Saturday, May 27, 2006

I am Retarded

I have some things to say today, and I think, in the end, I'm probably going to just keep posting. Check back often if you are interested.

One of my weaknesses as a child and young adult was that I had a hard time apologizing. I didn't really do it correctly when I had done nothing wrong, yet was obligated to offer condolences (death in the family, mistake by a co-worker, etc), nor did I apologize correctly when I was completely wrong. I was very socially awkward in those situations.

I had a life change when I was about 23 or 24. I won't go into it, but my life completely turned around from being an unhappy codependent, to a peaceful, healthy, adjusted person. I learned to apologize.

When I apologize, I am sincere. Yes, I am one of those people who will apologize to someone if I drew out on him in some kind of miracle hand. And I mean it. If he is a good natured player, I will stand up and shake his hand, murmur some words of comfort, whatever. I like to see the best hand and/or the best play stand up.

Today I want to apologize about some of the words I use. Regardless of what others may say, words can truly harm, and be a weapon if used to hurt others. They can also be a shield, a defense, and a way to diffuse the vehemence of their meaning.

A blogger who works with mentally handicapped adults was, and probably still is, offended and hurt by my use of retarded or retard. I don't blame him. For fifteen years, I was offended by inappropriate use of that word myself! I apologize for my constant non-politically correct use of that word. I am not PC in the slightest, nor will I ever be, but I truly do not want to hurt others with words.

Now I will explain why I use certain words, and why over usage of them diffuses the penetration of the harm they can cause.

When I was in grade school, I volunteered to help and spend time with the mentally and physically handicapped children in our school. Our school was the grade school designated for handicapped children. I spent my free periods and lunches with the kids, and said that I wanted to go into that field when I got older (along with several other career choices I thought I wanted to go into).

Once I got to middle school, we weren't the designated school anymore, but then in high school, I was able to go back to my same grade school and continue volunteering.

When I turned 18, I was able to work for the state, and immediately got a job at the Emmaus Home, due to my past experiences. The Emmaus home is a great place for mentally handicapped adults. It is a full-time home, and is divided along IQ lines up to about a 65 IQ. I loved this line of work, but as many of you know, it paid nothing.

In my early twenties, I worked for a little over a year at Blue Cross. BC offered many continuing education courses, and I jumped at the opportunity to take all of them. My job was a dead end job and very boring. I was eager to move out of my department.

One of the courses offered was Medical Terminology. The words may look long and scary, but taken apart, they are usually pretty easy to figure out. During this two week course, I believe we were taught 300 medical terms.

On the first day of the course, our instructor explained that the government, military and many medical schools had found out that if something is shocking, scary or completely non-PC, it cements itself in the mind more than traditional learning methods. It can be memorized more easily, and for much longer. Some medical schools had found that the way of teaching students most effectively, and in such a short period of time, was to shock them, basically. So BC decided to use this method with us.

For the 300 medical terms we were taught, we were shown slides of each one. They were gory, scary, completely non-PC and sometimes even funny, in a shocking way.

But it worked. Almost everyone got a perfect 300 out of 300 on the final.

This is when I learned that doing something repetitively and shockingly helps diffuse a horrible situation. For instance, when I talked about having cancer in the most blunt, shocking and disgusting manner, it took some of the sting out of the situation. Laughing at myself helped even more. The parodies and pictures posted by other bloggers that were completely over the top proved a great method of coping. Laughter is really great medicine, and it worked for me.

After years of being offended by the misuse of the word "retard" and "retarded" by others, I learned to diffuse the weapon of the word by using it inappropriately myself! Shocking, disgusting, horrible misuse of the word rendered it meaningless and painless. TO ME, that is.

The same can be said about my misuse of other words like God, Christ, Hell, WFT, STFU, Eff and a slew of other politically incorrect and/or abusive words. I used them over and over again, in terrible situations, and they did not offend me anymore.

But, they DO offend others, and for that, I apologize sincerely.

Will I stop using them? No. I have to cope, and that is my way of coping, to laugh at the idiots I run into who are a billion times stupider than the so-called "retarded" adult. Mentally handicapped people are by far superior to these morons. I love the mentally handicapped greatly. They are the most loving, kind human beings I have ever known. The idiots that I call "retards" are NOT.

We all need methods of coping. I cope by ranting, misusing words that are shocking and non-PC and by laughing. Even my most serious posts have tons of hidden humor in them, although my readers don't always see it that way, or laugh along with me. I hide humor inside of the rants, and some either think it is completely unintentional, or don't see it at all. It's because I'm warped, dangit! I'm completely ready for the nuthouse. Oops, another non-PC word there, methinks.

Sounding this mentally unstable (is that a better word for "nuts?" LOL) is not an easy job for me. Okay, I lied, it is. But seriously, with all of my flaws, I have my head screwed on pretty tight. I keep waiting for some professional to say I don't. I keep thinking I'm going to run into a psychologist, psychiatrist or mental health professional who can diagnose that I don't have it together, but I'm always disappointed. It would be easy to rant and rave while claiming I have "mental problems" (another PC term for crazy?). Unfortunately, however, no matter how many docs I talk to, they all seem to think that being so blunt, honest and abrupt might make public life awkward for me, but I have my shite together more than the average bear. They seem to think the venting and releasing of anger is actually very healthy. Go figure!

Now the part about me that shoulda-been-a-guy, that is a whole different matter. The docs can't figure that one out. Is it male or female? It is a shaved down Bigfoot, methinks.

Felicia :)

PS: to be continued...