Every Public Service Job Counts…(and Zazzle products list)

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Or rather, “All Public Service Jobs Matter” though Zazzle holds a policy against usage of “All” combined with “Matter” unless it is specifically for Black Lives Matter. I’m guessing that some assholes decided to be assholes against the #BlackLivesMatter movement and so the policy had to be implemented.

So I was inspired to create this motto in response to the sprouting up of police support signs in the white-flight suburb of Kettering, Ohio and Oakwood, Ohio (where local police hold a propensity for pulling over Black drivers.)

The racist motivation behind the signs is quite clear, as much as they may refuse it, deflect it, or attempt to excuse it. It is known that many in the area were motivated to purchase those signs due to the so-called “police hate” resulting from the protests for Black Lives and equality that have taken place across this country.

Well, two can play at that game.

So after creating a design, I got on Zazzle.com to start making items that point out public service is a JOB. A job. Clock in, clock out. Jobby job job. A position with duties, perhaps a uniform. At the very least, a dress code. Supervisors. Management.

Essentially, the usual trope against Black Lives Matter is that “all lives matter.” So my response to the racist “we support the police” signs is that “all public service jobs matter” but again, through the wording that every public service job counts. Public service is public tax dollars at work. Doesn’t every dollar count?

Cops always get the most credit. But what about the other agencies and departments, the many essential workers keeping the community running smoothly? Oh, but cops protect us, eh?

What about the people working in the public sanitation and solid waste? You think they aren’t protecting you too?

Oh, but cops get yelled at and have to deal with unreasonable people, angry people, etc. and so forth, eh?

There are so many public servants in various offices and agencies who, in the course of a workday, handle and speak with angry citizens, recipients, clients, etc. And they often are held accountable if something improper is done in terms of case work, eligibility, or any number of things impacting the public.

Lastly, for the locals, don’t try to throw the police in the faces of Black people who live in suburban neighborhoods. They can already tell that you’re a scared racist asshole by the Trump signs and flags in your yard.

This is intended as a form of Good Trouble, as coined by the late American statesman and civil rights leader John Lewis. Proceeds from the sale of items will be donated to a local Dayton/Miami Valley Area organization that is centered on Black Lives.

Continue reading

#BlackLivesMatter #BelieveBlackPeople #NoJusticeNoPeace

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So the below piece is something I wrote and posted on my Facebook on September 12th, after finally waking up after my Humira injection. Sipping coffee while standing and then finally sitting at the kitchen counter, hunting and pecking this guidance out on my tablet over the course of several hours. It’s that driven sensation, perhaps still connected to the universe through the recent dreaming, allowing all of this to churn itself outwards from my fingers. I’m compelled to speak up, again. And in this case, cuss like a motherfucker.

Facebook posts end up lost in the constant updates to one’s timeline. Especially mine. I’m GalWithGloves pretty much everywhere on social media. My public posts are decidedly public, all for a reason. Often Anti-racist information. As I posted this writing on there, I’ve found out that it’s meant something to those who have read it. It’s lifted some spirits up, right when it’s needed. Right when we have a president who upholds white supremacy. So I’m posting it here, on my blog, in case someone who is exhausted and justifiably upset is needing to be seen, heard, and believed. Looking for a little faith in a world designed to oppress them, body and hope…

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So I wake up from my Humira coma this afternoon to discover that I’ve been suspended yet again on #NextDoor for being “unneighborly” here in #ketteringohio…You want to know what’s unneighborly? Police yard signs that exist only because white people are scared of #Black people protesting and rioting to demand the same privileges that the whites already got.

So this is really long. Tissues may be needed due to imagery and names. Facebook also apparently has a limit of 50 tags. So if a tag doesn’t work, please copy and paste into Google to find out more.

There are Black neighbors, exhausted, having to pretend they don’t see this shit or feel bothered by it. It’s fine that I’m suspended. Every suspension is proof to me that I’m doing the Lord’s work and they can’t stand it. People around here in the suburbs are so exceptionally entitled and sheltered. There’s this insane desire to “keep the peace.” Meanwhile, #NoJusticeNoPeace..

