Vaccines

… are dumb and bad.

ALL. OF. THEM.

It’s shitty mimicry of the body’s natural immune response, AT BEST.

If you watch carefully, I promise you’ll see the same thing happen this time around as has happened historically: the vaccine for COVID-19 will be introduced on the very tail end of a MASSIVE decline in morbidity and mortality – but will be given credit for “all but eradicating COVID-19.” This will be propped up by having padded and intensively hyped the number of “confirmed cases” (false positives, misleading/incorrectly interpreted “positives,” presumed cases, double-counting, viral/antibody tests, etc.) right up until the vaccine is ready and enough people are taking it.

At that point, ALL THEY HAVE TO DO is to begin counting cases accurately for the first time ever – whether by reducing testing, or changing the guidelines/criteria for what constitutes a “confirmed case” (or both), and it will APPEAR to the ignorant masses as though vaccination led to a dramatic reduction in disease spread.

And that’s actually the best-case scenario!

There’s also an entirely plausible worst-case scenario wherein a manufacturer or two simply fucks it up big time. And when I say this, people like to point out to me all of the rigorous testing and quality-control protocols vaccines have to go through in order to be deemed safe enough for mass-administration – to which I SAY:

– You mean all those protocols they’ve been EXEMPTED FROM FOLLOWING because “onos COVID-19 so scawwy”??? Yeah, that’s right – a lot of that stuff does not apply.

Perhaps THE most frightening thing to me about this “pandemic” has been witnessing just HOW MANY PEOPLE have a dogmatic sort of faith in the “Scientific Establishment.”

I beg my friends and family – and so I also must beg the tiny handful of people who will end up reading this:

Please do a little research on the historical decline of vaccinable illnesses and how they stack up relative to the decline of non-vaccinable illnesses.

Please compare the massive rates of decline in morbidity and mortality that is common of the period PRIOR TO widespread vaccination, for nearly all illnesses, to the relatively minuscule decline (seemingly representative of the continuation of a natural curve) that is seen in the period AFTER widespread vaccination is achieved.

Please do a little research on the historical incidence/prevalence of vaccine-strain illness.

Please learn about how vaccines have NOTABLY caused widespread injury, sterility, etc. to populations in certain countries.

Please educate yourself, at least fundamentally, on the matter of HOW vaccines are made. Learn which rigors and control processes they are ACTUALLY HELD TO – and distinguish and differentiate those from the ones you imagined they would be held to.

Educate yourself on just how little liability the manufacturers and administrators of these vaccines have in the event of injury or death resulting from adverse reactions to the vaccines or any of their components.

Please do not allow the Scientific Method itself to be sacrificed on the altar of some kinda Infallible-Science-Pope.

Folks might accuse me of being lazy for asking them to do this research themselves instead of providing a long list of citations and references. To THAT, I say:

Not only is “controversial” information on the internet redacted and censored too frequently to feel confident that any of my reference materials would remain available for the foreseeable future (and that’s IF I could even hunt them all down at this point; my stance on vaccination is the product of decades of independent research and study for which I NEVER held myself accountable for taking down notes or citations) – but I also believe that doing the research yourself is a critical part of the process of learning damn nearly anything.

The information is all out there.

This isn’t some “vaccines cause XYZ” theory to be debunked. This is an examination of historical data that is readily available, and it is alarming.

I’m not interested in debating anyone on this issue; that would be (and has always proven to be) a waste of my time and theirs. I merely EXHORT YOU, the reader, to consider these things for yourself.

 

 

 

But if you disagree with me you are probably also dumb and bad.

Mean Girls

(No, I’ve never watched that movie. My brother tells me I should, but ehhhhhhh.)

I almost feel like I’m ready to scrap this little experiment and start a different blog. One where I don’t even try to be anonymous – and thereby can delve into some things I might not otherwise.

The qualification I’m still missing, my “EXP to get to the next level,” if you will, is learning to not say mean things on the internet. To not go around mocking and laughing at people for being stupid (even if they really really are). I’ve gone rounds with myself on this before: no matter how much FUN IT IS, I probably shouldn’t be doing that. I really ought to be above that. I should not indulge myself in such things, especially not so heartily.

Gleefully stooping to someone else’s level of deficiency and beating them over the head with it is probably some kind of sin. Leastways I feel like it oughtta be.

But I have not broken this habit yet.

It might take a while.

Anomaly

I’ve always known I’m a weirdo, but I honestly never fully realized just HOW odd I am until recently.

One of the major themes in my life has always been “Why doesn’t anything fit???”

This applies to nearly EVERYTHING – from obvious things like clothes and shoes, to the more abstract things like ideologies and standards. I’ve often wondered if my anomalous thoughts and mental processes are somehow related to my anomalous physiology.

I don’t look obviously deformed or anything, but I recently found out/confirmed (well, months ago now, but who’s even counting these days?) that I AM INDEED a freak of nature. Kind of.

