Trump, Warren, and the Dehumanization of Native Women

I’m incredibly busy with fast approaching deadlines and article pitches, but I wanted to share one of my recently published articles that I’m immensely proud.

I spent countless hours on the research, writing, and editing process. My PTSD was triggered throughout this piece and I was constantly in fear that I would let my ancestors, Indigenous women, and people down by the work that I produced. Through the help of many amazing friends and an incredible editor (I now know why writers thank their Editors) Kelley Calkins, I made it through the other side. I was honored with the privilege to interview Madonna Thunder Hawk and Rebecca Nagle for which I will always be humbled and thankful.

With that said, I give you Trump, Warren, and the Dehumanization of Native Women

http://www.theestablishment.co/2016/08/08/trump-warren-and-the-dehumanization-of-native-women/

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Suffering, Self-Destruction, Speaking Out, & Political Warfare

The last year and a half have been some of the more difficult years I’ve had to face in some time. Due to this I haven’t had the emotional, mental, or physical energy to write for this blog, my book, or most other pieces. I’ve occasionally had a poem come upon me that I felt was appropriate to post, but bringing for the where with all to write deeper and with further explanation has simply never happened. Obviously there is a great deal that has occurred over this period of time, but I’m going to keep it as short as possible.

I was in a relationship that turned out to be very dishonest, manipulative, demanding, and emotionally abusive. Under normal circumstances I would’ve left a relationship of this sort, but I simply couldn’t afford to move out of the apartment we shared. My health problems have become so severe that they have placed great limits on the type of housing I can live in which of course significantly raises the cost. Rents in the Boston area have sky rocketed over the last few years, my health care costs are insane now, and my income stream is abysmal compared to these current costs. I was forced to stay under the roof, due to my disability and finances, with someone who mentally and emotionally tortured me day in and day out.

As one can imagine this led me down a very dark path. I fell apart and without a proper support system I was at a loss as to what to do. My mother, whom I no longer speak to nor do I ever see myself speaking to again despite my deep love for her, knew of the situation and offered no help. The irony in this is profound given that she was once in an abusive marriage and that several of the women in my family have also been in abusive marriages.

Things reached the point that my pride broke and I began looking at shelters. I told my ex that I was going to contact the police if he continued his behavior. He soon moved out after this with the promise that he would pay the rent on the apartment until I either moved out or the lease ended. Like all words that escaped his lips, this was a lie.

Two months later I came home to find under my door a notice to appear in court for an eviction hearing. The apartment management company never called me once nor did they ever follow MA law and send me all of the paperwork that comes before the eviction hearing notice. This was now the end of May 2014 and I had been looking for a place one month after we moved in together which was July 2013. The cost of apartments, my physical needs, the extreme biphobia in the Boston area (the minute potential roommates would hear that I’m bi they were no longer interested in me), and the housing shortage that left many of us scrambling to pay $800 to live in a closet in an unsafe house with 5 roommates no where near the train or life necessities left me unable to find anything. Thankfully I found the horrific place I’m in now at the last minute. I still had to go to court and deal with the mess though and of course my ex, nor his family, could be bothered to attend even though we were all legally obligated to be there. The one bright side of all of this is that I never have to see him nor his loathsome family ever again.

I had a few professional difficulties arise during this time. I have never been a fan of the area I live in. Over the years I’ve found it to be very gender conformist, racist, especially towards us Natives, pro-colonialism, horrifically biphobic, elitist, ableistic, puritanical, self-congratulatory, arrogant, stand offish, cold, and rude. This is not to say that I haven’t found some pleasures of living here, but it’s never been home. Despite this I’ve tried to be socially and politically active, but this came to a breaking point for me, like many things, in the spring of 2014.

I found myself disillusioned with the politics, parties, and the way social and political issues were addressed, if at all. An issue came about that caused great difficulty in my life. I found myself dealing with a set of -isms that were too blatant for me to ignore. After years of suffering out right abuse in “liberal” politics-being called an “injun,” hit on at work, told that I’m bi so bring in sexy bi girls to get the male donors, not being paid for my time and reimbursed for my expenses, told I don’t deserve time for a meal break during a 14 hour day, being told “If you don’t shut up I’m going to throw you through a wall” etc-I simply couldn’t take it anymore. While this situation was not that volatile it was still bad and indirectly told me that I was worthless. I left the environment and was soon threatened with a lawsuit. There were no grounds for the suit, but because of my financial state I couldn’t lawyer up. The same day the eviction notice came was the same day I was threatened with the law suit.

One week prior to this I finally snapped and tried to kill myself. The day I left behind unhealthy professional environments was the day my mother finally went too far with me. I have dealt with years of her emotional neglect, dismissal, and denial of the many abuses I’ve suffered over the years. I choose not to rehash them now, but they are great and they are painful beyond belief.

When I told her that I left this particular situation and why (over a text message because she never called me on any day) instead of giving me support and love or even saying a simply “I’m sorry” her immediate response was to say that her and my step-dad couldn’t give me money. I never said one word about money as a concern of mine let alone asked for money. This is a woman who once told me that I was only angry at her and my step-dad for not giving me enough money. Meanwhile I had just told her I was beyond hurt and angry for things such as her ignoring me telling her when I was only 14 that my boyfriend had raped me. Two months after that I tried to kill myself because I couldn’t take the nightmares and the other symptoms of PTSD any longer. She still denies this to this day. I think she doesn’t even believe that I was raped. Yet she has the audacity and the heartlessness to think that I’m shallow enough to be angry because they won’t give me money. This is one of many examples of heartache my mom has caused me.

