Category Archives: Life

I’m Not Your Eye Candy

I’ve posted a few things relating to body image and body issues, but what I’m dealing with now is entirely new territory.

I had Lucas almost 7 weeks ago, between then and now I’ve lost a little over 20 pounds, I’d lost nearly 15 of that before I’d even left the hospital. Because of how sick I was I’d lost weight instead of gained it while I was pregnant. I ended up gaining 6 pounds, Lucas weighed almost 8. I’ve always had a body type described as curvy, the inch difference between my waist and hips is in the double digits. I also have a large bust (see bra rant further back in this blog for further details). I’ve never been comfortable with my body. I was always too big to be attractive (thanks to all the assholes who said that), but apparently now I’ve reached some sort of attractiveness level where random men in convenience stores, grocery stores, while I’m checking my mail, feel the need to say inappropriate shit to me. I’ve had people tell me I should enjoy it, but frankly I’ve never been a fan of being harassed.

As much as I’ve talked about and tried to understand what it feels like to be objectified and treated like an object I never really did understand it until the day I was taking my kids in the house and some creeper at the apartment next to mine decided to ‘hey girl’ me and then offer to give me a ride in my vehicle, among other things. I felt creeped out, and dirty in a way I didn’t like. I started to question what I was wearing (skinny jeans, a tank top and flip flops), had I done something to imply I wanted to be harassed in front of a large group of men? No, I hadn’t. I was taking my kid out of the car for fuck’s sake.

This kind of behavior has happened nearly every time I’ve been in public by myself. I don’t like it, at all. I want to go back to being invisible, rather than deal with this crap. I don’t understand what makes a man think it’s appropriate to harass a woman in public just because he thinks she’s attractive. It makes my skin crawl and makes me feel like I should be doing something to deter them, like not wearing my skinny jeans or not wearing a tank top. But then I get angry because I like my jeans damn it, and it’s hot outside, I’m not wearing a turtle neck and getting heat stroke.

My body is mine, I don’t exist to be an object for anyone else. I’m a person who doesn’t deserve to be harassed while I’m buying diapers for my kids. I shouldn’t have to feel like I can’t wear what’s comfortable for me because someone else can’t control themselves. When did this kind of stuff become the norm? And why is it accepted? Why don’t other men tell these douchebags to shut up? When the guy was harassing me outside of my apartment there were six other people standing there, none of them said stop, none of them told him he was out of line. They laughed, egged him on and added their own two cents to his commentary on my body and implied I owed them my attention because they found me attractive. I’m not ok with this, I’m not going to accept it or put up with it.


I Am.

I recently heard Macklemore’s song Same Love (yeah, I know..behind the times) and the song struck a chord (no pun intended) in me. The first few lines of the song made me cry. I remember being a kid, maybe 8 or 9, and realized I looked at girls and boys the same way. I didn’t know what that was called, I didn’t know who to tell, whether to tell, but I worried it was wrong because no one else seemed to feel the same way. It alienated me. I carried that alienation with me throughout the rest of my childhood, and as I got older and learned what being gay and bisexual were I felt more alienated. The kids around me made fun of gay kids, made it seem like there was something wrong with them, I didn’t want to be a target so I stayed quiet. I pretended to fit in, to be like everyone else and on the inside it hurt. I never felt like anyone understood me, and I felt like I couldn’t say anything. It wasn’t until high school that I found a small voice, I could stick up for others. I could say there was nothing wrong with them, they were just people, but I couldn’t say that I was one of them. I’d lived being something else for so long I didn’t know how to say it wasn’t me.

Even as an adult I often choose not to say anything about myself. I defend and fight for LGBT rights but in some ways I still feel like I’m not part of the community, probably because I’m not publicly out. In the few instances I’ve come out someone always demands I explain myself, explain “what” I am. Then there’s the implication I’m promiscuous, that I can’t be committed to someone or that I just don’t know what I want so I just call myself bisexual in order to cover up that I’m just a whore. It makes me feel like I have to explain myself, defend myself. I don’t ask anyone to explain their sexuality, why is mine up for scrutiny? Why should I have to give anyone explanations for feelings I could never explain even to myself. How do I explain something that just is, it was never a choice I made, in fact I tried hard to make myself fit in and be straight so it wouldn’t bother anyone else.

