Carla’s Facts To Consider #23: Saying You Don’t See Colour Is Racist

Lately, thanks largely to Trump and the ever-increasing murders of people of colour in the States, a lot of people have re-ignited the discussion about the importance of ‘humanism’.

Many of these people are well-meaning when they spout that “they don’t see colour” and they wish “people would stop with the race card between ‘whites and blacks’”.

Image result for i don't see colour
thestudentroom.co.uk

After all, these people state, we’re all just “humans”.

Why can’t we all just get along?

And, in a sense, these people are right.

We are all just humans. Race is a social construct.

However, like I said in that post, it doesn’t matter. Race was created to make white people superior and other races inferior.

Which, due to the fact that race is a social construct, religions can be turned into a race. (Which means that when you reply to someone who’s called you out for being a racist douche to Muslims and you think your ‘smart’ quip about how Islam isn’t a race, that actually doesn’t mean you’re not racist. I mean, you could just be a bigot, but let’s be realistic. Hitler infamously turned Judaism into a race, resulting in the genocide of six million Jewish people. He gave specific ‘identifiable’ characteristics to Jews so that Germans could ‘be on the lookout’. People who weren’t Jewish were killed for having Jewish grandparents. Hitler made a race. If you see Muslims as Arab terrorists … that means your image, is, in fact, a racist one.)

Image result for how to identify a jew

Now that we’ve reiterated that race is indeed a social construct, let’s deconstruct why the statements I mentioned before are racist and dismissive, because you really need to get it.

We do not live in a perfect world, and I doubt we ever will.

Most of the “perfect” worlds we live in were created through the use of slavery, the dehumanisation and exploitation of others.

For example, children are frequently taught that Australia was “discovered” by Captain Cook in 1770, and “settled” in 1788.

Neither of those statements are true.

Cook went looking for Australia; England had already heard about the continent from other explorers.

More importantly, white people discovered Australia, and then white people invaded it.

Aboriginal people lived in Australia for at least 40,000 years before white people “discovered” it.

Secondly, white people didn’t settle shit.

We killed and took what we wanted. We inflicted new laws on Aboriginal people, without a second thought about how their laws worked, and with no regard about explaining what they were.

We took their land, their food, their lifestyle, their language, their culture, their children and their lives.

In return, we gave them diseases that helped to spread our genocide, and plied Aboriginal people with alcohol as a solution.

During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, we also had slaves – particularly in Queensland.

Image result for slavery in queensland
The word to describe the men in the picture is incredibly racist. It’s like the ‘n’ word. Those men are Pacific Islanders, in case anyone wants to know what that means.

A large portion of those slaves came from the Pacific Islands (or rather kidnapped) and forced them to work in the cane fields.

Then Australia decided that they should abolish slavery, because it was the 1900’s, and decided to become even more a racist dick and implemented and enforced The White Australia Policy.

Image result for white australia policy

No, I’m not making this up. Google it.

It’s a fact.

So, after kidnapping Pacific Islanders for slave labour, we then deported them (even if they were born here) because we wanted to make Australia white.

Yes, really.

Aboriginal people still didn’t receive the right to vote until 1967 – even though discussions had started in 1962 about giving Aboriginal people that right. On top of this, Aboriginal people weren’t allowed into politics until 1983.

To make this insult worse, Aboriginal men who fought in both world wars weren’t acknowledged for their sacrifices alongside their white comrades, and didn’t receive equal pay, or respect, when they returned.

In fact, many Aboriginal people weren’t recognised as war heroes until recently.

If this couldn’t get any worse, Aboriginal parents who had “mixed-race” children, still had their children stolen from them up until the 70’s.

After these children were stolen from their parents by the government, they were rarely ever reunited with their families.

They were forced into missionaries, to adopt a new religion.

They were forced to leave behind any cultural or family ties – and many were taken at such a young age, that they can’t remember their parents.

These children were then used to work in labour positions that paid very little.

And this isn’t even discussing what Australian has taken from other countries – like Nauru – to make our country prosperous.

Aboriginal people still face extreme racism and prejudice daily – even from elected officials.

Many Australians (i.e. white Australians) refuse to acknowledge any of this, because it means admitting we have a privilege.

And we do.

This country was built on slavery, convict labour, massacres, oppression and the exploitation of others.

And many of these things were still happening legally in Australia in the 70’s.

Just think about that.

The privileges you have, as a white person, are built at the cost of a person of colour’s.

Your status is based on our deliberate mistreatment of other races.

This is why it’s so fundamental to recognise race.

I’d love to live in a more accepting, more Utopian world.

I’d love it if we didn’t have racial prejudices.

But the fact is, we do.

And we have a lot of them – and they’re still on-going.

The fact that people still don’t believe Obama is American because he’s black is proof of it.

The fact that a black kid can get shot for playing with a toy gun is proof of it.

The fact that there are literally people alive today who remember segregation and the Stolen Generation is proof of that.

When you say you “don’t see colour” and make a point about being a “humanist” because “we’re all people”, you’re dismissing the real-life experiences of people of colour.

You’re forgetting that the past where this treatment was actually legal wasn’t that long ago.

You’re forgetting that people alive today remember slavery and segregation and were a part of it.

Image result for segregation

You’re dismissing the sacrifices of people like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X who literally died for their causes.

Image result for martin luther king quotes

You’re dismissing the fact that, by not seeing someone’s race, you’re saying their experiences aren’t relevant and therefore don’t matter.

You’re avoiding the very real issues of the deeply ingrained racism in our society.

People of colour might not have wanted race to be created, but it was.

And now it’s an undeniable fact that racism is a part of our society.

Saying you don’t see it and complaining about how “no one gets along” just adds to the problem.

It’s racist.

Whether it’s well-meaning or not, it’s deeply offensive. It dismisses that white people have a privilege, and that your developed country is successful due to the oppression of others.

Colour is important to recognise, because even if you wouldn’t judge someone based on the colour of their skin, doesn’t mean no one else has done the same.

Stop pretending race and racism isn’t an issue.

It is.

Image result for choosing the side of the oppressor

And by ignoring it, you’re choosing the side of the oppressor.

Originally published on The Melodramatic Confessions of Carla Louise.

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Author: carlalouise89

My name is Carla Robinson and I’m 26 years old. I love fashion, cooking, travelling and animals. I’m an English & History teacher, and have taught at three different schools in the past five years. If you’re interested in following me more closely, please check out my Instagram page: https://instagram.com/carlalouise01/ Or my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/melodramaticconfessionsofcarlalouise/

76 thoughts on “Carla’s Facts To Consider #23: Saying You Don’t See Colour Is Racist”

          1. In the way that it celebrates the genocidal & imperialistic history of the U.S., yes, Columbus Day is similar to Thanksgiving. It celebrates the day when Columbus “discovered” America. *rolls eyes*

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          2. Thanksgiving was originally a celebration marking a good harvest. There’s a myth that, when the Puritans originally landed in the U.S., the Native Americans offered to share their food with them & the settlers turned them down. However, when winter came around, they were freezing & starving & the Natives shared their food (which is why some pictures show Natives & settlers around a table sharing food). The myth says that the settlers were so thankful that the Native Americans shared their food & essentially saved their lives.

            In truth, the settlers killed over 100 Native Americans around the time when we now celebrate Thanksgiving (back when they first arrived). I don’t remember the exact details, but the number 160 seems to be sticking in my head. Regardless, the settlers were awful & that holiday is also tinged with the blood of Native Americans. 😥

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          3. Unfortunately, yes. Many would try to claim that’s all in the past & we shouldn’t dwell on it, but, as they say, “those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it.” Because we don’t discuss the truth of our history, &, in fact, celebrate our awful activities, we’re far more likely to commit these atrocities again. 😥

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          4. Pretty much! It’s like how people think what happened with Hitler could never happen again … and I’m like, are you forgetting all the other genocides???? Or do they just mean less because they’re in countries we pretend don’t matter!?

