on family and home

there’s a lot of stuff rumbling around in my head right now, but the main one is on “real” family vs “chosen” family, and “going home for the holidays.”

Some people well, actually, most people assume that when I talk about how I’m having fun with “my family” that I’m referring specifically to my blood family. I have no reason to do this, unless I’m talking about the rare get-together-things with my extended family that lives up here — and I refer to those as “a party with the cousins” or whatever.

It seems, some days, that it’s impossible to have a “chosen family” that is closer and more awesome than your blood family, just because that’s the impression that one can get from society and how family is portrayed in the media. Family is valued above all else, and I’ve even been told that I need to just “get over” my “angst” so that I can be a good daughter and honor my parents and blah blah blah. Seriously. The same person said that the abuse doesn’t matter, because the family is the most important thing.

I have a family. My family is my boyfriend. My family is my best friend in New York. My family is my mentor in Colorado, my previous play partner in Colorado, my friends in Oklahoma and California and New Jersey and Kansas. My family is my friend in Olympia who has saved my life in so many ways it’s impossible to list them all. My family is Shakesville, and Fugitivus, and Polimicks, and Shapely Prose [which is now sadly closed], and Two Whole Cakes [used to be Fatshionista].

A family is not always connected by blood. Experiences, friendship, trust, honesty, respect, and love are what holds a family together, and if a person’s blood family violates any of those it is a person’s right to break off and isolate from their relatives.

It is not wrong for any person to separate from anyone, even their blood family.

In that same vein, “home” for me is nowhere near my parents. Home is with my boyfriend, or my flat at school. I will be going home for the holidays, but I won’t be seeing my parents. “Going home” is not synonymous with “going to your parent’s home” and I’m tired of the two being conflated. I’m tired of correcting, time and again, that I don’t see, speak, hear from, or care about my parents.

Open your minds, people. There are those of us who were irreparably damaged by our “family” and we’re tired of hearing the push that family [meaning our blood family] is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING OF THE HOLIDAYS, GOD. It’s triggering, it hurts, and it’s not necessary.

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Time to return

I’d like to once again apologize for my sudden absence.  Again, my health went down the drain for some time and I’m still trying to recover.  But, life goes on, and so does the blogaround.

Things to go “yay!” about:

  • HCR.  YAY!
  • President Obama signing an executive order… well, ordering hospitals that accept Medicare and/or Medicaid to allow same-sex partners to be in the room and make decisions based on the patient’s living will.  YAY!
  • Good cheese from the store.  YAY!
  • Holy cow, I won two books!  From Katherine Gilraine for writing up a blurb. YAY!
  • Holy cow, I’m going to school!  My financial aid came in and YEP it covers everything.  YAY!
  • Holy crap, I organized my iTunes!  YAY!
  • Oh my gods, my room is clean!  YAY!

Things that are “meh!”:

  • my body hates me!  MEH!
  • apparently my Luddite [immediate] family finally found Facebook.  MEH! [though this could be classified as either a meh or a bah, so.]
  • Twitter is both a blessing and a curse.  MEH!
  • So is Facebook.  MEH!

Things that suck and are “bah!”

  • fibromyalgia.  BAH!
  • Ovarian cysts.  Lots and lots of them.  BAH!
  • Bleeding, unexpectedly [I’m sure that my female readers don’t need any sort of translation].  BAH!
  • Oh look!  Today’s the third anniversary of my assault.  FUCKING BAH!
  • Damn it, the meetup I was planning on attending in June got canceled.  BAH!
  • HCR [yes, this is both a yay and a bah] — see: women’s health rights and gay/transgendered rights.
  • Nebraska is being stupid about abortion too.
  • So is Kansas, although that comes without saying.
  • ENDA stuff getting bogged down in … well, everything
  • “fat rights” is also bogged down.  Not surprising since apparently fat-hate and/or fat shaming is the last officially recognized “phobia” in the civilized world.
  • Medicaid, apparently, has decided that when you’re due for an ~evaluation~ your fate gets decided by someone you’ve never met.  How strange.
  • The SSA is being stupid as well.

There’s a lot more stuff I need to cover, but that’s a short list for now.  I definitely will be updating more in the days and weeks to come, so watch this space!

