I Can’t Say The C-Word

God is a bit of a contrarian. First, he creates the universe. Fine. But then he creates Man. Problem. Then to solve problem, he creates another problem—Eve. And then another problem is that he puts them in a garden with two trees and a snake, all three of which probably shouldn’t have been there. And, then, of course, God gives the snake opportunity with the “weaker sex”.

The biggest problem of all, though, is free will. God creates His own problems. He becomes aggrieved and regrets He ever made mankind, whose every thought was evil, during Noah’s time. Hence, the flood to wipe out everybody and every poor creature except Noah and his family plus two prime members of every animal species, off the face of this Earth.

I can’t say the C-word, as a polite, Canadian female, or I would. But, even though even this is still socially unacceptable: I can still drop truth-bombs. The problem with free will is the tendency towards curiosity and the willingness to be seduced, like King David and his son, King Solomon.

It’s as if God was deliberately testing us, making it hard for us, killing the joy out of existence. Christianity, or “total commitment” is too difficult for us, quips my last pastor (as he persisted perversely to tend to his hopeless and damned, demoralized flock,) Salvation and Heaven, too high. And so, as I tried to leave that church, the pastor’s wife slipped me a redacted email printout about a “sister” had left the church, and died within two weeks of unspecified causes.

Anyone here heard of spontaneous combustion? Well it’s like that mystery: you just never know when it’s your turn, and you’re living in sheer terror. Yet, adhering to Christianity isn’t a sure-fire thing. “Many are called, but few are chosen,” said Jesus. Makes you think. No, it makes you go “WTF???” I guess the acronym, WWJD, is exactly what my pastor had done. Like just how good do you have to be? And if there is no guaranteed fire insurance, why does anyone bother?

Such questions are considered heretical, I’m sure, by many. I lost my faith at 15 thanks to some Basic Youth shit seminar. I never recovered from it, thank you very much. And nobody apologized. Yes, the little shitty Christs who bullied, ignored and scapegoated me in Church owe me something. Short of that, I am happy to settle down with a Taurean and enjoy the good life. ~V

©2018 Veekwriter All Rights Reserved

Dating When You Have A Mental Illness

My aunt gave me advice about marriage once from the conservative, Chinese perspective: marry rich and get them while their young. I was not sure what I wanted. I wasn’t a player. I honestly just didn’t know what I wanted. I did picture myself with a group of friends and a henpecked husband. I knew too I’d be divorced by 35 without having had kids. I also knew my career would be more important than family, period. I wasn’t the mothering type. I’ve seen my gifted cousins throw away their artistic potential for a husband or wife. And kids. All for the sake of the companionship that is found in a marriage arrangement. Not happening here.

Now I’m 48. The problem? I have hardly been the swinging single that was possible had I had the guts. Didn’t want to get pregnant. Also, I feared God’s wrath. Hell is real. But, boy have I had my frustrations.

Here’s the deal. When you have a mental illness, the good ones run a mile away, as they should. Many of us want to date out of our league. ie. the nice, healthy ones. The problem is that the nice, healthy ones want to be around other nice, healthy ones, and there are not enough nice, healthy ones to go around. I might as well admit that relationships with nice, healthy people don’t exist for me, beyond sex that is. Messed up chicks are hot to fuck, eh? Admit it. They’re vulnerable, suggestible, and never believed in any court-of-law, never mind by the police–most of whom happen to be male. They just exchange a wink, a nod, and a few jokes with the perps, the female officers being complicit (probably giving their male work partners bjs between calls,) and…all’s good. It’s not fair, but it’s true, as my Aussie bestie says. The psycho-girlfriend can go now.

Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge. That’s the first lesson you learn in music theory. The other is just: FACE. Oh, why..? You’d think that many a 4-year old would be scarred or be piqued for life after every Wednesday afternoon until they were 13, as they became more and more savvy. Music isn’t all about descants and semi-quavers. Underlying music, as with any endeavour on Earth, is the drive for sexual intercourse. It’s just that opera and ballet with champagne are a more elaborate form of courtship than, say, Netflix-and-chill or Tinder hookups. Ultimately, it’s the same fucking thing. Everybody ends up in bed. Everybody leaves in the morning for that walk of shame, be they deluded or disgusted.

