Deal with it, FT.

Sometimes I do like scrolling through anonymous advice articles. The writers you can relate to in their situation at times. I think this is the first time I feel like I had to do a double take to the author who responded to the letter. The “TL;DR” version – The first quote is a person who bullied people early in their life. Amy (the columnist) responds with a fairly neutral response in the second quote.


Dear Amy: I was a very unhappy person up until my 20s. I’ll spare you the melodrama, but I didn’t grow up in the best home and had very poor social skills. After learning to manage some real anxiety and depression issues and a lot of therapy, I’ve been in a much better place for a long time. I’m now in my late 40s.
After a recent class reunion and re-engaging with some old acquaintances, I have heard about a number of ways I acted back in the day that range from insensitive to downright terrible.


It pains me to realize that I was apparently an insufferable jerk. I don’t think I’m that way anymore (at least I hope not). But what do I do with these revelations?
I’ve tried apologizing, and some will listen, whereas others just apparently want the satisfaction of telling me off.


With one man who says I bullied and harassed him (I don’t remember it that way), I even tried saying, “I wasn’t a happy person then,” on top of apologizing.

I am left not feeling very good about myself, which is not a good path for me.
It’s like I’m never going to be able to redeem myself in the eyes of a large swath of people I grew up around.


I’ve thought about a universal, wide-ranging apology on social media saying, “Look, I know I wasn’t a great person to be around, but I’m not that way anymore.”


Thoughts? Suggestions?


— Formerly Terrible

Dear Amy, Local Sun

You can almost feel the desperation of the writer. After I read this, I was fuelled up to see how Amy could bring this person around. Some articles I read really put an “in your face” approach to people with problems. Usually they have a small hopeful positive, but it’s always something realistic in the end to put people in the now. I like articles that make people want to accept the situation they’re in and to move on.

At the same time, Amy responded.


Dear Formerly: I don’t suggest a wide-ranging apology on social media, mainly because it might lead to a piling-on, as people recall episodes and incidents from over two decades ago.


Mainly, I want to offer you a high-five. You have changed. You have tackled your behavioral problems and are now quite appropriately trying to acknowledge, as well as somehow manage the fallout. It’s a reckoning.


Acknowledging your behavior is huge. Apologizing to the people you have wronged is appropriate — and also huge.


There is an additional step, however, that you may have missed — and that is asking for forgiveness.


You say, “I did this to you. I know I hurt you. I am ashamed, and so sorry.”
Then you let the person vent, respond or recount the consequences of your behavior.


And then you say, “I’ve worked very hard to change. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.”


That’s it.


Some people will forgive you immediately. Some will ponder your sincere effort at making amends, and will forgive you later. Some may never get there. And some will be inspired by your honesty and authenticity.

Dear Amy, Local Sun

So Amy does show some sympathy. Offering some sound advice by telling the writing (I’ll call them FT), don’t go public for something that happened in your private life. There are stipulations, in my opinion, on going public.

Acknowledgement and acceptance to the offending behaviour is a major step. To understand why people see it as offensive and the consequences that can lead to a bunch of closed doors.

Asking for forgiveness after bullying everyone around you is futile. The relief is the one that were bullied to submission will forgive you but it was you that bullied them to that position. They still see you as a bully but not a sincere person. You have not earned that apology as a person, you are still the child that demands attention from others.

I feel Amy was never really bullied as a child. I hope Amy or whoever respond to FT take it from someone who was bullied for over a decade with no support from anyone.

Amy, being harassed as a child is a heavily scarring thing that only we are beginning to realize. Those that say things that dismiss less than this, were the problems in our lives. They never aided anyone positively to fix the problem. Consoling in the victim does fix the problem alone. We are social animals, meaning we have the ability to grow and heal as a group but have the capacity of aggression like any other animal. When you realize these people exist in the world as your grow up, something riles up in you. There is a reason by violence and suicide in teens was highly publicized in the late 90’s to 2000’s, these kids snapped. Those kids who were bullied and without nothing to hold on to, they broke. I’ve had ideation to shoot up an institution. I’ve had ideation of suicide. I’ve had both, murder-suicide style. These are symptoms to bullying and much like a mental illness, these are symptoms to a bigger problem. Healing symptoms does not solve the main issue.

As an advice column, this answer is a very 90’s approach to bullying which is why we still have kids who are as messed up as they were. Little to nothing to really help FT in this situation. So my response:

Formerly Terrible,

As a personal who has been bullied by people like you, I don’t forgive. Your actions are irreversible to your victims as a consequence, you must live with that guilt and you must live with it as a sobering reminder. This reminder: always weigh your personal actions.

I hate people like you because people like you kept my life a living hell for years. My life is the way it is because of you turned me into the person as I am. That is something I can’t have back and if that disturbs you soul, then it is you that disturb it.

