Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sweet Dreams

I told someone about a desire I have that I keep close to my heart. Thankfully my trust was justified and she let me dream without criticism. That hasn't always been the case in my life.

While riding with a friend I was happily babbling about a horse property I'd found. It was more than I could afford so I was musing about boarding animals for other people. I have no horse experience, but I thought how hard could it be to rent space.

My friend started screaming how it was hard work and I shouldn't even consider it because I didn't know anything about horses. It wasn't even like she was trying to steer me away from the idea, I felt she was calling me stupid for even thinking it for a second. After a few minutes of stunned silence, I muttered that I wasn't planning on torturing horses.

We're no longer friends. I can't stay around people who crap on my dreams in the planning stages. Kind guidance and pointing out pitfalls can actually excite me. Then it's a feeling of you're taking me seriously. Just screaming "stupid idea" makes me think of YOU as MEAN.

Part of my idea involves contact with people who have disabilities. Though I may still work on this project, I kind of don't want to at the same time.

As a kid, I frequently got lumped into the group "handicapped." Now I am a realist, my vision gives me grief and I wouldn't want others to have it. If I could cure it and the cure had a good percent chance of working and wouldn't hurt me trying it, I'd do it.

So lumped into the group, I found there were nice people and there are not nice people with disabilities. Duh, groups of humans has every kind in it. Though, far more imperfect people have a "poor me" attitude than I like. That gets on my nerves.

I want to be around people who grab the world by the tail and go for it. I want to view the world and share my views and be admired and praised for that.

Perhaps I am not in control of the kind of people I will meet and just need to keep MY attitude and let other people have theirs. Now I feel a lot better. I am not in control so why lament that? Do what I can to encourage and admire others and not be the mean friend who finds fault with the lives of others.

Funny, I started this post with one thought and now I'm ending it with another.

Kind comments welcome.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Steam Heat

Controversy about a film doesn't automatically turn me off so when I heard "The Heat" had some objectionable scenes related to albinism I waited until I saw the film before commenting. Hollywood has a very bad track record with the portrayal of albinism and even constantly making off hand remarks about someone being so pale as to be "albino." It wears on you after a while.

Don't get me wrong, Hollywood screws up all kinds of things. Computers always make more noise and usually have way more blinky lights than in the real life. Just imagine what life would be like in a real ER with all those doctors screwing around, getting beat up and brain tumors? Okay, so I am not EXPECTING reality. I do expect some level of courtesy.

There are countless examples of albinism portrayed as bad, evil and villainous. Even when characters aren't identified as having albinism, the made up to look like us creates a climate of hostility. "Powder" was supposed to be a hero and martyr to his goodness, still, the whole mystic aspect created myths that set people with albinism apart.

I will only mention the film "Foul Play" for it's "albino" sharp shooter for the galling mockery of people with vision problems. "The Matrix" characters didn't seem to be called "albino," but I think that identifier was taken out. Whether it was out of concern, or maybe it just ended up on the cutting room floor. That does happen.

"The Heat" is a comedy about two female cops who end up working together.  plays an ambitious FBI agent who gets sent to track down the leader of a drug ring in Boston. She meets up with  and together hey intimidate suspects and try to find the ring leader.

I like both these actresses but found neither of them funny in these roles. For me, it lacked all suspension of disbelief. Their back stories were devoid of depth or balance and they could have titled this Dumb and Dumbest as they bumbled through their police work.

Albinism came into play with a character as a DEA agent. Most people with albinism I know have poor eyesight. I know some have close to normal vision, but I've never heard of anyone having eyesight good enough to be in law enforcement. McCarthy's character berates the DEA agent for his pale skin and they exchange insults. It's all very grade school.

What bothers me most is the knowledge that someone knew of the controversy of characters with albinism and purposefully threw it on our face. Earlier in the movie Bullock's character channel surfs past both "Foul Play" and "The Matrix" scenes with characters who look like they had albinism. Sometimes doing something like this could be what they call "foreshadowing." Taking a seemingly random event earlier in a film to show some insight into future events. It's a nice technique when used as an enlightening purpose. In this case, it only served to show either the director or the writer, to be an even bigger asshole than their insulting characters.

