Fault and Educational Neglect

I don’t usually post about things Kevin Swanson says, and I usually try not to pay attention to it, but this week’s broadcast…hurt more than usual. For a synopsis/highlights that will keep most of your eyeballs intact, you can read this post from HA.

One of the highlights, and…what’s sort of turned me into an odd little puddle, is this bit (emphasis mine):

Kevin: when someone says, I could have had a better education than that provided by my mother or by my father, that’s really, really, really hard to prove. How, how, how do you know that? Maybe it was a character problem on YOUR part. Maybe you didn’t obey your parents! Maybe you didn’t study your books like you were told to! And to think that you could have had a better education if you had done it this way versus that way is extremely hard to prove.

Steve: Right!

(laughter)

Kevin: Extremely hard to prove!

Steve: Because you can’t go back and do it that way!

Kevin: You can’t! (laughter) You can’t… and even if you could have, you would have dragged your same old person, with your same old character flaws, with your same old slothfulness issue, into the public school or private school setting or other setting ‚ and you could have done worse…

Steve: Yeah.

Kevin: …than you did with your parents — trying to do whatever they could have done with you, even with all of your character issues that you’re dealing with. It’s fun to blame your parents for your OWN lack of character!

And then there’s this charm (emphasis mine):

Kevin: I’m talking about Christian homeschool families. Their values are primarily first and foremost not to get their kid into Harvard or get them a good job.

Steve: Right.

Kevin: That’s not primary. It’s not being sure that the kid can read Plato before he’s 12 years of age…

Steve: Yeah.

Kevin: …and get really messed up with the wrong worldview. (laughter) That’s not the goal. See, homeschoolers bring in other values: like relationship building, character building, work, worship. These are important.

What struck me is my parents have said essentially the exact same thing that Kevin did in the second quote. Multiple times. I remember in no uncertain terms hearing that the most important thing educationally was that we were able to read and understand the bible, write just enough to communicate, and do basic math. NOTHING ELSE MATTERED. This is what Kevin Swanson advocates, this is what my parents believe, and importantly: this is not a full, well-rounded education.

He talks about how fake educational neglect is, makes fun of the people who have pushed through it, pretends the people living in it don’t exist, and blames the (current and former) students with little to no power over their own education, for their own neglect.

He talks about how children should be learning “work, relationships, character, and worship”….

Well sir, that was my entire childhood, and you know what, I was educationally neglected! I taught myself and my parents bragged about it from the age of 10, I did everything I could possibly do, everything I knew to do, and it doesn’t change the fact that my education was neglected. It was not my fault. I’m not lazy, and wasn’t a lazy student – I was  an over-worked student who’s parents cared more about being served and looking good than their children and the quality of their education.

Swanson is advocating for educational neglect, and then turning a blind eye to the people who say, no, my parents did do what you said and that’s the problem, and instead labeling them whiners, traitors, and Benedict Arnold’s.

Well if talking about my lack of education and working to put regulations in place so my siblings and other kids have a chance means I’m a traitor, so be it.

But don’t you tell me that my lack of education was my fault as a child. That was out of my control, it’s not blaming my parents for my flaws, it’s abuse.

 

P.S. I would have done amazing in a traditional school setting, before my parents took me out of pre-k, it was amazing and I loved it. No one asked me if I wanted to be homeschooled, they just said “we’re gonna homeschool you from now on” and being the ripe age of 3 or 4, I just wanted to make sure I could be picked for Show-and-Tell still. I don’t remember doing show-and-tell after leaving school though.

Humorotica + Patreon

 

So, as Humorotica turned one and is becoming a thing Matt and I thought it would be a good idea to launch a patreon specifically for our comic. We have high hopes and plans and honestly, it’s a really cool patreon, so you should check it out, share it – every little bit helps – my (somewhat) selfish goal is to be able to get Matt a computer that isn’t on it’s last breath so we can hangout and write comics without wondering if it’ll signal an unintentional break because, well, we don’t make the comics together IRL so without a computer we haz nothing.

Anyway, there’s also some really cool rewards that involve Matt writing things and exclusive patron only (and inspired/derived) comics!

Become my patron

Feels

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I feel like the world is falling apart at the seams and going to shit and I’m powerless to do anything about it.

Between police brutality in Ferguson, shit going down in Gaza and Iraq, Robin Williams committing suicide…

It’s all just too many.

It’s too much.

It’s getting to me.

 

I watched the news for the first time in ages on Saturday because it was on at the car place while we were getting our mini inspected.

I was alone for 5 minutes and almost started crying.

It’s too many.

