The roots of our fascism

Grab you torches and pitchforks! There's someone out there who disagrees with you!
Grab your torches and pitchforks! There’s someone out there who disagrees with you!

This is a tricky time of year / life for me, what with the political stuff going on. I have to watch my energy to make sure I don’t get overwhelmed and bent out of shape. When that happens, I tend to lose sleep. And that’s never good. A tired brain is a less-than-optimal brain. And I am a less-than-optimal person.

The atmosphere is so electrified on all sides, these days, and human folly is on full display — along with a healthy dose of dismay and trepidation about what could happen if so-and-so gets into office. Jeez Louise! I can’t remember things ever being this polarized to such an extreme extent. Even the moderate folks seem polarized to me. I’d love to sit back and watch from a distance, just observing it all, but that’s a tall order, when — as we are constantly reminded — So Much Is At Stake.

I can think of a hundred common-sense things to remind people of, that I think would put things in perspective. But that’s assuming that people want to have perspective. They don’t want to learn, they don’t want to change. They want to win — as though that will solve all our ills. Seems, these days, like everybody just wants to mark their territory and go after anyone who encroaches on it. And while all the different sides are accusing the others of being “fascists”, it seems as though the tone of every single side dances close to that line.

torches-pitchforks-faceoff

Fascism is not demanding that people adhere to any particular sort of message — be it “liberal” or “conservative”. Fascism is demanding that people adhere to ONE message and ONE Message Only — be it left, right, middle, or wherever. Requiring that others agree with you or be subject to ridicule, dismissal, or attack — my my book, that’s every bit as fascist as what took over Germany and spread through Europe back in the 1930s.

When we cease to allow others the right to disagree and think/feel differently than ourselves, that to me is fascism.

When we stop listening to what others think and feel — other than as a way to prove them wrong or prove that we’re right (which isn’t listening at all) — that’s the way fascism takes hold and strengthens itself.

When we dehumanize others who disagree with us, calling them names and telling them to “swallow a knife” or “die in a house fire”, because they are on “the other side” of our ideology, that has all the hallmarks of fascism.

When we go on the offensive and taunt and mock and demean the human beings who don’t agree with us, and turn out to elect those who promise to pass laws to block their freedoms, because they appear to threaten us with their differing opinions and ways of life… how is that not fascism?

And nobody has the market cornered on that. Not Trump, not Sanders, not anyone in between. Every single political camp seems to have that virulent divisiveness down to a science. It’s part and parcel of their messages.

Every nook and cranny of social media has that going on.  Except maybe Twitter — I can read plenty of things there that are not algorithmically aligned with any certain ideology. I can just follow diverse individuals and see what they have to say, without being flooded with suggestions about other things that may interest me. That’s why I’ve traded Facebook for Twitter. Facebook especially is so balkanized, so narrowly targeted to people’s ideological echo chambers, I fail to see how any revolution or progress could ever take place there.

Millennials, take note. Facebook cannot free you. But it can keep your mind and spirit tied to an ideological/political millstone that’s sinking into the muck of narrow-minded prejudice, bigotry, and hate.

For a healthy community, you need diversity. And Facebook is antithetical to diversity. If anything, its driving principle is helping (even encouraging) people to separate into “social” silos organized around only what they think — not what they may wish to consider in addition to their own biases and assumptions.

Facebook is dangerous, in that way. It’s also depressing. Which is why I don’t spend much time there, anymore.

Plus, if I really spoke my mind there, honestly voicing the full spectrum of my beliefs, I’d be pillaried, pelted with rotten vegetables, then pulled out and drawn and quartered in the center of the virtual town, as the pitch-fork wielding villagers poured tar on my bloody, oozing remains and lit them on fire, dancing madly under the orange glow of sodium lights.

Good heavens.

It’s so emotional!

Anyway, that’s my little freedom rant for today.

I think I’ll go to the pool early and have a nice long swim before I head to the office.

Gotta work out this energy in a positive, productive way.

Onward.

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Choosing progress

Whitetailed Deer 4 Point Buck Closeup
Pick where you’ll put your attention

For years, I have been compulsively productive. Ever since I was a kid, there was a vast amount of ideas and creativity… and, well, product flowing out of my mind. I was always up to something, I always had ideas “cooking” in the back of my head, and of all the people I knew, I was the one with the most original ideas — and the most determined of opinions.

I always thought that my ideas would turn into something more than just my ideas. I thought they might actually bring me some income. I thought that all the stories I wrote would catch the attention of the reading public and make a name for me.That never happened — mostly because I could never fully finish a lot of the works that I started, and also because the ones I did finish either didn’t make a very good impression or never got much promotion from me. I’m a creator, not a promoter. And I’m a person who enjoys my solitude. So no, a life of fame was not in my cards.

I’m not sure that fame and fortune was ever my top priority, though. Nor was publicizing the steady stream of creative works that flowed forth. The main thing for me was that I could figure out what I thought/believed… and why. I wanted to have my own mind, my own thoughts, my own outlook — not something handed to me by others. And while it never made me rich, it gave me a freedom of spirit and heart, that I haven’t often encountered in others.

It’s a lot of work, making up your own mind about things. You have to be willing to suspend a lot of your beliefs and prejudices, in order to let the truth of your situation come through. It’s also scary for some people, to admit that things are not certain, that they’re in constant flux, and ultimately, we’re both alone in the world — and never alone. It’s a scary place to be, in a world that is pretty scary, in itself.

For some reason, though, it never scared me. It was scarier for me to go along with the crowd. It felt like I wasn’t making good progress.

I need to get back to that sort of progress again. I need a break from all the social media chatter.

The past weeks have been altogether too loud for my liking. All the violence, all the threats, all the arguing, all the name-calling. It’s just too loud. And it’s a little embarrassing, hearing all my friends and relatives resort to over-simplified versions of what The Truth is. And then demanding that others agree with them… or else. And doing it on Facebook lets you say all sorts of things you’d never say to someone’s face. It lets people feel bold and outspoken, when they’re really nothing of the kind in person.

Lesson learned — it’s not worth getting pulled into debates online. Objectively, I have absolutely nothing to do with the Paris bombings. I have nothing to do with the San Bernardino shooting. I have nothing to do with gun control or troop deployments or religious convictions. And if it weren’t for the news, I wouldn’t know anything at all about any of those things — and more.

So… It’s time for me to just step away from all that loudness. The name-calling, the accusations, the culture wars.

