Despite the simplicity of this sentence, know how difficult it is for me to admit my identity: I am a mama with a mental illness (OCPD, obsessive compulsive personality disorder). I’m also a mama with a chronic pain condition (IC, interstitial cystitis). I started this blog when my daughter Lily was two months old as a way to explain to her, someday, why her mama acts in the crazy ways that she does. [Hello Lily, if you’re ever one day reading this!] While names have been changed to protect the innocent (i.e. my daughter “Lily”), all scenarios described are true and all opinions are my own.

Picture Credit for Header:

“Pittsburgh dawn city pano” by Mfield, Matthew Field, http://www.photography.mattfield.com – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pittsburgh_dawn_city_pano.jpg#/media/File:Pittsburgh_dawn_city_pano.jpg

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56 thoughts on “Hello Lily

  1. johnclamans says:

    Hello there! Thanks for connecting. I really wish you the best and hope you’ll always have the strength to deal with all problems. I bet you’re a great mom. I also wish “Lily” the best. Take care. Best regards, John.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sarah's Attic of Treasures says:

    Oh wow,
    I understand exactly why you are writing this blog to your daughter.
    I started writing a journal to my son when I found out I was going to be a mom and I wasn’t married. I knew I wasn’t going to marry the father either. That was never an option. Now, I am glad it wasn’t. Back then…..not so glad.
    I wrote to Dear Baby of Mine for the fist few months. Then when I found out I was carrying twins at 4 months I changed it to Dear Babies of Mine. I wrote down all my fears and I had quite a few. I explained why there was never a question of not keeping them….I wrote how excited I was that I was going to be their mom….I wrote about my awesome family that they would be getting as well. Family that was already loving them as I was.
    I wrote about life in college and being single…I wrote that they made everything seem so simple….I was happy about being their mom…When the twin died at 5 months, yet the second survived, I wrote how happy I was the he or she was still there. I wrote that I would never, ever forget their brother or sister. I never knew what it was. I never wanted to know.
    When Bobby was born, I told him how he was my miracle child. How he survived when everyone said he wouldn’t. I wrote about our daily lives….What we did. What we ate. Who we saw. I enclosed a few photos as well in with the writings….
    I talked about his great grandparents who were still alive. (They lived until Bobby was an adult.) I mentioned his great-great grandparents…that I had known.
    I was writing every bit of our history down.
    When he was 4 I found out I had lupus…..
    At the time it was almost a death sentence. I expected to die before Bobby grew up. I almost did, many times….
    I kept writing to him. When he was 8 he asked me what I was always writing about. I told him what they were and why I was writing them.
    He asked me to read some of them to him.
    We often did that.
    Bobby always knew they were his.
    All of the journals were his.
    Bobby was very much my child.
    He was always writing and reading like I did.
    One years for my birthday he gave me a box. He was 12. In that box were letters and notes he’d been writing to me , starting at 8….Right after he saw my journals to him.
    Some were long. Most were fairly short. A few were, Angry. Angry because God wouldn’t make me better.
    Angry because he could make me better.
    My journals to him continued.
    I would give them to him when I finished with the notebook or the journal I’d been writing in.
    He died suddenly, in 2006 . He was 25, almost 26.
    I got my journals back….
    And all of the notes and letters he had written to me since he was 12.
    So keep writing Lily. Write whatever you feel like.
    Someday they will mean the world to her.
    Love from one mom to another.
    Sarah

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Amy says:

      This is an amazing story. Thank you for taking the time to (bravely) share it. Was totally teary by the end and I am so sorry for your losses, but thrilled for how you cherished those lives in your care like you did. How lovely for you to have all those precious words from each other! I thank you too for the reminder to keep on with my own habit of writing a journal to each of my children. Sometimes it’s not easy to keep up with the writing, but your story is timely and well received in reminding me to keep on pouring into these in my care in this way as long as they’re mine to care for. Thanks for this and blessings to you. I hope you are sustained by precious memories and a new season of life where you are finding different joys to nurture along.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Sarah's Attic of Treasures says:

        Amy,
        I am so glad it has helped you in a small way. I consider myself luckier (I hate that word but I can’t think of a better one right now) than most people because I DO have the Amazing memories. Of Bobby. My mom and my family in general. My hubby doesn’t have many good memories. More BAD ones. It makes a huge difference in how we think.
        Hugs my new friend. Sarah

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Eva. says:

    It takes alot to write a letter to express personal sentiments to our loved ones but its takes alot more courage to expose it to the public. Thanks for having a big heart to share the situation you living with others so that they know that they are not alone. I wish you the best “Lily” you have and amazing mother ! – Veuve Noire

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Amy says:

    If you’re really from that beautiful city in the picture, I’m only a couple hours away! I don’t know. Just seemed cool that there’s a teeny bit of physical proximity too maybe.

