Interpersonal Work Relationships.

I will, quite often, remark that the reason I must have lost my job from Greed, Inc was probably due to my being a bad manager. Whether or not this is true, I’ve decided that this is the best way to look at the situation. This allots for whatever mistakes I may or may not have made (that were never pointed out to me, after the fact or prior to the fact) that could be lumped into the “why” category. But this also gives me the ability to at least assume that I really did have some responsibility for what ended up happening. I’ve since learned that this is probably not the case and chances are, I’m a decent manager. Until such a time where I can test that ability out again, I have to assume that I screwed the pooch in some arena or another and I just haven’t quite figured out where that particular “arena” is.

The reason I mention this is because it’s possible that I don’t know what quite makes a “good boss” because I, myself, was not what would be considered a “good boss.” Let’s keep that in mind as we continue…

I have a fairly decent relationship with my direct supervisor. She’s not actually a supervisor in the traditional capacity. She’s the lead on two of the largest portfolios that our consulting firm handles. She’s fairly busy a lot of the time because one portfolio has nearly 600 properties associated with it and the other, while only at 46 properties, needs a lot of hand holding. I support her on both of these portfolios, extensively, as well as have lead over my own sets of portfolios. (None of which require as much time and effort as the two she is lead over.) We talk regularly. We joke regularly. We complain about the same items on both portfolios regularly. All in all, I wouldn’t say that we were friends, per se, but I would say that we have a decent communication line between us. I have no problem telling her that my plate is too full for more items to add to it – since she turns to me first for delegating tasks – and she respects the boundaries that I set. I will admit that I don’t set as many boundaries as I probably should but, honestly, she doesn’t have many people to choose from. There are two other leads, of other portfolios, in the office and three support roles. I’m the quickest to respond when she needs something and, aside from one other person in the office, am probably the most capable for some of the stranger items that she needs me to work on.

All in all, I’m awesome.

But in all seriousness, I know what my job entails, I know how to do it, and I can do efficiently.

However, in the last week, she’s had some personal issues popping up. Frankly, I’m not going to discuss what the items are because they are numerous and convoluted. I know about her personal life because she feels like sharing, though I do not reciprocate because I’m a private person. (Not to mention, being a pagan in an Evangelical Christian’s office setting leaves me feeling that I need to keep most items private in case I misstep or misspeak and end up without a job.) I feel her pain and I commiserate with her over the issues she’s face. They are large. They are very important. And they are mentally and emotionally consuming. As I’ve mentioned to her before, she needs to get better about her spoon management when it comes to both work and personal life items. However, we are all different and how we go about working things out are entirely different from one person to another. As these personal issues have cropped up, I’ve noticed a marked difference in her personality, her habits, and her remarks concerning work.

Honestly, the job isn’t the best one to have. It pays the bills, but it takes a lot out of you most days. On days like that, you’re lucky if you can clock out ten minutes after the close of business. On days like that, you’re often day-dreaming about the really horrible things you can do to your customers and their needs because they are stupid, foolish, or a mix therein. On days like that, you are staring moodily at the clock, hoping for it to move faster so that the end of the day comes quicker. On days like that, you’re probably surfing Facebook or Tumblr to keep your mind off of how bad your day is going.

The rest of the time, you’re patting yourself on the back for a job well done.

Whatever is going on inside of her head, she’s been taking it out on everyone directly beneath her lately and it’s starting to grate on my damn nerves. At first, I was exempt from these peevish remarks. She made them in regards, mostly, to the new girl. “What does she do all day,” she’d snap at me. I’d have to explain that she was either doing side work for me or any of the other leads in the office. The girl has been there for not quite a month and is still learning. I hate to break it to my supervisor but she was pretty babied when it came to me. I came to her previously trained by someone else and I am a fast study. The two new hires haven’t been as quick studies as I was and so, it’s taking the full three months of training to get them up to snuff. Not only that, but they are all being inundated with requests from every lead in the office (of which there are four) for assistance with minor items like getting contract information, getting pricing information, and things of that nature. We all forget how time consuming that can be, but it really can take a while to get any of the carriers to give us the information we want. Sometimes, it means we have to call back 6 times before we get a rep that isn’t going to ask us stupid questions.

I think I really started getting snotty when she asked me, “Do you think she’ll ever grow up?”

The girl is young. She is very, very immature in the ways of the world. She is also very, very blonde. And I mean that in the nicest way possible, but she can be incredibly ditzy. It happens, though. We all make mistakes; that’s how you learn what you need to do. What makes all these snarky remarks about the new girl that much worse is the fact that (A) I don’t have to monitor her every movement or E-mail like I did with the other new person and (B) my supervisor is the person who made me like the new girl! When I found out how old she was and how little telecommunications experience she had, I immediately wasn’t to black ball her. But, now I have to defend her youth and inexperience to the very person who did this to me? I understand that my supervisor’s previous remarks were before she was tried and tested, but frankly, if you don’t watch her, help her, or even remotely look over her shoulder in regards to what projects she’s working on, you really shouldn’t bitch about it. And considering that the owner of the company has point-blank said to all of us that mistakes are healthy because they teach us lessons, I don’t really think getting pissy over the fact that she forgot to attach a document to an E-mail is really necessary.

Maybe I’m just feeling a little weird because I don’t see it from my supervisor’s perspective? I saw the very same things as she did when it came to the guy who entered our office. He’s really just not worth it and they should have removed him before now. However, with all of us working on HUGE PROJECTS, we need someone to do the little things like get pricing, create documents, and call for contract information. But we were both in total agreement about how he is not cut out for this job and any work besides the basics. All of a sudden, we’re at odds over a new person because she’s doing her job but making mistakes (as I did and do) during the learning process. It just smacks as… well, it sounds like a pretty shitty way to go about being a boss.

