Thursday, November 10, 2016

Stop Telling Me to Give Him A Chance

In the wake of the horrible news that Donald Trump will, indeed, be the next President, I've swam through a sea of ignorance, white male privilege, and pure hostility on Facebook. I spent a good portion of yesterday unfriending and unfollowing people that support and spread the rhetoric of hate and intolerance while I tried to reconcile my own feelings, only to sit on my couch crying and feeling nauseous. This election season has been so stressful, and I get it, people are tired of hearing about it, tired of campaigns, tired of media oversaturation. And that's okay. I'm tired too. I'm emotionally exhausted, but my brain is already trying to think two steps ahead to plan how I'm going to help people most affected by this national tragedy. And as I try to think, as I read about the fears people have, I keep seeing the same things written by people over and over, people who don't get it, or people who lack empathy and compassion for others to see exactly why we're scared.

"Give him a chance"
"It'll be okay"
"He has no real power"
"Get over it"
"Stop whining"

On an on the apologist litany goes. I will be totally up front that I do have a level of privilege being a middle-class, educated, white woman in a largely rural state. I've never been sexually assaulted and despite dancing with poverty and mental illness, I've had a relatively comfortable life. But reading these sentiments over and over makes me sick. Why? Because these are the things rape apologists say about the victims of sexual and domestic assault when they try to use their voice and stand up for themselves and expose someone for the predator they are. And that's not okay.

I am scared. I am scared for my fellow women, queer folk, trans friends, friends of color, friends in a non-Judeo-Christian religion. I am scared of the culture of hatred, racism, and misogyny that has already sprouted as people are reporting harassment, threats, and assaults, all in less than 24 hours of the election results. For the first time in my 36 years, I am genuinely afraid of sexual assault. This is a Trump presidency. It's already happening. So no, I will not "take the high road," I will not "give him a chance." And it certainly will not be okay. This will be an unbearably long 4 years. Let's support each other.

Ways to help:
Donate to help transpeople get their names and genders legally changed here
Jezebel has a great (and expanding list) of organizations that support women, transfolk, people of color, immigrants and refugees, and people with disabilities that you can help by donating or volunteering here
Support the ACLU

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Being Hormonal Doesn't Give You Carte Blanche to be a Bitch

This is a rant I've been saving up for a long, long time. This isn't directed at anyone, but if you want to take it personally, go ahead and blame it on your scapegoat, hormones.

I don't know how many times I've heard pregnant women blame their pregnancy hormones on being absolutely awful to people around them. The same women, who if they acted the same way when not pregnant would be labeled a "bitch" and "obviously on her period." The hormones are the same, whether you're pregnant or PMSing, so let's have a seat and talk, shall we?

Ladies, being hormonal--whether you're pregnant or not-- is no excuse to be an absolute, terrible bitch to everyone around you. Check your goddamn selves because you're feeding the misogynistic stereotype that women are ruled by their hormones, uncontrollable monsters on their periods, precious sweet creatures morphed into evil demons by that mean baby in their tummy. Ugh. Stop. And if you're so newly pregnant that your pregnancy test just barely registers that you are pregnant, you have no excuse except that you want to be a horrible abusive bitch and get away with it. Yes, hormones can make you grumpy, yes, they can give you mood swings. But take some goddamn accountability for your actions. You're not a base animal, you have agency, and control over your actions and the words you say. And this isn't just aimed at pregnant women; if you're PMSing and you feel mean, maybe stay away from people? Use breathing exercises, or what I do: loud angry music in the car/working out. But please, for the love of dog, stop using it as an excuse to be horrible!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Bad Bipolar Days aren't always Mania

I've been attempting to read and write a brief summary on a CDC report on mental illness surveillance for two days now. I've become easily distracted, frustrated, and today, I wanted to cry for no reason. Here I go, sliding into that depression like...

Usually my bad bipolar days are days where I'm manic in a very negative way (rage and anger) but it's not always that way. I'm slipping into apathy, hopelessness, and an inexplicable sadness. I have nothing to be sad about. There is someone amazing in my life that I get to talk to every day (unfortunately long distance), and in a month, he'll be here. In my heart I'm ecstatic, but my bipolar disorder wanted to remind me it still exists, no matter how well-adjusted and self-aware of my own disease I am, or how well my life is going right now. It'll pass, but it's the worst time to slip into apathy. Aside from the report I'm reading and have to summarize, I have my first paper of the summer semester due tomorrow and I haven't been able to focus on that, either.

Do you think I can get course credit for snuggling my cats?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

What Turning 36 Has Taught Me

Taken a week before my birthday
March 22nd marked my 36th year on this earth. I have learned a lot in my 30's. One of the things I've learned and embraced is that age is merely a chronological measure of your existence and is by no means a definition of who you are as a person. Leaving your twenties isn't a death sentence. Getting closer to 40 isn't either. There's so much rigidity in society with how we should be at a certain age, and I fell prey to that myself when I had my quarter life crisis at 25 because I wasn't married (actually, I had that crisis first at 24, because my sister had gotten married at that age and I felt I should be by that time, too). I felt some panic last year as I turned 35 because I was in a long term relationship with no sign of marriage in sight. Today I turned 36. I'm single, and I'm okay.

