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So the other night, I was hanging out with J (in a rare evening of camaraderie) and somehow he ended up asking me "how can you be a butch and still be with men?"

Wha?

"I'm a butch with women," I said, "but with men, I dunno, I'm not exactly femme but you don't have to be when you're with a man. I like people for people, I fall in love because of what I see inside people, but sex? Eh, its different depending on who I'm with. I guess that's part of what I love about it."

So I start looking things up and doing research (remember I'm writing a paper soon but I'm also reading "Stone Butch Blues") and realize... I'm genderqueer. Always have been. Never thought much about it though. Because when the rest of the world is pre-occupied with your freakishness, how you express gender doesn't seem to matter anyway. Why should I be concerned about acting "feminine" or not? Why should I bother trying to be "pretty" or "cute" or a myriad of other superlatives that equate with physical beauty? I'll never look anything like the people who are considered "attractive" and nothing, not even surgery will change that. Ever. I've known that all my life. So I never thought about it like that. I express my sexuality and my sensuality however I feel "right" and whether it "fits" or not won't matter in the slightest.

Yes, many of my friends have seen me in a dress, skirt, makeup, the whole made-up nine yards. I even like dressing up that way. I like being "prettified" sometimes just as I like having a vase of flowers on the central table of the room. Its nice. But I'm not going to pretend the flowers will hide the mess in the corner or erase the faded upholstery on the chairs. Prettified is only one little bright spot on an otherwise mundane landscape. Its also temporary. There's nothing wrong with temporary brightness, either, but its foolish to think its the totality of the room.

So Sometimes I wear a dress, skirt, make-up even sexy stockings perhaps. Other times I toss on my favorite t-shirt and a pair of tight skinny jeans over my industrial grade working boots, slick back my hair and adopt a swagger in my walk. Sometimes I wear a party dress and my working boots with a swagger. Sometimes I wear a tuxedo jacket with shorts and satin ballet slippers and fishnet tights. Its not even that I don't give a fuck what people think: I do care what people think. But I don't necessarily adopt their definition of what I should look like. Because I lost as soon as I stepped out of the gate so I'm in no hurry to pretend I'm gunning for the finish line anyway.

more here

wow

Aug. 2nd, 2012 10:50 pm
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I got the disability. A year of retroactive too.

I'm so blown away I just keep saying "wow" and grinning and laughing and crying.

A large part of that is just relief, I'm glad its over, but DAMN does it feel good to know there's now a "safety net" behind us at all times. We can take me off the private health insurance too because medicare is part of it. I don't have to clean houses anymore!
(I will still keep my current regulars as they're all sporadic clients and I like them. The point is that I don't HAVE to clean houses then see all the money I sweated and hurt myself to earn go to the grocery store and STILL not have enough for next week. OMFG I cannot tell you how relieving this is. Truly. Things are really truly going to be better.

I feel like my entire life of busting my ass, scrounging and going without and sacrificing and giving myself migraines and bruises on a regular basis, it FINALLY comes back and I can...

relax.

For the first time ever I feel like I have permission to truly relax about life. Just a little bit. Stop being scared. Just stop worrying. A little bit.

Wow. Just wow.
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The reason I am no longer friends with quite a few people is very simple:

They offended me more than once.
I let them know they offended me in as neutral a way as possible.
They got pissed at ME for being offended and proceeded to berate me for being offended.
They then further maligned me when I refused to engage any more.

Here's a hint:if you have upset someone you care about, I should think you would WANT to at least TRY to make rights. By deciding to attack me because I was offended, you pretty much scream that you don't care about me at all. Which makes me question the whole of our previous friendship.

I'm not saying you have to agree with me or beat your breast, or declare yourself an asshole. Just allow that if I am offended, I have a RIGHT to be offended and since you CARE about me then you want to make things right. You may end up feeling like *I* am the asshole. That's fine. Maybe I am. But I guaran-damned-tee you won't get me to apologize to YOU if you don't have the wherewithal to approach the situation in a decent respectful manner.

Have I made it clear? There are three people in particular I am thinking about here. Very specific situations. They all did something that gravely upset me - and not for the first time either - but when I expressed my chagrin, i was basically treated WORSE. So I realized we must not really be friends. Because that's not how you treat your friends.

Trust me, if in the course of our interaction, you tell me I have upset you, even if I am pissed at you, I will approach the situation with something of an olive branch if not an outright immediate apology. Because no matter how irascible I can get? I am not actually looking to piss off my friends. And I am not just flapping my gums here; I have on MANY occasions humbled myself and apologized to a friend for upsetting them. Sometimes I had no idea I was doing it and sometimes I had gone overboard. And a couple of times I was just feeling shitty and took it out on the first person to make a minuscule mistake in my presence.

And yes, as soon as they told me they were offended, I apologized. Regardless of my feelings on the subject at hand. Because my friends mean more to me than "being right". Even if I was still upset or thinking they were "wrong". Someone being wrong it not license to make them feel shitty.

Always, afterwards we have been able to work out some shit, if it was needed.

but I don't work anything out with people who dismiss my feelings outright. Fuck that. once you make it clear you have no intention of examining your behavior, we're done. DONE.

