Monday, November 19, 2012

CF in Real Life

Up until recently, I didn't know anyone in my area who is CF. This has been a bit difficult to deal with sometimes, especially considering how important children seem to be around here. Even the parents I've befriended at school who are generally pretty nice people have bingoed me when the topic has arisen (I've gotten the "it's different when it's your own" bingo so many times that it's getting harder and harder not to smack these people). It's exhausting and admittedly kind of depressing. While I know they don't mean any harm by it, it's still extremely hurtful to have my feelings dismissed that way.

But I recently met a couple of CF individuals. Both are older than me (one significantly older, the other not so much), one married and one single. We have several other things in common aside from our lack of desire for children, which makes the whole thing even sweeter. I've had a handful of opportunities to spend time with both of them lately and it's been amazing. Aside from the one conversation with each of them when I discovered they were CF (which included me staring at them in awe and then hugging them when they confirmed the lack of desire for children), children have not been brought up. I have been able to be social and not have the conversation hi-jacked by parent-talk. I've been able to spend time with people and not get bingoed.We can make plans without anyone having to worry about getting a baby-sitter.

These past few weeks, despite the stress of school and trying to find a job and dealing with my religious conservative family so much (among other things), have been probably the happiest few weeks of my life. It's really amazing what a difference it's made being around other CF people in real life. As wonderful as the internet has been with the CF communities I've found, it can't replace actually interacting with these people.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

50 more reasons to have kids - with commentary by yours truly

So, do you remember those baby-rabid family members I mentioned? The ones who have my email address and keep sending me stupid shit to try to convince me to have kids/stop being pro-choice? Yeah, well, they're at it again. I got another list of reasons to have kids. And we all know what that means: blog fodder!

So, here we go!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

More Reminders of Why I'm CF

What I wrote yesterday about sometimes wishing I did want kids, just to make all the bingoing go away? Yeah. I'm being reminded of one of the many reasons I don't want to deal with that shit. And it makes putting up with the bingos a lot easier when I remember just what I'm refusing to sign up for.

Toddler-thing, my cousin's younger daughter, has been upstairs screaming her head off intermittently since they got here at 9 this morning, and it's now 2 in the afternoon. She is currently in the processing of screaming 'mama' at the top of her lungs as though she's being murdered, all because my cousin isn't paying attention to her. This has been going on for about 10 minutes already.

That kid is the fussiest brat I have ever had the displeasure of meeting. She's also a great example of why anything even remotely resembling attachment parenting is a shitty idea. Cousin used to carry her all. the. time. This kid was seriously never put down as a baby, except when Cousin had to take a shower or change Toddler-thing's diaper (or bathe Toddler-thing...) And now that she's three and too big for Cousin to carry constantly, Cousin has been setting her down more. Usually, there's still someone paying attention to Toddler-thing because of Cousin's older daughter and my grandmother (who showers the kids, especially Toddler-thing, with attention). But when there isn't someone focusing attention on Toddler-thing...the screaming and the tantrums that result are unbelievable. She has been to known to scream, cry, and whine for up to an hour at a time, only stopping if someone says something to her (and then start right back up again if they don't keep paying attention to her.)

For the moment, it sounds like she's calmed down--I can still hear her whimpering, but she's not screaming anymore--but it took about 20 minutes and I won't be surprised if/when she starts up again in another half hour or so.

One of her screaming fits earlier this morning was actually not the result of lack of attention, but because my grandmother's elderly little dog tried to bite her. Why did this dog try to bite her, you may be asking? Is it a mean dog? No, he isn't a mean dog. He's a very sweet, mellow little dog. But Toddler-thing is allowed to stomp after, throw things at, and hit the dog. And after several months of being abused by Toddler-thing nearly every day, he got sick of it and he lunged for her. I wasn't upstairs when it happened, so I don't know what Toddler-thing did to him, but I do know that little brat deserved it and she sure as fuck would have deserved it if he'd actually managed to sink his teeth into her. It's nothing short of a miracle that the poor dog has never been seriously injured with the way she's allowed to treat him.

(The dog wasn't in any trouble, by the way. He was defending himself and the adults recognize that. Now if Cousin and Grandmother would get their heads out of their asses and make the kid stop abusing the dog, they wouldn't be having to deal with that.)

