An Open Letter To A Blogger (Not You.)

Dear Well Known Blogger: (No, not you, or you, or you.) (Quit it! It’s not you!!!)

I read you for a couple of months a year or so ago. I liked your writing and you had a great back story. Very sad, indeed. But you wrote it well. I followed you on the twit and Facebook. I wanted to know you. I really wanted to like you. I imagined gleefully meeting somewhere, having a beer. I wanted to like you as a person, not just a bloggy face.

But then…

Well, I have issues with the whole social media thing. I do. This spring I bore witness to the worst aspects of it, when a blogger got bullied and chest butted by another blogger’s husband over what I consider something so benign as to be laughable. On twitter. For the world to see. What I found so incredibly disturbing was that this was a case of cyber-bullying, in essence, by a person that brands himself as a family man. I think I get it. He mistakenly thought he was standing up for his wife, yet the way he went about it left me to wonder what he would have done if he’d had physical access to the person that offended him.

Is this what we’ve become? Is social media just the new jungle gym to knock someone else off of? Does anyone think of the embarrassment that they may cause? Or the pain?

Back to you. I stopped following you on the twit after I saw one of your tweets congratulating a country on their killing of a madman. Like Yay! He’s dead! Way to go! That just flat-out gave me pause. If you are a person that advocates for others (which you do), why would you ever tweet about anyone’s death like that? I didn’t get it. I unfollowed you and stopped reading. But like I said, I really wanted to like you. For you.

I just came back to you a few days ago. I was almost excited. Like reconnecting with an old friend. But you did it again. You insulted someone on twitter. Someone that had done a lot of work, laid themselves out in front of people. Someone who didn’t deserve to be made fun of because they were sharing their truth as they see it. You called them a name. I ask you; if that person read your ‘harmless’ little tweet, what do you think they would feel? What if that person made their living this way? Who are you to piss on them?

Again, I think I get it. I’m of the mind that you think you are as famous as The Bloggess. www.thebloggess.com. That just maybe, you can call people out and be rude when you feel because you are “famous” and no one will take you to task. Well, I’ve read almost all of Jenny’s work and I will say this. If she has to get into a shitfight, she manages to still do it with humour and dare I say, a semblance of class. If she calls out her minions on twitter, all of us now happy members of The Unicorn Success Club, she also can call us all back. Do you know why? Because we are all nice people. We read her because she has a good heart and like attracts like.

Having said that, if I have to be a social maven who is rude, mean and thinks others are beneath them to be successful at blogging, I guess I want no part of it.

I think I’ll happily stay here in my own dimly lit little corner of the web. I hope you are aware that if I tweet, as I’ve been known to do, the biggest person I make fun of is myself. And I never high-five anyone’s death. I don’t care who it is. That is just bad form.

I think that’s it. If you do read this, I can only hope that you realize that fame is fleeting. Someday soon you’ll be second-hand news. I also hope you learn that an inner censor is not a bad thing. You are better than some of the things you’ve put out to the world.

Not Invisible

This is not what I had intended to write. Not at all.

But, I keep getting notice on my stats (bloggy thing) of people finding my blog using the search term, “Am I invisible”. And my friends, every stinking time I read that, my heart just breaks a bit. So, here goes.

No. You are not invisible. You might feel like that from time to time, or maybe you’re feeling it a lot. But trust me. You are not.

Because I see you. I noticed you. Right away. I know you are here. And believe or not, I care that you are here.

You may not believe this, but someone loves you. Likely a few people. Do you think for one second that your presence isn’t noticed by them? Or your absence? I’ll bet in your absence, they miss you. You just don’t notice.

Maybe the world feels against you, no one hears you calling out in your pain. Trust me. That’s a lie. Your brain is very good at lying to you when you are in pain. Don’t believe it.

Not invisible. 

Tell yourself that everyday. Yell it if you have to.

We, all people, are honoured to have you here. We don’t want you anywhere else.

I know sometimes it’s just so hard to get up in the morning and you wonder to yourself ,”Why, why, why do I feel so alone?”

I’ve been there. Mama duck has had her moments, to be sure.

Not invisible.

Even the simple matter of reaching out to your computer renders you visible. If you’ve got no one else to talk to, talk there. Look until you find it. You will.