And a couple of those people? I kind of miss the friendship I thought I had with them. But I don't want them back. Because that friendship was just what I THOUGHT was there. Obviously, I was mistaken. Because friendship is not predicated upon ME putting up with abuse from someone silently. Oh hell no.

dreams

Apr. 13th, 2011 11:37 am
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(I don't know if anyone reads these entries; sometimes I read people's dream entries if I have time but most days I skim them looking for some neat visual. Still, I have this incredible urge to write this one down. I wish I had done it earlier instead of resisting the urge because now I don't remember so much of it. However, one of the things I learned in my psych classes - including dream interpretation - was that the details of a dream are rarely important, it is the emotional content during the dream and afterwards that matters)

I dreamed after many long complicated stories that I was in my old shared house in Philly. I was surprised to be back in it but [long complicated near-forgotten details] it was "right" that I was. The thing was, I remembered my old boyfriend, the one I was seeing RIGHT BEFORE I hooked up with Jeremy. He was the sweetest, nicest guy I think I have ever dated. Anyway, I was thinking about him and how much I wanted to see him again. Then I had to deliver something to someone else in the house and upon [long complicated details] arriving to the back of the house I discover it had a whole second side to it. So I went in and was looking for the person - Margie I think it was - whose package I was carrying. Then Ted walked in and I was so pleased to see him, almost blushing and giddy. But Ted is married now and although he was apparently living in our old shared house, I had no clue as to his situation. So I talked to him carefully. He seemed pleased to see me but awkward and shy. There were so many details to the situation that I had a almost lucid moment and thought something like "wow, this atmosphere is more detailed than real life! what is up with that" In fact I couldn't keep up with the constant stream of detailed input and I think I split off at one point. I REALLY wanted to talk to Ted, reconnect with him in some way because even though he was probably the best boyfriend I ever had (and stupid me threw him over for Jeremy) he was also a good friend whom I very much admired and respected. I felt vaguely self-conscious, as if I was like a groupie or something, but Ted was being very quiet and internal. I couldn't figure out if he wanted to talk to me or if he was just being polite or if he actually was overcome with as much relief and happiness as I felt. I felt really naive and vulnerable because its rare for me not to discern someone elses motivations and direction. Plus the constant stream of detailed random information (the color of the blanket on the floor, tiny glints of light that came from a faux-diamond necklace on the dresser, Ted's Punk rock t-shirt that kept changing band names, the way the dingy paint was bubbling off the wall in spots, how the shadows from the windows were flickering across my skin etc) was overloading my empathy. I wanted so badly to "say the right thing" to make him comfortable and talk to me, give me a hug, tell me where we stood but I was frozen with uncertainty. It was like seeing a unicorn at a carnival... you know if you do things just right, it will come to you but its so hard to figure out what's right when there's so much sensory noise going on around you.
Then Ted left the room and I was so very sad. I realized I was having a dream and this was my one chance to connect with him. I didn't want to wake up and lose that fleeting moment i had where we were standing int eh room smiling at each other. If I couldn't have anything concrete, I could have that at least. I wanted to follow him but I didn't know if it was "right" or whether his leaving was his way of closing the door on our friendship.
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our dimension/universe is limited because one of the dimensions we perceive but cannot master is that of movement. Numbers are static, the closest we come is functions but we have to translate them in terms of numbers. This is the base of innumeracy - that most people have severe difficulty perceiving movement conceptually. We label movement in terms of points as if objects were existing from one place to the next however this is not accurate. It is, however, the closest most people come to grasping movement. Zeno's paradox is a perfect example of this particular innumeracy - the attempt to translate movement into points of stasis shows the broken translation.
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There's times when I suddenly realize things about myself, my life. Times when the full impact of some part of me comes slamming home and I'm stunned, awed, and maybe a little intimidated by my own reality.

here's a snippet:

I'm a "special needs" parent. I have "special needs" kids. I also have neurotypical kids but that only gives me a better perspective, I think, on what it means to have "special needs" kids. My kids, my little shining beacons of life beyond my life have... difficulties. This means, that raising them has brought unique difficulties with it. Things that can't be foreseen, difficulties that you aren't really geared to deal with "naturally" because those difficulties aren't "natural"

Sometimes I am full face with this reality and it causes such complex emotions I don't know what to say. I feel like calling up some dear friend and exclaiming it, as if its a new concept, "Hey! I'm a special needs mom! My kids have made my parenting experience different!"
But of course that's rather silly because, well, you can't just call someone and blurt out a truth taht is as plain as the nose on your face and expect that they'll be in your same headspace well enough to know what you're really saying. Because what I'd really be saying is "holy shit! I can't believe I ended up having to go through all those situations that other parents only shudder to think about and yet I'm not some kind of amazing paragon of history-changer! I'm just a mom! This is MY LIFE! It didn't go the direction I assumed it would but its okay!"

