A Glimpse into My Life

I know I’ve been writing about a lot of different things lately, like my political rants and things like that, so I thought I would write you all a personal note tonight, to say #1, I am very very appreciative for all of your presence here on my blog.  Thank you for your readership, comments, conversations and support.  It means a lot to me, I mean it.

On more personal notes, I’ve been doing quite well lately.  I’m strong in my recovery and have been attending Groups: Recover Together meetings every Wednesday.  It’s group therapy for opioid addicts, primarily heroin and oxycodone.  We meet weekly, voluntarily are tested for substances abuse, see the doctor once a month and pick up our Suboxone prescriptions.  The Suboxone is a life saver.  I haven’t felt this good about my recovery ever.  The suboxone kills the cravings for the drugs.  Flat out.  It’s a miracle drug in my opinion.  I had previously tried detoxing and maintaining with methadone, but I found that it made me high just like the heroin did and I didn’t want the “high” feeling.  With the suboxone you don’t get that, you just don’t have the craving for the opioid at all.  Don’t know why, but it works the balls!  I highly recommend it as part of your recovery program if you are an addict.

Also, the group therapy piece is important too.  It gives me a place where I can bring up subjects and talk about things that are challenging during this process, with other people who are in similar situations with their addictions; a place where I am not ashamed and can actually be proud of my accomplishments and have someone understand that pride.

Around home things are going really well.  I did run out of heating fuel this weekend, which was unfortunate.  I didn’t want to pay for an emergency weekend delivery so I borrowed two 5 gallon diesel fuel containers from my brother and hauled 20 gallons of diesel over (2 trips to the station) and put it in to burn until I can get 100 gallons of heating oil.  The hardest part was getting the furnace running again.  I had never had to do that before, so I watched a YouTube video on it, tried to bleed the line and get it running myself…no luck.  Several tries later, I conceded my defeat and called my heater technician.  He came by and was here all of 12 minutes, got it going and walked me through the entire procedure so that I can do it myself next time.  I just have to get over to Home Depot and pick up a jumper wire, which will help me to get it going in the future if this ever happens again.  I’m going to be a bit more vigilant now and not let it run out!  I did calculate and figured out that I am burning approximately 50 gallons of fuel mix per month, in the dead of winter, to heat this place.  That’s not bad!  And knowing this will give me a better idea of how to budget for next winter’s oil deliveries.  Live & Learn.

I have been uploading new videos to my YouTube channel.  It’s been a struggle to get back into the swing of doing videos.  Plus, of course, I have changed a little bit in the last couple of years, and the world has changed too.  I’ve gotten older, perhaps a bit wiser, and definitively more comfortable with myself.  It’s fun to go back sometimes and watch the really old videos of my younger, cockier self.  I feel like I am much more conscientious of what I am saying in my videos now.  I am more aware of my own internalized phobias and prejudices to begin with, and I fight to change those.  I never realized that one could have those types of things.  I like to think of myself as open minded and educated, but I had to admit that I, like most every person, also have my baggage and am not perfect in my thought processes.  Like today for instance, I was reading about the Russian people revolting against Putin and the powers that be in Russia where they suffer under his rule.  It occurred to me that while I hate Putin and Russian politics, I am not a hater of the Russian people, and I hope they over throw that demon.  Formerly, I would say I hated Russians…but it’s not exactly that way, it’s more a hating of the authoritarian rule of Russia and a healthy fear of it as well.  Am I making sense?

The first day of Spring was last week, but it still is very cold and wintery here in southern Maine.  I am really looking forward to some warmer weather, sunshine and the greening up of the landscape.  Right now everything is brown and dead looking, with smatterings of snowbanks that haven’t yet melted.  It will be good to see green grass and buds on the trees soon.  I always fight my depression more in the winter too.  Although this winter seemed to be a bit better on that front.  I had my best friend Linda around a lot and she helped me snap out of my moods quite often.  She wouldn’t LET me get sullen and depressed; she would refocus me on doing things to keep myself busy and not give me time to get bored, which often brings on the depression for me.  I really thank my lucky stars that she is there for me.  I’ve even come to depend upon her in many ways, which takes a large amount of trust for me to do.  She’s shown me real friendship, and for that I am grateful.