So back to mental illness and dating. You simply can’t have a normaloid as a mate if you are going to tell him or her you are a paranoid schizophrenic. You can be a hot fuck, or a sugarmama, but never an equal. Even on dating websites, some of the guys on there demand letters attesting to your sanity, or simply have “No_’psychos’_allowed” as their handle. You can’t blame them, you can’t fight them. It’s not fair, but it’s reality. So screw ‘em. (Not literally, of course, unless you get something out of it.)

Frankly, I’m sick of not being loved. But fuck, I’m not going to be used AND not loved. I’ll stick to my music and my writing as with everything pseudo-Freudian, thanks. I may not be a very good feminist, but I’ve concluded that dating is not for me. Bye-bye cupids of jagged and burred arrows, and broken hearts. OK? Hello, bubble world of pseudo-sexuality and everything that longs and hurts–but not that much. ~V

©2018 Veekwriter All Rights Reserved

Thoughts On Turning 48 As An SAF

Ok, I’m going to be 48 going on a perennial 18. Here are some of my gripes and likes about “all that”.

– Lipstick isn’t an accessory; it’s equivalent to a tacky push-up bra with extra padding

– Reminiscing about when the word “poet” used to inspire women and men to become language purists.

– Remembering the days when you had to choose between ballet and piano for your extra-curricular activity. And it was a real dilemma.

– Listening to opera and knowing nobody else who does.

– Knowing right away wtf Black Moon Lilith is…it’s your Aunt Haspy from Hong Kong who comes to see how much dirt is between your shower door tracking and tells your mother her daughter will never amount to anything useful. Best to marry her off while she is still pliable.

– Finding 30-something guys with muscular build really really cute

– Finding 60-something men with muscular build irresistible (because they can’t run as fast.)

– Hitting the gym

– Hitting the yoga mat

– Finding that new wrinkle on your forehead “just unacceptable” and forgetting about it as soon as you walk away from the mirror

– Dressing like an 18-year old and being hit on by 16-year olds who can’t tell you’ve just dyed your hair black

– Having the 50-year old uncle of these 16-year olds tell them off and then having to deal with him hitting on you, too

– Wanting romance but being acutely aware that all the decent men are either taken or gay, and those that do want you are sleazes who like your apartment better than you do.

– Finally realizing the there are no answers, only questions onto to which sanctimonious people force-fit answers, in order to boost their power ratio.

– Recognizing that there are no “should-do’s” or “must-do’s” or “you-have-no-choice”, but only “That might be better, perhaps.”

– Identifying personally with the Prometheus and the Sisyphus myths. And it sucks.

– Understanding that politeness and diplomacy go a long way, unless you’re a Scorpio and Jupiter the lucky planet is in your sign all this year.

– Internalizing the realization that deference to others is like water—it is the softest kind of power.

– Realizing that being critical isn’t the only way to lose friends, but by just being yourself is good enough.

– Having a grungy, little kid run right smack into your lower body at a busy mall play area, and you soften to absorb the impact, only to turn around from that “wtf” shock to make sure he’s okay–and then moving on without making a scene.

You know what? We 40-somethings are waaaaay cooler than we give ourselves credit for. Vive la différence! ~V

