Elliot Rodger…All That’s Left is “Why”?

This is another one of my short rants. We’ve got a director blaming the NRA for the deaths of innocent people. Evidently he doesn’t know squat. Elliot Rodger was mentally ill. He needed help. His parents tried to get him that help. Had the Santa Monica Police Department seen the warning signs of trouble in his videos, MAYBE they could have gotten him committed to a psychiatric facility for at least 45 days. Had they done that, 8 people might be alive today. THAT is the bottom line of it. In my opinion, mental illness doesn’t excuse an action or make it right, but it does help explain the “why” of it to a degree.

Now I want to know what also figures into this “why”? Was this guy bullied all his life or something? THAT is the vibe I got off of watching some of the videos. He doesn’t really come out and say it, though. The reason I say this is that a lot of shooters seemed to have experienced school bullying. THIS is one thing I personally would like for the public to know. Hopefully one day all the families, including Rodger’s, will have the answer to that “Why?”

However the political “blame game” is not going to cut it this time. People need to quit using others’ tragedy to earn brownie points or to get people to take a look at their work and that is what the director that made the NRA comment is doing. That’s right. I’m calling him out.  He’s using a colleague’s tragedy to make a name for himself. They don’t need to use it to further politics either. People are sick of that tactic already, and before anyone starts complaining and moaning, I don’t own a gun myself. I never have. I probably never will because I don’t need one. However, I do support the right of law-abiding citizens to own one.

 

A Question Most Who Engage in this Will NOT Answer…

Why is it when a celebrity dies, there is some sort of envy that they were ever famous?  Better yet why do people feel the need to bring attention to themselves by slamming the fans who are grieving or putting posts up about who or what they feel focus should be on? Seriously…People need to get off of that self-elevating crap  because that is exactly what it is. It is not about anyone who died, it is about anyone who wants to bring attention to themselves by bashing those who are expressing sympathy for the celebrities‘ families and such.

This part is for those who feel the need to engage in such behavior in social media:  Look, if you don’t want celebrity status that is your choice. You chose your life path, and you are simply jealous of their recognition so you try to bring some to yourself by bashing them. They earned their status and whatever else came their way. If you are jealous of that, it is you that has the problem, not the celebrity (or late celebrity).  It doesn’t garner you much respect either. Either way, the fans identify with the celebrity they are grieving because they come into their homes or into the theaters and are visible to them. If they are musicians, they hear their words that touch their lives daily.

YOU want them to grieve the invisible–the ones they don’t see, but yet you seem to have a connection with. This is especially true when people post about troops that died on a celebrity death thread. That doesn’t mean the fans feel no regret for the loss of anyone–especially a soldier, sailor, airman, etc…But you have no right to tell anyone how they should feel or how they should express grief–let alone WHO they should grieve at any given time. You have no right to try to lay a guilt trip on them for your own pleasure either.

IF you want to grieve someone, put up your own tributes and leave the fans of the celebrities alone. You don’t help yourself by bashing them, belittling or bullying them either.  They are entitled to what they feel as are you.

For those wondering what the heck I am talking about, THIS appeared on FB the other day:

This is one example of what people will create to bring attention to themselves and cause crap...

This is one example of what people will create to bring attention to themselves and cause crap…The chances are, the person who created this didn’t know who Paul Walker or Roger Rodas were, but used this to bash fans with because he/she had nothing better to do with his/her time.

And just so everyone is aware, I have seen condolences posted toward both families on twitter, FaceBook and elsewhere…This behavior is inexcusable and immature–period.

The bottom line is that when anyone dies, they leave friends, family, co-workers and in the case of celebrities, a lot of fans and colleagues behind.  They are entitled to grieve in any way they see fit and if the people making such posts have a problem with that, they need to find another way to channel their negative energy or simply get quiet.

Then again, I am sure they will continue to engage in such behavior because it is far easier to bully a group from behind a keyboard than it is to say it to their faces, isn’t it?

On a Not So Special Day…

In October of 2000, I remember going to Eastland Cemetery in Eastland, TX…I found my way to the woman whose suicide I blamed myself for many years…She wasn’t famous.  No one heard of her except the locals who knew of her tirades.  Her name was Judy.  She was my stepmother.  For about 3.5 years, I endured much at her hands but it was on this day that I came to one stark realization.  She could not help her mental illness.  In the last two weeks of her life, she thought she was four years old, and that I was her mother.

For years after her death, I kept asking, what if I had done this? What if I had done that.  The fact of the matter is that it does not matter, especially now. There are two things nobody has control over besides life and death and those things are the past and future. Neither can be changed. However I spent much of my 20’s trying to run from the memories of what went on in my home during the time she was with us. It was rather violent. I got shoved into walls, cabinets, picked up and thrown into one once–and those times were on the days when she wasn’t too pissed off and went off on EVERYONE.