The dogs, Nola and Lulu, are doing great.  Of course they have been cooped up a lot with the inclement weather of winter too.  I try to get them out of the house any chance I get, taking them with me in the truck whenever possible.  They love to ride in the truck and are just as happy to wait for me in the truck when I get out to go into any place we stop at.  Thankfully they are good dogs, don’t chew or destroy stuff and can be trusted to wait patiently while I get things done.  As the days get warmer we will do more outings like going to the local beaches and parks for walks and outside time.  They also have a nice pen outside of my house that they can safely be outside in during good weather, and to do their business every couple of hours.  That pen is a lifesaver.  I built it right out my back door, so all I have to do is open the door and they can scoot out into their yard, which is like 20′ x 40′ in size.

So, there you have it.  A basic update about me.  No politics.  No deep questions.  Just a little window into my more personal side.  I’m healthy, happy and doing well.  And I hope all of you are too!  Peace!  ~MB

 

Identity Complexity

“How do we bridge who we become with who we were?”

“Remember who you wanted to be”  quoted from a bumper sticker I saw yesterday

“Language sets expectations”

I seem to be running into all of these one-liners that are basically alluding to identity and I find this very interesting.

I have also had some conversation surrounding identity and how we embody it, about the multiple pieces of a person and how they make up the whole.

Also, in writing about intersectionality it spurred me to think about all of the things that make up me; all of those pieces, and how they all fit together with each other.  It’s hard to figure out which piece goes in what order when you start listing all of those aspects of yourself out.  Like, what comes first, what is your first identity?  Of course we all know that it’s your sex.  When you are born they automatically declare “it’s a Girl!” or “it’s a Boy!” and God forbid they can’t figure THAT out, then all hell breaks loose I would imagine.

So if our first identity is our sex, whether we are male or female, then our second identity would be what color we are – am I right?  Those will be the first things noticed about you when you are first seen, what sex and what color.  So, I started life as a white girl.  Oh but wait, wee what I did there…I listed white first.  So is my color or my sex predominant?

I read a lot about “white privilege”, so I think that your color is the predominant first identity.  Even in common conversation we tend to go to color first, like “the black kitten” not “the kitten black”  Am I making sense?  I am thinking this through as I write…so bear with me here.

Identity, as we know, changes over the course of life.  That’s just how it works.  There are some things that don’t change, like your color/race.  But we do go from being “girl” to being a “woman” at a certain age, and we develop into people with various other identities to tack onto the ones we start with.  Once you decide your sexual preference, there’s that.  So, now I am a white woman lesbian.  Jesus, this can be super complicated.

At one time in my life I was a soldier.  And thus that was part of my identity.  Now I am a former soldier, or a veteran.  At one time I identified as a Republican (go figure, it’s true though) but now I identify as independent in political thinking, leaning toward Democrat. I now identify as a Butch lesbian, but remember there is no singular experience of an identity.  So my Butch will be different from your Butch, maybe subtly or maybe starkly, but it will definitely be different.  People are all different, no two are ever exactly alike.

There are identities in class and socio-economic status too.  I’ve always identified as middle class, grew up that way and have maintained that middle class socio-economic status – although some days I feel poor as fuck, I know I do have privilege as middle-class.

This all brings me back to line one of this blog: How do we bridge who we become with who we were?  We all build history in our lives.  Years ago I was a hard-core drug addict.  Today, while I still fight the demons of addiction, I am not what I was once upon a time by any means.  I have evolved, grown, learned and improved in that area of my life and identity.  I think back to when I identified as a more conservative Republican and what that was all about.  I was in the military, perhaps I was sort of brain washed by the military machine.  Today I am much more concerned with social justice and equality than I was back then.

