Let’s All Just Stick to Our Own Choices; and Stop Telling Others How to Live

Thought Catalog: Children Are The Shackles to a Woman’s Dreams

This woman wrote candidly about her choices in life, and what having children means to her. It’s freedom of expression. She writes about how she was constantly reminded that her “time is running out”.

Why do people make it sound like you’re dying of some disease if you’re not having children? Her “time” is not “running out”. She’s still a person who has a whole life ahead of her without kids.

Then to scroll down and see the first couple of comments tell her that “not all parents have the same experience” and that “being a parent is good for some people”. That’s awesome. But then they go on to tell her that they don’t think she ought to be saying that having kids is a bad thing; because that will scare people off from having children.

Err… isn’t that exactly what so many people have been doing to us young folks the entire time we’ve been alive? Telling us (women at least) that having children is the most wonderful thing you can or will ever do? (Don’t get me started on how damaging this type of conditioning is to a women who literally can’t have children).

There was an article a few months ago about studies done on couples with kids. Their conclusion was that depression is a lot more common among parents versus non-parents.

Thanks to people who keep referring to parenting as some wonderful thing; people who listen to them and end up having kids EXPECT some kind of wondrous experience. Then when the experience doesn’t live up to the hype and postpartum hits, these women are extremely unprepared to deal with their emotions.

I do want to have kids, but I’m tired of people telling me how wonderful it’ll be. I know it won’t be wonderful. I know it’s not going to be sunshine and rainbows. I know I might even end up with some ungrateful assholes for kids. They might be disabled, they might become sociopaths.

I’m definitely sick of hearing people tell other women who don’t want kids exactly the same sales speech they give me. And then to go on and paint these women as “not real women” because they lack the urge to procreate.

For all the parents out there who talk about the good and the bad of parenthood: Thank You.

Children ARE a burden. The reason we’re biologically made to think of them as “cute” is so that we won’t want to just leave them on the road side because they are too much work. I want to have kids despite the fact that they’re a burden. They are a burden I’m willing to take on.

The “rewards” that these procreation sales people keep talking about are not always a guarantee, so they should stop peddling their BS. It makes people who do have kids end up expecting way too much; it makes people who don’t want to have kids feel like they’re abnormal.

Do I look forward to the first time my future kids laugh and smile at me? Yes. Do I look forward to the first time they tell me about someone they like? Yes. But I know enough not to expect those things. Too many things could go wrong with having children that for me to expect only happiness and fulfillment from having children is just plain misguided.

Folks who think they have to “tell” other people how to live their lives should kindly shut the hell up.

The Past Week

On Thursday, I met with doctors at Planned Parenthood and paid out of pocket for a medical abortion. The entire session lasted 1.5 hours. They gave me a quick video to watch, took some blood test, and then gave me an ultrasound.

The embryo looked like a small kidney bean.

The doctor administered the abortion pill in the session, then sent me home with the 2nd set of pills for me to take on Friday. I left the clinic feeling nauseous.

I keep waiting for a sense of loss to come over me, but there is nothing. I was told not to have vaginal intercourse (to prevent risk of infection) for at least 2 weeks. All I can think about now is how badly I want to have sex.

Jamie, who was ever stoic before the process, told me the other night that he was “not sad, exactly, but something.” I’m not sure what to make of that. He asked me if I felt sad. I said no, because I really didn’t. I feel relieved.

There is something different between us and can’t put a finger on what it is. Now I wonder if he would’ve liked to discuss it more before we went through with it. Perhaps he is not as logical as he had always hoped he was.

 

I’m not entirely sure what’s happening.

Abortion

I’m 28 years old and I’m pregnant. I’ve made an appointment with Planned Parenthood for a medial abortion.

I’m surprisingly okay with this. I keep reading about how many women are emotionally conflicted with the idea of abortion but somehow it feels like I’m getting my teeth cleaned or a root canal.

I don’t feel any attachment to the cluster of cells developing inside me. I try to imagine it as actual “life”, but I can’t see it as anything beyond cells, like the skin cells I shed.

