The past week has been rough. Seeing political leaders in my state make excuse after excuse for Roy Moore has made me want to scream. Seeing people I know in real life dismiss the claims has made me want to cry. Seeing “conservatives” attack the character of victims has been disgusting. Seeing “liberals” talk about how my state is a festering limb ready to be amputated or how we should be targeted with nuclear strikes because of the reactions by some residents has been infuriating. It’s just been overwhelming.  I believe the accusers.1 That should not be shocking. I try to always believe the accusers, even if it’s someone I (once) adored or respected.2 I’m not going to go into specifics, but the whole idea that it’s a conspiracy against Moore is just pretty irrational. There is no conspiracy by the left or by the “GOP establishment” to malign him. If anyone just wanted to discredit the man, they needn’t make up sexual abuse allegations. His career is enough for most reasonable people to determine he’s not qualified.   I don’t like Roy Moore. I never have. I never will. He’s not someone I think deserves respect. He definitely shouldn’t hold a public office of any sort. I thought that before these allegations because I’m familiar with how abusive he can be when holding office. I don’t believe people who have a history of violating constitutional rights and who want to turn the country into a theocracy are fit for public office. I don’t really understand why there have been so many concern trolls from out of state trying to tell me how wonderful Moore is. They don’t even know the first thing about him. They just view this as an attack on their principles. And I just cringe because I know how horrific his principles are, so I have to hope they really don’t share them because the alternative is, well, horrific.  This is not a left vs right issue. It’s an issue of wrong vs right. Most people understand this. Many of Moore’s biggest critics have been Republicans, as have the accusers, so this idea that it’s Democrats plotting against him just underscores how out of touch his supporters are when it comes to politics and to acceptable human behavior. How can it be controversial or overtly political to oppose child abuse?  I don’t know how anyone could think a person accused of sexually abusing, harassing, and stalking teenage girls belongs in the Senate. That just completely baffles me. And I can’t see any political issue being important enough that it would justify a vote for someone so vile. What issue could make it okay to vote for someone accused of abusing kids?  Listening to the stories of the women and hearing the reactions by people across the aisle has just made it difficult as a child sexual abuse survivor to deal. It’s everywhere I look, and it triggers my obsessive tendencies to seek out more about the story. That just leads to more stress which leads to unhealthy coping techniques. I had gone a week-and-a-half without chocolate when the story broke. Within two days, I had started on a chocolate binge and I’ll have to work myself back off the candy. I know that sounds like a ridiculous thing to blame on this story, but it’s the reality.  And when I see people choosing to dismiss the allegations because they were from decades ago, it makes me think that they would not believe me or any of other survivors that wait years before talking about it—if they ever do. It makes the world feel more frightening and foreign. It makes me feel alone. Every time they tear down an accuser because she’s not perfect, it makes me feel like they won’t believe any survivor. It’s just a lot to deal with and sometimes I just want to scream until my throat is raw because I know these reactions by his defenders are harmful and wrong, and I hate them for making recovering from the trauma of sexual violence that much harder. I just have to figure out how to deal with this story and allo its dredging up. I don’t see it going away any time soon. I have to hope that my state will do the right thing in the end.  Have I just agreed with Mirch McConnell? The end must be nigh. ↩Al Franken. ↩

#NoMoore


A couple of weeks ago, I had to see my rheumatologist. I was past due for my annual visit where he would normally tell me how I was a waste of time for him. He didn’t say that this time. Instead, he was focused on my lab results from last year.  These were results that had “positive”1 results for scleroderma-70, ANA, and SSA-Ro, or as the rheumatologist called them, “the lupus test.” No, I don’t have lupus…yet. He said I may never develop it or several other autoimmune diseases. He did say that I definitely have Sjögren’s syndrome. It’s not the first time he has said that, but it has been a while since he last diagnosed me with that.  Part of me knows not to trust that that’s the diagnosis, since he’s changed his mind before, but it’s still kinda scary. When you’re the grandchild of someone who died from complications of a disease, it’s hard to deal with getting that diagnosis. Mamama had 2 children, 3 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren, but I’m the one who drew the short straw in getting this problem. I want to ask why, and I want to scream and say it isn’t fair, but I don’t want another relative to have it. I don’t want them to suffer, but I feel selfish because I don’t want to have it either.  I want to cry.  I want to scream.  I want to know why I’m the one who gets the potentially fatal diseases.  Does being angry & sad make me a bad person? Does it mean I’m too whiny? Do I have a right to be upset? Any result that indicates someone could have a life-threatening or life-changing disease should not be considered positive. ↩