I read that text and something in me just broke. I went to my liquor cart and grabbed my bottle of Jack, mind you it was the largest bottle of Jack you can buy, and I started drinking. I drank 3/4s of that bottle. That alone was enough to put me in a hospital. I didn’t stop there. I went to my pills next. Given my health problems I have my own pharmacy. I started mixing them all taking handfuls. I made sure to mix in a nice batch of the narcotics so that they would combined with each other and the alcohol and stop my breathing. I was also careful not to take so many pills that I would be sick and loose them all.

Apparently thanks to my worthless, broken body having health problems that goes back to my childhood I am now like an elephant. It takes large animal size tranquilizers to take me down. I didn’t even get one day of relief from my life. I woke up 6 hours later! I was a groggy, disoriented mess, but I was still awake. I never went to the doctor nor the hospital. I simply drank a lot of water and slept it off.

When I finally decided to tell my therapist and psychiatrist about it they naturally were worried, but sadly not too surprised. My shrink pushed for hospitalization, and then out patient day treatment, both of which I refused. I went through those horrors as a teenager and I’d sooner die then go through them again. [If asking for help means being forced into hospitalization I simply won’t ask for help. That’s how bad my experiences were as a teenager and how much I know about the US mental health care system (not that it deserves to be called “care”) as an adult. I’ll go it my own before I suffer that abuse again!]

After hearing everything I drank and took that night my psychiatrist said in so many words that I was lucky to be alive. I was furious I was alive! I stayed angry for months after. Some days I’m still angry about it. I’m not sure how I didn’t do it all over again, and for good measure slice wrists up like a child making paper dolls, when I received the court notice and the lawsuit threat. Believe me when I say I’ve had the thought many times since. Writing this now has me thinking about it.

I hate that I feel this full of pain and I wish I had the solution to make it all go away, but I’ve spent the bulk of my life trying to hide it all because when I asked for help no one cared. I can’t say that too many people (there are some and they are amazing, loving human beings!) seem to care still, but I refuse to be silent. I don’t give a damn anymore if that means lawsuits or if it hurts my career kissing ass to a bunch of self-righteous, self-congratulatory suits that don’t really care about those of us who are suffering in whatever manner that may be. I could care even less if it makes people “uncomfortable.” Too damn bad! If just hearing about my realities makes you uncomfortable then imagine living them? I am doing everything within my power to care for myself, to better myself, and to have the future that I so desperately want and so rightfully deserve.

In the mean time, I try to remind myself of something that two amazing women have said. One is my fabulous, Indigenous friend, Elyse. She has told me a few times when I’ve felt low that not only am I loved, but that our continual survival as Indigenous women is an act of resistance against colonialism and the powers that want to do away with us. I’ll admit that the few times I read that when I felt so low I wanted to cut myself, starve myself, drink myself into an oblivion, or even kill myself, I wanted to tell her to go “fuck herself.” Elyse is amazing person and I love her dearly, but those words don’t mean a lot in when you’re at one of your greatest moments of suffering. I always told myself though that she loved me enough to say that to me and helped relieve some of the pain.

The second woman whose words ring in my ears are Audre Lorde. I’ve always loved her saying “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” Recently though an amazing revolutionary lovin’ man in Boston, Eroc, posted on his Facebook page another Lorde quote that I try to remember: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare.”

My actions that make people so uncomfortable and angry with me that they go so far as to threaten me with unfounded law suits or personally attack my character are my form of self-preservation and that is my resistance against the colonizing powers that want to destroy me and this is one of my acts of political warfare.

Pour Some Sugar (Substitute) On Me

Le Sigh. Double Le Sigh. So I, uh, have Type 2 Diabetes. I’m still not used to saying this. I don’t like it. It’s not fair. I’m pissed about it. Frankly, I’m still a bit in denial. I just can’t accept that I now have to deal with this too.

My entry from Saturday goes in-depth about my emotional reaction to the diagnosis and how I’ve handled it, or rather how I took a swan dive off the cliff of sanity. This post will be about more of the nitty gritty details of what I’m dealing with in terms of testing my blood sugar, seeing a nutritionist, diabetes specialist, and so forth.

So the diagnosis came down around late September. After a couple of weeks of letting it sink in/me calming the fuck down I went in to see my primary care. Now I love Dr. Raney, but she terrified me on that visit. What sticks out in my mind from our conversation was her talking about blindness, loss of limbs, organ failure, and how my body will rapidly age even more than it already has from my existing health issues. I also recall the room beginning to spin, my heart pounding, and it becoming difficult to breathe. Yup, full on panic attack. I know them well.

A few deep breaths, tears, a damp tissue, and pity faced doctor later I walked out of the office with a prescription for Metformin (at half the therapeutic dose) and the blood sugar testing kit, as well as a referral for a nutrionist and a pharmacist who specializes in helping newly diagnosed diabetes patients. Eventually all drugs, supplies, and appointments were gathered and made. Fabulous. More health care shit to deal with.

