#COVID-19

2020: The Antagonist to my Life and Why I Finally Learned to Listen

I’ve started and stopped writing a blog post many times recently. Some times the grief from losing my Dad still catches me unaware and I start writing about something funny that happened on my son’s birthday and end up devolving into a sobbing mess writing about missing my Dad. I trash those posts. But it’s like a train wreck. I can’t stop writing them once I start them; it all pours out at warp speed.

Then I step away for a few days and come back. 2020 brought a lot. You know that because you’ve been through a lot too. Most of what I’ve been through has taught me life lessons and I’ll be better off having gone through most of 2020 than not. Up until November I kept thinking 2020 still wasn’t as bad as 2019 when my Dad died. But I hit my wall in November and have decided now that it’s as bad as 2019.

But I’m not going into the train wreck today. I have to reframe and remember that much of 2020 experiences will be so much better for me personally and professionally in the long run. They are painful experiences. Hurtful and I feel raw. But I feel hopeful. I don’t feel like I’m starting over because I’m not. I’m starting from the middle of my story and I’m at that part when the protagonist feels lost, beat, and hopeless because all the stuff they were trying to prevent through the whole first half of the book happened anyway. Thank-you 2020.

The protagonists of my favorite stories come out the other side a little darker, a little stronger, and ready to kick some ass.

That’s about where I waffle between….deep dark loss of hope and looking ahead ready to kick some ass.

It doesn’t go well when I try to write blog posts in the dark moments.

I have to take my own advice though and listen to what I tell my clients going through major life stressors.

I never say, “This too shall pass” because that saying generally irritates me. Everything passes. Even super constipated people eventually poop. Still can hurt like hell.

I do say things to clients like, “You are strong. You are resilient. Look at what you are surviving and thriving through. You have an inner strength that impacts people around you. You are empathic and that’s not a weakness when you learn how to harness it. It’s okay to let go of toxic people and relationships. Learn from your relationships. Learn what needs of yours were being met even if it was toxic or abusive. You stayed for a reason, and this isn’t meant to shame you at all, it’s meant to allow yourself to examine it more objectively so you don’t repeat the same pattern. Allow yourself time to heal. Allow yourself to define and examine what your needs are….”

Not all of these apply to my 2020 but a lot of them do.

When you have kids and twins it was easy to lose sight of my needs and my feelings because I became so entangled with theirs. But they turned five this November. We survived five years of twin boys. My practice survived three years. I’ve survived one year and seven months without my Dad.

I think what’s important as I reflect back on the events of this year is that I conducted myself with poise. I never disparaged any one, as I sorely and dearly wanted to in multiple instances, and I like to think that I acted in a way that will be a good example to my sons. They will encounter hard times with hard people and I want them to act in a way that maintains their integrity. I swear a lot. But I’m honest as fuck. Swearing is my one vice. I don’t even smoke pot. I’m that person.

I certainly won’t come out of 2020 unscathed. But I have learned so much about my friendships and placing my trust in the right people. I’ve learned how important the professional relationships I’ve built over the years are to maintain a successful practice. I’ve appreciated more than once this year how I’ve never burned a bridge before when leaving an employer. I’ve learned that I have a tendency to ignore red flags and it’s something I need to work on. It sounds so easy and stupid. But it’s impacted me in many ways.

I think most important of all is that I have learned to listen. I work in a listening profession but even in my own work I have to remind myself to shut up and listen (I say this to myself internally during sessions not externally). It’s easy to want to immediately respond either with an affirmation or a question to further clarify….or whatever; it’s harder to sit in silence and truly hear another person and swallow my initial response to try and answer more thoughtfully.

I’ve been listening more to my friends, to therapists I work with, and to clients. I’ve also been trying to listen to my kids more. One of my sons was having epic anger outbursts and instead of going head to head I’ve been trying to listen and not immediately respond. It’s been mostly working. We’ve had one epic meltdown since I started this new tactic but one in a few months is better than the almost weekly that were happening.

I think we all want to be heard. I don’t think I was listening enough to others and to myself.

I’ve worked on listening to myself. Listening to my gut. Listening to my basic emotional responses. It’s led to a lot of very heart wrenching decisions. But decisions that will be better for me in the long run.

I feel that protagonist in the novel who has lost so much- family, friends, and most importantly the security that she knew what the future would bring- I feel that on a visceral level. 2020 still has roughly forty days left. I’m sure it will be like nothing I have imagined. But I will lean into those last forty days feeling a little darker, a little stronger, and ready to kick some 2020 ass.

I’m breathing a sigh of relief because I didn’t start sobbing during this writing. We are going to talk about the super messy and unpredictable intensity of grief in my next post. Cuz damn.

#COVID-19 · homophobia · politics

Why I’m Grateful for #45

These last few weeks have been turbulent. I went to sleep on election day thinking I would wake to a repeat of 2016. Then I woke up at midnight. 2 AM. 4 AM. 5:30 AM. Nothing was called. What a long week. Waiting to catch COVID. Waiting to see who would be elected President. Never giving up hope on PA and GA.

In that time I saw my small little Republican heavy town voted for Trump by about 100 votes. They did a recount. I found out today my town voted for Biden by 33 votes. 33. Our population is about 7,000. Roughly 5,000 people voted. If my town can go blue it’s possible anywhere.

I cried most of the day Saturday after it was called. Sunday I scrolled through social media and cried seeing the posts about Kamala and the projected appointees to their cabinet. They are Black. Women. Thank God.

I spoke to some one today at work who fears a Biden presidency. I don’t get it. I tried to. But I don’t. I have lived in fear for the past four years. I feel a weight lifted. I’ve been seeing Biden’s appointees for the COVID task force and there are scientists.

Not family members.

Scientists. Not family members.

Scientists on a pandemic task force should not be a novelty. It should be the expectation.

Black women in a cabinet should not be a novelty. It should be an expectation.

I don’t believe there was voter fraud. I believe in our democracy.

I told some one recently I never ended a friendship or relationship because some one voted for Bush. I never felt unsafe around a Republican until this administration. The hate and the lies are overwhelming. I’m not ready to mend those relationships that I have lost. But I’m glad we have elected a President who is a better than I am.

Some one told me we should be grateful for #45. I am grateful. I am grateful to have the most caustic homophobic and transphobic administration come to power in a time when I had the ability to do something to create change. Without #45 I would never have opened my own practice. I would never have decorated my business website in rainbows. I would never have discharged clients for being overtly racist. I would never have started this blog. I would never have taken a stand for what is right.

