I love being an American. I grew up in a small town, Vernon Center, NY, and was raised on a horse farm in a two-story house my parents rented from a rich race horse owner. I knew very little about politics until I got much older and really thought the world wasn’t a whole lot of bad. Even though we had our own dysfunction in many different ways in our family, life was as good as it could be given our poor circumstances.
Then, I found the internet, got restless and fed up with the life I was living, and moved to another state.
I was only 34 years old.
Shocked? For many, that age is when they have had enough self-discovery and are settling down into family life. I did mine in reverse. I was very sheltered growing up, politics and religion were things that really were not discussed in my household. Music, art and literature were all important as my father played the guitar and had his own small-town band until he got too sick to do it and my mother was the typical 1950’s housewife, even in the 1980’s when I was a teenager, who loved to read and loved celebrities. I had other thoughts about what a woman should be able to do and met my husband at the tender age of 16, but he embraced my dreams, no matter how silly everyone else seemed to think they were. I fell in love and put other things in my life on hold.
I had my oldest daughter when I was almost 18 and my youngest when I just turned 25 years old. Now at the age of (only) 44, I have 2 beautiful grandkids that are 4 years old (my oldest’s) and 14 months old (my youngest’s). When my body could no longer cooperate with me in focusing on making a mediocre living being a doll clothing designer and seamstress, I turned to writing. In the midst of things, however, I discovered politics and the fact life was definitely not what it seemed on the surface.
I always looked up to a family member who was married to someone who worked for TSA. I have a great lot of respect for his intelligence and she was always so open-minded and we would talk a lot. Then things changed and it was harder and harder to get a hold of her, she became steeped in religion, and she changed so drastically that I started to wonder…just who is this person? I became concerned as she seemed to be unable to talk when I would call or she would never get my emails or phone calls. It made me wonder just what was going on and suspicious about how her life really was.
Everything seemed okay on the surface but this drastic change made me start looking up more about politics and the world around me. Someone I felt I could look up to who had traveled the world rarely spoke to me as I also voiced my anger over some family issues and challenged the truth in them. I knew she didn’t want to talk to me because of it and I also finally got fed up with the way I was ignored as part of the family since I moved.
Suddenly, the things she had claimed to hate or the things she had the same opinion on that I did suddenly became the opposite. We had harsh words the last time we spoke and I knew I had pushed the envelope too far, but I had to speak my mind. In the end, it made me cut my ties, in essence, and removed them from my Facebook profiles along with other family members who had, to my understanding, said they were sick of how I acted. I had grown up in a family of women who had been raised to be meek and mild and say nothing, even if things were out of sorts or if we had an issue with something or someone. I had changed, too, and knew it was time that I put an effort into something that would be appreciated.
It was my concern over the drastic change of opinion between us that I think I became even more open-minded to the possibility people might be silenced for their thoughts and their views, especially if one of their loved ones were working for the government. Someone does not have that drastic of a change of opinion suddenly and act so different. I was worried, but knew even if there was something going on, there was nothing I could do. I would just be touted as being “silly” or “dramatic”. My family failed to realize I was no longer the little girl or young woman who was meek and mild any longer. I wasn’t sure if it was that something was going on, or she just hated me for voicing my opinion and disagreeing with the way things have gone with our family in recent years.
Regardless of that, I am the complete opposite of my family members. I am outspoken on world views, I challenge tired values, I will meet someone head-on if I think I am right and they are wrong, and do not care any longer if a person will love me or hate me for who I am.
That, down to the core, is the bottom of it all.
I learned to be who I was and was no longer afraid of displeasing family members or embarrassing them. I no longer gave a damn if I had friends or if I was “liked”. I spent many years in high school being hated for being overly talkative, geeky, just a real pain in the ass because I wanted to hang with those who thought they were “cool”. I didn’t fit in because I didn’t drink, I didn’t smoke, or party, and when I discovered the joy of sex, I did it with only one person and married them. We have raised a family and been together 27 years. I wonder just how many popular “kids” can claim the same? I laugh now at my younger self because I wish I could just tell her to keep being who she is because 20 plus years from now, it will no longer matter.
Now I use my ability to write and dig deep on issues to discuss things going on in this country on the internet. Granted, I am not worldly by any means, I am not a college graduate although I spent 2 years going to a vocational school, and I don’t consider myself a very motivated person like I probably could be. What I am is an American Woman who is fed up with the way this country has become a melting pot for fools who are blind to the politics around them and the bullshit the media feeds them. I am a mother who wants to see her daughters successful, but they fall into the crevice created for the schooled but not “comfortable” financially. I am the grandmother of 2 beautiful children who, at best, is looking at a mediocre education that is fed to them via computers and those who focus more on what the kids are wearing rather than what they are learning, wearing uniforms in a public educational system, that will most likely get bored if they are as smart as my kids were and walk away at 16 and get their GED.
