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Part 2: Black Anger and The Nate Parker conundrum

 

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Not soon after I finished my last blog post, the Milwaukee incident happened, Cam Newton says we as a nation are past racism, Nate Parker’s murky past got brought up, and United States of America kicked ass in the olympics. So let’s divulge into the topic of race in America and the Nate Parker situation.

 

The Milwaukee Incident 

 

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After reading of the Milwaukee incident that involved the shooting of an armed young black man, burning down of businesses, and vehicles, I have came to the conclusion that I have no idea what actually transpired. I will only go by the facts. Shit went down, and it got ugly. From what I understand is that there were maybe 100 people behind the calamity. The man who was murdered was allegedly armed, and was shot by a black officer who also happened to be a high school class mate of Sylville Smith. Several acts of arson were committed, and 4 officers suffered injuries.

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MILWAUKEE, WI – AUGUST 14: Police officers stand guard as crowds gather for a second night near the BP gas station that was burned after an officer-involved killing August 14, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Protestors threw rocks and there was gunfire in the crowd as hundreds of people confronted police after an officer shot and killed a fleeing armed man earlier in the day. (Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images)

 

Here is the issue, the black community and the police have a real animosity that stems as far back as law enforcement have been in business. The cops have a distrust among inner-city urban minorities, specifically black, because of the poverty and crimes that happen in our community. The urban youths, primarily black, have an issue with law enforcement because they are usually taking someone to jail for an indefinite amount of time. Police brutality has always been ingrained in the black community, this phenomena is nothing new. However, because there is massive amounts of technology available, anyone can be videotaped at any moment with a cell phone. The officer fears for his life when he enters these neighborhoods, because he finds most black criminals have that certain “look”. This look is often glamorized in hip-hop videos by rap artists. The influence by these entertainers  become the trendy look in the poor neighborhoods. Dark skin and a popular hairstyle, such as cornrows, can be misinterpreted as an association with a gang. The cop automatically correlates this ‘look’ with violence and tyranny. The Milwaukee police officer, a black man, had possibly feared for his life and did what he felt was necessary. The body cam footage is not openly available to the public and it is impossible to know what really went down. The black anger that invoked a group of several dozen people to commit these crimes can be attributed to the sour relationship of a segregated city, where the poor and black feel invisible when it comes to justice.  As recent as 2014, Dontre Hamilton, a mentally-ill black man, was murdered by Milwaukee police. This incident caused outrage as the officer was let go, but not charged for the murder. No one can justify the arsons of  the businesses in the community that they live in, but unfortunately this is an issue that will not resolve overnight.

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Another thing is….Why in the hell do media outlets always go to THIS guy when it comes to riots and civil unrest?

I mean, really??….

 

CAM NEWTON

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Cam Newton, quarterback of the Carolina Panthers, had this interview with GQ that I read earlier this week. From what I interpreted in this interview was that he didn’t want to talk about anything too political. If he believes that racism is something that we are beyond, and he is serious, than I would have to disagree. When you make it to a point in life where you make a certain amount of money from endorsements and contracts, you rise to a different tax bracket. Money no longer becomes an object, and people treat you differently. When you have money, and you live in a white neighborhood with friendly neighbors, when you have the god-given athleticism and mental acuity to perform at an MVP level, when you become the face of a city and people of all races revere you in an almost god-like perversity, it is hard to believe that racism actually exists. You start to become like O.J. Simpson, a handsome face, with a docile, friendly personality that major brands can attach their names to. Stepping out of the box may cost you endorsement money, and or fines from his league. Being Muhammad Ali, isn’t politically correct nowadays. It is easier to be Wilt Chamberlain than Muhammad Ali. I am reading a book called “40 million dollar Slaves” that delves into the topic even  more so. The label on the cover of the book is extreme, because no wealthy athlete can honestly be compared to a slave, but  the author exposes the reality of many black athletes disassociating themselves from the black community.