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          5. Yeah, well, people (read: Americans) think genocide only occurred during the Holocaust, if they believe that happened at all. Few people know what happened in Rwanda & other countries. It’s ridiculous. People also don’t understand that the U.S. used concentration camps on U.S. soil for Japanese-Americans. They don’t care. 😦

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          6. That’s not all that different from most Australians. I try and teach it differently, when I’m teaching the Holocaust. I try to imprint how important it is not to understand that it happened, but that it’s happened since, and will probably happen again. I’ve even discussed the possibility of it happening now – we don’t always know what’s happening, and some places are really rather secretive. We know, for example, that North Korea has some buildings that look like prisons. Are they prisons? Or something more sinister? And how will we ever know for sure without breaking treaties and declaring war?

            Australia also had concentration camps for Japanese and Italian people … we like to pretend it’s not the same.

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          7. Very good point. We know North Korea isn’t going to tell us anything, & most times where genocide is taking place – from my poor understanding & even worse historical reference – it’s not something they’re actively broadcasting, despite having government sanctions.

            In some ways the American (&, I’m guessing, Australian) concentration camps weren’t the same as the German, because we weren’t ultimately putting people into gas chambers. However, they were still awful places where the people weren’t free to do as they pleased, where their property was limited/stolen, where disease & hunger ran rampant… they were still h*** on earth for the people living there.

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          8. No, we weren’t. They weren’t death camps – but we weren’t saints about it, either, and a lot of people were affected by undernourishment.
            I couldn’t agree more. We have no idea what North Korea is doing – and they aren’t going to broadcast it, either.

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          9. I know. George Takei talks about his time in an American “internment camp” when he was a kid – how he & his family were yanked out of his home & taken to an over-crowded & under-supplied lock-down facility. It’s heart-breaking. 😥

            Regardless of whether or not we committed genocide, locking people up for no crime other than their heritage or how they looked is horrendous. It needs to be discussed so that we don’t repeat our past crimes against humanity… especially when an American presidential candidate is making insinuations towards Muslims & Muslim-Americans (he talked about stopping their entry into the country, monitoring mosques, & forcing Muslims to wear “identifiers,” which sounds an awful lot like the yellow stars Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust).

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          10. I agree. It’s so scary how close we’re coming to repeating history :S This “us” vs “them” thing is so very, very dangerous.

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          11. You’ve touched on another topic I have a plan to write about there – the “us vs. them” & binary thinking. I haven’t really flushed it out though… I’m very protective of my writing ideas. *suspicious look from side-to-side*

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          12. Ha ha ha I understand completely!!! I’ve written about “us and them” before but I’ve made it specific. I think the last time was in my poster Hitler, Drumpf and the Holocaust (and describing how Trump was creating the same mentality Hitler did).

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          13. I remember that post; it was a good one! (Then again, I rarely think you write a bad post lol) I’m thinking of approaching it in a more general way… but you make a good, even if unintentional, point. It might be too big a subject to research (if only to double-check my assumptions & perceptions) & write about without the post getting to be several thousand words. 🙂

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          14. Yeah, I might have to do that. Right now I have a ton of ideas & I never know what happens/how long they’ll be until I write them down, type them up, & see what I come up with.

            I’m typing up something I wrote over the weekend & I might have to break it down into 4 separate posts, or seriously trim the word count. I use way too many words to describe stuff & I give way too many details that probably aren’t necessary for the reader.

            Honestly, at this point I’m happy that I’m writing anything. I was talking to Rae the other day (in response to her “This or That” question that asked whether people found reading or writing more enjoyable) & I told her how much I struggled to get words down on paper (or Microsoft Word) – I usually start editing compulsively before I even finish, because I’m so overwhelmingly worried about what someone who might read it will think. :-/

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          15. I would do the same – but pen to paper works for me. I tell myself that I’ll type it up and it’ll be okay because I can edit it then! I guess that doesn’t work so much for you?? You have done a good job with the couple of posts you have written, though, so you should be proud of that!!
            Also, can you look at that guy’s comments from the NWR? I saw you liking mine … and I’m literally flabbergasted. Like, no idea. I cannot actually understand half of what he’s saying, and what I can understand is mumbo-jumbo. You don’t have to comment or anything … I just want a second opinion, because I’m just so flabbergasted. I literally can’t tell if he’s bad at writing, bad at forming an opinion, or if it’s on purpose. If you have a chance, can you please just check it out for me?? See what you think?? Thank you so much!!
            If you ever need any help, I’m happy to help you out. I mean, I know you don’t really need it for editing, but I’ve faced students who are intense over editing and everything. It’s hard over the internet but I usually just calm them down and tell them to write whatever they want, and we can look over it together and decide what’s needed. Though, you aren’t fifteen and you are extremely good at English, so I don’t think that’ll work quite the same way …

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          16. I always use too many words, whether it’s on paper or in Microsoft Word. I think that getting it out on paper lets me spew forth all the words in my head, sort of like a forced/framed freewrite exercise, & then I use typing to realize how stupid most of it sounds.

            So, in a way, the 2-step process sort of helps me, but it doesn’t override the underlying problem. I know what it is, but I don’t know how to overcome it.

            Thank you for the very sweet compliment about the couple of posts I’ve made. The issue is, I have so very many ideas & I’m struggling to get them out & posted as quickly as I’d like. I see you & Rae & B post almost every single day & I think, “these are great posts & they did them so fast! WTF is wrong with me?!”

            That goes back to the aforementioned underlying issue, though. 😦

            Oh, I have absolutely no problem checking out that trainwreck (totally one-sided on his part) on NWR & offering my opinion! Looking at posts/comments & offering opinions = my wheelhouse. Although, I usually don’t wait for anyone to ask what I think before I add my $0.02, so, in a way, this is uncharted territory. LOL

            (This comment is bound to get reeeeeeeallly long; you’ve been warned.)

            OK! I read all the comments from both you & EarthGround. I also did a bit of looking around – all of the info on his Gravatar page is fake. The Twitter handle doesn’t exist, the YouTube page doesn’t exist, there’s no blog linked to the page… (there’s an email address, but I’m not gonna contact him because I’m not a masochist). His “About Me” section on Gravatar is also in the same weird “doesn’t make much sense” sort of language he used in the comments.

            From there, I did a quick Google search for “EarthGround Media,” of which his Gravatar profile claims he’s the “founding groundling.” Yeah, that doesn’t exist either.

            All of this makes me wonder what his deal is. Is he a troll? I don’t think so. I think he doesn’t have a firm grasp of English, because either, 1) it’s his 2nd language, or 2) is putting his comments, in his native language, into a translator program & posting whatever gibberish comes out of it.

            One suggestion I would make, if you actually want to try to have a conversation with him, is that you read his comments a bit closer. He was trying, at one point, to bait you into explaining why you think Clinton would be good for the U.S., but he did it in a screwed up, round-about way. (It was this part of his comment: “Why is Clinton, er…. I mean, metric, good for baking, or the USA?,” which you confused & took more literally when you asked him if he wanted you to discuss the metric system’s uses in baking.)

            I hate to point it out to you, but you did what you say people shouldn’t do: you assumed he was American. He mentioned, in that weird ramble about how much younger (even though the picture he uses on Gravatar doesn’t look like he’s very much older than you are), more polite, & smarter you are than him, him saying that he’s “been living ignorantly in NFLD.” He’s Canadian – specifically, he lives in the Newfoundland and Labrador province (yes, I had to look up that acronym & I’m not ashamed to admit it!!).

            I think part of the problem is that you (& you’re definitely not alone in doing it!!) tend to read comments – especially long ones that would make any sane person furious – quickly & respond quickly. This particular… erm… person… requires a reader to take their time & ignore about half of what he writes.