So, there are all of these pieces of ourselves that come together neatly – or so we hope – to make up who we become; who we are today.  Who knows what new pieces will be added to make up who we will be tomorrow, or next week.  Good thing is that as human beings, with very complex brains, we do have the ability to make concerted efforts and to make choices, thus we do have influence on what happens with our decisions.

These are all the pieces of my identity that intersect to make me ME:  A white Butch lesbian woman, independent, Methodist, working-class, HIV+, recovering addict, American, introvert, avg. intelligence, physically disabled, outspoken, employed, mobile, compassionate, activist…hell, the list can go on I suppose.

Like I said, I’ve been thinking about all of this because of the word intersectionality.  So, I’ve been thinking about the way the world sees me.  Not how you or my family sees me but how I am seen statistically.  (But then it is interesting to wonder about how my closer contacts identify me, too.)

Then I think about how the word is used when speaking about oppression, domination and discrimination.  Of course, I am already considered a 2nd class citizen because of the mere fact that I am female.  Men want and do dominate our world unfortunately.  Women will always fight male domination and oppression, I do not foresee a time when that will not be a fact in my lifetime.

Just this last week it was a full panel of MEN that were gathered and deciding on women’s health issues during the Trumpcare debacle.  Not one woman on that panel or in that room!  THAT, my friends, is fucking oppression and male domination at it’s finest – or worst I should say.  Why is it that men think they can or should ever be deciding on women’s health/body issues?  Where do they get the idea that it is THEIR job or duty to tell women what to do with their own bodies, or what is/isn’t going to be covered by insurance.  Insurance covers Viagra, so equally it should cover contraceptives.  Fair is fair in my book.  But not in the “book of men” I suppose.  No man should ever be making a woman’s decision for her. Ever.  That panel should have been ALL WOMEN.

I will leave you with  a quick question, which of your identities expose you to the most oppression, domination or discrimination?  Drop me a quick comment below and let’s talk a little about this.  I’m very interested to know what you think.

Peace!  ~MB

 

 

 

 

 

Big Word: Intersectionality

I seem to keep running into this word: Intersectionality.  So, I went to Wikipedia to research it’s origin and meaning; to give myself some basic understanding of the word.  This is one of those specific times that I wish I had much more direct contact, like in face-to-face conversations, with others in the LGBT community on a regular basis.  But, I am relegated to internet relations and community for now – it’s a hazard of living as an older LGBT person in rural America.  I wish I could discuss this word and it’s meaning and how it pertains to the LGBT community with some people who could explain it to me in more detailed terms.

From what I am gathering here it means basically that there are lots of “parts” of you that come together to make a “whole” of you.  And “intersectional theory” claims that there are overlapping or intersecting social identities and related systems of oppression, domination and discrimination.  This gets really deep, basically saying that we are multi-dimensional and intertwined with our various “parts” and the discrimination/oppression we experience is generally addressing the individual parts.  So, I may be oppressed because I am a woman on one level, and then discriminated against because I am lesbian on another platform.  It’s quite complicated.  But I get the gist of it.

I encourage you to click on the link to the word intersectionality and read up on it.  You may hear it being tossed around in the media a bit more, as we are realizing that marginalized people like us are also intersectionally challenged with multiple types of oppression, domination and discrimination.

I know, this is a deep subject I have chosen to address here, but it’s important for me to understand things like this as much as I possibly am able to understand.  Vocabulary and wordsmithing is something I really like.  I love to learn new words, and how to use them properly.  I do realize that my understanding of “intersectionality” is currently limited to what I am reading here and on the web in general, and that personal discussion of how it affects others is much needed for me to understand it completely.  So, if you have some input for me, or a take on what it means for you please leave me a comment, let’s have a discussion!

Peace!  ~MainelyButch

TrumpCare…strike 1

Well, TrumpCare did NOT get voted on today.  Seems that Donny Boy is having trouble garnering enough votes to get it passed, so he cancelled the voting so that he wouldn’t look worse when it got voted down.  I wish they had voted on it, so it would have been killed.  Trump is not happy with this, as one can imagine.  He wanted to pass his descimating health care bill ON the 7th anniversary of the ACA (ObamaCare) being signed by President Obama.  But, it backfired.  He cannot get the votes needed to pass it because so many from his own party can see how horrible this AHCA will be for everyone.