I see you. And you can do it, Honey.

Hold fast. Hold fast.

This life is beautiful, if you let it be. You can do it, Honey.

This life is easy. And you are not invisible.

If you need me, you know where I am.

I see you.

Not invisible.

Grade One For The Only

I feel like someone punched me in the heart.

How did this

become this?

Where has the time gone?

I am so happy for him to be able to go to school. See his friends. Have teachers that are excited to lead him. People I’ve gotten to know and trust. And I am grateful that my husband has a job that has allowed me to stay home with our son in these important years. Grateful I will be able to greet him at the end of his day and say “How was school?”

I am lucky. So is he.

But he’s our only. And this tough old duck has a lump in her throat the size of a basketball.

I’ve tried my best to be a mother, not a smother. I’ve had to set him free into the arms of the world and believe that he’d be okay.

We almost lost him twice before he was born, were told that if he did make it, he would be dead within three months at best. When I had him, he couldn’t breathe and his heartrate would’t stabilize. He was in the NICU for a week. After that, there was no way we’d try for another. Too scary.

We are lucky. I know.

I know I can’t stay at his school all day waiting for him. I know I can’t park out front with binoculars hoping for a glimpse. But Damnit, I’d sure like to!

Last year, I had this same feeling over kindergarten. My husband bought me this:

This year, I’ve enrolled in University and College. Yes. You read that right. And today, he bought me a laptop. It was that or another dog.

I’ll be okay. And my boy will soar. It’s all good. Right?

He just called me to his room. He can’t sleep cause he’s too excited.

Yeah, it’s all good.

Put Some Jack Into It

I’ve been watching Canada’s reaction to the death of our beloved Opposition leader this week. Upon hearing of his passing, my first thought was a sad “Oh no.”

I’m sure most of us felt that way for a couple of reasons. First of all, I think we were all looking forward to some damn good politics coming out of Ottawa. When the NDP became the opposition under Layton, it felt as though we were finally going to have someone who would change the status quo of politics to something we could understand and relate to. It seemed that we had a ‘real’ person again, sitting in house, defending us against a bunch of overeducated talking heads. It felt like he was one of us, not a tight-lipped political Autobot. Sorry Stephen, but you have the public presentation and personality of my right big toe. And Ignatieff was a self aggrandizing arrogant prick. Sorry Mike, that ‘kiss my big ring’ crap doesn’t fly with us Canucks. Strange to think, but Canada felt like it may be a place to be proud of again. It seemed as if we didn’t knee jerk vote for our long-term parties agendas. It seemed we voted for the guy. The man who listened. A man we could have a drink with. Someone with a heart. It was exciting. Even more so to think that this poor bugger was sick with cancer and a hip replacement all the while doing so. Did that make us turn away? Not at all. Most of us watched and asked ourselves ‘How the hell is he doing that?’.

Heart.

He believed with his heart that what he was doing was for the betterment of us all.

And we felt like he loved us.

So Stephen. Steve. May I call you that? Take a lesson. It doesn’t matter to us what you say or how closely you are following your party agenda. We really want to know that you care for us as your countrymen and women. That you have heart.

We want to see you roll up your sleeves and get dirty. We want to know that it’s not just about the dollar. We want you to give a damn about every last one of us. Rich, poor, young, old, immigrant, indigenous, gay, straight, every last one of us.

We want you to loosen that bloody tie and get real. If you did, I bet you wouldn’t look like you’ve sucked a pickled lemon all the time.

We want you to ‘put a little Jack in it.’

We’re going to need you. We feel hurt and saddened. Like an Uncle died.

Rise to it. Don’t go hiding. You do too much of that.

You can’t be Jack, but maybe you can learn a thing or two from him. The rest of us have.

By the way, you did the right thing honouring him with a state funeral. Good job.

Now get busy. And show us some heart.

 RIP Jack Layton 1950-2011

You will be long missed.

John Boy Walton And My Soldier Shoulders

I feel the need to do a little clarifying. I want you all to know that I’m not thinking of anything drastic, and I’m not in a horrible state of being. I’ve been down the slope before, and always pulled myself back up. I know how to self manage. I just need to kick myself in the ass a bit. Get back to who I am. So first off, quit worrying!!!! Christ, I can hear you fussing from all the way over there! You’re  giving me a headache. And a small piece of advice: if worry did anything except cause grey hair and alcohol problems, don’t you think the world’s issues would be solved by now?

