Tired of the Bullshit!

bull shit
I just don’t know what is going on in this country. First, that piece of shit college swimmer rapes a woman and only gets 6 months in jail. And now I read that there are fundraising sites being set up to help his family with their “mounting legal fees.” Has anyone set up an account the help his victim pay for the years of counseling she will need? Has that judge took 1 second out of his day to consider that that douche bag will be out of jail in only 6 months despite causing that poor woman a lifetime of pain and trauma?
Then we have yet another hate crime against the LGBTQ community. Orlando and its community members will never be the same after what happened. All because someone doesn’t like the “gay lifestyle??” And what “lifestyle” is that exactly? A lifestyle of loving another person, marrying another person, and raising kids with another person just like “straight” people do? Oh my! How dare they??
What this all comes down to is a complete disregard for the fact that we are all humans- no matter our gender/gender identity, sexual preference/orientation, political affiliation, religion, etc..
Why can’t people just accept one another’s differences? There are plenty of things I don’t like about people or what they believe, but I would never attack or harm any of them! I don’t agree with a lot of things, but I don’t go around persecuting people because they are different from me or because they believe different things from what I do! If we were all the same this would be a very boring world for sure.
There’s not much that I hate -other than cigarette smoke, fish/seafood and most green vegetables 😉
And notice, the things I hate are not characteristics of people, but I will proudly admit that I hate ignorance and stupidity and anyone who possesses these qualities.
When it comes to people who possess those qualities, all I can say is this: Ignorance and hate, hate and ignorance. They go hand-in-hand. Because you can’t hate without also having a small mind…
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Goodbye 2014 and Goodbye to the Bullshit That Came With It

2014-2014

As we say goodbye to 2014, I am left reflecting on what kind of year this has been. Overall, it wasn’t a bad year for me personally. It could have been better, but I guess I can’t complain.

But, what does strike me the most is all of the human rights travesties that went on. I spent much of this year being disgusted and angry at so many things that I certainly hope 2015 is better in that respect.

What has prompted me to write this is a post I saw last night on Facebook about a transgender teen, Leelah Alcorn, that killed herself and her last request, in her suicide note, is that society change their view and acceptance of the transgender community.     http://lazerprincess.tumblr.com/post/106447705738/suicide-note                                        And I couldn’t agree more. I’m disgusted and saddened that this poor girl felt like she had no one to turn to and no support system. So much so, that her only way to find comfort was to escape her life altogether. The worst part is that her parents tried to smother her with their skewed and wretched Christian ideals- telling her she wasn’t normal and that there was something wrong with her. They took her to Christian counselors who told her the same thing! Gender identity disorder/gender dysphoria is a real thing- it’s not just something “in someone’s head” and it’s not “attention seeking” or the person “just being confused.” And it is not the same as someone being gay!!

Being a counselor myself, this is what enraged me the most! I know many counselors who are Christian, Jewish, etc. but they know enough to keep their personal religious beliefs just that- personal! Part of our ethics code as mental health professionals is that we keep our personal beliefs out of the therapeutic process because it doesn’t belong there! Our job is to guide people toward healing, not push our beliefs on people. We should help people and helping someone most definitely does not mean telling the person there is something wrong with them and to encourage them to “pray away the gay” (or other such ignorant drivel).

I’m so god damn tired of people quoting the bible as their proof that homosexuality and same-sex marriage is wrong. People who say that don’t realize what fucking morons they are! If god created all humans, as bible thumpers believe, then doesn’t that mean that god created homosexuals? Oh wait! That’s right! Homosexuality is a choice isn’t it? (Insert sarcastic tone and eye roll here). Doesn’t the bible teach people to love one another unconditionally? And doesn’t it also teach that only god should judge and only on judgment day? I guess that doesn’t apply to people who don’t fit into “the norm.”  We can judge the hell out of them and that’s okay! And it’s some of these same bible thumpers that think it’s okay to inflict pain on homosexuals and also they call them names and say insulting things toward them. Yes, that’s very Christian of you!

There are only a few things in life I despise- ignorance, stupidity, and hypocrisy! In my opinion, bible thumpers like that embody all three! But they are just too blind to see who they really are because they think they are superior to everyone. I seriously try not to hate because it’s a wasted emotion, but I have a lot of hate for those types of people; I just can’t help it. If that makes me a bad person, then so be it. I’ll have fun partying in hell with the rest of the renegades!

