And it’s one, two, three,
What are we fighting for?
Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it’s five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain’t no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we’re all gonna die.
Lyrics – Country Joe and the Fish
I went to see that movie American Sniper last night. It was a rather sobering experience. But how much more sober can you get than stone cold? Who knows? If you haven’t heard about this movie it’s based on the biography of Chris Kyle, a sniper who did 4 tours in Iraq. He is known as the most lethal sniper in American History with 160 confirmed kills. He made it home alive and was murdered by a troubled veteran he was trying to help.
I’m not even going to go into the nasty debate about whether he was a hero or a coward. My opinion is that he was a soldier doing what he thought was the right thing to do to protect his family and country. He didn’t start the war – he just did what he had to do.
That being said, I’ve been pondering the whole war conundrum. I laid awake much of last night thinking about it. In a way we treat our returning warriors the same way we treat people with mental illness. We sweep it under the rug and pretend the problem doesn’t exist.
Those caught up in the war machine seem have the same mental kinks as people who are mentally ill and/or have mental illness or substance abuse problems. “Oh this is just affecting us, no one else has to deal with it, and we’re handling it just fine.” Hogwash!
As I look back over my life I can see that war has tainted my entire life. I was in my mid-teens when the Vietnam War was going on. I faced the fear that if it continued for a few more years that my brothers would have to go. I was the oldest in my family and female, but my girlfriends had older brothers that were sent off to Vietnam. They came home in a box. One of those brothers was the first boy I ever kissed. He kissed me the night before he went off to boot camp.
During that era teenage trouble making was a death sentence if you were boy from a blue collar family. The judge gave them a choice “jail or Vietnam.” Stupid boys chose Nam. I would have much rather they went to jail, but I was a 14 year old girl, my say didn’t matter much then. It probably doesn’t matter much more now. I just have a wider audience.
After my girlfriends lost their brothers, we three musketeers decided to wear black arm bands to school. We got in all kinds of trouble for it. Being teen aged innocents we didn’t know we were protesting, we just knew that our guys died and we were sad and very angry. We had to stay after school for detention every day that we wore those arm bands. Funny thing was no one ever tried to confiscate them. If this happened in the present they probably would have them confiscated. Can’t wear or carry anything to school that might offend someone nowadays. I don’t remember how long we wore them and when we stopped either. How odd. We drifted apart, life goes on I guess.
Fast forward to when I was 18 years old. I fell in love with a Vietnam vet who was one of those who made it home in body but not in mind. My mother hated him and knew he was trouble. She finally told me to not talk to her until I was finished with him. She was right in a way. He was trouble because he was troubled. When we walked down the street he was constantly scanning and looking around at trees, roof tops, alleyways. I thought he was just unusually alert. What did I know about soldiers and PTSD? My dead friends don’t talk about that. 6 months later he committed suicide by cop. Meaning they tried to arrest him, he said “you’re not taking me alive” and boom he’s dead.
So at the tender age of 14 I learned that I was not invincible. People die because of other people’s decisions, shit happens. Should children have to learn that? I don’t know but there are children all over the world in war zones learning this every day. Are we better for it? I don’t think so. But that’s just my opinion among billions of others.
Since I’ve been so sick and under the weather from grief at the death of my grandson, I’m running out of things to do that don’t involve much moving at all or any heavy breathing. Come to think of it I haven’t been capable of doing anything that involves much thinking either.
A few days ago I found myself incapable of doing anything more strenuous than lying on the bed and watching the screen saver on my computer cycle through.
Yesterday I started trolling YouTube to find things to laugh about. It’s great for my chest and sinuses to laugh because it sends me into a coughing and sneezing fit that really get things going in the snot department.
One thing I noticed is that there are tons of videos entitled “watch this it’s the funniest thing ever.” Many of them are so not funny at all… it’s almost but not quite funny. Maybe I don’t get it because I’m not a generation Xer or a millennial kid.
I even found a slew of videos called “nut shots.” These videos are made by a select group of young men who are doing us all a favor by removing themselves from the gene pool. They set up ways to have themselves get slammed in the nuts and catch it on tape. One guy sat at the bottom of a skate board tube with his legs spread and had a friend roll a bowling ball down the slope and into his crotch. My faith in coming generations was severely damaged by this.
