Just a Small Celebration

Today was a hard day. But it was also an awesome day. My emotions were all over the place. Holy shitballs.

First, let’s celebrate, shall we?

My friend, Lars, and his wife, Beth, have invited Lil’lady and I down to their home in Georgia. I want to tell the world how thankful I am to know them. I met Lars first – on Twitter, of course. I don’t remember how. I used to be so active and I’ve met so many wonderful people on that platform. I saw a meme that read “On Twitter you learn to love people you’ve never met. On Facebook you learn to hate everyone you used to love.” Or something to that effect. It’s true though. These beautiful people reached out to me and offered their home to us for nothing. They expect nothing but my amazing company1. And they are helping me get there. I will admit that I am in tears right now. We finalized the plans today.

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I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

  1. I certainly hope I don’t disappoint them. I’m so nervous. []

Thank You

I want to talk about more positive things now. Sam’s friends are really toxic and they tend to bring me down. Let’s lift me back up, shall we?

I was with my friend last night. I was talking about my upcoming trip to Georgia and how I should probably curb my language just for the weekend. I was laughing and cutting up, but my friend snagged me by the arm and stared straight into my face. He was nose to nose with me.

“Don’t you dare,” he says to me. I’m a little taken aback. He’s dead serious.

“Don’t what?” I’m unsure of where the conversation was at this point. Not really sure why he’s all the sudden so intense.

“Don’t you dare change how you are, JJ. Don’t you dare change your language.” He let go over my arm and became very animated. “If I don’t hear you say ‘shit’, ‘motherfucker’, ‘fucktard’ or any of that shit at least once in a sentence then me and you are going to have problems.” I understood. He got in my face again.k

“Don’t you dare change, Jen.”

I could’ve cried the way he said it. I know what he meant, but it’s hard for me to believe. I’m trying to convince me that all of these people who are reaching out to me are not lying. I’m trying hard to believe what they’re saying to me.

Later we were in the car and we were talking about pain. My back was hurting so bad last night, it was miserable. We were talking about that and why I had to stop taking pain pills1. He leaned over and stared at me.

“I’m sorry.” I was confused again.

“Sorry for what?”

“I wish I could do something to help you. I’m sorry.” It was touching really. And a little awkward. I don’t know where any of it was coming from. I can guess, but I’d rather not right now.

“I have two choices with this pain, because it’s never going away as long as I live. I can either let the pain take over my life and dictate how I live. Or I can adjust my expectations and live regardless of the pain. I choose to live.” He laughed and rubbed the back of my head.

“You’ll get through this, JJ. If there’s anyone who can do this it’s you. You’re one of the strongest women I know. You’re amazing. Don’t ever change. Not for anyone.” I didn’t cry. But I wanted to. I feel like he really didn’t say that, but he did. We’ve been friends for a long time and he’s never said anything like that. I was really touched.

He’s not the first friend to say stuff like that to me. I asked someone else why he liked me. He said because I’m made from titanium. I don’t feel like that. I feel like I’m falling apart at the seams. Like the gods are playing a cruel joke on me with this life. And just when I feel like I’m losing it, the friends I took for granted reach out and pull me back together.

Whether they offer to bring me away for a weekend or pray for me or make me laugh or remind me that I’ve survived worse, these people are all amazing. I am so grateful for them. I am so grateful that I’m not alone and I’m not surrounded by people who would push me under as I drown. They’ve formed a chain and are saving me. It’s so hard for me to accept that maybe I am worth it and maybe I am loved. I’ve spent my whole life fighting against people who would see me fail2. So, when I don’t have to fight?

That is so wonderful. They are so wonderful. I am thankful. I don’t give two shits if this makes me look weak or crazy. My people know who they are. I want them to know I love them. I’m proud of that. I’m happy to have people in my life that see something in me that is invisible to my eyes. This strength I didn’t recognize. Titanium? Shit, man. When I feel so weak? Yes, because I”m still going forward.

I lost someone I love because of fucktardery. That loss did not end my life. None of the many losses I have endured – the deaths of my grandmother, my mother and my son; the end of my marriage; the loss of my family home – none of them ended me. This is not even in the same ballpark as those. I’m still here and I’m still trucking forward. And I have the most amazing people in the world around me while I do it. I don’t have those people who tear me down anymore. I’m blessed even though my heart is broken. Broken hearts heal, darlings, and mine is healing much faster thanks to the love these people are showing me.

This is my ‘thank you’ note to everyone who saw me in pain and reached out to help me. Thank you for thinking I’m worth it. Thank you for accepting me for me. Thank you for reading my indecipherable dribble, seeing inside my head and not running off.

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

  1. I refuse to be treated like I don’t need a medication and piss in a cup every fucking 7 days. []
  2. I’ve had people in my life exactly like Sam’s insidious little demon friend. I’ve got plenty of experience there. []

Stuff the People

I shared my good news on Facebook last night. All of these people who whine because I don’t pretend to be the happy, happy goddamned monkey they need me to be didn’t even acknowledge that something fabulous is about to happen. Pfft. Because people around here are conditioned to not be happy for someone else when it doesn’t benefit them to do so. All of those people faking their happy lives are stuck in that fakery. I’m supposed to fake happiness1.

Jinx sticking tongue outW
Here’s what I think about that.
So, fuck it. Goodbye again Facebook. Peace out. No point in connecting with fools. I can do better with strangers in the twittersphere.

I’m keeping my Twitter, obviously, and am still connected to Instagram. I’ve locked down the Instagram, but I’m keeping everything else open and public.

And, no, I won’t stop talking about the inner workings of my brain. I have stuff to say, for fuck’s sake, and I’m going to say it.

I’ve got some stuff coming up this weekend and the following. I’ll be blogging about that, so keep your eyes peeled. I’ll have stories. I will also forget everyone’s real names because I don’t put that shit on here. This weekend isn’t something that’s going to be very exciting, but that it’s happening is a bit of a story in the making. It’s odd, awkward and completely unexpected. Also, why now? Anyway, no spoilers. It’s insane.