I mean, you know when some freaky-awful thing happens and you read about it in the paper or someone tells you about "my friends cousin's sister..." and you get the outline of the freakyawful thing and you tsk-tsk or you weep a little or you cross yourself and thank gawd its not YOUR problem or whatever you do when you are vicariously flirting with danger through some anonymous person's life, you know when that happens? Above all else, you're glad its not you?
Well sometimes I'm rather surprised to realize that I *LIVE* one of those freakyawful things that happen to "other people".
Maybe its that I read too much about the anti-vaxers and their almost palpable terror of the dreaded Autism. Their knee-jerk recoil agains the notion that Autism just happens is sad and if I thought about it, really fucking insulting. Because despite everything I've been through with my boys, No wait, actually BECAUSE of everything I've been through with my boys, I know I have never ever wished they weren't born. I've never ever wished they were dead. Ever.
I know some special needs parents DO have those times. And I don't feel in any ways superior to those parents. Not at all. I have never felt that way but that doesn't mean I don't understand where that comes from. Because my (step) mother WAS that way. She did sometimes wish my brother wasn't born. She did sometimes hate him for what she went through. She did sometimes regret not getting an abortion.
But you know.... she STILL fought harder than anyone I've ever known to get him services. She STILL worked like a dog, finding his place in the world.
And she felt enormous crippling guilt for the times she had those moments of resentment and doubt and anger. She was wracked with pain either direction. I've seen it, I was there. I vowed I would never let myself go through all that. If I had a disabled child, I'd find my peace with it, somehow. I'd not allow anyone, ever, push me into a corner whereby I had no one to be angry at but my child.
Don't misunderstand; my mother NEVER hurt by brother. She never did anything but good by him. Above and beyond the call. But her emotions were so jumbled, so convoluted, so complex and so draining that I swore I would do whatever it took to make sure I never was put in taht same corner. I never forgot the root of the real problem. It wasn't my brother (and my mother knew that ultimately) it was this life, this society that was the one to be angry at. This society that placed obstacle after obstacle in front of her campaign to get him what he needed. Obstacle after obstacle and then piled on massive guilt and judgement because she wanted to be "rid" of him. At least that's how she saw it for a long time. She swallowed that lie and it took a very long time for her to come to the truth; that what she really wanted was to live the rest of her life knowing he was taken care of. That his existence was neither torturous for him nor for anyone else.
It took her years to come around to that place. Rejecting outside influence that told her she was a "bad mom" for what she did. The same influences that today try to say she's "irresponsible" for what she did. What did she do? She legally divorced him and forced the state to care for him. He's in a group home now, has been for a long time. SHe visits and takes him out every now and then but he has a decent life. She knows he has a life that makes him happy and that doesn't make her life miserable. Because there's no way she could have given him this life without making her and the rest of the family miserable.

I watched that whole circle happen. I vowed I would learn from it and not go through what she did. And I haven't. I have approached my special needs parenting from teh perspective that "this is my life, this is what I deserve and this is what my children deserve and anyone who thinks badly of me, well they can go fuck themselves"
I am no saint. I am no martyr. I am nothing special in that regard. I did what I had to do. Sometimes I did more and sometimes I did less. I am nowhere near the perfect special needs parent. But so far, I've enjoyed it as much as I possibly could and I've kept my anger and my resentment where I believe it belongs: on the world that makes special needs parenting so hard. But it still sometimes surprises me that I'm here. Because from the outside, from the perspective of a "normal" parent, I'm either "supermom" or I'm "bad mom". That kindof judgement is only because whoever looks at me like that, they can't wrap their minds around having to do what I have done. But I tell you, just as any other special needs parent would tell you, if it were you, if you had been faced with what I've faced, you'd do it all the same and you'd do it all different. Because as a parent, you do what you have to do and you do what you can and sometimes, every now and then, you get to do what you want to do. But there's always assholes blocking your path, whether they're anti-child jerks who think children should all be stuck in an attic until they're fuckable age, or they're "well-meaning" idiots with degrees who don't even have a child who think they've got the answer to every parenting issue. Sometimes it's just other parents who are too uncomfortable with the notion that "this could happen to you to" and so they must hide behind "well you must have done something wrong". I was angry during my pregnancy, I didn't take the right vitamins, I don't have a college degree, my chakras aren't aligned, I don't pray to jesus hard enough, I don't sleep with crystals under my pillow blah blah fuckity blah. There's a part of the world where people just can't let discomfort lie, because then they have to admit that some things don't work out in the end. There's a part of the world who would rather stand around being "helpful" with their hands over their eyes and their degrees up their asses and their wallets hidden away from us "thieves". But I reject that part of the world. I reject the ones who would do their damnedest to force ME to bear the burden of life's unfairness. I don't have time to try to make them feel better and really why should I?

Because that part of the world can go fuck itself. I got kids to raise.
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visual:

being in a public place that is family-oriented. lots of kids. lots of moms. its lunchtime, a time when settling down, eating and resting is usually the order of the day. walking through the crowd to get to my kids, my family. seeing the same scene one too many times. kid and mother next to each other, mother saying "no" kid screaming at mother. purple faced, screaming, getting up in her personal space, yelling at her as if she is dense, servile, childish "MOM! I SAID!! NOOOOOO! YOU CAN'T DOOO THIS!" and on and on. mother is either detached or appeasing. mother tries to negotiate the desires of the child completely bypassing child's demeanor and treatment of her. I think to myself "thank you sir, may I have another?"




