What Do Emotions Feel Like…. Synesthesia Edition

Everyone associates synesthesia with this great, powerful gift that allows you extrasensory abilities. Indeed, the newest trend and a quick search on a search engine will make it seem that almost everyone has this. Artists have used it to create beautiful works of art, singers and songwriters use it as inspiration. And writers, oh, it grants them a gift of being able to describe things with almost inhuman detail. This gift has been proven harmless. With such beautiful creations springing forth, it would appear this strange and baffling thing is a superpower. 

For the most part, I’ll even agree. Until you begin to try and explain something to someone who doesn’t have it. Then life can get weird. I experience life in sound. Different types of pain have sounds to me (sharp pains are high pitch, dull pains are bass), even foods are sounds (chocolate is low pitch, bread is middle, lemons are high pitch. Anything way too sweet or salty is glass breaking high pitch, and therefore painful). 

I’ve based entire opinions of people based on the sound of their voice. Perhaps it isn’t fair, but I can’t help it. High pitch and nasally voices are painful, where lower tones are pleasant. Accents add an interesting spice to the sounds, and perhaps that’s why I love accents so much. 

If I’m not interpreting the world in sounds, then I’m experiencing texture, sometimes color. France, for example, feels like warm and makes me think of a lovely orange color, where Scotland feels like soft grass, and makes me think blue. 

Now that I’ve given you a road map of my brain, let’s make things even more interesting. What do emotions feel like, sound like, etc? Before I go completely into that, allow me to explain one other aspect. My mind is always noisy. There is always a dull static that surrounds my head. It’s like hearing snippets of conversation in a crowded food court, but drowned out by the roar of the crowd. I call these my potential thoughts. Thoughts, emotions, imaginary conversations, or memories I’ve not experienced yet, but lurk in the shadows waiting to happen. 

Happiness is a strange emotion. It feels loving, impenetrable, like I could take over the world. It sounds like a harmonious symphony, and laughter feels like waves of an ocean. It feels warm. 

Anger feels like ice and fire competing in my veins, with a darkness waiting behind whoever wins. The angrier I get, the harder these two fight. 

Sadness feels like loneliness. It feels like a television left alone in a dark room, with the channel playing nothing but snow. Loud static can be heard. 

Depression feels like this, but with the added benefit of clarity for the potential thoughts. There’s always a dark, twisting figure tat seems everywhere and nowhere, and this figure encourages these thoughts. This leads to the spiraling low, and the static becomes like knives. “Just kill yourself. It’ll save the world a lot of trouble. Everyone will be better off without having to deal with you. You’d be doing them a favor. No one actually cares, they humor you because they need something, want something, from you. As soon as you’re no longer useful, you’ll be tossed away entirely.” 

Bipolar low feels like…. I’m surrounded by hundreds of these figures, and they’re all shouting at me to just end it. Just do it. Which leads to, what I feel, is a level of bipolar psychosis. The world seems to be moving so fast around me, and I’m standing still. Or maybe it’s the other way round, and I’m spinning so fast I have the illusion of standing still. The world doesn’t include me, I’m an outside observer peeking into a window of reality. 

Thankfully I haven’t experienced that often. It is truly terrifying, to exist but not. To feel, but not. 

Stress feels sour, like sour milk. And the more stressed I feel, the more soured I feel. I even begin to think I smell sour, which increases the stress. 

Why am I writing this? Why am I telling you? To be honest, I have no idea. Maybe I just need people to know and understand the extra layer I feel beneath the emotions. Maybe I’m hoping someone will read this who can give answers, or can relate. Maybe I’m hoping my words can help a study. What happens when you combine synesthesia with a mental disorder. Chaos and beauty happen, of course. 

I hope this has been educational. I feel better now, at least. 

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Just a few thoughts

Just a few thoughts

​I’ve heard a lot of people say they’d prefer to be alone, without friends or lovers, because they wouldn’t get hurt. 

Wrong. 

No matter who you are around, or not, the person that can hurt you the most is yourself. 

But sometimes the people you bring into your world can help you fix some of the damage you’ve done to yourself. 

I also do not believe that a person is either good, or bad. These are simplified categories we use to justify feelings. I think it is all perspective. Everything is a matter of perspective. 

I do not believe that God, or the devil, has the ability to make us feel, or do, certain things. That implies we lack free will. If we didn’t have free will, I wouldn’t be writing this right now. You wouldn’t be reading this right now, either. I believe we are all capable of “evil”, and we use God and the devil in the same sense that we use bad and good. Without one, it is impossible to appreciate the other. 

