living out loud

tier swimming.

Hideous! And borrowed from:

So I have another Twitter stalker. I’m pretty sure I know who it is, though I could be wrong and even if I’m not there’s no way to prove it. It’s a really sick man I interacted with a bit back in the fall until I was told exactly what he is, and what he’s capable of. No, nope, nopity nope. BYE. I’d already dealt with one sick man, no need to deal with another. But here I am, dealing with his Trump-loving ass anyway. (sigh. I attract these sickos to me like flies, and maybe that’s just my lot in life if I’m going to have an Internet presence.)

Not scared by it. Not mad. Not even slightly upset. He sets up these private accounts to harass and get to me, and they really just get more wtf-is-wrong-with-people feelings, and more of a (sigh, here we go again) reaction. I just report and block. I can do this forever, infinity, I really can. The second he gets dangerous-sounding, I call the police. I know where to start to locate him and Twitter will work with the police to find him – I know my legal parameters and what is/isn’t possible. He’s homeless, with a serious arrest record, and a sad example of what mental illness can do to a person as well as a good example of why it’s important to really be careful…but then, even as careful as you can be if it’s someone like a malignant narcissist or sociopath, they’re so good at presenting a facade to the world that is a complete lie. Like a spider building a web. Except spiders are actually useful to the world, and malignant narcissists and sociopaths are not. I think it’s kind of fascinating, actually, that he continues to set up fake Twitter account after account, calling me a looser (sic) and says I can’t manage my life. I’m not the one setting up anonymous fake Twitter accounts, too cowardly to put my real name and face to them, and I’m not a man attacking a woman…so I think I’m winning at life a lot better than this troll is. It’s fine – I figured out awhile ago we do not let the Internet baddies define our experiences on the Internet. If I decide to take a social media break, trust: it won’t be because of something someone else said or did to me on it; it’ll be because I just need one. Other people don’t get to control a single thing about what we say, do, or who we interact with on the Internet or anywhere else, for that matter. Ev. ER.

At any rate, I also find it really fascinating that this is how many of Trump’s supporters are. I actually divide Donald fans into two categories: Normal and Abnormal. Normal are people like my sweet mom and other friends and family, who sincerely believe the lies Donald tells. They want America to be better, and they deeply hope and believe he’s the one to do it (he is not, he will not–bring George W Bush and his friend Dick back and then I’ll say MAYBE their Republican version of America can work…it will not under Donald Trump). Their main issue is not really truly understanding that they’re all one or two steps away from needing government assistance and housing. We all are. Until the shoe is on the other foot and you really walk in someone else’s, it’s really easy to criticize.

The other group, the Abormals, are the really sad members of society who…gosh, y’all. I want to be careful here, what I say. Because people are not their illnesses. But some illnesses are so dangerous the rest of us need to be protected from them. And some illnesses so rot a human’s soul, they’re simply not very human anymore.

Something you will never catch me doing. (thank you,

Just like an ocean has layers, with different kinds of creatures that exist in those layers, I think it goes in tiers:

Tier 1 is what I struggle with…depressive periods of intense self-doubt combined with anxiety and some scary moments of self-destructive behaviors – a lot of this is situational for me, but for other people it’s chemical and needs medication. Also, I think I have ADD. If I remember to, I’ll come back and write a blog post about that. It would certainly explain a lot of what I’ve been dealing with. I think Tier 1 people, with some therapy and some deep introspection and a good, good support network, typically are able to get themselves to a place of Health and Okay. Eventually. With some setbacks…because you’ll always be a Tier 1, and you need to be aware of that. Forever.

Tier 2 is a little more serious. This is where you find yourself clinically depressed, severely alcoholic, having meltdowns so severe they’re causing family and work issues…you can’t get out of Tier 2 or into Health and Okay without therapy AND medication. You can’t. It’s not your fault, but you’ve got something happening in your brain that is causing you to need help. Just like a virus. If you take the help, you’ll be okay. You can get into Tier 1 and have an okay life with therapy and medicine, but if you’ve got therapy, medicine, and a good support network, it’s my opinion you can totally get out of Tier 1 and 2, and into a Health and Okay space of life. But you’ll always be a Tier 2, and you need to be ever vigilant.

Tier 3 is where you find the personality and mood disorders. Just like layers of the ocean, this is deeper and darker, getting closer to the Abyss. You’re probably not ever going to make it to Health and Okay, but you can maybe get up to Tier 2 and hang. But you need heavy medication and deep therapy. And sometimes other people need to be protected from you and/or you need protection from yourself. I read an article yesterday about a man who wrote a book about his wife’s psychotic breaks…when he met her in college, she was radiant and going places. But a few years into their marriage, she’d been taken over by schizophrenia and other mood disorders she struggles with. She’s completely okay sometimes…totally up in between Tiers 1 and 2, maintaining. And then her brain breaks on them, and she has to be hospitalized. He wrote the book because he loves her, and he’s staying – he’s completely committed to her (oh my god, I’m tearing up just thinking of the kind of person who does this) – but he doesn’t know how many more brain breaks she can take. Because she doesn’t know how many more she can take. Both she and he think she’ll eventually take her own life, unable to bear one more break. They have a little boy.

