Dear Bernie Bros, move on

Dear Bernie Bros,

Look, I get it. I was Feeling the Bern too. I thought the primaries and caucuses were a little sketchy. I thought Mother Nature herself was telling us to vote for Bernie.

It didn’t matter to me that Bernie Sanders hasn’t been a Democrat in a really long time. Democrats wanted him as their candidate, that’s all that mattered to me. I think we need a progressive platform to move this country forward. I also think Democrats have forgotten who they should be representing.

That all being said, the election is over. Election 2016 was a giant clusterfuck. But anyone who plays sports or enjoys them knows that if you can’t play with the refs, don’t play at all. There has probably never been a refereed game where the refs got all of the calls right. People walk away pissed off. But, if you’re relying on the referees to win a game, chances are good you haven’t played well enough to earn the win.

So yeah, what I’m saying is that Bernie didn’t do enough to win the game. People of color had issues with him that never got resolved. He pushed hard on economic issues, but didn’t speak to racial issues enough. A lot of people who are older than 30 or 35 felt like he was *too* progressive. While that sounds ridiculous to us, there’s a point to be made there. Our government can only accomplish so much at any given time. If we want to see massive progressive changes, that CANNOT happen from the top down. It has to happen at the local and state levels first. It was NEVER going to happen just by electing Sanders.

What Bernie was able to do was bring Hillary to the Left, which was tremendous. If she even wanted a shot at winning, she had to get Millennials to believe in her, at least a little bit. She moved Left enough to bring people in and stayed where most her base could stay with her.

We need to accept the fact that Bernie wasn’t the nominee. Would he have beaten Mango Mussolini? I think so. But, as much fun as that mental masturbation is, it wasn’t how it fell out. If you want to keep jerking off over it, do it privately. Don’t waste space on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or wherever else doing it. We don’t have time for that shit anymore. Sorry. It’s the truth.

The 2018 mid-term elections aren’t that far away. If the Republicans can’t get find their fucking morality between now and then, we need to get people elected who will do something about. People who are committed to progressive ideals. People who will do what they promise to do. THAT is what matters now. Not what happened to Bernie months ago.

Unless we want a repeat of this awful fucking election in 2018 and 2020, we need to get with the program. And fast. Otherwise, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and their cluster of evil will beat us again. And again. I that what you want? I know it’s not what I want. I’m tired of losing to soulless, self-absorbed, greedy, conservatives who don’t exhibit any of the values they claim to have.

Let’s join together and talk about the things we all have in common, the things we all want to see happen. Economic prosperity for all. Social equality for all. Healthcare for all. If we focus on those things, we should not only be able to band together with everyone on the Left, we may even be able to pull in people on the Right.

What do you say?

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Comey: 1, Trump: 0

I wasn’t going to, but I ended up watching part of James Comey’s testimony yesterday. Here are my takeaways:

  1. This Russia business is serious shit. They ramped up their campaign against America in 2016, and it’s not over with yet. I was a little concerned when Comey emphasized that it wasn’t about Republicans or Democrats, because that could weaken the argument that Trump’s team was colluding with the Russians. But, the reality is, Putin is interested in destabilizing the US and will align himself with whoever he needs to accomplish that. In Election 2016 that clearly wasn’t going to be Hillary since she was warning everyone what Russia was up to.
  2. I’m less pissed about Comey’s commentary regarding Hillary’s email issues in the last election. I don’t know why he bothered with anything in the days leading up to the election, since that clearly hurt Clinton, but the reality is that Russian bots were already hard at work spinning whatever they could for the MAGA crowd, so I don’t know how much of a difference it really made.
  3. Our elected officials are not looking out for our best interests. The questions about Hillary’s email issues were a complete waste of time given the point of the hearing. They were looking to give FoxNews some soundbites they could use, and they got those. They didn’t get to the heart of the issue at all: Russia’s interference and whether Trump obstructed justice.
  4. John McCain is out of touch with reality. I have serious questions about his ability to do his job. He kept asking about why Clinton was cleared of the Russian investigation. Try as he might, Comey could not get it through to McCain that they were separate investigations. McCain tried to clarify after the hearing what he was getting at, but he still missed the point. The email investigation was OVER. That’s why Comey could comment regarding whether Clinton had done anything criminal. At no point during his tenure at the FBI was the Russia investigation concluded to where Comey would have been free to comment on Trump’s culpability.
  5. Our elected officials aren’t looking out for our best interests. I want to throw this one out there again. The questions about why Comey didn’t stand up to Trump, resign in the face of questions about the administration, and why he didn’t immediately pursue an inquiry against Trump for his pressure to end an investigation completely miss the point. They’re illogical. The best way to stand up to Trump and defend America against Trump was to stay quiet and in his position to start that investigation. Resigning wouldn’t have left him in a position to do any of that.
  6. Comey knew from the beginning what most of us have known about Trump – he cannot be trusted. One of the senators on the panel brought up the excellent point that in the law, writings made contemporaneously with a meeting are given great weight because they’re seen as being more accurate. Comey knew what a snake Trump is and knew that, should he display any form of disloyalty, he’d be out on his ass. Basically, he did exactly what every law student is taught: He covered his ass. CYA is one of the first things you learn in law school, and if not there, definitely in practice.
  7. Trump obstructed justice. Some of the senators appeared to try to suggest that Trump saying he “hoped” that Comey would let the Flynn thing go (since he’d been asked to resign) wasn’t really a directive to Comey. That’s a damn big reach. Trump boots everyone out of the office and one-on-one has a serious conversation with Comey? That’s got to raise some eyebrows. It doesn’t matter that Trump has publicly shared his disapproval of the Russia investigation. He met with Comey, by himself. Comey said he felt like Trump was giving him a directive, under those circumstances. If he wasn’t trying to issue a directive, why say anything at all? Trump was attempting to influence an investigation that affected members of his team. That’s obstruction. It doesn’t matter that he (may) lawfully has the authority to direct who or what should be investigated.
  8. Comey did the right thing by sharing his memos. Comey testified that he shared his memos with a friend who shared them with the news in the hopes that a special prosecutor would be appointed. He knew that shit stank to high heaven in the administration and that the only way anything would truly be investigated is if there was a special prosecutor. The only way to make that happen was to drop a huge bombshell. Well done.

Of course, none of these hearings matter if Republicans won’t get their shit together and do what’s best for the country. Democracy as we know it was attacked and will continue to be attacked unless we do something. If Republicans don’t stand up now, who knows if there will be anything left to fight for.

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My new word for 2017: Me

My word for the year was “determined.” Really, it was, “I am a determined unicorn.” A good friend of mine says that we shouldn’t pick words in an attempt to outsmart the Universe, but I feel like my choice of determined is sort of kicking my ass. It seems like what I did was invite challenging situations to show just how determined I am. Like my regular life wasn’t enough for that. Ahem.

When I picked “determined” I was thinking about my commitment to my growing direct sales empire and making sure that I’m doing the most I can to succeed. I have been making strides toward that though the first 4 or so months not so much. I got caught up in being overwhelmed and having situations sort of fall apart that made it harder to do. I didn’t have focus. Some of that was because I had no idea how to keep all the ideas that were flying around in my head coordinated. Y’all, I don’t know what the hell happens up there, but it’s like a party with a loud DJ and no chaperone to tell it to stop.

I also wasn’t on the right meds at the beginning of the year. My emotional state was a bit of a mess, though I felt a bit better physically. Now I’m on the right meds, but my body is sort of taking a crap on me. To really have things move along sort of smoothly, even a little smoothly, is that my body and mind need to work in conjunction a bit better. They both need to be sort of okay. I still have some anxiety issues and dips into the dark places in my mind, but it’s happened less often. My body though? Ugh. I seem to be out of a fibro flare that lasted a good long while, so that’s positive. I just wish my lady garden would get with the program.

