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Olympic gymnast , GOAT, Simone Biles chose mental health over Olympic glory, lost in air, Tokyo Olympics, pandemic

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Simone Biles did the unthinkable for an Olympian athlete, she withdrew from the individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympics to focus on her mental health just a day after her dramatic withdrawal from the team competition. While I found it initially shocking, not because of why she withdrew but that she chose to walk away at all, especially in a world that marginalizes mental health. Simone Biles chose mental health over Olympic glory. I find her to be incredibly brave and the kind of role model our daughters need. What I really found shocking is some people’s negative reaction to it.

“I have to do what’s right for me and focus on my mental health, and not jeopardize my health and well-being,” the decorated athlete told reporters.

To be clear, putting your mental health first is hard, especially in a society that values being number 1 over almost everything else. Quitting is seen as a weakness. We are taught from birth to work hard to achieve our dreams with no regard to the sacrifice and cost to ourselves. Everyone else in the world is competition and our goal is to win. But when you fight that hard to win, something will get lost, often ourselves.

I was talking to someone and their reaction to the Simone Biles situation was that, “she choked and she is selfish because she chose to quit rather than to continue on as part of the team. She took a spot that could have been given to someone else. She threw away an opportunity. She let her team and America down.” This person was visibly annoyed. This person who is not an Olympic athlete nor a competitive athlete. This person who very single-mindedly admonished her for “giving up.” I was flabbergasted because where I saw strength and courageousness, this person saw weakness.

As someone who struggles with her own mental health, as many of us do especially after this pandemic, I can assure you that Simone Biles choice to withdraw was probably one of the hardest decisions that she’s ever had to make. Gold medals are cool and every Olympic athlete spends their life training, sweating and sacrificing in hopes of winning one and the glory and recognition that it brings in their sport. So for her to choose her mental health over her pride is telling and one of the most mature and mentally healthy things I’ve ever witnessed.

Simone Biles chose mental health over Olympic glory and it’s the bravest thing ever.

In all actuality, Simone put her team first by knowing her own mental and physical limitations. Biles confirmed she was not injured but felt her poor vault would jeopardize the team’s chances for a medal. “I felt like it would be a little better to take a back seat, and work on my mindfulness,” she said. “I didn’t want the team to risk a medal because of my screw up.”

Biles admitted that the stress of competing at the Tokyo Olympics, the mounting burden of competing at a pandemic Olympics after the past 16 months of lockdowns and restrictions, may have finally taken its toll.

According to Time, days after arriving in Tokyo, an alternate on the team tested positive for COVID-19, and another alternate was placed in isolation because she was a close contact. “Today was really stressful,” she said. “The workout this morning went okay, it was just the 5.5-hour wait—I was shaking, and barely napped. I’ve never felt like this going into a competition before. I tried to go out, have fun and after warming up in the back I felt a little better, but once I came out here, I felt, no, the mental is not there. I need to let the girls do it and focus on myself.”

We talk about privilege and as a Mexican American woman I’ve felt how privilege works against those who don’t have it firsthand. It wasn’t until within the last 5 years that it hit me just how different it is to be a white man and a Latina woman. For example, I will never know what it feels like to walk down the street alone at night and not feel afraid.

I had no idea that privilege extended to mental health and those who don’t struggle so easily look at those who do as weak. We are not weak; we are strong we learn to bend as to not be broken. If you are really strong, you fight to be your own advocate and that is exactly what Simone Biles did. Backing out wasn’t giving up, it was standing up for her own well-being.

I struggle with my own mental health issues and I’ve had to do a lot of work since my diagnosis 20 years ago. It’s taken a lot of time, understanding, patience, therapy, education and learning to love myself enough to do what needs to be done in spite of what others expect. Intuitively it feels selfish to choose me over others but if I don’t choose myself, my own health and mental health, as a priority who will? I am my own responsibility and I am responsible for my actions. More importantly, I am responsible for my family and if I can’t take care of myself, how can I take care of them?

The past year has been trying on everyone’s mental health. There has been a shift in the way we think. Everyone is a potentially deadly threat due to CoVid. Being in public is exhausting and it’s impossible to feel safe during a world health crisis. Anxiety and depression are a symptom of the new normal. It’s no one’s fault, it is what it is. It’s lingering after effect of the pandemic that every single one of us has been touched by because it is impossible to be normal when nothing else is.

It is counterintuitive for us to choose ourselves over society’s expectations. As humans, especially as Americans, our default setting is that we choose glory over our own good. We choose to push through over sitting with. We want to be the best at all costs. To save ourselves, we have to unlearn all of this to be the stronger and better version of ourselves because, to be honest, the default settings suck. They only work if you want to be a basic bitch with no free will of your own; no responsibility for yourself. It’s brave to choose you. It took a lot of courage for Simone Biles to recognize her limits and withdraw from the competition. She didn’t give up. She did the hardest thing possible, she publicly chose her mental health over what other people perceive as her responsibility.

As a society, we need to change the narrative. Choosing your own health, mental or physical, or your own dreams over the limited expectations that the world holds for you is good. It’s the hard decisions that make us who we are. Going along with something that is detrimental to your health and mental well-being is the most insane thing you can do. If you’re doing that, stop it.

If she had continued on in the Olympics and ended up having a full breakdown, the world would have gasped and said, she should have told someone and withdrew, the Olympics are not worth her sanity. She would have been embraced with empathy but since she made the brave decision to know her own limitations and quit before she was broken, she is being criticized for letting her team down.

The world is a duplicitous place and the people who cry when someone commits suicide and asks why they did it are the same people who mock those who set boundaries they don’t understand. Simone Biles didn’t do a selfish thing and choose herself, she chose the right thing for her and her teammates. She made the hard choice for the right reasons. We should all take a lesson from Simone Biles and choose our health over what other people expect of us. I’m glad our sons and daughters get to see her choose her mental health over a gold medal because that’s much more important than winning. You don’t get to be GOAT without being a trailblazer and she is without a doubt GOAT for life.

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Ways to grow closer to your spouse, ways to grow stronger as a family

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

It’s a little frightening how many people I know my age have gotten divorced recently. I’m sure the pandemic didn’t help. You really get to know someone when you’re trapped in a house with them for 16 months. CoVid was a marital stress of epic proportions. I’m sure even the healthiest couples thought about it at least once during the past few months.

This is why I am constantly trying to think of ways to grow closer to my spouse and ways to grow stronger as a family.

Some of the couples I thought were perfect for one another, called it quits quietly. Divorce is, unfortunately, pretty prevalent these days with about 39% of all marriages ending in an uncoupling. Let’s be honest, no one gets married to get divorced but no one gets married to be unhappy either. Honestly, if the marriage isn’t working out, there are only 3 ways it can go 1) work together to grow together and hope it’s enough 2) do nothing and stay in a miserable marriage (this shouldn’t even be an option) 3) divorce and move on with your life.