I am grateful for #45 because his administration showed me how much hatred and discrimination still exists in our country. He made me examine my whiteness in ways I never have before. He made me have hard talks with myself and with my friends and family members. He made me understand white supremacy in ways I never could before. He made me research, read, learn, and grow in ways I never would have been challenged to under a Democratic Presidency.

Could I have done without him? Sure. But the silver lining of his presidency has been the activism, education, and awareness that erupted in response to him.

Except in Florida apparently. Seriously. Parkland and Pulse…you all seriously couldn’t turn blue after being the site of two mass murders??? The work is not done.

But as I scrolled social media and saw all the pictures of all the children of all my friends watching Biden and Kamala’s speeches on Saturday I thought yes. For the first time in four years there are people we can allow our children to watch because they speak with respect and unity.

I am grateful to #45 for showing me exactly the man I don’t want my son’s to become.

I am grateful to see my niece’s face as she watched Kamala’s speech and think that she will grow up in a world where women can Become.

Mostly I am grateful because while I have seen true hatred in the last four years and pure prejudice I have also seen true bravery. True courage. I am grateful because I have the privilege of attending to the mental health of the Queer community in a time when they are most vulnerable.

In the face of hatred and murder transgender individuals still went forward with transitioning. I have seen Queer people come out to their Trump loving family members. They were terrified but they did it anyway because it was more important that they Become who they needed to be than to give in to the fear of hate. I am grateful to bear witness to some of the most courageous quietly stalwart individuals as they took stands for who they are and who they would be.

#45 I am grateful for your hate because it showed me the bravest most loving souls.

#45 I am grateful for your lies because out of them came monumental truths for so many in my life personally and professionally.

#45 I am grateful for your chatter because out of the chatter came a silent majority.

#45 I am grateful for your division because out of it I was able to feel total unity with my Queer community.

#45 I am grateful for your racism because it revealed to me my own engagement with a white supremacist system and allowed me to start taking steps to dismantle it.

#45 I am grateful to all the family members and friends of the 200,000+ lives lost to this pandemic for calling you out. I am grateful for this disease because it showed the lengths you would go, the lives you would sacrifice, to cling to your backward belief system where you come first and the lives of “your” people are disposable.

#45 on a personal note, I’m grateful to your homophobia for showing me the people in my life who understood, without me saying a word, that the Queer community needed allies and that I specifically needed allies. I am grateful for all my friends and family members who not only flipped you the bird in order to stand by my side, but also stood up to their own family members and friends for minorities. If ever I had doubts of how well supported I was the last four years have shown me I am not alone. For that I am eternally humbled and grateful.

#COVID-19

Making Space for Anti-Racist Work in 2020

Have you seen Hamilton? ***SPOILER ahead***** I listen to the soundtrack a lot, however I deleted certain songs from my playlist. AKA I deleted the one really long song where his son is killed in a dual.

But for real, if you’ve done any US History you would know his son is killed in a dual. In the same place Hamilton is killed in a dual.

But I digress. I deleted that song because I literally couldn’t emotionally handle it. I also fast forward that entire scene if I watch it on Disney+.

This is another aside- I read “Never Caught- The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave Ona Judge- by Erica Dunbar. Fast read. Non-fiction. Very well researched and as a bibliography fiend I promise it’s also well cited. Essentially made me disgusted with GW and I can’t imagine knowing my ancestors were treated this way for over a century, and not at a minimum riot in the streets.

We will come back to that later.

I can’t listen to that song because I don’t have the emotional bandwidth to listen to a song entirely devoted to the death of a couple’s son. Hi. Welcome to 2020.

I’ve medicated a lot of people this year. More than normal. I have medicated people and teens and kids aggressively; mostly all through a screen. People are struggling. Job loss. School. Parenting. Relationships. When I have seen a token person or two in person at my office it’s the loveliest feeling but also still horrible. Because through the screen there is a dissonance in my entire being. I’m trying to hold emotional space for some one when I can’t even see below their shoulders. I can’t see body language. I also am literally not in a physical space with them. It makes a difference.

Then when I am in a physical space with people I have to do this whole rewind and remind my brain and body what it’s like to hold people’s pain in the room with me while wearing a mask and praying they don’t have COVID. It’s all bizarre. The physical and emotional dissonance of telehealth and then the added stressors of in person appointments.

I was added to a therapy group on FB- it’s private so I won’t name it- but it’s essentially for burned out mental health professionals and was started in response to the pandemic.

It makes me feel good that I’m not as burned out as a lot of individuals on there. It also makes me incredibly sad but also fist pump of solidarity because yeah. I’m feeling it too. The burn of 2020.

Why then would I continue reading anti-racist works you ask? Doesn’t that take emotional energy? Yes. Yes it does. But guess what. As burned out as I feel sometimes, and as scared and vulnerable as I feel I never have to worry about racism. Because I’m a white female who can pass as hetero if I choose to. I continue anti-racist work in my readings and writings because People of Color do not get to take a rain check on their minority status during 2020. In fact they have higher rates of infection and higher rates of death from COVID. Racism doesn’t end because of a pandemic. It’s brought even more to the surface.

I choose to not listen to certain songs that will make me break down because I can control that. I choose to continue reading emotionally heavy books because I think it’s important to continue my education on US History from the perspective of Black people. Because in all my Honors and AP classes I was not taught US History as I should have been.

I never once read a novel from the perspective of Black male or female. I was never told Thomas Jefferson repeatedly raped a young girl starting when she was only 15 or 16 acting as the chaperone for his daughter from the US to France. They would go on to have several children and she was not granted her freedom. She was his property because of his late wife- Jefferson’s slave was the half sister to his late wife. A product from the rape of his late wife’s father of one of his female slaves. She was given to Jefferson’s wife. Jefferson’s wife died, and then she was Jefferson’s property.

I was not taught that England abolished slavery in 1708 and part of the Revolutionary War’s cause was fear that England would force the colonies to abolish slavery. I was not taught that England did not abolish slavery in the colonies because England itself was profiting heavily from slave labor in the South. They were complicit.

I was not taught that Washington’s adopted son (Martha Washington’s grandson) would go on to father at least two children by two slaves on their plantation. In the archives it does not say rape. That doesn’t make it any less than rape though.

I was not taught the significance of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850- that it was meant to preserve the union but all it did was further cement the polarization of the North and South. I was not taught the number of brave Black men and women who lived in the North as runaway slaves with no rights, sometimes no identities, often were refused marriage licenses, but they carried on. They persisted. They also often had passive and overt support by their white neighbors. Ona Judge was one such incredible woman.

