YAY CHRISTMAS! (not)

Christmas, and the entire holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, has always been hard. Always has been, probably always will. There’s a lot of reasons for that but those aren’t the focus of this post.

The focus of this post is “people who aren’t willing to accept that certain things are triggering and that the triggered person knows their body/mind and what they need to be safe.” On Christmas Day. Yeeeeah.

[trigger warnings for: references to fundamentalist Christianity, references to abuse, PTSD attacks and triggers, insensitivity to needs, whatever the term is for “non-mentally-ill-‘splaining,” and general ass haberdashery.]

So, this started out with being given “a gift” of a rolled up set of papers entitled [dun dun duuuunnh] “The True Meaning of Christmas.” oh, lovely, do I really have to do this? I was totally wary given just the title, but I knew that if I didn’t get it over with I would be plagued with nerves and general “what if” scenarios. So I read it. And holy shit, do I wish I didn’t.

The diatribe includes such gems as “for most people, this would have been a bad year, but because I have Jesus…” [unwritten “if you don’t have Jesus of course your year will suck,” plus “if you have Jesus and your year sucked, UR DOIN IT RONG!”], blaming his wife for their divorce, “I cannot imagine how people can make it through this life not knowing Jesus, or having a rock to cling to when the storms come their way,” and a list of “ways to change the world” including [but not limited to]:

  • ringing bells for the Salvation Army [yeah, I’d rather not give gifts or my time to a discriminatory and homophobic “charity”]
  • making a deal with the local gas station to fix tires for “needy people” for free
  • providing a week of childcare to a single mother looking for a job
  • “take blind people to the grocery store to help them find stuff and shop”

… and so on. All with the underlying, unsaid implication that if you don’t do these things, you’re not changing the world or being awesome or being a ~true Christian~ [this would be hard, since I’m not a Christian…], with judgment dripping from every word.

And given how … generally drippy this thing was with condescension and ick, I got pretty badly triggered. Apparently that’s how I spend Christmas now, trying to reign in my PTSD attacks. lovely.

Anyway, so I made a post to Facebook saying that
“oh yes, peachy, just what this Pagan who comes from an abusive “Christian” fundamentalist household wanted for Giftmas: a proselytizing letting saying that things have been donated to the gospel mission in my name.”

cue freakout. someone I’ve been having trouble calling “a friend” for a while posted the following:

“Eh, move on. You’ve got bigger shit in your life to deal with.”
and
“They’re going to keep on pulling this bullshit with you until you either A.) cut them out of your life permly. Or B.) turn the other cheek and realize people won’t change and go on your merry way.
Bullies love when you bitch about them.”

apparently me posting a vent about a serious trigger in my space is “bitching” and something that this person will AUTOMATICALLY know about… since they’re not my “friend” there anyway.

Me: seriously, C?

how the hell do you think you have the right to tell ME, the one impacted, how *I* should be reacting? This is my facebook, a place where I can fucking rant, and I get told off for being hurt over something that ruined a lot of things in my life? yeah.

peachy.

C: Those things could be helping somebody indirectly. You have every right to rant, but I sometimes worry that some of your health problems are from you worrying a lot about what those folks do.. You have your health, your schooling, your future, your life to worry about. Screw the rest of ’em. I care about you enough to not want to see you go deeper because of someone else’s dickhead move.

Me: I think I, and my doctors, will be the judge of whether or not “worrying a lot about what those folks do” has a negative impact on my health, be it physical or mental.

and this is not just “worrying about those folks,” this was something sent TO ME that triggered MY PTSD, that brought up MY PAST, specifically because of references to the Christian fundamentalist entity.

yeah, so apparently she’s just doing it for “my health,” not taking into account that I really do know my own body and mind, and that sometimes venting really is the best immediate thing to do, and that she [as an outsider] really has no cause to be telling me how to think, feel, or act.

This just ruined my day. Ruined. I don’t know what to do, or where to go from here, because this was someone I thought was a friend. Thought, past tense. Now I just need to relax [hello, Doctor Who Christmas Special!] and calm down. If only I could have some vodka while on the vicodin. If only.

