Don’t Use Your Mental Illness as a Crutch

Sometimes it’s best that I don’t look at the traits or qualities of people that have bipolar disorder. I sometimes use it as a crutch or an explanation for some of my irrational actions or lack of motivation. But how do you tell when your actions ARE a direct result of your mental illness?

Bipolar Disorder is a Diagnosis, Not Your Identity

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in about 2009. I was formally diagnosed with it when I had to be put into a mental hospital for blacking out and going crazy with a knife. My hand went down the knife and severed the tendons in my right hand. When I came to, there was blood all over the kitchen and I was just all messed up.

The problem was that I was already on medication for Major Depressive Disorder. Had been on it since 2000. However, that day, I missed ONE dose of my Zoloft. One issue that I have that my Zoloft dulled was my anger when I feel as though I am being attacked or picked on. If I do something to diffuse a situation, just let it go. I can’t do the person constantly talking when I am doing what was asked. So this just happened to be the wrong day for someone to try that and it didn’t help that I then felt ganged up on when another voice added their opinion.

Anyhow, once I got out of the psych ward (I was there for 5 days. On day 3, I was pissed because I thought I was going to get out but they said I was still too mad), I then went to see a psychiatrist and social worker. Unfortunately, I still had to live in the home with the people that had driven me to that point. Why am I telling you this story?

Well, when I went to my psychiatrist, Dr. Errol Segall (love him!), they had already put me on Lithium and let me keep the Zoloft. I wasn’t feeling the Lithium. It made me fuzzy and it felt like there was something in the corner of my eye and I was going to run into walls. So he took me off the Lithium and gave me Seroquel instead (Seroquel was great…… for about 8 years and then it gave me dang on Diabetes(I blogged about that as well)). When he did this, knowing what I know about bipolar disorder, I know that Lithium is usually the first thing they put you on so I questioned the change. His response:

“I treat the person, not the diagnosis.”

– Dr. Errol Segall

And this is when I knew I was going to be with him until he retired or I died. LOL Listen, this is one of the biggest issues when it comes to mental health. There was a time where you just got put on certain medications due to your diagnosis. Oh, you have bipolar disorder, well Lithium it is. They treated the diagnosis, not the person. Granted, there are a lot more options out here for us to choose from when it comes to medications.

The issue now is getting people to go through the process of finding the med(s) that work for you. Many people get frustrated and give up. I know of many people that do that. It’s a frustrating process but it can be worked out as long as you communicate with your doctor.

I Said All This to Say What?

Everyone isn’t the same when it comes to treatment for their mental illness. Just as the same trauma doesn’t impact everyone in the same way, a diagnosis doesn’t manifest itself in people in the same way. This is also why I tell people not to suggest meds for other people because they worked for you. I can go down the list of all the meds that I was on that didn’t work for me but work just fine for other people. We have to really pay attention to things like that.

Anyhow, the main feature of bipolar disorder is usually going from one extreme to the other when it comes to moods. And then you have Bipolar II. Yes, and then you have depressive type, manic, with psychotic features, without psychotic features, current episode manic, depressed, mild, moderate, server (I’m thinking about the codes that we use for this because I’m a coder).

With ME personally, I’m usually in a depressed state. And this is even when I take my meds. Sometimes, as my psychiatrist explained, the change of the seasons can have an impact on my moods. At the start of spring, for some reason, I get really sad. It’s stupid and it happens every year and, every year, I’m emailing him about how bad I feel.

I have been manic before. Man, manic bipolar for me came in the form of being overtly sexually promiscuous. So, I would say that I had two periods of just being out there. Many times I would get drunk so that I could do whatever and not care about it. Now, alcohol and your prescription drugs are not friends so don’t do that. DON’T DO THAT!

So, with MY bipolar disorder, I know what I can do and can’t do. I also know the overall rules and actions if one has bipolar disorder as there are some that a good chunk of people with the diagnosis share.

When I got on Seroquel, I gained a lot of weight. To combat that, I got a personal trainer (tax money) and started working out. I kept the weight off because I worked out. Working out helped my mental illness because I would run in the sun (the sun is great for your mental health) and my body was looking great. After those years went by and the Seroquel started to work against my body, I got frustrated. I was literally doing what I was supposed to be doing as far as eating, working out, lifting weights, and the weight wasn’t coming off.

Now, I could have just blamed it on the meds and stayed unmotivated. But, since I’m in the medical field, I went to the doctor. I knew something was wrong. People would assume that I was lying about doing everything I was supposed to do to keep the weight off but I wasn’t. A blood test showed that I had flippin diabetes and the Seroquel was no longer my friend. I talked to my psychiatrist and he took me right off it. Seroquel, however, HAD been how I got to sleep until it stopped working and I had to take Melatonin (it’s natural) to go to sleep. So, since it wasn’t working after all those years, it had to go.

They put me on Metformin for 30 days and found out that I didn’t even need it. The weight came off and all was well.

I am now on Zoloft (my ride or die) and Klonopin. Klonopin really hasn’t been doing much for me lately. With MY bipolar disorder, I don’t stop thinking so I need something so that I can quiet the chatter and go to sleep. I have since found other ways outside of that medication to get to sleep. However, according to my Fitbit, my sleep is not a restful sleep. It’s usually very light with very little deep sleep.

So I had to learn to turn everything off and just listen to a book on a timer or listen to one of my podcasts. A really good one is Snoozecast on Spotify. They just read boring books until you fall asleep. I usually don’t make it through an episode. You just turn everything off, turn over, and go to sleep. If I don’t get sleep, I can run into a manic episode. If I don’t at least take my Zoloft, that will allow my anger to come out at the slightest thing so I rarely missed my Zoloft after “the incident” in 2009.

Crutches

I could very easily use my diagnosis as a crutch. If I wanted to, I could probably be on disability because I have lost jobs because of my temper. I don’t want to do that though so I take my meds and try to keep on.

Yes, it’s hard but life isn’t easy most days. And there are many days where I want to give up. I could use my diagnosis as a reason to just never talk to anyone and be a hermit. I could stop taking my meds and just act a fool and blame it on not taking my meds. I could blame not being motivated on having bipolar disorder and let my house look like trash (it looks like trash now but I do my best to set a goal to do something every day to rectify the situation).

Many people make generalizations about people with mental illnesses. We’re “crazy”, we’re “violent”, we’re “great in bed”. Well, some of us are those things if we don’t do what we’re supposed to do. I see a therapist as well as my psychiatrist, I set goals, I try to better myself as a person, and I try to help other people that might need some help coming to terms with whatever affliction they are suffering from. I try to make myself useful to others. I could just lay down and be like “Well, the bipolar got me so I just won’t do anything.” But I can’t do that.

I have a little girl and I’m all she has. And life isn’t easy for her as she has a moderate intellectual disability as well as autism. And, who knows, she might get my genes and have bipolar disorder too. So what example am I setting for her? Yes, it’s hard and sometimes I’m VERY hard on myself but I have to look at the bigger picture. I could be dead. I mean, I want to be dead most days BUT I have to keep on chugging along.

My Suggestion (No, I’m No Doctor)

Evaluate yourself alone or with the help of a therapist. Even if you don’t have a mental illness and just don’t feel right, do this. Find out what makes you happy and, if it’s safe, do it.

I talked in my last post about how Kpop has changed my life. I might not be motivated to do something but let one of my favorite Kpop songs come on and watch my whole attitude change. And I KNOW this but sometimes I just literally want to be unmotivated and that frustrates me because I KNOW what I need to do to change my attitude.

My friends tell me often that I am a bit too hard on myself. Sometimes I am because I know what I am capable of but I just sit there like a dummy and be like “Yeah, the bipolar got me today again.” That’s not an excuse. Bipolar disorder or not, I know what I can do and I know what can motivate me to do it.

In other words, learn yourself, KNOW yourself. You can do whatever you want and no diagnosis will stop you from doing it. I bet you were doing it before so don’t let your diagnosis define you. Sure, it might seem a little hard at times. I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder at 20. I had to talk to a therapist, learn my triggers, learn what made me happy and sad, learn what made me want to murder, and learn how to cope with those things (I have blogged about all these things) but I know myself better and I tailor everything I do to my limitations; because, although my diagnosis doesn’t define me, I still have limitations. I don’t want to put myself into situations where the old me might come out.

In the process, I have had to cut people off that I found out really didn’t care about me at all. I had to be happy with being an introvert because I have always been one although it doesn’t seem as though I am when I am out with people. I had to seek out a job where I don’t have to deal with actual people in person. I have had to give myself a little bit of credit for the things that I have accomplished regardless of all the things that were thrown at me. I have had to learn to give myself a little bit of grace. During the week, I get drained so I give myself ONE day on the weekend to stay in the bed and do absolutely NOTHING (besides feed my little family and make sure they are okay). I deserve that day and I will not feel guilty for doing it.

