Maslow’s Hierarchy: We All Fall Down

I was talking to my cub tonight about The Election (groan) and we were sharing what news we had read during the day, what people talked about and our feelings about it all. Note that I do not watch or read the news (my therapist and Psychiatrist have forbidden it), but get information from Tumblr and Facebook. My cublet, on the other hand, is a CNN junkie. Between us, we can usually cover all the bases.

Reality vs. Political Statement

wireap
AP photo

We got to the Silicon Valley investors wanting to “Calexit” the United States and began a discussion of:

Is this for real? Or is this a statement of protest. 

When the protests at colleges began the night of the Election and now that they have continued, including the #NotMyPresident hashtag, I started with “People are PISSED! They need an outlet.” The protests will mean zero to Trump’s White House. However, they are an incredible show of force of just how angry we are that this animal has become the President. I also believe they are laying the foundation for the election in 2020. (I am sure I’m not the only one watching to see who The Leaders will be as things unfold.)

Then the Calexit stuff… will they really try to secede or are they making a loud statement of distaste and anger. I believe it is the latter.

Next up was the Change.Org Petition to ask/beg/demand the Electoral College to not vote Trump in in December. My love was NOT happy about it at all, saying that we can not like what happened and be as loud as we want about it, but that asking that the Electoral College to do this is not the way our American System of Government works. I offered that it was yet another “statement” of anger and frustration and surely people will know that an online Petition wasn’t going to make one iota of a difference with what happens in December. He said that even some college educated people he knows who do know how the government works were demanding their friends go and sign the Petition, acting like if there were enough “signatures,” it would, in fact, sway the Electoral College. (At the time of this writing, there were already over 2 million signatures.)

protest-2016
Whatever Means Necessary

I made the comment that I felt people were grasping for control in an uncontrollable situation because they are terrified for their lives.They are using any means accessible to them… the streets, the press, social media and even as out-of-the-ordinary as Calexit, people are going to find a way to shout their sheer terror so someone will hear them.

Maslow’s Hierarchy

maslowslaws

I commented that many of the Protesters/Protectors have been plunged from the top of the Pyramid (Self-Actualization) to the bottom two levels (Safety and Physiological) in the time it took to hold one Election Night. Even the most oppressed have fallen down the rungs.

Women (including me), the LGBTQIA+ community (including me), Muslims (including my cub), immigrants, the disabled (including me) and so many more are, quite literally, scared of violence against themselves and their families… violence that can lead to death. As we know, it has started already. This would be the second level in Maslow’s Hierarchy.

Desperate people, especially our trans brothers and sisters, are killing themselves, bypassing the bottom level and removing themselves from life altogether. I hardly have words to express my incredible sadness that this man has terrorized our country so intensely it seems hopeless to even try and fight with The System.

It’s Up to Us

a-post-election-call-to-action-to-our-communities-750

Within the span of days, I, along with millions of other, are galvanized to fix things… do away with the Electoral College, take Trump/Congress/the government to court if they attempt to stomp all over our Constitution & Amendments (thank you ACLU!)… and to reach out, speaking for and taking care of others who do not (and have not) had a voice for far, far too long because of the oppression this country has harbored since taking the land belonging to the Native Americans.

For the first time since the night of November 8th, I am feeling hopeful that we can begin to reverse the tragedy that’s taking over our White House in January 2017.

We can do it. I believe in us.

 

Anxiety Attack? O, There You Are!

Last night I was talking to my cublet, we were ranting a lot about that Hitlerian President-Elect, sharing our thoughts, our fears… our terror… with each other and then I needed to write.

computerthink

Descending Distress

So I went to work on Stunned, Shocked & Saddened and right as I got to the end, I began to feel crappy, then worse, my heart started racing, my stomach was in knots, I began sweating like a piglaletta and finally I told my cub, “I feel like shit! I need to go lay down.”

Once I was on laying on my bed feeling horrid, I began breathing deep to try and lessen the distress.

Then I thought, “Oh, I recognize this. This is an Anxiety Attack.”

I situated myself on the bed, laying down, feeling my body’s frantic fight to keep control over my mind, but I strong-armed the panic so I could do my Mindfulness exercises.

I felt the sheets under my arms and legs… listened to the air conditioner’s humming… smelled the scent of cinnamon from the witch’s broom I have in the corner.

breathe

Working Through the Experience

When I could, I texted my cub that it was an Anxiety Attack so he wouldn’t worry. He then asked if I had meds for that.

My cub is under 30-years old and has zero experience with mental illness, so his frame of reference is me. On meds. Getting new meds, getting them adjusted, and making sure I take them properly. While he knows I do Mindfulness Meditation and that I use it at times of stress, he doesn’t know Anxiety would have been one of those times.

Later, when I could explain better, I shared that I grew up in a Pill-for-Every-Ailment kind of family, so I have always seen meds as a free-for-all. My mom, sister and I have all been addicted to pills of one kind or another… my sister dying of an overdose of pain meds, mainly the 4 Fentanyl patches she had on when they found her. I am now about 2.5 years clean from Opiates (Percocet & Norco). I then shared that while acknowledging my forever-need for Psych meds, I do try to minimize other meds where I can.

Anti-Anxiety meds (Benzodiazepines)  are one of those types of meds I would rather not be using. I tried them when I had the Agoraphobia and hated them; I was doped into a stupor. I was on a dozen other meds including the opiates, so probably to be expected, but still. So I made the choice to not use the Benzos, but Mindfulness and Mindfulness Meditation instead.

Back for Good?

zappy-heart

The picture above is so accurate, showing the electrical currents zapping the brain and heart, sending them surging into overdrive… often for no apparent reason. Mental ones that are short circuiting, sure, but often for nothing we can pinpoint.

