Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Not being heard

This is one of those posts that, back when I was tagging my posts, would have been titled "random maunderings." Proceed at your own risk.

Part of this is allergies. Part of this is too much going on this week (AAUW meeting tomorrow night, have to bake the cookies for Margaret's memorial). But I'm feeling a little sad and invisible again.

There's just....a lot. A lot of things that kind of glom together into a ball of bad feelings....

the whole thing at wal-mart yesterday, where some dude DID nearly run into me with his cart because he was looking at his cell phone and not up and around him, and just the noise and chaos of the place. And the fact that there were lines for even the self check outs. (They need to hire more people to cover the check stands - there were at least six or eight of the regular checkstands that were not open, and that contributed to the long lines). And the apocalyptic feeling of the understocked shelves....and the realization that it's unlikely to get any better, that the cruddy wal-mart is what I HAVE unless I'm willing to either live with the smaller selection at the smaller local places, or make the hour's round trip (which I am increasingly unwilling to do) to Sherman.

And then seeing someone (not giving too many details here) that I think of as less hard-working and maybe less talented get lionized, while I still labor, often without thanks.

And the fact that a student - who has kind of a history of this in my classes - said "I didn't get my paper printed out, can I bring it in office hours" and I said "my office hours are over for the day but I should be back sometime after 1 pm, bring it by then" and I cut my lunch break short (did not practice piano, for example) to come back to campus....and guess who didn't show up, and guess whose paper I don't have? And I get so tired of that. That will eventually break me, the whole being-taken-advantage-of and changing-my-schedule-to-accommodate-someone-who-abuses-that-accommodation thing.

I try to be a nice person, and be a helpful person, and yes, "Go the extra mile," and what it gets me is not getting my own stuff done, or not doing what I want. And people come to then EXPECT I will do that and I have had sad-faces and the like when I say things like "No, I cannot meet with you at 4 pm today, I need a minimum of 24 hours to arrange an appointment and anyway I have somewhere I have to be" like they expect me to cancel my dental checkup or something.

And some of the papers were not that good. I can see there were a couple people who apparently didn't actually DO the assigned reading, based on the vagueness with which they wrote. And yeah, you can't "save 'em all," but it does get to me a little.

And yes, I know this is all very first-world problems, and I should feel bad that I feel bad when there are people without power and water in Houston, and people in the Leeward Islands whose lives are being torn apart by Irma. And that just makes me feel worse.

I find myself thinking of something I quoted quite a while ago, something SK Waller wrote:

"Not being heard is one of humanity's greatest problems. It always has been. That's why everyone is so crazy. Loud car stereos, loud ring tones, yelling, shouting, bad behavior--even Twitter and Facebook. HEAR ME! I MATTER! I HURT! I'M AFRAID!"

And yeah, all too often it seems like I look at the world around me and feel like it's telling me I don't matter. I'm never the loudest voice in the room (except when I'm home by myself). I don't have anyone who depends on me (like a child would) and so sometimes I think if there were a "too many people in the lifeboat" situation, I'd be duty-bound to sacrifice myself in favor of those who DO have dependents. (And anyway, in a real stuff hits the fan situation, I don't know that I'd have anyone to help or protect me - I have no family down here and I kind of imagine all the family groups as closing off and then going "sorry, we've already got too many in our shelter" and I'm left on the outside. Years and years ago, I read some teen novel where a character said he felt like the spare giraffe in line for the Ark, and I realize now as an adult, that's kind of me. And I don't like feeling like that.)

I can't make myself be the loudest voice in the room; that's not my nature. And I can't push myself into a group and make them notice me because that feels weird and wrong to me.

My reaction when I feel unheard is not to get loud and crazy and do silly stuff like dye my hair fuchsia but to kind of draw in on myself and go Full Eeyore and just sort of be sad and monosyllabic. (And the sad thing is, I feel like people should notice I'm not myself, but they RARELY do. I guess people really are that self-absorbed).

