I may have a learning disability, but I am not feeble-minded…

This is a subject that, despite having years to have lived with it and being able to overcome some barriers pertaining to such obstacles, lays a soft and vulnerable spot within me that at times feels like ripping off a scab on a healing wound over again. I’m writing this in the hopes of finding posts and blogs relating to my topic as well as helping those with similar problems find light within their own learning barriers, hence I write about mental health issues.

At the age of three – four-years-old, I was evaluated by school psychologists because I “displayed similar symptoms that her older brother with autism has.” — Another words, one day while my family, including myself, went to see how my brother interacted in his special education class with his peers and studying what he was capable of comprehending, I too was being watched right alongside of him. “She walks on her tip-toes and seems very distant when being talked to,” one school psychologist puts it to my mother as the reason that I should be given an evaluation. Coming from a long line of authoritative figures knowing what’s best for their child, that was the next thing my mother did.

I didn’t develop in the same stage and criteria as those among my peers were at; I was painfully and unreasonably shy to the point of being mute in front of those whom I didn’t know; it took several times being told to do certain tasks that I’d follow through with them by the very same figures I was mute towards; and, among other daily tasks, it took longer than average to develop cognitively that correlated well with the shyness in order to be assumed that I should have been evaluated for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While not comprehending fully as to why I was being evaluated, the reason for evaluation itself gave a complex deep within that made me more self-conscious than the average five-year-old should have been in a small classroom. There have been distant memories that I swore had made me a bit late in other aspects, such as reading and writing, though my mother insists that it wasn’t the case. So it led to the result of landing in many years’ worth of the public school special education system.

As the years progressed, there were advantages as well as downfalls that didn’t let me advance to the regular coursework that most of my friends were able to do throughout the school day. I was in the regular classroom along with a selected few who had a teacher’s aide assist and water down the work so that we were able to better understand what was taught. An IEP was set up and it wasn’t until the middle of high school that my buttons were pushed to the point I landed in inclusion classes – the next to last of actual special education and on the edge of being equivalent to a dropout, which almost happened within my senior year. Was it because I, according to the education system, held a lower IQ than most peers that led me to nearly dropping out while in those classes? Or did my ‘angst’ teenage depression play a role that made me have zilch motivation and fail courses carelessly, as that never happened until I reached the stage I couldn’t keep track as to what day it was? The best way to describe that period of time was a consistent fog. Nothing mattered and suicide was at the tip of the iceberg that I was finding myself stranded upon. From the earliest suicide attempt at the ripe age of twelve, that’s when my journey of the invisible and unexplained disability began; the disability that, ironically enough, was kept from my professors and psychologist long until I’ve ended up in the psych ward and gave brief descriptions of events that couldn’t pinpoint the ruthless and never-ending depression itself.

It took me a few years after high school to “shape up” and decide as to what I want to do for the rest of my life – which, of course, is yet to be determined to this day. Only a selective few know where they are really going with their life on a day-to-day basis, right? What has changed is the sense of living within the moment that seemed like I was in the middle of a haze and that it wouldn’t have mattered if I were to be around to contribute to the burdens of my loved ones by simply being visible and witnessing that spiritual demise. The sense of motivation has started to kick in while there are still days where I want nothing more to lay on the bed and stare into space and time. This goes to say that, yes, circumstances can change the destiny of the person when given the material to enhance with the problem itself; it can never alter the barriers that make the person choose the destiny they desire without paying the excruciating price that can mentally, emotionally and at times physically pain the individual.

Because of the traditional label of “the feeble brain” that still remains within the education system as well as societal taboos despite the Disabilities Act and laws to not discriminate within the workforce, is it any wonder why some individuals give up before their lives begin and henceforth are subliminally labeled as a lost cause? As a latter question, does the No Child Left Behind do anything to help academically disadvantaged students, or further oust them from the society they are conditioned in? These are questions I will spend my life trying to find the answer so that future generations will not have to endure the humiliation and low-quality that, in the end, makes education itself not worth pursuing for a good handful of potentials not confined to the narrow path of standardized testing.

What I’ve learned while labeled as a Learning Disabled is that it isn’t the learning disability itself that barricaded my access to a higher education, but the mental health conditions often associated that give as a reactionary life-altering decision of giving up. When a system identifies the root problem and ignores the side effects because “it is too much dedication and work” for every individual case, that is a system that needs to be questioned and uprooted just as one should when a person experiences a lifetime physical illness and finds treatment to uplift the symptoms of that illness and overall improved quality of life.

