Confusion…

I looked out the window at the gently falling snow and decided I was going to have a walk through the woods instead of a walk on the indoor track. Jeremy didn’t want to go, it was too cold… too blah. He’d much rather stay inside.

I found my hat and two mismatched gloves… there had to be another one in the winter box.

“Mom!” Jeremy screamed. “If you leave for your walk, I’m going to kill myself.”

Huh!?!

“If you walk out that door, I’ll be dead when you come back!”

And with that, he ran to his bedroom… bursting into tears moments before he slammed his door. If he hadn’t cried I’d have left. I’m not one for supporting manipulation or mind games. The tears changed the situation so I puttered around looking for the glove and doing some light tidying.

Jeremy came out less than five minutes later and asked if we could go to the hospital so he could get admitted. Apparently he’d been mad at me (I have no idea why) and was going to call and give me a 5 minute warning to get home before taking a bottle of pills. The woods are a half-hour walk away. I wouldn’t have got home in time.

And so we went off to the hospital to wait and talk with various doctors and nurses. Jeremy ranked himself a 4 or 5 on the depression scale. I’d ranked myself a 0 or 1 several days earlier. He chatted about being suicidal for years while the crisis nurse looked confused and gently suggested he might be mixing suicidal up with feeling down.

“If you were suicidal for that long, you’d be dead,” she said bluntly. He just shook his head.

“This is the same as when you came in, right Mom?” he asked as we waited to see the psychiatrist.

I found myself unsure what to say. It wasn’t anything like when I got admitted. I got put on an involuntary 72 hour form when the first doctor saw me. By the time I saw the psychiatrist, I was in hospital clothes and eating dinner in the back under constant supervision. The doctor was far more interested in Jeremy’s autism than his depression. Jeremy went in voluntarily because, well, there’s a bed and maybe he is suicidal. The doctor seemed very iffy on that maybe.

Now Jeremy’s walking home from the hospital after discharging himself because it was boring… 16 hours after reaching the floor. And I find myself struggling with how to handle an angry nineteen year old who insists he’s suicidally depressed yet only wants to kill himself if he doesn’t get his own way.

“I didn’t like the hospital… it was boring,” he repeated again.

“Did you get your prescriptions from the doctor?” I asked.

“I don’t know! I got papers from the doctor but I don’t know!” he screamed. “Are you going to stop interrupting me now!!!”

I remind him, yet again, that we don’t treat people like that. He complains, yet again, that he doesn’t like being interrupted and it’s rude. And on we go again.

And I’m tired.

Hospitalized

The smoke blows outside my window from chimneys on a nearby roof. I’m here again, cocooned within the mental health ward. It’s funny they name the ward after something we currently don’t have.

Once again I started out in group (this time psychotherapy) wondering how much I could admit before having to be admitted. Once again I was over that line and escorted to emergency to get involuntailrily committed.

It is lonely here, despite the people. My soul aches for colour, some flowers, sunshine. Each hour is a lifetime, each minute spent looking for something distracting. I find myself craving sleep. It is known as the little death and the best escape I can find.

Escape is an illusion. I can’t hind from my mind or my thoughts.

I was given, and turned in, a plastic knife on Saturday. The guard was young and cheerful, smiling each time they saw me. I didn’t want to cause them trouble. Could I have hurt myself with that knife? I don’t know. Did I regret turning it in? Yes.

Yesterday I cut myself with a peach pit. If you’re reading this and suicidal, I wouldn’t bother. It left the wimpiest of scars, although not as wimpy as the orange juice container.

Now I stsnd, both feet firmly in despair, straining to see hope in the future. And I wait.

**Posted by Emma.**
As a side note, I would like to mention that my mother is still in the hospital, and as such, will not be able to reply to comments right away. I will read her any comments left though, and if she asks me to, will post replies and/or updates.

A good day…

I woke this morning to three purring cats, all snuggled over and around me, and Jeremy laughing in his room. I’m not sure what he was watching but apparently it was good.

I then got a message from a friend of mine saying the website that doxxed me is gone (for now at least). Ironically, the owner of the site got doxxed and didn’t like it, to put it mildly.