At the time, you did not think about because of your predisposition of whatever happened to you as a younger self. You have grown up, hopefully more self-aware than before. This is the path you chose and no amount of grovelling can take you back.

Your peers may not forgive you for your past, but now you know better you can lead the change to end the same problem for someone else. With age should come wisdom and knowledge of the world. Our ability for hindsight is what helps society change, if we don’t understand that hindsight then we are to repeat our mistakes.

Go on in your life knowing this is where it ends, no one can forgive you. However this is where you will begin to make amends to those mistakes.

nawkcire, Personal Blogger
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Adult nightmares are scary

Last week, I wrote about the repetitive dreams. This week, I haven’t had the same dream. With Easter Sunday, I probably had more blank dreams. But I forgot to touch on the unwanted dreams, the nightmares.

Thankfully for me nightmares don’t appear as often. Perhaps those blank forgotten dreams were nightmares and in which case it would be very disturbing to know every time I sleep. In recent history, I’ve had two nightmares that I remember either fully or partially to haunt me.

Once I dreamt of a dirt road with ditches, much as what you would see in a rural region. As I looked across the landscape beyond this unpaved roads, I saw nothing but short grasses and unseeded fields tended by farms. As I walked along this road, I began to feel the road underneath me piercing my feet. Looking down I was barefooted and raised my head back up, I see a plain concrete building. No facade, no windows, no people; almost like something built in the 60’s or 80’s but looked incomplete but the purpose is overt. The small even windows and balconies, it’s an apartment building. I walked into what appeared to be the front door. I looked in, it was dark and lit by the ambient sunlight. As I walked into down one of these hallways, I saw people massed into rooms sleeping. Occasionally seen were small fires in the middle of these unpainted, unfurnished rooms. No doors inside, but all I saw was sickly children and adult figures laying on the ground cushioned with debris. I felt very uncomfortable but I felt I should look deeper. I walked in and facial features were detailed; they all looked like they were of Asian descent. Impoverished people wearing nothing more than worn out clothes, tattered and ripped. I felt panicked as I paced myself out back into the sunlight. The last thing I saw in the dream was me looking back and seeing the people toiling in the field behind this small apartment building. Not far off, there was a mountain range beyond the large fields. I didn’t see any cars which makes me wonder where these people came from.

It felt like I lived a moment in someone’s body. It scares me with all these amenities, people still live like that. Even as an afterthought, did I dream it was it something metaphysical? Is my dream is someone’s reality out there?

Repetitive Dreams

Sleeping for me can be a weird, anxious roll of the dice. Entering this unconscious world chances a few things I would experiences. Most of the time, I see nothing. I would go to bed and wake up, boring uneventful sleep. Nightmares happen to a lot of people, it’s rare for me. But the ones I do enter a space like that, it’s scary and vivid. Compared to childhood nightmares, adulthood make it scarier. Lastly there are “the trips”; long, odd and (especially for me) repeating ideas.

This week I had part of a repetitive dream. The full or most complete dream I’ve had involves what I would assume are from experiences and concepts I’ve visually seen. In this recent dream, it always starts on a Greyhound coach bus which slows into station. It overlooks this small town with buildings no larger than 4 stories. As I descends the steps to street level, I can feel the weight of a backpack bouncing. As I walk down a wide road with these grey towering buildings, I find myself into what looked like an older district with red bricks and turn of the century architecture. The only thing tainting the old fashioned quarter was a tall highway scarring across back towards the bus station. The prominent landmark there is a wedge shaped building. It’s smaller than the one I live close to, but it was unique. The street bifurcating right at the building and flanked by these small stores, cafes and restaurants. The dream ends with the walk back with a slow encroaching sunset along the road leading back to the station. I would look up and always see red Chinese lanterns strung across the buildings. I would wake up either close to the bus station or on the bus that is waiting for me there.

If anyone know what this means, feel free to comment.

This is the tamest dream I have, while some are more intense.

Movie Theatres, am I right?

So this past March and this April, I have a few movies I want to see in theatre. Not just at a Cineplex or big massive, multi-theatre cinema.

I’ve always enjoyed the tight intimacy of small cinema, those places that seat under a hundred people. That place where it feels like your parents met there in some romantic comedic serendipity. But I love it, I like sitting in a dark room and looking at these actors play out scenes from our inner desires. Love, compassion, companionship, belonging or longing; just some of these things I wish I had ample of in my life. It’s almost otherworldly yet down to earth.

