So, for some reason, Mo’Nique has decided to bring up the age old dispute of pajamas and bonnets in public. It’s an argument as old as time. It’s great to care about YOUR appearance and how other people perceive you but it’s NOT your responsibility to force your beliefs on others.
My mother has raised us to always look good when leaving the house as she felt that it was a reflection on her. I have not one beef with that. However, there are always exceptions. In addition to exceptions, you don’t know people’s lives to judge them based on their appearance. To this day, in her 70s, my mother makes sure that she looks presentable when presenting herself to this world.
So there are a lot of people that agree with her and I mean, I agree with her to an extent myself. But I also know that my sanity and my teeth are my priority. I’m not fighting nobody over the fact that I might be rushing out of the house for something and have on pajama pants (I don’t wear pajamas to bed so they are really just pants). I used to wear scrubs out and people assumed that I was a nurse. I was in the medical field but there were days where I felt comfy wearing my scrubs to work. I don’t like things hugging my legs. So, when it’s cold outside, sometimes you do what you have to do. I’m going to discuss some of the comments that I saw on Instagram and the like regarding all the great reasons why we always need to walk around looking like supermodels and why I myself, gives not ONE f*ck.
Someone Said “You Might Meet your Soul Mate, and Investor, Etc”
My response “Some of us are just out here trying to go to the store and live our lives.” Why is it assumed that we are trying to gain attention by how we dress while running simple errands? As long as you are not in an important meeting with a bonnet on, why does it matter?
In regards to myself, I try to stay away from people. I usually wear sweat pants or work out clothes. If someone doesn’t want to talk to me because of my clothes, then my plan worked. HOWEVER, I have been approached wearing oversized sweats and just looking a hot mess. So, even if you don’t want the attention, you get it. And it sucks. I just want to get my groceries and mind my own business.
“It Makes Us All Look Bad”
Man listen, there are so many other things that make us as Black women look bad and I can say that a bonnet or some pajama pants aren’t that high on the stupid totem pole. In honesty, the only person I can make look bad is myself at my age. I’m 42 and, in my 30s, I learned the art of not giving ONE f*ck about what people thought about me. I had to learn this as I spent MOST of my life worrying about what people thought about me. Do you know how freeing it is to just be you and not care what anyone else thinks? As long as you’re not hurting anyone, stealing, cheating, abusing, etc, it shouldn’t matter if I have on a bonnet or pajamas.
Exceptions Exist and a First Impression Isn’t Always an Accurate Impression
I had to put a scarf on to buy more hair when I was getting my hair braided before. My mom went to the ER again about a month or two ago and I had to throw clothes on and run out the house to meet the ambulance. I have seen people in a wedding party with bonnets on to go get their makeup done.
I had cramps REALLY bad years ago and I ran to the Giant real quick to get some Aleve because we were out. It was almost closing time for that place and I needed something for the horrible cramps I had. Does that make me a bad person? It’s clothes. Who makes the rules about what clothes are appropriate for when you are running errands and minding your own business?
Are you buying their clothes? Do bonnets stab or kill you? Do they blind you if you see them? If the choices of other people’s clothing bothers you, you might want to seek help or learn to pick your battles. A long time ago, there was a book called Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. Maybe it’s big to some people, and I can understand that, but we can’t apply what’s big to us to everyone else.
If We’re Adding Psychology Into It, Let’s Talk About Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Can someone tell me where bonnets and pajamas comes into play here? Is it in belongingness? I mean, I don’t care to belong anywhere because this world is full of trash but that’s just me. Maybe in the physiological needs? I mean, you want to be warm…. Um……Safety? Maybe for your hair or your own comfort…. Prestige and feeling of accomplishment maybe because you got out of the bed and got some things done without having to dress up like you’re going to work. I don’t really see where bonnets and pajama pants really rank high on this pyramid.
In the realm of importance, bonnets and pajamas are VERY low. They don’t even make it on the pyramid of things we need to survive. So why give it so much power to the point that we have been talking about this mess for three days.
Not only that, the assumptions made by people is where things go left. The examples that I gave of when I wore pajamas or a bonnet are the only times I did it. Because of my experience, I tend to think of things in the manner that I don’t know anyone’s story. And, because I don’t know their story, it’s not my place to assume anything about the person. People make comments like “These women don’t have home training to do this.” Why do we have to stoop to that level? If you don’t know their story, don’t assume. Mind your own business. If you want to hit the gym with full faced makeup and half dressed, I don’t care. Get your work out on. If you go to church in jeans and a T Shirt on, get your Lord on. I’m glad you’re there.
If a woman walks out of her house with a bonnet on and pajama pants on, let her be? We have enough folks against us to be worried about something so petty. You don’t know what’s going on. You don’t know if she suffers from depression and got out of bed because she had to feed her kid. You don’t know if there is an emergency and she has to get meds for her kid or herself. You don’t know if she got locked out of her house or anything. So, with that said, you gotta live and let live. Who dies because of pajamas or a bonnet?
One thing that I do is wear wraps. I wear wraps because I think they look nice and protect my hair. So I wear a bonnet but underneath my wraps. Humidity kills my hair. And, if I have it styled (or attempted to be styled) underneath, putting a nice, light wrap over it further projects my hair. My hair is very thick and a tiny bit of humidity will just kill everything. But everyone doesn’t know how to do wraps. I have taken my wraps down in grocery stores to show people how to do it when they admire my wraps. YouTube has great vids on how to do them as well. I learned from some of those vids.
In the End….
You can’t please everyone. You could be wearing clothes and have your hair looking beautiful and someone will find something else wrong with you. This is life. You could come to a meeting looking beautiful but someone might think that you are showing too much cleavage or your shoes don’t go with your outfit the way they deem it should.
Maintain your peace. If the only way you can come out of the house and maintain your sanity just to get a little bit of sun and pick up your Starbucks, do it however you want. Just don’t be naked because the police will get you. It’s one thing not to care about what other people think but it’s another thing not to break the law.
As for the people that judge, just look in the mirror and judge yourself. I’m sure that judgement comes from somewhere and sometimes hurt people hurt people. If it is not taking food out of your mouth, taking money out of your pocket, hurting a child, animal, or adult, just let it go. Yes, we can focus on multiple things at a time but at least let them be important. If a bonnet or pajamas can’t stab you, it really shouldn’t be anything to shake your head at or turn up your nose at. Just live and let live. You’ll find some serious happiness by not worrying about or trying to change others.
So, the world is opening up again and it is no longer mandatory in Maryland if you were vaccinated to wear a mask. But, yall know me, I’m probably going to keep wearing mine because….. people.
I Am Vaccinated
I got my Johnson and Johnson *gasp* vaccination early in May because I like one and done. I don’t have time to be making appointments to get two shots. However, although I am vaccinated, there are reasons that I choose to stay masked up. This has everything to do with my mental illness and utter dislike for people. I’m sorry, but I don’t “people” well.
Can You Tell Me to Smile While Wearing a Mask?
NOPE! Can’t tell me to smile. Now, I am good at smizing (as Tyra Banks has said) but I don’t really want to smile at you or any of that. I don’t smile when asked. I frown actually because I am a witch. Yes, I am a witch to not walk around all day smiling. SOOOO what I decided to do was to get a mask that would just get rid of that stupid request.
People Still Won’t Leave You Alone
Listen, no matter what you do, these dudes are going to try to find a reason to say something to you. I don’t know what it is because I literally dress like a trash person to avoid people. I go out early in the morning to avoid people. But, there’s always that one that has to say something to you anyway.
I was actually told (with my mask on) that I have a nice aura. Sorry sir, my aura is to get people away from me. I don’t want you talking to me. I don’t want to interact with you. I want to get my groceries and go home. You don’t know what I look like under this mask. So that’s great. I could look like trash and that’s okay. Pass me by please.
Don’t Question Whether I Got the Shot or Not
I think this is my main reason for continuing to wear my mask. I went to my bestie’s daughter’s graduation party a few days ago. I don’t have a problem not wearing my mask there because they know that I have been vaccinated (although some gasped when I said I got the J&J vaccination. Listen, if you don’t have a clotting problem, there is no issue. If you do, take some dang on aspirin which is a blood thinner and move on with your life).
My dad and mom even got the same vaccination (which it took an act of God to get them to do). I would like for my daughter to get the shot but she is 15 and, at the age of 2, it took a number of people to hold her down for her vaccinations. I am waiting for J&J to approve it for kids her age because I really don’t want her to fight the people when they give her the vaccination because there literally is ONE person that gives it.
With her having an intellectual disability, she’s not gonna want to do it. I know this because I have lived with her her whole life. She hates shots, and I don’t want her to move and mess anything up. So, if I can hold her down for the ONE shot, I would rather do that than for two. I have literally fought the girl before so I can attest to how strong she is. She gets it from her mom and the shot isn’t painless. It took a lot for me to even get her to let them take blood.
Back to Me Though
Listen, I don’t want to be questioned. Some people feel that they are in a position to question people and whether they got the shot or not. Because I KNOW my triggers, I try to avoid things that will set me off. One thing that will set me off is some random person questioning whether I have been vaccinated or not. It won’t turn out good and I don’t like jail nor the psych ward. So I will leave my mask on for the time being for my own sanity. I don’t go out much and, if I do, it’s usually to walk the dog and no one comes near us so that’s not an issue.
I’ve always been a fan of minding my own business. If a person doesn’t want to wear their mask and they aren’t vaccinated, it’s their life. I don’t have anything to do with it. COVID is out here killing people though. So, if they don’t care, I don’t care. I am responsible for TWO people in this world and that’s my daughter and myself. So, while I will make sure she wears her mask, I don’t care about anyone else. She and I had COVID before they knew what it was back in 2019. I am sure we likely have antibodies. And, even when she had “strep and the flu”, she was still walking around here like it was nothing. The child has had walking pneumonia before and you wouldn’t know it. The only way I knew she was sick when they diagnosed her with strep and the flu was when I hugged her and it was like hugging fire. That’s when I took her to urgent care and the docs were like “We’ve had a lot of kids with this.” My COVID came in the form of a sinus infection that took like a month to go away. My PCP said “Yeah, we’ve had a lot of people with this.” It was likely COVID. But, even still, I got the shot because that mess mutates.
If my daughter is able to get the J&J one, I will gladly hold her down (and ask for help) for her to get it. But the shot isn’t a joke. Getting poked isn’t the hard part. It’s the insertion of the actual vaccine. That mess hurt. I was like “Goodness, lady!” LOL
My issue didn’t come until like a week after I got the shot though although I can’t be sure that it wasn’t just my horrible PMS headaches but I wasn’t able to get out of the bed for about 2 days. Whether it was the vaccine or PMS, I don’t know (because I get really bad headaches) but I also had body aches that were pretty bad so who knows if it was COVID or whatever.
