Back in Therapy

This all started when I had to get a new doctor because mine was no longer doing teledoc or Telehealth or whatever it’s called. I finally found one, and he got me in to see a new therapist. I was dreading the first appointment – you know, going through everything that happened and why you’re there and whatnot. It’s exhausting. I came home ate dinner and fell asleep on the couch.

The thing is, despite it being exhausting, I felt like it actually went really good. As far as I can remember, the first appointment – you don’t actually get anything out of it, just giving the therapist all your background information. This first appointment, however, went quite the opposite. I feel like not only did we go through the background information (the difficult parts and the boring parts), but I really felt like I got something out of it, you know? She helped me some. She gave me a name of someone to look up who had interesting and helpful views for me in my situation.

I feel like we really clicked. Normally, or at least in my experience, the therapist doesn’t talk about themselves at all – which I completely understand. But she gave me some information about herself (only as in how it pertained to me in the context of what we were discussing). It made her seem like a real person and made me feel like how I “experience the world” (for lack of a better phrase) isn’t so alien at all. It’s one thing to know that everyone goes through something, and there’s someone who’s gone through the same thing I went through, but it’s something else to have that proverbial “someone” be a real person that you actually interact with. It was a really nice feeling. It helped me to think that I may not be as horrible a person as I think I am.

Bi Pride?

So I’ve been asked things along the line of, “Okay, so you’re not straight, do you have to go around being proud of it and shoving it in everyone’s face?”

Answer: yes

Explanation: It’s not exactly about shoving it in everyone’s face. It’s not my entire identity, just like your “straightness” isn’t your whole identity. The point of it is for those of us who can, be open and show that there’s nothing wrong with being who you are for those who can’t show who they really are. It’s about making it normal and making homophobia and transphobia not normal and unnatural. For those of us who can be open with our sexuality, we have to stand up for those who can’t be open. Our openness about it, our pride about it is a privilege. We have to exercise our privilege to give a hand up to those who don’t have it. Just like white privilege should be used as a power for good and help those around us and educate others to get rid of the ignorance. Ignorance breeds fear and hate. That goes for race, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender identity.

Stop Telling Me What I Want!

One day when you meet the right man, you will.

You say that now, but later on you’ll change your mind.

Your biological clock is ticking.

…all when someone hears that I don’t want to have children.

It’s not that I don’t like kids. I mean, I’m not particularly fond of most of them, but I love my nephews to death. But seeing my siblings raising them, seeing the issues that they have to deal with, it all just reassures me that I am not meant to have children.

I’m not patient enough. I’m not selfless enough. I’m just not enough to raise a child full time. I mean, I can babysit, but long-term, I think it would be a real struggle for me. Not to mention that I don’t particularly want to pass on my genes or my mental issues. Having PTSD, I just know that my paranoia would mess with a kid’s brain – being constantly on edge, hovering over them, watching their every move to make sure that nothing bad ever happens to them.

Also, things like tantrums and potty-training. Not my thing. Changing diapers for years? No, thank you. My mom did the math; between the three of us kids, she was changing diapers for seven years. SEVEN YEARS?!? No way. That’s too much poo for me.

So, thanks, but no thanks. If I ever feel like I want kids, I’ll adopt or do foster care or something. But I doubt I’ll ever even do that because I really don’t feel that urge to want to become a mother. And I never want to be told I’m making a mistake, I haven’t met the right man… blah, blah, blah.

It’s almost as if my identity as a woman is tied to whether or not I have children or that my worth/value is whether or not I have children. But it’s not! So stop asking people why they don’t have children! It’s a personal choice and oftentimes it’s for a personal reason that just because you asked, doesn’t mean you’re entitled to an answer. Deal with it.

Finally Coming Out

Pride Month started to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. It started out as just a march on June 28, 1970 – the anniversary of the the Stonewall Uprising – but pretty quickly spread to the entire month of June. The Stonewall Uprising started like a typical night – a police raid on a gay bar. What was different this time was that the gay patrons fought back! LGBT History Month is in October.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the acronym LGBT. But there are other variations of this acronym. LGBTQ, LGBTQIA+, LGBTQIA2S+. So what do all those letters mean?