Every suspension is a win for #goodtrouble. I’ll never stop bringing up #BlackLivesMatter on NextDoor here in the white suburbs. I know there are neighbors who are afraid to say anything different because they don’t want to alienate people. Me? I don’t give a fuck. Probably from all that military moving around as a kid, combined with my work. My next-door neighbors have a Trump sign in their yard now. You think I can trust that? With everything Trump stands for? Let’s not forget that someone on my street fucked with my Black Lives Matter yard sign. You think I can respect anyone who does that? Fuck no. And you all actually know me…my neighbors really don’t. Talking to neighbors is some customer service voice and conversation skills level shit. They have never heard me talk or be as my true self, even on NextDoor (which is why suspensions are further hilarious…I never cuss! But I should! Racist assholes.)

Also, I tweeted at Next Door to document and share another example of unneighborly bullshit suspensions. If you check the tweets sent to them, you’ll often find stories of how those calling out the racism are punished while the racists are not, especially if the Leads are racist conservatives. Many things came to light when NextDoor started to “allow” Black Lives Matter discussions. Getting suspended is just proof of white people’s discomfort with the discussion of Black Lives.

“But these signs are about Police…” Oh, are they? Are they really? Because the timing is awfully telling of the fact that it’s not and that your lily-white ass is so scared of Black protest and riots that you feel you need to make sure that the police know that you must be protected because you have the golden ticket staked into your lawn. Don’t forget to leave Santa Blue a plate of donuts and a mug of coffee for when they come to save you at midnight.

Now I support the police…with my tax dollars. Quite frankly, #AllPublicServiceJobsMatter, ahem. But I don’t trust them anymore. Not after the frightening stories that have been shared with me by my Black friends. #BelieveBlackPeople They have more than one story. I’ve never been scared at a police stop. And I can count the number on less than one hand for being stopped. They often have more stories than the fingers on one hand. They fear for their children, especially as they grow up. They fear for their spouses, parents, cousins, sisters, and brothers…direct blood or not. They know the feeling of watching their loved one walk out the door of their home and not know if they’re going to come back, like #AhmaudArbery. Except in this case, unlike cops, it’s not because of a uniform that they can peel off at the end of shift. It’s because of the Black color of their skin. They can’t take off their skin! It’s alive, unlike the blue fabric of a police uniform. When you shoot them, they bleed from their Black skin being deliberately punctured. They bleed out from their Black bodies. They die because they’re Black. They’re pursued because they’re Black. They’re watched because they’re Black. They’re followed because they’re Black. They’re chased because they’re Black. They die because they’re Black. Their mothers weep from the depths of their beating hearts and traumatized yet resilient souls because someone, often white, killed their beautiful Black baby. The precious child they brought into this world and held in their arms, feeding from their bosom to grow up into an adult; something that every parent wants. But Black people are punished for it.

Police can hide in plain sight, plain clothes. Black people cannot (and if you think they can because of lighter skin tone, then that’s on you for refusing to see them truly since white is always the default to us whites). Police are paid to be police. Black people are not. Police are given a vehicle to drive around to do their job. Black people are followed and stopped for driving any kind of car, but especially one that looks nice and was bought with their own extra hard-earned money (worked for twice as hard with at least twice the effort of any white person; see Trump vs. Obama.) They’re pulled over for driving anywhere, but especially in the “wrong” area (also Oakwood and then Desiree Tims experienced this in Genoa Township in 2019, and then they created news articles and a Facebook page against her regarding the incident to deliberately malign her reputation.) Hell, Black people are watched and followed, even questioned, for just walking down the “wrong” street, even if they’re carrying a clipboard (Oakwood). Police are given a uniform, badge, and gun. Black people are humans born into this world, crying out as they take their first breath just like every white baby…except their pain, their health issues, and their health emergencies are often questioned and ignored. Their Black mothers are at a higher risk of dying from childbirth than any white mother reading this.