I think country music is annoying. Sorry, that was random, but the man delivering boxes at Sonic is blaring it. Felt like it deserved mentioning. Everyone’s just whining to a twanging guitar. 

I wish the world could focus more on love than being right. The joy of a meaningful conversation, the laugh between friends, cuddling, surpasses the joy of being able to say “I’m right”. And that’s coming from someone who is addicted to being right and proving a point. 

Why is country trying to sound like rock and pop mated and had a strange love child? Sorry again. The song changed. I wonder if I should tell the Sonic delivery guy that he’s featured in my blog? Nah, that would be weird. 

I want to find a love that makes me feel as happy, as comfortable, and as accepted as my best friend makes me feel. Then he’d be my best friend and I could marry him. I want a love that isn’t forced, or fake…. But beautiful like a glorious painting, a symphony, and moving like a novel. I want a love that is…calming like a gentle storm. Does that even exist? Probably not. Which brings the entire blog full circle to the first sentence I said. 

Sometimes I feel like I’m going to be alone forever. I feel like everyone will leave eventually, or in the grand scheme of things I am nothing. I am the flame on the end of a match to most people, when what I want is to be someone’s sun. I want to matter. I don’t want to feel like I’m easily replaced with a new model. I want to heal, I want to help, I want to inspire, I want to love, and live. I want to matter.

But I’m going to be alone. At least that’s how I feel. Maybe it’s better to be alone? Because then I won’t get hurt. Trusting people hurts. Because people hurt. Because the world hurts. 

Yet I’m currently alone, and the only one hurting me right now is myself. My inner “demons”, if you will. 

And the country music. That’s not helping.

This blog went in an entirely different direction than I thought it was going, but I kinda like it. It’s very…real. Very me. Very random. It’s perfect. 

Perfectly me. 

Year of the Book

In the growing age of technology and social media, it is easy to lose sight of simple things. Sometimes we don’t realize it until we force ourselves to disconnect, and pay attention to the world around us. Recently I did just that. 

Anyone who is connected to a social media account is no doubt aware that tensions are mounting due to the political world. Friends are arguing with friends, families are being torn apart by disagreements, and all around it is all very sad. I found my time on social media begin to affect my state of mind. I was torn between being outspoken and standing up for my beliefs, defending anyone without a voice, and maintaining civil friendships. It was a delicate dance I no longer had the energy to perform. No matter how hard you try to escape it, hiding it all, you always end up dragged back into it.

So I deactivated my main Facebook account, and ignored my others. It has only been a week and yet I’ve discovered so much about myself and the world around me. 

I learned just how distracting Facebook can be, before you even realize you’ve been sucked in. I realized how often I use social media to simply mindlessly scroll through something when I’ve nothing to do. I realized how often I was picking up my phone. 

Being disconnected has brought me a strange sense of relief. A strange sense of calm, if you will. I’ve started reading more in order to preoccupy my mind. I’ve read three books in four days, even. 

Which brings me to my point. This year I encourage all of you to disconnect for just a little bit. There is so much hate, and anger, floating around at the moment, and it spreads like poison. Slowly it is going to kill us all, at least a part of us. 

I’m not saying social media is bad. But what I am saying is we all need to remember to disconnect sometimes and remember the simple things. I have forgotten how delightful it is to just lose myself in a book for hours on end…. 

This year is the year of the book. It’s the year to focus on writing, reading, blogging, and everything else important to me. 

