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Without deep reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people .

8 Jun

I stand in front of myself.

The mirror is no friend. It never has been. A scrawny child turned too tall and broad teenager turned adult with more bumps than roads, I’ve spent a lifetime staring away from myself. No matter how healthy I have been, how in shape, how active, I scorn my reflection. It has never been good enough.

Too tall.

Too broad.

Too fat.

Too curvy.

Too unattractive.

Too nervy.

Always something.

***

I have never been a little girl.

Around other women I feel awkward and oversized, my height, the sheer heft of my shoulders, the calves that never fit into those sleek black boots, the boobs which double as bird feeders and get in the way when I talk with my hands. I watch other women, they of tiny hands, thin bones, in some cases, the blessings of genetics, and I feel envy, as well as shame. Womanhood, is it not in delicacy? Is it not in the lovely flutters of fine boned hands, soft and pointed? Have they not the trappings of will, or at the very least, a slot in a lottery I lost out on, my own blood full of the tall, the thick hipped, those who will survive famine. Hearty stock. Peasants maybe.

My unease with women may stretch back to the fact that I always feel like a giant among the munchkins, and I am the problem. Rooms full of svelte and tanned, bellies that lie flat, arms that rarely jiggle. Pants that stay put.

When the world, or at least the one presented to you, is a consumptive tea party of flounce and vanity, of slimness and restraint, how does a girl look around her if it’s her ass that doesn’t fit in the party chair?

***

I haven’t worn a swimsuit in public for years, not openly without something over it. Does it matter if crazy gained me weight? If medications did? If stress, lack of time, the natural progression of my body? I haven’t worn one without covering since I was 14 or so, when, relatively skinny, someone still called me “lard-ass”.

Of course, I’ve also heard this in varying combinations while walking down the street minding my own business, flung from a car window like so much trash. Sure, sticks and stones. But the 10th time. Then 50th. How long until you believe it, random words from adolescent idiots? How long before the world reinforces that regardless of your actual strength and health, it’s how someone else sees your ass in those pants that matters as you walk home late at night.

If you’re lucky, someone only throws something once.

***

I am pleasantly surprised at the ease push ups start to come, at the smooth feel of my body as it relies on itself. I smile as muscle replaces slack in places. I make conscious decisions to eat better, to eat less.

I am however, still fat. Judging by the biological members of my family alive, I will always be fat. But does my fat dictate my health? Can the people who drive everywhere, who rarely take the stairs, but who perhaps don’t eat, or who are lucky to be blessed genetically, are they more healthy? The fat women doing biathalons-are they unhealthy? I will always be a size above, unlikely to ever slip under an 18. (I haven’t been a 14 since the summer I spent high without eating, having maybe 200 calories a day while I cycled everywhere. I still had a stomach, even then.)

But how does that determine judgement? If I recoil from a skinny woman, who to me, is far too slim, I see judgement cast at me. Yet recoil from me, and people will join you. I’m fat. I’m not welcome at the tea party. I’m disgusting and unhealthy.

I am, essentially, invisible, and yet, visibly judged. Even though you may know nothing about me, and how I live. I am your perfect whipping boy for your own vanity.

***

I love to run. I always have. And yet, I’ve never been able to without my lungs seizing up, and rendering me breathless, culminating once in passing out during a basketball game, legions of 13 year old girls newly trained in CPR wondering if they would get to try it out on the fat girl.

(Ironically, just writing about this makes my chest seize up in anxiety.)

I try to run. I try to run away from the body I have, because it is, quite simply, not the body the world condones, and is one it barely tolerates, no matter how fit it might be, no matter how healthy each doctor deems it against their own judgement. But I cannot run. And I am faced with raising two daughters in a world which makes weight and either or proposition, which it may not necessarily be.

I can’t run my way out of my body. But I can’t seem to run my way out of expectation or judgement either.

***

30 years in, 33 this year somehow, I can stand in front of a mirror, and face myself. I am imperfect. I am lumpy in places I’ve been lumpy since 14. But I am also strong.

I’m tired of letting you keep me from myself.  And it stops now.

No, I’m not stranded, or mugged, or asking for money.

25 May

My thordora gmail account was hacked last night, suspiciously soon after linking it, stupidly, to my youtube account. (The ONE TIME i don’t pay attention to this crap and look what happens…)

So yes. I’ve been hacked. My account is, seemingly, back in my safe and loving hands, and I am not stranded anywhere, least of all London. Nor would I ask the 479 contacts in my gmail for money, considering I wouldn’t know 465 of them if they were the ones who mugged me in the street.

So I know, and it’s been fixed. And all my passwords have been changed, as well as unlinking all possible accounts. I’ve never had anything like this happen, and it was oddly disturbing. And quite freaky.

So-change your passwords to something hopelessly obscure, don’t repeat them on various sites (although I didn’t do that with this one) and be damn sure to NOT link accounts together.

Gah. What a bloody mess.

Not very social or serviced.

18 Mar

Some of you may remember last summer. How we trusted a woman-another mother, and she broke our trust, horribly. I teetered on the trust edge, trying to push myself away from my natural state of distrust to open my heart, help her and her terribly unattached wild son, try to give some stability to their lives, a friend for Viv.

I was wrong.

One day, she took my kids, and her son, to the local amusement park. And left them there. The police called me and told me what happened, and I was shocked, but glad they were safe, also livid in my head, but outwardly calm and normal. The woman burst in my house soon after, sobbing her apologies. The kids were confused, but otherwise unaffected. I let my anger stewed, gave her the benefit of the doubt.

Soon after I learned she was a recovering addict on methadone, had a criminal record, and regularly locked my kids out of her house and made them pee in the bushes. I cringe to think what Vivian doesn’t tell me.

The final straw, the one that finally made it ok for me to say no to her, to their father who was a little more trusting, was the day she took Rosalyn without asking, just left a note, and when confronted said that she told Ros to give the note to her father as he drummed, and that we should discipline her because she didn’t do it.

We should punish a 4 year old for not telling her Dad another adult was taking her from her own house.

I was so inflamed I made him deal with it. To look at her I knew I would rip her limb from limb. She didn’t get it, and we all breathed a sigh of relief when she finally moved away.

I feel for her son, her lonely lashing son, who I worry doesn’t stand a chance.

But then a few weeks back, a knock at my door. Social services, wanting to follow up. Procedure, to check, to interview. I hate the idea, but I’ll deal with it. They’re doing their job.

Today I sat through a humiliating interview asking me about school, their personalities, how I parent, why and what things happened. When. Will I be punished if I don’t remember exactly when things happened? Will I be blamed because I went with my husband at the time, and tried to show some trust and compassion for the woman, tried to help her son, the poor lost poor?

I nearly felt my brain boil out of my ears when the social worker told me that the main reason for the visit was that I didn’t show any concern when the cop called.

I am my mother’s daughter. When things go bad, you do not show fear. You do not show emotion. You become polite and well mannered and understanding. You burn on the inside. And I knew they were safe, then. While I was frantic inside, wondering, angry and smouldering, I’m not going to freak out on the phone with the police. They were safe. I would save my ire for the woman who left my children alone for over an hour in an amusement park.

I dealt with a social worker examining my every move for 40 minutes today, questioning “do I spank? Have I hit” because someone perceived that my reaction OVER THE PHONE was not enough.

Sounds familiar. Sounds like a certain Twitter incident. The assumption, based on going off half cocked. Using a forum that does not provide enough inputs in terms of body language and context to come to an opinion.

THAT makes me angry. The fact that my lack of response, which for me, is normal, came back to haunt me. I freak out after, when I start thinking about the what ifs. But with a police officer? I’m going to be polite and calm, as I was raised to be. Keep my composure.