NATE PARKER

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As of lately, all of the talk on social media has been about Nate Parker. Parker, 36, producer of the film “Birth of a Nation”, is under fire for a 1999 case that involved the rape of a woman, which he legally got acquitted of while on a wrestling scholarship at Penn State. The report that I have read — which had court documents of testimony –was really murky. I cannot defend a man or his actions, for I do not know what happened. I will not condemn Nate Parker for having a shady past, because he was acquitted by a jury. However, the court documents are disgusting to read. I couldn’t help but cringe.  What I do feel is that this plan of digging up his skeletons is a deliberate plot by some unnamed force. I have seen an article written by a feminist that ripped him into shreds, witnesses who’ve participated in the actual trial defend him on social media, and liberal outlets bring up his reluctance to play a homosexual character on film. Law is a very technical, yet political entity. Everyone who gets acquitted isn’t innocent, and the opposite is true also. The alleged victim committed suicide in 2012, and another person involved with the case is also a co-producer of the “Birth of a nation” film. I was just talking about this to an owner at a local bookstore that I patronize, and he told me he was repulsed by Nate Parker’s past, and refuses to support him. I told the owner that I may disagree with his shady past, but I feel that the movie he is promoting is important for the black community. Many people are mixed on this situation, but if I knew the skeletons of everyones hands I’ve placed money into, I would be the most frugal man on Earth. Roman Polanski, filmmaker, was infamous for a rape case involving a minor sometime in the 70’s. Woody Allen, screenwriter and actor, had sexual abuse allegations against him as well. Not to make light of these situations, but this goes to show you that it was filmmakers who were placed in situations similar to Nate Parker.

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I still believe that the movie will be released. If the movie does get released, I will definitely go and see the movie. Here is a trailer of the movie.

 

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We Aren’t living in a Post-Racial society! Part One (rant)

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What is good wordpress family? It has been a minute since I have last posted. As for me I am still going through my dilemma that I previously spoke about. More importantly, there have been many issues that have been impacting the African American community. With the recent technology of body cameras and phone cameras, America is starting to see the racial ugliness that has been taboo come to the frontline. I could post on and on about the senseless killings that have been happening in the Black community, you can see these atrocities in graphic detail on Shaun King’s timeline.

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Things are starting to feel like the 1960’s all over again, with tensions flaring over Trump vs. Hilary Clinton, police brutality, racial tensions are becoming the norm on social media. If you follow some of the trending hashtags on twitter, you can easily see the ocean of internet trolls making racially insensitive remarks. For some people, it has even costed them their job. I am on neither candidate’s side. Whoever wins the election, wins the election. There has been deception on both sides of the politics game. Fear-mongering has become rampant throughout both sides of the media. There seems to be this tacit implication that Hilary Clinton has the poor black vote, the converse can be said about Trump, easily winning the poor white vote below the bible belt. Donald Trump is an overt racist, and Hilary Clinton will do anything to gain a vote. Im still reminded of the super-predator remark that was aimed at young black men in the early 1990’s.

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Police wearing riot gear walk toward a man with his hands raised Aug. 11 in Ferguson, Mo. Renewed calls for police departments to hire more minorities have followed the shooting there of a black man by a white police officer.

I have been reading books like crazy about African-American history and I am finally “woke” to the injustices that happens to my race as a whole. I cannot 100 percent say that I am behind the “BLACK LIVES MATTER” movement as well. The whole movement is great as a vehicle to get the message out, but I feel that digital hashtag protests are not the solution. I have read the mission statement from the original website, and there is a lot of intersectionality going on. If you choose to fight for a cause, it should mirror the civil rights movement. The civil rights movement stood up for injustices that made it to the supreme court and caused incredible changes. BLM is a movement that is strategically flawed. When a non-black person hears “BLACK LIVES MATTER”, they immediately digest the meaning as saying their lives matter less. This title automatically causes a person of a different race to become defensive. The naming of the movement is wrong, if you wish to have laws change in the courtroom. Imagine if the civil rights movement chose to go by a moniker such as “STOP KILLING BLACKS!”. I am quite certain that circumstances may have turned out different. While I support the families of victims who suffer from police brutality, I cannot support a movement that only feels a keyboard will cause change.

