Posted in Uncategorized

It’s Time to Get Up

We come to these places in our lives where we can choose to lie down, to wallow, and to remain, or to rise, to push on, and to move forward. That’s it, those are the choices. It’s okay to nurse our wounds, tend to our needs, and to rest our weary bones, but then we must away again if we are to live meaningful and productive lives in spite of the many cares this world throws at us.

Sometimes we need to be reminded to get up.

Posted in Uncategorized

Sometimes the darkness rolls in so quickly it takes my breath away and leaves me in a heap on the floor for weeks afterward, like the sudden plunge of a rollercoaster, but strapped into the seat of life.

#lifewithbipolar

Posted in Uncategorized

Bullied Bisexual

From 3rd grade onward – when we moved from the city to the rural area in which I spent my childhood/teen years – I was bullied.

I don’t remember my playing with dolls, hanging out with girls or dislike of balls, sports or other such things being a problem at all. Loving Star Wars, LEGOs and science was enough to fit in. Once we moved, it was like a giant wall went up and suddenly I was a total freak. Of course, being an outsider coming into a tiny community (pop. 300) has its challenges, but also being nearly a foot taller than anyone else, gangly, buck-toothed, with heavy glasses AND being a sissy-boy was a horrible combination for any sort of acceptance.

I did make a few friends, mostly girls, none of whom were really all that close, a couple of boys, also nerdy outsiders like myself, and became popular in many ways by sheer force of my personality. I was a straight-A student, outspoken and likable. I’m a damn nice guy, even now; even then, when I was beaten, taunted and treated like total shit by bullies AND by kids who called me ‘friend’. Any speck of ‘otherness’ was cause for ridicule and I dreaded going to school every single day, EVERY day, even though I LOVED academia and my teachers. There was a period in elementary school where I would vomit uncontrollably every Sunday night just thinking about Monday morning. To this day, I hate Sundays for that very reason.

The worst is that these things happened in full view of many of those same teachers and other adults and no one did a damn thing, never intervened, stood up to the bullies or for me. Ever.
When I first came to Facebook over a decade ago, it seems, I was bombarded with friend requests from people who bullied me, others who watched it happen and still others who I don’t recall having more than a passing conversation with more than once. I couldn’t understand it. I was mortified. The anxiety it created was overwhelming. Why would they want to ‘friend’ me? Did they have some other shitty thing to say and want to do it publicly on FB once I accepted their request? I couldn’t imagine. I now know I suffered a form of PTSD. But, those other kids from school, they were oblivious, they had no clue what my high school years had been like. They just saw my name and said, Aww, I know that dude. Cool. To them, the fact that they had called me a faggot, punched me in the face or yelled queer across a crowded classroom or down a hallway meant nothing now, that was ‘just being kids’, but it fucked me up for decades.

I’m surprised I’m posting this on my wall, but I guess maybe someone might see it and understand me a bit better. I only have a couple of friends on Facebook from those days now – they know.
If you have a kid, pay attention to what is going on with them. Don’t let these patterns repeat.

Posted in Uncategorized

No Grownups

When I was little, I couldn’t wait to be a grownup. Now, I’ve discovered there really aren’t any grownups, just a bunch of big humans wondering what the fuck is next.

Posted in Revue de Presse

The Myth and Meaning of Texas Independence

On this, the anniversary of Texas’ independance from Mexico – according to some – a fitting essaty by Dr. Stephen L. Hardin, Professor of History at The Victoria College, Victoria, Texas.  A well-researched and reasoned piece that examines the importance of the macro and microdynamics which led Texas to become the only U.S. state that was also a sovereign nation unto itself.

March 2, 1836 dawned, frigid and gray; cutting winds blew through glassless windows. Texians – as they styled themselves – huddled close, pulled blankets tight, and gave birth to a dream.

Source

Posted in Migraine

The Rat in My Brain

Pain radiates throughout the left side of my skull this morning, presently it has decided to focus underneath my left eye, as though there is a rat gnawing at the bone of the socket and simultaneously pushing against my upper left molars, his hind legs firmly entrenched in some enflamed, throbbing nerve-ladden spot just behind my left ear. The twitching of my eye only serves to further infuriate me as I try for the first time to write down the experience of a migraine while in its throes. To be honest, this one is mild or else I wouldn’t be writing anything – maybe a six with twinges of seven on a scale of 10.