            It’s not easy to do, I imagine, because I know that seeing a response from people like him would make your blood pressure skyrocket. I’ve had the same experience in dealing with trolls before (again, I don’t think he’s a troll; I think he’s having some major communication issues based on his poor grasp of English & poor writing skills).

            Regardless, I really hope that he leaves you alone soon. It’s like you said in one of your comments: it’s no fun taking him to task because it’s like he’s a bit like a child & you aren’t a winner if an adult wins an argument with a kid. Who knows – maybe he is a kid, pretending to be an adult? (This marks the end of my comments on EarthGround. Back to your regularly scheduled comment.)

            I appreciate your offer to help me out. I might take you up on that at some point!! I’ll probably tell you, if/when I do ask for help, what I’m looking for, but I’ll be grateful for whatever tips/advice you give me. No, I’m not 15, nor do I struggle with writing stuff, but that doesn’t mean I’ll never miss a typo or I’ll never word a sentence awkwardly. I’ve told you, & it’s still true for me (no one is above this rule, imo), a 2nd set of eyes looking at a piece of writing after its been typed is priceless.

            I’ll explain the issue, since you’re awesome & you seem genuinely interested in helping me, with which I’m struggling: My Dad is intensely critical of everything I do, from the direction I take when I’m driving somewhere to what I eat/don’t eat to my word choices/grammar while speaking to … everything, really.

            This behavior was magnified, a hundred-fold, when I was a teenager &, in combination with his drop-of-a-hat, nuclear blast temper, makes me ridiculously unsure of myself (yet another topic I wanna blog about & I hope, when I do, you’ll share it as a guest post). When I’m writing, I question every word choice. Every instance of a word repeating more than once in a paragraph. I’ve spent literally hours on Merriam-Webster’s online thesaurus trying to find another version of the word I’ve already used once before, but none of them fit as well so I have to keep searching.

            This voice lives in the back of my head. This critical voice, saying, you’ll never be good enough, no one wants to read this crap, it’s too long, it makes no sense… on & on & on. Rae said to keep “eff ’em” in mind while I’m writing, & I’m trying that out now. If you have any thoughts/advice, I’d really, really appreciate it. It’s hard to explain the situation & how it makes me feel, so I hope this made sense. :-/

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          17. Ha ha ha I think we have a similar issue!! Plus, I think the “too-many-words” issue is obvious from our incredibly long comments!! Though, I don’t mind at all!

            I guess that at least the writing and the typing helps reduce!! Plus, sometimes long blog posts are really good!

            I wouldn’t worry too much! I’m not sure about Rae, but I have multiple posts lined up. Just random ones sitting there, so I can just select them, is that makes any sense. It’s not like I write one every day. I mean, sometimes I change the order and everything, but they’re there.

            Yeah, I don’t think he’s a troll, either, but I’m not really sure what he is! Thank you for looking into it for me! I did notice that nothing on his profile was real.

            Yeah, that can definitely be a problem! I mean, I try and take my time responding, but half of what he was saying was just so confusing. I did see that slip – about the baking and Clinton – and I figured that’s what he was doing. I deliberately took it literally to call him out so that way he’d have to make it clear what he wanted to ask. I don’t like to play games, and if he has a question, he should ask. At least, that’s how I took it and how I was responding! It’s a shame it didn’t translate that way :S Thank you! I assumed he was American because he was so defensive about the metric system and everything like that, that I was like maybe his problem is the idea of changing from imperial to metric. I guess that’s definitely my mistake. The weird thing is, he doesn’t make me angry. I might be if I wasn’t so confused. I’m genuinely flabbergasted. And confused! He hasn’t responded since my last comment, so I guess that’s good! Thank you so much Ariel 🙂

            You’ve mentioned your dad’s critical behaviour before. I’m sorry it’s had such an affect on you. That must be so tiring, especially if you just want to write. I’d just write what you want, and avoid checking any better words. Just write, and cut down, and trust yourself that you’re choosing the best words and phrases etc. It might be hard, but it might be about breaking the habit, you know?

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          18. I don’t mind the long comments either! Sometimes I do take a look at a comment & save it as “unread” so I can give it the attention it deserves (I’m pretty sure I told you about this at some point), but I look forward to them nonetheless.

            Long posts can be good; some can even be great. The problem I have (in my head) is that people online rarely read long posts/articles. A lot of people will scan a post, regardless of length, & not actually read it like you or I would read a book. It’s something about the format that makes reading online more difficult (not gonna go into the culture shift, which definitely plays a big part in my opinion).

            That does make me feel a teeny-tiny bit better. Thank you for sharing that with me. Maybe I’ll develop a routine & I’ll be able to line up posts at some point. But you all seem so much more productive than I am… not comparing myself to people might be something to add to my list of things to work on. LOL

            Ohh… I see! It’s hard to understand intent online, so that’s probably why I misunderstood your approach. The whole thread is really bizarre. Intermingled with some crazy a** statements are these weird compliments, like he’s trying to butter you up while he’s being a condescending donkey. Calling you “girl,” & rambling on, trying to sound pseudo-intelligent… it’s like someone read a bunch of misogynistic MRA/PUA blogs, followed it up with some conspiracy theory websites, smoked a ton of pot, & decided to go online.

            If I read it enough times, it does start to (unfortunately) make sense. I used to think that my posts/comments were confusing, jumping from point to point without much rhyme or reason, when I stop taking my ADHD meds. I now know I’m a freakin’ academic writing a dissertation in comparison to this fellow. LMFAO

            Maybe he needed to go buy more pot & read up on Trump slogans before he responds? (The “follow the $” phrase is something he has said before; it might even have appeared in a meme Trump shared on Twitter, one that had a Jewish star on it & had been created by a bunch of white supremacists, if I remember correctly.)

            Thank you. I’ll definitely try to take your advice along with Rae’s. It will probably take quite a lot of time to overcome this b.s., unfortunately. The lingering issues are a real pain in the a**. But, you ladies are really helping me out… I don’t think I could be doing (as little as) what I am without your support & advice. xx

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          19. I do the same!! Although sometimes I worry I’ll miss comments or comments will get lost!

            I agree. Long posts need to be interesting and intriguing from the get go. Or broken up (like from the use of pictures) to keep the reader entertained. Remember that crazy girl? With her five essays? That is a brilliant example of something that shouldn’t have been that long. It should have been shorter. Sometimes length can be incredibly effective.

            I think it depends on how interesting the point is (because, let’s face it, no matter what you do, some things just aren’t interesting) and how well you can deliver on them.

            I think you’ll get there. You’ve started, which is the point! If it helps, sometimes I feel that way, too. I think it just depends. Plus, you’re ill. My illness can impact on whether I can even be bothered checking my blog, let alone posting. Maybe it’s partly to do with that?

            I agree. He’s trying to sound intelligent but he’s failing spectacularly. I understand completely! Intent is always so difficult to understand. I figure the best way to deal with these people is to both make it painstakingly easy and difficult at the same time. The questions I’m asking are easy. However, it forces him to either ignore questions he never intended on answering, but it also makes it difficult because I’m not playing his game. And I like that. I like trolling trolls.

            Ha ha ha probably! Oh my gosh, Trump is just despicable. I know exactly what meme you’re talking about.

            I’m glad we’re helping! I wish I could do more. I think talking about it, at least, helps. Plus, you know what the problem is, and identifying the problem is always helpful I find.

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          20. I can see why you’d be worried. Personally, marking it as “unread” keeps my attention because I try to empty my email account of new emails whenever possible.

            Old emails, on the other hand, I have, like, 90 of (mostly articles from Everyday Feminism & other stuff like that) & I never really look at them (I really should try to start whittling away at them… but I’m so busy with more interesting stuff… & I’m lazy… & I don’t think of it LOL).

