Melania Trump Shouldn’t Be Bullied

This may not be a popular opinion but it’s mine. I watched Melania’s speech on Facebook and Yes, I see the irony and the potential hypocrisy, but the comments that people left on Facebook were ugly and cruel. Some were even racist.  I don’t know how  I managed to be shocked after the last eight months, but I was. Why were people attacking Melania for Trump’s behaviors? Well, they were, and it made me angry.  So here we are.

I left a comment on one Facebook post that the people complaining about the fact that Melania needed to stop Trump from bullying before she could give a speech about it were in fact and ironically bullying the First Lady with their comments.    I received one reply from a man who said he liked Trump and Melania. I told him  that, respectfully, I did not share his political views but that I did believe Melania should be treated with respect.

Have we really lost all semblance of civility, America? I ask you seriously?  Melania is not in charge of her husband’s political views. She is not in charge of his behavior.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m married to a grown up, and I do not tell him what to do. He doesn’t tell me what to do. Okay, sure we might make suggestions now and then, but that’s what they are, suggestions, requests and believe me, that’s all they are.  If you are in a marriage where you are being controlled, I strongly suggest that you seek help now.

I would also like to point out that Melania is married to a sociopath, a narcissistic personality disorder, and she may very well be afraid of him. I am being serious. She may not be. I could be wrong, but what if I am right?  Has anyone considered that she is just doing the best she can in a terrible situation? One person said she should just get divorced. Well, yes, however; it does not matter that they are rich. Rich people live in abusive marriages all of the time, and children are often used as leverage, which makes leaving difficult to say the least.  I’m not saying that he physically abuses her. I don’t know what their marriage is like. I’m saying that sociopaths are scary to live with and to interact with. I’m saying that narcissistic personality disordered people are scary to live with.  People with NPD find ways to punish family members from  using the silent treatment to withholding money, and many other creative, horrible ways.  They care about themselves only. They care about appearances, how they look, and how they look to the world through the extension of their family members.   They care about how their marriages look. It’s not how things are, it’s how things appear to be to the world.

So if Melania appears nervous speaking at the UN luncheon, maybe she is. Maybe she knows she has to do well because her husband expects it, or maybe it’s simply that like most people in the world, she has a natural fear of public speaking.  Maybe she is giving a speech in English, which is not her first language, and she is nervous and trying to do a good job.  Perhaps she knows she will be critiqued on her speech, delivery, appearance and every other thing she does because she is Melania Trump, First Lady.  Reading the comments on Facebook, without even getting to Twitter, I would say if she had that thought, she was correct.  I read mean comments about her dress. As a woman, I know that everyone has something to say about what you wear, how you wear it, how you look in it, your hair, your make up, your lack of make up, and I will confess I stopped caring about that a long time ago.  However, Melania is the First Lady, and she doesn’t have that option.

I read comments about her manner of speaking.  English is not her first language. Some complained about her accent. Some said she wasn’t smart. My response to that was, “Oh, please. English is not her first language. She speaks several languages.” Melania is intelligent. Most of us don’t speak  more than one language.  Some said she should be deported. I called them racist, straight out and asked them to stop. What is wrong with people? That’s rhetorical, but… seriously? That’s just hateful and ignorant.  How many people would be comfortable giving a speech in such a public venue in a language that wasn’t your first language, if we were intelligent and talented enough to speak more than one language?

Why do people feel so free to be cruel on Facebook and Twitter? It’s not acceptable. What I’m saying here I would say to you in person. I’m direct. That’s who I am.  I might back up a few feet before calling you a racist, but still.

I’m here to remind everyone that Melania is a person with actual feelings. She may not be happy in her marriage to Trump. I can’t honestly understand how anyone could be, but that’s just my opinion.  She may be in the marriage under duress. She may be there willingly. I don’t know.  However, she is a human being and saying racist, cruel things about her on the internet really isn’t okay.

Yes, I’m good with calling Trump or any member of his administration out on their hypocrisy all day long, everyday.  They signed up for that.  However, Melania has no real power.  Maybe a First Lady traditionally does, but I don’t see Melania having any power in this White House. I don’t mean that as an insult in any way to Melania. I mean that more as my opinion of how I see Trump running his White House in a patriarchal and sexist, misogynist way.  I do not approve.  I’m sure many women don’t. Melania may not, but in my opinion, she doesn’t get any say about it.  I don’t see her as being in a marriage of equals. It certainly doesn’t appear that way.

Trump is the President and I don’t see Melania even having the power or influence of a normal First Lady.  I could be wrong. Of course I could, but I obviously don’t think I am.  I see Trump for what I believe he is, a sociopath and a narcissistic personality disorder and they are very much about control.   I imagine he tells her when she needs to give speeches,  and she gives them.  Trump may allow her to choose the topic or may require her to run it by him for approval.   Again, I don’t know. He cares about appearances.  He cares that Melania makes a good impression so that he looks good.

Maybe Melania asked the  speech writer to write about putting an end to bullying and about children.  It may be something that she cares deeply about.  It may be the one time she gets to speak about these things. I don’t know. I’m guessing.  She may be a victim in this scenario, or she may be a willing participant in the dysfunction.   I don’t know, but neither do you.  I think we owe her the courtesy of kindness and compassion until we have more information.

Trump is cruel and harsh.  Please don’t allow him to make America cruel. Please remember that we are a compassionate nation, or at least we can and should be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants. Do they follow Jesus or just really admire his skills as a carpenter? These are the kinds of thoughts I have when I stare down at my kitchen floor after returning from annerresn in the sweltering heat of a Florida day. 

I think some may be believers and others may just think he was a great carpenter and admired his skills . 

Also how do carpenter ants feel about their name? Sure it describes what they do but not who they really are. 

Yes. I may need to eat. Or sleep. Or something. But these are valid questions, especially for the ants. 