People aren’t their illnesses. We need a gentler understanding of mental health in this country. I get really exasperated with people and say things like: “She’s a psycho!” or “He’s crazy!” or “That’s so insane!” but really that’s just me being exasperated. I probably need to stop doing that, but this is how ingrained negative perception towards mental illness is in our society: I literally can’t think of anything to replace it with when exasperated. Other than to just say: Crap, I’m exasperated. (And maybe that just what I will do.) People complain about PC talk, but it’s got a purpose. Is it okay to tell a kid: “That’s so gay.” as if there’s something displeasing about being gay. There is nothing wrong with things that are gay – in fact, gay things make our world better, I’ve found. And what does it say about you to sneer at someone: “You’re such a retard.” Because all of the retarded people I’ve ever interacted with have been complete sweethearts. You’re actually paying that person a compliment while exposing what an unsympathetic asshole you actually are.

But then this is why we’re all mentally ill, at a certain level.

Tier 4. Let’s talk about Tier 4, because this is the Abyss of human psyche. Something never formed for these people. Someone damaged them so completely when they were babies they’re not salvageable. Or they were born without some kind of important piece the rest of us were born with. These are the people who walk among us looking and speaking normally, donating to charities, helping in soup kitchens, giving aid to little old ladies crossing the street…and in the middle of the night sneaking out to set fire to a house filled with sleeping babies. Or slowly, deliberately poisoning another person to death. Or beating a loved one within an inch of their life…or just taking their life and then their own. Or serial killing. These are the kinds of people True Crime authors write bestsellers about, podcasts examine closely. These are the monsters we tell scary stories about, sitting around campfires. These are our Hitlers, our Mussolinis, our Saddam Husseins, our Assads, our Kim Jung-Ils (and Uns), our Pol Pots, our Vlad the Impalers, our Rasputins, our Attila the Huns, our Mugabes, our Lenins and Stalins and Brezhnevs and Putins…humanity has a lot (A LOT) of people…typically men…who suffer from severe delusions of grandeur and greatness and ruthlessly cause the deaths of millions and millions of people. This is where you find your malignant narcissists, your sociopathic narcissists, your…well. Is there anything worse than a malignant narcissist or sociopathic narcissist? Not according to my research (I’m researching them because one of the characters in the story I’m working on needs to be completely evil and broken and calculatingly malicious, but nobody else knows it…this is the realm, the playground, of the sociopathic narcissist).

Poor Friedrich…he also suffered from mental illness AND he had an a-hole sister who gave him a rep as an anti-Semitic fascist. Family…can’t live with ’em…sometimes you really can’t live with ’em.

Not sure what to do about Tier 4 baddies. Kinda concerned the sitting president of our country likes to compliment them. (I don’t think Donald Trump is a bad man, actually…I think he’s a weak man. I think he’s a weak man who relies completely on the opinions and suggestions of other people around him, many whom appear to view people like Putin and his ilk as strong leaders who get things done. These are not strong people, these are terribly broken people existing in a very dark place. And therein lies my issue with our overly tan leader.)

At any rate. Obviously I’m not a mental health professional, so all of this is just my opinion based on personal observations and experiences, particularly over the last 2-3 years of my life (lands, Reader/s, over the last 2-3 years of my life I’ve had to interact with more mentally unstable people than I have in the other 40 or so years. Not sure what is going on, other than I’m not in the C cocoon anymore). I really try hard not to diagnose other people, but when it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…it’s probably not a goose.

Still working on my story. I didn’t get to write last week like I’d wanted because I got sick. And I’m frustrated with me, because here’s what I do: I come up with a GREAT beginning. Or a fabulous two opening sentences and then…I got bumpkiss. Or I get distracted. Or sick. Or sleepy. Or I have a bad day at work and just veg out on social media or Netflix or with a book…screw writing. All of my favorites, the great masters I admire–Anne Lamott, Neil Gaiman, Liz Gilbert, JK Rowling–say you can’t do this, you HAVE to write no matter what’s going on. I know for a fact Jo Rowling and Anne Lamott and Liz Gilbert have all struggled with Tier 1&2 stuff, and if they can do it, so can I. I’m just making – per usual – shitty choices. Easy choices.

But I’m getting better, and that’s good. I’ve got a big sadness hanging over me right now, but I’m working on not reacting to it as much, like I would have in the past. Just letting it be there, letting it hurt, and trying to get to a point of letting it go. Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes you can love someone with all of your heart, but they’re just not meant to be in your life. It is what it is. Sucks.

But thank god I’m not swimming around in Tier 4.

Don’t underestimate me based on my whiny blog posts and drippy status updates and tweets. I’m stubborn and scrappy, and a survivor. I got this. (Probably not at 5 AM on Monday mornings prior to coffee, though.)