October 25, 2012 came and I went to my first appointment for the day: the nutrionist. I admit I was a bit skeptical. The only other time in my life I had consulted a nutrionist was my last semester of college. I was having horrible stomach issues and the doctor felt a change in diet could help. What the doctor didn’t know was that I had horrific PTSD and mental illness that was untreated so I self-treated via starvation, had recently begun making myself throw up after eating, and that I did drugs and drank like a stage 4 alcoholic, but managed to function fairly well. After a horrible set of incidences I went cold turkey on everything and I started tip toeing towards health. Of course I wasn’t doing any of it in the right way, but at least I knew I had to make changes or I’d never make it to see 25.

Enter Malibu Barbie, er I mean the nutrionist. She was so goddamn upbeat I wanted to grab her by her blonde hair and beat her to a bloody pulp. I was going through, what I now know, was with drawl from alcohol and drugs and my brain wasn’t kicking out enough serotonin to even me out and because of a recent attack my PTSD was out of control. I was in a sorry state. The last thing I needed was this perky bitch going on and on about how much she loved her Kashi cereal-Yes, she really did that.

So there I now was, a fat, gimpy, eating disorder relapsing, highly skeptical woman waiting on the next skinny, insensitive, stupid bitch to come out and talk to me like I was just a fat, lazy, lard ass who has no one to blame but herself for having diabetes. Shockingly enough, Nila the nutrionist, was actually pretty great. She was kind, empathetic, didn’t speak down to me, and worked with me where I’m at in my life and health. We spent most of our session talking about the various types of carbs, how the body processes them, and what they mean for me and my blood sugar. There was also discussions around various services that could help me to get fresh produce and other healthy foods given that I suffer from lower mobility and am not always able to go grocery shopping and I don’t have the cash flow to pay for grocery delivery.

Overall our first appointment went well. The only thing that got under my skin with Nila was that she refused to listen to me in regards to how my body felt. I was incredibly exhausted from running around all week to other medical appointments (you need to remember that chronic pain and anxiety are exhausting so I don’t have the energy of a healthy 33 year old woman) so I was having a difficult time staying focused. I mentioned this to her and she insisted that it was because I hadn’t eaten. I told her that wasn’t the case. I had only been awake an hour and half and that was usually around the time that I ate, if I was going to eat that is. She disagreed with me a couple of times until I rather firmly told her flat out that she was wrong and that I knew my body and she didn’t. She looked rather surprised, the way most people do the first time they see “happy” and laid back Jen put them in their place, and backed off. Damnit, I’m an adult and I have chronic health problems that I’ve dealt with since childhood. I know my body. Don’t argue with me and talk to me as if I’m an idiot. I’m highly educated, intelligent, and well versed on my health problems. Don’t talk down to me. It won’t end well.

I scheduled my follow up appointment with Nila for November (which I’ve already had). I grabbed a veggie sandwich on whole wheat from Subway and was off to my next appointment.

Now I was at the Fenway Community Health Center’s South End office (I was at their Fenway location previously) waiting to meet with Tulip. Tulip-Yes, that’s really her name-is a pharmacist who works with patients who have diabetes. I don’t entirely understand her training and so forth, but Dr. Raney (my primary care doc) wanted me to see her so there I was. I got there early so I sat down to eat. Just a couple of bites into my sandwich out she came. When she realized I was eating she told me to take my time and she’d come a bit later.

Eventually I’m in her office being introduced to her pharmacy student interns. Before I’ve even fully become settled Tulip launches into what she does. She instantly uses my meal as her jumping off point:  “I help patients learn how to take care of themselves. I noticed you were eating Subway. For example, I would tell you to get a 6 inch grilled chicken on whole wheat rather than a foot long meatball on white bread.”

Oh mama that minute she said that I was pissed! I stopped her right there. I told her that there were some things that obviously needed to be stated by from the start. I informed her that I had an eating disorder for most of my life that was tied to my history of abuse and had recently been triggered by my PTSD and the diabetes diagnosis so she should watch herself. I also went on to tell her that I had about 4-5 inches of a 6 inch VEGGIE sandwich on whole wheat with minimal low fat dressing and two small slices of cheese and that that was all I had to eat all day. I went a step further to tell her that just because I was fat did not mean that I sat around on my ass all day stuffing my face with pizza with my only form of exercise being the clicking of the remote! Of course I also told her that I have severe knee, neck, and back problems and that I’ve had three very serious knee surgeries this year and that as a result I am limited on the type of physical activity I can get. Once I was done very firmly, but calmly, telling her all of this, her interns looked terrified and she apologized, but looked unfazed. I wanted to bolt.

I spent the next hour listening to her talk about different ways to get good nutrition and so forth. Some of her meal suggestions were pretty good. I’m not a big meat eater, and while I like beans and tofu there is simply only so much a grrrl can eat. I love my veggies, cheese, and pasta/bread/rice/etc. Protein is difficult for me to get into my diet and Tulip was helpful with that as well as with good suggestions on healthy carb foods that would help satisfy my need for rice and such. She was NOT good at listening to me though when it came to my limitations regarding exercise. I finally became so sick of telling her things like “No, I cannot go speed walking for 30 minutes. I’ve had both my knee caps realigned. It hurts to walk at a normal pace just a few blocks.” “No, I cannot do yoga. My neck, back, and knees don’t fully bend and I’m not cleared for that sort of activity.” Eventually I just tuned her out. This was not the most productive medical appointment I’ve ever had. We did discover though that my blood sugar was on the lower side.