In the end, I am not bipolar. I HAVE bipolar disorder, but it’s not who I am. So I will not let it define me and I will not use it as a crutch. But I have to remember that there is a happy medium. We won’t always have great days and that’s okay. But don’t just lay down and stop because someone gave you a diagnosis that people feel should limit you.

I was all over the place in this post but these are just the thoughts that tumble off my head sometimes. I really think a lot. You guys would HATE to see me manic. I was manic a couple of times last year. That was fun (NO, it really wasn’t).

How Kpop Changed My Life – Part TWO: Fan Wars

This is Where Kpop Gets STUPID

I really hate this subject. I really hate the people that promote it. This is kind of when I hate Kpop in general. Something SO beautiful that should unite everyone gets turned into this mess. And, maybe it’s because I’m older, but I don’t see the point of it. I just don’t.

What makes it SO stupid is the fact that these “idols” get along with each other and have no beef. HOWEVER, the fans have beef and will hold a grudge. Granted, the demographic for a lot of the 2nd and 3rd generation of Kpop are younger. They’re always talking about going to school and the like so I’m assuming most of them are teenagers and this is their life.

Shoot, when I was a teenager, people tried to fight over Backstreet Boys and N’Sync. I mean, I liked both. I had more Backstreet Boys music but I could belt out some N’Sync songs. It was NEVER that serious, for real. It was music after all.

Courtesy: Entertainment Weekly

So when I see the arguments and the like about some musicians or groups, I literally shake my head. However, I decided to talk to some ARMY (BTS fans) about their beef with EXO-Ls (EXO fans) on Twitter. Maybe I need to give you the rundown of the groups, I guess.

Some Popular Groups and the Names of Their Fans

  • BlackPink – Blinks
  • EXO – EXO-Ls or Aeries
  • BTS – ARMY
  • SHINee – Shawol
  • SuperM – Spermies
  • NCT – NCTzens
  • GOT7 – iGOT7
  • SuperJunior – ELF (Everlasting Friends)
  • Big Bang – VIP
  • Girls’ Generation – SONE
  • Red Velvet – Reveluv
  • Twice – Once
  • Stray Kids – Stay

Source: 20 K-pop fandom names and their meanings | SBS PopAsia

Light Sticks
And Then the Fight Started

Okay, so I had to sit here and get a history lesson as to why EXO-Ls and ARMY didn’t get along. It all started in 2015 maybe? Basically, ARMY say that EXO-Ls went on a crusade to say that BTS plagiarized stuff and that they didn’t deserve any of the attention they were getting when they started getting more in 2018 or something.

If you KNOW anything about BTS, they came a LONG way. And, when I say a LONG way, I mean they were going to break up because they just weren’t succeeding and were getting overlooked a lot. Somehow, it is said that EXO-Ls were the cause of their mental breakdown and that they almost broke the group up.

BTS gets my respect for a TON of reasons but the MAIN one is because they didn’t give up. They were suffering from depression, Jimin was dealing with an eating disorder (some idiots tried to go online and make HORRIBLE comments about that to the point that their company had to step in What Happened to Jimin From BTS? His Management Company Is Going After His Trolls (distractify.com)), and their music changed because of it. Their music grew and resonated even more with teenagers. That’s how it got to the U.S. on such a large scale. They talked about topics that many Kpop groups DON’T talk about. Being sad is okay. Being depressed is OKAY. Helping one another through that pain is needed. Their struggle produced empowering songs for our youth. That’s one thing I cannot even begin to thank them for.

In Asian society, that’s not something they usually talk about. There are a lot of suicides in Asian communities because their children are pushed to be the best and get good grades. It takes a toll on younger people. It takes a toll on adults too but their music really resonated with teenagers and I appreciate that. My best friend’s daughter is an ARMY and sometimes she needs to listen to them to get through some of the horrible things that have gone on in the past few years.

Wanna know something flippin HEE LARRY US? EXO and BTS are friends. They get along. They have no beef with one another. They’re GOOD. There are videos of them hanging out having a ball. But these little kids (they have to be teenagers because I don’t know of adults that are like this) told ME today ON Twitter (I need to stay off Twitter. I had to literally mute the conversation) that now that BTS is popular, EXO-Ls wanna be friends. Oh, and they blamed ALL EXO-Ls for it. First of all, um…. I became a fan of Kpop 3 or 4 years ago, I wasn’t on Twitter, and I surely don’t have the time to battle over some dang on musicians that don’t pay my rent.

Because these people are children, they don’t understand and likely won’t. I told them “In 10 years, you’re going to look back on this conversation and wonder why you even wasted your time.”

Many mature fandoms respect one another. But then you have those that are a bit delusional IN ALL FANDOMS. They make comments like “________ is the BIGGEST idol of all time!” And I’m sittin here like “What are you doing?”

The members of these groups put everything on the line from a VERY young age to be kpop stars. With that said, they all need to be respected. Some were as young as 16 doing this while they were supposed to be in school. Yes, this is their life and THEY get paid for it but what’s so hard about loving music, supporting them as artists, not comparing them, and just being an all around good person.

As an EXO-L am I supposed to walk around fighting everyone that isn’t in my “club”? That’s what I get for playing with these kids.

Sadly, I feel that fandoms ruin the fun in kpop. They really do. If you want to watch a vid on YouTube, just stay out of the comments. The delusional comments will make your roll your eyes until they get stuck. Now, I have my favorites all day but I’m not going to talk bad about another group because my “Alpha” or gateway group is EXO-L. Guess who was over here playing Dynamite? I believe they just hit 1 Billion views on YouTube. We ALL were watching it because it was a good song. Now, I know that kpop is based on popularity and they are always asking people to vote for stuff. I stay away from that. I just let my streams and views do the talking for me. And I’m not sitting around replaying the dang on video to help it get views. I have a real job. But, man, what happened to just listening to music?

One person (had to be a kid) said that BTS “paved the way” for Kpop. Now, to me, a 41 year old woman, that’s like saying that Beyoncé paved the way for R&B. Now, we all know this isn’t true. We know it’s not true because there would be no Beyoncé without the likes of Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, etc. So we can’t make comments like that without making ourselves look dumb. And this is why people make fun of Kpop as a whole; dumb comments like that. BTS wanted to get INTO Kpop because of those that paved the way for them.

Then we have to take into consideration the fact that, in 2013, when they came out, it was harder to reach worldwide audiences. We didn’t really use YouTube, Spotify, or iTunes like that. That’s how they judge things NOW as opposed to when they debuted. Super Junior debuted in 2005 (my daughter is their age). SHINee debuted in 2008. So guess who didn’t really know anything about Kpop; most Americans. EXO and BTS debuted in 2012 and 2013 respectively. BTS’s members respect EXO, SHINee, Super Junior (most younger idols do) because they are what made them WANT to be a Kpop star. And, in Asian cultures, they respect their “hyungs”. There are SO many popular groups that haven’t crossed over to the U.S. in the manner that BTS has yet and maybe they will once the world opens up again. SuperM was on the verge of doing that when COVID hit (I went to their concert and it was EPIC!).

Quick Question: Who remembers Gangnam Style? FOUR BILLION YouTube views. My KID was singing that song. IJS…. but yeah….

There is so much proof of the love that ALL these groups have for one another. So, if you love your group, why not follow their example? I would think that this discord was coming more from U.S. fans as we are an individualistic society that is out for self BUT it’s actually coming from the collectivist societies which kind of blows my mind. Everything isn’t to be a competition. As I have said in previous blogs, “you don’t have to down others to uplift yourself”.

Look at these fools getting along while yall out here fighting about nothing.

One More Thing

When Jonghyun, a beloved member of SHINee committed suicide in 2017, EVERYONE came together. They didn’t care if they were from the same company or ANY of that. They came together because they all had/have a respect for one another. When the fandoms learn to do the same, you’ll be better for it.

Just today, I saw on Twitter that a Chilean show made fun of BTS and EVERYONE rallied around them https://www.cbsnews.com/news/bts-racist-joke-mi-barrio/. It doesn’t matter who you “Stan”, an attack on any Kpop group is an attack on all. Most of them are from South Korea and the joke was that their names were all the NORTH Korean dictator’s name. The social climate right now is trash for all people of color. In addition to this, because some “smart” person called COVID the “Chinese flu”, Asian people have been getting attacked for just being themselves in the U.S. (not sure if it’s going on anywhere else but I will research). If you’re going to be a fan of Kpop, be a fan of Kpop. All this extra is draining. That isn’t the purpose of Kpop.

Because I love me some EXO-L and were introduced TO Kpop because of them, I have the best of ALL worlds. Lookie here: With all of the vlogs, new music, new videos, variety shows, dance practice, etc, I haven’t been without great content for the three years I have been a fan of Kpop. They have ALL made my life happier. Hate doesn’t make you happy. It just doesn’t. And music is supposed to make you HAPPY.

So I’m going to enjoy my EXO, SuperM, SHINee, BTS, Super Junior, Ateez, Stray Kids, WayV, NCT (all of them), and more while yall try to figure out who is the most popular.