And if there are legitimate worries and issues she has with the girl, then she should probably have those discussions with the person in question instead of making snarky comments to me about it.

Today, however, I got kind of slammed into the “snark zone” with her commentary. And now, I’m kind of angry.

As a quick remark: I only work 30 hours a week instead of the 40 like everyone else. And in those 30 hours, I have to do the same amount of work as everyone else in the office. Since I am as quick and efficient as I am, I can do this. However, if you start inundating me with requests to do things before I even walk in, then things are going to slide.

I walked in this morning to an E-mail request to reach out to a site that was having computer issues. We don’t actually treat any computer related issues, but we do deal with Internet items. So, I was tasked to reach out to this site. Then, it was asked that I very carefully and personally handle a billing discrepancy for a site that has been having issues since they went from standard phone lines to a hosted phone system (voice over Internet). It took me an hour and a half, amid meeting with various people in the office to discuss the issues at hand that were a little out of my relatively new-to-hosted viewpoint, creating the documents that the site would need to understand my investigative findings, as well as working on my own projects. I had repairs to complete and check the status on today. I had my own portfolios to follow-up with, ongoing projects to work on, and billing disputes to file. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to drop my stuff to come running to fix an issue that wasn’t caused by me and I’m sorry if I don’t give a shit if some guy needs computer help.

“Have you called them yet?” She asked me about 2PM.

“I’ve been working on the billing issue you needed me to work on,” I explained. “It’s taken me a while to figure everything out to report back to the site.”

“Ugh.” And if that response wasn’t bad enough, the stomping out of the office to take her lunch, the angrily punching out, and the slamming of the door behind her was kind of an indicator that she was in a pissy mood.

Well, you know, I’m sorry that things don’t move as quickly as you want them to, but if you really wanted that dealt with before the sensitive billing issue, then you probably should have said something.

What really aggravates me about this is that she knows, clearly, how busy I am. I know she goes into my task tracking document and sees how many projects I’ve been working on. Many of the open tickets in our repair/project ticket program are mine. I update each one of those tickets at least once a day. It’s not like I’m sitting around with my fingers up my butt and singing the National Anthem off-key to myself. I am legitimately busy. I am legitimately doing things. I am legitimately stopping those things and teaching the new girl when she has a new question or needs assistance. I am legitimately doing my fucking job and if it was that fucking important then maybe speaking up was in your best interest.

And what makes this all worse is that I know this is because of her personal issues. She was fine up until last Monday when she told me about her myriad of personal issues. I know that the change in behavior is specifically related to her personal life and that drives me insane. As much as your life, at home or with your family, may absolutely suck, you still have to go to work. There is no one else who is going to pay your bills if you get suspended for bad behavior or fired because of bad behavior. You need to keep your personal things at home where they belong. It’s one thing to joke around about how you got a sunburn on a cloudy while at a craft fair and entirely another to take out shitty fucking personal things on your employees because your personal life is really shitty.

So, while it’s possible I don’t know how to be a lead and direct underlings, I have to say that not taking out your personal life on your underlings is probably top of the fucking list.

Betrayal Is Such a Silly Word.

Whenever you start thinking about the word, “betrayal,” you really have to stop for a moment and ponder about how ridiculous the word is. The word, “betrayal,” sends images in my head of kings being killed by their subjects; queens seeing someone else when they’re married to the king; and a seemingly innocuous kiss upon the cheek to signal the armed forces to swoop down and “save the populace.” Really, the word just heralds visions of chivalric missions written by Chétien de Troyes or Wolfram von Eschenbach. The unfortunate bit about betrayal, though, is that it is every bit as adequate a word today as it was back then. Only instead of betrayals that could span across nations, we just get it on a personal basis… which is probably why it hurts as bad as it does.

Last Friday, TH’s grandfather died. It wasn’t a shock to anyone, really; he had some major health issues for years. However, he was still a big part of the family and in other ways, he had been missing. That night, we went over to TH’s mother’s house to help her out. TH’s step-father was out of state getting his daughter’s car in Mississippi, so we went over to spend time with the family. As is normal in the family, there was some fairly heavy drinking going on. That’s just how they are – they’re social drinkers, though neither TH or I fall into this category. I think we drink all of once a month, if that, although TH will drink more often than I. He got pretty fucking drunk…

…and thought it was the perfect time to discuss our relationship, and my asexuality, at 12:30 in the morning. I was trying to fall asleep to some shitty fucking movie (Supernova) and he wanted to talk about our sex life. I shut him down. I was completely rude about it, as well. I will admit that I was over-the-top and an asshole about it. However, I had tried to have this discussion with him in July of last year and he made it seem like I was grasping onto straws with the idea of asexuality. He shut me down back then after I had requested that if we couldn’t discuss it, then he look into it and get back to me with his opinion on it. He never bothered. I think he actually forgot about it until, nearly a year later, he realized we hadn’t had sex in close to 12 months.

Either due to the passing of his grandfather and our lack of a conversation on Friday, TH hasn’t really spoken to me at all over the weekend. I figured it was probably a mix of both, honestly. I was a d-bag about it. In fact, I was such a jerk that I kind of felt bad the next morning. But, I figured he would come to me when he was feeling a little more on even keel. Not only is discussing a relationship right after you find out that your grandfather is dead not good timing, it’s just really a bad idea all around. Let’s ignore the pain I feel at the loss of my loved one so we can have some hard truths about our relationship? Oh, yeah. Perfect idea, that.

