alice is frustrated

dear injured worker,

Yesterday was an important day for Injured Workers but I still feel as though most people don't care - except for those who have gone through this themselves.

With minimum wage not being on par with a basic living wage, many people can't even think to care about what it would be like to have had a job, lose it and then fight to receive money while not working - let alone how it might connect to their own possible experience and of how we are affected by what happens to workers across all income levels.

Temporary workers, part-time jobs or minimum wage full-time jobs that MIGHT give one benefits are the norm now. It feels like many of the gains that workers fought for in the labour movement have been clawed back or are disappearing with the scare tactics over the years of economic collapse (though the rich have never been richer) and corporations able to pull out of communities (that gave them tax breaks to be there, our government enabling them to abuse us) and the least thing on people's minds seems to be those of us who have been injured in our workplaces.

I continue to watch some of the Facebook groups but I'm frustrated by the bravado of some members who want to act as though they could be a champion for the rest of us - (they can't, they aren't, they won't be, they have no impact on my claim or anyone else's) - and I can't handle the extreme anger that is tossed at other injured workers so casually, despite all of us having this commonality of knowing what hell it is to go through this.

I can confess to you that even though my benefits have been "locked-in" now until age 65, I still have fear that I could be cut off at any moment. Call me a coward, but that is what years of fighting and being cut-off a few times can do to a person. I am aware that in trying to live my life and in doing the things that can help make me "better" (creative expression: writing, vlogging, going outside and taking photos) are all things that may be used against me.

Still, I don't want to stop trying to have a life because it IS my existence and the anxiety, ptsd and the rest of it is crippling enough. I've lost so much over the years, I have to try and live for myself somehow. So I'm trying my best, I really am. But I can't deny that I wonder on a platform like Facebook as to who is "real" and who is not.

I understand people's venting of anger online and can completely relate to those feelings because I have gone through it (and sometimes still go through it) but I am also scared that there seems to be no thinking about how that approach alone won't bring people around to the side of the injured worker. While it draws the news crews here and there when someone is at their end and does something drastic, the most common way we're all affected is with our daily struggles in mental and physical pain, our economic distress, how it has damaged our relationships and our sense of self-worth and self, the impact on our interests, and for some of us, the inability to get another job or be able to pursue a different career path that could help us move on.

Anger is the most straight-forward, honest and direct feeling that one can have to being put in this situation but it is not the emotion that people outside of our experience will respond to in any positive way. Even before I had "partially won" my claim, I understood that expressing my anger to such an extreme would not help me at all. Though, truthfully, depression is simply anger turned inward and so I can't say I wasn't still angry - I was just internalizing it a lot.

We have a right to be angry but we aren't going to make anyone care about our cause with hate on social media. I feel like, if anything, it hurts us more. We are not just our anger. We are not just our pain. It reduces us to angry cartoonish characters that can be further degraded by the system.

While that recent person got his day in court for free speech, in the end, I don't believe it helped me or any other injured worker all that much in the grand scheme of things. My speech wasn't threatened but then again, I haven't made personal threats. I don't look to people like that as heroes for the cause. I can't. I suppose this is where I differ with the direction of where people want to go with this (I realize the extent of frustration - I live with it too) but this is also why I find it difficult to be involved.

I am still trying to deal with what has happened to me and my mind also turns to what will become of me.
It can be overwhelming.

I also see that there is a correlation between how income inequality and the gap between rich and poor, the state of our tremendous difference between cost of living and wages and the way that workers are treated in general --- I see how all of that affects the injured worker as well, further making things difficult for us to attain the compensation and justice we rightfully deserve. Workers aren't respected - injured workers even less so.

These are just random thoughts I'm having today after a brief login to one of the social media sites I hate the most (don't like it at all but it feels like a necessary evil these days) and I didn't mean to dump so much incoherent ramblings on you. It's hard to find someone to talk to about this who might understand where I am coming from and even more difficult now that there seems to be this hard line being drawn where I feel like I still am on the outside, either way.

I can't be that angry. It's not because I don't see the reason for it but because I know that it would kill me and it wouldn't make a difference to anyone, including other workers, injured or not.

Things have to change and I want to see that change. I want to be strong enough that I can be part of that change. But I don't see the movement, as it stands now, as having the tools it needs to do so on the level that we need. I don't know if that makes sense. I'm not discouraging the fight. I am still part of it whether I choose to be or not as I am an injured worker and I am forever impacted by what I have been through. But I honestly don't know what to do in it with the way things are at the moment.

