There have been two big news stories talking about gay/lesbian/transgender rights in the news lately. While I am not here to share my beliefs on the topic, I would like to share a few of my opinions on both news stories.
The news has been talking a lot about the boycott at Target due to the statement they made about allowing transgender people to use whatever restroom they would like. I am not here to take a side on the situation. I honestly did not think that the boycott would have any impact at first. However, I am sure that the bus boycott started after Rosa Parks was arrested started out small and then grew and made an impact as more people joined in. And I guess a boycott of Target is one way to make an impact and make your opinions be noticed. My biggest concern is the workers at the store that are just trying to make a living. But I guess that is how boycotts work. If there is no money coming in, changes will be made.
The other big news story this week is of a woman at a New Orleans Family Dollar that claimed that a woman refused to serve her because she was a lesbian. She filmed the argument that involved her, the cashier, and another customer. It was difficult to understand everything that was being said because of the arguing. It is not clear whether the woman was really being discriminated against because the first part of the argument was not filmed. The thing that bothered me most about the video was all the arguing and swearing. It was difficult to place the blame on anyone because the other customer was swearing at the cashier and the woman that claimed discrimination was yelling and the cashier kept saying something about having a job. I think the yelling and screaming just escalated the situation. I was at work last summer when a visitor at the amusement park got really mad about something and started throwing an adult temper tantrum for no reason. I feel like that might have happened at this store. People today are very quick to get mad when things do not go their way and they are quick to say things and then everything gets blown out of proportion. What I really do not get is that the manager never came out to help deal with the situation immediately.
Everyone is quick to cry discrimination and foul over everything. Maybe sometimes it is necessary and other times it is not. Respect is the big thing. Nobody will ever get anywhere if they are quick to blame and shout without really trying to resolve the situation.
The other day, my landlord called and surprised me with a rent increase. I was extremely angry because even though she said the cost of everything is going up and that was the reason, I know the real reason behind the increase.
Last winter, the heat bill was extremely high. This repairman was constantly coming to look at the furnace. Finally, he told me to keep the heat on emergency. I did what he said because I figured he was the expert. He told me to always keep it on emergency. Then, at the end of winter this year, he told me (at the grocery store) that the heat bill was too high and told me that I should not be running it on emergency heat. I was extremely angry for several reasons. I hated to be told at the grocery store. Second, I hated how he was contradicting what he had previously told me. Then, he waited until the end of winter to bother saying anything. What had happened was not my fault and here I was being blamed for it.
I know that the rent increase is because of the heat bill. What bothers me even more is that my landlord is talking about it to other people. My landlord’s grandson is in my class and he was laughing one day because of the emergency heat running. When you are told to do something, you do it. And that meant running the emergency heat.
My landlords are so lazy though. They won’t do anything to help me out. The heat does not work in one of the bedrooms. He has never bothered to fix it. He said he would do something last summer and he never did. I called him a couple of weeks ago because I hate living in a bedroom above my neighbors and he never bothered to do anything. It is the same with the living room window. Every time it is windy the curtains blow.
This rent increase as well as the treatment I have been receiving makes me want to leave this horrible town more than ever. At the very least, I want to move but there are no other apartments here. If I cannot leave this place, I will just take advantage of the situation. My landlords can deal with me turning the heat up high in the winter and taking frequent showers. Plus, I am going to demand that they take care of those repairs this summer while I am gone. It is ridiculous that I even have to pay an electric and water bill when everything is unplugged and I am not around. They can expect me to make their lives miserable.
It has been one of those days. I am slowly increasing the dosage of my medication and last night was the magic night. So all day, I have had a headache. It is the kind that does not hurt all the time but randomly shoots pain across your forehead. Eventually, it was happening quite often. It is extremely painful.
Then, a teacher came up to me and said that I need to fight the state writing test scores and that it is due tomorrow. I was told about this a couple weeks ago and I was not sure what I was doing because no one seemed to want to help me. I did what I thought I should do. Of course, today, someone offered me help so now I have work to do tonight. I am not a procrastinator and do not like to feel all this pressure; especially since I have a headache.