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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.

shittiest day ever

I’ve had a bad day. A bad day for many reasons, including but not limited to finding out about this. The state of Washington, where I live, has decided to cut “non-essential” programs to fix the budget woes [instead of, say, passing a fucking income tax — we tried, the ballot initiative failed to pass in November].

Let’s look at this list, shall we?

From the top, “adult pharmacy benefits.” Right. So patients with diabetes don’t get their insulin. Patients with high blood pressure don’t get those meds, and psych patients [HI!] don’t get their psychotropics. This is such a clusterfuck and we’re only on the first point.

“Medical for Disability Lifeline (formerly GA-U)” — they’re cutting the entire lowest tier of DSHS support for those unable to work. And it’s not like it’s … was… easy to get on that tier at all — it took me six months to get approved, and that was after three hospitalizations for various issues, including a psychotic break.

“Eligibility reduction in Apple Health for Kids” — so kids at the very, very bottom of the barrel likely won’t get anything, any help in getting healthy. For all the whining and complaining and drama about ~the obesity epidemic~ [booga booga booga!], they sure don’t like helping kids. Making sure that kids don’t have any sort of health care is a surefire way to make sure they’re not as healthy as they could be.

“State-only Alien Emergency Medical” — well, we all know what this is, THEM FUCKING ILLEGALS, TAKING OUR JERBS AND OUR HEALTHCARE. I guess it doesn’t matter that undocumented workers pay much more into the system than out of it. Oh, no, it’s just “them dirty brown furr’ners.”

“Adult Dental Services” — so despite the fact that dental problems can rapidly turn into “real” health problems [an untreated mouth infection can and will spread to either the brain or the heart, or both], apparently us poor folks don’t deserve to keep the teeth in their mouths. Great.

“First Steps/Maternity Support Services/Infant Case Management” — even in a completely healthy woman, pregnancy can and does kill, especially during birth. And it’s been proven that getting a healthy start, even in the womb, can help children get a fighting start on the rest of their lives. I’m not talking about “don’t let fat women have kids,” or “how dare them disableds procreate,” but simple things like proper vitamins and enough water.

“Adult Hospice” — so people don’t deserve to die in comfort now? I mean, obviously it’s a good thing that they’re dying, but how dare they expect that it’ll be easy?!

“Interpreter Services” — I don’t have any words for this that aren’t profane. Last I checked, being able to understand your doctor was a fucking RIGHT protected by the state if not the federal government. ugh.

“School-based Medical Services” — I’m unsure if this is college-based or more elementary and secondary schools, but either way, it’s … kinda gross that they’re cutting services to vulnerable populations. If Neighborhood Elementary School A has five children with specific needs that can only be helped by a trained nurse [diabetes, asthma, heart issues, anything like that], those children are now at risk of dying if they don’t get the care they need.

“Medicare Part D Co-Pays” — this ties in with the donut hole thing. Medicare is so fucked up in this country right now that we expect people to pay for all their medications after a certain amount and until a different certain amount. Medicaid in Washington is … or rather, was, set up to cover the co-pays for these medications to help people get through the hole. No more.

“Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy” — yay! now the only thing helping some people be productive members of society is being taken away! or, in my case, the only thing that’s sortakinda helping to relieve the GODSAWFUL PAIN at bay is getting yanked.

“Take Charge/Family Planning” — so instead of helping people with birth control [which is what Take Charge does], we’re going to possibly create a huge group of people that we need to pay for [eg children born because their parents didn’t have reliable access to birth control]! brilliant, people. great way to save money.

“Adult Vision” — because being able to see is TOTES not necessary. TOTES.

“Adult Podiatry” — and feet aren’t needed either!

“Adult Hearing Services/Devices” — and hearing isn’t important at all as well.

As a kicker, at the bottom of the page, it says “DSHS does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.”

