Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Chart Topper?’ Category

Another shock of young lives cut short.

Another round of blaming whatever administration is currently in office.

Another strong stance by NRA, teachers’ unions, politicians.

None of that matters.

This extreme violence will not stop until there is improved treatment and support for mental health. Getting rid of the stigma and shame of having a mental illness is the needed change.

I heard an interview with someone from NAMI recently. She made a great observation. When someone gets a diagnosis of cancer or some other illness, or even a broken leg, or an operation, the person receives sympathy, support, offers to drive them to appointments, and lots of covered-dishes.

When you receive a diagnosis of a mental illness, it’s not shared, it’s danced around. Sometimes you are even told that it is probably best not to talk about it in certain places.

Our children are not learning coping skills. They are not learning social skills. This changes their perceptions of themselves. This can lead to a changed, altered, distorted view. Some will turn inward and just be as invisible as possible. Some will develop eating disorders. Some will become depressed. Many others will encounter their first episode of an illness like bipolar, schizo-affective, or schizophrenia.

Many of them will face it alone. They have heard too many negative and derogatory statements about mental illness so they will try to hide it, maybe self-medicate, until something becomes unmanageable.

Then they become a danger to themselves and others.

This pattern needs to end. If it doesn’t, all the other chatter and discussions and arguments won’t do anything.

We waited until our sons were older to name my illness. The stigma attached to schizophrenia is still strong. We didn’t want negative press about untreated schizophrenia, or mental illness in general, to cause them stress when the descriptions they could hear didn’t match their mom. They get it now.

I have contributed to this by following suggestions to not name it or even talk about it in certain parts of my life. That’s over. I can’t carry that anymore. If I continue to make it easier for others by avoiding it, making it where they don’t have to deal with it, then I’m part of the problem.

Start the conversation that can actually make a difference for our youth. Talk about mental health. Today.

My deepest sympathies to the latest victims.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

opens today. I do hope to see It in the theater. It should be exciting, although I am a die-hard Tim Curry/Pennywise devotee. Still, with the release of the new It, I have been thinking about the long dance I have had with this book. 

I think of my childhood, the good and bad parts. I’m seeing it through new eyes as I’ve been discovering truths and alternate versions of history. It’s been changing so much for me. I don’t like it, truthfully, but it is also refreshing. I should embrace the lightness it can offer me.

1986 was a difficult year for me, an awkward teenager. I didn’t feel comfortable at my high school, didn’t feel that I fit in or was liked that much. Reading It when it came out in the fall of that year helped me understand that so many people feel that way. And when like finds like, you form a group of friends, even the Losers.

And the adults, in the book and in my life at that point, couldn’t see what was happening. They couldn’t see my pain, my sadness, my illness. As I’ve been thinking on that concept, I’ve started to ask myself what do I not see in my sons’ worlds? What am I turning a blind eye to? I’m attempting to open my eyes to their perspectives, the very real struggles and challenges and rewards and fun of being a teenager.

I’ve thought a lot about Stan and what happens to him. How childhood events haunted him so much even in adulthood that he just couldn’t bear it.

I think of the power of a promise when you are younger. 

I think of balloons, floating, and how I still think that’s a waste of a noble gas. My sons’ quote Pennywise all the time, about floating, yet they’re not allowed to have helium balloons. Now there’s a mean childhood memory they’ll have to deal with.

I think of simplicity, brothers, birds, spiders, and lost innocence. I think of lost opportunities. I work through regrets of my childhood. 

Some books stay with you for a lifetime. You dance with them, you create a new poem together each time you revisit each other. I haven’t read It for over a decade. I couldn’t, not once I was the mother of two sons. But they’re teenagers now. I think it’s time I revisit It. And let It see where I am today.

Read Full Post »

Riding home the other day, I heard that classic by the Bangles, “Walk Like an Egyptian”. As I sang along, getting stared at by the other motorists not hip enough to recognize my smooth steering wheel dance moves, I really listened to the lyrics, for the first time since I memorized them almost 30 years ago. I wondered if this song could chart the tops today? Let’s examine the evidence, shall we?

All the old paintings on the tombs
They do the sand dance don’t you know –could offend someone, though I don’t know what a                                                                                            sand dance is
If they move too quick (oh whey oh)
They’re falling down like a domino

All the bazaar men by the Nile–is this sterotyping, can’t have it, could offend
They got the money on a bet–is it legal? —Where exactly is the betting taking place?
Gold crocodiles (oh whey oh)
They snap their teeth on your cigarette–smoking is BAD, the worst thing you could ever do

Foreign types with the hookah pipes say–foreign types? —Nope, offend, offend, offend, and                                                                                                                              would hookah pipes be replaced                                                                                                                                by vaping?
Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh–what do they have against whey?
Walk like an Egyptian-how does an Egyptian walk? —Could offend Egyptians at the very                                                                                                                             least, but others on their behalf.

Blond waitresses take their trays–why are they only blond? —Discriminatory hiring                                                                                              practices?
They spin around and they cross the floor
They’ve got the moves (oh whey oh)
You drop your drink and they give you more

All the school kids so sick of books–this would be apps
They like the punk and the metal band–not very representative of the wide array of musical                                                                                          genres 
When the buzzer rings (oh whey oh)
They’re walking like an Egyptian

All the kids in the marketplace say
Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh
Walk like an Egyptian

Slide your feet up the street bend your back
Shift your arm then you pull it back
Life is hard you know (oh whey oh)
So strike a pose on a Cadillac–No clue what this stanza is about, were they high? Bad role                                                                            model, could influence our children to eat donuts (you know,                                                                        when the munchies kick in).

If you want to find all the cops
They’re hanging out in the donut shop–hello? Also, aren’t donuts on the “do not eat” list? 
They sing and dance (oh whey oh)
Spin the clubs cruise down the block

All the Japanese with their yen
The party boys call the Kremlin
And the Chinese know (oh whey oh)
They walk the line like Egyptian–this entire stanza would be deemed offensive and have to be                                                                          removed

All the cops in the donut shop say–back on the cops again?
Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh
Walk like an Egyptian
Walk like an Egyptian

Well, I’m no expert but I don’t think there is a chance in h-e-double-hockey-sticks that this song could top the charts today. Thank goodness I grew up in the 80s.

Songwriters
LIAM HILLARD STERNBERG

Published by
Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing

 

Read Full Post »