I’m also disgusted by all of the set-backs with women’s rights. It’s like we are going backwards instead of forward! It’s like all of the fighting that was done in the past by so many strong women, is being wasted. Since when did what I do with or to my body become everyone’s business? Since when should men, who have no fucking clue what it’s like to be a woman, get to make decisions about my reproductive rights!?!

My argument about bible thumpers above applies here also. My absolute favorite is how all of the single mothers who had children out of wedlock are the first to step up and complain that birth control and or abortion are against their religion. Well, last I checked having sex before marriage is also, but how easily they forget that they let a guy into their pants before they walked down the aisle and took those sacred vows before god. Again, fucking hypocritical morons! I think the whole born-again-Christian thing is total bullshit anyway, but it cracks me up with idiots that think they can be born-again virgins! Sorry, chica- if there’s been a dick in there then you’re shit outta luck on that one!

Then there are all of the crazy race issues that have been going on in this country. It enrages me that there are still so many racist assholes out there. And it also enrages me that people create drama where there isn’t any. How does looting and rioting solve the race issues that still remain in this country? I understand that people are angry at some of the things that have gone on, but does stealing make that better? Does it fix the problem or just create more of a problem? Do we need to hate all police officers and law enforcement officials because there are assholes out there on a power trip who abuse the power of their job title? Do we need to kill innocent people to prove a point? Does it help to only focus on the bad stuff certain police officers have done while ignoring the criminal activity the person did that got the police involved in the first place? I’m not, in any way, excusing the abuse of power and gross displays of racism exhibited by certain police officers, but people need to stop focusing only on that and remember that the police became involved with that person for a reason. People also need to stop hating all police officers because of the ignorance of a select few. If everyone’s views continue to remain so one-sided, this country will never thrive.

One last thing that really got my goat this year is the woman, Brittany Maynard, who chose to die with dignity because a brain tumor was killing her. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brittany_Maynard   Crazy bible thumpers got their panties in a wad over this because it was ‘toying with god’s plan.’ Well, pretty sweet plan that god came up with- killing a woman slowly and painfully with a brain tumor. Or even allowing brain tumors to exist at all- but I digress…

The whole ‘right to die’ thing is quite controversial, but it shouldn’t be. Again, who the hell are you to decide what I can and can’t do with (or to) my body if it will end a person’s suffering? She chose to die with dignity and on her own terms, rather than suffering in pain and withering away into a vegetable. I speak from experience on this one folks. My father passed away from a glioblastoma ( http://www.abta.org/brain-tumor-information/types-of-tumors/glioblastoma.html ), the same thing she was diagnosed with, and it was not a pretty sight. I watched a once big and strong man, wither away right before my eyes. He lost his ability to walk, to use the bathroom on his own, and eventually he couldn’t speak or move at all. We gave him drops of morphine straight into his mouth to ease the pain we knew he was in, but could not express to us in words. Unable to swallow his saliva and phlegm, we had to use a turkey baster to suck it out so that he wouldn’t choke. He lay there in a comatose state, a shell of the man I knew and loved. I held his hand as he took his last breath and I watched the man I love the most in this world die right before my eyes.

So I say fuck you and the horse you rode in on to anyone who doesn’t support the ‘right to die’ movement. You are insensitive, ignorant, close-minded pricks. If someone is truly dying and will die a death full of pain and suffering then how is it hurting anyone if they choose to end their life before being riddled with pain? Unless you have witnessed it first hand as I did, you have absolutely no idea what it’s like to die from a glioblastoma (or any other horrible disease) so you have no right to an opinion on it! I wouldn’t wish what my father went through on anyone so to take away someone’s right to choose to end their suffering is the same as wishing pain and suffering on a person. There is a HUGE difference between suicide and choosing to die with the assistance of a doctor. Jack Kevorkian may have been bat shit crazy, but he was certainly on to something. I would have made the same decision as she did. She was brave to do so, as courageous as they come and I applaud her and her family and friends who supported her.

Need I remind people that we are entering 2015! It’s time to step out of the dark ages! When will equality become a true reality? Gender, sexual orientation, race, age, etc. need to be taken out of the equation. What we need to see is just people; human beings. Simple as that. If people would just mind their own business and focus on themselves and if people who stop being blind to the truth in a situation, this world would be a much more peaceful place.