I've seen so many articles online that say "Things you should definitely stop doing/wearing once you hit your 30's" and I just wonder who made these arbitrary rules? A lot of them have to do with how a woman looks and that's just utter bullshit. Ladies, regardless of your age, be you. Do what you like, wear what you love, and if you want glitter and loud makeup, fucking go for it, girl. Why, all of a sudden, when we enter our 30's are we expected to shrivel up into dull beige beings with matching pantsuits? I rock business-casual Goth on the regular.

I honestly don't understand the phrase "act your age" either. What does  that even mean? If I acted my age I'd... have kids? No thanks. A former friend of mine told me on the eve of my (I think) 32nd birthday when my ex and I were trying to plan a trip to New York City with the express intention of clubbing (because I love techno and had never experienced a club before) that I shouldn't be concerned with going out and clubbing at my age. What? So wither on the couch and watch reality TV like you? No. Thanks.

One valuable thing I learned from my mother is "you're never too old." While there are times I feel like the oldest person in my degree program (I'm not) I'm at the right place in my life to go back to school. I started thinking about graduate school in 2009 (I couldn't believe it had been so long, I honestly thought 2012) but never made the leap. I wasn't ready, mentally or emotionally. I had work to do, and lessons to learn. Entering graduate school at 35 with a goal to graduate at 37 is right for me now. I certainly wasn't ready in 2003 when I got my Bachelor's when I didn't even know what I wanted to do with my life since I realized I didn't want to be a teacher 4 years into my degree. Now I know that in my heart of hearts, I am an educator, but not teacher material. My opportunities are limitless and opening up in front of me. I am in the right place, at the right time, for me.

So if we take anything away, remember that it's okay to be in your 30's and single. Wear the thing, have the fun, and live life. You're never too old to go after a dream.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Knowing You've Made the Right Decision

Yesterday was a very bad bipolar day, and I almost didn't go to class because I wasn't in a good headspace to deal with people. I did end up going, however, and I'm glad I did. Have you ever had one of those moments that just affirms a decision you've made as the right one? Yesterday was my Social and Behavioral Health class, and we had a guest speaker that spoke to us about ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences). As a means of introducing her work, she gave us some pretty stunning statistics on food insecurity in Maine (as well as some other stats that were equally depressing). I wanted to cry. In fact, on the way home, I did cry a little. Hearing the statistics reaffirmed my decision to get my Master's in Public Health and stay in Maine after I get my degree to help people. I even rambled on at a friend last night about it. I love my home state. I love the people in it. As much as I present myself as pretty misanthropic, I care. I empathize. I want my wonderful state to thrive and be healthy. I want the people in the rural areas to have the same access to care as everyone else. I want to use my shared experiences to help others, like I've used this blog. Now I just need to find my place after graduation.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I'm Having a Bad Bipolar Day

While my Bipolar Disorder has been pretty well under control recently, every now and then I have a bad day, where my mood cycles unpredictably. Today is one of those days. I'm cranky still from some frustrations from the night before, I'm tired because while I was exhausted last night I couldn't sleep, and woke up hours before my alarm was set to go off. I'm stressed because of weather. I'm stressed because I have a paper due tomorrow at midnight that I haven't started. I have a general "fuck everything" attitude right now but at the same time I'm on the verge of tears for no goddamn reason. Also, I'm on my period and cramping is awful. I haven't had a day like this in a long time, where I feel like an angry ball of frustration and fuck it. I don't want to go to class tonight but I do because there's a guest speaker I'm interested in. It's an hour drive and the weather is gross and I'm tired and crampy and have that paper to write. But I literally don't want to do anything but lay in bed and sleep and be grumpy.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

You Are Not Entitled to a Wedding Invitation

By popular request, my wedding invitation rant, straight from my Facebook. Cut and paste for your pleasure! Nothing has been added.

I know of a few people planning weddings right now. Wedding planning is stressful as hell, and weddings are expensive. So when people post about their happy day, whether it be the initial "we're engaged!" announcement, or progress on their venue, etc., the appropriate response is "congratulations!" Appropriate responses do NOT include "I had better be getting an invitation!" or "I'm invited, right?"
What the fuck makes you so entitled? You're not. The couple is under no obligation to invite people to avoid hurt feelings, whether they be friends or family. Weddings are EXPENSIVE. Not only is the couple paying for venue, photographer, officiant, etc., they are paying FOR YOU to be there. You're getting a free ride on them, and if they decide not to invite current or former coworkers, distant relatives, YOUR CHILDREN, or not allow a plus one, that's their decision, because you know what? It's THEIR day, not yours. Nothing about it is about you actually.
And demanding/asking to be invited is rude as hell.
I know someone who was asked CONSTANTLY about an invitation to her special day, someone she didn't particularly want to invite, and it made her uncomfortable. Wedding planning is stressful enough to begin with, don't be the asshat that adds to the stress because YOU, as a special motherfucking snowflake, HAVE to be invited or the world ends.
If someone does you the honor of inviting you to their wedding, be gracious. And for fuck's sake, dress up. Nothing says "I don't really care" than showing up to a wedding (or a funeral, for that matter) in jeans and a t-shirt.