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The Balance

I know I've written on this before. But I feel the need to say it again.

Everyone goes too far.

The establishment is fucked up. We already know that. There are things in them that doesn't ring quite true.

But here's the other truth to the (non)/(alternative)power…
The alternative is also messed up too. They go too far in their rejections. In their assumptions. And they say things that are actually even more scary to me, in their rejections of everything establishment. What if it actually happened they way some propose? I think I would feel even less safe.

I don't belong in either. Both are wrong.

And yet, I need parts of both.

Mainstream psychiatry? You need tweaking. You need overhaul. You have a ways to go. You need to sit down and listen to us. Nothing About Us, Without Us. Not everything we think is crazy, and maybe you need crazy to treat crazy. Maybe you need to believe in crazy a bit… and you'll see it's not so crazy.

The Mad Pride/anti-psychiatry/survivors folks? You guys go way too far. Seriously. You get on the right track, but then you shoot so far ahead you careen off the track and into the ditch… and insist the ditch IS the track. Yeah… no. Temper your ideas. Step back and do a sanity check. Not everything they say is wrong or crazy. (Just like not everything WE say is wrong or crazy.) And, yes, some of us ARE crazy and DO need treatment. And some of us WANT treatment.

There's multiple ways of looking at things. HYBRID APPROACHES ARE POSSIBLE. In fact, I think it's the hybrid approaches that get it right. A balance between the 2 extremes.

But remember that different people need different approaches, and that it's important to look at all the options for wellness.

This entry was originally posted at http://c4bl3fl4m3.dreamwidth.org/13988.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Passing & Mental Disability

All my life, my mother tried to teach me how to pass. It was expected of me to pass. To pass as someone who didn't have mental illness, who didn't have disabilities, who didn't have Psychiatric Challenges, as I like to put it.

I tried for YEARS to pass. I tried very very hard. And while I was discovering my other identities… my queer/bi identity, my Geek identity, my kinky identity… those I could pass if I needed to, or I simply didn't care to pass. But I had never figured out, even when I knew I had to pretend to be normal and act like I didn't have problems, that what I was doing was trying to Pass in regards to my brain.

I have read about passing over the years. Mattilda's Nobody Passes is good reading on the subject. But it never occurred to me until right now that I have my own intimate passing story as well.

Hello, everyone. I'm a person with psychiatric challenges. And for DECADES, I tried to pass as non-Challenged.

As I said earlier, it was expected of me to pass. Mother made me perform up to societal standards, and I got chastised sometimes (it felt like all the time) when I didn't/couldn't.
Now my mother realizes the extent of my Challenges. (She knew about them before but didn't know they were strong enough that we should stop trying to make me stand up to societal standards.) However, she taught me how to Pass. And in some ways, I've learned very well. I'm quite good at passing sometimes, in some environments, in some ways. I can pass well enough to get a job. I can pass well enough to keep it for a short period (months to a small number of years). I can talk to you, and you'd probably just think something was a little off… I can't really hide the ADHD completely.

There are people who have known me for years and knew little to nothing of the depression that plagues my existence. When they find out, they are surprised, incredulous, and sometimes in complete doubt. Part of it is the nature of my brain… social situations make me feel good and pull me out of my depression. Part of it is the passing.

We must pass, we are told. It's not an option… it's an imperative. And I believe everyone with a mental illness is told to do it. Depressed people? Keep working and put on a happy face. Bipolar folks? Temper those moods… take the depressed advice and add on top of it controlling your highs. You can't let anyone know you're flying right now. Peeps with schizophrenia? Man, you gotta hide that shit… your crazy terrifies people. And on and on and on.

Now of course, some of it deals with other people's boundaries. You can't harm other people. That's fine.

But we are expected to keep up a façade. Not let people see it on us. And we are expected to be able to keep functioning at the same level as everyone else, or a mildly modified level. "Sure, we'll make reasonable accommodations, but WE get to decide what's 'reasonable', and if we simply don't feel like doing it, it's not 'reasonable' anymore." Fuck that noise.

Passing HURTS. It does. The expectation has given me anxiety problems. Not being able to pull it off gives me guilt and depression problems. And this constant struggle to just be someone I am not… it wears you down. The one time I passed the most, I ended up having a drinking problem. And even then, I got let go from my job for not passing enough. Corporate America is the Great Passing Entity. You MUST PASS or else you're out.

And let's say you do pass. Let's say you are able to do something society expects of you. How are you rewarded? A "thank you for doing that. you can relax now."? No. It's held up as proof you CAN pass, and then you're expected to pass even more. You are rewarded for passing with the expectation of more of the same. It never ends.