To top it all off, it was my turn to run the once a week after school program. We used to run it every week for a half an hour during the fall which I did not exactly like but I was always with another teacher. Then, we moved to thirty minutes four days a week before school. I did not like that because I have trouble getting up early. Then, a couple of weeks ago it got switched to one day after school for an hour. Plus, more people were getting involved so that meant only taking one week (but by yourself). I had been dreading my turn for the last couple of weeks. I could not imagine keeping those kids under control for an hour. To make matters worse, it has been very rainy so rather than take the kids outside where the ground is extremely wet, I kept them inside. It is amazing how naughty certain kids can be.
I just want to sit back and relax while watching a movie. I would like to do some writing and hope that with some rest, my headache will go away. Instead, I have enjoyable paperwork to fill out.
Tonight was the school music concert. I dreaded going because first of all, the students really are not that talented. But what really bothered me was that I would be going alone. I figured I would meet up with some of the other teachers there but because of my social anxiety, I did not want to go to the concert in the first place, especially not knowing if I would have someone with me.
I felt so humiliated as I sat down in the back row by myself. I avoided eye contact with everyone so that I would not feel like such a loser. I was reminded of college and sitting alone at meal times. It was bad then and it is not any better now.
Eventually, some other teachers and the principal sat close by so I did not feel alone and I was able to talk to them. However, lately I just feel so invisible. It is like no one cares or even knows that I exist. I know I often hate being around people but there is a different between wanting to be alone and being lonely. When I want to be alone, I will lock myself in my apartment and ignore all invites. If I am lonely, I will still probably ignore the invites because of my social anxiety problems but I will still appreciate that someone cares.
Lately, I have been thinking about all the classic books I was forced to read in high school and college and how even though I love reading, I hated the books. I am not sure why I have been thinking about it because I have been done with high school and college for a few years. Maybe it is because as a teacher now, I have listened to my students complain about the stories we read in our reading books.
In high school, I remember being forced to read Hamlet and hating it because I could not understand the language which of course made me clueless about the plot. I remember reading The Great Gatsby and discussing the symbolism of the green light (which I still don’t understand) and coming to dislike the book because of that. I actually enjoyed reading Animal Farm but also disliking it because my teacher decided to assign it to us in the last few weeks of senior year when we already had a bunch of large projects due with the expectation that even though we would not discuss it in class, we would write a paper about the book.
I have always loved reading. I would stay up late and read all my library books in one day as a kid. I would always set aside time right before I went to bed in order to read every night. I would calculate how much time it would take me to read a book and then cut out TV time if necessary. I actually got in trouble one summer because my parents did not want me to sit around and read. I actually did read all that summer but quickly stopped if I heard my mom or dad coming upstairs.
Despite all the reading I did for enjoyment, I enjoyed very few books that I ever read for school. I hated how teachers would destroy books that could be considered almost decent because of the easy language or interesting characters by asking endless discussion questions or having us define countless vocabulary words (I actually had a lazy/ineffective teacher that made us do vocabulary maps for over 100 words in Huckleberry Finn) or looking for elements like symbolism that was clearly not there.
A couple weeks ago, I wondered if maybe it was not time to update what is read in school. Sure, some books are considered classics and there are many people that enjoy reading them. However, I believe that reading for pleasure is already at risk because of technology. If kids see that reading only consists of teacher assigned classics that are difficult to understand and have the fun sucked out of them, they will never read again. But if students could be introduced to classics such as Harry Potter or the Hunger Games, maybe they would take an interest in reading again. Lots of kids took an interest in those books. If they were assigned, I am sure reading could be brought back to life in schools and at home.
Plus, as a writer myself, I know that there are not hidden secrets in my books. You may have to read between the lines occasionally, but there is no hidden symbolism or other elements. What you get is right there for you to see. It is all meant for enjoyment.