No more checking the news to see what foolishness people are up to, today. I’m cutting back on my Facebook activity, and I am not getting into any more discussions with people about hot-button issues. There’s no point. It’s just a terrible distraction that saps my energy and leaves me with nothing left. And for what? Nothing changes from talking alone. Nothing is made better or worse by anyone getting upset and pitching a fit. It continues on with a life of its own.

I’m tired of the “emoting” scene — where people think that outpourings of prayers and good thoughts are actually making a difference. People seem to think that so long as they feel something, it matters. They care. They feel for people. They support them. They feel like they’re involved and invested. They post to social media and share and make their voices heard. But they don’t actually DO anything.

It’s become incredibly important for me to act. Do something. Don’t just talk. Take action.

And so I shall… Take care of myself. Get stronger than I am. Write to Congress. Treat people with respect and dignity. Get active. Do something constructive. Use my energy for something positive, not just running my mouth. I got some exercise this morning — and strained my hamstring a little bit in the process. Now I’m headed out for a walk to work out that soreness. I saw a little group of three deer, recently — a four-point buck, a two-point buck, and a doe. Maybe I’ll see them again today.

Because life goes on. We just have to choose what we’ll do with it.

Clearing out the gunk

Had a pretty fiery long weekend — and beyond. Several fights – one of them serious. That was Monday night, after the activity of the long weekend. Total meltdown/blow-up.

Felt like crap afterwards. Really awful. Talk of divorce. What else is new? My spouse plays that card, whenever they want to make me believe it’s serious. It is, and I know that. It’s just a brinksmanship thing they do to push me a little more than they already have.

Not that I would mind, some days. Some days, I wouldn’t mind just walking away from all of this — and I mean ALL of it — and starting again. There are a lot of things I would not miss, not least of which are the obligations that I am true to, for the sake of building up relationships with others… relationships which actually don’t do squat for me, because deep down inside I am a profoundly introverted person. And the social “thing” as most people do it, does nothing for me.

It’s not that I don’t need people. I do – but differently than most people I know. My life isn’t just built around a few key relationships with people with whom I’ve cultivated connections. It’s built around having good relationships with everyone I meet. That’s important to me. Because I don’t actually see a difference between all the different people I know. The “close friends” are as important to me as “casual strangers” — because I actually don’t experience people as strangers. They are just everyday people I don’t know very well yet. As for close friends, there is too much of them that I do not know and understand, for me to consider them close friends. I mean, I do see that difference, and I do feel more comfortable talking to some people than others, but my whole social world is very different from the world that I see so many others participating in.

Cliques don’t interest me. Little clubs don’t interest me. I’m not into the “membership thing”. It’s boring to me, and it shows a real lack of imagination, in my opinion. With me, it’s literally a case of all of us being brothers and sisters in one extended family (heaven help us). It’s not some airy-fairy hippie-dippie ideal. That’s literally how I experience the world.

And it is a pretty damned lonely perspective, too. I can’t think of anyone who feels the same way, who doesn’t strike me as an airy-fairy hippie-dippie poseur. They just don’t seem real. And the people who do consider me a close friend with that bond they feel… I dunno… They don’t feel any more close to me than others, most of the time. A lot of them are pretty wrapped up in their personal pain and unfortunate experiences, so they’re not even fully “there” when I’m around them. In any case, their feelings of friendship towards me just barely scratches the surface of what I feel and how I experience the world, so even their closeness is pretty much a faint shadow of what my experience is.

My spouse is the one exception to all of this. They know me better, have been with me longer and closer and more loyally, than anyone else I know, and they are the one person I actually feel a deep bond with. Everyone else in my life just flits in and out, and half the time I don’t really miss them, when they have other things to do. But my spouse has been there, through thick and thin, and they can hold their own with me, when I am at my best. Even when they don’t understand what I’m talking about, when I start going on about technology and science and what-not, they still appreciate that I have that knowledge. And they don’t push me away because of it. We have our issues, that’s for sure, and some days (like today), I can’t say it would kill me if we split up and I bought an old truck and a junkyard dog and headed out to the wide open West to see what life had to offer me there.

But to be honest, I’d probably turn around, 50 miles down the road, go pick them up… and take them with me.

We’ve been talking about doing that for a long time, now, and maybe someday we will.

Anyway, back to my present state of being. We have been under a lot of pressure around money and getting things done, for a number of years, now. It’s been over three years, since we started down the debt repayment, road, wiping out a ton of old debt that was burying us every month, and living so close to the bone for so long has really taken a toll. It’s pretty awful. When I think about how things used to be … it was much easier, when we had money, and both of us were active and really involved in our world.

But now, after years of poor decision making and relationships with troubled people, we find ourselves really stretched. Money issues can tax even the healthiest of relationships, and we’ve had our challenges along the way, in addition to the money situation.

So, it’s taking a toll. And things really flared up this past weekend. It’s the holidays, family are pulling on us, we’re doing the best we can under the circumstances, but nobody seems to understand just how broke we really are. It’s freaky, to be this close to the edge, and have nobody realize it. Of course, we can’t tell people about it, because then a hell of a lot of judgement is going to rain down on our heads, adding insult to injury.

No thanks.

So, we just keep plugging along, by ourselves… And the biochemical stress sludge builds up and up and up… until it boils over, and we both melt down — or one of us goes off, and the other chimes in. Then we really get rolling, and by the time all is said and done, we are both wiped out, feeling like crap, and feeling like we’re back where we started, all those years ago, when things were really, really bad between us.

Things have been getting progressively worse, over the past years — mostly because of money problems and also work issues. The more I am aware of how I want things to be, the more I’m aware that they’re nothing like I want them to be, and it just depresses the sh*t out of me. I used to be able to just work like a mad person and find some relief in that, but it’s not like that for me anymore. Now I’m just so tired all the time, I’m irritable, I get pissed off over every little thing, and I’m nowhere near as easy-going as I used to be, because now I have a much clearer view of my own self-worth, and I’m not willing to put up with just any old thing, for the sake of having peace.

It was like that with me for years. I didn’t make too much about getting yelled at constantly, at getting hounded and treated like crap. I was making decent money, and as long as I had enough to keep myself entertained and do the things I wanted to do, it didn’t matter how I felt about myself. The fact that I was earning a good living was enough.

Now, however, that’s totally different, and in the absence of money, I require a lot more respect and consideration, which my spouse isn’t always ready to give me. Plus, they’ve got severe anxiety issues, they don’t take care of themself physically, and that makes them even harder to live with.

So, things get bad… and then they get worse.