            I think the issue I’d have if I were to make a really long post (like the one I’m still trying to finish typing up & was already 1000+ words at the end of 2 out of 4 of the points I was trying to make 😦 ) is – I think my writing style is boring. Even when I re-read stuff I’ve written, it sounds so stiff & formal. Another thing I’m trying to work on is writing more conversationally, but, again, super difficult once it becomes a habit.

            OMG yes, that girl’s posts could have been far shorter. In fact, it would have been better if she hadn’t written anything at all. But, since she insisted on putting forth her ridiculous point of view, it would have been far better if she had broken down her posts with bullet points, pictures, or headers. Also, shorter paragraphs… if it’s over 3 lines, try to pare it down. *makes a mental note to follow own advice…follows up on mental note with an actual note in Microsoft Doc lol*

            Yeeeaaahhh… I’m not sure if the point I’m trying to make is super interesting. I mean, it’s interesting to me, but, & I think at least one driving force behind this problem, is that I don’t know what other people find interesting. I feel like I don’t think like a lot of people on the Web, &, while I find that WP is, for the most part, a bit different, I struggle to talk on “their level. My Uncle, who’s a professional communications freelance writer, says the average American reads at somewhere around a 5th-8th grade level… you, obviously, are an exception & so are many of the people I follow on WP.”

            I think it’s definitely a big step that I’ve started up writing again. Thank you for pointing out that as an accomplishment & for saying you have some faith in me, even while I’m struggling with it myself.

            To be honest, while, h*** yes, some days I can’t write/edit/think about stuff, I don’t think that it plays a significant role. Yes, it’s why it takes me longer to post anything original (besides, obviously, comments), but it doesn’t really affect what I write/how I feel while writing.

            I mean, the depression might play a small role, but, at the same time, it’s hard to separate that from the emotional abuse during my teenage years. They both play off one another. Still, your thinking process isn’t really too far off.

            It’s quite brilliant, really. You know how they always say, “don’t feed the trolls?” Well, in my mind, that doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t interact with them – it could be that you give them something they can’t “eat.” Since most of them feed on peoples’ reactions & heated emotions, if you don’t get emotional – like you haven’t been – they wither away & die…… or f*** off, as he appears to have done.

            Yeah, that meme especially pissed me the f*** right off. & Trump doesn’t understand why he’s being accused of racism (that, & he’s been involved in lawsuits claiming he was racist, lawsuits he lost).

            You’re right – talking about the problem is already a help. Just chatting helps me think of different approaches I can take, including trying to see if Google has any advice. I’d better write that idea down or it’ll disappear. 🙂

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          21. Well, maybe if you’re worried about the topics, you could run them by someone? Like me or Rae or B? Maybe if we reassure you about the topics, you’ll be more inclined to write about them 🙂 That might work!

            And I don’t think you’re wrong … most people need simplicity. And I think a lot of pseudo-intelligent trolls go overboard by thinking that if they sound smart that equals that they are. Unfortunately, not true. And I agree – your reaction is what feeds the troll. That’s why I make it so complex and so simple at the same time (or, at least, my aim). They’re spending so much time trying to ‘catch me out’, they usually don’t even realise what’s happening. However, I think there’s a difference – I won’t engage with someone who’s abusive. I just don’t see the point.

            I definitely think that’s a great idea!! I mean, we know why her posts (in particular) failed. Maybe if you have that idea in your head, you’ll be able to do the exact opposite!! And then you’ll be able to be more comfortable with what you write! Google is brilliant. I love Google. Also, I highly recommend pictures! I think they help to break it up.

            I’m sorry if my replies are slower/and not as long, I’ve been so tired lately!

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          22. If I’m worried about the topics, or if I want some ideas/to spit-ball ideas with, I’ll definitely take you up on your offer. I already did it with Rae once by accident (we were emailing & I brought up my topic & I was able to express myself better in email than I was in my post drafts). Regardless of how it came about, it was really helpful.

            A lot of people (& trolls – who may/may not be people for all we know) use big words without knowing their meanings to sound smart. They’re going on the premise that no one will know their definitions, nor look them up. Of course, you can’t call them out on it (unless we’re talking to someone who’s reasonable & not a troll), because then you’re accused of being pedantic.

            I completely understand & I subscribe to the same troll approach. Anyone who’s abusive immediately gets blocked & their comments are deleted. Ain’t no one got time for that!!

            Oh, I was definitely applying “don’t write like that obsessive lady” to my writing! I already knew, looking at her posts, what she did that was all wrong for blog-readers, so I already applied it. Now it has its own special name, though. LOL

            I’m getting a lot of good stuff from my Google search – some of it I knew that I needed a reminder of, some of I’d never heard before. I still have a few different search phrases I want to explore, & the results I’ve looked at already have links in them or other pages on the same website that look promising, so this is gonna take a while. LOL

            Don’t worry about taking time to respond, & I don’t want you to feel like you have to meet some word count requirement. I totally understand not feeling up to giving it everything you would normally – heck, I’m feeling pulled in several directions right now & I might not get to the 20+ comment reply notifications I’ve got in my email inbox. &, while I feel guilty for that (because that’s who I am), I also know that people will understand. *Internet hugs*

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          23. Oooh, I’m glad that worked out well with Rae!! Maybe that’s something you could do more of??

            Ha ha ha if I don’t know something, I always look it up. If it doesn’t fit, I make it clear. Like, for example, I’ll say something like, ‘Are you sure you meant to say ‘x’? Because ‘x’ means this, and it doesn’t really seem to fit with what you’re saying. Are you sure you didn’t mean to say ‘y’?” I love doing it, because it means that they know I’m smarter than they realised (which happens to me all the time … seriously, it’s like everyone just assumes I’m stupid) and that I picked up that they were wrong. But, I wasn’t a dick about it (well, nothing they can throw at me, anyway … I was being a dick, I just made sure it couldn’t be perceived that way) and yeah.

            God, I sometimes think I’m a terrible person!

            I know!! Maybe that could be one of your ideas? I mean, not linking it to her blog or anything like that, but the ‘Don’ts’ of writing? Especially because you’re so good at the editing and everything, you could make a list of Do’s and Don’t’s! It might also help you, because once you’ve done it, you can return to it and be like, ‘Ariel, look at this. This is what you wrote. Now do it!’
            Thank you!!! **Internet hugs back**

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          24. Maybe. I’m not sure if she – or any of you, really – would be up for that kind of “job.” Right now, I’m gonna say I don’t need it. In the future, I’ll ask if I think I do. 🙂

            I don’t know why they’d assume that. Maybe because they’re not very smart themselves, but view themselves as such. That would make them overestimate their own intelligence & underestimate other people’s?

            But you’re really not a terrible person!! People can’t hear your inflection/tone in your messages. They think you’re asking for clarification. You & I know it to be withering condemnation, but that doesn’t make you a bad person.

            Neither does being snarky to jerks coming on your posts/friends’ posts & being, well, jerks!

            Oh good Lord… people need to stop giving me brilliant ideas (that I couldn’t come up with on my own)!! I have so many written down that I want to work on. Then I spend all day answering/leaving comments instead of writing. LOL

            I’m adding that to the list, to be sure. Thank you so much!! (you’re still the sweetest person online. Ever. Not only to me. xx 😉 )

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          25. That’s fair enough. But I hope you know I’m always here if you need me!

            Maybe!! Sometimes I think it’s just because I’m a woman. I don’t know. All I do know is it happens all the time. It’s not even an internet thing – it’s an in-person thing. People have always assumed I’m stupid. Often, I let them make the assumptions; it makes it more fun when they realise I’m not.

            Thank you!! Ha ha ha that’s true! I guess if someone’s being a jerk, I’m allowed to respond in kind!

