Thumb Thursday #7: Moving in the Direction of My Dreams

I'm moving forwards! - THUMB - TT7 - 7.18.19


Question: What do you do when you have different people’s opinions fogging up the windshield of your car?

Answer: I don’t know, I haven’t gotten that far yet.

 

So, I have the chance to do a proper life update slash blog snazziness post and I’ll be honest with you, I really, really don’t like this particular thumb (and I’m aware it’s no longer Thursday but I’m also aware that I’ve been trying to write this post for the last two weeks and it’s getting out of hand and I’d really like to just get this over with and move forwards–no irony intended–and onto my next round of thumbs and their subsequent blog posts) but I’m here and that’s what matters, I suppose.

I’m here.

I like this idea, this concept, of “being someone.” That sentence, that concept, just holds so much weight for me. I use it briefly here and I have an upcoming thumb just dedicated towards it and I really, really love it. It really empowers and inspires me.

And recently I’ve been inspired.

Actually, in more ways than one…

Yesterday I did my Create Day versus Consume Day blog post with its own new thumbs. That was really, really cool. It was so nice to get back into blogging for a bit, even if towards the end it was getting incredibly monotonous and dragging on and on (more indicative to myself that I needed a break but was too all or nothing about it that I wanted to finish before I lost track of the Muse and where it was taking me).

But still, I did it. πŸ™‚

So, yes, I’ve been inspired in creating new things lately–Youtube videos, getting back into writing fanfics, graphic designing for flyers (if we’re lucky, I’ll include a slideshow for some NAMI related flyers for a Peer to Peer class I’ll be teaching in November (if you’re in the Randolph MA area, send me an email/message if you’re someone living with a mental health condition and wish to attend! It’s free!!!)), graphic designing for thumbs, blog posts, and more. A couple were painting/watercoloring some wood and just getting new art supplies. πŸ™‚ Shopping and hanging out with friends, too! πŸ˜€

All trades pursued while undertaking trainings at my new job, which I’ve named Amaryllis, I finally have a code name for it! πŸ™‚ Speaking of my job, I got the email early this week for certain that I’d be teaching the Peer to Peer class up in Randolph. It will be my first time teaching it and you know I’ve got to spend the next 2 weeks preparing and reading over and filling out all the binders and information since I’ve forgotten everything that went into it since I last got trained for it back in April 2019. XD

So there’s that.

But I’ll also be doing IOOV stuff too, here and there, so I officially have about 3 ongoing jobs. How I’m going to balance it all….heh heh heh, that’s the real challenge.

It’s gotten all in my mind in the last week about my dreams, my successes and where I want to be.

I don’t know if this will come as a shock or not but I really want to “be someone.” Again, we return to that theme. I want to be well-known and hopefully for the right reasons. I want to be a loud and proud advocate. I want my story to help others. I want my story to inspire others.

I want to go back to my roots–go out there and make a TEDtalk speech. I want to do maybe even public speaking as a whole. Maybe do some kind of motivational speeches. I want to use my story and my strengths and what I’ve gone through to help other people out there who may be struggling in silence. I want to remove the ugly tape stains that stigma leaves behind and I want others to help me do this process, the nitty gritty work, too.

I don’t want to be confined to a desk or, maybe even a laptop. I want to be like the next Kevin Hines just minus the intense suicide attempt. (Also, this is a good nudge to what next week’s topic will cover in Thumb Thursday, hint hint ;))

I feel much like an actress, unknown to the world around her: I feel like I’ve been waiting for my next big break. I’ve been waiting to be discovered.

And some things are falling into place.

There was a recovery based video filmed for Passages earlier this year, if you happen to remember that Youtube video I did about it or if I posted about it on my blog back in Feb this year…. That will be launching online soon. (I hope). I can probably even do like some type of reaction to it or something, if that’s something people would be interested in. Not sure how I’d film that though, but I’m willing to work with it!

I also want to do some more commentary pieces on this blog towards some of the things (like TEDtalks) that have inspired me, particularly the two that inspired me in the last week to even have any of these thoughts.

It’s like I’ve just been revived. It’s like I’ve just been rejuvenated. I feel all my dreams coming back into the forefront and I’m ready. I’m ready now. I’m ready to make them into my reality.

I really think that I can make a difference. I want to write a memoir, I want to write an art and recovery book, I want Recovery Home and Recovery Reinforcer and Recovery Restoration to become big time projects to help spread art therapy and recovery stories around the world. (Although I’ll settle for just MA for now ahaha). I want to be a beacon. I want to spread my positivity and kindness and compassion for others.

This all falls back to that one photo I took three years ago. I shared this story at program last Friday but I’ll refresh all of our memories now, too. A religion based club was doing a photo booth type thing on campus back in 2016 asking people who volunteered to contribute where they saw themselves in 5 years and what they’d be doing. They gave us a Sharpie to write it on our palm, took a photo and then put it up with all the others from other hands and other hearts and other lives that had been collected, so to speak.

This was mine:

IMG_00001935 Upd

I wanted to be sharing my story. I wanted for people to hear me. I wanted for people to see me. To see where I’ve been. To see where I’m at. To see where I’m going.

It’s how I ever started getting into advocacy. I saw my own NAMI IOOV presentation while in college (fall 2014) and the lessons I learned from brave souls telling their mental health journeys stuck with me even until today–so much so that I’ve used some of their words of wisdom in my own life, in my own art, in my own recovery, in words I pass on to my friends.

I got involved in NAMI, in advocacy, because of a book I never finished and a journal I equally never finished where one of the daily prompts was to take opportunities by the horns and do something to change your current circumstances. So I got involved in advocacy. I started writing articles in the newspaper. I became, I hope, a role model. To whomever read my work.

And I, I think I’d forgotten that. Somewhere along the way, I forgot why this spark of a flame was ignited within my soul. I forgot that I wanted to be more. I forgot about the reason why I speak, why I talk, why I say, “Hey I’m struggling and you can still struggle and still live a life worth living regardless.” I want to change something. The world, one person’s world, the universe. I don’t want to necessarily limit my dreaming. πŸ™‚

I…. I want to be more than I am right now.

Isn’t that what we all want?

There’s so much I want to do. So much I want to live to do.

I guess that somewhere along the way, I forgot why. Why I do what I do. I just got so used to doing it that I stopped thinking about the impact I could be having on others. And maybe part of that was because I wasn’t in a stable mindset, certainly not a stability emotionally that I’ve now been in for many months.

I forgot the reason why I stood up. I forgot that I wanted something in the world to be different because of my efforts. I forgot that I wanted to be something greater. I forgot that I had grown tired of waiting on the sidelines for some other bystander to stand up and fight, until I realized, well, if no one else is (or few else are) going to do it, then I guess it’s up to me.

That’s why I stand. That’s why I sacrifice my name, my identity, to place a name and a face to the struggles of mental health conditions. I knew it might kill my job placements. I knew it might interfere with other tasks and accomplishments I wanted to make in my life.

But I did it anyways.

Because I knew it mattered. I knew the Greater Good was out there. I knew I had to speak up, because if I waited too long, if I wanted in silence, I knew it might never come to exist.

So, I stand. I stand tall and I let my voice be heard. Because maybe, yeah, maybe it’s going into a Void at the moment, but I know that maybe it can be found by someone some time soon and maybe I’ll get a kind soul who takes the time out to read my words or hear my voice and then write a comment acknowledging me further in the comments section below.

I guess I’d never know if I didn’t try. If I didn’t put myself out there in any way, I’d never have feedback. The feedback isn’t guaranteed when I do put myself out there, but the possibility of it is increased. And, that’s good enough for me.