Unfortunately, even many within the mental health profession tend to dismiss the individual and rather associate with their cognitive and psychological weaknesses as their overall confinement, which I will get into further detail in one of my future blogs. This type of toxicity within the field needs to be outdated so that society can produce many more proactive and able-bodied citizens and narrow the gap of those with “invisible disabilities” as well as physical ones. If accommodation comes without further expectation of the person finding their strong suits and capabilities, what betterment does it do than those without the access of accommodation in the first place?

I may have a learning disability, but I am not feeble-minded as it once was labeled within the late nineteenth century.

[Politics] Brexit Aftermath and Ireland’s Vote on Reunification.

Yesterday was the day of the Beginning of Brexit that was brought on by its impact of votes as of June of 2016 as to whether the UK (pertaining to Britain, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) to stay or depart from the European Union. During that time period, there’s been heated discussion and opinions expressed as to whether Scotland will gain independence from the UK and Northern Ireland will join the Republic of Ireland. As the article states, the Republic of Ireland voted 63% in favor of reunification while Northern Ireland voted 22%; however, given that Northern Ireland has an overwhelmingly majority of wanting to remain in the EU as well as Scotland, this could be the turning point which Scotland and divided Ireland must compromise their settlement differences and focus primarily on the economic and travel permits that the EU previously provided for them.

According to Sinn Féin, the Irish nationalist party in the Republic of Ireland, Brexit is the ultimate turning point that surpasses the Good Friday Agreement in order to persuade the North’s majority vote on joining the nationalist party now that the Union party no longer holds the majority of N.Ireland’s vote. It is a matter of time, hypothesizing within the twenty-first century of our lifetime before reunification is ensured and exercised within the Good Friday Agreement settlement. The British would be left to blame for denouncing Dublin’s government, according to the Sinn Féin government.

What are your opinions on this? How has the departure of the EU personally affect you?

The Two-Sided Coin of Depression

One of the leading causes of illness and death, depression is yet to be understood by a good percentage of the general population and doctors even among the first world. Depression tends to be associated with “constant sadness” and a switch that is set off at any given time-frame of the sufferer’s day-to-day living. Whether if it’s due to a chemical imbalance or as the result of a life-altering loss, it’s something that needs to be fixed and done away with when it is possible.

Famous poet Emily Dickinson’s It was not death, for I stood up and Ernest Hemingway’s short stories such as A Clean, Well-Lighted Place give a brief and raw literary version as to how depression can be explained through the reader. If looking a little further, Edgar Allen Poe’s The House of Usher resembles much of the effects of mental illness that demise the house of Usher as the result. When left in the major depressive state long enough and often correlating with a disease or ailment, it resembles the writer’s literal demise, be it through genetic illness, addiction and/or suicide, hence giving depression the correlation of such high death rates recorded.

While the tragic loss is found deeply within the sufferer, there comes the Two-Sided Coin of Depression that many may not realize while witnessing an episodic state. Having to been hospitalized in late April of 2016 for Major Depressive Disorder, that episode brought on life’s darkest moments as well as periodic revelations that would not have been encountered otherwise. It does not take the depression away, but it definitely gives greater empathy and understanding to the point that we need to be guided for solutions. It is, however, going to be hard for various factors involving the individual case and collective data that makes treatment effective.

While psychological advancements are better than they were 20 – 50 years ago, I believe that we’re in a time that a revolution of psychological and biological (also known as biopsychological) factors can weigh the greater effects of outcome that would not have been possible if we do not make the correlation that make up as who we are. Depression, which is evenly distributed among the population, is no more or less a biological mechanism when the organism’s living standards bring on daily gains and losses. However, because of the differences in socioeconomic standards, there tends to be a debatable discussion in terms of mental health and causation of events that can “activate” the depression itself.

This is where I have hope as we enter the chapters of self as well as collective studies that can make psychological advances as relevant as biological advances. By making it more public and less taboo among areas most prevalent, it will change persons and societies to make standards higher and enhanced psychological improvements beyond our biological uptake. It will take long before true collective progress is made, but so long as we keep information prevalent, it will one day be plausible. I personally have hope and aspire to shed some of that hope any time possible.