            Thank you, Ariel!!! So you are!! You’re really amazing xx

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          26. I’m so very appreciative & grateful for the offer. I’ll let you know if I need your help. 🙂

            OMG!!! I was going to put “Plus, you’re a woman” in my previous comment. I chose not to because I thought it seem presumptuous. But it’s absolutely a reason.

            Have you seen the Tumblr “Academic Men Explain Things to Me?” It’s all archives now, but it’s a great showing of how often women are assumed to be stupid. I think it boosts my thinking on when people assuming you’re stupid just because you’re a woman. It also shows you’re definitely not alone!

            Women are expected to always be polite. Always be nice (but not too nice). Don’t ruffle any feathers. Screw that nonsense. If someone’s a jerk, you’re 120% entitled to be a jerk back. Your gender is irrelevant.

            You are too. & still the sweetest person. Except to jerks. Eff them. 😉 xxxx

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          27. Anytime! And you’re right – it’s because I’m a woman.
            I have! Or, I’ve seen bits of it! It’s not just men, though – women seem to think I’m not that bright, either. Not as much anymore, but in high school and for a bit in uni, people always seemed surprised when I did well. But yeah, it’s more often than not men that assume I’m not bright. And I’ve found that a lot of men are intimidated when they discover I am. Is that the same for you??

            And thank you!!!! xxxxx

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          28. I don’t know if people are intimidated by my intelligence. I’m pretty brash in person, so that might intimidate them. Also, I’m not as adorable as you are. I think part of it falls into the “pretty girls must be stupid” stereotype.

            xxx

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          29. Awww, thank you!! I’m only ‘adorable’ to some because I’m young (hope that doesn’t sound like a dig at you, it’s not! You’re not that much older than I am! I just mean, older people seem to think younger people are ‘cute’). I’m pretty sure that’s all I have!
            But yeah, I’ve actually dated guys and it’s clear they’ve been intimidated. They do this, ‘Oh, you’re smarter than I expected.’ And they’ll make a few comments about it, and then there would be no other dates after that. It was like they either a) couldn’t handle someone who was more intelligent than they were or b) they really thought I was dumb and they preferred that or c) reasons I don’t understand.
            But, if I’m fair, I couldn’t date someone who I didn’t think was smart. I think we had this conversation a while back … how we were both attracted to intelligence!

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          30. LOL I don’t mean it like you’re some tiny baby & I think you’re adorable whenever you coo. Or whatever older people are supposed to feel about babies. LOL

            I rarely say people are adorable – or cute, or whatever variation – unless I think it’s true. I mean it in the sense that you’re an attractive woman & that makes people doubt you have stuff going for you other than your appearance.

            I’m sure you’re right. A lot of men feel like they’re being emasculated when women are smarter than they are. Plus, they’re less likely to accept the man as an authority figure when they know they’re saying some bulls***.

            In a way, it’s a good thing there weren’t any additional dates. Not only did that set you up to meet a great guy (who, I’m sure, is brilliant), but it showed their true colors early on. Still, at the time, I’m sure it sucked.

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          31. Awww thank you!!! That’s so kind!! I love it!!! Thank you so much! You really made me smile!
            Yeah, I agree. I’ve met a lot of men who don’t like it, and don’t like being put in their place when they’re wrong. And you know what? I really don’t care, because I feel that that attitude is pathetic.
            I agree!! I think things worked out (luckily) really well for me! Especially considering the ‘friends’ that introduced us turned out to be some of the most terrible people I’ve ever met, it’s really good Scott and I met.

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          32. Americans don’t celebrate – &, indeed, few even know about – the truth of Columbus’s actions. We’re celebrating the myth we’ve created so that we can deny the horrific beginnings of our country. 😦

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          33. That’s sad. I have seen a few articles circulating (like the one you sent me) about him, so maybe that will change?? It’s what happened with Australia and Australia Day … though many Australians ignore how Aboriginal people feel and won’t accept it and have the attitude of “just get over it”. But at least more people are aware, I guess.

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          34. Adults might be learning about Columbus’s behavior now, but we dare not teach our children about him… at least not accurately. We teach them the myth & allow them to look him up if & when they’re so inclined as adults. 😦

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          35. That’s just bad education! Children can handle the truth. I mean, you don’t have to tell them everything. But they can handle the truth.

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          36. Well, we’ve already discussed, at length, how awful a lot of (American) education systems are nowadays. Still, there’s a limit on how much “truth” you can tell children & at what age. If you taught them everything Columbus did, they’d have nightmares…

            …or they might question why the heck this man has a holiday in his honor.

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          37. Could be either or 😉
            I think you can start with teaching them that Columbus didn’t discover America – that people already lived there.
            Then, you can tell them (at a later age) that Columbus killed a lot of people.
            Then, at another later age, you can give more details about the killing.

            I find it’s easier to accept the facts if you’re not told outright lies in the beginning.

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          38. That makes a lot of sense. Of course you would know best how to approach a teaching method though. 😉

            I still think that people would worry that, if the next generation knew the truth about Columbus, they would question why we’re celebrating him. Adults (again, I’m talking about Americans primarily) don’t like it when kids start asking questions & thinking critically. I’m pretty sure that’s why we don’t teach them about critical thinking before they’re in college. 😦

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          39. Yeah, I know. I’ve worked with teachers like that and I disagree with it SO MUCH.

            The weird thing is … sometimes I’ve gotten actual compliments from parents. Not just my students, but parents. One mother came in, and she said that I talked about all sorts of topics in my class and nothing was off limits. I was expecting to get a bashing, but she was like, “Thank you so much. My daughter is starting to question everything because of you, and she genuinely likes it.” It’s probably the best compliment I’ve ever received.

            I just think kids deserve the truth. And while I’ll omit details if I think the truth is too hardcore, I don’t think lies should be encouraged. And if you start off by giving them at least parts of the truth, it’s not such a shock by the time they reach Harvard. And it’s what I get my kids to do.

            Like I told you about my Year 10 unit – where we do difficult, controversial topics – I set them up and I get them to challenge me. I tell them that any debate is on the table, but no opinions can be brought to the table. Their debate has to be brought on facts, and if their facts can be knocked down, they have to accept that. They can come back with new facts, but they need to learn how to think and argue succinctly.

            I, personally, believe that creates better people in general. Kids should be pushed more. People often don’r realise what kids are capable of, and that’s a mistake.

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          40. Have you frequently had parents come in to bash you, rather than compliment you? I could totally see that happening, unfortunately. I’m so glad that at least one parent had the good gosh-darn sense to tell you what you did was right.

            I totally agree. Parents, well meaning though they might be, want to protect their children from the ugly truth – especially when it’s about their country.

            I think what you do to teach your kids about debating & using facts to support their arguments is what all teachers need to be doing… otherwise, we get a bunch of jerks bullying people, spewing opinions & misinformation, like we have on the Internet nowadays. Also, I think it’s super important that you’re showing them that you’re willing to tell them that they’re wrong. Far too often, we give mediocre people gold stars for doing nothing more than existing & teach them that they deserve praise for everything – they don’t learn about failure & perseverance.

