slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
Is what it comes down to.

You don't get to make choices for me. I, as a sovereign being, get to make my own choices. I don't care what you know or what you think you know or what experience you have. You may be permitted to give me advice if I ask for it, and I may or may not follow it, but the choices to ask or not ask and to follow or not follow belong to me and me alone.

Unless I have explicitly asked your opinion on the matter, you, your friends, the government, the First Lady, the nine out of ten doctors who agree, the "everyone" in "everyone knows", and in fact anyone who is not my chosen health care provider, all have no right to tell me what is and is not healthy for my body, what I should and should not be doing with or to my body, what my body is, is not, should, or should not be capable of, or that and why you disapprove of my choices for and about my body.

My body belongs to me because it is me. (I am not only my body; it is not all of me, but it is me.) If I do not own myself, I have and am nothing. If you infringe upon my right to own and rule my body, you take from me all that I am and have. You make of me less than a person.

Autonomy and consent, the most basic of all human rights. Autonomy and consent, the foundation of who and what we are. The baseline of our ethical understanding, thrumming along through everything; this is all we need, here at the heart of it, all that any of us need to understand. You own you. I own me. If zie's not having fun, you have to stop. If zie doesn't want help, you don't give it. If zie asks you for something, you don't have to say yes. If hir body doesn't look or move or work the way you have been taught that bodies should, it doesn't matter, because it is none of your business. If zie chooses to do or be something that you don't understand and/or that you wouldn't choose for yourself, remember that hir choice belongs to hir; accept that people, like bodies, are different; and go on about your day.

If zie is hurting you, mentally, emotionally or physically, you have the right to tell hir to stop. You are under no obligation to consent to being hurt.

If zie is not hurting you, do not claim that zie is. Someone else being fat does not hurt you. Someone else being queer does not hurt you. Someone else being trans* does not hurt you. It does not matter whether these things are choices, because the choices that they may or may not be are still not yours.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
Y'all, my dad gave me some cash for food until the food stamps came through, like, literally the day before the food stamps came through, and since my ass1 has expanded beyond the comfortable proportions of all my currently-owned pants, and I am a size 14-16 woman wearing a size 10 winter coat, I am taking the cash shopping.

I am currently planning The Route. Along The Route are stationed five or six consignment and thrift shops in town, through which I will make my circuitous way looking for The Coat and some pants, on the way to the street the mall is on, where I will also find TJ Maxx. TJ Maxx will hopefully have a coat in my size for cheap if I can't find one at the thrift/consignment shops. Then, if all else fails, there is Sears and JCPenney clearance. And if that fails me, I will stalk the eBay women's outerwear section for a while longer.

Why, you might ask, do I not just go buy a coat at Walmart? Well, because I'm picky. Among relevant aspects of my pickiness in this instance are my distaste for synthetic parkas and color-blocked windbreaker-looking winter coats and preference for something classic and mid-thigh-to-knee-length in at least a wool blend2, and my insistence that any coat I buy actually be long enough in the arms, which usually means tall sizes.

Tall sizes are a huge dilemma for me, y'all. I have these obnoxiously long arms and legs3, but I also have this obnoxiously short waist.4 But then I also have these obnoxiously enormous breasts. And so the combination of all this means that I wind up buying tall sizes in things like shirts and coats, and because of The Tits, the waist falls in the right place in the front, but about 4" lower in the back. I just have to suck it up until I become more proficient with my sewing machine and can make this stuff myself.

Tall sizes in pants are not nearly as problematic. The problem I have in pants is that they never have enough ass depth, including the Right Fit ones, and the back waist is always lower than the front waist. I have this problem with pants, too, if my UK and anglophile peeps follow me.

Wolfie has a bubble butt, or what may variously be known as "badonkadonk" and/or "I like big butts and I cannot lie" and/or "fat-bottomed girls, you make the rocking world go round".

Meanwhile, in each store, I am going to comb through the lingerie section and see if there are any cheap and/or clearance bras in my size. I ordered two from eBay, noticed the seller was in Hong Kong and shipping takes 12-30 business days, and have been waiting a week for a shipping notice; I need something now. I can't be waiting around. My band size has gone up to 32, and I can only stand to wear my 30s for about three hours before sharp, horrific pain blooms in a bright line around my underbust. Also they make that sort of little ridge of back fat, like a reverse muffin top, sticking out from the bottom edge of the band, which is considered unsightly under clothing and, while it shouldn't matter because that kind of thing is bullshit, will plant the subconscious idea in the heads of potential interviewers that I am not "put together" or whatever. Also also, the band tries to crawl down to a thinner part of my rib cage and takes support with it, so I am standing hunched over like my grandmother again.5

Bright side: this means I'm a 32DDD/E(UK)/F(US) instead of a 30F(UK)/G(US), and stores like Macy's actually carry a few bras in my size. Which means I can try bras on before I actually purchase them, maybe, and not have to pay return shipping when most of them don't fit.6

Meanwhile, also, I have to buy new makeup. I could not give less of a shit about makeup, y'all, and would be perfectly happy with the dusty little tubes and compacts in the old makeup box I bought in college, but when I did an Interview Makeup test run, my face broke out and my eyes were stinging for three days. Also the texture of it all was just bad news. That shit is A) expired, B) contaminated with badness and bacteria or C) both.