I’ll continue to wear my mask because….. people. I don’t like people. I don’t like to talk to people. I don’t like to smile at people. I don’t like to have to explain myself to people. I have a temper. I know my triggers. So it’s best that I wear my mask until the masses stop wearing theirs and it’s no longer a question as to whether I have gotten vaccinated or not. Yeah, I have my paperwork in my wallet but not one of these folks out here besides my doc needs an explanation.
Again, as a person with bipolar disorder, I have to understand my triggers and why doing things a certain way helps to relieve the violent tendencies I have. You have to know yourself out in these streets because NOT knowing yourself can be very detrimental.
Because this is Mental Health Awareness Month, I decided that today is the day that I tell the story of my diagnosis, symptoms, frustrations, treatments, and all that good stuff. If there are any questions that you would like to ask, please feel free to do so.
When Did I Notice a Problem?
When I was younger, I had this really bad temper. However, because I was a good student and shy, I flew under the radar. It didn’t take much for me to get very angry and sometimes violent. I noticed it more in my teenage years but I definitely noticed it.
I tried to talk to my mother about my anger a few times and was told to pray about it. I prayed, it really didn’t work. So, I determined that, when I got my own insurance, I would go and see a psychiatrist to find out what was wrong with me because there definitely was something wrong with me.
I used to get mad and straight up lash out at people. It got to the point that I had to give myself the “3 strikes rule”. I kept mental tabs of how many times a person messed with me before going after them. I did this because I started having heart palpitations from immediately getting mad at everything. There was so much anger. And I don’t know whether it was a hormonal thing or if there was a rage that needed to be out of me one way or another.
Once I hit my 20s and finished high school and vocational school, I obtained a job that afforded me the opportunity to obtain health insurance. At that time I was extremely depressed due to religious things and losing friends, I was also suicidal. So the first thing I did was get a psychiatrist. It’s funny, however, that my first psychiatrist is an INFAMOUS psychiatrist. His name was Dr. Alan Salerian (look him up, you won’t be disappointed. I will say that he was a very good psychiatrist to me). He was high up there in the psychiatric world and actually worked with the FBI or something.
He was a great doctor to me but he had to stop taking insurance due to some craziness that started taking place but that’s a whole different blog. My current psychiatrist is very familiar with him. We talked about him the other day. In the end, he wasn’t fit to stand trial after all the stuff that he was accused of.
Either way, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder at the age of 20.
Medications: Trial and Error
The one thing that a lot of people complain about when it comes to seeing someone is the fact that they immediately assume that they will need to be on medication. Some mental illnesses don’t require long term use of medication. Some just involve talk therapy which is very helpful or even short term medication. I double team my mental illness with meds and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). Everything isn’t about drugs. Some people have acute mental illnesses that can be due to grief, stress, even the weather.
However, when I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, it was fun times trying to find the perfect medication for me. Without medication, I am very violent and everything gets to me. This is a brain issue. My brain doesn’t emit enough Serotonin so I need help to pump it. So, what meds have I been on beFORE my new diagnosis that was obtained in about 2009 which came with it’s own share of drama?
The first one was good ole Prozac. Let me take the time right now to say that, what works for others, might not work for you. So be very careful in suggesting meds or asking people what worked for them. We’re all made differently and have different needs. The purpose of my meds was to calm me down to the point that I didn’t want to murder someone for what I thought was an insult. When I say I had a bad temper, it was a pretty bad temper. If I felt that I was being picked on, that was it. If I felt as if I were being ganged up on, that was it as well. It is also a reason that Knowing Your Triggers is very important but this knowledge came with a LOT of counseling.
Soooo, what happened with Prozac? I became a zombie. I wasn’t myself. I gave it a chance too. I didn’t just give up on it. Wait, I did take myself off it when my sister cussed me out and I literally just sat there on the phone getting cussed out and I was in such a haze that it didn’t even matter. Even my boss didn’t like how out of it I seemed.
Again, I had Dr. Alan Salerian and he always talked about the Three Tenors when it came to medications. Sometimes you need multiple meds to even things out. So I stayed on Prozac but then he added maybe Paxil and Wellbutrin. He began to wean me off the Prozac to let the Paxil and Wellbutrin do their jobs. Well…… Wellbutrin is not my friend.
Wellbutrin had to be the med with the WORST side effect for me, well, there’s another one coming up that is more recent but this one was probably worse because I could have died had I not come to work late that day.
Wellbutrin gave me tremors. I could not write my name. I had a job interview and I went to fill out the forms and it looked like I literally had Parkinson’s Disease. I literally just couldn’t write.
So I went to my regular job after the interview. I think I had just gotten off the phone when I woke up on the floor. Thankfully, I worked with a bunch of doctors at Shady Grove Fertility Center (I loved that job but I was trying to find a job closer to home). Come to find out, I had had a seizure at work.
Had it not been for that interview earlier in the day, I would have been on the road when I had that seizure. They HAD to take me to the hospital (it’s the rule) and they had to check me to figure out what in the world happened. Needless to say, that medication got taken away.
Zoloft (Sertaline) is my ride or die med. Twenty one years later, I am still on that med. I cannot miss a day of it (I will tell stories of that later) or my manic episodes turn into me trying to literally kill someone.
Let’s Take a Pause on the Meds Since Zoloft Became the Winner
So, I was on Zoloft minding my own business. I had to get a procedure done and I missed a dose of my Zoloft. Well, this wasn’t a good thing. A day after my surgery, I ended up in the psych ward.
As my therapist had explained to me, Serotonin is to put up a thick skin so that little things don’t set you off. Well, that day, I got set off. If people know the history between myself and my family, one would already know what I was going through. I was a single mom but I lived with my parents and that was HARD. Especially at my age. My daughter was about 3 when this incident happened. I can tell you exactly what happened too.
Adventures in the Psych Ward
I was watching a movie and I had put a pizza in the oven for the four of us to eat. I was waiting for a commercial to come on so I could go back to the kitchen to get the food. Mind you, my dad was literally sitting outside of the kitchen and the pizza was for EVERYONE. When the alarm went off for the pizza, my dad yells upstairs for me to get the pizza. I was like “Hold on, I’m waiting for a commercial”. Well, he kept yelling about it and then my mom chimed in.
I went downstairs to get the pizza. I already had the one trigger that I saw in my diseased mind and that was being ganged up on. I hate it. However, the second trigger came when I was getting the pizza, cutting it up, and just taking care of it so people would stop talking.
Instead my dad chose to berate me and talk about how I am selfish and all this other stuff. I don’t know, if I were so selfish, why would I be making pizza for everyone? So he kept talking and I got mad, flipped over the dish rack looking for a knife.
I was just PISSED that, even though I had tried to diffuse the situation, there were still people talking. I started stabbing the counter and my hand went down the blade. I blacked out. When I came out of the black out, I saw blood all over the place.
My mom took me to the ER and they stitched my hand up after asking me numerous times what happened. I told them I was cutting a pizza (which I was) BUT, after they finished stitching me up, I closed my eyes, opened them, and there were two police standing at the edge of my bed. Yup, not fun. SO they gave me a choice; go to jail or go to the psych ward.
I wasn’t going to jail so they handcuffed me which sucked because I had ruptured the tendons in my right hand. Anyway, I rode in the front of the police car for some reason. I think there was rookie police officer and the other officer.
Listen, I liked the show Cops so I was in the car asking questions and stuff. I had no beef with the police and they had no beef with me.
Anyhow, I get to the dang on pysch ward part and have to sit there forever with the handcuffs on until they can take me back. So I get back there and my mom and sister come. The doc asks what happened and I told them. I don’t pick fights. But when I feel that I am attacked, I go into a whole different mode when I don’t have my meds (and sometimes with meds if someone keeps chipping away at my patience).
Sooooo, they got me a bed in the psych ward. It was extra late so everyone was already sleep and it was very quiet when I got there. The nurse told me that I didn’t belong in the psych ward. I mean…. like I said, I had gone under the radar for a very long time. Outbursts weren’t nothing. I would fight people for no reason. I have pulled knives on folks, put people in choke holds for namecalling, etc. So, yeah, I was surprised I hadn’t already done a stint in the psych ward in all honesty. It was truly only a matter of time in the end.
Life in the Ward
I was okay for a while. But they didn’t take good care of my hand. Had I been taken care of, I would have better use of my ring finger and pinky on my right hand. But I can’t blame anyone but myself. If I wanted full function of those two fingers, they would have to take a tendon out of my wrist and put it in my fingers and that’s too much work for some mess I did. I would rather live with the scars to remind me not to let anyone get the best of me like that.
I stayed in the ward for a good 5 days. Thought I was going to be out in 3 days BUT they said that I was still too mad. I was extra pissed and stopped going to the 3 times a day counseling because I was PISSED! Just mad at everything. So I had to play by their rules so I could get outta there.
And, I had to go BACK to the house where it took place as I had nowhere else to go and my child was with my parents. She had no clue what happened and really wasn’t there. I think I had taken her to see Ice Age that day. I stopped going to movies for a while after that because of the bad memories.
While I was there, other patients came to my room for counseling from me. I think I had pointed out that this was what made me want to finish my Psych degree. I am a person that you can talk to without judgement because I’ve been there. And, if I haven’t been there, I know how to be objective. I also shared a room with a woman that had dementia. It was an experience.
There was a dude named Willie that used to try to escape every time someone left or came in. That was funny. We would say “Free Willy!” But yeah, the psych ward was a special time. What annoyed me most, however, is that they didn’t let the people go out to get some sun. Serotonin is needed but I’m no doctor.
Anyhow, the psychiatrist came around and basically said I had bipolar disorder. They kept me on my Zoloft but added the “go to” for bipolar disorder which is Lithium. I hated Lithium. I gave it a chance I really did. But it was trash (for me). They also put me on Seroquel which helped to ease my mind so I could go to sleep and not go into a manic state (you have to have sleep, it is VERY important. And you have to clear the thoughts and voices in order to GET that sleep).
So, on the fifth day, I went home. Although the dispute between my father and I caused me to go to the psych ward, when I came home, he gave me a big hug. He just told me “Welcome home” and that was the end of it. But resentment lasts when the true issue isn’t acknowledged. One of the biggest things I don’t like about my family is that we don’t discuss things or apologize. It’s a trait that I choose not to pass on to my daughter.