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          41. Actually, surprisingly not. In my first year or two, yes, but after a few years at the same school I garnered a lot of respect, and parents really wanted me to teach their kids. A lot of parents felt that I was reasonable and that I challenged them a lot.
            I’ve had plenty of parents attack me, but it’s more about their child not receiving the grade they wanted. It’s why I got in the habit of photocopying drafts after I marked them (time-consuming, but worth it). It meant that a) if a student didn’t bring in the draft on the due date, and didn’t have a valid reason, I’d mark that (and I’d keep students behind until I had something for a draft) and b) I could show the parents what the child had written, and my comments, and where they had failed to improve (because it was mostly students not fixing up the errors). It became really effective when dealing with parents because, while some want to argue against everything and anything, it gets harder when the facts are in front of you.
            I think it’s a mistake, personally. And it makes it harder to hear the truth when the truth does come out.
            No, they sadly don’t, and then the truth hurts them about the reality of what they can do. I make sure I’m always clear. For example, I’m currently tutoring this girl in grade ten who wants to be a model. She needs to pick her senior subjects, and doesn’t want to go for an OP. She’s debating whether to take OP English or the ‘easy’ English (non-OP). I was straight up with her: the non-OP English is so easy, it’ll most likely bore anyone with any brains. Seriously. It’s designed for students who either struggle that much, or are doing an apprenticeship at the same time, so they aren’t bogged down by difficult assessment. And I was like, ‘You can change your mind. You can switch English classes if you want. But if you start at the easy English, you can’t really go up. If you start at OP English, you can go down if you want.’ Then I talked to her about what an OP means and doesn’t mean for her future, and why it’s important and why it doesn’t matter (in some ways).
            I don’t know. I just think a lot of us do children a disservice.

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          42. I’m glad that your teaching methods & (I’m sure) sweet personality have earned you the reputation as a good teacher you deserve. Too few good teachers are entering the field & too many good teachers are leaving. I’m proud that you’re one of the “good ones,” who stands up to students, parents, administrators, &, yes, even other teachers alike when you know you’re doing what’s right.

            I’m not surprised that parents have gotten pissed off & they’ve come to see you. I’m also not surprised that their kids’ grades are why they’ve come to see you. I’m sure I’ve mentioned my Dad’s opinion that “teachers give kids bad grades, but students earn good grades” before, but it still stands as the truth. I’m also pretty sure that these aren’t parents you would otherwise see if their kids hadn’t brought home a bad grade – they’re not worried about their studies or helping them until it’s too late.

            Your photocopying 1st drafts is really smart. Otherwise, all you have is your notes on them & the parents won’t accept that. I’m pretty sure that some won’t even accept the truth in their own kids’ handwriting, because their “precious [insert name here] is such a good girl/boy!” But that might just be my Dad’s cynical view of teaching coming across using my computer. LOL

            You’re probably right – not telling our next generation the mistakes previous generations have made doesn’t help anyone, & it doesn’t protect children from the ugliness of the world. However, I don’t know if we can change the parental drive to shield kids & the blinders that many people want to wear when they’re looking at history.

            That advice is the best for that student & I hope that she listens to you before she’s stuck in a class that bores her (in addition to probably failing to teach her anything).

            I have one question, though: What’s “OP” stand for? A quick search turned up “Overall Position,” which sounds like it might be what you’re talking about here. I’m not familiar with Australia’s educational system – aside from broad generalities similar to most teaching institutions & activities – so, I could read up on it… but it looks like a lot of information & I’m lazy. I’m guessing I don’t need to be intimately familiar with the topic for the purpose of this conversation, but I like to know stuff (again, as we’ve discussed, before, at length).

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          43. Well, to be fair, I did leave. I did three months full-time this year, but it’s too much for me. I’m too ill and teaching is too demanding. I mean, teaching was always hard before I fell ill … but now it’s not possible. Most teachers I know struggle as is. I can’t do what they want. But now I tutor and do supply teaching!
            But I do agree. And I think the good teachers are leaving because there’s such a high burnout rate. In my last year, just before graduation, we were told that 75% of us would quit teaching by our fifth year, because of burnout. Because teaching is too demanding.
            Which I think is insane … because the teachers that leave are often the good ones. The ones that want to put in the extra effort.
            Yeah, it does stand for Overall Position. It’s something that will very shortly be outdated – QLD is one of the very few states that has it. What happens is we have a standard test – called the QCT (QLD Core Test) – and that, combined with the results you get in class determine your “overall position”. You get a ranking (1-25; 1 being the best) and that determines what uni you can get into and what field you can get into within that uni. It’s actually really unfair. People say it’s not, but it is.
            For example, everyone that wants to go for an OP has to take certain subjects – two of those subjects are Maths and English. For Maths, it’s broken up into three OP sections: A, B and C (A is easiest; C is hardest).
            However, unless you aren’t going for an OP, there’s only one English class (I mean, for large schools, there’s obviously more than one class, but you all get taught the same. There’s not necessarily an extension English or anything.)
            Imagine there’s a pie. Everyone that completes a subject gets a piece of the pie. If you receive an A, you get more of the pie. But imagine there’s a 100 students vying for a piece of the pie. Even if you get an A in English, it’s not going to be the same compared to the five students that are doing Math C. It’s really confusing and hard to explain without diagrams; but the point is, a lot of people say it’s fairer and easier, but in other states you’re only tested on the subjects you take (and, it may have changed, but you never used to have take senior Maths if you didn’t want to. You had to take senior English for an overall position, but not Math if it wasn’t relevant for your field. It may have changed, however.) So that means if you weren’t mathematically inclined, you could learn basic math, and it wouldn’t affect your overall grade.
            However, with the QCS, at least fifty percent of your test is math based … and it’s not simple math, either. Does that make any sense?? Wow, I talked a lot about that!

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          44. It makes a bit of sense, I think. I’m not sure I’d be able to tell if I wasn’t getting it, to be honest. LOL

            It sounds like the U.S. & its usage of Grade Point Average (GPA) + SAT/ACT (standardized tests) scores for college applications. It especially sounds like it when you mention that 1/2 of the core test is (really hard) math – that’s how the SAT works too, only the math & English/reasoning sections are marked separately. You get an overall score that’s broken down into a math score & an English score, & those separate scores affect what classes you have to take & what programs you can get into in college.

            One big difference is we don’t rank students (aside from awarding the student with the highest GPA in their graduating year the title of “valedictorian”) differently for getting the same grade in different subjects like you talked about your schools doing with English & Math C.

            That does seem unfair to me, but, then again, I can’t add together single-digits without waaaaay too much time thinking about it. I might be biased about a system where maths students get marked better – or “more pie” – for the same grade as English students. LOL

            Hey, it’s a topic you’re passionate about!! You can talk/type all you want. 🙂

            I’m really sorry that you can’t work full-time right now. I know how much that sucks. 😦 But, I’m glad that you’re still helping kids – they can use whatever access they get to a good teacher they can get!

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          45. Yeah, that does sound pretty similar!! I just think it’s unfair, because so much emphasis is focused on math-related subjects. English, I feel, anyone can pass. Not everyone can do well, and English isn’t everyone’s strong point. But if you listen to your teacher, take the advice, you can pass. Math … you have to get the right answer. You have to remember the formula. You have (at least here) make sure everything is set out. If you skip a step, you can lose points. It’s really very confusing. Plus, so much isn’t relevant for after-school unless you’re heading into a math-related field. Like, one of my best friends is a Math teacher and she LOVES Math. But even she was saying that she’s over it. She was telling me that she thinks it’s a bit of a joke and half of what she teaches after year 9 she only uses because she’s a math teacher. I feel like that’s really sad because we could actually be teaching students things they’d use after school, you know? But maybe it’s just because I seriously dislike Math.
            Thank you!! Scott and I have talked about it, and it took me so long to recover from working three months full-time that we’ve decided my health isn’t worth it. We’ve both decided I shouldn’t ever return to full-time work in any capacity. We’ve even talked about how I’m just finally learning to juggle tutoring, and that’s only for a few hours every afternoon. It’s been difficult – I want to work, and I hate not working – but I also know he’s right. I know that I can’t get up, like other people can. I know sometimes I physically cannot get out of bed. I know I can’t predict how I’ll feel the next day. Sometimes, everything can be going right – I’ve had time to exercise, avoided the sun at bright times (photo-sensitivity is really bad for me, like shockingly bad. I even struggle with lights. Like, when I’m teaching, I can’t have the lights on, and at home, we have low-level lights or whatever they’re called. The bright side is they’re eco friendly and save energy!), ate well, slept for like twelve hours … and be in struggle-town. Which I’m sure you can relate to. And I can’t be like that and have a job, no matter how much I wish differently.
            Thank you so much!! You’re so lovely 🙂

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          46. Yeah, there’s not a lot of math used beyond school. I mean, we should still give kids an opportunity to learn it, in case they are going to go into a math-related field, but I think that putting so much emphasis on it is silly.