Forcing yourself to do things when you can't hurts. It hurts SO MUCH. And it's traumatic too.
Forcing yourself to appear to be fully functional and normal hurts. In part because then you are expected to be fully functional and normal. In other part because you have to keep up the charade of being someone you're not.

I'm not passing anymore. At least, I'm not passing as an imperative. If I want to pass as something, I'll give it a go, but I'm not going to try to live up to others expectations of me. I'll do what's right for me and my health. Self-care and care from others is more important than being "good" or being "normal". At least, that's what I'm going to try to do. (Good luck with that, really.)

This entry was originally posted at http://c4bl3fl4m3.dreamwidth.org/13626.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
How come in pictures of women dominating men, if the woman is getting her pleasure, it’s ALWAYS of her getting cunnilingus?

Not all women like to be licked. I, for one, mostly hate cunnilingus.

It’s like there has to be physical, overt, obvious to the point of stereotypical signs of dominance in these pics. Namely the woman has to be physically over the man. Whether it’s sitting on his face or riding him, she’s over him. And I don’t like cowgirl. Frankly, it’s too much work (I’m such a Do Me Queen) and if the man is broad enough, my legs don’t straddle him right and I can’t touch the bed with both legs properly because I’m so short.

For once, I’d like to see a picture of a woman making a man fuck her. Of a man being forced to give it to a woman doggie style or missionary. Because if it’s all about me and my pleasure, well, that’s what I like.

I don’t understand submissive men who say they only care about the woman’s pleasure & not their own but then if I tell them to do things that actually please me, like them being dominant and fucking me, they don’t want to do it. Is it REALLY about my pleasure or is it about the fantasy in your head of what submission should be about? It’s fine if it’s about the latter… if they have fantasies they want fulfilled, that’s great, but then don’t say it’s about my pleasure. If you’re REALLY out to please women, then PLEASE WOMEN. If your fantasy is to pleasure a woman in a very specific way, SAY THAT. And find the women who want to be pleasured in that way. But DON’T say you only care about my pleasure when you’re not willing to do what it takes to genuinely please me.

And, frankly, where can I find the men that are willing to do whatever it takes to please a woman? I think I would really enjoy making a sub be dominant to please me. It would make him squirm and it would be fun. Plus, I’ve noticed a lot of male submissive fantasies are regarding some form of degradation and humiliation. It’s about tearing down of masculinity. I’m wondering where are the sub men that are like “I’m not a real man… I’m a wuss… I wanna learn how to be a strong ‘real’ man!” Is there a name for this I just don’t know of? Because that would be fun to do and help with. (Or does it not exist because society is so strict about “making guys into men” and they get that pressure all the time and submitting in the above way is a welcome respite & relief from this?)

This entry was originally posted at http://c4bl3fl4m3.dreamwidth.org/13283.html. Please comment there using OpenID.


Busy Weekend

I have a busy weekend this weekend. I’d love to see any of you for any of it!

Tonight I’ll be going to the Games Club of Maryland’s Silver Spring games night @ the Tastee Diner for gaming & socialization. They meet every Friday. They seem to be more into the Euro board games than the card games, but I’ll bring Chez Geek anyway.

Tomorrow, me & my housemate are going to go to MAC. I know zie’s getting some more makeup, but I’m not sure if we’re both getting makeovers. Tomorrow night, we’re going to DC Dungeon for Open Play.

Sunday, I’m going (maybe w/ the housemate) to see Marian Call perform. She’s a pretty awesome musician, but not very well known. Sometime's she more "a girl and her guitar", more folksy. Sometimes she's more jazzy with a touch of torch singing. And it’s only a .7 mile walk from my house, on the road that my road turns into! Here’s the info on it.

Silver Spring, MD // Sun. 09.09.12 - Great Big House Concert
Open to the public, join us in the D.C. area for a Sunday evening show! Bring a snack or non-alcoholic beverage to share if you wish, or just come with the optional $10 artist donation. All ages, 7pm. 7981 Eastern Ave., Silver Spring, MD.