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So, what are the solutions Eddie? To be honest, there are no solutions, this is a process. Solutions happen overnight, processes take time. Racism is insidious and exists in every human being, whether you admit to it or not. How we respond to these emotions and stereotypes, makes a huge difference. Racism is a quagmire that will exist as long as humans exist. Stopping racism is like trying to stop dishonesty. There is no qualitative approach that will make it change. Movies and T.V shows, continue to show Blacks in an inferior state. If most black men you see on television are either rappers, athletes, or actors portraying drug dealers and slaves – what will you automatically perceive the obnoxious black kid, wearing a hoodie with sagging pants as? How will you view the dark skinned black man with a lean muscular build, dreadlocks and tattoos as? You aren’t technically racist  if you hold these thoughts in your mind, but rarely in public spaces would you vocally admit these things, because that would be deemed “politically incorrect”, it is nevertheless true. The fear of black men has existed since slave insurrections of the past.  To rationalize these claims, many right-wing advocates will easily point to the ill-savagery of black on black crime. Which would be asinine to deny, however, Black on Black crime is an issue that police can’t resolve themselves. This is the rapist blaming the rape-victim for being sexually promiscuous. Not the act of rape itself. The protests have always happened  in black neighborhoods. Go to any funeral of any victim of these senseless gang-related or happenstance crimes, there will be a pastor or bishop screaming at the pulpit for the “young brothers and sisters to get saved, and get their act together, come to Jesus, while the lord has blessed you with another day”. How many mothers, fathers, uncle’s, aunt’s, and strong upstanding black people who told their kids how to conduct themselves when police approach the vehicle? How many black mothers and fathers told their kids not to hang around with “those boys and that crowd, cause I’ve heard about them”? What are the working class citizen black families to do, once their child is a victim of violence? Jump in between the bullets of the murderer and victim, while being 11 miles away at their second job? This is an impossible and unrealistic feat. Being poor in a poverty stricken community, you will confront a reality of desperation and violence. In any country, city, or community where you find poverty, you will find violence, it is synonymous. Blacks are among the poorest race in the nation. Another retort to black on black crime is what about before it existed? Before black on black crime, there were justifiable lynchings of black men who tried to own businesses, accidentally gaze at a white woman, or loiter past 9 p.m. in sundown towns. There were people who looked at Emmett Till and said, “that boy should’ve never whistled at no white woman.” And the justifications for police executions in broad daylight on camera, still happen to this day.

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The issue I have with race in America, is that we cannot act as if race is not an issue because we may not face the same injustices. We are so inundated with the idea of individuality and responsibility, that we lost focus on the ugly realities of racism. Forgetting an issue and glossing over it, is not the same as getting rid of it. If you are diagnosed with a disease, and refuse to treat it, than you must either get on board with solutions, or suffer the dire effects. As Blacks, we need to figure out a salient process of making things happen. The reasons I am here nor there about these presidential candidates, is that they have no incentive to help the black community. Mass incarceration is real, jail recidivism, police brutality, predatory loans, poverty, lack of home ownership, lack of businesses within our community, lack of black support of black businesses, lack of business loans, weak and fluctuating job employment, and inferior educational standards are issues that all need to be addressed. If black people keep voting for candidates who can do a popular dance move, rather than implement laws that will immediately impact African Americans, what is the point of voting. Yes, we should vote for local figures in our community, vote on laws and measures that may impact our community, but the voting out of fear, has no merit in my books. There has to be an incentive for a candidate to wish to do something for the said community. The LGBTQ community are making enormous strides and are forming super-pac’s to make sure change happens.  The Latino community has done the same. The black elite aren’t concerned with the black issues enough to stick together and form a super-pac that will help the less fortunate. They may tweet, or even publicly declare how they will sit down with police officers and have dialogue, some may even tell the black community that we need to “fix” our selves before receiving help, but most of them are invested in retaining the wealth they have earned. Many of them will blame the same communities they come from as victims of their own destruction. Many of their non-black friends will tell them, “look at you man, you are a prime example of someone who started from nothing, and made something happen. You are an example of America and how far we have come.”, buying into this, they easily forget where they come from, and the tactic of using tokenism to hide the hideous realities of black America.