Main thing for me, right now, is just getting past all the biochemical sludge that’s built up over the last long weekend. And making plans for how to spend the next long vacation I have coming up — over a week between Christmas and New Years. I’m going to need to structure this time pretty well, if I’m not going to go off and get freaked out and end up in shouting matches, all the live-long day. Being off work and interacting with someone who lives like they’re on permanent vacation and expect me to do the same, is intensely stressful — especially considering the dire financial circumstances we’re in. It’s just not good, and I’m the only one here who seems interested in doing anything about it.

It’s a problem.

But I do feel like there’s a change coming. I found some errors I made on past tax returns, and I’m refiling, so I may get some money back from the government from that. I’m also collecting all my expenses and numbers from the past year, so I can do my taxes early and get a quick refund in February. That’s my plan. It’s the only one I actually have, right now, aside from some small business ideas I have brewing.

It’s all a process, of course…

The main thing, is to keep going, keep clearing out the junk, not overload my system with a lot of junk food, sugar, cheap carbs, etc. And get enough sleep.

I did that last night, and it feels phenomenal.

So, enough of all this talk of drudgery and sadness.

Onward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go away, uber-uber-boss, go away

Yes, please.

As a person, our uber-uber-boss is a great individual. They are interesting, caring, personable, and they have everyone’s best interests at heart.

As a boss — especially an uber-uber-boss  — they are a train wreck. Seriously, this person is just about the worst boss I’ve had the misfortune of reporting to, however indirectly. They are so intent on “connecting” with us, making sure we feel cared about and supported. But they have no idea what we do, they are about 15 years behind us in proficiency and familiarity with the business we are in and the work we do, and all they do is hold us back and subject us to their profound ignorance.

Holy crap, I can’t wait till they go back. I’m working remotely today, so I don’t have to be around for their last day, and I can actually get something done. I’ve been making great progress on work I have to get done at the office, but I’ve been so swamped with handling collateral damage from the uber-uber-boss’es visit, that I have had no bandwidth at all for doing anything other than work-work.

I’m tired. And when I’m tired, I get really distractable. And then I lose my way and end up wandering around in a fog for days on end, unable to remember what I was supposed to be doing. Oh hell, that’s what this whole job has been like for the past three years — one rush job after another, peppered with distractions out the wazzoo that just drain me. Big time.

I think I’ll update my resume this weekend. That will make me feel so much better. I’m going to finish up this massive deadline, then I am going on vacation for a week, then I am going to finalize my next job details, give notice, and I should be out of there by mid-October at the latest.

In the past, I was in a huge rush to go. Now, I am just moving at my own pace and confident that when the time comes I will have the right opportunity at the right pay level, and I’ll be able to extract myself from this distraction marathon that has been this *)%$(&^ job source of pain, activity, and income in my life.

To be fair, this job has taught me a lot, and it’s brought me out of my shell a great deal. I do feel like I’ve become a lot more social, as a result of working here, and I do really like and care for the majority of the people I work with. But the company itself is run by buffoons who have no truly loyal people reporting to them. Everyone just tells everyone else what they want to hear, and the trickle-down results are sad. Very sad.

Oh, well. In a few more months, this will fall into the category of “not my problem”. I’m actually learning a lot about certain disciplines that I can turn into more $$$ along the line. And I’m learning a ton of things that I can apply in my own work and personal projects, as well.

The main thing is keeping myself rested and well-fed. I’m doing well with the nutrition piece of it, I believe. I could do better with it, though – I don’t eat enough vegetables. And I’ve been having some weird skin reactions, so I think there’s something I need to fix. I have cut out wheat from my diet, which was actually easier to do than I expected. And I’ve been doing good about not snacking a lot in the afternoons, when it seems to not metabolize at all. But I need to eat more rounded meals, that’s for sure. I’ve kind of crossed over to the meat and potatoes and a pile of green beans side of things, and that’s not at all balanced. I do feel better, not eating a lot of junk food and keeping away from bread, but something seems to be missing for me.

I’ve heard a lot about people taking pre-natal vitamins for an extra boost — women take them to strengthen their hair and nails, and men take them because they supposedly help keep hair from thinning. As I get older, I notice changes happening in my chemistry — especially my skin and hair — so I need to do something about that. I’m going to try pre-natal vitamins and see how that works.

Changes, changes. Just little minor tweaks to my life, that make all the difference. And now that the uber-uber-boss is going away, I will have more psychological bandwidth to deal with things. One of the nice things about them coming to town, is the huge relief that comes when they leave. Seriously, it’s like a huge block of time and energy gets freed up, and it feels amazing. Expansive. Ah, freedom.

It really is amazing, just what a drain the uber-uber-boss has been, all this week. They started being a drain last week, with the team anticipating their arrival. Chit-chat and drama about what they’re going to do next… woo hoo. Then they arrived at the office, stirred things up with their big plans that have nothing to do with anything we actually need to get done (and are probably never going to happen, anyway), and whipped everyone into a frenzy with their bogus posturing and promises. I wish I could just block them out and ignore them, but they’re right there in front of us, and we have to deal with them. I’m hoping we can all just go back to work next week and not have to think any more about them. That’s all I want. Peace in the kingdom and quiet, so I can get these last few projects out the door. And then leave in October.

It’s hard to believe we’re already 2 weeks into August. Next week we’ll be in the teens of the month, which is crazy. Everything is flying by so fast, and I have so much to do. I set all these goals for myself, some more reasonable than others, and it keeps me busy. But I need to be able to shift and change and adapt to changing conditions and not get down on myself when things don’t turn out the way I expect them to. I need to be more flexible and factor in distractions and set-backs — like the uber-uber-boss coming to town and trying to “insert” themself into our process. I also need to be able to see past the immediate problems they cause and roll with it. I get caught in the weeds, so to speak, and I end up flailing around and getting all bent out of shape about things which will pass soon enough. That especially happens when I am tired, so things can escalate pretty quickly when all is not to my express liking.

Well, it’s all a lesson to be learned. One after another. The main thing is that I keep tabs on my mindset and keep myself from short-circuiting with unrealistic expectations and all manner of imaginary issues that are the invention of my mind alone.

The mind is such a powerful force. Using it for good instead of evil seems to be the chief challenge of the whole human race.

So, it’s back to work now, to get the last of the last done. I have some time to spend this morning looking at everything that’s in front of me that I need to get done, listing it out, organizing it, planning my “escape”, and figuring out the next steps to follow to get there. That in itself helps me regain my balance and not feel so out of whack. It gets me up out of the weeks and gives me perspective. And it’s probably one of the best uses of time I can imagine.

