Sunday, October 16, 2011


It's been a few week now since I had my second abortion and I'm still not back to my old self.  Though the father was initially supportive, the day of the procedure he texted me that he'd be over at 9 and then I didn't hear from him again.  I'm not surprised, things like this happen when you are attracted to people with substance abuse problems.

A deep feeling of loss has dominated both of my abortion experiences.  The first time around I could feel the baby.  It wasn't far along or something, but I could just feel that it was there.  The sense of loss that I felt afterwards was consuming and surprising.  I did not doubt or regret my decision- it wasn't that.  Something that was growing inside of me was gone, suddenly and violently.  I couldn't deal with it.

This time around I didn't feel the baby. (I use the word "baby" as opposed to "fetus" because it feels less clinical- not because of political reasons or beliefs)  I felt nauseous and tired and sweaty and sensitive, but not connected to the baby.  Not like the first time.  The loss I feel this time is the loss of a friend.  The father was my friend.  Now he's not.  That makes me sad.

I just finished a letter to him, telling him how I feel about his actions.  How I can't talk to him, that an apology won't make it better.  That I understand him and forgive him, but I can't pretend like what he did didn't hurt me.  Losing his friendship has been the worst part of the whole experience.

I wasn't alone the day of the procedure because I am really lucky.  My mom was alone when she got an abortion and she said she would never let that happen to her daughters.  She took a week off of work and flew across the country to take care of me.  When the inevitable tears hit me, I curled up on her lap and she petted my hair like when I was a little girl.  She said that I would never be too old to cry on her lap and I know she is right.  I'm so lucky to have her.

It will probably take a couple more weeks before my body adjusts, but it might take a little longer for my heart to heal.  Losing friends is always hard, even when it's the right thing to do.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Not So Simple

I've struggled with birth control ever since I started having intercourse with men.  For a long time I was adverse to the idea of hormonal birth control because I like that I can feel my cycle moving through different stages.  It makes me feel connected to my body.

I recently revisited the topic with my doctor, and I also had a long talk with my psychiatrist about it as well.  I have bipolar disorder and anxiety and part of my treatment is taking medication.  Over the years I have been on more medications than I can count and for a long time I refused to take any at all.  Eventually, I was able to find a combination that worked and that didn't have horrible side effect.  It took about 8 years.

I do a lot of other things to manage the bipolar disorder and anxiety, but the medication is crucial.  I would not be able to be as functional or happy as I am today without it.  When I talked with my psychiatrist about how the Pill would interact with my medication, I was reminded that even though I am so happy and stable with my life, I still have these problems.  They don't go away.  There are some things that I will just have to do different than other people.

The problem is one particular medication, Lamictal.  I love Lamictal because it works as an anti-depressant without being an SSRI (like Prozac).  SSRIs make me psychotic- a common reaction for people with bipolar disorder.  The problem is that the Pill make Lamictal 50% less effective and doubling the dose isn't as option.  See, the lone side effect for Lamictal is a very, very rare condition that can occur when there are sharp increases or decreases in the dose.  During the week where I would be taking the sugar pill, my dose for the Lamictal would effectively double, putting me at risk.

The condition is a rash where your skin can fall off.  It can be fatal if not treated.  If I ever got the rash I would never be able to take Lamictal again.  My psychiatrist told me straight out that I should not go on hormonal birth control at all.

Sometimes I hear people talking about birth control like it's the easiest thing in the world.  Like, you just pop some pills and you're good.  I know that is not really true across the board, but I can't help but this about all of the conversations with my doctor and psychiatrist over the past couple months.  Or one of my friends whole also can't take the Pill for medical reasons and is also allergic to latex.  Or another friend who couldn't keep taking the Pill because it made her really depressed.

