Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gay Does Not Mean Second-Class

I stumbled across a news article today that I felt the need to address.  It was in Rolling Stone, about a town in Minnesota that has seen a sharp increase in teenagers committing suicide ever since the school district implemented a policy demanding staff remain completely neutral on topics involving homosexuality.  This policy was so vague that teachers and other members of staff became afraid for their jobs, and as such, they completely stopped acknowledging the existence of any sexual orientation that was not the accepted norm.  This in turn led to the administrators and staff members of the schools in this district to ignore bullying related to homosexuality and tell students who complained about bullying to just ignore it.

They failed thousands of kids.

Not only did they fail the many kids who were bullied for their sexual orientation, but they failed the kids doing the bullying.  These kids were taught that it was okay to treat people that identify as gay as second-class citizens.  I am afraid of what their future holds, as well.

According to the article, over 700 kids in this school district were evaluated for serious mental health issues in the 2010-2011 school year alone.  These kids were having suicidal thoughts, cutting, and showing symptoms of depression.  Some of them were even hospitalized.  The policy was put into place in 2009.

Some of the kids who died were as young as 13.  I cannot describe the horror I feel at knowing that someone so young is now gone simply because they did not have the support system available to them to be able to cope.  I want to do something.  I want to help.  And I know I can't really do anything - I haven't the money, or the time, or the transportation to do anything that would have any effect.  I don't know how to be a mentor.  I don't know how to change laws, or fix things.

There was a web comic that covered this topic in November of 2010.  I want to have giant posters made of this comic and hang one up in every middle and high school in this country.  I want these kids to know that it does get better, that high school is most assuredly not the peak of your life, because if it is, that's just sad.  There is so much more they can be, there is so much more they can do, if only they give themselves the chance to achieve it, to see it.  I want them to see that they will be stronger, more interesting people after high school than their bullies, and they will go on to soar if they stick it out.

I want them to know it gets better.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Slob Who Reads a Lot

I am alive.  (Obviously.)  I am in Emporia.  I am about to go to bed.  Apparently, the best I can do is declarative statements at the moment.  I have a library card, a job (which I haven't attended orientation for, which makes me nervous), and I have other big news that I hope I'll remember to post about later.  It deserves its own post, both so I can shit my pants over it and squee incessantly.  I am currently reading (or rereading): Angels & Demons by Dan Brown, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve, and The Stand (expanded edition) by Stephen King.  I've already read Angels & Demons, but I haven't seen the movie yet, so I wanted a refresher on how disappointed I'm going to be.  I read 9 pages of Pride & Prejudice before I gave up a few days ago, further cementing my need to just own the book so I can read it like I read 1984 - pick it up every few months and read a chapter or two.  Of course, I haven't touched 1984 since 2006, but it worked for The Hobbit - it took 6 months to read, but damned if I didn't do it.

Things are looking up.  I'm terrified.  I'm on the edge of some (more) huge changes.  I don't know how I feel about this and how many I'm ready to accept, but I'm working toward something different.  I don't know if it's better, but it's different.

I miss everyone like crazy. 

My belongings are everywhere because I never pick anything up.  I have two binders, a blanket, two canvas bags, a bathrobe, various purse innards, a newspaper, a notepad, a sweater, and mail on the floor near my feet right now.  Oh, and four library books, and that doesn't even count the books I seem to have misplaced.  (I was attempting to read Mrs. Dalloway again.  I got as far as I did last time.  I just can't seem to follow it.  It's somewhere around here.)

Things I seem to be good at accumulating, now that all my stuff is in one place:

  • Pens with varying levels of ink.
  • Odd batteries.
  • Shoes.
  • Books.
  • Purses.

I am odd.  I am tired.  Good night.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Cluster-You-Know-What

It's been forever since I posted here.  I suck like that.  Honestly, I haven't felt like dealing with it on top of everything else.

I wound up moving to Joplin, Missouri to stay with a friend.  She told me almost nothing about the true living situation in this house, so I walked in totally unprepared to discover the state of it.  The bedroom I sleep in with her daughter and her roommate's daughter always smells like cat pee because one of her cats won't stop peeing in there, and there are now 7 people living in this tiny house, which isn't much bigger than J and S's house.

The worst part was that she didn't tell me exactly what kind of bug problem she had.  She told me they only came over when people moved out of a duplex down the street, because she was ashamed of it and so she lied to me about it.  If I'd known the extent, I would never have come here.  I am basically phobic of roaches, so for the first 3 days I was here I did nothing but cry and have anxiety attacks.  My skin has been crawling for days, and I'm terrified I will find them in my hair.  I almost want to shave my head and start over, but I know a lot of the itch on my head is psychological.

So I'm moving to Emporia in two days to live with H, which was the original plan, before I changed my mind because this place was made to sound so much more stable.  Unfortunately, it's very, very not stable (more on that after I get to Emporia), and I can barely function in this house.  The only thing I want to do is not be here.  I can't even shower without being afraid I'll find one in the shower with me.  I'm only eating in the evenings because I hate going into the kitchen and I'm afraid to touch any of the food or dishes, so I'm only eating enough to get by until I can get the HELL out of here.  And oh god, one just appeared on the couch next to me.  *shudder*  If things continue the way they have been today, I may have to go to a homeless shelter or something with my stuff until then, or I put myself at risk for a huge backslide on the self-harming.  Upside, I've completely stopped biting my nails because I want no part of this house in my mouth.

H is being wonderful about this.  I have to abandon my dresser here because I don't want to accidentally bring the roaches with me, and she's offered to buy me a new plastic one to keep my clothes in, and she's going to take anything that might be hard to decontaminate to a dry cleaner to get that fixed.  I've already applied at 4 different places, or maybe 5, I forget, and hopefully someone calls me very soon.  Definitely looking forward to that.

I miss everyone at the house so much.  I even made a collage desktop background for myself, which I'm going to completely overhaul when I get to H's and have some free time after we determine if my computer is contaminated or not.  Woo.

Anyway, maybe I'll write another post later, but right now I have to go.