So my hope for 2015 is that people leave their ignorance and hypocrisy in 2014 so that we can move toward equality and peace in this country. For my part, I will continue to fight the good fight and do whatever I can, whether it is big or small, to help the move toward equality. Now that my boys are getting older, I will teach them more about unconditional acceptance and to be tolerant of people’s differences. They are the next generation and it my job as a parent to teach them to be leaders and to lead fairly and justly and without judgment or conditions. If I can do that in the coming year, then I will consider 2015 to be a success.  So goodbye 2014, I’m leaving you in the past where you belong…

How do you Handle it When Faced with Other People’s Ignorance?

embrace diversity

So I need to get something off of my chest because keeping it in is driving me crazy! Have you ever been put into a situation where you just didn’t know how to react or what to say because you were so taken aback by what another person was saying to you? Well, this just happened to me at the school where I work. I am a mental health therapist and I am placed in an elementary/middle school as the school therapist.
The main part of a therapist’s job is to provide a safe space for a person; a place where he/she can talk about anything without being judged or criticized; a place where he/she knows that they can talk and be listened to. I attended a professional conference this summer and one of the sessions addressed the specific issues of the LGBTQ community and how therapists can support people who belong to this community. It was one of the best sessions I have ever attended and really opened my eyes, especially to the issues that middle and high school students may face.
There isn’t really any student at my school that is openly homosexual, but there has been a lot of talk this year about some of the middle school students being bisexual. Over the years, I have heard many students make derogatory comments about gay or lesbian people so I was worried that these bisexual students may think they had no one to talk to about their issues. I have a family member who is gay and I have many friends who are lesbians and gay rights is something that is very important to me so I wanted to do something to show these students that I could be that safe, nonjudgmental person that they could talk to.

There is a campaign called The Safe Space Campaign (https://safespace.glsen.org/campaign.cfm) which was created to help give students a positive learning environment. So I downloaded the Safe Space logo and put it on the door of my office, which is located right smack in the center of the middle school hallway. I also put a small picture on the wall outside of my office that said “Embrace Diversity” and had stick figures each with a different color to signify a rainbow. I did this the week before the students returned to school because I was hoping that this small, silent gesture would speak volumes with students who were looking for this type of message.
safe space

I’ve already had one female student disclose in a group that she is bisexual. I don’t know if she felt comfortable enough to do this because of the pictures I had posted on and near my office door or if she would have disclosed this anyway, but either way I was happy she felt safe enough to trust me. I’ve had some of the middle school teachers also tell me to “be on the lookout” because there are other students that they have heard rumors about and may need to come speak to me. I reminded the teachers that my office is a safe space. I was feeling good about all of this.
Then it happened. Ignorance and possibly personal opinion/discomfort was smashed in my face and it knocked me on my ass (figuratively, of course). I was on my way back into my office after dropping a kid back off to his classroom when my principal grabbed me and said he needed to speak to me. The assistant principal was standing with him, but didn’t say anything. I assumed they needed me to deal with a student who was having issues, but as soon as I looked at the principal’s face I was immediately transported back to my high school days when having to talk to the principal and my anxiety kicked in! What had I done wrong now?
He points to the “Embrace Diversity” picture and said, “Did you put this up?” Oh shit, here it comes! So I very tentatively replied, “Yes. Why?” He proceeds to look at me and shake his head and then asks me if I know what the rainbow symbol means. Was he seriously kidding me by asking that question? I’m an educated adult and a therapist; did he really think that I didn’t know what the rainbow symbolizes? I told him it represented the LGBTQ community. So he shook his head again and told me I had to take it down because he and the assistant principal weren’t “…comfortable having it up.” I’m sorry, what? Did I just hear that correctly?
I was so taken aback that I actually just stared at him in silence for like a good 30 seconds. I was so stunned that I didn’t know what to say or how to respond (and I am NEVER silent or nonresponsive). I finally tried to tell them about the conference I had attended and that we were encouraged, as school therapists, to put something up showing that we were the safe space. I also told them about problems that could arise for students who are trying to come out; like bullying, absenteeism, and even suicide among others. I stressed the suicide part trying to make a point and let him know that there are some bisexual students in our middle school. He then told me that he didn’t think that anyone’s first issue would end in suicide so “…we will deal with it if any issues arise and make sure that if it does that we let the student know they can come and talk to you.” The assistant principal then spoke up and said that I didn’t need the picture to be up because, “…word of mouth would be the best way to get the message out.” I tried to make my point again about kids needing a safe space and that we were encouraged to use signage to promote this, but they were not having it. The principal just kept saying he wasn’t comfortable with the sign being up. At that point, I was still so stunned at their ignorance and close mindedness that I just reached up and gently took the picture off the wall. I walked into my office, closed the door, and taped it up on the wall INSIDE my office! Thankfully, neither one of them seemed to notice the small Safe Space logo I had taped to my office door because they didn’t mention that.
For a solid 10-15 minutes, I just sat at my desk and did nothing. I couldn’t move. It’s hard to describe how I felt, but I guess the best way would be to say I felt defeated and disgusted. I felt a bit nauseous and was close to tears. How could anyone be so ignorant, so blind? There is no school rule or protocol that states that someone can’t put up a picture supporting LGBTQ students! They had completely overlooked the message of the picture which was “Embrace Diversity!” All they saw was the damn rainbow and acted on their own personal discomfort! Were they really putting their own personal discomfort ahead of the students they are supposed to support? I thought I was making headway at this school. I thought the admins had figured out that I am a good therapist and I do my job well. I thought they knew what my role was and supported me. I thought, I thought, I thought…
I called a colleague at the end of the day to process the whole thing because I need to vent and get someone else’s take on the whole thing. She was just as appalled as I was! I am going to bring up the issue at my staff meeting to get feedback from other clinicians in my program because I would love to know how they would have handled it and I would love to get their feedback. I guess the moral of the story is that people are not always what they seem or what we think they are. We need to be prepared for anything, especially in the work place. I believe we have to always stand our ground, but there is a time and place for everything. The principal is not my boss, but I am technically a guest in the school, so I can’t make too many waves. It is not in my nature to be silent on issues I believe so strongly in, but I also don’t want to get myself into any trouble and get removed from the school because that wouldn’t do anyone any good. I am posting this piece because I am hoping you all will take to the comments section and leave some feedback on how you would have felt in this situation or what you would have done because I am still reeling from this and I can use all the support I can get with this one!

