Sunday, February 16, 2014

Today in Totally Unnecessary Comments from Mom

"Be careful with the iced tea, dear!" she says to me, after I've asked dad to bring me up an iced tea from the basement, since he was going down to feed the dog anyway. I gave her a look, of course, and asked her why she said that, and then she did that amused face where it's like she finds it cute that I'm so mad about this. I hate it when people do that. It's condescending.

As good as it is to be home (and it is so good, believe me) it's also a bit painful. Partly because it's hard to realize that my family is having a family life without me, they are doing things without me and having in-jokes and watching movies, without me. To be fair, though, I am also having my own life quite separate from them now. But it's also painful to be home because it means once again that my mother can slip little comments like that into my life, and make me spend the rest of the day poking at my stomach and wondering why my ab muscles aren't as prominent as they used to be.

I think part of it is because my mom sees a lot of herself in me. She was once a lot like me, she says, very tiny and petite, and from what she says of herself now, I don't think she realizes how beautiful she is. And because of that, I think she worries about me, that I will turn out like her, that I won't be beautiful, but that doesn't make any sense at all because, like I said, my mom doesn't realize how beautiful she is.

Sometimes I wonder if she realizes how much those comments sting. Some days it almost feels like that's just another thing I have to strive for, that I must stay this same size forever, that despite anything else I am going through, I must not gain any weight at all. Sometimes it feels like I would be a failure to her if I was to not be the size I am. Sometimes it feels like I'm already failing her. I carry those comments with me everywhere I go and I miss the days when I was still growing up, before she thought it necessary to comment on my growing out.

I know I should be able to let them go- she's my mother, of course she loves me and will always be proud of me, it would take an awful lot more than a size change to make me a failure in her eyes. But the fact that she places so much importance on this weighs on me.

It's just- every time there's a new comment, I add it to the list, and end up reviewing it. You need to start being careful about the chocolate, dear! You're growing out now, and not up when my very tight pink dress was suddenly very tight again. You have such beautiful thighs... you don't want them to get lumpy and ugly when I was eating candy over the summer, vegging out because I was on vacation. And now this. Not to mention endless "Hmms" and looks with eyebrows at plenty of meals.

Sometimes I think it's really selfish. My mom should stop taking out her own body image worries on me and should deal with them herself. But then I think I'm not really mad at her, I'm sorry for her, that this is how she feels.

I've lost count of the number of times I've made plans in my head to eat less and eat healthier, before catching myself right at the end and realizing what a bad idea I was forming. It's helpful that I have lots of other people in my life who don't really give a flying fuck what I weigh or how big my thighs are, but for crying out loud, she's my mom. That alone gives her comments importance.

I realize some people might think it's stupid for hurting about this, but I also realize that there's a lot of other people in the world who get the same thing, and not just from their mothers, or maybe not even from their mothers at all. Even despite all that, my feelings are completely legitimate, and I don't really care whether you agree or not.

yer pal,

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I am sick and tired of hearing about this

I am tired of hearing about abortion bans in the states. Each time I think, "this has gone far enough," and yet it seems like no, it never has. Anti-choice people in the states will stop at nothing to make sure abortions are unsafe and illegal and carry severe consequences.

Note I did not say that they are trying to stop abortion: you can't stop abortion from happening. I don't understand why people don't get this. Women are going to get abortions, regardless of whether it's legal or not. You cannot change that. It will always, always remain that way. So what's happening here is a total devaluation of women. This fact doesn't even take into account whether abortion is morally okay or not. It just is. Women are going to have abortions, and what you're really voting on here is whether or not you're going to provide them in a safe, clean, sterile, and supportive environment, or whether they're going to resort to shady back-door coat-hanger poison pill abortions. I don't get it. I don't understand why you wouldn't want to support women,and to me, banning abortion is just another way of saying that you don't value women's lives.

To me, the suggestion that if I get pregnant I can't stop that, suggests that people value my ability to give birth above any other abilities I might have and any autonomy over my own body that I have because that is a human right. Is my uterus really the most important thing about me? Is it more important than me? Or am I just a uterus? I am more than that- all females are more than that. We are more than just our uterus (I use females here to refer to biological sex, and women to refer to gender (I know it's gender binary but just work with me here, okay?))

