PTSD, Anxiety, & Survivor’s Guilt

Had a panic attack today. Not the first time, but the first in a long time. Always seems to strike out of the blue.

Incapacitated, I did next to nothing and spent half the day hiding in bed.

Better, now. The day is lost, but maybe I can make up some ground tomorrow. It’s so strange. I had planned on getting a lot done today, but I woke up just flat-out feeling wrong, and that feeling lasted until around four or five in the afternoon, when I had a can of beer and a bite to eat.

Words fall short of an accurate description, but what I felt today was something akin to a sense of impending doom.

Nobody understands. I wouldn’t doubt if most people thought I was faking it. I can almost feel them rolling their eyes at me, behind my back. Hell, sometimes I can see them doing it right to my face.

Unless people can see some external sign of damage or harm, most of them will simply assume that a person is faking a panic attack, or a back injury, or the limp of a trick knee. Or menstrual cramps, too, I’d imagine….

Officially, my PTSD is based on a bloody, traumatic, deadly event that happened to me when I was thirteen. Unofficially, it’s based on a life pockmarked with hostility, violence, and several years of gross injustice from which I had no escape.

So they broke me. I’m a broken man, and nobody cares. I keep hoping that somehow I’ll put myself back together and make something of my life, or what I’ve left of it…but it just doesn’t seem to be working.

They say that optimistic people do better in life than pessimists.

Here’s to optimism.

Big Things, Little Things

My cousin died recently. Word is that she killed herself. Don’t know much more about it than that. I’m afraid we’re pretty estranged from that branch of the family. I haven’t seen her or her family in about thirty years, so I’d feel odd inserting myself into their lives.

My mind’s a blank. I don’t even know how to feel. She was a pretty good kid at heart. A little ornery, but not a mean bone in her body. She had three kids. I guess it wasn’t her first attempt. I hope her soul has found peace.

Add to that, the never-ending political bullshit, and the recent mass shootings that the Republicans won’t do anything about and…and the asshole gun nuts trying to convince us that it’s all perfectly normal and all we need are even more guns…from this perspective, the world can look pretty dark for an old poet.

Thankfully, I recently discovered the television show Modern Family. I don’t watch much television, and I frankly don’t care for shows like that, usually, but I started watching this recently and so far, it’s made life a little easier to bear.

I don’t know what it means, life. I don’t see how we can live one life and never live again. That makes no sense to me. What would be the point?

Because a pointless universe would be pure hell. Chaos would win every time. Our whole reason to exist is, at the very least, to give a little meaning to the world, somehow. To gain an insight, to share it, to just be there, as a human being.

I hope her soul finds a better place to be. She deserves it.

Corporate Control of Dem Debates

Not gonna watch. I know they’ll be gunning for Sanders and Warren, in that order. Lots of “gotcha” questions and an effort to stir up a fight.

We have public broadcasting. There’s no goddamn reason why CNN should make a bundle of money airing our debates. There’s no fucking reason why they should be in control of the moderators and the basic tone of the discourse.

Ten people are going to be on that stage forced to compete for two-hours of air time that will be about 25% to 30% commercials. It’s absurd, and I can’t believe nobody talks about it. At best, one lucky candidate might get 15 minutes of air time to talk about all of the policies that need to be addressed. Some candidates will be lucky if they get two minutes of time.

I’m sick to death of the corporate manipulation that we see constantly in our politics. Corporate manipulation is effectively an effort by rich people to put their thumbs on the scales, because when we speak of the rich and of corporations, we are talking about the same thing.

I know this for a fact: whoever the corporations like the most (Biden & Buttigieg as of this writing) then those are the candidates that we the people should avoid like the plague.

Conversely, the candidates most despised by the corporate wing (Sanders & Warren) are the most deserving of our support.

“I Know You Are, but What Am I?”

As I’ve said before, the conservatives like to imagine themselves as the party of adults, and yet time and again, this is the level of discourse we have come to expect of them. You can never win an argument with a conservative, just as you can never win an argument with a bratty child.

And that’s where America is today, worse than ever. Between the constant flow of lies being spread by Fox News and other right-wing media outlets, and the vault-like, day-care echo chamber of conservative social media, Republicans have become something of a monster, something that has taken on a life of its own, beyond its master’s control.

They literally live in a parallel universe of their own making.

So if a person were to write a letter to the editor in an attempt to sway people’s minds, those are not the minds to focus on. That would be a fruitless waste of time.

Logically, one might think that the political group to aim would be the people in the middle, the people who claim to be centrists, the people who think they can see both sides of an issue.

For instance, a Republican who claims to be socially liberal and fiscally conservative might have the mindset you’d want to address. But logic is filled with fallacies, and I contend that this is one of them.

Centrists are even dumber than conservative Republicans.

Think about it. I mean, anybody who’s still on the fence regarding Trump and the GOP is just too stupid to know a sound argument when they hear one. So why waste the time?

That leaves us with the final and, I think, the best alternative which is this: forget the Republicans and the centrists altogether, and focus on the apathetic leftists who agree with you. They can see quite clearly what’s going on. These people don’t suffer from a lack of reason but from a lack of faith. All they need is the inspiration, the encouragement, and the motivation to get involved.

And there are literally millions of people like this, people so disillusioned with the system that they’ve just given up and decided not to play anymore. But they will listen to reason, and many of them will respond if the reasoning is persuasive enough.

We live in a time where Trump and his supporters would rather win and be wrong, than lose and be right. In an authoritarian state, truth is always the first casualty; it is always the first step in the wrong direction.

And that’s a bad place to be.

Meaningless Letters

Writing letters to the editor used to mean something. I don’t think it does any more, especially in a town like Roswell that’s stuck with such a crappy, ill-run newspaper.

