Me rn.

Me in the shower:

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Me in the car:

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Me at work when someone asks how I’m doing:

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Me when I get home from work:

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Me when I watch Donnie Darko because I want it to comfort me, but it’s super depressing and really has the opposite effect:

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Me when my cat wakes me up at 3:30 am to eat my hands:

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Me at all other times:

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It’s like the world is cutting onions and my body decided to not be dead inside.

I HATE FEELING FEELINGS.

Anesthesia is a helluva drug.

Before I describe in great detail the best parts of my surgery (who begs for a catheter?) and subsequent recovery, I want to give everyone a massive thank you. I am absolutely floored by the outpouring of love, kindness, and support from people, some of whom I’ve never even met. If you know me, you know these last two years have not been super kind to me, but the amount of people that have turned out to back me makes it apparent that I am beyond #blessed, and that I am surrounded by an incredible community. You all have come together and have wasted little time in letting me know that I am loved. I am truly overwhelmed and beyond grateful- no one is better set to kick cancer’s ass than I am.

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After having made the decision to be flat and fabulous, I used my last Saturday with boobs to celebrate them. Even though they’ve only ever caused me trouble, they were still the center of attention at the Boob-Voyage. Yet again, I was humbled by the crazy support and love that my community is capable of. You guys have no idea how AWESOME you are! We drank, we ate, we gave kudos to the tatas in our lives, and it was a wonderful way to send these bags of rude fat off into the surgical beyond.

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Justin and I spent Sunday preparing for the hospital and the weeks to come. He was even sweet enough to include a cemetery detour in our last bike ride (#relationshipgoals). Neither of us could sleep, so we calmed our nerves with RuPaul’s Drag Race and three wedges of cheese. They told me I couldn’t eat for 24 hours, sooooooo….

At 5am on Monday, Justin, Lauren and I rolled out to the hospital to check in for my bilateral mastectomy. I don’t know how they were feeling, but I was glad that they were there with me and were both in good spirits! It made my walk back to the surgical wing seem less daunting somehow. I didn’t feel like I was walking to the gallows or anything, but it certainly wasn’t easy to go it alone. Undressing for the last time was surreal. I even said goodbye to my bra (as if we might never cross paths again) and slipped into my purple paper surgical gown. Très chic!

Because it’s me and because this journey wouldn’t be complete without one more person assuming that I would someday pursue fake tits, my surgeon described the procedure in terms that left me open to the option.

“When you get reconstruction…”

If you decide to reconstruct…”

BRUH, I AM NOT INTERESTED IN GIVING ANYONE THE ILLUSION THAT I MISS THINGS THAT ARE ACTIVELY TRYING TO KILL ME.

At this point, I think the nurse realized I needed whatever drug she kept talking up as “relaxation medication” and injected that into my IV. From here, I remember very little until I woke up in the dark (but in the light?) needing to pee badly. I couldn’t pee, so the nurses put a catheter in me. I have never felt so relieved. I believe I was then moved to my room where Justin was waiting.

I needed to pee again about ten minutes later. Again, I couldn’t figure out how those muscles worked, so I begged the nurse to put a catheter in me. She declined and stuffed a bed pan underneath me. Justin and I then had this conversation:

Elspeth: Did you talk to the surgeon?

Justin: Yes. The surgery went well. However, you were under for about 4 hours because they found cancer in your lymph nodes on your left side. 

E: **Single tear, unintelligible sad noises** Did you call my mom?

J: Yes, we talked. She knows.

E: Where am I?

And then, because anesthesia gives you the short term memory of a goldfish…

E: Did you talk to the surgeon?

J: Yes…

I made him break the terrible news to me over and over and over again until a nurse came in.

E: Did you call…

Nurse walks in.

E: I’m sitting in cold urine.

When I finally came to enough to understand where I was, I found out that I had been in surgery for over four hours. The surgeon had done a sentinel node biopsy and found cancer cells in my lymph nodes, causing him to have to remove about eight nodes on my left side. Unfortunately, we wouldn’t know the specifics until pathology came back. All I knew at the time was that I was in incredible pain, but that some lovable idiot had hooked me up to a morphine drip (score).