    I’m sorry for your pain and for your struggle with OCD. And though I’d heal you if I could, your voice resonates with a strength and dignity I can’t help but wonder sources partly and more autentically because of those struggles. In other words, you are showing those challenges who’s boss by drawing such beauty from your person and your experience with your person. Thank you for sharing it with Lilyjune, and thank you for sharing it with us. I, for one, am better for it and for the you in the it. Blessing to you, dear one. (And I’ve been wondering how goes the smoking battle? I don’t mean to bring up a sore subject, if it’s that, but did want you to know that you have been thought of and prayed for in it! Especially the last few days…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. dearlilyjune says:

      Hey Amy: I know I kind of spoke to this comment on your blog (on your post “Wavers”) but I just wanted to say “Thanks” here, too. Having OCPD can make me a difficult person to be around and deal with (just ask my husband!), so the more I can explain to my daughter, hopefully the more she’ll understand that my strange perspectives or behaviors have nothing to do with her! That anyone else reads and finds anything worthy in these letters is overwhelming and incredibly touching to me. So thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Gibber says:

    You liked one of my comments on Victo’s blog so I thought I’d drop by and check out your blog. I noticed you said you live with chronic pain and I.C. I lost my bladder to I.C. when I was 28. I’m now 45. Sorry you battle this too. I now also live with other chronic pain they are just trying to figure out. What I do know is I have some Osteo in my back and hips, I have Raynauds (Just diagnosed) and I think I either have Lupus and RA as well as I’m guess Sjogrens. Lots of pain involved. If you you ever want to chat. My email is gibberjabberin at gmail dot com. I blogged for years but just recently gave it up to pursue other things. As you can see I still follow a couple.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Bradley says:

    I love the concept of writing these for your daughter. What an amazing idea and one I’m sure she’ll appreciate one day. I found your blog through bipolarunspecified and I’m glad I did. Look forward to reading more

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Patricia says:

    How is your hand? Better I hope. Please tell me I didn’t offend you with my little “Luck of the Irish” joke. I got carried away. I have been wondering too, when we have conversations that bring something up for me and I write about it, does that bother you? I know that I have lectured you about being free to write whatever your heart desires but not everyone feels the same way. I understand that there is a competitive nature about bloggers that I do not have.🌷

    Liked by 1 person

    1. dearlilyjune says:

      Patricia, the wrist is healing. Thanks for asking!

      In the meantime, my sense of humor is heartier than my ligaments because you have NEVER offended me with any of your jokes or stories. 🙂 I LOVE hearing from you.

      I have been completely overwhelmed lately (stress, health, house hunting, etc.) and not answering as many comments, but I am not in blogging to “compete” or anything.

      I’m here to interact with and learn from others, as well as to share some of myself with my daughter. So I feel *honored* every time you comment on my blog. Truly!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Patricia says:

        We have found a couple of houses to rent. The rent is less than what we are paying and have streams running behind them. One has a mountain behind it. Internet access is really good. One is being reno’d and the other has a tenant but the tenant has notified the owner that they may be transferred. The owner is considering renting us his house. So, whatever happens, we will be getting access to the Internet from home. I’m not bothered by your sparse comments. When you comment, we usually have an entire conversation. I just have a quirky sense of humor.😍

        Liked by 1 person

      2. dearlilyjune says:

        The new places to rent sound lovely! I’m so jealous of you right now for being so close to finding the right one. I feel like we’ll never get there, and I don’t feel intelligent or saavy enough to get better at the process.

        I’m overwhelmed with anxiety over everything I don’t know about home purchases and ownership from inspections to closing costs to property taxes. I guess it’s just one of those things you can only learn by doing it (and if we do it right, we’ll only have to do it once)!

