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Fentanyl Patch

I'm finally using my first fentanyl patch. And it doesn't seem to be doing much of anything. At first I did feel nauseous and drunk, but the nausea wore off so I just felt drunk last night. This morning I woke up and felt...nothing. My neck and back hurt and I don't feel dizzy. I thought maybe it fell off, but nope, it's still on, just not doing anything.

Does anyone else use these, is this what the first 24-48 hrs were like for you? Also my doctor said that I should see a bulge in the patch that is the reservoir where the meds are in them. But mine don't have that. They are flat, which makes me nervous that there is nothing in them except a small dose in the glue that made me dizzy last night. Mine are 25 mcg made by Teva, they aren't transparent, they are tan or peachy.

An LJ Trick

As most of you know, I'm sort of new to LJ. Yes I signed up awhile ago, but hadn't really used it except to comment on a few of my friends LJ posts. So I still don't know little tricks like how to do an LJ cut and I just went to find out why some people can edit their comments, but I wasn't able to edit mine, and found out that only paid members can edit. That seems kind of a like a stupid perc, everyone should be able to do that. I can understand other percs like having extra userpics but not that one.

But anyway, I found a cool little trick while I was surfing around the LJ faq. I do not like the nested comments, sure I like knowing exactly who and what someone is commenting to and about, but it's actually confusing navigation once there are many many comments. In the faq it says there is a way to get flat consecutive comments that someone who is used to blogs would read. And that is, while you are on a posts page add this to the end of the URL in the address bar: "?view=flat" (no quotation marks) unless there is already a question mark in the URL then you add this to the end: "&view=flat" (again no quotation marks) and it works! I wish there was some way of making that part of my preferences for reading all LJ entries tho.

Pain and Judgment

I went and did it again. I took two vicodin so I could write a post. I am going to be so sorry when I run low before I can get another months supply. So I better get on with it before my pain creeps back up on me and I have to go lie down.

Okay I want to know something, here
Renee at Womanist Musings writes for Blogging Against Disablism Day:
To talk about our pain is construed as whining. Someone will always come up with a story about a friend of a friend who had a disease similar to yours who took this herbal pill from Tibet or some mountain that you have never heard of and suddenly was cured and got on with their lives. More likely than not this friend of friend just finally got the message that talking about their illness was not cool and decided to be silent. You see we can talk about pain but only in terms of what we are doing constructively to get better and not about how much it hurts or hard it is emotionally. It makes people uncomfortable and so it is understood as easier for all if we would just be quiet. I know this to be correct because the moment you answer truthfully about how you feel the subject is quickly changed or silence ends the conversation.

I want to know why someone would be wrong to say to her:
WOC are born fighting and we die fighting. Acknowledge your pain and get the hell up. We cannot even afford to have one sister down for the count when there is work to be done.
Seriously full of shit...
and you are completely hell bent in wallowing in pain...
So 40 years from now when you are still telling the world about your hurt what will you have accomplished? What proactive action will you have taken? Playing victim does not make anyone powerful...

Would it be okay for me to tell her she is curling into a fetal position and sucking her thumb in defeat? Should I tell her that she should refuse to be the eternal victim? Maybe she needs to put on her big girl panties?

Honestly, I agree with everything Renee says in her post about disability. I also suffer from chronic pain and my disability is invisible. So I don't actually want to say any of those things to her. What I am doing is repeating her own words to BlackAmazon. Here are the posts where I got the quotes from:
I started something really inflammatory
Big Girl Panties and the Cycle of Victimology

And recently Renee did this to someone again,
Step It Up, Wimp!

This is the problem I am having, this is what I hate, not Renee, but the fact that it's okay for her to feel pain, write about her pain, expect sympathy and empathy instead of judgment, expect commiseration and understanding, make her own decisions about what is best for her, including resting, bowing out, taking care of herself first, but she is quick to judge others without knowing their circumstances or even very much about them at all. I really just don't understand why it's okay for her to decide whose pain is valid, when they have suffered and discussed it long enough, when they need to get up and fight, and choose their battles and priorities for them.

