Who Am I?

The day started with happy news from a good friend who found out he was not to lose his job as he had been previously told. For some odd reason it put my mind on a path of introspection.  Perhaps it is the result of the past week, which has been difficult on a personal level.  My sister-in-law, whom I loved dearly, suddenly went into cardiac arrest and was dead three days later.  And a not-by-blood grandson (we all have those … we love them as much as we would if they were related, the only difference being that invisible DNA) was in a serious auto accident and suffered a broken neck.  I’m still waiting for the third shoe to drop, while hoping it won’t.  So, with a bit of good news, there was a whoosh of pent up angst that I didn’t even know was in there.

So, the path of my thoughts as I brushed my teeth and began my daily routine turned toward changes. So much has changed over the past year, yet still looks the same.  Most of us still live in the same homes we lived in a year ago, live with the same people, have the same jobs, wear the same clothes, eat the same food.  On the outside, nothing has changed.  But inside?  Everything has changed … or has it?

I remember once, many moons ago, I was telling a friend about somebody and I said that when he was drunk, he became an entirely different person.  I will never forget Mike O’Donnell’s response:  “Kid, people don’t change when they drink … they just let the person they always were show through.”  And I think he’s right … we all wear a mask of some sort.  The past year has pulled off a lot of masks.

Like most reading this, I have both lost and made a number of friends in the past year due to my political views.  I have found myself saying more than a few times that one friend or another changed, that he/she used to be such a kind person, such a sensible person, and now look at them.  But, did they really change, or did I just not know the real person at all?  I suspect the latter.  And then, I think … can the same be said of me?  Are those same former friends saying, “I don’t know what got into her, but she isn’t the same person I once knew?”

We have spoken and joked much about ‘alternative facts’, as first spoken by Kellyanne Conway as she struggled to justify yet another of Trump’s nonsensical remarks.  And we speak these days of the ‘alternative universe’ in which everything seems topsy-turvy … a world we no longer recognize, a world filled with hate.  So, is it a far leap to ask if perhaps we have also become ‘alternative people’?  A point in case: two years ago, I would never in my orneriest moment have wished another person dead, and yet today, almost every day I hope to get up and read that Donald Trump suffered a massive coronary while sitting on the potty tweeting his vitriolic tweets. This is not me! This is not a person I recognize, just as the world of today is not one I recognize.  And, just as I no longer like the world I am seeing, I also no longer much care for the person I see in the mirror of my soul some days.

And yet … and yet, I am still the same person.  I love my family dearly, I care deeply for others, care deeply about the state of this nation … the state of the world.  So, I am not the same person and yet I am.  Who Am I?

I started this post sometime last week, wrote 3-4 paragraphs, looked back at what I had written and set it aside, for it sounded almost dystopian and while I doubted I would finish it, I did take a moment to save the file.  Then a day or two ago, I was chatting in comments with my Canadian friend and reader of this blog, John Fioravanti, and for some reason that I no longer recall, I mentioned to him that I had started this post, but filed it away.  He encouraged me to finish it, saying that many, even in his own country, feel the same and it would be encouraging to others to realize they are not alone.  After some thought, I decided to finish and post this.  I am trusting you, dear friends and readers, not to call for them to bring a jacket with very long sleeves and take me to that place where the walls are soft and people speak very quietly!

Back to the point … this past year has wrought changes in our world … not only ours, but in the EU and UK, as well.  The changes that disturb me the most, though, are those that have taken place in us … in individuals who find themselves in a world that is unrecognizable and are struggling to find ways to adapt, to survive.  This is the world that Donald Trump and his gang of thugs has wrought.  The ‘man’ without a conscience is putting us in danger of losing our own conscience in order to try to adapt, to fit into this strange new world without losing our sanity.  We cannot let this happen!

A large number of my blogging friends have, from time-to-time stepped back from it all, and while I find it impossible to do, I certainly understand why they do it.  We must each find our own way to cope, and I cannot advise anyone else, but I only know that we cannot lose our humanity, for the world needs people like us far more than it needs people like Donald Trump, Roy Moore, Steve Bannon or Richard Spencer.  Those people will be treated harshly, I think, in the annals of history, but for my part, I just want to be remembered as being a kind person who treated others well.  For me, that is enough.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this rambling post.  My thanks to John Fioravanti for jump-starting this post and for his words of encouragement.  Hugs and love to you all!

48 thoughts on “Who Am I?