 

I sometimes forget how deeply things can hurt. I can sometimes turn my empathic nature off just enough to get by without feeling everything from everyone.

And sometimes, like the last couple days, I can’t.

Twitter and Facebook and news articles and snippets of conversation…like thousands of needles

and all I can think about is making blanket forts and escaping it all, because the difference between other people’s feelings and my own get blurred and I feel everything.

I can’t sleep well, and wake up stressed out and sad and depressed.

And yet, all I want to do is sleep – sleep and wake up and this will all have been a dream.

Needless violence and systemic racism, and genocide, and suicide, all just figments of my imagination – horrific nightmares.

But no.

It’s reality.

And sleeping won’t make it go away.

And I’m just one person – one person who can barely keep henself together.

But I care, and being powerless and lost inside myself makes me feel weak and useless.

I’m one person, what can I do?

I don’t know.

But I’ll keep trying. I’ll do what I can.

I’ll keep fighting the voices in my head that say you’re worthless, pointless, and don’t matter, and try to latch on to the one that says but you do matter, and you’re not pointless.

And I don’t know if that will matter in the end, but it does right now.

When the world is falling apart and I’m a speck of stardust in one small galaxy…

But I’m alive. And you’re alive. and that matters. And maybe we can make things better together, for the ones who are still alive.

I don’t know, maybe.

And I’m so sorry.

 

Introducing Don’t Panic[k]: Life Beyond The Kitchen Table

I had this idea several months ago, about making a site that’s basically just a compilation of advice, thoughts, and resources for people just leaving/graduating the world of homeschooling and religious fundamentalism.

It takes a lot of work and energy to find resources for life in the real world when you don’t even really know how or where to start, which is kinda why I liked the idea of Don’t Panic[k]. I hope to grow it, with the help of people from similar backgrounds submitting resources and articles and ideas, into something useful for people just leaving their parents kitchen table.

So check it out, share it, submit ideas/resources/etc if you have any, and don’t panic (you’ve got this).

DPbutton

Massages + Disassociation

In July I had this thing where my neck/shoulder muscles didn’t want to move, so I got a massage, and I’ve been getting them every couple weeks since to try and loosen up the (apparently insane levels of) tightness, and I noticed something…and someday I’ll draw something to illustrate this better, but, when I’m on the table, I feel connected to myself and my body.

I can tell how the muscle in my right shoulder impacts my left toes, and how every piece of me is connected to everything else. For an hour, there’s no difference between me and my body, we’re the same, connected, one – I am muscle and flesh and bone and blood, and interestingly, gender doesn’t come into play here. And maybe, it’s because I’m naked in the dark but not seen or judged, maybe it’s because massages go deeper than skin, and reach the core, the ungendered center that everyone shares, so I’m not lost in my parts, because they’re just parts, epidermis that doesn’t really say much about me or who I am…

It’s not something I’m used to experiencing, but I’m trying to find ways to ground myself, to feel less like a floating sentience in a breathing corpse. I realized, while we were checking out the Universalist church last weekend, that, I center myself to the earth, which I think is normal, but what if I centered myself to…myself? maybe if I paid attention to how my skin felt around my bones and listened to my senses, maybe that would help with the generally disconnected feeling I usually have towards my body?

Most days I feel like I’m a sentience walking ghost-hand in hand with my body, or circling around in my skull that from here looks more like a cage. On bad days, or bad nights, really, I feel like I’m a balloon and like I’ll just float away unless I’m held or touching someone to ground me and pull me back down to the earth, to my skin…but, when I’m being massaged, it’s like someone is helping me put my body back on, like a coat, and helping me back to myself.

It’s weird in a good way, but also weird. I don’t know if any of this makes sense, and when she asks me how I’m feeling after (apparently I hold up really well) I want to tell her how much it helps on a psychological level, but I don’t know how to, or if she’d even understand…but it does, it helps a lot in a way I never expected.

 


Then sometimes things happen, and I’m around people who tend to make me question my worth and whether or not I should even bother doing things that actually do help me. Who make me feel like a burden and like I should just suffer and I don’t deserve to try and have a healthy relationship with myself-body – who leave me reeling for days re-evaluating whether or not I’m a decent human.

Being triggered leaves me feeling like the pile of dirt I was told I was worth growing up, and it makes me feel guilty for getting massages, and taking care of myself. Because who am I to have things, to have value, to have worth, and to be worth caring for?


But I am human, and I have value because I exist, and I’m not just trouble, or burdensome, and I am worth caring for.

So next Friday I get another massage, and it’ll be good for me, because it’s okay to value and take care of myself.