Around 25 years ago, in late August 1992, I started college (erm, university for you British English speakers out there). It’s a right-of-passage many Americans go through every year when they’re 18, and I’m sure there are many stories about how that first year went for a great many people. Maybe my experience was unique, but I’m pretty sure it’s not.
What I can tell you is I remember my Mom crying when I started college at Northern Illinois University. My excitement due to my freedom was tempered by how upset she was. Being the very anxious person I was and continue to be, I wondered if I’d made the right choice. As an aside: my counselor keeps telling me I do things to please other people instead of myself, and I’m not living my life authentically if I keep doing this. On the other side of this argument, I stayed at college because it was what I wanted, even though it did hurt my mother initially (and maybe it was more of a, “Oh my God, my oldest son is 18 and leaving home and I can’t protect him any more”, which I understand but I’ve never been through so I can’t compare that experience to my own experiences).
Sorry. I digress. You should be used to that by now if you read any of my blogs.
Read 25 Years Ago(-ish), I Started College
I originally wrote this blog in May 2016 but never published it. I’m not sure why I didn’t, but here it is, updated slightly.
Over the past few years I’ve written about emerging from a period of suffering from the dissociative disorder known as depersonalisation, the result of a lifetime full of anxiety and a short, rather deep bout of depression. (You can read the latest entries: “Recovering from Depersonalisation” and “Reducing Anxiety through ‘Staying Present’“, or any entry on depersonalisation through looking up the tag #depersonalisation on my blog.)
But I want to take you a step back to the 1990s as a kind of example of why living in the here and now is important.
Read Living In The Here and Now
So, there’s been a lot going on in my life lately, and I’ve not been able to blog as much as I’d like. Sorry about that.
One cool thing I ended up doing last week was I took that blogger’s advice that dissociative people should undertake something they love and work with it. Okay, I haven’t been writing as much as I would like to write lately, but searching on Google, I found an online writers’ group called Scribophile, which features writers who want critiques from other writers about their works.
I’ll talk about that more in another post, but it’s refreshed my drive to write again.
Read Ben: A Published Poem by Yours Truly
I originally wrote this blog on 17 September 2015 in response to two different Facebook posts. I was hesitant to share it, but since the mass shooting at Pulse in Orlando, with the shooter allegedly in conflict with his sexual orientation emerging as one of the possible motives of the shooting, I feel it actually is more important and more relevant than ever. In addition to members of the LGBT community facing higher rates of suicide and homelessness, I need to add we also face a higher risk of violence towards us.
Yesterday (16 September 2015), I saw two different posts on Facebook that inspired this blog.
One was a post by a friend of mine, who is African American, in which she was invited to a friend’s house for a gathering, and ended up talking to another attendee who was Caucasian. Well, I’m not sure I should say “talking to” as it seems, from what she posted, she was being “talked at”.
This man “ranted” at her for a while and ended this rant with: “…And where does this leave the white man?”
Read Every Day is White Pride / Straight Pride / Men’s Day in America
So I’m usually one of the first people to say something about a tragedy like the one at Pulse in Orlando, but it has left me shocked, and upset, and flabbergasted. There’s a fatigue that’s overwhelming me. America, we keep having this conversation, but there’s never a proper conclusion to it. How many more deaths do there need to be until the lawmakers finally do something? The worst mass shooting in America, in the LGBTI community nonetheless, but will something finally be done to curb or, dare I hope, stop these insane mass shootings from continuing? When will a “live-and-let-live”, tolerant attitude prevail over this “them-versus-us”, eye-for-an-eye, backward-thinking, blind hatred? I pray a solution, and common sense, prevail. I pray for peace and tolerance. I pray for Orlando and America. And I pray for all those injured and killed, and their families and loved ones. Life is short; be happy and love! #PrayforOrlando
Today, at Careers Expo, I saw a high school student who appeared to be isolated from other students, anxious, and spending the Expo alone. The student started watching our students applying makeup at the far edge of our stand away from them.
I’ve been that kid and I’ve also not had the courage to help kids like that when I was that age due to the threat of being isolated when things seemed to be coming right for me in high school.
Read Our Words and Actions Have Consequences