Wednesday, October 11, 2017

National Coming Out Day

I'm basically out to everyone I know. Although, I tried telling my grandpa over the phone that I was ace (about a year ago), and he said he couldn't hear me. So, I technically haven't told him. He's also on facebook, but hardly uses it. I think it'd be best to come out to him if we were face-to-face. He lives on the other side of the country, though. I hope I do see him again before it's too late...I'm not sure how he'd take it. He's a very kind and accepting person, though. He just might not understand. 

I do want to be more out with being aro ace and agender. I mentioned them in my mini bio on fb. It was the first time I had anything for that. I still share and write about them on there. 

I write about all 3 in my memoir. I actually am redoing the agender part, because I wasn't really sure at the time. Agender will have a separate chapter devoted to it. Aro and ace will be in one chapter. The first one to be precise. Agender is the 2nd now. I also refer back to them throughout the book, because they've influenced my experiences and how I view the world. So, people will be introduced to all 3 this way once it's published...I can probably add an LGBTQ+ tag to it on Amazon. Should be interesting.

In the future, it'd be nice to have a black ring. A black ring on the middle finger of the right hand indicates the wearer is ace. It'd be cool to get one with a spade on it. Another symbol for aces are the ace suit in playing cards. Ace of hearts is for (allo)romantic aces, spades is for aro aces, diamonds is for demiromantic aces/demisexuals (and other people in the grey areas), clubs is for wtf(or quoi)romantic aces/wtfsexuals and other people who can't figure out what their sexual and/or romantic orientation is (or it's indescrible). Sometimes romantic anarchists will use the ace of spades. That's kind of cool. A white ring was thought up for aros, but it hasn't really taken off. They don't have special symbols for what type you are like the ace suit, either. An arrow is a big symbol for it, though. An alien is an agender symbol, which is interesting, too.

I think it'll be cool to get themed clothing and accessories of these identities. That way I could be even more out. There's a surprising amount of it online. Another reason for me to be out is to educate people.

Asexual Awareness Week is coming up quickly. I might be a presenter/speaker at a local youth group meeting. I didn't think about this until Dad suggested it. We don't know if it'll actually happen, but it's an interesting idea. Another way to be out, and to do something for AAW. I'll not only go over ace stuff, but aro and agender as well. Aros are fighting to be separated from the ace community as much as possible, but they're represented during it, too. As an aro ace, I feel like 2 of my communities are ripping each other apart at times. Most aces are alloromantic, and most aros are allosexual. Often ace activists throw aro aces under the bus. We tend to be thought of as less human, or forgotten about, or misrepresented by them. Aros are a lot better about it, but the community is still new and growing. I'll bring up agender, because I am one and it influences my experiences. Mine would be different than an aro ace cis person. Or even an aro ace binary trans person. It'll show that my experience is not universal, which is good. 

I realized recently that I go against a lot of 'normatives'. These are things that are considered the norm, strictly enforced, everything catered to a specific group of people, what's considered good and desirable by society, etc. My existence goes against heteronormativity, since I'm aro ace. Heteronormativity is centered on people who are both heteroromantic and heterosexual, or straight. Not to mention that sex is considered the best thing, necessity to keep living, everywhere in media, etc. Of course, it's 'straight sex' that's encouraged. 

Amatonormativity's another one. It's the idea that romantic love is desirable, it's 'human', better than other loves/relationships, certain rules and assumptions about love, etc. This can be dangerous to alloromantic people too, but it's especially damaging to aros. It's a factor even when people of different (or some like to use 'opposite') genders are close friends. Society will assume that'll 'blossom' into romance and then become sexual. This is an odd view to me. Starting at an early age we're shown romantic themes all the time in media.

Cisnormativity is another one. The idea that being cis is normal, human, everyone has to be this way, etc. If you're not, you're not human or have some sort of mental illness. (According to society.) I'm not cis, so this affects me.

Binary-normativity is another. The world is set up and catered to people of the binary. Being strictly a man or woman is what everyone is. There's no such thing as more than 2 genders. Again, that's how society views things. This affects me as well since I'm agender. Even some binary trans people are against/hate the idea of non-binary people. That's hating on our very existence. 

Christian(or Christo-?)-normativity. The assumption that everyone's Christian. Everything, in most parts of the world, is centered on Christians. Probably more than they realize. I'm Jewish, and I see this quite often. Don't even get me started with the few months before Christmas on up to the holiday itself...That makes non-Christians even more like outcasts or like they don't matter. 

Not only that, but there's a belief Christianity and Judaism are the same thing. No. No, they're not. Clearly these people don't know the history nor what the religions are about. (Or cultures.) Someone a few months ago told me they're Christian, and asked me what the difference was. Well...the biggest thing is we don't have Jesus at all in our religion. That is central in Christianity, and if you believe in him you are one. They were astounded by it. Couldn't believe what I told them. I get that a lot when I tell people this. I like to educate others, but sometimes I'm tired of doing it.