©2018 Veekwriter All Rights Reserved

The Mentally Ill: Vocationally Disenfranchised, Expected To Work

Many individuals I have had the displeasure of running into protest out loud that we might have a smartphone, nice crafting paper, or have free passes to a few swimming pool venues that they have to pay $2 to get into. They insist loudly that we should pay “like everyone else.” Thing is, we are not “like everyone else.” Imagine a person who is finally coming out of many psychotic, depressive, and anxiety symptoms. Imagine them trying to get a job, put through the rigours of being vocationally grilled, then dismissed because finally they get out of the person that they are paranoid schizophrenic, majorly severely depressed, and suffering from generalized anxiety. Not to mention that they have agoraphobia and social phobia. Then there is the general incompetency at doing any sort of work and incapacity to deal with work stress. Imagine that the lucky get work and two months go by, maybe six, if luckier, eight. Then suicide is attempted. After hospitalization, their job is made redundant. NOW, imagine that person is YOUR child. It’s not too far-fetched. After all, mental diseases know no social, class, racial, age, political or economic discrimination. And neither do the curses made by the mentally-ill persons, whom you just insulted, against your children.

The previous Liberal Government froze our “dole” for 9 years. The former Premier Christy Clark said that she expected us mentally ill to work. She gave out election goodies that contradicted what she said, that never came to fulfillment, by saying she “might” consider making mental illness a disability. She never did do it despite winning two elections. She then went on to offer raise our income by $77 a month, $52 that the province would claw back if we kept our previously free bus pass, and give us a net increase, after nine years, of $25 a month. Even the then-transportation minister at the time, the somewhat self-conscious Mike De Jong, admitted it was only a drop in the bucket, but that it was “something”.

Another Liberal Party minister, Rich Coleman, compared our disability income to third world countries salaries, getting considerably less than what we were getting after currency exchange rates and said we should be satisfied. He couldn’t understand why we weren’t more contented. I mean we live in the most beautiful city in the world. The most accessible and most economically booming province in Canada, in the most envied country in the world. Might I remind him, that is exactly what makes the cost of living in Vancouver, Canada, the unreasonably highest in the first world and for what? Yes, we can move to Penticton, or to the Downtown East Side. Really?

I found my previous west side neighbourhood scary enough to walk around after dark when coming home from visiting family for dinner. (I was followed by some big, bearded guy out for a toke. I was cat-called by an gang of idling youths.) And the basement suite was at cheaper than market demand. It included utilities. And I still found living off the dole from 2008 to 2016 challenging. Now provincial Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson insists or even vows to continue Gordon Campbell’s and Christy Clark’s legacies. Former Premier Campbell’s was the most sympathetic of Liberals to the mentally ill and I have no quip with him. Previous Premier Clark was all smiles and harboured a heart of stone, in my opinion. She was fully aware of the issues around the mentally ill, and ignored them. And if she didn’t know, after nine years, she doesn’t deserve to enter politics again. She’s just another ineffectual, pretty face.

Now Wilkinson, when prodded, made a brief and rather insincere and non-committal, vague statement that mental health in BC could use some attention, like probably starting from the fentanyl problem. Then nothing. No plan, no promises, no more mentions. He seems to forget he has two sons whom mental illness and drug addiction may not spare, should they happen to them, too. He has no empathy because he is a Kits boy. He is privileged and of the right skin colour; he seems to have never suffered. Hence, he is only good at extending not so much Christy Clark’s legacy, but, even further back to the Social Credit Party’s, where the right-leaning conservatives denied aid to the mentally ill altogether. Zero. Zilch. Even though you were zonked out on Haldol and obviously would not be hired, you lined up at the ministry office for help after they lured you there. They then sent you away with a suicide-inducing message of, “You-are-obviously-not-hireable-but-we-expect-you-to-work-anyway.” What kind of Canadian governing party does that to its own people? Who does that kind of thing?

Do not be deceived. Should Wilkinson come into power, he will be a conservative on steroids. Meanwhile, some of us will be appealing to a Higher Court with our Higher Power to make his sons examples of the indiscrimination that mental illness promises the 25% of us British Columbians, and, indeed, of all Canadians. ~V

©2018 Veekwriter All Rights Reserved

A Broken Mind, A Broken Heart

Being mentally ill means not only having a broken mind, but, also, a broken heart. God promises that we don’t get more than we can handle. I beg to ask the question, does that mean I am incredibly resilient and brave? Or, rather, is God actually real? I don’t believe in a perfect creator who would lie. So, better that s/he not exist than to exist and deceive.