And that sort of treatment of the dog is why Toddler-thing isn't allowed near my pets, but her sister is. Her sister knows how to treat animals properly and while I would never leave her unattended with them, I don't worry that she would ever try to hurt them. Toddler-thing, though...I do worry. I worry that she would squeeze or hit my Rodent-pets and do some serious damage to their tiny bodies. I don't worry about my cat, though. She won't let Toddler-thing near her. Last time Toddler-thing got too close--about two or three feet away--Kitty snarled and hissed and looked like she would lunge at Toddler-thing. When Toddler-thing didn't get the message, Kitty turned into Demon Kitty and lunged forward a little, screeching, and then took off to go hide. Toddler-thing hasn't gone near her since; she's just smart enough not to mess with Demon Kitties.

(Also, it didn't even take half an hour for the tantrum-throwing to start again. It started about midway though the paragraph about Toddler-thing and the dog and it is still going on 15 minutes later. It has actually escalated...she sounds like she's being murdered again.)

And people wonder why I hate being around kids...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dealing with Bingos

Because I've been spending more time around people since starting college classes, I've also been dealing more with bingos. Obviously, for most childfree people, bingos are just a part of life we have to deal with. I've met some decent people who, when I express my lack of desire for kids, leave it be, or even commend me for knowing myself well enough and not putting an unwanted child in a bad situation. But there are others who push and bingo me until I manage to get them on another subject or cut the conversation short. I wish I didn't have to do that, I really do. These people are otherwise generally very nice individuals; I don't think I've ever been in a class where I like 90% of the people, as I do now.

While I'm sure they don't mean anything by it, I'm still bothered when my pregnancy phobia is dismissed with "oh, just wait until you have your own." No. It won't happen. Desire, or lack thereof, for kids aside, pregnancy disturbs the shit out of me. It's nightmare fuel for me and has, in fact, been the center of nightmares in the past (once to the point that I went without sleep for almost three days because I was afraid of having that particular dream again). I know none of my classmates know that--how can they, when I haven't told them?--but other fears aren't dismissed like that. My fears of clowns, heights, and spiders were all taken seriously. Even my fear of dolls was taken seriously, and that isn't exactly a normal one.

But when I expressed my fears of pregnancy, it was dismissed with an off-hand comment from one woman. I was firm but nice with my insistence that kids weren't going to happen still bothered me tremendously. She's a very nice woman, funny and intelligent, and I like talking to her otherwise.

But to have a legitimate fear brushed off simply because I'm a woman and it's assumed that I will have kids one day is hurtful. People shouldn't be assuming what I want just because of the reproductive organs I happen to have.

The bingos are hurtful, too, in a way, because my choices are brushed off as not being legitimate, or because I'm supposedly too young to know any better (but if I had children it wouldn't be that way). I know I need to just get used to them--I'm going to continue dealing with them as long as I'm spending any amount of time around people. But even though I know remaining childfree is the right choice for me, I still feel so worn down and sometimes I find myself wishing I did want kids just so I wouldn't feel so alone, so people wouldn't keep looking down on my choices. I want the pity, the condescending remarks, and the dismissals of my feelings to stop.

It doesn't matter how confident I am in my choices, it still hurts to have other people dismissing them or reacting badly or treating me differently. I almost hate myself sometimes. I know I'm not defective--I just have a different viewpoint, a different opinion--and yet I'm made to feel I am defective and that I'm a bad person and sometimes being surrounded by that is enough to make me feel like it's true.

I look around me and I see all the current parents and future parents and I feel alone and out of place.
 Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if I wasn't on different ground about so many other things; I don't know. But I am, and those are things that tend to draw condescending remarks, too (like my English instructor when she asked if anyone in the class was vegetarian and commented that "we won't make fun of you if you are." As though vegetarianism is something to be ashamed about. I've never been ashamed of it but I almost didn't raise my hand.) It makes the feeling of isolation worse and I hate feeling like that. But I know if I tried to follow the "norm" then I would still be miserable because it wouldn't be me. And I hate lying to myself.

I just don't understand it, why its seen as so horrible, so pitiable, so wrong, to make a choice like not having kids. I mean, I know that's how society is--parenthood isn't presented as a choice. But its not the 50s anymore. It's 2012.

