In the wake of the tragedy in San Bernardino I am reminded of something I wrote over the summer. I work at a Regional Center. I have been in social services working with clients with Developmental Disabilities for over 16 years. It is scary to think such violence can happen anywhere, but when it hits a little closer to home..its really scary. I haven’t been able to put words to it as its unfolding. I guess this is an homage to individuals with disabilities and those of us who have big hearts…
I am losing faith in mankind. I just don’t understand this world sometimes. Not only my purpose in it, but how to live alongside ignorant, mean spirited, greedy people. Granted I am only hearing what the media throws at me, which of course is tainted with their spin. Unfortunately, I have also experienced this ignorance first hand lately. I’m more than willing to testify that my mood often dictates my reaction.
This morning driving to a work event I really wanted to blow the world up. I was agitated and irritated and wanted nothing to do with nobody. I was angry at you and you and you. I was angry at the police officer in Texas who threw a young girl around in a bikini and then sat on her for several minutes even though she appeared calm. I was angry at Billy Graham’s son for carrying on about same sex marriage spawned by what I considered a beautiful commercial involving adoption. I was angry at neighbors in an affluent area screaming NIMBYism at the mere thought of someone “different” moving into a house on their street. I was angry at…. Oh the injustice of it all.
People shouldn’t post pictures of themselves on facebook anymore marking an accomplishment such as running a marathon, or completing their first cross fit class. Should they do so, and gasp, more than once, they risk being deemed a narcissist. Really? Does a Facebook post really warrant pathology. I’m not pro Facebook, but neither am I anti. I see how it affects me sometimes and then it’s up to me to limit my relationship w good ol FB. I see my mother enjoy pictures of her grandkids who live across the country. To each his own. I used to be that person. I was very heavily involved in competitive tennis as well as an outside bootcamp fitness program. Many times I would come home from a killer workout and want to shout to the rooftops how good I felt. How great it was to start the day at 5:30 am w a sweat session. Then I would end the day w a tennis session. I try to think back now, why did I feel compelled to post about these “accomplishments.” Why did I want/need others to know? I THINK it was innocent. I don’t remember counting the likes I did or didn’t get. It was pure joy I wanted to express. I was feeling good and wanted to share. I never really thought how it might affect someone else. Say someone with depression or bipolar who couldn’t get off the couch but so desperately wanted too. I didn’t consider whoever may be reading it could be put off by me. Hmmmm. But nonetheless, does that make me a narcissist?
Even more interesting, or maybe not, is I never post at this stage of my life. Since I relapsed on alcohol and fell into suicidal depression, later to be diagnosed bipolar, I hide away. It seems more now than any other time I need to shout something and I am mum. I am angry and I say nothing. I get worked up about things and I bottle it deep. I get excited about very few things anymore and that too is held hostage. Really. Honestly. I just don’t think anyone cares what I have to say. Why bother.
This is where I am, vacillating between wanting to blow up the world and why bother. Neither really affects change. Neither makes me feel good. Remember I mentioned I was on the way to a work event when this thought process started. Well let me fill you in. I work in social services. Specifically with clients who have developmental disabilities. Today I had the privilege of talking w scared and disillusioned parents on how their son or daughter can live safely in the community. I educated them on resources, heard and acknowledged their fear of putting their beloved child into the arms of another for care and supervision, offered them hope. Me. I did that. I looked them in the eye and understood their vulnerability. I didn’t tell them what they should do. I didn’t make false promises. I just opened my mouth and shared information. I simply shared what I believe in my heart. Individuals with disabilities deserve the same rights as anyone. They deserve to live in a nice home where they have their own room, where they can make their own choices, where they feel cared for and comfortable.
I don’t necessarily have to carry a message about alcoholism or mental health, as I somehow think i do. I don’t have to shout things or long for a platform. I don’t have to prove anything. I just need to be me. I was as authentic and pure as I can hope to be today. As a member of mankind, my faith is rekindling.