My surgery had gone well, thankfully, and I only had two Jackson-Pratt drains sewn into my chest. They absorb your bodily fluids to reduce swelling and pain, but they’re a right pain in the arse themselves. Justin and I enjoy seeing all the gross shit my body can produce, so there’s a bright side. I had many wonderful visitors come to bring me salty snacks and their love. I was up and moving long before I thought I would be.

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Thankfully, I was only in the hospital until Tuesday evening. My surgeon brought us the pathology report which stated that there was only cancer found in one lymph node (YAS) and then sent me home. I have to wait until I meet with my oncologist tomorrow to hear about actual treatment routes. Who knows what will happen? Chemo and radiation still remain on the table. Tamoxifen for 5-10 years will most likely be a definite.

My body is not used to being horizontal and sedentary. I am not used to letting people take care of me. All of this has been a learning experience, and I can only imagine it will become more difficult (I’m not allowed to lift a fucking coffee mug right now). When I left the hospital, my chest, back, and arms were pretty numb. I am currently regrowing nerve pathways to those places and, let me tell you, it does not feel nice.

But the one thing I can say about this surgery is that I feel GOOD. I looked at my body three days after the operation and I felt positive. I didn’t see what I expected to see- I saw a strong woman who looked even better than she had before. A woman who wasn’t mangled, ruined, or socially-unacceptable. I was simply me. Feeling that was more empowering than anything I’ve ever felt. I love me, my partner loves me, my family loves me, and this incredible community loves me. It’s more than I could ever ask for. And thanks to all of you, I look fly as hell:

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More updates to come, I promise. And please disregard my writing. Hydrocodone was made for taking naps and not feeling feelings. It isn’t the greatest catalyst for wordsmithing.

To boob or not to boob?

I did it.

I finally made a decision.

Truthfully, making the decision to not pursue breast reconstruction after my upcoming mastectomy has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I’ve barely had time to digest the idea that there’s something in my tits trying to kill me, much less have I had the time to think about parting ways with a giant chunk of my body. That must be the beauty of treatment teams- they act so quickly that you barely have time to wrap your brain around such shitty news and then you’re on the operating table.

I guess that’s why I didn’t think twice when I was scheduled to meet with a plastic surgeon to discuss my options for reconstruction. I’ve just been going to all of my appointments like a little feeling-less robot, nodding, and asking all the questions I copied from the internet (Okay Google, what’s a DIEP Flap???). I think part of me had entertained the idea that I would have reconstruction- I’m only 29, after all. But another part of me, small at the time, wondered what would happen if I didn’t? What would I look like if I didn’t have breasts? Would I be okay with having implants? Would I ever feel like me again if I went through with the reconstruction? I couldn’t pin down how I felt, other than incredibly overwhelmed. It’s not easy to grasp the concept of losing a body part that you’ve kind of grown attached to. Literally.

Before I start shitting all over everything, let me just say that the surgeon and nurse that we met with were both professional and kind, and I know they were only doing their jobs. I am sure that many women have benefited from having them on their surgical teams. But both Justin (loving and supportive partner extraordinaire) and I were unsettled by the way that reconstruction was discussed, and how it was made to sound like my only logical next step. It’s an incredibly personal decision for any woman, and they should receive support and acceptance for whatever option they choose to pursue, but should also be given proper information about ALL of those options- not just the plastic ones.

A.N.Y.W.A.Y.

Because I was still debating on what I wanted to do with my body, I asked the surgeon to give me his ‘sales pitch’, if you will, about my options, the pros and cons of each, the surgical methods, recovery time, etc. The surgeon broke out some tester implants and told me about how I would be able to “resume my normal daily activities” more easily if I had implants as opposed to prostheses. About how Justin’s daughter would feel more comfortable hugging me if I felt like the pre-surgery me. About how I would be able to wear swimsuits and low cut tops. About how it would beg less questions from people.

This isn’t what I meant. This isn’t what I want.