The thing is sometimes there is someone to blame, sometimes people just fall out of love and sometimes people grow apart. It’s not a crime but it’s not exactly the happily ever after any of us dreamed of. People are busier than ever before; kids are overscheduled, parents are overworked, overwhelmed and exhausted and no one has time to just be present anymore. This is where things can start to slowly fall through the cracks and no one even notice it.

The best thing we can do as couples is spending quality time together; one-on-one facetime, listening and touching. Hugs, holding hands, kissing and saying I love you may seem trivial because you assume the other person just knows but they don’t. Words and actions matter. It never hurts to speak it into existence. Take the time, say it and do it. It can mean the difference between 2 months and 20 years. This applies to building relationships with your children too.

9 ways to grow closer to your spouse and ways to grow stronger as a family

Eat Together

Every day, everyone is in a hurry to get to work or school. Usually, breakfast is hurried, lunch is spent at work or school so make dinner count. This is something my parents do and something, the Big Guy and I have made a point of doing. Dinner every night at 5, unless there is an extracurricular, in which case, we all wait until we’re all there. Sharing meals is one of the best ways to come together as a family and check in with one another.

Whenever you share a meal, stay focused by implementing a no phone and no television rule. Instead, be present and talk to one another.  

Do the boring stuff together

Chores and errands often feel like a lot of work and no fun. Obviously, kids (and adults alike) would rather spend their days with friends, relaxing, watching movies or doing anything else other than the menial stuff. Everyone who lives in the house should be responsible for doing their part of the chores and if you do it right (we add loud Latin music, lots of dancing and laughing and a definite start and end time) it can be a great way to bond as a family. Have a list of tasks ready and assign them accordingly; you can perform them together at a set time during the week or weekend when you all can do them together.

Doing chores together fosters teamwork; if one experiences a difficult time, those who complete their tasks first can help and that tiny act shows love. If your kids have demanding schedules, give them deadlines to complete their chores. They’ll soon learn that performing duties together makes it more fun and fast than doing them alone. To make it more rewarding, have something to look forward to afterward, like enjoying a special meal or going out to the movies.

One-on-one time

Spending time as a family is great, but don’t forget to have one-on-ones with each other. It’s about quality not quantity. You can spend half an hour with each of your family members on different days. It’s as simple as asking what they’d like to do. Having one-on-ones with parents is crucial for kids; you get to discover what’s going on in their life away from home and their needs or troubles. One-on-ones with your partner is what feeds the intimacy that will get you through the hard times. Give your partner your full attention when there are no distractions; you can discuss issues to do with family and individual hopes, dreams, and aspirations.

Laugh together

Laughter is said to be food for the soul; it makes a bad day better and helps you bond as a family. Laughing stimulates your immune system and reduces stress; it has been proven to actually add to one’s life. Enjoy every moment you get to share in laughter, whether your husband ripped his pants showing off his killer dance moves at an impromptu kitchen dance party or you’re watching funny TikToks with your family (something we do often as an after-dinner activity). Whenever possible, create time to share stories, play games, or just cut up and laugh together. It relieves tensions and models to not take yourself too seriously to your children.

Attitude of gratitude

Family members do a lot for each other without expecting anything in return; saying thank you after a good deed can go a long way in making someone feel valued. Be appreciative by taking the time to surprise a family member with a gift, note of gratitude, or simply say “thank you” when one does something for you. It teaches respect and instills an attitude of gratitude.

Create family traditions

Family traditions and rituals enable you to create time for each other and memories; they shouldn’t just be for the holidays. Create routines like family movie nights, carving out pumpkins, game nights and baking days, weekly or monthly. Suppose there is an activity that you all enjoy doing, such as playing soccer, attending festivals, or picking strawberries during summer, do them together. These traditions ensure that even when the kids move away, they’ll want to make time to attend and be together with the rest of the family because of the fond memories they have of doing them in the past.

Family vacations

For us, travel is top of the list of things to do to ensure our family grows together. Going away on regular trips gives you quality time as a family, away from busy schedules and school. It allows you the space and time to be present with one another while making new memories together. Include everyone in the planning so that no one feels left out, including the kids. If going away on vacation sounds like fun, start planning, say a month earlier. Include it in the family calendar and inform everyone. Weekend getaways with your spouse can really reignite the fires of romance too and it doesn’t have to be far, just a local hotel will do where you can be man and woman and not just mom and dad.

Exercise as a family

Exercise is personal and I love my time alone, if I’m being honest but other times, I love long walks with my husband, bike rides as a family or a fun HIIT dance workout with my teen girls. If your family is into fitness, working up a sweat together is a healthy and fun way to spend time and bond with each other. Exercising together doesn’t require you to sign up for a boot camp, though that’s also a viable idea. Find simple ways to stay active while outdoors or indoors. When it’s warm, take a walk, run or bike around the block or to the park, create an indoor gym or plan workouts and do them together. If you have a furry friend, take him out for a walk together. It’s not about what you do, it’s about moving and being together.

Make time for family meetings

Meeting as a family is essential for you to check in with each other, discuss plans, or air grievances. We do this daily at dinner time. Family meetings also create an excellent time to discuss upcoming events like chores to perform during the weekend, day trips, or vacations. Schedule meetings on your calendar or check in with everyone to know their availability if it’s impromptu. Let everyone send in their items or issues for the agenda so that all grievances are discussed. To make these meetings effective, establish some guidelines.

Family is the most important thing in life, couples, siblings and parents are all a vital role in it. It takes a lot of time and effort to keep everyone together and thriving. We intentionally set an example early on so that our girls would grow up placing a high value on family. The bottom line is that family is everything so enjoy and cherish your family in all the ways. Never lose sight of the fact that marriage and parenting take effort and don’t just happen. Remember to not take one another for granted and tell people how you feel, happy or sad, before things go left unsaid and unheard for too long.

These are just a few of the ways, I work on my family and my marriage every day. It’s not the only way but it is the way that works for us. What are your best tips for ways to grow closer to your family and ways to grow stronger as a family?

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Why You Should Care about the Mysterious Death of Marine Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez , Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident, a life stolen, Why Marine Cpl Brandon Javier Alvarez Life and Mysterious Death Matter

Yesterday, June 24, 2021, our family laid to eternal rest one of our very own, Marine Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez and no one is okay. His death was dubious, untimely, inexplicable and there are no answers being provided by those who were charged with keeping him safe while he kept the nation safe. His life was stolen. There is no accountability. This is why you should care about the sudden, non-combat death of Marine Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez. What’s insures your child’s safety and not his? He was here and now he’s just gone. Broken hearts and empty arms longing for one more hug with no reasonable explanation given. This makes closure impossible for his family and friends. Choking back emotions in order to share his story is all that we can do now. Helpless, distraught, devastated and angry not knowing what really happened to Brandon.