Also, I've been doing a lot more of my blogging on Tumblr. If you're really interested in reading what I have to say on various issues, you might want to check it out. http://c4bl3fl4m3.tumblr.com Most of my blogging there is brought about by someone else's post (and there's a LOT of reblogging), but... This entry was originally posted at http://c4bl3fl4m3.dreamwidth.org/12870.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Meds Update

The meds are getting stronger & stronger and I'm getting dopey-er & dopey-er. I have no depression anymore, but I have little other feelings. I'm living in a giant haze. Having serious difficulty functioning at all. I have no drive whatsoever to do anything. I'm also having problems with my brain... I can't spell properly anymore, I'm having difficulty gathering my thoughts & finding the right words for speaking out loud, and now I'm losing things and can't remember for the life of me where I put them & can't seem to find them. (If anyone knows where I put my external HD, please let me know.) I'm losing myself & becoming someone else, someone slower & stupider. This wasn't supposed to happen. I'm going to beg my therapist to contact my psychiatrist tomorrow and see if I can halve my dose.

This entry was originally posted at http://c4bl3fl4m3.dreamwidth.org/12729.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Update: Home

I was released today after a visit with the clinic's psychiatrist (if you ever have the chance to see Dr. Norman Robertson, do so. He's absolutely WONDERFUL.) Had a visit with my psychiatrist, Dr. Donesky (who's no slouch, either. I'm quite fond of him as well). Realized how truly lucky and blessed I am to have mental health professionals that have my back and empower me to make my own psychiatric decisions and to live my own life. It's just a great cycle of me feeling empowered so I make decisions that further empower me via working with people who think I should be empowered. Yay! Hooray for people in the mental health profession who believe in putting the power to make healthy choices for ourselves into the hands of the individual. I'm glad I get to run my own show, but with help and support when I need it. My body, my mind, my mental states, my choice!

Anyway, I'm home now, but I'm not out of the woods yet. Still not fully pleased with my mood, but I'm going to keep trying the drugs for a few more weeks and see how I do. At least I don't have god awful side effects... I do have some side effects, but so far, they've been reasonably manageable.

But now's the time when I need you all more than ever. Transitioning back to living at home and having to work on building a life worth living requires a lot of support, perhaps even more support than when I was in the crisis center. When I was there, I was assigned a therapist 24/7 to assist me whenever I needed assistance. It was quite the relief, not to mention quite helpful to have someone to talk to whenever I wanted, someone who I know was trained & knows what they're talking about. But now I don't have that support, and I know I'll miss it, as it's something I've always wanted anyway. So I really need the support of my friends. I need you all to check on me every now and then. I need you to invite me out to socialize with you, whether it's a party or just for a cup of tea. I need to know you're there if I need to talk or a shoulder to cry or or a hug.

I'm realizing that I can't keep operating as I did before, not trying to "burden" anyone, because it's part of what drove me to where I was. I have needs and it's time I start acknowledging them and I stop hiding them from my friends & society at large. If I don't start taking care of myself in that way, I'm going to wither again. I don't want to wither. I want to bloom. So I'm going to take care of myself in a way to promote that. But it means being honest with who I am and my needs to my friends and it might mean having to become more distant from people who can't accept me for who I am, for the mental illnesses I have, and for my needs.

So... yeah. That's where I am right now and where I'm going in the future. Come with me? Be my friend?

This entry was originally posted at http://c4bl3fl4m3.dreamwidth.org/12363.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Another Update

So we're trying to get me in at Fenton/McAulife House, but there's just not an opening right now. So we're gonna keep trying every day. If there isn't an opening, I'm going to be staying at T&E through Tuesday, when I see their psychiatrist (whom I really, really like) again (I really hated the psych that's gonna be in on Monday & apparently my request to never see her again was respected) and my own psychiatrist (whom I like) again and we'll see whether I'm safe & stable enough to go home or what.

We've tried a mood stabilizer which, while I'm not sure how well (if at all) it's working, it's at least not having gawd awful side effects, and because of the kind of medication it is, the likelyhood that it would happen in the future is almost nil, so that's good. We're adding another antidepressant medication with it that'll have a synergistic effect with it. Took the first dose of that a few hours ago... no bad side effects, but no positive ones yet, either. We'll see.

I have no plans for the weekend, currently, other than video chatting with 8T tomorrow. Some plans would go well. I'd go to the Crucible, except I have to be back every night by 11, so that wouldn't work (and I'd ask for special dispensation, but I'm pretty sure that telling them I'm heading to a kinky sex club won't go over well). Anyway, if you'd like to visit me (the center is in North Rockville) or take me out somewhere or whatever, I'm totally receptive to whatever plans. I can have visitors until 10 pm.

This entry was originally posted at http://c4bl3fl4m3.dreamwidth.org/12270.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Update on my Situation

So I've spent some time on the T&E unit & they're probably going to be transfering me to a better facility for cases like mine, a facility they wanted me to go to to begin with but there wasn't a space for me at. But they're filling out the referral forms and finding a place for me there.