 

I wonder sometimes about why I’m doing what I’m doing online and offline. I’d forgotten why for what feels like centuries, but I’m being reminded again now. Being reminded each day.

I know Amaryllis isn’t my end goal. I want to be so much larger and bigger and brighter than it, but I think it will give me a lot of real world experience from which to grow and mature. It will be a challenge and a real test of my skills, and I think that is something I’m slowly getting more used to.

But, I guess like Thor tells Loki in that elevator in Thor: Ragnarok — why would Loki choose to lie and betray Thor (as it’s gotten so predictable) when he could be something more?

I want to be something more.

I think I got so confined to where I’m at in the world right now that I forgot the bigger picture. I want to work each day, each moment, each week to going further than I ever have before.

So, no, I don’t know how to do it. I don’t know if ANYBODY knows how to do it.

But we all have to start somewhere.

And I’m ready.

I’m ready now to start.

 

Sometimes, sometimes I also wonder if I were to pass on before I got out everything I wanted to do, if anyone else after me would be able to take up my words–take up my fanfics, take up my ideas, take up my stories. Or would that be the end of the line for me? For what I had to create? What I had to show? I wonder, sometimes, I wonder.

I also feel that those of us who struggle with mental health conditions are probably some of the most caring, compassionate, empathetic and kind souls around. It’s not easy to take on the task of bettering yourself and growing as a human being. Most of us didn’t ask for this shit to happen to us, so it’s so, so, so important that we get support from those around us, that we aren’t judged, that we are validated, that we are loved. I think those who’ve struggled probably show more compassion and appreciation to each other than most “normies” because even the normies forget that we all struggle with something. At some point, in some moment, there was a struggle, for whatever reason. And I think it’s those who’ve traveled the hard road that can share their love and care and wonder with those who may be struggling, sometimes unbeknownst to us at the time. We don’t necessarily know what demons a person is fighting. So, be kind. Be kind and show appreciation. It goes a long, long way.

 

Thank you so much for reading. Sending you light and love, and oh, here are those flyers:: ❀ ❀ ❀ If you can, please share this post with as many people as you can. Love you guys.

 

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CONSUME DAY vs. CREATE DAY | Tackling Internet Addiction in a Different Way

Hello, and welcome to this new blog post. I am under a veil of intense inspiration, especially of this particular topic so I hope that you enjoy your stay here and are inspired to swivel your perspective from blindly consuming the Internet to creating your own content (ironically of course for others to consume). Let me know in the comments what you think about this post or you can contact me over My Twitter or at my public email address (recoverytowellness@hotmail.com) if you’d like to speak with me privately about this subject matter or anything under the sun, ahaha. Hope you enjoy this! Sending you light and love,

— Raquel

 

CONSUME DAY THUMB = 10.24.19


So this is a follow-up blog post to my drafted blog post (from Sept. 27th) titled:

“Hi, I’m Raquel and I’m Living with an Internet Addiction”

As mentioned previously, this blog post was only drafted and never made it much further than the title and the inspiration at the time for me to create it. Curse you consuming rather than creating!

Which brings me to this blog post itself (which I hope will actually be launched but because I’ve made graphic designs for it, I’m pretty certain that it will).

Last week, Oct. 18th, I brought up in therapy at my day program how I felt–and this is at the moment, it may change in the future–that Consuming the Internet versus Creating for the Internet are two different things.

Maybe it’s me making excuses to further deny the fact that I’m living with an Internet Addiction. It’s purely possible. My family therapist, June, described how I separated a Youtube addiction from an entire Internet addiction as being clean from coke for several years while at the same time still drinking ten beers a day. Just because you’re sober from one drug addiction while still giving into another drug addiction doesn’t mean you have no drug addictions or that you’re completely and purely sober.

But, alas, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let’s back-track a bit, shall we?

 

I started at my day program, Passages, nearly two years ago in February 2018. Since May 2018 I’ve been attending the DBT-Intensive program there in which I’m taught a new skill in the DBT realm (Dialectical Behavior Therapy’s crux is the ability to live with two opposing ideas existing within the same space (think “I want to live” and “I want to die”) and is an extraordinarily helpful and key tool in recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) although it can be applied to many other diagnoses, like many other therapies (just because it’s for one disorder doesn’t mean another disorder can’t learn from it) as well as be compiled of 4 intrinsic categories: Interpersonal effectiveness, mindfulness, emotion regulation and distress tolerance) for the second portion of the group and given homework for the next week, which I complete and share during the first portion of the group and if we have time I choose a situation from the last week to share on my diary card of when I struggled to use skills or could have used more skills. Diary cards serve the purpose of tracking moods and behaviors each day.

Phew! That long winded explanation out of the way…

It should come as no shock, if you’ve been following me for a while, that I use daily planners and have been since about 2017. As far back as then I’ve tracked, more or less, how I’ve used my time during that duration: blocks of Youtube and crises and schoolwork/classes.

Just now, I decided to be proactive and return to these old planners still in my room (stood up on the floor, actually) to see when the next dominoes fell into place. My treatment coordinator at program (around June 2018) suggested I more officially start tracking my Internet usage, likely nudging me into considering how much of an addiction it was for me (not that I was ready then to say so).Β  Mid-July 2018 I began to not only block out pieces of time but actually start calculating how much time I was spending on the Internet.

On the low end of the scale, sometimes I fell at 2 hours of usage. At the high end, sometimes 8 or 10 hour days. Most often, I ranged from 4 – 6 hours of Internet usage each day.

To be honest, this is really the first time I’m taking a look at it and hot damn, that was a lot of hours! I didn’t realize or, more likely, I had forgotten how intense and demanding it got. Nowadays, Oct. 2019 I can go some days with 0 hours, some days with 2 hours and more rarely with 5 or 6 hours. I probably hover from 2 – 4 hours more of the time than most.

Regardless, I kept this habit up more weeks than not of tracking my Internet usage in my planners. Eventually, and this I’m not sure when, but I think it was only in 2019, I started to track my Internet usage on my diary card.

Around this time, I started to separate or categorize types of Internet usage. I separated my time online on Youtube as its own category of an Internet addiction, as in, time I spent on Youtube was the only tracking of Internet usage that I was doing. So if I spent 2 hours on Twitter and 4 hours on Youtube, I’d only say it was 4 hours online for Youtube use rather than including the Twitter time. This gets a bit murky when I start to exclude creepypasta listening time if, say, I’m also cleaning my room. I think, still, that this is more productive time because of the goal in mind– say, when I’m staring at a Youtube video watching intently and focused only on that whereas for a creepypasta I can look away from the screen and create a new art piece or reorganize my room. The goal is different-one to consume and one to create with. (We’ll get back to this soon, don’t worry).

So for a while I did that. I tracked only my Youtube time, I would calculate the week’s work of Internet usage–so, from Monday to Sunday, how much time did I spend online, etc. I tracked on my diary cards (Friday’s to Thursday’s). I tracked in my planner. I fell off calculating and adding up all the times but for the most part I tracked it all.

Then came the time I went to Germany with my family in August 2019. It was when I visited Twitter for less than an hour that I felt super, SUPER guilty about it that began to twist the idea into my innards that hey, maybe I have an entire INTERNET addiction rather than just a Youtube addiction, (and the Youtube addiction is what I started to call it–think, denial of an issue, especially an addiction). I did manage about 10 days completely off Youtube during that vacation, which is STILL hella impressive to me. πŸ™‚ As it should be XD

So in Sept 2019 when June was suggesting that they are all the same substances, so to speak, for my addiction, the more a little ding appeared over my head.

But I still felt differently about it.

And again, maybe I’m making excuses. Maybe I’m STILL not ready to admit I have a problem. I do think I have LESS of a problem than where I started out at.