Neuro(?)-normativity. People that are mentally healthy deserve better, are more understood, and are treated with respect more than mentally ill people. This makes many people feel even worse about themselves. Like I mentioned before, I have multiple mental illnesses.

 Physically healthy-normativity. (Not sure what the prefix for this one would be.) People who have a chronic condition, like an autoimmune disease, are told if they only did certain things, it'd cure them. Offering 'healthy' food to them (might not actually be healthy for the person with the condition), saying they just need to try yoga, why are they always in pain, when will they get over it, have they tried this diet, and the list goes on. It's fueled by pure ignorance, and thinking such and such helped them with their stomachache. Or some other brief ailment. It's really disturbing and frustrating. IBD or Inflammatory Bowel Disease is considered an autoimmune disease. The unsolicited advice I get is crazy. It was especially so when I posted about the diagnosis on fb. No, there's no cure for it. No diet is going to change the disease itself. (It can sometimes help with side effects from both the disease and meds.) 

Oh, and I love when people say at least it's not cancer...Yes, I'm happy it's not, but in a way it's belittling what IBD patients go through. We have to battle this thing for the rest of our lives. Even while in remission we might still have horrible symptoms. Some people lose most of their intestines through surgeries. Some people have to have their buttholes sewn shut, and some have to have external bags that act like colons and other parts of the intestines. The treatments can wreak havok. The extraintestinal stuff is crazy, too. (Eye problems, hair falling out, liver issues, fatigue, etc.) People die from 'complications' of the disease and meds. Some commit suicide because it's too much for them. But, at least we don't have cancer...Oh, wait, we're more at risk for cancers relating to the digestive tract. Wahoo!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

1st Day of Sukkot

Wow! It's already Sukkot! It lit. means the Feast of Booths. It lasts for a week. We build temporary structures or huts/booths, and dwell in them during the holiday. Many people eat all their meals in them during the week. Some spend most of their time in it, including sleeping. There has to be an open side and holes big enough in the 'roof' so you can see the stars. It's a harvest holiday. It's supposed to be one of the most joyous holidays. Hospitality is usually a big thing with it, too. People invite others to enjoy it. That includes people who aren't Jewish and are 'strangers'. 

We don't have one up, and I didn't really want it. It's getting pretty cold out there. We used to put one up, and invite neighbors, friends, and members of the local congregations. Usually, we'd invite them to dinner there. My mom had bought a kit that had all the lumber specifications, instructions, braces, bolts, etc. She got the lumber correctly sized, and with the help of others put it together. We still have it, but it's not in good shape. (In fact, it might be rotting.) It's dismantled, of course. Haven't used it since a year before Mom passed away. So, about 6 years. We usually would put tree branches over the roof part. Then, we'd decorate it with pinecones, fake fruit, lilacs one year, and other harvest-themed stuff. 

It's Mental Illness Awareness Week. I never knew about this type of awareness week. It started in 1990, and NAMI or the National Alliance of Mental Illness is behind it. I tend to not talk much about my own mental illnesses. However, after people were speculating about another gunman being mentally ill, it got me fed up. I feel people need to hear more about what it's really like to live with something like this. There's far too much stigma behind it. We're a lot more likely to kill ourselves than go on a killing spree. I can't remember the studies I've seen on it, but it's pretty interesting to see the difference in percentages. 

I guess I can share what I actually have. How else will people learn about them? My main mental illness is type 2 Bipolar Disorder. Type 2 can be quite a bit different than type 1. It's often very hard to diagnose. Type 2's don't get the euphoric high for their mania. Instead, ours makes us easily irritated, quick to anger, have racing thoughts, think we can do a million things at once, and more. Our lows are much lower than type 1's. (It's interesting to see graphs comparing the highs and lows of both.) We're one of the most at risk groups for suicide. The scary part that I've realized with myself and through therapists, is that we tend to not have a reason for being suicidal. I usually hear people say they're suicidal because they're in too much physical pain (like with an incurable disease), because they feel they have no other option, want an escape, etc. Ours isn't really like that. We just have the urge. Therapists have told me that I've probably had type 2 Bipolar since I was a little kid. I started to become suicidal when I was 14, though. Started cutting for a short time around then. I stopped being suicidal almost as soon as I started taking lamotrigine. Became stable/balanced, and seemingly 'normal', as well. It's like my miracle med. Therapy helped a lot along with it.

I also have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), agoraphobia, been sexually abused, anxiety issues, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) tendencies, and probably forgetting one or two other things. 

Agoraphobia is lit. a fear of markets. It's usually referred to as a fear of crowds of people. I can get panic attacks if I'm in a big enough crowd. My pulse increases, feel like I'm constantly in the way, people are judging me, there's no escape, the walls are closing in on me, bouts of nausea, etc. It's not a pleasant experience. The odd thing is it's not as bad when I'm around certain groups of people. Like, a large group of friends, Pride events, and certain festivals. 

Having OCD tendencies is weird. Mainly weird because it's not full blown OCD. I wash my hands until their raw (and sometimes bleeding), I'll check on certain things like locks multiple times, I'll be very careful about what I post online looking at it over and over, and more. It's not always like this. Usually it's when I'm nervous about something. 