(The constant worry that because I can be deemed crazy they might take my kids at any time also keeps me under a tight rope with law enforcement. Which I imagine can be perceived oddly.)

So I stood today, staring at my house, the unfinished walls, the doors with no handles, the clothes and paper strewn on the floor because I cannot do it all myself, and lived for years with someone who had no desire to DO anything about it-I stood there feeling humiliated and embarrassed that having wonderful, intelligent awesome kids might not be enough-that my inability to keep a clean house might haunt my, that my honesty that yes, I’ve swatted Ros on the butt to keep her off a busy street-I’m not terrified that these thing will cause problems I can never be rid of.

And don’t get me started with how she had ZERO desire to speak with their father. Apparently this? Is all MY fault. Despite my constant assertions to him last summer that I’d prefer someone else watch the kids, even if it cost money. I didn’t throw him under the bus, but it was more than a little fucking painful to be stared at like this was all my fault when I did nothing but try and trust a woman my heart and mind told me to stay well away from.

So the what ifs start in my head again. I KNOW I’m a good mother-a little flighty, chaotic and not the neatest, but I am raising women who will roar. And I want to cry because I worry, I fucking fear in my heart, that the people I am creating, molding, will not matter half as much as someone’s half baked idea of how clean a home should be.

Why am I being punished? Why just me?

And ultimately, what if this punishes my daughters? All we did was try and cultivate a friend for Vivian, try and do the right compassionate thing in trying to give that little boy a soft place to land. We trusted.

And we were wrong.

I’m sorry, is The Mother’s Act trying to help women? My bad…

22 May

Once upon a time, everything was wrong. I knew it. I couldn’t bring myself to where I needed to be. So I lived with it, we worked around it, we did what we could, the people in my life, me. But when there’s a fuzz in your brain you can never quite shake, you can’t see through it. You can feel the wrong vibrating through your life, but you can’t quite settle it.

Even if you talk to a doctor, even when I sat down and said, please, I want to die, I can’t hold it in, they saw nothing. The next time I’d be fine, and bouncy and wonderful and life was grand and they saw nothing. So I carried on, with the wrong still buzzing, believing I was doing what I could do.

But then pregnancy, and pregnancy again, and there was a slight snap that let loose the dogs of crazy, and I slipped slowly into the vibration, becoming consumed, becoming someone I wasn’t, someone who I can’t recognize today.

They didn’t see it. They didn’t watch for it, they didn’t ask. My urine was more compelling than my mental state, even after the first time, even after being through it, after asking for help. Nothing. No one. They watched me crying, sobbing in a fetal position 3 hours after birth and did nothing. I should have been happy, shouldn’t I?

More and more foolishness comes out on the Mother’s Act. More lies, more blatant bullshit (prozac in a baby’s eyes? Really? People BELIEVE this crap!?!?) more obstacles to providing women with nurses and doctors who pay attention to their emotional state, who stop and ask them if they’re ok, who take a moment to look them in the eyes and tell them it’s ok to admit if maybe it’s not all puppies and rainbows.

Honesty. Caring. Compassion. Research to prevent post partum mood disorders.

I read a story like this one, where a mother kills her son. And I read how the family felt “she did not express the typical love of a mother for her child.” And how nothing had been done before that. How the mother said she killed him because “she did not want him to grow up with no one caring about him, the same way that she had grown up where nobody had cared about her.” She then walked the streets of her city.

If she never reacted properly to her son, why would no one ever see, or be told, or help? How long? From birth? Could this have been stopped, years before? This mother, who now waits to be tried, who wants now to die, who felt this was the only way, could she have been helped by something as simple as a doctor noticing, at some time, what was going on?

As a Canadian who has suffered a bad case of PPD, I’ve been watching the Mother’s Act hopefully, and wondering if we can implement something similar in Canada. Something that would extend a hand when it’s needed, not forcing or demanding, but merely being a support when it’s so desperately needed. Education for doctors and nurses to recognize the signs.

I’ve also been watching the backlash, the ridiculous claim from out of nowhere that this is basically an excuse for “big pharma” (I’m so tired of that term) to drug everyone into insensibility, make oodles of money, and giggle maniacally in their lairs. Because it’s hard to believe that anyone, even a senator who is paid to represent the constituents, or a mother who lost her daughter, might only want things to change for mothers. Because nothing can ever happen on a broad scale without some sort of conspiracy attached.

It’s disgusting, and infuriating, especially when coming from other mothers. I didn’t take anything when I was suffering-I went through therapy, and was eventually diagnosed, nearly 2 years later, as bipolar. Which I should have been diagnosed as years before. I elected to start treatment with medication, and did my research on each until we found one that corrected the imbalance in my brain, and allowed me to function, NOT exceed, but merely FUNCTION at the same level as everyone else.

I CHOSE my path. I still see a doctor, sometimes more, sometimes less. I take my medication because for me, talk therapy isn’t the only answer. But I refused anti-depressants twice, and was merely told that they were available, if I needed or wanted them. As with many women I know, I didn’t want them.

But some women might. And women should have the choice, since free will, after all, is a bitch.

There are lives to be saved here, women’s lives, children. By simple screening, questions, a kind word, someone paying attention. And yet we constantly see blowhards screaming their agenda, which is not so much about women but about their misguided attempts to protect. We see people who have never ever even given BIRTH, who decide, based on their vast experience, that this bill must be evil evil evil.

We have hundreds, maybe thousands of women, every day, suffering in silence, suffering in from of medical staff as I did, who get no help at all.

We are a compassionate people, aren’t we?

****

So I went to read the bill again. Looking for the “feed me Risperdal” clause.

Yeah…no….

(1) Basic research concerning the etiology and causes of the conditions.

  

(2) Epidemiological studies to address the frequency and natural history of the conditions and the differences among racial and ethnic groups with respect to the conditions.

 Again, research, especially about incidence, good. 

(3) The development of improved screening and diagnostic techniques.

  

(4) Clinical research for the development and evaluation of new treatments.

  

(5) Information and education programs for health care professionals and the public, which may include a coordinated national campaign to increase the awareness and knowledge of postpartum conditions. Activities under such a national campaign may– 

Gee, educating the public? Kirstie, are you listening?

 (B) focus on–

(i) raising awareness about screening;

     (ii) educating new mothers and their families about postpartum conditions to promote earlier diagnosis and treatment; and

    You mean, let people know what it might feel like so they can educate themselves? NO!

     

    (iii) ensuring that such education includes complete information concerning postpartum conditions, including its symptoms, methods of coping with the illness, and treatment resources.

    And education means providing ALL options and alternatives to the woman, so SHE can make a decision like a big girl wearing big girl pants? How progressive!

      

     

Frankly, I don’t see it. While I take medication, and it has literally saved my life, I don’t like pills either. I hate taking them. I’ve declined many medications because I don’t want it in my body. I would never support something that mandated medication. And this doesn’t. Unless there’s some super special secret page that only Amy whatshedrinking can see with all her friends. This is about education, and providing women with the tools they MIGHT need to help them get a handle on things.

Maybe I am insane, but I fail to see how this infringes on freedom, goes against the constitution, or any of the many things it’s been accused of doing.

It’s trying to help. People who have been there are trying to help. What’s really in it for those trying to prevent that help? Dollars for Scientology perhaps, more money for “natural” remedies that might also poison you? Is this just another way for some women to convince you that you aren’t a real woman if you haven’t “toughed it out” if you suffered true post partum, and not just baby blues?

I’m not proud. I deeply desired to give away my daughter at birth. To harm her and end my life. Many things too painful to write down. I recovered with therapy, with the help of a very aware lactation consultant who called at the right time. What I felt wasn’t natural or normal, and it took me a year to connect to her, despite fighting for therapy and assistance.

Now imagine the woman without an advocate.

That’s who you’re destroying here.