To make it even funnier and more ironic, here’s a line from his goodbye speech:

I have thought hard about the cumulative value of the site and all the opportunities it presents me and us, as a community. We have done amazing things. But, the cumulative damage outweighs all of that. It is enormous.”

The opportunities it presented? Amazing things? This whole site consisted of nothing more than bashing people anonymously. Telling lies about people they have never, and never will, meet interspersed with sharing private information like home addresses and the real names of children. Today karma bit back. Tomorrow? Well they’re worms, I’m sure they’ll pop up through a new hole at some point. But for now they’re gone.

I start intensive group therapy on Monday. It’s going to be similar to attending school, except it’s one for feelings. We have our own time tables and classes in such things as psychotherapy, coping skills, self-esteem, and stress/symptom management. We even have a lunch period where we can go down to the cafeteria to eat. I bought myself a fancy turquoise binder complete with folders and a zipper yesterday. Luckily my work lunch bag is still good.

Jeremy is eager to go back to school. The good news is he has a lovely certificate showing he graduated from his Lifeskills program in high school. The bad news is it’s apparently worth less than the paper it’s printed on. He can’t go to the local alternative high school or to the nearby continuing education school to upgrade, he doesn’t have enough education for either. But we have options we’re looking into. One is a bridge to school program through local high schools and the other is an education program run through a nearby mental health hospital. Hopefully one of the two options will pan out.

As for today, I’m anxious enough to need an Ativan and rocking while I type. Even so, it’s a peaceful day. I’m going to force myself to go to the gym for a walk on the track with my favourite music because my health is worth it.

Here’s my current favourite exercise song. Enjoy 🙂

Remembering Operation Soap…

It’s not unknown that the police arrived at Stonewall Inn on June 28th 1969 to arrest and intimidate people from the LGBTQ community. The people fought back and coordinated into groups to support and encourage each other. On June 28th, 1970 they headed onto the streets to march in remembrance of the raid and subsequent riots. And thus began Pride Parades in the United States.

Toronto’s story occurred a decade later with Operation Soap on February 5, 1981 when two hundred plain clothed police officers descended on four bathhouses in Toronto, arresting 291 people and twenty bathhouse owners. They caused $38,000 in damages ($104,147.74 in 2016 dollars), photographed people in the nude and demanded to know where they worked and how to contact their employers. Ninety percent of the charges were eventually dropped.

There were huge protests and rallies after these raids which culminated in Toronto’s Pride Week, one of the world’s largest pride celebrations. However one thing remained lacking, an official apology from the police department. That didn’t arrive until June 23, 2016, less than one year ago, when Chief Mark Saunders apologized.

A week after this apology, on July 3rd, Black Lives Matters briefly stopped the Toronto Pride Parade with a list of demands, one of which was the removal of police floats from the Pride Parade. Pride Toronto agreed with their list and I personally agree as well.

I don’t feel the police department should ever have had a float in the Pride Parade. While the parade now is less of a protest and more of a rainbow extravaganza, it still has its roots in police brutality, discrimination, and oppression. If the police want to show their support then they should show that times have changed by protecting and defending the parade members and their supporters. And, while no one’s asked me, I think they’d be better off operating a free phone charging station and offering water bottles than having yet another float. They’d get one on one contact with the public and garner lots of good will.

Jeremy disagrees with me. At first he thought the parade was a protest for equal marriage and then he wanted to know if it was illegal to have “gay sex” at that time. I tried to explain that the law had a loop hole where anal sex, between two people, was allowed but public sex wasn’t but I’m not sure if I explained myself clearly or not.

He listened patiently then informed me that “times have changed since then. They have the rainbow police car now and want to be in the parade. They arrest people for attacking gay people now. It’s time to live and let live, if they want to support gay people now then let them support gay people.”

Jeremy and I

Jeremy and I at the Oshawa 2015 Pride Parade

Graded heteronormative crap…

This gem showed up in my Facebook’s newsfeed today… a grade eleven AP honours assignment. What the class is, I don’t know. Do they have a class called “Heteronormative 1950’s Bullshit” in Utah?

fucking-heteronormative-bullshit

He even gets to sign for her grade

My first thought was for the bullied and shy students in the class because you know there’s going to be someone in the class who is absolutely everyone’s last pick. You know someone’s going to be saying, “Well I guess I have to date you.” And what if the class is uneven? Is there going to be a student-teacher date? Does one poor sod date themself?

