My thoughts on this Whole Keaton Jones thing.

So, I watched this video yesterday about a kid named Keaton Jones being bullied. My initial reaction was “Man, kids are dicks” and I still stand by that opinion. I have a friend that took his kid out of school and started homeschooling him because of bullying. I have another friend who had her daughter bullied because and be the only kid in her class  not invited to a birthday party.  I have seen what bullying can do to a kid and it sucks.

I was bullied in school because I was the fat kid; however, it was the 80s and you could knock a kids teeth out back then without the backlash that kids get today for defending themselves. I became the kid that picked on the bullies.

But I have digressed.

After watching this video, something didn’t sit right with me. I always ask myself when I watch these videos “What did this kid do?”. Call it victim-shaming or whatever, but there are always 3 sides to every story. The Victim’s, The Antagonist’s and what really happened. Call me an asshole, but I think that there may be more to this story than actual bullying.

Now, I am not saying that kids don’t pick on other kids for some stupid reason. I was picked on because I was fat. I have seen kids picked on because they like a particular thing or because they have something that makes them different and unique. Again, kids can be dicks, but sometimes the victim isn’t just a poor little kid. Sometimes, the victim is the instigator and just bit off more than they could chew. I think that this maybe the case here, based on what I have seen and read.

The one thing that strikes me as odd is that this kid didn’t feel comfortable telling a teacher or other school employee, but told his mom. The Mom didn’t go to the school to handle this situation or contact the bullies parents. Instead the mom and the kid felt totally OK with making a video for MILLIONS of people to see and airing their issue online. I don’t know about you, but something about that stinks. I have never heard the phrase “Do you want to make a video about it? Will that make you feel better?” come from a parent. To me, this was just an adult cashing in on the current Anti-Bullying craze that parents,  PTAs and School Administrators are still going nuts for.

Now, the mom is being touted as a racist because of some pictures with the Confederate flag. My thoughts on that are that even if the mom is a racist cunt, it doesn’t mean that her kid wasn’t bullied. Hell, that may have been what he was being bullied for. I don’t think the kid deserved to be bullied because his mom may or may not be a racist; however it goes back to the question: “What did this kid do?”. Did he use the N-Word like some people are saying? Who knows.

The other thing that strikes me as odd is that all of these GoFundMe accounts that are being taken up for this kid. One raised $57, 000 for this kid and his family. It was suspended after the whole “His mom’s a racist” thing started, but still. Why does this family need that kind of cash? Are they hiring a lawyer? Does the kid have medical bills from injuries from the bullying? From what I have read, none of this is the case. Again, I think that the mom is just cashing in on a current trend.

Now, the issue with this is that more people like her may follow. Kids may start creating bullies to get free shit and celebrities to flock to them. My thought is that if your kid is being bullied, handle it with the school and with the bully’s parents, not on Facebook. If you are serious about stopping bullying; then do something about it. Be the change that you want to see. That is what will save other kids from bullying. Not a video on the internet.

Also, maybe parents should teach their little crotchfruits not be assholes.

There’s an idea.

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If You Are the Smartest Guy in the Room…

Hope your Thanksgiving was great. We went on a trip to Louisiana to see family the day after Thanks giving.  It was filled with family, and the best food on the planet.

It was also filled with an uncomfortable conversation.

While hanging out with some family members drinking some Jameson and having a good time.When it was just me and one particular family member, I was asked if I was working. Of course I said no and that I was still going for my disability. When pressed, I explained my anxiety, and bipolar disorder and how they affect me.  Then I was pressed further for more of an explanation. I was asked how I could be around people at family gatherings and such, but have anxiety. Then more family came over to talk and the conversation changed.

It puzzles me that people treat mental health issues with such doubt. If I had cancer; then no one would say “But, you had that one good day” and then doubt that I had cancer. Why people do this with mental illness is beyond me.

As the conversation went on it was directed back to the subject of work and how people should pull themselves up and not ask for help. The same family member piped in with a bunch of “If this; Then that” statements on how people should get themselves back to on their feet. Some were valid; however one of these statements was “If it’s mental health; then go get your pills”.  This just proved to me that this particular person was ignorant on the subject of mental health issues.

Pills do not cure mental health issues. They can help manage the symptoms. Pills alone do not help with mental illness. It’s pills and therapy that are the course of action to make mental illness manageable.  Just like some treatments usually don’t work well by themselves, there are tandem treatments that go along with them (Like radiation & chemotherapy).

“Go get your pills” is not a solution for mental health issues.