I'm appalled. Lately, I cannot ignore how often I go through public seeing families wherein the child is enraged and treating his mother (sometimes the father) like they are ignoramuses who must be verbally and spiritually abused. and the mother (soemtiems father) just sits there either ignoring the behavior or trying even harder to appease the child. As if self-respect simply doesn't matter. And I am talking about children over the age of 5. Pre-teens and teenagers too. Screaming. Blue in the face, white-knuckled screaming at their mothers. Not just screaming in frustration, but screaming insults, orders and commands. As if THEY are the parent and their mother is the wayward child.

This just astounds me. I see it over and over. Every time I go out in public I see this scene at least once, if not three or four times. And I keep thinking about how awful these children are going to be later on... when they try to have a relationship, get a job, join a club of any kind. Because respect is something you simply must be willing to give if you want to get along with anyone happily. But how can you have respect for anyone if you don't even respect your own mother? and how can you respect your mother if she doesn't even have self-respect? You can't.

And when I read certain parenting sites (not just AP but AP is definitely included) I see the constant phrase of "you must put your child first" put right next to "you must respect your child's feelings" and see the easy translation of "you must put your child's feelings before your own"

and I see the connection. I see it every time I go out in public where there are families.

Being sensitive to your child should be a given. How and when one chooses to respond to their child's distress is a touchy and wholly subjective choice. But there isn't a parenting "expert" anywhere that says you are supposed to allow your child to treat you like dirt. Yet that's what I keep seeing. And I think a lot of it has to do with the ridiculously competitive atmosphere that has sprung up int he last few decades. The stratification of parenting styles and methods is sad and frustrating but the overarching tenet seems to be furthering the notion of "if you're a GOOD parent you'll..." which always is followed by commandments that no matter how apropos aren't universally applicable nor advisable. Everyone outwardly agrees that there is no one magic parenting method, yet because of the environment of competition that has evolved in our modern society, whatever camp you fall into becomes a battle flag of monotheism. I see religious fervor rather than honest criticism. and the worst part is that the most widely agreed upon tenet of parenting - that of individual choices made depending upon the situation and family - can only be fostered by acceptance and tolerance of all the divergent viewpoints.
Parents NEED a range of choices to effectively parent the way that "fits" for them as individuals.
We can't have a range of choices if we reject other philosophies.
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First, a link:

Penis Love in a bottle


Second, a continuation:

The day before yesterday I posted a lengthy no-holds-barred (well okay yeah I didn't cuss... I was feeling erudite n'shit) generalized rant about popular American Culture and how mean-spirited it can come across to those of us who don't fit the mold.

That was only half of what I wanted to say. What follows is the second half.

Dear Individual Americans from my past,

I want to take this moment to truly place the blame for my condition where it belongs. It was you, oh mostly anonymous people from my past, who are to blame for me turning out the way I have. Because of a huge assortment of mostly anonymous (to me) people, I am who I am today.

To all the people who took me in when I was a baby, while my birthmother was AWOL and my father was on the road, be assured that I have been affected by your treatment of me. I don't remember any of you, I surely don't know your names or where you are but I do know that without you, I wouldn't have the present instant trust issues that I have were it not for your caring of me during that critical time in my development. Whenever someone accuses me of being too trusting, too quick to embrace a stranger's POV, I blame you people for that. After all, if you strangers (to me) had not taken me in, a tiny toddler with absent parents, and loved me, cared for me and looked after me, I might have become distant, mistrustful and frightened of strangers. I might have ended up with a healthy xenophobia like the rest of the country. It is your fault I am ready to believe and trust strange people.
It is your fault I make friends so quickly and easily too. If I had not been carted around, introduced to friends and family and integrated into your own families, as if I were your precious baby instead of the strange burdensome white kid that I actually was, I might have ended up believing myself to be unimportant, unloved and unwanted, thus becoming too alienated from people to actually attempt to form bonds and open my heart to others. It is your fault I am so ready to like people: too much love and caring went into your fostering of me and now to this day I believe people are willing to like me and accept me. Too often I am right and too often do I discount when I am wrong. Thus I know it was your heinous influence upon my spirit that allows me to approach total strangers in certain settings in order to socialize with them and enjoy the experience. As for the exploitation of this "talent" by my friends who were usually too shy to approach others and form bonds, I blame you for this as well. Therefore, there are quite a few people from my past who were also affected by your influence upon me. Many people benefitted from your teaching me how to be "brave" and friendly and went on to gain friendships and close bonds because of my ability to connect others socially and I'm sure they too blame you for those social bonds that I began. They are quite well aware of this, so there's no need for them to chastise you personally, but I thought I'd mention it on their behalf.