That all brings me to the point that I still need to be focusing on ME. I need to focus on getting my body together. I need to be more functional. Less tired. More able to wake up and get going. I need to take advantage of the fact that my mental health is more stable so I can be creative. Creativity is how I know that I’m okay. If I’m not creating, something is wrong. I read a lot more when things aren’t great. It doesn’t require any effort on my part.

I have found ways to keep the craziness in my head somewhat controlled. I am working on systems to make sure I complete things I want to complete and still get to create. I need to get a bit better about it though to fully explore everything I’m interested in. But, I really need my body to get more with me before I can do that. I hope that happens somewhat soon!

Anyway, thanks for continuing to read along! I do hope to add some more sound to this at some point so you can hear me rather than just read me. Maybe even a video from time to time! And as always, I appreciate the kind and positive vibes you send me. I do think they make a difference!

This presidency is an unmitigated disaster

The US President is no longer the leader of the free world. The US isn’t even viewed as a full democracy anymore.

The US is no longer leading the call for a cleaner and more sustainable world. It’s fallen to mayors and other leading city and county executives to ensure the health and well-being of its citizens and work with global leaders since the federal government can’t do what’s right.

States are passing single-payer health systems because the federal government can’t come together and do what’s best for its citizens.

The Attorney General reportedly offered to resign because Mango Mussolini won’t give him the freedom to do his job (not that I love what Sessions was trying to do, but still). Can’t accept the resignation though because he wouldn’t be able to push someone else though and the guy waiting in the wings actually wants to do his damn job.

It’s now completely and openly known that Putin interfered in our election and gave the victory to Twitler. Yet no one seems to want to do anything about it. Of course, we shouldn’t expect Republicans, like Paul Ryan, to do anything about it since so many of them either knew about or participated in the fraud. (Russians are also hacking internationally and screwing with international relations.)

It feels like the United States is falling apart. Racism is back in the open with more attacks on minorities than before. People feel emboldened by Trump’s lack of humanity and unwillingness to tell people to respect each other. Our elected officials seem to have absolutely no regard for their roles and are acting in only their best interests. The government that was supposed to be FOR the people is gone.

And what can we do about it? We’re resisting as best we can, but that doesn’t seem to be having an effect. Even Democrats can’t seem to get their shit together to do anything to move us forward. Popular officials, like Cory Booker, have been taking money from Crooked Jared Kushner, and aren’t responding to calls for explanations or promises to stop.

The 2018 elections aren’t far away, but it’s going to be a long time until we get there. We must keep being active. Speaking out against the wrongs and in support of each other. It’s time to make new connections with those around us. We must start caring about each other’s stories. We must start validating each other’s lives.

If we cannot do that, the US will surely stop existing as we knew it. We cannot let Trump and his cronies do that to us. To what we’ve built. We need to bring back the hope.

Men do NOT get to tell women what makes them sexy

I got involved in a Facebook discussion about whether women should wear makeup. This is the original post:

I bet if women replaced their time putting make up on with push ups, squats, and sit ups, they wouldn’t feel the need for make up

Just no. That’s how I’m going to start this, just NO.

If women had sexier bodies they wouldn’t need to cover their faces with makeup? First, that doesn’t actually make sense. Bodies and faces are two very different things. Insecurity about one doesn’t necessarily mean insecurity about the other, nor does wearing makeup help if a woman feels insecure about her body.

Second, that suggests that women only wear makeup because they’re insecure. That’s just not the case. Most of the women I know who wear makeup do it because they feel like they’re highlighting their natural assets, or because they like color. As someone on the threat pointed out, there’s an ART FORM to it. Makeup, like the clothes we choose, the piercings or tattoos we have, are forms of self-expression.

Third, what a man finds sexy is IRRELEVANT. So many of the posts were about what MEN like. Um, here’s the thing. I don’t give a FLYING FUCK what men like. When I wear something it’s because *I* like it. ME ME ME. I’m not trying to impress anyone. I’m trying to be comfortable and happy with what I’ve got on. From head to toe, I’m doing what I’m doing because it makes ME feel good.

NO WOMAN IS ON THIS EARTH TO SERVE MEN. 

