orator (a story)

Orator (a story)

Brian was a very anxious little boy. Who stuttered like mad when he spoke. No matter that his family loved him to bits, nothing they did could make him less upset. So they put it down to Brian being Brian.
One day, Brian’s mom heard that stutterers never stutter when they sing. So she went on a mission to find a teacher who would help Brian. Which she did! (yay! Mama warrior!)
Mom took Brian to his lessons to see if it worked. And it really did!! As soon as he stopped speaking and started singing, he stopped stuttering.
So at home, his family got Brian to sing his responses to them. To practice what his teacher was helping hm learn. They didn’t tell him it was to help his anxiety and self esteem as well. He might have figured it out though. He was a much happier kid, being able to communicate with the people he loved and who loved him.
When mom confided in their priest, he came up with the idea of Brian being an altar boy. Brian was taught to sing responses in English, Latin and German. And to be understood in all of them! Brian was thrilled! As long as he was singing, he was multi-lingual!
Finally it was starting to affect his speech. He only stuttered around new people or when he was upset. His family were thrilled to bits!! Most of all so was Brian!
With that ground work in, mom put Brian in a debate class. He was taught to speak and argue, with dispassion about stuff that wasn’t really that important first. Well not to Brian anyway. Then as he gained confidence, they started adding in stuff Brian cared about. But they made him research, so he knew the material cold and could remove the passion from it.
With these successes, mom put Brian in as many speaking groups as Brian’s schedule permitted, without losing sight of the fact that he needed time with family and to just be a kid. This plan of action she had stumbled upon was having better effect than any anxiety pill or speech therapy had that they had tried on him. And most important, Brian was enjoying himself. Gaining confidence.
Don’t get me wrong, there were set backs. When Brian was teased at school, for eg. But the teacher, the priest and his family kept reassuring Brian.
But they had more successes than set backs over all. He gained a lot of confidence and stuttered less and less.
When the validictorian was chosen for Brian’s HS graduation ceremony… it was Brian! He almost passed out cold from nerves. But his entire family, his teacher and the priest all kept Brian practicing the tools he had been taught. And to actually sing if he got stuck on a syllable. Till he came out of the loop.
The day arrived. Brian was in a cold sweat. He thought he was going to puke. Or pass out. His mom almost called the school to have a replacement for the speech. But she calmed herself first, then her son. And had his older brother take him to the auditorium, instead of her. He was under strict orders to make the ride fun and not about the speech.
It worked, because Brian was a pretty happy kid when they all arrived.
The speech began…
“For those of you who don’t know me, my name is B- B- B (and he sang) Bri – an. and I’m your val-id-ic-tor-ian. ”
A few of the adults in the room had to be told why he was singing. Their kids whispered his tale to them. No it wasn’t Brian being silly.
Brian got into the swing of the speech and the audience was with him every step of the way. With bated breath in the cases of his family and his teacher. He stopped having to sing thru the loops. He stopped looping!
Finally he got to the end of the speech.
“Going forward, we can be a force of good in the world. And it began at this school.”
The audience errupted in claps and cheers when it was obvious he was done speaking. He got a standing ovation and there wasn;t a dry eye in the house. Brian was grinning and crying when his dad whooped and lifted him in a bear hug!
Brian had come so far.
When he was asked what he wanted to be for the school paper’s article, Brian said he wanted to be an orator. His mom just beamed. She was pretty sure he would be… now! (yay! Brian and yay! Mama Warrior!)



