Saturday, June 1, 2013

For People in the Dating Game, this is for you.

There's a lot of shit floating around on the internet that claims to be advice. It's written mostly by people who have amazing and outstanding skills in fucking up relationships and couldn't have a successful one if they tried.

This is another one!

If you want to be loved, you have to love. If you're in a relationship with someone who loves you immensely, and you're kinda lukewarm but the sex is awesome, you need to be honest.

Sex is not the same thing as love. Love is not the same thing as sex. Equating the two and expecting the outcome to be a happy one is where every person on the goddamn planet fails.

You cannot lie your way into any kind of relationship and expect happiness. This goes doubly for open relationships. If you can't trust or be trusted, there is a 100% guarantee of relationship problems.

Looking at someone else is not cheating.

Seeking out a partner who will earn all of the income and then come home and do all of the household work is bullshit. Seeking out that kind of servitude is bullshit, and anyone who has that dynamic in their relationship knows that the level of love that is required is immense and that it's a gift that can only be given.

You are not going to fix them. They probably need help that you are unqualified to deal with.

Don't marry someone who leaves you when you refuse to have an abortion.

Don't marry someone who coerces you into getting them pregnant.

Don't use people.  I'm not a thing, you're not a thing.

If you just want sex, be honest. You'll find that your prospects just got a lot less needy.

If you DON'T want sex, be honest. You'll find that your prospects just got a lot less angry.

Actually, how about I shorten this?

Be honest. Don't go for people based on their looks alone. If you can't have a conversation with them without wanting to throatpunch them, imagine living together. Stop calling women sluts and prudes. Stop calling guys studs and manwhores. Stop trying to change people. Find people that you LIKE to be with. Make friends with them. If sex happens, make it mutually agreed upon and mutually satisfactory. Don't play stupid mind games.

If you want a relationship with someone you love, don't be an asshole.

And fucking quit taking advice from people on the internet who have been in and out of relationships and can't get their own shit together. Myself included.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Dear Facebook Moderators, I Get That Your Job Sucks. But...

In April, when the post The Real Story Behind Facebook Moderation and Your Petty Reports went viral, I re-thought how I report images. See, because I'd never received feedback when I flagged an image or post as "offensive", I figured it was based on algorithms that would hide similar material and had no human involvement. 
See, it's kind of convenient that you delete support messages. I wanted to link the 3 complaints I made here in this blog. One was about a page that is literally a hate group aimed at Adalia Rose. Another was about a truly offensive photo that was posted by a page that I originally "liked". The last one was a photo depicting severely beaten little girl, with a caption underneath describing in excruciating detail exactly how she got that way. It's not like I report every little thing that might offend my senses. I know how to use the hide button, how to "Unlike" a page, and how to unfriend someone. But when something comes across my feed that is actually offensive, I report it. I'm not trying to go out of my way to annoy those of you who moderate Facebook. I get that you have a job to do. I spent just about 6 years as a Moderator of an artist's community online, and I know how stressful the job is and how annoying the "customers" can be. In fact, I quit my job after being harassed and stalked by a small group of them who were threatening my then-unborn child. So, I can kind of sympathize. It's a thankless job, and you have a LOT of work to do. You probably get paid shit. I wouldn't be surprised if Facebook found a way to pay you less than minimum wage. And that absolutely sucks.
The thing is, you still have a job to do. There are Community Standards that you hold us to. They are valid and make sense. Well, until you arbitrarily enforce them.
See, I'm one of probably tens of thousands of women who have had a photo of themselves breastfeeding their babies deleted from facebook because it was "offensive". The photo was literally me breastfeeding my son moments after he was born. It was obvious I wasn't wearing a shirt, and that I was nourishing my child. You know, what breasts DO. (Being an erogenous zone is literally just a side effect of, you know, having nerve endings anywhere. I mean, my elbows are erogenous zones.) You MIGHT have been able to see the tops of my breasts, but you could definitely not see nipple. 
And, yet. when I report images that are of truly offensive things, like the aforementioned photo of the severely beaten girl, I get a response of "That didn't fit our definition of 'Offensive'."
People use Facebook to share events through photos and videos. We understand that graphic imagery is a regular component of current events, but must balance the needs of a diverse community. Sharing any graphic content for sadistic pleasure is prohibited.
So, when someone posts an image declaring how badass he is for hitting a child with his car and then getting out and beating her, that's not "graphic content for sadistic pleasure"???? You're fucking kidding me. Seriously.