But no mention of economic status. This group of cuts is going to impact primarily one group: poor people. As a poor person myself, someone who is going to be badly affected by these cuts, my first impression is one of despair. There are so, so many other things that could have been done, things less important than the health of hundreds of thousands of people. There have been calls for activism for months, nearly a year, by organizations like Planned Parenthood and other health providers.

There is only so much one person can do. There is only so much fighting one can do before they get tired, before they get discouraged, before they give up.

I just passed that line, and I’m so scared.

Lady Gaga and homosexual Nazis

Yes, I know exactly how odd that title sounds.  Because yeah, it is.  I mean, hell, the Nazis killed homosexuals. A lot. Happily.  The pink triangle has been, for some time, a symbol [a mostly forgotten symbol at that] of oppression and homophobia and utter hatred.

And now, we have a music video featuring… well, homosexual Nazis.

Wait, what?

Look, a lot of the time I absolutely love Lady Gaga [Bad Romance is currently one of my favorites], but this is ridiculous.  Utterly and totally ridiculous, absurd, and [dare I say] REALLY FUCKING OFFENSIVE.  Nazis, or at least men wearing stereotypical SS/uniform hats… wearing high heels and playing with each other.  Oh, and then apparently trying to gang rape her.

Man, I am so sick of this bullshit.  I know there’s a lot of drama surrounding “retaking” a word: cunt, for example.  Or nigger.  Whatever.  But when you take something that is so utterly horrifying [the systematic planned destruction of the “subhumans” — Jews, Poles, Romani, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, sexologists, all of them] and use it… in a music video… I just can’t … I don’t honestly know what to say about it.

Yeah, there’s a time and a place to use history in entertainment [The Longest Day, Stories from Iwo Jima], even something as atrocious as the Holocaust, like in Schindler’s List.  But generally those are done with respect towards the victims, to the dead that did not deserve to die.  Not something glorifying their murderers.

Some would argue that showing them as homosexual men would be to humiliate their memory, thus reducing them to a pitiful pile of rubble.  I call bullshit.  Because according to the Nazis, homosexuals weren’t men at all.  They were … disgusting.

Suprema lex salus populi!

Communal welfare before personal welfare!

Those who are considering love between men or between women are our enemies. Anything that emasculates our people and that makes us fair game for our enemies we reject, because we know that life is a struggle and that it is insanity to believe that all human beings will one day embrace each other as brothers. Natural history teaches us a different lesson. Might makes right. And the stronger will always prevail against the weaker. Today we are the weaker. Let us make sure that we will become the stronger again! This we can do only if we exercise moral restraint. Therefore we reject all immorality, especially love between men, because it deprives us of our last chance to free our people from the chains of slavery which are keeping it fettered today.

That’s the official party line of the National Socialist Party.  As in, the Nazi party.  And in my opinion, glorifying them, their uniform, their … whatever, is absolutely appalling.  It’s disrespectful to those that died, and to those who gave everything they could to stop the murder and torture and rape and war perpetrated by them.

The Nazis weren’t gay.  Or, some of the ranking elite may have been, but it was secret, hidden, never to be spoken of around anybody.  To do so would have been a death sentence.  It was the official line that gay men were … not men, to be eliminated, rejected, “cured.”

I have so much more to say but I’m not sure how to say it right now.  It’s still very new being on “this side” instead of “an ally,” and I’ve got so much to learn.  But I don’t think I could have just stayed silent about this.  It was offensive.  Just utterly offensive, and I’m also not sure how to deal with the people… the gay and bi people that I know who are saying it’s an amazing video!  I just… don’t get it.  ugh.  Still, comments, feedback, whatever, please let me know.

Facebook and PostSecret: saving lives, one at a time

I couldn’t sleep tonight.  And … tonight, perhaps… perhaps it’s a good thing. It’s an inspiring story … of readers of a semi-obscure-ish blog banding together to help save someone’s life.

Trigger warning: suicide, lots and lots of talk about prevention, mental illnesses… yeah, it’s pretty much all here.
Read the rest of this entry »

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.