As I have said in previous posts about mental illness, my dad is a Vietnam Vet that suffers from PTSD (who wouldn’t after that) and alcoholism. Because of this, sometimes he does and says things that aren’t cool. I will never forget the day he told my brother and I that we weren’t wanted and that he would have divorced my mom but it was cheaper to keep her. Now, people say “Well, he was drunk”. That’s fine and dandy but we were kids and that really had an impact on me. I don’t know if it had that same impact on my brother.
What I Learned
The first thing I learned was never to miss your meds. Don’t do it. You miss one, and that’s your butt. I was just having an issue with my meds last week. I am very proactive but CVS didn’t tell me they were no longer participating with my insurance so it was a mess but I tried to tell them that there would be a chance that I might be put away again if I didn’t have at least my Zoloft. Zoloft is VERY important for me as I need that so as not to snap at everything.
Unfortunately, sometimes you don’t always have insurance. When you don’t have insurance, sometimes you have to stretch the drugs you have so that you won’t run out. Well, one day I stretched my drugs out and it almost resulted in the death of a very rude woman that thought that she was funny. I almost pulled her out of the car to stomp her. I got out of my car because traffic wasn’t moving after she called me a “Bitch” and blocked my turn into a gas station and standing traffic. NO ONE was moving. She thought she was funny so…. yeah….
So I always tell people that they have to find the meds that work for them and take them. Although the process can be frustrating and I know you don’t want to “depend” on anything, mental illness is just an illness. It is an illness like hypertension, diabetes, asthma. It’s just a mental illness and not a heart, endocrine, or lung illness. Suck it up and take your meds because jail isn’t fun and really doesn’t look fun.
Sometimes I get overwhelmed and really think I would like to take a vacation back to the psych ward. I could get some reading and writing done but I need to get able to go outside too.
Communicate With Your Doctor
I hate when people complain about their meds to everyone BUT the person that has the ability to prescribe you something else. First, you have to give the drug time to work. If it doesn’t work, don’t just stop taking the meds, CALL YOUR DOC! That’s what they are there for. They cannot read minds. You have to tell them how you’re feeling. Like I said about the Lithium in another post, my psychiatrist told me straight out that he didn’t treat the illness, but the person. There are great docs out there.
Meds Are NOT Always Necessary for Certain Diagnoses
Although I have bipolar disorder and will likely be on my drugs for the rest of my life, drugs are not the only way I treat my bipolar disorder. There are so many other ways to treat mental illnesses that aren’t chronic. Simple things like standing in the sun, opening your blinds, working out, listening to music, finding time for yourself, etc. Even small things like taking a bubble bath or making up your bed helps.
In addition to my meds, I see my therapist every 2 weeks. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is VERY important because you get to talk out situations, discuss coping mechanisms, learn about yourself, get to the root of the issues that you might have, and learn how to let things go. Medication is not mandatory in maintaining your mental health in acute cases.
Oh, I didn’t tell you guys about what Seroquel did to me. Seroquel worked for me a good 8 years maybe. If you look a the pic of me in the red, at that time I had gained weight. Before Seroquel, I was 148 lbs, after Seroquel, 237 lbs. It was because of the Seroquel. My clothes didn’t fit and my boobs looked like I had gotten implants. My daughter has an intellectual disability and autism which meant meltdowns so I stayed in the house because I was depressed. Anyhow, I started working out more and lost a lot of weight. However, Seroquel decided it was time to stop working with me and, well, I gained weight even though I was working out and eating right. Even my doc didn’t believe I was doing what I was supposed to do until my CBC came back and it said I had Diabetes. Yup, good ole Seroquel decided that it didn’t want to be my friend anymore. Here’s the link to that experience: So I Have Diabetes. In addition to THAT, I was then called fat a lot but people tend not to think about the impact it has on people nor even care to know the reason behind weight gain. You can read about that experience here: What Joy Do You Get From Making Fun of Overweight People?
If you made it this far, thank you. To those of you that think that they might need some extra help, please say something. Please do something. Don’t sit in denial. Don’t self medicate. Sometimes you’re doing more harm than good.
I have been speaking on mental health for a long time now. I even went to school and completed my BS in Psychology so that I could learn about myself and continue to be an objective individual when it comes to the feelings and needs of others. I also learned the art of self evaluation. I might not always be right so I take a step back and review situations to find my role in miscommunications and the like. This is how we learn. This is how we learn that this world isn’t geared toward us and that we have to live with many others who are struggling just as we are. In the end, if you need help, get it. You’re not weak. There’s no big deal. Oh, and one more of my blogs is Bipolar and Black. I know that many cultures do not embrace seeking mental health help and it does a disservice to so many directly and indirectly. As a mother, I owe it to my child to make sure that I am mentally stable enough to take care of her. I don’t want to continue the cycle although I don’t hold resentment to my father because he didn’t have a great life and he grew up a different way than we did. He did his best and there are no handbooks for life nor raising kids.
I think I have written enough now. If you got this far, thank you for reading. I should be asleep now but I can’t ever start a blog and not finish it because I will lose my train of thought and forget it. Except for that last blog I did about Kpop. I had to add pictures. Well, good night, everyone.
I hope that everyone takes what I said into consideration. If you think no one cares, we do. If you need someone to talk to, I’m here. My little degree is good for something as I am too poor to get my Master’s (even though I want to go into Forensic Psychology because I am a true crime lover and often identify with serial killers because I very well could have been one had I not had the wherewithal to know there was an issue).
Everyone has been talking about NCT Hollywood and why it is such a bad idea. Again, I am in the minority for many reasons. I think the main reason is because I am in the U.S. and I understand the impact it will have on Kpop as a whole but I will go through the reasons that so many people are against it and my response to their ire at something that, again, should be something beautiful.
I Guess I Should Tell You WHAT NCT Hollywood Is
Basically, SM has partnered with MGM to do a reality show (kind of like Korean survivor shows for trainees to fight to become an “idol”) that would have people from the U.S. from the age of about 14 to come to Korea and train as other SM artists had to train before they debuted.
People are extremely mad about this even though this is the only description we really have. We don’t know what role the existing SM artists will have on the show (more exposure), if U.S. artists will be there to mentor the trainees, IF the trainees will only be Asian Americans, etc. We know NOTHING! YET, people are already mad about it. Many of the reasons are based on ignorance and others are just based on delusion. I will go down a few. Oh, I got called a “bigot”. I know the meaning of the word but I literally had to go ahead and look it up in the dictionary because I was (and still am) sure that they used it incorrectly. That child was promptly blocked. I know not to argue with little kids. They know everything and I’ve just been on this earth for 41 years.
“They Don’t Promote the Artists They Have”
I have a question: Where do you think they get all their money from? Merchandising. You don’t have to OVERTLY promote a group to promote a group.
Promoting comes in many forms. Have you looked at YouTube lately? Since COVID, NCT especially, has been ALL over YouTube acting complete fools. They have done vlogs, relay cams, their own little series for each member, etc. But people don’t think this is promotion, why?
They complain that SM doesn’t promote their artists but who is constantly doing photo shoots, walking in fashion shows in Fashion Week, sitting front row at Fashion Week, doing interviews with international magazines, collaborating with fashion/beauty designers, acting in movies, doing variety shows, singing in commercials? These things that you don’t think are promotion ARE forms of promotion.
And the sales soar internationally because people see these men and are like “Wait, who is that?” This is just ONE way that sends many newcomers down a rabbit hole that benefits Kpop PERIODT!
“They’re WESTERNIZING Kpop”
I’m sorry, do you know what Kpop came from? Last I checked, Rap and R&B are from the U.S. What are you doing? Do I really have to explain this? I mean, I can but I really shouldn’t have to explain this.
If you don’t know some of the U.S. groups (I am using U.S. as some people are offended if you say American because we are North American) that Kpop artists emulate, go ahead and look up groups such as Guy, New Edition, Intro, Silk, BoyzIIMen, N*Sync, Backstreet Boys, New Kids on the Block, Destiny’s Child, EnVogue, SWV, XScape, TLC, Jodeci, Bel Biv DeVoe, Mint Condition, Troop, LeVert, Dru Hill, etc. I mean, we can go even further back to the very people that paved the way for them, shall we?
Well, let’s go back to my era: Hmmmm, Earth, Wind, and Fire, The Whispers, Prince and the Revolution, The Temptations, The Jackson 5, The Isley Brothers, Frankie Beverly and Maze, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, The O’Jays, Slave, The Commodores, Cameo, The Supremes, Gladys Knight and the Pips, I can go on and on.
However, Kpop is being Westernized? Are you serious? We MADE those dances your folks are doing. We GAVE you those beats you are dancing to. The AUDACITY! Many of the Kpop artists refer to our artists when they talk about who influenced them. So why exactly are you being selfish and acting like this was ALL Kpop? The only difference is that you’re rapping and singing in a different language. But we been doing this. Don’t disrespect the culture that you took from. RUDE! Do a little bit of research before you literally try to sh*t on a whole country that you gladly used to make your music popular.
Someone who HAD to be a child said that we need to get more groups and emulate Beyonce. I guess they don’t know WHERE Beyonce came from and where her genre came from. Do you know what GROUP she even came from? Oh yeah, Destiny’s Child. What is wrong with you folks?
I’m sorry for my tone here but this is the one that really irks me as an African American woman that GREW UP on R&B, Rap, and Soul. It’s an insult to us to act like this. And the last I checked, our money is money. We spend GOOD money on merchandise for people that rarely even come to our country but we love them anyway. And we will love whoever they choose for their next subunit because….. loyalty and the fact that good music is good music. And I am a whole EXO-L but a MULTI because of SuperM (another SM group that would have been VERY successful had it not been for COVID. I literally saw them in concert 11/2019 and this is HOW I learned about all members and subsequently their groups. This is HOW you get exposure and HOW you promote ALL groups and members).
So many people became fans of each group in SuperM because of SuperM. Many people that were fans of solo artists that were a PART of SuperM became fans of NCT, WayV, EXO, and SHINee. This move benefitted EVERYONE.
“There Are Already 23 Members, Shotaro Doesn’t Get Lines”
SM is very smart. Smarter than people give them credit for. I get that many are mad about there being 23 members already and that their people don’t get “lines”. But guess what: You don’t NEED lines to be popular in a group. I hate the popularity aspect of Kpop but I digress. I also (again) have to remember that these are teenagers and this is their world. They’re likely not even paying to see concerts, buy CDs, etc but they sure do have a lot to say.