Thank science.

How to Love a Monster: A Candid Reply to a Painful Question

I have a cousin who is a homo-erotic pedophile.

When I was 10, he was 13. My little brother was 3. My cousin was living with my family and I because we had adopted him. His father (my mom’s little brother) has always been in-and-out of jail, and his mother was out of the picture since he was a baby (she abandoned him).

One day, my mom & my grandpa (my father didn’t live with us, so my grandpa stood in) took my older brother out to shop. It was just me, my cousin, and my little brother. We watched TV.

At one point my little brother asked me to take him to the bathroom. My cousin volunteered to take him instead. I think nothing of it.

Until a few commercials pass by and they are still not back. My brain automatically goes back to the one memory I have when I was 5 years old and my cousin (who was 8 years old at the time) had me pinned to the floor behind a couch at my grandpa’s house. My cousin had tried to “make out” with me like we saw in movies. I remember saying I didn’t want to “play that game” but he continued to insist anyway.

While I never told adults about that time, I always felt there was something not right about it. Perhaps that was why I never told the adults about it.

Regardless. That moment when it occurred to me that something might be happening to my little 3 year old brother, I went full berserker-rage.

I started pounding on the bathroom door (locked) and making all sorts of threats against my cousin. It only took a short moment but I realised I could pick the lock with a toothpick, and I did.

Long story short, I break into the bathroom to find my cousin leaning over my little brother, who was naked and on the floor.

This time I told the adults. Not about me, but about what had happened to my little brother and what my cousin did. I remember sitting on the steps waiting for them to get home and my cousin crying and begging me not to say anything.

My mom, who has a violent nature, beat the living shit out of my cousin that day.

My cousin was then taken to live with my aunt (another one of my mom’s siblings) and no one ever spoke of what happened again.


The worst thing to come out of everything that happened is seeing the effect this had on my grandpa.

My grandfather was a wonderful person. He was there for me when my father wasn’t. When he lived with us, he was the only one to keep my mother sane when my father couldn’t. And when my cousin was abandoned as a baby, my grandfather took up the job of raising this little kid that no one wanted.

My grandfather loved my cousin as his own son.

That day when my mom beat the shit out of my cousin, a part of me felt triumph, but when I saw the pain on my grandfather’s face, I lost it. I understood in that moment that no matter how terrible and hurtful my cousin’s behavior was, he was still that little abandoned baby in my grandfather’s mind–and to see my cousin being punished broke his heart. I feel that seeing this happen to my grandfather in turn broke mine.

I feel that eventually I tried to understand my cousin, and I tried to see him with the eye of a parent. I could do this by envisioning my own little brother who could be a pedophile, a monster. I studied Criminology in school and I focused on pedophilia. I had a thirst to understand how to forgive.


What I found is this: pedophilia is a mental illness. It is only classified as a mental illness because there is no other way to describe it. It’s like people who are attracted to furries or people who are attracted to dead people. It’s an innate urge they have inside their brain that they cannot completely control.

And when I think of that with my cousin.. I feel sad and sorry for him. Because he has a part of him that is harmful to society, yet at the same time he cannot tell his brain not to be attracted to the things that attracts him. And because of this thing that he cannot control, he must be ostracized and prosecuted.

If I look at him with the eye of a parent, I hurt for him. I can’t begin to understand how it must feel to be prosecuted with hate for something that you cannot control without assistance. It’s like putting an alcoholic in jail after a drunk driving and having the rest of your family just write you off and disowning you.

I think of how alone my cousin must feel. I think of how people see him as this disgusting monster and how he must hate himself for thinking that it is true. When I think of that, it hurts. It hurts because I don’t think anybody deserves to feel unloved by their parents or family for having something they never chose to have.

I’ve asked my cousin before, when we were older, what he thinks of his “illness.” He said that life would be very wonderful if he could just be a “normal guy” who was attracted to the “normal things.” There is nothing he wants more than to be “normal”.