I really wish that society as a whole, instead of making parenthood out to be a definite, made parenthood out to be a choice. Plenty of people would still have kids, you can bet on that. There are plenty of people who love them (and plenty of people who have them just so they don't have to do anything with their lives). If it was presented as a choice, maybe we wouldn't be seen as bad people, or defective, or people who should be pitied. Because we're not.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pro-Liar WTF-ery, Part 1

First off, ugh. What the hell happened to Blogger while I was gone? I don't like this new interface. At all. (Also, apologies again for the lengthy hiatus. I hate real life. Apparently, the feeling is mutual, because real life keeps attacking me. But I digress.)

Second is about the WTF-ery the post title is referring to. As most of you readers probably know, the vast majority of my family is as pro-life anti-choice as they come. If you didn't know that, you do now. They're rabid. And unfortunately for me, some of them have my email address. Granted, it's an old one I don't really use much anymore, but they still have it. Also unfortunately for me, as computer illiterate as they are, they know enough to use the internet. I just got an email from a family member with a link to a site ('just' as in just opened the email. They had sent it nearly a month ago, which just goes to show how often I check that email). The site? Checkmate, Pro-Choicers. (Nope. I'm not linking to them. Screw that. I won't give them any page hits. You wanna check it out, you can Google it. It's on Tumblr, though, to help you out if you're feeling masochistic. Or if you don't believe me that something this crazy exists.)

WTF-ery abounds there. I don't know if I'm just getting better at controlling the rage I feel when I see their drivel or if I'm just too exhausted right now to get riled up, but I was surprisingly calm. And of course the first thing I thought--after "The f*ck is this shit?"--was "I'm saving this. I need to post it. Thanks moronic family member who still hasn't gotten a clue. I needed a kick in the ass to start posting again." Because any links I get sent are fair game to rip apart/poke fun at at over here. I only saved 21 of their stupid little pictures. I could've done more, and I might later, but 21 of those will be enough blog fodder for now.

I'm going to do 3 to a post. Don't want to give you guys an overdose of WTF, after all. (My brain shorted out and had to reboot after 4 of them.)

So, here we go.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Blog for Choice Day 2012

This year, we want your thoughts in answering this question: What will you do to help elect pro-choice candidates in 2012?

Yup, it's that time of the year again. I actually caught this in time to write a decent post this year, but as it is, there isn't much for me to say on the subject. (And before I go any further, I'm going to direct the anti-choice trolls I'm sure are reading here, and here. And for those trolls who don't feel like clicking on the links, I will reiterate what both of those pages contain. I will not tolerate you coming onto my blog to harass and/or argue with me. If you make an anti-choice comment, calling me a baby-hating murderer, asking me how I can live with myself, or whatever, your comment will be deleted. Why? Because, for one thing, I have neither the time nor the inclination to sit and argue with you. Even if I did, I wouldn't. You're not worth my time. For another thing, my blog, my rules, and I have a very low tolerance for anti-choice morons. If you're just here to troll, save us all some time and go somewhere else.) Now, back to the post.

I've never much cared for politics. I wasn't old enough to vote in the last presidential election, nor did I particularly care. They were all politicians, and all politics were boring to me, not to mention it always seemed like voters had to choose between the lesser of two evils. Why would I want to get involved, when it didn't seem it would matter? I never really understood how any of it worked, and I didn't care to learn (what can I say? My social studies classes were boring as hell and listening to my family talk about politics wasn't any more interesting.) When I got my driver's license, I could have registered to vote, but I didn't. I didn't care.

This year, I actually plan to vote. That there is a huge step for me--and it's all I know I can do at this point. I do intend to try to find other ways to do something. The attacks on choice in this last year were terrifying, to say the least. (And boy was I on the money with last year's Blog for Choice post; I was right to be worried. We have an "abortion ban"--just another name for the Personhood Amendment that some lunatics tried to pass in Mississippi recently--trying to be pushed through right now here in Kansas. I'll be posting more information on that later, once I have a chance to compile links and write a post.) And to make matters even worse, it seems like the anti-choice politicians were so busy trying to take away choice that they weren't worrying about the very real, very important problems that need to be addressed to keep this country from ending up in an even deeper hole than we're already in.

I would try to encourage my family to vote for pro-choice candidates, but I know that would be a wasted effort. I do plan to talk to my friends, though; I know they'll listen. I'll find other places to encourage more pro-choice voters to step up. That won't be an easy task, considering that the closest thing to social networking I bother with is this blog and LiveJournal, and I live in a primarily anti-choice area. But I'm going to try. Women are not second class citizens (we aren't incubators or less important than a partially-formed clump of cells, either) and I refuse to let us be treated that way again.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pro-Choice, Part 1

After a lot of time trying to get that pro-choice post together, I've decided to tackle it from a different angle. This will allow me to make sure I address everything, and I can work on and post it in chunks. It was turning out to be far too large of a project to do in one big piece, and it was starting to wear me down, so I'm afraid this is just going to have to do.