Oh, but good news! My nipples could be spared! Joy! I can have Barbie breasts with my own nipples- breasts that have no feeling, that serve no purpose other than to give me (read: everyone but me) the peace of mind that nothing ever happened I look like a normal woman. I can go bigger, I can go smaller, I can do whatever I want! Yet, there’s the possibility that my nipples might NOT be able to be saved and then I’d just have round orbs stuffed under my skin. But, hey, no needs for bras, right?! Hah! Knee-slapper. Giggles all around.

When pressed about the option of not reconstructing, I was given a lot of flustered bullshit about why I wouldn’t want that and how it would look if I was *gasp* flat. The surgeon actually said that I “would be one of the only women under 30 that’s made that choice”. WRONG. I asked to see photos and this poor nurse, bless her heart, could not understand why I would want to see that. Instead, she showed me photos of nipple-sparing reconstruction. When I stated that they “looked like chewed up dog toys”, she got all huffy and said “Well, that’s a very blunt assessment.”

Oh, I’m sorry I made you uncomfortable. Let me just un-develop this cancer real quick and then neither of us will have to have this disgusting interaction.

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Guess what? Having breasts does not make me any more or any less of a woman. My confidence and self-worth is not defined by what lives underneath my shirt. My gender identity is not at all affected by this surgery. When I get ripped out of that deep anesthesia sleep next Monday, I will still be me- smart, snarky, and sexy.

Over the weekend, I did a lot of research and reading about what life is like for women who choose to go breast-free. Forums were joined, questions were asked, testimonials were read. And I found that most of the women who were brave and open enough to be public about their decision were incredibly happy with it and have adapted back to their regular lives with ease. My brain and my heart finally came together and figured out that I wouldn’t be staying true to myself if I had reconstruction done. I think it was around 11:30 pm on Saturday night when I finally said ‘fuck it- time to embrace that boob-free life.’

Is it going to be hard? Yes. Am I going to have days where I regret everything? Probably, but not forever. Am I going to experience grief and loss associated with the surgery? Absolutely, and it’s totally normal. But this means that I no longer have to go through the stress of staying on top of my terrible, fiberadenoma-growing, lumpy, painful, cancer boobs.

I’m #blessed to have Justin, who has done nothing but love me and support me through this decision-making process, and who legitimately already loves my post-surgery body. No idea how that works, but it’s amazing and I am eternally grateful. I feel like he’s known the entire time that this is what I would eventually decide to do… So I might be losing my tits to cancer, but I’m not losing my life, and that’s really something.

Also, wtf surgeon. I’m the lady whose ex-husband called her a “lesbian” when she cut off her hair. So what did she do? She cut it shorter. Breast-free? Challenge fucking accepted.

 

 

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Lucas and the Breasts from Hell

Let’s get the updates part out of the way early:

  • I met with a genetic counselor last Friday. I’ll be handing over my bodily fluids for testing tomorrow.
  • The new spots that showed up on my breast MRI were checked on Monday and appear to be more fiberadenomas. Good news!
  • I have decided to go ahead with a bilateral mastectomy. I have not, however, decided whether I would like to pursue breast reconstruction or just allow the surgery to morph me into my long dreamed of androgynous alter ego.
  • I will be meeting with a plastic surgeon tomorrow, followed by an oncologist on Monday. Here’s hoping that there will be some clarity re: treatment soon.

Fabulous. Moving on.

I don’t feel like I have ever sugar-coated my feelings here. In fact, I’ve been pretty up-front with the fact that this is one of the only places where I feel even remotely comfortable expressing my emotions. But, I do realize that some people are more sensitive than others, so here’s my little disclaimer/trigger warning/spoiler alert- I’m about to talk about some very real, and very personal shit, including suicidal feelings and ideation. So if that’s not your bag, I totally understand. At the behest of this rotten beam, I’m embracing myself.

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How are you?

That’s is *the* question, isn’t it? How do you answer someone honestly? Of course, I don’t begrudge people asking, and I appreciate knowing that people care. But I don’t feel like I can truly say how I am doing. I know, I know- this post exists on every cancer blog ever written, but it’s true. Do you actually want to burden someone with dropping the ‘I’m actually fucking terrible, Judy, but thank you for asking’ bomb on someone? No.