Now, again, if you look at the content for NCT, you will easily see that they don’t need lines in a song to become “popular”. They have a “center”. That center is there for a reason. Lucas doesn’t have a ton of lines but I’ll tell you what, that man is beautiful and your eye will be drawn to him. He was also the one I mentioned that walked in Fashion Week.
Johnny is from Chicago. We know who he is. Look at the man. And he has a series on YouTube through NCT’s channel where they pretty much do America’s Next Top Model. Their variety shows also show us who they are as people.
The best thing I think that NCT did (and that no other groups can really do) is the Relay Cam. Relay Cam was when they gave each member the camera to vlog for one hour in one day.
This was how you got to know these men one on one (well, Ten got two hours this year and it was him and the cats and we ate it up). I learned about Xiaojun who actually got his own little NCT show on the channel called The Lonely Master Chef based off his Relay Cam when he made a dang on Oreo cake that tasted nasty according to Ten (they add a new video every Thursday). This is actually how I learned 19 of the 23 members (because some of them still look alike to me, sorry. I am trying).
Before the groups come out with their comebacks, SM is known for doing a variety show for them. NCT Dream did one before their new HIT album just came out called Hot Sauce. This was a chance for the fans to get to know the members more. I am NOT a DreamZen HOWEVER, Jisung and Jaemin are my favorites and that’s just literally from seeing Jisung (he hurt his knee and was doing his little PT) and Jaemin randomly in a video. You don’t need lines when people have eyes.
I will use EXO as an example here. Kai didn’t have a bunch of lines. I mean, he rapped a little in the beginning, but he wasn’t singing. He became known for his DANCING and the mere fact that he is beautiful. I mean, do I have to post Call Me Baby again? Because I will and I have NO problem doing it. He went on to do modeling, acting, and many collabs in the fashion world (and um… I can’t purchase the Gucci line that was launched in frickin Korea but it’s cool. I can’t afford Gucci anyway), and came out with an album that I purchased even though the ONLY CD player I have is in my car.
A child (had to be) was like “Why did they become an ‘idol’ if they can’t get lines?” Had to be a child. Lines don’t get you the money, hun. Ask Teddy Riley from Guy. Shoot, ask R Kelly (he is cancelled but still). You get your MONEY from writing. The guys in the group sometimes have a hand in WRITING the very song that they will then get royalties from. But people don’t see that for some reason. You get paid more for behind the scenes things than actually being the one carrying things out.
Kun is out here writing songs and making whole beats (saw it in Relay Cam). Jisung, Mark, and someone else wrote a few songs on Hot Sauce. But you want to put them in the box of “singer”. Don’t put them in a box. This is just a stepping stone to SO much more for these young men and everyone deserves a chance to show what they have. That isn’t all they are but that’s what you want them to be which isn’t fair. So when you focus on “lines”, you miss who these men are as PEOPLE. And that’s where you mess up.
In the End…..
Before jumping to conclusions, try to look at this objectively. You don’t have to like the U.S. (and I really think that this is where a lot of the ire is coming from but they’re just not SAYING it) but at least give the venture a try. People hated SuperM. HATED it! But they missed what it did for all of the members involved in that group and it did a TON. If you are a fan of one, you’re going to patronize the whole group. So, although I am an EXO-L, guess who got shirts, a lightstick, the whole album, etc.
If you think that SM is greedy, sorry. This is how business works. And if you think that SM doesn’t know how to promote, come to the U.S. Some of this is a bit of a cultural issue as well and I see that. I see that in how so many international fans were SURPRISED that BTS didn’t get a Grammy. Welcome to the U.S. where the only way your music is going to get an award is if a bunch of out of touch people vote that way. We have been complaining about this for many years. LOL I have to laugh. I like BTS but that’s not how it works here.
The only awards you can really win in the U.S. are actually fan picked ones like MTV and Billboard which is based on sales. But that’s a whole different post.
I had to bump my post about enlistment and how rumors can ruin a group because of all the mess about NCT Hollywood.
In the end, just kind of look outside of yourself and give it a chance. If you are a real fan of NCT (NCTzen), then you would support the group as a whole and all their endeavors. That exposure that they will get from airing NCT Hollywood in Korea AND the U.S. is HUGE. HUGE! Just give it a chance.
Again, I am sorry for the tone of this post but people really chewed me out and acted like I was some kind of dummy when I tried to explain how this wasn’t all bad. I get it that SM has a kind of bad reputation when it comes to their groups (yes, I have read about f(x) and I know how people are still mad about Tao, Luhan, and Kris (they lost their lawsuits and are still under SM, let it go)) but sometimes things are learning experiences for all. And the U.S. has a lot of horror stories when it comes to people taking money from artists. Look at TLC and New Edition, so we get it. But these groups still go on to flourish.
This sounds kind of off but just give dang on SM a chance. If they mess this up, then I’ll be wrong. But I would rather be proven wrong than be ignorant in my stance about something that didn’t even happen yet.
Also, watch this video with some other concerns that a YouTuber discussed. I think she understands also as a person of color. Here’s her vid. I love her vids, very well edited, and she’s objective. I like that. And follow her.
Sometimes it’s best that I don’t look at the traits or qualities of people that have bipolar disorder. I sometimes use it as a crutch or an explanation for some of my irrational actions or lack of motivation. But how do you tell when your actions ARE a direct result of your mental illness?
Bipolar Disorder is a Diagnosis, Not Your Identity
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in about 2009. I was formally diagnosed with it when I had to be put into a mental hospital for blacking out and going crazy with a knife. My hand went down the knife and severed the tendons in my right hand. When I came to, there was blood all over the kitchen and I was just all messed up.
The problem was that I was already on medication for Major Depressive Disorder. Had been on it since 2000. However, that day, I missed ONE dose of my Zoloft. One issue that I have that my Zoloft dulled was my anger when I feel as though I am being attacked or picked on. If I do something to diffuse a situation, just let it go. I can’t do the person constantly talking when I am doing what was asked. So this just happened to be the wrong day for someone to try that and it didn’t help that I then felt ganged up on when another voice added their opinion.
Anyhow, once I got out of the psych ward (I was there for 5 days. On day 3, I was pissed because I thought I was going to get out but they said I was still too mad), I then went to see a psychiatrist and social worker. Unfortunately, I still had to live in the home with the people that had driven me to that point. Why am I telling you this story?
Well, when I went to my psychiatrist, Dr. Errol Segall (love him!), they had already put me on Lithium and let me keep the Zoloft. I wasn’t feeling the Lithium. It made me fuzzy and it felt like there was something in the corner of my eye and I was going to run into walls. So he took me off the Lithium and gave me Seroquel instead (Seroquel was great…… for about 8 years and then it gave me dang on Diabetes(I blogged about that as well)). When he did this, knowing what I know about bipolar disorder, I know that Lithium is usually the first thing they put you on so I questioned the change. His response:
“I treat the person, not the diagnosis.”
– Dr. Errol Segall
And this is when I knew I was going to be with him until he retired or I died. LOL Listen, this is one of the biggest issues when it comes to mental health. There was a time where you just got put on certain medications due to your diagnosis. Oh, you have bipolar disorder, well Lithium it is. They treated the diagnosis, not the person. Granted, there are a lot more options out here for us to choose from when it comes to medications.
The issue now is getting people to go through the process of finding the med(s) that work for you. Many people get frustrated and give up. I know of many people that do that. It’s a frustrating process but it can be worked out as long as you communicate with your doctor.
I Said All This to Say What?
Everyone isn’t the same when it comes to treatment for their mental illness. Just as the same trauma doesn’t impact everyone in the same way, a diagnosis doesn’t manifest itself in people in the same way. This is also why I tell people not to suggest meds for other people because they worked for you. I can go down the list of all the meds that I was on that didn’t work for me but work just fine for other people. We have to really pay attention to things like that.
Anyhow, the main feature of bipolar disorder is usually going from one extreme to the other when it comes to moods. And then you have Bipolar II. Yes, and then you have depressive type, manic, with psychotic features, without psychotic features, current episode manic, depressed, mild, moderate, server (I’m thinking about the codes that we use for this because I’m a coder).
With ME personally, I’m usually in a depressed state. And this is even when I take my meds. Sometimes, as my psychiatrist explained, the change of the seasons can have an impact on my moods. At the start of spring, for some reason, I get really sad. It’s stupid and it happens every year and, every year, I’m emailing him about how bad I feel.
I have been manic before. Man, manic bipolar for me came in the form of being overtly sexually promiscuous. So, I would say that I had two periods of just being out there. Many times I would get drunk so that I could do whatever and not care about it. Now, alcohol and your prescription drugs are not friends so don’t do that. DON’T DO THAT!
So, with MY bipolar disorder, I know what I can do and can’t do. I also know the overall rules and actions if one has bipolar disorder as there are some that a good chunk of people with the diagnosis share.
When I got on Seroquel, I gained a lot of weight. To combat that, I got a personal trainer (tax money) and started working out. I kept the weight off because I worked out. Working out helped my mental illness because I would run in the sun (the sun is great for your mental health) and my body was looking great. After those years went by and the Seroquel started to work against my body, I got frustrated. I was literally doing what I was supposed to be doing as far as eating, working out, lifting weights, and the weight wasn’t coming off.
Now, I could have just blamed it on the meds and stayed unmotivated. But, since I’m in the medical field, I went to the doctor. I knew something was wrong. People would assume that I was lying about doing everything I was supposed to do to keep the weight off but I wasn’t. A blood test showed that I had flippin diabetes and the Seroquel was no longer my friend. I talked to my psychiatrist and he took me right off it. Seroquel, however, HAD been how I got to sleep until it stopped working and I had to take Melatonin (it’s natural) to go to sleep. So, since it wasn’t working after all those years, it had to go.
They put me on Metformin for 30 days and found out that I didn’t even need it. The weight came off and all was well.
I am now on Zoloft (my ride or die) and Klonopin. Klonopin really hasn’t been doing much for me lately. With MY bipolar disorder, I don’t stop thinking so I need something so that I can quiet the chatter and go to sleep. I have since found other ways outside of that medication to get to sleep. However, according to my Fitbit, my sleep is not a restful sleep. It’s usually very light with very little deep sleep.
So I had to learn to turn everything off and just listen to a book on a timer or listen to one of my podcasts. A really good one is Snoozecast on Spotify. They just read boring books until you fall asleep. I usually don’t make it through an episode. You just turn everything off, turn over, and go to sleep. If I don’t get sleep, I can run into a manic episode. If I don’t at least take my Zoloft, that will allow my anger to come out at the slightest thing so I rarely missed my Zoloft after “the incident” in 2009.
