a letter to a doctor

I’d like to say “You know who you are.” But you probably don’t. See, for you, it was another busy day in the Emergency Department. Just another string of unfortunate events. You cross your t’s and dot your i’s (or have your nurses do it for you) to the standard minimum, no doubt, for you have far too much paperwork to fill out per patient and far too little time for anything resembling bedside manner.

 

I’m not the only person who has suffered at the hands of a busy doctor. Just google Birth Trauma. Mothers and babies with lasting injuries (both physically and emotionally) abound.

 

In this case, just a few extra minutes of your time could have completely altered the future for me and my family. Those few minutes would have cost you just that – a few minutes. But what they could have saved for us. Months of pain, anguish and torment in a web of corruption systematically designed to utterly ruin people’s lives.

 

This is what happens when our current justice, health and other government systems join forces – for evil, masquerading very eagerly as “Good”.

 

 

Doctor,

 

I came to you broken. I put one step in front of the other, trembling and terrified. I pushed and brought myself before you. My face downcast in deep sorrow and my eyes swollen from severe sleep deprivation and the constant weeping of postpartum depression. My husband had brought our newborn to see you first. Her leg was fractured. It would later be just around 2-3 weeks until it was fully healed. Everyone played the sympathetic part. Reassuring me that accidents happen. But my sense of shame drove deeper than any sympathy could reach.

 

I cried out! Pleading for your help, “Postpartum depression” the stigma I trusted would not sting me this time, not in such a high-end facility as this main line hospital; but there you were. Frozen for not more than a millisecond, I doubt you devoted more than a split second to contemplating your next move. After all, weren’t you trained to handle such a crisis this way? Can I blame you for behaving like an obedient dog, hearing the bell ring and rushing to press the big red button to escape any potential punishment? You were busy. You had to COVER YOUR ASS AND MOVE ON. And it’s expected that I should understand.

 

 

But that split-second decision of yours almost cost me EVERYTHING. Your well-trained, thoughtless action threatened to destroy our family again and again as the minutes, hours, days, weeks and months followed that millisecond you gave me a thought. See, I’ve thought about you almost every day for over a year. I looked you up on Facebook. Wondering if you’ve got a family. Do you have children? But I couldn’t bear to actually check. I hope you never have to experience what your careless ass-covering forced me to experience. I hope any children in your life will never be touched by the horrific system you shoved us into to get us out of your way because you were too Busy that day to actually do your job, hold to your oath (to first do no harm) and be a doctor. You were too Busy playing the puppet.

a letter to a doctor

white girl.

I remember when it sank into my heart and pulled it down to the ground.

I went to a Catholic elementary school, my parents pinched pennies to pay the high tuition that would teach me right from wrong and protect me from the vulgar, cruel world of public school.

I don’t remember what the teacher said, but I remember how it made me feel.

Guilty.

And I didn’t know how to fix it.

I couldn’t stop being white. So I couldn’t stop feeling guilty.

It hurt my heart when I saw “black people” and thought that they hated me for being white.

I cringed and tried to smile when we were at the mall food court, or at Wal-Mart.

I held the door, stepped aside to let them go first in line, grieved for the past I had absolutely nothing to do with.

I felt ashamed, embarrassed, afraid.

Mostly I was ignored or treated as an odd child for these actions.

My mother was confused about my behavior.

I couldn’t even bear to explain.

 

 

In middle school, I met my friend Maya* (name changed) – she was black – and carefree, hilarious and rambunctious. We were in the same nerdy circle of friends – we were in an after-school club called Battle of the Books and another called Kaleidoscope.

We were good friends throughout high school. Her mom wasn’t around much. Her dad lived far away. So we had a lot of fun at her house – mostly messing with expired food and random stuff we found in the garage.

Once, we had a soccer game near where her dad lived, so he came to watch. He was tall and dark with a booming baritone voice. My heart ached for Maya when I saw how much her dad loved her, but he was so far away. This was the only time I had ever met him.