I checked my blood sugar at home for the first time on October 28, 2012. I had a full blown panic attack. I was actually trembling from anxiety. Thankfully my blood sugar was 121 which is within fasting range. Then again I was barely eating. Every time I’ve checked it since it’s stayed in the 120s regardless of my anxiety (which raises blood sugar), if I’ve exercised (lowers blood sugar), or what I’ve eaten or if at all. Granted, I haven’t checked it much. If you recall earlier in this post I mentioned I’m still somewhat in denial.

Next Steps

I’m seeing Dr. Raney tomorrow. I’ve requested that she test me again to see if I really am diabetic. I just can’t accept it. My body is so broken. I feel so broken. I feel so weak. I feel so unlovable because I’m not perfect. Many, many people have proven time and time again that they won’t love me because I’m not perfect. I just don’t need diabetes too. It’s such a devastating disease. It attacks every last part of the body. How strong can one woman be?

I’m also getting a whooping cough vaccine and my vitamin D levels tested which are supposed to be important to diabetes in some way.

On another note…

Seems diabetes can also affect the sex drive. I haven’t had much of that over the last several months. I’ve always had the sex drive of a teenage boy, but not for a while now. Of course there’s next to no research on diabetes impact on women’s sex drive. Shocking, I know. Perhaps the diabetes has had an impact, but let’s not discount the downturn on my sex drive due to the 3 horrible knee surgeries, the PTSD, the excruciating depression, the incessant panic attacks, how G ripped my heart out of my chest, how most people just aren’t interesting enough to warrant a coffee with let alone to grant them the pleasure of my body, and, le sigh, the fact that the very few people I’ve cared for just haven’t seemed to care as much in return.

With all of that said though I think I’ve also just been ignoring my desire for sex and sensuality. I’ve been having sex dreams almost every night for the last week and have been pretty consistently listening to Jason Mraz’s Butterfly. Have you heard that song? Oh you must listen to it. Go on Youtube and listen to the solo version he does for RollingStone online.

Mmmmm he’s so sexy! I don’t care if it’s cliché: I love the slightly scruffy white boy. I love curly hair! I love the singer songwriter who’s intelligent and soulful! When I think of a man like him I think of the perfect day spent in bed together being playful, affectionate, having mind altering, amazing sex, and talking for hours. He’s the type that I crave. At least as far as men are concerned. Women are a different story. Oh women….

Must. Catch. Breath.

Ok, I’ve cooled down.

Yeah, I’ve been ignoring my desires. No doubt about that. My guess is it’s because I’m distrustful. I’m so tired of being drug through the mud. I’m so tired of being lied to, taken advantage of, used, taken for granted, and just all around fucked with. It just feels less and less worth it. Ignoring desire seems better than dealing with all the bull shit and pain because, believe me, I’ve put myself out there plenty. I’ve tried time and time again to be open to people and circumstances and the universe and whatnot. My openness is closing down. I’m feeling about as open to people these days as the Republican Party is to, oh I don’t know, science!

I did finally break though. I had a rather physically satisfying encounter last night. He certainly wasn’t anyone I’d want to, you know, talk to, but it was a needed tryst for sure. The last ex-see previous entry-so fundamentally fucked up my sense of right and wrong in terms of trust that being physically next to someone has been difficult on me. Last night was physically pleasurable without any fear or panic…other than the worry he might want to stay the night 😉

The Trouble with Beyonce’ on a Lonely Saturday Night

I’ve spent the last two and half hours trying to write something for my About Me and Blog section. I’ve gone off on multiple tangents that have gotten me nowhere. Some of these tangents have actually been the beginnings of something great, but certainly not acceptable for explaining me or my blog.

I’m trying to run from what I’m really feeling inside. I’m trying to shut my feelings down. I’ve barely eaten all day. I’ve had thoughts of cutting myself. I’ve been anxious. I had a beer at 3pm before I’d even had breakfast. I just poured myself a large tumbler of vodka and I’m still denying myself food at 9pm. Yes, readers, I’m doing everything I can to beat those pesky emotions back down into the dark abyss of my psych.

Then Beyonce’s If I Were A Boy popped up on my iPhone. That’s what finally made me crack.  I was taken down by a motherfucking pop song sang by a woman known only for her ass, husband, and
“Rah rah I’m so independent!  Girl Power! Now where’s my ring, bitch?” songs!  I’m so eaten up inside by pain that I don’t even know what to do with it. My eating disorder that hasn’t been much of an issue in years has reared its ugly head  again in fairly significant ways. Despite the countless desires to cut myself  since I was only 8 years old I never did until May. Since then when I find myself in emotional distress it’s as if my head is bombarded with a barrage of  vivid images of me cutting myself . This started after my second knee surgery and the end of a relationship.

I’m not the kind of woman who snaps because someone dumps her, but this was so much more than that. It felt as if I were being tossed out into the garbage by everyone I ever trusted and believed loved me. I literally put my health and happiness in this man’s hands. He was supposed to help take care of me after a horrendously painful and debilitating knee surgery. I had my left knee cap realigned in January 2012 and the right realigned in May 2012. These surgeries are more painful, more difficult, and have longer recovery times than total knee replacement. I couldn’t leave my apartment. I could barely get out of bed. I have no family or  friends in Boston. I was helpless. Except I was blindly, amazingly, head over in heels in love with someone who I believed with my last breath loved me, every last bit of me, without interpretation, hesitation, or exception. He showed me that love in a million different ways everyday. Until one day, three days after I came home from the hospital to be exact, he didn’t.