They say that you should always have an uneven number of decision makers. Or at least one that is clearly superior to take the lion share of the vote’s percentage. I’m not sure either works in the long run, because when they work together, they always seem to start working as a unit. Either they become friends or enemies from working together, or they find common ideals and use them to reach their decisions from then on. Or one becomes the leader and persuades the others into their view. Perhaps they politic their way into the role or they coerce and harass till the others toss them the bone.
So the only way to actually have the odd number of judges be clearly and truly unbiased is to have them advise as strangers, never knowing the others and never discussing their process toward the decision. So there can be no way to have back room deals (ie you vote my way on this issue and I’ll vote your way on the other one you care more about.) , We haven’t even mentioned bribes, have we?
In the larger world, how you are judged might actually have some fairness. Some presumption that they care about the law or the precedent that they are reviewing about your case. That they are learned and honest. And there is also the realization that they are usually missing some facts. But having heard the same story, the only difference is their POV. What was their rearing and education? What is their mood of the day? And in their life experiences, have they come to like or dislike someone like you? Can someone be truly unbiased?
Yet that is the premise of the legal system, is it not?
Can someone outside of your head be aware of the truth? Of what you knew or did not, what you felt or did not. What led up to the point of crisis? How can they then decide your innocence or awareness, without that insider view?
But then can a judge who knows all the internal information, remain separate enough to have an unbiased, yet informed view? They’d know the story, but they would no longer be individuated from you. There’s a phrase that goes something to the effect of “to know you is to love you”. And the opposite is true as well “to know you is to hate you”.
And when they listen to the witnesses, they presume they are informed and truthful. Yet studies show that witnesses are rarely either of those, let alone both. If they claim to be learned, the judge presumes they are. If they claim to have seen something, the judge presumes they have. And if they claim to love or hate someone, or be uninvested, it’s presumed true. I mean, why would they lie? Well it may not be a lie, per se. It might be a best known answer to themselves. People have not only superfical, but also unconscious motives for why they feel and think things. So at best, they could be claimed to be ambiguous in their emotions and thoughts.
And then there is the culture. Would it be better if the judge was of the same as the accused? They might understand the person’s inner life better, but they might not be as separate or individuated in their decision making. Which is better, understanding or separateness when it comes to judgment? Which gives a clearer, more fair decision?
And even judges can have bad days; long dockets, a bad tummy or cold, had a drink too many, a fight with their partner, money troubles, or a sleepless night… How does the court correct for that?
And how do we educate and make all judges equally aware ? If one is from a rural college and one from an urban university, can they hear cases in the same way? They don’t even take the same courses to get into law school, practice in the same situations, or even all go to law school.
With all of that, is there such a thing as a fair and equal justice system? Yet when you go before a judge, your life hangs on their decision. What is most important to you matters. At the beginning of the case, they could care less about you and your case. And by the end of the case, the judge is full of facts, half truths and lies, and harried. Impatient. They have had enough of your case. They want you gone.
So no matter what happens, at some level, you will feel unheard and disconnected from the verdict. At best, you will have ambiguous feelings. At worst, you will feel railroaded and even abused.
No matter who you are. And all that is before such things as systemic racism and gender biases go into effect.
So is the court the best thing when you want to have an unbiased, learned decision made about your life? Should it be a judge even? They are learned in laws and precedents, but in nothing like medicine or psychiatry, or unless they are one of your group, they cannot know your culture or family dynamic, can they? So they actually might be the worst possible person to make such a life altering decision. They cannot be sufficiently educated to hear your case without knowing the inside stuff.
In the end, Is the judicial system a good thing, or a stupid one? I think there are a lot of questions and a lot of problems for something that leaves you few avenues of appeal, that have any real integrity. They only turn over a decision of a lower court with malfeasance, gross error or brand new evidence. And they hate, but hate doing it. Because they feel for the lower court judge and would hate to have their own decisions overturned on appeal.
But what is the option? Or is there such a thing? IDK. I guess I’m just glad I’m not a judge.

Breaking the Fourth Wall (a story)