We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are – that is the fact.

10 Mar

Today the sky was a vicious blue, and the air was still. Nothing moved for a moment as I stood at an icy corner, waiting. A pause in a season, to catch it’s sense of self perhaps, shake March a little, like a snowglobe. Winter and spring fighting for their places.

It’s that blue that breaks the tempo after a long winter-the blue that reminds you that all things change, all things come around, nothing, ever, lasts forever.

“…developed a cancer growth in the large intestinal track. The doctor successfully removed a piece of the intestine that had the growth, so all should be well soon.”

In the mail, a letter from my sorta step-grandmother-the woman married to my blood grandfather. The letter came inside a birthday card for Rosalyn, attached to a check. “Don’t worry” it says.

My adoptive mother died of cancer.

My biological grandmother died of cancer.

My biological grandfather has cancer.

Yeah, I’m not worried. Not one bit. Not me, who muttered “well, at least I’m probably in HIS will.”

I’d slap myself for being so crass if it would make a difference.

Thing is, I don’t know how to feel. This man is my family-his blood runs in my veins, my face, briefly, resembles his, the shy smile, the height. I’m his granddaughter-his first born granddaughter, and I can smell the guilt from him a mile away. I’d like to believe it’s not guilt, but love, or at least like. But I’d also like to believe I’ll have a pony and a beach house someday.

He and my grandmother were truly the only people in my biological family who seemed to truly care, who unlike my birth mother, didn’t just throw money in my face to try and fix some perceived slight, 20 years old. My grandparents were the only ones who seemed to truly want to help, to know me. They were the only ones I cared to know, the only two in a large family seemingly disinterested in material’s or money in the bank. The only two who didn’t seem wrapped up in themselves.

My grandmother died, fast, of cancer rocketing through her body. I was 7 months pregnant with Vivian the last time I spoke to her, excited to be carrying their first grandchild, excited to give them that. She told me about everyone else’s problems, told me how proud she was of my half-sister.

She left out the part about the cancer eating her from the inside. She lived 3 weeks past the day Vivian was born. She never knew her name. They told me later that she didn’t want to upset me.

I didn’t cry-what was there to cry for? A body that is technically like mine, DNA I could mimic, follow home? But nothing beyond that point-nothing to say, nothing in common, our lives so very different for only being 40 minutes apart while I grew up.

40 minutes. That’s all that separates a life from another.

My grandmother was one of the coolest people I’ve ever met. But I didn’t know her, and I didn’t feel entitled to grief.

I was not included on the death announcement, still just another hidden secret to be ashamed of.

So to see, on paper, the words that could likely turn into him dying, I just wish I had never looked. I unfriended my half-sister on Facebook since the last time I spoke to her she was, frankly, a bit of a bitch, and how do you explain anything to a 21 year old with a single vision? You don’t.

This man is the last link I have to a family that never wanted me, and has never even tried to fill in the blanks for me, never tried to be there. My birth mother has come and gone at will, rejecting me, pushing away. Occasionally an aunt sends a gift, a letter, then nothing. I sit here wondering if this is what family feels like, and if it is, why anyone bothers? I have more family in my father than I have in that entire group of people.

If my grandfather dies, when he dies, It will bring home how close I am to being an orphan, a story I could avoid telling myself for years. I thought finding my birth family would help me close the holes in my heart, help me move on with life.

It’s done nothing but wound me slowly since the day it happened. The farther I get away from it, the more I wish I had never, ever looked.

All I ever wanted was a family to love me, a normal family that wasn’t broken or strained or lying to itself. Meeting these people at 19 was a lesson well learned, one that continues even now.

Oh, darling, let your body in, let it tie you in, in comfort.

16 Feb

 Diane E. Levin and Jean Kilbourne’s So Sexy So Soon seeks to address this very type of childhood experience: a complete lack of awareness about sex and reproduction coupled with a media-fed understanding of sexiness – that is, as one young girl in the book explains, getting boys to chase you and try to kiss you – that revolves around emulating TV characters and buying as many products as possible.

There’s a great book review of So Sexy So Soon at Feministe-please, go read.

But it got me to thinking.

How much time can we, as parents and mothers, spend blaming the media, the western world, capitalism, Walmart, etc, before we also realize the true impact we have on our daughters?

I firmly believe in openness, to the point of irritation I imagine. Vivian telling me that “that place” feels good when she touches it-that filled me with pride. Pride that she was able to say this to me with no fear or pretense, and that she took such obvious joy in herself. Pride that I’m starting to create a woman who isn’t afraid of herself, knows where all the proper things are, and just exists in this manner.

Because I disagree that this is fully the fault of what Mattel is selling this season, or that sitcoms have taken things too far. I disagree that it’s those damn music videos, or those stars that kids want to emulate. Not fully.

Cues are taken from parents.

How many of us were raised in a don’t ask, don’t tell sort of environment, where the most sex education you received was 2 weeks in Grade 5, and maybe a book left covertly on a counter top by your mother? How many women can’t bring themselves to call a vulva a vulva, or even know that their vagina is only on the inside? How many women can’t bring themselves to orgasm, or help their partner to do so? How many women blush at the thought of talking about all of this? How many of us learned, early on from our parents, that our hands can be dirtied so easily?

When I was Vivian’s age, I liked to rock on a specific doll-I remember, it was a pink stuffy with one of those plastic kewpie doll faces on it. It made me feel good-happy, in touch with myself, like a sun rising, so I wanted to tell my mother. I showed her.

She didn’t hit me. Instead, she looked completely horrified, and I never saw that doll again. Standing in the hallway, my mother stared at me, and held her hand out. I handed it over, cried, and stumbled back to my room, confused.

Later, a few years perhaps, when my neighbour molested me, I remember feeling like I had no control over my body, that it never belonged to me, and I should submit. I could never tell my mother-it would be my fault. I would be punished, and would still not know what was mine in terms of my body. For years I dreamed of being abused by conveyor lines of robots, people. Just my lying there, at the whim of others.

It was my mother’s responsibility to teach my about my body, about myself. It was her responsibility to teach me that there is no shame in acknowledging my humanity in this way, in embracing my sexuality, even at that young of an age.

Make no mistake-we are sexual creatures the day we are born. Which is why as parents we need to step it up right off the bat, in the most normal way, as if explaining how to make bread or why you have an elbow. Blaming media and society for one’s child wanting to dress like a Bratz doll or a 13 year old knocking up a girl-it’s a cop out. It’s easy to say “The school never taught it!” or that “Miley Cyrus made her dress that way!” and turn the other way.

Much more difficult to raise your children with appropriate sexual values and mores, to have those conversations that at times, are less than easy.

Being sexual is part of who we are-and it always has been. We now treat even into mid-twenties like teenagers, so why is it so strange that a seven year old starts to act as they might? Why is starting the mating dance at 12 so odd? What if, biologically, that’s where the drive can start for some. I began menstruating about then-if I can bear children, if I am considered a woman, physically, why can’t society, or parents be bothered to?

I may not necessarily agree with a pre-teen acting out in any way sexually-but I’m raising my daughters with the knowledge to make responsible choices, when appropriate. Will I always win? No, not with two daughters. But I refuse to use the cop-out that the world around me has more bearing on how my daughters come to their womanhood than I do.

It took me years to come to grips with my sexuality, having children being the last nail in that particular coffin. I don’t want that for them. Our bodies are wonderful, beautiful things, and by telling our daughters on what’s bad, and horrible and not allowed because they’re too young/not ready/just can’t only serves to increase the need and make it more attractive.

Refusing to speak to your children out of embarrassment, or fear-to me, that’s worse than all the Bratz dolls and belly tops. Because our parents are our guides, for good or ill. And we do ourselves a grave disservice by leaving our daughters out to dry.

