My Absence

So, I’ve been gone from here for a while, and with good reason. Shortly after my last post, someone who I’d cut off long ago popped into my life. This person has harassed me in the past, and decided to try to get me into legal troubles. I got scared, and abandoned this blog, even though the name that I blog under isn’t the one he knows me by. I was terrified. It shook me, because all I could think is that this man is a danger to my child and me.

I decided to come back to get that out, and to say that I’ll be blogging here more often, probably adding another entry tomorrow. But for now, I want to talk about the fear that comes when male entitlement turns obsessive.

The person who has now ended up harassing me twice within a 3 month period has escalated since the last time. It had been a couple years before the first incident this year that I’d heard from him, and I didn’t speak to him.

It. Is. TERRIFYING to know that there’s someone out there who is capable of violence that’s apparently become obsessed with me after I rejected him over a decade ago. I rejected him because of his capacity for violence that only began to show when he started showing interest in me.

I live every day in fear now. If I leave the house, I don’t leave alone. I  end up looking over my shoulder, keeping an eye out for him, worrying that he’ll find me. I’m scared of running into him. I’m scared that he’ll find me and hurt me and hurt my child. And there’s nothing I can do. I’ve checked with the police and without a direct threat against me, the harassment and stalking isn’t enough to get a protective order against him.

I hate that this is my life. I hate that I have to fear for my safety and my life because law enforcement has lax laws in my state in regards to harassment and stalking unless you’re dating someone or they’re family. It’s sent me into a tailspin of anxiety and depression. I don’t know what to do, other than to meditate to try and calm myself, and that’s all I can really do.

Male entitlement, even when not taken to the extreme, alters life and causes damage, and I’m sick of nothing being done to fix it.

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Living is Harder

(Trigger warning for childhood sexual assault, depression, suicide (I’m fine, I promise!) and addiction)

It’s easier to run
Replacing this pain with something numb
It’s so much easier to go
Than face all this pain here all alone

So, it’s been a while since I’ve posted here. Things got a little hectic and I’ve been dealing with some things, but today some news came through that gutted me: Chester Bennington took his own life. Now, this may not seem like a big deal, but Chester was a CSA (childhood sexual abuse/assault) survivor, along with being a recovering addict and someone who was mentally ill. The songs he wrote along with the other members of Linkin Park were literal life savers for me, because in his songs, I heard the pain of what he’d been through. Their music came at a time in my life when I was dealing with the exact same things he’d been through. Continue reading Living is Harder

Pushed Aside

There’s nothing quite like the pain
Of knowing you’ve been forgotten

A promise of support, thrown away
A promise of deliverance from hell

Broken
Shattered
Turned to dust

Because when you live in Hades
And you feel a cool breeze caress you

Only to have the flames close back in
It’s not just a carrot that was dangled

It’s hope, torn from your shaking hands
Sandpaper tissue that wiped your tears

And you’re not sure what’s more raw
Your cheeks or your heart

Friendship shouldn’t be conditional on
Convenience or personal gain

But that’s
Just
My luck

Late Night Reflections Part I

I’m doing the part 1 thing here because I know this is going to happen more than once, so here goes.

I’m having a LOT of trouble with anger and letting go. I know it’s a matter of finding the right perspective to allow me to let go and find compassion, but dear god, it’s like pulling teeth sometimes. There’s so much injustice in this world, and I’m someone who feels the pain of others deeply, which leads to anger at the maltreatment of others. It’s hard to see something like the news coming from Chicago (which boils down to “if you don’t have a job or college lined up, you won’t get your diploma”) which harms marginalized communities more than privileged ones and not be angry. The line of thinking that says “They’re pushing their suffering on others” doesn’t work as well when it’s someone in a position of institutional power causing mass suffering (see the majority of the US government at the moment).

I know that I’m supposed to let go of anger. I know that I’m supposed to help where I can and to let go where I can’t help, but something like this is hard. I look at my child, my sweet, innocent little one, and it angers me because I know, statistically speaking, he’ll have trouble finding a job when he’s older thanks to bias against people with autism not only in the job market, but in school, too. And that’s provided he can work (this isn’t a judgement on anyone or to say that autistic people can’t work, but I refuse to place value on whether or not one can work, which is what this policy does, and some autistic people can’t work for a variety of reasons. That doesn’t make them less worthy of graduating) or go to college (see the last parenthetical and insert the appropriate phrasing for higher ed).

I think of other parents, and what this is going to do to their children, and it hurts me. It hurts to know that disprivileged children are going to suffer for elitists’ policy. It hurts that there are people who lack any shred of empathy, sympathy, or compassion that they would condemn children to a future that virtually guarantees poverty. And I don’t know how to let go of that right now.

