azdesertrose: (Default)
WARNING: This is REALLY long, but I refuse to cut it because it's important.

I've been having a bit of a think (and a re-think) about racism and bigotry.

Let me set out some definitions, first off. When I say racism, I mean prejudice plus power and privilege. When I say bigotry, I mean individual prejudice from members of groups other than the privileged group. Neither of these is a positive trait, but I feel the need to distinguish between the two for the sake of clarity.

People judge each other. This is not, in and of itself, a bad thing. We have to make judgments about each other. On a basic biological level, we have to evaluate other people, animals, and objects for possible threat to our personal safety. We also evaluate other people for potential relationships, be they friendships, romantic relationships, working relationships, what have you. What we do not have to do is make judgments about each other based upon anything but demonstrated individual behavior. For example, a job interviewer SHOULD select the applicant who is best qualified for the job, regardless of race, sex, sexual orientation, religion/personal philosophy or lack thereof, nation(s) of origin, or any other trait that does not relate to the ability to perform the job. We all know it doesn't work this way in actual practice, but that's the ideal.

Let me reiterate. We, as human beings, should not decide anything about another human being based upon anything but that person's behavior. We should not decide that someone is a threat to our personal safety based upon anything but that person's behavior. We should not decide that someone is a potential friend, or partner, or supervisor/co-worker/employee, or whatever, based upon anything but that person's behavior.

Prejudice is wrong, be it in the form of institutional racism, or individual bigotry. As institutional racism, prejudice is also insidious.

I am a white woman in the United States of America. I am of mixed ethnic ancestry, mostly northwestern European, but I have fair skin and Caucasian physical features.

It's hard to admit that I reap the benefits of racism, but I do. I am a member of the privileged race.

I am also in love with an African-American man. This has given me a kick in the ass to make me think about the differences in experience of life that being white makes.

Yesterday, I read this list, excerpted from “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”, about, to put it simply, the cultural/social goodies that racism confers upon white people.

It's a tough pill to swallow, but with one exception, I can't say it's not true.

1. I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.
2. I can avoid spending time with people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have learned to mistrust my kind or me.
3. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.
4. I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.
5. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.
6. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.
7. When I am told about our national heritage or about "civilization," I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.
8. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.
9. If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege.
10. I can be pretty sure of having my voice heard in a group in which I am the only member of my race.
11. I can be casual about whether or not to listen to another person's voice in a group in which s/he is the only member of his/her race.
12. I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket and find the staple foods which fit with my cultural traditions, into a hairdresser's shop and find someone who can cut my hair.
13. Whether I use checks, credit cards or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of financial reliability.
14. I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might not like them.
15. I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection.
16. I can be pretty sure that my children's teachers and employers will tolerate them if they fit school and workplace norms; my chief worries about them do not concern others' attitudes toward their race.
17. I can talk with my mouth full and not have people put this down to my color. This is the exception. Before I read this list, I had not once in my life ever heard of anyone thinking that talking with one's mouth full had anything to do with one's ethnicity.
18. I can swear, or dress in second hand clothes, or not answer letters, without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty or the illiteracy of my race.
19. I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial.
20. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.
21. I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.
22. I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of persons of color who constitute the world's majority without feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.
23. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider.
24. I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to the "person in charge", I will be facing a person of my race.
25. If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven't been singled out because of my race.
26. I can easily buy posters, post-cards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys and children's magazines featuring people of my race.
27. I can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong to feeling somewhat tied in, rather than isolated, out-of-place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance or feared.
28. I can be pretty sure that an argument with a colleague of another race is more likely to jeopardize her/his chances for advancement than to jeopardize mine.
29. I can be pretty sure that if I argue for the promotion of a person of another race, or a program centering on race, this is not likely to cost me heavily within my present setting, even if my colleagues disagree with me.
30. If I declare there is a racial issue at hand, or there isn't a racial issue at hand, my race will lend me more credibility for either position than a person of color will have.
31. I can choose to ignore developments in minority writing and minority activist programs, or disparage them, or learn from them, but in any case, I can find ways to be more or less protected from negative consequences of any of these choices.
32. My culture gives me little fear about ignoring the perspectives and powers of people of other races.
33. I am not made acutely aware that my shape, bearing or body odor will be taken as a reflection on my race.
34. I can worry about racism without being seen as self-interested or self-seeking.
35. I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having my co-workers on the job suspect that I got it because of my race.
36. If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether it had racial overtones.
37. I can be pretty sure of finding people who would be willing to talk with me and advise me about my next steps, professionally.
38. I can think over many options, social, political, imaginative or professional, without asking whether a person of my race would be accepted or allowed to do what I want to do.
39. I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.
40. I can choose public accommodation without fearing that people of my race cannot get in or will be mistreated in the places I have chosen.
41. I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help, my race will not work against me.
42. I can arrange my activities so that I will never have to experience feelings of rejection owing to my race.
43. If I have low credibility as a leader I can be sure that my race is not the problem.
44. I can easily find academic courses and institutions which give attention only to people of my race.
45. I can expect figurative language and imagery in all of the arts to testify to experiences of my race.
46. I can chose blemish cover or bandages in "flesh" color and have them more or less match my skin.
47. I can travel alone or with my spouse without expecting embarrassment or hostility in those who deal with us.
48. I have no difficulty finding neighborhoods where people approve of our household.
49. My children are given texts and classes which implicitly support our kind of family unit and do not turn them against my choice of domestic partnership.
50.I will feel welcomed and "normal" in the usual walks of public life, institutional and social.