Breaking the Fourth Wall…

It was Lucy’s first time at the club. Her first event ever. And though she was excited as hell, she was a bundle of nerves. She took a friend along to keep her from bolting or being taken advantage of. But somewhere in the bumping of a primal dance groove and the crowd, they got separated.
Lucy started to panic.
Instead of seeing a lot of dancers who were strangers to her, in her distraught state, they were all staring at her. They were laughing and pointing at her.
Lucy began to worry that someone had slipped her something. But they had had so little opportunity.
Then the crowd got angry… Had she offended someone? Had she done something wrong? Was she wearing the wrong thing? So many questions, but their anger seemed to be saying that she didn’t fit in. But why??
Finally she found her friend and grabbed her, and held her tight. She was bawling her eyes out.
Forward from that day, Lucy began to notice that whenever she got into a crowd, they turned on her. As if she was some bad thing they thought smelled, some sad person who had started to remove their clothes and they weren’t happy to see the tease, or she had done something wrong.
It was starting to affect her job, because she worked in a mall. They always had crowds going thru the store. And she ended up panicking and hiding in the storage room whenever she could. Well her boss had noticed. She might end up losing her job if she didn’t get herself under control soon.
So Lucy went to a small drama school. If she was going to feel watched, then she was going to learn how to control it. She was taught how to engage the audience, to curry their favour. To determine for real if she was pleasing them. Not let the panic say what was real. So if they were going to watch, then it would be for a good thing. She was taught how to minimize her emoting, control her body movements, and capture the audience’s fancy. Till she actually became quite the proficient actress.
The director of the theater heard her sing and suggested she take vocal lessons. So Lucy did. She was received well and became even better as the coaching continued. She was also taught to channel her panic and use the energy for the show. Which was a good thing, because it was getting worse.
In Lucy’s efforts to become less afraid, she had instead found an outlet for her fear. And the “mob” of people she hadn’t been able to control were now putty in her hands. She was quite good at engaging them. No matter how bad she felt.
Even though she wanted to stay at home and dive under the covers whenever anyone came by. She became a socialite instead.
But her fear was untreated, so it became worse.
To help herself, she went to a strip club and asked for some tips to make her acting and singing performances sexier. Better.They were happy to help. To the point where when she was good enough, they let her have the occasional set. She didn’t strip further than she would go on a public beach, ever. But she became quite adept at pleasing the audience with her dancing. And she took on the rare lap dance to make her efforts more intimate.
Lucy became quite the darling of the local theater world. All because she was in a panic. Did it help? With coping, yes. But it did nothing to change the fact that she was in a panic.
So, finally, she went to the doctor and confided about her panic. She was given a drug and sent to a psychiatrist. She was diagnosed with a panic disorder (no duh??) and given counselling.
Funny thing is, when she was under treatment, she found that her coping mechanisms from performing were less able. The audience she relied on, didn’t like her as much. And the panic actually got worse.
So she quit taking the meds and went back to using the audience as her gauge of how well she was doing.
Her doctors didn’t much like that. But as long as she wasn’t a threat to anyone, they didn’t have much they could do. But call her mom… Her mom who was a nurse.
There were arguments and lots of tears, but mom could just bluster. Lucy was an adult. And if mom didn’t shut up, then Lucy just didn’t allow her to visit. So mom kept a watchful eye out instead. Waiting to be ready to catch Lucy if she fell.
Lucy was getting more and more frightened, but also able to cope better than ever. She got used to being scared. Till she could shove it into a ball of yuck. And keep going in her day. Se figured it was her new normal. But she did wonder why it all began. All of a sudden, out of nowhere. So she went to see a psychologist for the explanation. Not sure if it would ever be found.

Lingchi – Death by 1000 cuts (a story)

Lingchi – Death by 1000 Cuts (a story)

There was no big thing where she bled out 40% or more of her blood and off she went to heaven.
It was the little slights; the jokes at her expense; the criticisms; the promises broken; people not taking her seriously; boundaries overstepped… You know, nothing major. But she lost a tear each time and for some reason, she was never resupplied. She had one tear less for the rest of her life. And another. And another…
It never seems like much. It’s like one needle stick for a blood test or a paper cut. They don’t seem like much, but to her it seemed like days worth of pain and hemorrhaging, because she didn’t have any resources to replenish her reservoir. She became emotionally anemic.
She drank a sip of wine and she was drunk, she took a hit off a spliff and she was high. She ate one bite of chocolate and she gained 50 pounds.
No explanation, it was just the way she was.
It was real. The hurt hurt, the fear was felt and there for all to see. Not a delusion. not a nightmare. Reality.
Most could survive it. But she could not. It was crushing her spirit.
Some said she had no heart. But she knew she felt things deeply. She knew because when someone hurt her feelings, her chest hurt so bad it was like she was having a heart attack. When she saw something sad, she cried. It broke her heart. She could no longer watch the news. She couldn’t watch sad movies. And anger made her shake all over.
She had to bluster just to get thru the day. No one realized that she had no sense of self. She seemed fine to them. No one realized she had no sense of other. She seemed fine to them.
Each year, she shrunk into herself a bit more. Her soul to her was a prune. It used to be a juicy plum. But all these hurts and fears were taking her over. Choking her. And her plum withered.
She was chained by fear, loneliness, shame, and desperation till she could hardly move. Her body was so tense, she shuffled if she had to go somewhere.
She was in agonizing pain. She had to blend her food and use a straw to get food into herself, yet she choked on it anyway.
And it was all emotion. She was a ball of tension. Untill finally she had to explode. Her fury came out, like a demon and everything let loose. She didn’t just spew words or screams. Oh no! She vomited and peed herself and diarrhea ran down her leg, her rage was such a horror-filled relief. Which might explain why she’d rather be in pain and shuffle than let this go. Esp in public.
So she grew smaller and smaller. Her soul the smallest prune ever known.
Until one day, she just stopped breathing. Her air was choked off. But nothing was stopping it from going on.
Nobody could figure out what happened to her. They thought she was mentally ill. Maybe… But if she was it was one of the worst psychosomatic cases ever charted. One for the journals.
You don’t think that is serious? Cancer, heart disease and strokes are psychosomatic conditions. But you still die. Most people don’t understand what that word really means.
She baffled her doctors. And as doctors do, they stopped looking after a certain point. They really hate being at a loss. At that point, they blame the patient’s mind.
Some might say that the mind never kills someone, but I disagree. You can literally die of fear. And sadness can take your life.
So why would you leave someone in such a state, knowing the result will be that your failure to understand is what will take their life?
You can’t help but hurt someone, but you can at least in genuine empathy tell them that you’re sorry. Right?
Maybe that’s what she lacked in her life. Someone who was genuinely sorry. To fill her up again.