Facebook, there are a lot of fucked up pages that you host. Really offensive pages. They aren't hard to find. Just type "Offensive" into the search bar. Or "Bitches". "Cunts". "Fags". "Niggers". Shall I go on? No? Good. I will continue to report offensive images and posts because they're offensive and don't belong on Facebook. I literally could not care less about how hard you're working or how overworked you are.

Seriously. Want to complain about how overworked you are? Talk to your boss. Until then, see you in my email.

Friday, May 17, 2013

I'm just tired...

I'm tired of remembering when he believed in me. Because it wasn't so long ago.
I'm tired of remembering when I wasn't just a means to and end. I mean  that in every euphemistic way you can take it.
I'm tired of crying.
I'm tired of the shame.
I'm tired of being turned down for every goddamn job I apply for.
I'm tired of crying.
I'm tired of being stuck here.
I'm tired of having to rely on him because he drives and I don't.
I'm tired of not having my fucking license.
I'm tired of crying.
I'm tired of being lied to.
I'm tired of all of the fucking excuses.
I'm tired of everyone else being more important than me.
I'm tired of everyone else's time being more valuable than mine.
I'm fucking tired of crying.
I'm tired of walking on fucking eggshells just to speak.
I'm tired of not knowing when he's going to fucking blow up over something that isn't even worth it.
I'm tired of having to just take time to study because he won't make time.
I'm tired of not having time for friends because I can't fucking get anywhere.
I'm tired of the bullshit.
I'm tired of the lies.
I'm tired of there always being someone else, whether it's a side bitch or one of his buddies.
And I'm tired of wasting tears on someone who would never fucking cry for me.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I want to have the conversation

I want to have the conversation where we talk about the 19-year-old Boston Bomber, and where we, as a society went wrong.

But, first, we need to have the conversation where we went wrong with the ones that did this:

We need to have the conversation why we're not plastering her face all over the news:

Where we went wrong with this young man:

But not just in Detroit.
All over America.

Let's face it, if the Bomber were not innocent-looking, "could have been my son" attractive features, no one would be talking about why he was lead down the path. It's not about him being Muslim. It's not about him being from another country. None of that matters because where you are from and what path you take to get to God is not even a pebble in the foundation of the reason behind why he did what he did.

But we need to open our eyes to the world around us and see how many people we're ignoring to get to the good looking, cute, adorable, innocent-looking, mostly white ones.

Come back to  me when all major news networks worrying about where we went wrong with the poor kids that turn to violence, or the marginalized, or the ignored...all who tend to be overwhelmingly black, latino, and other non-white ancestry.  Until then, I can't bring myself to really give any fucks about where we went wrong with a guy that decided to plant a bomb at the Boston Marathon.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

In which I attempt to end the cycle. Part 1. Of more than 1.

There are emotional triggers in this post. I'm not going to apologize for it. They are my experiences. Please do not read this if you are triggered into anxiety by instances of child abuse, child sexual abuse, or domestic violence. I don't want you to hurt.