It’s not just that situation, either. It’s the entirety of the world and its atavism toward others. Between wars waged on ideological differences and extremism, hatred of others based on differences that are nothing more than constructs, and myriad other things, the world hurts me on a deep, visceral level that’s hard to navigate to work through without feeling overwhelmed.

As a child, I would look at pictures of the earth from space and think “Why do we divide ourselves up? We’re all people of earth, why can’t we act like we are?” I miss that innocence, because as I grew older, I realized the only reason we do so is to maintain supremacy over others. Who has the most land, the best land, the best technology, the most money, it’s all essentially a pissing contest for lack of a better phrase. We kill, attack, hurt, starve, lash out against one another because we want to prove we’re the best, and it makes no sense.

To paraphrase Carl Sagan, we’re all riding around on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam, with no hope of help coming from somewhere else. Yet we refuse to act like it and allow our baser instincts to rule us instead of fighting against them and acting as if we’re a global community. We seek to oppress to establish dominance, we seek to oppress to establish supremacy, and it’s saddening, sickening, and yes, infuriating.

Maybe that’s the challenge of this life for me. Maybe I was put here because in a former life, I was one of those people who sought to oppress and I need to learn to let go. I don’t know. I can’t know with any certainty. However, I do know I need to find a way past it so I don’t bring more suffering into my own life, and into the world.

There’s no point to this post. It’s me ranting and thinking out loud, as well as talking into the void. If you find some comfort in this post, I’m glad. If it’s angered you somehow, I’m sorry. If it’s made you think or brought you to a greater realization of how to let go of anger over situations you can’t control…well, please share it with me because I could use the help. 🙂

/fin

Monster in Full View

Her “I love you”s are loaded with venom
Thorns in steel wool across my skin
“I’ll keep you safe from the world
(But not from me. Never from me.)”

I think it’s normal when I grow up
And lovers belittle me
Leaving little razor blade cuts
In the wake of their words

I think it’s normal when friends
Push me and ignore boundaries
Because I’ve never set any for myself
(Boundaries are an insult)

I adapt to the situation I’m in
My colors shifting with my surroundings
But always dull and lifeless
A cheap imitation of what I see

Fear lives at the base of my skull
A cozy little home it’s made there
Married to doubt, birthing sadness
(The unhappy little family mirrors my own)

I look at my child and think
“How could anyone purposely cause
Someone so innocent misery?
How could anyone hurt a child?”

Being a beacon of vicarious wins
Being the one who was meant to live her life
Being the one who had to be perfect
(Being made to be ‘normal’, for her sake)

“Don’t do that, people will judge you
Sit still, stop that, you have so much potential
What is wrong with you, why can’t you
Just be normal.

Making me feel smaller than I was
With daggers spat at me in public
Being told I was ‘too fat’ to wear things
(“They’ll make fun of you!”)

Being made to stay in the closet
Being made to conform despite
Knowing my brain didn’t work like hers
Being shamed for being different

Gaslights flicker when I ask her why
When I scream and cry and curl up
When I tell her I hurt because of her
(“I would NEVER do such a thing!”)

It’s always my fault in her eyes
I’m the problem because I won’t just
Fall in line, shut up, sit down.
I want to be seen, heard and acknowledged

I always checked for monsters under my bed
No one told me that sometimes
The monsters don’t bother to hide
(Sometimes they’re the ones tucking you in)

Scoliosis (Or How I Learned It’s More Than A Back Problem)

(Note: I’m gonna be blogging a lot about what I’m going through with my health because of the national conversation around the repeal of the ACA and its replacement with the tax cut for rich people that they’re claiming is a health care bill)

My first exposure to scoliosis was a childhood friend (we’ll call her Annie). Annie was my best friend for a long time. I knew her in our little Catholic grade school. One day, she came in wearing a back brace. I was scared as hell. I thought maybe she broke her back or something. But when she explained it to me, I took it for what it was (she needed her back to be straight, like my retainer on my teeth, but for her spine) and moved on.

She never explained what it was like. Whether that was out of concern for me worrying, or just because she didn’t think it was relevant, I don’t know (we lost touch a few years ago).

But I came to learn what even somewhat mild/moderate scoliosis entails through firsthand experience.

I went undiagnosed for a long time. In fact, it took me getting into a car accident and needing a spinal x-ray at 27 for it to be properly diagnosed. But the signs were there. I’d had uneven shoulders and hips from the age of 11, and it was noticeable enough that my mother commented on it and started taking me to chiropractors. (I can’t hold this against her, she didn’t know that the practice of chiropractics may help some, but not those with scoliosis, let alone scoliosis we didn’t know I had).

I knew I had back pain, but I assumed it was because I was sleeping in the wrong positions and clumsy as hell for the longest time. I didn’t know my clumsiness was likely caused in part by the scoliosis.