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The Many Issues I As A Prochoice Woman Have With Kristen Day of the Democrats For Life Of America Party. And Yes, Mr. Lujan, Women Want a Fealty Oath From You on Reproductive Rights. Let’s Hear It. And, Why Growing Up In Poverty And Abuse Means Women Need ProChoice (It All Fits Together, Trust Me)

 

There is a woman named Kristen Day who identifies herself as the Executive Director of an organization called the Democrats For Life Of America and advocates for anti-choice within the democratic party.   She only has about one thousand followers, but she is vocal and has managed to get articles she has written in The Hill and The Washington Post.  I have had the displeasure of talking to her briefly on Twitter recently before I had any idea who she was.  When possible, I try to have respectful, reasonable conversations with people on Twitter even if I disagree with their perspective. I have had respectful and good conversations  with people I disagreed with when the other person was also respectful and willing to talk.   In cases like this we’ve had good conversations with each other and come away with a better understanding of each other as people. It’s an amazing thing when it happens. However, this did not happen with Kristen Day because she refused to listen or engage in conversation. She espoused her point of view over and over and refused to answer my questions. I told her that as a pro-choice woman I  have,  did, and do happily and joyfully support colleagues, friends, family when they  have had children. I asked her if she would support a woman who chose not to have a child.  I asked her at least twice. She would not answer me. I told her she was evasive.

I am pro-choice. I support all decisions a woman makes regarding having a child, including not having a child.  Kristen Day is not pro-choice. It’s that simple. I and other pro-choice women demand that the Democratic party be one hundred percent pro-choice because women deserve the right to make all choices about their bodies, especially if and when they will have a child.

Kristen Day has somehow become the self-appointed head of the Women Need To Have All The Babies Their Bodies Can Push Out Their Vaginas Party and yes, I have a problem with that. Please allow me to explain.   I have read a little about Kristen Day.

Kristen Day  has three children, not four, not ten, not fifteen. The woman telling every woman not to stop having babies for financial reasons, even if they are poor, and she does not appear to be at all poor, stopped having babies at one point, and it was at three. Now, as a pro-choice woman, I support that. However, if we are to hold Kristen Day to her own often and loudly spoken philosophy for  women , her own life choices, do not reflect that philosophy.     I have to ask why? Why, Kristin Day, why? You see, not so sneaky inconsistencies annoy the heck out of me.  I also have a real problem with blaring hypocrisy, especially loudly and often espoused  blaring hypocrisy.

I don’t actually expect to get an honest or direct answer from Kristen Day so here are some of my suspicions on her reasons for having three children.  I believe like most reasonable and intelligent women, Kristen Day realized that there was only so much energy, nurturing, and physical care  that she had to give her children in a day, so she realized that it was reasonable to stop at three children.  Some women stop at one or two. Some women decide not to have any children. This is a woman’s right, and I respect this. This is what being pro-choice is all about, a philosophy Kristen Day benefits from but does not espouse for other women, again showing blaring hypocrisy. It is however, responsible parenting, and I applaud her for making this decision for her children and also for herself so that they all have a good quality of life.

I believe like most reasonable and intelligent woman, Kristen Day realized that  she had limited financial resources, and she could afford to care for three children.  She knew she could house, feed, clothe, and educate three children but not more than that, so that is where she stop having children.  Again, that is a responsible parenting decision and one I support as a pro-choice woman.

I know that pregnancy and birth takes a toll on a woman’s body.  Giving birth to three children may have been all that Kristen Day chose to put her body through. As a pro-choice woman, I support her choice.   As a reasonable, intelligent woman, I’m sure she realized she needed her body to be strong and healthy to care for the three children she had given birth to so that she could raise and nurture them to adulthood.  Also as an adult, Kristen Day had and has the right to make the choices that allow her to have good physical health.  As a pro-choice woman, I also support her right to make this choice.

I believe Kristen Day realized that as a reasonable, intelligent woman that she would be most fulfilled if in addition to loving and nurturing her children, she also had a career that she loved and found fulfilling, so she stopped having children when she reached three children. Women and men need to keep their brains active. We as humans are built to interact socially with others and to learn and to grow.   Three children was what Kristen Day  felt she could raise well and had the resources to handle and still be able to  manage her time and work and feel like a productive member of society. As a pro-choice woman I support that.   (Stay at home mothers, please do not take this as criticism. I am a disabled woman who stays at home. I am not judging anyone. Okay I’m judging the hell out of Kristen Day due to her hypocrisy, but well, let’s just go with that. I am using Kristen Day’s life as an example right now. So please, just go with me on this.)

While it BAFFLES me that K. Day chose a career telling other women to have more children than they could possibly handle within their financial, emotional, intellectual, or physical resources, while she herself chose to only have the three she felt she could responsibly handle,  I still respect her decision, because I am pro-choice.   I’m also all for doing what’s best for children. HOWEVER,  I will point out her hypocrisy often and loudly, or at least on my blog and probably on Twitter.

I have seen interviews with Kirsten Day, and she appears well dressed, put together, attractive, and that she is doing well financially.  Having grown up in poverty, I also know that if Kristen Day were poor, she wouldn’t have time to tell other women to have as many babies as their bodies could possibly produce. No, she would be busy just surviving.

I do NOT believe that Kristen  Day or anyone  else for that matter  has the right to ask women living in poverty  or any woman whatever her circumstances are to have more children than she can afford. I do not believe that anyone has that right.

Woman, whatever their financial status, must make their own decisions about having children and everything that happens with and to their bodies.  Full stop.

You see, I have a great deal of love and respect for children and the importance of parenting. I grew up in a family where I was abused horribly by two sociopath who I called Mom and Dad.  I decided when I was seven years old, ironically during a beating from my father that my mother was calmly standing by and watching,  that I wouldn’t be anything like either of my parents.  I then did everything I could in my life to reach that goal.  I am not perfect, and never claimed to be, but I can proudly say that I am not like my parents.   I know from personal experience that not everyone is meant to be a parent, and it shouldn’t be forced.

