Supine Flu

Supine Flu Do you struggle when the alarm goes off every morning? If you have a really hard time, you could have something called dysania. This means…

Supine Flu

I have been experiencing this off and on since the beginning of the Pandemic; my poor snooze button is worn out. Side note, I think it’s morbidly funny that “pandemic” is a new part of our daily vocab.

Some days it doesn’t even feel worth it to get out of bed, since at the end of the day, we’re not that far from it in the first place. I find myself working from bed more and more, and shortly after, sprawled out and probably napping.

I have a whole new respect for stay-at-home parents and people working from home before this bull shit begun. How do you do it?

What kind of things can I implement to make me get out of bed (and making it doesn’t help)?

Re-Introduction: I am…

I started this journey in 2019, and since then, I have had my heart and life shattered, I have quietly sorted out most of the pieces, put them back together, only to have my heart shattered again. Then, it felt as if the pieces had been stolen by The Pandemic.

This time, organizing the pieces will still be painful, but putting them back together will be simpler, because I know how to better organize and fit them into place, delicately and deliberately. I am in exactly the right place at every moment.

I am loved.

I am grateful.

I am wise.

I am fierce.

I am resilient.

I am empowered.

I am Enough.

I am a woman that owns my sexuality.

I am the daughter of domestic abuse.

I am a partner, and a soul mate, and a lover.

I am worthy of love and belonging.

I am a dreamer in a rigid world.

I am the woman your mother warned you about; the one that stands her ground, and the star peg in the round hole.

I am a lonely lotus.

The Woman in Black.

The Phoenix Risen.

And I am here to Fuck. Shit. Up.

Thank You For Your Patience

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would have noticed a bunch of shit happening in the world. Covid has effected myself and so many others in a lot of ways.

For me personally, thankfully I have not gotten sick, or personally know someone who has gotten sick or passed away because of the virus. My mental health, however, is a different story.

It started deteriorating about a month into quarantine. There are some days that I just can’t get out of bed, other days, my OCD is so bad that I can’t think because of intrusive thoughts and anxiety.

I know I promised a piece on erectile dySfunction, and I am working on it, it’s taken me so much longer than I could have anticipated because of my mental health.

I just want to say a very warm thank you for all of your support and patience while I get shit under control. I am profoundly grateful for the community I am building and look forward to start posting again soon.

Stay safe, make good choices, or just don’t get caught making bad ones.

Coming soon!

I Promise It’s Cuming 😘

I’m still working on my Shame of ED piece. It’s taking a lot more time and research than I originally thought.

Thank you for your patience; I am deeply grateful 🖤 I promise that it’ll be worth the wait! It’s turning out to be really interesting and is partly breaking down gender norms!

My Life Over the Past Year Pt. 1

***Note: I fully recognize that not all police officers are jerks, and this is not meant to be a generalization of all police officers, but those who use their power as a police officer to abuse others physically, psychologically, and emotionally. I, in general, appreciate and respect the very difficult job that police officers do, and I am grateful that there are amazing cops out there who are not ass holes, but instead, amazing human beings.***

Soo…It’s been awhile. *Cue Britney Spears Break the Ice Music Video*

For those of you who know me, and those who have read my previous blog pieces, it has been a really rough year for me; I left a job of almost 5 years because I was feeling unhappy and stagnant within the company, I had a brief contract with a brand whose boss was unreliable and had made a bad name for herself within my market, and I cut my father out of my life because I finally realized that I was seeking an external validation from him that would never exist. It seems harsh, but my father has and will never respect me as a woman, as his daughter, or my autonomy (at 30 years old). As far as he is concerned, I belong to him because he is my father, thus I should live the life he wants me to live. I had to finally accept that I will never be good enough for him, just like he was never good enough for his father.

Then, when I thought things were settling down in my life, I had a really traumatic car accident; I had a gran mal seizure while I was driving, causing me to hit a light pole (that was clearly in my way, GAWD). There was thankfully an officer on duty (lol, duty/doody) that saw the entire incident and was there to help when I woke up. To add insult to injury though, as the paramedics were loading me into the ambulance, however, the officer on duty informed me that she had to issue a ticket for “Failure to Control Speed”, which in Texas, is $300.

It felt like a slap in the face to almost die, be told how lucky I was to survive by the officer, and then for her to hand me a ticket. It didn’t register until much later how fucked up it was on the part of Harris County, TX. When it finally dawned on me that I had received a ticket for “Failure to Control Speed”, it honestly felt like I was being punished for surviving. They took complete advantage of a horrible situation caused by a disability to make a profit, so to them, I say: fuck you Harris County, and any other county that would punish someone with a disability for a situation completely out of their control.