But. I thank you. I know you love me. And I have had some AMAZING support and dialogue with absolute strangers. And that is why I wrote what I did. That is why I am honest here. Because not one of us confused, lonely, sad, broken little souls is alone. Never think that. Ever. There are beautiful people out there in this world that are strangers one second, friends the next. And you folks that reached out to me? God bless you. Or Satan, whatever is your bag. Thank you. I will pay it forward.

Anyway. Day4 into a balls ass, week-long yoga intensive, from the women I took my first classes  from. Kundalini and Ashtanga. Chanting, singing, topped off with singing crystal bowls to cleanse the chakras even further. For me, it’s a no makeup, no chemical whatsoever, clean eating week. Okay, maybe I stink a bit, but hey.

So this depression deal? I can’t say when mine started. Probably in childhood. So much legacy I was handed. So much baggage that wasn’t mine. That and the fact that I was the odd duck. I didn’t look like everyone else. I had a big brown John Boy Walton mole on my cheek. Can you guess what the kids called me? Yup. You got it! First try! Kids can be sonsabitches, can’t they?

I was taught to hide very early on. Hide your feelings. Hide the truth. Hide who you are. Hide what’s going on. Hide from the pain, the embarrassment, from the wrath. Hide from God. Hide who you are. Quick! Hide!

Well.You try being 5’10”, skinny as a rail with a big mole on your face. (I always wished I was a petite blonde. Still kinda do. Anyway.) Can’t hide. Too tough. Still stand out.

I felt like everyone knew everything anyway. They most likely did. I was taught two things that stayed with me.Totally affected who I am.

Shoulders back, tits out, stomach in, chin high. Soldier posture. Soldier on. Shoulder what is thrown at you, don’t bend or sway. Buck up, Soldier!!!

Consequently, I’ve ‘pretended’ I could handle a lot of what was shoved on me. I’ve dusted myself off, when what I should have done is lay there for a while, and cry. Ask for help. But not me. I can handle it. Soldier on. 

I was also taught shame. I know shame like the back of my hand. Shame is the heaviest legacy I carry. Shame comes to me as a birthright. Handed down from both sides of my family for generations. I was born shamed.

This shame has made me rebel, and say fuck this. I do what I want.

This shame has made me hurt myself.

This shame has made me keep others away.

This shame has impaired how I love.

This shame has kept me from you.

No more. 

I have nothing to be ashamed of. I stand before everyone as I am.

My depression is not shameful. It’s a part of my life I didn’t ask for or deserve and I will KICK IT’S MOTHERFUCKING ASS!!!

You can watch. And I’ll help you do the same, if I can. I’ll hold your hand if you’ll hold mine.

The world is a pretty lovely place.

I’ll see you soon. We’ll have a laugh.

I Live in the Shadow of Depression

I think one of the worst things I’ve done is to use my( kind of) real name on this blog. I have friends and family, madly reading away, many of them judging. And as I am a thinking feeling individual, who really doesn’t want my parents to hurt for any reason, now I wish I’d used a pseudonym. Because I want to be honest here. I want to be safe here. And yet I find myself censoring my words and trying to keep everything pretty and middle of the road, so you won’t feel the need to discuss it with my mother, who then phones me embarrassed because you’ve given her your unwanted opinion on my writing. So this is for you: If you feel in the least sensitive, don’t read it anymore. If you feel like you could do better, start your own blog. If you think I am only writing this for you, think again. And if you feel the need to comment to someone, comment to me, not my mother. Or fuck off. I really don’t care. And if you think I’m not doing your name justice, no one knows we’re related, and again, fuck off. You don’t own it.

This is mine. I own these words. This is my knowledge. This is not politics. I do not get paid to write this. This is creation. All of it is me. And today I am tired. Tired of hiding.

The gloves are off. The mask is off.