        Still, though, I feel like I’m losing my own quirky sense of humor with all this worry. I need a home away from finding a home! 🙂

        Like

      3. Patricia says:

        Nope, its not lost! That last comment was quirky. One of the mistakes we made when we bought our last home was not escrowing our taxes and insurance. We thought we could make the payments less expensively direct. Wrong! We found that the more bills we got the more money ran out so we had to escrow which means that the mortgage company pays the bills and they get distributed into the payment. If you do it when you get the mortgage, you will not miss the money but we didn’t so we had to make up the shortage making our payments much higher because we were paying the estimate for the current bills as well as the ones they paid. When you escrow, you don’t have to worry about any of that because they get the bills and make the payments and while you may get a copy of the bill from the authority (tax etc.), you don’t have to worry with it. The mortgage company will send you escrow statements periodically letting you know what the amounts were and what part of your payment is going to them. Also, periodically they will reassess and in the past we would receive checks for overage because apparently they estimate to make sure the money is there. Closing costs are a mystery to me. I just know that if you can get the other party to pay them, that is a good thing. Inspections are done to determine how much the lender will pay. If the lender doesn’t think the house is worth what is asked based on their inspection, then the buyer has to pay the difference if they want the house. I just learned all of this when we sold the last house and I am glad to pass it on. I have been concerned about sharing my good news with you because I think of a lesson you offered to LJ. You said that she should not talk about money to someone who has little or none or something like that but you get my point but then, I have none. lol Danny is good at getting what he wants because he won’t admit defeat. He will keep trying until he finds a way. So keep on keeping on. It should be fun but I am thinking that the fun is taken out of it by your lease end date. You do know that you can go on month to month right? Then you just have to give 30 days notice and it will take that long to close probably. Yes, you will probably have to pay a rent increase but at least you won’t be bound by a lease. Don’t be impressed, I know all of this because not only have I lived in many apartments but I worked in the property management industry both residential and commercial. Don’t lose the magic! Keep it fun. Imagine how you will decorate and don’t tell yourself that decorating is expensive. Hobby Lobby is wonderful! They have half-price sales every day. What I have done is find something I like/fits and wait until it is on sale. There are so many cool things that even if its not there the next time which seldom happens, there will be something else you will love. Take your time decorating, looking for that one perfect thing that will fill that spot, that’s half the fun and such a great feeling when you find it and you will find a sale, I promise you. We didn’t decorate for 3 years because we thought we had this great house, we will have to spend a fortune to decorate it. I didn’t know about Hobby Lobby or Garden Ridge or numerous other stores. Our daughters kept asking when we were going to decorate even asking why we didn’t let Danny’s sister do it. I was totally insulted but it got me off dead center. I have spent days searching for a $10 item and loved every minute. So now I have so much stuff that we didn’t have to buy anything except sheers and we bought those because we had blinds in the other house. We just picked and chose from our cache and everything went perfect. None of it was expensive, even large wall hangings. Danny and I did some shopping together and because he was working, I would often text him pictures and he would say yes or no. Sometimes, when I knew he wouldn’t be able to see in his mind what I saw, I would buy and bring home to show him how it fit and he would most often say “Yay” rather than “Nay”. But then, I buy my tops at Wal-Mart for $5 to $6 and I love them. Don’t you just love unasked for advice? I can be a real pain.😍

        Liked by 1 person

      4. dearlilyjune says:

        You are not a pain! It’s a pleasure to get all of your advice. I’m overwhelmed with so much of what I don’t know that it’s always helpful to get some guidance along the way. I know there are inspections we can get done before the final one with our house (mold, pest, etc.) to determine whether there’s anything the seller should fix before the final appraisal (so the lender can see what the house is worth). But I also know that our state requires the seller disclose issues, and it can be fairly easy for them to misrepresent the truth, and fairly hard for the buyer to prove otherwise once the sale has gone through.

        We’re poor enough to know this will likely be the only home we ever buy, but that means we have to be VERY CAREFUL not to get a money pit, and we are just terrified we’re going to be taken advantage of.