So I'll (hopefully) be at Fenton/McAulife House in Rockville (near Twinbrook Station). I have quite a bit of autonomy there, which is really what I need to feel comfortable & safe seeking help, and yet I'll also have the help & support I need while we try different diagnoses & medication and get me stable, which is what I really need to feel safe during this quite scary time. I'll be there for up to 10 days. I can come and go as I please, and I can have visitors (that I know of... my current facility allows & encourages visitors), so if you'd like to come and visit me, I'd love to have company. I have no idea if I'll have Internet there or not (I hope so... no Net makes CableFlame sad... and by sad, I mean bored out of my mind), but I have my cell phone, so you can always call or text me. And to those who've already texted me their well wishes, thank you so much, everyone! It really does mean a lot and makes me feel supported & less alone.

This entry was originally posted at http://c4bl3fl4m3.dreamwidth.org/11975.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Away for A Bit

My mental health has taken a turn for the worse so I'm spending a few days in a facility made to stabilize cases like mine. (Specifically the Triage & Evaluation unit @ the MoCo Crisis Center.) I'll have limited to no access to the internet, so don't worry if you don't hear from me. If you want to reach me, and you know my cell number, I'll have my cell on me.

I'll write all about my experiences when I get back, as I think this is stuff that people should know about.

This entry was originally posted at http://c4bl3fl4m3.dreamwidth.org/11648.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
(Please, go read my policy for political debate on my journal before replying to this. Thanks!) (Also, x-posted from my Tumblr.)

Dear Liberals & Fellow Lefties,

Hi. You know I love you dearly. I do. I love what you do for the world. I love your commitment to helping people everywhere, for siding on the side of love and compassion, for trying to make the world a more fair place. For trying to make sure that everyone has enough food, shelter, and medical care. Seriously. I just love that. That’s what it means to be GOOD. And I’m hella proud to consider myself amongst your ranks. Truly.

But we need to have a little chat. A small sit down. It’s because you’re misguided on a couple of things. But there’s only 1 I want to talk about today.

Liberals & other lefties, we need to have a talk about guns.

Yeah, that’s right. I need you to listen to me for a bit. I mean seriously sit down and listen and consider what I have to say. I know the standard liberal thought on guns. We see the horrific gun violence that happens on TV and even in our own neighborhoods sometimes. It’s just truly AWFUL. There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it. It’s hard for you to see why guns should be allowed around. Quite a few of you never grew up around guns, nor have you ever even touched one. You think getting rid of guns will solve gun violence. I’m afraid I need to call you out on this.

It’s not gonna work. No, really, it’s not. I’m sad to say so. I wish it was that easy.

As liberals, we like to deconstruct things. We like to get to the bottom of why bad things happen. Bombings, bullying, etc. We usually find out that it has something to do with the social problems of our world. Racism. Class inequality. Poverty. Homophobia or Transphobia. Intolerance. The rest. You know these things. You probably fight on a regular basis to get rid of them (and good for you!)

Liberals? THIS IS WHY GUN VIOLENCE HAPPENS. I have to tell you this, and if it makes me sound like a conservative, well, maybe they happen to be right this time on 1 tiny little detail. (Remember: even a broken clock is right 2x a day.) Guns don’t actually cause gun violence. No, really, they don’t. No gun hops into someone’s hand and makes someone shoot someone else. They don’t whisper thoughts into your head of a mass killing spree. I promise you. I have held guns, I have shot guns. I have never once committed a gun crime, nor would I EVER do such a thing. It’s the same way your steak knife doesn’t make you go stab people. You use knives all the time. You might even carry around a knife in your pocket or on your keychain. Knives can be used as weapons. But you never use your knife as a weapon, do you? Of course not. You probably find it deplorable. Instead, you use it to cut things, from your dinner to rope. The same thing here. Most guns are used for hunting for food or sport, target shooting for sport, or for personal protection (which I have my own issues with, but that’s neither here nor there). Most of those who own them find the idea of committing gun violence sickening. But for those who DO commit gun violence, remember that it’s committed by human beings using guns. It is *not* committed by guns using human beings. It is NOT the fault of the gun, but of the person shooting it. (And even that is sometimes in the air, as i think, in certain cases, those committing gun violence are mentally ill & can’t help themselves. But even in those cases, it’s still not the fault of the gun.) (Guns make it EASIER to commit certain crimes and types of violence, I will give you that.)