Brandon, like all young men his age, had his entire life ahead of him. He had a beautiful, smart girlfriend who he loved like you do when you’re 22-years-old, big and beautifully. He adored his mother and his siblings were his best friends, confidants and his ride or dies. You see, I know this life because this is how our family is at its root. Family and God are always first, with country close behind in our lives. We are raised that when you have nothing else in this world, you have your family and they have you and together everything is possible. We are strong, resilient, passionate and born of immigrants. We don’t quit, we work hard and we dream BIG. This is how we survive but the world can be cruel. It’s been particularly cruel these past few weeks.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident, a life stolen

Brandon joined the United States Marine Corp as part of his American dream and he was on his way to realizing his dreams of marrying the girl he loved, giving his mother a house of her own and becoming the man he wanted to be; living the life he dreamed of with the people he loved. He knew to do that, he had to do the work and make the sacrifices to get where he wanted to be.

Why Marine Cpl Brandon Javier Alvarez Life and Mysterious Death Matter

Why you should care about the sudden, non-combat death of Marine Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez

A few weeks ago a happy, healthy young 22-year-old man made the ultimate sacrifice of leaving the family, girlfriend and home he loved to serve the people of the United States of America in Manama Bahrain. No one thought the last time they saw him would be the last time they ever say him.

Why Marine Cpl Brandon Javier Alvarez Life and Mysterious Death Matter

It was the first time he’d been so far away from home alone but he eagerly accepted the assignment because he knew what came next would mean he could provide the kind of life he wanted to give to his family. His beautiful, big and closely knit family who kept in contact daily even though separated continents apart. Time and space are irrelevant when it comes to family, at least in our family. Our parents instill this into us as tiny children and it sticks because family really is everything. We know that in our bones.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident

One night, two weeks after arriving in Bahrain, after a phone call with his brother and before his daily phone call with his beloved girlfriend, his life was stolen. Where a kind, caring, loving son/ brother/ uncle/ boyfriend was just a few minutes previous, he was no longer. That quickly, the world was flipped upside down and inside out.

This isn’t the first time a sudden, non-combat death with no reasonable explanation to the family has happened and if we don’t get justice for Brandon, it will happen again

Two marines arrived at his mother’s house to inform her that her son was gone. Just that quickly a family was shattered, changed forever, unimaginable pain, sorrow and anger left where all that love once was; all that promise now a life unrealized and there was nothing they could do to undo it.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident

The thing is Brandon’s life was precious to so many people. People who are not afraid to be loud and speak out. We’re not the type to just accept that one of our children is dead without explanation and that be the end of it. There has to be an explanation. No human being can just disappear from this earth and those who loved him or her just nod their heads, cry and get over it. There is no “getting over” losing a child, a brother, a sister, a mother, a father, an uncle, an aunt or a husband or partner. Life is precious and we know that to our core. We’ve lost people before and we hold tight to one another.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident, a life stolen, Why Marine Cpl Brandon Javier Alvarez Life and Mysterious Death Matter

To the military Brandon may have been just another soldier. A young, Mexican-American man willing to give his life to protect this country that our parents came to to give their children a promise of a better future. This country that they are so thankful and grateful to have the opportunity to live in. But to his family and those who knew and loved him, we can’t let it go. We demand and deserve to have the truth.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident, a life stolen

All of my aunt’s tears will never bring him back into her arms. This immeasurable loss can never be recouped. The emptiness that lurks beneath the sadness and anger is just waiting to swallow her whole because in the end, Brandon is gone. No one knows that more astutely than a mother.

He’ll never get to grow up. Never get to marry his beautiful girlfriend and start the family he dreamed of. He’ll never get to dance with his baby sister at her quinceañera. He’ll never get to be the best man at his brothers’ weddings. Brandon won’t be around to give his little sister brotherly advice or joke and laugh with his oldest sister. He’ll never get to see his nephew graduate high school.

Why Marine Cpl Brandon Javier Alvarez Life and Mysterious Death Matter

He’ll never walk into a room and grab his mother and dance cumbia with her just because and she’ll never get to hear his laugh or see his dimples ever again. When he died, all of those possibilities died with him; a part of everyone who loved him died on June 6th in Bahrain too. I know this because we are from the same people. I too am 1 of 6 children and I know how close that bond is, sometimes it’s hard to tell where you end and your brother/sister begins.

To the marines, he may have been “government property” but to those who knew and loved him, he was a light. He is a hero whose life was stolen. The investigation is ongoing.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident

The only information that the Marine Corps is providing is:

Rank: Corporal

Name: Brandon J. Alvarez

Unit: Fleet Anti-Terrorism Support Team Central Command

(FASTCENT), NSA Manama Bahrain, Marine Corps Security

Force Regiment

Dates of Service: November 26, 2018- Service Join Date

May 21, 2021- June 6, 2021- Assigned FASTCENT NSA, Manama Bahrain.

Previous Command: July 18, 2019- May 20, 2021- Marine Corps Air Station Miramar San Diego

But Marine Cpl Brandon Javier Alvarez was so much more than that to those who loved him.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident, a life stolen

I watched his funeral live-streamed from 2000 miles away, I watched as my Tia, cousins and all those who loved him were brought to their knees at this loss. It’s devastating to see my family in so much pain and I am angry that they are going through this. I’m angry that they are being given no answers. Mostly, I’m mad that Brandon is no longer here to live the big, full, beautiful life he had planned. None of this makes any sense.

Why Marine Cpl Brandon Javier Alvarez Life and Mysterious Death Matter

Please keep sharing his story and help us get the truth and justice that he deserves. #Justice4CplBrandonJavierAlvarez

Click Here to help the family find justice for CPL Brandon Javier Alvarez and prevent other military families from going through this.

Why You Should Care about the Mysterious Death of Marine Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez

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Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

The blurb read, “A U.S. Marine Corps carry team transfers the remains of Marine Cpl. Brandon Javier Alvarez of Newbury Park, California, June 10, 2021 at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Alvarez was assigned to FAST Co., Central Marine Corps Security Force Regiment, Bahrain.” that was all that was written. But he was so much more than just that…just remains. He was everything to the people who knew and loved him.

Who was Brandon Javier Alvarez?

