On Smoking or “I’m So Sorry Mom.”

On Smoking or “I’m So Sorry Mom.”

TW: smoking, cigarettes, drug and alcohol use, heroin, overdose

I started smoking cigarettes when I was 16. I smoked until I was 19. I quit in 2013 after I had a really bad case of the flu. I was in bed for 4 days and when I finally woke up I realized I had beaten all of the physical craving symptoms. For years afterwards I said that quitting smoking was both the hardest and the coolest thing I’d ever done.

I started smoking again about a month (or two?) ago.

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On Trigger Warnings

On Trigger Warnings

TW: mentions of rape, sexual violence, ptsd, police brutality.

I love trigger warnings. This is a controversial topic and I have trouble understanding why.

For those who don’t know, a trigger warning is “a statement at the start of a piece of writing, video, etc., alerting the reader or viewer to the fact that it contains potentially distressing material (often used to introduce a description of such content).”

But a quick search on urban dictionary has some pretty nasty things to say about people that need trigger warnings. Like…

  • Its purpose is to warn weak minded people who are easily offended that they might find what is being posted offensive in some way due to its content, causing them to overreact or otherwise start acting like a dipshit. Popular on reddit SRS or other places that social justice warriors like to hang out.
  • Trigger Warning is a disclaimer for [redacted cuz it’s too offensive] emotionally unstable people who cannot read certain words without having a self diagnosed ‘panic attack’ due to their self-diagnosed PTSD.

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A Toast

A Toast

This past Saturday my best friends, Reese and Chelsea got married. In the sad and hard times we find ourselves in, Saturday night will be a flame and a light in my heart and in my mind. I saw a room full of people bless a love and a relationship. I saw a room full of people uplift themselves and each others. In dark times, those moments of joy are what we live for. Those moments are why we keep living, they are what we are fighting for.

What follows is the toast I gave to two of my favorite people in the world….

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If You’re Reading This I’m Too Gay

If You’re Reading This I’m Too Gay

TW: sexual and emotional abuse mention

I’ve always known the way I felt about girls was different from a lot of people. When I was in the 9th grade I read a book, Keeping You a Secret by Julie Ann Peters. It gave me words for what I felt, I was a lesbian. I even came out to my Mom. But for another decade I only dated men. I can’t really answer this question to myself satisfactorily. I try not to let it, but it haunts me. How many less times would I have been assaulted? How many less horrifying and terrible emotional and sexual encounters could I have avoided?

Why didn’t date women? I guess on the one hand I didn’t think I was cool or good enough. I’d never dated women so I didn’t know where to start. It didn’t help that being gay was not something you did in Fallston, Maryland, where I grew up. The very few out classmates I had suffered extreme harassment, alienation, and abuse. Maybe I was too scared to subject myself to that.

On top of that I was socialized to date men. Society showed me one way to live and one way to love, from every TV show I watched to the adults I was surrounded with to the toys I played with. We call this compulsory heterosexuality. I was socialized to prioritize the needs of men over literally everything else. Theoretically I can understand how this played out in my life – choosing to accept the advances of men, choosing to commit my time, energy and resources to them, etc.

But theory only takes you so far in life. It certainly doesn’t take you very far in understanding your own life.

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On Grief

On Grief

TW: Death, grief, suicide mention.

I have found out that two people passed away while watching Winnie the Pooh.

I remember exactly when during the movie the news came both times. I remember the first time, in 2014, how the movie played in the background while I stared into my ex-partner’s eyes. I will never know whose face was whiter, or who cried first. All I know is that Pooh did get his honey, but I still feel pretty bad for the bees.

In 2015 I remember I was sleeping on the floor in my apartment in Lancaster. My father texted me to tell me my grandfather was dead. It is remarkable how quickly your body can go completely numb.

I don’t watch Winnie the Pooh anymore. I know where the naloxone is in my house. I am always the DD. I send people texts before I call so they know everyone is still alive. I keep a list of suicide hotline numbers saved in my bookmarks. I move through the world expecting death. What I don’t understand is how anyone else doesn’t. 

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On Care and Emotional Labor

On Care and Emotional Labor

I’ve been thinking a lot about the care and the emotional labor I perform in my life. I’m glad that I can serve as a resource for the people I love to talk about and work through their feelings, their problems, and their experiences. At the same time, the disparities in the amount of this work I perform compared to that of other people in my life is pretty remarkable.

If you’re unfamiliar with emotional labor, this is a good place to start.

Emotional labor or emotional work is composed of tasks that require a high degree of understanding or management of emotions. Women are disproportionately believed to be good at these tasks as a function of their gender, regardless of their actual skill or willingness.” from Geek Feminism Wiki

I use the terms “care” and “emotional labor” interchangeably here. Women perform FAR more emotional labor than men. There is little information about the emotional labor that nonbinary and gender nonconforming people are performing compared to others, which is frustrating to say the least.

As a very specific and intentional life choice I am no longer close to men that are incapable or unwilling to take care with the people around them. As such, I am close to very few men in my life at the moment. What I see is that women and nonbinary people carry extreme loads of both self and community care. We are performing massive amounts of emotional labor, all the time.

TW: Mentions of sexual assault, emotional and mental abuse, trauma, death.

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Chronically Chill or Trauma as a Lifestyle.

Chronically Chill or Trauma as a Lifestyle.

Last week I had my follow up appointment with my rheumatologist. We had thought that I likely had a connective tissue disorder, like Rhuematoid Arthritis or one of the other few hundred diseases of that category. I walked into the appointment excited to get some answers about why I was feeling as bad as I was, and hopefully get some treatment to make life a little easier.

All of my test results came back negative. The physicians assistant didn’t say, but might as well have said “there’s nothing wrong with you.” As much as an auto-immune disorder would have been difficult to deal with, the result of “nothing” was pretty devastating. I thought finally I would be taken seriously.

Ya’ll this post gets really graphic from here on out. If you are someone in my life who doesn’t want to or shouldn’t hear details of assaults I have experienced I would strongly advise you NOT to read this.

Very strong trigger warning for: trauma, abuse, rape, assault

Continue reading “Chronically Chill or Trauma as a Lifestyle.”