To the teachers and volunteers from my grade school, know that I remember you (even your names!) and think of you often whenever I get excited about learning something new. It is your fault I have such a profound curiousity and am unafraid of uncovering new information. It is also your fault I have such a boundless thirst for knowledge that is intangible and multi-dimensional. Because of your constant prodding, pushing and praising, I cannot stumble upon anything new or unknown without furiously pursuing more. Because of your bizarre approach to teaching, I cannot be satisfied to let my brain calcify and degrade, even at 40 years old! Rest assured I know how influential you were to my never-ending quest for understanding as well. If it were not for your belief that all children want to learn and your insistance that children can learn best by non-standard methods such as "open-classrooms", "peer mentoring" and "voluntary scheduling" I would not have this wholistic belief in the power of environmental learning. Without your exhaustive work in presenting myriad forms of learning-through-play I doubt I would have such enjoyment whenever I discover something unknown to me. It is your fault I research so relentlessly everything I find dubious and enjoy doing so. It is your fault I never want to stop discovering things and it is your fault I have so much fun finding out what I don't know especially from other people.

To the children who went to all those private schools with me, know that I remember most of you (yes, names too!) and I remember how kind and accepting you were to me, the freak. It is your fault that I often forget how feakish I look and expect equal treatment from people. It is your fault I believe such equal treatment nearly always comes and conveniantly forget how often it does not come. Because of how nonchalantly you accepted me into your circles and made friends with me, I am the accepting person I am today. Of course I sometimes get angry because other people sometimes cannot be as accepting and friendly as you were with me and for that unreasonable reaction, I blame you too. Since the bulk of my formative years were spent with people and children who were encouraged to see the similarities within us and celebrate the differences between us, I still approach others as if they would have good reason to overlook my appearance and accept who I am on the inside and believe that to be the case the majority of the time. Growing up sensing that most people would rather be my friend rather than be my enemy, I still carry that sensibility with me ever after and it is mostly your fault.

To all the lovers I have had in my life (and yes I remember every one of you quite well), know that it is your fault that I believe myself to be beautiful and sexy despite the media's constant reminders of how unacceptably ugly I am. Despite my realistic understanding of how I am superficially viewed by society, I still believe myself to be attractive and worthy of love and lust anyway. Even on days when I look in the mirror and feel hideous, I remember some of you specificly and know my feelings are merely transitory flights of fancy that, although shared by society-at-large, ultimately do not matter to the people who are important. It is your fault that I care enough to wear nice clothes occasionally, put on makeup and parade about as if I am someone who makes others feel good just by being near. I blame you for my persistant belief in the individual nature of people's libidinous preferences. Even though society never fails to remind me of how I should lock myself away in shame and never expect love or sexual contact, I didn't and it is your fault.

To all the intimate relationships I have had in my life, (need I say it?) know that it is your fault that I expect courtesy and respect in every relationship I had after you. Despite the arguments, the tears, the broken hearts and the near-misses that we went through, I retained an immense measure of caring and love for each one of you that reamins to this day. It is your fault that I carry these friendships with me still despite having declared our intimacy to be finalized or cut-short. The fact that nearly all of your chose to remain friends with me, keep in touch with me and share yourselves with me in spite of our relationship "failings" convinced me then as now that good people sometimes cannot make an intimate relationship but that does not mean they cannot still be close. Because of all your attempts to help me grow and change, whether or not it worked and whether or not it helped our intimacy, I keep all of you in my heart and consider all of you people who are more than deserving of not only my love but all the goodness the universe has to offer. Because each of you has remained true to your word to love me despite our "break ups" I still believe that love holds fast whatever changes occur in a relationship. I would not be so happy to call you "friend" were it not for your ability to focus on our good ties, rather than the things that pulled us apart. I blame you for my ability to listen, grow and change after I should have stopped growing and changing. I especially blame you for my desire to do so with grace and love since you all were so understanding and patient with me whenever I was not being graceful or loving in my changes.

To my children and everyone in my extended family, know that it is your fault I believe in such things as loyalty and truth. Were it not for all of you constantly supporting me and helping me through everythign I have gone through, I would not be as secure and honest as I am. It is your fault I expect greatness of spirit and and ready to embrace failure as a lesson learned. Were it not for your ever-present belief in my ability to overcome obstacles and the security of knowing you were always there to help me pick up the pieces of a life gone awry, I would not be as grounded as I am today. It is your fault I am ready to accept defeat but keep on fighting, your fault I am happy to find new lessons in someone elses changes and your fault I reaffirm my own competance on a daily basis. You always believed in me, even when I was falling and because of you I am ever-ready to keep trying. You all taught me how to fight for what you want, what you believe and what you know is right. I would not be a paladin if it weren't for all of you showing me how to crusade and giving me reasons to crusade.

To my husband... not one lesson in my life compares to everything I have gained since being with you.

I used to say that I was lucky growing up... now I know that I just had "a life"; luck had nothing to do with it. All I received? It's all around and everywhere... just look for it and I bet you can find it too.
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Just watched a program about anorexia. It was fascinating, the new things they've learned. The connection between anorexia and OCD I pretty much figured out on my own but the serotonin link... that was interesting.