Yesterday, they had the funeral for TH’s grandfather. We all went – including R, which did not make me happy to have him there – and we all did the family thing. After the funeral service, we hung out at the club that TH’s family is associated with for a few hours. TH actually maxed out his bank account so that he could get drunk while there. (My face: -.-) R and I left fairly early on but I get the rest of the family went over to his uncle’s house to finish off their mourning or spending time together. Whatever. TH came home and then left again a while later since he had his mother’s car to go tooting along in. After he came home the second time, I think he was home for all of a half hour when he says, “I’m going to BFMA’s.” And I was pretty sure I misheard who the fuck he was talking about, so I asked. Nope. He really was going over to my best friend’s house.

Now, normal people would just assume that in all the time they have spent together with R in the mix that something happened between them. They’d immediately latch on to affair and run screaming from the hills. However, I know that the taste BFMA has in men is not my taste and she has never even remotely been sexually attracted to TH. I know that TH finds her sexually attractive, but I’m kind of over it since all of my boyfriends have always been hot-for-teacher over my best friends. It doesn’t matter what man I’m with or who happens to be my best friend – the guy I’m with has sex fantasies about her and I either have to learn how to deal with it or end the relationship. I’m still with TH, so obviously, I’ve learned to deal with the fact that I’m the ugly friend and my best friends are not. I’m only half joking there.

I decided not to freak out, even though it’s really fucking creepy knowing that your boyfriend and your best friend are talking about you when you’re not around. What made it worse was the fact that the two of them don’t even like each other! TH has told me time and time again that BFMA uses me all the time and that I should jettison her completely. BFMA has told me time and time again that TH is using me and that I should jettison him completely. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Isn’t it fucking hilarious that they both tell me the same shit about the other? If I didn’t fucking know any better, I would assume this is a jealousy thing on both their parts, but whatever. They were talking about me, to one another and they both fucking dislike each other.

When TH got home, I asked him how he felt about talking about me and our relationship to someone he fucking dislikes. He admitted that he didn’t like it. And I flew off the fucking handle. What the fuck is the fucking matter with these people? Is it fucking impossible to fucking realize that the way to have a relationship is to go to your spouse instead of talking to the one person who may or may not know what the fuck is going on? And no. BFMA doesn’t know a fucking thing that is going on between either TH or I because I haven’t fucking told her because it’s none of her fucking business and I’m not going to fucking give her grist for the gossip mill with her shitty ass piece of shit on-again, off-again “boyfriend” to discuss in the middle of the night. Not to mention, if I really need to fucking discuss what is going on between TH and I, then I’ll say something. But I fucking didn’t need to talk about it because, stupid fucking me thought he would be an adult and bring the subject back up.

And that was my fucking mistake because, you know, patterns from the last six years do not fucking show him as ever being a fucking adult.

And he’s not.

He is twenty-five years old and still acts like he is 12.

Whenever we have a “discussion” about our relationship, it is usually me doing all of the talking (or ranting) for who knows how long while he sits there and stares off into space. He gets that fucking glazed look in his eyes that says he’s actually only getting about one word in twenty and only responds when pressed with a monosyllabic response. No matter what I say or what I threaten, nothing ever gets fixed and nothing ever changes. When he’s working, he still doesn’t help me with the bills or with anything else. When he’s not working, he sits around and stares at the TV or his video games instead of cleaning the bathroom or doing some laundry or fucking anything besides being a lazy fucking bum. He does the dishes, though! At least there’s that!

He is a selfish asshole and I fucking put up with him because I still always believe he will change into the man I need. When will I learn that I’m with a little boy and not with a man? It may just be this time.

I think what makes this worse is that BFMA, when I told her not to do this again, came back with how upset TH was and she just was giving him someone to talk to. Nope. Nuh-uh. That will not fly with me because I know him and she’s a fucking idiot. He has online friends just as much as I do. While I was utilizing my resources, I.E. talking to a friend who isn’t going to go back to my fucking boyfriend with every fucking word I said, he was fucking making me distrust the one person in this area who was my friend. They are not friends. They do not like each other. The only reason he turned to BFMA was because he thought I would have said something to her about all of this by now. (And she’s read my asexuality entry, as her comment indicates, so I’m sure she had something to say on the subject.) Nope. Sorry. I’m not going to go running to her about every little fucking thing that’s happening in our life.

The lesson of the story, as far as I can see, is that TH is not an adult, nor will he be any time soon. BFMA is only to be trusted at arm’s length.

And me? I’m the one who gets fucked because I trusted, evidently, the wrong fucking people with my heart and my soul.

The Reality of the Unemployment Situation.

I called a friend of mine up in a panic today on my way home from submitting applications and feeling true despair at the totality of my situation. She told me that I wasn’t allowed to panic. We would brain storm about things later together. And then she said to me, “Just don’t panic; you can go on Don’t Panic, but you can’t actually panic.” So, here I am.

Yesterday, I received the news that I knew was coming from the office of unemployment. I was no longer eligible for unemployment benefits and now, I have to become a “welfare bear” in the hopes that my family and I can survive the harsh reality of our situation. I cried. There’s no other words for what my reaction was. I just cried. I cried and I cried and I cried. And I can’t help but wonder how many other people are in my situation, crying their eyes out as they try to find something that allows them to survive in a country that has “no jobs” and is itching to cut the very benefits that will keep people like us alive? I can’t help but be angry at the situation – it sucks – but in reality, I feel very betrayed and disenchanted with everything this country is supposed to stand for.

We hear the politicians talk about how unemployment rates are lower than they were. All right, yes. I’m sure the rates are lower, but the only reason is because people have passed their extended benefits and are no longer eligible, whether they are employed or not. The break down isn’t discussed. You just hear this magic number (I believe it’s 7.8%) touted about and everyone pats each other on the back. “Look what we did! The unemployment rate is down!” But how many of the people who have fallen from unemployment are still looking? How many of those people are living off of state aid in an effort to stay with a roof over their heads and food on the table? I seriously doubt I’m the only person in the entire country facing this crisis.