And, I really, really do think that CONSUMING the Internet is different than CREATING on the Internet.

Which brings me back to this post at hand.

I’ve decided in the last week from my in-program therapy session to challenge myself. Challenge myself in creating a new way of categorizing my Internet usage: consuming versus creating.

It’s unlikely that I can completely tear myself away from the Internet. I have to check emails, research information, read articles, ask questions etc. There will always be that little bit of the Internet, I think. I don’t think it’s realistic to completely be away from it. Because in small doses, in structured times, it can be useful.

It’s just about reframing and changing the way I’m engaging with it that’s the heart of the solution, I feel.

Because, I’m an artist. I like to create things and I like to put them out on the Internet. This notion, this “Personal vs. Private” is something I wish to explore further in another upcoming blog post but for now, I’m a very public person. Yes, I need to further self-reflect on what it is I’m aiming to get out of the Internet–what is it that I want? Attention? Validation? Community? Interaction?–and from an early age (since I was 16 on deviantART ) I’ve enjoyed placing myself out into the realm of the Internet–which of course means my artwork. I find more value in placing my artwork in front of the potential eyes of others so that I can run the possibility of that occurring as higher than if it just collected dust on my laptop, never to be seen of again. If I put my artwork out there, maybe just maybe someone will see it and comment on it. If I don’t put it out there at all 100% no one would see it. But if I do? Maybe someone will. Maybe someone will engage with it. Maybe it will influence someone. Maybe it will inspire them to create, too.

So I don’t think removing myself from the Internet is what I want to do. I think because creating is so integral to my core and because I do want to be someone, I want to be an influencer, I want to put myself out there and do public speaking and perform a TED talk and all that jazz, I just have to change the way I’m thinking of the Internet and what I put out there.

Because I still want to put things out there. I want to create content that ironically other people will consume.

I’ve spent so long consuming in the last few years, so much so that it’s taken away a lot of my every day inspiration that I want to set some limits to it so that I can do more CREATING than CONSUMING. Because consuming, while it’s instantaneously gratifying, it’s also very draining and sucks me into a world of drama and unnecessary guilt and sadness and emotion that I’m ready to return to CREATING as my most powerful force. I believe it will help me introduce myself into my “Work Mode” as well as be more expansive, important, and more high achieving. πŸ™‚

I want to feel more happiness, accomplishments and like my time is being made worthwhile. I know that I can’t ALWAYS be 100% all the time but I’d like to give myself more credit and more time to be doing what I love rather than eating up everybody else’s. I think, too, there are times for consuming to become more inspired and interact more with others than JUST creating 100% or JUST consuming 100%.

So for now, I’m going to introduce myself (and potentially others) into Consumer Days and Creator Days. Days dedicated merely to either consuming or creating.

Today, it’s been Creating. Tuesday this week it was Consuming.

Which is why I have the thumb graphic design above and so I’ve created that, I’ve listened to music, I’ve written this blog post, etc.

At the end of the day I will see which felt more worthwhile and important. Soon, I’ll also be showering, watching Grey’s episode from last week, watching a film to review it and reading a book, amongst other things I have on my to do list.

And lastly, here’s the create day thumb:

Create Days - THUMB - 10.24.19

And for that last statement–I think interaction with our audience can be both consuming and creating, depending on how you look at it. I think interaction may fall into the gap between the two definitions so don’t believe that these two thumbs are the ONLY ones coming to you, because once I have more data and more to say (which I always do) I will be hitting you guys back up with new information, new ideas and what went well/what went wrong with where this starting discussion exists.

I think this is going to be an excellent way to track my urges and see what it is that I do more of: creating or consuming. I had another idea too but I’ve since forgotten it/it’s been buried deep down into the folds of my brain.

Lastly, I listened a lot to “The Bones” by Maren Morris to create this post which is a very, very lovely song that I plan to do a song a day edition on soon. πŸ™‚

For now, I really, really need to take a break because I’m hungry and I have lots of other things I need to get done today. So, I hope that this post was intriguing and that you got something out of it!

More posts to come at you all soon.

PS A lot of this whole creating versus consuming thing also came from the inspiration I took upon myself to find “balance” in my life, largely professionally and personally and June had noted how my personal balance was almost all Internet based. So now I’m working on another drawing that is self-care based as other stuff I have to juggle each day. Phew. This was a lot of work. ❀ I will enjoy my break extensively soon. xxx

Thank you soooo much for reading!!! ❀ ❀ ❀

“Hurting Girls” (2014) | Book Analysis (June – July 2019)

Book Analysis - THUMB - 7.3.19


CHOSEN BOOK:

“Hurting Girls” (2014) by Kim A Mac Innis

**POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD**


THEMES:

Justice in the hands of civilians, negative shade on how some police officers do their job (some rightly justified, some not), a LOT of telling versus little to NO showing, no descriptions of the characters, ethics, statistics about who tends to get assaulted more (gender biases) with some flavoring of disregarding male survivors.


TRIGGER WARNINGS:

Rape, sexual assault, bullying, homicide (specific methods), suicide (specific methods), vigilante, alcohol/substance use, glorification of dangerous acts, “crazy”, child abuse, trauma, stalking.


RECOMMENDATION SCORE:

2/5

Happy killers


SUMMARY:

This fiction novel unveils a story using an often back and forth from first person anonymous identity of a vigilante who is out killing rapists for their crimes before they are placed into the judicial system and with a third person narration from a prestigious Sociology professor at a university, named Theresa Lane. Theresa lives with her husband, Jake an English professor also at the same university, and their two children, son Micah and daughter Harper.

As news breaks out and as Theresa covers in her class, more and more rapists are found to be in the area and a killer is out there taking them down one by one.

The novel covers several areas including homicidality, suicidality, vigilantism, how fucked up the American justice system is (which it is), bullying, gang rape and more. As the countdown begins for who the killer is and uncovering their identity, we are introduced to Detective Blades who later becomes an integral part of Theresa’s and her sister’s lives (a love interest in particular forming between the sister and the detective).

Along with the sub-plots of anti-bullying campaigns and information about female survivors of sexual assault, there’s a plot about a student named Emily who gets involved with an Officer Randall who is a bit of an asshole to put it lightly and we see Theresa, whom is close to Emily, get involved in doing everything in her power to keep Randall away from Emily (going to extreme lengths, even).

As more people die, the stakes run ever higher. Some of the rapists killed are teenage boys, both from the killer’s past and the killer’s present. In the end, karma comes back. It’s with the last death of the novel that the killer’s identity is revealed. And you wouldn’t guess who it was, the happiest of them all… A certain someone named —


QUOTES & COMMENTARY:

Okay, so honestly, this post is a little out of order and I’ve been procrastinating having to complete this entry since I finished the book back in July 2019. So, there’s that. Finally though, I am fed up with getting charged overdue fees and I’m ready to just jump blindly into this, having long forgotten all the intricate details of this book, attending a ‘Meet the Author’ for a different book she wrote at my local library and having over 150+ page flags in this ONE book alone. So, let’s see how this goes, shall we? I will be going backwards in writing this section first and all my commentary of it, and then writing the summary, trigger warnings, recommendation score and themes. As of this moment in this paragraph, I am writing this Oct. 9th 2019. Let’s begin!

Beginning with my notes from June 23.2019:

1. On the Acknowledgments section before the novel begins in which the character Dana Blades is inspired by a student the in real life author had who has since passed away: Tis a testament to the reach we have onto those around us.

