the caged bird sings.

written, designed, and edited by Bee Butler

On getting it together... or not.

Bee ButlerComment

I have this passion for music, a show coming up in a little over a month, a setlist eight songs long... and I cannot bring myself to rehearse.

I found a church, one that seems to fit what I believe and one that has reached out to me when I emailed and asked a question... and I still have not gone.

I have a business, one that includes a decent amount of money to be made and I have some clients already lined up and one I'm currently fully working for... and I just don't feel like promoting it anymore.

I cannot get it together.

I keep looking at Facebook, and there is nothing in my newsfeed but anger, Trump, explosion of the electoral college, more anger, personal attacks, hate crimes, Hillary, Bernie, and a lot of inaccurate articles that a simple Google search could disprove, but people would rather bash the shit out of each other than do a moment's research to prove their point.

 

I can't do this. I feel like I'm looking at life from behind glass. Like I'm stuck. Like my meds aren't working... but this has nothing to do with meds. It has everything to do with the future.

 

President-elect Donald Trump said he wouldn't overturn Obamacare, and promised that people like me, who are plagued by the label "has pre-existing conditions", who would be rejected immediately by any insurance company if given the chance, will be covered. Forever. That there would be no gap in our coverage. That we would not lose our safety net, the promise of coverage regardless of our status and health, and that we would be okay.

I need that to be true.

If not, I will be unable to get treatment for the heart condition I was just diagnosed with (vasovagal syncope and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome), depression, PTSD (which was triggered recently and is partially the CAUSE of my VS and POTS), anxiety, and GI issues (which are caused by my anxiety). My circle of diseases. They perpetuate each other and the cycle can't be broken by medication, and is only very slightly lessened by therapy. 

When unmedicated, my heart rate has reached a resting rate of 180 beats per minute. I have been suicidal. I have nearly starved to death and I have purged so much that my potassium levels reached 1.7, which generally tends to trigger a heart attack.

Unmedicated, I will die, and there's a chance it would be by my own hand.

Do you have ANY idea how scary that is?
That I might die, that it would be my own fault, that I would destroy the lives of my family and friends and be remembered as selfish, when in reality, I could not help it?

That I might end up on the streets, like so many other mentally ill people who cannot afford treatment? 

That I would become what I fear most, an unhinged insane person, and that in my insanity, I would take my own life to escape the pain of reliving trauma I can talk about now without losing it, but would most likely destroy myself because of were I not medicated?

 

 

I am terrified. 
I am paralyzed.
I cannot do anything, cannot prep for my show, cannot drag myself to church, cannot build my business, cannot keep it together.

I got into an incredible college, and my first class their starts on Monday. 
I do not have the luxury of failing that class. I have to get an A, or I won't be able to continue at the school. Depression kind of wrecked my grade point average, and this first class is a "test" to make sure I belong.

 

I am so, so scared.
And I know that YOU are scared. I know that you either voted for Trump (because you felt unheard, wanted change, despise the wreckage of bullshit that plagues Washington, lost your job, hated Hillary, etc.) or voted for Hillary (and watched her lose despite assurance from everyone and everything that she had a slam dunk on the election, and now you are in danger as a woman, as a Muslim, as a POC, as a member of the LGBT community, as someone like me) or voted third party (and are angry about being blamed for the election results, were angry that you only had two shitty choices and refused to go with the flow on principle, had to vote for someone you believed in knowing they would not win, and were fucked no matter who won).

 

All of us are angry. Some of us are scared. Some people had their fear alleviated because their candidate won, and they believe he will do for them exactly what he promised, and they are furious with the people who are protesting and refusing to accept the results. Some people are rioting because they are furious with the electoral college, their friends, their neighbors, the uprising from someone they know is unqualified, someone who has threatened them, talked down on them, triggered memories of their trauma (hearing your President talk about grabbing someone by the pussy when you've been raped is FUCKING TRAUMATIZING, and you don't get to discount that by calling it locker room talk. Period. Full fucking stop).

This is where I'm coming from. I understand now, maybe a little, why people voted for Trump. I know why I voted for Hillary. I know why people wrote in Jesus, I know why people voted for Johnson and Stein. I know why so many were outraged that Bernie wasn't on the ballot.

I see all of you. I hear all of you.
I'm asking you to hear me.

 

Stop shitting on your neighbor. Stop calling them an idiot. Stop burning shit and looting. Stop threatening to murder/run over protestors. Stop. STOP.

I don't know what is going to happen in January. I don't know what the next four years hold.
All I know is that if I hold on to this fear and this anger, I will never, ever get anything done. I won't be able to function. I will run myself into the ground.

Today, just for a few minutes, imagine yourself in your "opponent's" shoes. Imagine why they feel the way they feel. Imagine, for a second, how terrifying it must be to lose your job and be told to blame a group of people, and out of your fear and anger, to blame them. Imagine how good it would feel to hear that that group of people would be sent back to where they came from. Imagine fear of terrorism, and buying into the line that one group of people were causing it, and if we made them leave, we'd be safe. Imagine being told that we would make them leave. Imagine how good that would feel. On the other side: Imagine hearing your people blamed for all the corruption in a country you call home. Imagine being told you will be deported for no reason, other than your heritage. Imagine being told that because you worship your god, you are an evil terrorist and should be murdered with bullets dipped in blood, deported back to a country you've never even lived in, be shot in the streets, and to have horrible things done to you and said about you by your neighbors. Imagine how fucking scary that is. Imagine hearing that the worst thing that ever happened to you is just "locker room talk". Imagine someone getting away with that worst thing that ever happened to you and becoming the leader of your country. Imagine having to respect and listen to that person when they are a constant reminder of the worst moment in your life. Imagine everything you stand for being shit on. Imagine how the other side feels.

 

We are a nation divided. I honestly don't know how we can come back together. I do know that a good place to start would be to walk a few steps in the shoes of the other side. I spent last night and this morning trying to do just that, and this post it what I came up with.

 

I love you. No matter who you voted for. No matter why you voted how you did. No matter which side you stand on, and no matter how angry or fearful or both that you are. I love you, and I want to understand you.

I want you to understand me.

Take a moment.
Try.

It's our only hope.
Because there is still hope left.