We had a lot of goofy jokes, silly pranks, played games and sang songs. We both liked the Beastie Boys for no good reason. We both played Tomb Raider and ran track. (She was a LOT faster than me). We were good friends.

Maya was the only black person in our group of friends (that I can recall). I wonder now if she felt uncomfortable. My mom asked me a lot of questions about her and her family. I started to adopt a little bit of a “charitable” attitude toward her from my well-meaning mom. Thankfully, I don’t think it got to an offensive level.

 

In college, we went our separate ways. It just happened that way. Our conversations had never gotten very deep, and she went in a different direction after high school.

She went to college with a special program because of her skin color. I was just glad we were both able to go to college (we goofed around in class a lot!). But I didn’t realize there was so much controversy over this thing called “affirmative action”. Later, I would find myself questioning whether or not this was more helpful or harmful as a policy.

 

My freshman year, I had a roommate, Renee* (name also changed). She was white – as white as can be – with strawberry-blonde curls. She enjoyed black culture and listened to a lot of R+B and hip hop. Our college had a good population of black students. Since Renee was an extrovert, I tagged along with her and she let me. We joined the Angels of Harmony gospel choir. I absolutely loved it – so much fun. We both sang alto.

While the choir was over half black, the rest of us were different “colors” – white, Asian, Hispanic. (Sorry if I’m not being politically correct. I don’t know what the currently acceptable PC terms are for people’s skin colors). We all sang beautifully together. We’d all get in our gowns, load up a bus and go sing at churches nearby. Some were in Philly. (I went to college in the Philly suburbs). We’d have our concert, listen to the preacher, have “rapture practice” (good fun and keeps you awake during long sermons) and – my favorite part, haha – the soul food buffets. So, so, so good. Fried chicken, greens, mac and cheese, cheesy poppers, watermelon, cornbread… Sweet iced tea… We had a good time! It was only when we were referred to as a “salt and pepper” gospel choir that our skin color seemed to matter.

I loved my friends – all of my friends – in college. It was a Christian college and we were all there to serve Jesus and each other. We had good conversations. The “Multicultural Advisory Committee” (MAC) was another extracurricular group with an emphasis on black culture. I remember we (MAC) having an event with a speaker who was so genuine, so passionate and convicting – and it incited a conversation that I wish we were still having today. (In some ways, I suppose we are, or I wouldn’t even be writing this). The speaker was a black man who was chastising black culture for using the “n word”.

It’s important to note that it wasn’t all sunshine and roses. Racism was a real thing. Privilege and disadvantage were real things. (Obviously, they still are. Besides, I only graduated in 2007!) The majority of my black friends and acquaintances didn’t live in on-campus housing, but had to shuttle over from an off-campus dorm at another college, because they were attending via a special program (sound familiar?) called Urban Promise – which dropped their priority status in the housing lottery… So, as in so many other ways, the black students had extra hassle to get to their classes, get meals, stay on schedule, etc. If I forgot something in my dorm room, I could run back and get it. They didn’t have that luxury. If I needed to change clothes or take a shower, no problem. If I felt sick and needed a nap, I had my own bed in my own private room, on campus. Not all of my black friends had these same luxuries.

The student lounge (called the “Eagle’s Nest” our college mascot is an eagle) became the unofficial “black student lounge” – with nowhere else to go, many black students congregated there to nap, eat, study and, naturally, just hang out. They shared a common cultural history – being away from home 24/7 at 18 or 19 years old, who wouldn’t want the comfort of familiarity? I sometimes spent time in this lounge, but I also recognized that this was a de-facto “sacred space” – never officially designated as such, but nonetheless a haven for black students. I was not jealous, but I was respectful. Others were not always so – essentially, for lack of understanding.

 

I will write more soon, about my adulthood experience with racism and black culture, especially last summer when I was thrown into county prison and had two black cellmates.

 

 

 

 

white girl.

son

You’ll be 4 on Monday.

Four years behind us, as we march and dance, giggle and weep, drift and wrestle through the days, weeks, months that will become 5.

Every emotion now blurring together and twisting my insides with terror and delight.

Tears, let them come. For we have fought and we still fight.

