Thursday, October 15, 2009

Anger or how I learn to respect me more

I have been feeling depressed today. I assumed it was because it has been raining. Yesterday, it was very windy although not today. We really need the rain, but I am feeling very down. One of my cats is sick, the new one that I got a few days ago. The gas man came by to turn on the gas since I had it turned off last year to save some money. I thought if I used a small heater I would not have to pay as much utilities. Big mistake. Then he told me that the old central air that I never turn on in the summer because I can't afford it needs to be surfaced. Oh, there is more money. I need to spend more money I don't have. Still, I don't think this is the reason I am depressed. I am always in need of money; but for the important things I am fine.

So, I sit down and just let the images go by that are running in my head. I see the images of my time that I spent with my aunt and uncle when I was 12 and 13 years of age. Then I remember the dampness and rain of Oregon. Then as I am writing things in my journal off line I remember the time I spent there and with a start I remember being suicidal. I hated my whole year there. I loved my aunt and uncle but my aunt was so intent of getting me ready for being attractive to the boys and later for attracting a husband in high school. It was a small town in Oregon. There were no colleges and it was far away from any universities. In those years, girls did not aspire to go to college and universities from my part of the world. The girls I knew got married. Their parents could not afford to send them to Eugene , Corvallis and Salem to the universities and colleges. I saw marriage as a dead end. My father beat my mother and drank. That was not what I wanted. When I tried to explain to my aunt that I did not want that, she ignored me. She just kept talking right over me to other women as they judged my ears, my hair and the fact that I weighed too much. Even then, I read a lot; but all of that was ignored. They looked at the colors that looked good on me. They told me what hair style looked good on me and how I should act around boys. They made me go to dances. I hated dances. I was so unhappy. Finally I was allowed to go home to my parents and my older sister took my place. She was more pliable and she did what she was told.

I was trying to eat this afternoon and ate a rice crispie. I just wanted to feel better. I was feeling so down, so darn depressed. I am a little low on money although not broke. I had to spend too much on the cat because I was worried she would not make it. She is still so very sick. She has free doctor visits since I bought her from a non-profit agency but it is hard for me to get them to follow through. They had fixed her too young so she is weak. I was taking my son to the different doctors and hoping they would listen to a man and stop discounting what I was saying. My son was telling me to hush as he told them what was wrong with the cat. Then that was what was making me made. It was an echo of what had happened to me so many years ago. I thought I had forgotten all about it. I had not. I was being ignored and discounted.

Women are often discounted. What I went through as a young teenager would not have happened to a man. Still, being ignored does happen to children both boys and girls. I am not going to be noticed now. It still happens. My bank is still sending me a new card with the old number of a card that I reported was stolen. I just take the new card to the bank and ask first if the new card is really my new card before I destroy the temporary card. I have four now. I also tell the person I am talking with: "Look, don't blame me for this obvious screw up. I don't know what is happening but I want a card soon. My name is not 'preferred customer'." The next time I get the wrong card, I am asking for the bank president. I am also not asking my son to help me out. I am doing it myself. Other than that I don't know what else I can do except write in here and my journal.

The thing is I got mad at me this time. When I was in Oregon, I wanted to kill myself because I did not see a way out of being made to do something I did not want to do. Now, at this age I could see a way. I moved back to California and went to college and worked my way through which was possible then although very difficult now. Again, I directed anger towards myself and depression was the result. I realize that many so-called experts feel that depression is anger directed towards the self. I think this is true for some of the time but not all of the time. I get very angry at being discounted and ignored. This will continue to happen.

People of color, disabled people, and other people get discounted too. Nothing is going to stop stupid people being stupid. There was an episode of Bones in which an Arab-American faked an accent because he felt it enabled him to get along with other professionals if they thought he was recently arrived from an Arab country than if he had been born and raised in this country. He was still a Muslim and wanted to continue to practice his religion and could do it easier if people thought he just arrived from a Muslim country. When his accent was blown by another character, the others started to ask questions on whether or not he was still going to continue such Muslim practices. He said "of course." "That is why I faked the accent in the first place because I knew you would think it did not matter as much if you knew I was an American raised in America; but it does. It matters very much."

The most important person is the self. I need to respect myself. I did not when I allowed my son to disrespect me and let him get away with it. I am not going to allow it. That is part of my quest to get healthier. Who would of thought that getting healthier would be to respect the self more.

P.S. My son came in feeling bad about what happened about the cat and offered to buy some food and I went with him to the store. Then I came back feeling bad about being angry and ate six eskimo pies. I finally gained control over the situation and stopped beating myself up. I should have just sat down here and wrote. I will try and do so next time. I got angry at myself for being angry at him.

I also was feeling guilty for everything going well. I had to fight doctors, banks, and the gas company and although I won I still felt bad. Becoming healthy isn't a matter of just eating and exercising although I am not doing too much of that. There is a whole lot more involved. It is a bigger picture, a much larger change that I have to do with my life than those small changes. I am beginning to see it is a HUGE change.

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