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Hell of a Father’s Day Weekend

This is going to be a great weekend, I absolutely enjoyed what my wife bought me this weekend. She had the emotional intelligence to buy me a lighting kit for my youtube channel. I am over-elated about this, because I was just about to buy this kit after I got my money back right. Many back right? What does that mean? Well, when you go on Bahamian adventures and swipe like crazy, the accumulated expenses pile up. I am paying for them dearly. Expecting a wallet and some flip-flops, this completely threw me off. I am so gassed up about setting this up, that its not even funny.  My intentions within the next year is open up a separate channel that expresses my true self. I love wordpress because of the candor that is displayed on posts. Most of the wordpress family are natural readers of articles or books. There is a growing community out there who are looking for intelligent discourse and conversation. I feel so inspired that it is ridiculous. When I get back from the brunch my wife has planned for me I plan to get into the snoop vs roots conversation. It has been a while since I have tackled some controversial topics.

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Too damn much! Vacation Diary (part 2)

Now that i am back, I have a lot to talk about. You already know what happened on the first day of the ship. Things did pick up, I was just being a hermit/ingrate. The 2nd day we woke up to a view of the port of Freeport, Bahamas. Wow, such a beautiful place I thought. Went downstairs to eat breakfast at at this fancy restaurant outside of the buffet area. I stayed out of the buffet area for most of the trip. Then with our outfits on, and tourist naivete, we decided to head towards the excursion area. We were too early so we went and checked out some the port shops that sold local craft items. The Bahamian people sold T-Shirts and craft bags. Local taxi cab drivers beckoned tourists, while holding up signs made of poster board and permanent marker. We walked around this circular tourist path and witnessed a live band playing beautiful Caribbean music. Things were going exceptionally well.

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Our tour bus pulled up and we entered the 60 passenger commercial vehicle. The weather was cloudy and humid, with very little sunshine.

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Our tour guide was an 18 year old island girl who gave us a brief history of Freeport, Bahamas. It is a small town with a population of 55,000. There is only 9 gas stations, and 4 stoplights, the crime rate is only 3 percent. This is a town that makes its money off of alcohol and tourism. They are very prideful of their heritage. The racial makeup of the island is 85 percent Black, and 15 percent white. They are a peaceful island, and represent Bahamas as a proud culture . What we pulled up to looked like a decrepit convalescent home. The building had to be about 60 years old. When I entered the building, you could smell the age of the place. You could smell the mold of the vents, it had the smell of a  abandoned classroom bungalow. We were greeted by this guy.

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He had a very bold and affable personality. Screaming and singing  with boastful cheer, this guy was our museum guide. He gave us an entire history of the island and spoke gleefully about the “Junkanoo” parade. We danced and took pictures in front of the custom mural painted on the wall.
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After we left, we entered the bus to find out the weather immediately changed to pouring rain. I looked outside, and felt disappointed that we were possibly going to miss out on the beach. Somehow, someway, we got to the beach and the rain subsided.

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We got to the beach and took some great pics, despite the weather. My wife tried the Bahama Mama for the first time, a drink made of 151 proof rum, and I tried conch salad. That conch was a 12 out of 1 to 10. Excellent flavor.
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Then afterwards they took us to a marketplace where they sold more items for to buy souvenirs and duty free items. The rain recurred, and I hid under a store awning.
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We continued on our trip and went back to the boat to rest before dinner. When we arrived to the restaurant on-board we ate some fancy stuff.
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There was a party later on that night that was incredible. The DJ had the boat rocking harder than the ocean. I had even hit the dance floor. Lol. It was a great night.