When a man wants to murder a tiger, it’s called sport; when the tiger wants to murder him it’s called ferocity.

15 Feb

 I open CNN to a poll:

“Do you think people with a history of mental illness should be allowed to buy guns?”

  1. Yes

  2. Yes, with tighter restrictions

  3. No

Guess which answer is at 85%.

I don’t deny, at any point, that the mentally ill can be unstable and downright dangerous. We can be, if not managed  by therapy, drugs and hard work.

I become incensed at the idea that we should be controlled with restrictions, a grand database in the sky tracking us, telling some 18 year old in Walmart if I’m allowed to own a gun, letting them know that I’m the crazy, run away! The very idea that anyone with ANY mental illness history (which frankly, is a LOT of people) can’t even touch a firearm because of that ILLNESS is disturbing.

I, like hundreds of thousands of other people, have a mental disorder that can rear up, much like cancer can come of remission, if we don’t take our medication. Because I have bipolar, is it ok to discriminate? What if I only had anxiety? What if I only had depression that was cyclical, dependant on the season?

At what point are the mentally ill truly people?

I read people talking about how “Octo-Mom’s” uterus isn’t up for anyone else’s discussion-despite the fact that she’s impacting 14 children, 2 parents and herself. We should leave her alone, not discriminate, she might be “sick in the head.”

Are we all going to pop out multiple children because we’re mentally ill? No more than we’re all going to pick up a semi-automatic weapon and start killing people. However, people will make that blanket statement, assuming that none of us should ever have a chance to touch a gun, perhaps drive a vehicle, own a house.

And again, soon, that we shouldn’t have any children at all?

It’s easy to climb on a horse, point a finger and say THOSE people shouldn’t be allowed. Much easier than say, supporting mental health initiatives, demanding that mental disease be portrayed truthfully, or pushing their local and federal governments for more funding for care and support.

Taking the gun away is inadequate at best. Supporting the person, treating the sickness, giving them a safe place to land when the chaos does occur-these are solutions. Assisted living for some individuals, out-patient treatment, increased numbers of doctors so we can receive REAL care.

Money is better spent on helping the mentally ill be the best people they can be, than reducing us to caricatures and limiting our lives.

It’s not the guns I care about. At the end of the day, I don’t see why people need guns in the first place, or why they need automatic weapons. But it’s not about that-it’s about how rights can be scrapped away from a group of people in the name of “safety”, and everyone will fall in line.

There’s an exception to every rule. “Normal” people kill people with guns ALL THE FREAKING TIME and yet no one says, in any seriousness, “Stop selling guns, period.”

Fuck, that’s unamerican, right?

The mentally ill, who live in some sort of vacuum, don’t get leeway, don’t get sympathy, they get judged.

It scares me because one it starts, where does it end? And does it end with us? What if statistically, white males 18-24 who like black pants and smoke Player’s are the ones doing the shooting? Will we take away a right? Will we lock them up?

Will we make a problem where one doesn’t exist?

We will spend money on fantasy, and yet not on treatment and everyday living.

You don’t have to be mentally ill to think that’s completely fucking crazy.

*********************

No red flags. My ASS.

Liking the Saw movies is not a flag. Someone who:

stopped taking an antidepression medication for obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety three weeks before the shooting

THAT is a flag. Dropping your medication off suddenly can trigger events that otherwise wouldn’t have happened. Wearing a fucking dog collar is strange, not a red flag. Emails to friends that are out of character-flags.

This assumption that he couldn’t possibly function normally because he was crazy, that he lived “a double life”-THIS is what keeps people swimming in the crazy. People will think the worst regardless. People will think our love for horror or black humor means that we’re monsters anyway.

People hurt. Instead of being given help, they’re called “strange” and “weird” and isolated further.

The red flag is life.

 

Dear Sir who searched for “My wife thinks I’m a total fucking asshole”

16 Jan

Now that things are back to normalish, the search hits are less “smother twitter mother” and more like “how to die quickly” or “biting my truant pen”.

Or “my wife is a  bitch” or my personal favorite “fucking bitch wife”

Gentleman, can we have a little chat here?

When a woman, specifically your wife, is being “a bitch”, it’s not scour the internet for other men who feel the same way and might reinforce your masculine idea time. It’s sit the fuck down, talk and LISTEN to your wife time. A woman doesn’t just wake up one day and decide to be a jerk-generally speaking, they’re led down that particular garden path by bad behaviour, by being ignored, minimized, ridiculed, or just generally made to feel like shit by you, the fucking jackass husband.

Yeah, you. I’m talking specifically to YOU. When is the last time you randomly did something special for her? No, don’t start prattling on about how she never does stuff for you-she does, and it’s called CLEAN NOT ITCHY TIGHTY WHITIES. When’s the last time you poured her a bath? Rubbed her back? Had a coffee with her and just talked like you did before, 5 or 10 or 20 years ago. When is the last time you told her she’s a good lover? When’s the last time you brought flowers or made a card or a cake just cause.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume never. Because women, and people in general, they want to be wooed. They want to know occasionally “I matter. I’m wanted. I’m needed.”  They need to know that you see them, as a person-not just as sex, or as a mother, or a meal ticket. But as a flesh and blood woman who wants nothing more than to see the man they fell in love with once again.

So many of us fall out of love for the simplest and stupidest of reasons. Because we can’t find it in ourselves to stop and simply be kind and good to each other, to stem the tide of anger and sadness with a little love, compassion and care.

Is she fuckin bitch wife? I doubt it. But if she is, perhaps it’s time YOU took a long hard look in the mirror and figure out what, if anything, you’re bringing to the partnership.

Because frankly, if you’re wasting your time searching for what you came here for, you’re obviously not doing the right things at home.

Watch what you twitter, big sister is watching.

4 Jan

 

ETA: comments are NOT closed because I’m cowardly. They are closed on THIS POST ONLY because what needed to be said, ON BOTH SIDES, is said. Nor am I deleting comments.

Those of you who KNOW ME know the relationship I have with my daughters. You know the relationships you have with your children. Loving, frustrated, awed, annoyed, angry, blissful.

Tonight, as always, my evil mini-me did her “not going to sleep without one last hug” routine.

Tonight, as always, I yelled, threatened and cajoled her back into bed.

Tonight, as I’ve done in the past, as other parents have done in many ways, I asked if it was ok to smother her.

Which, if you know me, or anyone with my sense of black humor, is a joke born of frustration, annoyance, and yes, LOVE.

Tonight this woman (link removed because enough is enough), who I foolishly followed on Twitter, who likely doesn’t even know me, had someone in LA call the cops.

ON ME.

I just had to prove that my fucking daughter was all right because some “person” who has never met me, barely exchanged any words with me, couldn’t stop for a minute and think, gee, perhaps she’s like many other mothers, annoyed at bedtime. She couldn’t stop and think, hmmm, an email might suffice.

Oh no, not our saviour. Only the cops will do. Only the cops at 11pm, where I had to open the fucking door to their room as they SLEPT to prove I hadn’t harmed them.

Is this home grown parenting advice? Is this the ultimate end of social networking, the virtual version of the snoopy fucking irritating neighbour?

While I’m really FUCKING glad this wasn’t a friend, there’s no more networking for me. Apparently, my brand of humour and venting isn’t suitable for all audiences, who might be better served searching for child abuses in her OWN neighbourhood, instead of ruining my fucking evening as I sit here enraged that a fucking stranger had the gall.

So lesson learned ladies. Don’t do any venting in public. Don’t network. Don’t show anything LESS than perfect bliss and 400 tweets about contests and fucking blow it out your ass nothing. Because someone, somewhere might call the police on you and you’ll be sitting there in your pajamas watching a cop waste his fucking time, and know it.