I shared that voice post - I is for Injured Workers - and I don't believe that hearing my experience and listening to how I personally kept my documentation and kept going is at all what people wanted to hear. They are, understandably, caught up in their own battles and the last thing they want to hear is "keep a journal" or "communicate with your doctor" or "try and live your life regardless because this is not going to be over anytime soon" --- it seems people want a flashy news story and some pitchforks instead.

One thing that sticks in my mind was how someone called another person their hero, on Facebook, and I thought, "No. You're a hero. Every single injured worker and anyone who has stood by them through their ordeal - every single one of us is a hero - our own hero." Because anyone who has survived this or is surviving, who hasn't given up or who continues to try and live despite the odds, we are all heroes in our own lives.

Maybe it's that I learned a long time ago that no one else was going to save me. No one was going to intervene and take me out of my circumstances and make everything all better. No one could do anything but get me through this but me.

This is not the approach we need to be a cohesive and collected movement and I realize that. We need for people to join together and be on each other's side and to have one another's backs. But it's very difficult for people to do that when each of our backs are against the wall.

I don't know the solution to this problem but I think about it a lot, as I still live with this every day. I want things to be better for all of us. I'd like to help, I'm just not sure how.

Thanks for reading / listening.

I'm here, in as much as I can be, if you want to be in touch.

- amber dawn pullin
monkees imaginary phone

scroll along, nothing to see!

Monday, June 1st, 2015.
I am back with my daily goals check box sheet for the month of June in the hopes of feeling that sense of accomplishment for the most briefest of moments as the present day becomes the dust of another yesterday.

I lost track in the month we were to go away - somewhere near the end of March, I believe it was? - but I feel like it's time I give it a go because it was something that helped a lot. That being said, I managed to write fairly consistently in my paper journals and I didn't miss a day of taking a photo for the 365 Days project for the first five months of the year - not bad! - but there are other things I want to keep myself motivated for as well and this monthly goals checklist sheet has proven to be a simple yet effective method for checking things off.

11:03pm It's the last hour of the day and I'm at my desk again with my netbook on like old times, music playing, mug of tea with rising steam and hundreds of words to write before midnight.

My mother turned 59 years old today. She doesn't need our birthday wishes, though. Facebook made sure that people would send their most sincere regards to her. What a great invention. Certainly better than actual relationships. Facebook is a fantastic place to fake it and you don't even have to make it. Just click 'Like' and scroll.

When I was told the story of how my twin sister died, I used to think it happened at the house I grew up in - on Edward Street - but I was wrong. It was in one of the upstairs rooms of a house on Pearl Street. I met the current tenant the other day and noticed that the mother has the bedroom that used to hold the cribs for me and my sister and that she had her child in the other bedroom - the larger one at the front of the house. I wonder if instinct made her decide that was better or if it was the closeness to the bathroom that she preferred? I didn't ask. We were already intruding, though tenants were warned 24 hours ahead of time that we'd be looking at the place. We were there early and I remember maple keys from the big tree out front drifting down around me. It's a beautiful home with a large front and backyard. It's a shame it's been a rental property for such a long time. I'm familiar with the landlords. It certainly made me feel thankful for our current apartment - it's practically luxury in comparison and comfort.

11:25pm I have got to lose weight so that I can make another appointment with the gyno specialist and get scheduled for surgery. The temporary fix of the i.u.d. is not that good. Oh sure, it's stopped me from bleeding to death (literally, as in, I bad two blood transfusions last year!) but I don't like the hormonal side effects. It's affecting me in various ways, both physically and mentally, and I'd like very much to just have the hysterectomy and be done with it. More bike rides are in order. I find that the sciatic pain is more severe with walking than it is with long bicycle rides. I think that cycling (and reducing food intake) is the way I will be able to get ready for surgery and to become healthier overall.

The other day I had to practice some self-care soothing techniques in order to calm myself down. I'd hit my threshold after months of various events and circumstances piling up after the other. Not everything was negative, it was just all too much and when I hit my limit, I was overwhelmed and I needed to rest. I couldn't even say that it began before our trip (with having to make the difficult decision about Miss Kitty Meow right before we were to go away) but I suppose that is when things just kept going. I needed a time out. I realize we all don't have the luxury in life to get one but if I didn't take one, I don't know if I would be sitting here typing this or if I'd be scribbling on some paper in a hospital instead. Despite the sound of this, I would say I'm doing well. I need more balance and time to process feelings and to catch up with myself in terms of things that have gone on, but I'm already working on that.