2. The topic of this novel (rape, sexual assault, suicide, homicide etc.) is introduced RIGHT AWAY and it’s heavy and very sad. 😦

3. On p. 2 the later to become vigilante of the novel (who is going out and killing rapists) is explained as having had a sister who was raped, who killed herself a year after the rape after being severely bullied in person and online, is why they are going out and actively killing similar perpetrators of these crimes (–so think an avenging death so to speak), I wrote that it was heartbreaking and so sad, disgusting and how I really felt for her (the sister’s) character and I can see why/for what reasoning the narrator wound up avenging her death.

4. We find out the sister had been drugged by her perpetrators (p. 3)

5. “The video (of the sister’s rape) remained online long enough for many people to see it. My sister was called names online (and at school). Names like slut and whore. She eventually left the high school” – p. 3

The problem I have with this portion here, and for which I had problems with THROUGHOUT the book for a number of reasons that I will later get into–is that sick thought that someone the people in her generation and above failed her to show her how the action–the CRIME–committed against her was NOT her fault. It wouldn’t be her fault if she were wearing “revealing” clothing, it wouldn’t be her fault if she were drugged (as she was in this case), it wouldn’t be her fault if she was sober, it wouldn’t be her fault even if she had otherwise “asked” for it. It wasn’t her fault, period. The sole responsibility for these crimes falls and should always fall upon the perpetrator–never the victim. It sucks. It’s horrible and awful and it’s a delicate and intricate and complicated subject matter. Just, ugh. This book made me very UGH. 😐

6. The classic question to a suicide that I without fail have (and I’m sure many others have and I’m sure which the lack of awareness on these subject matters contributes to the deaths of these people both in real life and in fiction, for warning signs aren’t as popular as could be, some people will show different signs and others none or very few if at all, and for which suicide prevention practices and the like just aren’t well documented and discussed openly. Long rant is long): Why didn’t she go to the hospital? 😦

7. P. 4 still totally feeling for the Narrator here. Brings up a lot of ethics this book does. Indeed, indeed.

8. Will we ever get a N description? (No) Is it always in first person? (No) Can feel the anger in the text. :O

9. How am I supposed to feel about this ethically? Who is the narrator? Same as in Chp 1? Someone else? Vigilante? Main character?

10. Who is Todd and what does he look like? — Me p. 9

11. “‘There are not necessarily any clear signs because as a society, we are not taught to suspect family members of abuse. Children are warned about strangers, not dads or grandpas or uncles'” — p. 9 (Our main character, Theresa Lane) TRUTH.

12. P. 9 commentary: I think this scene would have been stronger with more creative writing. More showing with body language and observations, etc. It’s a little disappointing so far.

13. 1st: Survivors not victims. 2nd: Are the statistics presented in this book accurate and true for real life? 3rd: Research done on subject? References? 4th: Is there information on sexual assault in this book? Also: telling not showing. Poor writing thus far.

14. P. 10 Do boys ever lie though? If girls don’t lie when hurt, is that to say boys do? Again, I feel this universe has some gender biases. Not everyone fits in this description.

15. Very telling section here (because the N tends to view the subject matter as an outsider), I think this is probably a male N.

16. P. 11 Was N reading the body language correctly though? (After seeing one of the perpetrators of his sister’s trauma smirking). Does N have Antisocial Personality Disorder?

17. Kinda sad how the kid dies. But also amazing–I LOVE narrator’s that are the murderers. Reminds me of “A Pleasure and A Calling” by Phil Hogan, one of my all time favorite novels. πŸ™‚ ❀

18. End of p. 11: chilling.

June 24th:

19. “Violence doesn’t solve violence” — p. 12 –> This is the crux of this story.

20. Observation on p. 13: Telling not showing. Just because you can write nonfiction does NOT mean you can write fiction, as evidenced by this particular book’s existence but I’m sure is also representative in other ways. What kept me engaged in this book was giving it a chance and wanting to find out who the killer was. I really, really loved the plot of this story, it had SO MUCH potential, it was just pooooorly written. You could tell that creative writing wasn’t the author’s natural niche. I always thought that because my experience with writing was fiction/creative based from the start and that I can adapt to nonfiction pieces like essays, lab reports, etc. because I have this strong base, that the same would be true for the opposite. Apparently not. At least not in this case. :/ I have another one of her books, and she has written others it seems since 2014, that I will review and read and give a chance to, because maybe this was just her first debut into fiction writing. Again, just too much telling and no showing. We get insight into the working characters through dialogue more than through any descriptive writing. :/

21. P. 15: Still telling like it’s a shopping list. (Example: “Sometimes Theresa’s expectations were too high and unrealistic. She wanted a clean home at all times and wanted everyone to pitch in. She wanted the kids to do well in school.” — p. 14 To me it just reads like “Today I went shopping for milk. Then I got nuts and then I got candy. Then the cashier messed up my order. I said to them, G. Now I have to put away the dishes. Then I have to do the laundry. Then I’ll go to sleep and do it all over again” I don’t know it’s hard to describe other than bland and novice-level writing. I also felt that this novel read more as the author’s own truths/how she lives her life. Like, I feel the lines are blurred to how much is truth in how she relates to T–which I mean is fine because all writing has bits and pieces of the author in it, whether subtle or a lot. It was just something else I noticed. πŸ˜›

22. I wonder if T has OCD or OCPD and her view of the world is a little faulty. Not inaccurate but faulty for sure.

23. P. 15 I also, like T, wish for everyone to live a happy and healthy life, even though we know it won’t happen. It’s still relatable. Also, where will she stand with the vigilante? On the back flap it implies she secretly likes what they’re doing, and unfortunately the novel ends on the identity reveal of who the vigilante is (shocking, to me, they were so positive and sweet!!) and never on what happens next: how does it impact the other characters? What does T think? How does the society within their limited environment react? How does the family involved get split apart or do they remain together? etc. Sigh, no answers. No recovery either. :/

24. P. 16: For the N to call the perpetrator “the rapist” puts distance between N and the guy in question. It’s a dehumanizing tactic. To make the murder more placating and understandable, so to speak.

25. P. 19: There’s somewhat of a cruelty to take pride in another man’s death–no matter what heinous acts they’ve committed. (Personal opinion: When the Taliban rejoiced in the deaths of 9/11 I view it as just as fucked up as the rejoicing Americans after finding out Osama Bin Laden had been killed. I don’t think either way is “right”. I think both are fucked up, and it’s a slippery slope to fall down because we feel above or below another human being. It gets into some really shady situations, that’s for sure. I also think it’s like when in war we as Americans only seem to care about how many of US (the whole “us” versus “them” thing too) were killed and don’t care to know of all the other civilians from the “other side” were killed and slaughtered too. It’s cruel and selfish, I think. We should care for both sides, equally. Especially when we take into account that spawning more torture and violence only adds more incentive for homicidal individuals to have the ammunition to continue killing and finding higher kill counts (especially for how the media glorifies death, which surely doesn’t help) It’s easy to be kind to caring individuals, it’s far more telling to be kind to the ones who’ve hurt you. Buuuut…Sorry, tangent there.)

26. P. 20: Although N’s Mom didn’t know it, her peaceful smile was reinforcement for N to continue the killing

27. P. 22: “T was one of those ‘what you see is what you get’ people. She was the same person at home, at work, with her friends and with her family. That’s probably why she was such a good teacher” Commentary: Is this really healthy boundaries though? It makes sense to be different in different roles. This sounds more and more like a Mary Sue and nonfiction like it’s a masked memoir. Sigh.

28. P. 23: What gives N the right to make these judgment calls on who lives and who dies?

29. P 24: Good awareness, N! But “sociopath” and “psychopath” aren’t the terminology anymore, you’re looking for ASPD

30. P. 24: So much to unpack! Who decides who lives and dies? Who deserves to?

31. P 26: N is talking about prisoners and the prison system. Why do I feel N doesn’t consider themselves to be within this group of people? Radical viewpoints.

