You have the right to speak your truth.
Elle Beau

Pretty sure I’m not the one who’s too fragile, mansplaining, trying to speak anyone else’s truth, scold anyone, etc. Again, you don’t know me, so making blanket assumptions about my lack of character or knowledge is just adding noise to what otherwise might be an interesting conversation, and does nothing to support your ideas. I think you’re seeing everything I say through the lens of your own “wound colored glasses,” and so far I haven’t heard anything to support that life’s given you such a terrible hand.

I have my own story of struggle. I was raised poor. My father was a violent drug addict. Alcoholism on both sides of the family. Due to my ADHD and behavioral issues, I was thrown out of nearly every school from the age of 5, bullied, beat up, labeled a “bad kid”, and endured more forms of punishment then I’m willing to describe on the internet. By the time I was 20 years old, had a son of my own, and was a high school drop out with no hope of a future. In brief, the next 25 years were filled with the complexities of un-doing all of that negative programming. I got my GED, waited tables to support my family while I got my degree, and ended up with a Master’s. My entire life everyone told me I was a dumbass, and even though there wasn’t much to disprove it, I believed in myself anyway. Still do.

I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression that has at times has rendered me completely dysfunctional. I’ve endured homelessness, legal struggles, estrangement from loved ones, difficulty keeping a steady job, and have come dangerously close to suicide.

All things considered, I’m a really happy person. I credit that 100% to my faith in God. I view my struggles as a blessing, not a curse. They’ve forged my character and informed my vision. They’ve given me a clear path through the chaos. I don’t take anything for granted, and I’m grateful every single day to be alive. I’ve also wasted a fair share of time feeling angry and small along the way, which is why I recognize it in others.

The real problem we all face has nothing to do with these issues. It’s all to do with the way Capitalism has run it’s course, the way extraction models of business are making it impossible for anyone not in the increasingly walled garden of super insane money and privilege to simply survive with dignity, let alone self-actualize their own God-given talents and dreams. The idea that “anyone can make it” is transparent nonsense. And these ideological battles on the left and right are a meaningless distraction relative to the fate we’re all headed for if we don’t find a way to fix this very broken machine, which has been headed for this destination since humans adopted agriculture over hunting. If we can’t find a way to mend fences and band together, we’re all literally doomed, and there won’t be anyone left to argue about such petty annoyances.

We all have life experiences to draw on, in order to help each other through difficulties. The internet is a place where that can happen, but so often this amazing potential is decimated, and there are specific types of words that are used to do that. It saddens me to see so much suffering and confusion, all bound in rigid ideological frameworks which, after they’ve separated us, proceed to cast stones first and ask questions later. The desperate need to be “right” over the simplicity and benefit of being seen and understood. We are all uniquely broken. When categorization is the primary lens, you can’t hope to ever see the beauty and uniqueness — and potentiality — in the suffering of another. Once you’ve reduced someone’s basic humanity with violent communication, you’ve done nothing but solidify the divides everyone is so urgently trying to solve — bro-flakes included.