It's not a simple thing for anyone, and when you toss mental illness into the mix it becomes really frustrating.  The only option I have is an IUD (more on condoms later- that is a whole other post).  Even though the decision had been made, I still haven't worked up the nerve to actually get it.  Soon.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Slutty Slut

I often joke with my friends about being a slut.  In truth, I never really felt like one, even if I was going through a period where I would have multiple sex partners.  I'm not even sure I could define the word slut- that's a whole other topic.  I don't think having many sex partners is bad at all, and when I joke with my friends I don't use the word as a put-down.  But I never felt like the negative meaning of the word.

Until a couple weeks ago.  I was sitting in my car on the top floor of a parking garage, the heat from the sun making it hard to breath.  I had known I was pregnant for about a week.  I had just had a second ultrasound and when I asked the doctor how far along I was, she said four weeks.  The second I got back to my car I pulled out my phone to check the calendar.  Four weeks.  That left two people that could have been the father.  One too many.

It had been a fun summer.  An old lover and I started hooking up again and it was nice to have a little affection here and there while I dated others.  In early August I met someone.  Someone special.  Someone that I really thought I could be with and for three weeks an intense love affair ensued.  It was wonderful to feel wanted but it died as intensely as it had started.  Communication problems, blah, blah, blah.

I found out I was pregnant a week later when I went in for a colposcopy (a cervical biopsy).  The nurse asked when my last period was and when I told her she asked if I wanted to do a pregnancy test.  I was over two weeks late, but that wasn't particularly unusual for me.  I've always been irregular.  I took the test because I was already there.

Since my last period I had had sex with both the old lover (OL) and the someone special (SS).  I knew it could be either one, but I felt like OL had a better shot.  I wasn't speaking to SS anymore and I didn't really want to call him up and say "Guess what!  I'm preggers, it might be yours, but it might not be. Fun huh?"  At least OL and I had talked about what we would do if I became pregnant.  Well, I told him what we would do and he agreed.

It didn't really hit me until the ultrasound the next week.  By then the nausea had become constant and overwhelming and my breasts felt like they were on fire all the time.  I told OL when I first found out and he reacted ok but he wasn't reliable.  Drank too much, smoked too much weed.  He had a new girlfriend.  I wanted to feel like I could call him and he'd be there for me, but I didn't feel that way.

Sitting in my car on the roof of the parking garage, I felt like a slut.  Like I was being punished for not doing things the "right" way.  I was alone, staring at the calendar on my phone, trying to remember who I had sex with when.  Four weeks.  Had sex with SS four weeks ago- with a condom- but had sex with OL a few days before that without a condom.  Slutty slut slut.  Should have been better at wearing condoms.  Made better decisions.  Four weeks.

OL came over later that night and I told him the whole thing.  What the doctor said, when I had sex with who, how God or the universe or whatever was punishing me for being a slutty slut.  He shrugged and said, "Why don't we just say it's mine."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, it doesn't really matter whose it is, I mean, you're getting an abortion. Why don't we just say it's mine."

I buried my face into his neck and he held me tight. "I just feel like such a whore."

"Whatevs, sluts are better at what they do."  He kissed my forehead and I started laughing.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

People Read This

I got a comment the said that the person noticed that I haven't posted anything for a few weeks and wanted to know what was going on.  That they enjoyed my writing.

Like whoa.  People read this.  I mean, I see hits on my stats and all.  But whoa.  People actually read my blog and like it.

So, loyal reader(s), I have had some shit going on in my life that has kept me from writing.

-I had a short, but intense romantic relationship that ended unpleasantly.
-I found out that I was pregnant a week after that.
-I got an abortion two weeks after that.
-And, last but not least, the male contributor to the pregnancy (not the same person as the relationship) totally bailed.

I have posts brewing about all of those things.  It's been a crazy few weeks but I'm ok.  I have the most amazing mom in the world who flew out from the east coast just to help me through all of it.  There will be a post about that too.

It blows my mind that people read this.  Thank you.


I posted a comment at No Seriously, What About Teh Menz? that I wanted to share here, in response to a post about bi-invisibility.