Especially when you take in the fact that there is a severe lack of mental health services in this country.  In my state alone, there is such a shortage of psychiatrists that there is only 1 Shrink to every 10,000 patients. Yes, this number is offset by the use of Physician’s Assistants; however that is still a large deficit between people who need help and the people that provide help. Then you have to be qualified to receive any form of county, state, or federal assistance. The other option is to have insurance, which most people cannot afford through the Health.gov site, and if they work part-time they are generally disqualified from any form of assistance. So, you would have to work full-time at a job that supplies insurance. Which if everyone could do that; then this entire conversation would be a moot point.

In short, sometimes you simply cannot “go get your pills” to begin with.

I am not even going to go into the fact that sometimes it takes Y E A R S to find a medicinal regiment that will actually work for your symptoms. Sometimes it takes awhile to find out what pills to go get.

I guess the point is this: If you have little or no understanding on a subject; then don’t speak on that subject. It’s really that simple. You are doing nothing but spreading ignorance and perpetuating a stigma.

 

 

 

Battle Royal

Yesterday was terrible.

I had plans to go to the store and run a few other errands; however those plans hit the skids. Apparently, my anxiety has made a new best friend out of my diabetes and yesterday was their first tag team match vs. my normal day activities.

If you have never read any of my posts (or have no idea who I am) then I should tell you that I have severe general anxiety disorder, along with bipolar disorder and OCD.

Yep, you are reading the blog of a crazy person.

So, my anxiety does it’s usual number and it was the typical battle of myself vs. the front door. Usually, I can calm myself and beat the door, but that day Anxiety brought it’s A Game. For almost 3 hours I stared at the front door of my house trying to gather the will to get up and go outside. To get shit done. Finally, I had summoned the will to go get groceries and run my errands and…

My sugar tanked.

So now the will was there, but my body was not able to get up and move. My sugar was low and I had to stop and eat a snack to get it back up. About 30 – 45 minutes later I had that under control and felt like I could move forward; however a new player had entered the tournament…

Depression.

4 hours of my day had been stolen and now, I sat there feeling worthless, feeling broken, and feeling angry with myself. I called no joy and crawled into bed. I talked with my wife, and chanted my mantra “Depression Lies” (Thanks Wil Wheaton) and moved forward. I cooked dinner, and my day returned to as normal as it could be at that moment.

That night I came to terms with something. I will always have to fight. This is a war, not a battle. I have to fight not only my mental health issues, but now my physical health issues as well. It’s a war on many fronts, but one that can be won. I just have to fight. It sucks, but I have to do it. I have the tools, I have the support structure, and I have the drive to persevere. Because if I don’t fight; then like in a real combat situation I will die.

It’s brutal, but it’s the truth.

So today I got up, fixed a healthy breakfast, and ran my errands. I lost yesterday, but today I struck back and I won. I will lose again, but I always have to keep fighting,  celebrate my victories and learn from my loses.

That’s how wars are won.

 

 

Repetitive.

It seems like I have covered this topic before, but I fear that I will be covering it again and again and again.

Because ‘Murica.

The mass shooting that happened in Las Vegas was horrific. 50 people lost their lives and hundreds were injured. Why? We don’t know because the coward offed himself.

Now we have talked about political vehicles that launch whenever one of these things occur. We have talked about motivation of these things. We have talked about the details of mass shootings to the point that I have forgotten what we have covered. So, my apologies if this is repetitive.

When the shooter was first identified, the media started asking what they always do (when the shooter is a white guy) and that was question his mental health. I am sure that they were shocked and amazed when the family stated that he had no issues with mental illness. Now, does that mean that he really didn’t? Of course not. There are members of my family that don’t know I struggle with mental health issues, but that’s not the issue here. The issue is that mental illness gets the blame as the cause for the incident and the idea that all mentally ill people are just sitting around waiting for their moment to snap and take out a pre-school is perpetuated further.

Say this with me now:

“The Mentally Ill are not mass murderers in waiting”.

As a mentally ill person, I have N E V E R thought about, or planned a mass shooting, bombing, or anything. I am horrified by these things and I am terrified that people with a history of mental illness are always looked at when these horrific events happen. I am not stockpiling ammo, or weapons, or anything. Matter of fact there is only one gun in our house.

Nerf Maverick

That’s right, I am a mentally ill white guy living in Texas that doesn’t own a gun and is not planning a mass shooting. I am like a fucking unicorn.

So what is the root cause to all of the mass shootings? If it isn’t mental health issues; then what is it?

