Ignorance


I write a lot, not as much on here as I used to, but I still write a lot. For better or worse, most of the writing tends to be on Twitter, though sometimes it is on Medium or Tumblr. Occasionally, there’s a Facebook post thrown in there. Can you digress in a first paragraph? So Twitter is a major platform for me to express myself. Sometimes I make pithy polls. Typically, the polls get between 2 and 20 votes. Lately, they’ve gotten a few more. When I responded to a person claiming that the Hamilton cast’s rebuke of Mike Pence was a vicious attack, the popularity of my pithy poll was easily attributed to Elon James retweeting it: Which is more vicious:@Sanrenkay @elonjames @maggieNYT — Janet Morris (@janersm) November 19, 2016 Last night, I stumbled across this response on Medium by Tom Steele to a post on New York prisoners being allowed (on average) 11 pads or tampons per month for use during their periods: One has t0 wonder if there is more to this story. 2.8 pads per woman per week, if I read that correctly, is 11 per month which seems like a lot. Some women would be expected to need less and it is hard to imagine many women needing more than that. I fully support providing the basic hygiene products required, like food, clothes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, towels, tampons, etc… I responded with an explanation of why 11 is an unfathomable number of pads. I followed that up with a screenshot and a pithy poll. Raise your hand if you have ever needed more than 11 pads or tampons for a period. pic.twitter.com/fA38Oeq222 — Janet Morris (@janersm) November 30, 2016 #period #periods #livetweetyourperiod #feminism #reprohealth (please RT) During your period do/did you typically go through: — Janet Morris (@janersm) November 30, 2016 I thought the maximum number of votes would be about 20. As of this moment, there are 8,937 votes in that poll. My mentions have been filled with stories by people who have (or have had) periods of all sorts, whether they’re long, short, or regular in length; heavy, light, or medium in flow; or occur regularly or irregularly. I’ve learned about supportive friends, clueless relatives, and how many people are frustrated by how little they’ve been taught or that they know about their own bodies. I understand all of that because I’ve experienced some of it, and because I’ve seen others go through similar struggles. I’ve gone through moments where I was excited because so many people were sharing their stories1 to moments where I just wanted to throw my iPod at the wall because so many people were sharing their stories. I wanted them to feel free to share them. I love the joking. But I’m confused about how to deal with all of it. When people ask questions, I want to be able to answer them. When they say something funny, I want to be able to laugh with them. When I empathize with something they’ve been through, I want to express it. I’m worried that I’m being rude if I don’t respond. I’m also worried that all I will ever be talking about again is periods. I know it’s only been like 24 hours, and that this will die down. But this experience is just a bit mind-blowing. I worry that Mr. Steele, as annoying as I find him, will be harassed. I worry that there might be other repercussions, and I feel guilty about that. It’s a little weird when I wanted a boycott over his reaction to emotional abuse and bullying, but I don’t want him to have any personal suffering over this stuff.2 He seems like he would be the kind of guy who would laugh this sort of thing off, and maybe he will. Or maybe he’ll learn a little from it. I can hope that’s what will happen, but I will always worry about the possible negatives because that’s what I do. I worry that maybe his Christmas vacation will be spent trying to ruin my Christmas dullness. As I typed that paragraph, 34 notifications piled up on Twitter.3 This is new. This is different. This is weird. This is life with social media…and I really need to learn to stop doing my pithy polls. When Mara Wilson shared it, I fangirled out. Gayle Forman commenting about it made me fangirl a bit, too. I think I have all of her books. ↩What I truly want from both is for him to learn the facts and not promote ignorance. ↩Oy with the poodles already. ↩