It is difficult, this lifetime, and often too long to endure without complaining. The question is, can we dwell in this cesspool of all manner of human evil, and still believe in the unconditional embrace of God? Or do we become what the Potter predestined in His or Her Divine kiln to be: broken pots, marred and useless? Can we not then argue with the Potter? I’m not seeking a biblical answer, but a compassionate one–one that is genuinely from the heart. That is the one thing we mentally ill have left in our lives that hasn’t been defaced or destroyed. If anything, authenticity is something we mentally ill possess in spades.

There are many theories as to why some of us are overburdened while others merely suffer from affluenza. Many religious leaders and politicians aspire to only suffer from affluenza. I will not enter into the immortal records how some have done serious damage, not just to me, but to many who are targeted. After all, every institution, in order to survive, must have a common enemy and a common scapegoat. And when the Zeitgeist begins to find Satan tiresome, the abnormal-looking ones in the congregation will do.

Such discernment has me asking whether or not I deserve to exist. What on earth and in Heaven’s name is God keeping me alive for? And, in the end, who really cares whether or not I do?

I plead with you, if you have a mentally ill person in your circle of acquaintances, pray for him/her. I say “pray” because I know it is fruitless to ask you to befriend them. But say a prayer for whomever that person is, because you may save a life, today.~V

©2018 Veekwriter All Rights Reserved

Resigned to Rejection

I feel both inspired and disillusioned after listening to a British evangelist. How could this be?

This evangelist, like so many others, preaches about the need for community. Agreed. But when my English friend relapsed into depression, the church members and leaders under this evangelist were “not nice” and “believed he had demons that needed exorcism”. He felt “insulted”. And as he began to lose countenance, the five-year long friendships could not hold. He began to feel, justifiably, rejected.

You see, the mentally ill listen in their own isolation even to the human ministries of religious institutions. Leaders, in their bid to march forward, lose sight of those who need the most mercy. And the stronger sheep follow.

Not all resistances to happiness and to pollyanna gospels are demon-inspired. Many are human-made. Many more are genetic. And most involve complex, chemical imbalances that persons with mental illness cannot do much about, and which neither extensive pastoral counselling nor exorcisms can cure.

There is a song by the Canadian alternative band, BNL. It has a line that goes like this,

“Jesus and mental health are for those who can help themselves,”

Ah, the irony. Even those little Christs running around preaching are still failing. The Christian Gospel begins to ring hollow.

As much as the Holy Spirit has moved me despite the defects of the many Christian ministers, the bottom line is that I am still a reject.

If I linger, I become a scapegoat.

I would entreat the Christian Church to become more inclusive, but as one murder mystery writer on BookTV says, after all her research into mental diseases and reactions to the mentally ill by societies throughout the world and down the ages, there was little variance. In fact, both the illnesses and the subsequent reactions are, and have been, surprisingly and predictably the same throughout virtually all cultures, and through the oral and written histories of humanity.

Is this to say the the Church and little Christs are like the rest of society? Sadly, yes. Are claiming ignorance, dropping the ball, pleading for more time to change, and trying to find special ministries to “deal” with the mentally ill, valid pardons? If, as the Southern Baptists say, everything we need to know—all the answers to life’s questions—are in the Holy Bible, we just haven’t looked hard enough and that’s our fault, then, literally—how in God’s name do we manage to graduate so many pasty, paltry pastors and ministry workers to positions in the field to “lead”? They claim imperfection, but 2,000 years is a long time to remain complacently in error.