  1. Jill, please accept my condolences for the loss of your sister-in-law and the severe injury of your grandson. I’m very pleased you finished this article because it is uplifting. You are a talented writer but you are a great blogger because of your heart. You are not afraid to look into the dark nooks and crannies of your soul to seek out the truth. You have discovered your dark side and know that it exists alongside your loving side. This article is inspirational in that it helps the rest of us to follow suit and carry out our own introspection.

    I have changed too. For the past couple of years, I wrote a weekly inspirational blog entitled “My Inspiration”. Each week I would search for a motivating quotation and write an inspirational reflection on those words. It’s been a couple of months since I’ve written one because I’m in the grips of depression. I need to find the key that will enable me to break out of my emotional prison and get back on track.Thanks for the acknowledgment and your wonderful words.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi there Jill
    Firstly, so sorry to read of your loss and pain within your family circle. Will be thinking of you during this unhappy time.
    So, you too. First thing I think about when loading up the news or switching on the radio, not a new sensation for me. We all have out tipping points. When Margaret Thatcher died the song ‘Ding-Dong The Witch is Dead’ topped the UK iTunes chart for online downloads. Sometimes the fury and the frustrations build up and then come out in all shapes and sizes.
    What does that make us? Makes us just what we are, humans. The laughing and the crying are the easy ones, we expect those. It’s the rage, the anger, fed by frustration; the deep dark little secret that if we were in a position to…..would we? Pull the trigger. Drive in the knife. Walk away from the drowning person. We all have those, happily for some these are buried so deep they don’t know the secrets are there.
    But this is what we guard against. We do not feed off of it. We do not nurture it. Nor savour its bitter taste. We do not live for the day we can ‘do it’ if we get the chance. We live it, maybe each day for brief episodes, then we get on with the rest of our life, stifling it with a jest, a shrug, blogging it out, turning our thoughts to other matters. We strive not to be like these unpleasant folk. We stifle The Hate as a Way of Life.
    These little people will be gone. None of these last.
    There was a Vietnam War film…. Hamburger Hill…..One of the characters was an African-American medic. After a battle he has a melt down over the loss of one man, another African American helps him through ‘It don’t mean nothing’ says the second man, they go through a hand-jive and another African American join them each saying ‘It don’t mean nothing’ until the medic’s rage and frustration has passed. You can find it on YouTube, it’s powerful.
    Trump and his crew are episodes; in historical terms ‘They don’t mean nothing’.
    Best wishes and hugs to you Jill,
    From the Wrexham crew.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. So sorry about your personal loss. I feel as you do somewhat. I have been very depressed about the government choices that have been made and ones trying to be made. I have no respect for T. Calling him the president is too difficult. Every day brings new embarrassment to our country. People are saying he’s dividing the country, but I think he is just embolding the ones already here and they now feel free to act. These people exist everywhere and always will, they just are taking off those masks in public. The rise in violence by individuals is what scares me as a grandmother and mother, and the lack of love and respect for each other as human beings. The health and welfare of others should be a priority. I find it difficult to keep up with the news for my own mental health and that also is a sad fact. Keep writing, please. I appreciate your discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hugs!
    My dear Jill,
    Heartfelt condolences in the loss of your sister-in-law! ❤
    Be assured of being in my prayerful thoughts with your grandson. May he make a speedy and wholesome recovery.
    Thank you for sharing your introspective thoughts….EXCELLENT that you completed and posted this piece. Amazing how therapeutic it is to ventilate such thoughts and feelings…
    Indeed, it is in the very essence of human life….the Mask! All too often people are not aware of the 'persona' (mask) they present to the outside world, to such a degree that they begin to believe the 'mask' to be their true self.
    Mike is absolutely right……in the words of the ancient Latin Proverb: "In Vino Veritas".
    Similar effect can be wrought when one is 'sodden with low spirits'.
    'The Nazarene' is known to have advocated the we 'love our neighbour as we love ourselves' to which I have always responded: 'Indeed, how can we hope to love anyone if we have not learnt to love ourselves'…..Not easy to accept – unconditionally – myself….. 'warts and all'.
    Good friend of mine, Desmond Tutu once said, 'God does not love me because I'm loveable; I am loveable because God loves me'.
    Pardon the long response…..
    All Shall be Well….All Shall be Well…and All Manner of Thing Shall be Well. Hugs!💕💕

