celebrities, memories, mental health, psychology

Been watching Prince Harry’s mental health documentary series with Oprah Winfrey…

Lately, Prince Harry has been in the news a lot. He’s coming out about his issues with mental health struggles, having grown up in the British Royal Family. He and Oprah Winfrey have produced a new series for Apple TV+ called The Me You Can’t See.

Historically, I’ve never been that much of an Oprah fan. It’s not because I don’t like her work. It’s more that I was never exposed to it when she was up and coming. In the 1980s, when she had a daytime talk show, I was busy with my horse. I didn’t really watch day TV until I got a lot older. By then, she had her own network (The Oprah Winfrey Network OWN), which I never really watched… I guess there were just too many channels to choose from. I’ve always been partial to reruns, anyway.

This show really speaks to me.

Anyway, I have noticed a lot of buzz about this latest show, which airs exclusively on Apple TV+. I started watching it a couple of days ago. I must admit, it’s pretty compelling. The series isn’t just about Prince Harry and his struggles. It’s also about other people– celebrities and non celebrities– who have struggled with mental health issues like depression and anxiety. I have had my own travails with depression and anxiety. That doesn’t make me “special”.

The Me You Don’t See really drives home the reality that depression and anxiety are extremely common conditions that affect so many people. And yet, being depressed and anxious can make a person feel very alone. When those feelings are especially profound, some people may start thinking of suicide, or they may start doing things to self-medicate. Harry has mentioned that he tried to erase his thoughts of his mother’s, Princess Diana’s, horrible death by drinking alcohol. He was also willing to experiment with drugs, all in a bid to blot out the pain of losing his mom.

I’ve seen a lot of derisive and, frankly, kind of mean spirited comments about Harry’s decision to speak about these issues. I want to go on record to say that I think Harry has as much right to be heard as anyone does. I know he was born wealthy and has had privileges that the vast majority of people will never be able to fathom. But with that fame came difficulties that regular people don’t have to face.

The whole world watched as Harry and his brother, William, mourned their mother, who was the most photographed woman in the world. Princess Diana was iconic. Many people worshiped her from afar. To be honest, I found her fascinating and beautiful, but I never put her on the same pedestal that many of my friends did. She was human and fallible, and she had faults. She also made some huge mistakes. Unfortunately, her worst mistakes were made on the day she died, when she rode in a car with a driver who was very drunk and failed to wear a seatbelt.

Still, Princess Diana was a remarkable person… and when she died, she had been in a relationship with someone who wasn’t white and European– Dodi Fayed. Harry mentioned that he has that in common with his mom. Meghan Markle is biracial. He has very real fears that he could lose her the way he lost his mother, either to being hunted down by the paparazzi as Diana was, or to suicide, as Meghan reportedly suffered so much in Britain that she considered taking her own life. Harry also said that his father once told him that he had suffered growing up, and that Harry would also suffer. Harry quite correctly commented that parents shouldn’t try to visit pain on their children, just because they went through pain when they were growing up.

I think a lot of people look at Harry and Meghan and have very little sympathy for them. They’re relatively young, beautiful, and wealthy, and they don’t have the problems that more ordinary people have. However, they are still human beings, and I don’t think it’s right to discount their problems just because we can’t relate to them. In fact, of all of the British Royals, I’ve always thought of Harry as one of the most relatable. To me, he seems like the kind of person who would want to be like everyone else.

I’m about halfway through the series, I think… and I’ve enjoyed the way it presents the global issues surrounding mental health. Oprah Winfrey also talks about what it was like for her, growing up extremely poor and discriminated against in Mississippi, Wisconsin, and Tennessee. Oprah is famous and wealthy beyond most people’s wildest dreams, and she’s managed to achieve that success in spite of being a Black woman. But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t struggled or suffered… and like me, she is a human being.

I respect Harry for striking out on his own. I think that took a lot of courage. I’m glad he’s sharing his story about his mental health struggles, too. Maybe by sharing his story, he will help some people find their own way out of their mental health issues. I know he’s rich and famous, but he didn’t choose to be born royal, and he had nothing to do with the fact that he lost his mother at such a young age and never got any help dealing with that pain.

Trauma affects everyone.

Other people who have been on The Me You Don’t See include Glenn Close, Zachary “Zak” Williams (Robin’s son), and Lady Gaga (Stefani Germanotta). Both Lady Gaga and Glenn Close– famous women– have had some significant challenges that they’ve had to overcome. I appreciate hearing their stories, which really drive home the realization that everyone has a struggle to deal with and a load to carry. I am also glad Zak Williams spoke. He and I have something in common; we both had dads who had Lewy Body Dementia. While I know that not everyone thinks Harry has a right to complain about anything, I, for one, am glad he’s sharing his story.

Frankly, I’ve just about had it with people who have no empathy for others. I think those who don’t care about the royals should just keep scrolling and keep their cruel comments to themselves. Some of us are interested in hearing Harry’s story, as well as the stories of others who are being profiled on The Me You Can’t See. I think I’ll watch more of the series right now.