Which makes sense since the newest items were the ones I bought for my wedding a year and a half ago. And I couldn't actually find that stuff. Supposedly you're supposed to buy new makeup every 6 months or something? Yeah. Bad badness.

Anyway. I have about $200 to do all this. I need a winter coat, that's priority #1, because I can't be going around in one that's two sizes too small. I need one pair of jeans. I can wear the same pair all week and then wear the ones that don't fit while I'm doing the laundry, I'm all right with that, but if I could find two for cheap I would be really happy. If I see interview clothes on the clearance rack that look amazing on me and are under $15 per garment, I'll pick them up, but it's not a priority, because that's one of the things MRS7 can help me with once I get through their orientation process. And I need to get makeup, probably including stupid foundation, which is a pain in the ass to buy because the palest shade8 is always optimized for natural redheads, who tend to have warm undertones. Mine are cool. Maybe I will just skip it.

Oh, and I need to get a new purse. One that my stuff actually fits in without bulging out, and that has a shorter drop than the one I have so it will sit on the shelf of my hip without the straps falling off my shoulder. I can't carry a purse that hangs down alongside my hip, it's uncomfortable; I have a nice purse gap area between my arm and waist that works, but to have something against my hip I have to stick my elbow out funny and it just doesn't work.

Anyway, after that Nigel and I may be going to the movies, if we can find anything on that we're willing to see. Which is pretty doubtful. White America is all het up over Avatar right now and you know I'm not going to see that. Of course Sherlock Holmes is already gone, fuck you Carmike. I kind of want to see Daybreakers, but Nigel doesn't.

Anyway. Hopefully I will find all of the stuff I need. Probably I will find some of the stuff I need. If I can't find any of it I will be sad.

1. Well, really the discomfort is in the gut area when I sit down, but since Fashion Bug no longer carries the Right Fit jeans I like, any new pants I buy are going to be way too big in the waist anyway, and it is also true that I'm wearing pants for a 40.5" hip while having a 43.5" hip.
2. And I don't mean 90% poly 10% wool. That shit will not stand. I live in Michigan; I need something that will actually keep me warm.
3. Like everyone else in my mom's family. Although it may actually be due to my joint condition.
4. Apparently the rule of thumb is that average-waisted women can fit two hand-widths between the bottom of their tits and their natural waist. I can barely fit one hand-width, and I have tiny hands.
5. My paternal grandmother, the short Italian one with enormous breasts. Which is where I think I get my enormous breasts and short torso, especially the latter if my long limbs are joint-condition-related.
6. And most of them won't, because the current bra sizing system takes into account only ribcage circumference and breast volume, not breast depth or width or height, so I have to find not only the right size but a cut and style that fits.
7. Michigan Rehabilitation Services helps people with disabilities find appropriate employment.
8. Women at the other end of the shade spectrum have an even harder time, because I have seen the darkest shade of foundation most companies make and half the black women I know are darker than that. Dear makeup companies: clue. Get one.

Ha

Jan. 19th, 2010 11:53 pm
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
What is it like to be me?

As I slowly lift my head after a powerful and unexpected sneeze I feel my hip joint slide back into place.

I just almost dislocated my hip by sneezing.

Thank fuck I went to Michigan Rehab Services today.

Stuff

Jan. 13th, 2010 04:58 am
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
1. Fuck waking up at 3:30 in the goddamn morning and not being able to get back to sleep.

2. What do you do if you live with your partner, share a vehicle, and the partner gets a full-time job and you are still job-hunting? Do you drop the partner off/pick hir up from work every day so you can have a car? Do you just do this on the days that you have interviews? What if you wind up finding a job and it is the only one you can find and the schedules are just not meshing?

3. Help me figure out ways to explain to Nigel that short of actual physical therapy, which we cannot afford and which I really have no way of knowing whether it would work anyway, I am not going to be able to do the kind of work that requires me to be on my feet for eight hours a day.