Plus what about the kids who aren’t interested in the opposite binary gender? Judging by this sheet, the school’s answer is “fake it till you make it (to heterosexuality)”.

My last thought was $5? Where are they going with five dollars*? Are they splitting a burger at McDonalds? I can’t remember the last time I was at McDonalds but Emma pointed out that they’d have to order from the dollar menu, even with splitting a single burger. Then she went through the list, point by point, and made her own comments.

Here they are:

-If I say I don’t want to go out with you, don’t be pushy (and don’t shoot me)
-If I say I don’t care, don’t push for an answer, because I probably actually don’t care
-Don’t expect a second date if your budget is $5 (money isn’t super important, but I do value myself enough to know that anything fun is going to be more than $5)
-Don’t get pissy if the serving size is too much for me to finish, I’m not going to gorge myself and feel like crap, so you can feel better
-Don’t assume I only care about money, I’ll go dutch no problem, but you have to be willing to spend enough that we can actually do something enjoyable
-If I’m spending the whole date thinking I look like crap, something has gone terribly wrong (ie. you said “dress casual” then surprised me with a fancy restaurant, you’re making me feel ugly (did you criticize how I look?)
-I’ll comb my hair if it needs to be combed, fuck you
-Why do you assume I will, or am, fishing for compliments?
-The only reason I can think of my body weight coming up on a first date, is because it was mentioned first. Unless you mean the “does this make me look fat?” stereotype, which doesn’t usually happen until well past the first date
-If I’m enjoying myself, you’ll know, if I look like I’m not enjoying being with you, then I actually am not
-I’ll sit next to you if it’s appropriate to do so (i.e not at a restaurant, that’s weird, but at the movies for sure)
-I’ll be in the bathroom for as long as I need to (how do I go in a group? How many people are on this date?)
-If I’m talking to the girl we’re doubling with, instead of you, then it’s because she’s got a better personality than you
-What’s considered appropriate for a $5 date? I’m thinking sweatpants.
-Fuck you, and fuck your “lady-like” standards, I’ll say whatever the fuck I want, and you can sit down, shut up, and appreciate it, you pile of shit.
-I show respect, where respect is deserved
-Why do you assume I won’t be?
-If I feel the need to flirt with/text/check out other guys, you clearly aren’t that fun to be around (and you better hold to the same standard for yourself and other girls)
-Seriously? Why do you keep assuming I’m a psychopath? If this is how you feel about me, the date isn’t even going to happen.
-So you not only are trying to dictate my personality now, but my feelings? I’ll have a good time, if you’re fun to be around.
-Again with assuming I’m not going to be a civil human on this date, why are we even going on it?
-It depends on the personal habit, if you’re habitually shoving your hand down your pants to scratch your balls, I’m telling you to stop. If you’re being gross, you’ll be told.
-I’ll compliment you if I think you should be complimented, but based off of this list, you probably shouldn’t be.
-How long do I stare at the door, before realizing you aren’t opening it?
-My standards mean this date isn’t happening. If by some miracle it does, however, are you going to respect the fact that my standards mean I’m not screwing you at the end of the night?
-I’ll criticize you’re driving if it needs to be. Bad driving isn’t always obviously unsafe, but any form of bad driving is unsafe in even subtle ways (also, what if I want to drive? Why are you assuming I want you to drive?)
-You made a giant list of rules for me, then told me to be myself? You just tried to dictate my entire personality (and feelings) for the night, I can’t be myself at that point. I also can’t relax, because this sounds like a dude who will murder me at the end of the night.

She also did some digging and found out the class was an “adult roles and financial literacy class” which I’m pretty sure is a euphemism for “heteronormative 1950’s bullshit”. Plus she found the boy’s side of the assignment…

boys-page

Sorry about the blurriness. And look, there’s mutual signage.

Girls like flowers and little gifts? Umm… that’s sweet. It’s a five dollar mandated date. You’re lucky if you get a bouquet of dandelions and a ring from the bubble gum machine. Go buy your own damn flowers.

I am so glad I’m not raising kids in Utah! I hear there’s nice mountains but holy hell!