32. “I would never trust the system to protect us and that’s why I decided to rid society of the vermin it created” — p. 26 —> I feel like this is a dangerous point of view. Could others get ideas from the explicit nature of this book? Does that happen like with other forms of media (or do any other forms of media have this type of influence to begin with?)?

33. Who CAN be rehabilitated if anyone? This idea of rehabilitation reminds me of Loki fanfic. :3 And my all-time favorite fic “Drown” by Ordis. God, I love that fic. Also, lots and lots of “deserve” stuff here.

34. P. 27: T is a good parent and person wanting the best for her kids.

35. P. 28: Will T change her POV/perspective when the vigilante arrives and kills? The rapist has family that suffers too.

36. P. 31: N chapter again, the wife of a doctor/rapist speaks out about her daughter’s trauma. I thought it was sad, sweet and very brave of her.

37. “This woman needed to tell her story, not for herself but for all the families out there that might have an abuser in them” — p. 31 –> Selfless to try and help another family out there suffering.

38. P. 31: The concept that survivors don’t always necessarily avoid their abusers but would be kind and sweet in hopes to be spared further trauma is both sad and educational and if it’s true, it definitely provides some great insight into an otherwise unspoken predicament. I think education through creative writing is really important–especially as it relates to mental health, recovery and trauma. I aim to do this in my own writings too. What is similar? What is different?

June 29th:

39. P. 33: T is one moment understanding and the next it’s ‘my way or no way’. I can’t stand this writing lol.

40. P. 34: I can’t exactly pinpoint what annoys me most about her writing. Like it’s her talking and a shopping list. Foreign and with no emotion. No showing.

41. P. 34: T cannot protect her kids from life or everything out in the world. She has to build their resiliency not shelter them.

42. P. 34: T’s husband Jake sounds more like a pushover with no compromises than a ‘peacekeeper’ πŸ˜›

43. P. 35: This actually sounds wicked controlling of T to her kids and toxic. Almost like the author is reflecting herself not creating a whole new character in fiction. :/

44. P. 35: This is essentially the part where T became increasingly off-putting of a character and I started to dislike her. She sounds unbearably overbearing. Like, calm down. WAY too controlling. Very off putting. Always her beliefs.

45. P. 36: (Classic, did you hear about…? in T’s class–her students are speaking about the latest rapist murder) No shit, we were already there to read this. Fuck’s sake.

46. P. 36: (The class is super happy about the doctor’s/rapist’s death) Should they be though? Is this not disturbing to anyone else? I feel alone in these opinions!

47. P. 37: (Emily, a character integral to the story says that the prison system doesn’t always work and that it was likely the rapist would have gotten out and tried to be in his daughter’s life afterwards. :/) But does this give us the right to take things into our own hands?

48. P. 37: There’s some sub-plot involving Emily and an Officer Randall (some of the shade tossed here to Randall, although he is a bit of an ass) buuuut I find T overbearing and selfish, stuck up and bitchy. Also again author’s possible projection here. And for the whole Randall thing: Ew!

49. P. 39: To N, these are a lot of judgments with no potential basis in fact.

50. P. 39: Where does this person (N) see themselves in the world? High and mighty for murder? Aren’t they a part of this? (Male heavy worldview) Male or female?

51. So is this a female? Or is it a male? I assumed male before but maybe female?

52. P. 42: Observation: Typography error: Instead of I ‘ (pointed inwards to I) it’s I ‘ (pointed outwards to next letter). Also, maybe this nurse is going to be a suspect?

53. P. 47: Toddlers and Tiaras rant from N. Seems like more of a personal vendetta. Like, more projection by the author. XD Or maybe it just fits with the idea of the N?

54. P. 49: “R is controlling and a self-centered know-it-all” —> T would know because she is too. πŸ˜€

55. P. 50: The backstory between T and Emily’s relationship, how T worked at a shelter for women who’ve been abused and she took Emily and her mother into her home for a while. —> That’s some reallllly bad boundaries. Not something to be proud over. I mean, yeah it’s kind and compassionate but it’s still fucked up for a few thirty degrees or so. Just poor boundaries work. That is all.

Okay, to be fair, that’s all I’m going to do today. I got my way up to 51 pages into the novel so I think that’s a good stopping point for today. I’m going to try and do 50 more pages next time (Th) and 50+ on Fri and finish up if I can manage to, it’s a 300 p. book, on Sat. We’ll see for sure though. Thanks for reading thus far!!! ❀ ❀ ❀


Hello again! And we’re back, it’s Oct. 10th 2019 so here we go!!

56. P. 54: Is T going to get involved with R and E? Is R going to hurt E? (Yes, kinda)

57. P. 55: Will something happen to T’s family where N will get involved? :O

58. P. 57: About R’s wife – sounds like R was gaslighting and manipulative. Maybe he will be killed next? πŸ˜€

From 6/30:

59. “Blades immediately went to the nurse’s desk and asked to speak with the head of the department. The head surgeon was Dr. Kelly Lehman. She was a brilliant surgeon and spunky as hell” — p. 58 —> Honestly if this doesn’t sound like a shopping list than I don’t know what swell writing is. XD It’s just so rigid and this, then that, then this, then that. Very like brute in a way. It’s disappointing.

60. “T let R finish his brilliant analysis (sarcasm), at least he thought it was brilliant and then she said what she usually said to students when they make uninteresting statements. ‘That’s very interesting, R.’ ” — p. 63. —-> Aaagggghhh! Yeah, she’s soooo “professional”. God, she’s annoying. Again, I’m disliking her. >:[

61. P. 63: About R leaving the room angrily and T saying how she understands why police officers are called “pigs” and how she wasn’t finished screwing with R yet for what he did to E. —> This is really fucked up. Very off putting. What a bitch (T). So judgmental. Ugh.

62. P. 64: Yeah, SUPER “professional” Grrrr.

63. P. 65: Straight up cunt levels. Fuck me.

64. P. 66: T wants to fuck up R’s life for what he did to E. (E and R had sex and R’s a dick about it.) –> But it’s not up to you (T) and your personal life to make these decisions to fuck up someone else’s life. (She wants to block him from going to get a master’s at the uni she’s at and of which E is also a part of the program)

65. P. 66: This is super vindictive of T and out of line (going to the next higher up to block R from being enrolled (granted for his OWN behavior and actions)). Cunt.

66. P. 68: T tells J about R and E but leaves out how she’s getting the dean involved. Thinks he would think she’s going too far. –> Oh really? It’s probably because you are, you dumb ass. If you knew your spouse wouldn’t agree with you it’s because you’re wrong.

67. P. 69: T writes an anonymous letter to R’s police department about his transgressions. –> That is fucked up. She’s changing and not who I thought she was. It’s not their business.

68. P. 69: This retaliating behavior seems WAY too extreme.

69. P. 70: I can see where she’s turning into agreeing with the vigilante. Shit.

70. P. 72: About the doctor rapist and his daughter (he was killed by N earlier) and Detective Blades is doing his research on questioning people etc. One of the doctor’s who worked with the rapist says that his death will bring the daughter closure. —> But maybe she’ll never have closure? Because he’s dead now? But maybe it’s for the best still too because he won’t have time to fake like he didn’t do his heinous acts, etc.

71. P. 74: Sounds like paying favorites (T) because an unknown girl (as opposed to E) wouldn’t get this advantage of personally vindictive professors.

72. P. 75: About T thinking how survivors would never be the same after their traumas and they’ll be scarred for life —> I think she’s underestimating their ability to recover and get better. She’s underestimating their resiliency.