I’ve written several to the RDR, and I even wrote a column for them over the summer of 2017. While I did get a bit of feedback, it was rarely positive, but mostly it was as if nobody bothered to read my work at all. It was like shouting into the void.

Case in point: after 18 or 19 columns, my Twitter followers didn’t increase at all.

Still, here I am contemplating new letters to the editor, especially since I’m done with Twitter. Will it help? I don’t know. I just feel like I have to do something, and I hope against hope that I can find those magic words that a few hundred people might read and somehow be persuaded to stop supporting Trump and the GOP.

It’s a moon-shot. Nobody listens to anyone any more. Everybody’s mind is already made up, and little if anything will sway their conclusions.

But Trump has become even more dangerous now than he was when he took office. He has singled out the four most progressive members of the Democratic freshman congressional class (“The Squad”), and he’s spreading slander and nastiness at them, practically unchallenged. Everything he writes is a lie, but nobody ever seems to call him on it.

He calls them communists. They aren’t. Calls them anti-Semites. They aren’t. Says they hate America. They don’t. Then, laughably, he claims they aren’t very smart, which they obviously are, far smarter than Donald, but not quite as rich and corrupt.

So, yeah…it ain’t much, but maybe that “strongly worded letter” might be in order now. Maybe the golden arrows of my words might find their way to a few hundred hearts and be for the better.

The world depends on me to keep fighting. It depends on all of us to keep fighting evil, however we can.

And make no mistake: Trump is evil.

Conservative Demonization

Found this yesterday among the top images of a “send her back” Google search. I shouldn’t be surprised. This is exactly the playground mindset of the average Republican. Exactly.

Distort everything because they are unable and unwilling to address the issue itself. This has been going on forever. They have such teensy-weensy little minds that it’s impossible for them to cogitate complex issues, especially if they’re wrong. And they’re usually wrong.

I’ve been on the internet for about twenty (20) years and I’ve seen this kind of childish demonization of liberals from the very start. It hasn’t changed, and it isn’t likely to.

Conservatives like to consider themselves to be “the adults in the room.” You don’t have to dig very deep to see how that’s not the case at all, and more often than not, the opposite is true.

The modern conservative Republican is a child in an adult’s body.

And we’re stuck with them.

But one thing’s for sure: conservatives love their traditions.

Quitting Twitter

…ouch…

It hurt, I’ve gotta admit. Odd how we become so attached to things like that. It was very much like a real death, only on a much smaller scale. And yet, it was kind of a relief.

And it was my fault, which makes it hurt more, but I was targeted, too, in a way, and that hurts. I got suspended, while the person I was arguing with is still there. The name of her account was, and I’m not kidding in the least, “I Get People Suspended from Twitter.”

And he, or she, or it did.

It would take too long to explain the blow-by-blow, but basically, I was on some thread having a mostly polite argument with another user when “Ms. I Get People Suspended” swooped in and started arguing with me, too. Incredibly rude, condescending, and aggressive — but she used no swear words, and the object of every insult was clearly unnamed, though it was clearly me to whom she referred.

My first instinct was to block her. How I wish I would have done that.

This person presented herself in an asexual way, neither male nor female, but self-righteous in the extreme. I’m a Bernie Sanders supporter and she treated me as if I were a Nazi.

This person was so over-the-top that I strongly suspect it was an imposter, some college Republican boy pretending to be an outraged transsexual liberal.

At any rate, the argument devolved into personal insults. Mine included cuss words, hers did not.

She reported me, and I was suspended for “hateful conduct.”

Smash, bang, pow.

I say this in all sincerity — a person would have to spend hours combing through my tweets to find any example of hateful conduct. Other than the occasional heated argument, which happens about once every other month, there was nothing even suggesting hostility.

But that’s how Twitter labeled me nonetheless.

So I quit all of my Twitter accounts. I had three, the Sam Bordeaux account which I was going to use for generalized networking, the “Suite 2B” account which I was going to use to market my play, and my personal Craig Abalos account which I had taken care to protect by avoiding as much conflict and controversy as possible…and as a result of that hypoallergenic vigilance, it was so boring that even I got tired of seeing it.

And it doesn’t matter. No one will care. Sam Bordeaux had around 1775 followers, Craig Abalos had around 311, and Suite 2B only had around 10. Pretty pathetic, and I had the Bordeaux account for about five years.

At any rate…that part of my life is over for a while, and I’m kind of relieved. It sincerely hurt, but now…now I won’t have to waste eight or ten hours of my Friday night dicking around with strangers on the internet, vying for attention.

There is a painter within me who hasn’t seen much light, and now, with the extra time, maybe he’ll be able to pick up a brush and explore another side of life, perhaps a lonelier side of life, but a more meaningful, productive, and rewarding one.

So in an odd way, I’m rather thankful to “Ms. I Get People Suspended” although I believe her to be a truly evil and thoroughly despicable soul.

And I’d laugh, to be honest, if somebody shit down her throat.

Searching for the Magic Words

Well, my money problems were solved. Thank heavens! But as soon as I paid off my 20% interest-rate credit cards, new problems arose, sure as shooting.

Trying to change how I live my life on many levels. It’s a slow, painful process.

Trump has firmly entered the first stage of his dictatorship role. Half of America cheers him on.

The Verge of Renewal

On the verge of a new life long awaited for, but it’s like heading to port in the midst of a storm. Maybe it’s not a typhoon, but definitely not calm water.

Nervous. Trying not to get my hopes up.

I can see ten different things that will completely screw up everything, and they’re all beyond my control.

But if it works, and we make safe harbor…it will be a virtual rebirth.