Thank you lady, for wasting my fucking tax dollars. If you’ll excuse me, I think they’re still raping and murdering the transgendered in Tennessee if you’re REALLY wanting to protect someone.

“Perseverance is the most overrated of traits, if it is unaccompanied by talent; beating your head against a wall is more likely to produce a concussion in the head than a hole in the wall. “

29 Oct

When did we stop eating?

Or rather, when did we stop eating for the sake of eating, for the wet juice of a warm peach down our throat? For the subtle play of a good marinara on our tongue? for the sweet taste of fresh baked warm bread and creamy butter? When did we stop eating to savour the moment, and the food?

I can remember, clearly, shucking corn as a child on the step of our back porch, mere hours after plucking it from the corn field of a family friend, in the heat of late summer. The kernels were a lovely creamy yellow, and the silk flew in the air around me, picked up by warm wind. Later, as I bit into a cob, covered in margarine, salt, pepper, that day seemed so perfect. From field to plate to mouth, an explosion of taste and memory in my mouth, covering my tongue. Perfection.

I can remember the Swiss Bakery down the street from my house, the nicest, kindest people you’d ever meet, friends of my parents, who would hand me soft warm cookies when we entered the bakery, of even better, the odd time, a silky, flaky Napoleon would be gently pressed into my hands, the cream like a blanket under the pastry, the sugary smells wafting. Such a rare and wonderful treat.

I now sit in an office where most of the women, and a rather disturbing number of men talk constantly about calories, weight ins, all the stuff they can’t eat, slam the doors on someone offering a piece of pizza. The obsessive single mindedness of it all-when we were teenagers, we were full of music, books, movies, other people. What changes that we get full up on NOT eating? How do we gain satisfaction from losing a pound, or looking increasingly anorexic? Where’s the enjoyment in only drinking coffee all day?

Where did we go wrong? When did we stop eating for enjoyment, for sustenance, and begin looking at everything with points in our eyes? Why can’t we look at a fabulous bowl of pasta, of a nice thick piece of rye bread with a growl in our belly instead of a “ugh-can’t eat that?”

WHY?

You are meant to eat. Your body wants food. Confusing your body with crazy chemicals that make people like me ill doesn’t help. Thinking you can pull a fast one with the fat-your body has evolved to desire specific things-it knows better. Thinking that fake sugar will be as good or better than sugar-why? Why are chemicals preferable to a few calories?

Why do we sacrifice so much for so little? For a body we’ll never be happy with anyway? Why is it so hard to do what’s easier-ACCEPT OURSELVES.

I make no secret of the fact that I’m a fatty. I believe in HAES (Health At Every Size). I believe that exercise, and normal eating is more important that only eating 3 carrot sticks a day. I believe that loving who and what we are is much more meaningful than being able to not eat friend foods for months at a time. I believe that remembering how to desire the cold snap of a cucumber or the rich love of a chocolate cupcake is vastly more important than fitting into a size 10 pant for a few weeks.

I believe that standing and looking at ourselves, and saying ‘YES” means more than any weight loss ever could.

I’ve had two children. My body had never been a temple I had been comfortable with-skinny or chubby, But after creating, growing, protecting and birthing two magical little people, my body took on a whole new dimension. It had meaning. This belly that’s so distraught, with it’s stretch marks and dis colorings-it makes a place where life grew, and began. These arms, losing their definition through misuse and just general busyness-they’ve held infants growing into toddlers growing into children. These hips, so broad and strong, they’ve pushed new life into our horrid and wonderful world, I have felt their movements, bringing life to create and pushing it out into the light.

My body means more than my pant size. My body is a beautiful, awe worthy thing. My body deserves fresh summer corn and cupcakes. My body deserves the pleasure of just eating for itself.

As does yours.

Letting go on the bus and other irritants.

19 Aug

The bus ride to work, my sorta favoured, sorta hated morning ritual. I would have walked, but the clouds moved in and I knew, like clockwork, the rain would start if I walked. Not that I mind rain. But I mind rain when not going home. I mind feeling slightly damp, like a wet sheepdog all day.

I don’t really mind the bus. It’s time to read or listen to music. Walking is better for music since there’s no engines or voices to compete, but just having 30 minutes where I’m immobile and unable to do more than read, talk or the phone or text is rather decadent these days. And I do love reading certain novels over and over again, with this weeks love being the Taltos series by Steven Brust. (Which is completely fantastic-the man has a gift he really does. And note to anyone who cares-his new book, Jhegaala is out and I have a birthday coming up. No pressure though.)

I digress.

Lately I have been trying to be better, to sweeten my disposition if you will. I’ve been nasty, and well, I don’t want to be that way anymore. This has been going fairly well. But this morning, despite the sunshine making it’s lazy way through the windows and the cool air on my skin, I found myself kinda foul, and fighting it. It’s hard people! When everything in your says “BAH!”, it’s difficult.

I took to looking at the window and ordering myself to find something I liked about everything I saw. Which honestly, is fairly easy to do. Lovely houses, vintage cars, beautiful gardens. Perked me up a bit.

But truly, TRULY, I couldn’t get past the two giggling, 20 odd year old girls who spent the entire bus ride whining about various body pains and taking up multiple seats with a variety of stuff. They were on last night, doing much the same. Architects blocked them out nicely. Some mornings, like this morning, I didn’t want headphones in.

So listen I did.

I fought with myself, reminding myself they’re really just kids. But my head kept screaming a frantic, freaking out scream “They’re training to be NURSES!”

oh.my.dear.fsm.

The entire bus ride was this internal fight with myself, half of me reminding myself not to judge, judging is bad, and the other half had her hair standing on end like a harpy, bouncing upside and around screaming ARGH! People shouldn’t talk this much at SEVEN AM!

Sigh.

I am not worthy. I need to continually remind myself that I am not inherently better than anyone else, that I have no corner pocket on being a good person. Through gritted teeth if need be. I need to focus on good things, breaking the habit of years like stealing carrots from gerbils. I have no real right to focus only on the bad things, to focus solely on how grating their voices were, how repetitive the conversation, how irritating it was for the louder and whinier of the two to sit at the back of the bus like a queen, taking up 6, count them SIX seats with her size 4 butt. I have no real right to be annoyed by people who are really doing nothing to me, aside from keeping me from sitting something with leg room unless I want a fight.

Not that I was keeping track of my annoyances or anything.

Obviously, I need to learn how to deal with and how to integrate the things that annoy me into my daily life, to breathe them in and let them go. It’s foolish to assume nothing will bother me. Of COURSE something will bother me. I’m human (I think). But I need to better learn to let things flow past me-through me and around me. I will be better served by focusing on the good (they’re young! Lucky creatures, and full of life) rather than the bad things (they annoyed the SHIT out of me)

Learning to let go is a lot harder than I ever thought it would be.

More than the sum of her womb.

28 Jul

You know what I’m sick of.

I’m sick of this shit.

Bitch, where’s your kids? Here’s Britney Spears hard at work on a plan to get custody of her kids back

. Her plan so far involves some pool lounging and flirting with anonymous dudes.

But we know Britney. We can see the gears sparking and grinding in her head. It smells like beef jerky. That’s how you know Britney’s plotting something.

 

Yes, Britney surrendered custody of her children to their father. Yes, she’s had various problems in the last little while. We know.

What drives me nuts each time I open my feed reader are posts that basically stand back and point a “HOLY SHIT DUDES! HORRIBLE MOTHER AHEAD!!!!!” finger at her, which numerous male stars walk out on their children, likely every day. And it’s everywhere-how dare someone with a working womb and vagina give up her kids, maybe to get better, or maybe because, like men all over the world, she can’t handle having them all the time.

