A Year in Review (Better Late Than Never).

I have been debating about this entry for a while. I haven’t really wanted to write over here, actually. I’ve been told that all I do is “complain.” Even though I have a little caveat on the side bar that clearly indicates that is the point in this entire blog, I’ve been keeping myself away even though I’ve been at near-explosive levels of irritation and rage in the last month alone. I’ve also been accused of using this blog to belittle and angst at people. Again, I have to point out that it clearly states on the side bar that if you don’t like what I have to say here then don’t fucking read it. With that, let’s talk about this passed year.

There is no other way to put it: 2012 sucked for me.

For almost the entire year, minus the month of November, I have been unemployed. Most people would assume that being unemployed would be “fun.” I’ve heard people discuss the whole unemployment thing like it was a game. “A bit of time off to get your head in order and then you find a job.” The reality is that unemployment is extremely boring and beyond terrifying. For months on end, you are endlessly hunting for something to replace the last position you had, at a similar pay rate and with similar hours, only to find that there are twenty people in line with you for the same position for the same reasons. And invariably, you don’t get the job and you’re left angry, depressed, and beyond upset at the callousness of your situation.

It may take a while but the “joy” of having some time away from work is quickly replaced with nothing but negative emotions that you have to try to constructively get rid of, otherwise you’re bound for depression town with no way out. Medication is all well and good, but to remove yourself wholly from the depression, you have to get out of the situation causing said depression. How do you do that when 7% to 9% of the entire country is in similar boats? There is, unfortunately, no quick fix for these situations, either. The government keeps going on about how they’re “fixing it,” but the reality is that most of the unemployment numbers are as low as they are because people have lost their benefits and are no longer eligible for any sort of assistance outside of state welfare programs.

I bet if anyone stopped to look at the numbers of welfare programs, state by state, we’d see the reality of the unemployment numbers. I wrote about this in October or so, in which I wrote about my frustration and angst. I was lucky, unlike a lot of people in that situation. A job opened up with the temp agency I had been “working for” since August and I was able to actually take it. For a glorious month, I knew where the money to pay my bills was coming from. But then, the unemployed thing happened all over again, only that time, I wasn’t eligible for state unemployment benefits.

What has made our situation all the more devastating is this fiscal cliff shit that has been going around and around. I watched as the unemployment aid that TH was receiving completely dried up. That’s right; for the last half of December and thus far into January, TH has not had any unemployment benefits either. In all honesty, I think unemployment for construction workers, painters, and other trades should be calibrated differently than other workers but they aren’t. So, we have been literally living entirely off of what is left in my savings account. It got us through Christmas; it got us through no state aid in health insurance, food stamps, or cash assistance. Every now and again, I think ruefully of being denied Head Start funding for my son and wonder, if things had been this dire in August, would we have gotten more help?

Throughout the entirety of 2012, I have felt very much as though a large round mill stone has been around my neck in one form or another. Aside from constantly going to interviews – success; someone wants to talk to me about my qualifications – I have had more rejection E-mails than I can count. All of that has really added up to fray up my confidence. I’m not exactly the most self-confident person in the world, so in either receiving the “thanks, but no thanks” E-mails or no responses at all… it’s added up. I’ve constantly felt as though I am completely inadequate, unable to take care of my family, and just a complete failure in every sense of the word.

What really irritates me about this whole situation is that I have only, ever, applied to jobs that I felt I was qualified for. Occasionally, on a whim, I would fill out for jobs I had no business looking into. Mostly, I’ve been looking in the customer service sector since I know that job backwards and forwards. And for the most part, I’ve been informed that since I don’t have a college education, I can’t possibly get the job. Since customer service really has no business being a college course, I’ve been at a complete low ebb, flowing from anger and irritation to depression and inadequacy.

In early December, I loss a childhood friend who was very dear to me. I’ve written of this friend before. She was “BFTX.” Since she started her path into Christianity, I’ve been waiting for the inevitable fall out that would happen between us. I am distinctly pagan, specifically polytheistic, in my practices. I’ve known that there would come a time when I would lash out or she would. I tried very diligently in giving her advice regarding her “darker moments” and I had tried very hard to maintain a friendship that was slowly falling away into a crumbling heap mess. I won’t get into the specifics, if I ever will. But, the loss of my childhood friend because of a difference in religion really hit me square, center over my heart.