It turns out I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which is a genetic disorder of the connective tissue. Genetic testing has revealed that I have a “variation of unknown significance” – meaning, more or less, that nobody really understands exactly how the disorder has affected me so far, or might affect me in the future. The disorder can manifest in a huge variety of ways, and there’s no specific data associated with my genetic variation. I have had my heart and brain checked out recently, and those appear to be functioning normally, so at least there’s that!

The big, obvious, glaring thing – the thing that led me to pursue a diagnosis in the first place – is joint hyper-mobility. I always knew I was “double-jointed” in my fingers and toes, and that I was generally “flexible.” I didn’t realize how widespread or how SEVERE the condition was until I started seeing specialists. The Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and the Podiatrist have all basically said “wow, I’ve never seen it that bad before.” Yikes.

I bend in ways and in places that most people don’t. Basically every. single. joint. in my entire body. And it apparently wasn’t enough for them to just bend too far – or even backwards; they also bend sideways (which I discovered in the OT’s office a couple weeks ago while trying out a splint to help stabilize my thumb).

I’ve got weird proportions. My hands and feet are huge compared to my height. My toes are wider and my heels are tinier (and shorter!) than any shoes were ever built to accommodate. My torso is long and my hips are wide, but my shoulders and my “rise” (crotch measurement) are absurdly short.

Practically nothing fits. Even so-called “low-rise” pants, on me, are either high-waist or drop-crotch. Shirts and dresses that fit well around my hips/waist/boobs will invariably have collars that want to settle somewhere in the vicinity of my ears. I also have a massive thigh-gap that eats 2-3″ off the usable inseam of any pair of shorts.

All of these fit issues are exacerbated by another manifestation of this delightful condition: excess and overly-stretchy skin pretty much everywhere I bend. I think my boobs got the worst of it, but my underarms, inner thighs, and pelvis are all a mess. If you want to get an idea of what I’m dealing with here, just look at a Shar Pei. I mean, it’s not THAT bad, but that’s pretty much what it feels like.

I spent a whole lot of years thinking that clothing and shoe designers were retarded. Turns out it’s just me. OOPS. Well, no, I take that back – most of them ARE retarded (modern fashion is a CRIME), but that’s actually not why they never make anything that fits me.  My proportions and body dynamics are too far outside the average range. I am an anomaly.

Back to my point about anomalous thought processes being related to anomalous physiology. It might seem silly, and I’m pretty sure it’s the sort of thing where I’ll never really “know” whether my hunch has any merit, but it’s still an interesting exercise to think about all the various ways in which my being so apparently “misfit,” if you will, compared to basically all of the rest of society, might have impacted my cognitive or psychological development.

SO MANY of the things in my life that have set me apart from everyone else, can be traced back to this condition:

Life-long problems with tooth decay in spite of good dental hygiene – apparently stemming from the intersection of weak enamel, and excess soft tissue folds in the mouth harboring bacteria.

Broad-spectrum resistance to any and all painkillers and anesthetics. I learned not to even take Tylenol as a kid, save on very rare occasion, because I need a double dose for it to be effective. The dentist always has to give me double-injections to get me numb.

Stretch marks EVERYWHERE. Since before puberty. Since before I was ever fat or pregnant. Most are very old and barely visible, but  they’re there, on most of my body. It’s like my skin never knew how to grow without stretch marks.

I started sprouting silver hairs when I was 16.

My body temperature has never been good at regulating. I can get too hot OR too cold just about instantaneously.

— And so much more!

So it’s not just “why doesn’t anything fit” – but also, more broadly, “WTF is wrong with me?”

How could that NOT affect how I relate to the world?

On the other hand, I’ve been told all my life that I’m special, remarkable, one-in-a-million, etc., because I’m smart and talented and perceptive and whatever. I guess I am. It would be false humility to claim otherwise.

But wouldn’t it be funny, wouldn’t it be cosmically apropos for all of the reasons I’ve ever had for maybe getting a bit of a big head, to have been somehow genetically determined by the same condition that has all but crippled me physically at the ripe old age of 33?

Like God gave me a trade-off: “Yeah, you get to be special… but you get to be special, too.”

I’ve wondered sometimes if He might have given me a choice: a really amazing brain and a defective body, or a really amazing body and a defective brain. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve grumbled to myself that life would have been easier if I were prettier and stupider. But then, I’ve NEVER asked for an easier life in the whole time I’ve been here, so I don’t think I’d have ever chosen that beforehand anyway.

One very sobering thought I’ve had is that if I really was abused as a child in the manner I suspect I was (I still have the irrational desire to deny this), having very elastic tissue in general might have actually saved my life. It’s a horrifying thing to think about, but I would have been so small, and the amount of PAIN that I recall was staggering.

But the REALLY sobering thing has been the realization that the abuse I suffered, which made me feel in so many ways like nobody would ever understand me, might actually be one of the most statistically NORMAL things about me. The quirks I’ve developed and the struggles I’ve faced which have stemmed from my sexual initiation in early childhood, tragically, have given me more common ground with my contemporaries than I might have held otherwise.