Brandon Javier Alvarez was born on January 31, 1999, in Thousand Oaks, California. He is the beloved son of my Tia Suzy. He is one of three sons in a family of six children, a devoted boyfriend and a doting uncle. He loved and in return was loved by so many.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident

Nobody deserves to die far away from home, alone under dubious circumstances. My cousin, Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, was a good man. He was a bright young man, who loved his country, loved his family and friends and was excited about the future that he was building for himself and his loved ones. Brandon’s sudden and unexplained death has implications that go way beyond just how it affects our family, this could happen to any son or daughter serving in the military.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident

Brandon was only 22-years-old on June 6, 2021 when he was found dead in a non-combat-related incident (his nose appeared broken and there were marks on his neck) while serving in the U.S. marines in Manama Bahrain. He was a brother, a son, a boyfriend, a friend, a nephew, a cousin, an uncle and a proud United States Marine. He was not disposable. He was loved. He is missed. The hole left behind in the heart of those who knew and loved him can never be filled. The loss of a child is insurmountable and unfathomable and his life deserves better than to just be discarded.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident

His family deserves to know what really happened. They don’t deserve to be ignored and pushed aside when they want to know what happened. At the very least, they deserve the truth. Instead, they are be parceled out very little information. But how can they grieve and mourn their loss when it is so abrupt and unexplained?

What happened to Brandon?

My cousin, Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, was a 22-year-old, healthy and happy United States Marine serving in Manama Bahrain. He was found dead in his room on June 6, 2021. It is being referred to as a “non-combat incident”. His family is devastated. They sent him to Bahrain 2 weeks previous, with his entire future ahead of him. Only to have him returned to them in a casket draped with the American flag, no explanation and no answers.

His body was returned to American soil on June 10, 2021. Family members flew across the country from California to Delaware just to meet the body with plans to identify him. They were refused and restricted to stay 40 yards away from the casket. They were refused the right to identify his body.

This video is Brandon returning home to California on June 17, 2021. This is the first time his family is allowed to receive him, 11 days after two Marines came to my aunt’s house in the early morning hours to inform her that her son had been found dead during the night, while she slept. At minute 9:51 you can see the reality of a mother’s pain.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident

No family should have to go through this. No mother should ever have to bury her son and endure this kind of pain and loss. As parents and family members of men and women in the military, we understand that when our sons, daughters and beloved family members volunteer to join the military and dedicate their lives to serving and protecting the lives and freedoms of the American People, there are implied risks. But no family, expects their child to return in a casket from a non-combat incident. No family expects to be kept in the dark.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident

Everybody who knew Brandon loved him. He was kind, warm, funny with a verve for life. His joy was infectious. He loved to to laugh and brighten the atmosphere. He was a loyal son, a loving boyfriend and a beloved brother and friend. Brandon was the kind of man who inspired others to be and do better. He loved his country and had big dreams and aspirations. He just wanted to do better and give a better life to the people he loved. That was his American dream.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident

He’s gone and the family left behind to mourn him is being kept in the dark as to the circumstances of what actually happened. This is not okay, not in any way. We need answers. Nothing will bring Brandon back but at the very least, we need the truth. His mother needs justice for her son. We cannot forget.

Say his name… Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident

The military can’t just make this go away. We need explanations and proof. It took almost 2 weeks for Brandon’s family to be allowed access to his body. Maybe this would pacify some families. Maybe blind faith in the system would be enough for some but not this family. But Brandon was in constant contact with is family. People checked in on him daily, even in Bahrain. Our family will not quit. Brandon deserves more. Those who loved him are now tasked with being the protectors of his legacy and the seekers of justice in his name.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident

The bottom line is that my cousin is dead. Something uncertain happened the night of June 6th, 2021 in his room and someone has answers. We need those answers. A healthy, happy 22-year-old marine went overseas to protect the people of this country and in return he was found dead in his room. Don’t let his death get swept under the rug. Help us find #justice4cplBrandonJavierAlvarez and for the next son or daughter serving who could be in danger of never coming home to their mothers and fathers. Share his story and use the hashtag.

#Justice4CPLBrandonJavierAlvarez

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident

Rest easy, primo and know that everyone who knew and loved you won’t stop until we know what really happened to you and get the justice you deserve. You mattered Brandon Javier Alvarez and your life was not disposable. We will find the answers, someone will be held accountable and you will get justice.

If you would like to help the family get to the bottom of this and help get justice for Brandon Javier Alvarez there is a Go Fund Me page set up in his memory.

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Tips to Help your Teen Survive

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

We’ve all been so worried about keeping our kids safe from Coronavirus that we’ve forgotten to keep their mental health safe from seclusion. Check in on your teens and little ones, they are not alright. Not even close. I put my girls in therapy last April at the beginning of the pandemic and they are still struggling. We can’t shelter them from the world but we can try to ease the weight of the world so many of us are feeling. Below are some Tips to Help your Teen Survive Depression, Anxiety and Pandemic Burnout.

It’s not fine. We’re not fine. They’re not fine. The kids are not alright.

We’ve been quarantining since March 9th. Our life went on pause and everything we had planned for the spring and summer was canceled. Nothing is like it’s supposed to be. The new normal absolutely sucks. We are a family of huggers and kissers. Friends are family and family is everything. We’re explorers and adventurers. We celebrate life in the small moments but this past year has been hard to find the silver linings.

Disclaimer: Firstly, let me start by saying I am not a therapist or a trained mental health professional. I’m just a mom who is very self-aware, has years of therapy under her built and pays a professional to treat her children. A good licensed mental health professional to follow for great tips is Katie Hurley.

Bella turned 15 last March 10th and 16 this year. March 14th , 2020 was supposed to be her quinceañera. We planned for years for her big day. Everything was ready to go. The dress, the court, the venue, DJ, photographer and videographer. It was going to be the quinceañera she had been dreaming of since she was a little girl. Friends and family from around the country were flying and driving in to celebrate our special girl. I can’t even put into words the devastation I felt taking that away from her. It hurts to even think of it now, especially since we rescheduled it to August 8th and had to postpone once again. Instead of getting the quinceañera of her dreams, she didn’t even get a proper birthday celebration. Her birthday was basically skipped for the past two years thanks to CoVid.

Gabs turned 13 last May, the day after what was supposed to be last day of school. There was no party. No family and friends to hug and play with. There’s no theme or games in the backyard. There was no bbq with 50 of her favorite people. There was a birthday drive-by parade which made her pandemic heart break with gratitude for those who showed up. She felt alone and forgotten. The smallest gestures mean so much when human contact is few and far between.

But how do you help your teen survive pandemic burnout?

https://youtu.be/gXFjjwGlVsw

We’ve learned not to take things for granted. We know the worth of our freedom to move throughout the world safely. We know the value of a hug and human interaction in real time. Virtual is a poor substitute but it may be the only thing offered at the moment.

Our kids are resilient. They are strong and they are amazing. They carry on even when they want to give up but everyone has their breaking point, even you and I. I’ve been doing everything that I’m supposed to do and still, people I love are getting sick. People I know are dying. My heart is breaking but I’m trying hard to keep my mental stability. Manic mom has even made an appearance this pandemic and I was hoping to never see her again. I’m trying to be strong for the Big Guy and the girls but even I notice that while I’ve had to adopt the let it go, one day at a time mentality, I am also holding on to things. I’m holding on to things and anxious about things I don’t even realize.