That, and not eating constantly. I had a lot of free food within easy reach of me yesterday, and I really over-did it. Now I’m hungry. Time to stop that slide into darkness…

Onward.

Do-Over Alert – How do I want to remember this time?

Ouch – that stings

I think I found a new way to get a grip. I’ve written a bunch of times about how I’ve lost it over little things — dropping a spoon while I’m making my morning coffee, not being able to hold something firmly in hand, getting stuck in traffic, navigating tough situations at work, arguing with my spouse and having the argument spiral wildly out of control and escalate to the point of madness…and more.

It’s been an ongoing struggle for me, and it’s cost me plenty, to lose my grip and be reduced to an adrenaline-soaked pile of skin ‘n’ bones, shaking and sick to my stomach and regretting what I did or said for hours… days… weeks… sometimes years. Regret is a usual and customary part of my life.

In some ways, it’s the glue for my past. If I didn’t have regrets, and all the strong feelings that go along with them, I’m sure my perception of my life and my past would be very different from what it is right now. In some ways, I’m not sure my memory of my past would be as clear — the emotion of regret has pretty much locked some experiences in my memory for all time. Take away the regret, and you take away a big part of how I recollect my past.

Some folks say, “I have no regrets – I would do it all again the same way.”

These folks have no imagination.

I can think of a million different things I would do differently, if I had them to do all over again. And I can think of a million different outcomes that I wish had happened, versus what actually did. It’s not that I’m being hard on myself, it’s just that I see and recognize my limitations, and I am very clear about those instances where things did not go the way I wanted them to, because I “lost it”, sometimes for no apparent reason.

Do I wish I had not flipped out at my boss, back in 2005, and given him a piece of my TBI-addled mind? You betcha.

Do I wish I had not harangued and browbeaten and hassled my spouse, till they finally broke and threatened to divorce me — not once, but many, many times in the course of the past years? You’d better believe it.

Do I wish I had not gotten into those fights with the neighbor kids that got me in trouble with adults and other kids — who were older and bigger and meaner than little ole obnoxious me… and outnumbered me on top of it? How could I not?

Do I regret flying into road rage over nothing, really, and chasing people down a highway or side street to “show them”, several times, just a few months back? Absolutely.

My past is littered with poor decisions, as well as good decisions I couldn’t make good on, because of some stupid-ass impulse control issue or some idea that felt great at the time, but was a really dumb one, once I thought about it with a clear head. My life has been punctuated by overly emotional outbursts where my frustration and confusion got the best of me and turned me into someone I did not recognize. My memory is spotty to begin with, and the pieces I actually do have in place are anything but uniformly good.

So yeah, regret.

If only….

A lot of people tell me that regret is a “bad” thing to feel. They say it’s negative and it holds me back from really enjoying my life. They say the same thing about shame, but in all honesty I have a lot less problem with shame than with regret. I’ve heard shame defined as a humiliating sense that you should have done better, or somesuch. And then there’s guilt, where you make things that sucked into things that were your fault — as though you had so much control over those things to begin with. Shame isn’t such a big deal for me — sure, I usually have the sense that I should have done better, but it’s not that humiliating. It’s just a little embarrassing. Guilt isn’t such a huge deal for me, either, because things that suck are often just not my fault, and I often have the very clear sense that I have no control over what happened or what resulted from it.

But regret? Yeah, there’s no lack of that with me.

But does it hold me back? Sometimes it does, but it doesn’t always have to. In fact, regret is probably one of the things that holds my life together. It might sound strange, but think about it — it’s a powerful emotion, and it’s always lurking right around the corner in my mind. I am keenly aware of all the things I’ve screwed up and how I wish I had done them differently. And that makes me even more keen to figure out how to NOT screw things up the next time.

See, that’s an important part of my recovery — being able to assess the outcomes of my behavior, see where I’ve screwed up, and then make an extra effort to get it right the next time. There is usually a next time, and when I’m using my head, I can make the most of new opportunities when they arise. It hasn’t always been easy, and I’ve often been humbled (and humiliated) by circumstances. But it’s paid off. Regret has served me well.

I’m currently having a new opportunity to re-do things that I’ve screwed up in the past. This is a big-time do-over, and I really want to make the most of it.

Basically, I have discovered that a very close relative of mine really screwed me over a couple of years ago. I won’t go into the details, because it’s complicated, but basically it’s about them pushing me out of the way (behind my back) and trying to cut me out of the family, because they believed I was “damaged goods” and I was a hindrance and a waste of time to my family. Things have been pretty touch-and-go with my family, over the years, and I’ve worked really hard to make up for the things I messed up — and I thought I was doing pretty well, a couple of years ago.

Now I find out (through old correspondence and writings) that there were some serious “operations” going on to push me out of the family, string me along on the surface, but keep me clueless about what was really going on. I come to find out that there were all kinds activities my family members were doing with each other over the space of a couple years — they had a great time and really enjoyed themselves, and never said a word to me. In fact, they hid it from me and pretended it never even happened. I thought something was up, a few years back, and I asked about it, but everyone flatly denied that anything was going on that I didn’t know about.

Two individuals, in particular, were driving the whole thing, and they kept me in the dark while organizing activities and having a grand time… while I was working my ass off at work, just trying to make ends meet, and generally struggling with so much on a daily basis without any real moral support.

Funny, I thought people were more distant than usual.

Now it turns out, I was not only right about something going on, but I vastly underestimated the extent to which I was cut out of things. There was even talk of some large-scale activities which involved people very close to me, to whom I have turned for support many times. Basically, they were going to ditch me and go traveling, see sights, do lots of different things… a full roster of family activities, to which I would not be invited. In the stuff I read, I was dismissed as an impediment to their fun, with talk about how so-and-so “handled” me and “talked me down” when I was upset. Like I was some kind of mentally deficient village idiot they just couldn’t be bothered with.

God, cut me, why don’tcha… When I read this stuff over the weekend, it really threw me for a loop. There was this whole other world that people very close to me were developing, and not only was I not invited, but I was un-invited, deliberately pushed to the side, like I was some kind of human flotsam. Dismissed. Disposed of. Like I didn’t matter, and they couldn’t be bothered. I had been feeling bad about feeling a bit pushed to the side, but I didn’t want to make that big of a deal out of it before. Now I realize that it was a much bigger issue than I ever imagined, and in addition to feeling hurt and betrayed, I also feel like a complete idiot for not realizing what was going on, and basically fulfilling their expectations that I was a clueless, brain-damaged idiot who would never know the difference.

And that stings.