I’m so strange that I had to be broken to relate to other people?

I don’t know. I’m just throwing thoughts around at this point. But I do have the unsettling, nagging feeling that God actually does want me to relate to people. More than I’d care to if left to my own devices, frankly.

Something about turning weaknesses into strengths, about hijacking evil and sublimating it to God’s will.

Maybe God really did make me different for a reason. Maybe God made me so frickin’ weird, that whenever Satan breaks me it just serves to further reveal my TRUE POWER LEVEL.

“Mandatory” Facial Coverings: UNENFORCEABLE

First off: I’ve got nothing against masks. I’m still making masks for friends/family/neighbors/etc. I don’t mind wearing a mask when I go to the doctor’s office, or if I have to be around other people in close quarters (which is SO rare for me) – even though I believe, at this point, that it is more of a courtesy to accommodate their misguided fear than a legitimate protective measure.

But now they’ve rolled out the “mandatory facial coverings” order (I question its legitimacy as an actual “law”) for my entire state beginning tomorrow.

No, I won’t be wearing a mask every time I leave my home. To do so would be patently absurd.

Written into the order is a provision for exemption, for anyone with a condition which contraindicates regular or prolonged mask usage.

There is, as far as I’ve read so far, no provision requiring any individual to disclose the details of their condition to ANYONE for the exemption to apply.

This is as it SHOULD be. Why?

Well, I personally have a small handful of conditions that would certainly qualify.

In terms of easily quantifiable physical effects: I have a genetic condition which causes MANY problems for me, including trouble with body temperature regulation. I’ve spent the last three decades of my life learning how to dress to mitigate this problem while also maintaining my personal and religious standards of modesty. It’s easy when the problem is that I’m too COLD – just put more clothes on, and/or start moving until my body warms up.

It’s not so easy when I’m too HOT. Wearing a mask over my mouth and nose, even while just sitting in a chair in the waiting room at my doctor’s office, causes me to overheat quickly and sweat profusely. No joke – after my last two visits, I left a small puddle of sweat on the exam table and was feeling lightheaded by the time I left. And all I did was sit there. I dressed as lightly as I reasonably could.

Is that the sort of thing I should have to disclose to every random person who demands that I justify my exemption to them?

What about the conditions that are less easy to quantify or prove? What about conditions that require digging into an individual’s intimate history, and digging up past traumas, in order to “prove”?

What about the woman who has a combination of claustrophobia and PTSD from (or exacerbated by??) being held in a closet and then physically assaulted as a child by her mother’s abusive ex-boyfriend?

What about the woman whose narcissistic and abusive ex-husband more or less bartered her body in sexual trade to other men – one of whom pinned her down and held a pillow over her face during the act?

I am both of those women – and you’d better believe that when I start getting too hot, and when I start having a hard time breathing, those events (and more!) are replayed through my neural networks whether I want them to be or not. There’s enough written elsewhere about all of the very real physiological changes that go along with those sorts of flashbacks, I don’t really feel like getting too much into it myself.

And yeah, I’ll talk about all of these things here in my little corner of the internet where I am at least semi-anonymous, where I can talk about it on my own terms, and where my sharing these things might help others gain a better understanding of the nuances of these sorts of “laws” and exemptions.

But should I have to dredge all of that up – to reveal intimate or embarrassing details about my physical condition, or to reveal and re-live past intimate trauma, over and over – in order to justify my exemption to every store clerk and every Karen who is on some kind of personal power trip and thinks they have the ability to personally determine, at a glance, whose exemptions are “legitimate?”

No.

And neither should anyone.

FAMILY Matters.

I’ve been accused of being…

– “Racist” because I am white.

– “Homophobic” because I am straight.

– “Sexist” because I’ve made home and family my career.

– “Misogynistic” because I am anti-abortion.

I’ve been dropped like a hot potato by “friends” (people I legitimately hold dear and have more or less given “the shirt off my back,” so to speak, at some point or another) for nothing more than the heinous crime of wearing a “TRUMP 2016” T-shirt in exactly one photograph – because wearing that T-shirt MUST OBVIOUSLY mean that I am in fact ALL of the above points rolled into one awful human being in spite of never demonstrating any of them in any of my behavior or speech over the course of months and years.

Guys, I didn’t even VOTE FOR TRUMP. As a married woman, I always give my ballot to my husband – but as an unmarried woman (at the time), I just didn’t send it in. (“Screw you, America; you can have my vote when you give me a husband capable of voting in my place,” basically.) Put some of that in your crackpipe, modernist plebs.

So I just wanted to put this here for the record and for posterity – and you know, maybe just in case this whole stupid world makes me lose my mind and I end up needing a reminder:

I’m not about isms, and I’m not about phobias, and I’m not about hatred of any kind (excepting insofar as I hate everyone – equally and at all times).