4. I do not think stealing cable is wrong. I do not think people should be charged money for magazines and newspapers. The public are not the customers of these industries. We are the product. I do not know why I have been thinking about this, but there it is: we are the product, these industries do not make money from us. They make their profit from advertising. We are what they are selling to the advertisers. This is a fact, I don't even know how long it has been true; I don't know why it didn't hit me when I was in high school and my mom was working in advertising at the local newspaper and would talk about how the money from subscriptions was not even anywhere near enough for the paper to break even, that she had to sell X amount of advertising every day so the paper could go out, that if the paper wanted to do a full color section she had to sell more ad space.

The only reason these industries still charge money from the "consumer" is to perpetuate the fiction that we are not the product, that our viewership or readership is not being manufactured and sold. Television, print media and news websites do not produce entertainment or information. They produce audience.

If I am going to be sold as a product, basic human dignity dictates that I not be required to pay for the privilege.

But then, basic human dignity dictates that I not be sold as a product in the first damn place.

Oh, Hey.

Jul. 6th, 2009 05:12 am
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
Remember when I was talking about how my joint hypermobility manifests in my adult body? I was reading that Stumptuous article I linked the other day, right, and one of the things the study had showed was that many women experienced increased joint laxivity during or immediately preceeding their menstrual periods, and that seems to be when my partial dislocation stuff happens. In retrospect. I could be missing something, but it does seem that every time I can remember my hip popping out of joint in the middle of the store, I had a box of tampons in my hand.

I'm watching it now, because it's my week off birth control. I'm going to be extra careful. Because what for many women might just mean they have a higher chance to sprain or twist something at the gym, for me, means I will probably partially dislocate some random body part for no apparent reason.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
I woke up this morning and the left side of my jaw hurt. Not, you know, my upper or lower jaw, but in the joint, up next to my ear. When I opened my mouth, it was worse.

I've been kind of moving it around and feeling at it and stuff all morning, and I just got it to pop back into place.

Back into joint.

My fucking jaw was partially dislocated.

From sleeping on the left side of my face.

This isn't the first time it's happened, either, it's just that this is the time I realized what it was. It's bad enough when my hip pops out. I'm trying to figure out what it is, is it my poor nutrition, because there's not a lot I can do about that right now; if it's something I can do some kind of physical therapy for, then I need to do that, but I have a little trouble imagining what kind of physical therapy there could possibly be for my jaw. Chewing beef jerky?
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
I've been thinking about how to explain what my joint hypermobility has manifested into in my adult life, because I'm not entirely sure how much of a disability it still is, per se, but I still identify that way because, you know, I grew up with it.

I don't hyperextend very much anymore. My arms will always go just a little bit past straight when I stretch, and if I fall and land on my hands people sometimes think I've broken my wrists because they go back so far, but that's pretty much it.

What I do still have is really easy dislocation or, like, partial dislocation, I guess I would call it. I'll be walking, sometimes, and one of my hips will pop a little bit out of joint and it will just be really painful to walk for a couple days, but there's not really anything I do about it other than try to keep off it and let it go back. I don't really know what I could do.

I think it may be getting a little worse, actually, possibly because I haven't done any strength training for a while. I was fine in high school and most of college because I was always running around and doing stuff, even dancing or wandering around town with my friends was a weight-bearing activity that probably helped, but now I mostly sit on my ass in the apartment all day because I can't afford to go anywhere. And this thing with my hips did not used to happen. But now it does, once in a while.

This may be TMI, but Nigel is bigger than me and so if I put my legs around him and then we get too enthusiastic I may pop one of my hips out.

And, weirdly enough, last night my left pinky finger kept dislocating. It would pop out, I would yank on it to fix it, it would be fine for ten minutes, it would pop out again. I don't know if that's from too much knitting or not enough!
So it's still here, it's not causing a huge difficulty in my life the way it used to but it still fucks with me occasionally. Most of the time I just roll with it. But it is the major reason I never actually started trying to learn to do pull-ups, even though I kind of wanted to; I just have had it drilled into my head my whole life never to put that much weight on my stretched arms, unless I want to go to the emergency room. I don't know if I would actually have that problem or not, but I'm just not willing to take the risk.

But, you know, most women don't actually do pull-ups anyway. So I'm not that bad off.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st 2009

I am a person with disabilities. Mine are invisible. The disablism I experience is a specific kind tailored to the fact that nobody "sees" my disabilities but me.

The first disability I experienced, growing up, was called hyperlax joints. From the time I was very small I was taught to play carefully, not to pull hard with my arms, not to let anyone pull on my arms, I knew before I had been to kindergarten what it felt like to have my arm in a sling. Some of you have already heard this story from me.