        But you’re right: There’s a lot to look forward to, too, not the least of which will be providing Lily with her own room! Right now, she “sleeps” in our own bedroom next to our bed but only until around 3:00am every morning… 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Patricia says:

        Look into lease purchase options. That way you will know what you are getting and if you don’t like it, you can move on. I know I make it sound simple but just keep your eye open for opportunities. There was a house we wanted to buy that was in foreclosure and when we called, it had sold for $200,000. Because Danny asks so many questions and does so much research, it is one of the houses on our list of rental considerations. The Realtor who bought it is renting it out for less than we are paying now.

        I hear you about that 3 am wake up call. Our cat has that same habit. He meows in every way he can come up with and when that doesn’t work, he tickles my nose with his whiskers or pats my face with his paw.😼

        Liked by 1 person

      6. dearlilyjune says:

        Again, I owe you a small consultation fee for all the free advice you’re dispensing. I hope you accept payment in the form of gratitude and good vibes sent your way, because that’s about all the extra our finances can stand. (I wish we could pay for a house that way!)

        And I hear you on the cat. Ours has taken to running like crazy after imaginary mice in the middle of the night. No clue why.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Patricia says:

    Help! Can you find time to read my last post and tell me if its offensive? Please? I usually have readers even if they don’t comment but this one is silent except for a “like” from “Bits”. I trust your honesty and constructive criticism.

    Like

    1. dearlilyjune says:

      Hey Patricia! I don’t think it’s offensive. I don’t necessarily agree with all the dividing lines you’ve drawn between men and women, but I think you’ve clearly indicated the times and places that served as the backdrop for your understanding of gender roles. I know my daughter, for instance, will be raised in a time where there’s considered to be more gender fluidity, and more choice to the role she wishes to enact regardless of her biological sex. The “gender binary” (i.e. the idea that women are or do this while men are or do that) is breaking down in some areas of society, or at least on the progressive college campuses where I’ve been working lately (even in the South).

      But again, I think adding your voice and understanding to the mix is ALWAYS important. When I have a little more time, I’d like to write a more extensive and specific response to your actual post. I don’t think, in your post, that you’re claiming to be The Authority on Women/Gender so if some folks take offense, that might be a *good* thing. It could get a productive conversation going!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. dearlilyjune says:

      I think we’re all guilty of having inappropriate thoughts and feelings at a time so rife with turmoil. I’m still navigating these new waters myself, but because, in the past, I’ve held my tongue when I was unsure of what might offend, I’m trying now to be more vocal when I see something that might–even when it’s COMPLETELY WELL-INTENTIONED–possibly hurt someone else. I could have been completely wrong, though. I’m no authority, seriously.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Patricia says:

        I have always seen things with perhaps too realistic an eye. I don’t rush to judgment until all facts are presented. I am not judging either party. I stated my feelings about those who are using the situation on both sides and the media for inflaming the situation so that innocent parties are getting hurt. Do you really think that all this anger is helping to bring a resolution to the issue? I do stand by my statement that we all just need to “stop”. Your child is still a baby so you haven’t seen the value of her being grounded. Often being grounded is used to get the child “grounded” or centered. As I explained it to our youngest daughter, being grounded was not a punishment, it was an opportunity for her to get re-centered. She wasn’t kept from televsion or family recreation, she was separated from her friends because she was in a spiral either fighting with her friends or doing things that would get them into trouble. I told her it was not about the friends, it was about how she was conducting herself with her friends.

        I do feel sorrow for anyone who loses a loved one regardless of the circumstances. I am not judging anyone, I just think everything is turned into a race issue these days including all races, not just African Americans. People don’t seem to look at the facts, they just see color. Every issue is inflamed by spin one way or another. I do not find this easy to say because I am white, I just see the forest for the trees.

        Having worked for a police department, I cannot see things the way others want to see it. The man was told not to move, not to reach into his pocket. He disobeyed the officer whether it was intentional or not. Was the officer to take the chance that he would be shot? People don’t want to see that police officers take a chance every time they even make a traffic stop. There is a set procedure for officers regarding traffic stops and that is to give direction to the driver. The law is that a driver strictly adheres to the direction of the officer. If I were the officer, whether you like to hear this or not, I would have taken action. It is not like a gun was not present even if the driver notified the officer. I can’t say what action I would have taken because I am not a trained police officer. If the gun was what is called a “throw down” that would be different but there was a witness in the car who acknowledges that a gun was present.