In the end, if these are your kids doing this dumb mess, pop em. If you’re an adult doing this dumb mess, get a job or find a hobby because this ain’t it.

Thank you for reading Part TWO of my series of a million. I will be talking about a lot more things that have to do with Kpop but this one came up today because Twitter was trippin.

I’M BACK AND I’M PISSED!!!!

As SOON as I finished this, I go on YouTube for laughs and find out that a person that makes funny vids about Kpop (NCT) has been getting STALKED and getting HATE MAIL! I suffer from depression but I’m on meds but this is a young person doing something that makes people laugh and people have the AUDACITY to tell them to commit suicide, call, and send letters of hate? What is WRONG with people? This is why folks think Kpop fans are nuts. This mess right here ain’t cute nor where it’s at. STOP!

Think Before You Speak on DMX, Mental Illness, and Addiction

A lot of people are making a lot of comments about this man, his life, his friends, his death, his trauma, and his addiction. People are literally out here claiming that no one cared about him while he was alive. That has to be a huge lie. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

How DMX Impacted MY Life Personally

I have never really been a huge fan of rap. There are very few rappers that I follow and whose work I am eager to hear as soon as it comes out. My younger brother actually introduced me to DMX and just recently told me that he would steal my CDs and listen to them on the way to school. I actually had DMX tapes.

This man’s music made you listen. I listened to his lyrics and learned so much about him as a person, understood his rage, understood his trauma. This man went through a lot of trauma. You can’t claim you’re a fan of his and not know what this man has gone through.

Some girl on Facebook said that she listened to his music and didn’t know about his trauma. Everyone was like “Well, what songs exactly did you listen to?” His FIRST album told you about him and he continued his story throughout his work. In addition to his music, he spoke on it.

I was an angry teenager. I had not been diagnosed with bipolar disorder nor depression but I identified with the rage in his songs. I yelled his songs. His songs calmed me down when I was pissed. I would drive to jobs that I hated yelling DMX songs and it worked. It probably saved lives and kept me out of prison.

“People Only Care About Him Now That He’s Dead”

This is trash. Everyone knows it’s trash. People were trying to support this man. But you can’t make a person change. He was on Fix My Life and went off on Iyanla. Many high powered people tried to help him but he had demons that many people that make this ignorant comment don’t know about. If you read any book on addiction or psychology, know at least ONE person that is addicted to drugs, or just have a heart, you would know that this man went through a lot from a YOUNG age. And I’m not going to spell it out. I would invite those that don’t know to do some research.

He grew up hard and the mere fact that he made it to 50 years shows that he was a fighter. He very easily could have just killed himself. But he decided to channel his feelings into his music. In the process of doing that, he brought people up WITH him.

Swizz Beatz just talked about him on Instagram and talked about how he took other people’s pain and made it his own. He said he was hurting all the time and that he went to jail to get a break. That’s a problem. It’s sad. We knew about his history of drug use but many people don’t understand what caused that drug use. He was self medicating. For him to make it to 50, again, is HUGE!

He was LOVED. He was so loved that Jay Z paid his debt. Other big names always talked to him. He was a very intelligent man but he saw things on a level that many wouldn’t understand. Swizz talked about how he never purchased expensive things and how he always did for others. He talked about how he prayed for everyone while he was in pain himself.

I can identify with DMX because I tend to take on other people’s pain and make it my own but don’t expect people to do the same for me. Thankfully, my friends have shown me that that’s not how it’s supposed to be. However, it’s hard to tell someone who suffers from mental illness and addiction that. A friend can only do but so much. I just have a mental illness, I don’t know what I would be like suffering from addiction.

DMX was trying yall. He had gone to rehab and was trying to get himself together. But, this again, is the self medication I was talking about. It also is another example of how the Black community shuns mental health because of the fact that it will make you look “weak”, especially men.

You are stronger than you know when you ask for help. He was trying though. The mere fact that he took it upon himself to go to rehab was huge. That would give him the opportunity to actually TALK about his issues while undergoing detox. Rehab usually takes numerous tries, however. You don’t go once or twice and come out okay. I have seen instances where people were in and out of rehab.

“How Come His Friends Didn’t Help Him?”

DMX had very powerful people on his side. But power and money can’t MAKE a person change their thinking nor their dependence on drugs. I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist but anyone can tell you that he didn’t properly deal with the trauma in his life. And that didn’t help when he got into drugs at such a young age.

Drugs made him feel good. It made him forget. He actually said this in interviews. He is no different than most addicts that have suffered trauma in this instance. It’s the instant gratification from drugs. Having to undergo treatment and talking about things that truly make you worse (while not being able to take the very drugs that blocked those instances out) is a hard process. Some people can’t handle that process. I don’t fault them for it either. I don’t. I have friends that have been through HORRIBLE things and WERE addicts. They went through a lot, burned a lot of bridges, were in and out of rehab, tried different drugs to get over one drug, etc. It is a long, hard process.

Here is an interview with Talib Kweli in the L.A. Times where TK talks about an interview he did with DMX.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/music/story/2021-04-09/dmx-rapper-dies-50-ferocity

Anyone that was in his circle or actually talked to him said the same things about him. This man wasn’t a bad person. He just didn’t deserve the life he got at a young age. His trauma and speaking on it, however, helped MANY that identified with him.

What I DO Know

Reading medical charts has also brought this home. I’m in training on Medicaid charts (we train on these yearly at my job) and many of these people are addicts. And, when I read their charts and see their trauma…. sometimes I get very teary. I can’t imagine living the way many have lived and, therefore, I cannot blame them for their addiction. I can’t.

We really have to look outside ourselves and have a little bit more empathy. I also tell people to watch what they say because life will humble you. Yeah, you aren’t suffering from addiction right now but everyone is one trauma or accident away from mental illness or addiction.

I read the charts to know it. You can hurt your back and get addicted to opioids. So watch what you say and hope that people have enough of a heart not to laugh at you and blame you for your issues. Everyone isn’t you. Everyone didn’t live your life. Everyone doesn’t have your values and/or resources.

Again, be very careful in your speech.

Thanks for reading.

How Kpop Changed My Life (Part ONE of a MILLION)

I LOVE Music!!!!

Music heals! I tell people this all the time and there are studies that affirm this thought. I can listen to a song and it can instantly make me smile or get energized. Kpop is Korean pop. The thing about Kpop is that everything they do is OVER the TOP and we are HERE for it! Their choreography has professional dancers GAGGING, their videos are CGI and out of this world, and lets not talk about how beautiful these men are. OMG!

My Introduction to Kpop

Okay, I have friends that have been to Korea or are just fans of Kpop. And I kept hearing about this BTS group (SPOILER: They are NOT my “gateway” group) so I was like “Let me go to good ole Spotify and see what these folks are talking about”.

Instead of picking a group, I picked a playlist of all the Kpop groups and started to listen. A song came on that I liked so much, I put it on repeat. I was hooked! What was the song? El Dorado by a group called EXO. The song is beautiful. But then I made a fatal mistake: I went to YouTube to see if there was a video for that song. There was a live performance video of that song. I watched it with intensity and I saw two men that had a charisma that just JUMPED out at me.

Problem Number One: Telling Them Apart

Now, this is common knowledge BUT it is hard to tell people apart from a race different than yours. I can tell black people apart because I’m black BUT psychology says that sometimes it’s a bit hard to tell other races apart. Until I got friends of other races or learned the personality of the person, I used to think that they all looked alike (sorry, I’m human. Took me a while to tell the characters from Game of Thrones apart too).

In Kpop, there are groups with TONS of members and you have to really be told who is who. On Facebook, they have a lot of videos of “unhelpful guides” to groups. They will go down each of the members of the groups which helps me to know that I am not alone in this world.

One group that I recently got hooked on due to the group featured above was NCT and I believe they have 23 members. TWENTY THREE MEMBERS!!!! Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself.

In order to learn who my future “babies” would be, I had to ask one of my Kpop loving friends (she’s an ARMY, we’ll talk about that later) who happens to be Asian (shout out to my girl, Chalita. She is the REAL MVP). I would give her the time stamp and ask who the person was in the video. She was very helpful especially when I started wanting to learn about BTS. It was then that I found my bias(es). Okay, look, I cheated.

What in the WORLD is a bias?

A “bias” is your favorite person in a group. There’s some unwritten rule that we are to have one. Okay, so my first one was this beautiful specimen named Baekhyun (real name Byun Baek-hyun). This man has a ton of talent, can snatch your soul with a high note, and is extremely funny. But there was someone else that stole my heart. A “bias wrecker”.

What is a bias wrecker?

A “bias wrecker” is someone that takes your attention away from your bias, basically. These groups are full of beauty. They are just beautiful men. The guy that took me away from beautiful Baekhyun was Kai (real name Kim Jongin). Kai is a work of art. This man is such a work of art that he is KNOWN for his style as well as his collabs with big names in the fashion industry. He just did a campaign with Gucci that features my favorite thing as a child, bears. However, the main thing that he WAS known for (we are learning more and more about how talented he is due to his new self titled album) was his dancing. This man can DANCE!