He came over to my apartment and told me that he loved me, but couldn’t be with me. I had too many health problems and couldn’t give him the kids he wanted. He swore my health problems would never chase him away and that they weren’t an issue. He promised he’d be there during my recovery. Over night, out of nowhere it all changed.  Suddenly I was not worthy of love and a life together because my body was broken.

Five minutes after he left, when the shock wore off and the reality hit me, I grabbed my crutches and somehow got myself into the kitchen. I was sobbing and shaking from the  pain of being metaphorically ripped to shreds and from literally being cut open, sawed at, bones moved, drilled into, and held together with a couple of screws. Before I knew what I was doing I grabbed a knife and cut my upper, inside forearm open. I wasn’t trying to kill myself. I just needed control over the pain I felt. I needed a concrete source of my pain that I could turn to and say “See that? That’s why I’m hurting. Ok I can fix that.”  Cutting myself, much the way denying myself food does, allowed me an outlet, that I solely controlled, for my emotional pain that is so far reaching that I’m almost afraid to strap on the excavation gear and find out.

About a month later I decided it was time for closure. I invited him over and asked the questions I needed answers to. There wasn’t anyone else. His change of heart came out of nowhere. However, when we started seeing each other he was still in love with his ex and probably always would be. I was merely his attempt to move on.

Two days before he shattered my sense of self and the universe, he looked at me with the sweet, dopey grin he often had when we were together and  as if pulling the words from the air he said “I love you so goddamn much.” We were being silly and I was just so, so very much in love with him, when he said those words to me. They made me melt. Today they make feel twisted and knotted up confusion, hurt, anger, and loss.

While we were dating he read some of the essays I’ve written for my book, one of which is about the ex I had an accidental pregnancy with.  That ex, will call him Asshole 2, left me to have the abortion by myself. I opted for the medical abortion, commonly known as the RU-486 pill. I was so sick and in so much pain I passed out on my bathroom floor. I was utterly alone. In the aftermath, that bastard never bothered to even followup and ask how I was. Well, this current ex had read the story. I told him that what he did to me was worse than that guy. At least with that guy, we were using birth control and it was an accident and he was moving away and blah blah. Yeah, the past ex was a worthless piece of shit and I hoped he’d get what was coming to him, but this ex, the one who swore his love to me and just left me after a planned surgery, he was so much worse. He broke my heart. He further broke my trust in people, men, in myself. He endangered my health.

Not long after this my surgeon told me that one of the screws in my right knee had cracked and was coming out of place. I had to have another surgery.  I needed physical help that I didn’t have in Boston. I would have to spend time with my mom and step-dad, who would only trigger my PTSD and cause me more pain during this “recovery” period. I suffered one more agonizing surgery and then spent 10 emotionally brutal weeks at my mom and step-dad’s house.

I’m choosing to not get into the details of my PTSD or how it was triggered by my mom, but it made the nightmares I was suffereing from exponetionally worse.  It also kicked in my eating disorder. Pain and anxiety kill the appetite as it is. Now I just didn’t want to eat because of the emotions surrounding various incidents. I needed to have control over uncontrollable pain. Enter old eating disorder

I finally got out of my mom and step-dad’s place and got back to my home in Boston. My eating got back to normal.  In typical cataclysmic fashion that is my life I was hit with another bombshell: Type 2 diabetes. My blood sugar, and blood pressure for that matter, had always been perfect up until the surgeries. My blood pressure sky rocketed after being sliced and diced. Turns out my blood sugar did too.

My mom’s family has a long line of type 2 ‘betes having folks. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, gets diabetes in my mom’s family. It doesn’t kick in until the 50s though. My mom made it to her mid 50s with no sign of it so I thought I might have a chance. She’s always been thin and utterly terrified of being fat (gee, can’t imagine how this might have effected me) and of loosing her health like her mother, my Degee . As a result of this, other than what I consider an unhealthy relationship to food, she’s always eaten pretty healthy.  Boom. Enter new health problem.

My mom got very sick with a staph infection and was in the hospital receiving iv antibiotics and steroids for a week. Her blood sugar sky rocketed and she was soon diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. The lucky bitch never had to take medicine, where as I have to take pills morning and night, and she is now considered as having pre-diabetes. My primary care doctor thinks that because I carry the lovely genetic legacy, because I’ve been on high and consistent doses of steroids since I was very young, and had the stress of the three surgeries, that my body finally revolted and that’s why I now have ‘betes. I get the pleasure of having it a whole 20-30 years earlier than everyone else in my family. You know, because I didn’t already have enough health problems.

I told you all of the craptastic diabetes story for a reason. That diagnosis came down around late September. Guess who had a total melt down? Guess who had a panic attack so severe it triggered her asthma and she probably would have died from a damn asthma attack if she didn’t have an inhaler? Guess who freaked out about food again? This grrrl!

I couldn’t get into the nutritionist for about a month so, with trepidation, I asked my mom  roughly how many carbs a day she’s allowed to eat. I NEVER wanted to be a carb counter. I NEVER wanted to go back to counting calories, fat, points, or any of that other dieting, Weight Watchers, I hate myself because I don’t conform to bull shit patriarchal, fat phobic society’s standard of beauty. There I was though, asking my mom again how much goddamn food I could eat. I felt like the broken hearted, abused, traumatized, self-hating, teenage girl I was once.