Yesterday was a pretty rough day for me. It was like Day One of the new world… and I had a hundred different ideas about how to confront people and let them know that I KNEW what they had done, and although I never pressed the issue before, I still knew that something was going on. I’m not that damaged. I wanted them to know that I had a lot more details now, than they ever thought I would…  and I wanted to take ’em all down. Cut them out of my life. Just dispose of them, the way they’d tried to dispose of me.

The only thing is, they’re my family. And when I really thought about it yesterday, I realized that over the past six months, they’ve been trying to do better with me. I think the guilt just got to them. And shame. The realization that what they were doing was really pretty shitty must have sunk in, and they decided to change their ways. They’ve been trying — noticeably — for the past six months or so, to make room for me and include me in things.

And now the question comes down to this — do I let myself fly off the handle with them, confront them, and try to punish them, for what they did before… or do I let it go and allow them to make amends for their callous unkindness? They really seem to be trying, and they seem to have had a real change of heart, and I don’t want to screw that up. It might make me feel better to confront them and make them “pay for what they did to me”, but in the long run, how will that help? I know what they did. They know what they did. Who knows why they did it, and who knows — maybe it was just one bad idea that someone had once, which then took on a life if its own… and then they all got carried away in the heat of the moment and continued to make those unkind decisions just ’cause it seemed like the thing to do.

I will never know that. Nor will I ever know what changed their minds about things and caused the change of heart.

All I know is this — years from now, when I look back on this time, I don’t want to remember flying off the handle and going off the deep end, doing my “scorched earth” meltdown freak-out thing with people who are my family and my main support. I don’t want to think back on this time as one when I lost it, when I trashed the attempts to make things right, out of my hurt and pain and insecurity and need to make others hurt the way I am hurting right now.

No doubt about it, this is very painful. It’s been excruciating. To be so dismissed and so marginalized and just pushed aside like a piece of trash… it just reminds me of all the other times in my life when that was done to me, and it just feels terrible. But even more terrible would be to let that pain and hurt take over my life and proceed to cause more pain and hurt in the lives of others.

That’s the kind of memory I don’t want to make. That’s the kind of experience I don’t want to have. Because no matter how justified I am in my hunger for revenge and vindication, no matter how much right I have to eye-for-eye justice, the long-term fallout of that kind of thinking and behavior is much worse than the original cause for it. It’s bad enough that I was deceived for over a year about things that mattered so much to me. It’s bad enough that the people I trusted most turned against me and made fun of me and treated me like just some tool. But if I let loose with a rampage, then any recovery from that is going to be delayed — for a lot longer than a few years. And knowing me, when I get going, I say and do things that can never be taken back. And if I let myself get to that place of uninhibited attack, I can do more damage than I intend to.

I should know. My past is littered with experiences like that.

And I don’t want to do it again.

So, I’m just letting it go. I have to. I am overworked and over-tired, and if I indulge my outrage, I’m going to be even more overworked and fatigued as I try to clean things up on my side. I’m doing my best to turn my attention to more positive things and focus on the good stuff in my life, not dwell on the bad. I know what it’s like to have a bad idea and then let it spring into life and let it get out of hand. I know what it’s like to not be able to stop myself from doing and saying those things and hurt someone I care deeply about. I know what it’s like to be human, and that’s what happened with my family — they just got really human, a couple of years ago.

And now they’re trying to make it up to me.

They’re being really nice to me. Considerate. Caring, actually. More than ever. I’m not going to push that aside, I’m going to let them do it, regardless of the reason. The past is the past, and while it hurts like hell to find out the inside story, it’s still the past. And I have a present and a future I need to take care of.

I can’t let the bad decisions and behavior of others dictate my own behavior and state of mind. I’ve let that happen in the past, and this time I have a chance to do it over — do it differently. I have a lot of really great prospects ahead of me, and if I let this revelation get the best of me, then I lose out. And I don’t want to do that. I have been through some pretty tough things, but this is one of the toughest… and when I look back on this time, I want to look back with pride that I handled myself well, that I dealt with everything as a sovereign adult, and that I chose to rise above it and not wallow in petty hurt and pain, which only serve to make me unhappy and unhealthy in so many ways.

Life can really suck, sometimes. Pain happens. Betrayal happens. So does deceit and scheming and all kinds of sick little games. Freak-outs happen, too. As do meltdowns and breakups. But in the midst of this upheaval, I’ve got a new chance to handle the old shit in a new way. And I will. Because when I look back, years from now, I want my memory of this time to be full of pride, not only pain. I don’t want to have this be the kind of thing I regret and carry around with me as yet another example of how I can’t keep my act together. I want the moment to belong to me, not to others who tried — once upon a time — to ditch me and treat me like I was nothing.

They’re trying to make it up to me. They’re still not admitting anything, and they’re still hiding what went on, but at least they’re trying to make it up to me. And that’s a positive change for the better.

Life is waiting, and it has a lot in store — lots of it very good stuff indeed.

Onward.

Of Facebook and Football

These two things are a lot like each other

Some time ago, I decided to quit spending so much time on Facebook. I uninstalled the FB app from my smartphone and I took a break from the daily checking of statuses, which was eating up anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours of my waking time each day. It was costing me sleep, which I could not afford to lose, and it was getting me riled, which I can also not afford.

Seriously, it was getting me riled.

And tired.

And I wasn’t getting much else out of it. I felt “connected” in a certain way – but connected to what? All the resentments and frustrations and biases and prejudices and outrage… it’s like everyone I knew with an ax to grind invited me to their personal bitch-fest, apparently assuming that I shared their outrage and disbelief, and I’d happily chime in to add my two cents (which is about as much as those kinds of opinions are worth).

Truly, it seems to me that Facebook is a haven for people with a chip on their shoulder, who would rather complain about things than actually get up and do something about it all. Now, there are those who use it to connect in order to organize activities, and in the case where people need to coordinate their efforts with one another, it is proving helpful. I’m thinking about the Arab Spring and other popular movements where people are standing up for their rights.

But how many of the people I was interacting with on Facebook actually wanted to do something about the state of things? Not many. I mean, there were those who were doing interesting things with their lives and sharing pictures. But not much of it had anything to do with me, and in the end, it just left me feeling cold. Because it wasn’t actually real. I wasn’t actually there. And whatever I imagined about how it was and what it was like, that was still all inside my head… not real at all.

And you know what? When I wasn’t on Facebook, I didn’t actually feel less connected than I was, when I was on it, each and every day. If anything, I felt more calm, more relaxed, more focused on what was going on in my life, that I could actually do something about, versus sitting on the sidelines of life, commenting as a spectator.