Then there’s my trip the following week. Oh, yes. That’s going to be a blast and there will be pictures and video – though not necessarily on this blog. The link to my Twitter is at the bottom of this page. My Instagram is @oh.snap.itz.jen2. I probably won’t accept you there unless I know you elsewhere. Sorry. I’m really and truly looking forward to this trip. I’ve already picked out some outfits3 and know that I’ll be going to see the Walking Dead Alexandria set on Friday4. Tweetups, meetups and hookups… oh, my!..

That’s all from me for now. Peace out, buttercup.

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

  1. Some folks – LILITH – post about their kids as if they care about them. Um, how’s about sexing up the town square while your babies sleep beside you? []
  2. Lil’lady set that up for me. []
  3. And I’d like to thank Sam for giving me this awesome travel bag. I have suitcase, but this will do better. []
  4. Well, I forget what the tour is called, but it’s got something to do with TWD which is all that really matters. []

What’s the Big Deal about NPD?

I’m putting this here just so people will understand what my thought processes are with Lucifer. He has NPD – a covert Narcissist. He is text book. Apparently, I’m just pining for him instead of healing from what he did to me. So, here’s a link with some information.

Narcissistic Victim Syndrome << This is something I think anyone who gives a shit about me should look at. Let me quote a bit1:

Once a person has become a victim of a narcissist (whether it happened in childhood or later on in life), the victims are already unconsciously primed to enter the narcissist’s “convoluted dance” that opens them up to further abuse. It is necessary for the therapist to gently shine a light on what they are doing in the dance that makes them a victim. Once again, a “Narcissistic Victim” is any person who is harmed, injured or killed by a person who displays pathological narcissism (which can occur on a spectrum of severity).

The victim needs to understand that this “dance” of codependency requires two people: the pleaser/fixer (victim)2, and the taker/controller (narcissist/addict), together both partners dance beautifully in perfect step, and the madness begins. The consequences for the victim not understanding the intricacy of the dance, is that, no matter how often they try to avoid “unhealthy” partners, they will find themselves habitually returning to the same dance floor; the only thing that will change is that they will find themselves dancing to a different tune, but always the personality of the dance partner remains the same.

Therapist need to be seriously aware that narcissism is a very complex disorder that creates a lot of suffering, both to the person who has the disorder, and to those people who have to live with the disordered narcissistic behavior on a daily basis. When I speak of narcissistic abuse, (abuse that can lead to Narcissistic Victim Syndrome), I am speaking about a form of abuse that is very insidious. What I mean by insidious is that the abuse is covert, cunning and often indirect. This form of abuse is often carried out in a subtly and clandestine manner, because narcissists go to great pains to avoid being observed publicly as being abusive. This Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde behaviour of the narcissist (loving one minute and totally enraged the next) can inflict great harm on the victim. Understandably, the fear, distress, confusion, inner turmoil, and chaos that they experience leaves them “walking on eggshells” in order to avoid further conflict with the narcissist. The effect on the victim over time can be very crippling indeed. I liken narcissism to a parasitic worm that manages to penetrate under the skin, where it is out of the sight of witnessing eyes, but is free to injure or consume its host slowly, leaving trauma or disease in its wake. By the way, the narcissist can manage to live on inside the victim even after they manage to escape; it is as if their “seed” goes on.

Emphasis and footnotes are added as well as some editing to make this more digestible. The article above is very long, so keep that in mind if you decide to read it.

I saw a little bit of that in Sam. Just a bit. Like he’s not quite fully developed this way. There was a point where I refused to discuss things with him because he would get angry. The last week of our relationship was seriously stressed. That’s really why we broke up. I was afraid of falling back into the same trap I’ve been in before. I completely and totally freaked out as soon as he started lashing out at me3.

With Lucifer… That mofo… There’s a reason I call him Lucifer. He tore my brain apart and put it back together all wrong. And that is why I’m seeing a trauma counselor. I’m not pining for Lucifer in the way Sam thinks. I’m recovering from him. Because that’s what happened in my brain when he messed me up. I’m the fixer in this scenario. The link above explains it more in-depth. I’m currently wallowing quite a bit, but I’m certainly not pining.

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

  1. It’s quite a long article. []
  2. This is me. []
  3. There really was no reason for the rage he displayed that day. We weren’t fighting and we had an excellent morning. That wasn’t the first time he did that – in less than a week – and I felt threatened. My lizard brain went into autopilot and I lashed back. It’s what I do. []

Today Was a Good Day

I do have some good news, but went off on a tangent here. I didn’t want to mix that up with this. I had a really good day. I didn’t think about him until he was brought up at the end there. Then I was all offended because does anyone really pay attention?

Anyway, I woke up this morning and decided to edit and publish the children’s book my mother wrote when I was a small child. I decided this is the project I need to do. It’s a wonderful story. She told us the story as she wrote it1. I remember sitting on the porch of our house in Columbus and just being amazed. She was a wonderful story-teller when I was young. This story she just happened to write down and flesh out.

We used to beg her to submit it to a publisher, but she refused. She was afraid of rejection. When I was young and trying to write she was insanely jealous. Man… But that was a different woman than the one I’m discussing now. The same mother, but different mindsets. She only had the one copy and treasured it forever. She used to dream of being published – but was too afraid of critics.

Other Sis made bound copies of the book and gave one to each of us2. I want to have it published.

That’s what I was doing today when I should’ve been working. I was copying her book onto my computer and telling everyone all of the wonderful stories my mother used tell us. This project is incredibly therapeutic. Actually, writing by itself is great for me right now. I’m going to rewrite all of her book then illustrate it myself. Then I’ll set to work to getting it edited and published. I don’t know if I even care if I get it published correctly. Just rewriting it is making me feel better. I think this may be my mother’s way of helping me from beyond the grave.

The lady I work with is going to introduce me to a family friend. He’s supposedly doing ok for himself and not bad looking. Also he’s closer to my age3. I was a little irritated by that last part, but I let it slide. I agreed to meet him. I doubt very much that I’ll want to spend much time with him if I even like him at all. Who knows? But I’m not passing up an opportunity just to see. I haven’t so much as flirted with anyone since Sam has been gone. I’m ready for the ego boost.

Then I got home and found my good earrings in my sister’s bedroom. Proof. That’s all I need.