Did you know they did away with the third tier benefit? And that’s probably the real reason why the unemployment rate is so low.

When you’re filing for unemployment or are living off of the state assistance programs, they actually make you go and take classes at your “local career center.” This is a euphemism for a dark, shadowy place of imprisonment that has absolutely no desire to help you find a job. They tell you about the classes they have and they tell you about using their computers and they update their job postings every day! These are half-truths and outright lies. For example, I have applied for the same job three times via their resource list that cut off hiring in August. In August. (I keep applying because by the time I get that low on the list, I’m drunk with typing and thinking.) Their computers need to be signed up for days in advance, but that’s no big deal. And the classes? They’re typing 101 and they’re how to write a resume 101 and all the next levels to these classes. How are they supposed to get you a job?

Why not have a class about what to wear to an interview? How about a class on proper E-mail etiquette when you’re fishing for a second interview? What about a class on how not to feel like a complete fuck up and loser while you’re going through this crisis? Why not offer counseling services for your mental and emotional well-being instead of all of these “skill set” classes? For the most part, I have to assume that they get enough students for the classes. And I have to assume that they are well received by the local and federal governments because the local career centers are still getting aid at the state and federal levels. So, obviously, this is all well and good in the eyes of politicians who don’t understand what it’s like to have to worry about where the next meal is coming from and what’s more important: gas in your car or toilet paper for your ass.

I am so angry and frustrated all the time. I hate feeling this way. I really feel very similarly to how it was just before MEH and I officially broke it off. I am angry. I am frustrated. I am hurt. I am bewildered. I am scared. And always the same advice from friends and family, “when the doors closes, a window opens.” What they forget to tell you is that you didn’t bring a flashlight, the window is probably a thousand miles down some tight corridor, and you have to find it in the pitch blackness of reality. I hate that phrase right now almost as much as I hate the phrase, “have some hope.” Have some fucking hope?

Everything is wrong and evil and stupid and I am so fucking angry. I am beyond angry. I want to hurt that company so badly. I want to stick it to them. I want their pens to dry up; their computers to be attacked by viruses; their questionable fucking practices investigated on a state level; and I want them all to suffer. I want everyone who threw me under the boss and everyone who still works there and everyone who kisses ass over there to hurt and be angry and know what it’s like to be thrown under the bus after nearly two years of committed service. I want every single one of them to know what it’s like to get interview after interview that lead to nowhere. I want every single one of those selfish twats to see me crying as I panic and worry and have anxiety attacks about how I can’t possibly raise or take care of my family.

And I hate feeling this way.

I’ve worked a very long and hard time to gain adequate control over my emotions. I’ve probably taken that control a little too far, to the point where crying actually physically hurts sometimes because I just… don’t. But I prefer to be in complete control over my emotions instead of being the insane raging beast that I used to be. I much prefer this to that, in all honesty. And the fact that I am always angry, hurt, bewildered, scared, anxious, and panicking drives me fucking insane. All of this drives me fucking insane.

The politicians who think they’re doing a good job.

The people who think they can give advice when they really don’t know the situation well enough to give me advice.

The people who offer me the same old platitudes.

The people who aren’t around to watch me suffer.

The people who did this to me.

I am so fucking insane with rage that all I want to do is shake someone or something all the time. (I suddenly understand BFMA’s intense desire to throw shoes at a door whenever she gets upset on such a better level now.) I don’t do this. I scrub the counters. I scrub the toilet and the bathtub. I do load after load of laundry. I sit down and I fill out endless applications. I sit and I fret, but I don’t shake anyone or anything. I don’t throw shoes at a door. I end up crying instead and have panic attacks.

This is the reality of unemployment, people.

Keep that in mind, too, when you vote on November 6th.

P.S. In case it’s not clear, this isn’t some random “VOTE FOR ROMNEY” ad or anything. Romney can eat a bowl of dicks. I lived in MA when he was governor and he was next to useless. His stance on things like Planned Parenthood, abortion, and his belief that his “business savvy” make him ideal of president are laughable. What I’m saying is DON’T VOTE REPUBLICAN.

Why a Bipolar Diagnosis Helped BFMA.

This post is brought to us today by idiots on Tumblr. (FOOD FOR THOUGHT OVER THERE.)

Today, someone I follow over there was discussing about needing help to learn to live, preferably on her own, with bipolar disorder. I was talking to her prior to her outcry for assistance in finding places that would be capable of helping her. I told her that in my life, with BFMA, I was the buddy that she had to get her to live on her own successfully. (HI BFMA.) However, as the person pointed out, she doesn’t have a buddy in her area to do that, so to go her own, she’s looking into halfway houses for such a thing. A young child made a commentary on her post that was, well, young. That person’s comments were pretty hilarious and also very dangerous chatter, in my opinion. When young’ns come into something not knowing a damn thing about a mental health disorder but feel like they can just spout out whatever they can type as quickly as they can type, we have a problem. Life experiences are kind of more important to such things as mental health disorders than, say, being able to look shit up on WebMD or Wikipedia. But, really, what got to me was when someone said something along the lines of, “Who needs a diagnosis? I think everyone is a little bipolar everywhere.”

And I lost my fucking shit because I’m BFMA’S BUDDY.

I lived with her before she had a diagnosis. I got to watch her break apart every two weeks when she went into a depression cycle. I got to watch her start a shit-ton of projects that never got done when she was in a manic phase. I got to watch her try to kill herself when she was in one of her depression cycles. I got to watch her talk about how she was going to buy a fucking set of bagpipes because she would learn them when she was in a manic phase. I got to watch this tear her apart because she didn’t know what was wrong. Technically, she had a diagnosis – she was depressed and she suffered from ADHD! What a hellacious way to live your life. It was the worst fucking thing to watch her think that she was just batshit insane and no one would understand, the doctors didn’t care, and everyone kept walking away because it was “too much” or “too overwhelming” for them to deal with it.