I wasn’t in that brawl anymore — at least, I wasn’t an active spectator in all the brawls.

And it occurs to me, after last weekend’s NFL playoff game, when Stevan Ridley got hammered by Bernard Pollard and ended up not only knocked out, but demonstrating the classic “fencing response” (which is a clear indicator of a traumatic brain injury – follow this link to learn more about it) … and everyone has been putting in their two cents about how “that’s football at its finest” …. “Ridley brought it on himself by A) playing football, and B) lowering his head as he ran” …. “Harbaugh is a jerk for celebrating that injury” … “Pollard is a jerk for carrying on like that after the hit” … and so on… that so many of these folks are sitting on the sidelines, commenting away, without having any sort of skin in the game, without having any sort of knowledge of what’s really going on out there… all safe and sound and protected on their side of the television or computer screen. Precious few of the people talking are actually football players — pro or otherwise — they just watch and cheer and boo and comment. They’re onlookers who feel emboldened by the exploits of “their” teams and somehow feel that entitles them to make comments on the health and well-being and cognitive destiny of the ones who are actually on the field.

It’s all a bunch of posturing, brawling, sniping, snarking… people getting riled for the sake of getting riled, getting all worked up, perhaps because that makes them feel more alive and it gives them something to focus their energy on.

But it’s not real. It’s not really part of their lives. It has nothing to do with their day-to-day, the quality of which very possibly pales in comparison to the feelings they get when they watch football or get on Facebook.  It’s not real life for them in any way — it’s a feeling. It’s not genuine. It’s something that’s invented to entertain and distract people from what’s really happening in life. And the net result, unfortunately, is not something constructive, like added rest and relaxation. If anything, it is the exact opposite — more pain and suffering, masquerading as entertainment and distraction. And then the feeling fades… till everyone gets their next fix.

And that’s exactly the kind of stuff I want to get away from in my life — everyone else can have it. I’m more interested in doing something real with my time and energy. I’d rather be working on my skills and planning my life and be taking constructive steps to making things better for myself and my family and the people I care about, than sitting around sniping at others online, feeling gratified that all my “friends” agree with me.

Anybody can post a comment in a forum. Anybody can share something on Facebook. And it might be entertaining for people. It might be distracting from the pains and confusions of the day-to-day. But it’s not real. And in my experience, it does more to upset and disrupt and annoy and add to the overall discomfort of life, than to relieve any of that. Heck, even the “good” stuff is fluff that flies away on the next strong breeze.

Do I remember the details of any of the stuff I’ve read on Facebook over the past years? Not a heck of a lot. Very, very little, in fact.

But do I remember the feeling I usually get when I go on FB and find people just running their mouths about the crap of the day? Oh, yeah – you betcha. And it’s usually not good.

Life is about choices. And I choose not to bother with Facebook anymore. I also choose to not watch a lot of football, because when TBI actually happens to you — for real — and screws up your life, the sight of people launching themselves at each others’ heads with the intent to do harm, just isn’t much fun.

Well, enough talk. Time to get on with my (real) life. Onward.

Rolling with the changes

Roll with it

So, the new managers from HQ have returned to their homes, and we have one last day with the old boss — who is definitely not the same as the new uber-boss. In spite of the uncertainty and the stress of dramatic change, I am very glad that this change is happening at work. I feel like I can breathe again. Literally.

I hadn’t realized just how strongly I had been affected by the behavior and demeanor of the old uber-boss. They were just so manic. Always pushing and pushing and pushing and instigating and maneuvering and working an angle and promoting their agenda, which has seldom been the same as the company’s agenda. It’s been very stressful to walk that fine line between what the uber-boss tells you you’re supposed to do, and what the company (and their boss) expects of you. Frankly, it’s really screwed up the past two years of my performance – I haven’t been able to serve two masters effectively, but that’s exactly what I’ve had to do.

I think those days are behind me, and I’m feeling pretty positive about this change.

One more day with the uber-boss in the house. One more day…

They’re not a bad person, just problematic. And badly behaved. Hurt and insecure and passive-aggressive. They are also in a marriage that doesn’t work for them, which I’m sure contributes to their level of stress and their bad behavior.

Anyway, that is nearly behind me now, and it’s time to move on to what’s next. What’s happening now. I have a lot to catch up on, and now that there isn’t constant interference and people constantly trying to steer me in the wrong direction, I can relax.

And stretch. Last night when I got home from work, I was so wiped out. But then I stretched a bit, and it felt like some life was coming back to me. I have been so tense, and I didn’t even realize it. Or maybe I did realize it but I figured that’s just how things were, so there was nothing I could do aside from accept it. So I just went with it and tried to do what damage control I could.

Now I feel like I am out of damage control mode, and I’m loosening up again. Stretching my tight and tense muscles, cracking my joints, feeling my whole body loosening up. I don’t feel like I have to be in a protective state anymore, always braced for what new foolishness is coming down the pike, and it’s pretty great. All these changes, I can take, because it’s not personal anymore. It’s not individual. We’re all in the same boat, trying to keep afloat and move in the right direction, which is a very different scene than it was before.

So, change… I do need to take care of myself, and make sure I get some good sleep this weekend. I am listing all the things I need to do this weekend, making my schedule now, so I don’t have to think about it for the next two days. Just do it. I’ve got to replace some insulation in my basement, and clean up a bunch of crap, so I can move things around and have a decent living space. I also need to get some extra sleep — a nap on both afternoons, if at all possible — and get some exercise, too. I am feeling a lot of energy coming back to me, and I need to pace myself, so I don’t wear myself out. It’s all very exciting and dynamic; I just need to make sure I don’t over-extend myself in all the excitement.

Fortunately, that seems to be the direction that our new management is going – they don’t want to move too fast and make changes too quickly. And that’s good. It will give us time to adjust and adapt and figure things out as we go along. I’m sure there will be conflicts and confusion along the way, but in the end, I do believe it will all work out okay.

Good-bye Facebook app, hello sanity

What a relief

Well, I’m halfway into my second week without having Facebook on my smartphone, and I realize I’m really enjoying it. I’ve been having some real issues with irritability and anger and aggression over the past months, and I think that my Facebook activity was really fueling those issues and making things worse.

And when I say “worse”, I’m talking about road rage that has been flaring up more and more over the past few months… blow-ups at home over little things that escalate very quickly… things getting tougher at work between myself and others… and more. These are just a few of the things that have been getting worse over the past months. They are not things that I can afford to just let run rampant. I’ve lost jobs over less, and it’s not worth it. Especially for someone with my irritability and impulse control issues.