See? A good day. I needed one of those.

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

  1. Much like JK Rowling and how she came up with Harry Potter. []
  2. She kept the original, of course. []
  3. No, I didn’t want Sam for sex. []

For my subscribers

Update below:

So, I just noticed how many email subscribers I have. I don’t know who you are, but thanks. Also, say hi. Don’t be shy. I’m only a little bit mean.

I’ll be putting more posts up from my old database soon. You’ll be getting alerts for that soon enough. Some of those posts are interesting. They’re all from a time when I was a much better writer. You may get a chuckle or two.

That’s it for this post. Hello, folks. Thank you for subscribing.

Update:

I fixed the problem with the comments, I think.

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

On Victim Shaming: We Will Not Be Silent

Stop talking about it

Updated Below

I want to make something completely clear: Jessica did not ask me to write my previous post. In fact, she didn’t even know the post was coming until it was done. Going a step further, her abuser would label me as an enemy. I took it upon myself to post what I did in solidarity with her because I refuse to pretend this is a “private/family matter” that shouldn’t see the light of day. She took a big risk letting the world know what he did and how he behaved toward her. She knows what he’s capable of but still took that leap. I wrote my post to support her– so she wasn’t leaping alone and so our little twitter community couldn’t say “This is just a private spat between two people”.

Fuck that.

Abusers count on their victims remaining silent and their actions remaining hidden. When we have evidence that abuse occurred– and verbal/emotional abuse is as bad as physical abuse– we as good people should not be silent. Abusers should not be able to hide behind the cliche that this is a private matter. We’ve come too far to go back to that. We’re stronger than that. We no longer accept that.

But many people in the Left’s twittersphere have decided that discussing an instance of abuse, online and in public, is distasteful. They don’t want to see that. They want to discuss the “issues” and continue tweeting Obama to his presidency. They don’t like seeing this played out and their favorite twitter icon shown in a bad light. It makes them uncomfortable and sad. They’re conflicted so they tell the victim to just stop talking about it.

Update 1:
This is an example of what this post is about:

and then:


End update

Here’s a clue for those of you whining that it’s too ugly for your blushing eyes to handle: Abuse is an “issue”. It’s an ongoing battle that many women, children and men endure. Most of the time that abuse is kept “in house” and the abuser gets to say things like “There’s never been one woman come forward”. It is an issue that spans the political spectrum and effects millions of people. If this particular abuser were anyone else, you’d be chirping how awful he was and that he should seek psychiatric help. Instead you validate his claim that he’s being bullied unfairly. How dare anyone come forward and show his abhorrent behavior to the world! How dare anyone blog it or tweet it!

*Note: No one is alleging physical abuse. But if you’re intelligent then you know that emotional abuse is just as painful as physical abuse.

In many ways, emotional abuse is more psychologically harmful than physical abuse. There are a couple of reasons for this. Even in the most violent families, the incidents tend to be cyclical. Early in the abuse cycle, a violent outburst is followed by a honeymoon period of remorse, attention, affection, and generosity, but not genuine compassion. (The honeymoon stage eventually ends, as the victim begins to say, “Never mind the damn flowers, just stop hitting me!”) Emotional abuse, on the other hand, tends to happen every day. The effects are more harmful because they’re so frequent.
The other factor that makes emotional abuse so devastating is the greater likelihood that victims will blame themselves. If someone hits you, it’s easier to see that he or she is the problem, but if the abuse is subtle – saying or implying that you’re ugly, a bad parent, stupid, incompetent, not worth attention, or that no one could love you – you are more likely to think it’s your problem. Emotional abuse seems more personal than physical abuse, more about you as a person, more about your spirit. It makes love hurt.

Let’s look at some facts:

Verbal, Emotional, and Psychological Tactics1

  1. Using degrading language, insults, criticism, or name calling;
  2. Screaming;
  3. Harassing;
  4. Refusing to talk;
  5. Engaging in manipulative behaviors to make the victim believe he or she is “crazy” or imagining things;
  6. Humiliating the victim privately or in the presence of other people;
  7. Blaming the victim for the abusive behavior;
  8. Controlling where the victim goes, who he or she talks to, and what he or she does;
  9. Denying the abuse and physical attacks.

I’ll tackle these one at a time.
1. Using degrading language, insults, criticism, or name calling;

We know for a fact he does this. Listen to the audio. “You intolerant cunt”

2. Harassing;

She’s made clear that he’s contacted her friends and continued to try to call her even when she ended their relationship. In fact, if you look at Jessica’s posts in response to his you will see that this wasn’t the only voice mail he’s left her. He actually “apologized”2 for the wrong one. I have no idea how many of those he left her in his fits of anger, but I see the pattern.

3. Refusing to talk;

I guess this one doesn’t apply from the evidence we have.

4. Engaging in manipulative behaviors to make the victim believe he or she is “crazy” or imagining things;

In his latest note to Jessica he says this:

We even spoke of you getting counseling for your relentless brow beating of me whenever we had seemingly minor disputes. None of that made it into your blog narratives.

On Twitter someone said she was childish, he agreed. He’s setting the “narrative” that she’s emotionally unstable. He ignores the fact that he’s the one with the anger problem for which he should seek help.

5. Humiliating the victim privately or in the presence of other people;

Currently he’s doing damage control and so is very much trying to get her to shut up or at least get the rest of us to shut up. As we’ve heard on the voice mail (which, I will remind you, was not the only such one he left for her) he used very humiliating language.

6. Blaming the victim for the abusive behavior;

There is ample evidence of this, both in the voice mail and his response to her making the voice mail public.

From the voice mail:

You did that on purpose…stop driving me to this level of anger and pretending that you’re not aware that you do it. You know that you’re aware that you do it.

From the “apology“:

It was loud, intense, and used words I deeply regret. I am so sorry for them, and I wish I could take them back, but I can’t. I was furious. No, that’s wrong. I was totally and completely hurt and angry at you for taking our private matters into a public venue like Twitter as you had. After repeatedly asking you to explain what had suddenly angered you, knowing my countless enemies are always trying to game us and destroy me, I got no responses at all.