I have friends, two specifically who inspire me all the time, they are just themselves no matter what anyone else says. I admire their bravery and frequently wish I could borrow some of it. I hear so often that gay people should just shut up about being gay, and I wonder why we have to shut up. Why we’re not allowed to be who we are, freely and openly without restrictions, without being told we’re gross or going to hell or that we’re a bad influence and can’t have families because we’ll corrupt children. Why do we have to change, why can’t the world change? Why can’t I just say I’m bisexual and not have to answer a million questions that are really no one’s business. I’ve decided I won’t answer those questions anymore. I am me. This is who I am, I owe no explanations, I don’t have to justify anything to anyone. I’m tired of carrying around the alienation and the pressure to fit in. I don’t think I’ll ever fit in with mainstream society, and that’s OK now.

The chorus of Same Love is so simple but so true of all us, we can’t change, even if we tried, even if we wanted to. A straight person could no sooner choose to be gay than a gay person choose to be straight, it really is that simple. We are who we are, no explanations needed, no justifications, we’re all just people trying to find love and happiness.

The Loneliness of Being Sick

For the last 8 months or so I have not been a well woman. Three months after Joshua was born I found myself pregnant again, I was given antibiotics that interfered with the effectiveness of my birth control, I was unaware this could happen so I didn’t take any extra precautions. So, here we are. Unlike with Joshua I was sick from the very beginning of this pregnancy, excessive throwing up, serious abdominal pain and an inability to eat pretty much everything. Things got worse, I was prescribed anti-nausea meds after I was unable to eat anything for nearly two days and had begun throwing up after drinking water. Finally, after months of being sick I was told by an urgent care doctor I had gallstones. The doctor told me to eat a low fat diet, and things should get better, seemed simple enough. Things didn’t get better. I got worse, I started losing weight instead of gaining or even maintaining weight, I was in near constant pain. Finally, after being in OB Triage for the fourth time I got a referral to a surgeon. I was hopeful this meant I would be able to complete my pregnancy without being constantly sick. When I went to see the surgeon he told me flat out he wouldn’t perform surgery because I was too far along, it was too big of a risk. He could see I was upset, after being sick for so long I was being told once again there was nothing they could do. He offered me another option, a tube in my gallbladder to help keep it clear and prevent an infection. I agreed to the procedure.

On the morning of my procedure I got the full picture of what I was having done, it was actually a gallbladder drain tube which meant I’d have this tube about two feet long sticking out of my upper abdomen and draining into a small bag I’d have to carry around with me. Sounds pleasant right? I wasn’t really very happy with the idea, but I thought if it would help I’d do it. The procedure sounded simple enough, I’d be sedated but not put fully under, the doctor would insert a needle into my gallbladder to guide a wire in which he would use to guide the tube in and anchor the tube so it wouldn’t move. They said I’d be a little sore for a few days.

A little sore was the biggest understatement of the year.The pain during the procedure was so bad it brought me out of sedation, I was cried out and told the doctor to stop. He didn’t, he completed the procedure. I was in so much pain my entire body was shaking, they gave me a dose of Demerol before moving me to recovery, while in recovery I received two more doses of Demerol. I could barely stand up or walk, when I came home I laid down on the couch and didn’t move for close to 5 hours.

I spent the next week in horrible pain, ended up going back to OB Triage because the pain was so bad I couldn’t move. They gave me pain meds to take at home and told me there wasn’t much else they could do.

It’s going on week three of the tube, and I’m still in horrible pain, after going into OB Triage at one o’clock in the morning because 10 milligrams of oxycodone hadn’t even made a dent in the pain they had the tube re-stabilized and did an MRI to make sure it was properly placed.  I have six weeks left before I can have the new baby and have my gallbladder taken out.

After being sick for so long I feel like this has taken over my life, it’s certainly taken over my thoughts. I go to sleep hoping the pain won’t wake me up, hoping I won’t have to get up to go to the bathroom and hoping when I wake up in the morning I won’t be in too much pain. When I wake up in the morning I hope I’ll be able to get Ben to work and take care of the baby while he’s at work. I spend the day counting every little movement the new baby makes, hoping he’s OK and hating myself every time I need to take something for the pain.

I can’t really see my friends, it’s too hard on me to go anywhere, I have to push myself to go to the store. I spend most days at home with Joshua trying my best to take care of him and make sure I’m still a good mommy to him. It’s tiring, and it’s lonely. There’s only so many times you can tell people how much pain you’re in before they just get tired of hearing it, so I do my best to put a happy face on, to try not to be The Sick Girl.