In my opinion, there is not a root cause for mass shootings; there are several.  One is the current gun laws that we have in this country. In Texas, it is harder to get a fucking drivers license than to get a gun in Texas. I could literally go to [Insert Name of Sporting Goods Store Here] and shell out the cash for an AR – Whatever and be out the door in a matter of minutes.  That’s right, minutes. My wife and I have been helping my niece get her drivers licence and it has literally taken months and we still haven’t gotten it, yet.

So, we make people have licenses to show that they can safely operate a vehicle, but we do not do the same for a firearm. We make people have insurance to cover their liability in case of an accident, and we make them register their vehicles with the state; however we do not do jack shit for guns. Until we have comprehensive and logical gun laws in this country, we will continue to have mass shootings.

What else do we need to fix?

We need some common sense laws regarding the modification of firearms.  The media has been reporting about the “bump-stock” that the Las Vegas shooter was using. I know that these increase the rate of fire for a semi-automatic rifle; however I didn’t realize by how much. Then I saw this video.  It shows that the semi-auto basically becomes a fully automatic weapon with the flick of a switch. These are legal because you are not altering the actual firing system, but just the stock. We need to regulate this shit and quick. Sorry, but I am not sorry, there is not a legitimate use for this type of accessory. This isn’t used for hunting, this isn’t used for home defense, and not one gun-owner is going out to stop any tyrants. This type of thing isn’t needed, period.

We have to change the way we view gun laws. No one…REPEAT…NO ONE is coming for your guns. We just want to make sure that responsible people own guns, just the way we do with automobiles, and make sure these weapons do not actually become assault weapons. Yes, you will have to go to an actual gun dealer and not a convention center to buy a gun. Yes, you will have to wait, and go through some hoops; however this will lead to less dead kids, less dead concert goers, and just less death all around.

But… but… criminals will still buy guns illegally.

Yes, they will; however most criminals have stolen their weapons, or have purchased them illegally anyway. This will still happen. My thoughts on this are that if we stiffen the penalty for gun theft, and illegal sales; then we will see less of this, too. If guns are harder to get for the bad-guys; then we should see a reduction in crime. Other countries have done this, why can’t we. Of course, until the GOP stops sucking the NRA’s dick for their campaign money shots, none of this will probably happen.

Look, I don’t have the solution (even though the gun & cheese plan I had was pretty solid), but I have ideas. Ideas lead to solutions. Hopefully, one day, I won’t have to post about this shit anymore.

Sadly, that day isn’t today.

Victory-Ish (With a bit of Catch-Up)

Yeah, yeah… I know I haven’t posted in a few months. I have been busy.

However, I thought that I would come back to you all with some good news.

My SSI hearing was on Wednesday Sept. 27th. I had planned to let go of all of the constant mental and cognitive acrobatics that  I perform to keep the resemblance of stability that probably everyone sees right through; however that wasn’t necessary. I was a W R E C K when I got to the Federal Building. My anxiety peaked, thoughts were racing through my head and I could only look at the ground the whole time.

We arrived REALLY early and sat in the lobby. Waiting for our lawyer to arrive. Once he arrived he had some fairly good news. The judge had already made the judgment of a “Closed period”. Because one of the doctors or therapists had made the note that I was improving, he said that I could take the closed period, but not the residual monthly check. Basically,  I would receive payment from the date that I filed in 2015 to the date that I got out of my last IOP (BTW, I went into another IOP during the time that I was away from here) which was around September 15th, 2017.  So, Y x 25.5 months = Closed Period Check (Y is the unnamed amount that I would have been paid monthly during the closed period). I was told that I could re-file at anytime and that I would have a stronger case this next go around and that it probably would not take as long. So, I will be refiling later this month.

I feel that this is a win. Simply because, now I am not worried about back pay. I already have that out of the way and I just have to focus on getting a monthly check. I was working a job at the time and that also hurt me a bit. I was working for a company called Teletech troubleshooting a very popular brand of computer peripherals venture into cloud-based security cameras. I quit just a few days ago because the management there was horrific. I mean, these people couldn’t have run a fast-food joint much less a help desk. I was asked to work off the clock, threatened with termination if their software didn’t perform correctly, told that they would make any extra time disappear if I went over my 20 hours of availability and just treated horribly. It was just ran terribly. So, now I won’t have that weighing me down during my next filing and I already have a SSI Judge stating that I was previously disabled. So, I am fairly optimistic about this next go around.

I also plan on keeping up with this more. Maybe not posting every day, but at least once a week.

See you soon!

 

People Are Fucking Stupid.