When I was a toddler I dislocated the same elbow twice within a week or so. The people at the emergency room held my parents for questioning and kept me in a separate room from them because they thought I was being physically abused. I am glad that these people were careful and wanted to make sure a child was safe but it would be nice if they had looked at my chart first. Because I had a diagnosis. I was in physical therapy. They just didn't bother to check, and I will bet you that the reason they didn't was that I did not give any visible sign of having a disability.

No one ever called it that at our house. It was just, "Becky has to be careful." Becky has to. I had to look out for myself; my parents would do it for me but they couldn't be on me every second of every day, obviously, and I was discouraged from explaining it to the other kids at school, so when, for instance, I couldn't play crack the whip in gym class, I had been trained not to explain why, and I became The Weird Kid.

I would have been The Weird Kid anyway, I think. I am legitimately weird.

In order to further my physical development, without giving any indication to the other kids or their parents that I might have--GASP!--no! not a disability!, I was held back a year in elementary school.

I was held back a year in school. Let me repeat that. I, a fucking genius, who could read and write and draw in perspective by the age of 4, was held back a year in school, because my parents thought it would bring my physical "development" in line with the other kids in my class.

It didn't. Those of you with physical disabilities will already know this, but for the rest: it's not the same as being a little behind the herd developmentally. My physical development was normal except that I had a physical disability. I could walk, I could grasp a pencil and open doors. I had physical therapy, and that helped some; I had a doctor who advised my parents not to let me wear high-top shoes and to make me walk in sand, to force my ankles to strengthen, and that helped some. Some of it just got easier with time. But I was not just a little bit behind the herd. I'm not sure there is a point in able-bodied children's physical development where their joints will flop around like a rag doll, but if there is, it's before an infant can sit up on its own, not the year before kindergarten.

But nobody thought it was such a bad idea to hold me back a year; after all, I had started kindergarten a year early. They figured if they told me it was a special extra year for smart kids, I wouldn't notice, but I was, as I have mentioned, pretty smart at five years old. I knew there was something not right about waiting an extra year to go to first grade.

They didn't fully explain it to me until middle school. By then it was too late. In addition to being the weird kid, the kid who couldn't participate in a bunch of the gym class activities, I was the kid who had been held back, and while the other kids didn't know exactly what was "wrong" with me, they knew something was up. Although I consistently got the highest grades on all the tests, I was the kid on the playground who got called "retard".

I have mentioned that we didn't call it a disability at my house. My mother still refuses to acknowledge that it is one. I didn't even start to think, maybe I ought to be calling this a physical disability, until last year. I was 25 years old.

I have lived with a physical disability all my life without really knowing it.

Also last year, or the year before, I learned I have a learning disability, which I have also lived with all my life without really knowing it. I have ADHD. This is another thing my mother refuses to acknowledge. A lot of the population doesn't even consider ADHD to be real; my mother knows it's real, she just doesn't think I personally have it. She claims I'm just so smart I have a lot of ideas, but if I just learned some discipline and made myself concentrate, I could do it.

This is the disablism specific to invisible disability: you could do it if you really tried. Because there is not a wheelchair, or a cane, or some other visible indication of my disabilities, people assume I am exaggerating or making them up out of whole cloth. You could do it if you really tried, and because I am looking at you and not seeing the trying, you must not be trying at all.

Even when I was five years old, it was more visible than this, because when I was five years old I couldn't walk down stairs. If I tried, my knees bent too far and my feet swung back, kicked me in my own ass, and knocked me down the stairs. There were no stairs at my elementary school. Nobody saw this happen but my immediate family. But at least my immediate family could see it, and know it was real. They don't know my ADHD is real.

Even my dad, who claims to support me, tells me, every time I see him, not to let the ADHD become an excuse not to get anything done.

You could do it if you tried. Maybe you have to try harder than everybody else, but so what, you could do it if you tried hard enough. If you cared enough. If you don't succeed, it's not your disability, it's that you must not really care. Don't make excuses, you know it's a choice, you're choosing not to do it, you could choose to try harder, you could choose to be better, you could choose to remember, to pay attention, not to knock yourself on your ass with every step you take.

The only reason you forget things is that you let yourself.

My disabilities are invisible, like the wind. Like the wind, they are real; like the wind, they can make it really fucking hard to move forward, they can knock over everything I've built.

If I come to you and say, the wind blew my house down, you don't say, I didn't see it happen, you must not have built your house strong enough.

If I come to you and say, my disability made it so hard as to be impossible for me to do this thing, don't say, I didn't see it happen, you must not have really tried.

Mine are invisible. That doesn't mean they aren't there.

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