Saturday, July 18, 2009

I HATE SEATTLE--written July, 2009 BEFORE MJ's Death #mentalhealth #seattle

IMHO, Seattle SUCKS IN EVERY ASPECT--especially for a Black Woman like me! Now I am sure there are a few Black Women who absolutely love this place. But I come from SoCal, and attended Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, and recently lived in Dallas, Texas. I have NEVER been made out to be some "ghetto mama with 10 kids" who will NEVER amount to nothing until I moved to Seattle, Washington! How can people be so offensively presumptuous?

My grandfather was the President of Bethune-Cookman University! I was reared in the Civil Rights royalty. When I was 10/11 years old, I formally campaigned for Mayor Tom Bradley.

Because I lived in SoCal growing up, I thought I wanted to be an actress. Of the many performers I have met, one of the most influential was Ms. Ja'net DuBois (Willona on Good Times) who talked to me about acting and what it seriously involved. I was grateful to her because she taught me to never compromise my values to be myself. I had a chance to take voice lessons, but I since I did not understand the nature of the business and I had little support for it, I chose not to actively pursue it. I am rather glad I did not with all the deaths of celebrities these days.

I have met other famous politicians, such as Governor Pete Wilson, Mayor Maynard Jackon and Mayor Andrew Young. I have met numerous CEO of Fortune 500 Companies. And I have met many more celebrities in entertainment. And this is while I lived in SoCal and Atlanta. My life has been circuitous at best. It would be very easy to have bravado with all the acquaintances I have made over time, but I like to think I am still very down to Earth and I humble myself because I am in recovery from bipolar!

As someone who is in recovery from bipolar, I started having problems as a teenager. I started having suicidal thoughts at 14 years old when I lost my last "yelling contest" with my mother--who was just trying to love me in her special way. In the mid-1980's the crisis hotline did not think that teens could be bipolar so they told me that I sounded younger than my own age, so I hung up.

Through the years of seeking recovery by diet, exercise, nutrition, mediation, etc., I finally got a bipolar diagnosis in 2000 and found some relief. I say some relief, because in 2002, because I found myself waking up from my workplace's floor after allegely having a seizure in Dallas, Texas. It was thought what could have caused my seizure was one of the unmonitored psychotropic drugs I was taking for my bipolar. Taking psychotropic medications ALONE DO NOT WORK! There must be a talk-therapy used in combination with the drugs by a professionally licensed person.

Still, even with my mental health condition, I have a Bachelor's of Science in Biology, a Master's of Science in Molecular Biology and a Doctorate in Molecular Genetics. One would think that living the mental illness the way I have lived, I should be a complete loser who abuses drugs and is homeless. But, somehow I seem to make a way out of no way--by the grace of God.

I move up to Seattle, Washington to marry my husband, sometimes can be quite selfish for the years we have been married. There are many days that he fails to recognize the mental health tribulations I suffer to garner the gumption just to run simple ERRANDS!!!

For example: I go grocery store and check out stand asks for my food vouchers and WIC! I DON'T HAVE CHILDREN!!! I'VE NEVER BEEN PREGNANT AND I AM 40-something YEARS OLD!!!

In my community, I go to the beauty salon for services, and request a "touch up" and they say they have to find a "relaxing specialist"... So now there is no way to maintain my grooming habits.

For my career in 2007, I have had to leave a career it because my bottom-dweller of a professor at the Universe of Washington bluntly said, "the only reason what Dr. G is here is because she's Black, and the only way she got her PhD was through affirmative action"...

Well, the last time that this statement was said to me was before I got my PhD and I worked my ass off an extra 3 years to "prove" I was good enough for my doctorate program. After I got my PhD, I said to myself that I would NEVER go where I was not wanted or felt a strong passion. And if that lunacy happened to me again, I said I was going to leave that position... Because I could not tolerate the workplace violence, the mobbing and harassment, I have had to pay a hefty price in choosing to live in Seattle, Washington.

I have lost EVERYTHING I value and now on the eve of finally re-inventing myself into a new worldview, I am completely out of money. Realistically, no one cares about my laments and I do not know why someone of my stature incurs this kind of wrath from the world?