The muscles in my neck are thick and stiff like new manilla rope, tugging at the base of my skull, spasming with the pulsing in my head. Sometimes the damage to my neck – bone spurs and bulging discs – can prompt a migraine, but oftentimes the headache begins first and pulls my neck into the whole neurochemical process. This isn’t your typical tension headache caused by stress; in fact, most of my pain is completely electro-chemical and induced by some still undiscovered imbalance. This chemical mess is why I’m nauseated most of the time, even when I don’t have a headache, but particularly when I do, and the meds I’m prescribed all have nausea as a side-effect, so there’s that.

Heightened senses are a common component of migraine, making sounds, tastes, smells, sights and touch distorted and overwhelming. And there’s no rhyme or reason to it, sometimes loud music is soothing if it has the right beat, while a whisper is excrutiating, certain tastes are sickening and others are bland, light of nearly any intensity is painful and being touched, even by the sheets is infuriating. A migraine is so much more than “just a headache” and to hear people say, “Oh, I had one of those once,” or, “This is giving me a migraine,” is usually a clear indicator that they are ignorant of migraine disease. Twenty-five years ago, when first diagnosed, I had four or five migraines a year, and that was the norm until about four years ago when my headaches gradually became chronic – defined as 15 or more headache days per month. There doesn’t appear to be any cause for mine, although chronic migraine is more common in middle age (I’ll be 45 this year). I currently experience between 25 and 30 headache days per month – severe.

As I was lying in bed next to Crystal earlier, with the rat grinding away, I thought what it would be like if I could take my head off and put it on a shelf for awhile. Or, even trade heads, not so the other person would have to suffer, really, but so that I could have my life back, just for a day. It has been so long, years, since I didn’t have some level of head pain on a daily basis that I don’t even know what a regular day feels like. My neurologist and I are focused now on quality of life rather than a cure, so there’s a possibility I’ll never have another “normal” day – a day where my thoughts aren’t clouded, where the sun doesn’t blind me, where sound isn’t painful, smell isn’t nauseating, being touched isn’t irritating and my favorite foods taste right again. I don’t want to be pitied, my life could be so much worse, and I do manage to eek out happiness in the midst of the pain. I have learned to smile and converse in the middle of a headache, to push my way through dinner with friends when I’m nauseated, to ride in the car for hours when every movement makes me want to cry, to bite my tongue when I want to bite someone’s head off instead.

It has taken me four and a half hours to put these few paragraphs of thoughts together. I’m an English major, a writer, this should be rote, but instead it’s a struggle. My pain is still blinding, sharper now than it was when I started. Definitely a seven. There are times when I wish I were dead and others when I’m so glad I’m not. Most of the time, sadly, I’m indifferent.

Learn more at http://www.migraine.com

Posted in Education, Teachers

Apathy – Does Your Prof Care More than You Do? Will Your Boss?

Ellen Bremen has written a powerful indictment of the entitlement culture rampant among youth.  As a high school teacher, I see this same apathy every day and the nanny state of our educational system won’t allow us to truly hold these students accountable for their lack of work ethic.  A student’s failure to read or submit assignments, engage in discussion or, often, even hold up his head in class is scapegoated to the teacher who is then indirectly pressured into inflating passing rates for fear of having to explain high failure rates.

When I was a student, cheaters received zeros and that was the end of the story. A colleague of mine is faced with the dilemma of having caught a cheater and being required to give the kid another chance to take the test and replace the zero. While I agree with the concept of content mastery, this student has forfeited the opportunity in this instance and should receive a zero and demonstrate mastery on an additional test rather than a replacement test.

Most often, the head of this hydra are the parents who insists a child has been unfairly treated or disadvantaged in some way. No longer is a teacher’s word trusted. I spend nearly as much time documenting poor and apathetic behavior for future reference as I do preparing lessons.

Does Your Prof Care More than You Do? Will Your Boss?.