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, my friend. And do not apologize for a lengthy response, for your words are wise, as always, and uplifting to me! Yes, once it was done, I was glad to have completed this piece, and especially if others take heart from knowing that they are not alone. Travis is actually out of the hospital now and only taking Tylenol for pain. If the vertibrae he broke had been higher, he would have been paralyzed, but there is much to be thankful for. Thank you for your kind and uplifting words … Hugs!!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t think there are more nasty people in the U.S. I think it’s like drinkers. They kept their opinions to themselves and now feel free because of DT to speak their minds. My mother’s father was an alcoholic who would have manic periods caused by drink and she always thought it caused people to show their true selves. She used to mention “mean drunks” and “sloppy drunks”. While I think the world would be better without DT and crew, I don’t want to feel guilty later for wishing for their demise. I also think the pendulum is beginning to swing the other way. People in the U.S. are used to their freedoms and that includes a free press. I also agree with the Bible that what people do in the dark will come out in the light. We’ll live through this time and pass on to the next. It will be read about in the school history books and come out dull unless a good teacher brings it alive. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I’m sure this, too, shall pass … I just hope it is before the damage is irreparable. Wouldn’t you love to be around in 150 years or so to see what those history books have to say about this era? Thanks for your thoughtful comment, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It is kind of prophetic in a sense that you wrote this post Jill, for many can identify, I think, with your thoughts and frustrations. But know too, that just by the fact that you are asking such questions, you are entering the world of conspiracy theories. Rest assured though, that this alone will not carry you off to the land of the white coats.

    There are a lot of rubbish conspiracy theories out there, straight out of woo, woo land. But there is also a lot of strangely unsettling stuff that points at some real problems covered up by simplistic and manufactured answers.

    HAARP is one such thing. HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) is real science in using EHF to ELF frequencies… I’ll let you read up on the rest – look for the science and stay away from the pseudo science if you can (not always possible..gotta sort the wheat from the chaff here).

    Here are some official links:

    https://news.uaf.edu/haarp-research-campaign-planned/

    http://www.gi.alaska.edu/haarp

    And here is one questioning what HAARP is actually doing.

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/haarp-secret-weapon-used-for-weather-modification-electromagnetic-warfare/20407

    This sort of science leaves unsettling questions as to what military is doing with radio waves (and the spectrums we cannot see).
    While HAARP has been handed back to Fairbanks University by the US Air force (after they shut it down in 2015), what has the US Air Force moved onto exactly?

    We humans are very susceptible to the geomagnetic and Electromagnetic forces. It is the Ionosphere that largely protects us from the strong radiation (X-ray, Gamma ray stuff) forces of the sun (such as arise during a solar storm).
    It would not surprise me one bit that experimentation with radio waves is affecting us more than we might think.

    Certainly, our perception of the world becoming more inclined to violence is not illusory. What ever the cause, the effects are real.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. John was right: you did well to finish the post. So many of us feel as you do, though we may not have the courage to face the problems full-on. You do that for us and we thank you. And you are absolutely right: we must continue to fight the good fight until there is no strength left in us. You are so much better at that than many of the rest of us are and I for one thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Dear Jill,
    My sympathy to you on the death of your sister in law and the terrible accident to the little boy. No wonder you’re wondering about the state of the world and yourself.

    I’ve been quiet here lately, not just because of the blue cast (due to come off Thursday) but because I’ve been pondering some of the issues challenging us in this confusing and depressing phase in world history. For example, I’m reading brave voices tentatively raised to say rational, sensible things in the furore over ‘trans’ rights in the UK. Even tough online writers shy clear of debating issues affecting all women, the online outpouring of hate and threats can be so intimidating. I struggle to keep up with the latest alphabetical codes, LGBTQRSTUVWXYZ… If I use one wrongly will I be accused of being a phobe of some unknown-to-me kind?
    You talk about the slipping of masks. A young friend said she thought online abuse and hate was spilling over into the real world and wondered what we can do to stop it. Well, in some ways, the answer is perhaps a resumption of masks. Politeness is after all a mask of a kind, a learned coping mechanism for our oversized human society, don’t you think? Without it, arguments cannot be conducted with reason and tolerance. With it we can be angry, furious, but still reasonable and decent. And if we overstep the bounds, we can say sorry.
    I find myself wondering things like, are the Russians behind all of this current global madness? Have they fostered XY and Z issues and made it seem so unacceptable to disagree with them we dare not? The era of Trump, Brexit, North Korea, Iran etc etc is dizzyingly perturbing. I guess we just have to keep on being as good and kind and polite as we can manage, yet firmly stand up against injustice and misguided people with rational debate and persuasive argument. You have said this before yourself and yes, it can seem hopeless and futile. But don’t despair. You have friends! Even if they ramble on at length with ill-thought through statements, like me!
    I hope the day and the week bring you better news and that someone buys you a nice big bunch of flowers! Big hugs, M

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Mary! The ‘little boy’ is 32 years old with two children of his own! 😉 And he is doing well … out of the hospital and only taking Tylenol for pain. He was very lucky this time.