I did want to note something interesting, most of the people who agreed and were moved by the Big Girl Panties post were white, not all, but most. And again those who disagreed were POC, not all, but most. This goes to how white women are viewed vs. WOC. The stereotypical white woman is a weak delicate flower, white feminists are fighting against this stereotype, so a post telling them they are strong warriors will resonate. WOC on the other hand are stereotyped as super strong beasts of burden whose feelings don't matter, so being told quit bitching and keep on marching will grate.

And I want to note something else, about the post referenced by whirlwitch at Womanist Musings,
Walking Away: The Luxury of an Ally. Walking away CAN be a sign of privilege. But there is a huge difference between someone telling you they are suffering, stressed, have too much on their plate, etc as the reason they walk away and someone who says, "I'm cis, transphobia and transmisogyny don't affect me, so why should I care? I'm walking away from this."

Also Renee states multiple times that trans people can't just walk away, she's both right and wrong. For one thing vriane, the woman she is castigating, can't escape transphobia and transmisogyny since she is a trans woman and the target of those oppressions, so Renee is right that she can't walk away from that...BUT vriane is talking about limiting her exposure to certain websites and news sources that are triggering her because she can't deal with that right now. That is what she is walking away from. This is very similar to what BlackAmazon was trying to explain to Renee. Since BA is a woman she can't hide from sexism or walk away from it, but she can walk away from useless white middle class feminism, and find better ways to spend her time, and other WOC to work with.

(Crossposted to the The Silence of Our Friends at Blogspot)

WARNING: I am going to be rambling here about some ideas that have been stuck in my head and may make an ass of myself. I'd appreciate it if you would point it out if I overstep my bounds as an ally and say something stupid. If you don't have the energy to deal with privileged nonsense you might want to quit reading this now.

Awhile ago I was speaking to a friend in twitter and said to her that I don't think that the "T" actually belongs in LGBT, and trans people certainly aren't treated like they belong by some gay and lesbians involved in these groups. There are two different types of oppression involved in LGBT rights struggles that are not necessarily related, although they can be. (There may be more, but the fact that I am a cis het woman with the privilege not to endure these oppressions may make it difficult for me to see or understand.) The two I am thinking of is sexuality, or rather who you are attracted to sexually vs. gender or gender presentation. Because they are separate oppression/privilege axis sometimes you have people who you assume or should be "on your side" who are not, and may not be aware that they are actually working against you. So I'm wondering why there aren't two separate groups who certainly work together, but are defined as working towards the separate goals of acceptance and equality for those particular oppressed groups. In other words, there should be LGB (with perhaps Asexual included?) groups and organizations working towards acceptance and rights for people who are not strictly heterosexually identified. And different groups working towards TQI issues of gender and gender presentation acceptance and rights for those who are not strictly cis identified (or who society refuses to identify as cis, no matter how much they conform.)

Yes I understand that there are gay and lesbian people who are also non-gender conforming, just as I understand that there are trans people who are also gay, but to me these are intersections of oppression, not the same oppression. Just as part of my identity is woman, also woman of color, also disabled woman. So I could be involved in feminism, anti-racism, and PWD organizing with three separate groups or organizations who may or may not organize together too.

Anyway, what I am wondering is...did all of these groups of people get thrown together into one LGBTQI definition due to cis/het ignorance and stereotyping, rather than because they actually have each others interests at heart, and then just decide to try to muddle along together as best as they can? It's cis/het ignorance and stereotypes that say that gay men are feminine men, and lesbian women are masculine women, when the reality is that gay men and lesbian women run the gamut in gender presentation...just like het people do. It's cis/het ignorance and stereotypes that say that trans women are really men pretending to be women, in other words feminine men; and that trans men are really women pretending to be men, in other words masculine women. In other words, it's cis/het ignorance and stereotyping that would ever categorize gay men to somehow be on some sort of spectrum with trans women; and lesbians to be on a similar spectrum with trans men.