I'm also in a cycle of being fed up with my fellow humans. Some guy in Sherman beat another guy to death, we don't know why. They're still looking for the guy who shot our former student. And last night on the news there was video filmed at the local Goodwill; some guy launched in a racial tirade at the (Hispanic, permanent resident who immigrated here from Mexico) clerk working there. She caught it on camera and I get that the reason the news channel showed it was:
a. it's good filler on an otherwise slow night
b. it kind of fits in with the Zeitgeist right now that people are getting meaner
c. it's convenient that everyone has cell phone cameras right now because they can film all the bad stuff that happens in the world
d. Or, I don't know: maybe people ARE feeling more empowered (because of current politics, or because of social media, or I don't know what) to spew out the darkness that's in their hearts, and we all just have to deal with it?

I don't know. I mean, part of me is going "don't fall for it, this isn't some new event" but another part of me is taking it as confirmation that humanity is rotten to the core. (I don't know when I lost my belief that humanity was fundamentally good but sometimes gave in to bad impulses, but it's been flipped for me and I see the good things as a bit rarer).

And, I don't know. There have been times I've wanted to scream at someone in the wal-mart - not because of who they were, I don't care about that - but because of how they were behaving. Like "Hey, buddy, you almost ran into me! Look where you are going!" or "Ma'am, could you PLEASE move your cart? I need to get my food and get back to my life. You may have nothing to do today but stand here and block the aisle but not everyone is so lucky!" or "Can you PLEASE stop your kids from having a shrieking contest? I have a headache already and all you're doing is teaching them that the people around them don't matter, that they can be as loud as they want"

But I know those kinds of things are never welcomed, so instead I jump out of the way. Or sigh heavily and wait for the blocker to move (or do without whatever thing), and I just put up with my eardrums being seared by someone's loud kids.

And I don't know. Was I raised to be "too nice," as my mother sometimes laments? Do I need to woman up and call out some of the people on their bad behavior? (And how do I do that without getting cursed out or worse - because I've seen that happen, too).

But yeah. Feeling remarkably unheard at the moment and it's making me sad.

Edited to add: didn't talk about it here earlier because I always feel oogy about admitting to it (like: I'm such a crummy housekeeper), but the first mouse of the fall was in the house this morning. It was wandering slowly around my living room, looking sort of stunned. I don't know if it was sick or if it got into poison someone had put out or what, wasn't good. My first thought was, "I wonder if I could hit it in the right place with the broom to humanely kill it?" (I wasn't going to try to catch it to put it outdoors; like I said, it looked sick and I was afraid of getting bitten). Then I remembered the electric mousetrap - which effectively electrocutes them - that I had bought but never deployed in my garage as planned (I have ongoing issues with roof rats in the detached garage; it may be that I have the pecan tree).

Anyway, I grabbed it, turned it on, and managed to sort of (ugh) make a "cattle chute" that effectively trapped the mouse in such a way the most logical path was forward into the went in. I don't feel GOOD about killing it but I feel almost like that was the only way to deal with it, especially if the mouse was sick or poisoned - certainly better than letting it die in some cranny.

Also, at least it seemed like an instantaneous death, so at least it was humane? I hope.

(And another thought - maybe that's the source of the fleas I've been fighting. Ugh, I hope it wasn't carrying Y. pestis, because I think a few of the fleas bit me....)

So yeah, I have the added guilt (I'm a terrible housekeeper if mice are getting in!) and worry (are more going to come?) on top of all that.

AND I found out that racist-dude's video is apparently viral now, so great, that's what my town will be known for - rude, cruel racists who act unhinged. NO WONDER we have no nice small businesses here, who would want to come here with creeps like that running around.

Ugh. One of my friends who is stressing about a talk she must give is talking about having a "smol cry" and I want to do that too, except I have lab in less than and hour and I'm afraid if I start crying now, I won't be able to stop.

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