My first grocery trip after that was one giant cluster fuck of a panic attack. I almost broke down crying in the middle of the Whole Foods. Do you know how many carbs are in everything we put in our mouths? Even healthy food has insane amounts of carbs! Of course, like fat and cholestoral, there are good carbs and the healthy food has the good carbs, but for someone with diabetes I have to be mindful of  a banana, for fuck’s sake! My mom eats 3 meals a day at a max of 40 carbs each and two snacks a day at a max of 15 carbs each. An entire day of what my mom eats is basically a freaking bowl of pasta.

Most of October I barely ate. I started having dizzy spells. I was lightheaded throughout the day. I had practically cut all carbs out of my diet, as well as most fat. I partially did this out of fear of food and it causing more health problems. My life feels as if it’s been ruined by health problems. I feel like any chance I had at a good life and achieving all of the dreams that I’ve worked my ass off for have slipped away from me because my goddamn body has betrayed me. I don’t need diabetes ripping me apart limb from limb. I watched my Degee go blind from diabetes. I watched her loose the use of her legs. I watched her heart disease get worse. I watched her suffer from what I only just learned was most likely diabetes induced dementia. Dementia people! Dementia! My intellect, thirst for knowledge, and education are some of the qualities about myself that I am the most fiercely proud of. I can’t loose those, on top of my mobility, to health problems. Food has yet again become my enemy, but for a whole different set of reasons now.

Dizzy spells. Light headness. Migraines everyday since October 23-have one right now, in fact. Fear of food.

No one knew what I was dealing with years ago. No one listened. No one cared. No one understood. People freaked out. People got awkward and uncomfortable. They said hurtful things that made situations worse. I finally gave up trying to talk about my pain, abuse, self-destructive behavior, etc. I’ve been good though about talking to people about this all, specifically my medical practioners. Some of them have been great, others have a lot to learn.

A few weeks ago I finally snapped out of the starvation thing. My roommate came home with awful, and I say awful for many reasons, Chinese food. I think it was pork fried rice and an egg roll. It smelled so fatty and so bad, but so delicious. It awakened this ravenous side of me. The next thing I knew I was ordering from my favorite neighborhood Chinese takeout spot, Chang’s Place in Brighton (hey, gotta throw business to the little guys, right? We can’t have the whole world be PF Changs? *shudders*). I ordered way too much food and devoured about half of what I ordered. Other than having a way too full tummy I felt pretty damn good. The next 2 or maybe 3 weeks (I’ve recently discovered that my sense of time, in terms of how I physically feel, is a bit thrown off because I feel like shit every day) I ate healthy meals every day and didn’t have a single dizzy or light headed spell. I also didn’t have any cravings to deny myself food. Until…

Remember how a couple of paragraphs ago I said that some of my medical practioners still had a lot to learn? Well, my neurologist, whom I believe is very well intentioned and worth hanging  with for a bit longer, needs some work on this issue. At my second appointment with her on Thursday we talked about the string of migraines I’ve been suffering from since 10/23. During this conversation we of course had to talk about my stress, anxiety, depression, and this of course leads to my life and eating and crap. <Crap? Yes, I went there. I’m emotionally exhausted and “crap” sums up my sentiments nicely. >

I’m trying, I mean really trying, to find a health, happy, stable life for myself. This means being honest with myself, with whatever friends and family I have and that ain’t much,  and with my medical staff and boy does it feel like I have a medical staff. I wish people made it easier on me to be honest, but I’m doing what is right by me, which means being honest about my feelings, my life, my behaviors  and so forth.  I have to talk about things that are holy uncomfortable, painful, dreadful, some days are so utterly unbearable I don’t know how I manage it, but I keep at it because I want a healthier life in every way possible and that won’t happen by denying my past and present.

For the sake of my own honesty and story I feel I should say that during the writing of this post I have been drinking the earlier mentioned tumbler of vodka. It’s not yet finished. I’ve had to take a moment during different periods of writing to stop and sob too. Over the course of my 20s and 30s I’ve had plenty of people tell me that I’m brave, accomplished, strong, successful, and so forth, but this is one of those moments where I wonder what they’d think if they could see me now? Would they really think those things about me if they saw me sitting on my couch in my “sitting room” which is just my fancy way of calling my pathetic excuse for a hallway/non-living room something other than what it really is, all alone, drinking the last 1/4 of a tumbler of vodka by myself while writing, crying, and listening to depressing music on a Saturday night? Brave, accomplished, strong, successful, or whatever is the last damn thing I feel right now.

Seems I lost myself down that trip to pity lane. Hmm. Oh yeah, neurologist. So I told her about the eating disorder and how it’s been a factor again, but how I’ve been OK the last couple of weeks again. She showed concern and was really great. We started talking about next steps and possible other drugs to control my migraines. One of the pills she suggested was Depakote. Depakote instantly plunged me back to the teenage years. Perhaps I’ll elaborate on them one day, but for now I’ll just say I was a goddamn guinea pig. Between the migraines and the mental illness I was pumped full of so many pills that it was ridiculous. I had regular blood tests to make sure my liver functions were normal which is rather ironic considering how much I’d grow up to love my cocktails. I gained excessive amounts of weight around the time I was 13 which is also when my migraines began and also when my mental illness became unbearable. This was around the time I was put on multiple meds. I don’t question the validity of my health problems because they came long before the meds and stayed long after I took myself off them, but I do question how some of those prescriptions made things worse, Depakote being one of them.