And once I was diagnosed, I saw “scoliosis rarely causes pain” over and over on various sites. I kept thinking “Well, it’s all in my head.” And knowing how wrong they were now, I kinda wanna take everyone who wrote that crock of shit lie, take them by the shoulders, shake them, and tell them off. Because dear GOD, is that a lie.

Not only does it cause back pain, but it causes pain all over. I deal with pain every day. Some days, it’s a 4 or 5, just in the back and hips. Other days, my knees crunch, my hips are on fire and my back is a giant knot. Sometimes, it’s a combination of various pains, like today. My hips are killing me, my knees sound like they’re full of rice krispies, and my head and shoulders are aching (one shoulder is actually 2 inches lower than the other right now).

I’m just having a really hard time with it. I can’t help but think that, if someone had bothered to look instead of saying “Well, Fionnuir seems fine, and considering they don’t have problems with being active on the playground, there’s probably nothing wrong,” then maybe I wouldn’t be in the pain I’m in today. Maybe there wouldn’t be two inches difference between heights of my shoulders and hips. Maybe I wouldn’t have sciatic issues and knee issues and constant pain and headaches. Maybe I wouldn’t be miserable so much.

But, yet again, ableism is a bastard of a thing. We look at whether the person is able to move freely, rather than taking a deeper look at why something’s off in their body, and this is the result. Twenty years later, after the first signs started to show, I’m sitting here in what feels like an annoyingly-tightly-wound rubber band of a body on good days and a torture device turned body on a bad day.

Believe people when they say something’s wrong. Don’t ignore obvious signs that something’s off, especially in your kids. Don’t think that something like shoulders and hips being misaligned is a result of a ‘boisterous child who’s clumsy’. For your kids’ sakes, for your sake, for EVERYONE’S sake, don’t ignore red flags, because eventually it’s going to go from being a warning to an active problem that can rob someone of their ability to function without pain, and it can end with them feeling like red-hot pokers are jabbing them all over.

So my next adventure is to try and get to orthopedist (along with a dermatologist for my eczema, and possibly an allergist, as the past few days spent outside have seen my itching increase). I’ll be documenting that here, so I’m sure that’ll be an exceptionally fun ride.

The Hell That is Eczema

I wasn’t going to write this entry, because it really seems kind of weird to complain about it. Eczema, while it is an autoimmune disease, is a mild one in the grand scheme of things. But that doesn’t change the fact that today is hell. Itchy, burning, painful hell. So screw it.

I’m having a pretty severe flare. Below are picture of (in order) my arm, my back (midback up, I had to take the picture myself from over my shoulder), my neck, and my hands.

All those bumps and red patches? Are itchy and painful as hell. Add to that, my hands are swollen thanks to the flare, so there’s double the pain there. Motrin takes the edge off, but dear god, it still hurts.

People hear eczema, they think “Oh, it’s not that bad.” That’s what I thought until I was diagnosed with it after about 3 months of living with a flare in my armpits that caused cracking, itchy skin so severe that I started bleeding from it. (My doctor misdiagnosed me with a fungal infection, despite the fact that all the antifungals she prescribed never took care of it. I’m STILL pretty miffed over that.)

I got a proper diagnosis from the doctor I’m with now (someone who listens to my concerns and actually doesn’t brush it off when I tell her something) and while I’m treating it with a steroid cream she prescribed me, it takes a while for it to work. I don’t know for certain what my flares are caused by, so I don’t know what to avoid to keep them from becoming so severe, but I do know that I’m likely not going to be able to keep skating by on just the cream. I may have to start taking something stronger for it, which means adding another medication to my list (Yay. :|)

And don’t get me started on the looks I’ve been getting. I went out today to a little craft show they hold in my town, where local artists and creators of all kinds of products come from around the state to sell their stuff. People were looking at the spots on my neck, my arms, and what was exposed of my back, and wincing, grimacing, or doing the ‘wide eyed stare and look away quick before they think they’re caught’ thing. Not exactly a fun day for someone looking to get their kid out for a walk and enjoy their day.

On top of all that, I have to worry about whether it’s worth trying to get a new medication in light of the current situation with health care. Mine is in danger. Typical treatments for eczema that affect the immune system are around $50K a year, which I can’t afford, and I don’t even know if I can use them due to being so susceptible to pneumonia (which I’m STILL fighting off the last remnants of).

Yeah. Today is itchy, burning, painful hell with a side of stress. The only plus side to all of this is that my (normally ‘it could be worse’ spouting) mother is being surprisingly sympathetic and helping me. I think it’s because she can see the physical signs of this and knows it’s driving me up a wall. But all in all, today’s shitty and I just wanna curl up into a ball and fall asleep until this all passes.