I always thought that our friendship would slog through every possible hook that could be thrown our way. We past through hell, ten times over, together and we managed to come out, not whole, but at least relatively safe on the other side. We stopped talking to one another quite a few times since we started our friendship at eleven, but no matter what, we’ve always managed to pass through the sinkholes and come out all right. In this one, however, I don’t really think that could possibly happen. She’s since blocked me on Facebook after claiming to have apologized for being a bit of a jerk regarding our differences in opinions. Since the words, “I’m sorry I was a dick,” have not reached me, I don’t consider anything she has had to say on the matter properly closed.

I have yet to heal from this loss, in all honesty. It still tweaks at me in ways that I cannot convey. When it comes to soul mates, you just think, Forever and ever, but that’s not always the truth of it. There must be reasons why we are constantly searching for the soul mates. And even sometimes, it doesn’t really matter what the situations are… maybe you find them and maybe you don’t. That doesn’t mean that you’ll be with them forever. Fairy tales have passed out of this world for a reason and reality is a lot of things from happiness to pain. In this particular instance, pain is what I’m learning and what I will, hopefully, one day be able to recover from.

In the mean time.

This past year has been literally awful in so many different ways. I’ve felt, very often, misunderstood, unwelcome, disliked, and unqualified for various reasons. I have felt like a complete failure in religion, friendships, family life, and on a personal level. I have felt as though everything was going to fall down around my shoulders and without my being able to fix it. I think after time goes by and I move further away from this past year, I’ll hopefully be able to look at it more subjectively than I have in this entry. Right now, I simply can’t. There has been too much heartache and too much pain for me to look for all the good things that have happened. Good things have happened in various ways, but the overwhelming feeling of 2012 has been a complete nadir.

As everyone else in my situation has said, or people giving advice to me have said, it can only go up from here.

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Tragedy Strikes And… We Make It About Us Instead of Them.

I will admit that after yesterday’s horrific events, I came home and hugged the hell out of my son. I refused to let go as tears slid down my cheeks, feeling the absolute horror for those parents who will not have a beautiful child in their life because someone ended it prematurely. I hugged him so tightly that he said, “Mommy, you’re hugging me too tight.” And then he saw the face I was making, the silent tears strolling down my cheeks as empathy for those parents welled so deeply in me that it had to come out, and he kept hugging me back.

As a parent of a child who is nearly at the age bracket of some of the victims from yesterday’s massacre makes things like this all the more real, more pervasive, and painful for me. Next year, I have no choice; I cannot keep him home any longer. He will be enrolled in a public school, possibly one just like Sandy Hook, and for hours in the day, his care will be given entirely over to the school system. I will not be there to protect him from bullies or scrapes. I will not be there to protect him from himself or from others. I have to hope and pray that the school system I enroll him in is as on-spot as Sandy Hook’s system seemed to be: teachers hiding their students in closets, another turning the lights off and locking the door while she read a story to her scared students, and yet another who refused entrance to the police until she saw a police badge produced beneath the locked door of her classroom. I have to hope that, in just such a situation, my son will come home to me.

I cannot begin to convey how deeply terrifying this entire situation is for a parent. And I cannot fathom the levels of pain and anger for those parents whose children did not survive.

What gets to me about this entire situation is the hounds running around, making it political. They want gun control; they want laws to prevent just such things. And then there are the people who keep going on about how tragedies like this wouldn’t happen if we allowed the Christian deity into the classroom. And I’ve seen people politicize Obama’s speech about the massacre to make it about the drone strikes in other countries. And I’ve seen people turn this into debates about how abortion is just some bad, bad stuff. And honestly? For almost the entirety of the bullshit now circulating the Internet because of this tragedy, I really have to fucking wonder what in the hell is the matter with people. This has nothing to do with anything except the gun control debate.

We should all be coming together and aiding those people who are suffering because of this tragedy, but everyone has an opinion. And like assholes, a lot of those damn opinions stink ten times over. The ability to turn tragedies into propaganda sickens me and it should sick anyone who reads this. High horses are all well and good, but if this were to happen to you, do you really think you’d give two shits about Obama giving a speech about it, much less how it relates to what’s going on in the Middle East? Nope. If this happened to you, do you really think you’d care how the murder of innocent children correlates with the abortion debate? Nope, I don’t think so.