L is for Lesbian – a homosexual woman

G is for Gay – homosexual (usually specifically about men)

B is for Bisexual – sexually attracted not exclusively to people of one particular gender; attracted to both men and women

T is for (1)Transgender, (2)Trans, or (3)Transsexual – (1) denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex; (2) denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex; (3) a transgender person, especially one whose bodily characteristics have been altered through surgery or hormone treatment to bring them into alignment with their gender identity

Q is for (1)Queer, (2)Questioning – (1) denoting or relating to a sexual or gender identity that does not correspond to established ideas of sexuality and gender, especially heterosexual norms; (2) the process of a person determining their sexual orientation and/or gender identity

I is for Intersex – a person born with a combination of male and female biological traits; a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male

A is for (1)Asexual, (2)Allies – (1) a person who doesn’t experience sexual attraction; (2) a person who is not LGBT but who actively supports the LGBT community

2S is for 2 Spirit – a third gender found in some Native American cultures, often involving birth-assigned men or women taking on the identities and roles of the opposite sex; an umbrella term across American Indian and First Nations cultures for a person who embodies both male and female spirits within them

+ is for – used to signify all of the gender identities and sexual orientations that are not specifically covered by the other initials (pansexual, demisexual, agender, gender fluid, non-binary, polyamorous, sapiosexual, etc.)

This post is to give a small taste and explanation about what Pride Month is. I live in the south, so there’s not anything done for Pride month where I live specifically – nothing that I’m aware of anyway. But there’s something else.

I’m bisexual.

I told my mother that for the first time a couple weeks ago. I was so nervous coming out. I felt shame because everything in my culture and society said that what I am is wrong and means I’m going to hell. I didn’t want to upset my mother, stress her out, or hurt her. For a long, long time I said that I was sparing her the potential pain and trauma of knowing that about me, thinking that she would never need to know. But over the past several months, I’ve felt this need to share it with my mother, my best friend, the person I’m closest to. I started to cry before I even got the words out. And what I said in the beginning didn’t even make sense to her.

“Mom, I’m not straight,” I blubbered.

“Straight about what, honey?” she asked, all concerned and worried because I’m crying.

“I’m bi.”

“By what?” I continue to cry. “Oh! You’re not straight.”

That’s how it went. I had had two cups of coffee so my anxiety was through the flipping roof. I was scared. I felt like a child. But my mother took it with grace and love and made me feel secure and safe and loved.

She did add that I was the one who had to tell my father. Which, as of writing this, I have not done so yet.

My mother explained her position like this. God made us all the way we are. We don’t choose who we love, it’s not a choice whether you’re LGBTQIA+ or not. And if God made us that way, why would he not love us? And if he loves us, who are we to judge and condemn someone for being who they are?

It was really hard to not cry at that for me. She explained it so easily, so simply but with so much love in it. I really am very, very lucky. I’m blessed.

Below is a version of the bisexual pride flag. It’s also my phone background now. For Pride Month and in honor of my (at least halfway) coming out of the closet.

Happy Pride Month!

Surprise Party!

So this weekend, my sister and her family went to the beach. They came over to our house for the day. We had cupcakes and birthday presents ready for her oldest son (just turned 3, but when asked, says he’s 4 šŸ˜‚). They get here, and we immediately have cupcakes and open presents, then it was off to the pool for fun and games. They threw some balls around in the pool and this weird squishy frisbee that absorbed the water.

After pool time we made some delicious smash burgers on the grill. I was running back and forth from the grill to the kitchen helping my dad grill and my mom with the rest of the food. Back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth.

The weather was really nice – mostly sunny and warm and the pool water wasn’t cold (not warm either). It was kind of the perfect. My sister and her family were here, so was my brother and his family. We had a full house. Kids were running around everywhere, being wild and funny.

But then after dinner, everyone suddenly vanished. They were all gone from the main room (open floor plan house) and they were quiet. I just put in my headphones and continued to work in my journal. But then they slowly come out of my parents room, walking slowly (to music I couldn’t hear). After noticing them weirdly walking and avoiding my eyes, I notice they’re wearing matching t-shirts! All from the university I went to! Then they tossed me a t-shirt. I slipped it on and followed into another room. There, they’d somehow managed to get in a cake and decorations without me noticing!

We took a family picture together (even the toddlers had matching shirts, it was adorable). We ate cake. And everyone told me how proud they were of me. The truth was I absolutely hated the attention, so I’m glad it wasn’t a bigger party with more people. It was actually really sweet and nice. I also got presents! I got some candy from my parents, a shirt from my sister. I also got a book I’ve been thinking about getting! The Night and its Moon by Piper CJ. I’m reading it now – devouring it really. I love it!

Anyway, it was a great day! I hope y’all all are having a great Memorial Day weekend!

Judgment on Humanity

I’m in New York and there’s been a murder. A man murdered a state trooper who responded to a call that a man was suicidal. His name is Nicholas ClarkĀ and he’s from the little town I’m in. He came back here for his burial. Hundreds of cars, at least a hundred motorcycles (all state troopers) escorted the hearse. I could see the whole procession from the front porch and hear the bagpipes as they played “Amazing Grace.” People lined the street and for some time I was disgusted by it. That people turned a families grief into some sort of spectacle with their folding lawn chairs lining up on the sidewalk as if there were a parade. I was very uncomfortable with the situation. I thought that the family deserved to have their graveside service private. Their grief is their own, not ours to gawk at.