What I’m about is FAMILY.

And I don’t care how wonderful or grand ANYBODY’S IDEA might sound; if it’s built or disseminated on a platform that is ANTI-FAMILY, then I will never support it. Not ever.

This has nothing to do with anybody’s race, orientation, gender, etc.

The question is this: do you care about FAMILY?

And no, you don’t need to have or even to want children yourself in order to care about FAMILY.

I have a gay brother who has never wanted children, and if I had to make up my own religion he would be a SAINT. That man loves his family, and he frankly puts a lot of my Christian friends to shame in the way he honors and takes care of our parents.

I’ve known folks of all “minorities” who would be among my first picks as shipmates, figuratively speaking.

I would love nothing more than to put an end to all forms of discrimination that hurt people. The problem with all of these “social justice” movements that my liberal friends have bought into is that they don’t offer that. Not really.

What White Liberal Social Justice Movements offer to oppressed and persecuted minorities is this: the opportunity to have their struggles co-opted and capitalized on, in order to line the pockets of one particular group of old white men who gained their wealth and power and built their dynasties on a foundation of human exploitation (yes – including racism and slavery, you bet your sweet bippy)… instead of some other group of old white men who did the same exact thing under a different flag/party/astrological sign/whatever and are therefor evil.

What these peoples are offered, universally, is the “elevation” to the sort of “privilege” they “deserve” – which, hysterically, functions PRECISELY to prevent them from doing the same thing all those old white men have done: it prevents them, absolutely, from forming and maintaining FAMILIES that last and become dynasties capable of wielding the power and influence to challenge their own.

They are offered the “privilege” of living the ANTI-FAMILY lifestyle. They are offered the “privilege” of being atomized units of expendable human labor. The “privilege” of being fodder for the machine that actually oppresses them. The “privilege” of a sterile, dead-end existence.

This is better than that, they say. The hybrid fruit, not the heirloom. “We already have too many people,” they say. (“Just die. We’ll replace you.”)

But which do they choose for themselves and for theirs?

Why is it for THEM, but not for YOU?

That is what I would ask those friends, if they would listen.

And I think that’s why “The Left” so aggressively promotes and fosters the “with us or against us” mentality. They never want to let the conversation reach that point.

I don’t usually get into politics. I don’t LIKE politics. I think politics is for men. But it’s like I’m not ALLOWED to just keep my mouth shut and live my life. That’s not good enough. Silence is now tacit approval of everything that is bad.

I HAD to say something. And if you skimmed down and didn’t read the whole thing, the tl;dr version is pretty much:

“NO U”

When God Gives You a Shady Garden

With enthusiastic endorsement and lots of much-needed help from my husband, I have my very own garden, for the very first time!

I grew up gardening and small-scale farming, so it’s not exactly “new,” but it’s been a long time (didn’t have much more than a windowsill for gardening for most of my adult life so far), and we have some challenges to overcome. We rent. Our yard is small. We don’t get as much sun as I would like. But we bought some big containers for tomatoes, dug up some patches strategically around the house where we wouldn’t have to disturb the actual lawn *too* much, and my husband built a few raised beds in areas where there was no grass anyway. He also built a small A-frame out of pallets, and we’re planting some things in fabric pots to hang on that.

We had three yards of soil delivered, and I’m pretty determined to use all of it.

Gardening in this fashion (containers and small, mixed beds) is a lot different from planting uniform row after row of the same crop, and I feel a tad out of my depth just jumping into it. We basically chose our seeds and starts based on what we want to EAT, and then I gave myself a quick crash-course in “companion planting,” charted it out, and we started shoving stuff in the dirt.

Here’s what we’ve planted so far:

Raised bed #1: broccoli raab, leeks, black carrots, parsley

Raised bed #2: rutabaga, “normal” carrots, sugar snap peas (bush), yellow chard

Raised bed #3: bell peppers, radishes, celery, basil

Around the house: strawberries, green beans (bush), zucchini, more sugar snap peas (trellised), english cucumbers, mixed leaf lettuce, nasturtiums.

In containers: tomatoes, bell peppers, peppermint, cilantro, basil, oregano, chives

On the A-frame so far we’ve used about a quarter of it to plant MORE strawberries (priorities!), and I reused all of the containers I bought starts in to start some more seeds, just waiting for them to get a little bigger and they’ll go in bags for hanging: 5-color chard, chives, thyme, basil, parsley, dill, leeks, snow peas, broccoli raab, and kale.

And I’ve got more seeds on the way or waiting to be started: dwarf sweet corn, borage, fennel, catnip, lavender, thai basil, marigolds, bibb lettuce, green onions, delicata (winter) squash, and parsnips. Extra cilantro (PRIORITIES). And a little container of pickling cucumber starts given to me by a very dear neighbor.

I also talked my husband into buying a few blueberry bushes and rhododendrons, because those will grow nicely in pots until we settle somewhere permanently.