This constant assumption of the sainted perfect mother who can’t be separated from her kids-this drives post partum depression, this drives women who work 60 hour work weeks and yet still make the cookies for playschool. It drives women not being able to make the reasonable decisions regarding their children because only bad monster mommies leave their kids. Only evil mommies dare act like men. How on earth could the womb that bore them walk away so easily?

To which I ask, how on each can the ejaculator who created them walk away so easily?

It’s so pervasive, so easy to think “Geez, what a cooze, leaving her kids and going sunbathing.” It’s so easy to judge, so easy to believe she’s a bad mother for leaving instead of a good mother for removing herself in order to get better for them. I could be wrong. She could be a brainless idiot who created a mental illness to rid herself of two children she didn’t want.

Somehow I doubt it.

It’s easy though isn’t it, to point at a woman in a way that we wouldn’t dream of pointing at a man-how many have children in or out of relationships, and all they’ve done is throw money at them? I’m sure you’re all counting right now.

What I expel from my uterus does not make me sacred, or special, or holier. It makes me a mother, as it makes the father a father. He is not blessed with special properties-hell, if he takes custody, he’s some sort of sacrificial cow, gazed at adoringly as a perfect piece of man. The woman-not so lucky, as she is selfish enough to not want her pwecious bebes. 

I don’t want my daughters to grow up in this world-in a world where every tabloid sings the lusty sins, perceived or real, of 15 year old girls, where your gender casts you out in specific ways, where the “good kid” doesn’t always win. I want a world with real freedom for women, not viral campaigns against something written on shitty underwear at K-Mart or pissing matches on the internet.

I want us ALL to have the freedom to walk away if need be. Just like our men do.

“Let us stifle under mud at the pond’s edge and affirm that it is fitting and delicious to lose everything. “

29 May

I’m sitting in the waiting room to do my stress test, staring at an older woman, and a younger man. He’s going on and on to her about his stroke-how it felt, what happened, matter of fact like, as if telling a fable he’s told a hundred times before.

She’s desperate for it, for his pain and suffering. She’s desperate for an opening, a chance to say “Me too, but”. You can smell it. I smelled it when I walked into the unit, all full up of the infirm, and sometimes the not so infirm, people waiting to be told if they’re dying, if their breaths are all used up, if they are not so solid, not so balanced on terra firma.

They watch the young people when we enter. I feel eyes on me, misty eyes with more memories than time I’ve used up. I don’t belong. I’ve entered their space, their world. Weekly check up’s maybe, casual familiarity with nurses.

The youngish man leaves to do his testing, handsome in a mature way, but scared, settled by scared. The woman sets her sights more firmly on me, and I make the mistake of mentioning a sudden wave of nausea a few days past, similar to what he described. The clammy skin-she reminds me-you have clammy skin when this happens.

I smile and nod, absently, but she launches into what sounds like a practiced speech about losing her sister last year. Funny thing was, as she spoke, I realized she was speaking of someone I worked with, sorta, someone who worked for our company, who had a sudden heart attack while working from home. I casually said I’d love to go like that, quick, simply, no mess.

Oh how old ladies can glare.

I mentioned that I new here sister’s daughter in law, and her babies, and how lucky she was to be there when they were born.

“But she doesn’t get to see them grow up. She doesn’t get any of it.”

For one hot blinding second, I wanted to stand up and scream at this woman, wrapped up in bitterness and all the wrong kinds of anger and screech that my mother never got to even meet mine, that she wasn’t lucky enough to be given that time. My mother didn’t know it might happen, didn’t have something wrong with her heart from day one. She was snatched. She didn’t have a chance to be an old bitter lady in a hospital.

That of course passed, and I moved on to reminding myself that relativity is looking into what you despise and forgiving yourself for hating it. Something in this woman ached endlessly, rattled her bones and held her trapped in her little world. She was waiting for death it seemed, eyes at once shrewish and hopeless. She was transparent, in my memory she’s like the skin of a snake, discarded and hanging from a tree.

Finishing my test, with the usual “nothing wrong here-you’re fat, that’s why you can’t breathe” lecture to bid me farewell, I walked again through the lobby, through the 70 and 80 and 90 year olds who followed me out with their eyes. I had an urge to run back and ask them to tell me one magical thing about their lives, one thing I should do, one thing they could have never lived without, one regret. I wanted to ask them to bless me with the knowledge of their years, so they could remember they’re adults and not the children the medical staff treat them like. I wanted them to remember when their hearts beat strong and they were more than cast offs in the wind. I wanted the color to flow back into their eyes and their skin.

But I was late for work, and besides, the TV was on.

 

(Title taken from Affirmation by Donald Hall)

The ongoing why the hell can’t I breathe right saga….

29 Apr

I’m getting tired of hearing my doctor try and pin everything on anxiety.

I’ve been having trouble breathing, on and off, since mid February. It came on without any cause so far as I can tell, and lasted well over 3 weeks. It went away. It came back. It went away and is now coming back again.

We did chest X-Rays, I’ve tried inhalers and acid reflux medication and ulcer medication. Nothing. We did blood work an EKG and Ativan, nothing.

Nothing helps. This irritating issue goes away on it’s own, comes back when it pleases. It seems to be vaguely connected to what I eat-I eat too much or too crappy, I bloat and the sick cycle starts again.

Now he’s talking about anxiety again, and how he thought trying an antidepressant might help.

HELL NO.

I would feel anxious, wouldn’t I? I would feel like I used to, terrified and secretly worked up about everything? I would know, right?

He also mentioned possible IBS, maybe Celiac disease, and his own bafflement. Hence his falling back on anxiety, the good ole catch all. Can’t find something actually wrong with you? Must be teh crazy.

I am usually more than willing to accept that, but not this time. I feel no anxiety over anything in my life, aside from occasional work stress, I’m not stressed out.

He wants me to do a stress test anyway.

I didn’t even get around to mentioning the fact that my periods have gone insane. So I’m hoping my PAP comes back clear.

I’m just tired of not knowing, of worrying when this will come back and stay for however long it stays. Feeling like you’re suffocating for weeks on end just ain’t cool.

4 Pink Pills

24 Apr

 

Pretend for a minute that I’m holding 4 pills in my palm, 4 pale pink capsules containing the salt Li, 4 pale pink solutions to a problem that has plagued me for a long time.

I was scared to death of this drug, this innocuous looking pill, this wonder of our world, it’s inexplicable reason for ending the terror of bipolar in some people, in many people. I ran from it faster than I run from most.

It’s hard to look back at the me before this pretty pink friend. As Mogo and I talked, and he spoke of the relief of not worrying, day after day about me, and the freedom of not trying to hold down a swinging pendulum, I started thinking about my brain without this drug, this salty dog. The difference, I remarked, is like one day sitting in a screaming concert full of a million fans, all yelling at once while you try and do needlework, and the next day, being in a quiet, white room with only the sound of your breathing for company.

It’s that different. It’s that much Calgon take me away relief.

*************************************

When I was 17 or so, I returned to my original high school, a small catholic school in eastern Ontario. I had moved back in with my father as I understood something in a rare moment of clarity during a year of what I can only describe as highly manic behaviour. I knew that I had a choice-I could go down the road to nowhere, or I could try and claw back into a normal life. I chose my father, and normal.

I made friends with a boy, we’ll call him Marc. At first, everything was fine. We had fun, we joked around, he was fun and interesting to be around. He read a lot, and much of it was similar stuff. We had the same friends. We drove around, hung out, did drugs, had your normal teenage experience.

Marc and I developed a weird relationship-as far as I knew, and he told me, he was bisexual, but leaning at the time more towards guys. Typical teenage stuff right? Trying to place you identity. To an outsider, we seemed to have a “couple” vibe-people remarked that to me at the time, and each time I denied it. I had no real desire for the guy. Just a strong, almost loving friendship. We were close.

Marc was also bipolar.