RE: Politics — Whoops! Opened The Wrong Door’

Enjoying the blog? like the page on facebook! Swaggering around with all my confidence from yesterday I stumble across a problem, I have nowhere to swagger to. I don’t really have any work on at the moment, and Vienna has been transported to the Siberian Peninsular, apparently, so what is a boy to do? […]

via #97 Politics – ‘Whoops! Opened The Wrong Door’ — Mindfump.

 

I have been furiously into political subjects and parties to the point that it identifies me – or should I say, had identified me, up until I started to challenge the midst of the division that I’ve created within myself.

For now, I’ll reblogging one of my favorite psychology-related blogs who seems to speak much of my mind on certain subjects, such as this one.

via @Mindfrump.

Sometimes the best thing to do is to [quietly] walk away.

I’ve always been someone who complied to the rules and listened to those of higher ranking and authority. They must know better in order to hold the position, right? That is up until my recent years. Better late than never, but I finally found what I consider as ‘my voice’ and sometimes I cannot control the limits as to how loud I will use it. At times, it can be a little overbearing to the point it can bring on much of my paranoia.

As stated recently, I had to leave from the counselors I’ve been seeing for months due to “not complying” and overall being ousted due to slut shaming. Unfortunately, among many women there comes a tendency of ‘weeding out’ and competing to the point that we will go as far as reputing by our sexuality in different ways than what men are expected of – which, I will dare to say that further enhances the stigmatizing of women’s sexuality and compulsory behaviors. I can say it from personal experience since I never have been outcast over my sexual preferences from men, but by other women -contrary to popular belief.

Moving forward, I’ve learned to question authority and learned to set the limits between myself and the expectation of others. I do wonder if it’s because I’ve had disappointments by complying to toxic circumstances that can make it become unhealthy to question everything, since I’ve learned that for every action comes an expectation. I have also learned that “my voice” tends to backfire since for one I cannot shut up once using it; two, because the louder I make myself to be, it tends to have a vulnerability of manipulative response from the other party that makes it go back to square one. Which leads to question whether if it’s been worth rebelling all that I’ve had to endure and when it is best to stay quiet, as I had when I complied to everything.

There’s a line between staying quiet and listen and simply staying quiet and walk away. Some of the most revolutionary figures held themselves in silence and never “fought back” in order to make a difference, such as Rosa Parks and Mahatma Ghandi. While I won’t go as extreme as mis/attributing historical events and people to my everyday and rather privileged living, there’s something that could be learned that unfortunately may take a lifetime for me to handle. I’m going to walk away, especially if the problem never was aroused by me.

Sweet Dreams Are Made of These…?

Here I am to disagree.

Lately I’ve been having brief dreams pertaining to my past in terms of people and events as well as dreams having to do with everyday events. Many of them are insignificant while others seem to give reminders as to why anxiety tends to sink in. For example, I have a cat that most likely has cancer and tumors were spotted within his ear as a foul odor is given off as one of the symptoms. I dream about my cat having an illness and having no other choice than to be put down despite them looking healthy (which is the case and an inevitable most likely going to happen.) Others where I see people who I’ve interacted with in the past and it’s as if they’re only there for a second and I needed to conjure up a reason that I’m needing them to be there and owe an explanation as to why they’re no longer in my life. The most impacted of what is considered a nightmare…losing my home, my parents (which has been frequent, seeing as I’m getting older and given the circumstances I shouldn’t be having), and, though I never experienced it, being sexually assaulted. Is this some sort of side effect of my medication that is giving me anxiety during sleep or is there something within my subconscious that is being suppressed by everyday events that cause the fear?

It’s as if within my waking state that something is going to ‘set off’ at anytime and that my mind is a ticking time bomb. Maybe that’s part of the reason I’m having so many writer’s block and not reaching the potential I could while practicing my writing. Maybe that’s why I haven’t been feeling like I’ve had a good night’s rest in a while. I truly don’t know if it’s because I’m used to having some event happen shortly after being stable that it’s ingrained within me to expect for the worst at any point. It’s as if I can never have a true break between circumstantial events as well as my psychological well being. It has to be one or the other. It never ends.

What is there to live for?

For us depressives, this can go extreme and often thought-provoking. Often times when asking ourselves this it’s because we’re on the lower end of depression.