They had meetings all day as he tried to apply pressure to representatives to vote his way.  One of the meetings was on whether or not maternity care and mammograms should be considered “essential” treatments covered by all health insurance policies under the Republican proposal.  NOT ONE WOMAN WAS IN THE ROOM, OR PART OF THE DISCUSSION ON THIS…NOT ONE.  I personally find this highly disturbing.  Women have been excluded entirely from all of Trumps agenda.  But to have them also excluded from a discussion that DIRECTLY affects all of the women in the USA is horrible.  It shows me that Trump is so threatened by women, that he wants to control all aspects of women, he wants to strip us of any freedom of choice or rights that we have.  I am sure if he can manage it he will also try to take away women’s voting rights.  The man is a seriously dangerous threat to all women.

Trump should not be allowed to continue with his “agenda” at all right now.  He is under investigation for “collusion” with the Russians and it’s getting very serious.  In my opinion, and in the opinion of many, he is an illegitimate president and should be halted from signing any more executive orders or pushing any more laws through until after this full investigation is over.  But he seems to be trying to “fast track” things, like the AHCA and the Immigration Ban – I think because he KNOWS that his time is limited now; that he’s in deep, deep doo-doo and he’s going to be thrown out soon.  Impeach the bastard.

If it were a Democratic president in office under these same circumstances right now the Republicans would be having a shit fit about him pushing any sort of legislation through while under investigation.  So I think it’s only fitting to hold Trump and the Republican party to these same standards.  It pisses me off that the Republicans seem to have this “high and mighty” idea that they are somehow “above the law” in so many respects.  Just because they happen to hold a slight majority right now in the house and senate they think they have everything in their control.  They are very narrow minded it seems, everything is about the almighty dollar and nothing is about compassion or caring about the people of this country.  It must be a very sad thing to be a Republican. Very Sad.

I am praying hard for my country right now.  Things are just going to get worse and the ride is going to be very bumpy for sure.  When all of the nastiness comes out publically I think that it will divide us even more.  There are so many people still that actually believe this outrageous liar called “president”.  I am scared about what will happen; scared about possible riots and violence.  I am scared that Trump will try something foolish, like trying to over throw our government in some way.  He is very much acting like a dictator and is unwilling or unable to see that he is NOT above American law.

I’ve heard that TrumpCare will be postponed indefinitely, then I heard that they would try to put it to a vote on Friday.  Trump will NOT let it go to vote unless he has a sure win in his pocket.  I pray it will be blocked.

That’s it for tonight.  Peace.  ~MB

 

Is this really 2017?

I feel like we are heading in a backwards direction.  One would think that in 2017 we would have stopped arguing and fighting against stupid shit.  But no…

It’s the weirdest thing to sit and watch everything unfold with Trump.  To watch him lie and awkwardly spin things is just something I NEVER thought would come from a US President.  To have the White House tell you that you should believe the lies because he is the leader, and what he says must be true – even when it’s proven to be an outright lie.  His supporters are buying it like idiots, even as they witness reality unfolding in real-time.

We have an illegitimate president who is now being investigated for his ties to Russia.  Russia?!  The big bad Bear.  I served in the US Army, stationed in Germany, during the “Cold War” and Russia was our biggest threat to world security.  Unless I have missed something in the past 35 years, they still ARE the biggest threat!  And to think that they influenced our election in any way is just plain scary.  They are some ruthless and smart fuckers; their reach is astounding and Americans cannot ever let their guard down or underestimate the Russians.