Then there all the beauty tips by young girls and teenagers. Example: “How to grow your hair long.”
Hi, I’m Tiffany and I say “um” every fifth word, I’m going to tell you how to have long hair. It’s like totally rad, like what you do is not cut your hair, like for a really long time. And then you like run your fingers through your hair 15 times a minute and purse your lips. It’s like totally cool and it really works.
And while I let my hair grow, I’m going to show you how to put on lip gloss. What you do is like (zoom into close up of a container of lip gloss) stick your finger in the lip gloss and like smear it on your lips. Then I’m going to show you how to put on makeup. (More close ups of various drug store make up products) You like spread this foundation all over your face, it’s probably good to have the color match your face. Then you put on eye shadow, eye liner and mascara. It’s so cool see here I am without makeup (close of up of beautiful flawless 16 year old skin, followed by close up of a girl who now looks like the whore of Babylon.)
Maybe there needs to be a video blog made by and for women who are looking at 50 in the rear view mirror? Without make up on a bad day, especially when I’ve been sick for 2 weeks, I do a good impression of a corpse in a coffin. My lips are shriveled up and cracked. My nose is chapped. I have dark circles on under my eyes that would scare off a raccoon. Will running my fingers through my hair and talking like a valley girl help? Probably not.
When did mental illness become a crime punishable by death…without even a trial? That’s what can happen to a loved one if they live in the frozen North of our great country. I’m so angry that I’m having extreme difficulty putting it into words.
My grandson has been struggling for years now. His latest residence was a homeless shelter for veterans in Boston. He got in some kind of disagreement with them and they threw him out, in the middle of the night, when the temperature was in the teens. If it was that bad why didn’t they call the police? I’d rather my grandson be in jail than in a funeral home waiting for us to bring him to his final resting place. There are not enough tears in the ocean to shed at this travesty.
Many of our young people are behind the eight ball in multiple ways; inner city crime, emotional disorders, mental illness, substance abuse, homelessness and many more problems. Most health care professionals have no training in treating people with alcoholism and mental illness together.
Many will say “we can’t give you any medicine for mental illness because you are drinking.” I’m sorry, but that is a big giant load of horse crap. Maybe if they gave someone a valium they would calm down, go home, if they have one, and go to sleep, instead of wandering the streets, and even dying on a park bench or a train station. Are they afraid of liability issues? I wonder.
So my grandson is laying in a coffin now. He slipped through the cracks. But can we even call it a crack?? It’s more a huge fissure that’s getting wider every day. Pray for our children.
Miss Scarlet, I don’t know nuthin’ bout birthin’ no babies. Housemaid from Gone With the Wind
Why do otherwise normal, intelligent, rational people throw their hands up in the air and claim they don’t know anything about their health or the lack thereof, and what medications they are taking? (Myself included)
Miss mother-in-law, husband and I have been on a nightmare merry go round of health issues this entire year. Frankly, I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I used to take ownership of my health, but somewhere along the way I let that fall by the wayside and now I’m paying a huge price for this lapse of responsibility.
If you go to the doctor they are going to give you a pill or lots of pills. That is just the way of their people. Maybe I should use reverse psychology and go to my doctor and state that I am absolutely and unequivocally NOT going to take meds for thyroid, come hell or high water. Then she would right me a script for thyroid meds so fast the paper would catch on fire. On that note I should also ask her to triple my cholesterol meds so she will tell me to stop taking them altogether.
Mother-in-law has become obsessed with her blood sugar and tests her herself 87 times a day. This is counterproductive because people’s blood sugar varies throughout the day. This is normal. I think she’s probably suffering from blood loss from all the fingers pricks. Because of her complaining her doc doubled her diabetes meds and now she’s going around swooning from low blood sugar and getting sick from all the meds. Duh! It got so bad that Mr. Husband took her back to the doctor and he cut back on her meds. She’s feeling a bit better now. Imagine that.
I asked her one day what medications she’s taking and she said “Oh, I don’t know, I take so many of them” and then changed the subject. How’s that for passing the buck? Mr. Husband always seems to get sick when his mother gets sick. My theory is that it is stress related. When she’s freaking out about her health she gets hysterical, needy and bossy. That’s enough to make me want to run down the street screaming and ripping my hair out.