The court experience was even worse. As I was waiting in line to see the Assistant ADA, I noticed that there was a disproportionate amount of Black and Latino people standing in line as opposed to white people. Then I noticed blatant racism; the cop in the room helping to keep things in order blatantly ignored a black mother who’s daughter was underage, and when the mother tried explaining that to the cop, she didn’t even bat an eye, she just continued to speak to the daughter. When I turned to the mother after that experience, I pointed out that she had blatantly ignored, and she mentioned that a Latino mother with her daughter farther up in line was treated with respect. We were both furious.

Finally, when it came to my turn to see the assistant ADA, I tried explaining to her that it was caused by a disability, she ignored me and said I could either pay the fine, go to Defensive driving, or go to court. 

To top everything off, at the time I had just started a new medication called Topamax, so I was only half aware of what was going on. I was so dizzy, confused, and overall frustrated. When I tried to explain again with my step-dad present, who has a law degree, the ADA and the cop told him to leave, stopped the conversation and without so many words, told him to get the fuck out. Then she asked me if I thought I was special, and it felt like she was calling me an entitled white girl. I finally lost it. I looked at the cop, still in a medication-induced haze, and cussed her out. Yep, you heard me correctly, I cussed out a cop. To the best of my recollection, I said something to the effect of, “What the fuck is your problem bitch?!” . There was an audible gasp in the room. I stormed out of the room very dramatically (as you do), still hazy and dizzy, and was probably sounding crazy as I talked to another mother in the hallway who was there for her son. She said that she understood, but that she was going to be respectful to the ADA and the cop in the room. 

I later got to thinking that her response might be a result of fear conditioning from the police, as she was also a black woman. I desperately hope that that wasn’t the case, but if it is, we desperately need to hold police officers accountable for their sometimes shitty behavior.

Later on, when I Googled the name of the cop that I cussed out, it turned out that she has made a second career out of writing about her experiences as a cop, and it all came together – not only did she have the sense of entitlement because she was a cop, but she had let the local fame get to her head. It felt like discrimination not only because of the “conversation” with the black mother I had witnessed earlier but also because I have a disability. There was no compassion, no empathy, just utter disdain for my protest to be heard.

As a sheltered white bitch, I finally witnessed for myself the level of systemic racism within not only the Harris County Court system but Texas in general. I am BEYOND disgusted by the court system here,  and a small part of me hopes that the cop previously mentioned is eventually put in her place. Fuck. That. Cunt.

So as a result of this seizure, I was not allowed to drive 3 months, which normally wouldn’t be such an issue, but those of you who don’t know about Houston, there is no public transit and really no infrastructure to create one. My job, at the time, required me to drive a grand majority of the time, and so that part of my career was and is essentially over. It’s taken me a long time to get over the physical and psychological damage created not only by the accident but by the court experience as well. 

The most devastating part was and is trying to re-establish my life, my goals, my everything while keeping my disability and its limitations in mind. I was in deep denial for a long time regarding my epilepsy, but that denial came crashing down on me in what felt like an instant. I can no longer pretend that everything will be fine if I just wish hard enough. 

I’ve had to grieve the life I lived previously to the accident, to grieve a certain amount of independence that I will never be able to have again, a life without constant medication, and for the woman I was before all of this.

xxxxx

Thank you for reading; I am grateful for your time and grateful for the love and support from my family, friends, and anyone else who has reached out during this past very difficult year.

Part 2 Coming Soon.

My Epilepsy Journey

**Note: I’m currently working on a piece about where the fuck I’ve been, but it’s been a hot minute and a lot has gone on, so it’s gonna take a while and will probably be a two-parter. You can follow me on Instagram @porcelainautumn_ to get more up to date life updates.**

So if you know me personally, or if you have read some of my other pieces, you should be well aware by now that I have epilepsy, specifically Generalized Epilepsy. Did you know that there were different types of epilepsy?; cause I sure as fuck didn’t before I was diagnosed with it.

So what generalized epilepsy means, in a nutshell, is that instead of having a seizure in one part of your brain, my WHOLE brain has a seizure. Also, it’s genetic, which we’ve now learned thanks to some DNA tests and connecting with long lost family that it comes from my mother’s father’s side.

I also have different types of seizures. I, of course, have gran mal seizures; these are the seizures that everyone thinks of when they hear the word seizure. I often refer to it as “going all exorcist and shit”. Except weirdly, I don’t thrash, my body goes completely stiff, and I make a weird moaning sound (sadly, it’s not a fun moaning sound). I don’t have them too often as they’re pretty well controlled under medication, but holy mother of fuck do they leave me sore for approximately a week. It feels like I worked out really intensely, but with nothing to show for it. For these types of seizures, I was put on the generic of Lamictal. 

The other type of seizures I have are simple partial seizures. These seizures are not really well known about or understood by the general population, and at first, I wasn’t even sure I was having seizures. When they started getting longer (~10-20 minutes) and more often though, I realized that something wasn’t right. 