Prior to a an official diagnosis, she went on and on about how she felt like she was crazy with no real reason. She had people tell her that she was insane – inventing things. Her own family and doctors would infer or out right tell her that she was melodramatic. I watched as people walked into her life and then right back out again. I watched as people from previous relationships warned new boyfriends and friends away from her because she was “way too melodramatic; fucking crazy.” She had the stigma of being “too overwhelming” and “too melodramatic” or “too paranoid” prior to being diagnosed. It was hell on fucking earth watching her go through that and trying to help her get through it one day at a time, one step at a time. It was fucking hell.

Never mind what the doctors did to her. Invariably, they all pretty much called her crazy or making things up without actually coming right out and saying it. Or, they would tell her that she was making things up for attention. As if having severely suicidal tendencies after a week of feeling like you’re on a constant high is something to do so that you can get attention. They never listened to her. They never thought there was something more wrong than the depression. They weren’t interested in listening to the one person who could explain all of the symptoms clearly. And it was because, on her chart, it says that she was melodramatic, overwhelming, and given to flights of fancy.

Then, she was diagnosed about six years ago and everything magically clicked.

It all began to make sense. She wasn’t over dramatic. She wasn’t overwhelming. She wasn’t really anything that people labeled her as because she just had a chemical imbalance in her brain. She had a reason for her outbursts. She had a reason for the suicide attempts, the stays in hospital, the random spending sprees, the being unable to hold down a job, the entirety of her life began to make sense. The pieces fit together instead of being jammed together with scotch tape and glue. Everything began to just get so clear and so obvious.

Do you know how sad it is when your best friend calls you up, excited and thrilled because she finally had a real diagnosis for all the shit she had been going through and putting others through? No? Well, I can tell you that it is a very bittersweet moment. On the one hand, you finally have absolute clarity for things that never really made a lot of sense. And on the other hand, it is so fucking sad and depressing that you get excited over a doctor finally listening to you, after years of fucking ignoring you when you say, “something is wrong.”

However, on the other hand of the spectrum, there comes a whole new host of issues that you didn’t really understand. You have to work hard and do a lot of med checks to get the right dosing. Some of the side effects of those drugs are hilarious but not when they’re happening to you. (The lactation. The being unable to feed yourself because you have the shakes so bad. A serious case of death.) And then comes the fun part of explaining to people that you are the way you are because you have a chemical imbalance. And you get to watch yet more people walk right the hell out of the door because they can’t fathom what it’s like to have to deal with this in a relationship, in a friendship on a daily basis.

So on the one hand, you get to think that you’re fucking insane for no reason whatsoever without a diagnosis. And on the other hand, you get to think your fucking insane for a very serious reason that no one can understand or is willing to cope with.

Yet Another Week of Feeling Like a Loser.

Note: I’m just venting, so I really don’t want to know if I hurt your feelings.

I put it off as much as I can. But, I know that sometimes, something is going to happen that means I have to call the people in charge, so I try not to put it off too long. I find myself sulking and depressed whenever I click on the link. It gets to the point where I just don’t want to. I keep telling myself, this week, I’ll have the job I need and want, whenever I click the unemployment link. But, you know, each week I apply, I still don’t have a job. And I still feel like the world’s worst loser in the shittiest lottery contest known to mankind.

And whenever I talk about it with other people, employed people, they tell me lots of things that are meant to make me buck up and get on the horse. They’ll remind me that the entire nation is going through a shit time with employment thing. They’ll remind me that I just have to have hope. They’ll tell me that I did pass down some jobs since I’ve been hunting for one. They’ll tell me to suck it up, grow thicker skin, just keep at it. They give me loads of advice. I appreciate the fact that they’re still willing to give me advice when I get so very, very, very low about this job hunting thing. The fact that I haven’t scared them off with my depression regarding my unemployment is an amazing thing. However, I have to say? There are lots of days where the advice fucking sucks.

I don’t really give two shits about how the rest of the country is fairing. Just because I, logically, know that I’m not the only asshole in the entire state going through this at this moment in time doesn’t make it any easier. I’m not going to reach out to Unemployed Jane Doe and Unemployed Joe Blow and commiserate over a bunch of beers. I’m not going to sit around and join some forum for unemployed assholes. I’m not going to do any of those things, so why keep reminding me that this is a country-wide pandemic? Again, I have to say that just because I consciously know that the rest of the world is fucked economically and that like 8% of the whole country is also unemployed, like me, and probably not even for “terrific” reasons like myself, that doesn’t make it any easier. I’ve mentioned this in my religious blog and I’ve said this to my friends: MY PROBLEMS; MY MISERY; MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYONE ELSE.

It’s not that I’m trying to be an asshole with that statement but just because we know that someone else is going through similar situations doesn’t mean that it will impact how we feel. It doesn’t mean that we’ll magically get better. It doesn’t mean that we’ll end up feeling better about the entire situation. When it comes to our depression, our misery, and our pain, there is nothing greater than our own misery. This is intrinsically true with teenagers – I’m thinking of a certain lady who reads this with a teenage daughter. And it doesn’t make any difference later on in life. The misery we experience is the only misery that matters because it’s the only kind we can feel. Sure, we might feel sympathy or empathy for people going through a similar experience to our own. We might be able to understand another person on the same level because of the similar experiences, but just because Person One and Person Two have gone through similar experiences doesn’t mean it’s a bonding experience. It doesn’t mean that things are going to look brighter tomorrow. It just means that they’ve both been shit on in similar situations. But the core concept is still the same: the misery of Person One is more important than the one of Person Two, and vice versa.

