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  1. General Shit I Go Through

    Tuesday, December 3, 2013

    General Shit I Go Through
                                                  by Mindy Matijasevic
    Did I tell you that a person who struggles with bipolar disorder and possibly a touch of other neurological challenges announced that I am extreme?  I can barely interpret what that means coming from someone who is bipolar which by its meaning is a person on the extremes.  I should mention that when I confronted a religious person we know on gay people's right to marry, the bipolar woman who is a lesbian and married to her partner, did not call me extreme. 
    In a society such as ours, any person who sincerely needs fairness and justice and walks the walk, could be seen as extreme simply for being real.  We are typically dealing with issues long before it is cool or the fad to do.  There's little support and the language usually hasn't even caught up yet.  For instance, when I had friends and dates of various ethnic backgrounds and races as a teenager, I was called a 'nigger-lover' and the haters were not called bigots, racists, or haters.  They were considered normal.  In a context of real people, I'm exactly where I should be except maybe still too rattled about what the negative people think. 
    My adult students recently made me feel good because, they said, I don't change and that they can count on me to always be Mindy.  They said I was real and they hoped I'd always be that way.  I assured them that at this point in my life, I'm way more comfortable being me than trying not to be.  Plus I'd already taken so much shit for being me.  We laughed.  Many do lack skills, but they don't lack intelligence (the kind that connects with your whole self, not a little library in one's head that one closes at will).

    Did I tell you that someone who is financially quite comfortable by his own description angrily announced to me that he is a communist revolutionary like I should have known that.  He said he thought it was obvious.  Again, context is important.  Maybe in his middle and upper middle class circles, being part of a food co-op makes him a communist revolutionary.  He is a conscious consumer and voter and has some real decent qualities, I'll give him that.  But he seems quite comfortable stereotyping people and has, on some topics, had the same closed-mindedness that those who are not communist revolutionaries can have.  To me, there is nothing revolutionary about laughing at the Bronx and having people in files in one's head.
    Then there is 'sensitive' used like it is a bad word.  I was recently told I was sensitive, for the I-don't-know-how-manyeth-time, as if it were a bad thing.  The person didn't connect that it is because I am sensitive that I am the other things he considers me (a very good actress, a funny comic, the kindest person he knows, and a great teacher -- yes, he has claimed all these things at different times).  I told him not to worry -- that sensitive people don't cause the problems.  We feel the problems caused by the insensitive.  In our society, insensitive is seen as normal and sensitive gets pointed out as the exception the way we tend to say a woman lawyer, a black doctor, a white rapper, a feminist comic, etc.  We point out what is considered the exception.  I'm okay with being a part of the 10% of the population considered highly sensitive.  I'm not okay with how it is perceived and reacted to.  Instead of being seen as gifted, it is often seen as an emotional handicap, and the sensitive often are treated like something is wrong with them instead of valued for their humanity.  Like much of America, up is down and in is out.  If you dare inject some clarity in there, you are seen as the extreme one.  In the meantime, us sensitive folks, who sense things before the majority, will continue to smell fire first and save your asses from a burning house. 
    Sadly, in an email exchange about a few of her learning challenged students, a woman I know and like very much mentioned I was so sensitive, and I took it as if she were saying it negatively.  From my response, she was sensitive enough to realize what happened and she clarified that she meant it more as so intelligent.  I was so glad to hear that and should really have known from knowing her that she meant it as a positive.  So often "you're so sensitive" is said as if it were the issue instead of the window through which we could be able to see the issues. 
    I was feeling much of the above and much more weighing on me.  And then I received this from a woman I met not too long ago: 
    What struck me most about you that night:  you are one of the most authentic women I have yet met.  You are funny, gracious, obviously kind.  I am so glad to have met you...and to know you.  I hope that I can see you again very soon. 
    And you are a wonderful poet.
    I needed that.  I truly did.


  2. 8 comments:

    1. Not sure what is the problem, but some folks wrote to me saying they were unable to leave a comment directly on here.

    2. Jack Cooper said...

      I'm feeling a bit like that dog (not "big" dog, no, nor "little" dog, necessarily -- you know, more like a dog in between), I believe it was the RCA Victrola one, listening to Mindy's voice ... Maybe not since the first analog recordings has there been so startling an ordinary miracle as this match between voice and groove ... It is essential! and shame-philanderingly wise ... It just doesn't make sense! I mean, since when does self-effacing come off this clean? (And it wasn't make-up!!!) True, beautiful, unfathomably sexy, and -- har! har! har! (her! her! her!) -- funny, too! Thank you, Mindy!

    3. Canada Anne said...

      We can all really count on you to be Mindy. Thanks for the video of Katt. General shit you go through is a lot. Glad you can laugh about it. Comedy is healing.

    4. CA, thank you for reading and appreciating. There are many things I can not yet laugh about. But when I can turn something funny, it is healing. You know it. Glad you enjoyed Katt Williams. He curses more than I consider necessary but I do find him quite funny.

      Mr. Jack Cooper, I read your comment more than once and you leave me smiling and somewhat speechless. However, this time, I didn't need to keep getting the dictionary. :-) Thank you, Jack, for all the positivity.

    5. RHC said...

      Mindy most of the people I've asked to leave comments have difficulty doing so or their comment has not registered with this site. BTW Continue to be sensitive you...Love the new pix on here!

    6. Thank you, Rhonda. A poet friend sent me a response that I am going to copy and paste here.

      Great blog as usual. I particularly like the way you make the point about being sensitive - that it's often construed as "the problem" by those around us, instead of the intolerable shit going down that we're reacting to, and they're just shrugging off.

    7. Mary said...

      Sensitive means so many damn things. The one I seem to catch is when someone shrewdly looks at you in an assessing way and remarks "You're very sensitive" with a kind of you're onto my shit, AND things I say might offend you so I better be careful. I prefer polite and respectful off the bat, but if the only way people can come to that is call me sensitive, then fine. We all work with dealing with our strengths and weaknesses. Handling perceptions, to me, are worse. I love you just as you are (I, too have been called some of those names). Keep on, keepin' on.

    8. Thank you, Mary Liz. You too -- keep on being you. The world needs it.

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