Saturday, July 6, 2013

Am I Angry? Yes & No

Why are you angry?

This was a fair question my wife asked of me after having read some of my recent Facebook postings. She feels that I might be feeling some negative bias towards my occasional caregivers. And she might be right.

To be fair, the caregivers I have had have treated me decently even when I could not form a proper sentence. They endured ME, through Aphasia and all the cognitive issues. I think I was chipper and forward looking but I'm sure I was still Dennis the Menace in every available manner open to me at the same time. In fact, the negative thoughts I do possess have not happened with any kind of frequency and have been squelched down the moment I point it out... mostly.

This is where seeing the problem is all about experiencing the problem. Even my wife, who is all too familiar with enduring slight bigotries on a regular basis, does not see the problem. She is filled with sympathy for me, NO DOUBT, however she is not quite empathic to my situation. However the one example I could use, to get it across to her, is a very dangerous area to tread; let alone boldly walk to point things out. Especially when my wife sometimes forget how empathic I can be on matters best described as "racial".

One word and one name makes the point of this sentence.

"Obama is proof that bigotry no longer exists in the United States of America!!"

Now most of you reading this agree. After all, you have had little experience with bigotry already. How can you recognize its trail-markings from the very small signs it leaves in your presence? After all, the President is black so our society must have embraced all kinds of blacks without question.

I currently live in one of the most progressive anti-bigotry states in America (New Hampshire) but this is mostly true because of one simple fact: as of the 2010 Census Black Americans make up a whopping 1.1% of the population. I think it is slightly higher but that is from anecdotal experiences. Because of the color of my skin most people who don't share it just plain avoid me. However my empathy makes me notice kindred of spirit no matter where I am. (Yes, I am very empathic though I have not given you the "why".... yet.)

The common form of bigotry that I've encountered in New Hampshire is not of an active hostile form. I almost wish it was as that can be most effectively cured... or at least answered. The bigotry that does exist is made up of Ignorance. Not ignorance of behavior, oh no that would be easy to identify and respond to without any trouble. It is ignorance caused by lack of experience and know how. This level of ignorance is complicated by two things: The low population of Black Americans and the Media.

The media is the most insidious factor. Most people readily accept that the Media is often wrong with the ideas that it spreads. Most people know that the Media is not to be trusted, ever. However, when the Media is the only source of your information, no matter how wrong it is, you are influenced by it regardless of your valid opinion of its voracity. So the common form of Bigotry that we experience from the white people of New Hampshire (93.9% of the population) is built on the disingenuous Media exposure that they have endured. They know that the Media is wrong but when something comes up what other influence do they refer back to when trying to figure out how to handle a situation.  Exactly!

Now, I can spend a lot of time on the various sides of this problem, there are many and most of them are innocent well meaning experiences. However they are, without a doubt, forms of bigotry. Maybe heinous forms if you are overly sensitized to it. Yet when it is a form of bigotry that is not obvious, unchallengeable, and so ubiquitous your sensitivity might be a bit more increased then a person who does not experience it at all.

Wow. That paragraph succinctly describes what I am enduring. So succinctly that it might make an honest reader empathic with what I am feeling. What am I feeling? Not just left out (of decisions and conversations that affect my life directly) but too easy to disregard.

See because I am "brain injured" there are often conversations and debates about my life and my treatment. Many of these take place behind closed doors... supposedly so as to not upset me in any unwarranted manner. (First clue on bigotry, decisions are based upon what you MIGHT think or feel.) Of course once the decisions regarding your life is disclosed to you options available to you are limited down to just two. Go along or don't go along.

"Don't go along" has a host of problems for the planners. However there is one easy answer that requires no effort or thought. (Second bigotry warning sign - No effort or thought solutions.) Shrugging off non-compliance of behavior is dirt easy since the person can not be trusted to have any thinking worth listening to in that "damaged" brain of theirs.

Now, are you ready for some eye opening? Before my accident I was a Freemason Mensan Purple Hearted Airborne Veteran who has been married twice, painfully buried one child and the raised white child of a wonderful black family. Before my accident I was a person of immense value, a person who has seen many aspects of life not commonly experienced in one place. Common experiences, heck yeah, but all in one place? Only the Grand Architect.... errr.... God could have designed my poor before accident life.

So what I am distinctly struggling with, and maybe you can answer me, is what part of my accident removed those important parts of my life. I mean removed them so completely that I am simply not to be listened to, not to be of any significance regarding how I am treated (even as a person) or how I may care is determined.

I guess more important is this: How do I express it in such a humble polite manner that I won't be summarily dismissed as a problem child? Hunh? How?

So am I angry? Damn straight. I just have nowhere to place my anger. No recipient ... ... even on myself. So I am angry but not angry at the same time. What else is left to me?

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