I also worked in the social services field for twenty plus years, many of those with abused children in residential treatment.  I have heard and read that children are resilient. No, they aren’t. Children survive if they can. Those who do are damaged by the abuse they endure at the hands of their abusive parents.  It stays with them in ways that often lasts a lifetime. It creeps up on them in their sleep, in their nightmares, when it is least expected, in their behaviors throughout a lifetime, and causes them pain forever, even if they do everything they possibly can to make it better.  Sometimes it gets better, sometimes it doesn’t, but make no mistake, it never goes away completely.

Child abuse is horrific, and the cycle is passed from one generation to the next unless something is done to end the cycle, something like therapy and education.  Therapy is hard work, it is painful, but well worth the effort.  It can be expensive. It must be done with a licensed, trained, and skilled therapist.  Otherwise the emotional, sexual, physical, and verbal abuse gets passed on from one generation to another.  The cycle just keeps repeating itself.

I have been a foster parent.  It was an honor and emotionally and physically exhausting. I fell in love with children. I had my heart-broken. I highly recommend it if you have the heart for it, are patient, and are willing to educate yourself, and become well-trained.  I highly recommend it if you will fight for the absolute best for a child and understand that you may not get it, but that you will keep trying.  I have seen the heartbreak of the trauma that being placed in foster care, even when necessary, causes a child. I have seen the trauma of a child who feels unsafe, despite finally actually being in a safe place.  Yes, sometimes children  have to be removed from their homes  for their own safety because it’s the only answer, but it’s still traumatic for the child because they have been removed from everything they knew, their parents, their home, their family, their friends.  I have fallen asleep while resting  on the floor in the doorway of a child’s bedroom night after night for months at a time at the end of exhausting days so that a little girl could feel safe. There are no good or easy answers when it comes to child abuse once it has already happened. The best you can hope for is prevention.   Society is pretty far from reaching that point, unfortunately, so if a woman says she is not ready to be a parent, we have an obligation to listen to her and respect her choice.

The next best thing is healing and a lot of love, patience, and understanding for and from everyone.  You hope that the foster parents have had good training so they know how to help the child feel safe.   You hope the foster parents will be patient and kind no matter how tired they are, no matter now many times that child says no to a request, even a simple one like taking a bath, getting ready for and going to bed, or getting dressed for school,  getting in the car to ride to school, or eating just a little food at dinner, even food the child likes.  You hope the foster parents understand that the child is in emotional pain and doesn’t have the words to tell you. You hope the social worker is working with the biological parent and helping them learn how to parent because they were most likely abused and don’t know how to parent in a way that isn’t abusive, and they love their child, and the court will probably return the child to them.  You hope as a foster parent, that you can let the child know that you like them, respect them, care about them, even love them, and you also like their parents, because they love their parents, and they want to know it’s okay with you, the people they depend on to keep them safe each day that they love their parents. It’s all complicated but not as much so if you understand it and take the time to look at it from the child’s point of view.  You also want the biological parent to know that you are not judging them so you treat them with respect because you know they love their child.  They are human beings and they love their child.  They don’t know you. They know nothing about who their child is living with or where they are living. They do not know if or when they child will be returned to them.   A well-trained foster parent, an empathetic person tries to imagine how they would feel in that position and tries to be kind and respectful.  A well-trained foster parent knows the child will  most likely one day leave their home and tries to make the transition home to their biological parent as smooth as possible for the foster child because that is what is best for the child.

I know that being a parent is an incredible responsibility and one that should be entered into when people are financially and emotionally ready.  Granted, often pregnancies come as a surprise and often as happy ones.  However,  I grew up in poverty and with abuse. I decided as a young woman that I would not get pregnant because I didn’t want any child of mine to go through the difficult childhood that I had.  I had the right to make that decision. Every woman has that right. I used birth control religiously, but if it had failed, I might have considered an abortion. I knew in my twenties that I was not financially or emotionally prepared to be a parent.  I knew I  needed time to heal from my abuse that even then I struggled to understand.  I knew I needed time to work and get financially stable.  I knew that, and I had the right to make those choices.

I grew up in poverty and had to work hard to put myself through college. I worked and I took out student loans. I graduated $25,000 in debt four years later. I got married after college and my husband also was in debt as he had done the same thing, taken out student loans and worked to put himself through college.  People who grow up in poverty start out behind.  We can’t just pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. There are no bootstraps.

My  husband and I put ourselves through college in the 1980’s.  I paid  one hundred dollars rent a month, half of the cost of renting the bottom floor of a house, in a college town. I ate twenty-five cent generic macaroni  and cheese most of time for dinner and for a rare indulgence I added tuna fish. I doubt poor college students could afford to put themselves through school like I did then.

My husband and I started out our lives in debt. We were so far behind in our financial lives when we graduated from college.  That is simply a fact. Although we had tried to work hard and do everything right,  we had nothing but $50,000. in debt and two degrees. My husband had joined the Marine Corps and we were off to Virginia for his continued training and some serious culture shock, but that is another story.

Yes, women choose not to have children for financial reasons. There is nothing wrong with that. Women make difficult,  painful, ugly choices in their lives everyday.  People know nothing about them, but they happen, and the hard reality is that people living in poverty make even more of those choices.   Not having a child because a woman or a family living in poverty can’t afford to is just one of those choices.

I do not want to hear Kirsten Day or the anti-choice movement members say that there are programs that will help families pay for food, housing, clothing and education for children born into poor families.  I grew up in a home, in poverty, on those programs, and it was a childhood filled with anxiety, fear, and shame.  I know that being poor is not a crime or anything to be ashamed of.   I do not judge families living in poverty. I know that they are good people . I know having or not having money doesn’t make you a good or a bad person.  In fact, I don’t place value on material things.  I don’t crave material things. I judge people for who they are and how they treat others.

I value life. I value the life of poor people, of rich people, of middle class people. I value the life of children. I value the life of women, and I respect them enough to say, women must make their own decisions about their bodies. They must decide when and if to have a child. Full stop.