I’m going to figure my own health issues out if it’s the last thing I do!
Why do women suffer in silence and tolerate criminal behavior? I wish I knew. The police can’t help you unless you let them. And they need to know about men who are stalking women. It makes their day when they put a violent man behind bars.
I have a friend who’s ex-boyfriend is stalking her. He’s doing it a creepy, smarmy way. He left a magazine in her mailbox. He circled an article on the cover and wrote, this made me think of you. It’s just a magazine you may say. But she moved after breaking up with him and has not told him where she lived. So he discovered her whereabouts without her consent. The magazine was there to let her know that he knows where she lives. Not only that it against Federal Law to leave something without postage in someone’s mailbox. That – is – stalking.
Then her current boyfriend got a call from his bank that a man claiming to be an investment consultant came in the bank asking questions about him and his bank accounts. They figured out that it was the ex doing the snooping. So now this jackass is not only stalking her but her boyfriend as well.
I got a text message from her this morning asking me if I sent her a Valentine ’s Day heart boxed candy. I didn’t and asked if there was no card with the shipment. She replied no, that it was probably her ex. I told her not to eat the candy, and quoted her some facts from the National Center for Victims of Crime. This site lists the unwanted sending of gifts, cards, letters or emails as part of the definition of a stalker. She texted me back basically telling me to shut up about it, in a nice way of course, but the message was clear.
Well, fortunately for me I have a blog and so I don’t have to shut up. I can say it loud. Ladies you DO NOT have to put up with any kind of contact or communication from anyone from your past. Even a relative can be legally defined as a stalker if you do not want anything to do with them and they persist anyway. Also, there is a point where a person ceases being the “ex” and becomes a criminal stalker. And that line is drawn when you decide when you want no further contact with them. They don’t get decide this. YOU decide this.
Over the years I’ve known a lot of good women who were stalked by their ex-boyfriends or husbands. A couple of women ignored their stalkers and were terrorized for years before their stalker either gave up or went to jail for other reasons. Some even went on to receive threatening letters from their stalker from in jail. The misery went on for what seemed like forever. Their lives and the lives of the loved ones and friends were significantly diminished because the stalking.
The smart women went to the police, got restraining orders, and followed it up by calling the police every single time their stalker made any kind of contact them. The stalkers got the message and backed off. Turns out these tough guys were afraid of the police and the possibility of jail time.
Three of these women are in their graves now. They did not go to the police or do anything else to stop the stalking. One was beaten to death by her ex-husband after he broke in her house and shot and killed her boyfriend. One was shot in the head at a Wendy’s Hamburger drive though window by her ex at lunch time in broad daylight. The ex-husband of the third shot her and her female attorney to death in the stairwell of the parking garage next to the court-house.
Stalking is not like your car tires. If you ignore the problem – it will not go away. Stalkers get off on terrorizing you. It is not love or grief. It is a power trip. They didn’t get what they want and intend to make you pay and pay and pay. It’s sick – and it’s not your fault.
Information about stalkers:
Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide*
- 76% of intimate partner femicide victims have been stalked by their intimate partner.
- 67% had been physically abused by their intimate partner.
- 89% of femicide victims who had been physically assaulted had also been stalked in the 12 months before their murder.
- 79% of abused femicide victims reported being stalked during the same period that they were abused.
- 54% of femicide victims reported stalking to police before they were killed by their stalkers.
*The murder of a woman.
[Judith McFarlane et al., “Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide,” Homicide Studies 3, no. 4 (1999).]
A stalker can be someone you know well or not at all. Most have dated or been involved with the people they stalk. Most stalking cases involve men stalking women, but men do stalk men, women do stalk women, and women do stalk men.
- 2/3 of stalkers pursue their victims at least once per week, many daily, using more than one method.
- 78% of stalkers use more than one means of approach.
- Weapons are used to harm or threaten victims in 1 out of 5 cases.
- Almost 1/3 of stalkers have stalked before.
- Intimate partner stalkers frequently approach their targets, and their behaviors escalate quickly.
- All 50 states have stalking laws
Victims of Crime.org fact sheet