Eyes So Dry



If you followed my Twitter account or my Facebook profile during the 2016 election, you may have learned that a guy I had a crush on in high school is a huge Trump fan. You might know that Richie and I got into skirmish after skirmish over political and social issues. He would randomly post on things and say rather cruel things to me. He would encourage friends of his to do the same. You might know that I eventually blocked him.  In high school, I liked another guy a lot more than I liked Richie. From early in tenth grade until sometime in college, I was convinced that I was in love with John Allen. I even blogged about him all those years ago. John Allen was a pothead at the time and thought it would be hilarious if I ever got drunk. He never saw me drunk.1  After I quit high school, I sent him a sort of love letter in a birthday card for his seventeenth birthday. I confessed my feelings in it. I gave him an ultimatum: we either date or the friendship was over. For almost two years, we’d confessed a lot of our secrets and stressors to each other, but he would also talk about his relationships in front of me. I thought he must not know how I felt before the letter. It wasn’t like I wrote him notes every day and apologized profusely on the days when he’d show up to class & there’d be no note.2 I’m sure I flirted without subtlety.3  Anyway, when I never heard back after the letter, I tried to move on. It took a while and I finally did. When Facebook came into existence, I looked for him. After Matt died, I found him on Facebook and we were finally  “friends” again.4 I realized friends was all we’d ever be. And I was thankful it had never been more.  Now, I’m doubly thankful because I stumbled onto this. I was looking for something totally different, but I knew as soon as I read it that it was him. What a douche.  I told my mom that I realized now that teenage me had bad taste. She said she’d known that for years. That’s when she told me that that’s why she didn’t push me to start dating as a teenager. She knew I’d pick someone who could either hurt me emotionally or in some other way. I get why she didn’t tell me back then. I would have probably more actively pursued a harmful relationship.  I always knew teenage me would a been a bit on the slutty side, but now I think I would have been reckless. I just needed to grow up and get perspective.  I’ve never been drunk. ↩He never wrote one for me. He did write half a page in my 10th grade yearbook & he said he kept every note I wrote him. ↩I may be shy, but when I’m into someone I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve. ↩Until he got married and deleted the account. ↩

This Is Why I Didn’t Encourage Teenage You to Date


On late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning, I fell on the kitchen floor. I didn’t hurt my left hip, but I banged up my right knee and both arms & wrists. My left wrist is still swollen and hurts like crazy. I’m probably going to get it checked this next week if it’s still hurting on Monday and if I can get an appointment. I hope it clears up before I have to do that.  Between pain from falling, spotty internet & phone access, my iPod getting crankier and crankier, Facebook’s Messenger app acting antisocial, and other “fun”, this week has been rather unpleasant. Hopefully, the next one will be better. It has to be, right?

I Keep On Falling



I am trying to get some supplies for Silver Sky by Janet, and I need some help. I know, I know. I’m always looking for help, but please give me a second to explain.  The easiest and cheapest way that you can help is to join Ibotta using my referral code. I get $5 when you join, and a $10 bonus if two people join. I get $50 if five join and $100 for every 10 who sign up. And all you need is the referral code and a smartphone.  Right now I have $30 worth of rebates in my account with that app. I can get that money transferred to my PayPal account so that I can use it on Beadaholique. Beadaholique uses a rewards system where you earn points for each item you buy or for some tasks you perform. For every 100 points you receive, you can get $1 discount. For every $50, you also get an extra 250 points, so if I spent $200, I could a $10 discount. That basically translates into free stuff/shipping upgrades.  Other ways you can help out is to donate directly to my PayPal or to send me gift cards for Amazon, Beadaholique, Hobby Lobby, Joann, or Michaels. Like I said before, the Ibotta method is cheapest for you. I don’t really have an expiration date for the help, though Beadaholique is running a 25% site-wide discount through tomorrow.  I could purchase jewelry supplies from any of the stores, but some of the stores also sell wreath making supplies, which I also need. If you can help me get enough money together to make these purchases, I will: Be forever grateful.  Give you a discount on purchases you make for a two months/every gift card, donation, etc. you send/make.  Name an item in honor of you.  Please help if you can and consider sharing the link with friends who might help. Thanks!