I doubt if anything I'm saying here is new to people who are LGBT and probably has been discussed a million times over with more depth and analysis than I have at my disposal. I hope that people will tell me if I'm just being a screwball who needs to do more homework, and if you have some links handy to discussions that I have missed on the internet to something like this I would appreciate it greatly if you leave them in the comments.

Connections, interrelationships, linkages

Imagine that this economic crisis winds up worse than the Great Depression. People don't have jobs, they have no money to buy food or clothing for themselves or their children, they are homeless. Without taxes, infrastructure is crumbling, government is ineffective and in disarray. Imagine that there is a country less affected by the economic crisis and is very strong, economically, politically, militarily and they decide this is their opportunity to invade and occupy the US. They have military outposts throughout the country, but more importantly they establish a new US government of collaborators. The most important tasks of this government are protecting the interests of the occupiers rather than the interests of the US people. In their own country the propaganda put forth says that they are in the US to help, that it is a humanitarian mission and that all they have ever wanted to do is spread freedom, democracy, and stability throughout the world. Their people don't know what is really happening in the US, they are dependent on their government for news releases, and tend to think that their government represents goodness, or is at least benign. As US citizens in the thick of it, we see the reality, we see that they are here to exploit the situation, suck us dry of our resources, to keep us weak, to control our industries, and to use brutal repressive tactics to do so.

A few questions for you as a US citizen under the occupation of another country. Do you accept the situation and hope it gets better? Or do you fight back? Most would answer fight back, some through peaceful means, through trying to transform their own neighborhoods and local governments to look out for their interests, working towards real elections where the candidates will have US interests in mind, etc. Others will violently revolt and plan attacks towards the military and political outposts of the occupiers, and even outside of the US, they will plan attacks on other outposts in other countries that are less protected, and they will plan attacks within the occupiers own country.

You probably think I'm talking about Iraq or maybe Muslims in general. I'm not, at least not only Iraq or Muslim people. This is what we do around the world. I mean South America, Central America, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and yes, the Mideast. We may not overtly occupy a country the way that we do in Iraq, but we do control other governments for our own interests while telling the people back home that we are on a humanitarian mission, or that our meddling is to stabilize other countries. We do things like fund right wing "freedom fighters" to overthrow liberal democratically elected governments. If the government is already a right wing dictatorship, we will offer military hardware and training to continue the brutal repression of the people. The last thing we do is spread democracy; democracy is only for us and a select few other mostly white western nations. We are only there to suck them dry, as cheaply as possible, of anything they may have that we want. This includes labor as a resource. We do not want real free trade, we definitely do not want unionization or fair wages and benefits for workers around the world. We are quite happy with them being used as subsistence wage or slave labor feeding our consumerism.

The only right wing dictators we do not like are those who refuse to be our puppets, only then, they are evil.


Shift gears...
During the election there was an outcry over the things that Rev. Wright said during a few church services. One of the things he said was that 9-11 was about chickens coming home to roost. HOW DARE HE! It's like he is saying the 3000 innocent people who were just going about their business deserved to die that day! No actually, that isn't what he was saying, but if you believe our government's propaganda you might interpret it that way. All he is saying is that 9-11 was predictable. It is, considering the things our government does around the world in our names, and that as far as those people are concerned, we approve of these things. When you are repressing people directly or by proxy, they are likely to fight back, sometimes with extreme violence. Rev Wright is only speaking of realistic expectations, not making a judgment on the morality of the 9-11 attacks. When he says, "God bless America? No, God damn America!" he is making a judgment on the morality of American hegemony and military adventurism. As a US citizen and a former marine the actions of the US reflect back on him, he has a right and a duty to speak and make his opinions known about the things done by his government as a representative of him around the world. He understands that grave injustices can lead to violent actions.