Another thing that strikes me as odd is this hypothetical scenario: Let's say I die in a tragic accident, and somehow my heart isn't injured. The same day I am brought to the hospital because of said tragic accident, another patient whose heart has been damaged somehow is in the hospital. They are in desperate need of a transplant. However, the surgeons at the hospital cannot just take my heart and put it in their body if I have not consented. I have that kind of control over my body- even if that person would die, my autonomy is still respected. Now, let's say that fetuses are people, and compare that situation to one in which I want an abortion because of an oops during sexual activity or because I was sexually assaulted. In this situation, according to anti-choicers, I do not have autonomy over my body, because it would kill a person (if we go by the logic of fetuses being persons, which I recognize not everyone agrees with). The funny thing is, you never hear anti-choicers complaining about the fact that we can't just harvest dead organs from people to save others who would otherwise die. In both cases, someone could die unless an organ from my body is used (and the second case is much more invasive). So why is the second case so protected and debated? Why am I given more bodily autonomy if I am dead than if I am living?

That is what really strikes me as odd, and this is why I say, keep abortion legal and safe. It is fine to not believe in abortions. It is fine to discuss both sides with friends, peers, family, etc. But it is not okay for you to make that decision for me, just like you cannot make the decision to use my heart to save someone else if I died and my heart was unaffected. I demand a right to bodily autonomy, and I demand it for every female person in the world. I also demand a world in which the safety of women is respected. And I shouldn't have to demand these things because they're, y'know, basic fucking human rights, but I do.

Thankfully, I live in Canada, where I don't think there currently is a law on abortion- and if that's the only way to keep people happy, I say we keep it that way. Obviously if I become sexually active in a way that involves the risk of pregnancy, I'm going to take every precaution I can to prevent getting pregnant (and right now that just means a lot of abstinence from those activities, which is fine with me because getting pregnant is not something I can handle right now). And if I did get pregnant, there is no question- I would seek an abortion as soon as possible. I can't afford to have a child right now- I'm 18 years old, for crying out loud. And I would not be able to handle the looks I would get. I look about 15 or 16 years old, and I can't even imagine going to university classes while pregnant, not to mention the fact that being pregnant is horribly physically stressing on the body. I can't handle that right now.

I think the obvious argument that right-wingers pull out here is "well just don't have sex then." Except that's another unavoidable fact- people are going to engage in sexual activities that involve a risk of pregnancy. And yet, despite the fact that better sexual education and access to contraceptives means fewer abortions, the right wing is trying to ban those, too. It's clear to me now: the right wing wants to revert back to a time when women's virginity and uterus were the most important thing about them, when they were nothing more than that. And that does not sit right with me. I will not let that happen. Though I do not live in the states, I support the feminists who do, the ones who are fighting for reproductive justice and bodily autonomy for all female people (not to mention a shit-ton of other things).

If you disagree with me, I suggest you stop reading my blog. We're not going to get along, I am not going to consider your point of view (though that does not mean that you can't choose to not want an abortion for yourself- I am not going to restrict you that choice, it is up to you and only you what is best for you), because it is wrong to deny women the choice to do what they feel is right with their body, and it is not your choice to make for them. Butt out.

yer pal,
swegan :)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I am just so done with this week

Just so done like why isn't it Friday kind of done.

I still have a couple more things to do- neither of them are particularly hard, but I still have to do them, and I really don't want to. Powerfully. But then again, I have plans for Saturday that I really want to be able to do and so I should be working extra hard this week so I can take Saturday off.

The thing is that for some reason I already feel like I've been working extra hard. Mostly I think it was the math assignment and midterm combined, but now there's this newsletter and two midterms next week, one of which (math) I'm really worried about. Math is just so hard this semester and the annoying thing is that if we weren't going so fucking fast maybe I could feel on top of things. As it is we often cover multiple topics in a class, and of course the examples never feel anywhere near the difficulty level of the assignments. I spend at least an hour every day in that math help room getting help, because without it I seriously wouldn't know what to do. I'm very concerned about my midterm, and just the class in general. As it is, why am I taking it if I don't need it?

Plus I need stats for bio, and everyone keeps saying stats is super hard. I'm like, that's fucking great- another hard math class I have to take! I'm so sick and tired of math classes, honestly- I didn't come here to study math. But then again I didn't come to study English or Chemistry, and guess what other prereqs I need for science courses? Ugh.

