Thursday, January 22, 2015

On why I stepped away...and why I'm back...

Hi y’all.

It has been forever and a day since I posted anything up on this blog. I took a step back...and it has made all the difference.

See, late last year I found myself in a very negative space. Not my normal everyday, this was more along the lines of the kind of negativity that fuels the wrong kind of people and inspires the wrong kind of action.

I think the best way to explain it is through Father Karras from The Exorcist.

Hold my hand and walk with me on this one.

Father Karras was mourning the loss of his mother and questioning his dedication to the priesthood. I've been mourning the loss of...well, my sense of community. With everything that followed the killing of Michael Brown, the scab was ripped off our regional wound and all the muck expose...people I thought I knew were exposed as strangers and other folk as gleeful bigots. I was reeling not just from the loss of life and unstable nature of all things in St. Louis city...but most profoundly from the lack of humanity far too many people seemed way too comfortable expressing.

And no, I’m not naive. I know that the there are a lot of people in this world who casually dismiss the pain of others. In my decade of blogging I’ve encountered tons of them. But this time it touched off something in me that I really didn’t triggered a reciprocal response that dragged me down emotionally to a level I simply couldn’t tolerate.

Kind of like Father Karras raging at the devil...only to find to his horror that the devil was within him.

Being possessed by a negative frame of mind is NOT a good look for me, so I did what any forward thinking activist would do and took a step away. Oh, I’ve been active as hell offline. But real world interactions, even the rough ones, are often healthier than going toe-to-toe on the internets.

One interesting takeaway from my brief dance with the Dark Side of The Force...once you stop seeing the humanity of others, you can justify almost anything. But that mindset isn’t empowering. It doesn’t fuel anything other than more rage and hate and dismissive blah. 

Twas like walking through knee-high mud, y’all!

Thankfully, after I walked through that sea of blah and came out on the other side, I realized I'd re-learned one precious true thing - even as we fight, we must take care to not become what we’ve been fighting against.

***pause...sip iced green tea...continue***

Anyhoo, that's why I stepped away.

And yes...I'm back.


Jenny (Bring A. Torch) said...

Have missed your voice--very glad you're back!

Anonymous said...

Glad you're back - I was worried about you.

Dianne said...

I am glad you're back, I've missed you!

Heron said...

So so so so glad to have you back. And sending you strong and healthy vibes for your interneting!

Mark said...

So glad to have you back!! I was checking periodically and worrying about you!! BIG GIGANTIC HUGS... it's important to remember that even if the world is a shitty place, we can still make our own world good. Love you.

dinthebeast said...

I am so happy to see you blogging again, I've missed you. I was starting to worry about you until last month when your picture showed up on the Show Me Progress blog with the caption "Our most awesome, excellent, and humorous panel moderator, Pamela Merritt." and I said to myself "I knew that."

-Doug in Oakland

Anonymous said...

"Even as we fight, we must take care to not become what we’ve been fighting against."

This is so true, and similar to what Douglas Scott said:

"The means by which we struggle must remain consistent with the ends we seek"

The B.

Unknown said...

Welcome back. I love you blog.

Anonymous said...

Missed you, missed your voice. I am very happy to hear you are back.

o,x ~ Rachael

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! I've missed you. I've been checking regularly. Yea!!!!!

bgb808 said...

Adding to the chorus of "welcome back!". I spent many years in a damaged, toxic place -- hell, I rolled around in it like a pig in mud -- so I *greatly* admire your wisdom in knowing when to pull back. You are right: they will pull you down with them every time.

With much aloha from Honolulu,

Anonymous said...

good 2 see u blogging again.
u were very brave to watch 'the exorcist.'
i read it, that was bad enough.
won't read it again. :) :)

NancyP said...

Call me slow, I just noticed that you are back. I am not surprised that it has been tough lately. I am glad that you recharged.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Two times in my life I have had such hope for the humanity of our country.
1. In the late 60s when I believed everything would change for the better.
2. When President Obama was elected.

I've was disappointed by my expectations both times.

The Gumdrop Stage of Grief ...

So many of you have shared condolences and support after the death of my beloved brother Bill from COVID-19. I wish I could thank you indiv...