BUT...there is something else going on when the "terrorists" are not directly condemned. While extreme violence is devastating when it happens, it is not the usual course of action. Instead the pressure mounts until the one who commits an extreme act believes he hasn't many options, may believe that this is the only way to change things, and he or she may even NOT believe that it will make things better, but it will make those who have grievously harmed him or her also feel the pain. It may seem like self defense or the only way to protect him/herself and loved ones from a bad situation.

Very few people will say that this is right. I don't believe that it is right, but that isn't the point, and for some reason the most privileged amongst us will avoid seeing that part. No matter how many times and ways you say it, they will still think you are being an apologist for a violent extremist.

The conversation we are trying to have instead is- why are we creating the possibility of violent extremists? Why are we creating situations of such suffering and injustice that there will be anyone who believes that he or she has no choice but to act in such a destructive manner? Isn't it time we looked at causes instead of symptoms?

We can't have these conversations because injustice, brutality, and violence are serving the wealthy and powerful all too well.


Shift gears...
Connections, interrelationships, and linkages. What if the occupying force isn't a foreign government, but your own government? Samhita tried to discuss this at Feministing and didn't get very far. The privileged do not want to know underlying causes, the system works fine for them.

This will probably seem strange, but I found that poster graphic to be very fitting in an ironic way. The Obama poster is a symbol of hope and change, but for whom? I'm a WOC, and I will tell you that amongst ourselves we never expected big changes, we hadn't any real hope that suddenly the US would be transformed into a just country with opportunities for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for us. It was white people who thought that an Obama election would mean a post-racial America. It was white people who thought that Obama could snap his fingers and undo decades of conservative damage to the working class and middle class. We thought that the Republicans meant pedal to the metal over the cliff at 300 mph, but that maybe Obama and the conservative Democrats could slow us down to 55. Give us another day or two before we head off the cliff, or maybe that day or two to figure something out to swerve us off that path. But no we would not come to a screeching halt and do a 180 heading back to safety and security. So yeah, that poster says, here's your fucking hope and change. Nothing has changed for us and we still haven't much hope.

I like to repeat myself and so I will do it again just like in my last post:

The conversation we are (in this case, Samhita was) trying to have instead is- why are we creating the possibility of violent extremists? Why are we creating situations of such suffering and injustice that there will be anyone who believes that he or she has no choice but to act in such a destructive manner? Isn't it time we looked at causes instead of symptoms?

We can't have these conversations because injustice, brutality, and violence are serving the wealthy and powerful all too well.

Bilerico Project is making me want to rip my hair out with the transphobia here: READ THIS: This is NOT acceptable on Bilerico Project.

Many privileged people will not see a problem with this post, but I do. And I'm not trans, I know this because I am a woman of color. I know that the state will believe a white person over me, and that the threatening to call the police on me by a white person could very well result in beating, rape, and even death. I do not expect the police or justice system to treat me fairly.

Let's put it this way, if two cis, heterosexual, white, able bodied, middle class, typical men get into an argument and one says he's going to call the cops because the other said some mean and nasty things, the other would laugh it off. The police are there to protect these normative people, not harass them or arrest them for no reason. The justice system works the way it should and the way it is expected for these people. The most likely scenario,  is that the police will break it up and tell the parties to go home. But the further you get into the margins the more likely the state and it's systems are there to keep a watchful eye on you and take you out if you cause trouble.

Another scenario, a teen boy is naked, afraid, and bleeding on the street. He is incoherent but it's obvious that something bad has happened to him. He is found by two people who call 911 for medical assistance and the police. The boy's attacker shows up at the scene just as the police are arriving and tries to explain the situation as a simple lovers spat. You would think that the attacker would not get away with this, that at the very least the situation is so bizarre that it bears some investigation, you would be wrong. You would be wrong because the attacker and the police are white, the victim is Asian, and the Samaritans who tried to help are black women. If you don't know what I am talking about, then you don't know that blonde haired, blue eyed, Jeffrey Dahmer could have been caught before he killed several more victims, because one of his victims got away and was promptly handed back to him by the Milwaukee Police Department to be butchered.