My workplace lost just such a Black mother last year. She had just passed the difficult training and probationary period to dedicate herself to public service, bringing a precious child into this world, and it was all taken away. Her Black child has no Black mother to hold them, to rock them to sleep, to nurture them, to watch them grow up, and smile at the wonder of her beautiful Black child. I don’t know if she was even able to see or hold her baby after birth. Imagine this. Now this Black mother must watch her Black child grow up from heaven, with their #ancestors wrapping their spiritual arms around them both, for strength, for hope, for protection. Because they know that her Black child is going to be hunted from first breath to the moment of their final exhalation. The Black ancestors know all too well. For they bear marks and lashes upon their Black skin from the hatred of their white masters. Their Black bodies were repeatedly violated in rape for the enslavement of so-called “pleasure” of their monstrous white masters. The Black mothers had their own Black babies ripped out of their arms, sobbing and screaming for their inherent right to be mothers. All taken away to be sold and enslaved. The white masters ignored them, likely punishing them for their rightful rage.

And you wonder why their Black descendants protest, riot, and even kneel? I would burn the world down too if my blood carried the fire of so many deliberate crimes against Black motherhood, Black skin. Wouldn’t you? Can you hear them scream “My baby! My baby!”? This happened over and over and over to enslaved Black mothers. In fact, it’s still happening now. Imagine how the mother of #GeorgeFloyd must have felt up there in heaven watching her Black son be murdered by a power-tripping white cop? Her baby. Her baby. Imagine how their Black ancestors felt watching the white masters murder through lynching again, shaking their heads because this has gotta stop.

I want you to know that when Black people protest, they aren’t alone. Never alone. Their Black #ancestorsspeak and march with them too. You may not be able to see them, but you can feel them, you can hear them speak in the buzzing of the air. There is a fire burning in all of the hearts of Black people, living and passed over. You cannot extinguish it, not with the police, not with busybody neighbors peeking out from their shades and calling 911, not from your racist fear that Black people are out to harm your entitled, racist lily-white ass, not from hunting them down in daylight or hunting them down unannounced as they sleep in their beds dreaming of a better future after serving their community in a deadly #pandemicc. The fire grows ever higher, ever brilliantly. It spreads out to catch and feed the hearts of everyone who demands that #BlackLivesMatterAlways. It caught my ticking heart. Has it caught yours? If not, why is that? Why don’t you care about Black Lives? Just imagine looking in a mirror every day and wishing that people, especially white people, didn’t look at you and hate your Black skin, your beating heart, your Black culture, your #BlackityBlackBlackBlack soul. Just imagine for wanting to be loved, cared about, admired, and kept safe. I bet if you’re white, it’s pretty easy to imagine because you already have it. Then why don’t you want that for them? For their Black lives, their #Black skin, their Black children, their #ancestorswildestdreams?

#AllLivesCantMatterUntilBlackLivesDo #AllLivesCantMatterUntilBlackLivesMatterToo

And if you have a problem with that, then you have a problem with me and my lily-white ass and I am never going to stop speaking up for #BlackLivesMattering, especially at work and on motherfucking Next Door. Black Lives Matter is not political. Black Lives Matter is their lives, their skin, their hopes, their dream, their future. Look at the past that our ghostly pale asses put them through. Look at the present day, where it fucking continues under an illusion of equality lies. Black people deserve a better future and they should be given it without even having to demand it. And then y’all are surprised that they demand one, even if they kneel for it. What did you expect? What did you expect when you tied a rope around a tree and lynched out their breath? What did you expect when you stole them from their homelands, enslaved them, stacked them up like matchsticks to suffer a journey across the ocean (which they didn’t ask for), trapped them on foreign land, and demanded that they serve you without question, without resistance, and with respect? Respect that the masters and enslavers didn’t deserve, even! And then in present-day, white society still expects and demands that respect from Black people, even down to the style of every single strand of hair. And then you have the gall to respond to Black people with that “all lives matter” bullshit? You can’t even respect their names! Nor their Black skin. Their Black hair. Their Black food. Their Black voice. Their Black mind. Their #BlackityBlackBlack culture.