Something they didn't talk much about is the perceptions of the afflicted. As I was saying to the Lady, I see two issues primarily; the obsession with weight and the obsession with food. All anorexics have some combination of the two. The ones who go to the hospital, I believe lean more towards the obsession with weight, as that's what they talked about most. What they didn't talk about was the fearful relationship one can have with food itself.
By the time I was 17 and not quite fully engulfed (but close) by anorexia, I was afraid of food. Food was evil. Not because it made me fat (I could clearly see I never got fat) but because it was always loaded with "evil" ingrediants. I had a moral and/or health-driven reason for avoiding nearly every ingrediant listed on food labels. If I ate something that I didn't consider "safe" then I was slammed with guilt and anxiety. I was obsessed with being "healthy". I knew avoiding food was not healthy though and I had many many rationalizations around that as well.

As some of the ladies on the program said, it was frustrating and confusing to deal with. On the one hand, there was the enormous guilt and fear inherent in eating almost anything, on the other hand was the simple common sense that eating itself was supposed to be normal and good. I couldn't understand how my senses could get so skewed, especially since I KNEW they were skewed. Yet I was still essentially a slave to my flawed perceptions. I couldn't shake the incredible negativity that eating held no matter what.

I lived for nearly two years on Slimfast, cheerios and plain yogurt. I went to the bathroom to evacuate about once a week. My hair dried and broke off, sometimes falling out in large amounts. My nails cracked, split, and grew in crazy warped directions. My skin sloughed and peeled. My lips were constantly cracked and bleeding. Sometimes I walked into walls. Sometimes I forgot what I was thinking for long periods and "blanked out"

Yet everytime I went down to 80 pounds (I should have been about 105) I got compliments, I got attention, boys liked me, and I seemed to get along with people better. Life was easy, floating along sometimes. Other times I was confused and angry a lot, but more often I was depressed. I didn't sleep and I didn't eat and I didn't think very much. SUre I took drugs sometimes too but believe me, that wasn't the problem. If anything, the drugs made me feel better, gave me the energy I lacked from starving myself. Drugs helped me sleep - staying up for three nights then collapsing for two was better than sleeping two hours a night for a month. Drugs didn't appeal to me more than just a happy occasional diversion anyway... who needed to take a pill to be wacked out when all I had to do was stop eating?

But anyway... I still struggle with this... but it's not like it was. I still hear the same voices warning me against eating "evil" food but they're quieter and i can ignore them more now. I still feel guilty every time I eat a little something but i can put down a full meal with my family without any negativity. I still struggle but I know how to do it now. Tricks and cleverness really. What disturbs me now is that I know, without a doubt that I traded my anorexia for full-blown OCD behavor, barely kept in check. I am older and wiser but I still carry this damnable tendancy to run myself into the ground with ridiculous expectations. It is as if I was born with a huge ton of guilt on my person and all I ever get to do is relabel it now and then.

I hate my OCD more than I ever hated Anorexia. Anorexia was my friend at times, it gave me a feeling of power and security. I look back on anorexia as one looks back to childhood, with nostalgia because at the very least I can control my body in a way that other people simply cannot. But OCD is not my friend - it shows me how little control I really have.

But OCD is not dangerous, it will not kill me. This I know. So I will keep it instead of anorexia. But I don't have to like it.
smibbo: (Default)
The question above, interestingly enough, adheres to both subjects at hand. To whit:

exhibit number one: I sit down at my 'pute to begin my morning routine. My foot brushes against the drawer of my desk and it penetrates my brain that the drawer is more ajar than usual. I look down, notice that the drawer has been barred from closing by one of my shoes (not on my feet at the moment) and thus I attempt to move said shoe out of the way of the drawer, that I might close it properly. This proves to be a bit difficult with only my foot and I bend down to make a better attempt. In doing so, I see a LARGE cockroach lying a few inches away from my shoes - on its back, waving its disgusting hairy legs in a sad attempt to turn over or whatever.
Now, at first, I am inclined to ignore this monstrousity. After all, it is clearly in it's last moments of "life" and not close enough for me to worry about. Of course, with my phobia, ignorance is just not possible. My eyes continue to slide their way towards the fearsome thing and check it's progress towards the great garbage heap in the sky. At one point, I realize it has actually moved in position. This is not, of course, acceptable in any way and my beginning-to-fray nerves are screaming at me to DO SOMETHING. So I do what is quite natural: I go looking for someone else to deal with it. To my dismay, I find out that my roommates are all asleep. That's a no-go. As phobic as I am, I refuse to wake anyone up over anything less than an emergency or a particularly insistant phone-call.
I run to the kitchen and grab the Raid. This I deploy copiously in the general direction of the aformentioned nightmare beast. It seems to upset the thing. All well and good. In a burst of bravery, I use my shoe (most likely coated in anti-vermin spray by now) to whisk the apparition from my sight. "go, foul creature!" I think, "die in the freakin corner so I can quit thinking about you!"

The deed is done. Naturally however, I am beset by that particular mix anxiety and paranoia known as the "willies" or "heebee jeebees"; everything makes me jump. I'm only glad I am wearing a full-sleeve sweater so that my own hair does not put me in the nuthouse by constantly falling on me at random moments.
So, are these hideous creatures coming after me?

and is it because I am evil?


