All posts by Rook Riley

Combat vet, writer, game enthusiast, and linguistic badass. Stateside for 15 years, but have the occasional struggle with civilian, parent, and/or sig life. Rookie mistakes? I still make them.

The One About Finding a Therapist

I have a psychiatrist who recommended I see a therapist. She even gave me some people to call. This means I’ve been making it on meds and the home-spun wisdom I created. Today I went to a therapist.

It took about 45 minutes for a 15 minute consultation to see if she was a good fit. I should have saved myself the time when I saw the rah-rah feel good decor in the lobby. Yeah, I know positive in creates positive output for lots of people. However, when it looks like someone’s grandma got a free shopping spree at Mardel’s – I’m out.

Let me saw that I am not opposed to God or church, but I’d like for that to stay in a religious environment. I am not looking to God to fix my anxiety. I don’t want to kumbaya the pain away. I’m looking for therapy and a therapist that doesn’t ask me to pray with her.

TLDR: Check out the therapist before you go. Anything less is a Rook mistake.

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The One About home defense

Fuck all if it isn’t just the most complicated concept. Are you protecting yourself from armed robbers intent on stealing everything you have and murdering you in your sleep? Or are you playing Jigsaw with cameras and multi-phased detainment and elimination setups?

Or are you just afraid of the other. The other that doesn’t look like you – that doesn’t speak your language – that doesn’t worship as you do.

People will tell you to stop being a racist piece of shit, right? Does that suggestion ever work? Does it actually make a person rethink their ideas and do the work to see why what they’ve said/think is racist?

I don’t know.

What I do know is that if you speak to people, they become human to you and not an object to navigate around. Maybe you work with someone who isn’t like you and you’ve never really given them a thought. Try it. Talk. But think about what you say before it comes out of your mouth. Let’s not focus on color or race or religion in that conversation. Let’s just say hello and move on from there.

Try it. And maybe you’ll feel as though you have one less person to defend against. Maybe you’ll realize that no one is trying to steal your way of life.

TLDR: Know what you’re up against in yourself and find the solutions. Anything less would be a rook mistake.

The One About Yesterday

Yeah, it’s been awhile. Again, pretend I’m wearing a hairshirt and have mea culpa tattooed across my forehead. You know, like every other time I religiously skip blogging for long periods of time.

It’s who I am.

So, yesterday.

I missed the Leadership in Teaching meeting because I didn’t know they rescheduled. That meant I didn’t get my hour and a half of prep time before classes and I had a huge embarrassment issue with missing a LEADERSHIP meeting.

I drove home.

I didn’t go to work after staying home all weekend. I am now super attached to HOME.

Had a full on panic attack on my way HOME from the writing class last night. It was brought on by the anxiety of leaving HOME for work.

HOME is good. HOME is safe.

So here I am today.

Home. And I do not want to leave it.

The aftermath is that I know how ridiculous it sounds. That my body aches from being clenched up into a tight ball. That my throat is raw from crying.

Yes, I’m on medication.

Yes, I have support.

Yes, I have a weighted blanket.

Yes, it’s been months and months since this happened.

But it still happened.

And I’m still here.

 

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TL;DR: You can be prepared for a panic attack, but they will still happen. To expect anything else is a Rook Mistake

 

The First One About SoonerCon

I am currently at the most amazingly inclusive and safe space con I’ve ever attended. (please note that this was my experience ymmv) Trans and fluid kids were SAFE to be themselves. Not everyone was a straight white dude over the age of 50. There were more people of color than I’ve ever seen at a con and they brought their KIDS! There was a great fresh vibe.

The hotel staff were friendly and got in on it. They all wore fan t-shirts instead of their normal button down uniforms and were fantastic. If you know me, I spent a lot of time in the bar and was fucking thrilled they had STRANAHANS!!!

The ConCom are ON IT. If there’s a problem, they’re solving almost before you can finish your sentence. Seriously, you must come to SoonerCon next year. It is fantastic.

SO – why the fuck did I have a panic attack during a panel I should have been moderating on overcoming false equivalency in the #metoo movement?

OH PTSD, let me count the ways:

  1. It’s doesn’t have to be any one thing, This shit accumulates.
  2. I’d been nervous about leading this particular topic because it is so important. I was worried I wouldn’t do it justice.
  3. A dude stated his opinion that he didn’t believe the women who came forward because there was no police report or evidence. (There was an educational process handled by Katie in the audience.)
  4. A gully-washer started. Thunder, lightning, and the future threat of navigating 35 in a tornado (no there wasn’t one in the forecast, but this is Oklahoma)
  5. Going to work tomorrow to finish up summer school.
  6. Because… #metoo

No worries, I’m fine.

I cannot thank David “Oak” Rice enough for keeping it going and doing my job while I was trying to keep myself together.

But let me tell you what the staff did for me.

As I was on the verge of a full on meltdown, my friend and I decided that we’d just stay another night which made it better. Aislinn, the Con Chair, wanted to make sure I was OK and somehow telepathically contacted Shai, president of Future Society of Central Oklahoma. By the time we’d walked from the connected convention space to the hotel, Shai had a room key for me. Seriously – less than 5 minutes.

Believe me that these folks take care of their guests and attendees.

So tonight, I’ll stay here in OKC with good friends and good people.

 

 

 

The Other, Other… Ad Nauseam About PTSD Depression

I’ve considered killing myself an uncountable number of times, but I remember the first and the last very well.

1st – I was sitting in the dirt, a rock cutting into my ass cheek, but I didn’t want to move. Feeling that bit of pain was somehow soothing. I was leaning on my ruck waiting to go home when new orders came through and we were diverted. And it came upon me quick that I could leave this shit one way or another.

 

Last – I’d moved back to my hometown after a business venture in Vancouver flopped. I was self-destructive, full of pity and self-hate. I felt like everything I’d done didn’t matter because I’d come back to the place I’d left to the same job. And I don’t know how my friend knew, but he did. Internally, I raged at myself for every moment I was awake. I hated everything and myself the most.  And my friend made an appointment for me with the VA in Dallas. I don’t know if he knows it or not, but he saved my life.

It’s a struggle, people. Some days are good and some aren’t. But it’s worth it because things change. Circumstances change. Improvise, adapt, overcome. Tomorrow will be different.

 

Depression
TL;DR: Depression is something you live with, that’s always there. Take your meds and live to piss someone off another day.

The One About Sarcasm

Y’all June is almost here and you know what that means, right? An end to another School Shooter Season! Watch as the number of school shootings decline rapidly, tapering off to zero. Watch as those months become part of the statistical formula. Watch as SOMEONE tweets about how his administration has all but STOPPED that problem. Just wait for it. You know it’s coming.

BN-XN795_FLSTUD_GR_20180219181504
How can we protest any louder? How long before they shoot someone you know, love, or care about? And I did notice that everyone in this pic is white. What does that say about our country and who’s “acceptable” to protest anything?

 

TL;DR: Sorry shooters, school’s out!