What Are You?

I ran across this article yesterday.  I hadn’t really thought about it before, but I have been asked that question an inordinate amount of times in my life.

Like most people of mixed race and background, that is not a simple question to answer.  I cannot simply say something like German or Mexican or South African.  The answer is far more complex.  Even for people of a pure ethnicity I cannot image this question is simply answered either.  There is much more to what you are than the area of the world that your ancestors came from.  Your identity is made up of a wide variety of experiences, preferences, recognized orientations (gender or lack of a commonly recognized one, sexual preference, religious affiliation or lack thereof, etc.), familial groupings, and so on.  Although when people ask this question, it seems that they are looking for specific answers:  race, gender, and/or nationality.

I could answer this question in so many ways.  Human.  Female.  Bisexual.  Atheist.  American (not a particularly proud one).  American Indian, French, German, and many unknowns (my mother was adopted, we suspect based on our physical traits and other facts that we may be Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and/or African).  But I want to ask in return, why does it matter?  If I answer with anything but human I may be judged.  Apparently I already am anyway, so why would I tell you anything else besides human?

I have no issue discussing “what” I am with people I know.  My story is interesting and varied and has a lot of mystery.  But why does a complete stranger think they have a right to that information?

What do you think of this question?  How do you answer it?

Attempted Long Distance Intervention

I’ve described here in my first, second, and third entires that I have an intense interest in learning about suicide.  Let me be crystal clear; I have no intentions whatsoever of killing myself.  My interest stems from personal tragedy.  If you haven’t read the earlier posts, my grandfather shot and killed himself in October of 2010 and then a neighbor did the same a couple of years later.  Because of these events, and the awful things I saw as a result, I spend a fair amount of time reading about suicides, the psychology of being suicidal, the people that are most likely to harm themselves, etc.  I believe that instead of questioning the whys of my grandfather’s suicide, which I feel I do understand, that I question the whys of suicide in general.

In my reading last night I ran across something that made my heart stop.   Continue reading

Article: The Digital Ties That Bind: Love, Loss and Oversharing in the Internet Age

I was reading The Digital Ties That Bind: Love, Loss and Oversharing in the Internet Age and I found that I don’t see things exactly the same way, especially relating to the changes made online after something happens in or ends a relationship.  Callie Schweitzer says in the article “There’s just no way to completely scrub your digital self from a relationship in 2014, no quick way to sever digital ties once they’ve been formed and no easy way to tell your social media networks that you’re no longer together.” Continue reading

Official Hello to WordPress

The first three entries you see here were taken from opendiary.com and the fourth and fifth from Tumblr, which I’ve decided I do not like and will not continue to use.  I deleted that account two days ago.  As of this entry, it is the present.  Hello WordPressers (or however you, well now we, refer to ourselves).  I’m a bit worn out from trying to find a new place for my journal, which I explain the reasons for and the thinking behind in my first entry.

Continue reading

Article: Deconstructing ‘Myths About Suicide’ And My Thoughts

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126365907

When I read this article yesterday (note: now a week ago) I suddenly understood much more about what happened to my Pop in 2010.  I may not agree with every conclusion this man has come to, but the aspects of fearlessness, isolation, and the belief that your death is worth more than your life rang very true to me.  My Pop was a Navy Seal, Merchant Marine, and triple black belt.  If that doesn’t require some fearlessness I’m not sure what does.  Isolation was his life.  His wife had dementia, they lived in the middle of nowhere, and my dad was the only one around.   Continue reading