So, how about instead of being fucktards and dickwheels, we offer some love and support to the people who need it and leave our agendas at home.

I do plan on making a post about the political agendas engendered by this tragedy, but right now, I’m planning on offering prayers and energy to the people who require it at this trying time. Maybe instead of worrying about abortions and Christianity, you guys should do the very same.

ALL THE THINGS!

I’ve had a lot of interesting things going on in my life recently. I pretty much thought I should write them down before I forget or you know, before I start the story in the middle the next time I do an actual blog entry.


  1. Tomorrow, I go to sign my son up for the local poor people preschool. I’m not overwhelmingly thrilled that I have to do this, but we are poor and you know, it’s for poor people. All of my worries and fears about what type of education my son is going to get at an inner city school are seriously solidifying. I’ve put thought into signing him up for other cites’ waiting lists so that he can go to schools not in this fucked up city. I have a feeling TH would blow a gasket if R was accepted into one of those schools, thus meaning that we had to drive him to said school and pick him up from said school. So, I’ve decided to try other outlets to get this shit going.

  2. I am actively seeking out places to move. I’ve been going back and forth on this since we first moved into this place. I’ve always let the fears and stuff hold me back. Now, though, I can’t dick around because I don’t think we’ll be able to afford it or anything. This isn’t about me and this isn’t about TH. This is about getting into a city that isn’t this one that has a decent school system. I’m actually going to be looking at an apartment this afternoon with our son in tow. It’s also only slightly more than what I’m paying for this place. So, we’ll see. (When talking about the apartment hunt with TH last night, he said to me, “Why are you signing him up for a local preschool that will be a half hour or more away if you’re looking into moving to a new city?” And I was like, “Uh, because he has to go to school and I can’t assume we’ll be moving in the next month or two?” Silly boys.)

  3. I did some major issue work in regards to MEH last night. It came upon me suddenly and violently and I was shocked out of my gourd when it happened. I don’t want to go into depth about it here since it is part and parcel with religious goings-on. But, I have no problem posting a link for anyone who doesn’t follow both blogs. Which is probably like two or three of you. Anyway, it was pretty amazing and I think it’s helped to bring me peace in a way that the other stuff I was trying out couldn’t do it. All in all, AMAZING.

  4. My birthday was last Friday and it was fucking awesome. I did nothing all day. I pretty much sat my fat as down on the couch and read my book or watched television. And not children’s programming, either. It was fantastic. I think it’s one of the best damn birthdays I’ve ever had.

  5. I tried out Zumba for the first time last night. I’ve been eyeballing it since the craze hit a while back, but I’ve never gotten into it. I didn’t want to go on my own and I didn’t know anyone who would go with me. Well, TH’s aunt started going to Zumba at a very close-to-me place. She ended up dragging TH’s mom with her one day. And then, TH’s mom told me that I was going. So, last night, I tried it out. It’s very different from the dancing that I’m used to. I kept doing things via the jazz and ballet classes I had taken as a child versus what the instructor was doing. I also felt like a complete idiot because I couldn’t follow her feet and her hand gestures, so I had to get her feet movements down pat before I could do the hand stuff. I felt spastic and retarded, but it was excellently fun. I also sweat so fucking much, I could have just lost weight that way. My knees and hips were hurting me – after years of dancing and damage to those joints, they fucking hurt regularly – but I think I’m going to go back next week. TH says that if I do one class a week for a month couple with low intensity exercises, the pain in my hips and knees should abate sooner as opposed to later. We’ll see.

  6. I have a kind of a story in the back of my head that needs more fleshing out before I start working on it. But, the beginning is pretty interesting.

The Versatile Blogger Award.

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So, a while back I was given an award for how versatile I am. Now, in reality, it’s not so much that I’m versatile, per se. It’s just that I have a penchant for saying whatever the hell comes into my head. And since I’m working on at least lessening my Foot-in-Mouth disease, this has meant that I tend to suffer from WRITE WHAT’S IN MY MIND blogging. Of course, technically, it’s not really suffering and really, I had this before I started working on my Foot-in-Mouth Disease, but you know. Whatever. Either way, it’s been recognized that I write about anything and everything that comes into my head, whenever the hell I feel like it. So, thanks, ElfKat for saying such nice things about my blog and I!