73. P. 76: For T and J’s conversation —> That is fucked up. I’ll give her that.

74. P. 77: Not to worry, our favorite killer is out there.

75. P. 79: N is having physical symptoms of their wondering why the world is so fucked up —> Kind of like T here with the physical symptoms out of emotional news. πŸ˜‰

From July 1st:

76. P. 80: I mean R is not far off with T being the one to send in the anonymous letter about him. And T has good reason to dislike men. Men especially like R.

77. P. 81: R saying that E probably has the crush on him and it was her fault for exaggerating their “friendship” –> Yeah, okay there, buddy. *eye roll*

78. P. 85: Again, very vindictive and blackmailing here. Shit.

79. P. 87: N’s speech about women versus men being survivors –> Definitely an oversimplification. Also men do this too. (Get pressure from society to look a certain way, be a certain way, etc.). What the fuck? Aggravating.

80. P. 88: Finally we’re at the part where these same old tropes from N are getting old and predictable. Sigh. Also, N is a part of that culture too, dimwit.

81. P. 102: Hooray we’re at 100 pages now! Whoooo!! Also, this is the scene where R gets killed. It escalated very quickly. Will T be happy now? E? Others? He kinda got what he deserved though, actually. πŸ˜›

82. P. 104: T was “shocked” and says how she never wanted R to die —> Bitch please! You totally did. I have it flagged and everything. *eye roll*

83. P. 105: EXPLICIT SUICIDE METHOD WARNING. Also this suicide sounded way too similar to N’s sister so I got confused and thought we went back in time for a minute there. Also, the terminology “committed” suicide was used and we all know how much I like to correct that (people commit crimes, not suicide. Suicide is a public health emergency not a criminal one).

84. P. 106: When T has a conversation about bullying and social media and all that jazz with her kids, it reminded me of the Cyberbu//y movie and sounded a bit like a double agenda out of this book. Understandable, though.

85. “People were not born evil. They learned to be evil” — p. 108 —> Learned versus born concept. Made versus born. Was N made, too?

86. P. 110: T wasn’t happy R was dead then she was? What? Double standard. She should just admit she’s happy instead of flopping back and forth. Asshole.

87. P. 116: For the bullies having been a large factor in causing a death by suicide –> Accurate. They played a major role that wouldn’t have been present otherwise.

88. P. 117: For N and his next victim: (specific method warning) Trust me, that’s not gonna kill him unless he gets in a car accident.

89. P. 120: “‘Two wrongs don’t make a right'” bullshit coming from T. See this was her original stance but she acts opposite to it. UGH.

90. P. 121: Yeahhhh okay, they still bullied too. But whatever lie you want to tell yourselves that they did the right thing even if from the other side it didn’t feel like it.

91. P. 121: More anti-bullying agenda is being pushed here. :3 (It’s its own sub-plot)

92. P. 129: N is about as cocky as the rapist here.

93. “(T) never ignored students who were brave enough to write about their traumas. She always included a comment on their assignments that if they wanted to talk, she was available” — p. 131 —-> This is dangerous. She should point them to local resources instead of her being there for them. I speak from experience, with what happened between me and Luna. Just a bad idea overall. Attachments, issues, liabilities, etc. To name but a few.

94. P. 133: About how T’s kids would always reassure her that they were safe and okay —> This kind of reassurance seeking can be problematic, actually. Think OCD behaviors and such (where you’ll need more and more reassurance in a never ending cycle, and being reassured only further perpetuates the cycle. It’s actually best to sit in the uncomfortable emotions and the uncertainty.

95. P. 133: Again with the trope that females are more likely to be hurt (which honestly may be true) but Jesus! Women are not helpless! How many times will T say the same thing?

96. P. 140: T not trusting the criminal justice system for violence against females —> But violence against males is perfectly fine! Ughhhhh.

97. “(The kids) really believed they would make a difference in (anti-bullying campaigns) people’s attitudes. That’s all that mattered; the fact that they believed” — p. 141 —> I think that this does matter a lot ❀

98. P. 145: We have to be reminded here that this N is killing those who’ve committed crimes. They are not innocent victims.

99. P. 147: Detective Blades on how some serial killers want to be caught reminds me of the crying serial killer on 911 tapes. I forget his name but you can find it on Youtube.

100. P. 152: E isn’t the killer, right? Right?

101. P. 154: N saying they were enjoying themselves —> Oh, hot damn. That’s fucked.

Okay, I’m running a little short on time so I’m going to be finishing up and getting ready for work tonight so I’ll end this post here for today. Tomorrow I should be able to finish completely because I’m on page 160 now. πŸ™‚ Will probably drop off another book Sat too and I have to watch a film tomorrow for review. Yep, this weekend is a long one so maybe I’ll be able to get some fanfic writing and book reading and filming/editing done. Hooray! See ya next time!


Hello! I am back again. Let’s hope I can accomplish everything I want this analysis to be about, largely the rest of the quotes/commentary and then the fill in of the rest of the sections. πŸ™‚ It’s almost 6p on Oct. 11th so we shall see how this goes, listening to music on my iPod and maybe having some time to edit a video and upload it if not tonight than tomorrow/over the weekend. πŸ™‚ Let’s go!!

102. P. 159: About how the principal of a school didn’t listen to a survivor and was absent in doing anything to stop the bullying that was happening to her. —> To be fair, he probably didn’t know what to do. Ignorance doesn’t excuse a lack of mandated reporting though.

103. P. 161: Legit though, they’re (rapists) dropping like flies!

104. P. 161: About how T doesn’t want to encourage this type of vigilante justice —> But she does like it deep down? Like in what’s been said in previous sections? Why is she so fickle?

105. P. 162: T wishing the news focused more on campaigns and advocacy against bullying and making positive changes in the world –> Very true, I wish she would say more on this.

106. P. 163: About how the media should focus on problems within society and not glorifying and glamorizing violence —> Accurate, but isn’t this book doing the same thing?

107. P. 167: About how J and T’s son recognized a rapist boy on TV from the school assembly when they presented about anti-bullying —> I love how they did nothing with this information. Fuck.

108. P. 171: About how a teacher was having sex with a teenage boy and did nothing to stop the bullying of his rape survivor, still thinking the boy was in love with her and they were meant to be together —> Yeah, that was messed up. Damn.

109. P. 177: Detective Blades on not appreciating vigilantism –> Yep! I can understand this POV.

110. P. 179: On Harper (the daughter of T and J) wondering why the survivors don’t speak out/up, and T telling her that they probably blame themselves and are afraid of being bullied to death –> Educational and very sad. Reminds me a little of my fic “Distorted and Disordered”

111. P. 180: About how rape survivors are dissected and the judicial system is unfair to their stories —> Is this the best message to send with the power of a book? What if this makes other survivors out there not wish to share their trauma and have their perpetrators face “justice”? Is twisted justice still justice or should survivors find other ways of advocating and speaking out?

112. P. 181: About how the next (gang rape) rapists bragged about the girl’s rape and how she had “offed” herself —> That’s fucked up. Kill away, N!

113. P. 185: About how the teacher supposedly knew about the gang rape and did nothing to help the survivor before she ended her life –> Yeah that (being silent) doesn’t look so good for the teacher. Would she get in trouble, too?

114. P. 187: Especially since the teacher really DID know, I’d like to know too!

July 2nd:

115. P. 194: There’s an argument here that after reading through the entire book is very, very telling. I found it to be unexpected. The clues were there all along, I just didn’t want to see it! Or I didn’t think it would be what I thought. ❀

116. P. 197: The N hears one of the gang rapers brag that the victim got everything she wanted and that it was “too bad” she wouldn’t remember how she had sex for the first time. 😦 —> Kill him, N, kill him now.