I don't know much about my grandparents' relationship. I do know that everyone tells me that before I was born, my grandfather was a brutal disciplinarian. Then, my mom got pregnant with me, and both of my grandparents wanted nothing to do with me. When I was born with an atrial septal defect (big fancy doctor words for "hole in the heart"), that changed. The possibility of losing a precious child, to them, brought them about full-circle.
Or, so I've been told. I don't really remember being a child that got into a lot of trouble. I may have been, for all I know, but I don't remember my early childhood days being filled with time outs, spankings, or reprimanding. I was most definitely a wild child. I remember once having my mouth washed out with soap because I came home from school and told my mother that because I knew the definitions of a laundry list of swear words, I was now able to say them. I said them all, listed the definitions, while my mother stifled a laugh at my definitions of things, especially bastard (because, bass is a fish, and it poops. duh.) She then put a bit more than a drop of Dawn on my tongue, made me sit there to the count of 10, let me rinse my mouth out, and then asked me if I planned on swearing again. I must have been 6 or so, because I never said those words around her ever again.
Other than that, I was a very spirited child. Tales of me running around the neighborhood, stripping off pieces of clothing as I went, were the hit of the party at my baby shower in 2000. (I, however, was not in attendance, as I was in the hospital with bronchitis. Because that's how I roll.) Old friends' first question was always "Do you still have those Wonder Woman underoos?", because we all, apparently, keep the underwear we had when we were 4. I ran everywhere, I don't remember watching t.v. unless I was sick, and I don't remember "shoes" happening until I had to wear them to school.
Sometime before I turned 6, my mother met a man. A few times, he baby sat me while she was at school. He was nice, and let me watch cartoons while he made macaroni and cheese and hotdogs. He put pepper on his macaroni and cheese, and I thought that was absolutely wild.
Soon enough, we moved down the street into an apartment, and the man moved in with us. Later that year, he married my mom. And then I found out, I was going to be a big sister. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was. My best friends were big sisters, and I wanted to be JUST like them.
It started subtly. Being sent to bed with no dinner for having a note sent home from school (which was later "corrected" by my mom after he went to sleep.)  Being spanked for "not listening". My mom would cry every time, and it obviously upset him. So, he just stopped doing it in front of her.
Over time, I learned that tightening my buttocks would hurt him. He learned to use the belt when I did that. When the belt wasn't enough, a wooden wall sconce was turned into a paddle. When the paddle broke, he used a piece of deformed 2x4. After that, he just kept replenishing them.
If I didn't keep my room neat, I got a paddle. If my sister emptied my drawers, I got a paddle. If a mess was made that I didn't clean up, I got a paddle. If I didn't compliment my mother's cooking, I got a paddle.
But never with my mother there. Because she would cry.
When I was 8, he started to groom me. He would punish me, then go lie down because he was "stressed". Then he would call me in to his bedroom, lying on his bed in a t-shirt and boxers. He had been ex-communicated from the Mormon church for having molested his daughters and gone to prison, so he didn't wear the garments like my mother did. He would ask for a hug. And then pull me on top of him. At first, I thought it was loving. A cuddle. I didn't grow up with a dad, so this was all I knew. This was cuddling, right?
It wasn't long before I felt it. He would position my legs so that I would feel it when he got hard. Which is when he'd rub my back.
This went on until I was 12. We moved from Utah to Michigan, and I found out for the first time that the state will take you away from your parents if you're bad. Huh. So, I shoplifted. I was super duper ambitious. I stole one of those 20-color pens that had about enough ink for one page of notes, but it was shiny and pink and I didn't pay for it so IT WAS SHOPLIFTING SO CALL THE COPS!!! Well, the manager recognized me, and called my mom. And told her that he was fine, but I wasn't allowed to come back in the store anymore. She yelled at me, and then left to go grocery shopping. I got beat. And then  he "apologize/snuggled" me. And, disgusted, I went back to my room and sobbed. No one would help me.
Luck was sort of on  my side. I had a day where we had a late start to class. I didn't want to fold the laundry that had  piled into the loveseat, so I just fucking sat on it. Because, seriously, it's begging to be re-washed, since it's been there for 3 days. He went to grab his paddle. I dared him. "Hit me. I will tell my mom." He laughed. Told me that he would make my life hell. "Don't you ever fucking touch me ever again. And you'd better not touch my sister." The look on his face...I can't really describe it. It was almost a goddamn smirk. As if to say "Too late, bitch."
So, I pushed him. He was well over 300 lbs. 6 foot something. I was maybe 100 lbs. 12. 5 foot something. I pushed him. He toppled into the glass coffee table. In an adrenaline rush, I grabbed a shard of glass, straddled his chest, and held it to his throat, telling him that I would kill him if I ever caught him touching my sister.
And then, I walked to school, completely amped up. My sister was safe at her school, I was going to mine.
That night was completely uneventful. The next morning, he told my mom that he had a chiropractor appointment to go to. Which is apparently scum for "I"m going to flee town because it's a matter of time before I'm caught."
That night, she panicked. He was nowhere to be found. The chiropractor had no idea where he was, he didn't have an appointment. He drove all the way to my sister's house in Colorado. My mother hadn't yet called her in the panic because WHO THE FUCK DRIVES FROM MICHIGAN TO COLORADO OVER NOTHING??? Apparently, the man my mother married.
Well, while she was on the phone with my aunt, my aunt asked my mom to sit me down, and ask if he'd ever touched me, sexually. As I was eager for it to end, I told her EVERYTHING. Which is when she called the police. Who were johnny-on-the-spot to come interview me, get my statement, and find where he had gone. I don't remember much, but the detective was kind and the house was filthy.
That weekend, he was back. Only, since there was a restraining order and arrest warrant out for him, he stayed at my brother's house. My mom made me write a letter, recanting my statement. I wrote it sloppily. I made sure it looked like it wasn't my writing. I even signed it. But I wanted the detective to pay attention. After all, this worked for the Hardy Boys. It can work for me, right?
Actually, it did. And my sister and I were placed in foster care.