Accidentally Popular


And now the post-Opening Ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Olympics edition of 2016 Reasons–I actually did stop the previous post to get ready to watch the Opening Ceremonies. At this point, you know the drill about how I’m doing this to show all of the reasons to oppose Donald Trump for President of the United States and just about any other position he could ever want. He deserves nothing but shame for these things. 159. Calls undocumented people “illegals” and American-born children of undocumented people “anchor babies”, thus diminishing their humanity and allowing people to feel better about mistreating them. He also claims that no one was talking about immigration by undocumented people before his campaign, which is completely false. He’s called protesters “thugs” and accused them of being here illegally. When referring to himself by his full name, such a douche-tastic thing to do, he said he will strengthen the military and borders and get rid of “illegals”. He’s linked undocumented immigrants and and Syrians. He’s questioned the vaccination status of “illegals”, while defending white people who are anti-vaccination–a blatant for of racism and hypocrisy that has plagued the vaccine movement since its early days. His description of American-born children of immigrants as “anchor babies” is cruel and encourages racism against children of immigrants–something that is odd considering his mother is an immigrant and four of his five children have immigrant mothers. The statement was, of course, applauded by Fox and Friends. He has also called Ted Cruz an “anchor baby in Canada”. He claimed that “many” scholars say that these individuals aren’t covered by the 14th Amendment and vowed to continue calling people by the term. There is no question why he wants to use these slurs to talk about immigrants. He wants people to view them as enemies of the country; he wants them to beg the country to get rid of them. Despicable. 160. Claimed undocumented immigrants and women being raped were by criminals coming to the country “somebody’s doing the raping”. Donald Trump misread a Fusion article about migrant women being raped. He was called out on this online and by Don Lemon on CNN. He told Lemon: “Well if you look at the statistics of people coming, you look at the statistics on rape, on crime, on everything coming in illegally into this country it’s mind-boggling! If you go to Fusion, you will see a story: About 80% of the women coming in, you know who owns Fusion? Univision! Go to Fusion and pick up the stories on rape. It’s unbelievable when you look at what’s going on. So all I’m doing is telling the truth.” When Lemon tried correcting him, he responded with, “Well, somebody’s doing the raping, Don! I mean somebody’s doing it! Who’s doing the raping? Who’s doing the raping?” Completely. Out. Of. Touch. 161. Exploited death of Kate Steinle. Brad Steinle, Kate’s brother, accused Trump of sensationalizing his sister’s murder when Trump’s campaign began. Trump used Steinle as an example of why we shouldn’t allow undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States; he didn’t reach out to the family beforehand and the family was upset about it. 162. Calls his followers the Silent Majority. It’s a bit odd since they aren’t silent and who wants to co-opt things from Richard Nixon? 163. Wants to get rid of gun-free zones. In January, Trump declared that he would get rid of gun-free zones at schools & military bases on his first day if elected. He continued to speak in favor of ending gun-free zones in May, though many of his properties don’t allow guns on them. He also claimed in May that he thought he’d get rid of gun-free zones in schools “in some cases”, with only trained teachers and resource officers carrying them. So he’s opposed to them, if they don’t impact him personally and if he’s not asked to clarify how he really feels about them. Getting rid of gun free zones would not increase the safety of those places, and encouraging more guns could actually lead to an increase in violence. 164. “If you can’t get rich dealing with politicians, there’s something wrong with you.” If you’ve ever wondered if Donald Trump has engaged in corruption, there’s your answer. 165. Sees himself as a uniter. Unless Trump means that he’s united Republicans and Democrats against him, then he’s definitely not a “uniter” of anyone. But he’s claimed it multiple times, like in 2015, when he said, “I think that I would be a great uniter. I think that I would have great diplomatic skills. I think that I would be able to get along with people very well. I’ve had a great success in my life. I think the world would unite if I were the leader of the United States.” Yeah, no. 166. Opposes treating people with respect. At the Republican National Convention, he said, “We cannot afford to be so respectful anymore.” At Liberty University in January 2016, he said, “We’re going to protect Christianity, and I can say that. I don’t have to be respectful.” In 2015, he told Jake Tapper, “You can be respectful if you want, but are you trying to say we don’t have a problem?…Most Muslims, like most everything, I mean, these are fabulous people…But we certainly do have a problem, I mean, you have a problem throughout the world…It wasn’t people from Sweden that blew up the World Trade Center.” He told David Brody of The Brody File, “They’re tired of respectful stuff. I mean I could have said, ‘Oh absolutely not Bill, there’s no Muslim problem, everything is wonderful, just forget about the World Trade Center.’ But you have to speak the truth. We’re so respectful that this country is falling apart.” 167. Claims Clinton was worst Secretary of State ever. In 2015, he said Clinton “is easily the worst Secretary of State in the history of the country. She’s going to be beaten and I’m the one to […]

