Wednesday, July 13, 2016

"The Road To Hell Is Paved.......

......and it seems our hand baskets have been shipped." A friend of mine posted this as her Facebook status the other day. I hadn't been paying attention to much of the news outside my own little world and the craziness happening right here at home. So when I saw this, I was flippant. Trying to be funny, I replied that I had received my hand basket and was disappointed. I thought it would be bigger.

I put CNN on in the background and realized, very quickly, what she was talking about. Funny was the last thing I should have been.

This week, in a space of maybe 48 hours, ten American citizens are dead. Ten. Ten individuals lost their lives. Ten families are forever changed. Some were white, some were black, some were cops, some were civilians. Some had extensive criminal records, some were fine, upstanding citizens just trying to do their jobs and go about their day. Trying to keep the peace in a world that becomes less and less peaceful every day.

And why?

I could rattle off a long and detailed explanation about race relations and racial profiling and a bunch of other words that have little impact and even less real meaning. It really comes down to only one word.

Hate.

Hate is a learned behavior. Hate is taught. Those with hate in their hearts learned it somewhere. It doesn't have to be formal instruction. I mean, I'm not talking about skin-heads or the Klan or White Supremacists or anything that organized with that obvious an agenda. That's easy to see and easy to say to our children, "That is just wrong."

But our children watch us, and listen to us, and imitate our actions and words and how we react and treat (or mistreat) people who are "different" from ourselves. It's much more subtle than a burning cross or pointy hats or a swastika.

It's the extra attention paid to a shopper in a store because they're Native American. It's clutching your purse a little tighter when you're passing a black person on the sidewalk. It's the uneasiness on a plane with a middle eastern looking passenger sitting across the aisle. It's the dirty looks given to someone paying for a cart full of groceries with an EBT card. It's locking the car doors and rolling up the windows when there's a homeless person with a sign asking for money.

It's slippery and insidious and sneaky and slithers it's way into our words and thoughts and actions without us really noticing much. And I am guilty of having all those thoughts at one time or another. And it takes courage and conscious effort to notice it, to recognize that it is wrong, and to change it.



The world today is far too divisive. Each side is shouting their opinion at the top of their lungs so neither side can hear the other. Black Lives Matter. Blue Lives Matter. All Lives Matter. No Syrian Refugees. Veterans Before Refugees. Build The Wall. God Hates Gays. Take The Guns Away. Buy More Guns. It's unsettling. it's confusing, it polarizes everyone, and it's just plain scary. Every time I hear about the latest horrible thing that's happened, it hurts my heart. And every time, we're left with the same question......

Why? 


Sadly, that is the one question for which we will probably never get a satisfactory answer. How can we? What possible reason could a person have to pick up a gun and kill 50 people? 20 children? 5 police officers? In my mind, it doesn't matter what reason is given. There is no reason that would satisfy me. Or anyone else, I think.

There IS a division in this country. Slavery may have officially ended more than a hundred years ago, but the line between "us" and "them" is still clearly defined. And if you can't see that, or understand it, then you're on the wrong side of it.

Friday, July 1, 2016

I'm Having a Little Trouble........

.............deciding which way to go next.

I find it a little ironic that the last time the Former Supposed Spouse went away, he did so without a huge amount of fuss. His probation officer showed up at our house, determined him drunk, and whisked him away. Along with every drop of alcohol in the house.

And I went completely off the rails. I was lost and angry and hurting. And constantly inventing ways in which I could get even with him for leaving me yet again. And instead of rehashing everything and every one, let me just say that I accomplished what I set out to do in grand fucking fashion. Two summers ago? That was my summer of living dangerously. Reckless and risky behavior. Far too much alcohol. People who a non-crazy person would have had the good sense to steer clear of. I, on the other hand, fell in love with Him.

There was collateral damage, too. I was too self-involved to allow myself to think of the consequences. People got hurt. I broke a couple of my Cardinal Rules. I threw myself at the ones who were absolutely no good for me and ran from those who might have been among the best things.

Anyway.....I promised irony so here it is. This time around, the Former Supposed Spouse caused an enormous amount of fuss and went to jail in rather grand fashion. Five cop cars and an ambulance descended on my home and spirited him away. The broken bathroom door remains as an awful reminder of that night.

And my reaction?? Meh. 

Somewhere inside I knew it was only a matter of time. And I'm surprisingly calm about it. Battered and broken and wounded. But this time, my Inner Vindictive Bitch is quiet. She's tired. Perhaps my recently acquired backbone has beaten her into submission. I don't know. What I do know is that without her yammering on in the back of my mind, I can think more clearly. I can take the time to build myself back up into something better, and not bitter. Something happy, not horrific.

So, I'm doing my best to continue moving forward, and not back. To leave the ghosts in the attic where they belong.

I think about them. And they send the odd text message now and again. For the most part I ignore them. They don't always make it easy though. I guess I'll just take it as a compliment that they still think of me and want what they can't have. Sucks to be them. You should have known what you had when you could've had it.

There are a couple who are, and will always be, forever friends. And who have become a soft place to fall. And fall apart. Mr. Minnesota....thank you for being there. Again. You listen. You don't judge. You laugh at me and call me on my shit. And I love you for it.

One last shot......to the one I was so over the moon for.....it's NOT okay to text me dirty pictures when your girlfriend is passed out. I did my time as your side chick. Not interested in going back to that. I'm thinking a little more highly of myself these days. And I deserve so. much. better. than to be anybody's dirty little secret.