She lived bravely in New Hampshire. She was found eventually. Her story is inspiring. She lived in abject poverty and when interviewed very late in her life she was asked why she would leave such a “comfortable” household as the Washingtons’ to live in poverty often going hungry. She said she would rather die than be anything but free.

These are the heroes of our country. These are the founding spirits who ran, bled, cried, and died for freedom. I continue to learn from them because they are so worth learning from. Even when I feel burned out and like I can’t hold space for anything or any one else. I hold space for their stories because they are profound and incredible.

Their stories provide light in a time of darkness. They fought a conservative Supreme Court continuously passing act after act to keep them in shackles. They persisted. They had laws passed state by state meant to assuage their desire for freedom; still they persisted. The fight for freedom from enslavement should be taught not from the vantage of the white people but from the vantage of people who were enslaved. They are the true heroes. Their stories are epic and their perseverance shaped our nation.

#COVID-19 · lesbian mom · mom of boys

To All the Moms.

When I started in private practice I didn’t think much about specializing. I thought clients would come see me. They did. But, as I’ve said before, I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. And that’s fine. Over the years I’ve learned that there are certain groups of people who like me and do well in treatment with me, and there are others who really don’t like me which gets in the way of their treatment.

Lesbians…oddly enough don’t always like me. I shouldn’t say all, but probably 3 out of 4 don’t stick with me. Transmasculine lesbians tend to stick with me longer than others. Trans people obviously stick with me as they make up a significant portion of my practice and I love treating them. Non-binary individuals are also my jam. I love a good non-binary autistic person. They are some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met.

There are a few specialties that developed with me kicking and screaming- like postpartum and peri-natal mental health care. When I started I had a number of 20’s females…they all eventually got pregnant…and when I insisted I refer them to some one with actual peri-natal experience they 1. refused to leave and 2. I couldn’t find any one with peri-natal specialization. So yeah. I did a lot of research and got supervision and tips from the old school psychiatrists I worked with inpatient at the time. They saved me. Now I see a significant number of pregnant women and post-partum mood disorders. I begrudgingly admit it’s a specialty of mine that I am now rather good at.

The one specialty area I didn’t see coming were Moms. Because until 4.5 years ago I wasn’t a mom. Then I became a Mom and still felt I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. But I have a lot of Moms on my caseload. Moms of young kids, under the age of ten are the most common. I mean a lot. Out of 500 clients at least a 1/3.

I hear a lot about Mom-ing. It’s taught me a lot. Now that I have my own kids I often hear myself reflected in their moments of vulnerability. Fears that they are not loving enough, that they are too short with their kids. I’ve heard the worst parenting moments from people who are too scared some times to even tell their own spouse for fear of judgment. But I hear it through hitched voices as tears stream and I often feel my stomach clench with empathy.

This past weekend I had probably one of my worst parenting moments not in terms of my behavior, because I was quite proud at how calm I stayed, but one of my sons had to be dragged off a playground literally kicking and screaming in front of far too many people. All while he and I were wearing masks. Nothing like a screaming child, me sweating dragging him, through a hot mask that in that moment makes it feel 10 degrees hotter and 100% more claustrophobic.

That was only the tip of the iceberg. The car ride. Then we got home and he got sent to his room and it morphed into a couple hours of torture for us all. I did lose my shit at some points during the hours at home.

In the midst of the home debacle my other son- who loves keys- threw his hands up in frustration and said, “I can’t find my freaking keys!” I feel their speech delay is somewhat voluntary. Because I swear they always pronounce the bad words completely correct. And yes I’ve said that while looking for my keys. Many many times.

What I’ve learned as a trusted ear for parents in their darkest moments and as a parent of twin boys is that I never judge parents for even their worst moments. Because it’s hard. It’s hard at baseline. Add in a pandemic, months of homeschooling, working from home, no break from our kids ever…and yeah. It’s been rough for parents. Myself included.

I’ve obviously never had a parent tell me about blatant abuse because I would report that. I have had parents tell me about their yelling, their irritability, their short temper, and their struggles to be a good parent. I have a somewhat standard line that I use when people ask me if they are a horrible Mom.

I say, “Does your kid know you love them? Do you apologize after? Do your kids miss you when they have to go to school? Do you kiss them good-night? Do you tell them you love them? Secure attachment with a parent and child is achieved by the child knowing that you will be there for them. Kids forgive so much because they just want to be loved. Do they know you love them?” At this point if they aren’t crying already they start. And they all say their kids know they love them. They hug after a fight, they apologize. I think saying sorry is important as a parent. I have apologized to my kids before for yelling. I’ve hugged them and kissed them and explained I shouldn’t have done that.

They hear that. They see the example set that I own my mistakes and are more willing to own theirs.

We are all just trying to survive this parenting journey and it’s not okay for Mom’s to feel judged. We all do. We all feel like horrible parents. Because we go on Facebook and Insta and see posts and stories of smiling kids and smiling Moms and we think, yes they have it all together. Why don’t I?

But I promise you that no one has it all together when parenting kids. Especially not during a pandemic. As I dragged my son off the playground with my other son carrying his brother’s shoes that had been kicked off and flung…I wanted to cry, scream, and hide. But I didn’t. I kept dragging him to the car. When he kicked the seat and screamed he would break the car I eventually told him I would call the police unless he stopped. Again, not my finest moment, but he stopped.

It was a horrible day. I actually needed the next day to recover and so did he. Today when we were at a farmer’s market and I told him we had to leave he started to get angry, and I flashed back to the playground and I almost panicked, I felt it building up. But I held his hand and kept talking and reminded him how good he was being and how I knew he didn’t want to leave but we had to go…and on and on…he didn’t escalate. By the time we got to the car he was fine with leaving. I breathed a sigh of relief.

Then tonight we sat cuddling watching Peter Rabbit under an afghan. We laughed and with his head resting on my chest I knew he felt loved and supported. I know we will have hard times with him because he’s a challenge to parent. I know all my clients who are Mom’s have challenging parenting jobs. We all do. I ask instead of judgment spread support. Instead of judgment offer kindness. I’ve told a few people about the playground, and they’ve laughed and told me of their own horrible parenting memory. It made me feel better to know that I’m not the only parent who has been through that. We need to lift each other up instead of putting each other down.

To all the Moms my only advice is to let your kids know you love them. Apologize when you are wrong. Hug and kiss them good-night. And remember that you are not alone.