Still keeping up with writing almost every day. Up to almost 230 pages in total. (Roughly half each for the sequel and memoir.) That's a lot. For the memoir, the physical health chapter got so long, I had to split it further. IBD has its own chapter now. I didn't realize how much that would have taken up in the physical health one. I feel like I just started the sequel to Alliance. There's so much more the story has to offer. Probably why it's best to make it a longer series. 

Been practicing my clarinet almost every day still, too. I did increase the time to 45 minutes this week. It feels like it flies by now. As I'm practicing more, I'm noticing silly mistakes I've taught myself for years...Kind of embarrassing, but at least I'm noticing them. I tried to correct them yesterday and today, which made me sound a bit clumsy and shaky. I just need to practice more to perfect that. I played Irish tunes during the entire time today. Most of the mistakes I've noticed have been with those. 

Saw the first episode of the new season of Gintama. It looks like they're going back to their gag and parody roots for this one. Seems like a fluffy season, or one to give fans a break from the intenseness of the recent season/arcs. It's even called the Slip Arc. I'm happy with seeing the old-type of Gintama stuff. They say the next season will be the last. I think they're trying to prolong it as much as possible. I'm good with that. I don't want it to end.

Saw the first episode of Black Clover, and it was better than I expected. Mages are granted grimoires, which are magic books in this world, when they're 15. Everyone seems to gain magical powers at a very early age in their world. Asta is one that didn't have a trace of magic before he went to get his grimoire. He seems to yell a little too much. He was the only one that didn't get a grimoire during the ceremony. His showed up towards the end of the episode. It's apparently one of the most powerful. It has a 5-leaf clover on it, which was unheard of. Each leaf symbolizes something. The 5th is demonic, 4th luck, and the others are things like peace, love, and faith. (I think.) His rival, who's somewhat like a brother, got a 4-leaf one. Everyone thought he was the most gifted. I say somewhat like a brother because they were both left at an orphanage at the same time, and grew up together. Some parts seem very cliche, and some are unique and interesting. I'll stick around for this one. 

Started Ousama Game or King's game today. This one looks pretty good. It's a horror anime centered around a survival game. If people don't follow the rules of the game, they'll be punished to death. With just this first episode, 10 students have died. It asks the students to do certain things, and most of the time they only have 24 hours to do them. The main character is the lone survivor of another Ousama Game. He thought that since he won, he could start a new life at a new school. He was sick of it, and didn't want to do his first task. He was ready to die. It was to kiss the girl that has been trying to befriend him. I think he realized it would kill her too if they didn't kiss, and waited to the last minute. The reason why so many students started dying was an order came while they were sleeping. They were told to stay awake at all costs. This seemed really unfair. How would they know if they were asleep beforehand? They were all hanged. Then another student's punishment was to bleed to death, because he was beating up the main character. The text said it didn't order that. It turns out no one knows who or what is behind it. It reminds me vaguely of many other anime. Apparently, the manga has the prequel with the main character in the previous game. I'm slightly tempted to read that.

Recently, started reading the manga Shuuen no Shiori or Bookmark of Demise. It's based on the Vocaloid music video series of the same name. It's a horror one. Also, a survival game. This one is based on urban legends. The most semi-normal main character is A-ya. They're names all start with a letter, and common ending in Japanese. The only messed up thing about him was his obsession with rumors and the occult. Mild compared to the others. Each character's pov seemed more demented. B-ko tried to put up a facade of the perfect girl. C-ta was obsessed with protecting A-ya. He seemed like a stalker. He bugged A-ya's room, was jealous when he talked to others, thought that A-ya needed him for everything, and more serious things. D-ne was truly messed up. She 'loved' B-ko so much she wanted to be her. Just like some themes in horror movies, and some detective shows. A-ya was killed first, and he was the only one who tried to do what the letter told him to do. He didn't want to die. His was to play hide-and-seek by himself. The urban legend this is based on is super creepy. It turned out C-ta saw A-ya following the instructions of the game, and he thought A-ya was an imposter, then killed him. C-ta was soon killed by not reading his letter and talking to someone he wasn't supposed to. B-ko's was an imposter game. D-ne killed her thinking B-ko was a fake, but also wanting to become her. D-ne had a monkey paw. All her wishes were based on becoming B-ko. Her last wish was to avoid her demise. However, she became B-ko, therefore B-ko's demise would be hers instead. So, another B-ko killed her, since hers was on doppelgängers. The legend where if you see yours, you die. Apparently, there are alternate worlds with 'true' endings. I'm about to start reading the 'true' one. I wonder if their personalities will be different? Maybe it'll be with totally different characters? It's very interesting. 

Starting to feel heavier, more intense, pain lately. I'm not sure if it's something I've been eating or if it's unavoidable. I have to call the gastroenterology department soon to schedule a phone appointment with my new gastro (I'll use this with her too, even though she's not an MD). She told me to make one for the end of the month.