11:38pm The notification popped up that I'd typed my 750 words for today. That's the first time I've seen that in ages! There is more that I could write about. I also want to share some photos from the trip we took to Scotland and Ireland back in March / April. It's June 1st now - look at that time go, eh? Since coming back from our travels overseas, we've had other things happen. I can't believe I've let so much time get away from me where I didn't write about the trip in my online journal and share some of the sights. I hope I haven't forgotten too much already. I would've preferred to post about it when it was all still fresh, as I did after our honeymoon in Italy. Ah well. At least I took pictures.

11:45pm I feel like writing more but I want to update LJ before midnight. I'll be back tomorrow. It's a new month and I want to make what I can of it. Also can't help but think of how my birthday is next month (closer to the end of July) and of what that means. (It means nothing, except that I'll be a year older, but still - birthday!)

What should I do this year? I'll have to get back to myself on that.

This post needs cats!
vincent and pekoe at the balcony windows
first rule about tea club

Hello, June!

posted in embodiment (here)

I'm thankful that we have a new month today. I'm taking this one as a fresh start and going to focus on my daily goals again, as I did before I went off track ahead of our travels back in March.

Life happens. But I still want to write it down.

I've written in my paper journal every day for the most part but seem to miss a day once or twice a month recently - kind of a bummer when I had a good streak going on since late last year. I'm keeping at it though and not letting it derail me. Even if I'm only writing a sentence, it's at least something for me to stay with it. There is over half of my current journal left to fill and I'm antsy to start a new one but I don't leave unfinished journals (usually) so this is where I have to push myself more to stick with it. It probably doesn't help that I have a great collection of blank journals waiting for me!

I'm annoyed that I'm writing about the internet in my paper journal but not writing on my online journal at the moment. Also, after making a recent video where I was going through my paper journal collection, I realized just how much more detailed about varied topics I used to be in my journals - I'd like to get back to that way of writing but everything else distracts my attention.

365 Days (2015): Day 151

Hope everyone is able to make time for themselves and their journal writing. Life is so noisy with countless things that call out for our attention - it's nice to have a place of our own to go to and turn a fresh page.

All About My Journals Tag [Link]
we are all mad

yes, no, maybe, likely not.

Friday, May 29th, 2015.
I haven't been able to write. With everything that has been going on, I can only guess I'm overwhelmed, anxious and making my way through a depression of sorts. I don't know where to start as to what is going on. That has made writing difficult. When I can't write, I don't feel right.

7:57am The other day I went to see about a house. Not just any house, no. It's a special house.

If something should work out with that, I will most definitely write about it. We took a look on Wednesday. SO MANY THINGS to say about it but I can't say a word for the time being. I probably won't mention it again until it is a definite thing. Also, the scenario for it is that my husband and I wouldn't have to move out of our comfortable apartment right away - maybe not even for a few years - but we could do work on the place and grounds of it and whatnot during that time to help out the person who would be living there. Okay, that's enough of that. I truly don't want to say anything more about it because it's not even in the negotiation stage yet. Some of the things about this particular house will very interesting to write about and vlog about. I wish I could say why but I have to keep quiet about it for now. I swear I wasn't looking for a place (we truly are quite comfortable where we live!) but it was one of those random things that happen where it's like I'm guided toward something for some reason or another. If it doesn't work out, we'll be perfectly fine where we are but if / when... we'll see.

9:24pm Nevermind about that house thing. It seems that the person and I can't agree about the fact that I would like the place to be taken care of well and since our vision is so very different on that one aspect (which shouldn't surprise me) it looks like the house thing is not going to happen. Shame the person can't have any regard for the fact that it's me and my husband who would be investing our future years into that place and the least we could ask for is that the house be livable. I have standards now, who knew? I'd rather continue renting in a place that isn't disgusting as opposed to being an owner of a house that isn't given the treatment and respect it deserves in being maintained decently. It's not like I would turn the place into a museum where you can't touch things and everything has to be dust free but I would like the place to be kept up. Geesh. What a stupid thing to not be able to agree on. On the upside, the apartment where husband and I live just keeps looking better and better to me. Appreciate what one has, right? I mean, just because someone has a house, doesn't mean it's a better living situation, that's for sure.

I've thought about it a lot over the years since we moved back to my hometown and I would only downsize to something of less quality and space if I was moving to a more desirable location in Toronto or whatever. And even then, other factors have to be considered. We're fine where we are. I'll consider this recent house thing as a lesson about just how good we have it here and that's that.

Later, I'll tell you the nifty things about that house and why it was something that I was considering as my "I could live there until I die" home but for now, let's just move on and change the subject.

edited to add: Right after typing this entry, I found myself daydreaming about things we could to to improve the place, visualizing a future there. I suppose we'll see what happens, eh?