I know in this economy that passing down of a job is pretty taboo. How could I dare to have standards? But it’s not really that. Some of the jobs that I’ve talked about have all had issues with scheduling. In effect, they’re at night. I guess I’m biased or stupid here, but I want to be able to raise my child. In one of the instances, TH’s mom told me that if we had to do sleep overs for R over at her house so that I could work late, then we’d do it. I appreciate the offer. I appreciate everyone’s offers of assistance. But, call me a bad person for wanting to raise my child. Call me a horrible asshole for wanting to be there with him, at night, feeding him dinner and arguing about whether he’s taking a bath. I guess I’m just a bad person for wanting to be his mother and not letting other people raise him. Sure, right now, TH is out of work. So, I could go back to work and I could work nights. But I remember those days at Greed, Inc. Before I became a manager, I worked second shift and I never saw my child. Or, if I did see him, I was too tired to do much more than the basics. That seems wrong and horrible. It impacted me relationship with my son and it impacted my self-worth because everyone under the sun was doing the raising and I was just some background noise.

It’s really different being unemployed when you have a child.

But, I think the worst is when people tell me to have hope. They tell me to buck up, chin up, keep on keepin’ on. I understand the viewpoint. And yes, I am still doing that. I’m still going around and doing the applications, sending out the resumes, sending out scouting letters and all of that lovely stuff. I’m on the websites that I use to job hunt between three and eight hours a day, depending [on whether things have been updated or not]. I light my candles. I pray before I send out these things. I hope. I have faith. I constantly tell myself that this will be the week that a job comes my way. I have all of those things, but you know, sometimes I just have dark points. I cry and I rage and I feel like my worth is in the negative range. It’s not because I don’t do the praying and the faith-ing and the hoping. It’s just hard. It’s so hard to maintain a one hundred percent positive outlook when everything always seems so bleak.

It’s just hard.

And today, I got to file for unemployment again. In the next two weeks, I’ll have to sign up for another extension, and I think it’s the final one. And I have to hope that something comes my way sooner or later. I’m at the point where DD and its minimum wage is looking appealing because, maybe, I can go in for the six in the morning shift. But is even that worth it? Is going back to work at minimum wage worth it if I’m not sure I can pay all of my bills and rent and maintain a good household and keep on keepin’ on? I make more on unemployment than I would working a minimum wage job, but it’s starting to look appealing because I’m almost desperate.

And I hate the feeling of desperation.

I just want to raise my kid. I just want to make enough money to live. I just want to be able to succeed somewhere. I just want things to look positive for once. But it’s hard because, at least four times week, I’m too busy feelin’ like a loser.

Yet Another Reason to Support Abortion.

Alternate Title: Or, Why You Should Register to Vote With Your Uterus This Election!

So, today, I saw a HuffPost article that I knew was going to anger me. More often than not, I stay away from the news as elections get closer because I’m tired of the conservative GOP ruining everything our foremothers fought so hard for. Also, I’m tired of the constant rhetoric, preaching quality of news articles but, mostly, I know I’m just going to get pissed the fuck off and want to strangle some conservative whore-son with my bare hands. And I wasn’t wrong about the reaction to the article.

For those too lazy to click that link, I’ll summarize the article.

A fourteen-year-old in Florida became pregnant. She told no one about the pregnancy, hiding the pregnancy throughout the entire nine months. After the baby was born in the bathroom of her family home, she killed the baby by strangling it and promptly hid the body in a shoe box. The mother of the fourteen-year-old reported the dead body to the police when she discovered an odd smell coming from her daughter’s room. The police have not decided whether they will charge her as an adult or a child. They are also speculating that they may charge (as accessories, I suppose) any adults who may have been aware of the child’s pregnancy.

I can’t possibly begin to convey how fucked up this whole situation is, but I’m going to try.

In the article that I have linked, Sheriff Grady Judd is quoted as saying, “Let’s remember she is a child… Where was her support system?” In that, I am wholly and completely in agreement, however I think we may figure that the actual support system we are both thinking of are entirely different. He may be thinking about her friends and her family members – her immediate support system. It is a sad testament to the inability for parents of teenagers to be open and honest about sex that this girl did not feel comfortable in telling her mother that she was pregnant and in fact lied about being pregnant on two separate occasions (in which she produced, an obviously false, negative pregnancy test in both occasions). However, when I’m thinking support system, I’m not just lamenting the fact that the girl felt she had no one to turn to (as the article implicitly implies that she told no one about this tragedy) but the politicians who are being voted into place to enact laws that would save her life and prevent such futures tragedies from occurring again.

While Florida may be considered a swing state, as shown by recent research that I conducted, they tend to be overwhelmingly “southern” in their laws and thought processes. While other southern states are restricting access to birth control, emergency contraception, and birth control, they are also overwhelmingly in favor of abstinence-only (or abstinence mostly – I point to Tennessee’s new law about this) sexual education techniques. Just based on what I’ve been gathering this morning about Florida, I can pretty much assure you that it is the state’s fault (and it’s lack of clear fore-planning while enacting these types of laws) that is at fault for this calamity.

Starting in the presidency of Reagan, we began to see a recurring trend in government funding for abstinence only sexual education. “Beginning in 1981 under the Reagan administration, the federal government increasingly put its support and money behind abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. Today, there are three separate funding streams supporting these programs…” (Sex Ed in the “Sunshine State”, page 2, report collated by Sexuality and Information Council of the United States.) “Along with these funding streams, the federal government developed an eight-point definition of ‘abstinence education’.” (Same report, same page.) The full eight point definition of the government’s abstinence education are as follows:

  1. has as its exclusive purpose teaching the social, psychological, and health gains to be realized by abstaining from sexual activity;
  2. teaches abstinence from sexual activity outside marriage as the expected standard for all school-age children;
  3. teaches that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain way to avoid out-of wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other associated health problems;
  4. teaches that a mutually faithful monogamous relationship in the context of marriage is the expected standard of sexual activity;
  5. teaches that sexual activity outside of the context of marriage is likely to harmful psychological and physical effects;
  6. teaches that bearing children out-of-wedlock is likely to have harmful consequences for the child, the child’s parents, and society;
  7. teaches young people how to reject sexual advances and how alcohol and drug use increase vulnerability to sexual advances; and
  8. teaches the importance of attaining self-sufficiency before engaging in sexual activity.