To be brutally and unrepentantly honest, if you can’t respect that Black Lives Matter, then I can’t respect you. If you can’t stand with the movement of voices calling for Black Lives to matter now and in the future, then you are not as good of a person as you think you are. You are by no means as Christian as you think you are. There are #Satanists better than you because they often support Black Lives Mattering. Hell, there are even #witchesagainstwhitesupremecy, including myself 🔥🧙‍♀️🔥.

Try as you might, the fire burning in these hearts will never go out in the fight for Black Lives Matter This fire is as born of pain old as time, and it spreads across space, across generations, beyond death, throughout life. You cannot stop the fight for Black Lives Matter. Be as angry as you want about it, but you’re only #TellingOnYourself. That’s all right though. We can see you coming, going, ignoring. You’re not hiding anything. We see your Trump signs, your police support signs, your smirks, and your stares as we support Black Lives Matter. It’s a real shame how you refuse to support Black human rights. It speaks volumes about your heart and your character. Volumes on your hypocrisy as a human being.

We see you. We know you. And we’ll fight for Black Lives Matter in spite of every stupid selfish, and sociopathic thing you try to use to block it. This fire burns so brightly in their hearts, minds, souls, that not even Death dare extinguish it. Who do you think was there waiting with open arms to console the Black lives crossing over? Who do you think held them safe as they crossed the other side into the brilliant light and stood watching as they reunited with other Black lives that have already crossed over? Who do you think was there to escort the white masters and others who contributed to Black enslavement into Final Judgment? Life and Death are eternal, as is the fire that they lit within each of us as we are born and as we die, to rejoin the Light. I think Life and Death are tired, just as Black people are exhausted themselves. Life knows this and keeps that fire burning, even through unending exhaustion. Death knows this and makes certain that the ancestors can reach their descendants, direct blood or not, from the other side. Watching over them, always. They are their #ancestorwildestdream And no one, no one…not even selfish scared racists in selfish white Suburbia can stop the truest #love

PhilandoCastil #AltonSterling #BreonnaTaylor #AhmaudArbery #DanielPrude #georgerobinson #deonkay #damianlamardaniels #DijonKizzee #TrayfordPellerin #JacobBlake #DavidMcAtee #SeanReed #TamirRice #BothamJean #MichaelBrown #TonyMcDade #EJBRADFORD #MichaelDean #JameeJohnson #AntwonRose #StephonClark #YassinMohamed #finanberhe #stevendemarcotaylor #arianemccree #TerranceFranklin #MilesHall #DariusTarver #WilliamGreen #samueldavidmallard #kwamekkjones #DeVonBailey #ChristopherWhitfield #AnthonyHill #EricLogan #JamarionRobinson #GregoryHill #jaquavionslaton #RyanTwyman #BrandonWebber #JimmyAtchison #williemccoy

NatashaMcKenna #MichelleCusseaux #DettrickGriffin #JemelRoberson #dandreballard #robertlawrencewhite #AnthonyLamarSmith #RamarleyGraham #ManuelLogginsJr #teayvonmartin #WendellAllen #KendrecMcDade #LarryJackson #JonathanFerrell #JordanBaker #VictorWhite #DontreHamilton #EricGarner #JohnCrawfordIII#riahmilton #dominiqueremmie #KathrynJohnston #KorrynGaines #AtatianaJefferson #TanishaAnderson #CharleenaLyles #PearlieGolden #KaylaMoore #duannajohnson #IndiaKager #aiyannastanleyjones #RekiaBoyd #shellyfrey #eleanorbumpus #MyaHall #MiriamCarey #SandraBland #natashamckenna #KyamLivingston #YvetteSmith #shellyfrey