I know, I know- it's only first year, you'll get through it, someday it'll all just be memories- that's great, but right now it's today, and it sucks. I've considered dropping this math course and just taking an extra course over the summer somewhere down the road- although that would be mighty expensive since I'd have to stay in the same city as the university for the summer, rather than going home. Plus, I don't want to do that. I'm also aware that if it was easy, everyone would be doing it- sure, but that doesn't mean it isn't incredibly stressful. I'm trying really hard to do well but sometimes it just feels like there's too much, even though I know it's nothing I reasonably can't handle. As it is, I've already fallen behind on chem problem sets, which is, well, a problem, and I keep focusing my energy on midterms. I'm thinking there won't be an EPASS newsletter next week because, well, a) everyone else has midterms and can't really get much back to me in terms of updates, and b) I have midterms too and I need to study for them. And then the week after that is February break, and I am going to try and put my foot down- I. Need. A. Break. I will be reading a book for Women's and Gender Studies, and probably I'll end up doing a bio lab write up which is stupid, thanks so much biosci. But aside from that? No. I am going to read books and watch movies and sleep in every single fucking day. That is what I am designating that week for.

It's almost here. Sigh. I just have to make it through another week and a half. And god dammit, so help me, I am going out on Saturday. I will make it happen. I need a break and ptarckas will be there, and he is always somehow very effective at making me forget my troubles for a little while.

All right. This isn't getting anything done. Time for bio review and newsletter writing. Sigh.

yer pal,
swegan :|

Sunday, February 2, 2014

I don't understand

I realize my blog may not be the correct place to put this but writing here always seems to help me.

My life is great.

I mean, the workload is sometimes intense, but it's nothing I can't handle. I just keep doing a few things here and there, and making sure everything is prioritized. I've been keeping up with it all quite well, and I sent out a great newsletter last week for EPASS. So school is fine, that can't be it.

I haven't been going down to dinner at the usual time I do, but there's still people down there I can talk to when I eat with them, and that's really nice. And I see Carina most days of the week now, and she's in my bio lab, so that's good. It's not like I'm not making friends up here. So that can't be it.

And my relationship is just fine. So that can't be it, either.

I just can't figure out why I'm sad.

One clue I see is that my dad came up on Thursday/Friday of this past week to do passport stuff, and I was okay last week as of about Monday and then until yesterday, and this morning I woke up sad again. I suspect that the week of midterms I'll be happy too, which is good because midterms. I'm not sure if it's an accurate analysis, but I think I just miss my family a little bit. I always thought it would be more obvious, like I would be thinking about them all the time and missing them like crazy.

I know I've been waking up and feeling really lonely, like unbearably lonely, and powerfully sad, and I can't figure out why. And it's so hard to make it go away, but usually getting up helps. I'm not sure if it's because my life is genuinely enjoyable or genuinely distracting. Probably some of both. But the problem is that sometimes the sadness gets in the way a little bit, like in the morning I'll be down eating breakfast and a couple of other early risers will be down there too and we'll talk a little and the whole time I'll be trying not to cry and it makes me so frustrated because I don't know why I'm crying and so I can't make it stop.

I worried about depression this morning, but from what I've heard of depression it often involves a loss of self-esteem and really bad sadness before it's depression. The thing is, I have a very realistic assessment of my life. I mean, my body image is good, and it's not like I think I don't deserve any of the things in my life. I'm not a bad person (most of the time) (I mean everyone fucks up). I deserve good things just like anybody else. And I'm not stupid, and I'm not lazy. I'm just sad and I don't know why.

I thought it might be family earlier, too, when I was thinking about last year. Last year was a lot worse, but I never felt like this. And I think that might have been because I was living at home with my family. (Well and also because I knew everyone in IB really well and I had spent the past four years of high school making a lot of really excellent friends and I really liked high school and I really like university too but for different reasons).

I guess maybe I'm just lonely but at the same time I just want to be alone a lot, lately. I mean I talk to a few people on skype quite regularly and I talk to my mom or dad or sister via text message a few times a week. And I guess I have reading week to look forward to. The only problem is I have to wake up about 14 times before then, and that's starting to scare me. I hate waking up, not because I'm tired, but because I'm sad. And getting past the sad every day is a challenge. It's conflicting because my bed is nice and warm, but staying in it also means not feeling okay.

I don't even know what I want anymore, whether I want a vacation or just less work or having a group of friends again or being able to see Ptarckas more or maybe I'm guilty about not talking to old friends as much as I should have.

Either way, I'm feeling kind of blah now, which, while not what I was going for, is certainly a step in the right direction and means I can get my homework done now.

yer pal,