The first time I found THAT out was when I watched an OLD video called “Call Me Baby” by EXO. This man…. You will just know him AND Baekyhun when you see them. Remember, VOICE (BH) and DANCE (Kai). By the way, this has been my ring tone for YEARS now.

All Downhill From Here

Once you start on that slippery slope, that’s it. You’re gone. Once you find that ONE group that you got hooked on, you just start looking for ALL their songs. Since I was late to the game with them, I had a LOT of catching up to do. And I sure did catch up. I also learned more about the members and Korean culture. I even tried to learn Korean using Duolingo (I am not doing that well, I have to admit). So, until you can learn the language, you just yell out crap that you think might SOUND like what they’re saying and call it a day.

BUT, the fun is that again, you are not alone. I am SO not alone that there are series on YouTube called Misheard Lyrics that crack me up. I am subscribed to a great one that really needs more subscribers because they are so funny. They are called RebEwel (Rebecca and Jewel). They do a lot of Kpop songs and it’s hilarious. But you have to have watched the video first because these men are so beautiful that you won’t be able to look at the subtitles. OMG! You see this guy here, that’s Chen. Another one that is known for his high notes. This man can SANG! He and Baekhyun are known for their beautiful high notes. The two of them together are unstoppable. Okay, let me get back on track. This might need to be like a five part series or something because there is so much I have to GIVE on this subject. LOL

Another fun thing that you can see on YouTube are reactions to the Kpop vids. They can come from YouTubers or the groups themselves (because many don’t see it until it has all been done. They just dance and jump around green screens until it comes out).

So we have BrisXLife who is another ARMY but just is a true fan of good music. I’m always yelling at him on his Instagram and Twitter about songs I need to see. He also has a love/hate relationship with one of the members of SuperM (a supergroup made up of SMs best members), Lucas (and he is another bias wrecker, OMG!).

BrisXLife Mad at Lucas
My BaeKai Reacting to Kai’s First Solo Single
Roles of Members of the Groups

In Kpop groups, everyone has a role. I will use EXO as an example and we might get into more Kpop terminology here.

  • Leader (keeps the other members in line and starts off the intro for the group)- Suho
  • Center (usually the person in the middle, draws your eye) – Kai
  • Rapper (self explanatory) – Sehun and Chanyeol (sometimes Kai too)
  • Dancer (self explanatory) – Xiumin, Kai, Sehun (I believe)
  • Main Vocals (self explanatory) – D.O., Baekhyun, Chen
  • Maknae (youngest member of the group) – Sehun
  • Fake Maknae (looks like the youngest but isn’t) – Xiumin
I Really Do Have SO Much More to Give

Okay, so I’m going to stop here but we will talk about a lot of other things. I would like to stick to the light things for now but there are some dark things as well (as there are with anything).

I would like to touch on the following:

  • fandoms
  • abbreviations
  • fan wars
  • mandatory military enlistment
  • eating disorders
  • why they were wearing masks before we had to
  • how Kpop got me through the last 3 years
  • Chinese vs Koreans ( this makes me sad because it really impacted EXO)
  • going to a concert BY MYSELF to see SuperM (the featured pic) when I hate people AND crowds
  • being old and having to tell these teenagers to calm down with the hate (LOL)
  • light sticks and their importance
  • why buying their CDs (even though no one plays CDs anymore) is a BIG DEAL!

So I will stop here. There is a lot more to Kpop than people know and I’m going to give you guys the Kpop for Dummies version. I also only like male Kpop groups for some reason so I won’t be talking about girl groups unless it applies to one of the members of a male group.. If you stick around, great, I would be happy. If not, like the President, BIDEN (bye den)!

Thanks for at least making it this far!

Hard Days Living with Bipolar Disorder

I haven’t had the best few weeks or maybe even months. Someone told me that tomorrow is Worldwide Bipolar Disorder Day and I don’t think that this post would be appropriate for that day because it’s not a very happy blog.  

For many years, I have been doing everything to better myself as a person.  I have gone to school, obtained a degree, learned more about myself, worked out, made sure to take my meds religiously, tempered my speech, learned about how to rear my daughter with her disabilities, and tried my best not to kill myself.  

I do my best not to be around my triggers (see: Knowing Your Triggers) and I try my best to temper myself when people feel the need to test me or treat me as if I don’t matter and am not a person.  Even with all this that I try to do, it is not recognized.  

Does It Matter if It’s Recognized?

To me, it does in a way. I see my growth and I feel proud of myself but when people deny that growth or take advantage of that growth, it makes you want to return to what you were.  

It’s crazy because people that KNOW me and have known me for a decade or more understand where I came from, what I was, and who I was.  My therapists tell me all the time that they are proud of me and my progression.  But it seems as though I am backsliding.  I take my meds and do what I’m supposed to do but there are situations in which you cannot control your triggers but only your response.  

My mom got sick again.  When she gets sick, she calls me which is fine because I am in the medical field.  But, when you call me and I offer you advice (sound advice), acknowledge and maybe take it.  I might not be a doctor or even a nurse but, if you read medical charts all day, see the whole process of a person being sick, their treatments, and discharge (or death), you learn some things. You also have to know physiology, pharmacology, anatomy, etc. But I digress.  If I suggest something you don’t do it, and then a doctor tells you exactly what I told you, it bothers me. 

And it bothers me because it’s as if I’m a whole dummy.  It’s not even about being right but it’s about at least just listening.  I told my mother to go to the ER instead of the urgent care. She and my sister decided that they weren’t going to do that. She ended up being admitted to the hospital.  Cool.  Fine.  It is what it is?  

My other sibling (technically, I am only really claiming my brother at this point) got mad at something and told me to forget it then brought it up again, I said “It’s forgotten”, and she got mad that I did what she had asked me to do.  This whole picking fights thing irks me.  And it really bothers me when THIS sister does it because we usually get along. I don’t do or say anything to intentionally hurt anyone.  Funny thing is that I never really did do that but people have labeled me as “mean” for a very long time. Since I was a teenager. The ONE thing I always prided myself on was the fact that I never provoked anyone. I never just did stuff just to be mean.  If I were to go to the bad place, it was because someone KEPT picking with me.  

For some reason, when my mother is sick, the devil comes out of my siblings and I have to sit there and be the whipping boy. No one wants to hear anything and it’s all about instant gratification.  So the other girl that came out of my mother decided that my mother wasn’t asking the right questions, the docs weren’t doing their jobs, etc.  Although I have never worked in a hospital full time, I do know that tests and the like take time. I also knew that this time wasn’t like the last time when my mother almost died and was not able to make decisions for herself.  It is also a time when COVID is a big deal and my mother is not the only patient in the hospital.

However, that was not good enough for her.

Oh, and lets not talk about how my mother literally yelled at me for suggesting a procedure that she had before because her issue is likely gastrointestinal related.  She thought I was talking about them sticking a tube down her nose into her stomach.  I was talking about a colonoscopy. She yelled at me and I just had to let it go. Next day, what happens?  The doctor suggested the exact same thing that I had suggested.  Even when I had tried to explain the two procedures, she had yelled at me.  But yeah….

I mean, as a person with a mental illness, sometimes we take issue with people seemingly picking on us or we see everything as picking on us; especially when it comes back to back to back. So the other girl that came out of my mother said we weren’t asking the right questions, the docs didn’t know what they were doing, and that my mom was just laying in the hospital for nothing (hospitals aren’t doing that especially during COVID but what do I know), oh, and that she thought that she should go to another hospital because they seemed to have done a better job.  I tried to explain to her that, in this instance, no one has to tell us anything as our mother is able to speak her mind (HIPAA).  My mother was very frustrated because the “other girl” decided that the doctor needed to talk to HER because she had questions.  The thing is:  What kind of questions are you going to ask and will you understand the answers?  Also, she made a comment that she had a doctor friend that told her to just have the doctor talk to them.  Well, if that’s not YOUR patient, that doctor doesn’t have to talk to you about anything and, again, HIPAA.  My mother didn’t authorize that so what are you doing?

In the end, the docs knew to talk to me. That seemed to be a problem to the other person as I must just be too dumb to impart the importance of having questions answered because I’m not the smartest tool in the shed.  Everyone has their own lane.  One is good at finances, one is good at real estate, one is good at technology, and one is good at medical issues.  We all have a lane.  

So, when I imparted that info to the “other one”, she got mad and said that we’re not asking the right questions and that she needed answers and that no one was going to tell her not to care about her mother. I calmly tried to tell her that no one was saying not to care about her mother.  My point was that our mother has a voice this time and can make her own decisions and ask us when she needs help.  I also told her that I didn’t have the energy to argue with her about it and that my mental state wasn’t the best right then. My brother (the only sibling I am claiming at this point) said to give it a rest. 