As an aside…I was on the phone with a friend sitting on the couch, and as we tried to have a serious discussion I watched the pumpkin appear suddenly in the air and then slowly descend from upstairs into the entryway….I had to intervene when one boy came down the stairs and started to try and hit it like a pintata while the other one held the string. #momofboys #thanksGrammafortheHalloweenbaskets

The magical descending pumpkin

#COVID-19 · politics

RIP RBG & WTH Happened Last Night? (We have a lot to unpack)

There’s been a lot to unpack in the last few weeks. First off who knew when I named my kitten Ginsburg back in July her namesake would pass so soon. My wife cried. Granted she cries easily. But not usually about politics. We both have broken down at some point over the last four years of this hell.

My breaking point was the murders this year and my Black clients having the life sucked out of them. My wife’s was Ginsburg. May she rest in peace.

I watched the debate. All 90 soul sucking minutes of it. Then I stayed up until about 1 or 2 AM contemplating.

Then I posted on FB that I was most horrified by his inability to condemn white supremacy. It was one sentence. The follow up sentence stated generally to all people on my feed that if they somehow had snuck through since 2016 now was the time to unfriend me. Because I would not tolerate supporters of #45 on my feed.

Even the quiet ones.

Some one responded…which I love…that I shouldn’t bring emotion into politics.

I’ve been saying it since 2016. I’ll bring my emotion anywhere I freaking want. She tried to shame me for having emotion involved in calling out racism.

First off everyone needs to watch Hamilton and memorize the line he says to Burr, “Stop the niceties I’d rather be called divisive than indecisive!” Because I heard that line and it resonated hard within me. That’s essentially how I live my life. And I’ve been told since I could talk that I’m too opinionated. Too passionate about causes. Well so was Alexander Hamilton.

I feel emotion around white supremacy. I feel emotion around racism. I feel emotion around homophobia and transphobia. I think there is something wrong with you if you do not feel emotion around these issues.

Emotion is not required where complete objectivity is. But if I’m stating I disagree with white supremacy and I’m upset and disgusted that our current president seems incapable of stating the same…then I’m entitled to emotion around that.

People are entitled to feel emotion around the mishandling of Breonna Taylor’s case. We actually don’t need permission from any one to feel angry, betrayed, or gut-wrenchingly grieved because of a justice system that is incredibly flawed and favors white people.

I don’t need permission to feel scared for our future. I don’t need permission and I don’t need advice telling me to take emotion out of my political beliefs. Because today, here and now, political beliefs have taken the form of basic human rights.

Being Queer is not safe. Being Black is not safe. Being an immigrant is not safe. Because we have an administration who says it’s okay for us to be marginalized and criminalized and assaulted and fired and tossed aside.

I’m going to feel fear, anger, betrayal, grief, fear, and so much more; and to those people who are not minorities you have no right to dictate how we are allowed to feel right now. You also are not allowed to dictate how we react. As the white supremacists in this country so frequently point out…it’s a free country. If I want to say I’m angry that there are white supremacists enabled by our administration I’m going to say it and I’m going to feel it.

I’m in a few of therapy/mental health professional groups on FB. People are freaking out because therapists are talking politics. Therapists are all shaming each other for talking about politics and then other therapists are like how can we not be talking politics? Then one accused me of “letting your underwear show” if I was making my political beliefs known to clients.

I’m still unclear where the underwear reference came from. I mean I understand it was an analogy but poor taste. She was a white woman who posted “Why can’t we just stick to talking about Mommy and therapist issues?” In a group of mom/mental health professionals. I, of course, mentioned my cat Ginsburg and made a lovely analogy without mentioning body parts. Essentially pointing our her privilege. She got a little salty that’s when the underwear comment came out.

My point was that I do not tell people who I vote for. I do not tell people I am a Democrat. I do not tolerate racism, homophobia, or transphobia in my office. And I don’t have the speech impediment that impedes our president. I can actually state that I don’t agree with white supremacists or their beliefs. It flows quite easily from my lips. If it didn’t…then I’d likely be a white supremacist.

I had an issue with a client. They were treated horribly at a local hospital because of their race. I pursued the medical director for two weeks and got him on the phone. He pulled up the chart and I explained the situation and he agreed it was absolutely inappropriate care based out of racism.

He was going to actually do something about it. My client was grateful that I was an ally. I didn’t want the gratitude though. I want our system to do better. I told the medical director I never wanted to make a call like this again. Fix this. Stop this.

If you don’t believe that white supremacy is a problem then you likely have no exposure to the African American community. That’s on you my friend. Fix it.

My point to this post is to stop telling people not to feel emotion in politics. When politics revolve around race and discrimination; people are allowed to feel. If you feel nothing then I’d question your humanity.

My other point is that politics is invading every aspect of our lives. If you work in mental health during a pandemic during the worst election ever and you work with minorities or anyone with compassion and empathy…you will have to hear about politics. You will have to decide how you respond. I’m not here to tell you how. I think it’s case by case, minute by minute, client by client. Definitely not a one size fits all approach.

But to just shut it down and say we shouldn’t talk about it and we shouldn’t feel about it…that’s messed up. That’s your privilege showing and you’ve likely got a lot you need to start unpacking.

****In the midst of the loss of RBG we had family pics taken, and my sons went to the closet and took out my Dad’s ties. We didn’t mention them wearing ties at all. But they seemed to instinctively remember that we had the ties and that they should wear them for pictures. It was a touching tribute that grounded me. Throughout the pandemic the grief for the loss of my Dad has ebbed and flowed as grief does. That day and those photos are bittersweet. Bitter for the loss of him, and sweet for the remembrance.****

#COVID-19

Anti-Hugger Missing Warm Hugs

I was driving to work today and dropping off my sons at preschool with their masks on. I hugged them good-bye and attempted to kiss them through my mask.

I am not a hugger. Ask my friends. The pandemic has been great for one thing for me. No one tries to hug me except my kids and wife. During cold and flu season normally I also would not even shake hands with new patients or their parents. “No touch-ey” is my motto.

(This is not the case for my kids. We are all snuggly in our house, so don’t worry my sons get a ton of hugs. They are very tactile and are always on top of one of us.)

In 1993 on on September 23rd, my Grandfather died. It was very sudden and unexpected. He was in his early 70’s and in good health. It was devastating to our family.