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Trump

Vaginas are akin to “landmines”?

Just when I think I can’t dislike Donald Trump more, something comes along to make me reconsider that idea. This morning, I read about Donald Trump’s visit to Arlington National Cemetery in honor of Memorial Day. Some people were praising him for his “love” for veterans. I guess they forgot about Trump’s regrettable comments to the late Senator John McCain, who spent years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam as Trump dodged the draft, or his incredibly insensitive phone call to the wife of a fallen troop, in which he repeatedly referred to woman’s dead husband as “your guy” instead of learning the man’s name.

In any case, when one woman praised Trump and his “love” for veterans and ability to salute properly, a man shared an article from People magazine that dates from 2016. It was about some disgusting comments Donald Trump made to Howard Stern back in the 1990s. Among those comments were these:

  • “It’s amazing, I can’t even believe it. I’ve been so lucky in terms of that whole world, it is a dangerous world out there. It’s like Vietnam, sort of. It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave soldier,” (said in reference to dating during the AIDS epidemic.)
  • Trump called women’s vaginas “potential landmines” and said “there’s some real danger there.”
  • In 1993, Trump boasted to Howard Stern about his promiscuous lifestyle while he was still single and said that men who didn’t go to Vietnam shouldn’t feel guilty because dating during the AIDS epidemic in the ’80s was also dangerous.
  • Trump said to Stern in that 1993 interview, “You know, if you’re young, and in this era, and if you have any guilt about not having gone to Vietnam, we have our own Vietnam — it’s called the dating game. Dating is like being in Vietnam. You’re the equivalent of a soldier going over to Vietnam.” (REALLY?)
Yeah… this is a man who honors veterans on Memorial Day, claiming his perverted sex life during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s is akin to being a soldier in Vietnam. Disgusting.

Of course, Trump later excused those comments as “just words”. He also referred to his infamous statement in 2005 about “grabbing women by the pussy” as “locker room talk”. I remember he also made comments about the late Princess Diana and how he’d always wanted to date her and would sleep with her “without hesitation”, but he’d be sure to “send her to the doctor”, first. He made those remarks in 1997, again on the Howard Stern show, just after the princess died.

Yes, I know he was on Howard Stern’s show and Howard Stern is known for being a “shock jock”. I know Trump’s disgusting rhetoric appeals to a large segment of the population, especially braindead white men who only think with their dicks. What I don’t understand is how this vile, despicable, embarrassing man is the president of the United States. How is it that God fearing, salt of the earth, hard working people with traditional values can embrace this man who would openly refer to their wives’ and daughters’ vaginas as “land mines” and brag about sexually assaulting them, while he presumes that they’ll give him a sexually transmitted disease?

Trump and his family are now in the United Kingdom, where they will meet with Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth II, and the rest of the family. I wonder if they’ll be able to keep a straight face as they recall the horrible comments Trump made about Duchess Kate when illicit photos of her sunbathing topless were shared in the media. Trump apparently felt it was no big deal that the press invaded Kate’s privacy and published those photos, especially since it meant they would make a lot of money… at least until they were sued and forced to pay £92,000 in damages.

I will never understand women– especially female veterans– who cheer for Donald Trump. I know some people only do it because they want a Republican in office, but it seems like Republicans would want someone decent… or at least qualified for the job. Donald Trump would never be hired for a government service position, and he couldn’t hack the military due to his “bone spurs”. And yet, he’s the president, even after he made disgusting comments that degrade all women and sexually harassed the likes of Princess Diana. I just don’t get it.

After breakfast this morning, I went back to that article that appeared in the Military Times about Trump and Melania at Arlington National Cemetery before their trip to England. I read yet another very active comment thread starting by an apparently delusional woman with total cognitive dissonance, continually expressing admiration and praise for Trump as she reported her plans to visit her father in the cemetery. She seemed to be equating Trump with her father, whom she said served 31 years, and her husband, who is a retired Navy man. People tried to point out the incongruence of comparing draft dodging Trump with guys who’d actually served in the military, but she wasn’t having it. And anyone who said anything to her was either personally insulted or asked if they’d “served” or grown up in a military family. When I couldn’t take the comments anymore, I offered one of my own… something I may regret doing. Here it is:

The amount of cognitive dissonance among Trump supporters is truly astonishing. This is a man who bragged about grabbing women by the pussy and said women’s vaginas are akin to “land mines”. He disparaged John McCain for being a POW, got out of serving in Vietnam (although considers his personal Vietnam the AIDS era, as he did his best to avoid catching STDs while screwing multiple women), and didn’t even bother to show up to the cemetery last year because of rain.  