I know from experience that it’s not easy to live in poverty. It’s hard, it’s sad, it’s boring, and it can be a truly unpleasant way of  living your life day after day.   I decided when I was a young woman that I didn’t want to get pregnant at least partly because  I had experienced  poverty.  I know I said that before, but I believe it bears repeating.  I also know that my choices were colored by the abuse that I endured.  However poverty was a large part of my existence as a child and a teenager and a valid part of my choice.  I am not saying that people are required to make the same choices that I did.  I am saying, it was a valid choice for me.  I am saying that women have a right to make the choice not to become a parent whatever their reasons.

Yes, living in poverty was hard, and yes, my childhood felt even more hopeless because I was abused.  I know that, but people who haven’t been poor need to understand that poverty shouldn’t be romanticized.  Poverty is not something you can make an uplifting movie about,watch it for two hours, and then forget. People LIVE poverty. They live it every second and every hour of every day of their lives.  It’s real, it’s hard, it’s ugly, and it never ends.  Children and adults do without things because there is no money for it.  They do without clothing and shoes and medicine.  When I was in the fifth grade I remember wearing pants that I had outgrown, that were far to short for my legs because I knew that my parents didn’t have the money to buy new ones. Kids at school teased me, and it hurt my feelings. but I tried not to show it.  I didn’t say anything to my parents.  I also knew I’d probably wear those pants again.  I didn’t ask for things because I knew we were poor.  I didn’t join Girl Scouts. I didn’t ask.  It never occurred to me. We rarely went out to dinner, there was an inexpensive  hot dog place that my father liked and we went there a few times during my childhood.

I remember one time that we went to a nice place and  it was awful. My mother talked about her fear that we couldn’t afford it  in a  low, tight, frightened voice, and  that we would spend all of our money and have none left.  My child’s stomach was in a knot the entire time, and I felt like I couldn’t eat, but I forced myself because I felt my father watching me.  My father simmered quietly in his rage, and I was terrified sitting quietly at the table in the restaurant. I wanted to cry, but I was afraid to. The drive home was silent and horrible. Being a child in that family was terrifying.

We stayed at home. My sister and I went to school. We existed because we were poor, and that’s want poor people do.  They live each day exactly like the day before. On Sundays we went to Church and then to visit our Grandmother. For me, visiting my grandmother in the country was a treat.  She lived an hour’s drive away and sometimes in the summer we went swimming in the lake near her home.  I at least had that.

It’s boring to be poor because you have no money to do anything. There are no vacations. There is nowhere to go and nothing to do. Reading saved me. Books saved me from poverty and abuse. They were my escape.  They were what I had. They helped me to educate myself and to go to college. They helped me to momentarily escape my reality of abuse and poverty.  I loved and still love books.

I had a few good things in my life, books, loving friends, a few loving, kind adults who were neighbors, my grandmother, and an aunt and uncle I rarely saw were among them.

When I was seven my parents were receiving food stamps.  My parents were embarrassed. They were hard workers, the working poor.  We had a garden and my mother cooked from scratch. The meals were delicious, and we had plenty to eat, but I was always anxious that we would never have enough because my mother talked about it often and loudly. Her fear became my fear, and it never left me.  I received free lunches as clearly as I remember from the time I was in seventh grade through the twelfth  grade. The ticket I quietly left home room each Monday morning to receive didn’t look any different from one someone could buy, but I was sure everyone knew my shame.  No one ever said anything to me, but I lived with that shame and the fear of someone, anyone finding out and saying something, anything to embarrass me.  I felt less than. I knew I was less than.   Now as an adult, I realize I didn’t need to feel that way. It wasn’t my fault that my parents were poor, and there is no shame in being poor. However, as a child, I didn’t know that, and I certainly didn’t feel that.

I know that even being poor, I was luckier than most. My father had a decent job before he got sick, before he lost his job, so he and my mother had bought a modest but decent house in a small town years earlier. We lived in a nice place. It was sometimes hard being the poor kid among my friends and trying not to let them know how poor I was. They weren’t rich, but they weren’t living in poverty. Their families were doing okay. My family was pretending to do okay. My family was all about appearances. My parents were pretending to be good parents and nice people. They were  pretending they weren’t poor. I was pretended I wasn’t being abused.  It was required of me. My parents made that clear.  My younger sister was adopted so she didn’t have to pretend anything. My parents didn’t seem to own anything about her. They just took credit for how great they were for adopting her, and then in the privacy of our home, they abused her too. I hated my parents for hurting my little sister.  I hated myself at seven years of age for not being brave enough to face my father’s violence in order to protect my four-year old sister.   I hated my parents for eventually making me hate my little sister, for turning us against each other, and for hurting me and always making me afraid. I  also loved them, and I feared them. I was a very confused child, and all I wanted to do was grow up and escape them.

My father got a different job making far less money. He also worked at many part-time jobs. My mother worked part-time at her job while my sister and I were younger than got a full-time job. She also helped him. My younger sister and I went with him because they couldn’t afford child care. I didn’t know that then, but they took us everywhere they went. Often we helped with the work. We helped if we could, other times we just stayed out-of-the-way.  A job I loved was when my parents cleaned the local public library at night after it had closed. My sister and I were kids and would sit in the children’s section and be sure not to disturb anything, while I read whatever I could.  The time in that empty library felt magical.

If people want to help those in poverty, they must give them a way out of poverty, not just a means to survive it.  And telling women to keep popping out babies like Kristen Day  does because she in her infinite and self-appointed wisdom finds life to be so precious, is not a valid argument to me.  I don’t know if she is doing anything or even enough to make the life of impoverished children in America more than a mere existence devoid of  anything than more of the same.  Even if she is, when will she get bored and stop?

Children, teenagers, adults, everyone needs joy in their lives. They need purpose.  Just existing isn’t enough.  So don’t ask women to keep producing babies so that you the anti-choice people can feel good about yourselves.  People need joy, a purpose, and meaning.  Parents want to have children they can love, nurture, feed, and care for them, and watch them flourish and grow, not just produce and watch them exist.

A fun fact, Republicans are doing everything they can to defund programs for the poor or low-income, so  people won’t be able to even exist. They will starve. They will lose their healthcare and die if Republicans have their way.