I was in third grade at the time (I’m 35 in case you are trying to do the math). My teacher was Mrs. Gulliford. She was likely in my top three favorite teachers. She had the right mix of nurturing and boundaries to make our entire class moderately afraid of her without her ever yelling or raising her voice while also fully admiring her and wanting to impress her and be in her good graces. She was middle age when I had her, maybe 50’s. So she also had a matronly quality to her and clearly she had been teaching for a few decades at that point so she was rarely ruffled.

In fact looking back I acknowledge that we had a tough class. At least three kids with severe ADHD and then myself and two other “smart” kids, and a myriad of in between kids. It must have been challenging to meet everyone’s needs but as I recall she always had extra work for me to do so I never got bored. She was one of the only teachers until I got to high school who didn’t try and force me to stay with the class. She saw that I was done with the lesson much faster than other kids and instead of yelling at me for reading a chapter book she started giving me extra work and tasks to keep me busy.

She never made a big deal about it. She would just slip it onto my desk whenever she saw that I was completing an assignment.

September 23rd was not far into our school year. Maybe three weeks. Long enough for me to understand that Mrs. Gulliford was a force not to be reckoned with who was kind but also firm.

It took me completely by surprise when I returned from being absent for three days after my Grandfather died and she called me up to her desk. Everyone was still getting settled so kids were talking and not paying attention to me walking up. I was nervous because I thought I was in trouble as every kid does when we are called out by an adult unexpectedly.

I walked over to the side of her desk and next thing I knew I was enveloped into a big warm hug.

I remember fighting back tears and after my initial shock wore off burying my face in her shoulder trying not to sob. She held me long enough for me to feel that I was going to sob, choke back tears, and then realize by now that half the class was staring at me.

I learned that about grief later on in life. That even when you think you’ve cried all that you possibly can…at the most unexpected moments you can still produce tears.

I don’t remember if she said anything or if I did. I just know I walked back to my desk and went through the rest of my day in third grade. I don’t remember her hugging me the rest of the school year. I do remember seeing her hug a few of the other kids in my class at varying times during the year and I remember thinking something bad must have happened because she reserved her hugs for those moments they were truly needed.

At some point the girl sitting next to me turned and told me about her dead grandparents. That’s when I learned people say weird shit to you when a family member dies.

Of all the memories to pop into my head thinking about my Grandfather that’s the one I thought of today. Mrs. Gulliford’s warm hug. Then I thought of my kids in their masks and all the kids in all the schools who can’t give or receive a warm hug this year.

Teachers are supposed to teach. That’s the nature of their job. But we all know they do so much more for children. They comfort. They nurture. They create safe spaces. They forge connections with the smart kids, the challenged kids, the kids who struggle, and all of that is challenged this year because they are either behind screens or masks or both.

Families are not able to have funerals. And there have been at least two hundred thousand families who have lost family members in the last six months.

I’m incredibly grateful to all the teachers who touched my life and fostered a love of learning that continues today. I’m grateful for the teachers who provided hugs in times of acute grief and comfort because she didn’t have to. But I’ll always remember that she did.

I thought of this memory today because I acknowledge that there is a global pandemic causing acute isolation for many people. There are people on my caseload who haven’t been touched with comfort or love since March. We all took hugs and touch for granted. One lesson I’ve learned from COVID, among many, is that I’m not a hugger. But sometimes a hug is the only adequate form of communication.

And our children are all deprived of these small but monumental moments with the adults in their lives for the foreseeable future. Keep that in mind as we parent our kids. They are deprived of basic human touch in spaces that they never have been before. It’s taxing on them. I see it in my sessions. This pandemic feels like it has only begun. As we gear up for a long dark Winter I hold onto memories of warm hugs and hope in a way that I never thought I would ever hope; for warm hugs to be safe again.

RIP RBG.

VOTE. Black Lives Still Matter. Breonna Taylor…you deserve better.

To my bestie, if you made it this far,…who is the ultimate hugger…yes I even miss your hugs even though you always end up making it weird. I’d give anything for a hug from you! Florida needs to get it’s shit together so I can visit.

#COVID-19

Wishing on a Star

One of my son’s wanted to make a wish on a start last night. He was adamant he stand at the door and wish on the first star he saw. I was working on some masks sitting off to the side and I heard him say, “I wish for ice skates, and coffee cups for my Mama and Mommy, and I wish for all the germs to go away.”

Now I don’t know how he thought of ice skates or where he would go ice skating. I also know my wife has threatened to start throwing out mugs if I buy any more. I am somewhat obsessed with mugs. Apparently we need more though…

When he got to the germs it broke me a little. Followed today by an email from daycare that all kids over 3 are now going to be expected to wear masks at daycare per our lovely state’s Office of Early Childhood Development mandate. Anyone with kids right now is feeling me. You know the pandemic sucks for everyone. But for adults with children between the ages of 0 and twenty it totally blows.

Having kids generally is rough. Having twins also rough. Having twin four year old boys during a pandemic who have to now wear masks at daycare…yeah life is a little much for me right now.

We now can see the smoke from the wildfires across the country. Our sun is orange tinged. We’ve been hit by a hurricane and tornadoes. Race riots. Because yes we are racist in this country. Without the pandemic at a macro level this year has been intense to say the least.

My Dad died a year ago. I legitimately feel age 4 is the worst and most challenging year of parenting for us yet. My sons are high maintenance and even without the pandemic we would have felt isolated this year because it’s very hard to bring them places right now. On a micro level this year has been incredibly stressful on our family.

My business is doing great, but since July I’ve been dealing with a lot of stress related to my business as anyone working in mental health will tell you it’s been a wild ride since March.

All of those things by themselves would be hard for any one to cope with. All of those things and three months of strict stay at home orders, and the constant fear of new stay at home orders, because of a pandemic…that’s a lot.

I’m not including the kittens as a stressor because while they have provided their own stress they are fluffy and playful and cuddly stress relievers for me.

So when Declan wished for all the germs to go away in his innocent little voice I thought, me too kid. In so many ways and for so many reasons me too.

I graduated undergrad in 2007. I started working a nurse that year. I didn’t get a raise for several years and I was told it was because of the 2008 crash. The first three years of my work history was defined by a massive economic downturn. I didn’t grasp it the way I do now. I remember it. I also treat a lot of people now who bring it up as a significant time in their lives because they lost everything. I treat the kids of the parents who lost everything in 2008. They are young adults now. I know in about ten years I’ll be treating the kids of COVID. The kids with memories of losing everything. Parents unemployed. No health insurance. Foreclosures. Divorce. Because people are losing everything.