I Don’t Want a Christian Nation

​This is the last really big post I’m going to make for a while. I promise! I’m also going to try and cut back on the political crap, because honestly, sharing a post on Facebook isn’t going to make Mr. Dump any less of a douchebag. And honestly, he could kill a baby on air and there would be people throwing babies at him to be his next target. But anyway. This post is not geared towards Mr. Douche of the United Hypocrites. This post is going to target religion. All of them. Buckle up, bitches, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. 
I do not want to live in a Christian nation. Or a Muslim nation. Or anything, really. I don’t want religion anywhere near this country. Not ruling it and making decisions anyway. I could go into the statistics, I could bring up how many have been killed in the name of God, or in the name of Allah, etc etc, but the post isn’t about that. 
I’m going to discuss my personal reasons. When I was going to a Christian school, I was the outcast. I was the weird one, the one it was okay to pick on or make fun off, because I was weird. Because I didn’t worship like they did, because I didn’t act like they did. Because I didn’t belong. Shun the non-believer!! At thirteen I tried to kill myself. Various things came together, pills I shouldn’t have been on were prescribed, and it reached the point where I just could not do it anymore. I wanted to die. I was taken to a hospital where they pumped my stomach, where they held me down… I was so scared…. Then I was taken to a mental ward, where I spent nine days being bullied by other patients, by staff…. It was horrible. I still have nightmares… It’s one of the reasons I’ve been scared to get help, because all I can think of is that time. One good thing happened, though. A pastor came to visit me. Wait. What? I know. This is an anti-religion post and I’m talking about a pastor being a good thing. Confused? Just wait. So this pastor didn’t even know me, came to visit me. My grandmother sent him. I thought he was an odd duck. He didn’t look like a pastor. He didn’t look like what you’d expect. I remember thinking he looked more like a Batman villain with his purple suit and red hair. We talked. Not about God, or about my sinning. He didn’t tell me I was going to Hell. He didn’t shun me. He asked if I was okay. Well Hell no I wasn’t okay, I was scared to death!! He told me if I ever needed to talk to someone, I could come to him. It was one of the few times I actually started to believe in God. Then I got out of the hospital with a new found…relief. It was going to be okay. I was going to be okay. 

I went back to this Christian school, and their whole attitude about me changed. I was popular!…. For all the wrong reasons. People looked at me like I was diseased…they’d avoid me like I was contagious…. I was even more of an outcast than I had been before… Teachers would tell my friends to stop being friends with me because “There’s something wrong with her” or “You don’t need that kind of influence in your life.” When I needed help, people turned their backs to me…. But let me see them in public now and they’ll hug me and act like we’re best friends! 
Getting out of that school, I befriended an atheist, two people of God, an agnostic, and a Wiccan. They helped me. They picked me up. As did my friends from the Christian school. I was loved. In high school I befriended a Muslim girl who was very kind, very sweet to me. She helped me a lot, too. 

But I also had people drag their kids away from me because they thought I was evil, because I wore all black. I was told on many occasions that I was a devil worshipper, that I was evil, that I was going to Hell, by all these people who claimed to be Christian…. But wait a minute…. Doesn’t that go against what they believe? And why are my friends, who are believers of God, so much more different than these Christians….?
The answer, I realized, is religion itself. Religion is a term, a label, thrown around to inspire fear. Inspire hatred. Inspire joy. Anyone can use the title when it benefits them. Anyone can claim to be a person of God when it suits them. I’m targeting Christianity here because I honestly don’t know much about Islam, and only interacted with one person. I’m in no way saying Islam is better, or doesn’t come with its own set of flaws, I simply refuse to speak on a topic I know little about. 
I know how Christianity works, and it makes the children of God look awful. 
I do believe in God. I do not believe he is what people try to make him. I do not believe he is meant to be used to target others, or inspire wars. I don’t believe he was meant to justify hatred, or bigotry, or as a glorified way for people to say Ewww. I think you’ve all got it wrong. 
I also believe in many gods. I believe in many different religions. I even believe in Lucifer, the man everyone seems to be so afraid of. But I think the stories are wrong. I think it’s all wrong. 
I don’t think anyone should follow a book, because the book was written by men, and humankind is stupid. Humankind is biased. Humankind can’t follow simple instructions because their pride and ego get in the way. 
But the main point I’m getting at here is we don’t need Christianity, or anything. We don’t need titles. Because people misuse titles. People do things in the name of God, or Allah, that wasn’t intended to be done…. Religion is man’s design, and I refuse to be a slave to that…. Respect each other as people. Respect each other because that’s what we’re supposed to do, not because that’s what a book says we should do. Worship freely, but without the limitations of titles. This is not a Christian nation, nor is it a godless one. Quite the contrary, there are many gods in America. There are many people who choose to be free of religion, and yet they still do good things. 
We cannot be limited by titles, that’s not what any god would want. Humans are complex creatures. Why place us in categories? 

  • To any of you who managed to read this far, I applaud you.

My Grandmother Passed Away…

It wasn’t sudden. We knew it was coming. I’d even prepared myself. I’d hardened my heart, convinced myself I didn’t care. I’d taken all of her flaws and built a shell around myself, reminding myself of all the hurt she’d caused me. 

And there was a lot of hurt. 