EzellFord #DanteParker #kajiennepowell #LaquanMcDonald #AkaiGurley #RumainBrisbon #JerameReid #CharlyKeunang #TonyRobinson #WalterScott #BrendonGlenn #SamuelDubose #ChristianTaylor #jamarclark #MarioWoods #QuintonioLeGrier #GregoryGunn #akieldenkins #altonsterling #TerrenceSterling #TerenceCrutcher #KeithLamontScott #AlfredOlango #JordanEdwards #stephonclark #DannyRayThomas #DejuanGuillory #PatrickHarmon #jonathanhart #mauricegranton #juliusjohnson #DarnishaHarris #MalissaWilliams #AlesiaThomas #ShantelDavis #ShereeseFrancis #TarikaWilson #kathrynjohnston #AlbertaSpruill #KendraJames #EmmettTill and these are the ones known, documented. Process that.

BlackLivesMatterEveryday #SayHerName #nojusticepeace

The Privilege of Turning Away

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It seems that I have lost a fellow Rheumatoid Arthritis friend over my blunt, informed, and unapologetic Anti-Racism stance. Though Durazo might put it another way…

Someone who I fully believed in, especially as they navigate their life with this horrible disease, whether a new problem or new journey. As an old soul with this never-ending disease, I know it helps to connect with others suffering from this same bullshit. Because it never goes away really. It just looks for sneakier ways to attack from inside.

Oh, what does that remind me of? 

I don’t recall saying anything rude nor truly problematic. Those who know me in real life or even long and well enough on here (but especially in real life) know that I’m capable of saying some shit out of nowhere. Zing! Absolutely brilliant stuff. Think like Wednesday Addams deadpanning. Wide eyes and dropped jaws abound.

But the people who know me in real life usually understand why I don’t sugarcoat things, especially when it comes to the issues of social justice and Anti-Racism. Especially those who have become my friends through 14 years of working together. Many of them see the problem of oppression within our society and community. Some actually live it. No matter what they do or where they go, they’re forced to experience racism. 

There are things I can get away with that they can’t because of my white privilege, such as calling out and naming a coworker’s and their racist action publicly, to HR’s chagrin. Because of that blindingly white privilege, there are many things that I have no room to judge any Black person on, whatsoever. Today’s lesson involves riots and looting.

Us white people have no room to judge how Black people feel in fighting for their lives, especially when it comes to the particulars of how they have to fight. I’m sorry that so few people comprehend this about Black Lives Matter. I’m not sorry that Designer stores were damaged during the urgency of protesting Black oppression. Also not sorry that I refuse to judge, again because that’s not my lane to ever judge within. Period. Not sorry that I (repeatedly) posted information to educate on the existence and psychology of “riotous behavior”.

However,  I am sorry that I held back on responding more, if at all, to their posts about the riots. Calling out unfair and privileged judgment. But I figured my Facebook posts (incessant as they are) would help do the work for me. I didn’t argue on their page since it’s often promotional for work in various industries. I generously respected that due to the shared path of RA. I rolled my eyes and scrolled right on past, tucking a little red flag away for the time being. I continued posting Anti-Racism information. 

Probem is…I notice everything. You just told on yourself. I see what you did there. Most might just unfollow, because as mentioned before, incessant posting sessions. And just like some in my family, after I had called out a problematic family member (racism and misogyny) for which excuses are often made; friends but not really…not anymore, since I made them uncomfortable, angry, bothered.

But that’s all right. They’re just telling on themselves. Just like you. It’s funny though. Us RA patients, we’re so used to being uncomfortable. In our bodies, from the physical pain. Uncontrollable, random, hovering always, threatening to ruin everything. I’m okay with being uncomfortable, at least more than most. I can sit with it. Acknowledge its existence. Unpack it and learn from it. But I tend to forget that not every RA patient, not every white person, is as seemingly capable or as comfortable nor as empathetic. This is a disease inside of us, destroying us from inside out. We pursue treatments to help ourselves and curb its destruction. We’ve got options available and we doggedly pursue obtaining them because we want to stop the disease, the destruction, the whole process destroying us from inside out.