This is some of the most patriarchal fucking bullshit I have seen in a long time. Are you fucking kidding me? This is what you like so women should abide? Get the fuck out of here with that. If that’s what you like, you go ahead and find a woman who agrees with that. Don’t spread your shit like it’s the Gospel.

Are there women who wear makeup because they’re insecure? I am sure there are and that breaks my heart. I want women to be happy to be themselves. I hope one day they can find peace with themselves.

Men who say this shit think they’re HELPING. “Babe, focus on your body. Don’t worry about the makeup.” How about you step the fuck off? *I* control my body, not you. It is here to serve ME in this earthly life, NOT YOU.

Men, stop trying to control my body, my face, whatever. They aren’t here for you. I wasn’t born for your viewing pleasure. Worry about your own shit. Get a fucking hobby and leave me the hell alone.

Waiting is the pits

IN my never-ending saga of medical drama, I had a D&C yesterday so that the doctors can try to figure out why my uterus hates me. This isn’t the first time I’ve had one. I had polyps in 2008 that they took out by D&C. I assumed it was polyps this time too. I was wrong.

Turns out, it was an abnormally thickened endometrial lining with cystic lesions and increased vascularity. That doesn’t sound good, and Dr. Google confirms that’s likely the case. They’re calling it endometrial hyperplasia and the goal now is to determine if that’s true, the type (with or without atypica), or whether it’s cancer.

So now I wait.

I’ve already researched the hell out of all of it. Apparently 30-33% of cancer cases started as endometrial hyperplasia with atypia. If it’s atypia or cancer, the uterus comes out. If it’s cancer, the ovaries go too. I’d like to keep the ovaries to avoid an early menopause, but I’m not fucking around with cancer. Most of the time if there’s cancer in the uterus, it’s also in the ovaries. Thanks, but no thanks.

So I’m left with two weeks before my appointment, knowing the results will likely be available after a week. That’s the type of waiting that kills me. SOMEONE knows what’s going on, but it’s NOT ME. I want it to be ME. Even if I couldn’t see the doctor, I could get the report and obsessively research whatever it is. I like to be informed so I can ask good questions while I’m with the doctor, rather than getting the information and not knowing what to ask while I’m there.

At the end of the day, it is what it is. I’m trying to fill my time with creative and productive activity so I don’t worry. I ordered a puzzle that should be here before too long, which will hopefully take me some time to complete. I’m going to try to spend more time designing cross-stitch patterns, t-shirt and sticker designs, and some things for the direct sales companies I work with.

It’s still going to be a tough two weeks. I doubt I’ll make it that long. I think they have my appointment with the wrong doctor anyway, so I may try to do a walk-in appointment. I also need to go to the dentist for a cavity and also get a pap smear (since the doc saw something she thinks needs to be checked out to make sure it’s not cervical cancer – joy), so maybe I’ll sneak in then.

Before anyone tells me that it’ll all be okay, I won’t need a hysterectomy, please understand that whatever is needed, I’m fine with. I’ve had problems for so long that the idea of hysterectomy is actually a relief. I just need to get things better, so I’m less stressed and have less pain. I can’t deal with that on top of everything else.

I’m trying to keep it simple, stupid 😉

Wiped out

This week has been long and draining. I have had less energy than the last few months. It’s made being productive an incredible challenge. Because I hate losing, I’ve been doing things I want to (since it’s on an app that asks me whether I’ve done things and I won’t lie to the app), but it hasn’t been as exciting for me to do.

I’ve accepted that pain and discomfort are a regular part of my life now. I didn’t know that in 2014, and for a long while I expected that everything would turn around and I could go back to my old life. Accepting it hasn’t really made life easier. I guess I don’t get disappointed as often. I don’t wake up and then get sad when I realize that my right leg still doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to.

I think the real problem is that acceptance only covers what exists at the time you accepted your life. New problems don’t get factored in, particularly for things that never would have occurred to you. Perhaps that is why this week has been worse. I’m dealing with something new and mostly unexpected. Well, blah on that.