      I think you make a good point about the masks, for without them, society would become a free-for-all. It seems, sometimes, to be headed in that direction as it is, with many eschewing ‘political correctness’ and allowing their bigotry free reign. They are, I think, in the minority, but a very loud and obnoxious minority.

      Yes, I have made some of the best friends here on WordPress, yourself at the top of the list, and I am grateful to them all! These are tough times, and without the support and outpouring of love from our friends, we would surely be doomed.

      I hope all is healed properly when they remove your cast tomorrow! I know you will be glad to be rid of it! Much love and hugs, my friend!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ha! Not such a little boy then! There I go, making assumptions based on language. I sit here with a slightly damp cast waiting for the taxi (it’s coming to take me away, hah ha).
        I wish I could cast off the state of the world… Everyone seems to have started Christmas extremely early this year, I wonder if it’s because everything feels so awful ?

        Liked by 1 person

        • I dont know about there, but here they start Christmas earlier each year, and the stores had Christmas things out before Hallowe’en even came. I think perhaps we notice it more now because, at least for me, I’m not really in the mood for it. Don’t have time for it. Don’t much care at the moment. The girls are a bit distressed by my apathy, I think, but … I’m trying to do one thing each day, whether bake something or put up a decoration, do a bit of online shopping, or something. Sigh.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Until I was 34, I was sure I could never hurt anyone physically, for any reason. Then I had my Offspring and I discovered something in myself I’d never seen before – a ferocious protectiveness that made me I’d do anything, anything at all to protect that tiny, helpless little person I’d produced. Included in that protectiveness was the world into which my child would have to grow.
    The ferocity has faded, a little, but not by that much.
    I believe what you and I and a whole lot of other angry people are feeling is a driving need to protect something good that’s slipping away. Sadly, I think Trump’s supporters are doing the same thing, in their own way. I hope someone will come onto the political scene who can give us all something to believe in again, until then I’m staying unapologetically angry. 😦

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I think we all have different roles, layers, facets, whatever you call them. We are children and parents, lovers and friends and acquaintances, neighbours, citizens … and much more. We mostly define ourselves through the relationships with other people. What what/who are we when we are alone? Is there a “core me” hidden under all these layers or are all the layers together the “me”? – As you see, I have been thinking about this too, and I guess almost everyone has at some point. – Do we change? I am sure we do. Events shape us, change our minds and reactions, some slowly, some abruptly, or at least put more emphasis on certain aspects of our “me”. Not sure if we can change completely though. I think the only thing we can do is stand still from time to time and run a check: Am I still the person I think I am? Do I like what I see in this inside mirror? Or do I need to put more effort in some parts of me? …. Yep, it seems it is philosophical Tuesday today … But the rain has stopped and sun is coming out – makes a lot of difference, at least for me! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • You should have become a philosopher! All you say is very true, but the one thing that struck me most is that we define ourselves mostly through our relationships with others. We do indeed! Some great thoughts here … thank you!

      Like

  11. We are the people we are but we’re also sometime the person other people make us. I would always say that despite everything I like the world, II have not wished to start a war, to kill others. After all, those others would be just like me, the ordinary folk, the ones others think we can afford to lose most.The rich and the organisers of our Governments can sit back and know they’re safe. Meanwhile I who wishes Hugs to the world, who wants to care for the planet who hates the depravities I read of on a daily basis, have changed because I now wish for the death of another human being (benefit of the doubt) and the very incapacitating injuries to several others Roy Moore, Steve Bannon or Richard Spencer not exclusive. I no longer feel guilt for this as I feel these people have made me who I am,
    xxx Cwtch xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • “we’re also sometime the person other people make us” … quite true, dear friend, quite true. I just try to guard against allowing others to make me a lesser humanitarian. And you make the world a nicer place, for you always give such wonderful hugs to any and all who need them.
      xxx Cwtch xxx

      Liked by 1 person

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