But how could Facebook have made things worse for me?

Well, first, there’s the sleep thing. When I don’t sleep properly or have enough rest, it feeds my irritability and aggression. With Facebook, I was spending an awful lot of time staying up longer than I should have, and waking up earlier than I should have – and instead of going back to sleep, checking FB and reading everything that was going on with people. I was literally losing sleep to Facebook, which is not something I should lose to anything – especially not a social network where people are either posting inane crap or fighting.

The other big (maybe bigger) thing was the level of conflict and aggression that seems to have taken over FB in general. Especially during the election… geez, what a bunch of loons we all turned into. And it’s still going on, as folks continue to argue and fuss and attack each other about politics and who’s to blame for what. The thing of it was, even though at first I was really turned off by all the aggression and arguing, and I managed to stay above it, after a while, I got sucked into it, and I found myself starting to act like other people there — which was NOT what I wanted.

At all.

I found myself actually posting things and responding to things that I never would have bothered with before. It wasn’t just disrupting my peace of mind – it was totally wrecking it. And over what? A few sentences that couldn’t be properly discussed or understood more deeply?

The other thing was the constant distraction. Having online media so readily available hasn’t exactly done wonders for me. And having Facebook on my smartphone at work, just gave me the opportunity to step away and lose myself in it for 15-20 minutes. Like smoking a cigarette… without the lung cancer. But even with milder doses of pointless distraction… still not the most productive use of time. In fact, it was breaking up the flow of my day — from morning till night. Not good.

The vacuousness of it just drove me nuts after a while. All those little snipes, back and forth, either for or against, for or against… just for the sake of sniping, like a martial arts match that’s just there for the competition’s sake, not actual self-defense. Social media, as entertaining and distracting as it can be, is not a place where I can really hone my own views and discuss with others to the degree I like. That just doesn’t happen online. And as a result, there is a lot of misunderstanding — and yet more resulting conflict. It just feeds on itself, like a wildfire. And what long-term good actually comes out of it? Sure, social media can fan the flames of revolution, but then what? Does anybody have a clue?

Who can say? I can’t answer that here in this forum. All I can say is, leaving Facebook behind has done a couple of things for me:

1. I am resting better now. I don’t waste as much time lying around looking at people’s blather/jokes/rants/truisms. And not only am I going to sleep when I go to bed (instead of lying there for half an hour reading FB), but I am actually giving myself time to wake up before I jump into the day.

2. I realized that the mindset I was getting into — combative, argumentative, aggressive — which was affecting my driving and personal relationships, is NOT what I want to have in my head. When I was on FB, my mindset was like a WWE match. All the time. And I thought that was okay. Because it’s how everyone was, and it was fun. Energizing. Entertaining. But after getting off FB, I realize that my mindset was pretty corrupted — wasted, really — and I need to change.

See, the thing that hurt me the most with FB, was getting used to the bad behavior, the fighting, the insults, the accusations, the protests, as “normal”. That is NOT how things have to be. It’s how some people are, but it’s not how I want to be. I don’t want to be that person who sits with an electronic device and praises those who share my opinions and snipes at people who don’t agree with me. I don’t want to be that person who posts wildly about all my pet causes and gets into shouting matches with people who don’t agree with me, or simply have a different perspective. I don’t want to be that person who thinks that just because I have very strong opinions, that makes me right and it gives me the right to go after others who disagree with me.

For a long time, I kept Facebook at bay and didn’t get involved. Then I gave in. Now I remember why I kept it at arms’ length. And I’m getting back to that old way of being. Seriously, I have so much going on in my life right now, the last thing I need is yet another leech on my time and energy and peace of mind.

Good-bye Facebook.

Hello sanity — it’s been a while.

Blow-up at work – nice

Sprang a leak…

I’m being facetious here. There was nothing “nice” about it. Basically, my boss’es boss, who has been riding all our asses for weeks, if not months on end, pushed a little too hard yesterday, and I lost it. I blew up. Compared to how I felt, my outburst was relatively minor. But compared to the standards I hold myself to, it was way out of line.

This has been the culmination of weeks of hounding, innuendo, passive-aggressive comments, hints, tests, and general picking at me and the work I do. I’m not sure what precipitated it — no, I know what precipitated it: the Boss (capital B) has been running around the company making all sorts of statements that they can’t back up, in order to impress people or create the right impression. Meanwhile, they don’t have a very good handle on what exactly is going on, and when you tell them, they’re obviously thinking about other things. So, they don’t have the right information to base their statements on.

At times, they know they don’t have the right information, and then they think that they can press their department into making it happen the way they described it to others. The only problem is (it’s actually not the only problem, but it’s a big one) — the rest of us who do the work are so over-taxed trying to keep up with making good on the other promises they made, once upon a time, that we just don’t have the extra bandwidth to make it happen.

And then it all comes down on us.

Which is a pretty rotten way to run things. It’s called running your people into the ground.

Anyway, over the past year — especially since the move to the new building and its god-awful configuration which seems designed to prevent you from getting any real work done — things have gone steadily downhill. I’ve tried to keep up, but I have not succeeded at it. I’ve told my immediate boss that I’ve been having trouble keeping up with everything, and they know it, but that doesn’t fly well. I really don’t think it’s all me. I really don’t think it’s the TBI. I think it’s the way things have been run. I could probably have done a better job of communicating what’s been happening over time, and all the things that need to be fixed. I think I’ve tried to some extent, but it’s tended to fall on deaf ears. The reason I haven’t bent over backwards to communicate these things, is because the “solution” always seems to be to get rid of some really key projects that are critical to the business — but which are “competition” with the Boss’es own agenda. So, I’ve settled for having things 3/4-baked, instead of 100% perfect.

Plus, admitting that I need help with my workload puts me in a compromised position — not that my position is all that fantastic, anyway. This Boss has made it abundantly clear that they’re not comfortable with me, that they would rather avoid me, and that they think the projects I’m working on are just not “strategically significant”. So there you go.

Anyway, the bottom line is, yesterday they pushed just a little bit too hard in a meeting we had about this work that needs help, complaining about my work to someone else who is being brought on to help. They just kept poking and poking and pushing and pushing and going on and on about how these projects are in terrible condition and it makes us look bad, and we’re going to get “killed” by our critics.

I could feel myself getting really hot under the collar, and I wanted to just get the hell out of that meeting and get on with just taking care of things. I kept talking myself down, trying to get myself to settle and chill and not lose it. But they wouldn’t let up.

