Tag Archives: Mental Health

Angry Doesn’t Describe It.

I can’t tell you how many drafts I’ve done of this post. That’s how bent I am about the topic.
The blogosphere is where I play. If someone wants to wave their dick around, have a good time. I’ll go enjoy the company of the other people I’ve gotten to know.
Not my problem.

But someone whose company I enjoy posted a reblog of someone I’d never heard of. I wandered over, because I enjoy this bloggers online persona, and they were very keen to have the post read.

What I read both appalled and enraged me.

Every blogger I follow is here to tell their stories and enjoy the community. In some cases, that means finding someone to laugh at their jokes, to encourage their adventures, or to share and lessen their pain.

So I read the post about a woman who had been sexually abused when she was younger. She was offered a platform by a popular influential blogger to tell her story on a site where guests discussed major issues. She accepted.

This is the part where things go horribly wrong.
The host of the site and the blogger became friendlier. They traded emails. They were flirtatious.
At a certain point, she got uncomfortable with the flirtation and asked him to stop. Not only didn’t it stop, but he escalated it instead.
At the same time, the host and his followers lambasted another blogger under the guise of self-righteousness in a very loud and public shaming.

After asking around from people on both sides of this mess, there were consistent stories that came out. The host has a history of using his blogs popularity and influence, along with his own personal charm, to manipulate and coerce others into feeding his ego.
“But Dave” you say, “they’re adults. They don’t have to do anything. How could an online voice make them do anything?”
Because many people have very unpleasant histories. And many are vulnerable to triggers from people who for whatever reason need to control others to validate themselves.
She said stop. He pushed it.
Others who had been in his circle thought for themselves or hung out with people who had left the circle.
Some of them were shamed. Some of them were shunned. Some of them were the victims of backstage gossip campaigns.

This is where I play. I love the communities that I found here – the one I built here, and the ones that welcomed me in when I got here.
And when the community has members that are here to build themselves up at the expense of others, to demean talented worthwhile people for their own needs, then deny that they’ve done anything wrong, other than to say “maybe I went too far”, ignoring that they’ve done it again and again, then it’s worth it to stand up for what’s right.

Taking advantage of someone who has opened themselves because you can is fucking wrong.
Ganging up on people you don’t like for some perceived slight is fucking wrong.
Ain’t none of us here curing cancer. Get. Fucking. Over it.
You don’t like the person posting? Fuck you. Unfollow them.
You want to use your vaunted position and influence with wp to build a mob? Fuck you twice. The community is stronger than you.
You’re going to follow in that mob and tear someone down for no reason? Try thinking for yourself.
But if you’re a narcissist who takes advantage of people, and when called out on it, is only remorseful because of the blowback on issues with your family, Fuck you doesn’t even come close to the disdain and fucking loathing I have for you.

I may lose a lot of followers for this post. I might be called an awful lot of bad names for this post.
Fuck you too.
Because what happened here that set me off, and from what I’ve heard of the pattern of this happening again and again, Fuck You is the only appropriate response.

Some people said to me, in private conversations, that they didn’t want to say anything because the host was too big and had too many followers and they were worried about repercussions.
I am so fucking angry that this happened that I don’t care. Abuse is wrong. Physical, sexual, mental, take your pick.
For the perpetrator, mixed with the anger I have towards him, there’s also pity. Because he sincerely doesn’t think he’s in the wrong.

The blogosphere is where I play. I’m here to support my friends with likes and comments. And to say to anyone who wants to prey on others here when they’ve shared their vulnerabilities and sought to build their own communities of support and strength, get help.
You have a problem. You have a history of action. Do something, before it spills into your real life and rips away everything you hold dear.

For his blind followers, dear god, think for yourselves. Look at the people you’re trying to tear down. Ask yourself honestly, is there any reason for it besides the rampage of the mob? Have they done anything so horrible that it calls for screaming.
Is it on the scale of taking advantage of someone mentally?

Because that’s what Le Clown did. And the post that set me off was this one from Calamity Rae.

Update: I wrote this Friday night. Since then, other bloggers have spoken out. Le Clown has shut down his site.
He may be back. There may be another.
If that happens, stand up. Say something. Don’t let good people be cowed or scared or intimidated into following or being silent.
A whole lot of bloggers are now telling their stories. Listen to them. Try and understand how this happened so it doesn’t happen again.

Causes. Just Because…s

Today’s Music: Louis Armstrong – What A Wonderful World
Note on Today’s Music: Shouldn’t it be, for everyone?

A lot happens in October.
It’s the first full month of autumn, and temperatures and the environment really start to change to match the season.
Halloween comes around, as does Thanksgiving for those in Canada.

There are also a few other things, at least as important.

The first full week of October is National Mental Illness Awareness Week (Oct. 7-13, 2012). You can find out more about it HERE.
What does that mean? Well, try and take a few minutes to consider those that do have mental illnesses.
Wonder if they – except for one hit of bad luck – are any different than you. And if giving a bit of compassion, instead of crossing the street or cutting off contact with “the crazy person”, might not be a better way to go.
Statistics say a full 25% of the population has a mental illness. Now think about how many people you know that might seem…off, but haven’t said anything about it. The stigma is probably one of the worst parts of it – not being able to come out and say Yes, I have BPD. Or Depression. Or…
Admit you have cancer, and the whole world gives you a hand. Say you have a mental illness, and people shun you.
That ain’t right.
Want to see how someone lives with it in a way that only enhances their cool? Yeah, of course you do. I can think of no better example than Lizzie Cracked, who describes it as part of who she is, not the total of who she is.
It’s a great place to start to begin understanding living with a challenge like that. And if you are afraid of those with mental illness, maybe what you read online will change how you act in real life…

But that’s not all!!!
The inestimable Nicole Warner tweeted that October is also National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
There aren’t a lot of things that get me angry enough to do something stupid. Bad remakes of classic movies, and arc television shows that have crappy payoffs are two of them.
Another is abuse. Anyone in a position of power that takes advantage or abuses someone is…you know what, let’s not go there. I can feel my blood pressure rising as I think about it.
But you can read Nicole’s story here, and see what she did. And if you are in that kind of situation, I can’t urge you strongly enough to contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
And if there’s any way you think I can help, let me know.
I’ll be around.

