Being legitimate

Someone had to know I would broach this. It was inevitable.

 

In an interview aired this past Sunday, Todd Akin, a Republican candidate for Senate in the great state of Missouri, made this statement when asked about his feelings on abortions resulting from rape circumstances.

“First of all, from what I understand from doctors, [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

He really said that. Really and truly.

 

Now, let me start by saying, as a woman – he has no right to an opinion. Really. I don’t get all up in his scrote and he’s never carried a baby, so we should just agree to keep our politics out of each others’ crotches.

And secondly, as a rape victim – fuck you, Mr. Akin.

Legitimate rape?

What are the other kinds? Illegitimate? Imagined? Maybe she didn’t say no loudly enough? Maybe she was “asking” for it?

I realize that people are falsely accused of rape. I know that happens, and it is a sad thing to know that someone would abuse such a delicate area for whatever reason.

But the majority of rapes (60-68%, according to a quick Googling) go unreported, and do you know why? Because of douchebags like Todd Akin. Because the first thing asked of anyone claiming rape is not, “What can I do?” not “How can I help?” it’s…..”Well, what happened?”

Because its not enough to be taken advantage of. It’s not enough to be violated. It’s not enough to matter so little that you don’t even get a choice in what happens to you.

You have to justify. You have to prove what you’ve claimed. It’s no wonder that women and men in staggering amounts just choose to opt out. Why prolong things and expose yourself to embarrassment…criticism…shame?

It happened to me. And just because it wasn’t a stranger in a dark alley doesn’t mean it wasn’t real. It doesn’t mean I deserved it. It doesn’t mean I hurt any less. It doesn’t make it any less legitimate.

 

So while Mr. Akin sits in Missouri with whatever opinions he wants to have about situations he will never face, I will try with all my might to let everyone know that things like this are not okay. It’s not okay to trivialize someone else’s hurt. It’s not okay to make blanket statements when you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.

Help a little more, talk a little less. I think that’d do some good for everybody.

 

All God’s creatures – except the ones we smash

I am a helper. I see someone in need, I want to help them out.
Even if I don’t like them.
Even if they don’t like me.

It may be some sort of complex, but if I have it in me to assist someone in any way, I want to do that.

Just to read what I have said thus far sounds kind of braggy. I swear I don’t mean it that way. Lots of times I’ve not thought before I offered to help someone and it’s turned out terribly. Like, “Sure you can borrow my refrigerator/rocking chair/video camera, I don’t mind at all!”

Except then it takes effort to make the swap or the donation. Pickup and delivery and interacting with human beings who aren’t accustomed to my baby-powdered hair and yoga pants (baby powder is what I put in my hair when I don’t have time to wash/rinse it, and often always I go overboard. So if you ever see me with a white powdery scalp it means I tried to give a shit and it just didn’t work out). And then I resent myself and the other person for the whole time.

So over the years I have learned not to be quite so generous when I offer help, unless fully prepared to do what needs to be done.

Last week, my coworker Mandy needed some help.

Mandy is one of the coolest bitches in the world and we have a blast working together. We’re a lot alike and we do pretty well. So of course when Mandy needed help I wanted to help her.

Here is the situation:

Mandy doesn’t like bugs. I don’t either, for that matter, but I can usually handle the smashing and otherwise dispelling of undesirable creatures. So when Mandy came in after lunch one afternoon talking about the terrible bug that was in her car at that very moment, I thought why not help her out. How bad can it be?

Turns out, pretty bad.

I shit you not. This creature inside the car was half horsefly, half dragonfly, half bee, half possessed little girl from The Exorcist.

Seriously, it had her eyes.

I see this thing and suddenly all my resolve drains away. I was armed with an orange flyswatter and nothing else, and jesushellmoses I was pretty sure this Jumanji bee creature would take one look at my wimpy ass arm and attach itself for dear life just because it could.

Not to be swayed, though, I proceeded to poke and swat at the increasingly-angered insect. I’m not sure what my plan was exactly, just to rake him out of the window so he could get away, maybe to get lucky and get a well-timed strike in? Not likely.

So there we were, two shrieking women in the middle of the sidewalk, me inexplicably jabbing in the car door with a flyswatter while Mandy coached from the other side of the windshield – “There it is! He’s over here! He’s mad Emily, oh he’s mad.”

Of course a passerby was going to take pity on us. A passerby who was covered in tattoos (he even had one of those spiderweb elbow things) and weighed at the most 100 pounds soaking wet stopped to see what our problem was. He then handed me his presumably new license plate, took the flyswatter, and killed the skulldemon hell bug.

For real. Just like that. Bip, bop, dead.

He then took his license plate, acknowledged our thanks, and went on about his way – which turned out to be three cars down where he proceeded to slimjim his way into a vehicle we could only presume was his.

He got the benefit of the doubt.

Things I would have known if I had had a brother

Growing up, I always hated being the youngest. I was very put upon and woebegone and no one understood me. My mother had been the oldest. My dad had been an only child. So I was forced to live the life of a young Mississippi girl who NO ONE UNDERSTOOD (as if anyone could have understood me otherwise).