I’ve started clenching my jaw and my fists in my sleep from stress. I wake up sore. I’ve started finding myself angry for no reason at all or maybe it’s for every reason under the sun. Why would I think my girls are any different? They are younger with less life experience and more hormones. How could I forget that?

Check in on your kids. They are not alright.

https://youtu.be/BrP9UW9eOts

My girls have been overly silly. At first, I was annoyed by this but then I realized this silliness is what is allowing them to get through this unbelievably stressful time. If they need to regress and find joy in the simplest things, who am I to judge? Right now, all bets are off. We’re all just trying to get through this pandemic. We’re in survival mode and that’s ok. Unfortunately, all that silliness has begun to give way to anxiety, depression and burnout and not just for them. I am burnt out too.

I’m so over virtual learning. Not only have my girls been virtual all year long, so have I. I had the bright idea to get a masters and enrolled a month pre pandemic. I’ve been struggling with burn out myself for the past couple months but watching my girls buckle under the pressure and anxiety of this non-stop pandemic life is too much. I hate it for them and can do very little to make it better other than pay for therapy and give out random hugs and encouragement all day.

Worse, I feel like I’m failing at that because I’m struggling myself. I hate all of this. There’s 2 weeks left of school for the girls and I feel like we’re all drowning. There’s no down time and days and nights are just one long exercise in never ending lists of shit to get done. I want to scream but I’m afraid if I start, I’ll never be able to stop. F*ck you pandemic and all the people who aren’t doing their part. I’m tired of my cage. I know this will pass but watching my girls struggle is the worst.

https://youtu.be/F_9K8Pgekwo

Tips to help your teen survive depression, and anxiety and overcome pandemic burn out.

  • Create calm times of the day, preferably an hour or longer.
  • Spend time with them doing silly and fun things like playing a game, being outdoors, cooking a fun meal (this helps kids calm down their nervous system so they aren’t so triggered by stress), or just plain talking.
  • Structure helps kids know what to expect which always improves stress.
  • Sleep and eat well (less sugar).
  • Help them write about their feelings.
  • Get them a therapist, many are offering virtual right now. Do it.
Tips to Help your Teen Survive  Depression, Tips to Help your Teen Survive Anxiety, Tips to Help your Teen Survive Pandemic Burnout

Anxiety specific simple but effective grounding techniques

Grounding Techniques
Grounding is a technique that helps keep someone in the present. They help reorient a. person to the here-and-now and in reality. Grounding skills can be helpful in managing overwhelming feelings or intense anxiety. They help someone to regain their mental focus from an often intensely emotional state. 

Grounding skills occur within two specific approaches: Sensory Awareness and Cognitive Awareness.

Sensory Awareness
Grounding Exercise #1:
Begin by tracing your hand on a piece of paper and label each finger as one of the five
senses. Then take each finger and identify something special and safe representing each
of those five senses. For example: Thumb represents sight and a label for sight might be
butterflies or my middle finger represents the smell sense and it could be represented by
lilacs.
After writing and drawing all this on paper, post it on your refrigerator or other safe
places in the home where it could be easily seen and memorize it.
Whenever you get triggered, breathe deeply and slowly, and put your hand in front of
your face where you can really see it – stare at your hand and then look at each finger and
try to do the five senses exercise from memory.

Grounding Exercise #2:
• Keep your eyes open, look around the room, notice your surroundings, notice
details.
• Hold a pillow, stuffed animal or a ball.
• Place a cool cloth on your face, or hold something cool such as a can of soda.
• Listen to soothing music
• Put your feet firmly on the ground
• FOCUS on someone’s voice or a neutral conversation.

Sensory Awareness Grounding Exercise #3:
Here’s the 54321 “game”.
• Name 5 things you can see in the room with you.
• 4 things you can feel (“chair on my back” or “feet on floor”)
• 3 things you can hear right now (“fingers tapping on keyboard” or “tv”)
• 2 things you can smell right now (or, 2 things you like the smell of)
•1 good thing about yourself

Cognitive Awareness Grounding Exercise:
Re-orient yourself in place and time by asking yourself some or all of these questions:

Where am I?

What is today?

What is the date?

What is the month?

What is the year?

How old am I?

What season is it?

Tips for parents

Build coping skills. One thing kids and teens need to hear on repeat is that all emotions are okay. There is no right or wrong way to feel about this global pandemic. Parents should get in the habit of checking in with each child privately throughout the day to give them an opportunity to verbalize feelings and talk about triggers.

Learn how to manage anger. Now is the time to figure out some techniques to decrease negativity in the home. In other words, stop yelling. Parents have a lot on their plates, and it is difficult to juggle work responsibilities, parenting responsibilities, keeping the family physically and emotionally safe, and running a distance-learning school. Chances are, you feel like you might snap at times.

Adjust expectations. To hear social media tell it, this is a time when everyone should be enjoying every moment and learning new things as a family (a privilege not everyone shares). And parents suddenly find themselves in the driver’s seat for their children’s education, expected to manage distance learning regardless of resources, finances, work schedules and child-care struggles. Then there are the expectations parents have of their kids regarding learning, training for extracurricular activities and being “productive” during this time away from school.

Practice empathic communication. There’s a lot we don’t have control over right now, and that can trigger negative emotions, but we can control how we respond to and communicate with others. One thing I hear on that tiny screen day after day during my sessions with kids: I just want my parents to understand me.

Tap into technology, and stay connected. Many parents spend a fair amount of time trying to manage and limit screen time. There are positives and negatives to technology, though, and now is the time to tap into the positives. It’s still important to focus on balance and make sure that kids and teens are getting exercise and engaging in activities that don’t involve screens, but technology can be a source of support, connection and education.

Parents, don’t forget to take care of your own mental health. It’s hard to help your teen survive depression, anxiety and pandemic burnout if you are holding on by a thread yourself. Believe me, I know. Find yourself some coping mechanisms and a licensed therapist.

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Tips to Get Past Your Fear of Needles, #Hackthevax

This post is made possible with support from the Meg Foundation. All opinions and tips to get past your fear of needles today are my own. 

There’s a lot going on in the world. It’s been a crazy year. None of us ever imagined we’d live through a global pandemic in our lifetime. The biggest concern for most of us before 2020 was a laundry list of first-world problems. Life in 2019 could be hard, but not 2020 pandemic hard. Suddenly, for most of us, nothing made sense, and when that happened, the unknown brought with it new stresses and anxieties. 

Right now, the only answer to stopping the pandemic is herd immunity. That term kind of makes me want to moo, right? All kidding aside, I’m thrilled that science has given us a way to save ourselves and those we love, but getting vaccinated brings with it a new set of anxieties and stresses for some.