It’s a bleak post started because of a wish on a star. I know a wish won’t end a pandemic. Science will. Social distancing. Masks. More isolation and more stressors.

I think it’s important to remember those moments though. Those moments when Dec wanted to do something as normal as wishing on a star. I find relief in yoga which I still do regularly thanks to an instructor who started a Zoom yoga class schedule. I find relief in my work and helping others. I feel relief when tonight my son walked up to me and hugged me and spontaneously said, “I love you Mama.” I relished the moment when for a few minutes the boys sat together on the couch with Jackson wrapping his arm around his brother.

If I’ve learned anything from this year it’s that the light and lovely moments are still here we just have to work harder to see them.

“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.” Albus Dumbledore

#COVID-19 · politics

COVID-19 Journal Entry- My Son Got Stung By a Bee…and all the drama.

Both my sons are dramatic. I mean I don’t know where they get it from. (everyone who knows me personally is side-eying right now). I wouldn’t say I’m dramatic. Sometimes. It depends. Sometimes I am. Very. Dramatic. But in crises I’m usually chill.

My son stepped on a bee. Leading to a bee sting.

They are both dramatic in different ways. There is one son who would have been able to rationally discuss the stinger now sitting in his foot that needed to come out. There is one son who is not rational with anything related to boo boos. Of course that was the one with the stinger in his foot.

He literally walked around on it for hours before even admitting it was a problem. Then when he did admit it was a problem he didn’t want it fixed. He wanted to live with the stinger in his foot in harmony forever. But it was already looking mildly infected.

I grabbed the tweezers and grabbed his foot. You can imagine the screaming that ensued. Before I even actually touched his foot with the tweezers. He wouldn’t let us soak it first, and because he walked around for hours on it there looked to be some pus already building up. Enter the sewing needle; sterilized. Yeah I had to pop it. We don’t go to the doctor in this house when you live with a former ED nurse and former EMT.

He didn’t actually move during all of this. He stayed still. He just screamed. His twin brother was horrified. Running around in circles directly behind his brother screaming and flapping his arms; not distracting at all. After the pus came out we really needed to soak it for me to get the actual stinger out.

So we soaked it. He let us because I think he didn’t want us coming at him with the tweezers. We all took a breath. His breath was hitching as I snuggled him and Spider-Man from the 80’s (his choice) was on the screen. My other son was sitting with us devouring some fruit snacks saying, “Mama I think you should bring him to the Doctor. I think dat’s a good idea.” I gave him the choice. You let me try and get it again after it soaks or we wait until morning and you go to the doctor.

He held up his foot for me. He started screaming again but I had put the needle away so it was only the tweezers. I squeezed it with my fingers and then easily pulled that stinger out. I inspected his foot to make sure and it was all out. No pus, no stinger. I felt pretty damn good about it. But literally for the next forty-eight hours I had to hear about how I “hurt” his foot and that he understood it was to get the stinger out, but I still “hurt” him. He looked at me with such shock at the betrayal.

Okay but I got the stinger and all the pus out. Saved us a trip to the doctor during a pandemic and with a high deductible health plan it was all worth it.

We were trying to reassure him at some point and my wife and I both told the sad tales of our own bee sting experiences. It’s a double whammy because you get stung which sucks, but then you have to get the damn stinger out. Double sucks. It’s like a rite of passage.

I remember thinking that this felt like such a normal moment. That normal things still happen. Even sucky normal things. Kids still get bee stings during a pandemic. Parents still have to pull the stingers out. While my son screamed and my other son yelled at us for hurting his brother it was a moment of insanity but also normalcy.

Then it feels insane that a normally insane moment feels normal.

I often wish we had cameras in our house to capture some of the insanity that occurs. This was definitely one of those moments. His brother flapping around in the background yelling to bring him to the doctor was hysterical. He also then sat next to him and tried patting his leg like I was doing and patting his back. Considering they often emphatically say they are not each other’s best friend it was nice to know they do care about each other.

I think one of the worst parts about the pandemic is the loss of normalcy. To accept this chaos as our new normal doesn’t feel right. So we hold out hope for the old normal. Even though we know realistically it is so far out of reach.

Then I go down the rabbit hole of it’s only out of reach because we have people who believe we sprang from the Garden of Eden leading this country. Science has no value here and I work in a field based in science. I attended a University that when I go to conferences, the presenters quote literature published by people who trained me.

I feel so angry at the lack of leadership that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives. But then I try and tell myself to just be grateful for this normal moment even though it’s a sucky normal moment for my son.

You see why we are all losing it a little bit?!

I can vouch for the fact that we are all losing it. I’ve never been this busy as a practitioner. People who have been stable for a long time are not anymore. New patients left and right. People losing it because they are losing family and friends to COVID and they can’t say good-bye.

Biden finally picked a VP. Within an hour #45 referred to her as a “nasty woman” for reasons that are unclear to me. But he wished Ghislaine Maxwell “well”, he said, “I wish her well,” a suspected child trafficker and child abuser he wishes well. The VP nominee with a stellar history and um no child abuse record…he calls nasty. He wished a child abuser well. That has gotten below my skin more than anything else he has ever said. And he’s said a lot.

I theorize he said it because one monster recognizes another. It’s like the lesbian head nod. Except between two perpetrators…one of whom is our F-ing President…it’s a level of fucked up that causes such a visceral response in me that I can’t describe it. Utter disgust is part of it though.

2020 is better for me than 2019. My Dad died in 2019. So COVID. Elections. Mental Health Crisis. Horrific Presidents and hundreds of thousands of deaths still seems more manageable to me than coping with the grief of losing my Dad. I’m not sure what that says about me as a person I don’t like to analyze it too much. At surface it means I loved my Dad and I miss him. So much.

When I was popping the pus bubble I remember my Dad putting some horrific stinging pink stuff on a cut on my knee when I was young enough to be seated on the kitchen counter. He tended to escalate when I escalated so he wasn’t yelling but he was anxious as he dabbed it on and I screamed and cried. He hated to see me cry. I’ll never forget that. The smell of the horrid pink stuff and his face as he dabbed it on looking horrified and determined at the same time. I laugh now thinking about it. And cry. So many normal moments I miss and crave.

Never in my life has a bee sting felt so right.

 

I mean 2020 has us all fucked up. Don’t judge.

The boys jello jigglers melted in the heat. I’m pretty sure the stinger was in his foot already.