But once the majority of cars were in and through the cemetery I saw people approaching state troopers who were directing traffic (what little there was), but they were standing outside of their cars and off their motorcycles. Each person was thanking the troopers for their service and saying they were sorry for the troopers’ loss.

It surprised me. I was disgusted with these people, but really they were showing a unity and support that I hadn’t expected. It was a good surprise. It pleased me to see this side of people, The sad affair of an officer responding, trying to help people and being killed because of it is tragic and shows an ugly side of humanity. These people in this crowd were there in support and union in the loss, the tragic and unnecessary loss of a life. The loss of the potential he had to help people, to raise his children, be there for his family and friends through the good times and the bad. Thinking of all that might’ve been brings tears to my eyes and makes me question whether people are mostly good or not.

The event makes me think not, but the response of the public makes me think we do have something good about us.

Warning: Long Post Ahead

A bead of sweat rolls down the back of my neck. I’m in the New York country side. It’s supposed be cool! I left the south for a break from the heat, not to bring it with me with no AC! Yet, here it is. I’m sweating waiting for the elementary band to come marching down the main street of this small town’s 4th of July parade. I can hear the drums and the cheers of the very small crowd from down the street.Ā  It’s not a very big parade from a two-street town, but it is cute and they do throw some candy. There are horses and most of the “floats” are actually different kinds of tractors. It lasts less than an hour before the entire parade has passed us by.

The whole family is together, and it’ll probably be the one and only time that we’re all together like this at my grandmother’s house. She’s 88 this year and not getting around like she used to, but still all there. So there are eight of us in a three bedroom house. We’ve rented an RV for extra beds, but with this heat and lack of AC it’s not much fun to sleep in a, for all intents and purposes, a tin can with other sweating bodies. The only thing is that it cools down at night. That’s the saving grace. I enjoy the heat of the south – that sticky, sweaty humid air that makes your hair curl – but I do like being able to come inside into the AC. It’s refreshing.

It’s been a few days since I wrote the above, but the internet here is a little spotty so it didn’t post. I’m just going to add to it.

My bipolar-ness showed just before this trip, and I bought a thousand dollar camera that I don’t actually need. It was on sale, but it was still expensive. I justified it by saying I’d be using it to make a movie of this trip because it’ll never happen again.

As I write this, I’m sitting in a separate room away from everyone. People are outside playing croquet, drinking and laughing. Others are in the kitchen helping to prepare dinner (that I’ve been smelling all day and it’s making my mouth water with anticipation). With eight people in this house, things have gotten a little intimate and there’s no place to go to be alone. With my issues, IĀ need my alone time. It’s like recharging my batteries. Not only is there the eight of us, but we have other family members coming over to eat and play games. It’s fun, but it’s also overwhelming. Things get to be too much – noises too loud, lights too bright. It kind of sends me over the edge, so I’ve got to find the time where I can to be on my own. Hiding before dinner seems to be the only time I can.

My family can be loud. We can be angry. We can be hilarious. But mostly what I feel, or rather don’t feel, is a bond. There isn’t a strong bond between all of us like I’ve witnessed in other families who actually enjoy being together and want to and make time to spend together. It’s something I’ve always wanted and am only recently learning to accept.

Another thing I’m learning to accept is that my grandmother has no filter from her brain to her mouth. I’ve got to take everything she says in stride because I can’t yell at an 88-year old woman. I learned also that other people have noticed that my grandmother isn’t particularly nice to me. Of my siblings, I’m the only one who isn’t married. I’m in my mid-twenties and by my age, my siblings (all older) were married or in a serious relationship (which led to marriage). I’m not dating anyone. I have no “prospects” either. I’d like to shout at her, “How am I supposed to be in a relationship when men still scare/anger me?!” Issues from being raped still reverberate through my life. It isn’t something that just happens and you eventually move on. You never move on, you just learn how to live with it. So while she calls me a spinster, she also calls me a brat. My parents help me out a lot because with my issues it’s hard to keep and maintain a job. I can’t yet finish school because of my anxiety, but I want to. She thinks I’m spoiled. She lets me know where I rank in her estimation of her grandchildren, but I can’t tell her why I am the way I am. I have to bite my tongue and turn the other cheek and pretend she doesn’t hurt my feelings or say what I already think about myself out loud. And it’s really hard. I meanĀ really really hard. She doesn’t get it.

This post was supposed to be a happy one about the 4th of July and the fun side of this trip, but I’ve managed to turn it into a whining rant, so if you’ve read this far I’m sorry. I’m not going to change it because it’s cathartic knowing I’m putting it out there and someone, anyone is “listening” to me. It’s therapeutic. But dinner’s ready now, other family members have arrived and I’ve got to do my best to smile and be sociable when all I want is to take a plate into a separate room and eat silently.