TWO hours later, this “person” says that if my mental state isn’t the best that I should allow someone else to take care of the medical part.  Now, here is why that was just a messed up thing to say:

I have bipolar disorder BUT I still take care of my responsibilities.  If I didn’t have the capacity to prioritize, I wouldn’t have a job, my child and my animals would not be taken care of, and I would be homeless.  I am a functioning individual and I was going to make sure I was around when I was needed.  I do what I have to do for those I care about.  I told her this and told her to leave me alone. 

Instead of letting it go, she said “Just looking out for you, sis”. And I knew she wasn’t being sincere. At that point, again, I had to tell her to leave me alone.  What kind of person just keeps picking at a person? I know who does and this is why I don’t really talk to her often, especially online because people talk recklessly online or via text and I can’t touch them. It really irks me when people that KNOW what I am capable of KEEP messing with me. 

My Final Decision and Only Recourse

At that point, the only thing I could do is only speak to them about my mother so that she didn’t have to tell everyone the same story over and over again.  I explained what was taking place, what was going to happen, etc.  The doctor talked to me Saturday and she was discharged from the hospital. 

I haven’t talked to the “siblings” since then. I don’t need to.  I have nothing to say to them.  When I do things, the ONE thing that I ALWAYS do is reread the conversation (especially via text) to find out what I did wrong. I evaluate myself and how things could have been misinterpreted because I don’t want to be mad at something when I was in the wrong.  And, if I see my mistake, I apologize.  

In my family, we weren’t taught to apologize. Will I get an apology for any of the things that happened in those few days?  No.  However, if I had been the offender, I can tell you that I would have apologized.  The issue, in my opinion, is that no one in my family feels that I am worthy of an apology.  This low self worth could be part of my depression at this point and just needing a little bit of a “Hey, good job!” would have helped. This is a personal problem and no one’s issue but my own but these are my feelings. This is how I process things when I’m already in a depressed state.

And that’s fine.  It doesn’t seem as though I am worthy of a lot of things lately and it’s wearing on me.  And when things wear on me, I start to have negative thoughts.  

Suicidal Thoughts

One thing that the insurance was worried about was the fact that my only reason for living is my little family (my daughter, dog, and cat).  Those are my reasons for living.  My daughter especially.  The insurance is saying that I need other reasons for wanting to live.  

Look at this world though.  Where is the reason to live? I have great friends but these friends have their own serious problems that are really very big in comparison to mine.  I haven’t lost anyone close to me, lost my job, been assaulted, etc (knock on wood).  So my hurt feelings, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t anything they need to be bothered with.  That’s why I have a therapist and a psychiatrist.  They can listen.

When things bother me and happen in succession, everything just feels bad.  And, when everything just feels bad, you have a hard time even enjoying the things that once brought you so much joy.  When this happens, you just do everything on autopilot.  So I work and parent on autopilot. It’s like driving to work and not even remembering doing so.

There were days where I just literally slept all day.  The weekend was usually that time.  If I didn’t have overtime, I would feed my family and go to sleep.  Sleep is when you don’t have to think or deal with anything. You just sleep.  No one bothers you and you just are alone.  My naps are my deepest sleep according to my Fitbit.  Saturdays I slept all day. Sundays, if I didn’t have overtime, I did the same.  

In addition to this, every night when I take my meds, I contemplate just taking them all.  I think about it every single night.  The thing is that I will never do it.  Besides living for my little family, I know that I have bad luck.  Whatever I would try to do wouldn’t work.  If I jumped off a bridge, I would probably hurt myself really bad and decrease the quality of my life even more.  

These are the things that I deal with every single day.  But I fight.  I fight myself a lot.  I try to motivate myself.  Instagram and YouTube have great fitness enthusiasts that do great work outs.  I sit there and watch them. 

There was a time that I was happy going to my little gym and running on the treadmill while watching and discussing Family Feud with my little gym family.  I haven’t seen them in a very long time and I miss them.  Running on the treadmill was great for me. I don’t run on concrete and I live in an apartment but I have been eyeing an apartment treadmill.  

Clutter

Also, when you suffer from depression, you kind of just don’t want to do anything.  In order for me to get a little treadmill, I need to declutter.  It looks like I am moving. I try to give myself an assignment daily but it’s just hard. And I’m constantly washing clothes so, I can fold all day but putting the stuff away happens after I wash ANOTHER load of clothes.  And I have to get around to that because again, not motivated.  

Having a cluttered space is not good for you. I do keep my blinds open though so the sun can shine in. That is very important. I usually sit in the sun when it gets warm outside. I have done that for years because Vitamin D is very important.

Now What?

The bad thing is that I KNOW all of these things about me and I know what I’m supposed to do to try to help the situation.  But it’s like I literally just don’t care anymore.  I don’t care about anything but making sure these lil folks in my apartment are taken care of.  And I can’t really say anything to my therapists or they will have me put in the place that I do not want to return to.  

The most I can do is ask for more frequent appointments, maybe ask for new meds, and just keep trying to live day to day.  

The worst part is that it all feels so petty to me but that’s why I’m on meds in the first place.  When I was first diagnosed as having Major Depressive Disorder, my doctor explained to me that everything got to me and that’s why I needed the meds “to put up a shield”.  Now I have the meds and have been on different meds for 20 years now and little things are getting to me again.  

With bipolar disorder, you usually go from manic to depressive but, right now I WISH I was in a manic state because I would be able to get things done.  But this depressive state has been ongoing.  When this happens, you really just want it to end.  And then you add on family issues, the social climate, people misunderstanding everything you do, and you just wonder if anything is even worth it.  

In the past, I felt that the only place that I was ever really appreciated was my job.  They appreciated my effort.  It was the only place I could go for peace as well (this was when I was working IN a doctor’s office before they fired me).  I have friends and they appreciate me and I appreciate them.  I don’t want them to constantly feel that they have to tell me that they appreciate me either which is another reason why it’s best I keep my petty issues to myself.  

These are the thoughts that are going through my mind tonight.  It’s time for me to take my meds (I won’t think of taking them all tonight), put on some Snoozecast, and try to rest my mind. 

Thank you for reading (if I publish this because it might be too depressing for people to read but this is what sometimes goes on in the minds of people that suffer from depression)!

Why the Feelings of Parents with Disabled Children Should be Considered

On Twitter (I should just leave Twitter), I have seen a lot of disdain towards parents who state their feelings. As a mother to a child with disabilities, I have watched in horror as it has been said by advocates that “we don’t care about what the parents feel, just the child”. When you say this, who does it help?

How Were People with Disabilities Treated in the Past?

Now bear with me because this will come full circle. Some of the infuriating classes that I had to take for my degree were African American Psych (I still have to write about that) and a class on the history of disabilities (I forget the formal name of the class). No, I am not disabled (although people are saying that bipolar disorder is a disability but everyone has an opinion, I’m not trying to muck the waters up) but, seeing the history in America of how people with disabilities were thrown away made my heart hurt.

They were seen as “less than”. Parents didn’t know what to do so they would send them to basically die in institutions. I really wish I could find the picture book that showed the conditions at some of these institutions and how they were mistreated. It was one in particular but I can’t for the life of me find it. This came from many things and ignorance was one of them. Frustration was another. Was it right? Of course not, but, many people didn’t know better. So society is trying to make gains in recognizing what is appropriate and inappropriate when it comes to disabilities. We learned about ramps and buses and it made me wonder how in world they could stand it. To not have access to things is frustrating. To not have access to things because of something you can’t control is infuriating. And to be basically told that they don’t owe you anything…. well, that’s just worse.

In my one sided conversation with the person that said their mother wanted to kill them, this is what I was thinking about. When you don’t know, you do some dumb things. Is it willful ignorance? I can’t say, especially back in the day. But we are making strides. With those strides, there will be growing pains. But the fact that needs to be acknowledged is that we are trying. It is a process. It’s a slower process than many of us want it to be but it is still movement, hopefully in the right direction.

I say this to say that there wasn’t support for the parents of these people with disabilities to help them cope. And I know people are going to get offended by the usage of “cope” but parents have to cope with the fact that their child is disabled. And when there is no support, the parent can become frustrated. And where can that frustration go? To the child. That’s NOT where we want it to go. THIS is why we should care about the feelings of the parents.

Parent with kids withOUT disabilities have problems raising their children so one would think that this an added layer of stress to the parent. The child is not a burden and we chose to have them but parents are people who have feelings too. If those feelings aren’t acknowledged and dealt with, there can be a lot of trauma inflicted onto the child.

My Story

I have spoken on this in my other blogs but, in the Black community, if your kids is “bad”, you spank them. So, when you don’t, you’re getting judged and looked at as a dummy when your child is overstimulated or frustrated and acts out in public. I have stated before that it was to the point that I literally stopped taking my daughter out of the house because I couldn’t handle the judgment. But, when I stayed home, my mother called me lazy not recognizing that I was already suffering from depression for other reasons.

