My Journey With:

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Hypermobility Type (H-EDS) ~ Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) ~ Epilepsy ~ Fibromyalgia ~ Chronic Myofascial Pain (CMP) ~ Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) ~ TMJ Dysfunction ~ Bipolar type I ~ Migraines ~ Keratosis Pilaris (KP) ~ Eczema ~ Bruxism ~ Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) ~ Complex--Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) ~ Panic Disorder ~ Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) ~ Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) ~ Hashimoto's Disease (Autoimmune Hypothyroid) ~ Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Throwback Thursday - Grandpa as a child in the 1930s #TBT

My Grandpa was part of the Silent Generation, the generation after the Great Generation.  The Silent Generation experienced WWII in childhood and the Civil Rights Movement.  They worked hard and kept quiet, because at the time they still operated by the rule that children should be seen and not heard.  Like many men (and some women) of the Silent Generation he fought in the Korean War.  The Silent Generation is sometimes called the The Lucky Few.  Grandpa was born in 1935, and passed away in 2008.

Grandpa at age 4? in 1939
Grandpa at age 4? in 1939




Sunday, May 10, 2015

On the topic of rape jokes...disgusting!

Trigger Warning: rape 
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Before I met DH I was scared all of the time of meeting my rapist and not knowing I had.  I'm not sure why, but I can't remember faces or names, but especially faces.  But it's a lot more than just not remembering faces.  I can't imagine faces in my head at all, even if I've known that person for a long time.  That's why I've always taken a many of pictures of everyone in my life, and I spend a lot of time studying the pictures.  I can't even picture my best friend's face, and we've spent a lot of time together.  I can remember what her picture looks like, though, because I study it all the time so I won't forget her face.  So when I imagine people in my head, if I haven't already memorized their face by staring at a picture for a long time, they might as well be a new person to me until they say something that makes me recognize them.

I was constantly afraid of seeing one of my rapists and not knowing it.  That ended up happening, I bought a dryer from my second rapist, the one who raped me when I was 19, and he installed it in my house.  I didn't hear his name until later on an email his wife sent from their account months later, when I realized who he was.  So, for the past six or so years I've had my rapist's dryer in my house, because it just isn't a financial priority to get a new one when this one works.  Most of the time it doesn't bother me much, but sometimes it does.

My first rapist, from when I was 16, was violent and terrified me the worst.  I used to, before meeting DH, look him up once every two months or so to make sure he hadn't moved back to my town.  He kept calling me to harass me for three years after I cut ties with him.  I am still terrified of him, even though intellectually I know that he doesn't pose a threat, it doesn't change my gut reaction of intense fear.  The last time I saw his Myspace page, back in 2007, before he shut it down, he had written on his page that "women accuse me of raping them, but that's not possible, because there's no way a woman wouldn't want my dick, in fact she's lucky to get it."  There was a mysterious link on his page, and when I clicked it, it was a close up of his penis.  He was a boxer in an engineering university when I knew him, and by that time was a Marine stationed out West.

How does this all tie into making rape jokes?  Well, the second rapist might somehow have convinced himself that he didn't do anything wrong, I "owed it to him."  Obviously that is messed up and not true at all, but I can see him doing those mental gymnastics.

However, there is no way that my first rapist could possibly think what he did was anything but rape.  He made rape excuses/jokes on his Myspace page, basically admitting to serial rape.  I'm sure he laughs at every rape joke--because to him rape is funny, rape is something to be proud of, and rape is something women deserve.  Rape jokes only solidify that in the mind of rapists.  That's why it's really screwed up to make rape jokes.  Because every time you do, women like me re-experience trauma, and people like him think it's hilarious.

This Is Why Rape Jokes Aren't Funny

How Rape Jokes Contribute to Rape Culture

Why Rape Jokes Are Never Funny
Read This Before You Make A Rape Joke


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Throwback Thursday - Great Great Great Grandparents #TBT

This is the only picture I have of my Great Great Great Grandparents, it's only a picture of a picture.  They are my Great Grandma Viola's grandparents.  I have no idea how long ago this was, but my Great Grandma Viola was born in 1915, so I'm guessing they were born in the mid-1800s.  That makes my Grandpa Ezra on my dad's side older than my Great Grandma Viola on my mom's side.

My Great Great Great Grandparents
My Great Great Great Grandparents



Thursday, April 16, 2015

Throwback Thursday - Grandpa Ezra #TBT

Grandpa James Ezra was born in 1894 and passed away in 1960.  He served in World War I and was part of The Lost Generation.  Famous people who were part of The Lost Generation included Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ezra Pound.  They came of age during WWI.