While I’m having a SPS seizure, I’m completely aware, I can see, hear, smell, reach out and touch someone and even speak; the way you can tell I’m having the seizure if you see my head kind of cock (lol cock) to one side, I stare off into space, I have a hard time recalling words, and I just look like I’m off in la-la land. It’s incredibly weird to go through, and I’m sure even weirder to witness. For these types of seizures, I was prescribed the generic of Keppra, and I have almost maxed out of the daily dosage. I can only go up on my dosage one more time and then I have to explore other options. That prospect terrifies me.

So what’s incredibly strange about my epilepsy is that I went undiagnosed until I was 26 and I went, to my knowledge, ~14 years between gran mal seizures. And then once I was diagnosed, my body was like, “Oh yeah! I do have epilepsy! We have some catching up to do!” And ever since then, it’s been a physical, mental, and emotional roller coaster.

Having to find a neurologist period, then having to find the right neurologist feels like the journey to find your significant other. I have had a doctor who was meh, I had a doctor who was a fucking ass hole, and my current neurologist is stuck with me for the rest of her career. She is incredibly supportive of my school goals, my lifestyle goals, my quality of life, and actually takes into account that I’m a fucking woman with a menstrual cycle when considering my meds. If she ever leaves her current practice, I will follow her wherever she goes.

There have been periods where I’ve lost a big chunk of my independence because I wasn’t able to drive, which is devastating. The law in Texas states that after you have a seizure, you cannot drive (on orders from your doctor) for 3 months. This has happened to me twice already and I’m hoping for the best, but I’m sure there will be other periods in my life that I won’t be able to drive. 

The last time I wasn’t able to drive was when I had a gran mal seizure while I was driving, which I talked about in a previous piece (shameless plug here), drove into oncoming traffic and hit a light pole; when I came to and realized what had happened, there were only two thoughts on my mind: oh my fucking god, I wrecked my husband’s car; and are they going to revoke my license? 

I almost didn’t go to the hospital because I was afraid of the medical records getting back to my doctor, who would revoke my license, but I’m glad I did because I ended up having another gran mal seizure in the ER and they had to pump me full of meds. All I remember after the accident is getting to the ER, starting to become more coherent, joking around with the cop who witnessed the accident, and the paramedics, and then nothing. Just bits and pieces throughout the night, and waking up in the morning. It was a traumatic experience, to say the least.

Since then, it’s been a battle to get some sort of normalcy back to my life. I experienced a lot of pain after the accident, so that had to be dealt with. I also changed from the generic of Lamictal to the generic of Topamax. The transition was excruciating on my body: Topamax gives you this really foggy brain feeling, and getting used to that, and so I had to find the right supplement for better brain function. And of course, getting used to any medication that messes with the brain will make you sleep what feels like 18 hours a day. But like, whyyyy? 

Most recently, I’m transitioning off of Topamax back onto Lamictal (the generics). And it’s been great! Just kidding. I’m immunocompromised at the worst time ever. I’m tired. I’m grumpy as hell. I also happen to be hormonal, which, by the way, is a trigger for seizures. Yay menstrual cycle!

My triggers, if you’re wondering, are not the typical triggers that you hear about: flashing lights, loud noises, etc. For me, it’s predominantly stress and hormones, which, again, YAY!

So this is what my epilepsy journey has looked like thus far. If you have epilepsy, is your journey similar or different? 

If you don’t have epilepsy, did you learn something new today? And if so, what was it?

Thank you for getting this far with me. I know it was a lengthy piece but I felt compelled to speak my truth about my illness. It’s poorly researched and not well understood, and the best way to make people aware is to teach them myself. The burden is hard to bare, but in the end, I can say that I did the best I could and that hopefully, I made a tiny dent of happiness in an otherwise horrifying illness.

Once again, thank you. I am grateful for you.

How One Moment Can Change Everything; An Epilepsy story

Sunday, July 28, 2019 started like any other: I woke up, dreaded and bitched about going to work that day, I actually went to work, and then I went home. After I got home, there was something I had to go get really quick, so I hopped in the car, and away I went again. I had no idea that my life was about to change in what, to me, seemed like an instant. I don’t remember how far I got; the last thing I remember is pulling out of the apartment building and driving a little way down the road, and the next thing I knew, I was waking up to a desperate banging on the car window. A woman, I later learned was a cop, was banging on the window of my car, trying to get me to come back to reality and open the door. I opened the door to learn that I had had a seizure while I was driving and drove straight into a light pole.

I remember being really disoriented, and not understanding why or how I’d crashed the car, and thinking, “Oh fuck, I crashed Patrick’s car. He’s going to be pissed! Is he going to leave me because I crashed his car?”

Everyone keeps telling me, “Cars can be replaced, you can’t.”