In Seattle, I see superfluous little white girls whine and complain about their improper treatment and they get all assistance they need, with coats laid down over mud puddles. Since, I refuse to do that and find a way to empower myself, I cannot do it because is subjugates my values. And even if I did, what would I get in return?

Across the country, many Black men treat Black women like a joke (I apologize the men who do not do that. The Black men born in Washington State are the most culpable, based on the laments I hear by many Black women who relocate to Seattle.

Here is my list of reasons why I HATE SEATTLE:

  • I HATE SEATTLE because of the Seattle Freeze! The Freeze like the cold constant alienating rain here, except the Seattle Freeze is a statement of the Seattlites' personalities--they are very polite, but NOT friendly. I have yet to be invited by my contemporaries to any event. I have held several events on a string budget, but in return I barely get invited in reciprocation and it is less than 1 event per year to anyone's party. And the sad part is Freezing people out is not conducive or collaborative for business networking. People fail to talk communicate! During these hard economic times, talking, networking, and meeting people is what business is all about. The greater Seattle area's economy misses out on some potentially great business opportunities when they alienate, pidgeonhole and stereotype people.

  • I HATE SEATTLE because the kneegrows here are 20 years behind on civil rights compared to the rest of the country, and then have the nerve to have a "crabs in a barrel" mentality!!! How can anyone be so arrogant and destructive when s/he have failed to win awards/grants/projects? The concept is beyond me. With all the business assets that the greater Seattle area has and the United States' demarcation in 2010 BC Winter Olympics, business is being lost due to kneegrows' stank behavior toward one another. This is not one of those reality television shows.

  • I HATE SEATTLE because I attended this "job fair" that had only 5 major biotech businesses and they HR people said that none of the attendees will be hired at this function... While these people are not scientists, it says that their actual hiring process is an abysmal failure and a waste of time. To be fair, there were two people who were helpful at the event, but that was only for a resume review. I had 3 formats of my resume, and was told that my resume is too academic and I had no "work experience", so that is why I would not be able to get a scientist position... I was told my experience was too varied. What does that say about support? I was told that businesses did not like to hire me due to my being an entrepreneur (i.e. Sistah Mental Health and Wellness). And I wonder why most of my clients do NOT live in Seattle--what is the point in marketing to anyone here with that kind of mentality?

  • I HATE SEATTLE but, I do not have the money to leave. This is my "lot in life". Sadly, I chose it. Best I can do is whine and complain on my blogs. I do not know how far it will get me...

Do I want to change to like Seattle more? Yes! I do get some assistance for my problems and I am gaining new experiences, such as mindfulness meditation from a health/wellness organization and Karate-do from a master Sensei. I have met some interesting people but those are infrequent encounters. I tried going to Church, but became disenfranchised by the hypocritical double-speaking congregations. Being an Obama supporter, I made some things happen in healthcare reform. I have done plenty of volunteer work with the Puget Sound Susan G. Komen for the Cure race and my Sorority. When I did work for the University of Washington, I dedicated much of my time to community service due to workplace balance and life satisfaction. But the UW PUNISHED ME for serving the community...

Currently, I volunteer hoping that I gain new skills at Evergreen Hospice in Grief/Bereavement telephone follow up calls and Group Health Cooperative workshop facilitation for the "Living Well with Chronic Disease" courses. Alas, serving the community has not propelled me into a paying type of livelihood.

Right now, I am barely scraping by, lost in the wilderness of the South North Pole--also known as the greater Seattle area.

I feel my life sucks...

Dr. Gina M.-S.
Written in July 18, 2009

Postscript: There have been some changes. I have found a business group called Biznik and they are actively doing the kinds of networking events.

I have made a few more friends, just not in "high places" by people who can make hiring or monetary decisions, but that is an issue of the target market.

I have started on my business plans for 2010--after I pay my business taxes and have extended my reach to a wider audience.

I still do not have a boss who pays me, I do not do bench science anymore, but my writing has somewhat improved since I wrote this piece. :)