Also, I hate to say it, but if someone wants a gun, they’ll always find a way to have one. Do you remember how well banning abortion worked? Yeah, it didn’t, did it? People just had unsafe ones. Coat hangers and all that jazz. Women bled to death. It was awful. So we fight long and hard for the right of a woman to decide for herself what her morals & ethics are surrounding abortion and then the legality to have one if she decides for herself that it’s moral & ethical & the right thing to do. How about banning drugs like marijuana? How’s that going? Oh, yes, it’s not, is it? Or remember prohibition? We sure did get rid of all of the alcohol in America. Except we totally didn’t. And I don’t even need to bring up prostitution. Hate to say it, but the same thing’s gonna happen with guns. Sure, it might make someone who insists upon going through the proper channels have a harder time to get one. Hell, it might even make it a bit harder to obtain one for someone who doesn’t care how they get it. But, make no mistake, they WILL get one. And this time, it’ll be through a black market system, possibly heavily corrupted, with lots of opportunity for blackmail & abuse all along the way. (Sounds a lot like the current state of sex work for many. Which is why so many are trying to get it legalized or decriminalized.) (I’m not even going to go into the jaded adage of “if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns”. But there is some truth to this.)

So maybe it’ll slow down gun violence. But incidences of other types of violent crime will go up. Knife crime will increase. Etc.

But, really, in this case, the gun is just a tool, just an accessory to the crime. Remember when we talked about WHY gun violence happens? Shouldn’t we, as liberals, be working on solving THAT instead of spending our time banning guns? Why aren’t we making it so that there’s no NEED to commit gun crime? Why aren’t we fighting for a world without poverty and hatred? Isn’t that the REAL issue here? Isn’t gun violence just a symptom? It genuinely surprises me that the left’s position on these things is a position of removing the gun from the situation instead of digging deeper and removing the social injustice from the situation. Aren’t we usually all about the end of social injustices? Isn’t that the touchstone of who we are as liberal people?

Also, as stated earlier, a number of you have never touched or possibly even seen a gun in person (except for on the side of an officer’s belt). I encourage you… get to know them. Properly and safely, of course. There are organizations that can help you do this. Gun safety is one of the most important things you’ll ever learn, even if you choose to never shoot or touch a gun. You NEVER KNOW when having that knowledge might come in handy and save a life. You’re asking to ban something of which you have no real knowledge. How fair is that? So go take a gun course. Or even go to a gun shop or a sporting goods outfitter and ask the owner to teach you the basics of guns & handling. I’m sure they’d be more happy to do so… most gun folk have a vested interest in teaching others gun safety. Learn about the parts of a gun. Learn where the safety is & how to make sure it’s on. Learn how to tell if a gun is loaded or not. (You can do all of those things, btw, with an unloaded gun.) Learn how to tell if a gun is cocked or not. Learn what makes a gun go off, and what makes a gun NOT go off. Learn that, while they are dangerous tools, they don’t just fire willy nilly at random. They require certain steps to be readied for firing (loading, cocking, the removal of the safety if applicable). If you’d like to, go target shooting with a friend with more experience. Learn what it actually feels like to fire one. Learn their true power. Learn what they can and can not do. Change your fear of guns from an unhealthy fear based on ignorance to a healthy fear/respect based on knowledge. Isn’t knowledge ALWAYS a good thing? The More You Know, and all that jazz? Why hate something you don’t actually know (accurate?) things about? Isn’t that just as bad as conservatives hating gays because they don’t actually know them?

Above all, know this. Gun crime isn’t the real problem. It’s the symptom. The CAUSES of gun crime is the problem. And it’s a crying shame that we, as a political movement, and ESPECIALLY as a political movement that cares so much about social justice, don’t seem to understand that. Social justice, NOT the banning of guns, will stop gun crime. The same way that hate crime legislation, while still a thing I think we need to have, sadly won’t actually stop the root of hate crimes. The only thing that will do that is instilling a love for diversity & difference. You can’t fight ideas in the physical realm… the only way they can die is in the realm of the mind, and is with other ideas.

So that is why, as a liberal person, using traditional liberal values, I think that banning guns is not the answer to ending gun crime. (FWIW, I do support other forms of gun control, but that’s a different letter.) (And, of course, none of this deals with accidental shootings. But proper gun safety & handling takes care of that most of the time, the same way proper driving should take care of most auto accidents.)

This entry was originally posted at http://c4bl3fl4m3.dreamwidth.org/11449.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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