        When you get your CPL, you are instructed to notify an officer of the presence of a gun which the driver did but you are also told not to make any unnecessary moves. In addition, you are told to wait for direction from the officer. I had a friend who was doing me a favor by picking up my daughter at work because I had car trouble. He was stopped for a tail light and he immediately told the officer that there was a gun present in his vehicle and that he did not know my daughter as he was only giving her a ride home at my request. He sat still and waited for the officer’s response. As a result, the stop was completed without incident.

        I reserved judgement on the Dallas shooter until I heard more details. Until then, I told Danny that I did not “hate” the shooter . Not only because I don’t “hate” but because there was surely mental illness involved. Mentally ill people commit intolerable acts.

        When you have had an officer friend shot accidentally by another officer while both were on a drug raid, you learn that accidents happen in police work.

        I will not go into the race issue regarding policemen because I don’t think many people I know could see my reasoning on the subject. I sense that you think all my opinions on the race issue are due to prejudice but it is not the case. I base my judgments on what I see as realistic facts. That doesn’t mean I am right. Perhaps sometimes I pick and choose, like wanting to believe in Hilary Clinton.

        If Danny had been the one in that car, I would understand that he made a mistake that cost him his life. But he is not that guy, because he is a minority and because he is very big on following all safety precautions to the point where sometimes he drives me crazy. Do you know what you would have done when called to make a split second decision like the officer was called to do? It is most likely the case that the driver was already in motion to retrieve his driver’s license and didn’t think about how what he was doing would be conceived. An accident can be an accident on both sides.

        I removed the post because I could see that readers aren’t going to understand my opinion. I wrote and rewrote it and was not going to publish it but thought I had softened it enough. So when I got your response, I know you well enough to know that you try to be careful of others feelings so I took your lead.

        I love you my friend and admire your passion. I may not have been able to voice these thoughts to anyone else.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. dearlilyjune says:

        There is more to say now than I have time for, and my weekends belong wholeheartedly to my daughter. Let me say this in the meantime: Thank you for continuing the conversation. I DO think these conversations are VERY important to make real change. I WILL craft the careful, thought out response you deserve once my daughter goes to bed tonight. Thank you, Patricia, for providing your perspective.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. dearlilyjune says:

        Okay, Patricia. Let me say first and foremost that I’m glad we’re continuing the discussion. While I don’t agree with much of what you’ve said, I do honor the fact that your experiences have granted you unique perspective, especially into officer training that I might not otherwise have known about. You have enlightened me on that portion of what’s been going on lately, and for that, I’m grateful. You have to understand that my background–through my education–is in language use, argumentation, and psychology. So I’m coming from that perspective. I hope, between the two of us, we can find a middle ground, and learn from each other. (That, after all, is what these conversations are about.) I’m going to take your points one by one, and please know that I do so because I respect you enough to engage with exactly what you’ve said.

        1. You said, “I have always seen things with perhaps too realistic an eye.” The danger with beginning a debate in this way is that you imply your fellow conversationsalist doesn’t do so. I, too, like to think I’m realistic as well. Is there anyone who doesn’t? I would be careful of the implications there. After all, after much study and a lot of research, I, too, like to think my arguments are based in fact and reason, not solely emotion and/or speculation.

        2. You’re right that parties on both sides are being hurt. The trouble is, African Americans are being harmed in disproportionate numbers. While African Americans only make up 6% of the total American population, they account for 40% of the police shootings in the past year. To try to “represent both sides,” then, ignores that the situation is in no way equal already. While you’re absolutely right that mistakes can–and do, unfortunately–happen, when one group seems to be the target or victim of these accidents more frequently than another, doesn’t that raise additional questions as to why and how?

        3. Yes, I really do think that anger is an important, valid stance to have given that discrepancy. I believe the members of a harmed group have the right to be angry. If someone harmed my family, I would be angry, too, and to be told that my anger wasn’t productive to healing would make me feel it all the more. In addition to feeling harmed, I would feel targeted and silenced. Growth occurs after anger is processed, and conversations lead one to the ability to process.