Defamation and exploitation serves only to support a culture of bullying. I ask for balance. Treat all people as humans. We all have flaws, bad days or times we're rude for no reason. Fine. Show more happy healthy courageous people in whatever light they shine.

Avoid "The Heat" for it's lack of decent plot, poor character development and boring lack luster physical comedy. Even though the whole post is about albinism in film, that aspect of this film comes fairly far down on my list of dislikes. Stop it, it's not cool to create harassing environments for people. Not cool, Hollywood, very not cool.

Resurces on albinism in film. This is only a partial list:
http://albinism.org/popcult/film.htm
Internet Move Data Base to "The Heat":
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2404463/?ref_=nv_sr_1
National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation 
http://www.albinism.org/

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Faith

I'm a science geek. I love thinking of things in terms of experiences, experimentation and evidence. This brought me to the conclusion that I doubt the existence of god as practiced in most religious faiths.

Though I haven't spent extensive time studying all tenants of major faiths, my casual examination leads me to atheism. I would adjust my thinking should a reliable source confirm a god like higher power.

I do see many things greater than myself. Things like group think, the ocean and nature in general leave me in awe of their great power. I find social connection to be amazing and it's my belief that biological connection may be behind intriguing studies on the power of prayer.

I'd like to single out the Christian faith for a few events that pushed me more toward atheism. Mainly because I have more contact with Christians.

I grew up loosely associated with the Mormon faith. My youth made it all seem so silly when it wasn't down right crazy. It didn't help that the crazy Mormon lady I lived with disobeyed the faith by drinking Coca Cola. She taught me that even though she demanded rigorous adherence to her ridiculous standards, she couldn't live up to her own set of values.

Later in high school, my friends talked some about their faith and I felt a little left out. Like there was something powerful in their connection to a power greater than themselves. I wondered what I was missing. I am afraid of "the faithful" because of the abuse I suffered.

I do respect other people who choose an organized faith path. So long as they let me alone to believe as I choose.

Still later, at holiday time, I often felt hypocritical because I didn't believe in the faith aspect. I heard another atheist speak of it being a social time of connection and gift giving. I felt a lot better after that. Though I do see some of the rushing around and worry a bit too much stress. I try and stay out of that.

While at the home of some relatives of my friend, I heard a Born Again Christian tell his children that there were dinosaurs on Noah's ark. It saddened me to see someone hold so tightly to their mythos that they fail to realize the power of their story.

This same father refused to take yoga for fear of being corrupted by the Indian mythos. I started to wonder why the power of "Jesus" didn't prevent this from happening? I've heard from other sources that "God" gives believers free will. Okay, I like free will, but what is their faith FOR if it doesn't give them the power to exercise without falling prey to a new faith?

My illusions of faith finally completely broke down after an online conversation with a devout Christian young lady. She desperately wanted to be in a relationship, but said she couldn't go out with men. She was so afraid the man would excite her into a sexual frenzy. Since that would be against "his plan," she refused to date anyone.

This floored me. Again, her belief didn't seem to comfort or guide her. It just kept her stuck. Clearly these people are not typical of all people's of faith. I know plenty of Christians who take and even teach yoga and plenty of deeply faithful young women who date without hopping into bed with the first person who smiles their direction. However, what they showed me was the lack of power in their "Jesus."

I started to feel the power of my own brain. If I don't want to sleep with a man, I wont. I don't happen to have any faith guiding me against it, so I view it as a choice. I can do what I think is in my physical  mental and emotional best interests.

I do understand that some may take offense at my commentary. Please understand that my conclusions are for me. If you find power and comfort in your faith, I have no interest in influencing your choice.

Kind and thoughtful comments welcome.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Suicide is Painless

No worries, it's just a title used to illustrate a point. I am not at the moment and rarely have feelings of suicide anymore.



A friend of mine lamented online about her job and I asked her what kind she wanted? Her reply that she wanted to shoot herself in the head. I never encourage anyone to hurt themselves, but I never belittle that feeling. I told her that we should save that for a last resort.

Some of us have very real pain and confusion about our feelings. Sometimes we get low that we think there's an option of ending it all. Mostly we want to just stop all the feelings of ouch. Mental or emotional ouch frustrate people looking at us from the outside AND when we look at ourselves.

It takes a lot of effort to figure out what the actual real feelings are, then sometimes those emotions change, hide or turn out to be related to something else. If someone grew up without examples of healthy feeling models, it's so much harder to know how to act.