My life feels a little like Frogger. I’m darting around the highway trying to get to the other side while avoiding a collision with a car. (Side note, I’ve seen a frog get hit by a car and it is NOT pretty. Strangest thing was that the frog seemed to purposely jump under the tire.) Jumping around while the highway is packed is exhausting. You move forward only to have to move back. Then you jump sideways and realize you didn’t get anywhere, so you panic and jump without really looking first.

Argh. I’m tired. I hope this finds you better than I feel now.

I’m not fat. I HAVE fat

I have toes. I’m NOT toes.

I saw that posted on a meme today and I thought it made a great deal of sense. I mean, even if we considered obesity a disease, it’s not really something we should be saying “am” with. We don’t say, “I am lupus.” I say, “I have lupus.”

This is just another example of how we treat weight as something different than everything else. It’s just another way that we fat shame people. We associate the weight/fat/whatever with who someone IS rather than something they have.

It’s not really that different than disabilities. Society doesn’t regard people with disabilities as people either. It’s “I am disabled,” instead of “I have disabilities” or “I am differently abled.”

I guess the whole point of this is that language matters. Words matter. Generally we aren’t very careful with the way we talk and it marginalizes and belittles people. People brush it off, but it’s usually people who belong to the majority or what they consider the “norm.” It doesn’t matter to them how things are said, because they’re not the ones who are being shit on.

Everyone should spend time flipping things around, seeing how we feel when we’re on the receiving end. Or, when we’re ready to use choice words, imagine how we’d feel if someone else were hurling the nasty intent at us.

But I guess that’s another point altogether. People don’t seem to ever spend time putting themselves in anyone else’s shoes. We rarely stop to consider how our actions hurt someone else. Even when they’re at the end of a chain of actions.  We push our little black clouds onto someone else in an attempt to make ourselves feel better. The black cloud doesn’t stop raining just because it’s not hovering over us anymore. How is that fair to anyone else? I guess we don’t care as long as we feel better.

I suppose that also explains how it is that the United States managed to elect an arrogant, uninformed, self-absorbed asshole to the presidency.

Spoonie Life Complication #2: How much is too much research?

Spoonies spend a lot of time at the doctor. I have to go every three months for blood work and follow-up to make sure everything is under control. That’s for non-acute issues. If I get sick in the meantime, I have to go back.

One of the problems I’ve had, and I know other Spoonies have faced the same issue, is that we have to advocate for ourselves. It can take a while to get a diagnosis with something like fibromyalgia or Hashimoto’s. It’s frustrating because we know something is wrong, but we can’t get treated for it. So we stay sick. And we get pissed off. So we go to the internet.

Now, I know that Dr. Google is no substitute for a real medical opinion. However, the internet is a wealth of information, and we can get access to medical research and studies somewhat easily. For a frustrated person, this can be amazing. We’re able to arm ourselves so we can ask our doctors better questions. Let them know that we are invested in our care.

At some point though, the question is how much is too much research? I’ve recently been to have a new issue checked out. I got weird vibes from the radiologist when she went from being chatty and friendly to saying “Your doctor will tell you what it means.” Well, okay.

After meeting with the doctor, who indicated things were mostly fine except for one issue, I went home a touch confused. So I hit the internet. Mostly what I’ve done is make things harder for myself when really all I can do is wait and see what happens further down the road.

I want to be well-informed, but at the same time, I don’t want to worry needlessly. It’s just a rough position to be in.

But, it’s a pretty common part of being a Spoonie.

Validation Status: Pending

I have trouble getting help when I need it. Whether it’s physical health or mental health, I tend to put things off.

When I was 20, my senior year of college, I started having trouble with my periods. They went from being normal periods to unbelievable torrents of blood. The kind of blood loss that you would think could kill you. But, I knew from friends that sometimes it’s like that. I didn’t think much of it.

But, it continued for two years and I couldn’t deal with it anymore. It was insanely overwhelming to deal with the heavy bleeding. So frustrating every month to have the same thing. I went to the doctor, but all my hormone levels were normal. They put me on birth control and I got some relief, but ended up with terrible cramps.