I’ve been doing a lot of sitting and thinking in my little sprouting garden. All this business of trying to make stuff GROW really gets me thinking a lot about life, generally – and my own life in particular.

It’s easy to want to constantly do MORE – to fuss a lot, to plant more things, bigger variety, prettier gardenscaping. I have to remind myself that I have a very limited amount of time and energy these days, and that my garden doesn’t HAVE to be absolutely and perfectly maximized and optimized. It only has to be enough.

I’ve said before that when I was a young woman, I wanted to have lots of children. I imagined I’d have easy pregnancies and deliveries (like my own mother – and I did!) and envisioned having a dozen or so. I got a HUGE amount of social and cultural pushback on that idea from all sides, and so I gradually lowered my expectations over the years until I was comfortable with the idea of having “at least three.”

My first husband said he wanted “at least four.” I jumped on that. Found out a little too late that he was actually a narcissistic liar who wanted nothing of the sort. I’m STILL processing the events of that marriage (7 years before we split, 9 before the divorce was final) – but the effective end result of my decision to marry that man, and the cascade of decisions it precipitated, is that I have only two children. I will probably not have more – and I had them with a man who is NOT the best father, and IS a terrible influence.

There is a certain heaviness to accepting that I bear a lot of responsibility for this. I mean… I can say that I was lied to, that I was tricked, that I was misled – and all those things ARE true. But there are enough of my decisions in that mess, which I could have made differently and chose not to, that I don’t feel OK playing that card.

God gave me a shady garden. There is no doubt about that. Looking back at the circumstances I was born into and raised in, the idea that I would fall effortlessly into a quiet little traditional Christian marriage and go on to have lots and lots of babies in my own little slice of rural utopia is patently absurd. Practically the entire social/cultural/economic deck of cards was stacked against me.

But what my musings have me considering now is that when you really boil it down, it was my own PRIDE that eventually said “well, if you’re not going to make it easy, I’m not going to try.”

Kinda like I’ve sat on my thumbs for years refusing to grow anything in the dirt because I didn’t have enough of it, or because the landlord might not like it, or because there wasn’t enough sunlight.

And who knows – maybe I wouldn’t have had more children, even if I’d tried; even if I’d pushed my first husband, or left him and tried with someone else. I have no way of knowing. Maybe I was only “meant” to have two. I’ve done a fair job of making peace with only having two, at any rate. But I hope to teach my own children to make their decisions a little differently. I don’t want my children to EVER look at a shady garden, or a small garden – or any kinda imperfect garden – as a reason to sit on their thumbs and not try to grow anything at all.

Worlds of Pain: Immaterial

Just yesterday I realized that I am grieving.

The thing about immaterial pain is that it can lie in waiting for many years before it is ever felt. Events that transpired a lifetime ago can yield fresh wounds when we least expect them. I have perhaps suffered more immaterial wounds and pains than material ones. I could write about a lot of things – from my childhood, from my first marriage, from my experiences with people broadly over the course of my life.

I feel too tired to go into much detail about most of that. For now I would simply say, speaking from my desire to highlight the MOST IMPORTANT lesson I’ve learned, that I’ve found NO source of pain greater than the wounds I’ve inflicted on myself, through my own choices and actions.

That’s not to say, though, that the choices and actions of others have not hurt me; they have.

It’s a common trope that American girls all have “Daddy Issues.” Well – not me. I mean, I thought I did, for a long time – because my mother told me I did – and, furthermore, that i should.

But let’s get real: my father was and is far from perfect – but how many girls end up with “Daddy Issues” because their father was too involved in their upbringing? Because their father was too protective? Because their father held them to too high a standard? And whose fathers did all this, and more, by way of leading by example?

The wise among you will not be surprised by my declaration that NO – I do not have “Daddy Issues.” I have “MOMMY Issues” – and it SHOWS.

I could write so much about that, but I will cut to the chase:

I found out nearly three years ago, the last time I saw my mother, that she had an abortion when she got pregnant again shortly after I was born. She has rationalized this in two primary ways, by saying that:

  1. it was “too soon.”
  2. that her relationship with my father was not good, she was not happy, he was bad.

Yet history also tells us that:

  1. she had the easiest pregnancies and deliveries any woman could hope for.
  2. she stayed with my father for several more years and had another child with him anyway.

My mother killed one of my siblings, for no greater reason than personal benefit and convenience.

Suddenly, I understood so much more about my relationship with my mother, and my relationship with WOMEN (namely, that they are awful).

I understand my mother’s chronic guilt – and I understand why she comes to me, alternately to tell me all about what a bad person my father is – and to beg ME for absolution for all the sins she’s never confessed in any proper capacity.

I also understand better some of the “dreams” or “visions” I had as a young child. I understand why, when I told my mother out of the blue one day, that I “always felt like I was supposed to have a little sister,” she seemed to get almost angry with me, and dismissed the idea with an uncomfortable mixture of wistfulness and disdain.