I STILL cry when I'm angry and get angry over some trivial thing when what I really am is depressed. I had to learn how to be from TV to some extent. I loved the Brady Bunch because the parents got along, they talked about problems and worked toward a solution. The kids got into trouble and got punished in a way that didn't involve crazy acts of senseless violence.

People tell me, but no family is like that. Here's the thing, it's a better model than what I saw. Even as a child, I knew it wasn't "real," but it was still "real enough."

So to people who feel so much pain that they contemplate suicide, I ask that you consider that as the absolute last option. I would remind you that it is a very permanent solution to a probably temporary pain. Maybe spend a few years searching for alternatives that have a potential for alleviating your pain.

Here are some of mine.

Breathing. I breath in on a count of 4 hold for 2, out on a count of 4. It reduces pain and stress and clears my mind. It's way easier to find an alternative with a clear head.

Go for a walk and look at something natural. Sometimes just seeing the sun, a patch of blue sky, a leaf, smelling the smells of "outside," can ease up on the stress. Even cities have patches of nature. Life abides. It clings to the sides of buildings or cracks in the sidewalk. That's life affirming.

I count what I have. As I sit here, I have my fingers, toes, a mind, hearing, a sense of taste, enough eyesight to do what I need and the rest of my body functions well enough. I have a roof over my head and am managing to pay for food, transportation and utilities. I have friends I can call, chat and text. I had enough therapy that helped me gain skills to sort through my low points.

I choose OKAY. I remind myself that things that happened in the past are NOT happening right now. Even if they come into my mind, that was then and now I am safe. I have way more choices and I'm not six or seven years old. No one has power over me and if they try and hurt me, I can call the police and ask for help.

I understand how someone can feel so much pain as to seriously contemplate suicide. I always think, "wow you must be in a lot of pain," whenever I heard someone say that. That's what I want from people I love. Just to hear me. You cannot take away someone elses pain and denying that is the way they feel can often just push their pain deeper.

I prefer to hear, I understand you are feeling a lot of pain, what can I do to help? You don't even have to do "big helps. " just the act of the offer is often enough to help me. I cannot say what will help another, but I think others will respond to kindness too.

One big thing is to let us feel, but you don't have to feel the same thing or anything at all. Our emotions can be overwhelming, but it doesn't help us or you if you get overwhelmed too. Stay as neutral as you can and if you can't handle our pain, be kind  and tell us that you can't. Ask us to see if we can find someone else to talk to.

Even my dearest friends can't handle some of my hardest days. I don't currently have a therapy person, but they're an excellent third party. A well trained person can keep themselves from being washed overboard. Though telling someone to "seek professional help" can be quite shaming. Just tread light and act with kindness.

NEVER EVER suggest anyone act on suicidal thoughts. Saying you understand they are in pain does not support suicide. If you have acted with kindness and the person still speaks of suicide, YOU pick up the phone and call a professional.

Here's a link to numbers to call:
http://suicidehotlines.com/national.html


I have not called any of these personally so you will have to investigate their usefulness on your own. 

Everyone
1-800-784-2433 (National Hopeline
1-800-273-8255 (Suicide Prevention)

1-800-799-4889 (Hearing Impaired)


Teens:
1-800-448-3000 (Boys Town)
1-800-999-9999 (Covenant house)


CrisisChat.org
Online Emotional Support
Hours Vary - Approx
12hrs daily / 7 days

I'm Alive Crisis Chat
I'M ALIVE - An Online Crisis Network
Suicide & Crisis Chat
I'm Alive Chat

Share with all your friends, please. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Here Comes the Sun


The Oregon coast gets a lot of rain. We don't call ourselves the pacific north WET for nothin! So when the sun comes out, it reminds me of that Beatles song, Here Comes the Sun.

I first noticed it when I lived in England for a few months. Since George Harrison came from Britain, I figured he knew a thing or two about rain. I felt like singing when I saw sunlight.

We're getting a few days of respite between storms. Sadly, my man has to work so no "go for a ride in the car!" Ah well. We haven't got any money, anyway.

I'm going to keep this short, today. I haven't been keeping up, and I just wanted to post SOMETHING.

May some sunlight shine on you today.