Two months into his presidency Trump’s administration is failing badly.  They want you to think they are oblivious and they are succeeding, but with a popularity rating of 37% after 2 months, he’s losing ground fast.  The investigation into the Russian meddling into our election and his Twitter lies about wire tapping have driven him down this week.  His Trumpcare bill goes for a vote on Thursday, and today he went to the hill to threaten his Republican constituents that if they did not vote it in that he would go after them in the next election, that basically they were under orders to pass this bill no matter what.  This bill will decimate our health care system, and millions will suffer the fate of no coverage.  Even Republicans can’t stomach that, at least the ones with a conscience.  Even the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) says that this plan is not a good one.  What more do we need?  Major changes to this bill must be made before it goes any further.  If he wants to change Obamacare then do it so that it’s better not worse.

I just wonder how these politicians can sit up there on Capitol Hill and not see what we as Americans are seeing; not hearing what we are hearing.  It just blows me away. What do they know that we do not know?  This government has gotten so secretive in the last 60 days, it’s scary as fuck.  I don’t trust a one of then anymore.  None are working in favor of the people, all are just covering their own asses – and it’s fucking obvious!!!  So, I ask, HOW DO we stop this madness?

I am going to try to put my LINK to my online paper here.  The Relevant Times publishes daily on Paper.Li and is full of information concerning the LGBT community and politics in the US.  It’s kind of an experiment for me right now; something I am hoping will be fun and informative to my followers. Let me know what you think.  I do not hand pick the articles, I trust my sources and have selected those I believe bring us the most up to date stuff.  Let me know what else I could include in the paper, or if you have a trusted source you think I could draw content over to it from.  Most of my current content is coming over from Twitter at this time, and this will expand once I am more secure in the publication.

 

 

 

Closet or Not?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic, I watched a video on YouTube about whether it’s okay or not to stay “in the closet” about your sexuality if you are LGBT forever or not.  This gave me a lot to think about because I am currently talking to someone who IS living in the closet, and I am not.

Personally I  could never live my life permanently in the closet.  I can’t imagine what that would be like.  I can’t imagine being afraid that someone would “find me out” and what it would mean if they did.  I have lived most of my life out and proud.  It’s just the way it happened for me.  I came out to my family when I was getting out of the Army, around 22 yrs old, and I have never looked back and thought I shouldn’t have done it.  It’s made my life so much more enriched and so much easier as I have never had to hide anything about my true identity.

Coming out is a very personal thing.  I’ve never been a big believer in a particularly “loud” coming out.  I think they way that I did it, by coming out to people on an “as needed” basis was right for me.  I know some people really want to make a big deal out of it, but I am a more private person and never felt it was a big deal at all.  It is just who I am.  In my way of thinking my sexuality is no one’s business but my own.  If the need to tell someone that I am a gay woman comes up, it’s because they are either questioning me about it or they are wanting to “fix me up” with their male friend.  Never have I found it necessary to just come out to anyone without reason.  My family had reason because I am close to them and they see who I spend all of my time with and when I am most happy in the company of another woman.  They needed to know.

So, I am becoming very attached to this woman, Beach Babe, that I’ve been talking to and I have been thinking about what it would be like to be dating someone who is “in the closet.”  She lives quite a ways from me, so it’s not like we have had to deal with this yet.  But when we are together what will it be like for me? For her?  Will she be afraid that she will be seen with me and be found out?  How has she handled this in the past?  Has she ever been with someone who is so blatantly out like I am?  Who lives their lives as an openly lesbian woman?  Who is so Butch that they cannot hide and whoever they are with will be deemed to be gay as well?  These are all questions I have about this.  I haven’t seriously gotten into any sort of a deep conversation with her about it.

I understand that she has lived closeted all of her life because of religious views of her and her family, and now because she fears losing her job.  She has a job working with teenagers, and fears that if their parents knew or the boss knew that she is lesbian that it would cause problems and maybe cause her to lose her job.  I couldn’t even imagine what that must feel like; what it would be like to have to hide part of myself like that.

She seems to think it’s not a big deal.  But we haven’t been with each other in public so I don’t know exactly how far in the closet she is.  I guess I will find out when we meet in May.  I will NOT like hiding myself.  I will NOT do it.  There is no way I can “act” or “look” straight, like she does.  I don’t know if she has ever dated a Butch like me; a Butch who looks the whole stereotypical part.  Does she understand that to be seen with me is to be “seen”?