If you read one of my previous posts, you know that I rejoined Facebook. I have kept it simple and only a few people are on my friends list (I think I broke into the 30’s); however I have joined a few groups for my home town. One of which is a grievance page.

Now a little history before we begin.

My home town was formed in 1846. In 1920 it had a whopping 150 residence. Now it is a “massive” 8.8 sq miles and has approximately 9,600 residents.  As of the last census, the racial makeup of the city was 95.90% White, 0.22% African American, 0.66% Native American, 0.51% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.41% from other races, and 1.29% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.20% of the population.

So, basically a rural town with a bunch of white people and a Wal-Mart

Now to the point.

While I was browsing the Facebook page for ” Grievances, bitches, moans, and complaints” I came across this post:

Redkneck_Jackass

Now, when I see shit like this, I usually just shake my head and go on with my day, but this hit me a bit differently.  While reading the comments I noticed that no one spoke up against this. Not a single person. Most of them gave “likes” and kudos in the comments. Some even gave tips where they could drive to “piss more people off”. People also encouraged one member to fly her flag outside instead of living in fear of retaliation.  I couldn’t believe the obliviousness of these people. The pure disconcern for other people and the sense of fucking entitlement. It was this that made me angry, not the flags.

If a person wants to fly these flags because they have the political ideology of a state’s rights being over the rights of a centralized government’s rights and this is how they express this, then great! Good for them! Its when the only reason that this is done is to “piss of[f] liberals” and cause further animosity between races that I find the point of this ridiculous. This guy went out and probably spent $30 – $60 for the flags, and $80 – $100 for the mounts and poles, just to piss people off and make his truck nothing more than a dick-wagon. The fact that someone would spend this much money and energy just to be an asshole astounds me.

Then again, this is Texas.

So, good for you cunt-servative flag guy! Way to use your time and money wisely. You show your support for a form of government that completely failed in its meager 4 years of existence. You support not only slavery, but overwhelming inflation, bread riots and complete economic ruin. Because that’s where the Confederacy was heading (actually it was already there during the last 2 years of the civil war) and (as most historians have found) even if it would have won the war, the Confederacy would have economically collapsed in just a few years and would have probably been taken over by  The US, Mexico or a European country. But hey, it’s your right to express your love for a fallen way of government and the degradation of an entire race of humans; however it is my right to not like it at all.

Like I have said before, you have the right to say whatever you want, but that doesn’t mean that people are going to like it.

Personally, I hope your truck confederate dick-wagon catches on fire.

Condiment Jokes and a Full House.

So, how about a little ketchup?

See what I did there?

Anyway…

So, in late December, we had a friend of ours move in. He is trying to reboot his life and we couldn’t stand the idea of him spending WAY too much money to rent a recliner and live under the Orwellian rules of his mother, so he lives here now.  So far, it’s been kind of fun having him live here. I say “kind of” because of this:

Me: Moderate Progressive Atheist.

Him: Somewhat Progressive Conservative Christian.

(I know! I smell sitcom in the making as well.)

We have had a few heated discussions and we have now come to the point where it isn’t a good idea to talk politics or religion, for the sake of the household. Normally, I would welcome such debate; however, usually when I have a discussion like this the other person goes home when it is all said and done, but in this case we live together. So, I have come to the realization that he is going to think his way and I am going to think my way and we just work to find common ground. We’ve been friends for decades, so it isn’t that hard. I like having him around, not for debate purposes, but for general conversation and company.

Also, we got a new dog!

She is a Russell Terrier/ Standard Poodle mix and is adorable. Her name was Popcorn; however she is now Bella (for Bellatrix LeStrange); however she is so not living up to her namesake. We named her that because of the Nerd Tradition of our dog’s naming scheme. We have a Marvel Character, A Doctor Who/Firefly Character, and now a Harry Potter Character (Our oldest came pre-named, but she shares a name with a Disney character). This dog is perpetually happy. She wags her tail like a paint mixer and with such force her entire body wags. She is so full of energy and so goofy, it was one of the best decisions that I have made so far this year.

We are also having a kid. ..

 

 

 

 

 

…come live with us this summer. Our housemate’s kid is coming to stay for the summer. She and her brother stayed for Spring Break and she loved staying with us. So, she is bunking in with us come early/mid June. She’s a great kid, too! She keeps a better house than 3 adults and that’s without prompting or a promise of a reward! I was astounded to see a 15 year old kid take out garbage and clean up a kitchen simply because it “needed to be done”.  Of course, I told her parents this and they were astounded that she cleans our house, but not theirs.  I still say she’s a good egg.

