How Did "Survivalist" Get to be a Derogatory Term? (LONG)greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
I have been thinking a bit about the negative connotations that have surrounded the term "survivalist" lately. My DH and I first understood the Y2K deal in late 1997. In early 1998 we started preparing for whatever may happen. My crystal ball is still on backorder so I can't say what will happen any more than anyone else. I have learned, however, that what my husband and I have done in the last almost 2 years was quite commonplace 50 years ago. My grandparents always had emergency supplies on hand. Now I know of entire neighborhoods in which maybe one house has a fire extinguisher and working flashlight.
I have discovered that I *always* want to live like this: with the knowledge that whatever happens, we will have the means to be ok, at least barring some kind of catastrophic disaster. I now cannot believe that at one time, we did not have a single first aid manual in the house, we did not know CPR, we neglected to check our smoke detectors, our first aid kit was a box of Band-Aids and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide. I did not understand basic cooking techniques (who needs to with the microwave and Dominoe's pizza on speed dial?) and certainly knew nothing about growing food. My daughter thought all fruits and vegetables just came from the store.
Even if nothing happens (which I personally hope for) my husband, my daughter and I have benefitted GREATLY from the preparation alone. And we'll have some GREAT camping equipment for the spring!
Quite honestly, I am proud to call myself a survivalist. It has only positive tones to me. I have survived LOTS of things in life: physical abuse and neglect in childhood and adolescence, being "raised" (and I use that term loosely) by an alcoholic stepfather and mentally ill mother, having to raise my brother on my own for several years, losing my real father at a very young age. One year ago this month, I was taken my ambulance to the hospital after I collapsed at work. They could find no pulse. Blood pressure turned out to be 50 over 30. Internal bleeding and hemorraghing. Shock. Turned out I was suffering from an ectopic pregnancy (fraternal twins, no less) that had ruptured in the tube. I was brought into surgery just in time. Two weeks later, just as I was up and be-boppin' around again, I realized I had been taking Tums for this weird hearburn feeling for three days. When the pain became too much, I reluctantly went to the ER again where they discovered an appendix so infected and swollen it was three times the normal size. Another surgery. Followed by pnuemonia three weeks later. Followed by a diagnosis of Crohn's disease. But I am doing just fine and generally completely avoid all self-given pity parties.
I guess my point is I think a lot of people are capable of more than they realize. They just haven't been tested by life yet. It worries me, quite honestly, that I live in a society that devalues the very spirit that it was founded on---survivalism. If those first colonists weren't survivalists, a lot of us wouldn't be here.
What is it now? 70 or 71 days? Doesn't matter--I'll be ready.
-- Preparing (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 21, 1999
Your husband is a lucky fellow.
-- Not Whistlin' Dixie (email@example.com), October 21, 1999.
My nieces boyfriend (he's only 27 years old), has Crohn's Disease and has had 1/3 of his intestines removed. He's in alcohol addiction rehap and is improving. One day and step at a time. Best wishes to you and your family.
-- ~~~~~ (~~~~@~~~.xcom), October 21, 1999.
Gee...I guess all of my Mormon friends in the southwest US are "Survivalists" too. Better be careful who I associate with...
-- Uncle Bob (UNCLB0B@Y2KOK.ORG), October 21, 1999.
Uncle Bob: LOL!!! I have an aunt and uncle and cousins who are Mormon. You know, its funny,I used to consider their whole "2 years of food and supplies on hand at all times" thing to be pretty wacky. I don't think so anymore.
Thanks Not Whistling Dixie and ~~~~~~~~~~. The Crohn's in my case was caught early, thank goodness and is very much under control. I feel very very very lucky.
-- Preparing (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 21, 1999.
Life is a lesson. You have learned the hard way, but you have learned well!! Keep up the good work! My prayers are with you and all of us. I hope others learn from you. You are a blessing!! Be well....
-- Big D (email@example.com), October 21, 1999.
It's great to gain some knowledge and control, isn't it? Glad to hear you are ready.
Re: the Crohn's Disease. You gotta check out the "eat right for your type diet." This is not a diet about losing weight - its about feeling good. (I feel 15 years younger, bounce in my step and all..) I'll bet you are a Type "o" blood type.
P.S. Don't forget the fiber (natural psyllium capsules or metamucil), it really helps regulate your system if you are having a flare up. It fixes the diarhea/constipation/cramps/whatever in less than 12 hours. Sometimes when that pizza calls, you just have to eat it.....
-- Berry Picker (BerryPicking@yahoo.com), October 22, 1999.
Hey Uncle Bob and Preparing, what do you know about the Mormon Church? You want to know more?
-- freddie (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 22, 1999.
Survivalist is a bad thing because how can mommy and daddy government take care of you if you want to be an independant, rebellious(?) person?
Fact is they're nuts!
-- Mark Hillyard (email@example.com), October 22, 1999.
Yep- I don't know what's so bad about being a survivalist- seems to just mean you want to survive. Anybody volunteering to die??
Preps are good for whatever- obviously if your house burns down or blows away in a tornado, there go much of the preps- but barring that- are good for y2k, most natural disasters, prolonged unemployment, etc- seems like good sense to me..
-- farmer (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 22, 1999.
I was a survivalist in the late 70s (reading Lucifer's Hammer is what did it), but drifted away from it as my children grew up and I no longer felt completely responsible for them. Y2K brought me back. Back then the media lost no chance to make survivalists look like whacko gun nuts. (I didn't even own a gun then. Imagine that--a survivalist without firearms!) In the 80s Robin Williams starred in a movie about a nutty survivalist. We can thank the popular media for making survivalism seem like something stupid, selfish, and crazy.
-- Pearlie Sweetcake (email@example.com), October 22, 1999.