It must be a certain kind of perversity in my soul. I started the day with a title in mind, “Disenfranchised,” but I wasn’t inspired to write anything on that.
Vocabulary.Com says Disenfranchised means “stripped of power.” It goes on to say, ” The rules work against you, your rights are constantly violated, and you have little power to change your life for the better. The Old French word enfranchir means “to make free,” and when you add the negative prefix dis-, disenfranchised means “made unfree.””
I read friends’ blogs in between fits of being forced to work today, and tried to listen to some music but every time I started the music up, the phone rang. Which is why I need a job that doesn’t say “able to handle constant interruptions.” Interruptions suck bad enough, but imagine you’re a person who likes to focus on and complete one task before moving on to another, who gets upset when interrupted. It’s on the autism spectrum, and you may not believe it, but autism runs in my family. The first to be diagnosed were my nephews. My sister had dyslexia before there was anything called dyslexia. I have a little bit of attention deficit disorder. I got it from dad. Surprised you, didn’t I? Add cyclothymia in all its’ glory. Add anger issues, difficulty interfacing with society, blah, blah, those diagnostics all seem to describe me to some degree, but there are other factors that keep me from feeling like I ought to go get all my issues diagnosed. Like for instance, being labelled. Like being stigmatized. Like being medicated beyond the symptoms and into the side effects. Like, incurring additional medical cost when I’m already over budget, and becoming mired in a financial system designed to continually keep me powerless to escape.
There might be good side-effects. Like being able to actually take time off for mental health reasons when I need a day off. Like my wife not being able to be in denial, and understanding and helping me handle some of the emotional and other, um, er, ah… effects of the diagnosis. Like my needing a little bit more attention in certain… areas, iykwim. If you don’t know what I mean, ask your doctor about bipolar symptoms and marriage. They know.
This list was amusing because when I blog and when I write it has to flow unless I’m in a poetry thing where I’m going with an idea and filling a frame. Frames are either helpful constructs that guide you, or they trap you inside them. Helpful constructs, that’s what poetry forms are, to me. I can force that sometimes if I have an idea and a frame, or a frame comes out in the first few lines. Traps are things like that 30 day goal sheet. I don’t have the discipline to use a frame like the above to write. Or maybe I do but I get depressed when I fail. I used to set New Year’s Resolutions, like almost everyone else I know, but I gave up.
For Lent this year, and every year, I gave up giving up things for Lent. I lose focus. I tried to read the Bible, a book I know pretty well, through in a few months, and got discouraged because I couldn’t do it. Mrs M wanted to give up sweets and chocolate, but that wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted some fucking chocolate, for fucks’ sake! I lost focus on the goal because of the tasks, skipped a day here and there, couldn’t catch up, didn’t make the goal. Depressing. I’ve read it, just not that quickly or daily.
If I have to write something to fit a frame, if it’s something long term, I am just going to be depressed because I have to write something, it has to be on topic, it becomes a burden instead of something I’m just inspired to create. And this is why, I suppose, I can’t find a job, and get paid, as a writer. How depressing. For someone who can deal with high structure and discipline, this list might be pure gold. For me, this list represents iron shackles and an orange jumpsuit. The only thing I want that’s orange and high in iron is a screwdriver made with iron-fortified juice, and please, tip that vodka bottle a second or two extra, thank you.
That, what I’ve just written, explains why I feel disenfranchised as a writer. And disenfranchised in life. And just like that, voilà! An entry is made into my blog, a natural process, nothing forced. But I had to wait until after “work” was over, so I could do it without being interrupted. And I had to really want to finish it. Sometimes I can do that for a topic, and other times I get distracted and go off.
I think if we were all a bit more free, instead of life making us always feel “made unfree,” things might flow a little bit better. If I were enfranchised, I might even make money from my writing, which I dearly love to do. When it’s natural, not forced. But the definition of a job includes some disenfranchisement, which discourages me.
If my wife would help with the more personal aspects, if a publisher wanted to take on a writer and compensate him exceptionally well when said writer was able to write, I might feel “enfranchised.” It’s probably too much to ask. Which is why I bought another lottery ticket yesterday. Here’s hoping I get all three things I want.
The title? I meant the list looked funny, not that I was watching a clown. I AM the clown. Send me in.