Above anything else, I always used to want a brother. A big brother. Sometimes I would pretend Stephanie was my big brother because she was so tall, but then she’d do something stupid like be a cheerleader or wear a bra and the illusion was shattered.

I realize now that part of my fascination with the opposite sex (read: boy craziness) stemmed from not really knowing much about boys, having never been around them all that much. I mean, I was around them at church – but let’s face it, church boys are somehow not as alluring.

Therefore, I present you with things I probably would have known ahead of getting married, had I but had a brother:

Boys are gross. Farts and balls and dingleberries gross.

The end.

Perhaps I should thank my mother for allowing boys to be alluring for at least a little while.

Update on the crazy

It’s been a while since I really said anything about the cogs and wheels in my brain case.

Stuff has changed. How’s that for vague?

Mostly things are better. I have found calm where there was…less than none.

I don’t really know how. That should totally be something I could just spill out, right? It should be a logical progression. Breathing techniques. Colors and crystals, meditation and sex. Positive affirmations.

Maybe it’s all of that. Maybe it’s none of it.

Medicine has been adjusted. That could be part of it. I’m around people more these days.

School is starting back soon, and if I told you how excited I am about that you’d probably think my crazy is just relocating itself.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that things are better. I honestly worked on the way I perceive things and the levels of importance I place on different aspects of life…and I think it has actually worked.

I don’t go to therapy anymore. I was terrible at going to therapy anyway, as evidenced by the fact that my therapist changed jobs and I missed the appointment where she intended

to tell me. I could still go, sure. I could have a new therapist, one who knows about me from notes and files. I could even be okay with that – but things have flipped around so that where there once was too much time, now there is not enough. Also I kind of ran out of things to say.
The remarkable thing is that I know I’m not “fixed”…but I’m okay with that. Glad for it, even. I have grown comfortable with the fact that I will always be a little sadder/more sensitive/weirder than most people, but I’ve decided I like that about myself. It’s okay with me. Besides…isn’t that why I have a blog? Free therapy?

Reasons it doesn’t matter if no one ever reads this

This blog is a big deal to me. It always has been.

Only for the past year or so, though, have I attempted to care if it were a big deal to other people too.

It’s something about me I’m not fond of – this apparent need to be liked. I never thought I had that very much. I’ve found myself censoring more, saying less. Trying to appeal…and for what?

The pull of my blog has always been that it is mine. That when everything was reduced down to work and play and manifesting your dream, that I had something I had done for myself. Just for the pure craft. Except I wasn’t. I was writing hoping to be popular, hoping for someone to notice me.

There were all sorts of levels of bullshit surrounding that revelation. I was ashamed. I was embarrassed. I was not surprised.

Earlier this week, I found a document that brought me to sobering reality. The-Writers-Manifesto (that’s a pdf link, and if you download it you need to tell him how great he is). After reading it, I wanted to slap myself and write books at the same time.

So with much pain and heartbreak, I’ve come to the realization that it’s okay if no one reads what I write.

Why?

I’m not writing for anyone else.

I will have a record – a concrete one – of days, months, years. However meager it may seem, I am shaping my legacy on my own terms.

I can be honest. I don’t have to be afraid of offending anyone, because I’m not depending on them to read what I say. In itself, this is amazingly freeing.

Whether I move on with my ideas or simply do this and nothing else, it’s okay with me.

And by being myself, whatever happens, this piece of me exists. No one can pay for that.

 

Where I admit my horticultural shortcomings

20120625-210227.jpg
A few posts back I talked about things I inherited from my Dad.
One of the things I did not inherit in any way from my Dad is his ability to grow things. My father could grow baby bars of gold, if he were so inclined. Every year he has a bumper crop of squash or tomatoes or beans or whatever. It is something he is VERY good at doing.

Me, not so much. The only thing (plant wise) I’ve ever been able to keep alive was one of those little fishbowl ecosystem things where a beta fish lives in this tiny bowl and its poop makes a plant grow or something similar. I kept that thing alive for at least a year. Something happened though and the fish died, and I didn’t notice until it was this ghastly murky nightmare of fish skeleton and rotted roots.

I couldn’t ever even grow sprouts in a styrofoam cup in kindergarten.

In college, my roommate got me a TweetyBird chiapet and…well, that was a disaster.

I guess what I’m saying is that I am in no danger of growing any marijuana any time soon.

For some reason a couple of months ago I took stock of my life and apparently decided I needed to grow things. Dan’s grandfather passed away recently, and I rescued a pot or two of businesslike – looking bulbs from his backyard, thinking I would do his memory proud by finally being able to succeed in helping to grow life. It was very poetic – his life would go on in the form of those bulbs, and I would gently nudge them to luxuriant and lusty full life.

It hasn’t really turned out that way.

Only one of the bulbs seemed to sprout – and while it sprouted fully and quickly and seems as healthy as any plant could ever be, there is a slight issue.

I’m pretty sure it’s a weed.