It really made me think about things I never even noticed, things that society gives me, as a white person, that any non-white person does not get.

So I'm trying to be conscious. In order for people of color to be on a level playing field with white people, white people must first be conscious of the advantages attached to being white.

Having read this list, I noticed something that I doubt I would have noticed before. In my doctor's office, I saw a little clip on TV featuring the actress S. Epatha Merkerson, who plays Lt. Anita Van Buren on the original (and beloved by me at least) “Law and Order” TV series. (The clip was actually about Ms. Merkerson's struggle to quit smoking cigarettes, for the record.) What struck me is that when they spoke to her out of costume, her hair was in dreadlocks. When she is in costume, her hair is in a short hairstyle requiring relaxed hair (I assume it's a wig). It bothered me that, in order to portray a professionally successful African-American, she has to wear relaxed hair, which process (relaxing African textured hair) as I understand it is a way in which African-Americans are encouraged by society to appear more like white people. So in order to portray a professionally successful person, she had to appear more white. That's not fair, and it's wrong.

Nicholas and I had a conversation about this last night, and he remarked that he makes a habit of blowing off unintentionally racist remarks by white people. I replied that there, again, was white privilege in action; no white person would have to condition himself/herself to blowing off insulting remarks, no matter how unintentional or lacking in malice. I also asked him, in future, not to let me get away with it, to call me on my mistakes. (And there again is white privilege in action; the person of color in this situation has to tell the white person that she has said or done something racist.) But the fact is, I can't correct a mistake I don't realize I made, and I don't want to be an asshat just because I don't realize I'm doing it. Actually, I PARTICULARLY do not want to be an asshat because I don't realize I'm doing it. Now, Nicholas being himself (that is to say, an intelligent, articulate person with a lively sense of humor), I doubt he's going to tell me “You're being a racist asshat” the next time I say or do something that smacks of white privilege. (Although, now that I've said so in a public place, watch him do just that for the sake of making me eat my words—and if he does, I'll laugh but I will also take the point that I said or did something racist.)

It's quite a paradigm shift, and it's been on my mind for days. I've been turning it around and around in my head, shifting my thought processes to include thinking about the way that being white makes life different for me than life is for people of color.

In order for the world to come to be the way I would like it to be (amongst other things, for people to be judged on their behavior and not on any other trait), I have to, as a white person, be conscious.

That's not enough. I have to take many more steps to try to bring about the change I'd like to see. I have to live the change in my thinking. I have to try to help other white people see what I've seen. But the first step in bringing about change is to be conscious of what exactly needs to change.
azdesertrose: (Default)
Today I see my new psychiatric nurse-practitioner. I hope she's nice. I also hope she doesn't flip her shit when I tell her I weaned myself off my Invega.