If that doesn't make you think I am evil (which by human standards, it probably doesn't but look at it from the POV of a roach *shudder* if you dare) then consider the following:

exhibit number twoI have seen my next purchase, and it is good.
Those of you who have intimate knowledge of the nightmare that was those people will instantly understand why purchasing These shirts for all three of my kids for their next trip to see those people definitely makes me evil. For those of you not in-the-know I will elucidate.
When those people decided to try to steal my kids sue me for custody, one of the charges against me was that I let my youngest son play GTA: Vice City. It went into some detail in fact. Part of why that charge was particularly ridiculous was that those people had taken my kids to see the Hulk movie - which I had expressly forbid. As a consequence I had to endure the pouty bafflement of my two younger boys who couldn't understand why I refused to buy them Hulk-related toys and games. Yet I let them play GTA?

No brainer, people... GTA is rendered in clear cartoon style and actually gives punishment for extraneous violence as well as reprisals for killing law enforcement or innocent bystanders. Yes, you can kill "the good guys" in GTA but you have to suffer the consequences. Moreover GTA is mostly a fantasy driving game. Killing people isn't really the main focus of the game and it is so obviously NOT REAL. I played a bit myself and let me tell you if you based your opinion of someone's skills from watching them play a video game you'd beleive I must be the worst, most sadistic driver in the world. I couldn't navigate the vehicles in GTA to save my life - we all found it hilarious to watch me try. You'd never know I have never had a wreck of ANY kind in all my 20+ years of driving.
The Hulk, as rendered on todays silver screen puts forth the story of a reluctant vigilante whose sole "power" is vengeance borne of anger. This is not the message I want my boys to swallow. The movie was done in live-action with the selling point of "he's just a good guy who gets angry" the deeper notion that getting the job done (ie giving the bad guys a sound thrashing) is best done while in a rage and by smashing every damn thing in sight. This is just NOT what I'm trying to impart to my children. Hence, Hulk is banned but GTA is okay.

Much was insinuated by those people's torn anus of a legal-vulture about my allowing the boys to indulge in violent video games. Mostly because at the time I was sued, GTA was in the news as a possible defendant in the case of some wingnut kids who went on some killing rampage. I think they should have looked into whether the crackpots had any contact with the Hulk, myself.

So I must buy these shirts for my boys. Their next visit (they're going today) will be Nov something or other and I only hope I can afford the shirt in the next couple of weeks.... not sure and I almost feel guilty about spending the money on something so petty but I'm going to do it even if it means I don't buy anything directly for myself or Baph this coming month. I'm buying those shirts and sending the kids to their monthly visit in them. I will laugh maniacally... hell I might even venture outside to see their expressions when they come to pick up the boys. It could be a real hoot. I would like to think I am dispensing poetic justice.

but is it because I am evil?
smibbo: (Default)
Maybe you were here last year?

I believe Baph and I are going to Battle and Brew tonight. or was it tomorrow? hrm... now i don't quite remember... coulda sworn he said he wanted to go tonight... argh... this damned job has got me all kinds of stupid lately...
smibbo: (Default)
because I'm about to fall asleep and when I wake up I'll be busy for the next few days...

(nearly delirious)

books - well duh. I'm a reader. As in, I'll walk around doing things while I read. I collect books like other people collect.. collectibles? Anyway, if you've been to my house, you've seen some of my collection in the reading room. Yep, got a whole room just for reading.

culture - well, I am totally interested in culture of all kinds. I feel you can't possibly understand anything having to do with people unless you have a notion of their culture. Ethnocentricity was a concept introduced early to me and with some exceptions, I try my best to steer clear of it.

frida khalo - possibly one of the best surrealists of all time. If you don't know who she is, and you ought to, then look her up. I luvs me some surrealism!

industrial - as in, industrial music. I got into "real" industrial around 1982-3. I was nuts for Einsturzende Neubauten, Z'ev, Swans, Glenn Branca, Diamanda Galas, Whitehouse et al
ReSearch did an awesome book on industrial culture. you should check it out.

making yo-yos dammit - I once heard my oldest son say this. I have no idea what he was talking about but the phrase "make me a yo-yo dammit!" just stuck with me. It kind of exemplifies my hearing disorder.

peter bagge - Hate is just a cool as shit comic.

recoil - sexy and intense. Wowsers, I have some serious associations with this band. All good too. Yum.

sociology - well, if you know me much at all, you know that I am just all about sociology. It's my passion and my lifeblood. There's nothing (except possibly math) that excites, incites, tempts and teases me like studying sociology. Why did I not pursue it in college? Because I could't imagine having a job that would ever be as fun as studying it.

transmetropolitan - quite possibly the best comic ever made. I mean, really. To read transmet is to be addicted to transmet. Really. Words cannot compare.

