… from the bungalow


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Lost Hope: On Reaching Out

On December 3, 2015, Scott Weiland, lead singer of the band Stone Temple Pilots, was found dead, apparently due to cardiac arrest. Weiland has been publicly open about his struggles with addiction, which one could assume led to heart issues down the road. But I’m not here to talk about the perils and pitfalls of addiction or the pity and compassion we should demonstrate toward those who struggle with it. In fact, I wasn’t going to write about it at all until I read the piece written by his ex-wife and the mother of his two children, Mary Forsberg Weiland, published by Rolling Stone on December 7. This is what struck me:

December 3rd, 2015, is not the day Scott Wieland died…
What [our children] truly lost on December 3rd was hope.

She went on to describe how Weiland had “replaced” his family and estranged himself from them. Now, we could all conjecture about how he must have struggled with his demons, felt guilt/shame about the divorce, etc. Whatever his reasons, no matter the explanations and underlying motivations, regardless of how valid those may be, the reality is, he was gone. This is not a judgment; Glob knows I’m in no place to cast stones. I’m just coming from a mindset of working with what is.

Personal demons, drugs, depression? These things can make it functionally impossible for someone to reach out for help or change their behavior. If there’s one thing I hate about western society, it’s the notion of independence. We are mostly tribal–not independent–beings. It’s to be expected in a culture in which dependence is synonymous with weakness that we’d shy away from reaching out to others. This goes both ways: asking for help or giving it. To me, the worse evil is to not reach out to someone you know is struggling; they may not see it. Yes, you might offend the person, but you know what? Being offended is way preferable to leaving your kids without a father and without hope.

Because here’s the thing about people who need help but get angry when you offer it: Continue reading

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Everything is Awesome: A St. Baldrick’s Team

Two years ago, the words of a grieving-yet-surviving mother had moved me to shave my head for a good cause: to stand in solidarity with children with cancer and to raise funds to support the research to conquer it. One year ago, we cheered others on as they did the same. I even made a little slideshow to remind folks that hair grows back; people don’t.

This year, I continue to cheer for others and share in their joy. I didn’t feel comfortable asking for any donations after readers had been so generous in helping my family with funeral costs after my mom passed. (And I totally still owe you guys a blog post for that! Guilt!) However, my lovely wife and step-son are going under the clippers this year!

LucasIn a short interview with Mary Tyler Mom, Lucas  (The Boy) stated, “I have lots of curly hair and I’m shaving it because I don’t really care about my hair. It makes me happy to shave it because I’m raising money. I think it’s important. I’m raising money for kids cancer and the money goes to St. Baldrick’s to help kids with cancer.”

As a dad, I’m hoping he’ll see that even small humans can make a big difference. Help him make that difference. A donation of even $3 (the cost of a small latte), $4 (a Lego minifig), or $5 (a crappy value “meal”) will go a long way. Well, I hope it will. He is only seven.

Thank you. Love you.

Chris


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Stop Saying “That’s So Gay!” — Six Microaggressions That Hurt

Psychology Benefits Society

Sad Asian teenage boy

By Kevin L. Nadal, PhD (Associate Professor of Psychology, John Jay
College of Criminal Justice – City University of New York)

When I was a little kid, I used to hear my brothers, cousins, and friends say things like “That’s so gay!” on a pretty regular basis. I would usually laugh along, hoping with all my might that they didn’t know my secret.  My parents and other adults in my life would tell me things like “Boys don’t cry” or “Be a man!” which essentially was their way of telling me that being emotional was forbidden or a sign of weakness.

When I was a teenager, there were a few boys at my high school who ridiculed me, almost everyday. When I walked by them in the halls, they called me a “faggot” or screamed my name in a flamboyant tone.  I learned to walk by without…

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Remembering Chris Keith, aka “The Adventures of a Thrifty Mama”

A woman–a mother of four–and her 14-year-old son have been killed because she struggled to choose between poverty and abuse. Please consider helping her three surviving kids. ❤

Poor as Folk

I “met” Chris through my Facebook page for my personal blog crazy dumbsaint of the mind and I in turn become a fan of her blog Adventures of a Thrifty Mama in the City ‘Stead, and then later we got to know each other outside of blogging. For those  who don’t know how online friendships work, they might be confused when I call Chris my friend. Online friendships are funny things and sometimes it happens that the people you trust online with your experiences  and thoughts are these people you’ve never even had so much as a cup of coffee with.

Chris & I had a lot in common. We were both struggling to feed our families real food on a food stamp budget and defied being stereotyped as “welfare mom living off the system”. We both were striving  to create a sustainable  and secure food sovereignty for ourselves…

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I was going to write about encouragement today, then (ironically) due to current events and by holding my ground on a somewhat unpopular position, I started to feel discouraged. More disheartened, really. Sad for my brothers and sisters. I might say more on this later. Not sure yet. Could be great, could be blog suicide. Hard to say.

Peace.