I see my new primary care physician next Thursday. I hope he's nice too.

In other news, I've been playing with Nicholas' hair. At my suggestion, he has been growing it out with the intent of dreadlocks. It is now long enough to turn into baby dreads, so we bought little bitty hair ties and dread wax and I've been learning on the job how to twist hair into baby dreads. We sat around in the living room yesterday and watched the first few episodes of season 1 of "The Tudors" while I started my on-the-job learning. About a quarter of his hair is now in little baby dreads-to-be, but some of them I have to redo. We stopped because I had to cook supper.

Supper was quite a success last night, I think. Dixie and Aysha liked it, anyway. Cliff and Nicholas slept rather than eating. Nancy was, as usual of late, out with her friends. I made enchiladas suizas and real Spanish rice, as opposed to the quick-and-dirty RoTel Spanish rice thing I usually make. I was going to make chiles rellenos as well but I got tired of cooking after I'd put the rice and enchiladas together, so I'll do them today or tomorrow. The Anaheim chiles are peeled and seeded and ready to be stuffed, battered, and fried, so really, the hard part is done.

My back has been KILLING me for the last two days. I don't know why. It just hurts. A lot.
azdesertrose: (Default)
Well, today is my 33rd birthday. Whee.

I'm just not enthused about it. Nicholas is going to bake my cake for me; I was going to bake it myself and he said that no one should have to bake their own birthday cake. Pineapple upside down cake. I know it's kind of a weird cake for birthday cake but it was what I felt like.

My parents will probably take me out to dinner at some point this week. Mom called me yesterday to ask me what I wanted to do and I told her I'd rather wait a few days because I'm still getting over this sinusitis/bronchitis thing. I'm trying to figure out where I want them to take me.

I'm tired from crying, but I can't sleep. I still feel like hurting myself but I won't do it. I just want to. I guess general depression can account for the fact that I'm just not feeling my birthday.
azdesertrose: (Default)
I talked to Nicholas and Aysha. Nicholas apologized profusely. Aysha didn't say anything and barely looked at me.

I feel better. I feel like I handled it pretty well, given how pissed off I was.

Not cool

Dec. 30th, 2008 05:36 pm
azdesertrose: (Default)
Nicholas and I stayed up late last night talking and puttering around on the computers. By the time we were ready for bed, Aysha and Cliff had crashed out in the bed, leaving room for only one more person. I told Nicholas to get in bed and I'd take the couch, since I tend to get hot with three bodies in the bed anyway.

When I got up this morning to take Cliff to work, having gotten maybe three or four hours of sleep on the couch interrupted by mad kittiots running around the house and over my attempting-to-sleep ass, I told Nicholas and Aysha that I wanted to sleep in bed when I got back from taking Cliff to work. So I got home, curled up in bed, and went to sleep. Nicholas poked his head in the door and told me to rest well and continue recovering from the stomach virus from hell that ruined Christmas for me.

Not two hours later, Nicholas and Aysha come into the bedroom, shove me over, and start making love. I've already told them that they wake me up when they make love. I had specifically asked to sleep. I got up out of bed shaking with rage.

I went into the computer room and messed around for a while, drove up to Mom's to get the Christmas presents we didn't get on Christmas because I was too sick to get out of bed, and came home. They were sprawled out dead to the world in bed.

They're still in there; the last time I went to the bathroom, they were at it hot and heavy.

This is not cool. I can't sleep in my own goddamn bed when I ask to? No fucking way.

They could have made love in the computer room; Nicholas and I have done that on several occasions when we didn't want to wake Cliff.

I'm not as pissed as I was; time tends to cool my anger some, but I'm still mightily annoyed at the lack of consideration.

I understand that space and privacy are at a premium around here with Dixie and Nancy living here and four of us in the master suite. I understand that Nicholas and Aysha are caught up in that new love excitement. But goddamn it, this is my home, that is my bed, and I should be able to goddamn well sleep in it when I'm tired and recovering from an illness that laid me out for four days.