mirror twins (a story)

Mirror twins (a story)

They were conceived by the same egg and sperm. They gathered into the same cell. They split into equal portions. No one could tell the difference between them. Not by looks.
Even their parents. Though when they were little, mom would put different outfits on them. Just so she knew which was Susie and which was Ellie.
But when they were older, they would switch so even mom was confused.
It wasn’t their looks that got them into trouble. They were cute enough that boys and men came hunting for them. But they rebuffed them mostly.
You would start to notice the distinction between the girls when you watched them write or reach for something.
Susie was the rightie, Ellie the leftie. If you saw that, you knew then; Susie was the good girl, Ellie was the bad girl. Or so everyone said.
When they did the same things; Susie was being kind and careless, Ellie was being selfish and impulsive. They gave Susie the benefit of the doubt.
Let me give you some examples:
If a man came on to Susie, then she was a pretty girl, and it was no surprise. If a man came on to Ellie, then she was a slut and they were reading her signals.
If Susie went out for drinks, it was to have fun with friends. If Ellie went out for drinks, it was because she was an addict, or a party girl. Out of control.
If Susie brought friends home, their parents made them feel welcome. If Ellie brought them home, their parents screamed and threw them out.
What nobody knew, but the girls, was they were ambidextrous. If for no one else, the girls were protective of each other. Susie would never let Ellie be abused in such a way all the time, with no respite. Neither would Ellie allow Susie to suffer so.
Susie wasn’t a good girl and Ellie wasn’t a bad girl. They were just a couple of kids, acting like a couple of kids. When they were kids.
So as soon as they could, the girls left home. They got a room together. And they worked and saved and studied. And they took turns visitng their parents as Susie. Ellie never went. So their parents disowned her.
Their parents went to their death beds thinking bad of Ellie. And thinking well of Susie.
Do you know why?
Their parents were superstitious. Ellie was left handed, and to them… left handed was a sign of evil.

self esteem: when you get on an airplane

In the safety chat you get when you fly. they tell you that in order for you to be safe on the flight, the first person you need to take care of in an emergency is yourself. Because no one else will survive if you don’t put the mask on you first. Right?

Well, what if we put that lesson to life? Esp as women. We are the care givers and nurturers of our family and friends. We are also the ones who burn out when we are over used. Over extended. Unsupported. Taken advantage of.

So maybe we need to teach ourselves to let others do for themselves and we need to ask for help when we need a rest. BEFORE things get so tough, that they are virtuously unfixable. BEFORE we become so anxious or depressed we need meds.

And maybe we need to realize that not all women are created equal, so be kinder to ourselves than we would be to a friend or family member. Show them how we want to be treated. Like the queen we are. Like the valued person we should be. Not their servant. (I don’t mean kink)

We need to respect and love ourselves, before we can teach others how to love us ladies, so let’s try to work on that goal first.