2016 Reasons to Oppose Trump: Reasons #159-171



In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I loathe Donald Trump and don’t want the man to be President. I’m in the process of publishing a list of 2016 reasons to oppose him. Trump’s followers have a tendency to ask for reasons why people don’t like them and they tend to dismiss them as having no basis in reality. They even suggest that Mr. Trump has been misunderstood by the media and by people who’ve watched his speeches live. This list will hopefully show that Donald Trump has been advocating for some pretty awful stuff throughout his career as a real-estate-developer-turned-reality-television-star-turned-presidential-candidate. His “gaffes” aren’t new, nor is his bigotry. And alleging a 43 year campaign by the media to smear him and ruin his chance at becoming President is a big clue that he is the one who is saying things that are not based in reality. 132. Opposed to a living wage, then for it, then opposed to it… I don’t even know if Trump knows how he feels about raising the minimum wage at this point. He can’t keep his story straight if asked twice within a twenty-four-to-forty-eight hour period. I wonder if he contemplates raising the minimum wage while sitting on his gold throne. 133. Blamed concept of climate change on China. He now claims his 2012 tweet about China creating a climate change hoax was a joke. You know, like his hacking joke and his “blood coming out of her whatever” joke. It’s a good thing that Donald didn’t go into stand-up comedy because his comedy career would deplete the world of its tomatoes. Anyway, the supposed joke is something that he’s referenced repeatedly, even before he joked about it. If it’s really a “joke”, and “it isn’t, then even he doesn’t get it. 134. Taxing Chinese exports. He wants to put a forty-five percent tariff on Chinese exports. In other news, the zombie form of George III is planning on suing Donald Trump for using his shtick of supporting outrageously high taxes. 135. His claim of beating China in trade deals. He backed it up by saying that he owns part of a Bank of American building that he got from China in a war. Actually, it was a result of a relationship between Hong Kong billionaires and Trump after they helped rescue him from having to file another bankruptcy on a property; when the property was sold without his support, Trump waged a legal battle with them. That chunk of the bank building he bragged about getting was something he had to settle for after he lost the legal battle. 136. Said US leaders would invite El Chapo to become a citizen. Someone in his family or his campaign needs to take his Twitter account away from him. 137. Calls himself the least racist. Considering his lack of understanding of how even the simplest things work, it’s unsurprising that he considers himself to not be a racist. 138. Bragged about a former employee calling him the least sexist boss she’d ever had. Apparently, he didn’t realize that she didn’t say that he wasn’t sexist, just that he was the least sexist. 139. Stacie J. While Trump wants to capitalize on his fame from The Apprentice in this election, it’s important to remember every single time he did something flat-out-wrong on that show. Case in point, his treatment of Stacie J. Other competitors portrayed her as mentally ill because she consulted a Magic 8-Ball toy before her team did their tasks. He called her a “loose cannon” and fired her, violating the Americans with Disability Act of 1990. He fired her simply for behaving in a way that was perceived as being due to mental illness. 140. Trump stigmatizing the mentally ill. This is a continuation of the Stacie J situation. Because of Stacie’s quirky behavior he said, “This comes from two people, Stacie, that don’t like each other at all. The first thing they’ve agreed on is that you’re crazy…Stacie, if you have a problem, I don’t want you running my companies.” This suggests that Trump refuses to hire or continue to employ mentally ill people. This is backed up by his use of ableist terms like “nut job”, “crazy” and “wacko” to demean Jeb Bush, Bernie Sanders, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, and Elizabeth Warren. He conflates mental illness with crime and said that gun-free zones that gun-free zones are “target practice for the sickos and for the mentally ill.” A man who willingly tears down the mentally ill should not be in charge of a country where 25% of the population is believed to have a mental illness; and at least two-thirds are either unaware of it or are going untreated for it. 141. Painted himself as the hero of NYC in New York Times article in 1983. According to Trump, he alone is responsible for Grand Central being renovated and hotel jobs being saved. 142. Doesn’t like compromise. He told Life magazine in January 1989, “I’m not big on compromise. I understand compromise. Sometimes compromise is the right answer, but oftentimes compromise is the equivalent of defeat, and I don’t like being defeated.” 143. He suggested success/deal-making is genetic; that people who don’t succeed are afraid to or are “life’s losers”. In 1984, he told Lois Romano of the Washington Post, “Some people have an ability to negotiate. It’s an art you’re basically born with. You either have it or you don’t.” In The Art of the Deal, Trump said, “Most people think small, because most people are afraid of success, afraid of making decisions, afraid of winning.” He also said, “One of the problems when you become successful is that jealousy and envy inevitably follow. There are people—I categorize them as life’s losers—who get their sense of accomplishment and achievement from trying to stop others. As far as I’m concerned, if they had any real ability they wouldn’t be fighting me, they’d be doing something constructive themselves.” 144. […]