It’s time to talk honestly about that sneaky little bitch that is my depression. I’ve been toodling along, hiding all my shit in happiness and humour, and she has reared her ugly head and tried to cover me her blackness. My kid’s been gone a week, should be time for me to refresh, but as I’ve realized, yet again, my days are formless without him. I don’t have much to do, keep me going. He does indeed, give me a reason to live. I have to get this out. At times, I have been so depressed I’ve thought about ending it, just  not being anymore. It’s been that bad. There was a time in Montreal, where the tube rail looked so inviting. I started taking the bus. A time when I was with an abusive cop up north (more on that nightmare later) where I thought a bridge may do. Sometimes all I can do is weep. Like, for hours. In my head, all I’m telling myself is “It’s too hard. This is so hard.”  Mostly, like this week, I just feel apathetic and confused. And I want to hide. Not come out of my house. Not let anyone ‘know’.

Stupid. I guess now everyone knows. Well, okay. Good. Glad that’s out in the open. Phew. I am relieved.

So what I need to do is force myself out of my comfort zone as much as possible. If I have any advice for anyone else who is depressive, it’s just do one thing. Doesn’t matter what. A walk, clean house, see a friend. That one thing leads to more things. Keep doing them. Don’t sit there, like I do and get worse til it’s too difficult even to bathe. Do it. I am. 

I’m starting with yoga again tomorrow. You may not believe this, but I was one of those yoga bitches. Like heavy into last fall. Reading the Sutras, trying to learn Sanskrit(!) so I could become an instructor. And yes, I even did hand stands and arm balances. Proud! But, I fell off my mat. Haven’t been able to climb on yet. Depression does funny things. Strange part is, yoga helped. A lot. Took me out of my head. Took me to spirit. Not too sure why I quit.

But, I’ll start again where I am at. Ten pounds heavier, a bit sadder. I’ll get there.

I do all the other things I’m supposed to. I take my pills. I do what I can. But she is sneaky. This life is tricky business, happiness is even more so.

The mask, well, it’s off. No more hiding.

I’ll keep you posted.

Yo! Yoga! Here I come.

p.s. If you want to talk, contact me at lgmoffat@gmail.com. I’ll help as much as I can. I’ll listen. I know. And any advice, oh yeah, fire it my way!

Stephen Harper

Mr. Harper,

I can’t bring the funny right now. In most situations, I can find the irreverence, if not flat-out guffawing humour, but today I can’t.

I have kept myself away from the news to maintain as much joy in life as possible, and as you well know, it’s mostly bad and repetitive, so why bother?  But something came to my attention and I have been weeping because of it for a couple of days.

I’m speaking of the rape of the Lybian women and children. Don’t you turn your head! You look! You see! Here, I’ll get you a flashlight to bring it all in a little clearer

I thought about adding a link, but I don’t think its necessary. We all can find the information we need.

As a world leader, I implore you to step in and do something about this. I know it’s complicated. I understand the mechanics of politics and war.

As a Canadian woman, I’m fairly certain you or any of our serving men would never allow this to happen to your own female populace. So why is it okay somewhere else?

Rape is a ‘weapon of war’, but why is it not quite considered a war crime? How can we as a shiny christian democracy  participate in actions that have monetary rewards, and peacekeep in others messy battles, yet draw some invisible, arbitrary line that in essence is telling the Ghaddafis of the world “That’s okay, they are only women”?

I know women are still chattel in some countries, but that does not make it right.

I know it’s an uphill battle. I know that there is an ethnic component that is permissive of rape as a form of control. I know how long it will take to change that mentality.

But someone needs to start. Someone needs to be a hero.

Why not you? Why not us? Why not?

I don’t condone war, per se, but sometimes it has to be done. It must be an honourable battle.

How about humanity? Fighting for human dignity? Protecting those that cannot protect themselves?

Us Canadians have been pretty good at that in the past. Let’s try it again.

Look. See. Help them. I’ll hold the flashlight in case you’re missing anything. Pretty disturbing, isn’t it?

I’ll help in any way I can. Send them to my house. I’ll look after them until they are better, if they ever can be. My hubby won’t let anything happen to them.

Look. Bear witness. Do something!

Be a hero. Please!

I need to laugh again. And I just can’t when I know my sisters and their children are not safe.

p.s. If you comment, and please do, please attatch any relevant links you would like readers to see, with regards to this post. Anything else that we can do to help and inform.