On the face of it, these values don’t seem so awful. We would like our children to be aware of what sort of negative effects they could expect if they got pregnant as a teenager. And we would also like them to be aware of that abstinence is pretty damn effective at keeping our kids from having kids. However, these programs just don’t work. Just as a parent, I can tell you why it’s not going to work. Whenever I tell my son not to do something, he’s more likely to do it. As a child, I had this same contrary gene (and still do) whenever I was told not to try something or not to do something. So, by making sex into some by mystery to teenagers who are rampant with emotions and hormones that they don’t understand, we’re just asking for trouble. And I’m not making this shit up, either.

A direct quote from the report I’ve been taking information from, “Several studies have evaluated the effectiveness of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. In April 2007, a congressionally commissioned evaluation of Title V-funded abstinence-only-until-marriage programs showed that they were ineffective in changing the sexual behavior of teens. The report… found no evidence that abstinence-only-until-marriage programs increased rates of sexual abstinence. Students in the abstinence-only programs had a similar number of sexual partners and a similar age of first sex as their peers not in the programs. Out of 700 programs, the four programs studied weren’t selected randomly—they were hand-picked because they were thought to be the most promising and, yet, they still failed.”

However, even though we are rapidly moving away from the abstinence-only-until-marriage viewpoint for sexual education in this country, there are still states that are mandating it. (Again, I point vociferously toward Tennessee’s new mandate about these types of programs.) Florida, our darling and delightful Sunshine State, is no different in this point-of-view. Another direct quote from this beautiful report about Florida’s sexual education, “the state of Florida continues to participate in the Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage program. Even more troubling is that the state’s contribution to keeping these failed programs in operation has exceeded what the federal government itself requires as a condition for participating in the program. In fact, the state has squandered over $15 million of taxpayer money since Fiscal Year 2003.”

While this information is now nearly ten years out of date, as of 2007, the University of Florida reported that sexual education in most Florida classrooms were either so varied or merited little to no class time, meaning that children in desperate need of valuable information (or any information) are missing out entirely. According to this article as of 2009, Florida was sixth in the nation for teenage pregnancies. And that article goes on to say that money earmarked for comprehensive contraceptive and abstinence education sources was refused over a “squabble” with the federal government about whether or not the money should be used toward abstinence only sexual education programs or not. The article goes on to say that there is no uniformity in regards to how sexual education happens, from county to county. “The state policy requires schools to ‘teach abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage as the expected standard for all school-age students.’ However, each district interprets that statute differently. For example, Manatee County has incorporated more comprehensive sex education curriculum, while Baker County has decided to adopt a very rigid abstinence-only sex education policy.”

So, just based on this information alone, we can assume that the poor fourteen-year-old’s story that began this entry had little access to proper sexual education and contraceptive resources. Just for funsies, I went back to the super fucking awesome article I was quoting about Florida being a douche about their sex education to see what the county the girl happens to reside in has to say or do about sex education. “Polk County School District includes two videos produced by The Medical Institute on its approved video list for health education. The two videos are Thought You Ought to Know and Sex Is Not a Game. The Medical Institute (formerly the Medical Institute for Sexual Health) describes itself as a ‘medical, educational, and research organization’ founded ‘to confront the global epidemics of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).’ It is a national organization that provides assistance to abstinence-only-until-marriage educators and providers.” I did a general Google search for the first video mentioned in my quote and this came up. I think my favorite part about that is this, “What I love about the video is that the message is a 180-degree turn from the ‘safe sex’ teachings that threaten to turn this country into Condom Nation.” Of course, the book I’m quoting from is called God’s Design for the Highly Healthy Teen.

I think we can assume that the girl got shit for sex ed.

So, based on that alone, we can almost clearly see that this tragedy was going to happen. If it wasn’t for that girl, then it could have been for someone else. However, even with shitty sexual education to blame, we must also look and see if the girl had any other recourse of action after discovering that she was pregnant. As much as conservative politicians don’t like the idea, we still have the ability to get the morning-after pill and obtain abortions. However, nowadays, we can clearly see a trend in restricting access to the people who need it most – teenagers and women in dire straights. Be that as it may, we should at least consider that the girl had other options available to her just in case she really is a crazed murderer.

In looking up the morning after pill in Florida, I stumbled on this gem of a resource. This talks about the Medical Conscience Clauses that have recently been put into play in various states in the United States. These clauses pretty much allow a pharmacist or doctor to refuse some form of medical advice, medication dispensation, or medical procedure based solely upon the doctor’s or the pharmacist’s moral or religious stance in regards to things. So, going back to my first link about the gem of an article I accidentally found, a direct quote about the conscience clause relating to the state of Florida, “Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maine and Tennessee have broad refusal clauses that do not specifically mention pharmacists.” (Emphasis mine.) So, just based on this article, which was last updated in May of this year, even if the girl could find money enough to purchase some Plan B from her neighborhood pharmacy, or even go to one further from home if the circumstances lined up, there was absolutely no sure-fire way to ensure that she would get the pill in the first place since, apparently, in Florida, you can refuse to do anything you want because you have morals!

Well, we do still have the Big A as an option, right?