All in all, things are on an upswing from last year (*knock on wood) and hopefully will continue to get better here at the home-front.  I am planning on keeping up with this blog/journal more and hopefully there won’t be any more gaps between posts. The only thing that would keep me from doing so is if I land a job. So, if there is a gap, hopefully it’s because I am working and that is taking up my time.

Because ,unfortunately,  I don’t get paid to write a blog about my life’s adventures.

Or lack thereof.

 

Positive Change While Watching the Snow Fall.

If you read my ramblings, then you know I live in a secret lair in North Texas. As I type this out, I am watching the snow dust the ground in fluffy white splendor. We don’t see snow that often and when we do: All hell breaks loose. People make a mad dash to the store for bread, milk and eggs. People still drive like it’s a dry road despite the cold wet white stuff all over the place. The entire state literally panics and shuts down (Except for EMS and TxDOT).

But, I am digressing.

I am here in my central-heated home typing this out because I have good news! I have a 2nd interview with an awesome company doing  help-desk work in their IT department, but remotely (AKA: From Home). I did have 2 final interviews set up; however one was cancelled due to some corporate policy that they cannot hire past employees. I honestly think that it’s bullshit since they ask you on the application if you have previously worked for them and it’s the most current previous  job on my resume, yet I still got a phone interview and a live interview. It was mentioned in my live interview that this was a thing (the phone one was too see if I was still batshit crazy, which I am); however I was told ,since I went part-time at the end, that the issue of re-hiring wasn’t a problem, because the policy was mainly  regarding salary. Oh well, honestly they were my fall back anyway.

No loss, really.

So, 2017 is looking OK so far and hopefully I will be in a job that allows me to work from home, doing the nerdy shit that I like.

**knocks on wood**

A Swift Kick in the Balls.

I cannot recall hating a year so fucking much as 2016. 2016 has been nothing more than a year of loss. I have come to an understanding that my being almost 40 means that my heros are going to be dead soon; however I didn’t expect so many at one time. Today, however, is the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Today we lost our princess: Carrie Fisher.

I am in tears, literal tears, as I type this out. We have lost 50 celebrities from music icons to statesmen this year. That’s almost one per week this year and 2016 still has a few days left. I cannot believe that one of my biggest heros is gone.

It sucks.

Not only was she Princess Leia, and later General Leia, she was a huge advocate for mental health issues. When I was first diagnosed as bipolar, I watched a documentary called “The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive” by Stephen Fry. I was shocked to see her in it. I felt a calm come over me when I found out that “Princess Leia” was bipolar as well. Carrie Fisher became more of my hero that day because I knew that if she could live with being bipolar, then I could too.

I will miss her terribly, despite I am just a fan that she never met. She meant the world to me.

So long, Princess.

 

 

Regarding: 2017

With Xmas behind us and NYE in sight, I keep reading articles and such regarding what 2017 will bring. With all of the celebrity deaths that have happened this year and major events that shocked the world, like the Brexit and Trump winning the election, people seem to have a “it can’t get any worse” attitude. I don’t see it that way. I see it getting “worse” because we will see the fruition of all of these bad decisions coming to light; however it is through pressure that change is made.

Sure, pressure sucks ass, but it leads to change.

I see the next year as a year of learning. I see liberals learning to be a bit more conservative and conservatives learning to be more liberal. I see the political landscape of the US changing, because Trump is going to be a learning opportunity for a lot of people (myself included). I see change in this next year and a lot of it; however not all change is good. I feel that some things will change for the worse and some will change for the better. I know that’s a broad statement; however I am not psychic.

I am not Nostradamus for fuck’s sake.

I think that people are going to lose things, mainly ideologies that they thought were sacred and have to re-think a lot of things. I see this next year as both a “dark-age” and a “renaissance”  all wrapped up in one. Meaning I think that some changes are going to be stifled and some changes are going to flourish. I think people are going to wake-up this coming year and start to think about things differently.

I see the new political climate changing things as well. I see it destroying progress while creating new progress in other areas. I see people fighting to make progress in areas that the new administrations isn’t and I see somethings progressing forward despite being denied or spoken against. I see a change in American democracy and politics in general.

I see conflict and I see change.

However, these are not necessarily bad things. I actually have a sense of hope for 2017. I think things will be hard on us, but we will see better days ahead. Believe it or not this is optimism you are reading, not my normal pessimistic musings. I think we are in for massive changes this coming year, and it may be a few changes for the better.

Or the world is going to end; however I doubt it.