Help a Ginger Out


Have I mentioned on here before that I’m allergic to raw onions? I think I have. It’s something I discovered about five years ago when I ate something with raw onion on it & broke out in hives across my face. I confirmed it a few times after that to make sure; usually I had Benadryl on hand.1  Since then, I’ve been extremely careful about not consuming raw onions. I try to make sure to only order onions that I’m sure have been thoroughly cooked. And before you ask: Yes, it is absolutely possible to be allergic to raw onions and not to cooked ones.2  Today, I went to Quizno’s and had a sandwich that had “sautéed onions” on it. I took a bite & found they had the taste & texture of raw onions. I spent minutes taking apart my sandwich. My dad talked to the manager/franchise owner who said the onions were “sautéed” in the microwave. I know you can do that to a certain degree in a microwave, but the onions on my sandwich were either raw or barely cooked. Either way, they were a danger to me & a lesson learned.  I should just skip all onions & mention I’m allergic to them when I’m at restaurants—advice that was given to me a few years back by Anna. She’s a smart lady.  Because I’m me. ↩The theory is that the things that cause the allergy are broken down by the heat of cooking it. ↩

Locked Me Out and Threw a Feast



This Thursday was my first day of post-op physical therapy. So far there’s not much I’m allowed to do. I’m not allowed to bend past 90°. I’m not allowed turn my leg out to the side for long. I physically can’t do straight leg lifts with my left leg yet.1 The therapist was a bit exasperated because I’m not allowed to do most of the early exercises in the hip & knee program. She literally had to rip the first page of exercises off because all six are not safe for me to do yet. She’s having to do most of my PT for me; moving my leg around to stretch the muscles in a way that shouldn’t injure me.2 It’s weird.  The program that my orthopedist wants me to go through is a six month rehab meant for athletes. That’s kind of funny because he told me at my first appointment that he thought my issue was due to not being active. The labral tear made it obvious that I’m not the stereotypical lazy fat chick.  The tendon that was released was the one that helps the body do those lifts. ↩I worry that she doesn’t seem to understand what Ehlers-Danlos is and why my “amazing” flexibility in some joints is not a good thing. ↩

A New Kind of Hipster


I think I mentioned that I had hip surgery last week. My recovery has been going pretty well. I’ve has a few mishaps. Last week, for example, I accidentally pulled on one of my sutures & it loosened. The next day1 I found out that it was barely staying in when went with my mom to physical therapy & asked Erin2 to check it out for me.3 While she went to find a band-aid, it worked its way the rest of the way out. Since then, that incision has had a little yellow discharge, which I’ve told the orthopedist’s team, but has done well otherwise. Everything has been goin well. The only hard part is a hard spot in my left arm.  Calling it a spot is a misnomer. It’s a hard, raised area stretching from my wrist to my elbow. It runs right along the vein that my IV from surgery was put in. Somehow they inflamed that entire segment of my vein. It’s a bit sore, red, and warm, but the family doctor thinks it’s just a little phlebitis.4 I should be okay.  It’s just a little bizarre for me to know exactly where the vein is now.  Thursday ↩A physical therapist who has worked with me for 3 or 4 years. ↩She’d once told me that they could check or even remove stitches. ↩Phlebitis is literally the inflammation of a vein. ↩

Baby, Now We’ve Got Hard Blood (Vessels)