Women who do not have control over their bodies, over the decision of when and if to have children are not free.   Women will not sacrifice this right. The Democratic party should not ask us to.

Kristen Day said, quoting Mr. Lujan,  in  her article in The Washington Post, entitled, “Democrats don’t need to be afraid of antiabortion liberals, …”If you demand fealty on every issue, then it is challenge. ”

Well, Mr. Lujan, we pro-choice women do not demand fealty on every issue. We do demand fealty,  on this one incredibly important issue for woman, reproductive rights including that the democratic party support only pro-choice candidates, including financially. You see, this one issues affects every aspect of our lives. It effects our right to choose when, or if we become mothers. If affects our physical health and well-being. It affects our ability to get an education and to work and when and where we work. It affects our finances and the finances of our family and any children we may have. It affects the quality of life of and for any child we may have, if they are happy, joyful, fulfilled, healthy, and productive just to name a few things.  Our reproductive choices and independence affects if  any child we have  has a chance  for education, and to learn and to be independent rather than just exist. Our reproductive issues effect every aspect of our lives, so yes, we want a fealty oath on that ONE ISSUE, democratic party and Mr. Lujan.

Women as half of the democratic party do not think that’s too much to ask. We don’t think it’s too much to ask to have the right to make any and all decisions about what will or won’t happen with and to our bodies. Men have those rights and women demand those rights.  Women don’t see those rights as being negotiable in order to win an election or for any reason, really.  So Mr. Lujan and the Democratic Party, the Women of America would be just thrilled if you could get on board with that.  How about that fealty oath on this one incredibly important issue for women?  We are waiting to hear from you and soon.  I and the Pro-Choice women of the Democratic party request, no demand a response from you , Mr. Lujan, Mr. Perez, Democratic Party. I think you owe us at least that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Trump Got Lost On His Way To His Limo. Alzheimer’s? I’ve Seen That Same Confused Look On My Father’s Face.

It’s time for Congress, yes even the Republicans, to admit that there is something very wrong with Trump.  It’s time for them to ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT to PROTECT AMERICA and the WORLD.

It’s not normal to get lost on your way down the steps of your plane to the large black limo at the foot of them and wander off. Being tired and working hard does not explain missing the limo at the foot of the stairs. I have seen the same confused look on my father’s face that I saw on the POTUS’s face as he walked away from the large black limo that was waiting for him and looked around. He seemed confused as to where he was and what he was doing, possibly even who he was, then a man waved him back.  He seemed to realize what was happening then , or maybe he did. At the very least, he seemed to realize where he needed to go.

My father has Advanced Alzheimer’s Disease.  No, that does not make me an expert, however;  I have watched Trump repeatedly act confused in the same way I observed my father acting confused as the disease destroyed his brain.  I am genuinely concerned that Donald Trump, the President of the United States, also has this debilitating disease.  He may have something similar, but obviously, something is very wrong with his mental capacity and functioning.   My concern with my father’s functioning was more for his own safety and well-being. My concern with  Trump’s functioning is mostly for the safety of America and the World. He does have the nuclear codes. Think about that for a terrifying moment, a man who appears to have Alzheimer’s has the nuclear codes.

Congress, please think about that for more than a moment. Trump appears to have Alzheimer’s or another degenerative cognitive disorder AND he has the nuclear codes.

I remember the first time I realized my admittedly flawed father was going downhill.  I had flown home to visit him and my step-mother.  I had been there a day and he was walking down the hallway of his home with my step-mother, helping her into the restroom. He looked down the hallway at me as I walked in the door of their home and he said in a surprised and happy tone, “Jamie, when did you get home?”  He was serious.

I said, “I got here yesterday.”  I was concerned to say the least.

He laughed and waved his hand at me. He didn’t believe me, obviously. And he went about his task of helping his wife.

I had plans to go out with friends from high school for dinner that night and I hoped he wouldn’t go to bed and lock me out because he had forgotten I was visiting. I decided to ask my friends to wait when they dropped me off in case I needed to ask to sleep at one of their homes that night.

When I flew back many months later, my father was much worse. His wife was in the hospital having fallen and broken her hip while in the nursing home.   He’d had outpatient surgery and my sister had promised to stay with him overnight but being developmentally delayed, although very high functioning,  and also having grown up in a dysfunctional family, she didn’t communicate to me that my father was sundowning.  Maybe she hadn’t seen it before that night as she didn’t live with him, and maybe she didn’t understand it herself. She never told me, but I suspect that she got scared and left.

I found out later that she left him alone and he wandered off, knocked on an elderly neighbor’s door, grabbed her by the arm, told her he was sleeping there that night, and the woman pushed him away, slammed the door, and called the police. I’m grateful that she did, because by the time they got there, he had nearly walked to a busy road a long distance from his home, the night after having outpatient surgery.  They took him back to the hospital, cleaned him up, took care of him medically, and kept him safe.  He stayed there until I arranged to take an emergency leave from my job and fly to the state and the hospital social worker and I found a safe nursing home placement for him together.

During that visit, I usually visited my father during the day, arriving in the morning and taking him a black cup of coffee from the coffee shop downstairs because he liked that. He would be friendly and talkative. He was more like his old self although he had some limitations on his memory and he sometimes thought my mother was still alive, at other times he thought his second wife who had been on the same floor as him, was still alive. She had died shortly before I flew up to see him. Ironically, I attended her funeral the week I was there with him. He didn’t, as he thought she was still alive.

I saw him experience sundowners one time, the day of his second wife’s funeral. I went to her funeral that morning and then friends came to my father’s home afterwards and helped me pack up his belongings.   Afterwards, I went to visit my father, for the first and last time in the evening.

He looked right at me, a brunette with brown eyes and saw my blonde, blue eyed sister. He called me by her name.  He reached into a cloth bag he had and told me that I needed to take her pills. He walked towards me and said, “Charlie, take your pills.” He held his empty hand out after reaching into the bag.