Lately I have been thinking about this and remain on the upside perspective of it. I mean, I am at a fairly decent place in my life – recently to have moved, rethinking (and still am) my life decisions while I can and financially sound in the process. When I find myself going towards the lower end of the scale, I make sure to give myself a reason to distract myself from going at that place. This, of course, can have a price to pay if I keep up the avoidance until I can’t any further. But for now I don’t need to worry. Despite the obstacles I’ve faced, I’m doing fairly well with college and taking baby steps to get back in course to being a full-time student. Maybe I’m living too present of the moment to not see the bigger picture, which provokes anxiety and the depression tends to follow.

So, what is there to live for? Is there a bigger picture or am I better off not seeing it so that I don’t become overwhelmed? I can’t help but to still feel a bit hazed while remaining in the present, which makes me wonder if there’s a sense of denial going on. But whatever. It’s all I’ve ever known and might as well remain in it for the sake of sanity itself. Don’t fix what is not broken, right?

So I’ll just sit here with my Saturday evening cup of coffee and try to distract myself as neighbors blast music. It’s better than silence that would allow my brain to become the loudest.

New Beginnings

Just as I am writing this, I’m reflecting back on the things that may be petty, but overall things that people have done that have hurt me, whether if they were intentional or not. More recently, I’ve had what seemed like a loss that turn out to be one of the best things that have ever happened – letting go and starting new.

At times, we can get caught up among circles that show some toxicity and addictive to the point one can become a glutton for punishment. My most recent had to have been the counselors I’ve been seeing ever since I started the trails of my confirmed diagnoses. Three of them, to be exact, as a team of psychotherapists who would jot down the symptoms displayed in an individual and confirm them with the psychiatrist. They weren’t the ten – eleven months worth of wasted time, which I will give them credit for. Just the way I’ve concluded with them and their overall assumptions about me outside the confidential standards between a client and case manager was where it went wrong.

I guess one can say that there’s been many red flags that gave the signs of bad therapy taking place during my time of treatment. After a few months saying minimal about my past, there came the tiny breakthroughs that I knew deep within me would have me become vulnerable. I knew to trust nobody, even professionals, about the problems I had in terms of intimacy, trust and infidelity. There’s no doubt that the first two were apparent, but I never talk about the infidelities that made me have emotional affairs with married men and the fact that I was never the good quality in terms of finding proper dates. I know by saying these things, I’m vulnerable to the criticisms by strangers, and who knows, even my therapists if they happen to find my blog. The purpose of this is to open up and write what I know I would never say.

 

Shortly after my departure of my psychotherapists, a friend was asked by the very administrator of the system whether or not I was/am a stripper. Yes, this happened – no respect in asking me in person nor keeping anything confidential as their profession tells them to do. Must I explain myself? No, because I know what I am and am not and being a stripper is not one of them. How I get my income or any sense of intimacy is essentially nobody’s business to begin with. When I heard of this, I couldn’t hide the fact as to how psychologically and spiritually shattered I became. People, at the end of the day, trying to ruin my name by making assumptions and having the audacity to ask/say about their claims to another person whom having no business to know much about my intimate-life. What could have I done at that point?

While it affirms to not saying about my deep-rooted issues, it also has opened my eyes as to how free I’ve been set since I became suspended from their program. Was it right? No. But sometimes the injustice can bring the benefit of the one afflicted of the unjust and have them move on to something better, since I too am a human being with emotions and a (broken) soul. What became the day of my potential breakdown was also a gain for me to seek (somewhat) better treatment. I hope that by learning about the potential effects of counselor abuse there can be something done to keep the client, no matter their diagnosis or past, their dignity and respect that unfortunately gets lost within the pages of reports.

I chose to listen. I chose to heal. Why? Because I deserve it.

 

via Daily Prompt: Heal

Stockholm lorry rams crowds, killing ‘at least four people’ – BBC News

A lorry has smashed into a store in central Stockholm, killing at least four people.

At least a dozen people were also injured in the incident on Drottninggatan (Queen Street), one of the city’s major pedestrian streets, on Friday afternoon.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said everything pointed to an act of terrorism.

Police said they were still hunting for the driver.

A different person was arrested earlier, after police released a grainy image of a man caught on CCTV.

The held man is deemed to be a person of interest in the case.