            I think part of it has to do with the fact that English, in a lot of ways, is open to interpretation & allows for more creativity & flexibility. There isn’t necessarily going to be one right (& all the rest wrong) answer to a question, making it hard to grade “objectively.” There’s a lot of emphasis put on objectivity & rigid adherence to rules in maths.

            I guess that’s one thing that we can take away from learning maths in H.S. – people expect everything to fit into a neat formula, with one clear, right answer. &, like a lot of other stuff kids learn in H.S., it’s total B.S.

            I absolutely, positively, completely understand where you’re coming from as far as working is concerned. When I had to explain to a disability court why I couldn’t “just find a different job” from the field I had been working in previously, I couldn’t find the words to express what I was feeling. However, when my (insensitive jerk) Uncle(s; one started it, influenced the other, & the other wrote to my Dad, & I emailed him after I read the letter, & had sufficiently calmed the f*** down) said that he thought I needed to get a job, immediately if not sooner, I explained it to him this way: Right now, I can’t give any employer 100%. I can’t promise that I’ll be at work every day. I can’t promise that I’ll make it through an entire 4-8 hour day. I can’t guarantee the quality of my work would be mediocre, let alone my best. I wouldn’t want anyone to hire me in this condition, nor would I want to give substandard work & sporadic attendance to an employer.

            Even though I hope to get myself to a point where I can work again, now is definitely not the time. I don’t know if it’ll ever be possible, but it’s definitely what I’m working towards.

            It’s incredibly frustrating to be in our position. We never know what we’re going to feel like from day to day, & thinking that this could be our lives from such a young age (you younger than I) is depressing. Sometimes, what other people say can be even worse. We look OK, & sometimes we can do stuff, so people make assumptions.

            You’re very lucky to have such a supportive husband who understands your limitations & he encourages you to do what’s best for you, regardless of the difficulties it may raise.

            Does he have any single brothers? LOL

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          47. I couldn’t agree more. I think the emphasis put on math is unnecessary for most people.
            Ha ha ha I so agree. Sometimes, I feel that kids learn a little in primary, more in high school, and in tertiary education they learn that everything they learnt is a lie.
            I’m glad that you got it out in a letter. Sometimes it’s so hard to explain an illness that isn’t visible to others. I think you did a fantastic job explaining. And it’s so true. It’s not fair on you or on your employer. I just wish more people understood.
            I agree. People making assumptions and a lack of understanding is what I find the hardest. I find it hard to explain that doing something means it’ll have an affect the next day, and that means I have to take it into consideration.
            Thank you!! I am pretty lucky. Unfortunately he only has a sister!

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          48. Your assessment on education is spot on. Which is unfortunate.

            To be honest, if I hadn’t gotten my feelings out in an email to my Uncle, we probably wouldn’t be speaking to this day. What he (I put most of the blame on the instigating Uncle, – Jeff – but the Uncle – Mike – I wrote to bought into it without talking to me or my Dad) wrote in his letter was… incredibly thoughtless, cruel, & showed a complete lack of understanding, not only about my health, but of me as a person. He wrote 3 long paragraphs about everything I was doing & how it was wrong. My sister (who also doesn’t have a job, but who doesn’t pay any rent, doesn’t speak to my Dad unless it’s absolutely unavoidable, & doesn’t have any mental/physical problems) got 1/2 a paragraph that basically wrote her off as a lost cause.

            The sheer audacity of some people, people who should know better, who don’t even ask us about stuff before they jump to conclusions, is so upsetting & so infuriating all at the same time. My initial reaction to Mike’s letter was an even mixture of screaming & sobbing.

            For the (too few) people who do try to understand, or who ask why I can’t do 2 super easy (like going to the movies & going to dinner) activities in one day, I send them a copy of Spoon Theory. Then I harass them until they’ve read it. Sometimes a concrete description like that helps a whole lot.

            I’m assuming, of course, that you’ve read it. I have many friends who have chronic pain & other ailments (3 out of 4 of my closest friends, in fact) & I think that I would be totally bonkers without them. Feeling so alone & broken can be really demoralizing. :-/

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          49. That’s so terrible and so disappointing. Unfortunately, I don’t find it surprising. I mean, I find it’s a shame because he’s family, but it’s not really a surprise. I find that so few people don’t understand things they can’t see. I find that so few people have empathy for invisible illnesses. It’s like, for some people, you have to look ill. If you don’t, then something is wrong. Maybe it was you who said it to me, or someone else, but someone mentioned to me the other day that it’s this idea that they could become you or that you somehow chose it.

            I have read the Spoon Theory! My husband and I work on it a lot. Like, if I want to do something that seems like too much work, Scott will be like, ‘But you have to think about your spoons. You have to do ‘x’ tomorrow. If you do ‘a’ today, will you have enough spoons for ‘x’?” It’s really good, because he’s so understanding and so supportive. I just wish more people were like that. I wish more people would realise how tired I can get, and how much being that tired can hurt. I wish people could understand that no one would chose that kind of life. I mean, sometimes I’m too tired to even watch something. I can’t sleep for some stupid reason, but I also can’t keep my eyes open, either.

            Who would want such a life? It pisses me off that so few people get it. Or think that there are easy fixes. And I’m really pissed that your family is so damn unsupportive.

            Liked by 1 person

          50. It wasn’t I who said that some people assume we either chose our conditions or that they feared becoming us (if I paraphrased what was said incorrectly, please let me know… I’m a bit tired atm & might not be reading things as carefully as I would normally).

            It kind of makes sense, but I’m far more cynical than to raise a point like that. I truly think that most people think we’re “faking” our condition, that we’re lazy, & that we could do things like work or go out or whatever if we really wanted to do them. Part of that is my own pessimistic view, part of that is based on the fact that it’s, broadly paraphrasing, exactly what my Uncles think of me.

            Me & my best friend say the same thing to one another!! “Do you think you’ll have enough spoons to do this?” Or, “I’m all out of spoons & it’s only noon!” It really means a lot to me, & to her too, I hope, to have someone who really understands what I’m going through & who cares enough to watch out for me. I’m so glad that your husband is that person for you. 🙂

            Of course no one would want such a life. That’s why it’s easier for some people (*cough* jerk Uncles *cough*) to believe that it’s not real & we’re either doing it: A) for attention, B) to get out of working/growing up, or C) because it’s all in our minds.

            In trying to think positively (uncharted territory though it may be for me), maybe some people hear us talking about our conditions – the pain, the tiredness, the cataplexy (in your case), the inability to concentrate/have a normal social life/do two activities in one day, etc. – & they choose not to believe it’s real because it sounds so awful? Like, they wouldn’t want anyone (or, in my case, a loved one) to have to go through that so they can’t accept it?

            Regardless of what drives them to these erroneous conclusions, it’s incredibly hurtful & it doesn’t help anyone to offer unsolicited (& useless) advice on how to live a life they can’t possibly imagine.