The fear of needles is real and nothing to be afraid of.

Tips to Get Past Your Fear of Needles, #Hackthevax

Don’t like shots? The thought of a needle freaks you out? You’re not alone. 25% of adults have a fear of needles. Don’t be embarrassed. I got so many shots as a kid with chronic health issues that I get sweaty palms just thinking about it even now. I worked through my fear of needles by making a plan and moving through my fears. Please don’t let needle anxiety stop you from being safe from Covid-19.

The Meg Foundation has resources to help you get through needle fears. Everyone can benefit from learning these techniques, but for people with needle anxiety, the techniques are life-changing. The first thing is to make a plan because action is the enemy of anxiety; the more concrete the plan the better you will feel.

Tips to Get Past Your Fear of Needles, #Hackthevax

Here are a few simple tips from Hack the Vax to get past your fear and get vaccinated.

Be an advocate for yourself

If you are nervous about getting your vaccine, don’t be afraid to say so. Lots of people have a fear of needles. Those administering the shots are aware of this. Letting people know what you need is the only way they will know (this goes for everything in life, not just vaccinations). You’re not being difficult, you’re advocating for yourself. You are a self-aware bad B. People don’t mind giving you what you need but you’re going to have to tell them.

Block the pain

Getting vaccinated doesn’t have to be painful. Over-the-counter anesthetics like Lidocaine cream are great for a little pre-vaccination numbing at the injection site. To be honest, when I was vaccinated recently ( both times) I didn’t feel a thing. I usually get the flu shot every year and I do feel that but with the Pfizer vaccine, I honestly felt no pain or even the standard pinch when a shot is injected.

Take deep breaths

You probably remember the power of breathing techniques from giving birth. I never put much stock into breathing techniques, until I experienced a unmedicated, Pitocin induced birth. That made me a believer and anyone who has used it, knows it works. Don’t overthink it. Just take a few slow, deep breaths before and during the injection. Using a meditation app for a minute before also helps me in stressful situations to just slow down and get through the moment.

Distract yourself

If you want to rely on something more than just deep breaths to get you through, focus on something that makes you feel happy or relaxed. To clear my head, I always listen to music. However, watching kittens on YouTube or just scroll through your social media feeds is enough to take your mind off the task at hand…or arm, I should say. I’ve done this a lot with my girls throughout their childhood. Distraction is a great way to refocus those overwhelming feeling of stress and anxiety that needles might bring. For me, when I am stressed, I talk, so I chatted with all the other people getting vaccinated.

Bring a support person

Phone a friend or family member and either bring them with you physically ( schedule your vaccinations together) or Facetime them during your vaccination appointment. Maybe it feels a bit awkward as an adult to be virtually hanging out with a friend in a room full of people but if it relaxes you enough to not feel as overwhelmed, it is totally worth a few minutes of talking to your phone in a room full of strangers. A bestie, spouse or sibling is a great support person for getting out of your head and engrossed in conversation. The Big Guy and I got both vaccinations together, sitting side by side.

Tips to Get Past Your Fear of Needles, #Hackthevax

The Big Guy and I got both of our vaccinations, and even though there was trepidation about getting the shot, I’m so glad that I did it. Getting everyone vaccinated is a step towards keeping the whole country safe and being able to hug our loved ones once again. Making a plan and working through your fears of needles to get vaccinated not only keeps you safe, in my eyes, but it also makes you a superhero because not only are you protecting yourself from getting coronavirus, you are protecting everyone you know and love. You are part of the solution to this devastating problem that is ravaging the world with no discrimination, rhyme, or reason. 

Don’t let your fear stand between you and your safety. Think, plan, and go get your shot and pass on these techniques because you never know when someone else is feeling nervous, too.

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easiest way to get protein without eating meat

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

I was a vegetarian for 10 years. To be honest, I am not a huge fan of meat even now after going back. It just isn’t my vibe. Sure, I love the occasional steak, burger, fish or chicken but mostly, I prefer anything else. I’ve taken a lot ethics and animals classes, joined PETA when I was 18 and it’s hard for me to enjoy eating pretty much anything with a face but I’m not here to pull anyone over to the vegetarian side. I just know that I’m not alone.

A lot of people are starting to think seriously about how much meat they eat on a daily basis. Some people have ethical concerns about how much animal products they eat, others are aware of the environmental impact of farming for meat, and others realize that a lot of meat in the diet simply isn’t healthy. Yes to all of this for me.

However, most people rely on meat for the vast majority of their protein consumption, which is crucial for healthy muscle growth amongst other things. So, what can we do to get the protein we need without as much meat or none at all?

A teaspoon of powder is all it takes

We all know the nutritional benefits of milk in the diet, with the calcium, iron, and other additions it has for your diet. However, making one replacement can help you not only get the same calcium but also add some protein to your morning glass of milk. Soybeans are a tremendous source of complete protein, meaning they have both protein and the amino acids that typically go with it in animal sources of protein. Of course, milk isn’t the only way to have your soy, but it’s an easy replacement to make and it tastes great.

All that power in one little bean

If you’re looking to live a healthy, active lifestyle and you need plenty of protein to make sure that your muscles are regenerating and growing as they should, then powdered protein may be something you’re familiar with. Not only can it help you up your protein throughout the day, but it can also help you replace meals if you’re trying to cut down on your portions.

Get nutty with it

Although not quite the same as soybeans (since they are not complete sources of protein), you should also look at the various ways you can use nuts more in your meals. This can include salads, soups, desserts, and snacks throughout the day. Peanuts have, per gram, the highest amount of protein out of all of the nuts. However, walnuts and hazelnuts also pack plenty of protein in their punch. What’s more, they also have a lot of those heart-healthy unsaturated fats. You shouldn’t eat more than roughly 30g of them a day, however.

Completing your proteins

Soybeans tend to be one of the few most readily available sources of complete proteins, which is why they’re the easiest to recommends. Others, such as rice and nuts, do not contain the amino acids that are also essential and typically come with animal proteins. If you’re ever worried that you’re not getting enough, you might also want to consider using amino acid supplements just to top you up. Getting it through your diet is more widely recommended, but the option is there just to err on the side of caution.

Getting the protein you need is possible without eating as much meat. Hopefully, the tips above help you see the alternatives to getting your protein when milk isn’t the.

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Disney, Credit Repair, financial security, financial freedom, quinceanera, My why, why I am working to reverse my diabetes, family, Signs of diabetes, diabetes, diabetes symptoms, type 2 diabetes, how to reverse diabetes

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Look at me. I probably look just like a lot of you. Most days, I look a little tired, wearing yoga pants, an oversized sweatshirt and a messy bun and some days, I look cute. But, there are subtle differences, ones you can’t see, bubbling right beneath the surface like well-placed Botox. Lately, I’ve been feeling a sort of way; like I’m walking a tightrope of mental health. Any wrong move could send me toppling and it’s exhausting. I feel like my bipolar diagnosis has been standing at the back of the room hanging out and suddenly, the pandemic has got behind that diagnosis and begin to nudge me uncomfortably forward. This might not make sense to you, if you’re not a person with mental illness but if you are, you know exactly what this feeling is. This is my diary of a manic mom.