I plan to talk to them about it if they'll ever come out of the goddamn bedroom and speak to me.


Dec. 22nd, 2008 04:39 pm
azdesertrose: (Default)
Cliff seems to be trying to change his mind about kicking me out, but this is about the fifth time he's told me to get out. I can only take being told to fuck off so many times, no matter how much I love somebody.

Basically, the problem is that he's jealous of Nicholas and the time I spend with Nicholas. But what I tried to tell him is that Nicholas actually acts like he's interested in me. Cliff just wants me to be in the same room but not actually talk to me or pay attention to me. Why shouldn't I prefer to be with somebody who actually wants to talk to me?

I'm thinking about not going back on the Invega. Now that I'm over the withdrawals for the most part, I'm not having any hallucinations or paranoia, so I'm wondering why I need to take it.

Nicholas and I are looking at getting an apartment with Aysha, his other young lady. I think it will be better this way.

I still want to cry a lot, but it feels more like grief for something that's over.
azdesertrose: (Default)
I feel shaky, physically and emotionally. I'm having to force my hands to stop shaking and type.

Nicholas and I had a talk today; we've both noticed that we've sort of emotionally disconnected from each other.

It's my fault. If I weren't so unstable, I wouldn't have alienated him the way I have.

I don't know what to do. Part of me just wants to curl up in a ball and cry and cry and cry. I'm fighting urges to cut myself, and the only thing that's kept me from taking a knife out of the kitchen and taking it to my wrist is that I'd get caught because Cliff is in the kitchen cooking supper. Part of me wants to sit out on the back steps and be as cold on the outside as I feel on the inside. (It's pretty cool for Florida right now, and getting cooler as the sun descends.)

I don't want to lose Nicholas, but I'm sort of afraid I already have. He's met someone else, which does not in and of itself perturb me. He shares me with Cliff so why shouldn't I have to share him? What perturbs me is that SHE might not be willing to share him with me, and he might choose (young, pretty, stable) her over crazy old me. I swore when I started this with him that I would not stand in the way of him and happiness, even if it meant losing him to someone younger and prettier and with far less baggage.

Part of me wants so badly to dissociate, just disconnect from everything until I fall asleep and face it all later, but that won't help.

I feel scared and alone and I don't know what to do.


Dec. 11th, 2008 01:54 am
azdesertrose: (Default)
I talked to Nicholas after I posted the last entry. He was upset that I said I wasn't sure if he loved or hated me. He said he doesn't hate me and is just trying to help me.

Part of the problem is that I have to make a lot of changes at once and it's hard for me to work on me and keep up my relationships as well. I'm trying to re-learn to love myself while loving other people too, and it's just tough going.

Nicholas fussed at me recently about my lack of self-love, and I told him I'd been taught in elementary school that loving oneself was selfish, that you should put yourself last, after God and others. Now, I no longer believe in the Christian God (I went to a Bible-thumping Baptist private elementary school and was reared United Methodist), but certain things from my upbringing stay with me. The combination of that schooling and my father's behavior toward me really makes it hard to realize that it's okay to love me.

So I have to learn to love me, and to take care of me.

I'm trying to change the way I behave toward myself, the neglectful way I treat my body. I can't exercise right now because I'm still getting over the damn strep throat, but as soon as I'm over that I'm going to start exercising (walking or something) for half an hour a day, and now that I have my guitar, I'm going to spend at least an hour a day learning to play it.

As previously mentioned, I need to rediscover my sense of fun and silliness. When my daughter was little, I did any number of silly, fun things with her. Now that she's older, some of the things we used to do are no longer amusing to her, but I still need to learn to let myself be silly sometimes.

I guess I also have to learn to balance taking care of me with taking care of everybody else.

It's just a lot, and sometimes I feel really overwhelmed by it all.

I also need to get back into counseling. A couple of days ago I sent off an email to a program here in Florida that helps people disabled by mental illness afford treatments and things to improve their quality of life. Hopefully they'll send me an application so I can get into the program and it will help me pay for my counseling.