Anyway, thank you for reading this far and I hope you had an awesome, safe 4th of July!

It’s finally finished!

So, this is my first post in a while. It feels a little weird because for the past 30 days, I’ve been writing fiction… my badge makes me smile. 51,344 words! I can’t believe it. Right now, I’ve been awake for well over 24 hours. I’m not sure exactly how long. I feel very out of touch, like I’m so out of it and goofy I’m not sure if I’m dreaming or awake or what I’m doing. Have I taken my meds? Have I eaten? Yeah… I had some soup… at some point in the past 5 days… But I’m too tired to actually feel hungry, you know what I mean?

Basically, forgive this bad post, but I’m posting it anyway. I’m just so so so happy that NaNo 2017 is over and I made it!!!

Congrats to anyone else who did it and won!

KEEP GOING to anyone out there still reaching! STOP READING AND WRITE! YOU GOT THIS!

It’s finished, Christmas is here. I feel… I’m on the cusp of like, not giving a shit to the point that you’re just happy? Delirious?

I don’t know. I’m stopping. I think I’ll go fire up my micro torch and make some metal shit. Mini-flamethrower and lack of sleep… what could possibly go wrong?

NaNoWriMo 2017

If you don’t know, it’s NaNoWriMo time! This month is National Novel Writing Month. Participants spend the month writing a novelĀ ā€” the ultimate goal being 50k words. If I remember correctly, 50,000 words is around 300 pages which is the average length of a novel today.

For the past three years I’ve participated and completed the 50k word goal. It’s not easy. They say to write 1,667 words a day and you’ll reach the end complete! The thing is life tends to get in the way. When you’re stuck, 1,667 words seems like an impossible goal. When you’re on a roll, 1,667 words is like nothing! So it’s an exercise in consistency.

During this month, if I make any posts at all there’s a very good chance that it’ll be ranting about how NaNo is kicking my ass. This time, though, I’ll be writing something a little different. Normally, it’s completely fictional with a character or two based loosely on someone I know. Now it’s going to be a little more personal. I’m going to be writing some about my lifeĀ ā€” friends, family, all the crap I’ve been through. At the end, I’m hoping it’ll turn into a happy ending (which will be the most fictional part of the story). At least, maybe. I’ll probably start writing and it’ll turn into something completely different.

If you’re interested in writing, even if you don’t think you’re good, you should at least check it out! It’s fun! Go to NaNoWriMo and see if there’s anyone else in your area. You can be anonymous or not. You can meet up with people if you want or you can do it solo. I’ve only met with the group in my area once when I was in college. Since then, I haven’t attended any write-ins or kick-offs.

Best of luck to anyone out there participating!

Getting Things Done

Every day I wake up and think, “I hope I don’t waste this day too.” I know that life is short, anything can happen, you never know when your number’s up, yada, yada. I think about it quite a bit lately (I think because my step-grandmother just passed – no condolences necessary). So I wake up with the intention on accomplishing something that day.

But then my meds kick in and make me sleepy, or my anxiety crushes me, or I dissociate, or I can’t even make it out of the neighborhood because there happens to be a car behind me but they might be following so I race through the neighborhood like a madman to get home without being seen thanks to my paranoia and PTSD.

Finding something that I can do at home is good because almost none of those issues pop up! My Etsy shop has been up for about a year but I haven’t been using it. Now that I’ve got more listings up I find myself motivated and excited to do more. That is such a good feeling, and rare for me. I want to make more things to sell. Usually, I just give things away as a gift or keep it for myself. Selling them gives me an opportunity to make some money (to balance out how much I’ve spent on the supplies) and something to do. It’s more than me being able to say, “I washed the dishes and vacuumed the house.” To other people, that doesn’t seem like a big deal. They do all those things and go to work. I can’t. I wish I could. I wish it so much and I’m trying to get better, but it isn’t easy.

When I meet someone new (because I’ve taken a risk and went to a new church meeting thing once a week at night and it turned out I liked it so I’m going back), they’ve always asked my name and what I do. The last time I was around new people the questions were my name, my major, where I’m from (college). What can I say to those answers now? What do I do for a living? Nothing. Sorry. I’m a mooch. I come off as lazy and privileged. I know I’m lucky and that there are so many people in my situation who aren’t as lucky and don’t have the support system I do. Being able to answer them, “I run an Etsy shop,” makes me feel so good! Even if it doesn’t seem like much to them and no I’m no where near making a living off it, it’s still something other than permanently imbedding myself in the couch and burning my eyes out on TV.

tl;drĀ  Ā Getting my Etsy shop going has gotten me going and I’m that real kind of happy that’s deep happy.

(Yes, I’m linking myself again. Sure, I’d love it if you bought something. But if you don’t, I’d be just as happy getting views on my “stats” dashboard. My standards are low.)