Nowadays, it’s kind of hard to find a place that plays movies beyond the expanse of Hollywood. However there are gems beyond the blockbusters, beyond Marvel and DC even. I recent did take the opportunity to see Captain Marvel at the very end of it’s premiere week. Pro tip for anyone to avoid crowds, go to any hyped movie after the premiere week when it first comes out and go late and during the week (also avoid matinees though the tickets are super cheap). Worthy little show for anyone who wants a superhero movie. Though the Marvel Cinematic Universe is starting to be more of lip service to the fans than really making something different. Though Capt. Marvel was a bit of the exception, giving a couple gender swapped characters. A bit of relief though it felt more of the same ride I’ve been on with Ironman and Spiderman.

After a few days I went back to my favoured cinema-of-choice. This time going from female character standing up for herself to a female character with a terminal illness. Five Feet Apart. I would say it was The Fault In Our Stars but harder to watch (in a good way). The characters are inclusive, a bit dimensional but played into fun scenarios. However at the same time, the hurting feeling as two patients find their way to express their romantic interest. I’m a sucker for teen romance dramas, something about them makes me want to feel how they feel in those moments. The happy moments were so youthful and bright but when it got serious, it built up hard where you keep thinking “not like this”. I’ve cried during a few films, it’s been awhile. However this one…this was a near miss to making me bawl my eyes out. More interestingly, after the last scene I was compelled to look up the dedication. Simply read “For Claire” with a young girl’s photo, I wanted to know more. Quick Google search, I was surprised to find more. After that I want to listen to everything this girl had to say on her YouTube. Someone who died months ago is still changing the hearts out there. She made me think of myself in a new light and I want to try and be a better person for now on. Who knew a movie can really change me like this.

Next on the list, DC’s Shazam! Marvel had their chance so I’m giving DC a shot beyond the childhood known heroes. I’ve honestly never heard of Shazam so it’s a good chance to see it. Also gives me the chance to expose myself to new comic book superheroes. After seeing these, I’m totally done with heroes. I’ll give it a shot.

A Month Ago – The Conclusion

Continue from here.

About a month passed and work was coming to the end. I spend the best trying settle in; sleep, work, eat, meditate (Thanks Pacifica), TV, eat, meditate, repeat. Though I had about a week to go, I wish I had one more just to take my camera out one more time. The snow isn’t like that in the city and I wanted this chance to take it all in.

Packing wasn’t as tough as I was beginning to get use to travelling. Works clothes first into a bag, then my own clothes in another and finally my cameras into it’s own bag. I sat waiting for my ride out. It was kind of sad knowing I might not come back working here. With a living space I had, I wouldn’t mind it if I could come back here every day. I turned a small apartment room into a home. Not my home, but a home I would be happy to come back to at the end.

Listening to my MP3 player on the ride back. I watched nature give away to concrete and steel. The 2 lane highway turned into 4, then 6. I saw the city limits, then I was under an hour from my house. Coming back into my room, I felt relieved but I knew I had it better while I was there. If I had my computer and my own internet, I would’ve been content.

It made me fortunate with the time I had there and what I have here waiting for me. Here, the moments I life behind and the moments still waiting to be discovered.

I still have photos to process, hopefully be done with them by March. While I do that, take more of my city. Or perhaps take one more trip as my vacation. Though while I was there, it felt like a vacation from my own life.

A Month Ago – The Town

Continues from here.

I travelled to the next town over after scouting this place for a dining spot. The week before, I ate at a quiet Chinese/Japanese All-You-Can-Eat spot. After walking the main street there, I knew I had to return. I spend the afternoon until sundown taking photos right across town. Starting from a park on the most easterly and following the river right to the middle of town and their marina. For city folk like me, I wish I could just sit there in awe in the beauty. People in makeshift and pre-fabricated fishing cabins, the silence breaking through over the frozen water’s edge. If my damn zipper would have zipped, I could’ve stayed in once place and run my camera through everything in my bag (filters, timers, lenses oh my). By the time I reach the southerly end complete with mall, I had enough time to walk in for a browse before calling a ride home.

A Month Ago – The Beach

Continues from here.

The snow up there is much more than I’m used to, the snowbanks were as tall as single story buildings. The snow laid calm though just underneath was a skin of ice thick as window glass. I went out to the local town and found myself walking into a path leading along a small river. I came across a park covered in snow with one path plowed along rolling cliffs with houses flanking this flat space. It was beautiful and magical; the morning sun glistening on the snow, the wind calmed in the trees. I tried to follow a foot track to the clearing but I sunk into the snow right up to the hip. Rather than wading into a potential risk of hypothermia, I retreated. I photo cam be a gorgeous thing, but I wasn’t equipped to wade into deep snow for one shot. That morning was relatively cold. My breath froze on my camera body, cellphone sluggish to every action I demand from it. By the time I made it to the beach and walked back, the wind kicked up that I had to take shelter behind a snowbank before my eyes froze shut. It didn’t help that my jacket zipper finally broke that week and I didn’t find a good replacement for my poor jacket. From there, the frigid morning gave way to a cool afternoon.