Oh, fat hating! Fun times

The other night my partner and I went to see Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall, and Larry the Cable Guy at the Key Arena in Seattle.  The show was great, for the most part, we had a great time, the nachos were delicious, the end.

Except not really.  As usual, Jeff and Bill were the best parts of the program, while Larry… I wanted to shrink through the floor.  Larry seems to rely on crude “jokes” and fat-hating, slut-shaming, trans/gay-phobic routines to get a barrel of laughs.  And what’s really sad is that most of the people there [that I could see, at any rate] were laughing as hard as they possibly could.

For example:

My wife sent me to get a bucket of lard at Costco, and while I couldn’t find any in the store I found one at customer service, and I was scared of going up and asking a bucket of lard for a bucket of lard.

Ugh, gag him with a stick.  Please.  This kind of fat hate is not only stupid and crude, but it can be dangerous.  These kinds of things can inspire hatred, fatphobia, and sometimes even violence in extreme cases.  It’s already hard enough living life as a Fatty Fat McFatterson, but to have your size, something that you may not even have control over, mocked by someone as “famous” as Larry, it’s extremely disheartening and it feels oh-so-cruel when you realize that everyone around you is laughing because of someone who may even be smaller than you are.

The thing is, it’s not like we don’t know we’re fat.  Every time we look in the mirror, we see it.  Every time we put on clothes, we see it.  Every time we get on the scale, go outside, go to the doctor, try to buy clothing or bras or panties or even just a bathrobe, we see it.  So what do they hope to do?  Are they thinking that their laughter will somehow ~inspire~ us to lose our fat asses [that we obviously gained through being lazy] or get on the treadmill as soon as we get home?

It seems like the majority of people simply assume that we got this way by eating a cake after every meal and eight courses for dinner every day.  It also seems that there are a number of “former fats” who slimmed down with “diet and exercise” and now assume that combination will work for everyone, but never take into consideration things like thyroid problems, pre- or full diabetes, PCOS [polycystic ovarian syndrome, a hormonal imbalance], or any one of a number of different conditions that can affect weight loss/gain.

Personally, I am quite sick and tired of my health being fodder for public discussion.  And that’s what it is.  I’ve caught a number of people talking behind my back about how “nasty” I was and how I should just shut my mouth and stop eating, and so on [never mind the fact that I have mild to moderate hypoglycemia, and need to eat regularly so I don’t pass out] and so forth.  People honestly think that because I’m not an “accepted” size that they can discuss my health and my body with no compunction around me, as if I belonged to them.

News flash, world: fat people don’t “belong” to anyone but themselves.  If someone decided to talk about, say, your haircut or your tan or your child or anything about you like people talk about us?  You’d be up in arms having a fit.  So please.  Cut it out.

And while I’m at it?  Stop acting like we’re fodder for comedy routines.  Larry, this means you too.

Rape Jokes Ain’t Funny, Y’all

Apparently, in some corners of the Dance Dance Revolution [DDR] community, holding on to the bar at the back of the pads is looked down on.

And it’s also called bar raping.

Yes, you read that right.  Holding on to a padded metal bar to improve dexterity and motion is now equal to forcing someone to have sex against their will, holding them down at gun or knife point and having your way with them, continuing after consent has been withdrawn.

There’s a Facebook group against it, using the ever-popular phrase “just say no!” to illustrate their point, which brings us back to “forcing sex/having sex without consent.”

There’s an entry in the DDR Freak Dictionary for it, which terms it as “An unflattering term for bar-hugging.”  Unflattering, really?  I thought it was a sick joke at delegitimizing rape and a stab at victim blaming to boot.

LiveJournal has a community called “Bar Rapers ‘R’ Us” – a name a community has given themselves.

There are hundreds upon hundreds of other places this term is used, and I simply didn’t have the heart to trawl through any more websites, blogs, forums, or other places that a real, actual term with real, actual consequences is used as a term for something that’s built into the game.

In short: Rape no longer means victim blaming, rape no longer means a culture where women are turned into commodities, rape no longer means having to face yourself in the mirror each morning and try not to think of yourself as “broken” or “damaged,” it simply means doing something others don’t agree with.

Stay classy, people.