This past weekend, my partner and I got into a small fight that really just stemmed from a small miscommunication. I’m glad it happened though, as we were able to talk about it and dissect the feelings and emotions behind the communication fail. He was feeling scared and helpless regarding the diagnosis, and rightfully so. I was feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and overly sensitive about things. And, quite frankly, I didn’t feel comfortable with expressing how I was truly feeling because it’s not what people want to hear.

I’ve written before about the two sides of my brain, and they come into play with processing this cancer thing. A large part of me is a caretaker. I put everyone’s needs over my own, and I focus on fixing things for others long before I ever take a look at myself. So naturally, I feel guilty about having such “burdensome” feelings. I say that in quotes, because I feel like telling someone that I’d rather just quietly die than hang around through surgery, recovery, treatment, financial loss, debt, and depression is a lot for the normal person to take in. Why say all that when I could just say ‘I’m fine’ and move on? Nobody wants to know that shit (unless they’re my therapist and they’re getting paid a lot of money to ask me how I feel about that).

Look, I know I have an amazing support system backing me through this, but at my core, I still wonder if it’s even worth it for me to try. When I was meeting with the genetic counselor, she went into fine detail about all of the mutations that my genes could have that would put me at a higher risk for brain cancer (here’s where I stopped listening), pancreatic cancer, further breast cancers, etc. How I might pass them on to any children I might have. The ultrasound tech told me to be wary of reconstruction using my own tissue because it could “become necrotic (here’s where I stopped listening), thus causing more lumps”. Incredible support system or not, this is a lot to absorb in such a short amount of time.

I’ve had a pretty hard life by anyone’s standards, and it seems to be unrelenting. SOMEHOW I’m still married to a total douchecanoe, I have cancer, I’m losing my tits, and my employer is likely going to cut me off my insurance if I try to take a leave of absence to recover from said tit loss. It’s grim. I’m only twenty-nine years old- what else could happen to me in the future? Part of me really doesn’t want to find out.

BUT!

I do realize that these emotions are completely normal and a part of my grieving process. They will swell, fluctuate, and decline as things progress. Right now, I’m allowing myself to feel them, as opposed to trying to suppress them deep inside me like I normally do. This doesn’t mean I’m going to throw myself off the I-94 bridge, but it does mean I might start accepting a radically different world view. Apparently, that’s a popular reaction for people who have been diagnosed with a murdery illness- you start to figure out what, and who, really matters in your life.

And let me tell you, it’s not the 115 separate 1 page documents you want me to print out for you by 10:30 am.

PS: This is NOT to say that I don’t appreciate all the love and support people have shown me. I am so grateful that people continue to ask me how I am! Rather, this was an opportunity for me to vent about how my stupid brain functions. Or doesn’t function. Your call.

 

 

 

 

“You have busy breasts…”

This was the way my surgeon described my breasts today while he was explaining the details of my pathology report, as if my chest were the feature of a new Richard Scarry children’s book.

Richard Scarry’s Busy BreastTown

That’s certainly one way to explain my breast cancer diagnosis.

I went in last Thursday to have an ultrasound on a new lump that had formed in my left breast. I wasn’t really concerned, considering the long history I have with biopsies, fiberadenomas, calcifications, my family history, etc, etc. My assumption was that it would be another benign cyst, and I’d have gone through this whole process again for nothing. The tech noticed some sort of abnormality (again, not out of the ordinary) and scheduled me for a biopsy the following morning.

I’ll spare you the details of said biopsy (it involves a large, hollow needle) and skip to Monday when I received a phone call from a very chipper woman named Jeanne. She started by asking me questions like:

“Are you at work?” Yes.

“Are you sitting down?” Yes…

“Are you comfortable there?” Not anymore.

And then Jeanne broke the news to me- there was an abnormality in the tissue sample from the biopsy. And congratulations, you have invasive ducal carcinoma! I couldn’t think of anything to do but laugh. Is this really happening? Am I in an alternate reality? Is this a cruel trick because guess what it’s not April 1st? RUDE.

But it IS real and there is no question about it- I have cancer. I’m 29 years old, active, healthy, and generally happy…and I have cancer. This shit is bananas.

