Thursday, July 20, 2017

"This is NOT okay. This is not okay at all."

I have an extreme sense of unease about my country and the world right now. It's a free-floating anxiety that something big and bad is about to happen. Of course, bad things happen on a daily basis throughout the world -- always have and always will -- but I'm hypervigilant and can never seem to fully relax for any length of time.

The fact that I have PTSD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) should come as no surprise to most of you who've been on my friends' list for a while. But damn, this presidency and everything that comes with it is exacerbating the shit out of my issues and making them a thousand times worse. When I go to bed at night, my mind is no longer at peace because I never know what bad news or events I'll wake up to the next day.

Logically, I know some of the things I should do in order to improve my frame of mind. The main reason I'm posting this, though, is to ask how many of you are also finding that what's going on in the White House and our government is disrupting your sleep and filling you with an ever-present sense of foreboding?

Each time I ask, "Can it get any worse?" it does. I feel like I'm living in an increasingly dystopian world where insanity is the norm and people are willingly (and sometimes rabidly) accepting all the madness and chaos as if everything is fine and dandy. "Nothing to see here! Move on along." Meanwhile, my mind is screaming, "This is NOT okay. This is not okay at all. Can't you people see that?"

So tell me, is there anybody else out there who feels mentally battered and bruised by the onslaught of near-constant fuckery going on with 45 and his inept and troublesome administration?

Thursday, July 13, 2017

On concealing my natural Southern accent

Source: Pixabay free images - skeeze

"Where You From, Honey?"

Excerpt: "By eighth grade, I made a studied, conscious effort at enunciation, to pronounce the g at the end of going, or fixing, while avoiding 'fixing' when I meant 'about to,' as in, 'I’m fixing to go to the store.' I did not want to sound poor or uneducated. More to the point, I did not want to sound Southern because to me those adjectives – poor, ignorant, racist, Southern – were inextricably linked."
Oh man, I can relate to this article. I have consciously tried to drown out my natural Southern accent and purposely used my adapted voice for decades. Although Paul will tell you that my Southern often slips out when I get pissed off.

Likewise, If I'm around other Southerners, I'll slip back into 'talking like a hick.' Suddenly, I'll talk like I did when I was ten years old and at the dirt track races with my family and a bucket of fried chicken with all the fixins. Or maybe I'm in the backyard with my cousin Jim, catching grub worms and laughing. Or maybe I'm taken back to the times I camped at Smith Mountain Lake or Philpott Lake with my mom, dad, brothers, and cousins, catching small fish and cooking them up at our campsite.

As much as I can temporarily squelch my Southern accent, I cannot erase that I am Southern by birth (born in Covington, the third-smallest town in the entire state of Old Virginny, just scant miles from West Virginia), or that I was raised in a blue-collar family with so-called traditional (conservative) values.

I still maintain that small-town, blue-collar spirit within me. But thankfully, I have expanded my mind, earned 18 years of formal education, and was able to travel the world, visiting eight foreign countries in addition to 28 states within my own country. All of those things reshaped some of the obsolete, archaic 'values' with which I was raised. For that I am thankful.

I was fortunate to have opportunities while growing up that many others did not. Perhaps if they had they could better understand why I have a love/hate relationship with the South, some Southerners, and my oft-hidden Southern accent. I'm trying to reconcile and make peace with all of it, but it's going to take a while.