2016 Reasons to Oppose Trump: Reasons #132-158


Wow, @realDonaldTrump thinks we Muslim women aren't allowed to speak, let's let him hear us in Nov., in honor of Mrs.Khan✊🏼#TrumpSacrifices — Cirrincione (@NoorinDC) July 30, 2016 7 Memorable Controversies Involving Miss USA, Miss Universe and Miss Teen USA Pageants and Winners https://t.co/0qZamIgQu6 #TrumpSacrifices — CandaceTX (@CandaceTX) July 30, 2016 His credit rating with American banks. They won't do business with him. #TrumpSacrifices — Janet Morris (@janersm) July 30, 2016 #TrumpSacrifices Not sleeping with his daughter. —1) (@Sttbs73) July 30, 2016 He had to give up the abusive Corey Lewandowski for the Putin puppet Paul Manafort. Woe is him. Such a sacrifice! #TrumpSacrifices — Janet Morris (@janersm) July 30, 2016 I can't think of a more disrespectful gesture. #TrumpSacrifices his entire soul. http://pic.twitter.com/CSmOnErOy2 — Jesse T. Smith (@jt4congress2016) July 30, 2016 Captain Khan and his family represent the best of America, and we salute them. http://pic.twitter.com/MGeJXPF2DE — Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 30, 2016 Photo credit: Disney | ABC Television Group via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-ND (Political Nerd ↩


Surprising no one, Donald Trump Jr. is a-okay with the confederate flag, doesn’t get the ‘nonsense’ surrounding it. https://t.co/HUOiprNc3h — American Bridge (@American_Bridge) July 29, 2016 .@DonaldJTrumpJr I’m southern and my family has been in America since the 17th Century. — Janet Morris (@janersm) July 29, 2016 .@DonaldJTrumpJr My family, unlike yours, fought in the Civil War. On both sides. One was captured at Gettysburg, so I'm going to — Janet Morris (@janersm) July 29, 2016 .@DonaldJTrumpJr quickly school you on the flag and the war. The confederate flag represents support of slavery & denigrating people — Janet Morris (@janersm) July 29, 2016 .@DonaldJTrumpJr on the basis of race. It also stands for hatred of and rebellion against the United States. If you find that flag to be — Janet Morris (@janersm) July 29, 2016 .@DonaldJTrumpJr worthy of display, you are supporting a disregard of freedom, of humanity, and a disdain for this country, for its values. — Janet Morris (@janersm) July 29, 2016 .@DonaldJTrumpJr You aren’t saying you want this country to be great. You’re saying you don’t want it to exist at all. — Janet Morris (@janersm) July 29, 2016 .@DonaldJTrumpJr The CSA’s leaders hated that flag after the war because they knew what it stood for, something you clearly do not get. — Janet Morris (@janersm) July 29, 2016 I don’t have time for confederate flag apologists. — Janet Morris (@janersm) July 29, 2016 I’m really starting to wonder about the quality of private school education. I am definitely worried about the Trump campaign’s and the Trump family’s desire to dog-whistle racists. Of course, it might not be that much of a dog-whistle since Trump Spawn #1 also seems to be into InfoWars and Alex Jones. Something is definitely off if he’s into that. Photo credit: Disney | ABC Television Group via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-ND