Now, I must tell you seven random factoids about myself.

1. I clean my feet twice a day, even if they don’t look dirty.
2. I daydream about as much now as I did in high school.
3. I enjoy watching cartoons with TS because then, it doesn’t seem like I’m watching them on my own, even though I really would.
4. I start obsessing about getting some if I don’t drink diet Coke on a regular basis/have it in my house.
5. I keep thinking that, one day, they’ll come out with a non-surgical magical cure for being overweight.
6. I will not eat any other apple bit MacIntosh, ever.
7. Even though I know the books are always better, I go to a lot of movies based on books that I’ve read with this childish hope that they didn’t fuck it up. Invariably, they do and I get disappointed, but I still see them, every time, with that hope in my gut.

The next step is to pick seven bloggers who are versatile. And I’m not going to. This is because I don’t have a Blog Roll that I follow, via this blog. In fact, I only ever comment and follow the pagan-related blogs from my pagan-related blog. That, and the fact that most of the people who like such entries as my ancient Egyptian debate theories ones or about writing or my bitching about my life… well, those people are versatile enough to know that they’re versatile and should just give themselves an award anyway. Plus, I’m lazy.

A Question for You-All.

I was just wondering if I did a password-protected entry if anyone would want to read a sample chapter of what I’ve been working on? I feel comfortable where this book is going (surprisingly enough), which is worrying me a little. If I’m this comfortable about and no one else has read it, then maybe it really is just a load of crap whereas people had read my previous incarnations and though I thought it blew, they raved about it.

So, with that convoluted bit out there… Would anyone care to read a sample chapter?

Religious Politics: Abortion.

Let me just say that I have debated for a long time about writing this post. On the one hand, I try not to get too politically motivated in posts because I don’t think I’m eloquent enough to not come off as a self-righteous ass. The other is because I respect other people who have opinions, whether they be like mine or otherwise. However, I’ve noticed a very curious phenomena that has finally thrown me over the edge of debating into the ring of rhetoric.

Nowadays, we use religion to help us define what our politics are. I can understand why this is so; there are few subjects that can elicit such a violent, visceral, and gut reaction. It seems almost natural for the two to go hand-in-hand. Do I think this is the right way to run a country? No, I do not, but I do understand the basis behind it. That being said, let me say something about this in regards to my religion and my politics: they do not go hand-in-hand. On occasion, I will utilize the moral code that I have developed via the basis of my faith to come to a politically motivated decision. However, I do not let either make a decision for the other. I know that I’m not in the norm here, either. All too often the two go together, which leaves arguments, debates, and name-calling to skyrocket while clear heads fall into the low percentages. All that being said, let’s pick the topic and move on.

Abortion.

I support abortion with one hundred percent of my being. This isn’t just because I’ve had one, either. Surprisingly enough, prior to getting into the situation where that decision had to be made, I did not support abortion. A life was a life, and who were we to decide if it lived or died? As an atheist (at the time), this was just an ideal that I thought was appropriate. But then I got into a situation where being pregnant at eighteen wasn’t a good idea. Thinking now, I would have an eleven-year-old child with shared custody with a man who hates my guts. But in all honesty, I was following the flow of popular thought, reiterating what other people had said. Then I had an abortion and things changed, I began to consciously decide on my policy and stance on abortion.

I started doing research on the debate. Yes, it’s amusing that it was only after I had one that I began to define my opinion on the topic. But it’s the whole thing that you don’t clearly think about those things until you get into the situation. While people can sit there and claim, quite clearly, that they would never do this, this, or that even if put into that situation, they cannot honestly claim that to be the case. It isn’t until you’re faced with the decision that you can begin to take any stance on the subject matter in question. And yeah, I made the decision on the fly, on a gut that was saying being attached to that guy in that way until we died or something horrendous happened to Possible Child… well, it wasn’t in our best interest. And while I didn’t go to college and get a degree, and I didn’t travel across Europe, and I didn’t take part in anything that was more meaningful than living day after day, I made the right choice for me. And I do not regret it.