Do I hate her? No.  Do the memories of a pistol getting pointed at my head still haunt me? Yes. That is probably why I never owned a gun. However times change and I do often think about obtaining one now. Please, if you’re into gun control, don’t preach at me. My family hunted for decades and before that my ancestors did also.  Not everyone who owns a gun is a nut-case.

Anyway back to my point.  There is only one thing that enabled me to get beyond the shadows of the past  when it came to her and that was to make this particular trip, on this not so special day to her grave.  It was in the 60’s and the sun was out.  And I stood here for a long time pondering what I would say if she were to stand next to me. It was then I said something very close to this:

This is my stepmother's grave. My father was buried elsewhere

This is my stepmother’s grave. My father was buried elsewhere

 

“It has been many years now. I have done some digging and now I can understand why you were so tormented over several things. Losing your own children and losing two sisters prior took a toll on you. I understand now, Judy. I understand the hell you went through at home as a child too. I forgive you.  I actually forgave you a long time ago but I had to come here to say it. I hope that you are at peace and that you are no longer suffering. I would wish what you endured on nobody now that I have put it together.”

Her suicide took a devastating toll on my emotions all the way through high school and beyond. I buried myself in my writing and my school work. I almost ended up getting into cutting but one of the counselors saw my journal and encouraged me to channel my energy elsewhere.  That was when I picked up a pen.

The chilling remarks when I came back to school after her death were the most cutting. Some new kid asked why anyone would shoot themselves.  My teacher in that class was a coach everyone got pissed at every day it seemed.  As I sat there he said, “I don’t know but women usually don’t go around shooting themselves because they are afraid to mess up their looks.”

I was livid. There is no way he didn’t know about her suicide being that he worked part-time for DPS.  I got up and bolted out of the room.  I stayed home for a couple of days and was in a different class after that. My dad made sure of it.  Even in her death the bullying and idiotic behavior of some of the other students continued as well. I never forgot that either. To them it was all a joke.  Well I hope they enjoyed their years at school afterward, because much of their entertainment came at the expense of others who were broken. This is why I don’t attend class reunions either–along with many others who opt not to show.

It is actually them I feel sad for. Even in adulthood they do not have a clue as to the scars they inflicted with their actions and words, yet most have suffered their own tragedies and seem to forget their past actions.  Ironically, I forgive them too. Some will have much to answer for one day. Until then, I will live my life and continue to work to get questions answered. For Judy, it’s the least I can do. She deserved better than what life dealt her.

 

Remembering the Monster (Part II)

It is  funny how when a child goes through abuse in the home, they feel that they did something wrong, or they said something to piss the abusive parent off.  However sometimes the abuser reveals the real reason for singling out the child. It is a lesson I know very well because it was taught to my abuser as well.

I am referring to my late stepmother.  As cruel as she was and as evil as she could be, I learned some lessons about her that did enable me to forgive what she did.  Does that mean that from time to time the shadows don’t try to creep up and remind me through nightmares and such? Absolutely not.

I remember well how I slept with the lights on after she killed herself with that same pistol she waived at my head–and sometimes she went further–she would actually put the barrel to my head, and I can remember how cold it felt to this day.  Often she revealed my existence as her reasoning behind her resentment of my presence in the family. The bottom line is, I stood up to her once I got older.

I find it also funny that when growing up, one thinks this is actually normal crap to deal with day after day.  Once she took her own life, and the shock of her death subsided, along with my self-loathing thinking it was my fault she did it, I began to get around ‘normal families“…You know–the ones where both parents didn’t fight and they actually had meals together at the table like we did before my parents split?

However, back to my point…She would tell me things her mother said to her such as, “…I don’t want you and I never did!”   Then she told me a story about how her two step sisters died in a fire that she believed her stepfather started. I wasn’t sure what to make of this story until I read it myself, but she was adamant that her stepfather set the fire.

I had a horrible tendency to turn my anger inward during and after those years. I remember hearing those negative voices when my stepmother committed suicide–and they were very “loud”, if you know what I mean. I kept hearing, “You should have done this!” or “IF you had done X then Y wouldn’t have happened.”  The bottom line is that there was nothing I did to cause it being that I was only around 14 and nothing could change it.  I had to work my way through that process of grief and self-loathing.

My dad was a total basket case, so I had to help arrange the funeral and pick the casket, as well as the dress to bury her in. THAT was the hardest part of that whole thing–having to help arrange it at 14. I am glad my sister and sister-in-law were around to help keep my head on track, and they did help me to handle this.  To this day I have an aversion to going into funeral homes even though I make myself do it. All it takes is the smell of the flowers or the sight of a black suit to send me straight back to 1978. I don’t know why but that triggers those memories in a huge way. I find it ironic that I knew more about her childhood–her parents names and such than my father did. I also knew that she had three sons taken from her in Red Bluff, CA in the 1970’s so if anyone is looking to find her, then contact me via email.