Another thing I need to work on is my fear of other people's anger or unhappiness. Any time someone is unhappy or upset or (heaven help) angry with me, I panic. I feel this need to appease their anger. I guess I'm afraid that angry people will hurt me in some way. I suppose I have to let myself understand that people can be angry and NOT want to hurt me even though they're angry at me.

Again, it's just a lot of mental and emotional work, and it's overwhelming and sometimes confusing and frustrating.
azdesertrose: (Default)
That's what the last few days have been.

Nicholas and I had a talk an hour or so ago and we're back together. He's about two feet from me now, here in the computer room. I guess where there's love and communication, anything is possible.

I feel a lot better now. Thanks for the hugs.

ETA: Oh, in "happy list" news, my mother is going to pay my guitar out of layaway as an early birthday present to me. (My birthday is in January.) So thanks, Mom.


Dec. 4th, 2008 01:34 pm
azdesertrose: (Default)
I'm still sick. I went to the doctor yesterday afternoon, and I do indeed have strep throat. Which means that Cliff and Nicholas have probably both had it recently/are still fighting it off.

Oh crap. That reminds me, I'm supposed to find Cliff's bloodwork paperwork and schedule him for his bloodwork and schedule an appointment with his doctor so he can get on antibiotics for the strep infection. And I can't tear the bedroom apart right now because Nicholas is asleep. Shit.

I feel like the Typhoid Mary for not having caught on that it was a strep infection sooner. But it was only when I got sick that I thought to have anybody's throat rapid-cultured. But who knows how many people have gotten sick because I didn't think to make Cliff go to the doctor when he was sick or drag Nicholas' sick behind to the ER, as sick as he was with it.

Oh well. I guess I shouldn't beat myself up over it.

Ugh. Being sick just saps your energy level. I haven't done anything significant in three days and I'm exhausted.
azdesertrose: (Default)
So Nicholas and I were lying in bed talking and he pointed out (damn it, I hoped no one would notice) that I don't take care of Nora. I make sure everybody else is taken care of but I neglect myself. He said he has never known a woman who makes as little an effort on her appearance as I do.

He's right. Half the time I don't comb my hair, I have to remind myself to brush my teeth (yuck, I know), and I neglect my health by letting my weight get as high as it is and smoking. I don't remember the last time I wore makeup, but it has to have been at least four years. I should throw out my makeup if I can even find it and buy new but I never wear it so why bother? He pointed out that I should have worn makeup to Jen's wedding, but I didn't, largely because it never even occurred to me at the time. I did style my hair and wear a dressy dress and dress shoes and stockings, but I didn't even consider putting on makeup.

I've forgotten how it feels to care about myself and my appearance. I think I've forgotten how to do it.

I could seriously stand to lose half my body weight, and at least ten dress sizes. My hair is presently a horrendous tangled bun on the back of my head. Why do I even keep it long if I don't take care of it? (It's slightly too short to sit on.)

He's gotten me taking walks, sometimes with him, sometimes by myself or with CC, to try to lose some weight and work on my cardiovascular fitness. My eating habits aren't that bad, but I could improve in that area too. On days when I don't walk (bad weather, whatever), I do yoga, which is not that great for cardio but feels good. And it's exercise, right? Anything is better than nothing in that area.

So how do you break the habit of not giving a shit about yourself? I seriously don't know what to do, how to be, so that I care about myself.

He made me cry by saying that I'm a beautiful, wonderful person who deserves love, both from others and from myself.

I don't know how.
azdesertrose: (Default)
Nicholas and Cliff are both mad at me about smoking. Cliff got mad because I went out and smoked in the car because it's raining outside. Nicholas says I act like a junkie where cigs are concerned.

I feel like I need something to calm my nerves. I backed myself off the Buspar and Klonopin and now I am not taking anything to settle my nerves. Smoking calms me down when I'm feeling anxious.

Part of me would like to end that addiction. It's not healthy, it's expensive, everybody imaginable wants me to quit, there are ninety bazillion reasons not to smoke. But I can't get away from the comfort I get from smoking a cigarette.

I withdrew from the [ profile] _survivors_ group because Nicholas wanted me to; he said that it was only a painful reminder of what I've been through and that I should give it up. So I did.