I was convinced at a young age that something was wrong with me, because Mamaw didn’t seem to love me as much as she loved my other cousins. I thought something was wrong with me because I didn’t fit into her ideal of what a girl was supposed to like. She’d buy me gifts I didn’t like (dolls, pink clothes, etc) while supplying the boys with ample toys they loved. While they ran around the house shooting each other with Nerf guns, I stood to the side with a baby doll wondering…what did I do wrong?

I felt like I was under constant scrutiny, and was constantly being compared. “Oh you like to sing? Your cousin does it better.” “You want to play piano? Both of your cousins already play instruments, and they do it so well.” “How are you ever going to get a husband if you don’t learn how to cook?” 

There would be family get togethers that she “forgot” to invite me. Home videos featured my cousins, but not me. What did I do wrong? 

At the age of thirteen I tried to kill myself. She responded by sending a preacher to talk to me. 

At fifteen, I gave up trying to impress her. I concluded that no matter what I tried to do, I would never be good enough in her eyes. I stopped caring, I stopped trying, I stopped wondering. There were no more summer stays at Mamaw’s house, and our contact became limited to three times a year. Birthday phone call, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. 

I stopped trying to tell her what I wanted for Christmas, because she acted like she had no interest in finding out who I was as a person. She was so wrapped up in who she wanted me to be, it didn’t matter who I actually was. Birthday visits or calls were awkward as she would say “happy birthday” and spend the remainder of our phone call discussing how successful or happy my cousins were.

I was constantly reminded of my failures. 

Or all the times she came to town to visit my cousins, or her great grandchildren, only to not tell us she was near. 

When it came closer to her death, these were the pains I wrapped around myself. These were the wounds I hardened. She didn’t care about me. Why should I give her even an ounce of my sympathy? I resolved that my job would be to be the strong one. It would be my job to hold everyone’s hand and keep everyone’s collective shit together since I had nothing to offer the situation. 

And yet… I was still shocked when I received the call that she had gone. And yet… I was still sad. 

This made me angry. No. She hurt me so much while she was alive, she doesn’t get to hurt me with her death. I fought hard, tightened my shields around me tighter than before. I had a job to do and it didn’t involve my sadness. 

The time came for the funeral where we were regaled with all the good she’d done for the church she attended. There weren’t stories involving her family. I got to hear all about how she helped kids, how good she was to people in her church. I got mad again. 

But as the people were paraded past her body…. And all their eyes shimmered with tears… I saw other memories. 

Like when it was just the two of us, and she taught me how to enjoy a huge bowl of sherbet in front of the television. She loved ice cream. We’d get bowls and spoons, and watch television together. But it had to be just between us because the others weren’t allowed to eat in front of the television. 

Or the huge pool in front of her house where we’d all spend hours swimming. And we’d laugh and play until we were so cold we were shivering. 

She taught me that a world existed beyond my backyard, and there was always an opportunity to see or learn new things. 

She taught me how not to travel. Like loading four kids into an Econo van and giving them all McFlurries before driving to Texas. 

She taught me physics. Like how fast someone can whip an Econo van onto the side of the road, rip the side door open, and snatch the spoons we used to eat the McFlurries away after we all learned that the spoons whistle. 

She taught me the importance of being aware of my surroundings, and why it’s important to always have a good sense of direction. Like when she said the phrase “That guy looks like he knows where he’s going, let’s follow him.”

My grandmother taught me to not take myself so seriously and be able to laugh at myself. Like when she accused my cousin of putting fingerprints all over the coffee table….And said cousin was born with no hands….. 

My grandmother taught me why knowing your audience is a good idea when it comes to buying presents. “You think I need God and I stink, Mamaw?!” -Nick

“Everyone got a television. Except me. You know what I got? A jacket. Everyone else can watch tv, you know what I can do? Zip, zip.” -Christy

A well timed joke or a funny one liner makes all the difference in a conversation. She also taught me that facial expressions can speak volumes…Like when her lips would thin out to the point of disappearing when she got mad or uncomfortable. 

And as I stood to go passed her one last time, I remembered all of the Christmas parties we had. All the jokes we’d all share. The noise of everyone talking and laughing….It was so quiet in the funeral home. 

One cousin was great at music. Another was great at sports. The one thing she ever told me made her proud of me was my ability to write… 

That was all me. All mine. I wish she’d told me more often that she was proud of me. Finding out after her death that she held on to one of my poems was not how I wanted to find out she was proud. 

A chapter closed. Words that needed to be said between us would never get the chance to be spoken. No more calls, no more Christmas’ as a family. No chance to say sorry from either of our ends, no chance to tell each other that we were proud of one either. And I am proud of her. She fought cancer hard, and then finally decided she could fight no longer. 