As of June of last year, Florida made law some shit about parental consent. As quoted from the article, “In addition to revising the definition of constructive notice required if actual notice of a parent is not possible, the bill also affects the ability of a minor to obtain a court waiver from the parental notification law.” Based on this information, we see that Florida is a parental consent law state. I’ve mentioned and read before that most teens aren’t aware that they can get a waiver. With the new bill put into law, though, I can’t quite figure out if the three-day ruling period would negatively impact the court ruling or not… (On the one hand, I would think that mandating that they give a response in three days could mean more “fuck you; tell your parent” moments but on the other hand, it also makes the court move more swiftly in case an abortion can be obtained by a waiver… and I have read instances where the courts have sat on a response until after an abortion could no longer be legally obtained, by the way.)

Be that as it may, the point in this is that at fourteen years of age, this girl could not have legally obtained an abortion easy or swiftly. And I’m sorry, but when you make a major decision like that, as soon as possible is really the safest and best option for all parties involved.

So, with my long huge rambling rant and sources, I have to tell you that the tragedy here isn’t merely that a little girl got pregnant when she decided to experiment with sex (or even just have sex for the hell of it). The real tragedy isn’t just simply that she ended up murdering her infant for fear and because she didn’t know what to do. The real motherfucking tragedy here is the fact that she had no outlets easily accessible to her.

And instead of punishing the state for failing her by enacting laws and putting procedures into play that restrict her access to sexual education, the morning after pill, and abortion, they’re going to penalize her and any other family member or friend (adult, really) who may or may not have known about the pregnancy. The point here, ladies and gentleman, isn’t the fact that they want to punish someone for a needless death, but that they don’t want to punish themselves for failing this poor child. It’s better to lay the blame at somebody else’s door, am I right?

Intolerance.

Yesterday was not only the commemoration of a day that has changed America, but it was also the day that two attacks happened to US Embassies in the Middle East. One attack occurred in Egypt while the other took place in Libya. That particular attack was more ferocious as it ended with the deaths of four people, one of whom happened to be the Ambassador to that particular country. These are horrific things that have taken place. The thing is that the two are being amalgamated together when they shouldn’t be. The Libyan attack appears to have something to do with extremist Muslims, either as a commemoration for the 9/11 attack eleven years ago or has to do with what the Egyptian attack appears to be: an angry protest over an anti-Islamic video making the rounds on YouTube.

No matter what the cause of the violence, the truth of the matter is that there is a low-budget flick making its rounds in which it blasphemes against Muhammad, the prophet of Islam. The man who supposedly created the film in the first place as been quoted as calling Islam a “cancer.” If nothing else, these two instances should be enough to elicit outrage and anger from any Muslim. But, it appears that not only did this film elicit such condemnation, it also materialized into acts of physical violence so brutal that people are dead because of it.

Things like this has to stop.

Yes, I mean the violence. But more importantly, I mean people who think that because we have the right to free speech can put rubbish out there and possibly cause severe violent outbreaks. I’ll admit that I doubt the creator of the film thought that such an outcry would happen. And I shall admit that we don’t really know the true story about what happened at either Embassy, or the cause therein. It could be possible that people just wanted to rage at Americans and chose that video as an easily cited source. But it doesn’t matter, really, the cause behind the violence.

What really matters to me here is that there are intolerant fucktards that are hiding behind the free speech Amendment. Not only are there intolerant douchebags hiding behind this amendment, but they’re gaining followers. There are people who believe men like the creator of the film and think that everything he says is true. The same can be said of a very famous Florida pastor who apparently viewed the film and famously burned a Koran in 2011. (I won’t use the name, but I’m sure a Google search for “pastor Koran burning” will show you who I’m talking about.) People not only believe them, but because a pastor is backing this up, they believe it is the word of God. There are men and women who have decided that what these people say is direct from God, that we should “remove” the “Muslim threat,” and honestly have no fucking clue what the hell they’re talking about. Their knowledge is (A) skewed by their own religious beliefs, (B) skewed by hate and fear, and (C) completely uncorroborated nonsense.

Over on Tumblr, I watched as quite a few people remarked about the Crusades.

Let’s remark about those “lovely wars.”

The Crusades were a bunch of wars from the 11th century to the 13th century, bent on restoring Christian access to the holy places around Jerusalem. The start of this was when the Byzantine army was decisively defeated by the Turks in the 1070s. The Byzantium emperor was worried that this would mean that soon all of Asia Minor would be overrun by the Turks and so, put out a call for aid. It didn’t help that the Turks who had overrun the area were destroying Christian sacred sites and were persecuting Christians in the area. There were a total of Nine Crusades and they ultimately failed. In the end, all Christian influence was lost in the area and those Christians who were unable to flee were ultimately massacred.

The way things are moving in this country, it’s only a matter of time before something this ASININE happens again. And it is asinine. The reason being is that we’re arguing over sacred sites and dogma; we’re arguing over belief systems and who’s religious dick is bigger. We’re all arguing over complete and utter bullshit. And it’s complete and utter bullshit because it takes away from the things that we have in common. Not only that, but it takes away from humanity, as a whole. If future generations ever are able to dig themselves out of the messes we’re creating with our RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE then they will look back and wonder, what the fuck were they thinking? It’s not just the fact that we have to sit around and kill each other because we think that one religion is better than the other.

It’s that there are people who are foaming at the mouth to get this shit done.

It’s that there are people advocating this bullshit, on either side.

This is horse manure. And I’m fucking sick of reading about it. I’m sick of looking at it. I’m sick to death of hearing about how one person is better than another because of X. Whether it be race or religion or sexual proclivities or gender assignment, there is always someone who there who is going to try to look high and mighty because of whatever reason. And this is bullshit.

No one is better than anyone else.

And this intolerance has to stop because if it doesn’t…

Just imagine all the bloodshed of the Crusades with nuclear weapons in the mix.