But I feel like no one will let me have my comforts. I feel like I'm being asked to make all these changes and nothing is familiar or comfortable any more.

Cliff just read over my shoulder and said, "Why did you stop taking your anxiety medicines? I'd rather you were taking the anxiety medicines than smoking." Good question.

I backed off the Buspar because I didn't have any refills for it, and I felt like nobody trusts me with the Klonopin after what I did two weeks ago with the suicide attempt (overdose of Klonopin). But I guess I can refill the Klonopin and/or talk to my psychiatrist about writing me a script for the Buspar. (I was originally prescribed the Buspar by a psychiatrist at the hospital. I don't think my psychiatrist has ever prescribed it to me.)

I probably should talk this over with Patricia (my new therapist) when I see her again next Monday. I need some new comforts in order to get rid of the cigarettes. I just don't know what else to do.
azdesertrose: (Default)
I still feel fairly calm and peaceful.

Cliff is getting over being sick and poor Nicholas has been running a fever all day and sounds like a bullfrog because his throat is sore and his sinuses are all fubar. (He's got a fairly deep voice anyway.)

I've been nagging him to rest and drink lots of fluids because that's about the only thing that really helps a bad cold. I put a hot compress on his head to try to loosen up all the sinus crap but I'm not sure that helped. He's being male and stubborn and wants to sit up with me instead of resting in bed like his sick ass ought to. It's sweet that he wants to be with me, but he should be in bed.

Tomorrow is my therapy appointment, and then Wednesday I have to see my psychiatrist. I'm hoping I can get my psychiatrist to put me back on Zoloft instead of the Paxil. My gyno thinks the Paxil is making me gain weight which I do not by any means need to do. I'm hoping that Patricia (the therapist) is as cool as her bio makes her sound. She called me today to confirm my appointment and I spent a good five minutes trying to figure out her accent. She sounds a bit like a Scotswoman who's been living in the Southern US for a long time. I'll have to ask tomorrow.

I'm a little nervous still about the therapy appointment. I feel a lot better since the ritual but I know I still have work to do.

I'm also nervous about Thanksgiving. I don't really have the money to do the traditional meal here, so if we're going to have turkey, etc. we really have to go up to my parents' house and I still don't know how my parents are going to react to Nicholas. I shouldn't care, but I don't want to alienate what family I have left. Oh well. I guess we just have to wait and see on that one.

I think I'm going to go take a nice warm bath with some lavender oil in it and go to bed. I'm tired from staying up all night last night and not sleeping much today, and if I go to bed, Nicholas will too and rest like his sick behind needs to.

What a day

Nov. 24th, 2008 03:46 am
azdesertrose: (Default)
On top of the wonderful healing ritual, I have also gotten LOTS of great sex from both Cliff and Nicholas today. How much better can a day get?
azdesertrose: (Default)
Okay, so.

Cliff and I were originally supposed to get married next March. However, I ordered my engagement ring and he hasn't seen fit to give it to me, so I'm not sure that he still wants to get married.

I'm not sure I still want to get married. I'll lose my Medicaid if I get married. Nothing would change except we'd lose $100 a month, or thereabouts.

And now that Nicholas is with us, I'm not sure we should have a separate handfasting for Cliff and me, and then one later on with Nicholas, which is what I originally thought we'd do.

I just don't quite know what I'm doing, I guess.

I've thought about sending the engagement ring back and having a pearl put in place of the diamond, even though my little heart-shaped diamond is beautiful, just to have something that represents Nicholas too. (His birthday is in June, so his birthstone is pearl. The ring already has my and Cliff's birthstones in it.) That would also be a bit lopsided symbolically, because really, the garnet should be in the center (me), and the pearl and the emerald on the sides. Oh well. I don't know.

I just don't know. I'm confused and agitated today.

I did finally get to smoke a cigarette but I would like another one right now, just to calm me down.

Nicholas wants us to watch a movie together, but I'm not sure I can settle down enough to sit still through a movie.

azdesertrose: (Default)
Okay, so I thought Nicholas had tossed the pack of smokes. He didn't, but we only shared three last night, so that's better even than I was doing before the scare. We haven't smoked at all today although I asked if we could have one after we earlier. He said we could have one after supper, which will be spaghetti.