The next year I read about the amount of estrogen in the birth control was using so I stopped. I went back to heavy blood flow, but the blood flow became constant. It wasn’t always heavy, but it was there at least 3 weeks per month. I kept on, but it started to interfere with my work. It was 2008 and by then I’d moved to the other side of the country so I sought out another doctor. This time they decided to do an ultrasound.  This is when they discovered polyps in my uterus.

After they took care of them, things were okay for a while, but now it’s 2017 and I’m back to where I was in 2008. Things have been off for a while, but I resisted the doctor.

The first time I remember having suicidal thoughts was in 2008. My life had hit a point where nothing seemed to be going right. It felt like I had no control over anything that was going on and that there were no good outlets. I even had a plan, to minimize the damage it would have on the lives of people I cared about. Somehow, this didn’t seem out there to me. It didn’t seem like I should talk to someone. I thought because I could rationalize it in my head and talk myself out of it, that I was okay.

I was in an abusive relationship, living with the man, for months. After we broke up, I didn’t get help. I figured that because I worked my way out of the relationship, that I was okay. Even though the smell of his cologne on someone else took me back for years, I didn’t do anything.

When I was 22, I was raped. It was a friend, and I was in a compromising position with him, so I thought that I was the one who created the situation and that it was what I wanted. It was my first time, and what he said was, “Well, I guess you’re not a virgin anymore.” And that was that. Even when he said later, “Are you ok with what happened? You know, since I didn’t ask you first?” I didn’t think anything of it. Even though he used the textbook definition of RAPE. I never talked to anyone about it for years.

My problem is that I need validation from other people to know that what I’m feeling is legitimately a concern. It wasn’t until coworkers convinced me I needed to go to the ER because I could barely stand and couldn’t walk upright that I did something aggressive about my back problem. I ended up having surgery THAT DAY because the problem was so bad.

After I broke up with my abusive boyfriend, someone asked me, “How could you let that happen?” I internalized that to mean that it was my fault that I’d been in the relationship. Therefore anything I felt after was also my fault and not something I should get any help for.

It was only a couple years ago that a few people suggested I might want to get psychological help for the rape and consistent low feelings I was having. Even then, I thought I was fine.

I recently had stomach pains so bad that I couldn’t stretch my abdomen. It wasn’t until Mr. Lyndsy said I should go to the ER that I even truly considered going. It’s like the things that happen to me aren’t anything. I had a spinal fusion and tried to go to work 2 weeks later because the doctor told me I could go back when I felt like it. I took that to mean I shouldn’t be out of work at all.

Now, if this were a friend coming to me, I would have told them they were nuts to go back to work two weeks after a spinal fusion. That rape is traumatic. The list goes on. But when it comes to me, what I feel or experience isn’t enough. It doesn’t have meaning on its own. It’s hard to put into words. But it’s sort of like feeling like I don’t matter. But even that’s not the right description. I guess it’s more that I always feel like I’m exaggerating.

I don’t know when this started. It could be from when I was growing up. I sprained an ankle when I was in high school. I missed a stair and came down on my foot sideways. My dad din’t take me to the doctor, just gave me gel to put on it. My mom told me if I thought it was that bad, to call the doctor myself. To me, neither took it seriously, so it wasn’t an issue. Never mind that it swelled up to twice its size after every basketball practice. I never went to the doctor.

When I was 7, I threw up. I went to the bathroom for the toilet, but I didn’t make it in time. After my mom got everything cleaned up, she told me that if I missed the toilet again, I would have to clean it up. When I told my mom about the constant bleeding, she told me that it couldn’t be real or I would have told her about it. After my abusive relationship ended, I asked her to fly out to help me. She said she was busy at work, so she didn’t come.

Most of the time I kept things to myself. I never wanted to be a bother to anyone. I still really don’t. I apologize to Mr. Lyndsy all the time because I am so sick all the time. He tells me to stop being ridiculous, but the feeling that I’m a dead weight is always there. I guess I feel like I need to justify any expenses that I cause because of my health.

I guess, the long and the short of it is that I need to have a chat with my shrink.