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I could make art better than this…

And so begins a string of appointments; meetings with my cancer “team”, oncologists, surgeons, genetic counselors, plastic surgeons, therapists…the list goes on. On Wednesday, I had an MRI that showed further spots, so on Monday I get to have further ultrasounds and possible biopsies. Today I met with my surgeon to discuss options for surgical removal of the tumor. Tomorrow I’ll meet with a genetic counselor. Later on next week, I’ll meet with an oncologist to discuss my treatments, whether or not I’ll need chemotherapy, radiation, medication, or some combination of those.

In the meantime, I have to think long and hard about what I want to do with my breasts. I’m 29 and seriously considering having a double mastectomy. I could also just have a single mastectomy, removing my left breast and leaving my right untouched. Or I could opt to have a lumpectomy. After all, my tumor is only 1.8cm and is stage 1. It’s hormone receptive and HER-2 negative. As far as cancer diagnoses go, this is definitely not the worst one to receive. But if I keep my breasts, I will have to be vigilant in monitoring them for changes every single year for the rest of my life. If I remove them, I greatly decrease my chance of recurrence, but I lose the option to ever breastfeed a child. And if I do remove them, do I care enough to get them reconstructed?

What do I do?

The short answer? I have no fucking clue. There is so much that is unclear at the moment. What I do know is that I have an incredible partner who is so supportive of me and my choices, a wonderful family who is behind me 100%, and the best friends who check in on me and love me more than I could ever expect. So while this entire situation may suck a big bag of dicks, I know that I am loved and supported.

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A sampling of what you get when your life gets flipped upside down. #uplifting #brochuresfordays

I guess this will be the new home for musings on lopping my tits off and what it’s like to wear so many fashionable hospital gowns. Brace yourselves.

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PS: Jeanne is a wonderful lady. She just delivered the worst news of my life and I was, rightfully so, a little upset.

PPS: Sorry, guys. I know this isn’t my best writing, but I’m a bit emotional and I’m also writing on an iPAD. Fuck Apple products #rt

Pull up a chair. Let’s talk.

18 months of a vicious and grueling campaign.

One day of voting and feeling like I had done my small part to make history.

One night of intense nail-biting, hugging my friends, and crying.

And congratulations to us all! We have a new president-elect.

To be honest, I’m not even really sure how to start this conversation. This past week has been filled with some of the most intense emotions I’ve felt in recent memory, both good and bad. I don’t think I’m wrong in saying that no matter what side of this election you’re on, shit has been crazy for us all. Tensions are running high and the strain is starting to show in some truly ugly ways. I’m working on processing it along with the rest of the nation (and, quite frankly, the world). This will take time, like all things, but I will get there.

Like millions of Americans, I woke up on Wednesday morning of this week terrified of what the next four years of my life were going to look like. I was shocked that the system had failed us- a system that, in theory, is supposed to protect us and provide us with the best and most capable humans to represent us as a united nation. But I didn’t feel represented- I felt hopeless. The electoral college votes had allowed a man who stands for everything I loathe in this world to be given a position of power. A man who has no political experience (lawsuits don’t count, sorry). A man who lied his way into being the Republican nominee…and then won.

I don’t get it, and yet, I do. But trying to make sense of the fact that this man could appeal to the middle-class white American who feels disenfranchised by the government is still difficult to me. And yet, it is not. I suppose I understand how a person could be enraptured by this man’s zealousness to prove the other side wrong, and tear them down in an incredible display of male bravado. I get that this appeals to some people. And if that’s you, then awesome. I am glad you exercised your right as a citizen of this country. Make sure you stick by your convictions for the next four years.

But here’s what I can’t get behind and why.

I’ve seen a lot of people on social media touting that they “are not racists” and they “aren’t sexists”, and they definitely “don’t hate immigrants”, and that “conservatives have nothing to do with the marked increase of hate crimes since November 9th”, and “stop lumping them in with the KKK”. Well friends, let’s break this down. If you voted for our president-elect, regardless of reason, your vote was cast in approval of racism, sexism, bigotry, hatred, oppression, and fear. And while I am FULLY AWARE that not all president-elect supporters ARE racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, etc, you must understand that the person you voted for IS. So while you may not identify as any of these things, you are accepting that you can overlook them.