I really want some chips so I can eat the salsa I made. I also need to pick up some salad mix for noshing on, since Nicholas' tummy has been a bit upset and he needs more fresh veggies. Won't hurt the rest of us either. But nobody really feels like going anywhere today, me included.


Nov. 8th, 2008 07:14 pm
azdesertrose: (Default)
So Nicholas and I stayed up talking all night last night and I got really upset, which set me off into a dissociative episode and then a psychotic episode this morning. I've slept all day.

Triggers: CSA, hearing voices, catatonia )

I feel better now after some sleep. I'm kind of hungry but I don't feel like cooking. What I really want is a hamburger and some french fries and some mac and cheese.
azdesertrose: (Default)
Nicholas said when he saw the post with Little Guy's pics that I never post pics of him. I have a few that he sent me a while back, but here's one taken this evening of both of us in the computer room. It's not a particularly great shot of either of us, and it's also not the best pic my camera ever took, but it shows what we look like.

Nicholas and me in the computer room

And this is Cliff and CC.


When I had Dixie take the pic of Nicholas and me, I wanted a pic of Nicholas, Cliff and me, but Cliff hates being photographed so he wouldn't get in the picture. So that's what we look like, anyway.
azdesertrose: (Default)
So I may have mentioned that Nicholas is black and Cliff and I are white, and that this may cause me some issues with my parents, more specifically my stepdad.

My stepdad is on most topics a really awesome person, but he's got a real blind spot when it comes to black folk. He grew up during segregation, and he absorbed that idea set that black people are somehow worth less than whites. He tried to tell me one time that the black people of his youth were not as clean as white people. (Of the people I've personally known well enough to be informed of their hygiene habits, the black folk outdo the whites on personal care by leaps and bounds.)

I also have to face up to some racist things I've done myself, with my heart in the right place. I told Mini-me one time when she was in middle school that she shouldn't let Bill know she was dating a black kid. I was trying to save her a huge confrontation with Bill, because it would have become one. As it transpired, she broke up with the young man before my stepdad found out about it anyway. But when I introduce her to Nicholas, I'm going to have to face up to my own hypocrisy because no way in hell is she not going to call me on it.

I really try not to be racist. I try to judge people on their merits, not their ethnicity. I try not to let things that people can't control about themselves color my estimation of them, and no one gets to pick what ethnicity they're born into. I myself am a descendant of people who were judged inferior because of the color of their skin and subjected to what comes damn near genocide. (I'm part Cherokee.)

I discussed this with Nicholas and I'm fairly sure I offended him. I didn't mean to. I was trying to be honest about the internal struggle I'm having between accepting him as part of our family and dealing with the implications of that with my parents and daughter.

It boils down to this. Nicholas is part of our family now, and my parents will just have to suck that up if they don't like it. He's a beautiful, intelligent, sweet, witty young man, and I'm glad to have him in my life. I don't intend to come out to my parents as poly right away, so I will let them get used to Nicholas being part of my home as a friend and roommate (which is literally true, as he shares Cliff's and my room) and then later on, clue them in about his true place in my life. Nicholas is more important to me than my stepdad's racist attitudes.

Oh, and on another politically charged topic, DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN the state of Florida for passing Amendment 2. Bloody bigoted idiots. I voted against it, Nancy voted against it, half the people I know voted against it, but there are apparently enough homophobic morons in this state to pass the damn thing. Shit fuck hell fire and damnation.


Nov. 2nd, 2008 03:19 pm
azdesertrose: (Default)
I feel like I can't cope any more.

No matter what I do, somebody is angry with me. I've mentioned feeling wrong-footed with Cliff all the time, and now Nicholas is mad at me about my smoking.

I feel like I can't calm down at all. Hot baths don't help, the Klonopin only helps if I take three or four of them, smoking helps for a little while.

I just want to give up and quit trying to make anybody happy because I'm constantly failing at it any way.


azdesertrose: (Default)

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