I hope, though I don’t particularly expect, the Church will work to distinguish themselves from those who don’t believe, for “all food is clean and good for eating” even for zealots, as Peter, the Rock upon which the Church is built, had been told by the Lord. But, you know, I’ve been going to church all my life, I was dedicated to God at a year old, I’ve been mentally unstable since I was almost the age of two. I became suicidal at seven. At the age of twelve, I rededicated my life to Christ and I meant business. By fifteen, I was spending a lovely summer sitting opposite my bedroom wall, talking to myself. By eighteen, I began to dissociate from reality. Then on my twentieth birthday, I was admitted into hospital. Did I deserve everything I got? (Some Christian blogger seemed to think so and wrote in response to my blog that all mentally ill deserve everything they get. I’ll remember that, thank you; it’s indelible.) All my life, despite faithful church attendance until my thirtieth year, I have been, and, still am, sick…and I have always been, and, still am, rejected.

So what is to be done? Find a good atheist as psychiatrist and worship God at home. YES, do yoga. Befriend some dogs. Keep yourself well and get healthy. Work passionately on a creative project until you feel enriched. Call or Skype others who go through similar things for support. But understand that normal people are all the same, whether they’re Christian or secular. The sad reality is that we do have a place in society, and that place is at the altar named Rejected, Yet Called. ~V

©2018 Veekwriter All Rights Reserved

The Provincial NDPs Still Favour Smoking and Drinking in Their Disability Clients to Them Winning A Lottery

There is so much that’s wrong in provincial politics. One is that, under the Liberals, the province raised the taxes and prices on cigarettes and liquour–and then bought manifold shares of those same tobacco and distillery companies. They were betting on the fact that profiting off the harm they were ostensibly trying to prevent was a sound, discrete business investment. Funding these companies to better their craft of hooking users to their addictions, the provincial government also profited off many of their mentally-ill clients, as most persons with serious mental health diagnoses depend on nicotine to get rid of voices, as well as to wake up properly from the sluggishness of their medication side effects–medications they are court-ordered to take. Many, also, then self-medicate with alcohol. Wow. Did I just type that?

The previous provincial Liberal government capitalized on the weaknesses of humanity. Wow. How sound is that? Now with John Horgan’s NDPs, the old rules still apply. And then some. Lottery winnings, windfalls that could potentially benefit those too disabled to work for a bit of extra cash, are deducted, or “claw-backed” from the monthly income dollar for dollar, as I painfully found out this month. The arcane, Liberal-instigated rule still is treated indifferently as a cash-grabber by the John Horgan NDP government. Wait, I did just type that. Wow.

The representative at the ministry office, in his explanation to me of why my cheque was thus deducted of declared winnings, even used his stern, punitive tone of voice, playing the schoolteacher persona so he’d have a better chance at not having me argue back. He said if I wanted to make rent, there are avenues like taking out a loan or applying for funding help from existing organizations. And that process could take months. Otherwise, I’d have to look at moving to cheaper accommodation–in Vancouver, in February. Wow, really?

I didn’t even use that money recklessly. I paid off two loans, lent a small sum to someone struggling with an infestation of ants, and banked the rest. There were incidentals, but kept it to small dollar amounts and discounted items. In the end, I thought I took care of things pretty well.

You see, there is a lot of provincial money going into addictions. There’s not much more than a figurative pat on the back, or mere words, to acclaim the hard work many of us do to keep out of addictions in the first place. We are brushed aside because we’re not in crisis, as if we don’t struggle with the same volatile emotions or cognitive disorganization, and from the triggering work stress that prevents us from being able to work in the first place. It’s just that some of us who are less scathed are actually following the program. But we don’t count. There is no incentive to stay on the straight and narrow. All the money is being gobbled up by the immediate and the urgent, which is an ineffectual tax upon effort and resources, since it is mishandled and not helping those addicted from their root causes to until they’re discovered dying on the streets.

So the John Horgan government continues the Liberal legacy of penalizing who live right and don’t cause trouble. Kudos to the NDP for turning its back on success stories. You might have thought better of a more humane government. I think the future looks grim fo persons with disabilities in British Columbia since if the NDP, the people’s grassroots party, can overlook the wheel that doesn’t squeak, what chance do we have with Liberal Opposition Leader, Andrew Wilkinson, in power? ~V.

©2018 Veekwriter All Rights Reserved