            I’m pissed about what they’ve said too. However, it means a lot to me that it pisses you off too. It speaks to your empathy, sensitivity, & it means you give a crap about me. So, thank you. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          51. Hmmm, whoever said it to me made some really good points! I wonder who it was???
            I think some people are legitimately like that (just horrible people that assume it’s an ‘excuse’ because you want to be lazy and all that). I just also think, for some, they assume there’s a certain amount of control there. The realisation that there’s no control means that it could happen to them, just like it happened to us, and that’s too scary to contemplate. I guess that’s also part of victim-blaming, in a way, when you think of it, because it’s the idea of, ‘Well, if it happened to me, I’d do x, or it wouldn’t happen to be because of y’.
            Which is really interesting, and now that I’ve written that point, I feel like I’m onto something.
            I know exactly what you mean. WHO would want that!? I’m pretty sure we’re pretty identical in most ways, and I sit there and I think that sometimes I can’t even focus on a TV program. I’m not talking something intense that requires focus, I’m talking simple TV like the Big Bang Theory (though I don’t watch it, but you get my point) can be literally too tiring for me. WHO WOULD WANT THAT!? And the worst part is, the more tired I am, the more furious I am about staying in bed. Or sometimes I think, ‘Nope, that’s it, I’m getting out of bed!’ and I walk to the toilet and I’m like, ‘Nope, done for the day. I literally can’t do anymore.’ WHO WOULD WANT THAT?? What is wrong with people?
            I agree. I guess that’s why they’re ‘invisible’ conditions, because we become invisible, in a way, once we have them.
            But I think we’re making progress, as a society, in regards to them. We’ve come a long way. We’ve still a long way to come, but still. Improvements are good!
            Thank you 🙂 Of course I care. I care a lot about you. And I’m furious that your dad and your uncle treated you that way. There is literally no excuse for their behaviour, and I hope one day they realise how ashamed they should be of themselves.

            Liked by 1 person

          52. I have no clue who it was… don’t you hate when that happens?? You hear something interesting & you have no idea where/who it came from – it drives me batty sometimes.

            Hmm… that does sound like a really insightful view into why some people might blame victims – whether they’re victims of invisible conditions or abuse. In the case of invisible illnesses, I think that some people also can’t empathize because they simply can’t imagine it.

            A lot of people push themselves on days when they’re tired, when they’re sick, when they’re sad, & they may think that there’s some amount of willpower involved. They can’t imagine a day when going to the bathroom uses up 99% of your energy, or a night when you wake up 10x in pain, or feeling so depressed you’re just numb. If they can’t imagine it, they can’t understand it.

            That doesn’t mean they can’t be decent human beings about it, but some people are also jerks. I think we’ve both encountered a few jerks (more than 1 is 1 too many, but, y’know…)

            You really need to watch The Big Bang Theory, though. That’s super important, imo. LOL

            My Dad is very ashamed of how he treated me & my sister after my Mom died. I can’t really understand it, but I get that he had just lost his wife of 22 years & that – since he’d already had a short fuse – his grief/depression was expressed as rage. I don’t think he understands, completely, the ramifications of his behavior, but I know he feels awful about it.

            My Uncles are another story, but less important to me.

            It’s really touching that you care enough to get pissed. It means more than I can find words to express. Since the thought of someone I’ve never met, halfway around the world, understanding me & appreciating me & my feelings more than my family is about to make me cry… I’ll leave it at that. xxx

            Liked by 1 person

          53. Yes, it does. Now it’s driving me insane! I’m like, “Was it Rae? I talk to her all the time. Or was it some random, who maybe commented on one of my pieces and we talked a little and that was i?” I guess I’ll never know! Ah, the little mysteries of life.

            I know. I used to be one of those people who would just push and push myself (it’s from my parents. They’re not very accepting of the idea of being ill). I mean, I returned to work (stupidly) a week after my appendix burst. But that used to be me. I used to work through so much.

            Until now … where I literally can’t. Like you said – going to the toilet can be torture. Seriously, on a day like today, sometimes I worry I’ll pee my pants or something terrible if I can’t get myself up.

            I’m glad your dad regrets it and has tried to make amends. I can understand the blow would be tremendous … but you guys also lost a mother. You didn’t need to lose a father as well.
            I definitely care enough!! You mean a lot to me, Ariel. You really do. You’re special, and you’re one of a kind. I’m going to stop writing now, because I don’t want to make you cry. Lots of love xx

            Liked by 1 person

          54. Mysteries of life like this are annoying. LOL

            I’m so sorry you’re feeling so bad. I’m a little late replying to these comments, so I hope you’re feeling better now. With your cataplexy, I’m sure a worry like that is way too real. 😦

            Yeah… it was bad. I almost don’t want to say too much, considering – you’re so very right in your other comments – he does so much for me now. I wouldn’t want to give the wrong impression. People can & do change.

            Still, the effects linger. They’ve moved from being his issue to my own at this point, though.

            You’re so sweet. I did tear up a little. I can’t tell you what it means that you’d say such lovely things. Much loves back at ya. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          55. Ha ha ha I found it!! It wasn’t a conversation! It was something I was reading, but I think I started thinking about it as an illness. I think it was just me thinking about it!
            But here’s the article I was reading! http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/10/the-psychology-of-victim-blaming/502661/

            I thought you’d love it!

            The effects do linger. And you’re right – people can and do change. But sometimes it doesn’t matter how much good a person does, it doesn’t outweigh the bad. (And vice versa.) I’m glad that he’s trying to make amends, and he’s trying to help you. Despite his original shitty behaviour, it’s good to see he’s at least trying.
            xxxx

            Liked by 1 person

          56. Oo! I’ll definitely check it out. I’m so glad you remembered where you read it! I know how annoying it is when something is on the tip of your tongue/periphery of your memory. But it won’t rise to the top! Soooo annoying!

            I absolutely agree (in re: Dad). Hearing the stories online, in person, & on your guest posts makes me think “oh, it wasn’t that bad. I shouldn’t be so affected.” But, that’s not how it works. :-/

            xx

            Liked by 1 person

          57. Ha ha ha I know what you mean!! I can’t believe it was a document, not a person :S
            No, it’s not. You can’t control how you feel or react, and you shouldn’t have to. It was bad, and your reaction was acceptable! It’s also acceptable to forgive your dad as much or as little as you want.

            Liked by 1 person

          58. I got a chance to read the article. It was good! Even more reason to use “active voice,” IMO. LOL

            Thank you. Most days, I think Dad deserves a lot of forgiveness. Then there are days when his old self pokes through. Like the other day, we were talking & I repeated myself (I have a crap memory, it happens). So he stopped speaking to me for 24 hours. That’s one of the shorter “silent treatments” in recent times. :-/

            Liked by 1 person

          59. I agree!! I really liked the article!!

            That’s bullshit!! That makes no sense! I think he deserves some forgiveness, but not everything. If he’s still behaving that way … maybe he’s doing it because he’s trying to change, but that doesn’t mean he’s changed completely, you know? And that is bullshit behaviour!

            Liked by 1 person

          60. It was a really good article. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

            Yeah, he’s trying, but he still slips up. Kind of a lot. He keeps saying that he’s too old to change, & I keep trying to point out behaviors that are ridiculous. We keep going around in circles like that. It’s frustrating for both of us. 😦

            Liked by 1 person

          61. That’s really sad. I mean, I guess it’s important the attempt is there, and you have someone to help care for you, but at the same time … I can imagine how hard the constant blows he’d deliver would be. I lived with my parents for a few months last year, before the wedding, and it was like I was taking blow after blow.

            Liked by 1 person

          62. Yeah. It happened again a couple of days ago. When I pointed out that he had overreacted, he told me that, if this had been a few years ago, he wouldn’t have spoken to me for a few months – if ever.

            I’m caught between saying, “yeah, he’s improved,” & thinking, “WTF is wrong with you?! You didn’t speak to me for 2 days because I said I didn’t appreciate you assuming I’d forget to turn the dishwasher back on after my shower!” He really doesn’t understand how ridiculous his behavior is. 😦

            It sounds like, even though you’re not living with your folks anymore, they still know right where to push. They know how to make it hurt. 😦

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