I’m queer and I’ve experienced quite a bit of ignorance and even downright discrimination. I dated primarily women for many years and was deeply immersed in the lesbian community. When I started dating a guy, a lot of my “friends” had issues with it. Questions/comments I got over and over, from straight and GLBT people:

“But I thought you were a lesbian.” (I thought I was too? What do I say to that?)

“Are you going to date women again?” (Well, let me get my crystal ball…)

“Do you like men or women better?” (I don’t- certain lovers were better than others, of course, but that didn’t have much to do with their gender)

In response to saying that I’m queer- “So you’re bisexual.” (Um, not really. Some of my most cherished relationships have been with trans men during various times in their transition. Do they not count?)

I actually lost friends because I dated men. I now date primarily straight men because I’ve found that they (at least the ones I’ve gone out with) tend to be more accepting of my sexuality. I’ve had lesbians tell me to my face that they wouldn’t want to date a women who dated/slept with men.

I’m not trying to say that all lesbians have this attitude- but the straight people in my life do not have any issues with my sexual preferences. I know that has a lot to do with where I live (the Bay Area) and the sort of people that I seek out. It gets tiring to explain over and over what really is something very personal.

When I first started dating guys I kind of freaked out about the whole thing and one of my friends said, “You know, it’s ok if you like guys too.” It was so simple and so reminiscent of when I was 17 and my sister told me that it was ok if I liked girls. It both cases it was exactly what I needed to hear.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Girl Things

I read a post recently over at No Seriously, What About Teh Menz that really got me thinking about how I view my own femininity and, more specifically, what I think other people think about my femininity.  Though I am not a "high femme", I wear makeup, dresses, and jewelry even if I am not dressed up.

But this post isn't about looks, it's about interests.  I like a lot of stereotypical lady things: cooking, baking, sewing, knitting, and weaving.  These are just things that I like and am good at.  I'm not very good at sports- never have been- and I just like doing quiet, solitary activities where I work with my hands.  The precision of baking and weaving especially appeal to me- an outlet for perfectionism I suppose.

There have been moments where I feel a little ashamed that I like these types of activities because they are associated with women and femininity.  I'm a feminist I'd think Aren't I supposed to go against traditional gender roles? But my aversion to running/balls/wind/loud noises/wildlife/places without bathrooms kept me inside, happily crawling around on the floor pinning sewing patterns on fabric or carefully weighing ingredients for a cake from scratch.

Then it occured to me that if I were a man, all of these activities would be considered revolutionary because they do go against what is traditional expected from men.  So it would be ok if a man were doing these things?  This changed how I thought about this quite a bit.

I never did these things because it was what I, as a woman, was suppose to do or like.  These are just the types of activities that I'm good at.  My mom taught me to sew when I was young because sewing was a big part of her childhood.  My grandmother made all of my mom's and aunts' and uncles' clothes when they were children (six kids total!) and my mom made all of her own clothes until she was about 30.  This was because she grew up with no money and the only way to have cute clothes was to make them herself.

My mom was taught to sew because she was a girl and girls were supposed to know how to sew.  But that is not why my mom taught me how to sew.  It was something important to her life history and she wanted to pass that along to me.

I don't worry about not being a good enough feminist anymore because I'm a lot more comfortable with who I am as a person.  I like the things that I like because I like them.  Simple as that.  I like that when I sew or cook I hear my mom's voice in my head with the endless tips and tricks that she told me over the years.  There is no sense in me pursuing activities that I don't really like just for the sake of breaking through what is expected of me as a woman.  I barely have enough time for the hobbies I love, let alone taking on new ones that I ultimately have little interest in.

I love the things that I do and maybe that is the most "feminist" and "revolutionary" thing I could do.

Friday, August 19, 2011

All I Can Take

Trigger warning for sexual assault.  Some details have been changed (not the important ones).

Megan was crying over the phone.  She never cries. "Can I come over?"

I tell her to come and start walking around my apartment, nervously preparing.  I am usually on the other side of a tear filled phone call.  When she arrives she is wearing the new dress we had picked out together the weekend before; that night she had won an important award for her work.  Her face was streaked with black and she didn't say anything at first.  I held her, standing in front of my door, while she sobbed.