But what happens when we don’t have options? Or when those in power over our access (insurance companies or government agencies, laws, etc.) stand in our way? We want to fight them. Make them listen. Get them to help us now. NOW. Not tomorrow. There might not be a tomorrow. It hurts so much. Well, what if they didn’t listen? Didn’t care? Negated and rejected us, our needs, our right to be comfortable in our bodies, our skin, at every fucking turn? And not just once, but repeatedly. Day after day. Environment after environment. Situation after situation. Generation after generation. 

Would you be calm, content to play by their rules all the time, even after having learned already that they don’t fucking listen, they don’t fucking care…just another body, another annoyance, something to reject. The little rules and policies that work for them will never work for you, because it’s designed that way. Designed to work against you. Designed to destroy you from inside out, a constant state of inflammation, burning and eating you up until there’s nothing left but desperate rage to be heard, to live, to be valid in the eyes and hearts of them all.

They want to destroy you. But you don’t want to be destroyed. You want it to stop. You want to live, to breathe. But you can’t breathe. Not anymore. You can’t hold that fire burning inside you, burning up all of your oxygen. Not anymore. You can’t let it destroy you ANYMORE. So you take the fire burning inside and burn it out through your body into the world, onto what they care about. Things, not people. Appearances, not humanity. Stores and their facades. Image and privilege on a pedestal. 

So when you judge their riotous behavior, you judge their right to be so justifiably enraged by how society is specifically designed to mistreat them in life, day after fucking day. Generation after generation. 

You expect people fighting for their lives to do so politely? Fuck off with that bullshit. So many Black lives have been destroyed. All killed simply for existing. Beating hearts slaughtered over and over, day after year after generation.

Burn that whole motherfucker down.

Pillage

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I’m really tired of healthy people bitching about the inconveniences of face masks and social distancing during a pandemic of a viral illness. At least y’all get some warning and know it’s around.

With chronic illness, it comes out of fucking nowhere and one day, you’re just sitting there wondering why you can’t bend your damn fingers. Why it hurts to get out of a chair. Why it hurts to lay in bed and you can’t sleep because it’s constant. And there’s no fucking cure. You’re stuck with a new normal and life is never again the same.

June marks 25 years since my diagnosis. Next fall season will mark my 26th year. I went from Fall to June and was becoming a cripple, at age 15/16. And people wanna complain about the pandemic new normal and wearing a face mask for an ounce of prevention.

Do you know how many of us wish we could have prevented our chronic incurable painful disease? So many people have already been robbed by Covid-19…patients, families, dead or injured. Why can’t anyone fucking realize that you don’t ever get that shit back?! It’s priceless. Once it’s gone, it’s fucking gone forever.

Do you really want that kind of new normal? The kind with no new memories? The kind full of tears and dust in the wind? The kind of normal where you can’t really breathe, either because you’re sobbing from your loss so much or because your lungs are so scarred by viral disease.

You better take that last deep breathe now, it’s going to have to last you forevermore. Remember, there are no guarantees.

But if you had that one chance, just that one chance to stop it…would you?

I’m here to tell you that you should. Don’t rob yourself into being devastated by death or disease.

And you will feel devastated.

That I can guarantee.

Some People Don’t Deserve to Work in Healthcare…Part 1

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As an immunocompromised of over 25 years who depends on the healthcare industry and its workers, I have had it up to here with those who minimize or discredit health issues, such as being against vaccinations or minimizing global pandemics.

Today’s example is brought to us by Janie Hummel here in the Dayton, Ohio area. She claims Covid-19 is a benign virus. I’m certain that those who have died, as well as their loved ones, disagree for the obvious deadly truth.