And the final cause I’m pointing out is that it’s Movember.
I have no idea what the hell that means. But according to Becca, guys are supposed to grow mustaches to raise awareness about Prostate and Testicular Cancer.
Women are supposed to make out with guys who have mouth brows.
And all this helps raise awareness (and hopefully money) for cancer research.
Smooching, and cash for a cause. Win/Win!

But before anyone thinks this is a bit too heavy (and October has a few other causes this month), October is also National Dessert Month!!!

How’s that for an ending note?!?

Ok, that covers the serious for the moment. Think about the above. Help out if you can.
And don’t worry, I’ll be back with the inane soon enough…

All Day Mental Moment – Whee!!!

Today’s Music: Tori Amos – Big Wheel

WOOHOO!!! It’s time for a Mental Moment!
But this one isn’t just a moment – it lasts a whole day. And beyond, even!

Doin’ the happy birthday dance!

Maybe you’ve seen mental moments before. Maybe you’re thinking a proper mental moment should be all Veggie Tales and Batman.
Or maybe you just think Batman is hot.

But this isn’t that kind of Mental Moment. It’s a 24 hour Mental Moment! But you already knew that. Because you saw above where is says ALL DAY.

Ok, maybe you like the frivolous ramblings here. But maybe you like these moments with (3/7) more substantial thoughts, with substance and eloquence?

There, satisfied? Of course you are. Now before I get to the point, why don’t you grab yourself a cup of coffee and a donut? I’ll wait…

There, all set? Have you figured it out yet?
You did?
Did the clue in the title help you out?

Then you realize that we’re celebrating the anniversary of another trip around the sun for Lizzie Cracked, the Chief Articulator of Running Naked With Scissors! Whee!!!
That’s right – HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIZZIE!!!, one of the coolest bloggers people on the planet!

But you already knew how cool she is. Over the last year, you’ve seen her brave posts about living as a bipolar, about raising kids on her own, about dealing with some truly ridiculous people who have a paucity of nice bones in their bodies.
You’ve seen her overcome challenges, embrace differences, and you’ve probably come to realize, like I have, that people are just people, and when you meet a good on (like Lizzie), well, that’s worth celebrating.
Even if they do occasionally torture you with Veggie Tales.

And it is my honor, and my privilege to call her a friend and wish her a happy birthday.
The world is a better place with her in it.

So join us in celebrating, with a scavenger hunt! Somewhere in this post is a clue in italics! and a number!
So go to the other blogs that are celebrating. Find all the words and put them in order in front of “wordpress.com” and go check out Lizzie’s birthday site, and wish her a Ridiculously Happy Birthday!!!

The rest of the clues are hidden here:
Buddha Kat
Writer Wannabe 763

They all put a lot of effort into making a great birthday treat for Lizzie. I know you’ll like them all!
But for those of you feeling really lazy, I suppose you can go right to the birthday site

And have a great day. Whatever your mental state.


Today’s Music: Sly and the Family Stone – Everyday People
Note on Today’s Music: When the idea for this post came to me, this song leapt into my head. At least it took it;s shoes off first…

The month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s a month to draw attention to what mental illnesses are and how the people that have them deal with them, what symptoms are, and what can be done to help.
It isn’t hard to do. They’re just people.

I know a woman who has ADHD. And a husband and kids who are all at that age. She has a wicked sense of humor. She is insane, in the non-clinical, best sense of the word.
Every so often, she breaks down and just needs to talk about her struggle with the illness. Much like the rest of us sometimes just need to vent about what’s going on in our lives.

I have a friend who’s bipolar. She gets upset about things. Just like the rest of us. She gets happy about things. Just like the rest of us.
The fact that she has a mental illness doesn’t take away from struggling with the same problems as we all do. It just adds another layer to it.
But she also has a hilarious outlook. Even when she’s swung to the low end, she can say something that will make me laugh out loud, which makes me say something that makes her laugh, and back and forth we’ll go.
The conversations often end with “Thanks”, because both of us find them good conversations. Both of us will say it. It’s the conversation that matters.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month.
It’s funny, there’s a lot of stigma attached to mental illness. People that have it often try to hide it and avoid it.
The two people above have openly admitted it. They’ve said when they’re going through a reaction to it, invited questions, and explained what it means.
They’ve said that the biggest help in dealing with it is knowing that they don;t have to hide it and that their friends are accepting.

Poke around. If someone you know has Depression, is Bi-Polar, has OCD, even something like an eating disorder, look into it. Find out what it means.
Think about the people that stuck by you when you were having difficulties in your life. Think about how when you’ve revealed something you were deeply ashamed of, those close to you just said “Ok”, and went on being close to you.

We’re all just people. we all have baggage.
Doesn’t make any of us any less worthwhile than anyone else.

So please, take a moment to find something out about Mental Illnesses and the people that have them.
People. Just like you and me.