I got catcalled less than 12 hours ago. It was the first time I’ve had “positive” comments yelled at me by a stranger. Just like when they were intentionally hateful, I almost started crying. I did start shaking. It felt the same as the hateful ones.  I’ve had body image issues since I was a little girl. I’ve dealt with bullies, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse. I’ve gotten harassment from strangers, online and offline, including abusive comments, rape threats, assault threats, and death threats against myself or family members. I’ve been told I was so ugly that I would never be loved by my grandfather and by total strangers. I’ve had acquaintances of my family tell me at my abusive grandfather’s funeral that I would be so pretty if I’d just lose the weight. I’ve been negatively compared to my gorgeous older cousin since I was little by other family members and, worst of all, myself. I’ve been called “earthquake” and “human manatee” and all sorts of other loathe some things. I’ve had grown men that I didn’t know tell rude things out of their cars at me when I was a preteen and a teenager. So when I say I’ve had experience with harassment, I mean it.  This felt exactly like that.  Maybe when the guy yelled into my car from his place of work that I was “looking good” and “gorgeous”, he thought that was nice. Maybe he meant it as a compliment. Maybe he thought I would appreciate it. It wasn’t nice. It wasn’t a compliment. I didn’t appreciate it.  I was in my car with my mother. I thought I was in a place where I wouldn’t have someone harassing me. I thought, for lack of a better term, that I was in a safe space. All of a sudden, this comment changed things. I couldn’t hide from this person. I couldn’t get away right then. I just had to sit there and let someone I didn’t know objectify and dehumanize me. I had no out. If someone asked him about it, he might not even have registered that the incident took place. It probably isn’t a blip on his radar. If he did, he might say it was the dress I was wearing. It was strapless and short. I wore it so the physical therapist could check an incision from hip surgery  that took place on Monday. I didn’t wear the dress to be noticed. I wore it because it’s practical and appropriate in warm weather.  Even if I’d worn it for more superficial reasons, he would have no right to reduce me to an object the way he did.  I don’t even know what this guy looks like. I didn’t try to look for him. I was more concerned with getting away from him in that moment. And it wouldn’t matter what he looks like anyway, except that I would know to avoid him if I ever saw him again.  I know there are people who would think I should feel grateful. Well, I’m not and I hope I never am. There are ways to compliment people that aren’t harmful. Those are the compliments I’ll feel grateful for. There are truly wonderful men out there who know how to compliment and not objectify or harass women. Men like that are the ones I’ll applaud for their behavior. I will not applaud being harassed, objectified, disrespected, or abused solely because some random guy doesn’t know how to behave properly.  Photo credit: weaverphoto via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-ND

How a Total Stranger Stripped Me of My Humanity in ...


In a little less than half an hour, it will be thirty-six hours before I have to be at the hospital for my hip injection. While I’m still worried about going through a general anesthetic, I’m more worried right now about who will be performing the procedure. Well, not exactly. To be more precise, I’m worried about who will be assisting. The nurse practitioner of the orthopedist I’m seeing for my hip is a guy I’ve known since I was 8 years old. We were in the same third grade class, sat at the same lunch table, and went to the same church. He was my third grade boyfriend’s best friend and my third grade best friend’s boyfriend. We used to joke, at our lunch table, about a lot of things we were too young to really understand. One of his and his best friend’s favorite jokes was that they wanted to put their “limousines” in the “garages” of my friend and me.1 Even though I know that he is a professional and is married, it’s very weird to think that he’ll be in the general vicinity of my “garage” on Monday morning. We’ve known one another for twenty-five years. I know his mother. He knows my mother. This whole thing is just very awkward for me, which is a little weird because if he was a total stranger, I would totally be okay with being naked in this scenario.23 But because I know him I feel all weird about all of this. It’s just weird. I’m not usually this freaked out about the nakedness part of procedures. If you don’t get it, think about it. I’ll give you a moment. ↩This isn’t about him being a guy. I was nervous when a high school friend had to put a catheter in me in the ER once. ↩Oddly, there are quite a few people I’m still acquainted with who have seen me naked at some point. Most were in dance with me. ↩

Of Limousines and Garages