Run a simple Google search and you can see that she’s even worked for WPAFB via healthcare.

Quite honestly, we deserve better from those working in healthcare. Your duty is to protect the health of the public but you choose to claim Covid-19 is a benign virus?

Unacceptable.

2/23/2020

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Running feels so free to do. It’s just you, your body cleansing itself from heart, muscle to mind. Pumping your legs. It feels like this freedom within the body. It honestly feels so good. And it’s so healthy for you. And Ahmaud couldn’t even have that. He couldn’t even have a nice run in broad daylight on a neighborhood street because 3 racists refused to see his humanity.


In those moments before the murderers crossed his path, he must have felt so free; In the wind, breathing deep. Yet he wasn’t free to run. He wasn’t free to deeply gulp in the fresh wind as he pumped his legs, feet striking the ground of the supposed “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave”. Imagine how good he must have felt when he started his jog. The wind in his face, body free and moving forward with his strength burning from inside his muscles, free to breathe. Then imagine his horror when he saw that truck, parked and waiting for him. You can see he is strong as he runs and changes course. You can see it as he is forced to fight for his life. But racism is stronger, disgustingly so. Racism is insidious. It kills with abandon. Racism killed #AhmaudArbery.


Every bullet was filled with hate. It took his breath away forever. No more running with the wind hitting his face, inhaling that fresh sun-filled air deep into his lungs. No more feet striking the pavement, pushing forward to free his own body and mind against the world. His life and body were taken from him by hatred for his life and his body because of the color of his skin. Never mind that his muscles and his bones were born human. He was his “ancestors’ wildest dreams,” as their quote goes…and then the horrifying nightmare of racism reared its ugly head to lynch him.


All he wanted in those moments was to run free in the wind. To run free, alive. Not run for his life, as he was forced to do in the end. But to run and be alive; feel his life, pumping through his legs into his heart, breathing deeply, exhilarated by the joy of being alive. When running, the movements feel like freedom. Fully alive. But racism doesn’t care how he felt running free in the wind. It hates that he’s alive. Racism slaughtered him to the ground, no longer free to live those “wildest dreams” of his ancestors, as the quote goes. There, one moment. Extinguished in the next. Racism kills dreams. Racism killed #AhmaudArbery.

Racism protects his murderers and then condemns the life of Ahmaud; a life running free in the sun and the wind, breathing in deep the freedom to be here now and soar with his own power pumping from his muscles through his feet. Racism stopped his feet. Racism stopped his heart. Racism took his breath and lynched him in broad daylight, slaughtered onto the street, treated like an animal and not as a human being. But he was a human being. Ahmaud’s whole life, as human as you and me! His murderers though, are monsters of humanity. They don’t deserve to be recognized as human “beings”…They don’t belong among us. Though they are…there are others like them among us, for racism is insidious. It hides and lurks in humans, in thoughts and rationalizations, not always buried deep. It’s on the tip of their tongue, waiting to be expressed, exposed, explained., treated as though innocent and innocuous. But racism isn’t innocent nor innocuous. Racism kills. It kills humans, people, friends, neighbors, loved ones, family, children, adults, human beings! It kills without remorse, repentance, reparations. Racism kills with impunity. Racism killed #AhmaudArbery.
#RunWithMaud

The New Normal

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This current “normal” is what it’s like to actually reside inside the mind and heart of an immunocompromised patient. People standing too close to us in public. Now you see why we get cranky about it. Why we glare when you stick your arms and hands in our faces to grab something or when you hog the fucking aisle so that we can’t avoid breathing you when we finally have the energy to run errands. We’ve known how to open doors using different contact methods,  to avoid pain and exposure. 

Your germs have never been safe for us. Your colds. Your flu. Your oh so minor symptoms that you bring to work. Your fear of vaccinations. Your fear of the immune response kicking in. Your inability to flush the fucking toilet completely or even wash hands thoroughly. Crowding around us because you want in through the doors, buildings, or transportation.  Being depressed and disappointed for missing out on things because of our conditions,  medications,  and need for rest and recovery. 