Grandpa Ezra in his World War I uniform (yes, WWI)
Grandpa Ezra in his World War I uniform (yes, WWI)

Grandpa Ezra's gravestone at Alwood Cemetery in the Ozarks
Grandpa Ezra's gravestone at Alwood Cemetery in the Ozarks


Friday, April 3, 2015

Trauma

“The initial trauma of a young child may go underground but it will return to haunt us.”
― James Garbarino

Innocence
Innocence

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Throwback Thursday - Great Grandma Viola #TBT

Great Grandma Viola was born in 1915 and passed away in 2000.  She was part of the The Lost Generation, which came of age during World War I.  Famous people of The Lost Generation included F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, and T.S. Eliot.  She is my Grandpa's mother on my mother's side.

Great Grandma Viola in her home in the Ozarks

Great Grandma Viola visiting us in the Ozarks

Me at 9 with Great Grandma Viola when we were visiting her in the Ozarks

Saturday, March 28, 2015

15 things you learn in your 30s (and maybe late 20s)

I'm 33 now, and I've compiled this list of things I've learned since I've turned 30:

1)  All those years of forgoing moisturizer, especially on your neck, start showing when you hit 30.  Now you moisturize, moisturize, moisturize, but it's harder to fix things than prevent them.

Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream for Dry Skin
The moisturizer I use: Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream for Dry Skin


2)  By the time you reach your 30s, you will need to start considering dying your hair to cover the gray.  You used to think that wouldn't happen until your late 40s, but this is simply not true.  Of course, if you are trying to get pregnant you'll either have to use henna, which kinda sucks, or you'll have to wait until you're pregnant and in the second trimester, because you won't know you're pregnant until it's already happened.

Woman going gray
Going gray


3)  Starting in your early 30s you realize it's getting harder to see things close up.  I know you thought that you'd be around 50 before that happened, but again, that's simply not true.

Please tell me reading glasses are a long way off!
Please tell me reading glasses are a long way off!


4)  You will start feeling the urge to visit "home," which in my case is the Ozarks.  Honestly I'm not close to my living relatives there, it's the land I miss...hills, trees, rich soil, fresh, crisp air, wildlife, rivers, caves...these are the things I can't stop thinking about.

The Ozark Mountains
The Ozark Mountains


5)  Your older relatives, all the ones that mean the most, will start dying off.  It's heartbreaking and unfair.  Also, you become aware of your own parents' mortality and it terrifies you.

I miss everyone who has left this world so much
I miss everyone who has left this world so much


6)  The little things don't matter.  Things that once meant so much to you, like buying cool new toys for yourself, start to not mean as much anymore.  "Grown up stuff," like paying your bills and getting practical items suddenly take precedence, and it doesn't bother you that much.

Paying bills
Paying bills


7)  You become more thankful for things in your life.  Things you used to take for granted now mean a whole lot, like a phone call from your mother.

Woman on the phone
On the phone


8)  You'll become more open minded.  You put yourself in other people's shoes a lot easier, and can empathize with others even easier than before.

Become more open minded
Become more open minded


9)  Family becomes more important.  While you used to crave time with other people, now you find that you crave family time much more.

This Awkward Family Photo reminds me of DH and me in a few years
This Awkward Family Photo reminds me of DH and me in a few years


10)  You'll start having more friends pass away.  This needs no explanation.

I miss you terribly
I miss you terribly


11)  Getting pregnant in your 30s is harder to do, and at 35 your pregnancy will be considered a "geriatric pregnancy."  Your fertility decreases (your eggs are 30 years old!) and it will be harder on your body to carry a little one for 9 months.

I'm gonna be old when you graduate, future baby
I'm gonna be old when you graduate, future baby


12)  You'll start caring a lot about world news, when before it was hard to imagine why something on the other side of the world would effect you that much.  You start to realize how interconnected we all are.

Gay rights activists in Russia
Gay rights activists in Russia


13)  Your political opinions will change.  It becomes more important to you to have a well defined set of ethics and politics, and you will become even more passionate than before about making the world a better place.

I've always voted, but I am more politically active in my late 20s and early 30s than I ever have been


14)  You will start taking pride in your home, your baking skills, and other domestic things.  You'll start to enjoy things you never did before, even doing laundry, because it is a calming task to do.

Baking is fun kids!
Baking is fun kids!


15)  You'll stop caring so much what other people think of you.  You'll want to lose weight to be healthier, not because you can't stand your body if you aren't thin.

I love myself (most of the time) and I just want to be healthy and happy
I love myself (most of the time) and I just want to be healthy and happy


Of course, these are my experiences, and not everyone is the same.  In all honesty a lot of these things began in my late 20s and became more solidified in my 30s.  I imagine some people are the opposite of everything on my list, but everything on this list obviously applies to me.

Me now, at age 33