Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter

Update:  Holy cow, this sounds depressed.  I swear I'm not!  Just sort of laughing at the insanity... good grief, what a weekend.  Oh well, so it goes.  Sheesh :)

AND the Gum Zombie's down for the count with the flu.  Rumor has it he'll survive, and I'm off in a flash to pick up his Tamiflu and also my steroid eye drops that are likely going to make me blind.

Not that they're doing much good at this point.  Once again, I'm near scratching my eyes out.  Adding insult to injury, my male snakes are giving me fits, but you can see my other blog for the details on that -- I'll spare you here.  You can thank me in the comments :D

Until I can breathe again, here's a lovely pork roast I've got in the oven for dinner.  The colored carrots just tickled me, so I tossed them in on top of the regular ones.  I also picked up the multi-colored baby potatoes because... well, purple root vegetables are cool.

Asparagus will round it out, but I'm cooking that later.  This is in low-and-slow at 225 (after its blast at 450) for another 6.5 hours at least.  Happy almost-Easter, folks!

Friday, March 08, 2013

DV Ruminations

[Excerpted from a letter I wrote regarding my own domestic violence experience -- this is pretty much navelgazing, y'all, but you're welcome to read on.  It's just not your standard perky Friday reading fare.  My apologies :) 

Oh, and standard "may be triggering" warnings apply.]


Growing up hearing about my maternal grandmother's marriage and how she left, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'd never let myself be in a relationship that involved domestic violence.  The second someone reaches out to strike you, you leave.  Full stop, end of discussion. G taught it, Mom seconded it, I believed it.  But over the course of my first two marriages I learned that abuse has more forms than a raised fist.  Between the two of them, I endured every type of marital abuse that exists with the exception of an outright, bloody beating.

What kills me (and this appears to be a universal feeling among various subsets of domestic violence survivors) is that I know better.  I knew it going in.  I'm intelligent, I'm educated, and I grew up in a family where we were taught to be honest, kind, and to use our words -- by anyone's measure, a "good family."

I know it's wrong to talk to people like they're trash.  I know it's wrong to threaten to abandon your family on a regular basis simply as a means of venting your displeasure.  I know it's wrong to withhold money for basic household bills.  I know it's wrong to make your family suffer because you refuse to provide the means to secure adequate medical and dental care.  I know it's wrong to threaten to discipline your children physically to coerce your spouse into behaving a certain way.  All of that is wrong and there is so much more to add that I dare not even attempt a comprehensive list; but every item on that list is a means of one person increasing their control over another.  I get that.  Because every item on that list (and more) was employed against me, by the person I should have been able to trust most.

And yet I let it happen not only once, but twice.  As it was occurring in my life, I didn't see it as abuse.  I saw it as irresponsibility, as idiocy, and at times as plain-out meanness, but the fact that all those behaviors put together created a pattern of abuse just didn't take, and dealing with it turned me into a person I didn't even recognize at times.  Looking back, I still don’t.  It took me finally getting sick of the constant divorce threats from my second husband, leaving him, and then actually sitting there in the Parents Children and Divorce class with that domestic violence cycle diagram staring up at me from the workbook for the reality of what I'd lived for the previous decade and more to actually sink in.

This was all because they didn't hit me.  Somehow the lack of a direct strike was supposed to make it okay.

But it wasn't okay.

I want other people to understand that.  I want them to understand that domestic violence isn't only found at the end of a fist, but also in a pattern of behavior used to belittle and control.  The simple fact of the matter is that there isn't a batterer out there who didn't first start with verbal abuse, with emotional abuse.  Not one.  I remember the story of how G's husband started treating her differently right after they got married.  When she asked him about it -- contrary to common perception, women who deal with domestic violence are rarely voiceless doormats -- he said, "We're married.  No use to be dragging bait when the fish is caught."

That was the first overt sign of things to come.

I'd like fewer women to have to deal with those "things to come".  I'm not sure how to accomplish it*, but that's what I'd like to see.


 *Actually, how I accomplish it now, outside of putting my limited monies where my mouth is -- including a specific donation this letter accompanied -- is by occasionally sharing about domestic violence on my blog.  I don't want to go nuts with it here, because as I've said before this is not the place.  But on occasion... definitely.  Because I'm a normal, relatively well-adjusted woman who also happens to also be a domestic violence survivor.  If it could happen to me, it could happen to anybody.  The only shame is silence.

Saturday, March 02, 2013


Never being one to do anything in moderation, my allergy testing revealed that I am allergic to All The Things.  Grasses, molds, pollens, cats, dogs, roaches (!!!)... essentially, if it's tested for on a standard scratch test, I react to it.

The first round of testing was on my back.  Out of 50 scratches, I reacted to 32.

The next round was on my left arm and was injected.  18 shots.  They weren't deep, and at worst it felt like a little bit of a pinch.  I reacted to all 18.

And yes, my left arm and portions of my back still itch.  Thankfully I'm back on Zyrtec at least, and can take Benadryl toward the evening when things get rougher.

What this ultimately means for me is that I'm going to have to take allergy shots.  When someone my age has allergies this severe, to the point where the standard medications -- --antihistamine pills and eye drops -- don't work, it's time to haul out the big guns.  Sure, the steroid eye drops are working except on the worst of days, but one of the side effects from those is glaucoma and considering that my genetics already predispose me to same, I'd rather keep my vision thankyouverymuch.

On the minus side to all of this, once I stopped the steroids my face puffed up.  Lovely.


So anyway, there we are.  In light of all my lovely allergies I've decided to avoid gluten starting, well, now.  I'm not going to freak if I screw it up, but considering everything I figure it won't hurt to see if I'm possibly gluten sensitive, or at least if I somehow feel better without it in my diet.  I'm not married to this concept by any means :P  I'm more just entertaining myself by using my own body as a science experiment.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!