117. P. 203: How the rapist would never change and N was about to kill him –> Nice description, first off then yessss, he’s an asshole. Kill him! Kill him!

118. There are some jokes/laughs I’ve had throughout this book. This one detail on p. 204 made me wonder if N was a kid/teenager themselves.

119. P. 206: On how T flip flops again with her opinion saying that some people don’t deserve to live and that the girl’s parents could get some peace now. And how ‘whoever’ killed the rapist did the family a favor —> Maybe T is really the killer? It’s so annoying how she changes her stance every other page. Her words and her actions do not line up at all. Ugh. -__-

120. P. 217: About how one of the gang rapists confesses to the crime and asks to be punished for his part —> I think that’s pretty remarkable that he confessed, yes, late, like very late, and he still repented for his sins and that’s more than what the others did for theirs.

121. P. 218: N believes (as do I) that the boy’s admission was genuine and he was remorseful about his actions (and inactions)

122. “Jake agreed that there were awful things going on (in the world) but there were good things, too. There were kind people in the world. There were people trying to make a difference” — p. 220 —> Oh, sigh. Heavy, heavy sigh. I do agree though. There’s a lot of shit in the world AND there is still good, still innocents and still loving, caring, empathetic individuals out there. ❀ πŸ™‚

123. The last gang rapist takes full responsibility for his actions without making excuses, which I find amazing in and of itself.

124. “(The girl’s) parents wanted to stay angry but they couldn’t anymore. The anger and hatred was killing them. [Shelley] wouldn’t want them to live like that anymore” — p. 224 –> This is still so sad, emotional, sweet and heartbreaking all in one moment.

125. “[Shelley’s mother] hugged the two boys who confessed their part in the rape and their parents wept for them. The parents wept for their sons, for Shelley’s parents and for Shelley. Shelley’s mother told the boys they would be okay. She touched their cheeks” — p. 224 —> This honestly made me cry! Very emotional and the show of kindness even when undeserved was very heartwarming. ❀

126. “T felt no sorrow for the boys. She would never hug a rapist. She would never forgive a rapist” — p. 225 —> T has a stick up her ass. And it’s very interesting what happened after this novel itself ended, I wish there was a further conclusion to it. If this ever happened to her she would never recover. Of course, something else happened to her but we never find out what happens next.

July 3rd:

127. About how J worried T would be a mess once the kids flew from the next —> Yes, she has to prepare for this reality.

128. “When I kill people, I don’t blink an eye. It’s like business to me. I am completing necessary chores.” — p. 240 –> This personally reminds me of the look I get when I’ve been suicidal. Interesting parallels.

129. “I think both sides (within N) are completely balanced. The good side really is good and leads its own life. It volunteers, it gives and is kind. The bad side isn’t bad; it is determined. The bad side ironically thinks it is doing some good” — p. 240 —> I felt this was a very good and interesting insight into the N character.

130. P. 245: Another example here of how controlling T is in her household (her emotions run the house and no one else’s does).

131. “T felt responsible for taking care of the family. She didn’t like the job but she wouldn’t let anyone else do it” — p. 246 –> So why complain? Ugh.

132. P. 250 The idea that the system is only reactive rather than protective/preventative is pretty darn accurate

133. P. 253: There’s some romance budding between T’s sister and Detective Blades. It’s too bad we don’t see more of it come into play.

134. P. 256: T presents on the subject of sexual assault and it is said how her presentation was powerful —> I would have liked to determine how powerful it was myself but unfortunately we are not shown the speech. -_- (Or, descriptive of it, as it were). Of course.

135. P. 264: How a character was so nice, optimistic and kind. It’s chilling.

136. Ohhhhh shiiiiiiiit. Shit hits the fan! The detective uncovers who is the vigilante and I thought the sister reference from how the beginning of the book began was really important and a nice touch. I couldn’t believe who it turned out to be the killer.

137. I really, really wanted to know what happened after. How did they react? Everyone else? Wow.


MY FINAL THOUGHTS:

I think ultimately that if telling versus showing is a book you’d like to read than this is the book for you. It is VERY heavy material and once I got into it I kinda liked it but as you saw throughout the commentary portion, if you read that portion, it was very off putting and way too controlling and ugh, anger making than I would have liked it to be. I had a lot to say about it and it really ground my gears–hard.

I’m glad I finally got through this analysis though. Now I can wipe my hands clean of it and try to get back into another book, hopefully better written and better equipped to toil with all of my emotions, ahaha.

Overall, thanks so much for reading!!! I hope that it was enjoyable and I’m only lightly combing back through it before I upload it as I have a few other things I want to try and do next.

See you in the next one!! πŸ™‚ ❀ ❀ ❀ xxx

PS I know very little about abuse, sexual assault, rape and the like and have no personal experience with it. So, I apologize if anything is a little off or I seem to be portraying myself as a rape apologist or the like (for not rejoicing at first with the idea of killing off rapists and other bad people). I don’t think rape is okay in any way. I know that vigilantism is a difficult and complicated topic. My thoughts on this BOOK is for the moment where I stand with these topics. That’s not to say they won’t change in the future as I become more educated and understanding of these complex issues.

LIFE UPDATE & Thumb Thursday #6: Your Destination Is Awaiting You

Life Update Thumb


Okay, we’re going to play a game of pretend for a moment:

  1. Let’s pretend this post is consecutive to the last Thumb Thursday #5 and not that it was at all 3-4 weeks ago. No, it wasn’t. It’s here now, at least, and that’s what counts.
  2. I am totally suffering through a cold that I apparently contracted unfortunately recently, probably from those few times I didn’t wash my hands when I used the bathroom at program (I used hand sanitizer though, so I wasn’t a complete rogue monkey)
  3. I have … officially and unofficially a job now–like a per diem thingy that I do at least 2 shifts per month, so, that’s nice. I haven’t actually been on the job yet but I am busier now because of all the trainings and such. But we’ll talk about that later.

—It’s officially LATER!

Here’s what I’ve been up to in the time that I haven’t been blogging consistently for any of my days (and being two weeks late with a Film Friday AKA a Youtube video upload Fri that I started back in Sept, it’s Oct now, eeeooof, where is the time going??) but yeah, let’s see…. :

  • Youtubing. Been heavy on that lately.
  • Accepting and coming to terms with/grappling with the fact that I have an INTERNET addiction (yes, this is a post I plan to make in the future and no, the irony isn’t lost on me XD)
  • Going to program
  • Getting involved with JOB stuff
  • Waiting to hear back on JOB stuff
  • Getting an offer of hiring**
  • Minimal amounts of reading — wants, YES, but little actual output
  • Still actively avoiding several other things, that are strangely all blog post related
  • Being on Twitter as my instantaneous journal
  • Filling out MOST of my planner stuffs
  • Editing videos
  • Not doing much, if at all, any creative writing (including blogging, obviously)
  • PAINTING (cool photos and a haul I can show you both in VIDEO form and written, maybe not tonight though (I have about 20 mins left. Apparently part of my job is now being fast and quick with the time I DO have XD Which is honestly something I needed more of) But essentially painting a cool wooden box that’s Halloween themed
  • A couple haul things (Michael’s, washi tape, journals, clothing)
  • NAMI stuff (IOOV)
  • NAMI stuff for P2P (Nov.)
  • Visiting the library and taking out large amounts of books (5) that I keep for 2 months and never read. See Internet Addiction as the reason for that
  • Hanging out with Madeline a few times. πŸ™‚

Annnnnd, I think that’s about it.


**Now, job stuff.

So, I can’t really tell you much about that.