I doubt any of this is going to help much. I know full well that the most rabid anti-choicers--the ones who picket Planned Parenthood and support murdering abortionists, the ones crazy enough to try to declare a fertilized egg is a person--aren't going to be swayed by anything we have to say, no matter how fact-based it is. They're so set in the lies that there's no chance of changing their minds. But I'm doing this...I guess to try to lay the entire pro-choice argument out on the table in one place, in my own words, for anyone willing to take the time to read it. I'm also hoping that maybe, just maybe, this will reach someone, even just one person.

And to be honest, this project was very difficult to do. After everything I've seen I really, truly fear for the future of this country with people like those pro-lifers running around.

I will say right now that I will not tolerate anyone coming on here and calling me a baby-murderer, or asking me how I can live with myself, or anything of the sort. I've made it quite clear in other posts, but I'm going to say it again in case it's been skipped over: this is not a place for you to debate or question my beliefs or lifestyle choices, it's not your place to tell me I'm an evil, baby-hating murderer, it's not your place to tell me I'm wrong, or that I'll change my mind, it's not your place to come on here and berate or harass me, and any such comments will be deleted. I am not going to engage in a petty argument with anti-choicers who have nothing better to do with their time than troll child-free/pro-choice blogs.

If you're so damned worried about stopping abortion, then maybe you should be out there promoting safe sex, because no matter what you try to say or do, people are going to have sex. If they're better informed about protecting themselves, they're less likely to end up needing an abortion. If you care so much about those "babies" then get your asses out there and start helping the ones that are already here. The ones whose families are living in poverty, the ones whose mothers didn't want them but were pressured to have them, the ones who have special needs--they all need help a lot more than a clump of cells. Put your money where your mouth is, and then maybe we'll talk.

If you have genuine proof that any of my information is wrong, then please, feel free to share; I'm all for having correct information and I won't be insulted if I have to be corrected. But don't bring me "proof" from anti-choice websites. Don't bring me "proof" that's 20 years old. Don't bring me personal anecdotes, or religious "evidence" like, "oh well i regret my aborshun/i know some1 who regrets there aborshun/the bible says its rong so its rong u're evil."

Because you know what? On a lot of those anti-choice websites I read while trying to hunt down facts, their information was outdated. The websites themselves were obviously recent enough, certainly. But the information they had wasn't the most recent information available, and it isn't that hard to find if you just do a little bit of research. It's information that is available to the general public, from reputable sources. And while anecdotes are all well and good, those aren't hard facts. Neither is your bible. I'm also not going to sit here and argue religion with you, so you can take any religious bullshit elsewhere, too.

"What prompted this?" you may be asking. Honestly, a lot of things did. The ongoing struggle for an abortion clinic to open here in my city, the "personhood" amendment that (fortunately) got shot down in Mississippi, the ongoing struggle to keep our rights, and the amount of pure stupid I keep seeing from the so-called "pro-lifers" had a big hand in this. Granted, the whole thing in Mississippi is a more recent reason. But the thing that sparked this to begin with was an argument I had with my grandmother some time back. What she said has bothered me ever since, mainly because I used to think my grandmother was an intelligent woman.

How we got on the subject of abortion, I'm not even sure, though I have a feeling it had to do with Dr. Tiller's murder. For reasons that I can't even begin to fathom, she believes abortion is evil because it's killing a fully formed baby. She thinks that even at 3 months, it's a completely formed baby and that an abortion at that point--or any point--is the dismemberment and slow torture of that fully formed, but tiny baby. And you know, I was never very good in biology. I found the subject wholly boring and spent most of my high school biology class, and the health classes that talked about the development of a zygote/embryo/fetus, sketching or passing notes with my friends. Yet I still know that at the stage that most abortions are performed the embryo/fetus (because that's what it is) is not fully formed. It has no chance in hell of survival outside the womb.

So yes, my grandmother is the reason I even started this project. I think I may have sooner or later anyway, honestly, because the right to choose and the right to use contraception are important facets of the childfree lifestyle. But she prompted me to start it a lot sooner than I would have otherwise.