I turned down Depakote flat without question. I’m not sure if my neurologist took this as a sign of me being worried about weight gain or not, but we decided instead to up my dosage of Topemax. Towards the end of our appointment, when I was a bit more up-my moods, while fairly well controlled with meds, can go up and down very quickly because I have borderline personality disorder-she seemed to become more comfortable and relaxed with me, as many people do , and perhaps forgot her role as my doctor and made mentions about how we all eat larger portions than we should. It took me a bit aback, but I hid it well, as I often do when I feel necessary to hide my emotions and thoughts. I truly think she just forgot about what I told her earlier. Not only do my moods change quickly due to the illness, but I’m good at smoothing people over with my wit and charm and making them forget things I’ve said regarding my emotions etc . I have no problem putting people in their place when it’s necessary and I can sweet talk you into handing over your last dime to me too.  I grew up in a shitty family and was surrounded by abuse. I adapted to live under the circumstances that were in front of me. It led me to the skill set I currently speak of. I also just happen to be a warm, genuine, kind, friendly person. I’ve had people tell me over the years that I’d make an excellent agent, road manager, lawyer, and a candle stick make. Well, maybe not that last one. Now if only I could ditch my morals and use my powers for evil so I can afford an apartment with an actual living room.

I once had a therapist, a psychotherapist to be exact, tell me that she had a hard time pinning me down. She’s the one that diagnosed my Borderline Personality Disorder. We were not a good match and only lasted for maybe 9 months, but I do agree whole heartedly with her diagnosis. She told me that she had a hard time understanding how every week I could come in with such a change of emotions and how my emotions could change so quickly during our sessions. I’ll admit that my emotions were very strongly portrayed with her because I didn’t trust her one little bit whereas with my current therapist I feel completely safe and have opened up a great deal. Anyway, old therapist told me that she had such a hard time figuring me out because I’m so “successful” (apparently most people with BPD aren’t *cough* bullshit!*) and that I’m very good at masking my emotions. It’s not as if I’m sort of psychopath and don’t have emotions. I think my 3 blog posts make it pretty damn obvious that I have LOTS of emotions. I simply had no choice , but to hide them growing up and I learned to hide them well.

Soooo here we are. I’m at home, alone on a Saturday night, finishing off a tumbler of a vodka on an empty stomach. I’m hurting. I’m sad. I’m alone. I thought I was doing better in regards to love and the possibility of being open to people then I met that bastard ex and the little bit of betterness I had was fucked up. It’s not about how he hurt my trust in men or people which most certainly did and I did not need any help in that avenue; it’s about how he hurt my trust in me. I’m back to not trusting myself to make good judgement calls on others. I’m not just talking about romance. It’s lighthearted social encounters, meaningful friendships, sex, dating, romance, family, doctors, myself, everything and everyone. I don’t trust myself to decide whom to trust on the most basic of levels.

My tumbler is empty now. I still haven’t eaten. Beyonce’ is still on repeat-Goddess help me!

I can’t say for certain that I won’t have another vodka. I can’t say for certain that I’ll eat when I sign off. I can say though that I did finally honestly acknowledge and share my feelings tonight. That may not be much to some people, but that is Empire State building huge for me.

And fuck you, Beyonce’ and the ring on your thang! You didn’t spark my emotions; Nnenna Freelon warmed me up!

With a Little Help From my Sisters

My morning began with my alarm and an irritating email from my mom. I’ll save the diatribes on my mom for a later date when I have copious amounts of vodka and sedatives. I simply don’t think I can currently stomach getting into the feelings she brings up inside up. Needless to say though our relationship is less than copacetic.

So an hour later I get to therapy upon which I launch into the hour with utter anger of me just bitching nonstop about my mom and other things that have been building up inside me. My therapist commented that usually I’m rather humorous about my problems and pain and that the way I described things often makes here want to chuckle, but she knows better. This reminds me of my father and all of the ways of which this abusive, worthless bastard beat me down in every way you can think of and how I eventually learned to disappear within myself. Over time I learned that the only way I could possibly express any pain, or myself, was through sarcasm. Let’s just say that a lot of unplanned things came out in therapy today.

By the end of my session I felt like a balloon that had shrieked across the room loosing air along the way only to end up shriveled up on the floor completely sad and deflated. It hit me all at once and all I could do was cry. Then all I wanted to do was drink.

I left therapy, ran errands, got myself home to get ready for 5 year anniversary fundraiser for an organization (keeping the name anon  that I am a part of. The org trains and supports Democratic women who want to run for political office.

I finally left my place in an outfit that I wasn’t entirely happy with. I feel so much pressure to try to fit in with these women in politics. I have next to nothing in common with them other than the fact that we want more Democratic women in political office. I’m the only Native woman, probably the only bi woman, one of the few with chronic health issues, so and so forth. I just don’t feel like one of them. I try to talk to them and most of them are white, married, own homes, traditional living and what not. What on Earth do I have in common with them?! So yeah, I was stressed leaving my place because I knew no matter what I wore I wouldn’t fit in.

So I get to the building and get the run around from various people blah blah and finally get to where I’m supposed to be. I’m stressed out and in pain from standing and walking what would be nothing worth mentioning to a health bodied person, but for me was rather awful. I felt like turning around and going back home, but I couldn’t. I made a commitment. Part of me wanted to be there too. Sick, huh?

