Thursday, February 10, 2011

The life of a bi-polar: Fighting only the good fight

I'm not sure where to start or even what the title of this post should be, but it's been a ride from hell in my world of late, and I have found that humanity is only sprinkled sparingly out there in other people, their behavior, their actions.

Being bi-polar is a tough job, it's not something to be taken lightly, as you realize that people will use it against you if they can manage it, and they will also try and misconstrue your capability in a pinch.

It's called prejudice.

We think racism is the only form of prejudice, though it is and is one of the worst to tell another human being they are less than you based on their skin color, eye shape, their hair, culture, etc. There is also sexism, where women have been targeted to believe they are inferior or useful only in situations involving raising children or amusing male dominance.

If you look around you, you will find, I believe the strongest people in the world are African American women.

In fact, if I were to look for people who are willing to fight for their family, (our human family as well) and do it because it's the right thing to do: I would want to see a black woman. Now, when I say "black woman" I mean this distinction not to distinguish, but to simplify.

African American is a combination of culture and residence I guess, but not ALL people of color come from Africa, therefore, I've narrowed it down to "skin pigment and sex."

When I came to this rural valley in California almost 7 years ago, surrounding Lake Isabella, I could tell there was something different here, I couldn't quite put my finger on it at first. Then finally, a family in line in front of me at the store, gathering items to go camping and fishing, caught my attention. "That's whats missing, any other race than white."

I lived all my life in neighborhoods which were made up of different people: Asian, African, Phillipino, latino, and now I found myself in this almost exclusively "cracker town."

Then I found this place is a hot bed of racism as even the school district was known for scolding children for saying blasphemous things such as "Goddammit" but they were allowed to utter or even shout racial epithets. Wow, what a place to live.

Now, I should have known, (the next part of this is going to be easy,) that a bi-polar, white as a ghost, would now suffer the judgement, the degradation, the very same things associated with various forms of prejudice and discrimination.

It is my health that has suffered.

Being bi-polar is a full time job, you fail, you get back up, you fail again, and you often lose control, feel guilty, and gain a reputation, especially in a town with no conscience such as I found here in what we call the "Kern River Valley," no forgiveness or compassion.

I constantly have to "prove myself" or have my honesty challenged, and it's a burden to carry.

One of the burdens I carry is my heavy duty compassion for others. I know the feeling, the loss of self esteem, stolen by those who think by diminishing another they somehow make themselves rise. However, most of us of any intelligence know it's quite the opposite: you bring others down and you reap the reward which is the unsettling feeling that you are truly NOTHING.

My doctors have put me in a situation where I cannot get medical help. How could they do that? Well, they covered their mistakes, their judgements, as they cannot take responsibility or admit to their own shortcomings or wrongdoings. They harmed my ability to trust them, repeatedly.

The local newspaper made it worse. For a time I could not lay on my couch, eat half a chicken and a whole pie and lose weight anyway. My weight has also been of issue: you're too skinny, you must use drugs, you don't eat enough.

I tried to write for the paper, which I did until I realized they had no moral compass, only a calculator for their share of the advertising dollars. A true capitalist would have no problem with that, but a person of character would.

As i prefer to do even in public, even with the eye of the weak and wicked on me, is tell the truth as I see it: we had two suicides which may have been avoidable had the publisher and co-editor went after a certain school in the valley.

Please understand that I can't keep this in, it's been bothering me for months now, and it is simply the truth. This person who recently resigned from her position over children only to be placed in another position with money, was in my grasp four plus years ago. I had all I needed to remove her from power as well as her partner.

But the newspaper called off this dog. They said, in an email, I keep looking at, feeling sick to my stomach over each word, "...let it go."

Sometimes you don't let it go, it has meaning, and it can keep others from suffering. Yes, things are easy to let go, and say, hey it's not my problem, or somebody else will do something, then two young people die. They killed themselves. I had a serious emotional reaction. I knew in my mind I could have rid this town of this woman, but I allowed two people with the emotional equivalent of a cockroach, to sway me.