1
Another day, another detailed list of why Trump should not be President. And guess what else happens today? The Democratic National Convention starts. Yay! If you’re surprised that I’m a Democrat, you’re obviously new here. And if you’re new here, then you don’t realize that I’m posting 21 reasons every day for 99 days to show why Donald Trump should never be the President of the United States. I’m not trying to push any of the other candidates in these posts, even if I do prefer one party to all the others. Now that I’ve gotten through with the disclaimer-esque statement, let’s get on to the discussion of Trump’s failings. Let’s see, we left off with Donald Trump allowing a racist gambler to dictate how he ran his casino, so let’s go to a similar claim about Mr. Trump and his casinos for number 43. 43. When Donald and Ivana would go to the casino, the bosses would order all black employees off the floor. For a man who vehemently denies racism, he’s done a lot of racist stuff. No one knows if it was just the bosses at his Atlantic City properties who made the order or if it was an order from the boss-man himself, but Kip Brown, a former employee, told The New Yorker about the “policy” last summer. 44. Donald Trump called black people lazy and said he only wants Jewish people counting his money. In Trumped!: The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump — His Cunning Rise and Spectacular Fall by John O’Donnell, one-time president of the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, says that Trump once told him: “Yeah, I never liked the guy. I don’t think he knows what the fuck he’s doing. My accountants up in New York are always complaining about him. He’s not responsive. And isn’t it funny, I’ve got black accountants at Trump Castle and at Trump Plaza. Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. Those are the kind of people I want counting my money. Nobody else.” Trump continued with, “Besides that, I’ve got to tell you something else. I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that. It’s not anything they can control…Don’t you agree?” When interviewed by Mark Bowden for Playboy magazine in 1997, Trump responded that the account was probably true; but in 2016, he said that it was fiction. Are you starting to get the feeling that his claims of not being racist are a little disingenuous? 45. Trump was sued for lack of diverse employees in 1996 at a riverboat casino. Trump was sued by 20 African Americans in Indiana for failing to hire mostly minority workers for a Lake Michigan riverboat casino. Trump had promised that 70% of his workforce at the floating casino would be made of members of the minority community and 52% would be women. The lawsuit also alleged that he hasn’t honored commitments to steer contracts to minority-owned businesses in Gary. 46. Donald Trump is supported by Vojislav Šešelj. Admittedly, in late May 2016, Šešelj was acquitted by the Hague of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Croatia and Bosnia in the 1990s, but that doesn’t make his January endorsement of Trump any more acceptable. His acquittal was blamed by the ICTY’s judges on the prosecution causing confusion over his role in the ethnic cleansing of Bosnia. If Trump is being openly supported by people who are linked to ethnic cleansing and is refusing to disavow their support, then what does that say about Mr. Trump? 47. Trump is also supported by the Daily Stormer, Richard Spencer, Jared Taylor, Michael Hill, and Brad Griffin. If Donald Trump was a shepherd, white supremacists would be his flock. It’s not a coincidence that white supremacists want Trump elected. He “speaks to” them, their hatred, their ignorance. The Daily Stormer’s publisher, Andrew Anglin, announced the support of Trump for his anti-Muslim plan with statements like “Heil Donald Trump — THE ULTIMATE SAVIOR” and “Make America White Again!” Anglin also appreciates that Trump has spoken negatively about Mexicans. Richard Spencer, who is “dedidcated to the heritage, identity and future of people of European descent” sees Trump as the candidate “bringing identity politics for white people into the public sphere in a way no one has.” Spencer said, “Identity is the most important question to answer. Who are we racially? Who are we historically? Who are we in terms of our experience? Who are we in terms of our community?” He appreciated that Trump “seemed to understand and echo many of his group’s ideas intuitively, and take them to a broader audience.” He also pointed out that “there’s no direct object” in Trumps’ statement relased disavowing David Duke’s endorsement. Spencer also believes that Trump will encourage more people to turn toward his beliefs. And while he used to believe that Trump might not share the beliefs himself, he now believes that “Trump thinks like” him and that that’s why people like him love and support Trump. Donald #Trump makes us feel alive. pic.twitter.com/KkGoimK52T — Richard B. Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) July 22, 2016 We The Right-Wing Now. #GOPinCLE #Trump #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/hN9wX5JE7q — Richard B. Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) July 22, 2016 Jared Taylor was featured in pro-Trump, pro-white, anti-Muslim robocalls in Iowa by a super PAC. Taylor also appreciates Trump’s anti-Mexican rhetoric and said, “Ordinary white people don’t want the neighborhood to turn Mexican.” Trump failed to distance himself from the calls made on his behalf and even suggested that his supporters had “legitimate anger” behind their actions. Taylor has never supported a presidential candidate before, but he believes in Trump and thinks “someone who wants to send home all illegal immigrants and at least temporarily ban Muslim immigration is acting in the interest of whites, whether consciously or not.” Founder of the hate group League of the […]

2016 Reasons to Oppose Trump: Reasons #43-63



Tolerance is something we should all support. It promotes the idea that we are all equal. It helps establish that the rights that exist for the majority also apply to minorities. It is something that must exist because we can no longer have a world where oppression is acceptable. Tolerance is a good thing.  But some people don’t like the idea of ending hatred. They want a world where they’re allowed to attack or degrade someone based on their race, religion, disability, sex, etc. They feel empowered by that hatred, by the oppression that results from it.  But some take their hate to the next level. They try to ruin the meaning of tolerance by appropriating the word itself. They like to make the “tolerance goes both way” statement. In my experience, it’s only the bigots that say it.  They’ll claim, “I don’t like gay people getting married, so I’ll keep it from happening by not letting them get a marriage license. You say you believe in tolerance. You have to tolerate me. You have to accept me.”  They’ll say, “Liberals like to call me a bigot because I believe in white genocide. They’re not very tolerant of opinions they don’t like.” But that’s utter bullshit. No one has to accept this kind of behavior. Ever.  What they’re wanting is for people who are facing actual intolerance to be complacent about that intolerance. They don’t understand how disgusting their desire is. But if they expect a marginalized group to smile and take it when they’re being intolerant, then they’re sick fucks.  Photo credit: tedeytan via Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