Who is Mental Mama?

Sigmund_Freud_Bobble_Head_

So who is “Mental Mama” and is she actually mental? Some people may say that I am, but I assure you only a little! I am married and have 2 kick-ass little boys who are 5 and 3. Thank goodness my dog and my cat are females or else I might be totally boxed out in my own home! I have an MS in Counseling Psychology and am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. I have been in this field for over 13 years now. I work part-time as the mental health therapist in an inner city elementary/middle school, but I am a Mom first and foremost. I have travelled the world; love wine, music, and food; have great friends and a wonderful family. I have a passion for fashion and love clothes, jewelry, and shoes (I have almost 200 pairs) {or maybe I should say “had a passion for” now that I have kids so I’m pretty much broke!}. I learn something new everyday from my kids (both my own and those I work with) and am thankful for that.
I have VERY strong opinions about things and am not afraid to express them. I try to be polite, respectful, and tactful (at least most of the time)… but sometimes people may get their feelings hurt because I’m a “tell it like it is” kinda’ gal! I’m not afraid to curse or use strong language when in an appropriate situation (never in front of children of course) and I’m not one to be messed with. I will defend myself, my family, and my friends, and my beliefs in any way I see fit- so again- sometimes people may get their feelings hurt and I won’t apologize for that! I’m quite feisty (that’s the Italian in me!) Basically, don’t dish it out if you can’t take it because I can take it- I’ve learned, from my experiences in life, that you have to have tough skin to survive!
The important thing to realize with this blog, is that while I am a mental health therapist and I do remain professional when on the job- this blog is NOT a direct extension of my job- it is an extension of who I am as a person and my job is only one part of who I am. I will curse, use strong language, express my (strong) opinions (which some people may consider unsavory), and I may even use insults. If you don’t like that kind of stuff, then I certainly wouldn’t read any of my posts!
Some of my posts will definitely be educational and informative and will pull from my background in psychology, but I do not claim to be an expert in anything and this is not an advice giving blog or the place to come for mental help (so that’s my little disclaimer).
Again, a reminder, I am a mental health therapist, but I am also a human with flaws. Being a therapist does not make me perfect, nor does it mean that I won’t get angry or insulting on here. The one thing I dislike the most is stupidity and ignorance and if I feel someone making a comment is being stupid or ignorant I’m most likely going to tell them so. A close friend of mine has always told me that I should have been a lawyer because I love to argue, but I don’t see it as arguing as much as I do debating and trying to educate people beyond their own ignorance. I’ve made it my mission in life to try help people not be so stupid- just kidding!
This blog, whether anyone reads it or not, is really just a creative outlet for me. I love to write and it’s something I’m good at. Writing, to me, is therapeutic so that’s why I’m here. Anyway, if anyone out there in Cyberspace does decide to read this- I hope you enjoy it, and if not, feel free to never return!
Pace (that’s peace in Italian, in case anyone was wondering)