 

#COVID-19

The Pandemic Parenting Guidebook

  1. Don’t listen to any one else with parenting advice. Especially parents who have kids who are grown and not living at home. They have never parented hardcore in a pandemic. I say this with love to all the baby boomers. Unless you’re beaming and saying “You’re doing great!” then shut it. With love.
  2. If you decide to send your kids back to school you’re right.
  3. If you decide to keep your kids home you’re right.
  4. If you decide to sign in voluntarily to an inpatient psychiatric unit (yes we are open) then you are also right.
  5. If you decide to have a birthday party for your child and write to the other kid’s parents about the precautions you are taking and let them decide for themselves then you are right.
  6. If you decide to attend a child’s birthday knowing the risks then you are right.
  7. If your kids miss their school/friends/relatives they are not alone and you are doing the best you can to comfort them.
  8. If your kids spend more time on screens than ever before. Don’t sweat it. They will survive. What’s important is that you survive too.
  9. If you randomly break down and cry because you see your kids wearing masks, you see your kids unable to hug a family member, you see your kids entering a new school alone because you’re not allowed in, or any of the crazy experiences parents have never had and never expected to have…you are right. You are entitled to suffer for yourself and for your children.
  10. If you need therapy or an increase in your meds or to restart your meds…do it. You are right. You are valid.

I’ve had so many parenting experiences since March that I never thought I’d have. I’ve had experiences with my own mom I’ve never thought I would have. She and I attended a pandemic funeral. She had never been to a funeral wearing a mask. And honestly for all those people bitching about wearing masks, my mom wears hearing aids. She can’t see people’s mouths now and the masks are wicked uncomfortable around her hearing aids. She still wears them and doesn’t complain. Because she’s not stupid. My four year olds also wear them without complaint. FOUR year olds. So seriously. I can’t.

Parenting is hard on a good day. People say stupid shit about parenting on a good day. “You asked for this,” “This was voluntary”. During a pandemic…Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

I wanted to keep the boys home with a baby-sitter for the Summer. Well they revolted and acted like these horrific little creatures I have never met before. They literally forced the baby-sitter out and daily told me they wanted to go back to school. We put them back in school. Then at school we have to contend with all the things of a preschool.

I have to get notes from the pediatrician so they can use lotion sunscreen instead of spray (Spray gave them red raw patches on their necks…so yeah). I have to explain that they can still hug each other at home because they are brothers even though they are taught all day by their teacher to not touch any one because of germs.

I’ve had to explain why I don’t like guns and Black lives matter and one of them actually explained it to me rather cogently the other day, “Mama you don’t like guns because some times the police get the wrong person when they are going after monsters. And they use guns and go…pew pew pew…to the wrong person instead of the monsters.” I mean it’s not a perfect explanation of racism and racial profiling but it’s not bad for a four year old.

We then saw police. Live and in person at a store in the parking lot. The boys both started yelling excitedly about the “guns” and the “monsters”. With their Elsa masks on while I was trying to drag them into Joann Fabrics (to buy more mask fabric) trying not to draw attention to them. As they yelled. About guns.

I’ve been working on making masks in bulk for my niece who is potentially going back to elementary school this Fall. Never in my life did I think that I would be making masks for my niece to go to school. It feels sad.

I’ve been so sick of my kids from working at home and having them home and then I worry about them at preschool being exposed. Being in a place I’ve never been inside of. With teachers who don’t want to put on lotion sunscreen because of the pandemic. Then the boys tell me they are scared to poop at the new preschool because “It’s too small”. I mean what does that even mean?! Do I call the school and ask about the spec’s of the toilets?! Then what if they do poop…teachers who don’t even want to put on lotion sunscreen; are they helping them wipe?!

These are the things on the mind of a parent during a pandemic.

I did bring the boys to a birthday party. The kids are all in their preschool class so they were all kids they were already exposed to and it was outside. It was great. The mom’s and myself and the Dad that was there were all respectful of everyone’s decisions. The kids were stoked to be at a party being normal. And honestly so was I. It was nice to feel normal. I did throw two Elsa masks in with the present for the birthday girl. But other than that we could forget about COVID for a little while.

Not everyone from their class went. And that’s okay.

Parenting pandemic style is like parenting on a good day but you know that point when you’ve been with them for eight hours and you’re counting on your spouse to come through the door and you get a text that they have to stay four hours late for work and you simultaneously want to cry/scream/drop to the floor/tantrum/run away/hide/laugh maniacally….yeah that feeling right when you read that text and your stomach drops…that’s parenting in a pandemic.

So cut yourself some slack. Don’t listen to the “Should’s”. Don’t listen to the negativity and try and remember that the pandemic in 1918 did end. Kids survived and grew up and were not defined by the pandemic. We have hard decisions to make. Don’t underestimate the stress of these decisions. Because there is no right answer.

Going to the birthday party or not going. No right answer. Well, if I were in a state with a massive outbreak then I wouldn’t have gone. But my state is currently doing okay. Oh and I didn’t bring their bathing suits. So yes those were my two sons running naked around the yard through the sprinkler, kiddy pools, and into the moon bounce.

Going to school…no right answer.

Trust your gut. Love your kid. Kiss them good-night. Explain not to scream about guns when they see police officers in a parking lot. And remember there are funny moments. Because kids in general are resilient, balls of energy, and fun. My kids push me beyond my breaking point a lot. But they also bring a smile to my face in times of darkness. They are the light in these dark times. Remember that our youth are our future and they will not be defined by a pandemic. But they will grow into the person you parent during a pandemic.

#COVID-19 · politics

Dear People. 10 Things On My Mind. COVID-19 Journal Entry. Week…17. I counted.

A few things have been on my mind. Maybe 10.