And I, a professional who had worked successfully with mentally ill patients, many who hallucinated,  said, “I’m not Charlie.”   I said it because he was my father.  I was in shock and pain, and fighting not to cry.  I’d always had compassion for my clients, but this was painful on a personal level.  He was my father.

He got angry then, at Charlie, my sister.   He walked away, grumbling. Then within moments he said he was tangled in fishing wire as his IV became wrapped around him, and he tried to fix it.  He was agitated, and I knew from my childhood how violent he could be. I went and asked a nurse if she would help him.  She was kind, and came into the room and helped him.

A few moments later he walked out of the room. I called him and asked him to come back. He ignored me. I went after him, called him, “Dad”, and softly touched his arm, trying to guide him gently back to the room. He looked at me with hate and anger in his eyes. I’d seen that look many times throughout my childhood and teen years and it had often been followed by violence.  I dropped my hand from his arm.  My father was elderly but not small.  I walked to the nurse’s station and again asked for help.  The nurse went and walked my father back to his room. He went with her with no problem.

The nurse told me that the man who sits with my father would be there soon. They had someone to sit with him in the evenings due to the sundowners. An aide sat in the room with him all night long.

I told her that I was going to say goodbye to my father and get going. She said okay.  My father’s room was right across from the nurse’s station so they could keep an eye on him during the day.

I said good-bye to my father, told him I’d be back the next day.  I didn’t know if he understood.

I made it to the elevator before I started sobbing, and then I couldn’t stop for a very long time.  Doctors, nurses, other visitors got on and off the elevator. No one said anything or disturbed me in any way. I think they were used to seeing people in tears in the elevator and in the hospital.  I was thankful for their silence and  their respect.

Eventually my father didn’t know me at all. It didn’t matter what time of day it was.  The disease progresses. It is cruel for the person suffering and the family members who must watch.

For Donald Trump, it is dangerous for him, for America. and the World.  I do not know how his disease will or how quickly it will progress.  However, stress makes it progress more quickly. Being POTUS, all of the responsibility, the decisions, the criticism, has to be incredibly  stressful.

I also know that Congress, yes, including all Republicans,  must take responsibility  for keeping America and the World safe.   You can’t ignore this video. You can’t ignore the others that show Trump’s confusion. You can’t ignore that this is a serious health issue and that you, all of you will be held responsible if you take no action and something horrible happens to anyone, let alone America or another country because you took no action.

 

 

 

 

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Dear Mr. Trump, The Loyalty Oath Cabinet Meeting Today Was Disgusting. Stop Being An Abusive, Toxic Boss. GOP/Congress You Can Step Up Anytime Now.

The Cabinet Meeting I watched on television today made me nauseous at least in part  because I grew up in a home with a father with a narcissistic personality disorder very similar to Trump.  It felt so familiar.  I have been there before, forced to say in public how wonderful my monster of a  father was, how much I loved the man who smiled and hugged me in public and  physically abused me in private.  The Cabinet Meeting was  a show for America, for the world, and it was revolting.

Trump is a man, empty and fragile on the inside, spray tanned and yellow-haired on the outside, needing the praise of the men at that table to prop him up as he panics watching strong moral men like James Comey speaking the truth about him in front of Congress.

How has America fallen so far? How did we fall from the place where we were respected around the world? Where we were led by a mature, intelligent adult, yes, Obama,  who listened to the opinions of educated, intelligent mean and women,  to Trump, an emotional  toddler who must be praised on camera by men who fear for their jobs?  I do not respect these men, but I also have compassion for them as they are literally abused on camera for the delight of this narcissist as he feeds his ego. This is not a man who is or who is even capable of doing what is best for the country. This is not a man who knows what he is doing in the position of POTUS, in my opinion. Trump is a man who is play acting at being president, who is showing the world that he can make these men praise him on camera for his own delight and to show that he has power. Trump is a pathetic, weak, childish, man, who must be impeached or resign for the good of the country, and the Republican Party shows how complicit and weak they are the longer they allow this ugly stupid reality show of a presidency to continue.

I am being blunt, perhaps brutal, but someone has to say these things. The cabinet meeting today gave me a flashback to working at a social service agency as a case manager, of being emotionally and verbally abused under a narcissistic personality disorder, who decided to add to the abuse and send me as a representative of our department to a meeting with the CEO on a monthly basis. He then told me what I was to say at each meeting the day of the meeting.  At one meeting, we had recently lost two members of our department to unexpected deaths. These were people I had known and cared about for over four years.  One man had shared my office. The other  woman, I had been friendly with and had helped to train me when I came to the job. They were both younger to middle-aged  and died unexpectedly.  I had cared for them and their deaths had hit everyone in our department in a hard and emotional way.

I had been told to say something to the effect that everyone in the department was doing well. That was not the truth. We were not doing well. I certainly was not doing well. I was not good at lying. I never had been and the emotional abuse and verbal abuse I had been going through with the narcissist was not helping. I wish I had just said, Fuck it and told the real truth right here and then. I did not. I needed my job. I needed my paycheck, so I understand the men at tha table at the Cabinet Meeting today all to well.

I did however say that two people had died and that things were difficult because that was the truth.  Those may not have been my exact words, it was years ago, but that was the essence of my message. That was the update that I gave when it was time for me to talk about my department. I talked softly and I didn’t pretend to be cheerful, because I wasn’t. I was sad. We were all sad. . Two people that we had known for years, had cared about, and had loved had died. We were a small department,  and we were feeling the loss.  We were allowed to be human. I would not pretend that I wasn’t.

Then I sat there quietly in the silence that had fallen on the room and waited to see what the CEO would say.  He waited a moment. Then he responded in a respectful and kind way.  He moved on.

I never heard any feedback from my supervisor, the abusive narcissist regarding my update. I’m sure he heard what I said.  He continued to be abusive to me. I continued to argue with him. I was  assertive. I stood  up to him, and fought for my clients. When I was too angry to talk to him politely, I walked away from him.  It didn’t matter. He was my boss and my job was a toxic horror show everyday for me.  I wanted to do my job. I wanted to help my clients.  That is all I wanted, and I needed to pay my bills.