The research numbers are staggering though. I’m not talking about how many would-be children have been killed or anything, but the reason behind the legalization. The reason behind what made me realize that I had to pick a side on abortion—and not just because I had been there and done that. I had to make a choice and I chose to look to the history of the subject matter in question. This particular history is something that most political entities are not aware of, don’t care about, think that with modern medicine that could never happen here, and/or think of it as a sort of pro-choice* joke-a-thon. But, these are all things that we have to look to when we make a decision in this particular debate, when we sit down and say, “I am pro-choice/pro-life in regards to abortion.”

* Maybe one day, I’ll get into the totally ridiculous pro-life versus pro-choice debate. And what I mean in regards to that is that to be pro-life, you have to pretty much love life across the board: spiders, trees, birds, bugs, etc. In reality, the debate should be labeled as pro-choice versus anti-choice. But, that’s something that I probably won’t ever actually discuss, but merely make mention of in little snippets here and there.

Abortion seems to have been a part of our culture, going back a long ways. Induced abortions have been made mention in China, circa 2700BCE, the ancient Egyptian Ebers Papyrus talks about it, circa 1550BCE, and it’s also shown to have existed during the Roman Empire. These are all things that we should take into account when we talk about the pro-choice debate. Inducing abortions aren’t just something that we talk about today and whether or not a woman has the right to choose what happens to the fetus growing on inside of her. These aren’t just questions that have come up in this day in age, but they were also prevalent during major periods of history. These are people just like us, but having lived thousands of years ago. Sure, they didn’t have computers or access to information as quickly as we did, but they still wondered about whether or not they should have the choice to carry a fetus to full term or not. This, in and of itself, should be more prevalent in the debates today, though it’s sad to say that chances are not too many anti-choice people are aware of how long the debate has been raging on. But, really, what debate can we say happened way back then? None of us can say that we were alive then and clearly delineate when the debate started. All we can do is look back and back, and wonder and think, and realize how far we’ve come since things like warmed rocks, fasting, bloodletting, use of mercury, and toxic plants were used to abort unwanted fetuses.

The real fear, the real thing though that got me was, what were referred to as, “back-alley abortions.” Chances are, in some form or another, people have heard of this phrase. It’s not as common as it was unless you happen to know a little history (like me) or you are a Baby Boomer. For most people who live in this day and age, these are things of the past, these are things that we don’t have to remember or take seriously. Honestly? With the abortion climate going on lately, I think it is something that we should look to. And besides, this is what I used to base my decision off of.

Now, by “back alley abortion,” I’m not talking about women who were taken into a dark-lit alley and had an unsanctioned surgery performed. Honestly, the term stems from the times when doctors would provide the services, though illegal, and asked their patients to come in via the back door. However, just because there were doctors willing to break the laws back then doesn’t mean that all women had this option and this is what I’m talking about: the women who fell down the stairs, the women who asked their best friends to punch them in the stomachs, the women who used a coat hanger to try to abort, the women who used a knitting needle to remove the fetus, the women who died using highly toxic plants (like pennyroyal) to force an abortion, the use of any and all drugs necessary to force an abortion. When I think about back-alley abortions, specifically, I think about the women who would beg their friends to beat them up or throw them down stairs or push them off of a swing so that they could land on their stomachs. But, really, back-alley abortions were any and all kinds of unsafe abortions performed, usually without medical supervision, that could result in not just the abortion, itself, but death as well. “A study concluded in 1968[12] determined that over 1.2 million illegal abortions were performed every year in the United States, a portion of which were performed by women acting alone.” (Source: Wiki.)

The thing is with all of that information being thrown at me, I was horrified. To imagine my grandmother asking her best friend to shove her down the stairs? To imagine my mother paying hundreds of dollars to some quack with a bloody knife and possibly dying because of the “procedure” he performed on her? (Yes, visions of Dirty Dancing there.) With all of that information coming at me, the horror that crowded my heart that women, even aware of the back alley tactics and the statistics of possible death, would willingly choose an unsafe abortion… with all of that, how could I possibly tell anyone to “deal” with it? How could I possibly consign them to something like that when the legal process is one of the safest medical procedures out there? (Source: Wiki.) I can’t do that.

So, it wasn’t because of what I had gone through that made me realize where I stood in t