Self-Indulgent Drivel

naked on the internet

Category: health

I’d rather leave than suffer this

I think a lot of us assume that we’re too smart or clever or self-aware to be abused, so when someone abuses us, we don’t want to see it as abuse. “He can’t be abusing me, I’m not the sort of person who gets abused!” And it can go on for years. “But he’s nice most of the time!” Yeah, and the other 5% of the time he’s out to destroy you. Run. It isn’t your job to fix anyone else. No one gets to treat you like that, even if he’s had a hard life. Even if he doesn’t have anyone else. Even if you provoked him. Even if he promises he’ll change.

Here are some signs of abuse, from my own experience and from people I know:

  1. Isolation. Your partner tries to keep you away from your friends, family, and anyone who might influence you or take your attention away from the abuser. No one has a right to tell you who your friends are.
  2. Bad-talking your friends or family.
  3. Making you choose between them and other people or things you enjoy.
  4. Secrecy. “Don’t go telling other people about our problems.” Punishing you for asking for outside support.
  5. Shame. “If other people knew what you were like, no one would love you.” “Your brought this upon yourself.” “You’re not perfect either.” 
  6. Minimizing or lying about their actions. “I’m not yelling!” “I never said that!” “I never did that!” 
  7. Minimizing the impact of their actions. “What’s in the past is in the past. Why can’t you let it go?” “Oh, come on, what I did isn’t so bad.” “I can’t ever do anything right by you!”
  8. Trying to make you feel crazy or like you’re overreacting.
  9. Jealousy. “I saw the way you were talking to her.”
  10. Accusations and suspicion, especially when used to justify bad treatment. “I know you’re cheating on me!” “I wouldn’t have cheated on you if you weren’t such a slut.”
  11. Excuses. “I had a really bad day at work and that’s why I’m so angry.” Most people can vent frustration without being abusive.
  12. Making and breaking promises. “I know I said I wouldn’t drink, but it’s a holiday!”
  13. Punishing/controlling you with anger and fear of anger. Everyone feels frustrated and angry sometimes, but it’s not normal or right to take that out on other people.
  14. Silent treatment, ignoring, and withdrawal of affection.
  15. Destroying, damaging, threatening to damage, or other violent action (throwing/punching/knocking over) things, such as furniture, clothing, computer files, or other things that are important to you. Abusers often escalate from taking their aggression out on objects to physically abusing their partners. And abusers don’t tend to de-escalate, ever.
  16. Hitting you, “pretending” to hit you, making fast and violent non-contact (pulling a punch or pretending to slap), threatening to hit you– even “minor” things like pinching, back-handing, grabbing, pushing. It doesn’t have to leave a mark to be abusive.
  17. Name-calling.
  18. “Jokes” that are cruel, play upon your insecurities, or are repeated when you’ve asked your partner to stop.
  19. Drug and alcohol abuse, especially when it impacts your financial situation, personal safety, or ability to do normal activities.
  20. Pretend helplessness, playing the victim, sympathy-grabbing. “I’m so lost and alone, I wouldn’t have anyone if I didn’t have you.” It isn’t your job to save anyone.
  21. Threats of violence to the abuser’s self or others. “I’d kill myself without you.” “I’d kill you if you ever cheated on me.”
  22. Refusal to allow you to cool down, continuing to act abusive even after you’re too upset to react, or after you’ve asked them to stop. Won’t disengage or allow you to disengage from the fight. Won’t let you close a door, leave the house, or take time to think.
  23. Mocking. “Poor baby!” Repeating back things you say in a sarcastic tone.
  24. Controlling your access to money, transportation or resources that would allow you to get away.

That’s just off the top of my head. It’s not a comprehensive list.

I know a lot of very smart, really cool people who accept terrible treatment from their partners and can’t or won’t acknowledge that they’re being abused. I hope that someone out there will see yourself, your partner, or a friend in this list and get some help.

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Arrest this girl

…It’s also not my fault that I’m one of those people who occasionally suffers from debilitating bouts of depression and anxiety. I’m not a lazy, indulgent jerk for needing to take a break sometimes. It’s not my fault that I had to drop out of college. I’m not weak for taking antidepressants. I’m not just begging for attention our trying to seem special when I have panic attacks. There are some situations that I genuinely can’t deal with. That doesn’t make me high maintenance or a princess. It just means I might have to ask you to turn the music down, or go home early, or excuse myself. I’m pretty good at coping. But there are days when I can’t cope as well.

I wish it weren’t that way. But it isn’t my fault.

mother, mother

I am getting a procedure called Essure sometime in the next month-or-so. It’ll seal off my fallopian tubes so I can’t have babies. I had an appointment with a nurse to talk it over a couple of weeks ago, and she asked “So you’re sure you don’t want kids?”

And I said “yes.”  But it’s a lot more complicated than that.

Every form of birth control I’ve ever been on has had a nasty side-effect, or several. Depo Provera made me lactate, which was hilarious, but also a bit worrisome. The pill is hard to remember and can be dangerous for someone who gets migraines. The Nuva Ring was great, except for the PMDD it caused every month. My IUD caused a bacterial infection and came out after three months, during sex. That hurt like a bitch. And my most recent form of baby-prevention, Implanon, caused me to gain 25 lbs. in nine months.  NOT COOL.

So I’m getting myself fixed.

But back to the question of whether I’m sure. Yes. I’m sure.  But I’m not entirely happy about it, either.