I could very easily use my diagnosis as a crutch. If I wanted to, I could probably be on disability because I have lost jobs because of my temper. I don’t want to do that though so I take my meds and try to keep on.
Yes, it’s hard but life isn’t easy most days. And there are many days where I want to give up. I could use my diagnosis as a reason to just never talk to anyone and be a hermit. I could stop taking my meds and just act a fool and blame it on not taking my meds. I could blame not being motivated on having bipolar disorder and let my house look like trash (it looks like trash now but I do my best to set a goal to do something every day to rectify the situation).
Many people make generalizations about people with mental illnesses. We’re “crazy”, we’re “violent”, we’re “great in bed”. Well, some of us are those things if we don’t do what we’re supposed to do. I see a therapist as well as my psychiatrist, I set goals, I try to better myself as a person, and I try to help other people that might need some help coming to terms with whatever affliction they are suffering from. I try to make myself useful to others. I could just lay down and be like “Well, the bipolar got me so I just won’t do anything.” But I can’t do that.
I have a little girl and I’m all she has. And life isn’t easy for her as she has a moderate intellectual disability as well as autism. And, who knows, she might get my genes and have bipolar disorder too. So what example am I setting for her? Yes, it’s hard and sometimes I’m VERY hard on myself but I have to look at the bigger picture. I could be dead. I mean, I want to be dead most days BUT I have to keep on chugging along.
My Suggestion (No, I’m No Doctor)
Evaluate yourself alone or with the help of a therapist. Even if you don’t have a mental illness and just don’t feel right, do this. Find out what makes you happy and, if it’s safe, do it.
I talked in my last post about how Kpop has changed my life. I might not be motivated to do something but let one of my favorite Kpop songs come on and watch my whole attitude change. And I KNOW this but sometimes I just literally want to be unmotivated and that frustrates me because I KNOW what I need to do to change my attitude.
My friends tell me often that I am a bit too hard on myself. Sometimes I am because I know what I am capable of but I just sit there like a dummy and be like “Yeah, the bipolar got me today again.” That’s not an excuse. Bipolar disorder or not, I know what I can do and I know what can motivate me to do it.
In other words, learn yourself, KNOW yourself. You can do whatever you want and no diagnosis will stop you from doing it. I bet you were doing it before so don’t let your diagnosis define you. Sure, it might seem a little hard at times. I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder at 20. I had to talk to a therapist, learn my triggers, learn what made me happy and sad, learn what made me want to murder, and learn how to cope with those things (I have blogged about all these things) but I know myself better and I tailor everything I do to my limitations; because, although my diagnosis doesn’t define me, I still have limitations. I don’t want to put myself into situations where the old me might come out.
In the process, I have had to cut people off that I found out really didn’t care about me at all. I had to be happy with being an introvert because I have always been one although it doesn’t seem as though I am when I am out with people. I had to seek out a job where I don’t have to deal with actual people in person. I have had to give myself a little bit of credit for the things that I have accomplished regardless of all the things that were thrown at me. I have had to learn to give myself a little bit of grace. During the week, I get drained so I give myself ONE day on the weekend to stay in the bed and do absolutely NOTHING (besides feed my little family and make sure they are okay). I deserve that day and I will not feel guilty for doing it.
In the end, I am not bipolar. I HAVE bipolar disorder, but it’s not who I am. So I will not let it define me and I will not use it as a crutch. But I have to remember that there is a happy medium. We won’t always have great days and that’s okay. But don’t just lay down and stop because someone gave you a diagnosis that people feel should limit you.
I was all over the place in this post but these are just the thoughts that tumble off my head sometimes. I really think a lot. You guys would HATE to see me manic. I was manic a couple of times last year. That was fun (NO, it really wasn’t).
I really hate this subject. I really hate the people that promote it. This is kind of when I hate Kpop in general. Something SO beautiful that should unite everyone gets turned into this mess. And, maybe it’s because I’m older, but I don’t see the point of it. I just don’t.
What makes it SO stupid is the fact that these “idols” get along with each other and have no beef. HOWEVER, the fans have beef and will hold a grudge. Granted, the demographic for a lot of the 2nd and 3rd generation of Kpop are younger. They’re always talking about going to school and the like so I’m assuming most of them are teenagers and this is their life.
Shoot, when I was a teenager, people tried to fight over Backstreet Boys and N’Sync. I mean, I liked both. I had more Backstreet Boys music but I could belt out some N’Sync songs. It was NEVER that serious, for real. It was music after all.
So when I see the arguments and the like about some musicians or groups, I literally shake my head. However, I decided to talk to some ARMY (BTS fans) about their beef with EXO-Ls (EXO fans) on Twitter. Maybe I need to give you the rundown of the groups, I guess.
Okay, so I had to sit here and get a history lesson as to why EXO-Ls and ARMY didn’t get along. It all started in 2015 maybe? Basically, ARMY say that EXO-Ls went on a crusade to say that BTS plagiarized stuff and that they didn’t deserve any of the attention they were getting when they started getting more in 2018 or something.
If you KNOW anything about BTS, they came a LONG way. And, when I say a LONG way, I mean they were going to break up because they just weren’t succeeding and were getting overlooked a lot. Somehow, it is said that EXO-Ls were the cause of their mental breakdown and that they almost broke the group up.
BTS gets my respect for a TON of reasons but the MAIN one is because they didn’t give up. They were suffering from depression, Jimin was dealing with an eating disorder (some idiots tried to go online and make HORRIBLE comments about that to the point that their company had to step in What Happened to Jimin From BTS? His Management Company Is Going After His Trolls (distractify.com)), and their music changed because of it. Their music grew and resonated even more with teenagers. That’s how it got to the U.S. on such a large scale. They talked about topics that many Kpop groups DON’T talk about. Being sad is okay. Being depressed is OKAY. Helping one another through that pain is needed. Their struggle produced empowering songs for our youth. That’s one thing I cannot even begin to thank them for.
In Asian society, that’s not something they usually talk about. There are a lot of suicides in Asian communities because their children are pushed to be the best and get good grades. It takes a toll on younger people. It takes a toll on adults too but their music really resonated with teenagers and I appreciate that. My best friend’s daughter is an ARMY and sometimes she needs to listen to them to get through some of the horrible things that have gone on in the past few years.
Wanna know something flippin HEE LARRY US? EXO and BTS are friends. They get along. They have no beef with one another. They’re GOOD. There are videos of them hanging out having a ball. But these little kids (they have to be teenagers because I don’t know of adults that are like this) told ME today ON Twitter (I need to stay off Twitter. I had to literally mute the conversation) that now that BTS is popular, EXO-Ls wanna be friends. Oh, and they blamed ALL EXO-Ls for it. First of all, um…. I became a fan of Kpop 3 or 4 years ago, I wasn’t on Twitter, and I surely don’t have the time to battle over some dang on musicians that don’t pay my rent.
Because these people are children, they don’t understand and likely won’t. I told them “In 10 years, you’re going to look back on this conversation and wonder why you even wasted your time.”
Many mature fandoms respect one another. But then you have those that are a bit delusional IN ALL FANDOMS. They make comments like “________ is the BIGGEST idol of all time!” And I’m sittin here like “What are you doing?”
The members of these groups put everything on the line from a VERY young age to be kpop stars. With that said, they all need to be respected. Some were as young as 16 doing this while they were supposed to be in school. Yes, this is their life and THEY get paid for it but what’s so hard about loving music, supporting them as artists, not comparing them, and just being an all around good person.
As an EXO-L am I supposed to walk around fighting everyone that isn’t in my “club”? That’s what I get for playing with these kids.
Sadly, I feel that fandoms ruin the fun in kpop. They really do. If you want to watch a vid on YouTube, just stay out of the comments. The delusional comments will make your roll your eyes until they get stuck. Now, I have my favorites all day but I’m not going to talk bad about another group because my “Alpha” or gateway group is EXO-L. Guess who was over here playing Dynamite? I believe they just hit 1 Billion views on YouTube. We ALL were watching it because it was a good song. Now, I know that kpop is based on popularity and they are always asking people to vote for stuff. I stay away from that. I just let my streams and views do the talking for me. And I’m not sitting around replaying the dang on video to help it get views. I have a real job. But, man, what happened to just listening to music?
One person (had to be a kid) said that BTS “paved the way” for Kpop. Now, to me, a 41 year old woman, that’s like saying that Beyoncé paved the way for R&B. Now, we all know this isn’t true. We know it’s not true because there would be no Beyoncé without the likes of Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, etc. So we can’t make comments like that without making ourselves look dumb. And this is why people make fun of Kpop as a whole; dumb comments like that. BTS wanted to get INTO Kpop because of those that paved the way for them.
Then we have to take into consideration the fact that, in 2013, when they came out, it was harder to reach worldwide audiences. We didn’t really use YouTube, Spotify, or iTunes like that. That’s how they judge things NOW as opposed to when they debuted. Super Junior debuted in 2005 (my daughter is their age). SHINee debuted in 2008. So guess who didn’t really know anything about Kpop; most Americans. EXO and BTS debuted in 2012 and 2013 respectively. BTS’s members respect EXO, SHINee, Super Junior (most younger idols do) because they are what made them WANT to be a Kpop star. And, in Asian cultures, they respect their “hyungs”. There are SO many popular groups that haven’t crossed over to the U.S. in the manner that BTS has yet and maybe they will once the world opens up again. SuperM was on the verge of doing that when COVID hit (I went to their concert and it was EPIC!).
Quick Question: Who remembers Gangnam Style? FOUR BILLION YouTube views. My KID was singing that song. IJS…. but yeah….
There is so much proof of the love that ALL these groups have for one another. So, if you love your group, why not follow their example? I would think that this discord was coming more from U.S. fans as we are an individualistic society that is out for self BUT it’s actually coming from the collectivist societies which kind of blows my mind. Everything isn’t to be a competition. As I have said in previous blogs, “you don’t have to down others to uplift yourself”.
Look at these fools getting along while yall out here fighting about nothing.
One More Thing
When Jonghyun, a beloved member of SHINee committed suicide in 2017, EVERYONE came together. They didn’t care if they were from the same company or ANY of that. They came together because they all had/have a respect for one another. When the fandoms learn to do the same, you’ll be better for it.