        4. You’re entitled to believe that discussions should cease, and I can’t tell you otherwise if that’s what you believe. But from my understanding of human psychology, I know that repression does little to heal the heart or the mind. I think, because you are a member of a privileged race, it’s easier for you to call for a ceasing of discussion. But for years, racial tension boiled under the surface of this country, and I don’t believe the silence did anything to make the world a fairer place. I think the social media movements allow people to seek justice in a more efficient and egalitarian ways than ever before.

        5. And I think it’s problematic to equate the silencing of a rightfully angry group of adults who are processing national tragedies to children being punished by grounding for a tantrum or childish behavior. The violence needs to stop, without a doubt. But the emotions and discussions as a result of the violence? That, I thoroughly disagree needs to stop.

        6. Like you, I, too, “feel sorrow for anyone who loses a loved one regardless of the circumstances.” But to have lost someone in a way that could have easily been prevented? To lose someone even under the suspicion of prejudice? I cannot fathom the depths of grief one must go through in those scenarios. Unless you have lost someone in the same way, I don’t think either of us are the right candidates to comment on how we might react.

        7. I don’t think “everything,” as you say, is turned into a race issue. But I do think the disproportionate deaths of African Americans over whites at the hands of the police is. I think you have to look at the patterns here, not just the individual circumstances, lest you make hasty generalizations about the entire forest from a single tree.

        8. You bring up very valid points about police protocol that I cannot argue. I will say this, though: While police are trained on how to be police, civilians aren’t trained on how to be civilians. When a civilian makes a mistake, that doesn’t entitle the police to grant a death sentence. And if you think the officer would have been as likely to shoot YOU, Patricia, for reaching for the glove box as any younger, black male, then you may have a point. Otherwise, you’ve used one particular killing to comment on all of them. Hell, in 1995, a man named Jonny Gammage was suffocated by Pittsburgh police for “swerving over the yellow line.” Too many of the same kind of scenarios have been happening for all of these to just be tragic coincidences. And even, giving the benefit of the doubt to the officers involved, if they were, police protocol then has to be significantly changed to prevent these kinds of accidents from happening at this catastrophic rate.

        9. Police officers assume the risk of their positions; no one gets into that field without knowing it’s dangerous. But civilians don’t assume this risk whenever they get into cars to drive down the road. And just because police have incredibly important and risky jobs doesn’t mean they are infallible, and doesn’t mean they are immune to racism, just like the rest of the population. Sociological studies, in fact, show that those prone to aggression tend to gravitate towards positions in law enforcement. That’s problematic for all of us.

        10. I think the Dallas shooter was an outlier, not part of the established pattern. But you can bet that if incidents like that occur more often, to the point where the police are being terrorized by the general population, I will stand by police officers. I am opposed to oppression and discrimination of any kind. It’s just that right now, the clear and demonstrable facts show that African Americans are being disproportionately persecuted and killed by the criminal justice system. If it were women, I’d be standing by you. If it were Mexicans, I’d be standing by Danny. You have my solemn oath on that, until everyone is treated equally under the law.

        11. Mentally ill people, without access to the proper treatment, can be dangerous. I have a mental illness. I would never harm another human life. I just want to make sure that those with mental illnesses aren’t stigmatized here, either.

        12. I don’t think you are arguing merely from a place of prejudice. But we are all a product of our times, our societies, etc., and I think all of us should be willing to examine the ways that prejudice has infected our thinking (myself included). I have my limitations; I do not understand the inner workings of police culture like you do. I admit that, Patricia. I hope you are willing to admit that there might be places where I have some insight, too. But we are both, sometimes, very humanly, blinded by our positions. You and I will never know what it’s like to be black in America. Period. It is not fair of us, then, to judge a community based on experiences we’ve never had to live first hand.

        13. If Ryan were killed for a mistake? I can’t imagine being as calm as you about that. Nor can I imagine what it must be like to be an officer in this climate, with all the additional pressure. I can imagine that, on a routine traffic stop, I might be overly cautious, resorting to violence only as a last resort. But then, this is why I’m not on the police force; I could not, routinely, have to make those kinds of tough calls, and I know it. The majority of officers keep the peace, keep people safe, and rarely have to discharge their weapons. I don’t see rejecting racism as an affront to their service; I see it bolstering what they stand for: the protection of ALL Americans.