During my quest for facts, I ran across a disturbing trend: anti-choice sites masquerading as pro-choice, as showing both sides. They did show both sides, but they were heavily slanted towards "abortion is evil, don't do it." No truly pro-choice site would sound as though it was trying to strongly discourage abortion. I'm going to be creating a page (will be linked above, with the about and home links) dedicated to weeding out the pro-liar sites. We don't deserve to be lied to, and I'm going to do what little part I can to try to make sure it doesn't happen.

I'm going to end this post here and get started on the next post, where I'll really get started with the pro-choice stuff.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Regarding the pro-choice post I mentioned some time back...

Yes, it's been some time since I had mentioned the pro-choice post I was working on. It's still in the works. There's a lot to cover and I'm a little overwhelmed with all the information.

To be totally honest, the post is very difficult to write, not because of the time I've been spending hunting down actual facts, or because of the overwhelming amount of information and things that need to be covered, but because so much of what the anti-choice side says just makes me sick to my stomach. They just want to control women. They care more about the fetus than anything else. They don't care what happens to the mother, or the fetus once it's born - just that the fetus IS born. After that, they don't care.

Reading some of the sites that claim to show both sides, but are really anti-choice, scares me. It scares me what they're trying to do. It scares me that they're claiming to show both sides, when really they're just pushing the anti-choice agenda even more. It scares me, the claims they make and try to validate. It makes me want to cry, and go into hiding, or get the hell out of this country before it's too late. I feel physically ill thinking about what they want to do.

They're trying to take away choice. They don't care if a woman was raped, or can't afford another child, or would die if a pregnancy continued, or if she just doesn't want a kid. They don't care about all the kids growing up unwanted and unloved. I know all too well what it's like growing up unwanted. They don't care if kids are subjected to that. They seem to have their head in the sand, thinking it hardly happens, despite evidence to the contrary. They seem to think that as soon as an unwanted baby is born, it's suddenly loved and wanted by the mother. No. Fucking no. That doesn't happen. It's fairy tales. Maybe it does change for some women, but it doesn't for all of them, even if that's what they claim. Some have probably just resigned themselves to being stuck.

I feel so many emotions when I see the anti-choice side, none of them good.

I can't remove myself from this emotionally. I wish I could. It would be so much easier to finish the post. I want to finish it, desperately, but I have yet to be able to sit through the lies and propaganda long enough to do much. And unfortunately, I do have to sift through it, because I need to know the other side, too, in order to make my arguments.

They seem to be trying to come off as compassionate, but all I'm getting out of it is condescension, that sort of, "oh, you think you know the facts, but you don't. It's okay. I'll educate you and show you the RIGHT path" thing, like the way I've seen people talked down to because they don't follow Christianity.

That just makes me even angrier, even sicker. It makes me want to just let go of all my control and scream and cry and...I don't even know.

I'm sure this isn't terribly coherent. I'm drained now, from trying to cram as much into one research session as possible. But I wanted to let you all know that I will get that post finished. It's just going to take more time, and I may even have to end up asking for outside help. This is bigger than I thought it would be, and I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew.

(In fact, if any of my readers would like to contribute some information - recent stats in regards to abortion and maternal mortality rates, adoption rates and the number of kids in the system and the ages at which most are adopted/get out of the system, anything - please, let me know. Leave a comment, email me, whatever. You'll be credited, definitely.)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Childfree spaces online

There seem to be quite a lot of people of the mind that there's no point in having communities, forums, and blogs relating to childfreedom. At least, that's the impression I'm getting. I've seen numerous comments around the web, especially lately, ranging from wonder to why our communities exist to anger and defensiveness at the existence of them. Well, if they think we don't need them, do they think the same thing about mommy blogs and parenting forums? Pet communities? Blogs, forums and communities relating to cooking, music, sports, and video games? No, I'm sure they don't.

I've heard that we shouldn't revel in being childfree. But by that train of thought, maybe they shouldn't revel in being parents or sports enthusiasts.

Monday, August 1, 2011

O_O Wow

I'm on a roll with posts at the moment, aren't I? Guess it's a good thing for you guys my knee is acting up, because all I can do without having sharp pain in my knee is sit with it outstretched, which leaves me no choice but to be on the computer. I have a couple more posts in the queue, but I'm going to try to space those out a little more.

And if anyone has anything they'd like me to blog about, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments and if it's something I think I can do (like snarking articles or lists, or a topic or bingo I've yet to cover), then I'll add that to my list.