I was confused why the Panic Attack even hit in the first place, but my cublet reminded me (lovingly and gently) that the (fucking) Election has brought out intense emotions and then I spent a lot of time writing the previous post. Then the Panic consumed me.

Now that I remember what they feel like, I am on alert (not HIGH alert, though) for when/if it comes a’callin’ again.

Of course, I hope I don’t have another, but if I do, I am ready…

…to breathe.

Stunned, Shocked & Saddened…

Started writing 11/9/16

… along with many of you.

bleed

Stunned

I did not watch the returns last night. Instead, I relied on my cub to give me the information when something big happened. At one point, on a trip to the kitchen for a Diet Coke, I saw the map of the United States. And it was bleeding.

I was horrified.

By the time mi osezno went to bed at 1am, we knew what the outcome was going to be. And it wasn’t in our favor.

I was on Tumblr with hundreds of others, looking periodically at Facebook, and could see the emotional turmoil the results were causing, hearing murmurs that turned to cries, saying they wanted to die… that life without Obamacare, without LGBTQI+ rights, without mental health care, without disability services, without honoring a woman’s choice to abortion and birth control, knowing that people of color and Muslims wore targets on their backs, that the closing of our borders might mean not seeing family or friends for many (far too many) years.

I went into helper mode. I reblogged Help Lines, Hot Lines, Text Suicide Prevention Lines, messaged those who seemed especially desperate, left comments on several posts that expressed extreme despair and pain.

I did not cry.

helena-wierzbicki
artist, Helena Wierzbicki

Shocked

I went to bed at 3:30am after taking a few calls for work, slept eh… not the best… and got up for the day at 9am. I had to do errands and knew I wanted to wear black today, expressing my mourning for what could have been. I took a shower, put makeup on and then draped myself in black from head to toe, including earrings and bracelet.

I headed to Costco and was there at opening. I use the electric cart thingie and cruised around thinking, “Hmmm, you haven’t cried one tear over this. Maybe your head-in-the-sand trick of not watching the news lately has made you more in-the-moment than you thought!”

And then I was at the prepared cold foods part of the store and stopped from getting to the chicken I need for the dogs by a woman with her toddler poring over the enchiladas. She apologized and I told her I was in no hurry, to take her time. Then I kinda mumbled something about THE ELECTION and not having anywhere to go… and she groaned. She asked me if I could believe what happened and I said I could not, that I was baffled by what happened.

I said to her, “I never knew there was so much hate around me.” She did not answer (she is black). Being femme and white, I pass (too fucking much for my taste at the moment) and told her I was lesbian and had brown children so I feel some of their hate, too.

Then I started crying. She pulled her toddling daughter over with her and stepped towards me, putting one arm around my shoulder. I apologized saying I hadn’t cried one tear until that moment. And I looked up and she was crying! I reached up and we held each other crying for probably a minute or so. It was so tender. I can still smell her scent.

jessica-rimondi
artist, Jessica Rimondi

Saddened

I had to drive 70 minutes to the Endocrinologist after Costco and on the drive I had a thought.

When I was shopping, riding around on the electric cart, I found myself scowling… even feeling anger… towards the older white men I passed (and yes, I know, white women voted for him, too). I inwardly cursed at them, angry that they voted for that horrid man. Quite unlike me as I do not typically make negative snap judgments like that.

In the car, I thought I might have had the softest of whispers of what blacks must feel about white people. Blacks most certainly have cacophonous explosions compared to my measly sigh, but it was enlightening.

And I will not forget.

Once I got to the doctor’s office, I sat reading Facebook, then suddenly burst into tears. Luckily I had some napkins and blubbered as I fished them out of my purse. I tried not to make noise, but the crying became unruly and a woman came up and asked if I was okay. I sobbed and said, “I’m in mourning,” and left it at that. She touched my shoulder and went to sit down. After a few minutes, another woman came to see if I was okay. Did I need the doctor? “I’m in mourning.”

Thankfully soon after they came and took me in the back (the receptionist might have sent an SOS!) and I was able to get control of myself before seeing the Nurse Practitioner.

(Writing now 11/10/16)

I didn’t fall apart again yesterday until later that night (next post).

What a day it was.

bluetears

Bipolar Diary: Election Day Looming

I am a nervous wreck.

Chairing the Member, from The Humours of an Election, William Hogarth
artist, William Hogarth

I keep seeing what people are going to do on Election Night.

Getting drunk seems to be a common theme and, while I do not drink often anymore at all, I thought “That sounds like a dandy idea!”

I mentioned it to mi osezno, who is a non-drinking Muslim, and asked if he would be disappointed if I got drunk on Election Night. His answer was classic:

if there is ever a time

Then he said:

please drink carefully though

I said I would never drive drunk and he says:

what about Your meds?

Hole-ee FUCK.

I didn’t even think about my meds. Or the precariousness of the Bipolar stuff going on.

Crapola, I cannot drink.

Thank goodness my cublet reminded me. How could I forget?

Anxiety

streak

Now I have to figure out how to deal with the rising anxiety level I am feeling. I am not even watching or reading the news, but am seeing a tad of stuff on Facebook and a tad on Tumblr. I would be a shaking puddle of nerves if I was absorbing the news, too.

I am so scared of the outcome. I represent everything Trump & his minions despise.

I’ll just keep writing out the stress.

Election: Safeword!

I had a client, not on a call, gleefully tell me he went to see Trump speak tonight.

Now, this person has some kinks that would, to put it mildly, make Trump gag, so I was, to say the least, quite shocked.

But instead of questioning, “WHY, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHY?!?!”…

…I calmly suggested we leave politics out of our friendly chat.

“Unless,” I said smirking from this side of the computer, “We are going to sling some scat at the topic.”

It went over his head.

libertycrop