After the meeting was over, I gathered my things and got ready to go. I wasn’t making eye contact and I wasn’t saying much. Then the Boss asks me “…What?”

I sat back down and told them that I had seen this coming, and that I knew this was going to happen – that for two years I’ve been fighting to keep these projects going, despite being told explicitly to not do as much on them as needed to be done. I was told a number of times by two different bosses (including the Boss I was addressing) that I shouldn’t spend so much time on those projects — even though the people at the top had them at the top of their priorities list. And so I had to pick and choose what didn’t get done. I also said that the way things were done is not at all smart, that shit just gets thrown together and then we have to spend all our time fixing shit that’s broken. I also had some choice words — laced with profanity — about what f’ing bullshit it is to be told one thing, to fight (in vain) to make it different and make it work, then have the very people who created the mess come around and bitch and complain about how things are fucked up and why isn’t it fixed?

It’s the same thing as when I had been working overtime on a major project last year, and this Boss told me I should take Friday off, since I’d been putting in so many hours. I did take Friday off, and everyone was running around looking for me… and then I get back on Monday and this boss asks me why I took Friday off… and how everyone was pissed off that I was out.

I didn’t go into that, but when I leave, that will be one of the instances I’ll cite. They just keep doing this — telling me/us to do one thing, and then when that doesn’t work out, they come down on me/us like a ton of bricks.

Meanwhile, on Friday, one of my coworkers who sits near me and does the same sort of work that I do, had to leave work because they went blind from a migraine. All of a sudden, they lost vision in one eye. And then the other started to go. They had to be driven home from work.

Nice.

So, anyway, back to my debacle. In hindsight, it probably wasn’t the biggest monumental deal of the century, and there are plenty of people who have gone off as bad — or worse. And my coworkers have had their own share of meltdowns and bitch sessions with this Boss. But I never do that. It’s not my thing. At least, I make a concerted effort to have it never be my thing. I can do better than that, and the whole experience left me feeling nauseated and shaky.

Probably just the adrenaline. But all the same, it felt like shit.

And I think I freaked out my boss and their Boss. ‘Cause I was really, really bullshit about the whole situation. I know they’ve never seen me like that. And they’ll never see me like that again. I’ve got like six weeks that I HAVE to be there. And I’m getting some good leads on what’s next for me. So, I’m not particularly worried about my job situation. Even if they do try to trash me, screw ’em. I can contract for the rest of my born days and make good money and not have to worry about living up to employers’/bosses’ skewed expectations about their “investment in my talent”.

Jesus, I hate corporate speak. I hate the organizational crap. And I hate how they paint you into a corner with a “permanent” full-time salaried job. Please. It just feels like a trap, half the time. And since I don’t have any kids and I don’t plan to retire and I don’t really give a damn about titles and prestige and power-brokering, why the hell should I get locked into that game? It’s so tiresome. The emperor has no clothes. It all just gets in the way.

Please, just put me in front of a computer in a quiet space, and let me do my work. Let me create code. Let me build things that haven’t been built before. Is that so hard?

Anyway, now I have to keep chill and buckle down and just get this crap done. I just want to put the finishing touches on the pieces that I’ve been responsible for, and call it a day. I cannot WAIT to move on. It’s been interesting and I’ve learned a lot, but when the Boss is jealous of your popularity (and after not wanting to think that for the past year or so, I’m suspecting it may be true) and they see your success as eclipsing their own — oh, and they steal your ideas and take major credit for them — there’s only so much you can do. I can keep succeeding and keep living as a target for a Boss who wants nothing more than to cut me down to size, or I can move on.

Hmmm… choices, choices… Not. This one is easy.

Now, of course no job is perfect, and where people are involved, there will always be elements of this. But I don’t have to put myself in a situation where my survival depends on it. I really need work where I can be measured not by people’s approval ratings and the number of things I tick off in my to-do list each day, but by the quality of the work I do. And that really comes with a more technical focus — a machine won’t play games with me. It’s very simple: I either get it right or not. It won’t use innuendo or backhanded compliments to steer me in one direction or another. It will simply say “yes” or “no” — and if it says “no” I can always try again.

So, that’s my exciting life, these days — a power-tripping Boss who is in over their head and is beating up on their minions when things don’t work out (which they often don’t), a bunch of work that I finally have the leeway to complete. And the hope of a new day… in about 6 weeks.

Well, it’s about time for me to get going. I got almost 7 hours of sleep last night — feel asleep on the couch while watching t.v., then headed to bed around midnight. I got about 5 hours continuous sleep, which could be better, but at least I got a couple of hours prior to that. It’s all a friggin’ process, I know. And it’s all experience that I’ll be able to use later. But right now, things kind of suck, I feel like a crappy failure, and all I can do is keep bailing, while trying to steer the boat in the right direction.

Oh, well. At least I’m still here. That’s something.

Whew – that was close!

Last Friday I had probably one of the worst days at my job. I got lectured by my boss about having done something that got them in trouble with their boss, and it threw me for a loop. So, I wrote this angry, rambling post about what a jerk they are, telling the world that I realized that many of the issues I’ve been having at work with them may be less about my problems, than theirs.

At the time, it felt really good to vent. I felt 100% justified, and I felt like I was coming to my own defense against injustice. It felt good to announce to the world that my boss is a jerk (I used much harsher terms, actually) and vindicate myself in the face of their (seemingly unwarranted) criticisms.

Fortunately, it turns out, I never published the post. It’s in draft status in my blog. And I plan to keep it that way. The thought occurred to me to delete it, but it’s a good reminder of how I can get really carried away when I’m tired and feeling pressured.

See, here’s the thing — the whole rage and temper and meltdown business is one of the particularly problematic things about TBI. At the time, when all the fight-flight chemicals are rushing through my veins, it makes perfect sense to my brain to fly off the handle. Impulse control goes right out the window, and the idea of NOT doing something rash is the farthest thing from my mind. It feels right and good and justified — it feels so right, how can it be wrong?

Well, it CAN be wrong. If only because feeding into it is going to cause even more trouble, on down the line. It’s bad enough that I had a bad day. But if I’d managed to publish that post, I would have not only spread the badness to everyone who was reading it, but I would have also had egg all over my face. Because in retrospect, they were a little right about what they were lecturing me about. They just did it in a way that I found humiliating, disrespectful, condescending, patronizing, and all the other attitudes that are hot-buttons for my temper.

And that will never do.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this list of questions people have been typing into search engines that get them to this blog. Rage and anger, temper and road rage, are frequent items. I think I’ll step on over to the post Quick responses to loaded questions and continue adding…