Every person of color knows these kinds of stories and have stories of their own to tell. We know the police will not protect us when we need them, and we know they have no problem railroading us if a white person calls. The threat of state violence is a very real one, is a very common one, is not some abstract issue, or so unlikely as to be laughable.

I've put this in terms of race because this is what I know, but ask any trans person if the police and justice systems are on their side and you will also get a resounding, "NO!" Trans people are an extremely small part of the population, but every week there is another trans person beaten, raped, killed, jailed for the weakest of reasons, denied the help they need, all by the state. I repeat, the threat of state violence is a very real one, is a very common one, is not some abstract issue, or so unlikely as to be laughable.

So how do you think a trans woman of color, yes a woman who is both of color and trans, will take a statement that police will be called and that Bilerico will cooperate in identifying and prosecuting this trans woman of color?

What is so unlikely as to be laughable? Someone carrying through with hyperbolic statements on the internet. Half the people on the internet would be in jail or prison right now if saying things like DIAF (die in a fire) is a credible threat. It isn't. Saying things in anger is common, carrying them out is uncommon. Only a very privileged person could think there is an equivalence, it's not there.

Shorter Bilerico: To trans women of color: say something in anger and we'll make sure you pay dearly.

Preface to writing again

I stopped blogging awhile back. There are many reasons, but mostly it's my memory. I have chronic pain and am taking vicodin on a regular basis for that. The most noticeable memory issue for me is my vocabulary, as time goes on it gets harder and harder for me to find the right words. It's that, "on the tip of my tongue" type deal. In writing you really can't see that, you don't have a clue how long it takes me to write a post because you don't know how many times I have stopped to try to remember a word or phrase, you would know if I was speaking to you in person. So there's that frustration of sitting down to write and knowing it will take me 2X, 3X, maybe 10X longer to write than it would have in the past. But even worse is the way that I think. I think in connections. I see interrelations in seemingly unrelated things. This hasn't been a huge problem in the past, although it does present some difficulty when readers are expecting a linear progression and instead get circular or a web. But...if your thinking is muddled, you can see the connections, but can no longer explain them, or have forgotten the details in your own mind, it makes writing difficult and writing clearly nearly impossible. Anyway, I did want to explain this before I start writing again, and ask anyone who stumbles across my LJ and gets confused to go ahead and tell me that you don't understand where I am going with a post. I'll try to clear up the confusion.

Lately, I feel like I want to write again. And so I think I will.

I'm freaking out a little bit

I already posted this to my regular blog The Silence of Our Friends I have herniated discs in my neck and one of my doctors recommended that I use a home traction unit. It was ordered and approved by my insurance company and I've been using it for about a month now. It's great, some of my symptoms are that my left arm goes numb and I sometimes get shooting pains down my arm and other times it just feels like someone has punched me in the arm.  When I use traction these symptoms go away immediately. But on Saturday I got a bill in the mail from my insurance company. Apparently I have a $500 deductible. I don't have $500! Our family has been cutting back on everything because we have no money! Now I don't know what to do. I don't want to give up the traction unit because it works so well and I don't want to be in pain anymore. I have enough pain in my neck to deal with without having the arm numbness and that pain all over again. I'm starting a fundraiser to see if I can keep it somehow. Otherwise I will have to see if they will take it back. If you can help in anyway, it would be greatly appreciated. Please click the link to my blog and in the sidebar to the left there is a paypal button. Thank you.

I don't know what the hell I am doing.

I finally got a livejournal account so that I might post comments to my friends livejournals. I doubt if I will be using my own for much since I don't know what the hell I am doing. Visit me at my blog: The Silence of Our Friends