My diagnosis of Bipolar 1 came the year after I got married, from the unlikeliest of places, my gynecologist. I know, her specialty is cervixes and uteruses not mood disorders with a side of mania but lucky me, I met a gynecologist who also happened to be the mom of a daughter with bipolar. This is where my journey from broken to bent began. Let me tell you, it is a relief when you realize there is a diagnosis and you are not in fact broken.

The diagnosis was terrifying at first. I had no idea what that meant, which made it even scarier considering everything I’d ever heard about the illness up until that point was limited misinformation and worst case scenarios. The consensus from my doctors is that I started having episodes in my teens and by college, they were at their peak. I can only speak to my particular flavor of mental illness but for me, it waxed and waned between full mania and extreme irritability. My “low” is the extreme irritability that comes from not being able to slow down. It’s like racing towards a brick wall going 125 miles an hour. I see the wall. I know it might kill me. I want to slow down but my mind keeps pushing the gas pedal. It is so bad that I get on my own nerves. That is a new level of irritability.

When I’m in a manic episode, I lose my ability to think rationally. I become reckless in all the ways you can imagine. I also feel invincible mentally, physically and spiritually. I’m naturally an optimist but when manic, its beyond reason and consequences were never considered. I am also inspired because all boundaries are null and void.

https://youtu.be/vcCBacPWLrc

My diagnosis was not easy on the Big Guy, myself or the marriage. It took a lot of therapy, medications, research and willingness to embrace my disorder. I had to put everything into accepting my diagnosis, otherwise, I could not have learned to live with it. My husband also had to learn about and come to terms with my diagnosis. From that point on, he became my accountability partner, meaning we’ve discussed it and he knows the difference between my normal moods and reactions and when I’m becoming episodic. I need him to tell me if he recognizes the train going off the tracks, in case I’m not aware.

My experience with a mental health diagnosis has made me a mental health advocate. I had to learn about bipolar disorder. I believe every single person could use some therapy, especially during this pandemic, children and adults alike. My family knows this and we’ve all been in therapy at one point or another. I don’t believe in needlessly suffering when help is available.

I don’t have episodes like I used to. In fact, since the onset and diagnosis, I can only think of two other occasions when I’ve experienced a full manic episode. However, thanks to self-awareness, education and all the work I’ve done over the years to understand my illness, I’ve been able to find my way through them without losing total control.

With the pandemic and some of the situations that has brought with it (quarantining, best friend is a doctor who keeps me abreast of all the latest CoVid news, virtual learning, masks, an election, going back to school, deaths in the family, constantly worrying about the people I love and never being able to hug them), I have felt anxious. I’ve been able to deal with the anxiety. I’m aware it is happening but I push it to the side and move on. However, that constant state of anxiety has triggered what I’ve felt like was a manic episode.

What did it feel like? It felt like running in high heels across the Grand Canyon on a tightrope. Other times, it feels like I’m stuck on a roller coaster perpetually going up, violently coming down and going right back up again. When this happens, all I can do is try to process my feelings while separating the noise and chaos from what must be done. Sometimes that means shutting completely down and being still until the attack of everything of the world is hurling at me can pass. I need to make things digestible or I will be swallowed whole. The most important thing is knowing myself and being aware of the symptoms that accompany my illness. You can also read this blog post if you’re curious on what superfood powder blends I take to help my mental health.

Giving myself over to those old reckless and self-satisfying behaviors is no longer an option for me. I’m a mom. Not only do I need to be mentally healthy for myself, I need to be healthy enough to take care of and love my family. Being mentally healthy is for my family. Knowing how to recognize, treat and work through my illness is the only way that can happen. There is no room for ignoring and denying in mental health because in the end it can mean the difference between life and death. Also, our children are always watching. I want them to know that there is no stigma to being mentally ill, seeing a therapist, taking medications or whatever needs to be done. The important thing is that we can embrace our disorder and love ourselves. 

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How it Feels to be a Democrat on Inauguration Eve 2021, President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

I was sitting here contemplating tomorrow and the events of the past 2 weeks. 2 weeks ago tomorrow, President Trump incited a coup attempt and set his Patriots on a path to overturn democracy; an assault on our Capitol. He fanned the flames of insurgence and pointed them in the direction of our nation’s house with instructions to take the country back. Last week, he was impeached (for a second time) for his part in inciting violence and assault upon the very country and people he was entrusted to serve and protect. Tomorrow, we begin anew with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

One day more until we again have hope; another day, another destiny.

I’m afraid. I am exhausted from the past four years of enduring the unthinkable. I’ve felt that I’ve been living in an alternate reality; stuck in a nightmare that I cannot awake from. I’ve only recently realized that I’ve spent the past four years living in constant fear and under duress; terrified of the people wielding power and hate. Holding my breath, gritting my teeth and biting my tongue. Unable to fully breathe. I have been suffocating. Striking out and speaking out with the constant knowledge that it could put me in imminent danger. The worry is real. But the pursuit of good is greater.

One day more, we endure.

As a nation, we the people, have learned to band together to speak up and strike out against hatred. In the midst of all of this chaos, we have become unified in our pursuit of justice. It’s changed our perspective and given us a renewed faith and appreciation for the democracy our great country was born upon.  Here we are, less than 24 hours from the dawn of a new era. Tomorrow, we are given redemption in the form of hope, decency and democracy.

One day more.

 

Tomorrow, we will wake up and have a decent, good man as the president of our United States. We will have THE FIRST FEMALE VICE PRESIDENT. I get to celebrate this history-making inauguration alongside my two daughters, who get to see a woman of color, merit and humanity take the second-highest office in this nation. Let that sit with you a moment. Tomorrow, a man who perpetuated hatred and insurgence and led his own supporters down a trail of lies and conspiracies just to hold onto the power of the presidency, will finally leave the sacred grounds of the White House.

One day more.

Tonight, I can’t sleep. I am afraid as I inhale deeply and hold my breath one last time before human decency and democracy return to their rightful place in our nation’s capital. One long last night filled with hope and fear of what is to come and where we go from here as we the people, assemble in reformation to become the great nation we once were before the long four years of divisive tension that culminated in an insurrection. We can never unknow the hatred and vitriol that has been so freely spewed in the last term. Our neighbors, friends and family have revealed themselves as the monsters they are and we cannot forgive nor forget that they chose their hatred and money over the well-being and equality of the rest of us. It has been unbearable, this anxiety-ridden, claustrophobic hostage situation we’ve spent the last four years surviving.

