I was walking around Greenlake, my head in a fog. So much anger flowing inside me. I get pissed off about the things going on in the world, things going on in communities I’m a part of, the media with its never-ending litany of bullshit. Ignorant people who believe they have the right to shame and blame. People holding me responsible for not just their feelings, but for remembering their life choices and structuring my life around them.
Lying to me about a chocolate allergy, and then holding me responsible for remembering it, is not cool. And yeah, I saw you eat chocolate.
I felt so helpless. Like life is just dashing rocks against me and I have no will or control or power of my own. Like my life is only valuable in service to people who are not even my friends. What a load of crap.
I’ve been reading a lot of books lately and I realized that all of madness has been teaching me Learned Helplessness.
Learned Helplessness is when you can’t escape your suffering. You learn to live with it and no longer try to get away or make it better. People in abusive situations often become afflicted. “Nothing I can do, it’s just the way it is.
Note: Someday I’m going to actually put studies and footnotes into my posts. But not today.
Having the barrage of bullshit come at me from all sides, and apparently, I can’t do anything about it, was putting me into the state of Learned Helplessness. Heck, I have a lot of anxiety about what’s going on at my workplace. And where is that fucking smell coming from in my apartment?
No wonder I was cycling between depression and mania so much! Who can live with all of this insanity going on?
The question is, how can I get some control, some agency in my life?
Yeah, that’s the question. How do I find some agency in my life?
Take out all the haters? No that’s not good. Too many to deal with. And the logistics would be a nightmare.
Go hide in my apartment and ignore the world? No, I like my own company, but I can be annoying if I’m only around me most of the time.
Start using fluoride toothpaste so that I can become more complacent and zombie like? Yeah, I know, conspiracy theory.
What to do?
What Do I Do?
I got this postcard from the Center for Spiritual Living. I didn’t even know they’d moved. And right down the street from me! The service starts at 9:30am on Sunday. The card told me that. So, I went on down.
There I am, hanging out in the basement looking at books, talking to the lady, and keeping an eye on the clock. At about 9:25 I say, well I better head on up. They’re starting soon. She says, “they started at 9”.
Well, I’m already in a mood and this just makes it worse. The card said 9:30. I didn’t have the card with me. I tried to tell the people at the door that it was supposed to start at 9:30 and that they needed to start the service over, but they didn’t comply with my request! I went in, in a huff. I tried to sit in the back pew but then I noticed a sign saying it was for the participants. I had to embarrass myself by going forward to find a seat. Now I’m really annoyed. This was supposed to be relaxing and uplifting!
One of the ministers noticed huffy me and joined me at the pew. I didn’t know this at the time. Once we started talking to our neighbors and getting hugs, I began to relax. After the service he gave me a counseling session, and I realized something.
I don’t have a touchstone anymore
I used to think “Oh, if I only got healthy, I could be as stable and sane as everyone else.” It was something to hold onto. It might take me my whole life, but it’s a goal! But, no one is stable and sane. In fact, most people are crazier than I am and if you truly knew me you’d know just how scary that is.
We came up with a plan. I was to find a phrase to live by, that can be true, no matter what. I put it up everywhere to remind me. A new touchstone. Sounded good to me.
The problem is that, seeing a phrase isn’t going to help. My problems can’t be intellectually solved, they must be viscerally solved. Or at least explored via experiment.
Raged and Confused
I brought my blog back to life. It had been about 8 years since I made a post. My original intention was to communicate myself with the hope that someone out there would understand me, even if I never knew for sure.
I started small. A few posts. I didn’t want to really get going unless I was sure I was really going to get going. Then I got going. I got a year subscription at Shutterstock to get 10 images a month. Now money is on the table.
Then, I decide to create a Crackbook page for Raged and Confused. But I didn’t invite anyone to it. I just posted stuff and shared it to my own feed. Crackbook then hammered me about inviting people and posting more, pissing me off, but that’s not the point! I have a page now. It’s MY PAGE, don’t tell me what to do! Anyhoo…
Then, without thinking about it too much, I invited a bunch of people to like my page. And a few did! I don’t think anyone is reading anything yet, but they like my page. Yay!
Then, someone decides to post their own rage in the Raged and Confused community page. I think to myself, self, don’t they realize this is my personal blog’s page? I engage with the person and find out that they are one of the shamers and blamers. And I couldn’t get through to her.
I don’t want my page to become yet another place where people vomit their filth. My anxiety skyrocketed. I don’t want that crap on my page! So, I created the rules.
And then I realized the true purpose of my blog and page.
The true purpose of the blog and the page are for me to flex my agency, my will. Yes, and also to communicate, but I didn’t need a page to do that. I needed something that I can control. That is for me and by me. Me, me, me. Not the faceless millions. Not the trolls. Not violent people. Me.
My Page. Mine. I get to decide what posts stay on my page.
- Shaming and Blaming? Deleted!
- Attacking me or others? Deleted!
- Judging anything I say in my own personal blog? Deleted!
Oh, I’ll try to get through to people but at the end of the day, they are not my problem. It’s my page. I decide what gets to go on there. I can be as ruthless as I desire.
Everyone has to do what I say to be on my page! Nanny nanny boo boo! I will take back my agency! Ha ha!
But then, as I’m staring out over the water of Greenlake, I realize that I’m coming at this from a defensive position. As though all these people have power over me.
They don’t have power over me. The only power they have is what I give them. None of them are superior to me, and vice versa. (even if my ego has something to say about it). I have allowed all the crap to happen to me, as though I were unworthy and have no rights. I allowed it. I’m the reason I’m in this mess in the first place.
And yeah, the haters, shamers, blamers, and attackers want me to believe they have the right. But they don’t. They want me to believe so that they can continue their attacks. Like their attacks mean anything. But they don’t.
I AM worthy and deserving. I’m too good to put up with any of it. What I need is to find others like me. My tribe.
Putting myself out there will bring out the people who don’t resonate with me. They’ll identify themselves to me, I’ll delete their posts, and I’ll know who to not concern myself with. Others will see what is happening, and maybe reach out to me. I’ll find my tribe. I am pretty polarizing.
It’s time to take my life back. To play a little offense.