That’s Not How Tolerance Works


Well, I never mentioned how the rheumatologist appointment went. I guess that’s because it happened almost exactly as I a predicted. It was bad. How bad was it? It was so bad that I wish I could time travel to the past and let Rodney Dangerfield use it as material for some of his “How bad was it?/It was so bad” jokes. Everything was fine until the doctor came in. He half-listened to my complaint, said that anhidrosis isn’t a symptom of anything he treats, and told me that all that he ever saw me for was “loose joints” and pain. I told him that the family doctor said she thought my “loose joints” and lack of sweat were related. He said no. I said she thought he should treat it because he treats connective tissue disease. He went into a long rambling session about how my family doctor meant that he treats autoimmune diseases and that “loose joints” aren’t really a connective tissue disease because they don’t involve the immune system. He said that “loose joints” are a collagen issue and that they only cause problems in the joints themselves. I tried correcting him on his ignorance, but when I did, he repeated his rambling.  My mom asked if it could be from the Sjögren’s/UCTD. He said it was possible, but that those were connective tissue diseases & I didn’t have connective tissue diseases. She mentioned Mamama had Sjögren’s and he said it was possible that I inherited it from her. That “Sjögren’s is genetic” part of his ramblings was almost verbatim from the ramblings he made that time seven years ago when I tested “positive” for the antibodies related to Sjögren’s. He looked in my mouth and said it was dry. He asked about my eyes & I told him that the ophthalmologist had done the paper test years ago. He asked about the results and I practically rolled by sore, dry eyes at him as I told him that they’d been dry. He said he would test me again for Sjögren’s and that if it was positive he might consider putting me on Pilocarpine.  He then said something about Pilocarpine costing $95/month and insurance never covers it. You know, so I wouldn’t expect a prescription for it. The funny thing is that I knew he was bullshitting on that part. You see, I had been given a prescription for a medication called Salagen given to me by the UAB doctors a few months ago. They’d noticed my mouth dried out too much for me to talk. Salagen is the brand name of Pilocarpine. It costs $1.20 for 120 pills; 120 pills is a monthly supply. I left the appointment feeling like the air had been sucked out of my lungs. By the end of the appointment, I didn’t know whether I was pissed at him or myself. The longer he rambled, the more I felt myself retreating into the “doesn’t speak up for herself” zone. I started feeling incompetent. I started feeling like maybe I was the one who was uninformed.  But my family and my therapist wouldn’t stand for that thinking.  I’m not the one who: Doesn’t understand that connective tissue disease is an umbrella term for many kinds of diseases.1 Doesn’t understand that many autoimmune and non-autoimmune diseases can cause sweating to cease.  Doesn’t keep adequate patient records.  Doesn’t listen to the patient or their family.  Failed to prepare or educate myself before the appointment.  I’m not the incompetent one. He is.  My mom said I need a new rheumatologist. When I told Debbie about the appointment & about the phone calls, she said I need a new rheumatologist. Guess what I discovered in my search got rheumatologists who take my insurance?! I’m pretty much stuck with a doctor who doesn’t know what the hell he is doing.  I hate the phrase “fuck my life” but it almost seems appropriate here.  Photo credit: C_Dave via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC Joint Hypermobility Syndrome & Ehlers-Danlos are connective tissue diseases. ↩

Call Me Janet the Divine. On Second Thought, Don’t. 