From his response to his behavior being made public:

Again that doesn’t excuse my vitriolic anger, but since recordings only reveal my reactions and not what caused them, they naturally work for you among your friends, or anyone disposed to thinking that any form of yelling into a telephone answering machine is evidence of, or suggestive of some larger form of physical or extreme abuse in person. We both know that never happened.

7. Controlling where the victim goes, who he or she talks to, and what he or she does;

He’s infamous for his DMs telling people to unfollow or block certain people he doesn’t care for3. She has admitted that she’s done these things for him in her apology to the people she hurt. I have to other evidence to show he’s gone that far.

8. Controlling where the victim goes, who he or she talks to, and what he or she does;

I’ve personally seen no evidence of this one. So, I’ll assume until otherwise notified this one doesn’t apply to him.

9. Denying the abuse and physical attacks.

There is ample evidence of this particular tactic. Just look at his blog or his twitter timeline. He’s denying it as I type this. As far as quoting him, look above. His non-apology and his response show in great detail how he denies the emotional abuse. Note: We are not talking about physical abuse here. Jessica made clear that it was not physical.

We have seen that abuse has happened and that it is ongoing– in his responses to her on his blog and twitter, his underhanded threats to her4. Yet, there are still some who say that this should be handled privately, that this shouldn’t be brought out into the open or that public squabbling is unseemly. They are uncomfortable with being confronted with the fact that someone they respect is capable of such things. They are conflicted because they’re not sure how to act. They blame her for being emotional.

Why is it a good idea for Jessica to discuss this publicly? For one, she was able to name her abuse and her abuser. By doing that, she took back her power. Secondly, she was able to find allies to support her. She found that she did not have to face this alone.

NAMING IT
Because it is harder to name emotional abuse as abuse, it can be harder to heal from as well. The first step is to name your experience as abuse. Trust how you feel. Many people can identify the abuse once they know what to look for because they change from being outgoing, self-confident, and care-free to feeling nervous, anxious, and fearful in the company of an emotionally abusive person

She needs to get her confidence back. If you’ve ever experienced this kind of abuse, you know that it drains your very soul. He was able to take her self away and make her his. By naming him and her experience, she was able to take her self away from him.

IF YOU’RE PRESENTLY BEING EMOTIONALLY ABUSED
If you know that you’re currently being emotionally abused, you’ll need to find ways to protect yourself emotionally; to reduce or stop contact with the abusive person; to find allies; to talk about what is going on, and to look into options to keep yourself from being further abused5

She reached out in a way we’re all familiar with– to her allies in the virtual world. Her friends and people who can empathize with her situation. She is finding support and healing from the damage he did to her in a way of her choosing.

So, let me be very, very clear here to the people who are telling us– and specifically her– to stop talking about this. When you tell her to stop talking about it, you are telling her to shut up and you are attempting to shame her into silence. That makes you part of the problem. That makes you his enabler and that makes you supportive of the abuse.

Does that make you uncomfortable? Are you angry now? Good. You deserve to feel that way. Imagine what the victim of the abuse feels like when you tell her that her experience is not worthy of your tender little eyeballs. When she sees you validating the person who abused her. It’s precisely people like you and your reaction to this that more people don’t come forward. Go sit in your corner, cover your eyes and pretend the only ugly that happens in the world happens to people you don’t know. No one’s stopping you from hiding to protect your delicate sensibilities.

But we will not be silent. We will not ignore it. We will stand up and say that this is enough. Abuse is a real issue that affects real people and, guess what, Sherlock, those real people are probably people you know. So, you can sit down and shut up now. Hide away deep in the crevices of the internet where real life never seeps in and your only exposure to real ugly is in a link your friend posted. The rest of us, those strong enough to actually look at what happened to Jessica and others like her, will stand with the victim and see real life the way it actually happens. And we will be very, very angry about it.

Update 2:

Jessica has updated her own post to include more voice mails. You can read the transcripts and listen to recordings.

Don't be silent

  1. Courtesy of “The Basics of Domestic Violence“ []
  2. I use that term very loosely because his apology was anything but. []
  3. Myself being on that List, which is actually quite comical. []
  4. That he will write his own tell-all and that she’s lucky he’s above that. []
  5. Courtesy of “Emotional Abuse: The Most Common Form of Abuse” []

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

Yes, I am Selfish

I have a health insurance story too. Don’t we all? Mine isn’t as dramatic as some who have been denied needed supplies, such as testing strips for diabetes, or important tests, such as those for a suspected heart problem, but it’s my story and that makes it important—at least to me.

My regular readers know that I suffer from Fibromyalgia Syndrome and they also know that TheMan was recently laid off from his job. My condition is chronic and regardless of what some people have said, it has been progressing (though not necessarily causing permanent harm) and I need to be able to access my doctor. When TheMan got laid off we lost his insurance and my access to my doctor. People will say “What about COBRA?”1, which we were offered. However, COBRA coverage would have cost us $900 a month. For the people who are screaming that we don’t need anymore government mandates or that we don’t need government involved in medical care, this probably doesn’t seem like a lot of money. But when one person in your household is on unemployment2 and the other is working two part-time jobs that don’t pay a lot or offer employer-provided health insurance, there isn’t $900 lying around to pay for the COBRA. We have to pay a mortgage3 and the electricity and the other bills—including, but not limited to food and household supplies. I wanted COBRA, of course, but it really wasn’t a realistic option.

Of course, the first thing I worried about was my “pre-existing condition”. Not how am I going to continue care or let me find a cheap doctor, but how I would manage to get insurance to cover my chronic condition were TheMan able to get back to work. Once you’ve lost the insurance and it’s been lapsed for so long, well, the new insurance won’t pay for what the old insurance paid for. The Certificate of Coverage would mean squat after about 60 days from the point the insurance lapsed. Luckily for me I was eligible for a personal “gap coverage” type of insurance that will, I hope, allow me to get treatment when we’re able to get our insurance back. The premium is only $120 a month. I can’t actually seek treatment for my condition(s) though, because my insurance specifically states that “This policy will not cover treatment for chronic conditions. We recommend another policy for those needs.”4 This gap insurance only pays $1500 a year, 2 days in the hospital and no more than $50 a month for prescriptions—after the $700 deductible for medical treatment and $20 copay for all prescription whether they be generic or not. I can find a new doctor to treat my symptoms, though, but only the ones on their list and only if they’re taking new patients. On this type of policy, there really aren’t that many doctors. I’d like to find one where the office visits cost less than $100, but that’s not likely to happen so I’ve got to figure out a way to get the money for my initial visit (remember the deductible?).