Being attracted to the things he is attracted to is not only a “forever-alone” sentence for him, but it is also a “hated-for-life” sentence as well. No matter how well he adjusts his behavior in order to fit into regular society, he will always know that there is a part of him that is hated and despised. He will always know that people like him should just be dead so that everyone else can live in a happier society.


So when you ask “What the fuck were you thinking…” I think your parents see your brother as a child who they love. I think when you have your own child, you will understand just how difficult it is to hate your own child, even if it is a monster.

We’re Not Telling You To Drop Out, BUT….

Wait, So the Cost of College Has Risen How Much?! – http://pulse.me/s/pF2rm

538%… ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?

Unisex Pro Choice

Boy, I am glad I am not a dude.

I tell you what. I am extremely thankful that I do not have the ability to impregnate a female. I will always be eternally grateful that I do not even possess the semen that women would require of me.

The controversy of pro-choice versus pro-life has been a long, tedious debate. All about whether women had the rights to their own body or not. It is heart-warming to think that so many people, women and men, are willing to stand behind women’s rights. It’s very commendable. 

But what happens to the man involved in such a situation?

I frequent Reddit’s Relationship sub-reddit. I’ve come upon the same problem way too many times to count. A boy unknowingly gets a girl pregnant (she lied about birth control, etc) through a mistake of fact and no intent of his own. He comes to an internet community asking for help, for justification that he has a right to even desire escape. 

And then the community rains down hellfire on him.

Remove gender from this person. Say it’s just a person who somehow created a child through no intention of his or her own, and then he or she is forced to take responsibility for the child with no questions asked.

Pretend it’s a woman in the same situation–oh RIGHT! Isn’t that exactly what the pro-choice movement is about? To fight for the woman’s right to choose whether she brings a child into this world or not? Whether she can decide for herself if she can be the capable parent that a child deserves?

So why is society robbing men of the exact same right? Why does he have no say in what happens after a boo-boo that ends up in pregnancy? Why is he labelled a coward and a scumbag for even contemplating escaping the responsibility he never signed up for? Why should a man be forced into parenthood while a woman in the same situation has champions fighting for her right to choose her own future?

Yes, there is a fundamental difference between the two. The woman has to carry the child, while the man does not. The woman has to birth the child, while the man does not. Nine months of pregnancy. Hours, maybe days, of difficult labour. Yes, those are huge concessions a woman would have to make. I don’t deny this. But what society is asking of the man after the child is born is no different from what it asks of the woman. Take responsibility. Raise the child. Give up your entire life plan and draw up a new one that now involves a new person you didn’t mean to create.

If we are so keen on society letting us women have the final say over the rest of our lives and how we want to start a family… why are we so keen on keeping this same right from the men in the same situation? The men who were tricked, the men who were duped, the men who were manipulated, into creating something they never meant to in the first place?

Why isn’t pro-choice applied to both sexes alike?

Champion of Rape

My back’n forth with a fervent ignoramous over the internets.

I document this here because I actually feel very strongly about what I’ve written to him/her.

Some brief background to the argument. There’s been a popular thread on Reddit for a week or so now, asking those who have committed sexual assault to speak up about their motivations. The thread drew my attention briefly, and one of the top posted posts had been posted by a guy who admitted that he often “forced” girls to have sex with him during his college years.

What he went on to describe in his confession sounded nothing like what I believe rape was. He would often invite girls over, and he would put the moves on. From his description, none of them ever strictly said no. He still felt guilt though because whenever his partners were “enjoying” the hook ups, he would find it boring, and he was only ever excited when his partners squirmed.

That led me to leave a short post to him, explaining that it may have been that these women LIKED a little forced entry. Because I myself am one of these women. Key point: I did not state it as a fact that he did not commit rape; I was not there. What I did say was that I personally would not consider it rape.

Another point he made that didn’t convince me that what he did was rape: many of these women continued contact. They would call him for a second date, and a third.

Anyhow. Another Redditor caught on to my short blurb of a response to the guy, and decided to go all out-rampaging on me. The Redditor in question resorted to name-calling and direct flaming because he/she believed that I was a champion of rape. The Rape-nator. In short, he/she stated that all these women needed to do was squirm, and that’s grounds enough for it to be rape. And for me to write about my personal experience and opinion on the matter, I was belittling the suffering of rape victims everywhere.