And I have come to understand that I am grieving – for a loss long and anxiously anticipated, but which I never knew, before, had ALREADY HAPPENED.

I like to believe that if my mother had truly understood the PRICE of that choice, she would not have MADE that choice. But I cannot say that this is true, necessarily.

This is the absolute center of my immaterial pain – and it is not just the grief for the loss of a sister I never knew I had – or the loss of the daughter I somehow always knew I would never have –  it is the Principle Pain of the choice, the decision, to be infected with the Jezebel Spirit, to cast down the mantle of Eve and take up instead the mantle of Lilith.

The wages of sin are DEATH. In our lives we may at any time stand and proclaim – “I am alive and well; therefore I have not sinned!” – but what folly and what hubris, to think that the death sentence would be OURS – rather than the LIFE sentence – of thinking on and atoning for the deaths which we have sown.

This is the pain of realizing that I’ve made so many of the same wrong choices – in principle, if not detail – that my mother did; out of blindness, and ignorance, and PRIDE. It is not the most acute pain I have felt – but it is the deepest, the saddest, the most “full circle.” The most tied-or-intrinsic to every other invisible, immaterial pain I have suffered.

In so many ways, it is the very principle pain of the choice of Original Sin. In so many ways, it is the pain that brought me to the comprehension of the TRUTH OF Original Sin (the passing down of which, generationally, is a concept that was staunchly denied in my “religious education” as a child and young adult).

I must now choose differently than my mother chose for herself. I must choose differently than what she would choose for me. I must RENOUNCE the path that she would set before my feet, and the world she would build for my children.

And so I am also grieving the loss of my mother – although she still lives. Having a “peaceful” relationship with my mother has always required that I entertain and respect all of her ideas and never contradict or oppose them. This is no longer possible for me.

Jesus talked about how he came to sow division – and I begin to understand this better as well.

Choosing to walk this path which I have chosen may mean not having much of a relationship with my mother at all. It may mean giving up my attachments to many people I care for. I hope and I pray that this is not the case; but I will not, shall not, allow my fear (that it IS the case) to change my mind about doing what I believe is right.

Maybe that’s what all this pain is for.

Narcissists like to threaten to take themselves away from you if you don’t fall in line with their program. They threaten you with the pain of the loss of their (disordered) attachment. My ex-husband did this.

My mother does this.

I used to fear that pain.

Now I do not.

Worlds of Pain: Material

I have a high tolerance for pain.

I have learned this by experiencing a great deal of pain over the course of my life.

It’s hard to draw comparisons, having (obviously) never actually felt anyone’s pain aside from my own – but doctors, dentists, nurses, midwives, and plenty of other folks have looked at me with alternating skepticism and astonishment:

“You’re obviously not in that much pain, or you’d be crying like a baby.”

or

“I know how much that hurts. I can’t believe you’re smiling and laughing right now.”

When I was a very young girl (toddler years), I experienced something I’ve never fully comprehended in any explicit sort of way. I remember it almost as though it were a dream. Thirty years later, I’m coming to grips with the fact that this could very well be the vague memory of a sexual assault – something I’ve always suspected happened to me, but have never really talked about. In fact, I spent nearly thirty years denying it to myself, coming up with all sorts of reasons why that would be “impossible” – reasons which have all fallen apart under the clarity and scrutiny of hindsight.

The thing I DO remember – clearly, starkly – is the futility of trying to fight “the monster” away, and then the PAIN. How it exploded into me, shooting through my entire body all at once, completely incongruous with the things I thought I was seeing and experiencing. It took my breath away, it paralyzed me, and my entire world dissolved, along with my frantic tears, into darkness – resolving eventually, slowly, into a haze of real and familiar surroundings.

It’s the only “dream” I’ve ever had where “the monster got me.” It’s the only “dream” I don’t remember falling asleep before slipping into. It’s the only “dream” I don’t recall waking up from. It’s the “dream” that precipitated countless other nightmares and night terrors. Nightmares wherein “monsters” would leap toward me as if to pounce on me and devour me – and in every such dream thereafter, I would wrench myself out of it at the last possible moment, sitting bolt upright in my bed – heart racing, shaking, unable and unwilling to return to sleep. Terrified of experiencing that all-consuming pain again.

I suffered from awful stomach aches for years as a young girl, on a regular basis – and I remember the thing that made me cry wasn’t so much the pain itself, but the fact that nobody believed me when I told them I was in pain – because I was too calm about it. I was accused of making it all up to get out of doing things.

I still cried, as a young girl, when I’d fall and skin my knees – or when I’d accidentally cut myself on something. Or when I took a significant and sudden impact while playing outside, or rough-housing with my brother. This was usually more because I was startled – or because seeing my own blood dripping out of my body was still novel in a scary way. The tears never lasted long – the pain was (relatively) so brief and so small.