        I love you, too, my friend and admire your being vocal about what you care about. And I truly believe we learn from one another not just when we say things that will be well-received. If you truly believe in what you wrote, I don’t think you should take it down on my account. I just think you have to be aware that, through this very public medium we’ve chosen, people who care about you deeply, and your words, will engage you for further discussion. It’s how we all learn from one another and broaden our viewpoints. Don’t be afraid to say things that might ruffle a few feathers; just be afraid not to listen when those who might be offended have a response.

        Thank you, my friend, for trusting me enough to keep the discussion going!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Patricia says:

        First and foremost thank you for taking time to respond.

        I should let you know that I am not only opinionated but I am also bossy, a know it all and I don’t always think before I speak.

        I have written paragraph after paragraph in response to your last response and have deleted it over and over. Each time I write something, I have a realization of my truth.

        I was not or am not talking down to you especially since that would be ridiculous. You have college degrees out the wazoo and I have a lowly Associates degree.

        You remind me so much of one of our daughters. She was going to and should have been an attorney. I am serious when I say that you would have made a terrific Civil Rights Attorney.

        I need to clarify some things. When I said I am a realist, I was only talking about myself not anyone else. What I should have said is that, as my therapists have said, I am intuitive and analytical. My therapists have pointed this out to me and to Danny. Because I am also a deep thinker, I often say things no one else would dare say. I can detach from the emotion of the situation as a result of working at the police department. I couldn’t sleep the first couple of murders and rapes but I learned to let it go when I left work. I could feel sympathy while there but remain emotionally detached. That is why I call myself a realist but I think that is not a good term. I have a tendency to look past emotion. It is also a result of having been through some things. I have had a therapist comment, “Do you realize that you just told me that story without a tear, a change in your tone of voice and absolutely devoid of any emotion.” Other therapists would say it in different ways.

        So having said that, do I cry or get my feelings hurt? Yes, I do. I cry at commercials but sometimes not when someone I love dies. I make myself vulnerable by revealing everything. I reveal my feelings, opinions, thoughts and I hate secrets. When there is a lapse in my writing, it is usually because I think that I have made myself vulnerable or embarrassed myself by revealing too much or embarrassing others with inappropriateness. I can feel myself doing that now. I am telling you all this with a hope that you will see me more clearly. I am making myself extremely vulnerable and it sounds like making excuses. No excuses, this is who I am like it or not and I most often don’t. Yet, if I use that part of me to the good by helping others see that they are not alone, then it can be put to good use.

        I am getting way off topic, sorry.

        You write based on fact, statistics and research and I write from my gut. That means that I may not always see things the same way you do. I have lived in the south all my life and am an old lady so I have seen, heard and experienced things that may have made me a slight bit biased or you can call it racist. If you have lived in the south and don’t know what I am talking about, lucky you. People in the south are different from the rest of the U.S. I have heard it over and over from people who have moved there from another part of the country. I won’t go into detail because I have already exposed too much.There is right and wrong on both sides. Sometimes I feel that the civil war is still happening between the north and the south and the African Americans and the whites.

        I will admit to you that the officers I worked with made a lot of racist jokes as did so many at that time. It was like a tension reliever because they were frustrated by the same crimes committed by the same people or same race over and over. Honestly, I never saw abuse against African Americans. Most often I saw joking and patronizing.

        My neighbor in Texas was a Law Enforcement Evidence Expert. He told us that the reason there are more African Americans arrested is because they commit more crimes. Bear in mind that this was in a smallish town where jobs were not abundant and there was a lot of poverty, crimes, drug dealing, murders and rapes. I am sure there were civil rights violations because the FBI was constantly investigating one officer yet he never got fired or charges filed. I cannot say that there are not “bad cops”. There are people who are police officers because they are on an ego trip, some are angry, some are crooked. In every walk of life there are that caliber of people. What I can say is that I try to understand why people do what they do. That is not obvious in our conversations regarding this subject and I can see that. I let my anger and defensiveness override my judgment. I am just coming from a different place.