I struggled with trying to find reasons for what happened, and trying to make “sense” of it, but there is no “sense” when it comes to something like that or any unexpected loss, I think. There was also that voice that kept saying, “What if I had done ____ differently? Would it change a thing?”  I didn’t have a sounding board to take my frustrations out on so I turned to pen and paper, which was all I had at the time–aside from an imagination that when my pen flowed freely, the counselors became concerned.  I also struggled with the fact that there came a day when I fully realized that what went on in our household was NOT normal by any stretch of the imagination.

Then came the day I had to forgive her and then myself.  I realized that I both loved her and hated what she did, but realizing that she was not in control of her actions enabled me to forgive her and begin to rebuild from another starting point. I also had to forgive a few others in this process. When I say I had to “rebuild from another starting point” I am referring to the fact that after any traumatic event we can never fully be the person we once were.  We have to debrief ourselves a bit and then start reprogramming from that point, I think.

Living with her mental illnesses was one thing, but her behaviors also taught me how “NOT” to be a stepmother.  It also turned me off of the idea of internet dating and such because she WAS a mail order bride.  Anyone can put on any image they want to present themselves to be, but you never know what they are until you are with them.

I choose to play it “safe” and avoid that trap, hence the reason I don’t connect with anyone to go out with from the internet.  I have my friends I hang out with.  If I go out with anyone it will be with NO ONE that I meet on the web.

Does this mean I am lonely? No. I am alone but I don’t get lonely.  I have things to do and places to go and since I spent half of my life married, I’m in no rush. I am certainly NOT desperate either. Being single does not mean that my life is broken.

Now I want to say something else here.  I read Cinderella as a  child…I watched the version of it with Lesley Ann Warren and loved it.  As I got older, as in my late teens, I began to realize how much truth in  “Fairy Tales” really existed.  Her friends were mice–AT LEAST in the Disney version. My friend was a mouse named Brutus. There is also truth in the fiction between us all.  My fiction was that I was a princess or an angel in waiting…When I grew up, I realized that I am a statistic…A number…One of the many who fell through the cracks, but made my own way back out of them.

In fact, I think the song “Luka” fits more accurately–even though I’m not a boy.  After all, Suzanne Vega was right…She only hit until I cried. I sure as hell didn’t ask why when she went on these rampages either.

Many of these fairy tales were written with happy endings, but in life, would they have been happy? We may never know.   Look at “Sleeping Beauty“…The queen was pissed because she wasn’t invited to the Christening.  The only thing that woke Aurora’s ass up was her true love’s kiss.  What rubbish.  All of these fairy tales have the sabotage of the memes we were taught running rampantly through them.  The main theme being “Good prevails over evil”….Does it?   Or, do we simply hope for the best, block out the worst and drive on hoping the next day will be better than the one before?

Either way I drew more inspiration for my writing from “Dark Shadows” than I ever would any of these “fairy tales”.  I also drew from a movie called “Paperhouse” and ‘another one called “Spirit of the Beehive“. Perhaps it is because in the eyes of the child I once was, Barnabas (from “Dark Shadows”) could not help what he was and that enabled me to empathize with his fictional pain.  In my opinion, he was bullied too.

Nana Says, Pink Hit the Nail on the Head with this Song…WARNING: ***Vernacular in the 1st video***

This is the UNEDITED version of “F– Perfect” by Pink…For anyone who is totally misunderstood, this says it all. Thank God I didn’t have to go to the lengths this character did to find her way. I learned a long time ago that compromising one’s self is never the answer. Never did that and never will. It only leads to misery and that is why I cut a lot of people from my life this year and I certainly don’t regret that because new doors opened once I did! 2012 was a great year for me! A lot got put into perspective for me, that’s for sure. And for anyone feeling down on themselves this time of year, don’t.  Things ARE going to get better and you don’t have to let that which is temporary defeat you. However sometimes you have to pull yourself up by the bra straps or bootstraps…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocDlOD1Hw9k

HERE is the clean version for those who don’t like vernacular:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sRM39rHoB8

One of the most inspiring things about Pink is that she stands her ground and her voice rocks!

Nana is Taking a Friend’s Advice…The Book has Begun… (Back to the Nanahood)

 

“The person I once was is not the person I am, and I emerged from a moment in time stronger than about 90% of the population…I had to endure what I went through. Why? That would be the question most would ask. I would say it is simple. My enduring what I did prevented someone else who couldn’t handle it from enduring it in my stead. I had to embrace the child I once was and then let her go quietly to rest in peace for she is no more. In doing that, I could move forward with strength and determination. That being said, age is truly a number and I am living my youth now. Anyone who cannot handle it, that is because somewhere along the way you lost your vision…I didn’t lose mine–but it did change with time. For that I am grateful…”–Introduction for my first novel “From Cell to Cell”.

 

And now it has begun to have a life of its own–outside the walls…