So the last lessons my grandmother taught me…. Don’t take my daughter for granted, and don’t just assume she knows I’m proud of her. Tell her always, remind her always, that she is loved. 

And the power of saying I’m sorry. 

I won’t claim we were close. I won’t claim to have peace, or closure. But my words, my writing, are what made her proud. In her memory I write this. I hope wherever she is, she knows what I’ve written, and she knows the truth. 

I love you, Mamaw. And I’m sorry. I’m proud of you, and I am so very sad that you are no longer here. I am glad you aren’t in pain now. I hope you’ve found peace. 

Hatred is easy.

​We the people have the power to show love and kindness. With the power of music, the power of art, the power of writing, the power of small gestures. A single smile, or a simple “are you okay?” can change the world for someone. 

Trump supporters are being hateful, Hillary supporters are being hateful. When are the people going to realize that hate has done nothing but sow the seeds of discord even further into our hearts? Love. Acceptance. Being open minded. Humility. THESE are the things that will win our country back. Not killing each other over a difference of opinion. Not killing each other over a difference in race, sexual orientation, gender…. It’s going to take all of us. Sadly, we the people have forgotten love. Sadly, love has been replaced. Not with hate. Fear. We have been taught to fear our brothers and sisters. We’ve been taught to fear difference, because different must be bad. Kindness has been replaced with distrust, which leads to more fear. We’ve been taught that if someone isn’t agreeing with us, they are against us, and being against us is bad. We’re paranoid, and we’re scared, and we all feel alone.

 I choose to stand with homosexuals, I choose to stand with people of color. I choose to stand with white people. I choose to stand with straight people, transgender people. I choose to stand with Muslims, Buddhists, pagans, wiccans, Hindus, Christians, atheists, so forth. WE THE PEOPLE. CAN CHOOSE. LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE OVER HATRED. 

Teach me so I can learn! Show me the beauty of the world through your eyes. Spread joy and laughter, not blood of fellow human beings.

Our country was founded on freedom of oppression so that WE could all live the American dream. History has not been kind to our ancestors, no matter the race. I choose to educate myself so that I can avoid making the same mistakes my ancestors and my elders did, and do. I choose not to let the past rule me and my decisions. “This is the way it’s always been, so it’s the way it has to be.” BY WHOSE RULES?! No. I refuse to accept that. I refuse to accept that it will always be this way. I refuse to accept that we will always hate one another. Not if we all choose to do otherwise. 

Right now hate is winning. Fear is winning. Right now, YOU HAVE A CHOICE. I don’t care who is running this country because in the end, WE THE PEOPLE ARE THEIR BOSSES. WE THE PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER TO STOP ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING ANY POLITICIAN THROWS AT US. But we have to STOP. HATING. AND KILLING. EACH OTHER. 

Every single one of us has their own battles to fight. We’re all going through things. We’re all angry about something, we’re all scared about something. Every individual on earth is just as complex as the other. It makes no sense to judge someone by something they cannot help. Judge by character, by observation. Not by what a label tells you. PEOPLE ARE NOT SOUP CANS.

So what’s it going to be, people of the world? Let history continue to repeat in a timeless loop of death, depression, and fear? Or do we put our foot down and scream at the top of our lungs “WE THE PEOPLE OF EARTH HAVE HAD ENOUGH.”

Teach love. Teach respect. Teach kindness. Teach to be a trusting person, and teach to trust. It’s going to take us all. 

And believe me, if you see me in public and you ever feel afraid, ask and I will defend you. I will defend those who cannot speak, those who cannot reach out. Men, women, children, anyone. I stand with humanity.

We the people must vow from this moment forward to try and make a difference. One voice in a crowd is but a whisper, but put enough whispers together and they’ll hear our screams. Enough is enough. 

To My Fallen Brothers and Sisters….

I’m going to be completely poem and honest with all of you that read this post: I don’t watch the news. I don’t like reading about it, I don’t like watching it, I don’t like talking about it, and I hate writing about it. The media of today is so biased, trying to watch the news just ends with a bunch of pseudo-professionals trying to tell me what I should and shouldn’t think. The news makes me angry. The world makes me sad. Even employing all of my best avoidance tactics, nothing could prevent the announcement of the shooting in Orlando.

At the time of writing this, 50 have been confirmed dead, 53 injured, with the death toll expected to rise. Victims are still being identified, and families are beginning to grieve.