What?

I responded to her over a couple of long-winded posts in which I explained my position clearly. I believe, as you all know from both of my previous posts: I Put Awareness… and Not Rape, that the victims of sexual assault have a strong responsibility towards their own personal safety. This belief is what I then shared with this Redditor, who continued to misunderstand me and to go as far as call me “as disgusting as him [guy who posted confession]”.

So this victim mentality. The mentality that a punishable, sentence-inducing CRIME, doesn’t require any type of resistance from the victim… does that still make them the victim? As well, I am deathly afraid for the offspring of anybody who believes this. Does this mean that this Redditor will not be teaching his/her children proper procedures on how to avoid being prey to sexual assault? Will this person tell their children: “It’s okay Not to say No; just squirm around a lot and they’ll get the message”?

I’m not talking about women dressing up so sexily that they are practically inviting men to rape them. That’s bullshit. I’m talking about when a man pushes you down and tries to force himself on you, you should say No. That’s all I ask.

Physical expression is not ALWAYS universal. One person’s playful squirm may be another person’s self-defence squirm. No one can objectively say, “that person didn’t really want it” just by that person squirming. Vocal expression is universal. No will always mean No.

I Put Aware In Your Awareness, So You Can Protest While You Protest.

Project Unbreakable

It’s a new subreddit off of Reddit.com. It looks bare now, since it’s a couple of days old, but its existence was due to the flood of Project Unbreakable posts flooding another subreddit I frequent.

Reading about other people’s stories of sexual assault and rape, I feel oddly cynical. Recently, I read a paper written by my 19 year old brother about moral panic. His thesis was–supposed to be–about how moral panic is used as a distraction by politicians to keep people off of what really matters; a thesis I’ve fervently supported ever since my grade 11 History teacher taught us about how the Russian Tsar used the Russo-Japanese wars at the turn of the 20th century as a distraction for his people. Russia was on decline and the Tsar needed something to unite the people against an external enemy, or else he would be looking at another revolution.

This post is in no way to belittle any of what these people have gone through… but I have half a mind to post in that subreddit something about the women on the other side of the world, who are getting beaten, burned with acid, and this is all after they’ve had to live with their rapists (husbands) for years. These women are subject to all kinds of abuse on a daily basis, and they don’t have the luxury to frequent a popular international website to use as an outlet. Women who aren’t ever heard above the voice of the masses and they resort to suicide. What do you call these women? The Breakables?

Regardless. I’m comparing apples and oranges now. Both instances are the product of the same intention. By posting about two social injustices that are similar in nature, I’m raising awareness. But then what? I’m going to submit this post and then I’m going to work. I’m going to get through my day, go to class after work, and I’m going to come home to sleep. About 80% of anyone who reads this, or anyone who reads Project Unbreakable, will have the same type of daily routine I do. They’ll read about something horrible and they will feel horrible for five minutes, or half an hour, depending on how big of a heart they have–or think they have. And then they’re going to go on with their day. Maybe they’ll talk to their husbands about it. Maybe they will tell a few good friends. Those with a wider social network may even bring up during a social dinner as their controversial topic of the night. And then they will feel good about themselves because they’ve done their part, they’ve spread the word and sure enough, their word will reach some higher up somewhere and eventually Obama is going to hear about it and he will probably kick some rapists asses. This is how we combat social injustice, right? 

The point is… anyone with enough power and motivation to actually change laws and social norms aren’t sitting on Reddit reading about it. They’re not writing about it because they don’t have the time between one press conference and another. Remember that last “project”? It Gets Better? Whatever happened to that? It generated a lot of buzz, sure, but what laws were actually changed as a result? Did any government decide to implement an anti-bullying law because of it? Nope. Nothing happened, despite the project being adopted by Dan Savage, the popular journalist and gay rights activist.