Just today, I saw on Twitter that a Chilean show made fun of BTS and EVERYONE rallied around them https://www.cbsnews.com/news/bts-racist-joke-mi-barrio/. It doesn’t matter who you “Stan”, an attack on any Kpop group is an attack on all. Most of them are from South Korea and the joke was that their names were all the NORTH Korean dictator’s name. The social climate right now is trash for all people of color. In addition to this, because some “smart” person called COVID the “Chinese flu”, Asian people have been getting attacked for just being themselves in the U.S. (not sure if it’s going on anywhere else but I will research). If you’re going to be a fan of Kpop, be a fan of Kpop. All this extra is draining. That isn’t the purpose of Kpop.
Because I love me some EXO-L and were introduced TO Kpop because of them, I have the best of ALL worlds. Lookie here: With all of the vlogs, new music, new videos, variety shows, dance practice, etc, I haven’t been without great content for the three years I have been a fan of Kpop. They have ALL made my life happier. Hate doesn’t make you happy. It just doesn’t. And music is supposed to make you HAPPY.
So I’m going to enjoy my EXO, SuperM, SHINee, BTS, Super Junior, Ateez, Stray Kids, WayV, NCT (all of them), and more while yall try to figure out who is the most popular.
In the end, if these are your kids doing this dumb mess, pop em. If you’re an adult doing this dumb mess, get a job or find a hobby because this ain’t it.
Thank you for reading Part TWO of my series of a million. I will be talking about a lot more things that have to do with Kpop but this one came up today because Twitter was trippin.
I’M BACK AND I’M PISSED!!!!
As SOON as I finished this, I go on YouTube for laughs and find out that a person that makes funny vids about Kpop (NCT) has been getting STALKED and getting HATE MAIL! I suffer from depression but I’m on meds but this is a young person doing something that makes people laugh and people have the AUDACITY to tell them to commit suicide, call, and send letters of hate? What is WRONG with people? This is why folks think Kpop fans are nuts. This mess right here ain’t cute nor where it’s at. STOP!
A lot of people are making a lot of comments about this man, his life, his friends, his death, his trauma, and his addiction. People are literally out here claiming that no one cared about him while he was alive. That has to be a huge lie. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
How DMX Impacted MY Life Personally
I have never really been a huge fan of rap. There are very few rappers that I follow and whose work I am eager to hear as soon as it comes out. My younger brother actually introduced me to DMX and just recently told me that he would steal my CDs and listen to them on the way to school. I actually had DMX tapes.
This man’s music made you listen. I listened to his lyrics and learned so much about him as a person, understood his rage, understood his trauma. This man went through a lot of trauma. You can’t claim you’re a fan of his and not know what this man has gone through.
Some girl on Facebook said that she listened to his music and didn’t know about his trauma. Everyone was like “Well, what songs exactly did you listen to?” His FIRST album told you about him and he continued his story throughout his work. In addition to his music, he spoke on it.
I was an angry teenager. I had not been diagnosed with bipolar disorder nor depression but I identified with the rage in his songs. I yelled his songs. His songs calmed me down when I was pissed. I would drive to jobs that I hated yelling DMX songs and it worked. It probably saved lives and kept me out of prison.
“People Only Care About Him Now That He’s Dead”
This is trash. Everyone knows it’s trash. People were trying to support this man. But you can’t make a person change. He was on Fix My Life and went off on Iyanla. Many high powered people tried to help him but he had demons that many people that make this ignorant comment don’t know about. If you read any book on addiction or psychology, know at least ONE person that is addicted to drugs, or just have a heart, you would know that this man went through a lot from a YOUNG age. And I’m not going to spell it out. I would invite those that don’t know to do some research.
He grew up hard and the mere fact that he made it to 50 years shows that he was a fighter. He very easily could have just killed himself. But he decided to channel his feelings into his music. In the process of doing that, he brought people up WITH him.
Swizz Beatz just talked about him on Instagram and talked about how he took other people’s pain and made it his own. He said he was hurting all the time and that he went to jail to get a break. That’s a problem. It’s sad. We knew about his history of drug use but many people don’t understand what caused that drug use. He was self medicating. For him to make it to 50, again, is HUGE!
He was LOVED. He was so loved that Jay Z paid his debt. Other big names always talked to him. He was a very intelligent man but he saw things on a level that many wouldn’t understand. Swizz talked about how he never purchased expensive things and how he always did for others. He talked about how he prayed for everyone while he was in pain himself.
I can identify with DMX because I tend to take on other people’s pain and make it my own but don’t expect people to do the same for me. Thankfully, my friends have shown me that that’s not how it’s supposed to be. However, it’s hard to tell someone who suffers from mental illness and addiction that. A friend can only do but so much. I just have a mental illness, I don’t know what I would be like suffering from addiction.
DMX was trying yall. He had gone to rehab and was trying to get himself together. But, this again, is the self medication I was talking about. It also is another example of how the Black community shuns mental health because of the fact that it will make you look “weak”, especially men.
You are stronger than you know when you ask for help. He was trying though. The mere fact that he took it upon himself to go to rehab was huge. That would give him the opportunity to actually TALK about his issues while undergoing detox. Rehab usually takes numerous tries, however. You don’t go once or twice and come out okay. I have seen instances where people were in and out of rehab.
“How Come His Friends Didn’t Help Him?”
DMX had very powerful people on his side. But power and money can’t MAKE a person change their thinking nor their dependence on drugs. I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist but anyone can tell you that he didn’t properly deal with the trauma in his life. And that didn’t help when he got into drugs at such a young age.
Drugs made him feel good. It made him forget. He actually said this in interviews. He is no different than most addicts that have suffered trauma in this instance. It’s the instant gratification from drugs. Having to undergo treatment and talking about things that truly make you worse (while not being able to take the very drugs that blocked those instances out) is a hard process. Some people can’t handle that process. I don’t fault them for it either. I don’t. I have friends that have been through HORRIBLE things and WERE addicts. They went through a lot, burned a lot of bridges, were in and out of rehab, tried different drugs to get over one drug, etc. It is a long, hard process.
Here is an interview with Talib Kweli in the L.A. Times where TK talks about an interview he did with DMX.
Anyone that was in his circle or actually talked to him said the same things about him. This man wasn’t a bad person. He just didn’t deserve the life he got at a young age. His trauma and speaking on it, however, helped MANY that identified with him.
What I DO Know
Reading medical charts has also brought this home. I’m in training on Medicaid charts (we train on these yearly at my job) and many of these people are addicts. And, when I read their charts and see their trauma…. sometimes I get very teary. I can’t imagine living the way many have lived and, therefore, I cannot blame them for their addiction. I can’t.
We really have to look outside ourselves and have a little bit more empathy. I also tell people to watch what they say because life will humble you. Yeah, you aren’t suffering from addiction right now but everyone is one trauma or accident away from mental illness or addiction.
I read the charts to know it. You can hurt your back and get addicted to opioids. So watch what you say and hope that people have enough of a heart not to laugh at you and blame you for your issues. Everyone isn’t you. Everyone didn’t live your life. Everyone doesn’t have your values and/or resources.
Music heals! I tell people this all the time and there are studies that affirm this thought. I can listen to a song and it can instantly make me smile or get energized. Kpop is Korean pop. The thing about Kpop is that everything they do is OVER the TOP and we are HERE for it! Their choreography has professional dancers GAGGING, their videos are CGI and out of this world, and lets not talk about how beautiful these men are. OMG!
My Introduction to Kpop
Okay, I have friends that have been to Korea or are just fans of Kpop. And I kept hearing about this BTS group (SPOILER: They are NOT my “gateway” group) so I was like “Let me go to good ole Spotify and see what these folks are talking about”.
Instead of picking a group, I picked a playlist of all the Kpop groups and started to listen. A song came on that I liked so much, I put it on repeat. I was hooked! What was the song? El Dorado by a group called EXO. The song is beautiful. But then I made a fatal mistake: I went to YouTube to see if there was a video for that song. There was a live performance video of that song. I watched it with intensity and I saw two men that had a charisma that just JUMPED out at me.
Problem Number One: Telling Them Apart
Now, this is common knowledge BUT it is hard to tell people apart from a race different than yours. I can tell black people apart because I’m black BUT psychology says that sometimes it’s a bit hard to tell other races apart. Until I got friends of other races or learned the personality of the person, I used to think that they all looked alike (sorry, I’m human. Took me a while to tell the characters from Game of Thrones apart too).
In Kpop, there are groups with TONS of members and you have to really be told who is who. On Facebook, they have a lot of videos of “unhelpful guides” to groups. They will go down each of the members of the groups which helps me to know that I am not alone in this world.
One group that I recently got hooked on due to the group featured above was NCT and I believe they have 23 members. TWENTY THREE MEMBERS!!!! Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself.
In order to learn who my future “babies” would be, I had to ask one of my Kpop loving friends (she’s an ARMY, we’ll talk about that later) who happens to be Asian (shout out to my girl, Chalita. She is the REAL MVP). I would give her the time stamp and ask who the person was in the video. She was very helpful especially when I started wanting to learn about BTS. It was then that I found my bias(es). Okay, look, I cheated.
What in the WORLD is a bias?
A “bias” is your favorite person in a group. There’s some unwritten rule that we are to have one. Okay, so my first one was this beautiful specimen named Baekhyun (real name Byun Baek-hyun). This man has a ton of talent, can snatch your soul with a high note, and is extremely funny. But there was someone else that stole my heart. A “bias wrecker”.
What is a bias wrecker?
A “bias wrecker” is someone that takes your attention away from your bias, basically. These groups are full of beauty. They are just beautiful men. The guy that took me away from beautiful Baekhyun was Kai (real name Kim Jongin). Kai is a work of art. This man is such a work of art that he is KNOWN for his style as well as his collabs with big names in the fashion industry. He just did a campaign with Gucci that features my favorite thing as a child, bears. However, the main thing that he WAS known for (we are learning more and more about how talented he is due to his new self titled album) was his dancing. This man can DANCE!
The first time I found THAT out was when I watched an OLD video called “Call Me Baby” by EXO. This man…. You will just know him AND Baekyhun when you see them. Remember, VOICE (BH) and DANCE (Kai). By the way, this has been my ring tone for YEARS now.
All Downhill From Here
Once you start on that slippery slope, that’s it. You’re gone. Once you find that ONE group that you got hooked on, you just start looking for ALL their songs. Since I was late to the game with them, I had a LOT of catching up to do. And I sure did catch up. I also learned more about the members and Korean culture. I even tried to learn Korean using Duolingo (I am not doing that well, I have to admit). So, until you can learn the language, you just yell out crap that you think might SOUND like what they’re saying and call it a day.