This current reality? This is what we always have to think about, how we’ve lived, this entire time that we have carried our conditions within us. Always thinking ahead of exposure too. Because our lives, our health, our immunity has always been at risk.  Our treatments put us at further risk. You think you’re afraid of getting sick and dying now? Where have you been?

This normal is not new to us, at all. You think you’re tired, especially in coping with these changes to a new normal now? Try doing it for years. Fucking decades. And there’s no cure. No fucking cure for so many of us. All we can do is wait, rest, and try to get through the next day because that new normal isn’t going anywhere. Or hope that a ne medication will make a difference.  But they still have side effects.

Everyone’s treatment and response is different.  You can see the drug companies try to sell us the cure of a Utopian dreamland in which we can once again grasp that normal self who existed before crippling disease. But it’s a lie. A damned illusion.

Nothing will be the same, ever again. There will be another new normal. Accept it. This world can only carry us forward so much before it’s too late for to halt the damage of our social inflammation. We’ve been sick for so long, we don’t even recognize the truth in the mirror. The human disease has always been there. Nothing will get better for us if we continue to ignore the symptoms. You can try to fight it all you want. Believe me, all of us immunocompromised patients have been there. But it won’t cure anything. Now do you understand what it’s like to ache constantly and want to live life like you used to? But yet, you can’t.

Forthcoming…

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With the new year just around the corner, I am motivated to pull a few tricks out of my gloves and smack them right onto my blog. A few ideas that have been percolating include:

  • The reality of a Humira-fied existence while living with Rheumatoid Arthritis,
  • A review of favorite things and tips that could prove useful to you,
  • My decision to not pursue any further into the fertility journey,
  •  How I’m doing with my depression issues,
  • As well as calling out some bullshit, especially regarding current politics/social issues.
  • And I might write more about my background and experiences as a chronic disease patient, former military kid (from Southern CA to the Far East to the Midwest), open heart surgery survivor, former Catholic and Republican (hey, military family!), and perhaps a bit about why I’m an unrepentant bitch regarding a few things (abortion especially that of my own, inclusion, mental health, etc.), who I used to be and why I changed. Or rather, am accepting towards change. We’ll see.
  So hang tight! We just need to get through these holidays…

Haunt

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I wish I never found out that I’m infertile.

Wish I’d never thought of having one kid at all.

It’s been like the death of me for so long.

It entered my mind with Jeff, because he’s so good to me.

He’s so funny.

We were at his work picnic event and someone’s bald headed baby was crawling around on a blanket with a dog.

And I thought maybe we could have that…

But that was before my cardiologist confirmed that pregnancy could kill me and a baby.

My warfarin, which keeps my mechanical mitral valve functioning efficiently, could irreversibly damage and deform a baby.

If blood volume rapidly changed, as it does throughout stages of pregnancy, my blood could become too prone to clotting, risking my valve throwing a blood clot.

Or I could hemorrhage.

That was before I found out IVF and surrogacy isn’t an option because of premature ovarian failure.

I wish somethings didn’t fail me in life.

But this body is the only home for me to live in.

It’s a haunted abode.

We Still Love You…

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We Still Love You

Those are the words, always said

To my heart, so full of dread

After I did something “wrong”

And didn’t feel as if I belong.

These simple words, she claimed true

Stung my heart, hole right through

And left me sad, wondering why

No other choice, I must comply.

Now grown, away from home

Free to think, thoughts my own.

A rising phoenix, I stand tall.

Shedding ashes, I give my all.

Burn away, old bits of mind

Heart beats on, clock of life.

Old dusty hours, sink into dirt.

Bleeding flowers, bloom with hurt.

Garden heart, must plow along

Sowing hope, here seeds belong.

Mercy drained out, to your doom.

Words remain, heart’s empty tomb.