We sat down and she started wiping off her face and nervously smiling.  "I'm being so silly."

"What's up, baby girl?" I tried to speak as softly as I could without actually whispering.

"Something happened with Kevin."  She swallowed and smiled again.  "We were hanging out last night and I didn't want..."  She wrapped her arms around me and started crying again.

She and Kevin had been casually seeing each other for almost a year.  Megan doesn't really want a serious relationship and Kevin was the perfect guy to not have a relationship with.  He is the bartender at a bar right next to where we both live and because he works a lot he didn't demand too much of her time.

"What happened?"  I tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear and she smiled again.

"I'm being so stupid, it's not a big deal," she said, looking away. "So he came over after work last night, right?  And we're hanging out and he's all like, 'let's do it' and I was like 'uh, no, not tonight' and he was like 'oh come on, let's have sex' and I was like, 'no, it's not going to happen'.  That goes back and forth for a little while and I thought he got the picture.  I mean, I wasn't even drunk or anything.  I said he could crash with me because it was already like 4 in the morning and when I... when I..."  She took a big, shaky breath. "When I woke up he was fucking me and when I told him to stop he said that he was almost done and so I... I didn't do anything."  She looked at me out of the corner of her eye.

"That shouldn't have happened, ok?  That was wrong of him."  Had to keep my cool.  I used a soft voice  and asked her if it was ok for me to put my arm around her.  She smiled and said of course.

"It's not a big deal, I don't know why I'm so upset."

"It is most definitely a big deal and it is a completely and totally normal reaction to be upset. That shouldn't have happened."  I didn't use the r-word.  I thought it would just upset her more.

"I just... Why did he have to do that?  I mean, really, like why?"  Most of her makeup had been rubbed off, but she was still in her dress and heels.

"People do that because they want power, he shouldn't have done that."

"It's just so dumb.  Like it's such a dumb thing to do." He voice was squeeky and trying to sound normal. "I'm being so stupid."

"No, you're being really brave, like really really brave just by telling me."  I looked at her tear streaked face and wished I could have been that brave.  I never told Megan about when I was raped.  I couldn't even believe that it was rape for over a year.  I didn't go to her crying, I cried by myself.  I wanted to tell her then, to make her feel less alone, but I didn't because I still wasn't brave enough.  "Megan, look at me."  She looked up and her eyes were deep and dark. "You are a special and worthwhile person and I love you."

Light flickered across her eyes. "Really?"  She really didn't believe that in that moment.

"Really.  You are strong and brave and I love you so much.  I know that you feel wronged and violated and confused and stupid and silly and like it's you fault but it's not, I promise you it's not.  And it's so completely normal to feel all of those things when something like this happens, ok?"

"It is?" Her voice was so small.

"You did everything right, ok?  He is the one who fucked up here, not you.  He made the mistake, not you, ok?"  I felt so powerless.  Because that's the thing about rape, it is not just the survivor that has to deal with it.

I kept it together until she left that night.  I felt all the things that she felt because she is my best friend and I feel all of the things she feels and she was raped.  She was raped by someone she trusted and knew and who knows all of our friends.  My best friend was raped by someone that worked two blocks away from where I live, at a place where our friends congregate.  My best friend was raped and it broke my heart because I couldn't stop it or fix it or or take away her pain because I was powerless.  He didn't just make her feel powerless, he made me feel that way too.  She is my best friend.  She has been there through so much of my shit and she was there for me when I was raped even though I never told her, she was there for me.  Maybe she knew, maybe she didn't, but she is my best friend and she is always there for me so it didn't matter why I was so messed up for so long.  My best friend was raped and my sister was raped and I was raped and a couple of my cousins (male and female) and like so many people because it's everywhere.  And it's easier for me to deal with it when it's me, but when it's those that I love I... I don't have any control or power.  I try to say the right things.  I try to listen and be there.

It just doesn't feel like enough.