zoos - I think zoos are the one place I can think of that have always appealed to EVERYONE in my family. At every stage, if I wanted to bring the family together, I'd take them to the zoo. Seriously, can you think of anything that is so universally loved by all ages as the zoo? And don't give me that "zoos are prisons for animals" crap. THey aren't ALL like that. I've been lucky that the zoos I've frequented were all extremely humane, environmental (sometimes you couldn't even see the animals) and non-intrusive. Zoos are excellent for learning too. You can always learn something new at the zoo.
smibbo: (Default)
listen, you think that just because the extremists have a louder voice that they represent anybody besides themselves? What flavor crack you smoking? I bet you also believe that the KKK actually represented the whole of southern culture and attitude, don't you? Yeah cuz it's so much easier to sit there and think that a couple of idiotic yahoos are somehow the epitome of society rather than admit that the fact is that when a bunch of wack-jobs run out and start killing people, the rest of the world is slow to move... you know why? Cuz we're scared. Hell yeah, those nutjobs might come after us next. We don't want to face those assholes. We don't want to confront them every time they pop their microencephalic heads out of a foxhole. Cuz next thing you you know, it turns out the asshole is our cousin and he's gone postal on everyone and now because we openly disagreed or defied him he's gunnin down OUR family too! That's why people in the fucked-up south tolerated the likes of the KKK for so long! NOt because they're all ultra-racist too... of course they're racist but that doesn't mean they AGREED with what the KKK was doing! They were just too damned scared to take them on. And who wouldn't have been? The whole power of any extremist group is seeming to be far more powerful than they really are. But then you believe they've got the numbers, or the guns and next thing you know they really ARE more powerful than you... all because you let them make you scared.
...I may despise those jackasses to the core, but at least I'm not handing them the power of being scared of them. I pay attention, shit yes, but I'm not giving them any more power than they have. Too damned bad everyone else DOES>
smibbo: (Default)
When I was a little girl, I used to draw and write stories. I think I wrote my first "real" story when I was about seven years old. I got an idea in my head and persuaded my mother to type while I dictated. It was called "The Bus Driver's Adventures". Looking back on it, it was not very good but then again, I was only seven years old. Then, as now, I had difficulty bringing it to a close. I think I just abandoned the storyline after about four chapters and began other projects. I was very project-oriented as a child, come to think of it... I can recall building Radio Shack kids' science kits (a radio, a generator, an electro-magnet), trying to use all the legoes to make a city, sewing and knitting for my doll-house (more fascinated with the house than actually playing with the dolls themselves). Miniatures especially entranced me. I would spend hours putting things in the dollhouse and then close it up and look through the windows. I was somewhat obsessed with making things "realistic". I collected stuffed animals but I only liked animals that looked "real" - no pink bunnies or blue doggies for me!
But mostly, I made up stories. Once I learned to write, I wrote stories all the time. I tried to draw pictures to go along with my stories but my impatience with my own lack-of-talent and technical ineptness often made me ask my best friend Jill to do the drawings for me (she was extremely gifted).
I wrote a lot of wacky stuff back then, usually because my wackiness was what got the rave reviews. It was easy for me to begin a tale and wind it all over the map of the imagination before bringing it to a bizarre ending. I discovered that bizarre endings were not only popular, they often solved the problem of how to finish off a tale that actually has no moral tale or "message". My protagonists had a habit of turning into other creatures (or other genders!) and flying off to enjoy other (untold) adventures elsewhere. Elsewise, they ended up marrying someone and living "happily ever after"

You see, I grew up with tons of fairy tales told to me all the time. The hidden part of me that was naiive and romantic, clearly showed whenever I told a story. It also showed in my drawings. Psychiatrists and psychologists believe that children tell their innermost feelings through their drawing and imaginative play. If that's so, then apparently I had a secret deep longing to be a princess. Despite my tomboy nature, I obviously coveted long beautiful dresses and waited to someday meet my prince (or princess) who would wisk me away to an imposing castle where we would live happily ever after.
On the other hand, if drawings and imaginative play show what lies deep within the heart of a child, I must have had a serious dichotomy going on. Because the other half of my imagination was one of swashbuckling and heroism. Just as I might tell a tale of a princess who turned into a snake before meeting and marrying her alligator prince who later turns into a princess so they can get married under the lake, I would weave a story of being a pirate who one day decides to go on land and save the hapless old man from the fierce dragon who has put a spell on the old man because he's really a handsome prince in disguise and now they can both jump on the back of a turtle and fly up to the moon to get married and live happily ever after.

I dreamed of being a princess and being saved. I dreamed of being a pirate and saving a princess.

(Good gravy, I've been bi-trans-gender-sexual since I was a child!)

What did you used to imagine?
smibbo: (Default)
Someone in Australia is doing research on the families of Autistic children. I thought it was a pretty good survey and it's kind of nice that for once a research actually gives a shit how family members are affected.

So here is the essay part of the survey )
smibbo: (Default)
DEFINITIONS

responsible person
- a person who makes sure that their promises are kept and their obligations are met even when something gets in the way and situations change

asshole - a person who refuses to allow for the validity of other people's feelings, needs and/or desires despite being made aware of these discrepancies


shallow - a person who values appearance above more philosophical qualities

hypocrite - a person who places expectations and demands upon people that they themselves refuse to meet and justifies this position by argument of exemption ("I'm special so that doesn't apply to ME")

liar - a person who deliberately deceives and misleads people as well as attempting to instill trust under false pretenses

manipulator - a person who uses psychological techniques to get what they want especially using personal information to gain the upper hand against someone in particular
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