When I was seven years old, I fell and fractured my wrist. It was a sharp, searing pain – but even that was “small” by comparison. I cried for a little while, but was quiet by the time we got to the emergency room. That was my first experience having a doctor tell me that I must be “fine” because I didn’t APPEAR to be in significant pain (even though I told him it hurt quite a bit). He seemed genuinely surprised when he saw the x-ray. I had to wear a cast for weeks.

I’ve had many a rolled/sprained ankle, pulled muscled, contusions, and all manner of lumps and bumps which hardly gave me pause.

My first taste of REAL pain since that horrible “dream” (I still think of it as a dream in spite of my suspicions to the contrary, simply because I have no actual proof that it was anything more than that – and I’m not sure I’d want such proof if it exists) was when I was 14 or 15 years old. I was bitten by a black widow spider – unknown to me at the time, but revealed later when the bite mark was discovered.

That pain was other-worldly. It began as a sensation almost as though someone was applying a vice to my shoulder, and over the course of a few hours it spread along my spine and through my entire body, intensifying until it crackled and burned like a fire being stoked, like a jolt of electricity, like a giant sheet of thick glass cracking in half inside me if I dared to move or breathe. I remember lying in bed for days, all but paralyzed by it. Eventually drifting into exhausted sleep – only to be jolted awake by the pain that exploded from my spine when I shifted.

But I didn’t cry.

As it turns out, I have some kind of genetic condition which seems to cause tooth enamel problems – which means I’ve had a lot of fillings and dental work since I was a kid. The same condition ALSO seems to impart a hefty tolerance for anesthetics and analgesics – and pretty much anything that’s commonly used to numb or dull pain.

As a child, I didn’t understand why dentists didn’t believe me when I said something hurt. They’d give me nitrous oxide through a little nose piece because they thought I was scared. Because I was calmly objecting instead of screaming in pain. (P.S. the nitrous did NOTHING for me.)

As an adult, I’ve had my wisdom teeth pulled one by one (three down, one left to go) as they’ve become abscessed and infected. That’s another special variety of all-consuming pain. The pain of having the teeth pulled while the anesthetic was already wearing off, and the pain of recovery both almost felt GOOD by comparison.

I’ve also had two root canals, and each time I’ve had to make them stop and give me more anesthetic – and both times the endodontist looked at me in disbelief and basically said “I can’t believe you can actually feel that and you aren’t screaming right now.”

Childbirth was another variety of all-encompassing pain, but perhaps the easiest to bear. It was productive and purposeful pain.

None of the doctors, nurses, or midwives involved in either of my two births believed me when I told them I was about to have a baby – based on the fact that I was smiling and laughing all the way through transition, only getting down to the “guttural roaring” business when I was actually in the process of pushing them out.

When my first son was born, the doctor tried to tell me there was no way I was dilated enough yet (“you wouldn’t be able to talk like this, you’d be in too much pain”) – until she actually checked me, and proclaimed that – wouldn’t you know it – yes I was. Then she gawked at me in disbelief as I quickly sprang up, unaided, assumed the all-fours birthing position, and squeezed out a baby in two pushes.

I seem to experience pain differently than most people. I definitely have learned to handle and process pain differently than most people. And, stubbornly, the more other people dismiss or deny my pain on the grounds that I don’t react to it strongly enough for it to be real – the more committed I become to suffering in stoic silence.

In the Summer of 2017, I was bitten by a tick, which I didn’t find for several days, and also didn’t remove properly. I fell ill almost immediately (actually, I started getting sick before I found the stupid little thing) with a whole host of bewildering symptoms. And, much more quickly than is normal, it seems, the infection made its way into my nervous system – and I found myself reliving the same kind of crackling, burning, searing pain that I experienced after my spider bite all those years ago; like a white-hot poker; like someone blowing on smoldering coals deep inside me, and feeling them pop and explode. Sometimes like an electrical shock. Sometimes like being latched onto by a small but merciless set of razor-sharp teeth.

This is pain that settles in and lasts for days or weeks at a time, slowly fading away only to pop up somewhere else along my spine, radiating into my hips, my legs, my arms, my neck.

It eases up a little over the course of the day as I force myself to move around – but I can only sleep for about five hours before I wake up to crackling pain again; too much pain to sleep. Too much pain to even keep lying in bed.

This is the only physical pain I’ve experienced, since that “dream” nearly my entire lifetime ago, that has left me sobbing helplessly because there was nothing I could do to escape from it. No position that alleviates it. No drug that dulls it (that I’m willing to take, anyway).

I was treated with antibiotics, and it went away – but came back. I’ve repeated that cycle four times now. Each time I’ve had a longer reprieve between episodes – but it always comes back, along with a handful of other symptoms.

It came back about a week ago.

I haven’t cried this time. A lot of people probably don’t even know I’m in pain. If I told them, they would be surprised. They might not believe me.

But it’s REAL. It’s so very real. It’s excruciating. It’s exhausting.