“You know how I don’t like to describe people or the things they do as evil? What she wrote was truly evil.” That was how I described Amanda Lauren’s essay describing an ex-friend’s life with schizoaffective disorder and that friend’s death to my mother. I had already ranted to my father and complained on social media. I couldn’t tell my mom that this total stranger was happy her mentally ill friend was dead. I knew that if I told her that that I would break down. Each time I’ve thought about what was written, I’ve had to stop myself from crying or screaming or begging to be taken to the hospital because my mind starts going down the all too familiar path of my-friends-and-family-would-probably-be-happy-if-I-died-too. It was probably a path that “Leah” was familiar with as well. There was always something about her that wasn’t quite right. Lauren’s essay is narcissistic drivel at best. Her friend wasn’t living up to a standard that she expected of her, so she wrote her off. She could justify this lack of understanding by saying her friend failed her.  “Leah” didn’t clean her house, so she was undeserving of respect. “Leah” didn’t have steady relationships, so she was undeserving of respect. “Leah” was a cam girl, so she was undeserving of respect. “Leah” had delusions, so she was undeserving of respect. “Leah” pursued her crush and failed in a job Lauren secured for her, so she was undeserving of respect. “Leah” had body image issues, so she was undeserving of respect.  It didn’t stop at her friend’s failures. The friend’s parents also failed her. Because “Leah”‘s parents didn’t magically cure their daughter of an incurable disease, they failed their daughter and failed Lauren because now she had to deal with their daughter’s erratic behavior. Every struggle “Leah” went through was actually harder on Lauren because the world is apparently all about her.1 Lauren’s lack of compassion was horrid, but her choice to use a platform like xoJane during Mental Health Awareness Month to publish a tale highlighting her ignorance was almost worse. This is a month when mental health patients, caregivers, advocates, and healthcare providers try to educate others. It’s a month to become more considerate of the day-to-day struggles for mentally ill people. Lauren and xoJane could have explained what schizoaffective disorder is, how it impacts people who have the issue, and why they behave the way that they do. They could have explored the actual suffering of “Leah” and not focused on the self-involvement of Lauren.  I can’t understand how a parent would let their child go on like this. Clearly, she was suffering and severely ill. If her disease were physical, would they have let her deteriorate to that point? Schizoaffective disorder is a chronic illness. It is sometimes considered a spectrum disorder because it involves overlapping symptoms of schizophrenia and mood disorders like depression and bipolar disorder. It is not as well understood as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or depression because it isn’t studied as often and is less common; it is seen in 0.3% of the population compared to 1.1%, 2.6%, and 6.7% for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression, respectively. It isn’t well recognized by doctors or therapists; a lot of patients with it are diagnosed with a mood disorder or with schizophrenia first. It impacts men and women at the same rate, but, like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, men typically develop it earlier than women. It can be treated, in most cases, by self-management, medication, and therapy, but people who have it are at risk for substance use disorders, suicide, attention deficit disorder, and anxiety disorders. Schizoaffective disorder is caused by genetics, brain chemistry, brain structure, stress, and drug use. There are two types of schizoaffective disorder: bipolar and depressive. If the person has mixed or manic episodes, they have the bipolar type; otherwise, it’s the depressive. Unlike other situations, it’s actually better to have the bipolar type. Having it is less likely to result in suicide than having the depressive type. It is considered by some mental health professionals to be more severe than mood disorders, but less severe than schizophrenia.  Because it is classified alongside schizophrenia as a psychotic disorder, it is more difficult to find providers willing to treat it. And treatments may be harmful to patients. Or they may not work.  In my case, I have had many therapists “pass me off” to colleagues. I have tried multiple antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotics. I’ve had many that didn’t work. Most have caused weight gain, including two that caused gains of fifty pounds or more. I’ve had seizures as a result of one medication. I’ve had a variety of less severe reactions to others. I even developed a temporary medicine-induced case of hyperthyroidism. Eventually I was switched to a high dose of an antidepressant, somewhat regular therapy, and self-management.  I will always have this disorder. My parents can’t make it go away. Medicine can’t either.  But I can cut people like Amanda Lauren out of my life. She thought “Leah” was toxic because of her issues, but, from my perspective, it was Lauren who was toxic. Yes, there were negative behaviors exhibited by “Leah”, but she was only behaving that way because of her illness. What was Lauren’s excuse? Why was she so petty, so judgmental? And why did she feel the need to cast herself in the role of victim? Why does she feel no shame in her words?  I don’t understand how one person can be so selfish, petty, and cruel. As those are personality traits that can be traced back to parenting, I wonder why her parents let her attitude deteriorate to this point. Shouldn’t they have done something before their child became this remorseless beacon of hate? Photo credit: Cameron Bathory via Visualhunt.com / CC BY Updated: May 21, 2016 at 7:42 pm: Changed link to essay to one from archive.is as the Google cache link has updated to the “apology” by Jane […]