## . . . . sources
(women aren’t all the same)
[locus of control][https://psychcentral.com/encyclopedia/locus-of-control/]
[ego functioning][https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/theory-knowledge/201306/the-elements-ego-functioning]
[sex-role identity][https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/349148]
[emotional abuse][https://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/emotional-psychological-abuse/effects-of-emotional-abuse-on-adults/]
[being yourself][https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/me-we/201308/how-be-someone-still-be-yourself]

he kept trying to be a good man (a story)

He Kept Trying to Be a Good Man… (a story)

But he had many reasons why he couldn’t be. Or so he said.
And he sure didn’t have it easy. You can’t argue that, can you?
His dad used to drink like a fish. And instead of being a party guy who went out and had some fun, he came home and beat his wife and children. He did quit…eventually. After the kids were all grown and she had no reason to stay, if he did it again. But that was their story, not his.
Or was it? Because like his father, he was an angry drunk, who thought he was the devil at times. Well he wasn’t far wrong. His partners sure thought so when he was growling at them.
He could say it was genetic or social family. But he was the worst of the litter. The rest of the kids weren’t violent. And one of his sisters had an abusive ex… And he protected the other kids and momma when daddy went on a rampage. No one protected him.
Or he could claim that his story is all about being poor in a northern Ontario town. Where there’s not a lot to do, but get drunk or high and get into trouble. Even if it means they tell you not to come back to school.
He could claim that he fell into a bad crowd. And he wouldn’t be wrong… They don’t come much worse than a gang do. He might have been good at it, well suited. Cuzz instead of being low on the totem pole, he became head of the biker club for awhile.
And they weren’t all bad. They went around leaving gifts on doors for poor families. Food and toys for the kids. You’d think they were a charity if it weren’t for the fact that they also pimped out young girls and sold drugs to kids.
He could say that he had no other choice, being poor and not finished school. But when in and out of prison, he got his GED, learned a few trades and had therapy. He was evaluated at the best forensic centers in Ontario and they did have a care plan for him. If only he’d been able to stay sober.
He even got a rehab space that others were queuing for. And tossed it back in their bloody faces.
Yes, he has good reason to say he was misdirected, somewhere along the way. He could also say he got advantages few others did. Like a really, scary smart brain.
But that would mean that he was more responsible than he thought he was. Thing is, he’s not wrong. The bad stuff was there. And if it weren’t for the fact that his anger made him murderous, it might be ok for him to say he had every right to keep his anger.
And those who fell for him saw the beauty of the little boy he could have been, if even one thing had been different. And they wanted to save him. Some even if it meant their own life.
So it must have been anyone else’s fault…
I don’t know, what do you think?

the lure (a story)

The Lure (a story)

He sent her out to pick up some new girls for his customers to enjoy. He told her what he wanted and expected her to supply them. It was like reading a gross and ugly soul’s wish list. But his customers were depraved. And the best chance he had of getting what they wanted was to send out a young woman. Someone the targets might identify with or turn to in their vulnerability.
She had been beaten down by “the life”, her history and him, to such an extent that he had but to ask and she did it. She jumped. Did it really matter whether the bruises were in her soul or on her body? She was bruised. Badly.
She had told him about how her fall had begun. And he had taken advantage of the knowledge frequently to hurt her and to make her compliant. Each twist of the knife had made her more cold, numb, bitter… anything but innocent or empathetic.
Now she was a loaded weapon. His loaded weapon.
If he asked for new toys for his customers to break, then that’s what he got.

Before you blame her… Let me tell you her story.
She was brought up by a woman (some would call her a mother) who could not stand to be alone. So she brought a string of men thru their home. And when she was passed out, on drugs or alcohol. or at work, the men helped themselves to her daughter.
When she tried to tell her mother, she was slapped and told to shut up. When she finally walked in on one, she chased her daughter out of the house. Even though her daughter was naked.
Even though her daughter was bleeding, hemorrhaging really, and needed emergent hospital care.
So she went to the ER. And somehow between a long weekend, and short staff due to a flu, she was left unnoticed after treatment.
A young guy listened to her story and said she could crash with him and his GF. So she followed him home.
You have to know the story, right?
She thought he was a friend, a saviour, and she had gotten lucky. Not so! As soon as the rent check was due or he was out of drug money, she was pimped out.
At first the customers were fairly gentle. He wanted the hot new toy to last awhile after all. But they became more and more depraved.
She kept herself barely conscious, just so she could move if someone told her to.

Until today…
When she was tested to see if she was really as vegetative as she seemed. Well, compliant in his thoughts. And yes, she was.
She sniffed out what he was looking for and brought one back. Just to test further, he slapped her and sent her out for another. Claiming a flaw. But she had followed his instructions to the letter. He added something.
So she found that and brought it home to him.
He smiled and sent her to a new customer. Before the “date” was done, she had paid for her sins with her life. Her sins?
Well some would blame her. Would you?