  1. Those memes where people say “I believe in science” irritate me. Science isn’t a belief system. It is fact. The Earth will still rotate without anyone “believing” that it can. The arctic glaciers will still melt as long as we continue to heat up our atmosphere. Germs spread disease. And all humans didn’t magically procreate from two white humans in a garden with a snake. Religion requires faith and belief. Science doesn’t. Science requires discoveries. Humans have to discover scientific facts. We confirm them we don’t magically make them up. The elements in the periodic table existed before the periodic table was developed. They didn’t require a belief system to come into being. When we say we “believe” in science we put it into the same category as a religious faith. They shouldn’t be in the same category. Two very different situations. One based on faith one based on fact. They don’t belong together. Stop saying you believe in science. Say you accept scientific facts as fact. By making it into a “belief” we make it possible for people to “not believe” it and we validate that it’s okay for people to not believe in it. So stop it. Because it exists whether they believe in it or not.
  2. Freaking birth control. Don’t think that Supreme Court decision is anything but a continued war on women’s rights. Do they not cover vasectomies if they don’t cover birth control? Do they not cover ED medications if they do not cover OCP? Vagina’s are scary and penis’ have power. It’s what we are taught to think and believe. Not science. Not fact. Don’t fall for it.
  3. If the 131,000 lives we have lost due to COVID were embryo’s or women’s eggs prior to fertilization…Republicans would be shoving masks on all of us. Apparently pro-life only applies to lives currently or soon to be living in women’s wombs?! I’m not sure. I’ve never been able to get a pro-lifer to explain it to me. I’ve also never been able to get them to explain why they aren’t pro-Brown/Black/immigrant lives if they are “pro-life”. I’ve tried. Believe me I’ve tried. I’ve gotten blocked from a number of “pro-life” platforms for asking such questions. But they still won’t answer even when the freaking block me.
  4. Businesses are either imploding or exploding or staying afloat during COVID. It’s like a marriage for a couple; makes or breaks you. It’s more stressful than I can describe to you. Unless you are a business owner and your family depends on your income you don’t get the stress that I’m referencing. To those of you who do…solidarity and fist pumps. Hang in there. We got this. It’s definitely added an interesting and otherwise unthought of chapter for my “How to open a private practice” novel I’ve been working on. “Surviving a Pandemic in Mental Health” who knew I could write that from firsthand experience?! Living the dream here.
  5. I read this book called “They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South” written by a Stephanie Jones-Rogers, a Black woman. I was disturbed by the content. I can’t imagine the painstaking research she had to do and the actual emotional pain she felt while doing it. I don’t like non-fiction as a rule. But this was captivating. Like the car accident you can’t look away from. I was in awe of the research and bibliography. I like research and I appreciate the bibliography and I, unlike most every one, comb through it soaking up the details and pondering where and how she accessed some sources. I felt deep shame at being white. I felt deep pain for all the Black people descended from such abuse. I felt horror at the youth and ages of the women with firsthand accounts of owning and abusing slaves as young as age 3. It made the “Karen” memes so much more than just angry white middle age women. It made the “Karen” stereotype based out of generations of entitled racist white women. I recommend reading it. And everything else so we don’t become another generation of “Karen’s”.
  6. My sons started a new preschool. It’s a fucking pandemic. My wife had toured it a year ago. They had a waitlist. Silver lining of pandemic…finally no waitlist and two spots. But. I had to drop my four year old sons off at a building I couldn’t go inside of with people I had never met, wearing masks so I couldn’t even see their faces. It was the most bizarre and surreal experience of my life. They started Tuesday and both mornings my sensitive one has been asking me to come inside with him. I’ve had to explain I can’t and this morning he looked me right in the eye and said, “Bye Mama” really slow, like he didn’t want to leave me at all. I’ve cried both mornings as I get into the car and drive away. It’s the most helpless feeling I’ve experienced as a parent. Tonight he’s been crying for the past two hours. I finally just let him sleep on the floor in my room like he does when he’s sick (it’s carpeted and we pad it with blankets. He likes being near me and I’m fine with it. Don’t Mom-judge me.) He doesn’t handle transition well and between our cat dying and a new school after being home with us for four months…yeah it’s a bit of a transition. I just feel robbed. I am so grateful to have three days with them at preschool again so I can work from home in the silence. Silence I haven’t heard for four months. But I’m angry. I’m angry I can’t support them through this as well as I normally would.
  7. My cat. We put down Rajha a couple weeks ago because she was sick and dying from cancer. My other cat Maddy. She’s a year or two older than Raj. And I thought she didn’t like Raj. I mean at all. In fact I had to put her on Prozac years ago because Maddy was attacking Rajha. Blood. Bad. I had to bring her to a pet psychic. That actually helped more than the Prozac. Maddy was like a cat on Xanax when we left the pet psychic. Anyway. They tolerated each other. Then Rajha dies. Maddy has been losing it. Wandering around crying. Purring really loud in my ear at 2 AM. Meowing more in the last two weeks than in my entire fifteen years with her. It’s nuts. I may have to bring her back to the pet psychic for more ethereal xanax or whatever ju-ju she did. Then because I’m doing telehealth and most of my clients saw Raj on screen…they have been asking about her. I don’t lie. I say she died. Then I’m like should I really be telling this depressed kid that she died?! I dunno. I’m a horrible liar. So yeah. That’s happening.
  8. I was driving home the other day. Crying from the new preschool. I remember there were kind of a lot of cars on the road and I was like, huh this is new. But then I remembered, no this is what it was like before COVID. Remember life before a pandemic? I remember thinking back in March this was temporary. Life would be “normal” again soon. But it’s not. I miss those days. Normal. Before the pandemic. I mean if I really sit back and allow myself to dig in deep and truly feel in my gut about it…yeah I could be brought to tears with how much I deeply miss those normal days before COVID. It sounds so stupid. Because I’m a New Englander and we adapt and we move forward. Don’t cry. Don’t feel. But I do. I feel it hard. Four months in and I want normal back with an ache so deep I can’t describe it.
  9. I watched Hamilton. I googled a lot during and after. I don’t like surprises so I googled Hamilton’s wikipedia profile during the movie. People in the theater would have hated me had I been able to afford to go. I was in awe of it. Lin Manuel is a genius. So is Renee Elise Goldsberry. They were my two fav’s. Daveed Diggs would be tied maybe though. Everyone was dynamic and powerful. Duels are stupid. I still don’t understand why anyone would partake in one.
  10. Our current administration leads me to the same emotional pain as I experience when contemplating white women slave owners. I never thought I would be so deeply ashamed to be a citizen of our country as I am in these days of 2020. Science is fact. Germs are real. The fact that our President doesn’t accept fact and spins fact and jeopardizes human lives while the same senators who preach pro-life rhetoric sit and watch our people die from the spreading of germs…makes me angry/hurt/resentful/grief/fury.

I’ll close with this. I have a vagina. I’m not afraid of penis’s. I don’t think they have special powers. Neither should you.

I know germs are real. I know disease is real.

I am repulsed by few things but our administration is one of those things. Some one please freaking explain to me how you are pro-life for embryos but not for humans dying of COVID?! Pease. I’m trying to understand your belief system even if it is not based in science. Or facts.

Never mind. Don’t explain it. Just wear a mask and educate yourself.

Science exists. It’s NOT a belief system.

Yup. I yelled at you. All caps. Take it. Sit with it.