Lately I’ve been running negative thoughts through my head, like a cycle on steroids. It happens periodically, and I don’t think it is related to trauma; it’s just a normal human condition.
I’m not generally an angry person, and I even wrote a guide to help people curtail their negative thoughts – it’s the freebie on my website.
But anger has (momentarily) taken hold of me. I hope it is brief.
Here’s what I’ve just realized: people who are not trauma survivors may think that survivors only focus on the trauma recovery and related topics. That’s simply not true. We have normal, everyday stuff going on in our lives. Like stupid stuff to be upset about.
Anyway, when I finally realized what my brain was doing, I decided to take action. Normally this is where I’d make a list of reasons to feel grateful. After all, I’ve got some excellent people and experiences in my life. And making a handwritten gratitude list is an amazing tool for trauma survivors like me.
But today, I’m switching up the routine. So here is the list: top ten things to be angry about. I’ll count down from 10.
I’m guessing you don’t see it, but my book coach did, and now I see it everywhere. That is, the tendency to use the word “thing” when another word is more suitable. Take, for example, the title of this post. Every writer out there is being lazy, using this word. All I can say is, try harder, people! You call yourself a writer and yet… you don’t write good words! Seriously. I went to Google and started to type “things.” I got all the way to T and it autofilled the rest of the word: things. There you have it.
Articles written with a gimmick, such as “top ten things.” Writers want to be paid for their work. But you can’t expect to get paid well if you continue to write stories built around lists! When I was still working in tech public relations (aka, PR)–I was in the business for many, many years (I won’t say the number, that’s embarrassing)–the PR agency account leads would always say, “Let’s help our client get seen by ghost-writing a listicle. It’s easy and we’ll definitely get it published.” Most people in the tech industry don’t know this is extremely lazy writing. And consumers will read the listicles… but they don’t read the entire article each time. They are literally reading only the bold lines next to the numbers. You know it is true!
Red dots on my mobile phone. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, feel free to skip this one.) As a proud member of the OCD club, or at least, having a mental illness that requires me to keep things orderly (and I mean thing-things here, not “things” like the writer’s gimmick), I can’t stand the red dots. I have to resolve them, probably around 82 times daily. That’s also probably an exaggeration, but it definitely borders on obsession territory for me. I cannot go to sleep at night knowing there are red dots left to resolve.
Tech “leaders” who profess to care about people only to turn around and throw them in the ditch at the side of the road once they make it big-time. And of course, I’m talking about Elon Musk. Despite my husband leasing one of Tesla’s “penis cars” as I refer to them, I do not fall in line with Elon-Worship (not that it would make me, that was a non-sequitur).
What a jerk! (Elon, not my husband.) We just had a pandemic (for most of us, our first), and we spent two years learning how important it is to treat employees well, ensure they have the benefits they need, and even agree to allow them to work from home primarily if the job they have can be done that way. So basically, everyone working at Twitter would be able to work from home. And then… Sir Elon gets on Twitter (well, buys Twitter) and spoils it for everyone. (Shouldn’t it be cheaper to let people work from home? I don’t get his reasoning.)
Supreme Court justices who engender murderous rage in the general population (at least, of women). And clearly some people are falling into a literal, murderous rage about one particular judge. [Note: I do not endorse murderous behavior.] But still, if someone wants to murder you, you kind of think, don’t you? Wouldn’t you go, “what did I do?” and figure it out?
This should be a wakeup call, but certain justices seem to have murdered too many brain cells on the way to the Big Bench. And why can’t democracy include a cancellation feature for Supreme Court Justices? It’s available for elected officials (by voting), and we can definitely recall people from their elected roles even – why can’t we cancel judges?
My daughter’s history teacher. Yes, I’m saying it. Despite understanding her issues with ADHD, and being fully aware of all our extensive efforts to help her manage school, his comments on her report card demonstrate a vast misunderstanding. VAST. (If you’re a parent, you understand why I’m whining about this. It’s just not fair! But I should probably cut it.)
5 (the real one)
Cigarette smoking. Period. It’s deadly for both the smokers and the breathers (God rest our souls), and there are alternatives now. Shouldn’t smoking be over?
Baby Boomers continue to be in charge of our society. Look at the leaders in Washington, D.C. Haven’t they done enough already? And before we jump on the Millennial bandwagon, let’s stop a moment and try and recall, there’s that one generation, remember? Hmm. Generation X?
It’s time for the Boomers to retire and give my generation a chance to lead. Things will be much more chill. Yes, THINGS.
Burning books, absence of learning, and ignoring history in general. These insufferable white people (racists) who do not want their children to learn the true history of our country should be kicked out. This has changed for the worse!
As an example, I’m old. I grew up in Texas (read into that what you may). When I was in grade school, junior high and high school, even in Texas, nobody burned books or kept us from learning about slavery and the mistreatment of people of color. We learned the truth of what happened to the Indigenous people too. Why are we going backwards?
Inequality of women; abolishment of women’s rights. We don’t have that many rights, and I’m angry that we’re losing the ones we have. If you’re a woman and you aren’t angry, you just aren’t paying attention. For fuck’s sake.
Killing the planet. It’s so obvious and we don’t even need science any more to prove what’s going on. For my daughter and the generations to come, we need to stop the decline. And this is one where, even though I’m angry, I do see hope. Because humans definitely have the capacity to figure out the issues and create solutions to save the planet.
Now that I’m done with my top ten list of things, while I don’t entirely feel better, at least I feel organized. My anger won’t be so chaotic any more. I can just look at my list (hey, the listicle turned out to be fun!) and focus on each “thing” to decide what to be upset about.
What do you think? Join the discussion through the comments here.