It wears on me. The anxiety I normally deal with has increased exponentially, which just makes me a nervous, cranky wreck no one really wants to deal with, which ultimately makes it worse. Tears come easily, hurt feelings happen in a flash and anger and frustration are always right below the surface. I feel like a failure as a mother, the one thing my body is supposedly built to do is the one thing it’s managed to screw up twice. I fear every cramp, every moment of abdominal pressure, I beg my body everyday just to work long enough to get this baby safely into the world. Let him be ok is the only thing I really think anymore.

It’s overwhelming, and most days I don’t even know where to start when someone asks me how I am, so I shut things out, and I shut myself down. I want this tube gone, I want my gallbladder gone, I want my new little baby to be born healthy and safe, and I want to be able to be myself again, if I can even find myself again.

just a quick note

Just a quick note: I disappeared for a laptop died and the old desktop I was using wouldn’t cooperate with much of anything and eventually quit connecting to the internet at all, so I was stuck with just my phone. But, I have a new computer now and quite a lot of things to say. I’ll still be a little slow posting, my little guy is now 8 months old and is into EVERYTHING, so I only really get a good chance to write when he’s asleep.

So, Motherhood. Pt 1

It’s been 2 1/2 months since I had my son, It’s been an interesting couple of months, we’ve learned a lot and very quickly. I’ve read parenting blogs and articles for years, preparation I guess, but being part of the club makes them a lot different. I’ve also experienced first hand how unpleasant some mothers can be when you make choices different from the choices they made.

I love the hell out of my son. He’s the most wonderful, beautiful, amazing little creature I’ve ever seen. I formula feed my son for a number of reasons but the main one being my supply just plummeted and no matter what I did I couldn’t keep up with how much he was eating. I tried, I tried really hard and I cried and felt like the worst mother on the planet because I couldn’t breastfeed him. For a few weeks every time I pulled a bottle out in public I could feel the judgement, especially if I was in a place with other mothers. I felt like I had to explain why, like I should have just had a t-shirt made that detailed my experience trying to breastfeed my son.

Then, rather suddenly I realized I don’t owe anyone an explanation for the choices I made regarding how I’m feeding my son. It’s no one’s business except him, me, his dad and his pediatrician. Other than that I don’t care about your opinion because frankly, that’s all it is. Your experience is yours and mine is mine, lets not confuse the two.

On that same note, I’ve kind of had it with people asking me how I had him. Seriously, it’s none of your business. If I choose to share that information it’s up to me but demanding that information out of me while I’m standing in line at the grocery store is a little out of hand. What I went through when I had him wasn’t easy and it was fucking scary. There was more than one time when I started to question whether I was gonna survive, that’s not exactly something I feel like chatting about with a complete stranger while I’m trying to buy my dinner supplies.

And in that same vein. Who the hell thinks it’s acceptable to treat women who have c-sections like they’re somehow lesser women or not “mother” enough. I’ve got two words for people who believe that: Fuck. You. I don’t care if it was an elective c-section, a scheduled c-section or an emergency no one has any right to judge how woman or how mother someone is based on how their child came into the world. You know what makes a mother? How you raise your kid, not how the kid was brought into the world.

I’ve always been the kind of person to just live and let live. People make different choices than I do, that’s life and you know what I’m glad they make different choices. The world would be awfully boring if everyone was just like me. If you take care of your child I’ve got no beef, whether you use cloth diapers or disposable, breast feed or use formula, had a epidural or used no pain meds at all, or had a c-section or vaginal delivery.

All those years I spent reading parenting articles I always made the same comment, we’re our own worst enemies. Mothers always complain about the way society treats us, well why don’t we take a good long look at how we treat each other? We judge things that we have no business judging, we treat mothers who do things differently than us like they’re the worst people on the planet and seriously it really needs to just stop.

It’s ridiculous that instead of being supportive of one another we’d rather be at each other’s throats over petty differences. I made a promise to myself when I had my son, I wasn’t going to spend all of my time criticizing and critiquing the choices of every other mother around me. It’s not my business, not my place and a waste of my time. However, I am not going to put up with someone who feels like they need to step into my life and tell me I’m doing things wrong just because I’m doing them differently than they did them.

Welcome to the World

I’ve thought a lot about how I want to write this particular entry and I’m still not sure I’m quite ready to write it but here goes.

On July 18, 2012 I had my son. His name is Joshua and he was three weeks early. I did not go into premature labor, I had an emergency c-section because I had acute appendicitis.

I went into the hospital on the 17th with contractions, after being put on a monitor the doctors determined I was not in active labor and they intended to send me home. While still in the hospital I started feeling very nauseous and started throwing up, I was unable to keep any food or liquids down (including water). The doctors thought I was just have late term morning sickness so they gave me some anti-nausea medication through an IV. I had an extremely bad reaction to the medication and ended up being admitted.