Eyewitnesses describe lorry ‘trying to hit people’

Read more via BBC News: Stockholm lorry rams crowds, killing ‘at least four people’ – BBC News

Being the Outlier of This Equation Called Life

Too young to be worried, too old to be contemplating.

Young enough to be denigrated, old enough to be held accountable.

“You still have time to figure it out,” they say.

“What are you doing with your life?” I’m asked.

Surrounded by mothers with the world weighed on their shoulders.

Students yearning to dig all the promised treasure they can find.

Expectations too low and standards set high.

Being the outlier of this equation called Life.

 

via Daily Prompt: Outlier

[Politics] – Trump’s View of Bashar al-Assad Changed After Syrian Attack

Later Turkey’s health ministry said 31 people injured in the attack who had been taken across the border showed signs of being exposed to the nerve agent sarin. “Evidence was detected in patients which leads one to think they were exposed to a chemical substance [sarin],” the ministry said in a statement.

As evidence mounted confirming the use of chemical weapons, so did western pressure for some response. Donald Trump warned that the strike had changed his view of the Syrian leader, Bashar al-Assad.

France’s foreign minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, said Paris was trying to persuade the security council to pass resolution but it was “difficult”. He said: “France is still seeking to talk with its partners on the security council, especially the permanent members, and Russia in particular.”

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said it was a “scandal” that the UN’s security council had not passed a resolution on the attack.

The medical results from Turkey came as the Syrian foreign minister denied that his government used chemical weapons in the attack, or had used them before, despite reports from UN investigators confirming previous chemical attacks by both the Syrian government and Islamic State troops.

Speaking to reporters in Damascus, Walid al-Muallem said: “The Syrian Arab Army has never used chemical weapons and will not use chemical weapons against Syrians and even against terrorists.”

 

See full article at via The Guardian – World News: Postmortems confirm Syria chemical attack, Turkey says.

The Line Between Self-Criticism and the Criticism of Others

How much do we take the criticism of others and apply it to our own self-criticism? Is the criticism of ourselves a product of societal standards or does the societal standards reflect upon our own critics that determine what is acceptable or not?

It tends to start from early childhood when we start to grasp the concept of morality and consequences that affect the stimulus as to what we gain or lose from the actions we output to the world around us. Peer pressure becomes crucial in normal development and it is mandatory within the working world in order to make our living. How far does the boundary set between putting an acceptable persona in how we act and how we view ourselves in terms of body image, self-esteem and overall mental health? How much do we sacrifice in order to compromise what we want and what we need to be?

Remembering events such as when I was twelve and invited to a sleepover that a supposed-friend set up with another friend and remembering how much I “stood out” socially as well as physically, to remembering the freshmen year of high school where I spent after school in the girls bathroom waiting for others to leave so that I wouldn’t have to face the judgments of other people while grabbing the stuff needed to go home from my locker, are a few prime examples as to when I was exposed to the gruesome reality of expectation and criticism. More recently, having to confront family members asking what I’m doing with my life while withdrawing from old connections as they moved on to graduate and obtain their associate’s and bachelor’s; meanwhile confining myself taking a few classes per semester in hopes to obtain an associate’s or transferring to a four-year college as I seek help for mental health concerns that I’ve recently decided to [some cases inevitably] come out towards. Hence, the side effects of depression and weight start to come in as warmer weather is heading around the corner and I’m hoping to overcome the obstacle of staying outdoors more often and for longer periods of time. Unemployment? Further confirming to relatives assumptions and dismissal of former-friends as well as professional’s expectations. Is it any wonder that my depression tends to flare up at times? Is it the causation or correlation to my apparent circumstances that essentially is seen as the bottom of the barrel in society?

Is it worth to put any expectations among the actions I take, now that inevitably going towards the stage of the saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” to trying to find what “hidden capabilities” I have in order to attempt at finding new and alternative paths to take with my life now that I can find the opportunity in amidst of the unknown? How much of the “expectations” (or assumptions, whichever way it is put) are to blame for much of my life as well as anybody’s life that give criticism to how much our lives are worth and the self-importance we try to maintain in order to give our life some meaning? Some try to say that there’s a “bigger picture” to the choices we make and sometimes we have to seek them through in order to understand. I’m not sure if I’m at that stage as of yet in order to find true self-constructive criticism and acceptance that may have been long needed in order to help find that direction in life.