I remember going with him to appointments at the mental hospital (and there was one where I went to school-I remember some guy escaping with an axe once-that wasn’t cool. I think it’s closed now) and him telling me about how useless his doctor was, and how he could get any drug he wanted but none of them helped. He even showed me the lithium, the lithium he hated from that first day he put it into his mouth.

Not understanding the disorder at the time, and likely wanting to distance myself from it since I had a vague understanding of what was and was not happening in my brain, I didn’t understand what was happening with Marc. He went one day from being happy and fun to the next day being sadistic and mean. He’d delight in saying horrible mean things to everyone around him, just to watch what happened. He’d shut you out, then let you back in again if you showed your devotion.

And we just lapped it up. It seems strange now, in hindsight, the pull this guy had. He was nothing to look at, but there was something about him I can’t even explain. Something compelling.

I found it strange, but was so locked in that what was happening didn’t even seem like a form of emotional abuse. It just seemed…normal. Not strange.

He’d rail at me about his pills, how they were making him crazy, how they weren’t happy and how he stopped taking them a few weeks after he started. He was enraged, and I tried to comfort him, tried to hold him, make him feel better.

That’s when he slapped me clear across the face.

I had never been hit like that in my life. I’ve been punched, but within context, or hit accidentally, but never, in a moment when I wasn’t defending myself, have I been hit like that.

I can still remember it. I can still remember just staring at him from the floor, and bracing myself for me. I can still feel the hated passivity that rose in my, the inability to fight against him. I felt helpless before him, and I couldn’t even figure out why.

If I didn’t move for a moment, if I didn’t speak, I figured it would blow over. I couldn’t stop the tears though.

He snapped out of it, and I watched the hate pour off his face as he bent to help me up, apologizing and apologizing. Never again he repeated Never again.

I told him to take his pills. He said it was the pills that made him like that.

What did I know?

Of course, things weren’t the same after that. I was scared of him, plain and simple. There was a glint in his eye I couldn’t place or understand. I was bigger than him, likely stronger than him, but I feared him. I feared him because I couldn’t anticipate him. I watched his rage burn through him for no reason at all, and lash out at me. I could never let my guard down.

Our phone calls went from being fun gentle calls to ones berating me. If I was having a bad day, zero support. I’d feel worse after speaking with him, yet compelled to call him. I felt suffocated, my chest constricted. I felt trapped, and scared and I couldn’t talk about it to anyone. No one would get it.

Yet finally, someone did. A new friend came into my life, observed what was happening, and told me flat out it was basically abuse, and it didn’t matter what was wrong with him, what pills he was taking for what or how they were affecting him. He was toxic.

With her behind me, I screwed up the courage to rid my life of him. I can still feel the anxiety in my gut when I called him from her house at the expected time and purged him from my life. The circles my stomach was making. The fear and the near relief, all at once.

And with that, he was gone.

*****************************************

I feared Lithium since then. I feared that I would become the monster he was becoming, the terror. I couldn’t separate the bipolar from the drug, I didn’t understand that his imbalance had nothing to do with Lithium itself. It was him, the manic swings, the rage he couldn’t control. I know that rage now, I’ve felt it’s embrace, and it’s coldly attractive. But ultimately destructive. If not for the Lithium, I would be him, the him that was, the creatures we call evil.

I live the aftermath that is unchecked bipolar. I never got to the point where I was a true threat to anyone other than myself. But I felt that capacity in myself, the roaring, empty void, the spastic need to lash. I began to understand Marc. Not forgive-I will never forgive him for the lesson in trust he gave me. But I understand now why I take my little pink pills every day without fail.

I see those reasons in the faces of the people I love, everyday. I struggle for those faces some days, knowing I swallow those drugs as much for them as for me. Maybe Marc never saw those reasons, maybe he didn’t truly have them. Maybe his parents left him alone in the basement far too often.

I’ll never know. My fear and anger still lives for him-I couldn’t bear to accept him on Facebook, and even the friend request sent pangs of pain through my chest. He likely doesn’t even know what he did, or remember.

If only I hadn’t feared so badly.

Stop Toying with Mothers-SUPPORT the Mother’s Act

29 Feb

Now, I’m not even American, and this is making me hot. As in PISSED OFF.

Some of you might remember the Mother’s Act-back in October there was a blog about day for support. Many of us who have suffered under PPD or PPP supported it.

One day I visit a favorite site of mine. (Well it WAS a favorite. This got it removed from my feeds I was so bloody pissed off) There’s a rambling article about how the Mother’s Act is nothing more than a way to push drugs.

I blinked. I went back to read the bill again. The only reference I could find was under “Findings:

Postpartum depression is a treatable disorder if promptly diagnosed by a trained provider and attended to with a personalized regimen of care including social support, therapy, medication, and when necessary hospitalization.

That’s it. That’s the terrifying “big brother”-oh noes! Someone wants to help women!

Seeing someone equate talking to women about PPD before hand to convincing her she had it really REALLY pissed me off. Reading these stories of women on these crazy mixes of drugs for what seem to be other psychiatric conditions that were incorrectly treated-that’s the fucking POINT of this bill. To HELP.

What in the FUCK is wrong with mothers (and fathers) today. EVERYTHING has some sort of agenda-things aren’t “natural” enough for them. You know what’s natural? Mother’s killing their children because they can’t parent them effectively. Natural is leaving a baby out to die of exposure. Natural is mother’s beating their children from frustration, or working them all hours of the day.

NATURAL IS NOT BETTER. Belladonna is natural. Want some?

I am irate with these people. Talk to me about militant stances on breastfeeding, baby wearing, co sleeping-I will absolutely support you. Start screwing with the first REAL movement towards doing something about postpartum depression, and my claws come out. The absolute IGNORANCE of these people astounds me. The selective tunnel vision amuses me. The odds that any of them have ACTUALLY read the bill…well, that just makes me giggle.

But it makes me want to cry as well.

Even the fucking Wikipedia page has been contaminated by this stupidity.

The most important thing I can remind you of are the women who killed their children because of PPD/PPP. The women who didn’t make it. The lives destroyed, lost forever, the women abandoned. The women we currently can’t help, regardless of what’s wrong. The children who were innocent in all of this.

Andrea Yates

Mine Ener

Dr. Debora Green

Dena Schlosser

Dr. Suzanne Killinger Johnson (This was at my usual subway stop. My mind went wild wondering “Was it here? Here?”)

Leatrice Brewer

Gilberta Estrada

and many more. There are so many of us. So many chances to get it right, to help, to prevent such horror that we close our eyes and refuse to read. To hear people, to see people trying to fight against something meant to do good sickens me. Is only they’d spend the same energy fighting the men and women who torture their children, fighting the system that leaves the poor hungry and without mental or physical health care.

If only they cared enough to truly make a difference, instead of making sound bites.

If only.

“do people that are bipolar hang out together?”

26 Feb

Is this a trick question, along the lines of “do black people only hang out with black people”?

I don’t have a manic depressive quota to meet. In fact, in real life, I know one bipolar person. We hung out in high school, and I never knew that she was a nutter. She was fucked up, but I figured being a very out lesbian in a small town living with your ex-stepfather who snorts coke was enough to fuck anyone up. I miss her like a sister, but we never hung out because we recognized something in each other. We hung out because she had great taste in music and she loved my derby blue docs.

Finding out, all these years later, that we’re both manic depressive was kinda cool actually.

In my everyday life, I don’t know anyone. I know people online, but if the people I ran into in the psych ward are any indication, I don’t know if I want to hang out with anyone else that’s nutty for very long. I can’t imagine it’s a healthy way to live. My own bad ideas are toxic enough-having someone else along for the ride-that would end badly.