The truth is, I would love to be a mother. I would love to have a baby of my own. It’s just that I think it’s a terrible idea for me right now, and I don’t see it becoming a good idea any time soon. I have just managed to wrestle my way out of my lifelong depression, and the all-consuming sadness could come back at any time. I have medical problems that can be passed down to my children. And I haven’t met anyone who would be a good father to my hypothetical babies.  So if I want kids, I’ll adopt them, and then it’s not my fault that the little buggers exist. I can do my best to be a good mother while knowing that they can’t reasonably blame me for the fact that they’re alive. And yes, I spent years blaming my mother for bringing me into this terrible world.  I’ve gotten over it, but I wouldn’t want anyone else hating me for giving birth to them.

It feels good to be choosing barrenness.  To be deliberate about this thing, even though it makes me sad. I’m sure I’ll mourn my fertility, but I’m fairly certain that I will never think that it was a mistake to take myself out of the gene pool. I think the kindest thing I can do for my babies is not give birth to them at all. That sounds really pessimistic, but it’s kind of empowering, too.

 

Hold on, hold on, hold on

I was in a car accident on November 2nd, 2011.  It was the other driver’s fault.  His insurance company doesn’t see it that way, and is refusing to pay out for my medical bills or the loss of my car.  The lawyers I’ve spoken to agree with me, but my case isn’t strong enough for them to take on.

I am in pain.  Every day, I am in pain.  I have a headache every day  My shoulder feels like I’m being stabbed.  My back hurts.  Every day.

To get on disability, I need to verify that I am injured.

To hire a lawyer, I need to verify that I am injured.

To verify that I am injured, I need to see a specialist.

To see a specialist, I need to get into a low-income healthcare program.

I have been waiting to get into the low-income healthcare program since February.  They were supposed to mail out my card two weeks ago.  As of this morning, they have not mailed out my card.

Even with the mythical card, I will still have a $500 deductible, every month.  This means that I will be responsible for the first $500 of my medical care.  And it resets each month.  And each month, I need to reapply.  So if I need to get tests or treatments, I need to pack them all into the same calendar month so that I don’t have to pay more than $500 out of pocket.  And I don’t know how I’m going to scrape together $500, anyway.  But it’s better than not having any coverage at all.

I make $10 an hour.  I work as close to full-time as I can.  I am always in pain.  The work I do, while simple and not particularly physical, aggravates my injuries.  I can’t afford to not go to work.  And my job hurts me.

So I spend a lot of time on hold.  I make a lot of phone calls.  I have to be a tireless advocate for myself when I have never in my life been so tired.

I get out of bed.  I go to work.  I make the calls.  I get put on hold.  I wait, and wait, and wait.

I don’t know what to do but keep trying.

a still life, gone cinema veritè

I have been home in Carmel for over a month.  I got my old job back and am working full time.  My life is fairly good.

I have gotten fat.

For awhile today I was thinking I might be pregnant, but I took a test and it turns out I’m not.  I’d have to be about four months along if I were, and I think I might have noticed sooner.  I thought maybe the weight gain and some of the weird symptoms I’ve been having could be attributed to being knocked up, but the discount pregnancy test from Save Mart tells me that I am not.

I’m just fat.

I was in the bathroom trying to tame my unruly mane of hair, and I started noticing all the features of myself that I don’t like.  I have acne.  I’m chubby.  My glorious D-cup boobs are back, but so is my gut.  I hate my jawline.  I have fat, stumpy legs.  My hair seldom behaves.  I’m not very graceful.  I don’t have much tact.  I tend to alienate people.  I can be highly abrasive.  I am often too quick to take offense.  I often don’t notice when I’ve offended people.  I tend to burn bridges.  I judge people harshly.  I’m too forgiving sometimes.  I can be passive-aggressive.  I don’t follow things through.  I’m too sensitive to noise and environment.  I can be a bit of a spoiled princess.

I can say all these things and not feel bad.  That might be because I’m totally wacked out on Vicoprofen. We’ll get to that in a moment.  But while I was doing this honest appraisal of myself, examining the things I don’t like about myself, and I felt fine.  At peace.  I love myself anyway, fat and tactless though I may be.

So, about the painkillers: I’ve been getting terrible headaches for the last month or so, and it seems I might have something called Post-Concussion Syndrome.  Confusion, headaches, mood changes.  You can see how, coupled with the recent weight gain, I might think I’m preggers.  But nope, not that, just a lingering head injury!  You should try it, it’s awesome.

So I’m seeing a doctor about that in two weeks, and she’ll probably send me to a neurologist, which I can’t afford, so I’ll have to call Daddy.  Again.  And they’ll say, yep, sounds like Post-Concussion Syndrome, nothing we can do, drink water and get enough rest.  And then they’ll charge $1200.

DESPITE ALL THIS: I’m fairly happy.  I love being back at work.  I’ve been sleeping well.  I’m getting along with my family.  I feel fulfilled, I’m thinking about and planning for the future, I have hopes and dreams again!!!!!

And I am resolutely single for the first time in my life.  For the FIRST TIME in my LIFE I am not chasing after, pining for, trying to satisfy, attempting to appease, or trying to coerce anyone into loving me.  There has never been a time in my life that I haven’t been trying to chase one boy or another.  Now I’m at over three months of being absolutely, gleefully free.

I’ll love again, I’m sure.  But I’ll be smarter when I do.

And hopefully I won’t have a headache anymore.

that’s it, I quit

Got paid today.  Went to the store, bought nicotine patches.  Discovered that nicotine patches turn me into a dizzy, shaky, pukey wreck.

Cold turkey it is.