Then they will face a jobless America that has the majority on Foodstamps, or those who should get them but the government system screws them over and up and stand in a line at the Food Banks. Right now, even if my children went back to college, or if the grands were brilliant and got an education at Harvard, not just the economic, but the SOCIAL crumbling our society is experiencing will mean they will probably have to arm themselves to walk the streets or drive a vehicle. They will be subject to the restrictions of a government who has stripped them and their parents of rights that their ancestors fought so hard to gain. Yet, here I sit, doing nothing but opening my mouth or putting to words my thoughts…
I sat yesterday and thought, you know, we suck as Americans in general. Mad at that statement? GOOD! You should be! Take a good hard look around you. People get mad at Indians who purchase gas stations, then avoid taxes and hand it down to family member after family member, go back to India and take their money with them. People get mad at the Mexicans who stand in line at Wal-mart and Western Union funds to poor family members in Mexico. Why? They should be putting that money back here in America where it should be, right?
Exactly. Then I thought, wait a minute…they are helping their families become more successful. They are enabling their relatives to succeed, become more educated, even to bring them here to America to live a better life. Then I thought, you know, what do WE as Americans do for ourselves and each other? We lock ourselves away in our houses, afraid to step into the light of day for we may possibly run into someone who is racist, or a criminal, or possibly *gasp* homosexual!
When was the last time you went to your neighbor and spoke to them? Me? Um, nope, not happening. Why? This ‘hood is full of drug dealers and criminals. We know this for a fact. Police are “working on it”, but in the meantime, my cars get keyed in my driveway at night and my granddaughter gets looks when she called her stepfather, who is black and she is white, “Dad” in public. He is the only father figure she has ever known! Should it matter if he was black and she was white? No.Not to me it does’t. Yet when I speak out about the Obama administration, I am accused of being racist and a conspiracy theorist.
And then I thought, you know, even if someone wanted to stay at home and raise their kids themselves rather than a daycare, they would be unable to do so since the restrictions of Foodstamps requires a parent to work by the time the child is 6 weeks old. SIX WEEKS OLD!!! Then that child is shoved off to a grandparent as most likely both parents have to work or the parent may be single or divorced. That child will rarely see the one who gave birth because they are so overwhelmed with just being able to keep diapers on their behinds and food in their mouths.
Some people say that is that person’s fault. They should have gotten an education.They should have waited to have children. What if that person did? What if they lost their job the day they found out they were pregnant? What if, what if, what if? Nobody knows another person’s story…
Now I live in a somewhat larger town now in Georgia. I no longer see the world through rose-colored glasses. I see, with eyes wide-open, the vagrants on the streets. The shoeless man begging for money for a meal on the median near Wal-mart. I also see the police put one similar person who was at the edge of the off-ramp on I-75 in a police car, too. I see white vehicles labeled “Homeland Security” on the side with “Police” on the back cruising through town every so often. I see “Witness protection” and federal agents” on other vehicles in a town nearby every so often at the QT. I see quick exchanges on the street as we drive home and they quickly go away and I know most likely I just saw a drug deal go down, but then what? I have no proof. Then there are the police who came to my daughter’s domestic disturbance and gave her now ex-husband her location instead of protecting her. Who didn’t even file an actual report, but instead, just gave a “narrative”.
Cameras are at every point and turn so they can “keep an eye on traffic” and later this year, devices to be able to read your license plate numbers as you drive by. They explain on television it is to help those who have been kidnapped or missing, or to catch criminals. All I can think of is we no longer will have any privacy even in our own homes, especially once technology enables someone as minor as a landlord to be able to get a drone to look at their properties when they feel like it. We are losing the basis of freedom that the Constitution has given us.
No longer can we say “We, the People” as our voices and opinions are quickly overcast and no longer heard. Those who speak out are denounced. People who speak about or post anything negative about the government are suddenly under scrutiny by the IRS and by other agencies, as well as something as simple as online accounts are “looked into” and posts deleted entirely. People think it is a load of crap. Maybe I am just full of it and blowing smoke up people’s asses, as the saying goes. Then again, give it a try. Speak out and speak your mind and see how far it gets you. Show the world what is really going on on a daily basis in this country.
All I know is that at my age, I should be able to speak my mind and give my family a better place to be in than what we have right now. Something’s gotta give and gotta give now before it is too late. If writing and posting is all I can do at this time, then so be it. I am not going to stay silent when I see my country going to Hell and her people starving, children being uneducated, and the elderly and veterans left unable to care for themselves. Someone out there has got to say “I’ve had enough!”
My name is Jody Provost. I am an American Woman and I am here to say, “I have had enough!”