I’m scared, though, because I’ve developed two new symptoms, which actually might not be directly related to my FMS, but which scare the fuck out of me. I mean, sent me into a panic attack and nearly had me to the emergency room. The issue of money has prevented me from going to the doctor for any reason but I especially fear the cost of tests. Did you know that a lot of doctor’s will refuse to see you for a second time if you refuse to follow their treatment guidelines5? Interesting, huh? “Sorry, Doc, I can’t afford that procedure. Can we do something else?” leads to “You obviously don’t want to follow my advice, so you’ll have to find a new doctor. Thanks for coming.” This almost happened to me when I had insurance, actually. I had more confidence to tell my doctor where to stick it at that time—but that’s a whole other story. Anyway, I digress. My symptoms are pretty damned scary and are a big reason I stayed mostly offline for two months. Who needs the stress of seeing other people’s problems when yours are taking over your life? Not me. I didn’t care about what other people were going through because I was so goddamned scared.

I’m going to have to bite the bullet and go see someone and to hell with the costs. Really I am. I know that. I’m a mother and have a responsibility to my children to be alive when they need me. I also know that finding out what’s wrong with me and then getting treatment will send us over the edge. I will have to have an MRI and blood work up. There is no doubt about that. Do you know how much that costs? I know what it costs with insurance and they paid 80% of my last one. This one will be out-of-pocket. And doctors tend to charge more when there is no insurance contract to hold them back. That’s not fair, but it’s a fact. Another fact is that I will no doubt be denied some kind of test or treatment based on my ability to pay. If I was a rich woman I would get gold standard treatment, as it is they will do only what is necessary to cover their own asses.

I keep reading about the UK and Canadian health care systems and how they get pissed at them, but they don’t have to worry about the cost. They don’t have to worry about losing their homes and possibly their lives because of the cost of health care. I see these fucking nutters screaming “we don’t need government health care! Buy your own!” and blah blah blah. They’ve got it, no doubt, and many of them are on government programs. They say we don’t need anything like what the British, Canadians and French enjoy, but we do. When people work their asses off and still can’t afford to go the fucking doctor, something is fucking wrong. I don’t give a damned if someone thinks government is too big—and then enjoys such things as driving on safe roads, knowing 9-1-1 will bring the firemen when the house is burning and knowing they can go to the store and someone has made sure the food there is safe (relatively speaking). I don’t care about the hypocrites. I have no use for them with their spouting off about the evils of government coming between them and their doctor and rations and other such bullshit.

Have you tried to get “experimental treatment” for a condition through your insurance? Have you read the exclusions of your medical insurance? Have you read how much they’ll pay during your lifetime? THE LIMITS OF PAYMENT? Did you know that some schmuck who’s never even met you looks over your files and then determines what treatment they will pay for based on the file? Unlike the “death panels” bullshit or the “government intrusion” bullshit, these are not talking points. These are truths. When you have insurance, there is ALREADY someone coming between you and your doctor. There is already someone looking at the numbers and deciding whether a certain treatment is beneficial to their bottom line. This is how things are now. Except millions of people can’t even get those few benefits offered by the insurance companies because they can’t afford them. Insurance companies run this fucking country and it needs to stop. There should be no reason why someone has to go to the emergency room for basic treatment—except that’s the only doctor they have because no one else will see them without medical insurance. Why cut off health care for millions of people instead of getting these damned companies in line? You know, it was nice being able to go to my doctor and get those tests run and find stuff out—though it took 2 goddamned years. Through no fault of our own, though, that was taken away from us and our health care is rationed.

Gods, but I’ve pissed myself off now. I feel so helpless because of this fucked up condition I have and the fact that these motherfuckers are going to torpedo health care reform so that the insurance companies can continue to suck the life out of Americans. And I don’t really expect anyone to give a rat’s ass about what’s happening to other people. My situation doesn’t hurt anyone but my family and me. The situation of millions of other people doesn’t hurt anyone but their families and them. People with insurance and good jobs and pseudo-options6 can easily look the other way while other people suffer. They don’t realize that they’re one layoff or job loss or heart attack away from losing that security and that ability to say “FUCK YOU, people with no insurance”. And in my evil mind, with the way I feel right now, I wish that the loudest motherfuckers telling me to suck it up would fall flat on their faces. I wish this suffering on Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and those spineless motherfucking Blue Dogs (I’m looking at you, Zack Space)— on every single person that works so hard to deny me the security of affordable health care. I wish they’d lose their insurance and then come down with a chronic, life-threatening condition. And I don’t feel the least bit guilty about it. I’m sure that whenever someone in their community has a fundraiser to pay for an organ transplant or cancer treatment they are right there offering up their hard earned dollars. Right? Don’t hold your breath. Why should any American have to hold a fundraiser for a fucking organ transplant?

By the way, Medicaid pays for those. Did you know that? So, there ya go. As long as you qualify for Medicaid you don’t have to worry about actually paying for that liver or having your insurance company deny payment for it (please take a moment to look at your insurance’s policy on organ transplants).

The rest of the family, though, is covered. Lil’lady is getting Healthy Start, which offers the Medicaid card, and TheMan is covered through the Veteran’s Administration—both government programs. Lil’lady’s regular pediatrician agreed to take the Medicaid for her7 and TheMan has no problem getting an appointment at the VA clinic. At least those two are well cared for (except for Lil’lady’s dentist, but that’s a whole other story). TheMan went back to work, but because he was laid off for so long he’s not eligible for the insurance until November’s open enrollment. Who knows if it’ll still be available to him then?