I call my mom every Sunday night. It is pretty rare that we talk any other time. Sunday night just happens to work for both of us. Otherwise, it would be difficult to find another time where both of us are home and free. In college, I always enjoyed our conversations. I also enjoyed them when I was working at the amusement park and living with my aunt and uncle. At some point though, the phone call became an obligation, an undesirable chore, something that filled me with dread every Sunday night. I am not sure when it started but the feeling is not going away.
I feel like I have nothing to talk about with my mom anymore. I go to work everyday and then I come home and attempt to live. The highlight of my week is surviving. It is a big deal if I do not cut and I feel happy for real. It is not the most exciting life right now but I have to get credit for living.
I cannot tell my mom about my mental problems though. She would be shocked if she learned that I was a cutter. She would become paranoid if she learned that I frequently think about suicide. She would not understand and now that I am an adult, it is not her business. Sometimes, I feel like I am living a lie but at the same time, not everyone in the world needs to know about my mental problems. I had a dream the other night where I was telling my students about my OCD. That is definitely not necessary. And I do not feel that my mom needs to know because there are a lot of people in the world that have OCD. And somehow, I will get through this on my own.
I decided at a young age that I was not going to have kids. All the adults told me that I would change my mind but my opinion never wavered at all. In fact, it only became stronger as time progressed. I told the same thing to my mom last night and she still does not believe me. I am not in a relationship and am definitely not looking for one. I hate being alone but I don’t want to be in a relationship. And I am most definitely not having kids.
With all my mental problems, I know that raising a kid would be extremely difficult. There are days when I just shut down. I don’t cook or do any chores. That can go on for several days. I get stressed just going to work. I have to take anxiety medication to get groceries. I have no idea how I would explain my missing eyebrows or cuts to my child. Adding a child to the formula is not going to make life any easier for me. Sure, some day I might get my problems under control, but I really am not out to make my life more complicated.
Also, I have the freedom to come and go. I am not stuck finding a babysitter or making my life revolve around the child. I am just too independent to allow my life to work around others.
Plus, I cannot imagine raising a child in today’s world. I look at my students and several of the high school students I dealt with when I managed the pool when I was in college. Kids today are spoiled rotten and are lacking respect for others. They are so out of tune with the world because they are attached to their electronic devices. I know that would not be true of my child but it is hard to think that my child would be influenced by these rotten children.
There are times when I think it would be great to raise a child to become a servant of God. I think it would be great to teach him or her about God’s salvation and having them work for the Lord. I guess I can still instill these beliefs in others though.
My students are driving me crazy. And today was only Monday. They are supposed to be quiet and still well behaved on Mondays. They are supposed to get progressively worse throughout the week. It does not help that I am dealing with the changes in my medication so I am very irritable as it is. My students definitely don’t help me with my problems.
One group of students is constantly after one another for little things. They argue about stupid things that are either over or have already been decided by me. I got after them today for the arguing but most of the time, I just ignore them.
Then, the other group of students is full of trouble makers. If it is wrong, they are going to do it. They talk constantly. They are constantly worried about what other people are doing and are more focused on the other grade’s work than their own.
It does not help that one of the troublemakers has a birthday tomorrow. I am not the most sympathetic person. I am not going to put up with his nonsense. He already lost part of his recess for tomorrow because he chose not to do his spelling words at the end of the day. He can be in even more trouble for all I care.
There are three and a half weeks of school left but I seriously considered taking a personal day tomorrow. I am stressed out with their behavior. Plus, I really don’t want to deal with the student’s birthday.
On this boring and rainy Saturday, I felt like I have checked my phone a hundred times, hoping that I have missed a text message from someone. I am so so lonely. I am even more aware of it every night as well as every weekend. Friday nights are even worse because it tells me that not only am I alone that night, but also the entire weekend.
It turns out that I do not have bipolar disorder! I texted my doctor after she asked me how I was feeling. She said she didn’t think so but I am taking a medication that treats bipolar disorder because I have anxiety, depression, and OCD.