Defined Parameters


1
Once upon a time, we were friends. We would email each other, talk on Twitter, comment on each other’s blogs, etc. It was nice. You and I were both diagnosed as Bipolar and it was nice to have someone around my age to talk to about that. You weren’t my only friend with that issue, but for a while there you were one of the closest. When you got your lap-band surgery done, I remember worrying because you couldn’t keep down food, but you didn’t want to tell your doctor because you were finally losing weight. I worried you would have nutritional deficiencies before I realized I had them.  And you told me you worried about my health issues as well.   That’s why you felt the need when you were diagnosed with “Chronic Lyme Disease” to suggest I might have it as well.1 You told me that it fit my symptoms. You told me I might be able to go off my meds, lose weight, and live a life off without chronic pain if I’d just go to a Lyme specialist.2 And for a split second, I considered it.3 But then I researched it, something that you should have known I would do. When I told you that I didn’t think an infection was causing my hereditary condition,4 you huffed off like a toddler for a while before you came roaring back into my life.  Our friendship never recovered from that, did it? Or maybe our friendship was nonexistent from the beginning. That’s what I started thinking tonight as your tirade came in. Well, I did after I described your past behaviors, including that close friendship with a certain blogger that used to write fat-shaming posts pretty regularly, and some people started pointing out that friends don’t really act like you’ve acted. I tried to defend you. You’re bipolar and off your meds…you are just on a Lyme disease kick…you’re just having a bad day or week or month or year.  But that doesn’t explain it.  Because the reality is that you’ve always had a shady edge to your behavior.  Like how you harassed one mutual friend over her past drug issues and how that compared to your Lyme disease. Or the time you harassed another person I know and you know of over her exercising routine and her teeth. Or maybe the time you went after another mutual friend calling her a bad parent for having an autistic child and eating gluten. Or maybe how you treated total strangers should have clued me in. You trolled groups for disabled people on Twitter to promote your “everything is Lyme” mindset. You said people who didn’t buy marijuana5 off the street, not from reputable/regulated dealers, for their epileptic children were bad parents. You would even buy marijuana, in a state where it’s illegal, to make homemade CBD oil & you’d brag about it on social media. You didn’t care who you hurt, whether it was a friend, a family member, a stranger, or yourself.   So your nonsensical transphobic tirade fits with the rest of your utter disregard and lack of even basic compassion for other people. And I am so happy my eyes are open to your cruelty. I’m glad that I am no longer having to hope that one day you’ll go back on your medicine and into therapy and be all better. Clearly, this is what the real you is like. I don’t know why you think the transgender community wants to strip you of your rights any more than I know why you fixated on Lyme. I don’t understand why you think I’m brainwashed when you’re the person actually buying into speculation and denying facts. I don’t know why you think that it’s okay to compare the LGBTQ community to Nazis or why you think there’s a vast conspiracy to brainwash children into being trans. Do you think that I’m going to molest children because of my past? Would you not trust me to be around children if I didn’t identify as 100% heterosexual? I mean before you determined that I was brainwashed by my trans friends. Was I a threat then? Am I one now? Have you always thought of me as a dangerous person? Did you really think I was threatening you? These are things I wanted to ask you. I don’t usually give people who pick fights with me multiple chances to walk away. I don’t warn them like I did you. You’ve seen me argue and you know this. You have to at least know I would never beat you up. I’ve slapped one person in my whole life and I still feel bad about that. I mean, come on, this is me. I rant online, but I’m practically a pacifist.  Identifying as transgender is not a result of child molestation. Being a  non-heterosexual is not the result of child molestation. This is a bullshit belief that even total homophobes and transphobes don’t express that much anymore. And being gay or trans doesn’t mean someone will molest children. Don’t believe what fear- and hate-mongers want you to believe. Don’t put your faith in people who won’t be honest with you. Did you even bother to look for a legitimate source on any of those articles? Ooh. Tabloids. So trust-worthy, especially ones with links to UKIP, BNP, & Tories. But I guess that fits with your fear-mongering and with your love of Trump.6 I always knew you were a Republican, but I never realized how much hatred you carry in your heart.7 You want me to be educated on this issue, but you’re forgetting that I actually am educated. Remember early in our friendship when I was being booted from my college major with one semester left? Or that what that major was in? I know a Social Work degree and a GRE score high enough to get my Master’s is not as impressive as being able to make your own CBD oil, but it’s close, right? I […]

Dearest Marie