No one knows, not really. Daddy sees a lot, grandparents have heard, but no one else has really known what I know.

Because I have spent my days, weeks, months, years, hours, minutes and seconds gazing into your beautiful face and searching for a connection to your precious soul.

Puzzle pieces scattered at our feet.

son

three nopes.

So, there are three things that are so simple, yet so impactful, in relationships and society as a whole. By saying “nope” when life seems to offer these things as options, we can instantly make a big impact in our relationships and community.

Name-calling. Yeah, this is not okay. I’m not just talking about “Jerk!” or “You’re such a weakling”; those obviously harmful names are already considered unhelpful by most of society. But what about “lactivist”? “Perfectionist”? “Genius”, “racist”, “millennial”, “fundie”, “liberal”? These are considered acceptable terms to give and take however one chooses. The immediate and lasting effects of name calling deserve to be considered. I will go so far as to say name-calling is completely unnecessary. It is God who determines who someone is (and no one is a “what”). Let’s save our breath and watch the effect.

Complaining. Want to get nowhere fast? This is the way to go. Not only does it get you nowhere, it drags you and everyone around you down and keeps you down. Who would have thought that words could be so powerful? But we know they are. Now, for the examples. The obvious complaints of “My car sucks,” “I hate my job,” “I’ll never meet someone,” are very much Debbie Downer material. What about less obvious complaints? “Politics, right?” “Someone got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning!” “I have nothing to wear.” The worst complaints come in as excuses, as we try to make ourselves feel better about something and end up making it much worse in the long run. “The traffic is unbelievable!” “You never listen.” “I just can’t win with you, can I?” These are damaging and unnecessary. Drop ’em. Drop ’em all! Just see what happens to your life.

Can’t. Oooh, you know about this one, don’t you? This one is a CURSE WORD. Yes, really. Every time you say “can’t”, you are speaking a curse over your or someone else’s life. Scripture says that “all things are possible” and that we can “do all things through Christ who strengthens” us. So “can’t” directly contradicts scripture. If you are not a Bible-believing Christian, the power of words still applies. Try to remove “can’t” from your vocabulary. It will have a fascinating effect!

 

 

 

three nopes.

we are not machines

I was just reading this article by a WAHD on working from home, and reading through the comments. I realized that there’s this fairly plain truth about us humans that we are not approaching, let alone embracing, and, even, at times, vehemently refusing to acknowledge, striving to prove the opposite in an exercise of futility.

We aren’t machines.

“Modern” medicine and post-industrial public education propaganda curriculum would convince us otherwise. Breaking us into specialized parts – “the brain” (sometimes with corresponding “nervous system”, sold separately), “the heart”, “the hormones”, “vital organs”, “lymph”, etc. etc. Force-feeding children that dirty dish-water soup of a theory commonly called “evolution” as if it were a hearty, nourishing meal of truth; for 8+ hours a day, at that.

It carries into the realm which that public education aims to propel us – the “workplace”. Where your value is absolutely equal to the sum of your parts. “What were you working on from 9:45 to 10:00 this morning? It’s not in your report?” This is where we start. After proving our fabricated mettle to merit us a degree – that express ticket to a few of the older, outdated stations along a one-way line – we begin at the end. “Entry-level” jobs are essentially designed to exterminate any lingering flame of passion and creativity that may remain after completing a sufficient number of one’s formative years consuming that curriculum that was designed so long ago to make us consumers rather than producers, janitors rather than creators.

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[image credit]

Bonus points if you get the reference.

we are not machines

broken

The world is broken. I am broken.

I literally cannot explain what is going on with my life right now. One reason is that I don’t understand everything that’s happening. Another reason is that I don’t know what the legal ramifications are. What I do know and can tell here is that I never expected my life to take this turn and I need to talk about it somehow.

Injustice and corruption, hatred and perversion, evil and ignorance are not sitting idly around, waiting for an opportunity to come along. They are aggressively attacking, strategically moving against any and all good in this world and in our hearts.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 1 Peter 5:6-9

broken