Let the foolery begin. Part 1

Imagine being a complete zombie after a 6 hour red-eye flight, and a 3 hour layover before being en route to the cruise port. When you go outside to catch a cab, there is man who looks like an angry mechanic that chose to drive cabs. That is where I begin with this story. I originally had apprehension about my wife ordering an uber driver, because the stories I recently heard about Kristine Leahy had me apprehensive. What if we got some sort of machete wielding axe-murderer that has a penchant for hacking tourists to death. With the weary and skeptical mind state I already had at that point, it completely made sense.

Anyhow, we get into the cab and he speaks with a thick Haitian Creole accent. He asks us “Where to?”, we tell him the company and location and he drives us there. His cab was junky; Bible with church service pamphlets, rogue papers, and random junk. He drove like a bat out of hell and rolled the windows up, without asking me or my wife if we were cool with it. Inhaling aromas of what seemed to be Ben Gay ointment and dehydrated incense, I happened to take a picture or two of the buildings

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That was cool. Arriving at the port, I continued to go in to get processed and board the ship, which took another hour. We got in the buffet line and and ate food to kill the time. I barely ate anything, due to my fatigue. We couldn’t get access to our room until 1330 and it felt like I had a four hour deficit of sleep, coming from the west coast. When I got in the bed, I was laid out until the luggage arrived. The rest was okay, until I realized they wanted everyone on the boat to do this Emergency Drill, as required by maritime law.

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After the drill was over, I went back to the room for some more rest. But, lo and behold, I was musty and grimey. I needed a shower to feel clean again. As I turn on the shower, water sprayed all in my face from a leaky hose shower. I couldn’t believe it, what kind of cruise is this. And I thought I suffered on the last cruise. This place was disappointing me in more ways than I could describe. The room was; way too small for all of the luggage we had, plumbing was faulty, and design of room was antiquated with outdated “Miami Vice” furniture. For a second, I thought Crockett and Tubbs were going to bust into my room. Ridiculous.

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Then to top things off after that, this place only has one power outlet per room. Me and my wife are playing tug-of-war, asking each other “whose phone has less power?”. Starting me off in a bad direction for the day. I have no channels to watch  sports, only local access ship channels that give perpetual safety debriefing. There is nothing to do on this boat, compared to some of the more prestige ship boats out there. I don’t gamble, drink, or eat stale buffet food all day, so I feel awkward just being on the boat. I had to order the best wifi plan to have some sanity. I hope things get  better tomorrow. So far, the whole thing feels like a let down. I can’t tell my wife that, because she felt like she put a lot of effort into making this “getaway” happen. Will keep you guys posted.

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Off to vacation, Anxiety and All

Swimming Pool at Sunrise
Pool Deck at Sunrise – Deck 8/9 Midship Seabourn Odyssey – Seabourn Cruise Line

Guess what wordpress family? I have been conned into going on a vacation again. Anxiety be damned. I tried putting this vacation in the dark recesses of my mind, but once again I am on another getaway. The word “getaway” irritates me. The word feels like I am running away from something, like a temporary fix. I guess I am.

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I absolutely hate getting on planes. I most definitely will panic and have anxiety. When the plane lifts off, my stomach turns. This will be a red eye flight, which mean I will hardly be able to sleep. I definitely will be taking some pictures to share with you guys. As always, I know I will have an encounter that’s awkward — its just bound to happen —  and I will capture it all. The irony is that I am comfortable on a boat, but uncomfortable on planes. Wish me luck, I need to pop some motion sickness pills. Bye.