The moment I heard I wanted to help, then the reputation as the "hospital hunter" had mauled my ability to go forth with ideas I had for the "lost children" of this community.

In fact, I had decided my services were not doing anything, as I prayed to God to show me why this had happened, I wanted to kill myself. Not only that, I knew exactly how to do it. In a moment of destiny, my brother showed up, and we had words.

My Brother...

He had been drinking his life away for three years, and had constantly threatened all the people who loved him that he was going to kill himself. I never believed he would, and I challenged him.

He came into my room, I wielded a stick at him warning him off. He said as if he had control and not a beer or two in his bladder, that we should "do it together." He was not prepared for my reaction: "yes, let's do it, I have it all here and now, are you ready? You've been saying it for three years ARE YOU READY?"

Unstable, and not understanding that I was feeling sick from a variety of health issues, as well as emotionally shot down after the kids killed themselves here, I challenged him.

There was fear in his eyes as my voice changed, overpowering him, and he backed up. Three days later he hit rock bottom and has been sober for over a month. We don't talk right now, as he has his new and improved vision of the world, outside a beer can, and I have to conquer my own demons.

Healthcare hazards...

I'll be talking about what happened to me here in the KRV since I came here in 2003, a bi-polar, who had been previously damaged by a doctor and an antibiotic, called Gentamicin. Not many healthcare providers even know what sort of damage there own drugs can do to people, and I am one of them.

Not only have I been discriminated against, but I was literally tortured due to the misunderstanding of my bi-polar. I never like to go off on people, my preference is to talk it out, but others seem to think we of the chemically challenged are inferior.

My mind was played with, my emotions disturbed, my heart ached as my friends and family believed a nurse who should be an engineer and not working with people who are sick, or as one of my family called her, "Tokyo Rose." She actually tried to tell me I was hallucinating, and began a show for her co-workers, the doctors, as she knew NOTHING and apparently learned little, but will soon learn more.

This inferior mind apparently got to everyone. How then could it be that I made them so uncomfortable that they attempted in every way to demean and diminish me? That shows their own weakness and really has nothing to do with me or you.

But they succeeded in making me cognizant that this issue cannot be dropped and let go, as it was not a mistake, it was a complete loss of control. I could count the people on one hand who had intelligence enough to reason beyond their own prejudice. And those people do COUNT, they are the ones who make this world tolerable for all of us.

They are strong of mind, not weak of character and heart. I care what they think, I don't care what the weak and powerless, or the angry mob I'll call them, think because it could be of no use. They were like single cell life forms, reacting, but not acting.

One young nurse, told the mob, "why don't you just relax?" Yes, that was the question, but it's their question to themselves.

It's not just them, it's an administration at a hospital, the Kern Valley Healthcare District, that is the biggest disappointment along with its board member, hospitalist's, clinic Sienna Wellness Institute. But we shall not forget the Rural health Clinic, a monster, the catalyst for such things as ignoring warnings of abuse in their patients, which almost lead to the death of one only two months ago.

One arrogant doctor said he was here to fulfill his obligation to pay back student loans. (Hope we could help.)

What motivates people is what attracts you to these people. The CEO and CFO of KVHD hospital earn more than most administrators in Bakersfield and beyond. Why?

Sadly the answer to why is the people of this valley haven't enough self worth to actually stand up and say, "enough."

Now, it begins, the real battle. After preachers, teachers, psychologists have failed our children, they argue now amongst themselves, instead of taking action to help.

I'm going to post a poem from one of the children who was abused, teased, slandered at our school. She's amazing, real, and the poems speak for themselves. This child could one day be in charge of you...let's give them our all, and quit the ridiculous nonsense of who is right and wrong, and begin the work, the service, we can provide this world.

To those who have diminished me to a point they HIPPA violated (a healthcare term) me when my own doctor said, "does she have a gun?" Then made reference to me shooting people.

Why? You all know why, because I'm bi-polar. Well, i don't need a gun to take down the weak, maybe a fly swatter? Or a rolled up newspaper for their noses? Or how about a cotton ball...that would hurt. I think they are afraid of themselves, as they keep showing fear, not strength and compassion.

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