Some may disagree. Some may say that the countless video testimonials from Savage’s fans of how “it gets better” have provided hope for the victims of bullying still suffering now. Wow thanks. The bullies making my life hell are still continuing to do it, but at least now I know there is a deadline to the pain. I FEEL MUCH BETTER. C’mon. That’s like when my mother put on a Disney movie in the master bedroom for us to drown out the sound of my parents screaming at each other.

So instead, for every person who has been a victim of SOMETHING, anything, promise to act against whatever you’ve suffered from. If it’s rape, report it if it is recent, and if its in the long forgotten past, then go volunteer at a domestic abuse shelter for an evening. If it’s bullying, fight back, or if you see someone being bullied, DO SOMETHING. Do whatever you think is appropriate to “give back”. Yes, you’ve been a victim, and it’s horrible that no one was around to help you. But posting about it on the internet does dick all. The problem is, most people do nothing about a problem they are “aware” of. Most people feel that they have done their part by forwarding a post, or a video, because they are spreading “awareness.”

People should to be AWARE that AWARENESS without ACTION is as effective on social change as INACTION.

You Will Die A Horrendous Death

I hate fortune tellers.

I can’t understand blind faith of any kind. The idea that our future is set out in stone because of something called fate is ridiculous to me. And then there is the idea that fate is like a never ending web, with crossroads and forks at every turn. See, that idea is for people who don’t like the “set in stone” theory and would prefer to believe we have a choice.

I believe our only choice is to understand that every single moment that passes is never coming back. Every single moment I’m typing about faith and fate will never be again, because the passing of time is an undeniable truth. At least until physicists figure out a way to bend time. Even then, I’m not sure that it could ever bring back the same moment. If time is a straight line and it bends on itself, wouldn’t it be a continual loop that is unchangeable? Technically, if it was possible to go back in time, there would be nothing we could change. We would be stuck going through the same motions that was generated from our original selves. We would literally be doomed to repeated our mistakes. Who the hell would want to go back in time just to suffer yet another heartache?

But back to fortune tellers. Recently I had one of them try to that the love of my life is just around the corner. When she found out that I was already in a relationship, she attempted to back pedal and came out to say that it wasn’t meant to be. This was before she even asked any information about my relationship or the person I was with. I laugh it off for my mother. See, I didn’t go to the fortune teller for me, because I don’t believe in fortunes. My mother believes in this stuff, however sad it is, and I prefer to avoid a stupid row about it when I can just spend half an hour of my day giving her the satisfaction. I guess when you get to a certain age, it’s no longer productive to constantly fight your mother.

It’s when the woman sat back in her chair and smugly asked us for $90 that I had to restrain myself. For some reason, I was under the impression that she was doing us a favour, Buddhist to Buddhist. After all, that’s in the teachings of Buddha, is it not? For Jesus, as well. I’m not religious, but I bring this up to highlight the hypocrisy of this “good” Buddhist woman’s actions. Giving someone a shitty fortune for the price of $90 is not what Buddha would support. Actually, Buddha probably never ever said anything about being able to see the future.

As we are leaving, my mother tells me something very private about herself. It’s something she’s told me before as a child, but I had forgotten. My mother had two abortions and one miscarriage. Apparently she’d been racked with guilt still over the abortions and what this woman told her only fanned the flames. This woman told my mother that the spirits of the aborted children had been following her living children their entire lives, and they have been ruining our lives. My mother then explains how horrible she feels we had to pay the price her “evil” deeds.

Over the years, my mother has made many mistakes. Mistakes that she should be sorry for, but never is. Yet somehow she’s able to accept that she is at fault for something that’s completely non-existent. “I’m sorry I ruined your lives by having an abortion and allowing your dead siblings to follow you around” isn’t quite the same as “I’m sorry I wasn’t a perfect mother.”

My point is, fortune telling is a scam. I would be able to live with it if it was a scam that made the believers happy. Of course people wouldn’t mind paying $90 for good news as much as they mind paying $90 for bad news. God knows how much money my mother paid for to be told of her dead children’s adventures.

And I would have bridge this into a long conversation about abortion, but I’ll have to shelve that for next time.