In my blog about a physical fight I had with my daughter last year, I stated that there has been times in public where my daughter has literally raked her nails down my face and arms and drawn blood because transitioning was hard for her (I took her to a therapist so we could learn how to cope with these things and I could learn methods to make it easier on the both of us). She pulled my boob out at the pool because she didn’t want to leave her swimming lesson. People looked at me funny and one guy came to my car and said something to the effect of me having patience or something for not beating her. I let him know that she had a disability and basically that a spanking doesn’t always work for many kids.

I also had to learn to pick my battles. If my kid wants to walk out the house with mismatched clothes on, have at it. I’m not going to argue about it. No one is dying because of her choice of clothes. My mom really had a problem with this as she likes to control everything. With children with disabilities, your goal really is just to try to make everything bearable for that child and yourself. My own family thought that I was just making things up when it came to her screaming and sitting on the floor if she didn’t get something she wanted. So, as a parent, we are getting hit with it from a lot of sides. You’re getting judged by society that feels that you should “use the rod” and then you’re getting told by advocates for the child that your feelings don’t matter. I never have personally heard this in my daughter’s school EVER and I am thankful for that which is why I was extremely taken aback when an advocate said that especially because my therapist works at the ARC and would never say something like that either.

How Does This Impact Your Child?

It can put you in a bad place. It can cause resentment. This is something we do NOT want. I have been on receiving end of resentment from my dad especially when I was told that my brother and I weren’t wanted and that the only reason he stayed with my mother was because he didn’t want to pay child support. In my personal case, my daughter’s father doesn’t pay child support, doesn’t care to see her and blamed me and my “retarded ass child” for him “losing” his job. So let’s add onto that being a single mother. More judgment. You had sex and had a bastard child and it’s your fault. You are right, it is my fault. But I am laying in the bed I made. Now, add onto that any mental issues or traumas that the parent might have or even their own disability. Put all that together in a pie and try to understand how this can ALL be bad for the child.

You don’t have to directly care about the parent but you should indirectly care because all these feelings impact that child. Some of us don’t come from the best families and don’t know how to express feelings or really even be a good parent. It’s something we have to learn. I had to learn. People that read my daughter’s blog know that it was a process and it’s still a process.

These are the things I consider as a mother with bipolar disorder that is raising a child on their own and being criticized and viewed as “less than” for it. Again, this is not a “woe is me” post. It is actually just trying to get people to see from the outside what it’s like.

Support is Needed for the Parents for the Benefit of the Child

To have all these things piled on you not to mention working, doctor’s appointments, IEP meetings, etc, it can wear you down. As a parent, we have the right to ask for a little compassion and support. It’s not out of selfishness. It’s because we care about how our mentality will impact our child. We are not putting ourselves before our child, we’re putting our child’s very well being before ours. Many of us are doing our best to break cycles. I know I am. I hug my daughter all the time and tell her I love her. I didn’t get that much as a kid so I am not a hugger. VERY few people can hug me. I usually stiffen up otherwise. But my daughter and my nephew get all the hugs because I want them to know that this is acceptable. I tell them I love them and I mean it. I do my best to explain things to my daughter and it can be hard because she doesn’t sometimes grasp it and I get frustrated but SHE has taught me patience. People that knew me before I had her will tell you that I’m a different person. You change for your child but that doesn’t mean you can’t ask for a little bit of help.

In my case, people that have never even met my daughter OR I have been the biggest village and voice for her that I have ever had. THAT support is beautiful. And when I say it is beautiful, you guys don’t know the half of it. The support that my daughter gets for EVERYTHING is so heartwarming. My daughter has sensory triggers related to clothes and, certain clothes aren’t wearable. I talk about it in her blog. So sometimes I’m literally out here wasting money that I don’t have.

We found some sweaters that she liked and I got her some and I posted pics of her so happy about it (she loves Target as well so that was an added bonus). A woman that has never met me or my daughter literally sent me money to take her to Target. Kie got all the clothes that she wanted and happily wears them. This isn’t a small thing to me. It is huge because it lets me know that people do care about my daughter and I. That we matter to someone.

And that’s literally just one instance. She did the Buddy Walk. I didn’t really know if we were going to do it and, in less than an hour, she amassed a good chunk of money and encouragement for doing the walk. Things like this are beautiful to me.

People love to hear about her, love to see her live, love to read her blogs, all that. This makes me happy and this shows me that she and I are supported and loved. That is very important in a world that literally takes every opportunity to show hate and inflict pain on those that aren’t like them.

In the end, we’re all trying to cope with this world and our decisions. So, if someone asks for a little help or support, don’t shame them for it. Asking for help is better than many other alternatives out here that are very dark.

Thank you for reading. I have had a lot on my mind lately and I use this to get it out. Also, thank you to those that have been my “village” for my daughter and have had my back. It’s greatly appreciated and I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to have in my life. I love you!

Tone Policing

What is Tone Policing?

Because I was constantly being told that this was what I was doing, I had to go and look it up. In essence, it’s basically focusing on HOW something is said instead of the message being imparted by the other person.

So, yes, they were right. I was tone policing without even knowing it. I was hearing what they were saying and asking what they would rather have me say though. So many people were coming at me that I literally couldn’t address them all. So, my question to marginalized, disabled people is how can we communicate in a way that we can both learn and be heard? Yes, we need to “shut up” and listen but then what? There can’t be communication when only one group is talking. I was told to ask questions and, when I told them that I had been trying to ask questions (we had asked someone what “stimmy” meant to disabled people and got an answer. No issues with that) and was often met with anger instead of answers, I was tone policing.

Infographic: What Is Tone Policing And Why Is It Wrong?

So what questions are acceptable to ask as I was told that it wasn’t their responsibility to teach me anything. So then I can’t ask questions?

When I discuss things with people, I try to keep the communication civil. That’s how I do it and am I now to assume that no one owes me civility in discussing a topic that impacts them and me indirectly (my “autism card child”)?

I read in a blog that we should treat disabled people like everyone else. I couldn’t do that here because it would have been extremely disrespectful on my end and I don’t do that to people out of respect as I have a really bad temper. So I guess I really was being dismissive of feelings. I had apologized. I didn’t want to argue. I just wanted to understand. I stated that often and was told to shut up, was called names, and laughed at because of my ignorance. Was it intentional ignorance? No. Did they know that? No. So I get how they assumed that I was just being a jerk.

When talking to a person with autism and trying to reason, however, it can be a challenge. And I’m not trying to insult anyone but being rigid and stating facts without concern of how it comes off is a trait that many have. My friends with disabled kids have been told very mean things and we have to just suck it up because, they process the thoughts and feelings of others the way we do. I remember a friend telling me that her son told her that she was old and would never find a husband. Now, that had to hurt but, we have to look at where the statement came from and the person’s disability. My daughter states the obvious often. It used to annoy me but I had to learn to accept it because, it’s part of having autism. Literally, every morning, she wakes up and tells me what day it is and shows me her phone.

I am a marginalized person and I try to look at it from that view but it doesn’t match with theirs for some reason (and it shouldn’t). So I really don’t have the ability to really relate to them. When given the example, however, about a man saying “not all men” as if the women that were discussing men were too dumb to know that, it made sense.

But, my question is, why don’t the people asking the questions to get knowledge deserve to be talked to in a civil manner? I GET tone policing. I do but disabled people told ME that it was HOW I said things that made them mad. So I have to worry about how I say things but I can’t get the same treatment? And, as a non marginalized person in THIS instance, I don’t get to ask them to speak to me in a different tone.

It’s just so hard for me to understand and this is not a “woe is me” post but I’m really trying to wrap my brain around it. I sometimes over analyze things and I really don’t want to but being objective is also something that people don’t like about me. Looking outside of yourself and trying to see the whole picture is draining and I probably shouldn’t do it or care but I do.

Should I just stop caring, read books to answer my questions, and focus on my daughter? To me, that seems like the easy option. I like things easy but I also feel that books don’t really give you all the information and can’t answer certain questions for you.

Sorry to put it in the perspective of race again but one thing I had said in my post about white people was that I don’t mind helping people but don’t expect me to do all the work for you. So, if you have read some Black history and came back with a question, I will gladly answer it. But I can’t tell you all the history that I had to find because schools erased our history and we had to go and literally dig it up. Do I get mad about some of the ignorance that is out there? Of course I do. But I have to check my own tone.

I’m working through all this in my head right now, so bear with me. So the only tone you can check is your own. No one else owes you anything. You can either stay there, ask questions which might be answered or not, don’t retort, and literally shut up while literally getting cussed out or say “fuck it!” If I didn’t care so much, I would do the latter. I think I’m more mad at myself for caring but, for my own well being, I need to do that latter at this point.

This is all a learning experience and learning isn’t always easy. That fact has to be acknowledged. And sometimes we have to unlearn things to see things from the viewpoint of others which can be uncomfortable. It’s all a process. I can’t say I like this process but I have to respect it. I don’t think I will put myself in the position I was in again yesterday. I don’t think I can take it.

What I Learned from the “Disabled” People on Twitter

BEFORE anyone gets mad at my usage of the quotation marks, they are there because this is the term that I was told they prefer. I thought differently but, as you will find out from this post, I am wrong about a lot of things.  In essence, it’s like some people of color wanting to be called “African American” instead of “Black” or “American” or the “N word”. It all depends on who you ask. 