This is emotionally hard for me. So, I will stop here with this for tonight.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

You're right. I AM a person. But...

Whenever race, gender/gender identity, sexuality, or any other personal trait that puts a person in a minority group is brought to light, I hear the same thing over and over: "I don't see <insert personal trait here>. I see everyone as equal."
I get the sentiment, but it's wrong. Let me explain.

If equality meant we were all the same, we would be the Borg. But, we're not.

We are all unique individuals with unique experiences and perspectives on life. This isn't the "everyone's a special snowflake, so everyone gets a trophy!" kind of unique. It means that even twins see things different from each other.

By saying that someone's unique experience, which more often than not requires that they have whatever trait puts them in a suppressed group of people, is null because we're all equal, you are honestly saying that their experiences aren't worth your time. You are essentially saying that they are less than, which perpetuates "otherness" rather than ridding the world of it.

I am a 32-year old, married, white, non-Christian female. I have 3 children. I have never had a miscarriage, and never had a reason to need an abortion. I've never had a traditional college experience, I grew up with a strong religious experience and background, and I was a virgin by choice until I was 18. I've lived in the country, in the city, in the desert, and in swampland. Most of my childhood was spent on a farm, while most of my adulthood has been spent in cities. I lived in Canada for 5 years. I've divorced once, married twice, have 3 children spread across 12 years. I have OCD with General Anxiety Disorder, and question everything rather than take everything at face value. I am a survivor of childhood disease, bullying, molestation, abuse, rape, asthma, poor immune system and (hopefully) dubstep.

All of everything I listed was not an attempt to impress, simply a list of my traits. All of these traits lead to life experiences that are changed by each new trait that presents itself.
I will also never know what it's like to live without those traits. I don't know what it's like to be 33 yet, regardless of how many of my friends and family members have been there. I won't ever know what it's like to be a man. No matter how many Hispanic or Black friends I have, I will never have their life experiences.

I can only speak to my experiences.

This does not mean that I can't be empathetic.

So, when I read someone write "I don't see color", I cringe. My friends of color are beautiful, and their skin color, while not being the whole of who they are, certainly gave them life experiences that lead to them becoming who they are. The same with "I don't see gender". Or, "Gay, straight, it's all the same".

When you negate a person's race, gender, sexuality, disability, or any other part of them, you dismiss them on the whole. That part of who they are is necessary to create the whole person.

Equality is not everyone BEING the same.

Equality is respecting differences without using them against those who are different. Equality is not using people's differences to vault yourself ahead. Equality is not keeping people who are different from you down so they have to work harder to get where you are.

Equality is the purest morality, period. Treat others as you would be treated.