It’s truly amazing, though, the irrational thoughts that were going through my mind as I was faced with this information. A lot of it is still fuzzy, although I do remember making a “That’s what she said joke” as they wheeled me into the ER. I remember trying to put on a brave face, and then I remember bits and pieces during the night. Apparently, I’d started seizing again in the ER, so they admitted me for observation and drugged me up to try and stop the seizures.

Mind you, this is not the first time I’d had a gran mal seizure: my first one was as a preteen, which we thought was an isolated event, but then I had one again in 2016, and that’s when I was diagnosed with epilepsy; I was 27 years old. Even though this was not my first, this was definitely the most traumatic. I drove past the pole a few days later and it was not only bent where the car struck it, but the full pole now leans. The cop who witnessed the event, and subsequently helped me, told me that it’s a miracle that the pole didn’t fall because of how much it was now leaning, or that I didn’t hit someone else.

I feel guilty because I destroyed his beloved car; I also feel somewhat guilty because I cannot drive, and I’m also now terrified to drive, so other people now have to cart me around.

But I’m so grateful that I am a place now where I have more knowledge on how to work from home, whereas in 2016, when I couldn’t drive, I didn’t have the same knowledge and/or coping skills, and/or nearly as strong of a support system as I do now. I am so grateful to the cop who witnessed the event and went out of her way to help me, the people who she said stopped and offered to help, the ambulance workers who had an amazing sense of humor and dealt with my stubborn ass, and the medical staff who took care of me in the hospital.

I am so grateful to my husband, who has been so supportive during this time; my family; my friends who have regularly checked on me and have sent endless amounts of love.

I am grateful to this blog for giving me an outlet for difficult feelings, and the community I’m slowly building here.

So from the bottom of my heart: thank you.

Cracked

When I look in the mirror,
Any mirror,
There’s always a crack;

It cannot be fixed,
Buffed out,
Or filled in.

The more I touch it,
The more it grows.
It seems to follow me,
And lingers
In every mirror,
At every age,
At every size,
In every lighting.

Living with this crack is exhausting.
I’ve tried covering it up,
But it always shows through.

Moving On

Photo Credit: Iribel

It’s been almost two months since I’ve seen or physically spoke to either of my parents. To say that putting them on a “time out” for awhile was the most difficult decision I’ve ever made, is an understatement. The pain and trauma of having to realize that my parents are not on my side, and that at the core, only care about what other people think of me, has put a strain on my relationship with them that I don’t think will ever be forgotten. People keep telling me that I need to forgive them, that it will set me free, and while that may be true someday, I don’t think that pain will ever go away.

And when you think about forgiveness, it’s an odd beast: it’s a thing that you’re supposed to do, because that’s what society tells you to do, but it’s an incredibly painful and vulnerable process. Berkley defines forgiveness as a, “conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.” Get that: it is a conscious, deliberate decision, whether they deserve it or not.

And what if you don’t feel like they do? For example, it’s hard to imagine forgiving the cheating ex-boyfriend that left you for a chick that matched his “true ideals”; I feel like part of the heartache is always wondering if it was something to do with you, if you were to blame.

But the reality is, forgiveness is not about the other person, it’s giving yourself permission to move on; you can’t force it, it has to come with time and proper processing.

I know that as of right now, it isn’t time to forgive yet; I still have a lifetime of memories and lessons to process: my parents divorce and subsequent nasty custody war, my mom’s co-dependence, both of my parents’ low-key racism, antiquated beliefs on marriage and the woman’s role in it, is something that I’m trying to separate from, but after 30 years of hearing that your opinion is wrong, and theirs is right, it’s a slow process.

My parents tried to control every aspect of my life; my father blatantly, and my mother by planting little seeds of doubt. They both used their powers of guilt and shame against me for years. After all, I am the oldest child, and was raised to be an obedient people pleaser, so it was easy for them.

Good things are finally starting to happen though: my “fiancé” and I are finally planning our wedding, engagement photos, etc. and I could not be happier about planning it with him. I’ve also reconnected with some people that I’ve loved for many years but had disconnected with. We have a brand new (to us) beautiful apartment in which we finally feel like we’re home (even if it is on the third floor).

I love my parents, and I miss them, but for the first time in years, I feel like I have room to breathe, grow and excel without fear of disappointing them.

I also feel like I can finally be myself instead of having to pretend to be the daughter they wanted.

I am a Phoenix, a lotus flower, and a survivor.

Was It a Dream?

I’m grieving the loss of a relationship that I’m not sure I ever really had;
The cracks are starting to show through.
Was it only just a dream?

The grief is profound;
Deep.
Dark.
Uncertain.
Unstable.

Who said this wasn’t difficult for me?
Who said there’s no suffering here?
This wasteland is all that remains.