Just one day more.

How it Feels to be a Democrat on Inauguration Eve 2021, President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris

Tomorrow is unseen and I don’t know how this is all going to playout. I’m hopeful that tomorrow goes as expected but I’m trepidatious because this is not the same United States that it was four years ago. None of us are the same as we were before the Trump administration. We don’t see one another with those rose-colored glasses of civility anymore and neither does the rest of the world. We have been revealed to be instead of the photoshopped version of ourselves hiding behind press releases and fancy clothes and makeup to a stripped-down naked and hungry version of ourselves for all the world to see. We fought amongst ourselves as our allies and enemies watched on. Our president’s bravado and narcissism has left us exposed and vulnerable to the world; attacks foreign and domestic.  I pray tomorrow, we finally can make America great again… I hope we can rebuild bridges where he has built walls.

One day more.

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Anarchy in the USA an American Coup Anarchists Storm Capitol Building, Trump supporters stand on the U.S. Capitol Police armored vehicle as others take over the steps of the Capitol on Wednesday,

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

This is breaking news*** President Trump encourages armed Insurrection in Washington DC. A woman is in critical condition after being shot in the chest on capital grounds. Once again President Trump has poured gasoline on America and threw the match to set our country on fire. Pro-Trump mob storms the capitol building.  Anarchy in the USA, an American coup as anarchists storm Capitol building. Make no mistake, our democracy is under assault.

 

This is treason.

He has incited a coup. This is an insurrection and rebellion. This could be the beginning of a civil war. This is not okay. Make no mistake, this pro-Trump mob of rioters are anarchists and this is the death of democracy. I’m not shocked because I’ve expected this since he was elected in 2016. He’s been calling on his supporters to do this. He’s been inciting violence by calling them to action. Today, Trump supporters stormed the capital building and stopped capital action as the Vice President presided over the presidential ratification process today. Our capital building is on lockdown due to threats from Trump-supporting Americans. I am embarrassed and disgusted to be an American today. This is the fall of America. President Trump needs to call off his dogs. What the fuck is wrong with America?

This is absolutely anarchy in the USA. This is an American coup.

Anarchy in the USA an American Coup Anarchists Storm Capitol Building

Bonfire of the Insanities

Earlier today, Vice President Mike Pence said he could not and would not overturn the election which enraged Trump supporters and brought Trump’s wrath down upon him. The vice president had to be evacuated for safety. There is an armed standoff at the house front door. There was an armed standoff at the door of the house floor. Protestors breached the senate floor. Tear gas was used in the rotunda and house members were given gas masks and sheltering in place. What the fuck is going on? The insanity and inflammatory conspiracy theories that Donald Trump has been spouting for the past years and months has finally broken the United States of America.

READ ALSO: Donald Trump will destroy America

This disgusting display of treason is undermining our democracy. This deplorable behavior is on display for all the world to see, all those law-abiding citizens of us can do is sit at home knowing we are being seen and judged by other countries. These people storming the capital building are making us vulnerable. Trump’s lies and the false hope he gave his supporters that the election could be overturned has incited a coup. This is something we would see in worn-torn countries, not the United States.

Anarchy in the USA an American Coup Anarchists Storm Capitol Building

Insurrection in America

There was a Saturday, way back in November, where a lot of us exhaled a collective sigh of relief. Not going to lie, I wanted Kamala Harris and Joe Biden to win the election for so many reasons but I don’t think the least of all reasons was the return to decency, I never realized how scared and sad I’ve been living the past 4 years, not until I found myself sobbing at the election results. It was happiness, elation, relief and a sense of security. I had hope. Then, the other 4 times, Biden was declared the winner of the election, my hope began to slip away.

READ ALSO: United We Resist

I don’t think I’ve had real hope since the 2016 election. I’ve been existing on some plane, surviving through to 2020. But somewhere between the great disappointment of 2016 and November 6th, 2020, I sank into such a long and arduous depression that it became my constant state of being. I began to distrust people, fear Trump supporters and stopped feeling safe to live my truth. It’s hard to feel safe when your world is governed by a maniac who doesn’t follow any of the rules of politics or basic human decency. On top of all of that, not only does he not understand how politics works (nor does he care) he is a sore loser. The leader of the free world, who the entire rest of the world is watching, is behaving worse than a threenager.

Breaking: Anarchy in the USA an American Coup Anarchists Storm Capitol Building

This is not even a dig at the man. He started out with no knowledge or experience doing a job that he wasn’t equipped to handle and that quickly catapulted to gross mishandling of America progressing to full-on encouraging insurrection and inciting violence. Nothing felt absolute anymore except for the fact that the country would be divided, he wouldn’t tell us the truth and he’d be sure to take every one of us down with the ship. He’s trying to make good on his promise. He’s our captain and we are the U.S.S. Titantic. This is anarchy in the USA and it is a revolting display of unAmericanism.

READ ALSO: White Privilege Protects Criminals while Being Black gets your murdered

I’ve been waiting for today to arrive and the results of the Georgia runoff election to come in. Just this past weekend, while the rest of the country was on holiday, Mr. Trump was in secret instructing Georgia to “find the votes”. Recently, he strong-armed the vice president to, like a common thug, to “make the right decision”. Mr. President, I get that you don’t understand math or how elections work but Mr. Pence does, though not my candidate choice, he is in fact an educated and experienced politician and I think he’s ready for this job to be over. He has spent the better part of the past year placating a 300 pound tantruming, epitome of little dick energy man child. What’s happening today is Anarchy in the USA; an American Coup. When Anarchists storm Capitol building that is treason.

President Trump directly urged fellow Republican Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, to “find” enough votes to overturn his defeat in an unprecedented one-hour phone call Saturday that legal scholars described as a flagrant abuse of power and a potentially criminal act.

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I’m truly disgusted at the shit show this election has turned out to be. We can’t even celebrate our victory because the president is such an unqualified sore loser that he won’t concede like an adult. In every competition in life, including elections, there is a winner and a loser. The grown-up accepts that to win you risk losing. There is no shame is losing a fight well fought but being a sore loser is the worst and most embarrassing thing you can do.

Anarchy in the USA Not my America.

This is not 1812 and we need to restore order to the people’s house. Donald Trump needs to concede and tell his supporters to stand down and go home. This is a coup attempt and they, along with Donald Trump, are committing treason against the United States and all the American people. This is Trump’s legacy, an America divided.  Shame on Donald Trump. Silently watching, Donald Trump is actively destroying American democracy as the mob he enacted tears down our capitol.  This Trump mob is American terrorists and this is an attack on our democracy. He could have inspired a nation, instead, he incited a siege. We the people, do not accept this. I am heartbroken.

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