I like talking to others online who have this disease. It makes me feel less alone, allows me to find the answers I need sometimes. But on those days when we all need to pull away, I’d hate to imagine being stuck together as friends-over sensitive, possibly vengeful friends.

And really. It’s not a club. We don’t hang out together and trade tips on what to do when the lithium shits hit or what could possibly help bring you down from a nice session of hypo-mania. At least for me, this shit doesn’t happen.

And you know how groups of women tend to synchronize their periods? Imagine if that happened with a bunch of depressed bipolars. Man, we’d drop off like flies.

The entire idea just bothers me for some reason. And don’t bring up the goth thing-most goths I’ve known were disgustingly well adjusted, wallowing in “sorrow” like I’d go slumming in Regent Park. Listening to bad music doesn’t make you crazy. Just stupid. We aren’t squirrels or lemmings. We’re people. Just because I have bipolar doesn’t mean I want to hang out with other crazies. Just because I have a vagina doesn’t mean I like women.

We’re just people, just like you.

“Regrets are idle; yet history is one long regret. Everything might have turned out so differently.”

18 Feb
Sorry it took so long to respond but as for the unsigned card, if anything, she was only trying to protect me…she has always been cautious of that since you went away and I think its always going to be in her mind, regardless of what changes. Maybe you werent ready, but neither was I, it happened, and maybe we could have all handled it differently but what happened happened, and we cant change that.Over the years, I have learned that people have to earn my trust, I dont give it easily anymore. I gave you my trust back then and you left…unforunately, trust has to be earned again.Hope the girls are doing well

I found this in my facebook inbox from my half sister last night, in reference to a conversation we had a few months back.

Part of me is really fucking angry. The other half just doesn’t care. Maybe it’s something about being lectured on trust by a 20 year old that’s pissing me off. Maybe it’s the knowledge that she’s had a relatively easy life that’s eating at me.

Maybe it’s recognizing myself in that 11 year old, knowing that feeling of being abandoned and left behind.

I don’t feel like I can explain to her that none of this was done to hurt anyone-that that situation was one that I was in no way really prepared to deal with, especially not in the all or nothing manner my birth mother decided things needed to be. I can’t explain to her-I just can’t explain to her the hurt and the pain I went through with this-the absolute obviousness of standing outside of a family that would never be mine, but was by blood. I can’t explain to her the loss of one mother, and the seeming rejection of another.

I can’t possibly explain the pain of watching her mother hold her, while I stood holding up a wall, staring out a window pretending I didn’t care.

There is a gulf, and I’m not sure I even want to bother crossing it.

*****************************

Sure, she was 10 or 11. But I was 19, and eager to be done with things, eager to move on, away, into my life. She was a kid. She had her mother, and her father, a large extended family who loved and coddled her as the baby she was. I cast a thought behind me, regret perhaps, sadness at a life I wouldn’t have, a sister I truly would never had, and moved on. I never let myself love her. I liked her. But I never opened my heart fully.

I couldn’t. The tenuous heartbreak of watching my mother love her was bad enough. I had my heart, and life broken once before. There was no way-absolutely no way I was opening myself up to that again.

The one Christmas I spent with them, my mother became ill. I stood beside her bed, unsure-hold her hand? Walk away, leave them to be by themselves? As I was thinking, she screamed “Stop staring at me! Get out!”

I fled.

They pulled her out of the house by ambulance as I stood watching, unsure of my place, unsure of what anger or sadness I might be entitled to. My heart pulled the shutters it allowed to open back in, and steeled itself for the worst.

My sister was comforted by her family, and I felt envy for the arms that wrapped around her. I had my future husband, and myself.

***************************

I’m angry with her because in my eyes, she has everything-everyone. Love,  security. She’s never wanted for a thing. She’s never suffered, not from anything I can grasp as suffering. She’s been the darling baby of her family, a pet almost. I can’t shake the feeling that I’m talking to a petulant little child who has never grasped that the world doesn’t revolve around her.

I thought of her constantly. I wanted to reach out to her, but worried her mother, our mother, would prevent it. I wanted a sister, I wanted someone else in my life.

I didn’t want this. I didn’t want someone implying that I’m selfish and that I’ve hurt them on purpose. And it’s this that breaks my heart and is leading me to decide to finally cut contact for once and for all. I’m tired of this half assed “Family” sending me checks based in guilt and the odd Christmas card. What’s there to be guilty of? They owe me nothing.

I owe her nothing. Her heartbreak is as much her mother’s fault as her own, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to be pointed to as her little destroyer of worlds.

But why does this still hurt me so much?

“can pregnant woman eat pizza hut wings”

17 Feb

HELLS yes. I lived on Pizza Hut my second pregnancy (as my ass and 50 lb weight gain can attest)

You can eat what you want, with the exception of the usual suspects-beer a 40 of vodka, crack cocaine, sushi  fish from Lake Erie, six pack of Jolt.

More than likely, everyone and their Mother has been telling you “You can’t eat that!!!” in the same tones that one would warn small children from open flame. Ignore them. Frankly, anyone who dares tell a pregnant woman what they can or cannot eat deserves to be kicked, repeatedly in the vicinity of where a baby might come out. Welcome to motherhood-a land where everyone else knows better than you.

Don’t overdo the eating of crap (trust me-50lbs….but I quit smoking, so I figure it works out) but don’t listen to people with their stupid unfounded prejudices about food either. OR, levy some advice of your own-something like “Hey, that purse makes your ass look big” or “that chest hair makes you look like a wookie.”

And then, go have a big honkin’ pile of wings. And hot sauce.

It’s V-A-G-I-N-A.

14 Feb

I’m standing in line at the grocery store, as I’m known to do on a Thursday evening, sweet talking my stomach which picks the very WORST times lately to remind me I have the flu. I’m scanning the racks for Cooking Light and Bon Appetit, averting my gaze from the “Britney’s Mental Hell!” and “She’s PREGNANT!” covers while secretly looking at the “Who Got FAT!” cover to see if they really ARE fat.

Don’t worry, they aren’t.

Rhianna is on the cover of Cosmo, a magazine I LOATHE. I like Rhianna though-good voice, solid talent, seems to have her head on her shoulders. So I’m pretty pleased with the world, aside from my snickering bowels.

My gaze falls to Rhianna’s left.

“Your Va-Jay-Jay!”

Sigh. LE Sigh.

Being the oddly old fashioned person that I am, there are a few things that, well, plain old fucking irritate the SHIT out of me. Abbreviating someones given name is one-I know, I do it all the time, but I fight with myself not to. Rudeness is another one. The inability to speak proper english another.

And secret little code words for your genitalia is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves ever. It’s not a cooch, or a honey pot (ok, I kinda like that one) a beaver or a whoo-haa. It’s a vagina. Say it with me. VAGINA.

To see it on the cover of a mass marketed magazine irritated me to no end. I can’t imagine Men’s Health having an article titled “Your Wee Wee!”, let alone advertising it’s existence on the front cover.

It’s just like it’s another way to minimize and distract from woman’s sexuality. We can’t handle it obviously-we must giggle behind our hands, use the “code” that’s so bloody popular now. I can’t possibly have a conversation about my vagina. But va-jay-jay? That’s easy.

I can’t help but connect it to our fight to own our own bodies. If we continually trivialize ourselves, why in hell would anyone want to treat us in any other way? If we cannot be women about it, and own our bodies, own our vagina’s and breasts, how can we be women in other ways?

Not to mention is just irritates me to no end. I spend a LOT of time making sure that the girls know the proper terms for things-having my sister in law here for a week who used “va-jay-jay” in Vivian’s presence enough times for it to be cool reminded me how hard it is to get a girl to use the proper terms as it is. It took me a month to get her back to saying vagina and vulva.

And don’t even get me started on the vulva/vagina thing…..

Sweet crap….all this sickness is making my brain melt isn’t it.

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