During the next 24 hours I got progressively sicker and was in such excruciating pain I didn’t actually notice when I was having contractions. It wasn’t until nearly 4PM on the 18th that someone listened to me about the pain I was in and ordered an ultrasound of my lower right abdomen. The ultrasound was not clear enough to determine if I had appendicitis but the surgeon and attending doctor decided it would be best to do the surgery because all of my symptoms matched appendicitis. They also decided the best idea would be for me to have a c-section at the same time, this way we knew for sure that Joshua would be safe.

I was taken down to surgery, given an epidural (which in my original plan for birth I didn’t want) and Ben was able to be in the operating room with me. He was able to watch as Joshua was born. When he was born he had trouble breathing, he was taken to the NICU where they determined he had fluid in his lungs and needed to be put on a bubble CPAP. After Joshua was born Ben was taken out of the operating room so they could remove my appendix. After my surgery I was in recovery for an hour and then taken upstairs to the mother and baby unit.

Ben and Juli (my best friend) told me that Joshua was in the NICU, I didn’t get to see him until the next morning. He weighed six pounds and thirteen ounces and was 19.4 inches long. His nurse told us for a preemie he was a big baby, but to me he looked so tiny and he had the bubble CPAP on his face and an IV in his hand. I was in the hospital until the 21st, Joshua was in the NICU until the 25th.

The time he was in the hospital and we were home was probably the hardest few days I’ve had in a long time. Even though I was still extremely sore and exhausted I went to the hospital everyday until Joshua came home. I was so sad every time we had to come home and leave him there, if I could have I would have stayed at the hospital all night with him. We were both so very happy when we brought him home.

He is three weeks old today and he’s the most wonderful little person, He sleeps just like Ben and looks like both of us. We’re both so happy we have him and so grateful that both Joshua and I are safe and healthy. This was the exact opposite way I wanted to have him and the two things I was dreading (a c-section and an epidural) are what I ended up needing.

Choosing Myself

I want to talk about something I’ve avoided for a while not just on here but in my regular life.

Violence, specifically domestic violence.

A relationship I was involved in for 5 years ended due to domestic violence. I was choked and hit. This is something I still have a hard time talking about and something that still has an effect on me. Everything I have written about what happened was written from the mindset of saying goodbye to the relationship. I have done that and I’m now ready to talk about how this has affected me.

The first thing I want to say is I really don’t believe violence is ever the answer to an argument. I don’t believe using physical strength to overpower and scare someone weaker is not acceptable. If violence is being considered as a serious option in an argument or as a way to express emotions the relationship is over. I don’t believe in giving second chances after that line has been crossed. I did give another chance and all I really did was give that person another chance to hurt me and he did.

What happened to me terrified me. In that moment when his hands were on my neck and they were squeezing I knew fear in a way I had never known it before. I was in shock and I became afraid of this person I once loved. As much as I wanted to leave I also feared leaving, I feared what would happen and if violence would again become an option.

I did leave, I was gone for 3 months and then I came back. I let myself be hurt again by allowing him to blame me for his actions, by allowing myself to believe it really was my fault. The fear I developed stayed and it affected the way we interacted, it affected my mental health and when violence again became a way to end an argument I knew I was wrong to come back.

I left again. For good. I thought being away from it would make the fear and the sadness go away. It didn’t. For a long time it intensified, I still dislike being touched unless I specifically allow it. I thought saying goodbye to the relationship was enough to say goodbye to the emotional and mental scars I was left with. I’ve learned it’s not.

I also learned some valuable things about what domestic violence does to a person inside and why so many victims choose to stay. For months after I left I was harrassed and called names and so many times I thought going back would just solve everything. I was made to feel guilty for leaving, for choosing myself. My interactions with men changed, I saw everyone as a potential abuser and expected violence during even the smallest arguments. In some ways I was comforted when a man reacted in the way I was used to, that began to scare me.

I had to force myself to be aware of the behaviors of those around me and I had to force myself to say it wasn’t ok for me to be with someone who behaved in an abusive way. I had to keep putting myself first, to keep choosing myself.

I still am uncomfortable talking about what happened and admitting that it did happen. I hate weakness in myself and for quite a while all I saw was weakness. I finally realized it took strength to leave, it took strength to choose myself.

I’m still learning how to be ok. How to move past what happened and let the internal wounds heal. It’s not easy but I realized I needed to talk about it, I needed to admit it happened. So here it is.