So the members of Trump’s Cabinet may just want to do their jobs.  I don’t know what they want,  and I’m not fan of Republicans, but I bet they would prefer not to be embarrassed on television having to tell him how wonderful he is.  That’s how it appears to me. It appears that Trump is abusing his power to make grown men praise him on television in a Cabinet Meeting. It’s degrading and humiliating. It’s wrong, and it should never happen. Trump really should apologize for that  Loyalty Oath of a Cabinet Meeting he required these men to participate in today. He should to it on television like he required them to do.  I’m pretty sure he won’t because I have never seen him take responsibility for any of his actions, but what he did was wrong. It was abusive and wrong.  No POTUS should treat his Cabinet Members that way or anyone that way.  It was disgusting and embarrassing to watch and it never should have happened. It never should happen again.

Mr. Trump, you are an adult. You need to do your job. Period.  You need to do your job without having the members of your cabinet praise you on television. It’s embarrassing for America. You should be embarrassed to do it. Most adults would. It’s not presidential. Your staff won’t tell you that, so I will. It’s just not the way you want the world or America to see you.  Please stop this nonsense. The presidency is not a reality show.  This is real life and you are dangerous to America and the world. The best thing you could do is resign. I personally don’t like or respect you, but I am telling you the truth when no one else will. The best thing you could do for yourself and America, the world, is to resign. You are in over your head. You don’t even want to do this job. You want to golf. It’s so obvious.

So, please, Mr. Trump, please resign. Do us all a favor. Do yourself a favor. Resign now. Today.

 

 

 

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In N. Korea the People are Starving While their Leader Grows Fat, but THIS is America. No To Trump’s Cruel Budget

Trump’s budget plan is evil. It attacks the poor in a direct and evil way. It cuts funding to programs that poor people and low-income people need to survive. Trump hates the poor. I do not understand it, but I don’t need to.  It is clear from his behaviors that he does.  He cares only about himself and the rich. The budget would take money from the poor and give it to the rich.

In N. Korea the regular people are starving while their leader grows fat, but this is America.  I watched a documentary about the regular people of N. Korea, and they were starving. This is what this budget calls to mind.  Everyone needs to say no to Trump’s evil and cruel budget.

His budget calls for cuts to Free Lunches for Children,  Food Stamps, Medicaid Insurance, and SSDI.  Only a man who has no compassion would want to cut funding for programs that cut funding for these programs.

The Free Lunch program explains itself. I grew up as a child in a poor family, and I received free lunches in school. It was embarrassing to me, but I was a child and what did I know?  It wasn’t my fault my parents were poor, and honesty, I needed to eat.  I am grateful for the food that was provided for me. I can’t imagine any DECENT person would want any child to go hungry. I certainly wouldn’t.

Food Stamps assist individual or families with children to buy groceries. It usually supplements what they are able to buy for themselves. My parents received food stamps for a while. I was a child. but I could tell that my mother was embarrassed by this. We were poor and my parents were determined to feed me and my sister, so my mother did what she had to do. They grew vegetables in my garden.  They did what they could do. My father worked full-time. My mother worked in her beauty shop and also cared for me and my sister, and later on she worked full-time. They also worked evenings and weekends at odd jobs and part-time jobs.  The working poor often get food stamps. My parents were an example  of that.

The dedicated enlisted men and women in the military make so little that when they have families they often need food stamps.  They should not be denied this benefit or have the benefit reduced. No one should.

Medicaid insurance assists those who are poor or with low-income to get needed medial care.  People will get sick and even die without this medical care and this insurance. This is not something that should happen in the United States of America.

SSDI is Social Security Disability Insurance.   This is income that people who have worked can apply for if they become disabled. It is not easy to apply for and people are not easy approved to receive it. I am so sick of people thinking that there is a high percentage of people falsely getting SSDI. It’s simply not true. The process to apply is thorough and is meant to determine if people qualify for SSDI. The process usually takes a minimum of two years.   Applicants are required to submit information regarding all doctors and medical appointments and they then submit medical records.  This  includes all medications that the person is taking.

People on SSDI get a small portion of what they paid into the fund over the years. They are not getting wealthy on SSDI. They are survivinng.

I worked as a mental health case manager for six years.  One of the things I did was help people to apply for SSI, Social Security Income or SSDI if they had worked at any time before becoming mentally ill, as this does happen.  The process usually takes a minimum of TWO YEARS from the  time you fill out your FIRST very long APPLICATION, to the time you are either approved or denied. TWO YEARS is a very long time when you are mentally or physically disabled and cannot work, honestly cannot work and have no income.  The people who I case managed were lucky because we had a residential program where they could live free and food was provided. I don’t know what people who didn’t have that or family support did. They probably ended up homeless. It’s heartbreaking to think of what people had to go through.

The entire process is an application either on-line or in person which includes completing the long application  and a meeting with an agent at the Social Security Administration to review and turn in the application. Then you wait to hear from the SSA. Usually the application is automatically denied. You receive a letter in the mail with his denial. Then you can fill out another form to appeal the denial and you must do it by a certain date or you start the entire process all over.

After that the process involves hearings, and I at times attended hearings as a witness as a case manager to provide information regarding the functioning level of my clients.  Usually it was necessary for a client to find legal representation, someone who specialized in SSDI as it is a complicated process involving a great deal of paperwork and documentation. The representative did not charge for the representation, as the client had no income,  but legally could only take a small percentage of the client’s settlement and only if it was approved at the end of the entire process. This was not guaranteed.

Some clients needed to have a hearing in front of a Judge and the representative could meet with the Judge with them. Then they waited again to hear the outcome of the hearing. The outcome could be approval or denial.

Every three years people have to be recertified to prove that they still qualify for the SSDI benefits.

This is an overview of the process, and not having worked in the field for many years, I may have missed a few details, but this is the basic process. It is a long, complicated process.  My point is that is it not easy to get SSDI, and when you need it, it is a really difficult process to go through. Don’t assume that people are faking to get on disability.

