  I’m stardust floating through space.  Soon, my minute of life will end, and what remains will drift on with the expansion of the universe.

All my pain is insignificant from this perspective.  I can breathe.  I can even laugh over the concerns that leveled me yesterday.  They fail to weigh me down when I zoom out and allow myself to float.  Snapshot.  Save.  Remember.  💜

 

“So you’re denying him the scholarship just because he wants to be a city planner?”

I spent a little time using an Adobe web app called Spark, this afternoon.  It’s super easy to use (without bothering with the built-in tutorial.)  It helped me express myself with more than words in a short amount of time.  (It also reinforced my desire to continue learning Premiere Pro and After Effects.)  You’d think the message would indicate despair on my part, but nope.

I’m more resolved to endure as long as I can despite the willful ignorance, deception, and destruction surrounding me.   The hurt and betrayal I feel don’t decrease as I process the status quo, though.  I don’t know what to do with these feelings, other than experiencing them.  All the hate and ignorance being spread are motivating me to fight for all who are marginalized.

M and I agreed it’s our duty as citizens to support and protect them to the best of our ability.  We’re focused on the LGBTQIA+ community presently.  We had fun helping out (serving food and cleaning up) during Pride this year, and it felt magnificent to be in the vicinity of so many people celebrating.

Despite what I think is coming, I’m hopeful.  Part of me is amused because it’s probably ridiculous at this point.  I choose to hope because I’m in love with the human race.  People are my favorite fascinations;  Each one a unique universe, capable of incredible good and evil acts.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we figured out how to live and let live in harmony with all that’s alive?

That’s my dream.  I plan to use what remains of my life doing what I can to make it a reality.  I’m going to fight to help bring The Force back into balance by policing my actions so they match my values.  Watching so many preach one thing and do another strengthens my resolve.  Sheryl Crow nailed it with her latest single, titled, I Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You.  The universe shows us, over and over, life finds a way.  I believe.

“You could read the paper through the whole thing if you want.”

AFTF: Puma Custom Genetic Supplement

I hope those celebrating are having a blast this Independence Day.  In case you missed it, Sheryl Crow is releasing her final album in 2019.  After that, she’s only releasing singles.  Stevie Nicks is going to be on it.  I’m grinning like Oprah just adopted me.  😁   Just a quick flyby before our gig.  I’ll be back to regular posting this weekend.  ✌