Being the ever giving good Samaritan I voluntered for part of the event…or at least that’s what I thought I was doing. It became quickly apparent though that it was somehow expected that I’d volunteer the entire event. I never agreed to this. I was bit aggravated by this, but whatever. I’d do my bit and once things had died down I’d enjoy myself. Ooooh except that the event didn’t have chairs. It was a standing room only event. Yes, that’s right, because every person is  totally able bodied and able to stand for two hours without any pain. It was also hot as freaking hell in that room. I spent perhaps 3o minutes in event, 15 of which were spent sitting on a window sill before another women from the org rather rudely tapped my arm and told me to get up, before I had to leave. I was in such excruciating pain that I became nausea and the room began to spin. I didn’t think I could make it out of the room with my dignity in tact. I’d had a glass of wine so of course if I feel of tripped or had the vapors or whatever the fuck you wanted to call it people would right it off as me being drunk. I was in utter agony. I couldn’t even stay and watch Sheriff Andrea Cabral-whom I adore-speak.

During this 30 minutes of ablistic inflicted torture from my progressive Dem women I listened to the speech from a fellow program graduate who currently holds office. She spoke of her fear of running for office and telling her story of having been a homeless, teen mom and survivor of domestic violence and how she still was able to make it into office with the help of her organization sisters. During her speech I kept thinking about how I should be able to run for office, and win, because if anyone understands the various issues of constituents it’s me, but no one supports me. What would my fellow “sisters” think if they all knew I”m one of those so called dirty bisexuals? Where is my advocacy org as a Native person? What about all the times in my life I’ve spoken openly about being a survivor of rape and having had an abortion? What about all of those other things that I just can’t speak openly about? Hell, my so called sisters can’t even provide goddamn chairs to sit in during our fucking fundraising event so I can participate! Who the fuck is going to support me to run for office?!

I hobbled my way out to the registration table where I originally was and there wasn’t a chair available for me to sit in. At this point it was all I could do to keep from sobbing. One of my fellow volunteers offered her chair, but of course didn’t bother to move the ridiculous amounts of crap out of the way from her chair. I was just deflated. I was out of fight.

Eventually I left the event with someone from my graduating class of ’08. We went to one of my favorite spots, the “Last Hurrah, and had a couple of drinks. We never had an opportunity to get to know each other well when we were in the program together, but I can see her being a great friend. I opened up a great deal about my feelings of alienation from the “progressive” world and irritation from the evening. I’m open about my thoughts which I believe often appear to people as my feelings, but I’m rather closed off when it comes to sharing my feelings. I’m guarded. I’ve learned I have to be guarded. I didn’t feel as on edge with her. Today/tonight may not have been stellar, but there was a surprisingly pleasant end.

Here’s a tip for you based on tonight:

Don’t sleep with people in your industry especially if it’s a rather small world. There were two people at the event tonight that I have suffered the misfortune of going to bed with. Neither of these scenarios ended well. Of course these both happened before I realized I’d be involved in politics in Boston, but I digress. Don’t have to spend an evening when you feel like utter shyte dodging two assholes in an room of a couple hundred people. There just isn’t enough vodka in the world for that.

*For that sake of drunken integrity no editting was performed on this blog entry.

**Alright alright I’ll come clean and admit that I did some editting when I woke up the next day. It was simply to protect the privacy of organization that I’m involved with though so any less than excellent grammar and such is still there.

You Never Forget Your First Blog

Ah my first post in my very first blog. I’m flooded with a rush of nostalgia for other firsts, such as the first time I did blow, er I mean my first kiss. Yes, that is exactly what I meant. My first kiss. *Ahem*

It’s not as if I haven’t blogged before. All of my past blogging exploits were for the myriad of political candidates and organizations that I once slaved away for. This time though it’s just for me. I am feeding my creative soul and all that hippie nonsense. No, I am not a Republican, Tea Party, or Libertarian hate mongering jackass. I am a radical feminist who’s a registered Democrat who just happens to be a hatemonger of hippies. I mean, really, put down the weed and get off your lazy asses and fight for a cause. But, I digress.

So here I am attempting to craft away this introductory post and I have not a freaking clue what to write. Perhaps I’m over thinking it. I do have a tendency to over think things a wee bit. There was the time when I was 19 and my printer decided it wasn’t going to print the paper that was due in my community college writing course that I was running late for. My thought process went a little something like this: “Oh my God! I won’t get my paper turned in on time and then I won’t get an A in the class and then I’ll never be accepted into Juliard, NYU, or USC and I’ll never have a career in music and I’ll end up homeless on the street and OH MY GOD I’M SUPPOSED TO BE IN CLASS AND WHY WON’T THIS FUCKING PRINTER WORK?!”

I’m 33 now, have a few degrees hanging on my wall, one of which is from USC (Fight on!), and to answer the question on all of your minds: yes, I am now medicated. I feel fairly certain that the success of my first blog post, or the blog itself, is not going to land me homeless on the streets. This, however, does not solve my dilemma.

This post, my first post, should be witty, honest, and so fucking good that it makes your eyes roll to the back of your head like the way you wish your last piece of ass had. I want my readers walking away from this post craving more of my delicious way with words the way Romney craves power. Oh yes, I’m not putting any pressure on myself at all. Well what I can’t seem to access in wit I will make up for in brevity.

On with the debacle that is my life!

Jen