BUT, the fun is that again, you are not alone. I am SO not alone that there are series on YouTube called Misheard Lyrics that crack me up. I am subscribed to a great one that really needs more subscribers because they are so funny. They are called RebEwel (Rebecca and Jewel). They do a lot of Kpop songs and it’s hilarious. But you have to have watch the video first because these men are so beautiful that you won’t be able to look at the subtitles. OMG! You see this guy here, that’s Chen. Another one that is known for his high notes. This man can SANG! He and Baekhyun are known for their beautiful high notes. The two of them together are unstoppable. Okay, let me get back on track. This might need to be like a five part series or something because there is so much I have to GIVE on this subject. LOL
Another fun thing that you can see on YouTube are reactions to the Kpop vids. They can come from YouTubers or the groups themselves (because many don’t see it until it has all been done. They just dance and jump around green screens until it comes out).
So we have BrisXLife who is another ARMY but just is a true fan of good music. I’m always yelling at him on his Instagram and Twitter about songs I need to see. He also has a love/hate relationship with one of the members of SuperM (a supergroup made up of SMs best members), Lucas (and he is another bias wrecker, OMG!).
BrisXLife Mad at Lucas
My BaeKai Reacting to Kai’s First Solo Single
Roles of Members of the Groups
In Kpop groups, everyone has a role. I will use EXO as an example and we might get into more Kpop terminology here.
Leader (keeps the other members in line and starts off the intro for the group)- Suho
Center (usually the person in the middle, draws your eye) – Kai
Rapper (self explanatory) – Sehun and Chanyeol (sometimes Kai too)
Dancer (self explanatory) – Xiumin, Kai, Sehun (I believe)
Main Vocals (self explanatory) – D.O., Baekhyun, Chen
Maknae (youngest member of the group) – Sehun
Fake Maknae (looks like the youngest but isn’t) – Xiumin
I Really Do Have SO Much More to Give
Okay, so I’m going to stop here but we will talk about a lot of other things. I would like to stick to the light things for now but there are some dark things as well (as there are with anything).
I would like to touch on the following:
mandatory military enlistment
why they were wearing masks before we had to
how Kpop got me through the last 3 years
Chinese vs Koreans ( this makes me sad because it really impacted EXO)
going to a concert BY MYSELF to see SuperM (the featured pic) when I hate people AND crowds
being old and having to tell these teenagers to calm down with the hate (LOL)
light sticks and their importance
why buying their CDs (even though no one plays CDs anymore) is a BIG DEAL!
So I will stop here. There is a lot more to Kpop than people know and I’m going to give you guys the Kpop for Dummies version. I also only like male Kpop groups for some reason so I won’t be talking about girl groups unless it applies to one of the members of a male group.. If you stick around, great, I would be happy. If not, like the President, BIDEN (bye den)!
I haven’t had the best few weeks or maybe even months. Someone told me that tomorrow is Worldwide Bipolar Disorder Day and I don’t think that this post would be appropriate for that day because it’s not a very happy blog.
For many years, I have been doing everything to better myself as a person. I have gone to school, obtained a degree, learned more about myself, worked out, made sure to take my meds religiously, tempered my speech, learned about how to rear my daughter with her disabilities, and tried my best not to kill myself.
I do my best not to be around my triggers (see: Knowing Your Triggers) and I try my best to temper myself when people feel the need to test me or treat me as if I don’t matter and am not a person. Even with all this that I try to do, it is not recognized.
Does It Matter if It’s Recognized?
To me, it does in a way. I see my growth and I feel proud of myself but when people deny that growth or take advantage of that growth, it makes you want to return to what you were.
It’s crazy because people that KNOW me and have known me for a decade or more understand where I came from, what I was, and who I was. My therapists tell me all the time that they are proud of me and my progression. But it seems as though I am backsliding. I take my meds and do what I’m supposed to do but there are situations in which you cannot control your triggers but only your response.
My mom got sick again. When she gets sick, she calls me which is fine because I am in the medical field. But, when you call me and I offer you advice (sound advice), acknowledge and maybe take it. I might not be a doctor or even a nurse but, if you read medical charts all day, see the whole process of a person being sick, their treatments, and discharge (or death), you learn some things. You also have to know physiology, pharmacology, anatomy, etc. But I digress. If I suggest something you don’t do it, and then a doctor tells you exactly what I told you, it bothers me.
And it bothers me because it’s as if I’m a whole dummy. It’s not even about being right but it’s about at least just listening. I told my mother to go to the ER instead of the urgent care. She and my sister decided that they weren’t going to do that. She ended up being admitted to the hospital. Cool. Fine. It is what it is?
My other sibling (technically, I am only really claiming my brother at this point) got mad at something and told me to forget it then brought it up again, I said “It’s forgotten”, and she got mad that I did what she had asked me to do. This whole picking fights thing irks me. And it really bothers me when THIS sister does it because we usually get along. I don’t do or say anything to intentionally hurt anyone. Funny thing is that I never really did do that but people have labeled me as “mean” for a very long time. Since I was a teenager. The ONE thing I always prided myself on was the fact that I never provoked anyone. I never just did stuff just to be mean. If I were to go to the bad place, it was because someone KEPT picking with me.
For some reason, when my mother is sick, the devil comes out of my siblings and I have to sit there and be the whipping boy. No one wants to hear anything and it’s all about instant gratification. So the other girl that came out of my mother decided that my mother wasn’t asking the right questions, the docs weren’t doing their jobs, etc. Although I have never worked in a hospital full time, I do know that tests and the like take time. I also knew that this time wasn’t like the last time when my mother almost died and was not able to make decisions for herself. It is also a time when COVID is a big deal and my mother is not the only patient in the hospital.
However, that was not good enough for her.
Oh, and lets not talk about how my mother literally yelled at me for suggesting a procedure that she had before because her issue is likely gastrointestinal related. She thought I was talking about them sticking a tube down her nose into her stomach. I was talking about a colonoscopy. She yelled at me and I just had to let it go. Next day, what happens? The doctor suggested the exact same thing that I had suggested. Even when I had tried to explain the two procedures, she had yelled at me. But yeah….
I mean, as a person with a mental illness, sometimes we take issue with people seemingly picking on us or we see everything as picking on us; especially when it comes back to back to back. So the other girl that came out of my mother said we weren’t asking the right questions, the docs didn’t know what they were doing, and that my mom was just laying in the hospital for nothing (hospitals aren’t doing that especially during COVID but what do I know), oh, and that she thought that she should go to another hospital because they seemed to have done a better job. I tried to explain to her that, in this instance, no one has to tell us anything as our mother is able to speak her mind (HIPAA). My mother was very frustrated because the “other girl” decided that the doctor needed to talk to HER because she had questions. The thing is: What kind of questions are you going to ask and will you understand the answers? Also, she made a comment that she had a doctor friend that told her to just have the doctor talk to them. Well, if that’s not YOUR patient, that doctor doesn’t have to talk to you about anything and, again, HIPAA. My mother didn’t authorize that so what are you doing?
In the end, the docs knew to talk to me. That seemed to be a problem to the other person as I must just be too dumb to impart the importance of having questions answered because I’m not the smartest tool in the shed. Everyone has their own lane. One is good at finances, one is good at real estate, one is good at technology, and one is good at medical issues. We all have a lane.
So, when I imparted that info to the “other one”, she got mad and said that we’re not asking the right questions and that she needed answers and that no one was going to tell her not to care about her mother. I calmly tried to tell her that no one was saying not to care about her mother. My point was that our mother has a voice this time and can make her own decisions and ask us when she needs help. I also told her that I didn’t have the energy to argue with her about it and that my mental state wasn’t the best right then. My brother (the only sibling I am claiming at this point) said to give it a rest.
TWO hours later, this “person” says that if my mental state isn’t the best that I should allow someone else to take care of the medical part. Now, here is why that was just a messed up thing to say:
I have bipolar disorder BUT I still take care of my responsibilities. If I didn’t have the capacity to prioritize, I wouldn’t have a job, my child and my animals would not be taken care of, and I would be homeless. I am a functioning individual and I was going to make sure I was around when I was needed. I do what I have to do for those I care about. I told her this and told her to leave me alone.
Instead of letting it go, she said “Just looking out for you, sis”. And I knew she wasn’t being sincere. At that point, again, I had to tell her to leave me alone. What kind of person just keeps picking at a person? I know who does and this is why I don’t really talk to her often, especially online because people talk recklessly online or via text and I can’t touch them. It really irks me when people that KNOW what I am capable of KEEP messing with me.
My Final Decision and Only Recourse
At that point, the only thing I could do is only speak to them about my mother so that she didn’t have to tell everyone the same story over and over again. I explained what was taking place, what was going to happen, etc. The doctor talked to me Saturday and she was discharged from the hospital.
I haven’t talked to the “siblings” since then. I don’t need to. I have nothing to say to them. When I do things, the ONE thing that I ALWAYS do is reread the conversation (especially via text) to find out what I did wrong. I evaluate myself and how things could have been misinterpreted because I don’t want to be mad at something when I was in the wrong. And, if I see my mistake, I apologize.
In my family, we weren’t taught to apologize. Will I get an apology for any of the things that happened in those few days? No. However, if I had been the offender, I can tell you that I would have apologized. The issue, in my opinion, is that no one in my family feels that I am worthy of an apology. This low self worth could be part of my depression at this point and just needing a little bit of a “Hey, good job!” would have helped. This is a personal problem and no one’s issue but my own but these are my feelings. This is how I process things when I’m already in a depressed state.
And that’s fine. It doesn’t seem as though I am worthy of a lot of things lately and it’s wearing on me. And when things wear on me, I start to have negative thoughts.
One thing that the insurance was worried about was the fact that my only reason for living is my little family (my daughter, dog, and cat). Those are my reasons for living. My daughter especially. The insurance is saying that I need other reasons for wanting to live.
Look at this world though. Where is the reason to live? I have great friends but these friends have their own serious problems that are really very big in comparison to mine. I haven’t lost anyone close to me, lost my job, been assaulted, etc (knock on wood). So my hurt feelings, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t anything they need to be bothered with. That’s why I have a therapist and a psychiatrist. They can listen.
When things bother me and happen in succession, everything just feels bad. And, when everything just feels bad, you have a hard time even enjoying the things that once brought you so much joy. When this happens, you just do everything on autopilot. So I work and parent on autopilot. It’s like driving to work and not even remembering doing so.