 

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Stuff (Unabridged)

Lord knows I am trying to figure this out. I cannot figure out what makes a person pay a ridiculous amount of money for a storage full of nonsense. I bought this book to get a view from the hoarders perspective. We all tend to hoard, but this is irrational behavior at its peak. Smh. I thank wordpress for being a place to vent my frustrations. I’m losing a piece of my sanity, day by day.

I’m 6% through Stuff (Unabridged) by Randy O. Frost, Gail Stekeete, narrated by Joe Caron on my Audible app.

Try Audible and get it free.

Life has enough Junk, Get rid of it

Junky Storage

More on the never-ending MIL saga. With almost two months approaching, I figured that now would be a good time to tackle the big issue that my MIL has.  Her ridiculous storage account. This is an account that this woman has been paying for since me and my wife met. First of all, it is none of my business what this woman wants to do with her money – when she isn’t in my house- but that is not the case. As you become older, which we all will come to grips with, we will eventually retire or become disabled. When this situation happens, you become dependent on a fixed income. With this fixed income, comes a mind-bending reality. If you haven’t saved in your youth, by opening a Roth I.R.A. account, by time you become a senior-citizen, you are on a budget. With this mindset, it becomes  hard to let go of all the things you have accumulated over time. Husbands/wives become widowed, technology of all the “modern” furniture/electronics become obsolete, and you look like a hoarder. These could be things that make you nostalgic such as: Children toys, who are now adults, old music crates, plates, glassware, blenders, vacuum, chairs, TV’s, computers, tax returns, recreational trophies for children, school awards, electric blankets, pillows, clothes you can’t fit in, and  the list goes on.

As the time passes by, you move around and travel. Some people migrate to different cities. Job promotions and career changes happen. Best friends pass away from malignant illnesses. Vices catch up with your health and you start to experience mortality knocking at your door. I can only imagine that the process of aging, is a hard pill to swallow. For some, this may not be the case. I digress, however, I mentioned all of the things  above because my MIL is not in reality. She has a boatload of junk inside of a storage, from staying at one place and moving to another. Life has been a roller coaster for her. {Make no mistake, I have no empathy for anyone who I feel can make a difference for themselves.} She has been paying for this storage for too long.  Being that I have Saturdays off, I volunteered to help her clean out her storage. This is kind of half-hearted, because the real reason I am helping is to speed up the process. Despite a 15 minute wait of  the MIL not being at her storage, I remain calm and eager to see the storage.

 

I opened the storage and there was a mountain of complete junk to be sorted out and thrown away. I am not against storages, however, if you have a storage, you need to be using the stuff that is in there within 6 months to a year. If you run a business and you need a storage to keep your equipment there, no problem. If you have a temporary situation where you have to move out of state, and work on a job project for 6 months, no problem. The MIL has shit from the 1970’s that need to be pulled apart and “examined and shredded”. I was aghast at all of the stuff I saw from paid tv programs. She had an outdated exercise bike that she was adamant she wanted to sell. I arrived there around 12:41 p.m., we didn’t leave until 7:15 p.m.  It was so much stuff that I had to take out to hand to MIL, letting her dissect the box  as I begged her to “donate”, only to realize that it was only 1/4 of the work. I came home stewing over it, brooding to my wife about how ridiculous the storage situation is. To make matters worse, she bought an additional storage for a promotional deal that the storage company was throwing. I was perplexed to find this out, asking the mom directly, “What do you need an extra storage for?”, and she answered that she simply needed a spot that she could place her everyday things. I understood where she came from and left it alone, but still let my wife know about it.

 

So, a couple of days passed by, and I told my wife that she must bluntly tell her mom to get rid of that junk that she has in her storage. My wife was too delicate and submissive to tell her mom this, but I am not. The straw that broke the camel’s back, was when my wife presented to me a receipt for 291.00 U.S. Dollars, for a program that will teach my daughter how to read. I was one, under the assumption that this bill was for me, which my wife quickly dispelled by saying the MIL was paying for it. Second of all, I take my daughter to the library every three weeks, and read to her several times throughout the week. So, how is this “reading program” going to help my daughter, when she is barely 4 years old. She is already at the head of her class in every subject, with the occasional behavior flare up. Thirdly, how in the hell can you argue me down about throwing away a blender with dead spider eggs in the box,  when you just whipped out 300 bucks for a program, that has nothing to do with you.