        I have to say that I have never seen the value of boycotting or protests. I realize that is surely not the case. I am saying that “I” have never seen the value. Why? Because seeing arguments or violence or hurt feelings makes me uncomfortable. I get very anxious and start telling people on TV to shut up. I close my ears and my mind. There again I go with my gut. I am not saying that it is right, it is a flaw in my personality.

        You are incorrect when you say that I would feel anger if an accident happened when I or someone I loved reached for the glove compartment. Possibly if I or they were doing so without clarification from and to the officer, yes. That is what I mean when I say I am a realist. I can leave emotion out of a judgment. I do look at both sides even when it hurts. Would I be angry that a loved one died, sure ,but not at the officer, at the situation. Also, I don’t typically hold on to anger. I try but I can’t because to me it is not worth it. I am a chameleon and as such I have a tendency to emulate what I see or hear. For example: If someone that I am angry with is over it, I am over it. If I am around someone that talks a certain way, I talk that way. So is it any wonder that I cannot understand holding on to anger for hundreds of years? My demeanor can change in a split second. I have been witness to and experienced injustices. I reason through or understand as best I can.

        I never meant that the conversations regarding racism should stop altogether. I just thought if the chaos was given time to die down, there would be an ability to have calm thought provoking conversations. I am not the only one to say this by the way, I have heard it over and over on television as I have heard over and over that people have a right to retaliate. I’m sad that you took my analogy of grounding a child so literally. I was trying to explain that I didn’t mean to squelch anyone, I just thought that we all need time to get grounded so that the violence doesn’t continue. So I am naive, at least I am looking for a peaceful solution. The media is putting on the same stories over and over and putting people on air that they know are going to get into an all out screaming match. The news channels will ignore all other news in order to show Trump making an ass out of himself. What may not be obvious to some people is that it is all about ratings which are all about money. I do see the value of the news and have to admit that I have been a bit of a news junkie. That being said, I also see a lot of negative results.

        I will give you that I overlooked what it is like to be African American. I did stop to think about that after reading your response and I can recall thanking God that I was white. Don’t jump on that please. That was an honest admission but doesn’t mean that I looked down on African Americans only that I recognized their plight.

        My brain is mush and my body is tense right now so I have stop, at least for now. I hope you will try to make sense of all this because I am sure that it sounds like a load of crap.

        I hope you have a beautiful weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Patricia says:

        I did forget to address on of your comments where you agree with Donald Trump. How anyone can say that a police officer “knew what he was getting into” implying that he should not protect himself. I do not get that at all. Did I misread that?

        Like

      6. dearlilyjune says:

        I just meant to say, Patricia, that police officers should have an expectation of, and training to handle, violence. Because the average citizen does not have this, their mistakes, to me, are more understandable.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Patricia says:

        How would the officer know. I can’t expect him to know when his instructions are repeatedly ignored. I will never agree that a police officer has to give his life because he is more expendable or because the citizen doesn’t know any better. The officer is at more risk than the citizen. I’m beating a dead horse here and in light of the shooting of 7 more officers, I shouldn’t have to defend them. Let’s agree to disagree.💜

        Liked by 1 person

      8. dearlilyjune says:

        For what it’s worth, I think we’re on the same side here. You said most people don’t know that an officer takes a risk with every stop; all I said was that the officer him/herself knows the risk. I agree that officers aren’t more expendable, and their lives shouldn’t be endangered any more than any citizen! I just think the officer bears the burden of having to be more careful, less quick to violence, than the average citizen because of his/her training. But if, by all means, an officer’s life is truly threatened, I believe he or she has as much right to defend him/herself as anyone else! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Patricia says:

        Sorry, I just cannot address any more. You have some valid points. I just can’t do this any more. I know I started this conversation but I am feeling overwhelmed. I should have thought the post through and that is why I removed it. You did me a great service by pointing out that it was hurtful and have brought a lot to my attention. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. dearlilyjune says:

        For what it’s worth, we have both reexamined our own positions as a result of this discussion, and have thought more about why we believed/said what we did. That is, to me, the value of these conversations in the first place. Thank you so much, Patricia, for being willing to investigate both my words and your own thinking. Thank you for giving me more insight into police officers. You’ve taught me much, friend. Don’t quit thinking about not just what you think, but why you think it. I promise you to do the same.

        Liked by 1 person

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