A lot of the information pouring in doesn’t make sense. What does make sense is innocent people died. Because they were in a gay club. And a bipolar Muslim did it.

Where do I even begin?

I’m seeing everyone shouting and pointing fingers. Blaming each other. Supporting the shooter. Calling for the death of all Muslims. And all I have left to say is…Are you fucking kidding me? Accusing anyone with a mental illness of being capable of this sortof thing. All I can say is…Are you fucking kidding me?

Let’s break this down a bit. First, we’ll go after the anti-gay community. If you are against gay people on the sole reasoning that a book told you to hate them, and yet you can also say “you reap what you so” supporting the deaths, let me ask you a few questions. My first question being the obvious of did you skip the part in the bible where it says God is love? Love thy neighbor? Did you miss where Jesus welcomed all? Did you miss the commandments that said “Thou shalt not kill”? If you’re just following the rules of your precious book, maybe you should stop being a sheep and actually read the fucking thing. You don’t have to agree with the lifestyle, but it doesn’t harm you. Stop being hateful.

Second, can you tell me for a fact that every person attending that club was gay? Straight people go to gay clubs all the time. It’s fun, and friendly. How many fellow Christians were killed that you just condemned with your assumptions? What if it had been your son, or daughter, killed? This hatred disgusts me.

You don’t have to like homosexuals, or agree with them, but how can you honestly justify the murder of an innocent person as being right? How can you look at a television, and instead of being moved to tears by the names of the dead flashing across the screen, you think “Fucking fags deserved it”. How can you stomach your own hypocritical existence?

To the true loving, and caring Christians out there who will, inevitably, get lumped into the same category as this bigoted nonsense, allow me to say you have not been forgotten. We hear you, and your support, or donations, or prayers, are heard and appreciated. Don’t let the harsh world around you take you away from doing good things.

Of course, I’m not here just to call out the hypocritical “Christians”, I’m here to call out the hypocritical homosexuals as well. You preach about love and acceptance, and yet some of you are screaming for the death of Muslims? You’re going to condemn an entire group of people because of the actions of one man, yet expect people to be more forgiving when there are cases of male on male, or female on female, rape? No, you don’t get it both ways. To be accepted, you must be accepting. You don’t have to agree with anyone to be civil. Our community has been hit by a terrible tragedy. Now is the time to pull together and show the world what true love is all about.

To the peaceful, loving Muslims who are tired of seeing people doing terrible acts in the name of your God, believe it or not, you haven’t been forgotten either. Not everyone in the world believes that all Muslims are terrorists, and I know you grow weary of this shit, too. I cannot say I understand, or agree, with your religion, but my lack of understanding is no cause for hatred towards those who want no part in this.

And finally, to those throwing the word “bipolar” around like it’s a dirty word. First of all, a mental illness is not an adjective to be used to describe a situation. And just because someone is professionally diagnosed with a mental disorder, it doesn’t mean they are capable of going out and killing people. It does happen, and that is a fact I cannot argue, and there are a lot of people who ARE capable of it. But a person who is being treated properly, or at least taught how to cope, knows how to deal with their disorders. Perhaps instead of relying on expensive medications, we should start shifting our focus to behavioral therapy? Especially in cases where someone can’t afford their medicine, but really need to be on it? Maybe instead of teaching people more hatred, or fear, we teach awareness. We teach acceptance.

Those of us who do know how to cope with our illnesses know we can’t get a gun, and the general consensus is we don’t want one. Not because we are against guns, but because we don’t trust ourselves to not use it to commit suicide, or worse.

I’m sick of it. I’m sick of all the hatred brewing around. I’m sick of accusations, of people jumping to conclusions. I’m sick of finger pointing and harsh words.

Bad people exist in every walk of life, be it gay, straight, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian. Stop labeling people and lumping them into groups. We are human beings, not labeled merchandise able to fit into categories. We are complex creatures capable of free- thinking and other amazing feats. We have thumbs!

Look at this without the labels: 50 individuals killed, 53 injured, by a lone gunman in a night club.

Look at this as the tragedy that it is, and let’s stand by each other. Let’s put differences aside, and try love for a change. Let’s try to understand each other, and help each other, whether we agree or not.

To the families and friends of the fallen, my heart is heavy with sadness for your loss. I wish I could reach out to you and offer you my love, my support, but I cannot. Just know that one small town girl keeps you in her thoughts. To those with injured, you have my well wishes and thoughts that your loved ones are able to pull through.

Let love shine from all walks of life.