Today, my husband – who suffered a back injury once upon a time which left him with some very similar pain (which also comes back in episodes, albeit for different reasons – point is, he understands) – held my face in his hands after he kissed me good morning, and said: “It’s amazing that you’re smiling right now.”

I laughed.

And as I laughed, tendrils of white-hot lightning licked their way down my neck and spine and into my ribs.

I smiled again and went back to making coffee.

I don’t know WHY it is that I bear pain so well. It’s certainly not that I don’t feel it.

I also don’t wonder “why” very often.

What I wonder – as with so many things – is “WHAT FOR?”

What is all this pain FOR? What is the purpose of this suffering?

Or maybe: to what purpose can I direct it?

The older I get, the more comfortable I become with the sorts of ideas that would seem kooky – even fanatical – to my secular/atheist friends and family.

Such as: God is preparing me for something – and that something is going to hurt. I don’t know if it will hurt me materially, physically; or if it will be an immaterial/non-physical kind of pain. Both are very real. I’ve learned a lot about bearing immaterial pain over the years by experiencing and bearing material pain – and vice versa.

Or, perhaps, this pain is simply my penance.

Perhaps it’s a little of both.

Anonymity

Dear World,

Since I’m waiting for elastic to arrive, I’ve spent the last couple days cutting fabric. I realized I could use more of what I had and make it go a lot farther if I paired a knit fabric for one side with a woven fabric for the other side. The woven layer acts as a stabilizer, which makes it easier to sew AND ensures that the final product holds its shape.

I just did a tally, and I’ve managed to scrounge up enough blanks to make just over 300 masks. I’m sure I’ll run out of good elastic before that, but I think I figured out a way to use some other elastics that I already have in fairly large quantities (foldover and beading elastic).

It occurs to me, as I share these little details about my daily goings-on in “lockdown mode,” that talking about my life in any meaningful way is probably going to effectively “doxx” me to anybody who actually knows me who might stumble across this tiny little corner of the internet.

I decided I don’t really care.

But let me be clear: if you DO know me, and you happen to happen upon this ill-advised little blog of mine and think you’ve got me figured out… just don’t be a dick about it, okay? If I wanted to talk about this stuff with a real person who will talk back to me in real-time, I’d be doing that. If you ask me about my blog, I will never admit to you that it exists, or that I have any idea what you’re talking about.

Unless I do.

XOXO

Kitty

Unplugging

Dear World,

I’ve been shoveling data into my brain, for weeks now, at a rate of speed bordering on absurdity.

People have always urged me to use my considerable brainpower for this thing or that thing (usually making money), but I’ve always preferred to stand on the sidelines and observe. Calculate. Intuit.

I can USUALLY gain a fair understanding of what will happen next in any given situation by taking this approach; by “taking in” as much as I can, clearing my internal queue, and just letting the gears turn as they will.

Most folks don’t understand this process, but it’s real – and it works. Otherwise people wouldn’t call me things like “scary,” “spooky,” “intimidating,” “witch,” etc. – ALL. THE. BLOODY. TIME. Just for knowing things that are glaringly obvious to me.

I don’t know how this one is going to go.

I find myself now in the rare position of being fundamentally incapable of discerning the truth based on the data available to me. I don’t know enough about epidemiology, biology, chemistry, world politics and economy, etc. I am left with only vague hunches and inklings, which lack cohesion.

Perhaps for the first time, in this instance, I feel well and truly absolved of mortal obligation.

It is suddenly no wonder to me that, so often, highly intelligent and worldly people end up turning to God in times of crisis.

It’s not mortal fear, it’s not an act of “just in case” desperation, of seeking grace in the face of peril and uncertainty… in my case, anyway.

It’s that I’ve been pushed to the point where FAITH is suddenly the only rational truth.

The truth, for ALL OF US, is that someday we will reach the limit or the exhaustion of our mortal faculties. The truth, FOR ALL OF US, is that we will one day fall short in our understanding or ability. The truth, for all of us, is that we will eventually have to put our faith – our trust, our hope, our dependence – in SOMETHING.

There is freedom in realizing that this is true ALWAYS – and has been true always. I did not HAVE to come this far in my understanding of worldly principles and matters, I did not NEED to smack existentially into the ceiling of my earthly capacities in order to justify my ascension into the paradigm of faith.

Faith is a choice that is always valid. It is not “made valid” by or in light of worldly achievement.

I choose faith in God, and in His plan for humanity – whatever that may be.

To that end, I’m going to unplug from the broader media and focus on the people I care about.

Over the years I’ve amassed a somewhat comical collection of old laptops and mobile devices. I almost can’t turn around in my house without tripping over a device that wants to feed me all the latest to-do. All of them are going into storage. I’ll have my desktop computer, and that’s IT. No more sitting in my workshop reading the news when I could be sewing.

I’m not sticking my head in the sand or anything – there just comes a point when you have to take what you’ve gleaned and WALK AWAY.

XOXO

Kitty