Because largely HIPAA and confidentiality and privacy and such. But also for my own safety and other people’s safety and that kind of thing. Not that I was probably ever super descriptive of any previous jobs I’ve had in the past either though. For now, I don’t have a pseudonym for my job but I’m sure I’ll think of one. I can say that it’s essentially working with troubled youth at a residential (not a locked unit). And I can say how I relate to the work itself.

So, today I had to wake up at 6:45am which if you know how I’ve been missing GPS at program every MWF because it’s at 9:15a and I don’t show up until 10a, IS A BIG FEAT FOR MYSELF TO HAVE GOTTEN UP SO EARLY.

The training was from 8a-3p, although today we got out a little early (about an hour). There’s approximately 10 trainings I have to do for the job. Three have online components and because we got out early from safety training (which reminds me so very much of the previous job stint I had working with mental health in the prison system (0 to 100 REAL FAST; we’re talking Past Raquel not making good decisions in 2017)) today I decided to clock in with the HIPAA training on the computer today (because it can only be done on campus).

Tomorrow is the second day of it and from the same time frame and all the physical stuff involved (very similar :P)

Overall though, I really like it. I HOPE that in PRACTICE I will also fall in love with it. The biggest thing is going to be, well, a few things for me.

First, I don’t know the area very well and there is a slight/small driving aspect to the job. I have to communicate this uncomfortable-ness to my supervisor but we’ll go over that briefly here (I’m just not familiar with the area and we all know how my last job went that was heavy on the driving aspect).

Second, I’m gonna have to get a tough skin. People are going to be swearing and yelling and I have to learn de-escalation stuff and sometimes how to get out of holds and safety concerns, etc. And runaways. Lots of runaways.

This second thing, although I didn’t write so much about it above, is the big thing I’m worried about. I’ve never really had someone be angry at me face to face and have to ask them questions about it and such. Or de-escalate, etc.

That’s gonna be the big test, I think. And unfortunately things will get worse before they get better. And on paper and through communication I really think it’s a great job with a lot of benefits (not in paper because I’m only per diem and that’s only about 2 shifts per month so yeah) that has it’s great times and would be really rewarding–it just also has that really ugly side. That side where kids will test you and yeah. I guess it’s probably my lack of experience coming out. Speaking of….

Third, I have to teach life skills when I barely know life skills myself. Like dishwasher, washing machines, cooking, etc.

Fourth, boundaries, of course!

A lot of what I’m learning at program will probably be utilized in this job, I think. I have more trainings as I mentioned earlier later this month and 3 of which involves shadowing another staff member so that will get me to see what it’s like. I really hope I like it because I’m getting emotionally invested in it already, you know? I’m thinking I’ll start off with 2 shifts a month, then by Dec do up to 4, once per week so I can work on building the rapport and things like that. I’m also thinking ahead that I could alternate in a Tu, Th, Sat, Tu type schedule as well.

But, that’s if I like it.

Of course, I know that it’s okay to not be the right fit for this job but I already have the self-expectation that I have to stick with it. But, I won’t know until I shadow and that happens next Thursday!

Until then, tomorrow is more training (all the physical stuff) and SATURDAY is a festival I’m going with with Madeline and David, hoorah! So I’m really excited about that. πŸ™‚


Lastly on the job front: I will still be doing IOOV’s on my off days and I will be teaching a Peer to Peer course probably in Nov on Mon’s. I’ll have more info and FLYERS about that as information is given to me. πŸ™‚ I’ll essentially be juggling 3 jobs, kinda.

Also, I recently arrived at a health insurance problem that I have to figure out and take care of. Here’s hoping that goes smoothly!!! πŸ˜›

Also, also I am NOT looking forward to winter. BRRRRR!


Lastly, and this is what I’ll finish this post on, let’s get into:

Thumb Thursday #6: Your Destination is Awaiting You

Life Works Itself Out - No One Ways - THUMB - TT6 - 7.16.19

So this is relevant to two things:

  1. The whole job thing for me at the moment (which is partially what inspired this concept/wording here)
  2. Actual driving concepts
  3. I mentioned it in program during women’s group when someone was using a car metaphor. I actually printed it out and they might eventually do something with it, not sure on that though. But yeah.

But the idea is that there’s no true one way about life. Everything that we experience in life can be learning experiences, at its most simple and benign forms. There’s not really much of a right vs wrong way, we feel how we feel, and as long as our actions are in line with our values and those of society (I’m thinking serial killers here, I was always the type of kid to frown upon generalizations (“Follow your dreams” they say, but what if your dream is to become a serial killer? Then, “follow your dreams as long as they’re in accordance to someone else’s rules?”)) than that’s that, you know?

Life is like taking the wrong turn sometimes at an intersection. That’s okay. That’s where you take the wrong turn. You don’t take the wrong turn down the interstate, that would be extremely problematic. Don’t do that.

But we’re all going to make mistakes sometimes, and that’s how we learn. We get more cautious from experience. We learn what not to do or what to do more of. We learn. And learning is a process and it’s not something you’ll get all at once.

Which reflects back to how jobs are for me at the moment. I can’t plan or predict EVERY single unique outcome or interaction. I’ll definitely try to but it’s just not feasible. Some things, pretty much everything else in life doesn’t exactly come with a script or really great actors. It’s not just written word but experiencing one another face to face and in real time. Which I think is something I struggle with especially.

It’s easy, or easier, for me to communicate in text based whereas in person things can get more awry. And that’s probably my lack of human interaction experience and maybe a few of my diagnoses that contribute to such issues, but just as I’m uncovering more through using body language while watching movies, I’m training myself to pick up more of the time the body language of OTHERS, which is huge.

But ultimately, yeah. Life will work itself out. No one has it all figured out, they just are a little more confident and have walked the same path for years that one day you’ll find your way through too. Some people, especially on social media, highlight their best moments but cower in their struggles.

I think it’s time more of us embrace our struggles and through triumph, overcome them and use them to our advantage.

Who said emotions make us weak? Or emotional expression is manipulation?

I dare you to challenge these words, these concepts, because they don’t have to be your reality. That’s a really great Les Brown quote:

“Don’t let someone’s opinion of you become your reality”

You’re not going to be liked by every single person on the planet. It’s not necessarily a reflection on you but on wherever they are at in their life. You’re gonna preach to the choir of fifty people and only about 2 will be in a place in their life to be able to appropriately receive your message and have the courage to stand up and be different. The rest are going to either criticize or be apathetic or indifferent or just get perpetually offended and unable to hear anyone else’s side of things of any given situation.

Again, that’s on them.

Not you.

Communication skills are a two way street. People aren’t mind readers, if you have feelings of being uncomfortable or comfortable, you need to tell that to people directly, because relying on someone else to take responsibility for you is probably crossing territories with co-dependency and definitely enabling in a way that is ultimately harmful for you both short term and long term. Unless you tell someone there’s a problem, they’re not going to know it. Maybe picking up on some body language could help but without knowing what’s going on in your head, they won’t know. You can’t fix a problem if you’re not aware of there being a problem in the first place.

So yeah. That’s my spiel.

I’m a little hungry now, I’ve gone through a few different songs on my iPod and I’m going to go eat dinner, prepare before Grey’s and then go to sleep soon after (maybe read a little or try and work on that analysis I’ve been actively avoiding for 3 months XD)

I hope that you enjoyed this post and got some further insights into all my thoughts and processing stuff that was seriously overdue. Not gonna lie.

But, I’ll see you hopefully on Mon with a new post and hopefully, MAYBE tomorrow with a video. We’ll see. Depends how exhausted I am XD

Welp! Thank you so much for reading!! I really appreciate it!

Leave me some of your thoughts below and I’ll happily respond.

Stay safe.

xxx ❀ ❀ ❀

PS And spread some kindness out into the world today!! ❀ πŸ™‚