I had a wonderful childhood. I had parents who really did care what happened to me and provided the necessities that are most important to a child; food, clothing shelter, and most importantly, love. My memories are vivid, and I often reflect on past experiences and am very grateful.
Everyone does not get the same chances I received. We have been dealing with a family that actually made the news on several occasions this past year. You know the kind of story, a child, or children live with abusive parents and are subjected to the worse humiliation, neglect, and abuse imaginable. Shoved in a basement, and given only scrapes of food to eat, they survive because there is no other option. By sheer desperation they take a risk that could ultimately make things worse, but in the end saves them. For a little while..... (I have a degree in social work and spent two semesters working in a group home for runaways. I have witness this before)
We failed, we failed in away that is unacceptable. When children are placed in your care after the situation described, you had better have a well thought out plan of action, or find someone who can make one.
I was made aware of how bad the new living arrangements were going last week after talking with a teacher who had conferences with the caregivers. These people were reaching out for help, not by asking, but in their overall demeanor, and by their response to teacher suggestions.
I informed the teacher that they needed respite care, time when the kids could stay with other people and the family unit could be by themselves
and recuperate a bit. Sadly, this hadn't been happening regularly and when it finally did this past weekend, the kids decided not to go back. They wouldn't be back to our school, and now they were entering the foster care system. There will be no end to their misery.
I am shocked and disgusted my the way the school handled the situation.
We could have done more and now it is too late.
I don't think I knew the real meaning of unfair/discrimination until I hit college. My first three semesters were ok, but in my fourth I was hit with a very hostile environment. I had suitemates who discovered a part of my private life that I didn't want anyone to know about. After taking a huge amount of harassment from them, I was forced to live elsewhere. I had never faced anything like it before and never wanted to again. I saw the worst of people and It was very scary. I put that all away and didn't let it surface again for ten years.
I believe I have mentioned this before, I have a way of rationalizing things so that I am not faced with something I cannot handle.
I use it as a defense mechanism and it helps me greatly. When I said that these elections results were not personal, I meant it. I thought of myself
standing in front of a room full of people that did not hold the same views as I do. I literally was thinking personal, as in me, not a group as a whole. If people do not know me, they can not attack me personally. I always think of G struggling hours upon hours on people who have cancer, trying to radiate as little as possible of their body, so as to not harm them in the future. These people, some of whom are very religious, give gifts and cards that are very emotional and come from the heart. They see the care giver as a real person who cares about them when they are feeling there worst. They don't know any background, they only know how they were treated, and they respect, and appreciate G as that person.
In another situation, if they were talking with G in another context, they would not perhaps come to the same conclusion. Then G becomes an example, part of a population with negative connotations.
I realize people are frustrated with the outcome of the election. Not only frustrated, but extremely upset. I too am very sad about what this all means. I however, absolutely refuse to personalize this. It is not about me, it is about a group of people who have been given labels do to some uneducated preconceived notions. I talked with G tonight over dinner about this subject. We talked about how the msn front page listed for a better part of the day, as major news, how a number of states voted against gay marriage. G asked if I understood how seeing that could be disturbing and upsetting to many people.
I of course understand this. I can look back ten years however, and say there has been a lot of progress made. Did people really expect different results on the marriage outcome.
No, you don't have equal rights and that isn't right, but I am somewhat hopeful on how things have changed. Some fortune 500 companies now offer partner benefits. The amount of companies has tripled in the last couple years. It is still a pathetic amount, but ten years ago it was virtually zero. My friend Yo, who lives out in Pennsylvania has parner benefits, and so does her partner. We are talking a hospital and a school system. G's friend Steve is covered by his parner who works for corporate Disney and another covered at SBC. Dozens of articles have pointed to the fact that corporations will sooner or later embrace these benefits. Sooner I hope.
They know that gay people as a whole are educated and make above average money. They are not a population to toss aside. I believe the religious right only has a limited amount of time left with their moral proclamations. At least I hope.
Let me just say that after dealing with children that don't have the basics of life, I feel very lucky about my life right now. That doesn't mean I am not sad about the outcome of things especially when it come to religion, because it is just about the biggest failure all around and that is not how it is supposed to be.
You have the right to feel how you need to feel. I told myself I would not take it upon myself to let people hurt me with their inaccurate perceptions and beliefs. I am also tuning out on the gleeful celebrations of the winning party. I don't know how that helps me. I am looking inward and relying on how I can help myself for the time being. Unfortunately, that is all I have right now.