*it looks like they’re each spending $5 so at least they can both order their own burger from the dollar menu.

New York blues…

The older Jeremy gets, the more his opinions on just about everything differ from mine. So you can imagine my trepidation when he said he wanted to talk about the New York law regarding misgendering people intentionally and as the result of willful, wanton, or malicious conduct.

I don’t agree with it,” he started out firmly and then he went on with his usual flights of fancy.

“What if the person doing the misgendering is working three jobs to feed their family? They won’t be able to afford a twenty-five thousand dollar fine*. Especially if they’re working as a waiter or something. What if that means their children are going to starve?”

How on earth was I supposed to answer that? Do I offer Monopoly money to feed the imaginary starving children? Luckily he didn’t expect an answer. He certainly didn’t give me enough time for one.

“And what about made up pronouns?”

Made up pronouns? You mean like your old pronouns zie and zir?” I asked with a hint of anger in my voice.

“Yes,” he replied flatly. “And I would have felt that way back then too.”

“Back when you felt-”

“I didn’t just feel,” he snapped. “I was that gender.”

I nodded and he continued. “There are so many pronouns. How can people be expected to remember them all? Like, zie and zir are good pronouns, they’re used in Canada and England, but there’s so many more. And what if someone’s pronouns change regularly? Are they supposed to know them from day to day.”

As he calmed down, he circled toward his real reason. “A fine isn’t going to solve anything. Someone misgenders someone else then they learn more and stop doing it. But a fine is just going to make them angry and they won’t change.”

All I got was my mouth open before he plowed on.

“Just think Mom,” he continued. “That’s a big fine. When it goes to court they’re going to know each other’s addresses, that’ll be on the court documents. Someone’s going to get killed over this. There’s lots of guns in the States. Someone’s going to say screw it and grab their gun, go to the address, and then the person’s dead.”

“Hon, we can’t make laws based on what people might do later. You could say this about any fine-“

“No! Because it’s not the same!” he interrupted. “Those people don’t even think trans people are human. They’re not going to care. And if they have a gun…”

With that, he wound down into silence.

What on earth could I say to that? I mean I must have said something because he stopped talking about it but really… three trans people have been murdered already in the States and it’s only the 12th of January. Trans people have a 1 in 12 chance of getting murdered. And, while I still think the law is a good idea, he is right too. I hope nobody’s looking for an answer, because quite frankly I don’t have one, but he did make me think.

*I know he got the amount of the fine wrong

My existence is not up for debate…

I am here as a queer woman. I exist. My sexual orientation is valid. It is not an abnormality or a hormonal imbalance (yes, as a peri-menopausal woman I’ve had my hormones checked), or some sign of frigidity. Asexuality isn’t the same as celibacy, it’s not a choice. It’s just like any other sexual orientation.

Asexuality is also not the lack of a sex drive, there are plenty of asexuals who both enjoy and have sex. Asexuality is simply an absence of sexual attraction, nothing more and nothing less.

For example, Bob gets turned on looking at cute men, Frank gets turned on by cute women, Sally gets turned on looking at cute people, and Jane doesn’t get turned on by anyone. Jane doesn’t find Sally sexually attractive but she is romantically interested and is willing to have sex since Sally enjoys it. Her genitals still feel pleasure since this isn’t an issue with hormones and she can initiate sex since this isn’t some kind of frigidity. She loves Sally and, while she finds Sally’s crush on her favourite character odd, she’s willing to accept Sally’s allosexuality. Sally doesn’t understand how Jane doesn’t find anyone sexually attractive but is willing to accept Jane’s asexuality. It’s that simple.

My blog is a place where interested people can learn about asexuality (first hand) and trans issues (from an ally’s point of view) along with a glimpse into mine and Jeremy’s lives. It is not a debate club. Any comments that deny someone’s existence will be summarily deleted. I’m not here to converse with bigots, quite frankly I don’t have the time for that. If you want to debate someone’s existence, there are plenty of groups on Facebook where you’ll find a welcome. Here is not one of them.

My fellow aces. You are real, you are valid, and you are welcome here. My trans readers. You exist, you are valuable, and you are your gender. You are welcome here. My LGBI readers, you are welcome and cared about. This is a safe space.

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