The fact is there is no reason something can’t be done about this right now. There is no reason our country can’t take care of our people—just like France, Britain, Canada, Germany, et al. These countries aren’t flushing themselves down the toilet of despair by taking the burden of health care off the shoulders of their citizens. These countries aren’t stifling new business/ small business by offering health care to their citizens. These countries aren’t falling back into the dark ages because government pays for the health care of their citizens. I don’t give two fucks what some rightwing noise machine claims. Look for yourself, talk to the people living with real options. Then talk to people here who don’t have the same sort of options—or even any options. Compare notes. You know, one guy might have to wait 2 weeks to get that corn removed from his foot, but he doesn’t have to pay for it. Yes, there are wait times in those countries. Guess what? There are those here too. Sometimes longer. But we have to pay a hefty price for it. They spend less on their health care—even through taxes– than we do on ours. Make sense? Not to me. Not to this person who is dreading getting treatment because she doesn’t want to lose her house. To the townhall mobs and Glenn Beck wannabes, I give a not-so-healthy fuck off. I want what those other countries have and I too am willing to fight for it. I’ve got a better reason to fight against the anti-reformers than they have to fight the reform, though. My life may depend on it.

P.S.

I’m looking for neither sympathy nor money and that’s why I haven’t included in this particular diatribe my new symptoms. I’m fully aware that other people have bigger problems than mine and I’m fully aware that some fuckhead will think I’m trying to get money. I’m not. The point of this post is to point out that I do, in fact, have an excellent reason to support healthcare reform and that there is a good reason why I can’t even engage in a “civilized” debate with the other side.  

Popularity: 2% [?]


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  1. Which, by the way, was mandated by the government. []
  2. Another government program, by the way. []
  3. On a house we bought with A-1 credit and a $10K down payment, I might add. No foreclosure for us. []
  4. At an outrageous cost, of course. No way could I afford that. []
  5. Things they “suggest” you do for your particular visit. []
  6. You’re really not in charge of your health care, but you’re allowed to think that while you’re paying the premiums and deductibles. []
  7. Contrary to popular belief, doctors in Ohio aren’t required to accept it and, in fact, most don’t. []

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

A Small Note on Foul Language

Oh, Obscenities, how I love thee. Let me count the ways.

I use obscenities a lot here on ye ol’ Fabulously Jinxed. I have often told people that I’m crude and my writing is not for the faint of heart (or eyeballs). I have received email from concerned netizens who tell me that my writing would be so much better without the foul language1. I do not, however, carry that language to places that do not appreciate and/or adore it. I try to be respectful of the safe places people have where they’re not overwhelmed with low-class mutterings such as those I prefer. When I venture into such places, I will temper my writing and become less, um, colorful to satisfy the establishment rules. I do not, however, ever camouflage a fine curse word with such characters as @, # or *. This is even more lazy than the obscenities I love to throw down.

Here’s the thing, there really are other words to substitute for the undesirable words. For instance, I have seen sh*t because the writer is either loathe to be seen in the company of such language or because the site forbids it. Why bother to put in one little asterisk? Why not search for a better, less offensive word? For instance, instead of <em>shit</em>, maybe “crap” or “poo” or even “monkey excrement”. The camouflaging is cheap and, quite frankly, lazy.

“Lazy, Jennyjinx? Why aren’t you the lazy one with all your obscene and disgusting language?”

When I say “fuck” on my blog, it’s like I’m in my house saying the word. I use it like it’s my job. I have variations such as: fuck a duck in a truck, fuckity fuck, fuckola and just plain HOLY FUCK. Around the more sensitive and polite folk that I happen to know and who happen to venture into my home I may instead use: flippin’, flappin’ chicken wings and Holy Shinola. These are my attempts at keeping it clean. Honestly, it’s not that cute when a three year-old child flings an f-bomb, so I’ve always been a little careful around Lil’lady and her Holier-Than-Thou grandmother2. Instead of “son-of-a-bitch” I say “son-of-a-cockroach” and such similarly ridiculous little phrases that eliminate the words I want, but allow the meaning of them shine through. Do I really need them? Probably not. But I wouldn’t be myself without them and I just love making up my own off-the-wall phrases and words. It’s part of my charm.

I’m sorry. Did someone tell you I was a lady? You should smack them for lying to you because that shit is not true.

Back to the point I was trying to make. There are many people that are genuinely offended and appalled at such brazen and lazy language. That’s fine. Guess what else I have in my arsenal? A thesaurus! Can you believe that nonsense3? I do happen to know quite a few words that will get my point across just as strongly as those ever-lovin’ f-bombs, but sometimes I can’t grasp them4 and when I’m on my own turf I don’t really need them. I do find them when I’m on someone else’s turf, though, if I’m given enough time. Considering how many people I’ve offended without having used the “naughty” words I’m pretty sure I can get some kind of point across too. As such you will never see me masking my curses with # or * or %%, because I will find another word to replace them altogether.

I honestly can’t stand those lame attempts to write the curse without actually writing it. “Look here! I know a cuss word, but I’m too genteel to use it. Ha!” Then why the fuck even bring it up? If you can’t or won’t use the word, why even type a small part of it? Search deep into your vast language resources and find something else to replace it altogether. Is that how you say them when you speak? “Oh, sh-exclamation point-teh!”5 “F-asterisk percent sign-K you!”6 Really? Somehow I doubt that.

Ok, so you really don’t want anyone googling you and finding out that you use “that” kind of language. I get that. I can even empathize with and respect that. But you’re not hiding shit behind a little asterisk and an exclamation point. Most people over 13 know what the hell you’re trying to say without actually saying it. They are not fooled in the least little bit. They know you’re hiding something deep and ugly. Why else would you be using any part of those words to begin with? If you want to take the high road and leave us foul-mouthed fuckheads down in the gutters where we belong, then just don’t use the bad words. Do like everyone in my life has ever told me: develop your vocabulary. And then run with it.

I mean, d-word, that s-word is kinda f-word lame. Dontcha think? Just sayin’ g-word it.

A challenge to all mah peeps:

Please tell me the different and unusual ways you cuss without actually doing it. And don’t be lame either. Getting a bigger vocabulary was already mentioned. Please do get creative and give those poor asterisks abusers some fine ideas7.

Popularity: 7% [?]