And that’s truly what scares me.

Have we all become so complacent and wrapped-up in ourselves that we can’t see outside of the narrow vision that is our “president-elect”? Can you not see that what he has said about Hispanics is vile? How can you, if you are a woman who voted for him (and it was a whole fucking lot of you), be at peace knowing that your president DOES NOT AND WILL NOT respect you, your body, or your choices? How do you sleep at night knowing that you elected someone who is endorsed by the literal fucking Ku Klux Klan?

I was fortunate enough to have a human in my life get me involved in the protests that started the day of the announcement. I have actually never been to a protest before, so this was all new to me. And when I dwell on that for a moment, I feel badly about my level of civic engagement in the past. Was I not as active as a I could have been because I grew complacent? True, I’ve had eight years of feeling safe and respected with an amazing president (yes, I am willing to discuss his flaws- we all have them, we are all human), but has it made me soft? I remember being in college and working on the International Student Association board to educate people about hot button issues surrounding that community. I remember how I once felt about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I have always been an advocate for women and their reproductive rights. Where did that me go?

I guess it doesn’t matter now because, what I’m saying, is that I’m back. I’m here to show up with a voice, with a helping hand, with a kind smile, and with over-flowing love. And this is why I am so sad to hear and read about reactions to the Minneapolis/St. Paul protests.

While the protest Wednesday in St. Paul was wonderfully coordinated and well-attended, it was nothing like the following night’s Minneapolis gathering. It’s inspiring to me to see so many people turn out to express their feelings about what our minorities in this country might be facing in the near future. What I might be facing. What you might be facing.

So many of my friends on social media rushed to tell me how I was disrupting people’s lives, making things harder, and my personal favorite- that, had the Democratic nominee won, that the Republicans/president-elect voters would NOT have protested. They would NOT have said anything rude or inflammatory on social media. And they certainly wouldn’t be contesting the outcome of the election at every chance they got. And you know what? That’s fine. For the love of gods, voice your opinion. And if your opinion differs from mine, feel free to see yourself out of my life. I’m not worried about losing a few friends on Facebook. You know what I am worried about? My trans friends losing the rights that they have fought so hard to win. My black friends continuing to be gunned down in the streets simply for their color. My immigrant friends being subject to incredible acts of violence and extremism- such that we have not seen since the Civil Rights Movement. I am worried that so many of us who contribute to this great nation will be silenced simply because of our race, our religion, our sexual orientation, our nationality, and so many other things.

That’s what worries me.

And so I chose to use my voice to express the things that our president-elect will not.

I chose to make it known that I am a safe person to talk to, and I will help you no matter the situation or the cause.

Because I believe that immigrants have a place here.

Because I believe that Muslims are incredible people and contribute to our culture immensely.

Because I identify as a queer woman and many of my friends identify as LGBTQ and our rights matter to me.

Because I believe that women should have access to reproductive healthcare, have the right to choose what they do with their bodies, and how they can protect them.

Because I don’t believe it’s right to “build a wall” to keep people out.

Because I don’t believe that you can “grab her by the pussy”.

Because I don’t believe that you didn’t rape those women, but I do believe that you actually stated that some of those women “were too ugly for you to touch”.

Because I’ve dedicated my life to helping people with MI, CD, PD, etc and I will not stand to see their financial assistance cut.

Because I don’t believe that ‘Muslim’ is synonymous with ‘terrorist’. In fact, I know it’s not.

Because this has nothing to do with the “loss” of my candidate, and everything to do with the 60 years back we just set our nation.

And so many other things that I could get into, but won’t because it’s honestly just emotionally taxing to bring up everything our president-elect has said and done.

So, I’m sorry you don’t agree with me protesting. But know that I’m not looking for YOUR approval. What I am doing is beyond that. And I’m (not) sorry that you feel momentarily inconvenienced. I’m (not) sorry you got stopped on 94. Maybe you should use those moments to read this article. Hopefully, it will help you understand that your inconvenience is nothing compared to the inconvenience of thousands of people every day in this nation- and their lives that are at stake, while you complain from the comfort of your vehicle.