Can I date someone who is still in the closet at 46?  I am not 100% sure.  But I really like this woman and do want to find out.  The other piece of this is the distance thing.  Guess she and I have some conversations to have…

 

Our Child-like President

Alright, I’ve admitted that I am a news junkie…but I am particularly obsessed with this illegitimate president we have occupying the White House part time, yeah Donald J. Trump.  I watch and read news stories regularly, and most of what I am reading/watching lately is stuff about him, his budget suggestions, his health insurance plan, his cabinet picks, and his child-like behavior in office.  As much as I have read/seen it STILL amazes me that this freak is still in office after 58 days.  Yes, it’s been 58 days since he took office on Jan. 20, 2017 and began to set the country on it’s ear.  Fifty-eight days of stupidity.

Trump changes the topic every week.  Sometimes a couple of times a week, depending upon his mood and how mean he feels that day.  His Tweets have shown how childish and self-centered he is.  His cabinet choices show me that he is lining us up for a complete hostile take over of our government.  He says he is trying to make America great again…then he does things to tear our country apart; to divide us and to cause us anxiety and harm.  He does not engage the citizens.  He hides from us; from the press and from directly answering any question.  He takes responsibility for nothing and continually blames others for any problems he encounters.  Like now he is blaming Fox News for his “wire tapping” Tweets, saying it was a report from one of their journalists – that he obviously believed – that he was referring to in his Tweets.  “Don’t ask me, go ask Fox.”

This man is pure evil.

I  watched Saturday’s press conference, with him and Angel Merkel, leader of Germany, and was horrified at how he presented himself and represented the USA.  He literally disrespected her on national television with the whole world as witness.  He ignored her handshake request at the podium, and wouldn’t make eye contact with her.  His posture was child-like and very weak looking.  He sat in the chair like a little boy being scolded.  It was very difficult to watch, I felt uncomfortable for America.  He did not do us justice.  He did not look or act or talk like a world leader, like the leader of the free world…and Merkel appeared just as surprised, perhaps even a bit insulted to be forced to stand next to this pathetic man-child.  Yes, I was embarrassed, and he should have been too.  He was ill prepared to host this great leader of Germany and it was very obvious he did not know how to act or carry himself in a stately manner.  He was very uncomfortable, and it showed.

I don’t understand HOW he is staying in office.  Trump might be a great guy in another context, but as a president he is not.  He knows only the life of the rich and famous, he doesn’t “get” what it’s like to actually have to struggle and earn a living in America.  He doesn’t understand how to talk to people, how to converse and exchange ideas.  He only knows how to give orders and bark commands – like a BOSS, not as a president.  He doesn’t seem to know how to ask for things, but certainly knows how to demand them.  The difference is that he is an actor, a TV personality, a reality show host, and NOT a politician who is schooled in proper etiquette and on how to conduct oneself in situations like yesterday’s press conference.  He knows how to boast about himself, and how to condemn America as “carnage”…constantly patting himself on the back and saying how people think he’s so great.  The man is DELUSIONAL.  I believe he is actually mentally deficient, or at least socially inept.

I won’t even get started on his proposed new budget.  It’s another piece of hate-filled legislation that he will try to ram down the throats of Americans.  I am hoping and praying that the Congress will look at his suggested budget and realize that it is just his desire, and that they will put together a budget that will be more reasonable.  It’s up to them to make and ratify the budget, his proposal is only that – an outline of what he wants to see.  And his ideas are very much right leaning.

I have been very active on Twitter and Facebook in voicing my opinion of this president and his administration.  I will continue to voice that opinion, I will continue to resist.  I think that he will ultimately dig his own political grave with one of his immature Tweets at some point.  Let’s hope it is before he gets us into a war with North Korea or China.  Let’s hope it’s before he decimates the economy, destroys our culture and alienates all of our allies.  And let’s hope it’s before the end of the year.  I predict that it will be, because after only 58 days he is gaining more and more opponents every day.

Peace.   ~MB