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  1. These usually give me much enjoyment and I sometimes post them. []
  2. Also known as Millie, who is the bane of my very existence. []
  3. See? I could have said “shit”, but chose a more family-friendly word instead. []
  4. FMS kind of made me stupid. []
  5. Translation: Oh, shit! []
  6. Translation: Fuck you! []
  7. And me too as I love to say new an interesting variations on my old favorites []

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

Wherein I Hate on Wal-Mart Again

I was going to write about a post I saw recently that started an uproar in the “mommyblogger” community. I was going to write how I can’t stand the term “mommyblogger” and why—including the evolution of the term as I’ve seen it happen online. And I was going to explain that I’m against telling anyone what to write on their own blog and will just not read it if it doesn’t interest me. Then I was going to mention that I’m a mother and I blog which should make me a “mommyblogger” but this inclusive term refers to an exclusive club.

Then I caught site of a Twitter conversation that involved the hashtag #letsfixdinner. I have nothing against that specific hashtag, mind you. I was just paying attention to one blogger who happened to be using it.1

In response to things Deb on the Rocks was saying I retweeted:

RT @debontherocks Throw in a little child slave labor 4 ur chocolate, &Stouffers/Nestle adds up 2 #letsfixdinner on the backs of Africa kids

I think I picked up a follower with that because of the use of that hashtag. Well, I don’t ever blindly follow someone on Twitter2. If I did that I’d be following a bunch of SEO folks and some serious teabagging wingers. So, I checked this new follower and went to her website. She’s proudly blogging for Wal-Mart.

Now, anyone that has followed my blog knows that I hate Wal-Mart. With a passion. I worked there a number of years ago and learned enough about them to initially dislike them. Then I researched them more and that’s when the hate started. I have nothing good to say about the company or it’s practices. And I can in no way support what they’re doing, not even by following one of their “eleven moms” on Twitter. No way am getting suckered into clicking a link that might lead to a post in support of Satan’s favorite mega mart.

By the way, I don’t give a shit if any of those bloggers are paid by Wal-Mart or not. I don’t care if they’re doing it for free stuff or out of the goodness of their hearts. I am morally and ethically opposed to Wal-Mart’s business practices and the way they treat their own people.

Wal Mart doesn’t care about women and specifically doesn’t care about mothers. So why do women bloggers—especially “mommybloggers” support them this way? The reason they’re reaching out to bloggers is so that they can try to change their image, without actually changing their practices. You say “Well, they’ve got good bargains/prices/blah” I say “What’s the real cost of those bargains?”

What do you mean you don’t know? Or do you mean that you don’t care?

(This one’s a little long, folks.)

My Experience

I worked at Wal-Mart from September 2003 to June 2004. When I was in “orientation” I was told several things that alarmed me and made me want to run for the door3. First up was that unions were unwelcome and that unions would take my job, my money and the very store in which I was to be working. Unions, apparently, were not out to protect us, but to strip us of our employment. We were shown videos on how to behave if a union rep approached us. The videos always represented the union reps as evil and conniving and we were to be wary of them. Wal-Mart, we were told, was taking care of us and providing for us. We couldn’t do any better than we were doing with them. Wal-Mart was always portrayed as the “grandfatherly” company, looking out for their vendors and Associates.

The next thing that bothered me was their education policy. They would provide help for the Associates to send their children to college, but Associates themselves weren’t eligible for the benefit4. They went on and on about how we didn’t need to be college educated to advance within the company. That college was seemingly unimportant in a great company like them. Afterall, we were told, Sam Walton never went to college! Later I learned that they would refuse to work around a college schedule and if someone requested a specific schedule because of school their schedule would be changed to intentionally conflict with their schooling. At the time of my orientation, though, my only thought was “Wow, they want us to stay stupid”.

During the time I was there I noticed many things about the way management interacted with Associates—and that management was changed regularly so that they couldn’t get too comfortable and familiar with their employees. Home Office5 was always watching us in one way or the other. We were given limited breaks and told to help customers off the clock. I was pregnant at the time I worked there, but management had no problems trying to over work me and give me a hard time about my doctor’s appointments. But I did ok. It was those that were hurt on the job that were given a hard time. If an Associate was going to receive worker’s comp they had to continue to work either in the dressing room area or as a greeter—for lesser pay. And still Wal-Mart would fight them.

And insurance? Ha! Try paying the huge premiums on a Wal-Mart salary and then paying the outrageous deductible. That’s if you qualified. On average I worked about 34 hours a week. That was one hour short of what was needed to qualify for insurance. Most associates fell just below that threshold. Those that didn’t most likely didn’t have insurance because they couldn’t afford the premiums.

Then they changed the way they were giving raises. Used to be they would give a percentage-base merit raise, which was up to 5%. If an Associate made $10 an hour6 then they could potentially make $1 an hour more. Usually it was more like 5%, but that was still not too bad. They changed it from that to a scale from 5-25¢. The way they made it sound you’d have thought they were giving $1k bonuses and some people fell for it. They actually thought they were getting a good deal. Except they weren’t. When I explained the difference to some of the poor saps that were already spending their extra 50¢ an hour it was like I was stealing Christmas. The management actually counted on the fact that the majority of their Associates couldn’t do simple math. That’s when I decided I wouldn’t come back after I had Lil’lady.

It wasn’t that I couldn’t handle the work7 and it wasn’t that I don’t like working with the public. Wal-Mart sucked my soul. They tried to dumb me down and, in fact, wanted their employees dumbed down. Anyone who could figure out they were being conned wasn’t welcome at Wal-Mart—unless they had no other choice but to work there.

When I went to pick up my last check from there I was given a second check along with it. “What’s this?” I asked. My manager didn’t say anything (literally just walked away from me) so I asked a co-worker. She whispered that she’d heard women in our department were getting paid 60¢ an hour less than men so they got sued. We were getting paid our back wages, though it was only for the month prior to the settlement date. My check was all of $70.

We did get discounts, though. All of 10% and that didn’t include groceries or sale items. We were getting killer deals anyway, right? Most of us were making less than $6 an hour and had families to support. Some of us came to work there after our good paying factory jobs went overseas (See Rubbermaid, for instance). Not many people that worked for that store could actually shop at that store. That’s no lie. Not propaganda. It’s true even today. Wal-Mart keeps their employees poor and hopeless.