And TRUMP and GOP, please don’t take SSDI form people who truly need it. That makes you a monster. People worked and paid into this program. It is THEIR money and they need it to survive, to pay their rents, to buy food, to LIVE.

Please keep in mind, most people don’t want to be on SSI or SSDI. Most people would prefer to work and be independent. People get sick. They don’t want to get sick. It’s something that happens to them.  Compassion not suspicion is what people need.  What happened to America? What happened to people?

I worked from the time I was eighteen. I worked and put myself through college. I took out student loans, another program Trump’s budget wants to cut. I guess he wants people to be uneducated too.  Well, the uneducated are less likely to protest an unjust government or to advance financially.

I worked to escape my abusive parents.  I was fiercely independent. I worked as a waitress. I worked as a cashier.  I worked in residential treatment with abused kids.  I worked in a homeless shelter with homeless adults.  I worked as a case manager with disabled adults.  I worked as a case manager with mentally ill adults.

I never thought I would get sick and yet when I was forty-seven, suddenly  my body failed me.  I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t do anything. I didn’t know what was wrong with me and for a while I thought I might be dying.  I went to my doctor and asked her to test me for everything  from diabetes to cancer because I had no idea why my body wouldn’t work anymore.  When I went back for the results, I braced myself for her answer, determined to be brave if she told me I was dying and having no idea how to do that.  She walked in the door and told me that the good news was that I wasn’t dying. The bad news was that I would never be healthy again.

It took me a long time to process and try to accept that information. I was grateful, ELATED, that I was not dying, so for that day and many after I was happy, but soon that turned to sadness as I realized that I might sit on my sofa for the rest of my life. I was only forty-seven.   I HATE not working.  I HATE being sick. I can tell you that the people I have talked to that share my fate feel the same way. I never could have imagined this would be my life. I had such hopes and dreams.  I worked so hard.

You never know what life will bring you.  Please do not judge someone who is sick, disabled, poor, or different from you in any way.  You do not know the life they have lived.   I cried when I had to apply for SSDI because I could no longer work. I wanted to work.  I still do. Most people do.

I try to keep a positive attitude as much as I can. I try to  contribute what I can.  I try to accept that this is what my life is now.

But I will not accept that Trump and the GOP want to starve poor people to death. I will not accept that Trump wants to harm poor people just because he thinks he can. I will not accept that Trump thinks he can do this in America.  I will not accept that Trump wants to punish people simply for being born poor, for being poor, or for getting sick as an adult.

I do not respect Trump as a person.  I have made that clear in many of my blogs. This budget proposal is pure evil. He wants to take money from the poor and give it to the rich.  It is unnecessary evil.  It is evil for the sake of  being evil.  I am beyond disgusted.  It cannot happen. Not in America.

Please consider sharing this. And even more importantly, please CONSIDER CALLING  YOUR REPRESENTATIVES in Congress and the Senate and ask them not to pass Trump’s Budget, ESPECIALLY if they are a Republican. And don’t hesitate to tell them that you VOTE and will NOT VOTE FOR THEM if they VOTE YES on TRUMP’s BUDGET.

In N. Korea, the regular people are starving while their leader grows fat. This is America. Say no to Trump’s evil and cruel budget.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Trump Is Either Guilty of Treason or Doing The World’s BEST Impression Of A Guilty POTUS. GOP Grow A Pair NOW and put America before your party. Demand an Independent Investigation.

Trump, the POTUS, fired Comey last night.  Comey was the man in charge of the FBI, the man investigating if Trump was guilty of treason with Russia. That makes Trump look guilty. Trump fired him the day after Sally Yates testified in front of Congress and said that Flynn appeared to be compromised with Russia. She implied that Pence was or may be guilty also. That made me think Trump might be guilty. The NEXT DAY, Trump fired Comey, the man investigating if he had any ties to Russia. THAT MAKES TRUMP LOOK GUILTY.  I’m spelling it out clearly for the Republicans who seem to have difficulty putting America before their party. It’s time to grow a backbone and do just that.  I don’t know exactly what your hesitation is, and I don’t care. This is the moment, right here, when you need to do the right thing. Vote for an independent investigation of Trump. It must be done now. Stop being cowards or whatever it is that you are doing.

Trump is either guilt of treason, or he is doing the world’s best imitation of a guilty man. Even a Republican that is determined to be loyal to his  party MUST see this. You have to put America before party. You simply have to.  So get your heads out of the sand and do it.  Seriously, I don’t get your hesitation, unless you are guilty too. It’s the only thing I can think of.  You can’t possibly be that stupid or greedy or power-hungry. Can you?  Because that would make you a horrible, disgusting person. Our country is in danger. Russia genuinely appears to be involved with our POTUS. HELLO, GOP. Get OFF YOUR ASSES.  We need an independent investigation and we needed it months ago. We need it now.

You must know how harshly we will judge you if you don’t act. You must know how harshly your voters, history, will judge you if you don’t act.  YOU HAVE TO ACT. This is serious. This isn’t about parties or ideology. This is about RUSSIA and TREASON. Do you get it? Do you even begin to process this?

Republicans, get your heads out of your butts and do the right thing. Do it today. Do it now.  Support an independent investigation. We have a sociopath in the office of the President.  He lies more than he tells the truth.  He may be compromised and working for Russia. We have to find out for sure either way. TRUMP LOOKS GUILTY.  HE MAY BE GUILTY. HE PROBABLY IS GUILTY. SHOULDN’T WE FIND OUT?  NOW, TODAY, THIS WEEK.

DEMOCRATS , I ask that you shut down Congress until the Republicans are willing to work with you and start an independent investigation. Do not approve anything. Do not work with them on anything. This has to happen.

EVERYONE WHO READS THIS, I ask anyone who agrees with me to forward this, tweet it to your Congressman or Woman or Senator, Share it on Facebook.  Also, please call your Congressman or Woman and Senator until this independent Investigation is started.   CAll everyday. The people of America must demand that his happens.  Thank you to everyone who helps.

Do not give up. Do not stop. America keep demanding an independent investigation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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