[Content Warning: There may be adult content and triggering subjects in this post. Please read with caution if you have triggers related to your mental health or are more sensitive to adult topics.]
I’m largely bedridden post-surgery which gives me a lot of time to think, so I am going to write down some of my random thoughts for you to read. Let’s go!
- The only way I am able to enjoy older television shows is by thinking of them as an anachronism and product of their time. Some of my favourite television shows are pre-early naughts. This creates an issue though because the values and things that are acceptable have changed from then to now. Many jokes made in 90s pop culture don’t hold up in 2019. I wouldn’t be able to watch a show that makes jokes about mental illness or sexuality or gender unless I think of it as being a product of its time. So, in my mind, the 90s pop culture stays an object of the 90s. I am simply looking at something that exists in a previous time period instead of bringing into this time period.
- One limitation of this surgery is that I cannot have sex for the duration of the initial recovery period. This really makes me evaluate the role that sexual intimacy plays into folks’ lives. Sex falls into the physical intimacy category. Physical intimacy also includes things like holding hands, cuddling, kissing, and hugging. Yet, sexual intimacy is an important part of many relationship dynamics. (I do not say “all” because both allosexual and asexual relationship dynamics exist.) Our society is sex obsessed, whether that come in the form of using sex for advertising, using sex to shame people, or putting sex at the center of romantic relationships. I think this creates an issue where people cannot separate physical intimacy, sexual intimacy, emotional intimacy, intellectual intimacy, and experiential intimacy. Being LGBTQIA+ has given me a perspective which expands my ideas about sex and intimacy. All these things don’t intrinsically go hand-in-hand. There are ways to separate all these different forms of intimacy. Over the next few days, I think I will spend some time brainstorming ways to create physical intimacy without sexual acts.
- Something to remember when talking about mental illnesses–an increase in diagnoses doesn’t necessarily mean an increase in the mental illnesses. As anyone who has taken a statistics class knows, correlation does not equal causation. The stigma and the threat of institutionalization has previously suppressed those with mental illnesses from coming forward, admitting to their illnesses, and getting treatment. Hatred against minorities also caused difficulty in properly diagnosing individuals. For example, Women were marked with “female hysteria” when they displayed symptoms of postpartum depression, major depressive disorder, anxiety, and insomnia (among other symptoms). Also, cultural differences can cause improper (either over and under) diagnosis because of western-centrism and cultural displacement. A decrease in stigma, the downfall of institutionalization, and confronting our biases as a society all are possible factors in the increase of mental illness diagnoses. Furthermore, screening for mental illnesses has improved with medical advancements and steps forward in the psychology field. We are better equip to recognize many mental illnesses. I am sure there are many other components which I am not thinking of right now that could also be involved in this increase. The point is, don’t jump to the conclusion that increasing diagnoses = increasing mental illnesses. Try to evaluate the situation more thoroughly.
- I tell the kiddos this all the time, but I sometimes really need to hear it myself: It is okay to be sad or angry or happy or scared. It is okay to feel emotions, even ones we don’t fully understand. Emotions are what make us human, and we don’t always control how we feel. What matters is what we do about our emotions. Learn healthy coping mechanisms and recognize that nobody handles their emotions perfectly every time. Doing this allows you room to grow into the best version of yourself.
- A picture may be worth 1000 words, but a single moment can be priceless. Far too often, we are so engrossed in the idea of capturing moments for later (whether through pictures or videos or written words) that we forget to enjoy it now. That is not negating the value of photos. I love photos. There is a balance between living in the moment and preserving it for later. Sometimes it is just as meaningful to keep a ticket stub to a play as it would be to take photos. It may be just as meaningful to save a trinket from a trip instead of stopping to journal. It could be just as meaningful to buy a t-shirt of a concert instead of recording it. You can savor life now and later without having to give up either one.
- My dog likes to play with the bunnies that live outside my apartment. She chases them, and the bunnies hop away. I always knew she was just having fun with them, but only recently did I find out what would happen if she caught of one. She didn’t bite it. She didn’t hurt it. She just put her paws around it (not on it) so it wouldn’t hop away from her. The fact that two entirely different species who have no way to verbally communicate with each other can interact with each other and peacefully coexist and try not to hurt each other makes me wonder why humans, who are all of the same species and can communicate verbally, cannot exists peacefully and happily like Padfoot and the bunnies.
- I don’t understand why, in the time of the #MeToo movement and an examination of the way power manipulates and influences folks’ decisions, people continue to shame Monica Lewinsky. I know this isn’t the popular opinion, but I fail to see why she should be demonized. I’m not condoning extramarital affairs here. That is in no way my stance on the matter. People do realize that there was a vastly uneven power dynamic in play though, right? She may have been a consenting party, but that doesn’t change the fact that he was the president of the fucking country. President of the country. 22 year old Intern. Huge, huge, huge power differential. It was a coercive relationship–a relationship which was mirrored by Clinton’s involvement with TWO other women. Monica Lewinsky has had to live through 21 years of shit now. Why is it that we give ourselves the grace of: “we are more than our worst decision,” but then turn around and spurn her for hers. She has PTSD from all of this. She went through years of trauma therapy because of the public humiliation she’s faced. Give it a rest, and let her live her life.
- Do people seriously think doxing is okay? Seriously? Stop disclosing other people’s personal information without their permission. It’s not okay, and it puts people in more serious danger than you may realize.
- I don’t understand why people hate on cosplay so much. What’s wrong with people enjoying the whimsy that we all (well most of us) felt when we were young? Cosplay combines sewing and costuming skills, adult dress up, pop culture, acting, and narrative weaving/storytelling. It is a mostly welcoming community where you can be whomever you want to be. I will never understand how that offends or upsets people? Let other people enjoy themselves!
And last but not least,
- I am really tired and need to go to bed.