While we were out marching through the streets and shutting down I-94, news stations were covering it. And you know what was being said during the live feed of thousands of people expressing their collective grief over the state of the nation? Let me recap it for you:

“Mow them down!”

“Someone just needs to take a gun down there and shoot them.”

“Get a snow plow in there.”

“They don’t have jobs.”

“Maybe someone should throw some work boots and job applications down there and watch them scatter.”

“Your team lost. Go home!”

“Cry-babies!”

“GO HOME.”

“GO GET JOBS.”

Over and over and over again.

These are the same people who tell me I need to sit down and shut up because my candidate lost and their candidate is the one of change. I fear that change. And for obvious fucking reasons. Are you trying to make us feel more secure? I didn’t think so.

So, if you want to have a discussion about why I’m reacting to this choice in the way that I am, please come to me and we can have a civil conversation. If you don’t, bye Felicia. I will not stand for the hatred, the closet racism, and the disgusting acts perpetrated against the people of this country.

PS: If you are a president-elect supporter, it doesn’t mean that I think any less of you. I just wonder if you think any less of me for the 11ty aforementioned reasons. And if you do, we should talk. Keeping a line of open communication is going to be key in these next four years. I encourage you to open a dialogue with me.

PPS: if you need something to uplift you, here is MPR’s No Apologies track from today. It made me smile and I think you will too.

Doggone It

Because talking about removing yourself (emotionally) from a relationship is the most fun I think I could ever have on a weekday.

First, let me mention how incredibly grateful I am to those of you who have responded to me and this blog. I didn’t have a goal when I started writing, and I certainly didn’t expect people to receive it the way they have. I would have never imagined that people would relate to me, and would also be impassioned enough to write me and share their stories. For that, I thank you. You make this word-vomit shitfest worth continuing. Keep sharing!

I’m currently working on distancing myself from relationships and the people in them that have hurt me. It’s hard, I think, because you spend so much of your time trying to convince yourself that the relationship can work while ignoring what you need out of it. Thus, when it’s over, you’re left with this hole in your heart and the feeling that you have to do the work to make up for the reciprocation you never received. Self-work, essentially. Having to tell yourself that you’re pretty, and smart, and worth it…because your partner never did. Or if they did, they certainly didn’t mean it.

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I’m slowly learning to stick up for myself and be an advocate of my needs and wants, but it’s hard. I’ve lived through two father figures tearing me down in various ways, too many failed male relationships, and a marriage that was based on….what, I have no idea. So naturally, I think I’ve internalized this idea that I don’t deserve to be happy, because why should I? Something about me is clearly wrong. Counselor Elspeth refutes this and says “absolutely not, not all things are meant to be, and those people have their own issues to work out. Do some daily affirmations, etc, etc.” Depressed Elspeth counters and says “Nah, girl. You’re messed up. You’re not good enough. Look at all those other eligible women. They’re better than you. They have long hair, know how to contour, and are better at social media.” How does one argue with that?

I left my ex for many reasons, but mostly because needs weren’t being met. I did everything I could (or that I knew how to do) to fix the relationship, but in the end, it just wasn’t right. There was too much apathy and resentment on his part, and not enough desire to change that. When he started seeing this “girlfriend”, I was so hurt because he was doing everything with her that I had wanted to do with him. *Further reinforcing that idea that there is something inherently wrong with me.*

But the more I reflect on that fact, and the more I see come up in my newsfeed, the more I realize that I’m just not the type of partner he was looking for. I’m not the kind of woman who posts “live, laugh, love” every five seconds. Nor am I the type of person who wants to celebrate inconsequential milestones like a 6 month anniversary with tickets to Metallica. Metallica. 

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So, distancing myself from such things may be hard, but it’s getting easier. Every day I learn more about what I want and don’t want in a relationship. I’m learning to identify red flags in potential partners- something my therapists have been talking about since I was 17, but I’m only just picking up on now. And I’m working on listening to Counselor Elspeth, even though she seems like she’s full of shit. I just don’t know…

More on this later.

PS: I’m attempting to write more frequently, but I’ve been pretty ill since last Wednesday, and over-the-counter medication cocktails just don’t have quite the same effect on my creativity as wine does. My apologies.