I am also not going to argue regarding my thoughts on this because these are my feelings and I have the right to have them as a person, NT or not (I was referred to as NeuroTypical so I will use their words and ND is Neurodivergent which many of them refer to themselves as so I am not using these words to disrespect anyone. I am going from what I have learned FROM them).

I make a LOT of mistakes when I am trying to learn things. I am a human.  However, I made three mistakes that have been weighing on my mind and I need to get them out or I won’t be able to sleep because I was very upset (I haven’t even eaten because I was just really at a loss).  I think it’s out of frustration and knowing myself as a person and my intent when I say things. The first and the last instances are totally a mistake on my part and I actually learned from them.  The second one, I’m still trying to understand because I’m not really sure where exactly I went wrong.  I have tried to look at it from so many sides and that’s literally all I could come up with.

WHAT NOT TO SAY ON “DISABLED DAY OF MOURNING”

I messed up VERY badly on this one and apologized. I inboxed the person to further explain how sorry I was and how what I said at the time was inappropriate.

So, a person on Twitter, for Disabled Day of Mourning (which I had never heard of until that day) stated that their mother tried to kill them because they were disabled.  The mom in me wanted to try to put some perspective to it as a parent.  That was NOT the appropriate time for me to apologize for how they (I don’t know their pronouns) were treated but then to say “Maybe she was going through something. Parenting is hard.”  Did my statement have merit?  It did and I stand by the statement. What I don’t stand by is my timing. NOT the right time to say something like that.  I did my best to apologize and state where I was coming from. 

As I stated in some of my previous posts, I used to hold some resentment towards my parents. I can’t say which one I held that resentment towards the most (because I don’t really know as, in my mind, they both did damage to me) but I had to let it go, especially with my father, because I had to look at his mindset.  As stated before, he is a Vietnam Vet that suffers from PTSD and alcoholism.  Then I looked at myself, a person with bipolar disorder, that is raising a child with disabilities.  But this wasn’t about ME.  It was about them and the trauma that THEY suffered at the hands of their mother.  I was wrong for that.  I apologized but, honestly, they don’t have to accept the apology.  I stuck my foot in my mouth and all I can do is admit it, attempt to make it right, learn from it, and move on.  It still bothers me but that’s not their concern and it doesn’t have to be.  Things like this bother me because I know me and my intent and it wasn’t with malicious intent that I made that statement but I can totally understand why they would be offended. 

I didn’t tell you the part that bothered me the most but I could understand their view based off what I had said.  Almost forgot.  I was told that they “feared for my daughter’s life”, that I was a “bad mom”,  and that I needed to “seek help and self report”.  Again, this person doesn’t know me and I can see how one would feel that way because I am a parent that seemed to be taking the side of a mother that tried to kill their child.  I can see it very well.  However, their words to me couldn’t be further from the truth.  My daughter is VERY well taken care of and I do my best for her.  I have a psychiatrist and therapist, I take my meds, and I learn my triggers enough to know when to disengage.  My daughter has a ton of people that support the both of us in words and deeds and I wouldn’t want anyone to think I’m abusing my child or wanted to kill her for having a disability.  If anything, I’m trying to learn and help other parents that are trying to cope, yes cope, with having a child with a disability (I almost typed “special needs” which is a term they don’t like because I read that it was akin to saying “handicapable).

When we have kids, we don’t just instantly know what to do with them. Then add onto that the fact that the child is disabled.  Then pile your own issues with society looking at you crazy when you don’t spank your child for being overstimulated and acting out.  Then add your own mental illness (if you have one) and you’ve got an adventure on your hands that you have to navigate through. This is why I blog so that I can help people that relate through the process because it IS a process. 

DON’T SPEAK ON BEHALF OF YOUR CHILD

Now this one confused me again because my intent wasn’t malicious and I was literally making a joke about teenagers. Again, this could have been the timing so I’m going to try to really think about what happened as she made all her comments limited after she told me to “Fuck off” after comparing me to her mother who spoke for her.

This was probably two days after the DDOM. This person said that there should be a Day of Anger. Now, granted, she might have said it in jest but one can’t know on Twitter. So I made the joke “My daughter doesn’t need one of those. She’s a teenager. LOL” Most people know my daughter and she is one of the happiest teens you will ever meet. But this person didn’t know that so I get it. I was told that I was speaking for my child and that my child had the right to speak for herself.

My daughter isn’t on Twitter and has the reading ability of about an 8 year old as well as the cognitive ability of one. She has a moderate intellectual disability as well as autism. I am her voice in many cases when she needs it. She has an invisible disability (one that you can’t tell just by looking at her) so people tend to look funny when they know she is 15 but isn’t “acting” like a 15 year old. That is when I step in and inform them of said disability. As far as she knows, she’s just Kieyah and that’s fine with her. But I was literally making a joke. This person that was mad had cerebral palsy. I’m not sure of the other disabilities but I have to take things like that into consideration when speaking to people with disabilities as sometimes they process things differently. It is to the point that I talk to my therapist about these interactions as she is a Social Worker with The Arc so I do ask her a lot of questions and attempt to learn about how to let go of the reins and let my daughter do things and stop being afraid. I actually blogged about that on my daughter’s blog. I also ask her about where I go wrong in these interactions because I don’t want to offend anyone and my intent is never to do so.

We have to let them go because we’re not always going to be here but my concern is that she will become one of people named on the #DDOM. So it’s hard and I actually explained that to a young woman who said that parents need to “support” them and let them be themselves. I, as a parent, let her know that many of us don’t do that out of malice but out of fear because this world is trash. It really is and I don’t want my child to become a statistic so, sometimes I am overbearing. But I told her that I heard her very loud and clear and that it is something many of us are working on. She appreciated being heard. That was really all she wanted. Just to be heard and told that her feelings were valid which they were.

A LESSON IN ABLEISM

I am not sure that what I was doing was ableism but here is the definition according to one source:

“Ableism is a set of beliefs or practices that devalue and discriminate against people with physical, intellectual, or psychiatric disabilities and often rests on the assumption that disabled people need to be ‘fixed’ in one form or the other. Ableism is intertwined in our culture, due to many limiting beliefs about what disability does or does not mean, how able-bodied people learn to treat people with disabilities and how we are often not included at the table for key decisions.

Just like most forms of discrimination, ableism often shows its ugly face from nondisabled people with good intentions. Unfortunately, good intentions never solved any problems.”-Source: https://www.cdrnys.org/blog/uncategorized/ableism/

So, as you can see, I literally have good intent but that’s not enough. In this last situation, I was attempting to be comforting but it went allll the way left. And when I say all the way left, I mean, my feelings were hurt and I was literally called all kinds of names for having said feelings and was made fun of for being “NT” and feeling.

Now, this is how the conversation went: Someone stated that it confused them that people were using the word “stimmy” to describe the stimulus check. Everyone agreed, some of us asked what it meant as we wanted to know. We got the answer and thanked them. Cool, right?

Well, someone said that NT people should know that this is their terminology for it and the woman that went off on me said “They would have to care first.” Now, in my ignorance and my intent to let her know that people do care for ND people, I stated “We care. Sometimes we are ignorant. Everybody is not out to hurt you.

Look at that bold part and never IN YOUR LIFE say that to a ND person. NEVER! It is a trigger. In essence, I was stating the obvious and she didn’t need to be told that as she already knew that but I basically, for lack of a better term, “mansplained” it to her. Another person with autism actually went to bat for me though. I thank her for that.

So I was literally lost and trying to understand. I was telling her I didn’t intend to be malicious. I was just trying to tell her that people do care about ND and just to give us a little time to try to understand and make the necessary changes because a lot of us are ignorant. That’s not what she nor any of the other people heard (read). I was then called defensive because I kept explaining that it wasn’t my intent. But how do you feel when people pile on you? Even when she apologized for her snarkiness, she made the comment “And your last comment didn’t help”, the part where I said “everyone isn’t out to hurt you”. So I was literally at a loss and trying to have a discussion to figure out what I said that made my whole comment void.

What made this go all the way left and to a place that it shouldn’t have gone was when another Twitter person took a screen shot and made fun of a “NT being ‘bullied'” and some other really messed up stuff. So I was like “That’s not what I was doing.” Literally, I got called an “unapologetic asshat”, “privileged”, a “fuckmuppet”, and a lot of other things based off one screenshot which literally didn’t tell the whole story.

The confusion for me started when I asked for some respect and not to name call and yell (CAPS) because I wasn’t trying to be mean or rude. They literally made fun of me for asking to be respected. Now, this is where it hurt my feelings and I have a right to be hurt.  If you have been marginalized your whole life, how can you take utter DELIGHT in inflicting the same pain that you felt onto someone else? I will say, most of them were white and were chomping at the BIT to call a black person privileged. I’m not as dumb as I look. The WHOLE time, I didn’t cuss at them, call them names or anything because, as a human, I respect people. I don’t care if you have a disability, are a child, etc.  I don’t care. It’s something that I feel people deserve.