Since I left

Then Wal-Mart started changing more policies. They decided that they wanted to get rid of more than 70% of their full-time workforce8. This was to eliminate the number of Associates who were eligible for health benefits, even if they didn’t get it because they couldn’t afford it.9

Then they decided they were going to cap wages. Depending on where an Associate works in the store, they can only make as much as $14 an hour no matter how long they’ve been with the company. Associates get their merit raises every year until they’ve reached that cap and then no more raises after that. Been working as a Wal-Mart Associate for 20 years? Tough titties. Your loyalty is not adding to the company’s bottom line so is useless to them.

Then they began terminating the employment of long-time Associates. They would find reasons to fire them and then would offer them the opportunity to come back at base wage. They would lose all of their seniority10 and raises. They would come back as a new hires. New hires cost Wal-Mart less, because their wages are less—even including the costs normally associated with employee turnover. Wal-Mart wants that turnover. Turnover gets rid of the raises and the eligibility for insurance.

And then they changed their scheduling and call-off policies. No more would scheduling take place in individual stores. Now Home Office would take care of that.11 Home Office in Bentonville, Arkansas—a far cry away from Bumfuck, Ohio. Need a little flexibility because of family obligations, doctor’s appointments or other personal reasons? Too bad, so sad. You go to work when someone in Arkansas decides you go to work. Need to call off to take your child to the doctor? You’re required to call Home Office and good luck with that.12 More than likely your request will be denied and you will face disciplinary action or termination. You won’t be able to plead your case with anyone that actually knows you and your situation because all of those decisions are left to someone who has never even met you.

Are you seeing how Wal-Mart is able to pass on such huge savings? Are you seeing the real-life costs of their low prices? Can you honestly, with good conscience, support a company that values their own employees and the employees of their vendors so little? A company that will fire a worried mother because she had the audacity to take her sick child to the doctor? They don’t need her, afterall. They’ve got thousands of people to replace her.

I try to support women who blog whether they are mothers or not. I usually don’t care if what they’re writing about13 as long as they’re being heard. I don’t think there are enough influential women in the blogosphere and am a sentimental about the way the mommybloggers have come together to conquer this outlet in the way they have. Where men dominate politics and tech related blogging, women soar in mommyblogging. That is something of which women should collectively be proud.

But I cannot in good conscience support a marketing campaign by this company that targets mothers as a specific demographic. Wal-Mart is trying to look pretty with this new face, trying to charm you. But the meat under their skin is still rancid. They are still dealing with the devil and stepping on the backs of families all over the world. Lee Scott would piss on his employees as soon as look at them. He would throw them and their children out in the cold and take the food off their table if he could make a couple of extra bucks doing it. Wal-Mart is anti-family regardless of what their slick adverts say. Sure, if you don’t actually work for Wal-Mart or it’s vendors14 or know anyone personally effected by Wal-Mart’s policies, you can save money by shopping there. But if you work there and are supporting your family with that salary you can’t afford to shop there. And by shilling for that company and proudly hyping their disgusting brand, you validate what they’ve done to become such a “profitable” company.

It’s one thing to shop there—especially since there may be no alternatives where you live. They’ve destroyed so much of their locally available competition that for some things it’s damned near impossible to go somewhere else. That’s where I would normally shrug and say “Meh. You know they’re evil right?” and then move on. But this whole thing with “mommybloggers” picking up their baton and running with it just makes my blood run cold. I abhor Wal-Mart because they are ultimately bad for the causes I believe in – women and their families and job creation and stability. Wal-Mart is antithetical to all of those, as it is to many other issues and causes15. The thought that there are women with talent and voices and platforms willfully and happily distributing Wal-Mart propaganda just really makes me sad. And somewhat angry. Here is a demographic that has the ear of Wal-Mart execs and can help convince that company to care about it’s employees. Instead of taking the company to task they join with them to help improve their image without improving their employee relations policies. I want no part of it. I don’t want to read it on a blog and I certainly don’t want to catch a whiff of it in my Twitter stream. I will gladly support another woman unless she is working against my interests.

There is no doubt in my mind that I will eventually write another post about this dreaded box-store chain. Probably more. None of them will be glowing endorsements. This company sets trends that other companies follow in hopes of mimicking their success. Wal-Mart is showing other corporations that it’s ok to shit on the heads of the lower-level employees because people will still flock to the store for those “low prices” regardless of the negative impact they have on the communities in which their stores spring up. That’s not good for anyone. Especially women who are demographically more likely to be lower-income, single parents struggling to pay the rent on wages from places that are emulating Wally World. They drive down competitive wages, encourage companies to cut or eliminate benefits and force other companies (their vendors) to cut costs by moving their operations out of the country. As large and profitable as that company is there is no good reason such a large number of their employees are forced to take food stamps to feed their kids while also getting the medical card to be able to take those children to the doctor. They set standards—and those standards are hurting American families.

Unfortunately, considering this new “social media”/blogging campaign that this damned company has engaged in, it looks like another post like this will pop up sooner rather than later. I certainly hope I’m not the only one to see this trend and be disgusted by it enough to speak out.

Full Disclosure:

I really hate Wal-Mart.

And now I’m off to see why it is I should hate Nestle too.

Popularity: 12% [?]


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  1. I do have an issue with following a link to a website, looking for a list of sponsors, partners and contributors and finding blank pages. []
  2. Meaning follow back just because they follow me []
  3. I couldn’t, of course. Like many people I needed the job and the money. []
  4. I’ve yet to meet an Associate who was able to take advantage of the “benefit” even for their children. []
  5. Or Big Brother, as I came to think of them []
  6. Some that had been there for more than a decade actually did make that much. []
  7. Though while pregnant I was regularly asked to lift boxes more than 50 lbs. []
  8. In reaction to Maryland requiring them to have insurance on all of their employees. []
  9. InternalMemos Leaked []
  10. Which was really a myth. []
  11. Corporate does the shift scheduling []
  12. Read this comment from a disgruntled employee. []
  13. Though I am a little snobby as far as politics and range of language is concerned []
  14. They force companies out of business []
  15. Environmentally disruptive much, Wal-Mart? []
jennyjinx

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  • I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.