 

I appreciated the gesture. It shows the altruism of a doting grandmother, however, this is money that needs to be placed towards your living situation. Which leads me to believe, A. she is not serious about moving out, B. she is not serious about getting her storage cleaned out, and C. she just is oblivious to the whole situation and thinks she can passive-aggressively stay by “nice-ing” her way through her stay. So, at that point I become infuriated and address the issue.

 

 

I start off by asking MIL did she call the donation truck, she said yes. Then I bluntly tell her, that it is in her best interest to get rid of all of the junk inside her storage. I for one, do not know what is sacred and what is not, so I cannot force you to throw out anything that you do not wish to throw away, but 70 percent of that stuff has to go. I offered to pay for a truck and dumping fees. I explained that it would befit her to get rid of all of that stuff, rather than harbor the junk like a “hoarder”. It will be a burden financially that will hurt her in the long run. She was thrown off completely by my assertiveness. I assume because she usually saw an amiable side when she used to visit us. Now, I had shown my other side. I told her that I would go help her separate the pile for donations one more time, but after that , I am getting a truck, loading it up by myself and getting rid of the excess junk. I walked back into my room, and slept peacefully.

 

After further reflection, I thought about how she may have not wanted to get rid  of the storage. I called myself aggressively helping her, but she may have seen it as being too intrusive. I couldn’t care less if she was offended, because what I said, I meant, and felt it was true. The gift that I have as a human is to reflect and think about how the other person may feel. She may feel, “How in the hell can you tell me what to do with my shit THAT I PAY FOR?!, The unmitigated gall of this muthafu#^@!” . “I can do whatever I please, I deserve my personal business.” So that may be true, but you have to think about my privacy as well. I lost my privacy, the moment MIL moved in.  If I am an overeating, coke-snorting, philandering, alcoholic, you will see all of that. All of a persons business becomes public, once you move in. So, privacy is a luxury we both lost. What I tell my wife is that she doesn’t have to clean out her storage, if she doesn’t want to. However, she will have a deadline of getting out of the house. In other words, if she wishes to put storage over shelter, so be it. It is not my business what happens to her after the deadline. My wife understood where I came from, and relayed the message in the most watered down way a daughter could.

 

Here is my gripe, before MIL moved in, she was humble and willing to do anything, I asked of her to do. She was cognizant that I am the man of the house, and she must respect the rules I lay down. She was open to getting help. Since she has been here, she hasn’t used the assets I have provided for her, free of charge: rental website subscription, free rent, free labor, time that I could’ve spent elsewhere on my day off. She has not told me about any lists that she could’ve put her name on. I am offended, that she is offended. I would be ecstatic, if I were in the same predicament and I had a SIL that would look out for me like that. I guess we just have different mindsets.

Another day in Paradise!

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I have had two anxiety attacks within the past month. To be honest, it is getting out of hand.  Between the long hours of work, MIL situation, and high stress, my mental health is taking its toll on me.

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The first anxiety attack happened as I watched Kobe Bryant’s last game. It wasn’t because I was sad he was leaving the game of basketball, more so due to the fact that I felt like I was in sheer terror. Sometimes, I can be in the middle of a conversation, and I get a paralyzing fear of everything. Nothing in particular sets it off. I have been to the emergency room twice within a year. Only to leave with papers that tell me I am completely fine.

How Healthy Are You?