I was then told that I didn’t deserve respect because I disrespected all of them. I was like “I was literally just telling her-” DOESN’T MATTER! You, as a majority canNOT tell them how to feel is how they interpreted it. That was not what I was doing. I was trying to be comforting and literally tell her that we all aren’t shit people and some of us care and want to learn.

Then they piled on with “we don’t have to teach you anything” and one called my daughter an “autism card”.  I was like “Wow!”  I STILL don’t get why it had to go THAT low.  The WHOLE time, I didn’t cuss at anyone, didn’t call anyone out their name, I literally was trying to understand how everyone came to this conclusion of me being “defensive” and then literally just started throwing every insult they had for every single NT person that had ever hurt them in their entire life.

In the end, while someone was trying to insult me more, they said something that made sense and it was pretty much that my comment was like women having a conversation about men and a man coming in and saying “not all men”.  And that’s when I got it.  Now, while they gave this example, and even after said example, they insulted me more. 

They really took a joy in insulting me because I didn’t understand and many were like “Welcome to our world!” The thing is:  I literally came to your world to try to understand my daughter and how she might get frustrated.  I LITERALLY understood that they get frustrated which was why I was there. BUT to take it to the level that they did was overboard for me.

I’m going to give the best example that I can at this time and, if you don’t care and think that I’m playing the victim, have at it but this is what I equate it with to try to gain an understanding:

What they did to me was like a black person literally just going around hanging white people because of what people did to them and their family.  Literally, that’s how it came off as to me.  They literally took JOY in just shitting on me and beating me down so that I could feel what society made them feel. Do I understand it, I do.  Do I CONDONE it, NO! Your not having a voice does NOT give you license to take the voice of someone who is literally trying to understand and learn. It also doesn’t give you license to verbally assault someone and their own child that has autism.  That was a new level of low that I will never stoop to.

And what they ALL constantly ignored was my request for respect.  You can tell me I’m wrong all day and that’s fine but don’t be disrespectful to get your point across.  NO one deserves that, ND or NT. NO ONE! I wouldn’t talk to my daughter like that and I would slap anyone that talked to any person with a disability like that.  Maybe, in their minds, that person is me talking down to them.  Maybe that’s what they saw.

But making fun of a person for having feelings (and they were really piling it on) regardless of them having a disability or not is unacceptable.  When people are trying to understand so they can learn and tell other people so they don’t make the same mistake, you don’t have to accept it but you also don’t have to make them feel like shit for trying.

In the end, we came to a resolution as the person that insulted me after explaining it to me was told by me that “it actually does make sense”. And I had already apologized and, honestly, I was mentally drained at the point and kind of mad at myself for caring so much that I put myself through that like a masochist. 

I was really trying to think about if there was ANY time I had EVER said the things that these people were saying to me because of my past experiences with people.  I had stated before in another blog on here that I had a white friend that apologized to me for slavery and I told her “That’s okay, you didn’t do it.”  I hold no ill will to people for what society has done to me as a Black, single mother with a mental illness.  And, yes, people with ND process things differently but, as a NT person, I have the right to ask for a little kindness as I do my best not to be insulting or offensive to anyone.  To literally belittle and make fun of someone for something they can’t control nor understand is extremely hypocritical no matter how you try to justify it.

Sometimes you have to let people that feel that they have no power go on the internet and gain that power.  So, if talking shit to a person that cannot touch you and you would NEVER say ANY of that stuff to in person, makes you feel bigger, have at it. So, if you need to feel power in a society that makes you feel powerless, have at it….on the internet.  You can have that fight but I’m looking at the end game.  The end game is to be more powerful together. You can’t have communication and open dialogue if you literally won’t give the other party a voice.  You don’t want my voice, that’s fine.

Sadly, what I learned on this day, right now is that you don’t advocate for people that don’t want your help or empathy. My struggles don’t matter.  My feelings don’t matter.  So I will save my feelings and caring for my daughter who didn’t have to ask for it.  I went to try to talk to adults with autism to learn a little bit more from them how they feel and, as I was told, they don’t have to help me do anything.  So, in a way, they did teach me.  And it’s a lesson I will never forget. 

Facebook Jail for the Third Time (for 30 Days)

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

As many now know, Facebook has been on a rampage with the whole jailing thing.  I have written about all the times I have been in Facebook jail and for what, HOWEVER, this is probably the dumbest reason to get banned out of all of them. 

In a true crime group that I’m in (and there are many), we were asked what we would do if we found a stranger/intruder behind our shower curtain.  My answer was what I would do.  Facebook thought that it went against their community standards. And, again, the only thing you can do is disagree and hope that they actually look at context of the statement and change their mind. Nope!  That was great.

What did I say? I said that I would stab the person behind the shower curtain in the eye with a toothbrush BUT that my dog would likely not allow anyone to come in my house and hide. Yup, banned.

What to Do? What to Do?

So I just stayed off Facebook. Got some reading done but it was kind of messed up because I have groups and I couldn’t tend to them because…..banned. They also made it so that my other account couldn’t post in groups.

Because I couldn’t discuss my true crime shows with anyone, I got behind on my two favorites.

But then I made the mistake of going to Twitter to try to learn. I wanted to talk to people and learn things. Like how adults with autism feel about their treatment. I probably should have just read the books I got on the subject. Would have caused less stress. I also wanted to talk to fellow Kpop fans (as only maybe ONE of the people I talk to likes Kpop and she likes BTS *rolls eyes*). I wanted to see what Twitter was about. Boyyyy, did I find out what Twitter was about.

I see why celebrities close their accounts. You can’t get a whole picture of a person based off a few characters. It’s not possible so there is a lot of misinterpretation. And I’m just a nobody so celebrities get it wayyy worse than I could ever fathom.

One thing I learned on Twitter was just not to say anything. Just shut up. Because you will be attacked. If you say the wrong thing about a Kpop group, they will find you and kill you. If you say something thinking you intended good things to people with disabilities, they will come for your head. I’m so used to Facebook and typing paragraphs that Twitter is a bit hard for me. I’m pretty much new to it although I have had my account for a while now. I just never used it. I see why now.

I have now lost the ability to “can”. I used to have a very hard heart. It had to be that way but I did my best to fix it but yeah…. I think it’s just better to keep people away from you. Just let them assume. Nothing you say or do will change their mind as they have already formed an opinion. Yours doesn’t matter. It only matters with people that know and respect you. Those folks do NOT know OR respect you and they have that right as they are behind the screen and can say whatever they like with no repercussions.

Playing on Instagram

Instagram is still basically Facebook but just with pictures. I got warned a lot in my comments because my one comment looked like another one. I’m like “Can yall literally just leave me alone?” They got whole people on here scamming people out of money by telling them to pay a fee to get a big amount but they are more concerned with my “trash” emoji.

So I just go and watch my Kpop folks on YouTube for joy. Maybe I should write about my obsession for Kpop groups which started about 3 years ago. It all started with EXO.

I will say that Kpop has gotten me through this quarantine with so much new content and so many groups that are “new” to me to explore that it’s literally all I listen to and it makes me happy.

Oh, I DID learn that you can get over 1,000 views on your reels by attaching a Kpop song and tagging members of said Kpop group. LMAO! My cat and a cup of Chai got over 1,000 views because of WayV and SHINee songs.

Clearly my cat and a cup of Chai are more interesting than me. I had to laugh.

What I Learned

Honestly, I’m just going to do what makes me happy. If that’s coloring, watching Impractical Jokers, working out, reading, writing, then so be it. Facebook, you are not the boss of me. I like my friends but I like my peace and freedom of speech as well. It seems as though the only place I really have freedom of speech is in my mind at this point. At least I won’t be attacked. Well, I have bipolar disorder so that’s not entirely true but, yeah….. I want to live in a world where I can have a different opinion and not be attacked. I want to live in a world where, even though we disagree, we still respect each other enough not to resort to namecalling and personal attacks (I get called a man a lot or people go to my page when I have unattractive pics up and attempt to talk about how ugly I am). I made a post about why I posted unattractive pics here. Part of the reason is because people treat you differently when they think you are unattractive. As if you are less than because you are, in their eyes, ugly. BUT if you look like something, they just leave the conversation because they ran out of ammo and can’t use your looks against you.

This world is interesting. Every single day of my life I learn more. I mean, I REALLY learn a lot and, the more I learn, the more I hate it here. If it weren’t for my daughter, I literally wouldn’t be here. Oh, I should blog about that too. The EAP people had a problem with that response. They felt that my reason for living should be something outside of my little family. Unfortunately, it’s not and that’s what I have a psychiatrist, psychologist, and meds for. That’s actually a whole nuther blog as well.

The quarantine is hard but, when you’re already suffering from sometimes crippling depression, it can be unbearable.

But yeah, I’ve had a lot of time alone…. with my thoughts….Thanks Facebook.