Although, at this point, I don’t really give a shit. Life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, correct? Well, life has given me a weed, and I fully intend to nurture and groom and MiracleGro that weed until one of us dies.

I’m growing something. Anything. Horticulture is not my style – I will simply pretend it’s a rosebush.

20120625-212025.jpg

Working stiff

It’s been two years, but it happened.

I went back to work.

Today was my first day, and I’m pretty sure once I’m not all derpy clueless and stumbly annoying, I’ll like it a great deal.

Lucy left this morning with Josh, waving goodbye like it was the greatest day in the world.

Did I cry? I didn’t. Not really. But I did catch myself wondering throughout the day if she was laughing. Or crying. Or being a bossy sass pants.
The other two never needed me as much as she always has. Or maybe it’s the other way around.

In other news, why do I even own shoes with strangely heighted heels? Tallish I’m good with. Flat – even better. But weird in between height? All of the pain.

long lost

I know I say this all the time, but sorry I’ve been missing. However, if you have been reading my stuff for any length of time at all, you know that sometimes I just can’t be bothered to do the things I love to do.

Like play Draw Something. Words with Friends. Pretty much any of the games which require constant turn taking.

And sometimes this blog qualifies too. I just don’t want it to feel like a job.

Lots of things have been going on, though. Good things mostly. My therapist recently told me that she was leaving (after I missed like four sessions – seriously I can’t keep a damn thing straight), and that is sad. Truth be told, though, she did me a shitton of good and I hope she encounters only good things.

Do you suppose it’s true that writing only stems from pain? Because many, many times when things are not great or I feel like whining or punching someone – I’ll come here and yammer about it just to get it out.

And I feel better when I do. Thing is, when I feel good, I feel like I don’t have anything to be deep and meaningful about.

Because who can be deep and meaningful about MYLIFEKICKSASS?

20120602-170602.jpg

Oh Day of Days

There are many, many days in any given year that are special to me, for any number of reasons.

Today, though. Today is big.

Seriously – there are all of the feelings.

Eight years ago today, I had a daughter. She was perfect. She was beautiful.

She still is.

In Ava, I see everything I once was – and so much I could never be. Confidence and beauty and every hope and dream in the world. I want so much for her, and at the same time I’m terrified I’m unintentionally projecting some vicarious dreams. That’s not what I want. If she takes nothing away from my mothering, I want it to be the knowledge that above all else, I love her. No matter what. If she quits too soon, if she loves unexpectedly, if she makes the wrong choice. When she can be sure of nothing else in the entire world, she can be sure of me. That she is my heart.

For eight years I have been in this fog of awe that I could have ever produced such a spectacular human being, and it won’t lift any time soon.

Six years ago today, I married my best friend. We went on a whim to a courthouse and said vows in front of a stranger, and then we ate Mexican food.

It hasn’t been easy. In fact, it’s been harder than anything else I could ever even think of doing. I’ve wanted to quit and I’ve wondered what we were thinking. But I’ve also had the most amazing times of my life.

I’ve never really believed in the concept of soulmates, but I do know that to find someone you can lock onto is a lucky, lucky thing. It’s unlikely and it’s messy and it’s embarrassing and it’s everything you think it shouldn’t be, but in the midst of everything else, it’s having a partner. Someone on your side. Someone who can hurt you like no one else – but chooses not to, not because you can hurt them just as badly, but because they want to keep you from hurt. Teamwork and frustration and heartbreak, joy and accomplishment and laughter and tears.

Maybe it isn’t Cinderella. Maybe it isn’t all unicorns and fairy farts.

But it’s spectacular. It’s the whole world. It’s a work of art.

 

All in all, it’s a pretty great day.

 

Lacking

This past weekend, as everyone everywhere lauded mothers and grandmothers and stepmothers and den mothers…I was far from forgotten.

I got cards and aloe plants and an app for my phone that lets me pretend to run from zombies.

My husband was just as sweet and accommodating as he always is on days like that. For some reason it always means so much to me when I get mentioned on his facebook or other public forum. It’s very high school and probably a reflection of some deep seated problem, but it makes me all warm and fuzzy. He knows this. He indulged me.

As always happens on days that are so built up, though, I was at a bit of a loss.

I mean, people. I had the bomb-diggety-ass mom. Everything was always so clean and she was always so….pure. I will always feel like a little bit of a letdown as compared to Asskicking Anita.

My kids know I love them. I love them the best way I know how, with everything that is in my being. That love, for me, manifests in bitchy and nagging more often than cuddles or sweetness. I nag because I want them to be warm, to be clean, to look kind of groomed.

My kind of love – the nurturing I have within me – will likely never materialize in the form of sparkling kitchens and folded sheets. I will never Bree Van de Kamp my way up and down any lane, or greet new people with a basket of muffins. It will probably always annoy me a little when someone drops by with no notice – just because I worry they might see the dust bunnies or the stupid kitchen floor. I will never sit up and slip my feet into waiting slippers and drink coffee in a plushy robe. It’s just not what I do.

So when Mother’s Day comes around, I always feel a little lacking. Even though I’m not. I just mother…differently, I suppose.