I get wanting a Republican in office, but why in the world don’t Republicans demand a person with more strength of character, experience, and decency? Trump could never be hired for a regular government job. And I say this as the daughter, niece, cousin, and wife of many people who served in the military. I myself served in the Peace Corps, which is yet another way to “serve”. I would hope those of you crowing about how non-veterans have no right to an opinion about the military would consider the fact that many people put on a uniform every day to protect that right for ALL Americans.

Well… I will go on record as saying yes, I am married to an Army vet, the daughter of an Air Force vet, and have uncles, cousins, and even an aunt who served in all branches of the military. I, too, have even “served”, though not in the military, but as a Peace Corps Volunteer (there is more than one way to serve one’s country, although I would never refer to myself as a veteran). I feel plenty qualified and entitled to offer my opinions about 45. I think it’s a disgrace that he was even allowed to run for president, let alone elected. I have hope that people will wise up and vote differently in 2020, but when I read all of the mind numbingly stupid comments on articles by the Military Times or similar publications, it makes me realize that there’s an epidemic of people who are simply blinded to reality and care much more about “getting theirs” than people as a whole. Unless, of course, the people in question happen to be “unborn”.

Anyway… good on Trump for visiting the cemetery to honor Memorial Day, even though he will be out of the country for the actual holiday. I think I’d be a lot more impressed if he’d just simply vacate the White House and go back to being a sleazy B grade celebrity on Howard Stern’s radio show. He’s not fit to be president. And, as stupid, misguided, and tone deaf as I found the pro-Trump comments from that woman who kept bragging about her dead veteran father at Arlington, I’ll bet her late dad and her husband are much better men than Trump is on his least offensive day… which I assume would be when he’s under anesthesia, comatose, or something.

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silliness

I don’t like ding dongs from ding dongs…

I don’t know when or why it happened, but I hate it when people ring my doorbell. Of course, that’s mainly because it makes my dogs go nuts, but I think it’s also because I grew up in a house that was also a business. My parents ran a custom picture framing and cross stitch/knitting/needlepoint business out of our home, so people were constantly coming in and out of the house. I don’t remember it bothering me back then, especially after they added on to the house and my mom’s business was on the other side of it, kind of separating it from the residence a bit more. They put in a large kitchen, too. The kitchen was next to my mom’s shop after the addition was done. Prior to that, she ran her business out of a renovated garage, which was right next to our living room. The garage later became her office.

Now that I’m an adult, I like quiet and privacy. I like talking to people, too, especially if we’re friends. However, it bothers me when I get caught off guard, especially since I frequently hang around with no makeup or bra on and in my nightie if I’m not expecting someone. I think that’s part of the reason I like this house better than the last one. There aren’t nearly as many visitors here. We’re at the end of a cul-de-sac, so there’s no through traffic. And our new landlords aren’t interested in shooting the breeze, which is fine with me.

I think it would be different if I had “girlfriends”. A lot of my friends have people they hang out with all the time. It’s almost like a sisterhood. But I don’t even really have a sisterhood with my actual sisters. They’re a lot older than I am, so we were never very close. I seem to enjoy hanging around men, anyway. They are less likely to be irritated by my sense of humor.

Now… any ding dong who comes to my door bearing these ding dongs will be greeted warmly. Chocolate will always get you far if you want to impress me.

As a child of the 70s and 80s, I was a fan of Hostess chemical laden pastries and cakes… with the exception of Twinkies. I never was a Twinkie fan. In Virginia, these weren’t even “Ding Dongs”. They were called “King Dons”. I’m sure it had to do with money.

I’ve been working on reading my latest book. It’s about Gretchen Bonaduce and her 17 year marriage to Danny Bonaduce. It’s not a bad read, except for when she writes about her friend having “infantigo”. I think she means impetigo. I had it once when I was a child. It’s not pleasant, so I empathize with her friend, who apparently is no longer among the living. She also refers to the late Princess Diana as “Lady Di”, which kind of irks me, for some reason. But just after I read about “Lady Di”, I was reminded of a scene in a movie from 1986. Children of a Lesser God was a great flick. Seems crazy that it’s been over thirty years since its release.

Children of a Lesser God… a classic from 1986. I remember William Hurt signing about “Lady Di”. Isn’t it weird how some things lead to other things? Imagine how I’d be if I had a real job? ETA: I watched the movie last night and he actually says “Princess Di”.

Well, this is a post about a whole lot of nothing. Sorry about that. I don’t have it in me to write anything else about our situation today. I’m actually in a much better mood than I was yesterday or the day before that. The weather has gotten very nice and, even though Bill will be going away for most of March, I’m feeling pretty good today. I do wish I could just hop on a plane and take a vacation or something, although those aren’t much fun when you’re alone.

You’d think that as bored and lonely as I get when Bill takes temporary leave, I’d want to make friends… I think I do want to make friends. It’s just that too many of them have turned out to be fake and/or let me down. So… here I sit. About to do another detox. Maybe this time, I’ll watch a bunch of theater releases from the 1980s.

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