The first paralyzing attack happened while I was watching the Laker game. Noticing a change in my body language, my wife asked me if I was okay. That prompted me to break down in tears, having a meltdown for no apparent reason. I know that I have an anxiety issue. My real issue is how I will deal with it. The second anxiety attack that was horrid, happened while taking my wife through a drive-thru. The fear of impending doom, left me in a state of apoplectic shock. I was totally disoriented. There felt like these invisible walls closing in on my chest, heart palpitations, that made me want to jump out of my car and run away screaming. I just could not take it. As I practiced my breathing exercises, I mustered enough courage to push my way through the trivial task. I couldn’t figure out what happened. So I ended up vomiting when I got home, only to go to E.R., with advice from a hotline nurse from the hospital.

hospital

I walked in fine, jovial and all with no malingering.  They took me in immediately after explaining my symptoms. This was about 11:30 pm and they were telling me that there was a six hour wait. I willfully agreed and sat down after getting my vitals checked. I must have waited 3 and 1/2 hours before getting checked out. Falling in out of sleep, only to be bothered by the nearest push-door to be opened by nurses and security guards. My mind focused on my breathing, while contemplating the possible outcome of some dire result that would confirm my worst fears. Toddlers and young children bursted through that push-door, as concerned parents coddled their crying seed. I witnessed a young African-American woman, similar to my age, festering resentment for having to wait “six-hours” to be seen. Speaking on the phone with her mother, she complained “They want me to wait six fucking hours! Girl, its already 1 o’clock. I gotta put my daughter to sleep”. Bleary-eyed and confused, I awoke to the cacophony of noises. Averting my gaze, as if I was not to appear too nosey, I listened in.  Her 4 year old daughter, wearing a cast on her fragile arm, became irritable due to the mixture of  fatigue  and  frustration of a mysterious pain in her arm.  The child was incessantly whining in the background, as the mother tried to soothe her daughter and hold a conversation. Between the loud speaker on her earpiece, and the hollow space of the four walls that surrounded us, I made out a voice who I assumed to be her mother. “Just grab your shit and go back home, come back at six in the morning. They will hold your spot and you could pick up where you left off!! You aint gots ta wait!”the voice on the phone said. Emboldened by the encouraging words, the mother laid her daughter in the cramped hospital seat, as she approached a nearby nurse. She explained the plan and the nurse unwaveringly said, “Once you leave, you have to start from scratch, I am so sorry, but that is not how it works.” To her chagrin, she became disgruntled and slouched with a defeated body language. Only to grab her frustrated toddler and return the next morning. 5 minutes later another woman interrupted my sleep. An overweight dark-skinned African-American woman who was in her late thirties sat across from me.

 

She spoke loud on her telephone, cursing and grunting. Upset that she was not receiving the expedient service she wanted. She held her stomach as she winced in pain. She blared out, “How long have ya’ll been already waiting?!” I told her a couple of hours, and she became irate at me, as if it were my fault. The cacophonies and door-slamming continued, only to be awoken by a nurse who would escort me into an emergency dorm room. The doctor checked all of my vitals, and explained to me that what I was experiencing was more psychiatric than anything else. My numbers were well and everything was on point. This was what I knew would be most likely the case. Relieved and disappointed, I grabbed my patient belongings and headed back home.

 

Anxiety disorder is an issue that I have been dealing with for quite some time. I believe that anxiety is somewhat of a natural human characteristic. The original Sapiens, had anxiety when hunting in pre-historic Sabertooth Tiger territory. Sapiens were both predator and prey, in a world that was far different from ours. Anxiety is a natural feeling to have, it can actually help in certain instances. My problem is that I cannot control my anxiety. It gets out of hand. I try to mask the symptoms as they occur, but usually my body language says everything. I don’t know what to do. Due to the fear mongering of a lot of homeopathic activists, who also have blogs, I become very leery on taking drugs, only to find out that I am solely dependent on Zoloft of Prozac for the rest of my life. I have read stories of impotence, brain zaps, nervous tics, and lack of sleep as side effects of the drug. I do not want to go down that path. There are other ways to allay anxiety, however, it would be hard to accomplish those things while working 12-14 hours a day.

 

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