There were days where I just literally slept all day. The weekend was usually that time. If I didn’t have overtime, I would feed my family and go to sleep. Sleep is when you don’t have to think or deal with anything. You just sleep. No one bothers you and you just are alone. My naps are my deepest sleep according to my Fitbit. Saturdays I slept all day. Sundays, if I didn’t have overtime, I did the same.
In addition to this, every night when I take my meds, I contemplate just taking them all. I think about it every single night. The thing is that I will never do it. Besides living for my little family, I know that I have bad luck. Whatever I would try to do wouldn’t work. If I jumped off a bridge, I would probably hurt myself really bad and decrease the quality of my life even more.
These are the things that I deal with every single day. But I fight. I fight myself a lot. I try to motivate myself. Instagram and YouTube have great fitness enthusiasts that do great work outs. I sit there and watch them.
There was a time that I was happy going to my little gym and running on the treadmill while watching and discussing Family Feud with my little gym family. I haven’t seen them in a very long time and I miss them. Running on the treadmill was great for me. I don’t run on concrete and I live in an apartment but I have been eyeing an apartment treadmill.
Also, when you suffer from depression, you kind of just don’t want to do anything. In order for me to get a little treadmill, I need to declutter. It looks like I am moving. I try to give myself an assignment daily but it’s just hard. And I’m constantly washing clothes so, I can fold all day but putting the stuff away happens after I wash ANOTHER load of clothes. And I have to get around to that because again, not motivated.
Having a cluttered space is not good for you. I do keep my blinds open though so the sun can shine in. That is very important. I usually sit in the sun when it gets warm outside. I have done that for years because Vitamin D is very important.
The bad thing is that I KNOW all of these things about me and I know what I’m supposed to do to try to help the situation. But it’s like I literally just don’t care anymore. I don’t care about anything but making sure these lil folks in my apartment are taken care of. And I can’t really say anything to my therapists or they will have me put in the place that I do not want to return to.
The most I can do is ask for more frequent appointments, maybe ask for new meds, and just keep trying to live day to day.
The worst part is that it all feels so petty to me but that’s why I’m on meds in the first place. When I was first diagnosed as having Major Depressive Disorder, my doctor explained to me that everything got to me and that’s why I needed the meds “to put up a shield”. Now I have the meds and have been on different meds for 20 years now and little things are getting to me again.
With bipolar disorder, you usually go from manic to depressive but, right now I WISH I was in a manic state because I would be able to get things done. But this depressive state has been ongoing. When this happens, you really just want it to end. And then you add on family issues, the social climate, people misunderstanding everything you do, and you just wonder if anything is even worth it.
In the past, I felt that the only place that I was ever really appreciated was my job. They appreciated my effort. It was the only place I could go for peace as well (this was when I was working IN a doctor’s office before they fired me). I have friends and they appreciate me and I appreciate them. I don’t want them to constantly feel that they have to tell me that they appreciate me either which is another reason why it’s best I keep my petty issues to myself.
These are the thoughts that are going through my mind tonight. It’s time for me to take my meds (I won’t think of taking them all tonight), put on some Snoozecast, and try to rest my mind.
Thank you for reading (if I publish this because it might be too depressing for people to read but this is what sometimes goes on in the minds of people that suffer from depression)!
On Twitter (I should just leave Twitter), I have seen a lot of disdain towards parents who state their feelings. As a mother to a child with disabilities, I have watched in horror as it has been said by advocates that “we don’t care about what the parents feel, just the child”. When you say this, who does it help?
How Were People with Disabilities Treated in the Past?
Now bear with me because this will come full circle. Some of the infuriating classes that I had to take for my degree were African American Psych (I still have to write about that) and a class on the history of disabilities (I forget the formal name of the class). No, I am not disabled (although people are saying that bipolar disorder is a disability but everyone has an opinion, I’m not trying to muck the waters up) but, seeing the history in America of how people with disabilities were thrown away made my heart hurt.
They were seen as “less than”. Parents didn’t know what to do so they would send them to basically die in institutions. I really wish I could find the picture book that showed the conditions at some of these institutions and how they were mistreated. It was one in particular but I can’t for the life of me find it. This came from many things and ignorance was one of them. Frustration was another. Was it right? Of course not, but, many people didn’t know better. So society is trying to make gains in recognizing what is appropriate and inappropriate when it comes to disabilities. We learned about ramps and buses and it made me wonder how in world they could stand it. To not have access to things is frustrating. To not have access to things because of something you can’t control is infuriating. And to be basically told that they don’t owe you anything…. well, that’s just worse.
In my one sided conversation with the person that said their mother wanted to kill them, this is what I was thinking about. When you don’t know, you do some dumb things. Is it willful ignorance? I can’t say, especially back in the day. But we are making strides. With those strides, there will be growing pains. But the fact that needs to be acknowledged is that we are trying. It is a process. It’s a slower process than many of us want it to be but it is still movement, hopefully in the right direction.
I say this to say that there wasn’t support for the parents of these people with disabilities to help them cope. And I know people are going to get offended by the usage of “cope” but parents have to cope with the fact that their child is disabled. And when there is no support, the parent can become frustrated. And where can that frustration go? To the child. That’s NOT where we want it to go. THIS is why we should care about the feelings of the parents.
Parent with kids withOUT disabilities have problems raising their children so one would think that this an added layer of stress to the parent. The child is not a burden and we chose to have them but parents are people who have feelings too. If those feelings aren’t acknowledged and dealt with, there can be a lot of trauma inflicted onto the child.
I have spoken on this in my other blogs but, in the Black community, if your kids is “bad”, you spank them. So, when you don’t, you’re getting judged and looked at as a dummy when your child is overstimulated or frustrated and acts out in public. I have stated before that it was to the point that I literally stopped taking my daughter out of the house because I couldn’t handle the judgment. But, when I stayed home, my mother called me lazy not recognizing that I was already suffering from depression for other reasons.
In my blog about a physical fight I had with my daughter last year, I stated that there has been times in public where my daughter has literally raked her nails down my face and arms and drawn blood because transitioning was hard for her (I took her to a therapist so we could learn how to cope with these things and I could learn methods to make it easier on the both of us). She pulled my boob out at the pool because she didn’t want to leave her swimming lesson. People looked at me funny and one guy came to my car and said something to the effect of me having patience or something for not beating her. I let him know that she had a disability and basically that a spanking doesn’t always work for many kids.
I also had to learn to pick my battles. If my kid wants to walk out the house with mismatched clothes on, have at it. I’m not going to argue about it. No one is dying because of her choice of clothes. My mom really had a problem with this as she likes to control everything. With children with disabilities, your goal really is just to try to make everything bearable for that child and yourself. My own family thought that I was just making things up when it came to her screaming and sitting on the floor if she didn’t get something she wanted. So, as a parent, we are getting hit with it from a lot of sides. You’re getting judged by society that feels that you should “use the rod” and then you’re getting told by advocates for the child that your feelings don’t matter. I never have personally heard this in my daughter’s school EVER and I am thankful for that which is why I was extremely taken aback when an advocate said that especially because my therapist works at the ARC and would never say something like that either.
How Does This Impact Your Child?
It can put you in a bad place. It can cause resentment. This is something we do NOT want. I have been on receiving end of resentment from my dad especially when I was told that my brother and I weren’t wanted and that the only reason he stayed with my mother was because he didn’t want to pay child support. In my personal case, my daughter’s father doesn’t pay child support, doesn’t care to see her and blamed me and my “retarded ass child” for him “losing” his job. So let’s add onto that being a single mother. More judgment. You had sex and had a bastard child and it’s your fault. You are right, it is my fault. But I am laying in the bed I made. Now, add onto that any mental issues or traumas that the parent might have or even their own disability. Put all that together in a pie and try to understand how this can ALL be bad for the child.
You don’t have to directly care about the parent but you should indirectly care because all these feelings impact that child. Some of us don’t come from the best families and don’t know how to express feelings or really even be a good parent. It’s something we have to learn. I had to learn. People that read my daughter’s blog know that it was a process and it’s still a process.
These are the things I consider as a mother with bipolar disorder that is raising a child on their own and being criticized and viewed as “less than” for it. Again, this is not a “woe is me” post. It is actually just trying to get people to see from the outside what it’s like.
Support is Needed for the Parents for the Benefit of the Child
To have all these things piled on you not to mention working, doctor’s appointments, IEP meetings, etc, it can wear you down. As a parent, we have the right to ask for a little compassion and support. It’s not out of selfishness. It’s because we care about how our mentality will impact our child. We are not putting ourselves before our child, we’re putting our child’s very well being before ours. Many of us are doing our best to break cycles. I know I am. I hug my daughter all the time and tell her I love her. I didn’t get that much as a kid so I am not a hugger. VERY few people can hug me. I usually stiffen up otherwise. But my daughter and my nephew get all the hugs because I want them to know that this is acceptable. I tell them I love them and I mean it. I do my best to explain things to my daughter and it can be hard because she doesn’t sometimes grasp it and I get frustrated but SHE has taught me patience. People that knew me before I had her will tell you that I’m a different person. You change for your child but that doesn’t mean you can’t ask for a little bit of help.
In my case, people that have never even met my daughter OR I have been the biggest village and voice for her that I have ever had. THAT support is beautiful. And when I say it is beautiful, you guys don’t know the half of it. The support that my daughter gets for EVERYTHING is so heartwarming. My daughter has sensory triggers related to clothes and, certain clothes aren’t wearable. I talk about it in her blog. So sometimes I’m literally out here wasting money that I don’t have.
We found some sweaters that she liked and I got her some and I posted pics of her so happy about it (she loves Target as well so that was an added bonus). A woman that has never met me or my daughter literally sent me money to take her to Target. Kie got all the clothes that she wanted and happily wears them. This isn’t a small thing to me. It is huge because it lets me know that people do care about my daughter and I. That we matter to someone.
And that’s literally just one instance. She did the Buddy Walk. I didn’t really know if we were going to do it and, in less than an hour, she amassed a good chunk of money and encouragement for doing the walk. Things like this are beautiful to me.
People love to hear about her, love to see her live, love to read her blogs, all that. This makes me happy and this shows me that she and I are supported and loved. That is very important in a world that literally takes every opportunity to show hate and inflict pain on those that aren’t like them.
In the end, we’re all trying to cope with this world and our decisions. So, if someone asks for a little help or support, don’t shame them for it. Asking for help is better than many other alternatives out here that are very dark.
Thank you for reading. I have had a lot on my mind lately and I use this to get it out. Also, thank you to those that have been my “village” for my daughter and have had my back. It’s greatly appreciated and I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to have in my life. I love you!